Macross Frontier 18: dawn for one, dusk for the other

moment that defines a person

Sheryl

I remember when I was just a kid my mother taught me a life lesson when she brought home some silkworms, which at first did nothing beside nibbling incessantly on some jagged-edge leaves for days until they wrapped themselves round and round in their white silk cocoons. A few days passed in absolute stillness. Then on one morning, one of the cocoon started to shake ever so slightly, which I caught the sight of and tried to help the struggling moth by peeling the cocoon that was entrapping it. Immediately, my mom reprimanded me, explaining that unless this moth was given the chance to break through the cocoon under its own strength, as its first act of commitment to life, it will not triumph over life’s many challenges ahead.

In similar ways, it is times like these that will give Sheryl the chance to reach deeper and realize strength that will surprise even herself. If you think her I am Sheryl Nome was ostentatious, wait til she breaks through this cocoon and spread her wings.

And I do not mean on a variable fighter’s wings. No, the opening theme has her singing, the closing theme has her singing, and given the kind of show Macross F is, Sheryl Nome will certainly be singing.

But let’s take a step back and meditate on this: even if she never recovers her fame, even if she never sings again, or even if she never recovers from her sickness, what will it mean for Sheryl? It’s a shame that we celebrate those who succeed but forget those who fail, while both good and bad fortunes befall us indiscriminately. I don’t know who first said this: it matters not how you fell, but it matters how you pick yourself back up, but these words are so true in defining what a character is. By the time Macross F ends, it will not be what she did when she was famous that I will remember her by, rather it will be what she did during these tribulations that I will recall who Sheryl Nome is.

three-seconds rendition of Sheryl\'s Aimo

That three-seconds rendition of Sheryl's Aimo strung a heart wrenching tune.

Ranka

Ranka, on the other hand, has consistently been the polar opposite of Sheryl in terms of fortune. When one girl is on top of the world, the other is at the bottom of the pit. But beside this opposing timing of fate, these two girls are strikingly similarly in terms of their stories: both are most likely specimens of some cruel experiments, both are orphans, both are manipulated by Grace.

The difference now is that Sheryl is cast aside by Grace, while Ranka is still deep in her clutch.

In this sense, what had just happened to Sheryl might have been a good thing for her since she is now free of the devil’s poison and can finally promote some real growth. So, believe it or not, dawn is rising for Sheryl.

Ranka, on the other hand, will see her gift turning around to become her bane, as Grace will push Ranka further into hell than she had with Sheryl. By now, there should be little doubt that, rather Ranka was a mere enhancement after birth or genetically engineered before, her violent reaction after the Vajra was wiped out highlighted that she is, in fact, a Vajra. The fold waves are her means to communicate with them like sound waves are for us human. She was not confusing them as the Macross F President had thought; she was summoning them, even if unknowingly.

A long nightmare lies ahead of Ranka.

omen of sins

omen of sins

Advertisements

About bakaneko

私って誰か?
This entry was posted in Macross Frontier. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Macross Frontier 18: dawn for one, dusk for the other

  1. blissmo says:

    Sheryl will pull through this, but it’s also a wonder what the point of her existence in this series is. Besides being the unfortunate one unconsciously competing against Ranka for Alto’s love, her purpose still remains quite vague. A long nightmare lies ahead Ranka indeed, but in the end, surely Macross F will have a happy ending.

  2. Square says:

    Once Sheryl recovers it wouldn’t be out of her character to try and save/remove Ranka from Grace’s clutches. Sheryl’s not the type of person to let someone walk all over her and not seek retribution later. :3

  3. Agatha says:

    I like how you analyzed the start of Ranka’s misfortune in disguise. It’s so true. Seems like now that Sheryl is free and will escape death (i’m saying this now), it’s Ranka who’s going to get it no matter which way she chooses. If she becomes the singing tool for the people, it’ll hurt her, if she chooses to stop singing for the people, she will get hurt. She’s in a lose-lose situation right now. The only good thing about her is she has a sexy devoted cyborg on her side named Brera. Ozma’s unavailable and Alto’s in danger of getting charmed by Sheryl’s fate, not to mention losing the will to protect her.

    Oh noez, and all Ranka ever wanted was to be a singer worthy enough to make ‘My Boyfriend is a Pilot’ to reality. 😦 Sorry, but I really can’t feel bad for Sheryl’s fate right now after seeing the OP. She’ll be fine. I feel that it’s necessary to pull this turn of events on her fate because if they didn’t, she would just lift right out of the show. I want her to gain her genuine self-confidence nonetheless.

    Also, I think Aimo is a more like a peace song for the Vajra. The Vajra stops attacking when they hear the song. If you look at Ai-kun attacking Alto’s paper airplane in 17, it’s like it’s acting on self-defense. They probably wouldn’t attack if they’re not stirred, so the more Grace make Frontier hate the Vajra, the more they’ll attack the Vajra and the more Vajra will attack them. As to why? Are they planning to make Frontier a breeding ground for the Vajra?

    For the bad vibes surrounding the glowing in Ranka’s belly…I think that’s another one of the misfortunes that’s going to befell on her later once the Vajra haters peak. I’m both excited and fearful of the next episodes to come.

  4. bakaneko says:

    @blissmo, happy ending? Noooooo… I didn’t want to hear that from you—author of the Suicide Bunnies. 🙂

    @Square, good point. Can’t wait until round two between Sheryl and Grace.

    @Agatha, thanks. At this point, I don’t know if anybody knows what Grace’s true motives are. The only clue so far is the inner dialog inside Grace’s mind where a certain stage was mentioned that hasn’t been set since the dawn of time, not even by the Protoculture. So, perhaps someone who has seen the past Macross series can comment what stages the Protoculture had tried to set up.

  5. blissmo says:

    @bakaneko: I meant happy ending as in, Ranka Alto happy ending. Everyone else can die for all I care XD

    I’m still killing bunnies! Just really slowly now …

  6. jacobian says:

    I think that Sheryl did show her strength this episode. While the news of Grace’s betrayal and Sheryl’s impending death came as quite a blow, she still tried her hardest to be strong for the sake of her friends. The funny thing about the conversation with Michael and Klan was that she was actually trying to comfort them, rather than the other way around.

    This puts the whole “I am Sheryl Nome” line in a new light, since she doesn’t use it to show off so much as to remind herself that she needs to remain strong. We’ve seen this many times earlier in the series, but in this case, the struggle to remain strong was all the more obvious.

    From Sheryl’s conversation with Grace, her “I’ll do it without your help,” implies that she did intend on building herself back up from scratch, before she found out that she was going to die. That last bit of information seems to have changed her priorities somewhat, though.

    She’ll definitely try to bear this on her own. So I think much of her future success will depend on how her friends show their support for her.

    Ranka seems to be doing fairly well for herself, regardless of how ominous Grace may appear. When Ranka first stepped into the spotlight in episode ten, Grace already started to make plans to set up Sheryl’s destruction on Galia-4, the next episode. Ranka’s benefited enormously from both the publicity campaign and the destruction of a major rival. She had to ditch Elmo, but she didn’t mide going along with that decision. Ozma’s death, had it have happened, could have had a major impact on her situation, but she sidestepped that as well. Not to mention that she now has Ozma, Brera, and Alto all watching over her.

    I don’t really think Grace has all that much time to do anything to Ranka, even when she does decide to pack up and leave. 😛

  7. Shin says:

    I hate to admit it but you’re right. Unlike True Tears, I don’t care if Ranka ends up with Alto, though I’d probably weep if she bites space dust.

  8. bakaneko says:

    @blissmo, hehe. Sadistic, I like.

    @jacobian, wonderful analysis on the motivation and real meaning behind “I am Sheryl Nome.” Give me reasons to rewatch the past episodes.

    Good observation on her comforting of Michael and Klan too. However, that just may be her way of not wanting to acknowledge that Sheryl Nome *requires* help from others, which could lead to her next character-development as she learns to open up, particularly to Alto.

    Maybe then she’ll finally be able to confess properly to Alto. XD

    @Shin, at this point, unless Alto grows a backbone the way Shinichirou did by the end of True Tears, I don’t want him to end up with either girl. However, I’ll probably cheer if Ranka does bite space dust though. :p

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s