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Episode 16: Ranka Attack

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 7, 2008

 

Summary

 

While fighting the Vajra, Alto recalls his conversation with Birla. Birla stated that his dream was to unite the galaxy that's divided by fold faults into one to make travel faster. He said it was all possible thanks to the Vajra. As the battle ends, Alto and another Messiah pilot tow four captured Vajra mecha back to the Macross Quarter. Monica wonders what they need Vajra carcasses for, and Mena guesses that it must be for research. Michael points out that Alto seems to be more enthusiastic about work lately, but Alto shrugs it off. They both greet Ranka when her car pulls up, and Alto stares down Brera. Later, Brera stands in the back of the classroom, and the teacher asks if he can leave. Alto yells at Brera for being an outsider and tries to punch him, but Brera easily knocks him down to the ground, saying he can forcefully remove anything that hinders his mission. The girls in the classroom cheer about how cool Brera is. At lunch, Michael teases Alto about what happened and asks if Birla told him anything, but Alto answers that it was nothing. In her car, Ranka tells Grace she doesn't need a bodyguard, but Grace asks her to put up with it. Ranka says she wants to be with Elmo, but Grace reminds her that this was the government's request. Ranka asks about Sheryl, and Grace comments that even if Sheryl wasn't hospitalized, she can easily manage both of them. She gives Ranka a disc to listen to what will be her next single - a propagandized rendition of "Aimo" with new lyrics. Grace points out that the song is the only thing Ranka remembers from her past, and she wants the world to hear it since it wasn't cut as a single for Bird Human. Later, Grace has Ranka do humanitarian work for photo ops in the heavily damaged Island 14. In the hospital, Sheryl watches Ranka on TV and is surprised to see Grace with her. At Formo, Elmo drowns his sorrows about losing Ranka in alcohol. As the day ends, Grace tells Ranka that her appearance got major screen time on TV. Later, Ranka records the new version of "Aimo," but it isn't going well. Brera gives her a drink and asks her why she's hesitating with her song. He tells her that her singing makes him feel like the universe is embracing him. Ranka looks at his harmonica and asks him how he knows "Aimo," but he tells her it's top secret. The green creature, which Ranka has named Ai, jumps out of her backpack, and she tells it to get back inside. In an observation lounge, Alto thinks again about what Birla told him regarding fold quartz. As Alto walks by a fountain, he looks over and sees a sickly Sheryl. He asks her why she's there, and she says she didn't come to see him. He wants to take her back to the hospital, but she says she doesn't want to be locked in anywhere.

 

Alto takes Sheryl to his quarters on the Macross Quarter, and she starts punching him when he misunderstands the situation. She's happy when he expresses concern for her, and he notices her earring. Michael walks in at that moment and reminds Alto that he's supposed to put a handkerchief on the door when he has a woman over. Alto says he wouldn't be with a woman like Sheryl, and she starts arguing with him. Just then, Cathy calls and tells them they have a secret mission to protect Ranka while she sings. Ozma drops by Leon's office and yells at him for proposing to have Ranka sing to the Vajra, but Leon points out that she agreed to it. After everyone launches, Michael comments that there are several high-ranking officers in the military who support the Minmay Attack, but he wonders if it will work on the Vajra. Klan comments that music may have worked on the Zentradi and Protodeviln, but the Vajra are just simple animals. However, Luca thinks that even animals like the Vajra have some form of communication, so there must be a way of reaching out to them. Nearby, Ozma straps Ranka into her seat in Canaria's Konig Monster. He asks Ranka if this is what she wishes for, and she tells him it is. On the Macross Quarter, Sheryl violates Alto's instructions and sneaks out of his quarters. Cathy tells Ozma that they'll be working with a team from the Macross Galaxy led by Brera. On the bridge, everyone is shocked by Sheryl's appearance, and Jeffrey asks for an explanation. Sheryl says that she's heard about the secret mission and wants to see everything with her own eyes. Howard asks how the Vajra will hear the music in space, and Leon explains that there's fold waves in Ranka's singing. Operation Ranka Attack begins, and Ozma's units fire missiles at a Vajra nest to lure them out. Cathy asks Brera why his team isn't doing anything, and he says that if they took action now, it wouldn't be an experiment. At Grace's urging, Ranka starts singing the new "Aimo O.C." Grace detects a fold wave from the song, and the Vajra stop attacking. Everyone is shocked by what they're seeing, and Brera begins destroying the Vajra. The SMS units also attack and destroy the Vajra. The Vajra mecha start attacking again, and one of them focuses on the Konig Monster. Alto tries to help, but Brera shoots through his wing and destroys the Vajra. Brera tells Alto that he isn't fit for Ranka and that he'll protect her himself. After the battle, the bridge crew comments that Ranka's like Minmay, but Bobby says that's outdated and that she's like Basara. Ranka wonders if doing this will make things alright.

 

Commentary

 

The last episode ended with Alto meeting train freak Birla, and we don't see the whole conversation, just bits that Alto remembers later. Birla wants to unite the galaxy and remove fold faults, something which is connected to the Vajra and fold quartz. Birla sports a large ring made from fold quartz, and Alto notices the similarity to Sheryl's earring, which is also made of fold quartz. Alto has certainly become more aggressive in combat, but that doesn't help him much when he tries to confront Brera at school and makes a fool of himself. It's taken a while, but this series is finally going down the path of its predecessors and using music as a weapon. There's hesitation about whether music will work on the Vajra the same way it did on the Zentradi and Protodeviln, but Ranka shows it is possible, if only for a short while. Sheryl's sickness continues to be a problem, although it provides for some amusement when Michael assumes that Alto is shacking up with her. The true motive behind Grace's plan remains unknown, but it obviously involves manipulating the Vajra to some end.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Macross Frontier Episode 16 Macross Frontier Episode 16

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