Finales: Delta(?), Kuromukuro

A bit too quickly, I think.
A bit too quickly, I think.

Now, ANN says they have 27 episode titles but says the number of episodes is 26, while MyAnimeList says 26 and AniDB says it’s finished. Well, the ending of Macross Delta is a little abrupt, but apart from diplomatic negotiations with Windemere there’s nothing more to be done.

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And it sure as hell felt like a final episode, Macross-style. They waste no time. The battle starts in the first couple minutes and it looks great. Believing there would be another episode, I was wondering how long the offensive would last until the bad guys get the upper hand, but that happens quickly too, with Roid and Heinz getting Mikumo to sing the star song (a melancholy variation on “Do You Remember Love,” while I ponder the idea of stars: is Mikumo a star, like an idol, or is she part of Walkure, an idol group? Did she come to think that she wasn’t suited for the former? Dunno if the show wanted to use that metaphor, but it popped in my head. Anyway, it freezes everyone up and Roid then announces that they will be part of a single galactic mind, like the Vajra. This doesn’t go over well, but everyone’s trapped and can’t get out. So the show has to get a little nutty, not that it wasn’t before.

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We got Hayate, Freyja, and Mirage close enough to talk but fading away, in that weird space everyone’s in. I guess the thought of fading away was too much for Hayate, so he ups and confesses to Freyja. This prompts Mirage to confess to Hayate, whereupon Freya is shamed enough that she confesses to Hayate too, and we have the sort-of satisfactory conclusion to the love triangle. Somehow, it forces Freyja out of the hive-mind, she pulls the two other corners out, while Heinz sings his old notes and Mikumo also changes her tune, so to speak. Soon everyone’s free. Time to turn on Roid. There’s no “The (insert opponent here) are not our enemies,” line, but that’s what happens. After that it’s classic Macross, aerial battles, rescues, bad guys redeemed, a final bit of plot as Keith stabs Roid and both blow up, and songs, songs, songs!

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Which is great. This latest Macross installment hasn’t been the best. At times, even during the galaxy-wide story, it felt … small, like the concerns of a handful of people rather than the fate of thousands of planets and their inhabitants. Maybe it’s because Windemere felt like a small, backwards planet with a primitive class structure and a lot of cold pomp. No sympathy for them. But the final episode felt big. The battles were beautifully done and great to look at. It had silly moments, like breaking out of the hive-mind, but Macross is kind of silly to begin with, that’s one reason why we like it. Glad to see the show ending on a high note, if it’s indeed over.

Freyja sums up the Macross franchise nicely.
Freyja sums up the Macross franchise nicely.

 

What the hell was this all about?
What the hell was this all about?

Kuromukuro‘s big fight was two episodes ago, and then post-war reality set in. The UN reestablished its dominance, which meant everyone was a threat, and so no one was having any fun. So for the finale Kennosuke decides to join Zeru to help him fight for HIS planet. Least he could do. They spend most of the episode escaping, while others try to stop them and still others try to join them. Yukina is in the latter group, of course. It’s not the best sequence in the series; I spent too much time wondering what was going on, and why the hell were they doing this and that. What the hell was that staged reporter confrontation about? Why did Tom try to stop them (in that monster mecha, again fairly easily repulsed) then gloat about how he actually disobeyed orders? The trouble is they had two covert missions going on at the same time … One thing I was sure about was that Hiromi was right: the security in that place WAS pretty lousy.

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As muddled as the fighting was, the motivations of the main characters remained clear. Yukina was determined to go with Kennosuke; she understands his sense of loyalty but has needs and opinions of her own, and finally he accepted them. Too bad she missed the ride … The other high school kids remained true to their natures. Everyone’s characters were strong enough by now that we understood what they were doing, even if I didn’t quite get how they were getting about it. So Kennosuke, Muetta, and Zeru manage to make the leap, then WE leap five years, helluva five years, too. Fully functioning spaceport, UN fleets heading off to join the fight on Zeru’s planet. How did they manage that in such a short time? It took about that long to build the Toyama shinkasen station … No matter, we get a “where are they now?” montage, with Yukina heading off to fight (with Sophie and Sebastian, happy to say), but lawfully this time. The best way to handle it, I think.

Left behind, but only for five years.
Left behind, but only for five years.

And so ends the latest PA Works show, a step forward after Charlotte and that other thing, but nowhere near the level of Shirobako or Hanasaku Iroha, no shame in that. I tend to watch PA Works shows no matter what, apart from Haruchika, so I probably would have watched this anyway, but for me there was the extra thrill of the story taking place in and around where I live. I still remember the glee I felt when the mecha started fighting just outside Toyama City hall, and when one fell on the NHK building. “Hey! I walk around there a lot!” And am still a little disappointed that they didn’t smash up some local buildings I dislike. At least they left my favorite bar alone. And the station. And the new glass museum. I haven’t been there yet. I could go on. I think PA Works wanted to tip its hat to the place it calls home, so they made everything look great. I thank them for that, and hope there’s a sequel so they can smash up some more places, like the CiC building. Never cared for that place apart from the Saizeria on the fourth floor, and the Hyakkuen in the basement … Sorry.

NO!  Not the Toyama Chitetsu Light Rail!  Bastards!
NO! Not the Toyama Chitetsu Light Rail! Bastards!
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