Episodes 17 and 18: Injured and comatose, Lt. Hikaru Ichijo re-imagines the story thus far as a really long dream. Then, Major Roy Focker becomes a prominent character for one final episode.
“Phantasm”: Hikaru’s dream starts with Minmay’s first concert where she is kidnapped by the Zentradi in the middle of her debut song. Hikaru attempts to rescue her but is shot down for being a civilian in a Valkyrie unit. So he enlists in the military and passes his test, but he continues to be shot down by the Zentradi and earns the nickname Crash King. He even attempts to ride a bicycle in space. But then Captain Hayase, Kakizaki, and Max volunteer to help with the rescue. They sneak onto the Zentradi ship and disguise Max’s Valkyrie with a Zentradi uniform. The disguise is discovered and the team is separated. Hikaru and Hayase find where Minmay is hiding because she is singing for Lord Britai. Hikaru goes alone to save her but Britai turns into Kaifun who won’t allow Minmay to go with a military pilot. So Hikaru discards the military and Kaifun melts. Minmay flies with Hikaru back to Macross but they’re stranded alone in the underbelly. The ceiling collapses right before they kiss but then Minmay turns into Hayase for the actual kiss. In his shock and awe, Hikaru wakes up.
Cross your fingers, folks, this may be the start of Hikaru realizing Minmay is not the love interest for him!
With such a journey through the subconscious, I wonder if Hikaru joined the military specifically to protect Minmay. Though he did so with good intentions, the final result was they both inhabit different worlds now. She’s busy being an idol and he has responsibilities as a lieutenant. He acknowledges this at the end of the episode but doesn’t come to the conclusion “Let’s break up.” So he may not be ready to emotionally detach just yet, but keep your hopes up on that front.
Meanwhile, anyone else notice that Hayase also had a prominent role in the dream sequence? *wiggles eyebrows suspiciously*
“Pineapple Salad”: A nurse tells Hikaru he’s to remain in the hospital for the next five days. Captain Hayase visits Hikaru and apologizes that her orders were the cause of his injuries. They have a civilized conversation considering their past interactions. On the bridge, Claudia lectures Hayase that she should confess her feelings to whoever she’s fallen for like how she did for Focker and now they’re a couple. Later, Major Focker, Kakizaki, and Max visit and ask about Minmay. Hikaru admits that he has no hope of her visiting since she’s so busy, so Focker gets a plan. He meets with Claudia who tells him Minmay’s schedule. Claudia also invites Focker over for pineapple salad which she just learned how to make. On the set of a kung-fu movie where Minmay is the star, Focker tells Minmay where Hikaru is and that she should visit when she has a minute. Minmay agrees. In space, Kamujin goads Lap’Lamiz’s ace pilot into challenging the ace pilot of the Macross. As she approaches, the Valkyrie units scramble to intercept. The enemy ace locks onto Max and chases him into the Macross and Max chases her back out with Focker as back-up. After the battle, Focker is in Claudia’s apartment when he keels over with gunshot holes in his back. He’s dead. Hayase tells the news to Hikaru who is devastated.
I am very, very curious if there is a narrative benefit to Focker’s death or if he was offed because his role had been growing smaller and smaller as the series went on. Only time will tell.
Local (to me) anime podcaster Nick Izumi once said the most badass death ever is Roy Focker’s death because nothing will keep him from his woman’s pineapple salad. I was kind of looking forward to it because dudes being badass for the sake of their woman is kind of a turn on. But now that I’ve seen this sequence, I am underwhelmed. As far as I am concerned, there is no reason Focker couldn’t head straight for the hospital and live to eat another pineapple salad. Did he not realize he was shot times in the back? Were his pain nerves damaged? What the actual fuck, man?
This episode marks the halfway point for SDF Macross.