Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Animé Inspirations/Influences

Since the very beginning of my writing "career," if you wanna call it that... I wouldn't define it as such until I've either secured an agent that will stick with my work no matter or I've published something on Amazon... both of which are currently in progress

When I was 13 and recouping from back surgery, writing helped me get away from things. By this point, there wasn't pain to speak of, by December, I was over most of it. But I had a dream, filled in the blanks and started a series of Pokémon fanfiction as my own way of wish-fulfillment.
If something was on my mind, good or bad, I put it in there and dealt with it. Of course I was living in my own little fantasy world, so there weren't a lot of real-life implications. It did help me blow off some steam... I'll leave it like that.

A lot of things I've written came from the genre or developed from it or otherwise influenced.
Sailor Moon worked its way into my early work with its talk of reincarnation and spell-casting.
Miyazaki's "Spirited Away," as I must have said a million times on this blog already... was the final puzzle piece that turned into Jonas's story. Part of me will always secretly know that it was something of a fanfiction of the movie that had a lot of different sources mixed together. Fanfiction in that Nina was a newcomer, like the beginning of the movie before the spirit world comes into place, I derived from that for my starting point. And the rest was answering the question: if Chihiro and Haku met again in her new life, how would it go down?

Of course Jonas blossomed into his own character that was the combination of a dozen things. Haku was one. There was a little of myself there, maybe a lot more than most characters I wrote about early on. A little Harry Potter, I guess, with the backstory that Jonas grew up without his parents... who died under mysterious circumstances. Although I still don't entirely buy that. And there was a little of Darien from Sailor Moon... when I tried to come up with a sketch of what he would look like, we have that. Jonas has more going for him than just being a prince that came from Earth, paired with Princess Serena of the Moon Kingdom.

One story I recently took back from someone who tried to make profit off it on Amazon... started as an InuYasha fanfiction, but I liked my character too much to let her stay in that capacity.
Ironic that I wanted her to move into her own element, her own world so I didn't completely lose her... but at the same time, she dies at the end of the story.

Bleach, I love... and still do, even though it has gotten so convoluted and side-tracked by different story arcs and such... you get the feeling that it's never going to end. Luckily, word is that it has ended in Japan somewhere around 340+ ep's. I think in America, we're up to 270+... so still have a ways to go yet.
I really do hope that the series ends with Aizen getting defeated once and for all. I am so sick of this guy sending all his minions to do his dirty work for him (not quite as bad as Naraku from InuYasha, mind you... I'm really hoping that the animé gets picked up again and the rest of the manga can be translated for us fans to see)... but Aizen has aspirations of universal domination. Not just world domination, universal... like the Earth and the Soul Society realm and beyond

The most recent side-tracking arc... soul reapers' swords are called Zanpakto and they work together in this symbiotic unit. Each Zanpakto has a spirit living in it with its own name and set of powers.
A character Muramasa emerged and cast a spell to free all Zanpakto spirits from their swords and brainwash them to act out against their soul reapers. I started into it, wishing it was a really quick thing that came and went... it lasted for at least 5-6 MONTHS... geesh, I was thinking we'd never get back to the main story arc... and we're still kinda there... hopefully we'll stick it out until Aizen is defeated... then the rest can be filler for all I care :-P

It got a little easier to take on when the Zanpakto were waking up and once again allied with their soul reaper partners... then I really started to like a bunch of the characters...
it was the same with a bunch of the soul reapers. When you first meet them, you kinda see them as enemies because they're trying to keep Ichigo and his friends from achieving their objective... saving Rukia from her execution... after they started to kinda accept Ichigo and the others as allies, I felt freer to get to know them a bit more.

So taking all these Zanpakto into account.. the main ones as well as the ones that defected and became evil spirits (as their soul reapers were killed in action)...
the total cast of characters for Bleach has to be around 110-120.

That's a lot of characters to keep track of.

Thanks to anyone still with me at this point... not that I usually write these with an audience in mind...

I've been thinking about influences from Bleach in particular... that might work their way into my "Warrior's Tale"... the unofficial name... Cassandra has a few more dimensions than that, but she does have the heart and soul of a warrior. Make no mistake.

I've been playing around with a few influences... characters in animé I want to channel into my work, between how they look to one aspect of their personality that I love...

For my I.F... invincible foe, there are a few things I'd been putting together as far as his desire goes, his goal... why is he so bad, how did he get that way... etc, etc.

I had this vision of Rasputian in the historically inaccurate Don Bluth version of Anastasia. At one time, one of my favorite movies.
In the beginning of the film, the Romonov family is having a celebration of some kind. Rasputian arrives in midst of the action and curses the entire family. Don't remember exactly why... I think it was because he was banished or something like that... there's more to it than Maleficient in "Sleeping Beauty"... she was pissed because she didn't get invited to this big royal ball... I'm sure there's more to her character than simply that motivation.

After looking it up, he was banished for treason and sold his soul to the devil to get revenge.

It's a few more little, but I think for the moment, I.F. will be given the code-name "Rasputian"... not entirely sure if that's the name I'm going to sign off on, but here's the scenario I have in mind.

Cassandra is enlisted as part of the princess's royal guard. While she's learning about what life is like at the palace, getting to know the princess on a personal life... they develop something of a special bond... there are a number of years where "Rasputian" makes "house-calls"... he shows up at the palace... either asking for something that can't be granted or he's vowing revenge.

Not sure over what just yet... I'm thinking it's because her family trumped his, which used to be in power and now he could be the only member left of his bloodline... he only becomes into power when he goes into black magic or some sort of magic with which he only brings ruin.
The scenario I have in mind, or rather just came into it... the princess is run out of the kingdom by his magic and Cassandra comes with her as her primary source of protection

Something happens along the way that's connected to Cassandra's childhood friend Ren... the princess is kidnapped and/or presumed dead. Cassandra nearly dies avowing her revenge on "Rasputian"

Because I don't see a lot happening with Cassandra now being put into a long-term herbally induced coma... each time I think about waking her up some undetermined amount of time later... she's the way she was in the first part I wrote after the prologue... fuming with anger and hatred, two things that are counterproductive to her healing process... hence the long-term coma...

I was talking to a friend about how they use flashbacks in some movies to tell stories. Like Slumdog Millionaire was a good example of this...
you have the main storyline with our hero getting interrogated by the people running the game show because "You're poor, you can't possibly know all these answers so you must be cheating"... he tells his life's story through flashbacks, each of which references a question he knew the answer to.

It was a very good 50/50 exchange...

In the past, I've worked with reincarnation and lengthy prologues. Both don't go off quite that well.

This time, I might do something a little different. My plan with Cassandra is, while she's in this coma, the next couple scenes are flashbacks from what her duty was serving the princess, helping to give exposition to the overall plot... but I want to make it so neither part becomes more interesting than the other... so that one is plain boring and you forget all about it, or you want to leave one to experience the other

That's where a lot of movies find fault, telling stories via flashbacks... you forget all about the present or better yet, one aspect bores you to death where you can't wait to get away from it

When I was starting this entry, I had another idea, but I'm not entirely sure if I want to follow through with it.
Of course the princess is gorgeous... she's a true lady, delicate, beautiful, very pleasant and gentle, but she does know when to be serious... not that she's a complete flake either.

Back to Bleach, there are a bunch of characters I'm thinking of bringing into it in whatever capacity that needs to be filled.

Rukia's Zanpakto, Sode No Shirayuki, is said to be the most beautiful of the Zanpakto. She's something of an ice goddess.

Also not to be underestimated... although I still find myself questioning Rukia's strength as a Soul Reaper.
It always seems like she's matched up against difficult foes that she is unable to overcome on her own.

I had this idea that a) the princess, despite popular belief, isn't dead and b) she has a lot of power and could handle herself just fine... so a lot of what Cassandra has done seems to be all for a rouse...
that, plus the fact she's been feigning her death this whole time... that's something unforgivable to Cassandra

The bond between them, I'm deriving a little bit from a series of flashbacks on Bleach.
In the story arc with the rescue mission for Rukia, there's a battle between Captain of squad 2, and leader of the stealth force (they have the speed and capabilities of ninjas), Soi Fon and Yoruichi

From what I gathered from the flashbacks, Yoruichi held the position Soi Fon does now. Soi Fon was her personal guard. She was all serious and Yoruichi told her not to take things so seriously. At one point, Yoruichi disappeared and never came back... she went somewhere and Soi Fon was angry because she couldn't come along.

Based on what else has transpired throughout the series, I might have an idea as to why Yoruichi left. Had something to with Keisuke Urahara (a former captain) getting banished from the Soul Society and defected to Earth...
another long story...

oh wow... I guess I kinda forget the fact Yoruichi was a princess of one of the royal families, but she chose another route aside from just the royal succession.
Soi Fon became a bodyguard as well as an apprentice.

It'd be a really wicked twist, wouldn't it? The princess being alive and as able-bodied as Yoruichi and Sode No Shirayuki

hmmm yoruichi shes awsome

I definitely see the elegence of Sode No Shirayuki, with the purity of her white kimono. But something of a kindness in Yoruichi.

As for Cassandra, here are the sources I'll be deriving from to inspire me:

While I was doing my search, I knew there was someone else I had to add to the list. I had mentioned in passing that there was a character from the Avatar series, whose appearance came to mind when I was conceptualizing Cassandra. They're not going to be exactly the same. I don't know enough about Mai (for some odd reason its pronounced "May" in the series... when it's "My" in every other animé I know) to go beyond appearances. I just know that she and Zuko were an item until he left town without telling her. Not the best way to break up with someone, lol... especially when she can kick this much butt while any "bending"

Soi Fon

She takes her position extremely seriously, very disciplined. Doesn't have a lot of patience for things that get in her way (one of these things happens to be her lieutenant, who can somtimes be a bit of a coward).

Cassandra has her drive, for sure, but I don't think she's nearly as hardcore about what she does. And that's saying a lot. There's a lot to be said about how strongly you want to play/write certain characters. How far is too far in any given direction?
It's really tricky, but I'm sure I'll figure out a balance at some point.


The majority of the influence here is going to be focused on her relationship with childhood friend, Ren.
She has a similiar no-BS attitude, but not nearly as hardcore as Soi Fon.
I'm sure I'll channel a little of both characters, taking the best out of both for this particular storyline.

and just for a little fun and because I'm kinda on a role. Although I won't be making any connections from a physical standpoint (rather his relationship with Rukia), I'll add a picture of Renji, whose personality will serve to bring further inspiration to the character of Ren... hence, the similiar names

I see Ren being on the other side of the coin opposed to Cassandra. He is about not taking things quite so seriously all the time, but when the chips are down, he knows when it isn't a good time for being laid back.

That's all I have to go on at the moment, really... a few key relationships... but I need to figure out my backstory, the relationship between Cassandra and the princess... I need a name for her, if only in theory...like "Rasputian" for my villian

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