Ranka Lee & Her Genealogy of Hate; Or, Happy Merry Christmas Without You

One of the things I find both infuriating, yet fascinating is the amount of hate that exists for Ranka Lee, a fictional character from the recently concluded Macros Frontier saga. The informal measure (as this is not a scholarly exercise, despite the academic-sounding title) I’m using is how defensive commenters have been in the Macross Frontier posts I’ve been publishing the past two years.

I’m not even exaggerating too much when I say that almost every Macross Frontier post I publish becomes a Ranka Lee apology thread. This is interesting because you don’t actually find hate posts or comments towards her here in We Remember Love; after all, we actually do remember love. Why would the comments sections then be such an attraction for Ranka Lee apologists? Fans I’d understand, to celebrate the character and such – but instead we have something quite different.

A theory I have is that it is precisely how I don’t go out of my way to hate on Ranka, and this tack is followed by commenters who are otherwise not her fans. In other words, the people who the blog posts here attract can be divided into two broad groups:

  1. Ranka moderates/non-haters (who are Sheryl fans)
  2. Rankafags

The Ranka apologists find themselves, no, put themselves in life or death debates against people who shouldn’t be their mortal adversaries. To me, this is fascinating. I’d think of this as an isolated case unique to this blog (as I don’t frequent other fora aside from twitter), but I began to see the pattern re-emerge in another anime blog currently publishing about Macross Frontier TV. In my conversations with the blog’s author I sought to explain this dynamic, which led to me organizing my thoughts in blog post form. Here I will map out the factors which contribute to the nexus of hate that exists for Ranka Lee.

Important: before any of you Rankafags tl;dr this post and launch another campaign of whining in the comments, the purpose of the genealogy isn’t to justify the hate. Let me repeat, IT IS NOT MY PURPOSE TO JUSTIFY THE HATE. This post is to share the dynamics of this phenomenon to outsiders looking in and wondering how come Macross Frontier articles have threads with over 200 posts while nobody pays attention to the Cowboy Bebop features. In this post I will also state how I truly feel about Ranka as a character in my beloved of all media franchises, Macross. OPEN RANKA!

 

The Legacy of Minmay

The source of all the love that Macross Frontier  remembers is the Space War I sub-franchise, containing three animated works: 1) Super Dimension Fortress Macross, 2) Macross: Do You Remember Love? and 3) Macross Flashback 2012. Despite wildly conflicting events, a narrative can be pieced together from all three. It presented the core offering of Macross: A love story set against the backdrop of great battles. Its dominant elements being:

  1. A singing idol
  2. A love triangle
  3. Transforming robots

The characters involved are Ichijo Hikaru (the lead, a pilot jock); Hayase Misa (the heroine, a military commander); and Lynn Minmay (the star idol). Macross is notable in that it presented Minmay the way it did during the rise of the idol in Japanese popular culture in the early 1980’s. These idols were public images of perfection. Minmay was blatantly portrayed as flawed, and far from perfect. This is significant.

In the West, an entire generation of anime fans found a gateway show in Robotech, and I have little doubt that the most beloved part of the long, cobbled-together narrative is what’s called the “Macross Saga.” If the Minmay in SDFM is flawed, and manifest all kinds of behaviors that fans of idols will find distasteful, are acts of betrayal (yeah idol otaku are weird), and annoying; the Robotech presentation, abetted by a truly atrocious “acting” performance in the dub, made Lynn Minmay one of the most hated characters in all animation.

mcr366l

In the film adaptation, Macross: Do You Remember Love? there are changes in the presentation of Minmay (mostly a result of the abridged love story) that many haters responded well to. Much of the behavior near the end of the TV series are excised, leaving her with a truly majestic, star-making turn as an ending to the Space War, then leading her into her ride into the sunset (which was fully expressed in Macross Flashback 2012). As a result, Minmay became the banner-bearer of the franchise and is one of the symbols of its enduring popularity.

In Macross Frontier, instead of pitting an idol singer vs. a soldier, a bold idea was put forth: make the triangle be a battle between TWO idols. To distinguish the two, they would take on different styles 1) the rock star/diva type, and the 2) kawaii/moé type. As character templates, given that Macross Frontier is the 25th Anniversary work and the first TV series in 15 years, the idols would both be references to Minmay.

Sheryl Nome would be based on the already famous at the onset-Minmay, as she was in DYRL?, while Ranka is then based on the star-in-the-making-Minmay of SDFM, including participating in Miss Macross (Frontier), as well as covering songs like “My Boyfriend is a Pilot” and “Ai oboete imasu ka?” Minmay herself is a kawaii-type idol herself, making the similarities appear stronger with Ranka, while those with Sheryl much subtler. Thus:

Ranka inherited Minmay’s legacy of hate, while Sheryl inherited mostly her Legacy of glory and adulation.

Early on, Sheryl fans are loath to even hear Sheryl comparisons with Minmay. The hatred for her runs very, very deep. Ranka, on the other hand bore the brunt of the Minmay comparisons immediately. This is only the beginning of her (or rather her fans’) woes.

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Lolimoé Has Its Own Legacy of Hate

Rightly or wrongly, the late 00s saw the rise of the lolimoé character appeal and the otaku who ate all of it up. To many non-otaku, this reminded them too much of creepy, sexually deviant (pedophilia) fanservice. For many it was one thing to sexualize young girls who were becoming women and only happened to be young, but it was another thing to sexualize them precisely because they were not yet women, because they were as young as they were and looked younger (the better).

A narrative of anime “selling out” to such repulsive kinds of otaku emerged. Many of the anime fans who got into anime in the 1990s and into its seemingly widespread preoccupation with science fiction (and mecha) titles bought into this narrative in a big way. Many of these fans are oblivious to the fact that mecha anime directly contributed to the loli(pedo) part of this phenomenon in the 1980s in the form of Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam with the force of a thousand utterances of “onii-chan~” (yes, the tilde is fucking included and yes, Purupurupurupuru is 10 years old, and yes, they made 12 of them, and yes they were shown naked).

It is also interesting to note how Robotech, with its radically abridged discography for Minmay the kawaii and proto-moé elements in her character were pretty much muted. Thus, Robotech (and therefore Macross) pretty much served as the Gundam franchise for its fans, that is – the  definitive military robot anime.

 

Thus when Ranka, all of 156 centimeters (5’1”) emerged doing her nyan-nyan dance after tripping and falling and being scolded at work and getting wet all cute and clumsy, there were Macross fans who outright dismissed Macross Frontier then and there. The franchise had sold out to the filthy otaku lolicons, never mind the language and cultural subversive subtext in the original series (made in a less permissive era) – with its presentation of the Zentraedi as analogies for idol otaku, complete with a “lolicon trio” (Warera, Rori, and Konda’s names conjoin into “Warerarorikon” or “we are lolicons”). Not that this would make much of a difference, since most of these viewers hated Minmay anyway. Thus:

Ranka who has lolimoé appeal, and her fans, inherited a legacy of hate.

Rightly or wrongly, male viewers who became fans of Ranka were lumped together with otaku associated with child molesters.

SDF Macross Episode 21 Remastered [Galaxy Network].mkv_snapshot_22.34_[2011.05.18_05.09.16]

The Lynn Kaifun Clusterfuck

Even as Minmay has a galaxy of haters, she is not universally hated. As mentioned, she endures as one of the symbols of Macross and its popularity (especially in Japan where hardly anyone talks about Misa). Lynn Kaifun however, is universally hated. Rightfully so because this guy is a fucking douche. Nobody, and I mean nobody likes this guy and if you are a dude and say you do like this jerk, you are dead to me. Seal yourself in a coffin and listen to Fire Bomber English until your flesh withers to dust.

Ahem.

Lynn Kaifun is Minmay’s first cousin, who then becomes her boyfriend, her co-star, her manager and generally makes Hikaru’s life (and everyone watching) miserable. Minmay in SDFM is retarded for this creep. Even worse, he behaves in the most annoying self-righteous way possible. A “pacifist” who does nothing but whine and cast aspersions against anyone in the military. He is, however a powerful martial artist and possesses his own powerful charisma within the narrative. It is legal to hate on this guy in all parts of the galaxy.

In Macross Frontier it should come with no surprise to anyone that not only is there a close relative to one of the idols (a bona fide onii-chan this time) who takes part in her management but also interferes in her (barely existent) relationship with the lead pilot. Brera Sterne is Ranka Lee’s onii-chan, and he is the Kaifun of Macross Frontier. Thus,

Ranka Lee inherits a legacy of hate, still associated with Minmay.

But it doesn’t end there! Oh god it doesn’t. If Lynn Kaifun is a douchey pacifist but has god-tier kung-fu, Brera Sterne is a cyborg soldier that is superior to a human pilot in every conceivable way. Even worse, he pilots the VF-27 Lucifer, a superior variable fighter to the banner bird of the series, the VF-25 Messiah. We know this because Alto had to upgrade to the YF-29 Durendal in The Wings of Farewell film, in his duel with Brera.

macross_frontier_1

In the TV series though, Brera Sterne was unbeatable. There was no way he could be bested in his superior VF-27 and could take on multiple SMS pilots at will. This invincibility on and off the cockpit evokes one of the most hated characters in mecha anime ever, the peace-loving Jesus of the Gundam franchise: Kira Yamato of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, not only one of the most popular recent characters and sub-franchises of Gundam ever, but also held to be some of the very worst anime of all time. Kira Yamato isn’t called Jesus only because of his insufferable faux-pacifism, and his hijacking of the (fucktastically awful putrid) plot of the sequel; but precisely because he is adorned with the Plot Armor of God.

image

The hatred for this character within the Gundam fandom is such, that in a completely unrelated show: Sengoku Basara Season Two, the voice actor of Kira Yamato plays one of the leads – Sanada Yukimura. This isn’t a big deal in itself, but Yukimura is at one point served by a retainer voiced by Furuya Tohru, the actor who played Amuro Ray himself from Mobile Suit Gundam. The contextual meta-injustice of this unhappy coincidence caused much gnashing of teeth. Hoshi Souichirou who plays Kira Yamato, also plays Brera Sterne. Thus,

Ranka inherits an incredible legacy of hate, from well-beyond the Macross franchise.

It gets even worse with how Ranka’s trademark pose involves the very name of this most-loathed of characters.

In this post I won’t even talk about the hate caused by some of her personal decisions in the show, or hate caused by “Die for our ship.” These factors are well-within the context of the show and do not require further examination from me. Doing so will just bait the Rankafags and reopen stupid arguments already thwarted.

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Remembering Love For Ranka

It is easy to root for Ranka. She is the underdog in the story. This is a big part of her appeal, that dovetails with the moé elements that she manifests. She’s the little girl with a big dream, a big heart, and a big crush on the lead character. This is also her death as an appealing character for me.

I may indulge rooting for underdogs (especially when my home team is the underdog), but I don’t go watch a sporting event looking for underdogs to root for. Underdogs ruin game balance. This is why I have no interest in NCAA “March Madness” basketball. It’s a bunch of kids playing at a low “amateur” (LOL) level where the draw is in watching “Cinderella stories” where the underdogs topple the big dogs in a single-elimination format.

Give me the NBA’s best of seven, grueling series involving the best athletes on the planet. This format weeds out the weak. It guarantees that only the strongest and the very best fight it out. Do I really want to watch some no-name play out of his mind and catch Roger Federer on a bad day? Fuck that. I want Federer playing Djokovic. I want Nadal playing for his life against Djokovic. I want Anderson Silva fighting Georges St. Pierre. I want the very best fighting the strongest.

I don’t want a Cinderella story, even if it were Super Dimensional. Besides, the Cinderella story isn’t even an underdog story. She was pretty, and had fairies and talking animals backing her. Her enemies were ugly and their power over her was circumstantial. She was an underdog only in that it wasn’t a fair fight. She was the Goliath and she stomped down on the “Davids” with her glass slipper.

Alto is a former star of the stage, a genius actor, who is on his second career as a genius pilot. Sheryl is the Galactic Fairy, who vowed to shake the very galaxy with her song. Ranka… just wants to be a singer, to follow her idol Sheryl, and she sure likes this guy because he’s so pretty and was nice to her, saving her from aliens and wet clothes.

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 1080p AAC] [66AE8F11].mkv_snapshot_00.38.38_[2011.10.31_23.14.03]

It is an asymmetrical triangle. You have Sheryl and Alto supportive of Ranka, because she isn’t at their level. She was a nobody. Her strengths and talents needed their intervention to manifest, made known, etc. Compared to the two, she is a child. Alto and Sheryl play at romance while Ranka pursues a crush. Sheryl teases Alto, Ranka pursues him in her stumbling, unsure way.

She’s stumbling and unsure because she can’t be made into a sure-footed, silver-tongued, man-getter. It doesn’t fit with her character and depreciates her moé appeal. It’s the cage of her overall character design. It’s a trap.

Do I really want to watch Alto, the fierce and vain Princess of the skies in his VF-25 “fall” for Ranka’s harmless cuteness? Is this entertaining? It makes far more sense for him(e) to become enchanted by the fairy’s spell. She’s dangerous. He lives for it. Done, now let’s go find some other dude who wants to protect his little sister (and maybe make her his waifu). Ranka has TWO: I laughed out loud when Michel referred to Ozma as the “Siscon Captain,” and I already explained Jesus Brera. In The Wings of Farewell the two even had a battle of the onii-chans (which was kind of fail because both were wearing Kira’s Plot Armor of God).

No, I don’t really think either are suitable suitors for Ranka. I just think she’s a poor fit in the triangle she’s put in. If you Rankafags think of what just wrote constitutes as “hate” then just go away and never come back. Only someone who truly loves Ranka can write this post.

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 1080p AAC] [66AE8F11].mkv_snapshot_00.17.46_[2011.10.31_23.08.44]

Ranka however, is inevitable. This is a perfectly logical version of Minmay in 2059 (2008). Macross Frontier knows this very well. One of the brilliant things that The Wings of Farewell film does is to clearly delineate the different Ranka fandoms, manifest in her two concerts. The first concert featured the 虹色・クマクマ number, and the audience is primarily composed of girls, enjoying their cute girly things. The concert had a magical girl theme and Ranka herself did her own transformation sequence. She turned the audience’s everyday clothes into ball gowns and gave them magic teddy bears. The manifestation of the appeal lives in Sheryl’s reaction herself. This is excellent.

Then, the second concert… my most favorite moment in the film: let us look beyond the Fire Bomber reference and you’ll see this as a crude and perfect throwback to Minmay, but even more vicious. If one part of Ranka’s fandom is comprised of girly girls, then the other part is made up of the kimoi otaku, represented by none other the Zentraedi – yes, Macross Frontier remembers them still! The whole concert legitimizes this in its backhanded way because its held inside Alcatraz and the audience are all prisoners. It makes it “okay” to like Ranka this way because all these pedophiles are already in jail. This is awesome and delicious. Macross spits on its fans in epic fashion.

More on this later.

If Minmay had “Ai oboete imasu ka?” which was subverted in the TV series by making Ranka the false “final boss.” Then Ranka had her legitimate moment as the songstress of battle when she sang “Houkago Overflow.” No one can take this away from her. This song is the score, and the perfect one at that, for “Big Wednesday,” and when the bridge of the song played in stark, near-acapella – it was that very moment when the Macross Quarter stood up and used the asteroid fragment as a surfboard in the sky. This was all you Ranka, all you.

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 1080p AAC] [66AE8F11].mkv_snapshot_01.27.09_[2011.10.30_15.43.24]

In the resolution of the triangle in The Wings of Farewell, Ranka was dealt Minmay’s hand to play. It was the perfect ending for her. Why? When Minmay lost the Hikaru sweepstakes, she had no other recourse but rediscover her song, re-start her career. This fulfills the idol otaku narrative. The idol belongs to no single man. By remaining single, singing, and married to her being an idol, she belongs to her fans. This is also key to Minmay’s enduring popularity. She became Macross, and she belonged to all of us. Ranka is left with the same choice. She has her songs, and Macross Frontier is more than content to not fill out her future with love, because she will always be loved by those claim her.

Sheryl may be the most awesome female anime character ever made, but Macross Frontier in my mind will always be represented by Ranka. An interesting thing plays out in the Macross Frontier live concerts: it is Nakajima Megumi who acts as the master of ceremonies. It is partly because May’n isn’t the speaking voice of Sheryl that Mamegu has to carry the concert. She plays the whole thing entirely in character, while May’n remains May’n and Aya Endo (who had a bigger role to play in the Christmas concert) could not – with good reason, take over the show.

Also, the best version of Seikan Hikou EVER

Thus, Ranka in the live concerts is more assertive, and overall has the biggest personality in the cast. Mamegu’s on-stage Ranka performance is even far more effective and winsome, and is definitely far more preferable than any animated version than Ranka. She puts Alto, and everyone else, in their place. This is almost impossible to imagine in the anime. But it’s real, in the flesh, in the fleeting 3D space that is the opposite of why we watch Macross.

This post is twice as long as I planned, but my love overflows.

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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192 Responses to Ranka Lee & Her Genealogy of Hate; Or, Happy Merry Christmas Without You

  1. bluemist says:

    This is a winner of a post in so many levels. Merry Christmas to you!

    I’ve always believed that the lolimoe hate towards the current anime generation is unfair. The new character designs being cuter in comparison to the old doesn’t mean anything at all. As you pointed, we had onii-chan and rorikon complexes in the 80s and 90s. Haters of moe~ just gotta hate. Also, what a twisted mind you got there, relating the movie prison sequence to the repercussions of getting jailed for being rorikon kimoi otaku. If the anime makers really did this on purpose, that’s freaking awesome!

    In a maybe-related area, I am thankful to Ranka and Megumi Nakajima (and Sharon Apple) for being the main constructs of Megpoid Gumi, a virtual idol in Vocaloid. In the same way as Ranka, I think she inherited a legacy of discrimination (not exactly ‘hate’ but close) that could parallel what you have explained here. You see, Vocaloid has and will always be attributed to Hatsune Miku, the first virtual idol who exploded into the subculture in a big way. Miku is Gumi’s version of Sheryl. She’s the underdog in the attention spans of people who like virtual voices in music. Gumi songs will never be at the same level of popularity as Miku songs. But I’m a self-proclaimed Gumi apologist, call me Gumifag even. I’ve always believed that Gumi is the best virtual idol voice ever made. For me, she has a significantly more real voice than Miku, and Vocaloid producers can utilize her voice in more variety and better ranges than Miku. Despite that, I will always remember love for this virtual idol, even if the world celebrates Hatsune Miku more.

    • Th unfortunate thing though is that while Gumi’s voice is reall good the fact that she is not a Crypton vocaloid means she will never get put in as many products as those that are. And yeah it is kind of annoying how Miku gets plastered all over everything.

      • bluemist says:

        Yeah, case in point the newer Project Diva games on PSP. I think Gumi has overtaken Megurine Luka’s popularity by then but still no Gumi in the games. We will have Gumi in Project Mirai for the 3DS but that’s not mainline, and it’s a Nendoroid game.

    • Xard says:

      Gumi *did* almost fail completely due to Ranka likeness (“we want no fucking green insect vocaloid for chrissakes”) and probably more important fact that the original character and cover art sucked ass and was very badly received.

      It was only later when one guy pretty much single handely showed how *good* vocaloid Gumi was that her popularity started to seriously rise. Nowadays she’s pretty popular based on what I’ve seen. Of course she can’t compete with iconity of Miku but as a vocaloid she’s vastly superior, objectively speaking. Only Luka could kinda compete with her IMO but popularity is affected by many other things than quality…

      Given that Gumi is not by Crypton she’ll never be the top of the pack vocaloid but she’s doing fine these days which makes me happy – as it brings fans for MacF, Megumi and Ranka from Vocaloid fandom quite often :)

      but yeah, Gumi’s near-failure is another telling sign just how intense this dislike could get at times. I don’t even want to discuss some of the stupid backlash Megumi as person behind Ranka got due to greenhead, guhh

      • bluemist says:

        Ah yes, DECO*27 and his one-two power punch in Yowamushi Montblanc and Mozaik Role, he’s my hero. I was there during that moment, and it was a glorious success.Luka already had her hits cemented shortly after release, that’s why I always feared Gumi would fade away like many other Vocaloid variants Meiko and Lily. It took Gumi over a year to make it happen, and now she’s a household name in Niconico thank goodness.

        • Xard says:

          Indeed. I’m glad Gumi was a success story in the end and I’m glad fan art of her with Ranka (in some sense) has been getting more frequent on sites like pixiv lately. The two are something of a Megumi twins to me for obvious reasons.

          I haven’t heard Gumi with her new extensions (I don’t follow Vocaloid scene that closely although I find phenomenom stimulating in intellectual sense – thinking about possible futureso f entertainment business and all that jazz – and I do enjoy my random songs and vids) but given how good she sounds even in her basic version I bet she sounds great.

          Again, a pity she’s not a Crypton vocaloid but maybe that’s partly the reason why her quality was so high…

    • Thank you very much.

      I don’t mean to say that the material is innocent either! It’s NOOOOOT. I just think that there’s a lot more going on that one can make stupid dismissals. I’ve seen enough Ranka pr0n to know what’s what. The hate has basis, even if it isn’t justly applied. You can’t just dismiss the haters as easily as they try to dismiss you and what you like.

      I’m really not into the Vocaloid thing, but I can tell you are, and all I can say is keep enjoying yourself!

      • Xard says:

        I don’t mean to say that the material is innocent either! It’s NOOOOOT. I just think that there’s a lot more going on that one can make stupid dismissals. I’ve seen enough Ranka pr0n to know what’s what. The hate has basis, even if it isn’t justly applied. You can’t just dismiss the haters as easily as they try to dismiss you and what you like.

        guhh I can’t make heads and tails out of this. What material isn’t innocent in what sense (are you referring to 00s anime in general or MacrossF or the concert or what)? What does the inevitable erotic fanart have to do with anything? What hate has basis even if it isn’t justly applied? etc.

        • Relax White Knight, Ranka isn’t a real damsel in distress. If she’s in distress, it’s because that’s her purpose… to make fans react accordingly.

          LOOK AT ME, I’M ANIMATING A GIRL WHO LOOKS LIKE A CHILD.
          NOW LOOK AT HER CHANGE CLOTHES, DID YOU SEE HER SKIN? DID YOU SEE HER BRA CLASPS?
          LOOK AT HER GET ALL WET! LOOK AT HER WEARING ALTO’S CLOTHES ALL OVERSIZED AND CUTE!
          RANKA’S OUT OF HER CLOTHES BY EPISODE ONE!
          LOOK AT ALTO TOUCH HER BOOBS BY ACCIDENT! WATCH HER SCREAM AS IF VIOLATED!
          WATCH HER CUTELY PRANCE AROUND IN HER HOSPITAL GOWN UNAWARE SHE DOESN’T HAVE UNDERWEAR! SO INNOCENT!
          WATCH ALTO POINT AT HER TAINT! LOOK AT HER SCREAM AS IF VIOLATED!

          There’s more where that came from. Relax Sir Knight. It’s all fanservice for the kimoi otaku. They’re fanboys too, just like you and me.

          • javru says:

            Such final phrase would imply neither of you are kimoi otakus
            ROFL

          • Oh I most certainly am otaku of a different variety, as indulgent as I can be of the kimoi variety from time to time. (because I’m such a nice guy)

          • Xard says:

            lol calm down, I’m not jumping on anyone. Fanservice is fanservice and I’ve never denied its existence in the series. It was all the more pronounced in the first film for all characters ( Sheryl goes without saying and was expected but I remember going “wat” when Ai-kun jumped in Ranka’s blouse which eventually led to rather gratuitously framed leg shot and of course as the crown jewel of fanservice overload we got GRACE NIPPLE ATTACK which, in retrospect, was first clue she was emerging as Kawamori’s favourite character LOL milf power…)

            Maybe it makes me a “kimoi otaku” then but I never minded these much. MacrossF’s saabicu (and Ranka fanservice in particular) are pretty tame in general and/or done with some sense of style (the WWII styled nose art in my scifi title? Brilliant idea in itself!) so instances like these didn’t ruffle my feathers too much. There are too many series with far more loli characters (like, seriously prepubescent and looking it) in much creepier fanservice (HELLOOO SUBMARINE 707R AND RANDOM AS FUCK LOLISERVICE INSERT OUT OF NOWHERE WTF) and the general fanservice level for likes of Sheryl is much higher and much more tasteless. Some of the examples like part where Ranka wore Alto’s clothes are so tame it never even registered as fanservice to me. The “kyaaa don’t touch/look” moments could’ve been from shounen manga published decades ago and when I first saw them they didn’t make me groan uncomfortably because they were so perverse but because it’s such a tired, cliched form of slightly kinky anime comedy that was fucking old and annoying ten years ago already.
            *********

            Such final phrase would imply neither of you are kimoi otakus
            ROFL

            yeah well… lol. I admit to watching Strike Witches s1 earlier this year due to boredom :D
            ********

            Reason I asked what did you mean with material was because yeah, many anime series in general or MacrossF in particular definetly aren’t innocent but I don’t see the concert scene like you do and it’s no more “perverted” than your average idol concert with pretty underage girl dancing and singing cute love songs in front of largerly male audience. Which is to say the love from audience is hardly all platonic but it really isn’t *actively deviant* setup either.

            Of course I know MF isn’t exactly “innocent” and good lord sometimes they’d use idols to make GAINAX’s 16 years continued otaku money milking through Rei Ayanami look completely family friendly and tasteful. I own the 2008 December MF singles which means I also have the nose art stickers that came with them and as far as official anime products go they’re so suggestive they make merchandise for most not-exclusive-fanservice late night anime titles feel completely “safe” ( http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3228/3127744741_858c88d853_o.jpg )

            Having said I didn’t have problems with most of your examples I must mention there’s one instance of utterly tasteless, super-fetishy fanservice in MacrossF that I’m to this day rather angry about and I’m all too aware it was Ranka who was the victim there… fucking Yosino and his piss fetishes ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omorashi ), I really really didn’t need that scene in ep 13 and the damn “fan art” it inspired. Guhh.

            Anyway you did answer the “What material isn’t innocent in what sense” but it’s still unclear what meaning pron (that is inevitable, even poor Yotsuba has her share ;___;) has in the evaluation of product and what hate has basis even if it isn’t justly applied. Hate for Ranka fanservice? How then isn’t it “justly applied”? Ehh?

          • Context.

            I’m not asking whether you have a problem with these or not. I don’t have a problem. I’d rather not have this shit in my anime, but that’s me. It doesn’t change matters. This is anime and anime’s biggest spenders are kimoi otaku. Anime caters to them TOO.

            There is no Yotsuba fanservice. The sisters, yes. But Yotsuba herself, no. Rule 34 is not fanservice.

          • Xard says:

            Context.

            Well yeah, and it wasn’t clear to me from that if you were talking about the Alcatraz scene or series in general (based on bluemist’s original posts both felt feasible, as well as general point about animu).

            and again, with “hate” is it (justified) hate for lolimoe in general or for Ranka’s lolimoeness…and how is it unjustly applied. How *would* such hate be justly applied?

            My interpretation now would be that the amount of “Ranka pron” is a sign of not-so-Ghibli portrayal of her. Ranka’s portrayal would also mean there’s validity to the lolimoe hate case but it isn’t justly applied because…well I’m still not sure on the last part.

            There is no Yotsuba fanservice. The sisters, yes. But Yotsuba herself, no. Rule 34 is not fanservice.

            Which exactly was my point. Rule 34 and all is always going to happen so I don’t see what such fan “interpretations” have to do with assesment of the canon character. So if “Ranka pron” proves the indecency of original anime by that logic Rule 34 of Yotsuba would mean she has sexualized portrayal in the original manga which obviously isn’t true. So I just tried to bring up why I don’t get your point with the “pron” comment.

          • Read my post. Yes, the 3k+ words one. Find where it is my objective to justify the hate. This is a genealogy, not an apology for the hate.

            Haters… gonna hate.

            Ranka is designed to pander to lolimoe kimoi otaku TOO. You can argue and deny that this isn’t significant, whatever.

            Sheryl is designed to pander to more mainstream fetishes, not to lolimoe kimoi otaku.

            Mylene is designed to pander to lolimoe kimoi otaku of her time, and for all time.

            Minmay was designed to pander to the lolicon kimoi otaku of her time.

            Now stop acting like I’m singling out Ranka and seriously there is NOTHING to defend.

  2. Shinmarizu says:

    This is probably the best writing in defense of Ranka I have ever read. I never hated or even disliked Ranka, and never really grasped the amount of vitriol directed at her; she IS the Minmay of Frontier, but in what I thought was a much more positive light than what Minmay herself dealt with from the “fans.” (And in the same way, Sheryl is the Misa of Frontier as well. Alto-hime is one lucky son of a bitch…)

    It is enlightening to see what the hatred possibly stems from, and from what you’ve written, HOLY DAMN FUCK is there A LOT of inherited hate. Stuff that Ranka doesn’t deserve. Kinda like playing “six degrees of separation” only with a giant black cloud of blind torch-bearing raging idiots.

    At the very least, Ranka secures herself as the Idol of Macross Frontier, both within and outside the series’ universe, and rightfully so. This from an unabashed Sheryl fan (Sheryl is my 2D waifu. Everyone knows this by now.)

    And for the record, ghost, I do follow your Bebop posts. I’m still waiting for the next one…

    • Shinmarizu says:

      Oh, and Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to you, ghost. Should have said that first.

    • Merry Christmas!

      Thank you for your generous compliments. The genealogy is really interesting isn’t it? There’s so much inherited hate that’s born out of her remembering love for the “wrong” character.

      Sheryl fans never even acknowledged the Minmay connection until much later. I know I was one of the few voices who kept saying it’s there. They’re relieved to know that it’s the DYRL? Minmay at least. The hatred for Minmay runs very deep, like a poisoned well that can destroy entire farms.

      Outside of Ranka’s more overt Minmay referencing, I don’t really know why she makes perfect sense to be THE idol of the Macross Frontier sub-franchise. That in itself is as fascinating as it is true.

  3. I actually preferred the Minmay of the TV series because I found her narrative to be more compelling. She acts without any consideration for others and lets herself be totally manipulated which yeah is pretty deplorable, but at the end of the TV series the melancholy and depression that hits Minmay when she starts to realize what she has done and where her life is headed is absolutely delicious. It just perfectly captures that most miserable feeling of losing everything you care about and not even being able to be angry because you know that it is your own fault.

  4. animekritik says:

    Merry Christmas!!

    Enough to say I haven’t read this post but I will as soon as I finish the series~

  5. kimaguresan says:

    I only just finished Wings of Goodbye, because I wanted to experience it on the home theatre. I also read the seven other posts on this series, but steered clear of comments due to time. I agree with your assessment on the Ranka hate, to analogize with her legacy against other characters is excellent.

    Comparing the Minmay from Robotech was interesting, but the fondness I had for Robotech, being my gateway anime and all, I don’t recall hating her. Friends of mine that watched it were pissed though when Lisa Hayes won the triangle. Maybe it’s because I was mentally a bit more mature, I just tought Lisa’s love was more pure and a whole lot less pouty. I probably also suffer from recency bias as I watched SDFM more recently than Robotech.

    One of the things I loved about Frontier, and especially the movies, was the focus on the music and careers. All the concerts in the movies were excellent, but Sheryl’s concert at the beginning of Wings was, to me, perfect, and embodied her character perfectly. But this is about Ranka, and her first concert also embodied what she was about to become; it was beautifully done showing her transformation into the star she was to become.

    Notice I didn’t say destined to become, because Ranka is really just a follower, and she follows Sheryl into her new career path, and eventually follows Alto into saving everyone. I was really satisfied with the triangle resolution, and the fact that Ranka wasn’t the pseudo bad guy. I think Ranka deserved to get the life she wanted, but to me falling in love with Alto was a result of getting what she wanted, and not what she wanted. Sheryl, on the other hand, sang for Alto and the SMS, even hiring them for herself, her goal was clear. Even Ranka’s second concert was to save her idol, Sheryl.

    Whew, on a personal note, while I really like most of the songs for the movies, May’n can’t sing slowly. In other words, please don’t let her sing Aimo anymore.

    • Awesome to watch in a competent hone theater system! I’ll build mine within the next year or two. I gotta start with a new desktop first.

      Thanks for the kind words. As for Minmay, we’re a minority as far as English speaking fans go. I entered the anime blog community made fun of for my overt and shameless devotion to Minmay. Most people don’t know how to distinguish love from admiration/favor/approval so I don’t give fanboys the licking they deserve. And yes this goes for fags of all loyalties: Miss, Sheryl, and of course Ranka.

      I’ll say more later since I’m using WordPress for Android and it is such a crappy piece of software. Thanks and Merry Christmas for now!

      I will say that while Sheryl’s Aimo is a true horror please save us, Sheryl can sing slow ballads. Diamond Crevasse remains one of the best songs in the whole franchise. Also, Universal Bunny is a better song than Kindan no Elixir but as far as the concerts go, you can’t argue against so many freaking and freaky Sheryls.

      • kimaguresan says:

        My home theatre is part of why I waited (needed an 8-bit encode since the media box is hardware accelerated.) I think I’m going to need to build a new one soon.

        My singer wife, who dislikes most J-pop singers, likes Megumu better, and I tend to agree. Yet, I guess generalizing the slow songs was my mistake, Diamond Crevasse is pretty awesome.

        Merry Christmas to you as well.

    • Yes, Ranka was a follower.

      As I said to the commenter who goes by Ranka below… when Ranka saw a performer greater than her (Sheryl) she turned into a fangirl. When Sheryl saw a performer better than she was (Alto), she told him she’ll be better than he’ll ever be (LOL) and internally vowed to have him for herself. Sheryl is way out of Ranka’s league, personality and character wise. Talent is not a problem, but talent may be the basis of rivalry, but is not what makes the rivalry compelling. Character and personality is what makes it so.

  6. Xard says:

    Ahh, I guess you ment this post when you said I should look forward to something later in December (lol). It was a great read indeed. Now despite the use of plural keeping in mind I think at *most* 6-10 people took active part in combox fights “Ranka apologists” largerly comes down to me :P

    Withholding specific comments on your analysis/theory (which I find very sound and well argued based on my own experiences in fandom(s)) I’d like to say how I ended up playing the role of “apologist”. First of all, it was unfortunate accident and not something I had planned to do that started it. When I first posted here I really wanted to avoid the whole issue and drama entirely. But the combox to which I first replied also happened to end up as the first really serious hotbed of this kind of debate as far as I can tell and the situation (with me being the sole voice on the other half of the argument a lot of the time, admittedly) escalated to point of no return before I even realized what was happening. Since the issues were never laid rest then and whole argument finished without actually…ending one way or another it was pretty much bound same matters would then turn up again to differing scales in posts and discussions that came later, given that posters were largerly same.

    I’ve always had these streaks of “moralfaggotry” and degree of self-righteousness as well as annoying need to correct people when they misunderstand some things (in this context what I’ve seen as constant misinterpretation of some actions or motivations for characters, this is not so bad but it’s much more severe trait when discussing not so intellectual and analytical subjects IRL – I’ve only learned to tone down this trait of mine outside them, where they do belong, when I learned the hard way it’s better to sometimes shut up even if you know better because no one likes know-it-alls when having a casual discussion. God I was such a social retard younger). This combined with my liking for her, rather dim view on Macross fandom as I knew it, very bad experiences with “haters” generally and the regular rounds of Ranka bashing in other circles giving a distasteful feel of playground bullies ganging up on a little girl made me prone to “apologism” much easier than with most other subjects. I’m really not like that with most subjects I care about and rather thick-skinned in general but for whatever reason this particular silly drama gave me unusually strong feeling of unfair treatment which is when my moralfaggotry and self-righteousness really boil over if they ever do. Believe it or not I’ve exchanged views about MF and her many times with people who aren’t necessarily her biggest fans without any of this “apologism” – on those numerous instances I never felt “unfairness” from the other side. :P

    So as for the general psychological makeup behind my participation in these debates (regardless of how they actually played out) that’s as good summary as any I can give. Come to think about it it’s not very different from my habit of defending Eva and its supposed greatness in debates during my most intense fandom phase for that title.

    This is as good “why” for my personal involvement as I can give. It’s not attempt at making apology or justification, just a slice of behavioural psychology on subject of internet using and being a fan.

    As for why your Bebop posts getting less comments it’s hard to say because I think they’ve all been great. I just haven’t had much to say yet on any of them (though I’ve ment to comment on Waltz on Venus post for a long while now). Or really now, the explanation is simple: there’s no reason to big debate about them which also means quieter discussion.

    *********

    re:Minmay’s popularity coming from country where Robotech was never shown the incarnation never had any influence on me. In general I’d say a lot of hatred for her in west comes down to Robotech portrayal. In Japan Minmay is the de facto face of Macross and immensely popular as you note. Given that Japan has the primary fanbase and also naturally doubles as primary target audience I’m not sure how well I can say that (today’s) Minmay is widely hated character, esp. if discounting those who hate her due to Robotech as she is different character there.

    Coming down from that similarly I think hatred based on her moeblobness, Minmayness, “Kaifun” connection and whatnot while existing and playing a role within Macross fandom are marginal reasons in comparison to “hate caused by some of her personal decisions in the show, or hate caused by “Die for our ship.”” factors. Japanese had less troubles with moeblobs and Minmay to begin with but reasons for disliking her are generally very similar to those found from west. This is why in my opinion even in west ‘tards who hate her simply due to associations are a minority.

    Again, I agree that all these are reasons for some but I wouldn’t bet that “percentage” of dislike caused by these factors was a domineering as opposed to “hate caused by some of her personal decisions in the show, or hate caused by “Die for our ship.””

    When it comes down to it Ranka simply got dealt a rather shitty hand of cards to begin with, particularly in tv series – including meta-reasons like ones mentioned in your text but also other things such as the way story is structured in tv series and what sort of different “pressures” it puts on the cast (Ranka ends up losing autonomy to depressing degrees after her high point on Gallia IV, she gets constantly victimized by pretty much everyone from Grace to Vajra etc.) and the choice of “naka-no-hito”/seiyuu. Ranka got *the complete newb* singer and seiyuu who had never before even been in recording studio (and on that note had never even been to seiyuu school unlike most newcomer seiyuus, Megumi’s agency had little to do with seiyuu agencies), in contrast Sheryl got already veteran like Aya Endo and May’n who debuted already years earlier behind her to supply her voice and song.

    That MacrossF actively played her against and had her compete with Sheryl in general, within shiping and outside shipping, did more harm to her than anything else because then Sheryl would be used as the meter to evaluate her. It’s not hard to understand why audience may be less than enthralled with perceived waahh-my-song-got-new-arrangement-and-lyrics sulking when the other girl/point of comparison is literally dying but still tries to pull it through. Placing a heartbreak and moment of hysterics for the time of mortal danger for fleet? Good for drama, bad if you want audience to sympathize. Making her the voice for Vajra and peace when show goes so far to rile the viewers against them in life and death struggle between them and Frontier (*going as far as rescheduling Michel’s death from first cour to second in their hands*)? People feel betrayed for lesser reasons.

    It was match so rigged there was very little chance for it to go down any other way than it did.

    Kawamori’s approach to writing doesn’t actually make things easier: as a general rule he doesn’t set out character arcs beforehand as starting from point A and ending in point B but rather he throws challenges and turning points for the cast to deal with. I think this is good for developing well written, multifaceted characters with certain sense of realness but it can also act against what would be “expectable” from drama in “negative” manner. By far the most notable instance would be Alto’s non-choice in end of tv series despite it being dramaturgically bad thing: because the staff opinion was that Alto is not self-conscious/mature enough to properly act on his feelings (which do come out in BOTCHED confession scene in ep 24 so we know where his heart lies) and the way he is in series’s he’d choose “sky over girls” we got non-closure despite its obvious problems from perspective of narrative. Because that was more true to his character!

    The way the second cour was written Ranka had no other option than to suffer and fail repeatedly at whatever she tried to do robbing her of autonomy. The “hurdles” she faced and the position she had in Grace’s plans ment that she could only face failure repeatedly which just isn’t involving, sympathy (as opposed to pity… or hate) winning character drama in the way Sheryl coming in terms with her looming death and spiritual rebirth as songstress are.

    Kawamori recognized the shitty cards she got in series and wrote the film version partly in a way that allowed him to do her character justice in a way tv series never had a chance to do. Thus Leon ruining Grace’s coup in Sayonara and have her learn of their plans from Brera was partly way to make sure the plot doesn’t flow down the way of victimization as a tool of war like the series did. She has autonomy on wholly different level and gets to make meaningful decisions instead. The final act of Utahime set down the new, vastly superior parameter for her development in Shoji’s mind and the contrast between it and tv’s second cour is huge. The results were, as seems to be the universal perception, great.

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

    >Ranka has TWO: I laughed out loud when Michel referred to Ozma as the “Siscon Captain,” and I already explained Jesus Brera. In The Wings of Farewell the two even had a battle of the onii-chans (which was kind of fail because both were wearing Kira’s Plot Armor of God).

    hey no shitting on battle of brothers (as the sequence is actually named), it was awesome and by far the best non-dogfight in franchise. It had me on edge of my seat every time I saw it. While in this world of OreImo’s and wincest otaku obsession it’s easy to forget “siscon” really doesn’t have a fundamentally sexual character. Ozma being a siscon simply points out the obvious: he really lives for his imouto and is obsessed with her well being to point of it being detrimental to his other relationships.

    >No, I don’t really think either are suitable suitors for Ranka. I just think she’s a poor fit in the triangle she’s put in.

    I disagree because Ranka’s character and involvement in triangle is absolutely crucial for development and portrayal of change in Alto’s character (in how he grows up) in tv series while the film triangle was much less unbalanced IMO though it was obvious she was going to lose. This is why her story in film needs to be read as a “birth of a idol” as the seiyuus put it in their discussion and for that end the love triangle is equally crucial at giving birth to real songstress.

    In any case being Ranka in love is suffering, but it’s crucial suffering and you can’t really replace her with eg. Klan (oh god what a mess Sheryl/Mikhail/Alto/Klan drama would’ve been)

    >If one part of Ranka’s fandom is comprised of girly girls, then the other part is made up of the kimoi otaku, represented by none other the Zentraedi – yes, Macross Frontier remembers them still! The whole concert legitimizes this in its backhanded way because its held inside Alcatraz and the audience are all prisoners. It makes it “okay” to like Ranka this way because all these pedophiles are already in jail. This is awesome and delicious. Macross spits on its fans in epic fashion.

    hey, stop being so mean on poor Zentraedi! They’re definetly portrayed as otakus (all way up to Bilrer with her train otakuness and hopeless romantic pining on Minmay) but not as creepy pedophile fuckers, geez. Rather than Alcatraz audience being comprised of Zentraedis being a sign of racism as you’ve said before I’m pretty sure the explanation is much simpler: the Zentraedi we see in film are supposed to be same Zentraedi from ep 12. In this timeline the brigade did something else stupid and got thrown in jail for good.

    If anything the concert represents a redemption for them as the asshole leader this time sees the truth and beauty of yack deculture – the one named character alongside with Grace and Leon who was unredeemable fucker in tv series

    >When Minmay lost the Hikaru sweepstakes, she had no other recourse but rediscover her song, re-start her career. This fulfills the idol otaku narrative. The idol belongs to no single man. By remaining single, singing, and married to her being an idol, she belongs to her fans. This is also key to Minmay’s enduring popularity. She became Macross, and she belonged to all of us. Ranka is left with the same choice. She has her songs, and Macross Frontier is more than content to not fill out her future with love, because she will always be loved by those claim her.

    I’m not entirely sure they won’t pull a Mao on her in future titles by featuring character named something something Lee in far future but another reason why Ranka is fairly unshippable is that the ending we got was RankaxPlanet – which was arguably predicated by her character too. Or to use Endo’s and Kawamori’s words with Ranka

    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”.

    Kawamori: Continuing this story will be rather difficult. Because the fold bacteria in Ranka have been stimulated, her abilities in fold communication will only expand, and it’s likely that Sheryl too has that latent potential. From here on, we can’t talk about either Ranka or Sheryl in terms of [‘normal’ representations of emotion]. It might be possible to do something in the novel format, taking it deeper into the SF realm, but I don’t know whether that’s something an audience would enjoy if it were animated.

    Well they did get Sara (and Sheryl, but her capabilities were never innate or as strong as Ranka’s in fold communication) married but by all means it’s hard for me to see someone who will inevitably develop less and less “human” in normal relationship. Which is sad because she’s still average girl… but there’s reason why they never portrayed Nausicaä in relationship and only gave hint at meagre possibility of one (with similar “superhuman”) after manga ends.

    • “When it comes down to it Ranka simply got dealt a rather shitty hand of cards to begin with, particularly in tv series – including meta-reasons like ones mentioned in your text but also other things such as the way story is structured in tv series and what sort of different “pressures” it puts on the cast (Ranka ends up losing autonomy to depressing degrees after her high point on Gallia IV, she gets constantly victimized by pretty much everyone from Grace to Vajra etc.)”
      I think though this leads to my absolute favorite moment in Frontier in episode 20 where she says she can’t sing because she is being pressured so much, Sheryl slaps her and tells her she should be able to sing on command like this because she is a professional, and she sings and because she is in such an emotional state it just makes the Varja even worse to fight. I felt so much rage at Alto and Sheryl for their “JUST SING DAMN YOU ONLY YOU CAN SAVE THEM” thing and the utter failure of trying to shove Ranka’s experience as a human being out of the way of her use as a tool was such great vindication. Someone can’t stop being who they are, no matter how much you want them to or how many people will die because of it.

      • Xard says:

        that ep 20 scene is one of the most misinterprepted ones in the whole series and I’m pretty sure general reliance on subs over understanding of what is actually being said (though most subs I’ve used have been more than clear and accurate enough) hasn’t helped much. Had a long and good discussion about this with one Macross fan I respect very much recently and we felt similarly about the scene. But because discussion of in-series reasons for hate are banned that’s all I’m going to say about it

        though I’m glad and surprised to see someone has a bit similar feelings about the scene instead of general STOP BEING PUSSY RANKA HELL YEAH TIME FOR PRO BADASSITUDE (oh whoops it didn’t work out). I find it utterly hilarious Sheryl’s advice was pretty much the worst possible one in the situation despite being the most standard way to victory anime writing tends to present in such moments. Delightfully subversive.

      • YESSSSS, DELICIOUS FAILURE!!!

        This is so perfect, and I loved Frontier for this episode. People just don’t know how to appreciate characters who fail. This is an awesome Ranka moment, fags just feel pain and suffering from the admittedly insufferable gloating from Sherylfags — who are just as ignorant.

    • Thank you and I’m very happy you enjoyed the post.

      It’s not all about you.

      Thanks for the biographical note. It is rather remarkable behavior, I must say. It’s like a textbook case of “White Knighting” as I imagine it.

      I’m just being facetious about my Cowboy Bebop posts. They’re not really discussion fodder and I know it.

      —–

      I grew up around people being negative around Minmay. The range of attitudes come from mild annoyance to extreme hatred (e.g. My Wife), but it’s very rare to meet a genuine Minmay fan who is interested in Macross/Robotech the same way most fans are (as a military space opera; the Minmay fans sometimes meet don’t care for the robot stuff, and are generally otaku-like, as I now understand the term).

      When I entered the anime blog community, the Macross fans I did meet and generally got along with, all to the last man hated Minmay and some of this hate Ranka inherited. They all gave me grief about it, those Misafags. It was remarkable in 2008, and I’m glad to be able to write about it in a good context finally.

      As you would know about these haters, it didn’t matter that I liked Misa a great deal as well, and that I married someone who Misa herself would fricking look up to. Nooo, I had to be the Minmay-loving dartboard. I necessarily had to be the Ranka-loving hatable fan. And yes, I did like Ranka from the very start.

      Yes, Ranka the character can be said to have been dealt a shitty hand… but I don’t mind this at all. I don’t mind if characters I like get shafted like this, if it means the Macross I get is what I did get in the end. The Ranka of the TV series… was an interesting faux-villain that I preferred to be treated more harshly instead of magicked into saving the Galaxy. It would’ve made for a more interesting Macross. Well the movies made up for it. So that’s all water under the bridge.

      As a Minmay fan, I am perfectly fine with my favorite character turning ugly. And my god did Minmay turn ugly in the finale of SDFM. It was terrible and pathetic. Her resolve in the end was the resolve of the humiliated. She was rejected, crushed, proven wrong in every possible way. I can see that this makes Macross awesome. I love it that I can see it this way. Macross is awesome because it had the guts to kick its idol into the curb. Balls man. Frickin’ balls.

      You and most Ranka devotees, can’t deal with this. You want her to get a happy ending, get “justice” from the script, be spared from the ire of the ignorant fandom. You got to go beyond. Unless, you count yourself more a Ranka fan than a Macross fan. In which case, we have a whole lot less to talk about.

      ———

      I didn’t take the whole onii-chan kimoi-shit that seriously. It was all in good fun on my part in this post. I wouldn’t really think of Ozma as a Ranka suitor, because his pairing with Kathy is so thoroughly indulged by all versions of the narrative. It’s very cool.

      ———

      I’m not being mean to the Zentraedi. It’s Macross being mean to a subset of its fandom. It was like this from the very start, and you know it! The Zentraedi reactions to Minmay… are caricatures of the idol otaku. Macross Frontier remembers love for this, and was especially mean by making all these Zentrans convicts.

      ———

      I’m going to do something for Minmay’s future myself. Ranka will be part of it. Watch out.

      • Xard says:

        Thanks for the biographical note. It is rather remarkable behavior, I must say. It’s like a textbook case of “White Knighting” as I imagine it.

        I guess though I’m not really all that prone to it generally, especially nowadays. Why Ranka is such exception is hard to say…and I really don’t bother either if it’s just typical “kill the green insect” (hate name for her on 2ch used by those who don’t like her) shit because it’s pointless and below my level. In a sense it’s a positive evaluation of participants that I’ve bothered to argue that much in here because it shows that I consider people here reasonable and ones that in theory can be persuaded.

        Anyway, since you started post wondering “why” these debates happen here I thought giving a very clear “why” was just proper. :P

        When I entered the anime blog community, the Macross fans I did meet and generally got along with, all to the last man hated Minmay and some of this hate Ranka inherited. They all gave me grief about it, those Misafags. It was remarkable in 2008, and I’m glad to be able to write about it in a good context finally.

        Yeah, I know what you mean. I saw my share in discussions around the time series came out, there was a lot of projection of Misa on Sheryl and Minmay on Ranka.

        As a Minmay fan, I am perfectly fine with my favorite character turning ugly. And my god did Minmay turn ugly in the finale of SDFM. It was terrible and pathetic. Her resolve in the end was the resolve of the humiliated. She was rejected, crushed, proven wrong in every possible way. I can see that this makes Macross awesome. I love it that I can see it this way. Macross is awesome because it had the guts to kick its idol into the curb. Balls man. Frickin’ balls.

        As always you end up sounding slightly sadistic over this :D

        but anyway, are you not sure you aren’t going a bit too far? You know, “rejected, crushed, proved wrong in every possible way”… I mean, c’mon. Minmay was going through a bad time and ended up clinging to Hikaru who had come to present to her a better time (which never existed) in past. Clinging to someone like that in moment of weakness is not exactly admirable behaviour but very human and…really doesn’t equal to getting crushed and “proved wrong in every possible way”. It’s somewhat pathetic but it’s not like she ends up behaving like Shinji in EoE or anything.

        You and most Ranka devotees, can’t deal with this. You want her to get a happy ending, get “justice” from the script, be spared from the ire of the ignorant fandom. You got to go beyond. Unless, you count yourself more a Ranka fan than a Macross fan. In which case, we have a whole lot less to talk about.

        Well you’re very wrong. Of course I’m more Macross fan than Ranka fan and also about not being able to “deal with it”. Nor do I want her a happy at expense of everything else. If brutally murdering Ranka on screen would’ve made a better work I would’ve gulped down the pint of bitterness and dealt with it. I wouldn’t have liked it but I’m not one of those fans who sacrifice quality of the work for sake of their pet ship or character or something. Of course I wish a character I like success and happyness but if it can’t be helped or would be detrimental for the work I always prefer what’s best for the whole. As traumatizing Asuka and Misato dying the way they did was I’d never exchange my favourite film ever for a “Happy EoE” where they beat all the odds and achieve perfect happy ending.

        As for getting “justice” from the script, it’s just like with every other idea or thing I’d love to see further developed in the work or I felt had potential. Some tangential plot thread or character for example. For this reason I’d still like if they did Klan short film they planned in the past, to do “justice” to her character because I think there’s unexplored potential there. TV series Ranka never got a chance to fullfil the potential I saw in her while films did exactly that.

        I admit guilt for the fandom thing :(

        I’m not being mean to the Zentraedi. It’s Macross being mean to a subset of its fandom. It was like this from the very start, and you know it! The Zentraedi reactions to Minmay… are caricatures of the idol otaku. Macross Frontier remembers love for this, and was especially mean by making all these Zentrans convicts.

        There’s big difference between the general Zentraedi = otaku and good natured lololol and what you’re suggesting here. We already had otaku mock moment in first film’s CM montage. Making Ranka’s audience *a bunch of convicted rapist pedophiles* is something so beyond pale and fucked up I really can’t believe you’re seriously suggesting it simply because the prisoners are Zentraedi (and Zentraedi = lolicons lololol). It’s so out of place and out of touch with the mood of the film and scene I don’t know what to say. Furthermore there’s world of difference between the idol otakudom Zentraedi have been about always and freaking pedophilia what the fuck.

        • Hehe, I know many people who otherwise esteem, to hold incredibly stupid opinions. It boils down to what I care about more: being right/setting things straight, or the relationships themselves. Now, there is that arrogance in thinking I’m actually right and they’re very wrong, but this is inescapable.

          Sheryl as Misa was pretty damn stupid.

          She failed at her concert, and got dumped BY KAIFUN, who actually was given MORAL HIGH GROUND , and got to lecture her one last time. If that’s not humiliation in the worst, I don’t know what is. And that was just for starters.

          Good.

          Them Zentraedi… idol otaku kimoi cultureless ‘tards. Of course not every Zentran is like this — there’s Millya and Klan and Bilrer and Elmo, etc. These are the more humanized people and are less and less Zentraedi-like.

          Of course they’re not pedophiles. They’re lolicons! There’s a difference! wink~ (also, virgins)

          • Xard says:

            Ehh, stars fail sometimes and given her emotional condition Minmay failing one concert wasn’t such a bad thing…at least she didn’t fail because she was heroin abucing fucker or anything like in reality. SO yeah

            I admit I somehow managed to forget all about that Kaifun scene, guhhh. What always struck me about the scene was not the humiliation about getting lectured by Kaifun (he does it all the time) but how fucking hypocritical it all felt coming from HIM.

            as for favouring characters or ships or whatever over the work (and oh boy there are many viewers in this vein) I’ve always thought it’s like placing importance on one piece over the whole puzzle which doesn’t make much sense. I do love my 2D favourites but I love them within the context and as part of their respective shows.

            Of course they’re not pedophiles. They’re lolicons! There’s a difference! wink~ (also, virgins)

            Well then you should’ve used the word to avoid unfortunate implications for the poor Zentraedi as pedophilia is a mental illness and while Zentraedi are goofy they’re not mental cases… Lolicon Zentraedi like their idols young and cute starting from Minmay but no one in Minmay/Mylene/Ranka (okay we don’t see any zentraedi fans for Mylene but anyway they probably exist) descendance are prepubescent – though latter two are flaaat (when I watched M7 I was surprised how “loli” character Mylene was in quite few respects which in turn made the bodyguard-san leering on her constantly creepy as fuck).

            Pedophile child molesters are pretty the most despised criminals on the planet and having the audience of that scene be such would be as disturbing and offputting as them being…I dunno bunch of neo-nazis. Given how whole Seikan Hikou performancec is throwback to ep 12 and we see very same Zentraedi I always supposed they’re largerly the *exactly same fleet*, this time they had rebelled some other time and got thrown in jail as a result. It would make far more sense and would not be as tonally clashing interpretation. Macross does poke fun at the viewers occasionally but that goes well beyond making some harmless jokes right to the bewildering, disturbing territory.

          • Ehh, stars fail sometimes and given her emotional condition Minmay failing one concert wasn’t such a bad thing…at least she didn’t fail because she was heroin abucing fucker or anything like in reality. SO yeah

            It’s not just one concert, but the disintegration of her career and fighting spirit. She got to be lectured by Kaifun, and then Ichijou… “You can’t have me, so how about that singing thing?”

            BAM

            You’re comparing Minmay with 21st century tabloid fodder? Anime won’t do that really, especially not in those less permissive times. Stop it with the “Minmay ain’t so bad” stuff. I know this. There’s just a GREAT context within which her narrative can be read, and that makes Macross even more awesome. It’s not like she sold out the humans to the aliens or anything… unless you count her singing the melody to Ai Oboete Imasu Ka to Britai and Golgie as a possible weapon against the Meltran OH WAIT!

            Hey, you don’t have to respond to that, just saying.

            As for stinkin’ pedos… have a sense of humor. The whole scene is funny in its viciousness. How many of these guys actually raped kids? Of course they didn’t! But if you insist on taking this so personally and seriously… which is understandable given how you just admitted you’re a kimoi otaku (or are you being humorous? LOL)… lighten up and have fun at the poor Zentrans’ expense. Look at schneider’s response. I know that guy personally and he’s pretty pervy when it comes to 2D, and still he’s a good person with a big heart. Lighten the fuck up.

          • Xard says:

            It’s not just one concert, but the disintegration of her career and fighting spirit. She got to be lectured by Kaifun, and then Ichijou… “You can’t have me, so how about that singing thing?”

            Oh yeah, she hits a definitive low point overall. Story needs drama after all and justification why Minmay would seek Hikaru out again :P

            Instead of humiliation I always saw Hikaru’s comment in positive, helpful light though. It’s pointing out she still has her talents *shrug*

            As for stinkin’ pedos… have a sense of humor. The whole scene is funny in its viciousness. How many of these guys actually raped kids? Of course they didn’t! But if you insist on taking this so personally and seriously…

            I’m not taking it personally – I just simply find the idea implausible because I did presume you were being serious. The original ep 12 Seikan Hikou scene would be plausible thanks to virtue of having all the LOL-worthy shots of nosebleeding Zentraedi and like. I’m just not convinced the scene is trying to viciously have fun on the audience’s expense because the focus seems to be much more on how great show Ranka and Lovely Bomber put on and it’s another kind of indulgence entirely: let’s not forget this is the one scene for which they went as far as having Megumi’s dancing motion-captured. It’s too busy being ultimate idol fanservice from care that went into Ranka’s animation to Michel playing guitar in Basara clothes etc. to be laughing at fans. We HAVE instances of “oh you guys” laughs already, most notably the Dynam Chogokin scene in Utahime, and they’re way more obvious about it.

            It’s sometimes really difficult to tell when you’re joking around and when being entirely serious as most of the things in your post seem written seriously.That you didn’t really mean it’s a bunch of “pedophile rapists” changes everything as that was what was so ridiculous about it to me. *sigh*

            which is understandable given how you just admitted you’re a kimoi otaku (or are you being humorous? LOL)…

            aaaand I thought it was pretty clear I was being humorous. I admitted to watching Strike Witches which is certainly very, uhh, otakucentric anime. Whether or not this makes me kimoi otaku I do not know.

            Then again, the Valkyrie cosplay scene in first film always gives me at the same time conflicted feelings of being pandered at and being mocked – especially since getting into model kits and figures about year ago… Not sure about those implications either ^__^’

            As for scheider’s post I know what he means lol. I’ve always felt a degree of kinship with the goofy greenhead worshipping Zentraedi but I also have this deep appreciation of cute girly things being cute girly things in the most fabulous max manner possible. Which is exactly why the best comment on Kuma Kuma concert scene I’ve seen was “I just vomited a rainbow. It felt amazing” :D

          • I’m as serious as Macross is as a franchise.

            This should explain everything.

          • Xard says:

            yes, it does :P

            If there were internal ranks of seriousness within franchise I’d say Zero and Plus are pretty much completely serious and straight-faced in tone while original and Frontier are mix of serious fucking business and lulz. Macross 7 takes itself at all seriously only handful of times. :D

            Thus I guess I should grade this post along SDF/Frontier tier. :P

    • Kaldar5 says:

      In defense of a Zentran:

      >”(all way up to Bilrer with his train otakuness and hopeless romantic pining on Minmay)”

      Waitaminiute.
      Lets look at this from Mr Bilrer’s perspective. This was a young Advisor clone, likely doing more thinking than was healthy for a Zentran. Nothing much to use his talents on, destined to die fighting in a pointless battle.

      Along come these Microns, suddenly their entire culture is changed, life is wonderful, Mr Bilrer can do whatever research he likes, starts what eventually becomes SMS, becomes rich as hell.

      From his age, I am going to assume he was actually present for the Zendradi war. Maybe was there for the Megaroad01 launch concert. He likely focused on Fold space research because of the loss of Minmay.

      I don’t want to bring a religious debate or offense in here, but…
      Minmay is basically Jesus for these Zentradi. She changed all of their lives in a way we can’t even imagine.

      It would not be as simple as “Romantic pining” for survivors of Space war I who saw their culture change. It would be damn near religious.

  7. Turambar says:

    Part of me is giving you a standing ovation because this degree of “into it”ness you have for Macross is part of the reason I started to follow your blog in the first place. The other part of me is loling because a whole lot of what you presented were coincidences as far as I’m concerned and you’re a deranged man grasping at straws.

    Regardless, great read for both entertainment and enlightenment sake. Merry Christmas.

    • This is how I want you to take this post: a non-scholarly presentation of interesting observations that no one really talks about because they don’t have my perspective.

      It is not “the truth” that I evangelize here, but something only I can do. Thus I don’t expect “factual” validation or anything formal like that. But yeah, ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

      Wishing wells, Kiss and Tell, Happy Merry Christmas Without You!

  8. I am a unclear on your underdog position. Since Ranka was considered by most a underdog in almost everything including as an idol I don’t get a feel from this what exactly then appeals to you about her that makes you like her. Personally though I love the NCAA tournament. Underdogs are great because they give us hope that even if we aren’t as awesome as other people we can still achieve our dreams. That’s what I think is one of the things I like about Ranka the most, she is my symbol of hope. It also setup me up for a crushing defeat when they ended Sayonara no Tsubasa the way it did. It wasn’t so much the rejection but that they focused on the hope/future aspect more towards Alto and Sheryl while just sort of leaving Ranka semi-ignored. Her hopes were all focused around the other two coming back while leaving her future absent. Just being a forever idol doesn’t feel satisfying to me since she obviously wants to love and in that way I feel as if the movie really crushed both our hopes.

    But I also don’t like to think of her as a underdog in the TV series for the entirety of the run in the love triangle in terms of how Alto saw her (in the movies by far far far yes). The whole birthday present thing is a good example, people think Ranka gave Alto a dumb selfish present but the fact was he love it and that really is the most important thing you should be focusing on there. No matter how childish we think she is or her relationship might have been he didn’t show much to any signs himself as looking at Ranka in that way (particularly after episode 12/13).

    I mean OK you can say you don’t like the idea of an Alto x Ranka relationship because Ranka was not mature yet, I’m completely fine with that, I just don’t consider that is what made her the underdog nor that the triangle was unbalanced just from that. If anything what made her the underdog was she and Alto were both just naive about their feelings and what they meant, something which changed over the course of the series.

    I also think Ranka was more mature and ready for a relationship by the end of episode 25 personally (which seems like that was the goal of the TV series in order to end it on Ranka). I guess that’s my real point here is I think of Ranka in the TV series as an underdog that grew to become even with Sheryl (maybe even greater since Sheryl kind of fell hard to the point where she gave up) in both love and being an idol (she even said to Sheryl down on the Vajra home world she won’t lose in love or being an idol) which is what think is so awesome in Ranka. But it was also ultimately a let down at the same time in the end since there was never that real “she made it” moment in the movies at the end it was more lets give the fans the Sheryl they want! lol

    • There are thIngs to like about Ranka well outside her underdog status. Minmay was the template after all and I like her just fine. She was no underdog.

      Misa vs. Minmay was no underdog battle. Gamlin vs. Basara was no underdog non-battle either. Ranka is cute, had great songs, and remembers love for Minmay. That’s more than enough reasons for me to like her. I’m responding via mobile and it is such a pain. Will say more later.

    • Xard says:

      >But I also don’t like to think of her as a underdog in the TV series for the entirety of the run in the love triangle in terms of how Alto saw her (in the movies by far far far yes). The whole birthday present thing is a good example, people think Ranka gave Alto a dumb selfish present but the fact was he love it and that really is the most important thing you should be focusing on there.

      I too think discussion about that has been a bit unfair to Ranka, to be honest. Beyond the “herpderp Ranka giving him the ticket is selfish because she just wants Alto look at her” line of thinking that is awful and silly (Sheryl taking Alto with her to Gallia IV is just as vulnerable to “selfish interpretation”) I think people underestimate the degree of understanding Ranka has of him and logic behind her means. It’s not a coincidence she made Valkyrie cookies for Alto and this shows she does have awareness of her hopes and passions (given that he even partially lied to her in ep 4 about joining SMS being a chance to fly Valks being his sole/main reason for joining them she should have a hunch). It’s just that she doesn’t really have the means to offer him what Sheryl does so I think it’s seriously unfair many complain Ranka didn’t offer him the sky like Sheryl did. She was in no position to do so and neither was Sheryl for most of series run excluding the prearranged Gallia IV gig. Both had a degree of concern for his passions, it’s just that Sheryl’s understanding was admittedly deeper and she was in way better position to offer something gratifying to him (the BITTER cookies of SADNESS where probably bitter even without SADNESS :D). Similarly I see nothing childish about “cooking for love”, rather it’s a very moe trope for naive girl try to put her feelings into something. Even today it’s common in japanese schools for girls to start making bentos for the boys they like. So while fundamentally it was the kind of naive present its heartfelt simplicity always made me dawww and there’s nothing childish about the gift. It’s very conservative pure pure girl thing to write that could come from a story written a hundred years ago (compare that with Sheryl’s directness of modern woman, lol).

      The ticket part was also hardly for Ranka’s own gratification and attention seeking, she makes many times clear she gives props for her rise largerly to Alto’s (and Sheryl’s) encouragement and thus motivation is more “look at what I’ve been able to become because you were there for me, thank you thank you thank you” than anything else. It’s similar to feelings she expresses in ep17 more about Ozma and in some Drama CD stories… not to mention it’s identical (minus the sad cookies of love obviously, lol) to the similar gift and sign of gratitude Ranka gives to Sheryl in Sayonara’s beginning. And of course she felt just the ticket “would’ve been a bit…” and thus she wanted to do something for Alto with her own hands aka the cookies.

      I mean, it’s the kind of dumb, old school, naive love kind of thing that has no chance in hell to compete with Sheryl’s awesome and psychologically keen and equally heartfelt offer but people who think it’s Ranka just being attention whore betray sadly a lack of any sort of nuanced understanding.

      Not really related to anything, just felt like saying that now when chance came.

      If one asks me neither Alto or Ranka were mature enough for romance in tv series before Alto started to grow into a man quite late in the game (and even then staff felt she wasn’t mature enough to handle either girl in the end, thus non-conclusion) so ruling Ranka out of the triangle due to immaturity is a bit silly. It’s more like Sheryl was too mature for the two of them.

      In film version with higher maturity level for Alto and Ranka it’s again a non-issue due to said increase. The reasons why the ship was rather unfeasible are other ones.

      • I never felt it was a matter of maturity for Alto rather he didn’t really think about his feelings enough (since he was always so busy after episode 12 protecting Ranka and dealing with Sheryl’s fall) until Micheal told him stop messing around in ep 19 and even Klan saying something simliar in episode 22 (which I just noticed today is actually pretty interesting that she says it with the assumption he loves Sheryl since it makes her reaction to Alto’s kill Ranka speech that much more interesting). So yeah I think it took him until almost the end and losing Ranka to understand it (the same thing happened in the movies except he lost Sheryl this time and is force to see what it’s like without her…just saying) but I think he clearly knew who he loved.

        Honestly I find how often this maturity thing comes up when discussing Macross a bit disappointing as basing love on it makes a show rather dull to me when the real fact is people grow up eventually, Ranka will become mature even if you didn’t consider her mature in the show, saying she doesn’t deserve Alto for life because she isn’t mature yet at such a young age for both of them even if the love was real is just cruel. Especially when in the movies they never even showed Sheryl and Alto as a couple rather whisking him away for who knows how long so how did maturity factor into that in the end? This almost makes me wish Ranka had been in an different anime show.

    • Underdogs are great because they give us hope that even if we aren’t as awesome as other people we can still achieve our dreams.

      Ugh. This is lame.

      Hope, ugh.

      Luck is of course, very powerful and is an underrated influence in everything. But one cannot be awesome counting, praying for luck.

      The game is to be awesome, and to win awesomely. I dislike “bringing the awesome enemy down to our level.” This is gross. Rather, RISE. Rise high. Take the lofty throne away and take it higher. None of this slave mentality shit.

      Sheryl didn’t start awe-inspiring. She was an orphan of murdered parents eating garbage from a dumpster. She was bullied in idol school. She responded by professing to shake the galaxy with her song! She owned this. This was a stand, a stake on the ground. She claimed awesomeness.

      She had underdog circumstance but she never played up that underdog appeal. Why should this be less inspiring? This is far more inspiring! She sees someone more awesome than she is (Alto), and she tells him “I’ll be better than you’ll ever become.” Fuck yeah.

      How does Ranka behave when she encounters Sheryl? She turns into a fangirl.

      THIS IS WHY THEY’RE NOT SUITED AS RIVALS. This is why she’s not suited as Alto’s love interest. She’s not in their league personality wise. She has the talent, she has the super powers, but these things won’t make her a compelling rival. It has to be from personality and character.

      Get it now?

      Now… every underdog story results in the underdog leveling up, turning the tables. This is precisely what validates the underdog status… “look at me now!”

      TV Ranka had no real growth. She never understood what lameness she has and the terrible mistakes she made (and these are the best parts of her story!). Instead she was given alien magic and got to lecture everyone about the Vajra, and magicked Sheryl back to health and got to slap her too in the stupidest scene ever it’s embarrassing to show to non-fans.

      This is why the movie version was very necessary if the “growing and maturing” Ranka was to be believable.

      It was a great way to end things too.

      • What your talking about here is all personal preferences. Not suited as rivals? Alto decides who he likes not us not even Ranka or Sheryl can make him love them. He cared about Ranka deeply, this is a fact, so I don’t see how you can consider the love triangle lopsided in that regard (well she was friend zoned in the movies but the movies were a big Sheryl love fest anyways). We both had issues with the love triangle but for entirely different reasons. I highly doubt in the end though Kawamori decided the triangle on any of this in fact I would have respected him for going against the grain but instead its the usual older type like all the other ones and the popular decision (which sells the most of course). meh

        Your entire issues with episode 25 seem to really be on the bases of Ranka being a horrible and weak character and needing to suffer since she was such a bad person to leave frontier behind. Which it took all of 5 minutes to replace her with Sheryl, Alto was the only real one who believed in her…yeah with friends (aka we see you as a tool) like that I’d probably “abandon” them too… Of course her real mistake here is in hind sight since she couldn’t have know Grace was out there waiting for her. All her other issues came from her lack of confidence which they linked to her repressed memories and trauma caused from it. Yeah this made her weak but I am fine with it because in the end she over came it. But it’s been 3 years since this happened I’m not even sure why I am bothering arguing this in the first place since I’ve seen this over and over again on how people are all too happy just to focus on the “she abandoned her obligations to be used as a tool (both publicly and as an anti-vajra weapon) for an evil man who didn’t even need her in the first place” part because we know for a fact that she was caring for herself here more then others….

        That slap btw was one of the best things I’ve ever seen but I suppose you if consider Ranka horrible and Sheryl flawless and already hooked up with Alto I can see it making no sense.

        I don’t even think Ranka grew much at all in the movies she was already fairly mature her whole path in the movies was one of being an idol something I was completely fine with if they had just given her some kind of result to this in the end instead of completely focusing on the triangle (because that’s what they are selling…) and dropping her off a cliff character wise.

        • Of course personal preference is a factor… who else would know but someone who uses the handle Ranka Lee!?!

          Ranka had MUUUUUCH better treatment in the movies.

          Ranka isn’t a horrible and weak character. She’s a weak character and made incredible blunders and that’s what makes her very interesting, compelling even. The ending is completely inconsistent with the development she was given and thus wrecked things.

          You seeing the Ranka slap as the best… I’ve nothing more to say to you. After all it’s very clear that you view the whole work as what is better for Ranka as opposed to what’s awesome about Macross.

  9. -chii- says:

    Your sum up of WHY Ranka can’t get in between Sheryl and Alto is exactly my view on it.

    Killer post! I dunno how you write these things but I’m SO glad you do.

    • Thanks. It’s powered by superfaggotry and giving lots and lots of fucks. I also have something different from most fans (who end up getting consumed by character fandom and/or shipping): I care more about Macross than I do for their pet characters and shipping drama. This is not to say I care about Ranka and Sheryl less than their respective fans, only that my overall love for everything Macross is well beyond all your collective imagination.

  10. WhatSht says:

    “This invincibility on and off the cockpit evokes one of the most hated characters in mecha anime ever, the peace-loving Jesus of the Gundam franchise: Kira Yamato of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, not only one of the most popular recent characters and sub-franchises of Gundam ever, but also held to be some of the very worst anime of all time.”
    Take the classic red rival mech and add Jesus Yamato’s blue to it, you get Brera’s purple VF-27

    The names of the VFs already foreshadowed that they would be rivals, Lucifer and Messiah.

    • It’s an interesting rivalry, in how Alto always loses — in and out of the cockpit. The Messiah is the basic, all around VF. The Lucifer is also non-specialized, but is just better and more powerful in every way. The Messiah is his much prettier. Kyaaa~

    • Xard says:

      I think VF-27’s superiority comes more from Brera’s superhuman abilities as pilot rather than spec differences of the Valkyries. I don’t see how YF-29 is supposed to prove anything considering we never see Alto beat Brera with it either.

      As for the VF names, Messiah was actually decided by a fan vote. Lucifer was then named fo stay true to the scheme

      • YF 29 is obviously much better because it beat 3 ghosts that it took all of Guld Bowman’s abilities to take out 1 prototype of. Alto took out 3 while dodging the VF-27. Is Alto THAT much better than Guld Goa Bowman? Highly doubtful.

        • Xard says:

          Portrayal of Ghosts isn’t nowhere near as overpowering as it was in Plus in original series. A lot of the time they’re pretty useless, getting jammed and all by Vajra (lol)

          Technology marches onward is all there is to it, I think. Ghosts are already decades old technology

          • Nope, this doesn’t make them degenerate. Humans must catch up with AI, because the machines don’t get worse by design.

            Bottom line, the Messiah isn’t as good as the Lucifer. But the Durendal is a big improvement in performance because it did all that with the same pilot despite being primarily an anti-Vajra machine and not an anti-VF one.

          • Xard says:

            Fair enough

  11. CES says:

    Great read. I never get how people hate characters just like that though, especially Ranka. I’m not fond of lolimoe myself, but it’s pretty nearsighted if someone hates something based on the lolimoe trope/one trope/one aspect alone.

    Describing her as inevitable is spot on. Ranka’s weak, childish, and can never compare to Sheryl, but that’s where her charm lies. She’s the foundation of the triangle, never meant to be with Alto and always second to Sheryl, but as the driving force for the two to develop as characters, and the driving force of the love story. It’s the perfect role for her, and in that role, she shines.

    • But see, some of her fans resent this. They will see this as unfair. Why should she play a supporting role when she gets top-billing? Why isn’t she given awesome traits, storylines, happy endings, etc?

      As for me, she can be subjected to all sorts of privations and indignities if it meant a better Macross show.

      • CES says:

        Yeah. Still, it’s not like she got Four’ed like in the Zeta movies. She stole the spotlight of the latter part of the tv series, and pretty much had her moments in the movies befitting of her top billing status. Frontier gave a fair amount of moments to the supporting characters as well. With that much screentime, I still don’t get what more they want, but I can see where they’re coming from.

        Same here. If it’s good as a whole, storyline and plotwise, then the parts such as characters should take care of itself, and vice versa. People are missing out if they just limit theirselves to one character/aspect/genre/ etc.etc.

        Oh, and merry christmas!

      • Xard says:

        >implying Ranka wasn’t by far the most important character in the cast for series’s storyline and she played a supporting role to Alto/Sheryl who do jackshit important-for-plot stuff most of the running time
        >2011

        ISHYGDDT

        Especially funny considering criticisms of Alto based on his lack of “main characterness” were some of the most common among fans and staff with tv series. With films they actually made him matter and thanks to the spy subplot and role to play in Galaxy conspiracy Sheryl was way less tangential too for story’s main drama (in tv series her importance is zilch outside triangle between collapsing and re-emerging as Frontier’s primary fold songstress after Ranka leaves the fleet)

        Giving Ranka more room to breathe alongside with Alto’s and Sheryl’s increased plot relevance and firmer integration to main storyline were definite improvements of film version in my eyes that benefitted all three.

  12. Anya says:

    Wow, I never even THOUGHT that there would be throwbacks/analogies of the characters to the original, though that’s probably because Frontier was the first series I watched and I didn’t revisit it after I watched SDF (except for The Wings of Goodbye movie). You made a lot of interesting points.

    Because I didn’t have the legacy of SDF with me at the time, I disliked Ranka because of her personality rather than bitter memories.

    I also never really thought much about Brera, he was just some annoying prick that makes me go “mehhhh not again” when he appears. But after watching SDF, and now that you mention it, HOLY FRICK BRERA KAIFUN KIRA JESUS FREAKING YAMATO STERN THIS IS A BLOODY ABOMINATION

    • Xard says:

      Film Brera is hardcore motherfucker who doesn’t take shit from nobody, doesn’t dress like manslut and heroic sacrifice’s himself for imouto. In other words he’s pretty cool dude

      series Brera was good for trolling Alto but I hate all the countless fags (well okay fangirls) who shipped him with Ranka as a result so “ehh”

    • Yeah, totally an abomination.

      But truthfully, I didn’t really hate Brera. He was lame, but not really hate-worthy.

      He was the Sheryl to Alto’s Ranka… that for all Alto’s talent and hard work… he’ll never ever beat Brera.

  13. schneider says:

    Dood. You just totally made me remember WHY I dropped Sengoku Basara 2. When Samurai Amuro just gets himself killed (in the dumbest of ways no less) and then forgotten for the rest of the narrative… UGH. The rage just swelled up in me, nerves I thought long-dead and pacified already. HATE

    Also, I can’t really explain it, but I am able to enjoy Ranka as a member of BOTH fandoms that you’ve described in this post. Though in the end, I belong in Alcatraz lololololol

  14. jpmeyer says:

    C’mon.

    You can admit it.

    The reason that you like Ranka is simple: Mamegu is half Filipino.

  15. Pingback: Ack on Preferring SDFM Minmay | The Ghosts of Discussions

  16. Xard says:

    If the previous big post was about pros and praise more than anything else some more critical comments/arguments come here

    In other words, the people who the blog posts here attract can be divided into two broad groups:

    Ranka moderates/non-haters (who are Sheryl fans)
    Rankafags

    The Ranka apologists find themselves, no, put themselves in life or death debates against people who shouldn’t be their mortal adversaries.

    While overall this is probably quite true (Ranka *haters* have always been a vocal minority in the first place so it’s given) I have no idea how one could possibly chalk up people like magnus under “Ranka moderates/non-haters” camp unless you really have zero experience with posting he has done elsewhere over the years.

    In the film adaptation, Macross: Do You Remember Love? there are changes in the presentation of Minmay (mostly a result of the abridged love story) that many haters responded well to. Much of the behavior near the end of the TV series are excised, leaving her with a truly majestic, star-making turn as an ending to the Space War, then leading her into her ride into the sunset (which was fully expressed in Macross Flashback 2012).

    It should be kept in mind a lot of the negative characterization that hits especially Minmay and Hikaru post-timeskip is a result of need to drag on the love triangle long after it’s supposed expiration date. DYRL is partly just more true to original scenario of how the love triangle and series was supposed to end. A lot of Minmay’s weakness and HIkaru’s indeciveness are nonexistent simply because there was no need to keep the triangle drama going on quite artificially. As such the more polished film incarnations are in a sense truer to their character in few regards.

    Minmay’s actions before timeskip are hardly ever anything fuss about (lol the batshit marriage ceremony deal obv. excluded) and only reason why people feel as annoyed about her behaviour as they do is that series presents itself to us in very Hikaru-centric narrative. Imagine how different story would feel if we went through all early eps from Minmay’s perspective. Hikaru would just come off as kind of awkward side character with crush on MC.

    Ranka inherits an incredible legacy of hate, from well-beyond the Macross franchise.

    If there’s one point that I think was serious stretch it would be Ranka getting any notable degree hate through Brera-Kira correction. I mean sure, SOME probably existed but there wasn’t much. It’s Brera who got bad Kira rap to some extent but based on what I’ve seen much less than would’ve been possible – and the old school anime fans who can’t stand SEED and who watched Frontier were probably overnumbered by SEED fangirls for whom such association was a plus.

    The first concert featured the 虹色・クマクマ number, and the audience is primarily composed of girls, enjoying their cute girly things.

    just a nitpick: while definetly true and reflects the form of Ranka’s popularity with (IRL) girl fans it’s pretty normalfaggy crowd of both men and women, even if we see more girls in the few audience closeups we get (dresses for women are more interesting in the first place). It’s what you’d expect from “songstress of hope” audience.

    While Zentraedi are otaku as always (lol)

    It makes it “okay” to like Ranka this way because all these pedophiles are already in jail. This is awesome and delicious. Macross spits on its fans in epic fashion.

    I still think this interpretation is pure madness but I’m not really interested in debating this so “ehh, whatever”

    In the resolution of the triangle in The Wings of Farewell, Ranka was dealt Minmay’s hand to play. It was the perfect ending for her. Why? When Minmay lost the Hikaru sweepstakes, she had no other recourse but rediscover her song, re-start her career. This fulfills the idol otaku narrative. The idol belongs to no single man. By remaining single, singing, and married to her being an idol, she belongs to her fans. This is also key to Minmay’s enduring popularity. She became Macross, and she belonged to all of us. Ranka is left with the same choice. She has her songs, and Macross Frontier is more than content to not fill out her future with love, because she will always be loved by those claim her.

    As much as I’d like to believe this I’m not buying it. If Ranka was the only idol character present then yes but she’s not. She’ll go down in pop culture/franchise history as one of Frontier’s beloved utahimes (and Seikan Hikou/Kira girl for non-watchers) but on her own she’ll always be the second wheel to the single character in franchise’s history who possibly enters a legendary tier to rival or even surpass Minmay, Sheryl. Overall people will talk of and love the idol duo as a pair or then they talk of and love Sheryl with liking or not liking “that greenhaired girl” too. People who’ll come to associate MacF first and foremost with Ranka like you seem to in second to last chapter will always be statistically insignificant minority.

    In the end Sheryl got all Ranka got and then much more. She’s just as much idol as Ranka became, from the beginning. She has just as many iconic songs and moments as utahime if not moreso. In fact numerically Sheryl has more songs than Ranka for sure and her singles beat Ranka’s in sales to differing degrees (they all sold like hot cakes so it’s all relative but most notably there’s a difference between 38,000 and 28,000 copies for Utahime singles, the December 2008 singles shipped only about 2000 units more for Sheryl which is closest the two have come financially). The film version also shifts in few respects decisive focus too telling this grand, fated love story of Sheryl and Alto in which she has no role to play at all, even as a rival or way to develop Alto’s character. She’s just a childhood friend with doomed from start love like they always have. The largest subcategory of fanfiction in form of doujinshi Sayonara has inspired is the reunion/marriage/whatever of Sheryl and Alto and the film’s greatest tragedy is encapsulated in moment of Vajra folding away set to Sheryl’s final AISHITEERUUU. It’s a Sheryl/Alto love story first of all for many viewers.

    Not to forget she never rode to sunset to disappear from eyes of humanity like SDFM cast did. Ranka isn’t as detached and in realm of viewer imagination as Minmay ended up in.

    Thus, Ranka in the live concerts is more assertive, and overall has the biggest personality in the cast. Mamegu’s on-stage Ranka performance is even far more effective and winsome, and is definitely far more preferable than any animated version than Ranka. She puts Alto, and everyone else, in their place. This is almost impossible to imagine in the anime. But it’s real, in the flesh, in the fleeting 3D space that is the opposite of why we watch Macross.

    Beyond basic disaagreement about “concert Ranka” being better than any other version any sort of “master of ceremonies” or leading role for Megumi in concerts is wishful thinking. Musically she does nothing more than May’n does and only reason she also acts bits is because she’s also Ranka’s seiyuu. She’s in no special position nor does she act as “master of ceremonies”.

    That is Kanno’s lot and by Kawamori’s admission the concerts are Kanno’s world which she rules visibly behind her piano when she’s not dancing or goofing around. She starts and ends the concerts with her brilliant piano playing she’s the one making sure cues are followed and who conducts the instrumental performances. Megumi is just a vocalist who also does some minor acting in the concerts, nothing more. She’s the “star” but not moreso than May’n and acting a few bits doesn’t change a thing for “Ranka” because Endo does it too.

    • 1. The haterade is left out of WRL at least. Even Crusader checks himself. This is out of respect for me because they know I run a good discussion.

      If you would put yourself as a mortal adversary that’s your call, but these are folks who would gladly make me their mortal adversary elsewhere, but do not do so here.

      If you’re talking about those 2 guys.

      3. Minbmay changes.

      Minmay was consistently attracted to Hikaru in DYRL? and was the one chasing him after their date… which MINMAY DID THE ASKING OUT. This is a fundamental change. Minmay in SDFM totally friendzoned Hikaru after they got rescued from the belly of the whale.

      THAT was a hater flag. Then she gets all flirty with the soldiers in front of Hikaru. Hater flag. Then she becomes all about Kaifun OVER NINE THOUSAND HATER FLAGS.

      Then Hikaru confesses and she doesn’t reciprocate, implying choice of Kaifun. HATER FLAG CITY.

      You got to be kidding me.

      Also, the reconstruction arc is the best part and what distinguishes SDFM from so many war anime. It’s truly excellent and a great differentiator.

      4. You don’t know Gundam fans who also happened to watch Macross Frontier.

      5. Normalfag males don’t go to girly concerts of lolimoetypes that wear garterbelts.

      6. The Zentraedi reading is sooo spot on.

      7. Sheryl will make lovely babies. She already shook the universe with her song. She’ll probably produce Ranka at some point while popping out squirming kids.

      Sheryl got the man, the family, the victory. Ranka will be the idol because that’s all she’s got. Sheryl can’t compete when she gets all fat from making kids.

      7. You don’t get what I’m saying about Mamegu and I no longer care to address it. Her Ranka during the concerts owns the whole thing. May’n is only Sheryl when she sings. Ranka has the skits. She owns those. May’n disappears. It’s obvious. That’s all I’ll say about that.

      • Xard says:

        1. Well for quick name check those two come to my mind first buut it’s more about AS guard in general. Names doesn’t really matter though, my point was that I’d hardly been as caustic if I hadn’t witnessed less than endearing behaviour by some participators in the past.

        3. Don’t get me wrong, I love the aftermath arc. It’s the best part of original series. However the “negative” characterizations truly came as a part of need to drag the triangle on to have some sort of drama for the new episodes. Hence the enormous difference between feel Hikaru gives in Love Drifts Away and first time skip episode. They had to have him go mentally backwards from that high point. Etc.

        The “rage flags” you mention are indeed something irritating and GRAAHHH for the audience but you misunderstood my point. I’m not saying she doesn’t do stuff that gyingets on viewers’s nerves because the audience sympathies presumably lie with Hikaru. THere’s nothing objectively wrong with what she does. Friendzoning a guy (unconsciously too, it’s not like Minmay was aware of his interest) is not a etc.

        It’s not a depicable thing to do in the least. With Kaifun she behaves like a teenage girl with huge crush but while annoying it really shouldn’t be something to hate character over.

        4. Well, this is true. I don’t think they ever were that visible group of watchers because I remember very few posts coming from such pov in general.

        5. When a cute idol with catchy songs hits it big and becomes mainstream they indeed do. Classic 80s idols (whose song and “persona” legacy Ranka directly inherited) at top of their game commanded very much normalfag attention. It’s when teenage girls and eventually even larger populace get behind you in addition to hardcore older men fans that idol has reached a high peak.

        7. “Sheryl got the man, the family, the victory”. Plus a career and artistic glory. You know just as well as I do Sheryl is not ending up as docile, domestic housewife. Legend of Galactic Fairy will go on just as much that of Cinderella as dshudistab as the final moment of her we get to witness showcases. She’s not retiring. What happens to cast after credits roll is up to audience and audience for sure wants their beloved Galactic Fairy to go on forever. What you suggest is equal to Basara turning into farmer or something and giving up his guitar.

        I’m not really angry about this, I’m very content and gratified with how stories of all characters played out in the end. But Ranka won’t ever end up as “the idol” of Frontier because even if it’s all she got because Sheryl’s still there and most importantly in minds of people – and Ranka is never topping Sheryl in popularity, even if people generally love both. Minmay had no competition. Ranka will do better than Mylene but just like the pinkhaired Jenius was overshadowed by Basara Ranka will be overshadowed by Sheryl in people’s memories.

        In short she’s eternal number two in all respects as far as we go by popular vote instead of personal preferences. As a idol too.

        As for concert thing, I do get what you’re saying. But there was what, one skit in Budokan live with Nakajima, Nakamura and Kamiya? That hardly counts as becoming “dominating”. The number of acted content is higher in Christmas live but most seiyuu get bigger roles there and it’s unfair to equate Sheryl with May’n only. Sheryl is also Aya Endo and for the total amount of “attention” or whatever you want to call it Sheryl gets you need to combine May’n and Endo. Who together as Sheryl stand up to Ranka. Megumi may indeed have biggest personality of the cast as a peformer, doing songs and skits, BUT we’re not talking about the real people behind the characters but characters…and for Sheryl’s in concert “personality” you need to combine May’n AND Endo.

        Thus concert Ranka hardly dominates over concert Sheryl.

        • 3. Things aren’t relative? They are! If I were a Vajra I would love how Ranka behaved when she left the human colony to talk to us without alerting them humans. Too bad she got caught. Objectively wrong? People only think this, but it’s really subjective.

          You’re pretty out of touch man.

          7. And where is Basara? Sheryl will get into the production side of things, just like Grace. Her brood with Alto will be galactic monsters.

          There are lots of skits in the different concerts leading up to the Budokan. Watch them DVD extras.

          • Xard says:

            3. No way in hell I’m jumping into a moral debate here , I’m just saying what she does is annoying for the viewer but not anything one would hate a real person for if they’re reasonable, decent human beings. It’s not like Minmay killed kittens, stole bread from starving people or anything in that vein. Only reason why people feel angry at Minmay friendzoning Hikaru is that audience sympathies lie with Hikaru. If the story was told from different perspective no one would really give a fuck because she did nothing wrong.

            Or is everyone who has ever turned somebody a monster now?

            7. Basara is presumably wandering the universe and playing his GITAH eternally like the free soul he is. He never returned to Macross 7 fleet after all and instead chose to continue his wanderings.

            Your idea of what happens with Sheryl after the credits have rolled are as valid as any other fans’s conception but it’s not how she goes down the collective (unconscious lol) imagination of anime watchers and you know it. Which in turn is what determines if she’ll be a idol of MacrossF just as much Ranka is: and answer to that is clear as day. The song will never die, after all.

            In truth both girls will be remembered fondly and with warmth as Frontier’s utahime duo – but going down as legendary idol of Macross is not Ranka’s exclusive slot or place she gets. She’ll always be the “number two”.

            If you’re referring to 2008 Budokan extras it’s true… but that doesn’t really change anything as there’s no indication number of skits vs songs in any other concert was higher. Anyway, this is pretty moot for me in any case because in live performances I see Megumi performing as Ranka (just like May’n is performing as Sheryl, both have interviews where they seem conscious of this approach), not Ranka herself. Of course one can hold a contrary opinion just as well but it’s another factor why I have hard time being that enthusiastic about “concert Ranka” when I just see Megumi. In any case whoever is on stage there’s no indication of Ranka/Megumi “leading” it for reasons already stated.

          • No, no, and no.

            Popular sentiment isn’t necessarily the best, as you would know. People hate Minmay not because they are good people and Minmay wasn’t. It isn’t that simple.

            People will of course remember Sheryl as awesome, because she is the most awesome anime woman ever. She is so awesome she transcends the franchise. Ranka on the other hand, is very much Macross Frontier.

            As for your Mamegu skepticism, I have nothing else to say except I am right about this. I can’t stop you from further filibustering because that is your destiny.

          • javru says:

            Ranka on the other hand, is very much Macross Frontier

            Now, kawamori and staff might try their best to make this possible (like giving megumi more time on stage consistently), along with some anime bloggers (not necessarily this blog), but you should know better, after 4 years of MacF, the place each idol will get in people’s heart.

            Doesn’t mean its impossible to make Ranka the franchise icon, just a long shot

          • By icon, I mean more like an icon on your desktop. That’s what Ranka will feel more like. When I (or hypothetical person) see an image of Sheryl, the range of impressions would be from “ooh awesome character,” “oooh hot anime girl,” etc etc, to “oh Macross.” When a Ranka image is seen, it’s “oh Macross Frontier,” then the other things.

          • Xard says:

            (derp replied to wrong post twice in a row and can’t delete and repost them)

            There really wasn’t any Megumi or Ranka favoritism, ever. Who got a proper album with fully fleshed songs and who got a maxisingle mostly filled with (cute and catchy I admit) CM ditties (natural due to plot of the film but still)? In concerts Megumi has more on stage time just because she needs to act Ranka parts too. There’s nothing more to it.

            I don’t mind a little backup here so thanks. :) Ranka may be my favourite but if I must be a Rankafag I at least want to be a honest one with minimal degree of wishful thinking.

        • Xard says:

          Popular sentiment isn’t necessarily the best, as you would know. People hate Minmay not because they are good people and Minmay wasn’t. It isn’t that simple.

          hey, no need to tell that for Ranka fan :D

          The red string was kind of lost here. What I wanted to say in the first place (before this shifted into “goodness” of Minmay’s actions in tv series) was that if it wasn’t for post-war arc people’s opinion of series Minmay, while negative to a degree overall, wouldn’t have been so harsh because most of her lowest actions and moments come as a result of writing required by behind scenes event of series getting extended. So some of the things that made DYRL Hikaru and Minmay in some respects more likeable are simply result of staying truer to their character originally envisioned (plan how they’d develop characters and drama in development phase when series was supposed to last only 26 episodes). Most notably Hikaru being less wishywashy and never doubting once becoming conscious of his feelings for Misa.

          People will of course remember Sheryl as awesome, because she is the most awesome anime woman ever. She is so awesome she transcends the franchise. Ranka on the other hand, is very much Macross Frontier.

          A fine opinion I have no problems with. I wonder if there’s some mutual misunderstanding here. All I wanted to say in the first place is that Ranka will NOT end up as “The Idol” like Minmay did while Sheryl ends up as a “heroine” like Misa. Even canonically this is not the case as credits roll reveal Sheryl wakes up and the two go on pursuing their careers and, uhh, the metaphorical shooting star. The scenario for dshudingstab is precisely Sheryl’s encore which Ranka joins as guest performer. Whether Alto has returned yet is unknown but whatever the case the work wants the two to carry on as the idols they have been for years (speaking of real world years).

          That Sheryl ends up marrying Alto doesn’t mean the audience is going to “give her up” (especially remembering MacrossF’s large number of female fans lol)anymore than Ranka who at this point may go down married-to-music(/planet) route or Mao route. We’ll never know unless the next Macross(es) make some semi-clear allusions to her life post-Sayonara in this sense.

          • Xard says:

            As for Megumi skepticism, I’m not trying to proclaim truths. I think it’s more matter of opinion than anything (on what else do you base “May’n is May’n” instead of “May’n is Sheryl” impression when both girls are performing songs “in character” to a degree?) and I was just offering reasons why for me the “concert Ranka” isn’t “the best” Ranka to me. Even the skitches are more “lol megumi/nakamura/kamiya” than “lol ranka/alto/michel” to me. I’m not saying my impression is “right” one but it’s the one I have.

          • There you go again with authorial intent and writer this and that again. These are far less important and eminently less provable as hypotheses. In any case DYRL? characterizations are rather stunted and less interesting. Never you mind, their likability is proportional to how far more boring they are relative to their TV series counterparts.

            Transcendence and representation points stand. I don’t really think you quite follow, but it’s okay.

          • Xard says:

            In any case DYRL? characterizations are rather stunted and less interesting. Never you mind, their likability is proportional to how far more boring they are relative to their TV series counterparts.

            Of course due to format differences the tv series have deeper look to offer on the characters in general. I think they did pretty good job keeping them interesting (though seeing DYRL always makes me glad Frontier got two films) and out of the main three it’s Misa who is the biggest victim IMO – her DYRL incarnation really doesn’t make it apparent why she is such a fan favourite. Minmay on the other hand I find equally interesting (but more impressive than SDFM Minmay) to her series incarnation and she fares the best out of the cast. Hikaru is not far from his series’s “interestingness” and his crucial character arc moving from far away Minmay idol worshipping to “real” romance with Hayase stays the same. It’s the format restrictions that make him a bit duller.

            Hikaru’s late wishywashyness had absolutely nothing to do with what makes him interesting protagonist to me and thus he being more decisive in DYRL ttook nothing away. Minmay’s DYRL persona is more winsome and thus automatically interesting and her character arc is really good, combining well good elements of SWI and post-war arc and adding new things. Misa suffers from lack of truly impressive moments or developments and she stays too close to her series persona, making her a stunted, consensed version of her series self. She’s still good but in her case I definetly agree she’s lost a great deal of what makes her interesting. On the positive side the dated writing she suffered from in the Mars episode is nowhere to be seen and more understated portrayal of her traumatic loss was a plus IMO.

            I love the post-war arc and all but the writing needed to reinstate the love triangle was always a necessary sacrifice to make for it and not interesting in itself. If one looks at Love Drifts Away I think it’s easy to see that all they had to script in was a love confession between hIkari and misa in it and call it a day. Series could’ve been finished there and then. Unfortunately the only continuous drama left at this point was the love triangle so they had to make Hikaru devolve back as a person to make it all work. He’s simply returning to his earlier, weaker and less mature self to a degree.

            post-war Minmay’s drama and development is much more convincing and interestingly written. Still, it’s not her failures or shortcomings per se that are interesting to me and DYRL Minmay more than meets

            So it’s not that I prefer “likability” over “interestingness” (then again doesn’t one find likable character automatically interesting?): I just find DYRL and SDFM Minmays both interesting in different ways – addition of winsome awesome on DYRL and removal of Kaifun clusterfuck make me like DYRL take more.

            There’s nothing interesting about Hikaru’s devolution that always felt somewhat forced to me. So while SDFM Hikaru is stronger when two are judged on their own (then again DYRL is supposed to be watched after series IMO) it has nothing to do with his late wishywashyness but with many other things that couldn’t be inserted in film story no matter what.

          • So you like DYRL Characterizations… me too, but relative to SDFM they’re weaker and it’s not DYRL’s fault. It’s the format. Again, there’s nothing to defend. My blog’s name is We Remember Love for fucking crying the fuck out loud LOL

            Your theory about the forced writing is bunk. Or, if it’s forced, it led to great success, great differentiator, and a great adult treatment of childish characters.

            So you’ve never been in a love triangle? If you have, you’ll get how easy it is to become stupid, callous, selfish, and MALE. Not a justification of Hikaru, but rather a point in how remarkable he is in his unremarkableness — behaving pretty much like how a young, female-loving man would.

            Unlike say, Alto… who isn’t really into girls. Girls gotta woo him and to ridiculous degrees at that.

            BEFORE YOU LAUNCH ANOTHER FILIBUSTER DISAGREEING WITH EVERY SENTENCE, I really think there’s nothing to argue about here (not in the context of you’re wrong and I’m right — though I am right) but rather, nothing I say should be taken as law. This should not change how you feel about the shows you love. How you love the show is your business and I support that even if I disagree.

            Look at silly Ranka the commenter. I indulge his delusion even as I flat out disagree with its ludicrousness. Why? Because me and him, we remember love.

          • Xard says:

            So you like DYRL Characterizations… me too, but relative to SDFM they’re weaker and it’s not DYRL’s fault. It’s the format. Again, there’s nothing to defend. My blog’s name is We Remember Love for fucking crying the fuck out loud LOL

            That’s what I think so why do you assume I’m being defensive, “filibustering” or whatever most of the time? No diss man but constant misattribution of motivations and such is pretty tiring. I just wanted to offer my own take on the series and film incarnations of the cast and in process offer a counterargument to to me preferring likability over “interestingness” (which I also feel is a false dischonomy to a degree because one would be pretty much neutral to uninteresting character while interesting characters give birth to some kind of emotional reaction, positive or negative) you seemed to imply with this: “Never you mind, their likability is proportional to how far more boring they are relative to their TV series counterparts.”

            Certainly I was not trying to “defend” the DYRL incarnations in comparison to tv ver. or anything like that.

            Well, calling something slightly forced is hardly that severe criticism and the post-war arc in itself is superb so I really don’t mind it that much. So I’m done with that.

            As for love triangle lol yeah, I figure most people don’t get to experience one with him/herself in the center and same goes for me. Your average two person relationships have been enough of a hassle, idea of being in centre of love trianngle is exhausting and scary idea. Closest I’ve been to one is when I lost a girlfriend to a musician due to long distance and them being more on same wave lenght with regards to their shared musical passion. But I don’t think that really counts as Macross protagonist experience.

        • Xard says:

          There really wasn’t any Megumi or Ranka favoritism, ever. Who got a proper album with fully fleshed songs and who got a maxisingle mostly filled with (cute and catchy I admit) CM ditties (natural due to plot of the film but still)? In concerts Megumi has more on stage time just because she needs to act Ranka parts too. There’s nothing more to it.

          I don’t mind a little backup here so thanks. :) Ranka may be my favourite but if I must be a Rankafag I at least want to be a honest one with minimal degree of wishful thinking.

  17. Blackholeheart says:

    Man I love these sort of posts largely because I got no dog in the fight, I personally have a very slight preference for the ingenue over the diva but personal ain’t the same as important and the narrative makes abundantly clear Sheryl is far more emotionally developed than Ranka(and perhaps Alto). When Frontier first started airing I hoped we might wind up with a canon main character declared three way(since polygamy isn’t unheard of in the franchise) but Ranka wasn’t allowed the mature as a person like Minmay was allowed to, so no dice. Most of the hate Minmay gets is due to the flaws she overcame to grow up. That’s why I love Minmay so much, she acts like an actual teenage girl and not a fetishised 2-d caricature. I’m wandering off point(if I had one) here. Anyway thumbs on the post and discussion, yes ghost, I’m thoroughly entertained.

  18. Reid says:

    Just dropping in a quick line before getting back to Chirstmas with the family:

    Merry Christmas, everyone! Nowhere on the internet are gathered a better group of folks than here on WRL, and I’d like to thank all of you for your great attitudes and intelligent, thoughtful and sometimes hilarious contributions to every discussion, regardless of what it’s about. You all have truly made my last year, which was one of a lot of discovery and exploration as far as anime goes, even more meaningful and enjoyable. I truly appreciate all of it. Best wishes to all of you!

    A special shout-out to Ghostlightning for hosting such a wonderful blog and for being a good all-around guy. You’re the man. Thanks for all the advice, explanations, and, above all, the commitment it no doubt takes to put on the best anime blog in the whole…blogosphere (?). I pray the next year will bring nothing but happiness, success, health and fulfillment to you and your family. Thanks for everything (and I promise I’ll get you that sample blog post soon…work is killing me, but after tomorrow I’ll be caught up).

    Everyone have a blessed day and enjoy spending it with your families and friends! Talk to ya’ll later – time for some BANANA PUDDING!

    • Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    • Matt Wells says:

      Aw come on man. Why’d you have to post something like this today? I already teared up this morning watching Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, then meeting up with my parents, and now THIS… strong Matthew… be strong…

      Love all you guys. Thanks for all the time and effort Ghostlightning, best wishes to you and your family. Merry Christmas to you too Reid, I hope things go great with your folks. And now on to Macross episode 35 and The Big O episode 11: exploding Santa’s and evil Christmas Tree Kaijus ahoy!

      • Xard says:

        I’m just starting 0080 myself with some pals

      • Happy Christmas to you too!

      • Reid says:

        Dude, Matty, you’re the man, too. I didn’t know you were gonna be around today or I would have sent you a shout-out as well. Be good, man, and I hope you enjoyed your holiday with your family. Things went pretty well over here without my grandpa this year, so I do hope that things went well with your family as well. We just got done down here in sunny Florida (it was seriously 70 degrees F outside, though it was overcast and gross out) and so now me and my sister are gonna watch some movies. Lol she’s making me watch Harry Potter 7 (mmm Emma Watson ^.^) so I’m gonna make her watch Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. I think I win here. Now that I’m on google +, let’s talk sometime!

  19. gelic-84 says:

    Another reason might be the most hated fans and trolls here and any other forum are rankafags?

    • Xard says:

      >implying most Ranka fans are BleachOD’s ilk
      >implying any other forum = AS

    • gelic-84 says:

      Not really.

      Both of your examples are undeniable accurate, but by forums I mean almost all anime sites (eng/spa/chn/) where MacF topics exist.

      People with the worst reputations are bound to be rankafans/fags/whatevar…. even tough I’ll probably never know if they were like that before or after MacF aired

      • Xard says:

        Having a minority opinion in retarded MacF butthurt wars pretty much guarantees getting a “worst reputation” in eyes of majority which most of the time isn’t any better.

  20. Vendredi says:

    I do agree with your idea in regards to Ranka being sort of identified with a tradition or a direction that most mecha fans (being a significant part of the Macross viewership) don’t want Macross, or perhaps even anime in general to go in.

    Actually, I think Ranka could really use some sort of Flashback Frontier as a coda to her experience. I wasn’t exactly a big Minmay fan either but seeing Flashback 2012 and watching her sing “Angel’s Paint” pretty much turned my opinion 180 degrees on her. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for tragedy.

    On an unrelated note, haven’t been able to comment in a rather timely fashion on your posts recently (actually posting from the Philippines right now on a family holiday) but I’m still reading (or will be, at least).

  21. Pterobat says:

    Well, I do dislike Ranka–her saccharine sweetness was just laid on too thick, making her too obvious a “type” rather than a character who at least *seemed* to be an organic product. The films toned this down, somehow creating the desired illusion. I also enjoyed her magical girl concert sequence.

    None of this is the same as any deeper investment in Ranka, love or hate. I don’t have any great Feelings of Deepness, any desire to go into the field And di

    • Yeah, different characters for different desires. Not everyone will have your fascination for Exedol, hehe. And as hilarious it is to imagine, there may just be such a creature as a Kaifun fan. Not sure if I want to meet that person.

      • Pterobat says:

        For the record, I dislike Kaifun a lot, and far more than Ranka. Somehow, Ranka being a too obvious “type” rather than a character who seems like an organic creation is a lesser sin than Kaifun, for whom being a jackass is part of his actual, developed characterization.

  22. Pterobat says:

    Well, I do dislike Ranka–her saccharine sweetness was just laid on too thick, making her too obvious a “type” rather than a character who at least *seemed* to be an organic product. The films toned this down, somehow creating the desired illusion. I also enjoyed her magical girl concert sequence.

    None of this is the same as any deeper investment in Ranka, love or hate. I don’t have any great Feelings of Deepness, any desire to go into the field And discuss her regularly.

    I also started out hating Minmay in the Robotech dub. I mostly only stopped because I grew to love the Zentradi, and RT’s portrayal of such was credible. How could I hate the girl who brought joy to most of my favorite characters? :P Perhaps I still could, but from that point, dubbed Minmay became inoffensive.

    It is because of this that I don’t consider the Robotech dub to have lost the focus on love and racial union. I remain extremely confused by the assertion Robotech made it all about fighting and nothing else

    I don’t believe Macross is cagey or canny enough to mock its fans, especially in as acidic a way as you suggest. In fact, one of the chief traits of Macross has always been, to me, it’s utter lack of irony. Sure, painful realism, sometimes, but not the suggestion we should be laughing at what first seems earnest.

    The Zentradi, for example: I’ve always seen them as staightforward jokes, in that they aren’t designed to slip the knife in the audience’s ribs instead of tickle them.

    In SDFM, this is evident in the fact that despite Minmay clearly being their sexual awakening, they never seem slimy or sleazy, in fact are used as part of the larger narrative theme, and are swiftly able to love real people. Just as Minmay is a sanitized portrayal of an idol singer’s life, these are sanitized fanboys.

    Later Macross imitates this, but only the “silly fanboy” part, and just for straightforward laughs/homage. It’s just a derivative callback, a poor man’s version of the original male Zentradi arc. With this, it does indeed make all XY Zentradi seem to have an otaku nature, but that is just because few want to do anything new with Zentradi. It’s not necessarily A Statement.

    So no, I don’t see Zentradi as an “otaku” group above all else, or their displays of fanboyism a caustic satire.

    • I don’t believe Macross is cagey or canny enough to mock its fans, especially in as acidic a way as you suggest. In fact, one of the chief traits of Macross has always been, to me, it’s utter lack of irony. Sure, painful realism, sometimes, but not the suggestion we should be laughing at what first seems earnest.

      Hehehe, it’s not mutually exclusive.

      You’re right about the sanitized overt portrayal though. Because Macross loves them too. Just as I will troll and insult and play jokes at my friends and family, I love them too and is perhaps why I love trolling and making jokes at their expense. I wouldn’t do that to my enemies or people I disapprove of. It’ll feel empty.

      Anecdote:

      Recently a bunch of fanboys and fangirls prevailed upon me to watch Idolm@ster, acting as if it was some kind of epic cultural event. It’s funny how they actually thought I’d be impressed with the idols in that show, having grown up with Minmay and having built temples for Sheryl and Ranka… after facing hate from Macross/Mecha fans for acting like idols are fundamental to Macross (lots of idiot fans everywhere).

      I was going to post a fanfiction-like scenario (Robotech style, my main inspiration as the best piece of fanfic ever legitimized) wherein Minmay shows up in the era of Ranka (Sheryl’s still asleep) not a day older than 19 after being cryo-frozen for decades. Ranka the Queen of Space organizes a comeback concert for her, and calls out an audition for backup performers.

      This is where the Idolm@ster characters come in… and Ranka will critique them ruthlessly, showcasing her impeccable mastery of the idol business, as well as her own considerable talent, and Sheryl-esque bitchiness.

      I realize this would just piss off everyone while not fulfilling me in a significant enough way. Too much work for too much antagonism and general misery. Idolm@ster is a pretty bad show but I don’t have to rub that into the faces of its fans (lots of them kimoi otaku). Had I done this post, it would go beyond the funny haha Zentraedi portrayal as kimoi otaku.

  23. Darthtabby says:

    I favored Ranka the first few times I watched Frontier (Sheryl, like most of my favorite anime heroines, was a character that grew on me over time), but I was never much of an apologist for her. Partly that’s because at that time I didn’t get involved in many discussions of the show with people I didn’t already know from elsewhere. However I also felt that a lot of the criticisms of her character, while way overblown, were actually pretty legit. From what I could see most of the anti-Ranka sentiment among Frontier fans seemed rooted in her actions late in the series, not the legacy she inherited (caveat: Frontier was my gateway series for the franchise). Also, it seems to me that a lot of the people who have a serious grudge against Ranka for being a moe character dislike the series in general.

    This post does make me a bit self conscious about the fact that I’m a bit of a Sheryl apologist however. :lol: I really dislike it when people think that she intended to backstab Ranka in Episode 11.

    • Xard says:

      This post does make me a bit self conscious about the fact that I’m a bit of a Sheryl apologist however. :lol: I really dislike it when people think that she intended to backstab Ranka in Episode 11.

      But she totally did! :D

      It wasn’t all that carefully planned and something caused by her Asukalike traits (rather than genuine malice) her “pre-illness” self possessed. It’s not that big deal and forgivable but she did what she did.

      • Darthtabby says:

        My familiarity with NGE is pretty limited (I’ve seen each Rebuilt movie once) so I’m not that sure what you’re referring to when you say Sheryl has “Asukalike” traits.

        I think a lot of people assume from the order of the scenes in Episode 11 that Sheryl heard about Ranka’s gift, then decided she wanted him to be with her on his birthday instead and came up with a way to steal him away. However I’m pretty sure that she actually came up with the idea while she was still flaming mad from her argument with Grace about whether she was well enough to go to Gallia IV or not. She acts like someone who just realised something at the end of that scene. And since she was really angry about the argument with Grace right before that, I don’t think she was thinking of Ranka at all when she came up with the idea. So yes, I think she was motivated by a desire to give Alto an awesome gift (notice she gets VERY excited when she makes her offer to him later in the episode) and not by any desire to screw over Ranka, who she had previously demonstrated considerable fondness for.

    • Yeah newfags will be insulated from the legacy shit. But remember, Macross Frontier doesn’t only belong to newfags. It’s a 25th Anniversary event!

      Backstab? How?

      All I remember is that she totally pwnd Ranka in the Alto gift arms race. Ranka made cookies and wanted to give a ticket to her own concert — which are perfectly fine gifts, but Sheryl took Alto off-colony for super flying date time (that was all for naught since Ranka took over). Is this backstabbing? This is awesome — even MORE awesome if malicious.

  24. R1CK_D0M says:

    I basically flew into a rage at the Jesus Yamato section of this post. Mostly because I didn’t know about the sengoku basara part (never bothered to watch it), I was like WHAAAAAT FURUYA TOHRU?! INJUSTICE. (just like you said later www).

    and then a paragraph later “yamato plays brera” and then it all clicked, This is the exact reason why the second Brera first got facetime in the tv series, when he didn’t even have any lines, I was like “Yep, hate that guy’s guts” and it’s because I have a deep, gene-locked hatred for everything Yamato, and probably everything Seed/Seed destiny.

    • YESSSS

      People can underestimate the level of hate that’s possible because they’re too mired into their own persecution complexes for their pet characters. The hate in Gundam is far, far, FAR more epic.

      Enough to drive nice, epic, and venerable bloggers like Ngee Khiong into quitting.

      Fuck Yamato.

      • Reid says:

        Ngee Khiong was, before he quit, my favorite blog up until I found WRL. I still read his model-centric blog.

      • Xard says:

        Well damn, I’ve never followed Gundam blogging beyond posts on this site made about titles I’ve already seen but now I got curious. What on Earth is RAEG great enough (and I’m well aware of Gundam fandom’s reputation for hate, rage, butthurt and trolling) to make bloggers quit?

        • The End

          A saddening and maddening read. Gundam fans are fucking assholes.

          Some context, if you think the schism between Robotech and Macross fans are something… this is nothing. If you think Macross oldfags hating on everything since Macross 7 is something… this is nothing to the always and everywhere hatred within the Gundam fandom. Universal Century oldfags vs. Alternative Universe newfags are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much history of hate in Gundam, also because there’s so much shitty Gundam anime that fanboys love and defend to death. And my god Gundam fanboys can be stupid and ignorant like no other.

          See my latest post on Gundam AGE… trolling is the only salve for the masochism a “catholic” Gundam fan can apply to his wounds.

          By “catholic” I mean I love everything (even as I hate on them). Similarly, I am a catholic Macross fan in that I also have so much love for Robotech, despite and perhaps because of all its horrors.

          • Xard says:

            Oh wow. Not much new info re: Gundam factions and their derping – some of which I’ve seen – but as I don’t own that many model kits all Gunpla drama was new stuff for me. Idiotic.

            Ngee Khiong seems like a wonderful human being by the way: which just makes it worse. Guy was too good for the cesspit that is internet.

          • You’ll facepalm even more re Gunpla when you see how this April Fools’ post here in WRL turned out. Should I see this asshole on the street here, I will punch his face. You’ll be able to tell who he is in the comments.

            Ngee Khiong is indeed a super nice guy.

            Gunpla faggotry is obviously informed by anime faggotry, which is a problem too… as there are people who enjoy the building and design aspects far more than they are interested in the shows. So in Macross terms, it would be someone that would say, prefer the VF-27 Lucifer without caring for context. This in turn may piss off the Brera haters who hate on the VF-27 with no appreciation of how AWESOME the design is, despite the unfortunate color scheme.

            The Genealogy of Hate for Gundam is far more complicated, but here are some highlights (in broadcast order):

            Mobile Suit Gundam (0079): Elitists assert watching the TV series makes them superior to those who only watched the movie trilogy. [The TV series is terrible, which is partly why the excellent movie trilogy was made. I hate these fucking elitist morons.]

            Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam: Apologists claim 2nd half is as good as Z Gundam because there was a shift to GRIMDARK. [These people are the worst. Z Gundam is awesome which is why ZZ Gundam is the worst thing ever. These people are delusional retards.]

            Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team: Real-type elitists use this show as a standard by which to hate on Tomino-made Gundam, due to 08th’s grounded depiction of warfare and complete lack of Newtype magic. Fanboys who hate Newtypes like this show the most. [Assholes. Newtype magic is fundamental to Gundam just as songs are fundamental to Macross.]

            Mobile Suit Gundam Char’s Counterattack: Char haters use this to hate on Char due to his ultimate failures as a human being, which includes his legendary pedophilia/lolicon behavior. [Char haters fail. Char is the greatest anime character ever made AND YES, he sure likes them young. This is a source of great shame among moralfag elitists who love Char, and the glee of Char haters. You can nitpick and defend lolicon/pedophilia all you want. I don't really care. I love Char, with all his failures... making him the most interesting character in all anime.]

            Mobile Suit Victory Gundam: Elitists who LOVE GRIMDARK love this show. [This show is utter shit, but is lauded by many as one of the greatest examples of Gundam. It is shit.]

            Mobile Fighter G Gundam: This show is brilliant. It turned Gundam on its head and made it a super robot show. There is little hate for it among English speakers, but director Imagawa Yasuhiro used to live in terror going home at night from threats of being murdered by some crazed Gundam fan. Macross 7 often gets compared to ZZ Gundam (which is stupid), but Macross 7’s true analogue is G Gundam.

            Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Nostalgiafags in the US love this fucking terrible show. I just finished it finally. Ugh. Never again. Also this show is widely hated for popularizing the bishonen-type emofag Gundam pilot and turning loose a shitstorm of yaoi fangirls into the fandom. You thought Ranka was hated? Relena had it worse (unjustified too): for her speechifying pacifism (men), then for her being paired with Heero Yuy (raeghaet from yaoi fangirls who shipped him with everyone else but). This is a sad, sad, fucking horrible thing.

            Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Gateway Gundam for many fans. Super popular. Had multitudes of yaoi fangirls coming along for the ride. Was scripted by the director’s wife (who is a yaoi fangirl… or at least the sequel). This is some really shitty show. I hate this shit. I hate just about everything about it. It is the vanguard of my trolling the fandom.

            Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny: Take all the shittiness from ALL THE ABOVE, it’s not as shitty as this show. The worst experience I’ve had about it is coming across a Shinn Asuka fag, defending him as you defend Ranka. Shinn Asuka is indefensible. Take Alto, make him 9001 times angrier, 9001 times more shouty, 9001 times more bitter, 9001 times more entitled, and add to him an unimaginable amount of SUCK, then you have the lead character of GSD… then watch as KIRA YAMATO steals the whole show, literally, takes it away from Shinn, for massive fail.

            I only mention a few characters from the SEED franchise, but really all the characters except for a very small few, suck in terrible ways.

            Also, for brevity’s sake I’ve kept the discussion of hate based on the characters. The action, animation, and mecha aspects are another full-length dissertation. This applies to all Gundam shows.

            Mobile Suit Gundam 00: I actually LOVED the first season. Then the second season turned it to shit. Then the movie grabbed me by the hair at the back of my head and shoved my face into the pile of shit. Just thinking about it makes me angry.

            For the hate examples… you will see that I’ve written quite a bit about these shows and you’ll find them in the WRL archives. Very few white knights of your caliber go here, and few exist anyway. The cesspool of the AU Gundam fandom… you can find in facebook. You’ll find lots of member profiles named Athrun x Cagali. Seriously.

            Fanboys of these series rarely do comment because the tone, vitriol, and dedicated skill towards hatred for these shows I bring to bear is just too overwhelming. I really bring on the heat on these shows. It’s because I care. Then you’ll see how much love I have for Ranka… perhaps.

          • Xard says:

            Looks like I’ve had pretty good overview of the picture then though it came as a surprise people hate on CCA like that, I thought it was more like Zeta and original Gundam films when it comes to people liking it (odfags at least). I really can’t wait to see just how much about Char being a lolicon is really there and how much of it is just fanon bs though lol.

            I guess people really generally all like war in pocket because there was no mention of it…

            <blockquoteYou thought Ranka was hated? Relena had it worse (unjustified too): for her speechifying pacifism (men), then for her being paired with Heero Yuy (raeghaet from yaoi fangirls who shipped him with everyone else but).

            I guess it’s telling of the degree of fangirl butthurt that these two are the two Wing characters whose names I’ve known for a long long time and precisely due to this context. I’d also got impression something similar went down in SEED with some damn girl ruining perfect pairing.

            Man I’m so pining for Blue Rose ending for Tiger and Bunny, partly for FANGIRL TEARS

            The worst experience I’ve had about it is coming across a Shinn Asuka fag, defending him as you defend Ranka. Shinn Asuka is indefensible. Take Alto, make him 9001 times angrier, 9001 times more shouty, 9001 times more bitter, 9001 times more entitled, and add to him an unimaginable amount of SUCK, then you have the lead character of GSD…

            LOL yeah. I’ve seen some SEED and thought it was utter shit so I’ve stayed away since. I don’t know which all AU Gundams I’m checking (beyond Turn A) and I wonder if I’m suicidal enough to get through Destiny just for sake of completion. Which reminds me: I do have read your Gundam SEED posts which were pretty hilarious, I’ve avoided more ones of shows I’m sure I’ll come to watch (CCA for example, it’s just that I haven’t got any Gundam watched for well over a month because I’m stuck in ZZ’s first half. Anime jyanai, it’s torture)

            FWIW I probably come off as a hater often here but I don’t really hate Alto. As much as the guy frustrates me occasionally he’s also single handely the most interesting mecha protagonist since Shinji to me and his personality isn’t that bad.

            Fanboys of these series rarely do comment because the tone, vitriol, and dedicated skill towards hatred for these shows I bring to bear is just too overwhelming. I really bring on the heat on these shows. It’s because I care. Then you’ll see how much love I have for Ranka… perhaps.

            The ZZ Gundam and SEED posts at the very least are utterly hilarious… and I’ve never thought you hate Ranka, geez. :P

          • Xard says:

            though really now how can you call yourself not a hater when you put up THAT picture as a header lol, it must be one of the worst pieces of official art (those damn retard eyes) there is :P

  25. Chan says:

    Wow good post, however the stuff you mention wasn’t a cause but an effect. People didn’t start pointing out these things until after Ranka started disappointing them, by generally being immature, irresponsible, and making bad decisions, to which the other character would save her from. This is interesting because its something that not even Minmei really did. But Brera on the other hand had all the hatred from the moment he came into the series with the “I’m better than you attitude” but people didn’t really apply that to Ranka until she really started spending more time with him, didn’t tell him off when he was being a douche, and finally after she went with him to the vajra nest, an act that many considered to be running away, especially after she never sought to tell anyone she knew and trusted (like Ozma) what she knew.
    ____
    Ranka is an interesting case as she more of a meta underdog, rather than an in universe one. Everything about her character basically set the viewers of MF against her, as she was a representation of everything they hated. But in universe itself, Ranka isn’t an underdog, she was very privileged and lucked out in very many areas, especially compared to the two characters who supported her the most; Sheryl and Alto. Think about it, she lives a modest life with her adopted brother, she has many good friends who care about her and would put themselves in danger to save her, she lucked out with the genes enabling her to control giant bugs and is the only person in the series able to understand them, she’s cute, she has a good singing voice, goes to a posh school, and is very very lucky. Really the only thing she has against her is her past, but for everything else she really lucked out, as we never really see her working hard, we never really see her struggle. That is why I’ve never really rooted for her as an underdog, because frankly she isn’t one, she isn’t even a Cinderella really because she doesn’t really have any circumstantial thing getting in her way to fame, and she lived comfortably before and was treated well everyone. It was more of a case of a lucky girl who already had a lot gaining even more.

    Actually her not being an underdog in the tv series proper is the one of the reasons why she cannot for all intense and purposes win the love triangle, because then it would be a case of a girl who already has everything getting even more, through luck, and plot armor. and honestly Ranka is also too safe of a character to really make it believable, and her role was really more of an imouto than anything else.
    ____
    I’m one of those people who didn’t really feel sorry for her in episodes 19-20 and the reason why was because the situation evolved from Ranka (who wasn’t forced or manipulated by anyone) making a decision that she was too immature to upkeep (that is become the songstress of hope and helping the military against their fight against the vajra), resulting not only in her inability to keep a cool head, when the situation called for it, but also her overall disregard for the title and what it really entailed. While we watching can say that she’s just 16 and they were wrong to ask her to take up such a responsibility we have to consider the universe where people who are 17 are considered legal adults. Where the general young populace itself seems to be very mature. Due to that we can’t very well say that they’re wrong to ask a 16 year old to take up the responsibility considering that there are kids her age in the military, taking up the same responsibility. Really President Glace had no way of knowing that Ranka was more immature than the average 16 year old in their world.
    _____

    With the movies however, worked in a different way, it removed a lot of the things that Ranka had going for her in the series. And instead replaced them with a Ranka who was more true to her age, yet still able to appeal to the Kimoi loli moe crowd, but this time in such a way that it didn’t alienate everyone else. Not making her the center of the story and also by having her NOT make any overly stupid decisions or keeping valuable information to herself. In fact the only who have a problem with that character are the ones who completely and utterly hated tv series Ranka.

    • Xard says:

      Wow good post, however the stuff you mention wasn’t a cause but an effect. People didn’t start pointing out these things until after Ranka started disappointing them, by generally being immature, irresponsible, and making bad decisions, to which the other character would save her from.

      While true to extent in that the more vocal and common another-shit-minmay-character raving came later the negative Minmay associations and expectations (which certainly shape how people see characters) were there from the beginning based on early discussions I’ve read retrospectively. So some of this was there from very beginning and fears were shared by larger number of viewers (if Ranka screwed up or did something unpleasant it was “oh no she’s going to be a minmay” which further strenghtened the negative impression on whatever that had happened).

      As for Brera’s attitude I would’ve probably minded it more if it wasn’t rather aimed at Alto who was quite the prissy egoistical fellow to begin with and if he had not been able to back it up – and he was. Brera was in every respect superior to Alto so when he goes “*I* will protect the girl” Alto couldn’t do much but gnash his teeth lol. Which was frustrating due to naturally higher degree of sympathy and identification with protagonist but I always felt Brera was also very right in his assertations. Which was pretty funny.

      Since this is still no area for it all I’m going to say about episode 21’s “running away” sillyness is that it’s one of the best exemplifications of what Hideaki Anno said about fan “understanding” I’ve ever personally witnessed within anime fandom: “A work is also a fan’s thing, from when it is released. I think that they are free to react how they choose. However, I have recognized that there are many of those who judge people with insufficient sensitivity.”

      Everything about her character basically set the viewers of MF against her, as she was a representation of everything they hated.

      I found Ranka the only really compelling and lovable main character all the way ’till second cour when Sheryl became great (after being likable starting from ep5). Alto… was a dense douche for a long, long time :P

      I do realize you were being facetious making such a exaggarated claim but really now…

      As for “underdogness”

      Think about it, she lives a modest life with her adopted brother, she has many good friends who care about her and would put themselves in danger to save her, she lucked out with the genes enabling her to control giant bugs and is the only person in the series able to understand them, she’s cute, she has a good singing voice, goes to a posh school, and is very very lucky. Really the only thing she has against her is her past, but for everything else she really lucked out, as we never really see her working hard, we never really see her struggle.

      Ozma was a loving parent but *hardly* ideal one (isn’t “Ozma spoiled Ranka” one of the favoured trains of thought among haters? ;) ): the siscon captain was controlling, overcautious and all too controllive of her little sister. Putting her into a honest and proper ojousama school while certainly done out of love and care was also not in line with Ranka’s dreams (something of which Ozma wasn’t supportive of AT ALL).

      As for having “many good friends” there’s never any indication she has others than Nanase before series’s start (ones from the ojousama school feel highly unfeasible due to heavy focus on academics at expense of social activities etc. and Ranka clearly didn’t feel like fitting in there, it’s actually a bit surprising she was allowed to work part-time by school because generally such “tiger mom” schools in Japan are strict about these things) and in films she only had Alto: rounding the total number of friends at start to “one”.

      Vajra “control” had next to nothing do with her genes and it’s gross oversimplification to say she’s only one able to “understand” them (as opposed to telepathical connection) but that has no effect on her initial underdogness one way or another. Her ability is the originator cause of all the tragedies in the series and she hardly gains anything from it. Had Ranshe never got ill she would’ve probably lived out a happy, fullfilling life on Gallia IV (even Grace got radicalized with her plans only after the Vajra attack on colony).

      Ranka being underdog was always within the context of love triangle and career. Her biggest and the most difficult to surpass obstacle was her own personality in both followed closely by having Sheryl as competition. In terms of career she eventually gets a lucky break in Zero film and blossoms, thus ending her underdogness in comparison to Sheryl (who due to collapsing becomes the underdog now).

      In love triangle however? Ranka had everything against her. She couldn’t compete against Sheryl in terms of physique at all (and she’s aware of it), she couldn’t possibly compete when it comes to having Alto avalaible (Sheryl’s more aggressive personality leads her to dragging him into dates, working on a film with her etc.) and it’s clear for whom the guy makes any real sacrifices and shy, awkward personality pretty much torpedoes one to one fight with Sheryl on any occasion that doesn’t have singing (like ep 15’s scene had). Add on this her love for Sheryl and feelings of being inadequate (see how difficult it becomes for her to pursue him at all after starting to suspect they’re dating) as well as Alto seeing her as a little sister and nothing more than that there’s no way in hell Ranka was not the underdog.

      Before she collapsed Sheryl seemingly had it all over her. As for not seeing Ranka work hard or whatever is a matter of viewer perception and opinion and I always got a very different impression. She struggles much through episodes 4-10 with her career. If having to handle out handkerchiefs in swimsuit on street corner and singing carrot songs isn’t humiliating and hard working I don’t know what would count in the biz as Ranka goes through all due paying commonly portrayed in such “rise to stars” stories from overcoming herself (ep 5) to doing D-tier jobs before finally making the break.

      Re: kids being in military: this has nothing to do with Ranka but only underage pilot in either army or SMS we see is Luka and he has his own special reasons for being there, being LAI heir and all. All others are at least 17

      And instead replaced them with a Ranka who was more true to her age, yet still able to appeal to the Kimoi loli moe crowd, but this time in such a way that it didn’t alienate everyone else.

      (this is no personal defence, saying this so GL can’t once again jump at me and blame me about “taking it personal” or “filibustering” or god knows what)

      Numerically speaking the most common subgroup of Ranka fans I’ve seen are actually teenage girls (of course they’re overvisible in english speaking fandom to a degree but I digress) and both she and Sheryl have been very popular cosplay choices in Japan and in gaijin lands from the start. Ranka has been loved by the numerous fan artists of pixiv from 2008 onwards and kimo wota alone don’t get the CD and merchandise sales she (or Sheryl) have got on their own. People I know who’ve watched Frontier and liked Ranka have not been with exception of one guy been real “kimoi otakus” or part of the “loli moe crowd” (many have little interest in “loli moe”). Many are very much “normalfags” variety of fans who generally liked the show and both idols.

      (Funny anecdote: over time I’ve stumbled on blogs of four MacrossF and Ranka fans who are very much cute teenage girls: they’re idols themselves, IIRC three of them out of AKB48. Latest was (found out about it through 2ch) AKB48’s popular “otaku girl” Mayuyu cosplaying as Ranka in her Houkago Overflow outfit on December 16th. In other words she’s also liked by people who are very much *targets* of “kimoi otaku” too :D )

      The favourite character of two great guys who very much are lolimoe “kimo otas” is Klan Klan, not Ranka. One of them likes both Sheryl and Ranka while the other never really warmed for Sheryl (mainly due to her personality) as far as I can tell. Based on the amount of doujinshi and such she got Klan Klan was probably always more popular with the oh-so-dreadful-and-yucky “lolicon” moe crowd, especially since she never did anything to drew their ire on her (like ranka did) and arguably her moe points were even more blatant. Plus she was even lolier in her other form

      It’s common to overgeneralize fandoms but saying Ranka’s popularity came exclusively from “kimoi otas” is like saying K-ON’s popularity is explained through hardcore “kimoi otakus”. Which is not even a half-truth seen in the most favourable light.

      • Chan says:

        woah dude calm down. I know you’re Ranka’s white knight but seriously you really got to learn how to calm down in areas concerning this character.

        “While true to extent in that the more vocal and common another-shit-minmay-character raving came later the negative Minmay associations and expectations (which certainly shape how people see characters) were there from the beginning based on early discussions I’ve read retrospectively. So some of this was there from very beginning and fears were shared by larger number of viewers (if Ranka screwed up or did something unpleasant it was “oh no she’s going to be a minmay” which further strenghtened the negative impression on whatever that had happened). ”

        That depends on where you go, where I went people really didn’t start drawing comparisons until the latter episodes and more so after the series had already ended. Before hand people just pointed out the similarities, but that was it. no one hated her for it until they already had a reason to hate her. Then they used it to FURTHER justify their hatred

        “As for Brera’s attitude I would’ve probably minded it more if it wasn’t rather aimed at Alto who was quite the prissy egoistical fellow to begin with and if he had not been able to back it up – and he was. Brera was in every respect superior to Alto so when he goes “*I* will protect the girl” Alto couldn’t do much but gnash his teeth lol. Which was frustrating due to naturally higher degree of sympathy and identification with protagonist but I always felt Brera was also very right in his assertations. Which was pretty funny.”

        Again Alto was much more relatable than Brera ever was, because Brera was just untouchable, and really didn’t have much to his own personality or problems, and worse didn’t develop as a character. He was never shown as having any struggles that he went through, he was just the perfect prince on the proverbial white horse and that pissed off a lot of people. Worse yet he didn’t have a dream, but wasn’t afraid to belittle those that did. Also his general unmitigated antagonism to SMS wasn’t helping matters. Really the guy tried to kill Klan even though she didn’t do anything to him.

        Viewers are not mind readers and should never be considered to be such, whenever a person makes a media they must be clear of their intentions, otherwise people will think differently. In this case its never the viewers misinterpret the situation it is that the creator’s failed to get his/her own point across. A creator whining about how viewers are misinterpreting his work is really unsightly as it says that not only can he not get his point across, but he’s also passing the blame on the viewers. The way how a creator views their own work or wishes it to be interpreted is never the be all end all. This is why the trope unfortunate implications exists. Even a creator cannot is not all seeing, this is why there is always a third party that edits their work.

        Also I was making a reference about ghostlightning’s points, seriously you really need to learn how pick and choose your fights. Its not really exaggerated, she represented the worst parts of Minmei (whom many fans hated), she was linked to Brera (whom many despised from the get-go due to his relation to Kaifun, and Jesus Yamato), and she was loli-moe at a time where people where people were especially becoming sick of it, and that was without the story getting the way. The loli-moe aspect of her character alone was the reason why people dropped the series.

        “Ozma was a loving parent but *hardly* ideal one (isn’t “Ozma spoiled Ranka” one of the favoured trains of thought among haters? ;) ): the siscon captain was controlling, overcautious and all too controllive of her little sister. Putting her into a honest and proper ojousama school while certainly done out of love and care was also not in line with Ranka’s dreams (something of which Ozma wasn’t supportive of AT ALL)…”

        See the thing about the movie is that it puts into question just how much of an effect Ozma’s rearing had on Ranka, because movie Ozma is frankly worse than tv series Ozma and yet movie Ranka is much more mature than her frankly immature tv series counterpart. Also having a non-pushy protective parental figure who actually cares about you, and works their butt off to provide you with a comfortable lifestyle, is hardly a reason to pity anyone.

        Ranka has many good friends over the course of the tv series. She has Sheryl, Alto, Michael, Nanase, and Luca, all whom care about her and would never betray her, which is more than anyone has in a lifetime, Movie Ranka has the addition of Klan to that mix instead of Nanase. Ranka is always surrounded with people who care about her, so again in this area there is nothing to feel sorry for, without completely and utterly ignoring the existence of the other characters, and making stuff up, since there is NOTHING to imply that she’s having trouble at her posh school at all. Even worse movie Ranka attends the same posh school and yet she is never shown having any problems (in both versions Ranka was only suspended from school not expelled), so yeah you’re drawing at straws. Ozma also became supportive of Ranka’s dream once she proved that she was serious about it, or are you forgetting the scene where Elmo asks Ozma permission to sign up Ranka, and Ozma’s reaction to it? Because Ozma was okay with it, and ended up bitting his tongue and letting her go through with it, so long as Elmo looks after her, which really is something that any parent would request.

        She did luck out, after all Ranka is the only one capable of “understanding” the strange alien bugs known as the vajra in the universe. She is the only one with strange bug magic able to cure V-type virus. Which is actually a catch 22- in terms of its bad effects on her life. As while her connection with the vajra did ultimately destroy the 117th research fleet, it is also the reason why she was able to meet, Alto and Sheryl, it is why she was able to bypass the red tape and surge in popularity and become a household name, it also came with a cool manservant who listened to her every whim, really the only problems that arose from it after the destruction of the 117th fleet was due to Ranka’s own immaturity, which was different in the movie. By the way a baby gets their immune system from their mother, and her mother being infected is what allowed her to control the vajra, so yeah.

        ” Ranka being underdog was always within the context of love triangle and career. Her biggest and the most difficult to surpass obstacle was her own personality in both followed closely by having Sheryl as competition. In terms of career she eventually gets a lucky break in Zero film and blossoms, thus ending her underdogness in comparison to Sheryl (who due to collapsing becomes the underdog now)…”

        Again in terms of career not really, everyone starts out small. Very few stars actually start out big, Justin Bieber himself, used to sing on a street corner, and uploaded videos of himself singing on You Tube, it wasn’t until his videos got popular that he got signed; Taylor Swift had to perform in every karaoke contests, festivals,etc. just to get discovered. Lady Gaga also didn’t start off big either she was rejected by a lot of record companies, and she studied the industry and performed in small bars to gain a fan following until she was discovered. Macross Frontier was May’n true debut as before hand she used to just sing opening and closing songs for various anime, but she never actually had her own studio album until after Macross. Ditto for the supercell singers, who would make covers for various other songs before being picked up by supercell. I also live in New York and every time I walk out in the city I see people either performing for money to get enough to eat, as well as those performing in hopes will pick them up. Ranka isn’t performing for her dinner, in fact compared to singers I’ve seen in real life she isn’t even struggling, and on top of that isn’t it not uncommon for aspiring Japanese pop idols to do the same things Ranka did, so why should I feel sorry for her, why should I feel sorry for the young girl working to achieve her dream? Though Ranka’s rise and claim to fame was very quick and shockingly painless. Even worse her big break was due to luck, and the misfortune of others, as she was lucky that the Hydra attacked the car containing Mao’s intended actress for the movie, injuring the actress and assuring that she couldn’t make the shoot. Ranka was lucky she picked that specific moment to go out singing on the rocks as it was the time that the director decided to go out on his break. I think it stands as interesting that movie Ranka wasn’t shown as needing that lucky break (due to the misfortune of others) and had far more patience than tv series Ranka who was discouraged very easily, and its really hard for me to feel sorry for someone who gains from another’s suffering. This just becomes even worse later on as she becomes a government sponsored singer. Really if she was supposed to be an underdog then story didn’t treat her as one.

        In terms of the love triangle her personality and her treatment of Alto made it come across as more of a crush than love, more like a little sister having a crush on her older sister’s boyfriend. Plus I could tell a relationship between her and Alto wouldn’t have worked out, as she was far too needy for Alto, who is married to his job and more interested in his Valkyrie than he is in girls ( so physical appearance had nothing to do with it). An underdog at least has a chance of winning, but Ranka stood no chance in this love triangle. Also it didn’t really help that her attraction to Alto was more superficial than Sheryl’s so yeah.

        “Re: kids being in military: this has nothing to do with Ranka but only underage pilot in either army or SMS we see is Luka and he has his own special reasons for being there, being LAI heir and all. All others are at least 17″

        Yes it does. Context is everything, and you need consider context the world that Ranka is living in before you made a judgement on it. And in the world of MF it is not uncommon for kids Ranka’s age to join the military, basically showing that the maturity for it is there (Alto is 16 at the beginning of the series and he is asked to join the military–remember that).

        I never once denied that Klan Klan appealed to the same crowd but frankly Klan isn’t the one I see all the onii-chan X-rated doujinshi of.

        • karice says:

          Please excuse me from poking my nose in, but I just wanted to comment on two things, one for this thread of comments specifically, and one more general one that has come up several times in the comments for this post.

          Viewers are not mind readers and should never be considered to be such, whenever a person makes a media they must be clear of their intentions, otherwise people will think differently. In this case its never the viewers misinterpret the situation it is that the creator’s failed to get his/her own point across. A creator whining about how viewers are misinterpreting his work is really unsightly as it says that not only can he not get his point across, but he’s also passing the blame on the viewers. The way how a creator views their own work or wishes it to be interpreted is never the be all end all. This is why the trope unfortunate implications exists. Even a creator cannot is not all seeing, this is why there is always a third party that edits their work.

          Whilst I understand what you are saying here, I’d just like to make two points. Firstly, I wouldn’t say that Hideaki Anno (or Kawamori, or most other creators) is ‘whining about how viewers are misinterpreting his work’. I haven’t read anything that Anno has said personally (having not really gotten back into Evangelion since I actually learnt Japanese), but with regards to Macross (Frontier), I know from interviews I’ve read that Kawamori and Yoshino acknowledge the different interpretations that fans make. But they also point out other interpretations that one can make, based not only on information implied in the work itself, but also on the context of the author/creators and on the personal experiences and other context that viewers bring to a work. When I studied English lit – and at mere high school level – my teachers always emphasised the importance of both the context of the author and the context of the audience. I don’t think it is fair for us viewers to say that authorial context doesn’t matter in our interpretations of their works, not unless they intended it purely as a postmodern text.

          My second point follows on from that. Different readers/viewers will bring different contexts to a text, and are thus likely to interpret the same text in different ways. What is important, IMHO, is for each person to be able to acknowledge that their interpretation is not the only possible one, even if they can find many people who agree with them, and to be open-minded about other interpretations. Rather than getting defensive and saying ‘if most people didn’t see it then the creator failed in getting his point across’. If even one person saw his point, then how can it not be conveyed in the text at all?

          =====

          As for the other, more general one…

          I’ve been wondering for a while: why do so many people forget that there was someone working behind the scenes to try and prevent Ranka from making a break in the TV series? IIRC, Elmo mentions in one of the episodes (9, I’m thinking) that someone took down the website/page that he made to advertise Ranka. Admittedly, this is something I remember only when I rewatched the series, but the implication was that Leon was doing all he could to keep Ranka from ‘making it’, so-to-speak.

          • Chan says:

            Exactly the audience is not the be all end all in terms of interpretation but neither is the original creator. After all the creator is the one trying to tell us the story. But at times a creator really doesn’t give forth the implications needed to draw the conclusion he/she wants us to. Does this make the viewers inherently wrong in their different interpretation? No. Does this make the creator’s interpretation the be all end all? Heck no.
            ===========
            Yeah but really how effective was it? And for that matter how long did it last? The only thing that it did was stop her music from being uploaded on the net, that’s it. Because the episode after he says it, is the movie shoot happens. Really the time in which Elmo meets Ranka and the time in which the movie shoot happens is just barely a few months, Ranka rises way too fast to be considered an underdog.

          • karice says:

            I don’t recall anyone actually saying that either audience or creator interpretation is the ‘be all end all’ here. You say, however, that “at times the creator really doesn’t give forth the implications needed to draw the conclusion he/she wants us to”. Well, what if the implications are more obvious to the target audience – using Macross as an example, a Japanese audience? In my experience, the people who tend to miss what the creators intended (at least for Macross Frontier), and then get defensive about ‘giving credit to audience interpretation over creator interpretation’ have generally been people who have little contact with Japan outside of the media they consume…

            ———

            It wasn’t just the internet thing. The TV gig in episode 8 was also cancelled. I wonder why…

            But I wasn’t trying to say anything about whether she’s an underdog or not (I don’t really consider her one, at least not in terms of career). My point was that she did struggle, and with few complaints, at least for a short time. Ranka was given a meteoric rise to fame in both series and films (courtesy of ‘The Bird Human’ movie and the efforts she made to save the Frontier fleet, alongside Sheryl, respectively), and in the series, that happened despite Leon’s manipulation. After that, the challenges she faced were different from that of artistes struggling to make it big, so I really don’t see the point of focusing on that comparison.

          • Xard says:

            yeah karice, you got it right. :)

            Both extreme authorism and dead of the author are too extreme and bad ideas to me (given how little regard I have for post-structuralist and continental philosophy roughly from 60s onwards in general disagreeing fundamentally about DotA isn’t all that surprising either) and as usual the truth lies somewhere in-between.

            What however is not right in my eyes is trying to smuggle in “audience interpretation” card as the last trump card to win debates as happens all too often. It’s as if many modern viewers can’t handle the idea about being genuinely mistaken or misinterprepting things. Being logically consistent with Chan’s standard here would only lead to ludicruous sillyness in multitude because one is then justified at labeling pretty much anything as failure of author to make his point clear and thus shoving whatever viewer interpretation down people’s throats. I guess all those rock records were satanic after all as it never was quite clear for large number of people they weren’t! Star Wars supports fascism, all those damn commies made kept making anti-american garbage etc.

            This would also make all even slightly challenging works of art incomprehensible failures… and a lot simpler things too as there’s always the retard in the audience who don’t get what’s going on if it was being narrated at the same time.

            and of course Manson’s understanding of The Beatles’s The White Album was as valid as its creators or more common ones. Fab Four weren’t clear enough about their meanings after all.

            re: Hideaki Anno this has no direct connection with quote (which comes from 2004 interview) but he was very much into having viewers reach their own conclusions and interpretations about Eva but even he drew the limits to keep things sane. Most notable experience of Anno (rarely) invoking “voice of God” was when fan theories about Misato shooting Kaji spread like a wildfire. Shocked Anno very firmly denied this and for Director’s Cut for episode 21 he added few shots and re-edited the shift from Kaji’s death scene to Misato returning home in next scene because the cause of confusion was bunch of overtly fanwanking fans basing their theory on Anno’s editing technique he had used on some other occasions to imply doer of something discussed previously. It was distinctly plausible mistake to make but still a mistake and not found on too solid proof.

            With regards to MacrossF there’s even less grounds for such misinterpretations generally speaking. It’s one thing to be unsure of Ranka’s motivation when episode 21 unfolds because the episode is fundamentally unstabilized in a way to make the scene in some respects, well, come out from nowhere (the series’s only notable use of ellipse is found from this episode, not surprisingly). But to still stick to retarded interpretations after episodes 23,24 and 25 roll by requires some dedicated, seriously opinionated impressions and cognitive faculties getting blinded by emotions. Also some definitive lack of common sense and utter ignorance to how one of the central symbols the series had used got utilized in the ep 21 final scene (and oh boy do I now “can’t into symbols” is all too common here, even when so straightforward).

            In the end that out of all people I’ve got to watch Frontier only ONE finished the series with the kind of “interpretation” typical of Ranka-antis and following pathos and fierce dislike for character. That would be something akin 1 to 19 ratio. Perhaps in such situation it would be reasonable to concede a possibility of simply making (a fairly reasonable, too, as series really pushes Alto’s viewpoint hard) a honest mistake, especially when all official extra material also supports non-anti interpretation.

            But hey, I guess it was not clear enough and it’s authors fault after all.

            Since it’s clearly against wishes of GL and the nature of post I’m not opening that can of worms here in terms of actually starting argument about it. For that I’d need time, screencaps and the like anyway and obviously combox is ill-fitting for such writing.

            But if you have event people are evenly split on to A and B interpretations (or in this case they actually lean towards A), A would fit the common sense and how works in genre are written much better AND official material supports A over B it’s in my eyes quite reasonable to consider possibility that B might’ve actually made a misinterpretation.

            For not-Ranka’s-actions-example: a severe, stubborn insistence on Alto’s emasculation issues being non-present in the series despite being the crux since start and mainly a dimension through which to demonstrate his main problem, lack of clear identity and fear this causes about being unable to separate acting and “real me”.

            This was much easier to miss than it was to misinterprept Ranka’s actions generally and as such more valid

          • Xard says:

            gahh the post cut short: This was much easier to miss than it was to misinterprept Ranka’s actions generally and as such more valid ground for using the “unclarity” argument but under careful analysis and attention it’s pretty obvious too.

            Anyway, reading the post it sounds in parts ruder than intended, mainly “Also some definitive lack of common sense ” – to explain this when my then-living-in-Japan friend (and old school Macross fan who watched the original show live way back in 80s, awesome dude all around) watched Macross Frontier he actually did bring up the Anti-Ranka take on her actions in series’s last part in the best argued form I’d personally seen. We debated for a while before he suddenly ceded that of course what he said was wrong from the start quite obviously, followed by comments how even if there had been no reasons to think otherwise (and there was, he admitted without trouble) from the beginning common sense should’ve taken care of such line of thought because you DON’T develop a lead heroine like that in a show of MF’s style. What had been point of the whole exercise had been to showcase in practise how easy it was to make the misjudgement if one wasn’t very carefully paying attention etc. – something I knew but it was nonetheless valuable experience.

            He felt the show had been similarly a bit too unclear on the earring and fold crystal thing for another example and felt films with their further clarity were improvements (though he found show overall great too)

            In short that’s what I ment with “lack of common sense” – didn’t mean to imply antis are literally mad or anything like that.

          • Chan says:

            @Karice
            I was speaking about Hideaki Anno’s response to both Japanese and American fans calling the last episode of Evangelion “confusing”. But even with Macross Frontier people didn’t interpret the situation the same as Kawamori intended did they? Heck the voice actors had a different interpretation for the series than Kawamori did as well didn’t they? As did fans didn’t they? and those were the people that Macross was aimed at. So I’m kinda missing your point here.
            =====

            It isn’t a question of whether or not Ranka struggled, as I’ve been saying since my first post, HER PERIOD OF STRUGGLE IS FAR TOO SHORT, SHE HAS FAR TOO MUCH GOING FOR HER, AND SHE LUCKS OUT FAR TOO QUICKLY FOR ME TO CONSIDER HER AN UNDERDOG. I’ve never denied that Ranka ever did struggle (however briefly), but what I’m denying is the claim that her brief struggle makes her an underdog to pity.

          • Underdogs aren’t necessarily pitied and I certainly wouldn’t pity any version of Ranka.

          • Xard says:

            The quote had nothing to do with Eva’s legendary finale. It was more general comment on the often simpleminded and unkeen understanding viewers have of characters etc.

            For some recent examples I saw a lot of this go down in Penguindrum discussion, especially early on.

            Then we have all the hate threads Haruka got for “murdering” producer (though those were probably well over half just trolling) in Idolmaster’s second last episode because producer ended up in major accident due to saving Haruka which just goes to show the degree of derp and fail as many viewers ignore using their brain entirely in favour of whatever half-baked emotional reaction the overall situation drew from them.

            Feeling pity (or not) also doesn’t have anything to do with the underdog question. It’s fine and reasonable opinion whatever one takes it but such feelings do nothing to change the asymetrical relationship between Ranka and Sheryl.

          • karice says:

            @Chan

            But even with Macross Frontier people didn’t interpret the situation the same as Kawamori intended did they? Heck the voice actors had a different interpretation for the series than Kawamori did as well didn’t they? As did fans didn’t they? and those were the people that Macross was aimed at. So I’m kinda missing your point here.

            Firstly, what different interpretations did the voice actors have, may I ask? In all of the interviews I’ve read, they certainly haven’t deviated that far from what Kawamori and Yoshino have said, particularly with regards to the characters…

            Secondly, you’ll have to read what I said again, and keep in mind the bolded part. What I said allows for different interpretations even from Japanese fans.

            In my experience, the people who tend to miss what the creators intended (at least for Macross Frontier), and then get defensive about ‘giving credit to audience interpretation over creator interpretation’ have generally been people who have little contact with Japan outside of the media they consume…

            There are some who go ‘well, I guess that’s possible too, but I’d rather not change what my interpretation was before based on extra information’, but there are also others who say/imply things along the lines of ‘I (and many other people) didn’t see it, so the creators failed in what they did, (even if you say you saw it, especially since you probably only ‘saw’ it after reading an interview or something)’. And in my experience, the latter have tended to be people, as I noted above, ‘who have little contact with Japan outside of the media they consume’. Maybe that’s an overgeneralisation, but it’s been true for me so far. Admittedly, my sample size is small, but I haven’t met anyone with e.g. living experience in Japan who’s complained about giving credence to creator interpretation, or rather, intention.

            As Xard already noted:

            What however is not right in my eyes is trying to smuggle in “audience interpretation” card as the last trump card to win debates as happens all too often.

            —–

            I’m cool with that. That was a general comment meant for GL and a few other commentators above as well, so I probably shouldn’t have added it to that reply in the first place then, but I really didn’t want to make two separate comments.

            —–

            And Xard, thanks for sharing what happened with your friend. It’s pretty much what happened with me as well, though, as you already know, I went anti-Ranka for even less sensible reasons…

          • I keep repeating this, but it’s okay.

            Every interpretation is valid. The creators’ is no more valid than mine. It doesn’t mean mine is just as interesting. It seldom will be (except to some readers of this blog). The interpretations that are generally interesting are those of the creators, and those that have gained traction among large audience groups. These are the ones that are worth the most consideration — academically speaking.

            Seeing things later on, or after repeated viewings isn’t any more valid than a realization that comes after reading an interpretation. If you take something from what I wrote here as a realization… does it make your experience less valid?

            How are my readings of Cowboy Bebop even possible without reams of extra information?

            The important thing here, is that I don’t privilege any interpretation necessarily. The only necessary interpretation will be my own since I must take this position as a blog post writer. It is part of the rhetoric of things. Thus I must take a decisive tone in my writing and responses. But otherwise, my disagreement isn’t necessarily borne out of a conclusion that your takes are invalid and mine is.

            Among valid interpretations, which is the best? That is the context within which I throw mine in.

            P.S. of course there are extremely wrong interpretations… or, at least those that add no value to the discussion. e.g. Ranka is a seahorse and Sheryl is a turtle… everything we see is just part of the samsara of the Vajra… etc. etc.

            … or, “factual” things like… Ozma pilots a VW Beetle, not a Variable Fighter.

          • karice says:

            sorry, felt that I should have added something on to the end of…

            …giving credence to creator interpretation, or rather, intention, as revealed in interviews or novels/media/drama cds/commentaries etc etc.

          • karice says:

            Good grief…you guys post too quickly and too much for me to keep up…

            @GL
            Based on your reply, I’m guessing you thought my “That was a general comment meant for GL and a few other commentators above as well” was about the discussion about author vs. audience interpretation? I was actually referring to the other comment I’d originally made, about the obstacles put in Ranka’s way, which a few people in earlier comments seemed to be ignoring/glossing over.

            I won’t comment on the relative validity of audience interpretation vs. creator interpretation, having not really considered it that important to my enjoyment of anime or any other media. (Admittedly, with Macross Frontier, picking up on what Kawamori intended has done wonders for how much I actually enjoy it across all its mediums, but I digress.) However, my comment on my experience with people being defensive about privileging the audience’s over the creator’s wasn’t in reference to you, but rather to some other posters I’ve encountered on AS and on your blog – though here, I’ve mostly been reading rather than interacting with them. (You do make comments about ‘there you go again with authorial intent’, as you did in another comment thread above, but I haven’t really read many of them properly, so I’ll take your word on it that you don’t privilege one over the other – except for your own, of course, and I’m cool with your reason for doing that. ^^)

          • Chan says:

            @ Xard

            Be careful not to imply things that people never say, as I never once claimed that the author is dead, I merely pointed out that at times different interpretations are drawn because of an uncl arity in the work itself, at which point it is the creator’s fault for being unclear.

            But with you, your the extreme believer in the author is always right. And that we the viewers are always wrong, because we’re not the original creator. Even if you want to tell me that’s not true, from your post itself is saying otherwise. If that’s the case then should we the viewers just shut down our minds when watching a series, because we’ll always be wrong anyway. So what’s the point of even trying to come up with an interpretation for ourselves? Using Hideaki Anno’s interview to prove your point, when the guy is the poster child for causing confusion due to not making things clear, the scene with Misato for instance lead many to believe she shot Kaji, because it was never really made clear that she didn’t, hence why he changed the scene. That’s what I mean when I say failure of the creator to make the intention clear. IF A CREATOR IS UNCLEAR ABOUT SOMETHING THEN WE CANNOT BLAME THE AUDIENCE FOR DRAWING THE DIFFERENT CONCLUSION THAN INTENDED BY THE CREATOR.

            Also your grouping reactionary views from random events in series, from retrospective ones, while people will say things as a reactionary response, they won’t share those opinions when it comes time to interpret the series retrospectively.

            When a series first starts up no one and I mean no one really has an understanding of the characters, since there really isn’t anything to base our opinions on. But that won’t stop people from trying to interpret the work then, because we’re the viewers its what we do.
            ========
            @Karice
            I was talking about in regards to Alto. Didn’t Kawamori and Yoshino each have a different view on him?

            But that isn’t to say that the opinions of the western audience is wrong, just because they aren’t Japanese. Or that western audience won’t come to the same conclusions as the Japanese audience. An example of the both, for a certain series, that I refuse to name many members of the western audience pointed out that the main character didn’t make any sense as a character as he frequently behaved in a way that was unsupported by his history, and also that his character did not grow(develop) at all throughout the series. It turns out we were right, as the producer later on admitted that it was her idea to create the character and also that he didn’t make sense and she (and the series writers) knew it when she was working on the series, and she also admitted that he never developed at all. And the reason why she said that was because the Japanese interviewer pointed it out.

            At the same time it is wrong to hang off of the creator’s every word and treat it like its your own personal bible, concerning the series. One must think for their own self.

          • I was the one who threw in Barthes’s Death of the Author. But I’ve explained myself pretty clear that this means that the author’s opinion is no less valid than any other interpretation… not to say that it is invalid. And yes, I agree that Xard worships the word of God, in word and deed. He can deny it, but whatever.

          • karice says:

            @Chan
            On what you said to Xard, twice now, about it being ‘the creator’s fault’ if different interpretations are drawn…

            (1) sometimes, creators do that on purpose, to give audiences the liberty of taking what they want from it, based on what the latter chooses to focus on within the text. But they also occasionally point out different ways to look at the same situation, again based on what is in the text. They aren’t saying – and nor am I – that the audience’s interpretations are wrong – they just want us to consider other possible interpretations based on contexts that we may not have thought about before.

            (2) As such, I think that the audience also has some responsibility in seeking to understand the context of the creators/authors, so as to better understand/appreciate the work they have created.

            On Anno…yeah, well, I completely agree that the last two episodes of the original Eva TV series were completely confusing. But I haven’t read any of Anno’s interviews, so I can’t comment on him at all. (Though I do agree that if he changed the scene to make it more obvious that it wasn’t Misato that shot Kaji, then he did make a miscalculation in the original storyboarding of Kaji’s death.)

            —–

            I was talking about in regards to Alto. Didn’t Kawamori and Yoshino each have a different view on him?

            They did? Where was that? Please don’t tell me it comes from the Yoshino interview in the fanbook, because…well…there was a pretty significant problem with the translation.

            But that isn’t to say that the opinions of the western audience is wrong, just because they aren’t Japanese. Or that western audience won’t come to the same conclusions as the Japanese audience. *snip*.

            I’m not saying that the opinions of the western audience are necessarily wrong, or that they won’t come to the same conclusions as Japanese audiences. Please read what I said again – I’m talking about a very specific group of people, the people who miss what creators intended, which other people do pick up on even without interviews / extra information, and then turn around and say that the creators failed because they and others who agree with them didn’t see it in the work. I’ve never met someone who lives / has lived in Japan, or who knows Japanese well enough to watch anime/dramas etc raw, who’s ever complained about failure of creator intent when other people have seen it.

            The example you raised falls completely outside what I’m talking about, wouldn’t you agree?

            At the same time it is wrong to hang off of the creator’s every word and treat it like its your own personal bible, concerning the series. One must think for their own self.

            I have also been accused of this, and as I told the accuser, I do think for myself. To take Macross Frontier as an example, the interpretation of Alto’s character that I currently hold has come mostly from thinking about hints and flagposts left by other posters on AS, who didn’t spell things out at all (unlike some other posters there). Some of the comments made by the creators and seiyuu back them up, and I started seeing all the little clues during the rewatch. Perhaps I have been heavily influenced by what other people have said, but after reading a lot of different interpretations, I have chosen what I feel works best for me. The alternative would have been me completely dismissing Frontier, which I originally did because I was just so irritated with supposed non-resolution of the TV series. It was only the first film that made me pick it up again and reassess my original interpretations, and now, I’m keen to rewatch it again from time to time, to try and follow a different path through the jungle / coral reef to see what new clues I can pick out. So…am I deluding myself in thinking that I’ve been pretty open-minded about different possible interpretations that a work can have?

          • karice says:

            Sorry, I totally screwed up that formatting. m(_ _ )m

          • Chan says:

            @Karice
            at least you know how to do it I suck at it.

            (1) But that’s not what I’m talking about, and has nothing to do with what I’m saying, and that isn’t what Xard is implying. I know that many a time the creators WANT for viewers to interpret their works as they see fit and don’t mind the different interpretations.

            (2) Except many a times of the audience doesn’t care to seek it out, and should not be expected to, as most of them are in fact not fans but casual watchers. Casual watchers are not fans, once they finish a series they move on from it, therefore cannot be expected to keep track or seek out further information on a series. Therefore once they come up with their own interpretation they will not have the interest to seek out the author’s word, especially if the creator’s views are not readily available, in which case it is even more unreasonable to expect them to seek out such information. An audience is only responsibility to a series is watching it. However, it is the creator’s responsibility to put in as much implication as they can so that the viewers can draw in intended conclusions, which might just be moot, if it was the creator’s intention to do so in the first place.

            The Anno example was basically what I was saying, many fans came to a conclusion that he did not want them to, due an unclarity in his work (which he later on fixed), unclarities like that are not uncommon in fictional works, and in such cases the viewers are not at fault for not seeing or interpreting things the way how the creator wanted them to. Actually on a while I’m against the very notion of pinning the blame on the viewers for not seeing things the way that the creator’s wanted them to. Which is what you and Xard are essentially doing.
            ===========
            So then there was no interview where Kawamori said that Alto was being too much of a gentleman and Yoshino saying he was a jerk?

            But whose to say that the people who picked up on it had any sort of contact with a person who is Japanese? And in any case why bring up the subject of nationality at all if it ultimately doesn’t matter, when one is interpreting a work? One can easily be in the target audience and still not draw the conclusion the creator intended us to. So just being in the audience has nothing to do with it.

            And again what you’re saying has nothing to do with what I’m was implying, case in point I never said what I said what I said until Xard brought up Hideaki Anno, whose response whom I remember brushed off people’s confusion on NGE.

            I’m saying is a general statement, its not just directed at you, it is wrong to treat the creator’s words as a bible, especially if they never intended for you to do it. Its even worse to try and stomp on the opinions of others because they don’t match up with your own.

          • karice says:

            @Chan

            (1) But that’s not what I’m talking about, and has nothing to do with what I’m saying, and that isn’t what Xard is implying. I know that many a time the creators WANT for viewers to interpret their works as they see fit and don’t mind the different interpretations.

            Really? I think it does. Xard’s originally comment where you first introduced the ‘creator’s fault for different interpretations’ argument was about the fan interpretation that ‘Ranka was running away’ and other extreme negative interpretations of it. Xard was, as he has said, using Anno’s comment about insufficient sensitivity from fans, as a general comment about fans, which I have found to be true about Frontier, particularly with regards to Alto and Ranka. For the latter, there are clues in the TV series as to her reasons for her actions, which I personally only realised on my second watch. Most people on AS keep telling me that they don’t see those clues. That’s fine with me – though I’ll keep hoping they’ll see them one day.

            This attitude of mine is probably linked to something Kawamori has said about how he creates a work – he makes it so that there are many layers, which people will unpeel in different orders and to different extents. He does hope that everyone will reach for the deeper understandings, but that’s up to the viewer and the efforts they put in, and I think he understands and accepts that. As do I – at least, that’s what I try to do.

            (2) Except many a times of the audience doesn’t care to seek it out, and should not be expected to, as most of them are in fact not fans but casual watchers. Casual watchers are not fans, once they finish a series they move on from it, therefore cannot be expected to keep track or seek out further information on a series. Therefore once they come up with their own interpretation they will not have the interest to seek out the author’s word, especially if the creator’s views are not readily available, in which case it is even more unreasonable to expect them to seek out such information. An audience is only responsibility to a series is watching it. However, it is the creator’s responsibility to put in as much implication as they can so that the viewers can draw in intended conclusions, which might just be moot, if it was the creator’s intention to do so in the first place.

            For casual viewers, those who move on from a series once they finish it, sure. That’s how I originally was with Frontier, and that’s how I am with most other series. So I completely agree with you with regards to ‘casual viewers’. E.g. I’ve come across blog entries expressing disappointment and confusion with Sayonara no Tsubasa, based on the inadequate first subs that were released. I think it’s quite unfortunate that their only experience with the film will be with those subs, but they probably want to move on, and I’m not going to stop them.

            (NB: I’m leaving the example of these blog readers here – they have nothing to do with the rest of my comment.)

            But most of the people still commenting on Frontier today aren’t exactly casual fans of Frontier, are they? In that case, I argue that they have an obligation to be a bit more informed about their opinions, or at least, to be more open-minded about different interpretations than some people in the fandom have been.

            And I’m not just talking about finding out what the creators intended, but also target audience context. I’ve had too many discussions with people where they start arguing ‘but we can’t be expected to know that because we’re not Japanese / haven’t had that much contact with Japan’. Well, if that’s the case, then rather than being defensive about it, why not take it as something one has learnt? Though that’s an issue I have with certain fans – not with you personally…I don’t think you’re one of the people who’s argued along those lines with me on AS, right?

            Actually on a while I’m against the very notion of pinning the blame on the viewers for not seeing things the way that the creator’s wanted them to. Which is what you and Xard are essentially doing.

            I did say that I agree with you on the Kaji death scene, didn’t I? Where I don’t agree with you is the rigidness of interpretations of characters in Frontier by people who are no longer casual fans. For reasons noted above.

            Please note, also, that you and Xard were using the Anno example for different things. He was applying it to Frontier, whereas you used it to recall something about Eva. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t know anything about Anno’s approach and reactions to Eva, so I can’t comment any further on it than I already have.

            ===========

            So then there was no interview where Kawamori said that Alto was being too much of a gentleman and Yoshino saying he was a jerk?

            Not that I know of. Perhaps there is, and I just haven’t read it yet (I still haven’t had the time to read all the interviews I’ve got). Or it didn’t quite register. The only place I remember hearing about Kawamori’s ‘gentleman’ line was in the episode 20 commentary, where Nakumura brought it up and all three seiyuu sort of laid into Kawamori for it. Most of them do think that series!Alto is a jerk, although they also recognise that it’s part of his character development. I got the impression that it’s something that’s talked and joked about even amongst the staff.

            But whose to say that the people who picked up on it had any sort of contact with a person who is Japanese? And in any case why bring up the subject of nationality at all if it ultimately doesn’t matter, when one is interpreting a work? One can easily be in the target audience and still not draw the conclusion the creator intended us to. So just being in the audience has nothing to do with it.

            Once again, please read what I said previously. This is an analogy, but it’s like the point of a square being a rectangle, but a rectangle not necessarily being a square. I’ve not talking about all the people who didn’t pick it up, but about a certain subset of them.

            I’m saying is a general statement, its not just directed at you, it is wrong to treat the creator’s words as a bible, especially if they never intended for you to do it. Its even worse to try and stomp on the opinions of others because they don’t match up with your own.

            Speaking for myself, I try quite hard not to do that, and I think you can see that from what I’ve written on AS. What Xard and I are saying, is that it’s also wrong for people to use the ‘audience interpretation’ card to stomp on our opinions, which is what some people have done. For me, this has mostly been at AS.

          • Chan says:

            1. It doesn’t, I only brought that up in regards to Hideaki Anno. As I never brought it up until Xard said the following.

            “Since this is still no area for it all I’m going to say about episode 21′s “running away” sillyness is that it’s one of the best exemplifications of what Hideaki Anno said about fan “understanding” I’ve ever personally witnessed within anime fandom: “A work is also a fan’s thing, from when it is released. I think that they are free to react how they choose. However, I have recognized that there are many of those who judge people with insufficient sensitivity.” “.

            Anno is not best person to say such as comment considering how insesitivity to his own audience when they expressed confusion with his work, and his own failure to get his point across (which you admitted). Trying to interpret what I said as having to do with anything other than the above comment, is not just misinterpreting my words its just flat out being wrong. Since I only said Xard brought up Anno. Your misquoting me and misapplying my words as a general statement and opinion, when I never once claimed or implied that it was, considering that I was only speaking in regards to Anno and NGE. In which case if so many people have had a hard time understanding his work, because he was unclear. So once again what you’re saying has nothing to do with my opinion.

            2.But the information is not readily available and many fans cannot understand Japanese, and don’t live in Japan, so even amongst fans, don’t have access to the media in general, so its still highly unreasonable to expect them to be able to know what the creators had to say on the work, unless the information is provided by a third. Its also unreasonable to expect them to learn Japanese quickly at the level of mastery needed to understand the what the creator had to say, as not everyone learns a another language easily. And it is even more unreasonable, to expect them to spend a lot of money on something they can’t even understand, especially in the current economy.

            I’m pretty sure that this was pointed out to both you and Gubaba in As mutiple times wasn’t it? This is really the first and only fandom where I’ve ever heard members ask for something so unreasonable. All the other fandoms I’m a part of are mindful of the points that I stated in the above paragraph and never ask anything of the sort from their fellow members. You can still be a fan of a work, but not have any access to any information about it, and also the reverse is true you can hate a work and have all the access in the world to it.

            I can’t expect a Japanese fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas, or even Star Wars to understand everything about the movie, or franchise to know everything that that their creators have said in respect to them. Becuase those don’t have never had access to the information, and it would be unreasonable of me to expect them to suddenly have it.

            —-

            Where did I even imply the quote in regards to MF? I’d like for you to point it out. Because I’m pretty sure that I’ve never said anything of the sort in regards to Frontier. I’ve only said in regards to NGE.Its funny that you’re talking about misintrepting another’s words, when that’s exactly what you’re doing to me.

            That’s why I said “THE AUDIENCE IS NOT THE BE ALL END ALL IN TERMS OF InTERPRETATION BUT NEITHER IS THE ORIGINAL CREATOR.”<–Direct quote exactly, as I said it. That's why I've been disagreeing with Xard so much, as he holds Word of God like a bible, and frequently uses it, to either avoid discussions or invalidate the opinions of others. At the same time I don't believe in "The Author is Dead", and I'm expressed my distate of trope, to GL already.

            Never Once did I ever say that only the audience interpretation matters in regards to MF. The only reason why I express disintrest in Word of God, right now is because of how Xard is using it.
            —–

            However, Is that not a example of staff holding a different opinion in regards to the MF?

            What's even more annoying to me though are those who try to shut down discussions using word of god. And using it as a crutch to fillabust anything they find midly disagreeable.

          • karice says:

            @Chan

            1. It doesn’t, I only brought that up in regards to Hideaki Anno. As I never brought it up until Xard said the following.

            Well, looking back, I think you should have made it clear that you were talking about Anno, and that

            Anno is not best person to say such as comment considering how insesitivity to his own audience when they expressed confusion with his work, and his own failure to get his point across (which you admitted).

            in particular is what you wanted to say.

            As I noted before, Xard and I were talking about Macross Frontier, not Anno and Eva. I.e. you want to talk about Anno, whilst I want to talk about Kawamori et al. But again, as I noted before, I can’t say anything about Anno, because I haven’t read what he supposedly said, so can we just leave it at that?

            —–

            2.But the information is not readily available and many fans cannot understand Japanese, and don’t live in Japan, so even amongst fans, don’t have access to the media in general, so its still highly unreasonable to expect them to be able to know what the creators had to say on the work, unless the information is provided by a third. Its also unreasonable to expect them to learn Japanese quickly at the level of mastery needed to understand the what the creator had to say, as not everyone learns a another language easily. And it is even more unreasonable, to expect them to spend a lot of money on something they can’t even understand, especially in the current economy.

            Look, I don’t know about Gubaba, but I don’t expect you, or any other fan to look for interviews etc. I think I actually say very little about them until I actually translate them for you. Have I been delusional about what I do in this regard too?

            I also don’t expect most of you to know much about Japanese culture, and this ‘non-expectation’ is something I can only show by NOT bringing up things that I think my experience in Japan helped me realise, which I might not have realised otherwise. I pointed out one of my observations about Alto to magnus once, saying that that was precisely the reason I didn’t actually bring it up in any thread on AS. He accepted our difference in opinion, and we left it at that. Does this help show that I really don’t expect every fan to know all the ins and outs of Japan that the target audience is expected to be at least marginally aware of?

            However, what I DO expect is for you to find out what you can about background information.

            For example, Alto was a former kabuki oyama. How many viewers actually looked that kind of background up to see what kind of life he may have led until then? The information is available in English – I know because I looked into it a few months ago.

            And the other thing I expect? That people exercise a bit more restraint from criticising interpretations that they think are heavily influenced by interviews/other sources only available in a different language. Because, guess what, quite a few times, those interviews are probably read only AFTER those interpretations are arrived at.

            As noted above, Xard and I were talking about Macross Frontier. You decided to focus on the fact that he brought up a quote by Anno, and turned the focus to Eva. And from my point of view, the change of focus wasn’t obvious enough, as ‘creator’ can be used generally to refer to the creator of any series. Hence, I assumed we were still talking about Frontier, and you assumed we were talking about Eva.

            Now that this is cleared up, perhaps we can leave it be? As noted before, I really can’t talk about Anno or Eva.

            —-

            Er…they ALL joke about it. As in Kawamori et al too.

            —-

            I’m not sure if Xard is trying to shut down discussion so much as to open it up to other interpretations. But that in itself is also a matter of interpretation, and I’m happy to leave it at this.

        • Xard says:

          derpaderpderp accidentally deleted long reply that was nearly finished. Not writing all that again so

          – I’m not white knighting here (if I were I wouldn’t have left many other things unreplied), I merely want(ed) to set record straight about underdog thing.

          – I didn’t really like Brera either. He was only fun when trolling Alto because Alto was such a trollable protagonist. I still disagreed with some things you said but not important enough to write them again

          – Ozma’s parenting is feasible background for both “versions” (and Ranka in beginning of Utahime don’t deviate all that much from series) and reasons for hers and Alto’s increased maturity levels have nothing to do with background settei changes and everything to do with needs of film dramaturgy (same reason why we got Sheryl-is-spy subplot)

          – My point was not that Ranka going to posh school *sucked* or anything per se, just that it’s not really either plus or minus regarding her underdogness either way. That she had no close friends from the school is natural assumption die to narrative economy and occam’s razor. Again, not as important as you think it is, just another reason why pre-series Ranka doesn’t seem to have friends other than Nanase

          – whole friends deal had the lenghtiest single reply I’m not rewriting because it isn’t that crucial. Just like school deal fundamentally it’s non-issue as far as underdogness goes.

          – Actually whether or not Ranka lived pretty comfortable bourgeois middle class life prior to events of series isn’t as a whole relevant to whether or not she’s underdog and as such skippable in general.

          – I’m pretty sure the V-type “viruses” are shown floating around her stomach area as their own entities separate from Ranka’s genetic heritage but this doesn’t really matter either way. What Ranka’s (and Sheryl’s) abilities first and foremost allowed, in the end, was communicating the nature of human heart to Vajra. But again analysis of fold communication and whatnot is besides the point

          – >implying Ranka wouldn’t have lived a happy and fullfilling life on Gallia IV and that her leaning towards music wouldn’t have got better developed than on Frontier when she’s got Maaya Sakamoto as mother

          ***********
          Underdog:
          1. the competitor least likely to win a fight or contest
          2. a person in adversity or in a position of inferiority

          Now as for being underdog, GL pretty much succintly already said all the essentials. How quick Ranka’s rise to fame is or anything to that end and her portrayal in these matters is true to style of these kind of stories. You can’t drag on 2-3 year process within Frontier’s narrative.

          Being underdog is not some sort of fudamental metaphysical situation nor is it essence some objects fundamentally have, it’s always relative to something, contextual and in no sense necessarily permanent situation. In Ranka’s case she being underdog is *always* in context of competing with Sheryl and most notably in the love triangle. Which is why Ranka’s family background and such has no absolutely no bearing on it.

          For example Team A is underdog in match against Team B but against Team C situation is entirely different. Thus Team A being underdog depends on the context, in this case competition with Team B. For Ranka her Team B would be Sheryl.

          That’s all there is to this.

          I never once denied that Klan Klan appealed to the same crowd but frankly Klan isn’t the one I see all the onii-chan X-rated doujinshi of.

          Blerghhhh… but I must say I only know exactly one, wait two, that would fit the description. Which is really surprising given how much doujinshi the Brera pairing gets but I can’t remember seeing one listed as 18+ ever. So there’s hardly many to my knowledge so “all the onii-chan X-rated doujinshi” isn’t really much for series as popular as MacrossF.

          Take a look at any doujinshi database and it becomes obvious really quickly there are absurd amounts of H-doujinshi for Klan Klan. I’d say at least as much as for Ranka (not that I’ve counted), perhaps as much as for Sheryl. This is quite achievement for a side character and tells ms fanservice was succesful at her job. In contrast to Sheryl and Ranka who have a lot of all ages doujinshi written about them doujinshi with Klan on cover* are pretty much 95% 18+ doujins.

          *of course doujinshi can and reasonably often do feature characters others than those on cover but generally speaking the cover tells which characters or pairing is main focus.

          At any rate going by covers loli Klan has way more 18+ material of her than further lolified* Ranka which should be indicative who is the MacrossF character who best responded to “lolicon interests”.

          *as everyone who has had the unfortunate meeting with Mogudan’s Rei works would know doujin creators aren’t exactly known for adherence to original character models, generally speaking lol.

          • Chan says:

            You kinda are, you don’t realize that you do it, but you do. That’s why you’re always being told to calm down. In fact you did it again in your above comment.

            “Ozma’s parenting is feasible background for both “versions” (and Ranka in beginning of Utahime don’t deviate all that much from series) and reasons for hers and Alto’s increased maturity levels have nothing to do with background settei changes and everything to do with needs of film dramaturgy (same reason why we got Sheryl-is-spy subplot)…”
            So you’re basically saying that we must disregard the obvious personality changes in the movie and all changes in the movie because “its just for plot”? And have nothing at all do do with the characters at all and thus should be ignored? You realize how silly you sound right about now. Even with you trying to push it under the rug, my question still stands, how much did Ozma really hinder Ranka? Considering that he was made worse in the movie, and yet Ranka still came out of it more maturely, than she was in the tv series. Also can we even say that Ozma was in the way? Even in the tv series he was willing to let her pursue her dreams, so long as she was serious about it.

            And your point is? Even if you go to a different school from your good friends doesn’t mean that you’re going to have a bad time in your school. Especially if you can just see them outside of school, since you’d probably be doing that anyway, because you’d most likely be in different classes and clubs too. I’m not putting importance onto it because it frankly isn’t important, your life doesn’t end of being worse or better for it. Also having one good friend at the start of the series and ending with more as the series goes along, doesn’t make Ranka unlucky. As I said before some people go their entire lives without having one good friend.

            Again the V-type virus was a catch-22 that gave her just as much perks as it did disadvantages. The only difference was that the disadvantages were caused by Ranka herself, either through a long string of bad decisions, or freak accidents.

            Didn’t Ranka’s abilities allow her to control the vajra through her song (not just communicate), and also magically cure Sheryl’s disease? Its only the movies (which you always say are just because of plot), where her powers are just communicating with them.

            Also Maaya Sakamoto is only the voice actress of Ranshe Mei, her singing ability doesn’t have anything to do with Ranka’s character. And also you’re making wild assumptions again. Your assuming that if Ranka’s family was alive she would still have the desire to become a singer, your also assuming that she wouldn’t have gained an interest in science instead. After all there would be nothing to compel her to sing. Plus I never once implied that don’t jump to conclusions.

            But my point was that Ranka basically had everything going for her. So there was nothing to truly pity, about her.
            =======

            Underdog:
            1. the competitor least likely to win a fight or contest
            2. a person in adversity or in a position of inferiority

            Ranka was neither of these so again what’s your point? Ranka was essentially an ace (super natural powers, great singing ability) being held back by temporary CIRCUMSTANTIAL PROBLEMS which were quickly overcome, really no different from Cinderella in that regard. As the storyline went underway, wasn’t it revealed that Ranka wasn’t as unlikely a victor as previously thought.

            Ranka only gives the illusion of an underdog, because of her attitude, and behavior, but her actual position is that of an ace.

            ====
            No that’s okay, I’d really rather not look, but I’ll take your word for it (silently judging you).

          • Xard says:

            You kinda are, you don’t realize that you do it, but you do. That’s why you’re always being told to calm down. In fact you did it again in your above comment.

            Perhaps. On the other hand you missed (for a change) rather obvious joke about Maaya Sakamoto connection and took it seriously so I think I still stick to my personal psychological evaluation.

            So you’re basically saying that we must disregard the obvious personality changes in the movie and all changes in the movie because “its just for plot”? And have nothing at all do do with the characters at all and thus should be ignored? You realize how silly you sound right about now.

            Gosh, no. I had two points. Tertiary one: both versions of Ranka are feasible under influence of her background and as such neither comes off as “wait what this character doesn’t make any sense given her backstory”. This background includes years spend as Ozma’s adoptive sister. Ranka is the only one out of main three to NOT have any major changes in her backstory settei. People react differently to same environmental influences and there’s no absolute set response. Both versions of Ranka “work” with her background and thus the reason why film Ranka is more mature is not a question of Ozma having different parental influence on her. Primary one: these things are decided by writers anyway and looking at differences of film Ranka in this respect from very in-universe, childhood psychology centric pov is a bit silly to begin with. Because both versions of Ranka’s maturity level are plausible with her backstory the reason for difference is something distinct from Ozma’s influence or whatnot. Sure enough there’s reason: the format differences. Decision to have Ranka and Alto start with higher maturity level was result of needs of film storytelling:

            Kawamori: At first, I thought that we could just split the two films such that the first contained the ‘introduction’ and ‘development’, with the second having the ‘turn’ and ‘conclusion’*. However, when you try to do that, you’ll find that you can’t make a movie just out of ‘introduction’ and ‘development’. And so we decided to increase Alto and Ranka’s levels of maturity, and added the subplot of Sheryl being suspected of being spy. Many of the staff kept saying that “it’s fine if Sheryl doesn’t change”, but we somehow managed to get them to accept it.

            (translation by karice)

            It’s partly for running time limits that Alto and Ranka start off with higher level of maturity than their series counterpart and Sheryl being suspected as spy gave a much needed plot intrigue and tension for Utahime (Ranka and Alto accepting Sheryl in Utahime despite the suspcions providing the “turn” and “conclusion” for their relationship in first film, creating a valid dramatic arc for two’s relationship with Sheryl that otherwise would’ve been nonexistent). Remove that and the drama of her relationship with Alto, why she approaches Ranka etc. would’ve lacked any element of intrigue or room for suspicion.

            This is why wondering “why film Ranka is more mature to begin with” and then trying to base it on changes in her backstory (which don’t exist) like different relationship with Ozma don’t work. Both Rankas are plausible given the settei: which version of Ranka they’d take would then depend on format. A weaker and more immature Ranka for tv series where there’s more time to gradually develop her, stronger and more mature Ranka for films (tv series’s Ranka would’ve never been able to get over her “Vajra trauma” as quickly as film Ranka did but Utahime’s climax demanded a Ranka for whom it would be easier to deal with it and whose memories weren’t buried quite as deep to work, for example).

            I’m not really sure why you call film Ozma repeatedly “worse” than his series’s incarnation. They’re pretty much the same character as far as I can tell.

            You’re the one who brought up the school thing in the first place within the context why she’s not underdog. I don’t see any connection between the two things and noted why rich ojousama school is not necessarily automatically a perk either: I’m pretty sure she was happier in Mihoshi. Ranka obviously has little interest in their teaching contents (in Japan those who want to become idols attend specific schools build around combining the two lives, not surprisingly this seems to be the kind of course Ranka rolled in Mihoshi) which means the only big plus she might have there are social benefits. But since she doesn’t seem to have any close friends from there it’s actually meaningless for measuring her happiness. I don’t think it contributed positively or negatively before series’s start. Well, the school uniform was cute.

            Also, I’ve always wondered if Ozma the siscon captain putting her in all girls school was much of a coincidence either. :P

            Only perks I can think of are all related to Vajra and if there had been no contact with them in first place there would’ve been no use for those.

            How literal Ranka’s “control” over Vajra was as opposed to acting as a commander or “uniting principle” of sorts is unclear because whenever Vajra are literally being controlled we see them in unnatural colors: this is true for both series and films. When Ranka frees them from Grace and gang in final episode they regain their natural look. I don’t think Ranka could’ve literally *controlled* bazillion of Vajras at the same time anyway – as single human she would’ve lacked the processing power for that anyway. Ai-kun and Vajra show their own volition in the final episode too after supposedly “controlled” by Ranka (Ai-kun coming to see her and Vajra sacrificing themselves for sake of colony, something they did on their own and off their own volition which is why Ranka thanks them and she didn’t predict their action in this regard – which wouldn’t have been the case if she had commanded them to do so). The way Sheryl’s illness was cured in tv series was a bit cheap, yeah. The grimmer and more realistic treatment for Vajra AIDS in films is better.

            Also Maaya Sakamoto is only the voice actress of Ranshe Mei, her singing ability doesn’t have anything to do with Ranka’s character. And also you’re making wild assumptions again. Your assuming that if Ranka’s family was alive she would still have the desire to become a singer, your also assuming that she wouldn’t have gained an interest in science instead. After all there would be nothing to compel her to sing. Plus I never once implied that don’t jump to conclusions.

            the Maaya part was humorous joke. Ranka seemed to have a thing for singing from early age though so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was going to become her dream anyway. As far as we know she has always been into singing but one can’t prove it one way or another. You DID seem to imply she ending up on Frontier due to her ability was a perk and a gain which means she getting to meet Alto and Sheryl and the like was despite the atrocious costs of war and all a gain over whatever life she would’ve lived on Gallia IV. I have hard time seeing why life on Frontier would’ve been so much inherently better.

            Ranka was neither of these so again what’s your point?

            So now she was always on equal footing with Sheryl and had a chance in triangle? Really now?

            Behaviour traits and attitude are just as valid reasons for being underdog as any. In game where one needs to be aggressive the player with non-aggressive attitude is in worse position simply due to his attitude. But I can see this is going in circles as you clearly expect something more from “underdog” than how the term is commonly employed (which may or may not be largerly case of “faux-underdogism” due to GL’s ruminations above) while it’s clear GL and I’ve been using the word in its common meaning. Whether the usage of word in general is imprecise and faulty is larger issue.

            No that’s okay, I’d really rather not look, but I’ll take your word for it (silently judging you).

            LOL but really, it’s not a major feat of investigative skills that requires rummaging through dark corners of internet for hours. All one would need is Mugimugi’s rather exhaustive list and take note which all are 18+ doujins and which characters they feature and in what kind of frequency: http://doujinshi.mugimugi.org/browse/parody/1368/Macross-Frontier/?kana=&start=&flist=&age=&anth=&order=date&flow=DESC (the first page has been taken entirely by currently on-going Comiket 81 releases and it’s not hard to tell Alto/Sheryl doujinshi dominate the scene following Sayonara for clear reasons)

            Of course you don’t have to do it but it’s not too difficult feat of investigation, provided one can handle at times disturbing or otherwise unlikeable imagery. I don’t necessarily like all that I see but internet has desensitized me to a point only few titles in cover flow make me genuinely squirm… like “futanari ranka and pregnant nanase” oh god what the fuck is that shit JAPAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

          • Chan says:

            “Perhaps. On the other hand you missed (for a change) rather obvious joke about Maaya Sakamoto connection and took it seriously so I think I still stick to my personal psychological evaluation. ”

            Oh I knew it was a joke I just wasn’t in the joking mood.

            “Gosh, no. I had two points. Tertiary one: both versions of Ranka are feasible under influence of her background and as such neither comes off as “wait what this character doesn’t make any sense given her backstory”. This background includes years spend as Ozma’s adoptive sister. Ranka is the only one out of main three to NOT have any major changes in her backstory settei. People react differently to same environmental influences and there’s no absolute set response. Both versions of Ranka “work” with her background and thus the reason why film Ranka is more mature is not a question of Ozma having different parental influence on her. Primary one: these things are decided by writers anyway and looking at differences of film Ranka in this respect from very in-universe, childhood psychology centric pov is a bit silly to begin with… ”

            Again if Ozma’s rearing wasn’t the cause of Ranka’s immaturity, then what was, I’m trying to start a disccusion here, but all your doing is saying that it doesn’t matter becuse its just because of the format change, and then trying to sweep it under the rug. Nevermind I’m not talking about the change in format or the making of. First you say that you’re not pushing it under the rug, only for you to call out Word of God, which has nothing to really do with conversation and once again push it under the rug. I’m not talking about the making of the movie, I couldn’t care less about that, what I’m talking about is the movie itself, the end product.

            TV series Ozma was a heck of a lot more understanding than movie Ozma. He gave Ranka a heck a lot more freedom and never once jumped the gun, and make wild conclusions with no evidence other than it involves Ranka.

            “You’re the one who brought up the school thing in the first place within the context why she’s not underdog. I don’t see any connection between the two things and noted why rich ojousama school is not necessarily automatically a perk either: I’m pretty sure she was happier in Mihoshi. Ranka obviously has little interest in their teaching contents (in Japan those who want to become idols attend specific schools build around combining the two lives, not surprisingly this seems to be the kind of course Ranka rolled in Mihoshi) which means the only big plus she might have there are social benefits. But since she doesn’t seem to have any close friends from there it’s actually meaningless for measuring her happiness. I don’t think it contributed positively or negatively before series’s start. Well, the school uniform was cute…”

            Because all of that is part of what makes the sum of her character, that’s why I brought it up. Individually it doesn’t make a difference but putting them all together paints a picture. Also again with your wild assumptions your assuming that Ranka doesn’t have any friends in her posh school, your assuming she had a hard time there even though there was nothing and I mean nothing in the narrative to give evidence to what you’re implying. And if you’ve ever been in high school then ridiculousness of what you’re saying is even more pronounced. As school does not equal = life even for a teenager, unless you’re in boarding school.

            I’m pretty sure that Ranka’s control over the Vajra was equated to the Queen, and it was stated and shown several times that she could control them, and they were sensitive to just her emotions. I think that you’re mixing up tv series with movie vajra, as tv series vajra (aka the subject of this conversation) have a hive mind, its the movie vajra that are capable of singular thought (they just have small brains), so tv series Ranka (aka the subject of this conversation) doesn’t need as much mental processing power to control them. Also wasn’t it the movie vajra that protected frontier Island 1 not tv series vajra? You’re constantly mixing up the two.

            “the Maaya part was humorous joke. Ranka seemed to have a thing for singing from early age though so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was going to become her dream anyway. As far as we know she has always been into singing but one can’t prove it one way or another. You DID seem to imply she ending up on Frontier due to her ability was a perk and a gain which means she getting to meet Alto and Sheryl and the like was despite the atrocious costs of war and all a gain over whatever life she would’ve lived on Gallia IV. I have hard time seeing why life on Frontier would’ve been so much inherently better…”

            Ranka’s thing for singing came from her mother’s interaction with the vajra, Ranka’s first song, was Aimo. You take erase the vajra from Ranka’s life you take away Aimo (remember this song was a song Ranka’s mother learned FROM THE VAJRA), you take away Ranka’s first introduction to music.Adding on to that, her mother though would still be a scientist, which would mean no importance would be put on singing in Ranka’s early life, but she would be more exposed to science than music. Both the vajra and Ranka’s mother, by way of Aimo have a lot to do with Ranka’s desire to sing, however remove both of them you remove the importance of singing in her life.

            Also I said it before and the only part about Raka’s life to be pitied is truly just one event. That event of the vajra destroying the 117th research fleet. However, that is it, from then on the problems she faces are created by her being immature, irresponsible, and her making bad decisions. I wouldn’t call her meeting Alto and Sheryl “bad luck”. I wouldn’t call having 5 good friends(way more than most people have in a lifetime) and a (two) older brother(s) who care about her and would do anything for her grounds to be pittied. Also vajra also didn’t attack until episode 1 (its outright stated), the war never really escalated until episode 20, which was due to Ranka, and it all could have been avoided as early as 14 (where she basically finds out that Aimo has a connection to the vajra) if she was smarter, could put two and two together, and not keep things to herself. In other words the GAllia 4 incident was not a cost of war, Frontier wasn’t at war all the while she was living there, and the things that happen to her at the end are due to her own bad decisions.

            Depends on who you ask. If you ask Macross fans then there was barely a love triangle at all, making Ranka not an underdog due to not having a chance (heck the narrative pretty much clued us in in this aspect). And the opposite (who from my experience are casual watchers) who thought that Ranka would win, due to her character archtype being the one that is usually more likely to win.

            “Behaviour traits and attitude are just as valid reasons for being underdog as any. In game where one needs to be aggressive the player with non-aggressive attitude is in worse position simply due to his attitude. But I can see this is going in circles as you clearly expect something more from “underdog” than how the term is commonly employed (which may or may not be largerly case of “faux-underdogism” due to GL’s ruminations above) while it’s clear GL and I’ve been using the word in its common meaning. Whether the usage of word in general is imprecise and faulty is larger issue…”

            Behavior and attitude have nothing to do with a status of an underdog, as you can easily have a top dog, who is a shrinking violet, and an underdog who his confident and outgoing. A la Nana. What makes an underdog is the narrative that makes the character’s win an unlikely event.If the narrative itself alludes to the character’s victory, like it did with Ranka, when it constantly compared her to Minmei, and Basara. Then the narrative is saying that victory was ensured, and the character with an ensured victory is not an underdog but an ace. That’s why I said looking at the narrative especially retrospectively makes it obvious that Ranka is not an underdog. An underdog is someone whose victory is not alluded to by the narrative (though viewers can see it coming due to being genre savvy) who has a slim chance of victory, (see Rocky, the first Mighty Ducks movie, heck most sports movies and anime, also Shaman King, X/1999, and Nana) unlike fake underdogs whose victories are alluded to and therefore are not underdogs (see David and Goliath, Naruto, Prince of Tennis, RG Veda).

            ====
            uh huh, yeah, still judging you. I mean I don’t even look for that stuff only really I see them is because the communities I’m a part of are always selling them.

            Oh god! why did click that link, why are Ranka’s breasts drawn so large? why is she a D-cup?

          • Xard says:

            Again if Ozma’s rearing wasn’t the cause of Ranka’s immaturity, then what was, I’m trying to start a disccusion here, but all your doing is saying that it doesn’t matter becuse its just because of the format change, and then trying to sweep it under the rug. Nevermind I’m not talking about the change in format or the making of. First you say that you’re not pushing it under the rug, only for you to call out Word of God, which has nothing to really do with conversation and once again push it under the rug. I’m not talking about the making of the movie, I couldn’t care less about that, what I’m talking about is the movie itself, the end product.</blockquote

            Ranka's whole personality depended on what sort of character they wanted to create. I mean this sounds stupid in discussion that implicitly discusses of them as real persons but she's not a real person with consistent psychological history from pre-birth to as far point as the story goes. There was no inherent reason for Ranka to have any personality trait. Same goes for everyone else. Why does often quite maturely behaving Klan suddenly devolve into retarded tsundere behaviour? There's no reason in her backstory given for it as far as we know. That's just her personality.

            Your "start of discussion" is equal with making questions for which there can't be a clear answer because we aren't THAT privy to every detail of characters's psychohistory. You're looking for precise intradiegetic answer while only precise answer you can find is extradiegetic and I already offered it. For intradiegetic answer you're free to speculate whatever you want, there's no way to prove it one way or another

            TV series Ozma was a heck of a lot more understanding than movie Ozma. He gave Ranka a heck a lot more freedom and never once jumped the gun, and make wild conclusions with no evidence other than it involves Ranka.

            Gave her a lot more freedom? In what way? He behaved pretty much same between early Utahime and eps 1-6 content (6 because that’s when he yielded and gave his permission)

            As for jumping to conclusions, I guess you’re referring to the “don’t let Sheryl touch her” deal. Sheryl was suspected as malicious spy. Why would she seek out a nobody like Ranka if it wasn’t in some sense part of her mission? Sure, it was hasty judgement but also feasible one in situation – especially given how protective he is of Ranka he’d take no risks.

            Again, I fail to see how being overcautious with suspected dangerous spy (esp. when you have a greenhorn and your sister interacting with her joyously ignorant of her status) makes him more of a asshole.

            I’m pretty sure that Ranka’s control over the Vajra was equated to the Queen, and it was stated and shown several times that she could control them, and they were sensitive to just her emotions. I think that you’re mixing up tv series with movie vajra, as tv series vajra (aka the subject of this conversation) have a hive mind, its the movie vajra that are capable of singular thought (they just have small brains), so tv series Ranka (aka the subject of this conversation) doesn’t need as much mental processing power to control them. Also wasn’t it the movie vajra that protected frontier Island 1 not tv series vajra? You’re constantly mixing up the two.

            the mistakes here:

            – Vajra are exactly same and there’s no mention of them having “small brain” anywhere, not in original japanese and not in the Commie subs. There’re interesting philosophical issues handled through Vajra in MacF in very Kawamori vein but the take on soul MF offers (and for the first time explicitly so in Sayonara) has all to do with ancient Eastern philosophies from China and Japan that have informed spirituality and life in Japan for over thousand years eg. through Zen Buddhism, strongly. The subs a bit clumsily translated the most explicit bit as something akin “all-body soul origin” theory but even here we’re talking about SOUL, not BRAIN (and this is *extremely important* for some themes revolving around Vajra and the networks present in title etc. but not the time or place for that). Vajra are biologically exactly same in series and films. It’s your own Anti-Vajra, pro-Frontier bias with tv series raising its head again, just like last time you brought up the (really nonexistent) difference between tv and film Vajra. I just ignored it then and would’ve done that again if it wasn’t related to argument at hand.

            The main point (and only relevant to this discussion): Vajra are never said to have small brains in either film and they’re EXACTLY SAME SPECIES in both versions. The films are just more explicit about existence and nature of Vajra soul as opposed to tv series.

            – we have Ai-kun in tv series’s already as living proof of them being able of singular thought ( and even during their late telepathic communications it’s a singular entity to Ranka not a Vajra hivemind “talking” to her)
            – I can’t remember a single instance of Ranka literally controlling them
            – Vajra mass sacrificed themselves for sake of colony in film AND TV series. I’m not constantly mixing up the two, you’re not remembering things straight.

            Also again with your wild assumptions your assuming that Ranka doesn’t have any friends in her posh school, your assuming she had a hard time there even though there was nothing and I mean nothing in the narrative to give evidence to what you’re implying. And if you’ve ever been in high school then ridiculousness of what you’re saying is even more pronounced. As school does not equal = life even for a teenager, unless you’re in boarding school.

            Classmates probably but that’s it. If they were important persons for Ranka we would’ve seen them or heard them mentioned at least once across all the MF media. Never happens.This is due to narrative economy (such tertiary characters would’ve contributed nothing and since we never hear of them it’s reasonable to suppose they don’t exist). In any case I just said in last post the school issue is utterly meaningless either way. If Ranka had “hard time” there it wouldn’t have been meaningless. So, uhh, yeah. I’m not disagreeing with anything you write here apart from the school having bloody anything to do with being underdog. No matter how much a normal middleclass life Ranka led it doesn’t really matter. Most idol aspires from Japan come from similar background so she isn’t even particularly “lucky”.

            Ranka’s thing for singing came from her mother’s interaction with the vajra, Ranka’s first song, was Aimo. You take erase the vajra from Ranka’s life you take away Aimo (remember this song was a song Ranka’s mother learned FROM THE VAJRA), you take away Ranka’s first introduction to music.Adding on to that, her mother though would still be a scientist, which would mean no importance would be put on singing in Ranka’s early life, but she would be more exposed to science than music. Both the vajra and Ranka’s mother, by way of Aimo have a lot to do with Ranka’s desire to sing, however remove both of them you remove the importance of singing in her life.

            Sure, not denying that. Still, MF seems to have a fairly “essentialist” view when it comes to natures of people. Most apparent this is in scene in episode 5 when Alto wonders why people want to sing, go out in space etc. which culminates to answer from Sheryl and Klan: isn’t it obvious? Because they have to.

            Alto, Sheryl and Ranka all had their formative experiences that led them to realize their dreams. However, instead of being something gained entirely from outside it’s more like finding one’s natural calling as far as I can see it. So even if Ranka had never had heard Aimo as a kid etc. I think it’s fairly likely she would’ve encountered another trigger for music sooner or later. MF at least heavily implies it’s true to her nature just like flying is to Alto (and singing is to Sheryl).

            But even if she had not ever become interested in singing (and essentialist reading is false) that doesn’t really give any reason why she couldn’t have lived a happy life on Gallia 4 just as well.

            and it all could have been avoided as early as 14 (where she basically finds out that Aimo has a connection to the vajra) if she was smarter, could put two and two together, and not keep things to herself.

            yeah, let’s see how easily you’ll put “two and two together” under similar circumstances in what is essentially completely alien, insane LSD trip you have no experience of and you’re scared and out of balance to begin with. In the end your memories of the whole thing are hazy and hard to piece together and it’s hard to say what the hell went down. All you’re left with is vague, untraceable feeling that maybe the Vajra are not as bad as everyone thinks…but obviously the connection between vision of beautiful human woman and ugly, hostile giant space bug monstrosities as same thing is so clear too.

            Again you’re making the unjustified assumption the degree of information Ranka gained from ep 14 and from Utahime’s finale are equivalent in any sense (esp. in terms of clarity) and even for film!Ranka it took *three months of soul searching*, questioning assumptions about feared and hated enemy and constant growth of fold abilities and living with Ai-kun which should’ve further stimulated the growrth (film!Ranka is much more in tune with Vajra than tv Ranka) before she started to be sure enough she could talk someone about it despite risk of being branded as lunatic… and she would only gain full conviction that she was right through her discussion with Alto. It was impressive and admirable enough that she could do it so well under those circumstances but expecting same from her tv series’s self who was not only even more unsure and self-doubting but whose experience was much more confusing and baffling is a bit unreasonable… especially since everyone around you is fully convinced of Vajra’s evilness and Ranka was never given the time film!Ranka got to process the experience before getting drifted on Mishima’s villainous project.

            Depends on who you ask. If you ask Macross fans then there was barely a love triangle at all, making Ranka not an underdog due to not having a chance (heck the narrative pretty much clued us in in this aspect).

            lol, fine with me then if that’s how you prefer it. :D So what would that make her? Hopeless one? L in Lee stands for Loser after all.

            If the narrative itself alludes to the character’s victory, like it did with Ranka, when it constantly compared her to Minmei, and Basara. Then the narrative is saying that victory was ensured, and the character with an ensured victory is not an underdog but an ace.

            Didn’t you just say she never had a chance in first place? How could she possibly be a victor then? Ranka is compared most with Minmay (and Mao) once who lost the triangle and Basara exactly once (in the sense of using song in battle). That’s hardly a winner combination of comparison points for anything romance related.

        • Xard says:

          Reason I’ve brought up “word of God” at all is to give further reason to consider that hey, maybe I might’ve missed something or maybe the “other side” might have something for them in their opinion. Which might lead to rewatches with the brought up information in mind and thus a possible change in attitude. Comboxes are not ideal debating grounds or places to put forth ambitious claims or aguments. So taking part in discussion with differing degrees of depth and adding information from official material has always felt like pretty good way to give incentive for people reconsider things.

          Obviously it doesn’t work here and all I get are accusations of filibustering and other crap *sigh*

          Not that you Chan have been at all uneager to use light novel adaptation etc. to support your points in the past, oh no.

          But I guess validity of “word of God” depends on for what end they’re used…

    • It is part of a causal chain, but not exclusively so, as you suggest.

      When the first episode came out in December 2007, I saw the reactions immediately… even if only from the offline networks I knew back then (oldfags), as I have yet to discover anime communities until Spring of 2008 while the series was airing. People were hating on Ranka entirely because of Minmay; then some others were writing off the whole show for the lolimoe pandering as well (these oldfags were not Macross 7 fans, and at the time, I was with them too).

      This doesn’t invalidate how viewers who started getting pissed off with Ranka started finding more and more reasons to justify their rage and these legacies fed this need.

      I disagree with your take of Ranka as not an in-universe underdog. Without invalidating your idea of her as having a pretty stable thing going on in her life, surrounded by loved ones and friends, the underdog thing is entirely relative to Sheryl’s feminine and idol power and might.

      If Ranka was an underdog to the likes of Miranda Melin in the Miss Macross Frontier competition, what more against the likes of Sheryl? And yes, Ranka couldn’t even beat Miranda, to drill down the point.

      With the movies however, worked in a different way, it removed a lot of the things that Ranka had going for her in the series. And instead replaced them with a Ranka who was more true to her age, yet still able to appeal to the Kimoi loli moe crowd, but this time in such a way that it didn’t alienate everyone else. Not making her the center of the story and also by having her NOT make any overly stupid decisions or keeping valuable information to herself. In fact the only who have a problem with that character are the ones who completely and utterly hated tv series Ranka.

      I don’t know if I completely agree, but I like what you say here. In before fans denying stupid decisions, etc.

      • Chan says:

        But those people didn’t watch the series at all, in fact I had to force some of those people to watch it. (Its like pulling teeth).
        ——-
        Consider this, how long did it take for Ranka to rise in the charts, after her big break? This was all happening in one year. An underdog is someone who struggles to reach the top, however Ranka’s rise was so fast she never had time to really struggle. In universe it is feasible that Ranka will overtake Sheryl (in fact she did for a while), but metawise in the eyes she will never overtake her or any of the other Macross singers.

        Ranka never really has time to be an in universe underdog. If you’re talking movie Ranka then yes she is an underdog as she never overtakes Sheryl in universe, but tv series Ranka isn’t an underdog.

        • 1. The hate disappears then? No.

          2. Underdog stories are like this. How fast did Cinderella change her fate? Years? Months? But right, I denied Cinderella as an underdog — I denied “Cinderella Story” to have much meaning. It doesn’t matter how fast Ranka rises, as long as she starts asymmetrically relative to Sheryl. The compression of her career rise is a function of Macross Frontier’s overall narrative length and not her own inherent powers.

          March Madness is a month-long celebration of underdogs. The FA Cup is similar, the basis of Giant Killing — the manga and the anime. David himself was an underdog vs. Goliath, but he sure made short work of him. He was an underdog vs. Saul, but he sure showed him. Word of God wants the character to be a star, a king/queen, to kill giants… POOF! There you go.

          Talent is not the issue, super abilities are not the issue. Her personality and character and initial starting position in the game marks her portrayal as an underdog… the nobody, the fangirl with big dreams… who dares to rise against her idol and space aliens, etc. to move towards her idol, towards her distant, unattainable love, and make them care about her… in her unassuming, moe way.

          • Chan says:

            1. No but those people hated the series itself.

            2. First of all, is Cinderella really an underdog story at all? After all she was better than her ugly step sisters in every way. She didn’t have any competition at all, just circumstantial obstacles. She was never someone with a slim chance of victory, she was the ace who being temporarily held back, by people who could only do that to hold her back. And even if you want to say that she was an underdog, compared to Ranka, the time in which Cinderella is being held back is much longer, as it extends from her father’s death to the time of the ball. In Cinderella’s case the ball would be her big break, her victory, and her marrying the prince was the spoils.

            However, Ranka did not have time truly be an underdog. In fact she becomes the top dog doesn’t she, really quickly doesn’t she? and a government sponsored one at that. And underdog story necessarily isn’t a story of talent, it is a story of a person on the bottom struggling while rising to the top. It is not simply a story of a nobody becoming a somebody.

          • 1. Yeah, but they watched anyway. They couldn’t help themselves. I know this behavior. I am REwatching Gundam SEED right now due to free streaming of an HD remaster. It’s still shit I hate to my very bones. But fags be.

            2. I denied Cinderella as an underdog story in the post. I denied David as an underdog in a long editorial on underdog-ism. Underdog faggotry is something of great interest to me and I put in my time thinking and writing about it:

            Underdogs, as you find Ranka… are often narrative inauthenticities, hypocrisies by the narrative. Why? It’s almost always that their underdog status is circumstantial. The right break unleashes their god-like powers, talents, etc. Rocky, David, The SDF Macross itself relative to the Golg Bodolle Zer fleet, etc. and yes, Ranka.

            But what then, makes underdogs capture the imagination of the viewers (see Ranka lee in these comments)? This is part of what Nietzche calls slave mentality which I won’t go into here. The viewers identify with the “ordinary” and/or “average” character who ends up doing the amazing things. But how many really are Rudy from Notre Dame… (whose achievements are plausible and realistic wins that are truly inspiring)? Most of the time underdogs are godly talents but they just don’t know it yet. Miyagi knows it about Daniel-san. We know it about Ranka.

            But it is precisely Ranka’s personality and character that sells the underdog aesthetic.

            She is unsure of herself and lacks confidence.
            She does not behave like an adult woman who knows about love and romance.
            She is left with chaste and harmless platonic tools to pursue her Alto (compared to Sheryl’s more worldly attack; of course, the narrative also indulges Ranka’s little girl puppy love attack because this pleases them fanboys).
            She is more a victim who is more vulnerable to external forces… she doesn’t even know how to resist — compared to the tenacious resistance by Sheryl.

            These are underdog behaviors that sell the character to appeal to weakfags/underdogfags. This is what’s important in terms of underdog discussion. Otherwise the term becomes meaningless because so many of these underdogs in media are just that in flimsy context.

          • Chan says:

            1. Why do you torture yourself.

            2. Ranka’s shy behavior and shrinking violet attitude gives the audience the illusion of an underdog. But her actual position in series isn’t that of an underdog, but that of an upcoming ace.

            But here’s a question if a character is inauthentic as an underdog, then can you in all truth call them one?

          • 1. It’s love, actually.

            2. It’s a great question. It’s something I’ve asked myself many times across so many narratives. You can really say that Ranka is a false underdog that the narrative is successful in portraying as one. I do think that the show is successful in portraying her as THE underdog.

            The result of the rigorous questioning is the inevitable erosion of meaning of the term underdog. It is becoming a relative term to portray an apparent asymmetrical matchup.

            I’m an underdog (We Remember Love) compared to Random Curiosity in terms of being an episodic blog. But I’m beating them in terms of publishing Mobile Suit Gundam AGE posts faster. WRL publishes faster on episodic posts vs. the most dominant episodic blog in anime blog history. But do I really consider myself an underdog against any one of their bloggers? No.

          • Chan says:

            1. Then I’m sure you’ll love this news, SEED’s getting a remake. I’ll watch it just to b*tch at it.

            2. Actually, I think its Ranka herself. She really gives us the illusion that she is an underdog, but if she was more confident in herself, more mature and straightforward would we still be able to call her the underdog? When taking the entire narrative into account.

            The term “underdog” was eroded from the time it was created, and since then has just eroded even more. No ace begins on top, but at the same time, their victory was hardly unlikely.

          • You should check out my post on Gundam AGE 12 for shits and giggles.

            I would say more about people’s need for underdogs but I’m sleepy and am in no shape to invoke Nietzche. But let me at least say you’ll get what I mean by reading his “The Genealogy of Morals” and/or “Beyond Good and Evil.” Look for Master and Slave Morality.

            Yeah, that should do it.

          • Chan says:

            I haven’t been able to watch Gundam Age, due to real life getting in the way, but I will do so, as well as read your reviews.

            I’ll re-read Nietzche once I finish H.P Lovecraft.

          • The post is me trolling. There was no Gundam AGE the past week but I had watched the HD Remaster of Gundam SEED episode 1…

          • Chan says:

            Oh its already started then, so then I must start watching just to complain about the horrible copy pasta storyline. Oh I wonder how much stock footage I can spot this time.

  26. Crusader says:

    I am surprised that there was no mention of the up and coming Ranka promoting model kits in Deep Akiba as a not so subtle rip at otaku. For me I could taste the disdain.

    I understand where you are coming from but for me how people respond to adversity is what leaves a mark. Ranka had her highs and lows as did everyone else, only her response to her problems weren’t all that satisfactory. I admit I had hopes that she would be more DYRL Minmay but as time went on that pretty much got away and Sheryl ended up a better fit in that regard. Though you are right the Kaifun baggage was what really tipped the scales for me.

    Ah well if nothing else I can understand a bit more of why you can come off as some insufferable international NBA fan with mercenary leanings with eyes only for stars. Still I can’t blame you, just make sure that when purchasing your bandwagon gear buy from the NBA store at least that way my long suffering Warriors can get a cut of that revenue. A shame you derive no fun from March Madness, I like it because I like not knowing the outcome I want to believe that anything is possible. Still since you have no alma matter I can understand why the general dislike for Duke perplexes you. I also like the social aspect of March Madness because much trash talking will ensue as brackets are filled and BOLD PREDICTIONS made.

    • Hehe, as a fan of kits and toys I can no longer afford, I didn’t really get insulted by that scene. It was pretty amusing… but yes, I can see what you’re saying.

      I like how Ranka fails and fails and fails. I like characters who fail because they’re interesting. I like near-perfect heroes too, but they’re not as interesting. What pissed me off about TV Series Ranka is how her failures are ignored and not acknowledged and addressed. Instead she got super powers and saved the day. She even got to lecture humans about the Vajra, the little bugger.

      I don’t look up to failures, I don’t look up to anime characters period LOLOL. So I don’t look for paragons of virtue. Failures, hypocrites, assholes, they make for entertaining stories and that’s why I favor so many of them.

      I don’t have eyes only for stars. I love all these Lakers that came and went. I still watch games whenever I can that involve Lakers alumni such as Farmar, Sharapova, Mo Evans, Medvedenko, etc. All these stiffs and losers that wore the Purple and Gold one time or another… I love all of them (Nick the Quick, Eddie Jones…). I can’t afford to buy NBA merch, so I never did. I get gifts on very rare occasions (Biankita, Kaeboo, and usagijen got me a Lakers hat Fathers’ day in 2010). I do have an alma mater: De La Salle University (same as bluemist, schneider, usagijen, biankita, foomafoo, and zeroblade), and I watch college hoops here in the Philippines where I have a stake in things. This is the only reason to watch it… as the level of play simply can’t compare to the NBA.

      I’ll leave March Madness, the NFL, and the MLB to you Americans.

  27. Xard says:

    Writing this as a new reply because those “thin” replies are hard to read and there’s so many of them as of now it’s getting confusing already

    P.S. of course there are extremely wrong interpretations… or, at least those that add no value to the discussion. e.g. Ranka is a seahorse and Sheryl is a turtle… everything we see is just part of the samsara of the Vajra… etc. etc.

    … or, “factual” things like… Ozma pilots a VW Beetle, not a Variable Fighter.

    and these are the only ones I care about seriously arguing about. Generally I’m big fan of abstract works that open up multiple interpretations (from anime eg. Utena): David Lynch’s Inland Empire may be my favourite film of last decade and if there’s one film that really denies rational comprehension or any “theory of all” that’s it.

    Alto not having a severe complex about acting, gender and his personality is as wrong as saying Ozma pilots a VW Beetle for starters. With muddlier matters and things left to viewer interpretation – for example whether or not Ai-kun left with other Vajra at end of the Sayonara – I discuss, debate and formulate just as eagerly as ever but not with presumptions about being correct.

    For example I don’t think we’ll ever “know” if Nanase was entirely straight when it comes to Ranka :D

    **************’

    As for DotA in general I’m very much in opposition of it within context of philosophy of language in general and thus there’s wide let’s say “ideological” gulf between me and GL about it. Fully and consistently utilized on texts and forms of communication as it should be it renders any real human contact through impossible in principle and leads to sort of textual nihilism that I find depressing but also false. This doesn’t matter for the current discussion at all but I’d like to make it clear it’s not that I don’t understand or get basic tenents of DotA. It’s just that I reject it as valid understanding of text (at least in its purest form). Truth is as usually somewhere in the middle

    In any case a literary criticism debate about DotA is very much not in my interests here and from now on I intend to make no comments on those lines of discussion.

    As for how I approach author’s word: I have this tendency to operate with fiction and theories about fiction (ie. elaborate fanwanks) in rather court roomish style. The main body of evidence for or against relies on the work itself while supplementary material has different degrees of beliavability and meaning depending on number of factors. Author’s words are often circumstantial evidence of different strenghts. Sometimes strong, sometimes neglible. I’m very skeptical with things George Lucas has to say about Star Wars esp. nowadays because his bs is easy through. Then we have likes of trolls like Ikuni interviews dancing elaborate dance of honest replies and blatant trolling.

    If author’s word goes against the “text” in any sense it’s worthless. However if it “clicks” and supports what’s on screen etc. there’s no reason to shrug it off as just another interpretation but as pretty trustworthy backing material (that on its own can’t do anything). If Kawamori said something that went against what was on screen I wouldn’t choose what he says as the truth, naturally enough. But if it doesn’t contradict anything and goes hand in hand with easily reachable (based on work alone) conclusions it’s good circumstantial evidence.

    I also feel slightly offended by Chan’s suggestion that I’m suggesting viewers shut down their minds and stop making interpretations (as if that was even possible) and simply rely on word of creator afterwards. That’s absolutely not the case. I’m huge on fanwank and the like and enjoy speculation and such tremendously. What I’m merely claiming is that some interpretations are more valid than others (to go all Orwell here lol) and it’s possible to end up making misinterpretations. I’ve made my share of those, to mention one from MacF the specific meaning of what is Alto’s “love” in ep 23 Klan speaks of. There were conflicting understandings of it and all reasonably valid. When I first saw Frontier I thought he was referring to Ranka with that: that he loved her enough (I had no idea whether it was platonic or romantic though) to rather kill her with his own hands than let the angry mobs get to her.

    The correct understanding was that Alto was speaking of his love for the colony. Later I became very 50/50 on the matter and in that situation reading Yosino’s or Kawamori’s interview where this was confirmed sealed the deal. I had misinterprepted initially. No big deal, it happens. Looking at the scene again then I found out that scene was clearly leaning towards that end too: I just had some of my own preconceptions and the like acting on it (Sheryl misunderstanding Alto’s words in the exactly same way I did being particularly misleading! Perhaps due to hopeful thinking I took Sheryl’s words as signs of how to understand the speech earlier)

    As for Anno quote…as karice said:

    . Xard’s originally comment where you first introduced the ‘creator’s fault for different interpretations’ argument was about the fan interpretation that ‘Ranka was running away’ and other extreme negative interpretations of it. Xard was, as he has said, using Anno’s comment about insufficient sensitivity from fans, as a general comment about fans, which I have found to be true about Frontier, particularly with regards to Alto and Ranka.

    this is what I was after. As for the NGE example of fan misinterpretation, close but no dice. Even with on air version it was just gratuitous fanwank poorly backed and psychologically unfeasible. You could debunk the silly argument just by pointing out how OOC it would’ve been for Misato of the time etc. and how ridiculously weak the only argument for it was. Anno just decided to go go extra mile for Director’s Cut because the fans had become prone of such pointless overanalysis. The comparable point (though much bigger) for Anno’s re-edit is change in how film’s portrayal how films are much more in your face about Alto’s identity matters.

    to return to original context of quote saying there are “hints” for her reasons of her actions hardly does justice to how in-face they eventually get about it, especially in episode 23 where Ranka literally spills it all out and there’s no reason provided to think she is lying. To still hold on to the most negative possible takes requires some severe “will to believe” and reasoning how white is really black (to paraprhase a finnish saying). But by no means this is the only thing that should act against the harshest interpretations: OOCness for Ranka (apart from the weird, distorted version of her within their heads), the long and deliberate buildup starting around eps 12-14 about Ranka starting to grow up and become more independent, the fullfilment of paper plane symbolism, the terms in which hero characters like Ozma later view her actions (ep 22’s final scene) etc. – really, the only ones who consistently go on about Ranka the great traitor are story’s *bad guys* and it’s weird so many people just accepted their word for it… Just like many people accepted the bad guys’s characterization of Vajra in ep 23 as basically this hostile, soulless bug swarm without any individual volition (I remember even GL once wrote something about how Ai-kun’s behaviour and characterization represents a plot hole in writing in how hard it flies against the nature of race but the “nature of race” he had accepted was pretty much the distorted one! Thankfully films are slightly clearer about nature of Vajra) without slightest skepticism.

    Of course I’m still not opening that endless debate again and there are less harsh “negative takes” on it not quite as guilty of derping and stupidity as the most vocally espoused ones since 2008 (for example GL’s own take on Ranka’s actions with which I don’t agree either but it’s much better and much more reasonable than the typical anti-Ranka nonsense povs expressed especially back then) and it was about those my harsh words were about.

    To return to “stop thinking” accusement one more time: this is not how I’ve ever behaved. My own understanding of MacrossF, which is in some respects unique and subjective naturally, has been long in forming and grown a lot over the time. It’s been like building a puzzle to me one piece at the time. Many things, such as reason why Ranka was unable to sing the burial ceremony (which is fairly clearly but non-verbally communicated through her expressions while Mishima holds his speech: there’s a specific reaction shot to one thing Mishima says) or Alto’s “gender issues” I first theorized on my own or read in writings of other fans based on nothing but the show itself. To this day I’ve encountered no writing on Vajra close to my understanding of them (Crusader got closest and provided some inspiration) in western pages and some scattered mentions in some japanese discussion but I definetly didn’t get it from any single source. For most they’re this race of space bugs and that’s it. Ditto for the thematic subtext of fold communication and alike.

    This is why on few occasions I’ve referred to Sayoanara as great moment of vindication as the film far more explicitly communicated many ideas I had hit on my own beforehand. That untranslated interviews (which I’ve only recently gained ability to read somewhat) have roughly speaking continued in same (positive for me) directions while also offering new food for thought have presented their own “vindifications” too. So really, many of my ideas I did NOT adopt from “whatever Yosino said” but came up in some form beforehand or had someone else come up with them.

    Of course I’ve been mistaken and had false assumptions too.

    So is my current interpretation of MacrossF (or the franchise in general) complete, perfect or anything like that? Not at all. But I do think I’ve made great progression over past 3 years of being Macross fan and none of it would’ve been possible had I treated creator material as “just another interpretation” or stuck on my older theories because work wasn’t “clear” enough to allow me see more precisely to begin with.

    OT end note: it seems like Chan somehow confused the quote (from 2004) to something Anno had presumably said about “brushing off fan confusion” regarding original Eva much earlier. To my knowledge – and I’ve read a ton of Anno interviews for sure – no such one exists. The closest (and as this is famous one I think this is one Chan is thinking of) remark by him I can think of is from 96 when in IIRC Otakon some american asked why he ended the tv series like he did. Anno just said (in english!) “too bad” if he didn’t like the ending. :D

    But that still isn’t doing anything of the kind you think he has said. In fact his many other quotes speak against such thing, for example:

    “Evangelion is like a puzzle, you know. Any person can see it and give his/her own answer. In other words, we’re offering viewers to think by themselves, so that each person can imagine his/her own world. We will never offer the answers, even in the theatrical version. As for any Evangelion viewers, they may expect us to provide the ‘all-about Eva’ manuals, but there is no such thing. Don’t expect to get answers by someone. Don’t expect to be catered to all the time. We all have to find our own answers.”

    • Alto has issues about acting, but not gender.

      LOL text’s “purest form” that’s a hoot.

      “Shrug it off as another interpretation.”

      This is what betrays you.

      One valid interpretation among many doesn’t mean dismissal. Don’t mistake my rhetoric for Barthes,’ who chooses to be sensationalist. It is odious when it is used (as you do) to make what’s apparently missing seem obvious. I don’t dismiss it. It is equally valid as my own take, only I can’t value it the way my I do my own interpretation because this is my blog post. I don’t dismiss it, I just reject your use of it as a matter to establish truth, as if it settles things.

      The creators are fully capable of being inauthentic, of lying, etc. Not that they always are, but this is another reason not to take what they say at face value. What they say is more interesting as biographical notes than as a lens by which to interpret the subject work.

      Now, viewers can be, and are often stupid. They vary in experience and education, which leads to a lot of “mistakes” in interpretation. But let us stay away from straw men. I’m not stupid. Neither are you. You favor pro-Ranka interpretations, I do not. You’re free to hold on to these to your dear heart. I won’t stop you. If I can indulge the delusional Ranka Lee (commenter), why shouldn’t I indulge you? But you won’t inspire me to subscribe to your interpretations using your word-of-god evangelism.

      I don’t begrudge you if you reject what I offer in these posts anyway. That’s the thing about being a creator too. I make something and it stops just being mine once published. It belongs to my readers too and it’s for them to judge its value.

      • Xard says:

        Alto has issues about acting, but not gender.

        and he was kabuki oyama *raised up as a girl*. See, it all ties together.

        LOL text’s “purest form” that’s a hoot.

        bad wording I guess. I reject DotA in its purest form. I don’t know what text in purest form would even be lol. What is text? What is language? What is it’s relationship with reality if it has one? Bla bla bla

        This is what betrays you.

        One valid interpretation among many doesn’t mean dismissal. Don’t mistake my rhetoric for Barthes,’ who chooses to be sensationalist. It is odious when it is used (as you do) to make what’s apparently missing seem obvious. I don’t dismiss it. It is equally valid as my own take, only I can’t value it the way my I do my own interpretation because this is my blog post. I don’t dismiss it, I just reject your use of it as a matter to establish truth, as if it settles things.

        It commonly does, I wasn’t talking about you. There are numerous utterly infuriating, stubborn morons who stick to their biases and silly prejudices because they can always fall back on their card. In such context it usually amounts to dismissal of alternative viewpoint because it’s much more comfortable to stick whatever views on the matter one has already formed. Of course no one is completely unbiased but I do make a conscious effort to avoid blatant biases best I can.

        I have no passion or interest for a world of criticism where Manson’s Helter Skelter lunacies stand as equals to sane interpretations of The Beatles.

        and maybe it is a matter of personality but I don’t see value of rational, intellectual pursuits (like analyses and theorising based on something always is, it doesn’t matter if it’s just a lowly anime series or a classic of world literature. The basic principles are same) which don’t contribute towards the search for truth and understanding the nature of object (in this case artwork). It’s all a waste of time and reduces dialogue where one might learn something to meaningless exchange of views between solipstic bubbles. I’d never bother with analysis of any sort of art if I didn’t think I could learn something about it and myself through it and instead I’d be free to project and “read up” whatever meanings that are distantly plausible from it.

        Well, at least one can’t claim your Macross posts don’t inspire fairly indepth posts lol. Looking at this monster thread again (though we both knew it would end like this :D)

        The creators are fully capable of being inauthentic, of lying, etc. Not that they always are, but this is another reason not to take what they say at face value.

        Obviously. Again, the court room metaphor. Not all witness accounts are of equal value.

        Now, viewers can be, and are often stupid. They vary in experience and education, which leads to a lot of “mistakes” in interpretation. But let us stay away from straw men. I’m not stupid. Neither are you. You favor pro-Ranka interpretations, I do not. You’re free to hold on to these to your dear heart. I won’t stop you. If I can indulge the delusional Ranka Lee (commenter), why shouldn’t I indulge you? But you won’t inspire me to subscribe to your interpretations using your word-of-god evangelism.

        I’ve never really put out my case in form of cohesive article or essay though. But reading this means it’s not worth the effort in the first place as outcome is predetermined.

        • I forgot… Itsuwari no Utahime Alto has gender issues that pretty much disappeared by the second movie LOL

          I daresay you may find people who agree with you among Ranka fans of varying levels of “hardcore.” I didn’t write this essay for Ranka fans exclusively, which should be obvious… and I masochistically expected that Ranka fans wouldn’t be pleased until I granted Ranka every possible quarter… as if the narrative itself was bullying her, no check that, some creator probably denied it.

          • Xard says:

            I don’t really know any “hardcore” Ranka fans but most agree with me just fine.

            I didn’t write this essay for Ranka fans exclusively, which should be obvious… and I masochistically expected that Ranka fans wouldn’t be pleased until I granted Ranka every possible quarter…

            never suspected you did and what does this have to do with anything?

            as if the narrative itself was bullying her, no check that, some creator probably denied it.

            Very funny indeed. Bravo.

          • Yes, because they’re Ranka fans.

            Yes, thank you for giving your word of God, and making me give mine LOL… now don’t take this negatively because seriously we need to step back a bit and look at what just happened in this thread.

            The post is what it is: a genealogy of hate inflicted upon Ranka, and then a statement of my love and appreciation for her.

            You initially praise it, thanks.

            Then what seems to be your true feelings manifest. And mind you, this makes sense because this is consistent with your behavior since a year ago when you started commenting in the Itsuwari no Utahime post. What behavior? Disagreeing line by line (not that big an exaggeration) with statements that differ from your interpretation of Macross. This is not usual, normal, nor expected in anime blog discussions. It is quite rare.

            And you do it here, picking on the post with a microscope until we have a multitude of things to argue about. This isn’t bad, nor wrong, but this should explain why you come across as difficult. You can’t let things go, when things are said that don’t go your way. I have a responsibility to state a reaction to statements left by commenters because this is my blog. Otherwise, I pay no heed to a multitude (and there really is a lot) of inane statements about anime I care about that I discover online. This is why I don’t like posting on forums, and I chose to host my own discussions.

            You can disagree, and choose not to correct nor set straight the people you disagree with. You may not intend to do so, you may even choose your words carefully to avoid this. But it comes across anyway due to the sheer volume of your reactions and the characteristic defensiveness you deliver them. White Knight indeed.

            So, what I counsel is this: relax, don’t take it so negatively. In this particular corner of the fandom, Ranka is perceived the way she is. You can always find sympathizers with fellow fans. It is very rare for me to meet people who see Minmay the way I do, and it is through this post that I discovered opinions like Ack’s that are like my own.

            How long did I wait? 20? 25 years?

            3 years since I started my own blog?

            I didn’t pick fights nor take exception to the abuse, especially since these were from friends. And we are friends aren’t we? As much as fellow fans of Macross can be on the internet? And I don’t think you take all of these statements you disagree with as abuse for either Ranka or yourself. Yes, my best friends and my wife don’t think much of Minmay, hehe. Do I take every opportunity to set them straight every time her name comes up while discussing anime? No.

            So keep it cool, bro. Let’s keep remembering love for Ranka-chan, the reigning Queen of the Galaxy and the sole idol of human and Zentaedi space, the hopes (but perhaps not the dreams) of the human future.

          • Xard says:

            Yes, because they’re Ranka fans.

            Not really. More like casual watchers who digged Frontier with some gaining deeper interest in Macross and for some reigniting it (ie. soul assassin). Not being against her and liking her doesn’t make one “fan” automatically and IIRC only two liked her more than Sheryl anyway.

            re: going through posts as if with microscope omnilashing is something of a bad habit of mine I’ve generally got rid off in forums over a period of time and nowadays it only pops up here (but I’ve made at least as long posts in similar vein on other subjects too in past). But then again posts as long as interesting as this offer so many interesting grounds for discussion that even if I limit what I comment on (and I did, believe it or not) the reply gets looong like that. I put more critical comments in another post anyway and both were long so I think it should be clear more than finding stuff to just disagree with I was interested in stuff to discuss and debate about per se.

            I’m also entirely able to “live and let go” easily as long as I don’t get entangled in debate. After that point however it’s partly a matter of principles. If I’m proven wrong on something I gladly back up. However giving up on a claim I’ve chosen to brandish or easing up on perceived mistake without such undeniable counterargument feels like I’m doing intellectual injustice to whatever claim I’ve been advocating there. This combined with comboxes being poor ground for mounting arguments that satisfy me leads to going in endless circles… which is most annoying and stressful for me as I’m the one commited to (occasionally so many) simultaneous debates

            So, what I counsel is this: relax, don’t take it so negatively. In this particular corner of the fandom, Ranka is perceived the way she is. You can always find sympathizers with fellow fans.

            but I’m not looking for “sympathizers” per se, floating in one solipstic bubble among others without dialogue or spreading information. “Preaching to the choir” is pointless exercise without value.

            That I’ve brought up these issues as often as I have in this blog partly speaks of the respect I have to you and readers here. I’d never even bother with AS’s ( in past perpetually buttmad) Macross board for example, even if due to presence of some commentators at times the posts here have offered a ground for proxy warfare :D

            It’s hardly all in defence of Ranka though: seeing her ending up as “the idol” of Frontier like Minmay or seeing “Concert Ranka” in similar terms as one with the biggest and most winsome personality are ideas fans are bound to find pleasant. Unfortunately I can’t really believe in either so my criticisms of such ideas were hardly “white knighting” for her as disagreement with the former means Ranka “lost” (or rarely at best got even) in all fields of competition while latter too is more “too good to be true” in my eyes – though more a matter of opinion as I can never see Ranka and Sheryl there in Megumi’s and May’n’s stead anyway, despite both supposedly being in character.

            So keep it cool, bro. Let’s keep remembering love for Ranka-chan, the reigning Queen of the Galaxy and the sole idol of human and Zentaedi space, the hopes (but perhaps not the dreams) of the human future.

            Sarcasm? I don’t like the implicit franderization of my views to something like this <_______<

          • DUDE, SERIOUSLY, RELAX.

            Ranka IS the reigning Queen of the Galaxy in idol terms. Sheryl’s in a coma, Basara’s gone. Mylene’s probably married and Minmay is 66 years old (and still missing). There is a more interesting discussion to do at this point.

            Happy New Year.

          • Xard says:

            I am quite relaxed, as relaxed as I can after basically being asleep for 24h due to medical pill haze lol (surgical operations are a bitch but so far painkillers lol).

            Sheryl wakes up from her coma during credits roll and we get to hear her concert as the very last before film is over. So uhh yeah, nope.

            There is a more interesting discussion to do at this point.

            well I’m not going to hold you back

            happy new year

      • Xard says:

        addendum to last bit about “remembering love” : it also answers’s the original text’s

        Why would the comments sections then be such an attraction for Ranka Lee apologists? Fans I’d understand, to celebrate the character and such – but instead we have something quite different.

        from my part. It’s a bit hard to “celebrate” a character in nearly any neutral (as opposed to one shitty fanclub or another) public context because the general pressure to .psotove opinions that are allowed are in “shit character but I like her despite that” vein. At least that was the case before films but not even those justify liking the series incarnation. Hold other view without brandishing arguments why and you’re either immeaditly jumped on or just looked like a sad sod from afar.

        Keep up a defense and you end up in apologism instead of “celebration”

  28. Bruno J. Global says:

    Oh wow, three years since the Deculture Edition, the shippers are still at it.

    Anyway, a very belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Here’s my gift for you, which somewhat fits the tardiness of the giver, a Tagalog translation of a Christmas song that was introduced in an off-season Christmas episode: http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=3890980#post3890980.

  29. Xard says:

    (this felt like the best place to post it)

    TAKASHI MURAKAMI CONFIRMED FOR THE BROEST OF THE BRO TIERS

    *brofist*

    Translation: listening to Ranka Lee’s Seikan Hikou my brain rests

    :D :D :D

    (followed by kinda lenghty discussion between him and some other guy about how awesome Kanno is and how they’d like to meet her in person lol)

  30. Pingback: Forever Young | We Remember Love

  31. lol, sad as it is, poor Ranka has to go through with that much hate… LOVE her lots though ; u;
    i went on giggling-creying fits at the mention of Brera and the comparisons to Minmay’s cousin, and Brera’s VA’s characters. i can never forget this anymore…i’ll always think about this from now on. OMG! /headdesk. LOL (man, personally, i can’t stand Kira either /throws the desk at his face. LOL XD)
    this is a clear view of how Ranka’s character grew throughout the makings of the MacrossF franchise (and how her fans perceived her through the whole run lol). nicely written. :Db

  32. Extremely interesting! You know, I had never made more than some cursory comparisons to Lynn Minmay before but I think you’re right on the money (probably because I’ve only been a Macross fan for about a year).

    But you know, the reason I kinda wanted Ranka to win was because I wanted them to change up the Macross trope of “X lead character always gets the older/mature/worldly y character.” Some examples would be: in Original and DYRL, Hikaru gets Misa, in Zero, Shin gets Sara and in 7 Mylene gets Gamlin (or at least it was heavily implied they get together). Is it too much to ask for a little variety? :)

    Now obviously this probably wouldn’t have worked in the TV series where, on Ranka’s part it was more of a I-have-a-crush-on-him-becuase-he’s-a-pretty-boy-and-was-nice-to-me. What do you think?

    (and yes, I like Sheryl too.)

    • Thanks!

      The variety you ask for its own sake is problematic for me. This is because the characters as they are don’t fit. I feel very little chemistry between Alto and Ranka wherein the dynamic is that of him being a protective older brother while Ranka already has two battling onii-chans.

      A protagonist picking immature vs. mature makes her/him immature… which may be a bit interesting, but sort of negates all growth managed so far.

  33. Xard says:

    Postin’ here since this is the newest Macross both on either Frontier or 7: http://forum.evageeks.org/post/551778/The-Macross-Legacy-Thread-Incl-DYRL-Zero-Seven-Frontier/#551778

    HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HOOOOOOOOOO

  34. Pingback: We Remember Love Says Goodbye, and Thank You For All The Memories | We Remember Love

  35. hey there, darling! just wanted to let you know that i loved your post :B
    tbh, i love Brera (bc he is Ranka’s crutch) and hate Kira, but i digress. i feel like i can once again love Macross and Frontier thanks to your insight.

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