Episode 11 of Macross Frontier starts off with a commercial for the Nyan Nyan restaurant featuring Ranka. It seems that her career is indeed taking off dramatically, since many of the billboards in the city also feature her. She’s being swamped by her work in the entertainment business, with a live concert coming up in a few days. Coincidently, Alto’s birthday is also due about the same time, so she plans to give a ticket to her concert as a birthday present, although she thinks that she should also give him something else. She hardly gets to see him because of her busy schedule, though.
Sheryl is popular as ever at the school. Nanase notes that she seems to be showing up at school more often than one would expect from an idol star, while noting that Ranka isn’t showing up because she’s so busy. Sheryl says that it’s only a temporary break and that she won’t be showing up for the next couple of weeks because of a concert at Gallia 4.
One reason she is going to the planet Gallia 4 might be the rumors that survivors from Macross Galaxy might have made their way there, a rumor that Grace regrets passing on to Sheryl. She will be performing for the 33rd Zentraedi fleet, which is known to be a rather lackluster military force by Klan to Cathy in the showers. (Cathy is investigating the oddness of the entire situation concerning the NUNS government.) By the way, Klan Klien is neat, encompassing both coolness in her macronized form and cuteness in her micronized form.
Sheryl appears to be getting a little sick, although she’s going to forge on. While I kind of admire her confidence and determination, I do agree with Grace that she might be better off resting and not performing the concert. Grace’s implants serve as a useful medical scanner, which shows that Sheryl has a slight fever.
At the school, Alto’s big brother shows up. He’s not actually his brother, but he’s a kabuki actor mentored by Alto’s father. When he takes Alto away to talk about his father getting sick, we learn that Luca is part of a very rich family which operates the L.A.I., which is a technology corporation manufacturing stuff like fold drives and nano-machines. Oddly enough, L.A.I. might be providing supplies to the mysterious variable fighter that Brera pilots.
After the break, Alto ends up in an awkward position, where he has to decide who he wants to spend his birthday with. His big brother is trying to convince him to meet his father, claiming that what Alto really wants to do is acting. Ranka asked him to wait at the park so that she could give him his birthday present. And Sheryl asks Alto to come with her, tempting him with the chance to fly in a real sky.
Apparently his love for flying wins out, since he decides to go to Gallia 4 with Sheryl. It’s apparent that Sheryl has genuine feelings for Alto, be it friendship or love, as she is grateful to him for coming along. Alto’s too excited to notice, so she ends up acting abrasive as she usually does around him. Then it cuts to Leon talking to the mysterious female voice, which turns out to be Grace, Sheryl’s manager. She is definitely more than just a manager for an entertainer, which could mean that Sheryl herself is more than just a singer. Is Macross Galaxy trying to groom her as a psychic weapon?
Brera is also covertly tagging along in his variable fighter. I thought his fighter had internal fold engines, but I noticed something that looked like a fold booster attached on top of his fighter as he was launching, so I guess I was wrong. It looks like he’s a covert military escort for either Sheryl or Grace, and not a test pilot for an experimental fighter collecting data in actual combat conditions, seeing how he’s following them around.
At the park, Ranka is disappointed that Alto didn’t show up to receive his present. The present is a bag of cookies she baked herself, although her baking skills seem to be rather lacking. The little green animal seems to like them enough, though.
At this point the ending credits roll. And I get a pleasant surprise: we have a new ending theme! This one is sang by Ranka Lee. Like the previous ending theme, it’s beautiful, although I still like Sheryl’s Diamond Crevasse better. This might change: after all, I didn’t think much of the original ending theme at first, but it became one of my favorite songs after repeated hearings. And the ending credits reminded me that Ozma shouldn’t piss off Ranka too much …
While I enjoyed this episode, it felt more like a transition from the last episode to the next one, where the plot didn’t advance much. It did give some new background for the characters, though. The teaser for the next episode implies that Sheryl and Alto’s group are heading into a trap, so we can look forward to some great action next episode.