MISSION 15: Parting RESOLUTION
ICONIC SCENE: Triumph of the Will, Windermere-style.
STORY DATE: Late October to November 1, 2067
BROADCAST DATE: July 10, 2016
1. It’s about time we got an episode focusing primarily on the Windermereans. The series introduced them as a “mysterious threat,” but has been trying to humanize them since about halfway through the first cour. But it was clear from the get-go that they were never meant to be evil and unsympathetic, if for no other reason than that there’s a manga about them. I don’t think the show develops them QUITE as much as it should (the twins especially remain firmly in the background throughout), but some of them become full characters.
Oh, and the new opening gets unveiled here. Funnily enough (as pointed out on the SpeakerPODCast) the name “Walküre” appears well before the name “Macross.” The song, “Absolute Zero θ [“theta”] Novatic,” is good, although it tends to move in fits and starts, which makes it an odd choice for an OP (I always think the best OP songs are the ones that start slow and speed up, or at least gain complexity of instrumentation as they continue). Still, the single was a big hit, so what do I know?
And, a while back, Craig of the Repacked Podcast and the SpeakerPODCast asked me if Bogue lunging forward in this OP counts for my tally. And the answer is, “Yep.”
And the last shot in the opening is by Risa Ebata, who came back to do several stunning pics of Walküre. Here, I like that the outfits are definitely inspired by the usual stage costumes, but show an elaborateness that would be extremely difficult to capture in animation.
2. It’s interesting that although this is Windermere’s moment of victory, the episode is suffused with melancholy and regret. Some of it is tied to the past (Bogue, for example, has lost his entire family), but there’s also a lot of uncertainty about the current war, especially given its underhanded methods of using the Vár and mind-control.
3. Keith is now out of his coma, but he’s lost his right eye. Naturally, Windermereans being as superhuman as they are, this doesn’t affect his flying. He can literally fly with eyes closed and be all right.
4. A lot of effort goes into making Windermere look pretty down-at-heel. Even the colosseum where Heinz’s coronation takes place looks plain and not as impressive as you’d think it should. Just in case you think this may be a failure of design rather than a conscious choice, there are huge chunks ripped out of some of the walls. Windermere is not a kingdom of riches, but is barely scraping by, trying its best hold on to some sense of pride and glory.
5. Back on Island Jackpot, we get to see a Ragnan bed, which is a small pool of water. Mikumo mentions that she has a plan for reclaiming the Brísingr Globular Cluster, and Walküre is moving into Rag-Nyan-Nyan. The best part of this scene is Reina’s huge array of bizarre-looking plush toys.
6. Roid gives his big speech, and seems to prove that the NUNS were behind the dropping of the Dimension Eater seven years prior, since it was delivered by a VF-22. This will go back and forth for a while before we get a clear resolution, but Roid is indeed right that the NUNS is lying in saying that Windermere did it themselves.
7. There’s still some potentially shady business, though. For all anyone knew, Windermere’s war has finished. They’ve conquered (er, I mean, “liberated”) the entire Cluster and are free of NUNS control. However, Roid now says that they need to conquer the whole galaxy (which, using the Song of the Wind and the Vár, they could potentially do). And he says it was King Grammier’s final will to do so. Is Roid lying…? It’s not like anyone else was around to hear…
8. The newly-crowned King Heinz sings, and suddenly those odd structures from fold space appear around all the Protoculture ruins on the planets of the Brísingr Cluster, which could strengthen the song enough to put the entire galaxy under mind control.
Oh, and Mikumo thinks the structures seem somehow familiar…
9. At the end, there’s a brief-but-fierce space battle with Keith rushing in and taking out the NUNS fleet’s fold jamming systems to allow the Song of the Wind to get through. It’s probably the best part of the entire series for seeing the Draken kick ass in battroid mode.
The fleet gets ripped to tatters (including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gruesome death for one of the pilots), but there is a survivor, who gets rescued by Hayate. And that survivor expresses shock that Arad would work with Wright Immelmann’s son… setting in motion a major plot thread for the second half of the series.
10. This is the first episode that I think isn’t really all that good. The lack of visual flair in the scenes on Windermere is deliberate, but even the writing seems a little drab. Hints and references are made to the larger Windermerean society as well as to the relationships between the various Aerial Knights, but they remain hints. I would’ve preferred less about the coronation ceremony and more about the knights themselves. There’s a lot here that could’ve been interesting if it had been expanded upon better, primarily among the knights’ families, who we still have yet to see. Bogue’s scene at his family’s grave should be heartrending, as should Heinz’s realization that Keith is now his servant rather than his brother, but they lack emotion. As it stands, the episode fills in some blanks and moves the plot along, but little more.
It’s also, I note, only the second episode where Walküre doesn’t sing, although Heinz does.
OP: “Absolute Zero θ Novatic”
ED: “Destruction of Innocence”
EYECATCH: Keith’s Draken III
NEW SONGS IN THIS EPISODE: “Absolute Zero θ Novatic.”
NUMBER OF TIMES BOGUE HAS LUNGED FORWARD: 5