MISSION 16: Reluctant BIRTHDAY
ICONIC SCENE: Netabare Album ~The end of triangle~
STORY DATE: November 1-3, 2067
BROADCAST DATE: July 17, 2016
1. Well, every Macross TV series apparently has to have a birthday episode, and now Freyja joins the exclusive club of Minmay, Mylene, and Alto in having her birthday party televised for our entertainment.
And we open with her wearing the good ol’ Nyan-Nyan waitress uniform, made famous by Ranka (and Nanase. And, less canonically, Sheryl and Alto).
Meanwhile, Makina is planning a surprise birthday party for her, and if you look closely when they show Freyja’s profile from the Walküre website, the text is just copied from the English Wikipedia entry for her.
2. As far as the war goes, it appears that Heinz needs to recover before Windermere can attack the rest of the galaxy, which gives Xaos a bit of time to execute Mikumo’s plan of trying to use the one of the Protoculture ruins to Walküre’s advantage.
3. The shopping scene is a little strange… it’s clearly an attempt to try to generate some romantic tension between Hayate and Mirage… except that they’re shopping for Freyja. I’ve said it before, but again, it doesn’t really seem like Mirage was ever in any kind of love triangle here, no matter how much Chuck, Reina, and Makina seem to ship them. And indeed, by the end of this episode, any hope for a triangle will be well and truly closed. If I understand them correctly, some Mirage fans seem to think that this makes her a poorly-written character, but I don’t really see it. As the excellent Macross (and other things) blogger Karice says, Mirage’s story is not that of a love-triangle contestant. There’s nothing “special” about her, and that’s what makes her important.
(Seriously, read Karice’s post. It’s great.)
I *think* what the Mirage fans wanted was for her to first become a kickass pilot, and then swoop in and steal Hayate from Freyja’s grasping clutches, which of course doesn’t happen. It’s possible they wanted other things from her, too: one gent who proclaimed often and loudly how terrible Delta was decided to hire a model, dress her up as Mirage, and do a photo shoot, saying that he would do justice to the character (since the show didn’t). Apparently, his idea of respecting the character was in taking semi-undressed cheesecake photos of the model. Er, okay…
*Ahem* Anyway, the scene is fun and charming, made more so by Chuck and Makina (and Reina) following Hayate and Mirage and making up romantic dialogue for them. Also charming, if a little implausible, is that Mirage’s phone looks like Q-Lulu, and that there is apparently Q-Lulu-themed merchandise for sale.
Oh well, I guess it’s like if you have, say, an Airedale or a Scottish Terrier, and there’s plenty of stuff you can get with those breeds of dogs on them.
4. The mall they’re in is also fun, with lots of intriguing-sounding shops like “Flying Ragna,” “Retro Girl,” and “UNIVERSEDUO.” There’s also an odd Fed Ex parody called MadEx, but that was already in Episode One. Oh, and apparently, the top girls’ fashion magazine in 2067 is called “Daisy Daisy.” And there’s a “Mercat Fair” going on at the mall, whatever that entails.
5. Mirage comes out and asks if Hayate likes Freyja, which is refreshingly direct for an anime character (and, often, your average young Japanese woman). Hayate doesn’t really “get” what she’s asking, or at least pretends not to.
6. One plot development that will become important-but-annoying starts here, where Freyja sings and Hayate, some miles away presumably, starts getting woozy. I’ll get into WHY this is annoying later, but I’m sure you can guess what I’m gonna say.
7. Funnily enough, when they actually surprise Freyja, she had forgotten that it was her birthday. Then Mikumo shows up (which in itself is kind of a shock) and sings “Freyja’s Birthday Song,” an a cappella song that really lets Mikumo’s singing voice, JUNNA, show off her pipes. Last year, after Macross World Con (now called Super Dimension Convention, being held this October in Torrance, CA… come if you can! It’s always fun!), a bunch of us went out to eat, and the Walküre cosplayers with us did an impromptu (and great) version of this song in the middle of the restaurant, which made the other diners think that it was actually someone’s birthday, and so the whole place erupted into applause after the song.
Similarly, when Freyja’s birthday, November 3, rolled around last year, a Japanese fan actually made a replica of Freyja’s cake. And it looked delicious.
8. Oh, one think I’ve been meaning to mention but haven’t had a chance to… often, when Freyja is trying to keep it together or motivate herself, she’ll slap her own cheeks. This apparently is something that her voice actress, Minori Suzuki would do, and it was a habit given to the character.
9. Hayate arrives late, but he has a pretty awesome present: he’s rented some snowmakers and turned the front of Rag-Nyan-Nyan into a Windermerean winter scene. Freyja is ecstatic, and when Hayate touches her Rune, she doesn’t flinch or call her a perv. Basically, this is like getting to second base. I think. And Arad, I’m pretty sure, knows it, considering the “You’re gonna get lucky, Bro” smile he flashes at Hayate.
Mirage looks on from afar, but it’s over now. The love triangle (such as it was) is done, and Mirage never really had a chance. Note, however, that she doesn’t really seem that upset, and she watches Hayate and Freyja with a rather wistful smile on her face. She does quietly start crying a bit later without realizing why, but really, this is hardly a tragedy for her.
10. As far as the space war plot goes, this is the most digressive episode we’ve had, as it barely gets brought up. However, as I’ve said, it’s entirely crucial for the love story. Hayate and Freyja won’t do much with their potential relationship for a while, but the events here will definitely have a huge impact on Mirage.
OP: “Absolute Zero θ Novatic”
ED: “God Bless You”
EYECATCH: Don and Q-Lulu
NEW SONGS IN THIS EPISODE: “The Wind Blows Without Warning” (kinda), “Freyja’s Birthday Song,” and “God Bless You.”
NUMBER OF TIMES BOGUE HAS LUNGED FORWARD: 6