The Genesis of the Guardians characters: Sayuki and Michiru

Welcome back to the weekly column in which we analyze and explain the idea behind the main characters of The Guardians of the Dawn. This week our focus will be on what they started as side characters but ended up becoming much bigger: Sayuki Fukuda and Michiru Ichikawa.

Up to this second “reboot” the characters were sort of unimportant and were present just to highlight a certain plot point. Then, since their usefulness ended, they had to die in the most horrible way (yes, it’s a spoiler, but this doesn’t happen anymore, please lower your pitchforks). In fact, until recently, they didn’t even have a clear design, since they were “expendable” - in the original work there is only one artwork with them and they’re basically as generic as they can be (even their dialogue was basically non existent).

Things changed when the project was rebooted as The Guardians of the Dawn. In order to expand the scope and provide a more coherent plot, the presence of Sayuki and Michiru in the story was considerably increased, so we provided them with an actual personality and traits. The more the story progressed, the characters just “went on their own” and it really became difficult to put them in the same situation as the original story.

Let’s start with Michiru. The idea we started with was of a character who would be more attached to Yumiko than Sayuki, without any other distinctive properties. Then she kind of evolved on her own: as you can read in the first chapter she developed a certain skill at playing UFO catcher and acting very protectively towards Yumiko. As the story went on, other traits of her personality took shape, from trivial bits (like her love for kakigori, shaved ice) to more important ones (her relationship with Sayuki, which I’ll mention further below). And during the progress of the story, she’s still evolving after each written word.

What about Sayuki? Like her friend, she was a very loosely defined character. She should have been a little more physically fit than the other two (within reason) and have a more open personality. The first extra feature she gained was the use of glasses, or rather the fact that she uses them to appear more intellectual than what she actually is. Just like Michiru, she gaiend more pecularities as the story progressed and due to the interactions she had with Michiru and Yumiko. In particular, she was now able of mostly keeping her cool under pressure, and her attachment to Michiru and Yumiko revealed itself in her efforts to bring them out of trouble.

Lastly, their conflicting relationship, made up by effective cooperation mixed with teasing and jokes, was not planned at all. It kind of came out naturally when the scenes with them took place, also to offer some balance to the events that take place (the first chapter has the details). Aside from Yumiko and Satsuki, that alone made Michiru and Sayuki characters which truly satisifed us the most when they took shape. And as you will see in the designs made by Nesalienna (Michiru) and Fredrick Runtu (Sayuki), their traits emerge also in the artwork.

For next week, we’ll take a look at one of the characters to changed the least, in comparison to what we have shown so far - Jim Clark. See you next time!

This is Part 3 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