As the UN personnel begin to learn more about the alien artifact found near the island, the anti-UN forces plan to take it for themselves while increasingly strange things begin happening as the fighting comes to the island in earnest. Sara tells Shin that it’s his fault that this is happening, that the UN forces are ‘weakening the bond’ between nature and the island, and somehow this relates to the Protoculture artifacts but no one is quite sure how. Now that the generator is fixed, the islanders are becoming ever more entranced by the offerings of modernity, much to Sara’s dismay. And Mao suddenly makes her move on Shin, while his reactions indicate that he might have some sort of thing for her older sister. Ah yes, it wouldn’t be Macross without a love triangle now would it?
Shin, trying to distract Aries and Edgar by…doing a witch impression?
Loved Sara’s facepalmstaff.
Mao, NO! Oh gods, the kancho has spread to even this remote island. Maybe it was occupied by the Japanese in WWII? Though after getting a wikipedia link to make the reference, apparently this happens in South Korea and the Philippines too (Koreans and Philippinos, confirm/deny that this horror lurks in your countries as well) . You learn something new terrible everyday.
For all that Macross seems to promote the virtues of pop culture, the scenes of people greedily turning the generator on during the day to watch TV certainly weren’t portraying it as a good thing.
Kind of reminds me of Qoo. Also, is this an actual language or something made up for the show? Reminds me of Thai, but I don’t know enough about what that language looks like to say.
Edgar feels like a third wheel, but hey, at least this Shin actually deserves the girls that go after him, unlike a certain Gundam pilot of the same name *cough* Shin X Lunamaria WTF *cough*
Commercialism already existed on this island!
Right after Sara notices Shin watching her and stops singing, the rocks immediately fall to the ground, all of them seemingly having runes carved into them. When he asks how it’s possible, she just replies that he has brought a Kadun to the island and that it’s weakening the bonds on the island, though I suspect something to do with anti-gravity generators similar to those aboard the Macross. Perhaps they are part of the Birdman machine buried under the island and something is causing them to malfunction…or work as designed? Sara cautions Shin not to tell anyone what he saw, but replies that no one would believe him anyway. While she agrees and tells him that he and the other UN personnel have a Kadun attached to them that only lets them believe what they see, clearly meaning it as a negative, I for one am all for reason and science. But it’s a matter of one’s point of view, and from my point of view the Jedi are evil. Aside from this, Sara is also angry at the researchers and the UN presence on the island, thinking that they’re corrupting the people by bringing them modern standards of living. Certainly the islanders are now very eager to watch TV inside instead of being out in nature, but to be honest I think this is a bias of the writers and of people who live in advanced industrialized societies in general, that being out in nature is superior and ‘purer’. If we all lived on islands, were at the mercy of weather for our food, had no antibiotics, and never saw a TV we’d probably wax poetic about progress and technology. Soon after this conversation, Mao takes Shin by the hand to show her her ‘treasure’ a site underwater that they must dive to get to. We get a long scene about the wonders of marine life, with fish, coral reefs, an octopus, and diving birds swimming along with the two humans. Just as the two are oxygenating their lungs before the deepest part of the dive, Mao asks Shin if he likes her older sister, but before he can answer in any form he dives down. Coming to a cave opening, they stand before a Protoculture artifact with an eye that opens and follows them. Shin is so surprised that he panics and loses most of his air, and Mao kisses him both for romantic reasons and to pass air to him.
Some really bright, beautiful shots of the coral reefs not far from the islands shores as Shin and Mao swim through them.
Mao swimming along with the diving sea birds, certainly suggesting the link between her (and the people of the island) and the natural world.
I saw this in a movie once…
They recreated this scene shot for shot in Macross Frontier’s ‘Tori no Hito’ movie, the only real change being that Mao/Ranka asking Shin/Alto if he loves Sara being in a voiceover during the kiss in the movie version.
You almost can’t tell the difference.
The Mao/Ranka surprise kiss attack. Oh Ranka, I really was cheering for you at the beginning, but you had to go and betray everyone.
While the two are off on their scuba dating, the Celestial Being forces are planning on seizing the Protoculture artifact from the hangar bay of the Asuka while simultaneously sending a submarine and amphibious force to the island to secure other artifacts. Sara senses a disturbance in the Force, and the UN carrier battle group seems to have some advance warning as well, scrambling Valkyries and Ghosts shortly before the enemy VFs approach the fleet. But even with this notice the UN battle group is loses a destroyer and takes damage to the Asuka II in the attack. But just when the Old Man and his wench of a sidekick Lesser Selvaria start entering the hangar deck, what at first looks like a Destroid ‘THIS IS SPARTA!!!’s the geezer’s VF out of the bay and jumps to the deck of the carrier to fight back. Lesser Selvaria is sent to the island to reinforce her allies there, while Roy Focker in an armored VF-0 fights it out on the deck, at first looking destroyed and then purging the extra armor around the VF-0 and continuing the fight. While this was happening farther from the island, Shin picked up the alert on his radio just as Mao was trying to consolidate her romantic gain with conversation. He tells her to head towards the island when Edgar shows up in their VF-0D and floats it on the surface to pick Shin up, just as a torpedo from an anti-UN submarine heads towards them. Shin quickly scoops up Mao and gets her inside the cockpit, then takes inspiration from the seabirds he saw earlier and dives the Valkyrie into the water in pursuit. A nice and realistic touch was his firing the main cannon into the point of entry for the Valkyrie, helping to break up the surface tension that could have damaged his Valkyrie. Destroying the sub in close combat and seizing an artifact it had recovered, he sees the larger amphibious force move on the island, fighting it out with the Destroids from the UN camp.
A breakdown in traditional social order caused by rapid modernization. Though I don’t think it’s quite so bad as Sara seems to think it is, at least it hasn’t gotten that bad at this point.
AHHH now I want one, possibly two VF-0 models and an arming crew model kit!
Quite possibly the coolest shot of a Destroid evar, I really liked the grainy green light from the missile exhaust.
These Destroids featured Code Geass-style wheels at the heel of each foot for added mobility.
This is Roy’s house!
The Macross team certainly likes their external, detachable armor. They even brought it to Gundam when some of them worked on 0080.
The Birdman was all YAKK DECULTCHA!
Carrying the girl to safety in the hand of your Gerwalk-mode Valkyrie: a retrospective.
The island sees a lot of destruction as Shin delivers a traumatized Mao to Sara, then jets off to try and protect the artifact from the enemy. Meanwhile Mao is MedEvac’ed to the Asuka along with Aries and a group of UN troops and about to be given a transfusion of the blood that was leaking out of the artifact, as it matches her own blood type. But just after the helicopters leave UnterSelvaria dives down on Shin, her ammo low but her fanatical determination in full supply. After a running battle she send the VF-0 down in flames, and secures the artifact, only to have Shin steer the flaming wreck INTO HER FIGHTER! Hell yeah! Ejecting just in time, he and Edgar parachute to the ground, but find themselves confronted by their rival once more. Things are going to get…interesting.
That’s some regression. Also, Mao as prototype Ranka: loli with psychological issues due to trauma.
Indiscriminate attacks on populated areas to take out a few military units? Check. And you wonder why I call them Celestial Being.
Ah, more cool cockpit sequences. I wish Gundam did first person views like this more/at all.
Tsun tsun, tsun tsun, kuroshitai hito wa pirotto!
Oh my. If only you weren’t evil.
Final Thoughts: - As I watch more Macross, it’s becoming quite clear exactly how much influence it has had over Japanese arcade flight sim games like the Ace Combat and Airforce Delta games. Two enemies in Airforce Delta: Strike look a lot like the enemy pilots in Macross Zero, for example. And then there’s the song bringing everyone together from the end of Ace Combat 5 that was very reminiscent of the final battle scene in DYRL. Along with Area 88, Macross seems to be a huge influence over the genre.
- The original series and DYRL had elements of environmental concern to them, though in DYRL it was also tied in with an anti-nuclear message. Zero seems to put more emphasis on with the coral reef scene and the generally positive portrayal of life on Mayan Island. Which I think can potentially be kind of hard to reconcile with the franchise’s love of pop/consumer culture and the way that it argues the virtues of that culture. Depending on which level the environmentalism/nature argument is made. If it’s more about just taking notice of and valuing the natural world, the feeling I got from the original series and DYRL, then it’s fairly compatible. But Zero seems to be idealizing, at least at this point in the story, a sort of goodness/virtue of pastoral life. That living in close contact with nature and actively avoiding modern technology and culture is a better way to live. Which, excuse me if I sound cynical, seems to be only the daydreams of people who have grown up in and lived in advanced societies. It’s all too easy to forget about the myriad of very bad things that people are subject to when living outside of modern societies. Low life expectancy, easily curable diseases, living one drought or storm away from starvation, lack of communication and education, the generally oppressive nature of traditional societies towards women and anyone defying the norm, etc etc. But there exists, and has existed probably since Rousseau if not earlier, this longing for a more natural and ‘purer’ way of life that’s seen as the cure-all for the ills of modern society. It just seems like human nature to want these elusive things, even opposites to what one has. The old PC adventure game The Longest Journey commented on this nicely when you were in the magic-filled world and people wished for all kinds of modern things to solve their day to day problems, while in the futuristic world people were wishing for magic and adventures while complaining about how the world has no mystery.
- Zero’s dogfights continue to be the best Macross battles I’ve yet seen. I even went back to Frontier to refresh my memory, and they just don’t compare. Zero’s fights are just more fluid, they utilize cockpit points of view more, and they focus more on the battle itself instead of one individual machine. That is not to say that I didn’t find Frontier’s dogfights and battles gorgeous, just that I find Zero’s approach much cooler and more like the original series.