mugshots: ONITSUKA LOLA

So, a new feature of this blog will be a semi-consistently released spotlight on characters. More than likely mine, or those I’m in the process of borrowing. To start off we’ll use a character that many people know about, but few have read any of.

Onitsuka Lola, Taiwanese, 19 years old. As a young child Jiang He was trained by her father in Jin-Ying Chuan style martial arts. While she never really had much interest, and her father never intended it to be a serious avenue for his daughter, it gave an outlet for the tomboy child and father to bond.

As Jiang grew up, she slowly drifted out of the martial arts, only doing tai-chi as exercise with her father. However, that training prepared her well for when a group of her friends began to use the Taiwan streets as their own playground as part of the subculture, parkour.

As parkour began to gain more prominence and fame across the globe, the art legitimized and more and more focus was put on Jiang, who, even at such a young age was the most talented traceuses in Taiwan. At age seventeen Jiang found herself an icon of parkour in Asia. She was given a full sponsorship by classic Japanese shoe company Onitsuka Tiger to wear their shoes exclusively, while also using the young beauty as the company’s public face. This earned her the nickname “Onitsuka Lola,” also an ode to the films Run Lola Run and Banlieue 13 (a 2004 cult parkour film).

In the years since, Lola has been featured in hundreds of parkour mixtapes, and has become a pop phenomenon in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, even cutting a pop album in native Taiwan.

Her fame became so great that not a soul in East Asia could escape her beaming likeness, or her name on athletic equipment, television shows, music albums, etc. The Lola supersaturation is so great that rival athletic company, Anime (a splinter company of Onitsuka perpetrated by current fictional CEO – Sato Yasuyuki and Sato Eiji – of Asics) attempts to combat the Lola phenomenon with a parkour-starlet of their own.

When this plan backfires miserably, the Anime team actually places a hit on Lola. Disguised an event between the two companies, Lola and the Anime girl are placed in a parkour-course turned deathtrap in hopes that Lola will be eliminated, either by the course, or at the hands of the Anime girl. Again the plan backfires when the mixtape is released and it not only shows a victorious Lola, but a disgraced and malevolent rival who not only is attempting murder, but defies the codes of parkour.

Anime is quickly put into financial ruin, and in an final attempt at retribution against Lola and his brother (while trying to resurrect his company), by amassing a hit squad – including the rival girl who lost in the competition – he puts Lola in danger, who is now on the run from these would be assassins.

Lola is equal parts 이효리, 蔡依林 and 倖田來未, but as hired full time by Tiger. She’s already a megastar by the time a hit is put on her, forcing her into an uncomfortable realm of self-defense. She’s not a hero in the truest sense, she’s just forced to defend herself from Sato Eiiji and his cadre of hitmen. Because of this, she becomes the reality TV/youtube generation’s hero. Her exploits, fights are everywhere. And of course, Onitsuka still leverages this with marketing packages. You want a battle armor Lola doll? You got it.

Created as a synonym/counterpart to Artifice Comics’ Silver Shadow II (Lin) for the group the Faux Mages, Lola’s a young, competitive character, yet entirely unaware of what’s really going on around her. The stardom is more or less, extra. She just wants to do what she wants to do, and that’s parkour. She’s extremely athletic, also having a chance to be part of Taiwan’s national football team, but turned it down because it wasn’t “fun.” She would be on equal athletic prowess as, say, Spider-Man, or since I hate Spider-Man, Araña.

This character was made entirely for Jac.

3 thoughts on “mugshots: ONITSUKA LOLA

  1. Man, I hope the characters you created for Faux Mages finally see the light of day, somewhere, sometime, somehow.

    They were — and still are — incredible creations.

  2. @Caleb Kinkaid

    Fear not, they will see the light of day. In what capacity, I’m not sure, though likely not as they were intended, via Artifice Comics. But, yeah, I’m planning to resurrect Words of the Weak doing little vignettes of these characters. Also, they will get nudged into other stories/concepts where they apply.

  3. She’s a thoroughly awesome character and Faux Mages would have been a thoughly awesome title…it’s just a shame it never happened really.

    Like Mister K. I hope we get to see them in some way in the future! ^^

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