Hikaru loves Minmei.

Do you Remember Macross?

by Jonathan Clements
Articled published by Manga Mania #45 May-June '98. UK

At the turn of the 21rst century humanity discovers it is not alone. A giant space fortress crash-lands on Earth, and while the boffins turn cartwheels at the new technology, the military are less than pleased. The news cannot be kept secret for long, and everybody is painfully aware that this is a warship from a very advanced civilization, who might just be heading this way.

Hikaru and Minmei trapped inside the SDF-1

"Love, Do you Remember?

Sure enough, the gigantic Zentraedi warrior race arrive to reclaim their errant spacecraft. But during the bitter conflict that ensues, the human race discovers the invaders' fatal flaw. Themselves the inheritors of a far older civilization, the Protoculture, they have a society which knows nothing but war. Zentraedi spies are deeply confused by the concept of friendship and romance, and entire fleets are driven insane by their first encounter with the dreaded 'culture', as transmitted through the love songs of a chinese pop star, Lynn Minmei.

The fighting is long and hard, with several false truces and partial victories, but eventually humanity wins the day. The Zentraedi volunteer for 'micronization', and are reduced in size to interbreed with the human race. Although they have different blood types and biology, for some reason they are easily able to integrate. And then the exodus begins as the human race leaves their homeworld and head out into the infinite sea of stars.

Macross introduced the tri-partite winning formula of songs, battling robots and tense relationships. It took a step back from boy-meets-girl romance and asked what would happen if the boy met two girls and couldn't make up his mind. Under the stern realist command of designer-turned producer Shoji Kawamori, Macross insisted on beautiful but practical machinery, that was nevertheless exploitable as toys. Macross recognized that the future lay in multimedia, and that there were few better ways of creating a buzz than featuring a singer as a lead character, whose songs could be sung, and sold to eager fans, war requires warriors but peace requires lovers. Fighting might save your life, but only love will save the world. And with a wink to the japanese audience, if you are ever invaded by foreign powers who are a lot taller than you, wow them with your songs and you'll cut them down to size.

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