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Maggie Mui
Paper Tiger
d20 Modern Stats

Maggie Mui is the "middle sister" of the Three Sisters Detective Agency of Hong Kong. A woman with an Amazonian build who sleeps in a storage closet, Maggie is a study in contrasts–she does not bat an eyelash in lethal combat, responding to gunfire by calmly and smoothly blocking its way with a shield of paper, but simple domestic interactions can send her reeling into anxiety. She often feels awkward in social situations, and apparently has not had what one would consider a "normal" upbringing, as seemingly basic ideas such as how to properly go about cleaning a house escape her. At a glance, Maggie almost seems to be designed purely for combat: strong, steadfast, and fearless, with no need for social skills. Belying this, however, is her deeply rooted loyalty and compassion. She hates to witness emotional pain, and what bothers her most is conflict between friends and family, where she plays the stereotypical "middle sister" role of trying to mediate between sides.

Maggie will stretch herself to her absolute limits to protect the ones she loves. Wendy easily tears Maggie apart emotionally by forcing her to choose between Anita and Nenene, two people Maggie deeply cares for and is dedicated to protecting.

Unlike her unashamedly lazy older sister Michelle, Maggie wants to be useful and will put her all into anything she is asked to do, be it "get back the furniture you've just thrown away" or "please hold off the most powerful and deadly Paper Master in the world while we go find Nenene." She will not give up until her job is complete. With such fierce determination, she is usually successful, regardless of the difficulty of the task.

Maggie enjoys being the group's primary cook, and she seems happy to provide Nenene with whatever she asks for, be it coffee or a massage (Nenene does not seem to let the other Sisters get as close). Maggie looks the most hurt when Anita (or someone else) calls her "useless," and overall she has a very low estimation of her own abilities and contributions to the group. This is also illustrated in the manga, where in volume 1, she laments her "uselessness" and her sisters have to reaffirm her value. If she has a major weakness, it is probably in vastly underestimating herself.

Maggie talks the way her favorite author Hemingway writes: in short, declarative, almost toneless phrases, usually of a somewhat depressed nature. Maggie only tends to speak when she feels something is important, and seems to prefer to let actions speak louder than words where possible. While shy, Maggie will assert herself if she wants something badly enough, whether asking for a favorite author’s autograph or demanding that Anita and Michelle to stop bickering. She blushes at the drop of a hat–especially when teased by Nenene, whom she either regards with a bit of hero(author) worship or has a crush on her (or, quite possibly, both). Maggie also puts Michelle on a high pedestal, unashamedly vocally admiring her older sister’s warm demeanor and keen leadership skills; Maggie also feels vastly inferior to her. Anita in turn looks up to Maggie the most for her strength and stoic demeanor, but can be brutally critical when Maggie fails to live up to Anita’s (sometimes unrealistic) expectations, causing Maggie to feel guilty and ashamed, regardless of whether she actually ought to.

According to what Junior and Joker tell the Paper Sisters, Maggie and Michelle were genetically altered to be Paper Masters using material stolen (along with Anita King) from the British Library. Since Maggie is 20 at the start of the series, presumably Dokusensha turned her into a Paper Master around the age of 15 or 16. Nothing is known of her past before that point, although one wonders what Dokusensha was doing with adolescents as test subjects and whether she was willing. Likely, she was an orphan or otherwise from a background where no one would miss her. She and Michelle are the only survivors of Dokusensha’s "Paper Family" project, and the company arranged for the two to meet to improve their chances of survival and sanity. It is possible Maggie worked on her own or with other subjects from the project before she was matched with Michelle and Anita. Although many of her memories are presumably false, that she worked for Dokusensha before being put together with her "sisters" is a likely possibility. Maggie takes the news of her past very poorly, but once processing it says little of it save that she does not wish to have her memories altered again. As she stubbornly holds onto Anita while Anita and Michelle bicker over the "reality" of their being sisters, Maggie appears to consider her present relationships as more important than how they were formed in the past.

Skills and Powers
Maggie’s only mundane/domestic skill is cooking, which she does extremely well (although she learns to clean as the show progresses). Supporting her profession as a detective and adventurer, Maggie appears to be a talented and reflexive driver (possibly indicating combat vehicle training), has very good memory retention, is a fast learner (she reads a book on acoustic theory and in the next episode is able to use her knowledge to help defeat a sonic-blast wielding enemy), and has very good deductive reasoning skills. She is uncomfortable with leadership but can come up with a plan of attack if necessity demands; otherwise she prefers to leave complex matters such as decision-making to others when possible.

Maggie has enormously fast reflexes but does not seem to be trained in any particular combat style or with any weapons, surviving battles through sheer speed and stamina. She fights mostly defensively, dodging and blocking, relying upon her paper marionettes for offensive attacks if necessary.

She describes one of her Paper Mastery specialties as "binding," which is presumably being able to link pieces of paper together to form a chain or wall, and possibly also being able to strengthen paper to be resistant, as she is relied upon as the Paper Sisters’ defense specialist. Clearly she also animates well; her paper familiars are among the most visibly impressive Paper Master powers, and with her animating and binding abilities, she can make her paper golems far stronger than ordinary humans, to the point of being able to destroy walls and even (if temporarily) support the weight of a 747 jet. She appears to extend her senses through her familiars. Note how she navigates her giant bird familiar, where she herself cannot see through the body of the "creature" but yet can see where she is going, and is confounded only if the bird itself becomes surrounded by something to block its senses, such as the thick fog over London. This sense-bonding ability seems to be completely unique to Maggie among all the Paper Masters. Presumably Maggie needs to be in physical contact with her familiars to extend her senses through them, and her familiars also generally seem strongest and most durable when she is touching them; during the fight in Dokusensha’s tower in Hong Kong, we see Maggie maintaining contact with her minions through paper "strings." Although she occasionally pulls a "paper-card blade" out as a tool or weapon, she does not resort to using "sharp paper" anywhere near as often as the other Paper Masters do. Maggie’s primary weakness in Paper Mastery is that she has immensely poor aim and has difficulty using paper as ranged projectiles (much to the misfortune of Nenene and her television).

Names and Symbols
"Maggie Mui" comes from the names of two famous Hong Kong movie actresses, Maggie Cheung and the late Anita Mui, who starred, along with Michelle Yeoh, in The Heroic Trio, an action flick from the early 90s. "Mui" is presumably a Chinese surname (no clue what dialect, best guess is Cantonese); I do not know what it means. "Maggie" is most commonly a nickname for "Margaret," which means "pearl," though it's not clear whether Maggie is a nickname or just her given name.

Some fans like to pay attention to honorifics, so: in the Japanese dialogue, Michelle refers Maggie with the "-chan" suffix. At least once, Nenene also calls Maggie "-chan," when she introduces her to Yomiko (I have seen a fansub clip where Nenene says "Maggie-san" but it sounds to my ears like she's saying "-chan"). If one transliterates this to "little Maggie" it's rather ironically cute (and may be one of the reasons Nenene uses it, master of irony that she is). In the context of the show, it's likely meant as an informal and somewhat cutesy term of endearment; Michelle calling her "Maggie Dear" in the Geneon dub/subtitles is a reference to this. Anita calls Maggie "Ma-nee" which would roughly translate to "Big Sis Mags" (I said this before it was published, but since then Viz manga appears to agree with me). Everyone else generally calls her by her first name, with or without "-san." She is very rarely referred to by her surname.

The most notable symbols associated with Maggie are of course her Paper Minions; though she can create all kinds, she seems particularly fond of bird, wolf, and humanoid servant/laborer forms. In some respect, these are Maggie's avatars; like her, they are very strong and resilient and represent different aspects of her nature. The wolf–seen most often in ground combat#150;is especially fitting; Maggie is at once a "lone wolf" who prefers the quietude of her cramped "nests" and at the same time quite dedicated to the support and protection of her "pack."

Death Quaker's Realm All original creative materials © 2005 R. Pickard. Read or Die, R.O.D. the TV and all related concepts were created by Hideyuki Kurata and are ©2003 Aniplex/Studio Orphee.
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