EPISODE 8: VIRGIN BOMBER
ICONIC SCENE: FASHIONABLE!!
STORY DATE: April 2045
BROADCAST DATE: December 4, 1994
1. Another odd beginning, doing a recap of the series so far. Sort of. Kinda like the much-later Macross FB7, if you haven’t been watching the show, this recap will likely make very little sense.
2. Now Basara wants to remove the leg missiles from his 19. Ray convinces him to keep them, and pours a real bucket of cold water on Basara’s head, pointing out that Both Rex’s gang and Gamlin would most likely be dead if Basara hadn’t used the missiles. It’s hard to argue with that.
3. Gamlin and Mylene go on a date to a nice café, and he brings up that he saw her with Basara… but they get interrupted by the waitress bringing them cream sodas. Gamlin gets so worked up that he stirs his drink until it fizzes all over his hand.
Conversely, he may have never had a carbonated beverage before. Gamlin seems pretty darn sheltered, after all.
He also gives her a kimono as a present, which seems rather serious… if it’s a real one, those things are EXPENSIVE.
4. I love the conversation between Gamlin and Kinryu about Mylene. When Gamlin says he could introduce Mylene to Kinryu, Kinryu says, “Oh, I’m much too old for her,” and then walks off to what is apparently a hot date with both Sally AND Miho…
5. The next step in Fire Bomber’s career happens here, as they try to make some recordings, even though Basara only cares about live performances.
It’s kind of unusual that they’re playing live in the studio, although that’s not necessarily unheard of, even these days. It takes longer and makes it harder to get everything “right,” since everyone in the band has to be especially on the ball at all times, but honestly, I can’t imagine Basara, alone in front of a mic, playing the same lick over and over, trying to get several perfect takes to choose from. And, knowing Basara, having a good vibe is probably preferable to having everything note-for-note precise and correct. Sloppy-sounding rock can be the best kind (in fact, one problem I have with Fire Bomber’s music in the series is that it IS too “clean.” For my money, it’s not until the Dynamite Fire album from ’97 that they really start sounding as raw as they should. And I think the ferocious versions of the songs on Yoshiki Fukuyama (who sings and plays guitar for Basara)’s 2005 album Fukuyama Fire beat any previous renditions of the songs. Now that one may not have been recorded live in the studio, but it sure SOUNDS like it was, and he sounds like he’s ready to rip someone’s throat out with his teeth. It’s how Fire Bomber ALWAYS should have sounded).
Here, it also doesn’t help that they’ve got the wrong producer, a rather flamboyant gent who goes by the nickname “Honey” and wants something with less “passion” and something more “fashionable.” So yeah, terrible match with Fire Bomber.
In the end, it doesn’t matter, since Akiko (from the Super Nova Live a few episodes ago), ends up buying the recording off of Honey.
6. Basara ends up walking off, thinking about how to find “a sound that’s more explosive than missiles.” Mylene tries talking to him, but, as usual, does more harm than good.
7. And then VEFFIDAS SPEAKS. “There’s no point in arguing with Basara. You can’t try to be rational with him.”
8. We do get a little more about the aliens, as Geperunitchi hints at his plan of ceasing to be hunter-gatherers by creating a Spiritia farm, although he doesn’t use that term yet.
9. There’s a lot of new animation in the battle scene. This is the first episode where students from the Yoyogi Animation School started working on the show, but I’m assuming that this part is not from them… I may be mistaken on that.
But yeah, the important thing here is that Basara’s singing is being recorded, and due to his excitement, becomes the best performance of “Planet Dance” he’s ever done, even with all the space battle noise around him. Of course, to us, it just sounds like every other performance of the song, since it’s not like the show uses different takes for different episodes (another continuing problem with Fire Bomber… not only does it never look like they’re playing their instruments, they also never sound like they’re playing live. Although I guess you could say the same about Minmay, too), but we can use our imaginations here, right? And I would love to have seen Gamlin’s face when he discovered that his voice was present on Fire Bomber’s debut single.
10. When I first saw this episode, there was a shock of recognition. As I said, I’d already had the soundtracks for a few months at this point, and the version of “Planet Dance” here, with all the space battle sound effects, is a bonus track on the first Fire Bomber album, as “Planet Dance [Galaxy Fight Version].” Before I saw this, I had no idea what that track was about or why it was on the album, so seeing this was quite gratifying.
And “Honey” Suzuki is honestly one of my favorite minor characters in the show. I’m sorry he doesn’t show up more (although a possible relative, Professor “Bunny,” using EXACTLY the same voice (Kiyoyuki Yanada, who also voices Colonel Barton), shows up on some of the drama albums).
Oh and for some reason, Basara’s tank top is yellow here, rather than his usual green.
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: She sees Basara sulking in the park after the bad recording session. Mylene pushes past her to get to him.