The New, Improved Character Survey of Doom
Body and Appearance
1. Describe the character's height and build. Is he heavyset, thin, short, rangy?
He is of average height (172 cm), but may appear to be on the shorter side since he is pretty lean and since every other male character in K is a freaking skyscraper. With thin frame and not a lot to show in the muscles department, Totsuka looks healthy, but not what one’d call robust.
2. How old is he?
22 going on 23.
3. Describe his posture. Does he carry himself well or does he slouch?
Normally Totsuka’s posture is good. Whenever he keeps his head lowered or slumps forward, it’s usually a good sign that he is tired, down-hearted or deep in thought.
4. How is his health? Is he fit or out of shape? Any illnesses or conditions? Any physical disabilities?
Healthy, heals fast and has a high pain threshold (but not unnaturally so).
The question of Totsuka’s physical condition is tricky. The canon can’t go five minutes without reminding us that Totsuka is weak and unfit, but the thing is, he is usually compared to either clansmen (who, in addition to supernatural powers, also get an upgrade in terms of strength, speed and durability) or trained and experienced fighters. On the other hand, there are implications of him being an active, outdoor kid during his school years and not entirely helpless as an adult (is able pick up and carry around a seven-year-old child, runs fast enough to keep up with the others), so it can’t be that bad?
All in all, I’m pegging him down as average by normal human standards and embarrassingly underwhelming by the K-world ones. Part of it is his own fault for never making any effort to better himself; another part is Mikoto’s for not giving him enough to work with in the first place.
5. How does he move? Is he clumsy, graceful, tense, fluid?
A curious mix of all those, except for ‘tense’. Under normal circumstances Totsuka’s movements are pretty fluid, he can even manage some grace – although it only comes with conscious effort. Throw him out of his comfort zone though, and he’ll go in a flailflailflailJesustakethewheel mode in a matter of seconds. Not a physical person, this guy.
6. How attractive is this character physically? How does he perceive himself in the mirror?
Nobody in the series ever commented on Totsuka’s looks, but according to the authors he is supposed to be very easy on the eyes in that bishonenesque, androgynous sort of way. I’m not sure he often finds himself in situations where it’s highly relevant though or pays much attention to the fact. While he might be somewhat aware that having an attractive, expressive face helps his case considerably, in order to get into somebody’s
pockets pants good graces Totsuka relies on his charm and people skills most of all.
7. Describe his complexion. Dark, light, clear, scarred?
Light-skinned. Has numerous scars under his clothes from one-sided fights and shenanigans gone wrong; most of them are barely noticeable.
8. Describe his hair: color, texture, style.
Blond straight hair that has smooth, silky look to it. Totsuka wears it longish – past his nape in the back, to his chin in the front with bangs falling on his eyes.
9. What color are his eyes?
Fancy color filters aside, light brown.
10. Does the character have any other noteworthy features?
Has a Homra mark on his left shoulderblade, signifying both his connection to the clan and position in it (representing left, ‘emotional’ and ‘intuitive’, side of Homra’s collective unconscious idkman!!); left ear pierced in the upper part.
11. What are his chief tension centers?
Shoulders and neck.
12. What is the character's wardrobe like? Casual, dressy, utilitarian? Bright colors, pastels, neutrals? Is it varied, or does he have six of the same suit?
Totsuka dresses casually and rather plainly: he cares enough to not come off as shaggy, but doesn’t leave an impression of someone who puts a lot of thought into their outfits. Wears accessories, but always the same one set, so it might be some kind of memento rather than a fashion statement. Usually goes for pastels + darker, richer hues color combo.
And it’s literally impossible to tell how varied his wardrobe is because holy anime character designs Batman. If we go strictly by canon, he has been wearing the same pair of pants and coat for the last four years or so.
13. Do his clothes fit well? Does he seem comfortable in them?
Sure. He generally gives off a relaxed, comfortable air, and that’s a part of it.
One exception is his terribly oversized shirt from the novel cover. There must be some kind of story.
14. Does he dress the same on the job as he does in his free time? If not, what are the differences?
The line between Totsuka’s work hours and free time is murky to begin with and his fashion sense doesn’t really clash with any kind of dress code… so yeah, no difference. The only downside is that he comes off as too preppy and not flashy enough in thug lyfe scenes.
15. You knew it was coming: Boxers, briefs or commando?
Boxers. Don’t ask me why.
1. What does this character's voice sound like? High-pitched, deep, hoarse?
Light, melodic, somewhat sing-song.
2. How does he normally speak? Loud, soft, fast, evenly? Does he talk easily, or does he hesitate?
The pace is oddly drawn-out, which seems to be deliberate: he speaks much faster when excited. Articulates well and doesn’t talk louder than necessary. I suppose he aims to soothe and relax with his voice, which also means his intonations sometimes come off as mismatched with the situation at hand and the general tone of conversation.
3. Does the character have a distinct accent or dialect? Any individual quirks of pronunciation? Any, like, you know, verbal tics?
Not really. Although “Hey, don’t sweat it, it’ll all work out” comes up often enough to be considered his catchphrase.
4. What language/s does he speak, and with how much fluency?
Japanese is his native language. Speaks some very decent English, thanks to Kusanagi’s and Honami’s lessons, also knows scrapes of several other European languages – not really conversational level, just solitary words and phrases.
5. Does he switch languages or dialects in certain situations?
No. Sticks to his first language, unless speaking with someone who can’t comprehend Japanese.
6. Is he a good impromptu speaker, or does he have to think about his words?
He is a good impromptu everything. But words are Totsuka’s weapon of choice, so when a lot is at stake, he prefers to take his time observing his vis-à-vis reactions and carefully crafting his own lines.
7. Is he eloquent or inarticulate? Under what circumstances might this change?
It’s been remarked that Totsuka has some trouble expressing himself with words, but seems like it’s more about him being ~free-spirited~ than tongue-tied. Maybe his gut-feeling rumbling just takes some effort to translate into something more coherent, idk… When he knows exactly what he wants to say, he is fine – simple and to the point.
Mental and Emotional
1. How intelligent is this character? Is he book-smart or street-smart?
Hmmm, street-smart and people-smart take precedence. Totsuka is naturally curious about the world but prefers to get information first-hand. The fact that he has been left to his own devices since early childhood and got acquainted with gang life when he was 14-15 also helps. As for book smarts – well, it’s true that he knows a ton of random trivia and has a fairly good grasp on some subjects, but it’s very unsystematic and all over the place. His lack of formal education kinda shows.
And yeah, for a reckless airhead he sure is observant and sharp.
2. Does he think on his feet, or does he need time to deliberate?
It’s almost like he doesn’t want time to deliberate. Totsuka constantly puts himself into situations that require lots of improvising and fast thinking. The lack of plan or information doesn’t seem to faze him in the slightest: if there is an opportunity to plunge into situation headfirst, he will. Heck, even when pondering does happen, it usually boils down to having some kind of revelation and running with it, not methodically putting pieces together.
3. Describe the character's thought process. Is he more logical, or more intuitive? Idealistic or practical?
Intuitive and idealistic, canon has pretty much spelled it out for us. Although he does show a down-to-earth streak every now and then, his idealism is much more pronounced and defining.
4. What kind of education has the character had?
In regards of formal education Totsuka got the short end of the stick: due to the never-ending financial problems of his family he was only able to attend junior and middle school. After that for a couple of years he was presumably tutored by Kusanagi (who had just graduated high school himself) and Honami (an English teacher and a friend of the clan), while also working in the bar. There is no information on whether it was just learning for the sake of learning or he was actually getting prepared to pass some kind of exams and get credentials. Anyway, at some point later on Totsuka turned to self-education aka reading up a storm about whatever tickles his fancy at the moment.
5. What are his areas of expertise? What, if anything, is he interested in learning more about?
Totsuka’s is a textbook case of jack of all trades, master of none: he tries new stuff all the time, but never sticks with anything for long enough to grow past amateur level. Things that he actually good at include: cooking and various housekeeping tasks (it’s a job he has been doing for years and well enough to get paid for), music (self-taught playing at least two instruments, composes his own music, is a good singer), possibly art (Kusanagi deems it worthy to decorate his bar with at least, which might be a gang equivalent on sticking your kid’s art project on the fridge, but dunno man, it’s his bar, it beats Totsuka in ‘my baby!’ points), fire manipulation (weak as his powers are, he gets points for perfect control and creativity) and just plain good ol’ manipulation and socializing in general.
Second question: EVERYTHING
6. Is he an introvert or an extrovert?
Extrovert. Loves company, hardly ever gets tired of being surrounded by people and is more interested in and focused on exploring the world around him than his own inner self.
7. Describe the character's temperament. Is he even-tempered or does he have mood swings? Cheerful or melancholy? Laid-back or driven?
Defaults to laid-back and cheerful, both inwards and outwards. As for temper, it’s a little more complicated as it depends on what Totsuka is trying to accomplish. If he is looking to be encouraging and soothing, he is pretty even and low-key; if he thinks things are getting stale, then it’s all over-the-top dramatics and unexpected turns. And if we’re talking about how he really is – well, his moods are fluid enough, but they don’t really change abruptly or extremely. Long story short: a classic sanguine temperament.
8. How does he respond to new people or situations? Is he suspicious, relaxed, timid, enthusiastic?
Enthusiastic with lots of exclamation points!!!! Also relaxed, in that he’s too used to it to consider it a huge deal, even in a good way.
9. Is he more likely to act, or to react?
Act and make others react. He likes being in the middle of some hot mess and doesn’t hesitate to set things in motion with his own hands, if required.
10. Which is his default: fight or flight?
Narrow definitions: flight. If a fistfight/aurafight has already broken out, he has zero chances of getting the upper hand and is well aware of the fact.
Broad definitions: fight. Totsuka kinda likes taking risks and facing challenges a lot and is very hard to intimidate. To the point that people start calling him legit insane, actually.
11. Describe the character's sense of humor. Does he appreciate jokes? Puns? Gallows humor? Bathroom humor? Pranks?
Bring it on! Totsuka draws a line somewhere between bad puns and toilet humor, but it’s a very half-hearted, wobbly line. Like, he won’t make this kind of jokes himself and will go “oh come on, really?” for a beat if someone else does, but in the end will still laugh along. The rest is greatly appreciated, encouraged and practiced! Gallows humor seems to be a Thing among Homra’s executives (they have stressful lives, okay) and pranks soothe Totsuka’s burning need to mildly troll people. He is also that obnoxious guy that insists on dragging other people into his little comic routines, especially those who hate the very idea and hide behind others’ backs.
12. Does the character have any diagnosable mental disorders? If yes, how does he deal with them?
This one is debatable, but I’m going with a no. He still has some coping mechanisms switched on from back when he had to deal with unstable family situation and some issues that bloomed on the top of those, but none of it would qualify as a disorder, imo.
13. What moments in this character's life have defined him as a person?
Parental abandonment and neglect in his early childhood, meeting Mikoto, joining the red clan, learning about his short lifespan from Anna. (I touched on all those in various other answers, so there is no need to recap?)
14. What does he fear?
Death, self-inflicted isolation, emotionally hurting people.
15. What are his hopes or aspirations?
Totsuka is so unambitious it hurts, tbh. He set a goal of “becoming the King’s vassal” when he was fourteen and just… never really moved on past that. Most of his aspirations are centered around and limited to Homra: keep Mikoto stable and more or less at peace, make sure Anna has everything she needs to grow up happy and adjusted, make the clan a close-knit family-like unit, things like that. Admittedly, it’s challenging and fulfilling and well-suited for his talents, but well, not exactly something to brag about at high (middle?) school reunions.
Oh, and he does hope to live for as long as possible and to the fullest, blah blah.
16. What is something he doesn't want anyone to find out about him?
The whole ~death and doom~ thing you’re probably already sick of hearing about, how selfish and fickle he can be at times, some ulterior motives… Then there is the fact people tend to see Totsuka as much more wholesome, naïve and selfless than he actually is, and in some cases he would rather keep it that way.
1. Describe this character's relationship with his parents.
Totsuka’s biological parents walked out on him when he was three, he hasn’t heard from them since and doesn’t care to. He was almost immediately adopted by another couple, but the new family fell apart when Totsuka’s adoptive mother left her husband, fed up with his gambling obsession. The guy was an irresponsible and neglectful addict, evidently unable to even take care of himself to say nothing about a kid, but Totsuka got along nicely with him, despite never coming to perceive him as a parent – more like a hapless roommate-slash-friend. Overall, it was a comfortable but not really deep-running relationship: Totsuka’s father wasn’t much of a presence in his life and his death left Totsuka anything but devastated.
But in a way he did leave great impact on Totsuka, being the first person to notice and point put his inability to get deeply attached to anything with an implication that it’s a flaw and he’s missing out. That one conversation defined Totsuka’s self-image for years to come.
2. Does the character have any siblings? What is/was their relationship like?
None that he knows of.
3. Are there other blood relatives to whom he is close? Are there ones he can't stand?
No biological parents in plain sight => no blood relatives, welp.
4. Are there other, unrelated people whom he considers part of his family? What are his relationships with them?
As tempting as it is to say Homra’s his family, I’m not so sure about that – see question 8 in this section.
5. Who is/was the character's best friend? How did they meet?
Mikoto or Kusanagi. Or both or neither, depending on your point of view and how picky you’re about semantics.
Even judging by frequency with which Mikoto’s name pops up in this survey, you can sorta tell he’s an important person in Totsuka’s life. They met back when Mikoto was sixteen and a reasonably average delinquent with budding charisma and lots of ill-wishers. For some reason Totsuka (who was 14 at that point) immediately singled him out as the coolest person ever, nicknamed him ‘King’, announced himself ‘a King’s vassal’ and started following him around, not batting an eye at the evident lack of enthusiasm from the receiving side. Eventually he got anonymously beaten up for his trouble, Mikoto came to the hospital to get some details and from there starts the glorious tale of King’s capitulation. Totsuka, just like he had intended, never left Mikoto's side, making sure the latter grows into his high title and trying to alleviate burdens that come with it. On the hand, having Mikoto anchored him, giving him something to attach himself to and focus on instead of darting here and there. So meeting each other was a defining point for both of them! and stuff!
Kusanagi came with Mikoto as a set back in school, so he presumably got exposed to Totsuka at the very same moment. They seem to have hit off a better note: being older, not under direct fire and already developing a nurturing side, Kusanagi was inclined to get amused and slightly disturbed by Totsuka rather than annoyed. After Mikoto succumbed he proceeded to kind of take Totsuka under his wing - keeping an eye on his antics, giving him job, teaching him things and humoring his whims, and for a while they had a rather siblingesque relationship. Then shit got heavy: suddenly the two of them found themselves trying to reign in a gang that kept growing around Mikoto like a fungus, while also having to deal with his increasing self-destructing tendencies. In that period Kusanagi and Totsuka had no support aside from each other and no options except shouldering everything together – and what do you know, it worked much better than expected, so they just kinda ran with it. Canon puts great emphasis on Kusanagi and Totsuka’s duality – they complement each other as ‘rational’ and ‘intuitive’ sides respectively (with surprising lack of friction usually associated with opposites) and, combining their talents, make a horrifyingly effective tag team that keeps Mikoto and Homra afloat.
6. Does he have other close friends?
Well, the rest of Homra regulars certainly count. It’s nowhere as tight and equal as what he has with Mikoto and Kusanagi, but they’re on ‘nakama’ level all the same. There might be more, but we haven’t really seen anybody outside his clan who appeared to be more than a casual friend yet.
7. Does he make friends easily, or does he have trouble getting along with people?
“Easily” is an understatement. Totsuka is more or less magical girl anime protagonist: give him two minutes and random (and dangerous) strangers will confide in him, enemies will drop their guard, antisocial thugs will scratch his feet, etc. There is nothing he is better at than being likeable and winning trust and affection. However, relationship maintenance and actually opening up to people is another story altogether.
8. Which does he consider more important: family or friends?
He doesn’t even have a concept of family, so no real competition here.
9. Is the character single, married, divorced, widowed? Has he been married more than once?
Shipping goggles aside, single and unlikely to get any. Totsuka’s main priorities are Mikoto and the red clan, between those he would have some trouble developing and supporting a committed, functional long-term relationship on the side.
And then there are his major attachment issues that would keep him from even trying. Totsuka has his hands full just trying to be a good enough vassal/friend, having to double as someone’s boyfriend would probably drive him insane.
10. Is he currently in a romantic relationship with someone other than a spouse?
11. Who was his first crush? Who is his latest?
Won’t even bother headcanoning on that one. Totsuka is curious and excitable about people, gets into them really easily (drops them just as easily, but okay) and finds something remarkable about most. Bet he was already crushing left, right and center in kindergarten and still sometimes experiences short-lived infatuations that are all over the place on the platonic-to-romantic scale and don’t really go anywhere anyway.
12. What does he look for in a romantic partner?
Yet again: not really looking… But hypothetically it would have to be someone he can admire and someone capable of keeping him on his toes. Otherwise Totsuka would just get distracted and slink away. Presumably while feeling terrible about it, if that helps anything.
13. Does the character have children? Grandchildren? If yes, how does he relate to them? If no, does he want any?
No to all. Re; the last one – see the matrimonial status answer + he doesn’t entertain the idea of starting a family, then dying on it several years down the road. Besides, Totsuka is lucky enough to have a kid to lend a hand in raising and sew dresses for as it is!
14. Does he have any rivals or enemies?
Technically yes, a bunch, but they’re not ‘his’ insomuch they’re Homra’s. Totsuka is targeted a lot, both as an executive and one of the weakest members, but it doesn’t have to do anything with him as a person. The darkest feeling he has been shown to spark with his own actions so far was silent passive-aggressive scorn. *coughFushimicough*
15. What is the character's sexual orientation? Where does he fall on the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Three and pansexual. He is pinged by a certain set of traits, the rest is irrelevant details.
16. How does he feel about sex? How important is it to him?
At his current age Totsuka is reasonably enthusiastic and super casual about sex. He treats his sexual needs more or less like he would a craving for certain foods: not a life-or-death matter, but definitely an itch that won’t hurt to be scratched every now and then. Favors one-night stands, both because no-strings-attached is easier and because it gives him opportunities to meet new people and experience new situations in quite… particular settings.
17. What are his turn-ons? Turn-offs? Weird bedroom habits?
Turn-ons: rough sex, bondage, orgasm denial, sex in or near public places, toys, topping from the bottom. Would probably find role playing fun, albeit not all that arousing in itself.
Turn-offs: Totsuka most likely considers himself an everything-goes kind of guy, but I don’t think he would be into anything around the idea of sweet, sweet pain – like spanking or nipple clamps. He is not very sensitive to pain, so it’ll have to be pretty extreme to get his full attention and he’s not going to enjoy that.
…or was it about innocent stuff like “long legs, stubble, tickling”? I’m so sorry.
Aquarius. Fleeting, adaptable, social, eccentric, manipulative, tolerant – sounds a lot like him, yep. His attitude hardly fits the description though (aloof?? unemotional???).
2. Is this character religious, spiritual, both, or neither? How important are these elements in his life?
He probably had ~a phase~ at some point but, like everything, it didn’t last. Currently it’s all just thought-provoking bits of trivia to him.
3. Does this character have a personal code of morals or ethics? If so, how did that begin? What would it take to compromise it?
Totsuka’s moral code is quite vague and minimalistic, but it’s there. As mellow as he is, there are certain lines that mustn’t be crossed and certain actions that can’t be accepted; past some point his opinion of the person in question abruptly hits the rock bottom and, while he won’t go out of his way to punish them (whenever Evil happens, Totsuka is more likely to focus on victims), they better not count on his help or sympathy in the future. Stuff that triggers that kind of response fits in the category of universal squick material: extreme and/or baseless cruelty, no sense of fair play, self-absorbed, entitled attitude towards others.
And, precisely because it’s so simple and intuitive, it’s also very easy to abide to: if something feels wrong and disgusting, don’t do that, that’s it! He’s unlikely to compromise it willingly, but can be forced into it, especially if you play on his attachments and make him feel trapped.
4. How does he regard beliefs that differ from his? Is he tolerant, intolerant, curious, indifferent?
Curious and mindbogglingly tolerant. To quote the series, if Totsuka actually judges someone, you can just save yourself some time not bothering with them, they’re obviously an irredeemable bag of dicks. But even silently judging somebody’s baby-eating ways, he still will be able to appreciate their fascinatingly warped logic on some level. It’s not that Totsuka is willing to accept everything, but he doesn’t see any harm in trying to understand everyone.
5. What prejudices does he hold? Are they irrational or does he have a good reason for them?
Nnnnone really? If anything, he is too indiscriminating.
1. What is the character's financial situation? Is he rich, poor, comfortable, in debt?
Let’s be brutally honest for a second here: like a number of other clansmen, Totsuka is financially dependent on Kusanagi (well, not in 100% freeloader way like some… he’s hired and everything…..) – so, just about as well-off as Kusanagi wants him to be. Which is comfortable but not with lots of cash to spare, because he is rather bad with money.
2. What is his social status? Has this changed over time, and if so, how has the change affected him?
Out of Homra: from a kid nobody knew to a member of a violent gang best known for being unable to fight for shit. This guy is going places!! But yeah, hanging around Mikoto puts Totsuka out there and often makes him a punching bag for those who have a beef with the red clan, so he needs to be extra careful (spoiler: he isn’t). In a way it also puts a limit on his wild yolo ways: he has to always keep in mind that his actions can backfire on Homra as a whole.
In Homra: Totsuka’s position in Homra is a rather particular one, due to both his young age and general attitude. He is an executive but, unlike Suoh and Kusanagi, doesn’t consciously or unconsciously create a distance between himself and lower-ranked members, being so approachable that those who have been around for longest tend to see and treat him as ‘one of the guys’. Remarkably, that doesn’t seem to undermine his authority at all: when push comes to shove, nobody questions or ignores his orders, even when they don’t agree with them.
Newer member seem to address him in more formal and respectful ways though, so the chasm between him and young uns might be becoming a little more obvious now.
3. Where does he live? House, apartment, trailer? Is his home his castle or just a place to crash? What condition is it in? Does he share it with others?
A tiny cramped one-room flat, mostly used to store things. Totsuka tends to spend his days and, if the situation calls, nights either in the bar or around the city, so sometimes he goes for days without checking in there. Ever since his adoptive father died he has been living alone.
4. Besides the basic necessities, what does he spend his money on?
HOBBIES. He is not really the type to go crazy about equipment and some of them don’t even cost him anything, but Totsuka’s interests change every other week, so it still adds up. Also enjoys treating people and buying presents. Especially since Anna happened.
5. What does he do for a living? Is he good at it? Does he enjoy it, or would he rather be doing something else?
Technically, he has two jobs – bar manager and co-leader of a gang. The first one suits him just fine, since he’s not ambitious, gets to put some of his talents (cooking, people skills, decorating) to use and works under a chill boss. The second one is his dream job because benefits include Mikoto and general craziness 24/7, so.
That said, I’d be surprised if Totsuka has never eagerly eyed other professions in the past – he might be content with his life, but his interest is very pingable. He will never get to the point of actually considering quitting though, so no one (himself included) takes it seriously.
6. What are his interests or hobbies? How does he spend his free time?
The full comprehensive list of Totsuka’s hobbies would probably take up three volumes, that’s all I’m gonna say on the matter.
Other than that, people – hanging out with his usual people, meeting new people, shamelessly gossiping with Kusanagi about people, getting beaten up by people.
7. What are his eating habits? Does he skip meals, eat out, drink alcohol, avoid certain foods?
Chaotic. Totsuka is the kind of person who skips meals for reasons like “got distracted” and “didn’t feel like anything in the fridge” or, alternatively, eats when not hungry for the sake of keeping others company or because something looks good. It’s not even that he is out of tune with his body, he just doesn’t care. Often has meals in the bar, since he spends most of his time there, no idea if that counts as ‘eating out’… Drinks alcohol on regular basis, but not exactly a big fan or a sophisticated appreciator – it’s just a habit. Used to pretty much literally eat grass as a kid, so he’s really, really not picky about his food.
*Gotta point out that when I'm handwaving anything as impossible or unlikely here, it only means it's something I can't really see happening in-canon. As far as roleplaying goes, everything is free game!