Well, goodness me.

A late “happy new year” to everyone.

Just a little update on the state of this: I had run into a plot obstacle so I had been trying to research into it. After all, I want certain setting aspects to be either probable or “quite possible” since certain parts of the plot are kinda “huh, really?”

With that in mind, I had been researching how Japanese corporations deal with each other because the b2b culture is very different from Western so-called ideals of capitalism. Yeah. I’m using Japanese corporate structure as a huge setting, so I’d like just a tiny bit of realism.

Honestly, one of my biggest pet peeves with people writing about other cultures in fanfic circles is the complete failure and disrespect to understand differences and realism. Oh, “Syncope” is hardly realistic, but I mean, for example, heavily using “yakuza” as a plot device in a middle school. It feels kinda cheap.

Anyway! This is going to be an interesting year for me. I hope it’ll be a good year for everyone. OH HEY, IT’S ELECTION YEAR IN THE U.S. THIS IS SLIGHTLY IMPORTANT!

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9 thoughts on “Well, goodness me.”

  1. It’s good to see you around :). And it’s good to see you willing to continue your story ^^.

    I completely agree with you – some research about subject one wants to write about wouldn’t hurt, plus some common-sense is always welcomed :D. To make setting realistic it’s the minimum an author should do. The perfect situation would be if one could study other culture and/or live in the country one is interested in ;). But not many can do that.

    On the other hand though isn’t anime itself a kind of negation to this ‘cultural thing’ idea? I mean even if the background for a series is based on Japan, how close – or far – is it to the real Japanese culture? How much Hime-verse is different from Japan reality? Although we have no doubds that in general it was based on Japan we also have no doubds that many of things and situations in the show are absolutely fictional and rather un-Japanese.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Yes, actual input from people who have lived in Japan in the past decade would be quite useful for many nuances and organizational differences that I wouldn’t find in published peer-reviewed research. I’m still seeing what I can do about that. ^_^

      And I wouldn’t go as far to say that “anime” is a negation of cultural accuracy. It’s a medium. That would be like saying Broadway is all unrealistic, or radio is too American or something. There are at least two ways of looking at realism in a medium like anime: genre and nuance. For example, there are anime where realism defines the genre itself (e.g. Omoide Poro Poro and Hotaru no Haka), and then there are anime based in a Japanese setting but with really weird things like magic (completely unrealistic), but the social nuances and existing traditions themselves would be more realistic (e.g. the original Hakkenden, I think).

      I do agree that some things in the HiME-verse are completely out of whack–HiMEs themselves notwithstanding–like the nun. The student-teacher relationship also seemed weird. But it’s important for me to note that I’m putting the former HiMEs outside that special school setting into the rest of Japan, which is where the “rest of the observers” were in the series as well (like the television news reports and stuff). In any case, another very subtle reason why I’m interested in producing a bit more cultural realism here is–and here’s a hint–Kyoto itself is known for more “sophisticated” and traditional Japanese culture.

      1. Unfortunately I can’t help you there, actually I would say I am interested to see what you can find ^^’.

        Well, you are absolutely right, I was not enough specific about what I meant. I was thinking about ‘nuance’. Like how Fuuka society is close to a real Japan.

        Ah, and that’s what bothers me, not much, but a little. It is, well it should be, absolutely normal and logical to use Japanese-based settings for after-Carnival Mai Hime fiction. That’s why many fics with westernized settings feel pretty out of place, and that’s why your fiction is so nice to read. But sometimes I wonder if some settings or characterizations used in MH, which should be moved to the ‘real word’ with charaacters, are the same as in real Japan. Err.. for example… do some of Japanese girls speak the way Kuga does? Or… Hime-verse is very, very homophobic. Everytime homosexuality is mentioned, it is mentioned in a negative way, like something very bad, not tolerated by society, one should be ashamed of etc. Is the real Japan so homophobic too?
        These things are not of great importance, or even maybe I see things that don’t exist, but I felt like explaining myself ;D.

        Anyway, I’m looking forward to read your story :).

        1. I see what you mean. The Kuga example is a good one; I really wouldn’t know, but I might be able to find out if I press certain online communities enough. (It would be SO MUCH EASIER if I could speak/write Japanese half-fluently.)

          On the other hand–and I think I may have mentioned in another Notes discussion–there’s a lot of information both published and informal about homosexuality in Japanese culture, which is good. I’ll certainly add more information about that later in Notes.

          ^_^

  2. Happy New (President) Year to you too!

    I appreciate how much realism you’ve inserted into a fairly unrealistic starting environment. Mai HiME is fantastic- but the harsh realism of classic Russian literature- it ain’t. OK, that was a really strange thing to say but at some point in my thought process it seemed like a good idea so I’m leaving it.

    I don’t know much about Japanese business, so I’m sure I can’t add much. I do know that when Japan broke into personal television sales (in the far, far past of my parents’ age) that the companies agreed not to compete with each other over the US market. They competed at home, but rallied for an us against them sort of philosophy abroad- at least in that case.

    1. Because I’m removing the whole HiME-magical stuff from the setting, I need other contexts for the social relationships to maintain momentum, basically. ^_^

      As an interesting aside, my initial research has involved the postwar Japanese business model of keiretsu, which is being broken down the past few years thanks to globalisation and Western influence. (Real interesting!)

  3. Well… I feel like if I’m checking your LJ religiously every day to make sure I’m not missing the update, I should at least comment.

    I stumbled across your story about a month ago, I’m not sure how, and I completely devoured it. I’ve since gone back through it several times (much more slowly), and at this point, I have to say I’m convinced that there simply isn’t a better piece of writing for this fandom. Even if I had no idea who the characters were, the writing itself is so compelling that I’d want to. The only thing that’s come close to your fic is an excellent series of drabbles (which I also randomly found) by , which if you haven’t read, I can’t recommend highly enough.

    Needless to say, I’m slavering for the next chapter, but even if it never comes, I want to thank you for what you’ve put out here up to now. Between this and ‘s drabbles, I was actually inspired to start writing something myself… who knows if it’ll come to any sort of fruition, but regardless, I’m enjoying the process.

    Anyway, I guess I just wanted to say thank you, and keep writing. Even if it isn’t this, you do have a gift, and I hope that you recognize that and continue to use it.

    1. Well, thank you very much. ^_^

      And don’t let it be said that I don’t feel a measure, however small, of guilt that I haven’t been able to set aside decent chunks of time and energy to continue my “baby”…

      Crep, it will be finished, or Muse-chan will have my hide.

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