Macross Frontier – 19
In a dream world, Ranka is crying because her mother isn’t around, and she stops only when a voice proposes a good method and shows her a compound eye. At Ranka’s bedside is Ai-kun, but – after a reaction occurs in its belly – the creature scampers out of her room, pauses outside to listen to Brera play Aimo on his harmonica, and then disappears. The following day is full of celebration for Ranka’s involvement in the successful long-distance Fold, but Ranka herself is absent from the festivities because she and Brera are out searching for Ai-kun. When they stop for some ice cream, Ranka thanks Brera for helping, and he reiterates that he’s going to protect her. Also out on the town at this time are Mikhail with Kuran, and Ozma with Cathy. The latter pair are on what appears to be a date together, but they’re acting the part because they’re aware that they’re being followed. While all this is going on, Alto meanwhile tries to sneak into the Saotome home, however he finds that Yasaburo is waiting for him. Seeing Sheryl there wearing a kimono reminds Alto of his mother, but he’s brought back to his senses after she questions what he’s doing there.
When Alto asks how she’s feeling, Sheryl tells him that she’s fine, however she goes on to reveal that she’s thinking about quitting singing. In response to this, Alto points out how she had once told him and Ranka that she had gotten to where she is by taking destiny into her own hands with hard work rather than relying on just luck. Sheryl, however, claims that it was all a lie and feels that she was lying even to herself back then. Pissed off about this, Alto questions if she’s the Galactic Fairy and ends up just telling her to come to Ranka’s concert at school later that day. Meanwhile, in a research laboratory somewhere, Grace shows Leon plans for a new warhead called the MDE created from analyzing the wave characteristics of Fold Quartz and by reducing the size of the Dimension Eater. This is just bonus though since Grace is more excited about how she’s finally solved a certain mystery concerning the Queen that had eluded both Ranshe Mei and Mao Nome. All this allows Leon to move forward with his plan, and he feels that the real fun starts here.
Back at the Saotome home, Yasaburo finds Sheryl staring at a picture of Alto and his mother Miyo from many years ago. She had died when Alto was just 12 years old, but Yasaburo still remembers how she had often combed Alto’s hair on the porch. This causes Sheryl to realize that Yasaburo had taken her in so that Alto could be reminded of those times and appear on the kabuki stage again. Sheryl feels that she was useless in that regard, but Yasaburo reveals that he hasn’t given up hoping yet. He explains that appearing on stage and performing is too sweet a poison, and he describes the thrill of having everyone pay attention to you. Yasaburo feels that it’s not something that’s easily forgotten once experienced, and he thinks that Sheryl should understand that. As the afternoon wears on, Ranka meanwhile has all but given up searching for Ai-kun after failing to find him on top of the hill overlooking the city. Brera reassures her that Ai-kun will return, and after he pats Ranka on the head, she comments on how he’s like an older brother. She wonders if he has a younger sister, but Brera reveals that he has no memories of his past, and Ranka notes that this is the same as her.
Brera uses this chance to ask Ranka why she sings, and he points out that she recently hasn’t been happy about it. When he questions her again about what or whom she sings for, Ranka thinks about how she had initially told herself that she wanted to communicate to everyone, but the truth is that it was all for just Alto. Regaining some of her confidence, Ranka decides to confirm things for herself and goes ahead with her concert at Mihoshi Academy. Alto, Mikhail, and Luca provide the air stunts for the concert, and they spell out Ranka’s name in the sky, punctuating it with an image of an arrow through heart. Sheryl watches the concert from the forest nearby, but when she turns to leave, Kuran appears and tells her not to run away. Ranka then moves on to her next song, and after landing, Mikhail asks Alto about Sheryl. Alto reports that she’s moody and spiteful as usual, but what Mikhail is asking about is Alto’s relationships. Mikhail thinks that Alto should have realized that all of Ranka’s singing is for his sake, and he points out how Sheryl was also more concerned about Alto despite her own current painful situation.
This causes Alto to figure out that Mikhail knows something about Sheryl, and he feels that Mikhail is in no position to be preaching about this. In response, Mikhail admits that he’s a coward, and he talks about how they don’t know when they’re going to die. This is especially true since they’re pilots, and Mikhail goes on to concede that he’s afraid of doing things seriously, but he thinks that Alto is different. Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Sheryl on the school rooftop, courtesy of Kuran. Meanwhile, Luca sees the picture of Ai-kun that Nanase had drawn, and he realizes that there is a Vajra larva on the colony ship. Around this same time, Ozma and Cathy confront Leon on his planned coup d’état, but Leon just smirks and tells them that they’re too late. Leon already has a sniper stationed at the school targeting Howard Glass who had come to watch Ranka. Unaware of what else is going on, Ranka has just ended her concert and is sprinting up the stairs to the school rooftop so that she can tell Alto her feelings. When she gets there though, she is shocked to find Sheryl in Alto’s arms.
ED: 「トライアングラー」 (Triangular) by 坂本真綾 (Sakamoto Maaya)
Watch the ED!: Streaming
As if they wanted to drive home the love triangle point, the ED this week was Triangular and featured some new art.
Well the episode sure ended with a bang, and although my initial reaction was that of excitement, after thinking about it, aren’t we a bit too deep into the series for this kind of thing? It’s still fun (as it was pointed out to me) in a School Days kind of way, but I guess I was hoping for a push towards something more definite from a series that is only about half a dozen episodes away from ending. I could still see this being the catalyst to making Alto finally choose someone, but for the time being, it’ll only lead to more confusion as Ranka now thinks that Alto prefers Sheryl, regardless of why she was in his arms (probably felt faint again). And if this doesn’t get cleared up before the major battle next episode, this could have some major negative consequences.
As for who Alto will choose – if anyone – I continue to lean towards Sheryl, but it occurred to me that her reminding Alto of his mother is kind of a bad omen for her chances. Even though it’s probably the wrong context since reminding Alto of his mother is what Yasaburo was intentionally trying to do, I can’t help but think “Oedipus complex“, and that wouldn’t end well. The problem with both Sheryl and Ranka, however, is that I’m still not convinced Alto has truly deep feelings for either of them. As I alluded to last week though, that probably has as much to do with how his character has been developed as anything else, and that’s why I’m so keen on seeing him finally make a decision. Given that things look pretty bad for the good guys in the preview and next week’s episode is titled Diamond Crevasse however, my hunch is that there’s a bigger chance of someone dying than there is of Alto making up his mind.
Incidentally, Is this what Ai-kun has become? Seemed rather odd for them to focus on it during the concert, and I can’t think of what else it could be.