Full Name - Nigata Kayo Hometown - Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan Quirk Type - Emitter Gender - Femme -
P E R S O N A L I T Y
Narcissistic While you might not tell it from first glance, Kayo is a dyed-in-the-wool narcissist, obsessed with status and living on praise. Though she expertly projects a facade of a cutesy, sleepy girl, once you get past surface level she is revealed as the cold, calculating young woman she truly is. The picture is completed with her stunted empathy; so convinced is she of her own superiority that empathy for others doesn't even factor into her worldview.
Obsessive If Kayo latches on to something that she wants, she wants it to truly belong to her. This can be harmless; she can want something as innocuous as a new pen. It can also be something truly sinister, as she decides that a fellow human being is now hers.
Spiteful A great deal of Kayo's life has been characterized by being hurt in various ways. The only way she could avoid being completely broken down was to build a shell of pure spite around herself, enough that even a small slight against her could have drastic consequences, and many of her motivations—including being a hero to begin with—find their start in anger and spite.
Standing at 5'1", Kayo stands at a height just slightly shorter than usual (which only helps her, really). Her most noticeable physical trait at first glance is her long curtain of pale green hair, which she takes very, very good care of (it takes her nearly an hour to brush it out in the morning, it's a nightmare). Her skin is smooth and fine due to an equal amount of care. She has a narrow face and a sharply pointed chin. Finally we reach her brilliant green eyes, which are slightly off-putting to some people: they glow dimly in low light, and her pupils are narrow and slitted, like a snakes. She's almost always wearing a smile; it's just unclear which kind of smile it is.
Nigata Kayo did not have an exceptionally good childhood.
It was alright for the first couple years. Her mother—Nigata Kagami, an excellent doctor loved by all—had always been a touch strange, but she was too young to really understand anything about it. Until very early in elementary school, everything was fine. Everything was fine. And then her Quirk manifested itself just slightly later than normal. And it manifested itself while she was playing with her mother.
She doesn't remember a whole lot of this time, but she does remember her mother grunting in surprise and pain and then looking at her with sudden malice. And from then on, her childhood grew harder.
Her mother dropped the act, revealing herself as the raging narcissist that she was. Someone who only became a doctor for the accolades and praise. Someone who only acted nice because it made people love her. And somebody who had a minor and pedestrian Quirk to adjust her own pain tolerance. Because of her Quirk, Kayo's did very little to her. But now she knew that her daughter's Quirk was more powerful than her own. And she took offense. She became a monster to her daughter, alternately ignoring her, psychologically tormenting her, and forcing her to look in a mirror and use her own Quirk on herself until she was a screaming, crying wreck (mirrors still terrify her to this day). So it's not a stretch to imagine that Kayo began to pull inwards, and give herself the ego that her mother no longer did.
This was only aggravated in school, where she would occasionally accidentally use her Quirk on other kids. And though she apologized profusely, they began to avoid her, all but one. And so, the only way for her to rationalize it and preserve the ego that she was beginning to build up for herself was to assert: they're all dumb. Everybody but Kaoru, they're all dumb idiots. And to make it worse, as her Quirk began to build in power more and more, pain stopped repulsing her. Instead, causing pain began to...intrigue her.
All of these factors conspired to forge her into an obsessive narcissist who, additionally, was very fascinated by pain. And when she was a little way into middle school, these all combined to give her a horrible fixation on a classmate who she grew absolutely obsessed with. And when she fixed him with her eyes, when she caused that terrible pain, she felt a thrill like nothing else. Though she—with Kaoru's help—managed to escape her obsession, it still bubbled just under the surface, waiting for a new target. Crushing it down as best she could, she decided something then and there.
If her mom was that jealous of her Quirk, then what would insult her more than becoming a hero?
As a character, Kayo is an exploration on inversions.
She initially goes to IA out of spite for her mother, but eventually really, truly wants to become a hero. She starts her character arc with manipulation and obsession, and ends it with contrition and redemption. Rather than the character course of someone who wants to become a hero, aims straight for that goal and then perhaps dips down onto a dark place and becomes a villain, she is a character who starts on that dark path towards villainy, but manages to pull herself out of that doom spiral and become somebody that she can legitimately be proud of.
And so, her character development over time is just that. The obsessive pit that she digs herself down into is not only a low point for everyone else around her, but a low point for her own health, safety, and sanity. The way that she crawls out of that pit—the challenges she faces in order to get there, the people that she's hurt that she needs to hopefully make amends to—is where the great majority of her character will be, and I'm very excited to see it.
Kayo is so toxic that even looking at her can be dangerous.
Her Quirk Venom Eyes can be activated any time she makes direct eye contact with somebody, directly tapping into the target's nervous system—specifically the pain receptors. With a pulse of a sickly yellow glow from her snakelike eyes, she can dial them up or down, causing either a searing, full-body pain or a deadening numbness, though she's significantly better at using the pain than she is the numbness.
There are a few limits on this power. Since it requires direct eye contact, it has a limited range, and is almost completely useless, at least at the start, on people who either hide their eyes, don't have eyes to hide, can't use their eyes, or have no nerves to aggravate. Each pulse from her Venom Eyes additionally accrues a brief cooldown period where her optic nerves need to rest from the sudden stimulation.
Full Name - Maki Kirika Hometown - Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan Quirk Type - Emitter Gender - Femme -
P E R S O N A L I T Y
Attention-Seeking Kirika is hungry for attention. Forever filled with an urge to always have every eye on the room locked on her, she does her best to always draw everyone's gaze. The personality she's cultivated has resulted in what looks to be an easy confidence behind her as she moves, and though every step is filled with trepidation and fear, she does not show it easily.
Fearful One of Kirika's great motivators is the fear she bears towards her Quirk. Its random activation when she was younger, coupled with the lack of any feedback about when it's active and the sheer duration it can last for, has cultivated in her a dread: what if one day, her Quirk refuses to break? What if touching someone no longer pops it open, and sleeping no longer fades it away? If these no longer work—if she no longer has the manual overrides that she needs to pull herself out of it—then what can she do if it refuses to listen to her? She vividly remembers the un-personing of her childhood. More than anything, she is terrified of being forgotten.
Loyal Because of her history—both the consequences of her Quirk, and the fear that comes to her with it—Kirika has never had very many friends. She's only managed to find a really good, close friend once or twice. So when she does find one, she is intensely loyal to them. She is loyal, she is protective, she is attached. Some of it is in her nature; some of it is out of that same intense fear that they'll forget about her.
Kirika is quite a tall girl, standing at nearly 170cm (or roughly 5'7"), with a stick-thin physique that looks more like a slender boy's body than a girl's. She feels somewhat like it should make her self-conscious, but she's thankful for it; anything to stick out more. Also somewhat helpful in that endeavor is her hair. Smooth and pin-straight, it falls in a violent silver-white curtain to more or less the small of her back. It matches her eyes, the pale gray of morning fog. The way she walks helps her grab attention as well: a smooth, crisp, snapping stride, moving perhaps a little bit more quickly than is necessary. It makes her look like she's perpetually hurrying, and it comforts her the way people look at her a little bit strangely when she's going about her business.
When not wearing the dour school uniform that she's entrapped within, she wears things that, while well within acceptable range, tend to stick out a little bit. Her most common example is a tan trench coat that her father gave her when she went off to school ("In case it's raining, sweetie!). It's a little longer on her than it is on her father, dropping just about to the middle of her shins. The summer is a little warm to wear it unless it's a particularly cool day, but she's beginning to grow attached just the same.
Maki Kirika’s first couple years were completely normal. Her mother and father, an editor and photographer respectively, doted on her. And while of course she doesn’t remember anything of that time, it was almost idyllic until she was about halfway through her second year, when her Quirk manifested and she vanished. Not just from her parents' sight. Not just from their hearing. Not just from their photos and family videos. No, her face even vanished from their memories.
And so, her first memories are of smothering attention. Smothering attention and very seldom being left alone. And she didn't understand why, until one day she realized that her parents didn't notice her.
The next years of her life would be characterized by a feeling of suffocation. When she was at home, it was that feeling of suffocation that worried parents give. She had very little privacy; even being alone in her room was a rarity, even up through middle school. Personal space was a thing that belonged to other people, and her mom was never too far away to reach out and touch her hand. When she was at school, that suffocation was the feeling of choking fear that comes with being forgotten. Her Quirk was unstable for a long time, and there were times when she would simply vanish, and times when she couldn't reappear. Though she always told people that touch would break it, every time it happened, she would tense up when peoples' eyes skated over her. Even worse were those rare moments when touching people wouldn't break it, at least not for a few seconds. She thought. She never could tell on her own, after all.
About this time was when her attention-hogging personality began to come to the fore. She couldn't tell when her Quirk was active, it was true. At least not on her own. But if she was up in everyone's faces, when the whole room was looking at her, then she would always know. She would know. And, she convinced herself—in defiance of the facts—that the closer she was to everyone, the less likely it was to not break on touch. And with that personality came the start of a seething resentment. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair that she always needed to make sure people could see and hear her before she did anything. It wasn't fair that she was terrified of fading away, being un-personed so thoroughly nobody would ever remember her. It wasn't fair.
But as she aged and gained some control over her Quirk, she began to experience another side of it. Yes, it was unpredictable, and when it went off without her knowing, it was genuinely terrifying. But, as she discovered when she was cornered on a city street at night before fading both her and her friend away, it could also be exceptionally useful. And that got her to thinking. Using her Quirk in public would certainly be frowned upon—if anybody could really tell, that was. But it would be difficult to learn how to keep it from activating on its own without any kind of instruction.
Somewhere to learn how to properly use her Quirk, to peel back the anger that she had towards it, and to harness its burgeoning power as a force for good? Well, she'd lived in Sapporo her whole life. Ishin academy was just down the road, right?
Kirika's character arc is founded deeply in her fear. How her fear is created, how her fear is handled, and how her fear is eventually resolved. She has a remarkably powerful utility Quirk, something that could be genuinely terrifying if she were to embrace it all immediately. But she can't properly use it, because she fears it desperately. She grew up being terrified of being un-personed and forgotten since she can remember, and it's going to take her a long, long time to move past that.
That moving on is going to form the crux of her character development. As she gains better control over her Quirk, her fear will slowly begin to abate. And though of course there will be moments of relapse where her Quirk activates all on its own and she returns to that instinctual fear, she will move past them, and eventually past that bone-deep fear to truly take advantage of the Quirk that she's been cursed or—she will eventually realize—blessed with.
Kirika's Quirk, and the great object of her fear, is Null Field At a thought, she can project an invisible bubble around her, more or less five feet across. She, and anybody within that bubble, becomes imperceptible. They'll still trigger motion detectors, infrared lasers; they're still there. But living things struggle with the same. They're not made invisible. More like...they're rendered so unbelievably unremarkable that wherever they are, it just seem like the most natural thing in the world.
Other than the somewhat restrictive size limit that requires people to stay close to Kirika, there aren't a lot of inherent factors that limit its use. Though it does constantly drain her energy when it's active, it's more of a passive drain than anything else. She may become tired and hungry a little bit more quickly and easily, but it's nothing she really notices. So duration isn't an issue. The main restriction placed upon its use is when anybody within the bubble does anything that would get them noticed for sure. Touching someone, throwing an object with an easily traceable flight path, having their footprints followed back to them; when one member of the bubble is noticed, then it immediately pops and reveals everybody. And while there's no set duration on the Null Field, once it's brought down it can't be thrown up again for at least a couple minutes. No do-overs.
In addition, the field will break whenever Kirika falls asleep or is knocked unconscious—for the most part. Though unlikely, it can stay up through sleep. And this is when Kirika is the most afraid. Because if it won't break, even when she's not conscious...will it ever break at all?
“I'm bleeding, I guess. Shut up. Hurry and get outta here 'fore you get hurt.”
小林熱子 Kobayashi Atsuko
Characterization & Conceptualization
What Do They Look Like?
Atsuko is a scruffy young adult a little on the shorter side, measuring in at just over 5'1," with tangled, unkempt blonde hair that goes for far too long between washes and brushes, and hasn't been properly cut in much, much longer. Because of that, it's longer than it used to be, going down to a few inches above the small of her back. Her skin is as pale as it can realistically ever become—after all, she hasn't seen the sun in years—and her eyes are fixed in a constant tired squint from not sleeping enough, with nigh-permanent shadows undercutting them from the same. Her frame is thin from not eating much or working out, and unless she needs to, she moves at a slow, languid pace, almost like she doesn't have the energy to spend. She has a long scar down the inside of her left calf from a childhood accident.
What Are They Like?
In a word? Tired. Not only is Atsuko physically tired much of the time, from the aforementioned lack of much food or exercise, but she's mentally tired as well. Consequently, she tends to speak in a bit of a bit of a monotone, quite lacking in inflection. Her voice is usually quiet and somewhat raspy, and she doesn't really show a whole lot of emotion—especially positive emotion—in large part because she sits in the bottleneck of a vast ocean of self-recrimination. She refuses to let herself be happy, because in her mind, she doesn't deserve to be happy. Because she needs to be punished for her crimes. Because she is a terrible person.
What's Their Story?
Atsuko grew up with her small but wealthy family—her father Akito, her mother Sakaki, and her younger sister Hana—in a small town some twenty miles north of the Sapporo city boundary in Hokkaido. They were all of them close, but especially the sisters. They adored each other, and as they aged, Atsuko began to feel a fierce older-sister protectiveness. For most of her life, she was altogether typical; healthy home life, healthy school life, and a future ahead of her.
But then she entered high school and everything started going wrong. Some students got it into their heads somehow that she'd cheated on her entrance exams. The bullying was merciless. She'd done something wrong. She'd hurt people. She was disgusting. But she could handle it, she thought. Better to not provoke even more bullying by going to a teacher who wouldn't believe her anyway. And though it certainly took a toll on her, she—self-confident, self-assured—made it through. But then, as she went into her third year and Hana went into her first at the same school, she realized with horror: if it was affecting her like this, then Hana would be destroyed, just by being her sister. And she refused to let that happen. So she struck back. A whisper here, a cruel note there. Unkind words etched into lockers and desks. Anything to keep them from targeting her baby sister. To keep her safe.
She did her job too well. Hana started crying. Wouldn't say why. Atsuko was furious. Obviously, somebody was still bullying her, and she needed to stop them. She became crueler. Never openly, of course. Quietly, subtly. More etched words. Worse words. Vases of flowers on desks. Then, a bit later, she overheard Hana crying hysterically to their mother, because all of her new friends had left her alone. Looked at her like they were deathly afraid of being near her, like they panicked if she even walked by, like they'd be punished for even talking to her. And Atsuko realized what she'd done.
She dropped out of school immediately. And she made it public. She was the queen bitch bully now, after all. She was the reason her sister was crying. Best to stay away from her. She hasn't left her house in two and a half years now, not even to go to Hana's graduation. After all, better to just stay out of her hair, right? Just keep on staying up late on the computer. Keep lying to people on the internet about a job so she wouldn't sound too much like a loser. Stay out of sight, out of mind, so nobody would ever need to connect Hana with her in their little town. Kobayashi was a common enough last name, right?
All she wanted to do was protect her.
Why Did The Wish Choose Them?
Before she messed everything up, Atsuko thought about being a hero. Not like an Eferion hero, nothing like that, but a kind of hero to Hana. Someone for her to look up to, at least. But that wish vanished years ago, replaced with a crushing sense of emptiness and stagnation. After what she did to her beloved baby sister, she hasn't wanted to be looked up to in a long, long time.
What "Hero" Will They Embody? Why?
All she ever wanted to do was protect Hana. She sacrificed her morals. She sacrificed her self-worth. She sacrificed her future. She will sacrifice anything, throwing herself under the bus in a heartbeat, to protect the people that she cares about. Who else could she be but the Hero of Defense?
What Belongings Will They Take With Them?
Atsuko doesn't keep much on her, day-to-day. Other than a pair of battered gray sweatpants and a rumpled black tanktop, she has her smartphone with around a quarter charge, and a comb stuck in her tangled hair.
Talents & Abilities
Given how much time she's spent on the computer in recent years, she's become half-decent at video games, which helps her hand-eye coordination. Additionally, she's exceptionally skilled at mathematics, her favorite subject when she was back in school. She's out of practice, but she could pick it back up again pretty easily. Finally, given how much time she's spent in her room, she is very, very good at being alone.
“Come on, come on come on come on hurry up! We're not gonna get there in time!”
Saffron—or Saffi, as her parents affectionately call her—is a short girl, standing at just under 5'2". Despite that, though, her build is slender and lithe, resulting in a somewhat waiflike appearance and a featherweight of no more than 100 pounds. Fittingly, she's not particularly strong, although she's quite a bit stronger than she looks. She has long bright orange hair that is perpetually unruly, though she does her best to keep it looking nice, and wide teal eyes that are constantly looking around at double time.
Add a long, black-tufted tail, as well as...well. Strangely enough, unlike many faunuses, she doesn't have any kind of animalistic ears and has normal human ones instead. But what she does have is a full compliment of very sharp, very angry-looking mustelid teeth and fangs. It can be very off-putting; an innocent-looking teenager opens her mouth and you think you've seen the devil. Because of this, she can't actually eat some common foods; she has a weasel's diet as well, and mostly eats meat, with some fruits and vegetables thrown in for flavor and nutrition that she can't get elsewhere.
The best metaphor to describe Saffron is taking a car, filling it up, and duct taping the gas pedal down. She's incredibly energetic, extremely outgoing, and relentlessly high-strung. She's has a hard time sitting still for any length of time and is usually just...bouncing off the walls. A good word to describe her might be 'frenetic.' Friendly, too. She's always ready with a laugh and a smile, and has a tendency to drag other people along behind her in a kind of social gravity that she spends a significant amount of time engaging in.
Despite all that, though, and despite how hard she finds it to study, she is surprisingly smart, though it comes more in bursts of gunpowder knowledge and sudden insight than in any controlled release that someone a little bit more studious might have an easier time with (despite her smarts, she doesn't do extremely well in school). But because of that burst-of-insight knowledge, she's a...pretty terrible strategist, all things considered. It's certainly her weakest aspect as a Huntress. She much prefers going in quick and fast, making it out through sheer skill and quick wit. Consequently, of course, she has a bit of a reputation for being super reckless, and needs to consciously keep her cool most of the time to stop herself from going in guns blazing.
The Mergansett family were...not well off. Like so many Atlesian faunuses, they were employed by the Schnee Dust Company, and all the horrible working conditions and wages that came with it. They barely had enough to live on. And life had been like for for both of them since the beginning. So, when they had their daughter Saffron, they determined: she was going to have the opportunities that they never did. And so, as she aged, they worked tirelessly, taking an insane amount of hours. They took out as many loans as they could to help their little girl find a better place in the world. And that little girl decided very early on what that place would be: she wanted to be a Huntress.
They beamed with pride, sending her to the best schools they could possibly afford, hoping she would get the best education possible and wouldn't be bullied (which, unfortunately but predictably, she was). But...she shouldn't go to Atlas Academy, right? The militarized school in this place that had sucked their souls out? Somewhere else would be better. Anywhere else. Shade Academy was too far away; it was going to be difficult for them to pay for the school, let alone transportation, and the whole family knew it. When she applied to Beacon Academy, they rejected her. The only place that was both close enough and allowed Saffron in was Haven Academy. And so she went. She'd finally made it in!
But still...she nursed an awful fear in her gut. All those loans her parents took out to put her through the best schools and get her here? They'd need to be paid back sometime. And they wouldn't have the Lien to do it. So, she decided to put absolutely everything into becoming a Huntress to help pay the bills. It's not just to protect people anymore. Now, it's to protect family.
Saffron's Semblance is Flickerswitch, a powerful—if risky—ability. Saffron doesn't have a huge amount of Aura to begin with; Flickerswitch essentially turns it into a fuel gauge, allowing her to consume it to dramatically increase her speed, flipping and dashing around so quickly she's hard to keep track of and leaving a trail of blazing yellow light behind her. She's generally okay with it, but her energetic recklessness can get the better of her, and as of now, it's on a pretty high burn. She needs to be really careful with it, or else she can put herself in a great deal of danger.
Weapon & Fighting Style
Named (ironically) for her lack of skill in strategy, her main armament is Checkmate, a pair of quick, powerful machine pistols that can flip to a pair of chunky, tanto-point knives with frankly concerning speed, which is only exacerbated by how quickly she moves around.
And that's really what her fighting style is based around: speed. She's small and relatively weak, so she relies on blistering speed and overwhelming volume to drill through her enemies before they can tire her out and drain her down. While against one or two foes she goes all-in from the start, the strict limits on her Semblance means she is—or, at least tries to be—much more careful during extended combat.
Despite her recklessness, Saffron is a surprisingly good team player. It becomes much easier to hold herself back when someone else is actively creating a plan, so it makes her significantly easier to work with if there's a strategist worth their salt along for the ride.
Though of course she makes heavy use of it with her guns, she's pretty helpless at using Dust in any other way. She understands that there is a principle to it, but it would take so long to learn it! Why do that when she could be working on her strengths instead?