|Read or Die character|
|Occupation||Agent of the British Library Special Operations Division|
|Voice Actor||J.D. Stone|
Junior is one of the most mysterious and bizarre characters in the ROD universe. He first meets Anita King early in the ROD TV series, but is quite shy and doesn't interact much with her. At first, he appears to be no more than a typical schoolboy of about Anita's own age.
Junior's Role in RODEdit
Junior is actually an agent of the British Library Special Operations Division, retrieving the Gentleman Books for Joseph Carpenter. While on missions, he is known as "Agent J." He also carries a gun and serves as an assassin; one of his first encounters with Anita involves a fight for one of the books in the Nishihama Junior High School library. Junior is a 'deep' who can 'phase:' he can make himself intangible to pass through objects or let objects pass through him. This ability is apparently hereditary; Junior is (though he does not know it until late in the series) the son of Ikkyu and Nancy Makuhari, 2 I-Jins. Nancy is a 'deep' herself, and is able to negate Junior's phasing ability; he's unable to phase through her when she holds onto him.
Junior is actually six years old, but the British Library copied the I-jin's technology to age him so he is actually a mature twelve-year-old. He is looked after by Wendy Earheart. He has a tracing device inside him so the British Library can keep track of him at all times; at one point he manages to remove it from himself and destroy it, so that it appears to the British Library that he is dead. When he removes the tracing device, however, Junior accidentally injures himself so that he can no longer phase.
Junior was taken away from his mother after he was born. Because of his heritage as the child of two I-jin Junior is considered a superior human being, one who will be the perfect vessel for Mr. Gentleman's revival. Junior knows nothing of this plan until it is revealed to him late in the TV series.
Because of Junior's deemed 'genes of a traitor', which imply refers to his mother, Nancy, who had betrayed the British Library years ago prior to his birth, and as it is made plausible somewhere in "Seize" as quoted by Joseph Carpenter, either shortly after his birth or as a young child, the British Library had implanted a tracking device into the sole of his body in order to keep track of his exact location at all times, though this is not revealed until midway through the series. At one point, Junior manages to extract his locater chip from his body and destroys it (as taking place around "Bonjour Tristesse", though later revealed in "D.O.D -DREAM OR DIE-") in order to escape from an ominous betrayal between his old and new loyalties; because the signal on his device is disabled, it would appear to the library that he is dead. However, in the process, Junior inadvertently mutilates himself, which results in a sudden coincidental damage of a loss in his power of intangibillity, though, patently, this is not eternal (as it is made clear in ("From There On..." when Junior penetrates his hand through Joseph Carpenter's head.)
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
Junior first appears dressed in a typical schoolboy costume, complete with blazer and cap. More usually, he wears a tight-fitting blue jacket and trousers. When on missions for Joseph Carpenter, he sometimes wears a dark mask that conceals the lower part of his face. The oddest thing about Junior's appearance is his hair. This is a blue-gray color, with long straggling locks that fall almost to his waist. Junior's hair and general appearance conform to the Japanese stereotype of the "bishounen": soulful and sometimes rather effeminate boys who appear frequently in anime and manga. Like many such figures, Junior is sometimes mistaken for a girl. Late in the series, his hair is cut in a more normal length and style--a change that Junior clearly welcomes.
Junior's personality is peculiar. On the outside, he is polite and extremely quiet and reserved. Beneath this placid exterior, however, Junior is lonely, confused, and at times bitterly resentful. He knows nothing of his past or who he really is. Junior has great physical strength and agility and learns information with incredible quickness, but he suffers from a lack of confidence. He is respectful towards Joseph Carpenter, who regards him only as an instrument in his plan. Wendy has some affection for Junior and Junior goes out of his way to please her, yet the two do not really understand each other very well. Except for Wendy, Junior has clearly been starved of human contact while under the British Library's care. Perhaps for this reason, he finds normal human society baffling and mysterious. He is deeply drawn towards the Paper Sisters, and envies their domestic happiness. Junior and Anita become friends and Michelle Cheung becomes something of a mother figure for him. He seems to regard Drake Anderson as a potential father-figure. Yet despite his longing for affection Junior also has a violent streak.
The revealation of his past (and Joseph Carpenter's plan for him) comes as an utter shock to Junior. He becomes even more confused than before and he is painfully torn between old and new loyalties. He did not know he had a mother, and he turns much of his resentment about his life towards her. He blames Nancy for falling in love with Ikkyu (whom Junior hates) and for hiding away for years with Yomiko Readman. Nancy is very hurt by Junior's anger, but she and her son are reconciled after she rescues him from Joseph Carpenter.
Birth & AgeEdit
Junior is (though his mental age and appearance is of that of a mature 12 year old) actually 6 years old, however, there are some controversies over his age. According to the TV series, Junior had been born a year after the I-jin Incident, which took place five years before the TV in 2001, meaning that the current date in which the story is set is 2006, though there are further symposium consulations said on this. As it is clear in the anime, an entire course of one year occurrs within the show evidenced by a Christmas and New Year's era event, which now converts all of the dates given and referenced to in the story a year ahead of their original contemporary statures when the series first began (being that the current date is now 2007, which now sets the I-jin Incident as occurring six years earlier instead of five.) Aside from being born around the time of the I-jin Incident, Junior's birth, according to previous references cited in the TV, had also taken place around the time of Great Britain's political and economic fall of global affairs following the aftermath of a tyrannical terrorist attack on the British Library. As repeated throughout the show a number of times, this event had occurred around the year 2002 (which is, ironically, the same year of the tragedies of 9/11), four years before the TV (later on, this is cited as five following the after event of Christmas, which takes place after "A Christmas Carol".) Having said this, there may still be some confusion. The US DVD commentary states that there are six years between the OVA and TV series (which may be true following the after event of Christmas in Episode 10 which, therefore, may stand as dramatically correct); however, according to the TV OH (liner messages that come with the purchase of the DVDs), Hideyuki Kurata states that there is 5 years between the two series and that Junior must be younger than this gap. Given all the dates cited in the show and the fact that Nancy Makuhari, Junior's mother, was not visibly pregnant in the OVA, Junior presumably was born around either late 2001, or more likely early 2002, which would imprecisely make him four-years-old at the beginning of the series and five at the end (where the age six came from remains as inconclusive.) All the dates given, however, also ties with Wendy Earhart stating that the British Library had learnt of Junior's potential in 2002, which could have been either at his birth or shortly after (as cited in "Forest of Paper Leaves").) Given from all these facts, it may be safe to assume that Junior was born around the year 2002, one annual cycle since the I-jin Incident, and that he is correctly 5 years old, not 6. There are also possible assumptions that at his birth or presently after, the British Library most credibly copied the I-jin's technology to age him by a growth catalyst, meaning a substance that results in a rapid excell in the growth of one's body, which can explain why Junior appears as much older than he should otherwise be.
Junior & His GuardiansEdit
Because he was orphaned as a young child (due to a horrendous past), Junior is taken under the wing of Wendy Earhart, main secretary of the British Library's Special Operations Division and Joseph Carpenter's right-hand henchwoman, whom Joseph Carpenter had entrusted for the important duties of child rearing as it is made clear in the series that he forsees the activities of raising a child female's work. On rare occasins, however, Junior is looked after Joseph Carpenter himself, Junior's precepter. By all controversies, it may be safe to consider Joseph Carpenter as Junior's "legal" guardian aside from Wendy Earhart, though this may be set as an ironic statement taken the fact that Joseph Carpenter intends to destroy Junior and that the child is only regarded as the "perfect puppet" in his and Wendy's schemes as this is later revealed.
The Truths Behind His PastEdit
As the truths behind his abandonment are revealed much later in the series, following the time of his birth, under Joseph Carpenter's direct order, which was either at his parturition or most likely shortly after, Junior was forcibly taken away from his mother, Nancy, by the British Library's Special Operations Division, by which of as to why this occurred had remained unknown and inconclusive until it is later revealed by Yomiko Readman in "Confession"). Because of his heritage as the child of two I-jin, a distinct race of mankind deemed as prepoderant super-humans, Junior is considered a superior human being, one who will be the perfect vessel for Mr. Gentleman's revival. Junior knows nothing of this treacherous plan of his soon-to-come precarious fate until it is revealed to him late in the TV series.
Junior: The Last of the I-jinEdit
Because of the I-jin's sudden extinction, which took place five to six years earlier, nine months prior to his mislead delivery, it can be said that Junior, aside from his mother, survivor of the I-Jin operation, is the last of the I-Jin.
Sources and LinksEdit
This article was based on viewings of the ROD TV series, as well as information and discussions found at: