Episode 5 &6: In order to fire the main cannon, Macross must transform. Inspired by the resulting destruction of the civilian city, Hikaru joins the military. Captain Global plans to lure the Zendradi in the open around Saturn.
“Transformation”: Captain Global asks a technician on the status of the main gun and the technician reveals that the main gun can only be fired if Macross transforms. However, such transformation would destroy the refugee city (again). Minmay, having bounced back remarkably quickly from her ordeal last episode, convinces her aunt and uncle to reopen their Chinese restaurant. The business venture proves beneficial to morale, especially the military soldiers that start frequenting it. Hikaru goes out to look at his now scrapped stunt plane. Roy joins him and attempts to convince Hikaru to join the military. Hikaru instead takes the opportunity to ask for advice on girls. Later, Minmay and Hikaru hang out. Minmay reveals that she went back to retrieve a letter announcing her qualification for a singing contest. She and Hikaru talk about their dreams and Hikaru says his dream is scrapped. Minmay also suggests he join the military but Hikaru is unsure and broods about it. Then the Zendradi attack despite a warning to avoid worlds with “miclones” in old military reports. With no other options left, Captain Global orders the Macross’s transformation to use the main gun. The Zendradi attackers are destroyed. Inspired by the city’s destruction, Hikaru announces that he will, in fact, join the military.
Not much happened this episode. Sure, there was an attack and the whole city was destroyed and Macross can only use its main weapon if it transforms and destroys the city, but there wasn’t any big emotional revelation. At least until Hikaru announces his desire to join the military thus fulfilling what was hinted at in the opening credits from the very beginning. Major spoilers all around.
It struck me this episode how much of a height difference there is between Roy and Hikaru. Since Roy has blond hair and a western name, I assume he’s supposed to be Caucasian. In the same way Hikaru has a Japanese name and dark hair, he’s probably supposed to be Japanese. Is their height difference a product of cultural caricatures or an age difference? Hikaru calls Roy “senpai” which is a term of endearment for someone older than you (such as a classmate). And it’s unclear how old they are though Hikaru asking for dating advice makes me think he’s a teenager possibly of high school age. And Roy has been with the military for some time given his rank and reputation, so there’s at least a couple years between them.
I suppose I have insufficient data to make such a judgement this early in the series. We shall see if/when this is answered!
Side Note: the enemy aliens are now called Zendradi but no one on Macross knows this.
“Daedalus Attack”: It’s been two months since the previous episode and Captain Global wants to lure the Zendradi into the open. Hikaru has been in training for most of that time. On his first day off, he goes shopping with Minmay then Roy announces that he’s to join the battle the next day at Minmay’s family restaurant. Captain Global meets with his technicians about a mysterious energy that appeared where the space fold engine used to be. The head technician has an idea for a barrier shield that can be powered by the energy. Roy and Hikaru return to the barracks and run into 1st Lt. Hayase and the bridge ladies. Hikaru insults Hayase and they part on awkward terms. The technicians reveal the new barrier cannot cover the entire ship but the barriers can be moved during battle. Minmay meets with Hikaru briefly and they take a picture for Hikaru to keep. He is stressed for the battle and gets scolded when attempting to fly dangerously during the preliminary stages of the mission. During the actual battle, Hikaru crashes on the enemy ship and falls through an airlock. There he encounters a Zendradi soldier. Hikaru is just as shocked and unable to pull the trigger. Meanwhile, since Macross is unable to fire its main gun for whatever reason, Hayase gets an idea to punch the Zendradi ship and have tanks fire guns into the belly of the enemy; the Daedalus Attack from which this episode gets its name.
A lot happens this episode and it is very satisfying. For instance, Hikaru reveals himself to be supremely awkward around girls. Though Minmay seems to be the girl of his dreams (for now), there is ladykiller potential in his future. After all, his mentor is known ladies man Major Roy Focker. There’s a dirty joke somewhere in that name if ya know what I mean. I have also determined that Hikaru is indeed a teenager considering his penchant for brooding last episode. Hopefully he gets over it.
There’s quite a few women in the military, I noticed this episode. First there is the bridge crew, complete with 1st Lieutenant Hayase who had the brilliant idea of punching the Zendradi ship right where it hurts. I am especially impressed that Captain Global stepped aside to let Hayase do her thing. Secondly, the controllers for the new Pin Point Barrier are all ladies. Unfortunately, there don’t appear to be any ladies among the pilots or technicians. But hey, I will take this victory where I can. This show is 30 years old after all–I didn’t expect this many ladies.
So now the Zendradi are determined to bring in the big(ger) guns to bring down Macross. Will they succeed? Tune in next week!