It’s not even close. Don’t even start with gimmick-goddesses like Haruhi and Madoka. Just don’t. This isn’t Saimoé, this isn’t Saiwoman. It’s no tournament. It’s unnecessary and redundant. Utena Tenjou, Takaya Noriko, L’alc Melk Mal, Beneej Spoor, Lafiel Abriel, Talho Yuki, Alicia Florence, Dianna Sorel, Kihel Heim, Katsuragi Misato, you’re all okay but no, Sheryl has you beat in big ways. I’ll explain.
We (the founders of We Remember Love) watched the culmination of the Macross Frontier saga together and in grand fashion: using an office board room and a high-end projector. It is only fitting, as the Macross Frontier sub-franchise is, and had always been the representative anime for this blog. Yes, our favorite show is Super Dimension Fortress Macross, but is Macross Frontier that remembers love, and is the show that in 2008, got us following anime blogs and finally start one ourselves.
I’ll keep it simple, Sheryl has:
The heroism/valor of Katsuragi Misato.
In the face of death, she chose to save Ranka. Knowing she’d die, she didn’t even want to keep Alto to herself.
The imperious haughtiness (and Goddess of Battle awesomeness) of Beneej Spoor.
She put her money to good use and hired the SMS as her personal militia.
The hotness (all her own)
The vulnerable tsundere type charm of Asuka Langley Shikinami/Suzumiya Haruhi, but with actual decisive and non-sissy dere.
She makes no bones trying (and failing) to peel apples for her man. In the TV series she gave him the gift of an atmosphere to fly in. The scale is unfair, but that’s how it is. Suck it Senjougahara.
It’s handled quite interestingly in both the TV Series and in Sayonara no Tsubasa. In both cases however she asked Alto to give up flying. But in the film, it was something that is almost hers to ask back – given how it was her who granted the very idea of flight to Alto. Unlike Minmay though, her request isn’t as selfish. Minmay wanted to ground Hikaru to keep for herself. Sheryl wanted to keep Alto alive.
The wilful determination of any of your retarded shounen heroes, without actually being retarded, e.g. Basara Nekki
The shounen trope is “I WANT TO BE THE GREATEST,” and the story plays itself out from there. In Sheryl’s case this was a revelation from her past. After all, by the time we meet her she was already the Galactic Fairy. Basara wanted to move the mountain and the galaxy. He did, by making Gepelnitch the Galaxy-eating Protodevlin listen to his song. Sheryl did the same, with Ranka and Alto’s help.
A discography like no other anime idol (Thank you May’n & Kanno Yoko)
I can think of at least 6 other examples that would’ve served to prove the same point, but I like May’n’s little dances here. Also props to Aya Endo for her amazing work acting out Sheryl.
To wrap things up, here are revealing snapshots:
When faced with that moment that inspires her to meet her destiny, she doesn’t face it meekly. She told Alto exactly how she felt about his performance, then swore to become better than he ever will be, to sing on a stage in a way to shake the very galaxy!
The moment she says this she is but a child, so she covers the loli base (LOLOLOL) that you lolicons and/or moéfags may think of fielding one of your pet characters in this conversation. No, they still don’t belong and no, even if they did, they’ll still lose.
Now, does everything Sheryl do end up being better than anything every other female character does? No. That’s not what I’m saying. She is not a Goddess of War the way Spoor is, nor does she have the same awesome lines Spoor has (that is better than anyone’s ever). Sheryl doesn’t pwn fools like Kusanagi Motoko nor Levy Two-Hands. She doesn’t pilot like Millya. She can’t out-moé moéblobs, and not even Ranka. Her character design is so inconsistent that she sometimes gets monstrous boobs that are just ugh. That’s not the point. The point is, no one has the concentration of so many awesome things as Sheryl does, and she has the ‘right’ kind of fail that makes her interesting.
Mechafetish brings my attention to this scene:
At this point she knows she’s a goner, and she chooses to die on her own terms, on stage where she can shake the galaxy. GAR. She uses up her life force to reach the Vajra with her feelings and it’s THIS kind of sacrifice that can move any sentience. This allows her to stand with Basara Nekki among the most epic bards in anime history.
Some are of the view that Sheryl was “nerfed” in this film. I disagree. This is only talk relative to the apparent ascendance of Ranka. I indulge some of these ideas, but ultimately she did much here together with Ranka. They made such a great singing partnership. She’s not the “photoshopped” Ranka of the movies that took away ALL her fail, and rendered her a lot less interesting as a result. She isn’t the complete mess Minmay was either. Her overpowering will is balanced by her off-putting haughtiness (for some of us though, her haughtiness is really, really hot). Her fail just makes her moé LOL.
Ongoing Post Series:
- The Top 3 ASDFGHSDFG Moments in Sayonara no Tsubasa
- A Tale of Two Movie Adaptations: TTGL vs. MF
- The Resolution of the Triangle
- The Rehabilitation of Characters: Ranka,
- Going Beyond the Impossible: The Reconstruction of a Canon
- Sheryl Nome: The Most Awesome Woman in Anime [you are reading this]