The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?

Title: The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? aka Choujiku Yosai Macross: Ai Oboete Imasuka
Genre: Action/Romance
Company: Big West/Tatsunoko/Studio Nue
Format: Movie; 115 minutes.
Dates: 7 Jul 1984

Synopsis: Five months ago, the SDF-1 Macross accidentally space folded to the end of the solar system after the giant Zentradi attacked Earth. Since then, the ship’s inhabitants have journeyed home, currently finding themselves around the rings of Saturn. The task at hand is daunting by itself. However, the Macross also finds itself in the middle of an even more devastating conflict between the male Zentradi and the female Meldtadi. Humanity is in a state of chaos with the world destined to be caught up in it. As the conflict between the warring races escalates, Earth becomes a battlefield with the only thing that can stop this is the music of the ancient Protoculture.

The Highlights
Changes: The paradox of this movie.
New Animation: Picture perfect.
Love triangle: A variation on the theme.
Music: Starts out flawed, ends amazingly.

In 2031, a movie was made to commemorate the journey of the Macross and the peace between Mankind and Zentradi. 47 years earlier in 1984, this movie was remade for viewing in our timeline. Get your head around that, and immediately everything in Macross: Do You Remember Love? makes sense. Rather than being some compilation movie, DYRL is a “based on true events” film. The sheer number of changes, for better or worse, makes this not some recap cash in, but in actuality a tribute, a real “Macross: The Movie.”

It’s a real shame that within the first five minutes, DYRL reveals its most glaring flaw. The number of changes versus the amount of omitted story-critical scenes makes it unclear whether the target audience is fans or newbies. The movie wastes no time getting into the action, but at the cost of setting up the Macross’s situation. Without any previous knowledge of the preceding events, which never got even a sentence of explanation, it feels as if one is starting from the middle of the film. As for those familiar with Macross, there is bound to be at least one change (of which there are several) that will be aggravating. My personal one was the new character designs for the Zentradi (even though this is a relatively minor nitpick compared to what others might have). However, much like a weekly TV series finally paying off, halfway marks the point where it is obvious that DYRL is now comfortable in its own shoes, and everything before and afterward is better as a result.

As far as the changes go, for every bit of drama taken away, something else is there to fill the void. Originally, the Macross makes its way back to Earth before the Zentradi. But when they do, it makes for the perfect buildup to the final battle. DYRL switches this up, which completely changes the effect of the moment, a moment which is truly heartbreaking. Even the famous love triangle is modified a bit, making Hikaru less indecisive and more determined and, more notably, Minmay becoming less oblivious and more mature. Alterations like these almost deserve a warm welcome overall, because with them comes fresh new animation that truly captures the experience. But, this is a Macross show, so if anything is going to define the moment, it’s the music.

I will admit, the moment I first started hearing the soundtrack, I was ready to write this movie off. Much of the BGM early on is simply taken straight out of the original series. It’s excellent music, but fitted for TV and is just not grand enough to capture the atmosphere in a 16:9 aspect ratio full length feature film. Luckily, like most of the other flaws in DYRL, it all goes away by the halfway point. A more sweeping musical score replaces the old one, leaving Iijima Mari’s (Lynn Minmay’s) songs around from the original, which still mesh perfectly. Things only get better from there, escalating to its peak at the final battle. This may be a little presumptuous, but the climax, when Minmay sings the titular piece “Do You Remember Love?” is not only incredibly moving, but perhaps the all time greatest integration of fighting and pop music in all anime.

Comfortable with its place in the Macross canon, Do You Remember Love? is something to be watched as its own entity, separate to the original. Yet in the end, it is still Macross; same premise, same themes, same love triangle. Regardless of how one considers this movie to work, it is still a must see; for those who have found love, for those who wish to remember love; for those who are yet to know love, and of course those who just need to scream “Deculture!”

The Rating: 8
8/10

Reviewed by: Kavik Ryx

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