The core of Macross is a coming of age story for the male lead Ichijyo Hikaru (aka Rick Hunter for those who have only seen Robotech). In that story Minmei and the other female lead Hayase Misa (aka Lisa Hayes) represent the adolescent and adult romantic interests respectively.
When Hikaru acts like a professional officer and adult, he and Misa get along just fine. It’s when he’s thinking like a typical adolescent male that he’s drawn to Minmei...and gets in endless trouble with Misa who is an adult.
Over the course of the series Hikaru matures, and is inevitably drawn away from the girl towards the woman.
[Aside: there are, unfortunately, some elements of Misa’s character in the later Macross episodes that are utterly cringeworthy . If you’ve seen them you know what they are, however the basic message still holds. Mostly.]
In that sense Minmei is exactly who she has to be.
The problem is that in order to maintain Minmei’s attraction and role in the triangle, she had to be made into a plot device. A subsequent obsession with this plot device has had a major distorting effect on the rest of the Macross franchise. It is this distorting effect that makes Minmei, retrospectively, the most annoying anime character ever.
I generally agree with angriest that the fannish attitude of “There is no Highlander 2” is childish, but you have to wonder how bad something was when this is the attitude of the studio that runs the franchise. And on that note I give you Macross II which was shunted out of continuity into its own universe, despite being originally intended (and advertised) as a direct sequel. Reason: the “Minmei effect” being a weapon that Earth relied on was a truly atrocious idea. I remember seeing one or two episodes and it truly is as bad as it sounds.
Macross Plus was the first instalment after the original that I was prepared to watch (fortunately, it is a wonderful piece of work). It managed to make it work by having a good (and short) story, excellent characters, and utterly awesome music.
Macross 7 was less of a disaster than Macross II (it is still part of continuity) but I remember flinching when I heard the premise. Apparently it is better than it sounds. It would need to be.
I’ve only seen one episode of Macross Frontier, and guess what, there’s an idol singer in the first episode.
Repeat after me: Super Dimension Fortress Macross succeeded despite Minmei, Super Dimension Fortress Macross did not succeed because of Minmei.
Day 1 - Very first anime: Robotech, Gall Force, Vampire Princess Miyu
Day 2 - Favourite TV series: Card Captor Sakura
Day 3 - Your anime crush: Oh grow UP already.
Day 4 - Favourite Film: My Neighbour Totoro
Day 5 - Anime character you feel you are most like (or wish you were): Kinoshita (Rocket Girls)
Day 6 - Most annoying anime character: Lynn Minmei
Day 7 - Character you’d most like to slap
Day 8 - Most epic scene ever
Day 9 - Saddest anime scene
Day 10 - Favorite slice of life anime
Day 11 - Favorite mech series
Day 12 - Best instalment of a franchise you don’t like
Day 13 - Worst instalment of a franchise you do like.
Day 14 - Current (or most recent) anime wallpaper
Day 15 - A reality check for a genre you like
Day 16 - An anime classic that simply doesn’t work for you.
Day 17 - Best Background Music
Day 18 - Best Five-team (?)
Day 19 - Change you’d like to make to any one anime
Day 20 - Most ambiguous anime character
Day 21 – Favourite OAV Series
Day 22 - Animation studio you'd most like to slap.
Day 23 - Anime you think had the best, or most intriguing art
Day 24 - Favorite anime hero or heroine
Day 25 - Best anime villain
Day 26 - Your favorite harem anime
Day 27 - Favorite anime opening theme song
Day 28 - Favorite pokemon (?)
Day 29 - Best Anime Music Video
Day 30 - Favorite anime ending theme