A moment of silence as we remember love for the fallen, and the heroes during 9/11/2001.
The episode itself is a showcase of the martial capabilities of the SMS. By this I mean the tactics, the personnel, and the ordnance; and how they all come together against what pretty much counts as an unkown foe. In the original series, the idea of transforming fighter craft in to humanoid giants is the product of intelligence that told the UN SPACY that the potential alien threat would be a race of 50-foot tall soldiers. The success of the variable fighters led to the design’s continued development and use well into the 2050s, despite not having the last major threat to be aliens with wildly variable size. In Macross Frontier, the Vajra are just as much a mystery to the Frontier branch of NUNS as the Zentraedi were to UN SPACY back in 2009. Hence, I would measure the worth of a crack (para)military unit by its ability to be dominant in the face of very little intelligence; for its ability to adapt against alien combat threats.
When I say that the episode is a showcase, I mean it. The pilots|characters take turns taking the spotlight to display the function and abilities of their mecha. By this point, nearly every single mechanical design (NUNS, SMS, Vajra, Galaxy Fleet) will have showed their capability in the narrative. If the SMS were a super hero team like the X-Men, each hero would take turns showing off their special mutant power. The good thing is, the actual experience of the show is nowhere as cheesy as that suggests. The progression of the battle is, in true Macross fashion, accompanied by the vocal stylings of the idol of the times: Sheryl Nome performing in her farewell concert.
The following slideshow [this will not appear if you are reading this post via feed reader] gives a fanboy perspective on the way combat is depicted in Macross (Frontier).
Thanks to Macross Mecha Manual, we have detailed technical notes on the participating mecha in this engagement.
From the Vajra:
From the SMS:
- Destroid Cheyenne Mk II
- RVF-25 Super Messiah
- VF-25F Messiah
- VF-25F Super Messiah
- VF-25G Super Messiah
- VF-25S APS-25A/MF25 Armored Messiah
- VB-6 König Monster (2059)
- QF-4000 (AIF-7S) Ghost Fighter (SMS Type)
- Macross Quarter Carrier
One thing this episode did not show, is the fancy dogfight. There are elements of it, such as the evasion of the ‘Itano Circus.’ However, this episode as more like 1 craft vs. many, or 1 craft vs. capital ship, capital ship vs. capital ship, and combined arms tactics. In episode 04 (Miss Macross) we saw a stylized dogfight between Klan Klan and Alto (Queadlunn-Rea vs. VF-25F Messiah), followed by a grisly scrap between both vs. a Large-Type Vajra.
We Remember Love‘s coverage of Macross Frontier has been about elements of the series that exclude the mecha. Part of the the reason is to make the discussion more accessible to casual fans, in the spirit of how the show made Macross more accessible to a new generation and a wider audience. But this episode’s battle reminds us that Macross is mecha anime of spectacular quality.
This AMV depicts the Macross style of combat very well (Frontier), inclusive of footage up to episode 07:
I don’t really consider this battle to be one of the great battles of anime history, though it is one of the most fun to watch. The Battle of Saturn’s Rings in SDF Macross however, I do think belongs [->]
‘Itano Circus’, elaborated [->]