Drawing Dagger

Drawing is one of my favorite pastimes. I like creating various characters; I like having the capability to draw them as I imagined them. When I was in highschool around fifteen years of age, I began drawing an anime-style comic entitled “Alter Fate”. I put it on hold until I was seventeen and at that point, I was able to finish it. I won’t tell the story of “Alter Fate” here, maybe some other time.

After I finished Alter Fate, I wanted to draw a tournament-type story. At that time, Digimon Tamers was one of my favorite shows, and Rika and Renamon heavily influenced my character design. I created Dagger in the image of Renamon: a bipedal fox. In those early years, I only saw fox quadrupeds like Kyubimon and half-foxes like Kurama from YuYu Hakusho. I wanted a fox creature, but I did not want a quadruped or a half-fox, thus when I saw Renamon, I thought that it was a good design idea.

Dagger Gray of TNF

Dagger was “born” on July 2003. I know this because I always put dates on my drawings. The first page of the comic showed a violent Dagger as the familiar of an equally violent little girl. The last panel of that page implied that Dagger crushed a man’s skull after interrogating him and gaining no information. That comic was titled “Wyvern” and it remained unfinished. In the present, I realized that unfinished comic became, perhaps subconsciously, my template for my current creations at The Ninja RPG Forum (TNF).

One of the major clans in the Wyvern tournament was Ikeda, and the name of Dagger’s partner was Lune. I don’t want to upload Dagger’s original design but it is almost the same as the one above (his current design at TNF). The ears, the tail, the claw weapon and the scarf- all the same in the old and new designs. On TNF, I created the clans Lune and Ikeda. My main character is called Yukari and she is the TNF Dagger’s summoner.

Alter Fate” and “Yukari”, sounds related, ne? They are. When I was younger I was interested in the idea of “fate”, and the “what ifs” of life. Yukari’s name is usually spelled by using Katakana, but the true writing should be the Kanji for “fate” which is 縁

Yukari also has a weapon called “Yumetagae” or “The Changer of Nightmares to Dreams”. This was also the title of an even older comic idea that I had (and eventually scrapped) which also revolved around fate.

Dagger and Yukari, and most of my creations on TNF, are manifestations of my past which I have come to accept. Since I have accepted them, I guess they are part of my present and hopefully, my future. I feel that the difference between the original Dagger and the current Dagger reflects a change in my attitude. Dagger was originally malicious, violent and secretive (he had an alternate, innocent-looking chibi form); currently he is serious, easily annoyed and powerful, but he is honest and kind. His design, although influenced by Renamon, was influenced by something more personal: my deceased dog, Pitri.

Pitri had huge ears, not as large as Dagger’s of course, but the shape of the head is pretty much the same. He was a black-and-white fluffy mutt, a “tuxedo dog” that looked like a Sheltie, and at that time, he was my best friend. Almost a year after I drew Dagger, around June 2004, Pitri suddenly died. Later on we found out that he had hepatitis and, since most of his body was black under his black fur, we didn’t notice the yellowish color on his skin. Pitri probably suffered for months without showing any signs of illness (he was eating fine, his weight was normal, etc.), but suddenly he died. The worst thing was that when I left in the morning, I said “I’ll be right back” and I did not say goodbye, but I was gone for most of the day with all of my family members. When I got back in the evening, he was dead. I think that was one of the reasons why I never finished Wyvern.

My original character Yukari was similar to how I looked like when I was younger and had really long hair. I hate long hair now though. She started out as “me” but now she is someone else. Yukari isn’t someone that I want to be, she’s become her own person, I suppose. She has a kid, cannot cook, cannot draw and is clinically insane: these are things that I do not want and are not “me”. However, Yukari is powerful by herself and can draw on the power of others (her summons)- this is something that I intended for her. She has responsibilities and obligations both to her village, her son and her clans (Lune and Ikeda) but she remains a free spirit in her own way. She commands Fire and Water in unconventional ways and has poisons that are not actually fatal.

Please excuse me for using a Kingdom Hearts reference: Yukari is my Nobody.

I’ve never really looked at it this way while I was creating them, but now I realized who Dagger and Yukari are. I wonder if any of my other creations are related to my past somehow?

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