TRANSLATION: Do You Remember Love, the Novelization – Part II, Chapter 2

DYRL Ch.7

And here it is, the longest chapter in the novel!

Hikaru really is the worst, isn’t he?

(As always, if you missed Part I, you can find it here.)

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THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH – Anison World Matsuri ~Japan Kawaii Live~

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ANISON WORLD MATSURI ~JAPAN KAWAII LIVE~

ICONIC SCENE: “We love hamburger!” (Pic from the Anime Expo Facebook page.)

PERFORMANCE DATE: June 30, 2017

There was something of a sonic boom among western Macross Delta fans (yes, they exist) this last spring, when it was announced that Minori Suzuki and JUNNA (Freyja and singing-Mikumo) of Walküre would be performing at Anime Expo at the elaborately named “Anison World Matsuri ~Japan Kawaii Live~.” They’d be performing on the opening night (or “Day 0”), June 30, 2017, in an idol-themed concert along with IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls, Wake Up Girls!, and Aquors (from “Love Live! Sunshine!!”). And I think that’s the most exclamation points I’ve ever used in a single sentence that WASN’T sarcastic…

Anyway, this was greeted with a lot of shock, despite the fact that, when you think about it, the majority of Macross singers have performed in the US at least once (and, in Fire Bomber’s case, actually recorded an album, “ACOUSTIC FIRE!!” here). In this case, of course, it wasn’t the entire Walküre group, but I think we were all pretty happy to take what we could get.

Since I got my ticket last-minute (i.e. on the day of the concert), I wasn’t going to be sitting near the front like some of my friends were. In fact, the only seats available were on the “mezzanine” (although it looked more like a “second balcony” to me), while everyone else was in the orchestra section. While it meant I was pretty far from the stage, it did give me a good view of the audience.

The show was nearly sold out, but not quite. I’d say the mezzanine was about half or two-thirds full, while the rest of the place was packed. The Microsoft Theater holds 7100 people, so I’d say that a little under seven thousand were there.

How many people were there specifically for Walküre is an open question. Just talking to random people, it seemed like Aqours and Wake Up Girls! were the biggest draws, followed by Walküre. That said, while the audience was appreciative of Cinderella Girls and Wake Up Girls!, they seemed to go especially wild for Walküre.

A lot of this, I’m sure, had to do with their performance. Now, all of the groups performed well (as far as I know… I left right after Walküre, thus missing Aqours), but the first two were… a little impersonal. The impression I got was that they were both doing pretty much the same set that they do in Japan, just shorter. They performed their hits, introduced themselves in Japanese, and did a couple of skits, also in Japanese. Walküre seemed set to do the same, coming out and singing a couple of songs, and then JUNNA said, between songs, “We love HAMBURGER!!” This led to a long conversation about where to get a good hamburger.

Well, Californians know what’s what, and so the crowd started shouting “In-n-Out! In-n-Out!” The thing is, Minori and JUNNA had apparently already tried In-n-Out, and loved it. I think this was lost on most of the crowd, who seemed to think they were recommending something new to the girls, rather than affirming that they’d already had the best.

(Incidentally, in case you’re curious, my favorite hamburger in L.A. is not In-n-Out, although it’s quite good (especially “Animal Style”) but the plainly-named “Pie ‘n’ Burger” in Pasadena. Excellent burger, and well worth the trip if you’re in Los Angeles.)

Anyway, more than the music, this bit of mike chatter totally won over the crowd, and Twitter was ablaze with people who had never heard of Walküre or Macross, but were now inspired to seek it out.

I said before that the concerts were really a communal focus point for Macross, solidifying the fans together in a way that just watching a show on TV could never do, even if you talk about it on social media afterwards. And I think that was proven here. It seemed like most of the crowd hadn’t previously known the show (although A LOT of the crowd had their glowsticks turned to red or purple and Minori was visibly moved when she tried to teach the crowd how to do the “Whoa-whoa-WhoaWhoaWhoa!” bit for “When My Rune Shines Bright” and it turned out that many people already knew it), but I’m sure there were many, MANY new fans made that night.

We’ll see what happens in the future. For right now, with a movie, a series, and another concert on the horizon, everything seems fine.

(If you want to hear more, including our friend Nicole’s amazing personal encounter with Minori, be sure to check out the podcast here at Decultureshock.)

Anyway, the Macross Rewatch has now once again come to an end. Thanks for reading! It will be revived again later, and I’ll have a different series rewatch coming up next year. First, though, will come some long-awaited translations.

THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH – Delta Mini-Theatre 9

Delta Mini 9

DELTA MINI-THEATRE 9

ICONIC SCENE: Yes, they’re a boy band now.

RELEASE DATE: March 24, 2017

This one, on the final blu-ray, pulls out all the stops. For one thing, it’s almost twice as long as the previous shorts. For another, it features EVERYONE, even Q-Lulu.

The highlight is obviously the Aerial Knights singing “When My Rune Shines Bright” at karaoke, but Captain Johnson’s big lecture is also great, especially since Berger’s theme music starts playing as soon as the captain starts launching into his long history lesson. So yeah, it sure SEEMS like the show is poking fun at itself. which isn’t a bad thing.

THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH – Delta Mini-Theatre 8

Delta Mini 8

DELTA MINI-THEATRE 8

ICONIC SCENE: Jellyfish!

RELEASE DATE: February 24, 2017

Included with Volume 8 of the blu-rays, this is probably the weakest of the shorts, although the “Mirage’s Diary” has some visuals that are worth a chuckle or two. I also like how Captain Johnson is so tall that his head never appears in the frame.

Oh… and earlier this week, news about the Delta movie was announced at an event. We still don’t know a whole lot, except that it’s called Macross Delta Gekijo: Gekijo Walküre (“Gekijo” meaning both “theatrical movie” and “passionate,” depending on which kanji is used), and that it will tell a new story, using both old a new footage… so, I’m guessing it’ll be a lot like The False Diva. It’ll come to theaters February 9 (followed a couple of weeks later by two Walküre concerts, again at Yokohama Arena), which makes me wonder how long they’ve been working on it… Since the end of the TV series? Just recently? Anyway, I’m looking forward to it, although I’m going in with fairly low expectations.

You can follow any developments on Decultureshock.

THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH – WALKÜRE LIVE 2017

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WALKÜRE LIVE 2017: “WALKÜRE Won’t Stop” at Yokohama Arena

ICONIC SCENE: Do You Remember Sobs?

PERFORMANCE DATE: January 29, 2017

(DVD/BD RELEASE DATE: May 31, 2017)

Remember back when the Frontier TV series ended, nine years ago now, and after the final episode there was a little blurb announcing a Frontier movie? So even as it finished, we knew more was going to come? There was no such assurance at the end of Delta, leaving everyone a little uncertain of what was coming next. Oh sure, the toys, model kits, and figures were still being released, but new productions…? We had no idea.

So it was pretty exciting for Delta fans when, towards the end of 2016, a “rare tracks” mini-album by Walküre was announced, along with a two-night concert at Yokohama Arena.

Yokohama Arena, by the way, seats 17,000 people and thus is several magnitudes larger than the Zepp concert halls that they had played before, and even (slightly) larger than Budokan, where the biggest Frontier concerts happened.

The video release of the concert, which is a massive three-hour thing, is of the second night of the concert, which means that unfortunately Minori “Freyja” Suzuki’s duet with Megumi “Ranka” Nakajima is not on it, since Megumi was only there the first night.

But other than that, I think it gives any Delta fan everything they could want in a Walküre concert. Nearly every song is performed, with much more elaborate choreography than the Zepp shows, and there’s even a surprise appearance by Melody Chubak as Heinz and Yoko Hikasa as Claire. Most importantly, they play with a full band, unlike the Zepp shows, which used prerecorded tracks.

The emotional climax hits when JUNNA is talking about how grateful she is for Delta and Mikumo, and starts crying. Then, during “Do You Remember Love,” she starts all-out sobbing. Then Kiyono “Kaname” Yasuno and Minori start losing it, too. Throughout the concert, the performances are virtually flawless, but JUNNA can barely sing her part here, she’s weeping so hard. Remember, she was only fifteen, and it was just a little over a year previously that she had been performing at tiny, cheap “idol festivals” as half of a duo called Twintail… and now she’s got a couple of number-one albums and is singing in front of a crowd of fourteen thousand. It’s gotta be kind of awe-inspiring.

So yeah, really wonderful show on every level. And as much as some fans grouse about the emphasis on music in Macross, I think the music is really vital, not only in itself, but also for the communal aspect of things like this concert. Having been to a few, there’s really something energizing and even moving about being in a huge crowd of people waving glowsticks, swaying with the music, and getting that direct connection that’s really only possible through live music. It’s an experience beyond what just the anime can give, and I think it’s easy to see why in the last few years, so many idol anime shows have been created. But still, nobody does it quite like Macross… but I’ll talk about that more later.

THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH – Delta Mini-Theatre 7

Delta Mini 7

DELTA MINI-THEATRE 7

ICONIC SCENE: Mikumo demonstrates lack of embarrassment to Mirage.

RELEASE DATE: January 27, 2017

And the blu-ray releases continue… This short, despite yet another bit about Mirage’s lack of self-confidence, shows that the conventions of the “Mini-Theatre” are standard enough that they can begin to play with them, as when Reina interrupts Bogue watching the Walküre channel (showing that yes, she can indeed see him through the TV screen, as he’s been fearing for a while now).

Still no big belly laughs or anything, but better than the previous bunch.

THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH – Delta Mini-Theatre 6

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DELTA MINI-THEATRE 6

ICONIC SCENE: Another covert operation for Mikumo…?

RELEASE DATE: December 22, 2016

Volume 6 here was released on my birthday, so that’s something. This collection of shorts features Mirage blaming Hayate for eating her dessert, Freyja doing a broadcast lecture on runes and getting told off by Bogue, and Mirage trying to figure out what a “selfish kiss” is, while Mikumo looks on. Like the last one, a little generic. The rune segment seems promising, but doesn’t end up telling us much that we didn’t already know.

I really appreciated the Macross 7 P*L*U*S episodes because they got stronger (mostly) as the series went on. The Delta Mini-Theatre shorts, in contrast, start off great, and then begin to wobble a bit.