While comparatively unknown in the West, Macross: Do You Remember Love? was one of the most important anime of the 1980s in Japan and was one of the most ambitious hand-drawn animation projects of all time. A remake of an already popular TV series, the film bled into the main stream with the success of its titular song — which reached number seven on the Oricon music chart in addition to winning several awards.
Now 30 years later, the film has been remastered and released on Blu-ray. But is this film a classic that has withstood the test of time, or is even an HD coat of paint not enough to save a 30-year-old relic?
Good — An Amazing Retelling
Abridging a 13-and-a-half hour TV series into a two-hour movie is never an easy prospect, but Macross: Do You Remember Love? could be the textbook example that all others should follow. The important cornerstones are all there: a hot shot young pilot, a beautiful diva, a city of 50,000 built into the body of a rebuilt alien warship, all travelling toward earth while under constant alien attack. But outside of that foundation, the story is free to find its own path. All-out gender warfare, alien cities, and an ancient song combine with the returning Macross framework to create a story that is both familiar and new at the same time.
Good — The Definitive HD Remaster
At the time of its release, Do You Remember Love? was the pinnacle of hand-drawn animation. Today, it still stands up as some of the best animation ever put to film — and that's before it got the HD remaster. In its remastered form it is simply beautiful; lines are crisp, colours vibrant, and animation smooth. The sound is no less perfect, making this the definitive version of the movie.
Good — Enormous Amount Of Extras
While all copies of the Blu-ray come with the PS3 game Macross: My Boyfriend is a Pilot 2012, purchasers of the 30th Anniversary Box are privileged to receive a wealth of extra content. There are manuals and programs, a ton of posters, and even a piece of the original film. But the centrepiece is the extras Blu-ray containing Flashback 2012 — an epilogue to the film proper/music video pack. It also includes several documentaries and the animated cutscenes specifically made for the Do you Remember Love? PS1 game (which is also included in the collection). While none of this is digitally remastered, it is still a welcome addition that truly completes the Do You Remember Love? collection.
Bad — Cuts And Edits
With this Blu-ray re-release of Do You Remember Love?, Shoji Kawamori joins the likes of George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg by changing a classic movie that never needed to be changed. Admittedly, the changes here aren't quite as egregious as alien dance numbers or exchanging guns for walkie-talkies, but they are still just as pointless. Several of the most graphically violent scenes in Do You Remember Love? — including a rather famous decapitation — have been removed from the film. Savvy watchers will also notice a few musical changes. And while they, like the violence edits, do little to alter the overall film, the fact that these changes occurred at all is still quite baffling.
Macross: Do You Remember Love? on Blu-ray is the kind of classic animation remaster most fans only dream of. Lovingly treated and brimming with extras, this is a must buy for any Macross fan — though as it will likely never be released in English, you'll have to accept it in all its Japanese glory or not at all. And while the cuts are unfortunate, they are less than five seconds of the entire film and are, frankly, well worth the trade for a collection this good.
The Macross: Do You Remember Love? hybrid pack was released on Blu-Ray on July 26, 2012. The games included in the package are playable on the PlayStation 3. No Western release is currently planned.