Robotech is a sci-fi mecha anime series, produced by Tatsunoko Productions and Harmony Gold in 1985. The series was also produced, in the U.S., by Harmony Gold USA, Inc. in association with Tatsunoko Productions Co. Ltd. The series consists of 85 episodes. It was later aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami programming block from January 12, 1998 to July 24, 1998. It also appeared on Toonami's Midnight Run from July 10, 1999 to December 25, 1999, and was also part of Giant Robot Week in 2003.
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 invasions. Robotech was one of the first anime series televised in the United States that attempted to include most of the complexity and drama of its original Japanese source material.
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 (The Masters) 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.
|Color||Saga||Episodes||Toonami Premiere||Toonami Finale|
|Macross||36||January 12, 1998||March 2, 1998|
|Masters||24||March 3, 1998||April 6, 1998|
Robotech is an 85 episode English adaptation, with edited content and revised dialogue, 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 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. On some television stations, the syndicated run was preceded by the broadcast premiere of Codename: Robotech, a feature-length pilot.
All 85 episodes of Robotech have been released on DVD.
- United States (First-run Syndication) — 1985 - 1986
- United States (Sci-Fi Channel) — 1993
- United States (Cartoon Network) — January 12, 1998 - July 24, 1998; July 10, 1999 - December 25, 1999; February 26-28, 2003
- United States (The Anime Network) — 2004 - 2008
Toonami Broadcast History
The series aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami block from January 12, 1998 to July 24, 1998. It also appeared on Toonami's Midnight Run from July 10, 1999 to December 25, 1999, and was also part of Giant Robot Week in 2003.
- Toonami (United States) — January 12, 1998 - July 24, 1998; February 26-28, 2003
- Toonami: Midnight Run — July 10, 1999 - December 25, 1999
- "Robotech Replaces Voltron On Cartoon Network's Toonami Lineup ". animeservice.com. January 11, 1998. http://web.archive.org/web/20000818010841/http://www.animenewsservice.com/archives/jan.htm. Retrieved on December 14, 2014.
- "Evangelion, Nadesico, Dai-Guard, Robotech to Air on Cartoon Network ". animenewsnetwork.com. January 28, 2003. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2003-01-28/evangelion-nadesico-dai-guard-robotech-to-air-on-cartoon-network. Retrieved on April 4, 2015.
- "Robotech back on TV ". animenewsnetwork.com. May 10, 2004. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2004-05-10/robotech-back-on-tv. Retrieved on April 9, 2017.
|Cartoon Network (1997-2008)|
|Adult Swim (2012-Present)|