The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984)

In 1984 the animated television series MACROSS had reached new heights in popularity in Japan. Never before had an animated series struck such a chord with the Japanese public. Certainly shows such as Astro Boy, Kimba, Gigantor, Mazinger and Gundam were popular entities among the younger population, but MACROSS had transcended all age groups, classes and genders like no anime before it. Songs from the show, sung by Mari Iijima (as Lynn Minmay), were climbing the charts one after another. In fact, Lynn Minmay (despite the fact that she was a fictional character) had become as popular a pop star in Japan as Madonna had become in America. The time was right for the shows directors, Noboro Ishiguro and Shoji Kawamori, to begin work on a big screen adaptation of the MACROSS story. A theatrical release would allow for higher production values, cleaner animation and a more adult oriented storyline. The biggest challenge for the two directors would be to condense the series’ numerous episodes and complicated plot down to a serviceable 114 minutes. Ishiguro and Kawamori knew this would not be easy, but both were up to the challenge. The movie would feature all of the elements that made MACROSS a hit, transforming mecha, unique spaceship designs, and a strong character driven story. THE SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS: DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE? opened in theatres throughout Japan on July 21, 1984 and became an instant box office hit.

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As in the original television series MACROSS, the films plot would revolve around a daredevil turned fighter pilot named Hikaru Ichijyo (Arihiro Hase) who finds himself involved in a very complicated love triangle. Ichijyo is torn between his feelings for a young Chinese pop star named Lynn Minmay and a strong willed military officer named Misa Hayase (Mika Doi). As in the television series, the demands of Minmay’s fame became too much for the young pilot to deal with, and he would end up paired (through a series of catastrophes) with the stern, yet vulnerable Hayase.

In 2009 an alien battleship crash lands on Earth and is rebuilt by a combined effort of all the world’s governments. Soon a race of giant aliens comes searching for the ship and before the human race can figure out what is going on, it finds itself in the middle of a three-way battle. It would soon be discovered that these giant aliens, Zentradi / Meltlandi, were actually at war with themselves. Unlike in the television series where the male Zentradi and female Meltlandi never interacted, in the movie adaptation, however, the two genders were actually at war with one another and the human race would become involved in the ultimate battle of the sexes.

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In an attempt to shave the space fortress, the captain ordered the initiation of a fold maneuver to quickly get the ship and his crew out of harms way by instantly transporting to another point in space. Unfortunately the maneuver was executed too close to a nearby island that was transported through space along with the battleship. The island’s inhabitants, along with their homes and businesses, were quickly rescued and placed aboard the ship, where through time they reconstruct Macross City and try to live a normal existence.

The Zentradi soon track the vessel through space and throw everything they can into preventing the humans, and their battle fortress, from reaching Earth. During the conflict both the Zentradi and Meltlandi become obsessed with human culture, which they refer to as Protoculture (or a prototype culture). Most of all it is the music of the pop sensation Lynn Minmay that is of the greatest interest to them. In the end it is an ancient song, sung by Minmay, which leads to peace between the three warring factions.

A year after ‘THE SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS: DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE?’ was released in Japanese theaters, the original MACROSS series would reach American shores in the form of the ROBOTECH television series. At that time interest in the theatrical MACROSS release began to grow on this side off the Pacific. Celebrity Home Entertainment (Just For Kids) would release a heavily edited VHS version, again aimed at young adults, under the name CLASH OF THE BIONOIDS (?) in the late 1980s. Gone were most of the movies violent battles and Lynn Minmay’s shower scene, all to the disappointment of the American MACROSS/ROBOTECH fans.

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A DVD for the film has never been released in the United States due to an ongoing legal battle between Big West, Tatsunoko Pro and Harmony Gold (who was responsible for the ROBOTECH series). Many companies have expressed interest in releasing the film on DVD, but at this point there is such a legal mess that the film may never get a proper release in this country. Sadly THE SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS: DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE? may become a lost treasure in the annals of Japanese animation releases in the United States.

The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? (1984)
Aka: Chôjikû yôsai Macross: Ai oboeteimasuka / Clash of the Bionoids

Directors:Noboru Ishiguro and Shôji Kawamori
Writers:Shôji Kawamori (story) and Sukehiro Tomita (screenplay)


Mari Iijima as Lynn Minmay
Arihiro Hase as Hikaru Ichijyo
Mika Doi as Misa Hayase
Michio Hazama as Bruno J. Global
Noriko Ohara as Claudia LaSalle
Akira Kamiya as Roy Focker
Osamu Ichikawa as Golg BoddoleZer
Eiji Kanie as Vrlitwhai 7018
Ryûnosuke Ôbayashi as Exsedol 4970 (as Ryûsuke Ôbayashi)
Hirotaka Suzuoki as Lynn Kaihun
Shô Hayami as Maximillian Jenius
Katsumi Suzuki as Hayao Kakizaki
Hiromi Tsuru as Kim Kaviroff
Sanae Miyuki as Shammy Milliome (as Miyuki Muroi)
Run Sasaki as Vanessa Laird

Runtime:114 min
Release Date: 21 July 1984 (Japan)

See Also:

Negadon The Monster From Mars (2005)
Sqaudorn Prepare for Battle!
Dominion: Tank Police (1988)(Agent 21, Manga Entertainment)
Mazinkaiser (1999)(2001) OVA

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