I’m pretty excited that it is my turn up at bat for our series on Kickass Fictional Ladies. The Red Menace introduced us to the real Princess Eilonwy, and Tiny Doom reminded us of how sexy capable women can be with Firefly’s Zoe.
While I went through my initial list of characters to profile, I finally chose this character because she made me like a series I didn’t really want to like. Giant robots are pretty low on my list of things that are awesome. But thanks to two very persistent gentleman, I was convinced that I was doing myself a huge disservice for not at least giving Robotech: The Macross Saga* a chance.
And so I give you the indomitable Lisa Hayes.
Where’s she from? Robotech, a 1985 science fiction anime adaption created by combining three related anime series into one more westernized and rather heavily edited story.
What’s the deal? In 1999 a huge alien battleship suddenly crashes into Macross Island. The devastation from the shock waves is so severe that the human race ceases all wars and instead forms a single union. An initiative is then created to study the ship, adapt its technology and prepare for any potential alien threat. 10 years after the initial crash, the human race has rebuilt the ship only to discover that a race of alien giants, known as the Zentraedi, are attempting to recover the ship for unknown reasons.
Why is she so kick-ass? Lisa is the first officer with the rank of lieutenant commander of Super Dimensional Fortress One, the alien fortress ship I referenced earlier. As first officer, Lisa is smart, dedicated to her mission as well as to her crew, and fearless. She is a no nonsense lady who deserves respect, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Lisa’s maturity and intellect eventually earn her not only the title of admiral by the end of the series, but also LURVE.
It really is almost impossible to talk about Robotech and not mention the love triangle between Lisa Hayes, Rick Hunter – a young and rather impetuous pilot, and Lynn Minmei – an extremely flighty and somewhat irritating pop star. Um, not that that description was biased or anything, but the point I want to drive home here is that despite Minmei’s hot and cold flirtations with Rick, it is Lisa’s maturity and willingness to understand who Rick really is that wins out in the end. I also love that Lisa isn’t willing to compromise herself for love, instead she overcomes her feelings of insecurity just by being honest and being herself. She is a woman whose beliefs drive her to action. And that my dear readers, is the good stuff. . . and why Lisa Hayes deserves the title of Kickass Lady.
*For fans of the series and potential first time viewers, there are a lot of complicated feelings regarding the original Japanese series and the way that the story was divided and dubbed for English audiences. My introduction was through the Robotech: Macross Saga dub, and while imperfect in many ways, I personally found it really accessible. And hilarious!