EPISODE 40: A Feeling that Reaches Beyond the Stars
ICONIC SCENE: The new Varauta pilots.
STORY DATE: January 2046
SCENARIO TITLE: Promise
BROADCAST DATE: July 23, 1995
1. And now… the desperation begins to set in. The fleet knows that they’re being pursued by space demons that are invulnerable to any conventional weapons. As one of the experts on TV says here, “if they wanted to, they could wipe us out easily.”
2. Max is kind of unreasonable here, I think. Milia complains that without a strategy to defeat the Protodeviln (and they have none), she can’t keep the populace calm. Max replies that keeping the citizens under control is her job. Well, yeah… but Max, this is all kind of on you right now…
3. Still, desperation or not, it’s funny when the military asks Basara to tell them everything he can about the Protodeviln, and his reply is, “Those guys are amazing guys.”
Colonel Burton wants to do an all-out attack, and most of the brass agree. Again, as I said before, it’s like trying to knock down the Empire State Building by blowing on it. Keep blowing harder, guys… you might do it eventually…
They request the use of reaction weapons… yep, that’s gonna be like taking A REALLY DEEP BREATH before blowing on the building…
4. Nice little bit of merchandise-plugging as we hear a kid saying, “Mom… buy me a Blazer Valkyrie!” I guess Emerald Force is popular this season…
5. Basara and Gamlin end up giving each other a pep talk without really meaning to. I like the way their relationship has developed. They don’t really “get” each other, and they don’t even really like each other all that much, but there’s a lot of mutual respect now.
And the bit with Mylene trying to eavesdrop is pretty funny.
6. The complication this episode: they hit the mooks with the sound beam, but it doesn’t break the mind control. That’s because for once the pilots aren’t brainwashed people, but rather glowing orbs with tentacles. It’s kinda creepy.
Of course, the flaw with this is that there’s a central control which can be taken out.
Oh, and Gamlin reasons that they must be controlled from somewhere because they move too well to be unmanned fighters. I guess he never heard of the Ghost X-9 and its inauguration over Macross City…? It was only five years (or one month in REAL time) ago…
7. And now we KNOW we’re getting near the end of the series, because Basara sings “Try Again” for the first time. Again, I bought the Fire Bomber albums before I saw the series, so the significance of certain songs escaped me, even on first viewing (since I knew them all before I saw the series, none of them sounded unfamiliar to me… except “Pillow Dream”). In retrospect, I probably wasn’t paying enough attention, but now, certain songs are indelibly connected to certain scenes. For “Remember 16,” it’s Fire Bomber playing for Irina Hayakawa. For “Submarine Street,” it’s Basara playing for comatose Sivil. And for “Try Again,” it’s the big battle in the final episode. Here, it accompanies Gamlin coming back to lead Diamond Force. I think because of the overuse of the same three or four songs early on in the series (again, as I said at the time, because that was all they had: they blew the music budget on those first few songs), Macross 7 doesn’t get enough credit for how well-chosen the songs are in the later parts of the series.
8. When Mylene tells Basara he can stop singing, since no one’s listening, Ray tells her that Basara is singing to the galaxy.
9. And Basara’s singing becomes powerful enough for one of the sound beams to pierce right through an asteroid. Okay, yeah. The sound beam idea is completely ridiculous, but as long as they keep using it in such awesome ways, I don’t mind. Seriously, this shit is incredible!
THIS EPISODE’S GAVIL-ISMS: “Sudden beauty,”
FLOWER GIRL SIGHTING: At the beginning of the episode, watching the news on the monitor.