Oh Macross, It’s Just a Popular Song, of Course it Was a Love Song: Do You Remember Love?

macross do you remember love misa just an ordinary song

Now to the real anniversary post! It’s been over one year of blogging here at We Remember Love, and it kind of bugs me that our first post is not a Macross one. I think it is only fitting that we do the show this blog is named after, Macross: Do You Remember Love?

While nowhere as divided or polarized as opinions are regarding smash hits such as Neon Genesis Evangelion and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, quite the opposite: the anime as well regarded and loved. However, among fans of the franchise as a whole Macross: Do You Remember Love? does have differing reactions. Granted, I only sampled an extremely limited population but it is important I feel to note the reasons.

  • Outside of the great final song and animation, it did a poor job on the story.
  • The plot can be bothersome in that it brushes the weaker parts of the characters under the rug.
  • Here are mine [->]

There is an overwhelming amount of praise for the animation, and this is merited. But I think it all comes together  in conjunction with the performance of the titular song, in one of the more remarkable sequences in animation:  Ai oboete imasu ka? probably the most representative 10 or so minutes of the franchise as a whole.

I’m as awed by it as I’ve every been. I have this practice: When I rewatch the original TV series (my preferred narrative), I play the scene from the clip above in a way something like a replacement for the sequence in the TV series. Only not really. I play both and suffer an embarrassment of riches at what continuity to follow.

My synthesis: The battle could not have concluded in the space of a single song, so I hack my experience of the narrative by supposing that there is a full concert featuring all the songs in her repertoire, with Ai oboete imasu ka? as the finale. Sure there are obvious continuity incompatibility issues (Max and Millya: they were part of the Macross forces, and not the Meltrandi — I still wonder at Max being grown into Zentran size and piloting a blue Queadluun-rea), but it works.

Use different media players for near seamless cuing. Try it the next time you rewatch Macross!

What does the song mean for the different people involved?

macross do you remember love hikaru misa kiss

The survivors of the Zentraedi annihilation

There are but few humans left, well below 100,000 in Macross City aboard the SDF-1. However, they found a glimmer of hope as the Britai fleet sued for an armistice with the miclones. It would seem that the Zentraedi had some interest in ‘culture,’ though at that point they were more interested in weaponizing the song: a recorded melody from Protoculture archeology.

They would use this as a weapon against the Meltrans.  However, during the pitched battle Bodolle Zer himself freaked out by the effects of ‘culture’ on both Meltran and Zentran that he opened fire, damaging friendlies and destroying Laplamiz. Britai then rallied all the remaining Meltran to join the Zentran under his command to defend the SDF-1 and assist it in assaulting Bodolle Zer’s battle station directly.

Over 1,000,000 capital ships and countless mecha were involved in this pitched battle. It was a strategic mess, and tactically absurd, but man oh man it was pretty. Ai oboete imasu ka? saved humanity from extinction.

macross 0 03 mao shin underwater sequence 02 treasureOkay, this image is from Macross Zero but meta-retcon is a Macross kind of cheese. I don’t mind as much, go figure.

The Protoculture, who loved to love, and that is their culture

Who knows, really? Misa did say it was just a love song that became popular. I don’t know how she could have found that out. Perhaps the edition of the lyrics, unless it’s some kind of encyclopedia entry which had information on its position on music charts, sales relative to other music, and other relevant data. It’s much to ask from the fragment she found, but it’s not really worth thinking too hard about.

Ai oboete imasu ka? c/o Anime Lyrics:

Original / Romaji Lyrics English Translation
Ima anata no koe ga kikoeru
"Koko ni oide" to
Samishisa ni makesouna watashi ni
Ima anata no sugata ga mieru
Aruite kuru
Me wo
 tojite matte iru watashi ni
Right now, I hear your voice
saying "Come here to me."
Just when it seemed loneliness had beaten me.
Right now, I see you
walking over to me.
I close my eyes and wait for you to come.
Kinou made namida de kumotteta
Kokora wa ima...
Till yesterday, it seemed filled only with tears.
But now my heart is
* Oboete imasu ka  me to me ga atta toki wo
  Oboete imasu ka  te to te ga fureatta toki
  Sore wa hajimete no ai no tabidachi deshita
* Do you remember? The time when our eyes first met?
  Do you remember? The time when our hands first touched?
  That was the very first time I set out on the journey of love.
  I love you so.
Ima anata no shisen kanjiru
Karada-juu ga atatakaku naru no
Ima anata no ai shinjimasu
Douzo watashi wo
Tooku kara mimamotte kudasai
Right now, I can feel your gaze
though you're not here with me.
And in my body a warmth begins to glow.
Right now, I believe in your love,
so won't you please
watch over me from so far away?
Kinou made namida de kumotteta
Sekai wa ima...
Till yesterday it seemed filled only with tears.
Now the world is...
Repeat *
Repeat *
** Mou hitoribotchi ja nai
   anata ga iru kara...
** I'm not alone anymore
   now that you're here with me.
Repeat *
Repeat *
Repeat **
Repeat **

I can’t help but think, as a point of reference, of a very early Beatles song. Actually, I can imagine it as a lover’s response to Paul McCartney singing All My Loving:

close your eyes and i’ll kiss you,
Tomorrow i’ll miss you;
Remember i’ll always be true.
And then while i’m away,
I’ll write home ev’ry day,
And i’ll send all my loving to you.

I’ll pretend that i’m kissing
The lips i am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true.
And then while i’m away,
I’ll write home ev’ry day,
And i’ll send all my loving to you.
All my loving i will send to you.
All my loving, darling i’ll be true.

In this track I see a message, as if written as a letter (in the tradition of P.S. I Love You). There is an invitation to remember fond memories. There is a request to wait, to hold on, until the lover returns. In DYRL? it seems that the lover has returned, hence the declaration “I’m not alone anymore.” It’s like the lover has returned, and is welcomed by memories of how the love began. Do you remember love?

Lastly, worth noting, is the repetitive sections that serve somewhat similar purposes in the song. It is interesting to note the wistfulness and perhaps melancholy in both, while differing in that All my loving is a faster tune with an upbeat rhythm and DYRL? is a slow ballad. Now I’m not comparing these two songs as if I’m judging for the Grammy Awards. My point here is that both are love songs that became popular (though All My Loving peaked at #45 in the US Billboard charts, and Misa didn’t quantify the popularity for DYRL?). As for ordinary, I’m not sure I want to trust Misa as a music critic but let’s assume she’s correct. All My Loving, from the standpoint of comparing it to the rest of The Beatles discography (not even the most popular love songs, or most acclaimed love songs by other artists) is arguably ordinary.

Again to make it clear, I’m not saying Minmay = The Beatles. That’s not the point at all, so check your indignation. My paddle never even went anywhere near your butts so don’t hurt yourselves.

macross do you remember love britai holds minmay

The Zentraedi, and Meltrandi, Deculture! They Remembered Love.

The race, even in its altered form here in DYRL? retains the traits that this is a genetically mass-produced race of clones. They are bred/programmed to know nothing but warfare. The conceit in the narrative is that the Zentran (to use a catchall for male and female factions) are so finely attuned to combat, that they are wholly without ‘culture.’ They have no reproductive instinct, and therefore no driving need to form relationships outside their command structure. I hesitate to say that there is even ‘friendship’ among them, although there are signs that point towards camaraderie. Loyalties that can be construed as fraternal ‘love’ can be argued to exist, but in DYRL? it is anathema, or even ‘deculture’ (disgusting, abominable — as used in the film) to even conceived anything less than enmity between males and females.

That said, there is neither yaoi nor yuri fodder in the depiction of these aliens. Love in our sense, as humans have the concept integral to our culture throughout time, is absolutely foreign to them. Now, since the genetic makeup of both Zentrans and humans (miclones) are nearly identical, and are descended from the Protoculture, Britai and Exsedol arrive at they too must have had culture, or at least they appropriate the culture of their ancestors.

When Minmay sang the song of the Protoculture,  all Zentrans on a genetic level, literally ‘remembered love.’  At some point, Britai just said fuck it, we want culture, we want this love thing and won’t think twice about killing fellow Zentran to get our hands on it. They killed each other for love, but life is a rather intriguing thing to consider in the context of Zentran thinking. If the people they killed died fighting, their values indicate that the deaths were good ones and the killers honor their victims by fighting them.

macross do you remember love hikaru mission accomplished

Hikaru, Loverboy, Hero

The song got him to deliver the killing blow to the hostile Zentrans, that is, to Golg Bodolle Zer himself. I think this is of tremendous significance to Hikaru as a soldier. His final barrage technically ended the battle. Just as important if not more so, is how this song not only allowed him to do something for Misa — with whom he endured many ordeals (captivity, then the discovery of the ravaged Earth, then being the last humans for a while, then discovering Protoculture); furthermore, it gave him an opportunity to not only get to Minmay, but also give her a way to make a difference.

Not bad work, Hikaru. I’m still of two minds about him smacking Minmay up like that, but that’s me.

macross do you remember love lyrics handwritten by misa

Misa, Starship Operator, Lover, Translator

Misa translated what turned out to be lyrics found from the Protoculture ruins she and Hikaru found while arriving at a ravaged earth by the assault of the Bodolle Zer fleet.

Fansubbers and Scanlators, here’s some love for you! Humanity was saved from complete extinction, and culture was brought back to an entire race that lost it, by what is for all intents and purposes an illegal fansub/translation of the Protoculture pop song.

Note the long silent exchange of stares after the performance between Minmay and Misa. Note how Hikaru is completely out of the picture by the and. This is important. This establishes them as characters not defined by Hikaru. The whole thing is superbly done.

macross do you remember love minmay aftermath 2macross do you remember love misa aftermath 1

What does this tell us? It tears the sides of the triangle to form a ladder. There are three steps:

3. Mechanized might

2. Love and sacrifice

1. Song

Mechanized might is represented by Hikaru; his valor and his prowess as a Variable Fighter pilot. The opening of the final battle was a naked display of firepower from all involved.

Minmay, The love of many, but not of the one

Love and sacrifice is represented by Minmay, who in this case gave up her selfish love for Hikaru to sing the lyrics prepared by Misa, the woman who won him from her. Granted, Hikaru had to slap her — who at that point was spouting nonsense about not caring if everyone else dies, and that it’s preferable that only she and Hikaru were the only humans left.

macross do you remember love minmay hikaru slap 3Maybe she asked for it, but still… RAEG

Part of why Minmay is easily vilified is due to the stark contrast with how Hikaru and Misa felt sorrowful when it seemed that she and him were the only humans left when they arrived on the ravaged Earth prior to the SDF-1. Even as they found love amidst the resignation facing the encompassing desolation, they were sorrowful for being by themselves. Minmay, on the other hand…

But she took the slap (possibly the most gorgeous slap sequence in anime, and certainly the most beautiful I’ve seen), and accepted the contribution of her victorious rival.

There’s some delicious irony here. Minmay singing “I’m not alone anymore, now that you’re here with me” in a repeating verse wistful and almost sorrowful in terms of melody. It’s a perfect metaphor for the state of love and triangle: Misa is the one who is not alone anymore, having Hikaru. The lyrics are translated by Misa, the melody is interpreted by Minmay. Minmay owns the sorrow, and suffers for having to sing the words that celebrates Misa’s love.

macross do you remember love hikaru misa double imagemacross do you remember love minmay looking at lost love

The song is the biggest thing. In the very end Minmay raises her hand bearing the note with Misa’s handwritten translation of the lyrics in both salute and triumph. Misa accepts the salute, and joins her in triumph. The victory belongs to the translator of the lyrics, and the interpreter of the melody. And Misa may have won her part of the war, and won love, the final victory of Macross is punctuated by song.

1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4…

macross do you remember love minmay 1 2 3 4


Further Reading

Remember, Remember… The Animanachronism celebrates DYRL‘s 25th anniversary (Iknight 2009/07/07)

Love, for a show that is meaningful for a generation of fans (Peter Payne 2009/07/20)

This show is a problematic (relative) masterpiece by Kawamori, but is one nonetheless (otou-san 2008/12/22)

An eloquent endorsement for the show if I’ve ever read one (Kadian1364 2009/10/10)

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.
This entry was posted in Do You Remember Love?, how to remember love and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Oh Macross, It’s Just a Popular Song, of Course it Was a Love Song: Do You Remember Love?

  1. Ryan A says:

    Provolone, Macrosse, Romano, Brie.

    …welcomed by memories of how the love began
    They say it’s the best part of a relationship. Maybe sometimes, but it usually is filled with pretty amazing memories; it’s fresh and bloom.

    This is a pretty inspiring take on Macross, and Remembering Love. It’s an inspiration for me to make it a point to experience Macross. It’ll happen eventually ^^

  2. Yot-chan says:

    My mind’s kind of flying off in directions right now…from thinking that Minmay expressing a desire for everybody to die mirrors Hikaru’s desire in the TV series to see the town blown into stardust…to DYRL as kinda/sorta a child created by Minmay and Misa…

    Anyway, I think the “All My Loving” comparison is apt. It seems like every few months, someone on Macross World will state that there was something “special” about the song DYRL, that Britai’s line about the song reaching into their genes means that there is some kind of Trojan Horse programmed into the song…when really, I think all it is is that feeling of longing and tenderness that they get from the song. Which, I believe, is the whole point of the movie…the song is more powerful than the mecha, and it (and Minmay’s performance) achieved what the Macross by itself would never have been able to do. It enabled them to befriend some Zentradi and defeat the rest.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to the “My Fair Minmay” post. I’ve gotten a lot of thanks for it (and I’m definitely grateful for that, and very glad that people are enjoying it), but not much actual DISCUSSION of it yet. Having spent seven months (off and on) going over it word by word, I have my own ideas about what it “means,” but I’m curious to hear other people’s takes.

    • Well, the thing about this discussion is that I’ve approached the events in it as a non-fiction within the Macross continuity; which is interesting to me indeed.

      Your assertion that song is more powerful than mecha is something that the ‘good guys’ among the powers that be really want to believe, as a means to pacify and govern their populations; and thematically, is something the narrative pushes further and more absurd degrees (not that I’m complaining!).

  3. The Longcoat says:

    Wow. Tragedy and Hope in one delivery. What a montage. Those poor, ugly aliens; They forgot what love was, but then some remembered it, and they killed the ones who didn’t, for love and peace.

    Anyone ever do a post on how Battlestar Galactica remembered love? I’m confidant you could make a strong case for the Cylons being akin to the Zentrans. Season 4 was all about remembering love, mm-hmm.

    • I haven’t seen any BSG since the foggy episodes I’ve watched on TV as a young boy.

      If you haven’t seen this movie, go do so. Even if you don’t like it too much you’ve only spent 2 hours. The montage in the clip is actual unedited movie footage. That’s no AMV.

  4. mechafetish says:

    Kudos on the great post!

    Its interesting to remember that DYRL is actually a movie within the macross continuity. Hence, it is actually a work of fiction as compared to the reality that is the TV series. Whats interesting to note here:

    The songs in the TV series (actual history) are all Minmay’s songs, composed by her or for her by other human beings.

    On the other hand, in the fictional movie, DYRL is a song created by the mysterious progenitors of both humans and the zentreadi.

    Songs in macross are merely representations of culture. In actual history, the zentreadi were defeated by/succumbed to human culture.

    On the other hand, the deliberate inclusion of the detail of DYRL as a song belonging to the progenitors of both races changes a lot of things.

    In actuality, the zentreadi accepted and tried to adapt to an alien culture that was, for all intents and purposes, anathema to their own.

    On the other hand, DYRL posits the zentreadi acceptance of culture “remembering love” as a reclamation of their own lost heritage. The zentreadi are no longer discovering a new way of life, but are rather REdiscovering a way of life lost to them since time immemorial.

    As such, it may be interesting to think of DYRL as a form of propaganda to ease the cultural tensions that were prevalent on post war earth and to stem the zentreadi rejection of human culture as alien to them.

  5. primeparadigm says:

    Oh man, the timing of this post….

    I’m sorry to be a bringer of bad news, but it seems Kazuhiko Kato, the composer of “Do You Remember Love?” (the song itself) only JUST passed away.


    It’s a sad day for Macross Fans…

    • Oh man.

      This is terrible news. I feel part awful for saying this, but I’m kind of glad I published this post today. For what it’s worth I dedicate it now to Kato-sama: I never listened to anything else he ever wrote, but this song is a big part of my life and for that I thank and honor him.

  6. 2DT says:

    “Misa did say it was just a love song that became popular. I don’t know how she could have found that out.”

    I think, assuming that DYRL is in fact a propaganda film from the Macross universe that glosses over the messier parts of Human-Zentradi relations, this is just a plot hole that the (fictional) creators overlooked in favor of pushing an agenda.

  7. Yi says:

    Never seen Macross, but that is certainly a nice song. ^ ^

  8. The timing of this is kind of uncanny and sends shivers down my spine given the horrible news I just heard today:


    At least he went out celebrated by all of us here. Excuse me a moment……..*runs off to cry*

  9. animewriter says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the death of Kazuhiko Kato, it’s a great loss for anime fans. Reading this post brought back memories of the first time I saw this movie in 1986. As a long time anime fan who’s been watching anime movies and series since the late 70’s I can’t overstate the impact that movies like DYRL, UY 2: Beautiful Dreamer, Nausicca, Galaxy Express 999, Night on the Galactic Railroad, and The Castle of Cagliostro had on creating the first masses of anime fans.

    Even Though some of these movies were made in the 1970’s, it seemed that they all made it to college anime clubs in subtitled form in the mid 1980’s. I remember seeing this film back in 1986 in a theater filled with a few hundred people, my eyes stayed riveted to the big screen for the entire movie, it took my breath away, and I know that the screening of DYRL created many lifelong anime fans.

    I still have my original VHS fansub copy of DYRL stored with pride next to my copies of the other movies I listed. I consider DYRL, along with those other movies to be the “Holy Grail” of early American anime fandom, they showed early fans how great anime could be.

    • What I’d give to see this in the theater! I saw this film in the early 90s while in high school, which confused me thoroughly since I had seen the original series in 1984 as a boy and by that time I had been watching Robotech which I had come to believe as canon.

      Nonetheless, I had never seen Macross look so amazing and the song itself gave me shivers. In high school I was into hardcore punk and metal, and made it a point to let people know how ‘hardcore’ I was. And yet this song gave me something powerful. Watching Minmay sing, at that point the anathema of what I considered cool, gave me shame because I loved it so much. I loved her so much.

      I remembered love then, as I do now.

  10. Pingback: Mechafetish on Macross: Do You Remember Love? « The Ghosts of Discussions

  11. kaeboo says:

    The victory belongs to the translator of the lyrics, and the interpreter of the melody.

    The irony of self-sacrifice all for the sake of love. The pain of losing someone special to another whom you can consider as another special person you also know. Letting go of your personal longings for the sake of the world. Tragic.

    Minmay, for me, embodies the typical person who chose her career over everything else. She accepted her loss in Hikaru but gained her name by accepting the song that she was to interpret.

    Misa, on the otherhand, chose to stand by her man and had her song being sung as her victory.

    Great post! 🙂 Congratulations.

    • Thanks. I appreciate the sympathies for Minmay as well. While I certainly think she has hordes of fans, I don’t get to hear much sympathy or kind words for her. Most of the time I meet Misa supporters. I don’t mind hehe, but I won’t deny being pleased with the sympathetic ink spilled for Minmay.

  12. Ningyo says:

    YES. Classic Macross.
    None of that newfad moe moe BS.

    Your takes on why characters do certain things and how this defines them is spot on.

    But meh, film adaptations usually receive a bit of rage from dogmatic fanbois. imo though, they do have one valid excuse; they have to cram an entire series of work into 115 minutes.

    I always loved how the old turn of Macross’ usage of drawn art over CGs and pastel-ish space backgrounds, as well as the art style of the time really brought out mysticism. It took space and warfare less literally, and painted it with a near magical theme. It wasn’t like with something like Gundam Z, where you’d go “Is that even possible, really >.>” – It was Macross; the fitting soundtrack, the involvement of alien technology, the stellar relationships of the characters and the sharp existentialism would make one feel immersed in a cosmic mystery much greater than oneself.

    That, and Roy Focker was always gar enough to keep you coming back for more.
    Pineapple Salad ;-;

    • Thanks man.

      I’m not that averse to moe, and you’ll find a lot of love for Macross Frontier here [->]

      I find your take on the magical theme intriguing. Wouldn’t you say Gundam was more interested in magic? Especially Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam with all the Newtype business going on, culminating with Kamille’s NT Barrier LOL. I actually think that Macross was far more devoted to physics than Gundam was, only saving the lulz for its plot about culture, music and song in the form of a pop idol saving the world.

      I daresay it works brilliantly.

      • Ningyo says:

        *facepalm* oyea, the NT godmode… gundam sings itself as a real robot series and is so prominent that I sort of took it for that for a moment. Okay, zeta was a pretty bad example, with all the ghosts flying around and shit. Then again even in Seed they had jesus yamato who never bloody died.
        I guess the thing is, gundam never worked as mysticism for me. it felt more like the producers just couldn’t play it straight with the real robot idea and couldn’t resist putting in midi-chlorian elements >.>

  13. kadian1364 says:

    It’s interesting to read some criticisms of DYRL, being that my only exposure to the original TV series are those very discussions and DYRL itself. It’s always from the fanboys of the original, and always along the lines of, “They changed something! Blasphemy!!!”

    Yet, from my perspective, neophyte to Macross, or even from the more extreme perspective of those that were introduced to the whole medium of anime by DYRL, the movie as it stands, is perfect. Not the total and complete kind of perfection that stems from airtight narrative or technical execution, but perfect at being what it is, being completely and unapologetically romantic. The songs, the story, the action scenes, from Hikaru and Minmay’s date, to the dogfight in Saturn’s rings, from Hikaru’s final declaration of devotion to Misa, to him handing the lyrics to Minmay. It pours from every cel of animation, every note of music, every missile trail and messy guttural Zentraedi explosion, and every theme. Love flows from every pore of the movie’s existence, love for its fans, love for animation, love for love’s sake. And it sparks those kinds of feelings in me too.

    All those changes mechafetish listed signify to me how purposeful those thematic changes were. I believe DYRL should be felt and experienced more than more than it should be literally analyzed. Maybe that’s why I find it so hard for me to talk about this movie logically or sensibly. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time listening to some guys who argue about this fictional canon or its purpose as possible propaganda, and taking them seriously. I think, really guys? You want to argue about this? Those kinds of flaws seem so miniscule compared to the overwhelming feelings of the film.

    Who knows, maybe I missed the point somewhere by not seeing the TV show first, or I’m the exact kind of victim this propaganda targets, but possibly it might be those guys that missed the point.

    • Some of the apologetics you’ve used here can and do apply to Macross Frontier, not that the show exhibits the same kind of ‘perfection’ you talk about. The similarity between the two is the umbrage older fans of the franchise feel towards them.

      All those changes mechafetish listed signify to me how purposeful those thematic changes were. I believe DYRL should be felt and experienced more than more than it should be literally analyzed. Maybe that’s why I find it so hard for me to talk about this movie logically or sensibly. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time listening to some guys who argue about this fictional canon or its purpose as possible propaganda, and taking them seriously. I think, really guys? You want to argue about this? Those kinds of flaws seem so miniscule compared to the overwhelming feelings of the film.

      I must address something here.

      There are two kinds of nitpicking I feel. There’s the first kind, the most common one, made by reviewers and critics determined to define the precise artistic/literary/cultural value of a work; and/or an attempt to justify/rationalize it within one’s set of favorites/top 10 list/etc etc.

      I am a lot less interested in this kind of nitpicking.

      The second kind is the kind of thing fanboys like me do; the kind that turns into some kind of scavenger hunt for logic and information. Here the speculation and conversation matter so much more than the resolution. After all, I am speaking to fans who’ve made up their minds about the respective shows we discuss, and it’s a lovefest really even if it looks like we’re burning an effigy.

      My own list of nitpicks partly reflect this. It may sound like an anal diatribe but it isn’t representative at all of me as a fan who listens to ai oboete imasu ka</i? almost every day and watched that sequence above again on my iPod last night.

      So I'm saying that there isn't so much 'the' point, as much as there is a plurality of meaning and approaches to enjoyment too. Remembering love is (but) one of them.

      • kadian1364 says:

        There are some points here I don’t follow you on so I’m gonna have to ask you to walk me through this.

        “The similarity between the two is the umbrage older fans of the franchise feel towards them.” I’ve only seen Frontier once, and hardly done more than simply digest it in its simplest forms, and all its homages flew way over my head. So I’m probably not so familiar with Frontier as you assuredly are. What do you mean by “umbrage towards them”? Resentment of what? Towards who? New fans? Or of Frontier itself?

        I actually understand the nitpicking thing. That’s what intense fanboys of various cultures wont to do. I do it all the time. Just stating my observations of how it appears incomprehensible to someone on the other side.

        But really, you’re more than a year late blogging Frontier, so I’m unfamiliar on what your thoughts on that particular series are.

        • The umbrage is how Frontier has shown how Macross ‘sold out’ as a franchise by pandering to moe, high school hijinks, etc. as if they want the franchise out-Gundam Gundam itself (in terms of being a gritty and serious war anime with mecha). To a degree I don’t blame them because Macross showed a rather brilliant turn in the third act of the TV series, depicting a post-war reconstruction period that most shows don’t really get to do (Legend of the Galactic Heroes uses post-conflict periods as interludes between the succeeding conflicts).

          Amidst the silliness, Macross does well in a lot of things that fans would call realistic, or at least a devotion to realistic portrayal. Macross Zero comes to mind with its treatment of tribal/primitive culture conflicting with technology and the march of progress. What bugs me a bit is that many haven’t seen this OVA, and that many have dismissed it for its ‘magic’ elements near the end. It doesn’t bother me at all, and I think of it as a great credit to the franchise (it’s a prequel to the main storyline).

          The recent translation of episode scenarios that never saw production for the original TV series shows us however that Macross always intended to show a high school setting: My Fair Minmay shows us her last days in the St. Valencia School for Girls prior to the taking off of her idol career, similar to Ranka in Frontier. And a day in her life would show us scenes straight out of Hatsukoi Limited or School Rumble wherein she does an Enomoto or a Sawachika dating many high school boys and finding them boring.

          Another complaint about Frontier is how the nostalgia-service went overboard at the expense of any other real value. People lean on this also due to the ‘sell-out’ accusation (which compounds everything). However, people like yourself — assuming that you did get value out of the show, and most notably iKnight of An Animanachronism did get value out of the show despite not being a long-time fan of the franchise.

          Some fans don’t know their franchise as well as they think, and are quick to judge, and unfortunately, dismiss shows in it based on our collective limited information on the whole, and by imposing hopes and expectations for real robot anime in general.

          I happen to love Macross Frontier despite some annoying faults: most notably the breakdown in Ranka’s character arc; the forced symmetry (Ranka just HAD to slap Sheryl too for dramatic justice even if the logical stretch required a hyperspace fold), technological magic shortcuts (Grace’s mind control over Brera was severed when his earpiece communicator got severed after a nearby explosion that shouldn’t have affected the inside of the VF-27 Lucifer’s advanced cockpit), and episode 08.

  14. maAkusutipen says:

    I did not read the whole post just focused on the translation of the song. Well I already know it. hehee Will read it a bit later OK?

    I really liked Ai Oboeteimasu ka for its simplicity in both message and arrangement. It is one of the few Japanese songs that I can understand in the onset without opening a dictionary or looking for the lyrics! hehehe

    It is such a sweet tune to sing in Karaoke but I am a guy so the Botchi ja nai part makes me scratch my throat HAHAHA.. remember the video someone posted in one of the comment threads here about the die hard macross otaku giving a concert? It is like that for me! Wahahaha…

    • I don’t blame you! I love this song too and terrorize everyone riding in the car with me whenever it plays from the stereo (worse when the gang does the Nyan Nyan Service Medley which has a rather awesome “Botchi ja nai” part). Hehehe.

  15. gloval says:

    Wow I can feel the love in this post. Great analysis on the character interactions!

    The timing is uncanny. It’s like that Jessica Zafra’s Michael Jackson article published on the day of his death.

    Just a minor nitpick on what you narrated about Boddole Zer. He did freak out about culture later in the battle, but that was not what made him open fire. If I remember correctly, he was pissed off that the humans hadn’t provided the lyrics for the song, but Lap Lamiz’s fleet had folded in. In desperation, he resorted to the usual military tactic of acquiring the first strike/decapitation strike, even at the expense of a few million ships of his own fleet getting caught in friendly fire.

    I’ve read in AnimeSuki (LOL 2nd hand info) that Kawamori had stated that the true/canon story of Macross was still out there found between the SDFM series and DYRL movie. I take it that the movie is an idealized mythology (propaganda as some here have stated) while the series could be a historical documentary based on multimedia records and eyewitness accounts of the main players (which of course still has limitations). I would acknowledge that the series has the best story-telling in the franchise, but the movie makes the Macross themes more visible. DYRL showed me how profound Macross can be.

    About the singable Tagalog translations before, I think I’m ready to translate a few Macross songs. This one is definitely in the list (hmm.. “Naaalaala Mo Ba Ang Pag-ibig?” ugh, sounds too strong.. “Di na ako nag-iisa ngayon/Narito ka sa piling ko” LOL madrama na ba?).

    • Thanks. Point taken re Bodolle Zer.

      This will prove a very difficult song to Tagalize. I don’t envy you.

      Why would you say that the TV series is a documentary? Does this have something to do with the photo album ED?

      I remember Robotech running with this approach, especially the books. The photo album ED was LOL Dr. Emil Lang’s, and the novels themselves used the convention in Frank Herbert’s Dune books, using metafictional text as lead-ins for each chapter.

      • gloval says:

        That documentary thing was just how I would interpret the narrative in the series given that alleged Kawamori quote about the Macross canon. I’m thinking the events and characterizations in the series is the closest to the real thing, but if it’s just a product of honest-to-goodness historical research with particular emphasis on the key historical personalities, then we could say that indeed the “real” story is still out there.

        That part where you said the song is just a translation, was one more push for me to Tagalize it. But I’d take any fanboy help I could get. Wouldn’t it be nice, in your next anime karaoke session, to be singing the songs in a language that’s close to your heart? Maybe non-anime fans might take notice.

        (I just noticed, Misa translated the Protoculture song into English, then Minmay translated it to singable Japanese. I guess I’m no different then, I use an English translation of a Japanese song and translate into singable Proto–I mean Tagalog.

  16. maAkusutipen says:

    I do not know where to put this, but since this is also about Macross anyway…

    You many remove this if this is too far from the topic though.

    you know this already?


    Its apparently a series of ads for panchiko games that utilize the fame of Macross.
    Well it is a start right?

    They wonderfully did 20th century boys into movies(well most of it, the last is about to come out), next project would be Gantz, and maybe because of this Macross would be possible?

    • I’m not sure if I want a live action Macross show, but if they make one, I’m probably going to love it even if it breaks my heart. The VF’s look nice, and I know they can even do better. My real reservations are for the characters. I’m rather worried if they can cast winners. I don’t even want to think about Minmay.

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  21. ifjakfjsdkf says:

    i always interpreted the song as unrequited love or a broken romance. in the lyrics, she is lonely and full of tears. her lover isn’t with her. she wonders if her lover still remembers her … so it’s not likely that they’re together anymore. she can only take solace in her memories of him – imagined moments – because that’s all she has left. though he’s no longer there, his memories will forever be with her – so she’s not alone. and thus the sadness behind the song and why the lines before the refrain are left unfinished and unspoken (‘but now my heart is …’, ‘now the world is …’). she never says that her heart is ‘glad,’ or the world is ‘wonderful,’ etc. her emotions are rather complex. well, just my interpretation. dunno if there’s a ‘right’ answer …

    unlike the beatles song, which is a quick, simple ditty about a horny lil bastard promising not to fool around. =P

    • There’s no one ‘right’ answer. It’s all good. We’re invited to put in what we would feel when we’re reunited with a love one, when we ‘remember love’ with that person having met again for a long time.

      What it didn’t say was how the singer didn’t screw around, the way the Beatles song promised the loved one in its own narrative lols

  22. Pingback: Macross Frontier: The False Songstress & a Tradition of Retelling | We Remember Love

  23. Assad says:

    I’m a big fan of Macross during my childhood. It’s been 19 years I haven’t heard of this song. Watching the video really brings me the memory.

    Glad I found your blog & congrats on the content.

    • I’m glad this post made you remember love. It’s been over a year ago since I made it but I remember feeling that this was the most important post I was ever going to make. I hope you find other Macross shows you’ll like and when you do you can always look around this blog for discussion. Thanks you and cheers to you.

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