Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love (Movie Review)

超時空要塞マクロス 愛・おぼえていますか
Chou Jikyuu Yousai Macross: Ai, Oboete Imasuka
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love (Movie Review)

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveThe warship Macross launches a squadron of fighters while inside, pop idol LIN Minmei performs at her concert. When Zentradi send their mecha pods, the squadron attacks. However, this is a diversion as a Zentradi warship defolds, sending an infiltration team into Macross. This is seen by rookie pilot Hikaru, who disobeys orders from the female Lt. Misa on board Macross, and follows the Zentrati. Macross transforms into its mecha form to take out the enemy battleship. However, when one of the Zentradi mecha within Macross crashes into the area where Minmei and her manager have fled, the giant Zentradi are shocked to see men and women together.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveHikaru arrives and attacks the Zentradi mecha. During the fight, artificial gravity is lost and Minmei rapidly floats away. Hikaru races after her to save her but is unable to stop his transforming Valkyrie fighter from crashing. Now stranded in an engine section of the ship, Hikaru is stunned to see he’s rescued the famous Minmei and gets her autograph. They have supplies that have “fallen” down from the civilian area and are forced to spend the night. Meanwhile, the Zentradi commander (Britai) receives word that they are fighting Miclones, something his adviser Exsedol warns about.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveBack on Macross, it has been three days since Hikaru went missing and Roy, Misa, and Claudia discuss it as Misa wonders if he deserted. However, down in the engine area where Hikaru and Minmei are trapped, Minmei opens up to Hikaru and even shows him how an actress puts on a love scene in a movie. As she kissed Hikaru and they float downward, the area they are in becomes open when a bulkhead is lifted. However, the press is there and captures the moment of them kissing. Because Hikaru rescued Minmei, the military has been talked into not punishing Hikaru. However, Misa does give him an earful about disobeying orders.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveWith the hot gossip being about Minmei being alone with a pilot for three days, Hikaru’s squadron comrades pay him a visit and are frustrated when they learn Hikaru didn’t have sex with Minmei. That evening, Hikaru stops by the nice establishment where Roy, Claudia, and Misa are having a drink. Roy gets the reluctant Hikaru to join them and then decides to lecture Misa on being a woman, going so far as to demonstrate things with Claudia. The waiter brings a phone for Hikaru from someone claiming to be family and Hikaru leaves, explaining it is a family emergency, something Roy questions.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveIn fact it was Minmei calling Hikaru to meet him. The two go on a date with Minmei in a disguise of sorts. They go through the civilian city portion of Macross and do all sorts of activities, including a holo-costume place where both get to see themselves in wedding attire. Minmei rejects going to a hotel but when she is recognized at a burger joint, the two take off to an observation area to gaze at the lights. Hikaru takes Minmei on an unauthorized trip in his fighter to see the Saturn rainbow. As he flies her through the area, they are found by Misa on a shuttle, who has her manager Kaifunn in tow, meaning the date is over.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveMeanwhile, Britai has orders to capture Miclones for further study and launches a mecha force which encounters Hikaru’s fighter and Misa’s shuttle. Misa sends a call for help as Hikaru attempts to engage the enemy, only to discover he has no munitions. Roy arrives in his fighter, proud of Hikaru for taking Minmei out like this. As Roy fights off the Zentradi, he’s led away so that Hikaru’s fighter and Misa’s shuttle are captured. Realizing his mistake, Roy comes back, making it into the hold of the Zentradi warship that the others were taken to but with a Zentradi force waiting for him, causing Roy to surrender.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveBritai and Exsedol question the “Miclones” about how men and women can live together. When the conversation turns to kissing, the Zentradi want an example, so Kaifunn ends up agreeing to kiss Minmei. The Zentradi are horrified and split up the prisoners to take them away. However, a Meltran raiding party enters with the female Zentradi slaughtering the males. In the confusion, Roy, Misa, and Hikaru get away and find their fighters. Roy dispatches Hikaru and Misa to find Minmei while he fights the Zentradi, dying in the process. Hikaru and Misa find Minmei and Kaifunn, but the combination of the continued Meltran attack plus the Zentradi ship attempting to “fold” to get away causes Hikaru’s fighter to be thrown clear out of the Zentradi ship.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveBritai and Exsedol make their report in person to their leader, who believes the Miclones are part of Protoculture, the race that had culture, something the Zentradi do not. Meanwhile, Hikaru and Misa land on a desolate planet where they see the remains of a large, metal ship on the beach. Misa recognizes it as the aircraft carrier Prometheus, which means they’ve returned to Earth. After Hikaru scavenges the ship for a few surviving supplies, the two take his fighter to Tokyo, where they find the city utterly destroyed. Hikaru asks where to go next since they’ve not found anyone alive anywhere, which leads Misa to break down in tears.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveSetting up a tent under Hikaru’s fighter, Misa lies there, not want to eat and is very depressed, seeing as how the Zentradi were so easily able to decimate Earth. Hikaru talks a bit about his past and when Misa shows signs of illness, Hikaru uses the handkerchief that Minmei signed to help with her fever. Seeing the sacrifice that Hikaru made on her behalf, Misa decides to eat a bit. When they take off again, they find a ruined structure in the middle of the ocean and check it out. It still has power and communications, though Misa cannot raise Macross. She does learn that this is a Protoculture structure from the main computer, which is diverting its remaining power to raising itself from the ocean floor.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveThe structure is actually a city and Misa’s communion with the computer now gives her some knowledge. As the city rises, Misa explains how the Protoculture people created the Zentradi and the Mentradi and made it so males and females could reproduce without the other. However, these giant races warred heavily and the Protoculture people realized their mistake and attempted to correct it by helping to create humanity. However, when the war moved to Earth’s solar system 20,000 years ago, the Protoculture people sank the city and fled. No one ever returned and as a result, the place was forgotten until recently.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveThe two begin exploring a city, finding what appears to be a house. Misa stays behind to look some more while Hikaru goes to see more of the city. Misa finds the kitchen and dishes still in the sink. As such, she gathers up the remains of plates, utensils, and the like and sets the table so that when Hikaru returns, she greets him as if he’s coming home. Following her lead, Hikaru pretends to share a meal with her on these dishes. However, Misa soon stops and declares her desire to get back to Macross. Hikaru is tender and understanding and thus the two spend an intimate night together.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveThe next morning, a sound marks the arrival of something and it is Macross in mecha form. Misa and Hikaru report aboard and make their report to Captain Global before speaking with Claudia. A Meltran warship arrives with Milia, captain of the ship, instructed to get this fragment of culture to win the war. During the fight, Macross takes heavy damage and Max, the now squadron leader, gives the very skilled Milia the fight of her life, pursuing her into her ship where both fight in mecha form to a stalemate with Milia injured. Minmei’s humming is being broadcast and the Meltran ship retreats when a fleet of Zentradi ships arrive with a peace proposal for the surviving humans.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveAt a conference, the explanation that Protoculture, Zentradi, and humans have the same genes and that this was the result of Protoculture gene work. Minmei is called upon to give a talk. Misa and Hikaru are introduced and a happy Minmei races to Hikaru. As the crowd gets excited by this, Minmei realizes that Hikaru’s heart is set upon Misa. Later, as Misa works on translating an artifact they brought back from Earth, Minmei is with Hikaru and confesses her love for him. Minmei has her arms around Hikaru from behind when Misa stops by with info on what she’s learned. Hikaru’s words to Misa make it clear to Minmei whom he wants and she flees. It takes more words to convince Misa but eventually he convinces her that he loves her, not Minmei.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveMacross goes on alert as Zentradi and Meltrandi forces emerge to take out the rebel Zentradi and Macross. Misa sends Hikaru to take her discovery from Earth, a Protoculture song, and give it to Minmei. As Hikaru races to find Minmei, the Protoculture city is destroyed. When he does locate her, she does not want to sing a song found by her rival for Hikaru. With massive destruction going on outside, Minmei whines and wishes everyone dead but the two of them. Hikaru has had enough of this and slaps her, bringing her to her senses and she agrees to sing as Hikaru joins the fight.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveThe rebel Zentradi, encouraged by Minmei’s song and a desire to have culture in their life again, battle along side the humans and defeat the Zentradi fortress. Though the rebel Zentradi know that there are more such fortresses and fleets out there, they are determined to see this through. Meanwhile, Minmei and Misa come to an understanding about the situation and no longer consider each other rivals in love. As such, Minmei continues to sing and life continues for the remainder of humanity with their Zentradi allies.

Thoughts/Review:

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveWatching the original Mobile Suit Gundam series has at times reminded me of the original Macross TV series. Indeed, some of you guys have encouraged me to watch the movie since I’ve not already done so, so I figured, “why not?” ^_^

It has been several years since I watched the TV series and yet there are just some things one remembers, such as Hikaru being a civilian thrust into the role of Valkyrie pilot and soldier. Here, he’s already a rookie pilot. Minmei was just a waitress who became an idol but here she’s already a famous singer and actress. Obviously, with a shorter movie format, changes need to be made and frankly, these two changes made for a different yet similar take on their original love story.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveAs with the TV series, the Minmei-Hikaru romance plays better and comes off more believable in my opinion. I can see how the famous Minmei in a situation where her life has been saved by Hikaru would find him appealing, not just because he’s a fighter-jock, but because even though he’s a huge fan, he’s a normal person. As such, Minmei can be “normal” when she’s with him, at least to a degree since she had to try to disguise her appearance on their date. Appearances aside, she can talk with him and just be herself and not the idol everyone expects. Of course for Hikaru, he’s getting to do every man’s fantasy and date a hot, famous chick.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveThe Misa-Hikaru romance is still difficult for me to swallow. I don’t remember exactly what put me off of it in the TV series but I do think the movie’s romance between the two is a bit more believable. The limitations of the movie format don’t allow for any real transition for Hikaru’s feelings for Misa to manifest themselves nor for Misa’s feelings for Hikaru. Considering how antagonistic both were to each other before their forced jaunt to Earth, more work needed to be done to show how they overcame this IMO. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to show this and so we got the one small moment in the tent while they were on Earth and then a time reference suggesting that a month had passed and thus they had apparently become close enough to boink in a ruined, alien home. Good thing that Hikaru’s fighter had enough fuel for a month of traveling around. ^_^;;;

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveWhen Hikaru and Minmei were reunited, I never felt like Hikaru had this deep love of Misa. Instead, I just felt like he felt obligated to be with her since he slept with her and thus had to pass on Minmei. Later, when Misa catches Hikaru and Minmei together in his quarters, I again felt that Hikaru felt obligated to be with Misa. Had the movie allowed Hikaru to actually tell Minmei this before Misa came in, maybe I’d feel differently about this. Its just hard for me to swallow is all.

While we are on the romance front, the Max-Milia romance was swept under the table for time. They did battle briefly but no romance afterward, which was a bummer.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveRoy’s and Claudia’s romance is still there. Roy comes off a lot funnier in the movie than I remembered him being in the TV series. His death scene wasn’t nearly as moving in the movie though. His final date with Claudia in the TV series had me nigh to tears when it was revealed just how injured he really was yet he wanted to spend his last moments with the woman he loved. In the movie, he dies in battle and while heroic, it lacked the romantic quality of the TV series version of Roy’s death.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveAs with other aspects, the story also suffers from the compressed time allotment of the movie format. In the TV series, things get to develop nicely but the movie’s transition of the Zentradi sent to Earth doesn’t feel as believable as it did in the TV series. It is that lack of time that hurts this movie so much because there’s just not enough time to properly develop the story, the characters, or as I mentioned earlier, the romances. It would have been better for this to have been made into two or three movies instead of one because too much is removed and what’s left has little to no impact on the viewer.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveOne thing I noticed was the mix of English and Japanese in the movie. Many of the ship announcements were in English and for the most part, pretty good English. I can’t remember if that was the case with the TV series but it did stick out to me here.

Another thing I couldn’t help notice was seeing how much Macross Frontier borrowed from the original Macross series. Since it has only been a couple of years or so since I saw Macross Frontier, that was fresher in my mind that the original Macross, so whenever certain scenes would happen (more so in the first third of the movie), I would think of Macross Frontier.

Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember LoveAn item that gave me pause was the announcement in the movie that September 11 was when the peace treaty between what would become the rebel Zentradi and the humans happened. Just a freaky thing.

Finally, one of the things that watching this movie reminded me of is how Minmei’s name has been jacked over the years. Her family name is “Lin” (or “Ling”) but because of Robotech, her family name of “Lin” becomes the given name “Lynn” in the U.S. Isn’t that special? *_* Yet I Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Loveguess Robotech really can’t be fully to blame since the cloth Hikaru had Minmei sign in the movie was displayed as “Lynn Minmay” (at least on the copy I watched) and this movie came out a year before Robotech by my reckoning. I find this dichotomy rather strange considering the Asian (including Chinese) use of family names first. I suppose that they *could* be trying to show Minmei using a stage name “Lynn Minmay” with the signature and other instances of its usage but everyone calls her by her given name “Minmei” so who knows for sure. Oh well.

In the end, this is a beautifully animated movie that holds up well by today’s standards. However, taking thirty-six TV episodes and compressing them into a movie just under two-hours means that too much stuff got cut out. As a result, the story, character development, and romances never come off right. Still, I don’t regret watching it but I don’t think I’ll watch again.

YAK! Deculture!

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5 Responses to “Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love (Movie Review)”

  1. SAMAS says:

    Actually, there’s a small hint that the Max/Myria thing happened, if a little differently. In the final battle, you can see them both fighting side-by-side in Red and Blue Power Armor suits.

    (Super Robot Wars Alpha even gave you a choice in the matter: If Max shoots Myria down during the last battle with her as an enemy, they both show up again in Valkryies like in the series. If he doesn’t, They show up in the suits like they do here.)

    And I’m not 100% sure, but I think the last Zentraedi Roy died fighting may have been Kamjin/Khyron.

  2. junior says:

    I love this movie. As I mentioned in the previous entry regarding it, the animation is still great after all these years. And it’s a good story as well.

    As SAMAS noted, the Maximillian and Milia relationship is still present in the movie. Max follows Milia into the Meltran ship, she gets wounded, and he climbs out of his fighter. The two stare at each other, and at that moment the Meltran ship folds out.

    Later on right before the big battle at the end, there’s a shot of the Meltran hanger. Look closely and you’ll recognize Milia standing next to a macronized Max with both wearing their traditional colors. During the battle itself there’s a brief shot of the two in action, and both of them are piloting Queadluun Rau power armor – once again in their traditional colors.

    The comment regarding Kamjin and Roy is correct, although there’s no reference to it within the movie itself and is therefore basically just a bone thrown out there for the fans. You’ve also got Kakizaki’s rather sudden split-second death.

    Similarities with Macross Frontier –

    The most blatant, imo, is the “kissing while acting” gag that Minmei performs here and Sheryl performs in Frontier (though Sheryl’s probably not acting quite as much as Minmei…). Those are intentional homages, and the series is littered with them. The writers were clearly having fun with them as well, and thus the discussion about pineapple cake in one particular episode of Frontier (In the TV series, Roy dies in the episode ‘Pineapple Salad’, which is the dish Claudia was preparing when he died.) as a wink and nod to the fans (who have long theorized about the deadly properties of pineapple salad upon unwary ace pilots – I kid you not 😛 ).

    Unlike you, I had no issues with the way that the romance developed in the movie. It seemed like a natural process to me. Minmei was, more or less, his fantasy. And her immature escapist attitude reinforced that opinion. Misa was the more grounded person that he could actually love. And an important part of the movie romance was his realization of that.

    In contrast, I don’t care much for the TV romance – largely because of the last nine episodes of the TV series which unnecessarily dragged it out after seemingly settling things in ‘Love Drifts Away’ (guess they had to do something after they got the green light for the ten extra episodes…).

    Of course, aside from the last nine episodes, I have no complaints about the TV series handling of the triangle.

  3. maglor says:

    This is the movie that made Anime Music into a big thriving industry. Alas, I wonder how many people remembers Minmay anymore.

    http://moet.anizone.net/index.php?Phase=CombatList&Index=1&StartingIndex=30&FinishingIndex=42&lang=eng

  4. OCP002 says:

    While stranded together on the ancient Protoculture island city, Hikaru and Misa came to mutually yearn to explore and expand the boundaries of the steadily deepening affection and comfort that they found in each other. The depth of their relationship was the result of a unique and challenging shared experience that no other woman could realistically compete against. After returning to the SDF-1, Hikaru’s feelings/actions towards Misa were not driven by “obligation”, regret, nor pity, for that is not how she would care to be regarded by him… There was no doubt that Hikaru still harbored feelings for Minmay after they were reunited on stage. But even after Minmay openly declared her longing for Hikaru when she visited his quarters, Hikaru’s muted reaction was telling (“Minmay, boku wa…”). It was clear that his heart was already set on someone else…

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Man, it has been a while since I saw this one. ^_^;

      I do get the point you are making. I understood Misa having deep feelings for Hikaru, and while the two being alone for a while is something I could see causing Hikaru taking notice of Misa, I just felt that the story never really set things up (properly) so that Hikaru had truly shifted his feelings for someone else. I just can’t see someone having that deep of feelings for someone else (Minmei) to shift them to another so easily (Misa).

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