See that pic above? The accompanying dialogue has the soldier asking, “how old are you?” The little girl answers, “two.” Then… they’re vaporized onscreen. That’s just how “Robotech” rolled. It was one of the few cartoons I watched religiously and it was unrelenting in who it would kill off, sort of like “Game Of Thrones” for 5th graders.
Thinking back on the series I’m impressed with what it got away with. Human on alien sex and the resultant offspring (the Zentraedi aliens from the first 3rd of the series were humanoid – they just needed to be shrunken down a bit – but still), the death of key protagonists. Murder. Betrayal. Oh, and the destruction of almost the entire human race (only 70,000 survivors). And that’s just in the first third of the series!!!
“Robotech” was originally aired in Japan as three separate series, then it was re-edited and dubbed into one 85 episode syndicated US run. The first season “Macross Saga” ran 36 episodes. The second season “The Masters” ran for 24 episodes while the third (and my favorite) “The New Generation” had 25 installments. All of them got pretty dark, I think “The Masters” – which begins during the rebuilding of an already devastated Earth – ends with every single hero dying, paving the way for “The New Generation.”
While I like the different seasons to varying degrees, this video is sort of Robotech’s “Red Wedding” moment. You knew the show was daring for a Saturday Morning Cartoon, but after this… all bets were off! The animation is pretty jerky actually, but I love the characters and it’s one of those series that will invest you so deeply in its characters you can easily forgive its shortcomings.
I recommend watching the longer version up top, it builds the stakes more. If you don’t have time, watch the edit.