ROBOTECH REWATCH 25: Ships Fall, Everyone Dies

EPS_40_4_9928Robotech will be rewatched after these messages.

Try not to cry as the world is destroyed.

Even my hardboiled, steel-coated nine-year-old was slightly distressed by the death toll in this episode.

Episode 27 – Force of Arms

So this is it, the big battle is about to happen. Space is “literally stuffed” (thanks, narrator) with Dolza’s ships. After Rick sends lovebirds Max and Miriya off to their ships, he catches sight of Kyle and Minmei. On the grounds that he’s probably about to die, he confesses to Minmei that he loves her, salutes and leaves.

Minmei runs after him after shaking off that jerk Kyle, who tries to stop her.

Gloval is still wrapping his head around the fact that he is fighting alongside Zentraedi now. It’s a headspin.

Minmei catches up with Rick during his important pre-battle glove-putting-on ritual and they do the awkward pause thing a lot despite time being distinctly of the essence. She tries to apologise about the whole Kyle thing but is basically having a panic attack about feelings while Rick is noble and self-sacrificing. Nothing is resolved.

Before Rick can even get in his ship to make a smooth exit, Dolza’s forces open fire on the Earth, razing it across the entire surface. Everyone, like EVERYONE on the Earth is killed (with only a few exceptions to be revealed). Minmei mourns her parents, and Rick whispers Lisa’s name. He pulls himself together quickly, asking Minmei to sing. He has a plan.

Because yet another rendition of Stage Fright is going to put a bandaid on this apocalypse? Okay, then.

Exedore and Gloval explain to Breetai that they’re going to use Minmei as a strike force: broadcast her singing to Dolza’s entire fleet. She’s willing to do anything for the war effort. Exedore adds that he’d quite like her to do some public kissing too, as a form of psychological warfare. Minmei starts backing away slowly from the weird little man at this point, but reluctantly agrees. She’s a good girl.

Minmei is given a proper dressing room and everything, and even gets some earnest fanboys delivered to give her a shot of confidence – Rico, Konda and Bron, who thank her for her work.

Lights, camera, action.

NEW SONG.

This one’s about war. I am super impressed that Minmei came up with a song about winning the war at such short notice though frankly, one about squishy romantic feelings would probably have been a better psychological weapon. Still, this has the added benefit of cheering up the Micronian-nice-Zentraedi alliance.

Still, we must fight or face defeat.
We must stand tall and not retreat.
With our strength we’ll find the might.
There’s no fight we can’t fight together,
All together,
We can win.

Raeli is still convinced that a different actress plays Minmei’s singing voice, despite me pointing out all the documentation that it’s still Reba West, and that the internet is not wrong about these things. I have given up the argument as officially lost.

As the song fades, Minmei and Kyle act out a leaving scene complete with kissing and a bow tie (seriously Kyle, that bow tie, that is not cool, not all bow ties are cool). Dolza’s fleet all act like my grossed-out daughters (ewwww, what even is that, WHY? Yuck, bleh, aren’t they supposed to be cousins???). Rick is furious enough to kill everyone.

Lisa is alone on Alaska Base. She gets in touch with her father via a screen and he tells her the Grand Cannon is broken and everyone else is dead. She was right all along about that whole cannon business. To her horror, he is cut off and she’s pretty sure he’s dead now too.

Rick’s Skull fighter is partiallyly damaged and transforms before sinking through the Earth’s atmosphere. He is horrified to see the damage done to the Earth, and through flashback we learn that he and Minmei had a proper snog before he left. Then a signal comes through – Lisa is still alive! He heads for her to make the rescue.

“Oh Rick, I’m so glad it’s you.”

He cuts through the walls of the base and is reunited with Lisa – they are so delighted as they run into each other’s arms that the colour bleeds out of the animation, leaving them as black and white sketches. That’s the level of emotion going on here, people. ALL COLOUR IS GONE. Still no kissing, though.

Minmei’s war song continues. It’s a super long song, and/or she started it again when no one was paying attention.

The SDF1 does that trick they like to do when they punch the Daedalus aircraft carriers into the enemy ships – luckily Dolza’s fleet don’t know about it yet, so it works. Also, Khyron plans to attack Breetai because reasons. I’m not even surprised any more. Khyron walks his own walk.

Zentraedi ships are destroyed in massive numbers. The sky is basically on fire. Rick and Lisa land somewhere on the scorched Earth and have a quite moment together, watching the fighting until the explosions die down.

For a moment, they consider the possibility that they are the only survivors of the battle. Then they hear Minmei, singing the song that lasted for a whole war, and discover that the SDF1 survived. Amazingly, the humans didn’t entirely lose. Lisa has never been so glad to hear Minmei in her life. She and Rick watch the battered SDF1 descend near them and fly towards it, grinning like loons.

So yes. This was the one in which the Earth was all but destroyed, nearly everyone died, and now the hard work of rebuilding human society from scratch is about to begin. Oh, 80’s kids cartoons, you are the best.

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3 replies on “ROBOTECH REWATCH 25: Ships Fall, Everyone Dies”

  1. I love ‘Force of Arms’ — the scene where the Zentraedi rain death down on the Earth, and the little girl and the soldier by the tank? I saw that episode broadcast on TV in the 80s, and it still haunts me.

    This episode nails all of Robotech’s themes so perfectly that the rest of the series is almost moot.

  2. John Samuel says:

    I think it was a romantic song in the original Macross, I’d have to check though.

  3. Great episode. Becuase of the action and animation I rewatched over and over again on my VHS.

    It was supposed to be the last episode but they got an order for 10 more.

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