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
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
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
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 ROBOTECH?
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 differences.
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
"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
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 fetus 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 resurgence 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 existence 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
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 ROBOTECH?
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 OF
[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
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
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 concert".
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 series.
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
5.8.1: 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
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.