As we open this episode, we see a young Ranka watching her mother and Grace O’ Connor argue. Of note are the Vajra being kept in bubbling tanks near Ranka and near her mother. One of the Vajra is what looks to be a Vajra queen. It turns out, this is a dream Ranka is having. She recognizes the slightly older boy standing behind her in the dream, and as she awakes, his voice merges with that of Brera! The two finish their fold into the Vajra’s home system like we saw at the end of the previous episode. 

Back on Frontier, the fleet freezes and jettisons another of the smaller islands and it is now clear that Frontier’s ecosystems are not going to be able to recover. Leon is heading up a government meeting and while other officials wish to end Frontier’s mission, Leon insists that they will soon find a planet to call their own. 

Outside, Alto is flying a patrol with the two wingmen we saw last episode. One of them notes that there’s rumors that Alto is going out with Sheryl, the other prompts Alto for Sheryl’s autograph. Alto teases them in kind by telling them they will be shot down if they bother their fellow pilot about a woman while in flight. But just then, one of the wingmen spots Sheryl waiting for Alto in one of Frontier’s domed areas. 

We see further evidence of Frontier’s worsening situation as now oxygen masks are needed for the general public to travel out in the open areas of Island 1. We transition to Alto and Sheryl having a fancy dinner where it seems that Alto is the better cook! Eventually, Sheryl has a bit too much to drink and Alto is forced to carry her to bed. In one of her final lucid moments before drifting off to sleep, Sheryl again asks Alto not to leave her. 

Back in the Vajra’s home system, a Vajra defense fleet folds in and surrounds their home planet. Ranka sings to them, but unbeknownst to her, the fold waves of her singing are picked up by Grace, Macross Quarter, and the Frontier fleet. All three work to pinpoint Ranka’s location. Unfortunately for Ranka, the Vajra move to attack. Then, when she thinks she sees Ai-kun coming to her, it turns out to be some other Vajra that rips her away from Brera. Brera is almost cornered by the Vajra, but Valkyries commanded by Grace save him before Grace takes control of him once again after telling him that he is indeed Ranka’s brother. 

Back on Frontier, Alto attends a meeting with Leon, with Richard Birler attending as well via hologram. The two ask for Alto’s support and explain that the Vajra operate as one giant fold wave connected organism and that they may be using Ranka as a tool to learn about and destroy humanity. Later, at Island 1’s hospital, Sheryl berates Luca for attempting to treat her V-type infection. As the infection worsens her power grows, so Sheryl insist that kindness is a crime because while it may help her, weakening her newfound powers would end up harming far more people. 

Nearby, Alto meets his brother and the two watch as his father is being discharged from the hospital. Alto comments on how small or frail his father seems now. Yasaburō again tries to insist that Alto return to acting. He asks Alto if he would have become a pilot if there had been no enemy to fight. Alto checks in on Nanase and then steps outside with Klan. The two of them talk about why they joined the military and Alto reveals that even though he joined to protect Ranka, he now realizes that he might have to kill her in order to protect Frontier. 

We return to Ranka who has been taken to the Vajra queen. Ranka is finally able to recall her memories of the day the Vajra attacked the 117th Research Fleet. She had been singing Aimo and it looks like she was the one who drew the Vajra to the fleet. Her brother gets her to an escape pod and she watches as the ship she was on is destroyed by the Vajra. Back in the present, Grace is monitoring Ranka through her VR sensor interface and seems excited as Ranka is overcome by her emotions. If anything, it looks like Grace is able to monitor the full extent of Ranka’s connection to the Vajra fold network.

At around the same time, a Ghost fighter from Frontier transmits back the first view of the Vajra homeward and Leon orders the Frontier fleet to execute an emergency 30 lightyear jump to the Vajra home system. He intends to finish his “holy war” and take the Vajra homeworld for humanity. 

Specific Scenes I Loved: 

  • When Sheryl refuses treatment for her V-type infection so that her ability to disrupt the Vajra will continue to grow. She is shortening her own life in order to help the rest of Frontier. 
  • Alto and Klan on the hospital balcony looking over to Griffith Observatory while talking about Ranka. While Alto’s conclusion and Sheryl’s tears confuse me a bit, I do appreciate the symbolism of Alto talking about Ranka while gazing at the place they used to meet. 

Episode Impressions: 

Coming off a good run from, sheesh, Fastest Delivery to Northern Cross, this episode fell flat for me in a lot of ways. 

We don’t get much insight into the argument between Grace and Ranshe Mei. There’s wasn’t much tension or meaning to Alto and Sheryl’s dinner other than they seem to be living together now. Or was one just visiting the other? It’s not really explained how Grace manages to infiltrate and stay within the Vajra’s home system in order to save Brera. Yasaburō’s final plea to Alto just sorta goes unanswered. Alto’s big speech where he concludes that he will kill Ranka if he has to borders on being powerful but doesn’t quite make it. And, finally, I did not really understand Sheryl’s words or tears as she overheard Alto and Klan’s conversation. 

That last point is probably the most disappointing to me. I think maybe Sheryl has decided that she is just someone Alto is being kind to while she is still around, but that it is on Ranka’s behalf that Alto made all his key decisions? Sheryl throws her airplane which has been a symbol of “going for it” and doing something bold to try and achieve one’s dreams. Was that symbolism supposed to play more into Sheryl’s tears? For all the good back and forth Alto and Sheryl have had in this series, there just wasn’t enough here to draw a good conclusion. 

But, if nothing else, this episode did something a little clever in that it let Ranka’s singing alert both the good guys and the bad guys to her location. Now, both sides will be drawn to a final battle, most likely. So, I guess this episode at least provided a reason for things to move forward. 

Grace observing Ranka’s interactions with the Vajra fold network are super important. It is one of the last steps in Grace fulfilling her master plan. We only have two episodes left, so we’ll start to see fallout from this very quickly. 

Moment to Moment Notes: 

0:16 – This is the first we’ve heard of Grace’s implant network theory. 

0:27 – Not only did the research fleet have young and red Vajra specimens, they also somehow captured a queen?! 

3:43 – These two guys don’t so much resemble the two subordinates that Hikaru was given in the 2nd half of SDF Macross, but the hero being saddled with two rookies is callback to the original series. And the Valkyrie Jinx is more or less real as well. 

4:20 – Things are so bad that the government is even passing out oxygen masks to school kids.

5:55 – In one translation, Alto says the wine is not alcoholic, in the other more literal translation I have, he just says that it’s not hard liquor. I prefer the second translation because both Sheryl and Alto are adults and shows pretending that alcohol doesn’t exist annoy me. 

8:55 – It’s neat that it’s Ranka’s song that alerts both good and bad factions to her location.

12:24 – If the Vajra are just one big fold wave connected organism with no individuality… how does Ai-kun seem to have individuality?

14:16 – There it is. Brera is officially Ranka’s brother.

14:56 – We should have known this was Grace’s plan. To follow Brera and Ranka wherever they lead. 

18:31 – It seems like Grace is analyzing Ranka and the Vajra network at the same time. Are the two linked?

19:19 – Look at where Klan and Alto are standing. Or rather, look at what they can see in the distance. It’s Griffith Observatory! And Alto looking at it from afar kinda fits with his worrying over Ranka. 

20:44 – That’s a pretty profound statement from Alto. If anything he’s switched from protecting Ranka to protecting Frontier. 

21:08 – Does Sheryl think that Alto loves something (Ranka? Frontier?) more than her and that he is only comforting her until she dies? 

21:16 – Now a NUNS Ghost has found the Vajra homeworld.

Next Episode: Last Frontier

Well, maybe that preview made up for this episode. We see a big battle, several dimension eaters going off at once, Sheryl singing, Sheryl emotional, and more big battle. I can’t wait!