PICTURE THIS: ISHIMURAN CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS
By Kimberly T. (email: kimbertow at yahoo dot com)
I didn't completely describe some of the key gargoyles of my story "Yama's Path" within the story itself, because I didn't want to detract too much from the action surrounding them; I just gave the bare basics such as skin and mane color, wing style and sometimes clothing. I'd love to draw and post pictures of these gargoyles for your enjoyment while reading the story, but I'm a miserable artist; I can't even draw a straight line without a ruler. But for those people who want to picture them better, and have seen the episode Bushido at least once already:
Anzu: About Brooklyn-sized, dark green in color, with a double row of ridges running from his forehead back across his scalp instead of a mane (much like Hudson's ridges, but they go all the way back instead of ending at a hairline), thick brow ridges, and an expression that is usually rather sullen. His ears are pointed with notches at the tips. He has bat-style wings and doubled ridges/spurs on his knees and elbows, and a hard bony ridge poking up from the last foot or so of his tail. His yukata is the darkest shade of golden-yellow.
Botan: a deep red in color with glider-style wings like Brooklyn, possessing a glossy black mane and a face like a male teen rock idol; a handsome devil indeed, though his smile usually is a cruel one. His ears are pointed; his horns are short and curve inward like a prized Simmental bull's horns. His tail ends in a tri-clawed grasper, that he has learned to use for gripping things as efficiently as his wing-talons, like extra hands in miniature. He wears a white yukata with dragon designs printed on it.
Happa: a sweet little yellow-green cherub of a kid, with a spade-tipped tail and too-large bat-style wings that hopefully he'll grow into someday. At fourteen years out of the shell (about seven years old, in human terms) he looks just like Kai did as a hatchling except for his skin color, which is a blending of the skin colors of his biological parents, Kai and Sakaki. (They are secretly aware of that fact that Happa is their biological child, but have never said it aloud even to each other, for fear of leading the way to later charges of favoritism on behalf of either the clan leader or the head rookery keeper. Still, Sakaki has been known to sneak him an extra rice ball from time to time…)
Jari: an aged male gargoyle with dactyl wings and faded blue-green skin. His graying mane doesn't start until just above his pointed ears, giving the impression of a massive bald spot atop his head, that is now liver-spotted with age. His tail ends in a tri-clawed grasper. He wears a dark green kimono.
Kado: picture Dr. McCoy as he looked for the second and third Star Trek movies, with gray streaks in his hair but still plenty feisty, and with a face showing as many smile lines as frown lines. Now dip him in dark blue paint, grow the gray-streaked hair into a ponytail, and stick a pair of bat-style wings on his back and a club-tipped tail on his butt, and you've got Kado. (And yes, I gave Kado Dr. McCoy's same fondness for strong drink; he always keeps a bottle of sake handy for sharing with his patients, and for his occasional consultations with the clan leader. Hey, gargoyles have tough livers as well as high metabolisms.) His yukata is ivory in color, with dark gray at the borders, and many extra pockets sewn onto it for carrying basic medical supplies.
Kai: As everyone saw in the episode "Bushido", he's just about as tall as Goliath, though not quite as massively muscled. Still, he's the biggest warrior of his rookery generation and the one after as well, though he was not chosen to be clan leader solely for that reason. His hide is light green with an undertone of grey, he has bat-style wings like Goliath, and his tail ends in a spade-tip. He has a full black mane, part of which has been tied back in a samurai's topknot, and a massive pair of horns jutting out from his brow and sweeping out to the sides. His everyday ('everynight') yukata is done in shades of gray with some fancy embroidering down the front, and pleats sewn down from the shoulders; a bit fancier than most gargoyles in the clan wear from night to night, but in his culture it's expected that the clan leader dresses up a bit more, whether he really wants to or not. He absolutely hates his formal kimono, which has several layers of fabric (the outermost one a vivid crimson, embroidered with gold) restricting his movements so much that he's pretty much restricted to slow walking and careful bowing while wearing it, and he always sheds it as soon as custom and ceremony will allow.
Kawa: he has a body structure, beak and eyes like Brooklyn, but 'two-fingered' wings like Sakaki (read her entry for a description of them), fan-shaped ears, a bright orange hide like a Halloween pumpkin, and a black mop of a mane that just will not be tamed despite his best efforts. It spills out in every direction and gets in his eyes sometimes (he's tempted to keep it closer cut, but he loves it when his mate Mizuumi runs her talons through it…) Like his mentor, his dark blue yukata has extra pockets sewn into it for carrying medical supplies.
Kaze: a pumpkin-orange female with dactyl wings, brow ridges that are a series of tiny spikes, pointed ears and a long black mane that she keeps rolled up and pinned in place with what appear to be traditional kanzashi, Japanese hairpins. (However, most kanzashi are not sharpened steel spikes that can also be used for throwing in battle.) She has a spiky ridge running down her spine and tail, ending in a series of six-inch-long spikes at her tail-tip that she can use for slashing, with lethal effect. She wears a brown yukata with red trim.
Kenun: royal blue in color, short and wiry (bigger than Lexington, but not by much), with bat-style wings. His mane naturally grows in a wide row from front to back of his scalp, starting at a steep widow's peak above his brow ridges and ending in a long jet-black queue that hangs down to his wing joints, but leaving a good three inches of bare blue scalp above each pointed ear. He wears a deep emerald green yukata that also has extra pockets sewn into it, for carrying useful things.
Kusa: was pictured in the episode; the only other female shown besides Sora. She has shell-pink skin like Sora, bat-style wings, and gently curved horns sweeping back from her brow ridges, which have an unusual 'curlicue' curling up from them right above the eyes. She wears a short and sleeveless red outfit and keeps her black mane rather short, unlike most gargoyles; cutting it just above shoulder-length, except for the forelocks in front of her pointed ears that she lets grow past her collarbone. She's the youngest gargoyle to ever be made the clan instructor in martial arts, but her innate gift for it (she was first in her class to first beat Setsu to a draw, then finally best him in a match, back when she was a gakusei and his student) made Setsu recommend her for his successor when he retired from teaching.
Miya: she's everybody's grandmother; a calm but merry smile and twinkling eyes, a small and rounded figure with skin of faded tan color and glider-style wings like Brooklyn's, with a tail that splits at the end into two highly prehensile tendrils. Her mane has gone completely white, and she keeps it pinned up on her head with kanzashi in the traditional method, with her stubby little horns just poking out of it near the front. She favors bright colors, and is never seen wearing anything less bright than her current fire-engine red full-length yukata.
Mizuumi: about Angela's size, a medium gray in color with a heart-shaped face, a black mane of long straight hair, and a pair of horns. The left horn has grown smoothly and curves gracefully back from her brow, but the right horn is a deformed mass, which twisted and kinked as it grew for some reason. She's very self-conscious about her misshapen horn and has tried different hairstyles to hide it, but to no avail; only her mate Kawa has ever been able to get her to believe, even for a moment, that she's beautiful despite it. Her usual slightly unhappy and worried expression comes from her lack of self-confidence, which stems from how meanly she had been teased in the past for her deformity, especially by Botan and Anzu. She wears a bright red yukata with gold trim, really a little too fancy for everyday wear but Kawa insists she's worth it and more. She is Yama's younger sister, though neither of them are apparently aware of the fact (or at least they don't openly acknowledge it) since Ishimuran hatchlings are raised in the classic style, as children of all the clan together.
Sakaki: she's a little taller than Angela and as golden yellow as a buttercup, with 'two-fingered' wings. If you haven't read the term before, these are wings of a style between Brooklyn's and Goliath's, where the wing membranes start from the third wing-finger instead of from the second (like Goliath) or the fourth (like Brooklyn), leaving two tiny wing-talons sticking up. She's very slender in build, a slim willow next to Kai's oak-tree physique, with a sweet oval face that is usually smiling. She has no horns and her brow ridges are not all that pronounced; if one ignored the fan-shaped ears, her face could almost pass for a human's, or an icon of the Catholic Madonna done in gold leaf. Her shining black mane extends past her waist, and she keeps it braided in a long queue; it's her one vanity, and the hatchlings in her loving care all learned early on that it is a very, very bad idea to tug on it. She wears a leaf-green yukata.
Setsu: was also pictured in the episode. He's the elderly-looking gargoyle with gray-to-tan skin, a receded mane gone completely to gray-white and a long gray beard as well, shown wearing a red kimono and gasping with shock on the faux temple wall next to Taiju. The aged features and his usually calm though stern manner serve to make him look harmless, but he most definitely ain't; he's still a master of the martial arts, and still has an explosive temper when pushed too far.
Sora: as the more diehard fans of the show will know already, she's the shell-pink female with horns that seem to bend back at an angle halfway along their length and a tail that splits into two tendrils at the end, wearing a shocking pink yukata and shin guards, who stuck the barrel over that thief in the first scene involving the Ishimurans in "Bushido". (She's also the only Ishimuran besides Kai and Yama to be given any speaking lines; when inside the dome, she said that line about it being a nice place to visit, but not to live in. That's why she was given a name in the credits, though it was never mentioned in the show itself; so they could credit the actress for the voice part.)
Sugi: her hide and hair are colored the same as Demona's, but there the resemblance ends. Sugi's figure is a little on the plump side, she has bat-style wings, her tail ends in a spade-tip and her smile is always merry. Her red mane is very unusual in the Ishimuran clan and considered a sign of exceptional beauty, and the hatchlings she minds will often vie for her favor by bringing her flowers or decorating combs to put into it.
Taiju: was also pictured in the episode "Bushido". He's the big orange guy with horns like a Texas Longhorn and his mane tied back in a topknot, wearing… I don't know what the Japanese term for it is, but to my American eyes it looks like he's wearing striped boxer shorts! He was glimpsed on a rooftop in the burglary scene, then shown posing with everyone on the temple walls for the first sunset, and then gasping with surprise when they woke up inside the dome. Taiju doesn't usually say much, but it's from great patience, not mental slowness; he'll let the other person talk himself out before saying anything, but when he does, everyone listens. It wasn't his great size and strength that made Kai choose him as second-in-command, but his rock-steadiness in nearly every situation.
Udo: also pictured in the episode "Bushido"; seen waking up inside the dome and again during the big battle scene, as he rescues another gargoyle falling out of the sky. A yellow-green beaked gargoyle with dactyl wings (which have two extra vanes in them as well as the usual full complement of wing-talons; it's the gargoyle equivalent of polydactylism, very rare but not unheard of). He keeps his black mane tied back into a ponytail, with a yellow leather headband that encircles the ponytail in the rear. He has two sets of horns, short spikes that grow out from above his brow ridges with the outer pair of spikes being much larger than the inner pair. His tail ends in a cluster of fleshy appendages that looks like a child's sketch of a hand, but which has no grasping capability (though it's quite useful for swatting.) He favors a blue-gray sleeveless yukata that has two yellow oval patches sewn over the chest; someone standing close enough will see the kanji symbols for luck and longevity embroidered onto the patches.
Yama: as tall as Hudson, but as slender as Brooklyn, which makes him look rather scrawny sometimes (particularly when standing next to Kai.) The large set of horns sweeping up and back from his brow and his pointed chin make his face look almost triangular in shape. His skin is gray on color, but his wings are as black as his mane and rather unusual-looking for his clan; possessing only one large strut from which the wing membrane grows, but without the cluster of wing-talons near the top that most glider-style wings have. The wings also have patches of vestigial scale-feathers near where the wings meet the back; it may be that a wandering and bird-winged member of the London clan joined their clan many generations back, and Yama's wings are a result of the genetic blending of the two wing-types. He also has small, thin 'fins' like a trout's dorsal fin coming out from his forearms and gracing the last eighteen inches of his tail. His yukata is deep blue with red trim at the borders.