Whose was the first Japanese-language voice you encountered when you started getting into anime? Which character’s voice introduced you to the world of Japan and its language and culture? It was the OG anime idol Lynn Minmei from the classic Macross anime for me. I recently went to a concert starring Minmei voice Mari Iijima, so let’s talk about our first Japanese seiyuu!
You Never Forget Your First. Who Was Your First Japanese Seiyuu?
You never forget the first voices you encountered watching anime in Japanese with subtitles. Maybe it was watching the Ghost in the Shell movie for the first time and experiencing Major Kusanagi’s unique voice, or viewing one of the Sailor Moon films with subtitles. Perhaps you first listened to Japanese voice actors watching one of the delightful films of Hayao Miyazaki.
For me it was Lynn Minmei from the early hit anime Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, shown internationally as Robotech. Back when anime was an underground thing you watched at your local anime club meeting once a month, my friends and I got our hands on a Japanese VHS tape of the Macross 1984: Do You Remember Love? movie, and it was such a glorious thing to finally experience anime in its original form.
I recently went to a concert featuring Mari Iijima, the talented singer-songwriter who provided the speaking and singing voices for Lynn Minmei in the Macross series. The performance was held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Mari’s singing career, and it was great fun seeing her perform for the first time. The venue was in Yokohama near the Chinatown district, and it felt like a circle had been closed 40 years after the character Minmei introduced us to this part of Japan.
The Importance of Lynn Minmei to Idol Anime
Let’s look at the importance of Minmei to modern idol anime!
She Was the First 2D Idol. Shouji Kawamori and Haruhiko Mikimoto loved the explosion of Japanese idol culture in 1980, as idols like Seiko Matsuda and Akina Nakamori dominated the charts. For Macross, they created the fictional Minmei, who would represent these two idols right down to the outfits they wore.
The First Anime Love Triangle. The original Macross series was compelling for fans because of the love triangle between Hikaru, Minmei and Misa Hayase, and we all fought “waifu wars” on 8-bit bulletin boards discussing which girl was the best.
Fans’ First Experience With “Moe.” We didn’t know the word moe in those days, but we did realize Japan was marketing products to us with artwork so darned cute that we were powerless to not buy.
Why is Macross 1984 the ‘best’ anime movie ever made? I have a blog post for you here!
Macross Made Fans Obsessive about Buying Music. The best creative works are financially successful because they lend themselves to marketing products, and fans back in the ‘80s were compelled to buy multiple record albums with song and BMG from the series, then model kits we had no intention of putting together.
What Are the Best Minmei Songs?
If you’re a Macross fan, you probably have a list of your favorites. Here are mine!
We naturally have to start off with the “0G” Minmei song, “0-G Love.” Kudos to the Youtube uploader for leaving Minmei’s nipples and ass in the video!
Another legendary song by Lynn Minmei is “Sunset Beach.” Although the old-school fan in me isn’t sure how to react to this modern CGI-based dancing number.
Macross recently turned 40 years old. How did it change the world? Blog post here, naturally!
Another song I love is “Runner,” which was the ending theme for the 1982 series. This is the “duet” version from Macross Flash Back 2012, a wonderful re-mix of music and visuals that came out in 1987. The video above is the entire Flash Back video if you want to watch it!
The performance of “Tenshi no Enogu” from Flash Back 2012 is another that fans of Lynn Minmei will surely love.
Of course, we have to include the legendary “Ai Oboete Imasu Ka?” from the Macross 1984 film. I could listen to this song all day, honestly.
Thanks for reading this blog post asking who your first Japanese seiyuu was and celebrating the career of Mari Iijima.
If you’re on social media, follow us on these platforms!
- Twitter, where Peter posts anime booba for you
- Facebook, where we share memes and discuss anime
- Instagram, for fans who want to keep up with J-List products in your Insta timeline
- Discord, if you want to chat with other J-List customers of culture
- Finally, check out J-List’s new short video blogs on YouTube or TikTok!
AI is everywhere these days, even in Japan’s naughty toy industry! Tamatoys used hundreds of previously released products to train an AI algorithm to create the perfect sexual experience for men! Read our newest review of the AiV (“Artificial Intelligence Vagina”) No. 3 on the J-List blog here!