Super Dimensional Fortress Macross debuted in Japan in 1983; a few years later it travelled to the United States as the first season of Robotech. The Robotech universe differs from the Macross universe in small but significant ways; names and terms are americanized and some plot points are changed to accomodate the further Robotech adventures which were actually separate series in Japan. Thus, although they are of a kind, SDF Macross and Robotech are essentially the same story taking place in separate worlds.
Rick is a young circus pilot who is one of 50,000 or so civillians who are accidentally transported into space along with the SDF-1. Rick joins the Robotech Defense Team and becomes one of its young heroes despite the fact he's shot down more often than not, twice by friendly fire.Rick is embroiled in a love triangle between second-in-command dedicated and stand-offish Lisa Hayes and teen sensation bubbly and beautiful Lynn-Minmei. Rick is a dashing and heroic, lonely and insecure; but in the end, he finds true love and a sense of balance which transforms him into the real hero he always wanted to be.
Lisa is career military, born and bred. Raised by her father, a high ranking official in the Earth Defense Team, she is second-in-command of the SDF-1 at the age of 24. Lisa is strong, hard and very opinionated and she has a mean temper which Rick often runs directly into. But Lisa is also very lonely and unsure of herself socially, and she develops a deep love for Rick which she keeps hidden from him (though not from anyone else) for over two years. Lisa is devoted to her mission and the people she commands and they respect her in turn; she is unwillingly the only survivor of the final crash of the SDF-1. She is granted a second chance, and she finds that happiness and love can co-exist with duty.
Minmei is another civillian kidnapped into space; she runs a chinese restaurant with her aunt and uncle. Minmei finds fame onboard the SDF-1, becoming Miss Macross and spawning a cult of fans that extends to the enemy fleet. In the end, it is Minmei's song and spunk which save the SDF-1 and Earth from the massive Zentraidi fleet. Minmei is young and terminally cheerful; she's full of dreams, some of which are satisfied and some of which go unfulfilled. She never really tries to be anything beyond herself but it is that winning "just a girl" attitude which transforms the world and inspires the Zentraidi to peace.
Max is a young, unassuming, mild mannered ace who just happens to be the best pilot in the known universe. Possessing great skill in every aspect of control, flight and battle, Max is the star of the Robotech Defense Force. Max transforms his standard veritech fighter into a specially enhanced "Max-Type" plane, painted blue. Max is often the voice of reason and the peacemaker; his blue aviator glasses, unruly blue hair and slightly goofy grin often bely his battle prowess and dashing heroism. Max finds true love in a zentraidi warrior, Miriya Parino, and their marriage and the birth of their child, Dana, do much to promote peace in the galaxy.
Miriya is the zentraidi's strongest pilot, her acrobatic battle maneuvers in her "Power Armor" strike fear in the hearts of the RDF. Miriya's overconfidence sends her into battle with her counterpart on the Earth side, Max Sterling. Miriya's defeat leads her to be micronized so as to hunt down and kill the one pilot who has ever bested her. All does not go according to plan, however, and Miriya and Max fall in love. With Max, Miriya finds a world she'd never dreamed of and a life she couldn't imagine.
Kind hearted but battle proficient Captain Gloval is the father figure and trusted leader for everyone on board the SDF-1. He commands respect and gives it back to those deserving. Though a military man, Gloval is a peacemaker at heart and he is instrumental in bringing about the end of the war with the zentraidi.