Episode 17 of Macross Frontier, “Goodbye Sister”, starts with Ozma contemplating the past with a gun in his hand. He’s thinking about when he took in Ranka eleven years ago. He also recalls when he made pineapple cake for Ranka, which was the first time she really opened up to him. While it’s not pineapple salad and not in the present, his recollection of a food with pineapple in it is an ominous sign. After solidifying his resolve, he walks out of his home with his gun in hand.
As the opening credits start, we see a new opening sequence with a new song, Seikan Hikou as sung by Ranka. The title means “Flight Among the Stars”, and you might remember the song from Ranka’s performance back at Gallia 4. While a cute song, hopefully this won’t be a permanent change, since no one except Ranka appears in the sequence. They’re probably using this sequence just for this episode because Ranka will finally be performing her first official live concert.
After the opening sequence, Alto and Michelle are being punished by Cathy for sneaking in Sheryl. Cathy’s a harsh taskmistress, adding to the punishment with every complaint. After they finally finish and clean up in the showers, Michelle asks how Sheryl is, and Alto replies that she’s quite fine. She’s in fact quite lively, unable to stay still and rest. This seems to add weight to Michelle’s suspicions as he looks at the 639 Witch Craft pill taped to the inside of his locker door.
Shortly after, Michelle meets with Klan, who gets pissed when he asks for a blond woman majoring in pharmaceuticals at Klan’s university (despite Klan’s childish appearance, I suspect she’s too badass to be teased at school). Of course, Michelle wants an expert in pharmaceuticals, not a woman to seduce, but before he can tell this to Klan, he notices Luca being escorted to a limousine.
That night, Ozma and Cathy are discussing their suspicions with each other in Cathy’s room. Her room is a mess with cables yanked out all over, since she suspects the ones behind the conspiracy to be adept at computer hacking, who are probably those from Macross Galaxy. They wonder why Macross Galaxy would want to use the Ranka Attack against the Vajura, when the regular military is quite capable of fighting against them. I think those from Macross Galaxy wants to control the Vajura, or even inhabit the Vajura as a way of obtaining powerful physical bodies. Or it may be the Vajura’s advanced fold capabilities they’re after, perhaps even a galaxy-wide instant communication network they could inhabit.
As Ozma leaves, he mentions the pineapple cake Cathy apparently taught him how to make. Another bad sign, but I hope the difference between cake and salad is enough to save Ozma from death. Not only that, Brera is following him covertly he drives off. Is Brera going to end up killing Ozma?
In the meantime, Alto sneaks into Ranka’s room, being invited by her but having to evade security. Ranka invited him to ask what he thought about the “Ranka Attack” experiment, which he answers that he thinks it’s great that Ranka can help out. This cheers up Ranka immensely. They don’t seem to notice Ai-kun, the little green lizard Ranka found, tearing up a paper airplane folded by Alto, though. Is this a foreshadowing of Ai-kun growing into a full-sized Vajura that Alto must reluctantly fight, or is it just a cute pet showing a dislike of him? Maybe Ai-kun just takes after Brera, who might be his true master.
Elsewhere, it turns out that Luca was being escorted to meet with Leon, who shows him the fold quartz that were apparently harvested from Vajura corpses. Luca thinks that Leon is working with Brilla, who is a sponsor of Leon’s, and thinks that both of them are intending to effectively rule the galaxy by controlling the means of instant transportation the fold quartz makes possible. Leon is impressed at his insight, but reveals that Luca is wrong, at which point the mysterious individual Leon met in episode 10 shows up. Given that Grace is a cyborg, the individual might in fact be Grace herself in a male-type body, although it could be someone else from Macross Galaxy.
At an exobiology research facility in Island 3, Ozma arrives in his car. It seems that he intends to investigate what they’re doing with the Vajura specimens they collected. It’s heavily guarded, so he arms himself with a pistol before trying to sneak in, at which point we enter the commercial break.
After the break, Ozma is sneaking around the sewers to find a way into the research facility. But he’s stopped by Brera, although Ozma doesn’t do so bad against him in the dark despite being human while Brera is a cyborg. He almost manages to get a knife strike in while blocking Brera’s own knife attack. Ozma demands to know why they need Ranka when they could fight against them without her, which Brera agrees is true for now. Before Ozma can ask what he means by that, they’re summoned to fight off a new Vajura attack.
At the concert hall, Nanase is being really happy since she’s going to be part of the project team supporting Ranka. She’s told the news by Grace herself, in fact. At the same time in Leon’s office, he’s commenting on how cruel they are to send out the military against the Vajura without Ranka while the mysterious individual is changing his hair and clothes into Grace. How come Grace is at two places at the same time? Obviously she’s showing off the advantages of being part of a cybernetic collective by controlling multiple bodies.
Meanwhile, the S.M.S., Antares squadron, and the regular NUNS military head out to fight the incoming Vajura. They’re even planning to use reaction weapons right from the start. When they get close enough, they fire the reaction weapons, which close in and manages direct hits against the Vajura. Given how powerful reaction weapons are, this should have been an easy fight.
When the smoke clears, almost everyone is shocked that the Vajura are virtually intact. This would be like a modern day tank withstanding a direct hit by a nuclear weapon, it was that unbelievable how easily the Vajura shook off the attack. The Vajura counterattack, destroying the human fighters with ease. Not only that, the Vajura are now impervious to the human weapons. One Vajura heads directly towards Macross Quarter, and almost fires off a blast at the ship’s bridge.
Just as everyone on the bridge is about to be killed in the blast, Ozma directly intercepts and blocks the blast with pin-point barriers and his own fighter. He engages the Vajura fighter in hand-to-hand combat, but his opponent is soon destroyed with a beam attack by Brera. This was what Brera was talking about back at the research facility: after sustaining the same sort of attacks over a period of time, the Vajura as a whole exchange data and evolves to withstand them. Having been shot at with gunpods and reaction weapons repeatedly enabled them to block the attacks. Brera’s beam attack only worked because it hasn’t been used much against them yet, and it’s only a matter of time before the Vajura grew immune even to beam weapons. This is why they needed Ranka and her singing.
Ozma is enraged and denies that they can’t fight against the Vajura. And paraphrasing a famous quote, he exclaims that he would fight as long as he has the will to fight; if reaction weapons don’t work, he’ll fight with missiles; if missiles don’t work, he’ll fight with guns; and even if guns don’t work, he’ll still fight with whatever is on hand. He engages a nearby Vajura in hand-to-hand combat, wounding it with his knife and head lasers, and finishing it off with the Vajura’s own body part. All the while stating that he’s going to protect his sister and the woman he loves no matter what. Anyways, the humans reverse the tide of battle, engaging in close-range combat with their knives and beam weapons.
With the combat finished, we see Ranka’s first official live concert (revenge version) finally starting. The kids from the S.M.S. are among the audience, and in another section Ozma and Cathy are together watching Ranka sing. We see scenes of various areas around Macross Frontier as she sings, where in one area we see some sort of egg hatching with Ranka’s song. And back at Ozma’s fighter, the maintenance guys are shocked when they look inside the cockpit, presumably stained with blood. Back at the concert hall, with Ozma pretty much having declared his love for Cathy, she probably feels much more comfortable about starting their relationship again. Unfortunately, she suggests visiting her place after the concert, saying that she made some pine cake.
A fierce battle that wounded Ozma, check. Presumably blood-stained cockpit shocking the maintenance crew, check. Cathy made something out of the dreaded pineapple, check. History is obviously repeating itself, and like Roy Fokker during Space War I, Ozma loses consciousness and collapses near the woman he loves, shocking Cathy when she notices all the blood he was losing.
Fortunately, cake is apparently superior to salad, and we see Ozma in the hospital recovering just fine. Ranka and Cathy are irritated that he worried them, but they’re really happy that he’s OK. Nearby in the hospital, Sheryl is all dressed up and ready to go outside when she meets Grace, who thinks Sheryl should still stay in the hospital. However, Sheryl gathers her resolve and is ready to get answers out of Grace, who probably thinks Sheryl’s no longer useful and is willing to reveal some answers, at which point the episode ends.
This was Ozma’s episode. He saves the day by bodily blocking the blast that almost killed his loved one, not to mention the rest of the Macross Quarter bridge crew. And much of the background music is sung by Basara, oldies that were in fashion in Ozma’s youth. And the anime production staff played a mean trick, almost making us think that Ozma died, following in Roy Fokker’s footsteps. While I didn’t think Ozma would be dying before watching this episode, despite rumors to the contrary on the Internet since his relationship with Cathy had yet to be revived, the way things were going in this episode even had me thinking that he would end up dead. Great way to tweak the noses of us old Macross fans!
We’ll probably be getting some answers concerning Sheryl in the next episode, perhaps about her birth and what she was intended for. And it looks like Sheryl could become despondent with the answers Grace provides. She’s going to need comfort from Alto after effectively being abandoned and learning what Macross Galaxy had thought of her. However, are Grace and her compatriots planning anything worse for Sheryl? Or will Sheryl be left pretty much alone? And I wonder what the ultimate goal of Macross Galaxy is. What would come after uniting the entire galaxy with fast fold travel?