Macross Delta 4: A Shocking Debut Show

So I'm four weeks behind on this, and the only way to apologize is by shotgunning and catching up inside a single week.  Let's see how THAT works out~

Mikumo Watch: A few people complained about this scene from episode 4, claiming that Mikumo's actually a bitch.  I don't think that's what this is.  Mikumo is clearly nuts--earlier in the episode she's somewhere on a hill completely naked, pondering the meaning of life and music.  Music is absolutely everything to her, and while everyone *else* finds Freyja's nervous newbie gimmick amusing, Mikumo is NOT having that shit.  Fuck around with her life, and cute or not, you get the boot.

The show opens up with some of the Knights of Windemere discussing their intent to attack the "Earthlings", which is kinda weird when you think about it.  The only Earthlings exist on Earth--one look at people from Planet Ragna and there's no doubt about it, these people aren't Earthlings.  At any rate, it seems the Knights are enraged by...something or other.  Meanwhile, their Prince continues to sing the "song of the wind" even though there's a good chance it's killing him.   Which is a tad weird as we already know Windmere people only live about thirty years and this guy is...hopefully not anywhere near that.  Or maybe he is, and it's a rare inversion of the "Actually 700 Years Old" trope!

This episode is mostly about Freyja Wion's debut concert, with everyone concerned about how she'll actually do.  We lead off with a party congratulating her (and Hayate) on making it as far as they have, and cap off the episode with their debuts in Walkure and the Delta Squadron. 

Initially I found myself wondering why Freyja isn't tossed out on her ass for being so...goofy.  Everyone just finds her silly act endearing and it feels a little too easy, but honestly?  *I* find her endearing.  Her falling on her face, or messing up at big speeches isn't something I want to see every episode, but she's out there trying her best and it makes you like her.

They can go a bit far making her overly childish sometime, but the fact that she's constantly attempting to improve herself makes all the difference.

I love just how well thought out the otherwise absolutely absurd concept of Delta is.  You have a group of singing magical girls who go around the galaxy holding concerts to ease/erase the symptoms of a disease that's transmitted through sound waves.  These girls can and often do literally sing on actual battlefields in order to restore peace to those affected by the Var disease, but Kawamori has actually sat down to work out the BScience necessary to make it seem like it makes sense.

In this case, the live show is actually a vaccine of sorts--they sing to the unaffected to make them harder to be affected by the Var Syndrome in the first place.

Though I don't really like the all the special treatment Hayate gets, I love how well Makina and Reina get along.  Usually I hate the opposites attract thing, but I actually really hope they're a couple.  It seems like Makina gives Reina the support she needs to interact with people more naturally, and I hope they give us some more backstory on all of them.

All jokes about magical girl bands aside, two things.  The henshin sequences they get make them all look like absolute badasses.  I've never really liked Sailor Moon (yes yes, blasphemy) but I've got all the respect in the world for the influence it has on the genre and the call back/reference to Sentai is fucking ace.   Second, Welcome to Walkure World is the perfect song for them.  It's got this entrancing melody to it that makes you feel like you're being transported somewhere else, somewhere more magical where things like girls using holographic technology to transform and fight against space viruses makes perfect sense.

Okay, I lied.  Third thing: I absolutely would not be mad if every other episode contained a unique concert with their own holographic imagery, song and dance routine.

The first big moment of this episode is about Freyja.  Yeah, Hayate has his moments of heroic action, and the guy is definitely making up for the foolishness of episode two, but ultimately the major climactic moment is Freyja being inspired by Mikumo to sing in order to clear the pilots affected by the Var and turn the tide of battle against the forces of Windemere.

Which reminds me: this is how I know Mikumo isn't really a terrible person.  When the rest of Walkure is scattered and trying to keep from dying, Lady M is trying to find the nearest affected pilot to sing to them and wake them up--then immediately finds her way to a stage.  Those aren't the actions of a bitch or a primadonna--those are the actions of someone who takes her job Really Fucking Seriously because, as we see in this episode, it literally IS life or death.

And yes, ultimately Freyja has to be inspired--but there's also no hesitation, no fear.  She sees Mikumo singing and immediately knows where her place is and is the first member of Walkure to sing alongside her in what's probably the coolest moment of the episode that's given me goosebumps both times I watched.

The end of the episode sees the Windemere army actually win their battle--the entire thing was a decoy.  While the Delta Squadron was busy protecting Walkure from the Wind Knights, the actual army had attacked an entirely different planet,  which reveals the other big moment of the series...

The Windemere Kingdom formally declaring war.  Right now I'm not sure how I feel about this.  The Zentradi were a species that didn't know anything other than taking and claiming things by force--they were a race utterly devoid of any form of culture.  Attack, destroy, conquer.  The Protodevlin needed life force to survive and thus attacked because it was a matter of survival.  The Vajra weren't all that aggressive to begin with and were being manipulated.  My point being, aside from the Zentradi, it's hard to stay angry at the "bad guys" because they honestly don't know any better.  But these guys?   They cut themselves off from the rest of the universe, then out of nowhere decided to declare war on everyone. 
Macross is a post-scarcity society--there's no reason to even declare war any longer other than to be a complete DICK, so this show is going to need to drum up some LEGITIMATE reasons for this or I'm going to spend the whole series hoping these guys get their teeth kicked in.  (Their initial reveal is pretty darn cool though, I'll give them that.)

In any case, if one had any complaints about this series they should've vanished with this episode.  The girls aren't the primary/only focus, and there's a TON of dogfighting at the end and plenty of interpersonal drama mixed in with all the singing.  This is how Macross is, folks; take it or leave it.


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