The good people at The Galaxy Network gives us a great gift: a Super Dimension Macross (TV) side story in scenario form — this means the draft never got produced as TV series episodes. This is a big deal! Why, this covers material of Minmay in the infancy of her stardom.
Minmay gets a bad rap for her immaturity as a teenager, exacerbated by the fact that she is the biggest star in a decimated race. I mean, there was literally no competition left. Also, in the form of the Zentraedi, anything she does is a guaranteed hit. This was an alien race that near literally (and ridiculously) had no culture.
Thus, the events and her behavior at the end of the TV series rather damned her, and made it easy for the fans of the show to sympathize with how the love triangle was resolved.
BUT NOT ME. While I will never take anything away from Misa Hayase, I’m a Minmay diehard. All these Macross fans who supposedly ‘love’ the Misas and the Sheryls of the franchise talking about ‘loving’ a character who ‘deserves’ it. I like these characters a great deal. But love? PFFFT. That ain’t love. That’s too easy. It’s easy to appreciate excellent qualities such as maturity and strength, decision-making and competence under pressure. Loving a character for those qualities is safe and conservative.
If it fits in the pocket of one’s preferences. That’s not love at all! That’s like saying I love anime and only mentioning Ghibli films, and maybe Legend of the Galactic Heroes. That’s not love! Appreciating such excellence is what you’re supposed to do.
It takes a fanboy to love Minmay, to love Ranka sure. It takes someone who gets what love is too. These female leads are weak, stupid, and in the case of Ranka, pretty badly written. But take that meta layer out, she made some wretched decisions. These characters are rather embarrassing to like publicly. So people don’t love them. Some hate them vociferously, others fap to them in secret.
No this isn’t about a moe need to protect them. This is a strong desire for them to make it through, to learn the tough shit. It’s kind of like wanting to put Lucky Star‘s Tsukasa in a Buster Machine. It’s not about protecting them from the harshness of the world, but rather seeing them through it; wanting then to get their acts together. They’re hard to love, Minmay and Ranka both.
Ranka had considerable pre-stardom screen time. We know she didn’t have it easy. Not only did she fail to win Miss Macross, there was a dominant diva within her sphere in the form of Sheryl. She’s lucky that Sheryl is fond of her too; it made a rivalry between them probable. Minmay on the other hand, while being a nobody prior to winning Miss Macross, was already the darling of everyone.
Her family loved her. The Mayor of Macross City loved her. The Nyan Nyan restaurant was her first success. A city of sausages wouldn’t hesitate to head over to the only dive with a teenage girl in a cheongsam serving dimsum. Everybody loved her. So yeah, Minmay’s path to stardom was pretty well-paved. This easy course is part of why she handles adversity with difficulty.
So how easy and exciting did she really have it? My Fair Minmay ~ Dreaming Prelude shows us how.
To everyone about to read My Fair Minmay ~ Dreaming Prelude: The story that begins here is the story of Lynn Minmay, a girl who wants to become a star. This is the prelude, from being chosen as the Queen of the Miss Macross Contest aboard the space battleship Macross, to her first real step towards stardom. These scenarios start before Episode 9 of the TV series and end at episode 12, and they form a background to that production.
These scenarios were produced the same we we produce the the TV show, almost as if we were making five more episodes. The scenario writers got together and hashed everything out, and then wrote it all down. Now, what we call the “scenario” is not the dubbing (“AR”) script used by the voice actors, although sometimes magazines will refer to it as such. The AR script used for dubbing is done after the storyboarding is complete, so it wil not differ much from the final film. So the scenario is earlier, and the writer pictures what the pictures and sounds will be, and a step to the storyboarding. In the process, things change, and the individuality of the writer gets watered down, and so most scenarios never see the light of day.
So here are unfiltered scenarios, without the changes to characters’ dialogue and the stories’ key points that always happens during production. In a sense, you are the director of the TV series, and I will be happy if you make the film in your head while you read the book.
And so, everyone, here is My Fair Minmay ~ Dreaming Prelude. Please read it slowly to the end.
Shoji Kawmaori (Composition)
The text is an insider’s view of the life of a pop idol in the making. Minmay’s popularity (the TV series’ popularity) coincided with the rise of the idol in Japanese popular culture. During this time idols represented charm and innocence, a kind of perfection in the eyes of their adoring public. Back then idols were nationally adored, not only by idol otaku — who were a latter phenomenon.
It starts on October 10, 2009. Minmay turns 16 years old, just before she joins the Miss Macross contest. Also a significant point of interest: the setting is high school: St. Valencia’s School for Girls. Macross Frontier is criticized by some (oldfags) for changing into some high school comedy, as if Macross was never supposed to have something so current or trendy or pandering as high school hijinks. Apparently there are many different high schools in Macross City, due to the number of male students in different uniforms waving at her.
Minmay, talking to her classmates Seiko, and Akina, was already worried about buying so much Valentine Chocolate for her male admirers. Interestingly, Minmay was doubting if she should join Miss Macross, and it was her classmates who encouraged her. Ultimately, it was the Mayor himself who entered her without her consent.
Also, apparently, Minmay was supposed to have a date with MAX, and SHE STOOD HIM UP. I don’t know what fills me with more RAEGHAET, the fact that Max is trying to get into her panties, or that she stood him up (what a bitchslut).
SCENE 11: Happy Park
MAX is sitting on the bench.
He keeps looking at his watch.
Oh Minmay, you’re late. Even though at the party, you promised me…
The screen splits in half. One side shows MINMAY eating chocolate parfait and laughing. The other shows an impatient MAX. (Mr. Director, however you want to contrast them is fine.)
See what I mean! God damn it! Maxxxxxx! But I can’t be to upset with Max. Minmay dates at least one more (high school) boy, who she finds boring. Ugh.
Also, just read this. We all watched SDF Macross episode 09. We all know how the Miss Macross contest went down. I’m pretty certain we didn’t get THIS:
SCENE 18: The same • The stage
MINMAY takes a deep breath.
Because she hurried putting on her swimsuit, MINMAY tugs on the suit near her buttocks to adjust it.
As the music swells louder, MINMAY strikes a pose.
KAKIZAKI’S VOICE: Wow, Minmay! You’re hot!
She topples forward. For a moment, the audience is silent.
After a beat, they burst out laughing.
MINMAY turns bright red. She stands.
GLOBAL: Are you all right?
MINMAY: (red-faced) Yes.
JUDGE A: Could you please turn around?
JUDGE A: As promised, I want to see your back.
MINMAY: (obediently) Oh. Of course.
She spins, posing with her back to the judges.
JUDGE A: Ah. Hmm.
GLOBAL smiles happily.
In the audience, FOCKER, KAIKIZAKI, and MAX all gasp involuntarily.
MAX: Um, wow. Not bad. Nice, even.
KAKIZAKI: So hot…
JUDGE A: Very good. You can turn around now.
MINMAY: Okay. She turns around.)
JUDGE A: Your back is very pretty, and you’ve got a delightful rear end as well. I’d even call it your “charm point.”
MINMAY drops her head and blushes.
Again, explosive laughter can be heard.
MINMAY: They’re all laughing at my butt… Thank goodness Hikaru isn’t here to see this…
She looks about to cry.
WTF GLOBAL I EXPECTED BETTER FROM YOU SON I AM DISAPPOINT. Anyway, we see here that Macross is far sillier, lewder, cruder, and pandering that its budget allowed it to be. While I acknowledge that the show that we did get is awesome (of course it is, who the hell do you think you’re talking to!), it’s rather presumptuous of us should we hold it to some standard of sacredness.
But hijinks and fanservice aren’t the only gems in this text! As I’ve mentioned, these extras give us a look inside the entertainment business. And I must say, even then (1983) the presentation in Macross is rather seedy. It was rather clean in the TV series, with the whole business with Kaifun being the primary distraction. Had these scenarios become actual episodes, we’d have seen rival entertainment companies go after Minmay, and a few more unsavory but interesting scenes of how the idol business could’ve really worked at the time.
SCENE 23: The Prometheus Nightclub
MINMAY is silent and her face is very red. She’s hanging onto LABONSKY’s shoulder to keep steady.
LABONSKY: Minmay my dear, I think you’ve had a bit too much to drink. I don’t think you can
walk far, but there’s the nearby hotel where you can lie down and rest for a bit.
MINMAY silently, unsteadily nods.
LABONSKY: Heh heh heh…
He puts his arm around MINMAY’s waist (she recoils a bit). MINMAY staggers to her feet.
SCENE 24: The pleasure district at night
FOCKER’s band, in a good mood.
KAKIZAKI: Ah, this feels great! I feel so refreshed! Our Leader will be sad he missed this!
MAX: Nah, our Leader’s heart is pure.
FOCKER, walking quickly, suddenly stops. The other two bump into him.
FOCKER: Hey, look at that couple there. Isn’t that Minmay?
KAKIZAKI: Whoa…it is!
MAX: Would our Leader take her to someplace like this, though?
LABONSKY is propping MINMAY up as she totters along.
Suddenly, MINMAY starts leaping.
MINMAY: Woo-hoo! Yippee!
LABONSKY frantically tries to hold her down.
LABONSKY: What, Minmay! What is it? Minmay!
MINMAY, giddy and drunk, keeps dancing around.
MAX: That’s Minmay screaming!
KAKIZAKI: What’s that guy doing to her?
FOCKER: Let’s go! Rescue Minmay!
The three dash forward.
FOCKER greets LABONSKY by grabbing him by the scruff of the neck.
LABONSKY topples backwards, then sits up.
LABONSKY: Who the hell are you?
FOCKER: What do you think you’re doing with Minmay?
LABONSKY: That’s got nothing to do with you!
KAKIZAKI: You dirty old man!
They start beating LABONSKY. MINMAY hangs on to MAX.
MINMAY: Yeah! Do it! Cool! Waa!
Then, all her energy vanishes.
Looking over, MINMAY is sleeping peacefully.
Do you remember this scene? I don’t think it made it as well. Apparently, 16 years old is a legal age for drinking in Macross City. If anything, I have a vague recollection of reading something like this in the Robotech novels. But that was so long ago so I can’t really say.
But what I’m certain of is that the further seediness in the idol industry definitely did not make it into the TV series. Near the end Minmay was being propositioned to do a film with a nude scene done by a director who used to do porn. So here is Macross after reading these scenarios: nothing changed much; it’s still a silly show that has uncommon attention to detail for a seemingly fluffy space opera robot show. It can surprise, that it can.
Macross Frontier 04: Miss Macross [->]
Macross Frontier 05: Star Date [->]