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Old 2008-06-07, 10:43   Link #275
Lovestruck Fool?
Join Date: Jan 2006
Time to catch up.

Originally Posted by TwilightHack View Post
I can hardly tell what Sheryl is thinking most of the time, can you? I've been trying to figure out what's going through her mind everytime she gives someone "that" look (especially when it concerns Ranka). It's obviously a look of contemplation but what kind? There's a wide range of things it could be but yeah...
Sheryl's looks are definitely difficult to read into. I was often left second guessing her actions at many points in the series. But I think we've seen enough of her interactions with both Ranka and Alto to know what her stance is with regards to each of them.

As you pointed out, Sheryl's actions have a way of driving things to work out. A lot of this comes from her ability to make accurate observations about the people around her (as examples, consider how quickly she assesses Nanase, Michael, and Miranda). Whenever she gives that look, it directs my attention to stop and look at the scene more closely. So I suppose it serves as a storytelling device as well.

Originally Posted by jonli View Post
Remember that episode when Ranka started to sing in the Zentradi mall? At first I thought Sheryl gave her a look with a slight flavour of hostility, as if she knows Ranka will be in her career's way in the near future. But she seems like she's always helping Ranka out, so I guess she's kind of breeding herself a rival to motivate herself even further? Or maybe she knows Ranka will be a threat, but she's absorbed in Ranka's passion, and can't let it go to waste?
I just hope she won't degenerate into a jealous-type character in the future (I can sort of see Ranka going that way too, one of them is going to bite this bullet).
Until recently, I was worried about that too. But I think that episode ten pretty much lays that to rest.

I think that Sheryl's occasional sternness with Ranka comes from the fact that she's adopted Ranka as her protégé. During Miss Macross in episode four, Sheryl's words initially seemed rather harsh when she found Ranka hiding underneath the stairs, but this is only because she wants Ranka to act on her own initiative.

In episode ten, there were a lot of little details that showed that Sheryl's relationship towards Ranka is a mentorship rather than a rivalry. There was the way in which Sheryl sidestepped Miranda to talk to Ranka, the way that she told Alto to cheer her on, and even the way in which Sheryl welcomed Ranka to the steps to stardom.

One important development was that we saw that Sheryl is willing to step aside to allow others to reach success. The way in which she recognized that her song was inappropriate for the movie and offered to write a new one shows that she's well grounded, and her willingness to give the spotlight to Ranka shows that in spite of being driven, she's very fair.

Originally Posted by Wesley84 View Post
I think she's empty headed, but is a natural at acting and putting on the appropiate airs for a given situation.
Well, if she has even you fooled, then she must be a lot smarter than I'd given her credit for.

Originally Posted by Wesley84 View Post
Not true. Personal experience, creativity, and an acting ability can easily compensate for total lack of thought.
Doesn't creativity refer to a thinking process, by definition?

Originally Posted by Wesley84 View Post
She can be all things to all people. She can be a bitch, she can be a weepy sympathetic victim of circumstance, she can be fun loving as she plays with livestock and giant dinnerware, she's a performer that puts everything into concerts, and she be a headstrong, take-things-head-on girl, that drives her own destiny.

In short, she's too many things. Put her in a VF and it's game-f-ing-over.

She'll need an amazing and plausible backstory to justify her character, and until then, I maintain that she's full of it.
lol hax

Sorry. Let me rephrase that.

You're right in noting that we've seen many sides to Sheryl's character. At this point, we can either assume that she's written consistantly and try to understand how these different aspects fit together, or we can assume that she's written inconsistantly and give up on trying to understand her.

For now, I see no aspect of her character that cannot be resolved with another. Until I do, I'll go with the assumption that she's written in a consistant manner, because I have to at least try to understand.

Originally Posted by Wesley84 View Post
Episodes five through eight is where she really started to lose me. Not that she was awful in five, but because it was a high note for her character portrayal that the following episodes failed to live up to. Of course she was hardly the only thing wrong with any of those episodes, but it just seems like after the fifth episode for alot of people Sheryl can do no wrong, while Ranka is "moeshit" to whomever is left.
What was so different about Sheryl in episode five? I still see that same playfulness in her when she's around Alto. If she was always in the same mood, then there wouldn't be all that much to talk about as far as her character is concerned.

It's not that people think that Sheryl can do no wrong. Rather, it's more that people are afraid that she'll make a mistake. As a celebrity (and the connotations that the title brings with it), her situation is precarious. It would have been fairly easy for the writers to demonize her at any point over the past few episodes. That doesn't mean that she doesn't have her own problems to deal with; it's clear that she's still fairly awkward about letting people see her vulnerabilities, and that she isn't used to depending on the support of others. Her growth as a character will likely be linked to these weaknesses.

I don't think that Ranka is really subject to that sort of general dislike from the viewers. I, for one, am happy that Sheryl has taken such a positive stance towards Ranka, as it means that my love for Sheryl's character need not be mutually exclusive with my love for Ranka's character.

Originally Posted by Wesley84 View Post
It's like, Sheryl's simply a story catalyst with occasional brillant, but inconsistent, moments of characterization. The only times a scene has been all about Sheryl is when she's at a concert, doing her thing, and even then she's had to share the spotlight with a battle.
She's as much a catalyst as is Alto. Much of what we've seen so far has been from Ranka's perspective, and this story in many ways is Ranka's story. But while we often see the impact of Sheryl's story on Ranka, that doesn't mean that the events that we see don't have a personal significance to Sheryl as well. To understand this, we have to set aside the "narrative" and watch for Sheryl's reactions. While the story explicitly draws your attention to Ranka's perspective in both of Sheryl's kisses with Alto, you can still learn much about Sheryl's side of the story by watching her facial expressions and emotional response to the kisses.

Originally Posted by Wesley84 View Post
She changes from setting to setting. Dramatically so. Naturally most people don't wear their hearts on their sleeves, but Sheryl's a stuck-up professional one minute, a bitch the next, and other times she's Alice in Wonderland. Not to mention the whole taking Ranka under her wing on a whim thing.
"Stuck-up professional" and "bitch" are very nearly synonymous.

The trick here is that she doesn't express two different emotions at the same instant in time. So yes, she is a pain to deal with when she's focused on something work related, even with people whom she likes. But that doesn't mean that she doesn't know how to have fun, either.

I don't think that she took Ranka under her wing on a whim. She heard Ranka sing before revealing her identity or doing anything to encourage her. Furthermore, she's been consistant in her assistance right through to the present. I don't think that Sheryl would have done it if she didn't genuinely believe that Ranka had the ability to make it big.

Originally Posted by Wesley84 View Post
She often seems very fake to me, both on and off the stage, and her gloating over the loss of the earring pretty much ruined my ability to take anything she says seriously.
For one thing, Sheryl was fretting over the earring well before she even had a clue who Saotome Alto was. So it seems unlikely that it's part of a complex plot to enslave him. Either that, or she has enough foresight to become ruler of all Britannia.

You have to realize that in giving the earring to Alto in episode six, she demonstrated a change in priorities. Prior to spending time with Alto, Sheryl had nobody whom she was truly close to. Those earrings were the lone link that she had to a mother that she never knew. In Alto, she finds a real person whom she can relate to, instead of a memento. In giving her "luck" to Alto, she's also showing how much she values his safe return. If Alto was killed, there would have been no getting that earring back either.

Had this been just a scheme on Sheryl's part to hold a trump over Alto, then there would be no reason for her to call it even so quickly. Sheryl understands Alto fairly well (as examples, note how easily she recognizes Alto's difficulties regarding the kiss scene in episode ten, and in how she is both concious and considerate of his reluctance to share his past). Alto would never accept simple forgiveness from Sheryl for losing the earring (which while she lost, she still saw Alto back safe and sound), given how stubborn Alto is about recieving concessions from anyone. Sheryl's simple demands give Alto an outlet by which he can overcome his own feelings of guilt. Note how simple the request is, in spite of all the teasing: all Alto needs to do is to share his passion for flying with Sheryl.

Originally Posted by Wesley84 View Post
That and the interview where she she was going to return to Galaxy and the concert where she said good-bye when she ended up not going anywhere. And the whole joining a piloting class, but then going on to shooting promotional videos and historical documentaries.
Sheryl didn't fully understand Galaxy's situation when she gave that interview. Given how Galaxy represents both her home and her ties to her roots, it's natural that she'd need to convince herself that everything was fine in order to have the strength to follow through with the concert.

Sheryl explains the reason for the promotional videos. She's not a soldier, so she can't directly fight to protect her homeland. But that doesn't mean that she can't fight in her own way, using her public status to draw attention to people in need.

This isn't mutually exclusive with her joy of flying, either. Even if she's doing photoshoots with military craft, that doesn't mean that she isn't learning how to fly civilian ones. As she mentions in episode nine, Sheryl also sees this as an opportunity to finally enjoy a normal school life. If she's experiencing school life, that means that she's taking classes. If she's taking classes, and she's enrolled in piloting, then she's taking the time to learn to pilot (i.e. characters are attending school even though we don't always see them do so).

Originally Posted by Wesley84 View Post
Mostly I don't like how overrated she's becoming. Sure, she was great in episode 5, but pretty crappy in the following ones, with the exception of the latest one where everyone's characterization was more in line with how they were in the early episodes.
Again, I don't know what's so different about the characterization in episode ten.

Sheryl seems to be a character to polarize people to either love or hate. Underrating a character is no better than overrating them. If you're interested in finding the truth to her character, then seek the middle ground. There are many things that I still don't understand about Sheryl's character, but those things can only be discovered by unearthing both her strengths and her weaknesses, without focusing exclusively on either. If you're really interested in doing that, perhaps you can help me resolve some of my own worries and concerns about Sheryl's character as well, in the process.

Last edited by Swampstorm; 2008-06-07 at 11:27.
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