Friendship

constellations, please guide me

I want to survive.
I want to survive.
I still can't stop wanting to live.
Guided by the constellations, our eyes met.

Friendship is a very important thing to Ranka—here are the ones I deemed to be the most important.

Nanase

Nanase or “Nana-chan”, is Ranka’s #1 fan. She is first introduced as Ranka’s co-worker at Nyan-Nyan, a friend who congratulates her on getting tickets to Sheryl Nome’s debut Macross Frontier show. Nanase’s love for Ranka can be a little overbearing at times, but she is kind, caring, and only wants the best for her friend. She is the only character who supports Ranka’s musical career from the very beginning, even before Sheryl and Alto. She is constantly encouraging Ranka to follow her dreams.

Being a cheerleader doesn’t always mean cheering from the sidelines and being nice, though. Nanase is sometimes more upfront and confrontational than Ranka is, standing up for her when no one else will, or more specifically, when Ranka doesn’t stand up for herself. She is often seen trying to divert Alto’s attention from Sheryl, and nagging Ranka to spend more time with Alto before “Sheryl steals him away”. In this regard she can be seen as kind of pushy and a bit overbearing, but she has Ranka’s best interests at heart.

Even when Nanase and Ranka don’t spend a lot of time together later in the series, mainly due to Ranka’s busy schedule, Nanase is always thinking of and fretting over Ranka. She is always concerned for the well being of her precious friend, even when they’re far apart or don’t talk much. As art art student, she even paints a beautiful portrait of Ranka—depicting her as some kind of angel or goddess.

Mikael

Mikael is somewhat of an older brother figure to Ranka—despite being resident playboy, he does concern himself very deeply with Ranka and her doings, probably because of his close relationship with her brother, Ozma Lee. It also might help that the two eventually become classmates, and before that he was Nanase’s classmate as well.

Mikael’s relationship with Ranka is a lot different than Ranka’s relationship with Ozma. He is a stern figure in Ranka’s life that is constantly pushing her and questioning her selfish actions when no one else will. When the two run into each other at the mall, after Ranka has stormed out on Ozma for not accepting her step into an idol career, he questions whether or not she can truly achieve her dreams.

Mikael: Can you sing here, right now? Here, where no one has come to see you sing? There was someone singing at the entrance and even you walked right by him. Do you have the determination to keep singing in that kind of situation?

To his surprise, she does actually sing and draws quote the crowd.

Mikael also sits in Ranka’s corner regarding Alto, and is always pushing him to answer both Ranka and Sheryl’s feelings, often pushing him to make a decision. More than likely due to the fact that he has his own feelings of love he never really gets to confess until it’s far too late, and doesn’t want the same to happen to Alto. It could also just be that he doesn’t want Ranka especially to be led on by someone who has no intention of following through.

Sheryl

Sheryl is Ranka’s idol—her number one person that she looks up to and wants to be like. Though their relationship evolves from idol and fan to rivals in both love and music, a deep and personal friendship remains at its core, and perhaps even a little more. It is Sheryl’s encouragement that pushes Ranka to follow her dreams in the first place, it is Sheryl that pushes Ranka to follow through with her feelings for Alto, and it is Sheryl that pushes her to go further in her idol career.

While Ranka admires Sheryl for her singing and her beauty, the biggest thing she admires is Sheryl’s confidence and will power. For a shy and withdrawn girl like Ranka, that’s not surprising. And when she finds out the woman she had been giving directions to was in fact Sheryl Nome, she is beside herself. That a woman as amazing as Sheryl Nome found her company pleasing, that her idol enjoyed her company and encouraged her to put herself out there was more than enough willpower for Ranka to finally follow her dreams.

Though their relationships soon evolves into rivalry due to both of them having an interest in Alto, they are never cross or mean to each other, which I think is a really big thing to mention. “All is fair in love and war,” comes to mind, but with a different meaning than most would attest to it. “Fair” is this instance not meaning that ‘anything goes’, but rather:

legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules:
a fair fight.

The two never grow to hate each other, they never grow to despise the other, though jealousy is definitely something that bounces back and forth between the two throughout the series. Ranka is jealous of Sheryl’s boldness with Alto, while Sheryl is jealous of the attention Alto gives Ranka, and later, grows jealous of her booming idol career while she remains stagnant and tied to a bed.

When Grace becomes Ranka’s new manager, Sheryl is furious and confronts Grace, only to learn that she will soon die. Ranka’s ability to fight against the Vajra with her song instills massive jealousy in Sheryl, who cannot even move from bed without feeling faint. Why can’t her music do that? Why is she dying? What is happening? These are all questions Sheryl surely has, and legitimately so. But I do not believe she is ever once angry with Ranka. Jealous indefinitely, but never angry.

When Ranka seeks answers to her unanswered questions of her past and leaves Frontier, Sheryl is suddenly confronted with the fact that though she may be dying, the closer she is to death the more powerful her songs could potentially affect the Vajra. Becoming Macrosss Frontiers new Songstress of Hope, replacing Ranka’s old title, the jealousy fades and turns into concern for the young girl.

After reaching the conclusion of the series, Alto declares both songstresses his wings, and the two both vow to fight as hard as they can for Alto’s affections.