Macross Frontier: The Disposal of Sheryl

I just want to go on the record as stating that episode 15 of Macross Frontier was extremely bizarre. Entertainingly bizarre, but bizarre nonetheless.

Of course, 15 was half a recap episode and half new content, and I’d just come off watching 13 and 14 as part of my sinister plan to catch up on Macross after letting it languish for a couple weeks (because I let everything languish, because boy have the last two weeks been nuts). And (as is sometimes the case with recap episodes) there was a lot of ominous-sounding talk about conspiracies and plans and shadow goings-on that we’ve known about since a long time ago but that had never really crystallized into a formal conspiracy. Now we’re extremely sure that there is one, but we still don’t know to what end, which is driving me nuts. It’s obviously some kind of far-reaching thing involving lots of hate and other things. After seeing episode 13 and the trip inside the Macross Global I was pretty sure that what had happened was that the scientists on the Global had somehow created the Vajra and they had gotten out of control and took over, but I’m not sure this is exactly what’s happened, especially with the Protoculture name-dropping at the end of 15. As we know from previous Macross series, the mysterious Protoculture were big fans of genetic manipulation, a fact which has always come back to haunt their descendants (the Zentradi in SDF, for one; I forget where the Protodeviln of 7 fit in here, or if they’re something unrelated, but there was that giant Protoculture ruin under the sea in 7).

Of course, the setup of the series–Sheryl arriving on Frontier for the final leg of her tour–was an integral part in whatever mysterious plan the whoever-they-are (I’m pretty sure they’re just using the Vajra as a means to an end) but as vast conspiracies are wont to do, things quickly spiraled out of control (see also: Gundam 00), which led to a vital piece of The Plan–i.e., Ranka–being located, completely changing the course of The Plan and forcing the already fairly cast-aside Sheryl to be “disposed” of–I don’t really know if they’ll dispatch hired guns after her, but you can bet that popularity is going to ebb as the conspirators focus their efforts on Ranka.

Of course, Sheryl’s own self-confidence seems to have been on the wane in these past few episodes–first she’s upstaged by Ranka in the concert, then she’s bedridden for a while, then she rushes out into combat and does a remarkably good job of not getting killed instantly (but accomplishing nothing else) and, then, in the ultimate brush-off, she has to watch a determined Alto–who’s always seemed to be closer to her than he was to Ranka–dash off like a gallant knight to save Ranka. Which he doesn’t do, but instead makes a lot of things blow up and screams a lot. They’re definitely setting him up to be rivals with Brera Sterne, which they already have been, but clearer now than before. As for Sheryl, her fate is pretty much sealed when Grace drops her blood sample off the roof of the hospital–she’s effectively dead and buried, as the sweeper-bot (FOREIGN CONTAMINANT) tidies up the blood and glass.

And, of course, the highlight of the episode, for better or for worse, was the impromptu (and sexually charged) duet in the middle of the hospital between Sheryl and Ranka, which I am now going to read entirely too far into. First off, the love triangle is shoved in your face–literally–with Ranka framing a shot with her fingers forming a triangle and panning from Alto to Sheryl. Of course, the duet started when Sheryl, jealous of the attention Ranka is getting from Alto, starts singing her song over the Ranka cover blaring over the speakers, thereby making Ranka jealous of the blatantly erotic moves Sheryl lays on Alto and starting her to sing, and both of them start overpowering Alto who can do nothing except look very awkward and embarassed and in look of a quick way of out this scene. Of course, even though the duet started as a result of their informal rivalry for Alto’s affections (Alto, of course, is probably just trying to be a good friend to both of them), they actually seemed to get into the whole duet thing and started cooperating pleasantly, a fact which seems to be an important element in Frontier.

If you remember waaaay back in the trip to the ruins of the Macross Galaxy, Ranka’s song traveled across the universe, but only when she was singing at the same time as Sheryl was. And if Sheryl is now “useless” to the plans of the conspirators, they may–if I’m reading this right, which I may not be–just find themselves wishing they’d held off on that. Cooperation always seems to be an element in Macross love triangles–Minmei had to accept that Misa held more esteem in Ichijo’s heart before she was able to sing Do You Remember Love? in the movie; Gamlin had to cooperate with Basara in 7 and even found a kind of respect for him and wound up being a fairly major fan; I’m willing to bet that it’ll be the same way in Plus and Zero. It may just be that, to stop whatever is going to happen, both will have to set aside their rivalry (which isn’t really all that heated at the moment, really) and cooperate to make Alto super-powerful and endowed with Chiba Song Units so he can give a rousing perfomance of Try Again and save the universe!

(I am now suddenly interested in Ranka and Sheryl covering Fire Bomber songs, mostly the awesome ones. Oh man)

KLAN KLAN WATCH!

I like how MIchael has a vision of miclone Klan Klan angry instead of Zentradi Klan Klan angry. Perhaps we can leap to conclusons about certain fetishes he may or may not have?

Also, I am pretty sure that more girls need to wear double-breasted jackets like that. Pure awesome.

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