Who is That and Why Should I Care #10 – Second Lieutenant Alice L Malvin

Who:  Second Lieutenant Alice L Malvin
What Show: 
Pumpkin Scissors (2006)
Why You Should Care:

Alice is from a family of nobles but she acts nothing like that family. She has a real soft spot for the poor people of her country of the Royal Empire (which looks like World War One era Germany). Her life goal is to help as many people harmed by the devastating war as possible. She is quick to anger when others insult her goal, her men, or take advantage of the poor people just trying to get by. She believes in a universal idea of justice, where no one is above the law, and everyone is equal (even if the reality does not always live up to that ideal).  Her family wants her to take up the life of a rich , feminine, aristocratic socialite, not a manly soldier. Her disinterest in that, and the way she tosses away common gender roles is inspirational. She is her own person, and will do what she wants, when she wants. And she wants to help people. 

What I like about Pumpkin Scissors is that it focuses on an aspect of war so few pieces of fiction deal with: the immediate aftermath and reconstruction. War, as we all know, is a horrible thing, but it also is a destructive force much like a hurricane or fire. What happens when the troops move out? What happens to the everyday people just trying to survive now that some troops shot their people, their crops are withering in the fields, their food “appropriated” by the soldiers, and their kids scared for life? For example I recently visited the Battlefields of Gettysburg and was surprised to learn that after the deadliest, largest, and most brutal battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere, the troops just marched out when the fighting ended. They left the citizens to deal with the disaster and destruction, not to mention all the wounded soldiers they could not bring with them. It was months before any help came from the federal government. That sounds insane to me. Not only is war hell, but the aftermath can be as well.

Pumpkin Scissors attempts to show this, and much much more. Alice of course is incredibly admirable because even though she’s in the army, she joined not to kill others but to help others. She considers it a part of her duties as a noble to take care of the everyday people. In fact she is so committed to this she often risks her life and livelihood to help others. She is entirely dedicated to helping the poor and regular people who were recently decimated by a giant war. She wants to heal the wounds, the physical, emotional, and even infrastructure that the war caused. But she’s often quick to rush to act, usually to help someone, and sometimes entirely reckless. She is sort of irrational at times, ruled by her emotions and even stands up to a tank when ex-military turned bandits terrorize the countryside. She does not always understand the issues of the common people, in fact at times she is oblivious to their reality and situations. She however is not above learning about what is going on in their lives. Some characters find her a little out of touch, but she wants to learn about the regular people in order to effectively help them. She empathizes with them, but does not always understand them.

Alice tries her hardest every day, every mission, to do what she can and what her little underfunded unit can to help the people. Her unit, the Pumpkin Scissors exists for “war relief”; she will cut through red tape, corruption, and injustice like a pair of scissors through a rotting pumpkin. It’s a nice touch that her uniform is orange like a pumpkin. She will fight members of the military who now turned their guns on the very people they once swore to protect, she will (try to) end the nobles corruption, and she will get much needed relief to the struggling masses. Well it’s not really her unit, as she is second in command, but she’s the officer out in the fields. She’s always the only officer when any action happens. It is interesting to see her troops dismayed at her oftentimes illogical and even insane orders. She thinks nothing of charging on troops that outnumber her 3 to 1 or taking on a tank with just a group of four.

What she wants nothing more is to just help people though. She doesn’t want to fight, she wants to get aid to those who desperately need it. But she will fight if that will help the people of her country. But she often has ideas in her head as to what life is like for these people. Oftentimes Alice assumes something that is incorrect of everyday people she is embarrassed by it, and how her previously sheltered life led her to believe that. She is always willing to learn, and always willing to use her status and personal wealth as a noble to help all she can. She hates when other nobles take advantage of the common citizens, and finds those people an embarrassment. Her entire personality is admirable. I think everyone should give Pumpkin Scissors a watch.

2 Responses to “Who is That and Why Should I Care #10 – Second Lieutenant Alice L Malvin”

  1. […] Who is That and Why Should I Care #10 – Second Lieutenant Alice L Malvin […]

  2. I really liked this show and watched it in my deep immersion days of anime fandom back in 2008-2009, on rental DVD. I regret not buying a personal copy because I really enjoyed the show and its ragtag characters…not just Alice, who truly embodies the old aristocratic spirit of noblesse oblige, but also her haunted hulk of a man, her Sergeant, that is her right hand man and more experienced guide.

    Many of the aftermath-of-war themes remind me of the more recent show Violet Evergarden….the story of a disabled combat veteran struggling to integrate back into peacetime civilian life with a lot of unprocessed trauma from the war that she still has to work through. Both are set in a fictional nation similar to post-WW1 Germany. I even watched Violet Evergarden twice I liked it so much…once in English and the second time using the international German dub track, because of the quasi-German setting for the story (I speak German with near native fluency and don’t need subtitles to understand most German dialogue).

    I wouldn’t mind owning Pumpkin Scissors if it ever gets license rescued & re-released someday. Her Sergeant’s story was the most compelling narrative to me personally.

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