With footage of the Miss Macross Contest now being broadcast on TV, Ozma is angry that Ranka didn’t tell him and even angrier that she got suspended from school for it. When he says that someone shy like her can’t become a singer, Ranka starts throwing things at him and ends up running out in tears. Alto meanwhile has brought Sheryl to his school so that he can search his locker for her important earring. Today is her only chance to find it because she is returning back to the Macross Galaxy fleet next week. Unfortunately, two other students come by the locker room at the same time, causing Alto to panic. Thinking quickly, he takes Sheryl and hides with her in a locker before the students can see them, but while they’re in there, Alto’s cell phone starts vibrating. This has a stimulating effect on Sheryl, and that in turn causes Alto to get embarrassed and bump his head on the ceiling of the locker. The noise startles the two students, but luckily a teacher then calls them away. Afterwards, Alto still can’t find the earring and claims to have another clue to its whereabouts, but Sheryl doesn’t necessarily believe him and suggests that he could be lying so that he can be with her.
Back at the Lee apartment, Ozma is sitting around worried about Ranka when his doorbell rings. He thinks it could be her, but it turns instead to be Cathy who is here to take Ozma to a Frontier government national security committee meeting. Along the way, Ozma calls up Mikhail and instructs him to find Ranka, causing Cathy to observe that Ozma hasn’t changed. She then starts to express how she wishes he had shown her the same concern, but she quickly realizes what she’s saying and stops herself. Ozma’s response is merely that she’s talking about something that’s already over, and Cathy agrees that it’s a thing of the past. Alto meanwhile tries to call up the S.M.S person in charge of items of the deceased but can’t get in touch. He convinces Sheryl to wait until tomorrow so that he can look for it when he goes to work, but Sheryl then takes the lucky charm that was around his neck and refuses to give it back until he fulfills a certain condition.
A short while later, Alto gets a phone call from Luca who had earlier seen him with Sheryl, though Luca had been too far away to recognize her. Luca had heard about Ranka’s suspension and now passes along the news to Alto, but right as Alto is responding, Sheryl turns off his phone. Sheryl thinks that Alto and Ranka are dating, but Alto denies it and claims that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. She’s happy to hear this and urges them to get going, however Alto then gets a message from Ranka who wants to talk with him since she’s now been suspended for the Miss Macross contest. Alto tries to call her back, but he finds that her cell phone is turned off and gives up for now because Sheryl is being impatient. The two end up heading out into the heart of the city, and Alto is a bit embarrassed to be with the person whose face is on every billboard. Nevertheless, they have a lot of fun together and end up taking the tram to the lookout point high above the city. Sheryl loves how beautiful the city and all of its surroundings are, and she also likes how Alto doesn’t treat her like a star. She then leads him to the train, and – after earlier having spotted Ranka and Mikhail boarding a train together – Alto decides that there’s somewhere he wants to take her.
That place turns out to be a stretch of farmland where Zentradi ranchers are raising huge cow-like creatures, and Sheryl is impressed by the Zentradi size. Her attention then turns to the sound of music coming from a nearby Zentradi mall, so Alto takes her there. As it turns out, Mikhail and Ranka are there too. Mikhail had earlier run into Ranka outside the school and had followed her all the way out to this place. When he notices that Kuran Kuran is also there, he tries to avoid her and offers to buy Ranka some ice cream. The ice cream makes Ranka feel friendly enough to reveal that she was looking for Alto because he actually listens to her, unlike her brother. Mikhail tries to get her to head home since Ozma is worried about her, but Ranka refuses because of how her brother treats her like a kid and kept his piloting a secret from her. Around this same time, Ozma finds himself at an alien creature research laboratory where Leon reveals that they have an intact Vajra corpse suspended in a giant tube. Their analysis has revealed a lot about the creature’s abilities, but what’s really interesting is that the creature’s brain is too small to control it. In other words, the Vajra are lowly creatures that don’t need to think on their own, so someone could be using them as biological weapons.
Back at the mall, Mikhail questions if Ranka can even sing in public and challenges her to do so right there since it’s place where people haven’t specifically come just to see her sing. At the same time, Sheryl is having a blast playing in all of the giant-sized stuff, and it inspires her, so she grabs the nearest thing she can write on – a pair of giant panties – and starts jotting stuff down. By chance, Kuran Kuran notices what Sheryl is doing and runs into Alto in the process. As the two watch Sheryl, Alto makes a paper airplane and wonders aloud why people sing and try to fly. Having just finished writing, Sheryl answers that they can’t help it, and Kuran agrees. Since Alto understands what she means, he lets the paper airplane go and watches as it soars above the mall. Ranka happens to see that very same paper airplane, and after remembering how Alto had previously thrown one too, she gains the courage to sing. Her voice quickly attracts the attention of a large crowd, and even Alto and Sheryl come to see her. This turns into a great success among the mall crowd, but what Ranka doesn’t know is that, over at the alien creature research laboratory, the captive Vajra suddenly comes to life and starts banging its head on the glass tube. Ozma manages to catch Cathy when she faints, and he then has Leon hit the emergency switch that isolates the Vajra within metal shielding and vaporizes it.
In the aftermath of her performance, Ranka explains to Mikhail that it was all thanks to Alto. The two then spot Alto and Sheryl standing by a nearby fountain, and Sheryl is in the process of returning the charm. Glad to see that Ranka will be okay, she thanks Alto for today and promises to send him a ticket for her farewell concert. Alto in turn promises to find and bring her the earring. Sheryl then kisses Alto on the cheek, much to his, Mikhail, and Ranka’s surprise. Meanwhile, out in space, a variable fighter suddenly appears, broadcasting an emergency message about how the Macross Galaxy fleet is under attack by a swarm of Vajra.
Wow, for a date episode, this was a lot more fun to watch than I thought it’d be. I’m quickly becoming a fan of SherylXAlto because of their chemistry together – I think it comes down the fact that playful Sheryl is much much better than bitchy Sheryl. I definitely laughed when she started writing on that giant pair of Zentradi underwear. The way the episode ended (with Ranka witnessing Sheryl kissing Alto on the cheek) was admittedly predictable, but I don’t count that against the show given how good everything was. The question now is if Ranka is jealous or just surprised – in other words, I wonder if this is going further down the path where the girls to compete for Alto as well as to compete as songstresses. I guess the alternative is that they don’t because the Vajra threat takes precedence or something.
In addition to all that, every time I think that this series couldn’t possibly keep bringing out more songs, they do. This week it was Ranka’s (Nakajima Megumi) version of What ’bout my star, along with Sheryl’s version. Speaking of music, I’ve been listening to the full version of the ED and the Don’t be late Sheryl song nonstop – it’s really good stuff. I can’t wait for all of Ranka’s songs to be released in late June (on the 25th to be exact).
Still, despite this being a fun episode, there were some nagging questions raised about what Ozma’s past relationship with Cathy was, who the shadowy guy Leon was talking to, and why Ranka’s songs have such an effect on the Vajra. I get the feeling we won’t learn the reason for the latter of those until much later. I also assume the appearance of the ship from the Macross Galaxy fleet at the end means that either our heroes are going to be sent into battle soon or that Sheryl is going to be stuck with the Frontier fleet – or both. That being said, the title of next week’s episode “Bye Bye Sheryl” suggests that the latter may not occur.