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Character Name: Shibata Yuzuya (柴田 柚矢)

Gender: male
Age: 28
Job Position: Science teacher for 2nd years
Homeroom Class: 2-B
Club/Team: Table tennis club (boys and girls)
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 176 to 180 depending on how he is sleeping and eating
Birthdate: October 22
Blood Type: A
Hobbies: watching movies, watching the nature or science channel, playing video games, reading, surfing, trains, cleaning up litter, day trips to the beach or hiking in the mountains
Favorite School Subject: Science, math, wood shop

Appearance: Yuzuya is a tall and slim science teacher to the second years at Kikuryou. He almost always looks like he just rolled out of bed and put on whatever clothes he found rumpled up on the floor. His ties and shirts usually don't match very well, and a few of his sweaters could use a good mending. At work he wears slacks, a dress shirt and tie, and either a suit jacket or a comfy sweater. His usual colors are blues, grays, greens and browns. It's obvious from a look at him that he doesn't like shopping for new outfits. Or getting haircuts. Or looking in the mirror.

Yuzuya's greyish hair hangs to just below the chin and is often mussed-- a look that for the moment is accidentally cool, but it earned him nothing but wedgies back in his childhood days. He usually pulls it back into a ponytail when grading papers or working in the science lab. He wears steel-rimmed glasses over his dark blue eyes. The sharp line of his jaw and the quirk of his eyebrows lend him an intellectual, bookish look. His skin is smooth and clear and he has quite the baby face even though he's nearing thirty. Mismatched dimples on either side of his mouth show when he smiles. He sometimes forgets to shave and goes around with a scruffy chin, until either he remembers or until the vice principal pointedly asks if he is growing a beard.

Yuzu's smile is shy and unassuming, and his laugh more of a quiet chuckle, as if he is afraid that his laughter might offend someone. If left alone for long periods of time, Yuzu tends to space out. He may not respond to his name being called right away when he's deep in thought.

Yuzuya grew up in an area in which the beach was accessible. He has a bit of a suntan still left from younger days spent constantly outdoors, enjoying nature and the beach. He used to surf in college but hasn't done it much for years now. He has a long jagged scar on the side of his left calf from some coral in the Great Barrier Reef, deep scars on each wrist, and random ones on his arms and back, and from a broken bottle on his right shoulder. Yuzuya is always wearing long sleeves to cover his arms. He is very, very careful about this.

(eye and hair color is thanks to the magic of manga. IRL I'm sure it's black and black.)

Personality: Yuzuya is a quiet, mild-mannered person and he tries his best to keep a calm and easygoing demeanor about him. He is a peacemaker and a pacifist. He is not a teacher who barks orders or snaps at people. He thinks carefully before speaking and guards his words to a fault. He has a stutter that has been hard for him since he was a boy, when he was put through speech therapy for it. People often comment at how annoying it is, but he’s trying his best. His eyebrows are expressive: the best way to read his true feelings is not by his mouth or words, but rather the worried knit or the furrow of concentration of his eyebrows. When Yuzuya does have the occasion to express anger, his eyes flash and his mouth tightens to a grim line, and his downtown Kawasaki accent comes rolling out. Students have had the occasion to be shocked into obedience when their teacher finally snaps. For such a genial person to raise his voice, it's obvious that something serious has happened.

He's very into his teaching job. Yuzuya's classes are jam-packed with information and you have got to take good notes if you want to pass. It's obvious from watching his lessons that he is trying hard to think of how to convey information to the students in a way that they can absorb it most efficiently, and accommodate different students' learning styles. He's very patient and will stay after school to help students who need it. However, his softness does not extend to the realm of tests and grades. His tests are famous for difficulty, and his sense of fairness and justice is exacting. Yuzuya is a total workaholic and will stay till way too late at school in order to grade papers or prepare tests or set up for new lab experiments. He keeps his classroom 2-B and his science lab (Lab 3) spotlessly clean, neat, and organized. As homeroom teacher for class 2-B, Yuzu’s job is to be a third parent to the students. He devotes himself to mentoring them. He is firm but caring, taking note of how his students are doing both at home and in school. He is also the supervising teacher of the table tennis club and he spends time driving the kids to matches and organizing practice, etc. Every time they have a match, he is on the sidelines to support them.

Sensitivity is a trait he values highly in others. Yuzuya believes in speaking politely and kindly to people and listening carefully. He genuinely cares about others, and is the sort to quietly offer help when someone needs it. He does bend over backwards to help others at times, and he gets taken advantage of for his kindness. He behaves as if he is uncomfortable or nervous about being touched, often flinching or shying away. He himself doesn’t touch other people unless absolutely necessary and maintains a respectful personal space. He is absent-minded yes, but when he notices there is something wrong or a person in need, he will do his best to fix it or help.

Now for the downside. He smokes when he's stressed, suppresses too much, and his hair could use some conditioner. You may be able to eat off the floor in his lab, but Yuzuya's person and personal space is another matter. His desk in the teacher’s room is starting to get better, but he usually has a lot on his mind. He has a hard time finding things like memos that were sent out, bills, tax refund information. He often loses his keys or forgets about meeting times. He avoids his family even though they only live three hours away. He does not trust anyone easily despite his pleasant way of speaking.

Yuzuya is very concerned with the environment. He recycles everything down to the last staple or paperclip. He is often seen collecting litter outside the school or on the street. He walks to school to save on gas and reduce his carbon footprint. His car is a tiny used 2002 Toyota with a dent in the bumper. It looks more like a silver Easter egg on wheels than a sweet ride. It has manual windows but it's got a cd player and air conditioning so it's good enough for him, but it certainly doesn't impress the students the way Sakai-sensei's BMW does.

His apartment is not a home. It is more like a place to simply get by, a miserable small-windowed box of an apartment with a crappy futon on the tatami floor and dust in every corner. He has only a few meager pieces of furniture. Yuzuya cannot cook to save his life. His refrigerator is usually empty and he exists on a diet of cheap coffee, convenience store bento boxes, microwave dinners, day-old bread, cup ramen, beer, and fast food. He can't tell you when the last time he had a healthy meal was. It was probably at some teacher party he can't remember.

Yuzuya tries his best to appear pleasant and polite at school, but when no one is watching he looks just plain tired. He works so hard not to rock the boat that it is hard to guess what his true feelings and opinions are sometimes. He's a good listener and a practical person, but he has an extremely difficult time making his own problems and feelings known.

He believes that if there is a deity out there somewhere, it doesn't interact with or help people here on Earth. He does not believe in ghosts or the supernatural/paranormal. He finds such ideas quaint and superstitious. He insists that all phenomena can be explained by science. The ones that can't be explained by science must, he is sure, have to do with science we haven't yet discovered.

Background: Yuzuya was born in the industrial sector of Kawasaki, an unattractive suburb of Tokyo. He spent his formative years surrounded by concrete, traffic, and noise. His childhood was not exciting but it was a bittersweet and happy one. Yuzuya's parents, father Toshiyuki and mother Narumi, never had much money, but they took good care of their children and provided a sensible and loving home. His family owned a small mechanic's garage and auto parts shop, where Yuzu and his older brother Yukito and sister Mayu often helped out after school.

From a very young age, Yuzuya was a child with a keen interest in nature and science. He always seemed to have his nose in a book about dinosaurs, bugs, or outer space. He had good grades throughout his schooling and studied hard to get into his first-choice university, Tokyo Technological University, which required excellent test scores and spotless grades. His hard work in high school paid off and he was admitted. During his junior and senior year of college he had an internship at Mito Aerospace Industries in Tokyo. Yuzu graduated from university at age 21 and joined the company, not because he particularly liked the job, but because it paid well and he wanted to get started climbing that tall corporate ladder.

Yuzuya worked for Mito for three more years, not doing cool things like designing space craft or creating new technology like he'd dreamed, but doing the grunt work that the higher-ups didn't want to do. He spent every day in a small dreary office doing things like researching the effects of different types of chemical compounds and air filtration systems on monkeys and plants, testing and assembling small machinery, or making reports for people who ranked higher than him and simply didn't want to do the work. The stress level was high and the social environment between the coworkers downright poisonous. Due to this and some other circumstances, Yuzuya suffered on and off from depression and his health went bad, especially in his third year. Eventually one day he decided he'd had enough, and he quit his job abruptly after his 24th birthday.

It was high time for a change. Yuzuya moved to a new city and a new apartment and went back to school to be able to do something more meaningful with his life. One of his old high school teachers suggested he try out teaching. Yuzu volunteered with his teacher's school a bit and realized that that maybe this was more like what he'd wanted to do all along. He got his teaching credential in an accelerated one-year program and started looking for positions. When he landed the job of science teacher at Kikuryou Academy for the 2007-08 school year, he couldn't have been more pleased to shake the city dust from his feet and have a chance to start his life over.

NEW STUFF: This year will be Yuzuya's third year teaching. His second year had a good effect on him.
Last year was his first year to be assigned as a homeroom teacher, which is a lot of responsibility, almost like being another parent to the students. Yuzuya was well-respected by the parents and students for his hard work and positive attitude, and received a lot of thanks. This has affected him in a positive way. He walks a little taller and speaks more confidently. He has developed friendly relations with a few of his co-workers. With Chiba Yadoru exorcising the ghosts that usually were drawn to him, he had a lot less negative thoughts and less accidents and mishaps. He feels secure in his teaching skills and his role as a teacher these days.


Does your character have any kind of unusual powers? This is the place to elaborate on that: No, but he is very accident-prone and unlucky. If there's short straw to be drawn, it's likely he's getting it. His fortune at the shrine lottery always comes back "Bad Luck" and fortune cookies always say weird things to him. Anyone who can see spirits or ghosts will see that sometimes he has a couple of them trailing behind him causing trouble. They are drawn to him like magnets.

Living Situation: Lives alone in a small apartment building not too far from campus, on the third floor. It's an empty, slightly dirty box of a bachelor pad.

Relation: Yuzuya will be the homeroom teacher of class 2-B, so any students in his class will be his responsibility. He will also be teaching all first-year students science, and supervising the table tennis club. Yuzuya is around to protect students and enforce rules. There are some rules he consideres unnecessary such as uniform rules, which he feels are okay to let slide at times… but he will not tolerate dangerous behavior or bullying. Any adult who messes with a child or a student who hurts another while he's around will have him to deal with. Between teachers he hopes to just make peace and work together smoothly.

October 2015

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