New concept art for characters in What We Learned at Rokudai, as portrayed by @sakura-rose12 (thanks as always for your hard work on this commission!)
Some of these are revised versions of SRU characters, while others are entirely new. Here’s a breakdown of their concepts:
1) Robin Nakashima-Gallagher
Very directly inspired by Ashley of the Nintendo series ‘Another Code’ aka 'Trace Memory,’ right down to the deliberate mixed-race aspect, though in her case, both parents were too stubborn to give up their names. The design and pose on the left image is very directly taken from what I worked on with Shannon for that short story I did a while back. I spent so much time working on my own interpretation of that character, I got attached to it and want to use that with some revisions that I’ve already started writing that show up in Chapter 10, which I plan to post this evening!
Nothing Robin said ever fucking mattered. Not even to herself.
Robin is the quiet girl who mumbles and mutters, who never commits and never gets involved, never stands up for herself, etc. She embodies weakness and self-doubt, and while I’m not quite sure where her story will take her, I know Aaron will be involved directly, as he deals with similar issues, though he’s more socially active than she is. I always regretted that Aaron’s character felt baked than the rest of the main cast, and I’m hoping giving him someone with similar issues (to contrast Coral, who is his opposite) will help me bolster his own character arc a bit more. It’s a frustrating predicament, dealing with development of a character when their entire dilemma hinges around “I’m boring and plain and quiet,” but this is super important and I feel a LOT of youth who would get exposed to this world feel similar frustration. Hopefully, Aaron’s story and Robin’s alike will be able to help offer some ideas to consider for those kinds of situations.
Robin gets introduced as one of Juniper’s colleagues in the music department – similar to Maya being connected to Aaron through art. She’ll get pulled into the 'girl band’ side thing that Ruka starts up, and that will be her 'in’ to the story. Like the others here, I won’t be trying to hide my influence, but obviously I plan to do my own stuff and spin my own tale. While she’ll have frustration with her dad, her mother will be alive and well, for example. She’ll be into music and be dealing with similar issues as Ashley was in my short story – plus, I’m planning on bringing along that 'black-outs’ issue and doing something more meaningful with it than I could accomplish in that short story.
Basically, this is a rare case where the act of writing a short story directly inspired me to rehaul the concepts and remix them into something else.
Give it time and maybe we’ll see a repurposed GoGo Tomago in a similar fashion? Who knows.
2) Bella Gomez
Bella’s a complete retooling of a character concept I had back in college for Goombella of the Mario universe – a side story radio play of sorts I even had voice actors audition for, once upon a time (which reminds me, maybe Rokudai or at least parts of it could WORK in that format?). While the spirit of seeking knowledge and being into archeology will be in tact, I’ve yet to see what kind of girl Bella turns out to be, or exactly what her role in the story will turn into. But I do hope to use her to express and explore themes regarding mental instability.
3) Kylee Moretti & Indika Rabten
Rokudai readers have already been introduced to the dynamic of these two.
not hiding in any way that Kylee is directly inspired by the TV show’s
Ty Lee, though I’d say even in her SRU form I gave her more development
than the TV show had time for, though admittedly never quite as much as I wanted to. This time around she’s going to be Maya’s
romantic partner, while her older brother, Indika, is going to have a
complex tension regarding their
relationship. Indika is old enough to be Kylee’s parent just about,
which is sure to make their sibling relationship somewhat outside the
Indika will be a fusion of SRU!Tenzin/Zuko/Azula, all rolled into one character whose story/plot functions will be like an abbreviation of all of those three – SRU!Azula’s tug-of-war relationship with SRU!Ty-Lee, Zuko’s pessimism and grumpiness while striving to bring positive change, and Tenzin’s familial situation and political position (which will still be important to Coral’s character arc).
On top of all this, there’s of course the dynamic of Kylee’s family being so mixed, ethnically and culturally. Ex. she’s prominently Italian on her father’s side, likely Indian on her mother’s, while Indika is much more noticeably Middle-Eastern in his genealogy, as he was born from a different father.
4) Hideki Kurosawa
There’s not really much about this character’s design that needed changing. Interpretations for SRU already softened the man’s features. His role has been revised, though, as he is Maya’s uncle (SRU!Zuko & Azula no longer exist), which will lend some different situations for sagely-old-man-monologues to come into play.
5) Nestor, Manu, and Mallory (the League)
they’re depicted playing League of Legends, a group activity they have
going with Siku and Katrina. They are loosely inspired by Teo, Haru, and
Mal the Ghost Witch, all minor characters in ATLA universe (the latter
only existing as a trading card).
There’s probably something symbolic you could read into Nestor correlating to Earthbound, and I’m deliberately wanting there to be cues that signify his inspiration thereof.