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Roots of Macross: The Early Synopses

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A few pages of Macross Perfect Memory (pp. 299~232) are given over to the episode-by-episode summaries of the series when it was in the early planning stages. It should be well-known by now that the original plan was for 52 episodes, then down to 48, then to 39, and finally down to 26 (before getting expanded to 36 after the series had started). The 52, 48, and 39-episode synopses are included in the book. The first two are very, VERY brief. The 39-episode one is much fuller. A lot of the info here was referred to by Egan Loo in both the Macross Compendium and the AnimEigo liner notes, but I don't think the complete synopses have ever been translated.

So here's the 52-episode version (and yes, Ep. 31 is indeed left blank in the original). I'll be adding the other two over the next week or so. And hey... gotta love that ten-episode run from 34 to 43...

Shoji Kawamori's 52-Episode Macross Synopsis
#1 The Main Cannon fires
#2 The Barrier is opened
#3 The Megaroad launches
#4 Warp
#5 Pluto / Construction on the city begins
#6 Transformation --> Robot
#7 The birth of "Megaroadians" / The robot enters battle
#8 A team infiltrates the enemy ship / They learn about the size difference
#9 The battle in Saturn's orbit / The train line opens
#10 Asteroid Cracker(1) / Transformation --> Battleship / Transformation warning
#11 Mars Base / Female Miclone spy infiltrates
#12 Spy Missile
#13 Atmospheric re-entry / Brake-Parachute(2)
#14 Resupplying at the undersea city
#15 Sinking. Transformation --> Robot / The Megaroad floods / Rescue
#16 Ground battle. Devil machine No. 2
#17 The group of three Miclones infiltrates
#18 The Battle of the Grand Canyon
#19 Japan completely annihilated by the Sunriser(3)
#20 Transformation --> Battleship / Leaving for outer space
#21 Near Venus / The enemy completes its Battlesuits / Battle operation of the new transformable robots
#22 The Captain is kidnapped
#23 Transformation --> Robot. Tentative rescue operation / The enemy missile counterattack (the right arm is lost)
#24 Search for a deputy Captain
#25 Great defensive battle at the Sun
#26 Rescue operation for the Captain
#27 The operation fails / Wandering inside the enemy ship
#28 The Captain's special attack
#29 The Chinese girl becomes a singer / The people from the beginning growing apart
#30 The enemy's new troops / The man who controls a 200m robot by himself
#31
#32 Back to the earth / Resupplying from the earth's surface. Population increase / A feeling like Noah's Ark
#33 The Sunriser activates / Certain death plate tectonics(4)
#34 America is completely destroyed / The secret of the Supervisor
#35 Husband and wife crisis (The Captain married couple) / The Panama Canal ruined
#36 Fake kidnapping / Machu Picchu destroyed(5) / The heroine changes assignments
#37 The Pyramids smashed
#38 Macropolis destroyed
#39 The Arc du Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower pulverized
#40 England vaporized
#41 The Caspian Sea evaporated
#42 Everest collapses
#43 Complete destruction of Earth / The heroine returns
#44 The enemy's main fleet draws near / To space
#45 The right-arm capture operation
#46 The city region of destiny
#47 Unrequited love. Devil machine No. 2
#48 The genius. Wedding ceremony
#49 The Supervisor and the female captain get married
#50 The genius falls
#51 The civilian escape operation
#52 The final city. To Earth

(1) The anchor rockets from both of the Macross's arms smash into asteroids, and the fragments destroy the enemy ships.
(2) The soften the shock of re-entering the atmosphere, the Macross deploys a parachute 10km in diameter.
(3) A weapon which destroys everything surrounding the Macross, making no distinction between friend and foe.
(4) As a result of the Macross's crash into the face of the planet, the earth's crust has to be defended against the enemy's attack.
(5) The Mayan holy place, located in South America

Shoji Kawamori's 48-Episode Macross Synopsis

#1 And after 10 years, the Megaroad is activated

#2 The Barrier is opened

#3 The Megaroad launches / Aircraft carrier cruise

#4 Warp. Warp engine vanishes

#5 Pluto orbit / Construction on the city begins

#6 The ramen restaurant comes to the bridge / The birth of "Megaroadians." Meeting with the heroine

#7 Transformation --> Robot / Some houses get sucked outside

#8 The robot enters battle / Rebuilding of the Megaroad City / Battroids become more energetic due to rewiring

#9 Battle operation breaking into the enemy ship / They learn about the size difference / The woman gets rescued on Titan

#10 The battle in Saturn's orbit / Asteroid Cracker

#11 Transformation: Robot to Battleship / Transformation warning. To the Transformation Team.

#12 Spy missile operation / The main characters visit the Chinese girl's home

#13 The infiltration of the enemy's main fleet operation. A battroid in disguise / Harnessing the technology of the warp system equipment.

#14 An escapee without a space suit blows up / The Miclone operation commences / Miss Megaroad

#15 Atmospheric re-entry. Brake-Parachute / A detached part of the city lands in the water / Sinking. The inside of the Megaroad floods

#16 The deep sea rescue operation / Transformation --> Robot

#17 The Chinese girl becomes a singer / Resupplying at the undersea city / The female Miclone spy sneaks aboard

#18 Megaroad battle athletic meet

#19 Date in Chinatown / A small enemy force spends the night not fighting

#20 Real ground battle. Devil machine No. 2 PART 1 / The group of three Miclones infiltrates

#21 New recruits / New training

#22 Christmas

#23 New Year's Eve / The movie premiere

#24 The new model robot is deployed

#25 Japan completely annihilated by the Sunriser / Devil machine No. 2 PART 2. The secret of the Supervisor

#26 The Captain is kidnapped / In the confusion, transformation --> Battleship

#27 Rescue operation for the Captain fails / The enemy missile counterattack

#28 Search for a deputy Captain / The enemy attack en masse

#29 Rescue operation for the Captain / Use of the Jump Door

#30 The rescue of the Captain fixes the enemy's stance

#31 The Supervisor arrives

#32 Valentine's Day operation / Transformation warning / The hero and heroine return

#33 The Captain's special attack / The man who controls a 2000 ton robot by himself

#34 Unrequited love. TV aboard ship is broadcast / The Chinese girl and her cousin make their relationship public

#35 Earth, again / Resupplying from the earth's surface / The heroine changes assignments

#36 The Sunriser is activated / Certain death plate tectonics restored

#37 The Pyramids smashed

#38 New York demolished

#39 Battle to the death at the Grand Canyon

#40 Complete destruction of Earth. Underground cave base / The heroine returns

#41 Fake kidnapping

#42 [it says "32" in the book, but I think that's a typo] The right-arm capture. The Captain, again / The Titan Tribe. A battroid in disguise

#43 The battle in the city region of destiny

#44 The genius's wedding of duty / Wedding space suits

#45 The universe draws near / The Supervisor gets report of the main body of the army

#46 The genius falls / Defensive battle at the Sun

#47 The civilian escape operation

#48 And after 10 years, humanity again / The final Sunriser inside the enemy ship

Edited by Gubaba

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Thanks for doing this! It's interesting to see all this now in retrospect.

Especially concepts like the "Asteroid Cracker", which returned decades later for the "Macross The First" retelling. And didn't the Caspian Sea evaporate in Orguss instead? I guess the Blu-Ray later this week will jog my memory! :D

And #50: "The genius falls"... Heh. What a different franchise this would have been....

Edit -- Machu Picchu is Inca, not Mayan (yes, I know you are just translating what is in the book, Gubaba). I had a conversation with Kawamori about this once, so clearly he is aware of it these days, but obviously not when he was 20 years old. However, though he has travelled around the world, he said he has yet to visit there, although it is definitely on his list.

Edited by Renato

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(5) The Mayan holy place, located in South America

Is this where some of the groundwork for Macross Zero eventually came from?

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Wow, Captain kidnapped, married...genius gets married then dies right away. And lots of specific landmarks destroyed. What an anime it would have made :)

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The Megaroad was going on a tour of Earth that would've led to death and destruction. They should animate this for fun and keep it in an alternate universe. Sunriser and Asteroid Cracker; I just love those special attack names..

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Some of it sounds really interesting, other parts like it drags out. Reminds me of the middle third of MS Gundam.

I'm assuming the sunriser is the barrier overload. I liked the path they took in the show, where the UN refused to let the Macross take a tour of destruction & kicked them off world.

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I added the 48-Episode synopsis. The 39-Episode synopsis is MUCH fuller, and will probably take me the whole weekend. (But get ready for the TWIST ENDING that YOU'LL NEVER SEE COMING!!!)

(Really. I'm not being sarcastic. You WON'T see it coming.)

Thanks for doing this! It's interesting to see all this now in retrospect.

Especially concepts like the "Asteroid Cracker", which returned decades later for the "Macross The First" retelling. And didn't the Caspian Sea evaporate in Orguss instead? I guess the Blu-Ray later this week will jog my memory! :D

And #50: "The genius falls"... Heh. What a different franchise this would have been....

Edit -- Machu Picchu is Inca, not Mayan (yes, I know you are just translating what is in the book, Gubaba). I had a conversation with Kawamori about this once, so clearly he is aware of it these days, but obviously not when he was 20 years old. However, though he has travelled around the world, he said he has yet to visit there, although it is definitely on his list.

IIRC, the Glomar crew just CROSSED the Caspian Sea without evaporating it. And yeah... honestly, I didn't remember that Machu Picchu was Incan... I still haven't corrected it because (as you say) I'm just saying what's in the book.

Is this where some of the groundwork for Macross Zero eventually came from?

Um... are you joking? I can't tell. :ph34r:

Some of it sounds really interesting, other parts like it drags out. Reminds me of the middle third of MS Gundam.

I'm assuming the sunriser is the barrier overload. I liked the path they took in the show, where the UN refused to let the Macross take a tour of destruction & kicked them off world.

Yes, the Sunriser eventually turned into the barrier overload.

Edited by Gubaba

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Wow, destruction across the globe! Pre-Independence day too!

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Um... are you joking? I can't tell. :ph34r:

No, I was serious. I thought when your translation mentioned the Mayans that what came about in Macross Zero was possibly some salvaged ideas from really early in the original's development, but it's probably just a coincidence.

Edited by Einherjar

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No, I was serious. I thought when your translation mentioned the Mayans that what came about in Macross Zero was possibly some salvaged ideas from really early in the original's development, but it's probably just a coincidence.

One should keep in mind that the Mayan Islanders of Macross Zero are called Mayan because the name of their island is Maya.

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No, I was serious. I thought when your translation mentioned the Mayans that what came about in Macross Zero was possibly some salvaged ideas from really early in the original's development, but it's probably just a coincidence.

Yeah, I don't think there's any real connection, except that the word itself just stuck in Kawamori's head.

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Some of it sounds really interesting, other parts like it drags out.

Agreed (go here, destroy this. go there, destroy that).

On the other hand, it highlights the creative process, as well as how much better the organization of the events in the finished TV series were!

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The original 52 episode will probably work as well, but it won't have something that I like about Macross: the post-war episodes.

I always viewed ep 28-36 as sort of a "season 2". They have a different feel and are somewhat more depressing.

If I want to stay upbeat, I stop watching at ep 27! :-)

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The original 52 episode will probably work as well, but it won't have something that I like about Macross: the post-war episodes.

I always viewed ep 28-36 as sort of a "season 2". They have a different feel and are somewhat more depressing.

If I want to stay upbeat, I stop watching at ep 27! :-)

Then none of the original plans will have what you want. The "post-war" stuff came much, MUCH later (like, after the show was already in production).

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I think it's interesting how the theme of travel (the 'road' in Megaroad? heh) is so much more pronounced in these series plans. It's still there in the televised series, but much less so than in these notes. It reminds me of White Base's journey in the original Gundam series, with a target hairs of destruction and disaster following along.

I seem to recall some quote - maybe from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - about the impact of displaced persons on the universe...

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The original 52 episode will probably work as well, but it won't have something that I like about Macross: the post-war episodes.

Indeed, the fact that the series DIDN'T end with the big battle is one of the things that really set it apart from other stories and gave it more maturity. In real life, there's always an aftermath and consequences, but most stories (at least in film & tv) skip this, ending when the good guys triumph in the great confrontation.

IMHO, I think this is something that all of the other Macross productions have lacked.

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Indeed, the fact that the series DIDN'T end with the big battle is one of the things that really set it apart from other stories and gave it more maturity. In real life, there's always an aftermath and consequences, but most stories (at least in film & tv) skip this, ending when the good guys triumph in the great confrontation.

IMHO, I think this is something that all of the other Macross productions have lacked.

Frontier season 2: ALTO MAKES A DAMN CHOICE. :D

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Well, Alto has absconded with the Vajra queen :) in the movieverse, at least. That after apparently making a choice...

And yes, on some thought, it does mean he escapes the consequences (as in living with a Tsundere).

Edited by Saruta

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I know this isn't Reddit, but just wanted to give Gubaba an "upvote."

I came around to see if anything new was going on and finding these outlines is just as good! Gubaba even added a cliffhanger....

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I know this isn't Reddit, but just wanted to give Gubaba an "upvote."

I came around to see if anything new was going on and finding these outlines is just as good! Gubaba even added a cliffhanger....

SPOILER ALERT: Hikaru dies.

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Not surprising, after all there's somewhat of a reoccurring theme of hero sacrifice throughout the shows.

(I haven't seen M7) Shin, Alto ( dead/teleported/doesn't matter story's over) I'd put Roy in this simply because of

DYRL's sacrifice. Plus we can assume Hikaru dies with the Megaroad anyway. So either way he dies.

Thanks for the outline, it's interesting to see the changes from the beginning.

Thanks Gubaba!

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Alto ( dead/teleported/doesn't matter story's over) .....

Thanks Gubaba!

Oh Alto has been confirmed to be very much alive and is desperately trying to get back to the Frontier.

Of course, you'd know this if you listened to Macross SpeakerPODcast ;-)

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Oh Alto has been confirmed to be very much alive and is desperately trying to get back to the Frontier.Of course, you'd know this if you listened to Macross SpeakerPODcast ;-)

I made it 30 minutes then got yelled at for it being "annoying".

I'll get back to it this weekend with some head phones!

Thanks for reminding me!

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Yeah I agree and it makes sense given that it originally was a parody of Gundam and then turned into its own show.

Still some interesting stuff was in that version.

Some of it sounds really interesting, other parts like it drags out. Reminds me of the middle third of MS Gundam.

I'm assuming the sunriser is the barrier overload. I liked the path they took in the show, where the UN refused to let the Macross take a tour of destruction & kicked them off world.

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I made it 30 minutes then got yelled at for it being "annoying".

I'll get back to it this weekend with some head phones!

Thanks for reminding me!

We do our best to .... annoy ^^;

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The Megaroad was going on a tour of Earth that would've led to death and destruction. They should animate this for fun and keep it in an alternate universe. Sunriser and Asteroid Cracker; I just love those special attack names..

Yeah... Kawamori and Co should make the Battle City Megaroad series so they make toys based on this beast... post-7862-0-55510800-1384502946_thumb.jpg

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The original 52 episode will probably work as well, but it won't have something that I like about Macross: the post-war episodes.

I always viewed ep 28-36 as sort of a "season 2". They have a different feel and are somewhat more depressing.

If I want to stay upbeat, I stop watching at ep 27! :-)

I literally cringe every time I see Hikaru stand up Misa for their picnic. Dude's an ass in the series.

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Some of those early idea are explained in the french dvd release staff interview.

It was quite interesting. From what i can remember, the 3 zentradi spy kidnapped the captain by luring it in a phone booth with panties. Then he somehow escaped and was famous for a while but since it faded quickly, the captain spend the rest of the show trying to get himself captured again.

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I literally cringe every time I see Hikaru stand up Misa for their picnic. Dude's an ass in the series.

Well, at least in that part. That's the one thing I don't like about the Reconstruction Arc...

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Hello.

I roughly translated the 39-chapter synopses a couple of years ago with Google translator. Here's the PDF document. English is not my first language so the translation may contain grammatical errors. Sentences which did not make any sense when translated are marked with *.  Hope you enjoy. Regards

Macross 39-Chapters Synopses.pdf

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