Meryl Mei Qi

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Will you take the mission? Or will you back out?
—Meryl Mei Qi, The JOJOLands Chapter 1: Departure

Meryl Mei Qi (メリル・メイ・チー, Meriru Mei Chī) is a secondary ally featured in the ninth part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, The JOJOLands.

Meryl Mei is publicly the principal of McKinley High School and the owner of the fashion boutique Iko Iko, but these are fronts for her true status as the leader of a criminal gang. Her students, Jodio Joestar, Dragona Joestar, Paco Laburantes, and Usagi Alohaoe secretly work for her.

Appearance

Meryl Mei is an imposingly tall, plump woman. She towers over the people around her, being two heads taller than Dragona and being nearly level with the doorway to Iko Iko. She has medium colored chin length hair which she wears tied into a blunt ponytail.

Meryl Mei wears a long, loose dress similar to a muumuu. It is split at the waist, has a leaf motif, and is decorated with fringes at the hips. She also has shoulder bows, loafers decorated with bow ties, and plain stud earrings.[1] She later wears a pearl necklace.[2]

Color Schemes

The series is known for alternating colors between media, the information presented below may or may not be canon.
Skin(Fair, red lipstick, bronze earrings)
Hair(Brown, dark pink hairbands)
Eyes(Light Orange)
Outfit
(Dark magenta dress with a purple leaf pattern, and black shoes.)

Personality

Meryl Mei Qi is considered a "superwoman" by Jodio Joestar, leading a triple life as an educator, talented fashion designer, and criminal mastermind. Under her facade as a well-loved and respectable public figure, she is actually a meticulous crime boss. Meryl Mei is publicly known as a high school principal, where she is loved by the students, all of whom gladly salute her and whom she greets in return.[3] She is also the owner of Iko Iko, a fashion boutique in Kalihi. She personally works on many aspects of the boutique, such as designing the clothing, merchandise, and posters; Jodio admires her work and judges that she could be a successful fashion designer even in Paris or Milan if she ever put her mind to it.[4]

Meryl Mei clapping and singing out her orders

As a crime boss, her office at Iko Iko is her base where she hands out missions to her members. Beneath her cheerful act as a principal is a woman with ulterior motives who doesn't truly care about her students, recruiting young children to risk their lives doing illegal acts for her like robberies or smuggling goods. She is very cautious and does not want to leave any trace of her felonies. For instance, she tells her underlings to shut down their cell phones when discussing their crimes, and hides her address from them.[5] Her shop is also a front to hide the income from her criminal business.[4] She is well connected, having spies and acquaintances working as customs officers at the local international airports[6], hotels, newspaper companies, and even the police department.[2] She also has ties with the black market to be able to sell a precious diamond.[7] Meryl Mei occasionally advises her subordinates to expand their drug sales to university students and such, because she doesn't wish for her business to be completely closed off.[8]

The two sides of her seem to have more overlap in personality than would initially seem, as she treats her underlings like elementary schoolers despite them being teenagers or young adults. She always claps her hands and sings her order for them to shut down their phones, though her team happily claps and sings back.[4] She can be perceptive and intimidating, as she realizes when her gang members are hiding something from her and then demands that they tell her the truth.[2] Despite her wealth, she is manipulative and greedy, always wanting to make even greater gains. For example, she admits to Jodio and Dragona that she wouldn't have invited them into her gang if they wouldn't make her a profit.[9]

History

Background

Picking up Dragona and Jodio

Meryl Mei supposedly has a handsome husband and child at home, though her address is a mystery. She is primarily the principal of McKinley High School. However, she is also the boss of a criminal organization and recruits students from her school to be part of her gang.

Furthermore, she has a side business as the proprietress of the Iko Iko fashion boutique store in order to hide her illegitimate income. The designs of the fashion posters on the wall behind her in her office as well as the clothing and merchandise sold at Iko Iko are all done by Meryl Mei herself.[1]

When Dragona was fourteen years old and Jodio was eleven years old, Meryl drove up to them, warning the Joestar brothers not to be traveling on such a dangerous street alone since the rules say that elementary schoolers like Jodio need to be accompanied by an adult guardian or riding the school bus when commuting from school. Dragona explained that they were going to meet up with their mother. Meryl was aware of their mother, scoffing that she couldn't even afford to pay the school's tuition. Nonetheless, Meryl offered to drive them to her, claiming she also had a 'win-win' proposition for them.[9] She recruited them into her gang and at some point, hired Dragona to work at Iko Iko.[1]

The JOJOLands

The Diamond Heist

Showing the photo of the diamond

Meryl Mei summons Jodio, Dragona, and Paco to Iko Iko for their next mission. She makes an announcement to close the shop and then orders the three gang members to turn off their phones. Meryl Mei then shows the gang members a photograph of a natural 24-carat blue diamond on her phone, which she says has a value of at least 6 million US dollars. The crime boss's contacts among the customs officials of Kona International Airport have let her know that a Japanese tourist has declared the diamond in his possession, and that he owns a villa on Hawaii where he will likely be staying at for the next 12 days. She intends to sell the diamond on the black market, taking a cut of 18% and giving her subordinates 2%. As Jodio mulls over his role in the operation, Paco and Dragona decide on behalf of the group to undertake the task. However, Meryl Mei reveals that they will actually be going on the heist as a team of four, revealing the fourth member of the team to be Usagi Alohaoe, an upperclassman who Jodio and Paco sold drugs to at school earlier that day. The two express their misgivings about roping in a customer but Meryl Mei assures them that he is not a drug addict and will benefit the operation.[1]

Impressed with stolen goods

The crew goes to the island of Hawaii and eventually returns with the diamond and various other items they stole. She examines the jewel and confirms that it is the genuine article. Although they have stolen more than she ordered, she remains satisfied and hands the gang their payment for the job. After she puts the diamond in a safe, Meryl Mei asks them what happened at the big island because her contacts have told her that somehow, no one reported any burglary, and yet they spent more than six hours on the island. The group hesitates to explain, with Dragona notably having trouble finding the right words. Nonetheless, Dragona points to the diamond that has somehow found its way back in Meryl Mei's hands, showing the first of the difficulties they've faced.[2]

Claiming HOWLER's Rights

Plan to make the Lava Rock a system for a flow of money

The team introduces Meryl to their new ally, Charming Man, and gives her the Lava Rock. She claps, singing for all of them to turn off their cellphones. Meryl asks Dragona why she should trust Charming Man. Dragona and Paco try persuading her that he's a good person who just wants to save his younger brother. Charming Man recounts to Meryl the events surrounding his brother's disappearance and his own observations of Rohan's experiments with Lava Rocks. He's convinced that larger Lava Rocks can be found higher up on Hualalai. However, it's a prohibited area under the control of a company named HOWLER. It is also the last known location of Mauka—leading Charming Man to believe that his brother might still be found there alive. His efforts to investigate have been thwarted by law enforcement and mountain rangers, casting him as a suspect in his brother's presumed death. Charming Man suggests that replicating Rohan's method of dispersing bills might lead them to discover more Lava Rocks.

Meryl empathizes with Charming Man's plight and what happened to his brother. She brings a bill close to the Lava Rock and confirms with them that this bill will truly always end up coming back to her now on its own, no matter where she goes. Meryl then reveals her connections to HOWLER and unveils a plan to seize Hualalai by overtaking HOWLER's financial and property assets, leveraging the Lava Rock to assume the company's rights. With an estimated value exceeding 50 billion dollars, she proposes awarding each gang member 4% of the spoils.[9]

Chapters

Book Icon.png Manga Appearances
Chapters in order of appearance

Quotes

Quote.png Quotes
  • Everyone, my sincere apologies. To all customers in the store, unfortunately, we're already closing today. I'm really sorry it's too early for your time.
    —Meryl Mei Qi, The JOJOLands Chapter 1: Departure
  • Now then, put your phones away, everyone! What are you doing? Put that away right now. You too, Jodio! Turn it off! Put them away! Okay! All of you! Off, off, off, off, off, off!
    —Meryl Mei Qi, The JOJOLands Chapter 1: Departure
  • Now, the only phone you should be looking at is mine! You're all going to memorize what's on this screen... I'm not sending you any photos!
    —Meryl Mei Qi, The JOJOLands Chapter 1: Departure
  • Will you take the mission? Or will you back out?
    —Meryl Mei Qi, The JOJOLands Chapter 1: Departure

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References

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