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Mission 19: Eternal Songs

 

Review by Chris Guanche

October 26, 2019

 

Summary

 

As a result of Walkure’s singing on Voldor, the Protoculture ruins were destroyed, the citizens and soldiers under mind control were liberated and the Windermerians retreated. In the two days since then, there have been no instances of the Wind Song, and part of the field covering the Globular Cluster has collapsed. Arad discusses the situation with Kaname and Ernest and concludes that attacking the Protoculture system is indeed the key to liberating the Globular Cluster. Ernest asks for an update on Mikumo and Hayate, but Kaname reports that they’re still unconscious. Arad asks about Mikumo, and Kaname answers that she’s still quarantined on the Medical Ship sent by headquarters, so they don’t know what her situation is. Ernest adds that Lady M isn’t telling him anything about Mikumo. Mirage finds Freyja outside of Hayate’s room, and they’re both approached by Berger, who pretends to be lost. He asks if Mikumo has regained consciousness and mentions that he saw everything that happened on Voldor. Berger is brought before the assembled crew and introduces himself, and Ernest mentions that the Epsilon Foundation owns thousands of companies throughout the galaxy. Berger mentions that Windermere is a valued customer, and Arad asks if they supplied the Drakens to them. Berger explains that some of their engineers have continued the work from the original variable fighter development team in the Unification Wars. Chuck says that Berger had better not be a Windermerian spy, and Berger answers that business is business, noting that they’ve also received orders from Xaos. Kaname asks what his interest in Mikumo is, and he answers that he has his reasons. He recaps the recent events on Voldor and says that they confirmed a theory of his, which is that music is the ultimate weapon. Doctors examine Heinz and conclude that he needs more rest. Keith confronts Roid and says he didn’t mention anything about the Voldor experiment being so risky. Keith thinks he was careless in trying to end the war so quickly, but Roid thinks their plans haven’t been affected. Keith thinks something happened to all of them on Voldor, like something was flowing into his rune. He wonders if Walkure also has a Singer of the Wind, but Roid dismisses that and claims that only Heinz can activate the Protoculture ruins. Berger’s explanation of his theory starts all the way back in 1999 with the crash landing of the ASS-1 on Earth, which later became the Macross. He states that Lynn Minmay’s music saved humanity from the Zentradi during Space War I. Everyone assumed at the time it was a culture shock, but Berger thinks music had an innate power. He then touches on the Sharon Apple Incident in 2040, the Protodeviln War in 2045 and the Vajra Conflict in 2059. Berger explains that when the Vajra went to another dimension, some of the fold bacteria from their intestines stayed behind and found new hosts: humanoids. Kaname states that this was the origin of Var Syndrome, and Berger sees that even Xaos has figured that out. Kaname explains that it’s still a theory and is restricted information. Berger goes on and says that the fold bacteria are amplified by strong emotions, similar to telepathy, so humans being unable to control themselves leads to Var outbreaks. At the same time, people like the members of Walkure appeared who have fold receptors and are immune to Var.

 

Berger states that the New U.N. Government hasn’t publicly revealed that the number of people in the galaxy with fold receptors is quickly increasing. He says that for a receptor carrier to generate a Bio-Fold Wave they have to be in a state of heightened emotion, like a life-or-death situation. He explains that emotions are heightened in such a situation, so singing in that scenario increases Bio-Fold Waves. Roid pulls up data on Walkure and tells Keith that their abilities come from fold bacteria and fold receptors, so it’s not innate like the Windermerian Wind Song. He adds that people born with runes naturally possess a small amount of fold receptors and Bio-Fold Quartz, which is the proof that they are the successors of the Protoculture. He states that Heinz is a descendant of the Singer of the Stars, which proves that Windermerians are the ultimate form of a humanoid species. Roid thinks that Heinz might become the King of the Protoculture and surpass the Singer of the Wind to be the Singer of the Stars. Berger goes back to Space War I and explains that “Do You Remember Love?” was a 500,000-year-old pop song from the Protoculture. He wonders if the Protoculture realized that music had a psychological effect and weaponized it. The Protoculture created several humanoid races that are still around, so perhaps they all have musical info genetically encoded into their DNA. He thinks music is a weapon created by the Protoculture to interfere with people’s free will. He says that songs don’t kill or harm the environment, but they can influence listeners by invoking pleasure. With that, it would be possible to control a huge amount of people all at once. He thinks what happened with Mikumo and Hayate on Voldor demonstrates this. Roid tells Keith that Mikumo is different from all the other members of Walkure and that she created a shock felt by Heinz. He thinks what the Aerial Knights all experienced was a powerful Bio-Fold Wave created by Mikumo. Keith asks if Roid was unable to predict this, and Roid answers that the Protoculture created the system 500,000 years ago to deal with conflict that started with the Zentradi, and that they haven’t figured out the system entirely. Roid vows to be more careful and notes there are many things in the galaxy beyond the knowledge of him and all of mankind. The lives of Windermerians are too short to figure everything out, but Keith counters that he only cares about Windermere. Freyja tells Berger that music is not a weapon, and he asks how she can say that when her singing enhanced Hayate’s abilities to a high level. Berger mentions hearing a rumor that Lady M began researching the power of song right after Space War I and has developed an ultimate weapon that harnesses the full power of song. He adds that it’s supposed to be a genetically engineered bio-weapon or an android. Makina asks if he’s saying that’s Mikumo, and he says again it’s just a rumor. Berger gets a call that the merchandise has been offloaded, so it’s timefor him to go. Chuck thinks her should be detained as a Windermerian sympathizer, and Berger counters that he has all the proper permits from NUNS. Ernest declares that Xaos won’t do business with Epsilon anymore, and Berger says that he’s available if they change their minds. A servant tries to tell Keith something about Grammier, but he quickly leaves when soldiers appear. Mirage visits Hayate, who is still unconscious, and she tells him her regrets about not being able to help Freyja. She tells Hayate that she wants him to wake up and argue with him, and he opens his eyes. On the Xaos Medical Ship, Mikumo is suspended in a large capsule filled with liquid.

 

Commentary

 

This episode is a study in contrasts. If you’re interested in a lecture about decades of Macross history, it’s great. But if you’re interested in a well-written episode, it’s pretty bad. Berger, for no reason, suddenly appears to sell things to Xaos and decides to give the Macross Elysion crew a collegiate level lecture that acts as a grand unifying theory on the power of music as seen in every previous Macross series. Other pieces are coincidentally filled in at the exact same time by a conversation between Roid and Keith. The nature of runes, the origins of Var Syndrome and Mikumo’s mysterious background all come to light. Is the information interesting? Sure. Is it also a very awkwardly executed exposition dump? Absolutely. It really feels like the writing staff couldn’t figure out any other way to express all this important information in the normal way, so they went the almost meta route of having Berger explain the entire plot to the characters, and by proxy, the audience. Depending on how complex a story is, it may not always be possible to avoid info dumps here or there, but an entire episode late in the show’s run is too much. This information should’ve been seeded into previous episodes rather than all at once, and it’s for that reason that I can’t consider it “good” in the way an episode should be written.

 

Overall Rating

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2.5 out of 5 stars
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Macross Delta Episode 19 Macross Delta Episode 19

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