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This is the series I like to think of as the father of the giant robot genre. It was released in the US in the early 1980’s. the art was ground breaking for it’s time. It is also known as Macross. It is a must watch for any anime fan.
Season one, also known as the Macross Saga begins with a large alien battle fortress crashing to earth with no living beings aboard. It was operated by a race of giants we later find out are called the Zentradi. The Earth comes together to study this ship and develop many new technologies with what they learn. They attempt to rebuild the ship but lacking the original plans, turn it into a hybrid ship. Half alien, half human. Many years after the ship crashed, the aliens coming looking for it. To save the earth from an invasion they use the ships hyper dimensional space fold capabilities, which had just been repaired and never tested, to randomly teleport them to a far-off area of space. When they arrive, they discover that the space fold engine has disappeared. The aliens are looking for the ship because it contains technology that they also want, such as the space fold engine. They leave earth in pursuit of the ship.
The crew aboard the ship, 2 aircraft carriers, and survivors from the nearby town that also got teleported with the main ship in the dimensional bubble, band together and try to stay a step ahead of the aliens as they plot a course back to earth.
One of the key new technologies they created was a transformable fighter plane. This is key to fighting the aliens since they are all giants compared to us. The alien technology also allows then to operate in space.
The story focuses on a young stunt pilot, that just happened to be doing an air show, when the attack occurs. His name is Rick Hunter.
Season 2, known as The Masters, takes place back on earth. Several years have passed since the battle fortress disappeared. The earth has been preparing for a war against the aliens in the event they return. Enter 2nd Lt Dana Sterling. She is the commander of the 15th Alpha Tactical Armored Corps (ATAC). This is one of the many units that have been formed to defend the earth. Their primary vehicles are a transformable tank. Which they use to defend the earth when the expected invasion finally arrives.
Season 3, known as The New Generation, begins many years past The Masters. We have lost the war on earth and the aliens have taken over. Humans now live on Mars in a secret base where we are planning our counterattack to retake the earth. With a plan of taking out the sole terraforming machine they strike out with a clear majority of their forces to battle for the planet. Unfortunately, they again lose, but a few people survive and crash to earth. One of these survivors is Scott Bernard. On earth, without his fighter, he takes what weapons he has left and goes to try and destroy the terraforming machine on his own. Along the way he finds people that remained on earth after the aliens took over and together form a band of rebels and destroy the machine.
All 3 seasons had a total of 85 episodes. There were multiple spin-off series, a few animated movies and even talk of a live action movie.