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Episode 2: The Stars on the Ground

 

Review by Chris Guanche

June 3, 2003

 

Summary

 

In a cave, Nutuk tells Mayans a story about the fish and Bird Humans, and Sara prays for the God of Wind's protection. Nutuk says in his story that the Bird Human came from far away and cut off the fish human's fins, causing legs to grow out of them and make the first human, Rooy Kanu. In the air, a damaged Phoenix is destroyed next to Roy. The attacker moves in closer, and Roy sees that it's an SV-51y piloted by his foe D.D. Ivanov. Roy chases D.D. in the skies, but he loses track of him quickly. D.D. hides in a canyon and fires at Roy as he passes by. Roy picks up D.D.'s tail and chases him through the canyon. D.D. dodges most of Roy's attacks, but his fuel begins to run out. He fires at the rocks above and causes them to cave in on Roy's Phoenix so that he can escape. Nutuk continues his story and explains that the Bird Human dropped a turtle on a rock and formed the Mayan islands with the broken pieces of the turtle's shell. Roy emerges from the rocks and returns to the sky, but D.D. is gone. In the skies, Nora chases a Phoenix and critically damages it. Shin reaches the lake where Mao is and knocks her aside as the damaged Phoenix crashes. He looks at the Phoenix and suddenly has a flashback of watching his family executed in front of his eyes as a child. Nora flies by and shoots at the pilot as he gets out, blowing him to pieces. Shin jumps into the Phoenix's cockpit and begins firing wildly into the air. He damages Nora's SV-51, and she turns around to finish him off. She knocks the gun pod out of his hand and moves in to kill him, but she is forced to escape when Roy attacks her. Nutuk's story continues with the Bird Human cutting of it's own head to form the first woman, Rooy Waka. After having children with Rooy Kanu, Rooy Waka returned to the stars and said she would return when a song of destruction is sung. Shin is airlifted by helicopter to the Asuka II, where the AFOS artifact is being studied by Aries. She discusses her findings with a colleague and wonders why the head is missing. She thinks it might have to do with Dr. Hasford's Protoculture theory, which states that an external force accelerated the evolution of humanity. Shin examines his new Phoenix, and Roy asks him if he can handle it. Shin doesn't want a two-seater, and he is shocked when Edgar shows up in bandages. Later, Shin and Edgar begin training with their Phoenix against Roy and perform poorly. Roy shoots their Phoenix with paint bullets and drop kicks them into the water. Afterwards, Shin wrestles with a female marine named Katie, who beats him soundly. She tells him the reason for his defeat is that he understands neither his opponent nor himself.

 

Shin and Edgar conduct more training with the Battroid and GERWALK modes, but they again lose to Roy's Phoenix. Shin complains that he didn't become a pilot to crawl on the ground, and Roy tells him that he'll have to do more now than just fly. On the Asuka II, Raizou yells at Shin about his unit's engines and says the mechanics will have to work all night to fix it. At night, Shin stands alone outside looking at the water. A drunken Roy comes up to him and tells him Raizou was happy that a pilot pushed his engines to their maximum potential. He tells Shin that the next day he and Edgar won't be training anymore. The next day, Shin and Edgar fly escort for several helicopters carrying Aries and a group of marines. They land on the Mayan island and are told by Sara that they can't bring weapons into the village. Nutuk tells them they are welcome to enter the village if they leave their weapons behind. Edgar camouflages the Phoenix while Shin returns to the village to fix the power generator. Mao asks him why he came back, and he says it's because he made a promise and was given orders to. On the Asuka II, scientists study AFOS and discover that it has the same fold system as what was found on the ASS-1. They theorize that it can fly through time and space. In the village, Aries takes blood samples from the villagers to examine their health. Sara objects and argues that Aries is trying to steal the essence of the Mayans. Shin and Mao run over, and Aries asks Shin to convince Sara. Sara says that there are snakes entangled in blood, and Shin asks the villagers to decide. Sara tells them not to break the rules, but Aries offers them all Appale Genki juice, which they all take. At night, Shin finishes work on the power generator, and Sara accuses him of trying to steal the stars. He turns on the power and tells her she can close her eyes if she wants to enjoy the darkness. She snaps back and tells him his heart is dark. On the submarine Auerstadt, Nora yells with a mechanic about repairs to her SV-51. To demonstrate what it's like to put her life in someone else's hands, she grabs his privates and squeezes them. D.D. asks her what she thinks about the U.N. Spacy's Phoenixes, and she says that all it does is rip off the SV-51 transformation system. D.D. tells her that "it" is being moved and kisses her. Aries finds that she can't sleep and calls Roy on the Asuka II. She asks him why he's here if he hated the war so much, and he says it's because his friend Michael was killed in the first wave of bombings. Shin wakes up and finds Sara singing in the water naked. He is shocked when flowers come to life and rocks begin to float. The cells in Aries' microscope come to life, and blood drips out of the neck of AFOS.

 

Commentary

 

The second episode picks up on the cliffhanger from the first and starts off with a thrilling dogfight between Roy and D.D. They seem to have some connection, since Roy calls him "Instructor." Perhaps D.D. was his flight instructor and betrayed U.N. Spacy for the Anti-UN forces. Either way, he's the more experienced pilot and Roy the rookie by comparison. This is a nice contrast from the original series, where Roy was the big man around town and was the hotshot pilot. Here, you can see he's actually frightened while fighting D.D.. We also get to see more of Roy's background and find out why he joined the army and didn't go back to Hikaru's family business. It also seems like Aries was one of his many former girlfriends, at least from the way they talk and because he grabbed her butt. Shin also takes to the skies and has another confrontation with Nora. He doesn't seem to be able to adjust to a variable fighter and has a lot of trouble. The Mayan legends about the Bird Human appear to tie-in directly to the facts learned about AFOS, and Sara's singing has an effect on it. It looks like singing in this series will have some spiritual effect. We'll see what happens as more episodes are released.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Macross Zero Episode 2 Macross Zero Episode 2

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