Actually, I only wanted to make a quick post today on how much I love alternate universe (AU) fanfiction. I was flicking through my C2 communities today when I found some great fanfiction that I had neglected to read before.

The best of the two, Kizuna by saihatsu is an alternate universe Konoka x Setsuna fanfiction where a disillusioned Setsuna Sakurazaki ends up working for an infamous group of mercenary assassins who become part of a plot to save Konoka from one of the government’s evil schemes. The fiction itself comes highly recommended, though it looks like it is on hiatus for the moment (last updated in April) due to exams, so at best look forward to updates in the coming months.

The other, non AU fiction that i would recommend from my recent surfings is Cold Nights, Warm Days by LtStorm, which is a Tomo/Yomi and Kagura/Nyamo dualfic which I found refreshing to read, since I am not usually a fan of Tomo/Yomi.

Now let me gush a little about Alternate Universe.

I love AU fanfiction. However, it takes such skill to be able to write properly, that I only rarely come across good examples of it. To define the term, AU is a fanfiction in which the anime or manga universe in which the characters find themselves in is changed (hence alternate) to the whim of the author. Therefore, situations and characterisations do not exist in this universe as in the canon (normal) universe, though the two are strongly related. For instance, most multiple crossovers (fanfic encompassing more than two anime series) have to be AU by default. (For instance Shanejayell’s Arisugawa’s Locket)

One of the great things about writing AU is that you can forget about characterisation (although not too much, or you might as well be writing original fiction) and do whatever you want with the characters. One of the great things about reading AU is that you get to see familiar characters in situations outside the regular old few that define a relationship (you know what I mean…There are only a few situations in a TV series that allude to a relationship, especially yuri ones, and most fanfic authors will base fiction around these. (Which can get quite tiresome)).

The difficulty in AU is casting your set of familiar characters into an unfamiliar world, but making it so that it is not completely unfamiliar to the reader. Also, characters’ “alter-egos” as it were, must be at least related to their real manga or TV counterparts.

Writing alternate universe fiction gives a reader a great feel of the author’s real imagination outside of predetermined lines, and the offerings in this category are always more interesting to read.

And it offers far more opportunities for angst!

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However much I despise fanfiction.net, it is the place where any fanfiction writer worth their salt will post their fanfic (and many of those not worth their salt as well, unfortunately). Having spent an hour trawling through all the potential Sakaki/Kaorin posts there only a few really stood out.

Panthers and Kittens by Kanna-Ophelia stood out for its good characterisation (I don't like fanfiction where the girls act out of character) and interesting cat related metaphors. Left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside ^_^

The Lady and the Tiger by Q Illespont also impressed me…All fanfictions that force me to read every word are great – it shows that the writing is fluent (and it needs to be more fluent, since reading on screen is so much less comfortable than reading on paper.) The story is good, and the characterisation is ok, but it made me smile, and thats what matters ^_^

For general Azumanga Shoujoai goodness, visit C2 Azuromance on Fanfiction.net. I'll probably be doing more of the Azu pairings in later KnRs, so look forward to it.

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Appearing late this week (I'm developing a trend for lateness here, maybe I'm just not suited for regular weekly posting -_-), one of my favourite couples that I'd almost forgotten about. Luckily, the occurrence again of Wednesday and Konshuu no Renai forced me to dredge my memory for things I had read (and, unfortunately, written for) in the past.

Kaorin x Sakaki is one of my favourite couples, as Azumanga Daioh was one of my earliest anime and definitely a benchmark setter as far as quality was concerned. Also, although the Kaorin x Sakaki one sided "sempai" type relationship is nothing new, Kiyohiko Azuma executes it in such an amusing way that I can help being charmed by how much Kaorin likes Sakaki. (And then ending up disappointed as Kaorin gets slowly phased out towards the end of the series)

One of the reasons I love this relationship (and writing for/reading about this relationship) is that people can really empathise with Kaorin's position. I mean, who hasn't had a huge crush in their teen years and virtually stalked someone for ages? Well, I haven't (ahem); but the sympathy for Kaorin is still there, and the want to write fiction that will bring them together in some way and make Sakaki see just how much Kaorin is crushing on her is enormous.

My favourite Azumanga fiction by far (although I will be making her head swell up suika size to say so) is Azumanga Plus Six by LunaMurphy. Although not strictly a Kaorin/Sakaki fiction per se, it does deal with that relationship, and the ending feels infinitely more satisfying, simply because it feels realistic.

Surprisingly though, since the pairing is virtually canon, there isn't that much fiction for it (only 3 on http://www.shoujoai.com), most given over to Yomi/Tomo and Yukari/Nyamo. However, the best of the bunch by far is Twinkle Twinkle by Cyberano, which is well written and contains just the right amount of angst (although I am a big fan of angst, some of the fanfiction goes way too far!) Although, talking about angst, if you're into it, On the Road is very well written (but very sad).

And researching just now, I've just realised that the fanbase has grown significantly on fanfiction.net, so I might well post an update to this post tomorrow with any good ones I find.

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