EPISODE 22: Men of Burning Fire
ICONIC SCENE: Battle 7 tries to help out…
STORY DATE: July or August 2045
SCENARIO TITLE: WORST PROMINENCE
BROADCAST DATE: March 19, 1995
1. We suddenly have a new problem: City 7 is being pulled into a star. The main part of the city has its air conditioners on full blast, but Akusho is getting the brunt of the heat.
2. So, yeah, clearly, there’s some gap between the last episode and this, but it appears as if Sivil has been possessing Akiko the whole time.
3. One of the things I always liked about the first Macross series is how damn makeshift everything they come up with is, and how it all ends up working in unexpected ways later. The attachment of the Daedalus and Prometheus to the Macross, the pinpoint barrier, and the transformation all combined to make the Daedalus Attack possible (and effective). Completely unplanned (by the characters, that is. The staff knew what they were doing), but everything comes together and it works. We see the same thing here, as Dr. Chiba has created a “Song Energy Detector” which can locate where Fire Bomber (and thus, City 7) is. This same discovery will be used in surprising ways soon.
4. Interesting bit of propaganda, as Milia decides to put the shell down, and tell the citizens that it’s a test, rather than an emergency. Of course, the enemy ends up attacking anyway, so it’s a moot point.
5. Gigil says that if City 7 does get pulled into the star, that Sivil will get bored and come back, hinting at her total invulnerability. Again, the Protodeviln cannot be defeated in any normal way.
6. And Sivil finally gives on on possessing Akiko. Thank goodness… that woman was about to get a bad reputation…
7. Okay, I admit it… As much as I think the hate directed at Basara is generally overblown, here I think it’s justified. Everyone is about to die, Milia gives Basara direct orders to help Gamlin, and he still doesn’t want to. Of course, in the end, he helps out and saves the ship, but it’s pretty easy to side with Gamlin on this one.
Honestly, I think the writing staff has stopped caring how the audience perceives Basara, and is more interested in showing him as he is. It would be great if he suddenly decided to stop singing and comes to City 7’s aid, and the audience would love it, but that’s not what Basara would actually do in that situation.
8. I love Dr. Chiba and his assistant singing along to the Fire Bomber songs. The guy’s crazy in a totally fun way.
9. The big confrontation is one of those places where the show really hits a home run. Yes, the battle is nearly all recycled footage, but setting it against that massive sun makes it feel fresh again. Add to that Battle 7 finally being reunited with City 7, the last minute fold, and even brief flashes of comedy, like when Gamlin reaches up to wipe the sweat off of his forehead, and his arm just hits his visor, or the sunburns he and Basara get. It’s a real highlight of the show.
10. So yeah, really great episode, and it feels like a climax of a sort. It’s not, although it’s setting up the climax. In an inspired bit of cross promotion, the first Macross 7 drama album, “Macross Seven Docking Festival ~Music Saves the Galaxy!?~” came out six days after this episode, and is set between this episode and the next. Yes, that’s right, it actually came out precisely the right week for it to slot into the story.
It’s primarily for comedic value, although it does show life on some of the other ships of the fleet that don’t really get covered in the series, and it also features a reunion of Shammy, Kim, and Vanessa. Shammy even redoes her old Unified Forces recruitment ad from the “Miss DJ” album, ending it with, “Yep, still got it!”
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: Walking through the Akusho heat, and the Fire Valk zooms past her.
EYECATCH: Akiko & Sivil/Milia & Max