Macross Frontier – 02
When Ozma enters the colony ship onboard his own VF-25, he’s immediately alerted to how his comrade Gilliam’s variable fighter is firing at the large Vajra monster. He quickly realizes though that there’s a stranger in the cockpit and that Ranka is also in danger. Scared, Ranka is at that moment remembering how she watched a similar Vajra destroy a ship in her past. Alto meanwhile gets in trouble when the VF-25 runs out of ammo. Fortunately for him, Ozma comes to his rescue and is able to keep the Vajra at bay, so Alto picks Ranka up with the VF-25 and runs. He is chased by a trio of smaller Vajra, and this time, it’s Mikhail showing up with a variable fighter equipped with a long-range rifle that saves him. Not paying attention where he’s going, Alto almost slams into a high-rise and forces the VF-25 to propel upwards towards the domed sky. However, his remaining Vajra pursuer blows a hole in the dome and shoots off the VF-25′s arm, causing Ranka to go flying towards space. Alto accelerates to catch her, and when he’s not able to reach her, he jumps out of the cockpit and goes after her in EX-Gear instead. He’s thus able to save her and returns to the VF-25 via a tether, and Mikhail saves him one more time by sniping the last remaining small Vajra.
Ranka is so scared that she cries and hugs Alto until she realizes who he is, and in doing so, she accidentally hits the control stick. This causes the cockpit to shake, and when Alto’s hand ends up on her chest, Ranka screams. At that exact moment, the large red Vajra senses something, and this distraction gives Ozma enough of an opening to charge forward and thrust his VF-25′s knife into its head. Ozma then gets word from Luca that all the Vajra are retreating, and though he’s concerned about what happened with Ranka, he knows that he can’t let her find out about his current job. Ranka is actually on the ground now with Alto and thanks him for saving her again. Alto, however, remembers Gilliam’s sacrifice and rushes off in his EX-Gear without telling Ranka his name. He instead re-enters the city and starts to throw up after seeing the fires and destruction that all this has brought. In the aftermath, things return to normal, but Alto is paid a visit the next day by military officer Cathy Glass who forces him to come with her to the hospital.
By coincidence, Ozma and Ranka are at the same place so that Ranka can get a check-up, and she uses the chance to ask her brother to look for Alto. Shortly after Ranka leaves, Ozma sees Cathy and Alto enter an examination room, so he eavesdrops from outside. Cathy ends up having some blood samples taken from Alto, and when Alto questions her about the monsters, she claims that it’s a military secret. She then reveals that the military can indict him for piloting the VF-25 and offers him the option of joining the military as a compromise. Their conversation is interrupted by Ozma who points out that this is his business too because Alto was piloting an S.M.S. unit. Ozma thus takes custody of Alto and brings him to the S.M.S. hanger where he shows Alto the damaged VF-25 and the last of Gilliam’s belongings. He wants to know from Alto how Gilliam fought and died, and a crowd gathers to hear what Alto has to say. Before Alto can reveal anything though, alarms go off indicating another emergency, and the entire group scrambles to their respective fighters. Alto is lost in all this, and so after staring at Gilliam’s helmet for a moment, he asks Ozma to let him pilot the VF-25. Ozma, however, punches him in the face and has him thrown out.
During all this time, Sheryl has been trying to track down Alto after reviewing video of the previous day’s performance – specifically the part where he carries her through the air – so she dons a disguise and takes to the streets. By chance, she runs into Ranka who is singing one of her songs. Not knowing Sheryl’s real identity, Ranka starts talking about how much she likes the singer and how she wants to become like that. When they see some variable fighters zoom past the colony ship’s large window, Ranka gets an uneasy feeling and tells Sheryl how her brother used to be a pilot but is now doing office work. What she doesn’t know is that Ozma is actually one of the pilots going out to combat a group of Vajras who had been hiding since the previous battle. Regardless, Ranka starts singing one of Sheryl’s songs and when Sheryl joins her, Ranka realizes who Sheryl really is. Alto meanwhile was nearby and had heard them, and when he comes to see what’s going on, both girls recognize him. Their encounter is interrupted, however, when the Vajras suddenly appear outside the colony ship.
ED: 「ダイヤモンド クレバス」 (Diamond Crevasse) by シェリル・ノーム (Sheryl Nome) starring May’n
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2
Like all the other music attached to this series, I loved the ending song (and I believe this is the true ED). May’n – the stage name of Nakabayashi May – has an incredible voice, and I look forward to all the songs she’ll be singing as Sheryl (note: the actual voice actress for Sheryl is Endo Aya.
If the broadcast version of episode one gave me any doubts about this series, episode two completely wiped them away. This was just as good as the original first episode was, even without a major battle/song scene (though they came close) and I just can’t get over how incredible all of the BGMs are. You could point out that that’s to be expected since Kanno Youko is the composer, but I haven’t been quite so impressed by everything she’s done (the Darker than BLACK OST comes to mind). Regardless, she’s doing a wonderful job here, and I can’t wait to hear the entire soundtrack.
Story-wise, there are several clues this episode that point to Ranka’s voice being what the Vajra are reacting to. When she screamed in the VF-25′s cockpit, the large red Vajra seemed to notice. When Sheryl first runs into her, Ranka is singing to herself, and they cut to a brief shot of the red Vajra’s eyes. Ranka also has those memories of a Vajra attacking some ship from her past and she claims to be 1/4 Zentradi, so it’s likely that she’s going to be the key component against the Vajra (never mind the fact that she’s one of the central three characters). I know that might sound like a “duh” statement, but in contrast, Sheryl’s role is much less clear – I’m not entirely sure if Sheryl could be the next Minmay or if Ranka is more suited for that. It might be too early in the story to be talking about this kind of thing though. Regardless, I remain excited to see what happens, and from the preview, it looks like the high quality of the animation will continue too.