Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles, the sequel I missed

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It’s not Robotech unless it’s got Minmei defeating the Zentraedi by singing at them.


I’m certain I watched this around when it came out, but I seem to have forgotten it almost entirely, possibly because I never watched any other Robotech media. Oh well.

That’s really a theme from the original Macross that happened to make the transition/translation to Robotech. Macross is actually a long-running franchise, with 23 different TV shows, movies, manga, etc. from 1982 to now with more planned in the future.

Pretty much all incarnations of Macross have music being a powerful means of connecting different lifeforms, no matter how alien. Also, every single Macross story has a love triangle as the core human drama. It’s kind of an established trope.

As for the other two series that were shoehorned with Macross to make Robotech, they’re definitely of an inferior quality: Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross is really quite bad, and Genesis Climber Mospeada is only so-so. Neither one has inspired any sequels, OVAs, movies, or manga. Though I will give Mospeada one thing: the robot/mecha designs are fantastic.


It’s mecha were as good as Southern Cross’ were bad*.

  • With the exception of the bike, which was pretty sweet.

Boy, did they ever leave us waiting. They were supposed to launch right into making the sequel, then the rights deal for a Robotech live-action movie opened up, and they decided to shelve it in favor of a live action movie that…still hasn’t been made, ten years later.

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When I became addicted to Robotech at around 13 years old, I actually thought to myself: “Yikes, I must be getting old to want to watch soapy cartoons…”.

I thought then - as I do now - that it would be cool if they used this as a display of polyamory instead of stereotypical either/or contests.

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I watched the subtitled version of Macross. It holds up pretty well and was mostly a faithful adaption. The jokes concerning Minmae’s songs were not translated. Her music was meant to be insipid and propagandistic by human standards.

Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross was awful in both languages. So bad that it was cancelled before it could finish its planned run. So the animators rushed through the last few episodes to tie up loose ends.

Haven’t got to Mospeda yet. Still lurching through the last few episodes of Southern Cross in no particular hurry.

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That cycle is also from Mospeada. The Souther Cross mecha were universally bad.

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Crappy tanks and somehow Max and Mira just left their kid behind?

My mistake. In my defense, my memories from decades ago were made decades ago.

To be fair, they rode on the outside of their tanks, so they weren’t all that bright.

As it is such a bad part of the story, and decades since I’ve watched it, I have a fuzzy recollection of the entire show being a battle against the Masters who just disappear as soon as the Invid arrive – or much like the Invid do as the Shadow Fuckers are coming, the Masters just bail?

I read something, once, about some story where the SDF3 gets yanked back in space time via the blackhole and they are all their own great grandparents.

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I will say that I’ve watched OVA Macross Plus countless times, but the movie version was not as good.

I actually rather liked the novels that were based on the Robotech series. They had a surprising amount of solid sci-fi worked into the background of parts that just get skimmed over in the cartoon. I think they still had the singing, though…


If you’re looking for Robotech to continue, there’s plenty of Macross to choose from that isn’t Robotech. See derioderio’s post for explanation. But you can do:

Macross Zero (remember the anti-unifaction stuff glossed over in ep1 of robo/mac? this is Roy’s story in it. Also seed of protoculture metastory)
Robotech/Macross (love triangle + music + war = aliens become our friends)
Macross: Do You Remember Love (movie of the original that is essentially considered an in-universe recap of the series, so there are ‘dramatic’ changes)
Flashback 2012 (earth realizes: hey let’s not keep humanity on just 1 planet. Minmay’s last Earth concert before she GTFO)
Macross Plus (Top gun at a variable fighter prototype testing center, till ur-Miku Hatsune decides to take over the universe)
Macross 7 (80s hair rock will save us all, but especially from space vampires? It’s like skipping the fountain pour and drinking the Macross syrup directly)
Macross 7 Dynamite (movie, we see your space whales star trek, and will add ahab and guess what? All solved by a rockin guitar solo)
Macross Frontier (oh crap, it’s 2008, can we get the relevancy train back on track? Reboot choo choooo, and now it’s Good Future-ish Macross)
Macross Frontier movies (2, amping up the Macross-y-ness but not in the unrestrained way of 7. Super good.)
Macross Delta (playing in Japan currently, humanities arguing over who has the cooler variable fighters and singers, super good)

Also, as of Plus, Yoko Kanno started doing the music. You may already know her music, but yeah she’s amazing and does the music for Frontier also.

There’s plenty to dig into out there.


I saw this ages ago, and hoped to see more… until friends pointed to me the convoluted reasons why we never got Macross and why Macross’s art style changed, and the whole ‘unseen’ in battletech and…

It just comes off as harmoney gold acting like a pile of dicks about the things they own the rights to like no global distribution of macross because ‘that would create confusion’ with robotech, them owning the models to the Unseen mech types or something, and…

I had the first novel, and liked it, and couldn’t find the rest. Now I kinda want to pick the set up because I grew p on robotech and liked how the book did a lot of explaining on this and that which the show really didn’t/couldn’t explain without bogging things down.

Y’know, that’d be kinda neat. Typically the trinagle components are friends and know about eachother so why not adult conversation and hashing things out so it’s ‘odd, but reasonably worked through.’ Then again 'love = marrige which … hooboy can of worms. ABORGT! ABORT! PULL UP!

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Part of the problem with no new Macross TV series coming out is the protracted legal messes surrounding ownership of Macross that took place in Japan. The owners of the original Macross TV series were foolish enough to (apparently) sell Harmony Gold the global outside-of-Japan rights to that TV series in perpetuity, never imagining that it could possibly appeal to anyone outside of Japan. There seems to be some dispute over whether those rights cover derivative properties, but with Harmony Gold sitting dog-like in the manger, no one wants to take the risk to find out, meaning Harmony Gold is apparently the only company who could bring that stuff out in the West without getting sued—but Big West, the owner of Macross in Japan, isn’t interested in working with Harmony Gold due to bad blood that arose during the Japanese legal squabbles over the property.

If you’re interested in more information on the FASA/Harmony Gold squabbles, there’s more info in this blog post I wrote a few years ago. That had to do with a messy dispute between FASA (owner of BattleTech) and Playmates (which subsequently came out with the ExoSquad mecha combat setting) that started when FASA gave a BattleTech demo to Playmates in the hopes of selling them on a BattleTech toy line—and Playmates subsequently and fairly blatantly based some ExoSquad designs on stuff FASA demonstrated.

At the time, Harmony Gold had licensed some old Robotech toys to Playmates to rerelease as part of its ExoSquad line—so in the interest of the same sort of mutually-assured destruction that causes companies to build patent portfolios, Playmates dragged Harmony Gold into the fray with a lawsuit against FASA for using Macross mecha designs that it had licensed from a Japanese model manufacturer which didn’t actually have the right to license them.

It ended up with the judge deciding there wasn’t sufficient evidence to find Playmates liable for infringing the BattleTech designs, and the separate Harmony Gold/FASA suit was settled out of court with nondisclosure agreements.

By the way, if you’re looking for the Robotech novels, Amazon has 'em as e-books.


Curious! Also informative since I mean i vaguely knew the edges of these details, but at the same time. Wow.

Thank you for weighing in.

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Well, that’s plenty but you shone the historicity light on it and it’s maybe gone all cabbagey. Basra as Rick Springfield and Pat Benatar less focused on Detroit or something? No 7 shout-outs back between Nadesico, the Macross 7s and Deus Ex (get out your Pentium 5 emulators!?) No nVidia story? I have to dig (2013 BluRay crates) in CrunchyRoll for Macross Frontier OAVs (1-3)?

Delta seems to be faring okay as current set stuff! But then Finding Dory seemed like Awakenings with only one disability, a nicely fat fist of plot coupons, solidarity salted in by front loader; and it’s in week 3…

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