Producers at Harmony Gold combined the series Super Dimension Fortress: Macross, Genesis Climber Mospeada, and Super-dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross to create a sprawling space opera with a new plot: Robotech (1985), which helped to build an audience for anime in the U.S. The story begins in 1999, when a gigantic spaceship strikes the Earth. Ten years later, Earth forces relaunch the ship as the alien Zentraedi attack, hoping to recapture it. The seesaw warfare is played against a vague romantic triangle involving brash pilot Rick Hunter, straight-laced officer Lisa Hayes, and aspiring singer Minmei. The Zentraedi have somehow lost the secret of biological reproduction, but the two races are virtually identical biochemically. The similarity is sealed by the marriage of Earth pilot Max and Zentraedi spy Miriya. Minmei’s performances become a key element in the ongoing war, as the Zentraedi consider her bubblegum pop songs a form of "psychological assault." (They have a point.) Although humanity emerges victorious, much of the Earth is devastated. Lisa and Rick discover their true feelings as the new threat of the Robotech Masters appears–which leads into the second continuity. Gen-X-ers who grew up on Robotech will delight in retracing the coy romances and crude space battles; viewers accustomed to the faster pacing, snazzier effects, and more dramatic conflicts of more recent anime will grow impatient with the endless shilly-shallying. It’s a classic of sorts. (Suitable for all ages; appropriate for ages 8 and up: mild violence restricted to spaceship and robot battles) –Charles Solomon
The episodes in this collection conclude the New Generation/Mospeada story line–and the entire series. As the war between the Earthlings and the alien Invid escalates, the Regis of the Invid creates two additional "Invid larvae humanoids" (aliens in human form), Sera and Corg. Sera argues for understanding between species, while Corg becomes a fanatic warrior. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Scott Bernard and his motley crew of freedom fighters prepare to join Admiral Rick Hunter’s returning star fleet for a final attack on the Invid stronghold. Faced with imminent defeat, the Regis, who invaded Earth and enslaved humanity, delivers an address denouncing war to Scott’s crew and transports her people "to a higher plane." Only Marlene/Ariel and Sera remain, and their romances with Scott and Lancer parallel the peace-through-intermarriage theme that began with Max and the Zentraedi Miriya in the Macross continuity. It’s a surprisingly lame conclusion to three interstellar wars. This early sci-fi epic helped foster an audience for Japanese animation in America and was created by the producers at Harmony Gold, who edited together the unrelated series Super Dimension Fortress: Macross, Genesis Climber Mospeada, and Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross. The seventh Elements of Robotechnology disc includes an assortment of deleted scenes–some only a few seconds long–but no translations or explanations as to why they were cut, and a gallery of print material about various Robotech products. Unrated; suitable for ages 10 and up: Minor nudity, violence (human versus human, spaceship and robot battles). –Charles Solomon
In the aftermath of the war with the Robotech Masters, the Invid arrive on Earth to lay waste to the already battle-weary armies of the Southern Cross. They turn Earth into a massive slave colony for the purpose of harvesting protoculture-the Invid Flower of Life. Admiral Rick Hunter, leading an expeditionary force in search of the Robotech Masters’ homeworld, sends reinforcements to help reclaim the Earth.