EPISODE 13: FOLD OUT
ICONIC SCENE: Milia the Ace!
STORY DATE: May 2045
BROADCAST DATE: January 15, 1995
1. We pick up the story at what has to be just a few hours after the last episode ended, with Battle 7 attempting to find out where City 7 folded to. I like all the Valks equipped with radomes.
When we move over to City 7, you’ll notice that outer space is no longer the bright blue it’s been throughout the series so far. They never go into it in the dialogue, but it’s that blue color because the staff figured that space will be brighter near the galactic center. I have no idea if that is sound science or not. Anyway, taking that into account, we know that wherever City 7 is, it’s VERY far away from Battle 7.
2. Clearly there’s panic in the air on City 7, especially since the TV stations are down. Milia makes a broadcast to try to calm everyone, but that gets interrupted by a broadcast from one of the enemy soldiers who’s taken control of the ship. Which kind of has the opposite effect than Milia intended. Basara is unfazed, though.
3. Milia rather grimly jokes about leaving the civilians behind… at least, she plays it off as a joke…
4. There’s a weird bit where Gamlin finds a rock in space that somehow either got left behind during City 7’s fold or else contains traces of the fold’s wake…? It doesn’t make much sense, but I guess the writers had to have some way for Battle 7 to find where City 7 vanished to.
5. There’s also a problem that WE know, but no one in the show knows. It’ll take Battle 7 eight hours to build up enough energy to fold to City 7’s coordinates, but the enemy is planning to fold City 7 away from those coordinates in four hours.
6. Luckily, another option presents itself as Kinryu suggests they use the fold boosters. Weirdly for those of us who saw Macross Plus first, the fold booster is described by Max as “still experimental,” even though Isamu and Guld used them five years previously. But since Macross Plus Episode 3 still wasn’t out when this aired, fans watching in real time would’ve been more puzzled by THAT scene than they would’ve by this one. While it’s probably correct to view Macross 7 as borrowing mecha concepts and designs that were created for Plus, it’s interesting to note that for viewers at the time, plenty of them debuted in 7 before the relevant Plus episodes came out (including, again, the VF-19, the Pinpoint Barrier Punch, and now, fold boosters).
When they actually fold, “fold space” itself looks nothing like it will in Plus, but what it looks like always varies greatly in each Macross show.
And they almost don’t make it… I guess however far they’re folding is a much greater distance than from Planet Eden to Earth…? Maybe…?
7. Meanwhile, Fire Bomber’s plan is to drive around the city in one of those vans with speakers on it (usually used to stump for politicians) blaring “Planet Dance” at mind-shredding volume in order to distract the enemy. Then they have people playing it everywhere, and even Rex and her gang get deputized. It works in that the enemy send some Elgezorenes (which are named here for the first time) to check it out.
8. Oh, and there’s an odd disconnect in this episode… early on, we’re told that the enemy had sealed all the airlocks, so even if the government wanted to evacuate the civilians, they couldn’t. And yet, later on, Basara is shown having no problems using them to get the Fire Valk out of Akusho and into City 7.
9. Then we get to the part old-time fans have been waiting for. Milia says they should add a little “insurance” to Fire Bomber’s plan, and LAUNCHES IN HER OLD RED VF-1J!!
Well… it’s not EXACTLY the same, having some slightly different details, notably some black stripes. And Milia’s flight suit isn’t same, either, looking much more like Hikaru’s. But who cares? The ace is back!
Still, even with Milia kicking serious ass (and, I admit, as much as I get that the message of the show is Basara’s nonviolent methods, it’s great to see a truly fierce battle scene, which this is. Arguably the first truly fierce battle scene in the series) and Basara punching the fold system, it’s not enough. City 7 folds away again to parts unknown, which also leaves Diamond Force pretty much stranded until Battle 7 can get there to save them.
10. So we reach the end of the first “cour” with another episode that is much more serious than the first bunch, and I have to say that as much as I like the show overall, this feels like a breath of fresh air. Milia strutting her stuff again is the clear highlight, but this episode is pretty great start to finish. While there are a lot of episodes that don’t do much beyond spinning the wheels a bit, the staff demonstrate here that they can pull out some really great stuff when it counts (usually at the end of each cour).
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: She’s in on Fire Bomber’s plan to have “Planet Dance” playing everywhere in the city. But… how? Who contacted her? Did the group put a general call to action on their website or something? (And yes, Fire Bomber has a home page. It’s the subject of one of the drama albums.)
EYECATCH: Fire Valk & Geperunitchi/Gigil