EPISODE 26: Deathmatch at Planet Lux
ICONIC SCENE: Armored Valks are sexy Valks.
STORY DATE: September 2045
SCENARIO TITLE: REMEMBER SIXTEEN
BROADCAST DATE: April 16, 1995
1. We seem to pick up a few minutes from where we left last time. Battle 7 is still trying to contact the Macross 5 Fleet, and Basara and Mylene fly off to check out the planet themselves (completely unauthorized, of course).
2. Oh hey, Kinryu’s okay again! Although he’s still bedridden and not completely healed. This is in no way ominous. Oh, and both Sally and Miho come to visit him together, making us wonder again what exactly is going on among the three of them.
3. Exsedol is not on the bridge… we don’t know it yet, but he’s still terrified about the Protodeviln.
4. Already, it’s obvious that this episode has had a lot of care put into its animation. The scene of Basara and Mylene flying over the forest on Lux is well-done, and even the fact that Basara’s outfit is a different color than usual shows that they won’t be recycling any footage of him.
5. And then they find the Macross 5 Fleet… completely destroyed. The ships are wrecked and bloody corpses are everywhere. Seagulls are hovering around (and, um… you KNOW what they’re feasting on… yuck). For a show that’s been relatively “light,” this is some pretty strong stuff.
Pretty soon, they find that the city blocks are missing, so at least not EVERYONE has been killed.
6. And then while Macross 7 is waiting for the reports, Geperunitchi’s full fleet defolds right on top of them and starts bombarding them in order to force them down to the planet.
After that, comes the REAL “first contact.” For the first time ever, Geperunitchi contacts Max.
7. Kinryu, still injured, rouses himself to go out and fight. There’s no way this can end well. HOWEVER, he takes out something we’re seeing for the first time, an armored VF-11. This thing looks just as awesome as the original armored VF-1 did.
And just in case that’s not new hardware enough, Ray brings out the SPEAKER POD GAMMA, which is so huge that it would make even Nigel Tufnel salivate.
8. Look, this entire battle scene is so great that it really must be experienced; I can’t narrate it. I mean, if the whole “singing at the bad guys” thing is still bothering you, you might not like it, but overall, there is so much action and suspense that I think even then, it might win you over.
The really enigmatic bit for first-time viewers, of course, is the sudden shift back to the Varauta planet, and some eyes in the ice opening, but that will be explained eventually.
9. After the battle, with presumably hundreds of pilots (including Kinryu) dead, Mylene sings a new song, “Pillow Dream.” For some reason, this is not on any of Fire Bomber’s regular albums, and for a long time I thought it was not released. But it turned out to be on “Music from Galaxy Network Chart Vol. 2” which is mostly tied to songs from some of the drama albums. It’s also one of the songs that Mylene’s singer (and songwriter), Chie Kajiura, still frequently performs live.
10. So yeah… the finale of the second “cour,” and what a climax it is! This is one of the best episodes in any Macross series ever. Say what you will about the length of Macross 7 and the amount of filler episodes it has, but one thing is exceptionally clear to me on rewatching the show (and this rewatch in particular): each of the four sections of the story is better than the previous one, and when they need to end each of those sections, they pull out all the stops and craft superb episodes. Truly amazing work.
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: Standing on Lux’s surface, staring at the wreckage of the Macross 5 Fleet. It’s the last scene in the episode.