Macross Frontier: Why Do We Sing?

I know why Nakajima Megumi is singing: Satelight is cutting her a check for every song, plus it’s not every big break that involves singing Kanno Yoko songs. Why Ranka is singing, however, proves to be a much more problematic, uh, problem.

I must admit, when I saw 19 (yesterday ;__;) I screamed blasphemous words towards Sheryl at the end. I’m not sure if I just missed the explanation for what happened (her fainting and Alto catching her) or if they didn’t show it to us in order to make the viewer howl in anger (or cheer in ecstasy, you disgusting horrible wonderful Sheryl fans), but that still didn’t make me any less upset at the effect it had on poor Ranka. Since the series is winding to a conclusion, drama has been kicked into high gear (and people shoot bullets to keep the old-school fans pacified) and now we have the fun times of screaming in rage and hatred at Leon instead of Sheryl/Ranka, for once.

20 was essentially 24 minutes of animated bliss: that single episode contained everything about Macross Frontier that, love it or hate it, makes it Macross Frontier. We have lots of blood and gore and killing. We have Klan Klan stripping in front of the camera (and it still wasn’t shoved in your face nearly as bad as they could have done it, and it played into the end of the episode–more later, though, on a very sad and touching KLAN KLAN WATCH!). We have conspiracies run amok and a nagging feeling that maybe Leon isn’t as in control as he thinks he is. And we also have Sheryl regaining her drive to sing, a performance that, although most likely the exact same recording found on the Diamond Crevasse single with some manipulation to the mix, still sent chills up my spine and made a certain moment which we will discuss later in KLAN KLAN WATCH! much stronger. Mock-Sheryl hate aside, she pulled out all the stops and we see her character rise from an abyssal depression of uselessness into a realization that one is only as useless as one thinks they are. We also see her slap some sense into Ranka–really, the whole rooftop sequence was amazing on all three fronts. It may be a love triangle, but like all Macross triangles, the three have to work as a cohesive unit to get anywhere.

Also, I was quite pleased to note–also on the rooftop scene–that they snuck in a sly reference to SDF/DYRL, where Ranka states that she can’t sing, exactly like Minmei did before her performance of Do You Remember Love? at the end of DYRL. Ranka, of course, can’t sing because she feels she’s lost her reason to, since Alto doesn’t care about her. It’s also amusing–as Ranka loses her way in stardom and is forced to re-evaluate why she sings, Sheryl, who’s been on the decline for quite some time now, finally realizes that she shouldn’t sing for herself, but for others, because it’s all she can do.

21 was slightly less spectacular, and I don’t quite have a lot to say about it, but they’re definitely heading towards an end with this series. When Ranka and Brera blast off into space, I’m left wondering if they’re playing into Leon’s plans (if Leon is truly who is in control here, or if Grace is using him as a pawn like Lelouch) or if they’re acting in counter to them. The path of the series now seems to be coexistence with the Vajra (who probably aren’t a terribly hostile race unless provoked, as wild animals tend to be) with Ai-chan maturing into a full Vajra. Personally, I’m waiting for the Alien moment where a Vajra pops out of Ranka’s stomach (or the Spaceballs moment where a Vajra erupts from her stomach, and then tap dances off the set a la Michigan J. Frog). Also, I love how there’s two triangles going here: Alto/Sheryl/Ranka, and Ranka/Alto/Brera. Only Sheryl is missing one, unless you want to count Sheryl/Alto/Nanase. This is, indeed, the Macross that’s all about love triangles.

And, now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for:


I don’t know if there’s words for this scene. I knew going into 20 that Michael would die, possibly horribly, but very definitely die, and even still, this final sequence affected me to the point of tears welling up (again!). It was probably a combination of Klan confessing her feelings for him earlier (while mostly naked and in miclone form), the aforementioned bone-chilling performance of Diamond Crevasse, and MIchael stating, just before It Happens, that if you truly cared about someone, you’d give up your life for them. Also probably the fact that Klan Klan and Michael were both pretty tsundere to each other all series, to have both the confessions and the death of Michael within a few minutes of each other is just…yeah. I don’t know if I can actually describe my emotion from the moment the Vajra busted out above the miclone tank to when Michale was sucked into space. Emotions defy words, I think, this one especially. If Michael had to go out, he did so in the best possible way.

But, dear reader, you can make Klan Klan not be sad once more! Simply join the under-appreciated MAL club I have formed in dedication to our favorite genetically defective Zentradi female. It’s under-appreciated like every other MAL club I have formed, possibly because I have unpopular and somewhat obscure tastes! This isn’t shameless self-whoring at all!

I’ve also just realized that we’re about to start a new season, and I, once again, am bidding farewell to series I’ve stuck with for half a year. God knows what I’ll do when Soul Eater ends–I think, if I stick with it, it will be the first 50+ episode series I’ve managed to follow from airing start to airing end. I almost did that with SEED Destiny, but by the time it ended I had given it up already and didn’t care too much. I keep meaning to post my crazy plan-to-watch list for the fall, but I haven’t had a chance to yet.

4 Responses to “Macross Frontier: Why Do We Sing?”

  1. 1 famfiel 1 September 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Ep 19 doesn’t directly tell you what transpired between Alto and Sheryl on the rooftop, but if you keep an eye on the earlier scenes, it’s clear that she was going to see Alto to tell him the truth about her illness (which she never got around to, because of the interruption). So while it’s easy to be tricked by the cliffhanger, there certainly are enough clues for you to piece it together.

    It does help if you have a week to mull the episode over, though. ;)

  2. 2 concretebadger 2 September 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Klan was fantastic in #21 but hell, she’s had it rough. Michel went out in style though – old Roy Focker would be proud.

    I’m more inclined towards a Sheryl End but I think the remainder of the series will be Ranka’s search for answers, which will probably be as rewarding to watch. It is a shame we’re nearly at the end of this, especially since it’s one of my current faves and new Macross shows only seem to come out once every five years or so. A lot of rewatching will happen in between I think…

  3. 3 zqube 2 September 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Ranka is on a decline and I don’t think she will make a full recovery. She is acting like a spoiled child, refusing to sing for others and then tossing a “oh yeah I forgot to tell you something…” type thing before defecting (running away, again like a kid) to the Vajra.

    If she somehow ends up with Alto I will be very disappointed. She is worse than Minmei was.

  1. 1 Foundation for Defense of Democracies Trackback on 15 March 2015 at 12:05 am

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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September 2008

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