Click Your Heels
Dorothy is the first person who tells her story in Lost Girls, and the youngest member of the cast. Her adventures are still very recent, and fresh in her mind. They also involve a hell of a lot of incest, especially with her father. Sister incest isn’t quite so strange coming from the anime world, but parental incest is still a huge taboo, even there. Of all the stories told throughout Lost Girls, Dorothy is the one who exhibits the greatest amount of freedom and self control over her own sexual destiny. As expected from the sole American of the group.
Having New York stand in for the Emerald City… I’d do the same thing, so in that regard, I’m on the same wavelength as Alan Moore. Or Joel Schumacher, but let’s focus on the positives here. A lot of the focus is placed on her farmhands standing in for the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, even if the Lion and Tin Man have their debut order switched compared to the main story. Despite all the good vibes, it ends in disillusionment, the same as any of the other stories that Moore put to pen in this work.
As for Requiem’s Dorothy, she was at the center of the story all along. During the course of events, a girl in black follows the nameless boy around, pushing stories to their conclusions and ultimately revealing that all but the Requiem route were happening in “The World of What-If”, a collective dream she trapped them in so they could escape together.
It’s a very Japanese and visual novel way of telling things, to have all those disparate routes happening one after the other. Her entire backstory is told in Encore – Dorothy was once a girl at Paradise who was suffering from a heart condition in addition to Fairytale Syndrome, and the worse her Fairytale Syndrome got, the healthier she became. It was a harsh choice for Ikeno (here standing in for all three of her companions), and after being sexually assaulted by the doctors claiming to help her, Dorothy ended up distrusting the staff, dying shortly after.
However, she was the woman in black, and in the end, her silver shoes (mistaken by Gretel for Karen’s Red Shoes) allow her to make one final wish to create a tornado that takes the entire main cast out of Paradise and back to their homes, where their families are waiting. It’s an explicit supernatural magic that isn’t present in Lost Girls in anything other than drug-induced hazes, and, in the sense of Dorothy acting as kind of a guardian spirit for Paradise, a very Japanese kind of spirituality. Her final action in Encore is to cast a spell over Paradise, turning it into the fantasyland seen on the map screen, rather than the drab, gray hospital it really is.
One Dorothy is older, another is younger. One appears first, the other appears last. Both of them are vital in getting the others to open up. Lost Girls’ Alice and Dorothy are the first pair to start experimenting with each other in a lesbian way, and Requiem’s Alice and Dorothy were best friends (along with Gretel) before her passing.
Dorothy is a light of hope in both of these stories, and both Oz (Paradise/New York) and their home (Kansas, a place very much like Kansas) are something that both needs to be gotten away from, so they can help others find happiness where it best suits them. Both of them help others discover the good things about themselves that were there all along.
The same baseline of a story, expanded out into things that only bear a passing resemblance to one another. Hell, I could probably throw Once Upon a Time in here if I wanted, but I don’t watch that and both of these are drawn rather than acted. I wanted to focus on that above all else.
Because as it said in Lost Girls, the characters aren’t real. They remain innocent, even as they go through tragedy that would, in real life, be quite tragic indeed. They’re reflections of reality, but they influence the real world as much. Look at how much terminology our world has inherited from fiction, and it becomes clear that stories are one of the most important things.