Wendy Earheart is Joseph Carpenter's young assistant. In the ROD novels, at least, she is of partly Indian ancestry. Creator Hideyuki Kurata has said that he took Wendy's surname from Amelia Earhart, the famous American aviator.
In the OVA, much of Wendy's work seems strictly secretarial. She prepares files, fetches needed materials, and also prepares tea for Joseph Carpenter. Yet Joseph Carpenter also entrusts Wendy with some critically important counterespionage work. When he becomes suspicious of the loyalty of one of his agents, Joseph Carpenter assigns Wendy to investigate. He even tells her to "use dirty tricks" if neccessary. Wendy accepts this unquestioningly and uncovers the truth.
In the ROD TV series Wendy takes a much more active role for the British Library's Special Operations Division, helping to direct missions and taking care of Junior. She has clearly become Joseph Carpenter's second in command. She plays a vital role in the development of the plot. Midway through the TV series, Wendy writes a report for Joseph Carpenter describing the events since the destruction of the I-Jin in the ROD OVA. This serves to link the OVA and TV continuities.
In the ROD manga, Wendy appears to be slightly younger than she is in the OVA. Though only a British Library apprentice at this stage, she serves as an undercover field agent, masquerading as a schoolgirl in order to assist Yomiko Readman in her efforts to track down a secret library. By the end of the manga, Wendy has become an assistant for Yomiko's friend, the writer Nenene Sumiregawa.
Wendy also appears in the ROD novels. Her role in them is not yet fully known, but part of at least one novel describes her efforts to join the British Library staff. Wendy is helped in this quest by Karen Toped, her roomate and a British Library employee. Karen is reportedly much more stylish and sophisticated than Wendy.
Wendy's dress varies from one ROD continuity to the other, but her basic apperance does not. She is a slender, blue-eyed blonde, "cute" rather than sexy or classically beautiful, with typically English features. Her hair is cut rather long and loosely in the OVA, but in the TV series it is neatly clipped in a shorter style.
In the ROD manga, Wendy wears typical Japanese schoolgirl costume: long shirt, cravat, and a very short skirt. In the OVA, she wears what is virtually the standard British Library staff uniform: long skirt, tie, vest, and gauntlets. In the ROD TV series, she wears the stylish and well-tailored clothes of a young professional woman. Some artwork from the ROD novels shows her in a maid's costume.
Wendy's personality varies somewhat in the different ROD continuities, at least superficially. In the manga and OVA Wendy is a cheerful, happy person who smiles easily. She also seems to be something of an airhead. In the manga she reacts emotionally, cries easily, and is sometimes indiscreet about her secret agent work. In the OVA she is very clumsy, frequently dropping papers and tea things. At times, she seems to be more of a comic character than anything else. She is, however, very loyal to Joseph Carpenter and does whatever she can to please him.
However, in the ROD TV series, Wendy's personality appears much more mature and serious. Her methods of completing tasks become cold, almost cruel. She occasionally seems to be troubled by the unethical things that Joseph Carpenter tells her to do (such as killing a man or deceiving Junior), but she always obeys Joseph Carpenter's orders. Wendy seems to have a special venom towards Yomiko, and does not hesitate to shoot her. It is not clear whether age or experience causes this seeming change in Wendy. Most fans consider it a combination of both.
This change in Wendy may be more apparent than real, however. In an insert in the TV series CD boxes, creator Hideyuki Kurata has asserted that Wendy's character remains essentially consistent from the OVA through the TV series. Wendy's physical clumsiness and giggly manner in the OVA, Kurata says, should not be mistaken for incompetence, unseriousness, or weakness of character. Wendy is utterly loyal to Joseph Carpenter and serves him very well in both the OVA and the TV. Her manner has become more mature and professional and her conscience has clearly been coarsened by the time of the TV series, but she is fundamentally the same person.
Wendy is very close to Yomiko in the ROD manga, whom she seems to look up to. During the assault on the I-Jin fortress in the OVA, Wendy is clearly very worried for Yomiko's safety. In the TV series, however, Wendy and Yomiko are no longer friends. Wendy now hates Yomiko and Nancy Makuhari, and does her best to punish them.
Wendy's loyalty to, and affection for, Joseph Carpenter explains her change in attitude towards Yomiko. Joseph Carpenter was badly injured when Yomiko destroyed the British Library, and Joseph Carpenter is the most important person in Wendy's life.
Joseph Carpenter and Wendy have an extremely close relationship. Wendy looks up to him even more than she does to Yomiko. Joseph Carpenter sees the talent in Wendy beneath her scatterbrained manner, and he trains her and shapes her to his own purposes. Joseph Carpenter comes to depend greatly on Wendy, and she may be the only human being he truly trusts.
Joseph Carpenter may be the teacher to Wendy's student, but their relationship has other aspects as well. Many fans have speculated that the two may be sexually attracted to one another or even romantically involved, at least by the time of the TV series. One sample of TV series pencilboard art certainly seems to suggest this, and there are other such hints in some scenes of the series. For example, Wendy is irritated when Joseph Carpenter keeps deferring a dinner date with her.
The relationship between the 2 is not, in fact, entirely smooth. Wendy has some affection for Junior, and she finds Joseph Carpenter's indifference towards the boy irksome. On several occasions Wendy seems to be on the brink of disagreeing openly with Joseph Carpenter. Her loyalty and affection for Joseph Carpenter, however, override all other considerations and Wendy stands by him and cares for him right to the end--and beyond.
This article is based on the ROD manga, viewings of the ROD OVA and TV series, and information and discussions found at:
- Special thanks are also due to Rhianwen, Wendy fan extraordinary.