Macross: Do You Remember Love? Minmay the Ambassador & Other Propaganda

macross dyrl lynn minmay on stage

Happy Armstice Day! Today Macross fans share a celebration of peace to go along with the more solemn remembrance of love for the dead related to the World Trade Center crashes a decade ago, which then became the impetus for a new war. As part of this celebration I perform my annual rewatch of Macross: Do You Remember Love? the show that actually mentioned September 11th as the date an armstice was reached between the Zentreadi and the Miclones. I have now seen this film 11 times, at least 5 times the past 3 years.

In this post I will examine this film as a propaganda piece for the UN SPACY Earth-Zentran government, and some of its key variation with the more extensive TV series which prove to be far more critical of the UN SPACY’s involvement in the Great Space War. It begins with Lynn Minmay.

In the account provided in the TV Series, it was the Zentraedi who took the initiative to find out more about the humans, from surveillance, to kidnapping, to inserting spies, and ultimately by sending Exsedol Folmo as ambassador to the Macross (some records say that the treaty was signed in February 11, 2009). This is a very sympathetic view of the Zentraedi without ignoring or whitewashing the notion that they are a race genetically manipulated for warfare.

In the propaganda film DYRL there is ample interest and investigation of the Miclones by the Zentraedi, entirely fueled by both curiosity and dread towards the Protoculture. There was no envoy sent to the SDF-1. Rather, it was the continued incarceration (post-abduction) of Minmay that allowed her to act as the envoy of Earth towards the Zentrans. By the time she is returned to the Macross, Global already announced the Armstice.

Did Minmay tame the Zentraedi while she was there? With Bodolle Zer too?

If Britai and Exsedol shared the melody for “Ai oboete imasu ka?” to Minmay, did she not perform songs for them while she was there? After all, she did a recording of the melody that was broadcast during the Armstice announcement. Minmay wasn’t rescued, she was returned. In  the TV series account, the only time Minmay was abducted, the damage she did to the Zentraedi was complete. It was Kamujin’s work in a straight kidnap-for-ransom operation.

Why is this important? It’s because the final decisive battle is very important.

In DYRL, the Armstice was signed after Bodolle Zer (presumably) destroyed almost all the Earth’s surface. Also, the Armstice was signed (presumably) without Bodolle Zer’s knowledge or, he didn’t really care much about Britai making this peace. Why? It’s because the Armstice was precisely with the 425th Bodolle Fleet – Britai had not broken from Bodolle Zer at this point.

Britai represented Bodolle Zer’s own interests at this point, the Earth didn’t pose much of a threat having been reduced to ruin, with the Macross itself heavily damaged and its main gun no longer operational. All of this happened off-screen which reduces me to speculation. I don’t even know how to begin the casting of the Meltrandi as the primary enemy of the Zentradi.

macross dyrl exsedol folmo brita krdanik

Exsedol confirmed with Britai that they were forbidden to watch any broadcasts until after the “operation.” This makes me think that Bodolle Zer instructed him to go ahead with the Armstice only to betray the humans. But…

“I also, would like to try becoming a Miclone” – Vrlithwai (Britai)

“That was a joke… Mimay of the Protoculture taught me. Evidently it means ‘I am not serious’.”

“Deculture.” – Exsedol

LOL this is where it gets problematic. Why would Bodolle Zer have to resort to this kind of duplicity? For one, he isn’t a wily human used to statecraft. This should at least explain the clumsiness of it all. But on the other hand, there’s really no need whatsoever to further indulge this since the Earth is practically annihilated, unless they are trying to find a weapon they can use against the Meltrandi. Bodolle Zer later confirms:

The Armstice was signed to develop Minmay’s song as a means to make the Meltrandi surrender.

But then Laplamiz shows up, apparently to take on what seems to be a vastly numerically superior force of the Bodolle fleets. Bodolle Zer assesses that the song won’t be finished on time, and then decides to just fuck everyone. Shoots his ultimate death ray, taking out Laplamiz and tens of thousands of his own ships.

macross dyrl millya fallnya max jenius

(Meanwhile, MAX JENIUS HAS TOTALLY DEFECTED TO THE MELTRANS AND HAS UNDERGONE MACRONIZATION TO PILOT A BLUE QUAEDLUN-RAU WITH MILLYA, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT MAX? SERIOUSLY)

When Minmay starts singing, Britai and Exsedol started feeling that Culture was really, really, REALLY important and that this song represents the hope that they as a race can reacquire it. Thus, they throw themselves behind the Macross, an instantaneous mutiny/defection of the 67th Glruimal branch Adoclass Fleet. Britai promises to protect the Macross and pave the way to attack Bodolle Zer’s capital ship.

“To all listening to Minmay’s song, we but have one enemy. Defeat Golg Bodolle Zer… and restore Culture to our race.”

There was no real tactics, none. Bodolle Zer just got surprised by the sudden mutiny, add to this the chaos caused by him fragging his own front line, and suddenly the Macross is punching a hole in Bodolle Zer’s ship and that’s pretty much all she wrote.

This is all very important, especially when reading DYRL as a UN SPACY propaganda film. the Zentraedi defected at the last minute for the express purpose of protecting culture. The effect of Minmay’s song is to inspire this longing for culture. Britai and Exsedol later reflect on the  power of one song to have done all this.

Contrast this with the TV Series. The effect of Minmay’s singing, is the precise weapon used against Bodolle Zer’s grand fleet. Laplamiz and Britai were forced to fight alongside each other because Bodolle Zer considered all of them contaminated by Culture and therefore must be annihilated. Minmay singing her discography sent Zentraedi into culture shock! Those who haven’t heard it before literally went into a form of shock, rendering them incapacitated for battle.

Why omit this, as a propagandist? Was it a mere concession to Minmay? To hear her is to love her? No shock involved, only awe? Certainly, Britai comes off perhaps better here. He really saved the day, and for a very PR-friendly reason. After all, Britai became the UN SPACY’s commander in 2015… but, the movie premiered no sooner than 2032! Britai wouldn’t have had a practical need for it. Some records show that the movie rekindled a Minmay boom, so maybe it really just was a Minmay tribute.

macross dyrl lynn minmay

After all, there could’ve been Zentraedi fanboys who struck it rich like Richard Bilrer did in Macross Frontier, and who knows what his involvement was in this enterprise. I think there is more than one truth, and the speculation for all of these truths remains an interesting activity for a fanboy like me.

Some records show, however, that in 2030 the second battle of Macross City occurred, the attack was made by armored Zentraedi. The succeeding legislation resulted in giant Zentraedi prohibited from Earth. Thus, it does make sense that DYRL is a propaganda piece. We just need to think for whom it was propaganda for?

It was for the Zentreadi, for lack of the actual Minmay (who disappeared with the Megaroad-01), they had to make ALL the Zentraedi uh, well, remember love.

The records I consulted may be found here, in the old compilation of often conflicting Macross histories (for reasons Kawamori)

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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27 Responses to Macross: Do You Remember Love? Minmay the Ambassador & Other Propaganda

  1. WhatSht says:

    “To all listening to Minmay’s song, we but have one enemy. Defeat Golg Bodolle Zer… and restore Culture to our race.”
    This line became
    “To all soldiers on the battlefield, the vajra are not our true enemies, Galaxy and Grace’O’Connor who took over control of the vajra queen, are our true enemies, All who have pride on your wings, advance with us”
    (around there? i didn’t trust the sub i got, coz it seems wrong)
    btw, the first picture of minmay looks like her clothes were battered.

  2. Matt Wells says:

    Hey man. Sorry I couldn’t contribute to this post, my Grandmother passed away two days ago. Wasn’t really up to it I’m afraid. That said, I’ve a new G mail account (Google Mail right?) so drop me a line any time you want. I should be recieving the DVD for DYRL? in the mail in a few weeks, so I should have something tangible to add to this post in time.

    • Reid says:

      Matt,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother’s passing. I hope you and your family are all right…no mean feat, I know. My mother’s father passed away a month ago and two weeks ago my other grandpa was diagnosed with cancer, so he’s soon to start chemotherapy. These things are all, unfortunately, a part of life that we have to get through. Though you and I have never met face-to-face, my heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family in this tough time. I’ll be keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers. In whatever way I can be, I’m here for you, man. Take care.

      • Matt Wells says:

        Thanks man, that really does mean a lot coming from you. My condolences for your own bereavement. Cancer is real dogshit of a disease, my Granny was too frail to withstand Chemo, so my best wishes to your Grandfather. The one blessing we had is that my Grandmother died quickly, without feeling much pain, and surrounded by her family. There’s not many people who enjoy a death that dignified, and the stuff you’re suffering through really puts my own into perspective. Take care yourself my friend. I got your back whenever you need me too.

      • Sorry to hear about these events in your family. Accept my good wishes, as meager they may be.

    • No worries. All my condolences to you and who you love.

  3. vendredi says:

    The metafictional status of the various Macross shows certainly provides an interesting topic of discussion here! It’s interesting how the various attempts to streamline the story still fit within a sort of propaganda framework; one wonders how much of that was intentional or simply a by-product of compressing the story into a movie format.

    Another interesting thing about DYRL that I noticed is that on the whole, the male Zentraedi seem to take on a much more monstrous appearance than in the TV version. Obviously the added wrinkles and the like are made possible by a bigger-budgeted movie version, but I wonder if again there are metafictional reasons or consequences for that…

    Also, I can’t really blame Max for wanting to defect to a race of beautiful space-faring Amazon giantesses. Certainly not the worst of options…

    • The meta-meta explanation is really: what works for the film, is what stays.

      But as I’m fond of removing the creators out of the discussion, I don’t really care about that. Thus it’s far more interesting to indulge Watsonian explorations (as opposed to Doyleian meta).

      What is interesting here is the depiction of Zentraedi — physically, since Exsedol appeared in subsequent installments using the DYRL design, we must consider that this is closer to ‘reality’ also considering the homages in Macross Frontier episode 12. As to why both Britai and Exsedol look so dramatically different from other Zentrans, I have no idea.

      The biggest problem really is: why are the Meltrans the main enemy? Whatever happened to the Supervision Army? Why this omission and how the hell would the Meltrans take this sitting down? I suppose Meltran and Zentran aren’t dating yet, because I can’t imagine any self-respecting Meltran to walk out of this film not wanting to put Macross City to the sword once again — which completely undermines the propaganda!

      • vendredi says:

        The movie admittedly felt to me that it made a bigger villain of Boddole Zer than the Meltrandi in particular; the vibe I got was that both the Zentrans and Meltrans were both equally trapped in an endless cycle of conflict without the capacity to understand each other.

        I haven’t seen Macross 7 where the originators of the Supervision Army are introduced; but one potential metafictional reason for their omission is simply information suppression. A newly victorious UN Spacy, having assimilated/survived the Zentraedi first contact, likely would not want to alarm their citizens at the prospect of yet *another* foreign and unknown foe.

        • vendredi says:

          Also, re: Exsedol and Britai’s physical appearance vs. other Zentraedi – perhaps they’re just really old, or augmented (either genetically or cybernetically)?

        • Agreed, though it remains puzzling how the Meltrans would be the main enemy of the Zentran. It makes little sense to me.

          The Supervision army was actually introduced in SDFM, not Macross 7, though the Protoculture as a civilization is explored more taking its cue from DYRL. The suppression theory of omission is worth considering.

  4. Bruno J. Global says:

    I see in DYRL the start of fine-tuning the Macross theme about music and culture and love being the be-all and end-all of the universe and not just a mere weapon to defeat the enemy. The culmination to this, the one who lives and breathes and sings this creed, is the person we know as Basara.

    • I disagree, because Basara isn’t so much about music and culture and love. Dude just wants you to listen to his song. Those other things… too complex! Piloting a VF with a guitar-hero controller is hard enough!

  5. Pterobat says:

    For me, the only way to approach Macross canon is a Doylist approach: there is no possible way that the two depictions of Space War 1 and the current Macross continuity can be reconciled as anything other than two separate, yet equally canon, depictions and something that draws ambigiously from both.

    Look at the new version of Exsedol. Fans used to assume that he’d been physiically modified from the SDFM form, but that contradicted the material in several unavoidable ways. This assumption was eventually contradicted by Macross Frontier, anyway–far easier to assume that in the newer Macross material he is intended to have “always” been that way by the writers, and that Classic Exsedol exists as part of another canon–an equally vaild depiction, but one never further explored.

    It’s still a shame that I’ll never get to understand exactly what made the production crew change the Zentradi so much. One can speculate, but it’s not as valuable as having it from the horse’s mouth. Obviously Neo-Exsedol was designed after the cliche that smart characters have huge bulging brains, but why not start with that to begin with, if it was desired? (Thankfully they didn’t)

    As to the nature of, and reactions to, DYRL the in-universe-film by the actual characters, I find it really hard to interpret the film as something designed to enrich Zentradi, or perhaps even designed *by* some Zentradi. This is because DYRL, no matter how well-made it otherwise is, is a huge step down in terms of the portrayal of the Zentradi as sympathetic, engaging, and interesting characters.

    Although I understand what viewers are meant to feel when DYRL Britai gives the order for his forces to defect from Bodolza, it’s still a hollow scene to me. I can’t work up any sympathy or interest in the DYRL versions of the male Zentradi for a lot of reasons; though Britai’s scene follows the same line as the TV series in a broad way, the Zentradi in the film have a quick and automatic “switch” that makes them appear more passive, less like characters and more like only symbols to prove how great “culture” is. It might purely be a consequence of the film’s reduced timeframe, but it’s troubling regardless.

    How would this relate to a Zentradi reaction to the film in-universe, though?

    The physical appearance of the characters would be no matter to anyone, since the Zentradi in that canon look like that anyway. But DYRL, if it exists in a universe where the “reality” is closer to the plot of SDFM, would lack a certain level of Zentradi empowerment, a certain “we-did-this” because it of the way it makes the Zentradi transformation almost instantaneous and solely Minmay-driven. Some might say this is true of SDFM, also, but things are notably more balanced there, if still in humanity’s favor.

    Although, if you want to be cynical about it, that might even be the point: to propogate the idea that Zentradi owe everything of what they have now to the actions of humans, so that the Zentradi will be again in awe of humanity and exercise greater self-restraint.

    I’m sure different characters would react differently. The film could indeed somehow pacify the nastier Zentradi, but it could help soothe the troubled Zentradi who hate what others of their people have done in the years since Space War 1. The “powder keg” image that some fans like to have of (male) Zentradi isn’t the only picture. Perhaps some would feel the same way I do.

    But it’s a big leap to think that female Zentradi would take such deep offense at their portrayal in the film, so much that they could desire to attack someone. I think the Zentradi would at this point grasp the distinction between reality and fiction, though of course there might be a few crazies out there.

    It’s another big leap to attribute the apparent lack of backlash from female Zentradi to the fact that male and female Zentradi apparently don’t date much. I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be, when Kamjin and Laplamiz were at it so quickly, or what such conditions would have to do with a lack of negative reaction.

    Realistically, I can think that many female Zentradi might be offended by their depiction, and the only explanation as to why is Doylist again: the Macross staff didn’t consider this notion an important point, if they even considered it at all.

    I tend to think the “Meltrandi” get the better end of the stick in the film. Milia’s original character is better-preserved than the male Zentradi because she looks the way she used to, and the condensed version of her character arc still works. The female Zentradi are also more individualized and less monstrous in appearance, and are now tied as one body to the wholly sympathetic and heroic Max Jenius. It’s slim on the face of it, but that’s always been my knee-jerk response, that the film, and indeed later Macross shows, have been far more favourable towards female Zentradi characters.

    • All good points and if one is to work on the “canon” academically a Doylist approach is the sane one to take!

      But I thought I’d have a little fun and indulge a little crazy. Another crazy thing is that I found the designs for Britai and Exsedol to be more “heroic.” They inspire awe, and not revulsion. Sure it’ll get them problems getting laid (or not), but I don’t think that ranks high on their list of priorities.

      • Pterobat says:

        How do they inspire awe, for you, out of curiosity?

        I see revulsion, not only because of what they look like alone, but because in personality as well as appearance, they distort two formerly fun characters, turning them grotesque– or in Exsedol’s case, grotesque in a non-endearing way. :P

        I do feel awe for the original TV Britai, in that he’s just so damn awesome. He’s strong without being a braggart, and knows how to kick ass when it’s needed.I could watch him beating the screws out of that Vaklyrie several times over.

        I also think Exsedol is awesome, but that’s just me. “Kyuun, kyuun…” :P

        • Hehe, I mean, “whoa that guy’s brain is huge! and he’s already a giant! that must be the largest humanoid brain in existence! It’s as big as a car!” I can’t help but be impressed.

          Britai looks a lot more grim and menacing. He was already cool, but now he looks like terrible (as in “can fill hearts with terror”) as befits his awesome strength and military prowess.

          • Pterobat says:

            I see about Exsedol, but Britai? The blue guy was no pushover, and not in need of anything to strengthen his aura of awesomeness. I’ve often wondered if others find the DYRL designs to be better *because* they are more menacing, but to me that defeats the entire appeal of SDFM, in that the Zentradi are not “aliens” but characters onto themselves. As they were, they had enough of a sense of “godhood” and power through sheer size and firepower to make them threatening foes, and this power was partially because they were not as “alien” as one expected. They were human, but not human, in all the ways that means.

            Normally I like grotesque characters, but the SDFM Zentradi just worked a lot more for the type of story that was being told.I can’t even look at the DYRL versions of Warera, Rori, and Konda without wincing.

          • Was Britai’s update necessary? No. Was DYRL necessary? No. Are both amazing? Yes.

            However, the Zentraedi spies are no more, and they weren’t given characterizations because they didn’t have roles to play. Generic baldies are all they get. But obviously these are all problematic things for a Zentraedi fan, the same way I find the changing of the SDF-1 to remove the Prometheus and Daedalus from all future versions very, very problematic. So yeah, I get you!

  6. Mo says:

    More reasons to remember love:
    Raw scans of all 8 volumes of Macross Ace, plus some other Mikimoto art:
    http://hi.baidu.com/%C3%C0%CA%F7%B1%BE%C3%F7%C3%C0/album
    Ranka and Basara sing Ai Oboeteimasuka:

  7. Matt Wells says:

    The Red Shoulders are scanlating “Macross The First” as well as “Gundam The Origin”. MINMAY’S BABY PICTURES. That is all.

    http://www.mangareader.net/choujikuu-yousai-macross-the-first

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