MISSION 19: Eternal Songs
ICONIC SCENE: Probably the girl group that did the original version of “Do You Remember Love”…
STORY DATE: November 2067
BROADCAST DATE: August 7, 2016
1. We open with some exposition regarding the end of last episode: after Mikumo destroyed the Protoculture system, everyone on Voldor was freed from mind control and the Windermereans retreated, but Hayate is still unconscious, and Mikumo has been whisked off by Lady M to parts unknown, ostensibly for medical treatment.
Get used to exposition, it will continue throughout this episode.
Yep, this is basically the clip-show episode. Like Frontier’s Episode 15, it’s more of a half clip show, and is something of an info dump.
2. The big reveal here is that the Epsilon Foundation, and its oily-voiced (for now) representative, Berger Stone, is not only selling weapons to the Windermereans but also to Xaos. We also find out that they’re a very wide-ranging business, even selling mercat-style smart phones, along with space battleships and such.
There’s also a subtle Macross Zero reference, where Berger talks about the Sv-262 Draken III as being a continuation of the development from the original variable fighter… which, as was said in Zero, is the SV-51. Considering that when this episode aired, some fans were saying that it somehow (I never understood how, exactly) cut Zero out of Macross continuity, this and several other references definitely show otherwise.
It seems like there’s an important scene missing, though… first, we see Berger approach Mirage and Freyja in what is apparently an off-limits area. In the next scene, he’s addressing Captain Ernest, Delta Flight, and Walküre, and ends up giving them a long presentation, complete with visual aids. Why is he there? Was he coming specifically to address Xaos? If so, why? Or was he taken to the captain because he seems a suspicious individual? The whole premise is unclear.
Also weirdly, Berger doesn’t do ALL the talking, as his presentation is intercut with Roid also talking (to Keith, for some reason) about the same subjects. Is Roid listening in? Or is he just happening to be talking about the origins of the Vár as well?
3. Anyway, Berger’s point is that music may be the ultimate weapon, and he bolsters this assertion by walking his audience (and us) through Macross history. Honestly, he makes a pretty good case.
He also, by stating this, manages to neatly address one of the issues that many long-time viewers have about Macross: the use of music. You know what I’m talking about… generally, in any online Macross discussion, there’s usually that one guy (and it’s ALWAYS a guy) who asks why Macross always has to have singing in it. They’ll say that every Macross story is the same, in that the good guys sing at the bad guys and that makes them turn good or go away or whatever. Leaving aside the real-world considerations that music is the primary way that Macross distinguishes itself from other mecha shows, and leaving aside that the music is nearly always extremely popular, there’s now an in-universe rationale:
The Protoculture used music as a psychological weapon, and so their descendants do, as well. The use of music during interstellar conflict is something that has been programmed into our genetics, and so it’s something we do. If Berger’s theory is correct, then the question of why Macross shows always use music has been neatly answered, and no one will ever complain about it again. Right? Right.
There’s a lot of other stuff packed in here as well: we learn that when the Vajra folded off to another dimension at the end of Frontier (bye, Alto!), they left some fold bacteria behind, which entered human hosts and became the Vár Syndrome. Also that the Protoculture structures on all the planets here were created to subdue any Zentradi threat. And that Runes are small fold receptors. And that Mikumo’s singing quality is somehow different from Freyja’s, and seems close to the Windermerean “Star Singer.” And finally that the mysterious Lady M, who has been studying the effects of music since the end of Space War I, is said to have created an artificial life form (or perhaps android) that is the ultimate singing weapon.
4. Afterwards, we get the scene where Mirage visits Hayate in the hospital, and he wakes up after she pleads with him to wake up and argue with her like he always does. Again, Delta generally eschews the homages that were Frontier’s stock in trade for a while, but this scene seems too reminiscent of the scene in Macross Seven where Mylene is begging an unconscious Basara to “Say ‘fire’… say ‘bomber’… say SOMETHING!” for it to be a coincidence.
5. Well, you either fall for the nostalgia-bait of classic songs (with new art painted by Risa Ebata and Hidetaka Tenjin) or you don’t. I see it as a ploy to get new viewers to go back and buy the previous shows, but still kinda dig it even as I realize I’m being manipulated. Again, I’m not really persuaded by Berger’s sudden power-point conference, but as Macross clip shows go, it’s at least as good as Frontier’s, and way better than Seven’s. Still not a patch on the first series’s “Phantasm,” but that’s the greatest clip show in the entire history of clip shows.
OP: “Absolute Zero θ Novatic”
ED: “The Wind Blows Without Warning”
EYECATCH: Hayate’s VF-1EX
NEW SONGS IN THIS EPISODE: “The Wind Blows Without Warning.” And also, not entirely new but new to Delta, “Macross” (instrumental version), “Love Drifts Away,” “Do You Remember Love,” “Wanna Be an Angel,” “Try Again,” and “Lion.”
NUMBER OF TIMES BOGUE HAS LUNGED FORWARD: 9