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Good morning, evening and or afternoon to you dear reader, I am the Dark Lord of Raccoons NPCBurner and this is the latest mess I’m starting. Life is hard and time is my enemy, my endeavors to improve my writing skills and create more to bring joy to the people of the world have been quite lacking so I’m going to start journaling(again). My goal is to try and post 1 count 1 journal month somewhere on the internet. Their topics, lengths, and formats may vary, but as long as they get written and posted it’s a win. So, consider this opening statement a warning of what these posts may contain. Abandoned all that you hold dear here and prepare to dive into a mind devoid of logic and filled with raccoons.
Well with that out of the way, those of you still around(thank you, by the way) probably already have an idea of what this journal particular journals focus is either by its title or purely by where I’m posting it. That’s right, I’m talking about the Dense cast, but nothing too spoilery or question answery. Think of this more as of a pulling back of the curtain. Little to no stage dressing or viewer thought you’re going to be getting things straight from my brain. For those of you who are trying to create something yourself, take note of this for the audience is both your greatest alley and enemy. They’ll support you and cheer you on, but they’ll also corrupt your work and mind. Not intentionally mind you, but it is a thing that happens that you should be aware of. Always remember, your first fan, biggest fan, and most important audience member is yourself the creator. If you aren’t enjoying what you’re making (and aren’t being paid to make it, to silence any smartasses) then you’ve kind of already failed and are just wasting your own time.
Okay, that preamble is done, let’s have a look at our subjects for the day. I’ll be looking at all twelve kids of the main cast and going in order of the most recent ref sheets (with the exception of the final three whose order I may shift). I’m gonna try and stick to one paragraph a kid to try and keep myself in check, but some paragraphs will be longer or shorter than others simply because no two kids are made the same. Now, let’s hop to it!
Joseph Ashens(Founder of Main Characters Anonymous): Ah, dear Jojo. Probably my favorite and most hated Dense character. As those of you who have seen early Dense are familiar with, Joseph was essentially the main character of this little series. To this date, he has appeared the most out of any of the kids, he’s the only one who has something in the series logo, and the very comic that started this was essentially told from his perspective. Now for something you didn’t know. I don’t like main characters. Yeah, weird thing, am I right? I won’t bog down Joey boy’s section with a deep explanation of it, but a quick rundown of it is. . . When a character is the focus of a story and a vast majority of it is spent watching them, I see all they have to offer pretty quickly and if there’s something new thrown in it always seemed forced for the sake of allowing the story to keep focusing on them without retreading old ground or getting boring. Enough on that, back to Joseph. Originally based a younger me, Joseph has grown to essentially be the cast straight man of sorts. The kid has some quirks like his sleep issues and hoodie(as well as a few other things you all will be seeing soon enough), but overall he’s a simple kid who likes to keep out of trouble and enjoy his simple sunny days with his friends. This paired with his pretty friendly demeanor and mature nature has made him a pretty valuable player in my stories. He can pretty easily fall into most situations and due to his passive yet firm nature, he’s not one to easily walk away from messes whether they directly involve him or not. If I need someone to do a simple background task but don’t want a background character to do it, Joseph will do. Do I need someone to help set up a situation, but otherwise play no bigger part in it, Joseph will do. Do I need someone to be the butt of a joke, well there’s plenty of evidence for that one already. Something fun to look at if you reread Dense after this or for future installments is that Joseph doesn’t say or do much. In fact, for as much as he appeared, he’s probably said the least out of all the kids. He also tends to be one who gets the raw deal in most situations (though for some he’s a 100% winner). All of this has caused Joseph to shift from “Main Character” to “Prominent Character” not much will focus or revolve around him, but he’ll always be around to play his part. I think that’s all I can say about him for now, but do know that eventually, he’ll start to have his stories and events.
Tina Strum(Hail to The Queen Baby!): Okay, if there are any sins I’ve committed in all my time writing Dense. . . Okay, any sins in my writing of Dense, it’s not using Tina more. She was effectively the co-star next to Joseph and likely what brought in many early fans (Lolicons are always hungry for dark-skinned girls ^(=w=)^ ). That said as I mentioned in Joseph’s section, I don’t like main characters. There are also a few behind the scene issues revolving around Tina and Joseph’s relationship that kind of slowed me down and likely put me off writing more with her. But hey, that’s one of the benefits of doing this, right now I’m yelling into the void and no one can respond (at the moment at least). Dense was originally a one-off that I got enough requests to continue that I eventually did. I never really planned to continue it, so the events of the first comic held some weight that I couldn’t easily carry along to an actual series with more stories. I’m not a fan of rebooting, so without remaking the original comic I always planned to reestablish their relationship. I never wanted her to be in love with Joseph(a topic that may be revisited in a later journal), but I didn’t want to completely remove what was already done(hence why Dense: The Novelization played out the way it did). I wanted Tina to essentially be over most of her serious feeling for him so that she could move on and be freer as a character, but I also wanted her to keep some “admiration” for him for the sake of comedy. Ultimately I wanted her to still enjoy spending time with him so I could have comedic situations her being a brat when someone tried to cut in on that, but I still wanted her to be the character she was originally designed to be and kick Kevin and Joseph’s butts from time to time. She also has her own story arch for growing up as a tomboy. She’s still in touch with her feminine side, but still enjoys rough-housing and has one hell of a temper. This is why when I started expanding the cast, I created Carmen to be her friend and rival. Carmen is kind of what she wishes to be, while at the same time really annoying, but that’s more to be touched on in Carmen’s section. As some final notes on Tina, expect her outfit to change again at some point. It’s always nagged me because it’s always been a tad too skimpy and girlish for her tomboy character, granted it’s been hard to try and balance that with fanservice and having a loli hungry artist as a partner in crime. So her outfit may change a bit through her next few appearances.
Kevin Strum(Oh, he just can’t wait to be King!): And here we have the first of a few problem children for me. So, though I called Joseph the cast straight man, Kevin is the most average and to an extent realistic of all twelve kids. Nothing too abnormal physically and he doesn’t have an odd air of maturity to him. He’s essentially written to be a kid striving to be cool. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it’ll make him relatable and allow me to tap into many simpler situations. Bad, because if you’ve ever known someone like that you know how much a pain they are to be around. This kind of always leaves me at a crossroads with him. I want to use him, but I can't really do anything too big with him. Something I plan to mitigate by essentially leaving him starring in smaller things, which works because he’s running the fool’s errand of trying to be cool(something many know always ends in failure) and also having him be a part of bigger stories with other characters. I’ll just end this baby saying Kevin’s shooting start will be making more passes in the future, along with hopefully a little gang for him to hang around(cause what’s the point of being cool if there’s no one around to see and tell you how cool you are?)
Zoe Smith(I’ve got sunshine, on a cloudy day.): Now we’re on to the crew's surprise favorite. It’s funny to think she originally started as two separate characters that were supposed to be obsessed with Joseph, and now she’s the casts ray of sunshine. Honestly, Zoe’s section here may be the shortest if only because I have too much to say about her. Like the reason I’m doing character reflections is because after Xierra drew a picture of her, I just wanted to spend time gushing on about her. Yet here I am with the chance, and I’m not saying anything. Honestly, that speaks a lot to her character. For as amazing as she is, she’s humble. Her Grandees raised her right, and I’m going to have fun making more for her. A statement that probably speaks for myself and Xierra.
Carmalita Nike Ortiz(100% or Get out): And here we have another of my crimes as a writer. Carmen’s a pretty great character, I just don’t show her much. She’s in the same vein as Jackie Lynn Thomas and other characters of that breed who have started showing up in media lately. You know the type, the ones who seem to be perfect because they have no obvious flaws, faults or worries but remain down to earth. The type of character you either love because they seem so stable or hate because you wish you were that stable. And that sentence essentially explains Tina’s relationship with her. For those of you well versed in Greek Mythology (or just bother to google things) you’ll know the Nike is not only a shoe company but also the Greek Goddess of victory. Here we have the crux of Carmen’s character. The girl loves a challenge. She was raised up being taught to give her all. Push her limits and help others reach theirs. Thing is, that’s not directly tied to victory. I know from many life experiences that you can put your literal into a task and still not “win”, and when that happens, you feel horrible. This is kind of Carmen’s flaw of sorts, she has to grow to find some understanding between what she’s been taught and what she feels. Now on less serious notes, she’s also a goober. She wants to be an inspiration to those around her and help them reach their full potential, but she doesn’t exactly have the charisma or social skills for it. Sure a soft-spoken 11 year built like a championship level high school athlete with a visible drive to give her all seems amazing on the outside, but god when it’s time to talk and take charge she’s a mess. But hey, with a friend like Tina around to help her, put her back in her place, and take charge I think Carmen will be fine.
George Oum( Gotta go faster, faster, faster, faster, faster!): And here we have my other inspiration for starting these journals with a look into the characters. For some behind the scenes info, I’m typing this a few days after posting “Straw Hat Georgie”. I’m quite happy to say that resulted in a comment that acknowledged why I did that. Long and short, George is a shonen protagonist type outside a shonen series. Not too bright, full of energy, despite apparently being a normal boy is somehow capable of superhuman feats. George as a character is simple, but that’s what so great about him. Like how Joseph can fit anywhere due to how he was made, George can go anywhere because of how he was made. He has a pretty unique versatility and lovableness to him. He was also designed to be a friend to Kevin, but I’m gonna be fixing some things with character relationships to try and put everything back of the track is skewed from. Also, the next story entry after this will star him. Next!
Alexander Flueric( In the Garden of Eden, baby!): This little S.O.B. Fun fact, Alex is probably the oldest character out of every character I’ve ever posted. It was not this exact character, but I created the concept for Alex. . . Holy hell nearly a decade ago now. When I first started getting into anime and was introduced trap trope I thought “Huh, that’s interesting. I want to try my hand at making a trap character”, and it was all fucking history from there. While design, worlds, and backstories have changed the name and basic personality have stayed the same. Alex is my firstborn son and I love him. That said Dense seems to be where he’s found his calling, living out his days alongside his friends Joseph and Zoe. Actually, on that note, if you were to fuse Joseph and Alex’s personalities, you’d get one close to mine. For as quiet and helpful as I am, I love to mind fuck people. In TCGs like Yugioh and MTG is play defensive stall decks with a ton of counter-power and hidden disguised beaters, because few things are more fun than sitting back disassembling your opponent’s decks for 20 minutes while they’re staring down a beast that gets stronger with each passing turn. . . To any Alex fan curious about what possible kinks he may have, take this as your warning to run. Or stay, hey I don’t kink shame. Well, my canines are starting to ache, so I’m just gonna go find something to chew on and move onto the next kid.
Catherine O’Callgahn( Work it, Make it, Do it, Makes us.): Oh hey, another one of my early sins. Back on the topic of my distaste for Main Characters, I love side/ secondary characters. They can still get development and have great moments, but they run less a risk of getting old and overused. Acknowledging that this is why I like making ensemble works where the spotlight is divided up depending on who has an idea and who doesn’t. Why did I bring this up again? Simple, because one of my favorite cartoon characters is Fanny Fullbright. If you somehow never picked up on this, drop off your Dense application to the raccoon at the front desk before leaving. That said, each new thing I make with Catherine brings me a certain level of pride as she gets further and further away from the base of Fanny Fullbright that I used to make her. No longer a simple tomboy redhead with a short fuse, now a young genius mind with big dreams a stoic sarcastic sidekick, and a hatred of rodents.
Brittany Quinn( Mind your manners): Formerly Gwendolyn, she was renamed Brittany a week before the cast completion, because the internet artist known as MonkeyCheese posted their own young snarky white-haired girl named Gwen first. So, me being shit out of luck on the front came up with a new name, and from that point, her character was forged. As many have noticed, Brittany is quite refined, intelligent, and ladylike, traits not commonly associated with the name Brittany(No offense to any Brittany’s reading this, I know you’re all victims of the late 90s and early 2000s trends). So Brittany has a. . . I wouldn’t call it a subversion theme but, as you all will come to learn what you expect isn’t always what will occur. Despite her Victorian lady facade, she’s still a modern-day preteen girl. She’s just got a few interesting quirks
Deiro, Dina, and Toma(It’s a hard knock life for us): I decided to put these three together because they share something in common, and it’s another one of those things I can’t cover in what I have planned for this. These three characters were not of my creation, they belong to friends who like Dense and wanted to be a part of it. This was the biggest most irredeemable sin I’ve committed while working on Dense, for there were and still are more in this same boat that I have let down and hurt. I’d go into detail, but this is exactly the thing I stated I could not cover in my simple paragraph format. I can reflect on my sins in a later journal, for now, I’m going to look forward to my action to make up for it. So who didn’t know that these three weren’t made by me? Be sure to turn in your Dense application to the raccoon at the front desk when you’re leaving, because these three have some BIG clues to that I didn’t make them. The biggest being their names. Joseph, Tina, Kevin, Zoe, Carmen, George, Alex, Catherine, and Brittany. All nine of those names are common western names, meanwhile Deiro, Dina, and Tomaki. To be fair, these could be common names somewhere in the world, but they stick out from the pattern set thus far. Here’s another fun fact, I suck at coming up with names. For anything. That’s why my kid’s names are so basic, anything that sounds eccentric most likely didn’t come from me. For Dina and Deiro there are also more clues, as some of you will notice there’s some explicit and NSFW material of them solo. Those were things done out of my control. That said. due to their minimal appearances, that’s about all that the casual viewer would be able to pick up about these three. So instead of pointing out more of what’s “Not Dense” about them, I’ll touch on why they’re even here and what I plan to do to make them more Dense. To answer the first point, and take not viewers and creators alike, they were very interesting when they were first introduced to me. They sparked inspiration and gave me ideas that made me want to incorporate them. Then the can of worms opened. Sadly, the two people who lent me these three have had some rough years, and sadly this trouble transferred over to the characters. Xierra and I both agree that a character is a part of its creator, and this is no truer than when something happens in the creator’s life, for signs of it though sometimes subtle will begin to show in the character. The three fun interesting kids I was introduced to started to become dull and simple and moody. Something that didn’t work for the ensemble slice of life comedy I was trying to craft. This caused many issues and falling out. I tried my best to work with it, but it weakened my resolve as the things in them started to spread, until well when my depressive funk hit last year, I saw little hope of accomplishing anything with them. But that was 2019 and this is 2020, W3 is on the horizon and if the worlds gonna go up in smoke, I’m gonna make sure I’m doing things on my terms when this happens. So, what does that mean for Deiro, Dina, and Toma? Well, I’m taking what they are, and reshaping them through my mind. They’ll still be respectful to those who lent them to me. Deiro will still be Heavy Male Bi to Gay, Toma will still want to be a hero and have his third-person speak, and Dina. . . Well, she’s more behind the scenes if anything, but the grand point is they will no longer be borrowed characters they’re going to be reborn through my mine to be truly full-fledged Dense characters.
Well, dear reader, that’s enough rambling from me for tonight. I don’t know who you are, but I at least hope you were either entertained or learned something from this. If you gained neither, well that the price of free entertainment I suppose. I’m going to try and shoot for one of these journals a month, so if this did interest you keep an eye out for future entries and maybe comment things, you’re curious about. I probably won’t answer them, but I’ll keep them in mind for future entries.
This is the Dark Lord of Raccoons signing off. Have a lovely morning, evening, or afternoon.
Due to this site lacking a Journal system of sorts, I'll be posting these here as novels.
Read at your own risk.