- Maetel & Emeraldas -

Understanding Leiji Matsumoto Universe

Maetel & Emeraldas - rivals, sisters, or what?



Occupation Traveler Space Pirate
 Place of Birth La Metal Earth
 Transportation Galaxy Express 999 Queen Emeraldas
 Love Interest None yet (Tetsuro?) Tochiro
 Called As An Illusion of boy's youth, The Ultimate Beauty An Witch of the Galaxy, Cold-blooded
 Weapon Laser Ring, Sword, Whip Cosmo Dragoon, Gravity Sword
 Represents An Eternal Life, Pre-defined Destiny A Finite Life, Free-spirited
 Other Black Attire Scarred Face


When Matsumoto first created Maetel and Emeraldas, they were supposed to be "The twin sisters who are the most beautiful beings in the whole entire galaxy". However, that "sister" settings were never spoken in any of Matsumoto stories until very, very recently. In "Nibelung's Ring", they appear as a tiny set of twin sisters who were just beginning to take off to their eternal journey. In OVA "Queen Emeraldas", Emeraldas mentions of her "twin sister Maetel" as one of the owners of Cosmo Dragoon.

Traditionally, Maetel and Emeraldas had always been rivals but nothing else. Maetel had always represented eternal life, whereas Emeraldas represented finite life for her fatal illness, since the main theme of "Galaxy Express 999" was the beauty of short life. In addition, in "Galaxy Express 999" Maetel was supposed to be the only daughter of Promecium, the Queen of the Machine Empire. Oh what a contradiction!

Well, let's assume that this is one of Matsumoto's character transitions just like any other, and let's think about the significance of having Maetel and Emeraldas as sisters in Matsumoto Universe.

Matsumoto made a very interesting comment regarding "Galaxy Express 999 Eternal Fantasy". In the very beginning, there is a scene that Maetel shoots her gun at the enemies quite rapidly to rescue Tetsutro. When I saw that, I thought it was very interesting to see such modern twist, but did not think much of it. However, Matsumoto made a pretty strong statement that it was one of his least favorite parts of the movie. "That scene was very un-Maetel-like.", Matsumoto said. "Maetel is simply not the kind of woman who shoots a gun like that at people. It is just not her."

Maetel is very quite, sophisticated, and elegant being. She owns the most beautiful body in the universe, as well as the super-human abilities. She is kind-hearted, warm, and sensitive. Almost too perfect. She never had any love interests except for some feeling toward Tetsuro, however, she never tries to pursue her feelings and basically ended up leaving him behind.

Well, let's look at Emeraldas. Sure, she might have been created as the most beautiful woman like Maetel, but Matsumoto put a scar on her face for Pete's sake! She is supposed to be the witch of the galaxy, ruthless killer, and everybody is afraid of her. But the funny thing is that she roams around the whole entire galaxy searching for Tochiro, her only love of life, unlike Maetel, who could cast away her love to pursue her mission. In that respect, I think Emeraldas is a lot more like a real woman with passion in comparison.

"Maetel takes the role to love, and Emeraldas takes the role to fight the battle." Matsumoto stated in very recent interview. That comments may suggests that Maetel and Emeraldas are the virtually same being, which makes up his image of an ideal woman, but each represents different sides of it, just like the face and tail of one coin. In that sense having Maetel and Emeraldas as sisters may make more sense than having them as rivals. But hey, I must confess that if that's the way he interprets the loving role and fighting role, he must not understand women very well....(don't tell him I said that.)


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