Bigwest and Harmony Gold Announce End to Macross Legal War; International Distribution Now Permitted


Bigwest and Harmony Gold have announced the end to their legal battles, and have permitted international distribution of the Macross series.

The 26-year long legal battle over the rights of the series has prevented international releases, and made it all the more sought after. While production conglomerate Bigwest owned Macross, Harmony Gold produced Robotech: The Macross Saga. The Robotech series was the American adaption of multiple Japanese mecha and sci-fi anime. The latter was granted by Tatsunoko.

Now the official Macross website has announced the two companies have come to an agreement. While Bigwest can now internationally distribute the Macross sequels and films, Harmony Gold continues to hold the rights to Robotech. Both will cooperate on the international distribution of both Macross and Robotech projects post 2021.

The agreement was signed March 1st, but announced April 9th. Bigwest will also “not oppose the Japanese release of an anticipated upcoming live-action Robotech film,” while Harmony Gold can continue their license with Tatsunoko to use 41 Macross characters and mecha in their shows and merchandise across the world outside of Japan.

Bigwest Representative Director, Kaya Onishi and Harmony Gold USA Chairman, Frank Agrama had high praise for the historic announcement, and thankful that the matter has been put to rest.

“Stories that feature Valkyries, a transformable realistic mecha, in action among the galaxies while diva’s sing in the background, as well as love triangles involving the pilots and singers. That was and continues to be the concept behind the Macross series, and I am happy that I can now help bring Macross to people all over the world on the 40th anniversary of the series. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Harmony Gold Chairman, Frank Agrama for his courageous decision in this matter.” – Bigwest Representative Director, Kaya Onishi

“This is an incomparably historic moment for both Harmony Gold and Bigwest and the anime industry overall. This is also an exciting moment for fans of Robotech and Macross worldwide. I thank my friend, Bigwest Representative Director, Kaya Onishi for her hard work to help us reach this long desired resolution that protects both of our franchises while building a better tomorrow for both our companies.” – Harmony Gold USA Chairman, Frank Agrama

The Macross series begins in (what was originally) the distant year of 1999, when a titanic alien ship crashes to Earth. Reverse engineering by U.N. Spacy results in Earth’s own spaceship; the titular Super Dimension Fortress Macross.

However, the alien race of the Zentradi recognize the ship of that of their former enemies, and war breaks out between them and Earth. The ensuing battle sees Macross use its experimental Fold System to escape, but ends up taking them to the edge of the solar system.

The plot usually focuses on Hikaru Ichijyo, the pilot of the transforming VF-1S Valkyrie. Not just caught up in the Zentradi war, he is also torn between feelings for childhood friend Lynn Minmay, and Misa Hayase.  As Macross fights its way home, the Zentradi learn more of the connection they may hold to the human race thanks to Ichijyo’s feelings.

Image: MyAnimeList

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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