「旋風ドッグファイト」 (Senpu Doggufaito)
Just like that, the overconfident rookie gets his wings, and it’s whirlwind initiation for both Hayate and Freyja as they get whipped into shape by a variety of early challenges. With Mirage hot on his tail (literally), Hayate learns the hard way that there’s more to flying than natural talent and confidence, and Freyja receives a lesson in regards to what it means to fight and the battlefields that exist outside of actual skirmishes. As expected, Mikumo’s subtle guidance goes a long way towards the latter’s growth, and with it comes the arrival of a main duo whose natural chemistry is nothing short of impressive.
Granted, it remains to be seen how long it’ll stay a duo given Mirage’s rapid catch up this week, but it’s all Freyja and Hayate for now, and it’s readily apparent in everything they do. Even the backdrops used in their respective scenes are emphasized more than others, and even what would be a casual stroll ends up being so much more. This is a pair whose every interaction reeks of two people that love each other’s company whether they realize it or not, and the fact that both of them rely on one another to succeed at their respective roles makes their link all the more apparent. It’s a match made in heaven as the two inspire one another to take things to the next level, even if it makes you wonder what disasters could happen if the two somehow get separated at some point in the future. Given that the opposing faction seems to consist of other Windermeres, this seems likely to happen sooner rather, and in hindsight it seems like a fitting confirmation given that they’re known as the “Kingdom of the Wind.”
With that said, this episode continues to bring us nostalgic moments reminiscent of other past series, and it was quite the surprise seeing the VF-1 back in all of its glory. Having a whirlwind of a dogfight utilizing them, then contrasting them with the newest VF-31 was a fabulous showcase of past versus present, and the fact that it was quite reminiscent of the dogfighting in Macross Zero made it all the more better. It didn’t quite have the same life and death stakes, and Hayate ain’t no Roy Focker, but it was a nice touch nonetheless, especially when you consider that Macross Δ also brings back the SV line of fighters we last saw in—you guessed it—Zero. Adding to things are the obvious similarities between how Hayate and Freyja are growing closer to one another in the same ways we saw Ranka and Alto grow closer in Frontier, and while I can’t find a screenshot handy off the episodes we covered on RC at the moment, this goes as far as the backdrop we see here (which is nearly identical to one we see in a scene with Ranka and Alto early on in Frontier) and the whole bit with the nyan nyan restaurant/dorm.
And so, with this episode comes yet another week that flew by faster than expected (pun intended), and here’s hoping that by next week Jenius won’t smell too much like vomit. The fact that he didn’t beat the crap out of Hayate still surprises me, but aside from that, mercats are awesome and I still want one. Here’s looking forward to Freyja’s concert debut—can you believe we haven’t even gotten to that yet?—and what should be a new set of catchy themes I’ll look forward to repeating endlessly.