“Audition with Death”
Sundays in Japan only because this will NEVER BE LICENSED
Freyja and Hayate arrive on Ragna in time (sort of) for the audition. They have caught the attention of Walkure and Delta squadron respectively after their actions in the previous battle, but both still have plenty to prove.
I don’t like dwelling too much on the past when it comes to a new series, but I think it’s worth discussing in a franchise like Macross that has a long history of repeating itself. So I’m going to try a little experiment. There are three things every Macross series must have: a love triangle, pop music, and a lot of streaming missiles. I’m going to break down how Delta handles these elements from week to week. Let’s try it and see what happens!
While I feel like the show is taking the franchise in a radical new direction with the greater use of fantasy elements, our newest love triangle is the most classic of all. The original SDF Macross featured a free spirited young pilot averse to the military who is eventually torn between an up and coming pop idol he thinks he’s in love with and his tough commanding officer whom he cares for deeply. While there’s been virtually no romance teasing in the first two episodes, you can easily see us going down that route with Hayate, Freyja, and Mirage. In theory I like this setup better than the all idol rivalry with Frontier’s Sheryl and Ranka, but it’s too early to tell. I just hope Mirage isn’t the “she acts tough but she’s actually really girly!” type. We can do better than that in 2016. If you are not familiar with pre-Frontier Macross, Mirage’s last name is “Jenius” and she is confirmed to be the granddaughter of famed ace pilots Maximilian and Mirya Jenius from the original series. Her aunt Mylene also featured prominently in Macross 7 as a famous musician, actress, and pilot. So maybe her story will tie into living with the weight of that?
This has clearly become the focus of the series as Walkure’s magic singing is a literal weapon. I should think the concept of a “Tactical Music Unit” is incredibly dumb but… OK yes, it is incredibly dumb but you know what? I’m having fun. They can still apply a lot of the same life lessons that previous Macross series have used the strict military setting to convey. I’m thoroughly convinced Mikumo will either die or be put out of commission and Freyja will have to take her place. As for the music itself, “Ikenai Borderline” is clearly the Anime Song of 2016 and the OP is pretty good, but I’m not sure I’m sold on the rest. Maybe I miss Yoko Kanno’s touch of maturity? It’s still better than the idol group trash I was kind of expecting and I do appreciate they got girls who can really sing, so still pretty good overall.
None this week, sadly, and that will probably be a trend since we seem to be focused on Walkure. We do catch a glimpse of the “bad” guys who are most likely just misguided, but we still have no idea who they are, what they are trying to accomplish, or how they are tied to the Vars syndrome. I could see us alternating between idol business like this week and then maybe having a battle next week, which would be an OK formula from what we’ve seen so far.
I do want mention one unique thing I appreciate about Delta: everyone smiles a lot. Freyja and Hayate have been in some pretty desperate situations but they never lose their joie de vivre, letting their passions guide their decisions both good and bad. It’s something I felt was lacking in Frontier, in which everyone seemed to be kind of miserable all the time. Maybe that makes our main characters a bunch of dumb naive kids, but that is technically what they are so it works rather well. It certainly makes the show more fun to watch, and I’ll be interested to see how Mirage adds to or changes the mood as we get to know her better.