What is Isekai part 1

For the past two years or so, I’ve been reading a lot of light novels, particularly ones of the Isekai variety. Some may be wondering what is Isekai, and I believe I’ve read enough about the gimmick to explain it.

So what is Isekai? Basically, Isekai is a Japanese term for stories that take place in another word while the protagonist comes from this one. Generally, these new worlds are fantasy in nature or have completely different customs from the ones here on earth. I believe the reason for this is to give the writer freedom and express creative ideas that would otherwise not be possible. For example, you could have the protagonist be transported to a mystical world full of magic. Of course, you can do this in a regular fantasy novel that isn’t classified as Isekai. However, you lose that real life connection with the protagonist, and then suddenly everything isn’t that mystical anymore. The reason for this is the protagonist who is from the real world are bound by this worlds expectation. An example of this, is that you wouldn’t see people flying around or shooting fireballs out of their hands. Then when they get transported though, those previous established barriers set in their minds and the readers as well are shattered, letting the author experiment some more. 

Aside, from just being a good plot device to shatter expectations, it’s also a good way to progress the story. I’ll be talking about general trends later, but Isekai is also good for world building, hence progressing the story by explain certain story elements. Otherwise, this could be quite hard to explain later. An example of this is something like magic, which would be common knowledge in a fantasy setting. The reason for this? It could easily break immersion, as the author has to explain common world knowledge to a character that should already possesses this knowledge. However, this can still be easily subverted in fantasy by making the protagonist a child. This makes the explanation about whatever that needs to be explained part of their character development. 

Moving onto the trends of Isekai, there are generally two flavours of it. The first is world transportation and the second is reincarnation, I’ll be talking about reincarnation in a later blog. For now, in terms of world transportation, the most common application of this is in hero summoning stories. In stories like these, a hero or heroes are summoned from this world to fight some calamity. Generally the ages of these heroes are around that of a high school student, but that isn’t always the case and the story can also differ from time to time. However by the end of their adventure a demon is usually slain. 

In fact, when the protagonist is middle aged or a young adult, the types of stories that can be told are much more varied. Like above, the protagonist can be a hero saving the world. But a much more common trend I see with middle aged heroes, are slice of life stories. In stories like these, the hero ditches their job and leads a more civilized life, usually because a more capable hero took their place. However, this whole hero archetype can easily be flipped and the protagonist is instead summoned by a demon or the like. Personally, I find these stories are a lot rarer and are either really light hearted or really dark. 

The last kind of scenario I want to talk about is video game transportation. In stories like these, a character or characters gets transported into a game they heavily play, or sometimes another fantasy world. Usually these types of protagonist are overpowered and sometimes a Garysue/Marysue, which can leave the story bland but can be fixed with good character development and interactions. However, the goal in these types of stories are usually exploration or finding their way back out, sometimes a combination of the two. A really good example of a video game world transportation story is Log Horizon. In Log Horizon, it follows the trend of usually strong protagonists and the whole plot is to find a way home. In a way, Log Horizon is in my opinion the most textbook way a story can implement this kind of world transportation. 

Overall, Isekai is a pretty large subject that I can’t cover in one blog. Next week, I’ll be continuing this topic talking about the second type of Isekai, reincarnation and the flaws with Isaki as a whole.

My Second Semester Classes

In a previous blog, I talked about my first semester of grade 11 and how I felt about my current courses. However, in that blog I only covered my first semester. This time around, I would like to talk how I feel about my future second semester courses. 

First up is Media Arts, I believe I talked about why I picked this course in a previous blog. However, if you haven’t read that blog, I chose it because I had a lot of fun in it’s grade 10 variant. It also helps that I potentially would like a career related to Media Arts. As for how I feel about it, I feel pretty great. Unlike last semester, where I didn’t get any of the courses I really wanted or had to take out of obligation, I’m quite happy I got this class. As for hopes, I really hope we continue to use photoshop and other software similar to it. Nevertheless, I’m just happy I got the course and I look forward to taking it. 

Next is English, a course I don’t really mind taking. Even though it’s a mandatory course, I don’t have a dreading feeling about taking it. Through out my two previous high school year, English is the only mandatory course I’ve consistently done well in. It also helps that, I usually enjoy what we’re currently learning. The only times I can think of where I wasn’t particularly interested in the material, was probably when we were reading the mandatory novels. However, that’s just because the books chosen aren’t the ones I normally read so it’s a weird change of pace. As far as new material goes, there seems to be a unit focused on comics. In the end, I look forward to what we will learn. 

Now I’ll be talking about the only course I’ve been dreading of taking, Chemistry. Like Physics, it’s one of the three science courses. As for why I’m taking it, most of the good programs usually need two science courses, usually Chemistry and Physics. Therefore, the reason for me choosing this course isn’t because I think I’ll enjoy it like all my other courses. Instead, I basically need the course credit if I want to get anywhere in life. 

The last course of my second semester, is a course I didn’t actually choose. The course in question being Tech Design. However, I’m quite interested in it as one of my friends took the course before. It also helps that one of my previous teachers will be teaching the course. Basically, the premise of the course is using a software like CAD to create designs for structures. In grade 9 my friend made a cardboard chair, so our projects might be similar to that. Similar in the sense, that the course won’t be as focused on building. Instead, I think we’ll be focusing on the design aspect of our creations. Nevertheless, I think I’ll find the course interesting. The only thing I’m worried about is the technical drawings, because I had a bit of trouble with them last year. 

Overall, I’m looking forward to my next semester. With three classes I like, it will give me an opportunity to focus on Chemistry. All in all, I hope I do well next semester. 

Fire Emblem Three Houses Story and Thoughts

Recently I have finished the Nintendo Switch game, Fire Emblem Three Houses. I have a previous blog about this game, but that was prior to finishing the game. In fact, back when I wrote that blog, I hadn’t even half the story. Now that I have, one route at least, I can now share my throughs on the story. 

If you haven’t read my previous blog, let me give a refresher of the story and hopefully expand on it. At the beginning of the story, your player character acts as a teacher for one of three houses. I knew when I first picked up the game this decision would be very important. However, I didn’t know who much it would alter the story. In the end, I chose the Golden Deer house, which by looking at online statistics didn’t seem very popular. Anyhow, the first half of the story is very linear. There is almost nothing that will throw you off the set path. I currently know this very well because I’m playing the game a second time and there hasn’t been any major changes. 

After the time skip though, things become much more interesting. It is revealed that one of the students have been behind all the events during the school arc. Ironically, she is the leader of the most popular faction of the game so I wouldn’t be surprised if my reaction was much different to other players. Anyhow, this student takes control of their home faction and declares war against the church (the organization you and the school you teach at belongs too). At this point, this where all the routes start branching out. Like I said in my previous blog, there are four routes you can choose, one for each house and a route for the church. The downside to having four routes is that there aren’t too many chapters. I think in the Golden Deer route their were only around 10 chapters in the second arc. Suffice to say, during my time playing through the second half, I didn’t have fun killing off characters. It really sucks because sometimes you’ve invested a lot of time into a character and they turn on you, and I’m speaking from experience. The example I’m talking about is an archer I recruited during part one. After the time skip, I found it odd he didn’t show up. It wasn’t until I had to face him in the 16th chapter did I figure out what happened to him. Thankfully, my reputation was high enough with him so managed to recruit him into my army. However, things really would have sucked if I had to kill him. It wasn’t easy defeating him either because I over levelled all of my units… 

Now that I have talked about the Golden Deer route in depth, I would like to share some of my complaints. After defeating the traitorous student, you then have to defeat another bigger boss and it all just feels tacked on. The last three chapters of the Golden Deer route was fun, but it just felt so weird. For example, Fire Emblem takes place in a fantasy setting, but then there is one entire chapter that takes place in an underground city with robots, neon lights, and techno BGM. To this day, that chapter just left a bad taste in my mouth, it was like I was playing an entirely different game. Another minor thing I wish they could change would be at which point you receive the dancer class, but like I said it’s relatively minor.  

In the end, playing though the game in its entirety was really fun. Some of the highlights would probably be the student being an evil mastermind, or that the player character being a god. Mostly I came for the gameplay, but the story was also nice. So far, my Fire Emblem experience has been pretty great so far and I’m looking for the next release in the series. 

Grade 11 Semester 1

September is now here, and that mean school is now in full swing. Normally, I would have done a blog about my courses prior to school, just so I could share my opinion about the courses I’ve been given. Unfortunately, the school decided to withhold this information until the last week of summer. And don’t even get me started on our second semester courses, we didn’t even get those until school actually started. Anyhow what’s done is done, so let me share with you what courses I’ve been given this semester and how I feel about them. 

My first period, is Computer Engineering or TEI. When I say engineering, it just means we’ll be playing around with breadboards, arduinos, and how these two interact with each other. Unlike ICS which is pure coding, TEI is more like working with physical electronics and some code mixed in. So far in our first week, we’ve just been learning about all the components we’ll be using and how to theoretically but them on a breadboard. Well, technically it’s a refresher for some people because this is stuff you would have learned in previous engineering courses. As for what I think about the course? I think it’s pretty bland right now, but I’m certain it going to get better. It also helps that I’ve also heard a lot of good things about our teacher. When we get to the breadboards, I’m sure the course will get much better. 

Unfortunately I’m not as enthusiastic about my second period, Physics. So far our work hasn’t been that hard and I understand all of the things we’ve been doing so far. However, Physics has a reputation for being ridiculously hard. In our first week, we’ve only been looking at graphs and how those graphs relate a person is moving. In addition, our teacher also told us about future projects that look pretty fun. Suffice to say, Physics is pretty intimidating, but I hope to do well in the course. 

Just like my second period, I hold the same level of enthusiasm for my third period, Math. I don’t really now what to talk about because, well, it’s math. So far we’ve just been refreshing over things we’ve done in grade 10, primarily factoring. Besides refreshing, we’ve also been doing a lot of getting to know you activities. In the end, I just want to do better than my previous years and with the help of a tutor this year around I hope that goal comes true. 

Finally, my last period is ICS or Introduction to Computer Science. Like I said above, this course is pure coding, no electronics. Last year, I heard they were using Python but now this year the school is switching back to C#. What does that mean? Well, I not technically behind in terms of knowledge. I took a previous ICS course in grade 9 when C# was still the focus. Then I didn’t take any course in grade 10 where they did Python. So now that we’re back to using C# I could be consider quite lucky. Hopefully, this year will just be as fun as my year in grade 9. 

So that’s all of my course in grade 10. As you can see, I have a fairly balanced schedule this time around something I’m happy for. I’m looking forward to TEI and ICS while I hope I do well in the other two subjects. Overall, I very happy with my courses this time around.