If I had to use one word to describe this episode it would be 'fun'. It was really entertaining from start to end and that seems to be the general opinion among the people who have watched it, included those who are newbies to Macross. Freyja is like Ranka's and Sheryl's lovechild. She has the former's energy and cheerfulness and the latter's determination and will, plus some of Mylene's brattiness thrown in. She almost reminds me of a mahô shôjo protagoni- wait Hayate has the potential for a lot of development and I think Freyja and Mirage (who if I remember correctly is said in her profile to take her job as a pilot seriously?) as well as the rest of characters will act as a good foil for him. In general I found everyone pretty likeable, the evil pretty boys included. The animation seemed good, too. I'm a bit baffled at the people who think Frontier's was better ???? That CG needs some work but it seems pretty obvious most of it is unfinished and the parts that were clearly finished looked really good. And as for the character animation, I think those designs look great animated. I loved how expressive Freyja or some of the knights were but, really, everyone else looked good too. The second half of the episode was really exciting! Both Walküre's concert-battle, whatever you call that, and the dogfight scenes got me pumped. I can recognize some of Mina Kubota on the songs and I thought that the BGMs, while not on the level of Kanno's best work, were nice (especially the one with the bagpipes that played during the dogfight).
Lastly, didn't Kawamori say in an interview after Sayonara no Tsubasa aired that he felt like doing an spin-off about Magical Girl Ranka? He was warning us But honestly, I don't mind the mahô shôjo aspect; it's all part of Walküre's act and public image. Plus, previous Macross series are full of holographic tricks and after all the threats that have been overcome by humanity thanks to the power of music, militarized idols just seem like the next step.
It's almost cruel that we have to wait three more months until the series starts airing. I guess the next episode will be more battle-heavy and that Master Herman guy looks like Gilliam the Second.