Episode 12 of Macross Frontier, “Fastest Delivery”, starts off ominously, where it appears that a group of Zentraedi are itching for a fight on Gallia 4. Meanwhile, Sheryl’s transport and Alto’s fighter defold above the planet. Either Alto has never been to one or it has been a long time since he’s been to one, since he’s looking forward to flying in a real sky. (Personally, I’d love to have the chance to fly in space.)
Back at Macross Frontier, the school students are missing Ranka, Sheryl, and Alto. Nanase is suffering from Ranka and Alto deprivation. I wonder what’s up with her? Is she romantically interested in both of them at the same time? (Nah …) Even her lunchbox has cute super-deformed versions of Ranka and Alto. So it’s no wonder that she cheers up immediately when Ranka shows up. (She’s taking a couple of days off before her first live concert.)
One of the reasons that the Zentraedi base at Gallia 4 asked for a concert by Sheryl was to pacify certain groups in their ranks with culture. Otherwise they expected them to stage an uprising at any moment. Unfortunately, Sheryl hadn’t been feeling too good since the last episode, and she collapses just as she is disembarking from her transport. The rogue elements take this as a sign that the higher-ups were refusing to provide them with culture. Obviously it’s just an excuse, but they take hostages of the newly arrived humans and start a revolt.
Back at Macross Frontier they learn of the revolt, but SMS cannot get there within 7 days because of fold faults between them and Gallia 4. This would be too late, so Luca uses his family connections to pull some strings with L.A.I. and borrows an experimental fold booster which can fold through fold faults. It is attached to Michelle’s fighter, so he should be getting to Gallia 4 in time.
After the break, the rogue Zentraedi elements are stealing reaction warheads. Alto manages to sneak out and get to his fighter, but he’s stopped by the rogue leader who has a resemblance to Kamujin. The whole revolt seems to have been planned by an outside force, since the leader seemed to have been tipped off on Alto sneaking away by someone with the humans. Is it Grace who is orchestrating the whole thing to get Ranka to sing on the planet? Did she get Sheryl sick on purpose?
A firefight breaks out, but just as the Zentraedi base commander orders to fire the ship’s guns on the rogue elements, Michelle’s fighter arrives. Surprisingly, his fighter came with speaker pods, and the cockpit hatch opens to reveal Ranka in the back seat. She starts singing, and her “Minmei attack” manages to successfully pacify most of the rogue elements. It effectively becomes her first live concert. Sheryl seems to be frustrated, perhaps because Ranka is doing her job, or perhaps because Ranka got the chance to get closer to Alto while she couldn’t.
However, her singing seems to awaken something on the planet. Only a glimpse of what looks like an eye is shown, but it seems to be something like the Birdman from Macross Zero. Is it a different relic of the Protoculture that was left on the planet, or is it the same Birdman that vanished in Macross Zero? Was it Grace’s plan to get Ranka to the planet and use her song to awaken the being all along?
Anyways, with the help of Ranka and Alto, the uprising is quelled. So Michelle gets Alto to fly Ranka back to Macross Frontier, where Alto is supposed to use the FAST pack and fold booster Michelle left in orbit. Although I wonder if the back seat in Alto’s fighter was there all along, or do VF-25s have the ability to make room for one as needed? I thought that Alto’s fighter was a one-seater …
Alto and Ranka have a sweet moment together as they fly through the sky. But Ranka’s singing seems to trigger the birdman, and Alto’s fighter loses power and makes a crash landing. Shockingly, they find something that looks very much like the original Macross near the crash site. It even appears to have its arm attachments. Then the episode ends with Do You Remember Love? sung by Ranka. As always, it’s a beautiful song.
Is the Macross that Ranka and Alto found the original Macross that should be on Earth? Does it imply that something happened to it, such as being deployed in the quelling of a rebellion, that might be related to the name change from UNS to NUNS? Or is it another Supervision Army gunship? Is the birdman the original Birdman from Macross Zero, or is it another birdman? Why is the Macross on the same planet as the birdman? What is Grace and Macross Galaxy aiming for? This is another great episode which raises a lot of questions.
The preview for the next episode seems to imply that it really is the original Macross on the planet, given that the title of the episode is “Memory of Global”. Perhaps the old man of Macross himself led a fleet battle that ended up with Macross crash landing on Gallia 4.