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Ranka's situation as per end of TV series


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I wonder if I'm the only one to feel that Ranka's story at the end of the TV series is far from complete.

Alto and Sheryl are both adults and we have learned much about them including family traditions and we know their ultimate choices in their fate. Well, except the triangle part - one can reference the movies for that one though. In any event, at least apart from love life, each of them clearly knows who he/she is and what he/she wants and lives for.

Ranka has just spent something like 8 episodes being heavily pounded and surviving against all odds - and her emotional life in that period clearly was not her own. By the time she decided to confess to Alto, she was getting emotional feedback from a big Vajra network - of which some members were being killed around her. And she did not know about the feedback. The feelings raging within her were not of her own origin and quite out of her control - all she could do was direct them at Alto (and possibly to a degree Sheryl, depending on how one reads some clues). As this sort of feedback was gradually erasing her, Grace guilt-tripped her and we know what happened.

Yes, she fought her way out of it heroically, and now the Vajra are gone. Ranka is left with:

- A drained emotional life that was driven by forces external to herself, and to humanity, for whatever number of weeks, and she just started to take it back ("I will not stop singing nor loving" is a start, but only a start).

- A double-whammy feeling of guilt - not only does she feel responsible for the destruction of the 117th fleet but now she was a tool that nearly wiped out humanity and got a lot of pilots killed (and she probably knew some of those killed, by sheer demographic)

- On the plus side, some very good friends (Sheryl doubles as a mentor), an excellent track to a galactic singing career (they'll be shortly making a quartz fold drive, too, so she can have a gigs on Earth and around colonies easily), and a manager to match. Oh, and a real brother who can kick a lot of ass. These, however, are all things somewhat external to herself and not resolving the great deal of internal turmoil she is still facing.

And all we know of her background is a brief glimpse of her mother...

The movies sidestep the issues instead of resolving them. In the movies she never "changed sides", instead she had a "take me ant leave Frontier alone" moment. So in the movies she does not face massive guilt, and she can identify fully with the people of Frontier even when she loses Alto and sees Sheryl in a coma - giving her a clear sense of identity and direction. That's clearly a different story (perhaps the movies are the story as told by the two singers quite a few years after the fact? it also leaves very little rivalry in there and has them as BFFs from first sight - consistent with them telling it after many years of being BFFs).

So on the series Ranka... I actually think Alto belongs with Sheryl (not here to debate that) but at the same time would want 10 more episodes of Ranka, to see her actually finding the real herself after all she went through, and perhaps discovering more of her background in the process. Guess this makes me a bad Sheryl fan AND a bad Ranka fan... but seriously - I wonder if this ground has already been covered elsewhere in the fandom, it's been 6 years after all.

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I've always felt that Ranka sort of got shortchanged in the Macross Frontier love triangle... especially the ending, where Alto takes the "third option" of not choosing and Sheryl's reaction to being told "I won't lose to you!" is almost dismissive.

To me, she just was a version of Minmay who never really got the chance to grow up and get over her typical teenage girl-ish bout of self-centered-ness. She doesn't really treat Alto like a love interest a lot of the time, he's more like the emotional crush she has for whenever she's feeling insecure or depressed. Sheryl forces Alto to come out of his shell, Ranka just forces him into a mentor role to her. Sheryl had a much better character arc, with her starting out as kind of an unpleasant, abrasive woman and gradually warming up to Alto.

I think she should have gotten more character development, but I think she was always going to lose out to Sheryl in the end ("first girl wins" is a trope that applies in both versions) and she just wasn't as interesting as the more outgoing girl, so she got less attention in the story. She's sort of a subversion of Minmay too, in that she DOESN'T really meet with success through her own ability... she's a manufactured idol.

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I agree.

Although this is an issue that I think is fixed in the movie Macross FB2012 (although it is late; it showed her as more mature woman accepting his fate in that way), do not know if that happens with Ranka in both Macross Frontier´s movies.

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The Ranka story in the movies is simply different.She does mature there - but she never has to deal with having consolidated Vajra to kill people on Frontier.

My hypothesis (within the Kawamori-suggested logic of "all versions are different reflections of some reality") is that the movies reflect how Ranka and Sheryl tell the story many years later (while the series is Alto's view shortly after what happened - note it starts exactly at the moment Alto got involved). Ranka does not want the pain of that part and airbrushes it out. Sheryl, on her part, airbrushes her total breakdown out.... on the other hand, the entire prison thing probably happened, it's just that Alto had reasons not to mention it. "You nearly got your ass kicked, people - oh and your top-security prison is a piece of cake to get out of" might have been too much!

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To me, she just was a version of Minmay who never really got the chance to grow up and get over her typical teenage girl-ish bout of self-centered-ness.

Did you miss the part where she gave up on Alto, left her family, & safety to attempt to stop the needless war (& Illegal per NUNS) in ep 21 and explained by her in ep 23?

I wouldn't exactly call that "self centered".

I don't blame you, it's easy to miss - but it is the heart of the series.

She's sort of a subversion of Minmay too, in that she DOESN'T really meet with success through her own ability... she's a manufactured idol.

Ranka is a manufactured Idol? You kidding?

So the Mr Vector of the one man operation "Vector productions" that bums around the mall in tacky clothes and begs on his hands and knees, gets her those great roles and gigs with his power and funding such as:

  • "Carrot" at the prestigous venue of "Vegtable stand",
  • Passing out tissues at the Mall, personally asking people to please buy her music, and
  • "Island girl #3" in a movie

No, Ranka worked her butt off - and got noticed for her talent by a small time agent that couldn't manufacture a star if he wanted to. Orininal fame, fame from the ep 12 air concert, and lead roles in the movie came from her singing talent alone. Not from artificial backing.

While Sheryl started as a child dying in an alley, an immortal cyborg researcher with the resources of an entire colony fleet picks her out, picks her up, injects her with stuff, THEN has her sing in the big leauges for Grace's own ends with Grace backing her finacially. That would be manufactured.

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Can we PLEASE stay away from the shipping wars...?

Preferable to some psychotic fans in Japan.
You know, fujoshis.
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I put "not here to debate that" in for a reason! I'm not interested in which singer is "better" (apples and oranges) and who ends up with Alto (they both have a lot of interestng qualities APART from that particular hime).

What I wanted to discuss is that Ranka's character development, as per TV series, is in my view very far from over. It's not about "Sheryl wins"! It won't be over if Ranka ends up in Alto's bed the next day, either, because a handsome man is no replacement for a clear sense of belonging, direction, identity.


Preferable to some psychotic fans in Japan.
You know, fujoshis.

Ah yes, the ones for whom Brera was apparently special fan service?

(Not just for them but NO... not mention the incest fans! I prefer fujoshis to those! As for a bit of yuri, I like that myself - and the idea of yuri is played massively in the movies, starting right in the beginning with Universal Bunny).

Edited by Saruta
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Did you miss the part where she gave up on Alto, left her family, & safety to attempt to stop the needless war (& Illegal per NUNS) in ep 21 and explained by her in ep 23?

Nope, didn't miss that... but you have to consider her state of mind at the time. She'd already seen her one-sided crush locking lips with her rival/idol/mentor, been manipulated into being used as the latest weapon against the Vajra, and was living with the guilt of learning that Ai-kun was, in fact, the same type of alien who put her friend Nanase in the hospital and nearly killed her adopted brother on multiple occasions. I doubt her reasons for running away were entirely altruistic, and it probably didn't help that Alto clearly took exception to her leaving the fleet with Brera and a Vajra.

You could read her motivations for leaving the fleet as an altruistic desire to stop the war, but you could also interpret them as a teenage girl running away from her problems under the cover of an attempt to do the right thing.

Ranka is a manufactured Idol? You kidding?

So the Mr Vector of the one man operation "Vector productions" that bums around the mall in tacky clothes and begs on his hands and knees, gets her those great roles and gigs with his power and funding such as:

  • "Carrot" at the prestigous venue of "Vegtable stand",
  • Passing out tissues at the Mall, personally asking people to please buy her music, and
  • "Island girl #3" in a movie
No, Ranka worked her butt off - and got noticed for her talent by a small time agent that couldn't manufacture a star if he wanted to. [...]

Yeah, her agent doesn't exactly gain ground in promoting her, but Ranka demonstrates early on that she doesn't really have what it takes unless there's someone pushing her to do it. She uses Alto as her crutch for most of the series, and she has to be almost bullied into proving that she is even capable of performing in public by Michel. Elmo's efforts to promote her are, to an extent, a flop because of Grace's interference... but she never displays the professionalism we see in most other Macross idols. When she's forced to shoulder the reality of her world, she doesn't carry on and forge ahead... it breaks her completely. Ranka's character arc sort of stops prematurely... it never lets her "grow up" the way Minmay did.

Contrast that with Sheryl who, with her star in decline and with the same "bum" agent Ranka had, manages to bounce back quite admirably and recaptures the spotlight without the resources that made her a megastar in the first place.

When I say Ranka is a manufactured idol, I mean she's a girl who doesn't seem to really have the temperament to be an idol, who becomes one anyway because she's picked by someone with the resources to make it happen anyway, and who does everything for her to make sure she actually makes it. Sheryl was also handpicked and trained, but she shows the real spark of confidence to perform and the artistic merit to write her own material, and the determination to keep going and succeed even when she isn't being backed by a megacorporation.

Orininal fame, fame from the ep 12 air concert, and lead roles in the movie came from her singing talent alone. Not from artificial backing.

While Sheryl started as a child dying in an alley, an immortal cyborg researcher with the resources of an entire colony fleet picks her out, picks her up, injects her with stuff, THEN has her sing in the big leauges for Grace's own ends with Grace backing her finacially. That would be manufactured.

Eh... did she? She didn't get the role in the movie just because the director thought her song was great. She got the role because she could sing, and the girl who was supposed to play the role of Mao conveniently dies in a "freak attack" by a wild animal. It wasn't a song she came up with which got her the role either... it was one manufactured at the 117th Research Fleet by Grace and co. It probably helped that the director didn't think the song Sheryl wrote really fit the tone of the movie, but still... she didn't get it on her own merit, she lucked into it (though that may have been entirely orchestrated by Grace anyway).

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Nope, didn't miss that... but you have to consider her state of mind at the time. She'd already seen her one-sided crush locking lips with her rival/idol/mentor, been manipulated into being used as the latest weapon against the Vajra, and was living with the guilt of learning that Ai-kun was, in fact, the same type of alien who put her friend Nanase in the hospital and nearly killed her adopted brother on multiple occasions. I doubt her reasons for running away were entirely altruistic, and it probably didn't help that Alto clearly took exception to her leaving the fleet with Brera and a Vajra.

You could read her motivations for leaving the fleet as an altruistic desire to stop the war, but you could also interpret them as a teenage girl running away from her problems under the cover of an attempt to do the right thing.

Yes she was dealing with all the other stuff, and still made the hard choices and tried to do what needed to be done. You don't "run away" by spacefolding into unknown hostile alien territory.

Her intentions are clearly stated, by her, in ep 23. She went there to stop the war, and she broke up with Alto to do it. She specifically used past tense of love when she left.

(And you are using Alto disapproving of her leaving as a reason for her leaving??? Wat?)

This is Macross. You know, the series about ending war in some way with music and culture?

But if you want to ignore the entire concept and point of the Macross universe and character hate, sure, go ahead an interpret it that way instead.

who becomes one anyway because she's picked by someone with the resources to make it happen anyway

Elmo Vector.

Resources?

:blink:

The man is a small time failure. Still loveable and hilarious though.

If he had "resources to make it happen anyway" she wouldn't be dressed as a friggin carrot.

Elmo's efforts to promote her are, to an extent, a flop because of Grace's interference... but she never displays the professionalism we see in most other Macross idols. When she's forced to shoulder the reality of her world, she doesn't carry on and forge ahead... it breaks her completely. Ranka's character arc sort of stops prematurely... it never lets her "grow up" the way Minmay did.

When she decides to personally lure the Vajira to a fold bomb, without being directly asked, she volunteers and does it no complaining or indecision. Then she makes a personal effort to end the war. Then does so in Episode 25. Hardly "broken".

It wasn't a song she came up with which got her the role either... it was one manufactured at the 117th Research Fleet by Grace and co.

Now you are really stretching and just trying to use the word "manufactured" in a sentence to make your point.

The song was the Vajira mating song that Ranshe Mei was translating. She named Ranka after a word in the song.

So I guess Minmay is a "manufactured idol" because "Ai Oboete Imasuka" is a "manufactured protoculture" song? :rolleyes:

This is ridiculous.

You hate Ranka? That's fine. Please don't lose sight of what Macross is about though. It's more than just the characters.

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Hey kaldar5! This is me, "ramendik". And yes I had my fill of Ranka haters - even though I actually don't think she ended up with Alto. Someone spouting certain well known stuff is getting killed by Brera in my (w friends) next fic :)

I do like Elmo Kridanik though. He's not so bad with the carrot stuff and all - in fact it's better that way, not only could he do a lot with limited resources, but by growing gradually, Ranka had less of a chance to catch "star syndrome" and become overconfident like Sheryl did. Also, he was getting around obstacles like Grace hacking his websites (I wonder why she bothered).

Not his fault that she was whisked into a government project and that the manager was a big time crook while Mishima, formally the leader, was a complete idiot. (OK, it's established this girl's songs summon Vajra; at best they summon relatively tame Vajra. Now let's have her sing at this funeral! WHAT. She basically saved Frontier by not singing at the funeral *and nobody even noticed, including Alto*? Has the place gone totally insane or is it a plot hole?)

What I'm worried about is somewhat different. This experience - basically everything from the moment she stopped being just an upcoming singer and became a weapon - probably impacted her emotionally a lot. And her reputation is tarnished; lots of people saw her holographic image singing and Vajra rallying and killing their friends and loved ones. (*We* know what she was through; *we* know how she broke out of it with Sheryl's help; most people on Frontier don't have these details). She may well end up feeling guilty for that part, too. I just see HUGE trouble coming her way as soon as the euphoria from the victory wears off in a few days. It's not really her fault - she did the best she could - but I really wonder how she got out of it.

The love triangle is not the only thing that the TV series leaves unresolved.

Oh, and not very seriously - perhaps some years later she, with Sheryl, got to produce a certain twin set of movies? :) Makes sense after the way we know DYRL was produced inworld. And the movies give Ranka a lot of time to explain her philosophy - something she was not great at in the TV series. "Adult Ranka wrote this" makes sense to me!

And also... did she end up telepathically/emotionally linked to Sheryl at all times? Yuri shipping apart, it must actually be pretty uncanny for both, if not worse.

Edited by Saruta
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