While anime purists might turn up their noses at its copycat nature, for many young kids in the 80’s, both locally and abroad, Robotech was their very first exposure to Japanese anime and will always occupy a special place in the memories. Plus, DAT THEME SONG! Produced by the late Carl Macek (who passed away in 2010) for Harmony Gold, what we as kids knew as the 3 original seasons of Robotech was actually the edited together footage and plot-lines from 3 separate anime series: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber MOSPEADA.
But we were kids and all we cared about were the badass transforming Veritech Fighters, the heroes like Rick Hunter and Scott Bernard, those super cool swarming missile attacks and the giant Zentradi aliens with their weird looking spaceships (Not Min-Mei though. Nobody cared about Min-Mei). And that popularity saw the show become a massive success in the West, where it spawned several spinoffs, novels, comics, toys and even really tasty chips. The franchise last saw a proper entry in 2006 with the animated movie Robotech: Shadow Chronicles though, with a new series, Robotech 3000, previously being cancelled, a follow-up animated movie being indefinitely delayed and a live-action feature film adaptation being produced by Toby “Spider-Man” Maguire being in development for ages now already – although it finally saw some movement recently when it found a director.
But now Harmony Gold are looking to revive the franchise’s animated roots again, and want you to be a part of it. They’ve unveiled the Kickstarter campaign for Robotech: Academy, a planned new series based off of Macek’s future vision for the franchise, which will follow the children of the original cast on a new adventure, but also finally address the mystery of The Sentinels (which would have happened in a second series in 1987 but which was unfortunately cancelled).
Harmony Gold are looking to raise $500 000, which will enable them to produce a 24-minute pilot episode with all the 3D modelling bells and whistles, which – if well received – will set them up for a whole new series. The kicker (pardon the pun) is that, as one of the rewards, backers of the Kickstarter campaign can actually end up being literally in the new show.
Even before this Kickstarter got off the ground though, Harmony Gold had already turned to the fans, as alongside Tommy Yune and Ford Riley, the respective director and writer of Robotech: Shadow Chronicles, as well as host of industry veterans, they’ve also brought in members of Creavision, the the team behind the really cool Argentinian fan film Robotech Valkyrie Project.
At the time of writing, the Kickstarter had achieved just shy of $50 000 of its intended goal, and as a massive Robotech fanboy I’m definitely going to add my paltry contribution (damn this exchange rate!) to try and make this a success. Who knows, maybe I win the Lotto and next thing you know, my face is on the show. I mean, I already look and sound like a Zentradi.
Last Updated: July 7, 2014