Character Profiles: Part Two
Today I’m posting part two of my character profiles of the four main characters in my upcoming novel Demon’s Life. Today’s profiles feature Koji Takata and Akito Okada.
Demon’s Life is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com!
Name: Koji Takata
Birthday: 11th April 1689
Birthplace: Ōtsuki, Kai Province, Honshū, Japan
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown with gold flecks
Mother: Natsume Takata
Father: Kazuhiro Takata
Other Relatives: Kaede Takata, Taku Kokawa, Sachiko Takata
Relationship Status: Single
Characteristics: Quiet, brooding, martyr complex, wise, caring
Random Fact: Koji is bisexual and has been in love twice in his life
Character Creation: Originally Koji featured in some of the same novels as Taku. Once he was Taku’s sire, but usually whilst related by vampire blood they did not have a direct sire-child relationship. In fact in one novel Koji tried to kill Taku, which didn’t really work out for him! Koji has essentially remained the same character although he has more compassion than his previous incarnation. I chose him to be Taku’s sire as I wanted a character who was the same age, but who is also lot wiser than their years which Koji is. Koji’s back story is something that I created for the Demon’s Blood universe. I knew from the beginning of drafting it that Koji’s turning would be traumatic and that it would very much define who he is as a character. As a result of his turning, Koji is often dark and brooding with a tendency to become depressed.
Name: As with Taku, I wanted a name which was short, although Koji’s name is not an abbreviation. His surname Takata is a variant of Takeda, who were a famous clan who controlled the Kai Province until the latter end of the sixteenth century. Koji’s father claimed that their family were related to the Takeda’s so I thought the name helped add some weight to this claim.
Relationship: Koji has been in love twice in his life and although both times his love was reciprocated he has refused to enter into a romantic relationship. This is partly due to his self-loathing, but in part because he fears once day having to face either turning his love or losing them. Koji’s first love was a man called Atsuo and whilst they did have a physical relationship, neither of them voiced just how much they cared for each other until it was too late.
In Demon’s Life, Koji is living with a female distant relation called Sachiko whom is in love with him. Whilst he returns her feelings he refuses to acknowledge them for fear of causing her harm.
Character Development in Demon’s Life: In Demon’s Life, Koji is very much scarred by the trauma of his own forced turning and then being pursued by Kurai for the majority of his life as a vampire. He is unable to bear the selfish reasons he had for turning Taku and this led him to abandoning his only friend. Even after Kurai possesses Taku, Koji is initially too afraid of the demon to help him. He is naturally guarded and at first refuses to open up to Thane about his past and Kurai. Koji feels as though he has made many mistakes in his life, and that ultimately saving Taku and facing Kurai is a way of atoning for them. His motives for wanting to save Taku are in a way selfish as he desperately wants to make amends without having to admit his responsibility.
Name: Akito Okada
Birthplace: Nagoya, Japan
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Brown
Mother: Reika Okada
Father: Masao Okada
Other Relatives: Hitomi Okada
Relationship Status: Single
Characteristics: Manipulative, intelligent, confident, flirtatious, selfish
Random Fact: Akito has the rare ability of being able manipulate the memories and actions of humans and inexperienced vampires
Character Creation: Akito is a character that I created specifically for the Demon’s Blood universe. As his role was primarily to manipulate Thane, I wanted to create character who was in some ways similar to Taku in order to draw Thane, but also different enough in his own right. In human years he and Thane are the same age, however Akito is a much older and more experienced vampire. Akito is somewhere between being an antagonist and protagonist, and I had always intended for him to be somewhere in the middle between the two.
Name: I named him after Akito Sohma from the 2001 Fruits Basket anime (although originally in the Manga, Akito Sohma was female!). I did this because in some ways Akito’s circumstances are similar to Akito Sohma’s. They are both in ways victims of their own family. Akito Sohma was abused and manipulated by her parents and in a way Akito Okada was too. His father took advantage of his ability to manipulate memories and used him to keep control of their colony as well as filling Akito’s head with ideas that vampires, not humans, should become the dominant species. An idea that eventually cost their family everything.
I chose Akito’s surname to be Okada as it is similar to Oda, which were a rival clan to the Takeda’s. I see the Takata’s and Okada’s to be rivals in the Demon’s Blood universe so thought it was quite fitting.
Relationship: Although Akito has had lovers in the past, he tells Thane that he cared little about any of them and does not wish to commit to a serious relationship. In some ways, Akito is too selfish to care for someone more than himself. Even when he does realise that there is someone whom he is in love with, he is unable to reconcile his feelings with his own desire for self-preservation.
Character Development in Demon’s Life: Akito is a very devious vampire and his motivations are for selfish reasons. He agrees to help Kurai in order to save his own life, but he does not hesitate to cross the demon when Koji proposes an alternative. By spending time with Thane, Akito comes to feel more compassion and empathy than he would do normally. These new emotions frighten Akito and he is so afraid of them that he reverts to type rather than accepting the changes in himself that deep down he does want. He also begins to show some remorse for his actions. In Demon’s Life, Akito is given several opportunities for redemption, but he is unwilling to risk his own life in order to take them. He is desperate to survive and also wants revenge on Taku whom he blames for the loss of his family. Akito does not invoke much sympathy, but in part this is because he pushes away everyone who would help him.