My original thought for Ocean was a girl who was more animal than human. I’d envisioned her scurrying through the wreckage of the city: grunting , growling, and occasionally scrambling along on all fours. Her hair was to be a wild, unkempt mane and her fingernails long and sharp, like talons. Everything about her behavior and appearance was to be animalistic. While she ended up being somewhat different, some of those initial characteristics carried over into the finished product. They can be seen when she sniffs the air in an attempt to detect the stench of nearby rotters and again when she eats a dead rat simply by biting into its corpse with no preparation, cooking, etc.
The problem was, I just couldn’t connect with that incarnation of Ocean. I think maybe there just wasn’t enough humanity left there. However, she made her true self known to me when I pictured her as a younger girl, forming pictures from the bloodstains on the sidewalk as if they were clouds. To me, this is the essence of Ocean. She’s surrounded by a world of sorrow, suffering, and destruction. She’s so malnourished that she’s nearly a walking skeleton and most of her hair has fallen out. But she makes the best of it. (Incidentally, I pictured her as the bizarre lovechild of Dakota Fanning and Golem from Lord of the Rings.)
As the series progresses, we’ll see the toll her world takes upon its inhabitants, the sacrifices demanded by survival, and the moral ambiguity of a world that is pure survival of the fittest. A person can’t go through experiences like that without being changed. And not always for the best. For her to live, she’ll have to become somewhat calloused. Desensitization would dictate this. What would be unspeakable horrors in our reality are Ocean’s norm.
So anyway, there’s my thoughts on Ocean…