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Old 2011-01-08, 06:56   Link #841
magnuskn
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So, to open up the discussion for this week, my general impressions. I'll leave the opening of judging "was Sheryl right to offer Alto a choice to accompany her to Gallia IV" to others and just comment on their posts.

- Yeah, there are some sour grapes Cathy which is enjoying in the opening scene.

- Some, ahem, glorious swimsuit Sheryl is sporting there. Evidently the other students agree...

- Michael knows when to act... too bad for him that he doesn't stand a chance in the first place.

- It's really good to see that Cathy and Ozma begin getting along again... you can sense that they know each other very well from before in their interaction. Also, I find it a bit sad that Ozma's obvious misgivings about Rankas fame ( or the fact that as part of that fame she "has to" kiss some guys ) are not addresse again later. Then again, by next episode he get's the "she's growing up, deal with it" talk from Bobby, so maybe that was just a mini-arc. He certainly is much less involved in her life after next ep.

- I think it's good work that they foreshadow Altos desire to accompany Sheryl so early, by showing his desire to fly in an atmosphere.

- I wonder how Ranka would have followed up her noticing the familiarity Sheryl had with Alto, if Sheryl hadn't had an attack of dizzyness. A frank discussion of what Sheryl felt for Alto would have been interesting.

- Ugh, sudden animation quality drop.

- If there is any lingering dislike I got for Nanase, it was from her constant meddling in Rankas romantic affairs and her desire to cast Sheryl down and prop Ranka up. Oh, well. Karmic payback was given later in the series. But basically saying to Ranka "Yeah, Sheryl and Alto are getting along very well. 'You better do something!" came off really badly with me. OTOH, she also said "Are you okay with that", so she leaves the decision with Ranka. Ah, I guess I am ( and was ) just getting really partisan at that point.

- The "tactical interruptions" in this episode to prevent any insightful dialogue from going forward are a bit much, IMO. Just as much as that possible conversation between Sheryl and Ranka was interrupted, so is a possible insightful conversation between Ranka and Nanase now.

- Yeah, and we get confirmation that Ranka really interpreted much more into the acted kiss than it was.

- Okay, after that message on the mailbox, if Alto didn't know what was up with Ranka, then he was a friggin idiot.That much is clear. Given how he said later on ( ep 23 ) how he willfully ignored things, my guess is that he did just that.

- Yeah, Yasaburo, he can't stop himself from acting. Which is why he had to be dragged screaming and flailing towards doing it. Why again do people take Yasaburos opinion seriously?

- Gods, Alto, I know you got gloomy thoughts going through your head. But your ability to ignore Sheryl turning up in new, hot clothes is pretty amazing.

- As much as some outfits translated it differently ( THORA here: dreams and desires ), I think that Sheryls "hopes and dreams" are still the best description.

- I think Sheryl offering Alto her virginity would have had less of an effect on him than her offering him to fly in a real sky.

- To pre-empt at least some of the upcoming discussion on Sheryls motives, you have to at least take into account that it was Alto who made the decision and also decided to not tell Ranka about it in person. And he didn't seem very torn about it, neither, when we cut to him in his VF-25.

- And I think this, at 20:32, is the exact point of time when Sheryl realized that she really, really genuinely loved Alto and didn't just was toying with him.
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Old 2011-01-08, 11:12   Link #842
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Yes! Swimsuits! Finally!

Poor Ranka... you lose to the over worked upcoming star cliche.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnuskn View Post
- Some, ahem, glorious swimsuit Sheryl is sporting there. Evidently the other students agree...

- Michael knows when to act... too bad for him that he doesn't stand a chance in the first place.
Glorious and wonderful. I wonder if those students assaulted Michael later on.

Quote:
- If there is any lingering dislike I got for Nanase, it was from her constant meddling in Rankas romantic affairs and her desire to cast Sheryl down and prop Ranka up. Oh, well. Karmic payback was given later in the series. But basically saying to Ranka "Yeah, Sheryl and Alto are getting along very well. 'You better do something!" came off really badly with me. OTOH, she also said "Are you okay with that", so she leaves the decision with Ranka. Ah, I guess I am ( and was ) just getting really partisan at that point.
She sure knows how to rub it in too. She should just tell Ranka that she has no chance.

Quote:
- Gods, Alto, I know you got gloomy thoughts going through your head. But your ability to ignore Sheryl turning up in new, hot clothes is pretty amazing.

- As much as some outfits translated it differently ( THORA here: dreams and desires ), I think that Sheryls "hopes and dreams" are still the best description.
Indeed... he is such a fool. I really dislike him because of that. And I think "hopes and dreams" is better because it's a common saying so it makes more funnier.

Quote:
- I think Sheryl offering Alto her virginity would have had less of an effect on him than her offering him to fly in a real sky.
The fool.

Quote:
- And I think this, at 20:32, is the exact point of time when Sheryl realized that she really, really genuinely loved Alto and didn't just was toying with him.
But that won't stop her occasional tsuning. <3
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Old 2011-01-08, 13:37   Link #843
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Why are Michael and Nanase wearing their glasses at the pool?

Anyhow, I guess now would be the proper time to bring up the observation I made recently with regards to when Sheryl came up with the idea of offering Alto a chance to fly in a real sky. I'm pretty convinced that it occurred at the end of the scene from 10:31 to 11:12 where she argued with Grace. I don't really see any other good reason for her to be making the expression she makes at the end of that scene. Which basically means that no, Sheryl hadn't thought of the idea yet when she and Ranka had their conversation. Furthermore the expression she got after thinking of the idea seemed genuinely happy and not malicious. So I think the idea that Sheryl deliberately backstabbed Ranka is basically wrong. She was merely a bit inconsiderate, and considering how excited she must have been to be able to offer Alto a chance to fulfill his biggest dream I think that's forgivable. Heck, it's not even clear if she even realised that the time distortions would make Alto miss Ranka's concert.
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Old 2011-01-08, 13:50   Link #844
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Originally Posted by Lancel View Post
I think I see what you're getting at, like they're prodding at each other a bit just to see what the other one does, curious, but careful, testing for a reaction, all the while being complete newbies with how this whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing works. It is kinda tricky to express, but it's basically like they're trying to navigate the social conditions of the process without actually knowing if they meet them. "Should I hold her hand or would that be inappropriate?" or "Is this the part where we kiss?" and refusing to just ask because that would be inappropriate. What a conundrum! Does that help any?
Pretty much. I don't really want to call it "boundary testing", but it is, in a sense. Sometimes simple curiosity can make people seem deceptively bolder than they might ordinarily be.

I think I'll respond to the part of your post regarding Alto when we reach episode twelve, since he does a pretty good job of "explaining himself" there. But keep in mind that, dysfunctional though his family may be, he still has his family - while the same cannot necessarily be said of Sheryl or Ranka. Also, Yasaburo may be a bit creepy, but he's fairly spot on when it comes to his assessment of Alto.

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Originally Posted by magnuskn View Post
If there is any lingering dislike I got for Nanase, it was from her constant meddling in Rankas romantic affairs and her desire to cast Sheryl down and prop Ranka up. Oh, well. Karmic payback was given later in the series. But basically saying to Ranka "Yeah, Sheryl and Alto are getting along very well. 'You better do something!" came off really badly with me. OTOH, she also said "Are you okay with that", so she leaves the decision with Ranka. Ah, I guess I am ( and was ) just getting really partisan at that point.
I think one of the things that you may be reacting to is Sheryl's current position as an "outsider" in Alto and Ranka's circle of friends. So it's to be expected that she's not as likely to be immediately welcomed by everyone with open arms - after all, not only is she an outsider, but she stands out and she's massively popular amongst the boys.

I wouldn't say that what happens later is "karma", so much as it's a missed opportunity. I would have liked to see Nanase warm up to Sheryl and discard some of her prior preconceptions after Sheryl took care of Nanase in the shelter, but the plot never explored it further. More generally, I'd have liked to see the story develop more of Sheryl's relationships with the other people in her social circle. Time constraints are always a problem, though.
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Old 2011-01-08, 14:27   Link #845
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Episode 11
From watching his episode again I realized few things that I didn't realize the first time I watched it.

1. Even if Sheryl had not given Alto her birthday gift, he probably still wouldn't have gone to Ranka's concert, due to his finding out that his father collapsed. He would have probably gone to meet Yasaburo if only to make amends with his father, who we know understands the reason why Alto left, and he supports his decision. By the time Ranka's message reached him it seems as though he had already made his decision. Not only that but her gift was the least thoughtful, it seems like it was more for herself than for Alto. It wasn't really a gift with him in mind.

2. In episode 4 Alto said that it was his duty to help Ranka, but why? We know that Alto doesn't think of her as anything more than a friend, he could have just said that he was going to support his friend. Then there is the point that Yasaburo made about Alto playing a role. While it would be easy to just brush it aside the other characters have brought it up in previous episodes, yes even Sheryl herself in episode 10. Then in this episode Yasaburo says that Alto is just playing a cheesy role. While one could ignore this normally Alto's own thoughts made me reconsider Yasaburo's words. If what Yasaburo said didn't have a ring of truth to it then why did his words have such an effect on Alto? And if Alto was being totally honest then why don't the other characters think that he is being honest? Its even more interesting that the people who say this are the people who either met him or already knew him before he joined SMS, or at least were already aware of Alto's dream.

I look back and I realize that they're right it doesn't seem really sincere at all. Let's look back at when he joined SMS. Alto asked to join SMS (and was allowed to join) only after he had heard Ranka's past, which is kinda hokey. He joined to protect some girl he didn't know only after Ozma told him her sad past? While it would be acceptable if it was his friend he doesn't even know her, she's a total stranger to him. It made sense for Hikaru but that was only because Hikaru actually knew (I mean he spent time with her) Minmei and had a crush on her before he joined the military, which is why she became his reason to join the military. But Alto didn't know Ranka then, he had literally just met her. So Michael being as genre savvy as he is, is justified in questioning Alto's reason for joining SMS, because it just doesn't make any sense. In a way Yasaburo, Michael and frankly anyone that poses their question about this to Alto or expresses doubts on his honesty are hanging a lampshade over the situation with Alto, pointing out its cheesiness and insincerity, pointing out how utterly unconvincing he is. The fact that its also coming from those who he confides and actually hold conversations with this makes it even more telling.

3. Cathy could have been a super star but for some reason she didn't take up the mantel.

4. Ranka is still thinking about her scripted kiss with Alto, even though Alto wasn't bothered by it once the initial shock wore off. In fact he pointed out himself that he was just acting, they were just playing a role for a few seconds, especially because it was all by chance, if the hydra wasn't on the island then Alto would have kissed a totally different girl. That doesn't mean that you gained any footing in the love triangle, especially because she still doesn't know anything about him. Her inability to separate the difference between professional work with her own personal life can only end in heartbreak. She needs to listen to Nanase's advice and be more direct. Its sad, even with help she's still behind the love triangle. Sheryl and Alto can spend time together as friends and are close enough that they can joke around, meanwhile Ranka's still in the strictly platonic friend category, in that Alto still considers her a duty, and does not confide in her. I really wonder how serious she is about him, she only just puts a minimal thought into her interaction with him and even less effort to get to know him until last minute, even with help, and then gets discouraged to find out she's behind. My realization is that I can't take Ranka's affection towards Alto seriously, because of her own inaction.
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Old 2011-01-08, 18:03   Link #846
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Originally Posted by Swampstorm View Post
I wouldn't say that what happens later is "karma", so much as it's a missed opportunity. I would have liked to see Nanase warm up to Sheryl and discard some of her prior preconceptions after Sheryl took care of Nanase in the shelter, but the plot never explored it further. More generally, I'd have liked to see the story develop more of Sheryl's relationships with the other people in her social circle. Time constraints are always a problem, though.
True enough. As such it is a shame that we are not getting any scanlations of the manga materials coming out right now. It's a bit strange, given Macross popularity, when even rather obscure other series are getting scanlated.

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Originally Posted by wisteria233 View Post
2. In episode 4 Alto said that it was his duty to help Ranka, but why? We know that Alto doesn't think of her as anything more than a friend, he could have just said that he was going to support his friend. Then there is the point that Yasaburo made about Alto playing a role. While it would be easy to just brush it aside the other characters have brought it up in previous episodes, yes even Sheryl herself in episode 10. Then in this episode Yasaburo says that Alto is just playing a cheesy role. While one could ignore this normally Alto's own thoughts made me reconsider Yasaburo's words. If what Yasaburo said didn't have a ring of truth to it then why did his words have such an effect on Alto? And if Alto was being totally honest then why don't the other characters think that he is being honest? Its even more interesting that the people who say this are the people who either met him or already knew him before he joined SMS, or at least were already aware of Alto's dream.
I must have missed those times where people were questioning Altos sincerity. Michael saying that Alto is running away is not the same as him questioning Altos sincerity, IMO.

And I am really unsure where you saw Sheryl questioning Altos sincerity in this episode.
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Old 2011-01-08, 18:22   Link #847
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Originally Posted by magnuskn View Post
True enough. As such it is a shame that we are not getting any scanlations of the manga materials coming out right now. It's a bit strange, given Macross popularity, when even rather obscure other series are getting scanlated.
I think it's because they are all serialized in Macross Ace, which is not something scanlation groups or raw providers would subscribe to. Not to mention those who do subscribe probably don't want to unbind it and all.
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Old 2011-01-08, 18:34   Link #848
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Originally Posted by magnuskn View Post
I must have missed those times where people were questioning Altos sincerity. Michael saying that Alto is running away is not the same as him questioning Altos sincerity, IMO.

And I am really unsure where you saw Sheryl questioning Altos sincerity in this episode.
In episode 9 when Alto was complaining about Michael to Sheryl, she stopped Alto and asked him exactly why he joined SMS in the first place.

In fact episode 9 has quite a few people not just Michael asking Alto this question despite knowing the reason he gave for joining. In fact Michael had expressed his doubts about Alto directly after Alto had the conversation with Ozma in the hospital.

Alto is running away but the question is how is he going about it? There are many different ways that people run away from their problems they don't just do it physically they also do it by acting as though nothing is wrong or by doing something that they may not truly believe in just to get away from their problems. And yes that is being insincere, as running away from yourself requires one to be insincere to themselves and to those around them.
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Old 2011-01-08, 19:52   Link #849
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Originally Posted by wisteria233 View Post
Episode 11
From watching his episode again I realized few things that I didn't realize the first time I watched it.

1. Even if Sheryl had not given Alto her birthday gift, he probably still wouldn't have gone to Ranka's concert, due to his finding out that his father collapsed. He would have probably gone to meet Yasaburo if only to make amends with his father, who we know understands the reason why Alto left, and he supports his decision. By the time Ranka's message reached him it seems as though he had already made his decision. Not only that but her gift was the least thoughtful, it seems like it was more for herself than for Alto. It wasn't really a gift with him in mind.

2. In episode 4 Alto said that it was his duty to help Ranka, but why? We know that Alto doesn't think of her as anything more than a friend, he could have just said that he was going to support his friend. Then there is the point that Yasaburo made about Alto playing a role. While it would be easy to just brush it aside the other characters have brought it up in previous episodes, yes even Sheryl herself in episode 10. Then in this episode Yasaburo says that Alto is just playing a cheesy role. While one could ignore this normally Alto's own thoughts made me reconsider Yasaburo's words. If what Yasaburo said didn't have a ring of truth to it then why did his words have such an effect on Alto? And if Alto was being totally honest then why don't the other characters think that he is being honest? Its even more interesting that the people who say this are the people who either met him or already knew him before he joined SMS, or at least were already aware of Alto's dream.

I look back and I realize that they're right it doesn't seem really sincere at all. Let's look back at when he joined SMS. Alto asked to join SMS (and was allowed to join) only after he had heard Ranka's past, which is kinda hokey. He joined to protect some girl he didn't know only after Ozma told him her sad past? While it would be acceptable if it was his friend he doesn't even know her, she's a total stranger to him. It made sense for Hikaru but that was only because Hikaru actually knew (I mean he spent time with her) Minmei and had a crush on her before he joined the military, which is why she became his reason to join the military. But Alto didn't know Ranka then, he had literally just met her. So Michael being as genre savvy as he is, is justified in questioning Alto's reason for joining SMS, because it just doesn't make any sense. In a way Yasaburo, Michael and frankly anyone that poses their question about this to Alto or expresses doubts on his honesty are hanging a lampshade over the situation with Alto, pointing out its cheesiness and insincerity, pointing out how utterly unconvincing he is. The fact that its also coming from those who he confides and actually hold conversations with this makes it even more telling.
1) Ranka's concert is not on his birthday, she just wanted to give him his present then.

2)The translation I have (whatever Thora used) has Alto say that he had “a promise to keep. Out of courtesy… You could even say out of obligation.” Assuming I'm thinking of the right scene. Are you referring to the one where Alto is fussing with his hair and Michael asks him if he's going on a date (after teasing him about calling Bobby back)?

Alto had plenty of reasons to join SMS. His love of flying is one. The fact that it gave him a chance to actually do something was another (remember how frustrated he was by his inability to do anything when he was trapped in that shelter in Episode 3)? Also I wonder if Ranka isn’t a part of something bigger –the human face so to speak of the greater goal of defending Frontier. And then there’s the fact that Gilliam saved his life back in Episode One.

Now as far as explaining why Alto is so affected by Yasubaro’s words… if you accept that Alto has issues with his own identity because of acting in the TV series as well as the movie then what about the possibility that he’s uncertain of whether he’s acting or not because of that?
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Old 2011-01-08, 19:52   Link #850
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Originally Posted by wisteria233 View Post
In episode 9 when Alto was complaining about Michael to Sheryl, she stopped Alto and asked him exactly why he joined SMS in the first place.
Context is everything. Sheryl asks him why he is still attending school only one question before. She isn't questioning his sincerity.

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Originally Posted by wisteria233 View Post
In fact episode 9 has quite a few people not just Michael asking Alto this question despite knowing the reason he gave for joining. In fact Michael had expressed his doubts about Alto directly after Alto had the conversation with Ozma in the hospital.
And as I said above the latter conversation, that one was about Alto running away "again". Not about his sincerity. The first conversation you mention, Michael saying that Alto is "the princess who ran away from home to play war" also is in reference to Alto running away from his home. I do not see that as criticism of his sincerity, but rather as a criticism of Alto not wanting to confront his past. Not to mention that Michael was rather irate at the moment and was doing some pretty mean-spirited strikeback.

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Originally Posted by wisteria233 View Post
Alto is running away but the question is how is he going about it? There are many different ways that people run away from their problems they don't just do it physically they also do it by acting as though nothing is wrong or by doing something that they may not truly believe in just to get away from their problems. And yes that is being insincere, as running away from yourself requires one to be insincere to themselves and to those around them.
I am sorry, but in my opinion you are conflating being insecure about oneself with being insincere to others. Yes, people put on masks to disguise their insecurities. Everybody does that. But not very much people act out a whole another personality and life motivation to other people.

That is in essence what Yasaburo is claiming Alto is doing. Playing a cheap role, not being sincere in his feeling, just being an actor. And I reject that. As Irisiel said a few pages ago:

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Originally Posted by Irisiel View Post
Alto, on the other hand, feels more like someone who just STOPPED acting in the beginning of the series. Less because of a hate of acting, but more because he wasn't allowed to develop his individual identity (individuality is, after all, the major theme of the show) when at home and on stage (when other boys were learning that girls don't have cooties, he was busy acting girl characters).

This is why he becomes so annoyed when Yasaburo calls his current persona cliché acting; Alto isn't acting, this is who Alto is, or what he's found so far that he is.
Quite honestly, I could just have quoted her and let that stand. It encapsulates pretty perfectly my point of view about who Alto is at this point of the story.
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Old 2011-01-08, 21:15   Link #851
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I tend not to think of Alto's "acting" in terms of sincerity or authenticity. Everyone has their own roles to play under different circumstances. Just as you can't separate the "Galactic Fairy" from Sheryl Nome, you can't really separate "Alto the VF pilot" from "Alto the kabuki actor" or "Alto, son of Ranzo Saotome". He's an actor playing many bit parts, but all of them contribute to his overall identity.

And that's the problem. Alto believes that the way to distance himself from his past is to throw himself into the role of being a VF pilot, and Ranka, at this point in time, is the way to do that. Neither Ranzo nor the Vajra are actually ever his adversities; Alto's real opponent is himself.

The "birthday present" in this episode illustrates this quite nicely. Alto is caged by a choice between his desire to reconcile himself with his past, and his desire to distance himself from it in order to build his own future. Which, of course, is where the "third option" comes in.
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Old 2011-01-08, 23:36   Link #852
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Originally Posted by Darthtabby View Post
1) Ranka's concert is not on his birthday, she just wanted to give him his present then.
1. Then its not much of a birthday present is it? Besides the present Sheryl gave him was such that Alto wouldn't be able to make it back in time for Ranka's concert.

Quote:
2)The translation I have (whatever Thora used) has Alto say that he had “a promise to keep. Out of courtesy… You could even say out of obligation.” Assuming I'm thinking of the right scene. Are you referring to the one where Alto is fussing with his hair and Michael asks him if he's going on a date (after teasing him about calling Bobby back)?
2. I was watching central anime blue ray subs, and they referred to it as a duty. But yeah I was talking about that scene.

Quote:
Alto had plenty of reasons to join SMS. His love of flying is one. The fact that it gave him a chance to actually do something was another (remember how frustrated he was by his inability to do anything when he was trapped in that shelter in Episode 3)? Also I wonder if Ranka isn’t a part of something bigger –the human face so to speak of the greater goal of defending Frontier. And then there’s the fact that Gilliam saved his life back in Episode One.
The thing is I believe that Alto is using using Ranka as a sit in, but at the same time Alto still hates his home and doesn't want to admit to himself that he loves it, and so he can't admit that to himself. So he does the next best thing he uses Ranka. Also remember Ozma wouldn't let him join when he was being the most sincere, when he wanted to join because of Gilliam. Alto was flat out denied when he was being sincere, but when he heard Ranka's past, and repeated the fact that he wanted to join, Ozma let him. In other words Alto was allowed to join SMS by using Ranka as a platform, by playing the role of her sympathizer, and possible protector. This can lead to him thinking that he can only be an SMS pilot by playing the role as her protector.


Quote:
Now as far as explaining why Alto is so affected by Yasubaro’s words… if you accept that Alto has issues with his own identity because of acting in the TV series as well as the movie then what about the possibility that he’s uncertain of whether he’s acting or not because of that?
Or maybe he's very much aware of the fact that he is acting, and it bothers him, because he went from acting one role to another, and what's even worse is that he constantly gets shown up in his current role. Remember the interview with Kawamori posted for the previous episode Alto may be acting outside of his role as Sakura-hime in a Kabuki play.


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Originally Posted by magnuskn View Post
Context is everything. Sheryl asks him why he is still attending school only one question before. She isn't questioning his sincerity.
Oh yeah you're right, but even when taking the question in context its still pretty strange, especially since she does know why he joined SMS.

Quote:
And as I said above the latter conversation, that one was about Alto running away "again". Not about his sincerity. The first conversation you mention, Michael saying that Alto is "the princess who ran away from home to play war" also is in reference to Alto running away from his home. I do not see that as criticism of his sincerity, but rather as a criticism of Alto not wanting to confront his past. Not to mention that Michael was rather irate at the moment and was doing some pretty mean-spirited strikeback.
When people are mad they can do two things one can say things they don't mean and two they can say things that are true but they wouldn't say normally when they're mad, especially if its strike back at someone else who they feel doesn't have the right to talk back at them.


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I am sorry, but in my opinion you are conflating being insecure about oneself with being insincere to others. Yes, people put on masks to disguise their insecurities. Everybody does that. But not very much people act out a whole another personality and life motivation to other people.

That is in essence what Yasaburo is claiming Alto is doing. Playing a cheap role, not being sincere in his feeling, just being an actor. And I reject that. As Irisiel said a few pages ago:



Quite honestly, I could just have quoted her and let that stand. It encapsulates pretty perfectly my point of view about who Alto is at this point of the story.
I think that you're misunderstanding me. I don't think that Alto's wish to pilot a to be a pilot itself is him being insincere. Its more the way the way he goes about it, and that's where I feel that Yasaburo is right. Alto wants to fly because it can be a chance for him to see a real sky because his mother never could and also because he genuinely wants to know what it feels like. He also does care for his home but doesn't want to admit that to himself yet (that being the keyword here). The only way for Alto to get to become a pilot and get a chance to fly was to join SMS, which he wasn't allowed to under his initial (most sincere) reason, because of Gilliam. He was only really allowed to get closer to his dream only by taking up the role as Ranka's protector and sympathizer. Alto may keep playing the role as protector because he feels like that's the only way to attain his dream.

Which is kinda why I feel that Sheryl's gift to him was the most thoughtful gift. It was a gift that Alto really wanted, and if things had gone according to plan aka had Grace not tried to off Sheryl via V-type infection, Alto would have gotten his dream by not playing a role, and best of all he would have been able to enjoy it. Of course that isn't meant to be and his gift is ruined, he doesn't get a chance to play to enjoy the sky until episode 26, and he forced again to play the role of protector which he is then shown up by Brera (seriously Alto isn't very good at playing the role of Ranka's protector). I think that its not until the later episodes that Alto realizes that its okay to wanna protect your home and people who live there, and that he shouldn't run away from his past because it is a part of him, no matter how much he wants to just shrug it off.
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Old 2011-01-09, 01:40   Link #853
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I don’t remember Alto telling Ozma he’s joining SMS for Ranka’s sake at any point during their conversations in Episode Three. As for Ozma’s behavior, his big concern with Alto joining seemed to be making sure Alto knew what he was getting himself into by signing up. Heck I think he may have even been considering Alto as a possible future pilot back in Episode Two… he just happened to think an amateur demanding to be allowed to pilot a valkyrie on a whim was crossing a line. He accepted Alto in Episode Three once Alto assured him that he had thought the issue over and knew what he was getting into.
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Old 2011-01-09, 01:46   Link #854
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I don’t remember Alto telling Ozma he’s joining SMS for Ranka’s sake at any point during their conversations in Episode Three. As for Ozma’s behavior, his big concern with Alto joining seemed to be making sure Alto knew what he was getting himself into by signing up. Heck I think he may have even been considering Alto as a possible future pilot back in Episode Two… he just happened to think an amateur demanding to be allowed to pilot a valkyrie on a whim was crossing a line. He accepted Alto in Episode Three once Alto assured him that he had thought the issue over and knew what he was getting into.
That was the implication, though, Alto also admits as much later on (though we'll cross that bridge when we come across it). As for Ozma, yes he was more willing to allow Alto to join after giving him time to think about it, however Alto may not have viewed it like that. Remember what we the viewers know is different from what the characters know.
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Old 2011-01-09, 06:28   Link #855
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I tend not to think of Alto's "acting" in terms of sincerity or authenticity. Everyone has their own roles to play under different circumstances. Just as you can't separate the "Galactic Fairy" from Sheryl Nome, you can't really separate "Alto the VF pilot" from "Alto the kabuki actor" or "Alto, son of Ranzo Saotome". He's an actor playing many bit parts, but all of them contribute to his overall identity.

And that's the problem. Alto believes that the way to distance himself from his past is to throw himself into the role of being a VF pilot, and Ranka, at this point in time, is the way to do that. Neither Ranzo nor the Vajra are actually ever his adversities; Alto's real opponent is himself.
The problem here for me is that a good many forum members seem to think that "Yasaburo was right", when for me he was completely wrong. Yasaburo comes in with a set agenda and only one half of the information of what really happened. His assertion that Alto "can't stop himself from acting", when Alto was basically bullied into doing it ( or ordered in the case of the Sheryl documentary ) is plainly wrong.

Nonetheless, there seems to be this conflation of Alto sincerely trying to find his independent identity with the idea that he is only being a fake, which Yasaburo was pushing. And that seems to me to be a great disservice to the character. Let's not forget he is a teenager and still trying to find his position in life at that point.

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Also remember Ozma wouldn't let him join when he was being the most sincere, when he wanted to join because of Gilliam. Alto was flat out denied when he was being sincere, but when he heard Ranka's past, and repeated the fact that he wanted to join, Ozma let him. In other words Alto was allowed to join SMS by using Ranka as a platform, by playing the role of her sympathizer, and possible protector. This can lead to him thinking that he can only be an SMS pilot by playing the role as her protector.
That, however, is a flat out misreading of how things played out. Alto asked Ozma in the middle of a combat sortie to use a very expensive piece of military hardware, when Alto had not received any formal training at all to pilot the VF-25 and was not a member of SMS. OF COURSE Ozma wasn't going to do that, he too is accountable to his superiors and letting some overly emotional civilian sortie with them during a combat mission from the military is about the last thing you'd realistically want to do.

However, Ozma had shown definite interest in Alto as a pilot before... when Alto offered by himself to join, Ozma jumped at the chance to get him as a pilot for SMS, where he could receive proper training and be an asset for the team. Furthermore, Ozma had to know that Cathy, i.e. the NUNS military, already had shown an interest in recruiting Alto, so he had to act fast before they could get to him again.

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I think that you're misunderstanding me. I don't think that Alto's wish to pilot a to be a pilot itself is him being insincere. Its more the way the way he goes about it, and that's where I feel that Yasaburo is right. Alto wants to fly because it can be a chance for him to see a real sky because his mother never could and also because he genuinely wants to know what it feels like. He also does care for his home but doesn't want to admit that to himself yet (that being the keyword here). The only way for Alto to get to become a pilot and get a chance to fly was to join SMS, which he wasn't allowed to under his initial (most sincere) reason, because of Gilliam. He was only really allowed to get closer to his dream only by taking up the role as Ranka's protector and sympathizer. Alto may keep playing the role as protector because he feels like that's the only way to attain his dream.
In a sense you are right here, in that Alto using the reasoning that he is Rankas protector is Alto being insincere to himself. However, that is not what Yasaburo was talking about. For Yasaburo, Alto running away from home and being a pilot ( i.e. not only joining SMS, but also taking pilot courses at the Mihoshi Academy ) is only a stereotypical role Alto is acting out, meaning that Yasaburo thinks Alto is only faking it.

This patently false assertion and misreading by Yasaburo has somehow mutated into people questioning all of Altos motivations. If the original source already did a clear misreading, why do other people use it as their primary reference for totally other motivations? That doesn't make sense to me.

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Which is kinda why I feel that Sheryl's gift to him was the most thoughtful gift. It was a gift that Alto really wanted, and if things had gone according to plan aka had Grace not tried to off Sheryl via V-type infection, Alto would have gotten his dream by not playing a role, and best of all he would have been able to enjoy it.
Well, I kinda get the feeling that you think he does not enjoy being a combat pilot. That's another thing which I read differently from you.

As for what could have been had the fates not conspired to throw spanners into Sheryls work, who can know? Having the guy you want alone with you on a planet can work out very well.
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Old 2011-01-09, 10:14   Link #856
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- Some, ahem, glorious swimsuit Sheryl is sporting there. Evidently the other students agree...
Well, apart from Luca who in the next shot is staring at Nanase with a HUGE CHEESY GRIN all over his face.
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Old 2011-01-09, 11:20   Link #857
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Well, apart from Luca who in the next shot is staring at Nanase with a HUGE CHEESY GRIN all over his face.
Yeah... while everyone else was getting out of the pool he insisted on staying in for a little while longer...
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Old 2011-01-09, 12:19   Link #858
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That, however, is a flat out misreading of how things played out. Alto asked Ozma in the middle of a combat sortie to use a very expensive piece of military hardware, when Alto had not received any formal training at all to pilot the VF-25 and was not a member of SMS. OF COURSE Ozma wasn't going to do that, he too is accountable to his superiors and letting some overly emotional civilian sortie with them during a combat mission from the military is about the last thing you'd realistically want to do.

However, Ozma had shown definite interest in Alto as a pilot before... when Alto offered by himself to join, Ozma jumped at the chance to get him as a pilot for SMS, where he could receive proper training and be an asset for the team. Furthermore, Ozma had to know that Cathy, i.e. the NUNS military, already had shown an interest in recruiting Alto, so he had to act fast before they could get to him again.
Like I said to Darthtabby though we the audience realize that Ozma only let Alto join after he was sure that Alto had time to think about it, Alto himself may not have seen it that way.



Quote:
In a sense you are right here, in that Alto using the reasoning that he is Rankas protector is Alto being insincere to himself. However, that is not what Yasaburo was talking about. For Yasaburo, Alto running away from home and being a pilot ( i.e. not only joining SMS, but also taking pilot courses at the Mihoshi Academy ) is only a stereotypical role Alto is acting out, meaning that Yasaburo thinks Alto is only faking it.


This patently false assertion and misreading by Yasaburo has somehow mutated into people questioning all of Altos motivations. If the original source already did a clear misreading, why do other people use it as their primary reference for totally other motivations? That doesn't make sense to me.
I never meant that Yasaburo's reasoning for his argument was wrong, but just that the argument itself had bearing. I'm separating what the speaker from what they are saying. I wouldn't think Yasaburo's words to be effectual at all, if Alto was not shown to have given them thought.


Quote:
Well, I kinda get the feeling that you think he does not enjoy being a combat pilot. That's another thing which I read differently from you.

As for what could have been had the fates not conspired to throw spanners into Sheryls work, who can know? Having the guy you want alone with you on a planet can work out very well.
I never said that Alto doesn't enjoy being a pilot, in fact I've pointed out before that being a pilot is something that Alto may have always wanted for himself. Its just that now he can't even be really true to himself despite doing something that he always wanted. I kind of find that sad. There were strings that he himself attached to it. Which is why I found Sheryl's present to be very thoughtful, as with her present Alto could just be Alto. In fact you can look at the three presents like this 1. Yasaburo's present would have forced Alto to meet with his father and reconcile his past (Yasaburo forces Alto to do this later on anyway), plus we the viewers will soon learn that Ranzo supports Alto's decision despite Alto himself not being aware of this. 2. Ranka's present would have made Alto to once again play the role of her protector and supporter, not giving anything to him at all, but instead asking something from him. 3. Sheryl's present though is a present that allowed Alto to just be Alto, while he realizes the dream that he shared with his mother (the present later on gets ruined by Grace). In other words 1. Face yourself, 2. Play a role, 3. be yourself.
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Old 2011-01-09, 12:39   Link #859
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Well, at the moment I really don't see how we will get on one page in this argument, since we seem to view a few important details from very different angles. So I'll drop the argument.
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Old 2011-01-09, 19:08   Link #860
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You know, after having watched some other Kawamori anime, and being generally well-versed in several story-telling tropes, I can't help but to think that Yasaburo was a Red Herring Character.

Basically, when a wise older relative from Main Character's past shows up and talks about Main Character, the conventional story takes it as the gospel of truth. The Main Character is then supposed to reconcile with their past in order to move forwards; the future lays with the past.

It's what we're used to seeing, nevermind that in the real world, months, years, of separation, would nullify a lot of Wise Older Relative's words.

To bring this into context with Macross Frontier: Yasaburo plays the role of Wise Old Relative to a tee, including showing up out of the blue at school and bringing Alto to fancy restaurant just to drop the bomb that Ranzou is sick and Alto should see him.

We, the watchers, who aren't privy to many of Alto's thoughts then lead on a wild goose chase, with Yasaburo's statement as the false lead to Alto's true personality.

This is corroborated later when not only did Yasaburo's Wise Old Relative shtick NOT work out, but his B-plan was character changing into Bastard Older Brother and "kidnap" an unconscious Sheryl as bait, which actually worked in bringing Alto back to the house.

So when gauging Yasaburo's ability to read Alto, and which approach held the most veracity, we should look at how Alto reacted to them, and the results (first one, ended up with Alto in a plane on another planet. Second one, ended up with Alto sneaking into the house from the back garden. Third one could have been the charm).

Also, keep in mind that Yasaburo might not be someone to judge whether or not Alto is acting, since the statement could be turned around against Yasaburo (except, Yasaburo is still acting; the cliché role of adoptive younger son who takes the "burden" of the bio-son yet still sincerely tries to bring him back to the family! Sorry, Yasa-nii, you're a good actor, but you should take a leaf from Alto's book and go out and find the real you, except I suspect that even if you did, you would return, and while you would like for Alto to triumphantly return to the stage and bring prestige to Saotome and Kabuki [even big-time movie directors fanboys Alto] alike, you have not problems with inheriting per se. You know, if you told Alto that, he might have agreed to show up in a few plays in the future when he feels ready to face his acting, but as it is now, you tried to dump the whole burden of Saotome and acting on him. No wonder he ran away).

As far as Sheryl the Seductress Planning to Show Up Ranka goes, I honestly think that she just thought of Alto's hopes and dreams in that moment (yes, phrase very much intended that way, because the writers, in a playful way, told us that they're talking about hopes and dreams in that scene). There was no thought about Ranka, because Alto's birthday isn't about Ranka, it's about Alto, and Alto is who Sheryl thought of. No backstabbing, just a very thoughtful gift of giving Alto the opportunity to fulfil his dream.
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