Back during the summer of 1985, I was flipping through channels one afternoon and came across an animated program I'd never seen before. I could tell from the art style that it was originally a show from Japan, and I decided to give it a chance. It turned out to be the very first episode of the series, and by the end of it, I was hooked on Robotech.
Robotech was actually comprised of three different series that originated in Japan: Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada. Carl Macek at Harmony Gold came up with the concept of "protoculture" to tie these three originally-unrelated series together.
Super Dimension Fortress Macross became known as the "Macross," or first section, of Robotech. This section featured the crash-landing of a super-dimensional spaceship on the island of Macross that brought about the end to the Global Civil War. The world governments banded together to rebuild the ship and designed mecha around their newly-acquired Robotechnology. During the ship's inaugural flight, the Zentraedi alien race appears to reclaim their spaceship and the Protoculture it possesses. This portion of the series deals with the Zentraedi trying to reclaim the ship, while the ship's crew deal with not only the aliens, but with interpersonal relationships as well. Well-known characters from this set include Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, Lynn Minmei, Lynn Kyle, Max, Miriya, Roy Fokker, Claudia Grant, Admiral Henry Gloval, Breetai, Exedore, and Khyron.
Super Dimensional Calvary Southern Cross became known as the "The Masters," or second section, of the Robotech series. It picks up 15 years after the end of the "Macross" section, and deals with the Robotech Masters arriving at Earth looking for the space fortress and the Protoculture. This series focuses quite a bit on the 15th Squadron, led by Dana Sterling (the daughter of Max and Miriya from the "Macross" section). Dana, along with her teammates Bowie Grant, Angelo Dante, Sean Phillips, and Louis Nichols, become instrumental in the conflict between the Earth and the Robotech Masters. Other well-known characters from this section include Marie Crystal, Nova Satori, Rolf Emerson, Anatole Leonard, Zor Prime, and Musica.
Genesis Climber Mospeada became known as the "Invid" (or "New Generation") or third section of Robotech. This section focuses on the arrival of the Invid to Earth. The Invid's leader, the Regis, has brought her "children" to claim the Protoculture and enslave the human race. The Mars Division of the Robotech Expeditionary Force comes to Earth to try to defeat the Regis at her main hive, Reflex Point. During a battle in space, the crew of the Mars Division is lost, except for Lieutenant Scott Bernard. Scott crash lands on Earth, and decides to carry out the mission to get to and destroy Reflex Point. On his journey, he meets Rand, Rook Bartley, Annie, Lunk, and Lancer (who moonlights as singer Yellow Dancer). Together, they form a rag-tag force to take on the Regis. Other notable characters in this section include Marlene/Ariel, Sera, and Corg.
To this day, Robotech has maintained a strong following, and is still considered one of the classic anime series of the 1980s.
|The Super Dimension Fortress Macross||36||1982-1983||Noboru Ishiguro||Studio Nue/Artland/Tatsunoko Production||ADV Films|
|Genesis Climber Mospeada||25||1983-1984||Katsuhisa Yamada||Artmic/Tatsunoko Productions||ADV Films|
|The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross||23||1984||Yasuo Hasegawa||Tatsunoko Productions/Studio Ammonite||ADV Films|
|Robotech||85||1985||Robert V. Barron/Ippei Kuri||Harmony Gold USA/Tatsunoko Productions||ADV Films|
|Codename: Robotech||N/A||1985||Robert V. Barron/Ippei Kuri||Harmony Gold USA/Tatsunoko Productions||A+E Networks Consumer Products|
|Robotech I: The Untold Story||N/A||1986||Carl Macek/Noboru Ishiguro||Harmony Gold USA/Tatsunoko Productions||N/A|
|Robotech: The Sentinels||1||1987||Carl Macek||Harmony Gold USA/Tatsunoko Productions||ADV Films|
|Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles||N/A||2006||Dong-Wook Lee/Tommy Yune||Harmony Gold USA/Dr. Movie/Tatsunoko Productions||A+E Networks Consumer Products|