Over the years, anime has harnessed some serious mainstream popularity. When fans of the genre found out about Robotech, they went absolutely insane and were quick to fall head over heels for the franchise. It's been around since the '80s, and it combines two things that are extremely beloved all over the world: anime and science fiction.
Interestingly, Robotech has been adapted based on three completely different Japanese television series: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. Curiously enough, the amalgamation of these three turned out amazing, giving birth to what began as an 85-long episode TV show that expanded to film, art books, comics, card games, toys, and video games. Whether you're a fan of the franchise or not, let's honor the awesomeness of Robotech and explore ten things you never knew about the original show!
10 There's A Star Wars Gag
Star Wars is one of the original science-fiction franchises that fans of the genre were quick to follow. It became so popular that we are now patiently awaiting the last movie of the third movie trilogy. And obviously, you don't get to be this popular without being referenced on other series and films that belong in the same sphere as you do.
Robotech showrunners weren't oblivious to the popularity of Star Wars. In fact, there's a very big chance they were fans themselves. As such, it comes as no surprise that they added a Star Wars gag to the show, in reference of the Stormtrooper that hits his head on the Death Star. In Robotech, Captain Gloval hits his head as he enters the bridge of the SDF-1 throughout the entirety of The Macross Saga.
9 The Original Southern Cross Outline Was Very Different
In 2016, new documents came to light that shed light on things fans never knew about when it comes to the production of what would eventually become Robotech. This was a treat for fans, who were lucky enough to find out more about a franchise that supposedly didn't offer many secrets. One of these things was the original outline of Southern Cross.
What eventually was aired for fans as The Masters underwent quite a few changes from the original planning. Supposedly, the ones who stay on Earth are both the top-notch earthlings and a group of Zentradi who warm up to humans, ending up breeding among each other. It's after decades go by that an alien species comes by, possessing very outdated Robotech technology.
8 Robotech Isn't The Original Name
Yet another surprising fact that came to light thanks to these documents directly relates to the name of the franchise. It's clear to everyone that before a show becomes what we see, it's bound to be the target of several changes during production. Robotech was not an exception to this rule, and it all goes back to the name.
Originally, Carl Macek wanted to sell Macross as a series that wouldn't air on television, but rather bound to go straight to video. Before it was Macross though, it was something else. At first, it was entitled The Galactic Fortress Makuros, and some time after that, Space Fortress Macross.
7 The Characters Had Different Names
Surprise, surprise, the characters also suffered a few alterations before the show even went into production. One of these changes lies, of course, in their names. For instance, Rick Hunter, in the pilot, was Rick Yamada. This was already a change from the character's original name, Hikari Ichijo, but he was almost Rick Blane!
Lynn was originally set to be Linda, while Max Sterling was almost Gene Maximillian, an ode to the character's Japanese designation, and Miriya was originally Miria Farrina. It's quite unbelievable that characters that became so famous were almost something completely different!
6 Group Designations
If you think we're done going over the original names of things in Robotech, then think again! Pre-production is always a make it or break it moment in movies and television, when everything from characters to sets and plotlines suffers some serious changes. And when it comes to this particular franchise, the name alterations weren't just made to the show and to the characters, but also to the groups!
The Zendrati were only named later and were first designated as the Center Army, whilst the Robotech Defense Force was Earth Integration Army. Doesn't even sound the same, does it?
5 A 20-Year Cliffhanger
Everybody loves a good cliffhanger, even though fans are usually left burning with anticipation as to when the next episode or season of a show will premiere to finally provide closure. The age of Netflix came to change things a bit, launching entire seasons to binge-watch at once.
But Robotech had absolutely no problem leaving fans waiting. And when we say waiting, we're not referring to a year between seasons, but 20! The original show ended with a cliffhanger that would only be resolved two decades after, in 2006, with the release of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. That's cold!
4 It Was Born From Disappointment
More often than not, some of the best pieces of art and entertainment stem from the fact that creators were disappointed with something. This is exactly the case of Robotech, whose creator Carl Macek was extremely displeased with the alterations made to Gatchaman in order to create Battle of the Planets.
Macek wanted to come up with an anime series that would be correctly adapted to the Western world. In order to do this, he acquired three different series—The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA—and managed to make an awesome job of bringing the three together to create Robotech. Kudos to you, Carl!
3 There Are Star Trek References
Star Wars wasn't the only extremely successful franchise to be referenced in Robotech. Being a show that relies heavily upon the genre of science-fiction, it's only fitting that Robotech would take the chance of throwing in some references to other franchises. This pleases both creators and fans, who are always delighted to find similarities between favorite shows.
Star Trek was a part of Robotech in the form of some very subtle nods. Particularly if we pay attention to the SDF-1, which often includes Star Dates and Klingons. Even in the soundtrack and the uniforms, some interesting mentions can be found. While it's not as funny as the Stormtrooper gag, it's still very much appreciated.
2 Live Action Is On Its Way
From its genesis in the '80s, Robotech managed to amass such an incredible fan following that the franchise was quick to cash in on it, and come up with a series of shows, films, games, comics, books, and pretty much anything a fan's heart might desire. But nothing really strikes a chord quite like when a favorite animated series gets the green light to be adapted into a live-action movie.
Fans have been waiting for decades, but the time has finally come to have Robotech translated into the big screen as a live action movie! In late September of 2017, it was announced that Wonder Woman's Jason Fuchs was hired as a writer, and Andy Muschietti is set to direct.
1 It's Very Polarizing
It's very hard to come up with anything that won't be loved by some and hated by others. That's just how human nature works; nothing will be loved or hated by everyone. But truth is, things usually tend to tip either to one side of the other in terms of where the majority of opinions rest. This, however, is not the case with Robotech.
The show is an extremely dividing subject among fans of anime, particularly due to the major alterations made to the original source material in order to bring it to the Western audiences. Some are all onboard, others think it's just a terrible gamble. But love it or hate, Robotech has achieved pretty great results, and with a live-action on the way, it doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.