Time to celebrate the birth of a fun-loving, conflicted young man, caught between his admiration for his friends and his adoration for everything about them: Koji Dimaculangan!
Age in Aquarius: 17
Height: 5’9 | Weight: 135 lbs.
Hair: medium-length, wavy, onyx black | Eyes: walnut brown
Human Race: Half-Filipino, half-Japanese | Species: demon
Hailing Planet: Semes
Ability: animal possession
Specialties: possessing land mammals, stealth, reconnaissance, sneak attacks
Best friends: Benji Hall, Gabriella Moore
Mentor: Kent Dimaculangan, Fletcher Ward
Soul mate: to be revealed in a later series 😉
Three facts about Koji:
- Koji’s been skateboarding since he was nine, and has recently taken up surfing. He has exceptional balance and focus.
- He may have punched Spencer in the face after he said something unkind to Benji. The two have since made up, as they are very similar.
- Since the end of Aquarius, his time limit for animal possession has increased to eleven minutes. Benji believes this is the result of a growth spurt coupled with his increased interest in fitness.
My thoughts on Koji:
Unlike his responsible older brother, Koji was always a rambunctious kid. Skipping class and getting high barely scratches the surface; running off, starting fights, breaking curfew, getting grounded… Kent did his best to reign him in, convincing the teenager that committing smaller offenses every so often would bring less heat than if he defied their mother and other authority figures every chance he took. Koji behaved a bit better while Kent was still enrolled at the colonial school, but following his older brother’s graduation, the teenager began to act out again. Gabriella had been influencing Benji to stop skipping class, resulting in Koji going off on his own. Being recruited to the tribe hasn’t done much to temper his grumpy attitude or defiance, though he has been known to listen to Dane over Kent, straining the already delicate relationship between the brothers.
With his sour disposition, Koji tends to see the glass half-empty. He waited too long to pursue his crushes, Benji and Gabby, because he wasn’t sure if he simply loved them both platonically or if he wanted to become romantically involved with one over the other. Before he knew it, his two best friends were fated to be each other’s soul mates, and he lost his chance with either one. He’s aware that Benji is all-around oblivious about romance, so he’s confident that they have no idea. Gabby, on the other hand, is very observant and in touch with her emotions; between that and her telepathy, he has no doubt that she knows. Thankfully, she hasn’t used it as an excuse to avoid or abandon him, but to comfort her friend.
Despite his thorny “I-don’t-give-a-fuck” persona, Koji cares more than anyone. He’s empathetic and surprisingly good at processing his own feelings when it comes to most situations. The only times we’ve seen him freak out are when he feels that those he cares about are being sleighted, like when the group was talking about Kent behind his back, or when Matteo was pushing Gabby for answers in the middle of a crisis. He lacks respect for authority figures, as evident by the fact that he defied Dane to warn the Jovians about the bandits. He believes in asking for forgiveness over asking for permission, and his manners are certainly lacking. He’s an active person, partial to surfing, skateboarding, and team sports over other hobbies. Even so, he’ll join the tribe for gaming tournaments and poker nights. He has a tendency to indulge himself, be it with food cravings or leisure activities; it doesn’t help that Gabby has been trying to learn how to cook and has asked him to be her taste-tester, a job he takes seriously.
Thanks to Tawni’s ability, the tribe has unearthed hundreds of ancient websites from before the apocalypse. Koji’s favorite is an old music-sharing platform called Soundcloud, where he’s become obsessed with genres such as trap metal, hardcore hip hop, and emo rap. It saddens him to think about how little these artists were recognized; he can relate to their overlooked nature, as being surrounded by gifted demons with awe-inspiring abilities has deepened his insecurities. The power to possess animals has its perks in terms of reconnaissance and surprise attacks, but he only has a slim window of opportunity, and his back-to-back possessions are limited to three. While he can possess just about any animals he’s tried (with the exception of Monty’s ink creatures), he has a preference for land mammals, particularly canines and felines. He’s tried to use his ability to cheer up his friends, like the time he hijacked a buck and surprised Karia and Mona after the tribe’s relocation. The encounter ended in with a confused and pissed-off deer running off after wrecking the living room and tearing through the insect screen of the patio door. This was (thankfully) before the tribe settled into their new homes, so nothing of sentimental value was compromised.
Like his brother, Koji’s real name is considerably longer thanks to his Filipino heritage. He has two first names, neither of which his friends use. Oliver Santos Koji Dimaculangan is his complete name; only their mother calls him and Kent by their two first names. Supposedly, they were both named after their father and uncles, but Kaylin hasn’t revealed which names belong to who. Kent’s put all that behind him, but Koji can’t help but stay up at night and wonder if either of them is anything like the father they never knew. This tends to steer him back to thoughts of Benji and Gabby; while he’s truly happy for both of them and infinitely supportive, he’s beginning to believe there isn’t anyone out there for him.
For those of you who don’t know, Koji is a supporting character in my trilogy Saturn Rising, which is the first installment of The Chronicles of Life & Death. The first book, Aquarius, is available now on Amazon as an e-book and paperback. You can even read it all for free with Kindle Unlimited! Learn more here.
Want more Koji before his group becomes a major player in the main book series? Check out my blog series Lizzie’s Diary, where he and other members of the Semes Tribe made their debut!