Cultural References in Episodes 1 to 36

Cinderella

In Episodes 4 and 17 of SDF Macross and DYRL, but not in Robotech, Minmei sings a song titled “Cinderella.” Any Cinderella theme proposed here was not consciously intended by the creators of the SDF Macross series. Reportedly, Mari Iijima, the voice actor for Minmei, wrote this song at 16 and when asked to sing something beautiful for Episode 4 she chose this song. Mari Iijima has explained this was a love song for an unrequited love she experienced at the age of 16. The romantic situation did not allow her to make her feelings known so she was only able to express her feelings as Cinderella in song and then return to her real world self, similar to Cinderella at midnight. This allusion may reveal the SDF-1 as a glass slipper for humanity, the trainer veritech as a glass slipper for Rick, micronian culture as a glass slipper for the Zentreadi, or simply Minmei rising from lowly waitressing to intergalactic princess. The wicked stepmother and stepsisters may be any of the shortsighted authority figures or villains in this series. Minmei and Lisa are each embodiments of the Cinderella archetype. They both come to be recognized for their attributes after a period of being neglected. In Episode 26 Lisa requests permission to return to the SDF-1 but her father refuses. In SDF Macross this may further a Cinderella allusion as Lisa is unable to return home to the SDF-1 and Earth will turn into the proverbial pumpkin in the Episode 27. Also, Lisa is effectively kidnapped by her own father similar to Cinderella being locked in her room when the time came to try on the glass slipper.

Comanchero

In SDF Macross and Robotech this is a helicopter. Comancheros were merchants and traded goods with the Comanche Native Americans.

Cyclops

Robotech adapts the Quel-Quallie Theatre Scout Pod from SDF Macross as the Cyclops Recon Pod. Cyclopes are one eyed giants in Greek Mythology.

Daedalus

In SDF Macross and Robotech the SLV-111 Daedalus became the upper right appendage of the SDF-1. In Greek mythology he was an innovator. The nautical designation using his moniker in these series may have been foreshadowing for the innovative re-purposing of this ship for the Daedalus maneuver. He may also be a voice of caution as he warned his son Icarus to keep a distance from the sun. This theme of caution may be echoed by a similar embodiment attributed to Prometheus.

Destroid

In SDF Macross and Robotech a Destroid is a type of mecha. It is likely a portmanteau of destroy and android.

Excalibur

Robotech occasionally refers to the Tomahawk of SDF Macross as either a Tomahawk or an Excalibur. Excalibur is the legendary sword of King Arthur.

Fokker, Roy

Focker in SDF Macross is a character name honoring the Fokker aircraft company. It may also be comedic due to its similarity to an English language expeltive.

Gladiator

Robotech occasionally refers to the Spartan of SDF Macross as either a Spartan or a Gladiator. A gladiator was a Roman swordsman participating in games of battle for entertainment.

Hikaru Ichijyo

Hikaru means light, radiance, and to shine. These are all qualities of a main protagonist. Ichijyo may mean assistant. This name from SDF Macross was adapted to Rick Hunter for Robotech. See Rick Hunter.

Lancer

In SDF Macross this is a space fighter named SF-3A Lancer II and SF-3 Lancer in Robotech. A lancer is a soldier who fights with a lance.

Macbeth

See Macross

Macross

The origin of the title Macross has multiple parallelisms as it is a play on the Japanese words Macbeth, Macro, and Cross. Any parallel themes between the broadcast episodes of SDF Macross and Macbeth are likely unintended by the series’ creative team. However, Dolza may resemble Macbeth as a central theme of the theatrical play is blind ambition leading to the destruction of the self and others. The theme of Macbeth also relates to the myths of Prometheus and Daedalus. Macro refers to the immense size of the mecha and ships, and Cross refers to the distance traveled or perhaps a burden if seen in a Christian context.

Maximilian Jenius

In SDF Macross Maximillian implies the greatest or valuable. Jenius is an allusion to the English word genius which refers to his combat genius. This name was adapted to Maximilian Sterling for Robotech. See Maximillian Sterling.

Maximillian Sterling

In Robotech Maximilian means the greatest and Sterling means good or valuable. These are both qualities of this character.

Minmay

The Chinese characters for Minmay mean bright and beautiful bell. Her singing could be viewed as embodying this definition.

Misa Hayase

In SDF Macross Misa means beautiful bloom and Hayase means swift current.

Oberth Class

In SDF Macross and Robotech this is a class of small warships used in space combat. They are named for the scientist Hermann Oberth.

Phalanx

A Phalanx is a type of Destroid mecha. Phalanx is likely borrowed from the Greek meaning of a group of soldiers.

Prometheus

In SDF Macross and Robotech the CVS-101 Prometheus became the upper left appendage of the SDF-1. In Greek mythology he stole fire from Zeus and gifted it to humanity. Similarly, the landing of the SDF-1 on Earth could be seen as a gift of technology to humanity. Later cultures equated him with excessive ambition bringing unintended consequences which shares a theme with the story of Daedalus’ warning to his son Icarus.

Protoculture

In SDF Macross this might be a portmanteau of prototype and culture implying the first culture.

Raider X

In Robotech the Raider X is a Destroid Defender mecha. A raider is akin to a pirate.

Rick Hunter

Richard means strong or brave leader. One abbreviation is Dick which may imply romantic success. Hunter may imply he is hunting for enemies or women. This was likely chosen as an adaption of Hikaru Ichijyo as it sounds aggressive with hard consonants.

Robotech

This was a brand originating from the Revel model company. It is likely a portmanteau of robot and technology.

SDF-1

In SDF Macross this may refer to Japan’s Self-Defense Force founded in 1954.

Spartan

A Spartan is a type of Destroid mecha. Spartan is likely borrowed from the Greek meaning of a brave soldier. Robotech occasionally refers to the SDF Macross Spartan as a Gladiator.

Tomahawk

A Tomahawk is a type of Destroid mecha. This term in borrowed from a type of hatchet. The word is derived from native North Americans. In 1983, after the debut of SDF Macross, The United States military put a Tomahawk cruise missile into service. Robotech sometimes refers to the Tomahawk as an Excalibur.

U.N. Spacey

In SDF Macross U.N. Spacey is a branch of the United Nations military. Spacey is a portmanteau of space and navy.

Valkyrie

Valkyrie is the name of the transformable jets in SDF Macross. However, the name is also used in error in the Robotech series. Valkyries are female beings from North Germanic mythology. They have many roles including choosing who will live and die in battle, hampering enemies, fighting as warriors, protecting men in battle, protecting families, bringing luck to youth, and being demons of the dead. In recent times, Valkyries are portrayed with Viking clothing and weapons. They are sometimes winged or on winged horses. This term along with Minmei’s weaponization may imply a certain female fierceness to this series.

Veritech

Veritech is the name of the transformable jets in Robotech. It is likely a portmanteau of variable fighter and technology.

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