to my biggest inspiration
Ranka’s evolution of determination throughout the series is something that has vastly influenced me, so I’d like to take some time to write about my personal experiences with it.
As someone who is very similar to Ranka, re: shy and somewhat timid, someone who doesn’t really stand out—I find it very easy to relate to Ranka and her story. Her growth throughout the series gave old teenage me the hope that I too could change and evolve and become a stronger person. I was around 18 to 19 when the series first aired, making a lot of my experiences pretty old—I have vastly changed since I first watched the series, perhaps partly due to the encouragement and inspiration I found in Ranka and characters like her.
One of my biggest inspirations was seeing Ranka branch out of her shy blob of a shell and into someone with confidence. Though she started off being full of self doubt, and always needing reassurance that she’s helping people, she eventually branches out of that persona. She stops doubting herself, she stops doing everything out of the need to make others (especially the people she loved) happy. Her departure from Frontier really stood out to me because it was the first decision she made that essentially hurt Alto—but she, for once, listened to what she wanted and went after her own desires. Though that didn’t end the greatest, it was still something really inspiring to me.
I have struggled with self doubt, depression, and self hatred for a very long time. Hell, I still do. Some days I can barely roll out of bed without thinking I’m not needed, but seeing a character like Ranka rise above all that and learn to love and trust herself is a huge testament to me. Seeing a character like her with friends that would give the world for her is amazing. While I have reached a point in my life where I’m incredibly happy with the friends I do have, I struggled for a long time on my own. The hope that one day I too would have friends that love and support me and slap my ass into gear was what kept me going a lot of the days. While it was not just Ranka that gave me this hope, it was Ranka that originally sparked it. It’s thanks to her that I was given hope to overcome my sadness.
Additionally, it was Ranka’s courage to confess her feelings and fight for Alto that gave me strength to do the same. While it may not have always wound up with a happy ending, I do not regret gathering the courage to confess my feelings to the people I have loved in my time. Some of them were not worth my time, while others gave me the feedback I deserved. Being rejected is always hard, but putting my feelings out there was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I don’t like putting my true feelings out for others to see because I’ve been burned a lot, but I try not to regret ever doing it despite how bad it does burn sometimes. Ranka was the original spark that gave me that strength. Some of that strength has blossomed very beautiful relationships, including the one I’m currently in.
Overall, Ranka’s determination and strength to grow has in part made me into the person I am today, and she continues to be a constant inspiration, even if I do get into new characters.