Macross Frontier – 25 (END)
With Alto’s Valkyrie destroyed and one of the Vajra capital ships about to fire its main cannon at the Battle Frontier, the situation looks bleak for Sheryl and the Frontier fleet. Fortunately for them, the Macross Quarter defolds at that exact moment and destroys the Vajra ship. The ensuing explosion hits Brera’s Valkyrie, and the shock from it destroys the device on his head that was controlling him. Jeffery then surprises the Frontier high command by announcing that the Macross Quarter has returned to destroy the ambitions of Grace and her Galaxy allies. Leon tries to dismiss this as nonsense, but Alto suddenly starts broadcasting to everyone, saying that there’s proof. Before he had ejected from his Valkyrie, he had seen through the giant Ranka and realized that the real Ranka was being held captive, and he now urges the fleet to shoot the deception. The Macross Frontier does exactly that, and the result of the blast is the disappearance of the giant Ranka and the appearance of the Battle Galaxy. Jeffery isn’t quite done though: he also accuses Leon of assassinating President Glass, and Leon subsequently gets arrested.
Grace meanwhile interfaces with the Vajra Queen and has the Battle Galaxy send out its full complement of Ghost V9s. As these start shredding through the Frontier’s forces, Kuran and Luca bring Alto the Valkyrie he left behind on the Macross Quarter. Before getting onboard, Alto messages Sheryl with a vow to save Ranka and a call for her to help by waking Ranka with her song. This motivates Sheryl to start singing again, and as she does, Alto thinks about how he had heard Ranka’s heart crying out and how he had once told her to feel instead of think. He then joins Ozma, Kuran, and Luca in an attack on the enemy fleet, and his yelling for Ranka to wake up and regain her true song causes a reaction in her that shatters the harmonica that Brera gave her. However, right as Ranka regains consciousness, Grace takes control of the Vajra Queen lets out a massive Fold wave. This creates a network structure that allows the Galaxy group to feel the galaxy, and Grace announces that they’ve obtained the entire universe. She claims that even Protoculture fears this power, and as the massive Vajra Queen rises from the planet, Grace explains that they’ve become a super dimensional life form.
When none of Ozma’s missiles can penetrate through the Vajra Queen’s barrier, Luca realizes that there is a dimensional dislocation at play. Grace notes that songs are meaningless to them since they’ve connected directly with the queen, and she wants everyone to grovel in front of the power that rivals a god. Her commands even cause Vajra to defold in places as far away as the Macross 11 fleet and Macross City back on Earth. The subsequent Vajra attack destroys numerous ships of the Frontier fleet, and Alto suddenly senses something happening to Sheryl. It is at this moment that everyone starts to hear Ranka singing, and Brera urges her to put all her feelings into her song because he feels that stopping this fighting is their atonement. Her singing causes an immediate halt in the Vajra attack, and Ranka then reaches out to Sheryl, telling her to stand back up. Sheryl, however, thinks that her job is done and that there’s nothing left. This leads to Ranka slapping Sheryl, and Ranka cites how she and Alto were able to fly because of Sheryl. Alto joins in on the conversation to remind Sheryl how she had vowed never to give up, and he calls both girls his wings. Urging Sheryl to fly again, Ranka heals her and moves the bacteria from Sheryl’s head to her stomach.
As a reinvigorated Sheryl starts singing with Ranka, Jeffery tells the Frontier fleet that the Vajra are not their true enemies – Grace is. Then, with the help of the Macross Quarter, Alto makes his way into the Battle Galaxy and rescues Ranka. Grace doesn’t let this bother her though and instead has the Vajra Queen fire a massive blast at Island 1. To everyone’s surprise, the Vajra not under Grace’s control gather around Island 1 and use themselves as a shield to protect it. Afterward, Ai-kun flies to Alto’s Valkyrie, and Ranka figures out that her and Sheryl’s song reached the Vajra. She now knows that the Vajra have feelings, but they are different from humans and found mankind strange. Ranka finally realizes that they’re all different, and if they don’t properly convey their feelings, then they won’t understand each other. She continues singing in conjunction with Sheryl after Alto returns her to the Macross Quarter, and between the two of them and Ai-kun, they convert most of the remaining Vajra. These very Vajra open up a hole in the field around the Vajra Queen, but the Battle Galaxy uses that hole to fire its massive cannon at the Macross Quarter and the Battle Frontier.
Unwilling to let things end like this, Canaria flies the König Monster onto the Battle Galaxy and fires her main cannons at its head. Jeffery uses this opportunity to order a Macross Attack which results in the Macross Quarter destroying the Battle Galaxy’s cannon, and the Battle Frontier follows that up with a punch that finishes off the Battle Galaxy. Armed with Mikhail’s sniper rifle – given to him by Kuran – Alto then charges the Vajra Queen, but he comes under attack by Grace’s VF-27s. Luckily for him, Brera comes to his rescue, and Brera tells Alto to aim for the Queen’s head because the Vajra’s heart is in their stomach, not their head. With Sheryl and Ranka’s song spurring them on, the two make their way right up to the Vajra Queen and manage to detach its head with a volley of missiles. Alto then aims for the pod containing Grace with Mikhail’s sniper rifle, and one perfect shot later, it’s all over. As Island 1, the Battle Frontier, and the Macross Quarter descend onto the planet, everyone can hear Aimo, and Bobby wonders what this song was for if the Vajra didn’t need to communicate. Remembering what her mother had once told her, Ranka explains that it’s a song of love. Ranshe had said that Vajra meet a swarm from another galaxy every several hundred million years, and this was the mating call.
In the aftermath, once everyone is on the planet, Sheryl finds Ranka in an open field. The two see Alto come down and eject from his damaged Valkyrie, and he uses his EX-Gear to soar across what he calls a genuine sky . Seeing the look on Sheryl’s face as she watches Alto, Ranka declares that she won’t lose in song or love, and Sheryl accepts the challenge. Both of them know that it all starts from here now, and they run to Alto as he flies towards them with his hand stretched out.
All things considered, I thought they did a pretty good job with this ending. It wasn’t amazing but it still had tons of great music during an epic-scale battle – “mecha porn” so to speak – that concluded most of the important parts of the story. In fact, I think they went through pretty much every single Ranka or Sheryl song ever featured in this series, sometimes in quick succession. It sounded a bit too much like a mashup at times, but I still liked it, especially the Diamond Crevasse and Seikan Hikou parts. I also found it noteworthy that several of the scenes, particularly this one where Ranka and Sheryl were singing Lion, mirrored various shots from the OP sequences. Directors often say that the OP is important for clues about what will happen, but this is one of the few times I’ve seen scenes copied out of an OP like that. Not that that’s a bad thing – I actually found it kind of cool.
I’ve noticed a lot of people saying that this ending was rushed, but I really didn’t feel that way as I was watching the episode. There was a lot to cover, and I thought the director and writers got through it all in a fairly good manner. The main thing I didn’t like about the ending is the fact that Alto never explicitly had to choose between Ranka and Sheryl. Part of me was expecting something like this (it led to my previous comments on how Alto might end up with no one), but I still wish Alto had made a decision in the end instead of just flying around enjoying the sky. That part of him just didn’t mature enough to make him a better male lead, and the fact that so much of the series had focused on the love triangle made it all especially unsatisfying. One consolation/clue about which way he’s leaning is how he’s still wearing Sheryl’s earring at the very end, and it even sparkles as if the director wanted us to pay extra attention to it. Or maybe that’s just the preference I have for Sheryl speaking. Regardless, there was a movie version of Macross Frontier announced after this finale, so that could potentially give a more conclusive ending.
Final Thoughts: It’s only been half a year, but it feels like I’ve been watching Macross Frontier for much longer. That’s probably because of the special first episode debut all the way back during Christmas-time last year, and I can still remember how damn impressed I was by it. I’d say the rest of the series more or less lived up to my expectations, and I have to take a moment to applaud Yoko Kanno, Nakajima Megumi, May’n, and the rest of the folks who worked on the music and songs because that was undoubtedly the best part of it all. I can’t wait to hear everything that’s on the second OST coming out October 8th. In any case, it’s sad to see a series like this come to an end, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the movie brings – hopefully more great music and some closure on the love triangle.
Coming up next week: Kuroshitsuji will be taking Macross Frontier’s time-slot!