Episode 13 of Macross Frontier, “Memory of Global”, starts off with the last scene in the previous episode, where Alto and Ranka crash landed near the ruins of a Macross ship. The power problems seem to be planetary in scale, since they’re also having problems back at the Zentaedi base.
As Ranka is watching the wreckage, she seems to be having flashbacks to eleven years ago when the fleet she was with was attacked by the Vajura. I noticed that a young version of Brera, who happens to be hiding out in his fighter in a jungle on Gallia 4 in the present day, also appears in Ranka’s flashbacks. A fleet with a first-generation Macross ship as its flagship is also in her flashback. Perhaps the wreckage isn’t the original Macross after all, but rather another ship of similar design. At least Alto refers it as a first-generation Macross-class ship. In any case, it’s a rather bad memory for Ranka.
After the opening sequence, Alto and Ranka are heading back to the base in Alto’s fighter while gliding low in GERWALK mode. That’s a good idea, since the depulse burst, which caused the power outages in the first place, seems to be occurring repeatedly, and they crash back into the ground. This is a nice chance for the two of them to have a nice WAFFy moment together. They even have a moment when Alto ends up grabbing Ranka to protect her from one of the scary sounding creatures in the jungle, although the creature is less than a foot tall when it comes out of cover. I do keep wondering if there’s something special about Ranka’s hair, whether it’s actually cybernetic hair or not, since it keeps moving in cute ways every episode.
Back at the Zentraedi base, Sheryl is worrying about whether Alto is OK. She might also be worrying about Ranka, but Alto’s name was the only one she mentioned to herself. Maybe she really does have romantic feelings for him, after all. In any case, Grace tries to get Sheryl to take a pill for her sickness, but Sheryl is reluctant to take it because of the nasty taste. Later on, it turns out that Sheryl chucked it to the floor, which Michelle finds. I think he suspects the same thing that I do, that Grace gave Sheryl the pill, which is labeled “639 Witch Craft”, in order to make her sick, especially since Sheryl is all better a few hours later when she heads out to find Alto and Ranka. Or is the pill for something else entirely?
Back to Alto and Ranka, they’re ready to head back to the base, but Ranka needs to relieve herself and heads into the jungle. Alto hears a scream, and finds her gone when he chased after her. A little while later, he is approaching the Macross-class ship, and he sees that it’s Macross-04 Global. Apparently, it’s the fourth first-generation Macross-class ship constructed after Space War I, and it is in fact the flagship of the fleet that was destroyed 11 years ago by the Vajura. At least it’s nice to know that the original Macross we all know and love is probably still safe back on Earth.
Meanwhile, Brera is close by in his fighter, and receives orders from Grace. It’s mentioned that the wreckage is a nest of some kind, so perhaps Ranka was kidnapped by a Vajura and taken into the wreckage. When the scene pans to Grace, it turns out that she’s much more than she appears to be; she jumps great distances like any respectable cyborg can.
After a cute eye catch by Ranka, Alto is exploring the interior of the Global. He even finds a research facility studying the a small sample of the Vajura inside the ship, which has a picture of Ranka with her parents and brother. But no surprise here, the producers shadowed the faces of the mother and brother so we can’t get a good look at them. (Meanies …) At least we get a pretty good look at the father, although he doesn’t seem to be anyone we already know. And the brother is probably indeed Brera.
Ranka wakes up below inside the ship, and there appears to be one big Vajura close by. She contacts Alto, but before he can get to her, the big monster wakes up. Brera shows up and stops the creature from approaching Ranka, but eventually a stray hit to the Vajura creates some powerful blast which forces Brera and Alto outside. Whatever it was, it seems related to Ranka in some way, since at the same time there was some light emanating from her abdomen, like the time it lightened up during Sheryl’s farewell concert. She is definitely connected to the Vajura somehow, although I don’t know what the connection might be. Maybe she’s been turned into a queen of the Vajura? That might be why she’s the only survivor from the 117th exploratory fleet eleven years ago. Or maybe it’s something else.
When Alto gets back to his figher, he gets into a fight with Brera. It’s a great dogfight scene, with both of them pulling all sorts of tricks as they’re fighting. In the background, something emerges from inside the Global, which is apparently a flagship of sorts for the Vajura. There’s also a host of smaller ships accompanying it. Awakening these ships seems to have been Grace’s goal, since soon after they start lifting off, she reveals some kind of device that was hidden inside a camouflaged boulder. Oddly enough, the device has the L.A.I. logo.
When Brera seems to have Alto in his sights and is about to shoot him down (for some reason he really doesn’t like the idea of Alto being with Ranka), Michelle snipes his gun down from afar. Sheryl is riding in the backseat, and Michelle and Sheryl head towards the Vajura flagship to rescue Ranka while Alto is distracting Brera.
Back to Grace, she takes her right arm close to the device, and her arm promptly turns into a mess of tubes which connect with the device and starts some sort of reaction. Apparently it’s a fold weapon of some sort, since it starts swallowing up substantial parts of the planet, including the Zentraedi base. Is Grace being a suicide bomber? Being at the center of the blast, I don’t think there’s anyway she’d survive, but I could be wrong. Or perhaps her body was never really her body, and it was more like a remote-controlled body. If that’s the case, maybe her mind resides in Brera’s fighter, which might be why it had to follow Grace and Sheryl around.
Michelle and Sheryl manage to escape the blast by hitching a ride on the Vajura flagship as it was folding out. The episode ends with Alto trying to outrun the blast, and the ending credits starts, again with Sheryl’s song Diamond Crevasse as the ending theme. I gather that Alto will probably get to the fold booster pack in time and manage to escape back to Macross Frontier in the next episode.
This is yet another great episode. The last couple of episodes were also great, and considering that the next episode looks like it’s going to be great, too, Macross Frontier seems to be on a streak of great episodes. I guess I’ll forgive the producers for the less than stellar animation quality seen in some of the earlier episodes. And as expected from such a great episode, it gets me wondering what sort of conspiracies and mysteries are stirring in the background. From the preview for the next episode, it looks like there’s going to be a pitched battle between the Vajura and the Macross Frontier fleet.
Just what is going on, anyways? Is Grace really dead, or is her mind really somewhere else safe and sound? What is she aiming for? Just what are the Vajura, anyways? Is it some kind of out of control bioweapon that the 117th fleet developed and lost control of? Or are they actually a remnant of a Protoculture military fleet? They do look sort of Protoculture-ish. Was Sheryl supposed to have played the role of Ranka in awakening the Vajura fleet?
Oddly enough, I don’t think I saw the birdman appear except for its eyes near the beginning of the episode. Or perhaps the Vajura inside the ship was the birdman we kept seeing. If they’re the same, they don’t look much like they’re the same thing. And if they’re not the same, then perhaps destroying the birdman was why Grace had the planet destroyed (perhaps that’s what she was going to use the reaction weapons stolen in the previous episode for). I wonder what the connection between them, Sheryl, and Ranka are. For some reason I think they all have some connection with the Nome sisters from Macross Zero.