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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Epic Anime Scene - Lynn Minmay's DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE?

Since posting the awesomely epic Dragon Ball Z scenes of Super Saiyajin transformations last Saturday (Goku's 5-minute transformation is a stuff of anime lore), I will now decide to make this a weekly thing... for the time being.

This week, I'll go for MACROSS, another anime series I remember fondly from my childhood. Back then, like most non-Japanese, I know MACROSS as ROBOTECH, and was drawn to it every week. When I first heard that Tobey Maguire bought the rights to do a live-action adaptation few weeks ago, I was more than a little intrigued. Is Maguire going to be Rick Hunter? I can see that (even though he is a little too old for the role, but hey, if he can be a young college year Spidey, Rick Hunter's not a problem). But who can be the iconic Lynn Minmay? A contemporary teeny bopper pop singer? Hannah Montana as Minmay? Please excuse me as I go and slam my head against the wall.

Some things are timeless. To measure their quality using the evaluating methods of today is a little unnecessary. That's like saying Pearl Harbour is better than Casablanca as a WW2 romance because the latter has no colour, no drawn-out heavy special effects war scenes, no overemoting, that's like saying Jet Li and Jackie Chan's Hollywood films are much better than their Hong Kong ones because of better production values and bigger budget. or Xenosaga games being better than Xenogears because it's in 3D etc etc.

Appreciating older anime is like appreciating older films. Sure, you can say all you want about it being too retro, or lacking at the technical department, everything hand-drawn with no state-of-the-art CGI in it, or start saying that the likes of Evangelion changed the landscape of mecha by being so absolutely psychologically complex with its numerous insane Christian allusions, symbolism and post-apocalyptical bleakness.

I love Evangelion just as much as anyone who has his room full of Rei Ayanami figurines and posters... ahem, but to me, this particular scene from the Macross film, MACROSS: DO YOU REMEMBER LOVE? is not something that can be replicated easily even if you have the latest filmmaking and animating technologies. It's all about storytelling, the emotions, the climatic build-up. And hell, despite being hand-drawn, I still think the animation's really spectacular here. My point? Don't diss Macross because it was released in a time when animators had to work with far more limited technology than now.

While I've liked the subsequent Macross sagas a lot (Macross Plus being high up there on my all-time list as well), I still think Minmay has no equal as a female protagonist (in the series).