Okay, seriously now. This is probably as formulaic as you get with a series end, but then again, who did NOT see this coming? Macross can never end on a down note, so it really restricts the possible outcomes the producers could have chosen. Regardless of that fact, however, this episode is still highly enjoyable, if not a little rushed and maybe…just maybe a little too fast-paced for my likings. Oh well, at least there’s an announced movie for the series. Maybe that will give it all a better sense of finality.
Ranka’s apparent betrayal has put Frontier in a very tough spot. Vajra ‘cruisers’ prepare to fire their main guns, but are stopped mid-charge by the all-too-timely arrival of Macross Quarter and the SMS. Incidentally, the flak from the cannon knocks Brera’s VF-27 around, and breaks the mind controller. SMS reveals that they’ve been tricked this entire time by Macross Galaxy and Grace O’Connor, a fact verified by the still living Alto, who apparently now has the ability to read Ranka’s mind. The guns fire on the fake Ranka, revealing Battle Galaxy underneath. Captain Wilder puts Leon on the spot for his involvement in the assassination of President Glass, and Cathy finally gets some resolution.
Galaxy launches tiny little ships, Ghost V-9s, that proceed to rip up NUNS VF-171. A micronized Klan and Luca bring Alto a new ride – his old VF-25. Alto begs and gets support from Sheryl, who rises up for another song, and the SMS leads the charge against the Vajra lines. Luca even lets go of his drones (Simon, John, and Peter…) to enter the fight.
Ranka breaks free of her mental prison, but not before Grace takes control of the Vajra Queen, and with it the entire Vajra network. The ensuing fold waves hammer at the Frontier forces, knocking Sheryl off her feet. Ozma fires MDEs at it, but a shield blocks them from the main body. The Vajra line, now under Grace’s command, charge and fire on Frontier, ripping huge holes in pretty much everything. Other Vajra fold into other sectors where other Macross units have settled or are in transit. Sheryl passes out, Alto is damaged, and the Quarter has also taken significant damage.
Ranka starts singing, and Brera, now awakened and free from Grace’s control, urges her on, as stopping the war is their way of atonement for before. Vajra stop their attacks halfway, as they fall under Ranka’s control once more.
Sheryl, now nearing the end of her life, has nothing left for her and is content to die, but Ranka urges her on, giving her a huge slap in the face. Alto also begs for her to live on, since both Ranka and Sheryl are his wings. Ranka magically heals Sheryl, transforming her sickness into the same source of power she has. Together, Ranka and Sheryl’s song continue to affect the Vajra forces, turning them against Grace’s will. SMS and the remaining NUNS forces turn their attention to Grace and Galaxy.
Quarter rushes in to blast a hole in Battle Galaxy to give Alto a window to get through to Ranka. After cutting a hole through the hull, Alto takes Ranka back to Quarter, but not before the Vajra under Grace’s control launch a huge attack on Island 1. The Vajra with Ranka form a defensive wall and take the hit for them, and Ai-kun makes its return to Ranka’s side. According to Ranka, the Vajra finally accept humanity for what it is.
Ranka now joins Sheryl on Battle Frontier, and they both send Alto off, along wih Quarter. Grace erects her barrier to prevent Alto from getting in, but the returned Vajra open a small rift in the defenses. As Quarter and Battle Frontier dive in, Galaxy fires. Canaria, in a single act of defiance, takes the SMS VB-6 bomber in, lands on Galaxy, and launches artillery at nearly point blank range. Quarter rips up its gun, and Frontier proceeds to gut what’s left of Battle Galaxy.
Alto charges forward with Klan when Michel’s old ship is damaged. Klan entrusts his sniper rifle to Alto to finish the job. Grace challenges that her network is the ultimate in human evolution, but Alto disagrees to holding the Vajra as sacrifices to the human altar. Brera joins in to cover Alto, and directs him to aim for the abdomen instead of the head.
Brera and Alto press forward, working in perfect unison and supported with both Ranka and Sheryl’s voices. Alto locks on to multiple parts of the Vajra Queen in record time, disconnecting Grace from her Vajra forces. After careful aim, Alto puts a bullet through Grace, ending her plans of galaxy-wide domination once and for all.
As Vajra return to wherever they came from, ‘Aimo’ is heard once more over the waves. Ranka explains that the song is a love song for when Vajra come from across different galaxies to crossbreed. ‘Aimo’ is apparently translated as ‘You’. On Frontier, Bilrer laments his inability to meet and protect a certain Lynn Minmay…but at least Island 1 has landed on the Vajra homeworld.
Afterwards, Sheryl and Ranka have their reunion on the land, and Alto, ejecting from his now-ruined VF-25, gets to fly around like an idiot in the sky. Ranka tells Sheryl that she won’t lose in singing or in love, and Sheryl takes the challenge head on. The SMS group looks on, Nanase wakes up to see the sunlight, Brera keeps watch over his sister from a distance, and all is right in the world.
Well…saw MOST of that coming. My initial impression was “oh no, this is going to be another clichéd ending episode”. For the most part, it was! However, that didn’t detract from me enjoying the episode. This series has its ups and downs, but it was definitely the highlight of the past few seasons, and something I would recommend to others if they wanted a new series to pick up. Watching Macross Zero and some of the other shows might help a little bit, however. Points of thought from the episode in no particular order:
- Even after everything’s she’s been through, Ranka still retains her air of childlike innocence. I honestly don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but right now, it’s in stark contrast to Sheryl, who has battled all her life to achieve her goals. I’m amazed that she basically has no character development at all (aside from becoming the most knowledgeable person in the fleet on Vajra behavior and history, at least).
- Epic space battle is epic? This is as many weapons as we’ve seen in the entire series. I love it, lots and lots of eye candy is good.
- We get the harem ending! Nobody can complain now, right? Although I’m thrilled to see Sheryl still alive and singing, I think having her still around cheapens her character a little bit. She had a certain depth to her when she had a shortened time limit to her life, and it magnified each of her actions. Now that she’s been healed, it seems just…strange. My guess is that this is all a political move for future projects (read later bullets).
- How did Klan Klan micronize so quickly? More interestingly, how’d she get out of that damaged suit so quickly??
- Did they just show off the ENTIRE SOUNDTRACK TO THIS SERIES!? This medley will be taken two ways by people – absolute genius, or utter rubbish. I’m actually quite impressed with the series’ ability to utilize the emotions in each of the songs at the appropriate situation in this episode. Heck, I think ‘Triangular’ actually sounds better as a duet between May’n and Nakajima Megumi. However, it can be quite an earful to go from one song to another and yet another in such rapid succession. Also, lots of OP video reuse here. Caught me off guard, as I normally don’t pay attention to OPs at all. Maybe I should.
- Brera and Alto looked like they’ve been flying together for years. That’s some serious (and unbelievable) acrobatics. Then again, who cares? Big mechanized suits turning into jetplanes aren’t too believable either. Also, Alto should get an award for his ability to lock on to…uh…maybe 8 targets in half a second with just a flick of his eye.
- That fold quartz earring really sparkles. Is it just me, or did they go out of their way to animate it sparkling so much? Maybe it means Alto is still leaning towards Sheryl and friendzoning Ranka?
- I really hope the movie concludes things with more conviction than this. This is just one of those happy-go-lucky endings that I’m not a huge fan about.
In all, a decent end to a good series. Here’s to looking out for that movie!