Ranka Defense

September 2, 2008 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Articles, Complexity | 16 Comments
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I don’t think I’ve ever really taken the time out to talk about Macross F on this blog before. There’s just the one mention of me wanting Ranka to win SaiMoe, but that’s really it. So this feels a little weird now, but I will persevere.

With the way Ranka’s been portrayed by other bloggers these past two weeks, I feel I want to speak up. A lot of the Ranka fans are either being too quiet or they’re being like “Sakura fans” were back in TRC and have abandoned their character the exact second she did something they didn’t like.

I don’t want to lay all of this out as a comment on someone else’s blog. I find that a little bit rude. I know I don’t mind it, but other might. Because it’s the internet, you never know how people are going to interpret things. My enthusiasm towards defending Ranka could be taken as rage towards those saying bad things against her. And that’s not my intention at all.

So I’m keeping this to my blog and with no links to any other bloggers I may or may not be thinking of.

Let me start off by saying. I respect the opinions of those who blogged episode 21 of Macross Frontier. You’re entitled to your own opinion, especially when it’s stated on your own blog. And after all, people go to your blog for your personal opinion. I can’t fault you for giving the readers what they want.

However…I respectfully disagree.

There’s no doubt that it’s because I’m a Ranka fangirl that I see Ranka in a positive light. Just like how the Sheryl fans saw Sheryl in a positive light when so many others were going, “Man what a stubborn bitch.” Personally, I like Sheryl (just my weakness for all things cute makes me love Ranka ten times more).

I can freely admit my bias. I just think a lot of other people need to admit their personal bias against Ranka as well.

Some people were just absolutely waiting for the opportunity to pounce on Ranka. Others grew to dislike her in episode 20 and decided that was that.

I thought Ranka deserved a lot of what was said about her during episode 20. Episode 21? Eh…not so much.

To start, I think people were ignoring a lot of important facts during episode 20. Obviously Ranka deserved that smack in the face. She was acting like a spoiled child.

But then again, isn’t that just what Ranka is?

I think the most unfair thing people do when watching Macross F is compare Ranka and Sheryl during their times of distress. The two are completely different people with completely different pasts.

Sheryl was able to get back up pretty easily when she hit rock bottom. She came through in the time of crisis. Her problem was more difficult, she got over it easier, so therefore Ranka’s just being a whiney little baby!

Yes…and no. The big difference between Ranka and Sheryl is their pasts. Sheryl’s already been at rock bottom. She used to live on the streets when she was just a little girl. She’s much more used to dealing with despair. When Sheryl hit rock bottom again, it was more about her remembering where she had been. But she’d dealt with that before, so she was able to deal with it again.

On the other hand, Ranka had one bad thing happen to her when her family died. She can’t remember that at all. The rest of her life she’s just been spoiled. I believe it’s been pointed out that Ozma’s to blame for a lot of it, but it’s not just him. Everyone spoils Ranka. Nanase for sure, Alto’s always protecting her too, Brera does nothing but help Ranka, even Sheryl gave her special attention.

Not everyone intended to spoil Ranka I’m sure (Sheryl definitely didn’t), but none of them ever really let Ranka face too much harshness either. If things were going bad, rarely did Ranka have to stand up for herself. Just a couple of times against Sheryl for Alto.

Then I guess because of those couple of times, everyone expected Ranka to still fight on for Alto’s heart when she saw the scene on the roof at the end of episode 19. Sure, we all knew what happened, but how was Ranka supposed to view that scene? She didn’t know Sheryl was sick, but she knew Sheryl liked Alto too. And the way things looked, it seemed like Alto was holding Sheryl, so it wasn’t like the other times when Sheryl was making a move on Alto and Ranka could just do the same.

And Ranka had just figured her feelings out and was about to confess. You could see how happy she was. So instead of it just knocking her down from the ground, it’s like knocking her down from a much higher place.

But Ranka was being childish, thinking only of her broken heart whent things were falling apart, so she deserved that smack Sheryl gave her. But then Ranka gets critscized for not controlling her feelings when she’s singing?

You’re…joking right? The fact that Ranka made the vajra angrier because she was still in pain was the fault of bad timing. It’s not like you can control your feelings. No one set Ranka straight after what she saw. Obviously, she ran away and then shit hit the fan so there was no time, but was Ranka supposed to just figure it out on her own? How?

Now, like I said, Ranka deserved a lot of what was said about her in episode 20. The only way I was able to set it aside afterward was, “Well, she’s just a teenager and she’s been spoiled her whole life. It’s not like she was really knew how to act in that sort of situation.” Yeah…I think a lot of times we forget that teenagers are just teenagers in our mech anime.

However, episode 21…how come I saw Ranka redeem herself, but everyone else just saw more of her acting like a child? Well, I mean she still was acting like a child (that’s her personality), but especially compared to the previous episode, Ranka made the right choices.

For episode 21, I think the thing everyone forgot was Ranka’s connection with the vajra. When they die, for some reason she feels sad and she doesn’t know why. Speaking as a girl (and on a quite different scale) when you’re sad for no reason…the worst thing about it can be the fact that it’s confusing and stressful because you have no idea why. Ranka just knows that it has something to do with the vajra, she must be confused and scared too.

When the vajra die, she’s in pain. She’s been helping everyone kill the vajra with her song. So is it unreasonable for her to stop hurting herself? Well, I don’t think anyone thinks it’s that unreasonable when it’s worded that way. Not only that, but she’s confused. When you’re confused you have to take a step back and take a break from what you’re doing. If you keep going without sorting things out, you’ll screw up.

And that’s not the only reason she stopped singing. Ranka probably feels like her singing is just being used as a weapon, and that’s not what she wanted. In the beginning it probably wasn’t that big of a deal, because the vajra weren’t human, they were just creatures killing the humans. But then Ai-kun became her pet. She knows the vajra aren’t all just bad creatures.

Really, I don’t understand what’s wrong with Ranka leaving to find out the truth. Everyone else calls it running away, but to me, staying seems like the safer thing to do. Who knows what Ranka might find out if she leaves?

And people saying that it’s easy for Ranka to confess since she’s leaving, doesn’t she get any credit for trying to confess up on the roof? No, I guess not. I don’t find it unfair that Ranka confessed right before leaving either, because it was the one thing she really wanted to do. Though I do admit that it’s probably the most questionable thing she did in episode 21. But she just gave up on Alto, can’t she at least tell him how she feels?

I think most of the people complaining about that are just Sheryl fans who are upset that Ranka beat her to the first confession. They’re trying to say it doesn’t count.

However…Leaving to find out the truth = running away? Yeah…I just don’t get it.

—–

Well, this has turned out to be my first Complexity article. A purposeful look at all the smaller things people may be missing. Personally, I think it’s short, but I really didn’t want to say too much.

This article really shouldn’t be argued with too much I think, or rather, no one should try tp “Prove it wrong”. Anime is a form of entertainment with a story that, like all stories, is open to some interpretation. This is mine. I didn’t agree with the other interpretations, so I put mine out there as well. I’m not right, you’re not wrong. We just disagree.

That said…I think Ranka has fulfilled all the requirements to be a favorite anime girl of mine now. Cute, her actions make sense to me, she seems somewhat realistic (in the way that she acts like a teenager in the middle of a war sometimes), and now she’s hated by other fans. If I were to do a “Ten More Anime Girls” ranking tomorrow, Ranka would be number one on that list.

Yup, I guess I’m just a Ranka fan through and through. Quite frankly I’m disappointed in the fans who defected. You love her for being naive and innocent, but when her naivety leads her to messing up, you guys abandon her. Well, I don’t want you guys being fans anyway.

When people inevitably return to Ranka’s side (hopefully her awesome moment will be when she does an awesome duet with Sheryl), I’ll just get to say, “Posers. I loved Ranka all along.” and be satisfied with that.

To completely show off my Ranka support, you might have noticed that I changed my banner to one featuring Ranka in an unofficial image I found on Danbooru (Never Safe for Work btw). I’d credit if I could, but no source for the image.

I was planning on using a Ranka banner whenever Ranka’s SaiMoe run ended (whether it’s because she got kicked out or won it all), but I want to show my Ranka love now. A defense post and a banner states where I stand on Ranka support rather well I think. Not just any post either, but my one hundredth post, and the first post for Complexity (it’s short, but it counts). Ranka deserves it.

Ranka love~! No matter what, I love her innocence and naivety. Even if it leads her to do stupid things. That’s what being a fangirl is I guess!

16 Comments

  1. YESSS!!!!!!
    THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!
    I’m pissed about people keep bashing Ranka too, for whatever she does D:

    Thanks for the defense post, again :x

  2. I should really watch more of this anime. I’ve been so distracted by other things. I’ve been catching up on Itzura na Kiss and it makes me want to put my head through a wall. I wanna watch something light and fluffy now, but it probably won’t happen. Meh, I’m gonna end up watching this now, I just know it. Love the new banner by the way! ^.^ All of the banners you make are so good, I don’t have a program to make one so cool. T.T From what I have watched of this show though, I really did enjoy Ranka’s character. XD

  3. Not that all Ranka defenders are quiet – I tried to speak up in her defendce once (even though she’s not even my favorite character) in the Reverse Thieves blog but had my comment deleted for some reason. So yeah.

    Anyway, I agree with most of what you wrote. Also, I think people like to ignore that a) Ranka’s love for Alto gave her strength to endure everything that happened to her, including being mercilessly exploited, and b) that nevertheless she tried her best until the very last moment when she couldn’t take it anymore (in episode 21). So she’s far from being selfish or spoiled – what happened is that she lost what gave her strength to go on despite everything. And she still tried to sing until she couldn’t bear it anymore.

    Also, it’s kind of ridiculous that people accuse her of running away leaving the colony defenseless. It’s been made obvious that right now her song is ineffective so it’s not like she would be of much use, anyway.

  4. Everyone has their own list of qualities that they like or dislike seeing in a character. It’s great that you find her behavior cute, and a lot of people felt that way after episode 12 (and the rise of the whole “kira” phenomenon). But in terms of the story, I think that people are generally expecting a lot more than that.

    It’s difficult to avoid making comparisons between Sheryl and Ranka because they each are set up to highlight weaknesses in each other. Just as Ranka’s willingness to put her trust in others helped save the day in 12, Sheryl’s determination and independence allowed her to shine in 20.

    There’s nothing wrong with Ranka being spoiled, but we’ve seen that sort of behavior since episode 5. And given that she’s the focus of the story, I’d imagine that most people were hoping to see signs of her growing out of it much earlier.

    I think the problem with 19/20 was that everything came to a head and a lot of people’s patience simply snapped. Given that Ranka is seeing things from a teenager’s point of view, it isn’t surprising that she blows her love troubles out of proportion and says “I wish that I could die” (even as people are really dying around her). But at the same time, it isn’t an endearing trait, either.

    The problem with 21 is more that the story never explained how Ranka’s going away can benefit Frontier. On one level, I understand that it probably will, eventually, since the key to ending the war will probably be to make peace with the Vajra. Had Ranka given some sort of speech to this effect, it would be easy to see that she’s acting for the good of everyone. But she makes it sound like she’s decided to bring Ai simply because she feels like it.

    But regardless of whether you think Ranka’s actions are justified or not, I think that her character needs to be taken a step further. I think that most of us are just waiting for a sign that she’s matured – a moment where she does something awe-inspiring and proves her worth as a main character. Without that, she runs the risk of coming across as very static.

  5. When Macross Frontier started I had very high hopes and expectations for Ranka, she wasn’t the Minmei that I hated, she even lost Miss Macross and initially had to make it big the hard way, but once Ranka made it to the top It felt as if she was going to be become Minmei and in the end Ranka did.

    It’s not so much that Ranka is being scolded for leaving to find herself it’s about how she went about it. She does not get credit for confessing the second time because she did not wait for an answer. She showed up for the test and left before it was finished. In the end it was probably better for Ranka to leave, but casting off her obligations and responsibility that she accepted when she became the songstress of hope for the fleet was inexcusable, more so because it was a time when the whole fleet looked to Ranka for a sliver of hope for better times after the tragedy.

    When Ranka wanted to leave Aimo still had an effect, and by taking Brera and trying to take Alto-hime with her for some personal quest would have robbed Frontier of two good pilots and in the case of Brera one of the few weapons that still worked.

    When Ranka left she only mentioned taking Ai-kun home and finding out about her past and that hardly constitutes as bringing benefit to those she cares about. She left without waiting for any contact from Ozma nor did she wait for Nanase to be in stable condition again. Ranka did not elaborate on her reasons for leaving so it came off as “woe is me” so she left the pain behind along with all her obligations.

    Ranka’s childishness and subsequent innocence have been mainstays of her character for far too long she has not demonstrated nearly enough growth as her main character status would suggest. Ranka has been static for most of this series growing up now is only cold comfort at best and in the span of 2-3 episodes she lived up to her tittle of Modern Minmei all too well. Ranka wasn’t supposed to be a kid forever, but she has remained a child.

    At some point Ranka will have to grow up in episode 21 it was hardly a step forward considering she ran from Alto-hime, and the fleet with Brera who was going to grant her wishes. Leaving for the sake of her own past and pain was hardly an endearing move and it was made worse by the fact that Ranka showed no concern for Alto-hime who was kicked to the curb by Brera for the nth time and then left with the Kaifun equivalent.

    Ranka’s inability to empathize with others has also become an issue. When Ranka popped the Ai-kun issue on Alto-hime Ranka did not try address the issue of Mikhail’s death Ranka did not understand or even try to understand why Alto-hime would still shoot Ai-kun. She was willing to take a bullet for her pet, but not once was she willing to stop Brera from beating up Alto-hime. For all intents as purposes ever since Brera became a fixture in her life Ranka was in her own love triangle, only she never once sided with Alto-hime against Brera. It became hard to buy into the idea that Ranka loved Alto-hime ever since Brera walked in and her habitual refusal to insist that Brera stop beating on Alto-hime.

    Ranka basically became what a lot of old Macross vets did not want her to become, and now that she is showing increasing signs of Minmei behavior many of us feel let down and bitter. There are only 4 episodes left Ranka has to grow up and fast there is just isn’t enough time any more considering how things are winding down to a close.

  6. I’m happy that many people are still loving Ranka. I also love Ranka very much. I love her so much that she’s on my blog header… Now my blog is gone T.T (I’ve been emo for like, 5 days…) but here’s my new url:
    http://kanzeon.wordpress.com

    Please bear with the horrible layout. I’ll be fixing it as soon as our broadband stops b!tching. Thank you ^_^

  7. I like Ranka mind you…but I haven’t seen any big changes other than her being elevated to a songstress. And I have to completely agree with everything Crusader said. She’s becoming (or is) Minmei (only without bitchiness). There are only like 4 more episodes left, so I hope Ranka does something that will redeem herself and show us another reason to love her other than being a moeblob.

    And lol…Danbooru, I almost got busted for it when I was checking out some Macross F pics. ALMOST. XDD

  8. Ranka shall rise again!!!

  9. So, this is where the Ranka camp is. kek… kek…

    *squeak* To all Sheryl fans, we have located our target. *squeak*

  10. I like your lovely banner. Anyway, I don’t hate Ranka but I do dislike how the writers have portrayed her character inconsistently. I suppose they did that with the intent of stirring loads of different emotions from the viewers. In a way it work but it came across negatively for Ranka. Having said that, I actually love ep.21 where I see some progress being made. I know loads of other viewers deemed it as a little too late but it’s still better late than never. I hope that the writers can give Ranka a good ending no matter what that may be.

  11. To be honest, I personally don’t care about the shipping, or the fanboying/girling, or any character-related worship stuff. So my opinion is neutral at best and worst. It doesn’t help that I think Macross Frontier is really easy to understand. So, let’s start off with my dominant view of Ranka:

    Ranka. Is. A. Bloody. Kid.

    Now to trim my entire essay length view of Ranka to a mere few paragraphs.

    Ranka’s age carries a great deal of naivety which people do call spoiled or childish, but it’s her confusion that carries the brunt of her actions. Normally, people don’t do things they don’t like to do when they don’t understand what’s going on, especially when it affects them emotionally. In fact, it was actually prudent of her to act “spoiled”, considering the latter effect.

    Her actions in episode 21 do not fully redeem her, however, and reflect more of her childish side; it is more correct to call her childish at 21 than 20. Her rejection to sing was irresponsible and selfish at best, but interesting. Following her revelation of Ai-kun, she does another irresponsible, selfish, and interesting thing by leaving the Frontier on her search for Vajra. It doesn’t matter whether or not she leaves the Frontier. It’s how she left the Frontier that matters. Even if it’s to search for her past, it’s too impulsive.

    Just like a kid.

    Seriously. If any of you expect Ranka to grow out of this, don’t hold your breath. She’ll mature, but she won’t grow out of it…until she loses one more thing.

    Now, people who call this running away don’t really understand the situation the Frontier is facing right now. In fact, Ranka’s actions may have decidedly saved the Frontier. Think about it. Then think about it some more. Then smack your head on the table.

  12. First of, thanks for writing this up. There has been so much Ranka bashing and having some of the Ranka fans even abandoning her is just disheartening. So, I’m really glad to have found this post where there is someone who is steadfastly a Ranka fan.

  13. where do you find these adorable chibi pictures?! I must know!

  14. Very nice banner by the way. Looking forward to more of your artwork.

    Getting back to topic, there seems to be a polarity among Sheryl and Ranka fans. Damn, now I just have to check out Macross F…I need to know what the commotion is about or I will never be put to rest!

    So tell me, is Macross F worth watching? I don’t know how far you’ve hard but I do remember coming across a space game by the same name.

  15. I love Ranka because she is Pure moe!Especially because she has her hair in pig tail’s that is just way to cute1Whatever Ranka does is Moe.No matter what.Bashing Ranka just mean’s your jealous of her moe ><!

  16. If you don’t see any bloggers criticizing anyone from SMS for leaving Frontier in its most crucial time after episode 22, the way they laid ’em thick on Ranka? Then that’s your cue that those bloggers are just being STUPID for criticizing Ranka. ;) I think Ranka will prevail in the end. The Last Episode screams Ranka episode. Even if the some people hate her, we know Kawamori loves her. Kira!


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