Macross: Do You Remember Love? is a movie remake of the first arc of the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross. DYRL starts off in the middle of the action with the Macross already fighting the Zentradi in space; Hiraku is already a pilot; Minmay is already a star. This is mostly a condensed retelling of the original Macross series. All the major scenes, deaths, defeats, and triumphs are revisited but now they play out a little differently than they did before. Canonically DYRL is supposed to be a movie made in the Macross universe based on the events in the TV series.
In fact, we start off in the middle of a Minmay concert. However, Hikaru and Minmay haven’t met yet. When they do meet it is much the same as the original though in the original the situation seems much more dire. All of the other relationships are already established, like Roy and Hikaru’s brotherly bond and Misa and Hikaru grating on each other. Oh and Kaifun is there too, though if you hadn’t seen the TV series you would be clueless of who the heck he is. They seriously don’t even say his name in the movie. Not that we care.
It’s rather odd they never even try to explain who Kaifun is because if you did not watch the TV series you would have no idea who this strange guy who is oddly familiar with Minmay is. They just assume you already know who he is or don’t need to know. He does not appear a lot but he is present for some pivotal scenes. Oh well it’s Kaifun. The less Kaifun the better.
So while we jump in with a lot of action, a lot of the relationships are not fleshed out to their necessity. It does rely on your knowing at least a little about all of these people already. But as popular as it was, that isn’t a bad assumption. Though I do feel if you were just going to watch DYRL without the benefit of the TV series you wouldn’t be lost. I just felt this was sometimes difficult to understand Misa’s point of view without knowing her backstory and family history. Also her friendship with Claudia gave many insights in the TV series which we miss here.
They have a rather long series to condense into one movie so I will forgive them on many things. I think that they did good with conveying all the major elements of the series even if they miss some of the subtle nuances. They made this movie for fans of the original Macross series. They assumed you loved Macross when you went into the theater so they did not have to waste time explaining anything. You can enjoy this movie without seeing the original series but you are more likely to love this movie if you have seen the TV run.
The music in DYRL is super fantastic, I really love Minmay for all the singing she does and not much else. We of course get all the popular songs from the TV run but we are also graced with what I consider one of the best songs from the franchise and where the title of the movie comes from.
Do You Remember Love? is clearly the name of the movie for a reason. It is the song that the turns the story around and is just the perfect song for the movie as a whole. Since this is a fan-service movie for fans they have to give you musical fan-service as well. The concerts are just fun in DYRL. I would even say they rival any later concerts in Macross Plus and Frontier which is not faint praise. If I remember correctly An Angel’s Paints that Minmay sings during the end credits is rather famous as well.
This isn’t surprising but the animation is super terrific and obviously puts the TV series to shame. It is certainly at the height of animation at the time. Everything from the people to the ships to the fights is detailed and fluid, it is still impressive looking even now. And once compared to the original well it looks even better.
This was a labor of love and it is reflected in the unmistakable quality that pours from every scene. Gone are the constant animation mistakes of the TV series. Every scene is a gorgeous banquet of spectacle. Every fight scene is a grandiose display of amazing dog fighting and epic clashes of capital ships. Everything looks more futuristic due to coming out several years after the original series. The city and the technology in the movie just looks nicer and more how I would envision the technology on the Macross to actually look.
Yes, I think they finally got rid of the phones with cords. That always cracked me up in the original. The future is now!
If you are curious how much people were effected by DYRL just listen to the episode of Anime Wold Order were they talk about it. It’s not as much a review as a love letter to the movie. They each recount how much this movie meant to them and how much it effected anime fandom when it was released. To AWO Do You Remember Love? is the avatar of 80s animation and one of its greatest triumphs.
Do You Remember Love? takes everything that was great about the original and removes everything frivolous. It also enhanced everything, not only with its animation but with its storytelling. The pace immerses you within a few minutes and you don’t want to part with these characters you come to love. A plus to this movie is that our three main characters all have a role to play in the final climax. In original Macross, Minmay was the real person to end the war but here we get Misa discovering something significant, Hikaru defeating someone important, and Minmay singing to the Zentradi. It is also more definite in its conclusion about the relationships for which I was eternally grateful.
You should watch this movie just to see Minmay get slapped right across the face as so many fans wanted. The happiness in Narutaki’s eyes when that scene happened was one of utter, ferocious joy. Come for Minmay getting her comeuppance but stay for the love. The love of between Misa and Hikaru, the love of the animators for the fans and animation, and the love of the fans for Macross.
Top 5 Favorite Macross Songs
5. Macross Opening (Macross)
4. Holy Lonely Night (Macross 7)
3. The Hush of 200 Million Years (Macross II)
2. Information High (Macross Plus)
1. Do You Remember Love? (Macross, Do You Remember Love?)