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Countdown to DYRL on BD — A look back at 2005’s “BS Anime Yawa: Macross Do You Remember Love” TV special

As we count down the days to the release of the greatest animated movie ever, “Macross: Do You Remember Love” on Blu-Ray Disc, I thought I would give people a bunch of homework to do in preparation for the big party.

“BS Anime Yawa” (“BS Anime Night Talk”) is a series of TV specials hosted by Gainax/General Products founder Toshio “Otaking” Okada on the NHK BS-2 satellite broadcasting service.  The programmes focus on classic and/or famous anime shows and act as retrospectives to contextualize these shows within the bigger picture of the evolution of Japanese animation, as well as providing some insight into the behind-the-scenes goings-on of the productions.

This particular episode, airing on June 29th, 2005, focused on “Macross: Do You Remember Love”, and featured Ichiro Itano, anime director Hiroyuki Kitakubo (keyframe artist on the original “Macross” TV series and movie), movie director Tomoyuki Furumaya and voice actress Rica Fukami (Myung in “Macross Plus”) as guest panelists.

Details and image gallery follows.

Topics covered included people’s memories of working on/watching “Macross” on television, co-director Shoji Kawamori’s virginity smearing the entire work with a “virginal scent”, Kazutaka Miyatake’s pioneering concept (for the medium of anime) of “production design”, the concept behind the “Itano Circus” and Itano’s youthful adventures playing with home-made rocket launchers strapped to motorcycles, from which he noticed that missiles never fly in a straight line.

The show concludes on the note that “Macross” was the first generation of anime made by fans who ended up working within the industry.  The young staff, Kawamori and company, were doing what they liked, and the show is a culmination of their passion and energy, yet a fleeting spark of youth, which could/would never again be replicated.  “Macross” and by extension, “DYRL”, was a boys’ club, and an adolescent one as such — thus a lot of aspects may have been inaccessible to women.  In fact, “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”, released in the same year, was probably where the female animation fans flocked to.  The show posits that we can see now that this marked the beginning of the split between male- and female-oriented anime.

However, looking back from the viewpoint of 2012 now, seven years after the original airing of this special, we can certainly see that “Macross Frontier” is helping to bring in a new generation of both male and female fans to the property, and many are discovering “DYRL” for the first time — finally opening up the “boys-only club” to all.

Unfortunately the show was never released on DVD, and it has long since taken down from the online streaming video sites, but luckily for all who missed it, a series of books was published of the more interesting episodes of the show.  Volume 4 of these books is the “DYRL” special.  Within this book you can find not only the entire transcript of the show, but also plenty of dialogue which was cut from the original recording.  The pages conveniently feature text with different colours to indicate which parts of the discussion were deleted from the broadcast.  It also goes one step further and includes a new interview with Shoji Kawamori which was not in the programme.

Click here to see the book on Amazon JP