Bilrer=Kawamori, it was all for Minmay—macross frontier 25 end

Hai, Kawamori-san

Hai, Kawamori-san

Since I seem to have never been the popular voice on Macross F—although I believe I have been the more rational one—there is no reason to break the tradition now:

This episode was stupid, a ruin to what was a great show up until ep. 25.

It was another Mai Hime ending all over again, where the tone of the story changed so abruptly from

  • Alto adamant on killing Ranka,
  • Sheryl dying as a failed experiment,
  • Klan on vengeance,
  • Ozma treated as traitor,
  • Ranka treated as traitor,
  • Vajra taking a fatal blow to Frontier,
  • Frontier screaming, “Die worms! Your planet is ours!”
  • Ranka who couldn’t tell her left hand from her right,
  • Brera screaming to Alto, “I’ll obliterate you to the ends of the galaxy.” and blowing up Alto’s shiny VF-25, and
  • both humanity and Vajra on genocide with each other

to

  • Alto begging Sheryl to help him save Ranka,
  • Sheryl living as Little Queen #2,
  • Klan relinquishing Michel’s gun to Alto,
  • Ozma treated as hero,
  • Ranka treated as savior!
  • Vajra taking a bullet for Frontier,
  • Frontier screaming, “Let’s follow the Vajra to victory!”
  • Ranka slapping Sheryl back and lecturing her what she should do,
  • Brera screaming to Alto, “I’ll cover you.” and copulating with Alto’s shinier VF-whatever, and
  • both humanity and Vajra living happily ever after as roommates,

all of which took place within a few hours span during a heated battle. How unbelievable is that?! The last time I felt this ridiculous about an ending was with Gundam SEED Destiny. Only the Mai Hime ending was worse.

Alas, Macross F did not escape the usual anime disease of delivering a cheery, agreeable ending, no matter how incongruent that may be, as long as enough explosions are tossed onto the screen (and in this case, also the numerous clips of various songs repeated back to back like in a bad DJ job), and pandering to the plethora of fans that their favorite character/pairing gets to live happily ever after.

The only way to make sense of Macross F is to take Bilrer as Kawamori and review the scene where Bilrer looks into his ring—Kawamori just wanted to see Minmay on screen one more time.

It was all for you.

It was all for you.

Final thoughts

Overall, Macross F is one mediocre show with two highlights: the unprecedented, awesome CG battles, and the characterization of Sheryl Nome.

The battle sequences will for quite some times become the next measuring sticks for future mecha shows, beginning with next week’s Gundam 00 S2.

Sheryl Nome remains, at least to me, a memorable character with tons of character development from her lofty, feisty, ostentatious entrance on Frontier, through her Shakespearean heroic downfall, to her steady rebirth as a humble, passionate woman, all of which done in a heartfelt way with good, even pacing across the first 24 episodes. Too bad it was marred at the end by the deus ex machina that keeps her alive so that they can make good sales with the upcoming movie. It somehow has cheapened her pain and tears.

Lastly, the music was alright but not great. Only Diamond Crevasse will continue to frequent my iTune playlist even after next week’s new OP’s and ED’s themes arrival.

Everything else, forgettable.

You can’t believe how much I look forward to blissmo killing off every single character on the show right now. (BTW, welcome back, blissmo.)

The Vajra, from humanity killing machine to the love making machine

The Vajra, from humanity killing machine to the love making machine

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16 Responses to Bilrer=Kawamori, it was all for Minmay—macross frontier 25 end

  1. Crusader says:

    I disagree with your entire assessment, General Perry let the Vajra go in fist as a meat shield, Ranka was being Ranka. Joining the bugs was a matter of expediency since Galaxy had shown it self as the bigger threat and Grace was announcing her galactic conquest of the known galaxy and mastery of Vajra.

    Oh and for the record the Vajra escaped and left the Galaxy before the humans had time to avenge themselves. NUNS still thinks Ozma is a traitor, only after Cathy told them everything did they start pointing their weapons at Leon. They still don’t care for Ozma but for Cathy who is their Misa, sure why not…

    You forgot the one thing about Macross there is never a downer ending, EVER. As for saving Sheryl it was either give Ranka some screen time and redeem herself from her past failures or take some Vajra Queen extract to save her, Sheryl was never going to die, but she did come close.

  2. Crusader says:

    Also my Alto-hime said he’d kill Ranka if she got int he way, she wisely stood aside. I would have been happier had Brera died, but someone has to love Ranka other than Ai-kun…

  3. meliadoul says:

    I completely agree with the unbelievable change of mood and complete reversal of people’s motivations. Blarg, it was rushed, and it was awful.

    Not even Sheryl will make me watch the movie. I’ll try to forget about that show now.

  4. bakaneko says:

    Ranka and Sheryl took reverse roles from the roof scene. You have to be myopic to not see Ranka is no longer being a tool, but instead lecturing Quarter’s crew on the Vajra’s true nature.

    As to the human avenging on Vajra, I believe all of Macross have already recognized that the true culprits were Grace and Leon all along. Remember, your own first screenshot on your post? The humans have all been played for fools [by Grace and Leon]. The Vajra was not their enemy.

    Why should they listen to Cathy whom everyone knows that she has a past and most likely current relationship with Ozma?

    Well, Macross F was my first Macross, so it wasn’t so much that I forgot as that I just didn’t know. In any case, it’s bad storytelling if you force it to take tradition as opposed to let each story naturally develops itself. If you say that no way Sheryl was ever going to die, then it so totally cheapens her struggle prior. Half the cast of Mai Hime came real close to dying too, but their last-minute coming back was plain cheap, meaningless, and stupid.

    As to Ranka, why do you seem to insist that she had always meant to stand in Alto’s way and then wisely stepped aside? She was never making her own decision on the Vajra planet until the harmonica implant on her neck broke. Do you also still insist that the Vajra were out to kill all humans in the same way?

    I, for once, agree with you that Brera should have died. Heck, somebody should have died in such intense battle!

  5. primeparadigm says:

    Another Macross tradition! Once the final battle song of victory starts playing, you know that there’ll be no more main cast deaths.

  6. Crusader says:

    Myopic surely you jest? Ranka was imitating what Sheryl did, it was an action taken by a child who held the cure but refuesd to give it until she had her revenge. I don’t know what despicable thoughts went on in Ranka’s head, but it was not a complete role reversal. None of the implications about responsibility were there. Think of it as a playground dispute rather than an action of a mature woman, Ranka isn’t there yet, and she won’t be for a long time.

    If you watch it again you will see that they did not stop shooting bugs until Grace was shot. NUNS and SMS was still blazing away at the bugs, only after Grace’s control weakened did they discriminate between the red ones and the white ones. Alto-hime was still blasting the white Vajra with gusto before sniping Grace. Understanding was achieved, but the Vajra left fairly quickly to avoid the bloody process of reconciliation. NUNS will know better next time and hopefully the next time the Vajra have a mating season they will know how to respond.

    General Perry had every reason to trust Cathy, she was one of their own and given how she was Glass’s daughter and probably an acquaintance with the top commanders of Frontier Cathy’s words carry much more weight than her rank implies. She does come from an influential family and does have a service record with NUNS.

    Look when Kawamori threw down the Battle Galaxy Gauntlet it was a clear sign that most of Episode 25 would be an epic mecha battle. Episode 24 was really the last chance for any character development. The Triangle is resolved if you trust that Alto-hime confessed to Sheryl before flying his sortie, and if you were a Macross Vet the salute hime gave to Sheryl was all the proof you needed for his love.

    As much as it was hard to swallow at first now that we know Ranka was leading the Vajra on with a mating song and confusing ans sexually frustrating them as a result. The first armed Recon was to take Ranka, we have known that for some time, but once Ranka started singing Aimo like no tomorrow more Vajra would come since Aimo signaled a desire to mate and they came by the fleet. The reason why the Vajra seemed so hostile was because they did not leave Frontier alone and since their mating call was being sung and butchered they just kept coming looking for other Vajra and instead found a bunch of angry humans and zentrans.

    Look now you know if you had looked at Kawamori’s past works and the Macross world forum and the mecha board on 4chan it has been known that Kawamori is a new age hippie with a thing for fighter jets. I emphasize that up until the first minutes of episode 25 were rolling all character development had by and large ceased. Ranka remained a child because she had been one for the entire series, and Sheryl and Alto-hime were working together. Episode 25 was only meant to have Grace defeated, the Vajra mystery solved, and an epic mecha battle.

    While Ranka says she won’t lose, she did say the same thing at the end of episode 15, not much has changed. Only Grace is gone but the road blocks Ai-kun and Brera are still there. Besides Ranka’s declaration has no bearing on how my Alto0-hime will treat Sheryl. We know that hime has a special place in his heart for her, and the only thought that registers for hime in regards to Ranka is “save me” based off that It is pretty much settled that Sheryl came out ahead and will likely marry my Alto-hime one day long before Ranka grows up. Sheryl’s non-death doesn’t cheapen her development, we know that she would some how be saved, but Sheryl did not and her struggel with mortality made her all the better for it, averting death does not negate what she went through with Alto-hime at her side.

    I agree that having Ranka save Sheryl was a bad point but up until now Ranka did not redeem herself and she had to have something to show that she was not just a tool. I am sure that part is likely to be changed in the movie, but for now Kawamori doesn’t want Ranka to appear completely useless as the damsel eternally in distress.

    Macross Frontier was expressly created as a celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of Macross given how many homages we have had prior to the end of MF was a clear sign that not much was going to change. Macross is a franchise that doesn’t forget it’s history nor does it have one with downer endings. It did develop on its own regarding the rather bug like artifacts left behind by Protoculture. We have the stage set for many years of cylon machinations since not all of Galaxy went down with Grace, hell even grace’s death is not certain since Grace has been dead before…

    It’s only bad story telling if you were never aware of Kawamori’s troll-fu the Pineapple Cake episode should have been a clear warning that Kawamori was willing to do the unexpected. By all rights Ozma should have died given how many death flags he got, but in the end he made it. All I am saying is let the shock of the kawamori torll pass before jumping to conclusions, its’ more conclusive than you think and if you recall some previous events things don’t seem as incoherent as you’d think.

  7. bakaneko says:

    @meliadoul, I’ll have to see what the movie is about. If it’s a remake, I’ll definitely watch it. But if it’s a sequel, then no thanks. I’m not interested in seeing Ranka and Sheryl dancing around Alto in songs, only to have him give another no response so that the writers can goad us into the part II of the movie.

    @primeparadigm, I was told Kawamori breaks all rules. I guess not breaking a rule is considered breaking that rule too. O.O

    @Crusader, are we watching the same scene? None whatsoever have I detected from Ranka any thought of payback when she slapped Sheryl, who needed to be reminded to not give up. It was a reversal in that this time it was Alto and Ranka together who were the ones to invite Sheryl to join them in stopping the madness around them. (Right after all, I like how Alto claimed both Ranka and Sheryl to be his wings—what a way to declare your harem. 🙂 )

    I’m not sure what you were trying to say about the Vajra.

    About Cathy’s trust, I think Perry had always been reluctant to subjugate himself under the sleazy Leon. He just needed some official evidence of his wrong-doings, which Quarter sufficiently provided. Having his own fiance implicating Leon was just the final tip to push Leon off the cliff.

    Oh, I agree ep. 25 was one hell of an epic. battle. Heck, the level of defection was unprecedented, something on the level of having the Al Qaeda join forces with the U.S. Army in exposing the tyranny that is G.W. That’s how sensical this episode has been. 🙂

    I’m not so sure about zero character development in ep. 25. The Ranka of ep. 25 is quite non-recognizable to me. The 16 year-old was lecturing the crew of Quarter on love and peace, the meaning of songs, and the greater purpose of the universe! Now to be honest, I do agree with you too that this sudden change on Ranka seemed like a very bad (or at least very rushed) storytelling.

    Hmm… that’s true. Grace is probably not dead, by the golden rule of anime death that until you see their corpses burn into ashes they are not dead (and not even then, sometimes). And with Alto not hugging either Ranka or Sheryl at the end the way Ozma was with Cathy, I really feel this episode was a copout and a ruse to lure us to see the movie.

  8. Crusader says:

    Yeah and after that statement hime saluted Sheryl in DYRL fashion which if you saw it pretty much equates to a another confession of love in Macross. The thing is given how many hints that were dropped do you really need it spelled out for you?

    Thing is Grace announced that she was going to rule them both, and since NUNS still thinks of Vajra as beasts it makes sense to try and knock off Grace and her bugs. I say again they did not just get along bugs were still being shot to pieces by NUNS and SMS right up until the last shot was fired. To the bugs losing a few is just like cutting out a cancer, for NUNS it’s a choice between red and white, the white ones are hostile ammo is limited, the choice is simple. The Vajra left as NUNS and SMS were entering the atmosphere there was no possibility of pursuit.

    Your analogy is as ignorant and uncalled for the Vajra never stated the obliteration of humanity as its goal, working begrudgingly together is not impossible, if you recall in WWII the commies and capitalists were fighting together.

    Kawamori threw down the Battle Galaxy gauntlet to let us all now that episode 25 was to be the mother of all Macross battles, the end to the love triangle was basically 24. Ranka was thrown a bone, she had done next to nothing and in the end she had to do something to otherwise she would have just been hated as useless until the very end. Even you vaunted Ranka slap had no where near the impact that Sheryl’s did, because Sheryl was dying at the time.

    Macross has had a streak for doing things differently, this time was no exception. You can wither rage that it was never spelled out for you or you can accept that Kawamori is never going to have Alto-hime say he loves Sheryl and that the DYRL salute is pretty much a confession.

  9. blissmo says:

    Haha, Crusader’s comments scare me.

    Anyway, I hated the last episode as well. I didn’t get any of it. I was given the impression of a threesome ending. And I missed you too 😀

    I’ll be sure to kill Alto—bah, I might as well kill everyone from Macross Frontier for my review with sketches.

    I didn’t really like the songs either … like, it was weird.

  10. jacobian says:

    The slap did seem kind of tacked on, and I think that’s what Crusader is getting at. Sheryl wasn’t being selfish by collapsing and passing out on the bridge, nor was she refusing to do her duty.

    If anything, the point of the slap was to make Sheryl realized that she wasn’t just a mere sacrifice; she had a reason for living. In which case, Ranka would be slapping Sheryl for being too… selfless?

    Also, it’s easier to be optimistic after you’ve been cured. Shouldn’t that have come first? Overall, it seemed more like an artificial means of “equalizing” the two heroines, albeit very superficially. That’s evident even in the final scene, where even for her bold challenge, Ranka realizes that she’s got a helluva lot of catching up to do.

  11. bakaneko says:

    The tacked-on-ness of the slap is trivial compared to the rest of what happened; that is what I was getting at.

    Look, the point is that Sheryl only saw her own sorrow and had forgotten, though only very momentarily, the bigger picture. The slap was to remind her that there was more to fight on, not the nothingness that she had thought she was left with.

    And yes, every time you think only of youself, that’s the definition of selfish. Of course, dying is a strong reason to be selfish, but nevertheless selfish.

    The entire episode was very tacky, not just the neutralization of the two heroines. I nearly dropped my jaw to see how at the drop of the dime Alto forgot all the teethmarks he’d had with Brera and fought side by side with him. He didn’t even seem to suspect for a split second that it might be a trap setup by someone who had just blown up his ship with the full intent of scattering his body parts across the galaxy.

  12. jacobian says:

    The Sheryl that was talking was in spiritual form. The actual Sheryl had already passed out from her condition by this point. I didn’t interpret that scene as Sheryl wallowing in her sorrow; I saw it as Sheryl saying that this was all that she could do. Which, when you think about it, is correct, since you can’t really sing while you’re busy being unconscious.

    If you know that you have no future ahead of you, you probably don’t have a compelling reason to do anything at all, which is why Sheryl’s actions towards the last third of the series came across as very selfless. The whole point of these last few episodes was to show that while Ranka could stand to grow by thinking about the needs of other people beyond herself, Sheryl could stand to grow by realizing that she had friends that cared about her and were willing to stick by her through thick and thin. If anything, I think the slap was geared towards that (still not a good reason, but a reason nonetheless).

    And yeah, pretty much any semblance of plot went out of the window after episode 24. Which is unfortunate, since I’m sure that they could have wrapped up the series quite neatly with the same rough set of events, had they approached the storytelling differently.

  13. mechamarshmellow says:

    Indeed, I agree with Crusader,
    Ranka is soo far in the friend zone now that it isn’t even a contest. By episode 24 it was: AltoxSheyrl. okay that’s done. now everyone blow the crap out of the enemy…Ranka was saved only for one reason: that AWESOME medley.

  14. Ichijo Hikaru says:

    The only thing I thought made the final ep worth it for me, was that we saw The Macross and Minmay. For a resolution I am waiting for the movie :p

  15. SevenSeals says:

    Wow…this is bad. Makes me want to stop watching anime all together. …..*throws his stuff away*.

  16. Nexx says:

    😦 I’m sad.

    I was half way through writing a fairly long comment on how terrible the conclusion was and it became apparent that the damage had already been done: My head started to hurt. Might as well brought jesus back from the dead with that kind of ending.

    Sorry Sheryl but you got owned like Michael Jackson in the sunlight with that kind of story telling. Waking up alive to see Ranka with Alto… “How disgusting”

    It’s strange…after finishing episode 25, I have a strong urge to drop kick Ranka.

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