THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH 106 – Lonesome

D7 Ep.3

MACROSS DYNAMITE SEVEN
EPISODE 3: Lonesome -LONESOME-

ICONIC SCENE: The VF-19P.

STORY DATE: 2047

RELEASE DATE: May 25, 1998

1. We open with Sazapi, the evil lesbian manager, in bed, lighting a very post-coital-looking cigarette… and then the scene cuts to the hotel room door, which is completely destroyed.

And then it cuts to Ray and Veffidas. Veffidas is carrying Mylene, and Ray is saying, “Veffidas, you might have gone too far there!” Now… remember when I said that the manga “Mylene Beat” doesn’t QUITE fit in with the series? That’s because there, it’s not really Veffidas that saves Mylene, it’s a huge dragon who is summoned by Mylene’s terrified emotional state who rips apart the hotel, rescues Mylene, and gives her to Ray and Veffidas.

I’m sorry, I don’t buy that something like that happened and no one in the series ever mentions it.

But yeah… this was the big cliffhanger from last time, as Mylene was about to get raped, and it’s completely resolved (and never brought up again) in the first couple of minutes, and even used as a sort of punchline. Ray says, “Well, I guess you learned your lesson,” although it’s unclear what that lesson would be, exactly. Yeah… it all strikes a very sour chord.

2. Back on Zola, at the whales’ graveyard, Basara finds another ancient mural and some ancient writing, which Elma’s furry snake, Capy, says he can read.

It turns out that the white space whale is several million years old (the others only live to be a mere seven thousand) and was worshipped as a god by the primitive Zolans. My guess here (somewhat, of course, influenced by Frontier), is that the Protoculture must have known about the space whales, and probably based the look of the Zentradi battlecruisers on them.

3. Many of the poachers get killed, and many others get arrested, so their captain demands a retreat (for now). Liza grabs a VA-3C and sneaks aboard their ship before it folds.

4. The conversation between Graham and Basara about the white space whale is kinda fun, because while they’re ascribing motivations and feelings to it, it’s clear that they’re really just talking about themselves. Graham says that the whale, having seen all its friends pass away, wants to die now, whereas Basara argues that if the whale wants to fly, everyone should just stand back and let it. See? They’re not REALLY talking about the whale. Basara even brings it up, asking Graham, “Aren’t YOU the one who really wants to die?”

5. Ugh. If we didn’t hate the poachers before, we probably do now, since it turns out they’re always listening to that absolutely horrendous “Fire Bomber American”
album. Now, a lot of the Macross 7 albums were pretty obviously done quickly and cheaply, but this one really just consists of a couple of English-speakers singing over the Fire Bomber karaoke tracks, and not very well. I mean, their voices sound okay, I guess, but they sound nothing like Basara or Mylene, and I’d be surprised if it took longer than a day to record the whole thing.

There was a rumor going around at the time that “Macross 7 is going to come out in the US, and this was done as the soundtrack for it!” Nope and nope.

That said, there’s a persistent notion that the music publishing rights are too expensive, and that’s what’s been holding back Macross 7 from US release, quite apart from any Harmony Gold shenanigans. This was apparently said by someone (accounts differ as to whom) at some anime con (accounts differ as to which) sometime in the ’90s (accounts differ as to when). According to people I’ve talked to who would know, this was apparently never the case. I obviously don’t know anything about it firsthand, but I’m inclined to believe them. And, given the short shelf-life of most pop music, if it was the case THEN, I doubt it’s STILL the case. Witness, for example, AKB0048, which was licensed with no apparent problems, despite the fact that all its music was EXTREMELY popular in Japan.

Anyway, yeah. “Fire Bomber American.” Don’t listen to it. The only interesting thing about it is that (in-universe, of course) its producer is listed as Lynn Kaifun. Nearly forty years later, he’s still a hack…

6. So the leader of the poachers wants to buy a reaction weapon to kill the white whale, which will allow them to easily get the others. The arms dealer they talk to gently ridicules them for thinking the whales have any kind of intelligence. The poacher insists that they do, which makes Liza, eavesdropping on this conversation, flash back to what Lawrence is trying to prove about the whales.

Okay, I’ve said before that Dynamite 7 seems too small-scale, really, but I kind of appreciate the world of the story. Every setting we’ve seen before has been state-of-the-art, mostly, from the SDF-1 to New Edwards to the Macross 7 Fleet. Most of the technology we’ve seen has been new. But both the Zolan VF-5000s and the poachers’ VA-3Cs are a couple of decades old, and places like an illegal arms-dealer’s warehouse have been completely unseen before now. Akusho, where Basara lived, was kind of an attempt to to show us how the other half lived, but that was still on an (again, state-of-the-art) emigration fleet. Zola, on the other hand, truly is hicksville, and the poachers aren’t much better. This is the first (and so far only) Macross story that shows us the fringes of society, although Delta seems poised to explore that as well.

But yeah, Liza finds out about the plan to get a reaction weapon and manages to make her escape by stealing a VF-17 and a fold booster. This should be an exciting scene, but for some reason lacks tension. I’m not sure why, really, but it might be because it all happens too quickly and easily.

7. An interesting bit of misunderstanding happens when Liza talks to Basara, realizes he’s from Fire Bomber, and assumes that Sound Force has been officially deployed to Zola to take care of the reaction weapon situation. She’s rather disappointed to learn that they haven’t. Also, it seems to indicate that Sound Force’s exploits are widely-known, despite what Ozma and Bobby will say twelve years down the road.

8. Graham throws Basara out of his boat when he leaves (man, Basara’s guitar is amazingly resilient… falling from heights, getting blown into space, getting thrown into the ocean… and yet it’s still fine!), but Liza agrees to take him up in her VF-5000. However, once they get to the launch bay, Basara sees a white VF-19P, and it’s all over.

9. So again, Graham, Basara (now strumming what will turn out, next episode, to be “Wild Life”), the Zola Patrol, and the poachers are all surrounding the whale. Graham is working especially hard to kill it before the poachers do. Then we cut back to Fire Bomber, where Ray suggests that Mylene goes after Basara and Gamlin. Finally, in a good scene, we’ve got Gamlin on Zola, asking if anyone’s seen a weird guy who runs around saying “Listen to my song!”

10. Better still than the previous episode, but the series as a whole isn’t quite grabbing me. The lack of tension in Liza’s escape is a big problem, as is the fact that the space whales are difficult to care about. It still LOOKS wonderful, though. And the music is great.

ELSEWHERE IN 2047: On the Macross 9 Fleet, a Miss Macross contest is being held and the young singer Pasel wants to win, and become a big singer like her idol, Canary Minmay. A cosmo-bike racer named Rafarl gets involved, as does, weirdly, the mafia. From the radio drama “Macross Generation” (which is honestly a little dull. Nice Mikimoto character designs, though).

Macross Generation

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