Macross Frontier – 13
What caused Alto’s Valkyrie to crash also causes problems at the Zentradi base, and the power goes out right as Grace tries to make Sheryl take some medicine. Alto meanwhile realizes that the Macross-class ship wrecked in front of him is a first-generation one, but seeing it causes Ranka to scream because it triggers memories of her past. When she apologizes afterwards, Alto is reminded of what Kanaria had said about Ranka’s dissociative amnesia, and so he suggests to Ranka that it’s okay for her to just not think about it. In any case, the two are stranded in the jungle because of some jamming that’s interfering with the Valkyrie’s navigation systems, and Alto suspects that it’s coming from the wrecked ship. They have no choice but to set out on foot, and although it’s hot, they eventually reach a clearing with a running stream. As Ranka helps him tie up his hair after he washes it, Alto comments on how he wasn’t sure if she was bold or timid when they had first met, and Ranka attributes any courage she’s gotten since them to him protecting her and giving her a push when she needed it.
Their moment is interrupted by the sudden sound of rustling from a nearby bush, and Alto instinctively grabs Ranka to protect her, but it turns out to be just a small creature. When the two notice how close they are to each other, they get embarrassed, and Alto tries to change the subject to how they have to go investigate the Macross-class ship. Ranka, however, gets uneasy because she has to use the bathroom, but she can’t bring herself to say that in front of Alto, and so she just runs off into the woods. Moments later, Alto hears her scream, and when he goes to see what happened, she’s nowhere to be found. Back at the Macross Frontier, the members of the S.M.S – including a very frustrated Ozma – are learning about the loss of communications with Gallia 4. Kuran suggests using the new Fold-Pack, but Kanaria thinks that Luca can’t give it to them a second time. Luca is at that moment in Leon’s office addressing the actions he took that Leon refers to as drastic. He explains that he feels this was the best decision for him as a special adviser to the LAI’s technological development department, and he’s personally in the S.M.S to collect data and evaluate the performance of new engines and weapons. Leon counters by saying that Luca’s actions got a civilian girl involved and has threatened the relationship between LAI and the government.
At the Zentradi base on Gallia 4, Sheryl starts to feel better and convinces Mikhail to take her out to look for Alto. He’s reluctant to do so, but Sheryl feels that given what she’s learned at school, she can handle things if he’s too scared to go. What she hates is doing nothing when there is something that can be done. Alto meanwhile suspects that Ranka got taken to the Macross-class ship and approaches it to investigate. He gets close enough to see that it’s the fourth Macross-class ship called GLOBAL – making it the flagship of the 117th Research Fleet – and he immediately remembers what Ozma had told him about Ranka being a survivor of that. While Alto heads towards the GLOBAL, Brera is nearby in his Valkyrie telling Grace about how Ranka is inside a Vajra nest. This causes Grace to change Brera’s orders so that securing Ranka is second priority – unless it gets in the way of Brera’s original objective. Grace herself will be preparing something called the Dimension Eater in the meantime. By now, Alto has entered the GLOBAL and questions why it’s here. He makes his way to a research laboratory, but he finds that all the data there has been erased, and fairly recently to boot. What’s even more odd is that there’s a Vajra specimen there, as well as a picture of what appears to be Ranka with her family inside a crystal, though that crystal shatters when Alto tries to touch it.
Elsewhere inside the ship, Ranka wakes up after experiencing a dream of her mother and finds herself near a giant Vajra laying eggs. She succeeds at radioing Alto, and though her transmission allows him to track down where she is, the Vajra also gets alerted to the fact that she’s awake. Fortunately for Ranka, Brera’s Valkyrie bursts onto the scene before anything can happen to her, and by the time Alto arrives, Brera is in a heated battle with the Vajra. Alto heads straight for Ranka, but right before he reaches her, a transparent barrier materializes around her. He doesn’t get much time to think about how to save her because one of Brera’s shots hits the egg-laying Vajra, and this causes both it to scream and an adverse reaction to occur in Ranka. The egg-laying Vajra then lets out a huge wave of energy that forces both Alto and Brera out of the room, and Alto is forced to watch from outside as the entire Macross-class ship starts to glow. Returning to his Valkyrie in the jungle, Alto finds that the jamming has ended, so he takes off in it, but he finds that the one ship has now become a fleet of Vajra ships. Although determined to save Ranka, Alto is stopped when Brera attacks him, and the two enter into a dogfight high above Gallia 4.
Brera manages to outmaneuver Alto, and right as he’s about to shoot, he declares that Alto isn’t suitable for Ranka. Fortunately for Alto, Brera never gets to fire his Valkyrie’s rifle because it gets blown up by a certain blue Valkyrie. Mikhail and Sheryl are Alto’s saviors, and they’re surprised to learn that Ranka has been abducted inside the giant Vajra mothership. Since Alto has no choice but to fight Brera, he asks Sheryl and Mikhail to save Ranka, and Sheryl agrees as long as Alto stops Brera, even if it means dying. This leads to Mikhail commenting on how Sheryl has fallen in love with Alto, and though Sheryl blushes, she quickly turns her attention to the task at hand. Brera meanwhile is about to shoot at Alto again when he gets a transmission from Grace saying that his time is up because she’s going to detonate the Dimension Eater. After telling Brera to return home and follow her orders, Grace remarks to herself about the death of the Galactic Fairy and the destruction of the advance unit. The Dimension Eater then creates a Fold dislocation bubble that swallows Grace up and starts rapidly expanding. It soon wipes out the Zentradi base and when it threatens to engulf Mikhail and Alto’s Valkyries too, both are forced to speed out of Gallia 4′s atmosphere. Mikhail and Sheryl manage to maneuver into the Fold openings that the Vajra ships create to escape, but Alto is left with no choice but to just keep flying away from the bubble in his Valkyrie.
So Grace went from suspected bad guy to somewhat evil to vaporized in all of one episode, and though it was quick, it was rather spectacular. The caveat of course is that Grace may not really be dead since she seemed to want Brera to keep following her orders, and there’s still that male version of her who had met with Leon. It’s beginning to look like her entity (cybernetic, human, whatever) might be working for LAI as a third side in the ongoing Vajra vs. Frontier conflict, but I still can’t do much more than guess as to what her and/or LAI’s goals are. Her objectives this episode appeared to be to kill Sheryl, let the Vajra fleet successfully get away, and erase all evidence on the planet, and long-term, they might be trying to study the Vajra or cause more conflict. A friend also pointed out to me that the goal of making Sheryl sick might have been to prevent her from singing and have her be killed by the Zentradi. In any case, if the LAI is behind her, then that makes Luca’s role in this all that more interesting.
Assuming a clone or something of Grace doesn’t show up, her “death” means that Sheryl will have lost her manager, I think that makes it even more likely that Sheryl will end up as a pilot of some sort – especially if she continues to lose Alto and Ranka continues her meteoric rise (pending her being saved from the current situation). Sheryl made clear this episode that she’s not the kind of character to just sit around and angst, so if she loses on both those fronts, then there’s gotta be something else for her to do. She’s got the right attitude and is showing that she has some of the skills needed, so it’s becoming less of a stretch than it was before. Character development for Ranka, on the other hand, focused mainly on her past this week, and it’s all but confirmed that Brera is Ranka’s brother. It might also be worth noting that the credits list Ranka’s mother as Ranshe Mei, voiced by Sakamoto Maaya, given how the next episode is called “Mother’s Lullaby.” The preview makes it look really pretty animation-quality wise, and battle will probably at least on par with the one from episode seven.