Friday, February 26, 2010

Ravy Comics hates me and probably you as well.

http://www.ravycomics.com/Fanfics/RosenkreuzStilette3.htm

Ahh, Ravy Comics. Joe Pullin seems like a pretty cool guy. I mean, he links to us (and RKS on DLsite!) and likes RKS, so he's always welcome around here to talk about things and post and read and whatever! I'm pretty sure he's even posted in our comments section, though I don't recall seeing his name. Probably under some anonymous tag, which is fine, I think.

That said, he's calling me out. Nah, he didn't mention lil' ol' Letty Whiterock by name, but you can click that link up there and see for yourself. It doesn't take an Iris with a Death-Note-God-Complex to see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Anyways, I figure I'll publicly address the points from his latest episode of Ranty Comics/Ravy-kreuzstilette/SaSA Sucks and Letty Sucks and Here's Why.

---

First of all, Mr. Pullin, TDOMMX and I have to hand it to you for figuring out how to get past the .dat file requirement. It makes perfect sense, but it's something neither of us really thought about it, for obvious reasons. Let me go ahead and address two things from your entry, though.

"I've been wondering why the .dat files are even there. Why aren't they compiled into the .exe? Are the .dat files generated by the program that erka:es used to make RKS? Are they a security device to keep people like me from being able to easily rip the graphics and turn them into comic strips?"

Do you wonder this about everything that has .dat files? In many cases, .dat files are nothing more than containers the game reads from; in this case, they contain graphic files, music files, etc. Rather than kept in accessible folders, they're compiled into files that require some sort of decompiler to extract. There are a number of reasons for this, and I can think of at least one: the readme.txt files included in both RKS and RKSF contain links to the websites of the musicians whose works are included in the games, artists such as AM3, Vampire Revolution, and you-fulca (Wingless Seraph). Have you noticed that some of the tracks are not included on their websites and that they actually have albums? If the songs were not in some way attained through monetary compensation, they were probably licensed, and to respect the artists' wishes, they are protected from being given out freely. Of course, the creation and release of the RKSDAD breaks these conventions, but not much can be done about that at this point, right? In fact, that's one of the reasons why TDOMMX was initially opposed to releasing it.

"However when playing RKS the whole song doesn't play. Only about five to five-and-a-half seconds is played. The rest is cut off. I have been having a bear of a time trying to find a song to fit in there. I can't even get Megaman X4 stage start edited correctly."



Maybe you're just doing it wrong.

Of course, that's not why we're here. After all, if you were just talking about that, you'd get a mention, maybe, but you certainly wouldn't get a long-winded article! I like you, but I don't think I like you that much! I kid, I kid. Anyways, scrolling down on your professionally-formatted entry, I discovered a section entitled "Hatred by RKS." Initially, I believed this to be an incredible new Zorne-based fragrance in the long line of Rosenkreuzstilette high-class perfumes, but it seems I was mistaken. Oh no, this was the beginning of an epic tale of treachery and tragedy, not unlike the great Greek and Roman classics of yore. Let us jump deep into this rabbit hole and play the Alice Game, the Most Dangerous Game, the one you just lost. I will leave the lot of you to read the entry itself and gather what you will from it.

Letty Whiterock, the creator of this fine establishment, is an MFer. That's right. I'm a Magnificent Fan. At least, that's what Joe Pullin, creator of the magnificent Ravy Comics, thinks. The Magnificent Fans are those who take solace in the misfortune of others by scouring the internet for terrible Rosenkreuzstilette pictures and fanfiction, bringing them to the light, holding them high above for the world to gaze upon, and then dropping them from said height to watch them shatter like a beautiful, priceless vase stolen from deep within one of the most illustrious art museums this world has to offer. I don't know which one that is, but it exists, and I'm sure the priceless vases within are astounding. We then dance around the broken remains of the work, letting forth our tribal cries, before offering them to Iris Sepperin herself, the all-powerful successor of the mighty sun god.

Letty Whiterock is also a critic, a reviewer of works. Whether I am a constructive critic is left to your opinions, but I am a critic nonetheless. As such, one of the things that I do is rate and review things; in your supplied instance, I reviewed a number of images found on both pixiv and DeviantArt. This is apparently me going to sites and trashing art that doesn't follow RKS styling. Shall we revisit the DeviantArt entry, the one that people seem to have the most issues with? Let's do just that! New commentary time!

---------------------



In the pixiv showcase, I actually gave praise to a SuperJustin work, in case anyone missed it. That said, this picture sucks. Sorry, it's just crappy. The proportions are awkward, the lines are jagged and squiggly, making the entire picture look like it's about to cry, and the shading is nonsensical. Now, why would I say such terrible things about this piece? Because NO ONE ELSE WILL. Go look at the comments. Go look at MOST DeviantArt comments. Nothing but praise, very little negative criticism. No one improves on praise alone. That's the way of the world.

---------------------



This picture suffers from the same problems as the Justin picture above. While the styling is fine, the proportions are off, it's terribly colored, and that face is just atrocious. Again, Trumi apologized for the flaws after the fact and changed the initial description, taking out the "Grolla's an inquisitor!" part. Take a look at Trumi's main page, and look at his latest picture of Fran from Final Fantasy XII. That's pretty good, actually! You know what that is? That's a sign of improvement. Did my criticism have anything to do with that? Probably not. However, if it did, beautiful. That's why I do this, and I would expect people to do the same of anything I do. I just happen to take a tough love approach.

---------------------



PROPORTIONS. PRO. POR. TIONS. If you want to turn someone into a Jigglypuff or a Pikachu or a Kirby, go for it. If you do, though, at least pay attention to your own work, and don't give Zorne a left arm that looks like a rake. Also, that bomb is going to fall out of her hand. Just saying. I do not hate this artist, and I do not hate this concept. That does not change the fact that this picture is bad.

---------------------



I liked this one. Most of her work has a level of amateur charm and cuteness to it, especially things like this Schwer, which, as Justin pointed out and YukoHana admitted, has a messed-up looking hood. This is trash-talking?

---------------------



This is a screenshot. Fuck you.

---------------------



This, like YukoHanna's, has a level of amateur charm that comes off as cute in a way, and it's a comic with a joke that I actually found funny, probably because I read "bloody" in a British way, and it tickled me. It's up there with this, from which I used Grolla's face as an avatar for a while. The art is not grand, but it works, because it's a comic. They are not supposed to be Michaelangelo's works. Comics are made to entertain, and this succeeded for me!

---------------------



This picture is flat-out gone, and I didn't really hate on it outside of saying it was fairly mediocre. It was average at best, but my biggest issue was the fact that the characters were not listed as "girls from RKS" but as "Richard Refraktia's sisters." That's not who they are. That's never who they were. There was a huge problem with canon/fanon crossover, something I will be addressing later!

---------------------



Most of the people he draws have a specialness about them, and sometimes, that specialness is that the look like they've stretched and/or squished between a car and a bookshelf. I liked Grolla's sword but disliked her portrayed frailty. Grolla's a badass, and I feel she should always be portrayed as one.

---------------------



I don't know who this is. This isn't Trauare. This is not RKS art. This shouldn't even be here. Don't label it Trauare. It's not Trauare.

---------------------



Proportions are good (though her head is a big; whatever, she's an anime character)! Detail and shading are excellent! Grolla is both hot and badass! I praised this. A lot. No trash-talking here.

---------------------

There is nothing wrong with fan art. I happen to draw terrible fan art sometimes myself! However, if you put a picture into the ether and want absolutely no criticism and have no desire to improve as an artist, then don't bother putting your work up for the world to see. One of the aspects of being an artist is perfecting your form, and criticism must be accepted and applied if you hope to achieve some level of experience and progress. A lot of artists on pixiv and DeviantArt didn't just pick up a pen and start animating Touhou flash videos. They practiced, they improved, and they made something happen. Many took criticism from teachers and peers and applied it to better their works. And it shows. Yeah, there will be haters who simply bash your work for no reason, regardless of what it is or your desire to improve. One of the things that both Kiora and myself got on Justin about was that his work lacked heart and it seemed as though he had no desire to improve. Well, looking at his more recent pieces, it appears that he has taken this to heart and is actually improving in a lot of ways. Good for him! That's what being an artist is about. Prepare to get shot down a lot. Use those as stepping stones to move forwards.

But we are not finished yet! There is so much more to your entry, Mr. Joe Pullin, creator of the award-winning, published Ravy Comics! Let me copy-paste this little portion of your thesis paper on why RKS fans are causing global warming, ruining the global economy, and persecuting a religious people for slaying our Lord and Savior.

"The Mfers hate fanfics they don't write themselves. Some of the stuff that is said goes beyond the pale. Rosie O'Donnell would tell these people to chill out. If you decide to give say Luste an older brother, you're a retard. (Their word.) You'd be lucky to get called just that."

Allow me to express my own opinions on fanfiction. These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Magnificent Fans Guild of the Great Church of the Holy Empire L.L.C. and should be considered merely as the inane ramblings of a winter mastermind.

"Fanfiction should be plausible. Situations and relationships should have some basis in truth, and original characters should be introduced in a way that is entirely feasible and does not interfere with canon.

Ex. Do not write a fanfic about Edward Elric's sister. Edward Elric does not and never had a sister. The creation of a sister character completely destroys the entire concept that Fullmetal Alchemist revolves around: brotherhood. You can, however, write a fanfic about Edward Elric's limited interaction with a new female state alchemist who looks up to him in a brotherly way but otherwise has absolutely no effect on his life and journey or the original story."

That said, we go back to Bubbleplash's artwork of Lecht and Rink, referred to as "Richard Refraktia's sisters." Misinformation spread by the Super Justin creation led to the inference that Justin created the characters made by their respective authors, which led to an issue of fanon leaking into canon. One of our own writers is only slightly guilty of this as well; in his case, however, he clearly marked his work as "fanon," and it was still considered truth. Believe it or not, Justin has been the leader of the entire casual RKS fandom through his contributions on DeviantArt, and he has pulled a number of people in. These are the people who are not going to spend their time on Google researching RKS; we didn't even have a wiki at the time this truly started, so there was no central point for accurate RKS information (and as far as I can tell, there still isn't). I don't care if someone, be it you or Justin or some random 2ch user, wants to give Sichte and Grolla a daughter with a robot arm for a leg. Just make it clear that it has nothing to do with the original story. This is not a difficult concept to grasp.

This is the huge problem I have with the world of Touhou. Fanon becomes canon, and as a result, nothing makes sense. Alice Margatroid is often portrayed as weak or crazy, when in truth, she's neither. Game dialogue shows she's just a cocky jerk. However, fan interpretations have put actual characterization in the backseat, and as a result, everything you know is wrong. Right is up, short is hard, ef is not a tale of memories.

"Funny things is, go to the haters sites and Rosenkreuz Stilette rarely appears. So now you know another reason why I call them Magnificent Fans."

On Google, Schwer and Schwer Alike is the fourth main result for "rosenkreuzstilette". The first is the Hongfire thread providing the torrent. Second is the RKS Wiki. Third is some random fanfiction. The Schwer blog managed to beat out the Hardcore Gaming 101 and TVTropes articles! In addition, my Let's Play of RKS, the very first LP of the game, a blind playthrough done within days of the game's release, in among the first page of results and one of the first two video results! So don't you tell me that Letty Whiterock the Magnificent Hater Fan is ruining RKS. In fact, you might be saying "Letty, this wasn't about you! This was about some other people!" Let me know of the other people who consider themselves RKS fans and "trash-talked" both fanmade artwork and stories.

You know who's ruining RKS? Michael Sepperin. That said, you gave me a good laugh today, Mr. Joe Pullin, awe-inspiring creator of the greatest, man-made icon in human history, Ravy Comics. Hell, you gave me a reason to update too.

ps - For the 1.06a TL patch, we're looking for some feedback and constructive criticism of our own for a final script. Report here for details.

34 comments:

  1. You take things way too personally.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Never heard of Ravycomics until now, but a guy who puts a Dr. Wily/Iris banner on their websight must be a man of wealth and taste.

    I didn't get the impression that he was talking about you or this specific blog. And I personally would not link to a site/blog if I happened to dislike it. But I'm sure it would be better to simply ask him about this whole thing yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @first Anonymous:
    Actually, I was waiting on some people to show up at my place today and was kinda bored. Then, this article was brought to my attention, so I had fun with it. I don't actually care.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well Letty, that was a pretty huge entry. Interrestings comments, thought.

    Some of what Ravy said specifically leads to the Schwer blog (the brother/sister fanfic thingy: Justin's the only one who made this kind of fanon, as far as I know)...
    So I'm not surprised after reading it, that Letty did just express his right to respond.

    For the MFers thing, all of these seems pretty paranoid to me, I don't even think the few criticism made on this blog by some people were made with bad intents. That's just a way for improvements, a line that I personnally defended quite a few time there.

    This aside, it's true that the discussions about the actual RKS games were mostly put aside these days.
    That reflecs the few news released by erka:es, and the blog archives are a good way for newcomers to know better about the game, so it's wrong to say this blog and its writters NEVER talk about the actual RKS game, anyone who really did look at SaSa couldn't say that O_o

    Talking about Justin and some other people's fanarts, from what I saw recently there's improvement to their works,the RKS community is slowly maturing. I'll wait for the "fan challenge" to release some of mine, I had fun too making it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: web browsers really need to have some kind of built-in sarcasm detector. I'm in awe at how often people just don't get the joke, however obvious it may be...

    Joe has a history of taking jabs at this blog and the translation teams (this is his third article, you know). I've never bothered responding to him myself since he seems to like placing blame (facts be damned), making mountains out of molehills, and generally missing the point of whatever anyone says.

    When Mint caught wind of Joe's latest article, he decided to have some fun at the author's expense and shine a blinding spotlight on the "missing the point" part. He initially considered sending him an email, but (as far as I can tell) thought a satirical approach would be far more entertaining.

    The colorful imagery and blaming Michael Sepperin should have been dead giveaways that the post was all in good fun. Not unlike when I start talking like an irate Yahtzee Croshaw...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey there's FINALLY an update at [erka:es] site. [link]

    The article explains that they haven't updating stuff lately due to private issues (which might explain why they couldn't attend to Comiket during last Winter).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Heh, this is kinda funny. If he's really talking about you (I have some doubt), his basic criticism is the way you criticize people. I.e., that it's to 'take down' the artist.



    Probably not your intention at all, right?



    Your own stated opinion on fanfic is not particularly surprising, but I'm sure you know that some people disagree with you. Here's how one of those people might interpret you:



    "Write whatever you want, as long as it's completely insignificant."



    Following your guidelines could actually be harder than writing original fiction. If fiction is characters plus plotline, our fanfic writer has to make an original plot. Not only that, where this plot intersects the canon plot or interacts with canon characters, it has to leave those virtually untouched.



    If we were talking about professional creative writers, this might not be too much to ask. But these are fanfic writers. You might as well be putting them at a pool table saying, "Go ahead, do whatever, but if the eight ball moves more than two inches, you're disqualified."



    Even if they agreed with you, you're expecting them to do something which is really f-ing hard. The easiest solution? Avoid the canon characters and plot entirely, i.e., write original fiction. Original characters and plotline, with complex (yet subtle enough not to change anything) tie-ins to canon? Not gonna be very common.

    It's good to have high standards, just realize that not everybody's going to meet it.

    Oh, yeah, and try not to alienate people too much. That's totally Magnificent Fan behavior.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I hope they're pulling through alright. It wouldn't be the slightest bit amusing if they were facing issues along the lines of what my family went through in January (my father survived an incident that could easily have cost him his life).

    Billion, that's not quite what he meant. Substitute "insignificant" with "contradictory" and you'd be on the right track.

    Using Evangelion as an example, it's perfectly legitimate to write a fanfic about how Ritsuko and Maya first met with a focus on Maya's budding homosexuality. On the other hand, it's not alright to make up a gay romance between Shinji and Kaworu since it contradicts canon (in the anime, Shinji shrinks away from contact with Kaworu, while in the manga, he's outright offended by Kaworu's behavior and nearly slugs him for it).

    Evangelion Re-TAKE showcases both sides of this dichotomy. On one hand, the author explores Asuka's romantic feelings for Shinji, which are heavily implied throughout the course of the series (and are practically spelled out in the Director's Cut episodes), playing off of her established insecurities and writing a plausible, if wholly fictitious, alternate ending. On the other hand, Rei's personality is nothing like her canonical counterpart. Rather than being stoic, introspective, and deliberate in her actions, her Re-TAKE incarnation is outlandish, illogical, and desperate. It's understandable that anyone reading the story would say "this isn't Rei".

    Yeah, you can tell I was an Evangelion fanboy back in high school (~12-13 years ago).

    A good fanfic writer is, first and foremost, a fan of the original work and understands what makes it great. Making stuff up, Mary Sue's, and self-insertion tell the original author, "I don't understand where you were trying to go with this, but I know I can do better. Now, have a look at definitive proof that I can't."

    TL;DR: If you're not interested in writing a spin-off that can co-exist with its source material (be it as a complement or a parody), then why aren't you writing an original story instead? Free publicity?

    Think of why people say, "there is no Tsukihime anime" for a minute and you'll get the idea.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This made for a nice and entertaining read while at my last day at work. I never understood all this passive-aggressive crap. I feel that if someone has beef with another person, they take it up with them directly.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sorry for not commenting earlier, but It was great reading all the positive things about this post. It made my day. :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Blue Rose
    You and me both. Quite frankly, I don't like people who gossip about others behind their backs. I've lost track of how often I've had to intervene with just members of my own bloodline (my mother in particular has a bad habit of trash-talking people who rub her the wrong way - even her own kin).

    In any event, I've left several avenues open if Joe wishes to speak to the Darkside staff about the quality of our localization. The only legitimate complaint in his earlier articles was the fact that the online manual translation wasn't included with the game (Mint and I decided to host the manual online in case minor revisions were needed, but I inadvertent renamed the wrong bookmark when compiling the installer -_-;). If he wants to talk about any part of the localization, our forum and inbox have been waiting for the past seven months...

    To be fair, Joe's reaction has been far more civil than the abuse my former teammates and I have suffered at the hands of 4chan and Hongfire (no offense, Toniciano). Understandably, we've all become rather jaded as a result (if I show little patience when it comes to piracy, that's exactly why).

    I'm glad to see a fellow 2D fighter fan. I should note, however, that your pronunciation key for Trauare is off. The proper pronunciation is "Trow-ar-reh Ver-reh-deh". It rhymes with "How are they, Sir Mayday?" when pronounced with shorter vowels (in other words, no long 'A' sounds).

    ReplyDelete
  12. @TDOMMX: lol my bad. I simply copied it from the RKS wiki (and cited it, I make sure to cite my sources if the material isn't mine or wasn't freely distributed). I'll make that correction asap.

    And yeah, I'm a huge fan of 2D fighters. My favorites are the ones that play similarly to Guilty Gear (oftentimes referred to as "airdash fighters").

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Billion

    It is harder to write (good) fanfiction than regular fiction. You aren't using your own characters, how are you supposed to know how they would act in any situation? It's not that fanfiction writers are all horrible people with no talent, just the whole concept causes characterization problems.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Please spare me!

    I do not care about how much of this is sarcasm or joking around. You cannot simply say "This fanart piece is bad because it is bad," even if it is horrible and you think everyone will agree with you. That picture by Bubbleplash... I went and told her personally by note to remove the Richard Refraktia tag and have it copyrighted to REDMOON. She did it. If you want people to listen to you, criticize their pieces WHERE IT IS POSTED. Don't chicken out and post it on a blog so people will go laugh at others' pictures. I am not taking this too seriously, I know it is sarcasm, but not everyone will know that. If this is how all of your "showcases" will be, never make one again. If you do this again, I will not be a fan of your site anymore. You know what? If you judge me unfairly in the April-deadline contest because of this, it will prove my point.
    I'm not saying defending your site is a problem, but next time do it seriously and mean what you say.

    ReplyDelete
  15. @ShivaDF

    If you want people to listen to you, criticize their pieces WHERE IT IS POSTED. Don't chicken out and post it on a blog so people will go laugh at others' pictures. I am not taking this too seriously, I know it is sarcasm, but not everyone will know that. If this is how all of your "showcases" will be, never make one again.

    You do realize that this is a blog, right? Blogs are made for this sort of thing.

    At the time of my post, RKS art on DeviantArt was few and far between aside from things Justin did and got. Other than that, there wasn't much of anything. I picked some of the better works and made a point about misinformation and the fact that DeviantArt is fairly infamous for terrible art. Sorry, but that's how it is. There's a lot of good stuff up there, but generally speaking, it's absolutely abysmal. Justin's previous works are pretty much what I consider par for the course there, and when he posted a lot of it on pixiv, the criticism he got on 2ch was far more scathing.

    As a writer on this blog, I'm allowed to say that art is bad. I think most of ZUN's Touhou art is bad. I shouldn't have to e-mail him to let him know that. I am allowed to have opinions through satire or sarcasm, and that's generally what I do here.

    I don't plan on doing another showcase of artwork. I was just picking out pixiv pieces and someone complained. As a result, I put up DA pieces as well. If I had gotten THE BEST pictures, it really wouldn't have been enough for a showing. I can't please everyone, so I'm just going to do what I want.

    As for the fan contest, I'm not going to be the only judge (believe me, there will be plenty), and all of it is getting compiled and sent to [erka:es] anyway. There's no way you can say I've been unfair in anything I've done. A little stupid sometimes, a little ridiculous, but never unfair.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Mint

    I suppose I just look at the good art mostly, but now there is a lot more good RKS art then there used to be, and I didn't take that into account(if what you said is right).
    Who was in charge of the first RKS art contest you guys ran then? I thought that was rather unfair.

    When I try to judge fairness, I don't say, "Well, other people do this with their Blogs so I can do it with mine," generally, I would think, "If some roaming artist who I didn't know came up to me and asked for critic, would I say this same thing to them?" I don't want to attack anyone on here personally, so I am sorry if I looked like a raving lunatic.

    Not everyone "circlejerks" anymore, just to let you know.
    I agree with what you said about Joe's attack on you being dumb, however, because I thought it was kind of obvious that most of those people were trying to imitate erka: es's style and were NOT using their own.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Argh I mean than... I look like an idiot. -_-;

    ReplyDelete
  18. The first art contest was run by ViperAcidZX.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "As for the fan contest, I'm not going to be the only judge (believe me, there will be plenty)"

    Who else will be judging the contest?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I went off on a tangent that last time, so I'll keep this short so the wrong thing isn't emphasized.

    1) Your opinion (that canon should be authoritative) isn't authoritative. People will disagree with you (hell, the original's author might), and have every right to write fiction you won't like. You can have your opinion, but if you can't tolerate other opinions, you're just a bigot.

    2) Even those fanfic writers who agree with you might just be not good enough for the task. Most fans like the original work (as TDOMMX pointed out), so they probably aren't trying to screw around with it. However, if they don't have skill with fiction writing, their fanfic may give that impression. In absence of other evidence (and in accordance with Hanlon's Razor), it's probably safe to assume you're looking at bad writing, not shameless disregard of the original.

    ...

    As an aside, TDOMMX, I'll bet you weren't trying to say that randomly making stuff up, Mary Sues, or self-inserts are okay in original fiction.

    (I'd have replied earlier, but when I'm booted into Windows, my system has a problem with the spam blocker.)

    ReplyDelete
  21. The way a friend of mine put it, there are two kinds of meaning to a work: what its creators put into it, and what its readers / viewers / players get out of it. Good producers are able to infuse their work with whatever messages they wish to send. Good consumers are able to decode these messages and understand the point of the work. Some writers don't properly get their point across, and some fans misinterpret the meaning or, worse, read something that wasn't there to begin with.

    Let's have a couple of examples, shall we?

    Chrono Cross is a very controversial sequel in the sense that many people love it to death, yet others prefer to think it doesn't exist. The story is elaborate and cumbersome, and the direction of the story is so lacking that one must play the game several times to even understand its tangled mess of a plot. Understandably, many people refuse to play a 60+ hour game five times just to figure out what the hell's going on.

    On the flip side, have a look at this gem. Subtle, and genius. It's understandable why the show makes a killing with the critics.

    On the consumer end, there are many instances of viewers just completely missing the point. The anime adaptation of School Days is a cautionary tale about modern youth (with a very fitting - and for the most part, unpredictable - ending). However, having glanced at a handful of blogs, it's obvious that people who dismissed the show as shallow and sensationalistic weren't even trying to pay attention; a person doesn't have a leg to stand on when their synopsis of the episode is wrong and all their criticisms are derived from that outline.

    (I personally think some parts of School Days are poorly written and ridiculous, but the majority of the show is quite intelligent and worth watching.)

    As a one-time editor of a student newspaper, I was insulted at the kind of stuff that was submitted. Some poor kid decided to plagiarize an episode of ReBoot, yet made no attempt to understand what actually happened in each show or even the rationale behind the characters' names (Hecksadessimo? Megabite? Seriously...?). Naturally, that went straight to the "rejected" pile.

    ---

    Now, let's examine each of the points I brought up:

    Making stuff up / pulling shit out of your ass:
    - Done well: Family Guy, South Park, pretty much any decent parody show.
    - Done poorly: Code Geass (don't try to make a chess metaphor when you obviously don't know how to play), any show whose creators take themselves too seriously, most unwarranted sequels.

    Mary Sues:
    - Played Straight: Mana Kirishima (an obvious cross between Rei and Asuka, earning the scorn of shippers on both sides).
    - Parody: Mari Illustrious Makinami (she's designed to be a parody of this trope, but most fanboys miss the point and like her as a geniune character - a deliberately shallow, self-absorbed, unsubstantial character... -_-; It's the same as genuinely liking Dan from Street Fighter...).

    (I'm neutral towards Mari since she hasn't really done anything in the Evangelion movies yet, and there are two more to go. I don't hate her as the above might imply, but I don't like her either since she's just... there...).

    Self-Insertion
    - Shinichi Fucking Watanabe.
    - Bet you didn't notice the self-insertions (appearances aside) in Order of Ecclesia (Albus = IGA, Shanoa = IGA's wife).

    The above techniques are perfectly fine when they're used for an intended effect. When they're used to hide a lack of creative skill, on the other hand...

    (There's a reason Soul Calibur needs to rely on shoehorned cameos and cheap sex appeal to sell itself...)

    ReplyDelete
  22. TL;DR: While a person may have a right to their own opinion, it's pretty conceited to claim to know more than the original author. There's a significant difference between being a bigot and simply dismissing / rejecting bad ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Pardon the triple post.

    Canon:
    a) an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture
    b) the authentic works of a writer
    c) a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works (the canon of great literature)

    With all due respect, you should really understand what a word means before trying to use it. Especially when you're making an accusation. By definition, canon is authoritative, and, last I checked, facts cannot be opinions.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I somehow get the impression we're just talking past each other, but I guess I won't give up until at least I get the impression that we understand each other. Fair enough?

    In various media, yes, the author is trying to get a message across to the consumer. Let's assume he is good at it, and the consumer gets the message, loud and clear.

    That doesn't mean the message can't be changed. Hell, it doesn't even rule out the possibility that the message wasn't worth conveying in the first place (in the consumer's eyes; obviously the author felt it was worth it).

    That's because the point of popular media is not 'to convey messages'. It is to entertain the consumer, in most cases through the means of conveying messages.

    Let me paraphrase that, for emphasis:

    End: Entertainment. Fun. Enjoyment.
    Means: Ideas (esp., the communication thereof).

    To put too much importance on the message (especially to the point of being a killjoy about it) is to put the cart before the horse.

    Whatever else can be said about a given fanfic, its writer enjoyed writing it. It is ipso facto proof that the original work was successful, and is, for better or worse, an expression of fandom. Even if it shamelessly screws over the original work's intended message.

    If it does turn canon upside down and backwards, so what? If the fanfic is unsuccessful, it doesn't matter since nobody pays any heed to it, and if it is successful, then that just means it's entertaining people.

    Since entertaining people was the point in the first place, the anti-canon fanfic is contributing to the same end, it is therefore a contribution to that fan community. If there's something wrong with that, I can't see what it is.

    ...

    By the way, I'm less of a consumer of popular media than of the social sciences, so some of your examples (especially the long ones, this last time) go right past me.

    In an attempt to know something direct about what I'm talking about (rather than all of it being abstract), I've started reading a fanfic that rolls around TV Tropes, Shinji and Warhammer 40K. Largely because it's a good example of screwing canon. And I like it (although I'll admit to hating the original work).

    I'll note that it's only because I started on this that I knew who Kirishima Mana was.

    ...

    My comment about making stuff up, Mary Sues, and self-insertion was actually intended as something of a joke (because they're hard tropes to write). Good examples, though. Nabeshin especially.

    ...

    And if you want to play hardball with definitions, you failed already. "Canon" is only authoritative in [a], which only applies to Holy Scripture (in accordance with its original usage). [b] is N/A (unless somebody's trying to pass fanfic off as canon), and [c], insofar as any authority is implied in it, only means that someone has authority to sanction/accept (or not sanction/accept) some work as canon.

    ...

    Finally, you can call that "gem" "genius" if you like, but in the realm of subtlety, those people may as well have carved "Made of Squick" on an anvil and dropped it on the viewer's head.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Excellent! This is the kind of intelligent response I was hoping for. I'm sure you of all people understand where the term "fandumb" comes from, so it's refreshing to see a well thought-out response (no offense intended to the other regulars - it's just not often that someone tries to debate with me online on equal terms).

    Excuse me for not addressing your points directly. If you can believe it, I was expecting company. I got a little too caught up in my own examples and only noticed after the fact, so I just plopped in the dictionary excerpt in the end when I noticed I didn't talk about canon. Not the best follow-up, I know, especially now that I realize I misread your point. I'll get to that later.

    For the most part, I agree that popular media is designed to entertain. However, I think there's a difference between a work's message changing naturally and that message being usurped by someone with a self-serving agenda. If you'll pardon my going Biblical on you for a moment (...sorry, bad joke...), religious fundamentalists do exactly that on a regular basis. Thanks to Pro-Life activists, for instance, a passage about God's hand-picking John the Baptist before he was even born to be the one to anoint His Son is suddenly a divine declaration on the sanctity of the unborn.

    I agree that overemphasizing one's message tends to ruin it for everyone. That said, let's change to a slightly different topic...

    I think there are many reasons why people create fanworks. Many do it to show their appreciation for the source material. Some do it out of love for the characters. However, in my experience, many works are created purely for egocentric wankery or promoting one's own unfounded ideas. Justin's work was like this in the beginning (a flippant attitude toward criticism and a blatant disregard for his work's inspiration), and I'm glad to see that he's matured in several ways since then. Also, when Darkside first started up in 2001, I would argue constantly with my translator about her ridiculous theory that Protoman hated humans, especially Dr. Light. Then, she showed me a fanfic she wrote that furthered her case. So... ummm... yeah...

    Like I said, I misunderstood your point about canon (but, for future reference, don't use the expression "you fail" or its variations if you don't want to come across as childish). If you ask me, characters in a derivative work (fanmade or otherwise) should remain recognizable to fans of the original, as should major settings and themes. This is one reason why Terminator 3 was lambasted: a key saying in the series is "no fate but what we make"; T3 spits on this notion with its own "[fate] is inevitable". Similarly, when a story is about assassins carrying out their work in secret, an adaptation shouldn't arbitrarily change one assassin's final exam from a one-on-one manhunt in the desert to a gunfight on a crowded yacht with hundreds of witnesses.

    As for the Dexter opening, it's a subtle way of showing that the story is about a serial killer. Is it squick? Sure. Anvilicious? You can't overstate something you never actually said in the first place... In any event, I brought that up to contrast its "genius" direction with Chrono Cross's ham-fisted approach. Yeah, I like my tangents (^_^;).

    Man, we're having way too much fun with these tropes.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'll admit to being surprised here. I likewise expected Fandumb, of the Canon Worship variety. (What variety were you expecting out of me, I wonder?)

    It's rather hard to distinguish a 'natural' evolution from a 'self-serving agenda'-based evolution, if you ask me. To want something changed at all is, to an extent, a self-serving agenda.

    So, you're thinking of a subset of these type of agendas, right? Since "early Justin" is an example to which I can actually relate, I'll put in my take on that situation.

    I couldn't read it, for one thing. The pictures all over the place hurt my eyes, and I had to flee with hardly a glance at any actual text. From your testimony, I'll take it that it, too, was Bad Writing on an epic scale.

    His popularity in light of these things may have come as a shock to you. I don't interpret it as being any kind of success as an author/artist. He just had a knack for social networking. He didn't attract fans, he attracted friends. His friendliness made him more popular, but it also made him insulated against criticism, to which many compliants around here attest.

    If he's improving, that's a good thing, because without that, he'd never be any more popular than the number of friends he could make. Couple hundred people, tops, probably none of which would actually take his work seriously.

    And that's about the most I can figure coming out of a bad writer. As I said back during one of those controversies, harmless.

    If I may phrase how I understand your argument, it goes, "Bad writing is the enemy. Anti-canon tends to be bad writing. Therefore, don't go anti-canon unless you're a good writer."

    With, perhaps, the separate argument, "If your writing is bad, fix it; don't just keep turning out garbage."

    If you imagine somebody violating both of those, that would certainly piss off other fans. With good reason.

    ...

    I spat out "you fail" there because I felt the dictionary entry post was an insult to my intelligence. Since that was itself due to a misunderstanding, I retract that portion of my comment.

    ...

    I don't retract my assessment of that Dexter clip being Anvilicious, though. I would describe it as "clever" more than "subtle". With subtle, it's conceivable that someone would miss the message.

    "This guy is seriously messed up. And in a way that is very likely to involve gore." That's what I got out of it. Is it subtle that I didn't know what kind of gore?

    ReplyDelete
  27. No, I wasn't implying that you were Fandumb; I was trying to say that we've both been witness to Fandumb on at least a few occasions. My favorite example in recent memory: accusations that Koji Igarashi is sexist for removing Sonia Belmont from the official Castlevania timeline (conveniently forgetting that her inclusion would make the Belmont clan descendants of Dracula; in other words, they'd never be able to pick up the Vampire Killer whip without their own hands being burned off).

    "Clever" is definitely another word I'd use to describe Dexter's opening sequence, but I intended "subtle" in the "artful / crafty / dextrous" sense. As the antonym of "anvilicious", though, it's entirely possible that someone might miss the point; that "something's wrong with this guy". I've already ranted about people missing obvious subtleties in School Days (ie: Kotonoha staring at a horror movie poster, hinting to her love of gore), so I hope you see where I'm coming from.

    Either way, apology accepted. I'm sorry for the misunderstandings I caused as well.

    ReplyDelete
  28. You know what, I'll put my take on the "early Justin" because I feel I should rant about it.

    (If I offend anyone, mostly likely Justin, I apologize for it)

    ------

    I, like some people, thought it was harmless propaganda, but I was of course wrong. I find out the hard way that it was a shameless attempt to boost one's ego and at the same time destroy the fanbase of my favorite doujin soft. I like to refer the "early Justin" as "the successor of Alfred Kahn" because his "franchise" was right up 4Kids' alley from my prospective.

    I had to one of the unfortunate ones to get a request from him to draw one of his crappy characters. I willing ignored it hoping he would get the message that I don't want to do it. Sadly, he didn't, so I ended up getting nagged on until I gave in... -_-+

    Other things that drives me to kill is his "sexy Sichte Meister" and anti-Spirita Rosenberg hate-art. How the F is someone with physic of Cattleya from Queen's Blade is a sexually appealing to him or anyone who is dumb as he was is a question beyond me. I absolutely hated it because 1) its f'ugly and it drives me to rip my eyes out with an ice pick, and 2) he only ends up making Sichte look like some fat-ass hoe-bag like Cattleya instead of the badass Dio Brando homage with breasts compared to the PAD Chef that I see.

    Then the Spiritia bashings from him. What in the H-E-double hockey sticks did Spiritia ever do that Justin had to make hateful pictures to bash her? My guess is that Spiritia, a Magi in the spirit of Mega Man owns compared to some weeaboo who craps out terrible art that makes Tim Buckley look like Michelangelo and wants her out of the picture. Bashing Spiritia like a retard is no different from all the Christopher Thorndyke bashings that I see. God-forbid if he put that crap up on Rockman PM at his picture thread, people over there would arm their pitchforks and torches to tear him a new one.

    He and that "franchise" is the big reason of the downfall of the RKS fanbase from my point of view with all the deceptions and lies that was spread by him. To me, SuperJustin is like this:

    SuperJustin = Epic Failure x The most epic of failures x Infinity

    ------

    With that out of the way, its good that Justin has matured and learned his lessons from all this. His recent stuff doesn't make want to get the chainsaw and drive it into my brother's monitor screen and its getting better, even though I still hold a few (personal) grudges against him.

    On a lighter note, I did open up a new RKS thread at Rockman PM if anyone wants to discuss anything about the game and such of there.

    ReplyDelete
  29. @Viper:
    I'm not too offended by the comment, but I'm glad you said you have no intentions on hurting anyone's feelings, including mine.

    Too bad I was banned from RPM; because I would love to take part in discussing RKS on that site. (I blame "early Justin" and his incredibly stupid actions for that.)

    ReplyDelete
  30. okhatrimaza
    OKhatrimaza is a paired website that offers the latest khatrimaza full Bollywood movies, Hollywood movies, South India Movies, Telugu Movies, and Tamil Movies to download for free.

    ReplyDelete