When Super Dimension Fortress Macross debuted on Mainichi Broadcasting System October 3, 1982, it was ahead of its time. It mixed pop idols in a story of space warfare and dramatic love. Beyond that, it was an earlier example of anime made by creators who grew up as anime fans themselves. We may not see many space opera from anime these days, but Macross was a vanguard of what anime has become over the last three decades.
In America, as Robotech, it was a significant step in establishing an international awareness of the appeal of anime.
The thing that always stuck with me about Robotech/Macross was that it was the first animated series that I thought respected me, as a viewer and a kid, enough to actually let me experience a significant character dying. Not from old age or illness, but in battle and unexpectedly. Never saw that before and always felt a bit cheated, disrespected by other shows. Star Blazers would have been the show that did it first, but adults at the time felt the need to edit that out for American audiences. For that alone, Robotech always holds a special place for me.
Plus the animation and the awesome mecha were balls-to-the-wall cool to your average 12-year-old.
I took all my allowance money I had saved along with my birthday money and Christmas money I got from relatives and ordered a ton of Imai Valkyries and their SDF-1 back in the middle eighties. I ordered from that guy, can't remember his name, several times and got a bunch of kits that I still have today--Gundam and SF3D as well. God that catalog of he put out was like the Bible for me. So many great memories. Thank you justmyluck! MACROSS FOREVER!!!
The franchise may have strayed over the years from its origins, but it's still one of the best and most influential shows in anime history.
And there is no better time to be a Macross fan; the various Macross shows, movies, and their related merchandise are just a click away--no matter where you live.
Perhaps it was one of those perfect storm moments for an impressionable teenager, but hearing her beautiful voice in a cartoon involving giant robots where a major plot point was the near-total annihilation of mankind by an alien race...damn. Macross (in both original and domestic varieties, let alone THE MOVIE!) was my gateway drug into anime AND anime music, and I both bless and blame Mari and Lynn Minmay for that.
Other than Macross the TV series or Robotech, the other Macross shows have largely been unavailable here in the U.S. Oh, Macross Plus is still around, but that is it. Macross II was ok, but Plus, Zero and Frontier were great shows, plus the other movies as well. I hope that most people get to see them soon!
I know it will probably not please the hardcore Robotech/Macross fans out there, but I still want to see the live action Robotech movie adaptation become reality.
Sure Hollywood will probably mess up some of the canon or whatnot, but it would be great to see this kind of stuff done up with state of the art effects and deafening movie theater sound, all up on the big screen.
I'll always ALWAYS love Robotech over Macross. Macek may have created a stitched together masterpiece, but it was a masterpiece all that same. That said, as much as I LOVE Robotech, there's something about the tone and the deep horns of the original Macross opening that is POWERFUL. Damn I miss that type of anime...
Space Opera was awesome back then.
The first and only cartoon that my Dad ever sat down to watch with me every day. He tuned out when it got to the one with the tanks, but hey, didn't we all? And the deaths WERE a kick in the nuts: Ben, Roy Fokker, hell the entire bridge of the SDF-1. Great show, both versions.
1) There's so much repeating of the previous episode on each new episode that the full MACROSS story could be done in about 24 episodes vs the 36 episodes that were actually broadcast.
2) Lisa Hayes = Rebecca Howe
Yeah, I'm with you on the middle chapter of Robotech. Max's kid Dana was so damn annoying, but the way Macek integrated the story of the source of Protoculture with the Robotech Masters was necessary and pretty ingenious. Man I wish Cyclones were real.
First death of a beloved character, first romantic relationship and love triangle, first bad guys who started to empathize with towards the end.
That 2012 remake intro also blew my mind!
Happy Anniversary Macross! Here's 30 more years and a new fanbase that discovers it!
There isn't an animation studio left in the world that has the balls to animate mecha like this without going CG. Just look at that remade opening sequence. CG everywhere. I get that it's a bit easier, but it's not nearly as impressive.
I have to agree, the Robotech score was a bit cooler than the Macross soundtrack. It felt a bit more military. The story butchering and americanized censorship was a bit lame, but only once you saw the original. It was still better than anything else on TV in my area.
I grew up in Quebec, France was totaly gay for anime in the 80s and we got a good percentage of our french TV from them. I grew up watching dozens of anime in french, and it all put most american cartoons to shame, except maybe the WB and Disney stuff, and even those were rarely challenging for a kid. Seeing Roy and them Ben die within 2-3 episodes was a turning point for me. Characters can die. Actions had consequences. It wasn't just about spaceships going pew pew. The episode where Rick tries to write a letter to Ben's parents telling them their son had died in combat was such a contrast to seeing people shoot at each other endlessly without a single casualty in "traditional" kiddy cartoons.
Robotech was a defining part of my childhood.
It's odd watching the evolution of both art styles and content. The progress into more computer animation has really hurt anime for me, the whole attitude in the industry seems to have shifted aswell.
Very rarely is it about a story with consequences, it's more about cute girls and fanservice. Don't get me wrong, theres plenty of room for that, but it's all style and no substance.
Macross Plus dealt with some real dark stuff and there was real weight behind the animation, everything looked grounded and real. Think the move to cgi has taken the edge off, maybe it's just the more colourful simplistic styles that are used now. Even zero had a reasonable balance and dealt with some adult themes, frontier never grabbed me, looked like vandread.
Maybe it's just me getting older :(
Oct. 4, 2012, 5:48 a.m. CST
Thank you Scott, you made my day. This was the first site I hit over breakfast!
I'm a 1000% Macross Otaku. Ask the $400 worth of Valkyries guarding my computer desk.
I'm in a love triangle with the original SDF Macross and Macross Frontier!
The end of the world could come after a Macross movie on par with Wachowskis' Speed Racer.
Here are suggestions: For Classic: Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets (avoid the later re-makes of this) - although this didn't hold up as well for my adult mind and I like to remember it; Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers - great story but don't listen too hard to some of the "science" that gets discussed; Robotech, obviously.
More recent: Ghost in the Shell (movies AND series); Fullmetal Alchemist (both series were great - if you want to watch both, see the original first; if you see only one, see Brotherhood.); Cowboy Bebop; Akira; pretty much anything Miyazaki; Neon Genesis Evangelion.
I think you should enjoy all of these.
I miss anything, folks?
Galactic Trade Commission was (well, he was) my only outlet for anime kits from about 1984, and I still have a few of those amazing typed-up catalogs. I always wanted to scan them for posterity, so here's an early one (front order page missing of course):
I have another, massive, 24-page one from 1986, when he must have expanded in a big way. I should try and scan that one also, if I get around to it.
GTC truly had everything and sucked up a lot of odd job money in high school. Ordering from them was like waiting forever and you usually received substitute items when he went out of stock, but finally opening those *mystery* boxes was always heaven!
I think I saw GTC as a seller on eBay a few years back, selling pins and patches, so he was definitely in the biz for the long term.
not just the intro but all the 80's tunes during the episodes.
The books were good reads to- I loved how the 1st one expanded on the initial human exploration of the SDF-1.
And the Zor comics were awesome also.
It's a shame they can't get anything good going again (not a fan of Shadow Chronicles)
Nice list! Some of those are my all-time favorites.
I would add the series Planetes. Good story and an excellent, satisfying ending.
Also, any movie by the recently departed Satoshi Kon. Try Millennium Actress or Tokyo Godfathers.
And another great director, Makoto Shinkai, should not be missed. I have literally wept at each of his movies.
Lets keep the suggestions coming! =)
Haven't watched this in years, but just found out about this. Evidently, he's credited as "Lee Stone" in the cast, but according to IMDB, it is indeed none other than The One Who Knocks™ as the lead in this animé.
Someone please replace the music with the Robotech theme song! : P
Macross Plus was balls to the wall awesome!
Macross Zero was also amazing! If you're going to CG your mecha, then that's how you do it!
Didn't like Macross II.
Macross Frontier was so-so...
Never watched the rest.
Somebody give me a 2012 MoSpeeda Anniversary Opening.