The Inbit of Genesis Climber Mospeada
The Inbit (called Invid in the Robotech version of the story) came from a distant star and have been wandering the cosmos seeking to perfect their evolution. The first episode of Genesis Climber Mospeada implied there are multiple groups of Inbit spread out through the universe. The Inbit search for life-giving worlds and then land on them to study their animal life. After the Inbit have studied and experimented on the life forms they find, they change their bodies with the knowledge they have gained. Once they are satisfied they’ve learned all they can from the planet they move on in search of another one.
The Inbit have a hive-like social structure and similarities can be drawn between them and other creatures that form hives like ants and bees. The soldiers seen in much of the show are nearly mindless beings that obey every order of their leader, Refless. Refless is an advanced being with great intelligence and power who leads all Inbit on the planet from Reflex Point.
Because of their hive-like society, the Inbit are not used to dealing with other sentient races. When the Inbit invaded Earth there were no attempts at communication. The Inbit struck quickly and reduced the cities and human population considerably. Once they settled in they ignored humans. They considered them inferior beings and saw no reason to attack their off-world colonies. They attempted no commerce or communication with the conquered humans. Inbit patrols attacked humans using military vehicles or any weapons large enough to threaten Inbit safety. The result of this policy was the Inbit remained very mysterious to the human survivors. The only real interest they took in humans was biological study and the soldier hunts.
Inbit Hives and Structures
The first two invasion fleets, though thoroughly vanquished, left surviving soldiers behind. Refless was concerned that these soldiers might cause trouble for the Inbit hives that dotted the landscape so resources were devoted to hunting them down. The very rare and limited communication that occured between Inbit and humans was to set traps in some towns for soldiers. The townspeople would agree to lure soldiers into vulnerable positions in exchange for not being annihilated by the Inbit.
As advanced as their mechanical knowledge seems to be to humans, it is their biological knowledge that is their true focus. The Inbit use their bio-technology to create soldiers and servants that are living reproductions of earlier stages of Inbit evolution. The soldiers are inserted into mechanical bodies that fuse with them and become their permanent bodies. Only the Refless can safely remove an Inbit soldier from its mechanical body and place it in another. Because the Inbit focus so keenly on biology their mechanical technology appears to progress slowly. Although new mechanical bodies are created during their occupation of Earth, the humans advanced their technology more quickly and were able to attain an equal level or better for their combat machines by the end of the show.
By the end of Mospeada an interesting twist occurs. The Inbit decide that humans are the highest life form on Earth. To continue their program of higher evolution Refless starts raising Inbit servants up by granting them human bodies. They appear human in every way except the color of their blood. What Refless didn’t fully understand was that along with the human body comes the human mind. The new human-form Inbit were subjected for the first time to human emotions and individuality. Individuals like Sorji and Aisha started questioning Refless’ decisions while others, like Battra, developed obsessions. This would probably have caused a major upset in Inbit society but by the time Refless was starting to notice it the third invasion fleet had forced the Inbit to leave Earth. Many human-form Inbit remain behind when the Inbit depart for another planet. They integrate into human society. Whether or not they have an easy time is not known.
Kakinuma on The Inbit
In a 2007 issue of Hobby Japan Magazine Kakinuma Hideki, the creator of the Inbit, discussed them and shared a new illustration. His piece was titled "The Evolving Menace, Inbit". His words follow.
As the sponsers placed no specific requests for the Inbit, I was able to design them as I wished. To keep the viewers from being repulsed by the heroes’ (ride-armors) wanton destruction and murder of them, they were given bug-shaped powered armor; the original plan was for these to be the Inbit themselves. As the show progressed, or as the heroes approached the enemy home base, the enemy would advance from primeval many-legged creatures to humanoid shapes; at least that much of the original setting survived...
Originally, the Inbit didn’t have physical forms, but were shapeless lifeforms who came to Earth, experienced its evolution, and then went back to space... was what I wanted to use; rather than not using it, it’s more like the show ended before it came up. Humans may be young as a species, but exist at the height of evolution.
Make the designs easier to draw, fewer details, fewer details... is how they kept directing me. From the sixteen types I’d thought of, in the end we brought it down to four or five.
Evolution vs. Development
True science-fiction fans and biology students alike will probably object to the use of the word "evolution" in Mospeada. In the translated interviews and design notes the word is greatly overused. At some point in their history the Inbit decided to direct their own evolution. After that time what can accurately be called "evolution" ceased for them and they began directing their own biological development. It would be interesting to learn what values and assumptions underlie the Inbit’s notion of "higher life forms" but the show didn’t have time to get into it. If a remake is ever made for Mospeada it would be a shame to leave this aspect of the Inbit out.