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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Prototypes and Evolutions

Since I talk a lot about Tikaani I want to deviate and talk about another fan-character. 

Chiko was my first really complex ATLA fan-character. An Air-Nomad monk from the Southern Air Temple that survives a brutal massacre by the invasive Fire Nation. With his temple destroyed as well as most of his peaceful people. Chiko tries to survive with his temple-brothers. Yomi and Mao. He throw into a very chaotic and violent world.

He was something of a prototype for a disabled character too. Originally autistic he went through several evolutions until I got to his final form. A snarky, but well meaning young man with a grudge to bear and story to tell. He's fascinating because it was his experience that allowed me to try to make an autistic character one that was more identifiable than the ambiguously autistic characters I had that were more borderline Asperger like Chiko. So you could say that Tikaani is Chiko 2.0. But they are some definite distinctions and commonalities.

Tikaani and Chiko similarities.   

Both of them were raised in alternate families. Chiko was raised in community of monks. His father figures were all the elders of the temple. His siblings were the monks in his peer group. Yomi was originally a big brother figure for Yomi since he had older males being more parent figures. Yomi became more of a foster father after the assault and one of the only role models besides the constantly angry Mao. Tikaani was raised by his aunt and uncles. He never understood "mother" and "father" in the typical sense. Auntie was mom and Maka was dad but never officially gave them those labels. Both of them had role models outside of the norm and grew up in alternate sort of fashions

Both of them have disabilities that are permanent. Chiko's a speech impediment and physical disability are his trademarks while Tikaani is has developmental disability. Both of them try to survive with and each have their coping mechanisms 

Both of them suffered adversity. Chiko has some more racial issues because his people are being hunted down. While Tikaani is being discriminated because of his disability.

Both are opportunistic when it come to romance. Funny how they kinda ended up bi. 

The differences

Chiko is more clear in communication and despite his speech problems he is willing to barrel through them to be heard. Tikaani hates verbal speech and prefers written text. Tikaani is also very literate and a very strong reader and writer. While Chiko has some learning disabilities and struggles with reading.  

Tikaani prefers complex puzzles and games like Pai Sho. Chiko loves games and activities that allow him to use his whole body. It brings him more confidence when he can do activities despite his amputation. 

Chiko is very dominating in relationships and can be a bit controlling, while Tikaani is really passive and disconnects easily. 

Tikaani had strong mother figure, Chiko had a strong father figure. 

Chiko is very grudgy and bitter, while Tikaani forgives easily. 

It's interesting on how the are similar and different. They are both interesting and invoking characters and they are  both building my writing and character building skills. 


  1. They sound fascinating and well developed; I always enjoy reading your Tikaani excerpts on your blog posts.

  2. He's good opener for dialogue.