Macross Frontier 02

マクロスF Episode 02
Macross F Ep. 02

SPOILER Summary: Alto fires away at the mysterious enemy unit (the Vajra, code named “Victor”) to save Rakan’s life as other members of the SMS fighter squadron arrive. They see the fighter engaged below and assume it is one of their members, Gilliam, until they see Gilliam is not in the cockpit but someone else. Ozama, the “oniichan” of Rakan, also arrives on the scene as Alto exhausts his ammunition supplies. He carefully gathers Rakan into the hand of his mecha unit, then still in half-form, rockets away through the streets, trying to avoid being taken. The other SMS pilots who observe this are impressed that an amateur can do so well.

Alto finds he runs out of space as the enemy closes in and a multi-storied building is in front of him. So he races up the side of the building and into the sky, were the Vajra continue to attack, blowing a hole open in the dome. The Valkyrie is damaged, causing Alto to lose Rakan, who’s being blown out the hole in the dome into space. However, Alto, held by a teather, launches himself at Rakan and manages to retrieve her, getting the Valkyrie back through the hole before it sealed itself, leading one SSS sniper trooper who’d given Alto some cover fire to remark on how green Alto is. The battle ends when one of the SMS guys manages to kill one of the Vajra units, and the rest retreat.

At school the next day, Alto is summoned by Lt. Catherine Glass (who’d been escorting Sheryl) and a couple of military guards for medical testing. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Rakan is with Ozama, whom she thinks just has an office job rather than still being a pilot. Rakan has just done her own medical tests and is describing the princess-looking guy who saved her when Also comes in with Catherine. So once Rakan’s gone, Ozama decides to pay a visit just as Catherine is making a proposal that Alto join the military. Because the craft Alto wrecked was one of their SMS fighters, his people, though civilians, have jurisdiction.

Once Ozama takes Alto to the SMS facility, they go underground were many of the new fighters are. We learn that the SMS people, while civilians, are hired to test out the new fighters in actual combat. Ozama wants to learn how Gilliam died since Alto was there and many others gather around to hear, including Alto’s high school flying teammates Mikhail and Luca. Meanwhile, Sheryl is throwing a wobbler about the tape of the concert and ends up taking off to find Alto. She tracks him to the SMS building where she encounters Rakan, who despite being a huge fan of Sheryl’s doesn’t recognize the pop star. As Rakan leads Sheryl into the SMS building, and they talks, mainly about Sheryl.

Down in the SMS building, the “Victor” alert goes off as one of the Vajra, who’d been hiding nearby, decides to attack. The pilots begin to scramble and Alto wants to fight along side them, but gets punched in the face for making such a request and literally thrown out. As the fighters launch, Rakan and Sheryl observe, with Rakan mentioning her brother before singing part of Sheryl’s song. Sheryl picks up the song, revealing her identity to Rakan, who’s amazed that her idol is here. The dejected Alto comes upon them with Sheryl apparently glad to finally have found him.

Thoughts: I know one of the trademarks of the Macross franchise is the singing, but at times, I could just do without it. I’m not much of one for musical-type stuff, though I’d be the first to admit that good music (even in song form) can add to a scene. However, for me, it was just a cringe moment to have Ranka suddenly break into song in the middle of her talk with Sheryl.

I liked how the SSS brought Alto in for questioning (in some ways, the scene of Ozama bringing Alto to the SSS building and down to where the “good stuff” is reminded me of when Shinji was brought to the Nerv facility in Neon Genesis Evangelion.) because they’d want to know how Gilliam died. However, I liked it even better when the SSS pilots, some of whom had seen Alto fight, forcefully rejected his request to fly a Valkyrie with them. No mater how good you are, an amateur is an amateur, and seeing the fight wasn’t a life-or-death, “we need everyone who can fly up in the sky” moment (ala the end of Star Wars), him being thrown out was a nice touch.

With Sheryl, Ranka, and Alto ending up together at the end, one wonders if this will form a love-triangle eventually. Sheryl seems interested from a purely business sense (it appeared she liked the video she saw of him). Ranka would be interested from a hero sense, seeing as how Alto has helped her out of a tough situation (her clothes getting wet before the concert in episode 1) and then saves her life.

OK, so we get a tiny glimpse as to why Alto’s hair is so girl-like (the son of a famous kabuki star) but that doesn’t explain why he still keeps the hair even though he’s apparently out of the kabuki training.

Overall, a pretty good first two episodes.

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