|Robotech: The New Generation|
|No. of episodes||
May 27, 1985
June 28, 1985
Robotech: The New Generation was a loose adaptation of Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (機甲創世記モスピーダ) (literally "Armored Genesis MOSPEADA"), a 25-episode anime science fiction series created by Shinji Aramaki and Hideki Kakinuma, and produced by Tatsunoko Production in 1983. It was the final segment of Robotech.
The New Generation began with the arrival on Earth of the Invid, who are lured by the Flower of Life and rapidly conquer the planet. References in the previous two chapters explain to viewers that many of the heroes of the First Robotech War had left Earth to seek out the Robotech Masters on a preemptive mission, and it is this Robotech Expeditionary Force that sends missions back from across the galaxy to attempt a liberation of their homeworld. The storyline follows one group of freedom fighters as they work their way towards the final battle with the Invid.
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.
Civilian / Other
- 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. 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.
- Mechanical designer Shinji Aramaki came up with the transformable motorcycle-powered exoskeleton design while working on the Diaclone series (which later became part of Transformers). When riding his Honda VT250 250 cc motorbike he thought to himself that it was the right size for a person to wear. The bike design was inspired by the Suzuki Katana. The black and white stripes on the Legioss and VR ride armor are a tribute to the Allied invasion stripes in World War II.
- After the original run of Genesis Climber MOSPEADA, an OVA music video titled Genesis Climber MOSPEADA: Love Live Alive was exclusively released in Japan in September 1985. The music video consisted of both old and new footage. The story of Love Live Alive chronicled the events after the ending of MOSPEADA, featuring Yellow Belmont (Lancer) as the main character. The music video focused on Yellow's concert and his flashbacks of past events.
- According to Chris Meadows, there were several deleted shots (albeit minor) shots while adapting MOSPEADA to Robotech: The New Generation. "The main things to go were long establishing shots, signs and banners (especially fractured English or references to the Japanese names of renamed characters), Japanese gestures such as the V-for-victory sign, characters making silly faces (often after getting hit on the head), bits of conversations that weren't needed for the English script, flashbacks to footage we saw a short time before, parts of Yellow's songs, nudity, and blood. A lot of these clips can be seen, unsubtitled and using the un-remastered footage, on Elements of Robotechnology (the extras bundled with the Legacy and Protoculture collections) disc 7. Some of these clips were put back in for the "Remastered" edition of Robotech, but there were only so many they could add back."
- Chris Meadows further notes that during interviews with Greg Snegoff and other writers for the original Robotech TV show, "the writers talk about the dialogue for the original Japanese anime being sometimes almost comically bad, so they ended up having to throw it out entirely and rewrite the shows from the ground up. I have to admit that sometimes I can see what they mean, but only in rare instances, such as Jonathan Wolfe turning traitor because he needed to stay alive long enough to "get his power back" to face the Inbit one last time."
- In the DVD box set of Genesis Climber MOSPEADA, the liner notes reference 'Micro Change' and 'Diacron' during an interview with the series' mechanical designers, Shinji Aramaki and Hideki Kakinuma. When asked how they got the idea of a transforming bike, Aramaki said "I was working on 'Micro Change' which became 'Transformers' later on. I was also working on 'Diacron' and making all sorts of real looking transformers like car robots. Around that time, I bought 250cc motorbike called VT250. It was fashionable to have 16-inch tires, which was quite small tire for a 250cc bike. When I saw it, I thought, 'Ah, a person may be able to wear this size." Kakinuma added "Back then, Studio Nue was doing Diacron. The set up materials were very realistic, but they had some parts that were impossible to do as toys. We looked for something more realistic or something more familiar to us which functioned before and after transformation. It turned out to be a bike."