Arcana Magi Behind the Scenes: Character Sheets

by H-M Brown

Character Sheets

Greetings fellow readers.

Welcome to Arcana Magi Behind the Scenes.

Today I'm going to share with you some of my character designs from Arcana Magi Universe. With so many characters, I was not sure if I wanted to display everyone, but given where I am posting it on Fictionaut, I decided for now, I will focus on the ladies who represent the Four Gods. Now just so you know, if you have not gotten far into any of the Arcana Magi stories, reading this may spoil everything. If you don't mind the spoilage then read away.

Arcana Magi Zero

Alysia Perez

Guardian of the Gate to the Shrine of Four Mythic Elements

Element — Fire, Earth, Water, and Wind

Birth Date — February 29, 2000

Age — 12

Magical Item — Bracelet

Weapon — Mystic Staff

Weapon Name — Saga

Jewel Color — Teal

Interests — Magic, Hockey

Backstory: Alysia (Ah-Lee-See-Ah) Perez found herself in a world of darkness after turning to stone. With guidance from Megumi Miyazaki and the offering of a magical bracelet from the Four Mythic Elements, Alysia awakened the Mystic Staff she named Saga. She met Megumi who presented herself as a magical fox and guided the young girl on her quest to return all the people who turned to stone in the museum back to normal.

Design: Alysia was originally a character I created in 2006 name Mayumi Kanzaki for the story Mystic Hunter Mayumi. Her original design was for her to find mystical item and undo whatever magic such items unleashed. When I originally created Arcana Magi in 2009 under the title ‘Alysia's Saga, the Awaken', I subconsciously took the plot and characters of Mystic Hunter Mayumi without realizing it.

Alysia is a prototypical coming of age character, which was why I started her at 11. I wanted her genuinely grow and learn magic under extreme circumstances. I also wanted her to be a very strong character, knowing her flaws and still move forward to fulfill her mission.

In hindsight, I realized I left her out in Vol. 2 ‘Megumi's Fable, the Advance'. She would have fit into the story just fine, but I had too much thought process on Megumi to realize how much I left Alysia out. In a way, I did missed an opportunity to develop her and her relationship with Megumi.

When I did Vol. 3 ‘It's So Wonderful, It's So Beautiful', I wanted Alysia to act as the younger sister in contrast to Megumi. But I also did not want her to lose sight of her feelings as a Guardian bestowed upon her. She has a plucky attitude and really pushes herself hard. Unfortunately, I could not figure out a way to genuinely advanced, her character when I outlined the main series, especially in light of taking focus and her point of view away because of Megumi.

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Megumi Miyazaki

Guardian of the Gate to the Shrine of Four Mythic Elements

Element — Fire, Earth, Water, and Wind

Birth Date — February 29, 2000

Age — 12

Magical Item — Pendant

Weapon — Tome of the Artisan

Weapon Name — Fable

Jewel Color — Lavender

Interests — Family, Hockey

Backstory: Megumi came from lineage of Guardians serving the Four Mythic Elements. But when foreigners attacked her home, she was transformed into a mystical fox charged with protecting the bracelet later to be known as Saga. Upon her arrival in America, she found a museum turning to stone and found Alysia in possession of the bracelet when turning to stone. After freeing Alysia she taught her new friend the art of magic. When everything returned to normal she took human and taken in by Alysia and her parents. Soon Megumi learned the truth about her past and her family, inheriting her mother Tome of Artisan she named Fable. After avenging her parents murder, she returned to her foster family where she and Alysia went on to find out the meaning of their birthday's from Madam Karyn Mayweather.

Design: Megumi was also originally I created in Mystic Hunter Mayumi. But instead of a girl fox she was actually a boy fox named Monty. When I created Megumi, I had forgotten who the fox originally was, and since I had posted it on Fictionaut, it was too late for any changes. But I liked this approached in the end, because it felt natural and both Megumi and Alysia were able to relate with each other.

Now again when I wrote Vol. 2, I had intended to focus on Megumi's backstory. This was because I was going to write her and Alysia in to the Main Series and Vol. 1 acted as Alysia's origin story. But Megumi needed a backstory and most importantly, the origin of the staff Saga. In a way, I changed Megumi from being a magical fox to a human girl. While although it did seem like a twist, I wanted to really give more character depth between Megumi and Alysia. I wanted them to be sisters. Which was pretty much the direction I wanted to go with.

So when I started up Vol. 3, my intent was to balance both Megumi and Alysia, but I kind of leaned too much in Megumi since she changed the most between the two. I gave a more elderly sister characterization since she has the most experience by comparison. But bear in mind that I had intentions of moving Zero over into the Main Series, so if I had written them in as originally intended, Vol. 2 would not seem so offsetting.

Arcana Magi Main Series

Alysia Morales

Sentinel of Suzaku

Element — Fire

Birth Date — June 22, 2000

Age — 13

Magical Item — Bracelet

Weapon — Mist Wing Staff

Weapon Name — Saga

Jewel Color — Teal

Interests — Sports

Backstory: Alysia Morales was born without Mana, unlike her parents, and her dreams of being a Magi were shattered. One day she purchased a bracelet from a store with her friends and learned from Suzaku after suffering a sudden concussion from a hockey game that it was a mystical item. Her injury jolted her mind to access Mana while unconscious and she met Suzaku. Learning about the power of the bracelet that transformed into the Mist Wing Staff, Alysia named it Saga and agreed to become the Sentinel of Suzaku. Unknown to Alysia, her family and friends, Doctor Marcel Jones who was taking care of Alysia's head injury, was a friend of Oryn Zentharis of Avalon Tech, searching for the four mystical item of the Sentinels. He faked her death and kidnapped her where she was subjected to brainwashing and mind control. Her knowledge of emotions erased, memories of her past filled with mistrust, and the trauma inflicted took a physical toll on her brain due to her concussion maintaining her obedience to Oryn. Alysia served Oryn alongside Reya Everheart in Avalon Tech's quest to find the other three Sentinels so they could rewrite the world economic industry.

Design: Alysia Morales actually originated from Alysia Perez from Arcana Magi Zero. When I had planned to turn the Zero series into the Main Series, I really had no idea where to take Alysia Perez and Megumi Miyazaki. So, I decided to make an entirely original Alysia character, and this version came to fruition. Then I took the brainwash plot device from my De x Maquina Universe and applied it to Alysia.

I wanted Alysia to be a strong character. Put her through so much that if she whined about how nobody understood what she went through, no one can challenge her angst. But I also did not want to reduce her to some weak character incapable of overcoming the adversity.

I chose the fire element for her because fire represents freedom, strength, and passion, which are some of the feelings she expresses throughout the story. I want her to have the determination to overcome all of that. Her mist wings help assert her sense of freedom, purity, and innocence. I wanted her wings to have a mystic feel to them, by having them burst into mist and reforming.

I chose hockey as her favored sport, mainly because I found it annoying seeing females in stories always playing soccer or softball. As if that's the only sports females could play. It's not to act as some masculine feminist, I just feel a soccer girl or a softball girl is cliché and played out. There are barely any movies featuring female hockey players and I wanted a little originality for Alysia's interests.

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Brie Williams

Sentinel of Byakko

Element — Metal

Birth Date — September 22, 2000

Age — 12

Magical Item — Pendant

Weapon — Heavy Metal Hammer

Weapon Name — Legacy

Jewel Color — Yellow

Interests — Science

Backstory: Brie Williams was the daughter of legendary heroes in Merydia. When her parents died during a mission, she was sent into witness protection by Mystic Intelligence, to hide from her parents enemies. She spent most of her time learning and building inventions that run on Mana. One day during a visit to a museum, she learned about the Sentinels from the curator Catherine and received a pendant believed to be fake. One night, Brie's Mana reacted to the pendant and named it Legacy. The pendant transformed into a giant hammer and Brie's dream of becoming a Sentinel came true. As she spent her time practicing using Legacy, she met Reya Everheart in a dream and learned about what happened to her, Alysia, and Byakko, the mystical tiger Legacy was a part of. Brie agreed to become the Sentinel and Byakko joined her before Oryn erased Reya's mind. Brie used a computer to hack her way into Avalon Tech's security system and tried to help Alysia escaped with a comatose Reya, but her brainwashing prevented her from escaping and Oryn told Brie that if she did not give up, Alysia and Reya would be killed. Upon her arrival, Brie learned from Alysia what had been going on. After a successful escape, Brie showed determination to help Alysia recover from her trauma and look over Reya.

Design: My approach with Brie Williams is a cheerful child, always happy and hyperactive. She has cuteness to her and is nice to everyone. She is the youngest of the Sentinels and is the daughter of heroes. I wanted her to be a hero to follow her parent's footsteps. Never to accept killing another human being and let justice run it's course. I also did this to counter Danica Leandros and her villainous nature.

I wanted her to be the genius of the group. Since metal is her element, it was easy to make her an inventor and a computer pro. Earth, ground, metal they are all minerals. Spell casting was a little difficult at first. This was due to the fact that Danica's element is wood and usually in the western storytelling wood would be part of the earth element. Since I chose the eastern model for the Four Gods, I thought of another approach, which was scientifically logical. Sound based Spells. Since sound can travel through metal, rock, and the ground, this made it easy to explain how Brie could make the earth split apart or rise up from the ground. Also, since Sound could travel through air, it would conflict with the wind element of Danica. So, I tried my best not to let any of the sound spells rip through the air and instead impact the air as if slamming into the ground itself.

Brie is the least physically trained Sentinel in the whole group. She tends to wing it when she fights and relies mainly on her smarts than combat. I wanted her to be a genius. Normally the earth element would represent patience and wisdom, but I wanted to go against the grain. I felt it would be more fun if she were hyperactive and always moving instead.

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Chisame Murakami

Sentinel of Genbu

Element — Water

Birth Date — December 22, 1999

Age — 13

Magical Item — Brooch

Weapon — Spiral Shell Gauntlet

Weapon Name — Fable

Jewel Color — Lavender

Interests — Art

 Backstory: Chisame Murakami awoke one day surrounded by Mana. Frightened, she told her parents but they would not listen. When purchasing a sketchbook, she stumbled upon a brooch. After she brought it home, she had a dream of a temple and learned about Genbu and the brooch. She named it Fable and it turned into a gauntlet. With this she learned she could cast magic with Mana and kept this secret from everyone. One day she was attacked by a magical monster and was blinded from its acid spray. She struggled to recover from the trauma when she met Mage Karyn Mayweather, who rescued her from the monster. Learning about Chisame's secret, her parents agreed to move to merydia so that Chismae could attend Memorial Academy to study the magical arts. Thanks to advances in medicinal magic, Chisame received glasses that allowed her to see clearly. With Mage Karyn, they headed out to Los Angeles to share this discovery only for their flight to be redirected to Newark where they met the other Sentinels and Avalon Tech.

 Design: I never had a well thought out design for Chisame. In fact, I had no idea what to make her back-story. Originally, I wanted her to contrast Alysia's fiery nature and challenge her angst. But, since I was so slow to bring her, Brie, and Danica in the first ten chapters, her conflict of Alysia's angst would make Chisame look like a jerk. So, I chose to contrast her through other aspects. In this case, she has parents who don't have Mana, but she was born with it, or at least had it activated at an early age.

I also added to her persona of not understanding what Alysia, Brie, and Danica were going through. After all, she still has parents and a stable life. By making her partially blind, though, I made sure that was going through something the other three would not understand. This disconnect, I hope, would develop into all four Sentinels learning about each other and become stronger together as the story progresses.

I wanted Chisame to be the oldest and the leader of the group. I know it seems weird since Alysia is the focus of the story, but water and fire don't mix well and I wanted to explore that contrasting conflict. In the end though, she became more of a matriarch of the group and learned to be both supportive and accretive as a leader.

Since water is fluidic in nature, I made Chisame's personality to be one of exploration and understanding. Start her path to being a leader as an empty cup and filling it with experience. This is why I had her receive training from Mage Karyn Mayweather.

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Danica Leandros

Sentinel of Seiryuu

Element — Wood

Birth Date — March 22, 2000

Age — 13

Magical Item — Ring

Weapon — Petal Leaf Sword

Weapon Name — Epic

Jewel Color — Red

Interests — Dancing

 Backstory: Danica is the daughter of the most feared criminal Magi in the world. Raised to be part of their criminal network, Danica met Emilia in Brazil who became her friend. Emilia told Danica about a mystical dragon she saw in her dream called Seiryuu. After Emilia told her how to activate the power of the ring, Danica stole and named the ring Epic. After it turned into a sword, she nearly killed Emilia and presented the prize to her parents. Danica trained in the art of sword fighting and learned from Seiryuu what it means to be Sentinel. In time Danica no longer saw her parents methods eye to eye and felt she could rule over people better then they can. After a battle with her parents, Danica lived on her own in the streets. She discovered Alysia in a web video, where she used one of her most powerful spells and made contact with her and Brie. Danica's obsession with Saga compelled her to go to America despite Brie's warnings about Avalon Tech. Upon her arrival she met with the Sentinel's at Newark Airport where she met Alysia, Brie, and Chisame.

 Design: I really knew what I wanted out of Danica big time. A villain. This is to keep up with the Sentinels purpose of living their life as they choose without interference from the Four Gods. In a sense what I hope to accomplish is an Anti-Villain. A very difficult task to make, because I could end up turning her into an Anti-Hero. She completely contrasts Brie's heroic nature and her hero parents. I mean there isn't much for me to explain other than saying she is a villain.

Like Brie, I chose to use the eastern philosophical element of Wood rather than call it Wind. The trick was how to express wind when Wood is used in conjunction with the earth element in the west. The best way I can describe wood with wind was nature itself. Trees and plants need the wind to spread its pollen. Animals use the wind to find the scent of prey or a mate. Like nature, Wind is unstoppable and never-ending. Think about it, Earth is limited in motion and wind can fly around rocks and metal, through cracks. Fire may need oxygen to burn but wind can replenish itself after the fire dies out. Water just moves with the wind and help create waves and tides. Perfect for Danica's persona. A force of nature.

I chose dancing as her interest. It sounds weird since I made her an anti-villain, but the idea of her love for dancing is to give her a sense of humanity. To show that there is something good in her. In the end I feel I did accomplish my goal of making her and Anti-Villain, only if the fact that while she does support the Sentinels, she still has ulterior motives that the other Sentinels are not aware of. In a sense, the enemy of enemy is my friend.

 Arcana Magi Memorial

 Azure Martinez

Magi Student of Memorial Academy

Element — Fire, Earth, Water, and Wind

Birth Date — N/A

Age — 14

Magical Item — N/A

Weapon — N/A

Weapon Name — N/A

Jewel Color — N/A

Interests — Art

 Backstory: When Azure Martinez was ten years old, she gained access to the Mana of fire, earth, water, and wind after drawing her first magic circle. But she lost control of it and four mysterious creatures locked most of her Mana away. Her magical powers shackled, Azure became determined to master art of magic so she could free herself from her imprisonment and regain the Mana she felt was rightfully hers. However, she still has to learn in Memorial Academy how to control her Mana and cast spells properly.

 Design: Originally, Azure's role was to have criminal record as a result of her creating her magic circle. She would have been placed on probation while attending Memorial Academy and would answer to an agent of Mystic Intelligence. The first couple of drafts proved too difficult due and complex to fit in a five chapter Novelette. So I went back to basics and simplified her situation. I removed the criminal backstory and Mystic Intelligence angle. Instead, I focused on her determination to break free from the shackles as a subplot over arc and let the five chapters be about shadow creatures trying to absorb Mana.

Here, I wanted Azure to learn her lesson about obsession as she found that wanting such power and using it would come at a price. A little character growth as we saw at the end of the story. Personality wise, I wanted her to be strong like all the other main characters. I wanted her to be a fun character. Always teasing her friend, and have a good outlook on things. The most important thing, like all the other, I wanted her to embrace her power and not look at it as something of an inconvenience or a curse. She took a bad situation and made the best out of it.

 Arcana Magi Rush

 Akane Ramirez

Golem Pilot/Dragon Hunter

Element — N/A

Birth Date — N/A

Age — 18

Magical Item — N/A

Weapon — Golem

Weapon Name — Suzaku

Jewel Color — N/A

Interests — Building Custom Golems

 Backstory: Akane Ramirez was a fan of giant piloted robots known as Golems. It was her childhood dream to become a pilot. But one day when walking her sister, Marisol home, a baby dragon attacked them and Akane injured its eye. As a result of protecting her sister, the baby dragon returned with its mother, together, they ravaged Akane's hometown and murdered her and Marisol's parents. They became the hunted as they grew up and Akane's dream of becoming a Golem pilot turned into a dark dream. For she pilot's her Golem Suzaku to fight the dragons, not only to avenge their parents deaths, but also a chance to never be hunted again.

 Design: Akane went through a couple of names before I settled on this one. Other than that, creating her was not too difficult. This was primarily because from the start, I knew exactly what I wanted from Akane role and the already established simplification of giant robot versus dragon fight story. Unlike the other girls, I wanted Akane to be a young eighteen-year-old woman to diversify the main character ages and reach a broader audience. The other reason is that Rush is a one-shot short story and trying explain how an underage kid could pilot a giant robot would require a lot explanation, which for a short story proved to be too difficult without straining the pacing.

I wanted Akane to also have more maternal role with regards to her younger sister Marisol. That need to protect your family at all costs. I also gave her a drive to get revenge for the death of her parents as seen during the course of the fight and conclusion. Just for a quick tidbit, Akane also is the only character to not have a magical outfit, due to the fact that she is eighteen and is a grown up.

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Well this is some of the characters in Arcana Magi Universe. Are there more characters? Of course. I can always come back to add the other characters in a later date, or if I write another Arcana Magi story, expand onward. Either way, I liked the idea of sharing how I created these characters, and hopefully, expanded your knowledge and enhanced your reading experience for Arcana Magi as a whole.

 Thank you all for reading Arcana Magi Behind the Scenes. Enjoy reading all the stories I have written and have a good time in the journey.

 Until next time…

See ya.