22.05.2013 EDIT; Links are at the bottom, and have been updated.
16th of December. Do you know what’s special about this day?
Yes, it’s fictional character birthday again! Happy birthday Mitsurugi Meiya and Yuuhi!
I still remember freshly how I started reading Muv-Luv Extra a little over a year ago, and decided to follow Meiya’s route. She was there, somewhat ignorant and always forcing her presence unto you in a warm way but yet… she always had this motive, her own way of doing things and blowing everything up to nth scale. I really was in the Meiya camp from the start. I mean, if her firts confrontation with you is that she creeps to sleep next to you it spells pretty strong convictions.
Yet there was Sumika, the girl next door. Whereas Meiya really kept that one promise as the Red Thread of Fate between her and Takeru, even I humbly admit that yes, certain promises are impossible to keep when it comes to feelings. Meiya, as such, never realized how people are. Not until she entered the life of the common folk. Takeru lived his life without giving that promise a second thought, and his memory ultimately got mixed with memories of Sumika.
Memories are an important motif of Muv-Luv in general, even in Total Eclipse, but we’ll talk about Total Eclipse more when it ends. The fact that Takeru has forgotten a piece only tells that, well, memories are fragile and without holding them precious they crumble; turn into dust and ultimately vanish. Still, the same memory that crumbled within Takeru was a precious promise to Meiya, a promise she kept very close to her heart and went all out so this one measly man could keep his promise.
Outside Internet, in the real life, I try to keep my promises. Lately I haven’t been able for various reasons, and it eats me from inside. I hold promises in high regard, and I wish to never break them. So you can imagine how torn I was when I finally admitted to myself during Extra that this was a promise that could not be kept. What Meiya ultimately asked was something unreasonable with unreasonable methods, but she could never realize it. Not until she was there face to face with her greatest opponent; childhood friend.
Meiya as a character is easy to like. She’s a bit too perfect as an imaginative girlfriend with rich family and always there to do anything with her extravagant methods. She knows how to behave and has self-confidence more than a Fort-Class can carry. She’s your typical rich girl character, but her frailty and deeper characterization steps in when she begins to admit her faults that never were there to begin with. She can’t cook, mostly can’t even clean her own room and… she’s oblivious of real world.
Now put this on. You’ll want to listen to it
In the Other World where BETA exist, her character is whole and flawless, only coloured by the darkness she carries. In this world she is face to face with the grim reality, and there she stands as her unique self and not as a carbon copy of a trope. She might be an aristocrat, a sister to the Grand Shogun, but she holds a sword in her hand not to cut down imaginary demons; she is there to be the sword of her nation to cut down all that would threaten thelives of the people she loves. And yet the naivety is there, her certain obliviousness still sits there, but it concerns other matters.
I would call Meiya an imperfect sapphire, but perfect enough to be used as a crown jewel. But sometimes one has to leave a beautiful jewel as it is, and continue holding hands.
Then we have her ever-so graceful Yuuhi. In Extra she is dead, but in the Other World she is nothing short of the Grand Shogun herself, the nation and the people. Meiya and Yuuhi are ultimately like twin mirrors, reflecting the same properties but in a slightly different angle. Whereas Meiya stands firm and may voice her opinion loud and clear, Yuuhi dominates any room simply by her presence, controlling every movement of her body to say a thousand words, and her spoken words make all people, friends and enemies alike, listen and give weight what she says. She has the same naivety, the same unconditional love and the same level of boldness her sister has, but damn if she just makes your heart stop just by speaking softly to your ear.
Yuuhi’s personae doesn’t really come out that well in the original trilogy. As a Grand Shogun she makes the most difficult choices and makes the best out of them. She acknowledges any sides in a situation and weights them accordingly. She knows more than she lets anyone in to, and ultimately wills to sacrifice those who are needed to ensure that the needs of the many are met at the cost of the few.
Meiya and Yuuhi both are loving characters with their own drives. They both live in the cloud castles in world of fun and laughter, but in world where reality may eat your head just like that, both of them become a weapon for the people to wield.
It’s also Takeru’s birthday, but I’ve talked about him previously quite a lot, but never went too deep into Meiya and Yuuhi. About bloody time, I can hear somebody saying.
Trivia; Yuuhi is 18% more purple Mitsurugi than Meiya.