Macross Delta 5: Dancing in the Moonlight
Second Thoughts: Just a shot of Mikumo being a true gangster, nbd.
1.) It took five episodes, but we've finally come across something different. Usually the story is never about the planets the Macross people actually FIND, and it's certainly NEVER about the people that are already ON those planets. Sure Frontier showed people landing on an inhabited planet, but they certainly weren't inhabited by humans. The idea of forceful colonization, demanding that other races of people live in peace with you while you take resources that were originally all theirs? That's something interesting to be explored, if they choose to take that route. This also answers an earlier quesiton: the people of Ragna aren't genetically spliced, they're legitimate aliens that developed differently from humans.
Come to think of it, this episode's opening answers multiple questions at once. The Windemere people didn't inexplicably become isolationist, they just got sick of the NUNS government and kicked them off. I think of them as less jerky now, but I do find it weird that they're unilaterally deciding that NO other planet should have them either and want to kick them out of an entire cluster of planets. That's asking a bit much, isn't it?
Of course, it's going to get especially troublesome if they're inspiring other planets to rebel.
The fact that it's this early and we're revealing so much about the enemy and their threat tells me this story probably won't be going for much shock value. With Frontier they held a lot close to the chest until nearly the last few episodes, but here they're laying out the grievances of the antagonists as well as the history leading up to their original war for independence. I'm guessing this time the focus is going to be less on war for the sake of and instead the politics behind what causes them.
I was worried that with such a large cast, too many of them would end up underdeveloped, like the Aerial Knights that serve as the primary antagonists against Delta Squadron. But there's been absolutely no hesistance to show their home planet...nor show the strife that exists even on their world.
Back on Windemere, both the king as well as Prince Heinz are revealed to be in rapidly failing health. Heinz is needed in order to infect people with the Var Syndrome (which is shown to be massively effective without the Walkure around--an entire PLANET submitted in not days, but hours, to the Windemere Army), but it appears Keith, the head of the Aerial Knights and their chancellor, Roid, are at odds about how exactly to go about it. Keith seems to believe the best solution is swift, quick destruction while Roid flat out claims their goal isn't bloodshed, but to show the universe that the people of Windemere are the chosen of the Protoculture. The entire exchange sets up a ton: we learn their goals, the length they're willing to go to achieve them, and take them away from being two-dimensional Saturday Morning Cartoon show villains into people with believable reasons to attack what's basically the nicest empire in science fiction.
Elsewhere on Planet Windemere, we find the part of the Aerial Knights NOT connected to the royal family discussing the shortness of their lifespan. It's probably the first time we've ever seen a justification for guys in their 20's and early 30's acting like old geezers--these guys actually DIE before they ever get to 40.
At any case, Freyja's existence is made known to them, which I can only imagine is going to cause friction in every direction possible. She's seen as a traitor to Windemere, but how long before her loyalties are questioned by the people of Ragna and the Macross crew?
And if you needed any proof I write these AS I watch them, literally the next scene after my last point the exact question I asked comes up. Much like Skull Squadron, the people in Delta are a PMC employed by Chaos, and in light of the events of episode 4 both Walkure and Delta Squadron are told that the mission parameters have changed. Rather than being somewhat of a band-aid to the spread of the Var, they are now officially going to war with the army of Windemere.
We get a scene of each character deliberating whether or not they want to continue. There's an obvious hold-out in Hayate, but Mikumo brings up that knowing what they do, everyone now obviously thinks Freyja's a spy.
...To be honest, if she were it'd literally be the biggest plot twist since they started beheading folks in a pretentious Nanoha rip-off show. But let's be honest here, Freyja as she is about as effective a spy as Maxwell Smart. Still, it's good that they're at least asking the question and not glazing over it for no reason.
|The most important thing about this series, is that the seal cats aren't going anywhere.|
Usually the callbacks to Macross are kind of a nudge-nudge, wink-wink sort of deal but this series has actually been quite heavy on them. After learning that everyone thinks she's a spy, Freyja ends up kind of down--a feeling that only gets worse when reporters hunt her down at the gang's favorite restaurant and began questioning her loyalties.
With probably the first legitimate ship building in a while for the triangle, Hayate helps her to escape the reporters and points out that everyone can see through her tough act, leaving her to wonder why people can't just get along. A fair question, asked by people both real and fictional across time. Which is when Mirage shows up and reminds us all of her famous lineage from a line of legendary badasses from different races. Of course, before that can go anywhere...
Hayate has to remind us he's a prick again. Thanks, Hayate! There's a good moment there where Mirage tries to show Freyja the path that she's probably going to have to take (unless there's a random villainous turn in her future) in helping people to believe she can be a bridge between two warring planets, when Hayate asks why she's asking Freyja to hit such a high bar.
It'd be a great point except...Freyja SET the bar herself. Before the Windemere people went to war, they had already adopted an isolationist policy, and her own town was demanding that she stop wasting time and get married. She said fuck off to ALL that and instead decided to join the most famous idol group in the galaxy...and she succeeded. You can't say it's asking too much of her when she's ALREADY doing the most to begin with. This is another barrier she's got to cross, but she's done great so far.
There's a bit more ship building here with a back and forth argument between Mirage and Hayate, but it kind of gets silly with the bit of dialogue in the picture above. After all, HE'S the one that puked on her. Takes a lot of balls to mock someone for something YOU did to them. Wait, not balls. The other thing. You just have to be a dick.
I'm semi getting my wish. Despite all the super serious discussions that took place (and NEEDED to take place), we still got a "new" song with a dance routine. This time it's Freyja singing the end theme while she flies through the night skies with Hayate while they work out their issues. I give Freyja a lot of crap because...well, because she's not Mikumo, but it's pretty easy to see why everyone loves her.
Y'know, until Moment Ruiner Messer popped up. At this point I'm starting to think he's contractually obligated to stop all excessively happy moments before they reach their proper crescendo.
Admittedly, it's totally not Hayate's ship to fly so he's not technically wrong...he's just a jerk. Somehow, an even bigger jerk than Hayate. But if he dies I bet they reveal he's actually been watching over a group of seal kitties so you can feel bad 'cause he was Actually A Good Guy.
It does lead to a pretty strong moment for Hayate, who decides to stay with Delta Squadron in order to end the war faster so he can go back to flying however he feels like. A bit ridiculous considering he's the worst pilot on the team, but it's a moment of growth that's needed in the same way Freyja's was needed in episode 4, and a great moment to end the show on.