At the moment, in niche-interest media communities, there is a lot being said about how it is now cool to outwardly display fandom, and endless debates about whether games and comics are now “cool” and “mainstream” pastimes. This is reflected in the media with series like Sword Art Online and BTOOM in Japan, and with the rise in a sort of idol culture in the West surrounding figureheads in the video game world. What a lot of this does is present a very idealised picture of these communities which appear bewildering and at times pathetic to outsiders. As a result, the comedy Chuunibyou… is particularly timely in how it focuses on the image of such subcultures both from those within them and those looking in on them.
The defining moment of SDF Macross, and even more explicitly its film version Do You Remember Love is the moment where, on hearing music for the first time, the war-hungry Zentradi stop and listen. It marks the point in both stories where the narrative’s course changes and mankind stands a chance of winning. I mentioned in my article on The Wings of Goodbye how this is certainly a problematically imperialist kind of victory – one based on destruction of a way of life in favour of elevating the literal savage – but nevertheless, it has a certain power in how it is depicted and the juxtaposition in Do You Remember Love of utter discord in the enemy ranks as they are touched by the power of what the characters call “just a love song” is a great scene.