Robyn, of course, made her first appearance in my Ronin Warriors fanfic “Demons in the Doorway, Monsters Down the Hall”. The first chapters were published online somewhere around 1998-1999. This was not the first fanfic I had written, but it was the first based off of an anime and the first with chapters.
When I committed myself to writing a Ronin Warriors fic, I had it set in my mind to do a horror/supernatural theme. I also wanted to bring in an element unrelated to the armors that kind of blindsides our boys. Lastly, I wanted to portray them in their every day lives to let the readers get to know them better.
With these goals in mind the plot for DitD and the character of Robyn were developed. Everyone else was writing the typical Mary Sue stories with five new girls who had their own armors. I wanted to try a MS story with a completely fresh idea. Robyn came with her own villains, but no powers or armors of her own.
The ultimate purpose of Robyn was to be a sort of lens in which to view this world. As she learned about the Ronins and began to know them better, as too did the reader (including myself). The reason why I think Robyn did so well in the fandom is because she was very inviting with her story. The readers could put themselves in Robyn's place and go on the journey with her. A large part of her stories are centered around how much she has come to care for them all which is a sentiment she shares with all other fans.
Robyn McCarthy was born in Japan to parents who were both Japanese. As such, the name she goes by is clearly not her birth name. With her red hair
and green eyes, she also bears little physical resemblance to her parents who have the typical Japanese features with brown hair and eyes. Her mother had mental problems which had manifested since she was a teenager, but when Robyn was born, it really tipped the scales on her mother's stability. With Robyn's usual features, her father instantly accused her mother of cheating on him which destroyed her emotionally. Even after a paternity test showed positive, her father was constantly suspicious of the child in his home.
As Robyn grew older, her hair brighter red, her skin paler, her mother began to take the odd appearance of her child as a bad omen. She became obsessed with the idea that there was something wrong with her daughter; that something dark had possessed her. In support of that theory, strange things did seem to occur in the house from time to time. Robyn's mother adamantly tried time and time again to somehow exorcise whatever hold the darkness had on her daughter. In the woman's altered mental state, this most often equated into holding Robyn underwater for extended periods of time.
Robyn's father, who had a problem with alcohol to begin with, took to drinking constantly. Despite the positive paternity test, he still refused to believe this child was his and drifted between states of irritation and apathy when it came to her. The bitterness extended to his wife and he did little to help either of them.
Robyn's early childhood was very solitary. She learned to say out of sight of her parents as much as she could. Her mother did not allow her to go to school from fear that others would see her self-diluted shame. Most neighbors didn't even know there was a child in the house until Robyn was old enough to let herself out of the house.
It just so happened that this family lived next door to the Mouris. Robyn and Cye became close friends. Cye's mother adored the little red-haired girl who was constantly at their house. From Robyn's physical condition- always appearing as if she were underfed- Mrs. Mouri suspected some sort of abuse but it took a few years before there was enough proof for the authorities to act upon. Eventually, both parents were taken into custody on accounts of child abuse and Robyn was removed from her parents.
Mrs. Mouri actually inquired about the possibility of fostering Robyn, but the girl was sent off to the states were supposedly some of her extended family resided. This happened when Robyn was about nine years old. It's vague on what happens to her from then to her teenage years, but when Robyn appears in Japan again, she reveals she had not been living with any relatives and was instead passed around foster families. She also comes back with her given American name which has been legally changed.
Robyn spends her last year of high school in Japan, living with the Mouris. Cye initially claims her as his cousin to avoid awkward questions. Through Cye, she comes to know the other Ronins and they befriend her- though some more readily than others. There is something a little different about Robyn and her arrival marks the beginning of strange happenings the boys cannot explain. It seems Robyn has a secret and something dark has been stalking her.
Despite a very difficult personal history, Robyn generally exudes a light attitude. She works very hard an relaying a positive attitude in public because she desperately wants people to find her as normal as possible and also, she doesn't want to cause any one extra trouble.
Most of the time, her smiles are genuine. She very much enjoys being in Japan and living with the Mouris. She cares very much for her new friends and loves being in their company. Robyn, however, is no optimist. At best, she is a realist. While she hopes for the best, she tries to always be prepared for the worst possible scenario. She also has very little attachments to places or things from her somewhat vagrant lifestyle.
Friends, however, she treasures like gold. She has had very few people which she can rely on in her life. When she finds a true friend, she will protect that friendship fiercely, even at her own detriment if it means keeping that person safe.
Friendship and love in all its forms are some of the core themes throughout this series. I had noticed in nearly every Mary Sue-type fic, the main plot is about getting the OC and the writer's favorite Ronin together as a couple. Their romance takes the foreground and other characters not involved in the romance- even if they're the other Ronins- get thrown to the wayside.
This was something I desperately wanted to avoid. This is an ensemble series. The story is about all of them. The five as a team are the main focus and secondary, the armors, as they breathe life into the story as much as the characters themselves. Yes, there are possibilities for romance and there may be a bit of that in the future, but as far as Robyn is concerned, the story is about her relationship and friendship with all of them and the Ronins friendships with each other.