Monday, August 23, 2010

Reasonable out of character moment

I have the vague inklings for a scene in a piece of fiction that requires one of the characters to have a very out of character moment so as to advance the plot and get the characters out of a rut they are in. In this instance it is for a Ranma fan fic and the action I want is for Ranma to kiss Akane. They have many near kisses in the manga and a few that don't count (mouth covered with tape, character was temporarily insane, etc.). They are bound to eventually manage to kiss without being interrupted. I have no intention of the fic being a Ranma and Akane shipping fic but them advancing their relationship to kissing and light petting would be beneficial to both characters and would make a later pairing I have in mind easier to accept and smooth out some of the potential problems. Both Ranma and Akane are not confident about relationships and both have very good reasons. The hanging out and going on dates aspect doesn't really bother either of them. Akane has gone on dates with Ryoga and implied to have gone on one with Ranma and Ranma has gone on a lot of dates for various reasons. Physical intimacy of any type even holding hands though causes them both problems. Interestingly since Akane is shown to be a pervert basher it is Akane who seems to have less problems with becoming physical than Ranma does -she has goaded him like after he was kissed by Mikado, teased him about it - like on the way home from the Romeo and Juliet play, she has dreamt about it -spring sleep incense, and implied that she'd be okay with it so long as they were in private - like her comment when she dragged him into a closet to hide from his mom and he thought that she wanted to go in there for a very different reason and hugs her. That said Ranma has clearly put some thought into it as well but is much more hesitant about it and of the two all evidence points to him having to initiate it.

I have come up with a number of scenarios in which Ranma would initiate the very first real kiss, which is the most important one. After that kiss, kissing will become a much easier thing for them both to do and while I find it unlikely for Akane to give the first kiss she would very likely initiate subsequent kisses. It would be a serious confidence boost for both characters as well and open up new avenues in their lives (Ranma for example would be a lot less likely to freeze up when Shampoo or Azusa kisses him - she did that in the manga).

Here are some of the scenarios I have come up with:
1. A joyous occasion in his happiness he grabs her up and kisses her. The reason I am hesitant to use this is because on the few times Ranma was really happy like after he got his strength back he did not do that (though it was actually what Akane seemed to be expecting since it looked very much like she was going for a hug).
2. A desperate situation such as immediately after being returned to a human after Akane was magically turned into a doll. Had the other characters not been around and interrupted I could easily see both of them making out after that; probably would of gone beyond kissing and light petting to a point that neither of them are ready for.
3. Magic or possession. This sort of happened in the actual manga but is not a solution I like. Feel it is too heavy handed.
4. Drugged. Given a hallucinogen such as LSD and kissing her in his inebriated state. Again more heavy handed than I would like and to likely for Akane to notice that he is out of his mind and therefore not likely to count it.
5. This is very similar to being drugged but I like it somewhat more. Ranma does extreme overtraining; mentally; physically; and spiritually (ki); which is something he has done in the manga. The self induced sleep deprivation, hunger, mild heat stroke, and various natural chemicals running through his body (adrenaline, endomorphines, etc.) cause Ranma to enter a mental state in which he can't tell dreams from reality (sleep deprivation, fever, etc. can result in hallucinations similar to those which can be gotten from psychoactive drugs like LSD) and he remains lucid enough for Akane to not be able to notice when he grabs her up and kisses her. With her the next day initiating a kiss.
6. A misunderstanding causes it. Something similar to Akane dragging him into a closet or some place private and Ranma thinking she wants something like that rather than whatever her real reason for doing so.

Drugs, extreme emotion, extreme physical state, etc. can and do cause people to behave in ways that they generally would not but while they can all be used to create a reason as to why a character is acting out of character for a short time none of them really fit for the story idea I am currently contemplating. I almost want to go with they are home alone and bored so one of them decides to initiate a kiss but that is extremely unbelievable. The solution I think would be the most interesting would be via a misunderstanding but can't think of a real good one.


MZephyr said...

What if ... (1) Ranma and Akane are home alone. (2) Ranma kisses Akane by accident. For example, Ranma shows up at Akane's window and sees her making kissing faces at a mirror. He teases her by repeatedly leaning in and pressing his lips to her window. Akane shoves open the window to hit him. Ranma kisses her instead of the glass. (3) Ranma gets all flustered and protests it was an accident. (4) Akane gets all nervous, and similar to the post-Mikado incident says she knows he hadn't meant to, as of course he wouldn't have the guts to do anything of the sort. (5) Ranma just *has* to prove her wrong about that. (6) No one else is home to interrupt this time.

Muphrid said...

I think it's rather telling that five out of six scenarios involve some sort of extreme emotion or an altered state of mind...and that I agree that these are the most likely ways to catalyze a change in their relationship.

While I also agree that Akane doesn't seem the type to initiate but definitely would be more at ease to repeat contact, perhaps it would be interesting to consider scenarios in which she is the initiator. I think, under the right conditions, Akane could be goaded into kissing Ranma--perhaps as some sort of challenge or a matter of pride, where she has to "seduce" him into kissing her to prove she's a better woman. Admittedly, such a scenario could be reversed and fit Ranma as well (and one could argue it's already been done in the battle suit arc). Still, I think the possibilities are worth exploring.

I do in particular like the idea of Ranma losing a hold on reality and allowing himself to do things he's only dreamed of. I've thought for some time that all it would take is a particularly intense dream and a moment of closeness that reminds him strongly of that dream, and then maybe a single impulse would take over.

At any rate, the growth of their relationship into physical intimacy would certainly be intriguing, but I wonder if that would really lay the foundation for a deeper relationship or simply make their clashes more pronounced. Ranma and Akane are fundamentally good kids, but they need to learn to be secure in their relationship if they want it to really go somewhere. Perhaps they're not capable of that yet.

antimatterenergy said...

MZephyr your proposed scenario could work for my idea with a few tweaks though it really depends on when the fic diverges from canon for how they would react.

Murphid, Ranma and Akane have developed so many defenses at first because of problems they had (Akane with boys in general and Ranma not being used to being around girls and his curse), then not wanting to be forced into marriage, then constantly being interrupted, lack of trust (Akane is quick to jump to conclusions and Ranma doesn't open up to people), etc. that I find it likely that it would require an altered state of thought or an extreme situation to push them. It is something that they both clearly desire but all the past problems basically are preventing them from going through with it in a more natural way.

I wonder if that would really lay the foundation for a deeper relationship or simply make their clashes more pronounced.

Personally I think both of them have expectations that it would fundamentally change things and while it would change some things it is no where to the degree that they believe it would. They both place far more importance on physical things like kissing than those things really deserve. I don't think it would change much since they do generally get along with one another and it won't effect what causes them to clash most of the time in either a negative or positive way. What it would do is give them both more confidence which would most likely make them less likely to over react in some situations and be a way to reduce some of the stresses that they have (while causing entirely new ones like stress in being caught and attacked or another attempt to force them to marry).

Anonymous said...

Dropping out of lurkdom to say to go for exhaustion, physical, mental, or emotional. That's when people's barriers are down.

However, I'm with you. I think Akane's more comfortable with those things, and I think that she'd be the one to make the first move. How important is it to your story that Ranma be the one who kisses *her*?


antimatterenergy said...

How important is it to your story that Ranma be the one who kisses *her*?

Not really important at all. Given the characters actions in the manga though I find that to be the more believable scenario.

Andy Workman said...

I am wondering what your take on the aftermath of a kiss in one of these scenerios would be?

antimatterenergy said...

I am wondering what your take on the aftermath of a kiss in one of these scenerios would be?

I sat at the computer for about a half hour trying to compose a decent answer to that question and I find I can't. I can come up with a number of different ways it can go all of which are valid depending on circumstances, who find out, how they find out, how the characters react to things, etc. There are a lot of possibilities in which things can go for each scenario.

MaMu1977 said...

I am wondering what your take on the aftermath of a kiss in one of these scenerios would be?

I hate to sound vulgar or pornographic, but I've known people with the same attraction/aversion complex as Ranma and Akane. The removal of the aversion triggers usually led to a literal "Walk of Shame" (college freshman style.)

IOW, they wouldn't stop at one, two or even a dozen kisses. I could see the two of them either consummating the relationship (assuming that the kiss was "just that good"), spending an hour or more in Icha-Icha Paradise or just sitting besides each other and vowing to do it over and over "until we get it right".

Now that I think about it, it would probably be the latter (Ranma's need to be "the best" and Akane's need to prove herself to Ranma would lead to a anxiety feedback chain, barring a literal life-or-death situation.)

Anonymous said...

Advancing a plot in this way is absolutely stupid. In japan Kissing is a very big deal, and in general, pulling a bait and switch with these two is only going to upset readers, not make them more interested in the story.

antimatterenergy said...

I know that kissing is a big deal in Japan. It wouldn't be bait and switch. I would outright state that Ranma and Akane aren't going to get married. That doesn't mean that they can't advance their relationship at one point but eventually decide that they aren't right for one another and decide to remain friends though.

In someways it makes it more realistic since teenagers often get into relationships, have sex, and then break up. This would have just been them making a real attempt at a relationship but deciding that marrying the other isn't what they want. Having the experience from this relationship though would be helpful in later relationships.

I don't particularly care for the Ranma/Akane pairing preferring crossovers but would like them to make an actual attempt and part amiably.