Robotech was a cartoon series released in the West produced by Harmony Gold that took the stories of three completely different Japanese Tatsunoko produced anime and stitched them together to form a single storyline. The 1985 show (sort of) introduced many western audiences to the three shows (The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada; plus Megazone 23 for the “movie”). Over the years the property released a few things using the existing designs, adding some new characters, but not very much original to the universe. As western fans grew more savvy about the anime Robotech was based on, frustration set in that new Macross content being produced in Japan were not legally available to fans in the West because of the deal between the different license holders.
In recent years, details of the agreement between Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko came to light, with a date that the deal would expire: March 14, 2021. Fans of Macross were looking forward to that date, thinking that things might change for Macross series released during the years since Macross Plus, such as Macross 7, Macross Frontier, and the most recent series, Macross Delta.
However, the Robotech panel at Anime Expo brought news to Macross fans that would cause their dreams to crash and burn faster than Kakizaki in a Valkyrie. It seems that Robotech will be able to exploit the Macross (and Southern Cross and Mospeada) properties past 2021:
HOLLYWOOD, CA, July 5 – Harmony Gold USA, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Japanese anime studio, Tatsunoko Productions, Co., to extend the worldwide, co-copyright ownership and exclusive management, excluding Japan, for its landmark anime series Robotech (including Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada). This agreement was achieved after a lengthy negotiation and allows Harmony Gold to continue to exploit the animated Robotech franchise well into the future.
So it looks like the Titan Robotech comics can go along without worry, and the Sony can proceed with the live-action movie. No ending date for the agreement was specified, so it could be a long time, which really sucks for fans interested in recent entries of Macross franchise in Japan.
There are many an invective this Macross fan is mumbling under his breath… screw you Harmony Gold, you too Tatsunoko, and Sony, you aren’t out of this either…