Macross Frontier Episode 06 (Bye Bye Sheryl)

+20/+20/+20/+30 Support Boosts To Ranka’s Confidence Stat All Round

Okay so this week I’m going to have to do a shorter summary again and I’m sure people don’t mind at all given the irritating length that I’m aware some of my articles can go on for.  So without further ado, Macross Frontier Episode 06 Quickie Edition.

Summary:  The Zentradi record producer signs Ranka to a contract with Ozma’s approval (given in the most dramatic fashion possible) and Alto, Michel, Lucy and Nanase take her out to celebrate and form her first official fan club. (Complete with the coolest mood expression table I’ve ever seen) Meanwhile President Glass is getting ready to make an official announcement regarding the Vajra saying the time must come and he feels now is best.  Leon does not seem to approve.  Meanwhile Sheryl is getting ready for her fairwell concert when she learns of the attack on the Galaxy Fleet.  Alto makes a boneheaded maneuver by indicating that he was with someone else at the mall when her heard her song as if to unintentionally say he wasn’t interested in her and gives her a ticket to Shery’s concert,  but as Michel begins to call him an idiot the President begins an emergency broadcast across all vid windows.

A Prelude To Space War III?

Glass tells everyone the unfortunate news of the Macross Galaxy’s fate and also states that he has declared a state of emergency and a plan of action in order to assist the Galaxy and protect the Frontier.  Ozma also calls Michel to give the unnofficial news that they are about to be deployed.  Meanwhile Leon again seems to be up to his own agenda as when talking about a Sheryl Nome interview with Katherine he says that the “offical appointment” will come later.  Michel later tells Alto that they are now under exception clause b, which forbids them from withdrawing from any government contract during war time, which this qualifies as.  In other words Alto is here until the job is done.  Soon the Sheryl Nome interview broadcasts and she portrays a strong “the show must go on” attitude with regard to the concert not being cancelled and her belief that her home is safe and she will return there.  Alto decides to go out to talk to her and in the meantime the SMS Battleship is being deployed and Katherine assigned to it’s bridge crew.

A Promise Kept

When he gets there he returns the earring as promised and meanwhile a few ships from the Galaxy defold in front of the Skull Squadron and seem to have Vajra attached to them.  Alto and Sheryl continue to talk and she explains that the earrings are a memento from her mother who she doesn’t really recall all that well and leaves it at that.  The conversation shifts to Alto’s distaste for the Frontier Cities lack of a sky, which doesn’t feel right to him as a pilot and Sheryl is about to talk about Galaxy a bit when Michel calls and orders Alto back to the hangars for deployment.  Their mission, assist the survivors of the galaxy and fend of the Vajra.  ESCORT MISSION LEVEL TIME!  First though Sheryl comes clean that she hated the Galaxy since she had no family, relatives and friends and she allows Alto to keep the earrings as a keepsake, but that he has to return it.

….He Gave It A Name….Luca’s Definitely Got A Metrosexual Thing Going On

At Long Last

Holy Crap, This Could Be A Music Video Or Something.  Actually It’s At Least 50 Times Better Done Then The Average Japanese Music Video Since Half The Time I Don’t Have Any Idea What The Fuck Is Going On In Any Of Them

Saraba Frontier Yo Tabidatsu Fune Wa
Uchuu Senkan Macross Quarter

The Macross Quarter makes it’s maiden launch at the command of the captain as Sheryl begins her concert and Ranka rushes to get there.  Ozma gives a speech to his men saying that not one of them is going to die and they will return to the Frontier.  As they begin their fold Ranka arrives at the concert to see it as if both her and Sheryl are seeing them off to the tune of Diamond Crevasse.


Much of this episode spends time tying up the plotlines relevant to the Frontier City story arc as the SMS is about to head off on it’s journey to rescue the Galaxy fleet, not knowing if and when they are going to be back.  It’s good that they spent the time doing this, but it does make this episode a bit slow moving and mostly set up.  That’s not a bad thing though and we do get to learn a bit more about Sheryl.  It seems likely that the reason she was envious of Ranka is that Ranka has the friends and support she wish she had as a child and Sheryl almost seems to realize that her existence as an idol is a hollow one as for all the adoration she is showered with, it’s not a reciprocal or deep meaningful relationship like the one she has with Alto.  Seeing as how the earrings are the closest thing she has to something resembling a familial relationship I think the fact she gave it to Alto means he’s something like a first true friend to her, or likely even a romantic interest.  The time they spent together was short, but it obviously seems to have had a huge impact on her as she wishes him off in another expertly timed scene where the lyrics seem to match exactly what is happening on the screen.  I love the stylish fades to the ending sequence where the music starts early and while Sunrise seems especially fond of them, Macross Frontier’s staff sort of goes a step further by actually making it part of the episodes actual context instead of just an ending theme before it becomes one.  Extremely nice touch.

Ranka’s short on screen time this episode, mostly content to worry about her brother and Alto and it sucks for her that she doesn’t even have time to enjoy her new recording contract.  Poor girl.  On the political front I have to say that Howard Glass seems like an honest politician, but I don’t trust Leon at all.  There’s no other explanation for his cryptic comments other then him having something to do with all of this.  Could the Vajra be a failed experiment that went from on the 117th fleet?  And what does Ranka have to do with this.  So wait….there is sort of some new plot details going on her, just absolutely nothing to build off of yet.  Reminds me of Code Geass’ current “kill god” situation with the Emperor.

Anyway, so aside from a few questionable character art consistency issues the episode is reasonably solid.  Not good, not great, but above average, mostly thanks to the last 6 or so minutes.  I can’t wait for this series to really start feeling like a Macross though.  The Macross Quarter has launched and now the fireworks should really begin.  Even just seeing the bridge bunnies (a bunch of Ruris) and the captain actually get some lines as well as the shots of the bridge and outside of the Quarter gave me a nostalgic feel.  It’s time to get serious… episode.

Rating: Seven Out Of Ten



6 Responses to “Macross Frontier Episode 06 (Bye Bye Sheryl)”

  1. 1 d3v May 15, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Hmm, isn’t the “Johann” tha tLuca’s cleaning a Ghost X-9 and not his Valk?

  2. 2 Kaioshin Sama May 15, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    I’m pretty sure he pilots a different model Valkyrie then the rest of the Skull Squadron so I assume it’s his still.

  3. 3 Haesslich May 15, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    re: The music fading into the credits – Sunrise does this on occasion… but I’ve only noticed it with the ‘Special’ movie compilations, like the Gundam SEED Special 3 (IIRC), where they had Akatsuki no Kuruma used in the same spot where it was at the end of Episode 39 (the return to space), but instead of fading the music out they continued all the way through to the end. But it works much, much better here since it feels a lot more organic in terms of storytelling – and the song fits the action very well, especially with Alto and Ozma, who are close to the two heroines, heading out with the possibility of not returning. The impulse that made Sheryl give the earring back, in order to force Alto to have to return it later to keep the promise he’d made, after noticing his SMS jacket fits with the theme of the song. Well… sorta.

    The next episode seems to make up the Ranka time, and in a big way. More action, but more music. Welcome back, old Macross. You’ve been missed. And no ‘we fight you with music’ action, like Macross 7 either.

  4. 4 Haesslich May 15, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    And the Vajra were first encountered 16 years ago, according to Leon’s briefing in the last episode, so I doubt they’re a human experiment. The 117th Fleet only got wiped out some 12 years back, so they predate human experimentation… but they fold. And only cultures derived from the Protoculture which predated everyone did that, as far as we know…

  5. 5 Kaioshin Sama May 16, 2008 at 5:50 am

    @Haesslich: I accidently used the word fade when what I meant to say was segue. In other words the ending music often starts before the actual credit sequence begins in shows like iDOLM@STER Xenoglossia or Gundam 00. And that’s right I just went through a sentence where I talked about a Sunrise trope in a neutral manner. It is possible believe it or not bloggers. Though I know there’s is a massive mental block this day and age for saying Sunrise without following it up with something they’ve apparently done horribly wrong, so I can understand. 😛

    Prediction for Macross Frontier Episode 07. The rescue mission goes horribly wrong and the SMS get’s owned up by the Vajra. Nothing really get’s done in Macross until somebody starts singing and that ship does not have a singer on it. Captain Wilder needs to make a U-Turn and pick up Ranka now! Right Now!

    And I just wanted to add that for all the complaining people have had for saying that Code Geass R2 is dicking around with it’s plot, I’ve felt Macross Frontier is actually moving a bit slower since it only kicked into high gear at the end of this episode while Code Geass R2 arguably started around episode 4, but then unfortunately broke momentum with 5. Not that I have a problem with that as long as both keep building with episode 07 now, but then why the big meltdowns on the internet about R2’s progression these days. Oh Sunrise drama, you’re as predictable as the Sun rising in the morning. (Horrible Pun) Either that or people have impossible expecations put on everything they do.

    …..Now I just have this mental image of Jason Miao and Darkmirage leading a crowd in 2 minutes hate of yelling at the sun when they wake up in the morning. I need to sleep and hopefully the Macross Frontier Episode 07 sub will be ready by then.

  6. 6 Haesslich May 16, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Kaioshin: Bad news for you. Predictions are… wrong. And as far as the ‘music fading in as the credits are about to roll thing’, that’s pretty traditional Sunrise, at least since SEED, which is where I first noticed it – the first episode’s extended version of “Annaniisho Datta No nii”, and then how it ramped up every episode after to show things were ending. And with the Special collations, they tend to fade into the full version of the song for the episode that they’re ending things, like SEED did with “Akatsuki no Kuruma” and SEED Destiny did with “Vestige”, at least from the ones I remember.

    By the way, Johanne/Jehanne is one of the VF-25 recon version’s drones. He has three, and we’ll see them in use in Episode 7 again. And with Geass R2, they keep doing reverses to show Lelouch in command of the situation… or not, as Episode 5 and 6 showed. Macross F’s been working more on building the relationships which will act as the foundations for the drama later, which is why we get ‘slow’ episodes like the mall episode, as well as this one. The relationships between everyone in the triangle-to-be are almost as important as the love-that-entangles everyone; usually because either the two women have a rivalry and dislike one another… or are sisters as they were in Zero, or else were close friends who became distant as Guld and Isamu were in Plus. It’s that extra factor in the triangle (the relationship between the rivals) which drives things in Macross, unlike your standard harem love triangles, squares, or polygons.

    What this boils down to is ‘Sheryl and Ranka’s relationship with one another is as important to the story as any love-links between each of them and Alto’. In this series, it’s Sheryl seeing Ranka as a protege, rival, or a friend who shares the gift of music with her. In Macross the original, it was Misa being frustrated by Hikaru’s fixation on Minmay which eventually led to a friendship towards the end. In Plus, it was how the broken friendship between Guld and Isamu influenced events by the end of the series.

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