[Application] Yamanoue, Anselm

YAMANOUE ANSELM
SHINIGAMI

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DIVISION 3 SEAT SIX
AGE: 97 // GENDER: MAN // BILLET: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT LIAISON


SURFACE

Appearance
The line between carefree and unkempt is thin. Anselm straddles it by luck alone.

Anselm’s shihakusho has always looked a bit big for him. On him, the slightly generous cut of the customary robe becomes a bagginess. The lower skirt of the garb nearly touches the floor; the sleeves hang down against Anselm’s dainty wrists. But Anselm refuses (read: forgets) to send for a tailor. He loves the way that the robes feel; like a heavy blanket, pushing him down onto his feet. But those robes hide a graceful gait. He walks with an unconscious economy of movement, as if he were focused on every step -- though that’s obviously not the case. All it takes is a look at Anselm’s dark brown eyes to see someone lost in their own world.

Grooming is a mixed bag for Anselm. His hair is at the dulcet length where messiness becomes texture, but his fingernails are constantly chewed to the nub. He keeps a brown leather satchel with him while he’s at work: it’s filled with scrolls and books, but suffers a catastrophic ink spill at least once a year. When off duty, Anselm loves to slip into more comfortable and colorful robes.

Anselm speaks in a low, calm tenor that matches his boyish face. When he speaks, it’s rarely without warmth or genuine feeling. His Japanese is crisp and fluent, but he's been known to come down far too hard on a syllable when he's lost focus. He stands 175 centimeters tall, and weighs about 60 kilograms soaking wet. His hair is a gentle mousy brown, and his eyes are a glowing hickory.

Reiatsu
Anselm's reaitsu is a light lavender that mists everything it touches in a soft glow. Normally, it smells like the favorite flower of the person perceiving it. As his emotions grow more intense, it takes on a dark purple color, tasting of the ferrous, solid smell of the earth before rain.

Psychology
Anselm -- Ane, to his friends who are less familiar with his mother tongue -- is about as surprised he made Sixth Seat as anyone else. From his hair -- washed, but never combed -- to his desk -- straightened up every fortnight, but by the next day, scattered with paperwork and open books -- his way of being in the everyday world betrays a quiet truth: he’s never completely there. Given a moment of idleness, Anselm will drift away, daydreaming. He feels best when he can focus on a single task: reading a hard book, writing a report, gardening, swimming, memorizing a complex incantation. Otherwise, he gets lost in the waves.

That’s largely why Anselm’s devoted himself to the theoretical study of kidou, long before he was a seated officer in the Third. Boredom in the barracks became swirling questions in his mind, which became late nights in the library; Anselm would study the war diaries of early Gotei leadership, the journals of strange Kidou mystics, the more empirical charts of reiryoku paths in the soul. Anselm, more than anything else, is tied to the Third because he wants to create magic that is beautiful, noble and new. Sometimes he feels pangs of regret for not considering the Fourth a bit more coming out of the Academy; then, he remembers how little rack time those poor clinicians have.

With others, Anselm is polite and kind, if reserved. He likes to listen first. This, along with his hobbies, has given him the reputation of being more withdrawn than the typical officer. It doesn’t bother him. His subordinates, in particular, know him to be calm and gentle in his demeanor, and effusive in his praise.


POWERS

Sealed Zanpakuto
Anselm’s tanto follows the form of the asauchi he was given -- glossy black scabbard, slightly curved blade -- up to the hilt. The bottom of the weapon is instead made up of strands of wrought iron, twisted together to form a rectangular grip. Sometimes, Anselm uses the dagger to cut vegetables.

Inner World
In his dreams, sometimes, Anselm will find himself sitting on the banks of a small lake. He knows he’s deep in the forest; he’s probably on a mountain range, but doesn’t care to look around. He watches the water: calm, glassy, completely still. The wind blows, but he’s not cold. He sits there for hours before waking up.


RECORDS

History
In his past life, Anselm was a monk -- or so he said. He wouldn’t even have remembered his name unless his family demanded it out of him. It was the first thing they asked him after they found him wandering in the Ten-North, Rukongai ticket still in hand, with no shoes. They made him write it down: “Anselm.” He was taken in by the Yamanoue family: among the best horticulturalists in the Rukongai, routinely called upon by the floral designers of the inner districts. Anselm, at first, was relegated to keeping inventory. He knew that was a blessing: in those first years, he spent most of his free time in bed, staring at his hands, or watching dust swirl through the sunbeams from the window. With time, he was given permission to work with the plants. But his growing reiatsu slowly started to capture the attention of Shinigami on patrol. They strongly encouraged him to apply to the Academy -- so did the rest of the Yamanoue. He left, at first reluctantly, but excited by the prospects of a new life.

At the Academy, Anselm proved himself to be a quick study at the Demon Arts. More than he had any natural feeling for kidou, he loved the meditative bliss of studying incantations. It reminded him of being home. After graduation, he was quickly slotted into the Third. As a recruit, he was often attached to units from the Eleventh Division. Combat brought Anselm no joy, but the deployments proved useful in sharpening his ability to cast under pressure. His service was rated as “acceptably dignified”, and luckily, his early service passed without utter catastrophe.

Thirty years after his recruitment, he was named Twentieth Seat -- Assistant to the Deputy Logistical Officer. The job came with more responsibility, but less time on Earth. He took it. During his time as a junior officer, he was one of the most active members of the Kidoshu Review: a ten-person strong journal club. Anselm stayed in that position for years before the Sixth Seat -- Research and Development Liaison -- was vacated. He had made some acquaintances in the Twelfth through his many nights at the Eighth’s library, and was thus deemed a solid fit. Anselm’s official job is to provide basic magical advising to the Twelfth; in reality, he spends much of his time running notes between higher ranking officers.

He’s held the position for about a year now and loves it; Anselm is happy to serve as a simple courier-slash-rubber stamp. Every once in a while, he learns something interesting, and gets to spend more time with the accomplished kidou practitioners that make up the Third’s officer corps. And, the best part: even less time on Earth. Anselm is happy, and has no ambition for greater recognition or glory. If he were to die as he lived right now -- small office, enough time to read, few people under his direct command -- he would count it a blessing.
 
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STATISTICS

REIATSU 100 (or so)
Strength:
Defense:
Speed:
Spirit:


SKILLS
Kido: good
Kaido:
Reiatsu Perception:
Zanpakuto Resonance:
Hakuda:
Zanjutsu:
Hoho:
 
alright dorks looks like in order to conform to the masses i must pitch my character to you. if you would like to read the application, it is here, but i will summarize:

anselm is a guy with his head totally in the clouds. he has been incredibly, incredibly lucky to avoid a lot of the terrors associated with serving in the modern Gotei through his talent in kidou, but barely realizes the extent of his luck. i've imagined the third as likely on the more sheltered side of things, relatively -- they still see combat but in a different way, and you need less of them than you do say, people who are actually purifying hollows -- and especially considering his job is to interact with the Twelfth, that's magnified even moreso with anselm. i'm imagining that as a fun pressure point for you grunts!

i think the core thing that i want to explore with anselm, though, is ambition. anselm totally lacks it. he has no desire for more power, in terms of rank or otherwise. he's far more interested in creating kidou, and not for combat purposes -- i've imagined him focused on things that have a lot more to do with reiatsu perception than anything else.

i think that lack of ambition is going to slam him hard against the wall of other characters in a couple of ways. one: a few of y'all are some power hungry death gods, and i'm hoping that seeing someone utterly confused at/detached from your motivations is going to cause some fruitful tension. two: a lack of ambition might betray a lack of clear and strong values. anselm might be friendly and want to help people without desire for personal aggrandizement, but in the argument between tradition and progress especially, the choices that "help people" the most aren't always clear. i think having an, again, detached and confused witness to this tension would make for some fun threads, and then i get to wax myself off about what ambition means in the context of eternity, private vs. public life etc etc so i can pad my GP real good to create some MORE fun tension

thoughts welcome and appreciated
 
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Unseated,
Eleventh Division
Reiatsu
50
Strength
10
Defense
5
Speed
20
Spirit
15
I can definitely see Hildr butting heads with this guy. His lackadaisical approach to things doesn't exactly jive well with her.

But more than than, I'm curious if you've thought about how Anselm will respond to plot related things. From your write up, I sort of get the vibe that he might be the type to go "this isn't my problem" and walk away when push comes to shove, unless there's a clear victim for him to jump in and save. As fun as it is to have someone just go along with the flow -- and I really do think that's a great dynamic to have, especially with the current cast we have -- it may be difficult for you to find personal character growth with someone who truly lacks ambition and/or a greater purpose.
 
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yeah dude! you bring up good points, and my answer is that i'm going to play him actively. first, i think his position and skillset give him the opportunity to interact in specific aspects of the plot (i am guessing tony is cooking something up with the twelfth from the storytelling asset he's published, and i would very much like to be a part of that). beyond the flow that other characters provide -- and you're right, this character will be super reactive to the beats that other people put out there -- i think the desire to depthen one's knowledge of kidou has proven to be a useful generator of story beats in past iterations of BG, and that's how i might be able to take actions that affect others.

second, anselm as i imagine him is more someone that will accidentally/naively get way in over his head, as opposed to walking away. i see his lack of ambition in the context of everyone else's ambition as the precise impetus for character growth -- will he get in the robot take an active stance in the world and try to impose his own will on the lives of others? what is his will and why?
 
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The character feels like he has some nice thematic tension with the setting as a whole. His seemingly reactive nature isn't even too bad in a place that's constantly throwing conflict at you - Bleach's world always gives you stuff to do, since the setting as a whole is very tumultuous by nature. In that sense, I like that this character - and a lot of other members of our current cast, I'm noticing - focuses on the smaller and more overlooked elements of the massive, universe-balance maintenance machine that is the Gotei. Someone that does his job and doesn't have the position or really the desire to make any big change, nor does he seem to even be privy to a lot of the tensions within the story. Of course, inevitably, he probably can't escape them. There's just too much. Between the ramping and unprecedented situation with the world of the living and the Hollows, and the political clashes and even just the fundamentally shady nature of the Gotei, I figure he'll be dragged into something. Feels like his worldview is one that could be easily challenged, both in the sense that the story will naturally challenge him for attempting to move forward without grand purpose, and in the sense that a lot of the characters would try and call him out on not seeming to care anymore. It's sort of an interesting question that I imagine he might need to confront eventually! In a world that has as many problems as this, is there any value in just being a decent person? Is helping that one person in front of you enough if thousands are dying every day? If Anselm ever has his eyes opened to how shitty things really are, I can't help but wonder if he'll have to confront how comfortable he is with just focusing on smaller things. Pretty cool!
 
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someone thrust responsibility into this man's hands and ruin his quiet life

My own guy is something of a Kidō specialist, maybe Anselm could use a like-minded Shinigami to bounce ideas off of and debate the finer points of the art? Better yet, losing a routine part of his life like an intellectual sparring partner might at the very least shake up his peaceful life a bit. What're the usual goings-ons in this journal club?

Regardless, I'd love to see something come along and push him out of his comfort zone. I'd agree with Bri's point on passive characters, but you seem to have things planned out well and I can't wait to see how it goes!
 
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