Did anyone else think the Ayakashi Sisters in R were inspired by Little Women?

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Jan 14, 2021
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#1
The Ayakashi Sisters were changed from monsters of the day to sympathetic, morally grey characters in the transition from manga to anime, and ended up being far and away one of the best things about R, and set the tone for future redemption arcs, though arguably none pulled it off as well as these four. They are also some of the most memorable villains from the classic anime.
One thing I've noticed about the four is how similar they are to the main characters of Little Women, a book that is extremely beloved in Japan (Toei actually released an anime OVA based on it, with Jo looking eerily similar to Minako.) Not only do the Sisters resemble bitter, adult versions of the Senshi, representing paths they may have taken in life if they had never met Usagi and given into the loneliness of their social isolation, but they also resemble evil, adult versions of the four March girls.

Koan = Amy
Hot tempered, haughty , obsessed with her appearance, vain, and affected, and the youngest. She also falls in love with a man all four sisters look up to, but unlike Laurie, she gets violently rejected. However...

Berthier = Beth
Possibly the most obvious parallel between a sister and her March counterpart. Despite being the second youngest, is generally treated as the baby sister. She's shorter then Koan, and has the most youthful appearance out of the four, and is also the most emotionally vulnerable, and is th emost openly affectionate towards her sisters, especially Petz who is in many ways her polar opposite, as Beth was to Jo. Out of the four sisters, Berthier and Petz seem the closest. Berthier also seems to dislike interacting with others the most and avoids direct confrontation wherever she can. She's also the most timid, having a brittle, easily rattled confidence, and is the only one of the sisters who seems to be afraid of Rubeus. Not only is she most childlike of the sisters as well as the most quiet, she also seems to treat her droids like dolls, affectionately referring to them as "chan" but is not above making dark threats to them to keep them in line.

Calaveras is where things seem to get more complex. At first glance one would think Calaveras is the Evil Meg, due to having an extremely feminine, prim, haughty personality, and the most interested in men, and using her feminine whiles to get under the skin of everyone around her, and the mistress of the back handed compliment, able to throw shade under a verneer of fake niceness. Interestingly enough though Cally has a tomboyish streak to her: out of all the sisters she is the most physical in combat, never using magic but preferring to use her whip as a lasso to ensnare foes or strike it with enough force to shatter concrete. Her outfit is probably the most practical as well, with an armoured bustier, and her long hair swept into a tidy bun.

Petz is very much a Jo, in that for want of a better word, she is the most "masculine" of the sisters. A woman of few words and a short fuse, Petz's brooding aloofness hides a very insecure, socially awkward woman who struggles the most at intergrating herself in 20th century Japan, and her various insecurities make her an easy target for Calaveras snide needling. Berthier has an unfortunate habit of making remarks that upset her without meaning to. She has an enormous appetite for cake but is a very dainty eater (in contrast to another green haired woman of the Black Moon who adores her cake.) Interestingly in their final episode, Petz takes on the role of Meg, showing a decidely domestic side to herself, taking on the role of nursing the injured Saphir herself. It seems like the personalities of Meg and Jo were broken between the two older sisters to an extent, while Koan and Berthier are more clear examples of Amy and Beth's personalities.

Stray notice: I always liked how the stray lock of hair in Petz's updo was always stylised to look like a thunderbolt. The attention to de-tail.
 

Onuzim Ima

Aurorae Lunares
Aug 11, 2010
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#2
That's an interesting POV, although, personally, I'd usually rather compare the 4 to the Senshi, considering their (partially) matching use of elemental powers:

Bertie <-> :ami: Both Water Wielders, Chess Masters (Or should I say 'Mistresses' before the Gender Justice Advocats start stoning me?) & having a blue-dominated colour scheme.
Kermesite (Koan) <-> :rei: Both hot-tempered, Fire-Fighters
Petz <-> :mako: Use of Electricity etc.

That said, I'll try to take your Theory/Argument into Consideration and look a little deeper into it once (or better: if) the current/recent re-broadcast of the classic Series in my Country continues… :clap:

P. S.: And I still insist that Elsa from Frozen is ripping off Bertie! :orly:
 
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Likes: usagi29

litacan

Systema Solare
Jan 21, 2017
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#3
I never thought that before. But it seemed probable when i think about it now. little woman was (and still is) a popular book and sm's target audience would like it too. so why not? xd
 
Jul 6, 2018
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#4
The Little Women are archetype. Many shows that include a main cast of female friends/ sisters follow that archetype, even unintentionally.
 
Apr 1, 2020
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#5
Amy=Koan Yes.
Berthier does fit Beth in some way but her dark playful personality was quite unique.
Calaveras doesn't resemble Meg much.
Petz doesn't fit Jo as well.

I do think Berthier and Koan probably inspired Elsa and Anna.
 
Sep 1, 2011
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Scala Ad Caelum
#6
That's an interesting POV, although, personally, I'd usually rather compare the 4 to the Senshi, considering their (partially) matching use of elemental powers:

Bertie <-> :ami: Both Water Wielders, Chess Masters & having a blue-dominated colour scheme.
Kermesite (Koan) <-> :rei: Both hot-tempered, Fire-Fighters
Petz <-> :mako: Use of Electricity etc.

That said, I'll try to take your Theory/Argument into Consideration and look a little deeper into it once (or better: if) the current/recent re-broadcast of the classic Series in my Country continiues… :clap:

P. S.: And I still insist that Elsa from Frozen is ripping off Bertie! :orly:
I mean, Elsa was originally more of a villain during production.
 
Likes: Onuzim Ima