Robotech, In Brief: Wedding Bells

“Marry? What’s ‘marry’?”

“It’s something no words can describe. Miriya, it’s love, and that’s the most beautiful thing there is.”

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

WHAT HAPPENS: Miriya shows up at the park for her date with Max knife in hand; she reveals to Max that she is a Zentraedi and she means to take his life as revenge for the times he’s bested her in combat. However, as before, he defeats her. As he holds her at knifepoint she asks him to end it, but he cannot; he looks into her crying eyes and instead asks her to marry him. Soon, Max visits Rick and tells him what happened. Rick thinks he’s gone completely insane. Max assures him that they’re in love, but Rick thinks Max is being overly idealistic. When Miriya comes by their table, though, Rick’s arguments instantly disappear. The wedding happens almost immediately; Max and Miriya fly down an aisle of Battloids towards the Prometheus in a blue Veritech two-seater. The Zentraedi watch from Breetai’s flagship with curiosity; Exedore explains what’s going on, and Breetai observes that the micronian lifestyle is proving to be completely irresistible to so many among their people. At the ceremony Captain Gloval speaks of the horrors the Zentraedi have inflicted on all of them. He does this not to condemn the Zentraedi, but to then ask the people of the SDF-1 to forgive their enemies for these things, not blindly, but with an understanding that they have never known any other way of life. He hopes that this ceremony will serve as an example, that there may be a chance for peace between humankind and the Zentraedi. As Minmei sings for the wedding party, Breetai is given orders to annihilate the humans aboard the battle fortress. He looks up at Minmei on his holo-screen and tells Exedore he does not look forward to this. While many among Breetai’s forces refuse to fight, the attack begins and the party ends; despite being told he can sit it out, Max joins the battle with Miriya at his side. She shows him how to disable rather than destroy the Battlepods. Rick realizes what he’s doing and follows suit. Meanwhile, Zentraedi aboard Breetai’s ship are beginning to turn their guns on their superiors rather than join the battle. Furious, Breetai orders all forces to withdraw, in violation of his own orders. That night, Max has his first taste of domestic bliss when Miriya cooks his coffee pot, while Rick tries to tune out the chaos next door and ponders his own romantic fate.

THOUGHTS: Here I go, tipping one of the sacred cows of The Macross Saga and its original Japanese counterpart. In stark contrast to Rick’s long-running, somewhat tempered infatuation with Minmei and slowly growing but increasingly certain feelings for Lisa, this single episode presents the near-complete “romance” of Max and Miriya — born of Max’s good natured idealism, a touch of chastely-sketched lust, and Miriya seeing her life as over once the knife is knocked from her hands and, I suppose, being open to pretty much anything after that. Is the total transformation of her personality the result of the destruction of her raging ego at Max’s hands? It did seem to be her only real defining trait up til now, and that probably also explains why she doesn’t really seem to have much of a character going forward. To be fair, she doesn’t get a lot of screen time either; Max and Miriya both get little more than cameos throughout the rest of the series, with the exception of the following episode and the episode that bears her name in the Reconstruction era. Due to these factors, and the fact that it’s a largely awful-looking episode that makes a mess of these two characters’ final showdown, this one has never topped my favorites list. Despite a great speech by Captain Gloval and some very cool scenes with Breetai and Exedore, the core story here loses me, especially given the way Rick angrily and sensibly asks Max to take a step back and really think about this before making his decision, but throws all that sense out the window when he actually sees Miriya. Perhaps the episode would play better if the art was any good, if we could literally see what Rick and Max are seeing — Miriya’s character design, when drawn properly, is clearly the most supermodel-sexy of The Macross Saga — but we can’t. In the end, it’s a half hour of subplot in fast-forward, certainly pushing along the central plot of the SDF-1’s drive for peace, but doing so in a way that feels unrealistic and simplistic, and the shaky story and character arc-hammering are let down totally by the poor animation and worse art.

FIRSTS OF NOTE: This marks the first firm union of human and alien in the Robotech Wars; in fact, it’s the only time in three generations of conflict we see a human and alien formally married. I suppose it’s the only occasion where they can make the time for it!

RICK’S STATE OF MIND: The idealism of his friends and brothers and sisters in arms is catching; while his change of heart as regards Max’s marriage seems to have been predicated solely on Miriya’s bewitching looks, the ceremony and especially Captain Gloval’s speech has him hoping and wishing for peace even stronger than before, to the point that when he realizes why Max is “missing” with his shots he joins in. And finally, when he thinks of how Max seems to have found love, it’s not Minmei that Rick starts thinking of; it’s Lisa.

DOES MINMEI SING? She performs both “The Man In My Life” and “To Be In Love” at the wedding.


One thought on “Robotech, In Brief: Wedding Bells

  1. Yeah…I find this episode difficult to watch. It’s the only bad apple in the bunch when it comes to the Zentradi’s story: I understand the idealism the narrative is trying to push, but in the case of this single incident, I can’t buy it. I can buy all the other sweetly impossible things about the Zentradi, but this just kills me.

    It’s because Miriya didn’t choose her path herself–she gets forced into seeing something she never knew she wanted, by the man whom she wanted to destroy. It’s about love conquering all, but it seems rather creepy to me.

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