Our resident meme queen, Lauren is always a positive figure in the chat and on site, and we're glad to have her! It's a blast to watch her colorful array of characters interact with others, from SF native Theo to our favorite misguided stepsister Alex. Whether she's plotting, posting, or just being herself, she never fails to bring smiles to our faces.
Welcome to ENDLESS DIAMOND SKY! We are an animation personified site set both in the animated world and present day San Francisco. A terrible darkness is spreading through the animated realm, driving everyone from their homes and into unknown territory that we know as reality. Now they find themselves at a crossroads: do they fight for their world or do they turn their back on it and make San Francisco their home? What will you choose?
setting san francisco, calif. 2018
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kubo ★ kubo and the two strings ★ haruma miura ★ hero ★ 24
'Your mother is gone. Your village is destroyed, burned to the ground,' a voice echoes in the back of your mind. It is still raw, as if the terrible news reached your ears only a moment ago. You were no longer in the Farlands, no longer the young boy scrambling for your feet in the snow. It had been weeks since you had been, the realization that you were alone with only a strange primate companion, far from your home and more confused than you'd ever been. You had been scared, but it hadn't stopped you from being difficult... perhaps that was exactly why you had been so contrary to Monkey's wishes.
She and Beetle had seen you through so much, though you insisted you were not entirely helpless. You pulled the Sword Unbreakable from the head of the massive gashadokuro. You crafted an entire galleon of fallen leaves and driftwood. You dove into the Long Lake and retrieved the Breastplate Impenetrable from the Garden of Eyes. For all the dangers they faced, you remind yourself they wouldn't have had to deal with such perils if you had not put them through it.
That's how you ended up here, isn't it? You had stayed out too long, you betrayed your mother's wishes. Sometimes you wish you could turn back time and correct your mistakes. You could have been home by dark, so the Moon King could not find you so far from home. You could have spared your mother the rest of her power, and the time spent searching for the armor you never even completed. Maybe you could have saved your parents the pain. The guilt still weighs heavy on your conscience.
At the very least, you know there was one thing you could not change. The dark force, darker than your aunt's magic, that consumed the last you saw of your father's fortress. It was that unstoppable evil that you knew was out of your control. In the confusion, you all lost your conniving, vengeful aunt, but also each other. Winds whipped the wreckage of the crumbling castle, sending wood and debris flying. You assumed they went after your mother's sister, but you could not be sure: your parents were nowhere to be found. Dark clouds loomed over the horizon and there was no way to tell which direction they had gone. The last you saw of your mother was her hair around your wrist. The last of father, his broken bow.
This black magic, this shadow that was cast over your home... You knew to give it a name only when you had reached San Francisco. Even that was not an easy journey, especially not on your own. You continued to wander the ravished earth, the scorched farmlands and the marred countryside. Food was scarce, and the little you did find made you miss Monkey's whale soup. At least then you would have her back, the mother you missed dearly and the companion you hadn't learned to appreciate until it was too late.
But you had found other travelers who had also lost everything in the dark days that had come for them. They shared their stories and, though reluctant to divulge in the event your family might still be searching for you, you share your own. After losing your parents, your relationship with anyone became short-lived. You would not put more innocent lives in danger on your account. That was why you hid from the night sky at any time possible, unsure of when or how your next fight might appear.
You might have spent months sleeping in caves and crafting lean-tos from fallen branches if you hadn't found the portal. At first it had seemed as far-fetched as one of your own tales, but when you stood before that arch, you believed it could be possible. But that strange structure in the middle of nowhere - it was real. You were in a state of shock, even after all that you'd seen and done. You considered staying away, but your search for your parents had been unsuccessful thus far. You don't remember just what it was that tipped your decision to cross - whether it be the possibility of food, or perhaps shelter - but you did.
And now you were here... in some relative safety. In a new place to call home. A place where you needn't cower from the moon and stars.
It took weeks to adjust to all the strange new wonders of this world. You were given a home, fresh clothes, a hot meal... without charge. A roof over your head and a warm bed was more than you'd had in your whole life spent in relative concealment. But not everything came without a price. You were not afraid to work; that much was easy when you had already been gifted so many luxuries. However there was much you had to learn.
English was new to you, as was writing. Yours was a vocal history, not recorded. Much of your education had to start here. How could you expect to communicate with the locals if you could not form a simple question? How could you acclimate to the culture and social atmosphere if you couldn't even give a simple greeting? Though it was a challenge, you knew you had to rise to the occasion. From there you learned to handle yourself in the city, how to get a job and how to handle money. Responsibility was something you could do without, but you knew you needed to grow up fast.
The transition center at Haven Hill had taken to calling you Kubo, but now that you find yourself ready to take your first steps into the "real world" of San Francisco, you need a name. Something to call you by, and something to keep your identity hidden from those who might use it to their advantage. There were only three people you know you do not want to find you - but what dangerous people they are - and for that reason, you agree. But with such endless options, what will you possibly choose?
You remember home, your native land. The sunrise as it hits the rolling sea with light, the bright sun that warms the cool cliffside cave in the morning. You remember the Tori gate at the edge of the forest, a brilliant red. You remember the festival; the happy faces and the vibrant music of the occasion. And of course the brilliant lights of the lanterns drifting down the river, casting a faint yellow glow on the water. Even if you try, you cannot forget the sickening black smoke that engulfed the town and its people... you could not forget this was the work of your family and the fault was your own. And so you pick Himura, carefully building the characters for scarlet, 緋, and village, 村.
You remember your mother. The only person you truly loved for much of your life. The woman who cared for you, until you cared for her. Though you fed her and tucked her in at night, you know she was no poor, unfortunate thing. She was a force to be reckoned with, even in her weakened state. You would have loved to see her as strong as when your father had met her, but she risked her life and her magic to save you. It was a steep price to pay, but she never hesitated. You remember the story she told of the night she escaped her family's grasp. With nothing but your shamisen in hand and you yourself on her back, the unrelenting ocean itself working against her. She could have drowned, and you as well, but she did not stop until you were safe. It is for her you choose Kaito. 海, sea. 翔, soar.
You remember all your successes along your journey, and you remember your shortcomings as well... Your arrogance at times, your naivety at others. Your failure to see that which was right in front of your face. The monkey charm, your mother. The beetle-like samurai, your father. It all makes perfect sense as you retrace your thoughts. You had been blind, too trusting of the stories you'd been told. Or perhaps too trusting of the mysterious man that appeared in your dream, speaking of truth and feeding you lies. In an attempt to further yourself from your grandfather, you vowed to be warm and compassionate. To understand and accept your imperfections. To be honest, to be true. You put down the last few strokes to spell Shin: 真. You were nothing if not genuine, even as you lived a lie.
His given name Kaito is combined of the kanji that translate to "sea" and "soar" respectively. His mother escaped the reach of her family by taking to the water, and they lived in the same cave in the cliff by the sea his whole life. Ocean tides are also closely tied to the moon, which gives a nod to his family history. And, of course, "Kubo" and "Kaito" have some similarities in sound. I gave him Shin as a middle name, though in Japanese naming convention he usually would not have one. So I kept it short to not clutter his name. It means "real, genuine." Himura means "scarlet village," which he would associate with the village that lay at the base of the mountain/cliff he lived on, and blames himself for its destruction. In Japanese he would write and say his name surname first, given name last, leaving out the middle name: 緋村 海翔.
Haruma Miura was an instant favorite of mine. I flipped through a couple of actors that might have worked, but I kept coming back to Haruma. He has a lot of resources with a somber feel to them, as well as some goofier, cuter ones. I thought he could be a good balance between the Kubo who likes to have a bit of fun and tell stories, and the Kubo who takes his family very seriously and is not afraid to admit when he's messed up. He's on the skinnier side, which suits his character, and has this long, wily hair. Plus, ponytail potential.
January 15th. Until 1999, this was the day of the Coming of Age festival in Japan. Today, it celebrates those becoming 20 years old, but it has roots in coming of age ceremonies that would have taken place at 13/15 years old (long ago when people became 'adults' much earlier).
Kaito works part time as a clerk in a bookshop, and in his free time he still busks on the streets. He likes to have a job with flexible hours so he can commit more time to working with the resistance. He is currently trying to find clues that will lead him back to his parents, and so he travels back frequently. He's not concerned with making a lot of money (and never has been) so he doesn't really have a lot of "career" aspiration.
POWERS & ABILITIES:
Naturally, his sight is less that perfect, considering the fact he can only see in one eye. The portal granted him a sort of "replacement" for the one that was stolen from him, but he is blind in said eye. He still wears his hair over the left side of his face, out of habit. This does not affect him too much, as he has never been able to see with both eyes. Nevertheless, it's not ideal, but his swordsmanship and other powers are unhindered.
combat skills It's well known Kubo is the son of a great samurai, so it's understandable that he would be inclined to some form of combat. He is in possession of his father's weapon, The Sword Unbreakable, and had just been taught to shoot a bow and arrow. He picked up using both very quickly, so it's easy to say "like father, like son." Also "like mother, like son" because we see Monkey doing a lot of damage as well. The Sword itself may have some hand in that, as it is a bit mystical itself and may be adaptable (like the armor is).
musical ability Kubo's most prized possession in the film is the shamisen he plays throughout the story. With it he's able to tell elaborate stories for the villagers, and uses the music as a backdrop for the visuals. He seems to be able to make up whatever tune he'd like on the spot, as no two melodies he plays are the same. On this side of the portal, he still plays his shamisen, but has picked up acoustic guitar and ukelele.
magic Whether or not his musical skills are a gift from his magic, he doesn't know. Either way, they are very much tied together. We have seen that his mother holds the same power, and it extremely gifted in it, as she is one of the celestial beings of their world. She's noted as being the strongest of her sisters, and as such, Kubo is very gifted as well. His is a creative power, one that has been groomed to be "good" or otherwise neutral, not for combat (there are swords for that heh). His power extends over, paper, leaves, and other small, lightweight things. If given the opportunity, he could strengthen it to have control of more weighty objects (as we see his mother splitting the sea to lead them to safety; I don't doubt Kubo could be trained to cultivate his power to a similar level). Could his magic turn destructive? He doesn't know yet. He doesn't want to find out.
This skill is strongest in the animated world, but in San Francisco he is able to do limited "tricks" of a sort. For example, he can turn the pages of a book with his music or make paper fly as if it's dancing in the wind. Most things he can write off as an illusion if he is called out on it. Though he's a bit of a show off, he knows better than to give himself away in SF.
mad origami skillz He can do crazy paper folding even in his sleep, ok??
Ok this is touched upon at the very end of his app, but I hope the general attitude of his character is felt. He's a kid at heart - or he wants to be - he had to grow up fast to take care of his mother as she got more and more sickly. So he will try to keep a serious situation lighthearted. He can be a bit of a goof, but when it comes down to the wire, he is dependable and will be there for those he loves and innocent people as well.
He has quite the lasting impression of his aunts (from experience) and his grandfather (from his mom's stories) and he wants to be as least like them as humanly possible. He revels in his imperfections, and does not take small mistakes to heart. He is very forgiving and easy to befriend. He's inclusive and has a soft spot for misfits like himself.
This I kept true to canon, only differentiating after the canon cutoff point. I didn't want to retell the whole story, but like 80% of the movie has happened and I stick to it. I didn't delve into Kubo's life before the events of the movie because it strikes me as much of the same.
V important here, I chose to cut the story off in the middle of the battle with the second sister, in Hanzo's fortress. More specifically, this is after Beetle's bow breaks and Monkey's sister reveals that Beetle is, in fact, Hanzo. But before she kills them both and Kubo retaliates. Hypothetically, the Moon King could still be looking for him, as Kubo ran for his life. It's important to me to note that he collected the bow string and there for has both of the Two Strings™. He has been on this side of the portal for about 6 years now.