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Episode 25: Your Sound

 

Review by Chris Guanche

September 28, 2008

 

Summary

 

A Vajra ship closes in on Battle Frontier and prepares to fire its cannon, but it's destroyed by a shot from the Macross Quarter, which just de-folded nearby. The shockwave from the explosion hits Brera's Lucifer and destroys the controlling device on his head. Klan tells Ozma that he's late, and he answers that he had an errand to run. Jeffrey calls Battle Frontier and says they've returned to crush the ambitions of Grace and the Macross Galaxy. Perry doesn't understand, and Jeffrey explains that they've been played for fools in Grace's plot. Leon asks what proof they have, and Alto calls from inside the wreckage of a Guantanamo carrier to say he has proof. Having seen the truth of the Ranka hologram, he ejected from his Nightmare Plus near the Guantanamo before Brera shot it. The Macross Quarter fires its Macross Cannon and destroys the Ranka illusion, revealing Battle Galaxy in its attack mode. Jeffrey tells Leon he'll have a lot to explain later, including Howard's assassination. Cathy tells Leon to give it up, and several soldiers point guns at him. Grace's co-conspirators mention that they've been found out, but she says it doesn't matter and begins to merge with the Vajra Queen. A squad of Ghost V-9s launches from Battle Galaxy and engages Battle Frontier's forces, destroying many of them easily. Alto gets a call and is surprised to see Luca's Messiah and Klan in Michael's Messiah towing his Valkyrie. Alto calls Sheryl and says he'll save Ranka, so he wants Sheryl to awaken Ranka with her song. Sheryl begins to sing "Northern Cross," and Alto's EX-Gear interfaces with his Messiah. Ozma tells everyone to charge in and shouts out Fire Bomber's "Charging Love Heart" as a battle cry. Klan lands on an asteroid and begins sniping targets. Saying he'll release the power that once held Macross City in fear, Luca turns off the Judah System and gives his Ghosts autonomy. His Ghosts then engage in high-speed combat with the Ghost V-9s. Alto calls out to Ranka and asks if she can hear his voice and Sheryl's song. Ranka's stomach begins to glow, and she wakes up when Brera's harmonica shatters. Grace completes her connection to the Vajra Queen, and a large fold wave hits the Vajra, causing them to change color. The fold wave continues to expand and forms a network structure around the entire planet. Grace's co-conspirators say they can feel the whole galaxy and no longer need Ranka. Grace declares that she now controls the power that the Protoculture feared and worshipped - the super dimensional life form Vajra. Ozma fires reaction warheads at the Vajra Queen as it reaches space, but a dimensional rift appears and shields the Vajra Queen and Battle Galaxy. Grace tells everyone to bow down to her godlike power and sends the Vajra out to attack. Vajra forces de-fold near the Macross 11 fleet, as well as over Macross City on Earth.

 

The Vajra Queen and surrounding forces unleash a barrage of fire, destroying many ships in the fleet and penetrating Island 1. Another barrage destroys one of the abandoned Islands. Alto hears Ranka singing, and Brera tells her he's free from Grace's control. He vows he'll stop this war as his atonement, and Ranka continues to sing. The Vajra stop attacking and return to their original color, and Perry is surprised that she didn't betray them. Through the fold waves, Ranka tells Sheryl to get up, but Sheryl says she has nothing left. Ranka figuratively slaps her and says it was because of her strength that she and Alto were able to fly. Alto reaches out through the earring and tells Sheryl he won't give up. He says that Sheryl and Ranka are his wings, and Ranka causes the V-type infection to move from Sheryl's brain to her intestines. Sheryl begins to sing again, and Jeffrey declares that their true enemy is Grace and the Macross Galaxy, not the Vajra. The Macross Quarter rushes forward as it transforms and performs a pinpoint barrier attack to create a hole in Battle Galaxy for Alto. Alto flies into the chamber where Ranka is and rescues her. Grace unleashes another massive barrage targeting Island 1, but a large Vajra swarm defends the ship and absorbs the assault. Alto is amazed that the Vajra protected Island 1, and Ai flies over to his Messiah. Ranka explains that the Vajra have emotions too, but because they're so different from humans, they couldn't understand that humans are individuals. Because of that, they kept attacking to "rescue" Ranka, but after hearing Sheryl's song, they understood that humans are all different. After dropping Ranka off at the Macross Quarter, Alto returns to battle. Ranka sings on the ship's bridge, and Alto pulls up next to Battle Frontier to salute Sheryl. Ai flies through the Vajra swarm, returning them to their original colors and counteracting the Queen's protocol. Several Vajra rush forward and create a hole in the dimensional rift for the Macross Quarter and Battle Frontier to pass through. However, Battle Galaxy fires its Macross Cannon and damages Battle Frontier's and the Macross Quarter's Macross Cannons. Canaria then flies in, and although her Konig Monster takes heavy damage, she lands on Battle Galaxy's Macross Cannon and destroys the bridge. The Macross Quarter then performs a Macross Attack by slamming its arm into Battle Galaxy's Macross Cannon and unleashing a missile barrage from its Cheyennes. The Macross Cannon explodes, and Battle Frontier rushes in to perform another Macross Attack on Battle Galaxy. Klan's Messiah is damaged, so she gives her sniper rifle to Alto. Grace declares that this is the ultimate evolution of humanity, but Alto says sacrificing the Vajra is no evolution. A Lucifer tries to attack Alto from behind, but Brera destroys it and gives him cover. He tells Alto to destroy the Vajra Queen's head because its heart is in its stomach. Alto and Brera fly in toward the Vajra Queen, and Grace tries to block them with a shield. They push through and attack the Vajra Queen's body to stop its attacks. Alto then snipes Grace and kills her, destroying the Vajra Queen's head. The Vajra Queen's stomach begins to glow, and the Vajra retreat from the Macross 11 fleet and Earth. Island 1, Battle Frontier and the Macross Quarter begin to enter the planet's atmosphere. Bobby wonders what the Vajra need music for if they don't communicate, and Ranka explains it's their love song. She says once every hundred millions of years, the Vajra would gather and crossbreed with other groups in the galaxy. The ships land in the ocean, and Birla closes his fold quartz ring, which has a picture of Minmay in it. Ranka and Sheryl hug on a field overlooking the water, and Alto ejects overhead from his damaged Messiah. He thinks about the real sky that Sheryl and Ranka opened up and flies around in his EX-Gear. Ranka tells Sheryl she won't lose in song or love, and Sheryl accepts the challenge. Luca runs into the hospital, and Nanase opens her eyes. Alto buzzes by Sheryl and Ranka, and they run over to him.

 

Commentary

 

If anyone ever wanted an example of an action-packed finale, this episode would be it. At the very least, it matches the feeling of the epic final battle from episode 27 of the original Macross, which was originally intended as that series' end. Aside from Valkyries flying everywhere, we've got a whole squad of Ghost V-9s buzzing around like the Ghost X-9 from Macross Plus. We've also got the first ever battle between two Macrosses, and the scene where the Macross Quarter and Battle Frontier double team Battle Galaxy is a great use of the Daedalus Attack from the original series. We also get to see cameos of the Macross 11 fleet, mentioned several times in Macross Dynamite 7, as well as the original Macross ship itself on Earth. In the middle of all this fighting, we learn some important things about the Vajra. Apparently, they're so powerful that the Protoculture feared and worshipped them. Everyone assumed the Vajra were somehow connected to the Bird Human/AFOS from Macross Zero, but it was the other way around - the Protoculture modeled the Bird Human after the Vajra Queen. Although that explains some loose ends from that series, it doesn't change the poor explanations of things in Macross Zero. It's kind of like how Metal Gear Solid 4 explains the craziness of MGS 2's plot, but it doesn't change the fact that the prior game's plot was muddled. Although there's a lot crammed into this episode, pretty much everything is resolved. Grace is killed, Leon is arrested and the battle ends. We see that Birla's desire was just to meet Minmay because the fold waves would surpass time and space, but that didn't work out for him. One very obvious thing here is the way the love triangle is handled. It's not so much that it goes unresolved, it's that it gets sidestepped when Alto declares that Sheryl and Ranka are his wings. The love triangle in Macross 7 between Basara, Mylene and Gamlin also went unresolved, but it feels different from here. In that series, it kind of fell into the background, and Basara had no interest in Mylene to begin with. However, since Frontier put so much emphasis on its love triangle, a firmer resolution would've been better. However, with a movie version in production, that may get expanded upon. In the end, Macross Frontier proves itself as a worthy successor of the Macross name and will hopefully stimulate the production of more Macross series.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

5 out of 5 stars
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Macross Frontier Episode 25 Macross Frontier Episode 25

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