Macross Frontier – 14
Alto manages to escape from the expanding Fold dislocation bubble, and when he looks back again at Gallia 4, he sees that there’s now a huge chunk missing. Over on the Macross Frontier, Ranka’s manager has to reassure people that Ranka will be there for the concert today. Nanase is worried for her friend and becomes even more so when Luca fills her in on what happened. Ozma meanwhile remembers how he had tried to stop Ranka from going to Gallia 4, but at the time, she had pointed out how he had often said that it’s better to take a chance than regret it. Her determination causes Ozma to realize that Ranka had grown into a woman while he wasn’t paying attention. On the bridge of the Macross Quarter, the girls are chatting about love and relationships when suddenly the Vajra fleet de-folds nearby. The Macross Frontier fleet immediately begins locking down the habitat ships and evacuating everyone into shelters, and since Luca has to join his squad, he leaves Nanase with the promise that he has something to tell her when he returns.
In advance of the battle, the Macross Quarter transforms and takes its position as part of a defensive front protecting the Frontier fleet. They get to fire the first salvo and soon engage the enemy. Unbeknownst to their friends, Sheryl and Mikhail’s Valkyrie is holding on to one of the Vajra capital ships, and when Sheryl wakes up, she finds the battle already started and Mikhail still unconscious. Confident that she can pilot the craft based on what she remembers from her lessons, Sheryl takes control of the Valkyrie, but she immediately nicks the side of the Vajra ship and then lets the Valkyrie get shot by Vajra fighters. The emergency eject activates right before the Valkyrie blows up, and Luca tries to come to their rescue after having seen them. Unfortunately, the Vajra shoot and destroy Luca’s Valkyrie’s rifle, leaving him and Sheryl defenseless. Their savior ends up being none other than Alto who had just arrived on the scene after using the special Fold pack that Mikhail had left in orbit around Gallia 4. Alto quickly takes care of the smaller Vajra and brings Sheryl back to the Macross Quarter.
Around this same time, a second Vajra fleet – this one including the mother ship that is holding Ranka – suddenly de-folds behind the Frontier fleet. This fleet’s first volley blows a hole into the main habitat ship, and inside the Frontier’s command room, Leon convinces Howard Glass to authorize the use of reaction weapons against the Vajra. The Macross Quarter turns to face the new threat, but Alto stops them from attacking immediately because Ranka is inside the enemy mother ship. Alto wants permission to go rescue her, so Jeffrey grants him use of an armor pack and some reactive warheads. While Alto’s Valkyrie is being outfitted, Sheryl approaches him and tries to make him promise to come back unharmed. Alto instead promises to bring Ranka back and launches in his Valkyrie before Sheryl can say anything else. The four reactive warheads Alto shoots take care of much of the initial wave of Vajra coming at him, and when Ranka sees what’s going on from inside the Vajra mother ship, she wants all the fighting to stop. Suddenly, she sees a vision of a long-haired woman saying that her kind want to tell Ranka’s kind something, and the woman then starts to sing Aimo.
Recognizing the song, Ranka sings it as well, and many of the Vajra stop their attacks because of it. The Vajra still manage to kill Raramia though, and the loss of a comrade just makes Alto more determined to blow a path through to Ranka. Alto manages to open up a hole on the side of the mother ship, but Brera’s Valkyrie flies in first and grabs Ranka. Alto follows in behind Brera and uses the rest of his missiles against the egg-laying Vajra that was guarding Ranka, despite her cries for him to stop. Brera escapes with Ranka from the ensuing explosion, and afterwards, he introduces himself to the Frontier fleet as a lieutenant commander of the Macross Galaxy’s Antares Squadron and reports of Ranka’s rescue. With Ranka safe, Jeffrey orders the firing of the Macross Cannon, and it successfully destroys the enemy mother ship. The rest of the Frontier forces then finish off the other Vajra capital ships with reactive warheads, and Ranka can only cry as she watches from a distance. At an undisclosed location, Grace wakes up and realizes that Ranka is the Little Queen.
Well that was a fun battle episode. As suspected, Grace (or at least the entity that makes up Grace) really isn’t dead and can inhabit new bodies. The preview seems to hint that she might stay Sheryl’s manager, though I wonder how Grace is going to explain how she got off Gallia 4. Then again, Grace probably still thinks Sheryl is dead, so there’s gonna be a lotta explaining to do on both sides. Speaking of Sheryl, she got her first taste of combat flight and failed rather miserably. I don’t think that kills her chances of becoming a pilot if that is indeed the path she’s going down, but for the time being, it looks like she’s returning to singing. With Ranka’s concert so soon, maybe Sheryl will fill in for her or join her? A joint concert might be a good way to introduce the new OP and/or ED too, assuming that’s coming soon.
As for Ranka, the pieces are starting to come together about her connection with the Vajra: she appears to have some sort of Vajra virus inside of her, and the Vajra showed her a vision of someone who looked to be her mother (Ranshe Mei was once again listed in the credits and the episode is titled “Mother’s Lullaby”). Since Grace also refers to Ranka as the Little Queen, does that make her mother the big queen? Either way, it seems to me that they’re setting up the Vajra to be more than just the bad guys since Ranka clearly sympathizes with them and wants to stop the killing on both sides. It was also a little weird to see the Frontier/human side be the aggressors for once with their reactive/nuclear weapons, and it makes me think that we’re moving towards a point where neither side will be all good or all evil. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ranka joins the Vajra on her own volition at some point in the future. If we need a real villain, then I bet it’ll end up being Grace or whatever organization she’s working for.