In The Last Watch, there's a reference to a Russian character, Shapoklyak, from a children's tale named Cheburashka. Lukyanenko compares one of his characters to Shapoklyak as she too reforms at one point and switches to the good side. The wikis do not touch upon Shapoklyak's reformation. Who was she and how/why did she reform?


She was the main villain of the Cheburashka books/cartoons; an old lady whose goal in life was to do bad things. The morality line was that she was reforming from getting positive examples by protagonists (Cheburashka and Crocodile Gena), though she would get un-reformed by the next series.

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This matches up with Arina, who was a very old witch; turned from Dark Other Witch in book #3 [Twilight Watch] to Light Other Witch in book #4 [Last Watch] - which most Others can't do but the Great level others can (e.g. Merlin who switched in the other direction).

However, as Anton notes, she was a weird Dark Other - not really very evil or bad - and she was a weird Light Other (doing kinda morally gray things).

From russian Wiki for Cheburashka:

Согласно книге, её основное занятие — «собирать злы», в мультфильме её девиз выражен в песенке: «Кто людям помогает — тот тратит время зря. Хорошими делами прославиться нельзя». Шапокляк при поддержке живущей в её ридикюле крысы Лариски устраивает жестокие розыгрыши над невинными жителями города. По мере знакомства с Геной и Чебурашкой Шапокляк постепенно встаёт на путь исправления, обычно возвращаясь к хулиганству в начале следующего выпуска мультфильма.

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