Irane attends an emergency meeting conducted by Max. As the meeting begins, Max explains that he has received special orders from U.N. Spacy headquarters on Earth. The video orders are played, and an officer orders the Macross 7 to destroy the fourth planet of the Varauta system by using reaction weapons. Several officers object to the orders, noting that the Protodeviln have thus far only shown a fraction of their power. Mylene and Akiko meet with the rest of the band, and Mylene explains that they were making invitations and preparations for her birthday planet. Max looks at a battle simulation that predicts if three Protodeviln are at the planet, the entire Macross 7 fleet will be destroyed. Max tells the officers that the orders from headquarters are absolute, so they should focus on ways to accomplish the mission, rather than complain about how hopeless it is. Fire Bomber visits an arcade, and Basara’s fangirl doesn’t notice him walk by because she’s just won a toy of his Excalibur. At night, Max and Milia stand on a hill overlooking the city. Max tells her about his orders and says he won’t take the residential ships with him on the mission. Milia thinks he should appeal to headquarters, but he thinks the military may be sacrificing them to buy time. Later, officers argue that if they attack with battleships, the residential ships will be left undefended. Max enters the briefing room and declares that he wants to perform a surprise attack with a stealth frigate. The strike team will fly down to the cave where the Protodeviln are located and destroy it with reaction weapons. Max says that he will command Operation Stargazer, which will be a volunteer force consisting of unmarried people. Basara is thrilled about the prospect of putting on a wild concert for the Protodeviln. Dick and Morley tell Gamlin they want to go with him, but he refuses. Milia wants to volunteer for the mission and team up with Max, but he refuses on the grounds that no one would be around to protect the citizens if she’s gone. He says that Emerald, Diamond and Sound Forces have also volunteered, although he won’t allow Mylene to come. Later, Mylene asks why she can’t go, and Ray says it was a military decision. He points out that she’s still only 14 and has a long life ahead of her. She continues to argue, and Basara says he’ll drag her out of her Thunderbolt if he has to, so she runs to the rooftop. Akiko tells her they should have a concert while everyone else is gone. Max addresses the volunteers and shows them a diagram of the target cave in the Varauta system. Mylene plays guitar by herself and sings “Holy Lonely Light,” but she stops and says there’s no point practicing alone.
With the strategy meeting over, Max dismisses the volunteers. Gamlin tells Basara that this time he won’t be defending Sound Force, so they should enjoy their last free hours. Everyone goes to Mylene’s birthday party, and Michael brings out a large cake for her to blow out the candles. Everyone gives her flowers, but she begins to cry because everyone is going away for the mission. Basara tells her she looks terrible and should put on a better face for her birthday. They then pull out their instruments and play “Planet Dance” for the crowd. Two members of Rex’s gang comment that this may be the last Fire Bomber concert ever. After the party, Gamlin sits with Mylene, while Basara climbs to the roof and plays “My Soul for You” on his acoustic guitar. One of Rex’s girls tells her she should explain her feelings to Basara, but Rex drives off. Gamlin gives Mylene her birthday present – a diamond ring to signify his being in Diamond Force. He says that if he returns from the mission, he wants her to wear the ring on her left hand. Veffidas swims in the hotel’s pool, and Ray tells Akiko that he knew things would turn out this way from the day he met Basara. Akiko begins to cry, but Ray tells her they’ll return alive. Max asks Milia to serve as acting captain, and she agrees on the condition that he return from his mission. Gamlin says goodbye to Mylene, and Basara’s fangirl cries outside of the hotel. As dawn arrives, Basara asks Guvava to take care of Mylene. Later, the members of the volunteer mission are saluted as they board the Stargazer. The Stargazer separates from the Macross 7, and Mylene runs to her Thunderbolt. Milia chases her, and Mylene begins to cry about the people who are important to her. She says she wants to go, and Milia gives her the wings she wore when she fought alongside Max. On the bridge, Exsedol asks Milia if it’s wise to let Mylene go, but she answers that there’s nothing she could to. As the Stargazer prepares to fold, Mylene arrives despite Max’s objections. After she arrives, the ship folds in.
In some ways, this is a pretty depressing episode, since it’s mainly seen through Mylene’s eyes. Up to now, the war hasn’t touched her as it does in this episode, because almost everyone she knows is volunteering for a hopeless mission. Max comments to Milia that U.N. Spacy has abandoned their fleet to buy time against the Protodeviln – something he’s personally experienced before when the original Macross was abandoned in the fight against the Zentradi. That ship also fought against hopeless odds, and Max intends to do the same with his surprise attack. For Mylene, it means coming to grips with the reality of war, but in the end she gets to join the fight. Given that Milia was expecting that, Mylene is certainly her parents’ daughter in that regard.
Original Review: July 22, 2000