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Submitted on
January 4
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2.1 MB
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How Times Have Changed by ArtistMeli How Times Have Changed by ArtistMeli
Sample entry for :iconotakusenshiidols: Round 1: Civilian

Qualification Sample here:

Civilian Name: Himiko Sakura
When not a senshi: Sakura spends the majority of her time as a miko in the small shrine to which she was summoned.  She feels most comfortable there because the shrine is old and timeless, and most resembles the world the way it was the last time she was summoned.  Eventually Ayame, one of the shrine maidens there, forces her to enroll in school so she doesn't draw suspicion or get reprimanded for truancy.
Dreams: As a manifestation of the will of her country, Sakura's dreams are the dreams of Japan.  And because she was summoned to protect Japan from the dark forces invading the country, her dream is of a Japan free from attacks by evil forces, where people can get back to the peaceful lives they treasure.
Fears: Sakura's worst fear is that she will fail in her fight against the Kagemono and Yami no Kaiju.  If she cannot defeat the enemy, her beloved people face the threat of another nuclear attack, and her heart breaks at the memory of the suffering caused by the previous ones.
Favourite Food:  One of Sakura's secret vices is sweets.  Mochi and dango are among her favorites, and her delight knew no bounds when Ayame introduced her to this strange new treat called "Pocky."  She takes great pride in the ingenuity of her people, and sees the great variety of sweets they have created over the years as a prime example of it. 

A little more story:
When the Yami no Kaiju attacked, the miko at a small shrine began to pray.  There was an old legend that the maidens there, centuries ago, summoned a great spirit to defeat the demons attacking the city.  According to legend, the land itself answered their call and sent a great defender in an unexpected form; a fierce young woman, pure of heart and full of righteous honor, who would smite anything that stood in her path.  It was always considered a silly old legend, a fanciful tale told to little girls to assuage their fears of the imaginary monsters in the darkness.  But with real monsters full of terrible darkness now attacking the city, anything seemed worth a try, and the young and idealistic Hikari Ayame insisted they try to summon this woman.

They prayed with all the devotion and concentration they could muster, with desperation adding extra emphasis to their pleas.  Hours passed, and the monster had caused considerable damage.  They were becoming exhausted, but what else could they do?  Then suddenly there was a blinding flash in the shrine, and they found a small jade jewel, the Magatama, lying on the floor of the shrine.  Within seconds there was a second light from atop Tokyo Tower, and the Yami no Kaiju was gone.  The shrine maidens were stunned.  It had worked!  Then, next to the Magatama, their heroine appeared.  She lay unconscious on the floor, the attack having taken all the energy she had.  She was startlingly petite for someone who had just slain a giant monster.  When she didn't disappear, they became nervous.  No one had expected her to stay around.  What were they going to do with her?

Much to her chagrin, the maidens appointed Ayame in charge of the girl.  Over the following days, Ayame helped the girl adapt to the new Japan, even helping her pick a name, since she didn't seem to have one.  She remembered being called Himiko at one point, Tomoe Gozen at another, but it was all fuzzy.  So Ayame declared she was Himiko Sakura, and started showing her around town.  Sakura wore the clothes of the miko as often as she could; these strangely tailored modern clothes could not compare to the beauty of traditional dress, and she found them an affront to her eyes.  After a few weeks, she began to get stares from the adults visiting the shrine during the day, and Ayame decided it was time for her to go to school.

Sakura reluctantly donned the school uniform, but refused the wear the box-like shoes that would restrain her toes, and insisted on wearing her formal haori over the uniform.  And even though Ayame argued vehemently against it, Sakura refused to go anywhere with the sword Kusanagi.  She had to be able to defend her country at any time.  The looks she got were priceless, and people suspected she was Yakuza, out to cause trouble.  Luckily the Yasakani no Magatama jewel emanates a calming aura, so most people simply took it as a joke or tried to ignore her.

In retrospect, drawing plaid by hand was probably a mistake. ^_^;  Otherwise I love this, and it came together quickly.  The background is from the now-defunct stock gallery at
The caption should be "What is she, Yakuza?"  "What a weirdo."  and a nervous laugh from Ayame.

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TanithLipsky Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2014
mishihime Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love the cheesy 90's anime sweatdrop. 
I feel like this should be happening suitablefortreatment.mangabook…
Dewani90 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
the uniforms look ok and detailed, and i'm sure this would look great on a scene, camera pans trough the students arriving and then stops on the samurai girl accompanied with this sound…
ArtistMeli Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
XD  I can just picture it!
Jeishii Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The plaid looks really good, and a lot more fluid with the way you drew it.
ArtistMeli Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! :love:
iCheddar Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh my god you have to tell me how you made that background so perfect ;A; it looks like a watercolor painting hnnnnnnng so pretty
ArtistMeli Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Ah, I didn't.  >_<  I wish I did!  It's actually stock, I put a note about that in the description, but it's way at the very bottom.  I think it *is* a watercolor painting, though, so good eye!  

I still have titanic struggles with background painting.  I'm getting pretty good at skies and clouds (like the last entry), and after a ton of practice I've gotten really good at the lineart part of structures, but I'm still terrible at painting them so they look all nice and... painterly.  ^_^;;;
iCheddar Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Auuuugh no i feeel it @_@; I tried to put a bg in my OSI qualifier and i think thats what got me such a low score (i dunno though because they didn't give me any feedback about it @_@;;; )

and yes i realized that it was from a stock thingy after i posted the comment @_@; And backgrounds is something i'm going to work really hard at this year so hopefully i can do a lot better ;w;
ArtistMeli Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Backgrounds are definitely one of those things where I *know* the only way to get better is to do them, but I hate working on them so much.  XD  Best of luck with working on your backgrounds, and at OSI in general! :D
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