It was supposed to end here, or at least, symmetry dictated it. 25 episodes for a 25th-year anniversary, as marked by the VF-25 Messiah, the 25th Macross-class ship “Frontier” and a few subtler nods to continuity and symmetry.
A dedication to symmetry led to Ranka slapping Sheryl to get her to face the circumstances, because Sheryl did just that in episode 20. Never mind that the Ranka didn’t really have reason to slap her, nor should she have felt that Sheryl needed one. As far as I’m concerned, Ranka wouldn’t slap anybody or anything. This is the girl who cares for bugs, who has distaste for violence. But she slapped Sheryl because Macross Frontier loves it symmetry.
But it fails this, because it was all supposed to end here, and it didn’t.
It didn’t because the end suggested more of a beginning. Grace and the Macross Galaxy fleet are defeated, the Vajra for some reason give up their homeworld to the humans, and Frontier’s population are set to colonize it. The love triangle, instead of resolving, is set to begin – as if in earnest this time; as if what transpired – which would have been the most event-filled moments in the lives of the characters, only brought them to this moment.
Alto found his sky, now Ranka and Sheryl compete with it and each other for Alto’s attention and perhaps love.
Here’s an apology: The triangle did not begin on equal terms. The story of Macross Frontier is how the triangle is to be fought on a level field under a blue sky. It isn’t about the result of the trials of life and death, the trials of love lie before our characters. Everything that happened brought them here where they are finally free to love.
No, I don’t buy it either.
However, this isn’t to say there isn’t much to appreciate in this finale. Nearly everything up to the very final moments when they touched down were of tremendous energy and excitement. It was a grand spectacle. A space battle that hasn’t been seen in the franchise since Macross 7 Fleet of the Strongest Women, but far grander, and evocative of Macross: Do You Remember Love?
That was some of the best two minutes I enjoyed in all animation right there. For the first time in over a decade, Earth forces fought each other. For the first time ever, Macross-class vessels engaged each other in combat. The Macross Galaxy took out the Macross Cannons of both Battle Frontier and Macross Quarter with one shot, and the Daedalus Attack was deployed against (who would have been) friendlies. And yes, TWO Minmay-class idols were singing in a duet as part of the fireworks.
It was more than I hoped for, and I’m so thankful this happened the way it did.
I’ve heard it mentioned in some discussion fora that Alto’s visor cracking during his final attack was a rip-off from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. This is the mistake of the ignorant. Both Macross Frontier and TTGL were remembering love for the finale of Mobile Suit Z Gundam. Kamille Bidan after all is one of them old uncles of the angsty pilot characters in robot anime.
View if you don’t care for spoilers (TTGL and Z Gundam).
Alto Saotome shows a bit of character [->]
Crusader spills an ocean of ink for this finale, and I remember loving it (Crusader 09/27/2008)