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Latest installment of the anime franchise ups the idol singer ante with no fewer than five pop stars, plus five handsome young men for them to dogfight with.

It’s been more than a year since we first heard about Macross Delta, the next installment in the Macross anime franchise. Now we’ve finally got some more concrete information about the upcoming TV series, including profiles of its female leads, a brief plot description, and even a preview video!

▼ For those outside Japan

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While the various iterations of Macross generally have only the loosest of connections, each has to include transforming robots, pop idols, and romance. Some of the cast for Macross Delta (stylized as MacrossΔ) are likely to be pulling triple duty, as the series will follow the idol unit Walküre, made up of five young women who also happen to pilot Valkyries, the fighter jet/mecha that are Macross’ most iconic calling card.

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Taking place in the year 2067, Macross Delta’s story is set in motion by the spread of a disease called the Val Syndrome, which triggers extremely violent, destructive tendencies in those afflicted. To suppress the symptoms, the Walküre Tactical Sound Unit is formed.

It looks like the lion’s share of screen time will be going to Freyja Wion, a girl who grew up on the frontier of the galaxy, admiring Walküre from afar.

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The other members of the group are Mikumo Guynemer, whose past and current life outside Walküre are a complete mystery to her teammates…

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Kaname Buccaneer, Walküre’s nominal leader who’s looked up to by the rest of the women like a big sister…

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Makina Nakajima, who also functions as the group’s mechanic…

▼ We’re guessing she changes into something a little less frilly when it’s time for some wrenching.

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…and Reina Prowler, a taciturn, largely emotionless individual who’s also an expert hacker.

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With the required presence of idol singers, Macross has never lacked for comely female characters. However, the inclusion of a number of handsome men helped make the franchise’s last chapter, Macross Frontier, a major crossover hit with female anime fans, and so Macross Delta also has an all-male Valkyrie squadron, in the form of the Order of Aerial Knights from the Kingdom of the Wind.

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Presumably at some point the two groups of unusually good-looking pilots cross paths, no doubt leading to the sort of cocktail of rivalry, friendship, and romance that anime delights in mixing up.

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While Macross Delta doesn’t yet have a specified premiere date, the producers have released a second video touting a 25-minute “Advance Special” to be broadcast on Tokyo MX on New Year’s Eve, which will contain “almost the entire first episode.”

On one hand, it’s unlikely that such an extensive preview would be aired if the series was aiming to begin in earnest shortly thereafter as part of Japan’s winter television season, since that would be almost tantamount to running the first episode twice in a row. On the other hand, if the producers already have that much animation finished and ready to show, it doesn’t sound like the premiere should be all that terribly far away either, making spring or summer likely candidates. For now, though, Macross Delta is still officially listed only as scheduled to start sometime in 2016.

Source: Macross official website via Cupo
Top image: Macross official website (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: YouTube/BigWest, Macross official website