THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH 20 – BURST POINT

Ep.19

SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS
EPISODE 19: BURST POINT

ICONIC SCENE: A waste of good steak…

STORY DATE: December 2009

SCENARIO TITLE: BARRIER BURST

BROADCAST DATE: February 27, 1983

1. So we’ve jumped ahead in the story a bit (I think… November was a pretty full month, story-wise…) and Global has taken to buzzing cities in the Macross in order to force the government to allow the refugees to leave the ship. Probably not the wisest of moves, considering that they already find the Macross a total nuisance that they can’t wait to get rid of.

And you have to wonder what the people on the ground are thinking. The last time any of them saw the Macross, it was still in cruiser mode, and they had all heard that it had been destroyed. Would they connect it with this giant robot flying over their city…?

2. Hey, another new Minmay song! This time, it’s “Silver Moon, Red Moon.” The lyrics seem a little too on the nose for the scene, which indeed shows a café terrace, dyed crimson with the sunset, as Claudia sits with her cup of coffee (we don’t know if it’s Turkish or not) (and much later, these same lyrics would also get used as a description of a café in one of the Macross Frontier novels).

3. Claudia and Hikaru are both mourning Focker (separately) and Misa goes, apparently to talk to Claudia, but ends up going over to Hikaru instead. Weirdly, she refers to Minmay as Hikaru’s girlfriend… it seems to me that she should know better by now. Not only is it not the case, it also always drives Hikaru into a deeper funk. They also mention the omnidirectional barrier that Global brought up five episodes ago.

4. Minmay collapses, but it’s not really a big deal. She’ll recover. Thankfully, unlike in real life, it really IS just exhaustion… She’s not an addict (as far as we know, anyway).

5. The encrypted message from the Ontario Autonomous Region saying that they’ll take in the refugees is kinda funny: on the screen, it’s just the script for the episode, written out in Roman letters. And then, there’s an amusing mistake when it cuts to a wider shot, and Shammy’s monitor clearly shows that they’re in space.

6. Lap’Lamiz is having problems of her own, as Kamujin disobeys order AGAIN to attack the Macross, and Milia wants to become a miclone to search for Max.

Again, the problem with Lap’Lamiz is that it’s like the writers don’t really know what to do with her. Everything important happens around her, and she just reacts to it all. Ineffectually.

There will be one big exception to that in a few episodes, but mostly, she’s just kinda there.

(Oh, and it’s a little funny that the female micloning machines have an extra bar so that both the crotch AND the chest are hidden from prying eyes.)

Also, Kamujin’s Glaug has been modified into a fighter… or is it a completely different mecha?

7. So Hikaru graduates to Skull One, which he’ll have for the remainder of the series. Symbolically, of course, it makes sense as he has to internalize the “Focker voice,” as I said last time. Practically, I wonder if it was just a way to up the toy sales. (They probably should’ve changed the OP to reflect this change, as well, but they didn’t.)

Anyway, the former Vermillion Team all go out on the town, and since Hikaru is treating, Kakizaki can afford to get a steak. Any time there was a Macross 30th anniversary event, along with the obligatory Nyan-Nyan, some other nearby restaurant would add pineapple salad and “Kakizaki Steak” to the menu, but honestly, the steak was always out of my price range. You can also get steaks like this at a chain called Pepper Lunch, but I never went there, since they had a big E. coli outbreak about six months before I arrived in Tokyo.

Anyway, yeah… Kakizaki never gets to finish that steak, just as Focker never got to eat that pineapple salad. I missed this episode when it first aired (I caught it the second time around, I’m PRETTY sure…), so the first news I got that another main character had died was the next day, with Hikaru trying to write to Kakizaki’s parents. But yeah, killing off Kakizaki one episode after Focker seems like a ballsy move, and a way of hammering home the idea that NOW, everything is serious. And yet… no more “good guys” among the cast will get killed.

Still… Kakizaki has never been a terribly good pilot, and it seemed clear from the outset that if anyone was going to go, it’d be him… so it’s a little surprising that he gets taken out not by the enemy, but by the barrier overload.

8. And Ontario is gone (at least, I *think* it’s Ontario… they were en route when they were attacked, so they may have not gotten there yet… Oh, wait… next episode, Hikaru confirms that yes, it WAS Ontario). Don’t worry, everyone. Just wait for a few episodes, and it won’t really matter anymore.

Also, Kamujin has lost virtually his entire fleet, not that anyone will ever bring that up.

9. Back to the Minmay subplot, Kaifun gives a big anti-war speech to the paparazzi. As always, it’s nice that he’s concerned, but his views are really misguided in this conflict. On the other hand, his speech manages to really shock the three spies, so he’s not ENTIRELY useless.

And Minmay calls Hikaru to assure him that she’s all right, and he hangs up on her. Again, in her defense, she doesn’t know that Kakizaki has been killed, nor does she know that an entire city has been wiped out (Kaifun mentions a “rumor” that the surface has been damaged, Claudia mentions a media blackout, and we know that the military announcements are sugar-coated to the point of meaninglessness. Even the ship-wide Valkyrie scramble was coded so as not to panic the civilians). Again, this is one of those scenes that really cause people to hate her, but I think that’s unjustified.

On the bright side, it looks like Hikaru has finally made his decision to stop chasing after Minmay like a puppy… but alas, that’s just temporary.

10. So yes, a shocking, high-stakes episode, and I’m sorry I missed it when it was first broadcast in the US. It also looks good, which is a surprise. It’s been a while since we’ve had two nice-looking episodes in a row.

When I was a kid, and not entirely sure how these things worked (nor how long or short the show would be), I had a theory that maybe, in Japan, Focker and Kakizaki were both voiced by the same actor, and he quit the show, so they had to remove both of the characters from the series. That turned out to be wrong, of course.

And, as always, I wonder how the real guy Kakizaki was based on felt about his fate here?

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3 thoughts on “THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH 20 – BURST POINT

  1. And, of course, this has the infamous error in the Robotech books where a really weird misinterpretation of the animation led to Ben transforming to Gerwalk to go faster…

    Like

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