EPISODE 27: Seven-Colored Sound Energy
ICONIC SCENE: Glavil awakes.
STORY DATE: September 2045
SCENARIO TITLE: SINGER-SONGFIGHTER (best title ever!!)
BROADCAST DATE: April 23, 1995
1. Okay, we’re now over halfway through the series (proper), and it’s about time we got some answers. Good news: it’ll happen in this (the third) part of the story. Bad news: remember what I said last episode about how each section builds to a great climax…? Yeah, they’re saving that for the end of this block of episodes.
So the third “cour” (again, three months of a program, usually twelve or thirteen episodes) starts here, with Basara playing his guitar. His mouth opens, but nothing comes out.
2. One of Milia’s first complaints is that the Battle 7 looks really uncool with its gun arm sticking straight up. I kind of disagree with her sense of aesthetics.
And it’s funny… at first, everyone was looking forward to being on Lux for a long time. Now, everyone’s in a hurry to get away. Thanks to the always-convenient plot device of “repairs,” that won’t happen for a while (and when it does happen, it won’t be a matter of choice).
3. Huh… they actually mention E-mail here for the first time in any Macross story. It turns out to be a video chat message from Mylene. Generally, the “futurism” of any Macross series is mostly on the mark, with a few exceptions (cell phones and *ahem* answering machines in the first series, digital distribution of music here…). Makes me wonder about Ranka’s cell-phone…
4. Ya gotta give the series credit. As “far out” as Basara going into a battle and singing in the first episode may have been, they waited until over halfway through the series to introduce Dr. Chiba’s idea of “song energy beams” that can actually be fired at the enemy. Again, just like with the original SDF-1, where every early episode advanced some piece of the puzzle to end up with a giant, giant robot with aircraft carriers for arms and a city inside it and punches enemy spaceships, so this has been assembled, bit by bit in the background, until we get a Sound Force that can fire beams of song energy at the enemy.
5. So Mylene tries the song-energy converter first, and ends up making it work. It’s apparently worth pointing out that no, this isn’t magic, just super-advanced science (I get the feeling I’ll be saying that a lot over the next few Macross series).
And Basara wrecks the demonstration. For a reason we’ll discover at the end of the episode (he’s lost his voice). So yes, he’s jealous. And Gubaba runs off with him (love triangle resolved…?).
6. Back to Irina Hayakawa, who we haven’t seen in a while, his memories have apparently come back. He narrates the story of his Varauta IV expedition getting taken over by the Protodeviln. We’ll see the whole thing much later as one of the “Macross 7 P*L*U*S” episodes.
When asked about the Protodeviln, Exsedol can only say that once, a single Protodeviln destroyed an entire Zentradi fleet. Now, this is a MAIN fleet we’re talking about, like the one that blasted Earth. And honestly, seeing Sivil go to town on that Guantanamo-class back in Episode 18, I don’t doubt that she could’ve done it, to say nothing of what some of the other Protodeviln are capable of.
7. In one of the few sensible moves by the Unified Forces brass, based on Exsedol’s comments, they send an investigative team to Varauta IV (sorry, I mean Varauta 3198XE)… who all get killed when Glavil awakes.
8. Mylene tries out the sound energy system at a concert, and it doesn’t start working until she sees Gamlin. And then it doesn’t start REALLY working until Basara comes on stage, and the beam ends up splitting between the two of them, which has to be a blow to Gamlin’s ego.
9. The first battle with Glavil is either very exciting or very silly, depending on your perspective. For me, it’s kinda both. Yes, song energy is inherently silly, and so is Glavil, but if you can accept those, it’s a really good fight, even featuring a patented Macross “catch the heroine in the battroid’s hand” scene (which is also a silly concept, really).
10. So yeah… how far out is TOO far out? At what point does a show with planes that turn into robots and 50-foot-tall people jump the shark? I haven’t really been pointing it out, but from the get-go, Macross has been pretty scientifically implausible. For example, when Hikaru’s battroid falls over in Episode 2, as another fan once pointed out on Macross World Forums, it would’ve been like strapping yourself to a chair and then falling down a flight of stairs. So, song energy…? Sure, go with it. Why not? It makes at least as much sense as the pin-point barrier. Giant monsters, like Glavil, are a different story, but I’ll hold off on that until the series gives us a better idea of what the Protodeviln are.
Oh, and uniquely for the series, the storyboards for this episode were done by Kawamori himself.
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: In the audience when Mylene is attempting to use the sound energy system. Gamlin ends up sitting next to her. I wonder if they recognize each other yet? This is the third time they’ve met, after all…