The Fourth of 6 Posts on Macross Frontier The Wings of Goodbye–Photoshop Frontier & The Rehabilitation of Grace, Alto & Ranka

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 1080p AAC] [66AE8F11].mkv_snapshot_01.45.08_[2011.10.30_18.33.14]

We (the founders of We Remember Love) watched the culmination of the Macross Frontier saga together and in grand fashion: using an office board room and a high-end projector. It is only fitting, as the Macross Frontier sub-franchise is, and had always been the representative anime for this blog. Yes, our favorite show is Super Dimension Fortress Macross, but is Macross Frontier that remembers love, and is the show that in 2008, got us following anime blogs and finally start one ourselves.

The film version of the narrative did not only change key events from the TV series, it made big changes in the characters. In general, the changes are well-received and I personally am okay with them. I do have considerations and other thoughts though. By all means the three I mention here aren’t the only characters that have noteworthy changes, but these three are who I’ll focus on.

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 720p AAC] [D78D02D3].mkv_snapshot_01.30.45_[2011.11.03_07.56.22]

Grace O’Connor

Grace ended up being very sympathetic and I accept these changes wholeheartedly. I do think, however that it happened suddenly and so close to the end and entirely due to a convenient contrivance: a physical module that controls her everything. Thoughts? Emotions? How does this work?

Her real self is trapped and imprisoned, a witness to her own manipulative actions. Can we say that her talent, creativity, and original thoughts are accessed wholesale by the Galactic villains via a physical implant?

How does one retain sanity after performing so many evil acts that are against one’s character? What is Sheryl’s relationship with this evil Grace? Sheryl truly went along with the Galaxy plot not questioning how Grace turned into this evil conspirator? Or, did she knew how something is up with the implants?

The film doesn’t bother with these complexities. What it wanted to do is for Sheryl and Grace to remember love also because it feels better that way. It feels good to imagine May’n & Kanno Yoko role play their relationship as they compose Sheryl’s music together.

Grace was consistently tender towards Sheryl in the film unlike her callous and bitch treatment of her in the series. It’s not too much of a stretch to think of this tenderness as a desirable trait that the Galactic villains want to keep. Brera had some of this towards Ranka but I don’t know how well thought-out this mind control business is. Leon got a reaction from Grace when he said that the Galaxy villains sold her out to keep their lives. Is this acting? I doubt it. I just don’t think the whole dynamic is well done at all. In any case I don’t mind too much.

Macross Frontier went for what feels good and POOF magic rehab. Evil technology can’t stop true friends from remembering love. And while they’re at it, they made her go out like a hero saving Sheryl firing a rifle while mutilated and perhaps more importantly, naked as fuck. That’s our Grace O’Connor alright.

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 1080p AAC] [66AE8F11].mkv_snapshot_00.59.55_[2011.10.30_14.48.20]

Alto Saotome

I’ve come to realize that Alto isn’t a popular character through my discussions with the very passionate fans who are also readers of WRL. I always liked the guy, finding him to be a nuanced take on the lead pilot hero type.

He wanted to fly more than anything (Ichijou, Dyson)
He was good at flying, but not necessarily fighting.
He didn’t mind having to fight though he’d rather not.
He was prepared to kill friends. (unlike Kira who freaked at killing enemies)
Gets shot down, loses his mecha in Phyrric wins. (Chirico Cuvie)
Isn’t the best pilot in the narrative. (Ichijou)
Does not out-pilot nor beat his rival in any way.

No one is quite like Alto and I love him for it. What changed in the film is he no longer has anti-Alien conversations (no more “there’s only space for one of our species in the galaxy thoughts”); a lot of his angry shouting is removed (especially towards Michel, who is completely a non-rival in any form now); he behaves a lot nicer to the girls; and how the acting he did as an Oyama went beyond something Michel teased him for into him questioning his gender identity. This is dumb.

It’s dumb not because it is out of character (and it is out of character since he equates female gender with femininity), but because it isn’t even actually gay. A homosexual Alto would explain his disinterest in the 2 idols. But he is asexual instead and/or relatable in terms of being a “too pure-pure boy.” This is relevant to Macross Frontier and not a judgment against people like Alto because this is a love story set against the backdrop of great battles.

Alto isn’t a loverboy. He’s the object being wooed. He doesn’t have any romance in him. Hikaru was a jerk and a douchebag but it is certain that he is into the women in his life. Alto, no.

It took the force of destiny to resolve Frontier’s love triangle. Alto never had to work for anything. When Alto chose the sky over the girls in the TV series, that was at least consistent with his character, his being (although he did give out some pity sex to a dying Sheryl, because she kind of reminded him of his dead mom LOL).

In the movies his flying obsession is diluted by this gender issue, which substituted the primacy of his running away from the familial destiny of Kabuki as with the TV series. In the films he’s very much at peace about leaving the family business.

THIS is what makes Alto more likable? SERIOUSLY? Don’t get me wrong I like film Alto just fine as I adore Sayonara no Tsubasa so much. But photoshopping Alto this way isn’t exactly “ideal” to me.

[Commie] Macross Frontier the Movie ~Sayonara no Tsubasa~ [BD 1080p AAC] [66AE8F11].mkv_snapshot_00.17.47_[2011.10.31_23.09.01]

Ranka Lee

The most significant character with the most significant changes is Ranka, the third protagonist and the locus of much divisiveness during the TV series run. While Mylene Jenius is younger and portrayed in an equally if not more childish way, Macross 7 didn’t air in the internet age where opinions rage and blow like storms. Ranka appeared at the very height of moé being thought of a differentiator (as a value proposition) in a mainstream work. After Frontier (and Code Geass R2), moé is pretty mainstream and it’s no big deal to find elements of it in new mainstream works.

As such, I imagine, some older and more conservative (LOLOLOL) Macross fans did not welcome Ranka as a lead character. Add to this the inexperience of creators in integrating such a character in a more central role (Mylene wasn’t central to prevailing over the Protodevlin) and problems ensued. Some of the changes in the film can be read in this context.

Taller (better suited for symmetrical docking, albeit this fanservice never happened)
Responsible
Independent
Considerate
Didn’t make her life revolve around a person she just met and barely knew
Broke down less
A clearer relationship with her Vajra “heritage”
Wasn’t manipulated, and if people tried, she’d probably overcome them

Yes, the above list implies that the opposite was true for Ranka in the TV series (shorter, irresponsible, dependent, inconsiderate, made her life revolve around the guy she barely knew whose surname was, broke down more, “part” Vajra, and got played like an instrument). What was taken away from her worked out very well in my view:

Queen of the Vajra status (how that worked anyway is real dicey to me)
Goddess-mode powers (Vajra command, healing the V-type sickness)
Extreme/dramatized effects of the dissociative amnesia

All in all, especially considering how she manned-up (more than Alto ever did when it came to these things) and confessed to him knowing how doomed she is; how she went to work with her friends, in the context of a team to rescue Sheryl and save the day instead of going to the Vajra and warn them to stop the humans who are about to attack (don’t harm them of course! use your cannons to shoot lasers of love!); how she’s able to talk back to Alto; and ultimately with her role after the resolution of the triangle, Ranka’s had a major change for the better. By this I mean her character is much more ideal and heroic.

I do think she’s a lot less interesting however. Don’t get me wrong. I will be very clear here. I like photoshopped Ranka. I love this film and she’s a big, big part of what makes it work. The changes in her makes haters whine less, which is okay.

But I loved it that she was this idiot traitor. I love it how the TV series presented things in that: this is what happens when you pin your hopes to a moéblob. Granted, Macross Frontier is NOT Infinite Ryvius but man oh man Ranka’s role to play was perfect in my mind. It was a concentrated and more high-stakes level of Minmay failure (post-Space War I). I loved it how she failed so hard, and so often, and so utterly. This was genius.

BUT, instead of redemption through epiphany, Ranka was just given goddess powers and magicked her way into saving the day (and Sheryl too). This is what I hated about how the series handled her character. Instead of acknowledging how she left her people when they needed her there, and then promptly got herself captured and used as a superweapon against the humans; she gets rescued and gets to lecture everyone about the Vajra.

So if I had to choose, I’d pick photoshopped Ranka because a lot of what enraged me about her has to do with utter lack of follow-through and consistency. Movie Ranka is at least consistent throughout.

The Ongoing Post Series:

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

I mentioned these so I can have some order in the conversations to come.

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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83 Responses to The Fourth of 6 Posts on Macross Frontier The Wings of Goodbye–Photoshop Frontier & The Rehabilitation of Grace, Alto & Ranka

  1. Dearline says:

    If you listen to the audio commentary track, Alto’s gender identity was intended to be present in the TV series, but it seems they couldn’t make it more obvious. They fixed this in the movies.

    In the light novels adaptation (of the TV series), there are moments were Alto thinks himself in different pronouns and struggles with his gender identity. They are resolved by sleeping with Sheryl, thusly becoming a ‘man’ (for real).

    • Good thing it wasn’t there, because it’s half-assed. And LOL sex with a woman reminding him of mommy ‘fixing’ things is just… no more.

      What I’d rather take away is how Alto is badass and secure enough to crossplay. That’s my preferred reading of him.

  2. This was quite timely, as the old-timers in MWF were discussing about age — and Ranka’s appearance and stage attire — in the SnT thread.

    Let me sit back and think…

    Okay, first off, whereas TV!Grace was so devious and crafty that she would have pleased Keel Lorenz and his Instrumentality Council, Movie!Grace’s initial scheme to take over Frontier is crushed, and she was almost torn apart by NUNS commandoes, leaving her looking almost miserable and bloodied as Leon laughs at her (revealing) humiliation. This made her a little more likeable, as Leon emerges as the real power-mad bastard who unilaterally decides to take over the galaxy using both Galaxy technology and Vajra powers.

    In other words, even if unmarried, she’s now my favorite MILF.

    Of all anime heroes, Alto was really hair-splitting and hard to read; he was unlike Shinji or Kira or Lelouch, that I wonder if he’s really the center of the show, what with the media presence of two heroines dominating throughout, although he reaffirmed himself being in the center of the stage by the time he confronts the Vajra Queen without blinking an eye.

    Movie!Ranka was much better than her TV incarnation that I ended up including her in my personal Pantheon of female heroines.

    That’s right, her TV version was either indecisive, easily manipulated and coerced, screwing big-time and risking lives on Island One (in the TV version she would’ve been a target of anti-Vajra reprisals after the attack), or showing some impossible things such as manipulating the V-virus in Sheryl’s body to move upstream (she would’ve also been easy fodder for tabloids hungry for news about celebrities doing the stupidest things).

    Some old-timers weaned wholly on SDFM (or pre-CLAMP school of character design, for that matter) still couldn’t take Ranka seriously due to her character design and stage costumes (and despite some cosmetic fixes in the movies), which is sad because I have long thought that outward appearances should not be taken granted for, and instead focus on a character’s very personality (and Jules was right: personality goes a long way).

    • Okay, first off, whereas TV!Grace was so devious and crafty that she would have pleased Keel Lorenz and his Instrumentality Council, Movie!Grace’s initial scheme to take over Frontier is crushed, and she was almost torn apart by NUNS commandoes, leaving her looking almost miserable and bloodied as Leon laughs at her (revealing) humiliation. This made her a little more likeable, as Leon emerges as the real power-mad bastard who unilaterally decides to take over the galaxy using both Galaxy technology and Vajra powers.

      But SnT Grace is wholly robbed of human agency by the mind-control business, and this is so fucked up that I’d rather ignore it.

      Yeah Alto is really interesting that way, a lazy reading of him will cast him along the lines of Kamille although he is a remembrance of love for him.

      Some old-timers weaned wholly on SDFMRobotech

      Fixed.

      • Damn, video got chopblocked.

        • Basically, Alto’s final rush in episode 25 “Your Sound” shows his visor breaking. Some people accused Frontier of ripping off TTGL because Simon’s shades broke similarly in his final attack LAGANN IMPACT.

          What these n00bs don’t get that BOTH remember love for Kamille’s final WATERMELON SPEAR attack in Z Gundam where yes, his visor broke.

          • plasticzaku says:

            “…a lazy reading of him will cast him along the lines of Kamille although he is a remembrance of love for him.”

            Agreed. Another blue-haired insecure ball of rage who inexplicably is surrounded by women. The breaking visor is the icing on the proverbial cake.

            Kamille was a lot more likeable to me, his rage was generally directed at deserving targets and he was a complete sucker for any good he sensed in people. TV Alto was just brimming with unfocused douchebaggery. His movie counterpart is much more noble. Alto is in general a much more believable depiction of a teenager, though. We never see him knock down Ozma and proceed to lecture him, for one…

          • Inexplicably?

            This is where you lose it. Alto is pretty, not just in obvious, character-design ways… but is of legendary beauty within the Macross universe. Being surrounded by admirers from both sexes is only natural. You’re also wrong in other ways but I won’t get into those.

  3. “THIS is what makes Alto more likable? SERIOUSLY?”
    Let’s be honest, its gothic lolita Alto that makes him more likable.

    • It’s adorable how he’s too tall to pull off a loli, but he tries anyway.

      uguu~

      • Reid says:

        I LAWLed when he grabs the shoulder of the dress, gives it a yank and then *pooof* no more high heels, no more bonnet, different haircut. Amazing stuff. This kind of thing only happens in Macross Frontier and it’s too real. ^.^ gotta love it

      • Xard says:

        Gothic lolita in this case refers to the clothing style rather than physique! It’s a fashion in Japan (and nowadays elsewhere too)

        and yes, Alto dancing on the stage as a goth loli was the moment I went in theatre “oh for fuck’s sake I give up. This guy is awesome”

  4. WhatSht says:

    Tv-series Ranka’s special “abilities” that were removed in the movies actually makes sense to me
    Queen of the Vajra status (she releases fold waves, and using that fold waves, is capable of controlling the vajra, which depended on a fold network)
    Goddess-mode powers (using the fold waves to command the vajra virus or whatever to move to the intestines, the movement looks a bit too fast)
    Extreme/dramatized effects of the dissociative amnesia(her childhood was quite brutal, suddenly seeing visions of giant bugs attacking those that seems dear to you is just terrifying)

    Alto got shot down, and got a replacement VF-25F(the old one died in the hands of the vajra in episode 7, he later leaved the one that fought with him to crash in the last episode) in the series, its a good thing valkyries are mass-produced, unlike gundams which are like one of a kind.

    I like movie-Grace, she isn’t really evil, just some bastards controlling her with implants.

    • “…its a good thing valkyries are mass-produced, unlike gundams which are like one of a kind. ” by WhatSht

      Maybe a little off-topic but since I have first seen Robotech/Macross, I have never been able to understand how those Veritechs/Valkyries are produced at such mass quantities. Looks like all of Earth’s industrial effort is channeled to producing them, in order to catch the speed that they are destroyed by enemies. I can stomach anything and everything magical (!) in Macross universe, but this kind of mass production is calling for a Warhammer 40K (or Star Wars) style universe empire to be feasible… O_o

      Or am I just too ignorant to be missing an empire in the Macross universe? 😛

      • If I am correct, in victory Britai bought UN Spacy a massive orbital war factory, and that became the standard for military mass-production: these factories held anything needed to churn out machines by the hundreds.

        (switching to FW mode)

        Going back to Frontier, since the convoy often skirt asteroid fields, they usually harvest minerals as they go, and then ship them back to the convoy, where the ore would be smelted and refined. Using stereo-lithography manufacturing processes, LAI-operated aircraft factories could easily produce dozens of Valks.

        • Xard says:

          Interviewer – Let’s begin then. Currently in space, we know that there are a number of Macross ships present, including first generation and Galaxy class ships. How many Macross class Colonial Fleets are currently active?

          Kawamori – Well, if we combine the large and small fleets, there are dozens that are active. This includes the Megaroad type and colonial fleets which do not have Macross class ships. Within these fleets, I would say that there are dozens of Macross class ships that are making the voyage. If first generation fleets are present, then there are also Macross 7 size fleets, and there are, of course, Frontier size fleets present.

          Interviewer – Then the ships in a fleet are constantly being replaced with newer types?

          Kawamori – It’s not so much a matter of replacing, it’s more a matter of adding new ships to what’s already there. This also happens in real life. Since the life span of a ship is so long, it’s a losing proposition if you don’t use the ship for dozens of years. (laughs)

          Interviewer – Making the ships for dozens of active fleets in a span of 50 years starting from the year 2009 is quite a feat of mass production, isn’t it?

          Kawamori – That’s true. You would be able to manufacture ships yourself once the Zentradi factory ships were modified. That is a prerequisite for sure. Without that, mass production would be difficult.

          Interviewer – Then earth’s resources weren’t being used?

          Kawamori – Human resources were definitely being used, but since that would be insufficient, Zentradi technology was also used. Originally, since the Zentradi had a limited culture and limited practical skills due to Protoculture, humanity was better able to modify Zentradi technolgy. At that time, Zentradi technology, like the fold system, was modified to be easier to use by humans and in common use.

          Interviewer – Are repaired Zentradi ships being used?

          Kawamori – Yes, they are. There are colonial ships which are just the modified insides of Zentradi ships. It’s just that I didn’t want them to appear on screen because it would be too confusing. (laughs) If you mixed in Zentradi designed ships, you would no longer be able to tell who the good guys and bad guys were with just a quick glance. For people who are watching Macross F for the first time, this part of the story would be lost. That’s why Zentradi ships don’t appear in the series with the exception of episode 12. There are actually colonial ships which are made from modified Zentradi ships. If those are taken into account, I would say there are about 100 Zentradi ships.

          • Excellent. Best thread.

          • Thanks for all the great must-know info. Now that only leaves us with the question of how UN Spacy gets enough pilots for the mass-produced (isn’t Zent tech wonderful? :D) Valkyries?
            – Clones?
            – Mecha anime-watching youngsters?
            – FPS gamers?
            – Construction machine operators?
            Any more info on this? Bretai, are you there? ^_^

          • Xard says:

            >- Clones?

            The creepiest single bit of Macross lore that never comes up anywhere in series is that after SDFM ended they cloned the entire population of Macross city god knows how many times. So basically there should be probably bunch of Misas in different colonial fleets making their way through the universe, LOL

            I read this once somewhere, but since it never comes up in any way in any Macross title I can’t help but wonder how trustworthy that tidbit actually is.

      • OBTW, I prefer using Studio Nue-produced terminology.

        • WhatSht says:

          There is usually a “baby boom”(extreme growth in population, especially after war), and look, its a space war with giants, and Britai’s army joined the humans(and produced many hybrids), so I think we can safely assume that at least half of Humanity in 2059 is a zentradi-human hybrid.

  5. Magnus says:

    And here I was all prepared to have to counter some of your points, but you’ve mostly hit on exactly the notes I experienced myself. Well, I do prefer villainous Grace, as she was so much more damn effective and interesting that way, but Sheryl not having to deal with that is fine, too.

    You should probably try to make it more clear that the part in brackets about “pity sex” is meant sarcastically, because a few people might think you are serious.

    As for Ranka, I like the new version better, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve forgiven the TV version. ^^ The two universes are still distinctly different and, taken as a whole, I prefer the TV series universe. Although I hate that Michael died in it.

    • Glad to see that I’m not alone in reading the characters this way.

      Yeah I’m just snarking around the sex business, because it’s pretty lulzy anime-level storytelling.

      I don’t think there’s anything to forgive… in the sense that Ranka has “sins” … I’m more unforgiving of how her story played out. I’m perfectly fine with characters doing very bad things knowingly or not. When a lead does it, it’s even more interesting for me.

  6. megaroad1 says:

    I really liked what they did with Ranka in this film. Her brave confession to Alto was definitely a highlight for me. Confessing your love to someone when you know all too well that said person probably has feelings for someone else is one of the hardest things to do in life. In a way I suppose the creative team though that film Ranka could probably take Alto’s rejection with dignity and grace, overcoming easily it with time. TV series Ranka would have suffered a bit more.

    The whole implant on Grace felt a bit rushed to me but no matter. A Kikuko Inoue character has to be ‘brainwashed’ in order to be evil, right? In any case boy did she deliver a lot of ‘service’ throughout the film. Me approves.

    • Magnus says:

      Well, considering that she was not brainwashed in the series, I’d say that not all Kikuko Inoue characters need to be brainwashed. ^^

      • megaroad1 says:

        An implant that forced Grace to carry out dark Galaxy’s evil agenda then…Just saying that I liked that for once (like in the tv series) a Kikuko Inoue character got to be deliciously evil.

    • Yep, graceful acceptance is much appreciated.

      The worst thing that can happen is if she turned into Robotech Minmay who became this incredible slut — the Vagina of the Universe — and just got fucked by everyone (including T. R. Edwards) and ended up restarting a new universe in another dimension with the Zor Clone Rem in a proto-Optera (a copy of the Invid homeworld). Yes, I read, re-read, and re-fucking-read all the Robotech novels.

      Yeah, Grace’s liberation from villainy and redemption in death is rushed, but it feels less forced and yucky than Brera’s (in any version).

      • megaroad1 says:

        “Yes, I read, re-read, and re-fucking-read all the Robotech novels.”

        Don’t worry buddy, you’re not the only one. I have that skeleton in my closet too…But I get a feeling that this Ranka will not do any of that.

  7. Xard says:

    Oh wow. Wasn’t that one damn negative post. you may disagree but it’s the very definition of damning with faint praise, I think.

    >Grace ended up being very sympathetic and I accept these changes wholeheartedly. I do think, however that it happened suddenly and so close to the end and entirely due to a convenient contrivance: a physical module that controls her everything. Thoughts? Emotions? How does this work?

    There’s nothing more to it than what Brera (and Ranka to lesser extent, that harmonica was not there for show in the TV finale) went through in original series so if you really think this is worth making a fuss about you should be consistent about it. I don’t think they needed to maintain complete control over her unless she went out of line as she shows enough signs of her real personality throughout the films. Implanting thoughts in her head pretty literally, manipulating her, keeping her away from certain thoughts… basically it’s the same that was applied to Ranka in ep 24 and throughout the show on Brera who was manipulated as often as he was directly controlled. I’d answer in more detail if I had the time to rewatch the film but…

    >It took the force of destiny to resolve Frontier’s love triangle. Alto never had to work for anything. When Alto chose the sky over the girls in the TV series, that was at least consistent with his character, his being (although he did give out some pity sex to a dying Sheryl, because she kind of reminded him of his dead mom LOL).
    I just can’t tell how serious you’re writing this, especially part in ( ) which would be what I’d write to snark at Alto half-seriously on bad day. This ignores a lot of his development in tv series too and for heaven’s sake the guy is not as asexual as he’s made out to be (even by myself because it’s fun to ship Alto and sky).

    The so-called “gender confusion” which is a symptom of his lack of concise identity (in turn explaining her fear of acting, that he had to act woman roles didn’t help) is exactly what made Alto interesting protagonist. If it wasn’t for that he’d just be a bishounen jerkass running away from his father like so many others. Funnily enough the film Alto also is much more in peace with his past and looks: had Sheryl called tv Alto a good wife he would’ve thrown one of those pathetic insecurity hissyfits he was into all the time in series. It’s also good it doesn’t plague his relationship with Ranka which in tv series was in a way mutually co-dependent and fucked up before he was pretty much forced to grow out of it.

    What’s more, film Alto actually does feel like a protagonist unlike in tv series where he was more a guy caught up in things and the attention was completely stolen by the singers. This was one of the things they set out to fix (because protagonist that doesn’t even feel like a protagonist provides kind of crummy experience) and I think they succeeded marvelously. His role is far more active and this time around he is important part with his YF-29 to get communication with Vajra under way. Yuuichi Nakamura himse lf felt the same way, feeling in tv series the guy was completely overshadowed (and let’s face it it’s Ranka and Sheryl that sell the show in general) by the girls while now after finishing the films he felt the role and guy had finally left real impression on him. Which ment now he was bugged by not knowing wtf happened to him, lol

    >But I loved it that she was this idiot traitor. I love it how the TV series presented things in that: this is what happens when you pin your hopes to a moéblob. Granted, Macross Frontier is NOT Infinite Ryvius but man oh man Ranka’s role to play was perfect in my mind. It was a concentrated and more high-stakes level of Minmay failure (post-Space War I). I loved it how she failed so hard, and so often, and so utterly. This was genius.

    This is rather disturbing to me. I’ve been wondering for a while about your whole “4th wall moe” thing and reading this kind of confirms it’s not something I feel need to partake in. If I like character I generally wish things go well for their aspirations and that they develop in positive way, get to do things they love. If things don’t turn out like that it doesn’t mean the work is bad or anything (oh boy Eva cast gets just more and more screwed over further it goes) but I don’t wish actively wish harm for them for any reason . Your liking for her is more about viewing her as some sort of interesting meta-experiment on “never trust a moeblob” and some sort of weird masochism comparable to loving Minmay more she fucks up. Love may not be “adulation of perfection” but this isn’t “accepting things” as they are either. This is deriving pleasure from misfortune and first of all out of what such “role” means for the work as a whole. In short Ranka herself is just a cog in the wheel to deliver what you really wanted, a study in failure inherent in trusting a moeblob or something like that.

    >BUT, instead of redemption through epiphany

    Well what the fuck did you want from her then? “Redemption through epiphany”, epiphany in itself is not any sort of redemption. It’s not active deed of retribution. It doesn’t help I have no idea what this would even mean in practice. I’m pretty sure getting mind broken over guilt for indirectly causing death of her entire family and colony is enough of a epiphany in itself – and how “whoops I fucked up” (even more) realization would be any kind of redemption in itself is beyond me too.

    I don’t really have much I want to say here.

    • Magnus says:

      >>Funnily enough the film Alto also is much more in peace with his past and looks: had Sheryl called tv Alto a good wife he would’ve thrown one of those pathetic insecurity hissyfits he was into all the time in series.<>Well what the fuck did you want from her then? “Redemption through epiphany”, epiphany in itself is not any sort of redemption. It’s not active deed of retribution. It doesn’t help I have no idea what this would even mean in practice. I’m pretty sure getting mind broken over guilt for indirectly causing death of her entire family and colony is enough of a epiphany in itself – and how “whoops I fucked up” (even more) realization would be any kind of redemption in itself is beyond me too.<<

      I understand perectly what ghostlightning wants to say here. Ranka got away with murder in the series, she never really realized what she had done to her current home on Frontier ( although she did come to terms with her role in the demise of the 117th fleet ) and instead of having a "what have I done" moment, she was elevated to saviour of the fleet and Sheryl with an infusion of magic hax power. The movie version of the character at least was granted better ways to help out Frontier and Sheryl, although since she was spared from most of TV Rankas faults, it wasn't as impactful as it would have been in the series.

    • Magnus says:

      Crap, the formatting was shot in my first answer. Here’s the part about Alto again:

      –>Funnily enough the film Alto also is much more in peace with his past and looks: had Sheryl called tv Alto a good wife he would’ve thrown one of those pathetic insecurity hissyfits he was into all the time in series.<–

      He resolved those issues in episode nine, when he made peace with Michael. Michael was the guy who drove the whole "Princess Alto" needling and after the two of them stopped being antagonistic, Alto took much less issue with being called Princess every once in a while.
      The only time I can remember after that episode when he got angry about being called a girl was when Random Street Vendor in episode 18 called him a lady, although he was walking around in a clearly male outfit.

      So, if there were any gender issues, they clearly stemmed from being harassed about his looks. After that harassment stopped, so stopped his antagonism about his nickname. Ergo sum, it was not an internal gender confusion, but an external stimulus which made him go all shouty.

      And if your argument is "but the writers clearly planned it!", the writers also planned Ranka to be universally beloved. Sometimes the result of your writing is different than your own goals.

      • Xard says:

        “He resolved those issues in episode nine, when he made peace with Michael. Michael was the guy who drove the whole “Princess Alto” needling and after the two of them stopped being antagonistic, Alto took much less issue with being called Princess every once in a while.
        The only time I can remember after that episode when he got angry about being called a girl was when Random Street Vendor in episode 18 called him a lady, although he was walking around in a clearly male outfit.”

        Example which shows that he really wasn’t through with it though he was now on much better terms with Michael. Alto does gradually grow out of it but it isn’t easy or quick process. As for where the “symptoms” are the most obvious it’s in his interactions with Ranka and Brera. Alto is interesting fellow in that he is like the only bishounen lead ever for whom his girly looks are important, character defining factor and his psychological crux issue number one is *emasculation*. This is not something I’ve ever seen anyother mecha anime to do even remotely to same degree – Kamille’s KAMILLE IS A MAN’S NAME and fingersucking is small time though he is undeniably the originator of the character type overall. Alto doesn’t homage Kamille with his visor helmet breaking without a reason. It’s really cool and interesting to me.

        As for this aspect in Alto’s characters in the series it’s nearly entirely non-verbal and behavioural – it also affects the way shots are occasionally framed, most notably perhaps in ep 13 with Alto’s Big Damn Hero pose. At least one Drama CD story taking place in the series continuity (telling how Alto ended up abandonding theatre and joining the flight course) adds a bit more explicit drama here. Mikhail is by no means the originator of Alto’s troubles with this and in one moment of when he is having a flashback to his kabuki days he ends up momentarily adding “” to his habit of using “ore” showing a moment of hesitation and confusion over the chosen personal pronoun. A masculite pronoun which is a very conscious behavioural trait of his ment to counteract the effect of his girly looks. The film version takes more verbal, more explicit way of handling his emasculation and identity issues for much better effect in my opinion, though crucial turning point in how he deals with it seen in first film is still done without any explicit dialogue. Which is good because the scene is fantastic.

        If it wasn’t a truly meaningful and sore spot would Alto really mind the hime nickname so much? Of course not – and in the films he doesn’t mind it nearly at all after getting past his Kabuki issues much earlier and easier than in series. Secondly, why would the work draw so much attention on Alto’s girly looks and how they define how he is seen by others if there was nothing more to it than jokes? Why go as far as giving him a womanly hipline in the films to further make the point?

        It’s his relationship with Ranka that most clearly shows these emasculation issues. I find it interesting fans in general never really give much thought to why Alto is ready to go to such lenghts for her sake (despite them having just met and being very unfamiliar with each other) from the beginning nor do people really think on his great scene of gained maturity in ep 23 and what he says there, and how his motives for joining S.M.S in films and series differ in at the same time subtle but major way.

        The combox really doesn’t have the space for it but if you’re curious go and look the series from start to finish keeping in mind that a) Alto’s looks are a defining feature of his and exert huge influence on his behaviour and personality (compensation for them) b) his primary psychological issues are with emasculation and (related) feelings of powerlessness and identity. Now pay attention how Ranka behaves and looks like to him. She’s vulnerable and a really girly moeblob with mild temper. The most revealing part, his dickwawing contests with Brera in the triangle with the two and Ranka, only come to full bloom after episode 9. The macho bravado there is at the same time hysterical and sad.

        Let’s not beat around the bush: in TV series Alto joined S.M.S to protect Ranka and get to fly. As a important and oft. overlooked difference to original SDFM version Alto is cut off before he gets to say his real reason for joining S.M.S (protecting Ranka) which is not revealed untill much later in episode 23 after series keeps viewer guessing for god knows how long what is the reason Alto started to fight in the first place. Later his motives develop and change a lot but that was his original motivation.

        In contrast in film version of the scene the dialogue is not cut off and it’s changed for much more general, “properly” heroic motivation: he wants to protect Ranka and everyone (and he repeates himself later in Utahime when he says he joined SMS “to protect the weak”) from the beginning, which is a motivation he only came to develop later as he matures in series. This is one of those subtle, seemingly very minor changes in first film that are really important that Kawamori mentioned in Utahime’s premiere (other one would be Sheryl’s reaction to Ranka’s singing in Formo)

        What people never stopped to ask here is: what was in it for Alto in the tv series? The SDFM scene on which it is obvious play is much more straightforward. Hikaru joined military to a) get to fly again b) to protect Minmay he was into and wanted to impress. Essentially Alto’s motivation are the same: to get forward with his own dreams and protect the chinese waitress girl of his fancy. With Hikaru it’s easy enough to see why he’d do that for Minmay but *why on Earth* is it specifically Ranka who Alto used as kind-of excuse?

        What’s in it for Alto? What does he get from Ranka? Obviously he’s not romantically interested in her despite what she wishes but since such a big deal is made out of Alto choosing to fly and fight for entirely other reasons towards the end (partly similar to those he embraces in film ver. from the beginning) it wasn’t case of just anyone being enough for it. From Ranka Alto got a moe object, something to protect and a girl who didn’t threaten her masculinity.

        In helping Ranka and being there for her he gets to act like a Man. For Alto Ranka’s dependancy on him was balsam for his battered identity and a way to establish his manhood easily. It’s not just that Ranka was protected that is important – it was HE who was protecting her like a Man. That was his role and Brera started to steal it, leading to much friction and contempt from Alto’s part. As far as Ranka’s well being is considered it doesn’t matter jackshit who does it – but what if it’s his role as her saviour and protector that is important? Alto’s extreme reactions to getting constantly one-upped by Brera in likes of ep 16 really make much more sense then. Or for alternative example see his otherwise completely bizarre, cold behaviour in ep 6 scene after Ranka gets scouted. Now this is a guy who didn’t bat eyelash in ep 4 to go cheer this strange girl on in Miss Macross and who in ep 5 ended up taking Sheryl to Formo the moment she sees Ranka heading there with *Mikhail* (this is one of those subtle, notable differences to tv ver: in Utahime the shots of Alto restlessly looking around and searching for “something” are removed from Sheryl enjoying her good time and Alto genuinely took her there just because) and who is more than eager to call immeaditly back to her for her slightest trouble? Why the cold shoulder now? He’s actually pretty damn irked that Ranka didn’t call him first about news. When Ranka apologizes and explains she didn’t do it because she didn’ want to “disturb him” (she saw him with Sheryl) how does Alto react? By tapping her forehead with the plane and asking in very clear words: “why do you hesitate now?”

        “You can always count on, confide in and lean on me little miss!” – getting brushed over like that (even if unintentionally on Ranka’s part) is bad for his position.

        It isn’t just all over in his behaviour re:Ranka and Brera and some of his general behaviour too a la the unusual soreness of the subject. Sometimes the point is even made blatant through how he is framed in his interactions with Ranka: http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/7849/snap2011110403h09m00s68.png

        I mean, just *look at him*! This is the ultimate cheesecake hero framing from the entire show! And that dialogue, lol!

        I’m not really having the time or space here to go much deeper, but if the adaptations of the work make it far more explicit, the creators speak of films in terms of getting chance to better elaborate on aspect of his character that never got the focus all that explicitly, the Drama CD in same continuity makes some further references to Alto’s problems with acting also having a lot to do with girlyness and to top this all off you can find more than enough signs from the series itself if you dig a little bit (like what I did above) I’m not seeing why one would try to deny it expect if it doesn’t fit to one’s conceptions of the work.

        Well, it’s okay. I’ve more than had my share of disappointments with Eva and the like so I know the feel. I still remember the shock over seeing the oh so gay original drafts for kaworu episode that shook my belief in the platonism I presumed….

    • JonBob says:

      I think his comments are less “yeah, take that moeblobs!” and more “if you actually had a moeblob in that situation, what really should happen?” And in his mind, the correct stuff happens; naivety wins and Ranka screws up hard.

    • Negative? Hardly.

      I was very clear that I like what changes are there, and that Ranka the way she is now is a big part of what made this film — which is now my favorite animated film EVER, a success. If that’s faint praise then you are an insatiable black hole of Rankafag butthurt.

      Re: mind control

      No it doesn’t work. The way it’s presented is very problematic. I don’t think it’s a great tragedy that it doesn’t work, but no, it doesn’t. Is Grace happy when she does manipulative things? She looks it. Do the mind controllers also force her to smile? Do they force her to appreciate the manipulations she executes? Who owns those emotions?

      I’m not toooooo bothered by it. I just acknowledge it.

      Too long, won’t go into the details with how you disagree with my take on Alto. I’ll live, especially how I actually like film Alto anyway, even with this gender identity problem crap.

      By all means be disturbed by how I like my favorite characters, and do get that Ranka is a favorite character of mine too — maybe not in the very top, but it should be very obvious that I like her a lot, maybe just not to extreme partisans who demand that I “be fair” to her. Ugh.

      Ranka first and foremost is a literary character. She isn’t a person. I don’t relate to her (or any character) as some kind of living, imaginary person. She is a construct, a golem, that I happen to be quite fond of. In general I like impaired, flawed characters that go through extreme conditions. Sometimes they triumph (Basara), sometimes they really fail (Char Aznable). Sometimes, they not just only fail, but manifest incredibly upsetting traits or behavior (Minmay). I love them.

      A character like Sheryl, while is a favorite of mine too, and a rather strong one after this film… awes me, inspires me to some degree, but it’s mostly reverence. It’s not… love. I am at effect of Sheryl instead of me causing the love I have for her. This is not as valuable to me as the human agency I manifest to appreciate Minmay, who simply cannot hold a candle to the awesomeness that is Sheryl. Liking Sheryl is EASY, but it takes something special to really, really like Minmay.

      I think that my way is distinct from many other fans who treat their favorite characters as if they’re alive in some form — and not only wish good things for them, but also attempt to see in them good things. Even I would rather think of Sheryl’s failings as the “right” kind of fail. Saner Ranka fans wouldn’t make her to be flawless, but they too would think of her failings as very acceptable. Retards would flat out ignore or deny such exist.

      But yes, I have a very soft spot for TV Ranka before she got magicked into being the Messiah goddess of the Galaxy. I’d rather she figured out how wrong what she did was, and much like how Alto got that he got Gilliam killed. I wanted her to grit her teeth and power through mightily. Saving the day not with magic powers, but with communication, with work and guts. Or maybe she fails in saving anyone… that would even be MORE interesting. Maybe she’s the one who dies trying to save everyone after all of Frontier forsakes her after branding her traitor. But Alto would know the truth, and it would poison him. Then Sheryl dies due to V-Sickness, but not before Frontier wipes out the Vajra anyway and secures the home world.

      But that’s not very Macross I admit, and I don’t mind that it doesn’t happen like that at all since Sayonara no Tsubasa exists anyway.

      Is this masochism? Hardly. Masochism is watching ZZ Gundam, SEED, and GSD in the same year. Those shows suck HARD, and the characters are awful. If you read my posts about them, you’ll know when I’m really being uncharitable.

      • Xard says:

        >If that’s faint praise then you are an insatiable black hole of Rankafag butthurt.

        That was reference to Grace and Alto comments which kind of did really surprise me in their negativity. Ranka was among the lines I was expecting based on discussion in previous posts already…which does not mean I agree with it, but it did not surprise me that much in general.

        >No it doesn’t work. The way it’s presented is very problematic. I don’t think it’s a great tragedy that it doesn’t work, but no, it doesn’t. Is Grace happy when she does manipulative things? She looks it. Do the mind controllers also force her to smile? Do they force her to appreciate the manipulations she executes? Who owns those emotions?

        I think the mind control thing is in general a bit subtler. Namely, planting thoughts, plans etc. instead of full-on control that would be used only when necessary. This is how Brera and Ranka get used in original series. While the disguised-as-Harmonica control device put on her does play a part Ranka behaves in ep 24 more like a really drugged person and suggestion and manipulation play arguably just as big part. I could get more indepth about this, I think, but if it doesn’t bother you that much and you don’t find the deal all that interesting so be it.

        >Ranka first and foremost is a literary character. She isn’t a person. I don’t relate to her (or any character) as some kind of living, imaginary person. She is a construct, a golem, that I happen to be quite fond of. ”

        urusee urusee urusee, you have no idea how big deal existence of Shinji and Asuka was to me when I was 14. They were my mirror man ;___;

        I don’t understand how character drama can work on and move a viewer who is fundamentally unable to buy into their supposed realness for the work. I wouldn’t have bawwled my eyes out at Grave of the Fireflies if I only saw “golems” in there.

        >I’d rather she figured out how wrong what she did was, and much like how Alto got that he got Gilliam killed.

        Uhh, and what exactly is this deed?

        >*if Hideaki Anno wrote Macross Frontier*

        oh god lol, that’s horribly depressing D:

        • Extended, I still like Photoshopped Grace and Alto, as they’re core characters to my favorite animated movie of all time. The negativity you perceive is relative to THIS important notion.

          I think the mind control thing is in general a bit subtler. Namely, planting thoughts, plans etc. instead of full-on control that would be used only when necessary.

          This is fail. Say you implant a thought that makes me retract my posts on Macross Frontier. Would I forget I did it afterwards? Would I have some amnesia-type thing that makes me also not care about the opinions I formerly had and that now I have to maintain contrary opinions, like “Ranka is the most Awesome woman in anime?” You think I wouldn’t notice? They’d have to police my thoughts, feelings, and memory 24/7. Also, they’ll still have to make me LIKE and ENJOY my contrary opinions which would be out of character for me and inconsistent with my daily behavior. Now this is just opinions on shows or music, which probably they wouldn’t interfere with concerning Grace, but murder and conspiracy and involving someone I love and innocent people’s deaths and sacrifices… they’d have to FORCE me to feel and think OKAY about those things and police everything in my mind because I would ABHOR those things.

          Unless, you think Grace is inherently evil to begin with that she’d be okay with those things in the first place… which is not true given her “turn” before she died at the end of the film.

          re character drama: of course it could under certain circumstances, and while I’m watching… or even discussing the experience afterward. I don’t have to consider the work real ALL THE TIME. Disbelief is broken easily in so many works but I can still feel awesome/sad/cry-worthy things. Why would I be so moved to tears while the TTGL fights the Spiral King? There was nothing realistic about anything there. Compartmentalization? Perhaps. But certainly while writing emotionally and passionately about characters which I often do in this blog, I am very much present to the truth that these are fictional constructs that I happen to be very into (emotionally, etc.).

          Ranka went with Galaxy’s onii-chan to conference with the Vajra and got herself captured and turned into a super-weapon against Frontier (good job!) while the people of Frontier needed her (to sing in a funeral, etc. sing to support the troops, etc.; not get turned into a super-weapon against everyone etc.,), and not going with her friends like she did in Sayonara no Tsubasa. Yes, your favorite high-point crowning moment of heroism of Ranka. I know how you feel about this, no need to respond to this point. You can (not) advance. Moving on.

          • Xard says:

            >They’d have to police my thoughts, feelings, and memory 24/7.

            But that’s exactly what they’re doing

            >Also, they’ll still have to make me LIKE and ENJOY my contrary opinions which would be out of character for me and inconsistent with my daily behavior. Now this is just opinions on shows or music, which probably they wouldn’t interfere with concerning Grace, but murder and conspiracy and involving someone I love and innocent people’s deaths and sacrifices… they’d have to FORCE me to feel and think OKAY about those things and police everything in my mind because I would ABHOR those things.

            People can twist their entire mental frameworks and behavioural patterns into strange positions simply from consuming too much alcohol and the like. Of course due to the hive mind overlap Grace’s “ufufufu” smirks at some moments might be one of the (remember they can share a body as seen in the series. “Do you want me to take over” etc.) others’s feelings creep in, the one who happens to be in control at the moment. I’d also say that good ol’ cop policy 24/7 is exactly what’s going on. They have resources and manpower for it.

            It’s not completely inexplicable nor are there any *unavoidable* logical holes in play there. Of course some more elaboration on it would’ve been nice but it’s not anything severe if you ask me IMO. It’s a bit like how the LOLWTF WHY DID THE HARMONICA BREAK used to mindfuck me for a long time in tv series finale. If it was abstract symbol of Ranka’s imprisoment it should’ve not been visible in more “real world” shots. If it was physical why the fuck did Ranka’s and Sheryl’s fold powers break it? And didn’t Ranka lose it in space anyway?

            (It was only very recently I realized how it worked out. For one the mind control device is not the same harmonica Ranka lost in space as she was captured by Vajra (the mindcontrol device was crafted in similar shape and form for psychological effect on her and all) and it was made of fold quartz which is why the fold waves could jam and break it. Of course that it evaporated so utterly instead of just breaking down or something was a visual convenience…)

            But I’m ready to drop this here as neither of us has big stakes here.

            >re character drama: of course it could under certain circumstances, and while I’m watching… or even discussing the experience afterward. I don’t have to consider the work real ALL THE TIME. Disbelief is broken easily in so many works but I can still feel awesome/sad/cry-worthy things.

            ahh, okay then. I just got impression it was something that never happens at all under any circumstances…like with one huge tard on one forum who just recently wrote to topic about films that have moved or made him cry “nothing since they’re fiction” (despite this clashing with his very strong feelings with all anime and films he watched but w/e)

          • Re Mr. Spock in your forums.

            Geez.

            I have a commenter who has some kind of condition that prevents him from “normal” representations of empathy/sympathy so there is such a way of experiencing fiction as your Mr. Spock does, but it’s not a tough-guy dismissal like his.

      • “I think that my way is distinct from many other fans who treat their favorite characters as if they’re alive in some form — and not only wish good things for them, but also attempt to see in them good things. Even I would rather think of Sheryl’s failings as the “right” kind of fail. Saner Ranka fans wouldn’t make her to be flawless, but they too would think of her failings as very acceptable. Retards would flat out ignore or deny such exist.”

        I wouldn’t be too judgemental about that approach though as it kind of does have its own merits. I think the benefit gained from approaching characters in this way is kind of similar to that of supporting a sports team. It allows fans to feel an involvement in something they aren’t really involved in, make them feel like they can share in the glory of a struggle that has nothing to do with them and add grandeur to their lives. It happens more often in regard to works that are currently airing or are left open to interpretation because the fan can feel as if “Ranka/the Lakers/the Red Socks/etc needs me and my support” since the fate of that character is not yet decided. When you are talking about investing yourself in a conflict that is totally seperate from you the matter of real or not real doesn’t matter. You are as much not involved in a sports team’s struggles as a fictitious characters. And really unless you personally know parts of the team they are as much a fiction to you as a Macross character. If anything the support of anime fans has more basis in reality as it’s an industry where much of what happens is pandering to fans. Wanting something en masse is enough to make something existant(in the fake universe) if the people making it are trashy enough. I think there is some definite positive value in approaching fiction as reality for a lot of people.

        • I said distinct, not “better,” except for the retards.

          Sports? You’re talking to a guy who supported rapist Kobe Bryant the whole time. Lakers for life! I can wholly support sports figures who may well be utterly terrible people. I’m there to watch basketball, not vote for the next president of a country I’m not a citizen of. KOBE KOBE KOBE! MVP MVP MVP! The same way, I don’t go around hating the Celtics or whomever the Lakers are rivals with. That’s stupid. I cheer against them when they’re playing the Lakers. I don’t go around flaming anything any Celtic does in and out of basketball (I know people like this and unfollowed them). I CAN write very critical analysis on how Celtics players suck at basketball, but that’s like me talking about Ranka here. I don’t go around RANKA SUCKS RANKA SUCKS! the same way I don’t go around CELTICS SUCK!

          And let me tell you. I read more sports blogs than I do anime blogs. I’ve been a basketball fan for 30 years, an NBA fan for 21 years, and a Lakers fan for 15 years. FUCK THE LOCKOUT.

          I’ve seen a lot of fan behavior all this time. I know my distinctions. My statement has two parts, the first part is okay — even though I’m distinct from them. Retards are retarded.

  8. Xard says:

    >I understand perectly what ghostlightning wants to say here. Ranka got away with murder in the series, she never really realized what she had done to her current home on Frontier

    *with a murder*? As always with discussions like this we’re keeping Frontier-centric view as one of the premises so I always end up scratching my head. Murder is by definition “The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice” – when on Earth does Ranka do anything like that? Only time she actively acts against Frontier fleet (not that she knew it was them) is in ep 24…which doesn’t count either as she is under not-so-subtle mind control down to visual cues/references to Macross Zero’s climax and she’s manipulated to point she’s only thinking of, ironically, protecting the planet and redeeming herself against the space kadun. You might as well hold Sara responsible for what Bird Human does as situations are the same in both works.

    >and instead of having a “what have I done” moment, she was elevated to saviour of the fleet and Sheryl with an infusion of magic hax power.

    (ehh, “magic hax powers” were long since established before final episode and as such it was not deus ex machina like use of words like that implies)

    For sake of argument I’m granting that she *murdered* someone. This is why I said “epiphany in itself is not any sort of redemption. It’s not active deed of retribution.” before. Since when is realizing “whoops, I murdered somebody” a redemption for the deed? Such “what have I done” moment on its own is not a redemption of any kind.

    The great irony here is that is what Ranka (thanks to Grace playing her to the point she assumes the blame and guilt for 117th Expedition Fleet despite her never intentionally causing the tragedy in the first place. Psychology of guilt is a bitch) was trying to do in episode 24: this is why the bless the little queen version of AiObo sounds haunting, sad and beautiful instead of aggressive a la Aimo O.C – there’s no malice behind singing the song, just sadness and aspiration for redemption. She’s trying to protect “this beautiful planet” and fullfill “her mother’s wish” in order to redeem herself from the sin she supposedly commited as 4 year old. But of course in reality it ends in catastrophical epic fail like all Ranka tries to do after episode 12 is prior to final episode, regardless of her intentions.

    Well, it’s a giant failure but this *was* actively trying to do something for redemption – the mere epiphany on its own is nothing. Actually ep24 AiObo is the lesser of the two times Ranka tries to do this in series and unlike this instance the other time she really did sin in the first place and as a consequence her actions even more radical.

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

    On the main character impotence note in TV sereis:

    It never stops astonishing me just how mean and merciless Ranka’s treatment is in the second cour. It’s something that really couldn’t be helped as the plot increasingly hangs on pushing her beyond breaking point repeatedly but really, I’ve never seen a supposed lead heroine get victimized and stripped off meaningful autonomy to such extent.

    Then again, same holds to lesser extent to both Alto and Sheryl. Difference being they get to succeed and develop for better with things they aspire but prior to final episode neither play a meaningful heroic role. Singing Diamond Crevasse in ep 20 is nice and all but means jackshit in the overall picture and in the end Sheryl knowingly lets herself to be used by the bad guys because she has nothing left except her singing… while Alto ends up turning into a tool of fascist regime and a warning story about war comparable to Kamille’s fate in Zeta.

    This is the funny thing that greatly amuses me in MacrossF: the real heroes who actually end up getting the information needed to Do The Right Thing are Wilder’s bunch of deserters. Ranka had good intentions but was manipulated and afterwards broken and as such useless victim and tool for evil, getting the worst of it. Brera’s mindcontrolled killer machine. Meanwhile Alto and Sheryl just kinda hang around Frontier being miserable and in latter’s case doing small good deeds that mean nothing in the big picture. Sheryl’s biggest contribution towards good end ended up being unintentionally making Vajra realize the human individuality more than anything else (which kinda sucks for her) and busting Ranka from her mindcontrol. Alto is a aimless lodge in the river all the way untill the aforementioned S.M.S deserters give enough info to snap even him out of his fail and leads him into full integration of his personality in Northern Cross scene.

    In film version none of the three are as blatantly useless for the resolution of conflict as they were in tv series prior to ep 25. 😆

    • Magnus says:

      >*with a murder*? As always with discussions like this we’re keeping Frontier-centric view as one of the premises so I always end up scratching my head. Murder is by definition “The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice” – when on Earth does Ranka do anything like that? Only time she actively acts against Frontier fleet (not that she knew it was them) is in ep 24…which doesn’t count either as she is under not-so-subtle mind control down to visual cues/references to Macross Zero’s climax and she’s manipulated to point she’s only thinking of, ironically, protecting the planet and redeeming herself against the space kadun. You might as well hold Sara responsible for what Bird Human does as situations are the same in both works. (ehh, “magic hax powers” were long since established before final episode and as such it was not deus ex machina like use of words like that implies)For sake of argument I’m granting that she *murdered* someone. This is why I said “epiphany in itself is not any sort of redemption. It’s not active deed of retribution.” before. Since when is realizing “whoops, I murdered somebody” a redemption for the deed? Such “what have I done” moment on its own is not a redemption of any kind. epiphany -> repentance. Frontier TV only got us to step one, but Ranka still was lauded in-universe as a big hero ( at least that’s what we got to see… what happened afterwards is open to interpretation ). So there is a big difference between audience expectations and the actual resolution of the situation.

  9. Magnus says:

    Urk. Apparently closing brackets = bad idea for formatting. Frick. I’ll try again:

    -> *with a murder*? As always with discussions like this we’re keeping Frontier-centric view as one of the premises so I always end up scratching my head. Murder is by definition “The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice” – when on Earth does Ranka do anything like that? Only time she actively acts against Frontier fleet (not that she knew it was them) is in ep 24…which doesn’t count either as she is under not-so-subtle mind control down to visual cues/references to Macross Zero’s climax and she’s manipulated to point she’s only thinking of, ironically, protecting the planet and redeeming herself against the space kadun. You might as well hold Sara responsible for what Bird Human does as situations are the same in both works.

    No, not “with a murder”. I said “got away with murder”. It’s a metaphor for not being held accountable. Look it up.

    -> (ehh, “magic hax powers” were long since established before final episode and as such it was not deus ex machina like use of words like that implies)For sake of argument I’m granting that she *murdered* someone. This is why I said “epiphany in itself is not any sort of redemption. It’s not active deed of retribution.” before. Since when is realizing “whoops, I murdered somebody” a redemption for the deed? Such “what have I done” moment on its own is not a redemption of any kind.

    The usual way a protagonist who causes a lot of grief takes is misdeed-> epiphany -> repentance. Frontier TV only got us to step one, but Ranka still was lauded in-universe as a big hero ( at least that’s what we got to see… what happened afterwards is open to interpretation ). So there is a big difference between audience expectations and the actual resolution of the situation.

  10. Xard says:

    >No, not “with a murder”. I said “got away with murder”. It’s a metaphor for not being held accountable. Look it up.

    ahh, sorry. Yes I know the idiom – I just misunderstood here.

    >The usual way a protagonist who causes a lot of grief takes is misdeed-> epiphany -> repentance. Frontier TV only got us to step one, but Ranka still was lauded in-universe as a big hero ( at least that’s what we got to see… what happened afterwards is open to interpretation ). So there is a big difference between audience expectations and the actual resolution of the situation.

    But…. That’s exactly what she does. Episode 21 is her epiphany and moment of repentance for her sins. Though for some reason I suspect we’re talking about entirely different things…

    • Magnus says:

      -> But…. That’s exactly what she does. Episode 21 is her epiphany and moment of repentance for her sins. Though for some reason I suspect we’re talking about entirely different things…

      What happens in episode 21 is very debatable. Some took it as a moment when Ranka recognized what she had done and tried to remedy it, but a large number of other people saw her actions in a less positive way. Partly running away from Alto and from her responsibilities, partly suicide mission when Frontier needed her most. That was never resolved satisfactorily and many fans resent that she never recognized this for herself, but rather was absolved by the writers via magical healing and everybody cheering for her return.

      • Here’s an alternative take:

        She’d never be held accountable really. They’re chomping at the bit to forgiver their idol. “She’s this cute little harmless child. How could she ever TRULY betray us. She only meant well, poor thing.”

        I can imagine this kind of thinking running through the SMS personnel at the very least. Of course her friends would easily take her side, though Nanase was still out cold. Moe powers instead of hax powers.

        Do I like this more? No.

        What would be interesting is if she went door to door to all the families that lost brothers, sisters, children to Ai-kun’s siblings. I would love to see how she deals with them. If she takes the hate and wins them over with dignity and an awesome song and please not fucking Aimo, then we’d have something very interesting.

        • Xard says:

          but in the end the blame on the whole conflict lies on Grace and her gang. It was a tragedy of miscommunication and blindness more than anything. Why would Ranka have to do such (impossible in principle considering the scale of war) tour? She isn’t Vajra and even less one of the Galaxy conspirators

          • Grace didn’t bear the hope of the colony and didn’t run away while being so. The worst thing she could do is to go “HEY GUISE NOT MY FAULT!” That would be even less heroic. Others will definitely do that for her.

            I won’t stop you from feeling you HAVE TO defend Ranka. You can’t help yourself. It happens.

      • Xard says:

        >What happens in episode 21 is very debatable.

        Not really when one keeps the context, writer aims and core story themes explicated through the events there, the symbolism behind Aimo (and the degree of “unity” between the song and Ranka, it was not mistakenly talked as “core” of her character in the saoynara book on few occasions), common storytelling sense and the commentary in eg. Official Fan Book on the episode and Ranka’s actions. The way the episode is put together (it is no coincidence that episode is the only instance in series where truly big dramaturgical ellipse is employed as writing technique) among other factors however does make it easily misinterpretable and I’d say most definetly on purpose too (looking at how Kawamori wrote the final acts of Escaflowne and large parts of Arjuna). As a writer Shoji tends to alternate between preachyness and astonishing craftyness with little inbetween. The way many themes are handled in Frontier are very heavily in the “craftyness” section and some things are treated with subtletly to point of obfuscation. Many viewers (GL and you here for example) missing entirely Alto’s emasculation issues in original series is just one example. At least Sayonara gave at least a bit more explicit hint to connections between Vajra and Zen philosophy than tv series ever did but I doubt many western viewers pick it up, least of all fansubbers.

        But I’m not here to debate the same old controversy. Film Ranka has been extremely well received like DYRL Minmay and as Sayonara no Tsubasa is the final word on the subfranchise and the cast with Kawamori using the opportunity to tackle things that bothered him in tv series (Grace among others, nowadays Grace is his favourite character so it’s no surprise films developed her like they did) the failings of tv series and real or imaginary shortcomings of its characters doesn’t matter that much to me when I also have the superior, definitive takes on them to love.

        >Partly running away from Alto and from her responsibilities, partly suicide mission when Frontier needed her most.

        missingthepointofseriesentirely.jpg

        Seriously. I mean, well yeah. It’s not impossible reading to come up with, just like it’s fairly easy to come up with reading of Sheryl in second half as exceedingly pitiful, self-centered woman who clings on to her singing and Alto because that’s all she has left. So having her real motivation behind holding charity concert or singing for the fleet be much more selfish, desperate attempts to feel alive (same reason she clings to Alto and, uhh, begs him for sex in ep 22) is rather easy in light of certain scenes, not least of which is the aforementioned scene with her and Alto where she pretty much replies to Alto’s “whys” regarding singing that it is all she has and it’s the only sign for her that she is still alive – a fundamentally selfish perspective without a single reference to needs of the colony or its people.

        This is the kind of way those who hate Sheryl and consider her a selfish bitch till the end tend to take. I certainly don’t think like this and it doesn’t make any sense when one remembers what writers are trying to do with her character etc. (just like Ranka’s desertion being act of cowardice and childish running away makes just as little sense for same reasons) but it’s about as justifiable based on the series as the kind of take Ranka haters have had on her. Which is to say it’s understandable misconception, but blatantly false nonetheless and really requires a thick glasses of bias and ignorance of other moments in either case.

        As example of provably false yet common misconception by those who despite series Ranka see how they tend define her motivations for not singing in the funeral. Then read and contrast those with the commentary on the moment from Official Fan Book which makes perfect sense and is the natural conclusion presumed one does not at this point have a considerable bias against her (it happening right after ep 20… oh boy) and remembers to interpret scenes like it in context of the whole humans vs. Vajra narrative and Ranka’s place in it. Which many viewers never did.

        As for Ranka’s unluckily catastrophic “suicide mission” I still think her decision to abandon Frontier is high point of her character arc in tv series and as such there’s nothing to resent about it. Which really is rather depressing situation. I’ve been thinking for a while best way to deal with it would be to write how the story would’ve gone down had she not done that but since I prefer the film version anyway motivation to do that is kinda low 😛

        ***********

        Well, the above tv series discussion is kinda off the point and not of interest here. The main point sill is what the hell is point of “epiphany” on its own and what kind of epiphany GL wanted her to have in the first place.

        One thing I forgot to comment on:

        “Ranka appeared at the very height of moé being thought of a differentiator (as a value proposition) in a mainstream work. After Frontier (and Code Geass R2), moé is pretty mainstream and it’s no big deal to find elements of it in new mainstream works.

        As such, I imagine, some older and more conservative (LOLOLOL) Macross fans did not welcome Ranka as a lead character.”

        Well, maybe here in the west. In Japan moe had been the mainstream for years already and I think western viewers should’ve noticed it at latest with Haruhi Suzumiya’s success in 2006. (I can’t really speak for myself because I used to be very much anti-moe prejudiced untill I watched Frontier and Ranka was moe as hell to point I completely dropped such bias for years to come.)

        Oh and while I do think the series relationship between Ranka and Alto was rather unhealthy overall for both sides involved I think “Didn’t make her life revolve around a person she just met and barely knew” is a bit mean and hypocritical when one remembers what Sheryl did the same around the same time, reusing the horrible old MY EARRING tsundere excuse for bazillion times. Or as one guy recently snarked at Sheryl’s ep 5 “now I can return to Galaxy without regrets” line:

        “After a decided (refreshing) lack of misunderstandings, Sheryl decides she’s ready to head off home without explaining to this retarded kid why she felt the need to drag him around for the last twelve hours.

        “Yes, no worries except for my crushing and obvious loneliness that leads me to latch onto anyone who speaks to me as if I were human in an attempt to leech some vague semblance of normal emotion out of them”

        That’s what I thought too back then 😆

        Alto stuff I reply in other post

        • Magnus says:

          First off, I don’t give a flying crap what Kawamoris and Yoshinos intent were with Ranka, Alto and Sheryl. I care about what was actually there. As such, I reject this whole “gender issues” blabbering with Alto, because it was not shown in the series and you’d have to interpret the lightest shades to have much higher meaning than what was really shown to us.

          The same goes for Ranka, who was thought to be some supermoe genki girl, but who failed so horrendously at her responsibilities, that these “home playing field advantages” weren’t even enough to save her from fan wrath in Japan, much less in the rest of the world.

          And the characterizations of Sheryl as some self-centered woman ( where the hell does she “beg Alto for sex? That’s an idiotic reading of their scene at Altos home ) are contrary to everything shown to us, about a woman who planned to sing herself literally to death to save a population who had shown her not too much kindness after her fall from stardom grace.

          • +1

            Fuck this word of god shit. Also,

            And the characterizations of Sheryl as some self-centered woman ( where the hell does she “beg Alto for sex? That’s an idiotic reading of their scene at Altos home ) are contrary to everything shown to us, about a woman who planned to sing herself literally to death to save a population who had shown her not too much kindness after her fall from stardom grace.

            HAHAHAHAHA. Wow this is classic. Idiotic reactionary butthurt reading indeed. Sheryl doesn’t beg for sex, she liked how it happened sure… even though it was in the heat of the moment for her. The worst you can accuse is Alto giving her some pity wish-it-were-mommy-but-I-suppose-Sheryl-is-fine-too-sex. The moment a Ranka “realist and fair” fan succumbs to temptation to lash out against Sheryl the way haters flame Ranka and her fans, his game is lost.

          • Magnus says:

            ->+1

            Fuck this word of god shit.

            Yes, indeed. There’s much too much “But-but-but Kawamori and Yoshino said…” and far too little “Oh, wait, what actually happened was…” going around in some circles.

          • Xard says:

            “First off, I don’t give a flying crap what Kawamoris and Yoshinos intent were with Ranka, Alto and Sheryl. I care about what was actually there.”

            This is false dischonomy because in animation there really isn’t anything except what’s put there intentionally. Unlike in cinema there’s hardly any happy accidents or unpredictable elements. Of course there are limits to how far creator’s word should be trusted but in general they’re valuable sources of understanding.

            Of course “caring what was actually there” is most important – however one ought not to be so cocky and sure of his own perfect understanding to presume he can’t wrongly interpret things or miss elements. I know there are things I didn’t catch even in MacrossF before repeated viewings which is to say nothing on works of more mindfucky variety.

            This is exactly what you’re doing by rejecting “gender issues” blabbering because it is very much there, only in somewhat underdeveloped form, and there’re no good reasons to think otherwise. “I didn’t see it” is not a good reason when there’s so much circumstantial evidence and more than enough hints in the show itself, even if nothing absolutely explicit in the way of Utahime’s monologue.

            I’m sure people who had a negative reaction to Sheryl even in such late stages only saw “what was actually there” too. Doesn’t mean that’s what really was there or that they were correct in their understanding.

            “The same goes for Ranka, who was thought to be some supermoe genki girl, but who failed so horrendously at her responsibilities, that these “home playing field advantages” weren’t even enough to save her from fan wrath in Japan, much less in the rest of the world.”

            No, not really. People keep overestimating “home playing field advantages” of moe when it comes to Japan in general and especially so in work like MacF. Sheryl could much more than complete on such superficial grounds with her oozes of sex appeal that made girls go kyaa kakkoii and men fap like crazed beasts.

            “And the characterizations of Sheryl as some self-centered woman ( where the hell does she “beg Alto for sex? That’s an idiotic reading of their scene at Altos home ) are contrary to everything shown to us, about a woman who planned to sing herself literally to death to save a population who had shown her not too much kindness after her fall from stardom grace.”

            “Please give me courage Alto…to sing untill the end” is very much pleading – remember also the lyrics of Northern Cross. Not saying there was anything wrong or unsympathetic about it, but it really was her who wanted and initiated it. As for latter part, well, she was dying soon anyway and we have her motivations in that scene of vulnerability pretty well out:

            “Singing is all I have left now! It’s the only thing that’s telling me that I’m still alive! So I’m going to…” and then Alto promises to stay with her till the end *if she keeps on singing* after expressing weakness. She much more than gives enough grounds for just reading “what actually is there” here. Sheryl’s afraid of dying and depressed and her sole escape from the brutal reality is in her singing and feelings of actually living she can find there. Thus she so commits herself to it towards the end. As she says, she has nothing else left to make her feel she’s living a life worth living. What’s even better, if she keeps on singing she gets to keep her love Alto by her side so her remaining days might be less miserable indeed. Understandable, sympathetic motives but not heroic ones. Especially when Sheryl is seemingly well aware Mishima and all are just using her for their schemes but she goes with it.

            OH AND FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE I DON’T THINK ABOVE IS VALID UNDERSTANDING OF HER CHARACTER

            I’m just pointing out what should be obvious: if one wants to be really uncharitable in reading of events or acts of one character it’s much more than possible to come up with really negative understanding based on “what is there”. This doesn’t mean such interpretations stand up to scrutiny or should be taken seriously just because it’s logically consistent with some elements of the show. Common misinterpretations of Ranka’s behaviour in funeral scene are a good example, such ridiculous take on Sheryl is another while both can be grounded in “valid” viewer interpretation “what is there” in the show.

            Look, for heaven’s sake I’m getting a bit tired of you guys (this goes for GL too) of constantly misreading what I wrote. I explicitly denied I’ve thought of Sheryl in tv series in this kind of fashion:

            “This is the kind of way those who hate Sheryl and consider her a selfish bitch till the end tend to take. I certainly don’t think like this and it doesn’t make any sense when one remembers what writers are trying to do with her character etc.”

            So why the fuck do you keep on reacting like I do that whenever I make a point like this for sake of argument?

            “The moment a Ranka “realist and fair” fan succumbs to temptation to lash out against Sheryl the way haters flame Ranka and her fans, his game is lost.”

            Yes thank you very much. Now read the fucking post again and see I explicitly denied I’m accepting that view of Sheryl. Have a better luck next time at dismissing me outright.

          • Magnus says:

            “This is false dischonomy because in animation there really isn’t anything except what’s put there intentionally. Unlike in cinema there’s hardly any happy accidents or unpredictable elements. Of course there are limits to how far creator’s word should be trusted but in general they’re valuable sources of understanding.”

            And yet we got the writers claiming that they tried to do one thing with the three main characters and then being surprised when fans didn’t perceive those things. The writers expectations of what fans should perceive did not come true for Sheryl, Alto and Ranka. As such, the things they tried to put in intentionally didn’t always work out as they thought they would. So you’re wrong.

            “This is exactly what you’re doing by rejecting “gender issues” blabbering because it is very much there, only in somewhat underdeveloped form, and there’re no good reasons to think otherwise. “I didn’t see it” is not a good reason when there’s so much circumstantial evidence and more than enough hints in the show itself, even if nothing absolutely explicit in the way of Utahime’s monologue.

            I’m sure people who had a negative reaction to Sheryl even in such late stages only saw “what was actually there” too. Doesn’t mean that’s what really was there or that they were correct in their understanding.”

            The difference here is actually easy to spot. The “gender identity” idiocy is a very subtle subtext which can easily be interpreted to mean nothing at all, because it wasn’t clearly spelled out, Alto stopped being bothered by it after a certain point and as such, one needs to point to word of God and said very subtle hints to even claim that it was there at all.
            Ranka being a dirty traitor and oblivious to other peoples feeling was right there on the face. Sheryl “begging” Alto for sex is an extremely negative interpretation of what happened in episode 22, painting both Sheryl and Alto as much worse persons than they are ( and what the fuck is it with Ranka fans trying to make Alto such a horrible person… do they only care that their girl “won” and are oblivious of what horrible boyfriend their version of Alto would make or what is their thought process? ).

            “So why the fuck do you keep on reacting like I do that whenever I make a point like this for sake of argument? ”

            Could have to do with the fact that you write a veritable filibuster to anything which disagrees with your point of view.

          • Filibuster, now there’s the word.

          • Xard says:

            And yet we got the writers claiming that they tried to do one thing with the three main characters and then being surprised when fans didn’t perceive those things. The writers expectations of what fans should perceive did not come true for Sheryl, Alto and Ranka. As such, the things they tried to put in intentionally didn’t always work out as they thought they would. So you’re wrong.

            Many viewers in Japan thought Alto DIED at the end of Sayonara and there was whole lot of turmoil over that during first weeks. I find this completely ridiculous because it’s clear Vajra Queen folded out before they got hit and Ranka’s actions in the epilogue wouldn’t make sense if that was the case. Still, many didn’t “perceive that”. There are far more examples. For example (and I’m purposefully choosing one misinterpretation from many of those belonging to “Ranka camp”) there’s Alto’s whole big speech in ep 23 which he ends with saying he’s ready to kill Ranka if it comes to that which gets Klan all teary eyed and asks “is that your love”. Given that we got Sheryl’s “I always knew that” reaction/misinterpretation with tears at the end it’s understandable enough but there was long going debate over what he ment with that. Some Alto/Ranka shippers (pretty reasonably, esp. given how Sheryl reacted) saw that as Alto’s confession of his love towards her. He loves her too much to let her be turned into a tool for the evil Vajra and he’d rather kill her than let that happen to her. Alternative interpretation – and here’s the shipper divide clearly visible – was that it was about how huge Alto’s love for Frontier had grown to the point he now was in a sense “adult” enough to sacrifice what he had originally joined SMS for something larger. As such Sheryl’s reaction was just misinterpretation.

            The latter interpretation is the correct one and makes more sense in light of the scene, especially in light of the change in his character it’s ment to depict. Official Fan Book and Yosino’s comments on the scene seal the deal (such commentary is invalid only when blatantly in disagreement with the “text”, if the only thing it contradicts are fan interpretations it of course is of higher value). Alto/Ranka shippers were simply wrong here and misunderstood rather intentionally obscurely written scene. Similarly it’s also entirely possible that the more extreme Ranka-antis let emotions obfuscate how they see her actions and character time to time, you know.

            The difference here is actually easy to spot. The “gender identity” idiocy is a very subtle subtext which can easily be interpreted to mean nothing at all, because it wasn’t clearly spelled out, Alto stopped being bothered by it after a certain point and as such, one needs to point to word of God and said very subtle hints to even claim that it was there at all.

            Not really. It looks like me (and Chan too I guess) weren’t too clear on the full context of the “gender identity” deal. I’m not saying it in itself is Ranka’s biggest emotional hurdle and I think both anime versions are thankfully free of novel idiocy of Alto “becoming a man” and forgetting such issues by having sex with Sheryl which is really dumb (Alto only starts to gain the sense of adulthood in moments of reflection in ep 23 and ultimately in beginning of ep 25 where he comes in term with his identity, in films it’s gradual process AGAIN culminating at the final battle). The point isn’t “am I a woman, am I a man” in itself nor do I think Alto ever was THAT confused. It just adds another dimension to Alto’s core character drama revolving around his true wishes and identity and nature as actor, between his “true” actions and being and times when he just acts out roles. The series is far more blatant about this than the films overall, having Alto’s big brother nag on him about it constantly. That Alto was a Kabuki oyama, he looks feminine, people treat him differently due to his girly image (hell I’d say even Ranka’s and Sheryl’s physical attraction has more to do with his pretty princess looks than GAR with beard and shit, they’re probably bi in the first place anyway) etc. just heighten the already existing scary feelings of losing himself to this foreign power entering him (On that note I find acting philosophically kinda interesting in reality too as I have some experience with it but I digress). Alto’s “was I man, was I a woman” comes as part of his monologue on *acting* in general and is understandable given how he is perceived, what he is praised for, and that he was a kabuki oyama.

            The whole subtheme was all but easily missable. It’s just that this time around the “gender aspect” of said identity questions was mentioned more explicitly. So I really should not overemphatize the importance of this aspect too much: it was a part of his core issue more than issue on its own. It’s only in what he got out of Ranka and his dick wawing wars with Brera that it could be considered something more individual but still not enough to point of being own theme IMO.

            For what it’s worth Alto conquers his fears and demons of his past in both continuities largerly for Sheryl’s sake. Only difference is that film execution of theme is more “artsy” and Ranka’s warmth and empathy gave Alto courage too this time around – which was good as it also gave a excellent chance to establish much deeper connection two have in filmverse and showcase Ranka’s love for him in a way series never made possible as Alto was kept as this emotionally distant object she could never reach untill the point she gives up on him and thus grows. Which is one of my main reasons for getting pissed off at Sky End as it robs Ranka’s ment-to-be-really-final-sayonara some of its meaning retrospectively.

            Ranka being a dirty traitor and oblivious to other peoples feeling was right there on the face

            yeah, sure. Not liking her is one thing but this is a good reminder why Ranka-anti extremity has always been laughable more than anything to me 😀

            I had written a long reply here but got the smarts to save it for other day. No need to dance the tarantuna dance again

            Sheryl “begging” Alto for sex is an extremely negative interpretation of what happened in episode 22, painting both Sheryl and Alto as much worse persons than they are

            Certainly. Again, it’s not a reading I advocate (though I admit the cutaway to Alto’s mom’s picture, which probably was ment to imply Alto’s concerns over losing Sheryl are as powerful as those emotions she experienced once losing his mother, ended up giving kind of fucked up Freudian aura to scene first time I saw it 😆 ) and was just example

            and what the fuck is it with Ranka fans trying to make Alto such a horrible person… do they only care that their girl “won” and are oblivious of what horrible boyfriend their version of Alto would make or what is their thought process?

            oh Alto has plenty of good sides, perhaps best summarized in Crusader’s writings on the guy (though occasionally he paints a too rosy picture and he completely ignores the other half of Alto/Ranka dynamic). Alto is a jerk with issues but he’s also brave, caring and delightfully unwhiny among robot leads. He’s world apart from brightslappable Gundam leads and I think he’s less whiny than Hikaru was too. I don’t like him in TV series much and I have issues with him but don’t make the mistake I’m flanderizing him beyond recognition as some sort of irredeemable bastard with no good sides at all. They always existed and I’m glad the films capitalized on them.

            I have no idea what “Ranka fans” in general thought of him and shipping Ranka with Alto (at least hardcore Alto/Ranka shippers tended to like both though) but I never did that. It was something for Ranka to grow up from and besides, much rather I would’ve seen the two girls forget about him entirely and proceed to have some sweet sweet yuri lovemakin’ between the real soulmates. 😆

            Ranka/Sheryl and Alto/Sky were my OTPs. 😛

  11. Pingback: Going Beyond The Impossible: The Reconstruction of the Macross Frontier Canon—The 5th of 6 Posts on The Wings of Goodbye | We Remember Love

  12. Darthtabby says:

    Regarding Alto, I really liked the TV version of his character as well. However I can see a good reason why a lot of people didn’t, and that’s that the writers failed to satisfactorily follow through on his character development. Towards the end he was showing that he’d grown and put his past issues behind him. He was also getting more decisive. And then he suddenly seemed to get all wishy washy again. Granted flying in a real sky was his big goal, and I wouldn’t have wanted to actually see him show his decisiveness by following through on his vow to kill Ranka if necessary. But they could have at least followed through on having him commit to one of the girls (especially given how big an emphasis the show put on the triangle). Cutting the “both” from “You are both my wings” would have been a good start (and would have provided an opportunity for Ranka to show some newfound maturity as well). With the ending we were given, one can argue that Alto would probably have done certain things after what we saw based on where his character development seemed to be going in the last few episodes prior to the finale, but that isn’t the same as actually getting the fruits of that character development confirmed.

    Now with regards to Grace, it’s interesting to note that there was a Drama CD segment relating to the TV series that apparently showed that Grace did come to care about Sheryl quite a bit over the years they spent together. So much so that she decided to use her cybernetics to rid herself of those feelings to prevent them from getting in the way of her revenge, Of course the one problem with that is that Sheryl and Grace didn’t come across as all that close in the TV series itself, and if that was the intention they probably should have.

    • All material that comes after the first release is intended to improve or fix the first release. They may fail to actually do so, but none of them are intended to be worse than the original.

      Thus, changes in the characterizations in the novels, in the drama CDs, are there to improve on what’s there in the series, acknowledging that there are gaps, things that are missing, and arguably bad creative decisions.

      A positive way of seeing things is that Macross, with all its continuity nightmares, is a narrative that its creators don’t just give up on. They keep adding to it for better or worse to put out a stronger overall thing. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the TV series has problems, it confirms it.

  13. Pingback: Sheryl Nome is The Most Awesome Woman in Anime—The Sixth of Six Posts on Macross Frontier The Wings of Goodbye | We Remember Love

  14. plasticzaku says:

    I think LOL IMPLANTS Grace was a much more realistic character, despite the weaknesses. TV Grace was cartoonishly over-the-top evil. Perhaps she went insane from the Vajra attack, or it was a side effect/malfunction of being a cyborg of her age, or was she just evil to begin with? I would have liked to have seen more of her backstory in the show. I found it strange for a truly evil and uncaring Grace to raise Sheryl without mistreating her and pass down the family earrings, even if she was using her. There’s probably a lot of orphans on Galaxy a mad scientist could use as guinea pigs, why put all her eggs into one basket?

    Another thing I wanted to see more of was the Galaxy hive mind. These guys are the true villains of the series, and I still don’t have much sense of who/what the hell they are.

    • Re: the Galaxy Hive Mind

      It’s not just them that lacked presence, but rather Macross Galaxy itself. Yes, I wanted some back story for them… as to why they are like the way they are. Why would they prey on Frontier instead of work with them, etc.

      • Xard says:

        Why do nations try to one up each other than work together in our world? It’s the same as individual fleets are very much nations by the time Frontier happens and Earth governance over them is more symbolic than anything.

        I still suffer from the Kiss in the Galaxy trauma where the mangaka tried to do exactly that (namely dive in minds of the other Galaxy bosses other than Grace) and the results were terrible. So I prefer the SEELEsque techno cabal characterization, brrrr

        • Not interesting enough.

          • Xard says:

            I mean, they’re good villains with sense of danger and clear motivations in both series and films but it’s not like they’re Akio or anything. So they’re like SEELE, individually uninteresting but good source of antagonism overall.

            Best Macross villain still is Sharon Apple

            (the best Zentraedi were converted by Minmay)

      • This was one of those backstories that was left unsaid, save for the drama CD in which TV!Grace confessed a few things about her relationship with Sheryl and the girl’s past history before reprogramming herself.

        As for the faceless SEELE-like hivemind, I took a closer look and saw that beneath the canopies are emaciated husks of men and women who have organically integrated with machines. You and I wonder just who were they before obtaining “instrumentality”.

        Makes me think of installing and playing Starcraft again (and damn it, has someone ever thought of creating an MF mod conversion for the game? Okay, I’m still looking for it).

  15. Dearline says:

    This is related to this post:

    http://karice.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/p209/

    Kawamori confirms they purposefully increased Alto and Ranka “maturity”, while they left Sheryl’s personality untouched (they only included that spy suspicion plot on her shoulders).

    • Great interview, thanks for linking it. I enjoyed how sure they felt about how they handled Sheryl’s presentation. While it’s important to wonder what’s next for the franchise, I wouldn’t blame them if they felt the weight of five years working on this project.

      • Dearline says:

        They seem to have given a lot of thought about Sheryl since the very beginning (contrary to what some fans claim that she was a “minor” character…). I’m glad they didn’t change Sheryl in the movies. Why fix what isn’t broken?

        Speaking of the episodes differences, they also played with the “first girl wins troupe” before the movie. I remember in the Deculture and the TV series version, one has Alto meeting Ranka first, then another is he meeting Sheryl first (crossing their paths, but it counts). Yack Deculture final version sticks with Sheryl.

        Another thing: the whole lolita dress dancing, there was a cut scene (that sadly didn’t make it to the movie) revealed in the Macross festival of how they convinced Alto. It was all sensible and made sense. The seiyuus played it for the audience, it was Ranka’s idea and Ozma made it an official order after Alto protested (according to Kawamori the Goth-loli dress was thought to be somethin a goth version of something that Sarah from Macross Zero might wear and was chosen because it was the best way to the gas jet that Alto had on underneath. He said that he wanted Alto to cross dress in the first movie, but couldn’t find a scene to fit it, this one did…) A shame that was given the ax due to better flow from the “I have an idea” to Alcatraz.

  16. Pingback: The Wings of Goodbye – Goodbye to What Macross Stands For « Ideas Without End

  17. Anne says:

    I could actually BELIEVE that movie!Alto was interested romantically in Sheryl (and/or Ranka); in the series I was yelling at him “just tell them you’re not interested in EITHER of ’em! Quit WAFFLING over it!”
    Also, as for hating (/severely disliking) series!Ranka: well, it didn’t HELP that I don’t like moe characters in the first place, but I have to say, just because she’s what actually happens when you have all your hopes on a moeblob doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) mean you shouldn’t dislike her for being so dumb–and you are correct, when she came back and fixed everything and was right all along, I wanted to smash something (ie her). I actually really really LIKED movie!Ranka, enough to feel bad for her that Alto didn’t return her feelings, which was startling as heck but INCREDIBLY pleasant. I like the subversion more than the unfinished deconstruction, I suppose.

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