Macross Delta 6: Decision Overload

Walkure Update: OTP status reading: still adorable. 

Also, out of costume Kaname might just have the best style of the entire group.  Or maybe I just love her taste in hats.

This episode opens with Messer, Moment Ruiner, explaining to the rest of the team their flaws.  And it kinda bugs me.  He explains that both Hayate and Mirage have been hesitating when it comes to taking down fighters--aiming for wings rather than center of mass.   In Hayate's case he doesn't want to kill anyone, while Mirage only hesitated in episode 4 when the UN Spacy pilots were affected by the Var.  Either way, Hayate brings up that both Chuck and the Captain are aiming for the wings as well, which leads to Messer pointing out that the two of them are skilled enough for that, but they aren't. 

We're just barely over a fifth of the way into the series and they're already trying to place Hayate and Mirage's skills on the same level?  Meh.  Setting aside that Mirage is from a family of genius ace pilots, AND the fact that Hayate was half-assing it for a lot of his training, Mirage has just been at this longer.  It's a slippery slope that I don't want to see Delta go down. 

There's a couple places this can go, though.  For one, if the Delta Platoon is at war with Windemere (and they are), it's only a matter of time before these two "newbies" have to take lives to protect if not themselves, other people.  That's *got* to be a key moment in the series.

...And the other, more likely one, is Hayate and Mirage becoming closer while Mirage's need for perfection pushes her to learn his unpredictable movements and become less "by the book". 

Whatever sympathy I had for Windemere is rapidly vanishing.  In the interrim between declaring war in episode 4 and the start of episode six, they've already "annexed" three planets.  This isn't just declaring war for their own freedom, this is forcing THEIR freedom on other people.  It takes a little bit of the moral ambiguity out of things when you do it that way.

In the same conversation here, we learn that there likely won't be any help coming from UN Spacy government themselves, which isn't the most important piece of dialogue but it does tie up possible plot holes for those wondering why what would seem like such a major threat isn't being treated with more gravitas.  And it makes sense honestly--at this point the Macross government has got to be freaking huge.  The UN can barely get things done, and that's just the nations of one planet.

I can sense I'm going to have to keep defending Mikumo until she vindicates herself or until she does something outright unforgivable.  While wandering the halls of the Elysion, Freyja runs into Mikumo singing the same song Prince Heinz does to transmit the Var virus.  Mikumo points out how the song is full of life, while Freyja's is utterly empty.  It seems cold, but in reflection later with Hayate and the other young members of Delta Platoon and Walkure the intent becomes clear. Freyja's power seems to only exist when the situation gets extremely bad.  That can be seen as "good enough", but Mikumo seems to demand (and get) excellence from the rest of Walkure, so why should Freyja get a break?  

Both Freyja *and* Hayate are forced to admit to themselves that the people who are hardest on them are also incredibly good at what they do, and become determined to improve even more.  As the war gets more serious, it's obvious that even if they were taking the easy route at some point, they certainly can't any longer.

If there were any doubt that Roid was making Prince Heinz's condition out to be more than it is to avoid more war, that vanishes with this ep.  When we go back to Planet Windemere, we find Heinz singing into a strange warp space that presumably transmits his song out into other galaxies...only for him to collapse mid-song.  Whether it's him singing at all, or him abusing his powers to do something it shouldn't, this is clearly killing him.  But while Roid thinks they can accomplish their job just fine without regicide, his brother Prince Keith seems to feel as if any cost is fine if it rids the Windemere Kingdom of the NUNS government.  Almost as if he's...driven by something.

At any rate, if our heroes are going to remain heroes I'm betting at some point either Freyja or the boy will end up on the other side. 

Aaand here we go.  It seems while Mirage IS indeed from a family of genius pilots, she herself doesn't quite seem to live up to the name.  Or so she believes.  Having seen how protective Max and Millia were of their children, I'm willing to bet they don't care what other people think about their grandkids. Thoug somehow I bet that bit of logic isn't going to stop Mirage from getting a good ol' fashioned inferiority complex going!

This episode might have my favorite song/dogfight combo yet.  Well, maybe not favorite *song* since Ikenai Borderline is still my favorite anisong this year so far--but the way they mixed the choreography of the dogfight with the "concert" was pretty genius.  Their voices are being transmitted over the airwaves while their images are being projected across asteroids during the battle, providing for some pretty unique imagery during the fight scene.

And the fight scene itself is actually pretty freaking sweet, with Delta Platoon and the Aerial Knights going to head to head.  The gap in skill between Messer and Hayate (and even Mirage, unfortunately) becomes obvious when he has to throw down with Keith and leaves Hayate in the dust with his technique. 

The whole scene (which takes up the majority of the second half of the episode) is full of cool moments, there's two that really stick out: first, the moment when Bogue finally confronts Freyja and nearly kills her for being a "traitor".  It's only a matter of time before Freyja has to confront her own people without the help of Walkure or the Elysion crew.

The second is that no matter how much Mikumo seems to screw with Freyja, she's been second lead from the moment she debuted.  It's not dislike, or even jealousy that's the issue here--it feels like Mikumo is flat out grooming her to be the stage leader of Walkure.  Which semi sets up a death flag in my mind but I'm hoping that's not the case.  Still, there's a really cool bit where Walkure is being attacked and it's Freyja's turn to lead the song, and she falters for a second and falls backward, only for Mikumo to immediately take control and stand in front of her, almost protectively.   That's sweet, but also something which can't continue.

Not that Mikumo is babying her--she even outright tells her to get out if she's going to be shaken by things like being called a traitor.  The other girls attack her for this, but it's a good point.  Walkure is the one thing that allows the Elysion crew to stand up against the secret weapon of the Windemere Kingdom--if she's going to be shaken by something like that, it's an issue.

Of course, the whole battle grinds to a halt after Hayate is forced to take his first life in order to save Mirage.   I'm still not sure how I feel about how the episode handled it.   Mirage tells a story about the first time she had to take a life battling against some rebels, how it affected her and how you can never truly put something like that behind you, only learn to hide it and accept that you did it in order to protect as many others as possible.  That bearing the pain of taking another life is part of the job of being a soldier.

The story itself is fine, and it works for someone like Mirage, but I guess I just foresaw a different reaction from Hayate other than "Actually I'm all good".  I figured he would be the type to really take offense to the fact that he had to take a life, but instead he remarks that everyone is risking their life and that he understands that comes with possibly having to take a life as well.   He's mostly right, but ultimately I can't decide if they're being too flippant with the fact that Hayate just killed someone or if they writers are simply choosing not to wallow in self-hating angst like mecha shows have been won't to do since the earliest days of Gundam.  Though I hate when shows do that, so this reaction is probably for the best.

But we can't just end with that scene.  Instead, we see Keith scaling a rather tall mountain with his young brother Heinz, who probably shouldn't even be scaling a jungle gym.  Keith is determined to instill in his brother the same resolve that he has, in order to wipe the NUNS government out from their planetary cluster, and seemingly intends to do so by showing off the damage their planet suffered from their last battle with UN Spacy.

It's a pretty massive hole, but not the worst damage I've ever seen inflicted during a war, so I'm guessing there's a lot more to it than this, and a lot more to Keith's hatred than just "they were taking our resources".      


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