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Old 2008-09-15, 22:46   Link #2426
Junior member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Calgary
Age: 29
I've been thinking abt ep 23 & I've revised my earlier impressions of alto. Alto being aware of everything just makes him so much more interesting than before, gives him a lot of depth that I didnt realize he possessed. Somehow, he's catapulted into my second favourite MF character after Sheryl(Sry Michael, klan, he usurped ur place, but dont worry, ur both rite after him). I'm going to try & sort out my jumbled thoughts & attempt to figure him out a bit.

First of all , in Ep 23, I found it quite telling that he begins to think abt ranka soon after his talk with yasaburo, wherin yasaburo tells alto that he's an actor & he's been performing the actions desired from him all this time. I couldnt help but connect all of the early ranka/alto interactions & apply the performing-actions-desired-from-him logic to them.

It just fits, sounds to me like he's been playing the role of her protector because she needed him to & also because he needed a reason other than running away from home to justify his actions of joining SMS. He needed an outlet for his frustrations & Ranka unknowingly provided it for him. Not to say that he didnt genuinely like her or anything, I'm sure he did, but there were still a lot of underlying reasons for Why he seemed to gravitate more towards ranka.

Even events at Galia IV drives this fact home to me- What with the acting is in your blood flashback during his fight with the big bad Zentraedi & Michael telling him to consider Ranka's feelings, him contemplating Michael's words when in the plane with ranka soon after which, we see him being overly nice to Ranka. There was no reason to play the scenes out this way if we werent meant to pick on this. It also explains why most of us felt that the alto/ranka interaction was superficial & purposely ochestrated to accelerate the LT. Then the whole rescue arc puts him in the role of her protector again but this role gets stolen by Brera, consequently leaving him without a camouflaged reason to fight anymore.

Thats probably Why Brera always seemed to rub him the wrong way. This is probably when he seriously begins to second guess himself & his reasons for joining SMS. Ep 18 shows his hesitancy & reluctance to cast himself solely as ranka's protector. Its probably also when he realizes that he doesnt hate Frontier as much as he thought he did. Ep 20, he asks ranka to sing for the people of frontier, then Ep 21, where he is willing to use Ranka as bait to save fronteir, albeit reluctantly, Ep 22, he stays behind to defend frontier, granted Sheryl was probably his primary reason for staying behind & then finally in Ep 23 we see him willing to consider killing Ranka to save Frontier. He starts out hating Frontier because of lack of a real sky to being willing to go to any lengths to defend & protect his homeland.

Alto is really turning out to be a delightfully complex character. Another thing, one line which ranka sings in the lion song seems to confirm that alto is playing the role of her protector. She says something like- "The key to the door you protect is a lie" or something to that effect. It also kind of makes sense when you think abt it, because almost all of the Ranka/Alto interactions have been I believe, purposefully presented to us as ranka calling/asking for help/advice & Alto delivering to the best of his abilities.

I find it hard to apply the same performing-actions-desired-from-him logic to past Alto/sheryl interactions ( except for Ep 23 dinner scene- I'll touch on that later) because alto's almost always in tsun-tsun mode when he's with her, isnt overly nice to her & tends to disagree/argue/ banter with her a lot. She tends to throw him off balance & out of character most of the time which is why I dont think he's playing any role at all when he's with her. I think we get rare glimpses of his real self when he's around her- like in the shelter scene in ep 3 he admits in anger that as he is he doesnt think he's capable of offering protection, in ep 5 his insight into why he's drawn to fly like sheryl & ranka are drawn to sing, in ep 6 when he admits to hating Frontier because there's no real sky, ep 9 sheryl asks him on the phone why he joined SMS & soon after he thinks abt his father & reiterates that he's not running away, Ep 19, he gets mad at sheryl because she's lying to herself, seems to have taken this a little too personally, maybe its cos he's been lying to himself as well, I dont know,.........etc, etc.

I think he's been showing us more of his real self from Ep 18 onwards in bits & pieces. Beginning of Ep 20 is the only time he isnt tsun-tsun with Sheryl & I have to wonder if he was just playing a role that was desired from him? Then again, I dont think he was, because he wasnt exactly playing along with her, was he? She wanted him to stop trying to convince her to sing but he was intent on trying to convince her otherwise. Then, he did show some real emotion in ep 21 when he seemed angry at himself for being willing to let Ranka be used as bait.

Ep 22, I felt, was when he finally dropped his actor's mask completely & displayed real raw emotion/ grief at the prospect of losing Sheryl for a few genuine moments. In contrast though, I felt like the dinner scene in Ep 23, while absolutely cute to watch, did have a kind of forced feel to it. It did have its real & naturally genuine moments but overall there was a general atmosphere of forced cheerfulness at times. And, No, I dont think Ranka had anything to do with it at all.

The vibe I got from the two of them was that they were forcing themselves to act normally for the sake of the other & trying not to think abt the fact that she didnt have long to live, not to mention sheryl probably thought that he was with her because he pitied her. They were both playing roles & werent completely being themselves & its interesting to note that both seemed to sense the change in the other but still couldnt grasp the real reason why they were behaving differently from usual.

I dont know hw much of what I've written is actually true, or whether I'm viewing everything through my shipper goggles but it fills in a lot of the missing pieces for me & definitely makes me appreciate alto more, when I couldnt figure out hw he could be so dense & clueless before when he was really anything but. I'm really hoping I got him pegged rite, I'm loving this new/real Alto,

Oh & I predict he'll go back to acting at the end of the series, though I do oh so prefer him as a pilot.
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