When I Was Talking About Frontiers Lack Of Lighting Effects On Random Curiousity I Wasn’t Joking Around Eh
So when last we left off Ozma Lee was all but waving a flag with a skull on it. And no I don’t mean the banner of the Skull Squadron, but the symbol of death itself, as in Ozma has a death wish. Will he follow through on said death wish and realize it? I for one am about to find out.
Are The Vajra Hax?
He Probably Would Have Saved The Ship Damage Had He Not Decided To Wrestle With It. Also I Don’t Know If It’s The Encode Or The Episode Itself, But Man Is This Battle Really Dark
So It Isn’t Quite Clear Yet If Luca Is Just A Poor Pilot Or If The Vajra Has Some Sort Of Anti-Locking Mechanism. GN Particles? No, Kidding….
The episode starts off with a brief recap of the events at the end of the last episode, with Ozma deploying to fight off the Vajra and Sheryl pointing the weird hook thing at Alto again saying he’s found her. After I get blindsided into hearing the first three or seconds of the opening and promptly skipping past, (And really I’ve gotta be completely honest when I say I still find this song to just be AWFUL. Yoko Kanno’s vocal songs have always been a mixed bag to me, but this is the only one that I literally cannot listen to as it’s so shrill and pitchy on Sakamoto’s part and with an uninspired instrumental accompaniment by Kanno that it will never grow on me like some of her other songs such as After In The Dark or Voices. Also make note that I don’t care in the slightest if the name behind a song is a famous one, if I think it sucks, I think it sucks. I beg the Macross Frontier staff to have a second opening and give the duo of Kanno and Sakamoto a second shot, because I know from experience that they can make some of the most beautiful music together. It’s a shame this isn’t one of those pieces of music.) we see that a Vajra has made it’s way right up next to the city shape and as Ranka screams Ozma makes his way back for the rescue and promptly get’s swatted away. As he struggles with it he contacts the Frontier’s captain (a poor Gloval wannabe) asking why the military hasn’t sent backup yet, and cursing their inaction when he learns of the president’s failure to give orders, continues to take matters into his own hands
Jeez Man! What Does It Take To Bring These Things Down. They Must Be Mechanical Or Protodevln Knockoffs Or Something To Survive That. Or They Have Some Plot Armour As This One Survived A Shot Through The Head Area, While The Other One Went Down With One Stab From Ozma’s Shiv Last Episode. As Much As People Said The Gundam’s In 00 Were Hax For Being Able To Take A Lot Of Punishment, When They Were Hit Clean Near The End Of The Season They Were Down. The Vajra, Apparently Not So Much, But We’ll See
Yeah This Is Going To Be A Long Hard Battle If The Elite Skull Squadron Is This Mismatched As A Trio Against One Single Vajra
Ranka Get’s The Royal Treatment
That’s Sheryl Playing The Common Sense Role Indeed
As he wrestles around with the Vajra (resulting in the ship taking some fire in the process), Michel and Luca come by to assist him. Luca tries to draw a bead on it, but can’t lockon for whatever reason and it’s up to Michel to try and use his sniper skills. (By the way, the music hear really does sound like it’s out of a John William’s soundtrack crossed with Stargates music as a friend of mine claimed) His shot is on the marks, but as Ozma is busy congratulating him the Vajra shows it’s not quite dead and swats him away again, this time doing substantial damage. It now starts trying to borrow it’s way into the ship and as the glass starts cracking a quick thinking Alto leads Sheryl and Ranka to safety through an escape hatch. On the city level of the ship the order for evacuation has been given (why I’m not sure as the damage is only to a small portion of the city ship) and citizens are ordered to the nearest shelters. Down below deck, Ranka is having a little spaz out when she is gripping Alto’s uniform and when he starts to get irritated she apologizes and says she’s fine. Alto however is annoyed by the fact that Ozma and Michel saved him again Sheryl starts playing the common sense role by being blunt that he’s not in the position to play hero just yet and that for the sake of their mental state they should get moving and find a way back to the city. However Alto points out that they are in an emergency shelter and there is no connection to the dome. They are trapped….
Oh God I Don’t Like Where This Is Going
Eyes Glazing Over….
You Have Got To Be Kidding Me……
Back in the battle things start to heat up, and as if to state this, Sheryl says it’s getting hot in the shelter right as some stray fire hits the area they are near, knocking them all over and cutting the power. When it comes back on for some reason she is semi-topless (……what?) and with a dopey grin on her face she gives Alto a slap. (The silly music playing and the scene itself seem straight out of something like Shuffle. I don’t know, I could go for some of Gundam 00’s hard boiled nature right now as this series takes a bit of a turn for the goofy with it’s harem fanservice. Though apparently for others it’s the other way around and Gundam 00 is the one with the skinservice and Macross Frontier is hard boiled and dead serious. How this is I still don’t know, or maybe it’s just that Gundam 00 received ten times the bitching for 1/10th the fanservice, while Macross though, it’s perfectly cool. Hypocrits….) Sheryl bitches at him a little and Ranka tries to kill the tension a bit by bringin out some NyanNyan hot buns (which for some reason are in the shape of breasts) that cause Alto and Sheryl to start giggling as Sheryl calls Ranka cute.
This Looks Like A Recipe For Disaster
I For One Welcome The Return Of Melodrama After That Questionable First Half
Yeah I Think We’re Out Of The Harem Woods And Into The Family Drama
There’s a little more talk about some things including Ozma’s duplicity as to his job and soon Sheryl starts to talk about how she is blessed with fortune and will take matters into her own hands. As she climbs the ladder towards the hatch luck is on her side as the hatch opens and on the other side is her manager ready to rescue them (or her). Back in space the Skull Squadron has done it’s job, but in a Roy Focker moment Ozma says he has bled to much and he passes out as his fighter begins to spin out of control towards the city. Back in the city Sheryl is telling Alto to forget what he saw and that she’ll make him regret it if anything gets leaked to the internet. She teases him that she’ll provide favours if he keeps quite (Ranka’s hair does that stand up thing again as she gets frazzled), but quickly makes it obvious she was kidding. Before driving off though she gives Ranka some advice that if she loves singing that the chance is right in front of her to make something of it and not to let it pass her by. One of the rescuers quickly get’s word that Ozma Lee has been injured and a surprised Ranka get’s the shock of her life as his fighter is brought over their heads. an upside down and unconcious Ozma clearly visible. She runs after it before hitting a barrier screaming that he said he had stopped piloting. Soon the trauma overwhelms her and she ends up fainting right before the eyecatch.
Family Drama Indeed. This Is The Kind Of Thing Liable To Become A Relevant Plot Point Later
In the hospital Ozma relates to his crew how he tried to keep his piloting job with the SMS a secret a physician comes into his room now and explains that Ranka has dissociative amnesia. This means that her episode was caused by the trauma of repressed memories of something related or familiar to what happened to die all coming. A rather bold Alto asks what that situation was and Ozma says that Ranka lost all her blood relatives a long time ago and that he’s not Ranka’s real brother. He apparently tried to rescue her family during an “abominable incident” and failed, thus blaming himself as an insufficient pilot. Ranka has since forgetten about it and decided to be a pilot so he can protect her. Alto get’s upset and says this only led to making things worse and Ozma grabs him by the colour and gives him a shake asking what he was supposed to do. This causes his wounds to reopen. Fed up with all the secrecy and wanting a way to help now he demands that Ozma tell him what the Vajra are. Ozma says he’ll give him 24 hours to think over whether he really wants to know and what his cause is for desiring to fight them.
We’re Running The Censored Version Of The Leon x Kathyrn Scene On Animehistory This Week
A Couple Weeks And I’ll Be Chilling In One Of Those…..Hell Ours Is A Bit Bigger Actually. Ohhhhhhh Can’t Wait 😀
In the elevator on the way down Alto talks with Michel and Luca about the prospect of being an SMS pilot and Alto thinks about how if that happens this time Luca will be his senior. Michel tells them to cut the nonesense and says to Alto straight up that he’s only been flying for a year and is not experienced enough to survive what would be ahead of him. Meanwhile at the government building Leon is going over the files concerning witnesses of the Vajra incident when he comes across Ranka Lee’s and seems to recognize with shock that she’s involved. It’s apparently his private time now though and he goes down on Katherine pretty quickly. (Just invision your own porno music as he works his tongue in there too) Meanwhile Sheryl is chilling in the bathtub when a commerical notifies her to the fact that she’s missing one of her earrings. She smirks that she will now have to see “him” again.
Best Looking Sky In An Anime Ever. (Well That I’ve Seen At Least)
Now You Heard Me Say I Was Unimpressed WIth The Character Scenes In The Shelter, But Here’s A Scene I Just Love In The Episode. The Character Bonding Scene Between Ranka And Alto Feels Natural Here With The Relaxing Music, The Calm Wind Blowing Through Their Hair And The Laid Back Nature Of The Whole Scene As We See The Beauty Of The Cityscape And Shell In The Background. Whereas The Shelter One With Sheryl Involved Felt Forced, This One Felt Just Right. Maybe That Is Something To Keep In Mind, That Sheryl Is And Alto Don’t Mix Well….At Least Right Now, While Ranka And Alto Seem At Ease With Each Other
If By That You Mean Out Of Place And Awkardly Written Character Then I Suppose She’s Something Else
This Throwing Of The Paper Airplane Seems To Mean To Me That Alto Has Rid Himself Of His Excess Baggage And Weaknesses (The Paper Airplane Symbolizes What He Was, A Greenhorn And Vulernable Novice Pilot). With The Weak Old Alto Symbolically Discarded Into The Skies Of The Frontier City, Alto Seems Ready To Follow It With His New Stronger Pair Of Wings In The Form Of The VF-25
Slight Goosebumps Here With This Scene And Ranka’s Song. Nothing Gets Me Like A Noble Military Funeral And The Old 21-Gun Salute
So Long Gilliam, We Hardly Knew Ya
As Alto is doing some soul searching her hears of the planned funeral for the victims of the Vajra incident and soon he is wrestling with a voice in his head that tells him he’s running. (The camera pan that zooms around his body during this is something to behold). As a subtle wind blows he starts to hear singing and finds Ranka sitting behind a pillar in the same park where he is. They talk about some things such as Ranka’s lack of memory from her childhood, her admiration for Sheryl and her fears when they were trapped down below. Eventually Ranka starts to sing her song again. (Not surprisingly it’s in Yoko Kannoese) The funeral is then conducted for those who died in the incident including a special one conducted by the captain of the Frontier for Gilliam and attended by all the members of the SMS.
Afterward Ozma finds Alto and tells him that he should more or less put aside any delusions of playing a hero. Civilian military providers are not soldiers and there will be no flowers for their graves. (that reminds of certain line from a certain song from a certain series about other galactic heroes) Alto says that’s fine and he’ll live by his own terms and Ozma tells him to report to the dorms at 08:00 the next moring. Luca runs up and glomps him and Michel tells him he better see this through. Meanwhile elsewhere Ranka is auditioning for the next Miss Macross Frontier contest.
Well I have to be honest, right up until the near the end of the first half of this episode I thought it was actually pretty weak. I didn’t find the fanservice in this episode particularly well written or charming at all and the first half was a complete bust for me. I’m thinking I’m going to have to reevaluate my expectations for this series (that doesn’t mean lower them, just to change them) a bit next episode and then I should hopefully enjoy these moments a little bit more. That said I still didn’t find this episode as enjoyable as the first two and the part where the trio was stranded felt cringe worthy and forced rather than well written. (The writers seemed to think so to as later on in the episode much of it is completely ignored in the characters memories in favour of what should have been covered a little bit more in the first half. More on that later) Anyway I would have used that sequence to show more of Alto’s insecurities that were starting to come out during it and maybe had some contrasting words of sympathy from Ranka juxtaposed with some common sense criticism from Sheryl (which she did eventually give). Also I might have had a little more character bonding then what happened, something like them sharing their concerns about what is happening (because really a lot of the fear has really yet to be addressed on Ranka and Sheryl’s part at this point in the episode of the unknown enemy that threatens to destroy them. For all the havoc a lot of the characters besides Alto seem pretty nonchalant about it to the point where I wonder if the first episode wasn’t actually the first time they’d been attacked by the Vajra).
Of course I’m not the writer and we got the fanservice, which I continue to think is a lot more intrusive then it ever was in Gundam 00, which took a lot of flak for fanservice I felt was among the most subtle that I’d ever seen. This episode made it a little too obvious with the goofy music and camera angles though and the buns were just a bit to silly. Like I said, I’ll probably be readjusting my expectations to allow for comedy and goofy fanservice in this series as I am not the writer but the viewer, and therefore as much as I would change some things it’s not my vision nor can I do anything to change it. It’s best to just go along for the ride and see where it takes us at this point despite any misgivings I currently have at missed opportunities to define the series a little further.
Either way the fanservice wasn’t really what bothered me with the first half so much as what I felt was the out of character behaviour that felt forced in to achieve it and that the scene didn’t really lead to anything. (The good character development mostly happened during the second half and ignored much of what went on in the shelter besides the one thing that was actually important, that being the fear of the Vajra’s attack) Things such as Alto acting like an angsty kid out of nowhere when all hints pointed at his character being fairly mellow and laid back; with dreams of being outside flying, a strong sense of justice and a desire to do something for the city. There was no indication that he had that side of his character before and if it WAS something he was hiding that will come up later then it wasn’t really the best time to have it come forth.
Likewise, Sheryl who was previously shown to be a pop princess who has a nervous breakdown at the loss of a single videotape and who lives a pampered life more or less is seen suddenly dispensing common sense life advice out of nowhere as the circumstances fit it. Again it could be another side of her character that we haven’t seen yet (which I’m pretty sure by the end of the episode it is), but it couldn’t have come forth at a more inappropriate time as during and around a fanservice scene. It really kills the character development if it really was development and not people acting out of their established character when you are left wondering how serious it all was because of the circumstances of the events.
Intriguingly enough though, most of these concerns get addressed later in the episode and it all comes into focus a little bit more as everything that happened during the first half seems to get done over again with a different tone in terms of their recollections of what went on during the shelter scene. What this does though is arguably render the first half even more moot. (Of course this could just be that emotions were running high during the attack and people not thinking straight, but it still doesn’t change the fact that we can basically now ignore everything that went on during the shelter scene and just take Ranka and Alto’s later account of things in the park as what was really important regarding the second Vajra attack) We soon learn the truth about Ranka not being Ozma’s brother and some of the fear of the Vajra’s attack is covered on the part of both Ranka and Alto as well as a little bit more about why Sheryl was so screwy. I think it has to do with the fact that she’s found her course in life and wanted them to find theirs too, and the fretting and moaning wasn’t getting that done. (We’ll just ignore the nudity/slap scene for what it was, absolutely pointless) In any case, they do both help each other come to the right conclusions for what they must do (with a little prodding from Sheryl after their escape from the shelter). For Ranka it is to embed herself more in her love for singing by joining the Miss Macross Frontier Contest and for Alto it is to get more involved in the protection of the city and his love for aviaton by joining the SMS. All of these decisions feel very logical and natural to me in the second half compared to the bizareness of the first half that it almost feels like I was watching an entirely different show.
The last major point of the episode was a bit of development for the Skull Squadron. Luca shows in his sortie that he’s a pretty weak pilot and he doesn’t accomplish much. It could just be bad luck, but consider that he has inherited Hayao Kakizaki’s green colour scheme for his Valkyrie and Kakizaki was pretty much the worst pilot in all of the original series with both a death wish and the need to be bailed out constantly. I’m led to wonder if Luca has inherited the green (as in greenhorn or bloody useless) role. Also consider that Luca is incredibly clingy when it comes to his superiors and we have somebody who isn’t terribly likely to last long. Of course he very well could pull a Kakizaki and last far far long then he had any right to only to get blown up by a complete fluke. Michel on the other hand has Maximillian Jenius’ blue colour and has been doing the best out of all of them so far and those who have seen the original series also know that Max was considered a genius pilot who was far above the level of skill that even Roy Focker or Hikaru Ichijo exhibited and could not be shot down by anything later on.
Anyway, that’s really all I have to talk about for this episode. A weak somewhat inconsequential first half that get’s semi-retconned by the way the characters reflect on it during the second half. Why it originally comes across as comedic and goofy and later is reflected on as serious and terrifying is beyond me, but I’ll take the retcon if I can just ignore the bizzare character interactions of the first half. Plus I want to remember this episode more for the parts I liked including the funeral and Alto and Ranka’s scene in the park more then what I didn’t like. So recollection version it is.
Rating: Six And A Half Out Of Ten