The Should-have-been Crowd-Pleasing Finale: Macross Frontier 25 “Your Sound”

It was supposed to end here, or at least, symmetry dictated it. 25 episodes for a 25th-year anniversary, as marked by the VF-25 Messiah, the 25th Macross-class ship “Frontier” and a few subtler nods to continuity and symmetry.

A dedication to symmetry led to Ranka slapping Sheryl to get her to face the circumstances, because Sheryl did just that in episode 20. Never mind that the Ranka didn’t really have reason to slap her, nor should she have felt that Sheryl needed one. As far as I’m concerned, Ranka wouldn’t slap anybody or anything. This is the girl who cares for bugs, who has distaste for violence. But she slapped Sheryl because Macross Frontier loves it symmetry.

But it fails this, because it was all supposed to end here, and it didn’t.

macross-frontier-25-large-34

It didn’t because the end suggested more of a beginning. Grace and the Macross Galaxy fleet are defeated, the Vajra for some reason give up their homeworld to the humans, and Frontier’s population are set to colonize it. The love triangle, instead of resolving, is set to begin – as if in earnest this time; as if what transpired – which would have been the most event-filled moments in the lives of the characters, only brought them to this moment.

Alto found his sky, now Ranka and Sheryl compete with it and each other for Alto’s attention and perhaps love.

Here’s an apology: The triangle did not begin on equal terms. The story of Macross Frontier is how the triangle is to be fought on a level field under a blue sky.  It isn’t about the result of the trials of life and death, the trials of love lie before our characters. Everything that happened brought them here where they are finally free to love.

No, I don’t buy it either.

However, this isn’t to say there isn’t much to appreciate in this finale. Nearly everything up to the very final moments when they touched down were of tremendous energy and excitement. It was a grand spectacle. A space battle that hasn’t been seen in the franchise since Macross 7 Fleet of the Strongest Women, but far grander, and evocative of Macross: Do You Remember Love?

That was some of the best two minutes I enjoyed in all animation right there. For the first time in over a decade, Earth forces fought each other. For the first time ever, Macross-class vessels engaged each other in combat. The Macross Galaxy took out the Macross Cannons of both Battle Frontier and Macross Quarter with one shot, and the Daedalus Attack was deployed against (who would have been) friendlies. And yes, TWO Minmay-class idols were singing in a duet as part of the fireworks.

It was more than I hoped for, and I’m so thankful this happened the way it did.

Post Script

I’ve heard it mentioned in some discussion fora that Alto’s visor cracking during his final attack was a rip-off from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. This is the mistake of the ignorant. Both Macross Frontier and TTGL were remembering love for the finale of Mobile Suit Z Gundam. Kamille Bidan after all is one of them old uncles of the angsty pilot characters in robot anime.

View if you don’t care for spoilers (TTGL and Z Gundam).

Further Reading

Alto Saotome shows a bit of character [->]

Crusader spills an ocean of ink for this finale, and I remember loving it (Crusader 09/27/2008)

About ghostlightning

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

55 Responses to The Should-have-been Crowd-Pleasing Finale: Macross Frontier 25 “Your Sound”

  1. RyanA says:

    The love triangle, instead of resolving, is set to begin

    I like this. The conflict brought on the by evil genius was an unbalance, and everything came back to balance in the end. Also, considering this was my first Macross experience, the songs+battle was definitely peaked imo, it held a massively positive feel, and I think I was happy with it in the end. 🙂

  2. Crusader says:

    Yes it was set to begin, though I think that Ranka would have had felt the revenge of reality shortly there after…

    Still it was the best Mecha battle of the year and one that is pretty enduring considering the first time two and a quarter macross ships duked it out in a pitched battle. For me that was enough as the experience left me twtiching in my chair from a mecha overload.

    I have my own take on how it ended, maybe it was a beginning but in my book by the end Sheryl seemed to have strategic dominance, while Ranka is going to be playing catch up. In the words of Master Asia, “What is the meaning of victory if one hasn’t suffered?” In that view a Sheryl victory is much more satisfying than a Ranka one or a dead heat.

    In the end though I am not sure if it was better or worse for Ranka to be oblivious to the pain and suffering she caused for the colonists and the PR blowback that seems certain to follow even if her inner circle forgives her. Had she come clean I might have forgiven her but seeing as how she didn’t being naive doesn’t excuse the callousness and her Ranka centric attitude. She couldn’t harm a bug but was willing to slap a greiving populace in the face and put her own interests ahead of the fleet’s. It still rubs me the wrong way as it indicated no progression on the maturity front in the areas that counted.

    At any rate I’ll stick with the implied, but Kawamori certified, night of forever and ever between Alto-hime and Sheryl in the spirit of DYRL’s implied lurvin as the end of the triangle business. At least Elmo wasn’t going to school Ranka like Kaifun did to Minmay, though it would have been better for Ranka in the end.

    • The Macross Frontier novelization (I’m told, and am also told that Kawamori accepts this as canon) spelled out the night in question and that Sheryl and Alto did have sexytime and that Alto did put on the moves.

      I think the whole Ranka part of the ending is a debacle. As Caithyra put it so well,

      I wanted to kick Ranka when she slapped Sheryl. Nevermind that Sheryl slapped her earlier, you just do not use physical violence on a dying, terminally ill person. You don’t do it to your worst enemy, you don’t do it to your friend, you don’t do it to anyone. Full stop.

      But I will stop short of demonizing her. Her actions reflect an immaturity and utter lack of sense, but she is not malicious. That said, she must face the music and not sing her way cutely out of it. She should be held into account, held responsible, and then maybe if she’s lucky, forgiven.

      I’ll hold off talking about the series as a whole since I have a whole post for that already prepared. I do agree that in 2008 no series came close to delivering eye-popping mecha battles. Code Geass R2 disappointed, and Gundam 00 S2 just couldn’t and didn’t.

      Now, the final battle wasn’t a display of tactical genius, but Macross was never really about that. It’s a strange thing, in that it values the individual fighting ace more, but the exploits are rather muted to a degree during large battles because they’re mostly shown to deliver mass damage as opposed to participate in difficult dogfights. Also, the focus really shifts on the idol concert which really dictates the pace and direction of the battle. In the end you can really tell that the battle is really an audiovisual spectacle rather than a ‘historical’ representation as you’d find in shows like Banner of the Stars, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, or even those from UC Gundam.

    • Jason says:

      I think Brera might be a better analogy for Kaifun than Elmo. Kaifun enters the plot after Hikaru’s escort mission, while Brera declares himself openly only after Alto’s escort mission (earlier references could be foreshadowing). Both are excellent martial artists, and act as bodyguard/escort to the rising idol. Also, both take exception to the lead male character (with differing rationales).

      • Kaifun is Brera’s expy, no doubt. In the context of the moment presented here, Elmo is performing an anti-Kaifun role: opposite, but definitely related. Brera is more like normal Kaifun but not that big an asshole.

    • Reelyanoob says:

      I disagree on the level of Ranka’s guilt, it should be shared with Sheryl equally, or more so.

      Grace said in ep 15 that “they” were responsible for the attack on Frontier (meaning Grace and Sheryl – why else would Grace need a singer with v-type infection). She also said they only became aware of Ranka’s power during the ep 7 battle – when Brera was out monitoring Sheryl’s fold-waves near the attacking Vajra swarm (now, just why would Grace have Brera out doing exactly that 😉 )

      Ranka had been singing Aimo for about 10 years (ep 17 Ozma comment – 10 years since Ranka spoke) – with no Vajra attacks, and by coincidence Grace and Sheryl arrive and the first attack is on almost immediately. Note the fold-waves are emitted by emotion as well as singing.

      So, that first big ep 1 attack is due to Sheryl (lead around as bait, hence why she was not allowed to take any time off on the other ships, as she says in ep 5). Note that Ranka’s power halted this attack in ep 2 (when Alto accidentally touched her boobies)

      At the end of episode 2 both girls singing (Sheryl songs) together pisses off the Vajra that hid in ep 2 to attack.

      Ozma killed the first Vajra with a knife to the head in ep 2 (which is not fatal to Vajra). The military carted it away. This specimen slept through Ranka singing Aimo in ep 3, and a Minmei song in ep 4. The second she sang a Sheryl cover, in ep 5. It went ballistic.

      Sheryl’s implicated in that first attack, and also in the episode 7 battle (due to us asking why Brera would need to monitor her fold-waves near the Vajra swarm – maybe to lure this next attack towards Mac Frontier).

      So how cuplable was Ranka, really?

      • If we’re merely discussing who “brought the Vajra to Frontier” I think neither could be called responsible. Neither Sheryl nor Ranka were aware of the attractive powers of their singing onto the Vajra until much later.

        Ranka’s failure and culpability lies more in her failing to fulfill her responsibility to the grieving public — a public who never faulted her for agitating the Vajra anyway (not that anybody knew her relationship with them). It also lies in her choice to leave Frontier in its time of great need, to join the Vajra.

        So your framing of culpability in a Ranka vs. Sheryl dichotomy doesn’t really work.

  3. redmaigo says:

    Resolve the love triangle?

    Ha!

    I know that the girls are the love interests who must fight for the love of the heroic and impetuous pilot in this installment of the Macross franchise. However, when it comes to being truly diva, Ranka merely tries and Sheryl tries too hard.

    Alto-hime is the true diva of this show. And diva’s are only about themselves.

    A woman’s love binds you to her which in turn binds you to the earth. Alto will never let that truly happen. His one and only true love will forever be the endless sky.

    I feel sorry for the girl that he eventually chooses.Or the one through persistance and perseverance wears him down to the point where he has to make a choice. She’ll think that she has finally gained access to his heart and realize that, most of the time, it’s like going to a theme park where there are more rainy days than sunny ones.

    And just like a theme park it is only open during certain hours and certain seasons of the year.

    • It quite shows that you have no fondness for the characters and that’s okay.

      I do disagree, precisely because I am quite fond of the characters. I can be harsh on them precisely because I like them a lot. But I will indulge you here, because your comment honors the effort I put into blogging :3

      I can relate to Alto and am married and my wife and I have a wonderful daughter. Both of us are fiercely driven and devoted to our pursuits. In her case, the practice of law. In my case, the creation of money (as well as anime and manga). These would be analogous to how Alto relates with his sky. I can’t bother my wife when she’s in her zone, and I get it. It doesn’t make her any less of a partner. Actually it makes her awesome. Her flying the way she does makes me look up to her. It makes me want to fly with her. And we actually do fly together — in that she is an priceless adviser in my own practice of business and deal-making.

      Sheryl can always continue her flight lessons. Or, she can always sing while Alto flies her around. We’ve seen it in episode one, and in episode eight. Theme parks — if I were to use your analogy, are awesome if you own them. They’re open for you whenever you wish.

      • redmaigo says:

        I don’t know where you got that I was not fond of the characters. I will admit that all of them seriously annoyed me in the beginning. By the end of the series, the only the one who showed any real growth and/or maturity was Sheryl.

        Ranka and Alto not so much. Ranka has an excuse due to her age, but only just. Alto seems very selfish because, most of the time, he considers no ones feelings but his own.

        He may overcome that or he may not. Of course we will never know unless they do a sequel.

        All I have to say is Hikuru he isn’t. Which is as it should be I suppose but the show ended with Alto being more or less the same teenage boy as he started. Albeit with a trio of girls who may have a shot at his heart.

        • It’s the impression I got, and if incorrect — I apologize.

          I don’t see Alto as regressed at all, and I actually don’t even think of Hikaru as superior. Minmay made him choose and offered a terrible and unacceptable future. Ranka just left — and although she came back, there was no dramatic “choose me over her” flashpoint. If Ranka did as Minmay, do you really think Alto would’ve abstained willingly?

  4. Caithyra says:

    I wanted to kick Ranka when she slapped Sheryl. Nevermind that Sheryl slapped her earlier, you just do not use physical violence on a dying, terminally ill person. You don’t do it to your worst enemy, you don’t do it to your friend, you don’t do it to anyone. Full stop.

    Anyway, I think Sheryl and the Sky won the triangle, considering that Sheryl doesn’t seem to mind sharing Alto with his sky (heck, she wanted to give it to him as a birthday present).

    Anyway, I loved the battle and the medley, but that’s just eye and ear candy, as far a story telling and character building goes, the last episode didn’t quite deliver (love triangle should be resolved, some random soldier in protective suit should have yelled at the Quarter team for exposing themselves to a foreign atmosphere, Ranka should be faced with true consequences of her actions).

    So, it was light, fluffy candy floss for the eyes and ears, but collapsed in every other way. Quite a disappointment, considering the build up (but then again, so was Avatar: The Last Airbender and Harry Potter, you know, Deus ex Tortuga, Deus ex Virga, Deus ex Ranka, what’s the difference?).

    Oh yeah, and some friendly tip to Ranka: Forget the guy who wanted to kill you. Treasure your friendships with the two girls who wanted to save you. Issue one gargantuan apology to Frontier for leaving them to die. Remember, since you made your choices out of free (but manipulated) will, your punishments will probably be greater than Brera’s (who was brainwashed) and Ozma’s (’cause Quarter never turned against Frontier), co-operate, because once those generals figure that yes, you really, really did betray Frontier, they wont look kindly upon you (’cause you was contracted to the military and turned traitor, I’ve heard that you really shouldn’t do that). If you’re lucky, Alto (now, war-hero for dealing the killing blow), Ozma (by asking his influential boss) and Brera (by cutting deals) will all bail you out. Don’t you just love your protectors?

    Anyway, because of the above, I don’t think Sheryl and Ranka are on an even field at the end. Sheryl is the heroic fairy who saved Frontier, even at the price of Galaxy and her own life (though she survived thanks to Deus ex Ranka). Ranka is the traitor, effectively a high-ranking soldier who was hailed as a hero, a messiah, who turned against Frontier. It can’t just be waved away, everyone knew that Ranka abandoned them, that she led an attack on Frontier, that soldiers probably died fighting Ranka.

    If there’s a sequel, I want to see the aftermath, I want to see Ranka grow where her Niichan-tachi (I’m including Alto, because he occupied the same part in her life as Ozma and Brera) cannot reach her. I want her to understand that there’s consequences.

    Furthermore, that Ranka would be able to challenge Sheryl in either love or songs at this point? A point when I could easily see half of Frontier refusing to buy her records ’cause she betrayed them? A point when she might end up in jail and not with a record deal? At a point when Alto and Sheryl are living together? At a point when all of Frontier would be Sheryl’s loyal fans, if just in gratitude that she saved their lives?

    No, this ending just doesn’t make sense, unless one buys into Ranka’s view on life, that she’s capable of doing anything and get away with it (seriously, the only time she faced consequences was in Star Date, and she went off in a sulk, trying to get Alto to validate her, and sulked even more when Michel refused to validate her).

    Okay, okay, I get it, series loves to end with the “true beginning” (finding Ursa, reforming a bigoted system, whatever), but it is a horrible coop-out for the fans, because all the freaking series we’ve been baited with “who will they end up with?”, “what choice will they make?”, “will the world actually become something deserving of saving?”, “what the heck is it with Gundams and Jupiter?”, and only to be told “Yeah, you know, the slavery the heroes perpetuate? Yeah, not important even though it’s been stressed. And no, heroes and mini-villains wont join together to defeat Big Bad, even though it’s been mentioned several times. Oh, and that the hero would have to make an actual sacrifice to save the world? Preposterous! Instead we’ll use a conveniently placed and shaped rock, and an ability that’s never been mentioned before to defeat the Big Bad! Satisfied yet? Oh, the love triangle? Sorry, the winning character wasn’t the mascot, and the mascot needs to win, so we reset it.

    Oh, and if you really want the ending, watch the movies that’ll come out in a year or four”.

    At this point I’m wondering if it’s just the art of modern story-telling, and that I’m just old-fashioned.

    Either way, Canaria owned this final battle. In my mind, her charge was easily the most memorable one in the entire battle. Go Canaria! *Breaks out poms* Go König Monster! Too bad you guys weren’t the mains, it would have been interesting to see a mother weigh her family against her duties as a soldier, and the working hours of a doctor, and the voice of Houko Kuwashima.

    • Thanks for the extensive share. I really appreciate it.

      I will hold off giving my overall thoughts on the series because I’ve prepared an extensive post on it for next week. But I will engage your points.

      1. I think you put it best expressing my own disgust for the Ranka slap nonsense. It was an appeal to symmetry, as the geometric theme goes, but it’s just awful.

      2. The final battle is indeed a joyful spectacle, and it will overshadow many elements and in some ways, mask them — which it does for errors and gaffes. However, I’m not as bothered with the character development — as you say. The Alto and Sheryl story was going well until the reset ending. It’s really Ranka’s that just doesn’t work.

      While I do wish for mature characters like Canaria to have their own Macross shows, I won’t hold it against Macross Frontier for not making her the lead. That’s just not the point of this project. I do think it would make a lovely OVA. I actually wanted to see a Cathy x Ozma x Canaria triangle, but instead of Canaria I got Bobby instead LOL.

      3. I think the lack of resolution of the love triangle is the biggest problem of this show. If they do resolve it in the movie, we will be seeing a bunch of retcons that makes both stories fail. They become two separate entities that have their own gaps and omissions. At least DYRL? was explained away as an in-universe fictional film, and even then there are problems. But, I’m a fan (and a very big fan at that), which means while I want my pet franchise to be perfect, I don’t hold it against it if it isn’t (unlike other so-called fans who disown the franchise when they perceive it fails or, insist with delusional fervor that it is always perfect).

      • Caithyra says:

        I do think it would make a lovely OVA. I actually wanted to see a Cathy x Ozma x Canaria triangle, but instead of Canaria I got Bobby instead LOL.

        I’m calling for OVAs! Each episode could be character themed (Canaria, Clan, Bridge Bunnies and Captain, Bobby, Brera and so on), and then end with Cathy and Ozma’s wedding or something (complete with interruption and epic valkyrie battle in a true, blue sky) and then we finally hear Alto choosing Sheryl, and Ranka be fine with it (or, Alto could first choose Sheryl, Ranka hears and has a meltdown, epic valkyrie versus vajra battle, Ranka is calmed down by Brera and realises that she needs to grow up). It could mirror the final battle in that Alto covers Brera.

        And Bobby was totally one of the best characters! Too bad he and Sheryl didn’t interact much in the series, ’cause that would have been great!

        • A pipe dream, but ripe for fanfics and non-h doujins!

          Now that you’ve mentioned it, Bobby and Sheryl would have been a beast in terms of scene-stealing interactions. Bobby would be her match in many ways.

          It will end with Bobby giving her a makeover to end all makeovers. God Alto will shit bricks!

  5. Chan says:

    I think that Macross Frontier would have done better with a good 10 episodes more, and it would have also done well for it to have not expected for the viewers to forget the past 24 episodes in favor of a do over ending. This is especially true for the character Ranka, who in last part of the series has behaved in a manner that has made many a fan disillusioned about her.

    I never bought the whole thing about the love triangle starting over, because in my opinion it was bullshit. One episode does not get rid of 24 episodes worth of development. It also didn’t help matters that Ranka had decided to give up on Alto in episode 21, yet now he saves her (on Sheryl’s request mind you) and now she goes right back to chasing him? Wasn’t the whole reason why she was upset with Alto was because “he can’t hear her voice”, which he still can’t do, without Sheryl’s help? Alto still needs a third party to listen to Ranka. It doesn’t help matters that the Kawamori tried to make her into the new Minmei and yet forgot that Minmei only really grew as a character in the last 10 episodes of SDF. Not only that but Hikaru also tried to end the love triangle in episode 25 which would have been the last of SDF if it wasn’t extended. Not only that but the love triangle was the main focus of the story, and to not end it, is just bad writing, especially when you don’t plan to make a sequel. I think that Kawamori may have forgotten love when he was writing the last episode. Saving someone’s life does not equal mutual affection.

    What’s ironic is that by trying to make episode 25 a reset ending Kawamori shafted whatever development Ranka may have received. It makes her look delusional to average viewer, especially one who has seen the original SDF Macross. It made Ranka worse than Minmei who had least acknowledged her mistakes, which now that I look back received harsher treatment than Ranka for doing far less.

    I think that the another reason why this is a pretty bad ending is because it focused too much on new beginnings than on endings(which it is supposed to be). The ending reminded me of the sequel hooks I see in all of those Hollywood movies in which there were sequels planned at the beginning of production. But, in this case there wasn’t a direct planned and that’s the problem.

    FYI: The only indication we get of the restart of the love triangle is from Ranka challenging Sheryl, who jokingly accepts. Alto did not make any indication of liking both girls on equal at all in this episode (Yes, even his “you are both my wings” line was not meant romantically). While one would normally consider this to be the new love triangle consider who made the challenge and her track record.

    Also by not letting the love triangle end Kawamori effectively shafted Alto’s character development. Alto who the series had much so much effort into indicating that he must learn how to make choices in his life. The same Alto who ignored a girl’s affections, and doesn’t feel the same way about her and yet doesn’t put her down. By not allowing him to make a choice it makes his character seem wishy washy. By not allowing him to make a choice Kawamori had effectively prevented the final step to the growth in his character.

    • Chan says:

      Just an added question but have you ever listened to the 0-G Love from Grace and Leon? Its haunting.

    • I think that the another reason why this is a pretty bad ending is because it focused too much on new beginnings than on endings(which it is supposed to be). The ending reminded me of the sequel hooks I see in all of those Hollywood movies in which there were sequels planned at the beginning of production. But, in this case there wasn’t a direct planned and that’s the problem.

      FYI: The only indication we get of the restart of the love triangle is from Ranka challenging Sheryl, who jokingly accepts. Alto did not make any indication of liking both girls on equal at all in this episode (Yes, even his “you are both my wings” line was not meant romantically). While one would normally consider this to be the new love triangle consider who made the challenge and her track record.

      This is what I most agree with among your points. It really does leave a bad taste in my mouth. That said, I don’t think Sheryl “jokingly accepts” Ranka’s challenge. It was played very straight, including the whole business with the “you are both my wings part.” It heavily and obnoxiously implied that the Alto x Sheryl relationship is not a foregone conclusion within this continuity, and that Ranka has a future in it.

      And even if you don’t accept this, the very idea of putting this much ambiguity (if indeed there is no clear resolution and at the very least we can acknowledge this much for this episode) is telling. Why do it in the finale, if not to cause interest in keeping the game open, in keeping Ranka x Alto shippers interested.

      Lastly I don’t agree to the extent the non-resolution damaged Alto as a character. What did happen is that he acknowledged them both as important — you are both my wings. What needed to happen was for him to land on the ground and break it to Ranka what she needs to do so he and Sheryl can be her wings too. There was a finale, but no denouement. The lack of this is what really rankles — and is in agreement with your idea that the show could’ve used more episodes the way SDFM did.

      BUT, the shoehorning into symmetry is very problematic. 25 episodes for the 25th anniversary. Ranka slapping Sheryl because She did the same but in a proper context as opposed to Ranka’s facepalm-inducing one.

      • Chan says:

        According to Kawamori the “You are both my wings” was not meant to be romantic at all (source: again animesuki members, its a pretty good forum for Kawamori interviews). The words are the same as saying that you’re both important to me, there is no indication of it being romantic in any sense of the word. In addition to that there is also the novels and manga which seek more to establish a friendship between the three rather than romance, during that specific scene. That’s why I pointed the scene out from Alto’s point of view (he never talked to Ranka at all in the last episode).

        The reason for it being ambiguous though could be like I said before, the series may have very well had been made well ahead of the actual airing of the later episodes before Ranka lost all her popularity for her actions. Adding onto that a movie was green-lighted too (which is actually a retelling of the story not a sequel). Even though had they made a SherylxAlto ending it would have come at no detriment to the show’s popularity, though they might not realized that when they made the last episode. So there is truth in your words. Ironically Kawamori would have gotten into considerably less trouble with both the fans and his staff had he decided to put an end to the love triangle, but it certainly didn’t help that all the advertising showed Sheryl and Alto being intimate.

        I’m gonna go on a limb and say that that’s what most Alto fans wanted him to do. They wanted Alto to break it to Ranka so that she would learn it was time to start growing up without relying on Oni-chan/Brera-san/Alto-kun to help her. Sheryl and Ranka are both girls that needed opposite things; while Sheryl needed to learn how to be more dependent on others and that it is not weakness to seek out help when you need it, Ranka needed to learn that sometimes you need to make decisions on your own, you can’t always rely on others to help you for every little thing, you can be troublesome to others if you are too dependent on them.

        I also agree that Ranka is important to both Sheryl and Alto as a friend, but I kinda view their relationship with her in a give and take/older siblings -younger sister fashion. They give and she takes.

        • All solid points and I can easily get behind them. Again thanks for sharing all of this because I don’t frequent forums at all, knowing I could miss out on some productive fan community activities. Thanks to you, I don’t miss out too much.

          What bothers me with a retelling is that it’s tantamount to an admission that they made a mess of things.

          What’s great about a retelling is that they actually get to fix the problems instead of defending the show as if it never had any. It’s quite a tough break since they really shouldn’t have the problems they did given all the time to plan and organize this project.

          But still, I can’t really say anything conclusive until I see the complete retelling.

          • Chan says:

            Your welcome, I realize that Macross is a multi-media franchise, so a lot of information for different Macross series eg: SDF, Plus, Zero, especially 7 are from supplementary material. By the way the manga for Macross Frontier is still ongoing (Alto and Sheryl are still living together in it), but its only showing more side stories than anything else. Interstingly enough the sign that Alto makes with his hands may come from Isamu from Macross Plus. Apparently Isamu was an old acquaintance of Alto’s father. Basara also visited Frontier in the past as well, and Sheryl may also be a Fire Bomber fan (she’s sang totsugeki love heart when she was younger and official art usually has her cosplaying as Basara/ and or Misa whenever Ranka cosplays as Minmei). Another interesting thing to take note of is that whenever Ranka is featured in art with Alto, its usually in a way so that either a) they look more like siblings/friends, b)Alto doesn’t even look at her. (in fact http://www.animepaper.net/gallery/scans/Macross-Frontier/item195786/ that is one of the last pictures that ever came out for the series). Its funny but when people judge this series just from promotional pictures they rightly guess that Ranka is the main focus however they don’t pick up on the love triangle.

            The original DYRL was like that too, however they managed to mix that in with the canon, the line of which parts they take from the original SDF and which ones they take from DYRL are blurry at best.

            Apparently Kawamori had decided against having Ranka as the main focus of the story, and has made it so that she knows Alto before the beginning of the movie (most likely to overcome the hurdle of Ranka knowing next to nothing about him while spending virtually no time with Alto at all. However, its still just like TV series in that Sheryl still spends a majority of time with him, and they now have some sort of physic connection. In other words the love triangle is still one-sided. Though from what I heard Ranka is much more mature, and actually has a sense of responsibility in movie.

            Fair enough the first movie will come out on Blue Ray on October 7th. The second movie will air in theaters (if it isn’t pushed back) sometime this fall.

          • I wish the manga and the novels get translated. Or are they and I’m just ignorant?

            Saotome Ranzo and Isamu Alva Dyson being acquaintances is kind of weird but maybe it was through Myung Fang-Lone Dyson :3 that they met. I’ve also read about Basara visiting Frontier but have never confirmed it.

            I do wonder if the re-telling of Frontier would would be a canon conflict. DYRL was explained away as an in-universe film and therefore fictitious. This retelling would be the actual events then, rendering the TV series obsolete? This troubles me.

          • Chan says:

            We all secretly wish for that, and hopefully our wishes will be answered.

            It kinda makes sense considering the time skip between the incident with Myung, Guld, and Isamu, and when they meet again years later.

            The canon of SDF is actually a combination of DYRL and the original tv series. Basically when Kawamori made DYRL he used it to supplement the series and replace events that he was dissatisfied with in the tv series eg: canonically the song Minmei sang to the Zentradi is “Ai, Obete Imasuka?” instead of “Love Flows Away”, however the way that the Zentradi ended up siding with the humans is just like tv series. The MisaHikaruMinmei love triangle is a combination of tv series and movie. The time skip is still very much canon. Most of the information on protoculture is from DYRL, including the song, both of which are canon. I could go on and on but watching Flashback 2012 is a pretty good way understand SDF canon, discounting novels and manga.


          • Jeez, I never really thought of using Flashback this way. You’ve just made my day. I now want to construct the canon history properly — chart the character and universe histories, in chart form. I I can have you join me in this project, I’d really appreciate it! (Then we’ll do it for Frontier).

          • Chan says:

            Sure why not? I don’t mind helping you out, considering I’m kinda trying to do the same thing myself, it’ll be a learning experience for both of us.

            I still don’t know how Kawamori will treat the MF movies though.

          • Hutch says:

            Ummm i realize im like 9 months late in this… but is there a subtitled version of Macross Flashback 2012 anywhere. i searched it but was unable to find one… i seen all the other SDF movies/videos/episodes. including the americanized ones where “rick and lisa” got married. i prefer original japanese with subtitles though. and as far as Frontier goes… I thoroughly loved it. it has its quirks with any anime, but from what im hearing of the 2nd movie it should clear up the whole love triangle thing. it did throw me off the first time i watched the first movie after the series because as a retelling i was expecting it to follow the basic plot, not have a different antagonist and different set up. i cant wait for the second movie to get subtitled so i can watch it and finally complete my frontier fix. because yes it leaves me wanting MORE. it was kind of disheartening they left out nanase though… she was the main thing that kept luca interesting. aside from his family of course…. but they didnt even include that in the movie either.

          • There isn’t really any dialogue in Flashback 2012 that needs subtitles. It’s a clip show set to Minmay’s songs.

            Luca was a strange character concept for me. He was at first this throwback to those older 5-person team combining robot shows, the little kid — but he isn’t THAT young, he’s the same age (15) as the other high school pilots but gets treated like he’s much younger. It’s one thing to be the shortest guy, but MEIN GOTT WHY THE FRICK IS HE WEARING SHORT PANTS FOR HIS UNIFORM? There really is NO point to this. Nanase was the most mature-looking girl in their class (prior to Sheryl) and he insists (as the uniforms are standard issue) he wear a grade-schooler getup. Clearly this is Frontier fucking with the otaku database than it is caring about writing more sensible characters.

  6. Vendredi says:

    The visor-cracking bit struck me as a bit of a nod to Macross Plus as well, where Isamu nearly has his head blown off, and also perhaps a bit of Macross Zero too. It seems a well-exercised trope in mecha at least – the hero discarding his defences in order to close for the kill.

    • Hmm, I didn’t quite notice the visor nods in Plus and Zero. I must check these out!

      I don’t quite make the same connection to the trope you mention, but maybe you can explain further because I am quite intrigued by it.

      • vendredi says:

        I was thinking in a more general sense of “shedding extraneous equipment” throughout the Macross series – the finale battles always seem to involve jettisoning “artificial” aids and leaving the pilot down to his own devices: Isamu gets his helmet (and head) nearly blown off by his backseater, and in the movie version smashes his instrumentation, and Shin jettisons his VF-1’s entire armament in order to get in close.

        • Gotcha. It’s an interesting trope if it is indeed one. Shedding parts looks way cool, and Alto did it in episode 07 when he used the shed Super Pack as chaff to shake off missiles locked on to him as he charged into the Knight Class Vajra Carrier.

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  8. miki_sei says:

    “The love triangle, instead of resolving, is set to begin – as if in earnest this time; as if what transpired – which would have been the most event-filled moments in the lives of the characters, only brought them to this moment.”

    I actually buy this, but with a sad addendum. Love might be beginning for Alto and company, but Klan Klan’s love is gone forever ;_;

    Good piece altogether, though.

    • Thank you. I think Klan x Michel was a pretty good sad story, and as a device, it works to spur Alto into action. Klan has been a very good character acting as an onee-san for Alto, something that hasn’t really been done in the Macross franchise. Watch out for the movie re-telling!

  9. Magnus says:

    While the last episode delivered on the mecha action front and in resolving the conflict with the Vajra somewhat satisfactorily, I am also one of those who thinks that leaving the romance angle of the show was a terribly bad idea. I would wish that somewhat after the movies we’d get an interview with Kawamori about how that came about and what the effects ( both on the creative side and on the fan-reaction one ) of it were.

    That being said, I must really ask: How exactly did the finale reset anything? We have the “you are both my wings” scene, but, as said by several other commenters, it wasn’t supposed to be romantic. Also, when you look at it closely, you can see Alto first only addressing Sheryl with it, then thinking better of it and including Ranka. I take this as an indication that his first instinct was with Sheryl, but he was able to include Ranka, to re-affirm their friendship.

    The last line in the episode “I guess this is where it all starts” and Sheryl accepting the laughable “challenge” of Ranka also didn’t click with me as a reset. It seemed to be more Sheryl humoring Ranka to not ruin the moment of celebration, knowing fully well how far ahead she is and how little Ranka realizes that the “competition” is already over.

    But, as Caithyra and Chan said above ( and Crusader in his memorable blog posts, which still serve as an inspiration for me whenever I re-read them ): How does the non-resolution at the end reset all the happenings throughout the series? Since the last episode very clearly did *not* end the series satisfactorily, one has to extrapolate the most likely outcome of what has come until that moment. One has to think of “And what will happen the next day, after the firework celebration?”.

    And to me, it is inescapable: Alto has grown up to be a memorable and honorable person. Nothing has invalidated his vow to Sheryl and the sacrifices he made to get to the position he has with her. He has nowhere demonstrated a stated desire to break it off with Sheryl or kindle any sort of romantic relationship with Ranka. Not that Brera would let him, anyway. For her part, Sheryl has been healed and I don’t see her breaking it off with Alto to level the playing field, or some other non-sense. In any case, I think it is clear that Alto doesn’t love Ranka and it is his responsibility to break it to her gently.

    Ranka has grown exactly 0% since the events of episode 20. She has not accepted any responsibility for her actions and I am guessing that she’ll get a rude awakening, since the Frontier military at large ( who are in charge for the moment ) do not have a cozy personal relationship with her. Her being crucial in winning the last battle will probably get her off the hook, but there will be some not-so-cuddly moments for her in the very near future.
    On the romantic front, there are several factors which make Ranka getting a foot in the door with Alto utterly implausible. First off is how far ahead Sheryl and Alto are in their relationship. When Ranka realizes that, then the second whammy sets in: Ranka is er her innnocent personality utterly incapable of malicously driving a wedge between Sheryl and Alto. And that is what it would take, IMO, to separate the two of them enough for Ranka to create a new triangle.

    The only way a new triangle could form is if either Alto or Sheryl break it off with each other. I simply cannot see it with Alto and I only see about a 1% chance that Sheryl would do something like “releasing Alto from his promise” and him actually *accepting* such a statement.

    Sheryl x Alto is for me the canon ending, since I can’t see how a plausible scenario can develop for Ranka to get into the game. Sheryl and Alto have proven to be completelely suited for each other throughout the series, they have gotten over their personal issues which kept them pushing each other away and once two such people are together, it is very hard to find a reason why they’d separate again.

    • This is the reading I want to adopt, but it requires a lot of explaining to get to this, and while Macross Frontier is quite capable of subtlety, it is not that subtle. Btw, Crusader’s blogging Frontier was one of my direct inspirations not only for blogging it, but for putting up We Remember Love itself.

      What rings truer is that there was a commitment to not alienate Ranka fans. This is further complicated by the fact that this final episode was completed earlier than the ones preceding it. After-the-fact word-of-god declarations of what is canon only highlight the failure of the work as a coherent/complete piece of narrative. This applies to re-tellings and retroactive continuity fixes as well.

      That said, I’d rather have those than nothing; and, given the fanboy that I am, more Macross is always, always a good thing.

      • Magnus says:

        This is the reading I want to adopt, but it requires a lot of explaining to get to this, and while Macross Frontier is quite capable of subtlety, it is not that subtle. Btw, Crusader’s blogging Frontier was one of my direct inspirations not only for blogging it, but for putting up We Remember Love itself.

        I’d like to dispute that somewhat. Of course there were unsubtle elements in Macross Frontier, it is a mecha show about singing divas. But as you and others and I have said about Alto: His characterization was very subtle. I’ve heard numerous complaints during the last years about how much of a cypher Alto was and I’ve always disputed those. Alto evolved very much during the series, losing many of his irritating traits while refining his admirable ones. We learned much about his commitment to his friends and home. It is only that he wasn’t screaming ( outside of the cockpit ) it from the rooftops and didn’t have over-the-top breakdowns, like so many other mecha pilots of late. >.<

        Another scene which I think is done very well and with very much subtletly is the scene in episode 24 in Sheryls make-up room. It's always a joy for me to re-watch the scene for how well it was directed and how it conveyed, subtly, the emotional struggle Sheryl was going through.

        What rings truer is that there was a commitment to not alienate Ranka fans. This is further complicated by the fact that this final episode was completed earlier than the ones preceding it. After-the-fact word-of-god declarations of what is canon only highlight the failure of the work as a coherent/complete piece of narrative. This applies to re-tellings and retroactive continuity fixes as well.

        Sure, that applies out-of-universe. However, I always maintain that it is necessary to accept the in-universe happenings as natural processes and not simply view them as fictional story. How else are we going to approximate an emotional truth while dealing with these characters? And by looking at Macross Frontier in this way, I am unable to simply say ( like many did ): “Well, the story ended this way at episode 25, and that’s the way the triangle now is and how it’s gonna be”. While we don’t have any canon references to what happens next, we can extrapolate from what has come before and come to the most probably outcome. After all, much of the point of episode 25 also is that the people of Frontier now have a new home and the crisis is over. So there probably will be much reconstruction and little combat. In this environment, one has to assume that the relationship between Sheryl, Alto and Ranka won’t be undergoing many of the convolutions which can happen in a warfare setting and so there won’t be many chances to upset the current balance.

        Eh, it’s all speculation in the end. But, IMO, every indicator is on the side of a continued Sheryl x Alto romantic relationship, while Ranka gets to be the “little sister”. I’d hope for the three of them that the more assertive Ranka of the earlier part of the series makes a return and sees what is happening. It’s not as if she couldn’t fall back on her extensive support mechanism to get her over her heartache.

        • Again, I actually like this reading, and prefer it for myself. However, the finale as presented was inconclusive. It would have been so easy to spell it out, but the show didn’t. While there are shows like Monster or films like Inception that impose ambiguous endings, but Frontier isn’t that kind of show. No show in the franchise aspired to have such, and it doesn’t makes sense for it to happen here.

          Us fans can prefer the interpretation we want, but I don’t begrudge the majority or average viewer, or the Ranka partisan for that matter, for reading the finale as open-ended. If the movies change the ending to be more conclusive one way or the other, then it would have proven that this finale is unsatisfying in its inconclusiveness.

          Whether or not Sheryl acknowledges Ranka as her rival here on out (and it would be out of character for her to lie about something like this), Ranka will “do her best.” Now the easiest resolution would be for Alto to just give her the low-down, and this is necessary since Sheryl’s acknowledgment of Ranka’s challenge is the last piece of dialogue in the narrative. Sheryl could just say we could be Rivals in other ways and let’s do our best (to help you out of the horrible PR mess you made).

          • Magnus says:

            Well, I guess we are working off two different definitions of “inconclusive”. When I look at the word, I see it meaning “The show leaves you wondering who will win”, which to my reading would seem ridiculous, since, IMO, for the reasons enumerated in my last two posts, there is no path for Ranka to win the “contest”. Your use of the word is more along the lines of “there simply was no conclusion”, which I am not exactly sure is the right use for “inconclusive”. But I am not a native English speaker, I could well be wrong.

            I will re-post an analyis I wrote for the guys at AnimeSuki, since I think it is pertinent to the point I was trying to make. It is a bit rambling, though. I hope there is something in there which you find of worth. I hope it elucidates why I am quite insistent of calling the ending as conclusive as a non-ending can be. It will have to be in multiple parts, since your board apparently doesn’t like overtly long comments. ^^

            This analysis mostly takes into account the latter part of the series ( episodes 11 and forward ), since it was there that the final relationship dynamics were defined. However, the way those dynamics were set up necessitates a short look back at the earlier series.

            The set-up for the triangle, lopsided as it was, were the encounter of three distinct people.

            Shy, innocent and sweet Ranka Lee
            Aloof, yet intense Alto Saotome
            Assertive and vivacious Sheryl Nome

            Those were the archetypes presented to us at the beginning of the series. The first ten episodes continued in that mold, setting up the relationships between the three mains.

            Ranka was enchanted by the beautiful Alto who saved her from danger, yet not sure what exactly she was feeling for him. She felt in awe of Sheryl, her idol for some time and took Sheryls good advice. While developing her career, it was implied that she felt overshadowed, yet she didn’t develop overt antagonism towards her.

            Alto seemed to embrace the task of protecting Ranka, yet was also reluctant to get to know her too personally. His reluctance to enter into her fan-club was very peculiar in that regard. It is difficult to say if this reluctance was due to his aloof personality or lack of interest.
            He was combative with Sheryl for most of the ten first episodes, yet seemed very affected by her overt attempts to push past his barriers. His shtick, to be abrasive to avoid people getting too close to him, was battered down time and time again by Sheryl. It was clear that her teasing was bringing him out of the shell he had built up for himself with his other friends.
            It should be noted that the only person he showed a part of his private interests was Sheryl, when he took her by his own initiative to the Formo shopping mall.

            Sheryl took the role of mentor in her relationship with Ranka. She seemed touched by the shy admiration that Ranka was giving her, yet never abused that trust to establish social dominance ( Of course that social dominance was still obvious to everyone). She respected Ranka enough to ask Alto if he was with Ranka before taking him out on the date in episode five.
            Sheryl battered relentlessly against Altos outer defenses to get to know him better. The cause of her early interest was clearly established in episode five, since it was obvious that she had a disdain of sycophants and was intrigued by Altos defensive brashness. It is unclear how early she had made the association of Alto with his famous father, so it is possible that early on she recognized a kindred soul in him. All in all, the factors leading to her interest are numerous, some from happenstance ( her getting trapped on Frontier ) and some from their interaction. In total, they are vastly more complex than Rankas motivations ( Alto being bishi and her getting saved a lot by him ).

            ——–

            The end of episode 10 marks a cut in the build-up, with Ranka realizing that she loves Alto ( although the exact nature of her love is a matter to be discussed further down ) and Sheryl noticing that she couldn’t play Alto forever (it was quite noticeable that her kissing him had more of an effect on herself than she had bargained for).

            Episode 11 started the relationship dynamics which would define the high-point of the Alto / Ranka relationship, lasting until episode 15. It also changed the mentor / pupil relationship between Sheryl and Ranka into something which could best be described as “friendly rivals”. Although both were aware that the other wanted Alto as boyfriend, they never let it affect their relationship as friends.

            The change in the relationship between Alto and Ranka was that a.) Alto was forced by Michael to notice Ranka as more than a friend he had to protect and b.) that Ranka actually took action to get a relationship with Alto started.

            However it must be noted that those actions, even while mayor, were few. The first was the decision to go to Gallia IV and rescue Alto ( and, incidentally, Sheryl. While it may sound a bit mean-spirited, Ranka wasn’t shown as giving a thought to Sheryls well-being ).
            The second action was in episode 15, when she “fought back” against Sheryls song-love-attack on Alto. If Ranka had continued to show this evolution towards a more mature and confident person, she might as well have been a real contender for Altos heart.

            This was not to be, however, because with episode 16 Ranka began de-voluting into a worse person than she had been at the very beginning of the series. And it was at this point that she lost her chance to end up with Alto.

          • Magnus says:

            To put into context why this was the turning point not only for her character development but also for the romance triangle, we once again have to look at the character development up to that point of the other two members of the triangle.

            By this point Alto had made peace with Michael and seen that Sheryl was not only teasing him along but did truly care about him ( I maintain that the bedside scene in episode 12 was the exact moment in which he knew that Sheryl was in love with him and fell really in love with her. ). After that point, he left behind most of his antagonizing behaviour towards his friends ( yelling at others or coldly brushing them off ) and began to be a truly better and more mature person.

            Sheryl, after her rough start in the first two episodes, was always in an upward trajectory for her character development. Most of that came through our eyes, as we began to know this amazing woman more intimately. But episode 12 to 14 were her also first high-point, because she went the step ahead from being somewhat of a determinator ( http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Determinator ) to being truly self-sacrificing. There were several moments in the span of episodes 12 to 15 when she put Altos happiness and Rankas safety ahead of her own feelings and safety.

            It can therefore be said with certainty that at the point of episode 15 all three main characters had evolved into better and mature persons from where they had started in episode one.

            ——–

            As I said above, in episode 16 Ranka began regressing in her behaviour. The first obvious hint was letting Grace bulldoze all over her, not protesting more than with a single “meep” when Elmo was thrown away like a used chewing gum.
            It is episode 17, however, which ends up being the biggest bucket of ice water for whatever romantic relationship Alto and Ranka were developing. In episode 17, Ranka calls on Alto for some advice about the military use of her music. It would have been the perfect point to fan the embers of the romantic development which happened in episodes 12-15, but to the contrary, there was absolutely no development on the romantic front. Whatever slight tension there was from Alto entering Rankas room through the window, was deliberately dissipated and directly afterwards we got a focus on Rankas room looking like it belonged to a ten-year old girl. And at the end of the episode, we had another reminder by Ozma of her being still a little girl.

            How anybody can think that this was not deliberate by the writers is frankly beyond me.

            After that, Alto and Ranka did not meet for two entire episodes. The next time they saw each other directly is at the very end of episode 19.

            Meanwhile, however, the relationship between Sheryl and Alto got kicked into overdrive in episodes 18 and 19 ( and 16 wasn’t too shabby, either ). Both Sheryl and Alto noticeably matured in those two episodes.

            While for Sheryl most of it came through her sudden knowledge of being afflicted by the V-Type disease and her looming death, she obviously was willing to sacrifice her last chance at happiness to spare Alto from having to watch her die.

            Alto was forced from his complacency through Michaels prodding and his own sense of worry about Sheryl. He abandoned his oath to never return to his families home, shedding another vestige of his prior immaturity.

            At the same time, Rankas motivation reached rock bottom. Any development we had seen in regards to her music and motivations was thrown overboard by herself, to make place for a total focus on one sole motivator: Alto-kun. I would say that the contrast between her and the two other main protagonists could not have been more clearer, but there was worse yet to come.

            As we all know, the rooftop meeting ended in catastrophe. Frontier got mauled and Michael was dead. However, it should be noted that even in all that chaos there was time for one little romantic scene between Sheryl and Alto. None for Ranka, making the last time anything romantic happened between Alto and Ranka 5 episodes ago.

            During the whole ordeal it was very noticeable that of the three mains, two behaved as adults, while one regressed into child-like behaviour. Sheryl and Alto did their level best to help the people they could, while Ranka needed to be prodded into using her talent while her home burned around her.

          • Magnus says:

            After the dust settles, Ranka then departed Frontier. Her meeting with Alto at Griffith Park ended up being dramatic, but once again utterly devoid of any romantic reciprocation by Alto.of Rankas very obvious feelings for him.

            It once again showed, though, that Ranka utterly failed at reading Altos feelings and motivations, since she seemingly sincerely believed that Alto would take her up on leaving Frontier to go on a wild goose chase-slash-suicide mission, to bring back Ai-kun to his people ( which was the stated mission goal for what Ranka wanted ).

            The other interpretation of what happened that night at Griffith Park is even more damning, being that Ranka had premeditated her departure with Brera, knew that Alto was unlikely to go with her and just petulantly wanted him go with her to the very people who just killed his best friend, leaving Sheryl and his home behind.

            Yet premeditated malice was not shown to be a part of Rankas personality make-up. Immaturity and obliviousness to other peoples motivations, however, were two of her defining traits. So the first interpretation of the scene at Griffith Park was probably the right one.

            It should be noted that Ranka departing Frontier in that way, taking herself out of the triangle equation, did have all the symptoms of the writers putting her on a bus ( http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PutOnABus ). In any case it ended up removing her as an interfering factor in the relationship between Sheryl and Alto.

            The relationship between those two came to fruition in the next four episodes, with both sides willing to sacrifice for the other, for Ranka, for their friends and for the people of Frontier. Also, sex ( http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=2814894#post2814894 ). Probably much of it, since the V-Type infection didn’t seem to be such a forbidding factor as so many people thought.

            At the same time Ranka kept stumbling onwards. And while she meant good, her plan was almost suicidal, depending on the application of a power which already had failed her once to catastrophic results. It ends up being pure luck that everything falls into place for her.

            ——–

            To conclude this analysis, a last assessment of the development of the characters at the end of series is necessary.

            Sheryl overcame her initial self-centeredness to be truly selfless, being willing to sacrifice whatever life-span she still had ahead for the good of all the people of Frontier. And she learned that being able to accept the help of others did not mean giving up being self-reliant.

            Alto took the leap into adulthood with both feet, getting over his hang-ups with his father, coming to terms with himself over his acting career, evolving his need to protect from Ranka to the whole of Frontier and being willing to commit himself to the protection of Frontier and, last but not least, being at Sheryls side.

            At the end of episode 25, Ranka seemingly got rid of all the accumulated baggage of episodes 16 – 24 1/2.
            Or did she? When she suddenly developed a backbone and began fighting back against Grace, it pretty much came from outside sources, those being Alto and Brera. She admirably fought against Over-Grace and helped win the day, but in her case this sudden return to episode 15 levels of perkyness didn’t feel earned, since she lacked the development the other two had, for whom both it was shown, in the show, how they matured into the persons they were at the end of episode 25. Ranka seemingly just got a power-boost which restored her personality to pre-devolution levels.

            ——–

            Now, to the conclusion. After the battle, in the now proven absence of Alto getting polygamous in the sound dimension ( http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=2945322#post2945322 ), when Ranka issues her silly challenge to Sheryl, she has no clue of the vast gulf of what she would have to bridge, in maturity, in getting to know Alto and in the sheer difference of personality between the two ( Alto and Ranka ) of them.

            Not to mention Altos honor and integrity, which would simply not allow him to just ditch Sheryl, even if he were so inclined. Not that he should be, because he and Sheryl grew up. Together. At the end of the series, Ranka has nothing to offer him as a romantic partner.

            They are very, very far away from each other in terms of maturity, Alto hasn’t shown any inclination for a romantic involvement with Ranka since 10 episodes and he has shown, numerous times even, that he cares about Sheryl romantically.

            So, Sheryl can easily accept that silly challenge, and I think she knows it. Because at the end of that day, she is the one that takes Alto back to their mutual home, in which they are already living. One wonders how Ranka will react to that revelation.

          • That’s pretty good work you did there. I really can’t comment on many of the parts anymore since I already devoted several blog posts on the subjects. I refer you to the archives.

            Now, to the conclusion. After the battle, in the now proven absence of Alto getting polygamous in the sound dimension ( http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=2945322#post2945322 ), when Ranka issues her silly challenge to Sheryl, she has no clue of the vast gulf of what she would have to bridge, in maturity, in getting to know Alto and in the sheer difference of personality between the two ( Alto and Ranka ) of them.

            Not to mention Altos honor and integrity, which would simply not allow him to just ditch Sheryl, even if he were so inclined. Not that he should be, because he and Sheryl grew up. Together. At the end of the series, Ranka has nothing to offer him as a romantic partner.

            They are very, very far away from each other in terms of maturity, Alto hasn’t shown any inclination for a romantic involvement with Ranka since 10 episodes and he has shown, numerous times even, that he cares about Sheryl romantically.

            So, Sheryl can easily accept that silly challenge, and I think she knows it. Because at the end of that day, she is the one that takes Alto back to their mutual home, in which they are already living. One wonders how Ranka will react to that revelation.

            Again, I agree with this reading, except when you insist that this is painfully obvious. It isn’t, even for me who watched it as many times as I did, and already agrees with this as soon as I read Crusader’s take back then. It is a result of analysis and not a solid presentation of a conclusion by the show. In my mind there could be no hope for Ranka against Sheryl, but I do not trust the people behind the show for this to become a foregone conclusion in the films.

            Ranka was childish indeed, but this was actually supposed to make her attractive — to both Alto and the audience. Moe is supposed to be a decisive factor, and I am not sure that it will be counted out of the triangle, as much as I want it to factor much much less.

          • Chan says:

            @Magnus that is an interesting read, though something came to my attention when I watched the last half of Macross Frontier again. When Alto finds out about Sheryl’s disease he tries to talk Sheryl out of singing for the sake of Frontier, this is after Alto has already made his choice to protect Frontier. Later on with Klan Klan Alto says that he will kill Ranka if she attacks Frontier, because he wants to protect it. Just thought it was an interesting observation.

          • Both of you maybe should check out the related post here, on the geometry of the love triangle in Frontier :3

          • Magnus says:

            @Ghostlightning: I guess it all depends if you can and want to accept near certainty rather than absolute certainty. In absence of a real conclusion ( which we’ll probably never get, since the movies are another continuity… although the two continuities could be mashed up for the next series, like what happened with SDFM and DYRL ), approximating the most likely outcome is the best we’ll get. I am happy with approaching it from a logical standpoint, calculating the odds, which of course lean very, very heavily into the direction of an Sheryl x Alto ending.

            The thing about “moe” being a decisive factor I’ll never understand. Fans in Japan are straaaaange. ^^ However, it should be noted that if “moe” is the standard, Minmay would have won over Misa.

            @Chan: If you mean that Alto has shifted his focus to protect from Ranka to Sheryl, you are, IMO, 100% correct. He has to be forcibly reminded by Sheryl ( in episode 24 in the make-up room scene ) that she wants him to rescue Ranka. Otherwise, we may have gotten a quite different finale, although the set-up was such that he would probably have rescued her either way. But it is Sheryl who brings him back to viewing Ranka as a friend instead of an obstacle for Frontiers survival. I fear he was quite taken in by Leon’s and Bilrers presentation, although that can be excused that it was the best information he had.

          • It’s only near certain subject to our interpretation, really. I do think that the movie will indeed mash up the continuities like what happened in DYRL? I’ve asked the assistance of Chan to build the continuity for SDFM/DYRL and present it here for posterity, and I’ll ask for help anew when it comes to work on Frontier.

            The moe factor is real, at the very least to the Japanese audience. However, Minmay is proto-moe, if at all. Besides, I think it was going to be Misa the heroine I felt, despite my outright support for the Minmay-Hikaru ship. The same works here, wherein the heroine — at least Sheryl actually behaved like one than merely a protagonist with superpowers, will or at least should have won the triangle — at least to be consistent with the symmetry with the original series.

            For better or for worse (in many cases worse), Macross Frontier is wholly devoted to a symmetrical way of remembering love.

          • Chan says:

            @Magnus that is what I meant

            @Ghostlightning I think that one can decide to protect someone and not have any romantic feelings fueling it.

          • Surely, but the context remains: Macross Frontier is a love triangle. Unless the Ranka non-romance denoument is spelled out, I cannot assume this interpretation as fact.

            However, it IS the interpretation I hold on to for my personal enjoyment :3

  10. Pingback: Did Macross Frontier Open a Frontier for the Macross Franchise? | We Remember Love

  11. Pingback: The Second of Six Posts on Macross Frontier Sayonara no Tsubasa: A Tale of Two Movie Adaptations–Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann vs. Macross Frontier | We Remember Love

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