SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS
EPISODE 30: VIVA MARIA
ICONIC SCENE: “Catch!”
STORY DATE: October 2011
SCENARIO TITLE: PEACEFUL BABY
BROADCAST DATE: May 15, 1983
1. This used to be my favorite of the post-war episodes, probably because, since they go back into space, it’s the one that feels the most like the previous episodes. It’s also one of the few post-war episodes that seems hopeful, since most of them are about the Zentradi rejecting culture, Minmay’s career failing, or Hikaru being an ass.
2. And this is the one that features the booster rockets to allow the Valks to go into space. We’ll never see them again, and later Valks won’t need them (of course, they didn’t use them back in Episode 3 went they went into orbit, either…). Oh, and that’s a hell of a booster rocket on the shuttle.
3.It’s nice to see our heroes have one last hurrah in space (until “Do You Remember Love,” that is), and it’s fitting that most of this episode looks great, although the quality varies from scene to scene.
And I’m curious who’s responsible for the Dougram reference on the computer screen at about six minutes in.
4. Boy, Britai sure is different here! Suddenly, he seems like a kindly uncle and is, dare I say it, almost cuddly. I also note that at one point, he says that it’s been two years since his last battle… which is EXACTLY the same thing Roy said in Episode 1.You might think that this would be foreshadowing, but it’s not. This is the last time we’ll see Britai in the series, true, but he goes on to become the commander of the UN Forces in 2016.
And his line about having to clean the pus from the wound shows that he certainly hasn’t lost his edge.
Oh, and it’s worth noting that at least two publications (“Sky Angels” and “VF Master Files VF-1”), it’s stated that Britai’s ship, by this point, has been reclassified the SDF-3. Of course, it’s also worth noting that the star map at the beginning of Frontier and one mention in Macross Chronicle didn’t get that memo. Whatever. I like it, so I take it as fact.
5. Um… carrying your baby in a pod attached to the underside of the Valk seems like an awfully unsafe way to transport her. Just saying’. Of course, given the baby-tossing scene, that may have been deliberate on the part of the designers.
6. Okay, the baby-tossing scene is a classic, and Milia’s dialogue to Misa leading up to it is also great. “If you want to hold a baby, make one of your own. I made this one.” Traditionally, the “Virgin Warrior Princess” types immediately mellow out once they get defeated in battle or rescued or whatever, and marry the guy involved, but I’m glad to see that Milia, while more maternal, is still pretty fiery, and Eri Takeda is still playing her as super-severe.
In addition to everything else, it turns out that Max is a great cook, too. Hikaru’s right, the guy’s a superman. He’s got a cute apron, as well.
And now he gets on Hikaru’s case about getting together with Misa, then Claudia does, too. Seriously, EVERYONE wants them to hook up.
And to Misa’s credit, she actually tries to talk to him about it, but of course, gets interrupted.
7. And then we get to possibly the weirdest scenes in the series, because it seems so significant and so pointless at the same time: they find a wrecked Supervision Army ship, the music starts getting really dramatic, Misa wants to investigate, Britai says no (because it might be booby-trapped), and then they leave. And it never gets brought up again.
I honestly don’t get what the purpose of this scene was. To show that the Supervision Army is still out there? To fill out an episode that was running a little short? It’s really strange.
8. The song that starts playing once Max and Milia arrive on Dagao’s flagship is “Milia’s Lullaby,” which was written and performed by Eri Takeda. And you can tell Star Pro did this scene, because it looks truly terrible.
(Someone on Facebook asked me a while back if Star Pro had done any GOOD work on the show… it’s a fair question, considering bad precedents like trying to figure out what parts Shakespeare wrote in his collaborative plays – which for a couple of centuries involved looking for the good parts, and saying that Shakespeare wrote those lines, and anything bad must have been his co-author. Needless to say, the question is much more complicated than that. All I can say with any certainty is that the episodes that are bad through-and-through (like 25) list Star Pro only, whereas the ones that have some good scenes (like this) will credit Star Pro AND other people. So no, I don’t think they did any good work in Macross, except for maybe the final scene of Episode 23.)
9. There are some really nice shots of the Nousjadeul-Ger battle suit here, which we barely got to see in the main part of the series. And the space battle at the end of this episode is really excellent, if short.
10. Again, a nice episode overall, and one that has more of the feeling of the first twenty-seven episodes than much of the post-war stuff does. That one scene with the Supervision Army wreckage still bothers me, though, and it’s clear that Hikaru’s resistance to Misa is really beginning to grate on all the characters, as well as on the audience.