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