Macross Frontier Ep.13+14

Well, it’s certainly been a while since I did something that didn’t involve food on this site.  However, I am a bit jetlagged, so this maybe a bit shorter than usual.  I’m combining 13 and 14 because a) I’m lazy to write both up in painstaking detail, b) they run pretty close together, and c) I can now catch up for 15 this week.  Enjoy!

“Memory of Global”

With the mech’s electrical systems going haywire and whiteing out, Alto is forced to make an emergency landing.  Hidden in the shadows, Brera Sterne notices their problems, and is clearly not affected by whatever jamming hit Alto’s VF-25.  As Ranka climbs to a rather nice looking observation point, she sees the ruings of an old Macross, and starts screaming.  Back at the 33rd, Sheryl is annoyed with her sickness and Grace offers her medicine to get well faster. Michel also informs her that there was no trace of a fold signature, so Alto and Ranka were still somewhere on the planet because of the whiteout.

Meanwhile, Ranka has calmed down and apologizes to Alto for her outburst, reminding him how she can’t remember her past.  Alto has a flashback to when he was in sickbay and learned about Ranka’s rather dark history, and why she has dissociative amnesia.  Walking through the jungle has made both of them feel uncomfortable, however, so they stop to wash up in a nearby river.  Ranka realizes that the scene is all too much like the first time she met Alto, and in her memories, forgets something important: to use the restroom.  Alto sighs and lets her go, only to hear Ranka scream; he eventually finds a path of destruction leading to the Macross, and no Ranka..  Back on Frontier, SMS worries about everybody, especially Ozma, who wasn’t happy about Ranka going.  Luca is in some deep trouble with LAI for acting on his own whims, and Leon deals with him with his usual cold demeanor.

Sheryl has recovered from her sickness due to miracle medicine (aka drugs), but unbeknownst to her, Grace is a cyborg and is in contact with Brera, who recoils at Grace’s reduction of Ranka to secondary priority.  While Grace goes off to get the ‘dimension eater’ up and running, Alto gets into the old Macross to look for Ranka.  It’s actually “Global”, Ranka’s true home, as evidenced by the picture he finds on a desk near a Vajra specimen (which reveals something else too).  Ranka eventually contacts him, however; as she screams after seeing the huge Vajra put an ‘eggshell’ around her, Alto hurries to her position.  Brera also joins in the fun, defending Ranka from the Vajra until Alto arrives.  After failing to get her out, however, Alto is blown away by a Vajra, and a fleet of ships can be seen departing.

Meanwhile, Sheryl and Michel have gone airborne in an attempt to find Alto and Ranka; as Alto returns to his own VF-25, he asks Michel to give chase to the fleeing Vajra ships as quickly as possible, as Ranka is still on the big one.  Michel gets a headstart away from the planet while Alto gets ready to launch.  Close to the 33rd HQ, however, Grace is ready to launch something else: the dimensional eater.  After wishing Frontier luck and sending the command, her body is disintegrated and the weapon begins to chew through everything in its path.  Michel barely gets Sheryl and himself through the fold the big Vajra ship has created, and Alto flies on just in front of the shockwave.  For the 33rd, however, it’s game over, as their base is engulfed in purple flame..

The destruction of the dimension eater is immense, chewing through the planet and leaving nothing behind except a really, really ticked off Alto Saotome.

“Mother’s Lullaby”

Back on Frontier, everybody seems oblivious to the fact that Ranka isn’t even on the ship; her manager trusts her to return on time for her first live, too.  Ozma is annoyed that Ranka fought him to go, but has realized that she has grown into a woman without him ever realizing it.  With other SMS crew, things are relatively quiet.  The bridge crew discuss their love lives, including Monica’s huge crush on Captain Wilder.  On Frontier, Luca is with Nanase, since everybody else was out missing.  Everybody is worried about the missing four, but Luca promises Nanase that they’re alright.  Before anything can come of it, however, a huge Vajra fleet comes out, forcing Frontier to close her armored shell around the city, and forcing the president into a harsh decision of whether or not he will allow full weapons usage against the attackers.

All available combat forces go forward to meet the Vajra threat, and the SMS Macross Quarter turns to mech-mode and forms the spearhead of the fleet.  All ships fire and destroy many of the incoming Vajra light attack ships, but still more pour out from the battleship formations.  Clinging on to one of the ships is Michel and Sheryl’s VF-25, but it’s immobile since Michel is knocked senseless and bleeding.  Sheryl tries to fly it herself, but ends up throwing the ship out of control, making it easy pickings for an incoming Vajra.  Luca tries to protect them as best he can, but he’s just the sensor boy.  With his gun destroyed, all looks lost until Alto, still enraged, destroys all of the Vajra ships around them on a single pass.  As SMS forces return to the Quarter to repair, rearm, and get Sheryl and Michel to safety, the main Vajra fleet appears behind the Frontier lines..

Ranka, coming back to consciousness in her little shell, sees a vision of Frontier, and thinks how much she wants to go home and be with everybody.  Sure enough, the Vajra took her home, but they’re there to destroy it, not make it a charity run.  As Ranka cringes in fear, the president of Frontier has no choice but to authorize reaction warheads.  This makes everybody happy, since it’s the equivalent of strapping on tactical nukes onto every available warship.  As the Quarter turns to fire on the main ship, Alto asks Captain Wilder for one chance to rescue Ranka.  After equipping armor and reaction warheads and a quick (but distracted) promise to return to Sheryl, Alto speeds his VF-25 towards the Vajra lines, which are much more coordinated than usual..

Inside the Vajra ship, Ranka pleads for the attack to stop when she sees a vision of her mother, Ranshe, who passed the song “Aimo” to Ranka.  With nothing else, Ranka starts singing, and draws the attention of all attacking Vajra..and a certain Brera Sterne, who turns around and heads straight for the main ship.  As Alto blasts his way through the armor plating, Brera steals inside first and proceeds to punch the huge Vajra full of holes despite Ranka’s screams.  After its death, Brera takes Ranka, eggshell and all, and returns to space.  The Quarter fires, destroying the main ship and scattering the Vajra forces, as Brera identifies himself as a survivor of Macross “Galaxy” and his support for Frontier forces.  The remaining ships are hammered with reaction warheads, and the tide is turned…but more importantly, Grace returns to consciousness, musing whether Ranka is the “Little Queen” or not.

Impressions

This is as straightforward as you get in Macross.  In the end, it was all somewhat predictable.  Again, I love Macross Frontier for the high production quality you get in the battle scenes.  They really are quite pretty.  But I digress..at least we do get some answers out of this little arc, some more important than others.  The important ones that I see is that Brera is possibly Ranka’s older brother (or, by a stretch, father?  That’d be kind of weird).  Given previous episodes, he is now a cyborg, and isn’t programmed to remember his past.  Obviously, though, some of his human mind remains, as he is still wildly protective of Ranka.  To me, that kind of verifies it, though this episode doesn’t fully confirm that.

While the action is linear (hostile territory, Ranka saves the world, gets captured, Vajra attack, Vajra get punked), these episodes certainly do raise a lot of questions that need answering in the future.  This seems to be pretty common, doesn’t it?  Here’s a few that came to my mind.

  • What happened to Ranka’s brother?  Why are he and Grace cyborgs, and who are they working for?
  • What’s with Ranka being the “Little Queen”?
  • What makes ‘Aimo’ more than just a pretty lullaby?
  • Why did Ranka scream as Brera killed the Vajra?

I’d make guesses at these, but right now I’m not in the mood, considering how tired I am.  I’ll save my energy and see what happens in Episode 15.  What I will part with, however, is how badly Sheryl has been brushed aside by.  I mean, this is a star, the fairy, so to speak, and she’s treated like crap because she got sick (even Alto is a bit brusque with her, but that’s probably because he was worried about Ranka).  This can’t be good for future relations between Sheryl/Alto/Ranka, which are already somewhat strained.  I’d expect this tension to come to a head soon.

Preview

JEALOUSY~!  And apparently, a reincarnating woman.  :O

OH ONE MORE THING.  I want Sakamoto Maaya’s version Aimo to get released.  It’s really nice too, and rivals Megumi’s own version.

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