Robotech – Anime Sewn Together

There was something not quite right with Robotech. The story changed protagonists, design, and even art style during it’s long run. As a child, I knew something was amiss, but could never put my finger on it, much like Power Rangers. I come to find many years later that Robotech is three anime series Frankensteined together to form a 85 episode cartoon series, much like Voltron before it, only a little more haphazardly.

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Syndication was a hell of a thing. It required creators to produce 65 episodes of a show to air (5 episodes a week for 13 weeks). This was great for viewers (i.e. kids), giving them a reason to return everyday. This is why many creators took to licensing anime, and dubbing over them however they wished. Again, the best case for this was Voltron. Robotech was sewn together from 3 animes; Super Dimension Fortress Macross (36 episodes), Super Dimension Southern Calvary Cross (23 episodes), and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (25 episodes). Each were referred to as First, Second and Third Robotech War, respectively.

Each show featured a similar theme of humans warring with aliens and giant mechas, allowing for some continuity between them. Some. The first series featured an alien ship, Macross, that crashed on earth 10 years ago. The show begins with humans learning how to command the ship. The aliens, the Zentraedi, return to reclaim the ship. After much to do, and a bit of a love triangle (a lot of a love triangle), the Zentraedi are defeated though Earth is mostly destroyed. Turns out though the Zentraedi empire protected an alien race called the Robotech Masters.

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This leads into the Second Robotech War. Which involved something about a flower. I don’t know. No one I liked from the first war/series was around any more, gone off to colonize space, therefore I didn’t care. I checked in and out intermittently. The Third War featured yet another alien race coming to Earth.

Each subsequent war/series grew worse in quality.  What many remember, myself included, as being Robotech, is the first Macross series. I sampled a few episodes when the Complete Original Series was released a few years ago (note, they were neither complete nor original). I had a sense of nostalgia watching the First War, though the pacing was awkward and slow. Hence why I only sampled a few episodes. I gave the later episodes a honest try, but couldn’t bare it.

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Many attempts have been made to keep Robotech alive in any format; comic books, video games, movies, etc. Ultimately, Robotech was a flash in the pan during the 80’s. It was fun while it lasted, but mostly survived due to the strength of the Macross series. While American audiences weren’t too world savvy at the time, they could still tell when they were given inferior material. Robotech is best left in the 80’s. At least they haven’t tried to reboot the entire series, yet.

What did you think of Robotech? Care for the latter part of the series? Comment below!

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5 responses to “Robotech – Anime Sewn Together

  1. Pingback: Ronin Warriors – Power Ranges but Good | The Credible Hulk·

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