Alright, here is what you've all been waiting for people the development stage of all five main female villains from the Yurei Yokai society, an ancient Japanese cult lead by the mother and her five deadly daughters and her loyal servant (who is not included in this group concept) all of which have died in some form of battle and come back with their own individual purposes courtesy of their mother who sent them to the city of Kaidan to raise hell.
You won't see cooler than hell female villains like these anywhere else, and I know its a shame I haven't been able to create any scenes using them yet because this is just the first group concept featuring the current ones I've been working on thus far. These females are as vigilant as it's going to get. So what this means is that these characters are rich within the Japanese culture in terms of mythological themes some of their names is valid proof of this, at least from a historical perspective. Speaking of characters I'm going to just pick one randomly here. Bunraku was at one point a performer, she died in a fire incident that took away her beauty because she disobeyed her mother as we know, respect in the Japanese culture is highly enforced, and if a child disobeys then there are consequences, at least that's how it use to be. Bunraku is the first and only daughter that actually breaks a rule until her younger sister Bakura comes along (isn't present in this group concept).
I wanted females that each had a different personality, far away from stereotypes as possible but reflection of true Japanese culture, something that seems lost in Japan these days the same way American culture has died.
The Yurei Yokai is a group I based entirely and strictly upon mythology. The ladies have their own abilities and ways of dealing with their enemies. Take Yoshi for instance (name is subject to change), she is skilled with using all sorts of machinery and weaponry making her a challenge when she faces against Malice. The first time you will see this character is in a scene where she helps Jaden Kirk takes over the infant system and he becomes "GOD HAND" so Yoshi is appointed to protect him and the infant network. Eventually Malice comes back to reclaim what's hers from the cybernetic child.
In all honesty I am missing two others from the group as I have mentioned but I'm thinking about keeping the group a minimum of only five. Although the mother does not make up the sixth character. The name of all the females that should be present in this (daughters only) are Kyoshi Saejima, Yoshi Saejima, Jorogumo Saejima, Bunraku Saejima, Bakura Saejima, and Daiji Saejima. Bakura and Daiji are the only ones missing here. Bakura is also the only one with a made up Japanese name.

Believe me when I say this, they aren't characters with Japanese names just for the sake of having the names. I realized that over the years the Japanese will give characters Japanese names, stories may take place in the heart of Japan, yet the characters don't seem reflective of Japanese society at all, but very stereo-typically White/Western. Look up "Proof that Anime characters are White." To some extent it may seem biased, but in all honesty its hard to take anything in anime seriously as Japanese culture related when a lot of the characters really don't seem Japanese.
These characters on the other hand are very different from all of this.

During the development stages I went through photographs of Japanese models, actresses, etc to get ideas on how to design these five female characters. I had a tough time finding strong looking women Japanese women, the number of bland photographs of women throwing up peace signs was annoying, truly shows a lack of individuality when you see so many women doing the same damn thing.
So I looked up Chinese actresses instead, and though peace signs are just common with Asian women in general, I was unable to find at least one photo of a woman that was appealing enough to model one of my female villains off of so then I decided to try age specific only by weeding out the younger ladies from the older. Since the females of Yurei Yokai are way past their prime I would say their all between the ages of 200 and above years old but look much younger than that. Because they are already dead, their Yurei after all from a time period when Yurei ruled humanity and humanity served the Yurei but a war happened, the Yurei lost, they were exiled and the only ones left were the Yurei Yokai Family. You would have to read the Yurei Seed series to learn about their past life prior to becoming these highly skilled women with supernatural like abilities of their own. Yurei Seed is told from their childhood points of view up until they become successful warriors.
Furthermore it's only common when they are much older to give them mature appearances, so I chose to reflect the majority of these characters based upon older mature women including their younger counterparts.

When it came down to working on the characters in general, first Yoshi was going to be a blond because it matched her skin texture, but I ditched this idea because I believe that Blond Asians look terrible. I preferred natural over fake and that is what I went with, natural though the reason for changing Jorogumo's hair to red is due to the fact she is a half woman and spider the red is there to give her a black widow look. Bunraku has blue hair because blue represents rebirth. Originally she was suppose to have died by drowning when she was only 6 years old instead of being burned alive during a theatrical performance.

Designing the Yurei Yokai to me was very important because I wanted a believable group of Japanese women that really had the mannerisms of strong Japanese women despite females in Japan society being rather weak compared to women from other parts of the world.
We know that in Japan most women are submissive, but this would be incorrect to assume their all like this. For instance do you really believe a 40-50 year old Japanese woman has that obnoxious sounding wailing whiny voice? Unless she forcing it to remind herself she can still sound like a stupid 5 year old whining a store.
Understanding culture, age, believable concepts, do's and don'ts of designing difficult villains of the opposite sex from a complex culture that seem to have lost it way over the years due to the lack of responsibility and seriousness from the younger generation that probably don't embrace traditional Japanese customs is important. Therefore also understanding the major differences between each of these characters is crucial to knowing who they are. Yes they are independent, and yes they are capable of working together.
Each of these women have their own personalities as stated. Kyoshi is the strongest and toughest out of the pair, Yoshi is more precise and persistent, Jorogumo prefers to manipulate and induce fear, Bunraku isn't shy but she is less talkative and highly skilled at seducing anyone that falls prey to her beauty in other words she is good at making you believe she is submissive, Bakura is highly aggressive and demanding of her desires, Daiji is practically a mystery that is strictly unknown even to her own sisters except her mother that knows her better than she knows herself.
I wanted them to have names with purpose, and meaning.
These characters will someday have an impact outside of the stories they are told in. I spent a lot of time on each female, designing and developing their own personalities individually, I worked beyond my abilities on their features even though this is just a concept and not their final designs. Yoshi Saejima (the white hair one) will be given a lot of updates such as a mask to hide her face, this will allow me to have a masked and unmasked version of her. The unmasked version she will have an eyepatch over one of her eyes, there will be a reason for this and not just there for the sake of looking "cool". She will be given a different pair of footwear, a different texture. Her clothing is going to change as well, all of these females are still in their incomplete stages at the moment.
The reason why Japanese mythology was chosen was because it has a long history. Though one of the members was meant to be the servant of the group named Nu Gui. Nu Gui is a Chinese ghost who serves Baku in the story Yurei Seed and Yurei Seed 2 as a right hand maiden. She helps the mother cope with her personal depression that her daughters do not know about. Nu Gui is like the Grandmother, even Baku sometimes listens to her despite her servant status. As a servant, Nu Gui seems to know what's best for the family and their well being. But she has no authority to control them or tell them what to do.
the mother serves a leading role of the group, her ambitious nature would be more in comparison to Oda Nobunaga and how he's often featured in most video games as the Demon Lord, although Baku is no demon but she possess powers like one. Having this powerful influential role in the group is how the others came to be. Baku in Japanese mythology is a Yurei that devours nightmares, but in Ghost Runner its the complete opposite, Baku is in favor of nightmares rather than eliminating them. These women haven't been featured much in any of the stories yet because they aren't finished. Jorogumo doesn't look Oriental but this will be fixed somewhere along Concept 3/4 the next concepts will feature only the missing Yurei Yokai members that weren't present in the first Concept. Once their all complete, there will be a Final concept called "REMASTERED"
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