Films and series in the Macross franchise are set to be officially released worldwide for the first time, resolving decades of legal wrangling. Harmony Gold USA and Japan’s Big West, two companies at the center of the long-running dispute, have struck a groundbreaking deal that few fans saw coming.
The saga began in the 1980s, when Harmony Gold licensed three independent but visually similar anime series from animation studio Tatsunoko Productions: Super Dimension Fortress Macross (1982), Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (1984), and Genesis Climber Mospeada (1983–84). The American company rewrote and repackaged them into a new series, Robotech (1985), which spawned a successful franchise.
Meanwhile, the 1982 Macross series also generated many popular sequels and spin-offs in Japan. With time, a conflict emerged between Harmony Gold, Tatsunoko, and two other companies involved in the production of the 1982 series: Studio Nue and advertising agency Big West.