Macross Frontier Episode 16: Ranka Attack
As he finishes a battle and returns to the Macross Frontier, Alto recalls how Richard Birla had explained that his dream was to bring together the galaxy that is currently separated by dislocations, thereby connecting stars which are light-years apart. Though Alto doesn’t tell the others what Birla said, he does become more serious about his work. At school, he’s irritated that Brera starts coming to class with Ranka, however when Alto tries to do something about it, Brera pins him to the ground and explains that he has authority to eliminate anyone who gets in the way of his mission. Ranka later tries to raise the issue of having a bodyguard and wishes to be back with Elmo, but Grace asks her to endure it and explains that she’s taken over management at the request of the government. Grace has also prepared the music for Ranka’s second single—a different version of Aimo—and encourages Ranka to go with it. Sheryl meanwhile finds out about what Grace is doing when she sees her on TV with Ranka, and Elmo is back at the Zentradi mall drowning himself in alcohol.
Warning! The following summary contains spoilers.
Grace thinks that Ranka can become the light of hope for everyone with her song, but Ranka is under a lot of pressure and performs poorly during a recording session. After watching her for a while, Brera asks her why she hesitates and points out how much better her song usually is. He tries to come up with a comparison by saying that it evokes feelings of being enveloped in space, and after she thanks him for his words, she asks him where he knows Aimo from. Brera declines to answer though because it’s top-secret, and he then walks off, leaving Ranka with her pet Ai-kun. At around this same time, Alto is slowly making his way to the Macross Quarter while thinking about what Birla had said about the Fold Quartz when he comes across Sheryl sitting on a bench. Despite still being very sick, she immediately denies that she came to see him and refuses to go back to the hospital or the hotel because she doesn’t want to be confined anymore. Alto ends up bringing her back to his cabin onboard the Macross Quarter, and when she regains her senses, she starts hitting him because she thinks he did something to her. She stops after Alto makes her realize that he carried her there and how worried he was.
Alto then notices Sheryl’s earring and recognizes the jewel in it to be the same type as that in Richard Birla’s ring. He gets close to her in order to get a better look at it, however Mikhail suddenly enters the room and thinks that the two are in the middle of something. When Alto denies it, Sheryl gets angry, but their subsequent argument is broken up only after Cathy contacts Alto and Mikhail with a top secret mission: guarding Ranka while her song is used in an experiment. News of this quickly reaches the others as well, and although a furious Ozma pays a visit to Leon, he is ultimately unable to do anything about the experiment because Ranka herself had consented to it. There is skepticism amongst the various Skull Squadron members about if this variation of the Minmei Attack will work against the Vajra, but everyone—including Brera—comes along, and Ranka rides with Canalia in the König Monster. Having been left behind on the Macross Quarter by Alto, Sheryl makes her way to the bridge and convinces the crew to let her stay because she already knows the details of the mission.
The target for the mission is a Vajra asteroid nest, and once the fighting begins, the effect of Ranka singing Aimo O.C. becomes evident: it causes the Vajra to stop attacking and to act irregularly. Unfortunately, she stops singing after she sees a Vajra blow up right outside her window, and that allows one of the large red Vajra to come after the König Monster. Alto tries to save Ranka, however Brera beats him to the punch by firing a powerful rifle shot through Alto’s Valkyrie’s wing and nailing the Vajra. This pisses Alto off, but Brera just reiterates that Alto is unsuitable for Ranka and that he—not Alto—will be the one protecting her. Regardless, everyone is impressed with how well Ranka did, and Bobby declares her the songstress of their hopes. Ranka is happy to hear the praise, but she remains worried about both Alto and her brother, and she wonders if all this is okay.
Well there’s no new OP this week, but the new ED finally hit. For once, I’m not too keen on the song, though that may change as I listen to it more. I probably still prefer Diamond Crevasse more. The animation that accompanied Northern Cross, however, is full of visual flair featuring Sheryl concept art along with 3-D effects and May’n dancing in the background.
So Ranka is being made to sing in battle now. Her weapon is Aimo O.C., but I thought it was pretty bad rendition (especially with the way the music starts) of an otherwise good song. Since Grace and Leon are behind this, something tells me this won’t end well… particularly not for Ozma who, if the preview is to be believed, will probably die next week. Actually, now that I think about it, this episode was kind of depressing/frustrating for all three main characters. Ranka is now being used as a weapon, Alto loses to Brera (twice), and Sheryl can’t do anything but watch.
Oh and Richard Birla’s goal is apparently to bring together the galaxy which is currently separated by dislocations, thus connecting stars which are light-years away.