It still feels like I’m starting out, but 100 posts does seem like a lot. We Remember Love has been around for five months now and I’m very happy with the f support, contribution, commentary, and interest that we’ve gotten from everyone. Thank you to all the bloggers who wrote content for us, who linked linked to our posts, who put us on their blogrolls, commenters who enriched the discussions, and lurkers who I respectfully hope are getting something out of remembering love.
When I started out this site with mechafetish, I haven’t completed the Macross franchise, despite being a fan of it for 25 years. It took interaction with other fans such, especially otou–san for me to take on what used to be on-principle a persona non grata show for many fans of the franchise: Macross 7.
When I wrote the post on how to remember love, I mentioned an attempt to watch the entire franchise that we named the Super Dimensional Journey of Love Remembered. Here’s a review of the stops:
- Macross Zero (AD 2008, 5 episode OVA)
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (AD 1999-2012, 36 episode TV series)
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (AD 2031 or 2009)
- The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Flashback 2012 (AD 2012, Music Video)
- Macross Plus (AD 2040, 4 episode OVA)
- Macross Plus (AD 2040, Movie with an altered ending)
- Macross 7 (AD 2045-2046, 49 episode TV series)
- Macross 7 Encore (AD 2045-2046, 3 additional television episodes)
- Macross 7: The Galaxy’s Calling Me! (AD January 2046, short film)
- Macross Dynamite 7 (AD 2047, 4 episode OVA)
- Macross Frontier (AD 2059, 25 episode TV series)
Now I was not able to watch these shows in a linear fashion. However I did complete the journey: I watched every single canon episode available. It took a Macross Quarter of a century and a whole lot of Robotech but I eventually finished it. And truthfully, I am very surprised at the conclusions that I’ve made. Here is how I rank my favorite sequels (with the original series being my all-time favorite anime):
Number Three: Macross Frontier
This show affected me on a very meta/personal level. It was such a long-awaited gift. It satisfied a host of my cravings: continuity pornography – if you will. I felt like I was the old Zentraedi Richard Bilrer, closing the locket with Minmei’s photograph in the finale.
Here’s an un-balanced review of Macross Frontier, the kind of propaganda that really gets me going. My personal thoughts on it: Macross Frontier gave us in Alto Saotome a subtly characterized male lead that fully fits within the tradition of ace pilots that is the trademark of the franchise. It also gave us my favorite variable fighter: the VF-25 Messiah, combining modular capacity (another tradition) and super sleekness of design that allowed for the fastest transformation among VFs. Finally it gave us a ridiculously gratuitous finale with a glorious fleet battle where ‘Battle’ class capital ships literally slug it out. Worth mentioning, is the emergence of Sheryl Nome – an idol character that did more than just be cute, winsome, and annoying at times.
Number Two: Macross Plus
On a meta-level, I was so unprepared for Macross Plus when I saw it around 1995. It’s been over a decade since I’ve seen the original series as an 7 year old kid, and by that time my head was filled with Robotech (I must’ve seen the whole Harmony Gold saga over 5 times, and must have read the Jack McKinney novelizations around 5-7 times). In my mind, Robotech was the canon. After all, in the Sentinels novels ‘Rick’ and ‘Lisa’ got married and had a kid (named Roy) and ‘Minmay’ degenerated into even more of a slut (I call her novelized version “the vagina of the universe”). In any case, Robotech ran with the overarching narrative and made me love it too.
This is the context by which I mean to establish how awesome Macross Plus had to be to wean me out of Robotech. It was too short, at four episodes to contend with 17 or so books, and 85 episodes of Robotech. But my goodness, those 4 episodes aurally underscored how a big deal music is in the Macross franchise. At that point I had all but forgotten about Do You Remember Love? and when the excerpt from ‘My boyfriend is a pilot’ played in that karaoke scene, I felt chills – I began to get what I was missing. I began to remember.
More detailed thoughts about Macross Plus you can find in this post. It’s quite long but I put a whole lot of love in it.
Number One: Macross 7
Now how the hell do I explain this? It was never available to me in the ’90s. I only found out about it through this review (which I read around 2004) that slammed it quite forcefully. My friends who also liked Macross reinforced that view, though they too haven’t seen it. Thanks to Macross Frontier‘s Ozma Lee and Sheryl, I was introduced to Fire Bomber and their music. They rocked. This was the foot in the door for me.
And so I completed it, and all it’s side stories. Now I’m in love. Why exactly? Part of it has to do with Nekki Basara being the first bard-type character to have such a commanding charisma that he does. In fantasy literature and role-playing games bard characters are supposed to have such a strong charisma but they’re mostly relegated to playboy and secondary roles (In Tolkien mythopoia, Finrod Felagund and Aragorn are bardic too, but their bardic roles are put in the background – they do more fighting than singing – though Finrod did battle Sauron in a sing-off). Basara may not even be the leader of his own band, but his charisma is undeniable. His power and presence is felt throughout 57 episodes (including the side stories). He is a musician in a way that is different from Minmei, Ranka, and Sheryl are – not like he was actually indifferent to stardom, but there is a certain purity of vision he had for the transformative power of music.
Macross 7 is full of horrible flaws, logic, camp, cheese, and bad animation. However there’s so much greatness in it too, part of which is the winsomeness of Mylene, a stellar cast of characters including the lovable Max and Millya Jenius (straight from the original series as playing the roles of parents, commanders, and yes – fighting aces), and a rocking soundtrack. Perhaps more importantly is how this show lays down the fruity mysticism that connects all of the shows in the franchise, from Macross 0 to Macross Frontier. All in all it’s a very important show in the franchise.
For those who wish to take on this freak of a show, here’s a survival guide for the first 20 episodes, prepared with love by yours truly.
Thank you for remembering love with us the past 100 posts. May the next 100 take you to the very ends of the galaxy!