THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH 18 – PHANTASM

Ep.17

SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS
EPISODE 17: PHANTASM

ICONIC SCENE: Good riddance!

STORY DATE: November 2009

BROADCAST DATE: February 13, 1983

1. After Episode 16, Macross took a week off, returning the following week with… a second clip show. As far as I can determine, this one was NOT a part of the original plan (indeed, 18 picks up right where 16 left off), and it was probably made after the series had been extended (or else there simply wouldn’t have been room for it). So yeah… another clip show. We’re falling into a pattern here: Ep. 12 – great. Ep. 13 – Star Pro. Ep. 14 – clip show. Ep. 15 – great. Ep. 16 – Star Pro. Ep. 17 – clip show. And yes, next episode will look great, but the pattern gets broken after that.

And just like Global Report, which threw off the episode count by being listed by the production staff as Episode 13.5, this one is 15.5. From here on in, the Production numbers will be two off from the actual episode numbers.

2. Luckily, instead of just doing another clip show, the staff did something a little more unusual (and entertaining): turning the episode into a dream sequence.

Honestly, it doesn’t reveal much about Hikaru’s inner life that we didn’t already know, but it’s funny, and a lot of it really FEELS like a dream, with people turning into other people, events from daily life getting twisted around into other things, and general leaps in logic.

Who to credit for this is difficult, since the episode lacks a scriptwriter credit, and later books tend to credit different people, but considering that the storyboards were done by “Eiji Kurokawa,” I’m thinking that Kawamori did all of this.

3. A couple of interesting musical choices here… “Zero-G Love” makes it’s debut (in Hikaru’s dream…? Weird…). Is it the B-side to “My Boyfriend’s a Pilot,” or is it Minmay’s second single…? And then, earlier, we get an unidentified song. Certainly written by Mari Iijima, but appearing on none of her albums. It’s pretty, though, so I wonder why not? Maybe she never finished it…?

(She also hums “Marin” from her first album during the shower scene.)

4. So the story of Hikaru’s dream, as I said, doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know: that, because of his military service, he’s drifted apart from Minmay and is gravitating towards Misa, although his unconscious mind doesn’t yet seem to see any up side of that. In fact, the dream ends like a nightmare, with Misa intoning in a sinister voice, “In the end, you’re a soldier, too…”

Y’know, I thought they were really beginning to get along…

And of course, the problem is that yes, from Hikaru’s perspective, he and Minmay are drifting apart. But, looking at it objectively, they were never together in the first place. Yes, she almost kissed him when she thought they were going to die, but since then (and it’s been nine months), it’s been a constant litany of “Hikaru is just a friend.”  Now, I get it. I’ve been there myself. You’ve found someone who you’re crazy about, and you don’t want to face reality and admit that it will simply never happen… but really, man, it’s better to abandon it sooner rather than later. It does a serious number on your pride. MOVE ON.

5. This is one that I taped off of TV as a kid, and watched over and over, laughing like mad the whole time. I tried to show it to a friend who hadn’t seen the show, thinking that she would find it as hilarious as I did…. not realizing that context is necessary for it to be funny.

Oh, well. At least we got to see Kaifun die. Sort of.

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