|Chronological and political information|
Vanessa Leeds was a character from Robotech: The Macross Saga and was voiced by Wendee Lee. Vanessa was surveillance officer of the SDF-1, Vanessa monitored the ship’s radar and positioning systems. She, along with Kim Young and Sammie Porter, formed an invaluable trio of bridge operators, referred to as the Bridge Bunnies, that control and monitor the SDF-1’s systems. She enjoyed disco and gossip. She was known as Vanessa Laird in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the series which was adapted into the first "saga" of Robotech.
|“||Lisa doesn't understand about men, Claudia. She's in love with the spaceship!||”|
Vanessa was one of the Bridge Bunnies, a trio of fun-loving girls, who provided some stress relief on the Bridge of the Super Dimension Fortress-1 Macross. Vanessa was the oldest, and was by far the most serious of the group (and even then isn't very serious). She worked from the threat board identifying all incoming enemies that the radar picked up. Vanessa and her friends were always optomistic, always certain that an attack would turn out in their favor. Despite their youth, they were all very comptent officers and do their jobs well.
The other things the Bridge Bunnies got up to during their off-duty hours included meeting the three Zentreadi spies. Vanessa immediately hits it off with Bron, and was with him any time the two groups were seen together. The Bridge Bunnies were also gossips, though Vanessa wasn't quite as bad as her friends (probably because she doesn't sit that close to them, and could really only talked to them during coffe breaks).
After the last battle with the Zentraedi Grand Fleet, Lisa was promoted and the Bridge Bunnies were moved to different stations accordingly. Vanessa worked closely with Lisa, and because of that often found out news about her relationship with Rick Hunter. She passed this news onto her friends, all of them rooting for Lisa, and hoped that things will turn out for her. Despite their gossiping, they were never mean about the people they're talking about.
It was Vanessa who, after Rick upseted Lisa, tells him point-blank the truth, Lisa was in love with him. This comment has Rick thinking all night, until eventually he decided to talk with Lisa. The Bridge Bunnies don't seem to have much faith in Rick, as they don't seem surprised when Lisa called to ask where Rick was since he hadn't turned up for their date yet.
Vanessa and her friends spent a happy Christmas with Bron, Konda and Rico despite Khyron's attack to steal the Protoculture Storage Matrix on New Macross City. Sammie, along with everyone else, were unprepared for Khyron's final surprise attack, but were determined to get the job done.
During the commencement ceremonies for the Southern Cross Academy fifteen years later, Anatole Leonard reads off the names of all of the bridge crew who perished in Khyron's final attack. This included, Sammie, Kim, Claudia, and Gloval. Vanessa's name was not mentioned but it is generally assumed that she was killed as well.
- The term "Bridge Bunnies" was an English-coined nickname that originated in Starblazers fandom. It was not used in the Japanese Macross scripts or among Japanese fans of Macross. This term has expanded to apply to a number of anime franchises that employ a command crew. Examples include the bridge crew of Macross 7, composed of Sally Ford, Miho Miho, and Kim Saintlaurent who served under Captain Maximilian Jenius (Max Sterling in Robotech), as well as the trio of officers serving under Commander Gendo Ikari in Neon Genesis Evangelion, which includes Maya Ibuki, Shigeru Aoba, and Makoto Hyuga, and also the main bridge personnel in Martian Successor Nadesico, consisting of Captain Yurika Misumaru, Megumi Reinard, Minato Haruka, Ruri Hoshino, and Jun Aoi.
- In Dana's Story, Leonard's voice fades in abruptly after a brief pause in his speech where flashbacks to the previous episode are played to accompanying theme music. This suggests that during the brief pause that the TV audience hears, Leonard is actually continuing his speech uninterrupted and begins to read a list of crew who perished on the SDF-1. Vanessa might have been one of the names that were read off during the period that we don't hear him speaking.