With Sheryl shooting a documentary at the school, Alto isn’t happy that his practice time was cut. He’s still not satisfied when Grace thanks him and the others for giving up their time, but Mikhail then steps in and turns on his charm. Grace ends up recognizing Mikhail’s name and surprises him by expressing her regret over what happened with his older sister. This stays on Mikhail’s mind until the S.M.S mission later that day when the group is alerted to a ship under attack by the Vajra. While Alto engages in a dogfight, Mikhail finds a sniper position and takes aim, but right as he gets a lock, he recalls what Grace said about his sister. This causes him to misfire, and the shot barely misses the head of Alto’s Valkyrie. The ensuing explosion lets the Vajra get away, and Alto is subsequently furious that Mikhail shot him. Back at the Macross Frontier colony ship, Leon reports of a small Vajra nest to President Glass and a bunch of other officials. Glass is worried that all this fighting is putting a strain on their resources, but Leon insists that they need to know more about the Vajra for the sake of all mankind.
When Alto returns to the S.M.S base, he confronts Mikhail about trying to kill him and cites how Mikhail had bragged about inheriting his sniper’s sense from his older sister. In doing so, he also questions if shooting someone by accident is in Mikhail’s blood as well. That really gets Mikhail angry, and he pins down Alto and repeatedly punches him in the face for it. As he gets patched up by Kanaria afterwards, Alto rants about Mikhail and says that Mikhail should fly passenger planes if all he cares about is money and women. Kanaria, however, questions if they need a reason to be there and suggests that everyone has their own, much like Alto himself. Mikhail meanwhile goes out for some target practice in his Valkyrie, and every shot he takes reminds him of his sister. Having witnessed the fight earlier between Mikhail and Alto, Kuran comes out now to remind Mikhail that it’s already bedtime, but he’s quick to tell her not to meddle in his business. She had been worried about him because of the topic of his sister Jessica, however Mikhail attributes not being able to sleep to the loneliness of sleeping alone. He then brings up how Kuran could be his companion for the night, but he immediately also says that he’d be caught for obscenity crimes if he did it with her micronized form. This earns his Valkyrie a slap from her, and she leaves in tears.
Alto learns later that Sheryl is promoting her joining the school as part of a campaign to keep people from forgetting about the Macross Galaxy. She had also just wanted to go to school for once, and she questions why Alto is attending and why he joined the S.M.S since she sees it as equivalent to the military. This gets Alto thinking because Mikhail had previously accused him of always running away, and he recalls a time when his father had punched him. Meanwhile, Ranka is trying to promote herself on a street corner by handing out packets of tissues with her name on them. She had gotten Bobby’s help with her make-up, but the promotion itself still goes poorly because none of the pedestrians pay any attention to her. During this, Ranka sees Brera again, but before she can call out to him, he disappears again. Brera then secretly launches in his Valkyrie from the Macross Frontier with orders to destroy a Vajra nest and stop some sample collecting. That sample collecting is actually the current mission of the S.M.S pilots who are already in the process of searching for the nest in one sector of space. Kuran eventually finds the derelict ship that’s serving as the nest, but as she’s fighting the Vajra guarding it, Brera’s Valkyrie enters the battle.
Although Brera fights the Vajra, he also shoots at Kuran’s Queadluun-Rea, and after a fierce battle, he disables it. Alto comes to Kuran’s aid, and as he engages Brera’s Valkyrie, he reveals to Mikhail that he heard about Jessica. Kuran had told him before the battle that Mikhail was raised by his sister Jessica after their parents died early on. Jessica had been an excellent sniper, but on one occasion, she accidentally shot an ally in a friendly fire incident. This ally had been her superior and also her lover, but the two were breaking up, and so what she did was seen as intentional. It led to her court-martial, and Jessica ended up committing suicide. Because of this, Kuran had felt that Mikhail had continued searching for the reality behind friendly fire. Back in the current battle, Kuran watches as Mikhail tries to line up a shot past her disabled Queadluun-Rea and at Brera’s Valkyrie. At Alto’s urging, he finally shoots, and this time, he narrowly misses blowing off the head of his target. Despite the damage to his Valkyrie, Brera goes through with his mission of destroying the nest and then escapes. In the aftermath, Mikhail visits his sister’s grave on the Frontier and thinks to himself that he still doesn’t understand what his sister was thinking when she pulled the trigger. However, after seeing Kuran secretly watching him and after making up with Alto, he feels that he’ll understand someday.
Did I miss something? When did Alto get his Valkyrie back? I thought it got blown to smithereens a couple of episodes ago during that Vajra battle. If it’s a new one, you’d think that by now they’d consider him a liability since he doesn’t exactly have a good record with machines – his insurance rates must be insane. I actually thought that they’d have made a bigger deal out of this before maybe eventually giving him some sort of upgrade (and it reminds me again of how the earring also didn’t turn out to be that important after all). I guess if this proves anything, it’s that Alto has good piloting skills regardless of how souped-up of a machine he flies – he even managed to blow off the leg of Brera’s superior Valkyrie. Speaking of Brera, it appears that he’s aligned with a third side not associated with either the Vajra or the S.M.S. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s connected to and/or working for Leon.
Overall, I thought this was another good episode with lots of exciting space battles (clearly where all the animation budget is going). If I had a complaint about this, it was that this was relatively standalone. Yes, Brera was in there and caused some trouble, but it felt like things were just back to normal/reset by the end of the episode. I just don’t see the Jessica stuff having much of a lasting impact on the story, so this felt like a one-shot character development episode. There’s technically nothing wrong with that, but it might have been better if they had woven it deeper with the overall plot. I also wish they had done more with the KuranXMikhail angle, but perhaps there’ll be more of that in the future. And on that note, I have to say that it was also kind of odd and amusing to see her slap Mikhail’s Valkyrie instead of him. She probably would have killed him if she had slapped his human body, but I guess that’s part of the problem of having an inter-species relationship.
As for next week, it looks like it’ll connect this series with the Macross Zero OVA from a few years ago via a movie that Ranka gets a part in. Something more to look forward to…