Posts Tagged “seitenkan”

Giving a little push.

Possibly the most pathetic sort of blog post is the one that promises future blog posts, without actually containing any substance in itself.

The whole Kyonko thing is, incredibly, still going on. Perhaps not as feverishly as before, but various new fanmade material are being put out in various languages, although primarily Japanese and English. In that time, I've heard all sorts of criticisms about this phenomenon. The most common appear to be the usual screed against fanfiction, fanworks, and fan interpretations in general, claiming that by altering the canon, we are somehow blaspheming against the creator's vision. It's the sort of thing that I can't really counter: I don't agree with that viewpoint, but I can't come up with any sort of reason apart from "just because I disagree". If I tried to pass that off as a valid excuse to change other people's minds, I'd get rightly reamed in debate.

Other arguments against The Genderbending of Haruhi Suzumiya include a more specific distaste for altering the characters' genders, both in the physical and sociological sense. And then there are the simultaneous complaints that we are altering the canon too much, and not altering it enough.

The AnimeSuki thread about the phenomenon is still in existence, although the focus has shifted thanks to the project leaders losing interest in a straight novel conversion. My careful withdrawal from what they are doing right now is something that will have to wait for another post, since I'd rather not end up having to retract what I say in favour of something only marginally more accurate to my meaning.

Which isn't to say that I'm completely out of it, of course. I'm just not working on the Current Hot Project; small little fanfictional efforts are still within the realm of possibility. This is, unfortunately, not going very well, mainly because I appear to have lost the ability to characterize.

To be honest, most of my previous efforts were based on my usual shorthand-simplification method of writing fanfiction: reduce the character to their bold strokes outline, assign them an easily-remembered voice and tone, and things generally work out from there. By this system, Kyonko is the world as written by a tsundere, trying to be cool and aloof like the typical teenager, but protesting against Haruki's antics a little too much. Haruki Suzumiya, for his part, always shouts! Using exclamation marks! He's very excitable! And impatient! He also complains about the shortcomings of others! Repeatedly!

For Mitsuuru Asahina, I took the much-maligned personality of the Generic Spineless Non-Perverted Harem Comedy Male Lead, and gave it to him more or less unchanged, since it seemed appropriate. Itsuko Koizumi gets to copy-and-paste from Wikipedia. Yuuki Nagato is fairly easy to write: any time he has dialogue, I strip it out. Yuuki communicates by staring: "yes" becomes a stare, "no" becomes a stare, "pass the salt" becomes a stare… somehow Kyonko always knows what it means. (Cf Discworld's Librarian, ie "ook".)

I may be exaggerating for effect, but likely far less than you might think. I've been told that I characterize well, which always makes me feel guilty, but I suspect that coming up with subtly-nuanced and complex characters is mostly for the author's benefit, since readers will only remember the vague generalities anyway. (I'm not saying that it's not necessary to come up with complex characters, but that's another blog post in itself.)

The current problem I'm facing (apart from having little motivation to work on the actual novel rewrites, thus keeping myself to fanfiction) is that I kind of need to explain some mind-numbingly complicated theory, which allows me both Itsuko and Yuuki as mouthpieces, but it is highly improbable that Kyonko will let them infodump without snarky commentary. The theory (about multiverses, largely obtained from several science fiction books of varying hardness) is difficult enough to understand without the reader getting distracted by pained attempts at humour. And yet walls of text are also unwelcome, leaving me with the version of writers' block whereby I know what I want to write, but I don't know how to write it.

I have newfound respect for Tanigawa Nagaru for being able to explain stuff like Euler's planar graph formula in a coherent and entertaining manner, even through a layer (or two) of translation.

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To the great disappointment of at least one part of fandom.

So one of the myriad problems I have been facing for the past week or so is what seems to be a persistent illness which bears the symptoms of influenza, except not at the same time. In fact, I seem to be getting about a third to half of them at any one time: runny nose, aching muscles, fever, general feelings of discomfort, so on and so forth. I have yet to have all these strike me at once, which may or may not be considered small blessings.

The net result of this is that I have not been able to get much restful sleep. Yes, I know, world's smallest stringed instrument and all that. However, it has interfered with my usual plans for posting anything other than Random Pictures, of which I keep forgetting if I have posted them before. And so, I'm going to try seeing if I can post as a more stream-of-consciousness deal for a while.

This means that I will probably not be posting anything of actual interest for a while, at least until I get several nights' worth of sleep. (Or days. It's the usual geek lament of not keeping sane hours.) You may interpret that as you wish.

Anyway. My continuing obsession with the gender-swap project as applied to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has not abated. It has, however, as with organisms under tremendous stress, mutated.

I should probably explain the situation as it stands in the AnimeSuki thread at the moment, although I must warn all interested parties that said situation is very fluid, and what may be the Truth now may not be the Truth when I wake up tomorrow, and it may well be a small rubber duck instead. (Or something.) To recap no, there is too much; to summarize, we have Suzumiya Haruki no Seitenkan, which translates more or less to "The Genderbending of Haruki Suzumiya" ("Haruki" is not a typo, and is indeed the name of the male version of Haruhi, achieved by thread consensus), and it is the Main Project towards which our efforts are bent, aha.

And then, rising from the murks of What If, we now also have something tentatively labelled Suzumiya Haruhi no Tsuji, which allegedly translates into "The Crossroads of Haruhi Suzumiya".

The premise of SHnT (which I am choosing for the convenient acronym, since it looks better than CoHS, which reminds me too much of my MMORPG of choice) is that due to some uncertain cause, possibly quantum, the setting involves the canon characters, and their genderswapped twins. In other words, imagine a SOS Brigade headed by both Haruhi and Haruki Suzumiya, countered by the Dual Snark Action of Kyon and Kyonko.

Since doubling the world's population would be out of the question, the thread's consensus appears to be to leave most of the characters as their canon gender, and twin the characters who have received an image song CD of their own, plus Taniguchi and Kunikida, presumably for being themselves. This works out to be eleven extra characters to work in, which is no mean task.

Opinions are split on whether the SOS Brigade are aware that This Should Not Be, and how both Kyons will handle the realization that they are now kinda-sorta siblings, except much more complicated. An especially vocal contingent wishes to turn this into the script for a H-manga, whereby the solution to the problem of colliding worlds is for the Kyons to do the dirty.

It's porn. It doesn't have to make sense.

Since the SHnT project is somewhat splintered at the moment, I'm considering taking up the banner of what has been called the GuruGuruMawaru faction, after the lyrics for the opening theme of the first season of School Rumble, which takes love polygons to relatively absurd levels that nevertheless make some variety of sense if you start from the very beginning. This will be decidedly non-H, and the premise is that everyone has been twins from the beginning (whether this is Haruhi-influenced is undecided, but the important thing is that Kyon and Kyonko are unaware of this), although it will probably be rather confusing, if only for the huge cast of characters.

I'm in the middle of a draft of such a story even now. Kyonko takes the role of the viewpoint character, if only because, freed from the constraints of sticking so closely to the text of the original novels, I can let loose my impression of what a snarky female narrator might be. It will not be a pleasant experience for the targets of her barbs.

We have descended deep into the pits of fanfictional fantasy, and only time will tell whether any of us will be able to claw our way back out, changed by our experiences, in whatever direction.

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