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Episode 44: Nightmarish Invasion

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: July 24, 2000
New Review: June 23, 2008

 

Summary

 

The Stargazer folds out in the Varauta system. Max tells the team that in 30 minutes they'll fold out in orbit of the fourth planet. He outlines the plan, which is to destroy the Protodeviln cave, codenamed Polar Star, with reaction weapons. He tells them that if even one of them survives, it's their duty to destroy the Polar Star. Basara disagrees and says he can change the Protodevilns' hearts with music. Max says there's no time for that because the Macross 7 fleet and the galaxy are at stake, and Ray suggests letting Basara sing on the chance that it might work. Max agrees and says that if Sound Force reaches the Polar Star first, they can use music instead of reaction weapons. Mylene brings up to Gamlin the subject of his ring, but he says they'll talk about it when they get back. Basara tells him to listen to his song, and Gamlin says he will if Basara gets down there first. As Gamlin prepares to launch, Docker says he'll be the first to get there. All Valkyries are loaded into launch catapults as the Stargazer begins preparations for its final fold. Max calls Mylene and tells her to sing with all she has. Gamlin holds a good luck charm that Mylene gave him, but he accidentally breaks it. Basara tells Mylene not to be late, and she points out that he's always late. Ray jumps in and tells them to be more serious since this won't be a typical concert. On Battle 7, Milia is informed that Operation Stargazer has begun. Exsedol runs over the grim odds of success, but Milia believes Max can do it. The Stargazer folds out in orbit of the planet and launches decoy chaffs to cover the launches of the Valkyrie units. On his flagship, Geperuniti is informed of the attack, and he sees it as his samples coming to him. On the planet's surface, Gavil and Glavil wait for the strike unit. Once the Valkyrie units are away, Max declares that he'll initiate Blue Gazer once all the fighting units are reduced to less than 10 percent of their fighting ability. The Valkyrie units emerge from their atmospheric entry pods and immediately come under fire from the surface. The Valkyrie teams then enter a narrow canyon leading to the Polar Star, and several units are destroyed by the narrow walls. Docker pulls ahead of Gamlin, and Gamlin wonders where Sound Force is. Glavil appears in the canyon and opens fire, destroying several Thunderbolts. Gamlin hears Basara singing "Light the Light" and sees Sound Force approaching from the surface. Mylene says they're being targets on their current course, and Basara tells her he doesn't like sneaking around.

 

On Battle 7, Chiba tracks the song energy, and Miho wonders why Basara is singing so early into the operation. Gavil and Glavil appear in front of Basara, and Basara responds by singing "Planet Dance." The song energy from Basara and Mylene forces Glavil to escape, and Gavil fires missiles at them. Gamlin sees them under fire and tells Dick and Morley to go ahead while he backs up Sound Force. In space, Max prepares to launch in his VF-22S Sturmvogel II and fires up his fold booster. On the planet, Gamlin fires missiles at Gavil and tells Sound Force to go ahead. Gavil opens fire on Gamlin, and Gamlin returns fire with his special ammo, but Gavil dodges. Dick and Morley attack Gavil as well, and Gamlin orders them to get in formation. Docker reaches the Polar Star and opens fire on the defending Panzersolns, but his wingmen Voldick and Matthews are killed by enemy fire. More Panzersolns appear and block Sound Force's path, but Basara isn't bothered and starts singing "Holy Lonely Light." Their song energy envelopes the Panzersolns and wakes up the pilots. Gavil breaks away and goes after Mylene, so Gamlin chases. Just then, Gavil transforms and does an about face toward Gamlin, but Gamlin is unable to dodge, and his Nightmare explodes when it crashes into the Zaubergeran. Ray tells Mylene to calm down as she loses control over Gamlin's death, but suddenly Max folds out and blasts his way into the Polar Star. Gavil gives chase, but Max breaks past the defenses and fires his reaction warhead into the ice. Max orders all units to retreat beyond the atmosphere, and he tells Mylene he'll be alright. Basara flies toward the Polar Star to get Max and sings "Power to the Dream." Mylene struggles, and Veffidas tells her she'd just get in the way right now. More Panzersolns attack Max, and he runs out of ammo. Basara arrives and uses his sound energy to wake up the Panzersoln pilots. A Panzersoln attempts to pull out the reaction warhead, but Geperuniti says to leave it alone. Just before it explodes, the reaction warhead folds to space and destroys the Stargazer.

 

Commentary

 

Well, this was certainly an action-packed episode. The Valkyrie teams begin their assault run, and their trip through a narrow canyon is reminiscent of the classic Death Star trench scene from Star Wars: A New Hope. The Varauta defenses are heavy, and they end up claiming scores of grunt pilots, as well two members of Emerald Force. Gamlin also has a showdown with Gavil, leading to his apparent demise. After seeing the stock footage of Gamlin destroying the Zaubergeran so many times, it's nice to see Gavil actually dodge for once and trap Gamlin. We also get to see Max in action again with his Sturmvogel, a refined version of the YF-21 from Macross Plus. Max pulls off a nice surprise attack near the end of the episode, but it's all for nothing when Geperuniti folds the reaction warhead to space and destroys the Stargazer, which is their only way home.

 

Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Macross 7 Episode 44 Macross 7 Episode 44

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