The Characters of Tamaishi : Kani

For the longest time, Kani had no name at all. He was someone that Tama met on the beach, but we never saw him again. Then my editor suggested that I name as many of the characters that Tama interacted with. I agreed that it would give them more presence, more relevance.

At that point I had already firmly settled on the name Tamaishi, so I started looking at jisho.org for names. Sometimes, the names just work out. Kani (蟹) literally means “crab”.

Kani is a long time resident of the Great Sea. He doesn’t enjoy the task of coming to the beach to find a new home, but he doesn’t have much choice — the one he has is constantly becoming too small!  He makes fast friends with Tama when he gets a little help searching.

Originally, Kani was just too realistic, too crab like — and as such, he was too alien, too unapproachable. I gave him some large, friendly eyes and that pretty much did it.