Macross Frontier – 10
With the filming of the movie BIRD HUMAN set to begin, Ranka manages to get a small role, but she worries if she’ll be able to do it well. She calls Alto hoping that he’d make her feel better about it, and his advice is that she should feel instead of think in order to become the character. Ranka is disappointed, however, when she hears Sheryl yelling at Alto in the background, and Alto has to hang up because he has to return to the shoot he’s doing with Sheryl for the military. He’s disgusted with himself because he realizes what he told Ranka is what his father once told him. Leon meanwhile gets a report saying that the VF-27 couldn’t have been unmanned, but also that a normal human couldn’t endure the output and mobility of it. A few days later, Ranka arrives at the island where the filming will take place, and to her surprise, Mikhail and Luca are there as well because the S.M.S is helping with the filming. Alto isn’t around at first, but he shows up with Sheryl during a discussion between the director and the production staff about using Sheryl’s song as one of the key songs in the movie. Sheryl know that the song they’re talking about doesn’t fit because it wasn’t written for the movie, so she offers to write a new one, but the director wants more time to think about it. Sheryl is then approached by lead actress for the film who was also the winner of the Miss Macross contest, but Sheryl ignores her and talks to Ranka instead.
When the production overhears Sheryl mention Alto’s name, they immediately ask him to be in the movie because they’ve seen his kabuki performances as a princess. Alto doesn’t want to because he quit theater already, and he gets angry after Mikhail accuses him of running away again. Having not known anything about Alto’s past, Ranka learns from Luca and Sheryl that Alto didn’t want to continue the family kabuki tradition and became a pilot after arguing with his father. Distressed by how she didn’t know, Ranka decides to go off into the jungle by herself and makes her way to a cliff overlooking the beach. Since she’s by herself, she starts singing Aimo and unknowingly catches the attention of the director who was fishing in the water below. Unfortunately for her, it also attracts a winged predator. Back below, the production crew has to deal with how the actor for Kudou Shin is now refusing to do a critical underwater scene as well as with how the actress for Mao isn’t here yet. Since Alto is around, they decide to let him be Shin for that particular scene, but Alto doesn’t realize until Luca tells him that it will involve kissing Mao’s actress. He stomps off embarrassed and goes to look for Ranka, and he manages to find her right as she’s about to be attacked by the winged beast.
Though Alto tries to use his gun to protect Ranka, the beast knocks the gun away and smacks him around before it turns its attention back to Ranka. Fortunately for her, Brera suddenly appears and allows the beast to bite into his arm so that he can get an open shot at punching it. Seeing this reminds Ranka of the Vajra attack from her past and of her brother, but her concern is unwarranted because Brera easily uses his blade to slice the creature in half. With the danger gone, Brera starts to walk off, though he does introduce himself to Alto first. Alto then carries the unconscious Ranka back to the movie set, and when she wakes up, she thinks that he was the one who saved her because she doesn’t remember what actually happened. Once the two get back, they learn from Elmo that the director wants Ranka to play the role of Mao and wants to use her song as well. Alto panics because he realizes that this means that he and Ranka will have to kiss, and this also causes Ranka not to immediately accept the role. She admits to Bobby afterwards that she’s not confident in her abilities since she doesn’t understand Mao’s character – in particular, she doesn’t understand how it feels to love the man her sister loves, as was the case with Mao and Sara. This changes when she sees Sheryl suddenly surprise Alto with a kiss on the lips, and though Sheryl pretends that it wasn’t a big deal, it has a significant impact on Ranka.
Because she now understands how Mao feels, Ranka decides to accept the role after all. She and Alto thus go through with the underwater kiss scene, and that scene is especially embarrassing for her to watch when the movie finally premieres. Nevertheless, she gets recognized after the movie ends to the sound of much applause, and the director tells her that her legend starts here.
Wow, that was a really good episode – much better than last week’s. Part of it is because it wasn’t just an homage to Macross Zero – it also advanced the Frontier plot significantly. The two kisses were certainly surprising, but what I loved was how they weaved the Macross Zero/BIRD HUMAN story into everything, from the parallels between the love triangles to how they made the ending of the movie into the ending of the episode too. And the movie version (aka. Tori no Hito) of Aimo has been stuck in my head ever since – boy am I glad the soundtrack is out. It was also interesting to see the director say at the very end that this begins Ranka’s legend because it makes this feel even more like a critical point in the series. With all that’s happened, I suspect that, from this point on, Ranka will become super popular but at the same time, she’ll lose Alto slowly to Sheryl.
Brera also made an appearance this episode, and all clues seem to point to him being Ranka’s true brother. He’s at least part cybernetic, and perhaps that’s the result of the Vajra attack all those years ago. Regardless, it’s looking more and more like he won’t be an antagonist after all since he demonstrated a desire to protect Ranka and since he supposedly wants to reclaim his past, though I still can’t quite figure out what his employer is up to. The preview shows that Brera will be in next episode (or at least his Valkyrie will), but unfortunately there is no Macross episode next week. MBS is replacing it next Thursday with the Rank Oukoku show, and TBS is replacing it next Friday with soccer (UEFA EURO 2008). Episode 11 will air on June 19th.