Author has written 20 stories for Samurai 7.
Annoucement (11/10/2009):Female Kyuzo, female Heihachi and female Hyogo fansite update! More writers and fanartists have joined the listing!
Retribution-series Announcements (updated Feb 7 2010)
Illustrated chapters of Retribution Feb 7 2010 - New Kanbei Illustration for Chapter 32! Currently, not all the chapters up on ff.net have been illustrated. I'm slowly working on it though. Check my fansite for update log.
Illustrated chapters of Price of Mercy, Cost of Honor Jun 15 2009 (New Shichi illustration for Ch 6 up on my site.)
Illustrated chapters of Wolf Warriors Nov 10 2009 (New illustrations added to Chapters 3, 5, 6, 12.)
Illustrated chapters of One Life, One Love Jan 11 2009 (New illustrations added to Chapters 1 and 3 on my site.)
Fully Illlustrated version of Unforgiven up on my site. (4 chapters) Sep 29 2008
More Illustrations added to Happy Endings up on my site. (Chapters 2, 4, 7, 9) Nov 10 2009
Illustrated version of Love Without Emotion 1/5/08
Characters of the Retribution Universe (updated 5/25/07 with more character images)
To see more illustrations (including wips) for my Retribution-series fics, check out my livejournal. I usually update weekly/biweekly with new art (Some entries are friends-locked).
Historical Inspirations for my stories
I've organized some of the historical notes cited as inspirations for my stories into articles:
Currently I have the first three chapters hosted on my site with accompany screen shots 'proving' that Kanbei and Kyuuzou really had something going on ;-) The entire fic is still on ff.net. I hope to eventually have the whole fic on my site with accompanying screenshots for the Kan/Kyuu moments.
For those writers thinking of writing female Kyuuzou fics (I would LOVE to read them), here are a couple of articles that you might find interesting:
A Place To Belong Announcements updated 6/19/07
My Community Beyond the Common Samurai: Off the Beaten Path (Yaoi, Minorities and More!) 8/27/06
I've tried to include all the yaoi fics I know of but I'm sure I must have missed a few. Writers, if you want your fic to be added to the community, ping me.
When I first created my OCs, they were meant to be tools brought in occasionally for providing background or moving the plot. They never 'save the day' or get the obsessive adoration of canon characters. Nothing against authors who write Mary Sues/Gary Stus. After all, the whole point of fanfics is for writers to have fun. But personally I prefer to make my OCs (if any) support existing characters, not take attention away from them. The exception is Mayumi from Beyond the Blade, who was created to parody Mary Sues. (All in good fun, of course ;-) Mayumi deviates from standard Mary Sues in one major respect - she's sly (not exactly honorable) and also somewhat of a womanizer. S7 was missing the stereotypical womanizing samurai found in other anime such as Otogi Zoshi and Samurai Champloo, so I decided to fill in the 'need' with Mayumi ;-D.
I create mostly 'minority' characters - characters belonging to demographics not well-represented in mainstream anime/manga/fanfiction. (or are just the kind of personalities that do not often appear in mainstream fiction) Simply because I believe the under-represented deserve to be seen/heard. At the same time, I don't want to make 2-dimensional PC plaster saints out of minority characters. So my canon character interpretations and OCs tend to be flawed and even disturbed individuals. Fair warning given. ;-)
I don't take my fanfics seriously to the point that I have to 'research' them. But I often borrow real world influences. For example, my yaoi fics have borrowings from the history of homoeroticism in traditional Japanese (and larger East Asian) culture. In Retribution, Kanbei's fascination with androgynous Kyuuzou is not a modern, Western phenomenon. The fascination with androgyny has a long history in East Asian cultures, including Japanese samurai culture. In Ambiguity, Kanbei and Shichiroji were former lovers after the samurai tradition of wakashudo 'way of the youth' - age-structured institutionalized homosexuality honored by the samurai but also practised by other social classes. I got this information from Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan as well as numerous online resources. The better book for the study of this topic, I've heard, is The Love of the Samurai: A Thousand Years of Japanese Homosexuality by Tsuneo Watanabe and Junichi Iwata, which I'm yet to read. I hope to buy it eventually.
But don't take my fics as a reference for premodern East Asian m-m or f-f social cultures or East Asian history for that matter. I might make departures from 'tradition' for dramatic effect or to make things more palatable for modern sensibilities. ;-) Or my sources could be inaccurate. I just feel the need to add historical/cultural references to my fics whenever I can so I don't inadvertently take credit for something might seem like an 'original idea' to readers, when in actuality the idea isn't original cos' something similar did happen in 'real life'.
Minority representations in fanfics
The reason S7 resonates with me is because it is the 'queer people of color' anime. ;-) How many other anime have dark-skinned people like Kanbei and Gorobei in key roles? (I can count the ones I know of with my fingers). And a brown man as the main chara at that.
As for the queer parts, well, see my random musings at Samurai 7 - the queer people of color anime. S7 has lots of m-m vibes, even obvious in-your-face statements e.g. Kanbei and Shichiroji's itsumo futari de. My fav is the sexual tension between Kanbei and Kyuuzou. Of course, one might say this is open to interpretation, but I can make a good case for it. ;-) See The Case for Kan / Kyuu for my crazy ramblings on the subject. ;-D
Anyway, I wanted to carry on the 'minority representation' theme in my S7 fanfics, so I made my OCs - Kyuuzou's 3 'sisters' (Sensei's older students) in the Retribution universe yellow-skinned, dark-brown-skinned, and chestnut-brown skinned. (They are, however, NOT intended to represent the behavior of people of specific races.) There are no female characters in S7, not even 'extras' in the passing crowd, who have Kanbei and Gorobei's coloring, though some male 'extras' do. So I wanted to fill in that lack. Retribution also has another brown-skinned female character (Kanbei's cousin/Kyuuzou's mother) and a black-skinned silver-haired character (Kyuuzou's aunt). You can see all these OCs in my Retribution artwork. Mayumi of Beyond the Blade is also ebony-skinned (with pale hair and eyes). Hopefully I'll have time to do artwork for her eventually.
As for my efforts so far in covering 'queer' people (apologies to those who find the term offensive, but it's easier than typing out glbt in its fullness, and more widely known than the term 'differently-oriented', which I prefer), here are my humble efforts:
In Retribution, Kyuuzou and Hyogo are 3rd gender characters - biological males with a non-male (but in this case, not fully female) social identity. 4th gender would be a biological female who is a 'social male'. Heihachi in A Passion With No Name and Kyuuzou in Ambiguity are not 4th gender characters - these are females who dress as men for practical reasons, not because they identify as male. Kyuuzou's friend Makoto (minor OC) in Ambiguity and Kyuuzou's big sister Haruko (minor OC) in the Retribution series might come close to qualifying as 4th gender, but Makoto does not identify as a man (though she is a mannish-acting lesbian) and Haruko's pretending to be a man is also mainly for practical reasons (though she does seem to enjoy it to the point you wonder if she's really 'acting'). So I decided to push a little further with minor OC Sadako/Sadamitsu of Happy Endings and Wolf Warriors. I guess s/he could either be considered lesbian or 4th gender (s/he seems to self-identify as 'male', and Kyuuzou sees 'him' as a guy in Wolf Warriors).
OK, getting off my GLBT activist soapbox now. ;-)
Samurai 7 Plot Challenges (added 7/28/06)
I'm not planning to write these fics, at least not for the foreseeable future, and quite likely, never. But I'd like to see other writers try their hand at them:
1. Kirara gradually learns there is life after Kanbei when she meets a down-to-earth, decent farmboy - who just happens to be another Amanushi clone. And so looks exactly like the dreaded Ukyo. (Sorta got this idea when Kiku asked Tessai why he killed the clones - to Kikuchiyo, they were fellow peasants who were innocent and did not deserve to die.)
2. Shichiroji and Kambei both fall in love with female Kyuzo - the typical plot about 2 best guy friends falling for the same girl. But with a girl like Kyuuzou, maybe it wouldn't be too typical. ;-)
3. A Gorobei/Honoka fic, anyone? What about even a Heihachi/Shino?
So let me know if you pick one of these plots to work with. I'd like to read your fic.
Favorite kind of fanfics:
The sort of fics that not only fits within the events of the canon universe, but also fits the literary style. I've seen some really good ones for Lord of the Rings. Those fics make me think, "That really could have happened within the story."
There's some AU stuff out there that I like too. But I have special respect for those fanfic writers whose work can be slipped between the pages of the original script/book and blended in seamlessly.
|Community:||Beyond the Common Samurai: Yaoi, Yuri, Minority Characters and More!|
|Focus:||Anime/Manga Samurai 7|