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Meiling Rae
25 March
Music, Physical Education
***Steamed sweet bean-paste buns, almond tofu, fried sesame balls.
Kikurage (type of mushroom)
Chinese Cuisine
New clothes

Detailed Biography:
Originally living in Hong Kong, Li Meiling came to Tomoeda, Japan to follow her cousin and self-proclaimed fiancé, Li Syaoran when he didn’t fulfil his promise to return to Hong Kong at the promised time.

Meiling is a confident and energetic ten-year-old girl. It is no wonder that this girl is an accomplished martial artist and excels in the subject of P.E. But, because she has a preference of doing most things with speed, she has problems with tasks which need a bit more patience to succeed in the task.

It was in true in the event where she tried to win a long-distance run trial with speed during a phys-ed session, coming last, failing her to come first like she was initially.

This is also the case when she tries to bake a cake in home economics. After the class had presumably solved the mystery of the overly sweet cakes by paying careful attention to their measurements, they made cakes which tasted like a professional’s. While Meiling’s, her cake still could not taste the way it should.

Nevertheless, it didn’t mean that this energetic girl couldn’t keep trying. No matter how many times her cakes flopped, she would persist in baking a perfect-tasting cake. But of course, she couldn’t kick her habit of speeding through tasks, and so she was never able to master the art of baking cakes.

It is in this way Meiling is seen as an individual who does not mind being the centre of attention, where quite often, she is—although, she may not be conscious of always being the centre of attention. It is her outspoken personality which automatically puts her into the limelight.

Li Meiling is extremely vocal. It is what makes Meiling, Meiling. For this reason, her presence is never passed by without notice—whether it is just a simple hello or a long discussion, her part is always heard. But she has the tendency to brag about her own abilities at times.

During Meiling’s first day at Tomoeda Elementary, she has no problem showing her classmates this side of her when Kinomoto Sakura and herself were allowed to show off their skills in cartwheels in phys-ed class. Meiling was first to go, and she gave an excellent show with several perfect cartwheels and a nice forward summersault in the air to finish off. Whereas, Sakura, she gave an out-of-the-world performance with several cartwheels and a double summersault in the air to finish off.

From that day, it appears that Kinomoto Sakura would be her rival, having feelings of dislike toward the girl that seemed to be perfect.

Her competitive nature doesn’t only target Sakura though. It appears she has the tendency to compete with anyone who has a high reputation in their field. For example: Tomoyo and her exceptional talent in singing.

One lunch time, Tomoyo and her group of friends were trying out Tomoyo’s new karaoke machine. After Sakura’s performance, Meiling openly expresses that no one can better her singing talent save Tomoyo (who she admits) is a tough competitor, but her own singing is still excellent. Nevertheless, her main focus and dislike is on the one and only card mistress, Kinomoto Sakura.

From that, it appears that Meiling is an arrogant individual, where this quality also shows through her self-importance. But in the instance of Meiling, it is not always the case. Underneath the seemingly arrogance, there is care, compassion and insecurity—qualities which are sometimes referred to as qualities that weaken a person’s character. Perhaps this could be the reason Meiling has chosen to keep those hidden inside. But on occasions, she has let these qualities surface.

During the hype of incantation cards—cards that are said to improve someone’s weaknesses in a particular subject or matter, and cards that resemble the ones of the Clow—Meiling obtains the Shot incantation card. This card is said to allow the owner to strengthen the relationship between the owner and her chosen person. What Meiling didn’t realise though was that the card she possessed was actually a real Clow card. She inadvertently commands it to aim its powers at Syaoran. The card starts to shoot at him and one of its aims hit Syaoran’s arm. Sakura quickly goes into action, using Mirror to save him.
The next day, Meiling repays Sakura’s deed of saving Syaoran with the Cook incantation card, knowing that Sakura isn’t very good at cooking.

Then there was the time when Sakura had a fever. Seeing that Sakura had a poster to complete, Meiling didn’t hesitate to offer her help (and Syaoran’s) to finish the poster off for her, so that Sakura could rest without having to worry about leaving it all to Tomoyo to finish it off by herself.

Also, on the same day, at night, Meiling and Syaoran are amidst a Clow card—the Cloud. Sakura turns up—still having a fever—and tries to complete the seal of the Clow spirit, but is too sick to stay upright. Meiling notices, and again, helps her by steadying her and seals the card with her.

Two uncharacteristic, kind gestures from Meiling in one day; two kind gestures directed towards her thought-to-be rival.

Meiling appears to have the heart that most of the time she is seen not having. But it is not until giving up her long time obsession that we truly see the extent of Meiling’s heart and integrity.

After going back to Hong Kong for good, Meiling returns again to Tomoeda, having gotten a phone call form Syaoran that he wanted to tell her something when he goes back during the Christmas break. But, Meiling being Meiling, she couldn’t wait and comes to Tomoeda herself.
After school, Sakura, Syaoran, Tomoyo, and Meiling catch up, but it is cut short when Clow’s aura appears again. Soon, the four friends find themselves having to confront some flying penguins at Penguin King Park. After having one heck of a fight with the penguins and defeating them, Syaoran is heard calling Sakura by her first name. It is not until then that it became clear to Meiling of the reason for the phone call—the person that meant so dearly to her and loved to death loved someone else.

So it seems that Meiling lost to her rival in every way. She was no where near as good as Sakura as a person, nor was she good enough to hold onto her Syaoran; in the end, after all the negative feelings and competitiveness toward Sakura to protect what belonged to her was lost. Perhaps another reason to why Sakura had become Meiling’s rival was because of this reason.

Having spent almost all her life of hanging around Syaoran, she’d know what he couldn’t stand, what he could; what he liked, what he disliked. And seeing Sakura, she undesirably waited for the inevitable to happen.

Sakura appeared to have no real flaws. To add to that, Sakura has magic, something that Meiling didn’t have. When a situation involving magic came along she’d only be in the way; a bother.

During one evening, during the time when Sakura was still in search of the Clow cards, she had been invited to stay over at Sakura’s before she leaves for Hong Kong again. Meiling had told her that she couldn’t do anything for Syaoran; she believed that Syaoran thought of her as a bother and she believed it as well.

Meiling had to deal with losing this Syaoran she loved so much to Sakura. Judging from when she first arrived to study in Tomoeda, she would be expected to be sour about it or something of that calibre, but it was not so—quite the opposite.

After dinner, at Syaoran’s apartment balcony, Syaoran told Meiling that he has found someone that he truly loved, but didn’t go into specifics. But, from the earlier incident when they were dealing with the flying penguins, she had already known the one who had taken him away from her—her rival, Sakura.
She calmly exits the apartment, holding in her sadness, thanking Syaoran for dinner before telling him that she was going to head to Tomoyo’s. There, Meiling bawls her eyes out, telling Tomoyo that she couldn’t believe Syaoran could do that to her before talking about Sakura. Meiling tells her that she doesn’t hate Sakura for stealing his heart; she’s a nice person, but it still hurt then continues to cry.
The next day she leaves for Hong Kong, looking like nothing had happened, telling Syaoran to quickly confess his feelings to Sakura. She smiles then leaves with no anger, regret, or sadness, keeping her promise she made with him years ago that if he found someone that he loved himself, she’d give him up just like that.

Time passes and Sakura, Tomoyo, and Syaoran is sent letters from Meiling. The one sent to Sakura confirms Meiling’s kind nature. At the end of the letter, it is signed: To my good friend, Kinomoto-san.

So Meiling has accepted Sakura as a friend rather than a rival. She has shown that underneath all the overbearing qualities is a person who is kind, forgiving, understanding, thoughtful, brave and strong—all making up a likeable character. It is a shame that the only thing that she didn’t possess was magic. Her relationship with Syaoran could have been very different.

Biography: ©2003 by Julia and Tania C Productions.


***The steamed bean-paste buns are chinese, decorated like peaches (very cute). The reason behind the peach look of the food is that it signifies longevity. So the bun is painted and decorated that way. Interesting, huh? We think the Japanese call it 'manju'. They look like the ones Syaoran made during New Years in episode: "Sakura and the Mysterious Fortune".

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