I kept waiting for something interesting in Macross Delta 12, but nothing much happened until the very end. We learn that Ernest once tried to train King Gramia. We learn that Mirage doesn’t feel she has Hayate’s talent (this time it’s her turn to be caught listening in to a conversation, BTW). There’s NUNS announcing they’re going to blow up the ruins at Ragna, which would cause massive damage to the planet, but then they decide to wait, and we’re back to listening to all the talk. Walkure talk their usual nonsense, Mirage is promoted, hey, congrats. On the Windemere side there’s the usual: Roid saying they shouldn’t strain Heinz any more and Keith scoffing. And lots of talk of wind on both sides. And lots of oohs and ahs as the good guys’ big ship takes flight … Well, next week we’re going to have a big battle, but I wish they could have gotten started sooner.
I was disappointed to see the cynical ending to Kumamiko. The way I see it, poor Machi became so traumatized by the idol contest that she never fully recovered, insisting that people at Sendai jeered and threw rocks at her, and now has no desire to ever leave the village again, spouting inanities about the internet to the complicit Natsu. She’ll never allow herself to see the rest of the world on her own terms, and everyone in the village is fine with it. It’s not the ending I expected, after she overheard Hibiki and Yoshiro debating whether she should compete in the contest. Yoshiro even suggests that she’s a sacrifice, like in the old legends, the slimeball. His only good point is that the village is rooting for her. And her performance was a lovely moment; a shame that she mistook the cheers for hostility.
It could be a cute show, but moments like the end left a bad taste in my mouth. No one tried to guide Machi gently into the strange places, she was forcibly yanked in before she was ready, and sometimes blamed when she naturally panicked. Yoshiro was the worst offender, of course, a disgusting piece of trash who didn’t care for one moment about Machi’s own feelings or development, but used her as a promotional tool whenever he could get away with it. Natsu, Machi’s best friend, sometimes did this too, maybe not understanding what was so bad about it. He is, after all, a bear. And he, at least, tried to help her when he could, though he stood aside too often when Yoshiro was up to something. It’s a shame. I would have loved to see Machi grow more, at her own pace. I’m disappointed that no one else in the show thought the same.
No cynicism for Bakuon!!, well, maybe a little. The show didn’t really have much to do this episode except bring Baito back in an even more neutered form. Sorry they had to go out with a “what if there were no bikes?” dream that was a little depressing. On the other hand, it made a good point: we’d probably get along just as well without motorcycles; we’d be safer and happier, but the world would also be less fun. It was this acknowlegement that a lot of things about bikes (and bikers) are actually kind of silly (well, I suppose most hobbies are) that made the show so much fun to watch, especially for someone like me who never paid attention to motorcycles before. So while the show was, like today, inconsistent, it had some of the funniest scenes of the season. It was also the most educational; I learned more about motorcycles than I ever thought I would. Now, I still don’t want one, but I’m thinking a scooter to get around might be nice …