Macross: Do You Remember Love?
Macross: Do You Remember Love is a retelling of the events of the Macross TV series as a movie that is fiction even within the Macross universe. (Basically, the Macross version of a "based on a true story" movie like The Longest Day, but Lynn Minmay is your USO.) In case you never saw Macross, or the American adaptation, Robotech (you probably shouldn't be reading this review, actually), the basic story is about a love triangle between a hotshot mech pilot, his beautiful superior officer, and a teenage idol singer, all draped over a war between the human race and the spacefaring Zentraedi. Of course, in the movie, they turn the female Zentraedi into a separate race, the Meltrandi, and they too, have been warring, and a whole bunch of other facts change over to make the story that much more fictional.
For quite a while now, we've had a review up for Clash of the Bionoids, the dubbed "adaptation" of this movie. And, well, it sucks. Having seen the original, I figured it would be best to write a separate review to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the original movie as a work of art.
So here's the real Macross: DYRL.
Funny enough, the art is the first thing you will notice, if you haven't seen the dub before, that is. For a mid-1980s movie, it's gorgeous, and Mikimoto Haruhiko's designs are far truer and more lush in this movie than the TV series, which is saying quite a bit. To this day, some anime fans still have movie posters for this, especially with Lynn Minmay. I don't blame them a bit.
What else differs upon watching the real DYRL as opposed to Clash of the Bionoids? A lot. The voice acting, of course, is incomparably superior. No nasally growling Zentraedi here, no way! Though it's probably unfair to compare Macross' music to its American counterpart, it should be stated that the talented Iijima Mari makes any English-language Minmei voice just laughable in comparison. (Don't even get me started on the Robotech music.) It's telling that Iijima Mari still sells CDs twenty years after her only voice acting role launched her into superstardom. Though the whole concept of J-pop as cultural warfare is still kooky at best, at least the music's nice, and perfectly harmless to human ears.
Bear in mind, though, that as a fictional account of the Macross TV series, the plot is not only heavily embellished to utter unbelievability in places, but totally lacking in others, leading to plot holes the size of the SDF-1. I would like to think this is intentional (at least I hope it is!), but it's jarring in any case. Don't expect the TV series plot, that's for sure. At least they got the characters right, as the voice actors reprise their roles just as they're supposed to be done, and get to philosophize a bit on the side, too. But the writing just isn't up to the level of the TV series, which is a bit of a letdown.
Though itself an admitted adaptation, DYRL is definitely a classic in the space opera genre that has, sadly, fallen victim to haphazard Western editing and the passing of time (and better animation technology). Even at two hours, it seems compressed and not nearly as satisfying as the original series, and I'm not sure it's supposed to be so much a true epic in its own right so much as a cashing-in on the franchise. It does seemingly anticipate the trend of alternate universe stories (as does its cousin Orguss) by a few years, which is an interesting experiment in what is considered "canon" and "apocrypha": purely semantics in a fictional setting, of course, but fun to think about, as long as it's not too carried away (like Tenchi Muyo).
If you always wanted to see your favorite Macross characters on the big screen, Macross: Do You Remember Love is certainly the way to do it. Don't take it too seriously though, as it wastes no opportunity in being too melodramatic for its own good. It's still light-years ahead of the Western version, though!
A weak story and jumbled plot keep this from being as good as it should be. Macross fans should add one star and pray this gets released properly some day. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: About on par, or maybe slightly more violent than the TV series. There are quite a few redshirts, including a decapitation during the SDF-1 transformation sequence (talk about not being prepared!). Despite not nearly being as annoying as her Western counterparts, Minmay still gets slapped (because she's still a ditz in the movie). She also still gets peeped in on by Hikaru, so there's a little bit of nudity, but nothing further than that, and no rough language that I could remember.
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Macross: Do You Remember Love? © 1984 Big West / Tatsunoko Production / MBS / Shogakukan
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