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Episode 32: Jamming Birds

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: July 12, 2000
New Review: June 19, 2008

 

Summary

 

The TV news announces the UN Spacy's creation of a music-based unit called Jamming Birds that is open for audition. Basara isn't impressed, but Mylene thinks they might be useful. Barton calls Basara and says he wants him to be a judge for the Jamming Birds contest, but Basara refuses and leaves. Later, the judging show begins and is broadcast on TV. One of the contestants, Ripple Chitose, explains that she was inspired by Minmay. Chiba asks for her measurements and tells her to take off her robe. Everyone is impressed by her figure, and Chiba asks her if she's ever been in love or had sex. Watching the show on TV, Miho tells Sally she's glad she didn't get past the first round, and Sally admits she applied too. Max wonders if they'll be effective, and Exsedol thinks it's worth trying anything. Max asks if there's any point in trying something they know to be futile, and Exsedol answers that even if it's futile, they get to see nice women in bathing suits. Max is then shocked to see Milia on stage as an applicant. Milia begins to sing, and when Chiba stops her, she tells him it's her duty as mayor to protect the citizens. She says everyone knows about her piloting skills, and she's confident about her singing ability. Mylene is surprised to see Bobby as an applicant and is glad he recovered from a vampire attack. In the forest, Basara is exhausted as he sings "Submarine Street" and wonders why Sivil won't wake up. Later, Gamlin asks Chiba how he's doing, and Chiba explains that he's opposed to the creation of the Jamming Birds. He explains that none of the 10 people who passed the audition will be able to use the sound boosters. He says that only Fire Bomber can do that, and the military is overconfident if they think any person can do the same. Barton walks by and tells Chiba he shouldn't criticize something he's supposed to promote. Barton explains that even Minmay started off as just a regular singer before she helped end the war. He says he wants everyone to realize their potential and doesn't want Chiba to sound like he's giving up before they've even started. The next morning, Basara leaves his apartment and is grabbed by several of Barton's soldiers. The soldiers take Basara to meet with Barton and the Jamming Birds members. Barton tells Basara that he wants him to judge the 10 members and narrow it down to six. Basara refuses, and Barton insists because Sound Force is under military authority. A soldier criticizes Basara for never attacking and says that Sound Force's purpose is to distract the enemy while the military attacks. Basara says he doesn't sing for that reason, and Barton asks him if he's concerned about the fleet's safety. He says he wants nothing to do with Barton and leaves. Later, Barton sends soldiers to confiscate Basara's Excalibur under the guise of "routine maintenance."

 

At an event, Barton announces the official formation of the Jamming Birds unit and thanks people for their support. At his apartment, Basara plays his acoustic guitar and looks at the spot where his Excalibur should be. Ray tells Basara he knows how he feels, but he shouldn't aggravate the military too much. He tells Basara that he should take some time to think about what she's singing for and why. At the reception, Honey tells Akiko that his company will be managing the Jamming Birds, and he's sure they'll knock Fire Bomber off the charts. The Jamming Birds take the stage and begin singing "Riding in Your Valkyrie," and Ray tells Akiko he hopes they'll effective as people hope. Ray has mixed feelings and says they don't sing to destroy enemies, but he also doesn't want people the throw away their lives in vain. Docker hits on Mylene and tries to get her on a date, but she calls out to Gamlin as he walks by. Just then, a battle alert is sounded when Gavil approaches in his Zaubergeran, leading a force of Zentradi soldiers. The Jamming Birds members launch in their Custom Thunderbolts and come under immediate attack from several Panzersolns. The singers panic, and the military pilots tell them to hurry and sing. A Panzersoln grabs onto one Thunderbolt and sucks Spiritia from Bobby. Randy and Ripple begin singing "Riding in Your Valkyrie," and Sound Force arrives on scene with Mylene singing "Holy Lonely Light." Gavil activates his sound wave neutralizer, and Gamlin wonders why Basara isn't around. Mylene's song energy hits several Panzersolns, snapping the pilots back to normal. Gavil brainwashes them again and forces them to attack Mylene. In the hangar, Basara argues with several soldiers who say the Excalibur can't launch without Barton's permission. Just then, Gamlin barges in with his Nightmare and rips the hangar doors open so Basara can launch. Barton yells at the Jamming Birds to sing, and Basara arrives, followed by his sound booster unit. He declares that no one can stop him from singing, and his song energy spreads out and hits every Panzersoln pilot. Gavil moves in to attack him, but his sound neutralizer overloads with Anima Spiritia and is destroyed. Gavil then retreats, and Chiba tells Barton it was too early to use the Jamming Birds. Barton says even Sound Force had early failures, so the Jamming Birds will have to undergo battle training. Mylene wonders why Basara is still singing, and Ray tells her that Basara is trying to figure out what singing is.

 

Commentary

 

Barton tries his hand at creating a musical combat units, and the results are exactly what one would expect. Surprisingly, as a manufactured pop group, their song comes straight out of the alternate universe Macross II. There's a few blasts from the past, including the lecherous Bobby and the eccentric Honey. Basara goes up against Barton and pays the price for that, so he's lucky that Gamlin stepped up and broke regulations to help him. Gavil attacks again with more brainwashed Zentradi from the Macross 5, but this time he's armed with instantaneous brainwashing. Unfortunately, even that fails in the face of Basara's sound energy. Although the Jamming Birds are clearly useless since they're not singing for the same reasons as Fire Bomber, it's clear that Barton doesn't intend to give up.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

3 out of 5 stars
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Macross 7 Episode 32 Macross 7 Episode 32

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