Spoilers for “The Star Beast” and the February 1980 issue of DWM.
Doctor Who is back on the air! Just two days after its 60th anniversary, the long-running sci-fi classic returns with a trio of specials. Those specials are bringing back some familiar faces… and not just in terms of the Doctor and Donna. The episode “The Star Beast” introduces the Meep, an adorable Furby-like alien who’s so small and weak and just needs protection. But those who’ve seen the episode—or who’ve read some old Fourth Doctor comics—know that appearances can be deceiving.
The Meep’s appearance put us in mind of certain anime characters: sweet, adorable, and seemingly harmless… but who turn out to be ruthless and bloodthirsty. There are the ones who came to mind for us. Can you think of any others?
Nana Hiiragi is a dark horse in many ways.
The series Talentless Nana is just as deceptive as its protagonist… and that includes revealing who its protagonist is! While the Meep of Doctor Who gets rumbled in a car park when the Doctor invokes the Shadow Proclamation, no one ever figures out Nana Hiiragi’s game. Not in the anime adaptation, anyway. (The manga is still running and is several story arcs separated from its adaptation!)
In the world of the show, some people develop superpowers called “Talents.” These Talented go to school on a remote island. Among them is Nana, who claims to be a psychic. But as we learn at the end of episode one, she’s Talentless: possessed solely of impossibly sharp with and a variety of brutal killing methods. And she knows the truth about this world’s superheroes… or, at least, she thinks she does.
Junko Enoshima goes layers deep.
In the latest episode of Doctor Who, the Meep leans on the species’s inherent cuteness to hide a warped, murderous side. Naturally, we thought of Danganronpa headmaster Monokuma… but evoking him means evoking the true woman behind the slaughter.
Junko Enoshima is working on multiple layers, and not just because everything (even her own personality) bores her. Much like the Meep, she funnels her massive master plan through an adorable front. It just so happens she and a friend built that adorable front. Of course, the Meep was more than happy to cast another alien race as the “bad guy” for Meep’s ends, so they both understand the importance of several levels of deception.
Easiest way to explain the Meep to a non-Doctor Who fan? Big Kyubey energy. Meeps may not make contracts and grant wishes. They are, however, psychopathic aliens who use their cuteness (and their powers) to manipulate and subjugate humans. But while Incubators feed on entropy farmed from humans, the Beep of all Meeps plans to burn up London for rocket fuel.
If you’re not well versed in old Doctor Who comics, your relationship to both characters as a viewer may have followed a similar trajectory. We all remember what it was like going from loving Kyubey to wanting the little weirdo destroyed, after all.