| The Self-Esteem Ice Queen
|| Ai Ebihara
|| The Moon
|Date of Birth
|| November 5th, 1994
|| Fawn Brown
|| 180 cm (5'9")
|| Japanese: Kanae Ito |
English: Julie Ann Taylor
| Social Stats
- Understanding: 2 - Too Little
- Courage: 2 - More Than Average
- Knowledge: 1 - Not Enough
- Diligence: 1 - Just Can't Stick To It
- Expression: 5 - FABULOUS FASHION QUEEN
|| Whip, Flail, Handbag
|| The latest fashions!
|| The finest shoes!
|| Compact Mirror
- Ai only had a vauge idea where to go with her future.
- Ai has been bought so many coffees at malls that she has a bit of a caffeine addiction. She doesn't even really like coffee.
- Ai does, however, have an awful lot of arm and upper body strength. It's the morningstars that do it.
- Ai once smacked Takahisa Kandori in the face with a handbag. Granted she got shot, but it was a moral victory.
"There's no such thing as a relationship without ulterior motives."
| Profile And Skills
A young woman whose family moved to Inaba after making a fortune in land speculation, Ai Ebihara is someone who really just doesn't seem to care. Having barely graduated high school after a second year of incredibly poor attendance, Ai is a "ronin" -- someone who has taken a year off between high school and the rest of the world. It would hardly seem out of character for a young lady who's never cared about school to begin with... which would make the real reason -- to help poke at the string of murders and disappearances in Inaba -- quite the surprise to any who found out about it. Having been thrown into the place beyond the television and forced to face herself, Ai works with the local investigation team to find out more.
I Told You When I Met You I Was Crazy, Looking Through A Double Glass, Luxury Comes As A Guest To Take A Slave, Passport Smiles, One Minute She's So Happy Then She's Crying On Someone's Knee, I'm Just Living On Nerves And Feelings, I Wish I Had More Sense Of Humor Keeping The Sadness At Bay
Ai Ebihara's background is both very short and very important, because it is where her true character lies.
Average child, Ai was a girl who grew up in a very normal way with a very normal upbringing. She developed things and places and activities and pastimes she enjoyed, and then she ran straight into the brick wall of childhood schoolmate cruelty. We've all been there, and we've all been affected, and in some cases, heck, maybe we've done what Ai has also done. Haunted by the total rejection and insults of peers who wouldn't accept her, and would rather make fun of her and her girl germs, Ai resolved to change her image.
With the influx of money that came from her parents' 'new money' financial success, she could even do it, too. Of course, with absolute scope to work with and absolutely no maturity, Ai fell off the deep end. A desire to change who she was became a complete, literal change of who she was entirely. Ai forgot everything she once was- all of the things that mattered- to become the walking embodiment of modern, trendy, pop-culture-surfing hipster girl culture.
And so things might have carried on indefinitely. She was a shallow, rich bitch. She was THE shallow, rich bitch. She was the stereotype. She saturated her mind and soul with fashion and boys and nothing else mattered. People could lust after her, insult her, fawn over her- so long as she was on top of the heap! So long as nobody ever insulted her appearance ever again. So long as she was beautiful and got what she wanted.
Then something happened.
Taro Namatame, as usual, thought he was doing his good samaritan deed for the day, but does it really count when you break into someone's house and throw them into a flatscreen TV? In any case, this was not how Ai wanted to see herself on TV. If you tuned into the midnight channel, you'd find yourself watching Extreme Makeover: Pig Edition.
Thankfully, the KDA knows what to do when things get foggy. Ai, who was only just starting to understand that Yu Narukami wasn't like all the other boring boyfriends (although he was an /excellent/ bag carrier), suddenly understood he was also a person who could summon an inner mind-god, and so were a lot of other people...
Now everything's changed.
Having confronted Piggyhara, ne Kaguya-hime, Ai's been given a short, sharp shock. She knows that the world is different to everything she expected... but that's all she knows. She has a Persona, now, and she has allies and maybe even friends who will help her understand and change. Together with her new friends, Ai Ebihara reaches out to the truth.
Ai Ebihara. Yep, she's definitely the moon arcana.
Living on what can probably be best described as the razor's edge, Ai spends every day of her life leaning forward and out of the grasp of the spectre behind her. And unfortunately, rather than protect her back, she holds a huge shield of illusion in front of her.
Yeah, ok, but what does that mean without the metaphors? It means that Ai is living mired in a very complicated lie. Like many people, she told that lie in the first place. The success with which this lie can be penetrated is either pretty much completely impossible and roughly instant. Don't penetrate it. Bad things happen. Penetrate the lie, and lunacy streams out like a hi-beam.
Ai has spent so long trying to forcibly overlay another personality on top of hers that basically, her original one has becomes starved, weak and raw. Having 'reinvented' herself as the school's alpha bitch instead of the actual Ai who grew up, the worst part is that both of these are equally valid personalities- unlike, say, a sociopath who doesn't honestly believe any of the lies he tells to people as an annoying concession so he can function in the world, Ai is the bitch. And she lives and breathes that.
Or, rather, she /did/. Even though many of her peers who know of her from high school are entirely familiar with Ai Ebihara the arrogant, self-centred fashionista who will cut anyone down with a quick dismissal or use them like a second purse, at some time, the midnight channel happened. Or if you want to be more charitable, Yu Narukami happened.
The midnight channel was a nightmare, and although Ai learned something from it all and cracked the shell around her messed-up existence, things still have a long way to go. She's not yet at the point where she understands /why/ she has been wrong all this time. She doesn't know how to change yet.
Ai remains cruel. Even though entering the midnight channel forced her to directly confront the dichtonomy her life has become, between the strangled former self and the current one, she cannot change her entire perspective on life overnight. Scars that were cut when you're a teenager cut a lot deeper and take much longer to heal than anything else, as well, and Ai will find herself paying for the mistakes she made for a long time. Being the bitch is easy, too, in a way, and the temptation is strong. It's like kicking a drug habit when you don't even know you're taking the drugs.
The problem is that Ai is who she is. Unlike other members of the KDA who had to confront fears about themselves or an essential flaw in their way of thinking, she was rejecting her true self long before it turned into a gigantic killer monster. And although she has accepted that true self under the eyes of a small group of people, Ai never thought about life in terms of small groups of people. In fact, she never thought of true interaction as equals between two people- 'all relationships have ulterior motives'- until she met Yu Narukami.
Her emotional swings are as raw and severe as they've ever been. In fact, without the atmosphere of the school to ingrain herself into, Ai has become all emotional swings, or so it seems at times. She has the KDA now, and they are people to whom she cannot lie, so instead she has to painfully tear herself free of her old facade and recapture her old persona. Or perhaps not so painfully. True friendship will go a long way towards smoothing things over, if Ai can bear opening up to everyone. Can't go too fast.
Let's be plain about one thing- Ai likes Yu. Ai has had tremulous crushes and passions before, but she genuinely likes Yu Narukami for who he is and who she is around him. She's repressed her true feelings for too long- if she catches onto one to treasure, she's going to express it. She's not going to just discard this feeling.
| Social Links
- O - THE FOOL
- Yu Narukami - Ai's old bag boy and the reason she's not a complete forgettable nobody, street pizza, or an even bigger bitch than she could have been. Yu caused Ai to open up for the very first time. Years ago, she might have fallen for him, and nurses an affection to this day.
- VI - THE LOVERS
- Mikano Makino - A weird girl in a fox-faced mask who warned her of impending danger. For unrelated reasons, why does Ai have dreams where her closest friend is an effete maid in Japan a century ago?
- VII - THE CHARIOT
- Chie Satonaka - Ai's vitriolic best bud. Since meeting up with her again she's become aware of the strange mystery of the samurai dreamworld.
- XI - STRENGTH
- Katsura Tsuruya - Why does Ai have such a fascinating dream of a person who acts like a doll?
- XII - THE HANGED MAN
- Tohya Kidzuki - Why does Ai have a dream of a stern, yet somehow familiar festival organizer?
- XVI - THE TOWER
- Mai Namikawa - Why does Ai have dreams where this really annoying chicken won't leave her alone?
- Mikiya Ryouhara - Why does Ai have a dream of a samurai who's kind to children?
| Combat Information
"I am thou... thou art I. I am Kaguya-hime, Princess of the Moon. Together, we will challenge our loneliness."
Kaguya is the legendary moon princess from 'The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter'. Having been found inside a stalk of bamboo, she rapidly grew to human size. Although many suitors came to win her hand, and she eventually earned the attention of the Emperor himself, she sent them all away on 'five impossible tasks' to gather fabulous treasures for her. Eventually, the people from the moon returned for her, and she forgot all of the memories of Earth and the sorrows she had for leaving. She left the elixir of immortality for the Emperor, but, having been separated from her, he declined it.
- SENSE: A yearning sensation that is almost lost in a much greater feeling of chill and cold iron. Glamour and elegance. A gilded cage.
- SCENT: Newly washed fabric and a strip mall coffeehouse.
- SOUND: The snap of ice and bamboo, and the murmur of a crowd of teenagers out shopping... with a single voice lost in the crowd.
| Combat Information
- Ai v0.1: Bitch - Mederith Brooks 
Yesterday I cried / Must have been relieved to see / The softer side / I can understand how you'd be so confused / I don't envy you
- Learn the Skills: "Shades of Scarlett Conquering" by Joni Mitchell 
Mimicking tenderness she sees / In sentimental movies / A celluloid rider comes to town
- Paint a Pretty Picture: "Posters" by Jack Johnson 
Looking at herself but wishing she was someone else / Because the body of the doll it don't look like hers at all / So she straps it on, she sucks it in, she throws it up, and gives a grin / Laughing at herself because she knows she ain't that at all
- A crush on every...: "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga 
Promise I'll be kind / But I won't stop / Until that boy is mine
- The Unabridged Ai: "Stupid Girl" by Garbage 
You pretend you're high / You pretend you're bored / You pretend you're anything / Just to be adored
- What's Fashion Good For?: "I Want You to Want Me" by Cheap Trick 
I'll shine up my old brown shoes. / I'll put on a brand new shirt / I'll get home early from work / if you say that you love me.
- Need Your Approval: "Same Situation" by Joni Mitchell 
A pretty girl in your bathroom / Checking out her sex appeal / I asked myself when you said you loved me / Do you think this can be real?
- Chie + Ai: "Someday EN" by Hanaeryca 
Somehow I hate see you lie and lie / I know how dumb I am but so are you / Sometimes I want to laugh and cry at once / Explain me what is justice what is right?
- Moon Arcana: "Feeling a Moment" by Feeder 
How do you feel when there's no sun? / And how will you be when rain clouds come and pull you down again? / How will you feel when there's no one? / Am I just like you?
- The Mask: "Everybody's Fool" by Evanescence 
look here she comes now / bow down and stare in wonder / oh how we love you / no flaws when you're pretending / but now I know she / never was and never will be
- Me and my Shadow: "The Fear" by Lily Allen 
And I'll take my clothes off and it will be shameless / 'Cuz everyone knows that's how you get famous / I'll look at the sun and I'll look in the mirror / I'm on the right track, yeah I'm on to a winner
- Change: "Innocent" by Our Lady Peace 
Oh, Tina’s losing faith in what she knows / Hates her music / Hates all of her clothes / Thinks of surgery / And a new nose / Every calorie is a war / While she wishes she / Was a dancer / And that she'd never / Heard of cancer / She wishes God would give her / Some answers / And make her feel beautiful
- Hey Yu: "No Better Time Than Now" by Poolgirl and Nutritious 
You're waiting for someone to come along / You're waiting for someone to care / You're waiting for someone to carry you / You're waiting but you know he's there
- I think Ai: "Invisible Touch" by Genesis 
I don't really know her, I only know her name / But she crawls under your skin, you're never quite the same, and now I know / She's got something you just can't trust / It's something mysterious / And now it seems I'm falling, falling for her.
- KDA: "You" by Peter Frampton 
All these years that I've been searching / Lost in the shadow of self doubt / Never knowing where to run to / Trying to figure it all out / Yeah, there were moments but they didn't last / They say it's my foolish pride / Built a wall around my heart / Kept it all inside / Then You / Came to me / And You / Set me free