When Sheryl had come to see Alto on the school rooftop, he had felt that she wanted to sing again and had caught her when she felt faint. With Sheryl in his arms, Alto had asserted that she wouldn’t abandon singing and had reminded her of how many people her songs reached, but their conversation is cut short when Ranka suddenly appears. Ranka assumes that she’s interrupting something and tries to run off, however she trips and falls flat on her face. The pain Ranka feels makes her want to die, and that causes a reaction in the Vajra inside the Macross Frontier. One of their first victims is the sniper who was trying to kill Howard Glass, and they soon start wreaking havoc all over the colony ship. Howard manages to get away safely, and one of the first things he does is to call Leon to tell him about the problem. This surprises Leon because he expected Howard to be dead already, and while Leon isn’t paying attention, Ozma and Cathy escape from his office.
In response to the developing situation, Alto begs Ranka to sing in order to protect the city, but she refuses to do so and declares that she’s not a tool to fight the Vajra. This leaves Alto unsure of what to do, so Sheryl takes the matter into her own hands by literally slapping some sense into Ranka. Sheryl feels that Ranka is a pro who has a power in her voice that Sheryl can’t have even if she wanted it, and although this convinces Ranka to sing, she does so with a pain in her heart. Instead of pacifying the Vajra though, this only causes their assault to intensify. Even more Vajra then emerge from the bowels of the ship, and Ranka stops singing when she realizes what’s happening. To make matters worse, the Macross Quarter suddenly detects numerous large Vajra defolding in the space around the Macross Frontier. In the midst of this chaos, Alto meets up with Mikhail and the others and proposes that they head for the S.M.S base where there are more weapons.
When Sheryl and Nanase get separated from everyone due to a stray shell creating a firewall between them, Sheryl urges the others to go on ahead so that they can put a stop to this. Alto thus grabs Ranka’s hand and runs, and as she’s being pulled along, Ranka notices how hot his hand is – it reminds of a similar feeling from her past. The person who was with her back then – Brera – is currently looking for her, but he gets instructions from Grace to go out and fight in his Valkyrie instead. Grace believes that the Vajra won’t harm the Little Queen, and she forces Brera to follow her orders. Ozma and Cathy meanwhile are making their way to the Battle Frontier via a shortcut when they find Howard’s bullet-ridden body – courtesy of Leon – lying in a corridor. By now, Alto’s group had made their way to the S.M.S base and have picked up some weapons and EX-Gears. While Alto and Mikhail hold off the Vajra, Kuran strips her clothes off so that she can enter the nearby macronization chamber, but she first takes a moment to ask Mikhail again about where his feelings of love lie. After Mikhail jokes about it without answering, Kuran decides that he is a coward, so she punches him and kisses him while he’s leaning down. She also confesses that she loves him before running to the chamber.
In an emergency shelter elsewhere in the city, Sheryl tends to Nanase’s wounds and overhears all the frightened people questioning why Ranka isn’t singing to stop the Vajra. Remembering what Alto had said to hear back on the school rooftop, Sheryl pulls out her earring and decides that if Ranka is the songstress of hope, then Sheryl will sing during despair. She thus starts singing Diamond Crevasse, and this calms everyone by drawing their attention to her. Back at the macronization room, Mikhail wonders about risking your life for the person you really love, and moments later, three Vajra burst through the room’s walls. The Vajra target Kuran, but Mikhail gets in their way and manages to take two of them out. The last one, however, comes at him from behind and succeeds at stabbing him in the gut. Despite his wound, Mikhail refuses to let the Vajra hurt Kuran and charges it, killing it and blasting a hole in the outer wall. As he floats past the macronization chamber afterwards, Mikhail apologizes to Kuran for not being able to say this sooner: he loves her. He then gets sucked out through the hole into space, leaving behind only his glasses.
Well that was depressing, though not completely unexpected. I suspected that they’d kill off either Mikhail or Kuran this episode, and it turned out to be the former (though it wouldn’t surprise me if Kuran died next week given how she looks in the preview). I had been hoping the two would get a happy ending, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. Mikhail got a very nice/heroic death scene instead, with Sheryl singing Diamond Crevasse (so that’s why they named the episode that) in the background, and he was able to say that he loved Kuran at the very end after saving her. Plus the shot of the broken glasses after the ED – which was incidentally just a continuation of Diamond Crevasse with credits over a black background – was a nice sentimental touch.
I’m glad at least that Sheryl is back in the groove, though it irks me that – as if to balance Sheryl out – Ranka lost so much confidence. I realize that it’s something like a zero-sum game since theoretically only one of them can end up with Alto, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to watch. Ranka’s despair has bigger consequences though because of the implied effect her feelings have on the Vajra, and I hope she doesn’t ever realize that she might indirectly or partially be responsible for Mikhail’s death. Now that I think about it, if there’s one lesson I hope Mikhail’s death taught to the others, it’s that you shouldn’t be indecisive about love and the people that matter to you. And while I doubt it’ll happen soon, something like that could lead to Alto finally choosing between Ranka and Sheryl.
On a related note, now that the shit has begun to hit the fan, I wonder how many more of the cast will die. As I mentioned, Kuran’s one possibility, Luca is another, and there’s always the chance one of the main three won’t make it.