Twelve Moments in Anime 2010 No. 2 – Mamiina’s Haircut
If Planetes was the best series I saw for the first time this year, then Simoun was the second best. A complex story, fascinating world and amazing characters made for a fantastic series. And of them all, Mamiina is my favorite.
She’s initially off-putting, but it didn’t take me long to identify with her journey because it is tied so inextricably to the social problems that exist in Simoun‘s world. Mamiina has to work so hard and take advantage of so few opportunities to get where she is (and she’s still viewed as a lesser person despite this) that it’s not difficult to see why she has such a chip on her shoulder in her interactions with Roatreamon (even though it is not totally deserved). But Mamiina is an ultimately good, kind person, as she shows in her interactions with her fellow Sibyllae. And she has a lot of empathy for those similar to herself, as she shows with her final act.
During a battle, Mamiina and Neviril crash onto an enemy ship; Mamiina is OK, but Neviril is unconscious. They’re surrounded by enemy priests who surprisingly reveal themselves to be sympathetic to the Sibyllae. The priests help Mamiina and Neviril to escape, but as they are leaving, Mamiina realizes the priests will be executed for their actions. Mamiina then makes sure Neviril is safe, cuts off part of her hair (the classic symbol of change) and then jumps off the Simoun to join the priests. She’s certain to die along with the priests, but Mamiina cannot let them die alone and in such a blasphemous manner.
It’s a powerful, heartbreaking end for Mamiina, and the aftermath of it made me legitimately angry (in a good way, because that is what the story intends). She affected me in a way I won’t forget any time soon.