Well, here we are, now halfway through Delta (as far as we know), and the story is REALLY getting good, at least from my perspective (no surprise, I’m sure). The first “cour” of thirteen episodes feels like a complete, satisfying whole, ending on a massive cliffhanger. A few episodes prior, the show had its first real touch of pathos, And then followed that up with a two-parter (episodes 12 and 13) that set up the big battle, and then really hit home.
The general reaction to the show has become extremely positive, both in Japan and abroad. Recently, Hayate and Freyja found themselves at the top of the Newtype popularity charts, and the show itself ranked as “best new series.” Judging by Twitter and Tumblr, there seem to be plenty of people who love the show. There are still a few naysayers, but most of them either seem to have not watched past the first episode, or else are Robotech fans trying to make themselves feel better because there’s no new Robotech show.
(This isn’t an exaggeration… when I posted info about the airing date of the first episode of Delta on Facebook, one die-hard Robotech fan came in and said something like, “Cool! So both Robotech AND Macross will have new shows next year!” I replied, “Yup!” even though I was certain that Robotech Academy would not be out anytime soon (or anytime at all, really). Later, when the preview episode of Delta aired, he posted a savage review of it. I replied, “Well, don’t worry. You’ve still got Robotech Academy, right?” He blocked me immediately.)
Anyway, let me restate what I said last time: at this point, this is clearly not “Magical Girl Macross” as many feared it would be. Its got a lot more on its mind and is going in surprising directions. The best example of this, I think, happened a few episodes ago, with a main character’s death. I saw quite a few people who seemed upset by this, most because they had really grown to like the character, but many others because “it’s too early to kill a main character.” Which is interesting when you think about it. WHY is it “too early”? Wouldn’t that depend on the viewer knowing the overall plot and what’s going to happen over the next dozen or so episodes? Or is it just that they’ve seen a bunch of 26-episode anime series and know how the plots are generally organized and are weirded out that Delta isn’t following the usual pattern?
That said, there are still a lot of mysteries to be wrapped up, and it’s an open question as to whether the staff can resolve all of them satisfactorily. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if we get at least one movie or something out of this, to tie up loose ends.
But yeah… still, so far, I have no complaints. Great designs, great writing, great music, and, as always, there’s that extra push to make the animation just a little better than you would expect it to be. The staff knows the legacy of Macross that they’re working with, and are definitely trying to do justice to the name. And succeeding.
(By the way… I’m really glad I made a point out of the final episode of Frontier not having an OP, and how that usually indicates an AMAZING episode… made me look quite prescient, didn’t it?)