Macross Delta Episode 19

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“Eternal Songs”

Sundays in Japan only because this will NEVER BE LICENSED

Mikumo’s singing destroys the Protoculture ruins on Voldor, freeing the people but leaving herself, Hayate, and Heinz unconscious. While all sides are at a standstill, Delta squad receives a visitor who seems to know more about their situation than any one else.

Jel’s thoughts

I’m going to forgo the usual format again as this episode left us with quite a bit to talk about. This is by far the most overt attempt to tie the entire Macross franchise together that we’ve ever seen. Music as an “ultimate weapon” has only been a reference point while the actual plot of each series has been completely unrelated. While the argument that we’ve been building to this moment kind of checks out, it feels like a cheap, tacked on solution to wrap things up with a nice bow. I can’t imagine this was writer/director Shouji Kawamori’s vision from the start, and bringing it up now seems all too convenient.

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The hardest to swallow for me were the references to the original series. Amazingly my Old Man Macross Fan has not been nearly as offended by Delta’s use of music as literal space magic as many others have been, but by suggesting that even the original Minmay attack was more than just culture shock was crossing a line for me. The fact that music and human emotion made the Zentraedi voluntarily side with Earth was a much more powerful statement about human nature and our need to love each other than any kind of magic brainwashing can convey. That main theme has been the real connection between all the Macross series with no further explanation necessary. Giving it some kind of literal interpretation just undermines it.

Then we get the direct references to Do You Remember Love, which has always had a murky place in Macross canon. The most obvious contradiction with previous series is the fact that Macross 7 referred to it as in-universe movie while here in Delta finding the 500,000 year love song is a very real part of the plot. It’s most certainly not an oversight as they make sure to mention that Minmay’s story was adapted into a TV Drama series and NOT a movie in the Delta universe. Why would they draw so much attention to this seemingly small detail? Get your tinfoil hat on because it’s conspiracy time: are we possibily being set up to make Delta an alternate universe, non-canon story?

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I was immediately suspicious when the opening line of the episode says something about Mikumo warping spacetime with her singing. I’m not sure how literal that translation was, but even without that line I think the DYRL contradictions are enough to open a dangerous door. With the possibilty of a timeline shift, there’d be nothing stopping the creators from just writing off the entire series as a “possibility” and not necessarily what really happens. Much like the recent J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movies, it lets them take liberties with the story while always being able to fall back on that excuse if diehard fans don’t like it. I can’t emphasize how much I hate that kind of thing and it would make me feel like I’ve totally wasted my time.

This is all probably a bad hot take resulting from me writing this immediately after watching the episode, so we’ll see if this bad taste leaves my mouth by next week. At the very least we got a rare shout out to Macross Plus, so that’s something?

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