EPISODE 31: Passionate Scandal
ICONIC SCENE: BIFF! BANG! POW!
STORY DATE: October 2045
SCENARIO TITLE: SCANDALOUS HERO
BROADCAST DATE: May 21, 1995
1. Huh. At the beginning of this episode, Veffidas plays the drum part for “1•2•3•4•5•6•7 Nights,” which is otherwise known for not actually appearing in the show itself (although it does turn up on one of the later “Macross 7 P*L*U*S” episodes).
2. And we’re suddenly introduced to a new character, Janet, who’s a tabloid reporter. This is a pretty frivolous storyline, really, but I have to admit that a lot of the headlines and “altered” photographs are pretty funny. We start out with a relatively unsensational one, comparing Basara to Minmay, and then they just get sillier and sillier (“Basara and his secret love,” showing a photo of Basara and Rex together, with Ray edited out. “Basara is Hikaru’s secret child.” “Basara is Minmay’s secret child.” “Basara is Hikaru AND Minmay’s secret child.” “Basara’s secret rendezvous with Mylene.” “Are Basara and Gamlin a couple?”)
3. We also meet our next Protodeviln (which could be anywhere from the third to the sixth Protodeviln we’ve seen, depending on how you’re counting… I mean, Gavil and Glavil are technically one being in two bodies, and we haven’t seen Geperunitchi or Gigil’s true forms yet).
This one is Valgo, another giant one, and… I dunno. I think each Protodeviln, design-wise, is more underwhelming than the last one. Geperunitchi and Gigil’s human forms? Sure, fine. They look great. Sivil… a sexy space vampire? Again, why not? Glavil’s a giant, reptilian monster? Okay. Gavil, the furry space elf? Well… Not quite what I was expecting. Valgo’s maybe a little better than Gavil, and DEFINITELY better than the twins, when they arrive on the scene. But just as Mikimoto’s character designs got simplified for the show itself, the villains’ seem a little watered down from Miyatake’s originals. I think a lot of it has to do with how colorful they are… It doesn’t help that Sivil had THE most badass introduction in the whole show, and no one else could quite live up to it (how could they? If Glavil had gone all-out in his first episode the way Sivil did in hers, the entire Macross 7 Fleet would have been destroyed and everyone would be dead (“GOOD!” I hear a bunch of people shout…)).
4. It seems like it’s kind of amazing that the “Galaxy Sport” tabloid pictures seem to anticipate Photoshop by a number of years, but the truth is a little more startling: sophisticated photo-doctoring even appears in “My Fair Minmay,” and that was published in ’83. The way the newspaper is shown working, though, is a little less prophetic. You have your tablet, and when the roving “EXTRA! EXTRA!” vending machine comes your way, your stick your tablet into the slot, and it uploads the news directly onto it and charges you. So inconvenient!
5. Other tabloids start getting in on the Basara scandal action, too. One of them even says he went into the mountains of India looking for enlightenment. Isn’t that what Kawamori did in the eighties…?
Oh, and Ray says he doesn’t know anything about what Basara did before they met, and nothing about his past… which I think shows that the later “On Stage” episode really IS just a fabrication.
6. I note that Janet is always listening to Sharon Apple (first “Idol Talk,” and later, “Information High”… which means it debuted here, since Macross Plus Vol. 4 hadn’t come out yet. And still later, “After, in the Dark”). I guess that means she’s a bad guy, more or less…?
7. And it all gets more serious when Janet sees Basara singing to Sivil, and takes a lot of pictures of them. Actually, she’s come on a pretty good day, since Gigil’s patience has finally run out, and he rushes out and starts beating Basara up in order to get him to sing harder (and wake Sivil up faster).
Gigil almost kills Janet, but Basara stands in the way… and Gigil starts crying. And then runs off. And Sivil’s eyes open a bit.
8. Valgo’s attack gives another hint to the identity of the Protodeviln, sort of. Glavil’s beam originated in the form of a pentagram, and so does Valgo’s… except Valgo’s is upside-down. Apart from that, though, his attack is truly weird. Out of his chest comes a bunch of pink stuff (and yes, it kinda looks like he’s jizzing all over the place) that turns into small pink monsters that fly around sucking spiritia. Again, the problem (apart from the ejaculating… I mean, it’s not the first time we’ve seen a Protodeviln orgasm) is that the little monsters look pretty goofy. The scene where they swoop down onto the streets of City 7 really SHOULD be horrifying, but it’s totally not.
And Basara seems rather upset when his sound energy actually kills all of Valgo’s minions.
9. And then, at the end it’s revealed that Janet’s secret source for photos was actually Milia’s secretary (henchman…?) Michael, who it turns out is her brother. His full name is Michael Johnson. Get it? Get it…?
Also, in a bit of foreshadowing, Colonel Burton talks to Dr. Chiba about mass-producing the sound boosters. Hmm…
10. So yes, as I said, the tabloid storyline is frivolous, but it’s also a lot of fun. And apart from that, important stuff happens. Valgo arrives and Gigil’s real personal journey begins. So yes, I wish Valgo and his minions looked better, but that’s really my only complaint here.
THIS EPISODE’S GAVIL-ISMS: None, thank goodness. Gavil barely appears in this episode.
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: She appears in the background in many of the tabloid photos of Basara.
EYECATCH: Mylene/Ray and Veffidas