On the night of January 29, 2013, I decided that I would take the dive into the wonderful, wacky world of Macross. I had never seen a single entry from the franchise before, and while the entity itself wasn’t as large as the Gundam family, it still had quite a number of entries to its credit, and finding a good starting point was an interesting proposition. Unlike Ghostlightning’s Gateway Gundam (which I did take, and am currently following its diagnostic for reasons), or the Starter Precure Quiz that I put up a while back, I had no particular referential framework to work with. Luckily, I decided to watch Do You Remember Love? first.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was still blogging back then, but was never really deep into the mecha genre, nor did I familiarize myself with the myriad of analyses into the Macross franchise strewn across the blogosphere. I was happily outside of discussion, ripe for the possibility of, as I’ve mentioned before, enjoying the franchise on my own terms. Instead of writing about the movie itself in a post, I livetweeted it. I loved it. And so did others:
Do You Remember Love? isn’t the first Macross experience that most people have, partly due to its age compared to other entries like Plus and Frontier, both of which were my immediate follow-ups, and will have Twelve Days entries of their own. 2013 was the year I dipped into the pool of Kawamori and his ecclectic style, and while my first Kawamori experience was AKB0048 (perhaps even a more rare occurrence than DYRL being one’s first Macross), I certainly could see myself delving deeper into this directorial style. What I feel about Macross as a whole was remarkably similar to that of my love for the Pretty Cure franchise (although nothing will ever hold a candle to that, more on this later).
In Pretty Cure, I found a franchise that had no qualms about telling the same story over and over again, with differing bits and pieces here and there. While most would dismiss this approach entirely out of commercial rehashing and milking a lucrative cash cow, I was fascinated by the show’s ability to take the same tenets of what makes a series Pretty Cure, and expand on this mythos through different angles, with variation on theme, character, and even artistic styles. Through history, one could trace such storied franchises through a literary taxonomy of sorts, and after taking a more holistic view of the series itself, can identify those tenets.
That isn’t to say that one couldn’t do this for a single story (which constitutes adaptation), but the journey of discovering what is truly PreCurian or Macrucian about those franchises begins with a single step. With PreCure, I enjoyed (and still do) that particular journey, but leading off with Do You Remember Love and following up with the other entities within the franchise was like listening to a musical piece composed in a Theme and Variation form. The main idea in its purest sense is introduced, then played with in several ways, presented in a specific developmental order to create artistic effect.
On a more personal level, the eponymous song from the movie laid a foundation for much later on the year, when I got together with my fiancée. The song held a shared meaning between her and myself, and over time, it became “our song.” It was the song that I couldn’t stop singing at work in the days leading up to my visits to her city. It was the song that we slow-danced to together in the parking lot of the airport right before I flew back home. It was the song that we slow-danced to together in her apartment shortly after I proposed. It’s the song that we will dance to at our wedding.
As I’ve said before, it’s not just this movie that brings me back to places past, but also the other entries. They somehow fill me with such memories that only I have, that I keep to myself and value so much. While I truly love Kawamori’s directorial style, what makes me love Macross specifically is its ability to not only do the “theme and variation” effect with its story, but somehow, it rings true to me with my own life as well. My life is a story in itself, with its own themes and memories, and somehow, watching the different iterations of Macross allows me to see my life in the same way.
What will seven bring? What will SDF bring? What will I remember? I look forward to seeing these questions answered next year, though feel regret that I didn’t get to find out this year.