Title screen from the original broadcast.
||Epic, Mecha, Science fiction,Space opera, Drama, Romance
||Harmony Gold, Tatsunoko
||Carl Macek, Steve Kramer
||Robert V. Barron,
||J. Jay Smith
|Theme music composer
|Country of origin
|No. of seasons
|No. of episodes
||1.0 monaural (1985)
5.1 surround sound (2004)
||March 4, 1985 – June 28, 1985
The Shadow Chronicles
Robotech is an 85-episode adaptation of three different anime television series made between 1982-1984 in Japan; the adaptation was aired in 1985. Within the combined and edited story, Robotechnology refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island. With this technology, Earth developed giant robotic machines or mecha (many of which were capable of transforming into vehicles) to fight three successive extraterrestrial invasions.
Robotech was one of the first anime televised in the United States that attempted to include most of the complexity and drama of its original Japanese source material. Produced byHarmony Gold USA, Inc. in association with Tatsunoko Productions 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 from 1982, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross from 1984, and Genesis Climber Mospeada from 1983.
Harmony Gold's cited reasoning for combining these unrelated series was its decision to market Macross for US-American weekday syndication television, which required a minimum of 65 episodes at the time (thirteen weeks at five episodes per week). Macross and the two other series each had fewer episodes than required since they originally aired in Japan as a weekly series.
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.
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 discovery of a crashed alien ship and subsequent battle against a race of giant warriors called the Zentraedi, who have been sent to retrieve the ship for reasons unknown. In the course of this chapter, Earth is nearly annihilated, the Zentraedi are defeated, and humans gain knowledge of the energy source called protoculture. Humanity also learns of the Robotech Masters whose galactic empire the Zentraedi protected and patrolled.
The Second Robotech War
) focuses on the arrival in Earth orbit of the Robotech Masters, who have come seeking what turns out to be the sole means in the universe of producing protoculture. Through a combination of mistrust and arrogance, their attempts at retrieving this meet with opposition from the humans and unleash a war that leaves the Masters defeated and Earth awash in the spores of a plant called the Flower of Life—the source of protoculture and a beacon to the mysterious Invid who scour the galaxy for its presence.
The Third Robotech War
(The New Generation
) begins with the arrival on Earth of the Invid, who are lured by the Flower of Life and rapidly conquer the planet. References in the previous two chapters explain to viewers that many of the heroes of the First Robotech War had left Earth to seek out the Robotech Masters on a preemptive mission, and it is this Robotech Expeditionary Force that sends missions back from across the galaxy to attempt a liberation of their homeworld. The storyline follows one group of freedom fighters as they work their way towards the final battle with the Invid.
Codename: Robotech is a 73-minute animated pilot that preceded the series. It is set within the events of the First Robotech War. It was a greatly extended version of Gloval's Report, the fourteenth television episode that summarizes the beginning of the series. It was aired on some television stations before the broadcast of the series in 1985. It was included onDVD as an extra with the first volume of the Robotech Legacy Collection and the complete Protoculture Collection, from ADV Films. The disc includes the option of audio commentary by producer Carl Macek and was also released in Australia by Madman Entertainment.