First, allow me to express how I feel about this episode:
Act II of Macross F starts off with a complete reversal of fortune between the two female leads. Sheryl is now cast aside like yesterday’s newspaper, while Ranka is inaugurated on the battlefield as the new Super Dimension Cinderella. Moreover, meek little Ranka has now replaced Sheryl’s melons as mankind’s new hope and dreams. But not is well with Ranka either, as much as Sheryl is being forced to accept the new reality with her own eyes, Ranka is also feeling ambivalence being coerced into the genocide of Vajra, which she may regret later on.
Sheryl, the fallen galactic fairy
Poor Sheryl must have never dreamed of the day when Sheryl Nome—a name synonymous with God—would be overshadowed by Ranka the way she once did to Ranka back in episode eight. But now, all the poster boards shine with Ranka’s name instead of hers, both on the streets of Macross Frontier as well as in the cockpit of the Macross Quarter.
But fear not. The one thing that I love her so much for is that Sheryl Nome does not stay down for the counts. She may feel down for a short while—which human being wouldn’t when thrust into such adverse times?—but just as Grace has noted, Sheryl is as tough as the bugs she was created for: You can try to kill her, but she keeps finding a way to come back.
And fight she did, on the battlefield that is Alto. That dorm room scene captured the key essence of Sheryl that has fanboys, like me and that security guard on board of the Macross Quarter, spun in our heads in circles for her. In one moment she was fighting off a sexual predator; on the next, she was jerking a love confession out of Alto. While Alto+Ranka scenes are cute and cuddly, Alto+Sheryl ones are absolute fireworks.
Fireworks are nice, but that’s not the only reason why I admire her. Rather, it’s her determination to face up to the hardships and her audacity to break through anything that stands in her way. Just how many teenage girls are bold enough to breach military secured area, resourceful enough to bypass security guards, and phlegmatic enough to speak to the top military officer who under martial laws could instantly put a bullet through your head for trespassing?
Ranka, weapon of mass destruction
The focus of this episode is certainly Ranka’s voice as a weapon. It’s always ironic how weapons of destruction are often depicted as tools of peace: To protect a life, you take a life. And to further accentuate that idea, we saw how an otherwise meek, innocent, loving girl was being recast as a tool of genocide of a race that, so far, had done nothing more than being manipulated by some human, into crossing path with other humans who were too eager to shoot first then ask questions later.
If Ranka were simply enhanced to have Vajra’s cells, then I suppose her attack on the Vajra was simply a matter of survival of the fittest. However, if Ranka is truly genetically a descendant of the Vajra, then what she did was epic betrayal. A traitor of her own kind on an unprecedented scale. Baby Ai-kun would not be happy it ever finds out Ranka took out its mom and dad and a gazillion cousins.
Alto, the jackass
Oh I feel pity for Alto. Apparently, he did not learn his lesson when he charged Michelle many episodes ago and got pwned; here he was, repeating the same mistake on Brera, who was quickly taking away all the spotlights from Alto-hime at school.
However, his bigger mistake is not responding to either Sheryl or Ranka. Who else is he holding out for?! And the dorm room scene, if I were ever caught as much as being within fifty feet of Megan Fox, I would so make sure the entire world hears about it on Youtube or something.
Tying the universe together with pretty train set
The gospel of the Vajra? Must be those pink crystals. My guess is that those crystals have some properties that the Vajra use to communicate with each other by controlling space folds to such an extent beyond all the technologies that both the humans and the Zentradi have achieved so far.
Pillard must want them for its transport capability to achieve his lofty dream of bringing the dislocated parts of the universe together, while Grace may want them for a far more cynical purpose. If that is the case, then both Pillard and Grace probably want to treat the Vajra as nothing more than a farm for growing these crystals. This may shed a light on the truer purpose of why they dragged in those Vajra corpses for study.
Hmm, since Ranka’s stomach seems to glow with these crystals, I wonder if she qualifies as the Macross F’s golden goose. 😉
One quick, last comment: The new ED theme song (Northern Cross?) is awesome. A nice combination of who I hope to be Sheryl’s singing seiyuu May Nakabayashi‘s silhouette as well as plenty of character sketches of Sheryl. The song is very upbeat too, pointing out Sheryl’s own determination and spirit.
OK. I guess you can tell by now: I am a huge Sheryl fan. :p