Macross Frontier 19-20: Stuff Happens
The revelation this episode was that Ranka’s little critter was a Vajra baby. Now, this does not come off as a surprise. I think 95% of viewers figure it out within like two seconds of the monster popping up..and I have to congratulate the writers for not making a big deal out of the revelation. The scene gets played as lightly as it should. “Oh dear, it’s a Vajra baby. Now let’s move on to the action.”
The rest of the episode just rehashes the love triangle and Alto’s utter silliness…
…And we find immediately at the beginning here that Alto was holding Sheryl simply because she had swooned a little. So basically we have a Ranka who’s thinking she’s about to confess her love [quite frankly, there’s a good chance she wouldn’t have gathered up the courage to do it anyway once she was in front of Alto], a Sheryl who won’t take matters into her hands [out of pride maybe, but at this point it’s a pride born of weakness and not of strength], and an Alto that makes us seriously question the presence of testosterone in his system. Sure, Mikhail keeps pushing Klan off, but he’s finding replacements all the time. What’s Alto’s excuse, I ask you?
It’s very frustrating for me to see this triangle. I do like shojo set-ups were nobody can find happiness, but those set-ups usually include at least one person who goes all out to get what s/he wants (only to be horribly rejected). Here it’s just plain impotence all around.
And just when Klan looks set to speed things up on her end the Vajra wrecks it. Usually when you have a really difficult love relationship (here: Alto-Ranka-Sheryl) in a show, it’s great to have a secondary troubled relationship (Michael-Klan) running at the same time. BUT I find that this works best when the secondary relationship gets resolved earlier than the primary one. It soothes us viewers for a while and gives us a bit of an anticipation of how the primary situation may resolve itself later on…
Next, Alto dashes past Sheryl and begs Ranka to sing against the Vajra. Hold on!! Isn’t this an awful thing? Doesn’t this validate the worldview of the villains in the show: the new singer’s better, forget about the old one?? Hmm… I’m actually confused at this point: if Sheryl sang her heart out, wouldn’t it at least have some effect on the Vajra?! My guess is yes. Isn’t the whole point of this franchise the power of music? Surely the Galactic Fairy could make at least a few of them lizards fall from the sky…
Anyway, Klan finally comes through and does a proper confession with both Alto and Ranka present. The latter two have no excuse now. We must hear someone in the love triangle confess to someone else by the end of episode 21. If not I will literally vomit.
Finally, the end. Sheryl’s singing at the shelter [there are many great anime scenes at shelters, probably the lingering effects of the WWII on the collective Japanese psyche] synchronized perfectly with Michael’s last stand in defense of Klan…Priceless stuff. Klan confesses, Michael feels it, begins to respond and immediately perishes. God thunders: how dare you be happy?! Now THIS is good melodrama, THIS is properly shojoesque.
Sheryl, Alto, Ranka, it’s seriously time to step it up, guys! Do not disappoint!! You’re supposed to top this: