Ranka has been suspended from her all girls school following her participation in the Miss Macross contest, and worse, she has her brother angry at her for not asking permission to enter the contest in the first place. Normally, Ranka might have passively followed Ozma’s instructions, but this time she takes a stand and runs out on him in tears. 

Meanwhile, Alto is stuck being dragged around Island 1 by Sheryl as she forces him to help her search for her missing earring. Along the way, Sheryl manages to grab ahold of Alto’s SMS identification badge. She promises she will only give it back if he continues to show her around. The two of them sightsee around the city and we learn a little more about Sheryl and the Macross Galaxy fleet that she calls home. Apparently, many of the people who live on Galaxy have cybernetic enhancements and brain implants. But not Sheryl. She tells Alto that being all natural is one of her selling points. 

Elsewhere, Leon is convening everyone he can find with knowledge of the Vajra which leads to Cathy arriving at Ozma’s apartment in order to escort him to the joint meeting. During the car ride, Ozma phones other SMS crew members asking them to help track down Ranka, to which Cathy muses aloud that maybe she and Ozma would still be together if he’d shown as much attention to her. 

Michael happens to stumble upon Ranka, but she refuses to be led home. Instead, she vents her frustration at him then crosses a busy street to get away leaving Michael no choice but to follow her. 

Alto and Sheryl wind up in one of Island 1’s dome tram / observation stations high above the city where they continue sightseeing. To Alto, Frontier is nothing special, but to Sheryl, who spent most of her life on Galaxy which is a far more closed off ship that uses chemical reactions instead of a wide open environment to maintain life support, Frontier is a wonder. Sheryl also notes that she appreciates that Alto doesn’t treat her differently from anyone else just because she is Sheryl Nome. 

Finally getting a more adventuresome spirit, Alto takes Sheryl over to Island 3 where they catch a glimpse of some full size Zentradi taking care of some hippo-cows before the two of them head over to a nearby Zentradi-sized mall where they happen to meet up with Klan in her fullsize form. Ranka and Michael also arrive at the mall by chance where Michael challenges Ranka to put herself out and sing in front of people who haven’t come to a beauty pageant expecting her. He thinks she will chicken out and come to her senses, but instead Ranka gathers her courage and puts on a stunning performance singing “What About My Star” to the cheers of the mall crowd. 

Also on Island 3, Ozma, Cathy, and others are listening to a presentation being given by Leon in a research facility. It seems the Frontier military has captured a Vajra and has been studying it. The Vajra has no brain, so one theory is that they are remote controlled bioweapons. During Ranka’s song, the seemingly deceased Vajra comes back to life and has to be destroyed before it breaks out of its containment tank. 

As the day draws to a close, Sheryl thanks Alto for a good time and returns his SMS badge before giving him a kiss on the cheek. Alto, in turn, promises to locate Sheryl’s missing earring and return it to her before she heads back to the Galaxy at the end of her time on Frontier. Unknown to the two of them, Ranka and Michael are observing them from across the mall. But before Ranka can say anything, she is approached by someone who wants to talk to her about her musical performance.

The episode ends as a recon Valkyrie from Macross Galaxy folds in near to the Frontier fleet with an urgent call for assistance. Apparently the Galaxy fleet has come under heavy attack by Vajra and is in dire need of reinforcement! 

Specific Scenes I Loved: 

  • That little moment where Alto is on the phone and Sheryl is in the background trying to gently catch a butterfly is the cutest bit of animation ever. 
  • The look that Sheryl gives Alto when she declares that being all natural is one of her selling points. 
  • Alto and Sheryl looking out over Island 1 from the observation dome. Alto is jaded, and I’m with Sheryl. Frontier is a beautiful place! 
  • Ranka’s performance of “What About My Star” and the way some random musicians join in with her during the middle of her song. 

Episode Impressions: 

This episode was part backstory and part magic. It was great hearing a little more about Sheryl and the place she came from. It was also great to see Ranka continuing to assert herself. Not only did she successfully defy Ozma, she even managed to put on a little show for herself while overcoming her fear and shyness. 

Sheryl and Alto continue to be great together. They still quarrel and lock horns from time to time, but you can also tell that they are beginning to appreciate each other in subtle ways. Alto is realizing that Sheryl is more than just a superficial idol, while Sheryl seems to have found someone she can actually be herself around. The two’s exchange at the end of the episode where Sheryl thanks Alto and he promises to bring Sheryl her earring seems like a genuine moment of understanding and friendship on both their parts. 

And boy, this episode was pretty. From the high up views of Frontier’s Island 1, to the extensive street level detail that filled every frame as Sheryl pulled Alto around the city, to Folmo Mall’s impressive sense of scale as humans and full-sized Zentradi filled the same spaces was all very impressive.  

And, wow, that little cliffhanger at the end. It seems like things are about to get real with the Vajra. 

Sheryl’s descriptions of the Macross Galaxy fleet are all important. It is apparently a place where cybernetics are widespread and a place far less beautiful than the city and agricultural ships of the Frontier fleet. 

That the Vajra aren’t piloted and also aren’t necessarily independently controlled also seems like it will be important going forward. 

The purple-haired man that comes running up the Ranka at the end of the episode was present at the Miss Macross contest and will play a minor role going forward.  

Moment to Moment Notes: 

1:06 – Ranka throws several things at her brother, including a dressed in pink Lynn Minmay doll. One of these dolls played a surprisingly large roll at pacifying the Zentradi attacking the earth during Space War 1.

 3:31 – Right before Alto’s phone starts buzzing, Sheryl gets a good look at his ID badge. She probably stole it around this point, and it is, in fact, missing in the next few scenes until she reveals that she has it! 

4:09 – Ranka’s phone isn’t really alive. It’s just cute and expressive. It looks like a hard squeeze turns it off.

5:36 – So… Cathy and Ozma were in a past relationship?

7:06 – Sheryl chasing after the butterfly is such a cute bit of animation! 

8:45 – I like the look at the city… but that “Pipe Dreams” smoke shop is pretty weird! 

8:58 – This is the 2nd time that the subject of implants has been brought up. Sheryl thinks of them as common on the Galaxy.

10:06 – It’s neat to get a closer look at the skyway cars and tubes that we’ve seen sparkling in the distance the past few episodes. The observation dome is pretty cool, as well! 

10:17 – …and Frontier’s Island 1 is huge and beautiful! 

10:39- I like the explanation for Sheryl’s excitement. Macross Galaxy sounds like it was more of a sterile environment. Far less atmosphere and agriculture and more repeating decks of housing, perhaps? She calls it a closed system chemical plant. So… maybe Frontier regulates things with biological processes and open air environments while Galaxy did so with closed loop chemical reactions? 

11:18 – The repetitive animation loop that Sheryl and Alto go through when they get on the car is a bit annoying, but I think Sheryl’s little backwards step / turn makes up for it. It’s only a few frames of animation, but it’s a good few frames. 

12:23 – Yep, Zentradi at their full size are roughly as big as the robot mode of Valkyrie fighters! Most choose to be human size for companionship and practicality, but some percentage stayed big. 

12:50 – Folmo Mall was named after Exsedol Folmo, the Zentradi advisor in SDF Macross who played a major role in helping Humanity and the Zentradi find a peaceful end to Space War 1. 

13:26 – Sheryl having fun at the mall is a little bit like the date that Hiraku and Lynn Minmay went on in the “Do You Remember Love?” movie. A pilot and a star sorta in their own little world, at least for a short time. 

15:41 – So the Vajra might not be a naturally occurring life form, but may instead be bio-weapons?? 

17:19 – Alto’s paper airplanes keep flying really well! Is it artistic license or does Frontiers’ .75G gravity help with that?? 

17:56 – I like this song from Ranka. It’s a mostly unplugged version of a Sheryl song, but she sorta makes it her own. It’s fun when the musicians nearby just randomly join in with her. 

18:41 – Did that Vajra react to Ranka’s song?? 

21:46 – *Whistles…* 

22:06 – Oh… I guess the main plot has decided to show up…

Next Episode: Bye Bye Sheryl

Looks like we aren’t going straight into combat next episode. Instead, we see the purple-haired man appear to speak up for Ranka. Sheryl and Alto look to spend some more time together. And there’s a beautiful moment of Sheryl singing. Maybe we get to see her next concert?