真柏Project Design – Mortal Śakra VS Immortal Śakra

Śakra exists as an eternal 12-year-old in the deity’s realm, but when she returns to our plane of existence, her centenarian-like body bears down upon her and she becomes so weak that she can barely walk.

Note: This is my first time doing an illustration of an elderly person, I learned a lot from the experience!


The Juniper’s Tree Trilogy Has Come to an End︱The Journey of Writing a Full-Length Series

Thank You to the Readers

Thank you! Everyone who purchased and took the time to read my book. I am really thankful for those who took the time to leave me feedback and reviews, too. 🙏 Thank you again, I am eternally grateful to you all. It brings tears to my eyes, to know that people actually enjoy a story that I put my whole heart and soul into writing.

If any of you are interested and want to read a three-part series, the last novel will be free-to-read on January 18, 2021. If you want to catch up, here’s the link to my Fiction Press account: https://www.fictionpress.com/u/1143214/

Thank you again to those who read and pre-ordered the novel.

Special Q&A

⚠️ These are spoiler-free answers, if you haven’t read my books, yet — I hint at some things, but that’s about it ⚠️

Q: How do you come up with names for your characters?

A: It was a culmination of spiritual intuition, some of them were personal choices, and others were just puns. Like “Alise” (“a lease”) — you’ll get the cruel innuendo after you read the first book. “Warren Graves” is an anagram, props to those who have figured it out. The name “George” means martyr. And “Juniper” is a reference to the “juniper tree” in the Bible, she’s a protector… to the best of her ability, she tries to be. In my new series (“Suffer, My Desire”), the name Monét Blanchard literally means white money — I hope that giving that away doesn’t provide you with too much of a red herring. But, her subplot gets pretty crazy, so I doubt revealing that alone will lead to any meaningful predictions about her character.

Q: What songs remind you of each book in the series, and why?

A: I’m probably going to sound like a huge nerd for saying this, but for the first book (“Apotheosis”) — I was listening to “Forever Lost” (MYTH & ROID), “Goodbye Happiness” (Hikaru Utada), and “The Spaniards” (William Patrick Corgan). During the second novel (“Lovers”) — the bad guys are these crazy, plasticine television personalities… they both have dual sides to them, and yet, the two of them happen to be the perfect couple (so, in their insanity, they both understand each other, like Bonnie and Clyde). I was listening to a lot of Avenged Sevenfold during the production of that book, particularly “Afterlife” and “Roman Sky” — I was also listening to “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones, too, the single reminded me of Warren Graves as a character, so it kind of extended into the third book as well. “Endeavor” (Shaylee and Florence McNair) reminded me of Elizabeth Gardner’s struggle to accept her destiny, as well as Juniper Jamison’s stalwart determination, and “Sweet Lies” (Kanako Itō) reminded me of the Ashton Williams character. In the third book (“Nothing in the World”) —  I was listening to Hikaru Utada’s Hatsukoi album a lot during the second and third books, so “Yūnagi” bilaterally bridged the conclusion to the story, it became an accidental anthem for the inevitably bittersweet ending. The main song that reminded me of Nephthys during her remembrance of the past were “Static” and “Every Other Ghost” (Mili), I have been really obsessed with the Millennium Mother album for years, so Mili has been a big influence on certain creative aesthetics that I like.

Q: Writing rituals?

A: I just write what comes to mind. I don’t write notes, because keeping them around is confusing, if I get a great idea — I just outline the premise and then write down everything I can remember. If an idea is lost, it means that it wasn’t worth keeping. Good ideas are the ones you obsess over. I knew that I should start writing this series, when I started becoming more engrossed with my original characters than some of my favorite fictional characters of years past.

Q: How do you make the covers for your books?

A: They are just photographs. The cover for the first series is a picture that @SakihataLily took during a beautiful day. I decided to use it, after asking for their permission, because just looking at the scenery gave me a sense of emotional catharsis. The spin-off series cover was a picture that I, myself, took. I was stuck in traffic on a highway road and this vehicle’s engine just exploded and there were plumes of smoke rising up, I thought that I would use it for something someday. I’m not a very good artist, the only things that I’ve ever been told that I’m extremely good at is writing and singing, so I just took the indie route. I hope to start a fundraising page, after I code a BETA version of the visual novel that I’m working on… I would love to see my characters come to life, with the help of a talented artist.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for the 真柏Project universe?

Note: The characters in 真柏Project, mean “jun • ni • pa”

A: It’s weird, last March, I was at a very low point in my life. Some very bad things happened, followed by indecent behavior from people I though were nice, normal people — not only did the betrayal occur, but I witnessed very heinous crimes that shook me and made it so that I could never see sex-trafficking adverts, without feeling sick to my stomach. Not only that, but a cruel display from people who are so wealthy, that they frequently get away with murder. I began questioning whether Biblical “goodness” was something deemed beneath people of a certain status. It was a full-blown crisis. And so, I was forced to question my immediate reality, so it was weird. One morning, I just woke up and the entire trilogy was written in my head. All three books. It was like God had handed me the blueprint, answers to my concurrent anguish, and I just ran with it. Some of the plot points and characters were archetypes that I had experimented with before, but… in that one day, I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted to make the story about.

Q: What techniques do you use while writing your characters?

A: I have always been more of an introvert, so sometimes I just mimic how I’ve seen average people interact with one another. I also employ the use of the “Kinoko Nasu” approach and transform my ordinary characters into legendary beacons of light (or darkness). I often like to show how an extraordinary an average person can become, with the power of sheer will and an indomitable human spirit.

Q: What already fictional world would you compare you story to?

A: I originally got the idea got the idea for the underpass from an area that exists in a Colorado Mountain range — a mysterious, guarded tunnel. It sparked my creativity, I think the idea of wise elders came from my fixation of the 東方Project franchise. I would say that the rest was a culmination of the thousands of media productions that I’ve consumed over the years. When I originally proposed the original idea, seven or eight years ago, a friend told me that it reminded him of “Pan’s Labyrinth” — I still haven’t watched that film, but the twin (“doppelgänger”) motif came from the South Korean, psychological horror film: “A Tale of Two Sisters” (2003) and Luna’s conception was partially formed from the egg motif in “Kara no Shōjo” and somewhat due to Winslow Leach’s bizarre helmet-mask in “Phantom of the Paradise” (1974).

Sneak-Peak into “Suffer, My Desire”

I decided to just preview the new main character (“Aria Adler”) VS the old (“Juniper Jamison”), in this segment. Juniper is a fiery, force-of-nature but Aria is much more subdued and apprehensive, she’s more pragmatic in that sense. Juniper would blindly punch her way out of the enclosure of a cube, whereas, Aria would contemplate the dimensions of the object, before attempting to escape. Aria is a realist and has to carry the burden of re-living the memories of both the dead and living, through anamnesis. She attempts to live a humble and modest life, and dissects mysteries and crimes for the betterment of those around her. Her biggest flaw is that she puts others before herself and smolders in the confinement of her own thoughts, she has a difficult time asking others for help. Whereas, Juniper’s two major flaws were a) her impulsivity (which also saves her, in many instances) and b) her tendency to want to run away from hard truths, especially, if they involved her past or self-actualization. Juniper Jamison is a reckless savior and Aria Adler is a problem-solving, savant. 

Coming Soon… (Somnambular)

Taking a bit longer than expected, I tend to overshoot a bit with animation because I think, “creating a lot images, that isn’t too hard to do” but then I remember that correcting perspective and lining up the frames is a thing… it should be ready in a few hours; at the latest, the end of the day. Here are a couple of preview images, sorry for the wait.

(it would be nice to have my own animation studio right now 😅)

真柏Project Chara-Designs – Juniper and Nephthys

These will be the main sprites used for the two main characters in the Juniper’s Tree visual novel. Nephthys typically has the appearence of a 12-year-old girl, because when mortals undergo apotheosis and gain a deified form (the wedding CG is from the epilogue/The Folklorist’s continuity – it is also how Neph looks when she crosses through the borders between worlds), they remain an eternal teen (example: Śakra). The only exceptions to this rule are the original, celestial trio: Amaterasu, Luna, and Orca – they never regress in age, because they were never mortal to begin with. I went ahead and got these out of the way, because when I finish my next few animations, I am going to put together a promo and then start working on getting the rest of the designs together before the visual novel’s final configuration. These pictures will be in the promo, because I wanted to do a character card scene where it introduces said character and then shows a couple of their animated clips (anime example of this type of intro: Clannad). I think I will work on a longer promo when the visual novel is done; I was recently inspired to work more efficiently and cut out the glut, from this video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6BzCDVR-tr8

FULL Design Sheet: https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/06/30/character-design-sheet

Looking forward to unveiling brand new animations on Friday! (//∀//)

Lyrical Analysis: Ava Adore to Look What You Made Me Do

Have you ever had a completely different interpretation of a song after you had aged-up a bit and gained a more mature perspective on the world? Well, I decided to write this analysis because I had a very thoughtful moment while revisting “Ava Adore” (The Smashing Pumpkins). There are also parallels with that track’s song-writing and the premiere track of Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” album, but I’ll explain the comparisons later on in the essay.

For a little bit of backstory to my relationship with The Pumpkins’ Adore album… to put it lightly, I used to be completely obsessed with it. After I found a copy for a couple bucks at a used bookstore, I would listen to the whole album 2-3 times a day. At the time, I didn’t really GET the meaning behind “Ava Adore”, so it felt tonally inconsistent with the rest of the record.

It had an almost nightclub-sounding, drum-machine beat and the lyrics came off as juvenile with how much they degraded their object of desire. The mirror-opposite of the album’s dolefully somber tones that are conveyed through phrases ranging from a hauntingly disjointed piano melody to the effervescence of ghostly synth sounds. Throughout each lyric, there is a sense of lingering regret, like a cephalophore that feels a bitter-resentment from being forced to carry his own head.

The line in “Ava Adore” that always baffled me is: “And I’ll pull your crooked teeth, you’ll be perfect just like me.” Anyone that knows anything about The Pumpkins — knows that Billy Corgan has messed up teeth; he always used to bring attention to them, in what seemed like an act of self-depreciation. It made me wonder if all of the lyrics in the track were somehow meant to mock superficiality — or perhaps the pervasive, monarchal power-structure that enforces these values.

Billy Corgan’s teeth from The Everlasting Gaze music video

Verses like “and you’ll always be my whore, because you’re the one that I adore” can be interpreted as spitting in face of an abusive lover by wryly repeating their own words back to them; or maybe the expression is meant to mock the public’s dehumanizing lust towards A-list celebrities? It reminded me of the interpretation I had of Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.”

Taylor Swift in the Blank Space music video (ironic because the Adore album has a track called Blank Page)

Some saw this track as harkening back to the psycho ex-girlfriend persona that Ms. Swift had in the “Blank Space” music video, but the tone and the droning repetition the song’s title made me think that the song was instead about victim-blaming. Almost like she is taunting her transgressors, who once said: “look what you made me do [to you].” Not to mention the lyrics that state that she has died (assuming it is a metaphor) over and over again, in tandem with the reprisal of the chorus; she is tired of being mistreated and objectified, it has happened countless times.

Another visual allusion is the scene with her in a birdcage

I believe that The Smashing Pumpkins’s “Ava Adore” and Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” have the same underlying meaning in them. Both spearheading the darkest albums in each of the artists’ respective careers. They are similar records, aside from the lower quality and tonal inconsistency in Ms. Swift’s “Reputation” album.

Bonus: I have more evidence to add to the “Evangelion: Dissociative Alter Theory” but I am holding off until I can make a YouTube video with visual proof. My mic just needs a stereo to AUX adapter, and I haven’t been able to purchase one yet. I am excited to sing and stream vocal content as a VTuber in the future, though!

Goals for the Week: September 19, 2021

Riamu Yumemi’s birthday was last week (9/12) 🥳

New Goals:

✔️ Animate “Somnambular”

※ I don’t have much left to illustrate, so I am hoping to get this one finished by Sunday… hopefully, God spares me from any other hard trials this week… (to learn more, read the paragraph below)

✔️ Storyboard “With You”

This one is much more light-hearted than the previous project was, so I am really excited to dig into it. Not sure if I’m allowed to feel this way about my own characters, but Juniper/Nephthys is one of my favorite couples. So, I hope I can artistically convey their love in a way that does it justice!

Old Goals:

❌ Animate “Somnambular”

※ Learned last Wednesday that my father is dying of terminal cancer, so I opened a line up to him and let him know that I am open to talk (we spoke for a couple of hours yesterday, and he seemed to be feeling a little better (after a couple of chemo treatments). He drove all the way out the Oklahoma City because he wanted to spend time alone while he was getting medical treatment. We were living in different states either way, but he left home without his wife and other daughters, so he is all alone in that town. I am still in the numb phase of knowing that one of my parents only has a short time left to live. The best thing that I can to do is open myself up to his needs and try to make him feel more comfortable/secure in the current situation. The two of us are estranged since I was raised by my grandmother all throughout my teens, but I think giving him the benefit of the doubt is the right thing to do in this situation. I hate talking about my personal life in so much detail, but the ordeal might bog down my productivity/schedule in the future, so I thought there should be a small aside explaining what the heck is going on right now.

真柏Project – Teaser for “Somnambular” Animation

Here is a still frame of Luca (real name: ???) from Juniper’s Tree. He alternates between a cat and human form, and has a very sadistic/mocking personality. His real motives are unknown, Juniper only thinks that he is cat that she adopted — until he manifests his true self through dreams.

Original Design Page: https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/06/26/luca

真柏Project Promo CG – Wyatt Watson/Aria Adler

This is the first look at Wyatt as an otter 🐾 …isn’t he adorable? I had never drawn an otter before, so I looked up a reference picture from NicoNico.

I decided to go with a surrealist-type of image, I spent a lot of my adolescence and early twenties being really into avant-garde cinema, so I wanted to experiment with something unusual in my own art. I guess I already did it with the image of Aria floating in Monét Blanchard’s eye… but, I digress: https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/06/20/aria-trapped-in-monets-eye

13 Thoughts on Personal Growth

⚠️ This article has examples from my personal life, if you would rather not know about some things… then it is better not to read.

I turned 30 last June, I reached a major age milestone and have also been battling with some personal struggles — so I hope that things I have had to learn the hard way make life easier for everyone else. So, let’s start (if you have additional advice that you would like to contribute, feel free to write them in the comments).

13. Do Not Fixate on Things Outside of Your Control

For me, this was putting faith in a higher power. Believing that someone selects a path for your benefit can help with reflection, instead of cursing the heavens — you wonder if you, as an individual, could improve. Also, reading the Bible and trusting God helped me feel mercy towards people that have hurt me (example: my biological parents). As a child, parental abuse can seem more harmful because you put your whole life in that person’s hands (they are essentially like a God figure in your development), but finding faith made me realize that there is only one Father, and parents are actually more like siblings than anything! Realizing that gives the situation less gravity and control over your life. It is better to fight for things you have power over, and trust that God and/or like-minded people are striving to improve things; the weight of the world is not on your shoulders alone!

12. Never Forget the People or Things You Love

Even if it is painful, sweeping those kind of feelings under the rug can be harmful to your psyche. From my experience, it is better to confront the lingering emotions or channel them into something creative. Remembering how you felt when you first watched an anime that blew your mind (or a novel that altered your perspective on something that you had never once considered before) is important. There is such a thing as toxic nostalgia, dwelling on the past for too long is never good, but remembering when/why you fell in love with something can be a strong motivator.

11. Judge Based on Actions, Not Words

This one is simple, but if someone acts in a way that is contrary to what they say, run away! Become friends or romantic partners with those that say what they do and do what they say. Likewise, if someone says something hurtful to you, it is still better to judge their actions (unless they make a habit of verbally abusing you). It is also better not to assume someone’s character based on their looks or class, because you are most-likely wrong about the pre-conceived notion you have. If you want an indicator of a friend’s personality, pay attention to body language and if they say subtle put-downs (also, pay attention to how they see your success and worth). It can be hard when someone uses rosy language or flatters you (or the dreaded love-bombing tactic), so it is important to stay alert and mindful.

10. Focus on One Project at a Time

My Grammy (my mother’s mother) is an accomplished concert pianist and painter, so when I was a kid, I asked her about how to be like her and she answered with “focus on one thing at a time, and when you get good at one thing — you can move onto something else.” I was able to write three books in a year, because I made it my sole focus, and that was the primary thing that I was thinking about in 2020. This year, since my laptop is gone for an indefinite period of time, the visual novel is my primary concern. So, everything in my creative-process has to do with getting from Point A to B. Needless to say, it was invaluable advice coming from a woman that came from a time period where art and music weren’t as easy to learn and produce as they are now. Even though I work on the fanfic and book reviews, I constantly remind myself that the project comes first. Though, it can be easy to forget in a world of instant gratification.

9. Do Not Feel Ashamed of the Things You Genuinely Like

There was a friend I once had, we’re not friends anymore, who said to me, “Everyone calls you the anime girl, you don’t want to be known as that for the rest of your life, do you?”

While, yeah, I want to be seen as a more complex human-being (aside from that hobbies that I’m loudly vocal about) — I am actually flattered to be associated with cartoons that people put their hearts, souls, and lives into creating. At the time, it felt shameful when he put it that way, but in retrospect: I own that insult. And now that I have made my own animated shorts, I know how much time and energy goes into it all.

If you have a passion or a thing that you love: own it.

Note: This incident happened six or seven years ago — so anime wasn’t as topical and trendy as it is now. Either you were an awkward weeaboo or a downright degenerate for indulging in the fandom. My brother and I were really big U.C. Gundam fans as teenagers, but my brother hide the fact… because he was a jock and he didn’t want his reputation to be tarnished. That was kind of how the climate was back then — I still remember being bullied for even discussing the newest episode of InuYasha in middle school.

8. Nobody is Special or Entitled to Anything

This is important to say in this day-in-age, but social media does not validate your existence. The amount of followers or likes you get does not make you a more important person. If you are creative, you are not entitled to other people’s time or attention — even if you have talent. Being an anime fan, I have learned that plenty of incredible series go under the radar. Things like race, class, sexuality, or modern society’s ethics do not define your worth. As the late Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Always remember that your character is the most important asset that you can brandish.

7. Realize Your Potential By Pushing Your Limitations

If you have been following me for awhile, you know that I don’t always reach my goals. I try, but I am a human and often have limitations to what I can accomplish; it is best to see yourself that way, instead of giving into feelings of shame. You are not a robot, it is okay to make mistakes or over-shoot with your goals.

6. Do Not Be Ruled By Toxic Pride

Subtitle: Use Ego-Death and Shame As a Resource for Self-Growth

By definition, the distinguishing factors for pride are this: positive pride is taking joy in things you worked hard to accomplish, while toxic pride is self-idolatry, sadistic contempt, vanity or vainglory. It is also referred to as a conflated ego or hubris. Not only does this level of pride make you a nasty person to be around, but it is also the recipe for unhappiness. It is much more fulfilling to uplift the people around you and navigate the world with a sense of humility.

5. Recognize Your Triggers

Subtitle: Surround Yourself with People Who Notice/Care About Your Triggers

With this one, I am more talking about your close friends, family, or a significant other. A positive example of this is when I’m watching TV with my partner, if I panic or dissociate — he’ll gently pat my leg and ask me if I’m okay. This is really helpful, because with dissociation… I, myself, sometimes won’t notice right away if anything is happening, but he’s on the outside, so he’ll say something if I’m being unusually spacey or aloof. And that small, considerate gesture helps me identify what could of made me feel that way, and helps me notice if something specific happened to illicit a certain reaction. If people do not respect your boundaries or diminish the severity of your triggers, they are not worth keeping around.

4. Your Worth Is Not Defined By Social Media Clout or Fame

Honestly, I don’t believe that there should be such a thing as an A-list celebrity… at that level, there is too much an open window for abuse and exploitation. In an ideal world, everybody should be able to earn a cult following and live a normal life. See: Nobody is Special or Entitled to Anything, for more of my input.

3. Faithful Friends Are Not Impossible to Find

As I mentioned earlier, I grew up in an abusive environment — therefore, I always gravitated towards people who I subconsciously knew would use or betray me. When I turned 27 or 28, everything suddenly made sense to me and I felt then that I had reached a higher state of cognizance. I am still unsure exactly why everything dawned on me at that time, but I attribute the heightened awareness to God. Since I was attracted to people that reminded me of the adults in my childhood, I had a jaded view of reality and had the belief that no one is 100% faithful or trustworthy. But I was wrong, even if you want to be cynical and say that 98% is the peak of trustworthiness — it is crucial to know that good, caring people do exist. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is a show that talks about the rectitude of lost people, friendship, and having faith, rather than letting paranoia dictate your life; great show to watch if you’re having issues!

2. Control Does Not Equal Love

I have had many people do something controlling or damaging to me, and claim that it was out of love or concern. As the old adage goes, if you love someone — you know how to let them go. If you’re taking care of a bird with a wounded wing, you let them go when they’re ready to fly, right? Even if you will never see them again, you have to think of what’s best for the other person. And, though —for the most part— everyone sees themselves as a positive influence on others, sometimes people are toxic for each other.

1. Be Your Authentic Self

This kind of coincides with the: Do Not Feel Ashamed of the Things You Genuinely Like segment, but it is best to be your truest self. And if you don’t know who you are, go searching. A good litmus test for this is thinking, would me as a kid like the me now?

I typed up a new schedule earlier this morning, please give it a read if you’re interested – https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/09/11/goals-for-the-week-september-12-2021

Goals for the Week: September 12, 2021

Clip from Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms

New Goals:

✔️ Animate “Somnambular”

←if I have time→

✔️ Wyatt/Aria CG

※ I had this really cool idea for “The Folklorist” promotional art that is a mixture of the Lilith scenes from “The End of Evangelion” and “Gulliver’s Travels”!

Old Goals:

✅ Storyboard/CG “Somnambular”

※ I have 219 frames outlined right now, I might cut a few if they impede on the look of the scene. And the following week, I will be working on a clip with Juniper and Nephthys being lovey-dovey, so that should be fun! If I don’t have a scene planned after that, then I will work on designs until I come up with how to frame other scenes in the PV.

❌ Book Review 📚

※ I had a bit of a mental breakdown yesterday, this year has been really hard for me… especially as far as trauma is concerned. And since my partner and I had a little bit of time together, I spilled my guts about what I had been feeling and cried for a long time. Sorry if that veered into the “too much information” category. I ended up formulating more of a self-help blog instead, so I hope that it will help someone else in need.

✅ Write a chapter each day for the “Tales of the Blood Iris Citadel” (Tōken Ranbu) fanfic.

1 → https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/08/31/tales-of-the-blood-iris-citadel-1

2 → https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/09/02/tales-of-the-blood-iris-citadel-2

3 → https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/09/06/tales-of-the-blood-iris-citadel-3

4 → https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/09/07/tales-of-the-blood-iris-citadel-4

5 → https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/09/09/tales-of-the-blood-iris-citadel-5

6 → https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/09/09/tales-of-the-blood-iris-citadel-6

Tales of the Blood Iris Citadel ~ 9/9/2021

Fanfic Title: Tales of the Blood Iris Citadel

Game: Tōken Ranbu (刀剣乱舞 Pocket)

Synopsis: A journal-entry/travelogue-style fic that chronicles the everyday happenings in the citadel of my Tōken Ranbu account. Written from the first-person perspective of a female saniwa. The modern girl has crossed dimensions using a mystical spell and is cast into a feudal-style acropolis, where she is given the ability to anthropomorphize ancient swords, in order to ward off evil spirits and keep time from being permanently altered by magecraft-using revisionists. There is no romance in this story — only a cozy, slice-of-life fic.

* This is meant to be a fun fanfic exercise — so instead of my usual narrative restrictions, 1.5K ~ 3K words, this will vary from a few sentences to a few paragraphs per day.

9/9/2021 ~ My shoulders are stiff, the post-summer heat wave has me feeling lethargic, and I strongly have the compulsion to rest under the turrent of a buzzing A/C.

No, I tell myself — slapping my cheeks for emphasis, there is work to be done!

Right now, we are exploring the catacombs of Osaka Castle, like a team of deep-sea divers. Prior to the event arising, there was a mission to acquire all of the Gō brothers; I could rant all day about the disappointment of collecting all except for Samidare Gō… but, I’ll save that for a seperate story.

It basically happened because I couldn’t budget correctly, and since then, I have left all financial culpability to Kikkō; as shifty as he may seem, megane characters seems to have a natural knack for financial allocation. I spent my starter funds on rainy day landscapes and I bought Kōsetsu Samonji some comfy, casual clothes… since he is naturally a doomer.

The precipitous weather décor, while being a euphoric antecedent for me, contains a teru teru bōzu doll. If you didn’t know, a teru teru bōzu is said to have originated from a myth of human sacrifice; the legend goes that a village left a young girl alone to drown in a flood, in order to appease the gods of nature and, thus, hanging a cloth doll in the window became a tradition of appeasing the unseen rain-makers.

Image of teru teru bōzu dolls

Despite spending my hard-earned koban on these designs, I see it as an ill-omen to set either one of them as my default background. Though, when I do, Kōsetsu folds flower origami and seems genuinely at peace with the sky’s lacrimation — probably because, for once, it isn’t him mourning!

Raring to go, I do my daily summon and standing before me is a Tantō… he looks a little bit older than the rest of his class and has the same color scheme as Asuka Ninomiya from The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls: salmon-hued hair with stark streaks of purple highlights — a sort of rocker aesthetic.

“Hey, I’m Gotō Tōshiro,” he asserts, while confidently placing his hands on his hips, “I know, I know; pretty tall for a Tantō, right!”

Albeit, he’s around the same height as me, and I’m fairly short for a girl…

My spine crackles loudly while I extend my hand to him. It often feels like my torso is made of doll parts, wooden joints and all. My newest danshi interjects into my internal-angst with, “Hehehe, leave this to me — the dependable and wise Gotō,” I think I heard him ramble on with watashi no ani or something with a similar meaning.

Whatever was said, it’s clear that he wants to be an older brother to me, probably a falsity formed from some sort of Napoleon complex. And so, he balls his fists and starts pummeling my backside like an angry child. It’s okay though, even if his character is comically absurd — I want him to feel comfortable and grow into who he wants to be.

To Be Continued

Previous Chapter – https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/09/09/tales-of-the-blood-iris-citadel-5

Tales of the Blood Iris Citadel ~ 9/8/2021

Fanfic Title: Tales of the Blood Iris Citadel

Game: Tōken Ranbu (刀剣乱舞 Pocket)

Synopsis: A journal-entry/travelogue-style fic that chronicles the everyday happenings in the citadel of my Tōken Ranbu account. Written from the first-person perspective of a female saniwa. The modern girl has crossed dimensions using a mystical spell and is cast into a feudal-style acropolis, where she is given the ability to anthropomorphize ancient swords, in order to ward off evil spirits and keep time from being permanently altered by magecraft-using revisionists. There is no romance in this story — only a cozy, slice-of-life fic.

* This is meant to be a fun fanfic exercise — so instead of my usual narrative restrictions, 1.5K ~ 3K words, this will vary from a few sentences to a few paragraphs per day.

9/8/2021 ~ Today was a pretty relaxing day, I travelled back to the modern world for a couple of hours to visit my local bookstore, grabbing the next volume in a light novel series that I had begun reading recently and purchasing a tiny, desk-sized anime figurine — before returning to that weird, feudal interstice of space-time in which the citadel resided. Upon placing the items on the workstation, I feel the appraising eyes of Tarōtachi beaming into my back.

He blinks twice as he sees the small, eggplant-colored figurine on the desk (note: Mash Kyrielight from Fate/Grand Order, a notable mobage heroine). His gaze is cold and reptilian, like a gecko that halts… only to glance at you from afar! Beads of perspiration gather around my temples, an ammunition of racing thoughts fire at will through my confidence: How can I tell him that his beloved commander is actually a huge anime otaku? Or that I’ve often had the inclination to ask him if he’s kabuki actor, due to his uncanny resemblance to Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier? Or that I almost gave him the nickname “hime”, a time or two in passing?

“H-Have you ever done kabuki acting?” I splutter out a foot-in-mouth statement, while his slanted lemon eyes still evaluate my spoils.

I had somehow expected a more flummoxed response, probably an extension in order to further my nerdy delusions, but his countenance has just became more lizard-like: “Such foolishness… you think of my priestly attire as some sort of costume, do you?”

I let out an audible gulp.

He carefully picks up The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya and says with a deadpan sense of sincerity, “I will forgive your folly, if you lend me this colorful novel… what say you, human?”

I exhale so violently, that it is almost spit-inducing.

“I’ll grab the first volume for you, then,” I squelch out with a gasp.

Tarōtachi disappears as quickly as he had materialized, a gecko’s tail whipping around a door’s corner, but despite his stoic demeanor… I feel that there had been a slight air of excitement surrounding him. Though, it could just be some self-constructed, otome-like fantasy that I have constructed in an inner headcanon. I don’t really know, but I hope he enjoys the series regardless.

I hold up the new request vellum to a tempest of magical wind. The flaming gust of ether flashes into a vibrant, pink plume of smoke. I feel anticipation, it seems as though I am summoning another Tachi! I step back instinctively as a hand reaches out of the dark ether. I flinch, but am pleasantly surprised when the disembodied hand tussles my hair with a chary, delicate mannerism.

“The saniwa that called for me is such a short girl,” a man with an interesting lilt says sedately, “I’m Uguisumaru, from Kobizen. I’ve got not idea why I’m called that. Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t. Anyway, looking forward to working with you!”

My eyes slowly open up and there is a sword that wears a melancholy smile. His wavy, olive nest of hair reminds me of seaweed strands — rustling around carelessly at the bottom of an ocean’s depths. “Ugisu” is a word used for the Japanese brush warbler, and likewise this sword’s staid expression conveys something furtive, something only felt through nature’s forlong diapason.

Feeling charmed beyond belief, I propose, “There’s a bowl of oranges on the patio, would you like to snack on them and chat?”

“Of course,” a fishing line tugs at my hook.

For the rest of the afternoon we continued to speak in half-formed thoughts, while we peeled off zesty orange skins with our fingers and admired the scenery surrounding the citadel. Following the hours we spent together (up until Hotarumaru and his firefly friends had arisen), he would never let on if he actually even enjoyed my modest snack offering or if he had only sat there all that time only to indulge my senseless whimsy… his wizened, avian eyes stared back at me like a glass reflection, one last time, as we parted ways for the night.

To Be Continued

Real-life purchases from Barnes & Noble…

Previous Chapter – https://eggheadluna.wordpress.com/2021/09/07/tales-of-the-blood-iris-citadel-4

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