For the past week or so I’ve been playing a game called Arknights, and today I want to talk about it. To start off, it’ll probably be best to explain what Arknight is and how I encountered it.

To summarize, Arknights is produced by Yostar, a China based company that produces apps for IOS and Android. Prior to playing Arknights, I was actively playing Azur Lane, another app of Yostar. During my time play Azur Lane, I joined a Discord server that’s made of people who enjoy playing games like Arknights and Azur Lane. By joining this server, I learned of the Arknight global beta. The app seemed pretty interesting, so I kept an eye on Arknights. It also helped Arknights was produced by Yostar, a company I know that can source good art and voice actors. At this point the rest is history, I waited for the official release and I’m currently playing the game. With that summery out of the way, I can start actually start talking about why the game is so intriguing. 

Arknights, is a combination of two different types of games. The first of these two types is tower defence. In tower defence games, you typically need to defend an objective with towers. The enemy travel down a predetermined path and you can strategically place towers along the route. On the other hand, the second type of game is strategy games. In these games, you place down units and control them by giving certain orders, examples being movement or special abilities. In Arknights, the enemy still travel down a predetermined path. However, you can place down your units or operators almost anywhere on the map. What this means is that unlike other tower defence games, you actually block the waves of enemies. In my mind, this adds another level of strategy. 

Unfortunately, the enemy is this game are pretty typical. They have weakness and advantages, but they aren’t anything you wouldn’t see in other tower defence games. However, what really drives the amazing map system is the operators or units. In the game, there are eight classes Vanguard, Guard, Defence, Medic, Caster, Sniper, Support, and Special. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. However, I’ll like make another video going into each class at a later date.

What we need to know now is that each class has their own role and can be broadly split into two categories. Vanguard, Guard, and Defence operators can only be placed on the ground. Meanwhile, Medic, Caster, Sniper, and Support units can only be placed on high ground unless stated otherwise. The only exception to this rule is Special, because certain operators in this class and bypass the restriction. The game does indeed let you place operators almost anywhere on the map, they just restrict certain operators to certain terrain. 

Overall, Arknights is a complex game that involves a lot of strategy. In the future, I hope to talk about all the class in depth and explore their uses. 

What is Gender Bending?

It’s been a while since I did one of these, so I thought it was about time I continue this series. This week, I’m going to be talking about gender-bending in manga and anime. A term some may be familiar with but other not so much. 

In its purest form, gender bending is exactly what it says. In most cases, there is a character that gets his or her gender switched. However, people masquerading or controlling an avatar of the opposite gender can also fall under gender-bending. A very simple term compared to previous ones. The reason I didn’t cover this term earlier is because gender-bending isn’t unique. It’s something that’s has been thoroughly explored, but I feel the Japanese play around with this concept more often than others, hence why I’m talking about it here.  

So, what does gender bending add to a story? So far from what I have seen, there are two flavours of this. The first is that the gender-bend is integral to the plot, meaning the protagonist gets gender swapped more often than not. The second is that the gender-bend is not integral to the plot, meaning a one off or supporting character gets gender swapped. In this blog, I’ll be ignoring the second category. Most of the time, the gender swap is just an aspect of the character and adds to their complexity. Other than that, their gender swap doesn’t really effect the overall story besides when the plot focuses on it. At that point, it’s more like the supporting character temporally assumes the role of the protagonist, because it’s their story arc. My point is, that if an author decides to put gender-bending into their story, it either holds a really significant role or none at all. Gender-bending isn’t something you can just touch upon, instead it’s something the author builds upon. Regardless, in either case the author will end up focusing on the gender bending at some point. 

Now, the question becomes if gender-bending is so important to the plot, what’s the plot? In my experience with gender bending, each story adds their own twist. Almost none of the manga I’ve read has what I could consider identical plots with a fresh coat of paint. However, this won’t mean I can’t list some more general trends of how gender-bending is used. 

The first trend, is usually getting their original body back. In stories like these, for whatever reason, the protagonist looses their original gender to due to an incident and must find a way to get it back. The inciting incident can be super natural in nature or completely sci-fi. That is reason this trend is so broad, if I narrowed the conditions down any further it could hardly be considered a trend. A good example of this trend is Ranma 1/2.

The second one, is what I call adapting. For these stories, the protagonist can no longer get their body back. Instead, they must now adapt to their new body and live out the rest of their life. Due to the slightly boring nature of this type of gender bending, it is most often seen in romance scenarios. For example, one of my favourite manga uses this kind of scenario. It involves two childhood friends. They are both male and one of them has a fear of girls. During their second year in high school, one of the males get turned into a female due to an irreversible disease. I personally just found the plot really intriguing, it lead to so much character development between the two friends and their eventual romance. 

Forth, is a rather short one I call VRMMO. Personally, I consider this more of an extension of the first. Basically, in this plot there is usually a VRMMO involved. In this MMO, the protagonist controls a character of the opposite gender, more often than not for comedic purposes. Notable examples of this are Prince 1/2 and Only Sense Online.

Finally, the last trend is hiding gender. Like trend number two, this one usually involves heavy amounts romance. In stories like these, the male or female lead needs to crossdress for whatever reason. Examples of some of the more popular reasons are to join a gender specific club or to join a certain group. For this reason, the hiding gender trend is usually associated with the sports and drama genres. Regardless of the reason for their joining, the crossdressing lead eventually falls in love for one of the other club members or their coworker, depending on the situation. In the end, the crossdressing lead ends up playing a dangerous game of hiding and pursuing their love, which is fun to read most of the time. Compared to other forms of gender-bending, this trend is much more grounded in reality.

Overall, I hope the explanation I gave was satisfactory to those who didn’t know much about the topic. Although gender-bending is fairly well known topic, I feel there are plenty of ways to explore it. Personally, I find it a shame that there aren’t more good gender-bending stories out there. Next time, I’ll probably cover the terms I mentioned weeks ago, Yaoi and Yuri. 

Semester Two Grade 11

Exams have just finished and second semester is just around the corner. In this blog, I’m going continue a tradition that’s been happening since grade 9, summarizing all my courses and what I think of them. 

The first course I have is media arts. Out of all the courses I’ve had previously, I think media arts is one of the more enjoyable subjects. From my previous experience with media arts, the course taught us how to use photoshop, cameras, and the history of art trends, examples being cubism and dada. Speaking personally, the camera projects didn’t really interest me and I primarily chose this course for the other two areas. Working with photoshop was really fun and I can see it being a useful skill in the future. As for the history of art trends, I find enjoyment learning about the past. Overall, I’m interested to see what I learn from the course this year. 

After media arts is english. Unlike my electives, I didn’t have a choice as english is mandatory. However, I have enjoyed previous english classes, and don’t find it as intimating compared to subjects like math or science. My biggest problem with the course is likely going to be the reading material. Most of the time, there will be at least one book I don’t really enjoy that is a mandatory read. Basically, the enjoyment I get out of this course is directly correlated to how interested I’m into the material. From what I hear, the Shakespeare book we’re going to be reading is Othello. Unfortunately, unlike Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth, I haven’t really heard of Othello. Due to this, I not really going into the subject with the same enthusiasm I’ve had in previous years. However, I can’t wait to see what we do this year. 

Next, I have is technological design. Unlike the previous two subjects, I can’t really talk about my past experience with the subject. However, I have heard a lot of good things about the course. From what I can tell, instead of building stuff like in construction, we’ll be looking at how technology can be applied. For example, instead of building a wall like in construction, perhaps we’ll be looking at how the techniques we used could be applied on a grander scale. I also have the feeling, we’ll be doing a lot of technical drawings. Besides that, I not quite sure what else we’ll be doing, for now I can only speculate.

Finally, the last course I have is chemistry. In all honesty, I’m not looking forward to this subject. I was never the best at the sciences and I’ve heard the chemistry teachers aren’t the best either. We’ll likely, be looking at more chemical reactions and stuff of the like. After asking my friends, they have also said chemistry is really hard. All in all, chemistry will likely my biggest problem this semester. 

Overall, I have a pretty good feeling about this semester. I’m interested in almost all the courses I got, besides chemistry. However, I’m just happy I even got the courses I wanted this time around. Last year, when I was in grade 10, I got stuck with a few courses that I didn’t really want. I just hope I get good grades for the second half of my grade 11 year. 

Winter Break Plans

In a few days, the winter break will begin in earnest. This weeks, blog will detail my plans for the break. 

The first thing I plan to do, is to finished the photo project I’ve had going on. I had set it aside since the beginning of the school year due to my already hectic schedule, and now that I have time, I’m going to finish it. I’m planning to allocate three days to this endeavour, and as long as nothing else comes up I think it can be done. I will most likely see it as a school project and pull long hours. Most of it is just reorganizing, cross-referencing, and adding text.

Next, I really need to start my physics project. Last time I had to create a launcher and before that a rattrap car, this time I’m task with creating a rollercoaster. In reality, it’s less of a rollercoaster and more of a marble run, but still a daunting task none the less. I plan to use bristle board as the main track, but I’m not quite sure as to what I want the supports to be. If it’s too fragile, it won’t be able to support the coaster. Unfortunately, the more stable I get, the harder the material is to work with. Previously, I planed on using cardboard. However, after working with the material in my last two projects, I have come to release how messy it can get. Anyhow, I wish to get most of it done by the end of the break. 

Third, is my unit 3 compute science project. Like a previous I’ve done before, we are trying to recreate a Pokémon style battle game. The player and Ai will each take turn trying to lowers each others HP. This will repeat until one of them reaches 0. A simple concept, however, there are extra features that complicated it a bit. Unlike last time, we will be applying new knowledge. For example, in grade 9 when I created a similar project, I didn’t need to create a party system. That is a feature the teacher wants implemented this time, after learning about arrays. I already have an idea of what I want to do, I just wonder if I have enough time. 

The fourth activity I plan to do, is just general relaxation. The school, year has be lively to say the least. Since the beginning of September, I haven’t really managed to think about anything other than school. In addition, it also feels like assignments are coming out of the woodworks. However, this is just my opinion. In any case, some rest and relaxation would be nice. 

Overall, this has been a short blog. I want to talk about more, however, if I did there wouldn’t be enough time to accomplish all the goals I have laid out. Unlike previous years, I have a general idea of what I want to accomplished during the break. In fact, I’ll be amazed if I even get to rest at all. 

RGSS Play: The Greatest Show

A few weeks ago, my family and I went to go see the RGSS yearly play. In this blog, I will share my thoughts and how they could have improved the play. 

First, I think it will be best to give a short summary of the play. Most of the plot revolves around a circus and three characters, two siblings and a doctor. Basically, the circus is having financial troubles while the doctor wants to run them into the ground. Eventually, the circus makes a come back by making their show more grander. However, this hot streak is foiled by the doctor when she sends orphans to sabotage the circus. When the circus realize how much collateral damage could happen, they need to decide what to do with the orphans. The brother of the two siblings wants to let them go as not to damage the circuses reputation. On the other hand, the sister wants to keep the orphan and not throw them back out on the streets. In the end, the circus splits and each sibling goes their own way, taking their part of the circus with them. Eventually, the brother begins to loose his grip on his part of the circus and realizes money and fame isn’t everything. In the last scene, he runs back to his sister and the circus is reunited. That is a general summary of the play with no subplots included. 

In my opinion, it is not a bad play and if done right could be quite entertaining. However, I have a few problems with it. To start off, the timing feels very weird. The play was 2 hours and 30 minutes, which is already very long for a play. In that time, the circus was split at the 1 hour 45 minute mark. What this meant was that the rest of the play, climax, resolution, and everything else had to fit in 45 minutes. After the intermission, everything just felt rushed. My second gripe revolves around the romantic subplot. In the play, there is this playwright and actor that had a relationship in the past, but separated after the playwright placed his social status and parents opinion above his girlfriend. The whole point of this subplot was to reignite their relationship, a very basic romance subplot. Unfortunately, they messed it up with really bad timing. There just wasn’t enough time to flesh out the characters and make me care. My third problem was just the all the technical mess ups. I don’t know how other the plays went, but I could see a lot of fumbling. For example, during one scene, the playwright and sister were spinning on this table and would both raise a glass afterwards. Unfortunately, during the spinning the playwrights glass fell off the table, making him do a weird transition into raising the glass. Finally, there was the musical numbers. I’m already not really that big into musicals and this experience didn’t help that fact. It was fine, just really uncoordinated in some numbers. I found when there were more people, there were always more mess ups. Personally, I found the solos and duets much more entertaining, even if some of them didn’t even fit the theme of the play.

To address these problems, I feel the people participating need to take it more seriously, meaning they actually want to act. I know from experience that even if you hate preforming, you need to do it for the marks. However, this just leads too bad acting. I’m not accusing anyone of intuitionally dragging the play down, but a smaller more enthusiastic cast would help. Second, narrowing down the plot. The romantic subplot was okay, it just felt so rushed and shoehorned in. To fix this, I would personally mesh it together with the main plot. Instead of having a brother and sister pair run the circus, maybe a couple instead? For example let’s call the guy A and the girl B. After the circus begins to gain notoriety, A plans for a proposal only for the doctor to ruin everything. The split of the circus could still happen, however, now with the add twist of B ending their relationship due to his pursuit of money and fame. This could leave A heartbroken, leading to a decline in sales and leading him to become even more heartless. With the performers beginning to realize A has lost it, they begin to leave one by one. Now all alone A begins to realize his mistake and rushes to B’s performance like in the play. If done this way, we could still have an entertaining plot and even a romantic proposal at the end. As an added benefit, it would also mean they could cut out the playwright and actor almost completely, leading to more time. However, this is just how I would have done the play. 

Overall, I think the play had its moments. I like the idea, it just could have been executed better. Would I like to see it again? Not really. I feel like it more comparable to those recitals for students, it’s mostly for friends and family. Like I said before, the people acting need to be enthusiastic about it. Forcing people to do something they don’t want to is just disaster waiting to happen. 

What is Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai?

This week, I’m going to continue my series on unknown genres, and this time I’m going to introduce two additional genres. So what are these two genres, I’m going to be talking about this week? They are two very similar genres, in my opinion, called Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai. 

To start off, what is Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai? If you remember, in two of my previous blogs, I already talked about Shojo and Shounen individually. Now I want you to throw all that knowledge out the window, because their Ai counterparts have almost nothing in common. Shojo Ai rarely has romance by itself, and Shounen Ai barely has any action. Instead, Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai focus on friendship, each with a different gender in mind. Shojo Ai is aimed a female audience, and it is essentially girls doing different activities ranging from sports to camping. There are almost no guys in these stories and romance is rarely touched upon. On the other hand, there is Shounen Ai, aimed at a male audience. Personally, I don’t read Shounen Ai as much compared to other genres, so my perception of the genre may be a bit skewed. Anyhow, the best way to describe Shounen Ai is the epitome of bromance. There will generally two or more men with a very close but non romantic relationship, and there will be no females in the main cast.

Now that I have explained what the two genres are, I’m going to explain how they are used. Generally, Shounen Ai and Shojo Ai are never the focus of the story themselves. Instead, there will almost always be another genre to drive the story like sports, music, or drama. Shounen Ai and Shojo Ai are more like an added bonus, ones that will naturally occur depending on the cast. For example, an author might start a manga without any aspects of Shojo Ai. However, by the time that main protagonist becomes good friends with the main cast (almost all girls), and no male lead has been seen, people will like start classifying it as Shojo Ai. 

Finally, we have arrived to the trends section of the blog. Unfortunately, because of my limited knowledge of Shounen Ai and Shojo Ai, I am only able to share one common trend between the two genres. The trend in question being clubs. I think I already talked about this in my slice of life blog, but this trend also frequently contains Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai. To be even more specific, the trend usually pairs the sports genre with Shounen Ai. For example, there be a group of male childhood friends that play basketball together, or something along those lines. With Shojo Ai, the types of genre become much more varied. However, the most common one I think I’ve seen paired is probably music. 

In the end, I hope this broadened your knowledge of Shounen Ai and Shojo Ai. These two genres are definitely not as popular as some of the other genres I’ve talked about. However, that’s part of the reason I wanted to talk about them, to spread a bit of awareness. Anyhow, next time I think I’ll cover Yuri and Yaoi, two similar genres to Shojo Ai and Shounen Ai respectively. However, this time around Yuri and Yaoi actually touches upon romantic relationships.

Black Friday Gaming Chair Shopping

Recently, I’ve been looking for a new chair. Why? Because my current one is falling apart. Personally, I like to think I spend my money decently well. I keep $1000 dollars worth of savings in my youth account and I try to only shop twice a month at most with a budget of no more than $200. However, this might be one of the few times I might have to thrown my self imposed spending habits out the widow. In this blog, I be talking about my criteria in what I want in a chair and my experience finding one. 

First off, I can’t buy a chair and be happy unless I know what I want. So when I started looking for a chair, I made it a point to narrow down the list to the ones that could support my head and upper back. After much use, my current chair has lost the ability to do the latter and never had the ability to do the former.  What I’m hoping is that this newest purchase will remedy this for at least the next five years. Because of this, my second requirement was something that could last a long time. Finally, my last requirement for a chair was it had to be on sale. It may seem a bit weird to have this as a requirement, but I was shopping on Black Friday, one of the best times of year to get a good deal, so I was hoping to at least save some money. 

I had this list of requirements for a while, since the beginning of November. The reason I had been holding out was because of Black Friday. With my fingers crossed, I really hoped it would increase the amount of value I got for my money. During this period of time, my mom found out about my search for a new chair and offer to pay half of the chair. Honestly I was really grateful as that increased my budget and options two fold. Prior to this, I only allocated a maximum of $150 to buying a new chair. Now, I could look at chairs ranging from $200-$300! 

With my budget set, I began my search for a chair on the eve of Black Friday. In my mind, there were two types of chair I was looking at. The first was gaming chairs and the second was executive chairs. Both of these options would be able to support my head and would last a long time with their solid construction. In the end, the deciding factor for me was the sale aspect. During my search, I have come to realize that executive chairs never go on sale… Even with Black Friday around the corner, I struggled to find a decent quality chair with more than $50 dollars off that fitted within my requirements. Eventually, I threw in the towel and focused my search exclusively on gaming chairs. Narrowing down my list further I decided to wait for Black Friday for possibly more options, that turned out to be a mistake. 

The next day, I woke up to find my first budget option was no longer available for sale. I guess I couldn’t be too upset though, early bird get the worm after all. I thought just because my first option was taken, that didn’t mean there weren’t any other good deals. However the longer I looked on Amazon, the more discouraged I became. Almost nothing was on sale! It was Black Friday and there were only maybe three gaming chair on sale. Eventually, I looked at Staples and Costco’s websites. There options were good… But nothing was on sale and out of my budget. With only a few hours remaining, I found myself browsing Canada Computer’s website. They had a wide selection and plenty sales… But they were out of my budget. This made me realize, I had to make a decision. Spend a bit more and get a quality chair or go cheap with Amazon. 

With a heavy heart, I made the decision to go for a more expensive chair. I knew it would hurt my wallet now, but it would be better than having a cheap chair break on me. With my decision set in stone, I began looking at my options. Finally, I decided on the Corsair T2 Road Warrior. It could support my head and would definitely last a while. The only problem was the price… With tax it definitely went over my budget. Even with my parents paying half, it would still cost $212! I had already decided to scrap my idea of buying the games I wanted to increase my budget for the chair. However, not even that seemed to work. After much deliberation, I decided to get it. 

In the end, what did I learn? Well for one, Black Friday isn’t the massive shopping spree I envisioned it being. Two, if you want something keep an eye on it. And finally, never underestimate the price of chairs, those things are expensive. Do I regret the experience? No, I needed a new chair and I rather have a quality one over a cheap one. Still, I hope I won’t have to bend my spending habits for quite a while. 

Fanfic Terminology Part 2

This week will sort of be a part two from the previous blog. Last time, I introduced you to where you can find fan fiction work and some common terminology. In this blog, I’ll be expanding on that and cover topics I personally work with. Last time I was a bit constricted with what I could share because it’s better to get a full over view of the community before diving into the specifics. In this blog, I won’t really explain terms I used in the last one, so read that one first. 

Alright, this is a term I mentioned in my last blog and one I would have explained, shipping. So what is shipping? Basically, it when you support two characters getting together in a romantic relationship. This is most prevalent in Shojo fanfic communities but also appear in Shonen fanfics as well. Because of the nature of shipping there will be always be popular ships and overlap between characters. For example let say the main protagonist is a male, we’ll call him A. Then there is the main female lead, let’s call her B. Along side them are the supporting cast, C, D, etc. The most popular ship would likely be a pairing of A and B. However, there could also be a ship for A and C, regardless of gender. From personal experience, I have also noticed a very interesting trend. In Shojo, the most popular ship is fairly standard, male and female lead. In Shonen though, it’s slightly different. In this genre, shipping is a lot more liberal. The most popular ship is usually the male lead and his rival, archenemy, best friend, or something along those lines. Regardless, more often than not it’s a guy on guy ship. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact I support it because this is whole point of fan fiction. Still, it’s just interesting to see the difference between communities.

Next up is fluff, another term I’m well familiar with. Basically, what this means is text that doesn’t contribute to any plot or character development. Some fanfiction’s can be entirely made up of fluff, or there can just a chapter of fluff. An example of this is my own work. Personally, I add a chapter or two of fluff between major plot developments. Most of time, fluff will usually take a ship and butter them up with really cute interactions. Unfortunately, because of how quickly it can become stale, most authors choose to do a one-shot(A one chapter story) during special occasions like valentines or Christmas. However, fluff isn’t bound by these rules and can appear in many different forms. For example, there was one fluff fic that was over 100+ thousand words long and managed to rise to the top of its respective community. 

The third term I want to talk about is the gamerfic, a term I also mentioned in my previous blog. This term is also pretty unique, because it only appears in Shonen communities and is usually paired up with an OC. Basically if a fic has this tag, it turn the entire world into a game for whoever the protagonist is. For example, there will now be levels, skills, and other common features found in an RPG. This is also the reason why it can solely exist in the Shonen genre. Unlike Shojo, Shonen has enough action and perhaps even an established skill/ability system to convert it into a gamerfic if somebody wanted to. However, I also guess someone could possibly turn a Shojo piece of work into a gamerfic. I’ve never seen it done, but you could base the core system on an otome game (one girl with a bunch of guys, in a visual novel format) instead of an RPG. 

For the next two terms, I’m going to combine them into one paragraph. The reason for this is these terms aren’t exclusive to the fanfic community and you’ve probably heard of them. The first term I would like to talk about is hiatus. This is used in all sorts of media and usually means you won’t see any activity for a while. In the fanfic community, we use it like how anyone else would. If an author wants to takes a long break, they’ll post their status as an ongoing hiatus somewhere on the synopsis. However, a really long hiatus can also mean a dead fic. After a certain amount of time (usually two years) the fic will be labeled as dead by the community, meaning it will no longer be updated. Authors with enough foresight to know they will be leaving the community permanently, will sometimes set their fic up for adoption, meaning someone new will continue where the previous author left off. The second, term I want to talk about is gender-bending, a common occurrence in fan art these days. Basically the author will take a character, usually the protagonist and gener-bend them, pretty self explanatory. The benefits of this it creates new interactions and romance opportunities between characters. So if you not a big fan of Yaoi (guy on guy romance) but you still really want to see two character get together, a gender-bending fic might be for you. 

Overall, I think that covers all the terms I wanted to cover. As I stated before, I enjoyed talking about these terms a lot more than the previous set. I hold shipping and fluff pretty close to my heart as that is what I primarily write about, and I’m also interested in gamerfics to an extent. I also just wanted to show that even we in the fan fiction community use conventional terms. So far, everyone who’s visited my work has given me supportive and honest comments. Fanfiction is a great way to meet new people and it’s a great way to express your creative fantasies, after all that’s what fan fiction is for. All in all, I hope this inspired you to visit one of the many fan fiction communities out there. 

Fanfic Terminology Part 1

I’ve been part of the fan fiction community for a bit over a year now, and I realize it’s not an exactly a well known thing. So in this blog, I wanted to take some time to talk about where members of the fanfic community share their work and the terminology we use. 

So, first off where do we share our work? Well, on the internet there are a multitude of websites for fanfiction and just written work in general. The most famous ones I know of are AO3(Archive Of Our Own), Fanfiction, and Wattpad. However, I’m hesitant to include the last one as it’s more for original work than anything else. Anyhow, these are just the famous ones. There are so many out there that not even I know them all, for example an acquaintance at school introduced me to another website called Quotev. As of now I generally upload to Fanfiction and Quotev, but I do use all of these websites every now and again. Still, I’ll be sticking to what I’m familiar with and focus on Fanfiction, but all the terminology I use here can be applied to the other websites as well. 

To start off, I want to talk about the most common terminology I see in the works I’ve read which is AU. What is AU? Well it simply stands for Alternate Universe. In these types of stories, character retain their personality and appearance but the plot is set in a completely different universe or ends up going in a completely different direction. The former is pretty obvious right off the bat, as the world will be completely different. Typically, you’ll know what kind of AU the story will be set in with a tag, something along the lines of modernAU or fantasyAU on the synopsis. However, the second is a bit harder to spot. Sometimes stories don’t start off as an AUfic but end up becoming one because of plot choices down the line. Next is crack-fic. This doesn’t usually pop up in general fan fiction terms and only appears in Shonen fan fiction communities. Basically, these fan fictions are defined by the fact they don’t care about the character or plot and everyone can be either really OP (Mary/Gary-sues) or just OOC. 

Since I mentioned Mary/Gary-sues and OOC in the previous paragraph, I might as well talk about them. Generally, Mary/Gary-sues refers to overly perfect OCs that are usually self-inserts and have absolutely no depth. These types of characters are usually frowned upon but no one will really judge as long as you put a warning on the synopsis. As for OOC, that stands for (Out Of Character) a problem I have actually faced with my own works. What this means is bending a character’s personality away from its established work. Most of the time authors don’t intentionally make a character OOC, but sometimes it just happens as they move the plot along. Eventually, it just gets to the point where it’s fairly obvious to the readers and author that a character (or characters) are OOC. At this point the author can either embrace the OOC and roll with it or set things back straight.  

Alright, now that I’ve talked about most of the famous stuff, I’ll be touching upon the rarer content now. First up, is OCs and self inserts. Both of these terminology’s fall under the OC umbrella, which means they are original characters. Generally if there is a self insert OC, the story revolves around them. And if there is just a general OC, he/she is usually there to fill in some plot gap. However, the later of these two can further evolve into a OC driven fic. Those kinds of stories are the rarest in the fanfic community and border on original work. Basically this mean every character introduced is of the authors own creation. The only thing labeling these kinds of stores as fan fiction and not original work, is the fact they take place in the universe of a publish work. These stores most commonly appear in fan fiction based off games with no set characters. 

 All in all, that is most of the terminology used in the fanfic community. There were some stuff I skipped over like the coffeeshop AU or gamerfics, but those terms are so obscure you’ll almost never see them unless you’re part of the community. However, I might make a sequel as there are still some terms I would like to share (like fluff or shipping, stuff I cover in my own work). Overall, I hope this gave you some insight into the fanfic community and makes your life a lot easier when you visit the aforementioned websites above. 

What is Josei and Seinen?

In previous blogs, I mentioned Josei. I mentioned in my first What Is blog, that I would talk about Josei at some point. The problem though, was I don’t really have enough experience with the genre to make a blog on it. Still, I really want to talk about it so I’m gonna do it. This week, I going to cover Josei and its counterpart Seinen.

So, what is Josei and Seinen. Well to put it simply, they are more mature versions of Shojo and Shonen. If these genres were people, Shojo and Shonen would be high schoolers, while Josei and Seinen would be adults. This also makes sense in a way, as young adults are the targeted audience of these manga. I say manga specifically, because these two genres aren’t actually that main stream. Yeah, there might be that one really popular Seinen manga that gets adapted, but for the most part Shojo and Shonen take the spotlight. That doesn’t mean Josei and Seinen aren’t good, it’s just most of their readers are probably in their 20-30s… Now, your probably wondering why I would make such a big deal about the difference in audience? Well, I make a big deal about it because the content of the material can be quite different and clash with established trends in their teenage counterparts. 

What do I mean by clashing with established trends? Well, let me explain as I talk about Josei and Seinen individually. First up, Josei. Out of the two, this is probably the one I’m most well aquatinted with. However, even I tend to avoid this genre because the endings and drama aren’t really for me. Like I said above Shojo is Josei’s teenage counterpart, and that genre is practically all sunshine and rainbows compared to Josei. Both, genre still cover relationships as its main focus, but endings and levels of drama can be quite different. In Shojo, the main pair almost always gets together. Josei though, it follows a more realistic approach to romance. A classic example of this is a rag to riches story, the poor girl and rich guy kind. In Shojo, it’s pretty straight forward with some family drama. In Josei though? Oh boy, I don’t know why but authors in this genre like twisting the knife. In Josei, the classic girl ends up with guy, is much more complicated. Authors, like to keep you on your toes a lot more then Shojo and the main pair can switch on how the plot moves. Nothing is set in stone and plot twist are much more prominent. For example possibly other endings for the rags to riches story, is that their relationship never works out, they still see each other in secret but never get together, or some other guy comes along and sweeps away the girl. These are just examples but all very possible in Josei. 

Next, up is Seinen… Right off the bat, I’d like to mention I’m not as well verse on the topic. Yeah, I have watched the popular Seinen anime like Tokyo Ghoul, but my brother could probably explain this genre better. Any how, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Seinen is blood, and a lot of it. All of the Seinen manga I’ve read that I know off the top of my head have a lot of gore. Exploding bodies, decapitation, severe burns, that kind of stuff. Personally, I think that all the blood and guts are a bit much so I tend to avoid the genre. However, after a bit of research, I have recently learned that some of my favourite anime/manga/light novels are in fact Seinen. The one I was probably most surprised to see would likely be Spice and Wolf, an anime about a travelling merchant and his companion. So… I guess that Seinen can encompass a lot of topics, as long as it’s directed at the proper demographic. Still, for the most part I like to just view Seinen as a more mature version of Shonen with a lot of blood. 

Now, we have come to the trends part of this blog. Honestly, I don’t really know what to put here, as I’ve already talked about the more popular trends in my Shojo and Shonen blogs. I guess for starters, because of their more realist and mature takes on their teenage counterparts, they can touch upon genres Shojo and Shonen can’t. Some basic examples are Tragedy, Angst, and Psychological. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t touch upon more lighthearted genres like Slice of Life or Romance. All in all, I don’t really know how I feel about these two genre as a whole. Instead, I like to look at each piece of work individually. For example, I really like Spice and Wolf and Usagi Drop. However, something like Tokyo Ghoul is just alright at the best of times in my opinion. In the end, I would like to explore these two genres a bit more and hopefully find manga that personally appeal to me.