Ranka & Alto: Parallel Lines Do Not a Triangle Make

Macross Frontier -Itsuwari no Utahime- [BD 1920x1080].mkv_snapshot_00.32.44_[2010.11.05_05.05.41]
There are still many things from Macross Frontier: The False Songstress that I want to explore after writing the previous post and the hideously titled essay, a SoundDiamond Force production on T. H. A. T. Anime Blog, which covered meta subjects as well as generalities regarding the movie. I take the opportunity here to explore one of the finer details in the film.

Ranka and Alto have little in common at the beginning of Macross Frontier: The False Songstress, and this starting point isn’t too rich a mine to delve into. However, after the initial introductions, the first Vajra attack, and the date with Sheryl, both characters apply themselves to the things they aspire to become: Alto a fighter pilot for the SMS, and Ranka a pop idol.

The work they both put in is presented as something we should care about, and to a degree we do, because they are presented as a path filled with early humiliations, even if they inexorably lead to later success. Furthermore, they are presented with a view to entertain, and do so humorously.

This is achieved by showing a musical montage of the different activities they undertake: Alto going through the paces of soldier training, Ranka paying her dues doing odd promotional jobs.

Alto does his boot camp sequence: Judo (Canaria pwns him), firearms (Ozma kicks his ass), and combat simulator (Michel hacks the difficulty settings). Alto is never shown to succeed in any way, in between Ranka’s forays in entertainment obscurity.

Ranka does the Skip Beat! route minus the burning passion for revenge and minus a top-notch talent management agency. This gets her odd jobs selling Starlight Natto and 7-Color Carrots, then being an idol at a construction site (LOL she’s dumb enough not to get why she’s made to wear a bikini), then doing a promo for Macross PlaMo in Deep Akiba, Super Dimension Chinese Restaurant Nyan Nyan CM (of course), A daruma craft seminar (WTF), and finally a limited release CM for a convenience store.

As Executive Otaku noted, this was an exceptional scene. I’ll go further. The scene is where the their parallel trajectories meet. Even during the TV series the love dimension of this side of the triangle is one-sided from Ranka, so it’s been her despite her own busy schedule who’s been messaging Alto. She makes a show of moping as Alto, Michel, and Luca go out into the street. I think it’s noteworthy that Alto still has to be told that he had better follow Ranka and make it up to her.

Macross Frontier -Itsuwari no Utahime- [BD 1920x1080].mkv_snapshot_00.36.48_[2010.11.05_05.46.36]
That said, this isn’t to say that he’s the same with Sheryl. Alto’s the kind of person oblivious to his own beauty as well as being disinterested in girls, as well as being retarded about love. When he does a show of denying anything going on between him and Sheryl, he’s actually more concerned how Ranka (or anyone else) may get the wrong idea. As far as he’s concerned nothing is going on with anyone.

Ranka makes her way inside the convenience store, which seems like an odd plays to get away to when you’re supposedly evading a bishonen princess. But it’s a trap, and this was her way to share with Alto any of the work she’s done. Without Nanase (who doesn’t exist in this film), Alto is her only friend. It’s an endearing little moment, wonderfully presented with the points of view we get to view the scene from, the timing of the sequences, and the performance of the actors. And as soon as we think any progress can happen in this side of the triangle,

SHERYL, appears on the LCD, announcing her ‘Revenge’ concert.

MACROSS CHEESE, is the best cheese. No wait, this is pretty much the modus operandi of Macross Frontier, though slightly different from how the TV series does it:

Instead, it does set romance in motion but whenever momentum does build up it resents the triangle in romantic tension. The cost of which is that Alto becomes passive. He doesn’t get to act like a teenage boy who actually wants to have sex with women (Michel). But since it’s the girls putting the moves on him, Alto has to have some intense preoccupation with something else that prevents him from seeing something galactically significant:

The two hottest females in the colony are throwing themselves at him.

Without these conceits for Alto, the triangle will be resolved immediately. He’ll pick one, or reject both, but definitely after doing at least one of them. My money’s on the Galactic Fairy.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in Macross Frontier and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

188 Responses to Ranka & Alto: Parallel Lines Do Not a Triangle Make

  1. Mystlord says:

    I never really liked calling it a “love triangle”, because that sort of implies that everyone has feelings for each other. Anyway, I think that one major factor of Alto’s personality that you’re not considering is his past as a female actor. Is he really conceited because Ranka and Sheryl throw themselves at him, or is he just someone who was far removed from any semblance of reality because of the wishes of his father? Or perhaps you could argue that he’s been blindsighted by his own ambition that he fails to see really anything else? But I definitely don’t view Alto as a conceited person. He certainly doesn’t seem to elevate himself above others if that’s what you mean.

    • I use conceit somewhat loosely, in literary terms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceit

      I don’t mean Alto is an “ass” but rather it is a conceit of the narrative that a hot-blooded teenager is not having sex with the two most attractive females his age given how much they’re indicating their interest in him.

      • KrimzonStriker says:

        Well, that aside I think a very good point was made in regards to Alto’s own confusion about himself, his gender-role to be more precise, the effects that has on his psyche are much more strongly pronounced this time around, and actually provide a rather plausible reason to his indecisiveness in comparison to any other hormonal teenage boy his age. I think this this particular topic and its impact is something that could be explored more in depth.

        • What exactly about his gender role? Do we seriously think he was questioning his gender? His sexuality? There’s something there, I think… but I may not be the person to go down that hole ;)

  2. megaroad1 says:

    Aah, the Frontier shipping wars just bring back so many “fond” memories that resurface when I read this fine blog.

    No, seriously now, when I look at Alto as the male love interest in a Macross context, I think the closest one to compare him to is Basara. Before you start LOL’ing just think of all the other male protagonists in the franchise.

    Hikaru was totally into Minmei for 2/3 of SDFM and only became interested in Misa at a very late stage. However one cannot doubt that he had a strong and healthy interest in the opposite sex. Ditto Isamu and Guld in Plus and Hibiki in Macross II. Macross Zero never really did much developing of the romantic side of the story but we accepted that Shin fell in love with Sara.

    Now in M7 Basara’s one and only interest is in music. Music and little else. During the series, at least 3 women (I’ve decided to count Sivil as a woman here) make it clear to Basara that they’re his for the taking and he doesn’t even bat an eyelid.

    Now we come to Alto, who perhaps isn’t as uninterested in women as Basara, but who nevertheless seems to have other priorities like flying and sorting out his feelings for the family craft. No doubt he cares deeply for both Sheryl and Ranka, but it almost seemed during the course of the series that them being attractive women is irrelevant in his affection for them. They are his friends and they are wonderful people who he wishes to protect.

    It was never really fully developed, but I think Alto has some intimacy issues. The whole “loving mother who died, abusive father” thing can maybe have something to do with this, but its just speculation at this point.

    It’ll no doubt be really interesting to see how (and if!) they solve the triangle. While a lot of the circunstancial evidence points to the Fairy, don’t forget that Kawamori san has a soft spot for Ranka.

    • It makes sense to compare Alto to Basara, just as Macross 7 was the precedent for the unresolved love triangle in the franchise…

      Which just scares me to death. I like my love stories resolved. The resolution may be ugly or completely sink my ship (T_T Minmay), but I’ll still prefer it 9001 times over an ambiguous presentation. By ambiguous I mean no clear and obvious indication of who ends up with whom.

      I mentioned that the lack of resolution as presented (circumstantial evidence for the Fairy be damned) is why the TV series fails. It is a love story that isn’t told well.

      • megaroad1 says:

        I think most of the Frontier fanbase is with you on that one.

        Maybe they chose to never resolve the triangle in the series because they needed something juicy to attract the crowds to the film?

        • Caithyra says:

          *Jumps in, sorry if I interrupt anything.*
          It could also have been marketing. Ranka being the most marketed, and recognizable, character of all Frontier characters, were slated to win when they started the media circus.

          However, soon Sheryl overtook her by the story organically following her, and now the creators faced the conundrum of “marketed end” or “organic end”.

          Kind of like Macross 7, in which Basara was the most marketed character, but in the story he never showed any interest for love (outside of songs and a universal kind of platonic love), while Gamlin and Mylene connected several times, only for Mylene to be yanked away to Basara’s side because after all, this is Basara’s show.

          Even the original Macross tried to keep Minmay in the running for as long as possible, but maybe it was the different times, and they still resolved the LT.

          It’s a problem many authors have to face; force the characters in line with the plans, or make the plans make sense to the characters by compromising things (it is rare when an author gives completely free reigns to characters, because they still have a general idea about where they should be going).

          So Frontier compromised, with the ending planned from the start being Ranka-ending, and the ending that the story was heading in. This resulted in a lukewarm, very bland ending not fitting the rest of the series, yet they tried to hide the fact that the dish was halfway cold by garnishing it with huge battles, “Triangular”-duet and a bunch of other superficial things that makes one go “AWESOME!!!…wait a sec, hey! Where’s my ending?!”

          • Chan says:

            just to point out though even though Ranka was planned to be the most marketed character, it ended up being Sheryl whose merchandise actually sold a lot more. Not to forget the fact that Sheryl actually has her own fanmade wiki…Behold and be amazed http://www20.atwiki.jp/sheryl/pages/1.html.

            When they made the Sheryl artbook it sold out in just one week, while the Ranka artbook though larger didn’t sell as well. The same applies to the Sheryl and Ranka’s CDs in which the Sheryl/May’n CDs are always above the Ranka CDs in the Oricon charts.

            So now if Kawamori wants to make more money he has to have put Sheryl in the fore front, because Sheryl is more popular than Ranka. And her merchandise actually sells. It may also be why the movie focuses more on Sheryl instead of Ranka.

        • It’s reasonable speculation, in any case I see it as a move that should appease Ranka x Alto shippers… though it actually ends up pissing everyone off. But then again I’ve come across full retards when it comes to shipping these characters.

          Here are some choice examples:

          Find more using twittershippers: http://yakkdeculture.com/twittershippers/

  3. SquareSphere says:

    The Alto = Basara comparisons are pretty good. I will point out that Basara DID seem to indicate he had at least a passing interest in Emilia (until he found out who she was related to). This was born out of a passion for a common ideal/dream.

    What we see with Alto is that he has an “unresolved” love for acting. If anything Alto’s real triangle is Flying->Alto<-Acting. The movie plays it much better that he actually some what enjoyed acting in that it made him FEEL something. But he "threw" it away because of his father's demands… but it's obviously he still has feelings for it. On the opposite side we have his NEW love Flying. The problem is that his Flying isn't really "free", he's constrained by so many things that he FEELS frustration.

    If we just take the movie, it's obvious he has deeper and more complex emotions on these two things than a potential hookup/relationship with ANY girl.

    The thing that Ranka and Sheryl really battled is making Alto feel anything for either other than Duty. The show clearly establish that Sheryl understood his passions and took strides to engage him as an adult and share in his experiences on these levels. Where as Ranka approach it as, "If I do/give him X he'll love me." While never really understanding his passion behind either.

    If anything the Movie establish that Ranka has NO idea what drives Alto. Her crass little joke about going to Alto for advice on being womanly being the nail the drives the issue home.

    • megaroad1 says:

      I like your point about Alto’s real triangle being choosing between acting and flying. However doesn’t the series drive the point home repeatedly that Alto is all about flying and that acting, despite his obvious talent for it, just isn’t what he wants?

    • Yes, I covered this ground while blogging the episodes and I agree with you that Ranka has no idea about Alto really, which is strange in the sense that even if I wish to see her more as a little sister kind of character, she ends up being a pretty useless one in the role.

      She’s really just this moeblob to be protected, which is a shame because I do think so much can be done with the character given her powers. In any case there’s another film to look forward to.

  4. Xard says:

    I’m not sure if I’ve commented on your blog before so I guess it’s worth mentioning for starters that I’m long time reader (awesome blog!) who also happens to be a huge Macross fan – and I love Macross Frontier. Alongside with Macross Plus it’s propably my favourite installment in the franchise, albeit I really love them all (expect Macross 7 which is just terrible). Oh, and I’m diehard Ranka fan too, heh :D

    This last part is actually relevant as I can’t help but be a bit perplexed by your changes in attitude towards her. If my memory serves me well back in the day you really liked her – yet in newer post you seem to be fully converted Sheryl acolyte. Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se, I just really don’t see where such huge change in perspective would come from.

    Anyway, while I’m not really fond of shipping (and only works where I “quasiship” are Macrosses as the whole “love triangle” thing feels like integral part of the experience) I always thought Frontier was clearly developing towards Alto/Ranka ending (as much as it was developing towards anything thanks to Alto being autistic obnoxious fuck most of the time with the ladies) up ’till really late eps – and even then first time when I seriously entertained idea of Sheryl winning was the kiss scene in ep 24! That was the first scene in which they showed the kind of chemistry I felt Ranka and Alto had had in some scenes from the very start.

    So, what exactly counts as “circumstantial evidence” for Sheryl’s case? I’m genuinely curious because the material from the show – especially early on – is *strongly* in favour of Ranka. Sheryl gets her big chance after Ranka’s departure in ep 21 yet there’s hardly anything romantic in Alto’s actions in following episodes. The whole “living together” part stinked of the whole Hikaru/Minmay thing towards end of original show. It was just playing house and Alto was clearly unable to give Sheryl the emotional support she wanted. That Sheryl managed to call the whole thing ruse many times (even after they had had sex in ep 22! Granted it’s not shown but implied very strongly and Sheryl/Alto shippers seem to flaunt the fact as some grand QED signal of their victory so…) and we’re not shown anything that suggests to contrary is telling. Alto was bound to Sheryl by her condition and death of his mother by more than anything else. There was next to nothing in terms of “romance” in there.

    The “metalevel” support for Ranka’s case is stronger than one for Sheryl in any case. Kawamori obviously has a soft spot for Ranka and indeed, she was the first character he came up with and who formed the “core” of the whole project – and the requirements imposed by her characterization ended up creating her traumatic backstory chockful with Vajra, Sheryl (Sheryl was created in the first place just because Kawamori felt modern audiences couldn’t wait through the slow rise to stardom before getting to the music) and even Alto, the main character.

    Secondly original triangle in plans was intended to be one with Alto/Ranka/Brera – meaning she’d be the “winner” under any resolution. Sheryl was ment to be just a mentor figure early in series (IIRC she was supposed to be killed after the second live concert) and source of inspiration for Alto and Ranka, which also explains why she is so poorly integrated to the narrative as a whole with her only notable role ending up being competitor for Alto’s attention for majority of show’s run. Her relevance to rest of the Frontier’s plot is miniscule ’till Ranka’ departure. After all, Sheryl didn’t have much of an interesting character arc or characterization before ep 15. The only character arc she could go through was to be a “messiah” of sorts who falls and gains redemption in the end.

    Obviously writers realized this “flaw” (Sheryl’s strange aloofness that followed after she had performed her initial role very early on) and in the film version Sheryl is MUCH more closely tied to the main plot of the work and in my opinion she also ends up in way more equal position with Ranka in terms of triangle, too.

    But if the final scene with its obvious, big allusions to final scene of SDF Macross is anything to go by from the way it is composed and written Ranka will propably end up “winning” the triangle. Unless this is case of Kawamori trolling where familiarity with original Macross is used to misguide fans which is always the other possibility, heh. :)

    (and I don’t think Sheryl’s closer relations with Brera was thrown in first film without a reason… ;) )

    As for the unresolved triangle in TV series (I really don’t think it lessens Frontier’s greatness notably, albeit it’s a disappointment because Macrosses are supposed to resolve these kind of things, goddamnit) we have Yosino to thank for that. Kawamori was very leery and suspicious of the idea of leaving it open but Yosino managed to convince him. Propably because he still had movie adaptations in which to resolve the triangle.

    Curiously enough if Kawamori has soft spot for Ranka Yosino’s obviously on “Sheryl’s side” in the whole deal, if his comments on ep 24 are anything to go by. Rest of the staff is split on the question so really, only Kawamori really knows who is going to win. But as of now I really don’t see any significant support for Sheryl’s cause either in the series or the film – which is surprising as during first half hour or so I felt like Kawamori was sacrificing all the other characters (and especially Ranka) in order to make Sheryl as awesome and overpowering as possible, polished of her bitchy, nasty side and faults into utterly perfect Mary Suesque pop sensation. Luckily it balances out in the end.

    • Thanks Xard, for reaching out after all this time :3

      Macross 7 is awesome and my favorite sequel in Macross, which doesn’t take away the fact that the production values are unforgivably awful, and the whole thing just smacks of wrongness… and yet more than anything it is representative of the verve and spirit of Macross, and it directly informs the abandon by which Macross Frontier throws itself out there.

      This last part is actually relevant as I can’t help but be a bit perplexed by your changes in attitude towards her. If my memory serves me well back in the day you really liked her – yet in newer post you seem to be fully converted Sheryl acolyte. Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se, I just really don’t see where such huge change in perspective would come from.

      First of all, there is no dichotomy: To like Ranka I must dislike Sheryl. This never happened. I liked both but I liked Ranka more at the onset because she made for a more obvious Minmay reference (I did not immediately see that Minmay was merely distributed between the two idols: Ranka is SDFM Minmay, Sheryl is DYRL Minmay).

      One of the earliest posts I ever made was already very critical of how poorly constructed and told Ranka as a fictional character is. So this attitude isn’t some overnight thing, as the third post I ever published (Oct 15, 2008) already reflects your perceived shift.

      However, this criticism isn’t tantamount to forsaking Ranka. If you look at my about page, you’ll see my being a fan is intact, and I argue, healthy. I’d like to believe that I am a good advocate of Macross (Minmay, Ranka, and Macross 7) because I am well aware of how people perceive flaws in the work and I don’t intend to invalidate these.

      Perfection doesn’t really need love, it is whole and complete. The Macross franchise is amazing and flawed in painful and embarrassing ways, but nonetheless it’s the anime I love and I advocate with everything I have even if it’s nowhere near the “best” show out there.

      What I find funny is how fans are partisan in the sense that the Sheryl fags I know CAN’T STOP finding fault with Ranka (and giving me grief for it, but nowhere near the levels of grief I get for being a Minmay fan) the way you go out of your way to find fault with Sheryl. It’s amazing.

      I mean, CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND CREATOR POLITICS. Wow.

      Also, discussion that documents at least some of the circumstantial evidence:

      http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/the-should-have-been-crowd-pleasing-finale-macross-frontier-25-your-sound/#comment-10904

      • Xard says:

        uhh, how do I quote in wordpress…? :D Do I use blockquote cite or cite?

        Macross 7 went too over the top hammy, in my opinion. Macross always has been playful, goofy and not entirely serious franchise but too much is too much. And all about “Spiritia” and whatnot was so terrible I wanted to strangle myself watching it. Fucking vampires… I don’t even like music very much, sigh

        And I guess I gave off impression I don’t like Sheryl. That’s not true, I ended up really loving her! I just happen to love Ranka a lot more and my respect and liking for Sheryl’s character only started to accumulate following her fall from grace in ep 15 with ep 20’s showstopper climax being a crucial turn point. Before that I had of course found her to be immensely entertaining character and quite “cool” but I can’t say I felt slightest sympathy towards her character. She came off as such a scheming, backstabbing slut I couldn’t help but feel terrible ire in nearly all her actions that had something to do with the triangle. After giving good example and role model for Alto and ranka very early on I have hard time seeing anything good in her actions for a long while (barring awesome performances, of course). Ep 11 made her downright despicable and I don’t think I’ve ever quite forgiven her transgressions. Ranka’s “bad deeds” mostly stemmed from naivete whereas Sheryl was actively mean, selfish bitch dying for attention.

        Funnily enough she really started to get better when she was literally dying! :D

        Now I really don’t have a bad word against movie Sheryl. She’s just frickin’ awesome and steals the whole film, I have no problems admiting that. But I can’t help but fear creators end up polishing her too much: if her dark side won’t emerge in second film (I suspect it does) whole thing comes off as extreme Sheryl fanservice for the fan hordes. She’s soooooo awesome…

        And yeah, Ranka and Sheryl share the narrative positions of their Minmays respectively, albeit as personalities they ain’t much like her. Kawamori actually said Sheryl got the acerbic, “bitchy” side of her which I always found quite obvious. Apparently most fans didn’t because the sheer hatedom Ranka had among fans (with frequents comparisons to how Ranka’s bitchy and annoying Minmay while Sheryl is Misa, LOL) really shocked me when I first started interacting with other Macross Frontier fans around the time I finished watching the series (I didn’t watch the show as it aired and thus missed a lot of the “fun” drama I’ve familiarized myself with later). I had no idea triangle had generated such an atmosphere that culminated in absolutely *crazy* posts from all sides. Crusader’s borderline paranoid post about Ranka being Kawamori’s “critique” of moe and loli (uhhh….lol? O__o ) was some sort of climax.

        http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/lafiel/

        Ahh, yes, that post. I had forgotten all about it. I haven’t yet watched Banner of Stars so I kinda skimped through most of that post in fear of spoilers back in the day. I have hard time commenting on this post because I’ve read only about 1/3 due to *Stars spoilers. Sorry :(

        And of course I’m not trying to say Ranka is flawless character, of course not! I wouldn’t like her even remotely as much as I do if she was. Actually, if there’s one character in the franchise who’s in danger to slip into “perfection” it’s film Sheryl, but I trust Kawamori and Yosino enough not to be too worried.

        As for “fault finding”, it really ended up as activity I was forced to learn over the time. I considered both girls flawed, good characters in the end but the insane amounts of bashing I ended up suffering through in hands of what I call “Sheryl fanboy hordes” started naturally to affect my perceptions a bit. When it gets to the point where you’re called lolicon for liking Ranka (lolwtf) and you see people attacking her for the flimsiest and most delusional of reasons I guess starting to point out Sheryl’s flaws is quite reasonable.

        The “creator politics” is just idle speculation how staff opinions is going to affect the second film. I mean, Frontier was changed a lot from initial plans, largest change being the bigger role of Sheryl. Ep 5 had such a rave reception it was inevitable, really.

        http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/the-should-have-been-crowd-pleasing-finale-macross-frontier-25-your-sound/#comment-10904

        I really don’t see much of “circumstancial evidence” in these comments. They boil down to basically “First off is how far ahead Sheryl and Alto are in their relationship.” which is just assertion not backed by any substantial argument. Sure, if I accept this premise Sheryl does indeed have the higher ground easily. But I don’t there’s anything truly in support of this, even in eps 22-24.

        Also, the questions about styles of mangas are highly irrelevant to the main work. IIRC Ranka actually “wins” in the “official” Frontier manga (and Sheryl’s disease isn’t even cured so she’s goner quite soon anyway) and on top of that she has her own magical girl parody manga. Sheryl got her own manga only following this film.

        I’m not basing any kind of argument for Ranka’s victory around this, mind you. A lot of “Kawamori approved” material for Macross etc. is just him putting a stamp of approval over the work. It doesn’t make developments seen in them canon or closely overseen by him – nor do they usually have any bearing on what he himself is going to write and/or direct. So however manga, light novel etc. versions go they’re of little concern to me.

        As for the “Ranka appearing again as joke magical girl” (I’d dispute the “joke” part here, it’s ment to be cute above all) this is just all about the performance outfits. Kawamori mentioned ages ago that for film versions he wanted to emphasize Sheryl’s sexyness and Ranka’s cuteness, hence somewhat flanderizing these traits of the two. You can already see it in the first film: Sheryl’s image is even more strong on sex appeal and the new songs feature way more rowdy lyrics (especially pink monsoon) than any songs in original tv series.

        Ranka’s cute, funny outfit is just respective emphasization of Cuteness.

        • What I get out of all the discussion I read and at times participated in is that fans will believe what they want. Partisans will invalidate each other. In the end it’s about what and how we enjoy, and part of this unfortunately is tied to proving others wrong.

          For my part, I see Alto seeing Sheryl as an equal, a comrade, and a love interest; and Ranka as someone to nurture and protect.

          The movie reset this, with Alto largely trying to ignore romantic ideas altogether.

          • Xard says:

            “The movie reset this, with Alto largely trying to ignore romantic ideas altogether.”

            Oh, my real OTP is Sheryl/Ranka so it’s all for the better ;)

            I must say that while I don’t like Alto much he is nonetheless one of the most interesting mecha leads ever. He’s a bit like Shinji Ikari I guess (albeit I do like Shinji, hell, NGE is my all time favourite anime after all). Anyway, I think he’s more likeable in the film and feels more like main character. He’s also more active in getting involved with both girls, especially Sheryl. You can tell Alto really liked hanging out with her in the revamped and expanded “Star Date”. I really don’t mind (well I guess I’ll feel bad for Ranka) if Sheryl ends up winning in the film retelling because first film makes it feel way more plausible than in the series.

            I’m putting my money on Ranka though as for now, out of favoritism and most importantly due to film’s final scene.

            (but what makes you think Alto is somehow more disinterested in romance in the film? I really don’t see any notable difference to his series self in this regard)

          • At similar points in the narrative Alto is as equally disinterested. However, the movie is half the total narrative in a 2 part series, ergo giving more significance to Alto’s disinterest (i.e. half the story of a love story is finished).

    • Vanossa says:

      Hmmm…

      Contrary to popular belief, Kawamori doesn’t have a soft spot for Ranka over Sheryl. If you know what kind of manga he has approved for Ranka (magical girl parody) over the serious one he approved for Sheryl (going to the lengths of retcon Macross Zero earrings for her character). Secondly, look at their image in promotional movie material. Ranka appears once again, a joke magical girl character for The Wings of Goodbye, while Sheryl gets a dark, serious (if a tiny fanservice one) for the False Diva.

      The whole say that the ‘original triangle’ was between Brera, Alto and Ranka is also a falsehood widespread and unsourced. Sheryl was there since the beginning. But it seems her career was not mean to last as much (as singer, but she was mean to be in the triangle), however May’n changed this and eclipsed Megumi, I’ll say. That was why probably she tried to fly and such, but they changed their minds because May’n was more profitable.

      Finally, Ranka Lee is compared to a 11 years old Mao Lee in physical ‘appearance’. Quite not a good for her. She’s presented as the more emotionally immature member of the triangle, once again, not very good for her. If Alto links his affection to Sheryl to his mother, Ranka links her for Brera to Alto (in episode 20, no less). There is a very incestuous vibe from them both. Ranka fails to connect romantically with Alto and has zero to none unambiguously romantic love scenes. Even the kiss they had was staged.

      This is why Ranka issues a challenge to Sheryl Nome. She has outshone her in both, love and epic songtress and was left behind. It’s so sad to watch because Ranka couldn’t even fulfill her role as epic singer and certainly has a dubious reputation after her brainwashed image almost prompts genocide. And obviously, how can she even interfere in what is now Alto’s and Sheryl’s domestic life? They do live together. Would Brera or Ozma allow her to? Would she had time to? I imagine martial court would have a word with her after the Sharon Apple stunt until she clarifies it.

      Alto might have had feelings for both girls, but commitment to only one of them: Sheryl Nome. He was willing to renounce for her. He wasn’t willing to do this for Ranka Lee.

      Hikaru had feelings for Minmay too (stronger ones that whatever Alto feels for Ranka). But their lifestyles couldn’t be compatible.

      I think what Ranka needs more than Alto at this point is to find herself, mature and be a good singer. She already had a good start by saving Sheryl’s life (who had saved hers, first). She’s only sixteen, after all.

      • Vanossa says:

        I meant Mao Nome. Silly me.

      • raile says:

        Actually, considering that the first movie poster had Sheryl in her fanservicey concert costume, it’s understandable how the second movie poster features Ranka in her stage outfit. The only thing is that well, Ranka’s just looks too shoujoish. :D A novice might mistake it for a shoujo anime movie from the poster and not a mecha one. XD

        • Vanossa says:

          Ironically, Sheryl got the shoujo manga treatment right? Ranka’s promotion looks more moe, more targeted to young girls. I have trouble to take her character seriously when the team is so determinate to not help her grow or mature. I don’t mean as love triangle related, but as a songtress. Look at the series, she makes covers all the time and has only two (?) songs of her own. Aimo doesn’t count. She’s underwhelming and overshadowed by how creative Sheryl Nome is portrayed.

          They did promise new songs for her. Serious ones. Let’s hope that they deliver this time.

          • Neko Nikki
            Seikan Hikou
            Anata no Oto
            Ao no Ether

            These are the songs that are neither covers nor CM material. IMO they play to the strengths of Ranka’s moe-moe voice. Ao no Ether is an amazing ballad, though without vocal calisthenics the way Diamond Crevasse and Yosei seem to require. I think Aoi no Ether is every bit the equal of those songs.

            In the Macross Frontier Final Budokan concert, I really enjoyed it when May’n (Sheryl) sings in Ranka songs, and when Ranka sings in Sheryl ones (though there is less novelty because I’m used to Ranka covering Sheryl tracks).

          • Chan says:

            @ghostlightning

            yes but Sheryl has much more songs
            1. Iteza gogo kuji “Don’t be Late”
            2. Welcome to the Fanclub S.O.S
            3. What ’bout my Star
            4. Diamond Crevasse
            5. Infinity
            6. Northern Cross
            7. Yousei
            8. optional you also count Lion because that was meant to be a Sheryl-only song

          • I was reacting to the comment that Ranka only had a couple of songs and did almost all covers and duets. I did not mean to match Sheryl on a per-song basis.

            This is just silly!

            Sheryl is already the Galactic Fairy, which implies several albums or at least multiple releases already. Ranka has only just debuted by the end of Macross Frontier, pretty much. So I think the quantity argument is pretty misguided.

          • Xard says:

            Yay, subject I can actually talk about!

            If some people were drawn into Macross by awesome mecha action or the character drama love triangles brought with them I can safely say for me music has always been franchise’s main attraction. I guess Macross Plus’s scene where Isamu dives to earth through earth’s defence network as Information High booms in the background or Ranka singing oh so beautifully Aimo in the Zero movie best captures my love for the show.

            As Frontier – just like Plus – boasts one of the best soundtracks ever written by Kanno (which also makes it one of the best anime soundtracks ever, period) with utterly perfect pop gems, wistful ballads and great orchestral track not lacking in oomph and bombast I can safely say the aspect to which I paid most attention to was the music. That whole show (and now film) was in many ways constructed like a musical certainly didn’t hurt at all.

            Anyway, prior to first movie I think Ranka had more songs than Sheryl (and I’m not sure about situation if CMRanka is counted too). Let’s see (not counting CM songs and covers):

            Aimo (short version and Tori no hito)
            Aimo O.C (worth counting separately IMO)
            Anata no Oto (DOKUN DOKUN DOKUN)
            Neko Nikki
            Seikan Hikou
            Ao no Ether

            I also think not counting “covers” is also highly unfair and not really sensible. Ranka’s What bout my Star@Formo (there’s some Sheryl vocals in the bridge courtesy of ep 15) is *vastly* different from Sheryl’s electropop version. I also think it’s by far better. May’n’s engrish (as much as I love her I got to admit this) is pretty terrible here and I hate the way her nasal doesn’t really mesh up with the soundscape in general on that track. Mamegu’s performance on Formo version is just beautiful, there’s no other way to describe it. Her pronounciation is also a lot better, which also helps. :D And of course I prefer this kind of stripped down rock arrangement to the filtered to hell and back again electronics of Sheryl’s pop songs… ^^’

            Not to mention Kanno’s genius and original reworkings of Ai Oboete Imasuka? The first cover is propably the weirdest song on the whole Frontier soundtrack, truly bold and experimental piece. Ai Oboete Imasuka? bless the little queen version however is propably my favourite song in all Frontier and in my opinion easily the best version of the track ever, period. It’s just transcendentally beautiful: Megumi’s vocals are perfect and Kanno’s floating, dreamy arrangement is fantastic.

            Watashi no kare wa pilot is similar enough to Macross 7 version for it to be skipped IMO…

            The thing here is that Kanno initially wrote many songs without assigning any specific singer to it. Don’t be Late and What bout my Star for example were to begin with entirely singer neutral. Don’t be Late ended up being given to Sheryl whereas both have highly individual versions of What bout my Star.

            As for songs in general, I think May’n is at her very best in high energy rockers, Northern Cross especially jumping out as my favourite (it’s use in ep 22 still sends shivers down my spine) and of course Diamond Crevasse. DC being dream marriage with May’n’s voice (especially Shinkuu no Diamond Crevasse heard in ep 20) should be no surprise as Kanno specifically wrote that song with her vocal qualities and range in mind.

            Then again I prefer Ranka’s pop songs. Anata no Oto, Seikan Hikou and What bout my Star@Formo all are incredibly catchy and I prefer these kind of “natural” arrangements to harsh electropop of series Sheryl (now Pink Monsoon is seriously awesome with its textures et al). Nakajima’s angelic voice is also perfect for slow, ballady songs. Aimo used to send shivers down my spine whereas Ao no Ether and Ai Oboete Imasuka’s all versions (incidentally she sings in Ranka’s mature voice on both AOI’s) really don’t lose much if at all in comparison.

            Now as for singing if there’s one thing I hope second film allows is to let Nakajima use her fuller, more natural range and sound. Now I do love “Ranka voice” but sometimes – for example on Lion – this is limiting factor. She really has quite a low voice. Back in the day I used to scour internets for MF live bootlegs (hey, I *did* say I love the music the most about these shows :D) and at one performance she was clearly strained from having to sing in high pitched Ranka voice all the time. So she dropped her voice “flat” for this version of Lion on bootleg and HOLYFUCKITWASAMAZING. (Budokan live really doesn’t give a good picture of this as she pulls the song through in Ranka voice as well as it’s possible under live conditions)

            If you guys can get yourself copy of Kanno’s “Tokumori live” (IIRC it was called Tokumori) bootleg from last year do it. It’s fantastic concert to begin with and sound quality is quite good for bootleg. But the version of Lion one can hear from that bootleg destroys any other version I’ve heard. It actually ruined all “studio” recordings of the song for me, sigh. Nakajima does the song in her deep voice (I guess she wasn’t performing as Ranka here?) and she and May’n proceed to kick ungodly amounts of ass on that track. Similarly Ao no Ether is phenomenal (with some May’n in there too, IIRC) but nothing tops Voices. I’d say Mamegu sings the best live Voices I’ve ever heard, it’s her bravura number. The vocal performance on Tokumori with Sakamoto’s backing vocals on bridge leaves me speechless.

            But no song “suffers” as much from choice of performance style as Sou Da Yo. Now I really love that new ED song of the first film, it’s beautiful performance and the song of course is very good with nice little Kanno touched in arrangement. Unfortunately I had heard fantastic live bootleg performance of the song beforehand – and the album version doesn’t have the richness of Nakajima’s more emotional and “darker” (on terms of vocal tone) live rendition.

            So, because of this I really, really, REALLY hope on the upcoming Ranka album (companion piece to Sheryl’s Universal Bunny minialbum that came with first film) Nakajima is allowed use her more “mature” voice. Unfortunately they flanderized Aimo already in first film (why the fuck they wanted Ranka to sing the “Lhuley” part in the cutesy squeky CMRanka voice is beyond me…) so… As for the soft and high voice she used on some Frontier tracks I really hope we get to hear it used in the way it was used for final Kobato ED, watashi no dekiru koto. She really nailed that song.

            Anyway, as live bootlegs are hard to come by I recommend checking out:

            – Hoshiwatari (as far as ballads go this performance on Basquash really beats out Ao no Ether, even though song isn’t as good. Great range. Highly and openly emotional performance that retains the beautiful swetness of Ranka’s voice while adding dose of emotional rawness lacking from eg. Sou da yo’s album version. This is the kind of ballad I’d like to hear on new album – it retains beauty of Ranka voice while adding rawness not seen on Ranka’s rather happy, “cleanly” sung tracks.)

            – Watashi no dekiru koto (as far as the sweet, high pitched cute voice goes I don’t think Nakajima has done it better than on this Kobato song. If we get new Ranka songs in vein of Neko Nikki I hope they sound like this instead of CMRanka’s humourous stuff, which does have its own value but…:P)

            – Tartaros (and I guess Tenshi ni Naritai and Basquash tracks) style for more high energy songs. That kind of voice was never used by Ranka in show.

            What I’d really like to hear was the “Ranka cover” of Tenshi no Enogu made after show:

            Nice modern arrangement, good performance and song is freed of the cumbersome, extreme lol80s feel. But I guess it’s vain hope :(

            Gahhhhh this became utterly rambling post, sorry. Bottom line is: I want to hear Ranka sing in more darker tones that occasionally slip in Frontier tracks on CDs and often in bootlegs for the more “mature” stuff.

            I really don’t have any “wants” from Sheryl: her style has already been entirely settled by the songs on Universal Bunny. And I’m more than happy with it. May’n always sounds like May’n anyway (wheras Nakajima uses higher range always for Ranka tracks) and UB played all of her strenghts perfectly. As long as they don’t go on sticking her nasal (and she stops overdoing some of her melismas) on tracks they don’t belong to I’m a happy duck. :)

            ps. I’ve never liked Yosei

          • I also think not counting “covers” is also highly unfair and not really sensible. Ranka’s What bout my Star@Formo (there’s some Sheryl vocals in the bridge courtesy of ep 15) is *vastly* different from Sheryl’s electropop version. I also think it’s by far better. May’n’s engrish (as much as I love her I got to admit this) is pretty terrible here and I hate the way her nasal doesn’t really mesh up with the soundscape in general on that track. Mamegu’s performance on Formo version is just beautiful, there’s no other way to describe it. Her pronounciation is also a lot better, which also helps. And of course I prefer this kind of stripped down rock arrangement to the filtered to hell and back again electronics of Sheryl’s pop songs… ^^’

            First of all, Ranka’s covers aren’t releases (at least in the narrative), whereas most if not all of Sheryl’s songs are. This means we do not have access to the multitude of covers Sheryl used to do (as must most musicians do when they start out). In the manga Kiss of the Galaxy we know Sheryl at least covered the obligatory ai oboete imasu ka? and this would’ve won her a Minmay competition if not for a Vajra attack.

            If Ranka’s covers are indeed releases, we can assume that Sheryl may have some cover albums released or not. At the very least, her early gigs must have been filled with covers since she wouldn’t have many songs written.

            Now, Macross Frontier however recorded all these Ranka covers to balance then some, the song material. Kanno is very efficient in that she just rearranged her own songs for Sheryl so that Ranka can have songs to record on the OSTs. Minmay songs should be covered, and Ranka would be a better target for these because of the dearth of of original tracks for her as well as her only beginning her journey to stardom.

            I agree that Nakajima has a voice with lots of character and it’ll be great if we get to hear more of it in different ways. However, moe-moe Ranka is the yoke she has to pull.

            P.S. I’m not erudite in terms of music, but Yosei is super badass… the part when the drums come in, changing the whole character of the song from a despondent ballad into a rock song given the beat… is brilliant.

          • Chan says:

            @ghostlightning
            Technically Sheryl was only meant to have just one song(weird I know), but Yoko Kanno was against it (Kawamori later one wondered what he was thinking with only giving Sheryl one song). We also only know of two Sheryl covers one was professional “Ai Obete Imasuka?” and another was for practice”Totsugeki Love Heart”, however Sheryl has never officially released a cover album in series.

            Well during the series they actually had a chance to release a fuller Ranka album (with different types of songs), but they didn’t and it kinda pisses me off. Though I know they won’t do it cause there’s no money in it.

            According to official sources Sheryl actually didn’t have much albums before the beginning of the series, in fact Iteza is her third single.
            P.S. Yousei songs better when accompanied by piano – I heard it once, but I can’t find the video.

            @Xard
            Man I don’t get to talk about the musical aspect of Macross Frontier enough

            The thing about covers is that it doesn’t belong to the singer covering it, its just them singing someone else’s song. Is Alien Ant Farm’s cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” a new song? Can you even call it their song? Hence the term “cover”, remakes of a song are the same as its just the same song re-arranged, it doesn’t make it a new song. Its the equivalent of translating a book for an audience in a different region. Is the translated book a new book? no, it isn’t its the same story made by the same author using different words or language. Its the same for songs.

            The reason for people not counting Aimo, is simply because it is not a Ranka song it is a Macross Frontier song. Which if your following canon is a song that both Sheryl and Ranka were taught as a child.

            Also in universe it was Sheryl who re-worked “What ’bout my Star @ formo?” for Ranka to sing, which if you listened to the whole song you would have known that its actually a duet as well.

            While I do like “Hoshi Watari” I realized when I downloaded the album and listened to it and the instrumental version of it that it wasn’t really NakaMegu’s voice carrying the emotion but the instrumental of the song itself. Also NakaMegu’s has a really soft voice and has a tendency to get overpowered when singing in songs with other singers that have even a a little bit of power in their voices.


            nor does it stop others from sounding better than her when they “cover” her songs

            (I’m not sure if this can be considered a cover considering that it was Maaya who wrote the song in the first place, she also wrote “Sou da yo”.)

            Also May’n can sing in many different styles such as rock

            pop

            There is also an in-universe joke made by Kanno and May’n on how Sheryl was forced to sing R&B and Pop, which is the first arrangement of Pink Monsoon (which was her first single in series- actually first premiered in in the CD drama released when the TV series was still on air)

            but wanted to sing Rock songs by the way May’n can sing songs that aren’t mechanical and very minimalistic

            (the in universe version of the B-side of her first album), in fact the instrumentals in a lot May’n’s and by extension Sheryl’s songs are very simple and that’s because May’n’s voice is very powerful so they don’t need the instrumentals to create any power- hence why May’n sounds exactly the same live as she does in studio albums – see her live Big Wave concert version of Universal Bunny.

            Yousei sounding mechanical only works when you take the lyrics into account. Its really one of the songs whose meaning will fly over your head if you don’t know what she saying. In other words its a song that was meant to sound overproduced to match what May’n is singing about.

          • Amazing stuff. I’m very happy :3

            First we need to distinguish between the idols performing the characters and the characters themselves.

            Ranka has had two managers, Elmo then Grace… but how much did they figure in song production and writing? Who arranged what? Does Ranka write all her lyrics? I’m inclined to say yes to her non-cover tracks.

            Sheryl, we know she makes her own songs, but Grace also plays a big part. As you shared, Pink Monsoon is definitely some kind of heavy collaboration.

            We need to distinguish these things in our discussion of Macross idols. When we go outside and involve the actual musicians behind Macross Frontier, it’s a different thing altogether. I don’t know how much writing do either May’n nor NakaMegu does. I won’t be surprised to find out if they don’t do much. Such is the idol industry. Sakamoto and Kanno have been at it for 14 years so it’s unreasonable to a degree to expect both newcomers to compare favorably to Sakamoto, especially NakaMegu who is more like her.

            With regards to Ao no Ether, goddamn that was fiiiine. Sakamoto sings it with more polish and control indeed. That said, I prefer NakaMegu’s take because there’s something more raw to it, an actual despondence that carried through and I associate with a great moment in the show.

            I’ve heard three versions of Yosei: the OST, May’n’s own live performance, and the Budokan version. It’s the OST version that rocks.

            First, the slow verse uses May’n’s competent low register… which was her strong suit until Kanno convinced her to belt it out for Don’t be Late. Then the pre-chorus has this lamenting melody before driving into a faster section that is full of intent, scored by something that sounds like a harpsichord(!). The chorus actually happens after this, an odd anticlimactic thing, which sets up the second verse.

            Things really get awesome when the drums arrive, bringing a new urgency without making the song faster. The drums play a rock beat, but is tamed by the strings that join it. By the time the chorus of instruments arrive the song is now layers of goodness. May’n is liberal with her falsetto, which isn’t bad. Then, the outro brings the whole thing to epic.

          • Vanossa says:

            @ghostlightning For some reason I am unable to answer you. RE: Ranka’s song.

            I love Ao no Ether, it’s probably the only Ranka song (before the movie) that shows range and maturity which makes me sigh. I absolutely adore her cover of What bout My Star, but it’s still a cover. Aimo is hardly a Ranka’s song. It’s a song that is sung by her mother (and apparently the lyrics were made/discovered by Grandma Nome, or I’m mistaken?). She relies too much on Sheryl’s talent, on Aimo (which again, it’s not her song), and Minmay’s songs to fully explore her own voice.

            Neko Nikki and Seikan Hikou are all moe-cutesy songs that are forgettable…
            Same with Anata no Oto could have been the stellar chance to have her growth as an artist as Ao No Ether (which is gorgeous) showed, instead she returns to her cutesy routine which is immature and the lyrics are cringe-worthy. There is a good reason why is Ranka who is challenging Sheryl, you challenge those who are on top of you.

            Megumi’s vocals are not as good. She sings very well (and I like her), but her voice is a dime in a dozen in typical Japanese idols. Next to Maaya Sakamoto (who has a similar clean voice, but far more trained and developed) and May’n (who stands up from the usual pop-like idol feel), she sounds as someone who would have a very short (if high) fame. Maybe Maaya Sakamoto voicing Ranka would have been a better chance. She’s not someone who can stand out a legacy of song after Sharon Apple, Lynn Minmay, Sheryl Nome (and the Mayan blood she descends) or Basara Nekki. Not in the tv series, perhaps in the movie it would be another song. I certainly HOPE they give me what I was expecting since they tried to hail her as Songtress of Hope (only to fail as professional): mature, gorgeous songs as the ones Sheryl always has.

          • Vanossa I’m glad you’re bringing so much to the discussion.

            Anata no Oto is great because of it’s particularly good use of the piano interlude (gooood stuff), and the horn.

            I think NakaMegu has a lot of upside! So much depends on who she gets to work with (producers and handlers). As for Ranka, we can only hope Kanno wrote better songs for her, but also it depends on the overall vision for her character whether she’s going to be confined to the lolimoe type she’s currently playing.

          • Chan says:

            @ghostlightning
            Its actually very hard to separate the two, mostly with NakaMegu and Ranka because NakaMegu isn’t allowing her herself to stray away from her “Ranka persona” for us to see this.

            And yes in series both Ranka and Sheryl write the lyrics for their songs, which is probably why Ranka’s songs are so limited. Its because she hasn’t really “lived” yet and though she goes through a lot of things her own attitude towards those events, and her own immaturity prevents her from really learning anything from them. All her songs are kinda like Taylor Swift in that its a girl that is young and hasn’t really lived her life, enough to actually write a song about it. Its the reason that Yoko Kanno gave for her not letting Ranka sing serious songs (she promised though that movie Ranka would have more serious songs due to her being more mature than TV series Ranka).

            Meanwhile Sheryl is the opposite in that she has gone through much more than Ranka and it does affect her and she does learn from her own mistakes, that’s why her singing is so flexible. Hence why Yoko Kanno give her different types of songs to sing.

            @Vanossoa
            Funny you say that because Maaya Sakamoto was supposed to voice Ranka, but then Kawamori thought that it would be better for Ranka to be voiced by a newbie to make it sound more authentic.

            But as you pointed out her voice isn’t distinct, and it isn’t the type of voice that does stand out amongst a group of singers. After the Macross Frontier fame fades I also don’t think she’ll last very long in the spotlight, because her voice is so common and her range is limited. So I expect to hear her pigeon holed into the category of cutesy moe character (like the one she played in Basquash), and she’ll need another lucky break to get out of it.

      • Chan says:

        The originally planned love triangle included two guys and one female songstress who was already famous quite popular in series. There was just going to be one songstress (the experienced one) however Kawamori felt if he did that he wouldn’t be able to show all facets of the music industry. Then during the auditions he heard May’n sing and that sealed the decision for him, and thus Ranka’s character was born and then Kawamori decided to change the love triangle to be one guy and two girls, with the series focusing more on the younger female and her rise to stardom. And that’s the basis of Macross Frontier.

        Come to think of it that maybe why Sheryl and Brera had a bit of chemistry in the movie (they never interacted in the TV series).

        About the movie’s love triangle I found it interesting how the movie had to change the relationship between Alto and Ranka to make the love triangle seem less one-sided, so that Ranka is at least his friend first(though not an equal) instead of his little sister. They also gave Sheryl an outside obstacle (read:Ozma being overprotective, at the trade off of heavily flanderizing Ozma’s character) to connecting with Alto (which she was able to do in the tv series quite easily), which is then absolved from another outside force (Sheryl’s earrings). I think its interesting because TV series Ranka’s obstacles to connecting with Alto was both herself (which she still retains a bit of in the movie), and Alto to the point where Alto’s relationship with Ranka was just him saving her when she was in trouble and giving her advice. Their personalities just don’t mesh together very well (though that may be because of the star signs which their personalities matches with Tauros-Ranka and Leo-Alto which don’t get along well explaining their lack of chemistry).

        I find it funny that the Macross Frontier franchise is now trying to change the tuna bun from a joke about Sheryl’s boobs (and their resemblance to big overstuffed tuna buns) to a joke about Ranka’s lack thereof.

        I have to say though that Ranka and Sheryl’s connection in the movie makes more sense. As Sheryl’s grandmother Mao was from Gallia 4 it would make sense for Sheryl to also be from there, and to know Aimo (because the Mayan priestesses voices held a lot of power). Though the trade off here was that Ranka lost her relationship with Sheryl (though that may just again be because of Ozma being overprotective).

        The movie focusing more on Sheryl also makes more sense as Sheryl as there is a lot more to Sheryl’s past than just her family being killed, in other words there is more story to tell, as opposed to Ranka’s whose past is only her family being killed. In other words they have to focus more on her present and not drag on her past, which they unfortunately did in the TV series (I think that the tv series took too long in revealing Ranka’s past-considering that there was only one event to cover). Hence the need for a Sheryl manga.

        According to Kawamori Alto has more of a chance of making a choice in the movie.

  5. raile says:

    I have to say, with some exemptions on certain scenes, I found that I didn’t find the movie as engaging as I hoped to be. :(

    • I think it can be hit or miss with some fans. I loved it for being so thoroughly… Macross, and get pissed at it at times for the same reasons.

      • raile says:

        Yeah, it does seem hit or miss. I’m probably just bummed out because I didn’t really find the mecha as glorious as I expected (my waifu on the other hand thinks the opposite :p).
        Still, it’s nice to see/hear more on Alto’s back-story, which was not really explored in the series.

  6. Marigold Ran says:

    I agree with your title. A triangle in any space requires 3 points of intersection.

  7. adaywithoutme says:

    Ok, I watched this. I enjoyed it… to an extent. I just can’t really get on-board with the whole idols thing in the way that clearly is necessary for full enjoyment, either in a serious sense or a cheesey sense. I will say, however, that I didn’t dislike the idol angle, which is a bit of an accomplishment on the movie’s part since I generally cannot stand idol stuff.

    I did really enjoy the animation and the setting, though; before they referred to the place as the San Francisco district, I was having a lot of fun taking in the city setting and noticing the similarities to San Fran. I love those freaking streetcars, so that was kind of exciting for me. And its been a long while since I’ve seen any theatrical anime, so the animation level basically blew me away.

    But my curiosity and interest was most piqued by the idea of doing something you hate in order to be able to do something you love, a la Alto. Granted, it wasn’t explored in much depth, but it made me think of Simoun.

    I suppose my only other comment is that there needs to be more Alto shower scenes. Wait, what?

    • I haven’t seen Simoun yet, though it’s pretty much in my radar and most likely end up in my backlog.

      That’s an interesting thing you raise, in that I forgot all about it. It’s actually a consistent thing throughout the Macross franchise.

      Ichijo Hikaru was a stunt flyer who could not fly any other way during war time unless he did for the armed forces… SDF Macross

      Isamu Alva Dyson is too much of a hothead for the regular military, but he finds his calling as a test pilot (for the military)… Macross Plus

      Basara Nekki is a rock star who is conscripted to the Military, but gives them the finger by playing impromptu concerts during battles (I ain’t shitting you).

      Then we have Alto.

      Mecha stories often rationalize reluctant leads into fighting by giving them simplistic objectives (having someone to protect) and Macross doesn’t deviate from it so much. However, no other franchise invests in their leads a profound love for flying as much as Macross.

      • adaywithoutme says:

        The magical girl genre uses similar means to justify why their heroines ultimately end up going along with fighting even though they protest it all strenuously to start off with. However, in their cases, its a combination, generally of ‘must protect!’ and ‘you must fulfill your destiny!’ variety.

        I think the sentiments in Macross Frontier and Simoun differ a bit from the general ones, though, as the protagonists must engage in a loathsome activity in order to be able to participate in a loved activity, in both cases flying. I’m having a difficult time verbalizing exactly how the two differ, but in both MF and Simoun the loved/loathed actions are so closely tied together by the circumstances in a way that fighting isn’t tied to protecting. Protecting isn’t an ‘enjoyed’ activity so much as it is something which must be done to enjoy the continued presence of the loved ones – they aren’t fighting because they love protecting, but they love the people and being with them.

        As for love of flying, Yukikaze presents a fairly… intriguing spin on that. Its hard to say without giving much away, though.

        • Right, protecting is something out of duty, of necessity, which is not exactly that far improved as a reason for fighting.

          Self-indulgent flying… SO HARD TO DO!

          I have Yukikaze I think, I couldn’t get through the first ep in my first try. Maybe next year.

  8. Haze says:

    *takes notes*

    Now, if only I could do an analysis like this for my English module on sci-fi…

    • Is English your first language?

      This kind of analysis is, take away references to past shows in the franchise and identifying similar shows in a “tradition,” is really just reading closely on the events, on the dialogue, and making conclusions based on them (a theme, a statement, a subject the show talks about).

      • Haze says:

        Yes it is.

        I was thinking more of your blog in general. It takes texts which to me, seem to be a pure form of brain dead entertainment and garners a lot of meaning from it. (Love your Kino no Tabi ones)

        I’m wondering, how exactly do you watch a TV show? What are you thinking as you watch it, so that you can actually say something about it?

        • First of all I don’t believe that there is a “brain dead” experience. No matter how seemingly unintelligent a subject is, it takes intelligence and brain activity to experience it.

          Now, the intellectual investment however, is entirely made by the viewer. I am able to get what I get from the shows I watch because I bring my tools, filters, and experience to the table. Some of which are academic/humanities/philosophy/literary tools; a lot of which is just immersion in the tradition of the shows (e.g. I have seen all of Macross, most of Gundam, and a healthy number of robot anime).

          The basic activity, I think, is pattern detection.

          Does the work do similar things to what I’ve experienced before?

          The results can mean tropes, formulas, structures, themes, and the like. How is the subject using these elements? Is it a novel way? Or, is it more concerned with execution (Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn comes to mind)?

          In the case of this post, I am looking at the Macross tradition of love triangles, and use it as a frame to hold the discussion of the one in this movie.

          It is important to note that I am less concerned about what is “essentially in the subject,” but more about “how I experience” the subject. This is how I avoid the trap of having to be right about something, whereas I am not so concerned about that, but am more interested instead in further exploration and speculation.

          This is my starting point, and may this sharing of mine be of assistance to you in any way.

  9. Teltel says:

    Aaaahh… The whole love triangle dilemma. If I know something for sure about the second movie, it’s that the triangle won’t have a resolution. Kawamori likes to tease shippers; it gives him money. If they resolve the triangle, the shiptease goes away. So, from a financial point of view, it’s not as productive as giving both sides lots of hints and tease. Just look that one of Alto’s lines in the trailer for the second movie is “choosing something means losing something”, more or less, isn’t that teasing the fans about the triangle? (I think it can be interpreted that way).

    That said, I feel the triangle and the characters are more fleshed-out here: by giving Sheryl more plot relevance they benefitted both her and Ranka, who this way has more room to be developped since she doesn’t carry so many plot threads on her back. Also, they mesh better with Alto, whose issues are more directly explored in the movie, especially acting.

    But, on the other hand, I felt that the Sheryl-Ranka bond is a lot less stronger than in the series. Which sucks, since it was one of my favourite parts.

    One funny thing about the series: Nakamura gave away the non-resolving of the triangle when he commented that after dubbing the last episode everyone was booing him; that was around episode 20 if I remember right. Will he do the same thing again? :)a

    • megaroad1 says:

      I can totally see Kawamori doing it in the grand tradition of “how can someone win if winning means that someone is losing”…

      Having said that I hope he doesn’t. Frontier needs a bit of closure. I really don’t think there can come anything after the second film that would be seen by as many fans.

    • Not resolving the triangle will disappoint me greatly. Or, even just being vague about it will disappoint me greatly.

      Yes, the Sheryl – Ranka relationship here is hella weak compared to the awesomeness that started with that incredible scene where Sheryl sang Diamond Crevasse following Ranka’s lead.

      Here, remember love, Drawing a Triangle: Macross Frontier 02 (Hard Chase)

      • Xard says:

        I too miss the Sheryl/Ranka relationship from the series. It was more interesting than the triangle anyway.

        But I think it’s pretty clear from numerous interviews that Kawamori wants to resolve the triangle, including recent ones, so I wouldn’t be too worried :)

  10. megaroad1 says:

    Don’t forget Shin and Sara conveniently showing up with the crew of the Megaroad 1!

  11. Xard says:

    This comment’s about the various music discussions above!

    First of all let’s not be silly and bring Maaya frickin’ Sakamoto into this. Out of shows in which Kawamori has been involved in Mari Iijima and Megumi Nakajima are very good singers and talented finds, but that’s it. Maaya Sakamoto was nothing short of prodigy find. She’s still my favourite among Kanno’s grand harem of collaborators and absolutely terrific singer (though no one beats Ilaria Graziano. If we don’t count some opera singers Kanno used in eg. Songs to Fly, of course), way above the mold in the huge world of J-pop. I think out of seyuu-singers only Nana Mizuki can somewhat compare.

    And out of singers associated with Macross I don’t think anyone else but Akino Arai can be compared.

    As for May’n and Mamegu, both have their strenghts and flaws. May’n has more powerful voice but I’m not huge fan of its general texture. Sometimes the strong nasal inherent in her voice can be very off-putting for me. Take the What bout my Star heard in beginning of the film (free of many Sheryl filters Kanno often uses). I can’t stand that, ughh. Luckily these days she controls her voice better than in the past: the vibrato and perhaps unintentional melismas in early live tracks could get pretty terrible. Like, she really overdid them. And I still hate Sheryl’s Aimo. It is just terribly, terribly off and the “style” doesn’t suit the song at all. Live versions (for example Budokan) are easily better but the recorded version…guhh.

    I don’t mean to bash May’n – as a matter of fact I consider myself a fan. She’s very good singer and yes, her voice is quite distinctive for j-pop singer but if judged in context of singers singing in similar style she’s *good* but nothing special. Kanno really gets best out of her, especially on Universal Bunny mini-album. And Shinkuu no Diamond Crevasse is propably best vocal performance in Macross songs. I love that song so much… <3

    Nakajima's voice is certainly more conventional for j-pop and I really love its tone and texture. But – just like May'n – she doesn't have exceptionally high range and she's voice is a bit soft for "harsh" tracks. But she's been getting better over the years in this respect too. Macross Frontier after all was her very first project – May'n had been singing for years beforehand.

    But you can already tell she has come long way from the beginning. Same holds for May'n too to lesser extent, albeit it's far less obvious unless you've been following live performances.

    Quite frankly I consider these kind of debates very stupid. Both are good singer with May'n being the more experienced one with very different vocal qualities – which one you like more largerly comes down to preference. And what makes all the fighting even more pointless is that neither of them is exceptional pop singer like, say, Maaya Sakamoto. (And May'n isn't Mai Yamane either) And Sakamoto doesn't in turn really compare to clearly classically trained (to my ear, at least) Ilaria Graziano. And when we move out of Kanno collaborators we find a world chockful with singers of even higher levels. I don't think any Kanno regular can do opera (and it's not like they have to), for starters. Madonna doesn't have much of a range yet she nonetheless is top class in her job too.

    There's always a bigger fish out there and it's far more sensible to focus on how the singers are used and why. And Macross Frontier utilizes two idols perfectly. The music would not be even remotely as interesting if we only had one of the two: having two very different girls singing gives the soundtrack nice sense of dynamism. Ranka's Anata no Oto is very Maccaesque sunny pop piece that could come out of late-60s easily. I don't remember but the funny horns sound very much like french horns too! :D Pink Monsoon is great, steamy dance track. Obelisk is great power pop Ranka quite simply can not do. Ai Oboete Imasuka? bless the little queen and Ao no Ether are beautiful, beautiful ballads that wouldn't really suit May'n's nasally voice whereas Diamond Crevasse doesn't really work with any other singer as well as it was written with May'n's voice in mind.

    *************

    And yeah, Star@Formo can be classified as duet too but I think of it foremost as Ranka song (due to ep 5) as May'n only sings few verses, mainly doing background vocalizations.

    ************

    Aimo IS Ranka's song. It's the main theme of the series, yes. But in the case you forgot Ranka was the character most central to the narrative from the very beginning. Furthermore inside the fictional universe (I'm talking about tv series here) it was Ranka's song. They couldn't interprept the original Vajra "Aimo" before Ranka, the human/vajra hybrid was born and she naturally turned it into form of human song. *Grace remarks as much in one of the later eps*.

    Ranka's mother knew the song afterwards of course, but Ranka's the one who first sung it. She naturally didn't understand what she did as a little kid, it just came naturally to her (hence she asked Ranshe what the song was about). Like an instinct.

    The song lyrics such as "you're a gentle child of green" obviously talk of Ranka too.

    This was actually why I was initially greatly angered by Utahime's plot changes of having Sheryl know the song too. Aimo was such an integral part of Ranka's character I felt her character was cheapened and stripped off of one of its most striking characteristics. Now we don't know why Sheryl knows the song – maybe she met Ranka as a kid too (like she met Alto) and doesn't remember, or maybe the birth of Aimo is entirely different. Whatever the case is Aimo stopped being expression of Ranka's deepest "self". And as Ranka fan I don't like that at all. Add to that the way ep 2's awesome "Alto saves Ranka" sequence was replaced with very similar "Alto saves Sheryl" sequence and how Sheryl got her own "iSlug". Sheryl doesn't even fall in concert scene and instead the whole "oh shi Alto you fucked up" was turned into yet another showcase of "how badass Sheryl is fuck yeah". Afterwards Sheryl intervened in the "Aimo scene" of ep 3 which always was one of my favourite scenes in the series. it really felt like Kawamori & co. were shamelessly ripping off different "properties" out of her character and giving them to Sheryl too *while giving absolutely nothing in return*. In fact I still quite feel like that. Sheryl stole so much screentime from Ranka, Ozma, Michel, Klan, Luca, Nanase (who's going to debut in next film…) that I'm not so sure what to think about her. On the other hand she's totally awesome in the film but then again she steals nearly all the thunder in the film (and at the same time she's made to be *way less* haughty. Does this Sheryl even have any negative qualities for chrissakes).

    After first 30mins or so things get more balanced out, thank god for that. But I know I'm going to end up angry if second film continues being similar Sherylservice fest.

    Well, at least Alto's way better than in series.

    ***************

    To get back to singing the upcoming "Songbird" debuted on Macross radio!

    And it is GREAT

    This really destroys any possible worries I might've had about upcoming Ranka songs not being mature enough. Cutesy moe stuff this ain't. Wonderful performance that really shows how much experience has already developed Nakajima and the song is awesome too.

    http://gabrielarobin.com/4000/hougako-overflow-songbird-in-macross-f-radio

    http://www.mediafire.com/?2dje14kzd2obdxa

    I can't wait for cosmic kyuun and the upcoming Ranka album now! I guess Chan can be happy now too, these songs are from different world in comparison to CMRanka :P

    • Chan says:

      Funny you say that about Sheryl’s Aimo considering that May’n sang it impromptu, she never received any direction on how to sing Aimo, which is why it sounds different every time she sings it.

      Akino Arai was popular long before she was in Macross Plus.

      I do disagree with you on the range of May’n’s voice, which is why I posted some of her songs, they are from different genres. In fact the Universal Bunny album wasn’t so much May’n gaining range as it was Kanno utilizing her range. When Kanno worked with May’n she noticed that May’n had an incredible range (which is to be expected May’n has been out there since she for a while), and also a distinct personality and voice so when she worked on the album with May’n rather than just give May’n songs to sing Kanno based some of the songs on May’n’s own personality (Gira Gira Summer) and others to just explore the range of her voice. You can pretty much read it on Kanno’s comments whenever she makes an album with May’n (she always gushes about May’n’s range). In fact here

      this are some the types of songs May’n hasn’t sung when acting as Sheryl (yes acting she gets in character when she sings as Sheryl), but its part of her range that Kanno wanted to take advantage of when she made the album.

      Also May’n was able to sell enough albums to perform in Budokan on her own, in a non-anime related concert. I personally liked “Pink Monsoon” and “Tenchi no Narachatta” better on her Pink Monsoon single album, because I just like the arrangement the both of them had on that album better.
      =====================================================

      Umm no it isn’t because series wise the song was meant to represent Macross Frontier as a series not Ranka’s character, it just happens that Ranka’s character got to sing the song.

      It was also Ranka’s mother (in series) who taught Ranka how to sing to the song (which she heard from the Vagra no less), and in order to teach someone how to sing a song that means that you once sang it yourself. Also (in series) Ranka didn’t hear the song from the Vagra she was taught it, it was never stated that Ranka’s mother heard the song from Ranka, nor was it ever implied.

      If you don’t understand why they let Sheryl know Aimo then you either haven’t really been following or paying attention to the Macross series as a whole if you don’t know why Sheryl would know “Aimo”. First of all Ranka (in the TV series) was not the one who learned Aimo from the Vajra. She learned it from her mother who was researching the Vajra along with her co-worker Mao Nome (who is a direct descendant of Protoculture). It was established from Macross Zero canon that people of that line are born with special powers in their voices, powers which include the ability to make flowers bloom, rock levitate, and the ability to communicate long distance using only their voices as a meduim, and the ability to convey their emotions within their songs. Sheryl was born from that line (her blood type marks her type as a bird human, which is only found in people from the Mayan blood line), that was the significance of them giving Sheryl the last name “Nome”. In fact Ranka and Ranshe even being able to understand the Vajra was merely by chance, Ranshe got infected with the virus from working with them and so was linked to them, and then she got pregnant with Ranka. However, with Mao’s abilities it is not out of the question to say that Mao could probably communicate with the Vajra much earlier than(and probably better than) Ranshe could, which is how she could have heard the song and immediately recognize its significance to Protoculture. Keeping in mind the origins of the Mayans in Macross and the bird humans it would not be out of the question for her to teach her daughter this song, who in turns teaches her own daughter (Sheryl) “Aimo”. And considering Mao’s age it is not out of the question to say that she might have been researching the Vajra far longer than Ranshe was (again because of the Vajra’s link to her people). Sheryl being from this legacy is why Grace (and her proteges) decided to use her in the first place. And yes it was explained that Sheryl learned Aimo from her own mother.

      Aimo was never an expression of Ranka’s deeper self, partly because the song was never made to represent Ranka. It was never meant to be seen in that manner, so I think that you completely missed the point- you see what being horribly biased can do to do the coherency of a series? It seems from your comments that your too focused on Ranka, and that unfortunately can make you miss out on a lot of the story surrounding the series.

      Sheryl also already had a cell phone in the tv series and it was based on a whip, and had the same functions as Ranka’s phone. Sheryl’s new phone wasn’t based on Ranka’s phone but on May’n and Sheryl’s own profile. Sheryl’s phone is shaped like a Taiyaki which is type of fish shaped cake with a bean paste filling (sorry if that’s making you hungry), its May’n’s favorite food and one which according to the official Sheryl blogs Sheryl also loves. Ranka’s phone isn’t really based on anything really. I’ve gotta wonder though if you really are being truthful when you say that you’ve gotten over your hatred for Sheryl, otherwise you would have noticed that Ozma’s phone was changed as well (it used to look more like Alto’s cell phone), and the scene when Sheryl’s phone rings vibrating her boobs was a reference to a similar scene from the super robot series Godannar.

      Again your bias is showing, the reason why Nanase isn’t in this movie as well as the reason why we don’t see much of Luca, Michael, Klan, or any of the other side characters is because of just that they’re side characters, and the movie is only 2 hours long and covers 7 episodes, which clock in at 25-30 minutes each, it has nothing to do with Sheryl’s character but with time constraints. I’ve gotta wonder if you’d shut yourself off completely to any criticism that Ranka’s character and Kawamori himself received from both the staff (yes even NakaMegu) and fans (all over the world-yes even Japan) otherwise you’d know why Kawamori chose to not have her be the focus in the movie. Them not including Nanase gives us the viewer one less person who views and treats Ranka like a little sister or someone to be protected and Ranka’s character benefits from not having her around, as it makes Ranka seem much less dependent than her tv counterpart, them changing Ozma to make him have a much more pronounced sister complex makes Ranka seem more justified in sneaking out to compete in the Miss Macross contest, them making Sheryl more passive helps Ranka in terms of the love triangle, making her Alto’s friend before the start of the series also makes her more of a contender in love triangle (though considering Kawamori’s track records with two friends-especially childhood friends involved in a love triangle this is a double-sided coin). The narrative not focusing on Ranka allows for Ranka to look better and it makes us the viewers, especially those who follow the Macross franchise to be more involved with the mythos of Frontier, and makes Frontier seem more like a sequel – again you have to watch Macross Zero – which explains a bit about the Vajra and Protoculture, and therefore the past of Sheryl’s people and ancestors.
      ==================================================
      I know why CM Ranka was the way it was but I just didn’t like it

      • Chan says:

        Oh and the reason why Sheryl’s character changed for the movie was also partly from time constraints and also from the fact that they based her personality from a mixture of her personality in the tv series and also the personalities of both her seiyuu.

        • Xard says:

          “Akino Arai was popular long before she was in Macross Plus.”

          Uhh, did I ever claim anything else? I was just going through the list of people associated with Macross franchise in my head in my search for my favourite singer. And that would be Akino Arai.

          And if I gave the impression I thought May’n had small range that most certainly wasn’t my intention, sorry. Albeit I really didn’t know Kanno gushed about it all that much beforehand. I guess Mai’s peeves about May’n has influenced me in this regard alongside with her blog post where she mentioned how hard Universal Bunny album was and how Kanno got out of her more than she had imagined possible. Heh, not like this matters.

          I really like May’n anyway so…what’s the point?

          Albeit Tenchi ni Nachatta on single version blowed in comparsion to album! :D

          ***************

          As for the Macross series/Aimo rant that followed, I’d appreciate it if you’d drop that “geez you haven’t paid attention to anything XD” tone.

          First of all I did forget all about bird human lineage (oh of course I know Sheryl’s Mao’s granddaughter but I didn’t remember the bloodline brought any special powers with it), propably because I saw Macross Zero after Frontier (I kind of watched all shows in one big slump apart from Zero). That might indeed explain why Sheryl knows Aimo in filmverse (I believe this’ll be explained in second film).

          But there’re are several problems: if Nome bloodline ment they could understand and communicate with Vajras this contradicts what we learn in series. They really had no idea what the “signal” that later turned out into Aimo ment before Ranshe got infected. (Grace goes about this in ep 23 or 24, I think. It’s been a while since I saw the series so I don’t remember exactly what ep it was.) This implies Nome bloodlines’s mystical powers did NOT extent to communication with Vajra. If they did Mao etc. could’ve indeed figured this all out AGES ago. Yet no breakthrough was made before Ranshe got infected.

          Secondly there’s no inherent reason to think being Mayan allowed to communicate with Vajra any better. And at least in tv continuity this is ruled out by what we learn about history of research colony (see above). Secondly and more importantly Sheryl shows none of the supernatural abilities Sara had in Zero. Frontier drops the mystical elements of Zero, this is the Doylean reason. As for Wattsonian reason I guess Sheryl’s lack of “Nome abilities” seen in Zero may be explained by thinning bird human bloodline. Maybe Mao’s husband was normal human as well as Sheryl’s father? This means Sheryl’s “bird human” bloodline might be diluted enough to not have those capabilities anymore.

          Whatever the in-universe explanation it’s clear Sheryl doesn’t have any of the abilities Nomes in Zero had. Nor does Sheryl’s voice have any effect on the Vajra before the infection gets strong enough to grant same power Ranka has on smaller scale – if Nome bloodline made possible understanding “Aimo” as Vajra “sung” (it wasn’t song originally, it gained song form via human hybridization) it she should’ve had Rankalike abilities from the beginning. Add this together with the explanation given in tv series of how exactly their singing can affect Vajra we can pretty much rule out “bird human” bloodline as explanation.

          Maybe film changes this, but at least so far Sheryl has shown no signs of having bird human powers. Her fold waves ability stems from her infection, just like in series. It’s just developing earlier than in series to the point it can affect Vajra.

          But yeah, “Ranka learned Aimo first” was brain fart on my part. Ranka did indeed learn the song from her mother, albeit as Vajra-hybrid she did have the innate capability to understand it from the very beginning of her life. Ranshe of course was hybridized FIRST, before Ranka was born so of course she learned to understand Aimo before Ranka did. That was my mistake…gahh I should rewatch the series for upteenth time, apparently. I’m already forgetting fine details.

          So, at least if MF information on Vajra research in past is valid (and we have no reason to think otherwise yet) bird human bloodline does not explain Aimo. I think it’s quite simple case of Sheryl living as a little kid in the colony for a while, meeting Ranka, Ranshe etc. and learning song there.

          Of course the real reason why Sheryl knows Aimo and how she is tangled up to Gallia IV’s past etc. are all there to make her more integral to the narrative beyond her initial onee-sama role. And it’s good writing, I’m not faulting it per se.

          ****************

          “Aimo was never an expression of Ranka’s deeper self, partly because the song was never made to represent Ranka. It was never meant to be seen in that manner, so I think that you completely missed the point- you see what being horribly biased can do to do the coherency of a series? It seems from your comments that your too focused on Ranka, and that unfortunately can make you miss out on a lot of the story surrounding the series.”

          I see you’re reading my post too literally. I’m speaking on more symbolic level. ALL songs in Frontier – no matter what their supposed and utterly irrelevant in-universe histories may be – represent the characters singing them and express something crucial about their nature, events transpiring etc. Northern Cross is most blatant example in how it pretty much spells out Sheryl’s character in late story stages prior to getting cured. It’s all in that one song.

          Similarly Aimo is foundation piece for Ranka’s post-amnesia personality (and nature too, as we come to learn that she’s human-vajra hybrid of sorts). Frontier makes big deal about how “your song is your heart” (kokoro, which also means “self” or “I” in addition to meaning heart in abstract sense). Grace’s abuse of Aimo and turning it into the hellish Aimo O.C also symbolizes the manipulating of Ranka and how she’s turned into a tool for war and schemes. That’s why Alto et al are so upset when they first hear the song (and why Ranka has troubles recording it). Ranka’s “kokoro” is being violated as Aimo is. It was not even originally put out as a single after Bird Human film because it’s so personal to her.

          Aimo ends up symbolizing a lot else too in the end but in terms of narrative this is one of the main functions Aimo performs in its use from start to ep 21 or so when Ranka sheds the twisted Aimo O.C and returns to the “real Aimo” (and not incidentally it works again).

          ********

          As for my “rant” about character focus issues I’m not making them as CRITICISMS of the film. No, I think the film went exactly the right way in these matters, putting the firm focus on main trio and developing their relations, setting up the triangle etc. What I also really like is the way Kawamori and Yosino managed to get back in the Galaxy/Frontier rivalry. I expect second film focuses more on the themes this element brought into the original work that yet remained for the majority of running time “under the surface” to be found by the faithful, like many things in Frontier. In original plans Galaxy/Frontier ideological rivalry had much bigger role with Brera/Alto rivalry mirroring and symbolizing the fight between the natural, ecoworld Frontier and the corporate run dystopia of cyborgs known as Galaxy (the Sheryl manga dives into these issues too!). But then very early on in production cycle Sheryl/Alto/Ranka triangle replaced the initially planned Alto/Ranka/Brera triangle and that was again unemphasized, like many other things by Sheryl’s increased presence.

          And I also do know the story behind Sheryl’s phone (and it’s funny one to boot!) etc. I know it wasn’t based on iSlug! I don’t think any of the scenes and elements that were tooled around with were done by some sort of strange bias. (I didn’t know the boobs scene was reference to Godannar though, that’s interesting. I haven’t seen that anime) They’re all demands of the narrative and justifiable choices. I think they did terrific job with these things, really.

          However it doesn’t change the fact the side effect of all these changes is the way many Ranka moments were cheapened and lessened. The Aimo scene being the worst offender. Dialogue was changed, Ranka’s less brooding and more “chirpy” (I don’t know how to explain that), dialogue between her and Alto is more superficial and then Sheryl storms the scene during Aimo, steals the spotlight, ends up target of fanservice naturally entirely lacking in original and… gahhhh

          Again, it was natural for the flow of narrative etc. but it doesn’t mean I have to like retooling of one of my favourite early moments in series. Ranka’s first song was changed from charming Neko Nikki to frickin’ CM jingle for FAMILY MART too as additional grievance. All this gets somewhat aggravating when Sheryl already had grasped rest of the storyline by the throat (as well seen in trailers). All the bitchy spots are gone and everything she does is made to be all the more and more awesome and perfect. The only hint at Sheryl’s darker side that was left in was the disgruntled face during Formo performance.

          I’d also like to point out the climax is more an amalgation of eps 7 and 14 instead of “only” ep 7. And supposedly second film is all new material and only element that remains absolutely same is the trip to Vajra planet. So yeah, second film can be compared even less to corresponding series episodes than first one.

          “I’ve gotta wonder if you’d shut yourself off completely to any criticism that Ranka’s character and Kawamori himself received from both the staff (yes even NakaMegu) and fans (all over the world-yes even Japan) otherwise you’d know why Kawamori chose to not have her be the focus in the movie.”

          Sheryl is the focus of the movie because, you know, she was in similar position in the tv series too. That’s the way story flows in this part of Frontier. I was not expecting anythin else. Ranka and Alto play second fiddle to Sheryl throughout the film, albeit Alto gets far more “main character” feel than during similar parts in tv series. Similarly as far as I can tell Nanase was cut out simply for time reasons. (I really don’t care about her much but I just mentioned her as another side character that got shafted.)

          I really have no idea how Ozma would be more “sis complexy” than in the series. And making Ranka Alto’s childhood friend was good for narrative but absolutely disastrous for her role in triangle. Alto’s attachment to this entirely unknown girl and his dedication to her early on was VERY peculiar and weird, especially for someone who had no time for girls at all.

          Now that Ranka is Alto’s childhood friend his loyalty and attachment can be entirely and easily accounted by their ages old friendship. In series there was much more ambiguousity in this matter.

          Quite frankly, childhood friends are pretty much always doomed to lose. If final scene didn’t balance things out I’d say Ranka has already half-lost based on that change in her past alone.

          “The narrative not focusing on Ranka allows for Ranka to look better and it makes us the viewers”

          as someone who liked Ranka from day one and who sees her actions in end of ep 21 (that utterly infuriated large part of fanbase) as admirable and lovably controversial I have no idea what in the film would make Ranka any more likeable than in the series. I like her just the same.

          Actually film seems to fuck up big time with her realization that her singing is what lures the Vajra happening in end of first film. I don’t see how Ranka could justify to herself following singing career any further from now on – and yet that is what narrative demands. Knowing her “wouldn’t hurt a fly intentionally and hugs frickin’ space bugs” personality it is just utterly implausible to me.

          This all said you bring up many interesting things. I wonder if you could hit me up with some links? Namely about these:

          – and the scene when Sheryl’s phone rings vibrating her boobs was a reference to a similar scene from the super robot series Godannar

          Interesting trivia, would like to learn more. I also wonder if that octahedron seen very early on film in NUNS “strategic map” (with missiles hitting it) was Ramiel reference… I can’t figure out what else it could be.

          – I’ve gotta wonder if you’d shut yourself off completely to any criticism that Ranka’s character and Kawamori himself received from both the staff (yes even NakaMegu) and fans (all over the world-yes even Japan) otherwise you’d know why Kawamori chose to not have her be the focus in the movie.

          Sure, I know there’s been controversies towards end of series about such things but I’ve never heard Mamegu criticizing Ranka, not to mention I have no direct quotes from rest of the staff apart from some really generic stuff about preferring Sheryl. And I’d really like to have proof for this criticism being reason why Kawamori did not focus on her in the first film. I thought that was simply inevitable for story reasons!

          – Oh and the reason why Sheryl’s character changed for the movie was also partly from time constraints and also from the fact that they based her personality from a mixture of her personality in the tv series and also the personalities of both her seiyuu.

          Takayaki thing is well known piece of fun lore but I really don’t see how Sheryl’s character has been changed in any way in terms of personality etc. So, uhh, how exactly Endo and May’n have changed film Sheryl apart from blatant superficialities like the phone?

          Whoops, I nearly forgot!

          “I’ve gotta wonder though if you really are being truthful when you say that you’ve gotten over your hatred for Sheryl, otherwise you would have noticed that Ozma’s phone was changed as well”

          I guess correct reaction here would be “Ozma has phone? :P”

          Really, Alto and Ozma had normal cell phones IIRC. Nothing special about them so no, I wouldn’t really notice minor model changes. What phones have to do with supposedly “hating Sheryl” is also beyond me.

          • Chan says:

            Ever looked up the lyrics to Tenchi no Narachatta its a very innocent song, which was the first song that Sheryl ever wrote on her own. So May’n using a younger voice for it was appropriate.
            =================================
            Cause it seems from your comments that you haven’t gotten your hatred for Sheryl, maybe its because you were too focused on Ranka during the first couple of episodes, and focusing on one character makes you miss a whole lot things.

            That’s the thing the Nome bloodline was supposed to be able to understand the Vajra, and Kawamori not taking advantage of this fact, was pretty much an oversight on his part. He pretty much only made the name just that a name in Frontier, and didn’t start using the fact that she was a Nome until the movie when he focused on Sheryl (and the Sheryl manga though that was by someone else). Also I would imagine that not all Nome develop the same.

            The bird humans pretty much release the same fold waves that the Vajra pick up on, there are also Sheryl’s earrings which act as amplification for her emotions. So the dimming of her powers, is offset by the earrings. It also works well for Galaxy because if Sheryl ever sang a particularly powerful song in Galaxy and had the full powers of her ancestry then think of mayhem it would cause, especially with the earrings amplifying that.

            Though the reason why Grace infected Sheryl in the first place wasn’t to allow her to communicate with the Vajra (she could have probably done that on her own). She pretty much infected Sheryl right after finding her on the streets, and Grace being Sheryl’s savior Sheryl went along with it. Sheryl never contracted the virus, Grace purposefully infected her with it (albeit painfully), and then raised Sheryl to be an intergalactic sensation (while being her only mother/sister figure) so that she could see her in pain. Grace did that for her own experimentation and revenge on her grandmother. So there is no real way to answer how powerful Sheryl would be on her own, considering when she was infected and where. Because she was infected in the head, she loses a lot of her own power, because its much more powerful for her to sing from the stomach, but since the infection is in the head then she has to sing from her head to contact the Vajra, and that’s what was killing her, that was why she was fatigued because it takes more to sing from your head than from your stomach.

            For instance in the movie Sheryl’s power ends up maturing earlier, but in the movie she is probably singing from singing her stomach, not her head where the toxin is. (this is explained in the Sheryl manga). Though Sheryl might not be that far gone from the Mayan bloodline considering that her bloodtype is that of a birdhuman’s.

            By the way kudos to Kawamori for doing his research, yes it is more tiring to sing from the head than from the stomach. And your voice loses power from singing from the head as well.

            Just to point something out we don’t know if tv series Sheryl didn’t know Aimo, considering that she sang it in the Ost and last episode if you strain your ears. But Sheryl may not have wanted to use it because its personal to her (it would probably be one of last mementos she has of her family along with her earrings before Grace had them killed), which is why Grace knew to use it against the Vajra. Also both the tv series and movie are in universe re-tellings.

            Movie Sheryl’s importance is really just Kawamori taking advantage of the foundations that he made, but didn’t take advantage of in the tv series.
            =================================
            That is a bad example because in universe Sheryl wrote the lyrics for Norther Cross, that’s why the song represents her. The same can be said on the songs that the other characters write with an emphasis on write their own songs during the course of the series.

            Its more in the line of “Ai Oboete Imasuka?” which even though Minmei was the first one to sing the song it isn’t really her song. It doesn’t represent her feelings at the time she sang it. Instead its a song that belongs to Protoculture, and to the franchise itself, people just associate the song with her because she sang it first. When she sang that song she was heartbroken because Hikaru didn’t return her feelings, “Ai Oboete Imasuka” is about someone whose love is returned.

            Similary, in universe “Aimo” is a song about mating, which Ranka (and Sheryl) treats like an innocent song of her(their) childhood. Singing it was the in universe of screaming out I want to have sex with you, to the Vajra. I imagine that once both find out this little tidbit of information they won’t sing it as much.

            The whole thing about Ranka being “violated” is that Grace asked her “is this okay?” which basically means that Ranka could have just easily said no. Grace always gave Ranka a choice to which Ranka chose wrong, and then to push the point home they even had Brera ask Ranka “is that okay with you?” but Ranka never once said no even though she was given the opportunity to. Aimo O.C. being used as a weapon was Ranka’s own doing, and was more a sign of Ranka violating something by not speaking up, rather than herself being violated. And even then more so once we realize exactly what is being violated.

            Ranka was never manipulated because manipulation would require the person to not be aware of what they’re getting into, and Ranka was made of what she was doing, and questioned on it by Brera on every occasion but Ranka never speaks up. She especially stops thinking about it and stops having problems with it after Alto gives her the okay. Once Alto says “do it” she stops asking questions, which is dangerous.

            “Aimo” being violated was the equivalent of someone cover someone’s song and then changing the meaning of the song to suit themsleves. In this case the song belongs to the Vajra, and Ranka knows this at this point. When she is given a sample of “Aimo O.C.” she is asked if it is okay, and Ranka doesn’t object to it, she is then asked again by Brera if she is sure that she doesn’t mind “Aimo O.C.” and again Ranka doesn’t act to stop Grace. Then when Alto gives the okay, she decides that she will use “Aimo O.C.” to battle the vajra the very ones that she knows at that point the song belongs to, and for a while is shown to have no qualms against using the song, she even volunteers for it. Ranka was given a choice she could have said no but she chose not to, and so allowed someone else’s song to be violated.
            ==================================

            You are incorrect in thinking that the initial triangle was Alto/Ranka/Brera because in actuality Ranka’s character didn’t even exist in the planning stages. However Sheryl’s did, in the stages the songstress in question was supposed to be one that was already famous, and was quite mature. However Kawamori thought that that couldn’t represent the full extent of the setting and so created another songstress a younger songstress, this was done during the planning stages in which May’n was picked up earlier than NakaMegu. After that he decided to change the love triangle to be two songstresses and one pilot. That’s why Sheryl’s foundation is so much more solid than Ranka’s because unlike Ranka her character was there from the start. Then they thought that the underdog story would be a hit and so focused the tv series off of Ranka.

            In fact you could say that them putting Sheryl in the forefront was Kawamori returning to his initial plans. By the way the Godannar scene in question

            .

            I guess they did that to make up the loss of the tuna bun joke with Sheryl’s hopes and dreams. I think that Kawamori has a strange fascination with Sheryl’s boobs.

            The reason for the change here and it makes more sense, is because they’re friends now, so the scene coming across as superficial is to be expected, because they are superficial friends. Its better than being total strangers. By the way the reason why the dialogue is different because is it’s from the Blue-ray version of episode 3, which changed the dialogue between Ranka and Alto.

            It also makes more sense for Ranka to start small, rather than the way she started in the series. Because even with managers it is hard for a young upcoming singer to get noticed by record, so that they can be signed up. It makes it more believable to the audience, and makes Ranka seem more hard working than her tv counterpart. It also shows patience on her part, as tv series Ranka got discouraged very easily. It also shows how Ranka would have built up her own fandom, rather than the tv series, which showed her to have instantly gained a fandom after playing a part in a movie, which is weird how she even got the part for blockbuster movie because she’s still a nobody at that time. In other words the movie is much more natural in its slower depiction of Ranka’s rise to fame.

            Also their taking bitchy parts actually wasn’t true as the scene where she puts down Alto for being a newbie at flying is still there however, they don’t have any time to fully explore every facet of her personality. Also Sheryl is actually happy to hear Ranka sing, and in the movie always smiles when Ranka sings, which was a reference to May’n who is the whole reason why “Lion” and “Infinity”(this is why we don’t get to hear the duet version of “Infinity” until the third OST) are duets.

            I also think that you’re asking too much from 2 two hour films that are compiling 25 episodes which clock in at 25-30 minutes each (blue-ray version).

            Actually in the TV series Ranka clocked in at the most screen time, so much so that much of the audience didn’t understand Alto, because we didn’t see him as often as Ranka. They changed that in the movie, because there is only really one event in Ranka’a past that is important to the present day story, the destruction of Gallia 4 which is also important to both Grace and Sheryl (its the whole reason why she ends up in her situation) that’s the only foundation she has to work on, and because of her sheltered upbringing there just isn’t much story there. Meanwhile Sheryl and Alto are different they had pre-established rock solid foundation which the tv series regretfully didn’t explore to its fullest capablilities. For instance Alto’s various problems with his life at home were hinted at in the tv series but we never got a chance to see the character explore it the official novels of Macross Frontier later on explored those areas of Alto’s personality, the same happened with Sheryl. In that Sheryl went through much more than was shown in the tv series but the tv series didn’t explore much of it. But like Alto this was merely hinted at and not explored in the tv series, instead the drama cds (came before the Sheryl manga) explored that part of her character. Ditto for Grace who is the main villian of the story but is more connected to Sheryl and Brera (in fact it was weird that those two never interacted in the tv series, considering he came with them) than she is to Ranka. Because of Grace Sheryl lost her family, was infected by a disease and put through so much pain, for Brera he lost his humanity because of her, and he lost his free will. Ranka just isn’t as connected to the other characters, to the story, or to the messages of that Frontier is trying to convey. Which is why she’s not the focus.

            Actually its bad for the Alto/Ranka ship because of Kawamori’s track record with childhood friends. They almost never end up together in his works, or they won’t be happy together. Macross Frontier has two examples of this Klan/Michael- Michael dies and Luca/Nanase -Nanase can’t think of Luca as anything other than a friend. Or the most recent one Basquash where the childhood doesn’t end up with the main character. And if they’re in a love triangle then childhood loses on account of the fact that the main love interest can’t think of them as anything other than a friend (the only exception to this are love triangles with three childhood friends and even then).

            Like I said before Nanase being shafted works for Ranka because it makes her seem more like an underdog. It makes her character look less dependent on others for constant morale.

            Why is Ozma more sister complexy in the movie well lets take look.

            Tv Series Ozma was a side character
            When Ranka competed in the Miss Macross contest he got upset because she thrown out of school, and then he pointed out (the truth) that she was too shy to be a singer (in the tv series she needed to see the paper airplane to sing). Tv series Ozma didn’t stop Ranka from going out, nor did he jump to conclusions before episode 7. He never interfered with Alto’s life either despite knowing that he was friends with Ranka, nor did he use his status to exert control over Alto, even when Sheryl was under suspicion in episode 7.

            Meanwhile movie Ozma was different first of all movie Ozma unlike Tv series Ozma was quick to jump to the conclusion that Grace and Sheryl were spies without any proof, his only suspicion was based on the fact that Ranka was from Gallia 4, despite having the same information as tv series Ozma. He never stopped to think that hey maybe there were other survivors out there (which I want to see how this would be played out). He also never thinks to asks Ranka for more information about what she did remember about “Aimo” even when Ranka protests. He then uses his own status to put Alto under house arrest, based on the fact that Sheryl was using him to get to Ranka (which is funny because Ranka idolizes Sheryl anyway she doesn’t need Alto to get to Ranka). Then tries to arrest Grace and Sheryl with no evidence only to be embarrassed from Grace revealing Frontier ignored a distress signal from its sister fleet, which is being destroyed as they spoke. I half expected for Ozma to say that they were only interested in Ranka because of Gallia 4 only to have Grace reveal that they were also originally from Gallia 4. I can see why Cathy left him. Because of that it makes it more acceptable for Ranka to go against him, because he really is overprotective.

            And your in minority of people who actually thought admirably of Ranka in episode 21, considering the problems that her decision lead to. Ranka’s decision was not shown to be admirable because of the fact that she volunteered to work for Frontier and yet she didn’t follow through with her promise. This is especially bad if you consider the other materials which point out just how bad it was in Frontier in that time, and it was so bad that they had to wear oxygen masks to breath in some areas of Frontier, and during that time even the bitchy Miss Macross winner stayed in Frontier (even though she had the opportunity to leave) and helps the needy and injured (she is Sheryl’s co-worker in the volunteer group). Its bad for TV series Ranka because we do get to look in her thoughts and she isn’t thinking about her home or her loved ones. Not only that but she is just know realizing something that she should have asked herself in episode 14, you know when she was asked to become the songstress of hope because of her songs’ effect on the Vajra. This is pretty bad since it was pointed out to the viewers form as early as episode 3. And the tv series took too long in revealing this piece of information which we the viewers figured out much earlier.

            Now the movie’s handling of this was pretty shotty but then again it is better than the series which dragged it on. this is because there wasn’t much misinterpret with that memory. It also makes Ranka more aware of her surroundings, unlike the tv series, and it makes her show empathy a quality she failed to show in the tv series. Because of that I’ve actually seen less complaints about movie Ranka, because she lived up to the expectations of the viewers.

            As for Sheryl’s personality changing you may have noticed that she’s more fun loving and in the movie, she’s also much more approachable than she was in the tv series, and she actually isn’t a Tsundere in TSD. She’s also much more honest with herself and with those around her.
            This was based on how May’n behaves in real life. Despite how May’n sings she is very cutesy. In fact Gira Gira Summer was inspired by cutesy personality. She’s much more excitable (while NakaMegu is the subdued one). Ditto with Aya Endo who is also comes across as very fun loving (seriously read some of her Frontier interviews).
            ==================================
            That’s because of your comments which you kinda ignore the obvious and end up saying things that come across as too biased to be from a neutral party. It seems like you haven’t completely gotten over your hatred for Sheryl.

            P.S. – If you’re gonna re-watch the series then I recommend downloading the blue-ray version of the tv series- cause its longer prettier and has more scenes, and a better translation.

          • I was just casually rewatching scenes from the movie when I came across the scene wherein Ranka was practicing Seikan Hikou at home and worrying about dancing more “feminine” and wondering if she should just ask Alto about how to do so.

            Feminine implies the opposite of masculine (that’s the binary) and Ranka is not masculine in ANY way.

            Rather, the appropriate problem here (and this may just be a translation issue) is how she’s not womanly (implies opposite of girly) enough as an idol. It’s a maturity vs childishness in her ability to entertain.

            What does this imply? Elmo, or at least someone in her camp believes she should be more than just a lolimoe idol… and be something more like Sheryl perhaps. I just thought I’d mention it here.

      • Pretty much this.

        Ranka was the flagship character; she was the underdog who will become powerful. Sheryl was the standard she was going to be measured against.

        While their bases are SDFM and DYRL Minmays, their dynamics are very much the Nome sisters.

        In Macross Zer0 I get the sense that Mao was just as powerful as Sara only that she didn’t apply herself to learning her powers as her sister did… that she was more interested in the outside world compared to Sara who was as duty-bound as anyone.

        There wasn’t time in that narrative (nor was there a direction in it) to have Mao’s story play out, nor play out against Sara (not that there is an unfriendly conflict).

        Macross Frontier riffs on this, as if to answer the question:

        “What if Mao got to rise into power?”

        Since the Frontier colony isn’t some Mayan tribe, the arena would be the entertainment industry which is interesting given that there never really was any competition between idols in the Macross narrative. I thought the TV series did this splendidly.

    • As a Ranka enthusiast, I’m less concerned about what’s been “taken from her” since I don’t even think anything like that happened at all.

      Rather, these are the things I want to see:

      1. The same kind of break she got when she did the Bird Human film. That was ALL her, AND Sheryl played a great part (supportive on one hand, threatened on the other — great stuff).
      2. A close look at her fanbase… wherein I want to see what is most likely plausible: otaku, and Zentraedi (as opposed to Sheryl’s more mainstream crowd).
      3. Strong decision-making for herself, that takes into account the welfare of others (and I mean people and the Frontier colony).
      A stronger desire to get to know Alto; more effort to get what he’s about and what he needs.
      4. These good developments coming AFTER letting some success get to her head and learning her lesson (maybe some meanness towards Sheryl will be delicious).

      I don’t want to see:

      1. Her saving Alto’s soul or spirit or anything like that.
      2. Her saving Sheryl from the V-type sickness.
      3. Goddess Messiah Ranka as deux ex machina the way it happened in the TV series.

      Basically, I want Ranka to initially win the fancy of the people, lose it because it is superficial anyway, then REALLY win their hearts through hard work and service (not fanservice); much like Sheryl did in the TV Series. I want Sheryl to do the same still, but for the Galaxy colony instead.

      • Xard says:

        1. Sheryl was a total bitch during that ep.
        2. I think first film’s “DEEP AKIBA” is enough for otaku jokes for Frontier.
        3. You mean like in ep 21? Got to agree about Alto part though.
        4. I really have no idea how they’re going to have running time for even the fraction of stuff in tv series. I doubt that can happen.

        “Her saving Sheryl from the V-type sickness.”

        Whaaaaat. You don’t want Sheryl to die, do you? :(

        • Chan says:

          1. How so? remember that it was Sheryl who allowed for Ranka’s version of “Aimo” to become the main song for the movie (even though the director was contracted to make Sheryl write a new song). It was also Sheryl who snubbed the Miss Macross winner after the that girl wouldn’t even say hello to Ranka (which happened right in front of her). If you’re talking about Sheryl kissing Alto in that episode I’d like to remind you that Alto isn’t dating Ranka, nor did he show an interest in Ranka romantically at that point, also Sheryl had no way of knowing that Ranka saw her kiss Alto (no one else saw them kiss).
          2. Actually its right on the mark, considering that those were the fans that Kawamori originally hoped to attract with Ranka’s character along with females, but it ended up backfiring. But considering her songs and her appearance those would be the real life equivalent of what her fans would look like.
          3. In episode 21 Ranka wasn’t thinking about anyone but herself, if you want to say differently then you’re gonna have to supply proof of her thinking about anyone besides herself from episodes 19-21, and by proof I don’t mean interpretations I mean Ranka by Ranka’s own words.
          4. It can happen quite easily in a two hour movie, considering that Ranka was practicing for her first live in the TFD.

          her saving Sheryl from the V-type sickness was a dues ex Machina, albeit a badly implemented one, that seemed too construed and made to just make her seem even more like a Mary Sue in the last episodes.

          • Xard says:

            1. First of all Sheryl had nothing to do with “allowing” Aimo be used. The director called the shots all the time (he didn’t even want to use the Sheryl song he initially was ment to use). Hiring of Ranka and using Aimo were all his doing. Sheryl had made a contract to write song for the film but that doesn’t mean production team cannot ditch such plans. Stuff like this happens in real world too. The director was not obligate to use Sheryl’s song, Sheryl had a contract to write song for the film. It’s up to director if he’s going to use the song in the first place. Sheryl played no role in Ranka getting the role.

            Yeah, initially it looked like Sheryl was snubbing the Miss Macross winner (and she kinda did) but that wasn’t her ultimate target in that scene. That target was Ranka as soon became obvious as scene went on.

            Sheryl’s extreme insecurity (which she skillfully cloaks under excellent mask of false bravado for most of the show’s run) makes her pull many apprehensive and downright nasty moves in triangle, especially early on. The apex is reached just before her fall from Grace (haw haw) starts in Gallia IV.

            Due to her insecurities and confrontational, dominative personality Sheryl gets easily incredibly jealous and feels vulnerable. During the beginning of ep 10 Alto is having phone conversation with Ranka while they’re shooting Sheryl’s film. The look on Sheryl’s face is so frowning it borders on murderous. She really has something of a complex about Alto’s relationship with Ranka. This is obvious from the very start – even on their very first date she constantly brings up Alto’s “girlfriend” and what Alto thinks about Ranka. It’s this constant search for reassurance (about Alto’s lack of feelings) that really betrays just how insecure and out of her element she is with Alto. Do NOT bring up the other woman on date. Sheryl does that constantly.

            In beginning of ep 10 Sheryl spirals into yet another one of those malicious moments of insecurity and egoism. So, what’s the first thing she does when meeting up with Ranka again (after snubbing Miss Macross)? She gets into pleasant small talk and very delibirately emphasizes: *Alto is with her* (Alto’s uncomfortable reaction tells all about what kind of implication Sheryl wanted to strike Ranka with here)

            Not nice at all. But maybe that is misconstrued. Too bad Sheryl’s latter actions absolutely secure the maliciousness of her motives here: she’s out to hurt Ranka and make her think Sheryl’s way closer to Alto than her.

            Later on Ranka first learns about Alto’s background in Kabuki. Sheryl immeaditly uses the chance to deliver her “I know about his personal life and you don’t” speech. Listen to the tone of Endo’s voice there (and crucially her face is not shown when she delivers the lines): it’s cold and scheming from the initial “Oh! *I* knew it” to the final bite of being supposedly intimate enough with Alto to talk about it (there’s no proof that they’ve talked about Alto’ Kabuki past before in fact so she might be lying here too) and noticing it’s uncomfortable topic. Just like in next ep’s intentional use of “yatsu” when talking about Alto Sheryl does her best to imply she has “that kind of” relationship with him.

            Now at this point Ranka has begun to understand just how huge sacrifice from Alto it is to act in the film for her sake. And she clearly feels bad about it. So what does Sheryl do?

            – She purposefully brings up Alto’s feelings about acting. Then she yet again subtly implies a closer relationship that they even have at this point. *She manages to make Ranka feel sad for that and the fact that he was asked to do something he hates more than anything to help her.* She also very well knows Ranka loves Alto and knows how all this affects her. This is just cruel. Ranka exists the scene hurt with the traditional “eyes shadowed” look. Congratz Sheryl, in short span of time you delivered numerous hard hitting blows.

            And then we finally see Sheryl’s face as she looks Ranka run away. There’s not a slightest hint of remorse, empathy or regret on it. It’s cold, harsh expression of predator about to catch her prey and a face of a woman who’d stop at nothing to reach her objectives (that’s the kind of woman Sheryl has alwas been, after all.). I officially dubbed that face Sheryl’s “bitch face” she also gets to wear in ep 5’s Formo scene for the first time.

            Bitch face: http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/2249/exhibitabitch5gx0.jpg

            It would only get worse in next ep where Sheryl reached new lows of backstabbing while happily smiling all the time. That facade’s worse than Bitch face.

            So regardless of whether Ranka was intended to see the kiss or not (she did see it and Sheryl knew she was nearby on the shore just in front of them, though) that scene too had nasty taste to it. I figure Sheryl let her insecurities get hold of her yet again and she wanted to get kiss from Altohime before shooting began.

            But as above shows kiss scene per se was no problem to me. It was the increasingly douchebaggey behaviour that had been getting worse and worse that framed said kissing scene too.

            While I enjoy the complicated character relationships and all the awesome it entails I can’t help but feel change of Sheryl’s role made her occasionally very repugnant character to me. On the one hand she was supposed to be this nice, cool onee-sama for Ranka – but at the same time she could be incredibly vicious in the context of triangle and bizarre package of jealousy and superiority complex. She knew damn well before getting interested in Alto that Ranka had a thing for him – and she also knew Ranka was incredibly shy and awkward about the fact. So of course she decides to aggressively pursue him without slightest quivering of conscience! (I’m not saying she should ignore her own feelings but at least some showcase of conscience or at the very least an honest, open rivalry instead of series of backstabbing and intentional hurting would’ve been preferred.) Similar thing went to her support of Ranka’s musical career. On one hand encouraging but the moment her popularity started to skyrocket and Sheryl saw Ranka as genuine thread… not a pretty picture and we saw Sheryl’s first inclinations towards this in her reaction to Ranka’s popular street performance in ep 5! That was troubled, frowning face.

            Add on top of all of this how large deal of her early confidence etc. is little more than false bravado and how she was to large extent manufactured idol by Grace, despite all the credit she took for her success.

            Absolutely hypocritical behaviour from top to bottom.

            Interestingly enough Space AIDS proved to be Sheryl’s saving grace, redemption and source of growth into genuinely admirable person.

            2. You sure know Kawamori’s intentions incredibly well. Do you have secret sources or what? Oh, and I didn’t know Zentraedi existed in real world either! That’s cool. As for “otaku demographic”…who do you think was Macross’s main target audience anyway? The first and foremost customer base MF had was and is otaku.

            3. This is big enough subject to write huge post about, like I once planned writing on one forum so I’m not getting into too much detail, at least for now.

            Anyway, Ep 19’s Ai-kun search is propably in my books worst thing Ranka did in MF. It was not evil or mean or anything like that but it was damn irresponsible. Writers really wanted her to wear eyeglasses and have that conversation with Brera, did they… *sigh*

            But her failures in eps 20 and 21 are humane and products of her imperfection. There’s no maliciousness or any kind of evil intent here for which Ranka could be judged. God forbid character dares to fail sometimes! Oh no! WAT DO.

            And I find it absolutely hilarious that people actually took “I wanna take Ai-kun to his pals” at face value as Ranka’s reason for leaving Frontier. And then proceed to bash her for “selfishness” when ep 21’s end was propably one of the biggest sacrifices anyone made in the show in order to do what they felt was right. Pfft.

            4. Yeah, it CAN. But there are a lot of other, more immeadiate things that must also happen in the film…

          • Wow this is incredible.

            1. Sheryl was gracious in this scene. I don’t think too much credit should be given her in getting Aimo to be used in the film, but Sheryl was gracious.
            2. Sheryl never cared for Miss Macross winner. She’d been supportive of Ranka and will continue to do so. I like Ranka and I think this episode is a great one for her, but not so at the expense of Sheryl being “bad.” It was a great episode — Sheryl suddenly being confronted by her own feelings for Alto in light of the kissing scene was particularly charming. Your accusations of malice are dripping with hatred for the character and are frankly, bullshit.
            3. There is a broader anime fanbase, there is an older Macross fanbase, and there are otaku that care little about Macross but are particular “database animals” that favor lolimoe, dojikko moe, and basically everything Ranka (except the fail). This is the hedge Macross Frontier took — there will always be hardcore otaku who buy up the dvds and Blu-rays, and a Ranka-type character is the direct appeal to them.

            And I find it absolutely hilarious that people actually took “I wanna take Ai-kun to his pals” at face value as Ranka’s reason for leaving Frontier. And then proceed to bash her for “selfishness” when ep 21′s end was propably one of the biggest sacrifices anyone made in the show in order to do what they felt was right. Pfft.

            Ranka’s big time fail. Sacrifice: “I can’t have Alto-kun anymore.” Consequence: Leaving her colony during its time of great need, to go to the Vajra colony. Greatest sacrifice? C’mon man. Stop this, it’s embarrassing. Alto was prepared to shoot her on sight precisely because he cared about her enough to execute her himself instead of a public lynching.

        • 1. LOL “total” spoken like a true partisan.
          2. I’m not talking about otaku jokes. I’m talking about an incisive portrayal of market dynamics.
          3. Ok
          4. No I don’t want HER to save Sheryl. I want Sheryl “saved” as much as I want Ranka saved. No damsel in distress shit, no more than necessary (and by necessary I mean the Alto catching them in mid-air which is a Macross tradition).

          • Xard says:

            1. Slight hyperbole is always admissible for sake of rhetoric. I appreciate the way Sheryl at least put the Miss Macross bitch down a notch. But then again, for rest of the episode Sheryl’s really showing her apprehensible side. Though at least she isn’t as douchebaggy as in ep 11 so I guess that counts for something. Guhh, more I think about it more the early series Sheryl gets on my nerves.
            2. Since when has “incisive portrayal of market dynamics” been focus of Macross? Sure, there’s been all the riffing about music industry going on since original series but never does the commentary get that “serious”. And I fail to see what Frontier would gain thematically from it, or even narrativewise. Witnessing typical shana-tan moeeeee otaku stereotypes in my Frontier is something I don’t want to happen: talk about breaking the immersion. There are a dozens of other series to watch if I want to laugh at otakus.
            3. :D I’m actually serious about what I said. In retrospect I’ve always seen end of ep 21’s as one of Ranka’s very best moments in the series. The hatedom she gets for that is entirely undeserved and rests on invalid inferences. You’ve been reading too much Crusader’s state of art Ranka hatin’ posts (eps 20-21 commentary, “Ranka is Kawamori’s troll on moe”, 2008 RAEG list and whatnot that are the best articulations of “Ranka Lee trolled my Macross” I’ve ever read.). :P

            4. Presuming that the the magical space VajrAIDS is the same I don’t see how Sheryl can be saved by anyone else, presuming Vajra Queen itself doesn’t do it instead of little queen.

            Speaking of Macross tradition of catching falling girls in mid-air, Alto has pretty bad track record, phailing in both ep 2 with Ranka and in Utahime with Sheryl! :D

            As for the slap yeah, I could’ve done without it but it wasn’t all that. Besides, I’m sucker for clear narrative patterns like these. As for why the slap I think it was motivated by the way Sheryl had abandonded her general TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLE BREAK THE UNBREKABLE ROW ROW FIGHT DA POWAH attitude. It was uncharacteristic of her: and would the “Ideal Sheryl” really go down quietly like that, even if the illness is supposedly incurable? She’d fight to her last breath. The way Sheryl gave in (and thus betrayed her usual self that tends not to accept situations thrown at her) was the reason for slap, not the fact Sheryl was convinced she was dying.

            I’m not saying that was the brightest moment of writing in the series, it wasn’t, but it’s not like the slap was entirely without rationale.

            (And did Ranka even know how serious her condition was anyway? She had left the Frontier all the way back in ep 21, after all.)

          • 1. LOL douchebaggy. Spoken like a hater.
            2. It’s a desire and completely legit. SDF Macross was an incisive and underrated view of the idol industry during the time of its birth in the early ’80s. Too lazy to bring up my post from the archives. But some of this should be in my final Frontier TV post. It’s not very difficult to show Ranka’s fandom for the 2chan denizen, Comiket/Akiba/Genshiken kind of fan that they are. There’s no value judgment here, I just think this is very interesting.
            3. You’re every bit as misguided as Ranka is then. No I don’t share Crusader’s hatedom and in fact he has never let up hating on me for being a Ranka fan. But leave his own nonsense out of this. I don’t buy his Kawamori = troll rhetoric, and Ranka as troll on moe theory either. But ep 21 is Ranka’s crowning moment of fail.
            4. Precisely, I don’t want all this damsel in distress shit. Alto failing to catch anyone at any point are just inversions of the trope, but very much in keeping with the tradition. Otherwise, I don’t want to see anymore Ranka kidnapped scenarios nor deux ex machina scenarios. The slap is stupid and made to be symmetrical with the previous slap. And yes Ranka knew, as she was already in Vajra Queen mode. And if she didn’t, she slapped without thinking, which is just I don’t even know where to begin.

            The list I made are wishes, not attacks; so you can let up being so defensive.

            Listen, I’m no authority (as in certifications and what not) on being a fan, but I believe that being a fan ISN’T about believing your idol is infallible. I love Ranka despite all the shit she’s given as a character, and all the hate she’s given by the fans. This is what I believe is a great manifestation of being a fan. Denying faults, interesting or just plain fail, only makes everyone dumber.

            I’ve been waving the banner for Macross since I started blogging, but I’ve never pretended it’s perfect. It’s not. It requires so much sacrifice of intellect to enjoy. It is my favorite anime not because it’s better than Legend of the Galactic Heroes, but because I love it so damn much. It’s the same with Minmay. Sheryl’s more awesome, hands down. I have no problem with acknowledging Minmay as an inferior singer, idol, and character to Sheryl, but it doesn’t change the fact that Minmay is my most favorite anime character of all, and for all time.

            So with finality, do not confuse me at least, as a person determined to hate on your pet character and give the benefit of trust that my criticism isn’t born out of malice nor irresponsible dismissiveness towards Ranka. I do not claim to be the best advocate, or writer doing criticism on Macross, but I’m fair and considerate. And I damn think about Macross just as much as the most retarded fanboy you can imagine.

      • Vanossa says:

        To defend Kawamori: They had to give her the power to save Sheryl, because otherwise she would have been universally disliked. If it hadn’t been because of her poor decision making and own conflicted nature, Sheryl wouldn’t have had to sing in her place and advance her speed to sing herself to death. Plus, Sheryl wanted to save her (not Alto).

        It would make her look like a total ass.

        • Chan says:

          If that’s so then why have her slap a dying Sheryl? That already made her look like an ass for slapping a dying person, who was only dying because she took up the responsibilities that Ranka herself abandoned.

          • OH GOD THAT SLAP WAS THE STUPIDEST THING EVER.

            Really, a slavish devotion to symmetry… if Sheryl slapped Ranka then… ugh

          • Vanossa says:

            Ranka was overly emotional, I think her magical slap would save her or whatever. Besides she didn’t slap her body, but her mind/soul/etc.

            I think, and this is a problem with Ranka character in general, that she’s very unable to take decisions by herself and needs to copy her idol Sheryl or rely on opinion. Because when she tries to do something by herself, BACKFIRES. She probably slapped Sheryl because Sheryl slapped her out emo once, thinking it’s the best way?

            It’s something troublesome in her characterization that leaks in her role as songtress (copying Minmay’s style, overuse of covers, not enough ‘personal’ voice). She sings better in duet with Sheryl.

            I like that movie wise, she’s starting to come out on her own without the shadows.

          • Chan says:

            She’s still dying, and reason why she’s dying doesn’t help matters.

            Sheryl was depressed because she was young and dying, there was nothing emo about that. If you knew you were dying wouldn’t you be depressed?

            I’m sorry its just in bad taste.

  12. Vanossa says:

    @ghostlightning (and Chan, mixed reply because I am very lazy person)

    There are parts of Anata No Oto that are good, but overall it’s not as strong as Ao no Ether (which is one of my favorite Frontier songs). The lyrics are embarrassing too (dokun dokun dokun!). I got secondhand embarrassment when it began to play…

    Thanks! I’m a weird kind of fan who couldn’t really care less about the love triangle (they are teenagers! Who cares who does Alto or not? Their singing careers would make them legendary, scoring Hime would not), I liked to see Ranka grow as a star and singer too, since they are pimping both of them (Sheryl and Ranka next to former singers in material). But when her last signature song was… Anata No Oto, it feels like disappointment. She seems very out of place with all those featured stars, if you know what I mean? Although, I do enjoy when Sheryl and Ranka combine their voices together, their duets are amazing. The main issue I had with them is that Ranka relies too much on Sheryl’s songs and lead.

    I disagree with Kawamori’s choice. I still think Maaya would have been a better choice for Ranka, in my opinion. Megumi has a nice voice, don’t get me wrong, but they overuse the moe-cutesy fleeting value and it sounds very alike most seiyuu singing voices (and she has trouble to separate herself from the Ranka persona as Chan says, look at her live performances). It’s like placing Taylor Shift with Michael Jackson, Elvis and Madonna. It is jarring.

    Gabriela Robin site says that Ranka will have mature songs next movie, I’m being cautiously optimistic.

    • Xard says:

      @Vanossa, I just put up link to the recent MF Radio broadcast…

      And you get special minus points for evilness for dissing Anata no Oto. Dokun dokun dokun has to be the most catchy and fun thing to come out of MF music! :(

      With exception of Northern Cross, Diamond Crevasse and Lion lyrics of all pop songs of Frontier are “silly” to differing degrees. They’re, after all, “just” pop songs. I loved Anata no Oto’s lyrics, they’re good for what they are.

      • Xard says:

        and May’n certainly isn’t comparable to Michael Jackson or Elvis (funnily enough Madonna isn’t that great singer :P )! That comparison would’ve been valid if Nakajima (or her) was put against Sakamoto or Origa.

        • Vanossa says:

          I mean placing Ranka among people like Sheryl, Minmay, Basara, Sharon Apple. She definitely gets the short end of the stick with her songs and creativity (displayed in the tv series).

      • Vanossa says:

        I’ll listen to it when my connection stops hating me :(

        That part is what ruined the song to me. Instead of some eloquent lyrics that would display how much Ranka matured with the experience (like Ao no Ether showed), it was so childish… that embittered me.

        I know, but you see a progression of Sheryl’s lyrics as she matures. I wanted that for Ranka too. I wanted both of them to be legendary, not only Sheryl.

    • Chan says:

      Yeah Anata no Oto isn’t really a good song to me either, because its just like Seikon Hikoku in both meaning, and tone, I mean seriously she really does sing it in the exact same tone as Seikon Hikoku. It’s really a silly song, but then again it was made to be that way.

      I like it when they sing duets as well, but I’m still of the belief that Ranka nor NakaMegu should ever sing their duets alone (except for What ’bout my star @formo ) because a lot of their duets require a strong voice to accompany it -eg: Lion – NakaMegu’s version of it sounded uninspiring; nor should she ever sing a serious Sheryl song eg: Diamond Crevasse, stop trying to make NakaMegu sing it, it doesn’t sound good. Also even though they sing together a lot I noticed that May’n has to hold back in order for NakaMegu to be heard, in fact that’s true for all of NakaMegu’s duets and group songs. Once they (her partners in the song) don’t care about having her (NakaMegu’s) voice heard then she gets overpowered, and her voice becomes a squeak in the background.

      Her trying to sound too much like Ranka is partly why people hated her “Be Myself” album so much. I mean I know that NakaMegu can do better I mean if you know there is a NakaMegu based vocaloid out there called Gumi and all of that vocaloid’s best songs are not cutesy at all.

      In fact the only resemblance that the vocaloid shares with Ranka is her design, her seiyuu, and carrots. People were actually reluctant to take to the vocaloid because they believed that she’d be too much like her actual singer with a limited range and only able to do Raka-like songs- which for a program like vocaloid is the kiss of death. And the sample songs that came with her didn’t help matters, there were all songs based on the Ranka persona. But Gumi was lucky in that one person decided to try her program and released her song which wasn’t at all like the Ranka persona which Gumi was advertised as and so Gumi was accepted as a regular vocaloid, because of the abilities of the vocaloid program vocaloids don’t have that problem (vocaloids are advertised as being anything their user wants them to be) and for Gumi or Megupoid its not cutesy songs. I kinda find it ironic because what almost happened to the vocaloid is what is happening to NakaMegu right now, and in order to get over it she’s going to have to follow her vocaloid’s example and try out new styles.

      So am I my friend so am I. Kawamori should have chosen a better singer for Ranka, because lets be honest here NakaMegu’s voice is not unique and for a character whose voice is supposed to turn heads when she sings the fact that she sounds like any other singer out there makes it hard to believe. Especially since even though Minmei’s voice was generic it worked because of what she represented to that series, and also because they probably never had much singers in the Macross of which they could latch on to as a symbol of their everyday life. But with Ranka its different, with Frontier there are a ton of singers that wish to make it big so what makes Ranka different form these singers? NakaMegu makes it hard to understand, exactly how Ranka made it big so fast, because her voice is really generic.

      • NakaMegu’s voice is warm and full of character in her performances for Ranka. I can’t make the same claim for her work outside of Macross, but I do not agree at all how you claim it is unremarkable.

        Now, when you say generic, it implies that there are a multitude of other talents who can do just as good a job. Your tone implies that it was such a poor job that (many) other people would do better.

        Let’s keep to who is the best candidate I can think of: Sakamoto Maaya.

        I think if she did Ranka’s vocal performances we would get technically better recordings (better vocal technique). However, it wouldn’t feel authentic. I listened to the Ao no ether track above… it isn’t moe enough. It’s not Ranka, it’s too mature.

        For all our criticism of Ranka being an immature dumbass, we must be careful not to make her too mature to become uninteresting. Sheryl is interesting as a woman beyond her years and at the height of her powers — she is less interesting to me whiny and weak. Ranka is the opposite, she is interesting as a weak person growing stronger.

        NakaMegu’s weaknesses is great for Ranka. This may not translate to her broader success as a musician, but I have no doubt of her suitability for the role and the franchise.

        Also, she owned in the Final Budokan concert. I loved watching them together.

        • Chan says:

          Well she’s sings in the song No limit from Basquash which I posted up there and also in the song with the other Macross singers, and in both songs you can’t actually hear her sing over other sings, she might as well be the background singer in both songs. Also ever tried to listen to any of the instrumentals to any of her songs? Cause that’s actually where the warmth comes from.

          Also never underestimate Maaya, she’s pretty good at sounding young and immature, in fact her versatility is part of the reason why she’s such a sought after voice actor. She can still do moe, very easily, its just that that song is not meant to sound moe. However, NakaMegu’s real voice doesn’t really sound like Ranka’s you can hear it when she starts to get tired during live concerts and then ends up singing out of character for Ranka fora bit, otherwise she copies Ranka’s voice during concerts.

          I know that’s why I’m satisfied with movie Ranka

          If Maaya voiced Ranka she’d probably use the same voice she did for Aries

          (after one minute) and Princess Tomoyo from Tsubasa or Mayu from (Gundam Seed Destiny). Also remember Ranka looks young enough as is, they don’t need to make her any younger with her voice.

          • Xard says:

            “However, NakaMegu’s real voice doesn’t really sound like Ranka’s you can hear it when she starts to get tired during live concerts and then ends up singing out of character for Ranka fora bit, otherwise she copies Ranka’s voice during concerts.

            I know that’s why I’m satisfied with movie Ranka”

            you lost me.jpg

            What does the above have to do with movie Ranka? lolwtf

          • Chan says:

            I was responding to what ghostlightning was saying about Ranka needing to improve.

          • I shouldn’t underestimate Maaya.

            That said, I stand by my own impressions of NakaMegu’s performance as Ranka and note how some of the people who don’t care for the character have favorable impressions of NakaMegu’s performance.

            Not making her younger… Ranka’s voice is appropriate the way it is. I really enjoy listening to the radio dramas as well, also her skits during concerts.

    • Yes it works better when BOTH idols are legendary. However, and this is a big however, the narrative (and staff) is banking on the moeblob factor to win big. This was their hedge. They got the overall power-idol down with Sheryl, and they knew lolimoe is a big deal as well (warerrorikon oboete imasu ka?).

      Therefore, Ranka’s songs are more in the tradition of say, K-ON! (My love is a stapler, Fuwa-fuwa time) or indeed, Lynn Minmay (Silver Moon, Red Moon, Zero-G Love, Sunset Beach).

      This also works within the narrative in that musical taste in the Macross universe allows for massive popularity of these kinds of songs. Remember, Fire Bomber may have hard-hitting party songs, power ballads and the like, but Mylene’s songs are rock-driven pop ditties (Dakedo Baby, My Friends).

      Minmay never had songs like Sheryl has them, but her discography is legendary. That said, I’d find it difficult to listen to outside of nostalgia purposes outside of Ai oboete imasu ka? and Tenshi no enogu.

      So, our disappointment with Ranka’s discography so far needs perspective. It won’t probably change our personal relationship with Anata no Oto, but we should see what the narrative is successful in doing (sticking to its direction). Whether it resonates with the broader audience/viewership is another matter.

      • Chan says:

        Minemi did have a heavy song in her repertoire called “Ai was Nagareru”

        and it was the original song that got most of the Zentradi to become fans of her singing is just like Diamond Crevasse. Minmei was not limited to just cutesy songs she could sing serious ones if they needed her too. They also got her to sing Angel Voice at one time

        (timeline wise this would mean that Minmei wrote Angel Voice) and many other covers as well as her own songs. In other words Minmei did sing “Sheryl-like” songs its just they aren’t so well known (*sob*).

        Right now Ranka isn’t even given a slither of the freedom that Minmei and Mari Ijima had with SDF, but then again the narrative doesn’t allow for Ranka to sing heavy songs and its certainly abouve NakaMegu’s head which is why Kanno never gave her any.

        • Vanossa says:

          You posted my favorite Minmay song. So I give you the Internets.

        • Xard says:

          I don’t think Ai wa Nagateru compares to Diamond Crevasse in any aspect, to be honest. I like the song and it’s propably my favourite from original after Ai Oboete Imasuka? and Tenshi no Enogu

          As for Minmay who sang Angel Voice etc. we’re talking about “old” Mari Iijima here. Her voice is entirely different by that point in her career.

          • Chan says:

            @ Xard
            Why not both songs have the same meaning. They are songs about losing someone and the feelings of those getting left behind – Diamond Crevasse due to death and Ai wo Nagareru due to war. To the Zentradi who were a warrior race the song probably brought them to question the point of war when there are so many sacrifices.

            They are just sung in different styles, by different people.

            Minmei is Minmei is Minemi and technically Minemi also sang Tenchi no Enogu at a later time of her career as well, or are we forgetting Flashback 2012?

          • That’s no Diamond Crevasse. Hey, I lurve Minmay and have taken unspeakable amounts of abuse for my Minmay love but she doesn’t sing anything like Sheryl.

            This is why Ranka is more the flagship of the Macross Frontier brand, at least in the beginning. Because she is tradition. She is safe, and she is moé♥ KIRA!☆

            Re: freedom to create and stuff…

            Iijima Mari was already a singer-songwriter, and contributed to Macross. But more importantly she was the only star and Minmay was the only star.

  13. Xard says:

    Ranka was always ment to be a classic, 80s idol singer in terms of style etc. whereas Sheryl was modelled after the “modern”, more abrasive and sexually assertive gaijin pop stars like Beyonce and Britney Spears (hey, Kawamori brought these two up! Not me!)

    And “onomatopoeia” like Dokun are very common in japanese language and hence not at all rare in song lyrics. I think the effect is ment to be sweetand I doubt japanese person would find “dokun dokun dokun” funny per se.

    Afterall, we have Rei’s hilarious sounding “pokapoka” in Evangelion 2.0’s dramatic scene. Yet it was not ment to be humorous at all. It’s just the way japanese language rolls.

    Ao no Ether has “deeper” words because Ranka’s sad panda there instead of her typical cheerful, naive self. Say, have you checked out lyrics to Sou da yo yet? I think they’re great and certainly quite introspective and “mature” (they were written by Sakamoto, just like Ao no Ether’s)

    • Chan says:

      Thing about Ao no Ether is that its a song about a person realizing that the one they like not only doesn’t return their feelings, the person they like doesn’t even know who they are, and not only that person they also do not understand the object of their affection, and because of that they know that its time to say goodbye. Which just like Ranka’s character at that point, too bad we never actually hear Ranka’s character sing the song in series, come to think of it Sou day yo basically has the same message, but its also the person realizing that its fine if the one one they love doesn’t love them back as long as the object of their affection is happy (a far cry from her tv series persona).

  14. Xard says:

    Uhh, is there some limit to sub-comments one can make on wordpress (I’ve never commented this much on WordPress ever so I wouldn’t know)? I can’t reply to either of ghostlightning’s recent posts directly, at least for now. I think yesterday some posts were like too but now I can reply to them…wtf.

  15. Xard says:

    http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/ranka-alto-parallel-lines-do-not-a-triangle-make/#comment-12233

    Reply to this^ comment:

    1. uhh, what scene are you exactly referring to? She was cool in Miss Macross scene but…I guess you mean the scene where they talk about songs with director? I didn’t mention it personally though.

    2. “Sheryl never cared for Miss Macross winner.”

    Never claimed to contrary. Nor did have I ever claimed Sheryl didn’t like Ranka. But their relationship becomes immeaditly more complicated than the traditional “onee-sama” one due to the triangle. Sheryl’s complex character and her responses rarely are entirely straightforward. And I think Sheryl’s been quite self-aware of her feelings for quite a while by the time we reach ep 10. She’s just too tsundere to admit anything.

    “Your accusations of malice are dripping with hatred for the character and are frankly, bullshit.”

    No. I’ve always liked Sheryl and after Michel she was propably the most consistently entertaining character in the whole show. But I stand by what I said. Go watch the scene from where I took the screenshot or better yet go watch ep 11 again. Sheryl’s entirely capable of being a twofaced bitch. Those moments in eps 10-11 were also first instances when Sheryl really angered me. I haven’t retrospectively come to those conclusions about her behaviour.

    Who’s the one idealizing characters now I wonder.

    3. You seem to be referring to very specific brand of otakus with your usage of word. I used word otaku as catch-all name for anime otaku in general, not some specific subgroup. Macross oldfags, general anime otaku newfags, and “moefags” are all included in my usage of word. Hell, Macross Frontier aired during middle of night which means its viewerbase essentially consisted entirely of anime fans in general.

    “Ranka’s big time fail. Sacrifice: “I can’t have Alto-kun anymore.” Consequence: Leaving her colony during its time of great need, to go to the Vajra colony. Greatest sacrifice? C’mon man. Stop this, it’s embarrassing. Alto was prepared to shoot her on sight precisely because he cared about her enough to execute her himself instead of a public lynching.”

    Funny that you actually go to spell out in further detail what I said. She did not only give up on Alto there: she essentially abandonded Ozma, all of her friends as well as general population of Frontier. She abandons her home entirely. Turning the general climate to that willing to perform “public lynching” tells enough about the extent of her determination to do what she felt was right thing to do. There’s no return to Frontier in case she fails and she made that gamble. There’s a lot more in line than just Alto.

    Furthermore Ranka did not “betray” Frontier. She had no moral obligation to colony, she wasn’t a soldier and secondly – and far importantly – she is NOT simply citizen of Frontier. She belongs just as much to Vajra as Frontier and had just as much “obligation” towards them. Making a choice between two was what pretty much all characters were demanding, howling for Vajra blood (Alto foremost). Ranka’s only one who managed to transcend this understandable but absolutely *wrong *approach. Killing Vajra (with Aimo) is – from her perspective – just as morally questionable as Vajras actions through the series.

    Instead of writing more let me ask *what exactly is so wrong or selfish about Ranka’s decision*. What is it that gets so many people all worked up? I’ve never understood it, quite simply.

    It can’t be “Frontier needed her” – this would imply it’s morally righteous to use Ranka as tool in order to mass slaughter Vajra.

    http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/ranka-alto-parallel-lines-do-not-a-triangle-make/#comment-12235

    Response to this^ post:

    1. This seems to be inevitable outcome often enough in my posts about MF but no, I don’t hate Sheryl. She’s my second or third favourite character in the whole show after Ranka (and Michel if I rank him as second)! The thing is Ranka gets enough hate as it is and her flaws are widely known and often repeated: it would be redundant of me to repeat these things. All I’m doing is trying to point out Sheryl isn’t flawless or perfect either: albeit that’s apparently increasingly difficult to do without immeaditly being tagged as “hater”. Not like this is anything new to me, of course. Criticizing Sheryl on Animesuki could prove to be rather lethal exercise I noticed ages ago.

    2. I’m offended by presumption Ranka fans can be stereotyped into creepy Akiba otaku stereotypes (and that Sheryl’s stuff automatically attracks “normal” fans). Besides, this isn’t even about character but their songs. From all the people I’ve introduced to MF most have loved the show (only one exception, really. Even if it was their first Macross show in some cases) and pretty much everyone hailed the music. My best friend is huge Sheryl fan but he really likes Ranka too: and when it comes to music he enjoys pretty much all the stuff equally (Anata no Oto perhaps being his favourite song, in fact) and digs both Nakajima and May’n – which seems to be the standard opinion. I also know Ranka fans who like Sheryl’s songs more and *vice versa*. Most seem to love or like songs on their own terms without going all “herpderp whose song this is wut’s the target audience”. Seikan Hikou and Anata no Oto are just as much J-Pop as Welcome to my FanClub’s Night! or What ’bout my Star. There’s nothing “moe” about Ao no Ether or new versions of Ai Oboete Imasuka? either.

    Because of this I don’t see why Ranka’s primary audience should be Zentraedis (who are universl moefags anyway) and otakus. Seriously, I don’t get it. Ranka’s image is more that of classic 80s idol than “otaku idol” anyway.

    3. Okay. But again, I’d really like to hear your version of why Ranka is epic fail in ep 21. I’ve seen this claim in far more overzealous tones by Crusader etc. and I didn’t buy them then.

    4. “The slap is stupid and made to be symmetrical with the previous slap. And yes Ranka knew, as she was already in Vajra Queen mode. And if she didn’t, she slapped without thinking, which is just I don’t even know where to begin.”

    yeah, I forgot to add that the last option (“Ranka didn’t know”) would’ve been by far the worst. But really, obviously Yosino and Kawamori did not *put it in* just in order ot make nice symmetry with ep 20’s slap. I was just speculating what might be their reasoning. I don’t like the slap or think it’s good writing but I don’t think it’s *complete asspull* either. No one adds such symmetry to narrative without at least some charater motivation, no matter how flimsy.

    “The list I made are wishes, not attacks; so you can let up being so defensive.”

    I only had problems with number 2 for reasons already mentioned.

    “Listen, I’m no authority (as in certifications and what not) on being a fan, but I believe that being a fan ISN’T about believing your idol is infallible. I love Ranka despite all the shit she’s given as a character, and all the hate she’s given by the fans. This is what I believe is a great manifestation of being a fan. Denying faults, interesting or just plain fail, only makes everyone dumber.”

    (actually my anime “idol” would be Nausicaä and not even she is infallible…)

    I think I touched on this before but I’m not thinking Ranka is infallible or anything like that. She has flaws and she literally fails at beginning of ep 20 and most majorly in ep 21 for not singing in after Leon’s speech. If Ranka was flawless she would’ve smoothly sailed through both problems like a real Mary Sue. She didn’t.

    Flaws of Ranka have been repeated ad nauseam and I don’t think I need to join the choir. HOWEVER when I see her bashed undeservedly for something you can bet I’m there to defend her. And in Ranka’s case this point of contention happens to be ending of ep 21. Many people like you consider it as Ranka’s epic fail moment that downright RUINED the character to the point she needs “redemption” in new film version. I reject these theses. Ranka’s actions were not “epic fail”. Consequenty *she doesn’t need redemption either*

    I’m not trying to “idealize” Ranka overall: but I do fight against what I consider widely shared wrong perception.

    “So with finality, do not confuse me at least, as a person determined to hate on your pet character and give the benefit of trust that my criticism isn’t born out of malice nor irresponsible dismissiveness towards Ranka. I do not claim to be the best advocate, or writer doing criticism on Macross, but I’m fair and considerate. And I damn think about Macross just as much as the most retarded fanboy you can imagine.”

    If it helps you’re nonetheless one of my very favourite writers on Macross if not the very favourite one! :)

    I know you’re Ranka fan and I know you have reasons for thinking her character ended up failing in tv series. It’s this one thing I disagree about – and as it’s big one I propably come off as more contrarian than I am.

    • Chan says:

      The thing about perception is that is that if everyone was really right then why change what wasn’t wrong? Remember even Ranka’s own seiyuu had problems with Ranka in the last episodes. And if the person who is meant to portray her thinks that she’s selfish then there must be a serious problem with the character itself. The real test of a Mary Sue is whether or not they receive hell (in universe) for their bad decisions or does the story cover up for them. In Ranka’s case the story covers for her whenever she makes a bad decision.

      Anyway responding to your post in this category
      1. Sheryl could have just easily said no (especially because its a last minute decision), but she didn’t. Common misbelief is that directors call all the shots, incorrect, producers call all the shots, because they fund the movie and directors can be replaced. And even then both are bound by contract so if they contracted to sing the main song of a movie and then change their minds too bad for both of them, especially if its late in production. Also wasn’t Ranka chosen for the movie because the person who was supposed to play Mao couldn’t? That was more luck on Ranka’s point. Besides that obligation is the whole point of a contract, and everyone in every situation is required to follow it once they make it, yes that includes move directors. Not following a contract can and does lead to legal trouble. If you could break a contract with a director then people wouldn’t make contracts with directors. Having said that the best way to get out of contract is to have both parties disagree with it, which is why the director had to ask Sheryl, that is why it was a question not a statement.
      But yeah you’re bias is showing.

      2.Well ghostlightning answers this question.

      3. She only reacted her own problems and when we did get a peek in her thoughts she was only saying “Why me?” so their views do have a foundation in something.

      4. It’ be two minutes probably even less just like the Miss Macross contest.

      • Xard says:

        “The thing about perception is that is that if everyone was really right then why change what wasn’t wrong? Remember even Ranka’s own seiyuu had problems with Ranka in the last episodes. And if the person who is meant to portray her thinks that she’s selfish then there must be a serious problem with the character itself. ”

        I asked for source of this interview ages ago! I’d really like to read it (main reason why I’m asking for sources for many of your claims is not because I think you’re lying but because I’m genuinely curious about these things)

        Funny how you go into the whole producer/director deal. Indeed in Hollywood system producer is the one calling shots often but in case of many high profile directors they’re far more equal (and sometimes producers are really fucked up with diva maestros directing :D) – or even same person or of course there can be many producers. (I’m propably going to start studying filmmaking next year as a matter of fact, if all goes well, so I’m aware of these kind of things)

        Anyway, Sheryl offered to write a new song after hearing director’s mumblings. She really didn’t seem to have any reason to go against his wishes, whether her song was going to be used or not. She really didn’t give an impression about caring much about the question so seeing he wanted to use Aimo what reason Sheryl would’ve had to disagree?

        I’m not saying Sheryl couldn’t have complicated the matters if she had wanted to but she didn’t have a reason for that. Nor does Ranka getting her literally lucky break as Mao have anything to do with Sheryl’s participation.

        Ranka got Mao’s role indeed because the original actress got injured + director heard Aimo and wanted to use her.

        2) huh? Which 2. you’re referring to anyway? Ghostlightning didn’t yet answer to my post anyway.

        3) the said “why me” part was after the funeral, right? I’d ask the same question if I’d be in the same situation. Anyway, that scene isn’t even related to the end of ep 21 which is the real beef of contention.

        4) I’m not sure what you’re talking about here.

        • Chan says:

          My google-fu skills just not strong to find the exact post in a 1,000+ posts forum that I happened about one day. Trust me when I say that if you want info on Macross Frontier its best if you keep lurking those Macross Frontier forums, or join the active ones. The forums I’d recommend are the actual Macross forum, or the Animesuki forums which is just a land mine of info. If you choose animesuki then get used to tl:dr.

          1. I never said that Ranka getting her position as Mao had anything to do with Sheryl that was just blatant luck on Ranka’s part. Though yeah if Sheryl denied him then they’d be in a pickle. But yeah I’m studying law so I’m very much aware of contracts and how much not holding one up can mess people up both legally and monetarily. Just a word of advice even for if you ever direct your own if you have a contract with someone and you want to break it, run it by them first. Because breaking that contract can delay your film. Even a big name director can get into trouble for that one.

          2.”here is a broader anime fanbase, there is an older Macross fanbase, and there are otaku that care little about Macross but are particular “database animals” that favor lolimoe, dojikko moe, and basically everything Ranka (except the fail). This is the hedge Macross Frontier took — there will always be hardcore otaku who buy up the dvds and Blu-rays, and a Ranka-type character is the direct appeal to them.” -from ghostlighning
          And yeah its kinda common knowledge.
          3. Which is the last look into her thoughts before she leaves, and we never do get to see her react to the destruction around her.
          4. that they can easily show the bird human movie in the next MF movie – Wings of Goodbye. But it’d just get a passing mention.

    • 1. She knew that her song was inappropriate for the film, and was gracious enough to offer to rewrite one.
      2. The exception I’m making is about “twofaced bitch” — which, instead of pointing out something interesting about the character and the dynamics present, only communicates your admitted distaste for the character. Then you’d say you like her, which is very inconsistent with your commentary throughout this comments section. If you read my coverage of the TV series, I also identified where Sheryl fails. In particular, a slavish insistence of believing she is able to overcome anything by virtue of self-identity; a kind of hubris, if you will.

      The difference between Sheryl’s failures and Ranka’s, is that Ranka got screwed by being given all the traits that she has to appeal to a specific subset of fans… which includes childishness, and a shortsighted idea of caring and sacrifice (e.g. caring for a pet, “puppy” love, self-centered behavior in a childish context). If this were NOT a show that has war and she wasn’t given the role of savior, Ranka would be a much more popular character. If this was simply a high school hijinks kind of idol battle I believe a lot of the ‘flaws’ Ranka has would be appealing instead of off-putting; and Sheryl would be annoying instead of inspiring.

      3. Yes, otaku has a very specific meaning in the context of the discussion. Since we’re already at the level we’re at, I meant precisely those people. Remember, we’re NOT the audience of this show as targeted. Macross Frontier isn’t released internationally, ergo it is really a domestic attempt to create a new market among the younger viewers as well as appeal to older fans. The fanservice to the older fans are all the nods and references, and one of the centerpieces is the Lynn Minmay avatar Ranka Lee.

      On the other hand, the younger viewers who BUY merchandise slavishly are the otaku database animals. This is why Ranka is constructed the way she is. One thing about these kinds of fans is that they will buy the merch slavishly in devotion to Ranka without caring that much about Macross as a whole. But Macross pushed her anyway. If you look at the performance of Ninjin Loves You in the Budokan Final concert, you see the dynamics in play:

      This is the otaku that matters in the discussion, the lolimoe database animal that Frontier attempts to appeal to. Of course, there will be those who like Ranka anyway despite not being this kind of Japanese otaku, but we are the exceptions.

      furthermore Ranka did not “betray” Frontier. She had no moral obligation to colony, she wasn’t a soldier and secondly – and far importantly – she is NOT simply citizen of Frontier. She belongs just as much to Vajra as Frontier and had just as much “obligation” towards them. Making a choice between two was what pretty much all characters were demanding, howling for Vajra blood (Alto foremost). Ranka’s only one who managed to transcend this understandable but absolutely *wrong *approach. Killing Vajra (with Aimo) is – from her perspective – just as morally questionable as Vajras actions through the series.

      Ranka, as a public figure who has fans, has a moral obligation to the welfare of those who follow her, who believe in her.

      Ranka, if she’s really self-sacrificing, should have addressed the crowds. Found a platform to speak to the people and share with them her perspective. She’d you know, talk to them, comfort them, appeal to them, convince them. She was THE most popular figure in the colony at the time. Is this any more forbidding than folding into the unknown with only an alien to guide her? If she was convinced of the benign nature of the Vajra (or that they shouldn’t attacked), then she had best use her powers to share her truth to the Frontier colony. The risk she’ll take is no greater than venturing by herself with some alien and a mysterious bodyguard. It’s not like Alto AND Sheryl AND Ozma and the rest won’t protect her against Leon or whomever. She would have to convince her friends first, win them over, then she’ll take on the people.

      Rationalizing her actions as a kind of heroism is really quite comical. The real reason why she left at the time, is because the narrative needed her to be captured (again), so she can be rescued in the end, and them in the mean time Sheryl’s story had room to play out. Also, the narrative needs her to put the Vajra colony and queen into play, as her getting kidnapped is the only tool the narrative has to accomplish this. Ranka’s failures are really due to a misplaced belief that her actions will be interpreted as adorable by the fans (ooh lolimoe is so childish she needs the protection of her onii-chan kyaa), and an utter lack of creativity in putting the Vajra in play. That was the gamble that failed. This is no troll on moe, but rather a straightforward attempt to capitalize on moe.

      Take all the offense you want. This is the primary audience for this kind of character, and for the music that emphasizes her characteristics. As I said, we can appreciate Ranka and her music outside this context, but she wasn’t made for us. We appropriate her for our own enjoyment, and in your case you read her character to suit your own preferences. Everybody does this to some degree, only that for Ranka it requires space folds of effort.

      In the end her Queen powers and Vajra-fu saved the day. Innumerable Vajra soldiers formed that wall to stop those giant beams in the finale. She never had to face her public and explain her actions, as the narrative is more interested in re-setting the romantic tension of the triangle than it is on other science fiction and storytelling concerns (as SDFM was able to do).

      Thanks for the regard, and perhaps you’ll see the failure as clearly as I do. I have further provided my thoughts on how Ranka as a fictional device is painted into this kind of corner. The Ranka as character in the narrative had very little room to move because she is more device in the narrative as opposed to characters with stories that play out less dependently on the larger plot (or are depended on less by the larger plot). The plot needs informed her behavior, not the other way around.

      This is 4th Wall Moe I feel for her.

      • Vanossa says:

        “If this was simply a high school hijinks kind of idol battle I believe a lot of the ‘flaws’ Ranka has would be appealing instead of off-putting; and Sheryl would be annoying instead of inspiring.”

        You nail this down. The problem is that Ranka’s obliviousness, unintentional lack of reflection and thought, immaturity and overall mistakes were placed as foil to Sheryl’s maturity, ability to overcome the hurdles, the way she acted as gracious to those in need.

        Likewise, Ranka’s cutesy innocent charm and shyness in high school drama were in direct contrast with Sheryl’s more scheming, abrasive and confrontative nature during the sillier episodes.

        In the end, Macross is not a high school story, it’s a war drama. This is precisely why Sheryl is a success (so so were Minmay and Misa in their time), while Ranka is a far more modest example. Sheryl’s flaws did not truly bring a negative consequence to the story, did she make Ranka a little emo? That’s… absolutely hilarious. Ranka’s flaws, on the other hand, had negative impact with the story.

      • Xard says:

        Thanks for the indepth reply. :)

        This is first time I read “ep 21 deal” clearly spelled out without numerous false accusations and irrational outbursts surrounding it. It also lacks the embittered I-want-to-strangle-you tone that also helps. :P

        So, anyway, reply tiem!

        1. Aaaahhh, okay. I absolutely agree with that. I don’t think I made a single reference to that part in my original post so I didn’t realize what you were referring to.

        2. “The exception I’m making is about “twofaced bitch” — which, instead of pointing out something interesting about the character and the dynamics present, only communicates your admitted distaste for the character.”

        Well, maybe I should’ve put there “sometimes acts like” to beginning. I do have strong distaste for some of her actions but it’s not like I ment that’s the whole truth about character.

        I easily come off as more aggressive towards Sheryl than I really am. If I’m on my own and just doing something completely unrelated and then someone goes “yo what do you think about sheryl” I’d propably answer “awesome”. But in communication with other fans I tend to be more than a bit tense about her. I guess it could be said I don’t hate Sheryl but fans can get under my skin. This is due to huge amounts of verbal abuse I ended up enduring by careless mentions of liking Ranka in the past. I was such a naive fan back then… The fierce warlike atmosphere among the fandom took me completely by surprise and at some point I got so pissed off at all the randomly thrown insults that it did start to affect how much I enjoyed watching the show and Sheryl in particular. Case in point, I stopped lurking for example Anime Suki about a year ago because my fellows fans were so insufferable. To this day I avoid Macross fandom like a plague for hte most part. I’m sure people have their own horror stories about members of “both sides” (what I find stupid in the first place that there was such a split…) but I ended up running only into obnoxious Sheryl fans, propably because there’s more of them as Sheryl’s more popular. *shrug*

        So it’s something of a second nature to me by now to bring up Sheryl’s negative characteristics if I feel discussion is lopsided (as in “oh c’mon she isn’t THAT perfect”). And I guess I can be kinda…harsh about it, when it comes to language I use.

        And yeah, I’ve read your coverage of the series. I actually did that again recently because I wanted to see if you had written anything specific about ep 21’s end.

        “Yes, otaku has a very specific meaning in the context of the discussion. Since we’re already at the level we’re at, I meant precisely those people. Remember, we’re NOT the audience of this show as targeted. Macross Frontier isn’t released internationally, ergo it is really a domestic attempt to create a new market among the younger viewers as well as appeal to older fans. The fanservice to the older fans are all the nods and references, and one of the centerpieces is the Lynn Minmay avatar Ranka Lee.

        On the other hand, the younger viewers who BUY merchandise slavishly are the otaku database animals.”

        I don’t think you can summarize so harshly all the newer fans. Even 2chan citizens split animefans into two categories, “A type” and “B type” otaku. Or, heh, see OreImo for strange yet kinda valid take on this (Kuroneko being A type “teen complex” otaku and Kirino B type moefag) The kind of fans you’re talking about are obviously STRONGLY B Type, but this isn’t even remotely the whole story of younger fandom (heh, as a matter of fact Miss Japan 2009 identified herself as huge Macross Frontier fan! :D). Macross Frontier was made as a series that would present the franchise for newer generation of fans with no direct experience (like Gundam 00 was made with similar purpose) with the major old installments and of course since the revolution in philosophy of anime creating ushered by NGE in 90s the so called “otaku database” affects pretty much construction of nearly all anime these days ( I love how Star Driver creatively plays with these elements) I think it’s wrong to say MF is simply targeted at such “B types”.

        Yamaga (GAINAX CEO) mentioned that the size of so called “moe fandom” is a lot smaller than many expect and with exception of couple of titles like K-ON the titles do not sell all that well.

        So yes, while Macross Frontier is made with modern sensibilities I don’t think it’s justifiable to state it in so “negative” terms. Macross Frontier is far cry from stereotypical “moe show” (I find this concept problematic in itself). Similarly while Ranka has many “moe” characteristics they’re hardly the whole story of her character. The one character in the whole show who is most strongly build on by mishmash of material from “database” most obviously is Klan Klan and she hardly is just a “moe construction”.

        Kawamori is old school creator and genesis of Ranka’s character (and many of basic traits) has nothing to do with building a character with certain traits to simply appeal to certain people. She was “traditionally” conceived. I’ll quote recent interview of Kawamori where he went on about how he came up with the characters. Translation’s not mine but by some member on Animesuki forum so strange language isn’t my fault :P

        K: One other reason is, an ordinary girl passed an audition and had her debut just like Minmei…, I realized that to make a few episodes showing this process is no good to viewers nowadays. But, if we put a singer who already a star, we cant show the process of the girl who rise to stardom then… after such thinkings and all, then I said “then lets make it 2 girls”.

        (and a bit later:)

        And how you come up with Ranka’s character.
        K: In Ranka’s case, for the first setting was she develop and develop to become a star. So in the beginning she’s unreliable, but she’s getting stronger and stronger. But even if she were unreliable I don’t like it if she were a hesitant girl too, so the idea is a girl who have a burden in her bitter past, but who always look forward and tries her best.
        Yoshino-san told me about these two’s position, for Ranka, she is TV version of Minmei, an ordinary girl become a star. and Sheryl, is the Movie version of Minmei, who is a star from the start. Indeed it has feel like that, though basically I am not the type who like to do over my past works.

        Ranka and Minmei TV version, they are indeed have lots of similarities. Though Ranka doesn’t as selffish(laugh).
        K: About Minmei’s character parts, they’re 2 heroine so I divide it among them(laugh), the acrid and tsundere part to Sheryl, and 80′ idol-ness to Ranka. So when I knew that Nakajima Megumi-san likes 80′ idol I really were surprised(laugh).

        ^so yeah, that’s where it all started. The genesis for Ranka’s character really has nothing to do with pulling bits and pieces from database and assembling them.

        Oh, and “though basically I am not the type who like to do over my past works” is pretty funny :D

        Now I’m not at all denying Ranka has many characteristics that are there to induce “moe” out of viewer (“Kira” became huge meme for a reason and I can’t deny power of its moeness either *cough*), especially in her character design. But driving force for these was to be “cute” foremost: apparently they came up with the Ninjiin song & scene when going through the most ridiculous and funny/cute humiliation they could come up with. The carrot suit was winner, especially after they learned Megumi hates carrots. :D

        So now in the film they went on to emphasize the “cute” characteristics of Ranka and the “sexy” characteristics of Sheryl (Kawamori said that he intended to do as much). And as Kawamori is old school creator there’s a lot more “cuteness” angle there than erokawaii or whatever version of moe. So Sheryl’s songs and outfits became more outrageous and sexy whereas Ranka got the hilarious CM montage as beefed up to eleven version of the Ninjiin scene. As far as the music goes, Neko Nikki is just a frickin’ cute and charming song, a far cry from the high pitched moe moe onii-chan kyaa~ material common in certain anime image albums- only CMRanka tracks count in this category in my opinion from the performances to the writing (Koi no Dogfight perhaps being closest MF comes to “moe pop” or whatever you want to call it). Rest are simply J-Pop (Seikan Hikou, Anata no Oto, What bout my Star, Watashi no Kare wa Pilot) or wistful ballads (Ao no Ether, Sou da yo, Ai Oboete Imasuka?).

        Or to put it simply: elements in Ranka’s character that exist simply to draw in “specific B type audiences” is similar to lots and lots of T&A fanservice Sheryl delivers through the show and especially in the movie. To reduce Ranka’s character only to these elements is to call Sheryl “Ms. Fanservice” of the show. Sure, Sheryl IS fanservice character but it would be criminal to say this covers all of her. Calling Ranka “moeblob construct” (I have no idea what the correct term would even be) would be just as overtly reductionist.

        “This is the otaku that matters in the discussion, the lolimoe database animal that Frontier attempts to appeal to. Of course, there will be those who like Ranka anyway despite not being this kind of Japanese otaku, but we are the exceptions.”

        But I loved that part… ;___;

        Liking cute and funny ditty should not be enough to automatically rank one as “lolimoe database animal”.

        “Ranka, as a public figure who has fans, has a moral obligation to the welfare of those who follow her, who believe in her.

        Ranka, if she’s really self-sacrificing, should have addressed the crowds. Found a platform to speak to the people and share with them her perspective. She’d you know, talk to them, comfort them, appeal to them, convince them. She was THE most popular figure in the colony at the time. Is this any more forbidding than folding into the unknown with only an alien to guide her?”

        Obviously it was a failure on Ranka’s part to botch up the singing part in ep 21 (didn’t Minmay have similar “I can’t sing” reaction down the line too, somewhere?) – though not *good* behaviour I think it was understandable after all she’d been through as of late. She – quite simply – *couldn’t* sing. Ranka was always a fragile girl psychologically so such breakdown was not in my opinion incomphrehensible. This was a girl who not long ago used to enter psychotic state and faint from far less, after all.

        I was actually content with said failure: she had been used since ep 16 all the time (with good intentions apart from Grace, but used nonetheless) and the traumatic to say the least events that transpired through 20-21 would have been enough to silence a stronger man.

        Would singing there and then been the right course of action? Yes. Was she able to sing? No, and not out of some kind of strange selfishness (really, what could she gain from *THAT*? There’s no gain in not singing for her) but simply because she *couldn’t*. She didn’t have the mental constitution left at that point.

        It was humane failure and not commendable, but I think it was understandable.

        As for the larger perspective, what the hell continuing singing could’ve possibly achieved? Frontier and all the people were at that point doomed if war could continue and they wouldn’t be able to find a new planet. There was absolutely nothing *truly meaningful* for the situation she could achieve with merely singing. It would just lure in Vajras anyway.

        “If she was convinced of the benign nature of the Vajra (or that they shouldn’t attacked), then she had best use her powers to share her truth to the Frontier colony. The risk she’ll take is no greater than venturing by herself with some alien and a mysterious bodyguard. It’s not like Alto AND Sheryl AND Ozma and the rest won’t protect her against Leon or whomever. She would have to convince her friends first, win them over, then she’ll take on the people.”

        How can you even suggest this seriously? Do you really think ANYONE would’ve believed her? She had no proof, people had just gone through the hell because of the Vajra, lost countless of loved ones etc.

        To say Frontier was under mentality of sheer hatred towards the Vajra and “kill or be killed” would be understatement. She had no proof, no means or not even *audience willing to hear such message*. Not only that such message would do little good for machinations of Leon or Grace. Even if Alto, Ozma etc. could’ve protected her that wouldn’t have ment anything. Do you think Ranka could’ve competed against the propaganda etc. by the government? That’s just ridiculous.

        And you know, she *tried* to share her perspective with someone. Alto. And we all know how well THAT went down. *Even in his eyes* Ranka had gone insane (propably manipulated by Vajra or something) and that bug needed to be killed before it could do something worse. If even Alto who actually knew and was friends with Ranka *didn’t even consider* possibility that Vajra might not be bad guys (hard to blame him for that) what the hell she could’ve done with more general public? Someone would’ve propably shot her as sympathizer with enemy or traitor at that point. She wouldn’t even have to leave Frontier for that!

        So yeah, good luck at even “convincing her friends first”. Ozma would’ve propably killed the bug the moment he saw it, before it could her dear sister. No doubt she considered Alto the most trustworthy and close among her friends and even from him all she got was total rejection and murderous glee to hunt dem bugs down.

        This wasn’t even an option.

        “Rationalizing her actions as a kind of heroism is really quite comical.”

        Ranka’s real, major motive for leaving was said by her in ep 23 or 24. She left to *stop the war* entirely, to communicate with Vajra and make them realize whole thing was major mistake and disaster (she wouldn’t actually get through to them before ep 25, partly thanks to the glorious megabitch Grace). You can blame her for naivete in her actions but not for ill or selfish intentions. Leaving everything behind and going for a journey to discover the truth and trying to save the Frontier colony (and also the Vajra from meaningless casualties in meaningless war) hardly counts as “running away” or whatever has been used as accusations against her.

        In the end whole journey was catastrophe (thanks Grace!) but that was not Ranka’s fault.

        “The real reason why she left at the time, is because the narrative needed her to be captured (again), so she can be rescued in the end, and them in the mean time Sheryl’s story had room to play out. Also, the narrative needs her to put the Vajra colony and queen into play, as her getting kidnapped is the only tool the narrative has to accomplish this.”

        You can bring down many other things in Frontier down to “narrative required that”, as is case with ALL works of fiction. Take up the incredible coincidence of all three (Alto, Ranka, Sheryl) meeting each other in second ep. What the hell where chances Sheryl would encounter Ranka out of all the characters and that Alto would later wander to where the two were at end of ep 2? And that Vajra would happen to attack at that exact moment so they’d have to run to that safety chamber?

        (for discussion of usage of such “cuz narrative needed it” coincidences, see for example this blog post by the fantastic film scholar David Bordwell: http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=9752 )

        “Ranka’s failures are really due to a misplaced belief that her actions will be interpreted as adorable by the fans (ooh lolimoe is so childish she needs the protection of her onii-chan kyaa), and an utter lack of creativity in putting the Vajra in play. That was the gamble that failed. This is no troll on moe, but rather a straightforward attempt to capitalize on moe.”

        What the hell. Seriously. There was absolutely nothing like that in what actually happens in ep 21. Ranka asks Alto if he wants to come with her and help her. Ranka’s presenting the Hippie Side (that, as this is Macross show and Kawamori is big old hippie, is going to win) of “communication, love and deculture yo make love not war =D” whereas Alto is “lolno, this galaxy’s two big for two species we must destroy Vajra or they’re going to destroy us” Militarist Side. Ideological escalation, Alto’s in grips of his hatred and the “dangerous ideology”. Breakdown. Brera emerges, kicks Alto’s ass once again. Brera and Alto leave with Ranka abandonding all the hope for teh romance. Alto’s heartbroken and furious and shit. Ranka sad but determined to do what she thinks is the right thing. The End.

        Where would the “lolimoe kyaaaa onii-chann” would fit in there?

        In the end – as is the Macross tradition – the Hippie Side wins, just like in the original. This scene was also the first side we REALLY see the Hippie Side’s view articulated so it’s pretty important for that reason too. (funnily enough the whole thing was foreshadowed near the beginning when President Glass sighs that the Vajra can’t even understand singing like Zentraedi…ergo the’re is no other option than war. So when it’s found out Ranka can communicate/affect Vajra with her singing there’s no reason why the good old Macross tradition of love & peace ruling the world would not win in the end :P)

        “Take all the offense you want. This is the primary audience for this kind of character, and for the music that emphasizes her characteristics. As I said, we can appreciate Ranka and her music outside this context, but she wasn’t made for us.”

        I hope I’ve articulated clearly why I think it’s unfair to reduce Ranka (or the other “new” elements in Frontier) to character build only to sell merchandize and shit (as if Macross has ever had problems with selling merchandize :D). And even if she was what happens in ep 21 was certainly NOT written in order to pull “kyaas” out of any kind of audience.

        And the music part has never made any sense at all perhaps outside CMRanka.

        “She never had to face her public and explain her actions, as the narrative is more interested in re-setting the romantic tension of the triangle than it is on other science fiction and storytelling concerns (as SDFM was able to do).”

        It’ll inevitably come up afterwards but really, it wouldn’t have fit in the celebratory finale by mood or lenght. Hell, it wouldn’t even have FIT in there. Not enough time for such lenghty scenes.

        It’s the same reason we don’t see Macross City officers reactions to the aftermath of Sharon Apple disaster instead of Myung & Isamu reuniting. It’ll definetly happen later but would’ve been total mood ruiner.

        And if SDF Macross had ended like it was originally ment we wouldn’t have seen all the complications of rebuilding the world, integration problems with Zentraedi etc. that followed either.

        “Thanks for the regard, and perhaps you’ll see the failure as clearly as I do.”

        I can certainly see where you’re coming for, but as seen in my post I still don’t see a profound failure here.

        “The Ranka as character in the narrative had very little room to move because she is more device in the narrative as opposed to characters with stories that play out less dependently on the larger plot (or are depended on less by the larger plot).”

        All characters are plot devices and tools for the narrative, deep down. Anyway, I’m not sure what you mean here. Ranka out of all characters was strongly tied to central narrative, being little queen and all. She really didn’t need to be the character of “side stories” or whatever as she was the focal point of what happens since the start with Vajra attacking Frontier initially to target her!

        In certain ways she felt more like main character than Alto, which was a problem!

        “This is 4th Wall Moe I feel for her.”

        you lost me. Whatever the dissemination of her construction and the criticisms of her writing have to with feeling moe is beyond me…?

        • Here’s what’s going on in these discussions:

          We are tempted to think that how we criticize the characters (the negative criticism anyway) is supposed to reduce the whole character into such. As in, Ranka is X and only X; Sheryl is Y and only Y.

          This is misleading, and the results are we both put forth anecdotes and possible evidence that don’t invalidate each other anyway, even if they apparently are at odds with each other.

          So in many cases, we are both correct.

          The only thing in question in my mind is whether Ranka’s leaving Frontier is heroic or not. Here is what I think:

          Ranka leaving to “stop the war” is well intended. It is good to want to stop the war.

          It is however, quite fair for the population of Frontier, and the viewers who may sympathize with such (and humans more than they do to the Vajra) to feel betrayed. It is fair for people, for her friends to feel abandoned. “Ranka would rather go be with our enemies than be with us. Why doesn’t she talk to us?”

          The risks of failure or success are moot. Since she did fail to establish ties with the Vajra due to Grace. Leon (and Grace) would have stopped her or at least tried their best to had she stayed in Frontier to convince the people that escalating the fight with the Vajra is wrong.

          Had she stayed however, she would have had the chance to avert the feeling of betrayal she inspired among the people and the viewers.

          So, if you choose to perceive her as a heroine in this particular act, this particular context — then do so! But do know that your choice and your reasons do not invalidate those who choose to view her actions as unwise, or even a betrayal (bottom line: fail).

          I do not, however, think of her actions as treacherous. There is no malice in it.

          4th wall moe is a feeling of sympathy (among other possible things) for a character in a fiction due to perceived bad luck, or persecution, or exploitation in the hands of the creators.

          For example, Kallen in Code Geass always ends up barging into a room full of people while naked/from the shower.

  16. Xard says:

    @Chan, just one very, very important question!

    Just how much of all this information of yours comes from different adaptations including mangas and novels in particular?

    And I’d love to have sources for rest of your claims: this is first time I hear that Sheryl was created first out of all characters – and I have recent Kawamori interview that seems to state just the opposite. Similarly all I’ve read beforehand points to May’n being selected much later than Nakajima – which subsequently led to Sheryl getting more songs once May’n was on board. I didn’t find Sheryl much more “fun loving” in comparison to series to be honest: she already was very playful gal in the series from the start. But May’n/Endo “influence” sounds plausible. But I’d like to have source for that stuff too.

    Anyway, what I really want are the sources for much of this stuff. It struck me that a lot of “plot info” etc. you brought to table are from novel adaptations and such…

    As for the actual plot stuff (for example regarding ep 21 and yes I know I’m in minority, it’s nothing new for me to end up defending controversial characters and actions. I’m eva fan after all :D) I’m waiting for ghostlightnin’s post before I try addressing anything.

    Oh, and it still doesn’t MATTER who wrote the lyrics in-universe. These things are of little interest to me: what I care about is the purpose songs are used in the actual work.

    I must thank you for fascinating take on the whole Aimo O.C etc. deal – but the amount of information you throw at me in this part can’t all be from the series by any means. Same holds for role Miss Macross played during “late series” events: we never see that stuff AT ALL in show.

    So where do you get much of this stuff from?

    tl;dr = I enjoyed reading your post, I still want SAUCES

    • Xard says:

      also, what exactly are the changes in BD version of tv series (I hope there’s 720p rips out there, 1080p can be sometimes bit painful on this old computer of mine)? I’m disappointed and baffled by change of dialogue in ep 3. Why the hell would they do that?

      Is there new animation etc. like TTGL got for its BD release oooor…?

      • Chan says:

        New animation, yes the fights are prettier and its just scenery porn all over.

        The changes and additions vary from episode to episode, but episode 1 is now a combination of the deculture edition and the televised edition.

        As for changes in conversation could just be because Ranka and Alto don’t even know each other yet they’re still acquaintances. So them having any deep conversations at that point isn’t believable.

        I’m not to sure about the 720 version but you can try looking. I tend to download one episode then delete it after I watch it.

        • Xard says:

          Shit, how would they even make fights any prettier? *droolll*

          Original was scenery porn too, hahaha.

          I got the impression that they add *new scenes* from your post if the eps are 25-30 min long? Is that true too?

          • Chan says:

            “Shit, how would they even make fights any prettier? *droolll*

            Original was scenery porn too, hahaha.”
            There’s a trope for that…http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BeyondTheImpossible

            “I got the impression that they add *new scenes* from your post if the eps are 25-30 min long? Is that true too?”
            yeah pretty much.

          • My episodic blogging of Frontier was based on the BD rips (mostly THORA 720p though I moved up to Otakukuiz or however they spell their group; I’ll be chucking that one now that I have Central Anime’s version).

            The screencaps on the posts are from the BD rips.

    • Chan says:

      Quite a bit of it just about everything about Sheryl as told in the CD dramas (it came first dammit) that came with the series, with Alto the problems shown in TFD were first shown in detail in the novel ditto for Grace whose entire past was revealed in the novels too bad cause she’s really interesting once you get into her head, her past with Sheryl was also revealed in the CD drama and its kind of a downer (understatement). However, when I talk about Ranka’s character I am talking about the tv series (because like said before supplemental material doesn’t cover her, cause there isn’t much to cover).

      How much do you lurk forums? That’s where the information is. By the way that recent interview sounds like the fake one from Shallom best to check to did the translation for it. Also some else in the earlier comments also pointed it out. Other than that I would recommend reading the gabriela robin blog, which actually does have Macross interviews. Blogs and places that cover Macross are also really good fountains for info.

      Considering that that every piece of Macross media we see is an in universe retelling of the actual events, and the actual events of SDF are really a combination of both DYRL and SDF tv series, I’d reckon to say that is pretty stupid to push information aside because it comes from another source. Especially with how they did TFD (FYI Alto’s problems with gender identity was not as pronounced in the tv series, however they were very pronounced in the novels kinda like how they are in TFD). That’s the whole reason why Macross fans are upset they don’t get full shebang.

      Basically if it wasn’t shown in the tv series or the blue-ray dvds, but I’m making a reference to it then it comes from supplemental material.

      On contraire my friend yes it does matter who wrote the song in series. Because if they write the song in series then the song belongs to them, and it paints the picture to what the character was thinking or feeling at a particular time. In other words the song that a singer writes themselves tends to be more personal than a song that they borrowed from someone else. That was actually from the tv series, yes I know its a lot to take in but I’m just meticulous whenever I see something, anime included. That’s just how I am whenever I watch a Kawamori series, because he has a habit of putting in thought provoking things which if you don’t pay attention to the story or you focus too much on one thing you’ll miss out. Frontier’s no different. When you watch a Kawamori series you should listen to what the characters say and do, sometimes may be lying and sometimes they may be telling you the truth. Sheryl and Alto are more honest in their behavior, but not necessarily so with their words; while Ranka is honest with her words, not not necessarily with her behavior. And that’s part of the reason why I ended up shipping those two.

      Like something I noticed about Sheryl’s behavior towards Ranka is that even though she offers Ranka help with her career she doesn’t want Ranka to take it, she wants Ranka to do it on her own, which was why she looked so satisfied when Ranka denied her.

      Just to point something out I despise characters with no flaws, almost as much as I despise Mary Sues (yes that includes Lacus).

      • I wish I could understand moonspeak so I can enjoy the CD dramas T_T

      • Vanossa says:

        This is the first time I heard about the two boys-one girl triangle (shalon shame aside. Which is false: the story was never mean to be Brera-Ranka-Alto, that interview was made up by shalon, or whatever is her name).

        What I know is that Kawamori said in a recent interview that he thought about the music aspect. How would idols be like… THIS time and came up with two idols. One already on spotlight and another one who is about to rise. Originally, before May’n was cast (Megumi was cast after her, btw. You’re right on that), it seems the star was going to have two songs then have her take another role (probably a pilot? That’s the botched storyline for Sheryl). But this wasn’t even mentioned as a love triangle stage yet.

        I don’t think he thinks about the romance until after that, he also confirmed that Ranka and Sheryl got a senpai/kouhai dynamic.

  17. Vanossa says:

    @Chan

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Escaflowne among the unlucky childhood friends examples. Kawamori is very fond of this troupe. Merle, anyone? Also Kawamori AND Yoshino are working together for movie screenplay (and Yoshino seems to be in the opinion Alto loves Sheryl). Although, this could change to surprise me!

    Maybe they’ll leave Sheryl single, because like Minmay she’s too awesome to settle down with someone, she belongs to the fans and to legends.

    • Chan says:

      I would have said it but Basquash was more recent.

      What Misa’s not awesome?

      • Vanossa says:

        Misa was cool, but I found Minmay (after Flashback and DYRL), the better personally (and ‘Lisa Hayes’ was my childhood heroine lol). After rewatching the entire SDMF, I began to like Claudia over Misa.

        Minmay doesn’t need Hikaru… She is loved by everyone else, she’s got her songs and talents and that’s far more important for her character than getting that guy once she re-discovers herself (and light novel wise, Hikaru loves them both, but he knows he can’t have Minmay, not really… so he chooses Misa). I think Basara is like her in this aspect, only more asexual…

        Movie wise, it could go into this direction: Sheryl could perfectly be like them, get the legends, let Ranka have Alto. Depending of how it goes. If Ranka doesn’t rise as a savior and songtress, she could have the romantic subplot.

        The Tv series was unfair to my views because it seems that Sheryl got all: romantic connection, great legendary songtress attitude. Fruit of hard work and bad writing for Ranka, who knows. Ranka got plot device powers and be put into a bus.

        • Chan says:

          Funny you say that cause I’m of the belief that Ranka didn’t need Alto at all. In fact Alto is partly why her character suffered so much as he was just another big brother figure for her latch on to, just another person who doesn’t treat her like an equal. To Alto Ranka seemed more like an symbol and his protecting her was him protecting that symbol, however by episode 18 he no longer needs any symbol to protect and he can now honestly say that he wants to protect his home. This came to me as I re-watching the tv series for the upteenth time.

          There is a scene where Alto has already decided to join SMS after hearing about Ranka’s past, but when Alto walking down the streets in the areas damaged by the first Vajra attack you see him give a pained expression, and then to hit the point home you get a broadcast on the casualties from the Vajra attack. Then the scene flashes forward to Gilliam’s funeral. When I said that Alto was character who depended more on actions than words this is what I meant. During the entire scene I described Alto doesn’t say a word.

          Sheryl and Ranka are two characters that needed opposite things. While Ranka needed to learn how to be more independent, Sheryl needed to learn how to depend on others and that it is not a weakness to ask for help, which must have been hard for because Grace raised her to be independent, but that suddenly taken away from her and she had to learn how to rely others for strength. Sheryl realizing that she didn’t have to be strong all the time was where her character grew. That being said Sheryl is a lot like Misa, in that she’s very hard to approach and she knows it, its very hard for her to find someone who can actually understands her and she knows that too. And Alto/Hikaru was able to open her heart, and because of Sherl’s/Misa’s reserved and private nature they took a while to warm up to them. However similar to Misa whom if she never ended up with Hikaru would have shut her heart tighter than it was before. Because they don’t open their hearts easily.

          Sheryl falling in love was the source of her new voice, the same voice which caused Frontier denizens to fall in love with her singing all over again and is the key to making her legendary.

          On the subject of Hikaru loving Minmei or Misa, somthing to also consider is that if Hikaru didn’t chose Misa then he would have lost her forever, and not only that but he had the chance to have Minmei and yet he threw it away after he found out that Misa was leaving.

          Remember Sheryl is not a superwoman she is not perfect, she wants companionship and that’s a part of personality that was established during her dinner with Alto.

          Ranka’s bad writing was because of the plot and her involvement with the love triangle whose status quo required her to be reliant and make bad decisions. Her character would have been better of either not involved with the love triangle or not for her to not be the main focus of the plot.

          • Vanossa says:

            On Misa and Minmay: The reason why Hikaru chose Misa (apparently in the light novels expansion) wasn’t out of love, but out of a future. He didn’t see a future with Minmay (who belonged to ‘everyone’ rather than himself), but he saw this future with Misa. He loved both of them, I don’t doubt of his feelings, but only one of them had a future.

            While I see your point in the tv series. I also believe Sheryl is already content of what she had with Alto, she was already happy with her chance and was now singing for herself and the sake of everybody (something Ranka CAN’T). I do think Ranka’s inferior as a ‘person’ than Sheryl is, but Sheryl’s voice does belonged to everyone while Ranka’s voice is mostly Alto-centric.

            This doesn’t mean I like Ranka/Alto, mind you, I can see a reasoning behind this outcome.

            If Sheryl is being promoted more and more into savior in the movie plot (as she was), it IS possible that they give Ranka the romantic victory. She’s different already, she shows empathy and she works hard for her career.

          • Pretty much this.

            Being Macross, I don’t mind a love triangle at all, nor do I want it to be “balanced” necessarily (I enjoyed Macross Plus’ lopsided triangle though Guld was never intended to appeal to fans the way Ranka is).

            If a story is good, then I don’t mind. The way things are, the stories aren’t what they could be, especially concerning Ranka-chan.

          • Chan says:

            @Vanossa
            Can you see a problem with that is that Sheryl isn’t the only one who is considered a hero in the eyes of Frontier. Alto is also a hero in the same right, even more so than even more so than Hikaru was in SDF, as he actually is notorious outside of his flying.

            Just like how Sheryl isn’t singing for herself, Alto isn’t flying for himself either. This is probably more in common with Misa and Hikaru who both worked in the military, and had an understanding of their duties. There are many differences between Hikaru and Minmei and Alto and Sheryl.

            First of all first of all Hikaru and Minmei though they loved each other they weren’t on the same wavelength. Part of the reason why Hikaru had no future with Minmei was because in order to be with Minmei he’d have to give up his career in the military for them to be together. However, Alto does not have that problem with Sheryl, but he might end up having that problem with Ranka.

            Remember Ranka is not on the same wavelength as Alto she can’t understand his motivations, and he can’t understand her’s without any direction from Sheryl, and already that leads to potential problems if she was to be in a relationship with Alto. There is also Ranka’s reaction to her brother being an active Valkryie pilot to take into account, would she be able to handle Alto in the same situations?

            Also wouldn’t it be hard to have a relationship with someone that your society views as a traitor?

            Of course this can change in the next movie, but again that depends on whether or not Ranka still gets put on the bus again, which happened in the tv series at a time when both Alto and Sheryl were growing up and becoming different people, while Ranka remained stagnant.

    • Xard says:

      And people wonder why I got depressed the moment I heard Ranka was made into Alto’s friend…

      And really, just how bad deal Ranka did get if even her friendship with Alto is so superficial (Alto has never even seen Ozma before apparently, change of dialogue in park scene)

      Fuck you Kawamori, your trolling skills never ceaze to amaze me ;__;

      (I’ll reply rest of the posts tomorrow as it’s 1.45 AM here in Finland now. Last couple of posts have been really good and engaging and I think I can for the first time understand the angle where Ghostlightning is coming from in “Ranka question”. I disagree about certain key parts but it was nice read in any case)

      • Vanossa says:

        You can’t win with romance and Kawamori, either way. I don’t remember one happy couple he has done ON SCREEN that remained happy. Unless someone would like to name one? They ended up divorced, separated by tragic circumstances, MIA, one half death, wishing they married someone else but couldn’t, etc.

        This is why I laugh when people focus on the romantic aspect in a Kawamori’s series, because he screws them up no matter what. You can count on this, but he has never cared for childhood friends, maybe this would change and would do something original… Ranka’s overall design… reminds me a lot to Merle’s (loli cat girl vs loli “dog-eared” haired girl… Some of Ranka’s dresses is awfully similar to Merle’s outfit).

        Although Sheryl did got it good, tv series wise (which actually must be because she had such a crappy background and past). However the triangle ends, she already HIT that, she got to live with Alto and get it out her system, she easily can focus on her career (which would skyrocket even higher). I’ll be happier knowing that, considering Kawamori’s track record. I wish the same for Ranka.

        • Xard says:

          Original Macross and Macross Plus come to my mind both. Really, only Macross so far where the main couple got screwed over was Macros Zero

          (M7 doesn’t count because of ungodly amounts of derp. If it wasn’t for Kawamori’s involvement I’d like to think of it as yet another AU title a la Macross II)

          Come to think of it, Arjuna’s main couple has it good too, in the end.

          Of course it isn’t a secret that what Kawamori really cares about is all the new shiny toys he gets to make and design for new titles…

          • Vanossa says:

            Misa and Hikaru (and their daughter) got MIA in the stars, alongside Minmay. So we can’t count them as happy couple forever after, because we don’t know what happened to them. They aren’t even brought up in a search (but as you can see, everyone remembers and searches for Minmay).

            Macross Plus ‘couple’ wasn’t fully hinted to end up together until the movie (in the OVA, it ends before they even can meet LOL. She only waves at him). Even with that, it’s not really super-obvious of what happened to them. Myung also loved both, just preferred Isamu a bit more (and Guld died). I need to check if there is any continuation of what happened to them. Isamu visited Frontier once, right? (doesn’t seem Myung was with him when he did). Just wait for it until Kawamori trolls this one too.

          • Xard says:

            (this is reply to Vanossa’s post)

            Vanossa, Kawamori made Megaroad-01 disappear simply to finally free the original main characters (with exception of Max and Milia) from danger of new adaptations. It was their last ride to sunset and whatever happened to Misa, Hikaru, Minmay etc. is entirely up to viewer. We’ll never get official answer.

            It was graceful way to free the main characters from danger of endless reuses that befall so many characters in so many franchises. It’s not “bad end” at all, unless you envision them being sucked in a black hole or something.

            Isamu and Myung getting together was quite obvious in the OVA already, movie only reaffirmed what was already bound to happen.

            Isamu visiting Frontier alone doesn’t mean a thing though, nor do I consider such event “canonical” in any case.

            Whatever happens in alternative retellings of Macross works is irrelevant before such changes turn valid “canon” by inclusion into some official animated adaptation. Köenig Monster only became relevant when it was included in Frontier despite the fact it debuted in playstation game years ago. Kawamori’s “official stamp of approval” doesn’t in itself really mean a thing. How Isamu thinks about Minmay or Misa in novel adaptation is utterly meaningless to the original work, too. Anime Macrosses are the Star Wars films and A-level canon, all rest is Expanded Universe material with canon level between B to C (C in cases where the material conflicts with original anime, rendering it nothing more than “what if” alt. universe scenario). I concern myself only with A canon material like a true purist :P

            And Myung loved Guld too, but it’s clear her romantic love was always directed towards Isamu. Poor Guld.

          • Xard says:

            “How Isamu thinks about Minmay or Misa in novel adaptation is utterly meaningless to the original work, too. ”

            *Hikaru, obviously…

          • Chan says:

            @Xard
            Your wrong about SDF Macross, the reason why we don’t see them again is because the seiyu for Hikaru died and so in respect of that Kawamori doesn’t want his character to reappear in canon that’s why Megaroad 01 is lost. However that is not to say that Hikaru and Misa didn’t like happily ever after or that they didn’t complete their mission.

            Also yes the novels are canon, as they received the okay from Kawamori.

            @Vanossa and Xard
            Actually Isamu visiting Frontier is canonical but you are right in that it doesn’t mean that he isn’t still with Myung. In fact I’ve seen someone say that he might have visited the Saotome residents because he knew them through Myung. I doesn’t mean they received a bad end. Saying differently is like saying that when they get together both characters have to give up their lives, and their careers. And that they always have to be physically together all the time to be considered happy. I’m not saying that’s what your view but that’s what your comments are implying.

            @Vanossa specifically
            Just citing the novel isn’t really helping your argument, neither in shock value by proving your point. This is because your taking that excerpt out of context. Yes, Hikaru does love both Minmei and Misa, however the last episodes of SDF as well as the time skip were geared Hikaru realizing that he had no future with Minmei. This was achieved from Hikaru being out of touch with Minmei for two years and yet dating Misa during that time, it was made from an accumulation of Minmei just not being there for him and not backing him up when he needed her to, and yet expecting him to stay by her side while receiving nothing in return. Its not just because “her voice belongs to everyone”and that statement shouldn’t be taken at face value, as it means he isn’t very high on her list of priorities, and the events of the TV series showed him that. Her fans matter more to her than Hikaru did. The novel is just blaring out a fact that that you realized yourself from watching the TV series.

            P.S. Kawamori never tells the viewers that the couples get a happy ending he merely implies it.

            Hitomi and Van did get a happy ending though that only happens when Hitomi becomes an adult and is ready to return to Gaia. Van also has the power to traverse worlds and even though they are physically apart they can stay in contact. Remember Hitomi isn’t the only one with the ability to traverse worlds, Van can also do that on the Escaflowne.

            Sousei no Aquarion the happy ending of the love interests there is implied, as they will reincarnate again but when they do it will be in a world where don’t have to fight anymore.

          • Xard says:

            Reply to Chan

            “Your wrong about SDF Macross, the reason why we don’t see them again is because the seiyu for Hikaru died and so in respect of that Kawamori doesn’t want his character to reappear in canon that’s why Megaroad 01 is lost.”

            No. Macross Flash Back 2012 was made as the “final ride to sunset” for the Macross series by animating both, planned final scenes for the series and DYRL film. Afterwards Kawamori retired entirely from world of Macross before finally returning in early 90s and having to deal with the godawful mess that was numerous games, Macross II etc. made beforehand. This is when he first envisioned the official timeline that kicked MII out of the canon.

            Anyway, 2012 was made back in 1987. Hikaru’s seyuu died in 1997! At that point Kawamori had already made both Macross Plus and Macross 7 after his return to franchise.

            “Also yes the novels are canon, as they received the okay from Kawamori.”

            Which still doesn’t mean a thing for the anime canon. Kawamori enjoys all sorts of alt. retellings of his own works and of course it’s good business too. Technically George Lucas has also given “ok” to all Star Wars EU stuff. But he gives absolutely no regard to them in planning film canon as can be seen how Prequel trilogy wrecked tons of different books, comics etc. that had been published beforehand. This also led to endless recons too, of course.

            Kawamori has “ok’d” and thus accepted as “canon” swarm of stuff he barely has anything to do with. The official Frontier manga – in which Sheryl isn’t even cured and thus doomed to die on short notice, among other conflicts with original work – is also “canon” just like the light novel adaptation. And this is only start of the list, the newest “Kawamori approved canon” work of Frontier is the Sheryl shoujo manga – and Kawamori has next to nothing to do with its creation either. He mentiones eagerly reading it and see this incarnation of Sheryl. Obviously – after the initial setup etc. – the manga is not coming from him.

            Or take the original SDF Macross. The novel adaptation was made after series by different writer. The end result is nothing more than this writers interprepation of original series. We can’t say Hikaru thought Z or X happened in the series canon if it happened in novel adaptation.

            Case in point, we have yet another “canonical”, Kawamori approved adaptation of original SDF Macross going on right now, Mikimoto’s manga (I wish someone would scanlate it, art is wonderful. Minmay’s just lovely to look at). Yet this work has none of the canonical status the original has. It’s just yet another retelling, just like light novel and manga adaptations of Frontier are.

            Frontier light novels as well as the manga contradict anime in certain places, and vice versa: they’re all of secondary importance in comparison to anime original(s) (the series and film).

            It’s not valid to argue Alto and Sheryl had sex in Macross Frontier tv series because they had sex in light novels, for example. That is authors interprepation. Now I don’t doubt they had sex: it was bloody clear in the original tv series even if they did not *show* it happen.

            Other adaptations are of certain degree of interest when they elaborate on something that happened or was implied in series too (for example the aforementioned sex scene) but it’s not at all clear in most cases what exactly is value of some tidbit regarding “A-level canon”.

            There’s no proof at all that Miss Macross helped civilians in the original series. As far as that is considered it’s pure “fabrication” or to put it more nicely, the authors (Ukyo Kodachi) own idea and narrative thread. The bit about wearing masks in certain parts of Frontier due to air loss however is far more canonical because the damage reports in series would indicate such thing propably happened, even if we never see people wear said masks on screen.

            To give alternative example, Sadamoto’s NGE manga is also “Anno approved” alternative retelling of original series: but it’s of secondary interest in terms of canonity, even in things where it doesn’t directly contradict original work. For example manga has elaborate backstory for Kaji we don’t get in anime but we can’t argue anime Kaji had said background.

            See this:

            http://wiki.evageeks.org/Theory_and_Analysis:What_Is_Canon%3F

            Frontier light novel and manga adaptations would belong to to tier 4 if similar system was to be used.

            ” The Manga, which is actually its own continuity. At best it can be used to support the anime when they are in explicit agreement; it should never be used to contradict the anime.”

            The BD release of Frontier obviously is comparable to Director’s Cut eps of 21-24, hence making them the final canon over broadcasted version. This is why I want to see it. Could someone describe some new scene to me as example of stuff to expect? :D

            The only “difficulty” here is presented by two things. Kawamori’s laxness regarding canon (see: the “real” SDF Macross is some kind of hybrid between SDF Macross and DYRL) which deep down really is just a ploy that gives him greater degree of creativity in retellings. This is also why allusions to previous Macross works tend to be rather vague in nature.

            We don’t know which telling of Frontier will be more determinative, tv or film version (for original Macross it was tv version). I believe resolution to triangle present in second film will be the “ultimate answer” to the question whereas the narrative otherwise will propably be some indeterminative mix between the two (this is achieved by making references to Frontier in future Macross works very general or to elements shared by both versions).

            The most worthy extra-anime material (in addition to liner notes to CDs like the fictional backgrounds given to Sheryl’s songs on Universal Bunny) are CD Dramas.

            This is because it’s typical method to elaborate on the original work in CD Dramas: and these dramas are often written by original authors. For example the whole “ghost incident” in Sora no Woto was relegated to IIRC second audio drama and it was written by Yosino, principal author of SnW. Because both drama CDs were written by Yosino and didn’t have a slightest contradiction with anime (unlike manga adaptation that is its own work, like Frontier mangas and novel) it’s reasonable to accept the info from CDs as canon.

            It only gets complicated by the fact they really like to make parodies etc. in drama CDs too, not all that rarely contradicting original work. Even Hideaki frickin’ Anno participated in writing hilarious Evangelion parody back in 1997 (IIRC named After the End). But these NGE CD Dramas (which are oh so numerous) have little to no canonical value.

            I suspect information from Frontier audio dramas can be split to two casts, those with genuine canonical value and those without. First category has dramas that give information that was later made explicit by film adaptation.

            But make no mistake: as long as information from audio Dramas don’t make apperance in anime it’s just “B-level” of canonity.

            tl;dr = Different adaptations of Frontier (manga, light novel) are worthless in discussing what happens in A-canon aka anime. Having Kawamori’s thumbs up doesn’t mean in itself a thing. CD Dramas are one of the few extra-anime sources that can be trusted to occasionally give A-canon level of information but we can’t be certain about value of CD Drama contents before they appear in anime too (such as many tidbits about Sheryl and Grace that debuted in CD Dramas and were made explicit by films).

            Isamu visiting Frontier is B or C canon, in other words. Because it doesn’t contradict anything we learn in anime it’s propable he did visit Frontier. But unless we see indication of this in anime it isn’t *definitively sure* he has visited Frontier, as long as A-canon is considered.

            Me, I only bother with “A-canon”. All the rest is EU stuff I may or may not enjoy but they do not nor should they affect what I think about original anime or its events.

          • With regards to what is canon, I’ve written a post to be published on the 17th this November. We can discuss things about canon in depth then.

        • Chan says:

          @Xard
          The Frontier (directed by Kawamori) also contradicts the tv series. DYRL (again directed by Kawamori) contradicts SDF and yet both movies are canon. Want to know why? Because all of the novels, manga, cd dramas etc. you see are all in universe retellings of the same story. Keeping that in mind of course they will contradict each other, but that doesn’t make any of them less canon than the other. At heart they all have the same character they all tell the same story, and in series the SDF isn’t any more canonical than the novel, so in this case if they contradict each other (which should be somewhat expected considering that they are from different mediums and what works in the tv series, won’t always work in writing).

          By that same same vein if Kawamori didn’t like what was in them then he wouldn’t approve of it. Just because an idea comes before doesn’t mean that he will approve of it. This is especially true for the Macross series. For instance now that you want to ignore supplemental material can you tell me Sheryl’s past? what about Alto’s? Can you tell me about Grace? Who are those people in Grace’s head? Ozma? In fact why is Ozma such a fan of Firebomber? Why does Alto know Isamu’s hand gesture?

          There is a trope for this and its called All There in the Manual – http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AllThereInTheManual. This is a trope that is very common for anime, just about every major series this trope including Gundam, Pokemon (the animated series), Digimon ( loves this trope to death), Martian Successor Nadesico, Evangelion, Tenchi Muyo, Nanoha, Gate Keepers, Code Geass, Death Note, and dot//Hack (counts for the entire series- in fact its situation resembles Macross the most in that some of the canon contradicts each other). Its very common. Heck the ending of Macross 7 is all there in the manual.

          Though if you want to ignore supplemental material go right ahead I’m not gonna stop you, but don’t complain being confused about something that was explained in the supplemental material because then its your own fault. Remember a tv series and a movie are both strapped for time and a lot of times don’t have enough time to explain everything. This doesn’t of course mean that you need everything but you should use your own discretion.

          This is especially true with Frontier in which Alto’s personality was ripped right out of the novel.

          Before you write something off as non-canon first you should ask yourself “What is canon” and “how does it pertain to the series I’m watching”. A example- The sixth digimon movie is not canon- this is partly because the J. Konaka made a CD drama that is supposed to take place after the end of the series, problem is the kids don’t get reunited with their partners in that Cd drama. The second reason is that the movie went against Konaka’s direct statement on a character, and he didn’t approve of the movie. But the world that season takes place in and the world that the first season took place in are connected, that was never stated in series, but not knowing that lead many viewers to be confused about a certain character’s existence.

          But like I said before you’re welcome to ignore it, just realize that the creator isn’t following the same rules as you (and probably neither are quite a few fans), because ignoring an explanation can and will leave you out of the loop, especially if the creator decides to pull a You should know this already – http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LateArrivalSpoiler?from=Main.YoushouldKnowThisAlready.

          • Xard says:

            Well, if Ghostlightning is making a post about this thing later I guess we better wait for that.

            So only a couple of comments for now:

            “The Frontier (directed by Kawamori) also contradicts the tv series. DYRL (again directed by Kawamori) contradicts SDF and yet both movies are canon. Want to know why? Because all of the novels, manga, cd dramas etc. you see are all in universe retellings of the same story. ”

            Ahh yes, the Kawamori comment from 1997 IIRC where he said all Macross works are in-universe tv series and such. Oh the joys of metafiction! I always liked guy’s certain sense of bizarro “humour”. In new interview (which I quoted in my newest post) he preferred calling them parallel stories in parallel worlds though.

            One must think why he does this though: initially it was only the problem of DYRL/SDF Macross. Kawamori figured it out by having Tv series plot as canon with DYRL designs and Ai Oboete Imasuka? thrown in (played during the final fight, of course!). And then in M7 people actually shot DYRL film,,, But then there were the differences between Plus OVA and film etc. so easiest way to go was to go brilliantly metafictional and say they’re ALL fictional retellings. Now how genius is that move?

            It’s very interesting piece of sophism and wit and source for metafictional wit but it really shouldn’t affect our judgement of the shows. Neither SDF Macross or DYRL were made with such metafictional “we’re making fictional tv show broadcasted within fictional setting which we shall never see” approach, nor has a single Macross work later been done with such approach.

            It’s just an easy and damn good excuse for getting to tinker and fool around when doing retellings. That is all. I actually prefer to it to the recent “they’re all parallel stories” one because that’s so vanilla and lacks the delicious metafiction angle (final battle against Bodolzar fleet coulc conclude within span of one song perfectly cinematically because it was cinema all the time! ha ha! :D).

            One really shouldn’t think of it statement as anything too serious because it has zero effect on the actual creative process.

            “At heart they all have the same character they all tell the same story, and in series the SDF isn’t any more canonical than the novel”

            I’m composing A Canon of Macross anime (instead of novel adaptations, for example) because

            a) they’re always the *original works*
            b) they’re the ones with the most full and direct participation by Kawamori
            c) other versions are always *adaptations* of the original anime. Because anime versions are the original stories the rest follow its lead, offering their own small twists etc. along the way

            It’s really just a case of what came first and what’s the most important version, so to speak. And I’m only interested in anime, I have zero interest in novel versions which I’ll never get to read anyway. Star Wars films are in novel form too: what do you think was the “canon”? Films of course! Because they were the original works and the books were just adaptations. Macross anime & adaptations have similar relationship as far as I’m concerned.

            “For instance now that you want to ignore supplemental material can you tell me Sheryl’s past? what about Alto’s? Can you tell me about Grace? Who are those people in Grace’s head? Ozma? In fact why is Ozma such a fan of Firebomber? Why does Alto know Isamu’s hand gesture?”

            We learn plenty of these things in original series too. You can practically add ENDLESSLY extra information by further extra material. If we learn in novel adaptation that Alto’s favourite drink is Coca Cola and he hates Pepsi I really don’t care if I don’t get that info from series.

            For example I’m sure series Alto never met Sheryl as a kid on Galaxy. There’s no indication of this (it’s a big thing so if they HAD met it would’ve been mentioned. But writers had not come up with this connection back when series was made so we don’t have it there) in original series. In film version Alto has met Sheryl before. It doesn’t mean Series Alto had met Sheryl because such piece of character lore didn’t exist in original!

            These things are certain kind of “retcons” and ways to milk cash out of fans. OMG LEARN ALL ABOUT ALTO’S SCHOOL TRIP IN FIFTH GRADE WHEE

            “Though if you want to ignore supplemental material go right ahead I’m not gonna stop you, but don’t complain being confused about something that was explained in the supplemental material because then its your own fault. ”

            If piece of fiction cannot conceive all the necessary information on its own then it’s a failure. Macross Frontier never fails to mention anything crucial to understanding the series. It doesn’t need any of the stuff in the “manual”, it’s extra for the people who want such stuff.

            And because quite often this extra stuff is written AFTER the series (see: Alto meeting Sheryl as kid) it doesn’t have any value to understanding the original work.

            Really, japs just like to make ungodly amounts of money with all merchandize like this. They’re just like all EU stuff for Star Wars from games to books to toys etc.

            “But like I said before you’re welcome to ignore it, just realize that the creator isn’t following the same rules as you (and probably neither are quite a few fans), because ignoring an explanation can and will leave you out of the loop, especially if the creator decides to pull a You should know this already”

            Making series first and then explaining thing Z in CD Drama afterwards hardly counts as “you should know this already” as obviously creators didn’t consider Z important enough to be included in original work.

          • Chan says:

            Well just to correct you the whole deal about Alto meeting Sheryl as a kid was untrue rumor. It was really just Sheryl being a fan of Kabuki (which quite a few characters are in MF) and seeing Alto’s performance as a child. However, they never met. When someone got the info they misunderstood it and thought that Sheryl and Alto knew each other from when they were kids, but they were later on corrected. If your gonna use an example make sure that its correct.

            Like I said with Sheryl and Grace much of their motivations cannot be understood from just watching the anime, and also if Grace raised Sheryl from when Sheryl was young wouldn’t she feel attachment to her? How exactly did Sheryl’s parents die? Did they die? and Who raised her? What made Alto realize that he wanted to fly and that it wasn’t just an impossible dream? After all his mother died when he was young, probably before he entered into Kabuki so then what made him really decide to leave it and pursue the path of a pilot? But you can watch the anime without this knowledge though it probably wouldn’t stop from you from asking questions.

            Star Wars novels are different in that George Lucas doesn’t recognize them all as canon and I wouldn’t speak so broadly if I were you in saying that everyone only accepts the movies as canon, because quite a few Star Wars fans do read the novels and do think of them as canon. Also the attitude that George Lucas has towards supplemental material is not the same as Kawamori’s.

            Its also a generally bad analogy because Japanese media in general actually does care about their supplemental material, like those examples I gave you. Yes it is another way to make money, but it doesn’t mean they don’t care about it. For instance in Gundam Wing Tv series, you should have figured that Heero Yui is not Heero’s real name, his real name is Odin Lowe Jr. and he is responsible for the death of the real Heero Yui (the real Heero Yui was mentioned in series as a pacifistic who rallied for the fair treatment of the colonies). Of course you wouldn’t know this information if you take a look at supplemental material. Wufei calls his Gudam Nataku and hates to women on the battlefield, however that is because he lost his wife on the battlefield, his wife called herself Nataku whenever she was in battle, the reason why Wufei behaves the way he does is partly out of grief and guilt over his wife’s early death. Trowa Barton and Catherine Bloom really are brother and sister, however you wouldn’t know that if you only watched the anime. All of said information came out after the series aired.

            “You should know this already” tends to happen when creating sequels, and its part of the reason why certain anime series became confusing to fans that never got a hold of the said supplemental material.

            Creators especially Anime and manga creators tend to make a whole lot of supplemental material after the showed has aired and has gained a significant amount of popularity. The reason for this is simple really its because as I said before sometimes the anime or manga creator has many ideas but they don’t have the time to or just can’t fit it into the story, and so they release supplemental materials. This has happened to D.Gray-man in which supplemental material was released to explain how Allen even made it to the Black Order in the third or so chapter. Or One Piece in which Oda had written lots of side stories and tidbits of info, however he as unable to include them in the manga due to time restrictions . However the One Piece novel explores these areas.

  18. lolikitsune says:

    Posting in epic thread.

  19. lolikitsune says:

    To what is Ranka entitled? To what is Sheryl entitled? They belong to the species of homo fictus, I believe, so even if you think humans have inherent rights or whatever they don’t really apply to the ol’ R&S. That said, is love even one of them? Maybe we feel indebted to Ranka and Sheryl. Maybe the only way we can pay this debt back, being, as we are, confined to the 3D world and unable to recompense our 2D heroines with cross-dimensional gifts, is to wish for their happiness. To demand their happiness.

    Just as Mizunashi Akari did for us, we shall do for them. We rise up, we cry foul against The Canon™, we strike and picket for our favorite anime goddesses to receive their allotted victories.

    But to what are anime characters really entitled?

    If we want to resist Cohn and follow in Barthes’ footsteps, there cannot be a distinction between fictional and nonfictional narratives. Cohn is right, of course, when she points out that nonfictional narratives are referential. She wants to go farther, but let’s pause there. Are fictional narratives not referential? When we get something like the Macross Frontier movie, is that not a fictional narrative that references some Platonic [Macross Frontier narrative], that is perhaps fallible, but that is, nonetheless, factual in its fictionality? Fact within a world of fiction: the sky might not be the limit of the imagination, because there might be a line in the sand much closer to where waves of critical theory lap at your feet.

    That line, I believe, is that selfsame The Canon™ against which we are so prone to revolt.

    So to what are Ranka and Sheryl entitled? I would say they are entitled to what they have. They are blessed by their Creator, benevolent or malevolent as He wills, and this is what they have: their details (indexical functions), the bits of functional action that signify meager traces of ‘character,’ and a role in a larger narrative.

    The role in the larger narrative is obvious. It is that against we scream the loudest, as it is the highest level of structural narratology, the most obvious, the easiest to identify and discuss. Let us not pontificate upon it further.

    Character… I’m sure ghostlightning has written a million ‘showing a bit of character’ posts about these girls, and each of those million times the title of the post was not shot with litotes. (Normally, ‘a bit of character’ is clever understatement, here we have two vapid, vacuous cunts whose only vindicating value is vfappability.)

    So. Details. Indicies. The smallest functional units of a narrative.

    What do we ‘know’ about Ranka and Sheryl, what do they possess on the most minute level? Visual appearances. Personal effects. And names.

    These are the three things to which these anime girls are entitled. Not Alto’s love. Not their Creator’s respect, nor ours. You humiliate yourselves, pawns, prostrating yourselves before Ranka and Sheryl as though you could present them with votives that might make them happy. Naw. They already have everything they can possibly ever hope to hold. Visual appearances. Personal effects. And names.

    Sheryl: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheryl_Crow
    Ranka: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranka_(legend)

    Their names mean more than your love for them, so just this time, I ask you: namae oboete imasu ka?

    • I can’t speak for the others, but let’s say your premises are correct (Cohn, Barthes, etc.).

      The activity that I participate in is a re-creation of the media, or at least, the experience of the subject medium. I experienced the show a certain way, and that experience is parts good-great (must share!), and parts unsatisfactory (must share!).

      The shared experience may lead to tangents wherein characters’ merits are explored, which triggers loyalties and biases among the participants. This in itself is a different animal, but part of the meta experience of media. It is a big part of contemporary fandom. So are these characters entitled to anything from us, the viewers? No.

      The activity is not for the characters, nor it is for the subject work. If anything these are gratuitous acts to satisfy further cravings of the participants for the media on one hand, and social needs on the other.

      So, well, what we have here is mostly fans getting acquainted with each other while shooting the shit about things they care about.

      With regards to canon and narratology, Macross is a bit of a problem. There is no single fictional narrative that can be construed as fact within it. About 12 years ago, the series creator stated that all Macross media are “in universe retellings of (fictional) historical events”

      http://www.macrossworld.com/mwf/index.php?showtopic=30317&st=0&p=760765&fromsearch=1&#entry760765

      The important thing to get here, is that we cannot take any of the content of the different narratives as factual outside of their own particular shows. We can, but we are fully recreating the narrative by ourselves at this point, without a specific reliable editor saying: this is part one, the events of part two are continuations of part one, etc.

      So they’re all meta within a fictional meta.

      It makes analysis of the body of work interesting (if one is inclined to write about meta narratology), or difficult (holy shit what the fuck really happened?), or easy (fuck all of this shit; shit is shit). So theoretically, every discussion one has about Macross you are re-creating the fictional universe for your own consumption.

      • lolikitsune says:

        My premises are correct, though my decision is not. Cohn is clearly right. I pulled shit out of my ass to pretend to be critical. (I don’t think Cohn would have much to say about Macross Frontier…)

        By canon, though, I didn’t mean “the oracle” (what the creator says about the ‘body of work,’ blah, intentional fallacy) but rather just… the text. What we get in the text. So, in one Macross Frontier instance, it may be one thing… in another, another. Then we have multiple Rankas and multiple Sheryls, and I think that’s O.K..

        I have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed you clung to the issue of canon instead of latching onto my -actual- contribution to the discussion (aka my throwaway last line). :P

        Oh well. Fags be…

    • Chan says:

      I just like to tl;dr on anything really.

    • Xard says:

      See guys, this is why we can’t have nice things!

  20. Chan says:

    @ghostlightning
    sorry for filling your comment box with all these videos and music.

    • Hey no problem. It’s all good. I actually take advantage of WordPress allowing embeds of videos in the comments section. Use brackets [], put youtube= and then the url in between quotation marks inside the bracket and you’re set.

  21. Xard says:

    Just thought this might interest you! It’s the trailer for upcoming music video collection:

    Sheryl at piano = awesome (but I think there’s a bit too much CG in the Northern Cross clip overall)

    Ranka/Anata no Oto = No overuse of CG and dear god I nearly died of cuteness overload.

  22. Sweet lord! It took me like 2 minutes to scroll down to where I can comment. Just finished the movie and wanted to say that I’m finding It much harder to hate on the girlish Ranka. I’m liking how this supposed triangle plays out. Now I’m gonna go to a Frontier post that hasn’t blown up into its own phenomena.

    • LOL I remember what you were up to:

      I get the fail but I struggle appreciating the hate. Oh well, I wanted the film to give her a fresh lease on life and so far so good.

  23. Kuro says:

    Pretty much what Vanossa said regarding Misa and Minmay.

    I pretty much agree with the whole Alto’s personal triangle and him being passive, its just that I never really felt any love triangles in the movie, it was more like movie featured the growth of each character featured in the love triangle more than anything else, aside from the vajra battles of course.

    I expect my AltoXSheryl pairing made canon in the second movie although I wouldn’t be surprised if Ranka gets the romantic victory in the movie, as she’s kinda more mature in the movie.

    My only peeve is that Northern Cross wasn’t played in the movie! I was looking forward to that song!

    • The triangle was just being set up, with the primary interested parties being the girls. Alto was never really the chaser even in the TV series so yes, he is quite passive and more interested in his own issues than indulging love feelings. This is not to say that he is unconcerned about the girls. He just doesn’t see much of a point choosing between them, especially at the beginning.

  24. Bishop Cruz says:

    @Vanessa, mainly

    Know that this is a bit late but it seems that people are STILL getting caught by Shaloom’s BS interviews from before. The SDFM light novels do exist, but they only cover up to episode 25 and none of them were written by Yoshino. Absolutely none. I normally wouldn’t post a few days after discussion was dead, but Gubaba and I worked too damn hard disproving the Shaloom BS that really hurt the fandom last year (or was it longer) to let any of this crap stick around. All those scenes in MF that were supposed to be recreations of scenes from a novel, were not.
    Those ‘novels’ (Shaloom, when called on this, then said they were supposed to be short stories posted in a rare ass anime magazine,) did not exist as such. Hell they did not exist at all.

    Now to a question, is Yoshino ACTUALLY working on SnW? I’d be kinda surprised if he was because he had nothing whatsoever to do with MF. Back in the day I scoured the net for days for evidence of him working on the series and his name was in the credits once: Episode 10, and that was a story credit for Zero. I’d love to see him work on Movie 2, but every time I see his name in reference to MF I get pretty doubtful. It seems that he has moved past Macross.

    • Vanossa says:

      I’m aware of this, likewise the manga adaptation was penned by another mangaka and both are approved by Kawamori. However, Yoshino worked on his own Macross Frontier Manga, Secret Visions (which is heavy on Sheryl/Alto and misc shoujo ai ship-teasing. Not the triangle). I have one volume I could ship, it has stunning art.

      Huh? Nothing to do with Macross Frontier? Are we talking about the same person? I think you’re confusing Yoshino with Kaname Ohgi who in fact had nothing to do with this.

      http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=36992

      This is the guy who was interviewed many times (with page pics of them to be translated, nothing linked to the shaloom shame), next to Kawamori, the series answers to this person who takes over the helm on scriptwriter and composer while Kawamori directs.

      I assume he will work in SnT, as he was in the tv series and InU.

  25. Bishop Cruz says:

    Ignore a lot of that, it has been a long ass day and I was confusing Ohnogi with Yoshino.

    • I have much respect for Gubaba’s contributions to the fandom and if you’re working with him you’re tops in my book and always welcome in these parts. Please clarify your statements when circumstances are better for you because I at least, consider your comments valuable.

    • Vanossa says:

      Oh. I… replied before noticing this answer. Sorry :P

  26. Bishop Cruz says:

    Thanks, my previous post was kinda hastily written and I’ll try to clarify a bit.

    First, Gubaba is clearly awesome and I want to be clear in that I have done very little work with him on his actual translations and a lot of important stuff like that I need it to be clear I deserve absolutely no credit.

    I made this post because I noticed a lot of information that seemed to be floating around in this thread had striking similarities to stuff that was floating around the interwebs a year and a half or more ago. What had happened was that a fan of the series (and major Shalto shipper) Shaloom began posting a series of ‘liner notes’ for Macross Frontier episodes, in them he had a ton of info from things like interviews, novels, and the like. Over 90% of this information was flat out false.

    In early 2009 Gubaba and I (along with others such as magnuskn) started doing some research on all of this information, and it took us a few months, after which Gubaba made some great posts on Macross World’s forums basically outlining the whole series of falsehoods. It boiled down to the fact that most of the interviews that people had been citing for a while simply never happened, and a lot of what people had assumed had been creator intent and the like came from a lot of these interviews. Hell, earlier in this thread Xard posted an excerpt of one of these.

    I apologize to Vanossa for thinking the interviews were from her posts. She correctly noted that these were incorrect, thought she DID post stuff from the SDFM light novels that quite simply do not exist.

    More on this whole subject can be found here: Macross World Forums Thread on the whole affair

    It’s well worth the read, as it should clear up most of this.

    As to why I posted, well, it had been a year and a half since this stuff went down, and I confused Yoshino (the scriptwriter for MacF) with Ohnogi (the guy who Shaloom swore wrote the final episodes instead) and that confusion led me to saying that Yoshino did not write for MacF. It was a stupid mistake, one I caught, literally seconds after posting. I am really sorry about that, and feel like an idiot for letting it through. All I can say is that I was damn tired (still am) and had been out of Macross Fandom for a bit (I jump from obsession to obsession, it is my way :) ) but had recently seen TFD and loved it, and when I saw that some info from these interviews was STILL in circulation, I felt I had to come on and clear it up. Especially since this place seemed to have some really good Macross discussion.

    I hope to be on more in the future, but I’ve been fairly busy. Hope this explains my kinda odd posts.

    • Thanks for clearing that up, it’s become quite confusing (and ridiculous). Not your comment in particular but rather the appeal to creator conflict as a justification for shipping hate…

      This is why the intentional fallacy makes sense. I don’t disregard authorial anecdotes and perceived intent (if it’s documented), but I don’t necessarily privilege it over my own, or anyone’s experience of the material as presented/completed.

    • Vanossa says:

      Oh no, I know those interviews didn’t exist. Please don’t worry. It always struck me as very strange that Kawamori had plans to ‘repeat’ one of his triangles (the two pilots/one idol), so I was never convinced with the argument that seemed to favor Ranka (when the series was very crippling against the poor girl!).

      Apologies then if I had any incorrect information.

      TFD is very solid in handling the three characters.

  27. Magnus says:

    Wow, am I late to this party. Probably for the best… if I’d been here in time for responses to all the stuff from Xard, I’d have spent at least a whole day debunking all this Sheryl hate. Thanks to you, Chan and Vanossa for doing that! Come by Animesuki one day, if you ever feel like having fun discussions about Frontier. Or not so fun detailed dissections on the minutae of why Ranka left Frontier in episode 21, which is what I’ve been doing the last two weeks. >.< One would think after someone has his hypothesis' thoroughly debunked twice, he'd finally give up, but apparently fact-free opinionating in the face of actual evidence to the contrary is acceptable nowadays.

    Anyway… as to your post, I pretty much concur with everything. Movie Ranka was much more bearable than series Ranka, but I am not feeling the deep romantic love from Alto for her. For that matter, though, neither am I feeling it from him for Sheryl. All in all, I thought the romance was handled pretty badly in the movie, since many of the little things which made the bond between Sheryl and Alto so tight were not shown; Ranka also failed to connect well with Alto, although she got a bit of a starter advantage.

    All in all, I much like the hypothesis of Crusader, that the movie was an in-universe production, made to white-wash Rankas tarnished image from the series. The idea that Brera is the producer and uses the opportunity to make himself look cool is the cherry on top. :D
    As a character movie, it left me disappointed, when compared to the series. As an action movie, it was pretty good. Although it kinda seemed as made by Michael Bay; the scene with Sheryl singing at the top of her lungs while running up several flights of stairs seemed very "Hollywood"-y, in the sense that realism was thoroughly thrown out the window for coolness.

    • They’re all in-universe productions, but instead of Brera it’s by George Yamamori who ‘discovered’ Ranka and has shown no particular awe for Sheryl.

      If you’re going to whitewash Ranka’s image, then this movie must have been made dozens of years after the Frontier incident.

      Still, it’s not a good PR move because it isn’t like actual history isn’t documented, we’re just viewing everything from the entertainment execs POVs.

      As for people like Xard, there’s no surprise how people can be like that. Crusader and many other fans made a sport out of hating Ranka and it does get out of hand. So it’s no wonder why some people become reactionary and respond to moderates like myself as if I were attacking Ranka (which is the LAST thing I want to do).

      I’ve endured decades of Minmay hate so I am no stranger to this. Also, I’m a die-hard LA Lakers fan and have been so since 1996, and there’s nothing stupider than this: you can’t post anything about Kobe Bryant that won’t turn into shit after 3 responses. Now it’s LeBron James’ turn. Anime idiocy is nothing compared to this.

      I mentioned in my Gundam Unicorn episode 02 post how the thing about the action here in TFS feels more like a highlight reel — a spool of cool if you will, as opposed to showing amazing tactical drama. I don’t dislike it, but it can feel empty. That said, it does look cool.

      However, they really went overboard with the variable damage nonsense. Vajra surviving a full Itano Circus (and still attacking), the whole fold barrier thing (ugh), and so on. Like much of Macross, TFS requires the sacrifice of some(or much) pf one’s critical faculties to the altar of spectacle.

      • Magnus says:

        I know the “it’s all in-universe” explanation is popular right now, due to an interview with Kawamori from 1999, but as Xard pointed out, there’s a more recent interview with him, where he says it’s parallel worlds. Translation here: http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=3264366#post3264366

        And I don’t know if I’d call it “making a sport” out of hating Ranka. I pity the poor the fool, but I hate people making lame excuses for her and always attack poorly thought-out arguments. What Xard does ( calling Sheryl a bitch how many times on this page? ) goes way beyond that.

        • I’ve read Kiss in the Galaxy (the first chapter); Kawamori saying he “doesn’t mind” if they’re all parallel worlds isn’t saying that they are. He’s not committing to anything and at this point he could very well just say “whatever works for me” (read: whatever gets me to move product).

          This is not bad in itself, and he can say or do whatever he wants. Perhaps he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what is canon. But I do, and I need to choose an operating paradigm to write criticism for Macross. His noncommittal statements — doesn’t give me much value.

          Macross II: Lovers Again can stay in its parallel world. But I will write from a singular world with one Sheryl and one Ranka.

          Who doesn’t hate reading people making lame excuses period?

          It is important to distinguish who’s being lame: the character, or the apologists. Ranka, Sheryl, and Minmay all have idiot haters who sometimes are just reactionary to each other, sometimes trolls, sometimes just plain dumb.

          The ridiculous “I want to strangle her” rhetoric, the “twofaced bitch” rhetoric, is to me, is stupid as hell. It’s one thing to say that among friends, but some people say those things to show the fans of that character contempt.

          I don’t condemn this behavior in absolute terms, I just want people who do this to own up to their behavior. I do it myself, hating on ZZ Gundam every chance I get.

          • Magnus says:

            Well, I can live better with the parallel words interpretation than with the “it’s all in-universe production” one. The characters are for me not the same in the series and the movie. I prefer to keep them separate in my mind.

            —-

            For me, it’s all in how you handle your criticism. I don’t particularly like Ranka as portrayed in the series. but I hope my criticisms are well founded and don’t go over the top. I am guilty of escalating my rhetoric when someone just doesn’t relent on his bad argumentation, but I’d hope I never go as far as calling Ranka a “bitch” or the like. I guess I flipped out a bit during the airing of the episodes, though, when the things Ranka did had just happened. :p

          • When I say criticism I mean the things I mention here, and not “pointing out the bad stuff”.

            Yes, your preference, my preference, Kawamori’s shifting preferences… ultimately we’ll do what works for us, what gives us the most value… but we’ll end up trying to sell each other on our interpretations because… that’s what we do, as human beings.

          • Magnus says:

            Oh, undoubtledly. Otherwise, what would be the point of discussing? But I like to think that I make a difference between the facts of a show ( this happened at that moment, etc. ) and the things that just amount to personal taste. For you, mixing the two continuities works well, for me it does not. That’s just personal preference.
            It just gets complicated when later on discussing what the “real” outcome was, and I think it is essential to distinguish between the two continuities when discussing specific aspects of a character. You cannot really discuss what Ranka did in the series and attribute them to movie Ranka. The two are different characters with a somewhat common origin and somewhat comparable storylines. At least to me.

            Which brings me to a really interesting question, how do you reconcile those two? TV Ranka and TFS Ranka? The other main characters are much easier to reconcile.

          • It is a big problem. I’ve a post coming up tomorrow precisely about this… and I’ll try to answer your comment in the comments section there. Personally there’s nothing much yet in Ranka to reconcile, because she hasn’t done anything yet really in TFS.

          • Magnus says:

            Well, she already proved herself much superior to series Ranka, by dint of having empathy for her fellow human beings and by showing self-sacrificial abilities.

            But I’ll wait for your next blog post to discuss this. Looking forward to it! :)

    • Vanossa says:

      I have to disagree. I feel that Alto in the movie is more aware of his feelings and emotions. He has some kind of budding romance/attraction with Sheryl that is interrupted via Ozma which in turn benefits Ranka as she’s set as the person who needs protection. In previews for Sayonara No Tsubasa, we see him aware that he as to choose (instead of ignoring the issue as he does in the tv series).

      Had not be by Ozma’s suspicion that distracted him to protect Ranka, who is his friend and confidant. Oh yes, in the movie, he shoved Sheryl (a suspected spy and enemy of Frontier) to protect Ranka (and also Frontier). But Alto, in the tv series, would have killed Ranka for becoming an enemy of Frontier (by proxy, endangering Sheryl who he had vowed to stay with). He’s very dutiful and honor-oriented. The difference is that, Alto tries to reconnect with Sheryl again, realizing his mistake. While in the tv series, Sheryl is the one who asks to Alto to save Ranka (granting her a chance).

  28. BleachOD says:

    I just read your post and I must say it left me quite confused. It’s like you missed a large chunk of the movie. Starting with the scene in which Alto explains to Ranka about the kiss from Sheryl. The connection between them on the train is left out

    Sheryl being turned into an AruRan shipper was also left out. “Sheryl’s unabashed support for Alto and Ranka” might be a better way to put it–
    That new twist was also left out. The adjustments made to the AruSherri ship, so Sheryl could have a fair shot at Alto was also seemingly left out
    You did say that Alto spent his time caring about Ranka more than anyone..so that’s a not a complaint. Nor is it something new. In the movie it was ” Ranka’s Past How is Sheryl connected to RANKA. How come Sheryl knows Aimo…RANKA’s one memory” and the series ” Protect the one I care for the most, which happens to be a greenhaired loli named Ranka”. Either way it’s always all about Ranka in Alto’s mind so I’m good…..
    You left out
    Alto thinking Sheryl is a spy that wants to harm ranka
    Alto shovin Sheryl to the ground because he believed that Ranka was in danger, instead of believing in Sheryl and saying “What’s going on?” like a normal person.

    It’s just this whole review seems very “vague” and while I don’t believe you dislike Ranka.I do get the sense that you dislike the AruRan ship. Not saying you have to wax poetic but the way you gloss over the events and jump to Sheryl’s live….I dunno know. Maybe it’s because my review is image heavy and I like details so it’s gonna be long when I am done…
    Granted you didn’t really write a tribute to AruSherri either. It’s just you posted nothing that speaks of romance between them… You even started out saying that Alto cares about Ranka more than anyone and it seems to be heading for Romance between them. Then you say…. And as soon as we think any progress can happen in this side of the triangle,

    SHERYL, appears on the LCD, announcing her ‘Revenge’ concert” as if nothing that firmly establishes just who has been the underdog all along and it wasn’t Ranka.

    I am not quibbling, I can’t see through your eyes. It’s just when I attempted to try to see it from you perspective, I couldn’t because you left a large chunkout.

    I like Macross in any incarnation and this movie was no diffrent. I especially loved the the way the triangle done. Because it’s clearer Sheryl is in the friend zone and her role as “inspiration” for the main couple is easier to see in the movie, imo. I really dislike Yuri (YAOI RULES) but I really loved Sheryl’s concert it and Alto shoving her down were the highlight of the movie (don’t hate me. If you were me, you would have enjoyed too)

    I thought Sheryl was a better Sheryl and I liked her better– but certain over the top reactions from her–and some that I felt were just plain out of character. Really made me miss the old Sheryl. It’s weird…I wish they could combine them both..THAT would be awesome

    Ranka I love in both but this one is more awesome. It’s weird because she really didn’t change much. I loved the movie and I loved the triangle because my beloved ship didn’t change at all. The other guys did, which I found a refreshing change….
    Btw, don’t place that bet on the galactic fairy or you are gonna lose. ^0^

    “Nobody beats BleachOD ” I applaud you raille-person. I didn’t think it was easy for any of you to admit you lost a long time ago. You greatly earned my respect ^_^

    • Hmm, maybe it’s because I don’t approach this as a shipper who wants a particular side to win. If I were a betting man I’d bet on the Fairy, but that’s not what I’m up to.

      You’re mentioning these things to establish what exactly? That the Alto x Ranka ship is stronger?

      Alto in both the TV series and the movie is protective of Ranka. That’s what Ranka’s character is for — the object to protect, the helpless to be helped, the moe-bait. This is to contrast with Sheryl — the haughty to be humbled, the equal to be acknowledged, the temptress. They operate on different ways and appeal to different tastes. What I am interested in this particular post, is the manipulations of the narrative to create and maintain the romantic tension.

      It does this by keeping Alto romantically disinterested with both female leads, who end up doing the chasing. To keep Alto from looking like a total weirdo, and to provide context/reasons for both ships to make sense, Alto is given things to do. In this movie it’s still about Ranka being under threat and him having to protect her (this time, even from Sheryl); and Sheryl for his own physical attraction to her… and pity (so she doesn’t have to feel alone).

      But is anything conclusive from this? No.

      Good luck being a Ranka fan. It’s a good time to be one. She’s given a fresh opportunity to stop failing. Other characters were changed to accommodate her… to get her good side to become more pronounced (her dispensing advice to Alto… instead of the other way around in the TV series).

      Sheryl fans accuse me of too much Ranka indulgence and Ranka fans accuse me of too much Sheryl indulgence. This is not new to me. This thread getting this big has shown me a lot of how nuts people can get due to shipping. There’s a lot more to Macross and I’d like to talk about those things too, but don’t stop yourself if you still feel you need to show me who’s boss when it comes to analyzing Macross Frontier :p

    • raile says:

      Oh please, BleachOD. I’ve seen your posts elsewhere and this one is no different. You gave all my friend (even the ones who prefer Ranka) a loss of brain cells.
      Blinded by bias is a term for you indeed.

  29. BenDTU says:

    To me the Macross love triangles have all been somewhat rage-inducing in how they were resolved:

    Macross: “I’m leaving you, who I spent the whole series rescuing and moping over, for the older woman who I had to kiss once because aliens would have killed us if we didn’t. Sorry. Thanks for saving the entire human race, by the way.”

    Macross Plus: “The other guy did bad stuff to you. He’s also dead. Guess I win.”

    Macross 7: “Despite all the time we spent together the whole series, all the times you saved me, that one time you nearly died and the fact the other guy has treated me like a douche all series, I can’t say yes because I love him just as much for reasons I can’t explain. I just sure hope he doesn’t decide to go chasing space-whales because that’d be even weirder than the fact we’ve developed technology to turn Yoshiki Fukuyama’s singing into robot kamehamehas.”

    Macross Frontier: “We’re pretty much going to lose half the fanbase if we swing this either way, so we won’t. Buy more merchandise.”

    Oh well, at least when Macross Unicorn or whatever they decide to come out with next comes out I’ll know what to expect, I guess.

    • That’s surely one way to look at it. But hey, fags be man; fags be.

    • Chan says:

      Just to point out in the original SDF Macross there is a two year timeskip where Hikaru did not see Minmei at all, until that time with Kaifun. Before then he was dating Misa. And when they still in outer space Minmei showed no interest in Hikaru, and instead was more more in her cousin.

  30. As I watched the whole show throughout, looking at how the relationships between the three develop, and by the end of the show I realized just which of the two girls are truly the one closest to Alto’s heart, and thus becoming true lovers, even as they have made him (once an indifferent, restless guy who longed for freedom) warm up towards them.

    Something else entered my mind: perhaps Alto is reluctant to admit his true feelings to Ranka is that he sees her more of a younger sister, partly because she’s smaller and more younger than sophisticated and mature-looking Sheryl, and partly because he thinks that Ranka is still a child at heart who has yet to see that puppy love rarely blossom into true romance.

    The situation reminded me of an old Tagalog love song about a man with a dilemma, wishing he had two hearts (Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko), except Alto, as I see, initially treat the girls as if they’re his closest friends.

    Then on that island we see the two girls make their first kisses on Alto on separate times, but how one girl react to another kissing him could’ve resulted in a bitch-fight of jealousy yet oddly that didn’t happened at all (LOL it’s unlike those telenovelas) except for a mild case of disappointment and feelings of being upstaged.

    (Amazingly, Ranka didn’t went out to slap Sheryl just because she kissed her biggest crush, and Sheryl didn’t either because IMHO she thought the on-screen underwater kiss was purely stage-acting than intentionally aimed to make her jealous. LOL, the girls actually slapped one another only when one of them couldn’t get a grip.)

    By the end, however, when it came for Alto to decide that he had no choice except to take down the hostaged Ranka in the enemy Macross Galaxy, Sheryl sensed that his idea was wrong, that she must’ve saw in the girl a bit of herself, and thus, taking the role of an onee-sama who had much to pay for a debt, she voiced out the possibility that Ranka could be rescued.

    At that point it became clear to me that Sheryl was closer to Alto, but she regards Ranka as, in a way, her imouto (little sister). Ranka, on the other hand and on closer observation, seem to understand whom Alto truly wanted to be with, and oblige him the chance to have his way (methinks of the word delicadeza).

    So it boiled down to one conclusion: come wedding day, Alto will have Sheryl’s hand for marriage, while Ranka, standing by, serves as her bridesmaid and confidant, silently waiting for her chance for true love.

    • I accept this theory.

      • Finally got to watch The False Songstress, as the plot and situations were tweaked, with conflicts, goals and relationships rearranged and remixed; and the usual improvement on the VFX and all, as the movie makes an attempt to reinterpret the TV version along with a bid to tie up some loose ends.

        You’re right on some points in which Alto and Ranka had to bust their butts trying to achieve want they wanted to be, to be almost close, if not equal, to Sheryl’s accomplishments. :)

        Yet as I’m letting the essence of the movie settle down even as I’m making my own analysis, for the first 2/3rds our divas are indeed trying to win some Alto points as they spend quality time with him, and again (as with my earlier assessment of the divas’ relationship in the original TV broadcast) I’m surprised neither Sheryl or Ranka resort to dirty tactics of oneupmanship or wind up going against each other in a senseless bitch fight over Alto; instead I sense that they’re out to compete — in a friendly way (this is rare for an anime love triangle, I think; it’s a sharp contrast to Eva Rebuild 2.22 in which Asuka and Rei were competing for Shinji’s attention, culminating to the elevator encounter between those two Children) — for his heart by the means they know best: the power of song… and then see where Alto would gravitate towards to.

        And so I wait for the Wings of Goodbye, to confirm my assertion, and to see how that movie would resolve this triangle in the end.

  31. Shandi Combs says:

    I am a new fan but already well informed, I had to watch the false songstress and the wings of goodbye back to back, And omg what a great story. It ended how I thought it would but with the twist and one that pissed me off. I’m such a Sheryl fan and I’ve always seen Ranka as the little sister. But I’m wondering if anyone cuaght the very end durring the credits when Ranka is singing and Sheryl’s lips begin to move and then the earring flashes when she’s in the tank? I saw that as Alto is back and the song that starts playing right after that sceen I think confirms it.

  32. oh, and btw… My friends think I would make a good Sheryl if they ever did a live action movie except for the fact I’m missing a leg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s