I’ve had an interpretation of the Macross F love triangle sent me today by Lalo Martins (site) and while I don’t agree with it I do find it interesting to see other view points that are not complete shipping propaganda. After it is over I will give my take on this as we decided that would work best for this. Normally I don’t do this but it’s rare to see a Sheryl x Ranka ending interpretation that isn’t just yuri fantasizing. Also keep in mind we have two fundamentally different view points on this as I view there being only one correct interpretation that is the truth while Lalo views it as there can be no complete truth because it is a work of fiction. Read on to see his thoughts.
- Ranka meets Alto, gets infatuated with him. I hesitate to call it love, sorry — it’s very “I met a cool guy and he’s sooo pretty and says the wisest things”… she doesn’t come across as mature enough for “love” yet.
- Sheryl meets Alto, notices she’s fun to tease, decides to pester him a bit while she’s in Frontier (which, at this point, she thinks won’ be too long).
- Sheryl meets Ranka, gets a mad crush on her. (Again, love, puppy love, infatuation, passion, lust? Who knows. They’re teens.)
- Sheryl meets both together, notices Ranka is infatuated with Alto. She feels jealous and decides to tease him to make Ranka jealous. Hey, I never said Sheryl is mature.
- What about Alto? He’s either ace (that’s asexual for those who don’t hang with friends of alternative sexuality) or gay, I think more likely gay. He might have the hots for Michael. In fact it’s quite possible they’re secretly hooking up at this point; Michael clearly likes the ladies, but he doesn’t look like he’d say no to anything either, and that would explain the insistent “Alto-hime” teasing.
- let me say this again in bold and make it extra clear because half the Macross F discussion is about whether Alto loved Ranka or Sheryl. I might be wrong about him being gay, but one way or another it’s pretty clear he wasn’t interested in either one. His thing is flying. The “triangle” is about the two girls competing for him, not about his mixed feelings; it’s like the Macross 7 triangle (where Basara seems completely ace and uninterested in the whole topic), except the opposite.
- Alto joins SMS, finds new focus for his life. Also, meets Ozma and Klan, which is important if he was indeed hooking up with Michael, because there’s another triangle there and this one is fun.
- Ranka’s career takes off. Her main motivation is Alto. He sees her as an Imōto and doesn’t really notice her feelings.
- Galaxy is blown to bits, Sheryl realizes she’s gonna have to stick around, so maybe she has to sort out her feelings for Ranka. This shortly after they connect telepathically during the concert, so even if she was trying to forget, well tough luck.
- Legend of Zero filmed; Sheryl has an excuse to hang with Ranka. But Ranka doesn’t pay her any attention, so she finds a way to steal a kiss from Alto. Of course that only gets Ranka mad at her, so not the best move. Way to go, douche. Meanwhile, Alto tests and confirms (by kissing two pretty girls) that this is, indeed, not his thing.
- Ranka saves Alto on his birthday. “Oh, I have such a cute imōto and she’s such a good friend, and she’s so grown up and responsible now.” Ranka: “Really? Is this guy dumb or what?”
- Sheryl’s disease gets worse, Grace drops her for Ranka, Sheryl starts rethinking her life. She feels her time is past, and now it’s Ranka’s turn. When she needs help, she looks for Alto, not Ranka, because really, in this situation, do you seek out the person you like, but not only haven’t confessed to, you also have been teasing so much you think she hates you? Or maybe the reliable guy who remains your friend despite all the abuse you throw at him, and who’s ace or gay so definitely non-threatening? Also, Ranka doesn’t need a burden at this point.
- Ranka’s concert in the Academy. Sheryl sees Ranka is singing for Alto and feels broken-hearted, but is confronted by Klan, who not only gives sincere good advice, but on another level also — mistakenly believing Sheryl likes Alto, because that’s what it looks like — would rather either girl is with Alto, so he, uh, spends less time with Michael.
- Sheryl goes talk to Alto to explain everything to him. She has a dizzy spell and falls on his arms, which of course is when Ranka arrives, and Sheryl’s face is like “oh crap”.
- Frontier coup, Michael dies, Klan is not amused.
- Ranka leaves.
- Sheryl learns she’s terminal. She decides to sing again, with a more “mature” style, believing Ranka is either dead or lost for good, and even if she comes back, Sheryl will probably be dead before anything can happen anyway, so might as well go out with a swan song.
- The big battle. Sheryl and Ranka connect telepathically again, and Ranka “fixes” Sheryl’s infection. Nyan Nyan Service Medley (which is, really, the point of the whole series). Bad guys defeated, everybody who survives is friends with everybody else, rainbows, unicorns. On the planet, Ranka runs to Sheryl arms, and Sheryl thinks, “Yeah finally this is it!” But just before they can kiss, Alto shows up and it becomes clear Ranka still doesn’t get it. Sheryl smiles and does a kira. “No problem. She’ll get it eventually. We have all the time in the galaxy now.”
Ok now to my thoughts on Lalo’s interpretation:
While I don’t personally see any intentions of Sheryl and Ranka in the TV series there clearly is something in the movies so maybe it is not that crazy. I’ve thought that the reason they didn’t outright do it in the movies was because of how unacceptable same-sex couples are in mainstream Japan. Well that was my thoughts after I saw the movies and before my TV series rewatch anyways. Problem with the TV series is Sheryl and Ranka don’t have much interaction for the last half of the series. Still I do think there is a very good chance of it in the movies and as such I find it interesting interpretations that put the two together in the series as well.
Granted there are several points here I believe are not correct, for one I don’t see any indication that Sheryl thought Ranka was dead nor that she was even concerned with Ranka at the time she was singing from the darkness. She seemed to care more about her own issues only using song in the way more like a blues singer. Also left out reasoning for why Sheryl was always kissing Alto and seemed to need him later on. Although Sheryl never once specifically stated she loved Alto so who knows.
And it doesn’t convince me the too common view that Alto only cared about the sky. He after all joined the SMS specifically to protect Ranka not to mention all the talk of who he is flying for and such and his actions in the final battle for Ranka. This is a non-exhausted list though as I don’t feel I need to go into every detail. Still maybe this could work with more refinement or explanation.
Finally, I am concerned that this sets a dangerous precedent so please do not view this as a sign that you can send me anything at all and I’ll make a blog post out of it. If it wasn’t a unique Sheryl x Ranka interpretation and it was not agreed that I could counter with my own opinions afterwards I would have not even bothered with it at all.