Macross Frontier 07: Battle!
So, is Luca Christian or what!! He names his three drones Simon, John and Peter. 3 of the 12 apostles were called by those names (also, Peter was originally called Simon). Luca (=Ruka) in Japanese is the name of the evangelist Luke. His surname Angelloni sounds a lot like “angel”. And in this episode his (mecha) Messiah ends up getting swallowed by a (Vajra) whale! Thankfully Alto got him out of there in less than 3 days.
A lot of that here! Maybe one function of the circus is to counteract anti-missile defenses. If you just shoot 2 or 3 missiles with the same trajectory toward the enemy, the enemy can blow them up with a single explosive counterattack. But if you shoot 20 missiles, each of which are trained on the target but have been programmed to follow random trajectories on the way to the target, defensive maneuvers become that much harder(?).
This post [here] has a very good breakdown of the pieces in play. I can’t help but make comparisons with the battles and spacecraft in Leiji Matsumoto works. As could be expected from a man who became famous via Space Battleship Yamato, Leiji’s warcraft revolves around mega battleships (the Big Four in the Leijiverse consisting of the Yamato, Arcadia, Queen Emeraldas and Mahoroba). To be more precise, heroic warcraft in the Leijiverse revolves around a single mega battleship. The Yamato and the Arcadia usually fight on their own. Now, both of these battleships have a fighter craft complement but it is the battleship, with its wave motion guns and its triple laser cannons and its ramming abilities, that plays the major role. Fighter craft such as the Spacewolf and the Cosmowing add excitement and pathos to the battles, but that’s about it.
The battle in this episode is totally different. If Leiji follows a battleship-centric model, Macross in this episode at least seems to follow a carrier-centric model. Let me be clear that when I say carrier-centric I don’t mean to belittle the Variable Fighters. On the contrary, by calling it “carrier-centric” I want to stress the fact that that battles fundamentally revolve around carrier ships releasing fighters and bombers which in turn decide the outcome. A good carrier battle is one wholly fought by fighters released by the carriers in play, and ideally, one where opposing carriers don’t fire guns at each other or even see each other at all. In other words, a good carrier battle is like a Cold War (with airplanes analogous to the little countries, guerrilla groups and spy networks that the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. threw against each other).
Of course, at the end of the battle the Macross Quarter subverts the ideals I’ve just laid out. The carrier becomes the ultimate fighter and terminates the opposing Vajra. As a variable fighter which carries itself and a command carrier which engages in close combat on its own, the Quarter begins to sound like a godly weapon.
The fact that the Quarter, a capital ship, becomes a variable fighter of sorts is very much in keeping with the Guantanamo-class carriers’ stealth ability. It shows a tendency to unite capabilities today mostly associated with naval (carrier) and aerial (fighters, stealth) units into one, which makes sense in terms of the “reality” of space combat.