Robotech, In Brief: Battle Hymn

“After we begin our attack, let’s look for a way to sneak aboard the enemy ship.”

“Sure, but if they catch us, won’t we all be executed as punishment, Rico?”

“That’s the risk we have to take, then.”

“Oh yeah? Well then count me in, too, cause I want all those nice things I never had before.”

Read my 365 Days of Robotech write-up on “Battle Hymn” from last summer here.

WHAT HAPPENS: Dolza watches footage captured of “Small White Dragon” and the SDF-1’s barrier overload and decides on a new course of action. He requires more micronians for study, and afterwards they are to be wiped out entirely. Breetai’s fleet is deployed, but many aboard his ship, led by Rico, Konda, and Bron don’t want to attack the space fortress for fear of killing Minmei. Rico comes up with a plan to sneak on-board and defect during the operation. Meanwhile, Rick wonders what he’s doing with his life, and fears he’ll go out like Roy and Ben. He hears Minmei on the radio and determines he needs to fight for her safety. She is in concert at that very moment, and it’s being piped onto the bridge; while Claudia hears Minmei’s song and thinks of Roy, Lisa hears it and worries that every day Kyle’s anti-war talk is making more and more sense to her. Exedore explains his plan to Breetai; they will force the SDF-1 to execute a Daedalus attack and use it to enter the ship, seizing the micronians Dolza wants as well as the Protoculture Generator. This is a lucky break for Rico’s plan; it makes getting on board all the easier. Khyron leads the initial attack, and Rick Hunter in Skull One leads the SDF-1’s defenders. Breetai’s fleet traps the SDF-1, forcing them to launch Daedalus. Inside the fortress, as it shudders violently, Kyle pushes Minmei to keep singing. Daedalus strikes Breetai’s flagship and, following a Destroid laser barrage, the assembled Regults take down the Destroids and enter the battle fortress. Battle erupts in the streets of Macross City. Lisa calls Rick back into the ship to defend the civilians; he and Max enter via an access hatch, but Khyron and a squad of Battlepods make it in before the doors close. Within, a stray blast strikes the concert hall, and Lynn Kyle is wounded protecting Minmei from a falling spotlight. As Minmei tends Kyle’s wounds on-stage, Rick and Max defend the burning streets of Macross City.

THOUGHTS: All the really good moments in this episode are courtesy of the Zentraedi: Exedore conjures up a brilliant plan, Khyron actually follows his orders (setting aside the fact that he keeps the scuttlebutt about potential defectors on the down-low) and the former spies and their fellows start work paving the road to peace, at the possible cost of their own lives. The scenes of Rico, Konda, and Bron, and their fellow co-conspirators are the best of the episode. In fact, they’d still be pretty high up there in a better episode, full of impressive courage and humor, even if Konda and Bron’s actors are having an off day. It’s another rather poor-looking episode, alas, and Rick and Lisa are acting like lovesick idiots again, longing for the cousins Lynn each in their own mopey way. Claudia has a nice moment where she thinks about Roy, and Kyle even gets a moment to shine as he pushes Minmei to sing her heart out to keep her fans from panicking, but otherwise, most everything relating to our human heroes is frustrating nonsense and wall-to-wall Minmei songs. Despite the poor art, there are some nice robot fighting sequences at the end, as Rick and Max defend the city; Max’s moves impress even with the D-team on art duty, sneaking, rolling, and dodging all over the place. Definitely some good stuff for Zentraedi fans, but I’d still call it a low point in the series overall. Shame, that.

FIRSTS OF NOTE: This is the first time one of the characters (not the narrator) has mentioned the prize hidden aboard the SDF-1; Exedore mentions the Protoculture Generator (a.k.a. Protoculture Factory, a.k.a. Protoculture Matrix).

RICK’S STATE OF MIND: After he was doing so well last episode, Rick is miserable again, with only Minmei — or more, the idea of Minmei — for comfort. I should almost do one of these for Lisa, because staggeringly she’s in the same emotional boat, an utter wreck pining for Kyle just as Rick pines for Minmei.

DOES MINMEI SING? The doll plays “To Be In Love” again, and Rick hears the same song over the P.A. system while in an extremely moody mood. She opens her concert with it as well, and then when the fortress is under attack she belts out “My Time To Be A Star.”


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