|Genre||Epic, Mecha, Space opera|
|Created by||Carl Macek|
|Based on||Part 1:|
Super Dimension Fortress Macross
(by Studio Nue)
Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross
Genesis Climber MOSPEADA
|Screenplay by||Ardwight Chamberlain|
|Story by||Carl Macek|
|Directed by||Robert V. Barron|
|Narrated by||J. Jay Smith|
|Theme music composer||Ulpio Minucci|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||85 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Production companies||Harmony Gold USA|
|Distributor||Harmony Gold USA|
|Original network||First-run syndication|
|Audio format||1.0 monaural (1985)|
5.1 Dolby surround sound (2004)
|Original release||March 4 –|
June 28, 1985
|Preceded by||Codename: Robotech|
|Followed by||Robotech: The Movie|
Robotech II: The Sentinels
Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
Robotech: Love Live Alive
Robotech is an American 85-episode adaptation of three unrelated Japanese anime television series (from three different fictional universes) made between 1982 and 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 by Harmony 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 the 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":
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 on DVD 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.
See also: List of Robotech episodes
Robotech originally aired in 1985 in first-run syndication, meaning it was sold directly to local television stations without having been run on a network first—this was part of a trend in animation in the 1980s. Previously, local stations would rerun theatrical cartoons like Looney Tunes or shows that had previously aired on network TV on Saturday mornings. This changed after He-Man and the Masters of the Universe introduced a new economic model: shows sold directly for first-run to stations, driving and funded by sales of related toys. Though the original Robotech series did well in ratings, the attempt to cash in on toys may have doomed Robotech II: The Sentinels as the original series attracted older viewers, not necessarily the children targeted by the toy line. The failure of the Matchbox toy line is cited as a primary reason for the cancellation of the Sentinels series.
In Australia, Robotech was aired from 12 April 1986 to and throughout 1988 and 1995 by both the Ten and Seven Networks and various regional stations in different states (including RTQ7, AMV4 and GRV6). Ten cut the series at episode 52 (Love Song), while Seven broadcast all 85 episodes. In 2018, also in Australia, Network Ten multichannel Eleven started airing the Macross Saga.
In France, Robotech was originally broadcast by La Cinq during the summer of 1987; the show moved to TF1 in 1991.
The Philippine network GMA-7 aired the Masters and New Generation episodes in the late 1980s (as RPN-9 aired Macross in the early 1980s), as part of the late-afternoon weekday animation block (together with Captain Harlock).
The Hong Kong cable television channel Star Plus (now Star World) aired all 85 episodes, from May 1994 to January 1995, with changes in time-slots (May-early October 1994, 11:00 a.m. Sundays; October 1994-January 1995, 5:30 p.m. Weekdays). The series was broadcast in a number of European countries by the then Super Channel during the 1980s.
In the UK, Robotech aired on The Children's Channel in the mid to late 1980s, and it was transmitted on Prem1ere, the satellite movie channel, in the same period.
In Spain, all Robotech episodes were aired using the Latin American Dubbing, from August 1990 to April 1991, with changes in time slots, in Telecinco channel. The series was aired again in the same channel from October 1993 to May 1994. At that time only The Macross Saga and The Robotech Masters Saga were aired, leaving the third part of the show unaired.
In Russia on the TV channel 2x2 a dubbed version in Russian was shown in 1992. In the spring of 2012, there was a rerun on the TV channel 2x2 with a new dubbed version.
The Dubai-based channel MBC 3 began broadcasting an Arabic-language dubbed version in early 2010.
Robotech appeared on the Sci-Fi Channel in 1993, and on Cartoon Network's Toonami in 1998. Toonami aired only episodes 1 through 60, finishing the run at the end of the Robotech Masters story-line. Toonami reran 3 selected episodes of Robotech as part of the Giant Robot Week in 2003. Superstation KTEH, a PBS public television station in San Jose, California, as part of its Sunday Late-Prime (9pm-after 12) Sci-Fi programming line-up aired the "Macross" and "New Generation" storylines, as well as the Robotech II: The Sentinels feature. Robotech formerly aired daily on The Anime Network. As of January 7, 2007, the show also airs in Canada on Space and Retro. As of 2017, all three storyline sagas of Robotech are currently available for streaming on Netflix. Internet based Pluto TV, a Paramount Global subsidiary, began showing all three Robotech stories Summer of 2019 on the Anime All Day channel. They appeared in their original Japanese format as Macross, Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada.
The series has attained a significant cult-following over the years along with critical appraisal; in 2009, IGN ranked Robotech as the 34th greatest animated show of all time in their Top 100 list.
In 1996, Hyper magazine reviewed The Macross Saga, rating it 10 out of 10.
Executive and creative staff
Since Robotech was a non-union project, many of the voice actors involved worked under pseudonyms to avoid trouble with their union. The voice-actor list printed in Robotech Art One lists the pseudonyms rather than the real names of most of the actors.