SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS
EPISODE 10: BLIND GAME
ICONIC SCENE: Wrasslin’.
STORY DATE: October 2009
SCENARIO TITLE: PRISONER No.1
BROADCAST DATE: December 12, 1982
1. And, the animation quality drops again… More Star Pro. It doesn’t look terrible, most of the time, just passable.
2. So the Macross finally gets through to High Command, who figure that if the Zentradi haven’t destroyed the Macross yet, then they’re not as strong as Global suggests they are. And thus, the notion that the earth government doesn’t have the Macross’s back begins to make itself felt. This thread of course will become dominant once the Macross returns to earth, and will eventually turn Global into a traitor.
And of course, the Zentradi use the transmissions to somehow study and learn the miclone’s language and send a command to surrender. No, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s kind of amazing when you realize that this is the first communication even ATTEMPTED between the two sides… and it comes from the warlike Zentradi, rather than the peace-loving humans.
3. I like the scene where Hikaru wants to go back to the ship because Kakizaki’s Valk is damaged. It shows that he is growing into his role as a team leader, and while he and Misa still don’t like each other very much, he’s not exactly frightened of her anymore.
4. Kamujin’s execution of Exsedol’s plan to fire a warning shot at the Macross involves and “old-timer,” who’s set to retire soon… which begs the question, what HAPPENS to Zentradi who reach retirement age? Nothing good, I’m sure…
Also, speaking of Zentradi and aging, this episode is peppered with Zentradi words for different time units. Mikra, Mil… Its not always easy to tell what their nearest earth equivalent would be, though.
5. The scene with Hikaru and Bridge Bunnies is also fun, as they tease him a little about his date, although I note that Hikaru’s wearing the same blue shirt and white sweater that he always wears, and the Bridge Bunnies are wearing the same outfits they wore in episode 6.
In case you start to feel like Minmay is neglecting Hikaru, her side of the story, from “My Fair Minmay,” is pretty illuminating. It tells the story from her perspective, and she’s not having fun: being bustled from place to place, person to person, all of whom view her as a commodity to be exploited or a way for them to get rich. She really DOESN’T have time to see anyone, really. Plus, there’s a bit where her manager tells Hikaru to just go away, because his presence is getting in the way of the stardom machine. And no doubt this is how idols were (and are) often treated… the record company owns them, and they must do its bidding. Life? Who needs a life…?
6. Right after the commercial break, one of the screens shows “Star Trek,” one of the earliest-ever computer games, written in BASIC. When I was a child, we had the Atari 2600 version, “Stellar Track,” which I found boring, but which my Mom really liked.
7. There’s kind of a grisly scene when Global tells Vanessa to contact the radar control room. She says the lines seem to be down, since there’s no response, as we are viewing a completely demolished room with an almost-certainly dead guy slumped in a chair.
8. Misa’s Cat’s Eye pilot is listed on the plane’s cockpit as “S/SGT H.IWATA,” i.e. Hiroshi Iwata, the show’s producer. He showed up as Hiromi Rockfield in the Miss Macross Contest, as well.
This is one of the better-looking scenes in the episode, and apparently what looks like the biggest goof, missiles attached to the tail fins on Max’s Valk, was actually added deliberately by Itano because Max fired too many missiles in the ensuing battle. I mean, he takes out a recon scout, which even Hikaru’s Armored Valk could barely do last episode.
9. And then of course we get the hand-to-hand brawl between Britai and the Valks, confirming him to be a total badass WHO CAN EVEN SURVIVE (briefly) IN A VACUUM. Pity that the animation is kinda lackluster, and there are a few big mistakes, notably mixing up Max and Kakizaki’s color schemes.
10. This is the first episode to end on a really massive cliffhanger, and the fact that it aired on Friday when I first saw it shouldn’t be underestimated. Waiting through the weekend to get to the next episode wasn’t easy, as I recall.
There are a few episodes that sneak up on you, where what SEEMS to be the A-plot actually isn’t, and what does happen is pretty surprising. The biggest fake-out is yet to come, but this is close. It looks like it’s all going to be, as the title indicates, a “blind game,” as the Macross and the Zentradi hunt around for each other with no radar… but then it turns into everyone getting captured, which is unexpected, even though it was foreshadowed early in the episode with Exsedol saying he wanted to obtain some “samples.” Again, it’s too bad the episode doesn’t look a little better.