LAST EDITED ON Jan-04-15 AT 05:19 PM (EST)
>It's a common trend, in reality and fiction, that in situations like
>the one Mio was in, that the only 'realistic' option is for her to
>come to terms with the fact she'd never fight again, she'd never be
>able to fly, and try to find something else that gives her life
I know, right?
(spoilers for Strike Witches the Movie below; highlight to read)
Her appearance in the movie is so utterly bittersweet as a result. I mean, yeah, she gets a great entrance and she gets to Be Awesome (for a second, before standing well back and letting the grown-ups work), and they go out of their way to show that she's Accepted Her Fate, but... a reconnaissance plane? They couldn't even give her a lousy fighter? We know they exist, hordes of them get destroyed every time they need to remind the audience of the futility of opposing the Neuroi with conventional weapons. No, they had to remove any chance that she might still think of herself as a combatant. It's not an abusive ending, like some I could name, but it's like she's walking away with a copy of the board game and a year's supply of Rice-a-Roni (The San Francisco Treat™). Nah. Not in my house. Not for a character as awesome as her.
>I very much prefer settings where she's allowed to go 'fuck that
>noise', and promptly find a way to end up even better then she was
Not for nothing is the motto of the Wedge Defense Force Experimental Flight Test Command, whose challenge coin sparked the whole idea for her, cribbed shamelessly from the Olympic movement: Citius, altius, fortius. "Faster, higher, stronger."
In fact... I wasn't thinking about this consciously when I wrote the story, but in hindsight I must've known it on some level: What Mio and Gryphon have just set in motion there could be the revolutionization not just of her life, but of witchery in general. Mio's an instructor at heart, it's a theme that crops up time and again on the show, and she's just picked up what could be the key to life-begins-at-20 for, if not all witches, at least quite a number of them.
Not that every single one of them would want to stay on active duty, nor be willing or able to put in the work required to unlock it. Few people have Mio Sakamoto's burning drive to stay in the game. But enough of them would, I suspect, that K-ryū, or a newly-named variant of it Mio may establish under her own name, could become a movement. That's potentially huge, it could change that entire world.
Utena would be so proud.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.