This is Sanyo news! The warmth of summer has just arrived, the odd chill that was spring is now gone! We got some strange news for you rumor mongers though. It seems that there is a cherry blossom tree atop the Bubble. All attempts to have it taken down seem to have failed. For now it still seems to be under investigation.
Basics Full Name: Kaiji Arima Nickname(s): Kai, Kaiii, Kaaaiii Age, D.O.B.: 20, December 21 Gender: Male Class: DeSu Arcana: Temperance Grade/Career: Second-year college student, part-timer worker around and about Ethnicity: Asian Family: No relevant family in Sanyo, or who would otherwise try to reach out to him in Sanyo for the foreseeable future
Flowing, precisely sculpted features etched onto an elegant figurehead tempered by a hardness of heart that belies his relatively young years, Kaiji in his boyhood possessed great youthful beauty. The passage of time has done much to do away with the boyish charm, but what remains has been refined with his maturity, and he has since acclimatised to a look of polished handsomeness that indicates he would age well. Undoubtedly a fully grown man now, Kaiji wears his chiseled, masculine appearance simply, though with a subtle confidence of his maturity. Two beacons of shimmering amber give away the first marks of his past youth, while a small, not entirely significant nose adorns the center of his face. This is accompanied by a set of subtle lips, easily maneuvered to produce his rather common brooding glower or a magnificently radiant beam – much rarer, and something that he has made a concerted effort to do more often. Topping off the effulgent mien is a head of sleek hair – often sporting a sandy golden shine, though Kaiji is not averse to adding in highlights or wholly changing colours if it strikes his fancy – worn often in a long ponytail, although it is occasionally left in a carefully cultured mane, and often trimmed in the summer to shorter styles.
Lithe and slender, Kaiji is taller and lankier than he is stout and broad, standing at slightly over six feet. Rigorous training of the martial arts has built him into a more robust figure, though Kaiji will never be able to work away the genetically lean Arima physique. Nonetheless he manages to exude a chiseled, confident aura despite his deceptively slim frame.
Kaiji's wardrobe is almost entirely of the casually formal variant, with a preference for collars above all else, meaning collared shirts, polo shirts, and apparel in general that covers his neck and which would allow him to tuck his face into to provide some semblance of psychological comfort that he is hidden away from the rest of the world. A nice scarf on a chilly day provides the same effect, and is thus held in similarly good graces with Kaiji and is often sported where appropriate.
Face Claim: Usui Takumi, from Kaichou wa Maid Sama!
Man may be born with a kind nature, but if nurtured otherwise, he who currently is may resemble little to nothing of he who once was. Raised on a diet of double standards and hypocrisy, Kaiji found entire childhood embroiled in a maelstrom of futility, unable to go anywhere but with the flow. Tormented by this overwhelming sense of forlornness, it is quite possible that Kaiji would have been overcome by this pessimism if he had not made his escape from a home that had resembled little more than a cage. In doing, so he has managed to soften the vice-like grip of the cynicism that had taken hold of his heart, and the softened clutches has seen him mellow significantly. That he now comes across as snide, harsh, and haughty is telling of how severe he had been when he was younger, and whoever deals with him will have to first and foremost overcome the tough shell of dry sarcasm and dismissive patronising. It is only through a concerted attempt at wheeling in his sharp tongue and aloof arrogance – and thus maintain civility with others by not automatically provoking them – that he manages to survive in even the most elementary of social situations.
Peel away the initial facade, brush past the thorns, and one may chance upon this underlying persona, for beneath the deliberate tactlessness and unforgivingly sharp tongue is an unrelenting, almost overpowering will that drives Kaiji onward. Resolute and unflinching, he possesses an innate forcefulness to succeed in his endeavours. Once he puts his mind to something, the Arima heir will see whatever it is through its very end, or run himself into the ground in the process of doing so. A decidedly unhealthy combination with his aforementioned cynicism, especially if he finds himself driving on while ignoring the sheer hopelessness of the situation.
That said, Kaiji is of formidable stock. This Arima son was born with the wit and composure to match his forebears. This ingrained sharpness and calmness means that when the going gets real tough...well, then the tough gets going for real. When all else fails and fate is in the balance, Kaiji has the presence of mind to keep it all together - where lesser men will lose their heads and scatter their senses to the winds, he will remain undaunted, cool in the face of whatever it is that threatens. At its greatest, this translates into the reluctant man shedding all pretenses of hesitation and taking charge of the situation, to single-handedly steer the ship as it weathers the storm. Of course, mental clarity and unyielding resolve alone will bear little fruit when there is insufficient aptitude for application...
Likes: Thunderstorms, getting stuck in with menial chores, furry little critters, croquettes Dislikes: Farewells, the sun, unnecessary competition, squid Hobbies: Chess, his V-Cube 6, shoot 'em ups and rhythm games, odd jobs around the neighbourhood Goals: To forge for himself his own path, free from the shackles of familial obligations
The third son of a family of prestigious heritage and great pedigree, Kaiji was immediately subsumed into the shadow of the limelight cast by his two older brothers from the moment he was born. The Arima family was one of Japan’s great ancient demon summoning clans with a samurai heritage, while maintaining the front as one of Japan's traditional conglomerate zaibatsus, and the heirs of the family were subject to thorough scrutiny of their successes and failures right from the beginning, be it in their traditional esoteric arts or in more mundane, everyday affairs – all the while, those around them would extrapolate the simplest of achievements to long-term projections of their potential, and simultaneously fostering intense rivalry between the brothers.
Being six and four years the junior of his two older competitors, Kaiji found himself struggling to live up to outrageous standards that was often taken out of the context of time. His accomplishments were forever overshadowed by the accolades earned by his older brothers: he was competing for recognition with those who were many years older than him, his exploits never pitted against what his brothers had achieved when he was at his age; of course it was impossible for a grade schooler to equal the acts of a high schooler, no matter how grand the feat.
And the reality was that, were the playing field level, Kaiji would have outshone his older brothers. Most of the benchmarks set four or six years ago were often shattered resoundingly, but the immediacy of the spotlight granted there and then to the elders was a significant detractor. He would forever be relegated to merely being the "third son", despite the continued insistence of the Arima household to keep the brothers in constant competition with each other: instilling in the eldest a sense of paranoia and insecurity, depicting his younger brothers as usurpers to an inheritance that was rightfully his for the taking; impressing onto the second an unwavering and ruthless ambitious streak, that he ought to settle for more than just what he was given – that he should take what he want; and for the youngest, Kaiji was imprinted with the cold and harsh injustice of the real world, hardening a boy who was already embattled and embittered by the starkly contradicting standards to which he was held. Fresh out of junior high, and Kaiji was already feeling jaded.
Contracting with a Cait Sith at the tender age of 8? Stop the presses: 14-year old Seiji formed a bond with one of the clan’s guardian Shiki-Oujis, never mind that he had struggled to muster the summoning ritual and actually botched the first attempt at binding it to his will, nor that he had only managed to contract with his first demon when he was 9. The youngest national chess master in Japan at age 13? No matter. Everyone else was busy celebrating 17-year old Reiji becoming Japan's first ever grandmaster, never mind that he only became a national master at 15. Kaiji’s deeds were never placed in context, such was the family ethos of perpetuating the endless rivalries among the brothers.
Disillusionment steadily followed, especially as Kaiji came to realise that his entire life was beginning to be orchestrated to an increasingly regimented schedule even as the status quo was held between the brothers. For 16 years he had obligingly subjected himself to the wills and whims of the Arima patriarchy, telling himself that his was a coveted position, that he had a noble obligation and a duty to fulfill. On the 17th year, Kaiji realised that he had been deceiving himself all this time.
The watershed moment was rather innocuous, fitting entirely with the pragmatism he had cultivated over the years. There was no impassioned outburst, no plea to stay or for reconsideration, not even an indignant huff of "good riddance!". Kaiji had simply sat himself down with his father one evening and announced his plans: his brothers were doing well enough to begin assisting in the Arima family's affairs, and that his continued presence here was superfluous and unnecessary, and worse still, counterproductive to his wellbeing and growth. He proceeded to unveil arrangements made in a distant city that was well removed from the family's sphere of influence, with provisional agreements already in place for his schooling and accommodation, as well as an apprenticeship small local demon summoning guild in the city, all merely pending parental approval. Parental approval that, surprisingly, was forthcoming easily enough. Perhaps it was belated recognition of the reality that their youngest son was living in, or perhaps it was relief that there would now be one less potential apex predator to be introduced in the already cutthroat ecosystem.
Kaiji's move to Sanyo went through with minimal fuss, exactly how he liked things to be handled. Apparently, his financial situation was taken care of too, for he was given no instructions on that aspect of his affairs despite his queries, with only a single assurance by one of the family butlers that he need only focus on achieving the goals he had set for himself with this venture. It left the Arima heir the free time to pursue the leisurely, cerebral activities that he had taken a liking to. Better still, unleashed from the glare of the spotlight, the freedom gave Kaiji time for a vital recharge, and to take a step back to assess the bigger picture and the future he wanted to live.
Life in Sanyo has mellowed Kaiji substantially, and he found that he was unperturbed despite the constant news reaching his ears of the new heights that his brothers had scaled. That was a chapter of his life that he would consign to history for good, if he could. The relatively staid and sedentary life that he led living in Sanyo was how he liked things. Enrolled in the local university and spending his free time working part-time around town – as he continually attempts to wean himself off relying on his family for financial support, and also because it is a good time-filler and keeps him engaged with local community affairs – Kaiji basically lives the life of an ordinary citizen of Sanyo. Except, of course, for the times where he moonlights with the local demon summoning guild, backing up their investigation teams with his faithful partner demon that he had first contracted all those years ago, though the Cait Sith has since matured into a slightly more powerful demon.
It is from these little moonlighting sessions that Kaiji first caught whiff of those stifled whispers uttering rumours of fatalities associated with some mirage-like phenomenon, though even then he paid little attention to it, dismissing it as the odd supernatural occurrence that was a dime a dozen among the demon summoning community. Furthermore, what could such morbid things have to do with an ordinary guy like him?
A pair of bokken, one katana-sized and the other wakizashi-sized, with either the longer one wielded with a two-handed grip or both dual-wielded, housed in handsome black lacquer scabbards that Kaiji brings with him in a trendy – if ordinary – duffel bag, which he carries with him to school and any time he anticipates being outside for a prolonged period of time, and definitely when he is on devil summoner duty. Kaiji wields the blades with practiced competence, especially with the dual-wielding techniques of the Arima style, while he continues to hone his single-blade proficiency with the college kendo club and other such establishments around town. In Prisons, the wooden blades on these swords would transform into flawless steel, and deal Slash damage.
A small tanto, this one an actual tactical knife that Kaiji carries concealed on himself. It is normally in an ornate sheath, which doubles up as his summoning talisman, whose magnetite and summoning power is unleashed when the knife is unsheathed. In Prisons, the ornamentation on the sheath lights up to signify magnetite activity and to indicate the supernatural presence of the current location, while the knife itself undergoes no significant change, and deals Pierce damage.
Description Neko Shogun was purportedly a prophetic Taoist god, originally known as Mao Shogun. Due to a linguistic error involving the Chinese word for cat, his name was changed to Neko Shogun. As demons often reflect the legends and mythologies spun by humans, so too did the Neko Shogun become a creature that bore minimal resemblance to the historical figure. To devil summoners, it is now more commonly known as a fearsome cat demon with great physical fighting prowess.
Mao has been by Kaiji's side since his very first summoning ritual, a full 12 years ago, when it was summoned as a Cait Sith. Mirroring its summoner, Mao possessed great ambition and drive, immersing itself in the ultra-competitive environment of the Arima household, often forming rivalries with the other demons of the Arima clan, and driven to constantly get stronger in the face of the many longer-serving and powerful demons that its master's older siblings and relatives possessed. This constant strengthening reached its peak four years ago – the same time when Kaiji was 16 and at the height of his own struggles with the family – when its battle-hardened resolve saw it evolve from a Cait Sith to a Neko Shogun.
The relatively sedate life at Sanyo has seen Mao's powers wane considerably. Where it was once an offensive juggernaut, eager to lead the charge of the Arima horde, it has now become more considered in its approach, letting its maturing summoner and his allies to handle the brunt of the fighting, while it dispensed tactical advice supported by what enemy intel it can sniff up.
In non-combat situations, Mao assumes the form of a dark grey shorthair, and for all intents and purposes acts as a cat normally would, except for when keeping the charade up inconveniences it.