Robotech: The Macross Saga #15
Comic The Comic Company (November, 1986)
ADAPTATION: Jack Herman
PENCILER: Mike Leeke
INKER: Mike Chen
COLORIST: Tom Vincent
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Diana Schutz (credited as “spelling corrections” which makes me wonder how many typos there were in this one)
As Captain Gloval and Lisa go to meet with the RDF governing council on Earth, Rick is given permission to take Minmei home to see her folks. She plans to make it a temporary visit since she has to return to her entertainment career in Macross City, but her parents are against it. Rick and Minmei learn they were all thought dead, which Gloval and Lisa learn were part of a PR move blamed on terrorists (the episode specifically mentions the “Anti-Unification League”, which Mr. Herman couldn’t have known would show up in the prequel comics years later as one of many groups opposed to a unified Earth) and all there declared dead. While they make a good case for not opening negotiations with an enemy they know nothing about and can’t trust would honor anything, believing their “Grand Cannon” will be enough to protect them, the fact that the governors (including Lisa’s father) won’t allow the citizenry to remingle with the populace and ruin their attempts to keep the people from panicking about a war with aliens. This doesn’t sit well with Lisa who won’t even meet with her father before returning to the ship. Meanwhile, Minmei only gets to go back to Macross when her cousin, Lynn Kyle, and son of the family running the Chinese restaurant in the city. volunteers to return with her and keep an eye on her. I’ll get to him in moment.
What they got right: As unreasonable as the RDF’s decision to not let the people return is and their foolishness in trusting the Grand Cannon alone is, they’re questioning about opening peace talks with an enemy they know nothing about and have no reason to trust is justified. The comic makes no attempt to push one view or the other as the “right one”, allowing the viewer/reader to decide if their reasoning is sound. Gloval goes along with their reasoning in not opening negotiations but balks at the civilians being forced to remain on the ship (I wonder if they know about Minmei going home?) but it’s because of who he is, not the story insisting he’s right or wrong. There’s also a fresh take on Gloval’s issues being allowed to light his pipe and Sammie enforcing the “no smoking on the bridge” rule. That’s always a fun gag.
What they got wrong: Lynn Kyle. He isn’t too bad here, but that’s because he’s just being introduced and they want the audience to think he’s a good addition. He isn’t folks. I hate this character more than Wolverine. We’ll see him start out as a strawman argument against the military and somehow end up a rival of Rick’s for Minmei’s affections DESPITE BEING HER COUSIN!!!!! It will also play into the other side of Rick’s love triangle next time when Lisa is taken by the man who looks like her dead boyfriend. I really don’t like this character and I wish he wasn’t here but he is and I have to deal with it.
Recommendation: A good story to check out, but it’s more important for what it brings to the current status quo than standing out on its own.
Kissing cousins! Yeah, I always had a hard time understanding the Kyle/Minmei romance with them being cousins. I was in middle school when first reading this comic book and watching the Robotech show, so it was a very challenging situation for me to comprehend back when I was in 7th grade. Actually, it still is. Were Kyle and Minmei depicted as cousins in the original Macross show from Japan?
I just checked the Macross fan wiki and apparently he was.
I conducted some online research, and it showed that marriage of first cousins in Japan is legal. Plus, other Japanese comics, cartoons, and movies have had story lines where first cousins are love interests. Thus, it appears that first cousins being romantically involved is not seen as a weird thing in Japan as it is here in the U.S. So that explains why Kyle and Minmei were the way they were in Macross and Robotech!
Good. (Well,, not good necessarily but whatever. Didn’t stop Jerry Lee Lewis. Still seems odd to me but the biological part of the taboo is in debate.) Now explain the rise of siblings falling in romantic love with each other in modern harem anime. Not even in hentai. Just sisters wanting to marry their brothers. Japan isn’t winning this one.
Hey, at least now I know why there was a Kyle/Minmei romance in Robotech. For decades, I had been baffled by that particular situation in Robotech.