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.

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10 Responses to “Twelve Moments in Anime 2010 No. 2 – Mamiina’s Haircut”

  1. YES!!! I loved her so much. Her end was so powerful I watched it twice in a row.

    Her hair is so pretty I really did almost cry when she cut it. Sure she’s changing but omg the HAIR!

  2. I loved Simoun, and did you notice what Roatreamon did to her hair in the final episode? It was a wonderful tribute.

    • Indeed it was.

      (Also, apologies for taking so long to approve your comment. Usually I get on that right away, but I was quite busy yesterday!)

  3. No matter how many times I look at Simoun, the character designs never cease to amaze me. All of the girl’s hairstyles are fantastic, and definitely support each character’s uniqueness.

    Not my personal favorite (the one I made a connection to was definitely Paraietta), but the way Mamiina’s story played out felt probably the most developed out of the girls aside from Aaeru and Nevril.

    • I’m with you on Paraietta, no matter what that blasphemer Akira thinks. She was my favorite in the beginning, but Mamiina eventually overtook her.

  4. fathomlessblue Says:

    If you rate Planetes higher than Simoun then I really have to check that series out as soon as I finish watching Air (which to be honest I’m not really bothered with, but hey, I’m a completist XD). I finished watching Simoun about three weeks back and I still can’t get it out of my head.

    That a sci-fi show pushes it’s background setting, plot and battle scenes somewhat to the side in order for extra helpings of character development, and never once feels poorly paced is a tremendous achievement in my eyes. Up there with FMA:B and Haibane Renmei as the best anime I’ve seen in recent years. Loving that you enjoyed the show too!

    Mamiina, along with Paraietta and Aaeru were my fave characters and the former’s story was particulary well written. That she sacrifices herself to save the enemy priestesses, only to be refused a proper Sibyllae burial due to her status was pretty gut wrenching. I know it’s never explained why her coffin is shot down by the enemy simoun, but I like to think it was to repay the favour and give her a decent grave amongst the field of flowers. Her final shot surrounded by those flowers was as beautiful as it was sad.

    Man, I seriously want to watch that show again right now :P

    • Planetes is an excellent series, yes — it builds its world equally well, but in different ways than Simoun, and the characters are no less human and the story no less gripping (though, again, in different ways than Simoun).

      Yes, the developments right after Mamiina’s sacrifice angered me so much — I was right there with the Sibyllae in being pissed that she was denied the legitimate funeral she deserved! And it was quite dusty in my room when the enemy Simoun shot down her coffin to give Mamiina a proper grave. So wonderful.

  5. I honestly thought that the scene of her body sprawled in the field of flowers was the single most powerful moment in the entire show. It was so beautiful and awful, and I bawled my eyes out when it happened.

    This post may be the reason I end up re-watching this show.

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