Macross Frontier Ep.23: True Begin…

True begin…or is it beginning?! I can’t help feeling that it’s the beginning of the end.  Just two more episodes to go after this one.  More plot revelations unfold in this episode as we gradually learn what happens 11 years ago on board the 117th Research Fleet.  All of these were told in Ranka’s flashbacks.  Apparently Grace was working on a research that ran contrary to what Ranshe did and somehow resulted in the attack on the fleet 11 years ago.  Grace was a super dimension evil genius scientist conspiring with her Galaxy cohorts way back then.  And now, she’s even deadlier than Leon’s rounds of MDE.

This episode proved that domestic bliss can be had even when the Frontier fleet is in the midst of dire resource constraints.  Just prepare and cook everything in small portions and make sure you have good company to tide over troubled times…lol.  Back to the story at hand.  Seems like the Frontier Fleet has a time frame of only 3 months before everything runs out and the populace is doomed.  Expect Leon to have a cleverly thought out plan to save the fleet or maybe not, since his ulterior motive is to save his own behind and be the supreme galactic leader at the expense of everyone else.

It was nice to see some focus of sibling interactions between Brera and Ranka as they journey their way to the Vajra world in search of clues that will help them regained their lost memories.  But all is not as it appears as both arrived at the vicinity of the Vajra planet.  Suddenly, a gazillion vajras fold in to where they are and Ai-kun got grabbed by a red lobster.  Only thing to do is to sing Aimo and that’s what Ranka did with Brera providing the background music using his harmonica.  It was a lovely scene though.  Ranka recalled a scene from her childhood and remembered a boy playing harmonica.  The only thing she has trouble remembering is the face of the boy in question.  Seeing as how he was affected by the song, Brera decides to give Ranka his harmonica, saying that it’s appropriate and it’ll be her charm.  The fold waves from Ranka’s singing got picked up by a NUNs recon craft and by the crew aboard the MQ somewhere in the vastness of space.  This got the obvious parties excited because that means they can track where Ranka is or in Leon’s case, where the Vaji planet is.

Leon being the excitable person that he is because he’s finally cluing in to where the Vaji Planet is (all thanks to Ranka’s fold wave generating voice) decides to call Alto-hime for a private chit-chat along with a projection of the ever reclusive Mr. Bilrer, owner of SMS.  So Alto got his ‘what is Vajra’ lessons and how Ranka figured in all this mess.  In the space of a few seconds, Leon managed to present Ranka in a totally different light.  Ho-hum, she’s now the enemy.  What could have shook Alto more than that one revelation and goad him into Leon’s perfect little plan?  Brilliant super move there.

Back at the Vajra sphere, just when things are starting to get familiar between Ranka & Brera, all hell breaks loose.  Vajras decide they have enough of the song and decide to attack them…well, that’s how it appears to be.  They might just want to take the swanky VF-27 home to mama but their actions got misinterpreted as an attack.  Whatever it is, Brera managed to find a temporary hideout among the asteroids.  So what did the Vajs do?  They used Ai-kun to lure Ranka out into the open.  Ah what a pity, she fell for it and Brera watched haplessly as his soon to be revealed little sister got tentacled kidnapped by a now evil-looking Ai-kun and its buddy.

Ranka in her distress finally remembered the face of the little boy from her memory and ta-da: it was none other than Brera-san, her real onii-chan.  Cue, Ranka calling out onii-chan and Brera screaming Rankaaa!!! in frustration while dodging and firing wildly at the hordes of red lobsters swarming around.  Boom an explosion happens and what do you know,  Colonel Grace in her valkyrie stood right in front of Brera’s VF, obviously mighty pissed at Brera’s unsanctioned little adventure.  Before mind-wiping a surprised Brera, Grace coolly reveals that Ranka is the lost little sister (he’s been unconsciously searching for). Poor onii-chan never had a chance to recover from that shock reveal.  Darn, Grace is in her supremely evil element. Just look at her snapped her fingers with such malicious pleasure.  Click and zapppppp!!!!

Back at Frontier, after absorbing the nicely packaged news from Leon and Birla, we see Alto at the hospital.  Even though it wasn’t shown, he’s probably there accompanying Sheryl whom we see was in for some med check-up with Luca on hand to prescribe medicine which she refused to take.  Hmm, she wants to be a martyr now.  Whilst waiting along the corridor, Alto happens to chance upon Yasuburo and saw his elderly wheelchair bound dad being wheeled out of the hospital. They have a tense but nonetheless civil chit chat about Alto’s true motives and desires in life and why is he continuously running away from his acting past.  Yasuboro has the knack of appearing on cue whenever Alto seems to have some inner conflicts with himself.

With all the doubts and turmoil brewing in his head and heart, Alto visited the still comatose Nanase and looked at a painting of Ranka.  Klan saw this and decides to have her own little talk with him up on the roof top.  Alto clue Klan in on why he joins the SMS in the first place and affirms that all along he has been running from some personal issues.  But now he decides to put a stop to that, choose his path and make a stand.  It sounds kind of patriotic all of a sudden.  Amazingly, he also reveals that when it comes down to what’s important to him (Frontier and its populace), he’ll do everything to defend it…even if it means killing a certain someone.  Tsk tsk…Klan is in awe of that little patriotic declaration and shed a tear or two.  So does Sheryl, who eavesdropped on their conversation.

What a tragic turn of events this is turning out to be.  Simply because even now, as Ranka lay trapped in the Vajra lair, she realizes that the events which leads to the destruction of the 117th fleet is somewhat impeccably linked to her and she feels responsible.  It might be that she’ll sacrifice herself even before Alto could get a chance to kill her.  Furthermore, Supreme Commander Leon is commandeering the entire Frontier fleet towards Vajraland.  It’s going to be one heck of a suicidal ride coming up.  What is Alto going to do now?

Next episode preview (aren’t we ever inching closer to the finale) looked awesome especially the battle scenes with the MDE bombs going off.  We’ll probably get to see Brera in slaved mode fighting Alto. Here’s hoping Alto will do something to knock Brera’s senses back to where it was before he got mind-zapped by Grace.  Maybe SMS MQ coming into the scene as well.  Will Sheryl sing a new song amidst the battle scenes?  And Ranka, what will happen to her with Grace scarily expressing delightful pleasure at having her little queen in her rightful place.  We’ll have to wait an agonizingly long week to find out won’t we.  Meanwhile, the beautiful but melancholic Azure Ether plays softly in the background to fade.

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