As someone who is known for being Team Ranka I can say with honesty that Sheryl wasn't my favorite character right off the bat. At the beginning of Macross Frontier it's easy to write her off as a super arrogant bitch (pardon my French) and you can bet that as a Ranka fan I spent a good portion of the early series disliking her a good amount! However, as we come to learn more about her throughout the series, Sheryl is really much more than meets the eye. She's incredibly passionate and confident in herself: she's got a dream and nothing would make her back down from chasing it. With her beauty, talent and drive, she's someone that any woman would aspire to be.
Though she's certainly got all of her "charm" in the series itself, where I really fell in love with Sheryl's character was during the two Macross movies: Itsuwari no Utahime and Sayonara no Tsubasa. These were basically "retellings" of the original 25 episode anime and in my opinion, paint Sheryl in a much more likable light. Where the series follows Ranka's Cinderella story, the movies highlight Sheryl's struggle from a starving orphan on the streets of the Galaxy Fleet to her rise to stardom as the Galactic Fairy. Her story is incredibly empowering and her inner-strength and fortitude truly shine in Sayonara no Tsubasa especially. If you've seen the series but not the movies, I highly recommend them! Particularly if you are one who didn't enjoy her character in the series... movie!Sheryl is much more fleshed out, and is an incredibly beautiful and inspiring character. (And you can see Sheryl do super intense things, like write lyrics in her own blood!)
I met you, the stars sparkled, and I was born.
I love you, therefore I am.
Personality aside, Sheryl's music is probably some of the best in the Macross Franchise. Macross Frontier introduced me to what is now one of my favorite female artists: May'n, the singing voice of Sheryl! She's a complete diamond in the rough and a joy to see on stage; I'm so proud of how she's grown as an artist since her work with Macross Frontier. I've had the pleasure to see her live twice (once at Anime Expo, and another time during her Rock Your Beats Tour in LA) and meet her—I don't think I understood the meaning of "starstruck" until I met May'n! (I had to fight back tears shaking her hand... it was really gross.) She really breathes passion and love into Sheryl's music and to this day it's still really hard for me to not get teary eyed listening to her music.
In retrospect, I have a really deep connection with Sheryl and Macross Frontier in general as I spent a few good years really dedicated to the fandom, even outside of the site-building realm. I traveled for Frontier concerts, I met one of my best online friends thanks to our passion for Macross, and I even did a group cosplay a few years ago. It's a series that's really near and dear to my heart, not simply because I love the story, characters, and music, but because it was a story that so many of my close friends celebrated with me. I think the anime that really mean something to me are the ones I enjoyed with others: and I have such amazing memories of laughing and crying with friends as the tale of Macross Frontier unfolded before us.
Part of what I grew to love so much about Sheryl over those years, is that despite all of the beauty and power she exudes, she's "human" and has weaknesses and insecurities just like the rest of us. To me, her character is proof that even though you may struggle with problems in your life, you can be confident and face the world with strength: and your friends and loved ones will be there to give you the ol' slap in the face when you need it.