Leon arrives on the bridge of Battle Frontier and orders its immediate departure, explaining that President Glass was killed by the Vajra. “My turn,” he says as we head to the opening. 

At SMS headquarters, Alto and Luca prepare to head to Island 3 with Klan blazing a trail for them. Klan is now at her full size, is carrying a Valkyrie’s gunpod, and has strapped a Valkyrie’s armor pack with its missile pods to her back. She ascends in an elevator with a look of pure rage on her face. When she emerges into the open she takes flight and opens fire on hundreds of Vajra all while screaming Michael’s name in her head. 

Outside, Macross Quarter is in a tight spot, but is rescued by Battle Frontier. Leon is apparently going to put up a fight against the Vajra. He also plans to enact a strategy developed by Luca. We cut to the Island 3 research facility to see that Luca (and L.A.I.?) have constructed another Dimension Eater bomb. The plan is to use Ranka’s singing to lure the Vajra onto Island 3 and then destroy them all with the fold bomb. Alto hates the idea of using Ranka that way, but Luca says he helped develop the bomb (and the others like it?) in order to protect those he loved. Ultimately, Ranka agrees to be the bait, even over Alto’s objections. 

As things are prepared, Alto promises Ranka that he will protect her. Ranka, though, is still struggling with her smashed emotions. She wanted to reach Alto with her songs, and wants for him to return her love, but because that did not work, she has now resigned herself to sing for Frontier because it is what Alto is asking her to do. The distinction is very bittersweet. Ranka is still torn up inside, but the plan works this time and the bulk of the Vajra threat is eliminated. Frontier’s other forces are able to root out the remaining Vajra over the next few hours, but the cost to the fleet’s ecosystem has been disastrous. 

Some time later, Leon gives an extended eulogy for those that died during the attack. We see many scenes of devastation and cleanup. As his speech ends, we see that he, Ranka, and the media are gathered in Frontier’s cemetery. Leon asks Ranka to sing for them. Ranka takes the microphone, but then she hesitates for a few moments before declaring that she cannot sing anymore. Then, in a stunning turn of events, she runs off the stage and into the nearby woods! There, she meets Ai-kun who has grown to be nearly as big as she is. Suddenly, Ai-kun rears back and splits open in something of a metamorphosis. 

Some time later, Ranka phones Alto which sends him rushing to their normal spot at Griffith Observatory. There, dressed in her white dress, Ranka asks Alto to teach her to make a paper airplane. Ranka has Alto explain to her why he wanted to fly. It was because his mother could not do much and dreamed of seeing a real sky. Alto inherited her dream, something that Ranka finds beautiful. Ranka finishes her plane then set it flying before asking Alto a more dangerous question. She asks if everyone wants to live free, before then asking Alto to come with her as a new 2nd stage Vajra catches her paper airplane and flies near. 

Alto draws his gun, but Ranka blocks his line of fire! This Vajra is apparently what Ai-kun became. Ranka demands to know if Alto would still kill it even though it did nothing wrong. To Alto, humanity and the Vajra cannot co-exist, so he aims his gun and fires only to have Brera rush in and knock his shot wide. Brera offers to take Ranka where she wants to go. Ranka explains to Alto that she has regained most of her memories and that she wants to take Ai-kun back to the other Vajra. 

Brera brings his Valkyrie nearby and he and Ranka board it. Then, in an emotional moment, Ranka finally voices her love for Alto before saying goodbye. As the beautiful song “Azure Ether” plays in the background, Brera takes Ranka up through one of Island 1’s airlocks and folds away, leaving the Frontier fleet without their one truly effective weapon against the Vajra. Across Frontier, Sheryl, Ozma and Cathy, and the bridge crew of Battle Frontier notice the departure. 

In what feels a lot like a final moment for Ranka, we see various scenes of her while the end credits play. At the very end of the episode we see a beautiful rendering of Ranka in her white dress almost as if we will never see her again. 

Specific Scenes I Loved: 

  • Klan rising in the elevator with nothing but Michael’s death echoing in her mind. 
  • Ranka tears as she leads tens of thousands of Vajra to their deaths. 
  • Klan cradling Michaels helmet as she morns for him in the cockpit of his Valkyrie. 
  • Alto’s imaginary glider among the clouds.
  • Ranka’s trembling lips as she says what she seems to believe is her final goodbye. 

Episode Impressions: 

The Good: 

This episode feels extremely important. Ranka’s choice to abandon the duties that were thrust upon her is very believable. As much as she has achieved, she never intended to be a weapon of war. I don’t think she was ever really comfortable even playing the role of a songstress of hope, but she did so because she was too kind not to. 

Her decision to leave Frontier also feels very significant. She was the fleet’s most potent defense against the Vajra. Reaction weapons and fold bombs could kill concentrated groups, but only Ranka’s singing could give pause to entire Vajra fleets. With her gone, Frontier will be in a dire position. 

I’ll talk a little more about Ranka’s departure below, but for all I didn’t like about it, it was a very beautiful, very well animated moment that felt weighty and final, even though it’s pretty much a sure thing that we’ll see Ranka again next episode. 

The Bad: 

As much as I respect Ranka for abandoning her position as the songstress of hope, abandoning Frontier all to return one Vajra to its people seems… extremely foolish and selfish. Early on we were lead to believe that individual Vajra don’t have the mental capacity to think or feel. Even if that was a mistake, and if we assume that Ai-kun has learned that Humans are good, thousands of Vajra just killed thousands of Humans across Frontier! Maybe it’s ok for Ranka to protect Ai-kun and search for a lasting peace through that connection, but to run away just to return one Vajra home after such a devastating attack? I would believe that Ranka was under mind control if we had seen even the slightest bit of evidence of it. 

As it is, this episode makes me question Ranka’s goals and even her sanity. We know that she is seen by Grace as the Vajra’s “little queen” so maybe that will play into it in the episodes to come? Right now, Ranka’s actions just feel a little too extreme to me.

I think we’ve now seen that Luca, and his family company L.A.I. have been responsible for the various fold weapons that Leon and Grace have made use of. I’m not sure that Luca knew about the bomb that Grace used to destroy Gallia 4, but he certainly knew about the one Leon planned to use on Island 3 this episode. 

Ranka’s decision to sing broken on Island 3 and her decision to stop singing and then leave are all related, I think. I imagine her decisions are now a volatile, tragic mixture of having her emotions crushed on one side, and feeling an increasing connection to the Vajra on the other. We’ll just have to see how well this is played upon in coming episodes. 

As much as Ranka seems to be regaining her memory, Brera is treating her with more and more familiarity, like the harmonica-wearing big brother he pretty clearly appears to be. Just remember, no matter what he does, Grace has shown that she has complete control over him if she wishes it. 

That very brief shot of Sheryl back in a dressing room is important. It seems that she has decided to continue singing. This will become more important in the next episode. 

Moment to Moment Notes: 

0:55 – We first see a Macross fleet’s main battleship separate from its main city ship in Macross 7. That launch sequence was very similar to the one here in Frontier. 

3:25 – This one shot of Klan’s eyes raging in the dark is just excellent. 

4:17 – Not very nice of Battle Frontier to not warn anyone about firing their main gun…

4:45 – Commodore Perry sure is talking back a lot to Leon. As far as we know, none of Battle Frontier’s crew actually knows Leon killed President Glass…

6:58 – This exterior shot of Folmo Mall, along with Leon talking about sacrificing Island 3, seems to confirm that Klan and the other full size Zentradi troops were indeed holding off Vajra at the mall. (The architecture looked familiar before, but I think this seals it…) 

9:42 – Very interesting that Sheryl was able to pick up on Ranka’s song. 

10:15 – Those red eyes are still scary! 

10:38 – 11 years ago is when the 117 Research Fleet that Ranka and her parents were a part of was destroyed by the Vajra. 

12:52 – Perfect use of Klan’s smaller form. Such an emotional shot here! 

16:49 – Macross Frontier has some beautiful skies!

23:29 – The whole credit sequence feels really final.

Next Episode: Northern Cross

Looks like Sheryl is back somewhat, next episode. And we see Ranka too in a new scene, so she isn’t complete gone. Other than that, it’s hard to tell what is going on.