An odd pick for Christmas, but we’re so often used to seeing it from our point of view that I thought an Oni’s take would be just as interesting. Not too far off either since Ibaraki enjoys festivals, but she’d have her own blend of Scrooge/Grinch mixed in for flavor. Plus she was a key pick to help forward the obvious subplot advancement for another character. Sometimes you just need to give a forceful shove to move a difficult rock into an upright position. Or nudge it in that direction, at least.
As much as Ibaraki could’ve been played with as a sweets-loving Oni the whole time, she’s still an Oni. I tried to tie all her loose ends together and outline her reasonings for not doing what she wants. Obviously all she cares about is Shuten at the moment, but there are other reasons she’s unknowingly giving more weight to than she realizes. I wanted it to walk a fine line that she’s both aware and unaware just how much others, and Chaldea, honestly mean for her.
What made her a bit more difficult to write is the lack of potential companions. Despite being accepted and ‘forgiven’ for what she did in the pre-TGL singularity, the Oni wasn’t about to try and make friends. Only a select few would bridge that gap, so I selected the one she’d likely care about for one reason or another. Save for the drinking team, Robin, and those with Oni Blood, I feel Nobunaga would be an instant click, so I capitalized on that. There were a few more I considered bolstering, like BB, but ultimately, I didn’t it getting too bulky. Sometimes a simple nod is enough to set an anchor.
Above all else, I wanted Ibaraki’s fragment to be more confrontational-minded than most. She’s there whether she likes everything that involves or not. So I made sure her interactions felt right and colorful, while also showing she’s not one of the better residents if one were to make a rank ladder. That was made obvious enough, or at least I hoped with how many anvils were dropped.
Teaser: There’s no teaser, rather an explanation instead. As I said earlier, Caesar & Cleopatra were partially robbed of a true full fragment since I combined the both of them earlier on. So instead of ruining the old one or granting them one each, the fair answer is to give them one more shared fragment. Caesar and Cleopatra are next, and it should be an obvious guess what that entails.
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