Layla

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Layla, post-transformation
Layla as a human

Layla (ليلى / 美しき夜の娘 / Beautiful Maiden of the Night) is one of the main characters of the maxi-single Seisen no Iberia. The story revolves around her being forced to choose between eliminating the Moro or the Ibero side of the Holy War. Layla's dialogue and vocals were provided by YUUKI.

Contents

Name

The word layla (ليلى) in Arabic literally translates to "night", although as a female name, it is often given the meaning "dark beauty" as well. In Arabic tradition, Layla is often associated with Layla and Majnun, the famous story of two star-crossed lovers that were never allowed to marry each other[1]. The poem employs similar symbolism associated with Layla, such as her connections to the night and the moon[2].

Appearance

Layla initially appears as a normal human girl. Most of her body, save for her face, is shrouded from view by a long, hooded black cloak that she wears. This is briefly thrown back when she falls down the dungeon and meets Shaytân.

After her transformation post-oath, she wears clothes more similar to Shaytân's style. Her main outfit is composed of a black leathery tunic and pumpkin shorts with red accents, accompanied by dark gloves, mid-thigh stockings and boots. Her hair is separated into twintails; the left half remains a dark color while the right half becomes the color of fire. Her pupils change to a red color, and emblazoned on her chest is an emblem similar to the one marked on Shaytân's forehead.

Role

Layla's story is set in the midst of the Holy War between Moros and Iberos over the Iberian Peninsula. She was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, both of whom were killed by their respective opposing sides. The single finds her in the midst of fleeing the warfare, all the while contemplating which side she is supposed to hate.

Arasoi no Keifu

During her escape one night, she is shot through by a flaming arrow and falls into the dungeon that has kept Shaytân prisoner for several years. Shaytân wakes up at her call and offers her an oath of eternity which she accepts fearlessly. They seal the oath with a kiss.

Layla as taken during the Revival Tour (scan by Murkki)

Ishidatami no Akaki Akuma

After accepting the oath, Layla is transformed into a creature akin to Shaytân. The demon vows to destroy all that she hates and asks her what it is that she truly detests.

Shinryakusuru Mono Sareru Mono

At the height of the conflict, Layla and Shaytân move to the battlefield and observe the humans preparing to kill each other. It is here that Layla realizes that what she truly hates is the war itself, and they move to end the conflict before disappearing.

Live Portrayal

YUUKI also portrays Layla in the live performances and the Ishidatami no Akaki Akuma PV, with her costume mostly following the original design save for red highlights in her hair instead of orange. The story is generally portrayed as is sung in the live versions, although Layla is shown to kneel before Shaytân pre-oath and attack the humans with flame alongside him in more recent performances.

The PV puts a slight twist on Layla's story, showing her to be seemingly trapped in a stone facade before Shaytân transforms her.

References

  1. M. Sells, "A Literary Approach to the Hymnic Sūras of the Qur'ān: Spirit, Gender, and Aural Intertextuality," Literary structures of religious meaning in the Qur'ān, ed. I. Boullata, (Richmond, 2000), 9
  2. L. Sinha, "Unveiling the Garden of Love: Mystical Symbolism in Layla Majnun & Gita Govinda," (Bloomington, Indiana, 2008), 63-7
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