A More Considered (and Spoiler-Free) Reaction to Delta Ep. 26


And yes, everyone indeed seems to be excited and confused, with a large dollop of anger thrown in.

Okay, that’s not QUITE accurate… If you want to find anger, it’s there. If you want to find people who enjoyed the show and enjoyed the ending, you can do that, too.

Still, the negativity has really started to affect me, in that I’m beginning to wonder “Am I crazy…? Is there something wrong with me that I don’t despise this series?” I mean, I’ve been enjoying the show throughout, even when it really started slowing down about three-quarters of the way through. While I don’t think it’s been a truly excellent show, it’s been sometimes great, and rarely less than good. And certainly not deserving of the scorn that some viewers have been pouring on it.

If I’m left somewhat unsatisfied, it’s due mostly to the fact that I really don’t want it to end yet. The settings are fascinating, and the characters are likable and fun, and it feels much too early to say goodbye to them. If episode 26 had ended with a huge cliffhanger and the promise of more, I think I would’ve been happier.

All this said, I think the negativity need not concern us too much. Reactions to the final episode of Frontier were similar. I think t just goes with the territory. People are really emotional at first, but that fades a few weeks or months. Opinions and sometimes memories are revised, and I’m sure when the next Macross comes out, the majority will be looking back fondly on Delta.

And of course, a lot of those people will not be oldtaku like myself who got into Macross in previous decades (has it really been over THIRTY-TWO years since I first saw that ad for the Macross videotape in Starlog magazine…?), but people, probably in their teens, for whom Delta is the first Macross series they’ve ever seen. And a number of those fans have most likely been bitten by the Macross bug, and, in the months ahead, will go on to devour EVERYTHING from SDF Macross to Frontier, and every stop in between.

And don’t you kind of envy them? I mean, think about it… as you’re reading this, there’s probably some fifteen-year-old kid getting his or her mind blown by Do You Remember Love for the first time. And some other whose new favorite band is Fire Bomber. And another who’s already mentally working out a Ranka cosplay. Heck, I’m sure there’s some middle-schooler falling in love with Macross right now who in years to come will end up WORKING on it. Doesn’t all that strike you as pretty important…? Or at least pretty cool?

So yeah, Delta Ep. 26. Not quite what I was expecting, but a quality series with a quality ending. And I want MORE!!


17 thoughts on “A More Considered (and Spoiler-Free) Reaction to Delta Ep. 26

  1. I don’t think you’re crazy. I’ve read enough forum posts on people being extremely negative and about Delta and I just stop reading them. The posts aren’t worth the energy and time it takes to read them.

    I’ve frankly seen worse things happen to a beloved animated series and that has set my bar really low. (Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Manga vs a supremely terrible OVA)

    I liked the series, thought that the second half has weird pacing issues that brought the quality of the show down but overall found it entertaining. My wife liked Delta because the singers had powerful voices. Of all the Macross series, she’s only liked the songs Nekki Basara sings and now, Walkure.

    I’ve yet to watch the ending to Delta, but have to say that the Freyjate couple is the most believable and sweetest in my 30 odd years of watching Macross.


    1. I’m not as confident as you are on people remembering Delta fondly in years to come (at least in the West. I have no idea how this is doing in Japan). The reaction I’m seeing is several fora (including those with very young demographics like MAL) is negative. And the difference with Frontier, is that this negativity has been ongoing since around episode 15, not just with the final which was mostly down due to unsatisfied viewers who did’t get their desired ‘ship’.

      I’m looking forward to any potential Delta films, specially if they manage to compress( or go in another direction) to episodes 14 to 25.

      On a positive note, I’m happy that this show avoided the nasty shipping wars that came with Frontier and that the triangle was settled very ammicably.

      Oh, and Junna has a bright, bright future ahead of her. That voice!


      1. I’m seeing less hatred toward Seven nowadays that in the past, and if the fanbase can slowly come around Seven, they can come around Delta.

        Also, my experience with long running franchise, is that the newest stuff is always a magnet for fans that have frustrasion to vent. As such, future Macross are going to distract peoples from Delta.

        We also have to take into account the mighty power of nostalgia that will settle over time.

        In my life, I have see fanbases of various works do 180° turn too many times to consider that a opinion on a work of fiction is something set in stone.


  2. Haha I hope to be like you ten or twentry years from still enjoying macross and anime in general personally. Hopefully make time to also fit in some light novels and manga.


  3. My initial reaction for Delta is it is a fine Macross.

    Not among the best Macross like Seven or the Frontier movies, but above the weakest ones like Frontier TV and Plus.

    The first half is great, it’s seriously one of the most enjoyable experience I had watching Macross.

    When the preview episode was released last december, I was shock with now much I enjoyed it, particularly with Freyja, who I was simply not expecting to like that much or even at all. I was also totally sold on the Walkure concept almost as soon as they jumped onto the battlefield with transformation sequences. I remember having a big grin on my face during the whole scene.

    Freyja and Hayate are likeable leads that have a great chemistry, which drive a lot of the show greatest scenes.

    The second half is more mixed, separated between episodes that try to kept the feeling of the first half, but suffer from a pretty visible struggling production and exposition episodes that just have characters standing around speaking, which are made that way obviously to prevent a production collapse, but make for a dull watching experience.

    The show also suffer from characters whose purpose weren’t well thought out from the beginning, from multiples characters that have little role on their owm and would work best as a single entity like Arad and Chuck, to characters that are entirely without purpose and should have been cut off at the planning stage like the twins, to characters that aren’t used to their fullest like Mirage.

    But ultimately, I didn’t dislike any characters, which is the essential for me. Frontier TV and Plus are at the bottom for me because they have characters that are just rubbing me the wrong way.


    1. Delta above the likes of Plus just because the characters rubbed you the wrong way? That’s rather a rather reductionist way to look at things. What about more objective criteria like art, animation (all accounting for age of course), soundtrack, script, dialogue, direction etc etc?


      1. On a technical level, Plus is amazing, great art/animation/music, the yf-19 and yf-21 are very cool, a lot of love and care were put into it, I don’t deny it.

        But Characters is the number one factor in whatever I like a show or not, if I’m not into the characters, if I don’t care one bit about them, then everything else become simply a empty spectacle to me.

        Characters are what anchor me in a show, and outside Sharon Apple, Plus has nothing for me. I dislike pretty much everything about Isamu, Guld left me indifferent and Myung is the Macross heroine I kept forgetting both her name and existance.

        So outside cool mecha action and concert scenes, Plus left me completely cold.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Plus is bad, it’s just not doing anything to me.


  4. I completely agree with you. I found Delta to be enjoyable as a whole and I had fun watching it week after week. Sure it stumbled here and there, but nowhere near enough for all the backlash that it seems to be getting. I think people just love to whine and insult things, it’s in their nature to complain about everything.

    A few weeks, months, years from now they’ll calm down and remember Delta with fondness.

    Delta was very good in my eyes. Amazing music. An amazing chemistry between the 2 MCs (who btw, I find to be the most likeable in the Macross Franchise as of yet) and an interesting plot. Overall I’m satisfied with the end result and I really hope we get movies.


  5. Interesting. For me the Windermere Knights gave me exactly the same feeling that Isamu gave you. Absolutely mortifying to see them on screen. I felt like fast forwarding every time they were on. But they’re not the reason I’m not sold on Delta. As long as the story is good, I’m willing to forgive characters I despise (Evangelion). After episode 14, there was simply not a good narrative. The way you described was absolutely on point. Characters were standing around talking filling up the 24 minutes and nothing else.


  6. My main gripe Is just the unanswered questions left hanging. Also, I don’t think The Kingdom of the Wind learned anything from all of this, which must be a first for the franchise. Not that I’m complaining, they can have their space hermit kingdom. Hopefully Heinz can make something out it all by himself and not end up a bitter old man like his father?


    1. I thought that was the whole point of the scene last episode where Heinz was horrified at the death toll when the NUNS fleet blew up? And then showed this episode that it was still weighing VERY heavily on him?

      Seems to me that he learned better…


      1. That’s the problem though. Only he learned that, everyone else in that room approved or were indifferent of of the killing. It’s going to be pretty rough without his brother, Roid, or any other advisor we know of to get his people to understand, especially if the trial scene is any indication of how low the kingdom has gone. Doesn’t help that he has been pretty gullible too since taking the throne.


  7. Enjoyed Macross Delta from start to finish! Great words of wisdom in this post… thank you. Let us never forget the first time we experienced the power of Macross!


  8. I’m an “old-taku” oyaji and I don’t get all the negativity on Delta or the “Kawamori is crazy” thing either. My favorite comments are the “why wasn’t Windmere cleansed” ones. Don’t these kids understand that NUNS are the bad guys now?

    Kawamori is crazy like a fox. He knows his history, and is sometimes biased against the west. NUNS turned into a “League of Nations” in space and guess what happens next?

    Delta is much better back-to-back than as a weekly episodic watch — plus, did all those negative folks ragequit when the credits rolled?

    Delta has the best “stingers” of any anime I’ve watched. And I’ve been watching since DYRL & Hokuto no Ken on crap bootleg VHS.


  9. Being a Macross fan for such a long time, I can say I like what you say here. This series could have been longer, they could have developed many more things. For some reason, even Macross Frontier having about the same amount of episodes gave a deeper feeling. Of course, Frontier spawned two movies, and I hope Delta will do something along those lines to help fill the vacuum, and explain many things that were left unexplained such as who the heck Lady M is (a lot of hype about the lost Megaroad fleet). In that case, I hope they acquired back the rights they sold to Harmony Gold and fixed all the legal entanglement, so they can finally tell us what happened to the main initial characters instead of giving vague hints. Otherwise, we may never know. I really hope the “Macross: The First” manga will end up being animated as a full blown reboot.


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