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Dina is super big into paleontology. Other humans, however, elude her. In the Walkyverse, she's known as Dina Sarazu; she is Dina Saruyama in Dumbing of Age .


Dina Sarazu
Dina roomies.png
First Appearance: 13 April 1999 [1]
DOB: Month 4, 1980
Height: 5'3"
Weight: Rage, but no power [2]
Status Alive [3]

Dina Sarazu is quiet, keeps to herself, does what she's told, and occasionally pursues scientific interests that have nothing to do with her employment at SEMME. As a scientist, she's a lot more competent than her predecessor.

Outside of science, Dina's a fish out of water. Social interaction is mostly a mystery to her, and she's never had many friends. Other people often leave her dumbfounded. She rarely causes harm or commotion, however; she's too busy staring blankly at what goes on around her, and being an atheist.


An abductee of the Head Alien, Dina was one of the many new SEMME employees after Year Zero. Dina ended up employed at SEMME after a roundabout chain of unlikely post-graduate recruitment and replaced Walky as Professor Doc's assistant, much to the relief of everyone involved.

After Joyce Brown tried to mind-wipe herself again, Dina ended up dating Walky. She took a real possessive liking to him, initially fascinated with his laid-back attitude. She'd not really garnered that much attention to herself before, and Walkerton was perhaps the only person that has ever spoken to her in more-than-business terms. It was hoped that she would be a calming influence for Walkerton, but this didn't happen. Over time, she became aware that Walkerton still held feelings for Joyce, and she began a small campaign to drive a wedge between them. During the Great Big Sea storyline, she joined Squadron 128 at the Martian Embassy in order to avoid Joyce rejoining the group. When the resurrection chambers of Sal's parents fell through the ceiling, she was saved by Sal, leading to the death of Big Boss.

Over time, Walky's childish abrasiveness and lack of public composure began to wear down Dina's adoration of him. This, coupled with the knowledge of one of Walky's dark secrets, created a gap between the two that eventually separated them.

After her breakup with Walky, Mike was her only real social interaction. Mike first seemed to view Dina as the perfect target, but it turned out that she was so oblivious that she just accepted his insults. Though Mike verbally attacked her at any given opportunity, Dina used their conversations to learn more about herself and to try to work on her faults (keyword: try), and ultimately considered him a friend.

When Jason Chesterfield let slip that Mike was "a great friend when he's drunk", Dina decided to take action. Unfortunately, forcibly keeping Mike drunk for an extended period of time only pissed him off when he finally sobered up. He later slept with her, possibly in response to her keeping him drunk, and left in the morning, destroying her last shred of confidence. Joyce theorized that Dina "defeated" Mike because she managed to elicit an emotional reaction from him without alcohol - he was humiliated and angry that she had used him and exposed his nicer side. Whether Mike had any real feelings for Dina or if he just used her is all still debated.

Dina defends her research from the JFO's "Britjas".

Dina died when she accidentally trapped herself in the glass steel test chamber with a bomb during the JFO's attack on SEMME HQ. Two Britjas were outside the door, preventing her escape. Her last words were, "I'm sorry. This was the best I could do," which she uttered to Mike and Walky a split second before the bomb exploded, much to their horror. The lab and all the other abductees were saved because of her sacrifice.

Walky initially blamed Mike for Dina's death (mostly out of jealousy that Dina liked Mike better, as revealed later in his apology) and beat him within an inch of his life. However, Dina's death ultimately forced Walky to realize that he had to take responsibility and stop acting like a child all the time.

Dina reappeared in "purgatory" after Walky died.

In the final story arc of Shortpacked!, she falls out of a hole in the air. She explains that it is a "class one-nine-nine-seven anomaly" and that it had probably opened due to "surplus diversity." She suggested that Leslie (who had ordered Robin to assemble a radically diverse group of new hires) "shoo away any non-white, non-heteronormative, neurodivergent people" to prevent it from becoming worse, but then realized that this applied to her as well. Her presence caused the anomaly to become widespread, spilling Soggies everywhere and maybe bringing the world to an end, just like some guy had predicted. She is later seen romantically riding with Becky MacIntyre as she fires a Cap'n Crunch gun into a whole mess of Soggies.


  • According to David Willis, Dina was created largely because an online friend of his suggested adding a cute girl who was into dinosaurs to the Roomies! cast. Her Japanese nationality and social issues wouldn't be added until her subsequent appearances in It's Walky!
  • Dina is never seen without her hat, even while sleeping. She only takes it off shortly before her death.
  • When SEMME attempts to investigate the source of the original interdimensional breach that led to the Fans! crossover in "The Seventh Power", Dina tracks it down to Belgium. She is, however, quickly ignored when Joe comes up with the more likely option of London, dealing yet another blow to her self-esteem. It is later revealed (after her death) that she had actually detected the JFO's decoy portal.
  • In the alternate universe where Danny Wilcox ended up marrying Sal, she and Joe Rosenthal apparently started a technology company together.

Dumbing of Age[]

Dina Saruyama
First Appearance: Dumbing of Age 13 September 2010
Roommate: Amber O'Malley
Likes: Dinosaurs, cereal, other dinosaurs, Becky MacIntyre (Girlfriend), Mountain Dew.
Relatives: Ryou Saruyama (father), Haruka Saruyama (mother)
Weight: Three atrociraptors (roughly) [4][5]

Dina is an undergrad student at IU, and lives in the Clark Wing of Read Hall with Amber O'Malley. Well-meaning but socially challenged to the extreme, she's never seen in public without her trusty green dinosaur hat. (Unless she's wearing her trusty green Tricera-Top™, but she still keeps the hat on hand.)


Dina struggles to understand other people, and is well aware that she has problems in doing so. During Billie's ill-fated mall expedition in Saturday's All Right For Slighting, she admits to Sarah Clinton that she prefers dinosaurs to humans because dinosaurs are a fixed thing, one that doesn't change when she's trying to understand it.

Over the course of their time together, Amber has been slowly trying to rehabilitate Dina by teaching her the ins and outs of dealing with social situations, including important lessons like "look at the eyes, not the mouth", "light physical contact is an acceptable response to another person's distress", and "when somebody is gone all night long, it's probably a good idea to show concern."

Though she has trouble reading social cues, Dina is otherwise quite observant; she was the only other person who picked up on Amber's crush on Danny Wilcox, and she deduced that Amber was actually Amazi-Girl.

She recently entered into a social experiment regarding the possibility of same-sex attraction. Her partner in this endeavor is one Becky MacIntyre. It began, in part, due to her own displeasure with not being seen as an adult by her peers, coupled with the rapport she had established with Becky, who is rather enamored with her. Fortunately for both parties, it turns out the feelings are mutual.


  • Taught herself piano for the sole purpose of being able to play the Jurassic Park theme.
  • Her parents had her take violin lessons.
  • Dina's dinosaur-related shirts thus far: "Dig It", "Terrible Awesome Lizard", "Ask Me Why Dinosaurs Had Feathers", "Clever Girl", "RARR!", "Dinosaur" with a picture of a cassowary, a feathered Barney, Dinosaur Comics T-shirt, and "Bird Is The Word" with a picture of a raptor.
  • Eats cereal at every opportunity, because cereal is best.
  • Has a tendency to suddenly appear unexpectedly behind open doors, at beaches, or in pizza places.
  • Had a cameo appearance in the Halloween 2018 strip of webcomic Girl Genius


Archetype trivia[]

  • David Willis tends to write Dina as if she is autistic in both continuities, but avoids explicitly marking her thereof as her personality traits correspond with how Willis behaved as a child and early into adulthood. (Willis has never been diagnosed with an alternate neurotype, and may just have had a difficult upbringing.) In-universe, Dina hasn't been formally diagnosed with anything. [6]