Sunday, January 21, 2018

31 Day Challenge: The Legion, Day 16: Koca Murat Reis


That's Captain Koca Murat Reis, thank you very much. God, she's such a badass. That's really all you need to know about her, but this is a Blogspot challenge, so you're about to get much more.

Koca was probably the most difficult character I had creating, not because she wasn't interesting but because ... well, she's really secretive. That's not entirely fair; she just keeps her history close to her chest, and even though I am supposedly the writer-creator, she didn't give me any of her backstory until well after I'd gotten to know her a bit. And now I sound like a crazy person, but whatever. I'm a writer. That's what I do.

From the island nation of Claudi, Koca is actually her clan name, followed by Murat, her family name, and ending with Reis (pronounced "ray-iss"), her given name, and following Claudite traditions, no one aboard her ship, the Barbary, calls her by Reis. Well, except Tremany, and that's only when they're alone or if it's a very special situation (no, not just sex, you perverts). She is impossibly tall, standing at about 6'3", which is actually short for a Claudite, and has thick red hair and striking gray eyes. She left Claudi when she was around thirty or so, a disgraced military officer (I can't get into it more than that, sorry), bought the Barbary, and started making a living as a courier and sometimes smuggler. She and Tremany, her first mate, are in a longtime romantic relationship, and she treats her helmsman, Tulay-brin, as a surrogate son. Koca has a very authoritative aura about her, enough so that only her presence is needed to silence a room; Ren is not intimidated by most people, but even she is respectful of the captain.

Koca's name was completely ripped off this dude called Murat Reis the Elder. And for real, you should read up on him; he's fascinating, as is the entire history (and it's actually where I got the name of Koca's airship, as well) surrounding the Barbary pirates of the Mediterranean. Originally, she kind of followed the Elder's path of being a pirate or corsair, but I kind of liked the idea of her being more like Xena: someone who had a past and was capable of being a badass when it called for it. But really, all she wanted to do was live her life peacefully. Of course, with Koca being an occasional smuggler, she obviously does not care as much about the law - kind of chaotic good sort of person.

The two characters that inspired me the most on Koca are Mrs. S (or Siobhan Sadler) from Orphan Black and Queen Emeraldas from Matsumoto Reiji's universe* because a) they're both kickass women and b) just look at them.
Via Series Fuse
Via TV Tropes
Koca's appearance was definitely inspired by Emeraldas', including her Asian ethnicity** ... or at least, this universe's peoples that look like our Asian brethren. She's not as willowy as Esmeraldas is constantly described, but she does have similarly long limbs. She has an fierce glare that is definitely intensified by her red hair***, much like Emeraldas' expression above. Seriously, you don't wanna get into a fight with either fictional woman; the eye daggers kill on contact.

However, her personality is much closer to that of Mrs. S: calm, compassionate, wise, and basically does not give a single fuck. She's seen a lot in her 40-something years, and she knows what has to be done to survive in the world in which she lives. That kind of confidence inspires her crew and nearly everyone who knows her, but I don't see her as a maternal figure. She is naturally a mentor to Tulay-brin, sure, but she has more of an elder-sister-like relationship with everyone else aboard her ship.
Via Alchetron
In a perfect world, though, I'd have her played by Kato Koyuki, who is such an amazing actress and would be able to carry the gravitas that surrounds Koca. She was literally one of only two things that I liked about The Last Samurai (her and the soundtrack.)

Alrighty, and now I'm that much closer to getting caught up! :D Hooray!!


BACK TO CHALLENGE

* OMG, I cannot praise this enough. From Captain Harlock to Galaxy Express 999 to Queen Emeraldas to whatever, I absolutely love Matsumoto's work and encourage everyone to seek it out. 
** Well, Emeraldas is from La Metal, so technically, she's not human at all, but her creator is a Japanese manga artist, so I'm saying she's Japanese.
*** Technically, Emeraldas had red hair in her original appearance, but once it was revealed that her twin sister is Maetel (spoiler alert maybe for a decades old series?), it was changed to blond.
Maetel
Via Zerochan
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