YACK DECULTURE! Lynn Minmay Did NOT Sing “Do You Remember Love?”

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It’s a strange thing to write, as a devoted Macross fan, and an irredeemable Minmay fan, on the eve of the fictional date of the Armstice between the Human and Zentreadi forces on September 11, 2009 – but only if we acknowledge Macross: Do You Remember Love? as canon, a decision whose consideration lies at the heart of this essay.

This film adaptation of the TV Anime Super Dimension Fortress Macross did many things in the history of anime, but within the context of Macross fandom, it made a huge star out of Lynn Minmay. Those who first encountered the franchise as it were through DYRL were “spared” the complexity of the TV Anime version, seeing a mostly winsome idol who participated in a love triangle that shaped galactic history; by singing in the largest battle that humans ever fought in, and turning the tide with her performance.

That account of Minmay’s history is mostly consistent between the two media sources. However, there are critical and important differences.

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Minmay was captured by the Zentraedi

She was captured along with Misa, Hikaru, Roy(!), Max, and Kaifun(!). She performed the kiss in front of Golg Bodolle Zer (instead of Misa). When Misa and Hikaru were able to escape, she was left behind and became the ambassador (!) between the Humans and Zentraedi which resulted in the Armstice we are celebrating (?) today.

She also taught Britai humor and jokes.

Minmay sang a Protoculture melody

The Zentraedi revealed to her (and the rest of the humans) a melody from the extinct Protoculture race, which then was given lyrics translated by Misa that became the song “Ai oboete imasu ka?” This was the thematic and poetic song to perform in the great battle… as it unites the distinct races in the galaxy.

It actually legitimizes (to a degree) the Minmay-centric pop monoculture instrumental in the human hegemony to follow; given that it wasn’t a Minmay song. It was a Protoculture song, with Minmay only interpreting. It is also a beautiful melody, which made it, Minmay, and Macross itself iconic in the history of anime itself.

The thing is, Minmay never sang it

It’s one thing to consider the creator’s insistence of “many retellings of the same events” through various animated stories, given his analogy to the different stories told about World War 2, but in the different media on the subject, the lead actors mostly play in small stories (see Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day, Pearl Harbor, Midway, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters to Iwo Jima, Schindler’s List, The Pacific, Escape from Sobibor, The Thin Red Line, Grave of the Fireflies); small relative to the big events that shaped the war (unless you consider darkly humorous alternative history such as Inglorious Basterds).

Minmay saved the war, in both the TV Series and in DYRL, but more so in the latter.

In Macross, the love story may be set against the backdrop of great battles, but they also influence them significantly, and especially so in DYRL.

Here’s the big question: which came first as a unit of media in the fictional world of Macross: the TV Series or DYRL?

The first assumption, the gut assessment, and evidence all suggest that the TV series came first albeit there was no air date for it. However, DYRL? is acknowledged to exist as a film within the continuity. This plays out in Macross 7 in particular. But let’s invite some logic: if the film existed first, why the glaring omission of the biggest, most popular, and most important song in the TV series?

Was it due to licensing issues? Preposterous.

Macross: Do You Remember Love? was screened in February 2(?), 2031 – the same day/month Mylene Flare Jenius was born, a full 20 years after the events, and almost 2 decades since Minmay left and disappeared with the Megaroad-01. WHO WAS THE ACTRESS AND SINGER WHO PERFORMED MINMAY in the movie?

They can’t just happen to discover Ai Oboete Imasu Ka? and include it in the film, as unreleased music by Minmay. If she indeed recorded this and Tenshi no Enogu, then why the insistence in rewriting history by making one of them front and center during the fight against the Bodolle Zer fleet?

That simply did not happen.

Minmay didn’t sing it. Whoever wrote it is lost in time, but definitely Misa did NOT translate anything.

This is the continuity mess that Macross finds itself. It’s most iconic song was never performed by its most important characters. After all, Ranka did not defect to the Vajra and thereby captured by Galaxy/Grace and made to perform a creepy version of the song against the Frontier fleet. If she really did, then she wouldn’t have been able to sing VALKYRIAAAAAAA~ with Sheryl. That, to me, is a bigger disaster than this DYRL kerfuffle.

FORGET FACTS, FORGET LOGIC. REMEMBER LOVE.

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Farewell, Minmay. The manufactured memories I have of you will stay with me forever.

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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32 Responses to YACK DECULTURE! Lynn Minmay Did NOT Sing “Do You Remember Love?”

  1. Maverick05 says:

    You know, you are about to destroy my childhood….until I remember that when I was 6-8 years old (20 years ago), I was enjoying Robotech with Min Mei singing We Will Win and Rick Hunter flying to the danger zone in his Veritech/Space F-14. Life was way simpler on those days.

    Either way, I think there were very few humans and zentraidi/meltran left alive after the First Space War (maybe a dozen millions), so it would have been easy to modify a few books/movies to change the course of history.

    • But the transition from Robotech to Macross would’ve been a major thing, wouldn’t it?

      • Maverick05 says:

        You might laugh, but I have never watched the original Macross. XD

        And about the transition….well, I watched Robotech in the early 90s, and they only aired the Macross and Southern Cross sections. Yet the first Macross I saw was Macross Plus on Toonami in 2002 =D. And the next series I saw was Zero since getting the Macross 7 episodes was very tough (only saw 7 of those and didn`t get in love).

        So it wasn`t a big transition. But I might try and download the original Macross someday when I find a low anime season and go retro for a bit.

  2. Think about it this way; I am sure Eva Perón was nothing like Madonna.

    The DYRL was a theatrical movie in-universe. I am sure the actress assigned to play the part of Minmay had a song written for her to specifically sing. Minmay herself might not have sang it, but that was never the point.

    • It was the point, unfortunately. In Macross Frontier, Evil Giant Space Ranka sang her take on Ai Oboete Imasu Ka.

      Also, Eva Peron did not sing to her people, not that I know of. Evita is a musical, and this is where the analogy breaks down. The musical intentionally replaces dialogue with a libretto. Macross the saga has songs historically sang by the characters and “historical” figures.

      • Reid says:

        Or does it? What if the whole thing, TV show and all is just the “anime” version of a bona fide space war that happened to feature a pop idol who sang a song somewhere, sometime? What if in the real, real world the space fighters never transformed? What if the Zentraedi weren’t giants? Like the answer to that eternal question “How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW lol

  3. r042 says:

    It’s quite interesting considering this in the light of my article about Max; there I had to address the discrepancies between film and tv versions of his own plot (and how the movie version makes so little of his domestic life).

  4. megaroad1 says:

    Ha ha. That’s definitely an interesting question you ask there Ghost. Who did indeed sing DYRL? Time to fire off an email to Kawamori-san and ask him who plays Minmay in DYRL? I bet he’ll just smile and say “who knows?” There are few people as casual with continuity and canon as he is.

    BTW. Nice of you to put a picture of me in your blog .-)

  5. ces06 says:

    This is why I don’t like Kawamori’s take on canon. I mean, sure, you have the possibilities of the stuff that may or may have happened… (Alto returning, Sheryl waking up. Heck yes.) but then you also give way the possibility that some stuff probably never happened…. like this.

    Speaking of loose continuity, western comic books are an interesting case with their reboots and retcons and all. It gives way to interesting things to happen like crossovers and retellings. But there’s stuff, important stuff like the death of Uncle Ben that should always happen in canon, in any retelling or reimagining of a story. Dismissing important things that happened is. IMO a crime to the fans. They did a storyline in Spider-Man where they annulled his marriage to Mary Jane. Which rendered, what, 10+ years of stories as not happening? Then there’s the new 52 reboot this year by DC, which rendered… practically everything that was canon in the DC universe as never happening. It’s not exactly the same comparison to this, but the feeling, knowing that the stories you liked never even happened in the first place is mutual.

    At least Kawamori could have pointed out which can be considered “canon”-canon, so that the fans at least have something to hold on to, to then base their versions of the story on. Leaving people in the blind is just mean. (Especially on the “defining moments” like this.)

    • Maverick05 says:

      I think that Kawamori did point out that the DYRL? movie was suppose to be the canon version, including the change in transformation command (from “3 different switches for each mode” into “mode depending in control joystick position”).

      BTW, I am not sure about Marvel, but I think DC has managed better their continuity issues. They separated the different continuities into “52 Earths”, and when things go wrong, they send a superhero to punch the “time line” to make another 52 paralel Earths.

      Eventhough they still have some problems like Young Justice had this year when its director got into a big fight with the Batman/Superman/Justice League/Batman Beyond Animated Series producers/directors about YJ breaking already too many continuity lines that they paused the project to review the script.

      • Matt Wells says:

        BTW, I am not sure about Marvel, but I think DC has managed better their continuity issues. They separated the different continuities into “52 Earths”, and when things go wrong, they send a superhero to punch the “time line” to make another 52 paralel Earths.

        Alright, big comics nerd here, gonna stop you right there. The whole continuity split was basically them throwing their hands up after twenty years of trying to hold together the status quo and just outright stating “Yep, we fucked up fellas!” Most recently they retconned the last decade or so worth of stories for a convoluted, ham-fisted reboot of their collective universe, alienating their core readers and failing to garner new fans.

        The Western Super-Hero comic industry is a pathetic joke on both sides, but DC is the fat man getting kicked in the nuts punchline to Marvel’s media savvy multi-media platform

        • Reid says:

          I hate western comics for this very reason. Not the characters but just the way the “universes” and all that garbage “works.” It’s laughable at best, sad at worst.

  6. Martin says:

    This post reads like a Macross-centric episode of QI. I loved it. :D As in, this is the sort of fascinating piece of (mis)information that my inner pedant revels in. Good job sir.

    If I’m not mistaken, September 2012 is apparently when the launch of the Megaroad-01 took place…but since my online searching hasn’t found a more precise date than this, I’ll have to declare it MEGAROAD MONTH and leave it at that.

  7. vendredi says:

    I’m admittedly a bit lost, due to my unfamiliarity with the TV series. Was “Ai Oboete Imasu Ka?” never performed at all in the TV series? Which was the Protoculture melody used in the TV series, then?

    “They can’t just happen to discover Ai Oboete Imasu Ka? and include it in the film, as unreleased music by Minmay. If she indeed recorded this and Tenshi no Enogu, then why the insistence in rewriting history by making one of them front and center during the fight against the Bodolle Zer fleet?”
    To play devil’s advocate here: the counter-question is “why not?” Why not rewrite history and change the exact song she used? Hollywood today certainly has produced it’s share of movies with dubious historical credentials.

    You raise Inglorious Basterds as an example of an alternate history take on World War II, dramatized for entertainment purposes. And movies flip the bird to historical authenticity all the time.

    Suppose a records studio is looking for the perfect marketing tool for a re-release of some of Minmay’s less popular songs – what better way than to feature them in a 20th anniversary “historical movie”. Yes, some history buffs might call them out and say “Minmay actually didn’t sing this song during the battle, she sang another one” but the rest of the audience would just shush them and say “don’t disturb the movie”.

    • All well and good, (Minmay sang a whole medley of her songs — awesome too) but the song referenced by history (as with the Ranka performance in Frontier, Mylene singing to herself in 7) is Ai Oboete Imasu Ka? That’s a big and important thing.

      The history of Macross states that the release of DYRL the movie in 2031 launched a Minmay revival. This song was the key to that. If it weren’t really her song… well.

  8. Matt Wells says:

    I say it IS licensing issues, and I’ll lay down here my explination. Here’s my own personal head canon theory on Ai Obete Imasuka? It’s about as valid as anything Kawamori feels like throwing out there.

    TV series Macross was the first fictional account of the Earth/Zentradi war. Lack of interest meant they had to turn to the UN Spacy for funding, which explains why so much emphasis is placed on the viewpoint and account of the armed forces. They lend them a half dozen training Valks and museum piece Regults, complete with pilots, to film all the battle sequences, and in return the military gets free publicity. They manage to spin the success of Global and co. into THEIR success.

    No here’s where the trouble comes in. You can’t tell the story of Macross without Minmay, so naturally the TV crew buys her discography to play over episodes. Her estate is handled by her last living relative… that’s right, Mr. Fucking Kung Fu Dandy Kaifun. Kaifun is displeased with the obstensibly pro-military message the show promotes, and jacks up the licensing fees on her songs. As a result the TV crew can play nothing but My Boyfriend is a Pilot for half the entire broadcast run. That song and ONLY that song. That’s my in-universe excuse for the lack of other Minmay works.

    By including Kaifun into their fictional account and giving him judicious screentime, he assents to letting them use Sunset Beach, Silver Moon and all the other classics. EXCEPT for Do You Remember Love? If we take the events of the movie to in any way resemble the meta-fictional reality of what happened in galactic calender 2009 (and I do NOT want Macross to lower it’s most iconic song to the level of a movie tie-in tune), then that song is truly universal.

    It’s the melody that saved humanity, it’s a love song that won a war and it’s a priceless archeological artefact from a civilisation that predates humanity. It’s the most well known song on the planet, and it’s royalty rights lie solely in the hands of a sellout hippie douchebag who wanted to fuck his cousin. There’s no way in the hell the TV broadcasters had that kind of budget for well known, beloved and EXPENSIVE song, not when they won’t re-air The Prisoner due to the royalties they’d have to fork over to the last living Beatles.

    Come the movie and it’s calculated revival of the cult of Minmay, the producers have enough cash to pony up for the rights, and Do You Remember Love? is included in the soundtrack. Indeed, it’s made the centerpiece of the film! We finally got that one song people, watch the movie! Of course that’s even assuming that Minmay DID sing it during the battle with Bodolle Zer, and not in the victory concert afterwards, or that she finished it and was actually on “Love Drifts Away” when they killed Zer (as they depict in the TV series), or that she just made it up on the spot and the Protoculture angle was UN Spacy propaganda added later to keep down the Zentrad, or etc…

    Honestly though my biggest problem with Do You Remember Love? is how Minmay single handedly negotiates peace between humanity and the Britai fleet in a matter of weeks. Oh, metaficitonal Hollywood and your stretching of the truth..

    WHO WAS THE ACTRESS AND SINGER WHO PERFORMED MINMAY in the movie?

    Marii Ijima. Duh :)

  9. Turambar says:

    Haha, as someone that never watched DYRL nor really dug into the meta-narrative behind it, do you have any idea how god damn confusing this entire conversation is?

  10. Tzu says:

    This is the way I see it: only the series is canon in regards to the timeline. Only a selected few humans knew of the true events that happened, however, that movie was made and now all humans “know” what happened (except it didn’t happen that way).

    Let’s take for example the Titanic in our real life; truth is noone really knows what happened that night, but we all think we know because we saw a movie, hell, the scene where rose stretches her hands in the deck is bound to appear in history books. Oh and the song, was there background music as the Titanic sank? most likely not; yet we have an epic song along with our memories.

    Even so when I read your post it was mind blowing to realize Min May really never sang DYRL, I think I always knew, but had conveniently forgotten it was not the truth.

  11. Xard says:

    Here’s some of LOVE REMEMBERED for you

  12. arcade_android says:

    I don’t follow your logic. I’ve seen the TV series multiple times, and recently watched DYRL? I love them both (I have not seen Frontier). As the TV series came out first, and the Macross universe is based on it, I would say that the TV series is canon (not just a fictional TV show in-universe, or a retelling). However, the DYRL? movie is an in-universe film that is a retelling of the original events. If you watch a movie in real life that is “based on a true story”, would you believe everything that happened in it?

    For those of you that are saying that Ai oboete imasu ka? exists later in the chronology, why shouldn’t it? Just because a song was written into a semi-fictional movie (within the universe) doesn’t mean the song is not real. Someone within the universe had to write it, and many people thought it was beautiful (in-universe and in real life) and it’s been proven that music has power. Sure, the song didn’t come from the Protoculture, but that doesn’t render it powerless.

    For those of you that watched DYRL? before SDF: Macross, ignore the previous statement. This is my attempt to fill in the gap, the following is not canon: Minmay did sing Ai oboete imasu ka? in the universe. In the movie, Minmay sings the song after being rejected by Hikaru. In the TV show, we don’t see much after Hikaru rejects Minmay. Minmay went to sing on Hayase’s ship. While there, Britai sent Hayase a music plate from the Protoculture archives, found in the wreckage of Boddole Zer’s ship/fleet. Hayase decoded it, and sang during some later battle. Is that fair enough?

    • According to Kawamori, EVERYTHING is an in-universe media product. Unfortunately I can’t link you to the relevant post here on WRL. It’s something I’ve discussed at length in a prior post.

      • arcade_android says:

        Hrmmmm…I just read that thread…I’m going to crawl back into my brain and pretend I didn’t read that, hoping to cling to my sanity “Kyuun Kyuun, Kyuun Kyuun”

        Seriously though, even if he did say that it kind of seems like a deus ex machina. His universe has multiple logic/plot holes, if you think about it none of the series are canon, so…

        Kawamori: “They are all alternate retellings from people within my universe, people that you will never see…because what YOU see is an animated version of those retellings! YES, yes, and the characters may or may not exist in this universe according to some records, just like Paul Revere and other historical characters in real life!” *proceeds to use his free pass to do whatever he wants, free from criticism*
        *Leiji Matsumoto eyes him suspiciously.*

      • d3v says:

        This off course makes Hodgson’s Law so much more relevant.

        “It’s just a show; I should really just relax.” (lalalas optional)

  13. chillyche says:

    Previously, there had been some sort of rough rule that the events of SDFM were canon, but the design of DYRL was canon. This mostly worked, since the uniforms all seemed to flow from the DYRL sensibilities. Then along came Macross Fontier which kind of spat in the face of an established canon. Midway through the show, we see Zentraedi characters wearing both DYRL-derived designs AND SDFM-derived designs. Whaaaa? And then, of course, let’s not forget Ranka’s big Minmay by way of Sharon Apple moment singing Ai Obete Imasuka. It’s an awesome moment in the show, to be sure, and Grace O’Connor comments on the poetic significance of it. It’s been over 20 years at that point since DYRL was made as a diegetic film, so it’s possible that it’s historically significant the same way the Star Wars or Indiana Jones or Jaws theme is significant: it’s a cultural reference not a historical reference. But, as a dramatic choice on the part of the makers of Macross Frontier, it would be more fitting if Ranka sang the actual song that Minmay actually sang to make Ranka’s evolution into perhaps a dark-mirror-Minmay more poignant.

    But, the makers of Frontier, whether the real earth makers or the in-universe makers, made a lot of weird choices anyway, so this is no more or less weird. Just slightly confounding.

    • Xard says:

      If you think this is difficult just try to work in the Budokan concerts, Ranka’s blog (which you can find from internet) etc. into the narrative presented to us on screen. It’s hopeless because while Macross has been meta as fuck to begin with this it’s Frontier that really ran away with it (especially with Megumi Nakajima = Ranka Lee thing) into new spheres of headache for those who love clear continuity.

      • Mikhail says:

        Could you enlighten me whether there was a “Megumi Nakajima = Ranka Lee” thing except as pure fanon, based on things like both having a mixed lineage and a flat-leaning chest?

        Megumi got new roles including at l;east one quite against the Ranka type. And in her “Be Myself” dance video she seems to flip a small bird at Ranka fans by having the camera concentrate on her various hand gestures – and NOT including the “Kira”. (The lyric seems to have some Macross references though, or else what ARE pineapples doing there?). But then again I did not follow all material (newbie in the fandom) so perhaps I am missing something and there really was such a thing? At least she seems to enjoy the association?

        I actually find more similarities even between Minmay and Mari Iijima, who hates the parallel as she was overtypecast (and fair play to her). But she did not alter her music style much and sounds a lot like an older Minmay – which in my view actually ROCKS. I don’t need another Macross series with Minmay in it. I can just watch some live footage and I know what she was like when she grew older (assuming SDF-2 was not destroyed). Also, there is her song “Survivor”, which sounds totally awesome when imagined as a song by an older Minmay.

  14. Pingback: We Remember Love Says Goodbye, and Thank You For All The Memories | We Remember Love

  15. Xard says:

    I prefer to think DYRL climax nailed the “setlist” down more accurately than SDFM so AiObo is very much real to me. But of course in the end this is all irrelevant self-deception as both SDFM and DYRL are equally “lies” or “true”. It can’t be helped.

  16. satori says:

    Egads, a somewhat recent post on this issue! I’d like to know if I have my information straight, here’s what I understand, being completely unfamiliar with the series…

    -Macross Zero
    -Macross
    -Macross Plus
    -Macross 7
    -Macross Frontier

    -Macross: Ai Oboete Imasu Ka?
    -Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie
    -Macross 2036
    -Macross: Eien no Love Song

    -Macross: Flash Back 2012

    …and a large part of the first timeline contains certain elements from the second, while Flash Back is meant to cap off both versions of 2012’s events.

    (Scrambled Valkyrie takes place between Ai and Megaload. Eien takes place in 2037, right after 2036. Some elements of Macross II seem to take these dates into account.)

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