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  1. LEBHead's Guide to the Differences Between Robotech, Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada Last updated 8.23.03 Note: For the most update version of this paper, visit http://protoculture.lebhead.com dead link ROBOTECH, the 85 episode epic series as you know it, was derived from three entirely separate anime shows that aired in Japan in the early 1980's. The animation was edited together and a hybrid story was added to make the three separate series mesh together as one long epic story - Robotech. It was then brought to the U.S. and the rest of the world outside of Japan by Carl Macek and Harmony Gold, and you loved it! How, and more importantly, why did this happen? Well, it's a long story... Soon after the original anime series, Super Dimension Fortress Macross became a hit in Japan in 1982 Harmony Gold purchased the U.S. and international distribution rights to the show from Tatsunoko Productions at the suggestion of Carl Macek after they asked him what show might translate well for North American audiences. Macek originally planned to simply translate Macross into English (i.e. dub it) and market it for broadcast or direct to video sale in the U.S. However, at the time a show in America needed at least 65 episodes in order to be syndicated and Macross only consisted of 36 episodes. The solution? Very interesting indeed. Harmony Gold acquired two other shows, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada, which Macek tied together with Macross to make one gigantic epic story. It was rumored that for a time Macek and Harmony Gold considered just releasing the three shows as separate entities under the Robotech banner, much the way Gaiking, Grandizer, Danguard Ace, The Starvengers, and the Spaceketeers were aired under the title "Force Five." However, for whatever reason this idea never came to pass. The linking of Macross with the two other anime series was done partially at the behest of the hobby company, Revell Inc., who initially helped fund the show and who came up with the name "Robotech." Revell already had the rights to market many of the plastic model kits based on Macross and other Japanese shows and released them under the Robotech banner. Harmony Gold hammered out a deal with Revell and used the title for their TV series as well. As another interesting side note, there was also a two issue comic book series produced by DC Comics related to this original Robotech model line that preceded the Robotech television series. This comic series, which was originally meant to be three issues, featured none of the characters seen in the TV series and was completely unrelated, besides in name, to the television show. The three anime were taken, edited a little for continuity's sake (this is why you see shots of the Robotech Masters in parts of the Macross Saga), and slapped together in a relatively short amount of time and Robotech was created. Although controversial, it must be admitted that such an unprecedented feat had been pulled off quite well. Robotech was then released in America and worldwide (sans Japan and other parts of Asia for obvious reasons) and became a smash hit. The Main Differences Between the Originals and ROBOTECH It should be noted that the actual accuracy of the story and dialogue translation between the three original series and their Robotech counterparts differ. The Macross Saga was probably one of the least affected story and dialogue-wise (along with Mospeada) when being adapted into Robotech. This is because Macross was deemed the most important of the three chapters, therefore it was necessary to keep its story intact as much as possible. Most of the lines in The Macross Saga are more or less directly translated from SDF Macross, sans the character names, and a little added dialogue for both continuity's sake as well as editing for the American market. Also, a lot of "questionable" scenes had to be edited out because American censors simply would not allow them to be shown to kids. These types of scenes include shots of excessive blood and gore, nudity (Minmay's butt to be specific), and excessive drinking. It is interesting to note that although they tried to edit out scenes of drinking by both Zentraedi and humans, many drinking scenes still appear in Robotech because they were considered key scenes. It just goes to show how much drinking actually went on during the first Space War/Robotech War! Perhaps the biggest difference between the original SDF Macross anime and RT: the Macross Saga was in the definition of what "protoculture" was. In Robotech, protoculture was a source of energy that was sought after by the Zentraedi, Robotech Masters, Invid, and even humans. However, in Macross, Protoculture is the name of the first advanced civilization in the universe. The Protoculture were the ones who created the Zentradi in Macross (while the Robotech Masters created the Zentraedi in Robotech). It may be a bit of a stretch, but it is easy to liken the Protoculture in Macross to the Robotech Masters in Robotech. Another major difference between the two shows is that in the original Macross there is no SDF-2 hidden behind the SDF-1, which is also why you never see the actual SDF-2 in the Robotech animation - because it just wasn't there in Macross. Also, in the original Macross series although the SDF-1 (also known as simply the "Macross") was badly damaged by Kamjin's (Khyron in Robotech) ship in the last episode, it was never destroyed as it was in Robotech. This is why you still see the SDF-1 in Macross sequels, like Macross Plus and Macross II. In fact, in Macross all of the bridge crew, including the captain, survived the final attack by Kamjin. You must try to remember that Macross sequels, like Macross Plus or Macross II, have nothing to do with the Robotech universe. Yet another interesting side note is that although the VF-1 is called a Valkyrie in the original Macross series and called simply a "Veritech" for the most part of the Macross Saga in Robotech, it is also called a Valkyrie in Robotech as well by none other than Captain Henry Gloval himself. In Robotech, the VF-1 is officially known as the Veritech Valkyrie, while in SDF: Macross it is merely the VF-1 Valkyrie. The Robotech Masters was probably the most changed story-wise out of the original three shows. This was due to the fact that it had to link what went on in the Macross Saga to the rest of the series. There was a lot of explaining to do! The original Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross anime didn't even take place on Earth. It was on a planet with two moons, one of which had to be airbrushed out for Robotech. Zor, who was the scientist that discovered the secrets of protoculture in Robotech, was really just the name of the invading aliens in the original Southern Cross. And yes, the ending of the original Southern Cross anime is just as dismal as it is in Robotech. In Robotech Zor spreads the pollen of the Flower of Life throughout the earth, attracting the Invid, who later enslave humanity. In the original Southern Cross the pollen is also spread, but what happens is that it turns all of humanity into Zors. Like the Macross Saga, the New Generation also wasn't changed too drastically for Robotech. However, again it was necessary to add elements from past sagas for continuity's sake. In the original Mospeada anime, there was no "Admiral Hunter" to search for. Also, the Invid (Inbit in Mospeada) were not at war with the Robotech Masters, because the Robotech Masters didn't exist in the original anime. Although Stig/Stick (Scott in the New Generation) was on a mission to the reflex point in Mospeada, he was never sent by the Robotech Expeditionary Force, but was instead simply part of the Mars Base reclamation forces. The "Secret" Robotech Movie Harmony Gold did produce a Robotech movie called "The Untold Story." The movie was based on another Mikimoto/Ishiguro collaboration, the OAV "Megazone 23" (Kawamori and Studio Nue were not involved in Megazone). The story was radically changed to fit into the Robotech continuity. While the original concept for the film placed it in the exact same time frame as the Macross storyline, a re-edit forced it about 20 years later, making the setting appear awfully anachronistic. Southern Cross footage was also edited into the movie for continuity purposes, as well as "fresh" Megazone footage made specially for the Robotech movie. Unfortunately, Megazone had been shot in 35mm and Southern Cross in 16mm, and the difference looked awful on the big screen! The movie only showed in Texas theatres in the U.S., but was also released overseas in quite a few markets and did fairly well. Cannon was the distributor of the movie, and were probably the ones to blame for the movie being so bad. Golan-Globus forced a redo of the film to artificially include space battle scenes from the Southern Cross series. Macek was against editing the movie, but was pretty much forced to do it anyway. To the relief of many Robotech fans, this movie was never widely released in American theaters. Also, because Harmony Gold no longer owns the rights to the Megazone 23 footage the Robotech movie may never be released ever again, although various fan-made bootleg copies of the movie are floating around on the Internet. Robotech Sequels, & More The sequel series, "Robotech II: The Sentinels" was to be animated from scratch as a direct sequel to the American Robotech series. It would tie all the previous series together by showing characters from all three separate series interacting together for the first time. Harmony Gold commissioned Tatsunoko Productions to animate the Sentinels in a style that would appeal specifically to American audiences. Tatsunoko's primary design group, the Ohkura Design Studio, was given the task of animating The Sentinels. They had to radically redesign the Macross characters for the sequel possibly at Big West's request, to preserve the "sanctity" of the original series. This may be the reason the animation was so different (most would agree much worse) than the original series animation. Also, it is presumed that Tatsunoko considered marketing The Sentinels in Japan, alongside Macross, possibly as some sort of prequel or sequel to the Japanese Southern Cross or Mospeada. So again, character distinction was necessary. The Sentinels was going to be the first 65 of 175 newly animated Robotech episodes, which, when added to the original's 85, would have allowed for a 260 episode cycle, a different Robotech episode for every weekday of the year. However, the Yen's value rose sharply and the budget skyrocketed, forcing the project to be cancelled after only roughly three episodes. The remaining footage was edited together on one video and later released as "Robotech II: The Sentinels." Recently the Sentinels was re-released as a bonus disc on the third Robotech legacy DVD set put out by ADV Films. The Robotech DVDs were produced under the supervision of Carl Macek, who now works at ADV. Robotech - What's Next? A new Robotech series was originally planned to be put out in late 2001 or early 2002, however the new target release date for this unnamed series is 2004. The new series is planned to be a direct sequel to the original Robotech series, so it will take off where the New Generation stopped. Currently new mecha designs for the series include an armored Shadow/Beta Fighter as well as a new mecha known as the Gamma Fighter. For more information on the new Robotech series see Harmony Gold's official Robotech Web site, Robotech.com. Originally the new series was titled "Robotech 3000" and was supposed to be fully computer animated by the now defunct Netter Digital, but with the lack of success of such shows (Voltron 3D) the idea was canned. It was rumored that Robotech 3000 contained non-transforming mecha only. What little footage that existed of Robotech 3000 was shown at the 2000 San Diego Comic-Con to a luke-warm response. That footage is now available for download at Robotech.com. Even though Robotech 3000 has officially been cancelled for some time now fans still often refer to the upcoming Robotech series as "Robotech 3000," although a more appropriate name would probably be "Robotech 2004." Carl Macek Carl Macek, the most notable figure behind Robotech, currently works for ADV Films and helped produce the DVD release of the entire Robotech series. Macek has either been exalted as anime's savior or damned as it's antichrist by extremist Macross/Southern Cross/Mospeada fans as well as anime fans in general. This debate has no sign of it letting up any time soon. After leaving Harmony Gold after the ill-fated Sentinels series Macek returned shortly to work on Robotech 3000. Once Robotech 3000 was scrapped he left again to pursue other career interests. He is currently working on various projects at ADV, including the Lady Death DVDs. Notes on this Article This article consists of many different writings and interviews on the subject that were collected from various sources and edited together. Although much of this it is original writing by the editor, there is also a great deal contributed by other authors, most of which are unknown or long forgotten. As this article is about Robotech, the fact that this writing is edited together from other sources is rather ironic. This paper is not officially sanctioned by Harmony Gold, and as such includes many assumptions based on research into the subject. I am trying to get as close to what really happened as possible and would greatly appreciate anybody with any firsthand knowledge or sources to contact me at the listed e-mail address. Thank you.