Monday, March 1, 2010

"Macross: Do You Remember Love" Impressions

Every time I hear the title to this move I always sing it in my head to the tune of Huey Lewis and the News's "Do You Believe in Love?" And the answer to both questions is, "yes, yes I do."

Due to the fact that, after watching this move, I went on Otacute and preordered all the new Macross Revolotechs, and then went on ebay to procure the Saturn Macross game, one might say that I was a fan of the movie. That assumption would be correct.

I'd say the first 20 minutes had me won over immediately, with it's near blockbuster explosive intro where the main protagonist, Hikaru Ichijyo, saves the beautiful idol in distress by reaching out the huge metallic arm of his transformable Valkyrie and shielding her from the wreckage falling around them.

There were no slow parts of this film, and for consolidating a 36 episode TV series into a two hour movie, the plot was very easy to follow and still completely engaging.

To be honest I'm not a huge fan of 70's and 80's style anime, mostly due to their limited movement and animation to save money. So my qualms mostly rest with the TV shows. On the other hand I love the 70s and 80s style anime when they are in movie or OVA form. The fully animated hand drawn style really is a lost art in today's prevalence of digital animation, and it is sad that you just can't see anything animated quite like this film anymore. The characters have definitive weight and are fully realized.

That isn't to say I didn't have problems with the movie though. First off, although I realize that the love triangle relationship between Ichijyo, Misa, and Minmay was consolidated from the show, I found the whole thing angering me a little. Minmay gets absolutly screwed over in this film. If you don't know anything about Macross, then it would seem from the movie's perspective that Ichijyo and Minmay are meant for each other, and for half the film they are, until she is captured, he assumes she's dead and then hooks up with Misa without batting an eye. The whole thing makes Ichijyo look like a bit of an ass, which would be fine if it was intentional, but I don't think it was.

Of course, I instantly looked up the original TV show to see how the relationship was handled, and it makes a lot more sense. From what I read (and not based on any first hand knowledge) Minmay kind of strings him around after she gets famous, and the falls for him after he is into Misa. That turns the tables and makes her the villain in the relationship, so perhaps the movie was done in this way to evoke more sympathy for her character. But I think it tipped the scales a little too far in making Ichijyo look bad.

Also I could have done to see more of Ichijyo fight some more in his Valkyrie. The last thing he does in it is pretty awesome, but at the same time he goes from a love struck teenager who doesn't do anything really impressive, to dealing the deathblow to the entire war. It would have been nice to see his skills improve over the course of the movie, but again I realize there is only so much they could cram into one film.

However, overall I thought it was a fantastic film, and I can't wait to see how America totally destroys it in Hollywood (as Robotech starring Toby Maguire).

My next stop of the Macross journey into infinity is Macross 7, and the "Do you Remember Love" Saturn game. Macross 7 is a fifty episode long series and I hope it doesn't overload me. Perhaps I need to look online to see if there are some episodes I can skip over and not miss anything. I also might take a little detour to watch some of the episodes of the original TV show.

Also I'm trying to find a subtitled copy of Macross Flashback 2012, either online or for sale if anyone can point me in that direction. It has a follow up on what happened to all the characters in "Do You Remember Love" as well as Minmay music videos, but seems to be hard to come by on the interwebs (though I'm probably not looking in the right spot).