AIM SN: popecats
Have you played in an LJ based game before? yep c:
Currrently Played Characters: Alois Trancy.
Conditional: Activity Check Link: For Alois.
Canon Source: Nabari no Ou
Canon Format: manga
Character's Name: Shijima Kurookano, as a girl, and Shiratama, as a cat. It can be assumed that neither of these are her original name.
Character's Age: Unknown. At what would pretty much be the very least, 150 years old. It's likely that she's somewhere around 200. Appearance, however, pegs her as an adolescent girl (or a year-old cat, depending).
What form will your character's NV take? This thing. She will chew on it.
Character's Canon Abilities: One of Shijima's most defining characteristics is her immortality. She cannot die, no matter the cirumstances; old age, after around two centuries, certainly hasn't killed her, nor have any gruesome injuries - the same goes for the effects of Tenpenka. The secret art and pride of the clan of Fuuma is an extraordinary shinobi science: it is, basically, shapeshifting. Tenpenka allows the user to manipulate their body's own cells; recreate, rearrange - from what we've seen, most anything is possible, provided a person can control the technique well enough. However, Tenpenka's drawback is the inevitable misalignment of cells: a user, no matter who, will eventually lose just a fraction of their grasp on the technique, and the fumbling between cells will kill them. Shijima herself has surely suffered these effects, yet here she is today.
Her healing abilities are not quite instantaneous, but her body does completely repair its wounds, whether they're small or include the loss of a limb. It's important to note, however, that when she did regain an arm she'd lost, she reattached it herself, simply tying it on with a bandage, before the body reaccepted it. In theory, she could simply recreate a limb using Tenpenka, but it would be much more taxing. Furthermore, Kouichi, with the same regenerative ability, was able to heal a gunshot wound through the chest just fine. Granted, it took a couple of days for his scar tissue to fade; it's possible that Shijima's arm would have regrown on its own, but reattaching it manually was a quicker and more convenient way to go about things.
Physical limitations far outclass a human's, in Shijima's case. She has the sensory abilities of a feline, and she has a general agility that can be pretty remarkable. She's also incredibly stealthy; this is owed not only to her cat habits, but to the fact that she's spent years training as a shinobi. Her strength is indeed somewhat surprising, considering her small body; she's been known to drag and toss two fully grown men, using one hand for each. However, she generally relies on the power of her teeth and jaws, and her claws.
She's much more defenseless in her cat's body. It's harder to catch, but it's likely not as durable, making it more difficult for her to act quickly. In that state, she doesn't have very many ways to be aggressive, with her flimsier claws and a more limited range of motion.
Gogyou-jutsu - the shinobi art that utilizes the elements - is also something she can perform, though it's not prominent with her. She often attracts animals while in her human form, even those she'd otherwise eat. Apparently she can understand them just fine.
And, despite her lack of social skills, she's sort of really 'wise' after two centuries, so she's pretty good at reading people, too.
Weapons: A white-hilted katana, swiped from someone she'd been just about to impale.
Character History: Japan's Edo period ran from the year 1603 to 1868, and Shijima's birth took place during what's only stated to be 'the later part' of this time. It's likely, by now, for her series does take place in the present day, that not even she remembers the exact date she was born on, but personal speculation places it somewhere around 1800, give or take a few years.
She's the result of an experiment - a mixture of both medicine and what's most easily, yet inaccurately, described as magic. The Shinrabanshou is, in her world, a manifestion of godlike wisdom. All things in nature is what it means, and it's exactly that. Understandably, this 'forbidden art' is highly coveted, since mastering the technique would allow the user to warp reality completely to their own desires. The Shinrabanshou creates a god out of man; if an individual can manage to withstand the crushing amount of knowledge weighing down their mind, anything will be under their control.
It's this that Shijima's born from.
The second-to-last known keeper of the art was a man hailing from a family of medical practitioners. His interest in regeneration and longevity drove him to experiment with the Shinrabanshou, once he was confident with his hold on it. Even so, tampering with human bodies only killed the subjects - frustrated, and intent on finding answers, he used his power to transfer the 'heart' (and therefore mind, intelligence, and thoughts) of a human being into various animals. The animals' bodies, at first, withstood the overflow of wisdom, and their more advanced thoughts would help to forward the doctor's research in these areas.
Shinrabanshou's influence, however, is overwhelming to all who've set it into motion, and not only did many of the experiments die, but the user of the art, as well. It wouldn't appear again for nearly two hundred years.
Two of the lifeforms remained. One owl, and one cat, yet neither with the heart of an animal. They couldn't integrate back into the societies of their respective species, and they were unable to speak with the humans their minds resembled. They wandered. For at least a hundred years, they wandered, staying among the trees and watching villages. Sometimes they died, without ever really doing so. Sometimes they went years and years without breaking their bodies.
What is most important, however, is that they stayed together, side by side with a mutual understanding. If they parted, it was never for a large span of time (and it was usually Shijima who did the leaving). If they parted, they would always go back to each other. Decades kept them close.
After perhaps a century, or maybe a little longer, the two, in their travels, came across Kotarou Fuuma, a child of his surname's clan. He was young, but exceedingly intellectual, and Shijima, in her own curiosity, suggested to her owl companion that they approach him. Unable to speak, Shijima simply held a brush in her mouth to paint out a note to him.
Fuuma, though so small, was fascinated by the creatures, and he led them to his clan's pride: Tenpenka, the art of reforming cells. An ultimate disguise. And, in some cases, a source of longevity - keeping the body fresh and free from age.
The owl learned the art first. Fuuma was delighted with what he saw standing before him - a man, or an imitation thereof; someone who could speak with him, tell him the story of these creatures. From this came an alliance that would last for around another century. Shijima, at the time refusing to fully utilize Tenpenka for herself, walked by the owl-man's side for several more decades. They traveled, and learned, and they awaited the resurfacing of the Shinrabanshou. By then, they were desperate; they simply wanted to die.
Ten years ago, the owl had appeared as a small boy - no more than a toddler. Simply biding his time as a child, he was adopted into a family, and took the name Kouichi Aizawa; from there, he would grow up in Banten village, which was small and unassuming, and a nearly defunct ninja faction. It was because of Shijima's own luck, just a couple of years earlier; as a cat, she'd crept into a little house, snatched a bite to eat, and intended to be off. It was that simple.
Of course, it didn't stay that simple. Akatsuki Rokujou, the owner of that house, found her and smiled at her and said, 'Ah, so you have a human heart, don't you?' It was chance, perhaps, that she'd run into a man who came from a family of those able to interact and understand animals especially well.
Taken on as his housecat, she stayed close to him, and observed. From there, things escalated. Akatsuki's wife, Asahi, was revealed to be exactly what Shijima had been searching for all these decades. As the keeper of the Shinrabanshou, Asahi held the possibility to end Shijima's life. It was this idea that the little cat became enamored with. Her life with the Rokujou family seemed fated, and Shijima believed that she would be able to die, as she wished. She waited.
They had a child, Akatsuki and Asahi. He was called Miharu, and he was the light of their lives, the most precious thing they could imagine. Still, Shijima waited. Still, she watched. He grew up normally, with an incredibly loving family, with no overlay of shinobi fright, with no influence of the Shinrabanshou. He carried Shijima - Shiratama, she was called - about like a ragdoll. He drew sloppy things and he scuffed his knees. It was an entirely natural family.
It took four years for news of the Shinrabanshou to surface among other ninja. At first, the situation wasn't seen as desperate; Asahi was ever the optimist, and though she called a friend of her family's all the way from Ireland to help her, she was sure that his assistance would pull everything together neatly. Black Kumohira worked to create what they called Zekuu; its knowledge would safely extract the Shinrabanshou from Asahi and cast it aside. Black's grandson, Thobari, participated sullenly. All would be well, Asahi promised. Nothing would happen.
Everything bad that could happen, did. Asahi was attacked before Zekuu could be performed. Akatsuki and Black were killed as they tried to protect both Asahi and Miharu. Thobari, left in charge of the four-year-old child, was not able to keep everything steady, on his own. Miharu, killed in the crossfire, was resurrected by Asahi's Shinrabanshou - an unforgiveable sin, as Thobari calls it, and one that overwhelmed and killed her. Thobari and Miharu were left with no one. Shinrabanshou had taken Miharu's body, instead. All of their plans had failed.
Shijima and Kouichi watched the entire thing.
However, the effects of the Shinrabanshou were strong, and no person in existence can remember a thing from that night - barring Thobari Durandal Kumohira. He is left with the memories of the Rokujou's deaths, and he is the only one who knows what Asahi held inside of her.
Another decade of biding her time as a housecat is what it took, for Shijima. She stayed with Miharu and watched him grow, and observed Thobari from afar. And, when the Shinrabanshou awoke within Miharu once again, her plan pitched forward once more. The cat would disappear for days at a time, and later, we find out why: She had contacted the leader of another shinobi village, the Kouga, and enrolled in their academy as one Shijima Kurookano. There, her mission was to study, both 'what people will sacrifice,' and 'what is important to humans.' Dull, perhaps, but very informative.
When Miharu himself made his way to the school, Shijima fought against him and his companion, Yoite, appearing to be intent on using their bodies to create Kouga's forbidden technique, Daya. Of course, her ulterior motives later made themselves clear: her defeat at the hands of the Shinrabanshou caused her to withdraw, but she appeared shortly after, holding the knowledge of the same forbidden technique in her hands. She said that Kouga's leader had entrusted the book to her, and it was his last will for her to pass it on to whomever she saw fit. And, with a smile, she left the book to Miharu, playfully refusing to answer the many questions she created.
Kouichi met her in a secluded area, as they were set to leave. It was then that she revealed, to the audience, her inhuman nature, falling against him and downsizing into a cat. And, from there, she took the road back to Banten, her 'home.'
Aside from appearances as Shiratama and occasional meetings with Kouichi, she wasn't seen again for a while. Still, some time later, the situation in the world of Nabari again became dire, and when Miharu was kidnapped away by an enemy faction, she was a participant in the team who set out to rescue him. It was very much a life or death situation, for many of the people involved, and the part Shijima played certainly helped to save Miharu's life. The Shinrabanshou was, after all, what she was most concerned about. (Affection for Miharu did not help this case.)
Though the battle was won by Banten's affiliates, the exertion caused Yoite's death, and Miharu awakening the Shinrabanshou fully, used it to essentially erase Yoite's existence - and every memory having to do with him. Once again, Shijima's mind was altered by what had created her.
Perhaps a little surprisingly, after that incident, she kept her human form much more often. A team of Banten-affiliated shinobi was assigned to re-completing Zekuu; it was imperative that Miharu be separated from it. Shijima worked with this team, using her own knowledge of the Shinrabanshou's workings to move things along. Though embittered, she promised to support Miharu in his decisions and to help him be free of the secret art.
After Zekuu's completion, Shijima met with Kouichi, approaching the art's site of performance in order to watch the scenario unfold.
—Until Shinrabanshou made her appearance, that is, while Zekku tried to draw her out. Shinra seemed pleased to greet her 'children' once more, while the immortals were both wary of and needy for their 'mother.' When they seek to speak with her is when Shijima will be coming back to the Port.
Point in Canon: Chapter 63.
Character Personality: Though it perhaps directly contradicts the fact that she takes a human form when it's necessary, Shijima isn't generally a person to present herself as something she's not. She's a fan of half-truths, and if she does lie, it's often something that's absurdly and intentionally easy to see through. Despite the body of 'Shijima Kuro'okano,' she never directly refers to herself as human. Indeed, she doesn't take great pains to come across as such at all: her habits are still instinctively and indisputibly feline. If she's irritated or tired, she'll flop right down onto the ground, and if she's chasing after someone, she prefers to trap them in corners, as she would a mouse. To the people around her, she's incredibly eccentric, but for what she was born as, she's only doing what any normal cat would. Even her apparent youth is given away by her lazy words; she often refers to the humans she interacts with as children, or speaks to them in terms used only by elders. She'll tack the honorific '-kun' on to the end of a thirty-year-old man's name (when it's generally used for younger boys, or, more rarely, someone who's solidly a junior of another adult), and she's even been known to refer to herself, flatly yet jokingly, as 'Granny Me.' Her efforts at concealing her status as an inhuman immortal come through mainly in teasing remarks, where she'll taunt a person with the lack of a straight answer. When asked, by Miharu Rokujou himself, 'Do you know anything about the Shinrabanshou?' her answer was a smile and the far too vague, 'I know. And if I don't know, I do know some advice for it. See you.' Having been created by Shinrabanshou herself, Shijima most certainly knows more than most other characters in the series, but she keeps her secrets as she sees fit.
Despite her loose nature and nonchalant air, so much of Shijima's self is made up of her own stitched-together statements and the built up assumptions that those around her freely make. She fills the role required of her at the time, be it antagonistic or helpful; her drive is her own wish, and she's desperate enough to realize that wish in whichever way is possible. This can, unfortunately, make her very difficult to trust. Unless she's confident that her service to any person will best lead her to pursue her own interests, she's likely to drop an alliance as she sees fit. Furthermore, she'll do no more than exactly what is required of her. She is, at her core, an observer, a 'bystander,' in her own words. No matter the holding her own feelings have in the matter, she almost always refuses to interfere with outside events: if something cannot be used to forward her own personal interests, she won't have a hand in it. Of course, everyone's going to slip up a couple of times in their lives, especially if that life spans a couple of hundred years. She's been known to nudge things along here or there, in order to satiate her own curiosity.
Kouichi, most likely knowing her best of all after two hundred years at her side, says of her, 'You have very contradicting moods!' Her response is irritation at having such a thing announced, but she certainly doesn't deny it; 'My contradictions are most important! Understand?' Such moodiness can be common with her, if she's not filling any role aside from her own natural habits. As herself, rather than 'a student' or 'a housecat,' she's bitter, perhaps spiteful, and prone to violent rages when she finds others unforgivably foolish. For her, the end surely justifies the means, and she wants her end very badly. Repeated denials of her wish do not dissuade her. She's intent on finding death. It is her obsession, her greatest love, and may well be the defeat of any morality she holds.
Much of her loneliness, admittedly, is self-imposed. Kouichi Aizawa has been her only constant companion, and even he, at times, she can alienate. Her enjoyment of his company is genuine, though, and she teases him mercilessly, as if they were childhood friends. Other people can, at times, be subject to this: Miharu, Yukimi, Thobari, and even Kotarou Fuuma haven't been exempt. Miharu's late father, Akatsuki Rokujou, was also a person for whom she seemed to care a great deal— in her own way, she mourns his death, and she looks to have firm respect for his memory, and was affectionate to him while she was alive. Her reminiscences of Akatsuku are one of the only things to make her smile softly and fondly in-series, in fact. Her heart goes out to people from time to time, even if she wants to quell it and keep it to herself. 'I am an existence that is neither cat nor human,' she says, spitefully. She's decided that mingling doesn't suit her. Personal relationships are foolish, in her eyes, and she considers most people children, or stupid, or both. Humanity as a whole is something she says she dislikes - it isn't quite true, and she's cold or even hot-headed when she tries to hide affection she doesn't want seen, and despite everything, she's fascinated by them. More often than not, though, she'll simply mock or manipulate. Shijima's brutally blunt, many times to the point of being rude, and doesn't care to be otherwise. It's possible that, should she put effort into it, she could be a very sociable girl; however, it's clearly not something she'd like to do.
Shijima is volatile, she's untrustworthy, and she's very bitter thanks to a world's worth of losses, but above all else, she is weary. All she wants to do is finally rest. Until then, she'll simply do as she pleases, for the most part. That's her nature. With the arrogance of a cat and, the wisdom of a granny, and the moodiness of a teenager, Shijima manages to mesh age groups and instincts that never should have crossed.
Character Plans: Rearriving in the Port will be a jolt to her— more time will have passed here than in her own world, but 'missing' the opportunity to finally meet with Shinra will be infuriating to her. She'll be testy about the ties she's made, and this may involve her with certain anti-AGI shenanigans - if only peripherally, and to forward her own observations.
Appearance/PB: Four and a half feet tall, man.
First Person Sample [High, high, high; the feed comes from up high in a tree. Shijima was not fond of the new arrival procedure, and had taken off almost instantly. Ridiculous, she'd thought. Really annoying. Really unnecessary.
Those things apply to the situation in general, not just the newer setup.
She's in no way pleased. Not a single bit, and the leaves rustle around her as if to reflect her agitation. She's got patches of dried blood on her face and in her long white hair, and her clothing isn't in the best shape, but of course she doesn't look injured. Shijima Kurookano never bothers to look injured.]
I'm being toyed with. [Her tone is pretty venomous.] Shinra, or stupid machine, what are you playing at... So I can't take to the nest, can I? It's been a little while since I've set foot here, I know that much. How many of you have killed each other?
[A bitter jab - she feels like striking - and then she scoffs while looking sideways. That's enough for now, she supposes, and clicks it off.]
Third Person Sample
She arrives and is nauseated.
More than ill, she feels, Shijima Kurookano is infuriated, and that's almost instantaneous. This dirt; she knows this dirt. She knows this stupid air. A moment as she breathes it in—
No answer. Kouichi isn't anywhere directly nearby, at least. Other people are - greeters, she doesn't want to deal with them - and Shijima frowns deeply. Very deeply. "Shinrabanshou," she says, then. "Shinra." Then she's up, swaying and slouching and shuffling along, hair all askew— most things about her are amiss and she rubs her fingers together so that long-dried blood will flake. Greeters near her:
"Mother," Shijima says loudly, as a last resort; will Shinrabanshou respond? Does Shijima really have to beg?
It doesn't do anything, the greeters mistake her call for a child without her parent, and Shijima wants to cut into all of them right now. Too furious. Her NV— well, there it is. She fingers it. She stares at people for a beat. She hates everything right now.
Shijima whirlwinds away and secretly feels terribly sorry for herself.