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Episode 1: Contact

 

Review by Chris Guanche

Original Review: May 1, 2000

New Review: February 19, 2005

 

Summary

 

In the year 2090, the Mardook mothership joins with its fleet in deep space. On Earth, SNN (Scramble News Network) reporter Hibiki Kanzaki prepares an ambush. A man and a woman walk by Hibiki and his news team, and Hibiki exposes the hologram concealing their true appearances. With the hologram gone, the man is revealed to be U.N. Spacy Supreme Commander Exxegran and ace pilot Sylvie Gena. He asks them what they are doing together in a hotel, and Exxegran smashes Hibiki's camera with his cane. Hibiki pulls out another camera, and Sylvie punches him in the face. As the story airs, Sylvie's wingmates Saori, Nastasha and Amy gossip about Sylvie and watch her boyfriend Nexx Gilbert dismiss the story as garbage. Hibiki returns to the SNN headquarters and is told by his producer Matsui that he probably just got the highest rated story of the month. Hibiki is happy, but a man named Dennis Lone comes up to him and tells him that he doesn't know anything about journalism. Dennis leaves, and Matsui explains that he is a war correspondent. Hibiki is surprised to hear that and says he would give anything to be a war correspondent. Hibiki and Matsui are called to the news director's office immediately. The news director tells Hibiki that U.N. Spacy is demanding a written apology over the whole affair. Hibiki thinks that's nonsense and says that what matters is he got a highly rated story. The director tells Hibiki that if he intends to be a serious journalist he needs to change his attitude. He says that Hibiki may be lucky to be a star at age seventeen, but his career will be short if all he cares about is ratings. Hibiki storms out of the SNN building and finds Sylvie waiting for him by her car. She says she wants to talk, so they drive out to an area near Culture Park. She asks him how he could tell such a scandalous story, and he tells her he's disgusted by the military's censorship. A warning signal goes off, and in the distance the super dimension fortress Macross discharges a large amount of energy. Another signal goes off with the message "Operation 200," which Sylvie recognizes as a scramble order. At U.N. Spacy headquarters, Exxegran is informed that a fleet of thirty ships has de-folded near Jupiter. He orders the creation of a front line in Mars orbit to prepare for Operation Minmay. Hibiki returns to SNN and begs the news director to let him cover the battle so he can bring war footage to people. The director agrees to let him go, but as a Valkyrie pilot, not a reporter. Hibiki prepares to launch in the SNN Valkyrie and is annoyed that his passenger is a drunken Dennis. A space booster is attached to the SNN Valkyrie, and it takes off and heads for space.

 

At the Mars defense line, U.N. Spacy Nupetiet-Vergnitzs class ships launch their Valkyrie II squads. Giant holographic projectors are deployed across space, and Exxegran orders the commencement of Operation Minmay. The holographic projectors begin to display the hologram of a girl singing Minmay-style pop music. As the Zentradi Battle Pods attack, their pilots are confused by the human music. The Mardook Emperor Ingues is informed that the enemy has developed music of its own and that their culture is dangerous. As the battle continues, Mardook Emulators, including a young woman named Ishtar, begin to sing. Their song spreads across space and encourages the Zentradi to fight. The Mardook song overpowers the Minmay music, and the Zentradi begin to take the advantage. Sylvie remembers her conversation with Exxegran, where she told him that the U.N. Spacy has grown soft and that the Minmay Defense won't work forever. Sylvie, Nastasha, Amy and Saori launch from their mothership and join the battle when it begins to turn against the Earth forces. Hibiki and Dennis fly by the U.N. Spacy fleet, and Hibiki begins to panic. Dennis tells him that they will be witnessing a capital ship battle, and the flagship Heracles de-folds and quickly comes under attack. Hibiki pulls away and tells Dennis that people don't want to see U.N. Spacy losing. Dennis tells Hibiki to shut up and says that war is misery, not a variety show. Hibiki turns away, but Dennis forces him to watch as the Heracles explodes. Elsewhere, as Sylvie fights off the Zentradi, her wingmen ask her what happened with Exxegran. She asks them to concentrate on the battle, and Nexx says he wants to know as well. Sylvie tells him not to gossip in battle where fools could hear and court martial him. A Battle Pod attacks Nexx from behind, but he destroys it. Hibiki and Dennis approach the Mardook fleet, and a Mardook commander named Feff asks Ishtar to pull her ship back. Dennis asks Hibiki if he is scared to go inside an enemy ship, and Hibiki says he feels he could do anything now. Dennis tells Hibiki that true journalism is showing both sides of a battle in an unbiased manor. They enter the Mardook ship through a hole in the hull, and a Zentradi Powered Suit blocks their path. It is destroyed in an explosion, and Hibiki and Dennis spot Ishtar. They fly up to where she is and find her unconscious. Dennis places her in his seat, and he is caught in an explosion. As he dies, he asks Hibiki to get their footage back to SNN. The ship explodes, but Hibiki flies out safely with Ishtar in tow.

 

Commentary

 

So there ends the first episode of this alternate universe sequel to the original Macross series. The visuals are very close to the style of the original series, thanks to the designs of Haruhiko Mikimoto. Though eighty years have passed, we see that the Macross fortress is still intact. But what's with the energy discharges it lets out? Isn't it supposed to be inactive? For this series, instead of the hero being a U.N. Spacy pilot like Hikaru Ichijyo, instead it's a brash young reporter named Hibiki Kanzaki, whose unrelenting pursuit of high ratings makes him more of a gossipmonger than an actual journalist. However, he starts to see the error of his ways when he enters the battlefield with Dennis. It certainly is true what Sylvie said: the U.N. Spacy has grown weak. In Macross terms, a fleet of thirty is virtually nothing, yet the U.N. Spacy forces get wiped out despite their advanced technology. That's mainly due to them not considering the possibility that their enemies are using music for battle, too.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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