Episode 19 of Macross Frontier, “Triangular”, starts off within Ranka’s dreams, where she is lonely and unable to find her mother. Somehow her dream triggers something in Ai-kun and he runs off. He makes a detour to take a look at Brera before running off to places unknown. Although I’m suddenly wondering whether I’m mistaken in thinking of Ai-kun as a “he”.
After the opening credits, Alto is hesitating in front of the Saotome home where Sheryl should be. Meanwhile, Macross Frontier is holding a parade celebrating their escape from the Vajura with Ranka and President Glass being the main celebrities. Well, it was supposed to be the two of them, but Ranka had run off to find Ai-kun, which disappointed most of the crowd who weren’t that interested in an old man. And they even called the day the “Aimo Memorial Day”.
Brera is also searching for Ai-kun, but is surprised by a cat when he looks into a trash can thinking Ai-kun could be there. Ranka, with her ridiculous disguise with glasses that for some reason the public can’t see through, just happened to see Brera being surprised. While his surprise is a bit incongruous with the sort of character he normally is, it’s much more funnier to Ranka, who just can’t seem to stop laughing. After she calms down, they both seek out Ai-kun.
Back at the Saotome residence, Alto is trying to sneak in to find Sheryl without being discovered. Unfortunately, he’s too predictable and his big brother Yasaburo is waiting exactly where Alto comes out of the bushes. He takes Alto to Sheryl, but for a moment Alto mistakes her for his mother with Sheryl wearing his mother’s kimono. At least Sheryl is showing a strong face despite whatever she must be feeling inside, and is more abrasive than usual with Alto.
Sheryl declares that she’s done everything she wanted to do with singing so that she’s going to quit being a singer. This shocks Alto, who reminded her how she always said she accomplished things under her own power, to which she replies that it was all a lie. I wonder if she is even thinking of what she would do besides singing? Anyways, Alto tells her about Ranka’s concert at school in the afternoon where he’s going to be flying stunts, and tells her she has to come.
Back at the school, a lot of work is going on in preparation for the concert. While Nanase and Luca are taking a break, she mentions that Ranka is looking for Ai-kun, and Luca offers to help in the search. So Nanase starts drawing what Ai-kun looks like, but someone asks Luca for help so he won’t be able to spare the time to help out with the search. The timing is such that Nanase couldn’t show Luca what Ai-kun looks like, which is probably unfortunate. I have the suspicion that Luca knew what an infant Vajura looks like and would have recognized what Ai-kun was if he was shown the drawing.
In a research facility, Leon and Grace are discussing the successes with their research. One of the by-products of their research is a fold weapon, a dimension eater, that could be used effectively against the Vajura. But the main thrust of their research is prying the secrets of a Vajura queen, which they have the remains of to study. They’re also planning something sinister with Ranka; in fact, Ranka’s concert that afternoon was their idea in the first place, and presumably they’ve set things up in a way that might cause something drastic concerning the Vajura and Ranka. Just before the break, we see someone ominously preparing a sniper rifle before the concert starts.
After the break, Yasaburo tells Sheryl a bit about Alto’s mother, but the topic soon turns to his attempts to get Alto back into acting. Sheryl reveals that she knows he took her in to lure Alto back. Yasaburo explains why he thinks Alto will come back: once you’re exposed to being centerstage among an audience, receiving all the attention and adulation as Alto did during his acting career, you can’t really forget the feeling. And Sheryl knows the feeling all too well.
In a secluded parking lot inside a car, Cathy and Ozma are discussing the evidence they accumulated against Leon. They feel that it’s enough to destroy him, although Ozma is worrying about how Cathy feels about arresting her fiance. She’s fine with it, which shouldn’t be surprising considering her feelings that we all know but Ozma might not. Her “act” earlier in the episode where she had them pretending to be on a date to fool an observer probably wasn’t entirely an act; it was probably an excuse to be all lovey dovey with him.
Ranka and Brera have not been able to find Ai-kun, so they give up and head to the school. As Brera tries to cheer Ranka up, she says that he really feels like a big brother, and they reveal to each other their amnesia of their childhood. But he also asks her why she’s singing and points out that she didn’t seem to be enjoying singing as much recently, which gets her thinking. At the school, Ranka’s concert starts. Cosplay seems to be in vogue in the future, since a lot of people have dressed up as various characters, from the Vajura to Ranka herself. Anyways, Ranka is being introspective while she sings, wondering why she is singing. She used to want to sing for everyone to hear, but recently she’s been singing for Alto and she explicitly realizes it during the concert when Alto draws a smoke arrow through a heart as part of the stunt flying.
Sheryl has also come to see the concert, but when she’s about to leave seeing Ranka in a place where she used to be and the way Ranka seemed to be pouring her heart to Alto, Klan stops her, saying that she shouldn’t run away. Nearby, Michelle is talking forcefully to Alto about making a decision, saying that Alto couldn’t possibly be that obtuse about Ranka and Sheryl’s feelings. While they’re talking, Sheryl shows up, having been prodded by Klan, and Michelle and Klan leave to let the two handle things themselves.
Nearby, Nanase and Luca are watching Ranka singing, which is when Luca takes a peek at Nanase’s drawing of Ai-kun. He’s surprised that it’s a Vajura, and we see an ominous shot of the Vajura presumably maturing somewhere in Macross Frontier hatching out of their eggs.
Meanwhile, Cathy and Ozma are in Leon’s office with a stack of papers. There is enough evidence to convict Leon of attempting a coup and they intend to arrest him. Unfortunately, this doesn’t faze Leon; in fact, he declares that they’re already too late. Meanwhile, back at the school with the concert over, we see a sniper aiming a shot at President Glass’ head. And Ranka is running towards Alto with the certainty that she loves Alto, but finds Sheryl hugging him. The love triangle is in full blast, and neither women seem to be willing to back down.
The episode ends at this point, and appropriately Triangular, the original opening theme, is the ending theme for this episode. How will the love triangle be resolved? One image in the ending sequence seems to foreshadow that it’s going to be Ranka and Sheryl hooking up and leaving Alto behind … Though it’s much more likely that it’s actually signifying the break in the relationship between Ranka and Sheryl because of Alto. I need to reign in my deviant mind …
While the character designs seemed to be a bit off this episode, it contributed tremendously to the storyline. It seems all the involved parties are gathering for a climax, and the preview shows death and destruction raining down inside Macross Frontier as the Vajura are awoken. The next episode is going to show the climax of Leon’s agenda with his attempt to grab power. Will President Glass survive? But what about Grace’s agenda? I somehow doubt it’s simple power she is after. And how will all this affect the triangle between Alto, Sheryl, and Ranka?