100apologies: (Teach me gently how to breathe)
[personal profile] 100apologies
Miranda passed 4k comments the other day and I'm too impatient to wait for 5k and can't think of a good meme, and I've been working on this essay for a while now anyways. So have an essay on clothing, and other things to explain her character/help me keep track of her.

DISCLAIMER: This essay is less about Camp and more about Miranda's character in general!

DISCLAIMER 2: D.Gray-man takes place in a fictional Victorian era, so I make no claims to be historically accurate beyond the very basics (in other words, what I remember from A.P. European History, and ganked from the BBC's website).

DISCLAIMER 3: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS?! Though nothing beyond chapter 70ish

Now that that's out of the way, down to business! Although it's not immediately obvious, Miranda is a very conventional woman. Of all the D.Gray-man characters, she's spent the longest time as a regular civilian, living an "average" life- 25 years, to be exact. Suman Dark is the only one to possibly have lived a longer time as a civilian before becoming an Exorcist, but he's only in like six chapters so who cares, and while some of the Exorcist Generals may have lived as civilians for a longer time their history isn't known beyond the basics. Anyways, Miranda is much more used to what general society considers "normal," as opposed to what the Order does. She doesn't get culture shock over things like Lenalee's short skirt, or people fighting akuma anymore, because she's had a while to adjust! But she is still very much a traditionally-minded woman, even if there aren't many situations in the manga for this to show.

But wait! If there aren't many situations where this shows, where's my proof? For one, you don't just drop all the morals and standards of the society you grew up in, in just one year (or even less). If she still considers herself useless at times, I see no reason for her to have dropped her Victorian sensibilities. For two, there's the way she dresses. This is the biggest visual indicator of her conventionality.

Miranda was first introduced in the manga wearing a conservative, Victorian-style dress. After she becomes an Exorcist, her uniform has pants and a shirt! This is later proved to be simply for the sake of maneuverability, as during later chapters when HQ is attacked, she is shown first wearing a dress and later changes into civilian (non-uniform) clothes that consist of pants and a shirt once she is called to help fight. I am not going to comment on her current, "3rd uniform" outfit because I have no idea WTF Hoshino is doing with it. DRAW HER MORE, HOSHINO. I don't really need to comment, though, because the basic point remains. Miranda is a soldier, but she is still at heart a working-class woman from the Victorian era (fictional or otherwise).

This means in Camp, she's usually going to be seen wearing either her uniform or Victorian dresses, summer heat be damned. If she can't find Victorian dresses she'll be in modest, more "formal" modern clothing- long skirts, khaki pants (sometimes), blouses and the like! And above all it means that (most of) her personal morals are old-fashioned:
-Waiting until marriage for sex (though admittedly this was more a middle- and upper-class convention, it's one she abides by nonetheless)
-The idea of women holding public office, voting, etc. is weird, though she isn't opposed to it.
-Doesn't like the idea of young children working, but sees it as a fact of life
-Homosexuality is basically treated as "don't ask, don't tell." I go into more detail on this over here.

A few exceptional deviations from more traditional morals and beliefs:
-Women make just as good soldiers, medics and scientists as men.
-Pants and short skirts are totally acceptable clothing, provided the job calls for it
-Vampires, demons of most kinds, and magic are all either commonplace to her, or at the very least not terrifying.
-Considerably more used to technology (robots, cell phones, laptops) than someone from Earth's Victorian era would be, though things like cars are still ~new~ and interesting
-Due to Camp, she's used to aliens, talking animals and the like

Finally, because of her position as a working-class woman was in a town, her acquaintance with the nitty-gritties of city life (and the wider world in general) is considerably limited. She never held a factory job, and lived in the same town her entire life. In fact, before becoming an Exorcist she had never traveled outside it, even once! This leaves her naïve about a lot of day-to-day things (think country girl moving to the big city), but more than familiar with things relating to combat and war. She's seen and experienced some pretty awful stuff, from having her hands nailed to a clock to being the only thing keeping an entire ship of sailors (temporarily) alive and afloat. Yet despite this, she's still flustered and bewildered by things like double-entendes, being flirted with and even just fancy clothes.
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Miranda Lotto

June 2011

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