Macross Frontier – 03
To prevent the Vajra from hitting the colony ship, Ozma engages it in battle with his VF-25 and gets Mikhail and Luca as backup. Though Luca is unable to isolate the Vajra as a target because it is grappling with Ozma’s variable fighter, Mikhail uses his rifle and nails a shot right through the Vajra’s head. Unfortunately, the Vajra is still alive and manages to catch Ozma off-guard, dealing him and his variable fighter a significant amount of damage in the process. The Vajra then turns its attention back to the colony ship and smashes a hole in the glass dome. Thinking quickly, Alto spots a hatch leading to an emergency shelter nearby, so he directs Sheryl and carries Ranka there before all the air gets sucked out of the dome. Once inside, all Alto can think of is how Mikhail saved him again and how he can’t do anything himself. Ranka meanwhile is too scared to let go of his shirt, and Sheryl wants to get out of there quickly, but it turns out that they’re stuck there and can’t get in touch with anyone.
Sheryl eventually unbuttons her jacket because it’s hot, but when an explosion from the battle in space causes her to lose her footing, she falls onto Alto and her dress falls down in the process. This exposes her chest to Alto, and Sheryl slaps him and calls him a pervert. Ranka tries to diffuse the situation by offering up two specialty dim sum buns that she has with her, and though Sheryl and Alto end up laughing at this, it succeeds at getting them to stop arguing. What they aren’t aware of is that evacuation orders have already been given to the rest of the ship, and Cathy is having difficulties trying to track Sheryl down, so Sheryl’s manager Grace reveals that she has a necklace implant that can help. While the three wait, Ranka wonders if the S.M.S. people are okay and tells Alto how her brother has a desk job there.
When things get worse because the circulation system inside the emergency shelter room stops working, Sheryl refuses to give up and decides to attempt leaving. She explains that everyone considers her lucky, but she makes an effort to match that, and that’s how she can be Sheryl Nome. For her, fate is something that is grabbed and taken. Fortunately, right as Sheryl is about to head up the ladder, the hatch opens because Cathy and Grace have found her. The hole has been fixed and there is a car waiting for Sheryl, but before she goes, she warns Alto to forget what he saw earlier. However, she’ll permit him to “use it” as a memory that night. Sheryl also tells Ranka that if she likes to sing, there’s a chance right in front of her. After Sheryl leaves, Cathy gets a call informing her that Ozma was hurt in the battle, and this is accentuated by Mikhail and Luca’s variable fighters bringing back Ozma in bad condition. Ranka is devastated to find this out because she had thought that her brother had quit as a pilot, and she doesn’t want him to die. She faints soon after mentioning having kept a certain something secret while questioning why he did this.
Sometime later, Ozma regains consciousness in the hospital, and when he learns how Ranka found out his secret, he explains to Alto and the others that she reacts that way when someone close to her gets hurt or dies. Ozma’s comrade Kanaria then comes in to explain that Ranka has dissociative amnesia which makes recalling particular personal experiences impossible. However, if those experiences are recalled, the person feels extreme discomfort and fear. As for what those experiences are for Ranka, Ozma reveals that she lost all of her family a long time ago. He is actually not her real brother and is instead a self-described incompetent pilot who couldn’t protect her family 11 years ago. Alto gets angry at Ozma for wanting to protect Ranka by being a pilot because he hid it from her, and when Ozma argues back, his wounds reopen. Not backing off, Alto declares that if it were him, he’d want to know everything and would never leave his fate to others. He then questions what the Vajra are again, but instead of answering him immediately, Ozma gives Alto 24 hours to think about what he wants to do and what he’s fighting for. During the elevator ride down, Mikhail accuses Alto of running away again and makes him realize that in the current situation, sooner or later they’ll die or kill someone.
Later that night, Cathy presents Chief of Staff Leon Mishima with a report of the people who came in contact with the Vajra. When Leon recognizes Ranka, Cathy asks him about it but accidentally refers to him informally by his first name. She tries to correct herself, however Leon is fine with it because their working hours just ended. He then kisses her and pushes her onto his desk. Sheryl meanwhile is watching a TV shopping channel while in the bathtub and is reminded that her earring is still missing, meaning that she has to see Alto again. As for him, he spends the next day thinking things over – particularly what Mikhail had said about him running away from his father and his home – and ends up on the hill overlooking the city. There, he hears Ranka singing and finds her behind a nearby monument. When he compliments on her on song, she admits that it’s the only thing that she remembers from her childhood.
Ranka comes to this hill to sing sometimes because no one will hear her here, and that was okay for her up until now. But when she was stuck earlier, she had been afraid that she would die without anyone knowing her and without having done anything. She wants to tell as many people as she can that she’s there, and she ends up having Alto listen to her song. Making up his mind, Alto visits the nearby cemetery where the S.M.S. members are having a private ceremony for Gilliam. Ozma tells him that S.M.S. members who die aren’t officially considered to be killed in action. They are instead treated as accidental deaths and do not get a tombstone with the other military deaths, nor are their loved ones told the truth. When Alto considers this ideal because he wants to live by his own strength and die by himself, Ozma orders him to report in the next morning. Ranka meanwhile has gone to try out for the Miss Macross Frontier contest.
I think the odds of Ozma dying sometime during this series are pretty damn good, but it wasn’t yet his time to go. He’s probably still got a lot of mentoring to do for Alto, plus he’s the one who knows all about Ranka’s past. On a related note, I didn’t think they’d give Ranka an actual scientific explanation for her condition – I thought it was just trauma. I assume there’s more about her past that we still haven’t been told yet – perhaps the key to why the Vajra seem to respond to her – and that amnesia is a way for that to be revealed later on. There’s also the question of what Leon knows about her. Speaking of which, this was probably more detailed than I cared to see.
Compared to the first two episodes, there was a noticeable drop in animation quality (particularly in the first half) this week. Macross still looks really good, just not quite as good. I really liked the cemetery scene at the end though: it had the perfect mix of a sad song with memorial scene. As for what happens now, it seems that Ranka’s trying out for the Miss Macross Frontier contest, and that’ll probably be her claim to fame, but I still don’t know how they’re going to handle having two songstresses share the spotlight. That is, unless one of them dies or something, however I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon.