Japanese animation has brought forward many films which are regarded as classics of the genre (for now ignoring the fact that anime isn't really a genre in and of itself, but rather a style of animation which encompasses several different genres, eg. horror, comedy, sci-fi, etc), but for some reason Macross: Do You Remember Love is seldom mentioned alongside gems like Akira, Ghost In The Shell, or Mononoke Hime (and pretty much every other Studio Ghibli effort) - something I find quite difficult to understand. I was lucky enough to catch this movie on late night TV several years ago and was completely spellbound by it. It has a simple storyline (boy loves girl, while humanity's future is threatened by warmongering cyborgs - hey, it's anime) but an innocence at heart which very few movies, even animated ones, are able to match. I was even luckier when I discovered a subtitled VHS copy of it, and it has since become one of my favourite animated movies of all-time. For its time, the standard of animation is quite impressive. This movie must have taken at least a few people's breaths away when it was initially screened in 1984, because, even when you compare it to Japanese animation of the time (including Hayao Miyazaki's much-lauded feature debut Nausicaa), the level of detail and movement on display is mind-boggling. People don't just move their eyes and lips (as was the case in virtually 99% of animation then); their hair moves, their clothes show wrinkles, whilst the background details are nearly inch-perfect. Macross itself doesn't just look like a huge intergalactic space station, it also *feels* like one. I can think of few films which display a similar attention to detail as DYRL, and for that reason alone it deserves its rightful place in the animation hall of fame, next to anything Disney or Ghibli have ever brought forward. The storyline, as mentioned before, is fairly straightforward (and admittedly clichéd at times), but thankfully this doesn't sidetrack from its unique charm, especially as the narrative progresses from a bogstandard battle of Good vs Evil into something else entirely, which I won't describe in great detail lest I completely ruin the surprise for you - however, I will say this: the ending itself is one of the most awe-inspiring things I have ever seen. Quite aside from the strangely moving premise of J-pop saving the universe, the entire choreography of that scene is an utter stroke of genius. It's a bizarre ending, but strangely enough it works. I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert on the Robotech series - in fact, I know pretty much next to nothing about the other instalments in the Macross/Robotech series. But I like to think that I know good film-making when I see it, and Do You Remember Love certainly is that. It's an unsung classic of Japanese animation which does not deserve to fester in obscurity, but instead requires widespread recognition as the ground-breaking work of art it truly is. Simply put, it's wonderful. (NB, I want to point out that this review concentrates solely on the subtitled version of Macross: Do You Remember Love, not the dubbed and narrowed-down version of the movie entitled Clash Of The Bionoids, which, as many here have pointed out, is a monstrosity to be avoided.)
Macross: Do You Remember Love?
Macross: Do You Remember Love?
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In the next century, a reconfiguring ship (think "Transformer" with a pilot) called Macross carries fifty thousand refugees within its hold as it returns to Earth pursued by giant humanoid ...
November 12, 2020