The re-emergence of Robotech continues.
IndieWire reports the series will stream on Funimation in the Fall. The move is part of a realigning of Robotech‘s fortunes following the surprise announcement in April that the decades-long legal battle between the property’s US owner, Harmony Gold, and various Japanese firms had come to an end.
The recap: Robotech, as it aired in 1985, is an amalgamation of the legendary anime series Super Dimension Fortress Macross and two less successful series, Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada. The fusion was made to bring Macross‘s thirty-six episode run up to eighty-five episodes, a more appealing number for local television stations looking to buy the syndicated program. But because of legal vagaries, Harmony Gold always maintained it had exclusive license to any and all Macross products released in the US. Fans of Marcoss Frontier, for example, have never enjoyed an official North American release of the series because of the dispute between it and Big West, the firm (mostly) holding all the cards to subsequent Macross series.
We imagine those issues became an impediment to Harmony Gold’s ultimate aim: a Sony-produced Robotech film. And, perhaps at Sony’s behest, Harmony Gold and Big West agreed to cooperate with one another’s Robotech and Macross plans. Now, the first part of that plan is a new streaming home for Robotech — although it is available for purchase on Amazon. And, as IndieWire also reports, a Blu-ray edition of the remastered series is already available for pre-order on Funimation’s website.
For someone like me, who was there when the series first aired, this is sort of exciting. A new source of Protoculture has been found and it feels like Robotech will come to life again. At the same time, though, I’m more interested to see some official releases of more recent Macross series as the real proof that Harmony Gold, Big West, and Sony are invested in making all of this work.