Episodes 3 & 4: Macross executes a space fold to get away from the attacking alien forces to find themselves on the opposite side of the solar system. Then Hikaru Ichijo and Lynn Minmay are stranded in an uninhabited part of the ship for approximately two weeks.
“Space Fold”: Major Focker requests Macross to use a different Valkyrie team to escort them into orbit while he returns to the island to retrieve Hikaru and Minmay. Macross makes the rendezvous with its supporting ships but they are destroyed in an alien attack. Focker brings Hikaru to his stunt plane inside Macross which Focker had stored for “getting in the way.” Hikaru and Minmay attempt to fly back to the island as Macross executes a space fold meant to deliver them and any surrounding territory (including the island) to the other side of the moon. As the bridge crew discover Macross actually re-folded at Pluto (without the space fold engine to boot), Hikaru and Minmay hurriedly return to the ship.
Here we get the start of the Hikaru/Minmay romance, slightly annoying because Hikaru treats Minmay like she can’t take care of herself. And while I can appreciate the old-fashioned notion that dudes take care of their ladies, that notion should not treat ladies like incompetent children. To be quite honest, though, Minmay has yet to prove herself to be anything other than childlike and flighty. In which case, I question Hikaru’s taste in women.
I could call inadequate representation of female characters, but we have an entire bridge crew of ladies who can read and analyze data, make ship-wide decisions, and question Captain Global at every opportunity. Claudia, my personal favorite so far, was adamant about not using an untested piece of alien equipment. I see her reasons. If this were real life, using the damn thing would be off the table completely. As it turns out, this is the second time alien equipment has abandoned Macross after an attempt to use it. Maybe the captain will learn his lesson before something else disappears from the ship–like gravity generators or the ship’s shield technology.
“Lynn Minmay”: While the bridge crew are working around the clock to scavenge what they can from space, Focker requests a search party to look for Hikaru but is denied. Meanwhile, Hikaru and Minmay are stranded in a uninhabited part of the ship. In their preliminary search, they find a room made for giants with a window to space and water pipes. Minmay takes a shower with the water from the pipes and calls out Hikaru’s pervy behavior. During their fortnight together, Hikaru makes a map of the surrounding area and Minmay takes care of camp. When they run out of food, Hikaru suggests retrofitting his pilot suit as a space suit so he can try to call for help from space. Minmay is opposed but goes along with it. Their plan changes to catch a giant tuna floating in space. Hikaru’s suit is torn in the process of catching said tuna preventing him from venturing outside the airlock anytime soon. On their final night together, Minmay confesses that she’s always wanted to be a bride and uses Hikaru’s ascot as a veil. She then suggests they throw themselves out of the airlock since they’re never going to be rescued. Right before they kiss, a missile dud falls through the ceiling, revealing the reconstructed island town complete with the Minmay Family Chinese restaurant. Hikaru and Minmay are rescued at last!
Did I call Minmay flighty? She still is in this episode but she did offer reasonable survival strategies throughout. Like making soup/stew out of the tinned food to make it last longer and questioning Hikaru’s reckless behavior with the spacesuit fiasco. She also calls out Hikaru when he tries to sneak a peak at her taking a shower. Which means Minmay is more capable than she appeared previously. However, she is prone to over-dramatic mood swings.
It does not escape me that the show wants to ship Hikaru and Minmay. Their version of bastardized domestic life was cute while it lasted. Then there was Minmay’s suggestion of jumping out the air lock while wearing a wedding veil. I am no expert on Japanese cultural norms, but I understand double-suicides are supposed to be considered romantic.
Luckily for us, though, they are main characters and cannot die (or so I think?). The episode ends with a focus on Minmay. What kind of person is she? Will her flakiness ever stop being annoying? I guess I’ll have to keep watching to find out.