Welp it’s still not the day I will shut up about episode 20, NOT YET.
Because I just want to talk about Diana a little more. How, up until now, she has always been nothing but confident and certain of what she is doing/saying.
Complete confidence in answering questions in class:
Complete confidence in her magic:
Complete confidence in her broom-riding skills:
Complete confidence in her negotiating skills:
In all of these instances (and others like them) we see the same image of Diana. Back straight, chin high, eyes closed. Of course maintaining proper posture is second nature to someone as serious as Diana, but the fact that she always has her eyes closed speaks volumes to just HOW confident she is in her own abilities. She doesn’t even need to look.
Not even when she is WRITING:
Not even when she is WALKING:
Now you’d think she’d at LEAST need to open her eyes to walk and write.
Not Diana Cavendish. She emits an air of confidence and pride and surety all throughout the series, in everything she does (excluding the times when Akko flusters her), which is often misinterpreted by fans and characters alike as a “high-and-mighty” or “snobbish” attitude.
She conducts herself in a very strict, professional, and surefire manner.
That is until-
Yes, Akko strikes again! So passionate, so enthusiastic.
Diana’s always been confident in herself, but right now - in the face of losing all she and her mother and ancestors have ever worked for - she doesn’t have the spirit for it. Her stance is reclusive, not straight. She’s taken aback.
Diana is not confident in herself at all at this point.
But Akko is.
Rather, Akko isn’t exactly confident in Diana. She BELIEVES in her.
She believes in her enough to proclaim Diana would be able to go to school and be the family head. That’s an immense amount of responsibility all at once, but it’s something she knows Diana would proudly be able to handle.
Diana just can’t see it for herself right now - that of COURSE she could be family head and attend school. She doesn’t realize it, but Akko does.
So to be in the face of Akko’s complete and utter belief in her, Diana doesn’t know HOW to react for once. She’s always been confident in herself, but now Akko is the one believing in her when Diana can’t do it herself.
Akko has SO MUCH FAITH in her. When Diana can’t be confident in herself, Akko does it for her. Akko believes in her.
And for a girl who always has enough confidence to have her eyes closed, Diana’s eyes have never gone wider than in this scene.
Essentially, Diana has always been confident in herself. But not quite in the same way Akko believes in her.
After all, being confident in your own abilities and knowing that someone else believes in you with all their heart and soul are two entirely different things.
Being confident means there is some solidarity in what you’re doing. You have done this before. You know exactly what you are doing. You are confident you can do it again. You know you will succeed.
But believing is so much more abstract. “Belief” is based off something that isn’t necessarily concrete or tangible. “Belief” is much riskier. Believing you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you will succeed.
That is the difference between being confident and believing. Diana has always been confident in herself, and confidence is based in solidarity and surety.
But now, thanks to Akko, she’s learning to believe in herself. Which is a little less clear, a little shakier, a little less concrete.
That’s why “believing” is so difficult for some people (like Diana). There are no guidelines. There is no surefire answer.
But that’s what makes believing so exciting to others (like Akko). (doki doki no waku waku!)
Final notes: Confidence matches Diana’s personality and upbringing just as perfectly as believing matches Akko’s.
But now, Akko is finally allowing Diana to believe.
↳get to know me:favorite female characters → the ghibli girls “Many of my movies have strong female leads – brave, self-sufficient girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe in with all their heart. They’ll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a savior. Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.”(– Hayao Miyazaki)