Episode 2, “Countdown”, is about the SDF-1 trying to take off into space.
We resume where Hikaru has crash-landed into some buildings in Macross City, right next to a restaurant where we see the woman with the dark blue hair again.
The little boy calls out the woman's name, Minmay!
The little boy's name is Yotchan. In Robotech, it's Jason.
Hikaru admits he's not a soldier, and Yotchan accuses Hikaru of stealing the robot. In Robotech, Jason exclaims, "An enemy spy!"
In general, Macross is more bluntly honest about immoral or violent things. We just saw an example, where Yotchan accuses Hikaru of stealing. There’s many more examples, which I’ll comment on.
A politician pressures Captain Global to launch the SDF-1, because he doesn't want the SDF-1 to be defeated without fighting. In Robotech, the politician says he doesn't want the SDF-1 to be defeated on the ground. It's a subtle difference: it's not like Global won't fight back.
Hikaru crashes his battroid into Minmay's bedroom, and we again see Minmay from behind. But unlike Roy, Hikaru doesn't stare.
After the anti-gravity engines break away from the SDF-1, and the SDF-1 falls to the ground, Global asks bridge bunnies Kim and Sammy for a damage report. These two characters' names are the same in Robotech.
Roy finds Hikaru, and transforms his fighter jet into a gerwalk. In Robotech, gerwalk mode is called guardian mode.
After Roy repairs Hikaru's veritech, and the citizens of Macross City are ordered to evacuate to shelters, Roy watches Minmay and her aunt's behinds. This scene is not in Robotech. In Japanese culture, this type of behavior is called hentai.
After Roy's observation time, he comments that Hikaru is becoming more like him, but Hikaru denies it.
After the Regults invade Macross City, we see one scene where a veritech fires its gunpod at a Regult. We hear that neat-sounding Gatling-gun rapid-fire rat-a-tat-tat.
Roy is so chivalrous: before he leaves Hikaru, he tells him that he doesn't care if Hikaru dies, just make sure Minmay is fine. In Robotech, Roy says if anything happens to Minmay, he'll have to answer to him. Quite a difference in meaning!
After Hikaru's veritech's left arm gets shot off, he brings Minmay into his canopy. What a rescue!
After a harrowing experience (some people who try skydiving for the first time pass out), Minmay is worried that her hair is a mess.
Hikaru says, what's more important, your life or your hair?
Minmay responds, her hair is more important! Hikaru and Minmay laugh. This scene is not in Robotech.
Hikaru and Minmay run into a Regult, and after Hikaru empties all his ammunition, the enemy Zentradi Regult pilot gets out and heads towards Hikaru and Minmay. He's huge, which is re-inforced by his stepping on a car.
Just as the Zentradi soldier is about to grab Hikaru's gerwalk, Roy kills the soldier by shooting him in the back. This violent scene is omitted from the Robotech episode, in which we just see the Zentradi soldier go from standing to being on the ground.
So the main differences in this episode between Macross and Robotech are we see Roy’s hentai behavior, Minmay’s vanity, and a pretty gruesome scene at the end.
Next episode, Episode 3: “Space Fold”!