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Macross: Do You Remember Love? is a 1984 theatrical rendition of Super Dimension Fortress Macross produced by series co-creators Tatsunoko Production and Artland, with assistance from Topcraft. It was later established in-universe as a movie based on the events covered in the aforementioned series.

The film opens with the Super Dimension Fortress Macross already in space, pursued by the All-Male Aliens, the Zentraedi. Valkyrie pilot Hikaru Ichijou falls for Idol Singer Lynn Minmay after he saves her life. They're captured by Zentraedi forces along with Lt. Misa Hayase, Lynn's cousin Lynn Kaifun, and Hikaru's Big Brother Mentor Roy Focker. Hikaru escapes with Misa when the Zentraedi are attacked by their female counterparts and mortal enemies, the Meltrandi. They escape to a planet that turns out to be Earth, bombarded much earlier by the Zentraedi forces. There, they discover an Ancient Song that may provide them the key to win this war.


This work features examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: All the pilots of Skull Squardon. Roy is the grizzled combat veteran who knows all the dirty tricks in the book, Max is an ace among aces who never fails to destroy his targets, Hikaru is a circus stunt pilot whose unorthodox flying lets him survive encounters that would otherwise be unsurvivable, and Kakizaki has impossible luck that keeps him from dying (though it unfortunately runs out).
  • Adam and Eve Plot: Until the Macross arrived, proving that it survived the journey and detected Misa's distress signal, Hikaru and Misa were moving along this route in their month inside the Advanced Ancient Acropolis.
  • After the End: Earth was bombed to hell and back prior to the start of the film.
  • Adaptation Distillation and Compressed Adaptation: The film's plot trims much of the fat from the series, and distills the main plot elements from a 36-episode TV show into a roughly 2-hour film.
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  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The city discovered by Misa and Hikaru. The Macross remained in vicinity of the city in hopes of finding Lost Technology that could avoid an inevitable defeat, going so far as defending it from Meltrandi raiders while the search continued. The city was unfortunately destroyed by the Zentraedi in the end.
  • All There in the Manual: A later video game adaptation establishes that the film Hikaru was a member of the UN Spacy on the Macross's launch day. The aircraft carrier he was stationed on was the Prometheus. The ship gets destroyed during the initial Zentraedi attack, mere seconds after Skull Squadron takeoff to intercept the invaders and rendezvous with the Macross.
  • All There in the Script: The Zentraedi whom Roy dies fighting against is listed as "Quamzin 03350" in the creditsnote 
  • Alpha Strike: When the Zentraedi, Meltrandi and Macross crew concentrate all firepower on Boddole Zer's flagship. It doesn't let up until Hikaru personally destroys Boddole Zer with his OWN Alpha Strike directly to his big, ugly face.
  • Alternate Self: It seems the film's version of Earth spent a year longer (or was invaded a year later) than the television show to get the Macross ready for launch.
    • The Macross is docked to both ARMD space carriers. It therefore carries greater mecha and armaments than the television SDF-1, which was forced to integrate the oceangoing Daedalus and Prometheus aircraft carriers. The interior Macross City was also constructed in greater magnitude and included several features adapted for the ship's transformation.
    • In the original TV series, Hikaru is introduced as a pacifistic civilian and suffers Heroic BSoD after killing his first Zentraedi. In the film he's a trained combat pilot, cheers upon achieving his first kill, and enthusiastic to increase the count.
    • In the original TV series, Minmei was introduced as an attractive but otherwise ordinary niece of Chinese restaurant owners. She would later become an idol after winning the Miss Macross beauty pageant (her incredible singing potential was revealed during its talent show). In the film she's a famous Idol Singer performing her first live concert.
    • Quamzin Kravshera is an enlisted soldier who kills Roy in the film. Aside from this, he is completely insignificant in the Zentraedi hierarchy. Within the television show he was an infamous and undefeated Zentraedi warlord.
    • In the movie Moruk Lap Lamiz is the cybernetic supreme commander of a multi-million Meltrandi fleet that has fought Golg Boddole Zer for centuries. In the television show she is subordinate to Golg Boddole Zer and possess no visible augmentation.
  • Apocalypse How: Earth has suffered Planetary Species Extinction after the Zentraedi scoured the globe with millions of Wave-Motion Tuning Fork. Continental shorelines extended several hundred kilometers because the oceans evaporated. The process of a runaway greenhouse effect had begun, in combination with global radiation poisoning. The attack took no more than several seconds once it began.
  • Arch-Enemy: It is clear Golg Boddole Zer and Moruk Lap Lamiz have a personal grudge. At the very least, their fleets are designated to destroy the other. However, Boddole Zer is willing to sacrifice thousands of his own ships to kill Lap Lamiz.
  • The Battlestar: The SDF-1 in its entirety is an alien gunship with two human space carriers attached to it. Putting aside the There Is No Kill Like Overkill Wave-Motion Tuning Fork, its laden with hundreds of gun turrets, missile launchers, piloted mecha, and unmanned drones.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Milia's hair glows when in pitch darkness. Official guides explain it as a light for search and rescue; which also handwaves why her helmet fell off. The trait being an inherent genetic feature or an applied shampoo is unrevealed.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: There are a total of three graphic decapitations in the film, along with some other rather frank violence, mostly surrounding Millia's raid on the Zentraedi ship. The decapitations were partially edited out in the earlier Blu-Ray releases before being edited right back in with the latest remastered release.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Gorg Badolza's execution by Hikaru using every weapon he was carrying.
  • Communications Officer: Misa is the SDF-1 chief communication officer.
  • Compilation Movie: Utterly and thankfully averted. Whereas Space Battleship Yamato and Mobile Suit Gundam repurposed TV footage into feature films, 100% of Do You Remember Love is new footage. (Though this isn't entirely true in some releases, see the Trivia page for details.)
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: When the Zentran overwhelm the SDF-1 anti-aircraft defenses, a lone enemy unit tries to attack the warship's bridge, but is destroyed by Hikaru before it can. Misa complains he's not in his designated combat zone, and claims the assailant would have been terminated by the bridge gun turrets. A doubting Hikaru snaps back at her ungratefulness.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Misa and Hikaru identify a Crapsack World as Earth after encountering the destroyed ruins of the Prometheus aircraft carrier. In the original TV series the Prometheus eventually became the "left arm" of the Macross instead of the ARMD-02 space carrier of the movie. All There in the Manual explains the ARMDs were originally intended to be docked to the Macross, but the Zentran invasion occurred before it could happen. The TV series Prometheus and Daedalus were rescued and incorporated into the SDF-1 out of emergency necessity.
    • The Bridge Bunnies serving drinks to the three Zentran ambassadors are May and Pocky. In the original TV series they were two of the Macross's three Deflector Shields operators (the unseen third member was Panapp).
  • Cunning Linguist: Misa exhibits an incredible command of the Zentran-Meltran language, later using it to decipher the Protoculture language and the true lyrics to the song that would save humanity. All There in the Manual explains her specialty in military academy was Encryption and the Communications Officer field.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Earth was destroyed in a handful of seconds once the main Zentradei battle fleet attacked. It's never specified if the five Grand Cannon Large-Scale Anti-Space Fleet Weapons were able to fire in vengeance.
  • Cute Monster Girl: The Meltrandi, even more so than in the show due to the Zentraedi's drastic redesigns.
  • Death by Adaptation: Earth and its population are bombarded by Boddole Zer during the first attack on Earth. In the series, the bombardment occurs much later.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Quamzin Kravshera (Khyron in Robotech) has one scene that lasts 30 seconds. As mentioned above, he's named only in the credits and his character design is unrecognizable from his TV appearance. Justified as the people of Earth did not know of Quamzin until well into the postwar reconstruction period.
    • Moruk Lap Lamiz (Azonia in Robotech) becomes the Meltran counterpart to Golg Boddole Zer, but is killed after two quick scenes that total about 30 seconds. At least she gets a few spoken lines.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Max following Milia into the Meltrandi stealth cruiser. Regardless of who won the duel (Max did), he was trapped inside an enemy alien ship with a crippled Valkyrie. He also failed to notify the Macross of that stealth cruiser, thereby allowing it the opportunity to successfully launch a crippling sneak attack that destroyed the SDF-1 main cannon.
  • Earth That Was: No significant human or animal populations exist on Earth after the Zentraedi were done with it. What little survived suffers mutation from radiation poison on a hotter world with smaller oceans.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Minmei's singing affects the Meltran with the same emotional desires as the Zentran.
  • Evil Is Visceral: This visual element is added onto many Zentraedi things, especially their intelligent/command personnel. Boddole Zer / Bodolza provides one of that trope's page images.
  • Fictionary: The Zentraedi/Meltrandi are give their own language. While nowhere near as comprehensive as the Klingon language created by James Doohannote , it is internally consistent and there is a lexicon based on words used in the movie.
    • Just a small sampling of the most commonly used words: "Zentran" means male. "Meltran" means female. "Miclone" initially means humanoids smaller than normal Zentraedi/Meltrandi (including themselves when shrunken down), but eventually evolves to specifically identify humans from Earth (and a derogatory term at that). "Deculture" means impossible or incredulous, but also interchangeable with Protoculture. "Protoculture" means products of civilization not related to war. "Yak" mean disgusting.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
  • Glass Cannon: Zentran mecha and human built Destroids tend to explode immediately no matter where they get hit. Meltran mecha and human built Valkyries are studier in comparison.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Roy dies saving Hikaru and Misa from Quamzin.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Zentran and Meltran are initially appalled at the idea of males and females coexisting peacefully. The horror then turns to curiosity, and at the end of the film, adoration.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Maximilian and Milia: the only individuals they can't sure shot are each other. There's also whomever was responsible for firing the Meltrandi's main cannon against the Macross, aiming precisely to disable the warship's Wave-Motion Gun without destroying the entire vessel so they could take its occupants captive.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Max flies into his own Macross Missile Massacre swarm, forcing the enemy to dodge them and get shot down by Max, or avoid Max and get shot down by the missiles. Meanwhile, Hikaru flies between the limited space of an enemy's dual cannon to avoid getting hit by the twin fire.
  • In Medias Res: The film opens with the Macross already in space. What happens before then isn't shown in flashback.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Hikaru. He takes Minmei on an unauthorized Valkyrie joyride over Saturn. This leads into a chain of events that get Hikaru, Minmei, Kaifun, Misa, and Roy captured by the Zentran. Roy later dies during an escape attempt, while Minmei and Kaifun are considered civilian prisoners of war. Ultimately Hikaru is promoted as wing commander of the elite Skull Squadron, for at least keeping Misa alive.
    • Milia. She directly killed Kakizaki, who was a best friend and fellow Ace Pilot of Max and Hikaru. Max even saw her commit the kill with his own two eyes, and chased after her to avenge Kakizaki's death. Doesn't stop him from falling in love with her about five minutes later.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • In the initial battle of the film, the Zentran strike fighters immediately retreat after the Macross destroys their lead capital ship.
    • Exsedol told Britai to cut his losses when Meltran raiders threatened the success of his capture mission. He accepted the advice and withdrew.
    • Later the same Meltran raiders would give up their assault on the Macross when the entire Zentran fleet arrived.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The death of Golg Boddole Zer causes his moon-sized flagship to self destruct.
  • Lost Superweapon: Do You Remember Love? It was a simple love song written thousands of years ago. Golg Boddole Zer was in possession of the melody; the lyrics were hidden in an Advanced Ancient Acropolis beneath the Pacific Ocean. The song has a peculiar Genetic Memory with the Zentran and Meltran that causes them to realize there is more to existence than a Forever War.
  • Love at First Punch: Max and Milia. It also doesn't hurt that both are extraordinarily beautiful specimens of their species in physical appearance.
  • Men Can't Keep House: The interior of Zentran ships are dark, gloomy, dusty, and filled with technological protrusions. The interior of Meltran ships are bright, spacious, clean, and smooth surfaced.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Averted. Hikaru gets Minmay to sing the title-song by reminding her of all the millions who died during the conflict.
  • Mission Control: The primary role of the Bridge Bunnies. Misa and Claudia are the respective highest authorities for all Valkyrie and Destroid operations, but others assist them with individual squadrons. Misa directly handles Skull Squadron, since they are the most elite, and supervises the progress of critical combat operations assigned to them.
  • The Navigator: Claudia La Salle is the SDF-1 chief navigation officer outside of combat. In combat she becomes responsible for the gun turrets, missile launchers, and Destroids aboard the Macross.
  • No Off Button: Averted. The creators of the Zentraedi and Mentrandi implanted a Genetic Memory into the cloning process, that causes them to stop fighting when a specific song is heard. Even those with enough willpower to resist immediate surrender find their fighting prowess degraded from the psychological effect. Unfortunately the creators went extinct during the conflict, so the song was never played and the war continued after their deaths.
  • No Sense of Mass: The Macross is too small to accurately depict its visual appearance. Macross City has a population of about 50,000 citizens with multiple highways, shopping centers, apartment complexes, a concert stadium, work offices, and factories. All of this is contained inside a single "leg" of the Macross if official model kits are believed, and built around the interplanetary drive in that leg. The entire warship is only 1,200 meters long and 600 meters wide: the rest of which contains a military crew of 20,000 and dedicates interior space to hangers, mecha factories, munition storage, engines, crew quarters, capital ship weapons, etc. This would not be a problem if Macross City had the architecture of Kowloon or Hashima, but it's portrayed as a sprawling urban center (the long highways make it super egregious).
  • Nuke 'em: In the first battle of the film, the large missiles fired by the Valkyrie squadrons were tactical nuclear warheads. This is why the Freeze-Frame Bonus shows multiple Zentraedi mecha exploding without direct contact: the devastating shock wave is obliterating them. It's also the reason the pilots celebrated the Alpha Strike as a success. Though only a fraction of the missiles reached enemy lines (most were intercepted and shot down), only a handful were needed to significantly reduce the alien's Zerg Rush.
  • Number Two: Misa is First Officer of the SDF-1. While Captain Global is responsible for the Macross and its overall strategic objective, Misa is in command of the docked ARMD space carriers and all Valkyrie tactical operations.
  • Peace Conference: This occurs when the Zentran offer a peace treaty with the Macross if humanity can complete a Lost Superweapon before the Meltran returned with their main fleet. When it seems the Macross can't uphold their end of the deal, Boddole Zer decides to destroy it so the Meltrandi couldn't steal the Lost Superweapon from them.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Hikaru has them depending on the camera angle. They help emphasize his relative youth compared to the remaining main cast.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Compared to common Zentraedi and Mentrandi warships the SDF-1 is quite small. All There in the Manual reveals it's a Supervision Gunship, basically a BFG with an engine, designed for Alpha Strike missions. Humanity is naturally unaware of this and reconstructed it under the assumption it was The Battlestar.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: At the end, once Hikaru blasts Bodolzaa to smithereens, the mobile fortress that housed Boldolzaa starts to suffer a chain reaction of explosions until the entire fortress goes up in one big fireball. However, Hikaru and the Macross are completely safe in the center of all this.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Once the final climactic battle against Gord Bodolza is over, the very first thing Captain Global and his crew do is collapse on their seats and get some well-deserved rest.
  • Rescue Romance: Minmay becomes close to Hikaru during their survival ordeal. To lesser extent, Misa after she gave up hope to survive on Earth That Was.
  • Retcanon: Because significant elements differed from the original television series, the movie was originally declared a Show Within a Show. Over the decades this has slowly changed and specifics from the movie have become the canon interpretation. Substitution of the Prometheus and Daedalus with ARMD-Class Space Carriers. The violent gender infighting between Zentrandi and Meltrandi. The final song Minmay sang to defeat the Zentradei. The shape of Boddole Zer's fortress flagship. All these and more have changed to accommodate popular fan choices.
  • Sensor Suspense: Hikaru's heart starts pounding to the radar blips as his squadron's missiles approach the enemy.
  • Sequel Series: Macross II takes place in an alternate universe where the events of the film happened and were not a Show Within a Show. It expands upon the music Genetic Memory of the Meltran and Zentran being placed within them by a Master Race known as the Mardook for Mind Manipulation.
  • Show Within a Show: In the main Macross continuity, the movie is considered an embellished documentary retelling of the original events that took place during Super Dimension Fortress Macross (though several of the film's visual elements have been incorporated into the main canon).
  • Surprisingly Good English: There's a good amount of it in the background dialogue; it's particularly noticeable in the opening scene and during the Macross's first on-screen transformation. And again at the end when we get a closeup of Misa's handwritten lyrics to "Do You Remember Love", written in flawless, native-level English. This leads to the Fridge Brilliance realization that either Minmay was singing in English the whole time and Translation Convention was in play for the benefit of the Japanese audience, or Minmay was so brilliant as to flawlessly translate from English to Japanese AND KEEP IT SINGABLE all on the fly.
  • Tempting Fate: Hayao is killed by the Meltrandi just as he's laughing at the thought they might be as dangerous as the Zentradi.
  • Those Were Only Their Scouts: Exsedol remarks in the end that Boddole Zer's forces won't be the last of the Zentraedi/Meltrandi to come.
  • Translation Convention: Strongly hinted at. It's never outright stated, but it is apparent that the characters are actually speaking English on board the Macross, and that the Japanese as heard is only for the benefit of the intended real-world audience for the movie. Clues that this is the case include the background spoken English dialogue and Surprisingly Good English signs and written materials as referenced above under that trope.
  • Unequal Pairing: Misa is First Officer of the Macross, whose collateral duties include directing Valkyrie squadrons in combat. She's sleeping with Hikaru, one of her direct subordinates. Supplemental guidebooks mention under normal circumstances, such a relationship between officers would not be permitted. However with the total depopulation of Earth, having childbearing couples is far more important for survival of the species.
  • Wave-Motion Tuning Fork: In universe it's known as an Over-Technology Super Dimension Energy Cannon with Beam Polarizing Converging System. One of the most iconic example in anime history, whose distinct energizing sound effect is one of the most recognized in fandom.
  • We Only Have One Chance: The reason Boddole Zer fired his battle station's main cannon through thousands of his own ships was because the weapon could only be fired once at the Meltrandi battle station (and the Meltrandi positioned their flagship in the belief he wasn't crazy enough to do it). It was never clarified if the main cannon was restricted to It Only Works Once due to damage, there wouldn't be enough time to recharge it for a second shot, or the Meltrandi battle station rarely made itself that vulnerable.
  • You Are Number 6: As seen in the All There in the Script entry above, numbers are substituted for surnames for named Zentraedi. For example, the character called Britai Kridanik in the TV series becomes Britai 7018 in the film.
  • Zerg Rush: Due to the vast number of warships and combatants they possess, this is how the Zentradei and Meltrandi wage war on a strategical scale. However they apply surgical operations on a tactical level, as they regularly perform infiltration missions, capture and retrieve, and sneak attacks that are surprisingly successful.