There were folks who were a bit surprised when I said Macross Delta wasn’t a show I was religiously following last season. Instead I watched a bit of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, blogged High School Fleet, and went gaga over Flying Witch. The episodes of Macross Delta merely gathered dust (figuratively) in my ‘Unsorted Episodes’ folder until now.
I thought about doing one big overarching ‘Quick Thought’ when I’ve finally caught up, but thought I’d break it down.
The main characters are Hayate Immelman, a 17-year-old drifter who has a knack for piloting that can be described as ‘dancing’; Freyja Wion, a 14-year old Windermerean who aspires to join Walküre after running away from the recently independent Kingdom of Windmere; and Mirage Farina Jenius, granddaughter to the famous Max and Milia Jenius, who is under great pressure to live up to her legendary grandparents’ name.
Other characters introduced are the other members of Delta and Walküre, their employers, and the enigmatic opponents the Aerial Knights. Story wise, the series is set eight years after Macross Frontier. While the previous series is located closer to the galactic core, Macross Delta is set in a cluster of stars called the Brisingr Globular Cluster in one of the outer arms.
Episode 1/Preview Special: Prologue on the Battlefield
A spate of attacks caused by the Var syndrome has surfaced in the frontier worlds of the Brisingr Globular Cluster. Happening seemingly at random, in response to these attacks the Tactical Sound Unit “Walküre” was created to combat this new threat. The sound unit is protected by the members of Delta Platoon under the employ of the Para-Military Contractor “Chaos”, based in Barrett City in Ragnar, aboard the Macross-class battlefortress ‘Elysion’.
Episode 1 starts off in the world Al-Shahal, showing off Freyja’s determination to join Walküre, Hayate’s lackadaisical attitude in life, and Mirage’s strictness. As a Var outbreak happens on the world, Walküre responds, eliminating the threat, while Hayate commandeers a VF-171 Nightmare Plus to rescue Freyja who had manifested her talent, turning the tide against the Aerial Knights and the Var-infected Zentraedi.
Episode 2: Audition with Death
After Hayate’s rather impressive ‘performance’ with the commandeered VF-171 unit on Al-Shahal, he and Freyja make their way onto the planet of Ragnar. After some run-ins with locals and mercats, the two part ways at the base of the Macross-class battlefortress Elysion. After some hickups, Freyja seems to have failed her auditions for Walküre while Hayate is personally scouted by Captain Arad Mölders of Delta Platoon to join them.
Disappointed that Freyja didn’t produce the fold waves needed to join the group, Walküre’s lead singer seems to have hatched a plan. While on the tram back to the city, a Var outbreak happens, locking the occupants in the car. One of them becomes infected and kills another occupant, and turns to Frejya. Finding the strength to sing, it seems only on stressful times does her fold waves appear and amplify. Thus she passes the simulated test.
Episode 3: A Stormy Dogfight
Hayate and Freyja struggle to meet the demands of their respective employers. While Freyja is faring better, Hayate’s freewheeling nature gets him in trouble with his instructor, Mirage Jenius. Not a skilled pilot with the standard A.I. assisted planes, he seems more content in chasing after a particularly malicious mercat with his Delta platoonmate’s (Chuck Mustang) younger siblings. After finding him back at Ragnyannyan (Chuck’s restaurant), Mirage and Hayate decide to settle this with a dogfight.
As everyone seems to be talking about it, Freyja seems rather worried, and it continues to one of the practices as it goes on. Both flying upgraded VF-1 EXs, Hayate has five minutes to score a single hit on Mirage, while Mirage can land as many hits as she can and want on Hayate. With Delta XO Messer Ihlefeld as judge, Mirage makes short work of Hayate. Not giving in, Hayate disables both the remote control and A.I. assist, leading him to fall into a spiral. Having been watching from the practice room, Freyja is stopped from going out to see Hayate by Walküre’s lead vocalist, Mikumo Guynemer. Finding her purpose in the group, she sings, her fold waves resonating with Hayate, leading him to take down Mirage.
Messer though cuts his ego short and takes him down in his more advanced fighter. Though having won the dogfight, Hayate has a change in attitude and looks forward to learning all he can about flying after seeing her. Back at Windermere, a somber song resonates through the valley, as a Winderemean (Lord Brehm), implores the young Prince Heinz to return to his room and away from the weather. He does so, though remarking that they are about to call up a great wind.
Episode 4: A Shocking Debut Show
As Freyja and Hayate are given their welcomes into Walküre (and Chaos), it is explained that Freyja’s debut show is a “Waccine” show. Not only do their shows cure Var outbreaks, but shows help prevent it. Recorded songs have no effect due to the unique biofoldwaves that each singer emits that suppresses the Var syndrome. Enroute to the show location, Hayate is given his VF-31 Siegfried. It was modified by the technicians to allow him to pilot it without A.I. assist. Freyja explains that she got her player from an Earthling who introduced her to outside music. While her debut had a little hiccups (and Hayate dancing), the party is foiled when the unknowns make an appearance and ruin the concert.
Reinforcements come, but were instantly turned when an unknown song infects them with the Var syndrome. Unlike previous attempts though, these infected are working in formation and in tandem. After some setbacks, Walküre manages to calm the Var and turn the tide in favor to Delta platoon. Captain Johnson though explains that their attack was a diversion, and they managed to invade and take over the planet Vordor. The unknowns at this point reveal themselves to be the Aerial Knights of the Windermere Kingdom, and declared war on the New Unified Government (New United Nations Government, canon seems to be hazy on the name).
Episode 5: Dancing in the Moonlight
Chancellor Roid Brehm of the Windermere Kingdom lays out the grievances of the Windermere Kingdom has with the NUG. Having gained their independence seven years prior, they aim to rid the Brisingr cluster of the NUG. Back on Ragna, a briefing detailing the planet Windermere and its new units is given, where Captain Arad Mölders explains he was there for the War of Independence. It can be ascertained that they were not only behind the control of the UN Spacey pilots, but involved in previous Var outbreaks. With that much experience, it explains how the units on Vordor fell without a fight, though the members of Walküre and Hayate heard a mournful male voice. Freyja brings up the Windermerean legend of the Wind Singer, who has a voice that travels beyond the speed of light.
Back on Windermere, Lord Brehm and the White Knight of Darwent report to the king, indicating they freed two planets but Lord Brehm fears for Prince Heinz’s life and they require more time to analyze the ruins, though the king merely brushes it off. Alone, the White Knight and Lord Brehm have a slight disagreement over the course of action, with the White Knight claiming that Lord Brehm’s sword has grown rusted. Speaking of which, after some childishness from the youngest of the Aerial Knights, the implications of a Windermerean in Walkure weighs heavily on them.
Back on Ragna, Chaos has been ordered into war, and everyone refuses to leave even though they’re civilian contractors, though Freyja and Hayate are given more time to think it over, though Mikumo explains that Chaos HQ as well as the public is considering the possibility she’s a spy. She refutes this and strives to be better. While Hayate mulls over the decision, others in the café discuss the current events. The media barges in though, and tries to corner Freyja into some sort of statement before Hayate takes her outside.
Mirage tries to explain how Freyja can fit in by talking about her famous grandparents, but Hayate brushes her attempt off and takes Freyja out on his Siegfried and they have a little unauthorized flight, though at the end, Messer stops them and after forcing them to land berates them (Mirage as well) saying such antics are not permissible in wartime. Hayate makes up his mind, to stay in to end the war so he can fly however he wants.
Episode 6: Decision Overload
After a dressing down after training, Messer lays down some harsh truth to both Mirage and Hayate over their skills. Elsewhere, Captain Johnson and Molders discuss the war, with Windermere annexing other planets and NUG treating the whole thing as a frontier squabble. Mikumo seems to be wondering about the Wind Singer as well, having been singing the song the Wind Singer sung. At Ragnyannyan, Hayate and Freyja discuss their respective superiors, and vow to get better. At Elysion, Arad tells him to take it easy and not to break the rookies, and he declines to hang out with Kaname and the captain.
Elsewhere, Windmerean scientists are doing something with the ruins on the captured planet. Worried about Prince Heinz’s health, Keith pushes him to continue to sing even if it means his life. Back at Elysion, Mirage is burdened by her name and lack of piloting skills associated with it, while Hayate tries to cheer her up.
Switching to a battle over the planet Ionideth, NUNS pilots fight against their Var infected comrades as the Aerial Knights join the fray. Chaos shows up and Walküre starts to sing, stopping the Var-controlled pilots and allowing them to be disabled before Delta tangles with the Aerial Knights. Hayate manages to save Walküre from one of the enemy knights (though he manages to call out the traitor, Freyja), but Mirage is cornered by two others. Low on propellant, Hayate rushes to Mirage’s aid and kills the rookie knight before he kills Mirage.
Back at Ragna, Hayate comes to grips that he has killed with Mirage’s help, while Mikumo lays down some harsh truth to Freyja, asking her why does she sing if she’s effected by a word like ‘traitor’. Back at Windermere, Keith brings Heinz to a desolate location, to show him of Windermere’s scar, a massive crater that’s still electrically active from whatever caused it.
After the credits, new orders come in from Chaos HQ. Walküre and Delta are to investigate the occupied planets, and to infiltrate the planet Voldor.
I’m not going to lie, the preview special made me less than enthused for the show. While I liked the introduction of the characters, the end battle scene left me wanting more, and it was like one’s first shot of whisky. It burns and it isn’t something a person can like initially. So for the longest of time it was why I couldn’t watch it.
But when I did watch the regular aired version (15 weeks later), I ultimately regretted my decision not to keep up with the series. It introduced the characters properly and didn’t disappoint with the action and songs.
Overall, I’m loving the series, the songs still won’t hold against songs from Frontier, but since the movies I’ve kinda forgotten Frontier exists. They’re good and catchy enough, and I thought was a nice touch to actually have an idol group. One can say it’s trying to ride (maybe even by a little) on stuff like Idolm@ster and Love Live, but it makes sense within the show.
Mikumo annoys me like how Sheryl annoyed me initially, but unlike Sheryl, Mikumo still hasn’t grown to be likable to me. Of all the Walküre members, I like Kaname Buccaneer more. The other two has enough personality that they haven’t fallen off my radar, but to be frank, not really caring. All I know is Makina is a genki mechanic and Reina is a shy hacker.
Delta Platoon/Chaos PMC has Captain Arad Mölders, his XO Messer Ihlefeld, and Chuck Mustang, a native Ragnan. Messer rubs me wrong in that he is the hardass, even though he shows later on why he acts the way he acts, while Chuck acts as the opposite to Messer, being much more fun to be around.
The enemy is the Windermere Kingdom, headed by King Gramia with Lord Llyod Brehm as Chancellor. The trump card of the kingdom is the Wind Singer, Prince Heinz, who is able to infect and control Var infected people with his dimensional singing. The main combat antagonists would be Keith Windermere, Gramia’s son through a concubine and Heinz’s brother, and the ace holding the title “White Knight of the Derwent”. He is assisted by other Aerial Knights, from the brash Bogue, twins Theo and Xiao, veteran Herman, and former apple farmer Qasim. They are the scalpel of the Windermere forces and the counterparts to Delta Platoon protecting Walküre.
What intrigues me is the protagonist and antagonist valks. The VF-31 Siegfried is an mass-produced version of the YF-30 Chronos but also takes some design cues from the VF-19 Excalibur. VF-31A models used by other platoons of the Chaos PMC follow the Chronos’ wing design, but the ones used by Delta platoon seem to be more in line with the earlier VF-19 Excalibur. Considering that there has been more emphasis on aerial combat in atmosphere than there was in other series, it makes quite a bit of sense.
The Sv-262 Draken III catches my eye not because of its design, but its designation. It seems fitting, that an anti-UN unit developed by an outside power would reuse the Sv prefix. Maybe the creators of the Sv-51 and subsequent Sv-52 (the UN Spacey use version after the Anti-UN forces were integrated) were aboard the colony fleet that landed in Windermere, and remembering old fusses, threw their lot in with the Windermereans.
After some digging around, I found a JP language wiki article on the Sv-262 Draken III, and a friend on the facetubes gave me the rundown of the article.
Gist of it is that after the unification war the development team’s work on a successor to the Sv-51 stopped and they spread around to just about every manufacturer in the Macross universe. However, some ten or so years prior to the events of Macross Delta the team reconvened and resumed their work thanks to support from the Windermere military, producing the Sv-262. Basically, they got fucking salty that the unification army seemed uninterested in their concepts despite believing that their technological prowess was superior in every way to the Valkyries, and stayed salty until an anti-unification force once more was willing to take them on.
That exchange found here.
And of course, I can’t talk about Macross without talking about the main love triangle. This is a HayaMi shipping blog, so HayaFre fans should probably calm themselves. Apart from the color matching and the fact Mirage is descended from the original inter-species couple, Max and Milia, they both share what I saw as a bit of original Macross. The by-the-books military girl, the rising pop star, and lackadaisical pilot thrust into their lives and into war. It doesn’t help that Hayate and Mirage share the same first letters from Hikaru and Misa.
Overall, I’ve lost my train of thought many times tonight, so I’ll leave it with this. I wish I kept up with it, and now here I am trying to quickly catch up on it. While I won’t do episodic blogging like I did for High School Fleet, I’ll do these large chunks to compensate. And hopefully do it when not distracted by other things.