I am going to play the Devil’s Advocate here and say something negative about this episode. You have been warned.
There’s an old saying in Chinese that a good horse does not graze the same pasture twice. I suppose, then, the writers of Macross F must be trying to tell us something about themselves. While I have no problem with them trying to find greener pasture, I do question at what cost have they inflicted to the overall story.
Operation Let’s jerk the viewers around
Alright, I will admit it: As far back as when Ranka caught sight of Ozma’s mecha being carried back after a bloody battle, I have considered him as the Erstin of Macross F, whose sole purpose of existence in the overall plot was his death as the catalyst that will send the characters to take a turn which they, otherwise, would not have taken.
Of course, the difference was that in Mai Otome few viewers have predicted Erstin to die, while in Macross F everybody were starting to write Ozma’s obituary as early as in episode three.
But can you really blame us, given the kind of lines the writers have written for him? I would say they damn well misdirected us over and over again: Ozma’s numerous times declaring he will not die; the title of this episode Goodbye sister; Ozma charging in Mu La Flaga style to block a shot; Ozma presumably watching Ranka last time in her debut concert and then saying he’s done for—and those are just in this episode alone.
Then after twenty minutes of red herrings, the writers finally revealed their true purpose of what this entire episode was about:
And to rub it in, Ranka had to repeatably cry baka, baka, baka right afterward. But the definitive sign that the writers have been truly teasing us, Ozma gets to have his cake and eat it too.
Just another filler episode
Fun for the viewers, but what does it add to the story? Nothing, except maybe to tell us viewers not to expect any cliché plot twists or endings; but if even so, there are better ways to do it. How about simply not mislead the viewers and just develop a fresh line of drama for Ozma?
The latter part of that question begs another question: What will be the role of Ozma, now that he probably will not die to drive the plot forward? There are three possibilities:
- He’s really gonna die. Now that they have us convinced he won’t die, they’re gonna kill him. Brilliant. We are truly putty in their hands.
- He’s gonna be one of the dead weight side characters. His purpose in the story—to tease the viewers—is over. He will just hang around like a leech, get a happy ending, and become a mostly superfluous character like what they did to Michael in episode nine.
- He will still drive the plot forward but in a totally fresh way. If so, then all is forgiven.
I have a problem if it turns out to be #2, at which point, I must question if a cliché plot is necessarily worse than one, which, for the sake of being different, nerfed a character’s purpose in a story.