The twenty-fifth and final episode of Macross Frontier, “Your Sound”, starts off with the explosion of Alto’s variable fighter. But he’s not dead; unlike some of us, Alto clearly remembers that he’s wearing an EX-gear, which is pretty much a man-sized variable fighter by itself, and ejects safely into space. But before anyone else learns about his survival, a Vajura mothership is about to fire its main cannon into Battle Frontier. Macross Quarter arrives in the nick of time and fires off its own main cannon into the Vajura mothership. Brera’s fighter happens to be too close to the blast, though, which breaks something attached to his head, something I suspect was controlling his mind.
The crew of Macross Quarter reveals to the bridge crew of Battle Frontier the conspiracy by Grace, Macross Galaxy, and certain other collaborators. One of said collaborators, Leon, tries to discredit their claims by citing the lack of evidence. Unfortunately for him, Alto survived to witness a crucial piece of evidence right in front of them. As he ejected from his VF-171EX, he discovered that the giant image of Ranka is not really Ranka, which is proven in short order by Macross Frontier firing its main cannon at the image. The blast dispels the hologram of the giant Ranka and reveals Battle Galaxy, which brings an end to Leon’s short-lived presidency.
Grace and the rest of Macross Galaxy aren’t so worried about their conspiracy being discovered, since Grace is at the core of the Vajura and is about to assume control over them. To buy some time, Macross Galaxy also launches a bunch of unmanned Ghost V-9s, which they obviously continued to develop despite the Sharon Apple incident. This also spells an early end to Alto’s command, as both of his subordinates’ VF-171EXs are destroyed by the Ghosts.
The S.M.S. crew retrieved Luca and Klan in the meantime, with Luca back in his VF-25 and Klan having micronized in the short interval so that she can pilot Michelle’s fighter in his stead. The VF-25 squadron led by Ozma also tows Alto’s VF-25 to where he’s hiding out from the firefight. Here we learn that Alto has no need to envy Brera’s ability to control a fighter remotely; Alto uses his EX-gear to remotely control his own variable fighter to get on board. He also contacts Sheryl to get her to help Ranka with her song. With the surge of positive emotions Sheryl feels at learning of Alto’s survival, she confidently resumes her singing with Northern Cross.
This marks a point where the tide turns to the Macross Frontier fleet’s favor, with everyone giving their best, be it combat by the S.M.S. and NUNS members or singing by Sheryl. Luca even removes the constraints put on his pet drones, constraints that were motivated by the Sharon Apple incident. Alto and Sheryl’s fervent desire to reach Ranka actually manages to reach her, via the fold quartz earring for Alto and the V-type infection for Sheryl, and Ranka manages to get her free will back. Unfortunately, Grace manages to assume control of the Vajura at that moment.
With Grace’s success, a huge fold wave is generated from the core of the Vajura orbiting the planet. The fold wave usurps control of any Vajura that encounters it, and it is so strong that it even knocks down Sheryl physically, probably due to the interaction with her V-type infection. Grace and Macross Galaxy now rule the Vajura throughout the entire galaxy, including the gigantic queen that is revealed to be the core, and she intends to get rid of any human that is not willing to be put under their rule. Not only do we see the Macross Frontier fleet threatened, but we also see a multitude of Vajura folding near the Macross 11 fleet and Macross City back on Earth, at which point we have a break.
Guess I was wrong again about the Vajura queen being the Birdman from Macross Zero, though, but they are related. The Vajura queen is a much larger version of what we saw in episode 14. And the Vajura are apparently a lifeform that evolved independently from the Protoculture, not some artificial lifeform that they developed.
After the break, the Vajura fleet destroys a substantial portion of the Macross Frontier fleet. Sheryl is also too battered by the fold wave so that she loses consciousness and her hair literally loses its shine. With the Vajura and Macross Galaxy fleet continuing to batter the Macross Frontier fleet and with Sheryl out of commission, things look grim for the non-cybernetic humans. However, when all hope seems to be lost, Alto seems to hear Ranka’s voice singing Your Sound from somewhere.
It is indeed Ranka singing after regaining her sanity and encouraged by her no longer brainwashed big brother Brera. This interferes with Grace’s control of the Vajura, with a wave of Vajura being freed. And through a connection of minds via fold space, Ranka tries to get Sheryl’s spirits back into shape. She’s joined by Alto, who declares Sheryl and Ranka to be his wings. Not only that, but Ranka also cures Sheryl by having the V-type infection pathogens in her brain move to her gut, so that Sheryl now has the same kind of connection to the Vajura that Ranka has.
With Alto, Ranka, and Sheryl joining hands in their shared mindscape, the moment I’ve been waiting for finally arrives: Sheryl and Ranka join forces and starts singing Lion together. I wonder when they had the opportunity to practice together, though. Or is it their natural talent and mind link through fold space that allow them to sing so well together? This turns the tide in the Macross Frontier fleet’s favor.
Macross Quarter transforms, goes through crazy maneuvers that no capital ship should be doing, and punches a hole into Battle Galaxy so that Alto can head in and rescue Ranka. Annoyed, Grace has the Vajura queen fire off a huge blast at the Macross Frontier fleet. Before the blast destroys Island One, however, a swarm of Vajura sacrifice themselves and blocks the blast. And as a sign of the bond between Ranka, Sheryl, and Alto, all three of them wince in pain as a large number of Vajura die.
We then get to hear a monologue from Ranka revealing some background for the Vajura. In yet another science fiction example of conflict arising because of a misunderstanding between a hive mind and independent individuals, at first the Vajura didn’t understand the individuality of humans. In fact, they thought they were rescuing Ranka in their initial attacks, thinking that she was the same sort as they were from the fold waves she emitted. They only realized that human minds were independent when they discovered independent fold waves emanating from Sheryl, too. During Ranka’s monologue, Alto had returned to Macross Quarter to rearm and drop off Ranka, who along with Sheryl starts off a series of great background music for the battle.
This is the beginning of supreme teamwork among the Vajura, Macross Quarter, and Macross Frontier. With Grace having deployed an almost impenetrable shield around the Vajura queen and Battle Galaxy, a number of Vajura move in and opens a hole in the shield. Battle Galaxy fires off its main cannon and neutralizes the main cannons of Macross Quarter and Battle Frontier, but Kanaria moves in heroically with her Koenig Monster and manages to blind Battle Galaxy momentarily. Macross Quarter moves in and destroys Battle Galaxy’s main cannon with a Macross Attack, a.k.a. the Daedalus Maneuver. This is closely followed by Battle Frontier punching Battle Galaxy and putting it out of commission.
Having had her fighter damaged, Klan throws her sniper rifle to Alto, who heads in for the final blow against Grace. He’s almost stopped by a couple of VF-27s, but by now Brera has come to his senses and helps out his potential brother-in-law. With Alto, Brera, Sheryl, and Ranka unified in their will to free the Vajura and defeat Grace, Alto and Brera get close enough to blow off the head of the Vajura queen, where Grace had taken up residence in, unaware that the mind of a Vajura resides in its gut, not its head. And Grace’s ambitions finally come to an end with a sniper shot by Alto.
Free from control by Macross Galaxy and now having an understanding of human individuality, the Vajura are no longer aggressive against the humans. They call off the attack against Macross City and the Macross 11 fleet, and the Vajura queen sings its mating song, Aimo. When Bobby wonders why a hive mind like the Vajura would need something like a song, Ranka remembers her mother explaining how the Vajura queen called out to Vajura in other galaxies once every millions of years for mating. Aimo is their love song, which Ranshe Mei managed to figure out and teach to Ranka.
Island One manages to make a safe landing on the Vajura homeworld, which is the start of a successful colonization of the planet by Macross Frontier. We also finally learn who Brilla is hoping to meet; we see him looking at a locket containing a picture of Lynn Minmei. Now that the humans and the Vajura understand each other and are at peace, I think he’ll be able to get his wish with cooperation from the Vajura. Perhaps Megaroad-01 went missing because they got isolated from the rest of the galaxy due to fresh fold faults; with the Vajura’s help, humanity might be able to search previously inaccessible regions of the galaxy.
Things are finally coming to an end with people making landfall. Ranka and Sheryl also have a happy reunion with each other, although there’s an awkward moment when they see Alto approaching from the sky and call for him at the same time. They openly acknowledge their friendly rivalry in love and song as they wait for Alto to land. And Alto ditches yet another variable fighter as he flies towards them in his EX-gear. And with a generally happy ending for all of the survivors, Macross Frontier ends with Triangular, sung by both Ranka and Sheryl.
I wonder how the relationship between Alto, Ranka, and Sheryl will develop? My guess that Macross Frontier would end with the relationship left open turned out to be right. But I think the three of them should realize that they’re so suited for each other, not to mention the bond between them through fold space and that Alto had already effectively confessed his love to both of them when he called them his wings; they should all get together instead of figuring out who to exclude. My mind is just too deviant to even consider all the other inferior alternatives …
I may be just really easy to please, but overall it’s been a great ride throughout Macross Frontier. And I’m also pretty satisfied with how the series ended: lots of great action, emotions, and music. If there’s one thing that I felt was missing, it’s the non-appearance of VF-19s and VF-22s, the former of which should have been a mainstream fighter by now. And it’s too bad that I didn’t get to see any of the Jenius family.
I might still get my wish: there’s going to be a movie version of Macross Frontier! I don’t know if it’s going to be what Macross: Do You Remember Love? was to Macross, the television series, or whether it’s going to be a continuation of the story or a side story, but it’s another thing to look forward to. And who knows? With the Vajura’s fold capabilities, we might even get to find out what happened to Megaroad-01! Although something with more of Mao Nome or anything with Sarah Nome and Shin Kudo would be cool, too.