We’re a certain breed. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you go out of your way to consume media that was meant primarily for a foreign audience. Yet, rather than be content with consuming just what is easiest for us over a television signal, we download special programs, specific players, mess with codecs, and seek out like-minded volunteers who have built an entire infrastructure on the internet just to watch these stories that were written in another language. We’re so wholeheartedly dedicated to these stories, and really to the idea of stories in general, that we sing out and celebrate what speaks to us in a multitude of ways. Sometimes literally.
I chose this ED not because SDF Macross is my favorite show in the universe and for all time. Rather, it’s partly because of Runner that SDF Macross is my favorite show in the universe and for all time. It’s a straightforward ballad sung in baritone, the melody is wistful with long notes but none of which is held long enough to call attention to the performer’s vocal histrionics.
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, “Runner (ランナー)”:
The content of the ED is you get a POV of a male going through a photo album page by page left to right Western style. This in itself isn’t interesting. What’s interesting is that what we see is a flesh and blood hand going through a paper and plastic photo album, only that the photos inside are that of Lynn Minmay the illustrated anime character, hand-drawn by Mikimoto Haruhiko.
Just pause and consider this.
Did it occur to you yet?
This is 1982, and Macross was already showing a live simulation of a 2D complex. When I was a young elementary schooler (2nd grader in 1985), I wasn’t interested in real girls yet but I had this massive crush on Minmay. I wouldn’t know anything about sexual complexes and the hot topics involved in discussing the contemporary otaku at the time. Still, I had a crush on a 2D anime character — the same kind of behavior I (benignly — I don’t hate on these people) look down on in others today.
Of course, an 8-year old with an anime crush is quite different from a 24-year old fapping to doujins, but is it really? I wasn’t into anime at 24, and I’ve a growing family at 34, so it can be outgrown I think. But I don’t really know if I can speak for otaku, given that I’m not a bishoujo otaku, but a mecha one.
Even so, at 8 I loved Minmay at it’s become a lifelong affection. The ED is incredible that it can give an 8-year old a feeling of nostalgia, that thing I felt that even as early as the 8th episode; that the things that come to pass would never return. Ichinjou would have his shot with Minmay, but that maybe is all he’ll get. But for a time, there was love. This album at the end of every episode is how we remember it.