Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Did not reach writing goal

In the month of November I set a goal for myself to write at least a 50,000 word story (chosen subject was a Ranma fanfic). While I did make an attempt to reach that goal; I did not. I would have liked to have done so but I didn't. This doesn't overly bother me. I'm not exactly happy with what I wrote but at least I wrote something, which is better than nothing. With some editing and expanding upon what I did write, I may consider it as not bad.

There are several reasons as to why I did not reach my goal. The largest contributor was illness. I was sick and had trouble concentrating on things for nine of the thirty days. Some other factors were distraction (I'd sit in front of the computer and instead of typing I'd browse the internet), indecisiveness (in that I could not decide what story I wanted to tell and kept changing the story), writers block, and what contributes to me avoiding doing things more than any other thing: my innate laziness. I'm pretty lazy, for example with this blog I've told myself in the past that I should write at least one post a week so as to acquire regular readers but I keep putting it off even though it is a reasonable goal. This is very obvious when I take into account that I have started, but not completed, more than a hundred posts (I've got a 107 posts, on many subjects, in draft at the time of writing this).

In case anyone happens to be wondering the story I ended up starting, it is a continuation of the Ranma manga that becomes a crossover with X-men Evolution. It's not quite the same as I speculated earlier in a post about an idea for a Ranma X-men Evolution crossover story but does contain some aspects from that post. I still have not decided as to whether I want to post it online somewhere or not but if I do it is unlikely that I'd post any of it until some time next year. This is in part because I want to re-watch at least part of the series so as to get better characterization (I have not watched any of the X-men Evolution series in awhile). That which I did write focuses solely on the Ranma characters with a partial meeting between the Ranma characters and some of the X-men and the Brotherhood.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

America Recycles Day

November 15 was America Recycles Day. A day that is dedicated to encouraging Americans (though from what I can tell most of the time people say Americans they mean only USA) to recycle and to buy recycled products. I regularly recycle via curbside recycling and Abitibi paper boxes. On this day I dropped off at the zoo, they were having a recycling event in which they took various recyclables that curbside recycling does not, a box of mostly cdrs; though there were some dvdrs, aol discs, and 3.5 floppy disks as well. I used to trade anime fansubs via the mail until high speed internet and dvdrs became common.

I had traded cdrs for several years (mostly through the now mostly dead Noated forum though did so on a few other now completely gone sites) and had amassed a rather large number of cdrs. Over time I had watched them and no longer wanted the particular series, acquired the actual dvds, got better quality versions, received duplicates, put them on dvdrs to save room, poor quality cdrs that had become damaged, etc. as well as various other cds such as AOL, Netzero, old Linux distros, game sample discs, etc. I felt it was a waste to toss them out so I instead would toss them into a big box saying to myself that I am going to recycle them. I kept putting it off until I saw a flier advertising national recycling day and decided to drop them off (I first emailed the company that was doing the computer recycling to see if they took cdrs). I had looked into recycling them in the past but most places I saw that would recycle them charged or you had to ship them to the company which considering the number and weight of discs I had would have been costly.

Prior to recycling the discs I browsed a few of the discs to see if I was tossing anything I did not want to. I only looked at a few but did find some interesting things (though usually not the content). Things like how poor the quality of some of them were but at the time it had not bothered me (I still will watch things with poor video quality on occasion like youtube videos) and how my computer could no longer play some of them. For example, a few videos I looked at had Intel/Ligos Indeo Interactive 4.0 codec which is no longer supported and does not play on Vista (and is difficult to get to play on any video players including players that play most things like VLC because the 5.0 codec does not play 4.0, or doesn't do so well, and the codec is copyrighted and no longer supported by the company that made it). At the time though the codec was pretty popular with Microsoft (Btw I can get them to play by converting them to a different format but did not bother). I was also surprised about how many AOL discs were in that box there had to be at least 50 and also a few AOL 3.5 floppy's. I had a lot of internet discs from other companies like Netzero, Juno, People PC, MSN, etc. How many discs did those companies mail out?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stylistic issues and random thoughts

I am nowhere near where I should be for my current writing goal but as I write I started to contemplate style.

I was wondering whether I should use macrons and other diacritics. In general I do not use macrons or diacritics on this blog because I am lazy and they take a bit longer to input. I probably should use them on some of the romanizations of Japanese words that I have used on this blog since the same word depending on whether it is a long or short vowel could mean something else entirely. As for the macron use I'm currently thinking about using in a fan fic are for character names e.g. using ō to indicate that the o in Ryoga's name is a long vowel; Ryōga.

If I do use them should I limit them to names and possible foreign words or use them on other things like acute accents such as in fiancée (which is a word adopted from french)?

Thinking about that should I call Ranma's situation engagements or betrothals i.e. should I say Ranma is engaged to Ukyo and Akane and Shampoo or betrothed to them? It is more common to see people call them engaged, which is why I'm contemplating using that term, but betrothed is probably the better term to use since betrothal often refers to agreements involving not only the couple but their families and often have binding legal or honor implications that engagements do not.

Something that just occurred to me some fics talk about some of the honor implications of breaking the engagements, often erroneous legal implications, and possible fallout (like Shampoo deciding that Akane really has to die) but I do not ever recall seeing a fic in which Ukyo or the Tendo's sue Ranma/Saotomes for breaking the engagement, which they could theoretically do under breach of promise laws. I do not know what those type of laws are currently in Japan but I do know that there are books in Japan that do have this as part of their plots for example: Kazumi Takahashi's novel, Hi no utsuwa, has the main character a university dean sued for breaking a marriage engagement.

The next stylistic thing is a common conundrum for Ranma fan fic writers, or anyone writing about a multi or no gendered being; that I have not given much thought about until just recently. Namely how should I indicate Ranma's gender? I've seen books, such as Peter David's Star Trek: New Frontier Series use hir and s/he for dual gendered beings but I personally find that annoying though I did enjoy those books. The use of singular they would probably confuse people thinking that they means multiple people instead of just Ranma. I could use it but it is usually not referred to people and may cause readers to view Ranma as not a person.

The way I am currently thinking about doing so is to, when narrating, use Ranma for male form and Ranma-onna for female form. I definitely won't use Ranma for male form and Ranko for female form because I do not believe Ranma would choose to use that alias again because of the memories associated with it and people not in the know would view Ranma and Ranko as two separate individuals. Though this maybe awkward on occasion.

When looking from a character point of view though I am unsure what to do. I originally was going to say that Ranma would always think of himself as being male, but upon further reflection that seems unlikely. Most of the time a person does not think of themselves as being male or female (I, am, me, etc. are gender neutral). Though the main reason is that Ranma has strong associations with some actions as being gender specific, so if Ranma were to be doing or contemplate doing something he associates as female he is likely to view himself as a female during those times (like putting on make-up, wearing a dress, or wearing a swimsuit). As for the other characters it would vary and be dependent on circumstance. Akane, for example, would think of Ranma as male regardless of form most of the time but there would be circumstances that would make her view him as female. Some examples: if it looks like Ranma is about to kiss her in female form or other displays of affection while in female form, a situation in which another girl is needed such as substituting for her in a contest, if he acts like a male while in female form in public (therefor embarrassing her), if she happens to notice that Ranma looks better in some outfit than she does, etc. Characters that do not know his true gender will of course use whatever gender he currently is as his gender. Then there is Tatewaki, he associates Ranma as female when in female form to the degree that all evidence otherwise is ignored, truthfully I think that would be fairly common to some extent. A person who sees Ranma most often in female form is likely to view Ranma as a female even if they know about the curse and that Ranma is actually male; particularly if they see Ranma doing things in female form they usually associate as feminine.

Next stylistic thing. Should I use Shampoo, Mousse, and Cologne or should I use Shanpū, Koron, and Mūsu? In many ways it doesn't matter and Shampoo, Mousse, and Cologne are more common (they were the ones VIZ chose to use) but I kind of like Shanpū, Koron, and Mūsu more (though you wouldn't really know it from reading this blog since I tend to use the more common one). I like them more in part because it shows that their names aren't actually hygiene products they just happen to sound like them to someone who speaks English (which was deliberately done by Takahasi).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Believable knowledge level

I'd like to say that I am off to a good start and have written at least 1667 words (50,000 divided by 30 rounded to nearest whole number) but sadly that is not the case. I had a few false starts where I wrote something and then deleted it because I did not like it. Now I do not really know what to write, the reason I am writing this post is in hopes that in doing so it will kick start me into actually writing more (I have about 150 words) and it is far too soon for writer's block.

My first start, that I ended up scrapping, had Ranma interrupted while making homemade chloroform from common household ingredients in the shed that is in the corner of the Tendo compound. The manga has Ranma use chloroform but never explained where he got it so I figured why not have Ranma making it himself (many people are surprised how many things can be made with stuff lying around the house). The household ingredients used are pool cleaner(Sodium Hypochlorite), ice, and paint thinner(Acetone) though I do not advocate people doing this unless they know what they are doing because it is not entirely safe (another thing that could be created by accident is phosgene a world war one chemical weapon). Upon reading the scene I did not like it so deleted it.

In writing that scene I started to wonder how many potential readers, provided I do ever let anyone see it, would have found that to be out of character for Ranma. In addition to that would they find it strange for several of the characters to have an extremely good understanding of things like applied sciences, though the character may not know the technical terms. How much knowledge could I give a character in a particular field before it becomes unbelievable? There are many things people would probably not find OOC, such as making a mention to a lesser known martial arts style such as Aki Kiti a martial arts style of Nagaland (a hill state located in the far north-eastern part of India). I do not think many people would find it out of character for Ranma to make a potion after watching Happosai do so (Ranma has watched Happosai do similar things in the manga and Happosai has made potions; he made a rejuvenation potion) or acquiring a book of potions and following the steps (he can read, cook and follow basic instructions so if he has a book on it should be no problem). While I am pretty sure that most people would find the above as being in character, I am unsure if they would find him doing other things like basic practical chemistry as still being in character.

That is not worded as well as I'd like, basically I'm wondering as to what knowledge I can have the characters, such as Ranma, portray without people viewing them as being out of character (though the knowledge would vary by character and what is shown in the manga). My personal view, which is probably obvious to people who have read my other posts, is that Ranma is very intelligent and would have (and is shown to have) picked up a lot of practical knowledge as well as quite a bit of eclectic knowledge during his travels. Displaying some knowledge would not be balked at such as knowledge on anatomy (since some is required just to prevent hurting people in Martial arts and he has displayed knowledge in first aid, pressure points, and the human body) or geography (he has traveled quite a bit even during the manga) other knowledge I am not sure of. Since some people would find anything I wrote to be out of character I probably should not care but it is something to think about, though as long as it makes sense for the fic and could be explained in a somewhat believable way it should not matter. A few thing he definitely will not have a lot of knowledge on, in any possible fic I'd write, is popular culture, Shakespeare, and politics; he seems to have very little interest in things like movies, music, idols, and (non-martial art) sports. He probably knows some but not a lot, could tell you how to play soccer/baseball but would be unable to name any but the biggest stars or give their stats.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Misc Ideas

November is fast approaching and I've yet to decide anything. By this point I ought to have some clue as to what I'm going to write next month, I don't. I should have the beginnings of an outline and researching specifics. Coming up with ideas is very easy, choosing which to use and implementing it not so. I continually think of new ones and not every idea I have is Ranma related (I am not that obsessed with Ranma 1/2), though many could be were I to try and make them.

Another series I have had many ideas for is Slayers (which is one of, if not, my favorite anime). Though I am unsure as to where the best splitting point or continuity to use (novels, manga, games). Though it would be very unlikely that I'd use the games, many reasons but largest being Xelloss is killed in the SNES Slayers RPG.

Some miscellaneous, and probably not all that good since very little thought was put into them, ideas:
1.Ranma/Slayers crossover. One possibility Ranma watches the Slayers anime then deciding to have some fun he splashes himself with water and pretends to be Lina Inverse using ki techniques and tricks to mimic her spells as best he can. Another would be to have him be summoned by a sorcerer in the Slayers universe. Most of my ideas for Slayers are not crossovers (and are not posted anywhere).

2. Lupin the Third/ Ranma crossover:
Kodachi is kidnapped by a criminal organization. I chose Kodachi because she was not kidnapped in the manga, is the most reliant on objects rather than pure physical abilities, and in my opinion rates lower in skill than Ranma's other fiancees (Akane or Shampoo locked in a brick walled and steel bared room would, judging by the manga particularly the scene where Akane does just that, break out). While Ranma does not love Kodachi he would go to rescue her. The thing is he does not know where she is and her release is dependent on Ranma acquiring (i.e. stealing) several things for them.

Here is where Lupin enters the story, he is trying to get the very same items. Conflict between Lupin and Ranma, which of course would be resolved eventually, they then find out why the villain wanted the items, which leads to a grander adventure. The person who kidnapped Kodachi was just a cog in another villains very large plan for world domination (not that Ranma actually cares about who rules the world but he does care about kidnapping people he knows and murder).

3. I'd like to see a Ranma/ Dirty Pair crossover but I don't even have a vague idea how to cross those two series.

4. Idea that came from a combination of the Romeo and Juliet play and the play Ranma wrote to convince Happosai to change Pantyhose Taro's name. A year has nearly passed since the Romeo and Juliet play and the drama club approaches Ranma with a request that he star in the play for this years competition (last years play may not have followed the script but it did win the competition and was enjoyed by the audience). They word their request in such away as to trigger Ranma's competitive nature so he agrees making the stipulation that he gets to chose the play; the play Ranma chooses is one of his own making. Ranma does not write himself as the hero of the play instead he makes himself the villain who kidnaps the heroine. That's all I have for this idea, at this time.

All the above ideas and the recently posted ones, baring the Inuyasha one and the rehash of ideas in the second post that mentions national writing month, are newly conceived ideas. I have recently found a text file I created a few years ago labeled Ranma Story ideas. I am not going to post any of them. Every single one of the ideas in that text document is terrible, which tells me something about how my thoughts have changed in the intervening years. Not a one of them looks to have have anything worth even trying to salvage for possible later use.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rosario + Vampire Season II Ranma reference

I have not read any of the Rosario + Vampire manga. Someone e-mailed me the above page from that manga since it does somewhat resemble Ranma and Genma and I have been listing possible Ranma references in other works.

Ranma/ Kim Possible crossover

Even though, in an earlier post, I had ruled out comedy as being the main genre for a story this idea still came to me. This idea is mostly about Ranma and Shego hanging out and playing pranks on the various Kim Possible villains (and some of the other people as well).

Ranma would be neither a hero or a villain. Doesn't give a crap who rules the world and has no idea as to why anyone would want to, seeing it as being more trouble than it is worth. Shego won't turn good. Basically Ranma and Shego are going to do whatever the hell they feel like. Sometimes it will be stealing, sometimes scamming a casino for cash, sometimes playing pranks, and sometimes saving the world. Not a Shego/Ranma pairing, they will only be friends. Though Shego is willing to cross lines that Ranma would not which would cause contention between them.

Ranma-onna wakes up in a prison cell with Shego not knowing how he got there but more importantly very hungry. Upon learning that food will not be given for several hours Ranma breaks out taking Shego with him. Ranma than not having anything better to do at the moment goes with Shego to Dr Drakkens latest lair.

Some things that could happen in the fic:
- Ranma will not interrupt fights between Shego and Kim.
- Yamachi ninja school will attack Ranma over a misunderstanding.
- Many pranks done at others expense (Ranma does do this in the manga like using ventriloquism to say "kiss me" in Akane's voice to Ryoga, sneaking up on Akane to see her reaction, dressing Akari's pig as Akane and telling Ryoga that she wants to kiss him, etc.).
- Shego will fight some of Ranma's fiancee's, if official duel Ranma will not interfere, otherwise he would attempt to stop them from fighting.
- Skillwise, in my opinion, for the girls: Shampoo>Ukyo and Akane>Kodachi, Kim Possible, and Shego. That does not necessarily mean that Shampoo would beat Kim or Shego since there are many other factors (An example as to why skill alone does not necessarily matter: Kodachi, since she is willing to fight the dirtiest using things like paralysis powder and traps, could conceivably defeat all of them at once depending on other factors).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Japanese Ghost Story

This idea is for a supernatural fantasy/ghost story. Ranma has for several months (offscreen parts during the manga) been sneaking into the school after hours and playing with a ghost named Hanako. Hanako is a very common ghost story told in Japanese schools (several movies and the story is told in just about all the schools with kids really being to afraid to go to the bathroom to the point that schools have started upgrading the bathrooms to make them less scary). To call the ghost you go to the third bathroom stall and say "Hanako-san, Hanako-san let's play a game". The ghost then comes out and says "Yes. Do you want to play." Depending on the story sometimes she is nice and wants to play, some times she scares people, and sometimes she kills people. She usually, and for the fic idea would, have short hair and wears the color red.

Ranma has been keeping her company some nights and they play games like Chess, Monopoly, Trivia Pursuit, Life (very popular in Japan), cards, Go, Shogi, Renju, etc. The thing is Ranma left for awhile and neglected to tell her where he was going. She starts to worry about him and goes in search for him, by randomly popping out of toilets (for the purpose of this fic she is metaphysically bound to them - place bound spirits are common in ghost stories, particularly vengeful ones, generally bound to the place they died usually by strong emotional ties). When he finally does show up and summons her she is initially glad to see him but upon learning that he was not in danger, just forgot to tell her he'd be busy for a few weeks and was not able to visit her, she gets extremely angry and drags him (still alive) either to the Sanzu river (Buddhist river of the dead), Purgatory (Catholic waiting room to the afterlife), or to Yomi (Shinto afterlife) - the Japanese would not see a problem with all three existing congruently and I don't know what afterlife I'd choose were I to write this.

That is really all I have for this idea, besides after that event instead of occasionally meeting supernatural creatures/spirits he does so with a greater frequency than he did in the manga (though he did encounter quite a few in the manga). Some would be dangerous such as the Teke-Teke (ghosts that are missing the lower half of their bodies and chase people while carrying scissors or a sickle with the intent of chopping off humans lower half and making them into Teke-Teke). Some would be harmless though freaky looking such as man-faced dog (Dog with the face of a man often seen digging in garbage, sometimes chases cars, generally tells people who happen to see them to leave them alone). Some would be helpful like the Baku (a monster that eats nightmares).

The ghosts would also have common ghostly powers, though some would be dependent on type, such as the ability to enter dreams (like the astral form of an old man Ranma went on a date with in the manga), hitodama (balls of spiritual fire that most of the ghosts had like the lady ghost who wanted her panties stolen or the Bakeneko, ghost cat, in the manga had), possession, intangibility, ability to place curses, shapeshifting, etc.

Ranma the backstories

Summary: Have you ever wondered what made the characters the way they are? Well wonder no longer for here is the tell all back stories for those memorable characters.

We know how the characters in the Ranma manga are now but besides a few glimpses into their past we don't know what made them the way they are. So I thought maybe write a story that tells how the characters came to be the way they are.

While I have a few ideas, this is mostly brainstorming/free writing. I'll use the Kuno family as the first idea. There are some things told in the manga. Such as something happened to their mother, Kodachi cooks for herself and her brother, the father had not been fixated on America prior to his leaving, Kuno senior left them by themselves for more than three years, etc.

This idea could start with whatever happened to Tatewaki and Kodachi's mother, be it her dying or just leaving them. Than the fic shows Tatewaki and Kodachi both wondering if it is because of something they did, so they try to become the best. Tatewaki tries to take upon the virtues of a samurai and Kodachi throws herself into gymnastics with the need to win, to the point she will do anything to do so. Time passes and their father becomes more and more unhinged until one day he just leaves them. Suddenly a 14 year old Tatewaki and a 13 year old Kodachi are left alone to take care of themselves. This does not go well for Tatewaki and Kodachi. He tries to control her after their father leaves them because he thinks he is protecting her and not understanding that is not how she views it. Kodachi feeling that Tatewaki is trying to lord it over her and control everything she does so she lashes out against him. This leads to them arguing and fighting until it reaches the point in which Kodachi start to regularly add sleeping powders to his food. Then we follow Tatewaki and Kodachi's lives until shortly after they meet and fall for Ranma (showing what Ranma means to them and how he fills a hole in their lives).

Instead of the Kuno's maybe do Ukyo. Start with her friendship with Ranma and daydreams about marrying him. Then show her being abandoned by her friend and the pain it causes her, not knowing why they left her. Than show her being ridiculed by the mean children in the neighborhood, particularly those she talked about Ranma to. Her being pitied by her elders. Her deciding that she will never love another man and throwing herself into her training. Show bits and pieces until after Ranma is back into her life, not knowing the pain he caused her and fighting with his fiancee. Deciding that she was wrong and that she wants to marry Ranma and those dreams she had could still come true.

This could be done for any and all of the characters.

The Ranma and Happosai war

This fan fic idea is set the day after the failed wedding in the manga. Ranma and Happosai have fought a lot in the manga and Ranma is pretty upset with Happosai for drinking the Nannichuan; though not a lot because he assumes it was an accident. Even though Ranma is not that upset he is not above getting some petty revenge against Happosai for drinking it. To do so Ranma searches Happosai's room (wouldn't be the first time, Ranma searches peoples rooms pretty frequently in the manga), looking for something to use against Happosai (incidentally stealing any magic item/ martial arts books/scrolls/pressure point charts that Happosai happened to leave there). In his searching of Happosai's room for something to use against Happosai, Ranma finds a barely legible notebook that Happosai has written. It turns out to be a diary (Happosai got distracted and forgot to hide it away properly). Ranma reads through it hoping to find something to use against Happosai but it mostly lists girls and their three sizes and critiques on various under garments brands/styles, but interspersed amongst that is some useful information. One of the things, and the most important for this story idea, that Ranma finds out is that Happosai knew that it was not sake and that Happosai has acquired Nyannichuan to recurse Ranma if Ranma did find a cure.

Needless to say that really pisses off Ranma. Prior to finding Happosai's diary Ranma was considering just destroying Happosai's collection of undergarments and helping the girls at school booby trap the girls locker room if he didn't find anything to use against Happosai in Happosai's room, after finding it he feels like that would not be sufficient revenge. A problem Ranma has is that he doesn't know what to do for revenge, he does not want to kill or seriously hurt Happosai but does want to do something worse than just antagonize and inconvenience him.

Ranma being the impatient live in the moment type person he is generally would come up with a plan and implement it often times without thinking it through all the way. This time because Ranma is pissed and wants to come up with a really good revenge spends days trying to come up with a good plan. He comes up with hundreds but discounts them; some he feels are too excessive (those that would end up with Happosai dead), others are discounted because they are insufficient, still others are discounted because he actually spent enough time to notice the flaws in his plan, etc.

That is where the first major problem I encounter with this fic idea comes about. I can think of many possible ideas for revenge but have yet to think about a really good one.

Lets skip ahead a bit to after Ranma has successfully come up with a good revenge plan. He implements it and while it does not go exactly as planned it still is successful. This of course brings the fic to the point where Happosai retaliates. Happosai's retaliation is simple, he does what he did before ordering things in Ranma's name, trying to get Ranma blamed for things, pokes holes in the walls, etc. That does not work so well, it is sufficient to get Ranma kicked out of the Tendo house for a bit but that does not bother Ranma very much (he fully expected and planned for worse than that). Happosai, not having any magical item available to use on Ranma (Ranma stole them earlier) decides to go to various shrines and free trapped spirits - things like Kappa, Oni, and Tengu just causing as much trouble as he can knowing Ranma would go and trap them.

Ranma is then forced to hunt and capture these things, learning more about spirits and things like spirit wards. This is where there is a twist in the story. I'm not sure if I want to give it away at this time because I may, if not soon, eventually decide to write this story.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ranma/ X-men Evolution crossover

I have read a number of Ranma/X-men Evolution crossovers that I really enjoyed. My favorite being the ones on the anime adventure Ranma Evolution and Ranma evolution. The strange thing about me liking them is that I have read several of the X-men comics, seen several of the cartoon series, and seen I believe all of the movies and while I found some things interesting, overall I find the X-men to be a median rated series at best. That said, since I did like several of those fan fics I have contemplated writing one myself. The problem I have with this fic idea is that I have not really thought of a plot, instead I spent my time thinking on the logistics of merging the two (much of which is not in this post).

I decided that this fan fic would be set several months post manga and be an X-men evolution alterverse. For reasons that even I do not know why I thought up; I came up with a lot of back story for events that would happen between the end of the manga and the beginning of the story. If I were to write the story though I would be unlikely to even tell any of the back story only alluding to it or telling that which is relevant to the story.

I'm not going to list all the things I came up with for the back-story, because it is not relevant and most readers would likely see it pointless to add non relevant information. Though some of the ideas for the back-story could be made into stories themselves. Here is one though that maybe included:

-On the way back from China they made a stop over in Hong Kong, while in Hong Kong Ranma remembered his last trip there, and on impulse decided to rob that casino making a clean get away with a little more than 50 million dollars (Ranma has little qualms with stealing in general and none at all when stealing from slavers).

Should Ranma be a mutant? A lot of fics have Ranma be a mutant, this is a convenient way to explain why he's around them, but really considering Ranma's abilities and the way he acts he doesn't need to be a mutant. He is stranger than most of the mutants and has demonstrated a lot of abilities. I think I'd go with him not being a mutant. There was a group in the comic books I remember seeing that did not have the X-gene but did have many of the abilities of mutants via training and hated mutants (this was read several years ago and I no longer can remember the specifics but do remember it existing so someone like Ranma does exist in at least one of the X-men continuities).

Some ideas for a possible Ranma/X-men evolution fan fic:

- Akane is found out to be a mutant. When her powers activate for the first time this makes her very happy for two reasons. Reason 1: she has a new ability. Reason 2: a side effect is bigger breast, something Akane feels insecure about and canonically wants as much as Genma wants hair (she has an entire box of things that are supposed to increase breast size but doesn't work like creams and exercise books).

- The fact that Ranma is not a mutant is not believed by anyone who learns of mutants existence (they are still extremely rare). That he doesn't have an x-gene and every mutant detecting means in existence says he is not a mutant convinces absolutely no one that he isn't. It is not solely because of the martial arts, his curse, or even his abilities that lead people to this conclusion (though those things certainly do add to the belief), Ranma occasionally behavior (things like talking to ghosts, howling at the moon, crouching on the table while eating when really hungry, writing with his foot, etc.) are also a large part of that belief.

- For this fic at least, Ranma is not just a martial artist, though that is what he considers himself. He is also a Miko (deals with spirits/kami, visits shrines fairly frequently, and prays) and he has acquired some more training in this (both from priests and his father - who did seal Happosai in a cave using shimenawa). He is also a budding ki sorcerer, for the purpose of this fic, the active use of ki is a very rare learned ability made easier by martial arts but knowing martial arts is not a requirement to using ki - only the highest end martial artists who devoted most of their life/time to martial arts use ki, and most never progress beyond the subconscious use of it.

-Ranma has been and will revise existing techniques and create techniques based on ones he knows/has seen (this would be true of any fic I were to write). This is something which I would expect of him since we do see him revise techniques fairly frequently - i.e. multiple revisions of the hiryu shoten ha or changing the shi shi hadoken to the moko takabisha to the double moko takabisha. Many of the techniques he thinks up will have limited or even no combat use, being only viable under certain circumstances, taking to long to set up, Ranma having insufficient power to use for a prolonged time, or just being too ineffective to be used in combat (though they may have some none combat purposes). Though Ranma will continue to rarely uses special techniques in combat.

- The existence of mutants is not commonly known but when it is Japan will be very anti-mutant, though the majority of the Ranma cast do not care in the least bit if people are or are not mutants (they are not prejudiced in that way). A funny thing is that Ranma in the VIZ translation of the manga once called the Principal a mutant and this will be commented upon if I were to write this fic.

- Ranma and Telepathy: I thought about this awhile and decided that the standard means of telepathy would not work right when Ranma is involved. Images or thoughts can be projected into to Ranma's mind but telepaths can not hear Ranma's thoughts or enter his memories. The explanation for this in the fic is that Ranma's thought process have deviated too much from the human standard to make sense of. Communicating from the astral/spiritual plane or in dreams though works even better than normal. The real reason being I think that it is better for everyone to not be able to enter Ranma's mind and I do not want telepaths roaming around in there (there is some really, really scary stuff in there and not just the neko-ken).

- Ranma and Rouge's touch: This too works differently. I have no plans of hooking up the two but Rouge will not drain Ranma's abilities or thoughts when she touches him, instead Ranma will receive random thoughts and powers from people she has touched in the past (temporarily). There will be no explanation for this, it will stump everyone; no one will be able to conceive a logical reason for this happening.

-The comedic relief for this fic would be Wolverine. There would be back story about Ranma having met Wolverine repeatedly over the years and Wolverine always ending up hurt badly through no fault of Ranma's. This would lead Wolverine to having an irrational fear of Ranma which would be played for laughs (Wolverine will act like Ranma is the bringer of the end of days).

- I realize that some people would view it as me making Ranma too powerful but he still has weakness's and will fight the way he did in the manga. While I have not made it clear in this post, if I were to write this Akane would play a major part of the fic as well and Ranma would not be an opponent of the X-men or most mutants (they have to do something to piss him off first). This like most of the other fic ideas recently expressed is still in the brainstorming stage.

Mystery - more specifically detective fiction

I'm thinking about mystery writing. An appealing aspects about writing a mystery novel is thinking like a criminal and then finding flaws in the various methods (clues). One of the first things you probably should do is decide as to what the mystery is about, theft, murder, kidnapping, etc. A downside to writing mystery is that structure is very important, while it maybe possible to write a mystery freestyle, I would never try. The ending, who committed the crime, how, and why are some of the very first things you should probably figure out and then write around that.

Say you decide murder, then you have to decide is it premeditated or spontaneous? Does the criminal have time to create a cover story? Do they try to dispose of the body, create an alibi, make it look like a suicide, etc. What kind of skills does the murderer have? Do they know forensics techniques and plan accordingly? Do they know how and have the time to create false leads such as faking DNA?

I was thinking about how a criminal would dispose of a body and the problems (read possible giveaways) for each method I could think about. There are a number of ways to dispose of a body. Here are some and some problems with each method (there are of course problems with the methods I did not bring up, ways around the problems, and other methods of disposing bodies).

1. Bury it. The body must be buried deeply because shallow graves are far more likely to be found. Some of the problems with burying a body: takes far to long to dig a deep enough hole and topographical conditions may prevent you ex. mountains where soil is thin and full of rocks or a swamp/wetland where because of water level you can't dig deep because the hole will constantly fill with water. Burying the body in cement under a sidewalk would also not work very well because the stench would steep through the sidewalk as the body decays.

2. Throw the body in the river. While this maybe an appealing method to dispose of a body it has a lot of downsides. The most obvious being bodies float and would be likely to come ashore fairly quickly and be found. Taking that into account the criminal may try something like putting concrete shoes on the person which also would not work since the body will fill with gases and become bloated from the natural process of decay which will make it more buoyant and float. To keep the body under water it would require an amount of weight that is greater than the weight of the person. Lets say that the criminal took that into account as well and decided to chain the body to a large rock at the bottom of the body of water, this would not work as well because as fish eat at the body and the body decays naturally it would eventually break up and pieces would make there way to shore.

3. Burn it. It requires a large amount of flammable material to burn a body, taking several days to burn most of it and bones would still be left. Compounding that problem is that the body would smell as it cooks. Doing something like pouring gasoline on the body would not be a good method since it would burn the outside of the body but the inside would not be burnt.

4. Use chemicals or acids to break the body down. The bodies would stink a lot as it breaks down and it would leave a tub full of human slime.

5. Have animals or trick people into eating the body. The largest downside with this, purely from a disposing of a body point of view, is it is very time consuming. It would take a lot of time to prepare the body and there would still be traces in the excrement.

Portraying regional dialects, accents, and rude language

How do you and should you even bother including regional dialects and foreign accents in stories? I do not much like the over use of apostrophes and words written phonetically. I was thinking about Shampoo (who is Chinese) and Ukyo (who is from the Kansai area not Tokyo like most of the cast). How would I go about portraying their dialect/accent?

For Shampoo I would most likely just have her use Chinese words occasionally and try to explain something but be unable to think of the proper word. I would not have her use Hulk speak (speak in third person, skip articles, baby like talk, etc). She does not do that in the original though her Japanese is not good and it is shown to not be good. Talking like she is portrayed to sometimes in English translations, would in Japan not be viewed as speaking the language poorly, it would be viewed as being cute (kawaii) and was how Azusa talked.

For Ukyo though I really do not know how to portray her regional dialect. The setting is Japan and she would still be speaking Japanese (though I'd be writing in English) so doing that to convey it would not really work. Having her use aho for idiot instead of baka, or using the honorific -han instead of -san, works in Japanese but would not work in English, since honorifics are different in English and neither aho or baka are words in English. I could arbitrarily choose a different regional dialect but there is not a regional dialect that would make a good substitute (though I'd probably choose British English since other than my own dialect it is the one I know the best).

In addition to those how should I portray ruder language? I ask this because Ranma occasionally uses pretty rude language, VIZ decided to show this in the manga by having him use truncated or phonetically spelled words (ta for to, ya for you, etc.) but only sparingly and generally when Ranma would have used ruder language - times he is upset (some authors of fan fiction have him say things like using ya for you every time and it really annoys me since it makes Ranma look dumb and slow - which he is most definitely not, is extremely distracting, and is not even how VIZ had it - this is particularly annoying if you read another VIZ manga such as Tenchi Muyo and see Ryoko and even Sashimi occasionally use the exact same phonetic words as Ranma yet those authors who have Ranma say them only have Ranma use them and none of the other characters). The obvious solution would be to have Ranma actually use ruder language such as swear words, but some people may find that to be jarring.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ranma Inuyasha crossover

This is not a new idea it an old one, with some revisions made, that I am currently reconsidering (file says last modified April ‎09, ‎2004). This is from before Inuyasha was finished so I had not watched the entire anime or read the entire Inuyasha manga (still haven't gotten around to doing that).

On one of Kagome's forays into the past she is injured by a youkai requiring medical attention beyond the abilities of the healers in the feudal era. Inuyasha brings her through the well to her family and they get her to a hospital where the doctors do manage to save her life but it will be some time before she is fully healed. The hospital is short staffed, so Ranma and Akane volunteered to help when asked (Akane primarily transporting various items from unit to unit and visiting patients keeping them company, Ranma having some preexisting medical skills is working as a volunteer medical orderly/nurses assistant doing things like feeding patients who can't feed themselves, transporting patients, and helping nurses move people that are too heavy for them to move themselves). One of the patients Akane visits is Kagome and Kagome opens up to Akane not expecting her to believe her. Akane, of course, does believe her having seen things that are as strange or even stranger than what Kagome tells her. Akane and Kagome become friends and Kagome asks Akane to bring her somethings from her house (she did not think of asking her family members when they had been there).

Akane goes to the shrine that Kagome lives at and is attacked by a yōkai Naraku sent through the well (an ability Naraku only recently acquired). Akane puts up a good fight but the yōkai is simply too powerful and it takes the unconscious Akane through the well thinking that she is Kagome. Back in the feudal period Inuyasha intercepts the yōkai when it exits the well and kills it after a brief but surprisingly difficult battle. Inuyasha has no idea who Akane is but can smell Kagome on her. Inuyasha brings her to Kaede.

At this point I was conflicted as to what I wanted to happen. Should Akane stay in the feudal period for little while and Ranma tracks her down following her to there? Should Inuyasha bring Akane back through the well and Ranma mistakes Inuyasha for someone trying to kidnap Akane? Should Akane come back and explain to Ranma what happened and both of them go back to help Kagome and Inuyasha?

That is all I had for this idea at the time, though there were additional notes comparing Ranma to Inuyasha and speculation for how they would interact.

A story in which Ranma just joins the Inuyasha gang in their fight versus Naruku may interest some, while I do not remember where I was originally going with this fic idea, I don't really see the point in doing that. Sure Ranma would help, particularly if asked, and I could have Ranma try to play match maker for Inuyasha and Kagome or Sango and Miroku (Ranma does attempt to hook people up in the manga). I think I'd rather have Ranma find something out while in the feudal period that leads to him making changes in his life and alters his view on a few people. Ranma then going off on his own, or maybe with Akane or his other fiancees possibly Kodachi since those fics are rare, to deal with a different problem that he stumbles upon while the Inuyasha gang continue to deal with Naruku.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ranma/Star Trek Voyager

I like Star Trek and I like Ranma so I have thought about writing a crossover involving the two series. Figuring out how to bring Ranma into the Star Trek universe is extremely simple considering things like time travel, Q, the Preservers, sleeper ships, holodecks, etc. This, for example, would work: Spatial anomaly opens up in engineering stopping the entire ship and spitting out Ranma. Ranma had been looking for another cure for his curse activated some ancient magical/technological item and somehow ended up there.

I liked the idea of Seven of Nine, but not the implementation. I did not like that she got paired with Chakotay. I did not like how the crew treated her. There is actually a lot about Star Trek Voyager I did not like. That is in part why I want to introduce Ranma into the series, basically so I can have him force a change in things, particularly in how the crew thinks.

I would like a Ranma/Seven of Nine pairing. As such, the first thing I need to set up is a reason for Ranma to be around Seven of Nine. This fic would be set shortly after Seven of Nine is brought on to the ship, a time when she had very poor social skills, and was sorely lacking in knowledge in many things (she did not know how to sit or eat because of her Borg upbringing). The means I'm considering using to keep Seven of Nine and Ranma in close proximity is to have Ranma's aura interfere with the ships sensors and more importantly the Bioneural gel packs (similar to how several aliens were affected strangely by the sensors and how some spores that Nelix acquired messed with the gel packs). To prevent his aura from interfering with the ships systems, a Borg technology is needed to neutralize the effects forcing Ranma to stay within a certain radius of Seven.

I want to use Ranma for this fic because he is significantly different than the other humans; in many ways he is more alien than the aliens.

I want Ranma to point things out that I thought about that never really seems to be thought about in the Star Trek universe (an example: Combadges lost, why don't they ever use sub-dermal tracking devices for emergency beam outs?). Simple solutions to complex problems they would not think about since they prefer complex solutions involving lots of technobabble.

I want Ranma to point out differences between his world (in some cases our world) like why are interspecies babies so easy to produce when chimpanzee have around 99% the same DNA as humans and they can't breed together whereas aliens that have evolved on entirely different worlds can. Ask why people do not have jet packs or power armor since both existed in his time (both are seen in the manga).

Things that will not happen:
Ranma suddenly knowing how the technology works (he will learn the rudimentaries, so as to function in that society but he won't know the details - basically he will be taught how to drive a car but not how the car works, how to do anything but the most common fixes for the car, or how to build a car).

I'm still just brainstorming and this idea is no where near fully formed. There are all kinds of details that this is lacking in current form and all kinds of things to add. Could have Ranma train with the Holodeck, have them build him a gravity belt, Ranma be like a supped up Jem Hedar/ genetically engineered person (in Enterprise the humans who were genetically engineered were resistant to phaser blasts), could have Ranma learn new techniques for example how to travel via warp speed without a ship (like the alien known as the Traveler did and taught Wesley Crusher in Star Trek TNG).

Five Random Things on Japan 7

1. In the Tokugawa Shogunate era it was generally believed by the bakufu government that laws should be kept secret - that it would be dangerous if the public knew the laws. When Japan opened its doors to the west, it adopted the German system of laws.

2. The Japanese prefer arbitration and compromise (wakai) to legal recourse, and there is strong pressure from the courts for people and corporations to reach out-of-court settlements.

3. The longest civil case in court led by the same individual took place in Japan. It lasted 32 years. Professor Saburo Ienaga challenged the Japanese Ministry of Education over their censorship of his history text book. Begun in 1965, a verdict was finally handed down in 1997.

4. Police officers rarely go to court in Japan. The information they gather on a criminal case is turned over to a prosecutor, and the court does not require their personal appearance.

5. The Japanese have an extremely small number of lawyers compared to other countries, roughly one lawyer for every 8,000 people. Lawyers almost never have private practices nor are their services generally available to regular citizens. The bar exam in Japan restricted to but a very few who completed undergraduate education from becoming lawyers (having a 2-3% pass rate from world war 2 until around 2003). The Japanese system is and has been undergoing changes for the last several years to get more lawyers and allow more people to pass the bar exams.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ranma Detective Conan idea

I used to read mystery novels when I was a preteen but I have not read very many mystery novels in the last few years. I sort of got bored of them, to many were either too easy to figure out (the author gave too many clues) or impossible to solve (lack of clues or erroneous, not misleading - misleading are good, clues). I have considered writing a mystery novel, I have even attempted to back when I was very interested in them, and I have considered writing one during my current brainstorming session.

Mystery is not a genre that many people choose to write Ranma fan fics for; there are a few though. The main reason is probably because it is easier to write Ranma fan fics in other genres. There are ways to do so, for example, Ranma disappears and someone eventually calls the police and they suspect murder. There are plenty of suspects. It is not unbelievable considering Ryoga had planned to kill Ranma and bury his body in the woods (even went so far as to dig the grave). Contrary to some fanon police do exist in the Ranmaverse both in the manga and the anime (for example, Ranma jokes about calling the police for sibling abuse when he pretended to be Ryoga's sister, during the Orachi arc one of the characters dresses like a policewoman, and Ryoga has asked at a police box for directions).

Though I'd more likely choose to do a crossover than a pure Ranma fan fic. Possibly Detective Conan. For an example of how to start the story: A murder has been committed and a rich man has gathered together several private detectives including Shinichi Kudo (who for obvious reasons can't show up), Kogorou Mouri, and Heiji Hattori. In addition to them they also asked the Tendo dojo for help (they are asked/called up to help people several times e.g. the Chonaikai have done so a few times in the manga, a mayor of a town being besieged by an octopus jar came to them for help, they got a phone call to deal with monster sightings, etc.).

This would be Ranma's first time dealing with a murder mystery, he is usually called upon to deal with the supernatural (Oni, Horse kami, living octopus jar, etc.), though he is sometimes asked to figure out who is committing a crime (such as figure out who is attacking people with pig and pony-tails or to stop a panty thief). Ranma does have many of the skills required, though not always from the side of law (for example Genma has shown the ability to break into safes and Ranma has stolen things). He has searched several peoples rooms, is good at finding out people's weakness and secrets (he tends to use them against people, though this is more commonly attributed to Nabiki who generally just takes advantage of a situation in the manga), is usually the first person to figure things out (like that Tatewaki was the principal's son), he is very observant when he wants to be (can figure out techniques by having seen them only once), he is naturally suspicious of people (for example, Nabiki a few times or Happosai's friend lucky when he was pretending to just be a child), etc.

There are also several things that could be done to make the two universes and the story flow better. One thing would be to make those books we see Ranma reading fairly often, but most of the time can not tell as to what they are, mystery novels and manga. Another thing would be to have Ranma had been in a mystery club in junior high school (we know very little of Ranma's past and since Ranma hates telling people anything about himself if he can avoid it, it is likely that even the other casts members would not know). Yet another thing would be to change Ranma's physical abilities from blatantly super human to borderline super human. The super natural things would not have to be excised from the story since Detective Conan has things that do not fit with our reality as well. Things like the poison given to make Shinichi young (which could be explained as having one of its ingredients be a mushroom of aging), the perfect disguises of kaitou kid, that detectives and police workers allow a ten year old around a crime scene, none of the side effects from Conan constantly using tranquilizers on Kogorou Mouri (which are particularly dangerous in combination with other depressants, such as alcohol which he drinks a lot of), that the creator of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) believed in fairy creatures enough to be tricked by a couple of teenage girls using trick photography to make fake fairy creatures, the large number of murders that happen near him (which is lampshaded in the series), the FBI having jurisdiction in Japan (though I do understand why the mangaka chose to use the FBI since Japan does not have an organization comparable to the FBI - Japan has the NPA and Naicho but they are considerably different from the FBI), Several characters like Ran's and Kazuha believe in ghosts, Conan has premonitions, Ai Haibara can sense the Black Organization members, etc.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ranma - The Nightmare saga

A rather simple story idea I came up with, that I am considering writing, is a collection of short stories featuring the nightmares of the characters. This idea came from the fact that we see several of the characters nightmares in the manga (most often Ranma's though - he has a lot). The basic structure of the fic would most probably be one nightmare per chapter.

Thinking of nightmares for the characters is pretty easy. Take Ranma for example; Could have nightmares about the Neko-ken, being trapped as a girl and losing his identity, having Tatewaki's children, the battle with Saffron with different outcomes, everyone wanting a piece of him and tearing him apart, losing his strength forever and having to rely on others, his mother finding him to be unmanly, etc.

The other characters, like say Akane, are almost as easy to come up with nightmares they might have. Her losing her mother, the pervert boys who attacked her every morning winning, ghosts, the vengeance doll retaining her body leaving her trapped in the doll, etc.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The rise and fall of Jusenkyo valley

This idea is fairly simple, it is just a fictional account of the Jusenkyo valley as told by someone who is investigating the area for historical purposes via their journal. Basically an alternate history that explains some of the things seen in the Ranma ½ manga in greater detail. The reason I decided to not write this story is because this idea is lacking in many things like drama, comedy, suspense, etc. While those could be introduced they were not what I was thinking about when this idea came to me. I notice that a problem with a lot of my ideas is that they are not so much to tell a story but to point out an aspect of the manga in more detail.

Here are some things that I had thought about including:
-A long time ago at around the time that civilizations were being built up around the Indus river, the Yellow river, the Nile River and the Tigris-Euphrates rivers; Another civilization existed around the area of Jusenkyo which is in the Bayan Har (Bayankala) Mountains in the Qinghai Province of China and is where the Yellow river originates from.
- A wannabe historian learns something about Jusenkyo and goes to investigate.
- We are told in the manga that Jusendo has been guarded by the Phoenix people for more than 4000 years. Which would mean that their civilization dates back to at least what is traditionally thought as the first civilizations. It would also mean that the taps of Jusendo have been around for at least as long as the pyramids of Egypt.
- Was considering using the Dropa stone discs, which are thought to have come from that area and some people believe were constructed by aliens. That those aliens who left the Dropa stones built something deep under a mountain and its run off eventually got into the water that is the source for Jusendo.
- Answer questions like who created Jusendo and for what purpose? How long has the area been settled? How old are the various races?
- Show what life is like for the various cultures in the area (Joketsuzoku, Musk, Phoenix, and Yakusai).
- Magical level (Joketsuzoku have toys and weapons that are magic), herbology (Yakusai have fast growing and multiple kinds of plants), and technological levels (printing press and phones are shown; other technology probably around as well since Shampoo had no trouble acclimating herself to the technology in Japan).
- Explain why so few people know about the people of Jusenkyo and Jusenkyo itself (The ruling people of each village uses magic to keep themselves hidden away from the majority of the human population. A compulsion to stay away from the entire area was placed a long time ago and they mind control the few people who ignore the compulsion and do come into the area anyways).
- Explain why the Chinese government does not do anything about the people in the area. Namely it's a remote area with little interest to them and three out of the four cultures that live there have demonstrated knowledge about mind control (It is shown that the Phoenix people mind control government officials using the magic eggs in the manga).
- Talk about possible wars they have had. Come up with a reason why the Phoenix people have become so xenophobic that the other cultures do not even know they exist (Cologne knew of them only from myths). What happened to the Musk, while not creatures of myth like the Phoenix people, they are still so little known that Cologne had thought them extinct.
- Come up with the various usages the various cultures have developed for Jusendo and Jusenkyo (Phoenix people for Saffron's ascension and to hide amongst humans; Musk used to acquire animal traits - though no longer do so; Joketsuzoku used it for a training ground - but very rarely since Shampoo did not even know of its existence prior to being taken there for training).
- Mention that there are tribes of people living in remote areas of Africa and South America who have just been found recently.

There is probably all kinds of other things I could include but as I said probably won't write this fic. This type of fic does have some obvious advantages, in that writing it as a personal journal, would give a lot of latitude in the writing of it.

Possible start would be similar to this:

November 1st 2009

I've never actually kept a journal before so I am unsure how I should go about writing this. I guess I should start with my name; my name is Neil Fenimore (name gotten from Random Name Generator). I consider myself to be a historian. Technically I am only a student at Johns Hopkins University, but I am enrolled in the history courses and am planning to major in history. I recently learned of an organization known only as Jusenkyo corp. from an anonymous letter sent to my professor. I never heard of them before. I asked my professor as to whom they are and he said that he did not know, but an internet search came up with them being a company run out of a remote area of China that claims to sell magic items.

Monday, October 19, 2009

National Novel Writing Month redux

I have pretty much decided that I am going to attempt to write a 50,000 word fan fic in the month of November. I even signed up at the National Novel Writing Month website. A considerable amount of my time over the last week has been spent brain storming ideas. I have and have had many story ideas, too many even. I am having trouble deciding anything. I attempt to work out the details, possibly create an outline, for one idea and I just get more ideas. While I will continue to brainstorm ideas, it is likely that I will end up just writing as I go.

The first story ideas I considered, and disregarded, were ideas I have already expressed on this blog or on various forums (though I may use aspects from them).
- The Ranma/Hellsign/other crossover idea while I think has promise; I don't think I want to go that way. The new girl/Sailor Saturn is too much of a Mary Sue and there are some other problems with the fic idea that would have to be ironed out.

- Taking a story arc from the manga and changing the point of view to first person to change the genre and include character thoughts. I again like the idea, else I would not have suggested it in the first place, but I think I'd rather go with something more original rather than rewriting a story arc in the manga. Though this would be a lazier way of going about it since much of it would be a rehash of events.

- Ranma monster hunter - A stand alone story that changes very little of the status quo, set in the USA, dealing with Vampires and Voodoo. This one is interesting in that it would have portrayed aspects of Shinto and shown that Ranma is a monster hunter (he is in the manga). I may include some things from this fic idea, most probably that at one time monsters were common (until humans killed off most of them) and martial artists were needed; they aren't really anymore (this is even shown in the manga, in that the bean gun plant had been very common before, used to fight oni but now since there are so few monsters left the bean gun plants are extremely rare and little more than myth).

- Ranma/ Dark Angel crossover - A fan fic idea that primarily explores the various eugenic programs seen in both series and pits them against one another that I never had any intention of actually writing.

- A story in which Ranma disappears somehow for 20 years. Haven't thought about the how but if Happosai can survive in a cave without food and water for around 15 years, Ranma might figure out how to do so as well. This idea was originally posted on a forum that I do not think exists anymore. The idea was mostly to see how Ranma reacts to all the changes since he disappeared. There were several secondary ideas, such as Tatewaki Kuno's delusions having grown to the point he actually believed that the pig-tailed girl was a goddess and Ranma's male form was a demon. Tatewaki Kuno over the intervening years had started a religion that is growing by the day and already has several temples and millions of followers (people do listen to him, after all he did convince many boys to attack Akane every morning). With all the weird things that happened around Ranma and his abilities it is not really that hard to see why people would believe that. I don't remember all the details I had come up with, though a major part of the fic idea was Ranma dealing with being thought of as a deity (it is one thing to be popular like a movie star or singer, it is something else entirely to have people think you are a deity and worship you). I was also contemplating that the acts of worship and such would actually be deifying him or at least empowering him (possible pointing out that it is shown that things like statues that are knelt before in hatred, and presumably in worship, absorb ki - Miss Hinako accidentally drained a bust of the principal which altered her personality and gave her a lot of ki).

- The last (not new) fic idea, I considered is actually one that I really, really would like to write but sadly I believe it to be entirely out of my current skill level. A Ranma versus Nabiki story. The reason I think it is not within my current abilities is because it would have massive amounts of character interaction, butterfly effect, character growth, dialogue, etc. Even though I don't think it is in my abilities, I may very well, come November, attempt to write this fic.

While I have put out other ideas in the past, such as a Ranma/Terminator/Sailormoon crossover, none of the other ideas I could remember are of any interest to me anymore. That particular one just mentioned had too much fanon, too many series, and was overly complex. I have a lot of new, or at least never posted on a forum or blog, ideas that I am contemplating (I may deluge this blog with them anon).

Friday, October 16, 2009

National Novel Writing Month

There is a website that touts November as National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write one 50,000-word novel within a month's time. I am contemplating an attempt to do this. I have stated a desire to write many times, even wrote a bit, but I always ended up dropping the projects I take up. The reasons I drop them are multifarious; but ultimately comes down to me being unsatisfied with my own writing.

I know for a fact I can write 50,000 words since this blog has significantly more than 50,000 words. Last month I wrote around 10,000 words on this blog. Writing in a story format, within the set duration, and only on one topic not so sure. Even if I do, I'm not sure that I'd want people to read it, which I realize is idiosyncratic since I am, and have been for a while now, writing this blog in which anyone with access to the internet can read.

The subject matter, not surprisingly, I am considering writing is Ranma ½ fan fiction. While I have had several ideas in the past for fics, I have yet to decide what I would write if I were to take up this endeavor. There is a multitude of things to take into account.

Should it be a crossover or not? At the moment I am considering a crossover with the cartoon version of Teen Titans; since I have been reading a considerable amount of Teen Titans fan fiction lately. That is not the only series that I have ideas for though.

What should the primary genre be? Action, horror, romance, drama, etc. the only one I have really ruled out is comedy. I would still try to have some comedic moments, since a story that blends genres is generally superior, but I am not a very funny person and, as I had pointed out in an earlier post, the type of comedy in Ranma ½ is primarily graphical in nature which does not transfer well to the written word.

Where should the story split from the original work? The point of time would influence the story and there are plenty of places in which to do so. Currently, mostly for convenience sake, I am ruminating upon using a couple months after the manga (ignoring the anime entirely). Were I to decide to crossover with Teen Titans, it would probably be prior to the battle with Trigon (including some influences from the comic book incarnation).

The idea for a crossover between Teen Titans and Ranma ½, that I am pondering at this moment, is probably not that good; which in and of itself does not matter as much as many people think, implementation is often more important than the idea itself (crappy cliched ideas have turned into good stories). Here is the idea: Ranma has become betrothed to Raven though not by his or her choice, or his father, and unlike the other engagements it is magically binding. As you can probably tell I have not put much thought into it.

Here are a few other thoughts I have had that could be incorporated into the story:

The battle with Saffron freaked Ranma out, big time, not that he almost died, but because he thought Akane died several times in a very short period of time. There is a very sad thing in which people who are abused, scared, or otherwise traumatized take drastic, irrational methods to protect themselves. Ranma has been and now would be scared that someone he cares about maybe killed/die, this causes some changes in Ranma. The first and most important to the story change would be that Ranma is more proactive rather than reactive. This can be demonstrated by having him attempting to create more powerful and deadly techniques while making a concentrated effort to learn magic. He would first attempt to learn that which is most familiar, build upon existing techniques and seek out a Shinto priest willing to train him in spirit wards.

Later, as in at the very beginning of the fic, he would come into contact with someone using magic for not benign reasons. Possibly have run ins with a group similar to the Hand of the Marvel comics (a ninja order that serves a demon referred to by members as the Beast that often seeks out and steals magic items in an attempt to bring the Beast to Earth). This could be used to create a convoluted means by which Ranma and Raven become magically betrothed. Of course, if I went with a Teen Titans crossover the group Ranma would have a run in with would probably worship Trigon (Church of Blood in the comics) or another similar, possibly rival group. It might be interesting to have Ranma messing with forces he does not understand and drawing attention from beings he's better off had they never noticed him (plus it is not really that out of character for him).

A secondary change to Ranma, if I went with this type of fic, would be in how he fights. For the majority of battles he would fight as portrayed in the manga (see block quote at bottom of post). Though there would be some variation since I view combat tactics differently than Takahashi did/does. In some circumstances Ranma would take more drastic action (very simple be brutally efficient -speed blitz, over power, break enemies legs or arms, hit pain points, make the immediate use of underhanded tactics, use techniques he would not normally use like those created by Genma, etc.). The specific circumstances that would trigger the change in his fighting style are: if his opponent(s) has killed/tortured/raped someone willfully, kidnaps someone close to him and he doesn't know that the kidnapped person is being treated well, or threatens to kill him/someone (threats of this nature will be taken at face value unless he is absolutely certain it is just trash talk). While seemingly a good tactic to take, this is not a good thing. It signifies a fear and a lack of confidence in his abilities, which is his primary source of confidence. A novice has to retaliate against lethal force with lethal force, a median skilled level martial artist can afford to use techniques that are not outright lethal against lethal techniques but will still need to use potentially lethal techniques and maiming techniques, only a very skilled martial artist can afford to use non lethal and non maiming techniques.
Ranma's standard methods of fighting include:
-While in competition:
*limit himself to his opponents style (beat them at their own game is something he does a lot)
*obey the rules set forth for the competition
*use minimum amount of force needed (tries to not hurt opponent)
--This can be seen in the rhythmic gymnastic match, cheer-leading match, martial arts dining match, ice skating match, take out race, etc.

-Anything goes battle, not competition
*has somewhat of a level of escalation; changes depending on circumstance and goals
1. Attempt to talk to opponent into ending battle while primarily dodging. Examples: offering Ryoga bread to stop Ryoga's feud against him or trying to convince Ukyo that she has no reason to fight him.
2.Majority of battles do not proceed beyond second stage.
-inflict minimum damage to opponents as possible. Generally attempts to restrain opponent.
-plays with his opponent (like taking the time to write out an insult in bruises on Kuno).
-attempt to defeat opponents techniques/style and not the opponent (for example Miss Hinako whom he did not just knock out instead tried to nullify her technique or Akane wearing the dogi trying to take it out without hitting Akane)
-fight at around his perceived view of his opponents level (meaning he generally won't speed blitz/over power his opponents even though he easily could - example battle with Kuno once he decided to get serious defeated Kuno faster than Kuno or Nabiki could see).
3. At this stage Ranma has stopped playing around and takes the battle seriously.
- attempt to take out opponent fast. For example, kicking Tatewaki's pressure points to defeat him fast or kicking Ryoga fast and hard enough to knock him back and into a cliff-side with enough force to collapse the cliff-side.
- use of underhanded tactics. This could probably be placed in an earlier stage as well because he uses underhanded tactics in non combat situations more than he does in combat situations (such as his attempts to drug Kuno to steal from him, use alcohol or chloroform to get Happosai out of the way, his attempt to blackmail Nabiki, etc.).
3a. this is part of both 3rd and 4th stage
- use of ki techniques like the Hiryu Shoten Ha and the Mokotakabisha
4. Very few battles have progressed to this stage.
- At this stage, he doesn't have the option to take out his opponent without seriously hurting them. At this point he will risk maiming his opponent.
5. Only one battle really reached this point.
- This is the point Ranma has run out of other options and has become desperate. If you haven't figured it out this is the point in which he actively tries to kill his opponent.

Barb Wire Omnibus

Mention barb wire and the first thing to pop into most peoples heads is probably fencing wire with metal barbs in it used to keep people either in a place or out of a place. After that some people might think of the crappy 1996 movie that took most of its plot from Casablanca staring Pamela Anderson. I have not seen that movie and from what I have heard about it, I would not want to see that movie. I did see That Guy With Glasses review of it though. I haven't watched many of his reviews but the few I did see were pretty good.

Barbara Kopetski, nicknamed Barb Wire, is the owner of the Hammerhead Bar and Grill located in Steel Harbor. Steel Harbor is a ghetto in which the police won't even come. She is, at least at first, an interesting character. She does not have complicated desires, basically she just wants to run the bar in peace with her brother and friends. Her main problem is that the bar is losing money and she has a lot of expenses, often caused by people damaging her bar, so to supplement her income she works as a bounty hunter, which even though she does not like doing she is very good at. She has an almost, maybe outright (not sure), super human ability to track people down. The most lucrative bounties, and the ones she really would like to avoid if she had the option, are to hunt down people with super powers. She ends up having to anyways, the reason she doesn't like to is simply because they are dangerous, she doesn't have powers, and she brings in her bounties alive (much more difficult than to bring them in dead).

This omnibus contains nine stories (originally contained in 13 comic books). Even though some of the stories are alright and the main character (comic book version) is interesting, overall I would recommend people not read this omnibus. The first few stories are not great but I'd still count them as good, then the quality of the stories drops significantly. First problem being that it makes too many references to other Dark Horse comics which I have not read and would probably help if I had (one story even seems to indicate that it is continued in another comic series not included in the omnibus). Secondly one of the most interesting supporting characters known as the Machine is written out of the story. The last story though Ace of Spades is crap, not only the story but I also dislike the art change, they for example changed Barb's design to look more like Pamela Anderson which I do not view as an improvement.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

International day of climate change and some effects of climate change

Join me at
I recently received an email from planet saying that today, October 15, is Blog Action Day. They asked that I tell my readers that October 24 is an International Day of Climate Action and to ask that you organize an action, or attend an action in your area (there are two relatively near to me). These events are to spread the bit of info that scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity and we are already over it and need to do take steps to lower it to below 350 ppm. I myself while believing people should do things to lower their effects on the environment am probably not going to go to one of the organized events.

There are many possible effects from climate change, who you ask will give you different answers as to what those changes are. Some people do not even believe that it is occurring. There is enough evidence and scientists that believe in it that I have no reason to doubt them. In that vein I read a summary of a report made by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research; Analyses of the effects of global change on human health and welfare and human systems. What this report boils down to is something that is obvious to just about anyone who puts a few seconds thought into it; namely that the poor, elderly, sick, and very young will suffer the most from climate change (often times called global warming). Those are the people who suffer the most from basically everything, so it should be absolutely no surprise that they would suffer the most.

Many things said in the report have been stated in many other
federal and international reports on the ill effects of climate change. Things like: Global warming is caused by greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels. At current emission levels, global temperatures are likely to rise by about 2 degrees by midcentury and about 7.5 degrees by the end of the century, according to an international panel of scientists.

It states that every region of the country will be hit by worse health from heat waves and drought. That all but a handful of states would have worse air quality and flooding. It predicts an increase in diseases spread by tainted food, bad water and bugs. Many of those very same effects can be seen from other causes besides climate change as well.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Ranma is sometimes portrayed as a braggart in fan fiction; using statements such as I am the best (which incidentally I don't really like very much and find annoying when characters say that - for example Wolverine from Marvel comics saying he is the best at what he does and what he does is not very nice) and saying "Ranma Saotome doesn't lose". I can't say conclusively that Ranma has never said things of that nature in the manga, only that I do not recall him doing so (I'm almost positive he does not at least for his martial arts abilities). I do not see Ranma as a braggart; using the definition very boastful and talkative person for braggart and speaking of yourself in superlatives for boastful.

There were several instances of Ranma downplaying his skills that I can recall such as during the first volume when he (technically she) downplayed his abilities and during gym class where he did so yet again. This by Japanese culture is the proper response and it also has an added advantage for Ranma in that it leads his opponents to underestimating him. That really is not the reason though. The main reason I don't think Ranma did so is because Ranma is a very secretive person who hates talking about himself and did not talk about any of his previous battles (most things about Ranma's past we learn second hand), Akane even complains that Ranma never really tells her anything in the manga. If Ranma boasts about say beating Saffron (commonly commenting about beating a god) it would be extremely out of character, since it would be out of character for Ranma to even mention fighting him in most situations.

In the event that Ranma did once say something of that nature in the manga, I'd like to point out that the manga occasionally introduces a trait or piece of information that conflicts with other arcs; such as Ranma developing an inability to play cards which is countered by multiple other arcs in which he can. When there is a conflicting trait, I tend to discount that trait in favor of the one that has more supporting evidence as being my personal canon. This type of error is common in many works, particularly in long works written by many authors like Batman. As for the Ranma manga, it is a comedy so it uses the rule of funny, i.e. being funny is more important than being consistent. I mostly go by the manga, since I like it more than the anime and the majority of fan fiction, but I'd also like to point out that the anime and fan fiction tend to change or exaggerate character traits (not that the manga is entirely free of doing this as well) so it is also possible that people view Ranma as a braggart from the anime or just from other fan fics.

Of course it is also possible, as pointed out to me on a forum, that it stems not from anything Ranma ever said but from some of Ranma's character traits. Such as his competitive nature, dislike of losing, and belittling/underestimating other characters skills.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Five Random Things on Japan 6

Been a while since I last posted one of these lists so I figured why not do one now.

1. The most common type of bird in Japan is the sparrow. They do well in highly urban areas, which a large percentage of Japan is, and their nests can often be found under the roof tiles of houses. Since they are so common they are frequently depicted in art, often on a plant spray or flying in a flock. Since all wild birds are protected in Japan, and cannot be hunted without special permission from the government, the number of all birds in Japan has been increasing. This has led to considerable crop damage. While most wild bird populations are on the increase, some people think that the sparrow population might be decreasing since the main crop eaten by sparrows, rice, is not grown as much as it had been and there were mass deaths due to Salmonella infection. There are several lists on the internet of birds in Japan, like the one at

2. Where I live in the United States central heating and cooling is very common. This is not true of Japan. In Japan, most houses do not have central heating. People heat and cool only the necessary parts of their homes.

3. Okinotorishima is an atoll 1,740km south south east of Tokyo. Even though it's name means remote bird islands in Japanese, it is in actually three very small rocks with its highest point only about 15 centimeters above the water. Everything else is either underwater or was artificially placed there; reinforced concrete around the rocks to prevent erosion, a marine investigation facility, and a light beacon. The reason this small, mostly underwater, atoll is important is because it gives Japan an exclusive economic zone of around 400,000 square kilometers (China disputes this). For an idea as to how important that area is, it constitutes an area larger than Japan's land area and Japan has spent more than $600 million dollars fortifying the reefs.

4. Horyu-ji temple is a Buddhist temple in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan. It is fairly important from a cultural stand point. The Japanese government even lists several of its structures, sculptures and artifacts as National Treasures. The reason I bring it up is because it contains what is thought to be the oldest wooden building in the world.

5. Kenson is a Japanese concept which translates closest to humility or modesty. It is part of Japanese social norms and I do not really know much about it. An example from the Ranma manga, when Akane asked Ranma in volume one if Ranma knew martial arts, Ranma said a little. That is the proper and polite response which someone should give according to the concept of Kenson. Basically your supposed to put yourself down or imply you are not very skilled to be polite. If someone compliments you, you should find and say something negative about yourself or otherwise appear to be humble. Just accepting the compliment by saying "Thank you" appears arrogant to people in Japan. This concept is pretty common throughout Japanese culture it is the reason people modestly refuse at least once before finally accepting a gift.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Things I would like to see more of in Ranma fan fiction

First off I will state that if I want to see more of these things in fan fiction, I should stop being lazy/insecure in my writing and write the damn stories myself. If I do so well enough it may inspire others to do so. That said I am insecure in my writing and lazy, so hence this list (there is some small hope that this list itself will inspire someone to use them).

Second thing I want to say, before I get to the list, is something I have made mention to before; I really do not understand why some things become so common in fan fiction, many thing which blatantly contradict the source material, and other things actually seen in the source material, repeatedly even, do not.

1. Ranma reading.
2. Konatsu - He is an interesting character with some pretty cool techniques and I would like to see more fics with him in it.
3. Ranma attempting to be a matchmaker. Ranma tried to hook Happosai and Cologne up, he did hook up Akari and Ryoga, and he started to teach a clone of himself how to pick up guys.
4. Ghosts, Oni and miscellaneous other Kami. There are quite a few arcs that have supernatural creatures in them and they don't appear very often in fan fics.
5. Ranma being money savvy. Ranma does display knowledge on money. I mostly want to see more of this to counter all the fan fics in which Ranma borrows money from Nabiki (which Ranma never does in the manga), fics in which he gets tutored by Nabiki on how to use money (which doesn't make sense to me since he knows she would cheat him, she will recklessly use other peoples money without worrying, and will sell people out) and considering that he was on a life long trip in which he likely had to make do with very little money fairly often and probably had to deal with people trying to cheat him; it just makes more sense for him to be money savvy (he does barter with Nabiki, cons people for discounts, expressed sadness at having to spend money, expressed worry about money, has taken jobs - once explicitly for money, etc., in the manga).
6. I would like to see more fics with healing things like Ranma doing first aid or cpr (both of which he did do in the manga), physical therapy, meditation (also seen in manga both in the form of prayer and while sitting upside down), massages (again seen in the manga multiple times; once even during a battle), pressure points/shiatsu/Moxibustion for their more common healing purposes, teaching (very important to prevent causing harm), etc.
7. Ranma being sarcastic and pointing out the stupidity/hypocrisy of the people around him. Ranmas fanfiction incarnations generally are not very sarcastic whereas he is pretty sarcastic in the manga.
8. Ranma with black hair like in the manga, or black with red in it like some Japanese people really have but isn't readably noticeable unless backlite, and having different hair styles on occasion such as hanging loose or a ponytail (like Ranma had his hair pre-dragon whisker).

I am likely to add more to or revise this list at a future date.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kane - bell

It is believed, in Japan, that bells and wind chimes attract good luck and bring prosperity.

A New Year's tradition in Japan is to stay up late and listen to the ringing of the Tsuri Gane (Temple Bells). In Buddhist temples the bonsho (large Buddhist temple bells that have no interior clapper) are struck with a long log or pole suspended by ropes at a special spot called the tsukiza which traditionally has a lotus petal design. The Joya-no-Kane consists of 108 tolls of the temple bells. In Buddhism, it is believed that man has 108 sins that, by hearing the bells toll 108 times, those sins can be relieved.

While some Shinto shrines have large temple bells called waniguchi which are flat and without a clapper, they are rung using a mallet. They also have suzu (round bells with a pellet inside or a clapper). Large versions of these bells are often found over an offering box with a rope attached so that worshipers can shake them to attract the attention of the kami. Smaller versions are used by miko during dances attached in a small cluster to a handle and shaken. Suzu are believed to have spiritual power; so they are also used as onamori (protection amulets).

Another type of bell used in Buddhism is a Kinsu (a bowl shaped bell on a small cushion also called a kin). These are used in Buddhist services a monk strikes it when he is about to chant Buddhist Sutras. The monk then sits on a cushion and chants, rhythmically hitting a wooden fish (mokugyo). Alternatively they are known as singing bowls where the sides and rim of bell vibrate to produce sound. They are commonly used before offering prayers (like Soun Tendo did in the Ranma manga) and during meditation.

Another type of bell in Japanese culture is the hansho, which is a fire alarm bell. These bells would be hung in a fire watchtowers (hinomi). If the fire was far away the beats on the bell would be single, closer double, and when a fire is nearby the bell would be loudly beaten at a fast pace. Some towns would also use them to mark the time.

A Japanese bell of note is the Japanese Peace Bell which was given to the United Nations on June 8, 1954.

Another type of bell, furin (wind chimes), were discussed in an earlier post.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monsters Vs Aliens

I have watched Monsters vs Aliens twice, though I did not see it in 3D. Only one theater in the area has 3D and it is the most expensive theater in the area (twice the price of the theater I usually go to, quadruple the price of the cheapest theater that releases the movies after the other theaters have had them for a few weeks), they also charge extra for 3D films. I really would like to see a 3D film but never have. It might have made me enjoy the film more since that was a major selling point for the film.

On my first viewing I did not really like the film all that much. It has a rather cliche plot; which is somewhat expected since it is based on 1950's B movies of the science fiction/horror genre. On my second watch through I enjoyed the film more, though I would not say it is anything greater than an average film. Part of the reason I liked it on my second viewing more than the first is because I expected less from the film and caught references to other films that I had missed on the first viewing. It does have a lot of references to other films. E.T., X-Files, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Independence Day, etc.

The film did have some fairly humorous parts. For example; I liked the scene with the aggressive girl and wimp jock. It also had some funny lines like this one: "We need our top scientific minds on this, get India on the phone." or this one: "Has it gotten hotter. I'd like to know. It would be a very convenient truth."