Macross Frontier Ep. 24: Last Frontier

Pictures first, words tomorrow-ish.  I did go a bit overboard with the pictures though.  I should also say that, well, after the last two episodes, this was pretty damn good, and the cliffhanger…oooh, way to go, producers.

Summary:

Ranka’s memories come flooding back, along with the stark realization that the destruction of Global and everything she ever loved was her fault.  Grace appears, offering her a way of atonement, and Ranka’s eyes turn hollow, and a shining light engulfs her body.

Ozma and the rest of Macross Quarter‘s crew have returned to where the battle was waged eleven years ago, looking through the past research of Grace, Ranshe, and Mao Nome.  It’s a sad irony that Ozma returns to the place where everything began in order to find answers that will lead to the end.  While there, they uncover Grace’s work that would use fold quartz and more about how Ranshe Mei was the first to be infected with the V-type virus.  This would also explain Ranka’s power to affect the Vajra.

The Quarter crew analyzes Grace’s work of a intergalactic parallel thought network.  While it certainly looks good on paper, the obvious flaw is that a central hub would rise about the lesser nodes; those who are part of the root would then control the galaxy.  Since mankind would never allow all of itself to be implanted, Grace’s objective would be to subject the Vajra, and use them as weapons to rule over humanity.  The only person capable of communicating with the Vajra is Ranka.  With Ranka under control, Grace’s work to network the Vajra together comes together quickly.

Quarter relays the information to NUNS, and Cathy runs across the last piece of information: Sheryl is Mao Nome’s granddaughter.  Enter a small speech about how people’s lives and fates are intertwined even in the vastness that is space.

NUNS prepares for a final assault on the Vajra homeworld, utilizing an array of the MDE warheads.  The plan is simple: get Island 1, loaded with everybody on Frontier, grounded on the Vajra homeworld by punching a hole in their defensive line and killing the queen.  Supporting the fire squads is Sheryl, who, this late in her diseased state, can communicate wih the Vajra.  Klan isn’t thrilled, but chooses to fight.  Luca also finally comes out and says he loves Nanase…except she’s still in a coma.  Leon looks to the “last frontier”, and Bilrer looks to meet the “fold waves that surpass time and causality”.

Alto goes to Sheryl before the start of the mission, and promises to return.  After all this time, Alto realizes that one “cannot fly alone”.  Sheryl pokes fun at him, but then surprises Alto with a kiss.  Without saying more for fear that she’d no longer be able to sing, Sheryl gives Alto her last earring, and an order to go save Ranka.

Sheryl begins singing, NUNS launches their attack on the Vajra, and the civilians look on in their little shelters.  Initial reports find the Vajra uncoordinated, and NUNS is able to get through the defensive line quickly; Leon orders an immediate surge forward, with Island 1 making a hard push to ground on the planet.  Enter a long sequence of NUNs basically handing it to the Vajra.

Ranka, Grace, and Brera look on, with a now possessed Brera ordering his little sister to protect the planet.  Supported by the huge Vajra network, Ranka’s voice makes much stronger fold waves than Sheryl, and the Vajra fight back with a vengenace…now it’s NUNS getting it handed to them.  The fleet is distraught over Ranka’s betrayal of humanity, and Sheryl has nothing left against her.

Grace takes a moment to chortle over Ranka’s choice of music before digging further into the planet to find the “Queen’s Throne”.  It seems that her goal is close as well.

Alto is in disbelief over Ranka’s apparent betrayal until Brera starts chasing him, citing their “mission as siblings”.  Klan tries to cover Alto, but is perforated by Brera’s main guns, disabling her suit.  Brera’s final shot cores Alto’s VF-171, where it explodes in Ranka’s arms, while Sheryl can only look on.

Impressions:

Of all the things I expected, I did not see Alto kicking it as an option.  Which leads me to believe that he isn’t dead.  I can’t think of how this would end if he didn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere in some sort of ‘savior’ role.  Where’s my happy-Macross-ending?  In any case, this episode certainly picked up the pace and the action very quickly; I expected nothing less about an episode where Frontier is in a do-or-die mission.  However, overall it was very straightforward; nothing is really left to the imagination.  I think the intrigue and the emotional elements will come around in the final episode.  After all, we need to figure out what happens with Alto and Ranka.  Quick look at the three (like I always do):

  • Sheryl – This woman should just stop giving her earrings to Alto.  The two times she did were the two times Alto has been blown out of his suit.  However, it is nice to see her finally come clean with her feelings…sort of.  At least this time around she’s not in “spoiled brat mode”.  It’s pretty depressing to see how much hell she’s gone through in this entire series, but I’ll leave that for a final thoughts article.
  • Ranka – If I hear “Aimo” one more bloody time, I’m going to shoot someone.  Also, Ranka’s stock has hit rock bottom.  I don’t know what else to say, it’s pretty obvious she could use some saving right about now.
  • Alto – Death flags were few and far in between, so this honestly came as a shock.  I find it somewhat sad that I wasn’t too depressed over it.  Instead, it was more of a “hahahaha, he won’t be wiggling out of THAT anytime soon”.  With that said, however, I refuse to believe Alto is dead.  We still haven’t seen anybody from Macross Quarter, after all, and I don’t think that the last battle would be final without seeing Ozma and co. there.

What’s left for the final episode?  Depends, I suppose.  We get to see if Ranka makes mincemeat of Frontier or wakes up.  Is Alto really dead, or was that huge explosion a ridiculously good cover for him to get from the NUNS crapship to his VF-25?  What’s the deal with Grace being able to contort her face like that?

In reality, however, I think we all know how it’s going to go down.  Ranka won’t be evil the entire time, and Alto (who will still miraculously be alive by virtue of a space suit or something) will knock her back to her senses.  Grace will either get consumed with power, go insane and explode spectacularly, or come out and get wiped by the SMS / NUNS squadrons.  Sheryl will be relieved to see Alto return with Ranka in tow, and there will be some sort of happy ending.  So the suspense is really lost, and I’m hoping the producers can play up the character’s emotions and provide a good, solid sense of closure.

On the other hand, if there ISN’T a happy end, I will be pleasantly surprised.  2% chance of this happening.  Or something like that.

In any case, I’m looking forward to the final episode, but not with the same amount of fervor as I had in the middle of the series.  I just hope they pull through and do a good job of it.

Preview:

If it’s 20 minutes of picturebook, I will have to applaud the producers for such an excellent troll.

Last episode, hope it’s good.

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One Response to Macross Frontier Ep. 24: Last Frontier

  1. kaon says:

    maravillo..o.o

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