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Player Name: Juliet
Plurk Handle: [ profile] glamazon
Other characters: None

Character Name: Kubo

Fandom: Kubo and the Two Strings

Character Journal: [personal profile] bachido

OU, AU, or OC? AU - aged up 2 years.

If canon, canon point: 2 years post canon.

PB: Icons from the movie.

Superhero Name: Paperboy


Additional OC and AU Background: An additional two years. He has been taking care of his amnesiac, now-mortal grandfather the Moon King, with the help of his neighbors. He continues to put on shows for the town, earning his and his grandfather's rice with the thrilling adventures of Hanzo the Legendary Samurai, and lately, Sariatu the Moon Princess.

At some point the villagers all pitched in to help him build a house in town, a real step up from the cave of his childhood, but some nights, he still can't sleep without taking a walk to play his shamisen there.

Personality: Kubo is a confident performer who enjoys sharing his stories with an eager crowd. He has a lack of stage fright that is not sourced in arrogance, but in confidence that the stories he has to tell and the music he has to play are exciting, and that people are interested in and pleased to hear them. Through his performing, he connects with the memory of his mother and father, expressing his admiration and love for the great warriors and kind people they were in life. His music and his stories are his primary source of fun, something he would do even without financial need, or without it being tied to his magic.

Having been a caretaker since early childhood to his mother, herself a vibrant, dramatic, loving person, Kubo learned responsibility too young. While Kubo does not seek responsibility in a heroic sense, he accepted responsibility as a breadwinner and caretaker while still a young child. Though he cared for his mother out of a sense of love, his current caretaker status for his amnesiac grandfather is much more rooted in his sense of duty.

He provides for the old man without complaint, but Kubo feels the sorrow of the loss of his parents deeply, especially when the old man is occasionally petulant or disagreeable. Kubo avoids taking his sadness at the loss of his parents out on his grandfather, who is mostly a kind and harmless old man, too far from the casual evil of the Moon King to be blamed for the fallout of that casual evil - but sometimes avoiding that means taking a long walk back to the cave he used to share with his mother, to think of her and his father, and collect his temper.

In addition to being excessively responsible since childhood, Kubo has been lonely, since the children of his village have been his audience more often than his friends. Nevertheless, Kubo is good-humored, and he gravitates to joy and humor in others. For having had joy so rarely in his life, Kubo feels simple joys deeply. His happiest memory is of the single meal he shared with his mother and father.

He has not had any experience yet in his life that has made him consider seriously that he might seek something for himself other than simple subsistence living in support of another. Too much of his life has been spent scraping out subsistence and avoiding the Moon King, then caring for an elderly relative, for him to think much about what goals he might have, what paths he might follow in life. With young adulthood upon him, these questions loom at the edges of his life, as he tells endlessly the tales of his great samurai warrior father and his moon princess mother to his village audience.

Canon Powers: Kubo's canon powers are papyrokinesis as controlled by music and a powerful soundwave issued by strumming hard on his shamisen. His control over paper extends to dry leaves, light wood, flowers, and other plant matter that lends itself to a papery nature. His powers are great and growing, allowing him to summon paper birds or silk banners to fly with, build a boat capable of carrying multiple passengers, and he has killed a celestial being by strumming his shamisen hard enough to break the strings. He has very fine control over paper, and uses it to fold the paper into origami shapes to act out his stories.

Game powers: Kubo retains his musically controlled papyrokinesis and shockwave as two distinct powers, dialed down. He can no longer fly with his paper birds or control silk at all, though leaves and wood are still within his ability to manipulate if they are light enough. His percussive soundwave is no longer capable of killing, but can be aimed and has a strong knockback effect. His fine control of his origami folding is still the same, allowing him to create shapes that move and change with fantastic speed and precision outside the possibility of everyday origami.

Abilities: Kubo is only okay with the sword and bow, but he learned the basics of the sword from his mother when he was young and has practiced enough to be decent at it. He shows more talent with the bow, but has not had the opportunity to practice since learning from his father, since bows cost money and he has never had much of that. Nevertheless he can pick both up and wield them with basic skill, but his abilities with either come nowhere near to his abilities with the shamisen. Kubo was a master musician at twelve, and only continues to improve as he ages. He plays complexly and precisely while walking, talking, and exercising his power over paper to act out the stories he enhances and creates with his music, playing as well while moving and talking as many masters only can while sitting perfectly silent and still. He picks up tunes as quickly as he creates them, and his memory for detail is excellent, having had to rely on his memory throughout his life to preserve his mother's stories and remember his own without the benefit of scratch paper to write on.

Setting: Kubo puts others before himself. It is an aspect of his kindness and compassion. It is also something he's barely ever had the chance not to do, at least, in a familial sense.

Superheroing is a logical extension of his kindness and compassion, but as a Legionnaire, Kubo will have the chance to look at his life back home at a distance and decide if he is truly better off (and if those he can help are truly better off) scraping his existence out caring for his grandfather in his small village, or staying with the Legion as a hero and performer, cutting a path more in the style of his father and mother than he would back home. The greatest thing pulling him back, and yet also, the thought encouraging him the most to consider staying, is of his heroic parents - who he can only speak to during the fall festival in his village, but who surely would want more for him than a subsistence life caring for the fallen Moon King. Even if it meant not seeing them again. Kubo will have to wrestle with this choice.

It'd be cool if he also got a chance to actually learn how to use this magic, unbreakable sword he's got in a way more appropriate for the son of a mighty samurai.

It'd be even cooler if he got to take his musical storytelling to a larger audience - and a larger stage, in the Showbiz of the Future. Especially with the inclusion of new, thrilling tales of the Mighty Legion of Superheroes, and of the wonders of the universe which Sariatu, Warrior Princess of the Moon, loved less than she loved a mortal man and their mortal son.

Prose Sample: Your character is with the team at a fancy diplomatic party and a UP dignitary (Coluan, naturally, because man, that whole planet seems to be chock fill of arrogant dicks) has called into question the character's ability to be a Legionnaire and whether or not they, some weirdo interdimensional stranger, have the personal character to help protect the United Planets. How do they respond?

"If you must blink - do it now!"

The Coluan had called into question Kubo's ability to defend others, to work as a team, and he knew only one way to respond to any question of his skill - with story.

He would avoid the destroyed village. Avoid the shattered bodies of his family in the Beetle Clan's fortress. There was failure and loss in the story, but he could avoid it, because the bones of the story were worthy of a Legionnaire. The bones of the story were of unity. Protection. Love.

The things this concept called a "superhero" was made of.

Paperboy built the story with mounting intensity, with his words and his music, paper flying from his robes to illustrate his great battle with the Moon King in the husk of his village, and the silent crowd watched with as little blinking as possible.

"- With a string of my mother's hair -"

He worked his mother's sweet melody into the song, the lovely tune played with a vibrato of tension to fit the story, and the flowery vision of his mother hovered over the little red paper that had folded itself into his shape. He always carried a chrysanthemum, these days, for the Warrior Princess of the Moon whose cold heart melted in the warmth of the mighty Hanzo's gaze, revealing to her and the world the compassion and humanity that had slept there.

"And the bowstring of my father -"

Another sheet of the same red paper that folded itself into the little shamisen player snapped to attention, landed beside the paper boy with a single rest of tense silence that was weighty and powerful as if a living man had landed there.

Paperboy raised his bachi high. "And with one hair from my own head -"

He slammed the music back out of the shamisen with all the intensity of his love of the family he had lost, all the intensity of the love he'd felt for his mother and father in the few days that he'd had them both in his days and in his nights, without even knowing who they were. "And with the strength of all the memories of all the loved ones of all the villagers behind me, I showed the Moon King what was worth fighting for in the mortal world! With all the ancestors of all the villagers around us, I showed him the power of memory!"

Golden paper blossomed into dozens of little people, hovering behind the folded villagers in their earthy greys and blues, and as the massive monster that had once been the Moon King charged at the crowd of paper people, he met a shimmering barrier of gold paper shards, Kubo's memory of the field of magic that had surrounded him and the villagers when the ancestors came and protected them from the Moon King's fury.

"He broke himself on the power of our memories, on the power of our love for those we had lost, who never really left us - and we knew victory over the cruel, uncaring night!"

He'd gotten so much better at ending his stories, these last few years.

It hurt that it had come from the ending of a story he was in . . . but the end of one story, he had to remind himself, as the last triumphant chord died into silence, leant itself to new beginnings.

No one spoke in the hall for a handful of seconds. Then -

"I don't get it," a quiet voice, not so quiet as to not be heard, just the quiet of a voice far away, issued through the crowd. "Why were memories what defeated the moon king? Like, they didn't have memories in space?"

Kubo stared at his green-skinned critic, disbelieving. "Really?"

Network Sample:

I . . . don't think I want to do this.

I mean, I don't think I want to go back.

But I have to go back. It's where Mother and Father died. It's where their spirits -

It's where Grandfather is. [he says it with a sigh of obligation, not love. He perks up somewhat.] I know the villagers will take care of him. If I stay here, I -

[He sighs, seeming ready to chastise himself for this thought, but as the silence drags on, he considers -]

Maybe that's why I should stay. Grandfather will be taken care of, and here I make a difference. Back there, if he doesn't need me - even without the . . . the thing they say is eating the universe, even without that, there's evil here to fight. There are monsters to face, and I can do that. Like my father! He would have - he would have been great, here. I can be a hero like him, make more stories instead of just telling his -

I think he'd want that. I think he'd want me to be making new stories, especially good ones, like I can make here. Making new stories, instead of just telling old ones -

[He looks up from his internal thoughts, suddenly, as if at someone on the other side of the camera.]

But I couldn't stay here. I'd be imposing and I - can you explain to me how that "credit" works, again? Do I still have some?

[The person behind the camera assures him that yes, yes he does. In fact he has a lot of it. Enough to live comfortably here for the rest of his life, especially if he stays a Legionnaire.]

Oh. [Kubo seems momentarily cheered by this thought.] But . . . there's still Mother, and Father. I don't know if I can talk to them here, not like I can on the festival days back home. If I stay here, can I -?

[It seems no one can answer that for him. Kubo leaves the recording studio with deep thoughtfulness on his face.]

Additional info: Kubo's used to very small, very spread-out populations and only physical money, so it's going to take him a while to get used to the idea that a busking Legionnaire creates traffic jams and has lots of credit. He has a few items I'd like him to bring with him: His shamisen, his paper, and the Sword Unbreakable. I'd like to play with the idea that his playing, when amplified by a sound system, can allow him to control larger pieces of paper, but only for theatrical purposes. Like to put on a massive rocking origami electric shamisen rock show.

If this is your first character being apped to the game, did you reserve first? Yes. Yes I did.


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Kubo ♫ Kubo and the Two Strings

August 2017

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