The Genesis of the Guardians characters: Yumiko Hasegawa

Welcome to the (hopefully) weekly column in which we analyze and explain the idea behind the main characters of The Guardians of the Dawn. This week will look at the very first character created, which plays a key role in the whole story: Yumiko Hasegawa.

The character exsisted before the actual story was completed, but she had no name. In fact, she basically was present just in one scene, “in a vacuum”, like a proof of concept that I couldn’t, at first, develop as fully-fledged story. In this scene, inspired by certain horror-themed movies of the 70s/80s like The Howling and Go Nagai’s Devilman Lady, the yet-unnamed character is trapped in a room in a basement and in order to save herself from… something, makes a pact with an entity who grants her the power to break free.

After the story was firmly estabilished (the first version, that is), her name came almost naturally, and never changed after all these years. The original Yumiko was an extremely shy person, with a limited number of friends despite excelling at almost everything she tried. In the original, short story (never published), she experiences quite a few of abrupt personality changes due to what happens to her, almost to the point of absurdity. Almost nothing of what happened to her in the original story is in what you’re reading today, so there’s no need to worry!

Over the years we tried to make Yumiko a more believable character, removing a bit of the more excessive anime-inspired stereotypes. After a lot of trial and error, Yumiko ended up quite different from whence we started.

Did she end up being a good character? The answer is up to you, readers.

Next up, I’ll briefly discuss some of the early sketches (some dating back to 2001) of the character (click to download the full size).

As you can see, compared to the other, more recent works in the character section and the actual story she looked like the “typical” LN/manga/anime schoolgirl. When we rebooted the story, we kept some basic physical traits (like the bob cut) but nothing else in order to obtain a “fresh” take on the character.

Her character also changed to a more active personality, way less passive to the events that happen around her (but that’s all I can say without spoiling the story…).

Well, that’s all for this week. Next time, we’ll look at another key characters of the story that actually changed quite dramatically over the years: Satsuki Ford. See you next week!

This is Part 1 in a 3-Part series.

  1. Part 1: The Genesis of the Guardians characters: Yumiko Hasegawa
  2. Part 2: The Genesis of the Guardians characters: Satsuki Ford
  3. Part 3: The Genesis of the Guardians characters: Sayuki and Michiru