The skirmish between the UN and enemy VFs continues about Mayan Island as the villagers take shelter and Shin goes to find Mao. But the fighting isn’t limited to the skies above the once peaceful island as Valkyries use their gerwalk and battroid modes to get close to or on the ground. Shin and Mao barely manage to dodge a crashing VF-0, while the merciless anti-UN pilot strafes the crashed UN pilot in front of them. Seeing this brings back terrible memories of a previous massacre perpetrated by anti-UN forces in Shin’s past, and doing his best Shiro Amada impression he uses the now one armed Valkyrie to fire back at the SV-51 above. But this skirmish is only a small part of the story. Sara’s words and rituals are now seeming to align with some of the archaeological facts being discovered. The Asuka anchors near the island and pulls a large alien artifact from the waters, missing its head just as in the Mayan legend. As training for the new Valkyrie pilots is overseen by Roy in the air, a research team headed by Dr. Aries lands on the island and begins looking around. After convincing the locals to provide some blood samples, Dr. Aries has found something interesting. The islander’s cells have some odd properties and start to become abnormally active at the same time that Sara is standing naked at the island’s waterfall singing a song in French of all languages.
Roy gets into a duel with a familiar face: Ivanov, apparently an old instructor of his. Why he decided to join the dastardly forces of Celestial Being is unknown, but one thing is for certain: when Roy left he was but the learner. Now he is the master.
God of Wind? I didn’t know Talim was from Mayan.
The duel continues down into the canyons of Mayan, both combatants constantly changing forms to take advantage of the terrain and evade each other’s attacks.
The way the main gun tracks with where Roy looks is really cool, kind of like the chain gun on an AH-64 Apache.
Shin is not letting that CB scum get away with mowing down a defenseless man again, though he nearly gets Mao killed in his single-minded rage.
The enemy plane takes a hit and dives down at Shin’s nearly disabled VF-0. The pilot is some woman who looks kind of like Selvaria, but without the sense of honor or duty of the ill-fated Valkyrur. Ah, Selvaria, I miss you already *runs off to replay Valkyria Chronicles for the third time.*
She can do a Char Kick too, though fortunately for Shin the Skull Squadron was still in the area and took notice.
Roy lands after driving off the Selvaria-impostor, and seems a bit more worried about Shin and Mao than one would think from he would allow to show.
After the skirmish ends due to low fuel on the part of the enemy forces the Asuka moves into the area to raise the alien artifact found by earlier scans. Shin is brought back aboard and reunited with Edgar, who apparently survived their F-14 being shot down but had to remain in sick bay for several days due to his injuries. With their carrier destroyed, the two orphaned pilots are given a new home in Skull Squadron and its compliment of early model Valkyries. Training is arranged, but for the moment the pilots have time to relax while the scientists take a better look at the artifact. Aries has a little chat with Roy after she emerges from the artifact’s isolation dome, though we’re still left to wonder about the details of their past. All that is certain now is that the two went to college together and that Aries knew Roy back before he was as cool and self-confident as he is now. They may have been a couple once too, though Roy’s ass-grab may have just been his natural lecherousness. The next day the first round of training takes place, with Shin and Edgar in some sort of different Valkyrie model while Roy in his VF-0S acts as the aggressor. After mid-air refueling the exercise takes place and it’s not a good day for Shin. He hesitates to engage gerwalk mode to slow his descent, nearly crashes, and then gets eliminated first. And when he tried to get a shot in on Roy even after being eliminated he gets his Valkyrie tripped up in close combat by Roy and handed another defeat.
The Asuka’s battlegroup begins raising the artifact for study, something that seems to have a place in the mythology of the islanders.
Adding a little Evangelion to this Macross series.
There’s no better place to be.
Roy does not care to admit the mistakes caused by his youth.
Aries is a smooth woman, definitely has to be to be Roy’s senpai.
Really cool mid-air refueling sequence. In keeping with the real world aircraft we have S-3 Vikings refueling the Valkyries.
Not off to a good start.
Despite Shin’s objections this is a new era in combat and pilots just might find themselves having fight on the ground as well as in the air.
More training is scheduled, and surely Shin needs it, but that evening the crew relaxes by watching some sparring while the mechanics get to work fixing what Shin broke by flying his Valkyrie so brashly. Nakajima is not happy with Shin making his team pull the engines and work on them all night, but he later tells Roy that he’s happy to see a pilot that’s willing to push the design to the limit. On the hangar deck Shin enters a sparring match with a tall female Marine and gets his ass handed to him every which way. She points out his weaknesses: he doesn’t understand his opponent and keeps forgetting about his center of gravity, which are the same problems he had while piloting the Valkyrie against Roy. The latter point is an interesting training tie-in with Frontier, since the pilots-in-training use their exoskeleton suits to develop a similar awareness, one that is necessary to piloting a fighter whose center of balance can change rapidly as it switches from one form to another. Afterwards Shin is feeling pretty down, but Roy joins him and cheers him up a bit by letting him know that Nakajima isn’t as upset with him as it sounded. And instead of training the next day, Roy has a special assignment for Shin and Edgar: escort Aries’ team to the island and stand guard.
So much for that. If Cima Garahau and her fleet taught us anything, it’s that Marines in mecha are not to be messed with.
Shin forgot to Remember Love (for his engines.)
A pretty sweet detail.
Sara greets the UN landing party coldly, refusing to allow them in with their weapons and referring to them as Kaidun, but after they agree to stay outside of the town and lower their weapons they’re allowed to stay by the other islanders. Dr. Aries begins collecting blood samples under the pretexting of checking the islanders’ health, though with all the research going on concerning the artifact and possible alien manipulation of ancient humans and their genetic structure this is likely just a cover. Sara is extremely against collecting blood and thinks that their souls will be stolen, though everyone is convinced to give a sample when Aries offers them delicious soft drinks in return. That night the scientists return to the Asuka while Shin works on finishing his repairs to the island’s generator. Mao joins him and asks why he’s working on it again, but a promise is a promise to Shin. But just as the two are about to start it up Sara stands outside the hut glowering at them. She asks if he’s there to steal the stars from them by starting the villages’s electric lights up again, her understanding of light pollution coming from an old story passed on to her. But Shin informs her that Mao wanted the lights back, and he turns the power back on. In all honesty there’s little light pollution that can be produced by the few houses on the island, but Sara is nonetheless displeased. Out at sea, a huge anti-UN submarine is also closing in on the island, the Celestial Being SV-51s stored aboard it. We get a bit of the enemy mindset from wannabe-Selvaria, who apparently thinks that sharing technology for the good of mankind in the face of possible alien invasion is theft. She must read a lot of Ayn Rand and applied the concepts to interstellar war. The next morning on the island Shin is walking near the waterfall pool when he hears singing. Approaching he sees Sara standing naked in the pool, singing. Continuing his Shiro Amada act he stands and watches, but then notices that the plants around him are spontaneously growing and the rocks around him levitating. And back on the Asuka at the same moment, Aries cell samples start acting oddly. Unbeknownst to her the alien artifact in the isolation chamber has started bleeding or leaking some sort of red liquid in response to the song.
I don’t know Sara, that sounds a little too Hitler-esque to me.
Reason 1, superstition 0! I <3 you Aries.
A variation on ‘come to the Dark Side: we have cookies.’
One thing about Macross, it’s always been pretty positive in regards to commercialism.
A nice shot visually contrasting the two worlds that each character comes from. Sara under the natural starlight but in darkness while Shin is inside with artificial lighting repairing the generator.
As much as they deserve to die I kind of hope they live long enough to witness the arrival of the Zentradi to show them how wrong they were.
So…um…do you have to sing naked for this to work?
I hope the text that was cut off says that she showed no signs of malaria and tapeworms. Parasites are kind of not moe.
Something crazy is going on on this island.
Final Thoughts: – The dogfights continue to be amazing, especially the one between Roy and Ivanov at the beginning of the episode. The VF-0 is very cool, and even the SV-51 is looking better now that I’ve seen one that’s not in ‘rival ace’ fuchsia. Though I’m wondering what’s going on with the Valkyries that Shin and his group used since they’re definitely a different model from the VF-0 Valkyries that Skull Squadron has used so far.
- Continuing on that positive approach to commercialism thing, I’m getting the feeling that it’s a running theme in the Macross series. That seemingly insignificant commercialized things like soda and pop music are a way to bring different peoples together into a larger human culture. It worked on the Zentradi in the original series, and it seems to have a lot of influence on Mao. Frontier showed it too with the full integration of humans and Zentradi aboard the colony ships. That if a globalized (or interplanetary) monoculture is established then it will be the way to lasting peace. Which might not be unusual coming from a country as monocultural and commercial as Japan (seriously, I thought we Americans were supposed to be the commercial whores, then I lived in Japan for a year.) But even if these things seem to lack substance, they’re given purpose with how they build common ground between people who share in their consumption. And in that way I think Macross tries to show us the value of seemingly artificial and ‘pop’ cultural elements, redeeming them from being dismissed on their lack of inherent content. It’s an optimistic view, but I have to say that even with ocassional backlashes against globalization I agree that moving towards some sort of Macross-like monoculture is probably the best way forward for mankind in the long run.