Sundays in Japan only because this will NEVER BE LICENSED
Roid (Lloyd?) reveals his true plan, setting up the final confrontation on Ragna.
Despite copying the template of the stellar final episode of Frontier, in some cases shot for shot, this still managed to be entirely mediocre in every way. Or, maybe because it does attempt to recapture that magic it feels completely lazy and uninspired. I mean, even Roid (Lloyd?) is basically a gender swapped version of Frontier’s Grace. I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that.
What we’re left with is an empty attempt to stir up our emotions that just falls flat. It’s telling that a rousing moment like the characters singing the OP (see Kill la Kill as the best recent example) to turn the tide of the battle has almost no impact. There were some things I liked, like how Kaname got one more chance to hold things down and some of the robot fighting was pretty solid. But none of it made much difference in the end: probably the most fitting one sentence description for Macross Delta.
Let’s do this the one more time:
I actually like our three main characters as individuals. Freyja and Hayate’s optimism and sense of fun was refreshing in a sea of mopey anime protagonists (well, until they get mopey), and Mirage’s inferiority complex about her famous family could have been a great sub plot with more time. I even liked their friendship as the three seemed to genuinely care about each other to a further extent than you usually see in these kinds of setups. But the actual romance? Meh. I guess they did mostly act like dumb teenagers which is fair, but overall there was bit too many anime cliches to really get invested. And no, I’m not just being salty that Mirage lost despite clearly being the better choice. Hayate didn’t deserve her anyway *crosses arms and pouts*
This actually might have been the most disappointing aspect of Delta. We were teased early on with great songs like “Ikenai Borderline” and the first ED but then nearly every song after that is completely forgettable. I would put partial blame on switching to an idol group format which is just inherently bland plus it’s hard to follow Yoko Kanno’s all time great work from Frontier. Still, they did assemble some talented singers and proved they could do better. At the very least we were introduced to JUNNA, who hopefully will go on to have a long, successful career. Both her and Mikumo were too good for this show.
The battles were few and far between, particularly in the second half, but turned out to be a highlight of the show. The mix of music and missiles is a Macross staple and they did deliver on that when they wanted to. The biggest problem was getting us to care. The plight of Windmere had one interesting curve ball in their short life spans, but beyond that it was hard to see them as anything but villains with a fairly shallow grudge in the grand scheme of things. Roid’s (Lloyd’s?) final plan isn’t even revealed until the final 15 minutes and is completely unoriginal at that. With no other purpose to fight that “stop the bad guy”, it was hard to get to find much meaning in at all.
On top of all that, I have to come back to the single most egregious fault of Macross Delta: it undermines the theme of the entire franchise. Particularly in episode 19, it’s suggested that music actually has some kind of compulsory power on people. Until now, every Macross series has delivered the message that music, and by extension love, is a universal language. It can connect us through cultures, race, species even time itself. By suggesting that hearing music FORCES others to comply it just totally throws that lovely message out the window. That may seem like a small thing but it’s funny how if you rob your show of it’s heart and soul the details don’t really matter.