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Robotech: The Macross Saga
Production information


No. of episodes


First aired

March 4, 1985

Last aired

April 22, 1985

  • Robert V. Barron (Adaptation)
  • Ippei Kuri
  • Carl Macek
  • Steve Kramer
Executive producer(s)
  • Tony Oliver
  • Melanie MacQueen
  • Rebecca Forstadt
  • Iona Morris
  • Dan Woren
  • Cam Clarke
  • Richard Epcar
  • Greg Finley
  • J. Jay Smith

Robotech: The Macross Saga was a loose adaptation of the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross (マクロス), a science fiction mecha anime, created by Shōji Kawamori and Noboru Ishiguro of Studio Nue, and produced by Big West Advertising and Tatsunoko Production in 1982. The series was followed by Robotech: The Masters.


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Main Article: First Robotech War

In 1999, an alien ship crashed on South Pacific Island. Humans knew they we are not alone in space. Ten years later, the ship was re-created and re-named the Super Dimension Fortress-1 Macross (SDF-1). However, on the day of its take off, aliens called Zentraedi made their way to Earth, beginning the First Robotech War that forever changed the history of these two races.

Name OriginEdit

Prior to the release of the TV series, the name Robotech was used by model kit manufacturer Revell on their Robotech Defenders line in the mid-1980s. The line consisted of mecha model kits imported from Japan and featured in anime titles such as The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Century Orguss and Fang of the Sun Dougram. The kits were originally intended to be a marketing tie-in to a similarly named comic book series by DC Comics, which was cancelled after only two issues.

At the same time, Harmony Gold licensed the Macross TV series for direct-to-video distribution in 1984, but their merchandising plans were compromised by Revell's prior distribution of the Macross kits. In the end, both parties signed into a co-licensing agreement and the Robotech name was adopted into the TV syndication of Macross combined with Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA.


Robotech Defense ForceEdit

Civilian / OtherEdit

Zentraedi LegionEdit

Television BroadcastEdit

  • North American television debut: 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.[9] 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.
  • International broadcast: In Australia, Robotech was aired in 1980s and late 1990s by both the Seven and Ten networks in different states. Ten cut the series at episode 52, while Seven broadcast all 85 episodes. The Philippine network GMA-7 aired the Masters and New Generation episodes in the late 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, 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, the entire series was shown in the beginning of 1990's on 2x2 - the first commercial Russian channel. The Dubai-based channel MBC 3 began broadcasting an Arabic-language dubbed version in early 2010.
  • Subsequent airings: 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. KTEH, a public television station in San Jose, California aired the "Macross" and "New Generation" storylines, as well as the Robotech II: The Sentinels feature. Robotech currently airs daily on The Anime Network. As of January 7, 2007, the show also airs in Canada on Space and Retro.

Original Series Production CreditsEdit


  • There was a scene in the first episode that contains an animator's inside joke. Hikaru Ichijyo (Rick Hunter in Robotech) crashes his VF-1 Valkyrie into a building marked "Studio Nue". This was the name of the animation studio that produced Macross. Studio Nue's mascot, a grinning imp creature, was also on the building. If you watch closely, you can see the imp react in horror as Hikaru careens toward the building.
  • The original Japanese Macross series' production history was a turbulent one: Originally proposed in 1979 after the success fo Gundam, the show was sponsored by a group called the "Wiz" corporation, who were prepared to fund a 48-episode run. However, by 1981, Wiz had gone out of business, and the Macross seemed to be in permanent haitus. Big West, an advertising agency looking to branch out into animation sponsorship, approached Studio Nue about the project, and sponsored it. However, they insisted on a leaner budget, not convinced that the show would pan out as profitable. Big West pared the episode count to 23 episodes (meaning the show would have ended with the battle against Bodolza). Even then, Big West found that the show was going to run more expensive than they had bargained for, and to secure more money, entered into a partnership with Tatsunoko Productions which included international distribution (hence "Robotech" (1985)). When Macross debuted in October, 1982, the stunning success convinced Big West to green light an extension to 36 episodes, allowing the staff to end with the "two years after" story arc.
  • Studio Nue was unable to carry all of the animation work itself at the time (although the success of Macross meant that they were able to do so with nearly all of their other animation projects),and so work was farmed out to a number of satellite studios, including Artland (Mikimoto's employer), the nascent AIC and GAINAX studios, and the Tatsunoko-supplied AnimeFriend and Star Pro. AnimeFriend and Star Pro are notorious among fans of the show for having brought in very spotty, off-model and continuity error-laden work.
  • There were plans for a splashy ending to the series, one that would have shown Misa Hayase (Lisa Hayes) and Hikaru (Rick Hunter) blasting off in the colonization ship Megaroad, but the sequence was scrapped due to lack of time and budget.
  • During the first episode, when Hikaru (Rick Hunter) flashes back to his days with Roy Focker (Roy Fokker) in the flying circus, we can see Roy's old plane. Written just along the seat is the name 'Kawamori' (the show's creator)
  • Among other production headaches, the master copy of one nearly-completed episode was reportedly accidentally left on a train by a courier, forcing the staff to search for the footage - otherwise they'd have to re-animate it all, at a considerable cost in time and money. They found the reel, and so disaster was averted.

External LinksEdit