Twenty things about Yukimura. (Because Konomi lost his thread completely and I don’t find Yukimura’s Svengali Tennis the least little bit convincing.) Character Sketch, I-2, manga continuity

Character(s): Yukimura Seiichi

At first he thought it was strange, playing tennis in teams, but he’s come to like the school club. It makes inside and outside clear.

People on the inside are the ones who see him smile, who hear him shout. People on the outside only see his calm.

His team makes him smile the same way his garden does, to see subtle and bright colors unfurling in harmony, to see the fierce, unrelenting desire all things have to grow. He loves that.

He thinks Akaya might have gotten a bit frost-nipped at the start, but he seems to be recovering, finally shedding dead leaves and putting his energy into new ones.

Then there are the ones like Yagyuu, his morning glory—charming and ruthless. Only trees are strong enough to bear up a morning glory and not be strangled.

He’s sure few people would imagine Niou anything as firm and solid as a tree, but he thinks it’s appropriate.

He thinks he will come to his art after he’s done with tennis. Mathematics, though, he keeps with him at all times. That isn’t a career; it’s the underpinning of his world.

Sometimes tennis and art tangle in his mind. Jackal reminds him of the Impressionists—solid and everyday, but always striking in the texture of his existence, in the way light falls on him.

Marui, on the other hand, reminds him irresistibly of Mondrian, all stark, strong lines and cheery, primary colors.

The time his class was assigned a self-portrait, he used dark outlines and intense colors for the background. His image looked at the sky, though, and he painted that a pale, clear blue.

All things have a pattern. All things can be described and understood. He shares that conviction with both Niou and Renji, though they show it in three very different ways.

His own technique is really quite simple. He fills the space that the game creates—whatever that is. Renji says he’s like water, pouring into different shaped containers. He likes the image.

The shape that his games with Sanada make is brutal and complex and fine as the edge of Sanada’s sword. Sanada makes him think of the stone and earth that plants grow out of.

For Sanada, muga no kyouchi is an extra step into concentration, discipline, purity. For Seiichi it’s like pulling muscles out that last bit into a full stretch.

When he stretches out on the court, no-self exists in the spaces between his breaths.

As an artist, he knows, a blank sheet is not empty; the moment eyes and intention touch it it holds color and line that the artist must find. His tennis is like that, too.

It was not his strongest opponents who named him Kami no Ko. The strongest can throw off his domination, keep their will to fight. It’s only the weak that he stuns simply by uncovering his spirit.

Renji teases, gently, that Seiichi’s spirit is the sun of this garden, his team. Seiichi says that, if so, Renji is the rain. He isn’t teasing; without rain, the sun would only scorch.

He knows he will stay with his club and his team through high school. He loves the competition that runs down the years, woven tight and intimate. And only here is there the devotion that saw him through months of slow terror and helped him stand at the end of it.

He knows the love and pride of these years will live on in his heart even after he leaves. But he’s never let go of anything he’s truly wanted. He sees no reason to start.

Last Modified: Sep 26, 08
Posted: Mar 11, 08
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  1. lady_of_water@livejournal

    Oh my GOD. This… this is glorious, this is beautiful, this is everything I’ve ever thought about Yukimura and his perceptions of his team and have never been able to put into words.

    “Renji says he’s like water, pouring into different shaped containers.”
    Renji is exactly, precisely correct.

    “Sanada makes him think of the stone and earth that plants grow out of.”
    Again, yes yes yes, a thousand times yes. <3 Except I came to their elements by way of the Zodiac. ^^;

    “As an artist, he knows, a blank sheet is not empty; the moment eyes and intention touch it it holds color and line that the artist must find.”
    This made me catch my breath, because that is it EXACTLY. I love nothing better than a new notebook for just that reason–I sit and stroke the white pages and just stare in awe because I wonder what mistakes I’ll make on it, and what secrets I’ll find.

    And the ending–oh bless you, Branch, the ending was perfect. <3 Have cookies.

    1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

      *sparkles* Thank you so much! *happily munches her cookies*

      I’ve been flailing around, lately, trying to write Yukimura stories, because I kind of lost track of who he is. Goodness knows Konomi has helped out with both hands, there! So I figured I’d better do some sketches of him to get my grounding again, see if I could reconcile what we’ve got a bit.

      These boys just /work/ with the symbolism, don’t they? I’d actually really like to do a story for him themed on his tarot reading–a scene or two for each card, illustrating what it means for him. That spread was just fascinating! I think it’ll take a while to get right, though, so I may have to settle for doing up an essay of it in the meantime. *wry*

      1. lady_of_water@livejournal

        “These boys just /work/ with the symbolism, don’t they?”

        Oh they so do. XD

        “I’d actually really like to do a story for him themed on his tarot reading–a scene or two for each card, illustrating what it means for him.”

        Oh my god, get out of my head. :O I’ve been having a project like that going for MONTHS. I outlined the entire tarot deck, decided on who (out of all the characters in the series) best fit each card, I made the cards (well, the Major Arcana and two suits of the Minor) with an image of the character, and am planning on writing a drabble for each card to illustrate both its meaning and its relevance to the character. *_* It would be going better if finding images wasn’t so tedious. And writing 78 drabbles on my own seems like a vast amount. XD

        1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

          *giggling* Hey, great minds. I just discovered the full translation of Yukimura’s 40.5 profile with the tarot cards and nearly fried some neurons. It’s so perfect!

          Now, why couldn’t Konomi have put more of that in the actual story? *sighs*

          *rueful* I sympathize, I really do. I seem to have managed to get myself set up to re-write nationals. Six or so sets of matches, with revised match-ups so it isn’t as lame. *helpless laugh* I just /need/ better canon, at least in my own head, you know?

          1. lady_of_water@livejournal

            Oh, the reading was perfect. I saw it and went “Squee!”

            Rewriting Nationals? *_* With Rikkai winning, right? *____*

            1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

              *grins* I figure I’ll do one with Yukimura winning and one with Echizen winning. Just to be fair, in case people who are not totally rabid Rikkai fans want to use it. *buffs up her Total Rikkai Fangirl badge*

              1. lady_of_water@livejournal

                Well, I suppose that’s fair. *nod* And since ANY way that it’s written is better than the way Konomi did it, I suppose I’ll actually–*sniffs haughtily*–acknowledge the possibility of Echizen winning. *”Rabid Slavering Rikkai Fangirl” badge gleams like Yagyuu’s glasses*

                (This is so distracting. I should be editing the Fifth Chapter of my HP/PoT crossover. XD)

                (PS. Any idea why my New And Improved LJ icon isn’t showing up here? *pokes it*)

                1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author


                  Ah, yeah; my site caches icons, so it doesn’t have to hit the gravatar or lj server on every load. *goes and deletes cached icon to force a refresh* There! Oo, pretty icon!

                  1. lady_of_water@livejournal

                    Oh, thank you! =D It was bugging me–apparently, the old one was “hideous” and “terrifying.” I’d been thinking about changing it anyway, so I comprimised: Got a prettier one, but kept it Mirrormask. (Have you seen that film? It’s brilliant. Neil Gaiman is my favorite author and my own personal god.)

                    1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

                      No prob!

                      I haven’t seen that one yet, though it’s on the list. I love Gaiman, so I figure I’ve /got/ to see it eventually.

                    2. lady_of_water@livejournal

                      The first time you watch it, you’ll think it’s bizarre. The second time, you’ll just want to memorize it.

                      Ooh, really? πŸ˜€ Which book is your favorite?

                    3. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

                      Well, the Sandman graphic novels will probably always be my favorites, but I have a deep and abiding fondness for Neverwhere. I love the atmosphere of that one. Season of Mists is probably my favorite thing of his, ever, quite likely because my field is early Am Lit and the religious interpretation makes me go ‘glee!’. *grins* I’ve actually taught that in combination with some of the Puritans; great fun.

    1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

      *hearts* It really does seem to suit him. And, lo, my muse just needed to be reminded of how possessive he is of his team to get his feet back under him. *snerks*

  2. lady_of_water@livejournal

    Sandman is indeed awesome. πŸ˜€ I only have the first three volumes and a short illustrated story he did with a Japanese artist.

    I love all of his books–each one has a strong point that the others don’t quite have. For instance, I find the descriptions in Stardust to be absolutely exquisite–moreso than in any of the other books. My favorite single piece, though, is his poem “The Day The Saucers Came.” I read it and I keep wanting to use it for PoT fic. XD

    This is getting awfully narrow, isn’t it? πŸ˜€ Forgive me if this sounds presumptuous, but do you have any sort of IM? XD I think it might be more convenient, even if typing narrowly amuses me to no end.

  3. lady_of_water@livejournal

    *did not know that it automatically starts a new thread when it gets too narrow* >.>


    Ohmygod, I love you SO MUCH right now – because this? Complete and total truth. *loves Yukimura and Rikkai*

    Your writing is absolutely stunning. <3 <3 <3


    But he’s never let go of anything he’s truly wanted. He sees no reason to start.

    Oh. Yes. That’s Yukimura there, and so beautiful. <3

    Also, the comparisons with Niou and Renji about patterns. And the one about Muga no Kyouchi being a full stretch. Such fantastic lines.

    1. Icon for BranchBranch Post author

      *pleased* And you know, we only see his struggle with the GB and surgery around the edges–as a shadow-play. But I really think that the determination hinted at there must be central to Yukimura’s character.

      Glad you liked it!

    1. Branch Post author

      Thanks! By the end of the manga the characterization had gotten weird enough that I wanted to see if I could make some sense out of things, and this was the result.