Author's Notes & Commentary
When I wrote "Resurrection" way back in 2000, it was my very first try at writing fanfiction. I had actually been working on a novel which I later completed, but I found that writing other things was a good way to break up the grind of such a long work and also a chance to practice different techniques. I had the idea for the story for a while before putting it down on paper (or, to date it better, Corel WordPerfect), but it took a while to overcome the idea that it was a really dorky thing to do and just say to myself, "Look, it's the Internet, nobody's going to know about it, and you don't really want to live the rest of your life worrying what people will think is cool anyway." So, I finally took a crack at it.
Now, over a decade later, I'm back to review my old work, fix a few things, and give my thoughts on that attempt.
Why a Digimon Fanfic?
I've always loved animation, but it wasn't until around 1999/2000 that I actually started watching anime. The two series that got me interested in it were "Cowboy Bebop" on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and "Digimon" on Fox. "Bebop" is an amazing series, truly like nothing else out there, but I felt it had said everything it needed to. There wasn't much else I felt could be contributed to it, nothing that raised my curiosity, and to be honest, I didn't think my own writing was quite good enough to add something worthy to it. "Digimon" was a kids' show, so I felt I could take it a little less seriously.
As to why I liked the show in the first place, it was one of the first shows I saw that made a real emotional impact with its viewers and did it with kids who were, for a lack of a better word, "realistic." Yes, they're cartoony kids with oddball fashion sense and colorful monsters who fight bigger, meaner colorful monsters. But they weren't superheroes, they had real, even identifiable problems, and they acted the way you might expect real kids to act in such situations, be they ludicrous, dire, or heartrending. So, there I was, a guy too old to be watching a kids' cartoon, watching and being absolutely enthralled with it. At the end, I found myself wanting more and, in my wanderings about the net, discovered the world of fanfiction.
I read some of them, and while a lot of them were absolute crap, there were a lot of genuinely good stories out there written by people who, like me, came to love these eight crazy kids and their little companions.
When I first started watching "Digimon," it wasn't from the start. When I first saw the show advertized, I said to myself the same thing pretty much everyone said: "Oh, good, a 'Pokemon' rip off. Pass!" Of course, like everyone who has seen both shows can tell you, I eventually found out the two were nothing alike. While it does follow a formula, Digimon was far more dynamic in its plot and characters, and while I originally started watching it since I was bored and had nothing else to do when it was on, I became an addict and started sneaking in episodes when I was sure nobody would walk in on me watching it.
So, yeah, proof that I was a natural born geek: some people dread being caught watching porn; I dreaded being caught watching Digimon. But anyway...
I first started watching at the tail end of the Etemon story arc, and picked up on the show when DemiDevimon was introduced. The little bowling ball with wings was a weakling, an unreliable little punk who couldn't win a fight against even the weakest unevolved digimon partner. Literally; Patamon kicked his butt!
But the story revealed that he had basically done what no other villain had done: he had broken up the team and driven them apart with lies, deceipt, and mind games. At the time, I was studying Shakespeare's "Othello," a story which is driven by the machinations of a despicable, manipulative bastard named Iago. DemiDevimon was interesting as a villain because he was clever, not because he was strong. However, as his plans unraveled one-by-one, he fell by the wayside to become another incompetent lacky for the main villain, Myotismon. And, in the end, in a bit of a nightmare-fuel-inducing moment, he got eaten. I felt he deserved another shot.
What needed to happen in this story was a battle of wits, though. Towards that end, I made a decision to make the villains more threatening in their actions than their abilities. Furthermore, I thought about how to best include the digimon partners when I hit on a useful observation about the series: the show actually works okay without them.
Don't get me wrong, they're lovable, and without them fighting and their often touching relationships with their partners, the whole show falls apart. But think about the show itself, be it the first season or any season, and ask yourself, who is your favorite character?
The smart money says you picked a human character. Am I right? :)
Despite the fact that they don't really DO much, the emotional turmoil and maturation of the characters is what drives the plot, and the digimon themselves, to greater heights. To make the story more interesting, I decided to give the kids a chance to shine solely on their own without their partners. Adding to that, I realized that the kids are also bound together by Tai, their leader. By taking him out of the action early, I gave the other seven kids a shot at demonstrating their own abilities.
The Update and My Reaction
I'm going through all my old stories and updating them and fixing the formatting that screwed up in its updates over the years. If you've read this story before and you read it again now, you won't find it all that different. The only major changes I've made to the story were:
I changed it so "virus digimon" was not equal to "evil digimon."
I fixed some dialogue to make it more believable and less blunt.
Still, my goal here is to tweak the stories to make them a little better, but I don't want to totally mess around with the original works, so a lot of the cheesy jokes (every bit as cheesy as Jeff Nimoy could write!), classic rock references, lame romantic moments, and overly dramatic moments ("There was so much blood" comes to mind), got left in. Part of the fun of fanfics is that they are at least a little bit amateurish and cheesy, so I have left it that way.
"Resurrection," as I said, was my very first fanfic, and it shows. The buildup is slow, the chapters are uneven in their length, getting longer each time (which happened in part because I became more confident about writing more), and there are some out-of-character moments here and there. Mimi's a little too airheaded, Izzy's a little too vindictive, and Kari's a bit more angsty than I think she would really be.
On the romantic bits, I'd like to point out, as I said in my commentary for my Tai/Sora romance story "Behind Your Eyes," this story was written before Matt/Sora became canonical, and in the first season even the movie seemed to be indicating that Tai and Sora had a thing. But I hate really sappy moments and so even way back then, I tried to keep the sap to tolerable levels. "Cute" is good, but "saccharine" is vomit-inducing.
A few reviewers noticed that I paired Matt with Mimi and praised the subtle romance between them. While I was aware of some people shipping the two of them, I really wasn't going for that, to be honest. I thought it would be fun to put them together, and, to be bluntly honest, I needed to put Mimi somewhere and it seemed like the best place for her was helping Matt out. Sorry, Mimi fans. (If it makes you feel better, she gets very major roles in two of my other works: "Unintended" and "Ancient Enemy," which will both get the update treatment.)
The worst thing I did, though, was leave a major plot point unresolved: who the heck was resurrecting evil digimon anyway? Reader and fellow fanfic writer Ryan Berke noticed and, since he enjoyed the fanfic so much, he asked if he could write a sequel. While I was initially skeptical, I was curious to see what someone else would do with it, so I said yes. If you go to his page, you'll find it. Unfortunately, he never resolved it either, although his take on the idea was somewhat interesting anyway. So, I retook control of the series and finished off the trilogy with "Resurrection: Wake the Dead," another story I wrote during Season 2.
Let me just say that I'm not happy with either of those sequels, and while I eventually did resolve the plot, I still like this original story better than the sequels and can forgive the open ending.
In the time since I wrote this story, I have learned Japanese, lived in Japan for several years, and settled into a career back in the United States as a teacher of English as a second language. I often wonder how things might have changed if I hadn't gotten interested in Japan, first through anime, then through meeting international students, and followed that chain of events to where I am now. This fanfic was one step along the way toward acknowledging my geekier habits and my need to be more creative, and I think I am happier for making that step.
It's my sincere hope that you enjoyed this silly little story despite its flaws and likewise pursue your own interests wherever they may take you.
-Thinker, December 2011
P.S. If you must, here are the sequels to this story.
If you're interested, I'm slowly updating and reformatting my older works before returning to my only unfinished story "Ancient Enemy: A Digimon Fan-Novel." I'm keeping a list of things as they update, but feel free to put me on author alert or a favorite list if you'd like to stay updated.
As always, please read and review. I take all comments, good or bad, and I will try to respond if you ask for a response.