5.1: OVERVIEW OF ANIME
5.1.1: WHAT IS IT?
Anime (pronounced "annie-may") is animation (cartoons)
drawn and produced in Japan. Many American cartoon shows
are actually anime shows that have been imported, redubbed,
and re-released to the American public. Besides Robotech,
other examples of American cartoons that use footage from
anime are Speed Racer, Battle of the Planets, Gigantor,
Transor Z, and others.
It is important to note that anime is a MEDIUM and not
a GENRE. There are all types of animes available; sci-fi
animes, comedy animes, romance animes, action animes, horror
animes, et cetera, et cetera. Basically there are examples
of anime for any type of story you can imagine. Robotech
is NOT representative of all anime; to say that Robotech
represents all anime would be like saying that Star Trek
represents all American television. It is simply not true.
5.1.2: HOW IS JAPANESE ANIMATION DIFFERENT FROM AMERICAN
Some people claim that anime is much more violent/sexual
and drawn much better than American animation. This is not
really true. There are examples of American animation that
are just as violent/sexual ("Heavy Metal") or just as well
drawn (Disney) as many anime shows out there. The difference
is that there is a LOT more animation produced in Japan
than there is here in America. Consequently, even though
the percentages of types of animation are about the same,
the greater number of shows produced means that there is
a lot more anime to choose from in any particular genre.
One reason why anime seems so much better than American
animation is the "fan filter" effect. Only a select few
animes make it overseas via traders or professional companies,
and those few are usually chosen because they stand out
in some way. Thus, we usually only get to see the "best"
examples of anime here, while the poorer ones remain in
Japan in relative obscurity.
5.1.3: ARE ANY OF THESE SEQUELS TO ROBOTECH?
No, not really. Although some of the anime listed below
were produced by the same producers/designers/artists that
worked on the footage that made up Robotech, NONE of the
plots have anything to do with Robotech. All of these shows
are completely independent stories.
5.1.4: WHERE CAN I GET COPIES OF THESE SHOWS?
Many of these shows have been subtitled or dubbed in English
by American companies and are now available for purchase
in the U.S. and other countries. You can usually find them
by looking in your local video or comic book stores, or
by contacting mail-order video shops. Another good way to
see these shows is to visit a local anime club. Many colleges
and universities have Japanese animation clubs that promote
anime by offering free showings to the public of the latest
shows. These clubs are also a good source of information
on how to get your own copies of these shows. Ask the employees
at comic book and video stores in your area to see if there
are any anime clubs near you.
5.2: SUPER DIMENSIONAL FORTRESS MACROSS
5.2.1: WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
In 1999 the nations of Earth are locked in a state of
nearly constant war, wars that everyone knows will ultimately
result in a self-induced genocide. But before anyone starts
using nuclear weapons an extra-terrestrial starship crashes
on a small island. Many think that someone has started using
nukes, but public announcements claim it is an massive asteroid
that has impacted the Earth. The crash and eventual exploration
is the impetus that causes the Unified Earth Government
to coalesce. Investigators discover that the ship had retreated
from a battle in space, a battle against gigantic soldiers.
The "UN Spacy" (think army, navy, spacy) is formed to protect
the Earth from the possibility of invasion.
After 10 years, reconstruction of the flagship of the
UN Spacy, the SDF-1 Macross, is finished. But during the
launching ceremonies a Zentraedi fleet appears and launches
an offensive to capture the Macross. In an effort to gain
a better tactical position, the Macross attempts a fold
jump to lunar orbit. But there are many things about the
Macross the new crew doesn't understand, and instead of
the Moon they fold out to Pluto's orbit, taking the island
and over 50 thousand civilians with it. One more problem:
the fold drive that allowed the jump vanishes. Cut off from
Earth, hounded by an enemy they don't understand, and carrying
56,000 civilian refugees, the Macross struggles to return
to the planet it is sworn to protect.
"Superdimension Fortress Macross" was intended to be a
tongue-in-cheek parody of shows like "Kidou Senshi Gundam"
(Mobile Suit Gundam) and Uchuu Senkan Yamato ("Space Battleship
Yamato" aka "Star Blazers"), as well as itself. But as the
story evolved, and the company funding the project changed,
the parody was set aside in favor of a more serious soap
opera-style war story. As "Gundam" was the first TV series
to take the giant robot seriously, turning it into just
a machine of war, "Macross" was the first to do so with
transforming giant robots. Macross broke many other cliches
and stereotypes of the giant robot genre as well, from not
making the story's hero the best pilot, to giving that distinction
to an otherwise "nobody" character, and having that character
become romantically involved with the the enemy pilot.
Originally slated for 52 episodes (a full year; Japanese
TV doesn't have broadcast seasons like the US), it was gradually
pared down to 36 episodes due to monetary and manpower restraints.
But even with only a 36-episode run, Macross is still one
of the most popular animated TV shows in Japan, spawning
a beautiful feature-length film ("Macross Summer '84: Ai
Oboete Imasuka"), a 30-minute music video "sequel" to the
movie ("Flash Back 2012"), a 6-episode OAV (Original Animation
Video) series sequel to the movie ("Macross II"), a new
TV series starring one of Maximillian's and Miria's many
daughters started it's run in early October 1994 ("Macross
7"), and a new OAV series prequel to "Macross 7" ("Macross
Plus"). Not to mention numerous other merchandising endeavors
from soundtrack and vocal albums to toys and models to clothes
and school supplies.
5.2.2: HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM THE "MACROSS" PART OF
Carl Macek made many modifications to the Macross story
in order to mesh it with Southern Cross and Mospeada, some
trivial, others grotesque. These are some of the more notable
The most important difference is the definition of "Protoculture."
It is not an energy source; it is not some biochemical substance
that allows for mecha transformation; it is not some quasi-mystical
force playing games with the Universe; it is not a god.
"It" is not an it at all. The Protoculture were literally
the "first culture" to evolve in the galaxy, circa 50,000
B.C. Circa 47,000 B.C. a Protoculturian exploration vessel
visited Terra, presumably leaving behind humanity's ancestors.
As their Stellar Republic expanded they came into conflict
with the Patrollers, that conflict eventually resulting
in the destruction of the Protoculture and their republic.
The "SDF-1 Macross" (originally designated "ASS-1: Alien
StarShip-1") belongs to an unnamed race that is at war with
the Zentraedi. Britai Kridanik's fleet is chasing it because
of several unique abilities the ship possesses. The ship
is capable of self-repair, something of vital importance
to the aging Zentraedi fleet. Its systems are technologically
more advanced than the Zentraedi's, something else they
wish to study. The ship's fold engines are capable of feats
previously unheard of to the Zentraedi, including folding
while inside a planet's near gravity well and atmosphere.
There is speculation that the fold engines are also capable
of limited temporal displacement (the kanji for "superdimension"
literally read "exceed[ing] time [and] space"), again something
the Zentraedi desire greatly. And it's proper combat tactics
to ride your kill down to make certain it's a kill.
"Robotechnology" is another invention of Carl Macek. The
advanced technology of the SDF-1, referred to as "overtechnology,"
was studied and adapted, resulting in the development of
the Destroids, Valkyries, and the reconstruction of the
ship. Reflex (reactive) weapons are a form of thermonuclear
weapons, probably designed in such a way as to minimize
or eliminate radioactive fallout.
There is no SDF-2 being constructed on Earth. Construction
of the SDF-2 "Megaroad" (or "Megalord" or "Megaload" depending
on how you read it; all three were used during the preproduction
of "Battle City Megaroad," the original working title of
Macross when it was still a parody, the name itself being
a linguistic word-play) begins on the moon in 2003, a space
battleship of purely Terran design. After the near-annihilation
of humanity its construction is altered, instead becoming
the ark that will search the galaxy for a new home for humanity.
The reconstruction project does not completely unify Earth;
there are a number of anti-unificationists using guerrilla
warfare and terrorism against the United Earth Government.
Because of the Unification Wars all personnel on the Mars
Base are withdrawn to Earth; the Anti-Unification Army hijacks
a Space Destroyer and destroys the entire return fleet (Riber
is killed here, not on the Mars Base). The Anti-Unification
Army is finally defeated by the unification forces in 2007
after 5 years of civil war. Even with the defeat of the
Anti-Unification Army, though, there are still many people
chafing at UEG rule--witness the initial decision by the
leaders of the Ontario Autonomous Region to allow the Macross
to debark it's civilian passengers.
At the time of the Macross' launch, there are only 2 A.R.M.D.
(Armored) Carriers commissioned; Armored-1 and Armored-2
(not Armored-10 as the dialogue states) were to rendezvous
with the Macross. That is probably the simple mistake of
reading the "01" on the hull as "10." Construction plans
called for a total of 10 A.R.M.D. carriers, though only
8 were completed and comissioned.
Many names were changed. The Macross has an international
cast (see section 2).
Lynn Kaifun (Kyle) is Lynn Minmei's brother, not cousin.
Finally, of course, "Superdimension Cavalry Southern Cross"
and "Genesis Climber Mospeada" have absolutely nothing to
do with Macross. Any footage from Southern Cross or Mospeada
that appears during the first 36 episodes of Robotech, or
any Macross footage that appears during the rest of the
series, has been edited in for continuity and plot development.
There are no Inbit or Zor, Invid or Robotech Masters, no
special or metaphysical flowers (other than the dandylions
Hikaru finds out in the wastelands) in Macross. "Superdimension
Century Orguss" also has nothing to do with Macross aside
from sharing a "Superdimension" title and the same character
designer (Haruhiko Mikimoto, aka HAL).
5.2.3: WHAT ARE THE "ZENTRAEDI" IN THE ORIGINAL SERIES?
Oddly enough, the Zentraedi are one of the things Macek
changed the least, and borrowed from the most to develop
the "prehistory" of the Robotech timeline.
The Protoculture's greatest science was that of genetic
engineering. They could perform miracles with genetic tissue,
from determining the sex of an unborn foetus to cloning
an army of gigantic warriors. The Zentraedi were created
by the Protoculture to protect themselves from the Patrollers
and other enemies. They were conditioned to fight, devoid
of emotions, and segregated by sex to prevent a resurgeance
of those emotions. All knowledge of how to repair their
machines of war was denied them, and they were further conditioned
to respect and fear those who could perform such repairs,
such as the Protoculture themselves.
The average Zentraedi soldier is approximately 35 feet
tall, not the 50 feet the dialogue states; that's probably
an exaggeration for effect as a 50-foot tall Zentraedi wouldn't
be able to fit in a 50-foot tall Regult Combat Pod. Britai
Kridanik's height is given in "Macross Perfect Memory" (the
Japanese equivalent to "Robotech Art 1") at 44.5 feet, and
he is much taller than the average Zentraedi soldier (and
approximately the same height as a Battroid Valkyrie). Bodolza
is taller still.
5.3: SUPER DIMENSIONAL CALVARY SOUTHERN CROSS
5.3.1: WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
In the future, humanity has moved out of the solar system
and started to colonize planets far away from Earth. One
of the farthest colonies in existance is the planet Glorie,
on the very edge of explored space. The main military forces
protecting the colonists of Glorie from the unknown are
the Armies of the Southern Cross.
However, unknown to the human colonists, Glorie is the
ancestral home of the Zor, a race of highly advanced humanoids
that have been wandering the galaxy for the past few centuries.
Although the Zor abandoned their homeworld ages ago, they
have now returned with what remains of their fleet to reclaim
their planet. Unfortunately, the humans have already made
Glorie their new home and refuse to leave it. Since Glorie
does not have a large enough food supply to support the
humans and the Zor together, they declare war on each other
for sole possession of the planet.
The resulting war for Glorie basically makes up the Southern
Cross TV series. The events focus on Jeanne Francaix (Dana
Sterling), the young and inexperienced leader of the 15th
ATAC. Jeanne struggles to change her band of misfits and
drop-outs into a skilled fighting force, and largely succeeds
in turning the 15th ATAC into an elite unit by the end of
the war. During the battles Jeanne also grows and matures
from a headstrong girl into an experienced woman. (Typical
Japanese "coming-ofage" storyline)
During the war, the Zor learn that they can kidnap humans
and brainwash them into expendable pilots for their own
mecha. This causes great moral conflicts on the side of
the humans as they discover that they are often fighting
their own kind, who are helpless pawns of the Zor. One of
the best examples of this is Seifrietti Weisse (Zor Prime),
a Southern Cross soldier captured, brainwashed, and surgically
altered to be a spy for the Zor Lords. Seifrietti is returned
to Glorie, where he is captured and then "adopted" by Jeanne
and the 15th ATAC. Seifrietti manages to break the Zor's
conditioning and kills the Zor Lords himself at the end
of the series.
The three mounds seen near the end of the series are not
rotting spaceship carcasses, but instead contain the last
surviving plants of a species that made up most of Glorie's
food supply in the distant past. When Seifrietti detonates
the last Zor fortress over the mounds, the resulting explosion
spreads the plant's seeds all over Glorie. Unlike in Robotech,
this is a GOOD thing, since the new plants will increase
Glorie's food supply to the point where it can support both
the humans and the surviving Zor together in peace.
5.3.2: HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM THE "MASTERS" PART OF
Aside from the differences mentioned above, one of the
major differences between Southern Cross and Robotech is
that in the original SC TV series, Glorie had TWO suns instead
of one. Since Carl Macek wanted to turn Glorie into a post-holocaust
Earth, he eliminated the second sun by editing out most
of the footage where both suns appeared, and editing out
the second sun via airbrushing in those scenes which could
not be cut out.
5.3.3: WHO ARE THE "MASTERS" IN THE ORIGINAL SERIES?
As mentioned above, the "Masters" are the Zor, a race
of wandering conquerors who left Glorie long ago and returned
to it when their forces and number began to wane. Despite
their humanoid appearance, they do not appear to be related
to humans in any way. Their technology is TOTALLY different
than human technology, and the two share nothing in common
(unlike in Robotech).
5.4: GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA
5.4.1: WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
[To be completed]
5.4.2: HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM THE "NEW GENERATION" PART
[To be completed]
5.4.3: WHO ARE THE "INVID" IN THE ORIGINAL SERIES?
[To be completed]
5.5: MACROSS: DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE (1984)
5.5.1: WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
"Macross: Do You Remember Love" is a full-length anime
film based on the Macross TV series. The movie starts out
with the SDF-1 traveling near Saturn, presumably on its
way to Earth. The normal life on the warship is interrupted
when a Zentran battlecruiser defolds and attacks. During
the battle, a young pilot named Hikaru Ichijo rescues the
famous singer and movie star Lynn Minmay from being killed,
but ends up trapped with her in the lower decks of the SDF-1.
While trapped, the two become very close. After being rescued,
the two begin to date, and Hikaru takes Minmay on a tour
of Saturn's rings. However, the lovers are captured by the
Zentran along with first officer Misa Hayase, squadron leader
Roy Focker, and Lynn Kaifun, Minmay's manager. However,
while returning to the main Zentran fleet the Zentraedi
are attacked by the Meltran, giant warrior women who have
ben at war with the Zentran for ages. Hikaru and Misa manage
to escape during the confusion, but Roy is killed and Minmay
and Kaifun remain captured.
Hikaru and Misa fall out of the Zentran ship during a
fold and wind up back on Earth. The surface of the Earth
has been laid to waste by Zentran bombardments, and almost
no one has survived. While searching for survivors, Hikaru
and Misa discover an ancient spaceship that was once buried
at the bottom of the ocean, before the ocean was evaporated
in the Zentran attack. The ship turns out to be a colony
ship from the Protoculture, an ancient race that were the
ancestors of the Zentran, Meltran, and Humans. Misa also
finds a fragment of an ancient song from the Protoculture
in the ruins. Hikaru and Misa start to become very close
to each other, when they are rescued by the SDF-1 which
has finally made it back to Earth.
While trying to figure out what to do next, the SDF-1
is attacked by a Meltran cruiser. However, the battle is
interrupted by the arrival of the Zentran fleet, which is
broadcasting Minmay's singing. Bodolza, leader of the Zentran
forces, calls a truce with the SDF-1. Bodolza wants the
humans on the SDF-1 to complete the song that he has discovered
(a "fragment of culture") which he can then use as a powerful
weapon to attack the Meltraedi. While the songwriters on
the SDF-1 try to come up with suitable lyrics, Misa translates
the fragment she found on the colony ship and discovers
that it is a listing of the original lyrics to the original
song Bodolza has discovered. However, before she can announce
her discovery, the main Meltran fleet arrives to destroy
the Zentran and the SDF-1.
Bodolza, angered by the lack of progress from the SDF-1,
breaks the truce and orders the Zentran ships to fire on
the battlefortress. However, the SDF-1 manages to escape.
Misa gives the lyrics to Hikaru, who in turn convinces Minmay
to sing the song. The complete song, entitled "Do You Remember
Love", convinces most of the Zentran and Meltran forces
to join ranks with the SDF-1 against Bodolza. As both fleets
and the SDF-1 attack the Zentran fortress, Hikaru enters
it with his Valkyrie and manages to kill Bodolza, saving
the last survivors of humanity and the Zentran and Meltran
fleets from destruction.
5.5.2: HOW DOES IT RELATE TO THE JAPANESE MACROSS?
Although "Do You Remember Love" is based on the Macross
TV series, the events in the movie take place outside of
the original story's continuity. Some of the events from
the Macross TV series are included in the movie, like Hikaru
and Minmay's time trapped in the SDF-1, Roy Focker's death,
and the final climactic battle against Bodolza. However,
new parts were also added such as the Meltran forces and
the Protoculture colony ship. While closely resembling each
other, the Macross TV series and Macross Movie should be
considered separate and unrelated stories.
The original Macross storyline has undergone several revisions
since the release of the original Macross TV series. According
to the newest continuity a la Macross Plus and Macross 7,
Macross '84 is a fictional theatrical release based on the
events of the original series. In other words, the movie
is NOT part of the official Macross storyline. It is a historical
fiction movie *within* the Macross tv series universe released
in 2031 about Spacewar One. Macross II is an "alternate
story"; some have interpreted this to mean it is an OAV
sequel (again within the series universe) to the movie.
On the other hand, Flashback 2012, which clearly uses mecha
designs from the movie, has, nevertheless, been integrated
into the series timeline. "August 2012, Lynn Minmay's final
5.6: MACROSS FLASHBACK 2012
5.6.1: WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Two years have passed since the events in the 1984 movie
"Macross: Do You Remember Love". Lynn Minmay, who is still
a superstar, quietly reminisces after a concert about the
events in her life that had led up to that point. She remembers
her arrival on the SDF-1, her meeting Hikaru Ichijo and
Misa Hayase, and the final battle with the Zentran and Meltran
forces against Boldolza. (These flashbacks are done in the
form of music videos with footage from the Macross TV series
and the 1984 movie.) Near the end, Hikaru and Misa appear
to Minmay and show her the newly-completed SDF-2 Megaroad
and the VF-4 Valkyrie fighters. The SDF-2 launches from
Earth on her maiden voyage on a mission to find a new home
for humanity. Minmay, however, chooses to stay behind this
time and watches the enormous ship as it departs Earth to
voyage into history.
5.6.2: HOW DOES IT RELATE TO THE JAPANESE MACROSS TV
SERIES AND "MACROSS: DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE"?
Although Flashback 2012 uses footage from the original
Macross TV series in some of its videos, the OAV is actually
a "sequel" to the 1984 Macross Movie. The most direct proof
of this is the fact that the SDF-2 design used in Flashback
2012 is *VERY* different than the design used in the TV
5.7: MACROSS II
5.7.1: WHAT IS IT? IS IT A SEQUEL TO ROBOTECH?
Macross II is a 6-episode OAV (Original Animation Video)
series that is a sequel to the 1984 movie "Macross: Do You
Remember Love". The new series takes place on Earth 80 years
after the movie ended. Since "Do You Remember Love" isn't
part of the Macross TV series continuity, Macross II is
also outside that continuity. Thus Macross II is 2 generations
removed from the footage that became Robotech.
5.8: SUPER DIMENSIONAL CENTURY ORGUSS
5.9.8: I SEE "SUPER DIMENSIONAL" IN THE TITLE. IS IT
RELATED TO MACROSS OR SOUTHERN CROSS?
Storywise, no. Orguss was done by the same studio that
did Macross and Southern Cross, which accounts somewhat
for the similarities in the names. Also, the character designs
for Orguss were done by Haruhiko Mikimoto, which explains
the similar appearance between Macross and Orguss characters.
However, Orguss and Orguss II are not related in any way
to either the Macross or Southern Cross storylines.
5.9: GENERAL ANIME QUESTIONS
5.9.1: WHO IS HARUHIKO MIKIMOTO? WHY IS HE IMPORTANT?
Character Designs: Macross, Macross II, High Speed Jecy,
Eve from Megazone 23, Gunbuster, Gundam 0080, Genesis Climber
Mospeada, Macross 7, Super Dimensional Century Orguss, assorted
cover art for Mobile Suit Gundam, Z Gundam, and Gundam F-91,
and artist of his own personal manga title: Marionette Generation
As you can see, HAL - as he is usually known, is one of
the most popular character designers in anime. He is responsible
for the character designs from Macross, which in turn became
Robotech's Macross Saga. And for Eve from Megazone23, which
later was used to created Robotech: The Movie. As well as
Genesis Climber Mospeada which became Robotech's New Generation.
5.9.2: HOW WELL DID THE SERIES THAT MAKE UP ROBOTECH
DO IN JAPAN?
A quick glance at the episode counts of the three original
series should provide the first clue as to their relative
success rates. Super Dimensional Fortress Macross has 36,
Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross has 23, and Genesis
Climber Mospeada, 25. (For those number crunchers out there,
yes this adds to 84. "Dana's Story," ep 37, which combines
footage from Macross and Southern Cross is the 85th episode.)
Obviously, Macross is the most successful. In fact, it
is one of the most successful anime titles ever. Originally
scheduled for 27 episodes, nine more were added before the
series ended. Furthermore, it spawned Macross '84: Love,
Do You Remember?, Macross Flashback 2012, Macross II, and
now, in this ten year anniversary of the theatrical release,
Macross Plus and Macross 7. Lynn Minmay is one of the most
popular anime characters in history. And the Macross '84
theme song crossed over and made the *regular* Japanese
pop charts; it is the most successful anime song ever. Moreover,
the ROBOTECH project, as conceived by Harmony Gold, started
out as an attempt to bring over a faithful translation of
Macross to North American audiences. Only when the syndication
"magic number" of 65 episodes came into issue did the other
two series enter the equation.
On the other side of the coin, is Southern Cross, which
bombed. Slated for a longer run, it was cut short during
its run, hence the oddball number of 23 eps.
Finally, splitting the middle is Mospeada. Mildly successful,
it ran its full run of eps without cancellation. Furthermore,
it did well enough to merit a follow-up music video OAV,
Genesis Climber Mospeada: Love, Live, Alive, but not so
well as to afford a second series. However, this should
not be viewed as a sign of failure, for, as it turns out,
most anime titles are like this. They run. They achieve
reasonable ratings. They finish. The successful ones may
spawn a music video or extra CD releases while the rest
never appear again except as re-runs. End of story.