It is frightening how sometimes the course of history could’ve been tipped over one way or the other by one simple act of a few individuals at one crucial moment. Had Ranka not ran into Sheryl falling into Alto’s arms on that fateful day when the Vajra swarm happened to hatch, she might’ve remained in her little bubble of genki-ness, on top of the world, still charged with rabu rabu feelings, embraced as heroine. Perhaps then when the Vajra swarm showed up, Ranka would’ve been able to sing her heart out in pure bliss, and the whole universe would see that the Vajra, too, were a peaceful species, just as the Zentradi had become not too long ago, capable of celebrating along side with both humans and Zentradi the art of music, just as Ai-kun had, waving his little antennas, standing behind some fans at Ranka’s concert one episode ago.
If only for that one brief moment, things may have been so very different.
As much as we keep Ranka responsible for her own action, so must we not exempt a certain meganekko evil bitch who had largely, behind the scene, led her down this bottomless pit. Even if the seed is good, but if the cultivation is poison, no good fruit can yield.
When Grace was with Sheryl, she spoiled and cultivated her into a nasty, ego overinflated intergalactic bitch, who would be all smiles to her fans in front of the camera but quickly called them unworthy brats behind it. Had Grace not discarded her and then told her the harsh truth, the songbird might as well continue to be soaking in her big dream that was the birdcage built to contain her. Her abandonment was the best accidental gift given by the devil herself. Since free of the devil’s poison, Sheryl took leaps and bounds over a short few episodes in redefining what it meant to be Sheryl Nome and what her songs meant to people in despair.
Now Grace turned to Ranka and packaged her as the Songstress of Hope and deliverer of Frontier from the Vajra, when in reality, her voice was what attracted them here. She sang, they came. Those baby Vajra on board of Frontier did not call for reinforcement—they have nearly no mental capacity—no, it was Ranka who subconsciously summoned them. And it wasn’t like Grace did not know that; she knew it well—both Ranka’s ability as well as her anguish toward Alto. She had been, as she put it, casting a carrot to Ranka by allowing her to see Alto. What surprised her, however, was the timing and the intensity Ranka had for him.
On the other hand, Ranka had absolutely no clue whatsoever who she really was and the exact effect she had on the Vajra. The mirage that Grace had cast on her was one where everyone celebrated everything she did—she was Frontier’s deliverer, she could do no wrong. Ranka was simply thrust into a status higher than Sheryl ever was. With hats that large, your head can get pretty big too.
Taking a step back, I can’t say either Sheryl or Ranka was fundamentally a bad person. They both have a good heart, though Ranka’s has yet to mature. On the other hand, both have been under some very bad and evil influence that has stunned, if not regressed, their growth. Fortunately, though painfully, Sheryl got free of it, but Ranka is still in the blind. I’m not trying to excuse Ranka, for, very truly, each person must face up to their own conscience for very decision they made. Gosh, why am I suddenly defending Ranka? Perhaps it’s because I myself had made blunders in my own life and had wished there was a Sheryl to hold me, even if a slap had to come first.
I will come back for you
As painful as this episode was to watch, there was one very heartwarming scene, one I wish will come to fruition. Right after an explosion had separated Alto and Sheryl, a quiet and seemingly unromantic dialog underlined a deeper level of mutual understanding occurring between the two and an almost seemingly life-long commitment coming from Alto.
(seeing Nanase seriously injured)
(holding Nanase in her arms)
(paused for a second, then nodding)
What jumped out at me was how Alto and Sheryl had become like equal partners, each knowing what the other must do—Alto must fight the Vajra and Sheryl will take care of the injured—and trusting in each other’s ability to fulfill it—Sheryl sent Alto off to end the chaos and Alto nodding off to Sheryl’s usual response to take care of Nanase. And before they parted, Alto gave his promise to meet with Sheryl. Not any romantic words, but a simple and genuine promise that’s worth more than a million but empty “I love you.”
Surely, this must be what an equal and supportive partnership is about.