Macross Frontier Episode 17: Goodbye, Sister
As he loads his gun and stares at the promotional flier for Ranka’s concert, Ozma recalls the day he had first brought her to their current home. Since she was still traumatized, he had tried making her a pineapple cake, and although she didn’t think it was delicious, she had finally started talking and showing her feelings to him. Back in the present, Mikhail is still worried about Sheryl and asks Kuran to introduce him to someone she knows who is studying pharmaceutical sciences. Kuran starts to get mad at him, but something else suddenly catches Mikhail’s attention: across the street, Luca is getting into a limousine guarded by men in dark suits. At around the same time, Ozma and Cathy are discussing how someone with an implant is involved in all this, and they suspect something is up with the Galaxy and Leon. Ozma is especially concerned about why Ranka needs to be used when they can already fight the Vajra with their current reactive warheads, and he thinks that the keys are in the Vajra and the 117th Research Fleet. As he walks out of the room, he asks Cathy if she still remembers how to make pineapple cake and comments on how he misses it. This leaves Cathy thinking about how she and Ozma once almost had a passionate night together, but it had been cut short by an urgent phone call.
Warning! The following summary contains spoilers.
Over at Ozma and Ranka’s house, Alto sneaks past the guards and into Ranka’s room. While she’s getting him a drink, he notices some pictures of her and Ozma as well as a bamboo container labeled Ai-kun. When he tries to see what’s inside, the creature Ranka adopted jumps out and onto his face. After Ranka returns and clears things up about Ai-kun, she explains that she wanted to talk to him about the experiment involving her. Alto reveals that the others in the S.M.S are happy that the fighting will get easier, but when Ranka asks about how he personally feels, he states that expanding and improving are basic desires of all living things. Competition and strife are born when two or more different groups have those desires, and Alto thinks that it applies to the current case. Since Alto doesn’t oppose her singing to fight the Vajra, Ranka hopes to help everyone and vows to do her best. Meanwhile, Luca brings a suitcase of Fold Quartz to the government building. Leon notes that these are created only inside the bodies of the Vajra and declines to tell Luca about the gems’ power, but Luca already suspects that this all has to do with Richard Birla’s plan. Luca knows that Birla originally made a name for himself in the transportation industry, and his escort organization was the beginning of the SMS. He thinks that the idea is to monopolize distribution and communication on a galactic level—equivalent to ruling the galaxy—but Leon and Grace reveal that they have a different plan.
By now, Ozma has left the S.M.S base and has arrived at the alien creature research laboratory with the intent of investigating what’s happening to the Vajra corpses. He tries to sneak in through the sewers, but he’s caught by Brera who had been following him. Brera knocks out the lights in the sewers and attacks with his knives, but Ozma is able to hold him at bay and demands to know what Brera and the others are plotting. Specifically, he wants to know why they’re using Ranka’s dream as a tool, so Brera reveals that it’s necessary in order to protect her. When Ozma asserts that things are different from 11 years ago since they have enough power now to protect Ranka on their own, Brera counters by saying that this only applies to right now. Ozma then notices the necklace Brera is wearing and realizes who Brera really is, but their conversation is interrupted by a call informing Brera of an impending Vajra attack. Because of this, the two pilots quickly return to base and launch in their respective Valkyries, and Ozma’s group is authorized to use reactive warheads. Much to their surprise though, the warheads have no effect on these Vajra who simply shed their current carapaces and harden new ones. One of the large red Vajra then charges straight at the Macross Quarter and fires a shot aimed at the bridge. Fortunately, Ozma protects everyone by shielding them with his Valkyrie.
Since his Valkyrie is mostly still intact, Ozma goes on to struggle with his opponent in close quarters combat. What ultimately destroys this particular Vajra is a shot from Brera’s quantum beam rifle, and Brera reveals that the old weapons won’t work anymore because the Vajra are always evolving. Brera knows that even his beam rifle will become ineffective sooner or later, and he makes the point to Ozma that this is why they need Ranka’s song. Ozma, however, refuses to accept this and declares that he’ll fight with whatever he has, for as long as he has the will to fight. He then charges a Vajra and cuts through it with the Valkyrie’s knife, and despite his wounds, he feels that he wouldn’t be a man if he couldn’t protect his little sister and the woman he loves. Following Ozma’s lead, the others draw their knives and quickly finish the fight. In the aftermath, everyone attends Ranka’s concert, and Ozma both enjoys the song Seikan Hikou and observes how much Ranka has grown from being a crybaby. He loses consciousness soon afterwards, and Cathy panics when she notices that he has actually been bleeding profusely. They rush him to the hospital, and although everyone is worried, Ozma gets treatment and survives. Meanwhile, Sheryl confronts Grace and says that they need to have a talk.
By now, Seikan Hikou isn’t really anything new, and I’ve listened to it quite a bit, so I don’t have much else to say about the song itself. The animation sequence that accompanies it here is amusing and very colorful, and I’m hoping that its relatively simplicity means that the upcoming Lion OP will be really impressive to watch.
So much for Ozma dying. I counted at least four separate times that I thought he’d bite the dust, but it looks like the writers were just toying with us. I should have suspected that something was off when the preview last week was hinting so strongly at it—too strongly. I like Ozma’s character though, and he gave a nice speech during the battle, so I’m not exactly sad that he made it out alive. Of course, given how they did this, I probably won’t be shocked now if the writers killed off Ozma when we least expected it. Actually, now that I think about it, that scene where Ozma protected the Macross Quarter was rather reminiscent of a certain scene from Gundam SEED, except replace Mu La Flaga with Ozma and Murrue with Cathy. And no fake-death-only-to-return-in-the-sequel-as-the-masked-man either.
Aside from Ozma, there are a lot of smaller things going on that deserve some attention. For starters, seeing Ai-kun tear up Alto’s paper airplane was a little unsettling in the bad omen sort of way. I still suspect that Ai-kun will play a not-insignificant role in the near future. There’s also how Nanase might be joining the dark side, or at the very least, it’s highly likely that Grace will manipulate her to influence Ranka. On top of that, I get the feeling that Luca might eventually get blackmailed by Leon and/or Grace, and even if that doesn’t happen, continuing to associate with them isn’t going to lead to anything good. Similarly, I’m a little worried that Mikhail will tread treacherous waters trying to investigate the pills that Grace was giving Sheryl, and that could get him killed if things take a dark turn. Given how she appears to be connected to everything, Grace is clearly still the central figure here, and I’m curious to see what happens between her and Sheryl. The preview suggests that Sheryl is going to be in for some more depression, but I’m hoping she’ll somehow be able to rid herself of Grace forever and settle on her own path.