Taberu (Eating), Tsukuru (Cooking/Making), Warau (Smiling), Futari (Together) Doo bi doo ba.

The preview bits from Koufuku Graffiti without the talking, just the singing. Twee as fuck and guaranteed to make you hungry.

My Boyfriend is a Pilot == Lili Marleen

If My Boyfriend is a Pilot had existed outside of its Macross context, it would’ve been the sort of summer song picked up on holiday abroad, something you’d hear in every disco until you got sick of it, then when you hear it years later on the radio, get an incredibly nostalgic flashback from. It’s not a particularly good song to be honest, just annoyingly catchy, but in its proper context it is something special, as iblessall tries to explain:

It’s just a singer describing her plane-loving boyfriend (an idol wishing the robot-obsessed fans of her franchise would pay attention to her). And because it is not special, it endures. It is a song that exists throughout franchise iterations, all the while unbound to specific events.

The Doylean explanation as for why My Boyfriend is a Pilot is so important would be just because it’s repeated over and over again, first in the original Macross saga, then as explicit callbacks to it in the sequels. But that’s a boring explanation. Far more interesting to present a case for why it became not just popular but a symbol that still resonates some sixty years later.

Which got me thinking. My Boyfriend is a Pilot is a song that in normal circumstances would’ve never become a hit, at best a minor curiosity. But then the SDF Macross found itself on the far end of the Solar System laden with some 70,000 refugees from Macross City who needed distraction from their circumstances, while Lynn Minway wanted to become an idol, with her not quite boyfriend Hikaru Ichijyo enlisting to join the ship’s defence forces and become a Valkyrie pilot. It’s because of her circumstances she can put the right emotions into what’s otherwise an ordinary pop ditty and it’s because of the circumstances the Macross finds itself in that it becomes a hit, resonating with its population. And when Zentradi infiltrants come across it, unaccustomed as they are to any form of culture, it hits them hard; smuggling it with them to their mothership it becomes a hit with the enemy as well. Hmm, that sounds a lot like a certain WWII love song

Lili Marleen became a hit with both Axis and Allied soldiers because it spoke directly to that sense of longing for normality, nostalgia for home and girlfriend that’s universal among soldiers of any nation. The same goes for My Boyfriend is a Pilot in a sense, but its importance is even greater because it is literally the song that ended the war. It’s no wonder it stayed relevant all those years after it; they probably teach it in school. And what with the near-destruction of Earth and humanity at the end of Macross, it was pretty much Year Zero for culture as well, which means most of the Macrossverse pop culture is built on Lynn Minmay and My Boyfriend is a Pilot anyway…

2016 is a hell of a year

You expected maybe a Prince video here, considering he died today? Too bad, it’s Victoria Wood, who died yesterday. 2016 has been a hell of a year for seeing your old heroes die. An underrated comedian I only got to know because Sandra liked her a lot, especially this particular song.

Erased is neither a time travel nor a mystery story

It seems nobody remembers Quantum Leap anymore, because otherwise fewer people would’ve complained about the time travel in Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi/Erased. The time travel mechanism isn’t important to the story it wanted to tell, it doesn’t matter how it works or where it came from; just as in Quantum Leap you might as well explain it as an act of god. The world needed to be put right hence Satoru travelled back in time. A tool, not a theme.

Similarly, the more I think about, the less I think that this was ever meant as a real mystery. Again, the serial killer aspect and the need to prevent his mother from being murdered is a tool to get to the real meat of the story, which is that Sataru gets to do over his life not only so that he can save his class mates and mother, but especially so he doesn’t end up in his mid-twenties as a failed mangaka. He learns to make friends, learns to trust people and learns to accept their help when before he tried to do everything on his own. That’s why the thriller aspects of the plot are the weakest and the heart of the story lies in how he learns to get along with his friends, not to mention his relationship with his mother.