During yesterday’s Capcom Showcase stream, we got another look at Resident Evil: Death Island, the newest CG film in the series. The trailer featured iconic RE characters such as Chris Redfield, the boulder-punching enthusiast; Leon S. Kennedy, the Karen hair-bob heartthrob; and Jill Valentine, the railgun-wielding badass. While Chris and Leon have aged significantly since their last major appearance in a video game, Jill appears to have not aged at all since Resident Evil 2. Capcom has a ridiculous storyline explanation for this, of course.
Leon attempts to rescue a kidnapped doctor, while Chris investigates a zombie outbreak in California, in Resident Evil: Death Island, which takes place between Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil 7. Jill later joins Leon and Chris in their zombie antics following T-virus treatment. This nugget of information will be a crucial piece of the de-aging puzzle for Jill.
Aging Is Scary, Apparently
Instead of simply stating that they prefer Jill’s character model in Resident Evil 3 Remake, the official Death Island Twitter stated that the side effects of Jill’s T-Virus infection “slowed her ageing” in a new character bio post.
Jill was 23 years old when she was infected with the T-Virus in Resident Evil 3 at the time of her infection. According to Capcom’s official RE timeline, RE3 occurred in 1998 and Death Island occurs in 2015, making Jill approximately forty years old. Chris and Leon would be 38 and 42 years old, respectively. Why Jill’s apparent ability to stop time also requires her to wear clothes from the late 1990s is beyond my comprehension.
The most likely explanation for Capcom’s cowardly decision not to age Jill alongside her male co-stars is that, in popular culture, nothing is scarier than women ageing normally. The fact that Chun-character Li’s model in Street Fighter 6 appears nearly as young as she did in Street Fighter II speaks for itself.
While Chun-Li and Jill’s lack of ageing could be attributed to good genes (or, in Jill’s case, altered genes), it’s clear that Capcom is reluctant to create more obviously aged versions of its female characters. Though Capcom could attribute Chunner, Cammy, etcagelessness .’s to Street Fighter’s admittedly muddled timeline, it, much like Jill’s lack of ageing, suggests that a woman’s worth in our society is closely tied to her beauty and youth. Even though it fails to surprise, it is still unpleasant to observe.
For those who haven’t been keeping up with the canonical, so-bad-they’re-good Resident Evil CG films, Death Island will be the fifth installment. In chronological order, Resident Evil’s CG films are Resident Evil Degeneration (2006), Damnation (2012), Vendetta (2017), and Infinite Darkness (2018). (2021). They are all awful, and I adore them.