Some Thoughts on Characters and the Way They Develop


Looking back at the first several episodes of A New Era, I do a couple of things. The first is generally to cringe at how shallow or downright improbable certain things are. Or how cheesy some things are. (As mentioned in one of the outtakes about the Venusian fanatic guy.) The second is generally to be baffled at how the characters have developed, from shallow carictures to complex people with various issues and motivations and conflicts. Oftentimes they have developed in entirely unexpected ways, some of which have had considerable impact on the storyline itself.
    When One and I set out to start writing A New Era years ago, we had most of the main characters all nice and neatly laid out on paper. Sidra as the stubborn one, Siduri as the cheerful one, Meiran as the bitchy one, Ariana as the crazy one, and Yoshino as the well-balanced one. Tiana as the replacement for Relena after episode 18. True, they started out that way, but then they all took on lives of their own, sometimes growing in unexpected ways. Sidra got all angsty and superficially coldhearted, Siduri's smile became a mask, Meiran turned out to be a confused young woman, Ariana was the optimistic though irrational one, and Yoshino was the one who flips out like a ninja on the ZERO system. Hell, we never planned on Tiana and Meiran butting heads, let alone Tiana piloting a mobile suit! In addition, there were also characters that we never originally planned on! Josie Selvaggio, Noah Hathway (and the entire Peacemakers group, for that matter), Donovan, the group of assassins, and so on!
    It's kind of strange, to write something and watch in an almost spectating sort of way as the characters go off and do things that hadn't been planned on. Like Sidra encouraging a bunch of disenfranchised Preventers to go stomp a Senator's house flat, for instance. Or Meiran snapping at Tiana to take Seiryuu for a spin. And I can honestly say that back at the beginning, the New Years Massacre wasn't in the plans, nor Donovan and his group's stunt with MO-II.
    Funny what happens to plans, isn't it?