Minmei is sad, the Zentraedi are cranky and oh look, mysterious clones in another galaxy! I wonder if they’ll turn out to be significant at all?
Episode 29 – The Robotech Masters
Unexpected Robotech Masters! Three mysterious men talking about Zor and the Invid suddenly turn up, talking about the missing protoculture factory and the secrets of Robotech. To some extent, they are explaining the plot so far, as far as what’s been going on with the humans and the Zentraedi, though it’s mostly lucky guesswork on their part.
They seem quite skeptical that humans might have been able to destroy Dolza’s fleet because, 1 ship against 4 million? So unlikely, though it does lead to the charming quote:
“The destruction of 4 million Robotech ships doesn’t happen every day…”
Who are these guys? I don’t remember them being introduced so early, but then I find the Robotech Masters incredibly dull so I think I used to just zone out whenever they came on screen. Right now the important thing is they look identical, they use colour coded collars to tell each other apart, and they’re not even in our galaxy. But they do seem to be a little too interested in our sweeties…
Back on the ravaged Earth, the narrator talks about how many Zentraedi died holding Minmei dolls. They changed sides for her – for her music and what she represented. But many of those who switched sides and survived are now deeply unhappy, trying to fit into a society that is so different to what they are used to.
One such example is so bored out of his mind with repetitive factory work that he throws a wobbly and jumps the fence. He’s not the only one – it’s happening all over.
Minmei, meanwhile, is trying to work as a lounge singer despite living in an apocalypse – she’s miserable and not performing well. It doesn’t help that the audiences are getting smaller and less appreciative. Her breakup with Kyle sadly didn’t stick – he’s acting like the cheesiest pimp/manager ever and yes, their relationship is textbook abusive. It’s very uncomfortable to watch.
When Minmei tries to get away to have dinner with her family, Kyle almost drives them off the road in an attempt to manipulate her. It’s horrible. But at least he’s not pretending to be a pacifist any more while being simultaneously aggressive and awful. Even Kyle’s not that much of a hypocrite.
A formal meeting of the core SDF crew and Exedore gets heated when Exedore tries to push his theory (based on data analysis) that the humans and Zentraedi are similarly warlike, and basically both races come from the same source. Rick is offended about the whole ‘humans are warlike’ thing despite all evidence to the contrary.
Minmei reunites with her aunt and uncle and the overly-friendly mayor, and gets to spend some time in her old bedroom. Her eyes are drawn to the badly repaired corner of the room where Rick burst through it that time in a Robotech ship – which is WEIRD, because wasn’t the building completely rebuilt from scratch twice? Why would the corner be all dodgy and patched?
Also, he came in through the whole wall as shown in the flashback, not the corner. Why is the corner significant?
Everyone else is getting on with the current plot, but Minmei thinks this is a clip show, so she runs through the greatest hits of her relationship with Rick. It’s sadly brief. They really didn’t spend much time with each other, did they?
The next morning, several of our regulars wake up and go about their business in the shiny, built-all-over-again New Macross City. Rick is jogging. Minmei is wandering around. Rico, Konda and Bron are running a dry cleaning business now, but still have time to gossip about their favourite celebrity – and then they catch sight of her in the street.
Delighted, the boys get Minmei to autograph items of clothing that don’t belong to them, making her smile for the first time in ages.
A few streets away, the mayor and his wife come under attack from a couple of rogue Zentraedi, who threaten and scare them.
Lisa and Rick actually manage a normal, nice conversation when they run into each other in the street. She raises some non-specific concerns about bad stuff being about to happen, he waves it off, and then he admits he put the photo of her in his album. Minmei spots them having the nice conversation and runs off crying, because no one she’s ever liked is allowed to make a connection with another human being years later. Lisa understandably rolls her eyes because WTF now? How is there a Minmei insert in her otherwise pleasant morning?
All the storylines collide when the rogue Zentraedi get noisy, just as some Robotech defenders arrive to shoot at them. Rick tries to talk the rebels down, but they’re not that interested in the government policy he has to offer – which is that they’re not allowed to run off and join their own people and possibly become a threat to human society. They have to stay right here and suck it up.
Unfortunately, and it’s pretty clear that Rick knows this, the answer to his order is – well, what are you going to do? The Zentraedi are enormous, they can leave whenever the hell they like. And they do.
Minmei, eavesdropping on all this, is devastated when she hears one Zentraedi trying to convince his friends to stay, citing her as their original inspiration to join the humans.
Meanwhile, what has Khyron been up to these last two years? Turns out he has been gathering all the escapees and rebels of his own people, with Azonia at his right hand (in the same room together!) He wants his men to spread the word that sanctuary will be given to any Zentraedi, even the micronised ones – and he will make it possible for them to be returned to their proper size.
I’m guessing this is going to be trouble. Though I’m not sure if Khyron is capable of doing anything when he doesn’t have other people’s orders to aggressively ignore. We’ll see!
Minmei is late to the day’s concert, and when Kyle carps about the small audiences, she retorts that she will sing for herself, regardless of who is listening.
It’s that sad song again, and we are reminded once again that the war has had a terrible cost on everyone. Minmei’s not the Stage Fright girl any more – and there are those pictures of the dead Zentraedi with Minmei dolls all over again, to ram the point home.
It’s pretty bleak to be the most famous celebrity singer in a world where everyone else is worried about food and survival.
This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project. Thanks to everyone who has linked, commented, and especially to my paid patrons. You can support Musketeer Space at Patreon.