While I didn’t have enough time to actually cover Macross Δ this season, it has had such a strong showing that I’d feel bad for not giving it any attention. Therefore this will be my mid-series update for Macross Δ. It will be kicking off the new category called “Checking in with” The focus of these posts are to come back to shows that we either blogged and didn’t finish or shows we simply did first looks for, but didn’t end up blogging. Seeing where the shows ended up going and talking about our thoughts on them.
There is plenty to talk about after one-cour of Macross Δ. This show has had some good emotional moments so far and I expect we’ll see some pretty strong scenes in the second half as well. It has turned into one of the shows of the season I especially look forward to watching and is pretty easy to talk about. Will basically talk about a variety of things in regards to the first half of the series.
I give the show credit especially for handling a character death with the amount of respect and care that such a loss deserves. Sometimes death can be brushed off or quickly moved past, but Macross Δ did give enough time for the cast to really be hit hard by what happened. The loss of Messer was a powerful one and the show did a good job with it. He started off as someone I really didn’t care much for, but they handled him very nicely to the point where he was killed off. Getting enough understanding of who he is and his personal struggles. Certainly a success story for a show when they can make you dislike characters, but slowly make them more understandable and likable.
It was at a point where I did feel bad about Messer passing away. It felt like the show had killed off one character who still had strong story potential. But, in the end that was the route they went with. A positive for Messer’s story was that it did make Kaname a much more interesting character. The leader of the Walküre was kind of a background character that wasn’t all that interesting. But once we understand more about Messer and his past, we could get behind Kaname more. Honestly her song during Messer’s last battle was really darn good. Her song most definitely reaching Messer, letting him pilot at his best, even though it ended in tragedy. The loss of Messer did give Kaname the push to not give up on her dream of being a star herself and not just part of the background in the Walküre.
RIP Messer. You were a good guy. I appreciate someone who basically put himself in the line of fire to protect his allies and the one he was in love with. Kaname’s song saved him in the past and he made sure to use that life to repay her.
Personally I’ve always appreciated anime that have really blended action and music together (see my opinion on the Symphogear Franchise). It’s not a very common thing, but obviously the Macross franchise is a great example of it. I think Macross Δ is a strong example of it working extremely well. The song quality in this show in my view has been pretty fantastic. From Ikenai Borderline to Giraffe Blues, the songs have really added to the action and the story itself. Episode 13 was absolutely great in part because of the great songs working with the story and the action to deliver some strong moments. I mean having Freyja singing the opening song while freaking jumping off a battleship was one of the best moments of the series. It was absolutely insane, but absolutely great at the same time. In a show like this song quality will really make a show rise or just be ok and in this case the songs are pretty well hit after hit.
Probably the best musical moment in the show for me was Freyja’s performance of Giraffe Blues. Of course the singing was absolutely great, but it just worked for the scene. Freyja finding herself in the moment and her reason for singing. Proving that her belief in the power of song isn’t an illusion and saving someone trapped by the Var. And of course actually having a massive impact. The power of her song basically hitting everyone in that area, even helping Messer who was suffering from the Var at that moment. The resonance she had with Hayate also allowing him to perform some spectacular feats in his fight as she continued her song. A great three and a half minutes of singing and story progression.
One different tactic was going with a musical group rather than purely solo performers on the music side. I think all that has done is add some more interesting side characters and broaden the musical side of things. The solo moments still very much happen, just that we get a few more characters singing here. The core of the Walküre is very much Freyja and Mikumo, with the others just getting their chances to shine as appropriate. And the girls do have some solid personalities and characteristics to them. Reina being the hacker of the group and Makina being a tech girl who is a really good mechanic. They don’t dominate the screen, but get their moments.
The show hasn’t focused as heavily on the love triangle side of things except for more recently. I think it did want to develop these characters as individuals’ first and even friends before pushing that angle. Though at this point it is pretty darn clear how Freyja feels about Hayate. Mirage is getting there and becoming more aware of how Freyja feels. Now the question really is Hayate who really does care about and get along with the both of them. I don’t think his romantic side has kicked into gear yet, and things could get interesting when that happens.
The issue of Windermere and the NUNs has been pretty clear to this point. They are both bad guys XD. Windermere is basically a bunch of mind controlling terrorists and the NUNs faction that was sent to Ragna are mustache twirling villains. Clearly they had no problem getting a lot of people killed and damaging the planet for the sake of their research. Decent odds that official is also working with Roid who is pretty clearly plotting things and putting himself in a position of power. It just seems like things fell into place too well otherwise. That the NUNS decided to blow up the ruins which lead to that secondary structure appearing in its place. A structure that wasn’t exactly a shocker to find and take advantage of by Windermere.
In the end I find it hard to care that much about anyone on the Windermere side. It’s a side that thinks brainwashing people is perfectly acceptable and somehow liberating. Sure, I’m sure the people being used like mind controlled toy soldiers feel very liberated. I suppose a key is going to be the Walküre and Delta Squadron getting through to those people or maybe some of them. I don’t think it’s possible that everyone on that side of the war is going to come through alright. Although it seems very plausible that Roid and/or a third party could become a major threat that all sides have to join forces in order to fight against.
It has been a really good ride with Macross Δ so far. While one can argue that Hayate is getting too much power from Freyja’s singing and not his own skills, can still say that his character has come a long way. When he started out….he was a pretty solid idiot. Too darn reckless and irresponsible. But he eventually learned to trust his allies more and even was hit rather hard by the passing of Messer. Actually trying to work with the team more and even supporting Mirage when she was promoted to take Messer’s spot. He’s still the guy who flies with the wind and is pretty random in his tactics, but he has learned a lot. Even his banter with Freyja has gotten to the point where they are often quite in-sync. Can now feel the trust and friendship that exists there.
Freyja has really blossomed in the past few episodes as well. I wasn’t sure going into this show whether I’d end up liking this girl or not, but at this point it’s a blast watching her. She has her weaknesses and low points, but really steps up when the time is right. At this point definitely sharing that spotlight with Mikumo and even taking the spotlight herself at key moments. Really driven to have her song reach others. Having her be part of a species that only has a 30-ish year life span is interesting as well. Makes her willingness to sing and fight with the Walküre all the more impressive. She only has so many years to live and thus is willing to throw herself into what she loves and burn brightly during the prime of her life. No time to hesitate or give up on what she wants to do. Always possible she ends up on the short-end of the stick in this love triangle with herself, Hayate, and Mirage, but I think she’ll survive no matter what. She’ll keep on singing and living life to the fullest.
I’m looking forward to how the second half of Macross Δ plays out. Things are pretty bad with Ranga having been taken over by Windermere and now the main cast is basically on the run. Hayate with the help of Freyja can at least hold his own against Keith, but who knows how things will play out. A lot of it depends on things remaining mostly positive between Hayate and Freyja. Mirage is bound to really think about her position and how she feels about Hayate, rather than just being the person who was his flight instructor. Things could get tense there. Always possible as well that Mikumo or someone else in the main cast could get killed as well. It’s not a safe place to be fighting on the front lines after all. Roid could also make a legitimate grab for power with the King having passed away during the battle for Ragna.
If nothing else I expect some more great songs, some awesome action, and for the story to hit some strong points on the way to the conclusion. Will fully admit that I’ve only really checked out a few series for Macross and am hardly a series expert. But, will say from my point of view that this has been a really enjoyable show to watch (minus the Messer death that was less enjoyable and more emotional). Macross hit the half-way point in style with one of its best episodes yet. Hopefully the second half will have even more strong moments and will end well. Some regrets that I didn’t have the time to pick this show up fully, but glad I could at least write this mid-season post. A good show deserves some recognition and I think this is certainly one of the good shows to come out of this Spring Season.
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