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Otaku Ookami

What do you want to see in Arina's next series?

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With Neko to Watashi Kinyoubi coming to a close, it's possible Arina might be starting another series. (Reminder she's also working on 31 Ai Dream.) Considering the fact she's been freelancing after finishing Sakura Hime, she has more freedom to create nearly anything she wants.

 

So, what kind of story and artwork would you want to see in Arina's next series?

 

For one, I obviously want some of her romance, but I also wouldn't mind a dark medieval fantasy from her with plenty of mythical creatures. (I'd love some dragons, but then again she already has Sakataki and Silk, sooo... how about unicorns? Haha, I have no idea.) A murder mystery series would also be really interesting. (Must have a serial killer.) And I'm always up for magical girl stuff. Always.

 

Things I'd rather not see:

I like slice of life, but I've never really found Arina's slice of life series that enjoyable. And nothing too controversial in terms of romantic pairings. -warily eyes Neko-

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I personally really enjoy slice-of-life stories, so it'd be pretty cool if she did another. I'd love to see something with faeries, though, or some other type of magical creature (like mermaids or something like that). :D Oooo, Kabuki or Noh would be fun, too!

 

I think it'd be interesting to see something with a disabled main character, although that one is probably a bit of a long shot. It would probably be a bit more difficult? (Maybe?)

 

(I hope 31 Ai Dream comes out in America, too...)

 

Having a lead with a disability of some sort would be really interesting, actually. The one thing I hope she'd take into account is how she portrays the person with the disability because that's something that can become a double-edged sword. (All "what-ifs." There's a reason this isn't in the news section.)

 

Totally up for faeries or mermaids though.

 

Ummm... 31 Ai Dream has been licensed since... February or so? I made a post about it here: http://arinafans.com/index.php?showtopic=3846

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hmmm things i would want:

-Mystery/Thriller stuff, something different from shoujo, or, a shoujo thats not like neko again, from what i saw of the scanlations i started to dislike it a lot ;_;

-A male protag? not that im complaining about the girls or anything, it'd be nice for a change to see how she'd do with a main male character :3c

-shoujo/shounen-ai

-FLUFFY STUFF (Ouo)b

 

 

would not want:

-slice of life *insert the cross emojis* lol;; slice of life are really hard to stay interested in for me imo, i'd prefer an interesting plot ;3;

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This is going to sound pretty morbid, but death. I would like to see death. I think Arina does it well.

 

Besides that, I agree with Otaku in that I wouldn't be looking forward to another controversial pairing. And Blue, fairies would be awesome!!! I feel like mermaids wouldn't go too well even though they would be absolutely stunning looking, unless they were dark mermaids, more like sirens than the little mermaid; but yessss, fairies would be amazing.

 

Interesting plot, even more interesting characters, beautifully-shocking plot twists. Also, good romance, that will hurt my heart, that I will really root for!

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Ooh what I want is maybe some psychological/ tragedy manga with a sad ending(sorry guys I tend to look for manga that make me cry..hehe) or maybe some scifi manga with some magic and romance or even slice of life manga with real-life relate able situations. I'm so excited anything from will probably be awesome!! :FMMitsukiyay:

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Ooh what I want is maybe some psychological/ tragedy manga with a sad ending(sorry guys I tend to look for manga that make me cry..hehe) or maybe some scifi manga with some magic and romance or even slice of life manga with real-life relate able situations. I'm so excited anything from will probably be awesome!! :FMMitsukiyay:

OH MY GOSH, I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO READ THAT IF IT'S A TRAGEDY!!! Like I'm actually so sensitive to tragedies and I won't be able to sleep for a week because I'll be thinking about it, but sometimes I watch some tragedies TTwTT lolol

 

[spoiler ISH] (I don't know how to make the spoiler button D:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I read absolute boyfriend I literally did not sleep well for a week because that manga hit me HARD

 

 

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@Feather: LET THERE BE BLOOD AND DEATH!!

 

We are a bloodthirsty lot on here. XD but I agree: Arina does a great job with death, and how her characters deal with losses. Don't forget that more than half the cast of Full Moon are dead! :'D

 

I don't mind sad endings, but I'd like there to be some form of hope or redemption along with the loss.

 

@Takanari: spoiler tag code is: [ spoiler ] -shhhh secret stuff here [ /spoiler ] without spaces on the tag. I wonder if we could make a guide to BBCode on here... Or for the stuff that's hidden-ish like spoilers.

 

Dude, I have yet to recover from Wolf's Rain. I want to re-watch it one day, but I don't know if my heart can take it.

 

Is it weird that character death doesn't affect me that often? It hurts, but what really gets me crying is when another character talks about their favorite memories of the deceased character, or things they wish they were able to tell them.

 

In Wolf's Rain, I lost it when

Tsume talks to Toboe--MY EVERYTHING-- as if he's still alive. He comments on how big he had grown over the journey and tells him how he got the scar on his chest. Just... PAIN.

 

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Otaku, I hear you about Wolf's Rain.

 

I want to rewatch it but I don't think my heart can take it; I know that I will cry at every episode XD

Oh god Otaku that hurt so much. I remember when Cher died I was stunned. And then Toboe's death made me disintegrate into a puddle of tears, I felt like the world had lost the little remaining goodness it had. Blue and Hige's was the hardest for me though :'(

 

 

Animelover mentioned sci-fi. It might actually be interesting to see Arina try that :) Or something about spies.... I watched Totally Spies the other day haha

 

Actually, you know what I'd like? The main romantic couple to seem like people who should/ end up together. Not in a "That's so going to happen" way; but for them to be the same age, not hate each other, not be related.

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Death isn't morbid, Fevs, DW; I basically told Otaku the other day that I want to read something with a body count of over 20. Lmao. We all know that Arina writes killer death scenes, and is super at emotional death scenes. Gotta feed that part of me that wants to cry an ocean like I did with Full Moon!!

 

That's all I want out of a new series. Loads of dead people, mild gore/blood, and a bat shit crazy character would be just bae. So long as none of the characters are family who are dating (If you be relate, don't go on that date!) and there's no rape (I would be open to a non-graphic rape scene where the female character murders the rapist or does something empowering about that shit, though) I am down for the romance aspect of the crazy.

 

Considering Arina has had two ATFC related gifts over the past five years, both with a URL to this site on them... I am just imagining her lurking on this forum and using google translate and it making up some horrible manga plot, and then sensei thinking "If that's what the fans want...". Bwahahha.

 

I am hoping for a less wishy washy lead, though. Maron was a very strong lead, and I am kinda ready for another strong, empowering, Arina character. The leads in Ai Dream and Neko seem very weak, I'm hoping there's room for development in the Ai dream department because it really does feel like Arina has gone back to her roots with it, but from what I have read- the main character is in her 30's and is about as mature as my younger sister. Sometimes I like to see adults with their shit together. xD

 

 

As for Sci-fi, I'd be totally dope to see Arina pull a Phillip K Dick esque series. (If you guys haven't read any of his books, then I will not allow you into the Sci-fi fanclub XD Go read Ubik and A Scanner Darkly, they are both beautiful and have a lot of amazing little observations about life in them. Ubik is spacey but not in a boring way. He's pretty much the KING of Psychological Science fiction and his books feel kind of dystopian at the same time. There's also "Flow my tears the policeman said" which is good, but not my favourite. It's about an actor who wakes up and is suddenly no longer famous. Really makes you try to work out what the heck is going on. A scanner darkly is about drugs in a sci-fi setting, and delves into psychosis, it's kind of like Fight Club in some bits. The thing is, though, that book is actually slightly non-fiction as a lot of the drug scenes in the book are based from the authors personal experience and it's dedicated to a lot of his friends who died from drug use. So the bits with hallucinations and stuff, somebody actually saw those. Crazy stuff! Some beautiful dialogue in there. Ubik is my favourite, it has humour and mystery and it's just GREAT. It's set in a world where the dead can be kept in "half life" after they die, so you can still talk to them for a while before their half life runs out. The twist and the actual big reveal of symbolism behind the book is really deep and stunning and it's just like WOW )

 

If Arina pulled something like that I'd die happy. I'm very picky with my sci-fi, though. I don't want anything wishy-washy. I know that Arina is a big fan of Macross Frontier, so if she did Sci-fi, I could see that having a slight influence. I wouldn't complain. :D

 

 

@Taka: Spoiler tags:

 

[spoiler ]

 

MAGICAL SPOILER TEXT!! THIS IS HOW LOST ENDED....

 

[/spoiler ]

 

^ remove the spaces before the end bracket. *Salutes* You can also click the button next to the "font" option on the posting box, it gives you all of the special BB codes and auto inserts them into your post.

 

There should be a BB code guide in the FAQ, pretty sure that's built into invision, but don't quote me on that.

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I am down for the romance aspect of the crazy.

 

Quote of the week XD

 

A strong lead would be nice :T

 

Maybe she'll do that manga that she said she'll never write, since she's not tied to Ribon? we can dreaaaaam

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And I'm always up for magical girl stuff. Always.

 

Holy shiitake mushrooms, yes. We haven't gotten a popular "classic" magical girl shoujo manga in years, and I thought Sailor Moon Crystal would take us back to the days of adaptions popularizing girl-aimed mg series, like in the late 90's and 2000's with Shugo Chara, Tokyo Mew Mew, Mermelo, etc.

 

Someone's gotta revitalize magical girls in shoujo manga, put the shoujo back in mahou shoujo, and Arina's definitely got the chops to do it.

 

I think Arina would do a great job balancing and bridging the gap between classic shoujo goodness and the "dark" trend that's plagued the genre since PMMM. She's effortlessly balanced DEATH and BETRAYAL with genuine messages of hope and sparkles in the past (in KKJ and FMoS) and I think that this would be the perfect time to present a series with a similar tone. Best of all, any "dark" twist she does put in I trust wouldn't be present purely for shock factor, but because the story necessitates it and it'll ultimately make the hero stronger rather than weaker. Which is an important part of storytelling that I think we've lost along the way recently :,)

 

Also can I just say that I really want whatever she does next to get really popular and get adapted into something? I'm starting to bold points because I already know this post is gunna be an illegible wall of text in the end This may or may not have to do with my gifing needs lmao. I've ranted before on why adapting any future magical girl series into anime would be good....

 

  • Even if you don’t like her work, an adaption of any magical girl series she’s done or will do would be a revival of the lost art of shoujo manga magical girl adaptions, which disregarding Crystal we haven’t had in a while. Bonus points if it’s magical warrior.
  • I agree with the replies saying that current animation would definitely do her art style better (and justice). Even between this and FMoS, there was a massive jump in animation quality. Personally, I think her work’s all about the details, and we can definitely get more of that today (with flowier hair! :,D)
  • The designs of her currently unadapted magical series look great, in my completely biased opinion, and their..aesthetics (?) would make for some gorgeous transformation/attack animation even if they’ll probably never get adapted lol

 

...But above else what I really reeeally want is a live action adaption. Which I suppose limits the scope to more slice-of-life-y series--which I also don't want her to return to right after Neko, but if it's something intricate and fast-paced and needlessly dramatic in the vein of SDC, then I will guiltily clamour for it due to personal taste.

 

Despite that, I do want supernatural, out-of-the-ordinary elements somehow because it's what she just does best. Most of the time, they're just there to push the plot forward in a grand, urgent way, and without them--like in Neko--character motivations can fall a little flat. So even if it's just a touch of magic like in Orange, that'd be good enough for me if the series itself is good :3

 

I also want a big focus on female friendship! Especially since 31 Ai Dream hasn't been ticking that box so far (my prediction is that Chikage'll end up friends with either the rival idol or the snobby co-worker or someone by the end of the series, but who knows). And if she were to incorporate that with the magical girl element somehow, I'd be game, since other than the questionable case of Asagiri, we haven't had a Female Friend in on the transformation magic since Time Stranger Kyoko...a case that is also kind of questionable.

 

So that said, I'd totally be up for a magical girl series in the same vein of Mistress Fortune, but more serious and with a larger & more diverse team a la SDC's student council.

 

But on the topic of The Female Friend, I'd love it if she were to have the same level of development as Miyako and Ushio. That goes for the heroine, too, really. Ai was an interesting case because the whole point of her character is that she's quite plain, and while that's all good, I do wanna see a more fleshed out main character this time. More quirks, more vices and virtues that drive the story forward, more change throughout the story. I want to see their personality and choices have a larger effect on the larger trajectory somehow. I want to see them grow. Like BWR said, I really hope Chikage develops later on--because as cute as the boys are, I really think that's the core of the story: not necessarily finding love to get over Haru, but mustering love for herself.

 

And I hate saying that I like it when her characters have tragic past stories, but she just...does them really well. And their journeys to find strength/acceptance/etc are always right on point--I want to see others inspired the same way Maron's journey inspired me. They always tie the story's themes together and make them better rounded. I don't want any new main character to have The Worst Childhood Ever obviously, but everyone's got Emotional Baggage, and I want to see her tackling that again, since SHK and Neko both had heroines that were relatively well-adjusted for their situations (I mean Ai was totally fine, Sakura just did really well comparatively because everything around her was batsh*t crazy, but those crazy things were happening to those she loved rather than her herself and she starts strong af right off the bat).

 

That said, I'm all for death as a theme as well. Though if there were a heavy body count, I'd rather them be paced better than in SHK,

 

 

where there were like 6 deaths in the row, and worse yet near the end of the story where they're harder to miss.

 

 

The Great Character Massacre of 2012 was fun while it lasted (I remember betting who would die next on here), but it just didn't leave the same impression as Full Moon's death toll did. How each of the deaths occurred, though, I guess proves how great she is at writing those situations and scenes.

 

Also on this note I'd love it if she did an intense Survival Game type thing, like Battle Royale, Dangan Ronpa, White Christmas, etc. I wouldn't even mind it if the "survival" in question was just psychological like Liar Game--after watching the kdrama adaption, I want to see more of these situations with a girly flair, and Arina could definitely infuse this type of story with that. The same goes for a mystery series omg, her detailed plotting would be perfect for that sorta thing. Having spent my childhood reading Nancy Drew, I've been waiting for more shoujo mystery series since Arisa.

 

I'm on board for sci-fi, but I'd see her using it as merely a backdrop for her usual tropes--the same way Mistress Fortune was a magical girl series but never had that element as its main driving force. Instead, it was just the plot device to help get the leads together (her real ultimate endgoal). If she did incorporate it as a heavier and integral part of her story, I'd be happy, but I'd be happy if she didn't, too--I just want the sci-fi bits to be well-done, since the little sci-fi TSK had going on weren't too great.

 

and there's no rape (I would be open to a non-graphic rape scene where the female character murders the rapist or does something empowering about that shit, though)

 

 

Gah, this would actually be the most important thing I want. I am perfectly okay with all the smut she's been incorporating in her work recently, it's just how she chooses to handle it that..weshdfgskdhfgjx ugggggggghhhhhh. I mean Neko's gotten slightly better with the consent issue, but the fact that it was a problem in the first place bothers me--hooray for development, but there are lines that weren't meant to be crossed to begin with. Don't even get me started on the KKJ doujinshi, and the lack of consent towards Chikage in 31 Ai Dream so far just makes me want to run into a wall--it is all that is stopping me from liking the male characters. Thing is, forceful male leads have been in her work for a while, and after that long parade what I want now is another Sakataki--totally respectful and all the more swoony for it. (I could talk about this subject all day)

 

I'd LOVE for her to include a character with disabilities, but I am also 100% in agreement in this:

 

Having a lead with a disability of some sort would be really interesting, actually. The one thing I hope she'd take into account is how she portrays the person with the disability because that's something that can become a double-edged sword. (All "what-ifs." There's a reason this isn't in the news section.)

 

 

Her past depictions of queerness, for example, while never blatantly problematic, haven't exactly been shining staples in representation. So I'm honestly not sure if I want her to take on a disabled character unless she did so sensibly. I trust her to, and would be totally disappointed if she blew it on that front. And then there's also any cultural differences, like Blue said.

 

Also I'd like it if it could get translated in english TTwTT Not only would I be able to read it but I'd be able to support her oTL

 

 

Oh, yeah, this too. So this would be one of the many reasons why I don't want anything overly controversial, like Neko.

 

Oh! I totally forgot. Pacing-wise, I'd like a shorter series this time, one with all of its major plot points planned and alluded to from the beginning. So less of a serialization the way Neko was, and more of one giant grand scheme that every chapter touches on in some way, like FMoS and KKJ.

 

Question for you all: what demographic would you rather her write for? Should she continue in Margaret?

 

And also: How true do you want her to stay to her Ribon roots, or I guess I should say, how similar do you want any new work to be compared to the work that made you a fan in the first place? Or would you rather her try new things now, even if that comes with experimentation and things you might not love (a la Neko)?

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Her past depictions of queerness, for example, while never blatantly problematic, haven't exactly been shining staples in representation.

 

At one of her detour panels somebody asked if she'd considered drawing a shoujo/shonen ai series and she seemed very uncomfortable with it and said something along the lines of "I don't like drawing those couples". I think it's definitely to do with the fact that she has no life experience on the topic and probably doesn't have any LGBTQ friends, so it's harder for her to ground herself when drawing characters like that.

 

 

Question for you all: what demographic would you rather her write for? Should she continue in Margaret?

 

 

17 --> 25. I don't think that a MATURE rating has to mean IT HAS TO BE FILLED WITH SEXY SEX SEX. With Alice 19th, that was rated Mature here, whilst it did have sex scenes, it also had a lot of really dark and hard hitting issues as well. Tarantino films are usually 18+ and those aren't sex heavy, violence and gore heavy? Yes. Dark as hell? Yes! I'd love to see something Kill Bill esque from Arina, a proper revenge series with a strong female lead that overcomes all of the hardships in her life and kills. She seems to like writing revenge themes, so it'd be cool to see one that really makes you question the human nature of somebody that kills.

 

And also: How true do you want her to stay to her Ribon roots, or I guess I should say, how similar do you want any new work to be compared to the work that made you a fan in the first place? Or would you rather her try new things now, even if that comes with experimentation and things you might not love (a la Neko)?

 

 

I want her to stay grounded and not stray from her roots, which was always strong story telling that had really 3D characters (Like in Full Moon/KKJ), Neko didn't do that for me, it was more controversial for the sake of it, at least it felt that way. I don't want her to lose her roots but I do want her to continue to try new things. She's got neko out of the way now, so hopefully there will be no more of that. :)

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Responses to Ariange (dividing responses up this way because sooo much to add to here):

 

Best of all, any "dark" twist she does put in I trust wouldn't be present purely for shock factor, but because the story necessitates it and it'll ultimately make the hero stronger rather than weaker. Which is an important part of storytelling that I think we've lost along the way recently :,)


^THIS THIS THIS. "Dark" does not mean "controversial." And I think Arina's darker series (Full Moon, KKJ) are undoubtedly her best ones. I have a sort-of theory about her art style and writing. When I first bought Full Moon, I expected (to some degree) a cutesy fluffy tale of this ill girl's dreams coming true. The art gave me that impression, and is essentially what drew me towards this series (and of course, eventually to Arina's other series).

But then I started reading Full Moon. I did not anticipate any tragedies, nor the boatload of angst and darkness that followed it.

Her gorgeous, unique art draws you in, but the moment you hit her plot twist (At Detour, Arina said she plots around an element of surprise-- so there will always be one), you're a goner. (Arina is the queen of making shoujo venus fly traps.)


 

That said, I'm all for death as a theme as well. Though if there were a heavy body count, I'd rather them be paced better than in SHK....

The Great Character Massacre of 2012 was fun while it lasted (I remember betting who would die next on here), but it just didn't leave the same impression as Full Moon's death toll did. How each of the deaths occurred, though, I guess proves how great she is at writing those situations and scenes.



Pacing was my biggest bone to pick with SHK. Especially when it came to the backstory arc in the middle... and since I was buying the manga as it came out and had zero idea of what to expect next, I really wanted some extra "space" in-between each character's backstory. I love backstories, but when they're released back to back in the length of about 4 volumes, it's a lot to take in.

 

And I hate saying that I like it when her characters have tragic past stories, but she just...does them really well.


If we're discussing plotting and characterization, I think to some degree, a character needs to have something along those lines. If I'm reading about a character who doesn't have something happen to them at some point (backstory or the current story), I usually find the character and their story dull and uneventful.

Maybe that "something" hasn't happened to you yet, but "something" will eventually. Whether "something" is the death of a loved one, illness, or friendship drama, etc... I think most people come back stronger after "something" happens. I prefer stories that reflect that bit of reality. I like knowing that someone is struggling along with you, even if "someone" is a fictional character.

-whistles- And I thought our conversations about KKJ on tumblr went really in-depth...

Responses to BWR:

 

I don't think that a MATURE rating has to mean IT HAS TO BE FILLED WITH SEXY SEX SEX.


^^^^THIIIIIIS. I'm so tired of people thinking that you need to have a story filled with sex in order for it to be good. (YOOO 50 Shades fans, did you hear that?)

I actually defended someone on tumblr last night because some stupid anon said, "People only read fanfic for smut." No, I just read for more cute fluffy stuff and expansion on character's relationships we don't see in the books/TV series/movies/etc. I honestly tend to skim smut because sometimes it makes me uncomfortable. (Sometimes it's OK-- it really depends on the context of the story and how it's written and what details they focus on.)

This is probably why I tend to read more YA novels than "adult" novels. If they do have sex scenes, they keep it sweet and clean and don't go too deep into detail. Also the reason I really liked the one in KKJ (and obviously part of why I disliked the recent hentai doujin).

When you get down to it, KKJ was actually pretty mature for a shoujo manga. Not because of sex, but more of how it grew darker and darker. (Reminder: Dark =/= Controversial.) And it wasn't your typical "good versus evil" and/or "forbidden lovers" story. It shows more areas of "grey" than "black" or "white," especially when it came to Fin. It's definitely not what readers expected, but that was what set it apart.

While it has other issues, I do think more good comes out of KKJ than any harm does.

 

/Annnd... I derailed the thread. There's a real shocker.

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I WANT CHILD PROTAGONISTS AND MORE MAGICAL GURLZ

 

 

 

Like others mentioned, a story with characters who actually aren't human would be pretty awesome and welcomed. I don't think we get enough series like that in general.....so yeah, mermaids, fairies, demons, elves, what have you; I'LL TAKE ANY OF THOSE.

 

The closest thing we've gotten to a non-human heroine was Sakura and she was still HALF human.....and there weren't that many attributes to set her apart from the other fully human heroines. Like, I love Fin's and Access's cat-like eyes and pointy ears for example. This really makes them unique!!

 

 

When you get down to it, KKJ was actually pretty mature for a shoujo manga.

 

Yes, ESPECIALLY Ribon-audience shoujo manga. Has anyone ever looked through an issue? You might get a complex, rich character written story with darker elements like Jeanne ONCE in a while....but they're few and far between. Tbh, I can't really think of any authors in that magazine that even come close to Arina's level.....which is kinda saying something because I've read quite a few issues of Ribon myself. They're probably 80% fluff. Enjoyable fluff....but fluff nonetheless. Nothing's been that memorable. Not ever since Miho Obana-sensei left (Kodomo No Omocha) :(

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Ooh what I want is maybe some psychological/ tragedy manga with a sad ending(sorry guys I tend to look for manga that make me cry..hehe) or maybe some scifi manga with some magic and romance or even slice of life manga with real-life relate able situations. I'm so excited anything from will probably be awesome!! :FMMitsukiyay:

OH MY GOSH, I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO READ THAT IF IT'S A TRAGEDY!!! Like I'm actually so sensitive to tragedies and I won't be able to sleep for a week because I'll be thinking about it, but sometimes I watch some tragedies TTwTT lolol

 

[spoiler ISH] (I don't know how to make the spoiler button D:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I read absolute boyfriend I literally did not sleep well for a week because that manga hit me HARD

 

 

 

Lol same here when it comes to sad/tragedy manga. I would think about the sad ending to the point that it appears in my dreams. But even though most tragedies make me cry, I feel happy to cry because it makes me feel more human or something. I guess you can call me a masochist.hehe :FMIzumilol2: Though finding a good tragedy that makes you can be hard sometimes..(if you end up reading the spoiler section of wikipedia or something like me.. hehe) :FMMitsukigiggle:

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I can handle tragedy as long as the characters earn the f*ck outta their happy ending.

 

Oh, just putting it out there; THE BODY COUNT IN SAKURAHIME KADEN WAS WAAAAAAAAY TOO DAMN HIGH. :FMMerokohey:

 

In Absolute Boyfriend, I was on Soushi's side because humans >>>> robots when it comes to relationships I mean COME ON NOW. XD so I honestly didn't feel that bad lol

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I'd love a series based on western fantasy. Mermaids, fairies--I'll take anything, as long as Arina adds her signature flair to it. If she does do something more fantastical next, I want to see lore that's just as unique and gamechanging as FMoS' "reapers are people that commit suicide" or SHK's soul symbol system. She's always been great at coming up with these twists in world rules, and I'd be excited to see more of what she could come up with based on western legends. Vampire Rose (the last time she did western fantasy)'s lore might not have been original whatsoever, but in a weird way, her arrangement and utilization of the usual vampire rules was interesting. I wouldn't mind a whole series in a similar tone to that oneshot, but obviously with better developped characters and worldbuilding.

 

Also, in the romance department, I would love it if she included the cohabitation trope for the leads x3 I am such a sucker for that stupid trope like. But it doesn't even have to be romantic! I loved the little interactions and domestic fun FMoS' cast as they shared their apartment, or even the KKJ trio's forced proximity, and I want to see mooooooreeeeee.

 

I think I'm pretty much done with her doing major age differences now, though. Neko obviously had it, 31 Ai Dream kinda has it, Fudanjuku had 2 instances of it, and even SHK kinda had it.

 

At one of her detour panels somebody asked if she'd considered drawing a shoujo/shonen ai series and she seemed very uncomfortable with it and said something along the lines of "I don't like drawing those couples". I think it's definitely to do with the fact that she has no life experience on the topic and probably doesn't have any LGBTQ friends, so it's harder for her to ground herself when drawing characters like that.

Mm, that explains a lot, actually. Like I said, her depictions were never absolutely or purposefully awful, and I am still glad for their inclusion in the name of representation, instead of blocking LGBTQIA stuff out entirely. There's the "bad representation vs no representation at all" debate, but I don't think SDC (or even SHK with Maimai) is bad to the point where it even nears that territory.

I want her to stay grounded and not stray from her roots, which was always strong story telling that had really 3D characters (Like in Full Moon/KKJ), Neko didn't do that for me, it was more controversial for the sake of it, at least it felt that way. I don't want her to lose her roots but I do want her to continue to try new things. She's got neko out of the way now, so hopefully there will be no more of that. :)

Totally agreed! :)

If we're discussing plotting and characterization, I think to some degree, a character needs to have something along those lines. If I'm reading about a character who doesn't have something happen to them at some point (backstory or the current story), I usually find the character and their story dull and uneventful.

Maybe that "something" hasn't happened to you yet, but "something" will eventually. Whether "something" is the death of a loved one, illness, or friendship drama, etc... I think most people come back stronger after "something" happens. I prefer stories that reflect that bit of reality. I like knowing that someone is struggling along with you, even if "someone" is a fictional character.


*nods along* Yeah, definitely. Having something to overcome is pretty much key to character development and thus a good character arc. Also, one of the easiest ways to develop a story's themes is for the audience to learn along with the characters.

Arina has a lot of big, dramatic past stories, but I'm starting to remember the less showy but just as telling ones, like Madoka's or Maora's. Even Serizawa kinda got this lol, though imo 31 Ai Dream's doing a better job at this within its few chapters than Neko ever did actually 31 Ai Dream got me to care more about Nekota's friend within a one chapter cameo than Neko's whole run (though to be fair the series' tones are different)

It's interesting now that I think about it; some of the heroines that didn't really get Big Tragedies in their pasts got male leads that did; both Kyoko and Kisaki had arcs of "welp my life's been great and all smooth sailing up until now, soooo it's really hard for me to empathize for your huge looming Problems, but Imma my best." Which is interesting in itself, because watching someone you really care about suffer while being powerless to help could in itself qualify as a Big Tragedy (or, okay, maybe a medium sized one).

Pacing was my biggest bone to pick with SHK. Especially when it came to the backstory arc in the middle... and since I was buying the manga as it came out and had zero idea of what to expect next, I really wanted some extra "space" in-between each character's backstory. I love backstories, but when they're released back to back in the length of about 4 volumes, it's a lot to take in.

I think setting and setup was part of the problem, too. FMoS covered their past stories in quick succession too, but as well as being way more succinct in the storytelling itself, the revelations didn't seem quite so...forced. The FMoS cast was just hanging around different locations and dealing with different and genuinely interesting problems in the present, while their pasts came to surface quite organically, one by one.

In SHK, you have the whole cast trapped in the same tower for 4 volumes with nothing to do but fight. That is the only conflict and resolution you have going on in the present (asides from Sakura's inner turmoil--which also gets repetitive), and you pretty much already know the results of each battle: you don't know how Team Sakura is going to win nor the victory's cost, but obviously they have to win somehow.

And the past story's revelations are presented quite mechanically; the clear structure of "battle starts, past story, battle ends, another battle starts, another past story, etc" gets tedious and predictable, even if the meat on this framework isn't. And the fact that the whole thing happens in one night gives little breathing room.

This structure has its pros, too (as Arina points out herself, for example, it's an interesting and creative one), but man does it make those volumes hard to digest the first time around.

I can handle tragedy as long as the characters earn the f*ck outta their happy ending.

This!

Or if it's a sad ending, leave some hope for the future and/or make it meaningful and coherent with the themes and story and character arcs that precede it. Sadness for shock factor's sake frustrates me. The sad ending is good in Absolute Boyfriend, for example, because it was built up to and makes sense.

Though tbh the only iteration of Absolute Boyfriend I've ever touched was the Taiwanese drama and literally because the dubbing on Ku Hye-Sun was so bad I spent the whole show completely numb to everything except the ending song that's made me cry like every time I listen to it. Seriously, LOOK at this video and these freaking lyrics (especially in their og language). Whoever thought it was a good idea to write a heartwrenching goodbye song for this show and have it always dangling in front of the viewer even before the end is an evil genius

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