COUNTDOWN TO THE END!! Delta Episode 22

Delta Ep.22

“So yeah… no REAL complaints here, although I hope the pace picks up a bit as we enter the final stretch. Fingers crossed…”

That’s where I left off in my last Delta (series, as opposed to novel) post, after Episode 19, and I honestly thought it would be my final one before the end… but I eventually got to thinking, “how often is it that I can comment about a Macross series in real time?” I’d guess that another series will come eventually, but who knows when?

So anyway, my fingers were crossed in vain, as both episodes 20 and 21 were rather slow and talky, with very little action. Neither of them were, y’know, BAD or anything (I think most people would agree), but they seemed perilously close to wheel-spinning at a time when the show seemed like it SHOULD be moving into overdrive.

To put it another way, while nothing was wrong with the episodes in and of themselves, it felt to me as though the clock was really running out, with MANY plot threads to be cleared up. I began to worry if the staff could pull off a satisfying ending or if it was too late (“giri giri mai,” indeed…). And I know that others shared the same concern.

Then, a few days ago, some info came to light that pretty much set all my fears to rest. In an interview included with the second BD/DVD of the series, —— ——–, in charge of series composition, mentions that the show was originally meant to be one “cour,” followed by a movie. Then, during the time they were working on the script for Episode 4, it got expanded into a two-cour series.

So, if everything that’s happening in the last thirteen episodes was originally meant to happen in a two-hour movie, then yes, we can afford some wheel-spinning.

(I have no idea, I should add, whether or not the second cour is the same story as the movie would’ve been. I assume eventually there will be some interview that clarifies the creative process.)

And not only THAT, but then Episode 22 comes along and makes me wonder how the show will even LAST four more episodes. Seriously, it feel like we’re right at the end, now that Walküre and Delta Flight have infiltrated Windermere itself.

Still, among western fans at least, the dragginess of the last few episodes seems to have been a major miscalculation, with much more negativity coming out on forums and on places like Twitter. Now, as always, some of this is just the Robotech crowd or the “No good anime was ever made after the 1980s” crowd, both of which we can ignore, but it also seems as though some younger fans are also losing interest. At this point, I think, everything depends on what ending they’re building towards.

That said, I remember PLENTY of fans hating the ending of Frontier, and yet that show seems to be the standard by which Delta is measured among many fans.

(As an example, I distinctly recall many fans calling Frontier’s character design “generic,” and lamenting that Haruhiko Mikimoto didn’t do them… and yet now, the Risa Ebata Walküre illustrations are praised to the skies, and many fans who got into Macross with Frontier wish that she were more directly involved with the show. This isn’t a case of lowered expectations, this is genuine love for those Frontier designs and for Ebata’s style.)

Anyway, yeah… It’s good to see some decisive forward movement in the story. Let’s hope it continues.

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4 thoughts on “COUNTDOWN TO THE END!! Delta Episode 22

  1. So, if everything that’s happening in the last thirteen episodes was originally meant to happen in a two-hour movie, then yes, we can afford some wheel-spinning.

    That’s definitely the most positive spin I’ve seen someone put on this tidbit about Delta’s planning!

    Funnily enough, though, there is also an interview where Nemoto comments that, upon seeing how much material they were playing with when he joined the project, his first thought was “Oh, are we doing a year-long series this time?”

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  2. I think you overgeneralize just a tad when you put so many of the shows critics into a “Robotech camp” A lot of people have valid concerns (an many of them have never even watched Robotech). I think a lot fans are genuinely baffled by the pace after episode 13 and despair at the lack of character building of what should be important characters (Mirage anyone?). There seems to be too little focus on the main characters and too much time spent on the likes of the Knights or the Reina/Makina combo.

    Looking at Delta’s sales figures in Japan, I hardly think this is only a Western phenomenon. The sales and popularity of Walkure should be translating into more sales but they’re not. Frontier at this point was outselling Delta by 4 to 1 (granted people buy less physical media these days).

    Maybe it would have been better to have the second arc as a film or series of films as you have reported. But let’s see, maybe we have an awesome finale to compensate for the previous drag.

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    1. Well… I don’t think I did generalize them into the “Robotech camp.” I generalized them into the “Robotech camp” and the “Any anime not made is the ’80s is bad camp” and then went on to say that many others were ALSO expressing disappointment in the show.

      As for BD sales, yeah, even in Japan, people are buying less physical media, and the fact that Delta is on Hulu there shouldn’t be underestimated.

      Comparing it to Frontier in that regard is a little specious, though, I think. Frontier was a serious anamoly, taking EVERYONE off-guard.

      Delta seems to be doing… not spectacularly… on BD, but not badly, either. Way better than Kabaneri, for example.

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  3. As It stands right now for me:
    -Episodes 1 to 13 = Great
    -Episodes 14 to 18 = Good
    -Episodes 19 to 21 = Dull
    -Episode 22 = Good

    The show clearly suffered from three so-so exposition episodes back to back, that just have characters standing around speaking, which are made that way obviously to prevent a production collapse, but make for a dull watching experience.

    But as long as the remaining episodes built nicely to a final that has the music, action and emotional highs I expect from a Macross series, then I will be satisfied with the show.

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