So, it’s more than a well established fact at this point that Macross: Do You Remember Love is considered by the Macross staff as an in-universe dramatisation of the “real” events – that is, to get around to inconsistencies between the original Macross TV show and it’s movie remake, they’ve classified it as something made based on historical documentation about of the actual events, complete with all the embellishments that tend to go along with real-world historical epics. Not that it was originally made that way, of course – it was just a convenient thing for Shoji Kawamori et al to do (alongside banishing Macross II to the abyss) when they decided to make Macross Plus and Macross 7, allowing them to forge a definitive timeline for them to stem-off from.
The relevance of this for the first Macross Frontier movie, The False Diva (or Songstress, as some translate it), is that it’s rendered really rather more interesting when viewed through the microscope of being an “in-universe dramatisation”.
For starters, there’s a lot of product placement in the movie. Not real product placement, mind you – these are all fake, Macross universe products that they are trying to pimp. The opening few scenes of the movie are saturated with logos for the Nyan-Nyan restaurant even beyond what you’d expect just from the fact that Ranka works there. I mean, look at the way that the characters hold the bowls in such a fashion that the logo is prominent. That’s not an accident in the animation. Aside from that, the pre-eminence of Segway-like vehicles as a preferred method of transport, the various ways which Sheryls Taiyaki-phone appears and Sheryls credit-card have a similar feeling to them.
That’s not to mention the actual adverts Ranka appears in during the movie…
The bigger matter, though, is the characterisation. Some have said that it’s simplified over what was done in the TV show, but I don’t think that’s quite it. It’s less that the characters have been simplified, more that they have been idealised – these characters would be considered legend to those producing the movie, so of course their characters have been glorified and romanticised. It comes through in the way that the characters act in the movie – in the first episode of the TV show, Sheryl snuck out the concerts back door when the Vajra attacked. In the movie she did quite the opposite by refusing to leave unfinished and sticking with Alto. It’s not so much a change in the plot as it is representative of what Sheryl as the public sees her would do. Similar deal with the way that Alto joins SMS. Much of the movie follows the same suit.
Of course, this does extend over to the way the way the plot develops, ultimately in a fashion that leaves me in quite a quandary. As the film goes on, it relies more and more on contrivances, coincidence and convenience. The problem isn’t so much that’s it’s necessarily bad writing, more that’s it’s kind of hard to determine if it’s clever writing masquerading as bad writing (that being the kind of embellishment that appears is all historical dramas, only accentuated to make it more obvious), or if it’s just plain bad writing which I’m reading too much into. I’m pretty sure that, taken from the point of view of someone in-universe who wasn’t privy to all the information that us, the viewers, obtained from the TV show, almost everything seen in the movie could be reasonably traced back to events in the TV show, no matter how different things may seem to unfold.
Also, Sheryls movie songs are way better than her TV ones, but I’ve know that since the Universal Bunny CD was released.