Self Insert… by definition, it's strictly a placement of one's self inside a fan fiction work. Many of fan work authors have come across this word at least once in their lifetimes. The history of Self Inserts (hereby called SIs) has been washed and faded to obscurity. When did it start? Who started it? And most importantly… why?
While doubtfully if anyone will know the real truth behind it, whatever the true goal of having SIs in fan fiction was, has been tarnished. If any fan works depicts or even gives a hint of having an SI, readers turn away. And why is that, some would ask… well, it's because most SIs in a fan fiction are done as… gods.
Yes… it's true. Most SIs are portrayed as gods. As an author, he can do everything to make sure that he gets all the good spots, has invincible martial arts style, able to predict the future with such clarity… an SI never goes down, hurt badly, ugly, smells, or anything negative. They attract girls like honey attracts flies, and always the center of every conflict, able to end or start a war as he pleases.
However, there are many authors who have written SI fan fictions which are quite well done, and very much well received. No doubt that this is how a real SI is supposed to be showcased. Whilst some of them still fall on some of the categories of a godly SI, they all had a certain balance… certain conflict they all faced. And they entertained the readers.
One author has undertaken a task… a mission, if you will, to observe and see if there is any chance for an SI to live in a an fan fiction world without any added 'powers'. He is to carefully live in an AMH Dimension World… what most readers would call anime and manga universe… and learn new skills, meet new people, and when the time comes, leave.
Every world he'll visit will eventually forget him… his existence will vanish. Who he worked with, who befriended him… and perhaps those who loved him will not remember what he stood for, what he taught. He will remember though, for that is a burden he undertook to show the world that just being himself, with no extra powers, he can live in the AMH Worlds.
Here he is now, taking his first step on an AMH world. Like a swirling mist, a blue energy crackled in an empty space. He didn't want to alarm citizens if he suddenly arrived like the Terminator, enclosed in a blue sphere… though thank the gods he wasn't going to appear naked.
The energy faded, leaving behind a slightly overweight male with brownish skin and shoulder length black hair. He had a loose fitting polo shirt, white, with black undershirt. He also had loose fitting jeans with brown boots. His eyes were closed for a moment, savoring the air for a moment before he opened his eyes.
"Well, that was rather easy," he stated with a small smile. "For a moment there, I thought it was going to be…"
He was cut off when he heard a motor coming at him. Taking a slight glance towards the direction of the sound, his eyes widened suddenly when he saw a headlight, a yellow body, and a wheel rolling towards him at full throttle.
This is Buds… author also known as Demon Eyes Laharl (Dell, for short) and Omega X. His first run at the AMH world lasted less than ten seconds, due to a speeding Vespa, a severed spine and neck.
(Put cool sounding Japanese rock music here… oh, and add an anime like sequence here)
Demon Eyes Laharl presents…
The Self Insert Appreciation Documentary
Real SIs aren't heroes… They are regular people.
He awoke with a start, rubbing his head and neck, muttering strings of curses.
"The eagle has landed… not," a female voice declared in front of Buds. She smirked when he saw him glare at him.
For those curious, the woman was Buds' familiar. She's a very sexy red head, with an ample bosom, shapely hips and long legs. Her job is mostly keeping the 'Author Protocols' i.e. Author's Powers inside her being, to be taken out when needed or at Buds' command. He calls her Keyboard-ko.
"Oi… don't call me that."
My apologies. Back to the story then…
The place was absolutely… white. White walls… white floor… white ceiling. This is the hideaway of every SI before they continue on to their adventures. It has many names… ranging from original ones to those borrowed from the AMH Worlds.
Absolute Territory Area, ATA for short. I am betting Evangelion started this name.
Avalon… a nice new name taken from the rather fan favorite Fate/Stay Night.
Enclosed Space… no idea where that came from… though I suspect it came from the Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi.
Twilight Zone. Shame on you if you don't know it.
Buds calls it the X-Zone… for some reason.
"What the hell happened?" he asked.
"What do you think happened?" his familiar grinned. "You took three seconds to breathe in the fresh air of your first AMH World, only to notice, too late I might add, a Vespa coming in, and it hit you so hard your whole spine turned to jello."
Buds raised his finger and opened his mouth. A syllable came out before he cut it off, and remained silent for a moment. "You… I mean…" he growled. "I told you I wanted this to be perfect!"
"No, you said you wanted to be placed somewhere far from an urban area, away from prying eyes," she crossed her arms across her attractive chest. "It's not my fault the world you were going to has a crazy woman with a guitar on her back and was driving her Vespa like a psycho."
"You could have sent me on the side road… or at least a few meters away from the impact zone!" Buds pointed an accusing finger towards her. "But noooooo… you placed me there on purpose! You wanted to see me splatter my brains out, right, Keyboard-ko?"
Her eyes burned, and an evil aura surrounded. "Whut did you call me!?" she demanded in a very low tone, grabbing the offending man by his collar and dragged him up. Her free hand grabbed a few chestnuts out of nowhere, and made a show of crushing them slowly into powder with her grip.
"Ulp…" Buds swallowed the lump that lodged itself on his throat, his hands going protectively over his privates. "I… I'm sorr…"
"Do I have to remind you that you need me more than I need you!?" she demanded, shaking him slightly. "I have your protocols. I decide where you go and what you can do! You, yourself, stated that deal, spouting about how you are going to change the public view of SIs, and you have the gall to complain about your premature death because you took your sweet little time to take a deep breathe…" And she mockingly mimicked him taking deep breathes, exaggerated of course, "In addition, not notice the scooter speeding at you until you went splat?"
She shoved him towards the wall, her teeth out, revealing some sharp canines.
"Alright… I'm sorry Key…"
"Call me Boss!" she cut him off.
"Yes Bo… no fucking way," Buds caught himself at the end. At the same time, he crossed his arms over his chest. "I'm not calling you 'boss'… nu-uh."
"Hmph," she huffed, releasing him. "You're gonna call me boss one way or another."
"Screw you," Buds declared, flipping her 'the bird'. After a moment of silence, he looked towards his familiar who was whistling and floating in the air. "Which AMH world did I die in?"
"FLCL," she replied.
"Oh… then the trip wasn't much of a waste," Buds stated. "I don't know what I could have done in that world anyways."
"Prolly grow a bump, and let it turn to a mini guitar," she smiled.
"Or drum sticks. Anyways… next world?"
Buds' familiar began to ponder a bit, seemingly thinking of another AMH world to send the SI into. "Whatcha wanna do this time?" she asked. "Fight off evil demons?"
Buds looked at her. "No. I don't even have the capacity to slay a low level demon," he replied.
"Save the world?" she asked again.
"Save the… hey, are you being serious!?" Buds demanded. "How the hell am I, a normal human being, save the world?"
She shrugged. "Whip out those protocols of yours… you can be Superman when you want…"
"How many times do I have to tell you?" Buds pointed his finger at her. "I'm not gonna be some powered up SI!"
"But its sooo boring if you just try and live your life! Think of me! You think I like watching you do some normal shit when you can just do something so stupendous it would shake the foundation of the universe you'll live in?"
"Yeah, yeah, hence why I don't wanna do this SI travel with powering protocols… it's because I love to bore you to death," Buds declared sarcastically. "Just send me somewhere, alright? You decide. Send me in a war, or something… you'd prolly like seeing a bomb blow me up to pieces, send my guts and everywhere, anyways…"
"I'm not that sad, you know," she muttered, before she began to glow.
"I know…" Buds replied before his familiar's glow became blinding.
The first thing Buds would see every time the blinding glow would subside is white… then his eyesight would slowly correct itself, and he'd see colors. Blue, red, yellow, and brown would come in… then shapes… and lastly, details.
The blue would be the sky. The red would be the flowers outside the window. Yellow would be the sun. And the brown would be the wooden furnitures. For some reason, Buds found himself in a slightly furnished apartment, with a large window and a viranda.
There was one particular color that stood out in front of Buds: Dark blue purple, with golden strands and pale flesh color. He didn't know why or how, but a hooded woman was standing in front of him. He blinked.
"Are you my master?" she asked.
"Uh… huh…" Buds muttered, his mouth open. "Um… come again? I don't think I heard you right."
Her head moved in annoyance. "Very well… I shall repeat myself. Are you my master?" she asked again.
Buds looked towards the right, where he saw his familiar floating with a grin. "Uh… what's going on Ke…" he stopped when her face turned dark.
The woman in front of him looked curiously. "Who are you talking to?" she asked.
Before we go on, it should be said that Buds' familiar cannot be seen by anyone except him, and she's only corporeal in the X-Zone. In the AMH world, she's invisible and untouchable by everyone else.
"I wasn't talking to anybody…" Buds replied with a nervous chuckle. "Um… so… you're asking me if I'm your master… right?"
"Yes," she replied at once.
"Am I your master?" Buds asked stupidly.
"… I was asking that," she stated, her mouth forming a rather thin line.
"Oh just say yes, Buds," the SI's familiar stated with a shake of her head. "See those marks in your hands? Those are Command Spells. It's proof that you are a Master."
He raised his hand up to see… sure enough, there were marks on them. He looked at them curiously, and the woman saw them, and nodded.
"That is the proof that you are my master," she gave a slight bow. "I am Caster. I am your Servant."
"… You are?" Buds asked. "Um… cool… I think?"
Caster gave a slight sigh. "I shall then assist you to get the Holy Grail," she stated. "Master, I think I should explain my abilities…"
While Caster began to explain her abilities, Buds' eyes roamed towards her form. He imagined what she looked like without those baggy clothing for a moment. Unconsciously, he grinned. This Caster chick had a hot body, in his humble opinion. His head was careening to one side of his head, checking out how she looked like in other angles. Then, in his head, he formed some little erotic scenarios.
"Master… I am your Servant… I will do anything to you…" Caster would say as she stripped off her cloak, revealing her heavenly body. She would then saddle atop of him, and they'd…
"Master, are you okay?" she asked, rather deadpanned when she noticed Buds bleeding a bit through his nose.
"Uh, yeah, sure, I'm fine… okay! Yeah!" Buds had an unnaturally large grin to hide his lecherous expression.
Caster looked at him with narrow eyes. She found her master rather odd… too odd in fact. Other than having command spells, he showed no real sign of being a magician. She opted to not tell him her real name just in case.
"I may need mana recharging soon, Master," Caster stated with a serious nod.
"Uh… sure," Buds looked towards his invisible familiar who was grinning like mad. "Um… how am I supposed to do that?"
Caster's lips formed a thin line again. In her mind, she was asking if he was being serious. In an even tone, she replied, "Body fluid exchange."
"Oh… like… kissing?" Buds asked, finding the idea not bad… not too bad at all.
"No… something more potent," Caster placed her hands behind her, now gauging her new master.
"… sex?" Buds asked again.
"If you want to call it that, yes," Caster nodded slightly.
Buds head whipped around, facing the other way, his fist out on his chest, tears of joy spouting out of his eyes. 'SCORE!' he thought with a very wide grin.
"Very well," Buds stated as he hit his chest with his fist. "I can take care of that duty."
His familiar just rolled her eyes. Seemingly, Buds, a 21 year old virgin… in a span of one… no, two… wait, make that 16 years has been dateless, and got his hormones in overflow in seeing this beautiful sexy woman asking him to have sex with her soon. If he had been thinking a bit more clearly, he'd have noticed her dark expression as she studied him.
"Yes, I think you won't mind that duty too much," Caster stated. Her mind began to wonder more about this new Master of hers… "Master… why do you seek the Holy Grail?"
"Holy Grail? What's that?" Buds asked.
Caster's form suddenly went rigid. "You do not know about the Holy Grail?" she asked with a rather cold tone.
Buds felt the temperature drop a few degrees. He looked towards his familiar who was stopping her laughter, her arms around her stomach, and hunched over. He guessed he wouldn't get anything from her.
"Um…" Buds began to think. "O… of course I know the Holy Grail! Hahaha!" he laughed nervously. "I was just teasing you after all!"
"Then why do you want the Holy Grail?" Caster asked again.
"Uh… I… uh…" Buds' head began to think of a very valid reason to want something which he had no real clue about. Holy Grail? The only references he could think was the cup which Jesus drank from in the Last Supper… that and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Finally, a reason came to his head. "To gain eternal life."
"How cliché," Buds' familiar stated, deadpanned. The SI growled softly, and gave her a face, which said 'Oh shut up' quite clearly.
"Gain eternal life eh?" Caster asked, not really convinced. "It's an… impressive aim."
"No," she replied. "It's obviously made up. Are you really a magician?"
Buds familiar couldn't hold back her laughter anymore. She was rolling in mid-air, laughing without a care. Buds wasn't. Her form was chilling, and he felt if he didn't give her a 'right' answer soon, she'd be really pissed at him. Thinking for a few seconds on how to handle this, he made a rather rash decision.
"Alright… no," he muttered. He surmised that being truthful at this point would be the smartest move. "I'm not a magician, really…"
"How did you summon me then?" Caster asked.
He paused before giving another truthful answer. "No real idea."
"Ah… I see," Caster nodded her head for a moment. Buds felt the temperature dropping back to normal, and her form was no longer rigid like before.
"So… are we cool on this?" he asked.
"I suppose so…" Caster then took off her hood, showing Buds her face for the first time. He gasped.
Her blue eyes shone brightly… her hair, braided on one side was also blue, and her pale skin made her very beautiful. Her pointed ears made it even more exotic, and her smile was infectious. He couldn't help himself… Buds smiled in a silly manner as well.
That is until her blue eyes and her smile turned icy.
Buds dove at once to his left… he isn't a black-belter, or even an expert of any martial arts style, but having studied more than 3 styles of fighting, his body was still trained to move and dodge from dangers, even if it hasn't completely registered in his head. The wall behind where Buds had stood earlier had cracked, and some of its pieces shattered, and flew in the air.
A blue energy ball had almost hit him. He barely even dodged it. And Caster didn't like that. Her hands formed another blue ball, and aimed towards the fallen SI. "Die…" she muttered.
The blue ball launched itself towards Buds, his arms covering himself. His mouth opened, and he screamed… "DON'T KILL ME!!"
The ball stopped a few inches from his face, and disappeared to thin air. Caster's eyes narrowed when she noticed a glow in his right hand, and one of his command spells disappeared. She sighed. "Damn those command spells," she whispered.
Buds looked at her for a moment before glancing towards his familiar. She smiled. "Command spells in your arm allow you to give absolute orders to your Servants even if it's against their will," she explained.
Buds blinked for a moment… then smirked. He began to laugh. He slowly stood up, and looked towards Caster who was glaring at him. He crossed his arms on his chest. "Not so tough now, are you?" he asked with a grin.
"Heh…" Caster's hands once again formed a blue ball in her hand, much to Buds' surprise. The ball once again launched itself towards the boy, who barely dodged it once again.
The SI backed himself towards a wall, and looked at Caster, surprised. Why was she trying to kill him… are the command spells temporary? Did it have a certain expiry date?
It wasn't until she launched another ball to him did he realize what she was aiming. Caster wasn't going for him at all… she was aiming for his arm which held his command spells. Barely raising his arm to dodge that projectile, he ordered in a clear voice, "You will not harm me in any way!"
His hand glowed again, and another mark was removed. Caster growled and stood down as he studied her soon to be ex-Master with a little amused smile in her lips. She had exploited a loophole in his first command, and opted to take a limb away (which wasn't fatal) to relieve him of his command spells but he caught on by giving another command, in expense to his second command spell, which now prevents her from harming or killing him in any way.
"Hmph," she huffed, crossing her slender arms across her chest. "You may have delayed the inevitable, boy, but make no mistake… I will kill you."
Without another word, she turned around and walked towards the exit. Buds blinked for a moment, and was tempted to ask about the mana recharging when his mind told him that it would be much better if he just shut up for now.
When Caster had left the apartment, Buds looked at his familiar, and frowned. "Thanks for all the help you've been given me up to this point."
"Oh shut up," she replied with a grin. "This is fun! Better than the crap you've wanted about living life normally. Now you got a murdering witch after your tail, and if you don't watch your step, you're going to find yourself in the wrong end of her wrath."
"Why did she turn on me?" Buds asked. "Aren't I her… master or something?"
"The moment you said you knew nothing about the Holy Grail, she deemed you useless," she replied with a small laugh. "Well… you're lucky to still be alive. Congrats."
"Yeah… oh well…" Buds looked at his hand, and noticed that the lines (Command Spells) have been reduced. "Huh?"
"You got three command spells," his familiar explained. "You used two. When you use them all… well, let's say your ass is hers."
"So… all I gotta do is not use the last command spell, right?" Buds asked.
"You got it," she winked. "But knowing your Servant… she's gonna find ways to make you use up that last spell."
Buds sighed. He looked desperately towards his familiar, and asked, "Mind giving me a hand here?"
"I'd rather watch you fuck up," she replied at once.
"Hmph," Buds huffed. "You're as helpful as Reiko…" he paused. After a moment, he smirked. "Heh! I guess I can start calling you that. I shall now dub thee as Reiko!"
His familiar looked at him oddly. "Who the hell is Reiko?" she asked.
"An old friend who I once accidentally saw naked… and tried to stab me the day we met…" Buds muttered. "Long time ago… I wonder how she's doing…"
"Reiko… Reiko… Rei… ko…" his familiar smiled as she let the name roll on her tongue. "I like it. Well, its better than Keyboard-ko." She nodded. "You can call me Reiko then."
"Gladly," Buds muttered dryly.
From that day on, Keyboard-ko was now named Reiko, after Buds' eccentric Japanese female friend.
In the past three days, Reiko (Keyboard-ko's new name) smirked as she watched Buds and Caster interact. True to her words, the Servant had put several attempts to have the SI use his last command spell.
First Attempt, Day 1:
Caster walked in Buds' room at night, naked. His eyes bugged out of his eye sockets, and muttered dumbly at her.
"Mana… recharging?" he asked.
Caster smirked. "No. I found a way to recharge myself without your help. But… if you want to have sex with me, you will have to use your command spell to force me to it, right?" she asked.
Buds turned around, and looked away from her. No way would he take that bait. Caster's smirk grew larger as she slid on his futon, and enclosed her arms around him, letting him feel her skin on his back.
Buds couldn't sleep that night, and thought of buying a lock for his door.
Second Attempt, Day 2:
Buds sighed as he emptied his pocket. He had no money to buy a lock, having spent most of it on breakfast. Caster, beside him smirked again.
"If you wanted to, I could give you something to sell for money," she stated. "Of course, its mine, and I can't let you have it, unless you use that command spell of yours."
Buds looked for a part-time job that day. He found a low paying job as a Ramen deliverer. He started today for the afternoon, and got enough money for dinner.
Caster still slept naked beside him. He couldn't sleep well.
Third Attempt, Day 3:
Buds had bag under his eyes. She was torturing him. He almost crashed his bike on a lamp post today. He spilled his delivery, and was warned about being fired if another mishap occurs.
"I could nix you a spell to take away your sleepiness," Caster stated with a smirk. "Of course… you gotta…"
"Shut the fuck up," Buds muttered as he slid down his futon that night. But no matter how sleepy he was, for some reason, he was kept awake.
"She's fucking killing me…" Buds muttered to Reiko who was laughing softly. His sleepiness finally got him fired (after running over the person he was supposed to deliver to) and he was in the play ground, looking at the ground dejectedly.
It was evening, and he didn't feel like returning. He wanted to get away from Caster, and hopefully, he'd get some sleep.
"She uses her spells to keep you up," Reiko stated.
"I thought she isn't supposed to harm me in any way?" Buds asked.
"She isn't harming you, per-say… she's even putting some stamina in you so you wouldn't suffer any real damage," Reiko flipped over. "She's just making your mind crack… make you slip. She is very clever."
"Yeah…" Buds sighed. He closed his eyes. "Can it get any worse…?"
"You know that saying things like that makes things worse?" Reiko asked.
"How can it get worse?" Buds asked, looking at her. He blinked.
Reiko wasn't looking at him. She was looking towards her front. His head moved, trying to see what his familiar was trying to see. His eyes widened. He saw a shadow of two figures; a big one walking towards him, and another small figure, a child, in his shoulders. When the light shone on the two, he gasped.
The large male figure was muscled, holding an enormous, barbaric looking blade. On his shoulder stood a little girl with pale skin, long blonde hair, and red eyes. She jumped towards the big man's open hand, and slowly put her on the ground. She smirked at him.
"Uh… hi…" Buds greeted dumbly.
"Where is your Servant?" the young girl asked.
"Um… somewhere?" Buds replied.
"I guess this makes it easier," the girl looked towards the large man. "Berserker!"
The enormous man growled and raised his weapon. Buds blinked again, and barely dodged the horizontal slash towards him. The big man was fast… his weapon was very sharp as it cut his shirt a bit when he flipped back, and landed on his back.
"Berserker! Finish him!" the girl ordered.
The monster raised its weapon, on top of Buds' fallen form. His legs were stuck in the chains of the swing when he flipped, and couldn't escape. He cursed. His eyes formed tears. Was this how he was going to end his trip here? Being killed by two individuals because of some grail?
He could feel his heart beat. His mind was screaming… He wished somebody… anybody… "Help me…" he whispered.
The large man the girl called Berserker chopped the ground with enough force to send shockwaves around the playground. When the dust cleared, the girl saw that her Servant didn't hit anything except the ground which cracked at the force of the blow.
"Hmph," she huffed. "Let's go, Berserker!"
The giant nodded, and walked away with the girl.
Buds opened his eyes, and found himself on the ground of his apartment. In front of him was his Servant, who smiled at him.
"You… you saved me?" Buds asked, touched for a moment.
"I didn't want to," she muttered before her smile turned cold. "But… Command Spells… what can I do about it?"
"… No…" Buds looked at her blankly. "I… didn't! I couldn't have used a command spell…"
"You commanded me to help you," Caster approached the SI, her eyes now planning murder. "You held well, for someone who isn't a magician. I guess I should commend you for that."
"Look… spare me," Buds begged. "I can help you get your Holy Grail… I'd… I'd be your servant! I'll do anything you ask!"
Caster looked at him for a moment, and her hand glowed. From thin air appeared a rather crude vice which doesn't look like to be used on his head or neck. It looked like it was going to be used on his…
Buds blanched. Caster's evil gleam seemed to enjoy that expression. He sighed. "You know what? Death is fine too…" he muttered.
"With pleasure then…" Caster stated.
There ends Buds' trip to that AMH world. He was stabbed seven times. He lost himself to the pain in the third stab, and was brain dead by the fifth. The seventh stab was towards his chest, and Caster had extracted his still beating heart with a satisfied expression.
In the X-Zone, Buds slept for a day uneasily, still having nightmares about Caster. By the third day, he stopped shaking, and by the fourth, he was talking. Reiko who watched him for the past few days looked a bit apologetic. Maybe it wasn't a good idea to have set him up with Caster.
Even if it was rather funny to watch.
"Reiko?" Buds called.
"Yeah?" she replied.
"Roger," Reiko nodded, and began to glow.
Buds learned a lesson. Women are dangerous… and his already misogynistic view had increased by two-fold.
To Be Continued…. Maybe.