After decades of conflict, we’re finally getting official versions of Macross in the West


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Illustration from article titled After Decades of Conflict We Finally Get Official Versions of Macross in the West

Image: Macross Zero

Macross is one of the most beautiful and influential anime of all time, but for over 20 years the international cast of the last installments of the series – essentially everything that has been done after 1995from Macross Plus– was taken hostage by a bitter legal fight between several companies.

We wrote an explainer on all the mess in 2013 if you want to make up for it in detail, but the version tl; dr is where the American company Harmony Gold licensed the original Macross in the early 1980s for a western version (as part of the series of collections Robotech), they thought they would get the international rights to each Macross series that would never be released thereafter, which sparked various legal battles between them and Tatsunoko Productions, Studio Nue, and the Big West advertising company, who argued they weren’t at all.

These battles have raged ever since, and are the reason why no Macross series of the last 20 years, including Macross Zero—Have seen an official international release before.

So far! Harmony Gold and Big West just announced today that they’ve finally made peace, posting a statement on the official Macross website that reads (emphasis mine):

Based in Tokyo, BIGWEST CO., LTD. and Los Angeles-based Harmony Gold USA announced an agreement regarding the global rights to the legendary Macross and Robotech franchises. This expansive agreement signed by the two companies on March 1, 2021, ends two decades of disagreements and will allow Bigwest and Harmony Gold to chart a new course that will unlock the great potential of Macross and Robotech franchises around the world. The historic agreement immediately allows for the global distribution of most Macross films and television series around the world., and also confirms that Bigwest will not oppose the Japanese release of an upcoming Robotech live-action film. The agreement also recognizes Harmony Gold’s long-standing exclusive license with Tatsunoko for the use of all 41 Macross characters and mechs from the Robotech TV series and associated merchandise worldwide, except for Japan. In the future, the two parties will cooperate on the distribution of future Macross and Robotech projects for the benefit of the two franchises.

G / O Media can get a commission

This rules.

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