As they drive through the city, Cathy comments to Leon that Ranka is a true Cinderella story. She asks Leon why he’s chosen to send a survey team to Gallia 4, and he tells her he was tipped off by a source. In between interviews, Ranka composes an e-mail to Alto about how busy she’s been ever since Bird Human came out. She writes that she’ll take time off for Alto’s birthday, but she’s interrupted when her car arrives at its destination. At school, Nanase is surprised that Ranka hasn’t written to Alto about his birthday. Sheryl takes interest at it being his birthday, and Luca is sure that Ranka will do something for Alto. Michael comments to Sheryl that their course is pretty hard, and she says she has some interesting work next week. On the Macross Quarter 25, Ozma tells Cathy that Sheryl is going to perform a relief concert on Gallia 4, where the all-Zentradi NUNS 33rd Marine Force is stationed. Ozma thinks things have become strange lately, with the Hydra epidemic and the mysterious valkyrie, and Cathy says she wants to investigate things as well. She asks him if he’s seen Bird Human, but he tells her that he refuses to see it. Luca pulls up some information on Gallia 4 on his laptop, which states that the atmosphere is breathable, but the environment isn’t hospitable. Alto thinks about an open sky, and Luca mentions that the usual one day fold travel time is instead a week because of fold distortions. Luca mentions that lots of pictures of him showed up in the documentary, making his brothers envious. Michael thinks that’s amusing since Luca’s brothers are always in the news and he’s the prince of the LAI conglomerate. Alto is surprised when his adopted brother Yasaburo approaches and asks to speak with him. Alto and Yasaburo take an elevator ride, and Yasaburo comments that Alto hasn’t forgotten acting since he showed up in the movie. Alto explains it away as being just a stunt scene, but Yasaburo believes acting is still acting. Luca looks up Yasaburo and discovers that he’s in line to inherit the family title since Alto ran off. At a café, Alto asks Yasaburo if he’s come to just talk about the movie, but Yasaburo tells him that Ranzo recently collapsed. Alto says that doesn’t have anything to do with him, but Yasaburo doesn’t think so. He adds that he has something for Alto’s birthday. Elsewhere, Elmo gives Ranka a ticket to her show that she requested, and Sheryl correctly guesses that it’s a birthday present for Alto. Sheryl suddenly drops her drink with the onset of a headache. Later, Grace tells Sheryl not to push herself too hard and suggests canceling the relief concert, but Sheryl insists on going. Leon is informed by “G” that Sheryl is going to Gallia 4 as planned. Cathy asks Klan about the 33rd Marine Force, and Klan explains that she and Nene are descendants of the first Zentradi to join with humanity. However, there’s another camp of Zentradi who only did so reluctantly after Space War I, and the 33rd Marine Force is made up of them. Nanase asks Ranka if she’s talked to Alto and mentions that he and Sheryl are getting along well recently. Ranka thinks about her kiss with Alto in the movie and calls him, but he doesn’t answer and she leaves a message for him to meet her at Griffith Park.
Alto looks out into space and thinks about what Yasaburo told him. If Alto returns home before his birthday, he won’t be disinherited. Alto said he’s not interested in that anymore, but Yasaburo said Alto can’t leave acting behind and was just acting the part of a pilot. Yasaburo said that Alto had inherited the actor’s blood that he’d never have. Alto’s thoughts are interrupted when Sheryl pokes him in the back. She criticizes his sloppy appearance, and when he shoots back about her dress, she tells him she’s working. She then asks him if he wants to fly in a real sky that goes on endlessly. Later, Alto thinks again about what Yasaburo said, as well as Sheryl’s offer. He also thinks about how he used to make paper airplanes as a child and fly them in front of his mother. Having convinced Elmo to give her two hours off, Ranka runs to Griffith Park, but she’s disappointed to find Michael instead of Alto. Michael explains that Alto asked him to come because he’s on a job now. On the Macross Quarter 25, Alto launches in his Super Messiah. At the Saotome school, Ranzo disciplines a student for a weak performance and asks Yasaburo about the issue with Alto, but Yasaburo tells him he has nothing to report. He then begins a practice performance for the students. In space, Alto flies next to Sheryl’s shuttle, and she tells him to keep up with her. She also thanks him for coming, but he doesn’t hear that part. Leon speaks over the phone to “G,” who is actually Grace, and she tells him that she’ll contact him again once she reaches Gallia 4. Nearby, Brera launches in his Lucifer and takes off. The shuttle and Alto’s Messiah fold in for Gallia 4. At Griffith Park, Ranka is surprised when the green creature approaches her. She wonders if the creature is trying to comfort her and feeds it the plane-shaped cookies she baked for Alto. Pointing one cookie to the sky, she wishes Alto a happy birthday.
Following the events of the last episode, Ranka is starting to become even more of a celebrity following her role in Bird Human. Of course, overprotective Ozma isn’t happy about that at all. The slower pace of this episode lays out some plot points for the next arc. We see that Ozma is suspicious about recent events, and Cathy shares that suspicion. Those suspicions are well founded, since the mysterious “G” that Leon has been communicating with is actually Grace, as I expected. That confirms that she’s been the one giving orders to Brera, so she’s neck deep in all this. Sheryl gets a job singing for a NUNS unit that’s all-Zentradi, and we learn from Klan that these people probably aren’t very nice. They’re descendants of Zentradi who only reluctantly joined with humanity after the war, and the original series showed us what kinds of problems could happen with those people. We’re also introduced to Yasaburo, a fellow kabuki actor who has been tapped as Alto’s successor. He insists that Alto wants to still act and is just playing the part of a man rebelling against his father to be a pilot. There may be some truth to his words. Finally, the issue of Ranka’s feelings for Alto is brought into the open by Nanase, but unfortunately Ranka acts to slowly and Sheryl offers Alto what he’s always wanted, which is to fly in a real sky.