Macross Frontier Ep. 23: True Begin

I’ve been lazy about writing this. I think it’s because of my sudden drop in interest in what’s going on. The overall lack of movement and just absurdly slow pacing is really killing the end of this series. Of course, there are other factors, but I’ll explain those later. In any case, if this was the “true begin” of the series, I probably would have dropped it in a few episodes. Let’s just hope that the final two episodes give a “true end”…

I do hope, however, that we aren’t getting trolled.

Summary:

Ranka has a flashback to Ranshe and Grace fighting over using Vajra for their experiments, and starts to realize that Brera is her brother.  Meanwhile, Frontier is fighting for its life, and is down to about 3 months worth of supplies and life support capabilities.  Things get bad enough that oxygen masks are required outside.  Coupled with SMS deserting the fleet, Leon convinces the government that the end of the journey is near.  Alto is on CAP with NUNS pilots, who catch a glimpse of Sheryl waiting for Alto to return.

Alto and Sheryl are cooking dinner, where Sheryl is completely useless.  They have a rather easygoing dinner for a starship in serious trouble, ending with Sheryl “drunk” off of non-alcoholic bubbly stuff.  In fact, Sheryl is pretty hyper pretty much the entire time, and Alto ends up agreeing to stay with her “forever”.

Ranka finally thanks Brera for taking her to the Vajra homeworld, who has found a bit of his human soul after being turned into a cyborg.  The song triggers a memory, and yet the two of them can’t put the equation together…then the Vajra fleet shows up.  Ranka tries to lullaby them to sleep, with Brera joining in on the harmonica for a short time.  While Ranka’s memories slowly (I mean, SLOWLY) return, Brera gives the harmonica to Ranka before getting attacked by a ton of Vajra.

While Ranka sings, Macross Quarter and NUNS recon flights both catch the “fold wave”.  This causes Alto to get called to see Leon and Mr. Bilrer, who notify Alto that Ranka’s position, and the Vajra homeworld, has been found.

Alto isn’t thrilled with fighting anymore, especially after he figured out that the real reason for the war is to obtain more fold quartz, something only the Vajra can make.  Capitalism’s a bitch, indeed.  Leon insists, however, it’s for the survival of humanity; in a war of obliteration, giving Ranka to the Vajra would mean certain death.  After all, the Vajra are brainless, thinking with their..uh…intestines, instead, and capable of networking with each other.  Ranka will likely be used by the Vajra to lead them to destroy the humans.  Let the genocide wars begin.

Ranka complains how she came to the homeworld to stop the war, and begs Ai-kun to help.  However, Ai-kun grabs her and takes her to the homeworld, leaving Brera to fend off the Vajra on his own, and a harmonica floating somewhere in space.

Grace appears out of nowhere to retake command of Antares Squadron, including Brera, who has to be told Ranka is his little sister.  Apparently, snapping a finger gives legendary mind control powers to Grace, so Brera is immediately turned back into a slave.

Sheryl is also unhappy that people are being sympathetic even when they want her to sing as a herald of war.  Kindness is a sin, in her world.  Elsewhere in the hospital, the elder Saotome is released from the hospital, and Yasaburo drills Alto on whether or not he wanted to be a pilot.  After all, Alto is an actor by nature, and “fights as a result of events”.

Klan runs into Alto in Nanase’s room, and the two of them head outside to talk about Ranka.  Alto thinks he’s come a long way from when he joined SMS, which he joined simply to protect a single person.  As he finally decides to stop running away and protect Frontier, Alto promises to kill Ranka before she is turned to the Vajra.

Also, Ranka’s memories have returned, and Grace is thrilled to hear about it.  The showdown is coming, as Frontier jumps to the Vajra homeworld…

Impressions:

Predictable, I guess.  I found the most amusing line was Alto going “I’ve come a long way” towards the end.  This is a guy that basically had his head stuck under the sand for the majority of the series, and it took all the way until now for him to admit to himself that Ranka was everything to him.  I do kind of like the play on the psychological aspects of being an actor, and simply “going with the flow”.  If there’s a moral lesson to be found in anime, it might as well be one that says you should stand up for what you believe, not what others want you to believe.

I’m incredulous at the density of both of Ranshe Mei’s kids.  It’s just mind boggling how they’ve managed to skirt around the issue and not realize that they’re related by more than just work.  Ranka has also been degraded from annoying to completely useless in this episode; her naivete ends up getting her captured by the Vajra.  I’d like to see her get some sort of redemption towards the end, a la Macross Zero (and pretty much any other series with an “awwwww” ending).  Cue “End of the Innocence” here again…

On the plus side, we finally see what Grace was going for the entire time – Vajra “zero fold communication” and other scientific nonsense.  I think that she has the capability to be one of the cruelest villains in recent memory.  If anything, she’s certainly memorable for having an almost schizophrenic personality.

That’s it for now, I’m hoping for a good end to the series.  It’s been through its ups and downs, and has largely been saved by some incredible music, but unlike some certain proverb, the finish is everything.

Preview:

Almost not necessary…since 24 came out today.  Anyway, “Last Frontier”.

They really, really couldn’t come up with better?  >_<

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