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Episode 21: Blue Ether

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 16, 2008

 

Summary

 

Perry wonders where Howard is, and Leon walks onto Battle Frontier's bridge and gives orders to launch. Perry objects to orders from some aide, but Leon tells him that Howard was killed by the Vajra. As the highest ranked civil official on Battle Frontier, Leon claims full presidential authority. Perry reluctantly agrees gives the order for Battle Frontier to separate from Island 1. Ozma and Cathy run through the secret tunnel and try to get to Battle Frontier, but they're too late and the emergency gates close. Inside Island 1, Alto suggests that they try to get to Island 3. Klan, now in her full Zentradi size, emerges on the street wearing Super pack armor and carrying a Valkyrie gun pod. Thinking of Michael, she goes into a rage as she mows down the Vajra with machine gun fire and missiles. At the same time, Alto and Luca take off with Ranka. On the Macross Quarter, Bobby performs evasive maneuvers to dodge the shot from a Vajra battleship. Before the Vajra ship can fire, it gets destroyed by a shot from Battle Frontier's Macross Cannon that almost grazes the Macross Quarter. Perry tells Leon that using the Macross Cannon can clear out the Vajra, but it won't solve their main problem. Leon gets a message from Luca and decides to keep fighting outside. At Island 3, Luca shows Alto and Ranka the "little girl," a fold bomb developed by LAI with a 50 kilometer blast radius. Alto says that'd suck in the entire fleet, but Luca suggests they lure the Vajra to one spot and detonate the bomb. Alto realizes that Luca wants to use Ranka as bait, and Luca laments not being able to protect Nanase. Alto objects, and Luca reminds him that Michael is dead, the ship's ecosystem is wrecked and they're in a battle for survival. Before Alto says anything else, Ranka volunteers to sing for everyone. Perry is surprised that Leon wants to sacrifice Island 3 since it's the least damaged area, but Leon says they'll just have to get the Zentradi to miclone themselves to human size. On Island 3, Luca tells Alto that once Ranka starts singing it should draw in the Vajra attacking all the other ships. Once that's done, they'll separate Island 3 and detonate the bomb from a safe distance. Alto vows to protect Ranka and not let any Vajra get near while she sings. He then takes off in his Messiah, and Brera tells Ranka she doesn't have to sing if she doesn't want to. She says that's cruel, but he hugs her and says her song is her heart. Ranka thinks about how she wanted to talk to Alto, but her song never reached him. She then starts singing "Aimo" and gets the attention of the Vajra swarm, which ceases its attack and heads for Island 3. In space, SMS forces press their attack while the Vajra are distracted. As Ranka sings, she has flashes of memory of her brother and the crash of the Global. Perry orders the separation from Island 3, and Alto escapes with Ranka and Luca. As Island 3 drifts away, the bomb is detonated, sucking in the Island and destroying it. Ranka feels pain in her stomach, and Alto thanks her for singing.

 

After the battle, Leon gives a speech at a mass funeral and announces Howard's death. He says that many people have lost families and friends, and while the situation has quieted down, everyone will have deep scars. In the Macross Quarter hangar, Alto sees Klan crying inside the cockpit of Michael's Messiah and holding onto his helmet, which had a picture of them on its inside. At the hospital, Luca sits watch over Nanase. Leon tells Ranka that Ozma is missing, but he asks her to sing for them. With news cameras trained on her, Ranka apologizes and says she won't ever sing again. Ranka cries as she runs through a forest and wonders why her singing has an effect on the Vajra. Suddenly, a large Ai happily greets Ranka by knocking her over. It then begins to shed its outer skin and becomes a second stage Vajra. Alto gets a call from Ranka during the night and runs to meet her at Griffith Park. Alto asks her why she's not singing, and she asks him to show her how he makes his paper planes. As they make the planes, she asks him why he wants to fly. He answers that his mother was frail and always looked at the sky. She wanted to see a real sky that stretched on forever and was full of freedom. Ranka finishes her plane, and Alto quickly adjusts it so she can throw it in the air. The paper plane flies away, and Ranka comments that everyone wants to live a free life. Alto pulls out a gun when he sees Ai, but Ranka explains that it didn't kill anyone. Alto says to live they must kill the Vajra, but when he tries to shoot it, Brera disarms him. Brera asks Ranka what she desires and says he'll fulfill it. Ranka says she's started to remember parts of her past, but she wants to know everything. She says she wants to leave and take Ai back to the other Vajra. Brera's Lucifer lands nearby, and he takes off with Ranka and Ai. Before flying away, Ranka says she wanted to go with Alto and be together with him forever. She tells Alto she loved him, and the Lucifer flies away. Sheryl sees the light of the Lucifer flying in the distance, as do Cathy and Ozma, who are hiding next to several ruined buildings. Brera flies into space with Ai in tow and activates his fold booster.

 

Commentary

 

The remainder of the Vajra battle is pretty much handled by the end of the episode's first half, leaving the end to deal with the aftermath. It was interesting to see Klan fighting with pure Zentradi rage, as well as the fact that she rigged a Valkyrie Super pack to function as an improvised Zentradi EX-Gear. Battle Frontier gets some more action in this episode after finally separating from Island 1. If it wasn't because Leon needed them, I could've sworn that the shot from Battle Frontier's Macross Cannon was almost intended to hit the Macross Quarter. Now that he's made his move, people are forced to accept him in power. It's obviously very two-faced of him to tell Ranka that Ozma is missing, while at the same time his goons are tearing up Ozma's house. I'm sure that had they found Ozma and Cathy, they would've also died in a tragic "accident" like Howard. Things take a turn for the strange when Ai returns as a bigger Vajra, and Ranka pulls a Sheryl and decides to stop singing. However, she did confess to Alto just before leaving, and it certainly sounds like she wasn't intending on coming back.

 

Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Macross Frontier Episode 21 Macross Frontier Episode 21

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