Just in case you didn't already know, Macross Frontier is FULLY AWESOME. Also, Sheryl > Ranka. I have a feeling I was supposed to like Ranka more, but I liked Sheryl Nome better from wire to wire.
There's a reason why Sheryl Nome is the Best Girl in Macross Frontier: She's a God damn superstar. Minmay was incredibly popular, but she never got to establish herself in a big market. It's been years since I've watched Macross Plus, but I remember Sharon Apple being cold, distant, and artificial. (Well, yeah.) Fire Bomber was pretty big in Macross 7, but never managed to come across as more than a glorified garage band. Sheryl Nome, however, plays in The Show.
Sheryl is the big time. She leaves people awestruck and she's eminently self-aware. Plus she surrounds herself with flunkies of dubious character like any good superstar. And she appropriately underscores the caveat that the brightest star burns briefest. I've commented before that ol' Miss Macross Lynn Minmay could still knock 'em dead years later in Flashback 2012. Minmay never flamed out, and never faded away. Her songs matured as she matured. (At least the Cho Jiku Yosai Minmay did—the Robotech Minmei...not so much.) Sheryl Nome, on the other hand, crashed and burned. She had to re-invent herself the hard way: from the fetal position at the bottom of a lake while depth charges exploded around her. (Wait....)
Ranka's popularity? Bah. I blame hippie moe politics. Final tally: Sheryl > Clan Clang > Clan Clang > Grace > Nanase > Ranka. And I'm not just saying that because of Sheryl's ridiculous outfits. Or her moon boobs.
Just so you know, Sheryl Nome isn't just the Best Girl in Macross Frontier, she's also the Best Girl in Macross Fufonfia. Haven't heard of it? Macross Fufonfia is a bunch of shorts with the cast of Macross Frontier as office ladies. It's supposed to be SD, but Klan Klan looks exactly the same.
The Macross Frontier folks should have just squeezed Nanase into a Buster Machine. Clear that Vajra problem right up.
Actually, I heard Nanase's character was retconned out of existence entirely for the first Frontier movie, The False Diva, alas. Does this mean the only character to wear the Neo Nyan Nyan waitress outfit is Ranka? That's no good.