EPISODE 37: Mystery of the Space Ruins!?
ICONIC SCENE: PROTOCULTURE!
STORY DATE: December 2045
SCENARIO TITLE: The Ruins of the Revived Race
BROADCAST DATE: July 2, 1995
1. No more wastin’ time: within minutes of the episode starting, Sivil takes Basara (and Gigil) on a tour of the galaxy, and Exsedol is airlifted to the Protoculture ruins. The harness looks uncomfortable.
2. I note that Exsedol realizes immediately that the ruins are Protoculture in origin… and yet they look nothing like the city from Do You Remember Love. Indeed, it’s all very Indiana Jones: primitive wall murals depicting the history of the Protoculture, and lots of traps that launch spikes and things. Mylene gets grazed by one of the spikes, and her blood is the “sign of peace”: the union of human and Zentradi.
3. There is also writing on some on the stones. Some of it is nonsense (“IWTHU KLRIE,” for example), but the word “PROTO” can be seen in one bit. My favorite, though, is a shot of Mylene and the block next to here says “MIRENU,” which of course is how you would transliterate her name directly from Japanese.
4. AND FINALLY we get the explanation for the Protodeviln. As fighting in the Protoculture Stellar Republic grew, weapons more powerful than the Zentradi were needed, and so the “EVIL” series were created. As noted on the Macross Compendium, this is pronounced “eh-vil,” and is technically not the English word “evil.” Then it says that the Protoculture were destroyed by the Protodeviln.
5. Once the door opens, a guy appears (a hologram…?) and explains the backstory further. The EVIL Series were living weapons, like the Zentradi (except of course much more powerful). Their bodies were possessed by energy beings from a different dimension. They’re like demons, so they became known as the “Protodeviln.” So yeah, they steal spiritia, and nearly depopulated the whole galaxy, until the power of “anima spiritia” was discovered, which could seal the Protodeviln in sleep.
And the power of anima spiritia is…
6. BOOM! Gavil destroys the ruins before they can answer. I’m not sure it’s that important, though, since we already know (although the characters don’t) that Basara is anima spiritia.
7. So… counting “retcons” is not really my thing, so it doesn’t really bother me that this doesn’t seem to harmonize with what we learned in the previous series. With some tinkering, though, it was made to fit. And it doesn’t really contradict anything we’ve learned before, it’s just additional information.
8. Basically, the Supervision Army were mind-controlled soldiers, like the army of pilots the Protodeviln currently have. We’ve already seen that the mind-controlled soldiers have a high degree of autonomy (Geperunitchi even made Gigil subordinate to one), so it’s pretty clear they could function even after the Protodeviln were sealed away.
So, since the Supervision Army was made up of both Zentradi and miclones, the “good” Zentradi were at a disadvantage, since their “prime directive” was not to harm miclones. As such, the Protoculture removed that directive, and soon, all the Protoculture were wiped out, leaving only the Zentradi and the Supervision Army, both totally leaderless, but knowing they needed to fight each other. For, y’know, some reason or other.
9. Basara has only one line in this entire episode: “BOMBAA!”
10. What a gratifying episode! Not only does it explain who the bad guys are, exactly, it also ties back into the Macross backstory, explaining the Supervision Army from the original series as well… although that’s nebulous enough that you could probably miss it. Again, I can understand if you think the show is moving too slowly, and taking three-quarters of the series to tell us who the villains are would be kind of a ballsy move even in a shorter show, but it’s episodes like this that make me glad I stuck with Macross 7 through the dull spots.
THIS EPISODE’S GAVIL-ISMS: “Ultimate destruction beauty,” “annihilation beauty,” “combative beauty,” “crushing beauty,” “impact beauty,” “endurance beauty,” “beauty,”
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: Looking out from the top of a building. I note she has a new boom box to replace the one that fell into the ocean last time.