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Episode 18: Fold Fame

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 14, 2008

 

Summary

 

Sheryl asks Grace why she's Ranka's manager now, why she's being forced to stay in bed and why the Vajra understand Ranka's singing. She then starts coughing, and Grace tells her she's pitiful. Grace ells Sheryl she's just a fabricated idol, and that if it wasn't for her, she'd still be a nobody living in a slum on the Macross Galaxy. Grace then tells Sheryl that's all over because she's going to die. Elsewhere, Leon examines Luca's tactical plan and approves of it. Sheryl thinks what Grace said is an empty threat, but Grace laughs and grabs her by the shoulders. She reminds Sheryl that she was in the hospital after being discovered. There was nothing wrong with her then, and the condition is only starting to emerge now. Grace then says Sheryl is literally going to die - both as a singer and a person. Later, Leon rides in a car with Howard and discusses the current situation. Howard believes that once the Vajra are gone, they can return to their original mission of finding new worlds to live on. It's reported in the news that a bill was passed in the Senate to authorize an ultra long distance fold project. Mena is surprised that they've already gathered enough energy for that, but Lam says that isn't the case. Cathy adds that to get that energy, they'll be reducing the supply to all the Islands, and Lam says there will also be rationing of water and supplies. Bobby angrily tells them they have to take advantage of the pre-fold bargain sale. Alto meets Ozma and Canaria in the hospital, and Ozma gives him classified information that the Vajra are attracted to reaction engines and fold waves. He says that if they try to fold the whole fleet with the Vajra around, the results will be predictable. Canaria says there's more, and Ozma explains that the military is planning to use Ranka as a decoy to repel the Vajra. As her brother, Ozma asks Alto to protect Ranka. After Alto leaves, Ozma tells Canaria that his role is about to end because he thinks Ranka's memories are returning. Alto walks through the city and thinks about what Ozma told him before he joined SMS. Sheryl coughs as she rides in a taxi and thinks about what Grace told her. At school, Klan reports to Michael on Theressa's findings and explains that the pill is supposed to mitigate the symptoms of a disease, but it has certain side effects. She reminds him of the incident with the berserk hydra, which was a V-type infection. Inside the library, Michael wonders how Sheryl could've been infected. Klan does some computer research and pulls up an article on V-type infections from 2047. The article is about the 117th Research Fleet and its project leader, Mao Nome. They're both surprised when they look at a photo of Mao and two other researchers, Ranshe Mei and Grace. Another article from 2053 features a picture of a hospitalized child, and Michael wonders if that's Sheryl. Several books hit the floor behind them as Sheryl falls onto the shelf. On Battle Frontier, a technician tells Grace they're installing a fold wave amp. At school, Sheryl asks Michael not to tell Alto about her condition. She leaves, and Klan wonders if it's ok to not tell Alto. Michael then calls Alto and tells him to find Sheryl.

 

Sheryl stumbles through the street in the rain and thinks about what Grace said regarding her death. Video screens feature a breaking news report, where Howard announces that Ranka will be singing to distract the Vajra. He then introduces Ranka and dubs her as the modern Minmay. Ranka says she sang only to share her feelings with friends, so she's surprised her song could protect people. Someone bumps into Sheryl, and she cries when she sees one of her soaked posters on the ground. Someone walks up and offers Sheryl their hand, and while she sees Alto, it's actually Yasaburo. Alto runs through the streets and sees Yasaburo load Sheryl into a car. He runs over, and Yasaburo says he'll save her. He tells Alto he can visit her at the Saotome mansion and drives off. Alto then gets an emergency SMS call on his phone. At a mall, Bobby fights with Monica over a piece of fabric, and Cathy interrupts them since she got the emergency call. Howard gets a call and says he wants the military sent out until Ranka's safety can be confirmed. In space, a squad of Nightmare Pluses fights the Vajra and are destroyed. Monica tells Jeffrey that reaction weapons aren't working, and he says the Macross Cannon is one of their few effective weapons, but they can't use it recklessly. Alto, Michael and Luca fight the Vajra, and Luca says to himself that his strategy has been ruined. Perry suggests an emergency fold, but Howard counters that if they do that, the Vajra can follow them and keep attacking. A red Vajra chases Alto, but it's destroyed by Brera's Lucifer squad, which is protecting Ranka in the Konig Monster. Canaria transforms the Konig Monster, and Ranka starts singing "Aimo O.C." The Vajra attack ceases, and Howard wants to know who gave permission, but Leon says she went of her own will. Leon tells Howard this is their chance to corner the Vajra, so Howard decides to execute the long distance fold. Island 1 begins to close its shell, and power is cut across the Islands. A red Vajra grapples onto the Konig Monster, but Brera destroys it. Alto attacks another red Vajra, and the Macross Quarter fires its Macross Cannon at a large number of Vajra. Perry has Battle Frontier fire its Macross Cannon, which completely wipes out the Vajra force and causes Ranka to feel pain in her stomach. The entire fleet then begins the long distance fold, and Ranka sings the regular version of "Aimo." Deep inside the fleet, a Vajra nest grows.

 

Commentary

 

Picking up on the last episode, Grace outright tells Sheryl that she's going to die from the V-type infection. This intersects with what Michael and Klan are investigating, and they discover some things on their own. One of the lead researchers on the subject was Mao - yes, the same Mao from Macross Zero. She was joined by Ranshe Mei and surprisingly, Grace. We also find out that Sheryl was just an urchin who was turned into an idol by Grace and deliberately infected with the V-type disease. Given all that's happened to Sheryl, you can't help but feel sorry for her as she stumbles through the rain alone. Even though she's a galactic idol, we see people's fickle interest has already forgotten about her because Ranka is popular now. Sheryl clearly wants Alto to come to the rescue, but its instead Yasaburo, who appears almost out of nowhere. On the mecha side, we finally get to see Battle Frontier make itself useful and fire its Macross Cannon. However, it does that in ship mode, which makes me wonder why Battle 7 always had to separate and transform to fire its cannon. Either way, although that specific Vajra force has been taken care of, it certainly isn't the end of the threat.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Macross Frontier Episode 18 Macross Frontier Episode 18

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