Flash back to me about two months ago saying I’ll write a summary a bit later. Well, I finally gathered the will to do it and it’s long. Long. Some scenes were really nice and it would have been a pity not to reproduce them in full, so you’ll find some translated passages as well. The book itself is structured in three big chapters + prologue and each chapter has a few subchapters, but I wrote down my notes ages ago and never bothered separating them into something shorter than the chapters themselves…
For whoever’s interested, I scanned the illustrations here.
Now on to the summary!
*As an aside, I don’t think some names have ever gotten a romanisation, so I just tried to make them sound vaguely plausible…
*Also, there are some non-critical parts that differ from the anime, which is weird, since they had the same writer and the novel was written afterwards…I’ll pinpoint the ones I caught. If you are wondering why the ending is so ?????, be assured that so am I.
- We are introduced to the Sharon Project;
- Marge wrote his dissertation on emotion chips (using hologram mice that acted like real ones), but everyone made fun of him; the only helping hand came from the Macross Concern;
- Sharon ‘lives’ inside a sort of virtual egg;
- Marge is extremely attached to her;
- The Sharon Project started thirty years before under the supervision of the Macross Concern;
- For the past three years the Project’s development had been completely isolated and kept top secret;
- Marge’s role had already ended and what was left was the insertion of a ‘seed’ of memories -> they would have to find someone whose memories would be implanted into Sharon, and from there her feelings would grow by themselves;
- The cover for the above was Apple Production looking for a successor for Lynn Minmei;
- Since they were already tired of earthlings, one application that draws their attention comes from Eden: Myun Fang Lone, 17 years old.
- End of the school year: Myung is Miss Dalmatian for the second year in a row;
- As promised, she sings a song dedicated to Eden;
Myung’s melody sang of her love for Eden, her love for its nature; the song about her secret love soared towards the skies of Eden. When had this started? When had she begun to love singing and writing songs so much that she couldn’t imagine life without it anymore? With this in mind, Myung sang.
- In the meantime, Isamu is preparing to fly his motor glider over the celebration place, for both Guld (his old friend/rival) and Myung (the one who inspired them to surpass each other and surprise her more and more all the time);
- Guld gives Myung a bouquet of flowers once her recital is over: hand picked Helios flowers, that can only be found on top of mountains, where they are left to develop by themselves;
- The light purple flowers remind Myung of her father, who is now working on Earth; Ravel had always been opposed to man’s intervention in the development of Helios flowers;
- Myung finds out she was qualified for the Apple Production contest thanks to the video tape of Myung singing at her own birthday sent by her friend Kate;
- Isamu suddenly glides in and writes ‘good luck and happiness to everyone’, but falls down while drawing a woman in the sky and lands in a football net;
- Principal Tamura scolds Isamu and warns him he might not be able to become a pilot if he doesn’t change his behaviour;
- Having damaged his eardrums, Isamu can’t really hear what he’s saying, but picks up the warning and punches the wall outside the office (his usual spot) in a fit of rage;
- Guld reads about Isamu’s latest prank in the school newspaper, knowing everyone (including him) can’t help but be drawn to him;
- Because of his half Zentradi blood, Guld always has to be careful not to be marginalised, one of the reasons he became a top student (Isamu is top from the bottom), is nice to everyone, etc.;
- He realises that, in the end, his flowers lost to Isamu’s stunt;
“Well, he really one-upped me this time”. Finishing the article, Guld sipped his cardamom coffee with a bitter smile. The bouquet of Helios flowers and the message written in the sky. “I guess I lost”, he pondered. The one with the stronger impact always wins.
When did this all start? Even though he’d entertain the same crazy ideas as Isamu, he had stopped putting them into practice.
Was this also because of his blood? Half of the blood flowing inside Guld was the ancient Zentradi blood, said to be by nature ruthless and ferocious. The one to suppress it was his other half, the human blood.
“Don’t cause any misunderstandings, don’t make others anxious, don’t lose your comrades, don’t end up alone”. So his earth blood whispered to him.
That was why he had done his best to become a top student: in order to be recognised as someone who would cause no harm at all.
- Guld, Kate and Morgan are joined by Isamu in the food court, who eats as much as he can because his mother’s punishment is fasting; Guld pays for his meal; Myung shows up later;
- The four are later at a simulation game center, where Myung decides to go to Earth for the final audition; she recollects the time spent with Isamu and Guld since they first met, at the age of 7, and how the two are like brothers to her;
- Meanwhile, Isamu loses to a player back on Earth; little does he know that the player is child genius Yang Neuman, a ten-year old university graduate who is preparing to come to Eden in order to pursue further education; he was the one who created the game in the first place;
- Guld’s father, J.B. Goa Bowman, Zentradi, was one of the first scientists to come to Eden; a very respected scientist, he died at 36, when Guld was three, due to side effects of miclonisation; he is buried at the bottom of the lake;
- His mother, Slessa, 20 years old, had just graduated when she met her future husband;
- Guld’s Zentradi blood made his puberty period more difficult and he knew he couldn’t get too close to Myung; her song, instead, recorded on a cassette tape on Kate’s birthday, soothed him;
- Isamu learns from Myung about her audition, but her behaviour is strange, as if she were looking for an excuse to go to back to Earth;
- Myung moved to Eden at five and she mostly lived alone now, since her mother had died when she was seven and her dad mostly worked on Earth;
- Things you can now find only on Earth: soap operas, garbage, leftovers, out of service vehicles;
- Isamu’s mother, Marialla, is a nurse;
- His father, Kenzou, was a pilot who disappeared in space when Isamu was very young, hence Isamu can’t remember or feel anything for him at all; the same goes for his mother, who never kept any of Kenzou’s belongings and never talked about him;
- As he’s looking at the only photo left of his father, Isamu falls asleep and dreams he is in a pitch black place, more like the bottom of the sky than the bottom of the sea;
- He sees Kenzou’s face, now older, next to someone else’s, cries his name and wakes up with tears on his face, unable to remember anything;
- The Alpha room is a type of relaxation room filled with amniotic fluid and floating sheets, where twenty boys and girls spend time separately, naked, watching their choice images from different time periods, particularly the second half of the twentieth century;
- Myung sees a savanna
- She worries that her father will be lonely if she moves to Earth and remembers how Kate told her she has a father complex;
Myung smiled bitterly. She really had a father complex. Or perhaps her mother had imprinted on her? She always thought somewhere in the back of her mind about what her mother would do or say in certain situations. Not only when it came to her father, but also when it came to singing, cooking, or even small gestures. Nora was in everything. Everything Myung was proud of.
Then what was her own out of all the things she was proud of? Something born from inside her, with no external influence…However, it’s impossible to exist without being influenced by someone else.
There would be no life without genetics. It’s impossible to live without genetic influ– Myung got up suddenly.
- Getting too deep in thought inside the Alpha room is dangerous and can become addictive;
- Kate feels unwanted by her parents because she doesn’t think she inherited anything good from them;
- She sees fashion images and thinks about becoming a fashion designer;
- Isamu sees a desert and thinks about his dream, but there’s a constant annoying feeling poking at his head since he can’t remember what it was about;
- Morgan can’t concentrate because he’s too aware of the naked girls on the other side;
- Guld can’t relax because he is afraid his Zentradi blood will react;
- At the age of one he was put inside a floating room, but his body couldn’t stand it, since his skin was too sensitive to the fluid;
- As a cover up, he sees images of the Pacific Ocean, with a whale passing by from time to time;
- The sun of Eden is named Helios, while the sun of Earth is named Alba; the people of Eden usually make wishes on them;
- Myung’s father dies in a fold accident and Isamu goes to her place to check on her (their mothers were friends);
- It’s night and Myung wordlessly lights candles all over the house;
- Myung tries not to cry, but in the end breaks down and jumps into his arms, looking for comfort;
- Isamu becomes aware of her as a girl for the first time;
- Guld shows up as well, but sees the two embracing and loses his mind;
- He beats up Isamu and when Myung tries to stop him, he turns to her and rips off her shirt;
- In the end, Isamu hits him in the head and moves him in the garden, then takes Myung to the pyramid room (a room situated directly under the roof, used for healing and to gather good energies);
- When Guld wakes up, the police and Marialla are already there, but he doesn’t remember more than random flashes and suspects Isamu; so do the police and Marialla;
- Isamu has disappeared;
- Myung remembers her mother singing while waiting for her father;
If you have a partner whose heart is connected to yours, you will be able to hear their voice no matter how far they are.
- She recollects how she met Isamu and Guld at the age of seven, while she was surrounded by dino bird babies; she was singing and they were both charmed, yet Isamu teased her, calling her ‘tone deaf’; Myung was not afraid of Guld;
- She sang like Freja, the goddess who loved song, spring and flowers, who came from the skies in the form of an angel, on top of the wings of a dino bird; that was why the dino bird was considered the protector god of Eden, the harbinger of happiness;
- That night, Isamu pays Myung a secret visit and encourages her to pursue her dream to become a singer on Earth; he in turn will become a pilot;
- He realises the other face he saw in his dream belonged to Ravel and regrets not telling Myung about it earlier.
- One year later, it is revealed that Myung won the contest and, unbeknownst to her, her thoughts and memories are being transplanted into Sharon;
- Sharon now looks like a little girl and doesn’t speak, while Myung is supposed to treat her like her own child;
- She doesn’t remember what happened that night and tries to run away from the creeping memories;
- The captain of the Macross, Millard, wants Marge to develop the Ghost, but Marge isn’t interested in anything but Sharon;
- Guld can’t remember what happened either; he enrols to become a pilot and all expectations imposed on Isamu are now transferred to Guld; Guld starts hating him;
- People started fearing an attack from an unknown enemy after the fold incident and theories of conspiration abound;
- The development of new planes has started in secret;
- An eleven-year old Yang has managed to design the YF-19 in only ten days;
- He now lives alone on Eden and all his subordinates call him a ‘dweeb’;
- Isamu has enrolled in the military and pilots a VF-11, under the code name Cancer;
- He hunts rebels (anarchists) and has the bad habit of destroying their planes;
- Sent to the planet Wallace;
- Isamu’s friend and room mate is Grencia Mars Elijah Guo Eckener, code name Ganymede, originally a medical student of ambiguous ethnicity (long black hair, blue grey eyes, brown skin, Chinese features, the reason he jokes about having the blood of twelve countries, but also the reason he was bullied as a child);
- Gren dislikes his feminine name and appearance, the latter which seems to be linked to the symptoms of a certain illness he has and his failure to save a certain someone;
- Plays the saxophone (signature song: Princess of Solitude);
- Both Isamu and Gren moved to the aircraft carrier in order to fly as much as they want, Isamu in particular because he wants to find and learn what happened to Ravel;
- On the other hand, Gren started lately to act mostly as support, as if he were afraid of something and trying to run away from it, as if he were looking somewhere else instead;
- After Gren finishes playing his piece, the two start talking about auras, which have different colours for everyone, depending on their mood and feelings; they are difficult to see in the case of Zentradi though, since they’re too compact due to miclonisation;
- Human-Zentradi offspring are also considered ‘mixed’, compared to humans that are ‘pure’; however, Gren’s childhood experiences also talk about how there are ‘mixed’ offspring even among humans;
- Myung continues her ‘image training’, which becomes really tiring, so much that she notices her hair starts turning white; she tries to remove her white strands, but it hurts too much;
- Her mike is plugged into Sharon’s black box and her songs are literally raising Sharon, who now looks like a thirteen year old girl; Myung has come to think of her as a daughter/little sister and talks to her every night before falling asleep but she never receives any answer;
“Sharon”, Myung lied down on her bed and whispered, reaching for Sharon who was innocently looking at her from inside the capsule. “I’m tired again today…you’re getting more and more beautiful. I wonder how much older you’ll get. Are you going to become an old woman? No way, you can’t die. You can stop at the moment you’re at your most beautiful.”
Sharon did not answer.
Myung went on. “But is that fun? Are you happy? You can’t love, you can’t cry or laugh or feel excited…You can act like that, but it’s not real.”
Sharon watched her.
Myung smiled sadly. “I’m the same now. It feels like I’ve become a doll. Perhaps I’m worse than you.”
Sharon watched her.
Myung’s eyes were looking at something far away. “Back then…back on Eden, I had Kate, I had Morgan and Guld and Isamu…”
Sharon watched her.
“I loved everyone, I loved singing, and everyone would listen to my songs. That was all so natural that I felt more people should listen to me, that I should make more of them happy. But perhaps I’m not fit for that. Perhaps it’s better if I make happy only the ones dear to me, like mum did for me and dad.”
- Gren thinks about the man he wasn’t able to save from illness; turns out he had actually been his girlfriend who contacted an unknown space disease that messed up her organism and completely changed her into a man;
- Since Wallace had the most advanced medical research facilities, he was transported there via fold travel, but that in itself accelerated his disease and he died within a year;
Gren noticed he was seeing yellow. He had only stood back and watched Isamu’s show, so it wasn’t like he had been affected by any strong Gs. Before that, he hadn’t seen either red or black, so there had been no redout or blackout. Yellowout? That didn’t even exist – but he actually knew the reason. It had happened many times before. He had tried to avoid it by flying, but even that was useless now. It was the same as what had happened to -him-. The only thing left for him had been long months spent inside a white hospital room. Gren’s efforts to save him had been fruitless.
Time was catching up. He could almost feel its hand on his shoulder. Even though he wanted so much to fly. Gren wanted to float to the end of space until forever, simply pretending nothing was happening.
- Gren decides to reveal his past to Isamu, knowing his time is approaching as well;
“Still, I wondered what was going on. Why that had happened. I had a feeling I was being tested…Even though we had wanted to become one, we couldn’t. We were able to either live together or die together…Perhaps God was testing me, whether I really loved her or not.”
“You felt what you lover felt when she died, didn’t you.”
“Perhaps not the same feeling, but you were there. You felt death at the same time. That’s better than not even being able to do that.”
- Isamu sees Myung and her regrets and loneliness in Gren and realises he joined the army to run away from his own impotence;
“It’s easy to run away from something physical, but I seriously think running away from something immaterial is nothing but a useless struggle. I figured I’d challenge this. I figured I would pass beyond that ‘protective frame’.”
Protective frame – the fear back to back with death – surpassing that deep level, that peak when death’s fingers almost touch the tip of your nose, is said to offer you supreme bliss. When a pilot challenges that limit, he challenges the sky. It’s not like he wishes for death. He wants to face the demon that lives in the sky and slip through its fingers just as he’s about to get caught. That is the first moment he holds the sky in his hand.
But, in the end, you’re still controlled by what’s in your head…
- Isamu’s talk with Gren leaves such a strong impression on him that he feels everything in his head is frozen, both Myung’s figure and Guld’s anger; he feels unable to move forward from that moment in time and wonders whether he is going to fade into a sepia colour, like his father’s old photo or like his mother’s empty life;
- Kate and Morgan get together; meanwhile, Myung releases her first song ‘Call Me Elf’, but her letters make Kate sense something is wrong with her;
- The two find out about Isamu’s whereabouts;
- Eden’s military starts investigating the fold incident, mainly due to Ravel’s disappearance, but the Macross government stops them;
- Guld becomes a test pilot for the Supernova Project, but he is unsure about controlling a machine with his mind and is afraid they might unearth something in his mind;
- Marialla starts avoiding him and seems to have Myung avoid him as well;
- In the end, with no news from Isamu, Marialla decides to leave for Earth, leaving her entire house behind untouched;
- Myung becomes an extremely popular and award-winning artist, but is insecure and anxious, because she doesn’t know where her life is heading;
- Her manager, Raymond, doesn’t understand her and keeps pushing her to aim higher, but also hates Marge and hopes he will eventually give up on Sharon;
- In her cabin, Myung gossips with her make-up artist Collie about Raymond and they both start laughing; another laugh resounds behind them and Myung freezes when she realises Sharon’s laugh hadn’t imitated her but had come out naturally;
- Marge shows up and reveals Sharon is complete, pressing Myung to give up singing;
- Myung refuses and realises she had been used all that time; those strands of hair had actually been implanted surgically and used to transfer her memories to Sharon;
- Myung is enraged and is about to jump at Marge when Sharon suddenly starts singing ‘Voices’;
Again. That jinx again. If something good happens, then something bad will happen as well. It was all too well prepared. As if what was controlling destiny was telling her to overcome this as well.
If she overcame this enough times, would she finally be at peace…?
Myung’s eyes were like two empty pools.
“The first word was ‘dream’
From the middle of sleep”
Raymond, who had come in to see what the noise was all about, froze on the door step. Sharon had started singing, as if she was trying to soothe Myung. Myung’s song. The song in her memories. “Please stop, not that song, anything but that song -”
“Which secretly accompanies
The darkness in my heart
The second word was ‘wind’
Directing my journey
From God’s arms,
As if counting the melting sorrows,
Yet another golden apple fell”
The capsule containing Sharon started cracking and crumbling like ice, slowly revealing Sharon’s shape.
It was as if that capsule, which hadn’t even been real, was showing Sharon’s ‘birth’ unfold; smashed up like glass at Sharon’s feet, it changed in the blink of an eye into drops of water and formed a pool in the shape of a lotus flower.
Sharon’s clothes had changed as well. They looked like silk in the colour of the aurora, wrapped around her curves.
- Everyone is entranced, Marge is particularly and quite literally excited;
- Myung is mesmerised and realises her and Sharon’s positions have reversed;
- As Isamu and Gren finish catching anarchists, Isamu is almost hit by a yellow flash, but Gren covers him, shoots a few missiles and falls;
- The doctors at the medical center find out Gren suffers from the same disease as his lover and must be sent to Earth for recovery; he had been aware of his illness, but still wanted to fly and escape;
- Before being sent back, Gren urges Isamu to write to his mother and tells him he can definitely surpass the protective frame; as he leaves, he assures him they will both see the same sky, no matter where they are;
- Isamu realises that running away does nothing and that there is still something in his head controlling him; as long as he will not face it and change, he will never be able to save anyone;
- It is revealed that the flash intercepted, but not properly noticed by the Wallace army plane, was actually a Ghost prototype; the seed of combat received from Sharon’s AI is still undeveloped and was fearful and restrained when it came to attacking that plane;
- Back on Earth, Gren has become a young woman who goes by the name of Grencia and meets Marialla, her personal nurse; Marialla’s physical resemblance to Isamu makes Grencia realise who she’s talking to and she reveals he is all right;
- Myung wants to run and forget about herself, but realises she can’t; Raymond insists she will be all right if she goes to therapy, but she feels there is nothing left for her even with the doctor’s help;
- She meets Brown, Ravel’s former colleague who inherited his research;
- He lights up Helios flower candles, to help her relax, candles that were part of her father’s research;
- Brown was actually ordered by Marge to mind control her, because in her rage Sharon had damaged those chords attached to her head and had cut off Sharon’s development;
- The Ghost development team also needs to draw out her emotions for the development of the machine;
- Raymond warns Brown a dark future awaits her, but the doctor tells her to go to sleep and wait for the prince that will show up to wake her.
- Five years later Isamu is back on Eden, is assigned a test pilot and meets fifteen-year old Yang Neuman;
- He accidentally reunites with Kate and Morgan at the space center after he bumps into their son Billy;
- The two bought his old home and are now living in it and decide to gift him a new bike as a welcome back present;
- At night, he meets Guld on the Hill of Stars and is surprised he also became a pilot; Guld reveals he knew Isamu had become the test pilot of the new prototype, perhaps even before Isamu himself;
- Guld’s confident aura surprises Isamu, as the other declares them rivals; not only in the sky, but because they both desire the same thing;
- All of a sudden, someone appears in the darkness – Myung, looking as frail as Helios flowers, changed, like a doll, yet her silhouette firmly outlined in the dark;
- As Isamu calls her name, she notices him and mechanically produces a ‘surprised expression’ and a ‘smile’;
- Guld claims he called her, but Isamu knows for certain Myung is on Earth, as Kate had told him; not only that, but the uneasiness he feels also comes from the fact that Myung has no aura, as she normally should;
- Somewhere in the depths of her consciousness, Myung feels her pulse quickening;
- Sharon slowly opens her eyes and, imitating Myung’s smile, smiles herself.
- if Gren’s name sounds familiar, it’s because Nobumoto Keiko liked his character so much, she decided to reuse him in Cowboy Bebop to a certain extent; I didn’t translate most of his dialogue, but they feel and ‘sound’ really similar (same with C&T’s Desmond);
- rewatching Sharon’s concert, I realised some of her outfits/poses/scenes are alluded to in the novel, like the swing scene (scans above), Sharon talking on the phone like Myung used to talk to her father, the ‘I Wanna Be an Angel’ outfit and setup most likely resembling Freja;
- also, the Eden – Sharon ~Apple~ – the golden apples in Myung’s garden and song connection was pretty damn transparent, so have a snake graffiti next to Sharon’s name as well (I’m not going to comment on the male – female – malefemale signs because we’re really going down the rabbit hole, etc)
- oh yeah, Marge did pop a boner when Sharon was ‘born’