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V4 Characters
Behold, as I review Ayn Mazumatsuzaki.

Ayn Mazumatsuzaki ~ The girl with the long last name
I like what I've seen so far. She's got an airy nature about herself, and for want of a better term, I like her cloud-cuckoo lander attitude. It's refreshing when you see it be done well, and it makes me chuckle.

That said, I'm a little concerned about how she comes off as a little robotic to me. Now I don't know if you're trying to go with that to stick with her love of computers, and if you are then you've done an excellent job; but I see a lot of technical adjectives like 'surveying', 'generated', and 'emenating' which makes me accosiate the girl with robotics. I won't say I dislike it, because upon second glance I feel that it just rolls with her rather well; if you don't want that to be the case though, I'll merely state how it comes off as to me.

That aside for a moment, I'm also enjoying the spiteful side we've seen. Whilst I will be honest in saying that there's a fair few of the sharp tongued girls about in the pregame and it'd be nice to see some outright rudeness from people for a change, you've done a good job of her subtle bitchiness. I just hope that we don't end up with a character who shows nothing but her bitch side; perhaps a little bit of internal thinking for her reasoning?

In conclusion, I believe that Ayn's got a fair deal of potential to make herself quite memorable. She's got the motives, and she's got the traits, but I would definitly enjoy reading some of her thoughts as well as her actions if you catch my drift.

I shall give Ayn my highest rating ever so far, though: Six thumbs up.

-------------------------------------------

Now for selfish mode to activate again: review my two gals! I worry about blandness, and welcome as harsh words as possible (Provided you give reasoning on top of it, you insulting people.)

Lucy Ashmore ~ First post
Janet Claymont ~ First post

I'll also play devil's advocate and request a little feedback on my yet-to-be-approved character Kane Westwood, as I'm worried people may have clichéd opinions on him that I'd rather like to dispel as soon as possible for all our sakes. (Assuming he gets approved, naturally.) Of course, I've already listed two people here at once, so feel free to spit on my devil's advocating. If that's even the right term.


That was rather fun; I may do it again.

Kane Westwood
Cronies I intended to recruit through pre-game planning after this profile was approved, but with heinsight I'll just wait to see what happens first before I think that far.

I believe I've added more information on his non-mob aspects, but of course if you want more I'll be happy to indulge.

Other changes should be fixed now.

EDITED

Calling All Jerks!
Since I've noticed that there's plenty of situations in SotF where less pleasant personalities could be appreciated, I thought I'd post a thread for people to list their sods; arseholes; bastards; and other mean people for handy reference in times of need!

So if you've got a character in your arsenal who'd engage in such behaviour as bullying, assault, name calling, etc., feel free to post who they are (profile links optional) here so as to compile a nice long list for others to refer to when the need arises.

And of course if you’ve got such a character but aren’t interested in exploring their nasty side, then you don’t have to say anything.

40,000 posts!
And in about 24 hours we've already had another 100.

Where they appear, I do not know.

Height/Weight Chart
Might I suggest we sticky a height and weight chart into the application section? That way we'll at least have something for people to refer to instead of having to google all these subtly different charts or (heaven forbid) ignore it all together and get the proportions horribly, well, disproportionate.

Oh look, I even found one. Perhaps it's not ideal, but that's why we have ourselves a suggestion thread.

The Throwdown
Winner!

Janet smiled; her perfect point victory shining back at her from the screen. Whilst Mike had definitely proven to be tougher than the computer, he was still no match for the mighty Janet Claymont!

“Ah well Mikey, better luck next time, eh?”

Chuckling slightly to herself, she turned back to the other two contestants in her little tournament.

“Looks like it’s you two up next then. Good luck!”

Stepping away from the machine to free up the controls for the incoming fight, Janet smiled at Mike; for a sportsman, he definitely knew his way around the controls; but then again, she was a cheerleader who could lay down some serious game, so she could hardly make judgements.

“Hey, it was a good game Mikey. I look forward to the next one.”

Whilst it wasn’t the perfect challenge she had been hoping for, she still enjoyed playing against a civil opponent. The kids that usually hung around the arcade could be so whiny, with comments like “But you’re six years older than me!” and “Stop rubbing it in my face!”; a little common courtesy in defeat was a very refreshing thing.

Smiling quietly in pleasant thoughts at Mike, she felt a rubbing on her leg. Realising the source, she reached down into her pocket and flipped open her phone, answering with her characteristic greeting:

“You got Janet; how can I help?” She had to plug up her other ear to block out the loud noise of the arcade.

“Janet, something’s come up and I need to go out for a few hours. Can you come home and take care of Joe for me?”

It was her mom on the other end, asking her to go look after her little brother.

Sure, Janet would have liked to have continued with her tournament, but she couldn’t ever say no to taking care of Joe. In truth, she knew that he was old enough and capable of looking after himself for a few hours, but neither her nor her mother were willing to accept that situation as necessary. After all, she loved her little brother, and she could sacrifice one more round of video games for his sakes.

“Sure mom, I’ll be there in ten.” Flicking it back shut again, she turned to the three other competitors.

“Sorry guys, something’s come up at home. I’ll have to play the winner another time.” Her grin had retreated into a calm smile at this point, occupied with thoughts of what she’d do instead for the evening at home. She could probably finish that homework she was two weeks overdue with, she supposed. “I’ll see you all around at school.”

Picking up her bag and slinging it over her shoulder, she walked towards the door, turning one more time for a wave off and sayonara, before walking out the arcade to start her journey back home.

“Catch you on the horizon.”

((Continued in High Gloss Highs))

Kane Westwood
Name: Kane Westwood
Gender: Male
Age: 18
Grade: 12th
School: Bayview Secondary School
Hobbies and Interests: The criminal underworld; animals; writing.

Appearance: Kane is of average height for a boy his age at 5’ 9”, and is slightly below average weight at 130lbs, giving him a slender frame.

Kane’s head is of normal proportion to the rest of his body, and his face is quite narrow. His bony forehead is revealed by his slicked back light blonde hair, although he does a poor job of styling it, so many stray roots exist, especially around the front. His nose is long and sharp, in contrast to his large, round green eyes. His dry lips are of normal size, whilst his teeth are tinted with plaque due to bad oral hygiene. His jaw line is square, and his cheeks are quite gaunt.

When out in public, Kane will typically wear black trousers with a shirt; the top two buttons on these shirts are perpetually unbuttoned. His finishes this look with a pair of black dress shoes, the laces carefully tied on each. When relaxing in privacy, he dresses in much more typical wear of an eighteen year old, with outfits including polo shirts and jeans.

Biography: Kane Westwood was born to the wife of one of the top players in the Irish Mob of St Paul, Minnesota. His father, one of the don’s personal entourage, was a blunt and rash man, who rarely hid his intentions to craft his son into a proper criminal. His mother, who had always resentfully turned a blind eye to her husband’s criminal ways, tried her best to convince him otherwise. Sadly, she was met with nothing but verbal abuse and personal insults from her husband returning from his stressful days at work, who had little patience for her wishes to raise her son innocent.

Though the two did love each other, Kane’s mother eventually divorced his father in an attempt to save her child from a life in the Irish Mob. The attempt was futile, however, as Kane’s father and his connections gave him the ability to claim custody of Kane at the age of two, much to his mother’s horror. Though she tried to maintain contact with Kane, her former husband proved too much an obstacle to overcome, and any ties gradually broke until she was but a shadow in Kane’s memory. Though Kane has wondered about her at times, his father would always tell him that it was for his own good that he didn’t know the woman, leading Kane to assume that he should think badly of her.

As he grew up, private dealings became a regular occurrence in the Kane household as the boy grew older. Men in black suits were regular visitors of his home. He frequently found himself being babysat by qualified bodyguards and explicitly being forbid from opening anything in the house without his father around, even the cookie jar. There were enemies about, and Kane’s father would not risk his project of a son to them.

Despite his protective, if controlling nature, Kane’s father was never truly satisfied with his child. As he regularly taught Kane the tricks of the trade and the skills of the underground, Kane frequently found himself being berated for not performing adequately. His father repeatedly drilled warnings into his son’s brain, ranging from never trusting anyone to always looking over your shoulder, to always weighing the shipments twice, and Kane tried his very hardest to live up to what his father wanted from him. At the mere age of eight Kane was already reading his father’s notes, in the best way an eight year old can, and by the time he was thirteen he had covered a whole wall of his bedroom with his personal writings about the business. No matter how much he tried though, Kane just never seemed to be the son his father wanted.

As Kane has been raised to be a mobster from the earliest hours of his memory, he is neutral towards his status as an heir to a seat in the criminal underworld. He merely sees it as something that he was raised to do, and assumes that the other career ambitions he hears from people were drilled into their heads from an early age.

Because of his father’s protective nature, Kane was frequently alienated at school. The other students had no intention of going near the boy who the big, scary men were always near, and for all of elementary school Kane ate alone at lunch: there were many rumours about the boy who was dropped off by the men in black suits every morning.

In the last year of elementary though, something happened that changed that.

It was merely a coincidence that Kane was standing the way he was standing at that moment, but next thing he knew a young boy had tripped over his foot and sprawled on the floor, blood pouring from his nose. Kane looked down at the weeping child, who stared back up at the reputed mobster’s son with fear: he was reacting to him. By inflicting pain; by tripping him up; by hurting him, he was being acknowledged. It was the first time he had gotten someone other than his father to make eye contact with him, and the very first time someone had been inferior to him.

After a lifetime of always having to prove himself to his father, being alone, and never understanding why it was him having to be treated this way, there was finally someone else in his spot. He saw the eyes he had seen so many times in the mirror in the child, and he knew then and there that he had finally found a way to feel worthy. Violence and bullying became a regular outlet for Kane.

As the students matured and moved on to middle school, the rumours about Kane took hold, and he began to flaunt it. No-one could oppose him without inciting his father’s wrath (who all of the students incorrectly believed to be the don, as it happened), and Kane was free to do as he pleased. With his presence as the school bully firmly established, Kane believed himself to be king of the school.

How wrong he was.

He ran home that night, his face bruised and body beaten. It was by simple chance that he happened to miss whilst throwing a water balloon at a group of nerds, hitting the group that even Kane was hesitant to go near. Despite is better efforts to stare him down, they proceeded to attack him mercilessly.

He went to his father, the one man he believed could solve all his problems; after all, a man like him wouldn’t let someone attack his own son and get away with it.

His father beat him across the face, and then spat on him as he degraded him as being nothing more than worthless if he couldn’t solve his own problems.

Those words etched themselves in Kane's mind; his father, the only man he believed to ever have any shred of affection for him, had just thrown him to the ground and spat on him as if he were nothing but a dog.

There was no-one in the whole world that Kane could turn to.

Though his attackers were suspended for two weeks following the incident, that time passed quickly and they soon returned. His dignity; his authority; his power; he had lost it all to them. The rest of the middle school was not fun for Kane, back on the lowest rank of the student body.

High school came eventually, and Kane decided this was his last chance to prove himself worthy in his father’s eyes. Spending the entire summer burning everything he had learnt from his father into his mind, Kane crammed like he had never crammed before. The right way to walk; the right way to talk; the right way to enforce order; the right way. He had to learn the right way. On the first day of high school, he swore to himself that he would do things right.

By his senior year, the opinions on Kane were mixed. Whilst some of the less confident and timid students were cautious of the arrogant and manipulative Kane, the more confident pupils could see through his façade to the desperate boy inside, forever eager to prove his worth.

Academically Kane wasn’t unintelligent by any means and managed to maintain Bs and As in most of his classes, as well as getting on the teacher’s good sides; they were useful allies in bad situations, as he saw them.

His interests developed with some of the freedom High School gave him, and he found that he took enjoyment in caring for animals. Animals listened to him with the right coaching, and didn’t raise unreasonable objections. His father, in one of his rare gestures of love, allowed him to get a pet German Shepherd named Charlie, which Kane devotes a good deal of his time to. It was a friend that Kane could interact with without fear of judgement or betrayal; the only true friend that Kane has ever had.

He also found himself taking an interest in literature and story writing, and has joined several online forums devoted to the subject. However, when he devotes a story to the criminal underworld, his reviews often suggest that a strange obsession with how much detail he goes into portraying the mafia, rather than telling a story. Other than that, his stories are generally enjoyed by the readers.

Currently, Kane has calmed down a lot from his younger days of being a spoilt brat, and conducts himself in a much cooler, more charismatic manner. He no longer uses violence to get what he wants, and in reality he is a coward when his neck is on the line, preferring to let other people do the work for him. As a result, his physical condition is slightly below average.

His relationship with his father was, and still remains, rather awkward: though he feels obliged to love his father, being the man who has raised him for the last eighteen years, he has recently started questioning whether his problems originate from himself, or whether it’s possible that getting approval from his father is an impossible feat.

On the inside though, he still yearns for acceptance and approval from those around him. He’s aware that the way he treats people won’t make him any friends, but he’s scared to change his ways: it’s the only way he can ever remember getting attention from people. Though he has tried on several occasions to extend the olive branch, he has never been able to keep it up long enough to make anything more than an acquaintance.

Advantages: Kane has been trained in the ways of the underworld from an exceptionally young age, and as a result has gained an inability to trust anyone, making him much harder to deceive. He’s also a skilled charismatic, giving him the edge when it comes to talking people into taking his side in matters.
Disadvantages: Kane is not a confident person: he’s scared of being attacked, and he’s scared of being betrayed by everyone around him; this will give him a severe disadvantage in his ability to gather up the strength to take part in the program. Kane also has a slightly negative reputation with the student body at Bayview, which could work against his charismatic abilities. On top of this his social skills are poor, so if he tries to create a genuine bond with a party he is likely to be unsuccessful. On his own, Kane has little training in combat as he usually relies on other people to do it for him, and has little in the way of stamina or fitness.

SOTF on TV Tropes
Anime are the new comic books.

That aside for a moment, I like the use of tropes for characters not as a whole "This is what they are in one word" but more of a way of giving a quick teaser of what sort of stuff you'll come across, and make it more appealing (or less appealing) to follow that character's activities in the game.

Worked for me and Bobby Jacks.

Tending the Flowers
((Talk about lateness; apologies woven with a side of cherry pie.))

This conversation was turning out to be rather pleasant. She wasn't making a huge mess of herself by blurting out something stupid, and CJ wasn't turning her into a laughing stock through some cruel joke. Could it be that she would finally make a friend?

You did have friends before you moved, Lucy; remember?

It would still be the first new friend she had made in a good long while; stop ruining the moment.

Picking up the water pail, she continued her task on the greenery whilst resuming her conversation with CJ, and gently pulling her hair behind her ear.

“So...”

Well, she tried to resume her conversation.

He had been doing the initial talking every time so far, and now it was on her shoulders to think of a topic.

Music? For all she knew, he couldn't stand the stuff.

Literature? As if any normal teenager read the sort of stuff she reads.

Films? If she picked the wrong genre, she'd ruin the whole conversation.

School? Why didn't she just shoot herself in the foot now and get it over with?

Damn it, Lucy! Just pick something!

“You know, there's a rare flower in the fields behind the trees called the Ram's-Head Lady's-Slipper. I'm kind of lucky to find out there was one there, since it's fenced off. In fact, it's become an endangered -”

Of all the topics to think of, she starts babbling on about flowers. FLOWERS.

Maybe if she was talking to a mirror, it would work, but no; she was talking to a normal person, and normal people don't give two hoots about some rare flower in the fields behind the trees.

She scrunched her eyes, her hair crawling around her head and shielding her face.

"Hey, Lucy,"

She whirled around at the voice; she could tell it wasn't CJ's. Peering up at the new figure, she was greeted by a slightly chubby, sharp-eyed red haired guy, looking down at her.

"Hope you didn't take any of those dumbasses in the library to heart."

He was on about before, in the library. She didn't remember seeing him at the time, but then she was a little distracted by the whole situation of making a complete idiot of herself in front of the entire room. She could forgive herself for not remembering the little details.

“Oh... it's fine. Don't worry about me, really...” Lucy mumbled quietly, more to herself than anyone.

It looked like this situation was going downhill fairly quickly.

And of course, it was only going to get worse.

For as Lucy had been muttering her reassuring lies, she was still tipping the water pail in a way that made the water pour out. And since Simon had approached from behind CJ, Lucy happened to have her arms turned in his direction. This resulted in the water pail being tipped directly at CJ's leg.

“Oh, oh my god! I'm so sorry!”

Throwing the water pail into the flowerbed, knocking aside the delicately cared for plants, Lucy wiped desperately at CJ's legs with her bare hands. In moments, she realised she was doing nothing but rubbing CJ's leg up and down, doing nothing to dry the wet spot, and yanked her hands away towards her chest.

She stumbled to her feet, hurrying away from the two men. Trying to apologise, all that came out was a weak, startled stutter.

“I.. I have to get to class!”

Grabbing at her bag Lucy bolted away from the others, blending through the crowd, meekly shoving past the dozens of people, leaving the gardening equipment, leaving two, kind hearted strangers far behind.

Way to go Lucy.
Way to go.


((Continued in Minuet.))

SOTF on TV Tropes
Ye know, I'm hesistant about putting Janet under genki girl and Lucy under both moe and woobie, since I've been suggested she falls under those.

Feel free to confirm or deny me here.