If You Hate Lynn Minmay, You’re a Horrible Person

Hate Minmay

There, I said it.

Luckily, Minmay-hate seems to be on the wane, but it’s still way more prevalent than it should be. Now, I can understand the impetus: Misa is the one that everyone wants Hikaru to hook up with, and Minmay’s the one standing in the way of that happening.

Except that she’s not. Or at least, she’s not doing it consciously or deliberately.

The moment between Hikaru and Minmay of course occurs in Episode 4, when they’re trapped in an unused part of the Macross. As time goes on, they eventually think they’re going to die and stage a mock-wedding so that Minmay can at least somewhat fulfill her dream of being a bride. They ALMOST kiss, but a falling dud warhead breaks the ceiling, which leads to them being rescued. At this point, it’s clear that Hikaru REALLY wants to get into Minmay’s pants, but doesn’t quite know how to go about it. Me, I would say that he had his only chance when they were trapped, and the moment has gone and passed him by. And yet, he hangs on to that memory and doesn’t let inconvenient things like “reality” get in his way.

From Episode 5 on, it should be clear to anyone who ISN’T Hikaru that Minmay just doesn’t like him “that way.” She’s friendly and nice, but not especially romantic or flirty, and she continually refers to him as “just a friend.” Now this seems to bother a lot of guys, but I’m not sure why. The only reason I can think of is that they’re identifying pretty closely with Hikaru and HIS romantic failure feels like THEIR romantic failure.

So, yeah. Already, the only moment of romantic tension between them is when they both think they’re going to die, and are lonely and scared. Not really the best start to a long-term relationship. And once things are back to normal, she doesn’t lead him on at all. Not only that, but the book “My Fair Minmay” makes it clear that she’s one of the most popular girls at her school, and that she gets asked out an awful lot, and dates pretty frequently. Which of course she does. You don’t get to win the Miss Macross Contest (especially against a famous actress) by being someone nobody’s ever met or heard of.

And then, yes, the Miss Macross Contest happens a quarter of the way through the series, and the idea of a Hikaru/Minmay romance is sealed shut pretty much for good. After this point, she’s too busy and rarely has time to see Hikaru. Pretty much the only times they do see each other are Episode 15 (when he flies her back to Yokohama) and Episode 18 (when she visits him in the hospital) and in both instances, her two-hours-of-sleep-per-night schedule catches up with her and she falls asleep. Or else Hikaru really IS just that boring, which is always a possibility.

And once Kaifun is on board the ship, then Minmay has her romantic interest for most of the rest of the series. It’s so stunningly obvious that even Hikaru should be able to see it, but no… he doubles down on his infatuation by dedicating his military service to protect Minmay. It doesn’t last long, though, since he comes across Kaifun kissing her, which (again) really shouldn’t be as much of a surprise as it is.

And yeah, all of this changes once we get to the post-war episodes. Even then, though, Minmay is mostly blameless. Hikaru is the one treating Misa like a consolation prize, and he never ever tells Minmay anything about her. As far as Minmay’s knows, Hikaru is single and available, and he does nothing to correct that impression. It isn’t HER fault that he’s not telling her anything.

But anyway, my point here is that pretty much from the beginning, Hikaru’s interest in Minmay is really formed entirely in his imagination. If Minmay knew about it, I’m sure she would have rejected him early on, but he never tells her. And he keeps hanging on to that one moment in Episode 4. For YEARS. Seriously, man… MOVE ON! Again, none of this is Minmay’s fault or responsibility. The entire romance is happening inside Hikaru’s head. So yes, if you hate Minmay for it, you are an awful person. You’re blaming her for his stupidity. Or else you’re blaming her because she’s not sufficiently attracted to Hikaru to go out with him. So yeah, she never does anything to deserve your hate, so put it on Hikaru, where it belongs.

(Of course, if you’re a Robotech fan, then it’s different, since the rewriting there consistently makes Minmei stupid, annoying, selfish, and thoroughly dislikable, with a horrible “hit” song about how great it is to be her. Although that should, by all rights, make you hate “Rick” even MORE for never realizing how awful she is.)

(FURTHER READING ON THIS TOPIC: Episode 6, Point 6 and Episode 19, Point 9.)

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15 thoughts on “If You Hate Lynn Minmay, You’re a Horrible Person

  1. This is a really nice write-up overall, but I have to disagree with one part. If they expected people to know that Minmay was popular at school, they should include that in the series and not just a book.

    Also, I definitely get the feeling that the Minmay hate is stronger in the west than in Japan. I was listening to a Japanese podcast episode about DYRL about a year ago, and quite a few of the listener comments were people saying they actually liked Minmay.

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  2. Hey Gubaba, this is a great analysis and really shines a light on that ugly misogyny that tends to hide in the fandom. The cool thing about the story was the complexities of the characters and their relationships!

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  3. I agree that it was Hikaru’s fault for not just wising up and telling her he had no interest in being friend-zoned. She acts all surprised when he finally “confesses” but I think her using him for attention/validation when it suits HER needs is what riles up the Western guys who definitely see that behavior in real life. You hit the nail on the head with that one. Guys are projecting their own experiences on to this couple.

    I’m sure it’s different in Japan though. A Western audience sees her actions and thinks “oh come on, she KNOWS how he feels but she’s using him anyway!” whereas a Japanese audience probably thinks she really thought they were just friends. Plus when he decides to just “love her from afar” even though he can’t have her, I think that’s also a very Japanese sentiment.

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  4. I agree with the points above regarding Minmay and Hikaru’s romance plot, but I hardly think that Hikaru being an idiot absolves Minmay of being a terrible person.

    Re watching the show now (early on) and what’s really bugging me is how Minmay pushes Hikaru into becoming a fighter pilot because she appears to find the idea romantic in some way. (as in romanticism, not romance) She completely ignores Hikaru’s fears and the fact that this is a lethal career option. She’s excited about his first mission, and ignoring the possibility that he might die.

    No one in the world could possibly be ignorant to the danger to a soldier of going into battle so how could she possibly be excited about sending her friend to his possible death? Explaining it with faith in Hikaru’s skill is really a stretch as she has no way of evaluating his skill, and more to the point, so far in the series every time he’s gotten into a cockpit the plane has crashed. This whole thing happens earlier in the show when military personnel levels are still OK, well before the ‘we need every person we can’ starts happening. So I can only assign to Minmay’s behavior a kind of selfish romantic delusion that could well have been lethal for Hikaru.

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    1. As I said back when I was discussing Episode 6: “On the one hand, there’s Hikaru’s view of the situation: that he’s going off to battle and might possibly die, and Minmay is being really insensitive and naive about it. On the other hand, it may be that Minmay has a clearer grasp of how good a pilot he is than he does, and is trying to boost his confidence.”

      So yeah, I think there’s a positive way to read her actions, and it’s not far-fetched at all. And Hikaru IS a magnificent pilot, and Minmay knows that.

      Also, Focker was pushing for Hikaru to be a fighter pilot, too, but no one calls HIM manipulative about it…

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      1. There is a gendered element to criticism of Minmay, I agree.

        But the point I’m making is that she really _doesnt_ know that he’s a great fighter pilot, and yeah, neither does Focker. You can say she’s being insensitive and naive, but naivety at such a level would really go beyond the suspension of disbelief.

        So far in the show we’ve seen Hikaru:

        1) Steal a confidential military aircraft. 2) Put it in an unrecoverable spin and then crash it 3) Not even be able to walk around in it 4) Freeze and panic in combat, putting his and Minmay’s life in danger 5) Recklessly launch his racing plane when there’s clearly a battle happening, and then go on to crash his own aircraft. 6) Frequently express fear and a desire not to fight.

        Focker might know he’s a good stuntplane pilot, but Focker doesn’t know if he’s capable of being a soldier. A capability Hikaru repeatedly fails to demonstrate at to this point in the show. So yeah, Focker is full of it as well.

        I feel it’s irrelevant that Hikaru proves to be a great pilot later on as based on what we’ve seen at the time he looks terrible.

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      2. Hey, flying the fanliner in space (and getting it back to the Macross) is nothing to sneeze at!

        And I’m not saying Minmay is insensitive and naive… Far from it. That’s how Hijaru is viewing her. I’m saying that she knows that Hikaru loves flying (it seems virtually all he talked about in Ep.4. That, and how much he idolizes Focker) and that he’s very good at it. We also know that she talked to Focker about Hikaru’s depressed mood, and it’s only AFTER that that she starts pushing Hikaru to be a fighter pilot.

        That is, my impression is that having Hikaru become a fighter pilot was probably Focker’s idea, and Minmay thought it was a good one and went along with it. I don’t see that she has a romantic notion about fighter planes, really… I think she just knows that flying makes Hikaru happy, so she wants him to fly.

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  5. Ok… Here comes what I hope will be some constructive criticism.
    First of all, I don’t hate Minmay. I actually felt very sad for her when everything ended in Macross Flashback 2012 and she seemed to be left to be forever alone, because now that she is famous, she will have a lot of fans but none of them will be like Hikaru, who loved her before she was famous. What I mean with this is that the question that is left hanging is whether Minmay will ever find true love in her life. We may never know because it’s the end of the series. And watching the last minutes of Macross Flashback thinking that, makes me feel very sorry for her. The character developement in Macrosss is awesome. Minmay used to be an immature teenager, and by Macross Flashback she is a very mature woman that has decided to not give up and keep singing in spite of all the disgrace that has happened. Yes, disgrace because all the personages had gone through an apocalyptical almost complete destruction of Earth!

    However, saying that everything was within Hikaru’s mind is something I don’t agree with. Going back to the first episodes (1 to 5) you see that if fans had something against her is because Hikaru had risked his life, he had put himself in the line for her, he risked his skin for her and he was with her till the end when they were trapped. Trying to at least give her some hope in such a desperate situation. And how she paid back? In an immature way, Which is forgivable since after all she was just a teenager. She didn’t seem to value what he had done for her, and in Robotech that was shown up to eleven, making a lot of fans hate Minmay. But character developement marched on. Sure, since Hikaru joined the army and Minmay started becoming a star, they barely had enough time to talk, and that was the very reason they couldn’t stay togheter in the end. They had chosen lifestyles that took them too far from one another. They barely had time. So, they went out once in a somewhat romantic date in the park where they took themselves a picture, but hey! that’s something! And taking your statement, since she was so beautiful that she won the Miss Macross contest, she must have been asked out a lot. So you can’t say that “it was obvious that she didn’t like him that way”. From all the people, at least she gave Hikaru a chance. Some of her time. At least she gave him that, and it was the start of a romance that could have ended well in other circumstances. But when she became famous and he became a pilot, well they couldn’t see each other much and they were both so busy and tired. Heck! Get real! He was in the hospital! Minmay was really tired, her job is shown to be hectic (Act for a movie, sing the music for said movie, etc.) ! Minmay’s job as a star was exhausting! And she was visting him at the hospital, with the producers searching for her to continue working! So, saying that Hikaru could be boring is a possibility is an insult. Come on, do you hate Hikaru or something?

    The protagonist is usually the one the audience idetifies with, and Hikaru isn’t the exception, so that’s quite the situation here. It’s frustrating for him and the audience feels it a lot!

    But enough of this. I don’t blame Minmay for all that. It’s quite sad to see how badly things start to go for her when Kaifun appears. As for Kaifun, that guy was a disgrace. All his pacifist speech was just hiding his hate for the army people. In the kung fu dandy episode we can clearly see he can use violence whenever he feels it’s right. He was just an alcoholic with a bad attitude, and who knows if when he was drunk he tried to do something else than just kissing Minmay.

    Oh… well. Sorry for the wall of text but I really wanted to say all this about this topic.
    See ya and God Bless you.

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  6. I’m still watching the first series (yeah, after 30-plus years I’m actually watching it), and my impression has been that Minmay didn’t really understand her feelings for Hikaru. Chalk it up to youth and inexperience, and being thrust into stardom didn’t give her time to think much on it. There was the time when the four captives made it back to Macross, and Minmay gave Hikaru a kiss on stage, I think it was entirely sincere on her part, and she had forgotten for a moment her stardom and the multitude of jealous fans. It was when the crowd reacted so poorly she realized she had to make it look like a welcoming gesture and kissed the other two males.
    Perhaps Minmay naively thought Hikaru would always be there for her, and she didn’t have to decide what she wanted right then. But Hikaru has had to “grow up” a lot faster, has had to take on much more personal responsibility, and Misa will have more in common with him. I actually feel a little sorry for Minmay in that she matures enough to recognize her feelings, it will have been too late. But I suppose that makes it all the more like real-life then.

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    1. Again, I disagree. I see no evidence of any feelings Minmay had for Hikaru, except liking him as a friend.

      Except, y’know, when they thought they were going to die together. Which is a pretty big extenuating circumstance.

      If there are any scenes in particular where you think she DOES show romantic interest in him, though, I’d be curious to know what they are.

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      1. One particular place I saw it was when Hikaru says he may die in the next battle, and finally outright says he loved her, she seems to have an “Oh s**t” moment, and thinks she’s just made a big mistake. Not that she’s going to outright declare her love, but she ‘s considering it. The interesting point in the scene is Hikaru’s use of the past tense, “loved”.

        As for the show in general, it often breaks a lot of the usual conventions, such as gender roles and the idea that the “good guys” come out of the battle relatively unscathed, or at least can recover in short order. Here we have a large-scale devastation of the earth (without a CosmicDNA to fix it). Of course, when they momentarily fall back into the old tropes, it can be quite glaring (such as Max trying to get Milia to make coffee). Right now I’m at Episode 27.

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