God its been a long time since I did one of these, hasn’t it ^_^. Actually, I’ve been avoiding it, since I know that eventually I’m going to run out of pairings, or, more importantly, good fanfiction to recommend. If anyone has any pairings that they would like covered, then please leave your mark in the comments box below.

Anyway, on with the show…ahem…article. Battle Athletes’ Victory and its OVA predecessor Battle Athletes are one of the true yuri source anime and a classic to boot. Back in the old days when it wasn’t a rule that all anime should involve a high school cam Battle Athletes, an anime that did not hide its yuri tendencies in subtext, oh no. If you’re going to imply girl/girl loving, then why not go all the way?

This kind of pioneering spirit seems to have been lost today, with heavy “subtext-so-sub-its-almost-not-there” yuri storylines (Marimite being prime example). Are we to believe that these girls who are so touchy feely with each other and who care about each other that much are not also practising for the world tribadism championships behind our backs? Only the appearance of Strawberry Panic can serve to show that the canon yuri relationship has not truly been lost between CG animation, Mikuru’s rather ample cleavage and 5 litres of creme caramel.

My favourite relationship for this series is the first relationship that I fell in love with – Akari, the main character, and Ichino, her best friend and tsukkomi extraordinaire. As if making fun of what I just said above, Ichino and Akari’s relationship starts off very subtext and it almost looks like it is going to end up yet another “Kaorinesque” unrequited damp squib. However, in Episode 10 or so, we get the confession.

For those of you not aware of “the confession“, it is a common anime device that is very rarely used in yuri relationships. The effect when used is always to make the yuri fan’s hopes for the relationship to soar only to be quashed in an instant. The confession in yuri anime usually goes something like this:

A: (thinks) Arg, she’s going away, like forever and ever and ever! If I don’t tell her I love her now then I’ll never see her again!

B: What is it, A-chan? You look funny.

A: (mustering all courage evar) I..I…I Love You!!

B: I love you to, A-chan, you’ll always be my best friend, even when I’m billions of miles away and we’ll never see each other again.

A: Err…yeah…friends.

BAD END.

Guess what happens in BAV. Don’t send your answers in on a postcard, there’s no prizes -_-. I’ll give you a clue…It’s not this:

Anyway, Akari goes off to try and become Cosmo Beauty and she meets Kris, the other yuri love interest, carried over from the OVA. Kris is a great character, especially since she owns a cow, but I’ve always found that her advances toward Akari were a bit vulgar and spoiled the potential that the relationship had to offer. However, on the flip side, the relationship is extremely amusing and a good comedy counterpoint to the Akari/Ichino angst-driven relationship of the first half of the series.

And so the final arc of the series sees the two: Kris “I can feel you nside me, Akari” Christopher and Ichino “The tsundere childhood friend love interest” Yanagida face off for Akari’s affections and thankfully, Ichino gets another chance, and for that I actually liked the rather aspartame ending. The basic problem with it that the writers never really sorted out was that Akari probably-isn’t-gay. Oh well; some threesome yurirape will probably sort that out ^_^.

Anyway, fanfiction-wise, for such an old show with multiple canon pairings, there is relatively little english fanfiction written for Battle Athletes. Paradoxically, there are quite a few fictions written for Kris/Ichino hanging by the thin canon thread that competitors must also be clam-jousters. I am not very enamoured by these. A lot of fanfiction also covers the other side characters in Battle Athletes, the best one of which I should mention.

Pariah by Vosburg deals with the relationship between Mylandah and Lahrri, one of the subtextual couples in the show and takes the “future” storyline and executes it with unerring grace.

Another recommendable fanfiction is Revelations in the moonlight, by SailorDoc, the only objectionable feature of which is that it deals with Akari/Kris rather than the far more kawaii Akari/Ichino. Poor Ichino. She really doesn’t get a look in edgeways. And poor Akari, she keeps getting killed off by those violent Ichino/Kris ‘shippers. Akari/Ichino is a pairing I’ve always vowed to get round to writing, but then, my fanfiction sucks, so its probably a good thing I never got round to it.

And so there we have it. Another one of my favourite pairings with only a smattering of fanfiction to prove its existence. Write more people. Write more and better.

 

‘Lo everyone, it’s been a while ^_^. My computer is all fixed and lovely, so I thought I would get up out of my bed of laze and do something imaginative for once…

So I wrote a short fic about one of my favourite alternative pairings, Evangeline and Chachamaru from Negima. Its pretty short, so it probably borders on relationship crack (short storyline-less fragments of story about relationships) rather than an actual fiction.

Since people seem to object to me posting “Not Safe for Work” material on my main page, I have placed the fiction on a separate page which you should be able to see in the sidebar to the right…

If you can’t, then the link is here.

Please leave some comments, good or bad ^_^. I might well extend it to a few more parts if I can be bothered and am struck by a few more particles of inspiration. Also working on a script for my take on a Strawberry Panic H-Game, though I think that may not see the light of day O_o.

Tell me what you think people. (If enough of you have stuck with my site through the many days of non-posting, that is…)

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!


It occurred to me the other day that I hadn’t done a Konshuu no Renai for a while, and though I feel that less people come to the site looking for fanfiction, I scouted round on Fanfiction.net for a pairing that I hadn’t done yet and wanted to do. Unfortunately, I rather like minority pairings, so fanfiction was either few and far between (and extremely bad) or far too voluminous to sort through. I did find an extremely bad Anita/Hisami lemon yuri fic though…(lemon meaning “+ dodgy sexual content”)

Reading through all the Nancy/Yomiko Read or Die fanfic I got extremely tired with finding fanfiction that I was dismissing on first glance simply because it looked unreadable, or that the author hadn’t paid enough attention to get names or spellings right. This annoys me on two levels – that I can’t read what could be a good fiction due to bad formatting, and that people can’t even be bothered to check their work before publishing.

So in this article, I would like to go over a few tips for the up and coming fanfiction writer, just to make sure that your fiction is not thrown straight in the Recycle bin without being given a fair chance. I must stress, these are not tips on how to write good fanfiction, merely how to write readable fanfiction. Please, if you do know any authors that suffer from any of these, then point them towards this article. For your sake and the entire fanfiction community ^_^.

1. GET A BETA READER (otherwise known as proof reader)

This is my single most important point to anyone starting out writing, especially if you are not confident with your English. There is no excuse publishing badly spelt fanfiction with wrong tenses and missing conjunctions, even if your mother tongue is not English. Just loitering on fanfiction forums, there are tens of people who would be happy to beta read your fanfiction for you, and many authors even offer their beta reading services on their sites (or you can just email them). There are even directories of beta readers, for example, Perfect imagination, where you can find beta readers willing to read your work and even state what parts of English you struggle with and would like concentrated on. There is seriously NO EXCUSE for not betaing your work, and it will increase the number of people who read your work exponentially, especially if you are from forn parts.

2. Formatting…formatting…formatting

Secondly and no less importantly, the formatting of your masterpiece is as equally important as your spelling. Since beta readers may not comment on your formatting, it is important that you get it right as you write (as it can be a pain to edit afterwards).

Fanfiction is a very different medium than book based literature, mainly because people are reading from bright screens rather than inoffensive ink on paper. Therefore, making your text as reader friendly as possible is very important. I will assume for the moment that you are publishing this on Fanfiction.net with black text on white (and not one of those godawful sites with red text on black or similar).

To sum up in one line: People do not want to read huge blocks of text. 

If you notice as I write on my blog (and in most other blogs), I put in paragraph breaks in every few lines or so, even when paragraphs are perhaps not required. When a reader’s eye scans down the page, it stops on the line breaks, and the most intensive reading is done on the words above and below line breaks, simply becuase it is less strain to separate the text from the surrounding words.

In A4 writing, you should probably aim to put paragraph breaks every 5-6 lines or so, and not have blocks of text longer than 10-15 lines(and even that’s pushing it). Also, start new paragraphs when new people start talking, it saves on confusion.

3. Research your anime

This may be a minor niggle, but being a fan of an anime, as you are likely to be reading a fanfiction about it, means that misspellings of important names are extremely annoying. If you have only watched part of an anime, look up the names on ANN or Wikipedia, for example before writing a fanfic. A little research goes a long way in the eyes of the reader.

I remember, for example, that there was a huge discussion on the Wonderland AzuDai forums as to the last name of Kaorin from Azudai. (I believe the agreed name is Aida Kaori now, so if you are thinking of writing, that is probably the name you should use)

4. Perspective

Please please please decide if you are going to write in the 1st person (i.e. I did something), or the 3rd person (i.e. Kaorin did something) before you start writing. New writers may think at first that it is easier to write in the 1st person, but actually, it is much harder (especially with describing events happening away from your main character) and the choice is rather limited (think how many novels are written in the 3rd person!).

Switching between the 1st and 3rd person while writing is also a tricky business, especially in fanfiction, where it seems very clunky to read, and often invites confusion as to who’s viewpoint we are now reading from. The best thing to do is either to choose 1st or 3rd person and stick to it, or only change after chapter breaks (for example, having alternate chapters from a character’s viewpoint and in the 3rd person can work, as long as it is the same character each time).

5. Speech

Not too much please. I am tired of clicking through stories which are entirely composed of speech between characters and line breaks, with very little action in between. For a start, there is a name for pieces like this – they are play scripts, and should be formatted as such (with character names preceding each line, stage dicrections etc.)

Creative writing should be description with speech as an accessory. Monologues are all well and good as part of a larger story, but dialogues should have things happening in the middle of them, otherwise it becomes extremely difficult for the reader to visualise the scene and the reader gives up.

Also, don’t feel that you need to qualify each sentence with a “she said” or even description (such as ‘”Are you sure you want to come back with me?” she said, her fingers dripping with green goo.’) Sometimes forcing description after every line of speech can feel lumpy and interrupt the flow.

6. Miscellaneous tips

Also, a great tip is to proof read your own work as well as to get someone else to read it. Proof reading (although painful) allows you to assess whether your work flows the way you want it to and which parts require rewriting. Releasing your work without proof reading is like an artist painting blindfolded and sending his work off without looking to see whether its good.

If you do want to write a lemon (called PWP (porn without plot/plot? what plot?) in regular fanfiction), please read through your sex scenes and make sure they flow well. Also, please don’t start straight out with the sex. Buildup is required to write a good lemon and at least some storyline as to how the characters got there in the first place is required. I certainly don’t want to read a fic and rush headlong into Anita’s “stiff nipples” (Warning: not safe for work. Happens to be the fic with annoying misspellings of character’s names). Also, I’m tired of reading multiple variants on spelling of the word “tongue”. Get it right, people.

Multiple pronoun syndrome – It is certainly common when you start writing to run out of pronouns describing a character. Please resist the urge to drop to using “the blonde/brunette/greenhead etc.” or a character’s occupation (“ZA PAYPAAAR”) in place of “he” or “she” in a sentence if at all necessary. Joining sentences together to places where you need to put pronouns, or repeated usage of “He/she” or a character’s name is fine.

I hope this has been useful, though it is unlikely to stem the tide of badly spelt, badly formatted and just generally bad fanfiction that is belched forth by the internet fanfiction community, but I hope that it will at least help a few potentially good writers to realise that their work really isn’t all that bad.

I hope.

Now actually, at the moment, I'm supposed to be preparing for my final practical exam this year, but since its in 2 hours, I thought I'd get this post done first, then I don't have to worry about it later. Pics are all I can find on Google right now since Danbooru is down. I might update with nicer ones later.

Since today marks the end of my first year at Medical School, I wanted to commemorate it by talking about one of my favourite yuri based anime of all time: Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito (Yamibou). Now, this anime has had a lot of criticism over the years after its release, and even the Wiki entry for yuri describes it as being "flawed". However, not being one to side with the opinions and morals of general society, I absolutely adore Yamibou and believe it to be the best yuri anime ever made. As usual, Spoiler warnings for what is to follow.

Now when I say "yuri anime" I am referring to anime where girl/girl relationships are the main presiding theme; namely: Kannazuki no Miko, Maria sama ga miteru, Strawberry Panic, Kasimasi ~Girl meets Girl~ and Simoun to name but a few. Also, shows such as Sailor Moon S and Shoujo Kakumei Utena could also be included with presiding yuri relationships.

Now why do I think Yamibou is excellent? Answer: Because I am shallow.

First point of note about it: The art is amazing. Since I am a shallow individual who will watch whole series of anime purely on art style alone, the superior quality of the art in Yamibou makes a huge difference to me, especially over other shows in which the art is less to my liking (such as Marimite for instance)

Second and most importantly: The relationships. Now it is clear from the outset that Hatsuki loves Hatsumi (or Eve) more than a sister, but the sheer devotion of that love is one of the best selling points about the anime. The fizzling angst and emotion that charges the scenes where they are together is fantastic and unsurpassed by any other yuri relationship in anime (people should know by now that I am an avid subtext (non-obvious) relationship fan and that angst is my favourite part).

Thirdly (mostly for my enjoyment): The consummation. The ending to the series was arguably the best ending to a anime shoujo-ai relationship: where Hatsuki and Hatsumi finally consummate their feelings just for one night and where Eve shows that out of all the forms she has been in over hundreds of millennia, she has never loved anyone more than Hatsuki. Granted it was fanservice, but the final climax of a subtextual relationship is, I believe, an important plot point in concluding such a storyline. Also, coupled with the sadness of Eve's parting from Hatsuki's life, the ending leaves you with mixed feelings of sorrow, but yet fulfillment – the best way to end an anime.

Now, supporting these, there are other aspects of Yamibou which makes it more than enjoyable to watch. There is never a shortage of emotional scenes that make the tears well up inside you, like the scene aboard the space station where the computer is left alone at last after taking care of her travellers for years and of course the tale of Ritsuko, wrongly imprisoned (though in a rather revealing outfit ^_^) Also (controversially) I rather like the mythology behind the whole thing, with the Cosmic library and Eve and Lilith as caretakers of the many worlds.


The thing I think that spoiled other yuri based anime such as Kannazuki no Miko is the inattention to the relationship – instead, they injected meaningless mecha and the relationship got shoved aside and the anime went downhill. Anime such as Marimite and Strawberry Panic are good in theory, but the way they are paced are rather pedestrian and fail not so much at story, but just being too slow and boring

So it should come as no surprise that I love Hatsuki/Hatsumi fanfiction. Unfortunately, despite my ramblings, there is a very limited western fanbase for Yamibou and therefore, fanfiction is severely limited (thats not even considering the availablity of well written fanfiction ^_^). Nevertheless, I highly recommend the fanfiction currently on Shoujoai.com in the Yamibou section.

A Time Forgotten is a rather well written lemon (i.e. not worksafe) fic from Ariana which is probably my favourite fiction at the moment

Shanejayell's Another Destiny is also good and comes highly recommended.

The other one that shows promise is Mk Anderson's Growing Pains, though this doesn't look like it will be finished or even updated any time in the near future (his last Fanfiction.net update was in September 2005), so to save yourself the anguish of reading a partially finished fic, you could give it a miss.

Any other fiction links that I don't know about that are worth looking at I would be happy to receive. I think I have another at home that I might post later.

Basically, I can't recommend this anime enough. It's a cute, well animated anime with great art and relationship storylines with a fantastic central yuri relationship. If this article gets one more person into it and writing fiction, then I've done my job.

Here it is then, the soppy second half of Yuri Underdogs. Apologies if the pictures go funny cause Photobucket may protest ^_^;;

5. Ers/Nina (Mai Otome) underdog to Natsuki/Shizuru/Tomoe, Arika/Sergay/Nina


I think that naturally, being androphobic and all, I became attracted to you. You were so strong, so masculine; a tsundere to the core. Ever since that day when I saved your life at the poolside I’ve been thinking about you; doing this and that and things that make me blush right up to my ears. But you were too infatuated with Sergay to notice a poor cursed girl’s love. But I wasn’t bitter, never for a second. Because I’d die for you, Nina-chan.

4. Konoka/Setsuna (Mahou Sensei Negima) underdog to Negi/Everyone Female Except Konoka And Setsuna


I think I’ve always loved you, ever since we first met, Secchan. It’s just that the love I felt towards you as a child grew and matured into something better, something infinitely more satisfying. Sometimes, I look into your eyes and see it; the hunger, the NEED. The need to push me down and show me just how much you really love me, in every way you can. And deep down, I want you to do just that. You’ll always be my protector Secchan…

3. Akari/Ichino (Battle Athletes Victory) underdog to Akari/Kris

When I look back now, to think I would have loved you at first sight is hilarious; you, the cowering incompetant and me, the overactive tomboy with the thick Osaka-ben. But every time we trained, every time I batted you and called you an idiot, every time you showed your guts and tried just that little bit harder, I think somehow I came to love you. You were my antithesis, so lithe and feminine, and I was so confused about my feelings that by the time I’d mustered enough courage to tell you how I really felt, you had left. And then there you were, standing there one year later, with the trophy in one hand and Kris in the other. I’ve competed nearly all my life, but this time I’ll truly give it my best. For you.

2. Yaya/Hikari (Full Yuri Panic! (Strawberry Panic)) underdog to Tamao/Nagisa/Shizuma

I glomp you in the swimming pool, I feel you up in the library, I get jealous when Tsubomi calls you “Onee-sama”. I fight to take showers with you, but I don’t think I have enough blood in my body to handle catching a glimpse of your alabaster white curves through the steamed glass. I hugged you and pressed you close in the cathedral and whispered into your ear that there was someone I liked. What will it take to get it into you thick head that I love you?

1. Sakura/Tomoyo (Card Captor Sakura) underdog to Sakura/Syaoran

Sakura-chan, I’ve always loved you, but I think my love is different from yours. You’ll understand when you’re older, I hope. In the meantime, I’ll store these burning feelings deep down inside and watch you from afar, marvel at your cuteness and exact my cosplay fetishes on you, as long as you let me. I’ll watch you as you marry Syaoran and I’ll stay by your side, because I know someday, maybe not soon, maybe not for a long time; someday, you’ll understand and you’ll come back to me.

Yeah, I know it was soppy as hell. No flames please, but constructive criticism is encouraged

Yuri Underdogs Runners up!

The couples who nearly made it into the Top 10!

Chihiro/Kaorin (Azumanga Daioh) Poor Chihiro – it must be difficult to have a relationship with someone who lusts after someone 2 foot taller than you who can run the 100m in 12 seconds. There’s only so much good tongue can make up for…

Orihime/Tatsuki (Bleach) Tatsuki is obviously the uke (submissive) in this relationship ^_^ Orihime should meet up with Tessa and swap bondage tips

Kozame/Kirie (Girls Bravo) Kirie gonna get raped. At gunpoint. You gotta love the evil-yuri! Shizuru taught Kozame all she needed to know ^_^;;

Sanae/Wakaba (Green Green) Has anyone watched the Sanae/Wakabe Character DVD? No? Watch it NOW.

Mikuru/Lol-tan (Haruhi) I wish.

PS. Thanks to lolikitsune for GETTAGE of his Tessa/Mao pic. I really could not be bothered to screencap it myself at that point ^_^

C2 links updated

June 7, 2006

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Shanejayell commented recently that he was having trouble with the links to C2 communities on Fanfiction.net.

Recently found out that the reason is that periodically Fanfiction.net change the URLs of these communities just to confuse, disorient and annoy the hell out of you. Also, the KonoSetsu community has been renamed under new leadership. (no longer under Okashira Shinomori).

C2 links have therefore been updated with new URLs and I'll check periodically to make sure that they stay that way

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