In the current series rights holder’s latest showing of love to international fans of the iconic mecha series, BIGWEST CO. LTD is teaming with Udon Entertainment to publish the very first officially licensed Macross art book available outside of Japan.
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The first in a series of planned art books collecting long-time series mechanical designer Hidetaka Tenjin’s various Macross related work, Hidetaka Tenjin’s Artistry of Macross: From Flashback 2012 to Macross Frontier will kick things off by gathering the artist’s “illustrations from the eras of Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flash Back 2012, Super Dimension Fortress Macross II, Macross Plus, Macross 7, Macross Zero, and the Macross Frontier TV series.”
“I’ve been involved with MACROSS in a professional capacity for over two decades now, but I originally started off as a fan myself, so the prospect of bringing my art to a new international audience is something I’m extremely excited about,” Tenjin said regarding the art book’s publication.
“Hidetaka Tenjin’s Artistry of Macross not only marks my first published work outside of Japan, it’s also the first art book to be released in North America bearing the MACROSS name,” he noted. “While I’m more than a little nervous at the prospect, I hope that people enjoy it and that it helps to introduce them to the world of MACROSS.”
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BIGWEST CO. LTD. CEO Kaya Onishi added, “It’s been 40 years since Super Dimension Fortress MACROSS first hit the airwaves and today many of those that grew up watching it are involved with the franchise.”
“Hidetaka Tenjin was one of the earliest fans to follow this path,” she explained. “He’s been involved in aspects ranging from the creation of anime key visuals to box art for MACROSS products and, in the case of the most recent entry in the franchise, MACROSS Delta, even oversaw the color designs of the various Valkyries.”
She then offered fans an optimistic outlook towards the future, asserting, “As the first official MACROSS publication to be released outside of Japan, I am certain that Hidetaka Tenjin’s Artistry of Macross will similarly inspire a new generation of MACROSS creators.”
Offering himself as an example of one such artist alluded to by Onishi, UDON Entertainment Chief Erik Ko recalled, “MACROSS was a very big influence on me growing up. The transforming mechs, the engaging story, the beloved characters, and especially the songs are all so unique and inspiring!”
“Being able to work with BIGWEST and Tenjin-sensei is a dream come true,” he further exclaimed. “I am deeply honored to be the first overseas publishing licensee, and looking forward to working with Tenjin and BIGWEST on more projects to come!”
Though a variety of complicated rights issues kept the original Robotech source material from making its way overseas in any sort of comprehensive form, on April 9th, 2022, BIGWEST CO. LTD. and Harmony Gold released a joint statement announcing that they had reached a “landmark agreement immediately [that] permits worldwide distribution of most of the Macross films and television sequels worldwide, and also confirms that Big West will not oppose the Japanese release of an anticipated upcoming live-action Robotech film.”
“The agreement also recognizes Harmony Gold’s longstanding exclusive license with Tatsunoko for the use of the 41 Macross characters and mecha in the Robotech television series and related merchandise throughout the world excluding Japan,” the companies stated. “Moving forward, both parties will cooperate on distribution regarding future Macross and Robotech projects for the benefit of both franchises.”
Set to see a wide release on October 18th and currently up for pre-order on Amazon, in celebration of Tenjin’s upcoming appearance at the convention as a featured guest, copies from a limited preview run will be available at Udon’s booth at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
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