Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Playing with Isekai, without deconstruction.
Furwerk studio at 5:25PM, March 15, 2021
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Okay, I'm working on an idea of messing around with the idea of Isekai but not using the typical setting of a high fantasy medieval fantasy, or doing the typical “deconstruction” many does (nether in a positive “wink, wink, nudge, nudge of common repeated elements”, or the negative “you are stupid, this is stupid and this would never work because of this, this and that”, but using something else.

I'm working with an idea is a genre savvy main character is transported into a cartoon world, as in the one from Who Framed Roger Rabbit or Toonstruck, and is kind of lost because he is kind of unfamiliar with that kind of world.
Ozoneocean at 9:15PM, March 15, 2021
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I like Isekai :)

I don't quite get this idea though
 
Furwerk studio at 1:28PM, March 16, 2021
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Ozoneocean wrote:
I like Isekai :)

I don't quite get this idea though

Sorry, I should had been clearer.

Basically I was trying to get a discussion going about using different eras or settings that would be fun to mix with an Isekai story. Like instead of medieval fantasy, it's actually the 1920's with elves, koblods and magical Tommy guns or Meiji Japan, or be a high fantasy world but elves are tall rabbit people.

Basically changing around some of the elements a bit for something new.

The cartoon world was kind of an example.
last edited on March 16, 2021 1:31PM
bravo1102 at 1:13AM, March 17, 2021
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But Isekai is all about deconstruction of the past. What was the first one that nearly every other since mirrors in some way?

Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court which was a deconstruction of the Medieval romances of Sir Walter Scott. Read a Scott novel and his Medieval England is very much a high fantasy world that never existed and Twain puts his Yankee engineer into the real early middle ages that Twain describes like the peasants in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when Arthur rides by.
“Must be a king”
“How can you tell?”
“He doesn't have shit all over him”

So to put your fish out of water you have to subvert the expectations of the audience. They want to see high fantasy with beautiful palaces and instead we get a dirt water village in the middle of nowhere.

To really work it has to be exotic. Gangster land or the Depression is too readily identifiable to a modern person. (But is exotic to a 23rd century person. See “Piece of the Action” and “Guardian on the Edge of Forever” in ST:TOS)

So deconstruction is part of the genre especially if you go towards “realism ” versus fantasy.

Which gets me to this: go back to the basics. What is it you want your character to do? To discover about the world and themselves? Then pick the world for them to find all these things. What fantasy of theirs will be subverted or fulfilled? Learning about the world what will they learn about themselves and their place in the world?

So you have the hard bitten private detective end up in a 1940s Looney Toons. One aspect of the contemporary culture meets another. Sam Spade meets Bugs Bunny.


Not saying I'm right, most probably I'm not. But it's stuff to think about, to throw into the pot and let simmer to put together ideas and come up with a story.

Furwerk studio at 10:12AM, March 17, 2021
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I'm starting to notice the more recent past is being romanticize like 1920's, but recently the 1950's, and it seems to be more just nostalgia like the 80's or 90's, because I think it was like the knights of old as, let's just be blunt, “manly” and in many about how “men were men” and how everything was so simple back than. Often the deconstructions kind of point out that no, there were not very simple and at time were horrifically more complex than they are now. Plus the knights they idolize as pinnacle of manhood the hypothetical audience worship would look down at them, sneer and call them weak man-children.

Not to be overtly political, but a good real world example would be the Viking wannabes within America who are extremely overweight, wave around upside down or black white and blue flags and say they are just like the Norsemen of yore when in reality an actual Viking would find them utterly disgusting jerks.

To pull this onto topic it's what Bravo kind of said, a good Isekai is plopping a modern day person into the past (or a version of the past) and eventually have them almost turn to the fourth wall and say, “wow, this is shit!”

Well if I had to say what my idea is deconstructing, it would be anti-escapism, the constant news streaming since the days of 9/11 and celebrating bitterness and arrogance as adult.

Just off the top of my head the toon world is having problems with some very nasty villains trying to tap into the demon world due to their arrogance that they can control something like that, and accidently summoned some humans instead and are gearing up to try again.

The typical “we must go home at all cost” character, who is often the hero of these type of stories, treats everything as fiction and is dismissive of the locals like a nasty tourist who goes up to a sacred shrine, talks loudly with a mouth full of junk food, farting on the priest and declaring it all trash before tossing wrappers on the ground while leaving. They are charged with stopping the main villains, but is only focused on returning home at all cost because he wants to face only his problems, ignoring that if the villains aren't stopped the demons are going to wipe out the toon world and the next step is his own.

I guess a TL;DR version would be something that always bothered me about anti-escapist fiction. If you got to another country/land/whatnot don't act like you are the only “real” country in the world, and also while facing your problems are good do not ignore other people's problems.

That is just a small part of it, but I think it gets the point across.
last edited on March 17, 2021 10:14AM
bravo1102 at 4:54AM, March 18, 2021
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If you haven't seen it there's a 1980s live action Sonny Chiba movie that has some of that in it. In English usually titled G.I. Samurai An early classic of the genre I'm told, I first saw it a year or two after it came out before it was translated. Where else can you see a Type 61 tank take on a Tokugawa era army?

It was an inspiration for the Gate Manga and anime. Gate Doesn't deconstruct, it positively destroys the whole idea of modern folks in a high fantasy world as sure as automatic weapons take out Medieval knights. See also Doomfarers of Corremonde a book where a wizard summons an M113 ACAV to take out a dragon and one of the wizards carries an M1 rifle. Used that in my fantasy epic where the sorcerers carry submachine guns as “wands of missiles”

Have outlines for stories where that sorcerer shows up in any number of places and times. Never a fish out of water because her order of mages are highly adaptable, but always a little out of sorts. ;)
last edited on March 18, 2021 5:07AM
Ozoneocean at 9:25PM, March 18, 2021
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Honestly, with the saturation of the genre in Japan over the last few years pretty much all the variations you can think off have been done in anime…

My faves are the ones that handle the genre straight and just do a damn good job of it. I love the genre personally… There have been some corkers. Log Horizon is a well known stand out.

Sword Art Online is a good example of doing it badly :/
Though I've only seen the first season.
.Hack/ was terrible… that was one of the earliest. I haven't seen it's other seasons.

Shield Hero was interesting but the lead was repellent. There was that one where the guy is the evil villain… I can't recall the name but it had promise but then got boring when they took the premise too seriously.

—————-

The so called “Isekai” (“another world”) is one of the oldest true fantasy/SciFi genres. Western literature used to be full of it. SciFi and fantasy stories used to always start out with the real world protagonist transported from the present day and sticking them into a fantasy world or on another planet. That's just how you used to write fantasy and Scifi, it was the format ^_^

There are so many good old stories. Lord Dunsany has some good ones about people being trapped in the land of the faries. The Narnia books are famous of course. The Dragon the the George by George R Dickson is a fave series of mine <3
 

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