THE GREAT MACROSS REWATCH 118 – BYE-BYE SHERYL

F Ep.6

MACROSS FRONTIER
#06 BYE-BYE SHERYL

ICONIC SCENE: “I’m borrowing this! Send the bill to Ray from Fire Bomber.”

STORY DATE: 2059

BROADCAST DATE: May 8, 2008

1. The intro brings up “Fold Faults,” which Alto mentioned (with no explanation) before. In effect, anyone who had previously tried to calculate time in Fold Space versus time in the regular universe (for their RPGs or whatever) was playing a mug’s game, since Fold Faults screw that up completely (and provide a nice explanation of why sometimes folds seem instantaneous and why other times they seem to take a while). If, while folding, you run into a fault, your fold will take much longer to complete. The narration doesn’t really dwell on the problem, but it is the central crux of the Frontier story.

Oh, and the episode title is a reference to Episode 7 of the original Macross, “Bye-Bye Mars.” Renato says that THAT title was a reference to the Japanese SF movie, “Sayonara Jupiter,” which had an “official” English title of “Bye-Bye Jupiter.” However, the movie didn’t come out until well after that episode of the original Macross had aired. The novel that the movie was based on had already been published several years before, but I’ve been unable to find out if the English title was used for the book.

2. And Sheryl’s about the leave back for Macross Galaxy, and Alto finally got her earring away from Gilliam’s personal effects (somehow).

And Ranka is going to be managed by Elmo (whose company, “Vector Promotions” is a clear play on “Victor,” the record company that releases (most of) the Macross music (all those Macross 7 radio show CDs were released by Polydor, for some reason).

And what’s up with the tables at the cafe they’re at? Are the little cursors you can shoot around on it part of some kind of game or something?

3. Well, Sheryl probably won’t be leaving the cast anytime soon (I would add, “surprising no one,” but apparently a lot of people really DID think she was just going to be a minor character in the series, despite her prominence in the OP and that a singer was hired specifically to perform her songs, and whose single was the second one released for the series), since Galaxy apparently got attacked by the Vajra.

4. And Alto lies to Ranka here, and I’m totally not sure why. He mentions he was at the Zentradi mall when Ranka was singing, and she (who of course saw him with Sheryl) asks, leadingly, “Oh, were you shopping?” And he replies, “Yeah, something like that.” She says, “By yourself?” and he grunts a yes. Now it looks as though he’s trying to keep his date with Sheryl a secret (even though I’d imagine it’s probably all over school by now) and Ranka knows that he’s not telling the truth. And he compounds the dishonesty by giving her one of the tickets to Sheryl’s concert that Sheryl gave him. Already, I think the blossoming Ranka/Alto romance is in trouble.

5. President Howard Glass declares a state of emergency (in order to go help Macross Galaxy) and “Special Exception Term B” gets invoked for the SMS, which means that no one can quit SMS until the emergency is over.

Sheryl also gives a speech which shows her to be quite the persuasive orator.

6. Okay, I haven’t really talked much about the music, and while most of it, both the songs and the score, is incredible, it’s been noted all over that Yoko Kanno, for all her talent, is something of an infamous plagiarist, especially in “Cowboy Bebop” and “Ghost in the Shell.” She generally avoids that in Frontier, but when we see the first VF-171s being launched here, the music track (titled “Big Boys”) is a direct lift from the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.

7. It certainly LOOKS like Macross Galaxy is in a lot of danger, and SMS prepares to launch. Among the compromises they had to make with the government is that Cathy gets stationed with them, and her extremely serious and military demeanor contrasts comically with the more laid-back Macross Quarter bridge crew. In some ways, she really is the Misa of this series.

8. Alto and Sheryl have a nice little bonding moment, and again, it’s clear that Sheryl is not the horrible drama queen that she appeared back in the first few episodes. She also lets Alto borrow her earring, for good luck.

And SMS suits up for battle, with a lot of screen time devoted to Klan testing out her Queadluun-Rhea and Luca polishing up his Ghosts. We also get to see the Macross Quarter for the first time.

9. Sheryl’s concert is one of the bits that got redone for the DVDs from the original TV broadcast version. I’m unsure why, since it looked fine as-is (much better than, say, Episode 8, which perhaps was too far gone to get “touched up.” Of course, this episode was clearly done “in-house,” whereas Episode 8 was just as clearly outsourced, so Satelight probably had more control here on what could get revised and redone).

Anyway, she starts her concert with “Diamond Crevasse” (rather implausibly, I think. NO ONE would open a concert with that… You want to start by getting the people pumped up, right?), and one of the interesting things about the editing is that there’s no break in the song before the ending credits start, it just goes right into them for the second verse of the song.

10. And this one ends on a great cliffhanger, as the Macross Quarter folds away. But again, I think the part of the episode that really sticks out is the new-found warmth in Sheryl’s character. These kinds of reversals are often hard to pull off, but Sheryl seems utterly convincing in her switch from a total prima donna who’s yelling at everybody to a rather nice and considerate woman. Part of that is a strong and confident script, but Aya Endo’s likewise strong and confident voice acting shouldn’t be underestimated.

OP: “Triangler”

ED: “Diamond Crevasse”

NUMBER OF TIMES RANKA SAYS “ALTO-KUN” THIS EPISODE: 1

AND TOTAL: 13

EYECATCH: Kabuki Alto.

NEXT EPISODE: “Song of Prayers, ring throughout the galaxy!”

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