Let’s talk Diana.
People get so riled up over their Best Girls and here I am just shoving more fire into the fire. Gyahahaha!
But that’s not really what this is about. Let’s talk Diana. Because I want to talk Diana.
Her type is always set up to be the haughty snob at first glance.
That’s so fucking good and you know why?
So they can take your first impressions and slap you across the face with them.
Yes, she’s arrogant, self-righteous, a bit pompous and
can be quite condescending to those who are less adept than she is. But that’s
exactly what makes her so interesting because none of those negative traits can be called shallow and the events in this episode back that up.
Also, it’s pretty clear that she doesn’t exist solely to antagonize the MC over trivial things (for example, elite status) and can definitely hold her own story without being an outright nemesis to the heroine.
That’s what makes her worthy of
attention but in a different way than how the central focus is on Akko and her friends.
Already we can blatantly see her flaws which only serve to highlight how complex she is and foretell the character development she will probably undergo throughout the course of the show. Those qualities don’t really harm her or make her intolerable but rather point to the depth and potential expansion of her character.
I mean, firstly, all that composure and confidence had to come from somewhere and voila, they tell us from the get-go.
Diana is descended from a long (damn, 1,500 years long!) line of witches. That means she inherits a big legacy of magical discipline and prestige. Considering the fact that even adult witches sometimes have trouble with certain magic, Diana has even more expectations to live up to because she comes from a highly esteemed family that’s been practicing and improving magic for many, many generations.
Not to mention, she’s been proclaimed in the community as being the “greatest witch since the founding of Luna Nova” so no doubt it’ll be an even greater challenge for her to go beyond what those before her had accomplished.
And not only does she step up to this very daunting task, displaying her skill and talent again and again by casting high level spells here and there and proving that she really is as brilliant as they say she is…
…but she does so without needing anyone’s validation.
As much as her posse endlessly praise her for how awesome and amazing she is, Diana doesn’t need those extra words because she knows she’s perfectly capable of handling anything that comes her way.
That’s not to say she doesn’t let their attention get to her head (c’mon, this definitely happened at one point and is likely still happening, albeit in controlled amounts, as we speak) but Diana is deserving of her pride because she worked hard to cultivate her powers, not because she is a genius.
She’s not good because it’s a “miracle”. She’s good because she earned it.
And there’s no shame in showing that.
However, it’s true that Diana still needs to learn what it means to be humble and realize that she hasn’t mastered everything there is to know about magic yet.
I mean, it’s apparent that she overestimates her own abilities but that’s fine because like I said earlier, she’s set up for that kind of development in the future.
At the very least, even though she’s smug, she isn’t crass. Not like her two “friends” who like to put others down to get the pleasure of feeling superior. That’s probably the biggest reason why they hang around Diana and it just makes me like Diana even more because a person like her would never need to stoop down to their level.
Adding to that, this scene here further proves that Diana is, in fact, not a jerk.
Snooty, yes. But a bitch? Mmm, no, I don’t think so. Not from what we’ve seen of her so far anyway.
It’d be so easy for the writers to turn Diana into a Draco Malfoy-like adversary to oppose Akko but they didn’t. Which is why I love Trigger tremendously for how they presented her character
and why I sometimes refer to Diana as the “Draco I always wanted”.
That Diana approached Akko to correct her views on what magic is, not harshly but in a matter-of-factly and politely manner. That she didn’t care whether Akko knew who she was or not but actually remembered that Akko was the new student. That she even took up the offer of referring to Akko by her nickname despite not being friends with her (though that might be due to the concept of keigo getting lost in transition to a non-Japanese environment).
All this is more than enough evidence to crush any ideas that she’s out to bully Akko. It tells us that even if Diana may not be the most amiable person in the world, she is a decent one.
I mean, yea, she was slightly cruel here for disparaging Akko’s idol right in front of her (and hypocritical since Diana was also a fan when she was younger) but it’s not like what she said isn’t true.
Chariot was mostly known for her flashy performances but that seemed to be the extent of her influence in both the witch and human realms. Then she upped one day and vanished.
Chariot did give Akko a dream but it was a kid’s dream and that is not practical in the reality of magic, which entails a lot more complicated topics and study if you are to become a successful witch. Even Chariot had to have gone through tons of practice in order to be as good as she was on stage.
Point is, Diana was trying to warn Akko for her own good even though she didn’t go about the best way of doing it.
It’s certainly one thing for Chariot to do impressive magic but it’s another thing entirely for Akko to attempt to do the same.
Because unlike most of the other students there, Akko has no magical background. She entered the academy with the hopes of living out her fantasies. How is someone who has a low affinity for magic and so impatient to start shooting shiny spells left and right going to fare if she doesn’t learn to apply the basics first?
Badly. Akko or someone else can get seriously hurt if she meddles in things she doesn’t truly comprehend.
That’s why Diana flat out laid this caution onto her. Because magic isn’t all fun and games and lights in the sky. Magic, in the witches’ world, is serious business. And if Akko doesn’t get that through her head to fit somewhere among her fervent adoration for Chariot, then her dream of learning magic will end in vain, the Shiny Rod reacting to her “shinjiru kokoro” be damned.
And that’s… oddly thoughtful of Diana? And responsible as an advanced student as well?
In the same sort of roundabout way she helped plucked that plant off of Akko’s head while trying to show her how magic is actually done in their world. So that Akko is aware, like really aware, of what she’s invested herself in and what the consequences are if she neglects the rules.
Clearly, they’re going to continue to clash over the interpretation of magic but when it comes down to what are established foundations and such, I’m always going to be more inclined towards Diana’s side of the argument.
Because it’s always more reliable to work off of sound theories that have been tested and tested again and provided actual results… than to wait for something that may or may not happen because you went about it based on a whim.
I’m not saying it’s wrong for Akko to believe. I’m just saying this isn’t a mahou shoujo anime. :P
Ah, I strayed off a bit so back to the rest of what I wanted to say.
If the scene in the courtyard wasn’t enough to convince you that Diana isn’t just showing off her magical prowess (because admittedly, yes, she is a bit of a show-off, too, there’s no denying that) then the issue with the Memorial Tree should.
Like any dedicated honors student, it’s expected that Diana would be very involved in the workings of the school. Because the academy is part of her lineage as much as any other witch’s out there so even if nobody asked her to help, she’d still try to find a way to solve the problems the school faces.
Diana has been gifted with talent and intellect. If there is anytime to use those, it’s now. Otherwise, it’d be wasted on her.
It’s no wonder why she’s so admired in the witch community. Because she does useful stuff with her magic. And efficiently, too.
Unlike Akko who doesn’t have any particular or specific goals regarding what she wants to do with magic atm, Diana actually has a purpose for hers.
And really, we don’t need to say anymore than that. If you’re good at something, then do something with it. That’s the lesson here. It’s just that simple.
Moving along, what happened after Diana’s spell was cast only further supports just how responsible she is.
Her magic unearthed the parasites so what does she do? Act immediately to counter the new problem.
I really, really like that about her. How she takes magic so seriously, especially when her own magic added to the dilemma. Most people would wait for a teacher to come to fix it. Lesser people would run away because they don’t want to be held accountable.
Not Diana. She’s the one that caused it, even if it was out of the best intentions, so she has to own up to it.
And then there’s this part.
A reminder that nobody (besides Ursula) could’ve known that those were Papillodya chrysalises (well duh, no one has seen one because they only appear every 120 years after all) and it was just a very plot-convenient coincidence that Akko happened to guess correctly at what they are right after relooking through her collectable cards that day.
That aside, nobody is in the wrong here. Diana was pressed for time so it wasn’t like she had the leisure of hearing Akko out. Honestly, who would in that sort of situation? Moreover, who would really believe her?
But she still expressed shock and worry when Akko took the brunt of her spell. Even though it was Akko’s own fault for not thinking first and jumping out to block the hit, Diana obviously feels bad that her magic still hurt her.
Again, proof that Diana is not a jerk. She does care because she is a decent person.
And when it came down to using the right spell, Diana took a step back to let Akko handle it.
What’s more is that she aided Akko in the proper pronunciation of the spell and Akko thanked Diana.
Quite often you’d expect the prideful characters to want to do everything themselves. Try to butt out their rivals and prove they’re better that sort of thing because that’s the pattern of behavior for those kind of archetypes.
Except that didn’t happen here. Like not even the tiniest suggestion that it could’ve gone that way.
Diana’s got her priorities straight. She’s not thinking of wanting to claim credit or how it will affect her sense of worth if she allowed Akko to resolve this issue. She’s not thinking of questioning whether the Shiny Rod will actually work. That’s not important. What’s important is to prevent this mess from becoming any bigger than it is right then.
Like…wow. It shouldn’t be extraordinary for someone to behave so rationally and cooperatively but it is a little for me because the works I go through often has that bad tendency to go in a crazier direction over some very dumb, contrived reason when it’d be easier to do it the straightforward way.
Anyways, to finish this off, after the matter is settled, Diana tries to protest that the removal of the chrysalises were her doing.
Again, a much lesser person would be tempted to lie and save their own reputation but Diana’s troubled reaction to the staff’s insistence that nobody else but her could’ve done it illustrates that she’s not like that. She knows that it was thanks to Akko that the tree was revitalized and therefore, can’t possibly accept acknowledgement that doesn’t belong to her.
Diana is a person of integrity and if I didn’t love her before, I certainly do now because I value integrity so much that it probably ranks at the top on my list of virtues.
So as you can see, it’s because Diana is such a mixture of so many traits including pride, dignity, responsibility, seriousness, honesty (to name a few) that they all come to nicely clash and conflict inside her, pushing her towards the changes we can anticipate for her.
And this is a sure sign as anything that the development process has already begun.
She saw with her own eyes the effectiveness of the Shiny Rod, which disproves her statement that there never was any significance behind Chariot’s magic. However, that doesn’t mean she’s ready to accept it. Not after all that training she must have gone through to drill those childish thoughts out of her head so that she can fully set out to become a proper witch. Which is why she’s hesitant to mention Akko despite what the professors say about her being the “pride of Luna Nova”.
That is sooooo good, this introduction of doubt. Question it, Diana. Continue to ask as many times as it will take because it can only lead you to becoming a better witch and above all, develop into an even greater character.
With that, I suspect Diana won’t be making any major appearances for a while since Akko’s team has a little more world exploring to do and the plot around Chariot needs the time for more exposition.
But I just want others to, well, not really know but rather discuss with me that Diana isn’t so much a rival to Akko (right now) as she is her foil and vice versa. And I think that contrast between them is far more interesting than a direct competitive relationship. They can still argue, they don’t have to be friends but they don’t have to hate each other to contribute to each other’s growth. Akko can benefit from actually studying magical theory and progressing towards her goal that way while Diana can gradually relax her stiff posture to look beyond her scientific, analytical methods and realize even more potential in herself.
At least that’s what I hope will happen.
Tl;dr: I lied. This is about Best Girl. Diana is Best Girl. Fight me.