Galactic Fairy

Welcome! This is a one page shrine, or one page fansite, to Sheryl Nome, a character from the Macross Frontier animated franchise. This site contains information, images, and commentary about the character all in one long page. Use the menu below to quick jump to any section.

Macross Frontier consists of a tv series, movie series, multiple graphic novel lines, and video games. Due to space constraints, discussion will be limited to the two movies, Macross Frontier: False Songstress and Macross Frontier: Wings of Goodbye, which are revised adapations of the original storyline and can stand alone. If you cannot invest the time to see the whole tv series, try the movies. Warning: There are frequent, unmarked story spoilers for both tv and film on this page.

:: Table of Contents ::
Profile of Sheryl NomeIntroduction to her world and backstory.
The False Songstress Events of the first film, where the love triangle is established.
The Wings of Goodbye Events of the second film, where revelations test her resolve.
Image Gallery Select pictures from visual collections and prequel manga.
A Willful Personality How Sheryl's past shaped a consistent personality and drive.
The Love Triangle Why the resolution of triangular had to occur.
Alto Saotome The man who effortlessly won Sheryl's affection and loyalty.
Ranka Lee The acolyte and friend that Sheryl wanted to protect.
Deconstructing Cliches Analyzing her most common personality points of controversy.
Singing Voice Building an idol singer, both in reality and in character.
Avatars & Icons 100 x 100 Sheryl-themed icons for use on forums and blogs.
Links Out Website information, linkback buttons, and exits.

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character and background

Name: Sheryl Nome
Other Names: Galactic Fairy, Fairy 9
Age: 17
Birthday: November 23
Horoscope: Sagittarius
Hometown: Macross Galaxy
Occupation: Singer
Guardian/Manager: Grace O'Connor

In the Macross Frontier world, humanity is spread out on several enormous space colony fleets. Transportation though space is done through fold waves, teleportation technology that is used by both humans and aliens. Sheryl is from the colony fleet Galaxy, which is described to be very cosmopolitan. Perhaps Galaxy would be comparable to the real city of Los Angeles, whereas Frontier, the location of the story, is comparable to San Francisco, in both appearance and culture. Political relations between Frontier and Galaxy are strained, so much so that each has a vile reputation on the other. Despite this, Sheryl arrives at Frontier with an open mind, eager to explore Frontier and entertain her Frontier-based fans.

Sheryl is an established pop singer who is successful in multiple colony fleets. Her childhood was initially spent as an orphan on the streets of Galaxy. In the manga Kiss in the Galaxy, it is shown that her parents opposed oppressive government policies and were killed for it. Grace O'Conner picked Sheryl from the streets to groom her for Vajra/fold wave experimentation. Sheryl was groomed, since then, to be a famous singer. As a person infected with Vajra cells, Sheryl's singing has the ability to produce faint fold waves, which are used in communication with Vajra. Her abilities are not as strong as Ranka's, so she uses fold quartz crystals to amplify them. Because of these V-cells, she is also cursed with a V-Type infection that is slowly killing her.

False Songstress

itsuwaru no utahime

The first movie, Macross Frontier: The False Songstress, starts the retelling of the tv series story. We first see Sheryl briefly as she arrives on Frontier, stating her intenting to give a good show for her fans there. She briefly runs into Alto & company and expresses blunt concerns about their participation in her opening concert. Her first concert is a stunning performance of "Universal Bunny", with an impromptu stunt that reunites her with Alto. The show is halted as there is an attack on Frontier by Vajra aliens. Sheryl and Alto were thrown off into the chaotic streets from a nearby explosion. Sheryl watches as Alto battled a Vajra. She is retrieved by Brera, an agent of Galaxy, soon after.

Sheryl tracks down Alto in the park and meets Ranka for the first time. She is called away, but meets with Alto another day to find her missing earring, an earring that hold her emotions. Sheryl and Alto spend the day wandering the city to the soundtrack of "Pink Monsoon", wheeling through a nature reserve, and talking beside a lake. They go to a shopping mall of sorts and discover Ranka there singing her first street live. Before departing, Sheryl kisses Alto on the cheek good-bye.

Sheryl later arranges to meet Alto at the park again. She runs into Ranka instead. They discuss a common song of unknown origin ("aimo"). As the two chase after Ranka's pet, Alto arrives. He mistakes their chase as an attack on Ranka because the SMS suspects Sheryl of being a spy from Galaxy. He physically knocks her to the ground, but learns the truth from Ranka. Naturally, Sheryl is upset and leaves. The next day, Alto finds earring and absorbs memories of Sheryl's childhood in poverty. He comes to her concert staging area to make amends. There, Grace and the SMS officers arrive as well. The Galaxy fleet was attacked by Vajra recently; their SOS calls to Frontier were ignored. Sheryl hires the SMS as her private army and sends to them help save Galaxy.

Sheryl's revenge concert kicks off with a performance of "Diamond Crevasse" on a waterfront ship/stage. The concert is stopped as the Vajra at Galaxy migrate their attack to Frontier. After Ranka is captured, Sheryl charges on to keep singing. Her song, "Oblisk", is broadcasted through the city, giving hope to civilians. Ranka is saved and taken to Sheryl's stage, where they engage a duet until the end of the battle. Their songs creates mysterious waves that affect the aliens above, but will not be explained until the next film. Afterwards, Sheryl stands on stage, staring at falling snow, grateful and happy that she is not alone.

Wings of Goodbye

sayonara no tsubasa

The second movie, Macross Frontier: The Wings of Goodbye, provides plot twists and the end to the love triangle. It opens with an incredibly elaborate Sheryl Nome concert performance of "Forbidden Elixir". Ranka meets Sheryl after the show, and the SMS are still on contract with Sheryl. It is revealed that Sheryl is suffering secretly a V-Type virus infection. Grace reminds Sheryl that she could live be either becoming a cyborg or harvesting Ranka's organs, which have an immunity to the virus. Some think Sheryl contemplates the option to kill Ranka, but it's clear Sheryl refused, otherwise she would have agreed to it already.

After Alto is injured in battle, Sheryl rushes to see him at the hosiptal. She stays there cutting apples and providing conversation. On the hospital rooftop, Sheryl pleads with Alto to quit flying as she is scared for his safety. Meanwhile, Grace and her bosses attempt a quiet takeover of Frontier as a video of Sheryl's "Diamond Crevasse" plays. It fails. The Frontier military arrive at the hospital to arrest Sheryl for espionage. Her earring is revealed to be fold quartz, a special crystal that amplifies her song waves, which have communication and teleportation properties connected to the Vajra. She is treated as a military spy in wartime, and sentenced to death.

Sheryl sits in prison, slowing dying from the virus and writing song lyrics on the wall wth her own blood. Meanwhile, Frontier's government is planning to use Galaxy council's technology for themselves and adopt the latter's plan to control Vajra through fold quartz. SMS (including Alto and Ranka) decide to jailbreak their client Sheryl and stop the Frontier government. They stage a concert at the prison as a diversion. The triangle's underground escape is complicated by an explosive battle between Brera and Ozma Lee. Sheryl is sucked out to space after pushing Ranka back to safety.

Flashback time! When Alto was young and on the kabuki stage, there was little girl with pink hair sitting in the audience with Grace. She was starstruck by his performance and brought him flowers backstage, raving his performance as an angel dancing in the sky. As Alto walked away in an nonchalant manner, the girl proclaimed that she was going to shake the galaxy with her singing in the future. That little girl was Sheryl Nome, who first inspired Alto to fly, and who he had forgotten meeting until then. Sheryl had remembered all along.

Sheryl wakes up in city rubble, saved from space by Ranka's pet. She reunites with Grace, now free of the implant Galaxy used to control her, encourages Sheryl to sing again. Alto flies by to pick up Sheryl and take her to the main stage for a duet with Ranka. Their song fold waves play a crucial part in the final battle involving several different military factions. At the end, Alto makes a choice, telling Ranka that he can't return her feelings and telling Sheryl that he loves her, before disappearing in a fold with the Vajra Queen.

After the battle, Sheryl has slipped into a coma, having exerted her sick body too far while singing. Despite a blood transfusion from Ranka to pass on her antibodies, Sheryl has not been awake since the last battle. As Ranka stands on the new planet, watching humanity rebuild anew, she believes that one day Alto will return and Sheryl will be revived.

image gallery

select pictures from artbooks and manga

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A Willful Personality

how the past shaped her

If there is one word to describe Sheryl, it would be willpower. Due to her difficult childhood, Sheryl understood very early on the value of hard work, and the danger of ignorance in one's surroundings.

Both Grace and the Galaxy council have acknowledged that Sheryl's strength is her willpower - she is able to become motivated by both joy and sorrow. People who blessed with support have the luxury to be depressed in difficult times. Sheryl did not have that luxury. She lived in poverty as an orphan, and when she was taken in by Grace, she knew that she had to earn her sponsorship as their experiment (codenamed "Fairy 9"). Otherwise, she would be homeless and alone once more. From the fact that her parents died through their protest of government policies, Sheryl also learned that someone who causes too much trouble can be stripped of their lives. Thus, she learned to excel at her job so that she could survive. She is constantly thinking of new song material and creating innovative performance stunts (like falling and placing booster jets in her skirt as a safety measure). Sheryl has trained herself to do this so vigoriously that she continues to write lyrics in her own blood when she is imprisoned.

Sheryl's occupational story is a bit unique as well. A very insightful comment occurs when she discusses her passion with Alto in the rooftop scene in Wings of Goodbye. She says, "I used to sing to live. Now I live to sing." That says a lot. It shows that she originally complied with the pop star plan laid out for her because she had no other choice. After a lifetime of hard work, Sheryl grew to love the adrenaline rush of performing and the impact she has on fans. The burden never left her though. When Ranka comes to visit Sheryl in prison, confronting her on her identity as a spy, Sheryl exclaims, "Don't force your fantasies on me! I'm no fairy, I'm just an ordinary, lowly human!" This outburst reveals how, despite her remarkable success, she is always aware of her debt to Galaxy and the inability to escape that situation.

She is aware of Galaxy's plan. She does what she has to in order to stay alive, but she does not willingly collaborate more than what is necessary. When Grace suggests harvesting Ranka's organs to give Sheryl immunity to the V-Type virus, it may seem as if Sheryl contemplates this option. However, it's clear that Sheryl would not accept it. The conversation plays out like one that has been done many times before, with Grace trying new reasons to persuade Sheryl on an offer that Sheryl has already turned down. It is possible that one reason Sheryl throws herself into her work is so that she can distract herself from the deliberations of her employers, as well as the reality of her limited lifeline as Fairy 9.

Love Triangle

relationships between the main three

The Macross series is infamous for their love triangles, a tradition that mirrors Macross' consistent storyline pillars of war, music, and romance. In Macross Frontier, the triangle is made up of Alto, Sheryl, and Ranka. Sheryl is held back by her denial, Ranka is held back by her doubt, and Alto is indecisive. The tv series leaves the triangle an open-ended question, with Alto saying that he needs both of them, and the girls agreeing to be rivals.

One theory for this lack of a resolution was that the show's plans conflicted with the franchise's organic development. In the beginning, Ranka seemed like a guaranteed win. She dominated marketing and was the icon of the show, beloved by the creators themselves. Later, Sheryl and Alto's relationship grew so close that it would be difficult to have Alto easily dismiss her. Sheryl started to excel in merchandising and general popularity as well. The creators then pulled an Alto and left the ultimate question unanswered, finding it too hard to chose as well.

Thank goodness the movies resolved that! With a new version of events, the story could be molded so that a decision by Alto would be reasonable at the end, without being unfair to either girls. At the end of Wings of Goodbye, Alto chose Sheryl. He told Ranka that he could not return her feelings, "but thank you". He then apologized to Sheryl for being late on this: "aishiteru" (I love you). The last word started fading out half way, due a fold portal starting, but listening and watching Alto mouth the syllables makes it unmistakable.

Being a Sheryl fan, you'd think that I wanted him to end up with Sheryl. However, I was just rooting for a decision, any decision, even if that decision favored Ranka, or even if Alto decided to marry his mech and run away. As quaint and charming as those "everyone lives together in harmony" endings are, love triangles and harems need their star to make a proper choice at the end. Having a harem-style ending where everyone is comfortable is unpractical and disrespectful to the suitors/ladies sharing one person. Both Ranka and Sheryl are great, and no one should expect either one to suffer through unrequited love for longer than they already have.

Leaving a love triangle unresolved also sends a poor message to young viewers. In reality, complex romantic situations typically end in one of two ways: (1) get to a breaking point where someone makes a stand, or (2) fade away due to the mutual inaction and everyone walks away unsatisfied. The first result is usually better because it ties up loose ends, even though someone will be heart broken for a bit. Young viewers need to see a resolution to learn to be honest and proactive in their affairs. The youth can also learn a valuable lesson even if their favorite character is not chosen. Love is not always requited, in stories and in real life. Seeing a triangle end unfavorably is helpful if the viewer learns that everyone must and can move on from rejection in a healthy manner at some point.

Alto Saotome

the love interest and decision maker

Alto and Sheryl make a suitable match because they understand eachother's values and character. This comprehension counts for a lot, possibly more than the two other important qualities in a relationship - commonality (because people change often) and support (because a person's internal motivation is key). They are both seasoned performers in their fields. They understand the abilities and burdens of a performer, but also their passions. A scene from Wings of Goodbye exemplifies this. Sheryl asks, "Why do you fly?", and Alto responds, "Why do you sing?". Thanks to this common career history, despite having wildily different personalities, they share a mutual understanding of how the other is wired.

One of the reasons Alto can not conclude the immediate love triangle with the girls is that Alto is wrapped within his own personal dilemma: acting versus flying. Acting is his old live. He excelled at it and it became a significant part of his life. Although he rejected that path and is trying to distance himself from acting, it's always hard letting go of a big part of one's identity. Flying is his new passion. However, despite his larger interest in flying, there many things that preventing him from fully accepting it - conflicting feelings about acting, his dissent with the ideals of military life, and the hardship of becoming a novice again (especially when you used to be a star in your field).

Through discussions with Sheryl, a person who has a good understanding of her reasons for singing, Alto gains clarity on occupational passion. Not only did Sheryl help Alto recognize his passion for flying in the present, a flashback reveals that she inspired him to fly long before the current storyline. Once Alto sorted out his feelings in his own internal crisis, he was able to make a decision on the external love triangle with Ranka and Sheryl as well.

Ranka Lee

the little queen that holds Sheryl's fondness

Ranka is technically Sheryl's rival in love, but Sheryl never treats her with contempt. A person of keen observation, Sheryl noticed Ranka's affections early on and even disclosed it to Alto, possibly to assess any requited feelings, before making a move on Alto. Ranka also learned of Sheryl's interest upon witnessing a kiss, but her adoration for Sheryl as a idol role model was not changed. Both recognize that it is ultimately Alto's decision who to love, and that dilemma can be kept seperate from the girls' friendship. A very mature mentality. It's no wonder that some fans love to ship the girls together rather than with Alto.

Ranka and Sheryl are vastly different singers in several ways. The most obvious difference is their choice in image. Sheryl tends to be a Madonna of her world, always reinventing herself using various risque themes. Ranka has a consistently youthful and cute element (aka moe) that comes naturally from her own energy. The other difference is each person's reason for singing. Ranka genuinely likes the act of singing itself. It's fun to her. She isn't drawn to the exhibitionist nature of singing or the fame, but accepts it as a normal part of the industry. Sheryl, on the other hand, starting singing out of necessity. This is what she was saved from the streets for. As she told Alto at the hospital, she later grew to love the performance art aspect. Sheryl's love for of singing is actually a pride in all the hard work she put into her career and a celebration of her practiced skill. Perhaps Sheryl is so fond of Ranka because she sees a pure love of the art, untainted by Sheryl's own difficult past.

One last item of significance between these two are that they both at opposite parts of their personal development. Ranka's story is a more traditional one. It's a heroic journey. She is at the beginning of developing an identity, the long journey of discovering aspect of oneself and mustering the bravery to follow through. Ranka's growth is more relatable to most viewers. Sheryl, on the other hand, has already established her identity. She knows who she is, what her strengths and weaknesses are, what she wants, and how she gets that. Her personal dilemma is much different - she is learning how to cope with her life in the long-term and facing the mortality of her identity. Once you figure out your life, how do you stay happy in the face of adversity?

As you can see, there is much more behind Ranka and Sheryl's relationship than the love triangle.

Deconstructing Cliches

explaining her points of controversy

Alternative header: "Why Sheryl Nome is Not a Bitch". Sometimes Sheryl gets pegged as a bitch, or at least some sort of diva. Looking at her actions, she doesn't fall into these simiplified categories. The branding of Sheryl is the result of unusual expectations placed on her character due to relative comparison with Ranka and females in general anime - something I think of as "anime goggles."

Self-Assured versus Self-Absorbed. As the two female leads, Sheryl and Ranka are often mistakenly viewed as two opposite ends of a spectrum. If taken as an antithesis of Ranka, it's easy to automatically think Sheryl is wild and selfish next to Ranka's demure character. However, it is not a matter of opposite personalities. Their difference in choices stem from their varied backgrounds, upbringings, and levels of personal experience. They have many similiar values and actions, but they're dealing with different stages of their development.

Sheryl shows many unselfish actions. One such instance would be in the second movie when she pushes Ranka safely away from a vacuum of space, at the expense of her own life. That was a concious choice, acknowledging Ranka's risk in her jailbreak, as shown by her hesistation and eventual tears. Another instance is her decision to hire the SMS in the first movie to defend Galaxy, using her own Vega Black card. After Frontier intentionally violated calls for help from Galaxy, Sheryl would have been justified in anger, but insteads moves quickly to hire the private army with her own money to do a job they should have done anyway.

Pride versus Arrogance. Viewer perception of Sheryl also suffers due to a underlying schema of anime females that has developed from watching mainstream anime. When Sheryl was in Newtype's Top Ten female character rankings, the majority of the rankings were of wide-eyed, moeblob type girls. While there is indeed a diverse set of mature female characters in anime, Japan's value of youth results in an abundance of cute-type characters. Sheryl's first impressions are a contrast to this and the contrast exaggerates her personality.

Sheryl may be a woman who goes after what she wants, but she doesn't act entitled or fame-hungry. When she first meets Alto, she has harsh words regarding the credibility of her back-up flyers. It's true that she demands a lot of others, but she also demands a lot from herself. matters related to her concert are a legitimate concern for a dedicated professional. Furthermore, she establishes a loose mentorship with Ranka (more so in the tv series than the movie) and vocalizes her gratitude to those who spend time with her.

Tsun tsun and dere dere. Tsundere is a beloved character archetype describing a person who runs hot and cold. Generally, it's a female who is initially hostile (cold) and later lovey dovey (hot). Sheryl does not fit the typical cold-to-hot model of a tsundere. She is fairly bubbly to Alto during their first private conversation after their flight at her Frontier concert. This friendly nature is in place during their first outing exploring Frontier as well. Sheryl does not fit into the typical hot-to-cold model either. Any anger that she expressed towards Alto later were natural reactions to conflict, such as her repulsion of Alto after he knocked her down in the park. Later in her relationship with Alto, she experiences no internal conflict about expressing her feelings for him, such as by asking him not to endanger his life anymore or the small act of peeling apples for him.

Overall, Sheryl the tsundere bitch is merely a caricature of the real Sheryl. She is not as severely arrogant or aggressive as she appears to be; this is a delusion created by the contrast to her co-star. She is not a typical tsundere, as she lacks the indecision and volatile nature that has become characteristic of one. These are ideas of Sheryl that distort the true essense of her character by creating easily digestable archetypes for viewers.

Singing Voice

the person that brings her to life

May'n is the singing voice of Sheryl Nome. Along with Yoko Kanno (the show's music composer) and Megumi Nakajima (the singing voice behind Ranka), the three bring Macross Frontier's entertainment to life by performing the show's soundtrack at Macross-themed concerts. Born in October 1989 as May Nakabayashi, she created the stage name May'n to appeal to a broader, international audience. Her stunt as Sheryl Nome catapulted her career. After playing the Galactic Fairy, May'n cut her hair short and adopted a different aesthetic style, while maintaining her general stype of pop music. At the time of writing, May'n has gone on to perform numerous lives in Japan (including 2 solo concerts at Budokan), an Asia tour, and a world tour.

In 2010, I attended a Macross Frontier concert at an animation expo in Los Angeles. The show consisted of a solo portion by May'n, another solo portion by Megumi Nakajima, duets by both, and a surprise appearance by Yoko Kanno. Both ladies did a great job of portraying the personalities of their Macross counterparts. To match Sheryl's stage presense, May'n was fierce, engaging with the crowd, and slightly flirtatious. Their fashion sense was to be Macross-inspired, rather than Macross-cosplay. This was a good marketing move because the singers would still be establishing their careers and unique identities after their collaboration with the series is done.

Avatars & Icons

100 x 100 graphics for your use

These are 100 x 100 icons available for you to download and use. Credit is appreciated. Please do not direct link - you must right-click and "Save Image as" to save the image to your own hard drive first.

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Links Out

website information and other sites

This website was built in July 2012. It was written and designed by Ava at Wild-Seven.Org. Graphics resources used in this layout came from Minitokyo, 99Mockingbirds, Crazy Kira, and Narcotic Please. Link banners were made by Ava, Sarah, and Sofia. To contact Ava, you can either send an email or leave a comment on her update blog.

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