MISSION 25: The Singer of the Stars
ICONIC SCENE: Catching up with Hikaru, Misa, and Minmay…
STORY DATE: 2067
BROADCAST DATE: September 18, 2016
1. First thing we learn is that Makina’s condition is stable. Whew!
Then we get the voice recorder from the VF-22, where we learn that Hayate’s father disobeyed orders and tried to get to an unpopulated area with the Dimension Eater, but it was detonated by remote by the NUNS.
We also find out that Hayate’s dad was a secret agent. And that his last word was, of course, “Hayate.”
2. And good ol’ In-n-Out Berger shows up, with another tale to tell. And just like last time, it cuts between him telling his story and the Aerial Knights discussing exactly the same thing. In this instance, it’s Mikumo being the Singer of the Stars.
Last episode, Roid told Mikumo that something was stolen from Windermere seven years ago… here we learn that it was a DNA sample used to create Mikumo, and that it was stolen (you guessed it) by Hayate’s dad.
Some viewers seemed to think that this meant Mikumo is an actual Protoculture, but nothing the show itself says appears to support that. She IS basically human, just “enhanced” with ancient Windermerean DNA.
3. Also, the Singer of the Stars can affect people to put them easily under mind-control… and other things. And Roid notes that the thing that appeared atop Ragna’s Protoculture system is “The Temple of the Stars,” where her singing will be able to reach the entire galaxy. There’s also another reference to Macross Zero, when Roid says the Temple is on Ragna because to be activated, it needs “the wind and the sea,” which on the one hand refers to Windermere and Ragna, but also is the title of the first episode of Zero, as the two important elements to the people of Mayan Island.
4. Roid is being unusually candid with the Knights about his plans, and gets some resistance, until Heinz tells them to obey Roid. Heinz also lets them see how far the scaly aging stuff has invaded his body.
He also gets extremely manipulative with Keith, once again reminding him of the fun times they had together as children. And especially how he was better than Keith at flying.
5. And a NUNS fleet shows up, ready to blow the hell out of the entire Brísingr Cluster. It’s led by the same asshole who tried to blow up the Protoculture ruins on Ragna. Don’t worry, though. They won’t be a threat for long.
6. Next, Berger drops a MASSIVE metaphorical bombshell. Let’s face it, when you’re talking with Macross fans (especially Western Macross fans), what keeps coming up? Again and again and again? Generally the Megaroad-01, right? Any time a new series is announced, usually SOMEONE will say, “I hope it’s about the Megaroad-01!” And usually that person gets shot down by people like me, who say “Kawamori has said that he doesn’t want to revisit those characters.”
And it’s true… he’s said that he doesn’t do direct sequels, and he’s pretty much stuck to that (Macross Dynamite 7 being the only exception that I can think of off-hand, although I suppose you could make allowances for Aquarion EVOL). I’ve quoted before an Animag (or was it Animerica…?) interview I read many years ago, regarding the original series, where he said (quoting from memory), “We’ve done the TV series and the movie. If we used those characters a third time, you’d be bored of them, too.”
HOWEVER, instead of just saying, “The Megaroad-01 landed on a nice planet and everyone aboard lived happily ever after to the end of their days,” the official timeline (created by Kawamori and “Dr. Chiba.” The REAL one, not the Macross Seven character) says that Unified Forces lost contact with the ship in 2016. Further material (a game) says that they flew into a black hole, following a singing voice emanating from it. Even FURTHER material (Macross Chronicle magazine) says that they may have reached another galaxy. The Macross the First manga implies that they may have jumped through time somehow. (And, weirdly, the first Macross 7 album, “Music From Galaxy Network Chart,” says that after the Megaroad-01 disappeared, a song written by Minmay aboard the ship was found… HOW it was found, they don’t explain.)
So, instead of a nice happy ending, we have a MYSTERY. Now, this wasn’t really a problem at first. As far as most viewers were concerned, the last time we saw Hikaru, Misa, and Minmay was in Flashback 2012, as they fly off to their destiny. The stuff about losing communications and black holes and shit was relegated to written material, which only a minority of fans ever seek out. But then we got the bit at the end of the Frontier TV series, where it turned out that Richard Birla was hoping to be connected with every mind in the galaxy because he wanted to find Minmay (who, ironically, might have actually been in a DIFFERENT galaxy at that point). Suddenly, the idea of the Megaroad-01 being lost entered the anime as well as the “expanded universe” of books and comics and games and such. And again, it’s a mystery. An unresolved mystery.
So the clamoring got louder. What happened to the Megaroad-01? WE WANT TO KNOW!! (And we want to see a series with the VF-4 as the main Valkyrie.) How could Kawamori solve the riddle without bringing back the old characters he was bored of (and was afraid we would become bored of, too)?
(His concern, by the way, is not unwarranted. I know plenty of people who like the IDEA of “Robotech II: The Sentinels,” the series that was supposed to be about the further adventures of “Rick,” “Lisa,” and “Minmei,” but more people like the idea than like the actual novels and comics that covered that story. Indeed, in my experience, many people who say they want an animated version want one BECAUSE they don’t like how the story was handled in the novels and comics and script outlines, and want a “better” version to be “official.” And one of the biggest problem with the Sentinels, in my opinion, is that the most compelling parts of the three main characters’ growth had already been covered. In the Sentinels, they are definitely boring leads.)
So… a solution. And a rather elegant one. Berger says that soon after Frontier, a signal was found, belonging to the Megaroad-01, and contact was reestablished. No mention of the whos, whats, wheres, or whys, just that it happened. The Megaroad-01 has been found. And apparently, through “Lady M,” has been calling the shots for Xaos. Now, we don’t know WHO Lady M is, although we’ve got plenty of fan theories (and let’s not even get into GG fansubs’s stupid “TL Note,” okay?), but we now know that the Megaroad-01 has been discovered, probably safe and sound. And if anyone asks for a series about it, the staff can answer, “Why bother? We know the ending. It makes contact with Ragna, and everything’s fine.” Kinda takes the suspense out of the narrative, doesn’t it?
This has its own irony, though… most of the people who say (in online forums, or Facebook groups, or whatever) that they want a series about the Megaroad-01 tend to be old-school fans who are often so turned off by Delta that they never finish the series. So, as far as they know, the issue has STILL never been addressed, and when (for example) the new series for 2018 was announced last January, I saw a number of people say, because they simply don’t KNOW, “What about the Megaroad?” To which it’s easy to respond, “Oh, that’s been covered. The Megaroad has been found, and it’s fine.”
So, to boil down the essence of what I’m saying here, if you in your travels see anyone lamenting about the unanswered questions about the disappearance of the Megaroad-01, just suggest that that person should watch Delta. They might not thank you, but you’ll have done them a service, and that is its own reward. Especially if you don’t do that kind of service very often.
7. Now, again (and this is a point that many viewers seem to miss), Delta is the series where singing DOESN’T affect the enemy. So… we KNOW that the final battle also has to be a musical extravaganza, as (nearly) all Macross final battles are. So to ensure that happening, we hear Kaname’s dream of singing on a truly galactic stage, regardless of the war. So no, it won’t help defeat the Windermereans, but it will still happen anyway.
Also, there’s what I think is a deliberate parallel to the battle in Mission 13. There, Delta Flight was impaired, having recently lost Messer. Here, Walküre is impaired, having lost both Mikumo (and Makina). They’re heading into battle with their Most Valued Player gone. Here, it’s a little bit worse, since not only is Mikumo not singing with Walküre, she’s singing with the Windermereans. It’s like if Messer had switched sides rather than died.
Also, there’s still Freyja’s health to consider… she’s using so much of her power that she’s beginning to age prematurely…
8. As usual in “before the battle” episodes, there are brief scenes showing what all the characters are hoping to gain. This is basically like the “preparing for the big fight” that every single action movie ever made has (and it goes back WAY further than that… even the Iliad has a section where Achilleus dons his armor, and it’s exactly like Schwarzenegger checking his ammo and priming his guns).
Part of this is Chuck vowing to find his sister, Kaname holding Messer’s bracelet, and most of all, Hayate and Freyja going through his father’s old letters and gifts to him, sent to Hayate by his mother.
This last part is made all the more resonant by having a lovely instrumental version of “Do You Remember Love” played over it.
Oh, and yes, Hayate’s dad is, as was long suspected, the guy who gave Freyja her MP3 player, which ties him to Freyja as well as Hayate, Mikumo, and Arad.
9. Post-credits, Heinz commands Mikumo to make the NUNS crews all Vár out, and detonate the Dimension Eaters, annihilating the entire fleet. Heinz seems horrified by what he’s done, which will set up his conversion next episode.
10. Finally, the mystery of Hayate’s father’s role in the Dimension Eater attack on Windermere is resolved, and the Lady M mystery is resolved as much as it will be in the series (revealing who she is was apparently NEVER part of the planning for the show). As always before a huge battle, it’s a slow episode, but it sets the final conflict up nicely.
OP: “Absolute Zero θ Novatic”
ED: “Do You Remember Love ~ORCH2067~”
EYECATCH: Don and Q-Lulu.
NEW SONGS IN THIS EPISODE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES BOGUE HAS LUNGED FORWARD: 15