The Zentradi (ゼントラーディ人 Zentorādi-jin, lit. Zentradi People) (sometimes spelled "Zentraedi"), referred to as Zentran are a species and faction of giant humanoid warriors introduced in the Super Dimension Fortress Macross television series and The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? movie where they were depicted as the main antagonists.
Female Zentradi are known as Meltrandi.
497, 500 B.P.
The Zentradi were created as a space-faring race of giant humanoid proxy warriors by the first civilization in the galaxy, the Protoculture, 497,500 years ago. They contributed greatly to the expansion of the Protoculture Civilization's sphere of influence and the creation of a Protoculture Stellar Republic that controlled most of our galaxy.
Space War I
As war broke out with The Supervision Army centuries later, the Zentradi entered into combat with their fearsomely powerful force of millions of space warships and mecha produced in thousands of huge automated factories scattered across the galaxy and legions of expendable giant clone troops. After the end of the war with the Supervision Army, the Zentradi fleets travelled the galaxy in search of Supervision Army survivors until they encountered the human race, an event that caused Space War I.
The downfall of the Zentradi nomadic warrior civilization came during this conflict, when the technologically inferior but culturally and spiritually superior "Miclones" (humans) were able to reach the buried emotions of the Zentradi through terrestrial culture and humane actions, especially music and acts of love and kindness.
After 2012, the Zentradi are estimated to have thousands of fleets of size similar to the 4.8-million-ship Boddole Zer Main Fleet in Space War I. because of this the United Nations Government of allied Humans and Zentradi became the reigning hegemony in near-Earth galactic space
Zentradi and humans maintain their co-existence.
There was a Zentradi rebellion on Galia 4.
All pure-blooded Zentradi are colossal giant clones roughly 10 meters (33 feet) in height.
Their appearances are similar to that of humans except they have a wider variety of hair and skin colors (e.g green and violet). Some Zentradi also go through artificial physical modifications in life such as enlarged brains or even become cyborgs.
Commander-type Zentradi are even bigger and some have enhancements that make them physically more powerful and able to survive being exposed to the vacuum of space for limited periods of time.
These modifications make Commander Zentradi able to endure hand-to-hand combat against human machines like variable fighters or destroids, unlike regular Zentradi, who are weaker than Earth mecha.
The alien giants can also be reduced to human size by an advanced and sophisticated bio-engineering process called "miclonization". However, some Zentradi individuals with certain genetic anomalies can take on childlike physical traits when micloned -as what usually happens to Zentradi female pilot Klan Klang.
There are also times that when accidents happen, a Zentradi may permanently lose the ability to macronize or miclonize. The only known case however is that of Ernest Johnson, who is half-human. There are no records of similar accidents occurring among pure Zentradi.
Every aspect in the Zentradi culture and lifestyle is fanatically devoted to warfare. Every individual among both Zentran and Meltran sides exists for the sole purpose of serving in military operations of all ranks, leaving little room for any other role in life.
In order to better maintain control of the Zentradi, the Protoculture trained them only in the limited mix of skills which were necessary for the soldier's particular role in the Zentradi military. It seems that only a few Zentradi were trained in the repair and maintenance of their equipment, and it was limited making them dependent on easily controlled supply stations and factory asteroids.
The Zentradi were forbidden culture by their creators, and were instilled with orders to never interfere with culture-bearing planets and civilizations, again apparently to suppress independent thought and keep an iron loyalty in all the Zentradi forces.
Zentran is their word for male and Meltran is their word for female. The term "Zentradi" would be analogous to how "mankind" is a synonym for "humanity". They also use the word "Meltran" for females of the human species
"Miclone" is a Zentradi word often associated with humanoids similar in size to Earth human beings.
A very common expression among them to indicate surprise, joy or disgust is the word "Deculture", which can be heard uttered by many different Zentradi characters in several Macross series.
For millennia, both the Zentradi and their female counterparts were segregated, leading natural reproduction (the copulation between a male and female) to being impossible. To counter this, both sides were created via artificial means, specifically cloning. Automated outer space cloning facilities serve to produce millions more of these expendable giant alien soldiers.
During the initial days of human-contact, members of the race were horrified and induced into a paralyzing culture-shock upon witnessing earthling males and females showing physical affection (i.e kissing), deeming it a perversion.
Despite this, they are biologically similar with humans and are capable of producing hybrids. Ever since the end of the first space war, many Zentradi have swayed away from their society's strictly-imposed practice in favor of being micloned to live among the humans and interbreed among them as an attempt to strengthen peace. Notable examples include human Maximilian Jenius and his micloned Meltlandi wife Milia Fallyna Jenius.
Notes & Trivia
- The creators of Macross originally gave the Zentradi characters very strange names with unusual romanizations to befit their alien nature. All the Zentradi characters and their unique looking uniforms were designed by Haruhiko Mikimoto.
- All the Zentradi spaceships and most of their mecha were developed by Kazutaka Miyatake, while the Regult Battle Pods and the Glaug were designed by Shōji Kawamori.
- The Zentradi alphabet was created by Kazutaka Miyatake for both the first anime TV series and its film adaptation (in a slightly redesigned form).