ZERO :: the Fool (annwyd) wrote,
ZERO :: the Fool

Macross Frontier, episodes 16-20.

I seriously have it bad for the tragic older brother mentor figure, you guys. Is there a treatment for this?

Episode 16
--Brera is a chick magnet too? I guess he has even more in common with Alto than I thought. Personally, I think he's the girlier of the two, but maybe that's because he's still wearing makeup even after Alto has forsaken it.
--From the startled way Nanase reacted to it, I wonder if there was some connotation to Luca's "He's probably having a blue day" that got lost in translation.
--Ranka's cellphone eats discs. I want one even more. As a side note, I like the way they handle "super-advanced technology" here better than in, say, Gundam 00 (even though Macross F is supposed to be only fifty years in the future, compared to 00's three hundred, but never mind, if I think too much on that my brain will start to hurt). It's much more weird and unfathomable, whereas in 00 it's just...shinier flash drives and SUDDENLY A GUNDAM.
--Grace is turning Ranka's Only Childhood Memory into a secret weapon of war, isn't she? How eeeevil.
--Aww, Brera is so cute around Ranka.
--Alto and Sheryl are both so tsundere with each other.
--Hee, "believers in the Minmei Attack."
--Yeah, did they really expect Sheryl to sit quietly and be sick and useless on her own while Ranka's song was being used to help defend everyone? I don't think so.
--Ranka sings wormholes?
--Man, poor Sheryl. But I cringe to think of the bashing Ranka must have been getting in fandom around the time this aired.
--Ooh, shiny ED.

Episode 17
--Emo Ozma prepares for his backstory episode.
--Tiny traumatized Ranka is kind of scary.
--Ah--pineapple cake. Apparently this is some kind of oldschool Macross reference that I completely fail to get.
--New OP? Or just a Ranka concert thing?
--Yup, new OP! And it has chibis!
--I expect this is a one-episode OP, since it only features Ranka. I also expect that it led to a furious outbreak of Ranka-bashing. I really wish I could watch anime anymore without pausing every other episode and going, "Aaaaand that's where they bashed (insert female character here)."
--Heh, it's good to see them getting some punishment for bringing Sheryl into the SMS base or whatever. I thought it made sense that Captain Wilder didn't take it out on her last episode--she's a celebrity, she's been sick, she was obviously very driven--but there should be some consequences.
--Another ominous glimpse of the pill Michel found, and yet we're still not actually learning anything about it. Augh.
--Okay, he is looking into it, and doing so nets us another Michel/Klan scene. I take back my angries...for now.
--I like the not-so-subtle implication that this whole talk of us-or-them mentalities also applies to Ranka and Sheryl vying for Alto's affections.
--Whoa, sudden onset of plot.
--The Vajra have upgraded, huh. I wonder if sending SMS and the military out there without Ranka was a deliberate attempt to wipe out their forces?
--No, just to demonstrate how useless they are, I guess.
--Boy, Ozma's death flags are flying high this episode. Too bad I've been spoiled and I know he survives.

Episode 18
--Augh, poor Sheryl.
--Ah, here comes the new OP. And it looks badass.
--Aww, Luca is working with the bad guys just so he can protect Nanase.
--Grace makes the best ominous faces.
--...then she makes like she's going to rape Sheryl. What.
--Oh, God, that Engrish. "Jont teseoth" that supposed to be joint thesis?
--Awfully convenient that Sheryl should show up while they're researching her, but eh, it's dramatic and it moves the plot along, so I don't care at this point.
--Man, how is Sheryl not on this page on TVTropes with the way Grace has treated her?
--Oh jeez, Sheryl is reverting back to the bedraggled street urchin she was when Grace picked her up. Ouch.
--Awww, and Alto holding out his hand to her.
--Oops, no, not Alto. More ouch.
--Oh jeez again. Alto is going to have to choose between protecting Ranka and helping Sheryl, isn't he?
--And this time he chooses Ranka, but as with last time, it isn't really about the girls--it's about flying and fulfilling his duty.

Episode 19
--I have trouble believing that a pair of glasses is going to disguise Ranka and her prehensile hair.
--Aww, Alto violating his angry emo promises in order to be at Sheryl's side.
--What, Cathy is all of a sudden back together with Ozma without a word to Leon? Huh?
--Klan makes the best faces.
--Aww, and she's trying to get a reaction out of Michel and is annoyed when he simply plays along with her.
--They put Sheryl in Alto's mother's room and dressed her in her clothes? Are they trying to give Alto an Oedipus complex?
--"Back then, I was lying to myself." She's still lying to herself. I love Sheryl.
--Okay, so Cathy was just pretending to be on a date with Ozma so that they could do their gathering information thing...but uh, Leon's fiance being on a date with someone else is pretty suspicious in and of itself.
--Aww, Brera patting Ranka on the head and then being all weirded out by it.
--Poor Ranka, so caught up in a web of politics and scheming when all she wants is to sing for people.
--Oh, Michel. You're such a good big brother figure. You need to stop that; it's obviously dooming you. I should start betting on whether he goes in episode 23, 24, 25, or even earlier.
--And of course, rather than actually address the issue, Alto notices that Michel is hiding something and goes after that. So characteristic of the way he's acted in the love triangle--he views the vital components of romance as distractions from important matters. (It's also interesting that he's cast as the girls' "something to sing about," which makes him an object as much as a participant in the relationship. I can't quite dismiss him as only that, because he does have genuine touching moments with and real feelings for them, but the aspect is there.)
--Baww, stupid playboy Michel. I sort of knew this was why he was avoiding dating Klan even though she's the only one he has real feelings for, but hearing him say it...sigh. I am contractually obligated to love any character who plays the big brother role while covering up deep-seated issues of his own. Especially in a mecha show.
--And Klan heard him talking about it, oh god.
--I called it! Doomcritterbaby is a baby Vajra! Okay, so it was kind of obvious, but still.
--You know, in most situations, I'd say this is yandere time, but I can't see Ranka going yandere. I can see Grace manipulating her feelings of rejection, though, and the whole fandom hating her for it.

Episode 20
--So, just for the record, I'm putting my money on Michel death to go down in episode 21 or 22 (as much as I would appreciate it happening in episode 23 so that I could make further jokes about character type convergence). We'll see if anything happens this episode to make me narrow it down.
--I kind of wish Alto's stage background came up more, because I love the spin it puts on his relationship with both girls, who are themselves performers.
--Uh. Okay, I'm revising my estimate: Michel dies at the end of this episode.
--You know, this does raise the question of why was Cathy engaged to Leon in the first place. Although I guess that was answered earlier: on the rebound, because he's not like Ozma. Seems a little strange that she'd let herself get that far into a relationship on that basis, but based on their sex scene earlier, I suspect he was pretty pushy.
--Yay, Cathy and Ozma get to be badass together instead of him just protecting her!
--Augh, Ranka. She must have gotten so bashed for this...but I see where she's coming from. She's not saying she won't sing to protect the city, she's saying she can't. It's been too short a time for her to change completely; she hasn't had the time to build up the emotional armor that Sheryl has. On the inside, she's still the same nervous little girl.
--And it's Sheryl rather than Alto who cuts through the crap for her! Because Sheryl actually has the experience to know what it's like to have to sing when you don't feel you have the heart for it.
--...oops. It's not her song that calms them down, it's what's in her heart. And right now, that's not so calm. (Full disclosure: I only just now recalled a fragment of a spoiler mentioning this.)
--Okay, this is one of those situations that would be fixed a lot by Alto explaining that no, he did not in fact just choose Sheryl over Ranka. On the other hand...possibly not all that much, as in any case she's still anguished about being used as a tool?
--Oh, dear lord, Ranka's memories are going to come back right as she's about to sing over the fold amplifier, aren't they?
--Hmm, maybe they'll put off Michel's death an episode or two until after Klan has her moment of awesome? Or maybe it'll be the push she needs to have said moment.
--"Whereabouts unknown and currently searching." Augh, I love him.
--Did she really have to be a topless loli for that scene, though?
--Eee, Sheryl is going to have a moment of awesome.
--Oh! That kid we just saw was Kanaria's kid! That's so great. ♥
--Goddammit, Michel, don't do it. You are the older brother mentor figure in a mecha show. You cannot afford to do something as life-threatening as admitting your feelings for someone.
--Well, that was badass. I'm sniffly but satisfied. And at least I have the comfort of knowing they can't fuck it up in the sequel/next season.

Edit: Kamiya Hiroshi may now be the only seiyuu who can lay claim to having played both the Fokker figure/tragic older brother mentor and the Fokker figure's surviving girlfriend. More power to him.
Tags: anime post, macross frontier
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