Dr. Nick wrote:Mishima's plan was made very clear after the rescue operation started, but the SMS folks weren't privy to it, were they? For what I can tell, they expected to go against legit security with their clownish plan. And considering this, they applied for a prison concert permit during wartime, at a prison housing a dangerous spy/war criminal. That's not quite what Johnny Cash did.
ahh, that side of coin.
Now as for rescue operation in general I think it's about as good as they could hope to get done under the circumstances. That is to say cause diversion, hack systems and infiltrate the prison which is entirely reasonable if risky plan. Direct assault was out of question and any infiltrator action was going to require diversion anyway to enable hacking unspotted as well as to ease Solid Saotome's sneak-in. So the issue seems to be whether or not the choice of diversion was sensible but really, what else could've counted as better and more eyecatching diversion than Ranka's concert on which most eyes from guards to prisoners would be glued? Fake attack would've just shot up the alertness levels of whole prison, in comparison.
Luca is the heir of and key designer within the military company that is responsible for most security systems and the like on the fleet so he's about as ideal guy for doing the hacking as any. He also had to do within the walls by all indications. So I don't see any logical problems with this part.
Alto infiltrating succesfully hinged on diversion working and Luca disabling the security but given that Sheryl wasn't held in any sort of specific, impossible-to-get-to detention cell I don't think his feat was that illogical either. If they had gathered the knowledge about Sheryl's location etc. beforehand which seems given Alto's part seems entirely feasible and doesn't require the guy to do Bond shit.
Finally there's of course the key part of plan aka Ranka's concert and really, considering how obvious choice for diversion it is I fail to see any severe problem with this aspect either. In fact by using Ranka they could incite the Zentraedi prisoners to REVOLT that could be considered the real, big diversion going on. It's hard to see how they could've achieved this through any other means.
So I don't agree with plan being clownish per se. It's general form was that of most feasible under difficult conditions present. They needed diversion, hacking the systems and infiltrator, all of which were provided pretty nicely by plan. Of course it should also be kept in mind is that it's not like SMS was a rogue factor at this point or considered untrustworthy by anyone except perhaps the very top brass around Mishima (who in turn had their reasons to be quiet about it). So even assuming the SMS connection to concert wasn't hidden there doesn't seem to be obvious problem.
Relatedly there's no real "alliance" link between SMS and Sheryl on general level. Officially and in eyes of pretty much every outsider Alto stuck with Sheryl because she was not considered trustworthy and her financial debt towards the company. Rest of SMS had no real deep personal ties to her and thus they wouldn't be too suspect in the first place. Hell, we don't even know if SMS guys were acting undercover as Lovely Bomber members. I kinda assumed they did when I first saw it, but in retrospect there doesn't seem to be reason to assume that (sans Alto) given there were no reasons to doubt SMSers. The aforementioned Macross FF manga also seems to contain a similar Ranka & Lovely Bomber charity concert so it might be possible the identities weren't hidden at all for that reason too. There was precedent for this sort of gig already. Of course this last part is kind of irrelevant detail either way.
The most suspicious person in the whole endeavour would be Ranka herself and I think whether or not the plan was clownish depends on whether or not SMSers thought Ranka would be looked at suspiciously. My answer would be there wasn't any strong reasons to do so, because it's wholly ludicruous idea on the face of it that Ranka would play such role in conspiracy.
So yeah, the plan is reckless to be sure but I don't really see any reason why SMS wouldn't have tried using it. If they had better, less risky options? Sure, but there doesn't seem to be any. It all comes down to reasonability of the cover/diversion used but that seems about as good as any other possibility if not better. At that point in storyline Ranka had serious weight to throw around and her doing charity gig wasn't per se suspicious. I'm not so sure what other, better excuse for coming to prison grounds they could've used. Ranka had such weight in that situation combined with extremely good reputation and history of holding such gigs before (though last is not depicted in films per se) so her wanting to do such concert wasn't all that unbeliavable.
Now of course the whole sequence runs on the rule of cool overall in terms of snappy execution and Lovely Bomber just happening to consist of named characters (who knew Mikhail could play guitar?) etc. but this sort of over the topness rules in the film and franchise in general anyway. Similarly of course real reason why the diversion was flamboyant concert instead of something more low-key is because this is Macross and all but again, it doesn't seem to come with cost of high tier story implausibility in this case. Meaning I don't see any logical holes in planning or character behaviour and under the circumstances SMS's plan is, while not ideal, workable. Jumping a shark is pretty heavy concept to use and I'd agree to it if the sequence made no sense at all or was obviously 100% implausible but I don't think either is true.
SMSers tool into consideration in their plan the surprisingly light guarding Sheryl has and puts their eggs in one big gambit basket.
Leon has kept Sheryl relatively unguarded hoping exactly this.
Cue end results.
I don't know if there's some really specific thing that strikes you as obviously retarded thing to do but to be honest I can't think of anything that fits the bill. In light of information provided to viewer it also seems like good course of action presuming they get past the initial clearance stage for concert, which did happen. The security being largerly mechanical left it vulnerable to hacking by person with relevant knowledge and position while the concert/revolt diversion did its job admirably well and would've been impossible to achieve without Ranka.
Interesting, though ultimately irrelevant for telling the story, question would be to what extent eg. Wilder considered Sheryl's protetion surprisingly low tier and if they considered this was part of trap of some kind and did they decide to go with it despite this possibility.