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Forbes: "Mari Iijima On Music, 'Macross' And Minmay"

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I would read it but Forbes doesn't like my ad blocker either.  Sorry Forbes but my computer's health and freedom of not being assaulted spam is not worth it.

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Not much too it. Just a brief overview of her background in music pre-Macross.

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Posted (edited)

I have AdBlock and uBlock and I was able to read the full article (On Chrome)

This part.... I'm sad.

Quote

So . . . yes, I would like to play Minmay again, but I don’t know if Kawamori-san will bring us back. When we spoke a while ago, he told me he wasn’t thinking about it at all. It sounded like Minmay was done. I remember I felt a little sad about it but at the same time, I understood. I’m a creator too. I know creators always move forward.”

:(

Edited by Gerli

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Great article from Ollie Barder, aka @Cacophanus.

For those who doesn't want to remove those adblockers, here's a copy and paste version of it. Hope Ollie wouldn't mind. But if mods see this as a bad practice of doing it, please feel free to edit my post. Thanks! ;)

------------------------------------

For many that know the original Macross TV series and movie, the character Lynn Minmay plays an integral part in the story. In many ways, she also influences much of the saga beyond that as well. So it was great to catch up with the voice and the musician behind this classic character, Mari Iijima.

While Minmay tends to come up a lot in Iijima’s work, she is actually a classically trained and highly prolific musician in her own right. If anything, her musical background acted as a unique foundation for her character that has anchored the whole musical aspect of Macross since.

However, as with all musicians, Iijima had to start somewhere and her musical origins are really quite fascinating.

“I grew up with a family that was very musical. Although my parents aren’t professional musicians, it was a natural process for me to get into music. I started to play the piano when I was 3 or 4, and music was always near and dear to me."

“The first song I ever wrote was for my 5th-grade class. The teacher asked me. I think my father helped me a little bit, but my songwriting started from there. I wrote about all kinds of my daily life matters; our family dog, a high school baseball player I had a crush on, a test at school, etc."

“One day while I was riding a swing in my elemental school yard all alone, I received a message that I was going to be a composer. Maybe it was a voice within, but I always had this quiet knowing that I was going to be a musician."

“I also loved ballet, so maybe I wanted to be a ballerina at some point. I still do classical ballet. I take classes every other day and I dance in front of my audience every year in Tokyo."

“I’m sure my classical music background has some affect on my music, especially when I write film scores. I love writing pieces for string quartet and the piano."

“I also wanted to be a radio DJ when I was a child. I had several weekly radio shows (Miss DJ Request Parade, FM Oto No Nakamatachi, FM Night Street, etc) when I was based & active in Japan, so that dream came true too. Currently, I have a radio program called LA NOW that I record & produce for FM Nishi-Tokyo that anyone can listen to on the web. So all is well.”

What with this musical foundation behind her, I was curious how the shift into becoming a voice actress in Macross worked and it turns out that it was quite an easy transition.

“It really wasn’t like moving from one field to another. Both happened to take place in my life at the same time. Macross took only a few months of my time total, so I never felt or believed that I’ve become a voice actor. I’ve always been a musician first and foremost. The only anime character I voiced was and still is Minmay, and I’m so proud of that!"

“As for the original musical score for Macross, when I recorded my vocals for the songs in the series, Kentaro Haneda wasn’t present in the studio. I remember I met him once at one of the Macross events in Tokyo and he was very nice. He is a brilliant composer and I respect his work."

“In any case, when I was in the studio voicing Minmay, I was a college student. Shoji Kawamori also was a college student. I found that out when we spoke a few years ago. He was a creator, and I was an actor and singer, so it wasn’t like we were hanging out outside the studio. He would sit in the studio booth rather quietly. So there was no chance for us to get to know each other. I remember a few years ago, he mentioned that I was the bravest one in the studio while we created the Macross TV series. I appreciated that observation. I was pretty fearless because I wasn’t aiming anything other than doing my best work for each episode."

“Sometimes, Noriko Ohara took me to dinner after the studio sessions. I was living in Harajuku, so we usually had okonomiyaki at the restaurant in front of my dome building. She was always so chic. We had so much fun together."

“I still voice Minmay for games, projects, etc. I can call her in my mind when I need her. It’s like she’s living upstairs. So . . . yes, I would like to play Minmay again, but I don’t know if Kawamori-san will bring us back. When we spoke a while ago, he told me he wasn’t thinking about it at all. It sounded like Minmay was done. I remember I felt a little sad about it but at the same time, I understood. I’m a creator too. I know creators always move forward.”

When I interviewed Kawamori back in 2015, he was somewhat cautious about going back to what happened to the original characters but he didn’t entirely rule it out though. As there is a new Macross series in the works, Minmay’s fate may yet be revealed.

There is one sad very element to this potential renewal of the classic characters though and that is the untimely death of Arihiro Hase who voiced Hikaru Ichijo in the original TV series and movie. His passing is something that Iijima still ponders, with understandable sadness.

“Hase-kun always came to the studio in his school uniform. He was in high school and I was in college, so we were like brother and sister. Even after the Macross gig ended, he always supported my music and live concerts. He always gave me beautiful flowers after the shows. The news of his passing came too suddenly for me, but I happened to be in Japan at the time and I think he knew that. I miss him, but I’m sure he is all right no matter where he is in this moment.”

As we finished off, I wanted to talk about her favorite anime and what plans she had for this year’s Anime Expo.

“When I was a child, I watched a TV show called Himitsu no Akko-chan. I think that was my favorite animation. I sang all the songs from the show too. My parents still have a tape of me singing those songs when I was a baby.”

“As I age, and as I become more aware, my music tends to get more content and still, but it is important for me to keep an edge too. So I want to create another energetic and powerful full album next."

“When it comes to this year’s Anime Expo, I have no expectations. I will try my best to perform well for the audience!”

------------------------------------

 

For more of Ollie, follow his feeds via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. He also manages Mecha Damashii. He does toy reviews at Hobbylink.TV.

 

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17 hours ago, Roy Focker said:

I would read it but Forbes doesn't like my ad blocker either.  Sorry Forbes but my computer's health and freedom of not being assaulted spam is not worth it.

I'm using uBlock Origin it seems okay.

Anyway nice article.

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I wonder what her role would be if a live-action Macross were to happen someday. She obviously can't play a 15 year old on screen. And the fandom might not take to a Minmay completely divorced from Mari - look how Star Trek had to introduce a new Spock gradually. Copying Star Trek directly, while Minmay Prime sounds cool, is bad form and too reminiscent of Robotech, but would they perhaps have older!Minmay as the narrator? 

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So Kawamori isnt even thinking about it. Bummer.

He wants to move forward with great works like Delta.

George Lucas wants to move forward with great works like Phantom Menace.

Well, I would just like to point out that Shakespeare always gave the fans what they want. :p

 

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On 6/23/2017 at 1:33 PM, Gerli said:

This part.... I'm sad.

:(

's not exactly a new position of his... he's been maintaining for ages that the original trio will not be coming back, since their story arc is over and they've sailed off into the metaphorical sunset.

 

 

19 hours ago, Saruta said:

I wonder what her role would be if a live-action Macross were to happen someday. She obviously can't play a 15 year old on screen. And the fandom might not take to a Minmay completely divorced from Mari - look how Star Trek had to introduce a new Spock gradually. Copying Star Trek directly, while Minmay Prime sounds cool, is bad form and too reminiscent of Robotech, but would they perhaps have older!Minmay as the narrator? 

Somehow, I suspect if she didn't age herself out of the role in the meantime, they'd cast her as Linn Feichun... Minmay's aunt (and Kaifun's mom), who had been an idol singer before retiring and getting married to the head of her fanclub.

 

 

4 hours ago, arbit said:

Well, I would just like to point out that Shakespeare always gave the fans what they want. :p

That's because Shakespeare was shooting for a lowest common denominator... dirty jokes, saucy situations, and depictions of the Great and Good behaving badly know no boundaries of class for entertainment value.

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1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

That's because Shakespeare was shooting for a lowest common denominator... dirty jokes, saucy situations, and depictions of the Great and Good behaving badly know no boundaries of class for entertainment value.

Shakespeare didn't really become super popular and heralded as the sage of an entire language until centuries after his death, when a bunch of old aristocrats were like "Pssh, all y'all english scholars are wank, i'mma show you REAL english art, ohhhhh look at shekesbeard he was so ahead of his time y'all don't even know."

So basically 1700s hipsters turned a decent but unnoteworthy poet with a penchant for plagiarism into God's gift to the English language.

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14 hours ago, kajnrig said:

Shakespeare didn't really become super popular and heralded as the sage of an entire language until centuries after his death, when a bunch of old aristocrats were like "Pssh, all y'all english scholars are wank, i'mma show you REAL english art, ohhhhh look at shekesbeard he was so ahead of his time y'all don't even know."

So basically 1700s hipsters turned a decent but unnoteworthy poet with a penchant for plagiarism into God's gift to the English language.

Which biography did you read? He was super popular during his lifetime. Both with the mass market and with elites.

I have no problem comparing Macross/anime to Shakespeare or Charles Dickens, because they are all mass entertainment for their time.

I just hope there is enough fan interest and that Kawamori will find it in his heart to redo SDFM. 

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, arbit said:

Which biography did you read? He was super popular during his lifetime. Both with the mass market and with elites.

I have no problem comparing Macross/anime to Shakespeare or Charles Dickens, because they are all mass entertainment for their time.

I just hope there is enough fan interest and that Kawamori will find it in his heart to redo SDFM. 

Massively popular for sure (definitely a misspeak on my part to imply the exact opposite), but his works faded from literary scrutiny as soon as he stopped writing. It was only when historians re-examined his work centuries after his death that they started extolling him and immortalized him as a great bard.

...but then again, this is me trying to remember literature courses from nearly a decade ago, so I could definitely be fuzzy on the details... or the entire thing. I just recall that being a thing. He was just a writer of his times, a competent one at that, but just another writer with contemporaries who were arguably better and possessed of better inspiration and creativity than he was. And his ascendance to the highest echelons of the literary canon could almost be described as a fluke, with some prominent scholar or another being a bit too high on him, convincing another prominent scholar to do the same, and from there it just kind of snowballed.

Works that deal with Shakespeare consistently play with this, that his body of work isn't necessarily inherently ascendant, but is later made ascendant.

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