The Twelve Sisters are characters featured in the anime Coyote Ragtime Show. This is a twelve Episode series that was produced in 2006. It was released by ADV into the US market. The story is pretty entertaining but leaves more loose ends than I would have liked. The Twelve Sisters are the most interesting characters even though they are relegated to a supporting role. I have heard a few rumors of a new anime in which the Sisters are the primary characters, but it remains little more than rumor.
The Twelve Sisters are android assassins (named January through December) who work for Madame Marciano of the Criminal Guild. They are AIs capable of a full range of emotions and independent thought. They are all young in appearance ranging from about eight years old to the mid-twenties. Madame Marciano is a cyborg whose origins are never revealed. In her employ is a scientist named Neilson who is apparently the builder of the Twelve Sisters and their repairman. Though Neilson works for Madam Marciano the two seem to have a special relationship; sort of like a sibling, or father-daughter bond. He is a trusted confidant. It is pretty clear that Madam Marciano solely holds the reins of power but Neilson is never “bossed” around like the madam’s other employees seem to be. It is a good bet that Dr. Neilson is the one who maintains Madame Marciano’s own cybernetic parts.
The corniness of twelve young female assassins named for the months of the year is not lost on the other characters of the show.
Chelsea: “Twelve sisters. Isn’t that kinda hokey?”
Angelica: “Yeah and why does it take twelve of them to get the job done?”
However their reputation as assassins and the body count they leave in their wake ensures that people take them deadly serious.
Commonalities of the Twelve
The sisters (other than the October, November, and December triplets) are all unique from one another in some degree. However, being combat androids, they have some common advantages and disadvantages. I will elaborate on their individual characteristics later but for now here are some of the things that they have in common.
They all communicate via internal radios, though oddly when May is captured she seems unable to contact her sisters (this may be due to precautions taken by her captors). These communications are never shown being intercepted so it can be assumed that they are secure links of some sort.
When injured they do not bleed. They do seem susceptible to being stunned, although it takes a lot to do so and, if left operable, they are never down for more than a second or two. In Episode One May has her body destroyed by a rocket-propelled grenade and is left as nothing but a head which is operable and talking within a few seconds. In another Episode April and January are caught in a blast. January loses an arm and both are flattened but they are up in a couple of seconds. Numerous times a sister is hit with small arms fire that seems to make them flinch but has little other noticeable effect. I feel this is best modeled by giving them more STUN and a high REC but not a particularly high CON score.
The androids are armored enough to shrug off most small arms fire but not so tough as to avoid damage from heavier weapons. Their resistant defenses are geared toward making them somewhat bulletproof; January shrugs off a 7.62mm hit but May's entire body is destroyed what looks like an RPG-7 hit. This seems to indicate somewhere around a 10 to 12 DEF.
At times the faint whine of electrical servos can be heard when one of the Sisters moves, blinks, or flexes a hand. At other times they seem to produce no unusual noises at all. My guess is that they always make some noise but it is very faint and only heard when the surroundings are particularly quiet. When they walk on a metal deck you can sometimes hear a heavy clank indicating that they weigh more than normal humans.
All of the Sisters dress in somewhat similar colors, black and/or white with red trim seems to be the most common. All their clothing has an old fashioned look. I’d call it a neo-Victorian maid style. Lace and frills are abundant. Their fashions are appropriate to their apparent age. August wears a top hat but it is soft, saggy, and styled such that it seems natural for her wide-eyed, ten-year-old appearance.
The eyes of the Sisters also seem a little odd, perhaps the pupils have a fixed size or their eyes seem to have a hint of a glow. Again this is a characteristic which would probably escape the casual observer but more than brief eye contact would probably betray their artificial nature. The sisters are all attractive and in the case of the younger models, cute.
The sisters are reasonably well known. Their exploits are splashed across the galactic news broadcasts so a reputation is definitely called for. Oddly the character Chelsea, who is otherwise a storehouse of criminal history, seems to not recognize them upon their first appearance. So their reputation is ensured but not universal. An 11- seems about right.
The sisters are all loyal to Madame Marciano to varying degrees. This loyalty, at least in some cases, is not slavish since there are a couple of instances of them impulsively ignoring orders. In one case May helps some captives of Marciano escape since she has taken a liking to them. Still on the whole they are devoted to Marciano so all of them have some degree of a loyalty psychological limitation. All of the Sisters refer to Marciano as “Mother” or more formally as “Mother dear.” In the field April is the commander and carries a golden Luger that flashbacks show used to be Marciano’s personal weapon.
All of the Sisters enjoy combat, but this varies by the individual. For example January is a hot-head who loves to kill, whereas some of the younger models merely consider battle to be a fun game. None of them display concern about collateral damage. They won’t hesitate to destroy anything or kill anyone who gets between them and their intended target. In one episode March, June, and August indiscriminately fire rockets into an urban area, leveling buildings, since the target is hiding among them, and they get a kick out of it.
All of the Sisters (except maybe the youngest-looking models) have climbing skills since they are shown rappelling out of helicopters to assault a target in Episode 3. A few rappel and climb down the walls of a church as well.
The sisters are all are seen, at one time or another, flying fighter craft in combat. They always prevail over the mundane human pilots that they encounter and often against great numbers. In Episode Seven, February, March, and July engage in a fight against many human-piloted fighters and win. February and July each claim at least 8 kills. Often we see them in Criminal Guild helicopters but in these cases they are always passengers with Guild supplied pilots. So either their piloting skills are limited to space fighters, or they are just too important to pilot multi-passenger aircraft. September is destroyed while riding as a passenger in a Guild helicopter during Episode Three (we only see her briefly but freezing the playback she seems to be a passenger and not the pilot). Based on this observation I think that piloting rotary-wing aircraft is not in their programming.
Being androids they all enjoy STR, DEX, and other physical abilities beyond those of normal humans. All are skilled in melee combat, some more than others. When ordered to take a target alive they all seem to agree that hand to hand combat is the best method. This indicates that they feel mere humans cannot compete with their strength and toughness in close combat.
Finally they all share the benefits of being a member of Marciano’s Twelve Sisters. Being a powerful member of the Criminal Guild, Marciano has influence throughout the galaxy and can almost always buy off local authorities to ensure the Sisters escape if things go wrong. In Episode One the Sisters are pretty much all busted up in their first attempt to catch the protagonists. The heroes flee and the local authorities see to the recovery and return of the damaged androids to Madame Marciano. Sounds like a pretty nice membership fringe benefit to me. Of course being watched by Marciano and being subject to orders is the trade-off.
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