Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thoughts on Fan Fiction Part II (and a note on "Angels Arms & Diablo Blades: A Trigun Story")

It's not easy writing a story based off an anime. Anime relies so much on visual and sound that writing cannot really match it unless the writer is truly skilled. The unfortunate thing is that so many people (like me) try their hand at it, but when they read it back it does not sound the same because something is missing. Well, what is missing is the visual, the music, and the voices. We grow accustomed to that and that is where most fan fiction loses its appeal. Never mind that many of us otaku do not really give credit to non-canon items. We may watch it or read it, but we won't give you any credit for doing anything because everything you did was largely already done by others.

But, again, fan fiction is just done for fun and that is something that is also lost in the shuffle. In our constant desire to frown on anything non-canon we overlook that fans (ourselves, in other words) can be just as capable of writing a great fan fiction story as any else can. Look at Stephen King. Even he has written fan fiction. The Sherlock Holmes story in Nightmares & Dreamscapes, anyone?  

Look at all the Star Wars books and the Jason Bourne books. There are more of course, but I'm just listing a few to show that fan fiction is a viable genre. Is it respectable? Well, that is another conversation, I guess. 

The story I just posted called "Angel Arms & Diablo Blades: A Trigun Story" suffers from everything I mentioned earlier. The lack of sound and visual hinders the story. I also cut down on description (notice that I did not describe the sand steamers, towns, plants, or anything else other than people in too much detail. That's because Trigun did that for me. What I largely focused on was the plot and emotional situations. I wanted a fast-paced plot, multiple viewpoints to keep the story moving along, and I also wanted a few sub-plots to keep things fresh. 

The idea of Milly having Wolfwood's baby is not a new one. You've probably thought of it yourself if you are a fan of the show. But the idea of her having to confront Knives on a daily basis, constantly having to listen to his hurtful words, is probably something you haven't thought of. How would she react to that needling? Well, in my story she reacted like a champ. 

One thing I knew is that Knives was not going to "grow to love humans" just because Vash wanted him to. So I think that I subconsciously looked at the relationship between Dragonball Z's Goku and Vegeta. Now Vegeta and Knives are similar in many ways, but I think there is one crucial difference between them that really helped my story. Vegeta would sacrifice his pride and help Goku if it meant saving the world (of course, it would take a lot of begging), but Knives would only save the world if it meant keeping his ego intact. Begging wasn't going to change Knives. Neither was love or peace or anything else Vash spoke of.

But damage to his ego? I think so. A superior being has a very large ego, right? 

Maxwell Snyder, a self-confessed human, was the perfect way to impinge Knives's ego. Unlike the Gung-Ho Guns, Snyder swore no fealty to anyone and believed himself to be better than everyone including Knives. During their battle Knives actually got fooled by a clone Snyder and that is what ultimately shamed Knives into feeling... like a human; fallible and inferior. His ego wounded, he decided to leave because he could not stand the thought of admitting to Vash that he had either been wrong all his life... or that Vash would be the one to defeat Snyder because Knives had been fooled. Knives is a very fickle guy and his reasons are undoubtedly complex. I'm just drawing my own conclusions. 

But I think that it wasn't until Knives felt inferior to someone claiming to be a human that he decided to go out and contemplate his life. What he found when he was traveling around in space... well, who can say. But something good must have happened. 

Also consider something else: Snyder was a human who despised other humans whereas Knives was a plant who despised all humans. Perhaps Knives saw something of himself in Snyder and hated himself for it. Maybe that added to the feeling of shame Knives felt when he was fooled during battle. Difficult to say, but it is something to consider, I think. 

That's really all I've got to say on the story and fan fiction in general. I hope you enjoyed the story and I hope you continue to support anime. 


  1. Actually, almost everything is fan fiction. John D. used to quote someone (I can't remember who) on the MB that said "there are only 5 stories and they are all Cinderella."

    If you have ever read the sci-fi classic "Dune", you will see huge similarities in other sci-fi. Also, to me, "Dune" is a fictional version of real life Arabia, just substitute oil for spice.

    I think you could call 11-22-63 fan fiction because there have been many variations of that theme done before. But SK made it his own.

    I think writing is kind of like doing a great cover song. It's only a great cover if you do something to make it your own.

  2. Hmm... JD sure was a wise one. I got Dune somewhere, but still haven't read it yet. Have to give it a go eventually.