Since Macross Delta started, there’s been something that’s been itching at the back of my brain. I love everything Macross but 9 times out of 10 I kinda hate the main character (usually intentional, for character growth reasons). But not Hayate. I probably should have but I don’t. Then I realized why: He’s a military kid, and I relate to that.
Hayate’s introduction was of a drifter. Job to job, planet to planet, nothing stable. Talented, but uninterested in what he was doing. I figured it was just one of those character traits you force to explain things. He runs into Freya and she tells Hayate about her dream of being apart of Walkure. Hayate responds with: “There’s nothing I’m interested in.” That’s a thing some normal people relate to, but kind of irked me at first. I have a disdain for the lazy and unmotivated.
But something interesting happened. Further down the episode list, Hayate tells tale of his military father. Always gone, sending weird stuff back from everywhere he goes. His family moving from base to base. I finally understood all of Hayate’s motivations. I lived them.
Macross Delta is covering something that really hasn’t been covered in any film or TV I can think of. Military brats get passing mentions in shows about military personnel, but never main characters. Don’t get me wrong, not every military brat has the same experiences, but there a few things that are pretty universal.
One of my favorite moments for Hayate was when everyone was reminiscing about their homes, Hayate said he didn’t have one. Until college, I had been in a different school every year of my life. There are no friends you can’t let go of, no place you can’t adapt to, you are the newbie at all times. I wouldn’t say Hayate’s aloofness to women is a direct correlation to being a military kid, but moving around all the time kinda hinders relationships.
Hayate’s introductory lack of passion for anything fits into this as well. For me, I always wanted to fly. Air Force life, Air Force dreams. I was never sure if it was X-Wing dog fights, Robotech, or going to air shows, but flight was always the dream. I joined Civil Air Patrol (think of it like boy scouts with military uniforms and occasionally flying planes), JROTC when I was in high school, I read through the Falcon 4.0 manual for aerial maneuvers. Then my parents broke it to me that I could never join the Air Force do to a certain surgery. Or at least, I couldn’t fly. There was no longer a “what do you want to be when you grow up.” I’m not saying Hayate had this problem, clearly he gets to fly. That second episode though, when he “rides the wind,” to me it was more than someone discovering a passion for something; it was someone getting to do something they always wanted to do.
*possible spoilers ahead*
A little less on the same radar as other military kids, but something that I relate to with Hayate: everyone knows your father but you. I’m not saying my father wasn’t around, he was. He’s an amazing father who is quite possibly the greatest leader I know. What I mean to say is, everyone knows him, knows what he does. Depending on what his job was at the time, he sometimes couldn’t talk about what he did at work. I’m not saying he did what Hayate’s dad did and dropped a dimensional bomb on the unsuspecting, but he was in a position to do that sort of thing. He had to make those kind of calls. There’s a weight that Hayate and I share that normal people don’t, and that’s a father who has held the political climate in his hands. He was in a red-phone-to-the-president kind of position. I’m 98% positive my dad never did anything like that, but I wouldn’t want to know if he did. I probably wouldn’t be talking about him if I thought he did.
Macross as a series has always meant a lot to me, but Macross Delta feels personal.