Just before the broadcast of "Macross Delta"!
We Ask General Director Shoji Kawamori About The Secrets Of The New Valkyries
Finally, the broadcast of "Macross Delta" approaches soon. They've also broadcast an advance special program at the end of 2015, and little by little the outline of the series has been revealed. Here, we press on the fascination of the new Valkyries, based on the information that has been released!!
What Is The World Of "Macross Delta"?
It is set in the world of 2067, 8 years after "Macross F". The story of "Delta" is centred in the galactic frontier region, and differs from the Macross Frontier Fleet, which was merely heading toward the central part of the galaxy. Such Valkyries as the VF-171, which were introduced in "Macross F", also appear, and there are also noticeable points that are characteristic of "Delta" being in a close time frame.
The Promise Of A Valkyrie's 3 Forms
Each form of a Valkyrie doesn't only change in shape, but also changes the Valkyrie's special qualities due to surplus output being distributed to the Energy Conversion Armour (by circulating energy in it, the armour is transformed). Herein, we lightly review the features of each form.
Feature: although the armour is fragile, at any rate it can fly fast!
Armour Strength: low
Flight Speed: high
The flight form of a Valkyrie. High-speed flight is enabled by using all of the engine output for thrust - to the extent that there is little energy that can be used in the armour, and its protective capabilities become frail.
The Objective Of Walküre + Delta Platoon Is The Calming Down Of Val Syndrome
A Tactical Music Unit that was formed to oppose the Val Syndrome. The songs of the girls are said to be effective at calming down the Val. Mobilizing together with Delta Platoon, they suppress Val riots.
The Valkyrie unit organized by 'Chaos'. They jointly undertake missions with Walküre. Chaos itself extends into a greater variety of business subjects than the Private Military Provider S.M.S., which appeared in "Macross F", and the breadth of its business status is becoming apparent in its activities. Delta Platoon uses the VF-31 Siegfried.
The Calming Down Of Val Syndrome
Val Syndrome, a mysterious strange disease, unexpectedly causes irregularities in the mind of a person, and changes them into someone who rampages. It is a menace that currently flourishes everywhere in the galaxy, and the people fear the phenomenon as it is unclear when the disease will attack. The singing voices of Walküre demonstrate effectiveness in calming down the syndrome. The Delta Platoon are successful as a Val countermeasure by collaborating with Walküre, and their basic setup isn't only for pure combat, as they are also specialized to support Walküre.
Feature: the all-purpose type that is OK in both flying and on the ground!
Armour Strength: normal
Flight Speed: low
Even though the flight speed is below the speed of sound, the range of operational movements in GERWALK is vast, because it can seamlessly move between the ground and the sky. Simply because it cannot turn its output into the Energy Conversion Armour to the same extent as the Battroid form, its armour isn't as firm as the Battroid's. The GERWALK form isn't suited for hand-to-hand combat.
Feature: even though it cannot fly, it has the best solid strength!
Armour Strength: high
Flight Speed: cannot fly*
The humanoid close-combat form. As a ground warfare weapon doesn't need an output to the same extent as an aircraft, it means that its Energy Conversion Armour can have a high armour strength. It is the form that is suited to hand-to-hand combat.
* able to hover
The VF-31 Siegfried
An aircraft that was developed from the YF-30 Chronos. The aircraft that Delta Platoon uses are equipped with specialized anti-Val Syndrome equipment, such as Fold Quartz, and they differ from the VF-31 that are purely for combat. Delta Platoon's Valkyries have equipment that is appropriate for Val suppression, such as an Assault Knife and small Mini Gun Pods. They are also loaded with Multi-drones in the legs to support Walküre. The Container Unit, which is the VF-31's greatest feature, is also able to load such things as an Energy Supply Unit for the Multi-drones.
In addition to such functions as defence and amplifying the Fold Wave component of Walküre's songs, the Multi-Drones are also furnished with entertainment support components, such as small mobile stages, stage illumination, and holographic dancers.
- broadcasting soon!
The TV broadcast starts in April on Tokyo MX, BS11, and others
- Official Site: http://macross.jp
© 2015 Big West / Macross Delta Production Committee
Composition & Text: H2R
"Valkyries that emphasize entertainment"
- The activities of the VF-31, which is used by the Delta Platoon in "Macross △ (Delta)" has steadily become clear. Once again, what kind of roots does this Valkyrie have?
Kawamori: Basically I have the image that the VF-31 line rose up in roughly the same period as the YF-24 Evolution line, and yet its advancement was a little bit delayed. I conceived it as having sought an increase in speed by being slimmer than the VF-25 Messiah. On the other hand, the flow from the YF-30 Chronos to the VF-31 Siegfried produced a multi-role fighter that can correspond with all situations by exchanging the Container Unit. If it became possible to enhance the VF-31's aggressiveness by exchanging the Container Unit, than it's also possible to enable reconnaissance missions. Also, it's the reason why the Siegfried can also have the Multi-drone Operating Unit attached - the Multi-drones are for coordinated operations with Walküre.
Originally, the VF-25 series was a development of the Valkyries from the VF-1 to the VF-3000 Crusader and VF-5000 Star Mirage. On the other hand, when you follow the roots of the VF-31, it has the genealogy of the VF-11 Thunderbolt canard-type Valkyries. I had the image of it being a renewal and development of the variable-wing form from the VF-11.
- The VF-31 used by Delta Platoon give the impression that they are special Valkyries, aren't they?
Kawamori: Delta Platoon's VF-31 display an orientation that considerably emphasizes character, and if anything, they are close to the image of aircraft from air shows and acrobatic shows. That is because their Val suppression mission is a great point to them, and they are rooted in the purpose of making the "everything will now be OK, because we've come" appeal to ordinary citizens. It's essential to display their existence and to tell the city inhabitants to not fall into a panic. Therefore, the colour also differs according to the aircraft, if only to incorporate the objective of making someone believe that "those people have come!". The showy markings are also a part of that.
- I can also see the promotion-like aspects of that.
Kawamori: That's Chaos's way of doing things, eh. Even though "Macross F"'s S.M.S. was a private military company, the things that Chaos does is extensive and complex, and it has a pubic entertainment division. My image for it was as a business close to that of the present day Google corporation.
- That's an element that makes it easy to image the era, ain't it?
If you don't incorporate things that give the feeling of the era, it would be severe, wouldn't it? The premise in the "Macross" series is the point that if it is merely telling a story about the performance of the weapons, it'd be nonsense. When thinking normally, the unmanned aircraft side would be strong, and Sharon Apple ("Macross Plus") was a powerful information weapon. Therefore, if there wasn't an accumulation of series up until now, the initial developments of the series would have been different.
- The "Mission 0.89" advance broadcast version, that was broadcast at the end of 2015, had the feeling of symbolic opening developments.
Kawamori: I have the image of a component where some sort of information war began with people becoming Val forming the backbone, with a war on top of that. Because we're thoroughly depicting a style that's sort of centred on the Internet as well as entering an information war, we have to depict it with a different methodology.
In addition to wanting to change the atmosphere by starting the story from a riot suppression, we did it in order to have close-range combat to show the necessity for the existence of giant humanoid robots. During an era where its becoming unnecessary for combat helicopters and tanks in reality, it's quite difficult to detect the merits of giant humanoid robots. On top of deforming it into a necessary situation, we are showing them as a form of entertainment this time. Basically, it's because aside from being used in entertainment, giant humanoid robots aren't probable.
"The Delta Platoon's VF-31 is an anti-Val specification."
- What sort of equipment do Delta Platoon's VF-31 have?
Kawamori: Delta Platoon's purpose is the suppression of the Val Syndrome. The reason that the VF-31 have many close-range weapons, centred on a compact knife and the mini Gun-pods, is because as much as possible, they don't want to kill the people who have become the Val, because they were originally human. The Multi-drones are also one of that type of equipment.
- Their impression is quite different from the Valkyries so far, eh?
Kawamori: It's because they aren't purely for combat. As the Multi-drones can only fly at about 200 kmph, they can only be in urban areas. Of course, they basically cannot be used in outer space. They are not all-purpose. If they're attacked by a laser, then they are usually protected from it, however, if it's a missile, then a single missile will destroy them. The reason why the VF-31 is equipped with the Remote Charging Unit is because the Multi-drones need to be frequently charged. Also, because the drones are broken if they are hit with several shots or are attacked, they are basically disposable. Of course, if Delta Platoon changes their equipment, than they can also cope with combat, and that's the greatest reason for the Container Unit.
- You've orientated the transformable Valkyries toward urban area combat and so on, haven't you?
Kawamori: Especially as they are used in things like riot control in urban areas, GERWALK is the most suitable, isn't it? It's because Valkyries can divide the output of the Energy Conversion Armour according to each form. The portion that is put to use as thrust when in Fighter can be used to enhance the armour and for Pinpoint Barriers when in GERWALK and Battroid. It's the reason how they can cover for the thinness of the armour due to the Valkyries being aircraft.
- You've also depicted their coordination with Walküre.
Kawamori: When they are doing coordinated operations with Walküre, even though the girls are riding on the fuselage and using them as a stage, the Valkyries are only going at 30~40 kmph. When they go above 100 kmph, the girls would be blown off if they don't have wires holding them down.
- What kind of image did you strive for with the Valkyrie colouring?
Kawamori: Arad's aircraft is good-looking, however it might be a little bit difficult to recognize it. Simply, I think Bandai's "DX Chōgōkin" will give a suitably good impression of it. With normal productions, as the things that are initially drawn are canon, one could think that when they are later made in a different medium, those things are derivatives and reproductions. However, in my case, my way of thinking is that both the image in the anime and the three-dimensional object are both part of the production itself.
The person in charge of manufacturing also said, "we'll reproduce the colours as they are in the anime...", however he always overturns it with 'you don't have to pay any undue attention to that'. The degree of completion when I throughly think through a Valkyrie's appearance as a three-dimensional object is good, I think.
[interview continues on Pg 008]
The Forms Of The Siegfried That Kawamori Insisted Upon Have Meaning
The VF-31 that are used by Delta Platoon are aircraft of respectively different specifications. Traditionally speaking, the S model is the commanding officer's craft. The J model also seems to be for the main character, which is in accordance with "Macross" tradition. The E model is for electronic warfare and so on, and aside from the differing head shapes, there may also be functional differences according to each model. We anticipate a description of the differences in the future.
The Colouring Kawamori-san Insisted Upon
The colouring of the fighters in Delta Squadron is close to that of demonstration aircraft, which might be expected from Delta Squadron - colouring I rather insisted on. Even jumping over stealthiness, I insisted on their colours. Arad's and Messer's Valkyries have had markings applied on their upper surfaces similar to Ozuma's Valkyrie in "Macross F". As far as the people who are involved in the Var Syndrome are concerned, it seems that they can strongly feel the existence of Delta Squadron with the colours.
Chuck Mustang's craft (yellow)
Messer Ihlefeld's craft (black)
Hayate Immelmann's craft (blue)
Mirage Farina Jīnasu's craft (dark red)
Arad Mölders's craft (blue-green and red)
Interview with Shoji Kawamori con't
"The secret story of the birth of the standard VF-31A aircraft"
- What points are different between the VF-31A and the VF-31?
Kawamori: The A-type is a standard model fighter-attack craft oriented Valkyrie. Delta Platoon's VF-31 are for high-manoeuvrability in the atmosphere for special operations. The VF-31A and VF-31B are mass-produced standard types. My thoughts are that from now on, experiments for special operations are being performed by Chaos, and they'll be selling it, even if its only all sorts of data. I have the image that the VF-31 series will basically be commissioned in 2 to 3 years. Functionally, there basically aren't any differences between VF-31A and the normal ones.
- The Valkyries have come closer to the image of currently used aircraft.
Kawamori: I was exploring for the possibility of having delta wings on the Valkyries in Delta Platoon for a little while. However, because the Draken III has double delta wings, I gave the VF-31 in Delta Platoon forward swept wings to avoid having similar silhouettes on the Valkyries on both sides. Although it's good if the viewers know the mecha very well, if they have similar silhouettes, it is difficult to distinguish them when they are glanced at.
- So, that's why they were used in the general VF-31, right?
Kawamori: That's right. The points that were changed are the outer wings and the canards ; the tails weren't changed. The canards are one size larger to compensate for the aerodynamic center being toward the rear, when compared to the forward swept wings. It's because such kinds of wing surface area aren't tolerated on real aircraft. You could say that I explored for a solution within that, as I knew that the Valkyrie would become aerodynamically inefficient if they were removed from there.
Some of the VF-31 are the VF-31A specification. The VF-31A differs from the aircraft in Delta Platoon, and they are purely for combat. Their main wings are delta wings, and their canards have been increased in size. As the purpose of the VF-31 is for data collection in Chaos, various types have been developed. The VF-31B also exists.
Interview with Shoji Kawamori con't
- The colouring also has an image pretty close to that of currently used aircraft, doesn't it?
Kawamori: As the general VF-171 colours often appears this time, we gave it that colour to change its appearance. As light-blue colours fused into the sky in the hand-drawn era, you could say that the VF-31's colours are distinctive to CG. The results are quite good, as they have an atmosphere pretty similar to real aircraft.
- On the other hand, the Draken III from the advance broadcast version was a Valkyrie that has colouring that differs from the Valkyries that have been presented so far.
Kawamori: As they are a mysterious enemy at the beginning, they have a stealth specification that has erased their markings. The things attached to each wing are called "Lilldraken". Lilldraken means "small Draken", and is the nickname for the less-than half-sized manned experimental demonstration aircraft that was made during the development of the real Draken. We're using that name this time. As the Delta Platoon side uses the Multi-drones, it feels like the Lilldraken is in opposition to that.
- The 262 model number recalls the Messerschmitt Me 262 from the Second World War.
Kawamori: The Sv-262... hmmm, it was my mood, eh (laughs). As the first Sv was the 51, it's appropriate if you think that roughly 2 generations have passed since it. Simply by giving it that number, it has become something akin to an ally [of the makers of the Sv-51].
- What is different in the Draken III general aircraft?
Kawamori: In the general craft, the wing section is close to that of the real Draken's silhouette, and some sections on the nose are shorter. Keith's Draken is flavoured with pretentiousness, isn't it? [Translator's note: you could take this to mean that the general Draken are not pretentious.] Well, if you don't visually compare the 3D bodies of the Draken, it may be hard to understand the differences.
- The differentiation with the Aerial Knights side is an impression that you planned for, right?
Kawamori: In addition to the number of pilots being large, we had to clarify the characters. Having said that, if the kingdom's side became too colourful, than it would also be difficult for the viewer to understand. Although the Aerial Knights have the image of knights, it's important that the colour is being changed because, as one might suspect, it is impossible to change the separate colours of all of the members of the Knights. More specifically, the coat of arms and recognition colours do differ between them.
"The obsession with entertainment and the details"
- The series broadcast is imminently drawing near, and we've got a strong impression of a new perspective into the world.
Kawamori: It was also just like that at the time of "Macross F". There's a simulation-like aspect to it that asks, "if you push the things that are happening in the world now to an absurd sense of scale, what will happen?". It's the same with this series, too, if you tightly condense the "now". I suspect that it'll become clear that we are actually in a very strange era.
- The difference in era has become visible, hasn't it?
Kawamori: Around the time of the Gulf War, when CNN got into enemy territory and videos were released showing the multinational force's cruise missiles flying in the skies, that I realized that wars centred on the weapons that I had imaged up until then had ended. Reality had moved beyond them.
- It's difficult to say that that would become an anime production as-is, isn't it?
Kawamori: That's right. Animation is entertainment, and on top of the character drama, it's difficult to not get involved with reality up to a certain extent. After all, if you get too involved with it, than such things as dogfights all but don't occur in reality.
- Although "Macross F" was centred on space, this time, its within the atmosphere from the start, right?
Kawamori: We planned to do a complete ambiance change between space and the atmosphere. During "F", there was a lot of reels of space combat, and we did a lot of aircraft doing something close to flight in space. We can't depict a way of flight that capitalizes on that form, and that won't retain the character of this series. We've merely starting from the atmosphere this time, and intend to depict space combat with even more of a feeling of what has been depicted since "Do You Remember Love?".
- You're glad about the commitment to the details, right?
Kawamori: I also said this before - "Delta" has the feeling of including elements from "Macross Plus" and "Macross 7". The character-like parts of Walküre and so on approach "7", and the places where I'm particular about the details in the depiction are a "Plus"-like element.
- We're looking forward to what sort of depiction it'll become in practice.
Kawamori: That would be a demonstration clip that shows what abilities aircraft have, wouldn't it? Because I like the manoeuvring of aircraft itself, while we show that as entertainment, we currently want to put in material, similar to direct-confrontations, throughout the story as the subtle seasoning that will bring out the flavour of the Valkyries.
Sv-262 Draken III
Who they were affiliated with was camouflaged at the time of the advance broadcast. The drones on both wings are named Lilldraken, and they use the nickname of the small demonstrator that was experimentally produced at the time of the real Saab-35 Draken's development (left picture).
© Aaron Sketchley