ICONIC SCENE: Minmay: the Motion Picture.

STORY DATE: January 2010


BROADCAST DATE: March 13, 1983

1. First off, two drama albums apparently happen around this time, although neither of them truly make sense to do so: “Miss DJ” and “Snow Falling in the Galaxy.” The first because “Shao Pai Lon” (which, yes, means “Small White Dragon”) opened around the time it was supposedly recorded, the second because it’s the Christmas album.

If the second is true, I guess the previous episode happened AFTER Christmas, because the three spies are still there in the short story that comes with the album (and, really, is better than than the music itself).

In the notes to that album, Noboru Ishiguro mentioned that they wanted to have a Christmas episode for the main part of Macross, and that this is what it was going to have been… if that’s truly the case, I think the timeline would’ve been different because, based on the dialogue and reactions of the civilians, it certainly seems like the Macross has not yet reached earth. It’s still a good story, though, and y’all should read it.

The three spies also get brought up in Miss DJ, but that album is such a mishmash of things from all through the show that trying to pinpoint when it’s meant to happen is futile.

2. Minmay’s movie is a kung-fu movie, despite (according to “My Fair Minmay”) protestations from the executives (who wanted a love story) (or, um, a porno).

Minmay’s not having much fun at the promo party, possibly because it seems like she’s the only person there who isn’t drunk.

Jamis Merin returns for the second (and final) time, and it’s kinda sad to see that she is still after Minmay… at the end of “My Fair Minmay,” she seemed to have given up…

3. Ah, if only the writers had foreseen answering machines… let alone SmartPhones… Then Hikaru’s reserved seat never would’ve been an issue…

4. Milia finds the line for Shao Pai Lon, and, for a brief moment, thinks Kaifun is the one who defeated her. Thank goodness she never met HIM for a knife fight in the park… One of them would’ve ended up dead (I’m not sure which, though, honestly).

When Minmay and Kaifun show up, a sign behind them proudly proclaims “AKINA,” again, a reference to the pop idol Akina Nakamori.

Inside the theater, Milia is ironically sitting one person away from Max.

5. The Director of Shao Pai Lon is, of course, playing by Macross director Noboru Ishiguro, and is named “Sho Blackstone,” “Sho” being an alternate reading of the kanji for “Noboru,” and “Blackstone” just being “Ishiguro” in English (a similar gag happens in Frontier, and yes, the name “Sho Blackstone” has been used before, for a MIss Macross contestant).

I note that Minmay and Kaifun are both wearing the same outfits they wore at the party the previous night, which seems like a major fashion no-no. I’m sure Perez Hilton will be after them for this.

And every time I watch this, when the director asks Kaifun if he has anything to add, I’m always scared Kaifun’s going to launch into another anti-war speech.

And Minmay has another new song, the theme for the film. It’s really catchy and nice to listen to, unless you’ve played the old side-scrolling shooter game, where it repeats infinitely, and gets real tiring real quickly.

The screening itself is pretty weird, as the movie appears to start playing while Minmay’s still performing the song live. And somehow the Zentradi mange to catch the film… you mean it’s being broadcast, not screened…?

And to continue being nit-picky, everyone calls Shao Pai Lon a kung-fu story, but it seems more like it’s a magical hero “wuxia” movie rather than a ’70s-style kung-fu film. Either way, it looks truly awful. It’s too bad Zhang Yimou wasn’t on the ship instead of Sho Blackstone. That said, when Kaifun shoots energy out of his fingers and knocks over a giant, Britai and Exsedol’s reaction is priceless.

6. Anyway, seeing Minmay and Kaifun kiss proves too much for Hikaru, and he leaves and ends up colliding with Misa’s ass. If that HAD to happen, it’s a good thing it’s happening NOW, rather than ten or fifteen episodes ago. Still, he comes close to ruining it by insisting that no one would want to touch Misa’s butt except by accident. Smooth, man.

7. During the transformation, Minmay imagines that Hikaru is rescuing her instead of Kaifun. Is she FINALLY falling (so to speak) for the poor, hard-up kid? Nope.

8. Then we get the THIRD scene in the show where Hikaru can only relate to women while trapped inside some remote part of a spaceship. The conversation starts a little awkward and nasty, with Misa pulling rank first, and Hikaru giving her the silent treatment, only thawing out when Misa admits that she gets lonely if people don’t talk (and, honestly, a have a hard time believing that… she seems so introverted that I’d imagine she’d be okay with silence).

During the conversation, Misa and Hikaru both confront their feelings for Kaifun and Minmay. Misa (thankfully) will get over her crush soon, but Hikaru still has a long ways to go on that front. At one point, he says that the time when he was trapped with Minmay feels like ten years ago. I count it as ten months, which still seems quite long enough to have gotten over it.

9. And then it hits… and Hikaru and Misa ALMOST kiss, but get interrupted by the ship transforming back. Between that and seeing Minmay and Kaifun going into a hotel together (for a party, I’m guessing, and not the after-movie sex that Hikaru imagines), you’d think the love story would be all wrapped up, wouldn’t you? No fear.

10. A mostly quiet episode, with a lot of nice comic touches (I already mentioned Britai and Exsedol’s shock at the movie, but there are lots of others, including Max checking out Milia, and Shammy taking over Misa’s position on the bridge).

Again, the movie looks awful, and seems like a very un-idol-like film to make. Momoe Yamaguchi in the ’70s kinda set the tone for those, doing a series of movies about young love in which the girl dies at the end. I can see why the Macross staff went with something a little flashier (and probably more within their realm of interest), but it’s still deeply weird.

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