Immortality

Immortality

Phäzys:

There seems to be a recurring trend and fascination of “immortal girls”. Think about Micaiah in Fire Emblem, C.C. in Code Geass, Eureka in Eureka Seven or Nagi in Kannagi. There are different explanations each time–Micaiah is a laguz-human breed, living thousands of years and barely aging; C.C. is a geass-holder, so perfectly immortal; Eureka (although I’m not sure of this) is a Coral-human form, so she ages slower, and Nagi is a goddess. And this is not exclusive to Animé, think of Lord of the Rings–Arwen and Aragorn.

The main (male) character is able to fall in love with a girl who was their mother-figure in infancy (ex: C.C. and Mao), older-sister figure in childhood (ex: Sothé and Micaiah) , and lover starting youth onwards (ex: Eureka and Renton).

To be honest, having an ‘immortal girl’ lover is the ultimate ‘dream’. The girl never ages, and yet stays loyal to her lover for all eternity (until the guy dies–but in the case of Arwen, she’ll never fall in love again). Maybe its good to think of the girl being loyal, but more often than not in reality, if a girl would have immortality, I don’t think she would necessarily stay loyal…furthermore, the love isn’t able to develop, its always being ‘bolstered’ by the girl’s looks than by the girl’s character.

Of course, who am I to talk, I mean, I’m at the age where I should be meeting girls of “immortal” age.

Vendredi:

I think Jeka could tack on a whole bunch more examples (Hazuki from Moon Phase comes to mind) – he’s more well versed in this “magical girlfriend” genre. He’ll definitely weigh in on this discussion with editorial authority at some point, I’m betting. Others might include Horo, from Spice and Wolf, or, and I’m really, really dating myself here, Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess (or Oh! My Goddess, depending on your translation), which is arguably the first “magical girlfriend” type show (which implies of course there must be a boyfriend or at least male interest somewhere). Plus, there are many examples we could probably think of who just might be really long lived (or cloned) and technically not immortal.

Smirking at the Keikaku Dori waaaay before C.C.

Smirking at the Keikaku Dori waaaay before C.C.

Essentially, I think the greater trend that we might be getting at is what i’ve mentioned – the “magical girlfriend” trope, which is a few steps more fantastic than “surprise fiancee”. It’s not really that new of a trope either, I think – the immortal maiden (or seductress) – see Brunhilde, The Lady of the Lake, Circe, or Morgan(a) La Fey. I’d say the immortal (or at the very long-lived) woman is one type of “magical girlfriend”.

Often, as you note, there is an air of the supernatural about these women – C.C. in Code Geass, after all, is referred to as “the witch”. I think you’re spot on with the bit about these characters being able to play the mother-sister-daughter role simultaneosly, but I think also to extend that a little further I think the ‘special status’ of these women also exoticizes them to some extent.

As far as I can tell, there seems to be two general ends to the spectrum:

#1)  “Innocent” – I’m thinking Eureka, or Micaiah, Rei Ayanami (technically a clone, yes, but immortal enough), or non-kami mode Nagi. These characters are in some way naive about the world – their magical nature is such that they have very little real-world experience and are therefore dependent on the male lead, in spite of their powers.

#2) “Experienced” – C.C. is a good example, kami-mode Nagi, Belldandy, or Horo. Here the immortality/powers of the character are such that they are vastly more powerful or savvy than the male lead, and act as a foil, advisor, or mediating presence.

Note that characters might exhibit a mix of both traits, or a character might change from one archetype to the other – they’re just very loose ends on a spectrum. Nagi, for example, exhibits traits from both sides depending on which personality she’s manifesting.

And boy, now that I’m reading it again I realize how much innuendo this has…

fisharson:

I just wanted to add a couple more magical/immortal girls that came to mind. Shinku (or any other doll) from Rozen Maiden, though not necessarily immortal. Lam/Lum/Lamu from Urusei Yatsura. And of course, Shana from Shakugan no Shana.

Jeka:

Granted the fact that 25% of the anime I’ve watched has been dedicated to the ‘magical girlfriend’ or ‘immortal girl’ genre, I can give a few examples . Louise from Zero no Tsukaima, Kyouran from Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, all the girls from Chaos;HEAd, Hime from Kaibutsu Oujo, Saber and Rin from Fate/Stay Night, Ayako from Mamoru-kun ni Megami no Shukufuku wo!, the ever so popular Haruhi from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and finally Lala from ToLove-Ru. There are probably more that I’ve seen, but those are the ones that I can list off the top of my head.

To be honest though, I can’t really contribute anything new to this discussion, other than agreeing on what Vendredi said already. The topic of “immortal girls” is a genre that has been used and re-used over and over again. I’m guessing this attributes to man’s desire for a eternally perfect, beautiful and ageless woman.

Though I can’t contribute much, I can give some points of why I myself the majority of people love them.

  • Surprise fiance/girlfriend usually follows.
  • Immortal girls are usually tsundere
  • Immortal girls are magical. *wink*
  • In case you didn’t get it, there is much innuendo to be had with immortal girls.
  • Immortal girls are usually tsundere

PS: Touhou has 90+ immortal girls. =D

~Jeka

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