Macross Delta Episode 20-21

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“Impulse Experiment” & “Yearning Secret”

Sundays in Japan only because this will NEVER BE LICENSED

Freyja and Hayate are grounded for testing after Hayate’s Var-like symptoms in the last battle. Mikumo’s status continues to be unknown, leading to a botched rescue mission by the rest of Walkure. While being detained, Kaname and the other girls recall the difficult early days of the group.

Jel’s thoughts

After a few delays in availability and my own personal crazy schedule this week, we’re back! Unfortunately, we were not missing much. Episode 20 was an exercise in clunky, ham fisted story telling and episode 21 centers on a flashback no one wanted or asked for. Delta’s positive attitude and sense of joy from the characters was one of the few things that made it feel unique, so having everyone moping around now for several episodes is not doing it any favors. To quote Iro in our ongoing internal discussion about the show, “the more they try to be serious, the harder it is to take them seriously”.

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As noted, Episode 20 sledgehammers the plot and character development with zero nuance to be found. It was painful to watch Freyja and Hayate go back and forth saying “I’LL QUIT no I’LL QUIT” like little kids and not for the right reasons. Mirage steals the scene of course as her chewing them out and expressing her feelings was easily the best part of this two episode block. The poorly executed infiltration attempt by the rest of Walkure was also pretty hard to watch, as these supposedly trained professionals made all kinds of rookie mistakes. The problem is that they weren’t meant to be shown as incompetent, it was really just the writers not being able to figure out a better way for them to get caught and set us up for episode 21.

That brings us to this week’s flashback, which I’m still not sure why it was necessary. Kaname and the other girls are clearly background characters that had the minimum required characterization to do their job. I could understand mentioning Mikumo’s mysterious appearance as that was actually relevant, but unless they’re planning a Claire Puddle spin-off (I’d probably watch that) it didn’t really add much. It all leads to the less than shocking revelation that Mikumo is a genetically engineered clone designed to destroy people with MUSIC, which of course we’ve all been guessing for awhile now. I guess all that remains to be seen is if my theory about her being cloned from the original protoculture is true, but much like the bulk of this episode I’m not sure that even matters now.

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With only a few episodes remaining, I really hope Delta is going to go all out for the final stretch. These past few episodes have ground what was a fun and rewarding show to a halt and my opinion of the series overall is dropping rapidly. It doesn’t help that I recently re-watched the amazing final episode of Frontier and I have to say this late in the game Delta has no hope of topping that series overall. Still, Delta has been at it’s best during its big, emotional battles so I’m still feeling hopeful it will finish strong.

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