Sheryl Nome is The Most Awesome Woman in Anime—The Sixth of Six Posts on Macross Frontier The Wings of Goodbye

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.

[SPOILERS, OBVIOUSLY]

I’ll keep it simple, Sheryl has:

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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.

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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.

Macross_Frontier_The_False_Songstress_[1080p,BluRay,x264]_-_THORA.mkv_snapshot_01.26.23_[2010.11.15_15.14.04]

The hotness (all her own)

[AnonSubs] Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu (1080p H.264 AAC).mkv_snapshot_02.23.15_[2010.12.24_11.41.40]

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.

SDF Macross - 36 [AnimeFiends].avi_snapshot_11.02_[2011.07.10_21.36.13]

A weakness like Minmay’s.

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.

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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!

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 1080p AAC] [66AE8F11].mkv_snapshot_01.29.16_[2011.10.31_23.50.10]

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.

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 1080p AAC] [66AE8F11].mkv_snapshot_01.33.56_[2011.11.01_02.03.24]

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.

The Ongoing Post Series:

  1. The Top 3 ASDFGHSDFG Moments in Sayonara no Tsubasa
  2. A Tale of Two Movie Adaptations: TTGL vs. MF
  3. The Resolution of the Triangle
  4. The Rehabilitation of Characters: Ranka, BreraAlto, Grace
  5. Going Beyond the Impossible: The Reconstruction of a Canon
  6. Sheryl Nome: The Most Awesome Woman in Anime [you are reading this]

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.
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211 Responses to Sheryl Nome is The Most Awesome Woman in Anime—The Sixth of Six Posts on Macross Frontier The Wings of Goodbye

  1. Darthtabby says:

    Is it really correct to say that Sheryl asked Alto to stop flying in the TV series? She definitely did in the movie, but the scene in the TV series is rather ambigious (as you yourself previously noted). Personally I read that scene pretty literally -she’s feeling vulnerable, and she’s scared that he’ll head off somewhere and abandon her. Of course later she feels angry for allowing herself to be so dependent and even tries to push him away to try to save him from suffering too much for her. But the bottom line is that it seems to me that she’s asking different things for different reasons in the two versions.

    • I think it is, but ultimately I put it there as something analogous and remembering love for the Minmay scene with Ichijou in SDFM. It’s something she’s doing that gets in the way of Alto being who he is, in a moment where he gets to define himself and his life.

  2. Of all anime characters past and present, Sheryl was the least intimidating and surprisingly very approachable, putting IRL celebrities to shame (except maybe for Julia Roberts). What else?

    * She doesn’t need Cribs or Pimp My Ride or Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous to show her star power, Sheryl is the full package.
    * She’s the epitome of clean living (absolutely no skeletons in her closet, save for her V-infection, that the ruthless tabloids could have taken advantage of).
    * On a flick of the wrist, she can literally launch a thousand SMS fighters (under her retainer).
    * Having accepted her miserable past of poverty, and later comes to terms about her imperfections and flaws, she doesn’t care should she crashes back to the dirt-filled gutter and rise again to the stars under her own willpower.
    * She’s a walking bag of contradictions (the song “Hand in my Pocket” comes to mind).

    Yeah, Sheryl is always a woman to me, to put into Billy Joel’s verses. :)

    • Of all anime characters past and present, Sheryl was the least intimidating and surprisingly very approachable, putting IRL celebrities to shame

      No. I can’t agree. In the film version she hardly has any interaction with fans, well, zero actually.

      In the TV version she’s a total bitch LOL. (I love it)

      OF COURSE she’s nice to Ranka, but first she was in disguise then baited her to reveal what an utter Sherylfag the little girl was. Only THEN was she really nice to her. She isn’t nice to Nanase, and remained at arms-length from the rest of the gang… until she started dying LOL (w/ Michel and Klan).

      • Maybe a lot of mistakes on my above assumptions, but she’s still helluva lot more different than any other anime heroine I ever came across, not intimidating nor too cute nor a moe clone nor being stuck with any of the cliches that are characteristic of latter-day animation.

        Heck, even if seem to be arrogant and haughty, Sheryl can damn well put Bieber or Hilton to shame, and I really like that.

        To be honest, I want my favorite characters to be human and imperfect as possible; years ago Eva fulfilled that need for me, and now this.

        Jules was right: personality goes a long way.

        • Again, she doesn’t intimidate Ranka because she <3 Ranka, Alto's not intimidated because he KNOWS he is prettier. Ozma likes older women. Michel is never intimidated. Everyone else… another story.

          I just to want to make it clear about Sheryl being intimidating as fuck to anyone not in her circle.

          • All right, I give up. I’m wrong on several counts, because it seems that I took note of her inner personality, as opposed to outward appearances, and that I don’t care if she’s intimidating… because some of my favorite characters are outwardly intimidating ojo-samas but vulnerable inside.

          • Yeah, and just because Sheryl is nice to her loved ones doesn’t mean she ain’t a bitch in general.

      • Dearline says:

        Actually, in the TV version, Sheryl arrives with a mean jet lag and still does the interviews and goes to do the concert without resting.

        She’s not being bitchy because he’s a bitch, but because she’s got a jet lag (which, aside of nausea and other funny effect, causes irritation).

  3. Shinmarizu says:

    I think you nailed it, Ghost: Sheryl is the ultimate of any premium blend of awesome and moe, GAR and dere. (Does anyone know anyone else who is GARdere to that degree?)
    She has that overwhelming presence and determination – consider what she went through, and how she got to where she is now – and yet, those characteristics do not detract from her feminine qualities. I think they complement, or even heighten them.
    Enough of the fanboying for a couple of seconds. Seriously, I know of no other woman in anime more ideal and yet still quite human.
    And now, back to the continued worship of my Valkyrie / Goddess / Galactic Fairy / (other worthy title, etc.)

  4. Xard says:

    >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.

    oh yeah, May’n has become really good at it over the years. I remember not being exactly all that impressed with either girl’s dancing all that much early on but both have developed tremendously in this respect too (Megumi’s choreography for Houkago Overflow is great too, it should be visible in good format finally in next month’s DVD/BD for 2010 Christmas Live concerts) and nowadays May’n knows how to pull off the diva image without missteps.

    When Kawamori and Kanno were recently asked to choose their favourite MacrossF song (in different instances) Kawamori chose Hoshikira while Kanno chose one for both girls. Hoshikira for Ranka and Universal Bunny for Sheryl. In her comments on UniBunny the depth impressive of character May’n gets to show with live performances of song’s schitzophrenic dual personalities was a big factor for choosing it in particular.

    >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.

    Not exactly sure what you’re trying to say here but loli Sheryl was really freaking adorable. I love how Niji Iro Kuma Kuma was used as a tie-in to old hopes of Sheryl’s “maiden heart” and it was no coincidence the song makes its return in the final Medley exactly on time to coincide with the loli Sheryl. Otome kokoro yuuki dashite~ ^_^

    >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.

    yeah, I saw some of those reactions going around and seemingly especially among more casual fans. I read a few time something along the lines “in series Sheryl was strong and Ranka was weak so in films they made Sheryl weak and Ranka strong” which really isn’t fair judgement, despite that Sheryl does get her freedom to act as character nerfed in Sayonara in similar fashion and she does start to exhibit more obvious flaws in the second film. But considering how in Utahime she’s so close to seeming perfection to get uncomfortably close to Mary Sue status it was just a good thing they added a couple of cracks in there.

    >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.

    I don’t know. I wouldn’t go that far. I mean, Ranka does exhibit plenty of fail and weaknesses especially early on in film story (a lot of it is in Utahime) and I’d say in this respect her “development” is kind of reverse of that of Sheryl in the way that we first get more obvious looks at Ranka’s weaknesses and issues and then she starts to develop and overcome them in grand fashion while with Sheryl most of her issues are hidden during the course of Utahime and are only revealed in Sayonara. Even in Sayonara Ranka is definetly not unerring: most important single example the danger of her walking into Brera’s trap is there and while it was understandable behaviour it also presented a very real possibility of *huge* if well-intentioned screwup. I think looking at her wavering there regarding what would be the right thing to do and how she’s actually making those steps towards him in kind of haze mean if it wasn’t for Sheryl’s inferring and snapping her out of it she would’ve made the big life costing mistake there. She also completely failed to convince Alto when she tried initially, just like in tv series even if she was more skillful in the attempt. A bit later she’s depressed and pretty much completely given up after her sad encounter with Sheryl in prison: it’s thanks to Brera spilling the beans she had a way to move forward and do the right thing, without him she was out of ideas. Not to forget it took shock of Sheryl and Ozma “dying” before she could finally overcome her huge fear of rejection barrier of to make her feelings apparent is another sign of weakness she doesn’t overcome quickly or easily… as she actually says in dialogue. In contrast Sheryl held back more because she was dying than due to anything else! The confession was harder than anything else for her from certain pov…and the confession in itself is another instance – and this is the really only instance some people still take issues with Ranka – due to the personal weakness she shows in how she gets on with the whole confession deal: it’s difficult thing to her and as recognizable for kinda shy person (cough) she is fundamentally unable to drive into the matter headfirst, instead kinda lamely struggling ahead with really out of place “uhh is this dress cute btw tehehee did I mention it’s for my new single speaking of that the song there” that comes off plain inconsiderate and failtastic when one remembers the situation and Alto’s mood. It’s a small but forgivable failure at proper communication to me, especially since when she actually overcomes her nervousness and gets on with it she’s straightforward and strong – but her tumbling around definetly shows a flaw of hers that is being straightforward and clear with her feelings (Kanno wrote Neko Nikki way back then to image of Ranka as girl who finds it nigh-impossible). No real Mary Sue piece of flawlessness would’ve handled the confession like she did, realistically fumbling around and showing considerable vulnerability. Way Ranka did it was in some really “realistic” way for a shy though strong teenage girl would go with it if stakes were so high IMO.

    But this is about Sheryl of course. Still, film Ranka is still definetly not flawless person even if she never ends up begging for Alto to stay grounded like Sheryl did in her most obviously “selfish” moment in the filmverse (which is very forgivable and should be treated with empathy too).

    In the end both girls thriumph over their weaknesses and issues in decisive fashion as does Alto, making the film a major success for them in terms of character development as traditionally understood.

    >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.

    Hahaha, if Sheryl was “photoshopped” in some respect for films it is most obviously in this respect IMO. Unlike series Sheryl who could be really annoying, “haughty and self-glorifying diva bitch” to me during the first half the film Sheryl never came off haughty in the least to me and even bitchyness inherent to tsundere behaviour with love interest felt toned down and not too annoying to me. So in filmverse there really wasn’t anything balancing her “overpowering will” IMO apart from her more than understandable bouts of huge depression. Which is not a personality flaw.

    And yes, Sheryl’s fails made her more moe than anything. Though not as moe as loli Sheryl, oh god the fanart reaction to her was worth it. Maximum cuteness.

    I can’t say I disagree much with anything you write on Sheryl here. Good stuff. Personally I still choose the mess that is Misato Katsuragi over her as well as the greatest heroine in fiction PERIOD that is Nausicaä from Miyazaki’s manga. But that’s probably the extent of it.

    • Xard says:

      >I love how Niji Iro Kuma Kuma was used as a tie-in to old hopes of Sheryl’s “maiden heart” and it was no coincidence the song makes its return in the final Medley exactly on time to coincide with the loli Sheryl. Otome kokoro yuuki dashite~ ^_^
      >And yes, Sheryl’s fails made her more moe than anything. Though not as moe as loli Sheryl, oh god the fanart reaction to her was worth it. Maximum cuteness.

      On that note my favourite piece of relevant pixiv art: http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/6479/rankamssherylloli.jpg

      • Oh LOL that is adorable. Also, WTF Ranka cleavage LOLOLOL

        • Xard says:

          LOL yeah it’s definetly exaggarated but at this point no anime fan should expect boob size consistency when it comes to fan art. But well, it’s not like Ranka is completely flat and strangely enough the whole mahou shoujo get-up is *easily* her most fanservicey performance outfit (but unlike with Sheryl’s oversexed outfits the scene itself doesn’t really draw any attention to the fact) so it seems to happen relatively often. If one remembers the original poster art it’s not hard to tell where Ebata’s illustration itself from the pose chosen to the design of the outfit itself tries to focus the viewer attention: to the exposed flesh between the stocking and the ridiculously small pants and the open “cleavage area” as it exists: http://blogimg.goo.ne.jp/user_image/26/bc/24d975e94a1c47582777ce1ef0c450dc.jpg

          Well, I certainly didn’t mind it (esp. since they kept OOP fanservice shots and the like away from the concert scene itself). In any case what I’m saying is that it isn’t that surprising occurence with that outfit in particular.I mean hell, if you stuff *Sheryl* inside that costume (like some fan art) it ends up looking downright pornographic. LOL!

    • RE: May’n

      I think she’s really great, in very particular terms (I don’t really follow pop music and won’t listen to her outside of Macross Frontier stuff): She doesn’t really look like Sheryl (who can?) the same way it’s very easy to associate Nakamegu with Ranka (so wonderful), but I buy it anyway. May’n is a great Sheryl. I see Sheryl when she performs. I can’t explain how exactly, but that’s how it is for me and I’m a happy fan.

      RE: the loli base is covered

      Just a bone for lolimoefags who’d attempt to bring loli fate/nanoha, madoka, and whomever into this discussion. They’re not really characters I’d even consider. I’ll put them in a separate category where I suppose I’ll put Ranka in. Yes, I’m talking about women and not girls.

      I already wrote a post about Ranka so I won’t repeat myself here.

      Katsuragi is great too and my love for her is obvious, but well, she don’t exactly sing, dance, LISTEN TO MY SONG, etc. And it’s not just that Sheryl has these things on her resume, she is balls out great at it. She has top-tier stuff, and a whole lot of high-level things to like.

      Nausicaä is great and all but is rather boring (relative terms, always remember). She’s a great messianic hero, always saying and doing the right and best thing.

      I find Kushana far more interesting, and like Eboshi that followed, and similar to L’alc Melk Mal in Diebuster, the real protagonists who actually make choices in their respective narratives. Nono and Nausicaä are always going to do what they’re going to do guided by the principles they have and the strength of character they’re given.

      • Xard says:

        >I think she’s really great, in very particular terms (I don’t really follow pop music and won’t listen to her outside of Macross Frontier stuff): She doesn’t really look like Sheryl (who can?) the same way it’s very easy to associate Nakamegu with Ranka (so wonderful), but I buy it anyway. May’n is a great Sheryl. I see Sheryl when she performs. I can’t explain how exactly, but that’s how it is for me and I’m a happy fan.

        yeah, I can understand this. Personally and speaking out of limb I haven’t really cared for any of Mayn’s solo stuff I’ve listened to much while I do like bunch of stuff Megumi has put out otherwise which combined with her stronger connection with anime means I’ve ended up paying more attention to what she’ doing. This is no diss at the talented woman herself of course, just a personal note. The Nakamegu=Ranka connection is bloody eery in its perfection but I confess the habit of dressing her in kind of lolitaesque frilly fashion due to Ranka association never complimented her looks like the diva style fit Sheryl. Especially in the past “wtf are they making Megumi dress in oh god” was quite universal reaction among western fans. Can’t say about japanese who are more into and used into such silly costumes anyway…

        >Just a bone for lolimoefags who’d attempt to bring loli fate/nanoha, madoka, and whomever into this discussion. They’re not really characters I’d even consider. I’ll put them in a separate category where I suppose I’ll put Ranka in. Yes, I’m talking about women and not girls.

        ahh, okay. I thought that was pretty clear from the title already. I never considered likes of Madoka or Ranka here because I’d put both under girls category in similar fashion. Nausica’ is kind of borderline case to me, I could fit her in either.

        >I already wrote a post about Ranka so I won’t repeat myself here.

        Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying film Ranka has the particular flaws that were very interesting to you in tv series ver. to same extent which indeed is not true and I can understand where you’re coming from with that I was just pointing out that even film Ranka is anything but perfect and flawless girl and the this holds even in Sayonara no Tsubasa. So I don’t think it’s correct to say “removed all FAIL” if with FAIL one means faults/flaws in general but if the meaning was – and I think you intended it like this – “removed all the FAIL in tv series not in here that was interesting to me” then yeah, I understand what you’re saying. I still felt a need to write a counter in case you ment the first choice though I was and am sure you were talking of FAIL in more specific sense…

        Considering I was smitten and impressed by film!Ranka to extent I finally ended up rating her above my Eva trio in my favourite characters list obviously I didn’t find her more boring, lol. With her my impression of Ranka as kind of introverted, weaker moeblob idol Nausicaä instead of badass warrior princess messiah just got higher than ever and from me association with Nausicaä on any level is compliment of highest order. :P

        >Katsuragi is great too and my love for her is obvious, but well, she don’t exactly sing, dance, LISTEN TO MY SONG, etc. And it’s not just that Sheryl has these things on her resume, she is balls out great at it. She has top-tier stuff, and a whole lot of high-level things to like.

        Sure. The songs of the two idols play a big deal in my liking for them and I don’t separate my appreciation of the music from appreciation of the characters because the former are important extensions of latter more than something that can be considered on *just* its own terms like usual insert songs.

        It’s just that I prefer Misato and have stronger emotional connection with her and her drama. I admire and love Sheryl and Misato, but I admire Sheryl more than I love her while it is vice versa for Misato. Misato is much more selfish, broken person than Sheryl ever was and she doesn’t sing badass songs but she’s still the one of the two that really resonated with me on personal level. While I saw myself in Shinji and especially in Asuka days long gone after maturing and doing the so called “growing up” thing I’ve found Misato increadingly the character in Eva I can identify and emphatise with most.

        On top of that I think Misato is hotter than Sheryl so yeah, it can’t be helped:lol:

        >Nausicaä is great and all but is rather boring (relative terms, always remember). She’s a great messianic hero, always saying and doing the right and best thing.

        Well she isn’t completely unerring – good heroine has some small flaws too like Nausicaä has – but yeah, Nausicaä is precisely a perfect heroine to me more than anything else ( she also happens to be my favourite character but whatever). With this I mean she exhibits the best possible qualities of hero in consistent and aweinspiring fashion that make me strive for something better in a way hero figures in stories have always supposed to do and make me care about her and cheer her on. She’s messianic and she rarely screws up badly and even her weaknesses tend to have strenght in them… but I can’t turn away from her blinding aura. There’s no way a girl of Nausicaä’s depth, warmth and strenght could ever exist in real world but she’s real enough in terms of traits to be a example of best possible person imaginable to me who also manages to feel human despite her improbable greatness.

        >I find Kushana far more interesting, and like Eboshi that followed, and similar to L’alc Melk Mal in Diebuster, the real protagonists who actually make choices in their respective narratives. Nono and Nausicaä are always going to do what they’re going to do guided by the principles they have and the strength of character they’re given.

        I love Kushana too and initially I preferred her over Nausicaä…which is interesting thing to say as Miyazaki claims they are essentially two sides of same coin with Kushana being the “broken bird” version of Nausicaä. She’s great character in any case but reason I didn’t mention her was that I prefer Sheryl over her!

        • Very important: This isn’t a post on which characters I (we) like more, it’s who’s more AWESOME.

          I like Minmay more than Sheryl. There isn’t anything awesome about Minmay and I’m the biggest Minmayfag there is.

          wtf are they making Megumi dress in oh god

          YEAH LOL, but… I can’t seriously dislike it no matter how ridiculous she looks. This is Ranka anyway. Suteki~ transcends idiocy.

          ahh, okay. I thought that was pretty clear from the title already.

          DON’T UNDERESTIMATE IDIOT FAGS.

        • Xard says:

          >Very important: This isn’t a post on which characters I (we) like more, it’s who’s more AWESOME.

          Well yeah I understand that but we tend to find characters we like some types “awesome” (mostly manly awesome heroes, looking at you Captain Harlock) and often we also like these character types so it’s not like there ain’t definitive correlations. Asuka is eternally in my top 5 but I don’t find her *awesome* the way I find Misato the fellow Ea female in my top 5. I both like her and find her awesome. Whether I can make a valid case or argument why Misato could compete with Sheryl in AWESOMENESS I don’t know (actually I’m kinda skeptical because at least Sheryl never gets desperate enough to try to get it on with 14 year old) but going by my feelings without reflection or thought Misato is a bit more awesome to me…

          >I like Minmay more than Sheryl. There isn’t anything awesome about Minmay and I’m the biggest Minmayfag there is.

          (oh lol so now I’m going to “defend” Minmay for a change it seems)

          Meh. DYRL Minmay is pretty awesome in my eyes in general. Ai Oboete Imasuka? sequence goes without saying and the scene afterwards is just as terrific to me (the one where she raises the song lyrics to air after that frozen moment with Misa). If it counts, and it seems like it, I still think that Minmay is the hottest Macross girl in looks department. Sheryl is too plastic in looks department for comparison. :P

          Then just like Sayonara was Kawamori’s final word on Ranka there’s Flash Back 2012 on Minmay for very similar “final take” feel. It counts regardless of whether you prefer to think of the series or DYRL girl as 2012 is how she “ends up” after either take on Space War I and thus fittingly enough it animates both originally planned ending scenes – for DYRL and for SDFM! She’s awesome there too.

          I think SDFM viewer is to extent automatically biased against Minmay in “bitches and whores” fashion due to focus and sympathies lying with Hikaru. It’s not like she kept intentionally ignoring him much. Imagine if SDFM was retold entirely from Minmay’s pov. In general whenever (not all that often) he’d appear he would probably come off as kind of a loser, awkward guy with crush on MC she doesn’t even realize is there. Now that doesn’t make her awesome but it’s not like she’s *that* much a bitch people tend to make her be.

          (I’m talking pre-timeskip here, naturally)

          >YEAH LOL, but… I can’t seriously dislike it no matter how ridiculous she looks. This is Ranka anyway. Suteki~ transcends idiocy.

          Well, sure. It’s just a shame playing up the character association ment they often couldn’t get a style that complimented her looks. I guess it’s partly because I think Nakamegu has pretty mature facial features for young japanese woman (pino blood, I guess?) but “frilly cuteness” never felt natural way to capitalize on her looks. I think she’s really beautiful and smartly dressed when she has a look that is not forced on her via a role. For example http://tinyurl.com/454u9mh (the song itself is very much in Ranka voice…) suits her much better than vaguely Rankaesque clothing

          On that note I didn’t think a sweet, bubbly girl like May’n was able to pull off the sexy diva picture of Sheryl off succesfully for a while either but nowadays she does it really well.

          • 1. Of course fanboys are in awe of their idols, so no point denying how much you’re in awe of your favorites. It’s just I am able to make distinctions you’re not willing to indulge and that’s ok.
            2. See number 1. Also, that scene is awesome when Minmay raises her hand and shares the moment with Misa, but herself… Misa, Hikaru… not so much. Minmay sang after being dumped… ok, but she’s a pro and I already went over this point with you. Hikaru and Misa are pros and they did what they were expected to. Hikaru got to empty his clip on Golgie’s face, but that was more a plot award than a matter of being an ace. The whole thing is one of the best 12 minutes of animation… but the characters are more in an awesome moment than they were being awesome themselves. In SDFM she’ s mostly fail and sometimes okay, mostly getting by on her cuteness and popularity in a town where there aren’t many cute and popular girls. Don’t worry, I love her more than you ever will. Thank you for trying to defend her.
            3. I just rewatched the whole Final at Budokan and the documentary videos…

            Mamegu’s on-stage Ranka is far more “game,” confident, and spunky than Sayonara no Tsubasa Ranka. She’s far more energetic and powerful than any animated incarnation of Ranka. It’s really obvious the way she handles “Alto,” “Michel,” and “Bobby” on stage, not to mention Sheryl herself. In hindsight I think they could’ve made Ranka even more like this, though I understand the risk of going too far. Anyway, Mamegu owned those concerts — no diss on May’n, but I felt it was May’n who was complementing Mamagu and felt sometimes more like a featured guest than a co-star.

            Never mind, so much love I have. I felt like I was going to burst and thus ended up starting Itsuwari no Utahime again LOL (and putting my rewatch of the TV series on hold after ep 13 LOLOLOL).

  5. Darthtabby says:

    I suppose my nitpicking tendencies got the better of me here in that I seem to have missed the forest for the trees to some degree. While I may not agree with every point you made I do agree that there are a lot of things that combine together to make Sheryl incredibly awesome. For me I think the biggest things are her courage and heroism. I absolutely love heroic girls in anime. Too often fans use the term “heroine” to describe just any female lead, and its really nice to see one that does justice to the term in a big way. Her confidence is also very refreshing.

    By the way, does it seem to you that a lot of Sheryl’s positive and negative traits are closely related? Her dedication to her work is admirable, but it also makes her difficult to deal with sometimes. And her confidence is part of what makes her awesome, but it’s also part of the reason she gets herself into so much trouble sometimes. Then of course there’s her self reliance -it serves her very well but it also makes it difficult for her to accept help from others.

    • Now, heroism can be found in both grand and mundane things. I consider Hirasawa Yui a heroine in how she somehow glues the Keionbu together despite the lack of brain cells. The context is different. Of course between great scale and small, I prefer grand scale. But I wouldn’t be dismissive of protagonists being labeled heroines.

      It’s when you ladder the heroism of different characters where the discussion gets interesting. Who’s more heroic between L’alc and Nono? Who’s more heroic between Utena and Anthy? Don’t look now, it’s not that obvious! Now after settling this, how to start laddering heroism from different narratives? Yang Wenli vs. Guts, Son Goku vs. Balsa, Homura vs. Batman LOL you get the picture.

      Re Sheryl:

      Yes, the positive and negative traits are related and part of what makes her a nicely crafted construct.

      • Darthtabby says:

        I still think the term “heroine” is used too loosely by anime fans but I will admit that I consider Sheryl’s decision to stand and sing in the middle of that bomb shelter the defining moment of her heroism (at least in the TV version). Sometimes its the little things that make a character heroic.

        • I’m sure there are those who inflate the heroism of their pet characters, but help me out here: name some examples so we can discuss them. Yes, that Diamond Crevasse performance was great, and Yousei in the club was for me, just as great because it’s the fulfillment of what Minmay was supposed to do.

          • Darthtabby says:

            Now that I’ve gone and thought about it a bit I’ve realised that a lot of the time it’s actually fictional characters who do this -think about all the otaku characters in anime who refer to the girls in their dating sims as heroines. I have seen the phenomenon crop up with real people though. I remember someone asking a message board who they thought the best heroine of the year was and feeling that what he was really asking was who the best female character of the year was.

            Basically, I feel the term “heroine” should be used specifically rather than as a catch all term for all female protagonists or characters. Though I do have to admit that I sometimes have some trouble deciding whether the term is appropriate.

          • Think of it this way.

            I’m the hero of my own story, as much as you are. You may not feel particularly heroic, and so do I, but there’s nothing “wrong” with the tag. I “heroically” wrote and published 6 posts on an anime I love over 3 days while responding to hundreds of comments along the way over 6 days during a particularly hellish week at work (load wise). That’s some hard core anime blogging right there.

            My story, however, is MUNDANE compared to Sen trying to stop Eboshi and Iron Town from further harming the forest of the Forest King, and Ashitaka trying to keep the peace and foster understanding between the antagonists, complicated by the boars seeking revenge, and the hunters searching for the Forest God’s head on behalf of the Emperor.

            Thus, it’s very tempting to dismiss the mundane as contexts inappropriate for the term, but heroism would be such a limited and boring concept if it’s only about big, fantastic, and epic things. That said, if I claimed that MY mundane heroism the way it actually is, is more heroic or is on the same plane as Princess Mononoke, then I’m delusional.

      • Xard says:

        >Who’s more heroic between L’alc and Nono? Who’s more heroic between Utena and Anthy? Don’t look now, it’s not that obvious!

        While I grant you have a point overall your latter example does feel pretty bad to me. I mean no offence and I think she’s fantastic character but Anthy was a huge, backstabbing bitch in quite many respects. She does finally free herself from her, uhh, karma but while getting there… oh man

        • Yeah, which sets her this incredible redemption arc… and not to mention, the Rose Bride itself is a heroic construct… the delicious thing about it is the corruption that it led to, for both Anthy and Akio. Man Utena is the best. It makes all these other heroes seem far less interesting (which is NOT to say they are uninteresting, before you get all worked up).

          • Xard says:

            Well, Anthy’s original motivations for sealing Dios away were in the distant past noble, admirable and unselfish but for vast majority of story she’s a different woman entirely, a witch and a tormentor as much as a helpless victim. “Heroic” quality she doesn’t have much. She fails in a huge way, locked by her fears, all the way up to finale and the literal backstab. She ONLY gains her redemption at the very final moments of the series largerly thanks to Utena’s inspiration so I can’t really call her arc “heroic” in general because for vast majority of show that is definetly not how she she acts. Adolescence transfers more initiative to her and she gets to do more of the right thing on screen there (with which I’m not referring to explicit lesbofesting though that isn’t a minus :P) but I was thinking of series.

            Utena is indeed the best. It’s my favourite anime ever after Eva and Bebop. As for the title character herself I’d classify her under “girls” category too… but she is pretty awesome

  6. Dearline says:

    Sheryl is fantastic, but Yoko Nakajima from Twelve Kingdoms easily defeats the fairy as the Glory-King she is. It’s a bloodbath. No contest. All that fanservice and “types” make Sheryl… less ‘awesome’ and more ‘typical’ eye candy in design.

    Maybe more awesome “love interest” type of heroine, but not heroine herself.

    • You sound like Kanye West.

      • Dearline says:

        Because I disagree?

        Sheryl is my favorite character in Macross Frontier. She is, however, not really the best heroine in Anime. One of the best, perhaps. She’s a great love interest-y type of character. A romantic heroine? In that I can wholly agree. However, she’s shamelessly used as eye candy fanservice which damages her credility and subjugates her under the male gaze.

        That demeaning pandering knocks her some notches. They are necessary to establish her as romantic heroine.

        • But… can a heroine unflinchingly stare at Death right in the eye?

          • Both of you are missing the point anyway.

            Most awesome woman in anime isn’t the most awesome heroine in anime. If I wanted to talk about heroism I’ll include men and not create some kind of double standard. THEN we’ll see if Sheryl can measure up to the likes of other Legendary Galactic Heroes, Kenishiro from Hokuto no Ken, Simon the Driller, etc.

            We’re talking about women here, and heroism is just a factor. Sheryl has the concentrated awesomeness of many different aspects of what makes a character as a construct of fiction interesting, and even if you take the gender aspect, Sheryl will be very interesting across a very broad sample of characters — be them from introspective stories like Millennium Actress, or thrillers like Perfect Blue, or action excitement narratives like Redline, or Royal Politics and conquest stories like 12 Kingdoms. You can actually put her in any of those narratives and she’ll be a STAR.

            Yoko from 12 kingdoms would be lost in a film like Redline, or Millennium Actress, or Akira, or Ghost in the Shell. She’ll be interesting sure, but she won’t be a STAR of any of those shows. She’s not that AWESOME.

            Can she replace Hildegaard von Mariendorff in Legend of the Galactic Heroes? Not without Taiki, and Hilde isn’t exactly a star of that show (no matter how great she is). To be fair, Sheryl won’t be much of a star there either, unless in some kind of sideshow LOL. But that’s how chauvinist that show is.

    • Well, that’s not the point I’m making. You do have characters like Nausicaä who will out messiah anyone, but isn’t awesome like Sheryl or Yoko (who to some degree is).

      But to indulge your comparison,

      Yoko had magic wolf-beast advisor pet guardian Taiki (AND a rat). Sheryl only had Ranka-chan. Sheryl had it tougher.
      Yoko saved 1 little Kingdom out of 12. Sheryl shook the galaxy with her song and saved it. Scale goes to Sheryl.
      Yoko had to deal with demons, which are scary. Sheryl had to deal with Vajra (who are BIGGER, and had super dimension weapons). Sorry Yoko.
      Yoko had to deal with annoying rival. Sheryl had to deal with Ranka. Okay, Yoko wins hands down here.
      Yoko was healthy, Sheryl had to do all her heroic stuff battling space aids. Sheryl wins again.
      And yeah, Yoko isn’t very hot (not ugly at all, but…); Sheryl is the galactic fairy of hotness.

      You’re right! It IS a bloodbath!

      • Dearline says:

        You should re-watch the Twelve Kingdoms- Starting with Taiki? Taiki is a Kirin (the black one from Tai), not a wolf. He only meets Yoko in a novel that want animated. After, you know, she saves him (because she’s awesome).

        Yoko started as a truly unlikable character, people around her disliked her for her lack of awesomeness. She wasn’t a walking stereotype with easy ‘awesome’ flaws. She was a wishy-washy, two-faced coward who feared social anxiety. She acted like a good girl to meet expectations. She was… just a regular being, personality wise. Her flaws weren’t exaggerated to mold into an anime type. She lived in an oppressed patriarchal world thanks to her dad, she bowed her head and tried to adapt. This was risky and unusual.

        Her journey to awesomeness was to acknolwedge her failure as human being, face her greater fears and strive to be not only a good person, but an enlightened empress who could build a kingdom. She’s a slap in the face against Japan patriarchy. She doesn’t need any bonus of male gaze fanservice. Yoko’s always a subject, not an object like Sheryl or Ranka are. She was written as answer from Ono to girls who always wrote her about their doubts and concerns about the world.

        Meanwhile, Sheryl’s flaws are more ideal. Same with Ranka’s. Because the writers want you to like them (ideally, this must happen because she is a romantic heroine). They are far more ‘typical’ characters (hell, they fell into ‘types’ in your description). They were no risks taken with them. None whatsoever. This doesn’t make them bad characters, most characters are like that. Sheryl’s an awesome character.

        But only a few are unique, strong, awesome and well-written as Yoko’s journey.

        “Yoko had magic wolf-beast advisor pet guardian Taiki (AND a rat). Sheryl only had Ranka-chan. Sheryl had it tougher.”

        No wolf pet advisor. If you mean Keiki’s shirei (only after she’s reunited with him), they are mostly spies and commanding familiars, but they were separated when she was in the run for her life. Rakushun is a friend who doesn’t… fight. He acts mostly as a nurse and healer who introduces her to the world just after she has been chased to death, fighting monsters and people in a strange world she had no idea about.

        “Yoko saved 1 little Kingdom out of 12. Sheryl shook the galaxy with her song and saved it. Scale goes to Sheryl.”

        World building differences. Sheryl saved people once or twice, by singing. Yoko’s building a future constantly by being a ruler. It isn’t once or twice incidents, but a work in progress.

        Edge goes to Yoko, IMO. In the long run.

        There is also another factor: Basara has shaken the galaxy before Sheryl. She’s not even unique in this. Youko, though, abolished the system of prostrating (which means she symbolically got the rid of tyranny as her first former action a ruler). She was the first and only ruler in the history of the twelve kingdoms to do this. This wasn’t a self-aggrandizing arrogant trait, either. It was to seal that she was the captain of her soul, master of her fate, and so would her kingdom be like that and reflect this. She shook the foundations of millenarian fateful tradition AGAINST the advice of her Kirin (who is the voice of the MAKER/HEAVENS) and got away with it.

        You know if you enrage Tentei, you’re dead. So she was risking her ass in doing what she believed was right.

        “Yoko had to deal with demons, which are scary. Sheryl had to deal with Vajra (who are BIGGER, and had super dimension weapons). Sorry Yoko.”

        Sheryl needed to deal with Vajra from a safe range or being saved by the manly protagonists of choice. Yoko took them own herself. Different stuff here. Both are courageous.

        “Yoko had to deal with annoying rival. Sheryl had to deal with Ranka. Okay, Yoko wins hands down here.”

        Novel wise, she was all on her own (some of Yuka’s traits like the thieving and darkest thoughts were Yoko’s. Which makes her immensely more interesting). But I have to pity Anime Yoko to put up with Sugimoto and Asano.

        “Yoko was healthy, Sheryl had to do all her heroic stuff battling space aids. Sheryl wins again.”

        Yoko was actually agonizing for a while (after the youma attack and before she meets Rakushun. Her wounds get infected and she can’t wield the sword because they STAB HER HAND and left her to die in the middle of a mountain road), she stubbornly kept walking and walking against rain, starvation, monsters, being disliked and hated by everyone (even her own mother turned away from her) until she could not walk anymore. All this in the presence of a demonic monkey Shadow of her subconscious who was trying to drive her into suicide. So are you saying she doesn’t have the will of steel to stand up all this?

        Both have a similar scene. They are found dying on the rain (Yoko by Rakushun and Sheryl by Alto and his brother who was faster than him) after the world abandoned them. Yoko recovers her health (of course).

        After this experience, both gave up on something. Sheryl gave up on singing, Yoko gave up on “being human” and went a little crazier (as a normal person, she snapped). But their relationship with people around them show them wrong… and made them stronger. Yoko’s sacrifice will come later in the storyline…They are more alike than you think. The problem is that often Sheryl’s decisions were less dwelled on, more in quality of romantic heroine. While Yoko didn’t have the romantic burden, she went and faced her demons like male fantasy protagonists do, she stabbed her inner demons in the face.

        Continue on earlier, Yoko wasn’t sick to death, but she would die if she left the Twelve Kingdoms. At the end, she’s presented with a choice leave home (what she had set to do since the beginning, but die) or stay and rule Kei (and save her life). She didn’t even think of her life and regrets, she wasn’t thinking about her life anymore. Like Sheryl, she’s thinking about the people. She wants to take the choice that is best for them, even if that she’ll die for it (by renouncing her right to the throne, would kill her instantly). And she didn’t even *know* the people of Kei, but she has seen the refugees, and she knows the country can’t take another bad ruler.

        Rakushun (and co) gave her support. Alto (and co) gave Sheryl support.

        “And yeah, Yoko isn’t very hot (not ugly at all, but…); Sheryl is the galactic fairy of hotness.”

        Yoko’s actually described very beautiful in the novels, however, she doesn’t resort to fanservice outfits to be interesting. There’s substance. I love Sheryl’s design, but… she’s eye candy.

        • Described as beautiful doesn’t translate to beautiful character design. This is anime, so it’s animate, don’t narrate.

          So if you’re going to talk about the novels, then sure, I wouldn’t bet on the Macross Frontier novels being any good, just as I highly distrust the quality of novel adaptations period. But since we’re talking about anime… bloody bath time for Yoko.

          Also, Yoko I wouldn’t even rank higher than:

          Takaya Noriko
          Utena Tenjou
          Balsa
          The Major

          …etc. in terms of awesomeness. Yoko is a really nice character; interesting and well written too. But not really an awesome ANIME character. She doesn’t inspire awe (and trust me, I loved 12 Kingdoms and the Yoko arc is the only thing I really loved about it).

          Also, you make it seem that Yoko’s utter lack of fanservice charm to be AWESOME. No LOL no.

          Lastly, what I said to soulassassin and you: http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/sheryl-nome-is-the-most-awesome-woman-in-animemacross-frontier-the-wings-of-goodbye/#comment-21271

          • Dearline says:

            Yoko is a novel character, first and foremost. The anime adapted the novels. But, outside the Taiki’s future, and bonus info of how Yoko’s abolishing impacted in the Twelve Kingdoms, nothing I brought up wasn’t in the anime. It could have been lost in translation, since the details of how the world works is daunting as hell (you did mistake Taiki as talking wolf when he’s that moe unicorn with black hair in the Anime too).

            I wish they would adapt the Taiki rescue arc (the episodes have been slotted for years since the hiatus, because Ono is very lazy to publish new material and has been busy with SHIKI).

            Of that list, I put Utena and Balsa up with her. Yes, I’ll say she inspires awe (Twelve Kingdoms may be relatively ‘obscure’ overseas, but in Japan is a classic and Ono a very popular novelist in general… Unfortunately, she never finishes what she starts. It’s a curse).

            The Major and Noriko are amazing characters, but I think, like Sheryl, they have some traits to appeal the male otaku demographic that really… damaged them.

            Fanservice is objectifying, the opposite of substance. See above.

          • Fanservice is NOT the opposite of substance.

            Many things thought to be substance is fanservice for those who are into that kind of thing.

            And Sheryl has loads of substance AND serves the fans in MANY ways.

            Your argument is founded on, to begin with, the dismissal of Sheryl as a fanservice ONLY, character, which led to your stating “bloodbath.” After all our exchanges, even if it isn’t a bloodbath IN FAVOR of Sheryl, your initial dismissal of her is now a realm of 12 kingdoms bowing to the Galactic Fairy and Goddess of Battle coming down from the heavens through a super dimensional fold shaking the very stardust by which the provincial 12 Kingdoms are made of.

            Ahem.

            Yoko’s appeal is limited.

            Objectification is a viewer activity. I can objectify any character, which is, after all a construct of tropes and devices presented in text and/or visual form. Even without this reader/viewer-centric framework, Yoko and Sheryl ARE objects. To make them not so, is your discretion as a viewer/reader/fanboy.

        • Chan says:

          Just to point it out but you can’t hold the way that Sheryl dresses on stage against her, as in universe she is an entertainer, and sex sells. So of course she will be objectified, it is stupid to use fanservice as a flaw for her (or Ranka), because of their occupations. Using something like that as an excuse is just drawing on straws.

          • Darthtabby says:

            A few comments that relate to various parts of this conversation:

            While I wouldn’t exactly say they were taking a huge risk with Sheryl in many respects (she was intended to be a contrast with Ranka after all) I do find it interesting that her popularity in many respects seems to be in defiance of current trends in anime. Take a look at the competition in a lot of the polls she’s in. Most of her big competition is from moeblobs.

            I also don’t think her character design is that big a reason for her popularity. It doesn’t actually tend to stand out that much on its own. It’s when you combine her appearance with her actual characterisation that she tends to stand out. The images of her that I can remember making a big impact on me tended to be ones where her facial expressions or posture made an impact.

          • I think there IS something to what you’re saying, as long as we don’t take it as the single most important explanation for her popularity.

            Let’s take the Newtype polls where there is a strong bias for robot shows…

            Lacus Clyne is still the queen IIRC, and she isn’t a moeblob, but her continued reign reflects the utter, irredeemable daftness of fanboys.

      • Dearline says:

        “Most awesome woman in anime isn’t the most awesome heroine in anime.”

        I was arguing that Sheryl cannot be the best female character in anime (what else do you refer with “woman”?). This is what I meant with heroine.

        • Best is not necessarily awesome.

          Char Aznable is awesome, but that isn’t what makes him the best character in all anime period. He’s a villain, a pervert (lololololicon), and ultimately revealed to be a small, shallow man. But that’s exactly what makes him transcendent as a character of fiction, to dominate such a long saga and fascinate generations of viewers and fans.

          Hero/heroine is such a limiting and crude factor of “best” and certainly far from being the only thing that inspires awe.

          So as interesting as Yoko is, she’s not in this conversation despite your efforts to reduce the discussion to such a limiting field.

          • Dearline says:

            I see now! Sorry!

            Then, I’m not sure if Sheryl even can compete with Minmay as transcendental by those standards. If we focus on Macross. Minmay has fascinated people for generations and has come back for more as the star of Macross the First. Sheryl was voted before her in the later Macross Poll, but that happened just in the middle of Frontier fever (in a Macross Ace issue).

          • First, I am the biggest Minmayfag in the english-speaking fandom.

            Minmay is popular, and is a star indeed. But she is not awesome. There is no POWER in her presentation. She is cute and her pop ditties are such, and her ballads can be moving. But Iijima Mari’s vocal range is limited and therefore Minmay’s is as well. She can’t deliver powerful songs the same way. I listen to Macross OSTs a lot as you can imagine and as much as I love the Minmay ouevre, they’re basically ABBA tracks though less well-made (yes, ABBA tracks are composition genius). ABBA won’t AWE you with their singing or performances, even though there’s genius in the material.

            And as a character… LOL, what a trainwreck.

            But what can I say, she’s my #1, my first anime crush at age 8, first love never dies. I remember love, etc. etc.

            Also, Sheryl’s been around for only so long, while Minmay has been around for almost 30 years. Give Sheryl some time, and also credit for bringing in new fans into the franchise.

  7. Magnus says:

    Good summary.

    I really had high hopes that Sheryl would make the transition from awesome singer to awesome Valkyrie pilot in the series, but they only teased us on that account. Understandable, due to the logistics of it and that they wanted to sell May’n songs, but it would have made for a great character arc for Sheryl, too. Losing her former life but discovering a totally new one. Oh, well.

    • I don’t think it’ll be THAT good, considering the whole narrative… but I’ll dig it. It was really cool how much she sucked at flying after talking big and all. Kind of like how Alto is a good flyer and all but can’t fight anyone without getting owned so hard. I was *almost* disappointed at how easily he dispatched the prison guards at death row.

      • Magnus says:

        It was certainly a more realistic ending to her short “Sheryl learns flying” arc, although she did level out her plane before being shot down. I’m sure Hime lets her fly his plane from time to time in the series universe. :p

        But it would have been a very different story dynamic with her losing her singing career and starting over as a combat pilot. I’d have been interested in seeing that story.

  8. Dearline says:

    “Also, Sheryl’s been around for only so long, while Minmay has been around for almost 30 years. Give Sheryl some time, and also credit for bringing in new fans into the franchise.”

    I wish that, but I still have my doubts. I’m being cautiously optimistic.

    Still, it was no small feat to beat her in the polls. Considering that, even to this day, ROY FOCKER was voted best male character in Macross. Not Hikaru, no Alto, no Basara.

    • Of course we can’t be sure about these things and I can only speak for this moment I’m in, and certainly not on behalf of Japanese fans. Also, I won’t argue against Roy because he is SO cool despite his limited role(s) that Tomino took the best character he made and TURNED HIM INTO ROY — Char Aznable as Quattro Bajeena in Mobile Suit Z Gundam.

      And let me tell you, Quattro Bajeena is highly beloved, and is THE hero version/period of Char Aznable. Thus it isn’t just transforming robots that Gundam took from Macross, it’s Roy too.

      • Dearline says:

        Char recognizes Roy’s awesomeness, he’s following his steps (but skipping pinnacles in his menu). It should be a sign.

        If there’s ever a (young) Roy x Sheryl AU Macross spin off, the Galaxy would explode from awesome.

        • Magnus says:

          I think Sheryl and Alto complement each other better.

          • Yes, truly. Roy x Cathy makes more sense to me at least.

            Two awesomes don’t necessarily mean instant chemistry. Roy is analogous to Ozma that he’s only good at flying and shooting down bogeys. Alto complements Sheryl because he is also pretty LOL and a performer. They ‘get’ that space.

          • Magnus says:

            I think many a lot of people mistake sparkage for long-term compatibility. While I’m sure that there would be some attraction between Roy and Sheryl ( although she is very clear in the series that she doesn’t like womanizers, so it could well be that she’d shoot him down instantly ), in the long term it wouldn’t work out. I don’t see Sheryl being as understanding as Claudia was.

          • Dearline says:

            They are a good love story, although Alto can be bland. I would be interested to see how Roy/Sheryl goes, even if it’s not romantic, as an epic bromance.

  9. megaroad1 says:

    You make an excellent case sir that I cannot argue nor do I wish too. As a top to bottom character she is hard to beat. It’ll really be interesting to see (as you and Dearline discuss) how she will stand the test of time. I suppose in that sense her fate is linked to the enduring popularity of Frontier.
    I know that it makes absolutely no dent in her awesomeness, but I just wish that they had been more consistent in animating her. Her hair colour and body shape were all over the place sometimes. They did a much better job in the movies with that.
    Child Sheryl was just tooo cute. They just had to cover the last demographic resistant to Sheryl’s charms.

    • Sigh. Satelight made a call on which to allocate their resources: they chose mecha battles (and of course I meant idol performances mixed in).

      I cannot fault them for this.

      What I DO fault them with, is how ridiculously huge Sheryl’s tits were during the Obelisk performance. I mean, seriously, FUCK.

      So much so, that the not really busty May’n HAD to do something about it in her own concert LOLOL

      If the Obelisk performance didn’t give you an ehem full view, see the Lion one.

      LOLOLOL

      • megaroad1 says:

        You never know how much pushup bra technology has progressed by 2059….hehe
        But yeah, that kind of inconsistency is exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t the animator s have a brief on each character? Sheryl’s should read “Sheryl-san is a delicious and generous D cup, enticing yet gracefully proportional. Please reserve your EE fantasies for macro Klan.”

        • “Sheryl-san is a delicious and generous D cup, enticing yet gracefully proportional. Please reserve your EE fantasies for macro Klan.”

          Exactly, god fucking dammit. This is also perhaps why I’m still also pissed off at Itsuwari no Utahime and kind of relate to it as a different movie (as if not part 1) of Sayonara no Tsubasa.

          • Magnus says:

            “This is also perhaps why I’m still also pissed off at Itsuwari no Utahime and kind of relate to it as a different movie (as if not part 1) of Sayonara no Tsubasa.”

            For me it is more because, compared to the series, the first movie seems a bit soulless ( among other things, like the stupid gender issues Alto has ). The second movie has its own faults, but it has power behind it. The characters come more to life.

          • I liked it well enough, though not super-thrilled. It did have that credit card scene after all, and I loved the Ranka paying her dues montage. BUT, after watching Sayonara no Tsubasa I kind of felt that Itsuwari no Utahime should’ve been a lot more awesome, and closer to what the finale was as an experience.

          • Xard says:

            >This is also perhaps why I’m still also pissed off at Itsuwari no Utahime and kind of relate to it as a different movie (as if not part 1) of Sayonara no Tsubasa.

            I don’t know, Utahime did in general far better job than series with her character model too (the giant boobs of finale are acceptable grievance) so “ehhhhh”.

            For one she never has a manface there nor does she look like a horrific blob of QUALITY like here: http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/7619/snap2011110521h55m24s9.png

            Re: Utahime in general I’ve noticed that people who thought series was great tended to consider film good but not on par with it while those who were not as taken with series saw Utahime as great and improvement over the original series (see for example star crossed anime blog’s review of film, my good friend with whom I saw Sayonara in Japan liked the series but also felt similarly to me the films ironed out the series kinks in general and problems with characterization). Meanwhile people from those who thought first film was waste of time to those who think it was improvement on the original series join the very universal consensus on Sayonara’s awesomeness.

            I think Utahime is a good film on its own that does work terrifically in its slow-burn mode to set up Sayonara no Tsubasa. It’s full value is to be seen in this context IMO. Whether it’s better or not than the series 1-7 (with 14 added in) it adapts I find hard to say, certainly the directing is beefed up and the big set pieces are even more amazing from concerts to fights. Evaluated and counted together however there’s no question in my mind about the film version. Films have series beat by virtue of having less flaws alone (and clear ending to love triangle means it doesn’t fail as a narrative in any respect like series did) and on top of that the parts in which MacF was awesome the films were even more phenomenal. That all characters were improved to boot seals it. Music was phenomenal through and through so it really doesn’t decide things one way or another.

            There are some things I miss from the tv series but in general they’re such they can be fit inside the framework of “lost three months” between films one and two. Bird Human film shoot for one happens in filmverse too, in fact it’s the same set plier on which Ranka sings Aimo. The filming ended a while before and it’s possible the film has already been released. Given that this was also the time when Ranka was starting to take over the network as a new hot idol name it’s entirely possible she got the role of Mao in filmverse too.

            Only thing I miss from tv series that I can’t put back in is the role Bilrer played in a story…but I can live with that.

          • I just finished rewatching Utahime. I disagree with all your claims and stand by my own feelings.

          • Xard says:

            Fair enough. I do agree Utahime could’ve been more epic and it does drag a bit around the middle but overall it’s a good film with fantastic opening and ending acts (they could’ve spiced up the middle though…). I’ve kinda changed my minds about it and series many times in the past. Originally I thought it was very good but not up to par with series first cour or so, then later on I started to prefer it over series first half. This continued back and forth though nowadays I’m in the film camp even with first part. It doesn’t really matter to me because I think it’s all great in the end with moments to love so ehh, whatever.

            But films doing much better job with character models in general is a matter of fact, not opinion! They ironed out QUALITY (apart from that short clip of Ninjiin recycled, why on earth they didn’t reanimate that like many other cuts is beyond me) and irregular character models which is more obvious with Ranka than Sheryl. As for Sheryl, I do think in general it’s only in filmverse where animators have the time to do justice to her awesome hair lol.

          • It’s very important to note that I don’t dislike the movie… this isn’t the point. I just feel, in relative terms that it could’ve been more awesome the way SnT is awesome, such that the two movies don’t feel so different from each other.

            And yes, design was far more consistent especially with Ranka… but not Sheryl especially during the Lion scene in the finale where her boobs were a pair of Bishop-class Vajra mother ships.

        • d3v says:

          You could say they were pinning their EE cup “hopes and dreams” on Sheryl.

  10. Could never get past my original perception of Sheryl early on in the TV series, “Ugh, what a bitch,” to enjoy her as a character.

  11. Chan says:

    Sheryl is an awesome character not because she’s the pinnacle of awesomeness, but because she’s just human. Sheryl has some real debilitating flaws in her character, but quite unlike many characters that would make those flaws irritating, Its weird I usually like characters for what their perfections, but with Sheryl I personally like because of her flaws. I like the fact that those flaws are not overblown, they are the same type that you can find in any human being. The fact that she has all of those flaws and still make the decisions she does makes her simply amazing.

    Her character design is also quite nice (when they aren’t inflating her breasts) and it really shows off her confidence, and let’s face it, this girl is so hot she’d probably look good in a paper bag (no wonder they put her in so many outfits when designing her). Seriously she can pull off the cute look (white bunny, her blue outfit, stardate), the cute sexy look (welcome to fanclub’s night SOS, her various nurse outfits), elegance (Diamond Crevasse-all outfits, Infinity, Kimono, wedding dress), sexy (universal bunny, hopes and dreams), and yet she can still look like a regular girl (a beautiful regular girl, but a regular girl nonetheless).

    Her independence, her stubbornness, her ability to put others before herself, her confidence, her recklessness, she is what I think of when I think of perfection in an anime female character, because she isn’t perfect.

    • +1

      That’s the stuff.

      Good points on the character design. I had this long argument with a friend who has no respect for Sheryl’s character design. He’s a retarded lolifiend but otherwise we agree on many points. I bring this up because we agree on one character that we think exceeds Sheryl’s… both in terms of design, and in terms of what you talk about regarding flaws and humanity. (She’s not awesome like Sheryl is though).

      Faye Valentine.

      In terms of design Faye never enjoyed the sheer amount of outfits Sheryl donned from her idol wardrobe, but whatever Faye put on, it was a knockout look. Yeah she looks like a streetwalker in her regular yellow outfit but Sheryl has her share of stripper get-ups. Faye also has a cleaner, better defined design due to the overall character design aesthetic and execution in Cowboy Bebop Also, Faye benefits from the consistency and never suffers from going off-model. As I will discuss in future installments of my Cowboy Bebop series of posts, the genius in Faye’s design is that she can even look current and not out of place in anything save for the extreme cartoony shows (and some avant garde stuff) — she will look moe and attractive in a moeblob show like say, K-On!! and this, I think is a triumph of design.

      In terms of weakness… you name it: haughtiness, duplicity, underhandedness, selfishness, broken bird, addictions… she’s got it. There’s also a pronounced vulnerability to her that’s so effectively presented. She is not evil, and her caring and gentle heart somehow comes through all this failures of character. Faye is a truly great character in anime.

      But what she doesn’t do is deliver the same kind of awesomeness as Sheryl, either by force of personality, by manifestation of positive attributes, and most especially in terms of achievements.

      But in the terms you present, unless you really favor the positive attributes, Faye is more nuanced and expertly constructed. She’s not at the top of my favorite characters, but I have a very healthy respect and affinity for Faye.

      • Chan says:

        Oh don’t get me wrong I like Faye, but like I said before I usually for their perfections, for their good, not for their bad (though I’m am able to admit that they are there, and I hate characters without them). For me Faye just came across as a bit too… in you face? LIke you said they didn’t give me enough reason to favor her over any other anime female.

      • Xard says:

        >Good points on the character design. I had this long argument with a friend who has no respect for Sheryl’s character design. He’s a retarded lolifiend but otherwise we agree on many points.

        Oh. I’m interested. I always preferred Ranka’s pretty cuteness over Sheryl’s beauty and a lot of it had to do in how she ended up as the target of most lovable design quirks (everything about her hair from it’s rather unique, cute dog hair look to HOLY SHIT IT MOVES THAT IS AWESOME, she’s also the one who got awesome accessories like the valkyrie backpack and iSlug) while Sheryl was more straightforward but I thought she had a terrific character design anyway with certain rare iconic quality to it. Kawamori said there’s something slightly “game characteresque” about MacrossF’s character designs and while I hadn’t thought of it before I think he’s right. They somewhat differ in feel from typical anime faces of modern era.

        I’m having hard time seeing what would have one dislike Sheryl’s design so much. Personally I never cared much for Klan in her either form but it wasn’t bad or anything. Good, but not to my taste at all so her fanservice maximumness was kinda lost to me.

        >Faye Valentine

        I’ll be honest and say I’ve never cared much for Faye. Out of the Bebop’s cast she was in some respects the biggest disappointment to me. I expected competent, fairly badass action girl but for the most part she was rather useless and got to play the damsel in the distress role little too often for what felt like supposedly skilled and clever femme fatale. She’s well written and has some great episodes but in the end she just never won me over in terms of personality or actions. Even in film what she does most notably is get herself captured by the bad guy! Gah!

        I never found her all that hot either. I think it has a lot to do with her “cheap” look in clothes which often makes me have a bit hard time taking a character seriously (Kusanagi somehow did it without bothering me at all, she’s too badass) and is nearly always very, very unappealing to me and I don’t like her hairstyle at all. In any rate I don’t think she’s anywhere near as impressive as Sheryl is in terms of design or outfits.

        In short she’s well written character I’m not really attached to and one of those hotties people always go on about that do nothing to me.

        • 1. My friend doesn’t think much of Ranka either LOL, among lolimoe designs he finds Ranka’s rather uninteresting. I think he can go die in a fire, but I’m not going to argue lolipedo aesthetics with a lolipedo emperor.
          2. I won’t even address this.

        • Chan says:

          I think that Ranka’s design was a little bit too much, its like they really didn’t know when to stop with her, which is why I like the movie version more. Really it sometimes gave me the impression that they were trying too hard to make her win Saimoe. That’s why I like her toned down character design in the movie. With Sheryl her design is actually very simple and that’s what makes it good.

          Yeah Faye isn’t for everyone.

          • I think they really failed hard in trying to appeal to the moe crowd with Ranka. I was looking at the archives of saimoe and she won a round once in 2008 and that’s it. Sheryl even gets more votes than Ranka since then. I think this is the same with my general interaction of anime fans. I also wouldn’t be surprised if her design not appealing to anime fans enough is a major reason they made her lose the triangle. lol

            Personally I think shes at her best in the movies and it really spoiled me when looking back at the TV series. I mean TV version wasn’t bad at all, she can be very cute, but movie version Ranka is just beautiful and more womanly. Also I think they should had milked her movable hair design more, that is just too adorable. I didn’t even notice that until after the TV series was over. lol

          • This is a stunning failure. I really feel bad about poor Ranka LOL.

            What gets lost when I interact with Ranka fans here in these comments is how much I like Ranka, and I do like her design, inconsistencies and all. Like you I prefer the photoshopped version, but I didn’t mind the TV series version too much. Unlike you, I noticed the hair immediately and this was actually noted throughout many discussions in blogs back in 2008.

          • Xard says:

            re: Saimoe it isn’t actually surprising at all. For a long while during the running and massive popularity of the series, nyan yans and kiras, shitloads selling music releases by both idols, seikan hikou parodies and dance covers and all Ranka would’ve probably fared well there. Not winner level well (actually if she would’ve somehow ended up being the most popular candidate that wouldn’t have been good either) but a lot better than she ended up doing. But episodes 20 and 21 happened and the big controversy (and the storm that brew on 2ch) was more than enough to eliminate her chances. The actual vote counts for SaiMoe aren’t even that large – and come mostly from 2ch moefaggotry crowd – in the end per character and one of the defining features of contest is elimination and anti-voting even very popular characters out of the game. Ranka had enough antis to do the trick.

            This year we could see it happen with elimination of many extremely popular Madoka characters early in the game by antis determined not to let the show do well there. If you got all Madoka fans on the board of course such thing wouldn’t have worked but how large percentage of the fans of less 2ch type take part anyway? If you have sizable enough group of antis mustering the effort up in what is a 2ch tournament you can kick out even such ridiculously popular characters. In fact this is why it’s not good to be too popular either: you end up targetted and eliminated quite likely.

            After airings of episodes 20/21 there was still much more than enough vitriol towards her to get her eliminated pretty early on. Things are very different nowadays with Ranka’s stocks kilometers higher than back then but the general moefag crowd who control these aren’t exactly into Macross that much in the first place and don’t pay attention to films in the way they would’ve at tv series.

            Japanese love the idol pair in general with character merchandize, music etc. sell tons and it’s not even the kimoi otaku only who hoard them. Many of the most dedicated Ranka and Sheryl fans whose blogs I’ve encountered are young women who really like both, usually favouring one or other when it comes to actually buying things. “Ranka-chan kawaii yo Ranka-chan” or some variation of thereof is probably the most common comment you can see on her and I’ve never seen anyone bash anywhere the character designs for either outside. But people like these are also not the kind who are a big voting demographic in SaiMoe so it isn’t surprising Macross girls don’t fare that well there despite selling tons more stuff and being very popular in general, certainly much moreso than many characters who outperform them in SaiMoe. Ranka and Sheryl are in top 5 most popular cosplays on Japan’s biggest cosplay site and the only non-vocaloids up there! That should give some perspective on how much they’ve liked. That they’re even above Homura and Madoka – the most popular characters from the most popular series of the year – says something.

            That and they’re passe by now in SaiMoe circles. Moefags are notoriously superficial overall and don’t stick with series or characters typically for long, changing their object of obsession cour by cour.

            Who gives a shit about MF idols when we have likes of Kirino and Kuroneko from oreimo, y’see.

          • +1

            This I think sums it up quite nicely.

          • Xard says:

            as for non-saimoe stuff…

            @GL:

            >1. My friend doesn’t think much of Ranka either LOL, among lolimoe designs he finds Ranka’s rather uninteresting. I think he can go die in a fire, but I’m not going to argue lolipedo aesthetics with a lolipedo emperor.

            Fair enough. Just out of curiosity what kind of character aesthetics he then is drawn to? Ranka really doesn’t look like the most typical loli characters overall.

            >2. I won’t even address this.

            Faye’s drama could be very involving to me and I remember shedding a few tears in ep 24 Call Me Call Me scene, partly for her, partly for overall situation. I always feel bad in the finale for her when Spike leaves her shooting the roof in frustration. She does have good sides. I do like her but, well, when making my first favourite characters list years ago as much more inexperienced anime watcher the list was pretty much dominated by Eva and Bebop…*but even then* I had hard time putting Faye in because she was in some respects my least favourite member of Bebop’s crew (though she was more developed than the loli-dog duo ever was)

            @Chan:

            >I think that Ranka’s design was a little bit too much, its like they really didn’t know when to stop with her, which is why I like the movie version more. Really it sometimes gave me the impression that they were trying too hard to make her win Saimoe. That’s why I like her toned down character design in the movie.

            But they didn’t really touch the character designs much in general. Alto got slightly womanly hips but I don’t remember if that’s notable only in second film and I’m not sure if Sheryl got any modifications at all to how she looks like – though she did get more accessories, most notably the taiyaki phone (May’n loves taiyaki) to mimic Ranka’s iSlug. With Ranka it’s like they did the very opposite of toning down – she got more curves and meat on her to make her look much more womanly (so the term used should probably be fatten her up, lol) and she’s a bit taller. As for something to cover that frame with her dress code is more fashionable, mature and detail-oriented in comparison to simple unassuming pieces she uses in tv (with one exception being that one dress she has in both continuities). She never uses anything as stylish and fabulous as that pink piece in the end in tv show and her casual clothing is much more mature.

            Given that she gets *many* more outfits and more attractive physique (and using all those short pants and all instead of more covering dresses was definetly used for fanservice in first film) in films I’m not sure how they “toned her down”. Felt more like the opposite to me.

          • I love well done cosplay especially of Ranka and Sheryl, do you have a link to that site?

            I am probably the only person out there that loved Ranka’s “betrayal” in the TV series. LOL I mean I felt fans overacted because I think she was just being manipulated. But I mostly liked it due to how much I couldn’t stand TV version Alto, the guy never appreciated what he had. Even in the end when they are on the planet he just flies around instead of meeting the girls(aka he cares more about flying). Movie version wouldn’t have done that. In fact I would have been completely happy with TV Alto rejecting Ranka. :D I haven’t seen the TV series in a while though and this is all off memory so I’m probably wrong.

            And about the hair I suppose I should have noticed it, it is very noticeable in her first scene once you know about it.

          • Chan says:

            See that’s the thing Ranka wasn’t being manipulated she just made bad decisions, Grace (unlike with Sheryl) always gave Ranka the chance to say no, Ranka also wasn’t isolated from her friends and family. She just made mistakes that resulted in the deaths of maybe thousands of people and never needed to answer for it, that’s all

          • Chan says:

            @Xard

            When I say toned down I mean that the lolimoe aspects of Ranka were toned down.

            The tv series problem with their character design was that they made her too much like a little girl, and Ranka is supposed to be 16, and one year away from being an adult in the Frontier universe. I also notice that her movie Ranka doesn’t have any fangs like tv series Ranka. She is now dressing like a sixteen year old would, and acting like one too (in regards to the verse she lives in). Yes you could say that Ranka got more bells and whistles in the movie but she needed it, she needed to look less like a small child and more like young woman.

            As for Alto I can’t really say that they changed his hips or any part of his character design at all, his hips don’t look any differently than they did in that Chinese dress, or that Kimono. Ditto for Sheryl, I saw her previous cell phone and it was in the shape of a whip (in other words no different from her microphone–just blue), so I’d have to say that the Taiyaki was a welcome change.

  12. So hard to resist the urge to argue about what “best” means.

  13. JLee says:

    And here I thought, that I was getting a little bit crazy for falling in love with an anime character.
    That’s saying a lot, considering that I’ve watched probably over 350 titles this past few years.
    So you writing that “Sheryl Nome is The Most Awesome Woman in Anime” is something I will wholeheartedly advocate.
    Before reading your post, I was seriously reflecting on myself and rethinking if I was going down a wrong path. I recognized the emotions to be genuine, just like when I’m in a relationship.
    But to hell with it! I will not be denied! ♥Sheryl
    Completely agree with everything you have written, and you’ve pointed out the reasons (which I, myself, was not even aware of) for why I grew so fond of her. For that, I thank you.
    Gotta get myself a figure of her this Christmas.

    • Xard says:

      I recommend you get this if you can find it: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10111872

      I own it, it’s awesome and IMO easily the best figure of her. The last winter’s Banpresto Ichiban Kuji prize figure of hers (the geisha outfit one) is also terrific but prices asked for it are fucking insane and not ones I’m willing to pay. It’s too bad Megahouse did only two Sheryl figures (all three Rankas are terrific!) and the other one of them just isn’t to my liking at all and not as good as it’s Ranka pinup art counterpart was. A shame.

      Emotion Style Ranka and Sheryl for first film both kinda suck (Sheryl moreso, the face is seriously off) so I don’t rec them either. I don’t get it why we still haven’t got any proper 1/8 PVC figures of Sayonara. WTF are Megahouse, Alter and the like doing…I want my mahou shoujo Ranka at least.

    • Thank you and congratulations for discovering and owning your true feelings!

      My favorite female character (Minmay) is nowhere as awesome, but I’m okay with awesomeness too hehe.

  14. d3v says:

    I’m pretty sure that GARby is disqualified from Saiwoman only due to technicalities,

    LOL joking aside. I agree and would even go as far as to say that Sheryl is arguably the best written female character out there in this generation. She’s so well done and her character grows so well that you can’t help but fall in love with her in almost the same way you might fall for a real woman.

    That, and she knows how to drive stick (to the point where she’s willing to shell out extra for the stick shift option on a Ferrari California, as seen in Nyan Cli).

    P.S. Am thinking of making this my desktop bg.
    http://i.imgur.com/D60Fp.jpg

    • Which really leaves me wondering where Kawamori got his ideas for Sheryl while conceiving her on the drawing board. Although generally I’m more inclined to 3D women, Sheryl is a rare exception.

      I have taken one screenshot (Alto and Ranka’s moment at the sunset scene) as my wallpaper. Really great art.

      • Xard says:

        Well I suspect you’re not going to like hearing this but: Britney Spears, RIhanna, Beyonce etc. were the primary influences when Kawamori came up with her.

        Goes only to prove the superiority of 2D pop stars :P

        • No, I’m very much pleased: Rihanna is an exception for me now, ever since she started dueting with Eminem and thus leaving her Chris Brown episode behind for good; I’m all right with Beyonce, but I also like the debut-album Britney (before she went ‘adult’).

          Good thing Kawamori didn’t thought of the likes of Whitney Houston or Celine Dion, for all the idols we had in my country are mostly high-pitched glass-breaker types, not real pop idols.

    • What would you say begins and ends Sheryl’s generation of anime characters?

      Who would be her rivals?

      Yes Nyan Cli is AWESOME, and your desktop image too.

      • d3v says:

        I’ll admit that I can’t really pin a proper “timeline” for her “generation.” My only criteria is that, off all the anime women I’ve seen within the past decade or so, she’s the only one I can say that, if she were a real person and I got to know her in real life, I’d fall head over heels for her. As a self proclaimed “tsundere connoisseur,” I find that she has a rather nuanced balance of tsun-tsun and dere-dere that makes not feel like a character simply designed around an archetype, but rather the traits of the archetype are just a part of her overall character. It’s like how you could say that someone in real life exhibits tsundere traits, but that isn’t the be-all end-all of who they are.

        • Xard says:

          >I find that she has a rather nuanced balance of tsun-tsun and dere-dere that makes not feel like a character simply designed around an archetype, but rather the traits of the archetype are just a part of her overall character.

          I think this is because the so called core of her character, her foundation, is elsewhere. She’s undeniably tsundere, yes, but that is not her defining feature like it is with so many so-called tsundere characters. It’s more like a makeover, more superficial aspect of her personality which is why they could tone down her tsun tsun for the films a bit without losing the grasp of her character. Now that the 2nd film is out I don’t really have any material I need to wait for in order to write my take on the cores of the characters…

        • Without such a clear timeline, your statement is far too difficult to discuss properly. But nonetheless, give 4 other examples of those who you think belong in your ladder.

      • d3v says:

        That’s not yet my desktop image. I’m gonna take a few screenshots of her from the movies so I have a rotating set of images.

  15. Sorry this is completely off topic however this doesn’t really fit into any of the posts. Has there been any information or official statements on whether this is the end of Macross F? It’s not like they didn’t leave it open for more but they also didn’t leave it so it required more. I could see at least a couple of OVA side stories where you see what happens to Alto and another additional story for Ranka that gives us fans an ending that doesn’t leave us in despair for once. Alright the second one is probably too much to ask. :)

    • Magnus says:

      I can only hope for more, since many of the characters are far from played out, but on Animesuki some people with better access to Japanese fanzines than I have said that Kawamori saw the second movie as the final Macross F media. I hope they are wrong.

    • Xard says:

      in March interview Kawamori said he has now achieved everything he wanted to achieve with MacrossF and as such the subfranchise has been done with it. The sole exception being Mahou Shoujo Ranka spinoff title he’d really like to do

      but of course he’ll never get to that, damn troll… ;___;

      • JLee says:

        Maximum overtroll :D
        I should probably get a move on.
        My life has pretty much been occupied by MF and Sheryl since I first watched the movie back in Oct 29.
        And as much as I hate to say, its gotten a tiny little bit less awesome on my 4th rerun.

        • Xard says:

          Oh, it just keeps getting more awesome more often I watch it, still :P

          Given that I’ve been under constant barrage of new MacrossF stuff for years and the film had such HUGE impact on me I still can’t break myself free. I’m just indescricably sad it’s all over now and what a wonderful journey it was. At least there’s still next month’s live BD to look forward to, but after that… I sure hope the 30th Anniversary will be amazing because they’re going to have hard time to get me on to it in the way Frontier got me. *sigh*

          and yes, Kawamori loves trolling. Bet he was laughing good heartedly while saying that, having no idea what that kind of teasing does to fans like me…

          • JLee says:

            I actually gave it another go this morning.
            Had my 12 year old sister watch Itsuwari no Utahime, then Sayonara with me.
            Glad she liked it. I would have disowned her otherwise XD
            Unsurprisingly, the kid prefers Ranka, but still thinks Sheryl is awesome.
            And you’re right, its not like it got less interesting, maybe I was just already dog tired back in my 4th rerun. (It was actually the scene right after Brera told Ranka “I’m you’re brother” followed by fold microbes explanation that got me).
            She’s now asking for part 3.
            As we all are…

          • Xard says:

            I like your imouto-san :D

            looking at comments in randomc quite few people with no previous contact with Macross watched and loved Sayonara. Which is really awesome to me if a bit surprising too.

    • What’s to despair about Ranka? Is losing the Alto sweepstakes THAT much important? If so, then so much of what makes Ranka better in the finale goes to waste… as she can’t be anything unless she wins Alto, or is completed by a man, etc.

      • I’d like to hope so but the least they could have done is shown this was in fact the case. What we get instead is her looking sad and thinking about Alto being gone which doesn’t really reinforce this idea to me. Perhaps I over think it too much.

        • She wasn’t just thinking about Alto gone, she was thinking about Sheryl… so much that she did all she can to revive her. I swear people get so worked up about the triangle that they forget how much Ranka loves Sheryl… her greatest idol that she had the incredible luck of not only singing and performing with, but becoming dear friends with.

          Sheryl does wake up though, and joins Ranka in a concert as can be heard in the end credits.

          If you don’t get hung up in this Alto business, this fulfills Ranka in a very significant way.

          • According to a post on animesuki forums (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=3838769#post3838769) Yoko Kanno doesn’t specifically states that this song in the credits really mean that though, perhaps there’s another source that does I don’t know.

            Sure I can understand about Ranka and Sheryl. My initial reaction to this film is that he really wanted a Sheryl x Ranka ending and I think there is evidence to go that way if you so want to. But since it looks like Macross F is done for good I can’t be blamed for not wanting a little more to go off of on what happens?

          • Xard says:

            There would probably come better times to post this but among achievements of Sayonara is the additional emotional depth Sou Da Yo (Ranka’s ED for first film) gained from the ending. This is too good to be coincidental and Kawamori has as far as I know habit of planning endings out pretty well ahead of time…

            mind = blown time:

            That’s right.
            Your words are always a treasure
            No matter how many times, their light and energy
            always reaches me.

            Even though I can’t meet you now, I’m all right.
            So even though I can’t meet you now,
            I’d like it if you were all right, too.

            Tell me about the dream you had yesterday, and the story of the neighbor’s dog
            Teach me about the world you see that I don’t know
            Even though I’d like you see you now, after just a little longer,
            I want to close my eyes and hear the voice of the person I love but can’t see.

            Good morning In your neighborhood, the day begins
            Good night In my neighborhood, the first star…

            As many hundreds of millions of light years away as the sky I kiss you from is
            That kiss will jump over those hundreds of millions of light years to reach you.

            Even though I can’t meet you now, I’m all right.
            So even though I can’t meet you now,
            I’d like it if you were all right, too.

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

            Crafty bastards, Kanno and Kawamori…

          • Wow that is just amazing, I think that immediately just became my favorite Macross F song. lol

          • Dearline says:

            Ranka even cries and not Alto’S when the dramatic ending happens.

            Though, she lost her biological brother and her two closest friends (until the end, when she gets Sheryl back at least), so her losses weren’t only in the romantic department. Kawamori was scolding fans in a radio show when they thought the Alto’s remark (You’re both my wings) was mean to be taken romantically (he had intended it as a compromise of total trust Alto had in both girls). He seemed angry that people took the triangle bonds of love only strong in the romance.

            He’s a total yurifag for Sheryl and Ranka. He’s only praised that relationship.

          • You know this really was the best possible ending if he wanted Ranka x Sheryl just so much fits. There’s just no way he could have gotten away with it seriously and sell this movie. Personally though I would have loved it since I like Sheryl and Ranka way more then Alto. :D

            But I think I’ve made my peace with the ending of the movie. Would have been nice to see Ranka’s smiling face as the end, she truly has the best smile in anime, however I suppose it just wouldn’t have been appropriate to do the epilogue any other way consider all the losses. I can only just imagine Ranka’s face when she sees her true love wake up from the coma. lolololol

        • JLee says:

          Aye! Need something to cheer you up?
          Listen to d Shudisuta b again.
          That seems to work for me ;)

  16. WhatSht says:

    I just want a SHeryl cover of Seikan Hikou, that short part in the movie was awesome.

  17. Dearline says:

    What is my spelling at this hour: “Ranka even cries and not Alto’S when the dramatic ending happens.” I mean to say that Ranka cries out Sheryl’s name, not Alto’s.

  18. d3v says:

    I feel that ghostlightning has forgotten one most important thing.

    She makes just as awesome a reverse trap as Alto makes a trap.

    http://i.imgur.com/GsUVx.jpg

  19. squaresphere says:

    One of the MANY reasons Sheryl is > than Ranka that you didn’t hit on is their actual ages. Sheryl is only 1 year older than Ranka. In anime terms that should have made Sheryl a bit more static in her personality while Ranka would actually get to “grow” into her character. However in the show (TV), it’s Sheryl that shows the tremendous amount of growth where as Ranka seems almost exactly the same through out.

    On that same point, that’s why I place Sheryl above all the other ladies you mentioned. Though not fault of there own they weren’t able to be put in situations where we could see them grow. Honestly, MF (TV) could almost be Sheryl’s story, we see her at the height of her power, only to see it all come crashing down along with her impending death sentence. She learns acceptance and lives her life like it her last day. Alto’s, who could be argued is the main character, low point I would assume is Michel’s death. Not to cheapen it by any means, but Sheryl’s scene in the rainy gutters looking at Ranka’s poster was a far lower point to come back from.

    Ranka’s low point of the series was… walking in on Sheryl and Alto on the roof top, to which she reacted (realistically but) poorly. Seriously, she was talking about wanting to die… Where as Sheryl’s low point WAS dealing with dieing, and Alto just witnessed the death of probably his best friend.

    Going back to the movie the low points contrast quite differently.

    Sheryl’s low point is now still having a death sentence and probably being thrown in prison to boot, interestingly her FAME doesn’t seem to have taken a hit as it’s a non factor. What’s interesting about the prison incarceration is that Sheryl seemed to have accepted death during her conversation with Ranka, to die anonymously and alone. Where was in the TV series she was at the Satome’s household and had Alto to help her accept what life she had left and just live.

    Alto’s low point, it’s actually when he thought he lost Sheryl. He’s visible distraught and crying and knows that’s he’s lost something very important to him. Though like the TV series, he uses the “death” to motivate him to fight. Ironically, finding out she’s alive motivates him even more to not just fight, but to PERFORM.

    Ranka… she actually has no real low point to speak of in EITHER movie. I suppose it was still the roof top walk in, but Leon’s kill team interception kinda throws it out of wind from a drama perspective. Just like how Alto’s rejection of her could have been another if it hasn’t been superseded by him getting “macross cannon’d”. Honestly, the movie missed out a great opportunity by us not really getting to see Ranka react to Sheryl’s “death” when she was sucked out into space.

    One of the greatest literary devices is having the hero over come their low points and end up “triumphant”. The bigger the climb the more we invest in their journey and the bigger the pay off. It’s the same way when we invest and then the hero doesn’t quite make it, the scene is heartbreaking.

    Hmm I wrote quite a bit more than I expected and probably could expound on some of this. Hah should probably use this as starting point for a first real blog post.

    -SqSp

    • Dearline says:

      I think they made Movie Sheryl flawed in her tool against the Vajra and spy dilemma, dealing with real consequences and some bittersweet karma outcome. This is how they should have gone with TV series Ranka. None of that magic-godly whitewashing bullshit. Sheryl, Alto, SMS, all of they should have stuck with Ranka, but I would like her more aware of her actions too.

      Movie Sheryl is an actual spy from Macross Galaxy, a place she seems to love enough to pay for its rescue with her credits in the film. She’s aware of her disease (whether if they infect her with it or she was already infected, it’s not explicitly said. Since it seems to ruin their plans, perhaps its the latter) and she signed up in her role as Fairy until they find Ranka. We don’t really know how much she knew about the Galaxy take over (probably nothing of this), but she seemed seeking Ranka out of the memory of her grandmother’s research and beliefs.

      And she also feels a strong love and loyalty for Grace, similar to how Ranka feels towards Ozma (Aya Endo empathized this love she feels like a child to a mother).

      However, she also knew that the Vajra would attack Frontier sooner or later (Brera apologized because they attacked sooner than they thought). Was she trying to stop this or to use the Vajra to draw Ranka out? We don’t know (like Universal Bunny, Sheryl’s very controversial in the movie). Probably the former. She also feels this crippling loneliness. Maybe because he alone isn’t implanted and, while she might care for Grace and Brera, they are controlled. It must have been terrible for her watch them all this time.

      Even though she’s dying and the only hope to save her is harvesting the life of her rival in song and love (remove an obstacle), she feels nothing but relief when she’s arrested. She accepts all the charges, the false and the truthful ones. She wants to pay for them. I really like this. Then her high point is to show that, even if she had a turmoil earlier and she has only spent three or four months in Frontier, she betrays the only people who could save her to keep Ranka safe. Then she is willing to die for Ranka’s sake.

      I really like her character progression and I would have like to watch more her thought processes. She is more like the Mad Scientist’s Beautiful Daughter type. We know she means well in her feelings and thoughts (Ranka and Alto felt them), but she’s caught in bad circumstances.

      In regards of the triangle, it was less, IMO, who Alto loved. It was very obvious to me Alto was drawn romantically to Sheryl through the movies. The scenes with them are charged and contrasting. But he couldn’t trust her, he trusted Ranka, his best friend, but he didn’t love her. In the end, he was able to trust Sheryl and unable to change his feelings for Ranka.

      • Xard says:

        >Even though she’s dying and the only hope to save her is harvesting the life of her rival in song and love (remove an obstacle), she feels nothing but relief when she’s arrested. She accepts all the charges, the false and the truthful ones. She wants to pay for them. I really like this.

        “she feels nothing but relief”… isn’t that “slight” beautification? I mean, c’mon now. Sheryl’s ball of hidden clinical depression for quite the while of second film before she crumbles down and pretty much gives up on singing and life. Which is exactly what the whole Ranka’s prison visit scene is partly about, Sheryl’s *running away* like eg. Shinji in general (if there’s a parallel scene in tv series it would be the one with Klan and Sheryl in ep 19 but the similarities are pretty weak apart from “running away” part). Well, she stops that soon enough but “feeling nothing but relief” when she’s so visibly broken is just silly.

        >Ranka… she actually has no real low point to speak of in EITHER movie. I suppose it was still the roof top walk in, but Leon’s kill team interception kinda throws it out of wind from a drama perspective. Just like how Alto’s rejection of her could have been another if it hasn’t been superseded by him getting “macross cannon’d”. Honestly, the movie missed out a great opportunity by us not really getting to see Ranka react to Sheryl’s “death” when she was sucked out into space.

        If Alto’s “low point” (wut that’s one of his best scenes that ends up showcasing his growth and strenght, Kawamori even called the resulting dialogue between Mikhail and Alto out as “something that will be really meaningful to fans familiar with series”) is enough to count as one then Ranka had more than her share throughout the two films *shrug* As for the rooftop walkin, that really is Alto/Sheryl scene more than anything and it’s impossilbe to say how much better or worse Ranka would’ve coped this time around if films had required her to act like in tv series in the parallel scene. Luckily for her this time around the one who narrative is bent on screwing over here is Sheryl instead and there’s no plot requirement for her to get hysterical – and her real low point comes in episode 16 anyway which would be clear and simple enough if anyone ever actually paid attention to the dialogue in ep 20’s “refusal to sing” scene. As for other two: Ranka took the pain of rejection with grace and there really wasn’t much to add to it as she had more immeadiate concerns – like saving life of Sheryl who just, y’know, COLLAPSED half-dead. For the more, in a sense, depressed and even sadder feelings of hers there’s more than enough fuel in Hoshikira for that. Ranka’s reaction to Sheryl’s (and Ozma’s) “death” and Alto’s pain over it was very clear. I don’t see a “noooooooooooo” and attempted grap as that interesting addition to scene as we already have Alto to do that. It would’ve just been detrimental to the drama of the moment.

        Not really scenes to elaborate on in that sense.

        • squaresphere says:

          I should have probably been clearer I mean, emotional low points (ie depressed). Not necessarily the low point of character development or behavior.

          • Xard says:

            ahh, I see. Yeah that makes more sense (in that case there’re other examples for Sheryl and Alto both, for Alto aftermath of Sheryl’s arrest counts nearly as well as you can see how depressed he is about it and how much pain Sheryl’s betrayal brought on him – witnessing that is what got Ranka to act in the first place)

            As for emotional low points, Ranka certainly has her share. Arguably she always starts out as the weakest of three as trauma ball with no self-confidence or self-esteem to speak of. She shows quite a few signs of insecurity and moodyness through the story. For example her humiliations early on through her idol career and you can tell she was feeling pretty down and lonely on the eve she arrived to empty home and met Ai-kun. Then her shyness and desperate, usually failed attempts at communicating with Alto definetly count. Then after she gets captured by Vajra following her sacrifice in Utahime she’s pretty much given up on chance of survival before Sheryl’s singing of Lion reaches her and makes her fight back/join the song (she’d return the favour to Sheryl later). In the second film she’s completely hopeless and depressed after visiting Sheryl in prison with absolutely no idea what to do now. It’s all thanks to Brera she and then others could get on with their fight. Deaths of Ozma and Sheryl also hit her really hard later as should be obvious in the confession scene – and it’s not like rejection was easy for her, Hoshikira’s lyrics are in some respect really sad while Houkago Overflow has this smiling-through-tears spirit from the beginning. Of course she too was hurt by “Sheryl’s betrayal” like Alto was. I mean, what people too often seem to forget about the triangle is just how much the girls care for each other (to the point of sacrificing their lives if needed) and while with Sheryl’s “death” she did not lose a love interest she did lose her parent AND rival who is more a soulmate than a regular friend. It wasn’t much if at all easier for her to pull herself through it than it was for Alto.

            Anyway, I’ve always found Ranka kinda sad and lonely girl in few respects, *especially* film Ranka. Nanase has been completely removed from the equation as a friend. Her only close friend in filmverse is Alto and really, while unsaid words and lack of real communication isn’t quite as big problem for two in films it’s hardly ideal situation. Really, just how deep their friendship is when Alto doesn’t seem to even recognize Ozma in Utahime? In first film after Ranka desperately tries to share what she has been doing with Alto they take the ride to home and she really, really tries to connect with him (futility of this is also apparent in how the scene is shot before she finally makes a breakthrough and alto reveals some of his real insecurities, their faces are NEVER in a same frame and there’s this fundamental feeling of disconnection in exchanges) but she ends commenting in really lonely voice how despite him being so close he’s really, really far away. Which actually does the trick but does reveal how hard it’s to her to get close to him.

            It’s in Sheryl where she finally finds a friend and a deep bond of understanding that is mutual. When they sing Aimo together in Griffith park, that is when they connect on a deep level. In each other girls found what can be described as their soul mate. Cue Kawamori’s Animedia March interview:

            – Sheryl & Ranka. Sheryl became someone important to Ranka, as she could understood perfectly what she felt, in her singing and her romantic life. Ranka was the same for Sheryl. Their bond surpasses rivalry, they are “binded/tied together.”

            The most revealing scene is the prison encounter where Ranka really ends up bringing her heart’s concerns in the open, partly culminating in mention of that moment in Griffith Park and the words Ranka chooses are telling: she finally felt like she wasn’t alone.

            Knowing how much the girls ment for each other Sheryl’s “betrayal” was really hard for Ranka too – and drove home the point that both were kind of lonely girls despite their caring “parents” (Ozma and in filmverse Grace). Scene as pained as the prison visit and its aftermath is more than enough to count as severe emotional “low point” to Ranka in my eyes. It’s only Alto who probably never felt crushing lonelyness per se.

        • Dearline says:

          I should have clarified. Sheryl, when she’s taken to prison, looks relieved. Previously, she has been depressed and sulky, but when she’s facing arrest, she seems smiling and calm. Then, obviously, she’s depressed and needed Ranka (and then Alto) to tell her that she’s not alone.

          • Xard says:

            Ahh, okay. All I remember on Sheryl’s face then is this initial utter shock and all so I’d need to rewatch the scene, obviously

            (something I’ve been pushing back as I’ve been waiting my circle of acquintances see the film first and hear their reactions so I can approach it again with “fresh eyes”. Now that one of my closest dorm mates finally just yesterday got his mind blown to smithereens by Sayonara I only have couple of guys to wait for left…but since everyone has really digged the film so far I doubt I get much surprises here)

        • Wasn’t Hoshikira created as a song of encouragement for Megumi Nakajima? I mentioned this before but that’s what I’ve heard was said in the official complete book but I haven’t seen this myself.

          • Xard says:

            Yeah she wrote it for “Megumi’s sake” but this of course is inconesequential from the meaning it carries for Ranka as the culmination point of her character development and storyline. Music is very important to understanding the characters of Ranka and Sheryl and their development correctly*. Houkago Overflow has her at the crossroads between unrequited first love, deathly war and adulthood and show a girl taking steps towards it. On the other side of this dividing line we have the aspiring young girl covering her idol in streetcorner and singing cute songs about unfaltering maiden hearts. After crossing the road we have Hoshikira encompassing the being of young woman she grew up into: thus making her bildungsroman something that can be followed from songs on their own.

            Same goes on with Sheryl to lesser extent in films and more pronouncedly with tv series and evolution of her songs there.

            *Sayonara no Tsubasa did not “start” in February 26 premiere as expectable from such metaproject (Ranka’s Family Mart Cosmos was played in Family Mart’s across Japan as part of Utahime’s marketing campaign for example). It started with release of Cosmic Cuune Christmas album year ago and arguably finished with release of Netabare Album in March. What was the moment the mature, strong girl film!Ranka grew up into was revealed? Songbird. What was the single thing that perfectly encapsulated the deep bond and relationship between Ranka and Sheryl that developed in films and is most apparent in Sayonara no Tsubasa? Tablet.

            What were Christmas Live concerts called? Merry Christmas without You Live, the concerts being something the second film would have participants go “ahh, so that’s what the Christmas live was all about”. The name is really apparent now in meaning and it’s not hard to draw parallels between dshudistab live and said concerts. Netabare Album meanwhile is ment to be listened after seeing the film – in fact they went as far as pushing back the release date of the album so that more people could get to see it beforehand. Hoshikira and F Refrain’s final coda sum up what Ranka grew up to be (while “F Refrain” is similar summing up tribute to MacrossF as a whole) while Diamond Crevasse – Thank you Frontier is to Sheryl what Hoshikira and F Refrain’s AiObo are to Ranka. The final, changed lyric is there really touching.

          • When I heard “merry christmas without you” I was really wondering if they were trying to taunt people or if it was just bad english. lol Now it makes a little more sense. (with the english in “What bout my star” I wasn’t putting it past them to just make up words that fit)

    • First off, and to be clear, I agree with your points.

      This is not a post about Sheryl > Ranka.

      In my mind there is no need to make that statement at all. Before publishing this post I had a discussion with Mechafetish (the cofounder of this blog) when we talked about potential Ranka fans raging about the lack of mention of Ranka in this post. I did a little test:

      Is Ranka more awesome than:

      Utena Tenjou, Takaya Noriko, L’alc Melk Mal, Beneej Spoor, Lafiel Abriel, Talho Yuki, Alicia Florence, Dianna Sorel, Kihel Heim, Katsuragi Misato, etc?

      No. To begin with, Ranka isn’t awe-inspiring. Moe doesn’t work like that. It makes the subject want to protect the object because the object is weak, helpless in some form. Sheryl, at times is weak and helpless, but the subject relishes these moments as an opportunity to prove himself to her, that he can do something for her, that he can be awesome too.

      Go make that blog post!

      • Xard says:

        >when we talked about potential Ranka fans raging about the lack of mention of Ranka in this post.

        alternatively you could’ve assumed post bearing Sheryl’s name in the title is enough sign for retards like me when it comes to focus

      • squaresphere says:

        Yeah I suppose my comment was more a response to the other Ranka Sheryl comments you already had. I’ve got my draft all written up, sorta, just gotta take some pics to match it :D

      • Its funny that with all the Ranka haters out there I consider it a win when Sheryl fans simply just don’t try to compare her to Ranka and leave Ranka alone. Not that I’m admitting defeat I just don’t get why they need to hate so much (I’m not saying anyone here is hating, just generalizing for simplicity).

        There is one thing that makes Ranka awesome and that’s her rise as an idol. At least I consider it awesome and well I credit it half to just how much I love Megumi Nakajima’s voice but I still put Ranka as my number one anime idol (sorry Minmay fans).

        • Dearline says:

          None, Sheryl or Ranka can surpass Mynmay in song. Not even Basara. They all ride on her legacy for eternity.

          Do you Remember love? is still more iconic than any of their songs.

          • Xard says:

            bless the little queen is my favourite take on it though!

            (of course Ai Oboete Imasuka? will stay franchise’s most iconic song just like original Macross will stand as the most iconic entry in it. But that has nothing to do with music preferences of the viewer, as far as those go I have Frontier duo and Sharon Apple as my favourites)

        • Xard says:

          >Its funny that with all the Ranka haters out there I consider it a win when Sheryl fans simply just don’t try to compare her to Ranka and leave Ranka alone. Not that I’m admitting defeat I just don’t get why they need to hate so much (I’m not saying anyone here is hating, just generalizing for simplicity).

          I’ve got few dozens of people watch and love MacrossF in internet and IRL (only one didn’t like it) and out of them all exactly one ended up hating Ranka in a way that was all over the place with tv series (and incidentally not even she could hate film Ranka) latter stages. Generally both idols and their music was liked. As far as I can tell this seems to be the case with the so-called “silent majority” and more casual fans in general. It’s when one is made to choose between the two Sheryl ends up clearly winning (though after the very warm reception of film!Ranka even by many “ex-haters” or indifferent viewers the gap is nowhere near as big as it was occasionally in the past) but that doesn’t mean one automatically hates the other idol. So really, as always on the internet the negative feedback gives off impression of larger discontentment than actually is the case. Which is not to say Ranka didn’t have tons of haters but keep in mind MacrossF was enormously popular title and if, say, every sixth or so viewer really ended up hating Ranka for one reason or another that means we’re talking about large number of people. Who still aren’t majority.

          In retrospect most fans of Ranka or Sheryl probably never absolutely hated the other…but going by youtube comboxes and the like you’ll probably get the precisely opposite impression. I know I ended up getting very sour taste of “Sheryl fans” when I carelessly and without slightest idea of the controversy over the triangle and girls walked in the fandom interactions. But logically considered the ill-behaving ones were a (VERY vocal) minority. For comparison if you’re regular on the biggest western Eva board’s Rebuild subforum you’d think most fans consider Rebuild so-so piece of shit which really isn’t the case at all and the titles are well received among Eva and anime fans in general.

          But with that sample base? You’d never know that.

        • Favorite Idol: Lynn Minmay forever, favorite song: Tenshi no Enogu

          Most awesome idol: Sheryl Nome-Saotome, favorite song: Diamond Crevasse

          Most winsome idol: Mylene Fallnya Jenius-Kizaki, favorite song: My Friends

          Cutest idol: Ranka Lee, favorite song: Songbird

          Scariest idol: Sharon Apple, favorite song: Borderline

          Best failed idol: Myung Fang-Lone, Voices

          Most awesome failed idol: Emilia Fallnya Jenius-Nekki. favorite song: Heart and Soul

          Best thing ever: Basara Nekki, Try Again

          DONE!

      • Dearline says:

        I wouldn’t know. Ranka is the one lauded as an awe-spiring “Goddess” by the seiyuus in the movie interview. So that view is relatively.

        • Dearline says:

          Or relative. When I can spell.

        • Xard says:

          yeah, 女神/聖女 (megami-goddess and seijo-saint/holy woman) comes up a lot and increasingly often in discussion too as far as I can tell: at least since the second film it has come more and more common description though 天使 (tenshi) and マジいい子 (maji ii ko) are still the most common descriptions I see attached to her excluding omnipresent KAWAII. The “really good girl/child” comment in particular tends to crop up re: Sayonara’s final scene.

          As for “megami/seijo” thing…well, obviously it isn’t quite literal. This is a sign of films fully realizing the Nausicaä dimension of Ranka’s character much more explicitly and better in my opinion (for how NOT to do it see Kiss in the Galaxy and the whole Snow White deal there LOL, for how to do it right see the beautiful Aimo sequence in Sayonara). Seijo is slightly more directly relevant because (and this is interesting) in a sense Ranka was the Kawamori character who inherited the “priestess of the wind” dimension of Nome sisters instead of their bloodline member Sheryl – and Sara most certainly was a 聖女 character. Though as far as new dimensions Sheryl got from the films go the biggest one is this certain, how to put it, spiritual yearning and aspiration that is very much in line with what Nome seniors and Ranka stand for. None of the kind existed in her series incarnation which makes it the biggest single “personality revision” Sheryl had. (As far as those go I think Alto got the most of them while with Ranka revisions were in character development rather than in the starting settei beyond her looks – Sheryl’s revisions have to do with her place in the overall narrative more than personality or how the character arc played out)

  20. Pingback: Dearline on the Distinctions of Sheryl Nome | The Ghosts of Discussions

  21. Here is an interesting interview of the three principal actors on the characters they played. I found what they had to say rather touching. I love them and thank them for all the work they did, and for doing it lovingly… for caring about the characters in a way that makes me, the fan love the characters and by extension their actors.

    http://karice.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/p207/

    • Xard says:

      Nice to see some of the material from official film book finally get translated and by someone with much more 1337 skills than I, hahahha! Now I don’t have to worry about it :P

      Karice did great job there and this interview really shows why I’m really fond off the seiyuu trio, particularly Megumi whose connection with Ranka’s character is really unusual and deep (though there’re other interviews that show it better). With Endo I can never decide if she or May’n is the “primary” Sheryl. It’s also great to see with films Nakamura finally came to see Alto as character who left a mark on him.

      • Xard says:

        >With Endo I can never decide if she or May’n is the “primary” Sheryl

        Not a negative comment, just saying she isn’t as absolutely Sheryl as Megumi is Ranka and Nakamura is Alto and for full story behind performing Sheryl we always need May’n too…

      • Yeah but May’n is harder to book. I think it would indeed be great if they were interviewed together… It’s actually weird if nothing like this exists. I want to ask Endo-san if she sings and dances Universal Bunny in the shower LOL. We already know May’n acts out Sheryl (with Kanno Yoko acting out Grace).

        • Xard says:

          There’s May’n interview in the Official Fanbook too in the whole hugeass section on music. Which makes Megumi the only person in book to be interviewed twice, once in seiyuu section (here alongside with Endo and Nakamura) and in music section where she and May’n have pages each.

          Interestingly June 2011’s Cut Magazine (Japan’s premier film mag IIRC) had big (bunch of) articles and interviews on Macross franchise history and Macross Frontier in particular. Kawamori and Kanno were interviewed as goes without saying and there were, again, one page interviews on Ranka and Sheryl..and persons they had were Nakajima and May’n. So it probably isn’t question of who is easier to get hold off. The above interview was in seiyuu section of the book so of course May’n isn’t there.

          What they’d need to do is double interview of both one day though :)

          Just finished reading this translation and getting to read it with nice flow and without having to constantly glance over kanji dictionary was nice experience. Also oddly, deeply moving. ;___;

          Some specific comments:

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

          Endo: Sheryl could only react with a “Wha——t..!” to the shock, but Ranka, because of all the things she’s felt, there must have been so many things she had to digest at that point. In this film, I feel that Ranka is really reliable, she’s a step above Alto and Sheryl. In the previous film, she was still calling out for her mother, but now, she’s overcome even the gender distinction and become something of a goddess, an amazing existence. As expected of “the guiding hand of the wind”*

          *a ~Zero reference.

          Nakajima: This time, we were able to see a more girlish side of Sheryl. In contrast, Ranka seems to have been much closer to the Vajra, you could even say she was speaking with the Vajra’s feelings in many of the scenes. Though rather than saying that’s their true nature, I feel that the most important aspects of their characters were emphasized. In a different way to the TV series, you can say that “so this is Ranka”, and “so this is Sheryl”.

          This was one of those moments of “vindication” I got out of the final film and the material surrounding it. They really did much better job at bringing out essential elements of Ranka’s and Sheryl’s core than in the tv series where, for example, Ranka belonging to Kawamori’s “priestess” brand of characters was *way* too easy to miss.
          Nakamura’s insights into Alto were also very good. Oh, and not Nakajima and Endo can fangirl over Alto too (in the past I’m pretty sure if it had been up to her triangle would’ve been Klan-Mikhail-Ranka LOL) :D

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

          Finally, “Macross F” has at long last welcomed its finale, so please tell us what the series means for you.

          Nakamura: I think it will accompany me for the rest of my life. Just as everyone who has ever been involved in Macross until now has been supported by the respective series, I want to keep protecting the precious memories of having been allowed to be involved in it.

          Endo: For me as well, it’s become something that will be with me for life. Sheryl’s something that May’n and I created together, and she became a really profound character, someone that I feel really exists somewhere. I still want to see her in action again, to meet her once again. I know that the staff also had a lot of fun creating her. I’m really glad to have been able to be a part of a project that everyone wanted to be involved in.

          Nakajima: Back when I was fretting over my future in my third year of high school, if I had not met Ranka in what I’d decided would be my last audition, I wouldn’t be here today. In the sense of “my music is my life”, this series has really become, in a sense, “my life”. From now on, no matter how old I become, I want to be a me that will never be embarrassing to Ranka, who has changed me so much!

          **********

          I love these three…. ;___;

          Reading this moved me more than is probably appropriate for seiyuu interview, lol.

          • In regards to their discussion on the end of the triangle and Ranka calling out Sheryl’s name at the end: I think it really both confuses me and clarifies a few things at the same time. I’ve been really struggle to figure out whats in Ranka’s mind in all this. I mean Sheryl and Alto are both really clear but Ranka confuses me. It seems like this is implying that Ranka’s love for Alto isn’t the most important thing to her by the end? Like she finds it more important her deep friendship with both Sheryl and Alto then her love towards Alto if that makes any sense. I mean combine her maturity and the idea that she knew his feelings already seems to support this idea and imply she really was already preparing herself to move on.

            I mean my main question is how would it all play out if Alto had not disappeared. If the song Hoshikira is a reflection on her feelings doesn’t that kind of imply that shes not over Alto or am I misreading the meaning of that song? But Megumi also implies that she is already more concerned about Alto and Sheryl being together just moments after she was rejected. I thought I understood but now I’m feeling a little confused here.

          • What’s so confusing? The story makes Ranka soooo mature that she could immediately accept how things are and want the best for the people he loves and admires the most?

          • Chan says:

            I really don’t understand what was so confusing about it, it became really obvious from the first movie that Alto just wasn’t thinking about Ranka in a romantic manner, and that she was becoming increasingly aware of that. So its no surprise that she was able to get over the fact that Alto didn’t love her, she had time to realize it for herself. With Ranka her love for Alto was just puppy love.

            Also who ever said that Hoshikira was about Alto? The song could have just as easily or its more likely that it was about Sheryl.

          • Xard says:

            >I mean my main question is how would it all play out if Alto had not disappeared. If the song Hoshikira is a reflection on her feelings doesn’t that kind of imply that shes not over Alto or am I misreading the meaning of that song? But Megumi also implies that she is already more concerned about Alto and Sheryl being together just moments after she was rejected. I thought I understood but now I’m feeling a little confused here.

            1) seiyuus are discussing just their own impressions which are valuable but not end all be all – that’s visible expression of pain on her face when she hears Alto’s answer, as much as she may have suspected it beforehand.
            2) Immeadiate concern over Sheryl doesn’t suddenly negate importance of other things and is in line with her character. In absolutely no way love for Alto and love for Sheryl as a friend are mutually exclusive things.
            3) There’s *zero reason* to think Ranka has just “moved over” it and that would’ve been case even if they had gone with Anata no Oto as ED as planned originally (Hoshikira also coincides with Blue Ether in the Blue Ether/What bout my star scheme earlier planned). Ranka got a Bad End of kindest variety meaning it sucks but she grew thanks to the pain. She’ll either stay foreveralone.jpg or then Kawamori pulls a Mao on her in some coming Macross title. Those are the only options and based on the film itself the former is the likely option. But you never know with Kawamori and she’s young after all.

            Seriously, I’m not seeing what is so hard to figure out about it or why on Earth she can’t be in mixed state of emotions she clearly is in. Just like Sheryl and, well, even Alto are. You getting rejected does not mean you stop caring about people you care about, including the rejector and your best friend. Sorry I sound irate but this post just gave birth to inanity below that irks me *sigh*

            >What’s so confusing? The story makes Ranka soooo mature that she could immediately accept how things are and want the best for the people he loves and admires the most?

            She did nothing Sheryl wouldn’t have done if situation was reversed. Nor does she do anything she wouldn’t have done if she really loved Alto. In fact I can say out of experience: been there, done that. Nothing unrealistic or worth snickering about in how her act was “soooooo mature” and on that note there’s no reason to think Ranka goes “oh well shucks. I guessi t can’t be helped =D” there or that it’s easy for her. Such ridiculous assumption just cheapens everything and is not rooted on what is present in the work.

            >With Ranka her love for Alto was just puppy love.

            Out of all the stupid bullcrap Sheryltards have kept over repeating over years not many things get to me like this. That somehow one can *still* make this sort of claim is sickening and utterly absurd. If Ranka’s love for Alto is something one can shrug off as “puppy love” I don’t want to fucking know what sort of insane standards you’d expect from “real, deep love” in real life.

            >Also who ever said that Hoshikira was about Alto? The song could have just as easily or its more likely that it was about Sheryl.

            PPPPPPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF-

            As much as I may enjoy half-seriously shipping the two and lolling at the subtext inserted with unknown degree of consciousness this is utter nonsense. It’s song about romantic love (that she felt for Alto, not Sheryl…why do I even need to write this), “Ranka’s Diamond Crevasse” (down to probably intentionally echoed line about rebirth), and lyrics fit Alto a la the whole bit about wings – it also replaced what was originally planned for the spot which IS song about Ranka’s feelings for Alto. She also sings it as a prayer and as a fold lightpost of sorts to hopefully guide Alto back home. It’s also film verse’s “Ao no Ether” by planning. There’s absolutely no reason to think it’s about Sheryl, *especially since we have song specifically about relationship between the two of them coming right after*: dshudistab

            It’s bizarre fanwank to somehow try to interprept a love song as something else it is.

            But oh right, since Ranka’s love was “puppy love” (and since it was such a skin deep thing of course she got over it in a heartbeat!), she ran away like a little girl in ep 21 from Alto and others after getting her heartbroken like the poor imouto she is and all I guess that makes sense too. Sometimes I’d like to visit this bizarre alternative universe where there apparently exists anime very much like MacrossF.

            Fucking hell.

          • NOT PUPPY LOVE.

            1ST-STAGE VAJRA LOVE.

            That’s what I had at 16 too, and I was far more mature than Ranka LOL, as was many people I knew. Sure they didn’t have to deal with space aliens and celebrity, but somehow real life requires more from anime characters in a mecha anime.

            Does this make Sheryl and Alto’s love any less canine? No.

          • Chan says:

            @Xard
            Geez mad much

            Yeah i am calling Ranka’s love for Alto puppy love even in the movies, wanna know why? Because however more mature she is in the movies, she’s still only sixteen, and he’s still her first unrequited love. Just because it is puppy love doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt when the love is not returned any less than if she had been older and in love. No need to get your panties in a bunch okay?

            Also its called a joke, remember what I said about taking things to personally in regards to a certain fictional character?

          • puppy love says:

            @Xard
            puppy love
            puppy love
            puppy love

          • Hmm this did not go where I expected it to go. lol However if no one can agree on this topic I shouldn’t be confused about you can at least see why I wanted to discuss it some more. I’ll admit though that the source of my unrest and confusion is that my mind and my heart are at complete war over this movie.

            This is what my mind thinks: It was a great movie, loved the music and plot. It was a shame about the end but Ranka is going to be just fine she handled everything so well and she’s practically a living legend now and she’s surrounded by people she loves.

            This is what my heart thinks: Rannnnnkkkkkaaaaa I love you, my heart is breaking for you, I need to know your doing okay! I want to know you’ll smile again!

            And well my heart keeps making me look stupid and won’t let me move on. stupid heart.

            “She did nothing Sheryl wouldn’t have done if situation was reversed. Nor does she do anything she wouldn’t have done if she really loved Alto. In fact I can say out of experience: been there, done that. Nothing unrealistic or worth snickering about in how her act was “soooooo mature” and on that note there’s no reason to think Ranka goes “oh well shucks. I guessi t can’t be helped =D” there or that it’s easy for her. Such ridiculous assumption just cheapens everything and is not rooted on what is present in the work. ”

            Your not the only one that’s been there before and I’d probably take what happen a whole lot easier if I hadn’t been there before too. Personally I could tell it wasn’t going to happen so I don’t see how it would be any unreasonable for Ranka to already know in her heart it wasn’t happening and to have begun accepting it with just the act of her confession alone being the turning point for her. Its not all that uncommon in anime for people to confess when they know they have no shot at but do it anyways just so they don’t look back. I mean how she handle the rejection I felt like it was really important statement he was trying to make about her there but I feel like I haven’t really gotten to the bottom of it and no one seems to agree about it.

            “Also who ever said that Hoshikira was about Alto? The song could have just as easily or its more likely that it was about Sheryl.”

            Of course its at least about Alto but maybe Sheryl + Alto. I wish I knew that the lyrics I had were 100% correct. I’d interpret the song as Ranka coming to terms with the lost love and saying that although she’s moving on she still cares about alto(maybe sheryl too) and hopes to still be very close to them. Again I feel like the translation is important here.

            “With Ranka her love for Alto was just puppy love.”

            The problem with anime is you can’t apply real world standards to it. Also saying because she’s 16 it means its not real but Sheryl at 17 somehow it is seems silly to me. It just goes back to the problem with this movie was they never really gave Ranka much of a shot or expanded on her feelings enough to satisfy me. They never even showed how she would’ve reacted on the rooftop which to me would have been an important sign instead I’d say it just added to her realization it wasn’t going to happen without showing us really anything.

            “Ranka got a Bad End of kindest variety meaning it sucks but she grew thanks to the pain. She’ll either stay foreveralone.jpg or then Kawamori pulls a Mao on her in some coming Macross title. Those are the only options and based on the film itself the former is the likely option. But you never know with Kawamori and she’s young after all.”

            This seems awfully pessimistic however also is exactly why she needs a side story. I mean if you want to go back to the age thing shes only 16, her life has just started and shes already a living legend. I logically know she’ll be fine but sure would be nice to see it. Also if you want to look pessimistic Sheryl and Alto never got their happy end either you don’t KNOW what happens anymore then you do with Ranka. Sheryl could wake up from her coma with her memory gone or something else, Alto could never return or reconsider his feelings while hes gone I feel like Bad End is kind of a overstatement even if I can’t blame you since I can’t shake the feeling either.

            “seiyuus are discussing just their own impressions which are valuable but not end all be all – that’s visible expression of pain on her face when she hears Alto’s answer, as much as she may have suspected it beforehand.”

            Sure its their own impressions but I believe in that they probably know more about the intentions of the work here then we do. Also I would never argue she isn’t pained there I mean it will obviously hurt even if you see it coming but I was never even wondering about that in the first place since that is the one thing that is without question. I just want to know what she was thinking and feeling in this film more because it feels like it is a mystery to me more then Alto or Sheryl. Because even in her key moment no one seems to agree on why she did what she did.

          • LOL intentions. Take from the work what you see. These creators are not authorities on interpreting the work. Enjoy their points of view but don’t take them for definitive truths.

          • Well then if I’m going to go off of that idea I see a Ranka x Sheryl ending. lol Well at least I feel like two showed more selfless desire for the other to be happy to the point where I feel like their bond is the strongest and most important regardless whether its a real yuri ending or not. But I do think they need each other more then they need Alto.

          • Xard says:

            >Yeah i am calling Ranka’s love for Alto puppy love even in the movies, wanna know why? Because however more mature she is in the movies, she’s still only sixteen, and he’s still her first unrequited love. Just because it is puppy love doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt when the love is not returned any less than if she had been older and in love. No need to get your panties in a bunch okay?

            “Puppy love” does not equal with first love or one in teenage in common use. The term is generally used disparagingly and in opposition to”real love”. Even wiki recognizes this: ‘Simple infatuation is often called a “crush” or “puppy love”. It commonly strikes those in the early teens or younger’.[1]

            The term is often used in a derogatory fashion, describing emotions which are shallow and transient in comparison to other forms of love such as romantic love: ‘calf-love…a sickly, sentimental dream which only a moonstruck fool could have created!’

            No one goes to lenghts Ranka did in both versions out of such superficial infatuation. You want her puppy love phase, Neko Nikki captures a phase that can be somewhat justifiedly called that. But it never stopped at that, especially not so in the film version. So yes, I’m calling out bull when I see it.

            >Also its called a joke, remember what I said about taking things to personally in regards to a certain fictional character?

            Your sense of humour is awry because I still can’t tell what part of your post was supposedly “joking” in tone. At most I can cast that doubt on Hoshikira comment but based on your comment history it didn’t really stand out much either.

            I’m not taking things personally but you really need to hone your own communication skills because it’s pretty impossible to tell when you’re trying to be smartass or good-natured jabber and when serious. Irony, sarcasm and the like need extra attention to be pulled succesfully in internet discussion without even emoticons.

            >Of course its at least about Alto but maybe Sheryl + Alto.

            it’s love song lyrics very much in I-You terms as far as style goes. No place for a third wheel in such.

            >Personally I could tell it wasn’t going to happen so I don’t see how it would be any unreasonable for Ranka to already know in her heart it wasn’t happening and to have begun accepting it with just the act of her confession alone being the turning point for her.

            If by “acceptance” you mean peace of mind that’s what the confession gave her, certainly. She also very much expected the final outcome but it’s not like you can just shut down your feelings through act like that. She wouldn’t have reacted in the way she did to the resolution in that case and Houkago Overflow would’ve been meaningless if she no longer had the feelings backing it – ditto for every other song performed in finale.

            >This seems awfully pessimistic however also is exactly why she needs a side story.

            It’s only as “pessimistic” as warranted in anime like this. It isn’t place of younger girl to get happy end, they’re supposed to get their heart broken and grow from the experience.

            >Also if you want to look pessimistic Sheryl and Alto never got their happy end either you don’t KNOW what happens anymore then you do with Ranka.

            Not really: http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/849/macrosssherylhappyend.jpg

            yes it’s official art

          • “If by “acceptance” you mean peace of mind that’s what the confession gave her, certainly. She also very much expected the final outcome but it’s not like you can just shut down your feelings through act like that. She wouldn’t have reacted in the way she did to the resolution in that case and Houkago Overflow would’ve been meaningless if she no longer had the feelings backing it – ditto for every other song performed in finale. ”

            I don’t mean to imply that she ever stopped loving him, I mean I just watched the Houkago Overflow part of the movie again and its not even a question about this. Feelings are a tricky thing though and I feel like trying to interpret them through a song is even harder as songs are very emotional to began with. I also think there should be some kind of a limit as to the extent of the meaning on these songs being apply as proof of how little or strongly she loves him in SnT as its not like there is any other subject matter they are going to sing about at this point. But I’m not implying shes indifferent to him by the end at all, I just don’t see her putting on a tough girl act.

            Hoshikira seems in particular a bit redundant, is it really unfathomable to think that perhaps its just a song for Megumi? I mean why do we need so many songs about associated with Ranka’s lost love anyways. I admit though I don’t want to think of Hosikira as a song of Ranka crying her heart out over lost love as it is one of my favorite songs and I would prefer to think of it as a song of hope and encouragement. I’m already unfortunately going to forever associate the song “Sayonara no Tsubasa ~ the end of the traingle” with her lost love.

            “It’s only as “pessimistic” as warranted in anime like this. It isn’t place of younger girl to get happy end, they’re supposed to get their heart broken and grow from the experience.”

            I was referring to your idea that she would be forever alone. The idea that without Kawamori specifically giving us more shes forever without love and alone seems a bit excessive to me. The ending was left wide open, if hes not going to give us anymore there’s no reason to think so negatively unless you really want Ranka alone and sad? (I realize its stupid for me to say this considering I’ve been probably more worried than anyone but I already covered that I’m an idiot)

            “Not really: http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/849/macrosssherylhappyend.jpg

            yes it’s official art”

            I really wanted to avoid discussing this picture as I find this ridiculous and hard to discuss without raging. Sorry if this comes off harsh.

            The thing is this picture completely counteracts every intention of how he left the ending of the film. Why would you even give us this ending with zero sign of what happens to Alto and then give us another ending in a way that only some people would ever find out in the first place, it’s completely retarded to me.

            Also consider the source, Its a Sheryl Nome visual collection. Looks at all the images in this book. http://oreno.imouto.org/pool/show/2200 Are you going to tell me that this is the place he decides to give us a final ending among a bunch of fan service images? And I’m fairly sure the artist that drew this has no knowledge of what Kawamori thinks from what I’ve heard in earlier threads but I forget where I saw that. Even if its in some other book or whatnot I won’t accept some kind of real ending for this movie coming from a picture in some book. Until Kawamori himself says this is exactly what happens this is just fan pandering to me. What he has said is Alto is alive somewhere and Sheryl wakes up I’m not going to take anything else as fact until I see proof. And if he does come out and say it I want my Ranka side-story from him too its only fair all 3 get a proper ending.

            But if we are going off official images I’d rather go off of this one. http://oreno.imouto.org/post/show/181929/dress-macross-macross_frontier-ranka_lee-sheryl_no At least Ranka is getting married to someone, probably Sheryl. lol

          • I think I’ve finally come to an understanding of what Ranka is about in a way that makes sense to me and what is most important in this film for her. My fault always lie in taking her rejection as something that either made or break her but I believe what Kawamori was trying to do here is show us the result of what kind of person she had become. I won’t say she didn’t love Alto but I believe now that was not intended to be her most important aspect in her character development.

            As Megumi pointed out her most important path to her was her development as an idol and a singer. Her love for Alto was absolutely real and key to this but in the end I believe the reason they never put much development into exploring this it was intended more as something that was required for her development as an idol and a person. As pointed out in the interview this was first key to her when she sung with Sheryl at the end of Utahime where she learned how to put her feelings into her song.

            But that was not the end game development for her as she even pointed out if Alto had rejected her earlier she would not have been able to sing, she needed to be able to grow out of her need to love Alto to be able to sing well. It was singing with Sheryl who was putting her life on the line singing her heart out that truly showed her that she could be a bigger person than someone who just desired Alto to love her. It helped her mature to that final point where her love for Alto was no longer required for her to be an idol or a person. I also believe during the final battle the triangle became both stronger and truly changed from one of romantic feelings to one of a deep lifelong friendship between the three (well besides Alto and Sheryl).

            When you watch the end of the triangle scene from this point of view it makes more sense. In fact I believe this scene was more to show us the viewers the end product of who Ranka is in the nicest possible way to Ranka fans for such a sad event. It displays Ranka’s new strength in being able to take rejection (better than 99% of other anime rejections) and not be consumed by it through her concern over Sheryl. Listening to Hoshikira I feel she is confirming this strength to me. The scene also displays how deeply all 3 care for each other (everyone shows great care for one another at one point during the scene).

            I believe it’s not important anymore whether Ranka saw it coming or how deeply she was in love with Alto or how sad she was rather that she had developed into a great person and legendary idol thanks to Sheryl and Alto. She was someone who, in the final scene, was able to wave goodbye to Alto (the paper plane) with a smile. Perhaps it really wasn’t such a bad end for Ranka after all?

          • It’s only a terrible end for Ranka x Alto shippers.

    • This was a really interesting read, thank you. In particular Megumi had some really great insight but also Nakamura seem to really echo my thoughts on Alto. But if anything this made me a bigger fan of Megumi as a person not just as a singer.

      “…I’m really happy to have met a Ranka who was able to take in what Sheryl taught her about ‘living through songs’, and it [feels good] when I link her with myself, the me who’s been singing as Ranka.”

      Her character impression of Ranka probably explains why I love every single song of hers in SnT. I just hope that this is not the high point of her career since unlike M’yan she is really is more tied to Macross F than anything else.

      “And for me, definitely Ranka’s concert! She’d never performed on such a large stage before this, and I was really happy that they used some of the choreography from my own concerts.”

      Megumi fanboy +1

      “I also realised, somehow, that Ranka would be turned down…”

      Glad I wasn’t the only one. lol

      “Nakajima: Back when I was fretting over my future in my third year of high school, if I had not met Ranka in what I’d decided would be my last audition, I wouldn’t be here today. In the sense of “my music is my life”, this series has really become, in a sense, “my life”. From now on, no matter how old I become, I want to be a me that will never be embarrassing to Ranka, who has changed me so much!”

      I can’t lie this makes me misty eyed. I can’t believe that was her last audition.

      • Xard says:

        >But if anything this made me a bigger fan of Megumi as a person not just as a singer.

        Megumi and May’n are wonderful personalities. Personalitywise May’n isn’t much like Sheryl beyond her belief in and love for her music, she’s kind of bubbly, uber-cutesy and really outgoing personality who gets along with people well. The diva thing is pure image. Her love (obsession with?) for taiyaki is also the reason why Sheryl got a taiyaki phone in the film. Megumi on the other hand has gone on record for more than few times about the frightening degree of synchronity she had with Ranka. She made a lovely blog post on greenhead’s birthday last April and her rendition of Hoshikira (a capella as the first attempt at it failed because she broke down in tears in the encore) and words prior to it I saw quoted on couple of japanese blogs by people who attended thebirthday live concert last June were very moving to me.

        As for MacrossF being high point of career, that’s pretty inevitable as not even May’n (who is the most succesful Macross-launched singer ever) has been able to rival success of Sheryl’s releases. On the other hand Megumi does have songs outside Macross I love which I guess would count as a success – I haven’t really cared for what May’n has done outside Frontier. I admit I’m going to check out next season’s mecha anime just because she got the incrediblely rare honor of doing both OP and ED for it.

  22. If you’re anything like me and you can’t get enough Macross Frontier, one of my favorite bloggers is watching the TV series and posting about it. He is excelllent:

    http://animekritik.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/macross-frontier-06-politics-and-religion/

  23. Pingback: Macross Idols Love | Oishii Anime

  24. Dearline says:

    “I really wanted to avoid discussing this picture as I find this ridiculous and hard to discuss without raging. Sorry if this comes off harsh.

    The thing is this picture completely counteracts every intention of how he left the ending of the film. Why would you even give us this ending with zero sign of what happens to Alto and then give us another ending in a way that only some people would ever find out in the first place, it’s completely retarded to me.”

    Why that picture brings you such a rage?

    Have you forgotten Ranka’s wish in the beginning of the movie? “I thought the three of us would always remain together.” That’s her sincerest longing as strong as Sheryl’s creed to live to sing. The movie ending is awful to her because she had lost them, but she patiently believes in their return (until the credits).

    That picture gives Ranka a happy ending, maybe not a romantic one, but she’ll get them back which is what she *wants*.

    • Your right and it would be awesome if it’s true. There is no doubt she wants them back. I don’t know if that’s actually what is best for her though, even if it is I don’t believe in this picture. I don’t understand why he couldn’t have just put this in the movie if that’s what he wanted, that makes no sense to me. It seems way too important for it to be in a picture book.

      Why rage though? Even now I still feel he left us too little information on the state of Ranka, we really sort of have to try to solve a puzzle that has no solution. But at least he was consistent by leaving all 3 of them in a sort of mystery state. This picture though would have made me feel he’s once again screwing over Ranka by giving us a Sheryl and Alto end but not with Ranka. Yeah it’s a bit of an exaggeration but It’s not like he couldn’t do us Ranka fan’s a service as well. Even something as small as just showing the “d Shudisuta b” concert took place in the future would have probably been satisfying enough to me by showing it to me in spirit.

      And yeah there is a chance of Alto returning being bad for Ranka, there really is no definitive proof either way, its a matter of how you see her character I think. On the other hand with Alto gone at least for a while and Sheryl awake I can’t see this hurting Ranka in the slightest as the two can support each other.

      I think the ending that would have satisfied me the most is a conversation after the credits between Ranka and Sheryl after Sheryl woke up where Sheryl shows her honest sadness for Ranka while Ranka shows her complete happiness for Sheryl winning Alto’s heart. Wouldn’t have been hard to do at all but what can you do when you invest yourself in something so heavily that you can’t control. haha

      • This is nothing.

        Imagine decades of Minmay heartbreak.

        Even if you say there’s Flashback 2012, that came YEARS after DYRL? Ranka has it easy.

        • Oh I know this isn’t nearly as bad as other characters have had it, in fact most likely she has it great. It’s not like I haven’t seen much much worst happen to characters I favored. Shows like “Now and Then, Here and There” make this look like a picnic. But I admit I took this one hard, by far worst than anything else I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot). I don’t even know why exactly either. So I just can’t help but feel a little mad and bitter over something I feel could have been easily avoided and that picture just isn’t helping. I don’t expect anyone else to agree with me, just stating why I think this way.

      • Dearline says:

        It ends that way because Kawamori likes those endings for impact, but the message he conveys is hopeful. The entire franchise supports their reunion: those pictures, the wedding posters, the not used in the movie but Thank You Frontier version of Diamond Crevasse, the last Macross Files (albeit not 100% canon and official, released by them is story about Sheryl and Alto touring across the Galaxy, in their early 20s).

        Why would Alto’s return be bad for Ranka? That makes zero sense. You’re focusing on the stupid romantic part without noticing Alto’s her BEST FRIEND, first. He’s not just this random guy she knows nothing about and crushes on like the TV series, he’s her best friend in the world.

        It seems you’re projecting yourself into Ranka, going against her wishes of true happiness that is be with her best friend and idol always. By that, you wish her an unhappy ending.

        Some fan.

        • “It ends that way because Kawamori likes those endings for impact, but the message he conveys is hopeful. The entire franchise supports their reunion: those pictures, the wedding posters, the not used in the movie but Thank You Frontier version of Diamond Crevasse, the last Macross Files (albeit not 100% canon and official, released by them is story about Sheryl and Alto touring across the Galaxy, in their early 20s). ”

          This is all stuff I haven’t heard before. I have no idea what that song means because I haven’t seen any translated lyrics and I don’t know what the Macross Files are. Not sure what wedding posters your referring to there either but if its what I think isn’t Ranka in those too?

          Also if they are going to make a story about Sheryl and Alto why couldn’t they have thrown in Ranka somewhere too. bah

          “Why would Alto’s return be bad for Ranka? That makes zero sense. You’re focusing on the stupid romantic part without noticing Alto’s her BEST FRIEND, first. He’s not just this random guy she knows nothing about and crushes on like the TV series, he’s her best friend in the world.

          It seems you’re projecting yourself into Ranka, going against her wishes of true happiness that is be with her best friend and idol always. By that, you wish her an unhappy ending.”

          Well the biases of your point is that that Alto is her best friend first, this is something I’ve been wanting to confirm from the start. If you go by that then yes of course its wonderful for Alto to come back. I would consider this one of the best possible scenarios. My whole worrying is they didn’t leave us with enough to show that is the case. I just wanted something to show that she’s over him or at least she find her friendship with him more important, which is what I’ve been looking for this whole time and no one has shown me facts. Yeah I do try to believe it but my whole point is I wish it was confirmed so I don’t have this lingering uncertainty about the whole thing. Why would I want to go against her wishes when the only thing I’ve been trying to do all this time is figure out what her wishes and thoughts are?

          • Again, let me present Minmay for some perspective:

            In DYRL? Minmay had to argue her way back trying to make Hikaru like her more than Misa, and when she couldn’t, she said she didn’t care if everyone dies. Hikaru SLAPPED the living shit out of her — best animated slap in all anime… and for all time. At least she got to sing Ai oboete imasu ka? afterwards, make friends with Misa, then have her Flashback 2012 even if she’s forever alone. She belonged to the fans.

            You think that’s bad?

            In SDFM she got told off while being rejected. She had to BEG for Hikaru to stay with her, not leave her. Hikaru didn’t just leave her, he sent her off with a sermon. She had to apologize to him in the end and pick up the pieces of her career all by her self. WORST END.

            Ranka has it good.

          • Dearline says:

            “This is all stuff I haven’t heard before. I have no idea what that song means because I haven’t seen any translated lyrics and I don’t know what the Macross Files are. Not sure what wedding posters your referring to there either but if its what I think isn’t Ranka in those too?”

            The Thank you version of DC is mean to be Sheryl’s last farewell to Macross, after thinking she’s no longer alone anymore (placed after the shooting star song which was omitted in the movie but included in the OST) and has found her answer (with Ranka’s and Alto’s help). The song is sang in a grateful, relieved voice that she was no “longer alone anymore.”

            The wedding poster with Sheryl and Alto is the Macross Ace one. They were out after the movie ended.

            As for the Macross File, google Macross Olympia.

            There’s also the video game that came out a bit before the movie hits the theater, in a scenario (that you can access with a password that was released after the movie premiere in the theater) you get to see Sheryl and Alto as couple (it’s been planned for ages, obviously).

            “Well the biases of your point is that that Alto is her best friend first, this is something I’ve been wanting to confirm from the start. ”

            Which… is what is canon? It’s not a bias, but official? Kawamori even dislikes when they put down the platonic bonds for the sake of romance. Alto replaced Nanase as Ranka’s best friend, Ranka replaced Michael as Alto’s. Sure thing, she developed romantic feelings for him, but he was her best friend first and foremost. This is why I liked the pairing in the movieverse, they had a strong bond, but it did not change into romantic on his side.

            That Alto gently rejected her didn’t make him any less her best friend in the world and she’s still very much one of his wings (this declaration had nothing to do with romance in the first place, according to Kawamori).

            Ranka wishes for Sheryl’s and Alto’s return, not to others to keep up a “strong face”, but in her inner monologue thoughts. This is what she WANTS. Not what YOU want. Likewise in the beginning, she wants the three of them to be together always (not “love me alto kuuuuun”) and this longing is as strong as Sheryl’s creed that she lives to sing. It’s hugely important to her and defines her.

            If you want to make Ranka unhappy out of shipping pettiness, surely. But don’t dress it up as something she wants, because it’s blatantly displayed it’s quite the opposite of what she wants.

            “Also if they are going to make a story about Sheryl and Alto why couldn’t they have thrown in Ranka somewhere too. bah”

            I wanted Ranka in there, to be honest. But it was set in one of Sheryl’s tour concerts, so it would make sense Ranka has her own to give. They have diva busy agendas.

          • I’m not going to deny anything said here or nor will say I think any of it is untrue however it still kind of goes back to my first and main annoyance with what started this is. That being you have to be an expert on Macross to figure any of this out rather than the movie actually telling you. I imagine almost 99% of people who watched this movie aren’t going to know anything that I’ve learned here (not just this latest information but everything). I imagine most people are just going to fill in the gaps with how they want it to play out or out of their worst fears sort of like what I did. Is it that important? Maybe, maybe not, but I’d hate there to be others like me out there wailing over Ranka because they really aren’t hardcore enough to understand Kawamori.

            I’m in the end just a casual fan trying to make sense of an ending that with my knowledge leaves open ways for Ranka to be miserable and alone. This was mostly just fears as I still think and I’ve stated many times before that most likely she was doing great. I also would like to point out again I didn’t desire an Alto x Ranka ending in fact going into this movie I was like Ranka just wanting the 3 to be together forever, the idea of him choosing one never even crossed my mind. I would have been happy if he never made a choice personally but I guess it’s important to people to have a winner and loser?

            Any desire for Alto to not return from me was also purely out of concern for her happiness (ok so I wouldn’t mind a Ranka x Sheryl ending but that’s completely besides the point and not something I seriously considered realistic) and again how I’m a suppose to know otherwise with the information I have. If I’m not a true Ranka fan because I lack insight to Kawamori’s mind or am able to correctly interpret the movie then I guess so be it.

            I’d also like to add this Macross Olympia thing does kind of plays to my fears of Ranka being left behind as she is no where to be found with them. Due to the lack of information, however, along with it not being completely official(?) and the fact I’m just tired of thinking about this I’ll just let it go.

            So to state again my main point in this topic was mostly about how I hate this idea of having to do research to get the complete picture to the ending on a movie. I mean honestly if your a casual fan are you going to know about that picture and that at the end Ranka wants Alto back out of friendship and not because she’s still in love with him. Maybe, I don’t know, but I doubt it’s because there was enough information in the movie to make that assessment. I mean I kept asking for facts here and I wasn’t getting much, even now the closes things to concrete facts (by which I mostly mean actual events or dialog) I got is all on Sheryl and Alto.

          • This is all you need to know as a casual viewer of the film:

            Alto chooses Sheryl, but has to go away, while Sheryl slips into a coma.

            Ranka waits for them both, but things are uncertain. There’s a song in the credits that could not have happened until after Sheryl wakes up, but Alto’s arrival is uncertain.

            That’s all you need to know and get.

            Re Ranka being miserable and alone, that’s pure conjecture. No casual viewer has to JUMP to that conclusion.

            BUT IF YOU ARE A FAN, AND KNOWING THINGS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOU CARE AND LOVE, THEN DO THE RESEARCH.

          • tobarux says:

            Ranka has it easy.
            Alto should have rejected her with a fold wave slap.

            And people need answers. Leaving the triangle unresolved (unspoken to be accurate) would have cheapen their relationships.

            The reason you are not shown Ranka is over Alto at the end, is cuz she isn’t. Period.
            Macross is serious shipping business after all.

  25. Dearline says:

    About Minmay getting the WORST END: I don’t think she got a bad end, because… let’s be honest, I never saw Hikaru as a real contender to her heart and Hikaru knew it. Her one true love were her songs and career, she was having an affair with him and nothing else, nothing more. She loves the stage, she loves singing, etc. That’s her real heart poured in there.

    Speaking on this, and going off topic slightly (maybe this belong in the triangle post), Sheryl and Alto in the TV series share a similar issue. I never pictured Ranka as the ‘rival’, more that Sheryl’s disease (which kept her from pushing him apart) and their devotion to singing/flying would always come first before their romance. Sheryl even point blank says so during the last episodes. They do look for compromises: “One can’t fly alone, they shouldn’t” from Alto was one, as was Sheryl singing songs about him. But nonetheless, the sky/song would always felt more important than each others.

    The movies ‘fix’ this issue by giving each other dreams which makes them comparable to what they were looking for flying/singing. It wasn’t to make Alto choose between her and Ranka, but between her and the sky in his heart. I feel personally it was rather blatant Alto was smitten with Sheryl since movie one (but had understandable issues to trust her. While he trusted Ranka, but didn’t show the same attraction. The difference is palpable in the dates they share together. Once he learned to fully trust Sheryl, she was seemly KIA…).

    • LOLWAT

      Hikaru dumped her because he wanted to fly and she wanted to domesticate him, in her selfish, whimsical way. Minmay reveals herself still utterly incapable of acting past herself, as opposed to Misa who — even if only to escape her own failed romance, wanted to serve humanity by taking to the stars.

      One’s a bimbo, the other a heroine.

      That’s a great end? Then you’re just thinking in terms of the Hikaru romance sweepstakes. Hikaru realized how far he’s grown past Minmay, and worse, how awful a person he becomes when he’s with her. It was a love that he had to give a chance, after waiting for so long, but after he gave it, he knew Minmay was a black hole of neediness that will suck the life out of him.

      He had to lecture her after he dumps her.

      If this kind of deserved ignominy isn’t a bad end for Minmay, I don’t know what is… getting Hikaru and living in misery on Macross City while Misa disappears in the Megaroad 01 never to be heard from again? Maybe.

      They are all rivals because the structure is a love triangle. They are poor rivals because of the difference in power levels. Misa had low power levels as a romantic interest due to her whiny doormat ways compared to a hot singing idol. Ranka had low power levels by being a child compared to Alto and Sheryl. But rival love interests they were. The geometry is asymmetric but they’re still love triangles, where there are rivals.

      The most asymmetric triangle is in Macross 7. Basara doesn’t want anything to do with that shit. He’s totally Alto to Mylene’s Ranka, only that he doesn’t really have a Sheryl. It’s singing or bust. Gamlin however… LOL.

      • Dearline says:

        I didn’t say that Hikaru didn’t dump her because of her behavior. I aside she didn’t get a worst end for her because he “dumped her.” Minmay was using Hikaru, she might have loved him a little in the end, but she quickly smarts up and understands that her love is singing after his speech. She had a ‘fall out’ with her career and vocation (she was married to this, IMO) and then sought comfort in him. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have.

        We know she’s pretty happy and lively after that and she’s good friends with Misa and Hikaru (Flash Back, anyone? And all the side material).

        Minmay/songs for life. Hikaru was the underdog of that triangle.

        • Dearline says:

          *said

        • That’s a nice, positive reading.

          Mine is different:

          An underrated thing about SDF Macross is how it is a portrayal of the on-the-rise idol industry of the 1980s, and this includes the phenomenon of fan relationships.

          We see this play out in several ways:

          1. Idols have pristine public personas that are religiously protected and maintained. Minmay is a great character in that she is the opposite of pristine and perfect. This is awesome. She is a wreck.
          2. The idol must be married to her idol persona, for the benefit of the otaku who have a relationship with this persona… not the person.
          3. The Zentraedi are also analogous to otaku (some more than others), but yes this is the case.

          Thus, the Minmay marriage to her career is fanservice. Is it necessarily a good ending for Minmay the person? No. She is “good friends” with her ex-lover and his wife… this is suggested, but I know this is not feasible in terms of spending a lot of time together, etc. As a happily married man, I know this to be true. Thus, the closest people in her life, who are her age, are not going to be as accessible in terms of intimacy. This is different from Alto and Ranka in that Alto was never Ranka’s lover.

          Minmay became the enduring idol of Macross among the fandom, partly because she belongs to the fans and not to any man. Her love is for her career/persona allowing the fans to “own” her.

          Do I think this is a good end? No. This is a bitter, bitter end. But even if we moderate our radically diverging views, it’s still not a good end, from the perspective of a social individual with intimacy needs.

          It’s not like there’s a large population, social network post-Zentraedi annihilation of the Earth. She’s going to be the resident idol of a small population of the Megaroad-01. That can’t really support a superstar career, if you think about it. She endures as a legend, but as for her actual life, LOL.

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