Macross Frontier 21: I’m a Ranka fan now… just kidding.

If they made it, what color would their offspring's hair be?

If they made it, what color would their offspring's hair be?

First of all, I will say that I applaud Ranka for finally leaving behind everything that has entangled her for so long on Frontier and boldly searching for the truth herself at where must have been the most dangerous place she knows to be.

At this point, the Vajra, having inflicted indescribable pain on Frontier, are public enemy #1. On the other hand, Ranka, as apparent at the funeral scene, is still being treated as the Songstress of Hope, but more importantly to her, Alto is still on her side, protecting her. In short, Ranka still has everything. So, you can imagine what could have taken place in her mind at the very moment when in the deep, remote forrest Ai-kun molts in front of her eyes into the image of what has just killed her Idol’s best friend, still fresh in her mind.

So, what would a lesser person do in her shoes? Disown the evil little Vajra, which only the comatose Nanase would know of its relationship to her is. And if Ai-kun dares to come out in public after her, then just scream Alto, Alto! and watch him get rid of the evidence for her. Nanase, even easier to be dealt with, if she even survives at all; either play the bestest friend card, or, as a last resort, discredit her as being someone jealous of her success. OK, maybe Ranka is not so conniving and does care for Ai-kun; then, how about asking Brera, whom she knows would keep a secret for her, to secretly ship Ai-kun away? My point is that she can still continue to keep things status quo if she wants to—not to mention there’re plenty of people powerful enough to keep everything hush hush.

Thus, for her to jump in between Ai-kun and Alto’s loaded gun on the next day of the massacre is like someone trying to reason that the Al-Qaeda is not so bad in front of the firefighters of FDNY on September 12, 2001. (Or as dangerous as defending Ranka at THAT anime blog. O.O) Ranka would risk, no, lose everything. Her fame, her friends, her home, her bro (old man Ozma), her Alto-kun. I don’t know about you, but I am still stunned to see how she defies her Idol and chooses Ai-kun over Alto-kun. What she did for Ai-kun on that wee hour could not possibly have been from selfishness.

And her confession to Alto, she says it fully knowing that there will be no chance of reciprocation because she knows her departure can only be interpreted, alas wrongly, as utter betrayal. (Heck, most citizens of Frontier will probably incriminate her as a spy from the Vajra now returning to claim her wages.) And fully knowing how Alto detests the Vajra, she probably believes Alto will actually pull the trigger on her the next they meet. So, what she said to Alto-kun on that wee hour, she says it not to become Alto’s main squeeze but instead to be fair to Alto, disclosing her true, raw feelings.

I also like how she has handwritten a letter to Ozma. Even in our own times, too many of us would just cruelly SMS a I’m leaving you. So you would think Ranka could’ve just left a digital goodbye. But no, she personally, and probably painstakingly, writes word for word, sentence by sentence, all her tears, all her fears, onto a piece of paper and signs it with all the love and sincerity she has for him. This is a proper goodbye. Had she said her goodbye to him face-to-face, Ozma would’ve dragged her back home and locked her up for good; and she knows well that she cannot let that happen because there is a question she must seek the answer first.

Who am I?

Now with her humanly relationships settled, she is ready to go to the depths of hell to seek her not-so-humanly ones. Just like Ai-kun molts into the next stage, so soon will Ranka. Surely, she is already changing in this episode as she is able to sing, keeping focus on the task at hand that is to bring all the Vajra to Island 3. The next episode does not seem to feature her, so it would seem as if she will undergo her own gestation period while other events on Frontier unfold. Rest assure that the next time she presents herself, her old childish way will be shed and a new woman, Queen of the Vajra, will emerge.

Don’t be surprise that the Queen will return as Frontier’s savior to rescue Alto and companies and kick Grace’s and Leon’s butts.

Oh SHI...  Am I becoming a Ranka fan?  Forgive me, Sheryl-san.

Oh SHI... Am I becoming a Ranka fan? Forgive me, Sheryl-san.

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16 Responses to Macross Frontier 21: I’m a Ranka fan now… just kidding.

  1. famfiel says:

    There’s no doubt that the animators wanted to make Ranka a bit more likable after last week’s debacle. The problem was that it was executed in a manner that made her look even worse for it.

    I think the biggest problem was pacing. We have no time to go into what motivated Ranka to change her mind, so it becomes difficult to tell how she’s changed from last week.

    In episode 20, for example, Ranka lost her reason to sing because she was singing just to win Alto over. When she lost that, she wouldn’t even sing to save her family, friends, and classmates from destruction. In this episode, she refuses to sing in remembrance of the dead (from her perspective, among which her missing brother could very well number) and decides to abandon the colony to its fate – a decision that wasn’t all that different from the previous episode.

    Now had we seen some sort of interaction between Ranka and Ai which gave her new understanding that the conflict with the Vajra could somehow be resolved peacefully, then you could argue that she’s acting in defense of some higher principle. But the whole thing is presented as very whimsical: much like a little girl deciding to “free” her pet goldfish by flushing it down the toilet.

    The letters, if anything, speak for the rushed nature of the episode. The writers try to “tell” us that Ranka cares, without actually showing us *how* she cares and what her feelings for those people really are.

    The problem with the confession was in how it was delivered. If she truly felt that it had no chance of succeeding, then she would never have asked him to come with her, before he started shooting at Ai. She quite literally expected him to drop everything at 3 in the morning and come along with her on her quest of self-discovery (something she would never do if she properly understood his sense of duty to the people of Frontier and the feelings for his dead friend).

    While this is undoubtably an important point (plotwise) for Alto in terms of getting him to reconsider his hatred of the Vajra, it only betrays the fact that she’s still so focused on herself that she completely failed to understand Alto’s character.

  2. bakaneko says:

    Yes, I do agree that the pacing is too abrupt; however, it begs the question as to why, amid the uncertain reason of her sudden change, to judge her harshly instead of giving her the benefit of the doubt.

    In this episode, I would have disdained Ranka to a whole new level, had she dared to sing at the funeral after knowing how her singing is the cause of the massacre for which this funeral is for, and expect those she has caused mourning to now enjoy her singing? That would be just ludicrous.

    Furthermore, her refusal to sing at the funeral should have also highlighted her pain to sing again on order to draw the Vajra to Island 3. At that point, she must know that her singing is more of the requiem of death than of the voice of an angel; yet somehow understanding the urgency of it all, she decides to be yet again a tool to fight the Vajra.

    I wouldn’t say her decision to abandon Frontier in this episode is the same as last. In fact, had she stayed on Frontier and just sit around and wait for others to sort out the mess and the reason for her voice, I would hate her more. But no, she takes the initiative to find out the reasons. So quite the opposite of what you said, I think Ranka takes a gigantic step in responsibility.

    There is absolutely no way her jumping in between Ai-kun and Alto-kun can be compared to flushing a goldfish down the toilet. Had she chosen to do the latter, no one would’ve known about Ai-kun except maybe Brera whom she will confine in disposing Ai-kun. But no, she jumps in front of Alto and declares a Vajra to be innocent! My goodness, can you imagine that? Can you imagine a jew defending a nazi to be innocent? Can you imagine a FDNY firefighter defending Al-Qaeda peaceful? That takes guts! Please don’t even compare such gutsy move with the truly whimsical one that you mentioned.

    As for asking Alto to go with her, yea, I do agree that is her self-centeredness speaking again. But come on, give the teenager a break. She is deciding to go to the worst place in the universe, so why wouldn’t it be natural for a weak little girl to think of her hero in a shining VF-25 to go and protect her? On the other hand, it should be apparent that her decision to go does not depending on his going with her: she would leave no matter what. This certainly shows a nearly unthinkable independence that she has suddenly developed away from Alto.

    Now you may pick a bone and ask why then she goes with Brera. But then again, how else do you expect her to go to outer space? Now that I’ve said it, it’s apparent to me that her first choice of asking to take her there must have been Alto, which is why she called him up in the middle of the night—to smuggle Ai-kun away. Brera must have shown up on his own, as he always does around Ranka.

    And saying she completely fails to understand Alto is unfounded. At this point, Ranka knows more of the reason why he wants to fly in open, limitless sky than Sheryl. Of the two girls, Ranka confesses first, and we’re still waiting for the Galactic Fairy to say her true feelings.

  3. famfiel says:

    At this point, only the audience is really aware that Ranka influenced the catastrophe. The problem with her behavior in 20 was not that her singing enraged the Vajra, but rather that she was willing to abandon her friends, family, and everyone on Frontier simply because her feelings were hurt. Once she remembered a cause greater than her own and started to sing, she showed promise of improving. Even though her actions brought about disaster, she was acting for the right reasons at the time.

    Nobody at the funeral was blaming Ranka for what happened. They were looking up to her for hope in the midst of their despair. All they wanted was her to give them some comfort. All she needed to do was to look beyond her own pain to see the pain of the people around her.

    It’s up to Ranka to decide how to use her powers. One important thing that Sheryl showed us in episode 20 is that even without the power to influence the Vajra, a person who sings for the sake of others rather than their own sake can do much to heal the pain and suffering around them. If Ranka doesn’t want to be a tool, all she needs do is to communicate her feelings through her singing to all the people on Frontier. If she wants peace with the Vajra, she can bring her message out through her song.

    The irony is that although Ranka mentions many times that her songs could never reach Alto, she never had a message to give in the first place. Even back in episode three, she said that she just wanted to be heard – without saying what she actually wanted to be heard *for*.

    If Ranka’s actions are responsible, then it’s up to the writers to show how she intends to aid Frontier through her departure. What will returning Ai do? All this is glossed over, making Ranka’s decision seem like it was based on a whim. That’s why I made the goldfish comparison. What the writers need to show is how Ranka’s decision was intended to help Frontier.

    You’ve done an admirable job of trying to weave in the missing details, but the viewers need to see these points brought out through the writing. Had she said “I think that I can reach out to the Vajra and make them stop this conflict”, then we could say that Ranka is being very responsible. But because she wants her bet to be with her friends? I don’t see how she isn’t neglecting her societal duties in favour of a personal quest. (That was the problem with episode 19 as well – she abandons her job to go looking for her pet and have ice cream with Brera, which are things that she should have done on her own time).

    If Ranka was really planning on leaving Frontier without having planned anything with Brera, then she must have been absolutely confident that Alto would abandon Frontier with her and fly her off. But if she understood him even in the slightest, how could she ever expect such a thing from him?

    (One reason why Ranka was so upset throughout this episode was because Brera was telling her all the words that she wanted Alto to tell her. Alto didn’t understand her the way that she wanted him to, but yet at the same time, she never took the time to try to understand him until it was time to go).

    Ranka is asking Alto a question which Sheryl told Alto the answer to 16 episodes ago. Sheryl learnt about his dreams to fly in an endless sky back in episode 6, which was why she was the only one who gave him a birthday present that he wanted. She’s fully familiar with the situation surrounding his mother, as well, after staying at Alto’s house. But she more than likely won’t say her true feelings – simply because she doesn’t want to burden him with her death.

    Last episode, we saw that love is much more than mere words. It’s not about the feelings that others have for you, it’s about the feelings you have for others. Michael couldn’t speak those words from the heart until he understood how much he was willing to sacrifice for Klan’s sake. Sheryl, too, in silently watching out for Alto’s feelings at great pain to herself, shows far more love in her actions than words could ever tell.

    It’s easy enough to say those three little words. The true challenge is in living by them.

  4. ani_d says:

    Wow, your views are exactly parallel to mine and to top it all of, you’re not even a Ranka fan. 😐 It’s a lil sad how only a minority of people can understand why Ranka did what she had to and how this is by no means a step back in her character progression. It’s the complete opposite, and I’m proud of her. 🙂

    I totally yield. Your analysis of Ranka in this episode is impressive.

  5. famfiel says:

    I don’t think it was a step backwards, but it wasn’t entirely clear how this was a step forwards, either. I’m not sure what you’re yielding about, though, since you were a die-hard Ranka fan from the start.

    One thing that struck me – if Ranka’s willingness to stand in front of Alto’s gun to protect Ai is to be construed as selfless courage on her part, why didn’t she stand in front of Brera’s knife that was pointed at Alto when Alto was defenseless? I found it a bit peculiar for her to claim that she loved him on one hand, yet have her priorities be at odds with her words.

    It could just be that the writers didn’t think too much about the scene, but if they were trying to endear her to us, there are definitely better ways that it could have been done.

  6. famfiel says:

    ^(That was aimed at ani_d. Sorry, couldn’t edit the post to clarify.)

  7. Crusader says:

    To be fair my rage at Ranka will probably pass once she is done with the “woe is me” phase. Ranka suffers from the inverse of one of Lenin’s maxims, that being Ranka made one step forward asn two steps back.

    While Ranka may have been selfless in defending Ai-kun Ranka has hardly shown that she is willing to throw herself to protect Alto-hime. This was just the lates in a great many ass kickings that Alto-hime has recieved from Brera not once has Ranka leapt in front of Brera to protect Alto-hime. That to me brings into question of just how much she really cares about Alto-hime if she has the guts to protect Ai-kun from Alto-hime, but not Alto-hime from Brera.

    I was glad Ranka decided to do something, but she once again abandoned duty and responsibility to volk and Fleet. Second she ran off with Brera. That was a net negative in my book. I really wanted to like Ranka again, but she did the one thing that I find so heinous that it will always be unforgivable no matter who does it, abandon duty.

    Right now Ranka needs to be stronger not weaker and it seems that her dependence on others bears much of the blame fore her current state of weakness. her decison to leave was helped by the support of Ai-kun and Brera had she made that on all on her own I probably would have forgiven her a lot more than I did. I just hope Ranka grows from this trip of hers, thus far she’s been about the most static of the main three.

  8. ani_d says:

    ^ I’m yielding because I feel that his description of Ranka’s actions in this episode was better put than mine. And I’m not sure what you’re getting at when you said I’m a “die-hard” Ranka fan, but this “die-hard” Ranka fan can atleast tell narrow-minded criticisms from not.

    This:

    “All she needed to do was to look beyond her own pain to see the pain of the people around her.”

    Actually, it would be even more rude if she sang for the people like a good girl and then later they found out that Ranka left with a Vajra lol If you listen to what Leon had said, “Please sing a song of hope for us, for victory and survival in our fight with the Vajra.” To Ranka who is slowly gaining an awareness about herself and the Vajra, there is something wrong with this sentence. Fight against the Vajra. It would be condescending if she still ignored this gut feeling now that everything has come to this and play little miss good tool. It’s because people look at the things only on the surface that they miss what’s really going on here.

    This:

    “Had she said “I think that I can reach out to the Vajra and make them stop this conflict”, then we could say that Ranka is being very responsible. But because she wants her bet to be with her friends? I don’t see how she isn’t neglecting her societal duties in favour of a personal quest.”

    Instead of saying the things you want her to say, Ranka said that her memories are starting to come back. Starting. Which is why she’s having all these questions. As the audience, we know those memories of hers are tied in with the Vajra and this can very well be a big solution to Frontier’s problem. Frontier people don’t know this, but we do. But why do we still hate?

    Vajra isn’t the enemy. She defended Ai-kun because Ai-kun didn’t REALLY do anything wrong. Ranka isn’t running away from her responsibilities, she’s facing them. Should she stayed with Alto and shunned her past, then that will be running away. Instead of being bitter because she left her ‘societal duties’ I think everyone is aware that her ‘societal duties’ was enforced on her by the villains of this series. She’s going to be doing something wrong if she stayed in the dark any further and stayed behind Leon like a good puppy.

    And this:

    “I found it a bit peculiar for her to claim that she loved him on one hand, yet have her priorities be at odds with her words.”

    You are doubting Ranka’s feelings for Alto just because she didn’t protect Alto from Brera’s knife? It’s little silly things like this that Ranka always gets hated on. Like when she didn’t scream Nanase’s name so she automatically doesn’t care. Or when she didn’t sing for the people, it can only mean she doesn’t care. =| There’s a lot going in each scenario, yet it’s the unimportant details that the story didn’t even focus on are the ones some people keep nitpicking and making conclusions about Ranka thus making themselves hate her. =/ I didn’t even notice this until you brought it up since Ranka’s tears and her confession towards Alto was more than enough (and plain obvious btw) for me to conclude how much Ranka adores him. =__=

    Well, hopefully Alto finally gets a clue. Both in love and with the Vajra.

  9. famfiel says:

    @ani_d:
    Yielding means that you give up your own stance on the issue to accept one opposed to your own i.e. to concede defeat.

    If Ranka was reacting to Leon’s words, why not change them? All she would have then needed to say is that she would sing for peace and an end to the bloodshed. The problem that Ranka had in previous episodes was that instead of standing her ground and speaking her mind, she ran away. How has she changed?

    You also have to remember that Ranka *was* willing to ignore her gut feeling so long as she believed that Alto would love her for it. When she realized that Alto was simply asking her to sing on behalf of the people of Frontier, she felt that he was simply using her. She tears up every time Brera tells her a line that she wanted to hear from Alto (“You don’t have to sing if you don’t want to” and “Tell me your desire. I’ll take you wherever you want to go.”) But the problem wasn’t that Alto couldn’t understand – it was that she never really explained her doubts about singing to Alto until she had already decided to leave.

    Ranka choose to take up those “societal duties” because she thought that Alto would love her if she did. She enjoyed the benefits of all the fame and success that came with it, but refused to accept the responsibility that came with it. Had she simply refused to do it in the first place, then nobody could find fault with her now.

    Even now, all Ranka would have needed to do was to show that she’s thinking about resolving the situation. It’s clear that she empathizes with the Vajra, so all we would need to hear is something that shows that her actions are aimed at putting an end to the conflict. But… how does taking Ai to his friends resolve the conflict?

    The scene with the knife is interesting because we’ve seen Brera do this sort of thing a few times in the series, but not once has Ranka made a move to stop Brera. I’m not sure if she condones the action or not, but her inaction is at odds with her supposed feelings. When someone you care about is hurt, it’s instinctive to rush over to their side and see if they’re okay. Alto may be torn between feelings for Ranka and Sheryl, but even he has never stood by and watched when either girl has collapsed or passed out. While Ranka’s lack of a reaction could be just due to poor writing, it seems at odds with the feelings that she purports to have.

    As I pointed out earlier, much of Ranka’s tears this episode result from seeing that Brera can understand her where Alto did not. But the problem wasn’t simply that “her song didn’t reach him”: it was that she didn’t try to help him understand her feelings on the matter, and she didn’t try to understand his feelings on the matter. Her tears weren’t for him – they were for the image of him that she had constructed in her mind. Hopefully with this, she says goodbye to the illusions of her childhood, and comes back as a responsible adult.

  10. ani_d says:

    @famfiel
    Yield’s definition is just to “give way” because >insert reason here<

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yield

    I can’t believe I’m arguing what yield means. =_=

    “All she would have then needed to say is that she would sing for peace and an end to the bloodshed. “

    Can she actually do this? Can she really bring peace to Frontier and end the bloodshed by singing to the Vajra? Biiig No. If you think she can, then you’re not seeing the whole picture. This is an empty promise, and I’m glad her gut instinct caught up with her.

    “Ranka choose to take up those “societal duties” because she thought that Alto would love her if she did.”

    When did Ranka think that Alto will love her lots if she sings to the Vajra? lol I thought she was just asking the opinion of a good friend (whom she always sought for advices) because she couldn’t use her own opinion in 17. That’s where it all started. She went all out as a singing tool after this. As far as I can see, Ranka NEVER once thought “If I sing to the Vajra, Alto will love me. Yay.” =/ This is such a twisted perspective of her. Just because she cares what he thinks doesn’t mean she’s plotting a stretch like this.

    Ranka wholeheartedly sang to the Vajra in 21 because Alto, despite the fact that he never reciprocated her feelings, wishes it. She didn’t ask for anything in return. She led the Vajras to their deaths, no matter how much it hurt her (little queen instinct’s tingling), for everyone’s sake and most especially for Alto. And also no, Ranka did not enjoy the fame and benefits she got, being Frontier’s heroine, songstress of hope accdg. to Brera/Nanase and herself. (ep 19)

    “But… how does taking Ai to his friends resolve the conflict?”

    I don’t know. She doesn’t know too. But that’s where she said she’s going to start her blue blue journey to reclaim her past. She has to start somewhere, even if that somewhere might not make sense to some people. The most important thing is, she feels that she’s on the right path now. She’s doing what she THINKS is RIGHT. There is NOTHING wrong about being true to oneself. =/

    Once a person starts being true to himself, criticizing him just makes the critic seem so shallow.

    “But the problem wasn’t simply that “her song didn’t reach him”: it was that she didn’t try to help him understand her feelings on the matter, and she didn’t try to understand his feelings on the matter. “

    If Michael can pick up that Ranka is singing only for Alto, and even shoved her to Alto’s face back in Galia 4 and most especially in 19, Alto definitely has an idea of how Ranka feels now. It’s just that he never got a chance to act on this with all that’s happened on a short notice. I think Ranka merely misunderstood that Alto never heard her song (equivalent to her feelings for him) and can only see her as a tool because if you watch 21, you can see there’s some misunderstanding going on there between them.

    “As I pointed out earlier, much of Ranka’s tears this episode result from seeing that Brera can understand her where Alto did not.”

    In fairness, this bit I agree.

  11. bakaneko says:

    @famfiel, I see what you mean regarding how Ranka should’ve seen the pain of the people at the funeral the way Sheryl did at the refuge. But remember, Ranka is no Sheryl. 🙂

    As to the writer’s part in exposing more of Ranka’s reason to go to the Vajra, hold your horsies… We still have five or more episodes left.

    Before you expect her to say, “I will end this conflict,” first allow her to sort out the confusion in her head. You can’t help others if you can’t even help yourself first. After she has put the puzzle together, then it’s fair game to expect her to reciprocate.

    About Sheryl not wanting to burden Alto with her confession, I sure hope she can overcome that. The Sheryl Nome I know is braver than this. Love is the courage to be with the one you love NO MATTER THE OBSTACLE—not even be it death. In this sense, I considered Michel’s final love confession as cheap and cowardly. It’s easy to say, “I love you,” knowing you don’t need to follow up on it. As much as he gave his life to save Klan, greater would’ve been his love had he accepted Klan long ago and bear the fear that he could lose his life any time as a pilot.

    About her lack of action in helping Alto from Brera’s knife, I do also find it peculiar that she just stood there and acquiesced. It really speaks loudly the status Brera has taken placed in Ranka’s heart. It’s hard to see where this may lead, but I bet it’s more of respect than of romance.

    @ani_d, well I’m just speaking what I see. But don’t be mistaken, I am a Sheryl fan through and through. :p

    @Crusader, I do feel sorry for Alto, his balls must have shrunk a bit more every time he encounters Brera.

    I don’t doubt her deep devotion to Alto; she does not sing for anyone but him, not Ai-kun, not Brera. Well, OK, maybe deep subconsciously, not even for Alto; maybe she has always been just singing for herself. At this point, she is a complete mess. But she is seeking answers. So as you’ve said already, let’s wait until her “woe is me” phrase is over.

  12. famfiel says:

    @ani_d: If your opinion hasn’t changed, then how are you “giving way”? ^_^

    It’s not that Ranka necessarily even needs to put an end to the bloodshed with her singing – all she needs to do is express those feelings through her song. If she doesn’t want to be used as a tool for war, then sing to soothe the pain of the injured and the dead. Even if she doesn’t want to be involved in the war, she can still make a difference in the lives of the people around her – she just needs to take the effort to reach out to them. That was what the funeral scene boiled down to.

    In episode 20, she accused Alto of treating her as if she was a tool when he begged her to sing. If her desire to help fight the Vajra independant of winning Alto over, then her refusal to sing would have to be for a reason other than the fact that he didn’t reciprocate her feelings. She was carrying the expectation that becoming the savior of Frontier would endear her to Alto, and when it didn’t, she lost all interest in the role. That’s why she needed her wake-up call in 20.

    Ranka’s involvement with the Vajra was one of the things that really catapulted her to fame. So yes, her career did recieve an enormous boost from it. Even the parade in 19 was a rather grandiose expression of how wild everyone went over her. The people thought that she would protect them from the Vajra, so they pretty much worshipped her.

    Again, more than simply noting that Ranka “is doing what she thinks is right” (as I’m sure even Leon and Grace are doing what they think is right for themselves), I’d rather know *why* she thinks this course of action is the right one. In other words, how does she think this action will protect the people whom she loves?

    @bakaneko:
    Even if Ranka is confused about what she should do next, I would have liked to see how she explored the idea. What’s missing here is Ranka’s “big picture”. What does she want to work towards, and how are her recent actions aimed at achieving those goals? She doesn’t even need a master plan – all she needs to do is express what she’d like to see changed.

    It’s not enough just to be with someone to love them. Prior to episode 18, I would have agreed that the most important thing for Sheryl to do is to come clean about her feelings. But now that she’s dying, I can understand why she’d try to set aside her feelings and push away Alto for his own sake. Love often requires sacrifices.

    As for Michael, it wasn’t his words that showed that he loved Klan – it was his actions. He was willing to look beyond his own personal instinct for self-preservation and take action to protect Klan. His final words do nothing more than give definition to the feelings that he expressed through his actions.

    He could have said those words at any point in time and secured Klan’s feelings for himself. But it was more important for him to truly believe in those feelings himself. That’s why he asks Alto moments before about whether loving someone means that you’d give your life for them.

  13. James says:

    I just want to remind everyone the sacrifice Ranka made to go to Galia 4 to attempt to save Alto and crew… That said volumes to everyone. She really risked her life to do that and accusing her of not caring by not jumping infront of Brea’s knife is nitpicking…

    Her reasons for not jumping in front of Brea can be written in volumes of speculations, but the fact remains she has risked her life in the past for Alto on Galia 4, much more so then jumping in front of a token knife.

  14. ani_d says:

    @famfiel x_x
    “If your opinion hasn’t changed, then how are you “giving way”? ^_^”

    Actually, it changed, more like it enhanced. He did bring up some stuff about Ranka that I didn’t notice. If you understood what I just said up there, which I don’t think you did, I said his analysis of Ranka’s actions in this episode was better than mine. Get it? Superior? Give way, concede defeat, because his analysis beats mine. I hope you get it now.

    And no bakaneko I’m not flattering you. 🙂 But it’s nice to see a Sheryl fan who can actually see what’s really going on in the story instead of just being narrow-minded and criticizing a girl for stopping to be a flat singing tool in order to be true to herself.

    “I’d rather know *why* she thinks this course of action is the right one. In other words, how does she think this action will protect the people whom she loves?”

    She merely stated that she has to know, that’s why she’s going. There’s your answer. 😉 Stay tuned for future episodes for more details.

    This:

    “If her desire to help fight the Vajra independant of winning Alto over, then her refusal to sing would have to be for a reason other than the fact that he didn’t reciprocate her feelings. ”

    Ranka never sang to the Vajra so that “Alto will love her”. Seriously, where did you get this idea? Was this specifically stated in the story? ^_^ Her refusal to sing because Alto wanted her to sing for the city is an entirely diffrent matter. She didn’t sing because her “plan” failed, she couldn’t sing because seeing him with another girl broke her heart. She was a mess because she loves Alto that much and it has nothing to do with her nonexistent plan to catch Alto’s heart by playing hero.

    @James
    Apparently, if you don’t scream someone’s name when they’re in danger, it automatically means you don’t care about them.

  15. famfiel says:

    @James: Ranka’s stance towards Alto has undoubtedly changed over the past episode or so. During Galia-4 she was still competing for Alto’s affection. After seeing him on the rooftop with Sheryl, it’s not surprising that she’s showing less of an inclination to protect him.

    @ani_d: If that was your meaning, then I suppose that it wasn’t the best choice of wording on your part. 😉

    Ranka said that her purpose for leaving was to return Ai to his family. Her returning memories encouraged her to do so, but there’s no thought in there about how doing any of these things will help out the people of Frontier. Without drawing that link, it looks like Ranka is simply bailing and addressing her own personal problems, while leaving everyone else to their fate.

    It’s obvious that Ranka was singing just because she thought it would win her Alto’s approval. In episode 17, all she paid attention to was whether Alto thought that fighting the Vajra was a good thing to do – after that, she had no problem singing at all. But the instant she saw him with Sheryl on the roof, she accused him of treating her like a tool and refused to sing.

    But Ranka has the power to make her choices, and Alto can’t force her to do anything. The reason that Ranka thinks Alto is using her is because Ranka feels that he’s used her feelings for him for the purposes of making her sing. If she wanted to sing in order to protect the people of Frontier, then nothing Alto could have done would have prevented her from at least *trying*.

  16. bakaneko says:

    @famfiel, I’m not saying Michel’s sacrifice wasn’t proof enough that he loved her—surely he did—but you can’t say that his avoidance prior to his death wasn’t out of cowardice, even he himself admitted it in episode 19.

    Same thing for Sheryl too. Love breaks barriers, even death’s. If you love someone, you then do not deny your own expression of it and, much more, not the other’s person chance to expressing theirs, even if the clock is ticking.

    @James, I’m not so sure about the knife being just a token. Brera can and will and had pulled the trigger on Alto back in the episode when Ranka did her “drop your guns and hear me sing” on Gallia 4.

    @ani_d, don’t take me too serious. I am just a stupid cat after all. 🙂

    @famfiel, I’m not so sure that Ranka just wanted to get away from it all. If she had thought so, she could’ve ran to the remote corners of the universe, away from all the mess, to hide from all humanity and to forget her past totally. But her decision was to go to the Vajra—the source of her turmoil. That to me seems like she wants to challenge her inner demon.

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