SDF Macross Episodes 28 and 29 – Two Years After

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About two years have passed since the end of the UN-Zentradi conflict and the survivors of its final battle have been rebuilding on Earth as best as they can. A few cities have been rebuilt, the survivors settled, and life goes on for the remnants of humanity and the Zentradi fleets. However not all is well both in the personal lives of some of the characters and in the wider human-Zentradi society. Chafing under the constraints of a peaceful life, several Zentradi lash out at the world around them, while others leave the settlements to either die or become bandits. Not only does this cause social friction and immediate destruction, it’s also leaving a substantial segment of the population disaffected and susceptible to being influenced by demagogues. War is the easy part, now the survivors have to create and manage the peace.

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Hikaru patrols the wasteland with his flight, checking for survivors or signs of trouble.

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The Zentradi bombardment pretty much sanitized Earth’s surface, but life has a way of hanging on.

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Look who’s hiding out here. Durable little things, one survived the bombardment while another managed to survive a colony’s impact on the moon in Zeta Gundam.

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The remnants of the war are scattered about all around the Earth.

After Hikaru takes some time looking around on the ground, he thinks back to what Roy told him about the job of being a pilot. For Roy it was about protecting the woman he loved, and Hikaru gets some pangs of guilt about not being into Minmay as much as he thinks he should be and flies off to the city where she is having a concert. Back in (New) Macross City, Misa is cleaning out Hikaru’s prefab house and comes across his photo album. It’s filled with old pictures of Minmay from around the start of the war, and she’s a little indignant about this seeming obsession with a failed love. So before leaving she turns the Minmay poster on his wall upside down! Misa, you’re my hero! Sitting at a café outside she sees Millia and Max with their child and for a second imagines herself and Hikaru in the same position. She leaves after a noisy pair of soldiers show up listening to Minmay on a boombox, but the gears in her head start turning.

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Two of the new settlements are built around the largest capital ships that managed to make it to Earth roughly intact. A good idea since building materials are right there, but I’d be kind of afraid to live in Grante under that Zentradi battleship, it looks like it could fall over eventually.

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Make him pay you with kisses.

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Stop living in the past Hikaru. The future is bright and even cleans up your mess.

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Masterstroke!

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The Jenius family and their eventual ace-of-aces child makes Misa think about the future.

Over in Grante City Hikaru arrives looking for Minmay and comes upon her and Kaifun talking so he hangs back for the moment. Kaifun is drinking heavily like the pathetic scum that he is, complaining about the meager pay they’re getting for Minmay’s concerts. To which Minmay replies that they shouldn’t even need to be paid when everyone is just scraping by, much less demand more. That spine Minmay’s been starting to grow finally kicks in and she tells Kaifun that they shouldn’t see each other for awhile, and she walks off worried about her situation, Kaifun, and Hikaru. As this happens Hikaru gets an emergency call from Misa in the command center. Three Zentradi have stolen Regults and are attacking a civilian area. She chastises him heavily for going off to meet Minmay while on patrol, her anger at his irresponsibility heightened by the fact that it was Minmay he went to see. Hikaru’s current flight members aren’t the best pilots, but eventually Hikaru shows up and quickly deals with the Zentradi, disabling their Regults. The last image is that of the Zentradi in Hikaru’s gunsight running away from his VF-1S. I have to wonder if he shot them, pursued and apprehended them, or just let them go. I think the last one is unlikely.

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Keep drinking Kaifun, maybe you’ll pass out and choke on your own vomit and then we can be rid of you.

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You tell that punk ass lush!

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Kaifun dumbstruck, though I’d rather he just be struck…by the backhand of a Valkyrie.

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Rioting Zentradi began firing indiscriminately, though Hikaru’s flight managed to lure them away from the city.

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Wondering why she hasn’t been promoted, she goes on to say she also has better looks than Vanessa. Oh Shammy, we love you but you’re just not the brightest bulb in the box.

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Hikaru deals with the Regults Millia style by shooting off their legs. I liked how the fight was in the rain.

After returning to base Hikaru runs into Misa who asks about whether he got to see the person that he went to see. While she’s probably happy that he didn’t talk to Minmay, this is merely a ploy to put him off balance before her true love attack begins. She runs up from behind him and gives him a pink envelope and then walks off smiling. Inside are three ri-god-damn-diculously adorable photos of her to add to his photo album and increase the album’s win levels by over 9000%. There’s a reason why she’s in charge of the Valkyries instead of just in one, for her grasp of strategy and tactics is both broad and deep, in love and in war.

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Oh Hikaru, stop your stalking and see the true love that is stalking you!

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At first I thought this was one of those high school love letter things. Misa, forgive me for ever doubting that you would stoop to such immature levels. Your direct attack on Minmay’s place in Hikaru’s photo album is both bold and inspiring!

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I wonder if it’s Shammy’s pet?

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CUTE OVERLOAD!!!

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And one serious one to round out the three.

While episode 28 deals primarily with the human characters and what they are doing after the war, episode 29 tells us a lot about the challenges of integrating the Zentradi and how they are trying to deal with living in peace. The opening scene is a skeletal Zentradi corpse propped up against a piece of wreckage. As the winds continue their constant howling its hand falls off, revealing that it was clutching a box with a Minmay doll in it. It’s an amazing sequence, telling you everything about the current Zentradi situation in just a few shots. The deaths from the war and of those who leave the cities, the desperation that comes through from the positioning of the skeleton, and the sad worship of and frustration with human culture seen in the way the soldier was clutching the doll; it’s pretty powerful. Elsewhere the singer who inspired such adoration is having troubles of her own, being unaccustomed to singing before a tiny audience in an exclusive club. Kaifun arranged this gig because the smaller crowd could pay more, but Minmay isn’t even sure what she’s singing for anymore.

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Pictures worth thousands of words.

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How do you get people who only know war to adjust to a peaceful life? Macross is dealing with some interesting DDR (disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration) issues.

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It may be an exclusive club, but it has to be more than a little demoralizing for Minmay to perform before such a small crowd.

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So Kaifun, so far you’ve got: Lust for your cousin, Envy of Hikaru, Pride for encouraging people who need it not to take military assistance, Gluttony for alcohol, and now Greed when trying to get even more out of people who have little. Just need some Sloth and Wrath and your damnation will be complete.

Minmay had enough of Kaifun’s douchebaggery and goes back to Nyan Nyan in Macross City to stay the night with her relatives. She’s glad to see them, but afterwards she goes into her room where the repaired walls remind her of Hikaru. She takes out the medal he gave her and for a moment thinks that he’s calling for her, only to find an empty street outside her window. The next day she runs into the Genshiken Team, who have now taken up jobs as laundry cleaners. They’re overjoyed to see her and this cheers her up a bit. Though shortly afterwards she sees Hikaru and Misa walking together and chatting. When he stops to tell Misa that he added the pictures of her to the album he turns just enough to make eye contact with Minmay, who breaks out in tears and runs away. Hikaru and Misa then chase after her, but she doesn’t stop.

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At least some of the Zentradi have managed to make new lives for themselves.

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Maybe it’s the way she’s dressing lately, but Minmay is certainly looking more like an adult lately.

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Sucks to be you.

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While I’m not on Minmay’s side or anything, I think Noe would consider these to be True Tears. They are however, futile.

Minmay and the pursuing Misa and Hikaru then run right into another incident with Zentradi that are unable to adjust to life in peacetime. Two Zentradi have started smashing cars and are arguing with the mayor and his wife. Another Zentradi tries to calm them down, but he’s pushed to the street by one of the rioters. Hikaru tries to defuse the situation, just as four Destroids show up to enforce the peace. But despite getting flicked by the finger of one of the Zentradi, Hikaru calls for the Destroids to hold their fire. His act of bravery seems to get through to one of the Zentradi, but with something of a regretful look in his eyes he just says ‘so long’ to Hikaru and starts leaving town with his accomplice.

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Amuro Rey Zentradi is not adjusting well to peace.

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Why are the missile pods on opposite sides with these two? Cost cutting or actual reason?

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Looking down the barrel of a gun, son of a gun.

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Hikaru being GAR for peace.

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It seems my fears about the Zentradi’s unrealistic expectations were right.

It is in this set of circumstances that two plans are being set in motion. Kamjin and Laplamiz meet in Kamjin’s command ship buried under snow near one of the poles. There, they discuss a plan to recruit all the disaffected Zentradi into a force and then probably make trouble for the rest of the humans and Terran Zentradi. Meanwhile in Macross City Archivist Exedol and Commander in Chief Global brief Hikaru, Misa, Millia, and Max on a plan to seize a Zentradi manufacturing satellite. The extent of the entire Zentradi force is unknown, and Earth will need the ability to build more ships should another Zentradi fleet arrive to try and determine what happened to the last one.

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Always the hothead.

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For shame Laplamiz. What would Millia think if she knew you were involved in this?

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He couldn’t have picked a more able team.

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The episode ends with the same corpse from the start. This problem isn’t going away any time soon.

Final Thoughts: – Having the show deal in such detail with the reconstruction and reintegration of both sides is very interesting and a welcome change from most anime series. It’s also personally interesting to me since so much of what I study is post-conflict situations.

- I’m wondering where Captain Britai is. Unless I missed something I don’t believe they showed his death during episode 27. I hope he’s still around, he needs to Brght-slap some sense into Laplamiz and the other malcontents.

- The threat of future Zentradi attacks hasn’t gone away, and I’m wondering what the rest of the Zentradi are thinking at this point.

- Minmay is redeeming herself and is something of a tragic figure. Hopefully things turn out well for her in the end…just not with Hikaru!

- I absolutely love time skips in series, such as the one in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, because it gives you a much more complete view of the world and the characters. However I was a little surprised that little progress seemed to be made on the love story aspect of Macross during the past years.




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Related posts:

  1. SDF Macross Episodes 05 and 06 – Mighty Morphin Power Macross!
  2. SDF Macross Episodes 13 and 14 – You Can’t Win ‘Em All
  3. SDF Macross Episodes 21 and 22 – Don’t You Want Somebody to Love?
  4. SDF Macross Episodes 25 and 26 – In Love and War
  5. SDF Macross Episodes 03 and 04 – The Great Indoors

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