First off, Happy New Year. Secondly, I was able to sit down this morning and watch the Macross Delta Pre-Show and here are some of my thoughts. Scared yet? (in the voice of Yoda “You will be, you…..will be.”
Ok, So, we are 50 years into humans exploring space. The series takes place roughly 8 years after Frontier’s story was told in the second movie. At the beginning of the series, we cover a brief history to set the stage for the show. We learn a little about Var Syndrome, in that it’s affecting people, but they are not sure how it is transmitted and when it can affect a specific person or persons. It’s know to cause the destabilization of the mind and push violent behaviors to the forefront. We see this in an example of a man suffering from the Syndrome, blows himself up in front of a truck on a colony ship.
We get a brief run down of Walküre, a group of songstress that sing with “transdimension” voices and are under the protection of Delta Squadron. Now I am going to stop here for a second. My initial thought was that this is basically Fire Bomber and Emerald Squad, The band had their own Valkyries and so did their accompanying protection detail. My assumption came from this picture. That is not the case as I will explain later. Needless to say I was a little disappointed in that part.
With all that being said, we learn at the beginning of the show that there is a stowaway on board the colony ship, and the crew are busy trying to hunt them down. We are then introduced to our first character of the series.
Hayate Immelmann, age unknown but if I had to venture a guess, I would say around 16-18, given the ages of the other characters. My first impression is that he is lazy or simply a slacker, as he is getting fired from his job, because he always has a reason to not work. Which the foreman mentions is sad, because when he does work, he does a great job. He receives his pay and is asked to finish out the day on a high note. We then see him in his “heavy loader” type mecha listening to music as he moves crates of items from one section of the dock to the other. As he moves across the dock, you can get a feel for how good of an operator he is, as he can make the Loader dance and jump across the dock. Nothing yet to indicate that he will be part of Delta Squad, but if I have learned anything from Macross, it is that the one male protagonist that isn’t a pilot, will be and soon. this leads us to our next character.
Freyja Wion, age 14 and runaway. She is the stowaway mentioned in the beginning of the series, she is running away from home to avoid a marriage, really? She’s 14…..this isn’t Arkansas! I want to take this moment to say I am sorry to anyone from Arkansas if that offended you. I mean, hey at least you aren’t Kentucky! I would like to take another opportunity to apologize to the great people of Kentucky. Ok, we’re getting off topic, back to the fun. It should be noted that Freyia is voiced by Minori Suzuki, who won the talent contest for a chance to be the new songstress for Delta, like Megumi Nakajima was for Frontier.
So, while Hayate is moving his cargo, Freyia can hear his music and starts to sing along ( she’s in a crate of some space apples!) Hayate opens the crate and Freyia quickly apologizes asking not to be returned home. She explains that she was being told to marry the farmer on her colony and didn’t want to, so in essence she packed up and ran away. Her dream is to sing with Walküre, with whom she is supposed to have an audition for the following week. As fate would have it, she’s on the wrong ship, and Hayate tells her that she probably didn’t have a chance of making the cut anyway. Which upsets Frayia but before she could continue, she is discovered by a drone and has to run off.
In the next scene we see Frayia again, pushing her way through a crowd and remarking, “this is what they call a city”. As she walks through the crowd she hears the voice of a young woman signing. But before she could find out who it was, she’s discovered and has to run off again.
Our songstress is Mikumo Guynemer, unknown age and not much is given on her past. But as she walks around the town she’s undercover, with green hair, investigating the current issues with the Var Syndrome outbreaks. As she is looking around, she’s speaking with the members of Delta Squadron and her own team regarding the outbreak. Most team members are on different parts of the colony ship. Because her history is shrouded, I wonder if it will be a topic covered in the series? I guess time will tell.
We are introduced to two more members of Walküre.
Our pink haired Makina Nakajima, which makes me wonder if this is a reference to Megumi Nakajima. As I mentioned above, won the voice talent contest for Macross Frontier and went on to play the character Ranka Lee. Makina is the teams resident Mechanic and is seen enjoying the view of the new Zentradi Battle Pods.
Our green haired Reina Prowler serves as the teams resident hacker, at age 15 and is shown in a Valkyrie VF-31, in the back seat. She appears to be monitoring communications. She doesn’t show much emotion, or talk very often according to her bio.
The group is investigating the Vars outbreaks, citing that there had been 10 recently. Their group appears to be under the leadership of Lady M. Which doesn’t give us much more information then that, as we don’t see her, or an outline of her. All we can do is speculate as to who she is.
Cutting back to our male protagonist, Hayate, he’s leaving work and still not happy with his last exchange with Frayia. As he walks out of the office, he over hears some people talking about how the stowaway was caught.
We now see Frayia, surrounded by ship crew members, ordering her to give up and go back to where she came from. She refuses, and we see a motor cycle come over the heads of the crew members, to land in front of her. Hayate calls to her and tells her to get on and they speed away. As they race by, we catch a glimpse of one of our Delta Squad members, who is intrigued by the incident. But we will touch on that in just a moment.
Frayia and Hayate get away and she asks him why he would rescue her. He replies “who knows”, which isn’t much of an answer and they go back to their previous discussion about her audition. He still tells her that she shouldn’t try and that he knows people that could help get her home. Frayia refuses and tells Hayate that this is what she wants to do, it’s her life’s calling. She then questions him if he had anything like that. At this point we get some insight to Hayate, who believes that he has traveled to many places and he hasn’t found anything that would make him special, so why bother.
Frayia scolds him and reminds him that with his kind of attitude it’s no wonder he doesn’t have anything. You can’t just show up and expect something to be there that makes you special, you have to find what you love and build from there. The moment her lecture ends, she falls off her perch and our first misunderstanding of the series happens. (yay!)
Frayia falls on her back, and Hayate falls on top of her, as he gets up, she struggles with the fact he’s on top of her. At this point, the Delta Squad member that I mentioned before shows up.
Mirage Farina Jenius, Jenius is in reference to Maximillian Jenius, the flying ace from the original Macross series. Farina is Miria Jenius‘ middle name, it is implied that Mirage is their daughter. At the very least, she is a distant relative. As Mirage stumbles on our 2 fallen teens, she quickly believes that Hayate is attacking Frayia and attempts to arrest him. He tries to plead his case, but she will not listen. This prompts Frayia to blurt out she’s the stowaway everyone is looking for. Mirage stops and apologies, telling Hayate he can report her for what she did if he wanted to. Before they go too much further, we have a cut scene to 2 Zentradi soldiers talking and drinking, when they hear music. The strange music seems to be affecting them. We cut back to Mirage and the group and it appears that Frayia can hear the music, but it is not affecting her.
Mirage is alerted to a Vars attack, and she tells the other 2 to find shelter as the area will quickly become a battle ground. She then leaves them. Next we see the city under attack from Zentradi battle pods as the pilots were infected with the Vars Syndrome. Hayate and Frayia are running to a shelter when they are knocked down by an explosion. When they look up, they see Mikumo making her way to the battle field.
As Mikumo walks up, she says “Music is Mystic” and we are shown a Henshin sequence that is very much like Sailor Moon. After she changes into her performance gear, which is really all I guess you can call that. We see 4 Valkyries (VF-31) flying across the sky, they release drones from them and out of the first jet we see Reina. “Music is Love”, and she changes, followed by “Music is Hope” and finally “Music is Life”. At this point, we see their leader.
Kaname Buccaneer, the 22 year old leader of Walküre. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know much about her yet, as I was so distracted by the Sailor Senshi reference I kinda just stopped and stared at the screen.
Now, mind you I don’t hate Sailor Moon, but we are talking about Macross here. Come on! Macross needs 3 things, music, jets and love triangles, that’s it. Not AKB0048 and Sailor Moon with Jets!
That being said, I have to admit I stopped taking notes at this point to watch the battles. So most of this is from memory. The drones released at the beginning of the fight are hologram projectors that show dancers as the team sings, they are controlled by members of the singing group and can be used as shields to help protect the public. Sort of like mini pin-point barriers that connect. The girls can ride on the outside of the Valkyries and hold on to, what we will just call leashes, this doesn’t affect their positioning from what I can see, if the plan is in Jet, Bioroid or Guardian mode.
The Valkyrie VF-31s are from the last Macross game and similar in design to the VF-25. I couldn’t make out too much of the head designs. So far there is no indication of a Skull Squadron, though the leader of Delta has a Shinigami on the back of his Valkyrie. As the girls sing their first song, SOS! Love Halation, the War the team quickly addresses the situation with the Zentradi.
After the battle with the Zentradi ends, a new force shows up, The Kingdom of the Wind. They start their attack on the colony and the Delta team, and appear to have a strong advantage over the Delta team. As the battle ensues, Frayia begins to feel a pull in to the battle and she begins to sing.
At this point we come to a closure of the episode.
We are told that the show will officially start in the Spring. There will be more added to the first episode, and will show what happens when Frayia joins the Walküre team singing. Overall it’s a good episode. I think it’s setting up the characters nicely. There should be some great development. Minor nit picks with the Henshin sequences, it’s very much Sailor Moon meets Magical Girls. But that being said, it won’t deter me from watching the rest of the series. I give the show an overall A-, with everything said it really did leave me wanting more.