|“||That way that you cower in fear excites me exceedingly.||”|
|— Evelyn Morningstar, Lion of Judah, Ch. 3|
|Eden of the Amazon character|
Evelyn Morningstar as she appears in Lion of Judah
|First appearance||Cherub Wings #1, "Exit the Garden" (September 9, 2003)|
|Created by||Tanjiro Kuriyama|
|Voiced by||See Voice actors|
|Family||Dr. Jack Michaelson (adoptive father)|
|Breath||Binah (ビナー Binā?)|
Evelyn Morningstar (イブリン・モーニングスター Iburin Mōningusutā?) is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Sierran-Japanese manga series Eden of the Amazon. She is introduced as the antiheroine of the series' first part, Cherub Wings, debuting in the first chapter, "Exit the Garden" (庭を出る Niwa o deru?). A creche-born human created artificially in an Omnistate laboratory several years after the Great Pacification, Morningstar was genetically engineered to become a supersoldier that exemplified the perfect archetype of the Omnistate's black supremacy ideology. As a creche-born, she was born without basic emotional intelligence including empathy, along with heightened superhuman strength, pain tolerance, and endurance. During her upbringing, she is raised by Dr. Jack Michaelson, an Omnistate scientist who is secretly opposed to the direction the Omnistate has headed following the Great Pacification. Dr. Michaelson attempts to rear Morningstar by instilling emotional capacity as a means to subvert the rise of the creche-born and the goals of the Omnistate. Morningstar betrays her father and turns him to the state where he is executed. Before he dies, he imparts her the Magi's Myrrh, a substance which alters Morningstar's genetic code, and imbues her with a new understanding of human emotion and compassion. She also gains the supernatural abilities of clairvoyance and astral projection, the latter of which is known as a "Breath". After this incident, she becomes conflicted between her new thoughts and her predisposed thinking. Resolved to understand the origins of the Magi's Myrrh, she escapes from the Omnistate and travels abroad to solve the mystery. As the series progresses, she encounters allies and enemies who also possess the ability to use Breath, as well as spies sent by the Omnistate to capture her.
Morningstar was created by Tanjiro Kuriyama to address the existential meanings of humanity, spirituality, and God, as well as raise ethical, moral, and political concerns about the Omnistate and other world governments, including Sierra. The character is portrayed as an individual whose "amoral biology" clashes with her "newfound morality", while being given attributes that are considered good, evil, and ambiguous. Although Morningstar is opposed to the current state of the Omnistate, she still feels loyalty to her nation and struggles to embrace the imperfections of "womb-born" humans, especially non-black people. She is ambitious and has a distorted sense of justice as she seeks to avenge her father's death, which she blames on God. Throughout the series, Morningstar is used to make various biblical allusions, including her own name as both an "Eve" and a "Lucifer" (Morning Star).
The character and her development has been praised by critics and fans as a complicated individual. Attention has been drawn to her portrayal as a black woman, an extremely rare representation within the anime and manga community. She also defies other shonen archetypes by being depicted predominantly as an antiheroine which avoids common stereotypes and tropes in the genre.
- 1 Creation and design
- 2 Description
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Voice actors
- 6 Reception
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 See also
Creation and design
The concept of Evelyn Morningstar and Eden of the Amazon was conceived by Tanjiro Kuriyama after he was inspired by the 2000 Pacification interview of Oministater scientist and defector Wade Warren Knight. He began to research the Omnistate and consulted experts who were familiar with the country as he developed the character. He intended to characterize Evelyn as a character whose dual nature as human and artificial is in constant conflict and is the source of great existential distress and rebellion. In developing her characterization, Kuriyama based the character's appearances after the second-generation creche-born supersoldiers who were created to be black superhumans. Although the majority of creche-born appear "ghoulish" or uncanny, Kuriyama initially wanted to "soften" the appearance of Evelyn so that she would appear more relatable and human. However, he decided later that he would first depict Evelyn closer to standard appearances of creche-born, while make her appear "more human" as she progressed as a character. Within the series, Evelyn's evolved appearance is explained by the "emotional aura" in her emerging humanity that changes her.
Original concept and influences
Evelyn is presented initially as a cold, emotionally detached creche-born who possesses extraordinary intelligence, calculative thinking, and superhuman strength. She repeatedly shows a lack of human conscience or empathy during the first part, Cherub Wings, and continues to struggle with basic concepts of compassion, altruism, and regard for human life in subsequent parts.
She is introduced as an amoral individual who chooses to unquestionably believe in only what the Oministate has indoctrinated her and has a fanatic obsession with a warped sense of logic and rationality. Although she rejects superstitious belief, she has great reverence for God and believes that the Omnistate is carrying out His will. Born to be a war machine, she has a deeply ingrained sense of loyalty to the State and its ideology. As a creche-born, she holds hostile attitudes towards womb-born Omnistaters and extremely racist views towards non-blacks, as well as black Africans. Her hatred is shown to be biologically engineered and once she is imbued with the Magi's Myrrh, her mind begins to question much of the beliefs and ideas she once held.
Throughout the series, Evelyn is shown to be consistently ambitious and driven to success. She seeks purpose in life, which was lost upon gaining her Breath and losing faith in the Omnistate. This path to find herself and uncovering the truth of the Magi's Myrrh is the central motivation that leads her away from her past. Although she is mortified by her newfound sense of "true" humanity, she is also profoundly intrigued and is resolved to test her old held beliefs through her travels and encounters with different people and cultures.
While Evelyn works against the interests of the Omnistate, she does so out of personal, selfish reasons rather than for any higher calling or motivation. She is unable to sympathize with the ideologies of the outside world and for the first four parts of the series, continues to view other governments and cultures with cautiousness and suspicion. When she cooperates with the Sierran Royal Intelligence Agency, she does so only out of convenience and views her alliance with them as temporary and disposable. She has difficulty coming to grips that the entirety of the Omnistate and its creche-born program is dangerous to humanity. As her spirituality develops and her humanity evolves, she begins to believe more in the efficacy of abstract and romantic ideals, which allows to lower her reservations towards the outside world and its ideas.