Tuesday, April 25th, I received a letter from Smileyyogini, who selected my "Temari of the Sand" ATC theme. Said envelope was the only thing that came in the mail Tuesday, so, thankfully, it didn't have to tangle with a bunch of magazines like Emilywilde's did Saturday!
Temari Nara is one of the many ninja characters from Masashi Kishimoto's hugely popular manga/anime Naruto
. Temari belonged to the Sand Village Clan, and was the eldest of the three Sand siblings (she has two younger brothers, Gaara and Kankuro). Unlike many of the crazier and emotional characters in said fiction, Temari tended to be a more practical and capable individual, both in combat and everyday life. Her weapon of choice was an iron fan (tessen), and a ridiculously huge one at that, which she typically used as a focus to generate and unleash her deadly wind jutsu attacks.
While I had known what Naruto
was for some time beforehand, my first experience with Temari wasn't the anime or manga, but rather a video game, Naruto: Ninja Destiny
on the Nintendo DS. She's one of the sixteen Naruto
characters that you can play as in said title and has the distinction of breaking my 100% win record in Battle Mode, as Temari was the only character I ever lost a match against while playing it. Her super "Wind Scythe Jutsu" fan attack does horrific damage, depleting your life meter by 2/3 or more, so, even at full health, you're in big trouble if she hits you with it, and, needless to say, if you were already injured to begin with, you're probably finished. Fighting her in that game always made me sweat and filled me with dread because of how quickly she could destroy you (literally two blows under the right circumstances).
In addition to the ATC itself, inside of the envelope were a couple of other items. The first was a Texas postcard that sports four scenic photographs from that state. Clockwise, from the top left, are Bluebonnets flowers, Big Bend National Park, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and Galveston Bay. That information comes courtesy of the back of the postcard; as I've never been to Texas and don't know a lot about it (although I'd certainly rather spend winters there than here in Michigan!)
She also generously included a packet of Twinings gingerbread-flavored green tea as an extra. Which is actually sort of appropriate, in that there was a bit in the Naruto
storyline where Temari's tea cup spontaneously cracked on its own, which is considered a bad omen, and was a warning that terrible things had befallen her younger brothers.
I'm sure that the tea is delicious, however . . .
I was informed that, for "my own good", according to Pegasus Express Postal Code #376-RD, Sub-Section 11, Paragraph 3, all edible objects received in the mail are subject to immediate search, seizure, and consumption by Rainbow Dash.
Back to the card, Smileyyogini rendered Temari in a chibi fashion (i.e., a large head on a smaller body with child-like features), which is a Japanese art style that I've always enjoyed and Temari's surprised expression suggests that some amazing event or revelation has just transpired in the Naruto
universe. I like that Smileyyogini applied glitter to her blonde locks too--I'm not sure why glitter never really sparkles when you scan it; one would think that the strong scanner lamp light hitting it would cause all sorts of pretty reflections, but it just doesn't happen for some reason, or at least not for me. The background is her open fan, which sports three purple circles (Temari's "stars"); story-wise, the revelation of each of these, as she unfolds her fan, is significant, as they correspond to an increase in the power of her subsequent attacks. Temari's black outfit is my favorite look for her, and, while I had originally specified that in my list of ATC themes, I ultimately decided that was probably too specific, so, I removed that prior to posting my list, but that's what Smileyyogini ended up illustrating her wearing anyway, so, it all worked out! The calligraphy she used to write Temari's name is also lovely.
And here's the card displayed with some of Masashi Kishimoto's original manga artwork of Temari from the November 2006 issue of Shonen Jump
(even though I do have them organized by year/month, it still took me almost an hour to find that particular magazine because my bedroom is a disaster area). And the glitter sparkles properly when you use a digital camera's flash!
I just love Temari's hair. It's equal parts stylish and "I have better things to do, so, I'm just going to put some rubberbands in it". Here's a photo of a woman cosplaying as Temari so you can see how those spiky tresses would look in real life:
Thank you for your lovely rendition of my favorite Naruto