Macross Frontier Episode 22: Northern Cross
As the new Frontier President, Leon receives a report from the Environmental Sustainability Agency saying that the Macross Frontier has only three more months in the current wartime regulations mode. It’ll be the end for them if they don’t find a solution in that timeframe. Leon thinks that that should be enough, and the problem for him right now is finding a replacement for Ranka. He sees opportunity in all this, and he decides to call up Richard Birla. Alto and Luca meanwhile are out testing out new MDE warheads and new VF-171EX Valkyries with the military. Luca wishes that these weapons had been completed earlier, and that prompts Alto to inquire how Nanase is doing. Luca reveals that she still hasn’t woken up, but he actually feels that it’s okay like this for the time being so that she doesn’t have to find out about Ranka betraying them. In response, Alto suggests that the solution is to bring Ranka back before Nanase wakes up. Sometime later, Kuran and Alto run into each other, and she opens up about her regret of not being more honest with Mikhail sooner. She doesn’t want Alto and Sheryl to become like them, so she tells Alto about Sheryl’s condition.
Warning! The following summary contains spoilers.
During all this time, Sheryl has started singing again under the care of Elmo, and the feeling of her songs has changed. The scientists working with Luca detect something in the Fold waveform of her music and report it to Leon, so Sheryl gets summoned to his office. Luca explains to her that she’s been a carrier of the V-type infection since she contracted the disease ten years ago, and it is treatable in its early stages with a serum made from Vajra. Past that time period though, the bacteria get into the victim’s brain and start to create a certain type of toxin, and nothing more can be done for the infected. However, in this case, Sheryl’s voice lets out a small Fold wave, much like Ranka’s voice did. It’s not stronger than Ranka’s, but Luca theorizes that the Fold Quartz in her earring amplifies things, and he thinks Sheryl can do what Ranka did. Leon concludes their meeting by asking Sheryl to sing for the sake of humanity. With this on her mind, Sheryl returns to the Saotome house to find Alto waiting for her, and she collapses at the door.
Cathy and Ozma meanwhile have returned to the Macross Quarter after being found by Bobby, and they tell everyone of the truth about Howard Glass’s death. Ozma’s return allows Canaria to finally give him the letter that Ranka left him, and from it, Ozma realizes that Ranka has now chosen her own path. Since most of the crew is gathered together, Captain Jeffrey Wilder uses the chance to tell them that he had heard from Richard Birla that the S.M.S would be disbanded and then reincorporated into the New United Nations Spacey. He feels that they also have to decide their own future now, and after some deliberation, Cathy sends out a confidential message to the other members of the crew. Alto is one of the people who receives the message, but before he can read it, he hears Sheryl waking up in her room. Sheryl knows that she had said she wouldn’t sing anymore, but she feels that Alto made her realize that that is all she has. She tries to act like her normal self, but Alto doesn’t want her to continue, and this causes her to figure out that he knows. Alto tells her that she doesn’t have to sing, however Sheryl refuses because she feels that that’s the only proof she’s alive. Sheryl starts crying at this point, so Alto hugs her, and when she admits to being scared and lonely, he declares that he’ll stay at her side if she sings. In Alto’s arms, Sheryl asks him to give her courage.
Sometime later, Leon gives a rousing speech about the need to destroy the Vajra, all while he sends his men to execute Grace. By this point, most of the Macross Quarter crew have come back to the ship because of Cathy’s message, and as they prepare to leave the Frontier, Jeffery declares that they are now pirates instead of soldiers and that this ship is their first catch. Kuran is one of those who stayed behind, but she salutes the ship as it launches past her. When they realize what’s happening, Leon and the Frontier military command send a squad of Valkyries in pursuit, and included in this group are Alto and Luca. To counter them, Ozma launches in his Valkyrie, and he challenges his former allies to stop them. He almost takes out Luca with a volley of missiles, but Alto saves Luca and questions why Ozma is doing this. In response, Ozma notes that Alto is incapable of adapting to changing circumstances before explaining that this is the best way for him to protect the women important to him. Alto doesn’t think that this is something an adult should say, so Ozma declares that he’s not an adult—he’s a man. Ozma then questions back what Alto’s wings are for, and the two manage to damage each other’s Valkyries as they fly past each other. The Macross Frontier is now ready to do a Fold jump, so Ozma returns to the ship, but he before he departs, he tells Alto that both he and Ranka have chosen their own path. The question is where Alto is headed.
Meanwhile, far, far away, Ranka and Brera reach Ai-kun’s homeworld. The collective inside Grace is aware of this, and Grace—after taking out everyone sent to kill her—suits up to board her own Valkyrie. She’s ready to go to the planet where the true queen of the Vajra lives, and she calls it their treasure island.
Well geez, I think they recaptured a lot of the magic from the original first episode by having Sheryl singing Northern Cross to go along with the Valkyrie battle. That was an awesome scene, and it even gave me a new appreciation for the song. The frustrating thing is that Alto and Luca are on the wrong side of things (Leon’s side), and at least for that battle, Alto was his usual indecisive self. I can understand that he’s staying behind because of his promise to Sheryl (especially since it’s implied that they kissed again or even did something more than that), but I don’t know why he didn’t just tell that to Ozma. Heck, what Ozma said about doing the best thing to protect the women important to him applies to Alto as well. In any case, I hope Alto will take to heart all the stuff about choosing his own path and stick with Sheryl even after Ranka inevitably returns. I suspect at least part of the reason Kuran isn’t with the Macross Quarter was so that she could continue to serve as a sort of mentor to Alto about matters of life and love, and maybe she’ll point him in the right direction again.
As for Ranka and Brera, they’ve have arrived on a planet which looks like Earth except it has three moons and a white ring around it. We’re probably going to hear more about the Protoculture next week, and maybe everything concerning Grace and the Vajra will make more sense. Grace certainly seems pleased about all this at the end of this episode, and the Valkyrie she looks ready to pilot probably means that she’ll be involved in at least one space battle. I currently still don’t hate her nearly as much as I do Leon, probably because she’s so far been portrayed as more mysterious compared to Leon’s outright villainy. That’s likely to change since she’ll have to make her move soon now that there’s only three episodes left.