Robotech is an 85-episode animated science-fiction television series about three successive extraterrestrial invasions of Earth. more...
Within the context of the show, "Robotech" refers to robotechnology, the advances in science and technology that came about from studying an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island. Robotechnology made possible the creation of giant robotic mecha, or fighting machines, many of which were capable of transforming into vehicles (especially fighter planes) for greater battlefield mobility.
Robotech was one of the first anime released in the United States to largely preserve the complexity and drama of its original Japanese source material. Produced by Harmony Gold USA, Inc. in association with Tatsunoko Prod. Co., Ltd., Robotech is a story adapted with edited content and revised dialogue from the animation of three different mecha anime series: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada. Harmony Gold's cited reasoning for combining these 3 unrelated series was that the American TV stations had a minimum number of episodes (65) for weekday syndication at the time (at five episodes per week, the series would then cycle every thirteen weeks), and none of the three series met that requirement alone.
Harmony Gold hired American writers to adapt the scripts of the three Japanese series. This complicated process was supervised by producer Carl Macek, a pioneer of the anime industry in United States. The adaptation of Robotech was developed in nine months, although writer Gregory Snegoff said in ideal conditions, it should have taken 18 months. The Japanese scriptwriters of the three component series were not credited in the final release.
This combination resulted in a storyline that spans three generations as mankind must fight three destructive Robotech Wars in succession over a powerful energy source called "Protoculture": The First Robotech War (The Macross Saga) concerns humanity's battle against the giant Zentraedi warriors who are sent to earth to retrieve the wrecked starship that contains the last known source of Protoculture in the universe. In the Second Robotech War (The Robotech Masters), their rulers, the Robotech Masters, attempt to take up where the Zentraedi left off. In the Third Robotech War (The New Generation), the alien Invid have been attracted to earth by events that transpired at the end of the Second Robotech War, and it is up to returning elements of the Robotech Expeditionary Force to fight them off.
Notably, the original Japanese Southern Cross was originally intended to be a massive, end-all-be-all space opera, but was cancelled by low ratings in Japan before it could be completed. Its inclusion as part of The Robotech Masters saga actually increased fan awareness of Southern Cross.
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