F Ep.13


ICONIC SCENE: “Macross!”

STORY DATE: August 2059

BROADCAST DATE: July 3, 2008

1. And here we are, the end of the first “cour” (as I’ve said before, a literal “season,” or three-month block of programming). And like the ending of every cour for a Macross series so far, it delivers.

Like a 1930s serial, the supposed “recap” of the last episode adds things that we hadn’t seen before, such as Brera watching from the jungle and Ranka’s flashbacks.

And I’m not persuaded that Alto’s advice, that Ranka doesn’t remember anything because she doesn’t NEED to remember anything, is terribly helpful. In fact, it seems pretty idiotic.

Oh, and I also note that Alto’s binoculars look like a VF-1J’s “face,” same as Hikaru’s did.

And according to the DVD booklet, Alto and Ranka together on Gallia 4 here is an homage to Hikaru and Misa stuck on earth in Do You Remember Love.

2. Michel checks the pill that Sheryl threw away, which has “639 WITCH CRAFT” inscribed on it . I have no idea what that means, but it doesn’t sound good, does it? (And yes, Milia was “Milia 639” in Do You Remember Love, but I don’t think that has anything to do with this.)

3. And okay… I’m sorry, but I have to call BS here. Maybe it’s residual bitterness from being on the “wrong side” of the (cleverly-named on Macross World Forums) “WTF-1 question”, about whether the ship here was the SDF-1 or not (again, I said it obviously WAS, but I was wrong), but I really have no idea why anyone would make a full-on replica of a ship that was initially just a retrofitted alien craft that never even worked properly in the first place. Now, if it looked like the SDF-2 (the original version, as seen in the book “Macross Perfect Memory,” not the version from “Flashback 2012”), that would make sense to me.

(VF5SS reminds me that the first replica(s) appeared in the V0 game for PC, which I’ve never played.)

But no. According to this, they made a replica of the original. And according to Macross Chronicle, they made a full TWELVE replicas. All of these are catalogued as “SDFN.” For example, this one is the SDFN-04 Bruno J. Global. There’s also one named after Misa’s dad. And later, in Macross 30, there’s one named after Britai.

(I suppose if you REALLY wanted to fanwank things, you could say that the TV version of the Macross was the REAL original, and the movie version (as seen here) was just what the REPAIRED original and the replicas looked like. As I’ve said many times, I find that that level of fanwank annoying and unnecessary, but it’s available to you if you so choose.)

4. Gallia 4 doesn’t really seem much like its description a few episodes ago, where one side is always facing the sun (too hot) and the other is always dark (too cold), so it’s unfit for human habitation. From the bit we see here, it seems mostly okay, although Alto and Ranka do indeed get too hot (so to speak).

5. And this (I think) is one of the “shipping wars” problems that Sheryl fans have with Ranka: she says that if she seems stronger or braver now, it’s all due to Alto’s encouragement (they’ll also say that she was completely self-centered in her birthday gift, inviting Alto to HER special place (Griffith Park) to give him (FEH!) COOKIES, but I think it’s obvious that she thought of it as THEIR special place, and, again, she doesn’t have the galaxy-famous pop-star resources to give Alto something like a flight in a real atmosphere (at least, not yet), so that doesn’t wash with me). As far as I can see, the going theory is that she’s focused on Alto, solely (although she ALSO is (somehow) focused on herself, solely), so she doesn’t deserve him. Or, to put it more gently, at this point, she can’t do anything significant without Alto’s guidance and encouragement, so she should learn to stand on her own first. I’ll have MUCH more to say about this later, but for THIS episode, all I’ll say is that Ranka is adept at playing the “little sister” role, consciously or not. Whether that works in her favor or to her detriment is still, at THIS point in the series, up in the air. Speaking for myself, if I were Alto, I’d find Ranka cute and attractive, but not in a sexual way. A kiss on the forehead and maybe some hand-holding, but no further. Indeed, when they realize they’re clinging to each other, they both react with a certain amount of panic. But again, Alto doesn’t seem interested in either girl… their panic, it seems to me, is caused by fear on BOTH of their parts. Neither of them seems comfortable with ANY sexuality. Like, AT ALL. And not even just sexuality… when Ranka has to take a dump, Alto is clueless, and Ranka gets mad (although, admittedly, we the audience only know what’s going on because the camera focuses on Ranka’s butt).

Oh, and back at the plot, they see one of the green, two-legged Vajra for the first time. This one’s pretty small and young (although older than Ai-Kun, apparently [SPOILER ALERT!!]).

6. Some interesting tidbits about Luca here: not only is he (as we know) QUITE interested in Nanase, he also joined SMS because they, unlike the New Unified Forces, can run tests and collect data on new vehicles and weapons. Why can’t the New Unified Forces do that for themselves…? Good question…

Even so, Leon doesn’t make it easy on the poor kid, even blaming him for “dragging a civilian girl” (Ranka) into the conflict. (Do Sheryl fans agree with Leon here? I wonder.)

Oh, and when we switch to Nanase and Ai-Kun, Ai-Kun seems to be growing up: now he has insect-like forelegs where previously there were only brown stripes.

7. There are honestly some sparks between Sheryl and Michel when she’s trying on her flight-suit. Personally, I think that as both of them are somewhat (*ahem*) MORE EXPERIENCED than Alto or Ranka, and they’d make a good couple. But where would that leave Klan…?

(This gets expanded upon in the first Frontier drama album, which has Michel giving Sheryl a lesson in piloting that is FILLED with double entendres…)

8. In investigating the SDFN-04, Alto finds a photo of Ranka, her parents, her brother, and their dog. Her brother’s face is obscured, but the purple shirt is kind of a giveaway that he’s Brera. And if that’s not enough, the next scene is of Brera in his VF-27, playing “Aimo” on his harmonica and mentally flipping through photos of Ranka (and himself), and THEN he has a flashback (or Ranka does, or both of them do… the scene is deliberately ambiguous) of young Ranka and their mother. So yeah, it wasn’t much of a secret ever, really, but the beans are finally spilled. But the REALLY important part of his memory is the intimation that “Aimo” not an Earth song, which might make us begin to wonder what exactly it is, then.

(Honestly, one of the most difficult parts about this Rewatch is trying to figure out when, exactly, some Frontier revelations are REVEALED or still just HINTED AT.)

Anyway, yeah… Ranka’s captured and placed with a Vajra Queen laying eggs.  She’s unharmed, which MIGHT make us wonder about the Vajra’s intentions, although all those eggs kinda make it seem like Ranka’s gonna be “baby’s first meal.” The Vajra Queen itself, which we see here for the first time, is huge and pretty terrifying.

So Brera finds Ranka first, and attacks the Queen, Alto tries (and fails) to rescue Ranka (the bit where she’s trapped in the membrane and they’re trying to touch each others’ hands is, according to the DVD booklet, a Macross Zero reference), but eventually, Brera and Alto are driven out, the Global is destroyed, and a ton of Vajra battleships emerge from underneath it.

(As opposed to the manga version, where the Global, somehow controlled by Vajra, actually launches and has a big fight with the Macross Quarter in space.)

Brera goes after Alto, and some of the shots are identical (especially when Alto pulls the “Cobra Maneuver”) to scenes from Macross Zero. I don’t think this is an homage, I think it’s just recycling footage. And Brera almost gets Alto, except that Michel and Sheryl show up to save him. When they hit Brera, we see again that he actually DOES have a helmet and flight suit on, but the holographic view inside the cockpit makes it look like he doesn’t. The Aerial Knights in Macross Delta, as I’ve already mentioned, also use this technology.

9. And yes, this is the origin of the “GRACE IS THE FINAL CYLON” stuff, which is totally understandable. I have no evidence for (or against) this, but I’m pretty sure SOMEONE on the Frontier staff was a Battlestar Galactica (Reboot) fan, and took the Cylons’ attributes and handed them to Grace. Primarily (here), if her body gets destroyed, her consciousness is just downloaded into another one. And Grace’s body pretty clearly gets destroyed here, and she detonates the new “Dimension Eater” superweapon, which devastates a large portion of the planet and certainly kills the 33rd Marine Corps (we see Ogotai’s Advisor getting blown away in an almost shot-for-shot copy of Molk Lap’Lamiz’s death from Do You Remember Love (although he shouts “YACK DECULCHAAAAAAAA!” here instead of her simpler “DECULCHAAAAAAA!”). Next episode, it looks like the Dimension Eater also completely destroyed the planet’s atmosphere, as well.

(Alternatively, the staff could’ve just been cyberpunk or “Ghost in the Shell” fans, since this idea of disposable bodies had been kicking around for a while, but I still suspect (with, I admit, no concrete info) that it was “Battlestar Galactica” that set the creators on this route. Accept it or reject it as you wish.)

10. As I said in Macross 7 Episode 38, destroying a planet is always a good way to end a cour on a high note. And this episode doesn’t disappoint. The cliffhanger here is bigger (although much less, er… TEASING) than the one last time. Brera’s relationship to Ranka is pretty much explained, but there are plenty of new mysteries taking its place. And I guess this is the episode where Michel was originally meant to die…? It has to be…

OP: “Triangler”

ED: “Diamond Crevasse”

NUMBER OF TIMES RANKA SAYS “ALTO-KUN” THIS EPISODE: 11 (including one from the previous episode recap)


EYECATCH: SMS Theme + Ranka (this particular version has never been released… the closest we got was the Ranka/Bobby version).

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

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