Feather has rarely been featured within the manga but after the comment Holy expressed in regards to Feather’s change in behaviour in chapter 168, I find the potential she possesses to be very curious. Holy was surprised that Feather was talking during their meeting which suggest that usually Feather keeps quiet and doesn’t say much, if anything at all. This behaviour leads one to question what caused Feather to speak and why? Was it merely to state that Elsie Crimson isn’t as significant a threat as the other Oracion Seis Galactica? Such a mention of something already known seems odd and inconsequential when the whole of the Oracion Seis Interestelar save Justice are already aware that Elsie should only be focused on AFTER the rest of the Oracion Seis Galactica members are dealt with. So then why did Feather speak? What changed in her?
If I were to entertain a theory going by the four panels we have seen her in, I would venture that Feather is an Android. Her behaviour of staying silent and carrying out orders seems reflective of that of an Android programmed toward a certain functionality. The diamond shaped iris’s of her eye forming the appearance of a window symbol also leads me to believe that she is an Android. Not to mention her overall aura presenting itself as a Android-type existence. I would assume that the reason Feather was not sent with Jaguar, Justice and Eraser to assist with the conflict in the Aoi Cosmos is because she was an Android and would be vulnerable to the All-Link System when the Aoi High Tide connected everything in the cosmos together. So why is this relevant?
Why would Feather being an Android be of particular note? The real curious possibility comes when once considers the developments that have just taken place that may have led to a change within Feather. If Feather is an Android and programmed, certain events taking place could have caused a shift in her programming which has now led her to being more vocal. Recent past events include; Ziggy attaining a new power, Nero’s death, Jaguar’s death, Creed’s death, Shura’s death, Ijuna’s death, and Witch’s death. Feather’s change could be linked to such developments. Is Feather an undercover Oracion Seis Galactica or Edens One member? Is she a creation of Mother? Did Jaguar give her orders in event he died? Or could Feather be linked to a possibility I am now entertaining. Could Feather be a subset of Witch or the original Witch? There is so much we have yet to learn about the Shining Four Stars including the memories that were erased. Could Witch have split herself into two? One part to lay dormant aboard the Edens Zero and the other to venture across the cosmos? The rest of the Shining Four Stars sought to experience the world after Ziggy settled on Granbell with Shiki, so it wouldn’t be odd if Witch derived a method to both look after the ship and to experience the world. Witch’s memories were erased presumably by Ziggy (or was it herself), so Witch after being awakened when Shiki arrived on the Edens Zero would not have been aware of anything she had done prior to her memories being altered.
Feather’s change in personality taking place AFTER Witch’s death is very suspicious. Add on to that the potential of Feather being an Android and sharing a similar design to Witch and I find myself curious if the echoes of my insanity holds relevance. Among the Oracion Seis Interestelar, Feather’s design and clothing stands out for a particular reason. From the perspective of the “Battle Dress Requip” forms, Feather’s design could very well be one. Her design is consistent with the look the Four Shining Stars have when they awaken. Feather’s helmet even has some similarities to Witch’s Battle Dress helmet.
As for Witch’s appearance during the flashbacks she had, everything is relative based on perspective, including memory or data which is susceptible to being distorted. It is unclear at this point if the memories the Four Shining Stars have of their previous journey with Ziggy is entirely accurate, so the appearance differing from the present one could be explained by the manipulation of memory in play.
Concerning the mechanisms in the background of Deadend Crow’s introductory panel, we may learn more about Androids and Machines. This could also allow for Feather to be focused on more if she really is an Android.
Witch’s death has been handled beautifully but I don’t fully believe Mashima-sensei really killed her in the complete sense. Based on Mashima-sensei’s previous work, it just does not seem like his modus operandi. Sure Mashima-sensei has killed off characters in his previous works but for truly iconic ones, they have been developments he used to get around the finality involved in their tragic ends e.g. Ultear and Irene, their stories are still ongoing with hope intertwined within their path. The “Witch” the Edens Zero knew may have died but there could very well be a subversion of Witch’s character in play that will be revealed in the future.
Witch has been such an iconic character within the series that I find myself seriously pausing when considering if she really was killed off. After all, there is still a role that Witch could play if she were to return in some form. Witch has to reveal to Homura what Etherion is that resides within the Code 3173 room (Elie). Lets also not forget that unlocking the Etherion requires authentication from all Four Shining Stars. If Etherion is a future development that will come into play, all Four Shining Stars will be required to unlock it. So even with Witch seemingly gone for now, she will return in some form to the story. Rebecca also requires further guidance in her training to become a Chrono Witch. With Witch’s presence still needed within the story, I find it hard to fully believe that she is completely gone. I wholeheartedly believe that Witch will return to the story in some form in the future but that will happen later rather than sooner.