The Zentradi are a fictional militaristic extraterrestrial race of giants and often the main antagonist in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime series and Robotech adaptation. It is transliterated as Zentradi, Zjentohlauedy, and Zentraedi for the Japanese Macross series, with the Zentraedi spelling being the one most used commonly in the Robotech adaptation. In both the Macross and Robotech universes, humans and Zentradi are capable of interbreeding due to being genetically equivalent.
The Zentradi were created as a space-bound 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.
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 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 (2009-2010).
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 no Zentradi were trained in the repair and maintenance of their equipment, making them dependent on easily controlled supply stations and factory asteroids. The Zentradi were also segregated so that males and females could not mix, which might lead to love and/or natural procreation. Male Zentradi are also called "Zentran", which means "male" in the Zentradi language. Also, Female Zentradi are called Meltrandi, the word "Meltran" meaning "female" as well. Finally, the Zentradi were forbidden culture, 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.
The downfall of the Zentradi nomadic warrior civilization came in Space War I, where the technologically inferior but cultural 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 1000-2000 fleets of sizes similar to the 4.8-million-ship Boddole Zer Main Fleet in Space War I. However, the UN government of allied Humans and Zentradi became the reigning hegemony in near-Earth galactic space.
Some of them use their miniaturizing cloning technology known as the miclonization process (maikuro-n ka in Japanese) to coexist with humanity. Many intregrated into each other's population where many families became a mix of Human and Zentradi individuals.
During the latest Macross TV series, Macross Frontier, Zentradi are shown to live also in macronized (giant) form among humans and micronized Zentradi in the outer space colonies. They also seem to change sizes at will using the cloning technology described before.
Notable Zentradi-Human Hybrids:
The history of the Zentraedi is different in Robotech. In Robotech, the Zentraedi were created as slave clones to the Robotech Masters, to be the perfect warriors. The function of the Zentraedi within the Masters' empire was to subjugate worlds for the Masters, and to battle the Masters' enemies, most notably the Invid.
To control them, the Robotech Masters psychologically impaired them by orienting nearly the entire population to the sole purpose of war to the exclusion of all else. They had no arts, no learning beyond what was directly related to war; even sophisticated medical and technical skills were denied which restricted any advanced task with these skills to the automatic functions at special bases built by the Masters. In addition, the sexes were strictly segregated to minimize the chance of sexual reproduction which could profoundly alter the worldview of the race. To that end, the population was indoctrinated to view any sexual activity disgusting and dangerous.
A Zentraedi fleet under the command of Breetai arrive at Earth in 2009 in search of a battlefortress containing the last remaining supply of Protoculture in the universe. The First Robotech War ensues as they attempt to capture the battlefortress (now known as the SDF-1).
The Zentraedi under Breetai discovered their tragic origins in 2013 (one year before the destruction of the SDF-1 and the death of Khyron) and swore enmity to their former masters; Zentraedi soldiers and spacers formed a major portion of the fleet contingent of the Robotech Expeditionary Force.
By 2045, only handful of Zentraedi were known to still exist on Earth or in Expeditionary forces.
Notable Zentraedi-Human hybrids: