EPISODE 35: A Night for Just the Two of Us
ICONIC SCENE: Was there any other choice?
STORY DATE: December 2045
SCENARIO TITLE: Shock on a Dark Night
BROADCAST DATE: June 18, 1995
1. A careful viewing of the opening credits shows us that we’ve got our new ending theme, “…Dakedo Baby!!” starting in this episode. Two things about this: first, it’s definitely a sign of the times. When the first Macross series started in 1982, yes, there were singles and albums for anime soundtracks, but usually the OP and ED were unshakably the same for the duration of the series (barring things like the final episode of Macross having “Runner” sung by Minmay instead of Makoto Fujiwara). It was the adaptation of Rumiko Takahashi’s manga “Urusei Yatsura” that, in 1983, decided to try using anime songs to push pop singles, and it worked. By the mid-’80s, plenty of anime had a mid-series switch of either the opening or ending song, or both. In fact, I think Macross 7 is more of an exception for keeping the same opening throughout the series. So, before 1983, if you wanted the opening and closing songs of your favorite anime, you bought one 7″ single, and that was that. For shows after 1983, you’d generally have to buy two. Now, of course, it’s commonplace for a show to switch songs every twelve or thirteen episodes AND have different artists do each of the songs (meaning that the OP and ED songs have to be on two different singles: something Macross 7 also did. “Seventh Moon” and “My Friends” were released separately), so that for, say, a 26-episode series, you’ll be buying four different singles if you want to keep up. Even worse, nowadays the songs are generally not on the soundtrack albums, so the singles remain the only way to get them. At the time of this writing, Macross Delta is still at least a month away, and I’m sure that that will break all the records (probably set by Frontier, which I’ll get to in due time) about how devious marketers can be about getting you to buy every album AND single release.
Second, “…Dakedo Baby!!” is credited not to Fire Bomber, but to “Chie Kajiura.” For me, in ’96, this was baffling. As I’ve mentioned before, I got the soundtrack albums before seeing the series. Well, some of them, at any rate. For a long time, I only had four: “Music Selection from Galaxy Network Chart,” “Let’s Fire!!,” “Mylene Jenius Sings Lynn Minmay,” and “Second Fire!!” I guess I didn’t think much about how Mylene’s vocals sounded totally different on the Minmay album than they did on the Fire Bomber albums, because when I finally got around to watching the series and noticing that “…Dakedo Baby!!” was credited to someone else, it really confused me. I pulled out “Second Fire!!” and listened to it again, and noted that, yeah, “…Dakedo Baby!!” sounded like Mylene, not like another singer. And THAT’S when I realized that the Minmay album was the one that sounded out of place, because it was sung by Tomo Sakurai, and the other Mylene songs weren’t.
Of course, for Japanese fans, there were other considerations in place, first of all being that, although Victor Records was initially trying to hide the fact that the voice actors for Basara and Mylene didn’t do the singing, that cover had been blown when Yoshiki Fukuyama and Chie Kajiura came out for the encore at the Fire Bomber concert in May 1995 (I’ll talk more about that later), but perhaps more importantly, they were beginning to promote Chie Kajiura’s solo career, as she had an album in the works, and “…Dakedo Baby!!” was the lead single for it (that said, when the album came out a few months later, the “album version” of the song is vastly different from the Macross 7 version. And probably better. I’ve seen her perform both versions live).
2. Huh… for once, no recap. We open on an angry crowd outside a concert hall, because the Fire Bomber gigs have been cancelled (or, as it says on the sign, “DIS-CONTINUATION”).
Ray confirms to the press that Basara and Mylene have left the ship, but insists that Fire Bomber won’t break up.
3. Still, with Fire Bomber gone, the fleet is virtually defenseless… Colonel Burton sees this as an opportunity to push the Jamming Birds again. Max squashes that.
4. Gamlin tells Mylene that he quit because he really wasn’t sure what the military was all about anymore… completing the parallel with Basara’s situation. They’re going through pretty much the same journey right now.
Mylene, always the voice of the audience’s expectations, wants them both to stop thinking so much and get back to work. Gamlin tries to turn the tables on her, asking why SHE sings, and she simply says, “because it makes everybody happy.” There. See, Basara? It’s easy.
5. After Gubaba runs off, Mylene gives a more detailed account of her history with him. This will get dramatized in the Macross 7 P*L*U*S episode that was included with Vol. 9 of the series (which contains this episode).
Then she sings “Kimi no Todoke,” in its debut, in order to get him to come back, although he doesn’t.
Then Mylene and Gamlin get ready to go to sleep… Gamlin thinks Mylene is inviting him to share the one sleeping bag, and he does push-ups to quell his horniness.
It doesn’t really work, especially since later, in her sleep, her hand falls on his crotch. It’s time for sit-ups…
6. Then their campsite is attacked by a kinda-sorta dinosaur thing that wants to put out their campfire.
7. We go back to the fleet for a bit to see the Jamming Birds training session, which is going terribly. But it’s still funny.
8. Gubaba finds Basara and then Mylene and Gamlin find Gubaba, about to be eaten by the dinosaur from before (or at least, one that looks exactly like it). Gamlin fights it off, but then it comes back with its mother.
By the way, the landscape here doesn’t really make much sense. Basara is in a desert, and every time we see him, it’s desert as far as the eye can see. Gubaba reaches that desert, but when the dinosaur is chasing him, he somehow gets to a forest, which is where the rest of the confrontation happens. Weird.
As is always the Macross 7 way, Mylene starts singing (“Pillow Dream”) and calms the monster down.
And Basara runs off again.
9. At the very end, we get Gigil, still singing “My Soul for You,” still following Sivil.
And again, the ending credits are new. A lot of the images in it are great, my favorite being a giant cat about to devour the Tokyo government building.
10. So yeah, the plot advances hardly at all here, but I enjoy the deepening of Gamlin and Mylene’s friendship, which is really what this episode is all about. As such, it doesn’t feel like filler. And from here on out, the third climax begins, and it’s a doozy.
THIS EPISODE’S GAVIL-ISMS: Another blissful (dare I say, “beautiful”…) Gavil-free episode.
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: Sitting in a park at the beginning, listening to “Remember 16.”