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[IWIW] Sailor Moon R (thread 4 of a continuing series)

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Shay Guy

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Ah, fandom.
It manifested worst in '90s anime fandom, where the canon was often extremely difficult to get a hold of. Nowadays, of course, that particular problem has been nuked, but you still get writers who only know it through other fanfics.

This IWIW series has been particularly interesting to me -- I'm one of those people whose only exposure to Sailor Moon has been fan fiction, assorted wikis, a few YouTube clips, and the first few manga chapters. I'm sure it's no substitute for the actual series, but I still feel like I have a much better grip on the real thing. Plus there's been some pretty interesting plot-related stuff I've learned -- for instance, I had no idea that Puu
Spoiler: Show
first appeared as a mysterious Voice with an Internet Connection.
(Note: tag does contain an indirect spoiler by the fact that this was news to me.)

Well, obviously it's just a restoration to their natural state. She hit REFRESH.
Which raises the question of whether anyone really has a "natural" state. (The fact that this reminds me of how Pastel Defender Heliotrope did the "purification" thing -- the target lost her memory and regressed to an infant's mental state -- doesn't help.) We could get into all the arguments over subjective morality and how people are defined by their experiences and all that, but there's no real point.

Maybe it'd be best to think of it as being like magnetizing a piece of steel -- refocusing the conscious and subconscious mind on the Good Stuff, which is pretty dang hard on your own even if you want to.

It's interesting to consider the dance of reincarnation in this setting. I've taken some of Luna's comments in the first season to mean that Usagi is a different person than Serenity… although she is also the same person. (Is this contradictory or not? Mu.)
Reincarnation always brings up these questions, along with the question of just what the heck a soul is. I'm ten chapters into the fanfic Sailor Moon 4200, in which this matter screws over one of the characters in pretty much the worst way possible.

Young Beryl, the—whatever she was. Peasant maiden? Lady-in-waiting? Apprentice witch? And Usagi the schoolgirl. Both in love with the same guy. Both wishing they were a Princess so they could have him. But the key motivations. Beryl who will do anything to have him, or keep others from having him: selfishness. Usagi, who realizes the responsibility of being a princess, and would do anything to save him: selflessness. Beryl, born common, took a Queen's crown; Usagi/Serenity, born royal, wants to escape it.
Funnily enough, aside from the last part, this is a lot like the heroine of Princess Tutu (aka "Cardcaptor Sakura meets Swan Lake by way of Revolutionary Girl Utena and The Neverending Story, as written by Neil Gaiman") and her opposite number. And even the last bit has something similar, but in the "is Clark Kent or Superman the real one" format.

(I have an ongoing fanfic where Beryl has brainwashed Ranma to think he (in girl form) is Beryl's daughter...)
Wasn't Nodoka Saotome secretly Beryl in the mega-crossover "Insertion?"

...But I suspect "Morganite" would end up becoming a more energetic Fate Testarossa.
I can't really see Beryl as Precia. The Morganite plotbunny reminds me more of the Malfoys in Harry Potter, which has a similar focus on the Power of Love. Bullies, bigots, members of a terrorist group, and just plain jerks, but still redeemed by the fact that they do love each other.
 
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anowack

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Ranma… a tragedy?



Well, okay, the basic set up is fairly uncomfortable for a lot of the people involved, but tragic? Sheesh.
Of course! You've got poor blameless Ranma (who never does anything to deserve any of his troubles, and is certainly in no way an arrogant jerk to anyone!), who spends all his time in a horrible depression over his curse (which he never learns to live with even grudgingly!) and the constant attacks from his countless rivals (that he never develops any kind of unstated friendship with!) and the foul attentions of the uncountable number of cruel, loveless fiancees (that he doesn't care for even the slightest bit, and who don't really love him!), that will no doubt ultimately lead him to suicide... unless, that he runs away (optionally: with $FAVORED_LOVE_INTEREST) to $SETTING_OF_ANOTHER_SHOW where he will instantly become better than $CAST_OF_SHOW at $COMBAT_METHOD_OF_SHOW and save the day (optionally: while becoming a character almost, but not entirely, completely unlike Ranma).
 

JohnBiles

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My take on the purification thing--

In the SM Universe, magic clearly comes in both good and evil flavors. You can be corrupted by dark magic into a monster against your will, or you can use dark energies, which will corrupt you. People who don't use magic don't become as polarized as those who do. The best and the worst people are those who draw on magic.

This is why the sisters lose their powers when purified--they don't know how to use light/love/etc magic, just dark magic, so if you wipe the dark out of their system, they become ordinary humans.

The use of magic gives you power, but also orients you towards good or evil. SM assumes optimistically that most people are basically good if free of outside influences. So if you purify someone, they become something better because dark magic is no longer tipping the scales.
 

anowack

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SM assumes optimistically that most people are basically good if free of outside influences.
This is the key part, I think.

Without that context, the purification bit can seem... dubious. But if you go from the assumption that, deep down, everyone is good, and it is only malign influence that makes them evil, then purification is... well, purification. It isn't brainwashing someone to be good, it's getting rid of the brainwashing that's making them evil.

There's some thornier things to discuss later, but we'll discuss those later!
 

Shadowjack

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Of course! You've got poor blameless Ranma (who never does anything to deserve any of his troubles, and is certainly in no way an arrogant jerk to anyone!), who spends all his time in a horrible depression over his curse (which he never learns to live with even grudgingly!) and the constant attacks from his countless rivals (that he never develops any kind of unstated friendship with!) and the foul attentions of the uncountable number of cruel, loveless fiancees (that he doesn't care for even the slightest bit, and who don't really love him!), that will no doubt ultimately lead him to suicide... unless, that he runs away (optionally: with $FAVORED_LOVE_INTEREST) to $SETTING_OF_ANOTHER_SHOW where he will instantly become better than $CAST_OF_SHOW at $COMBAT_METHOD_OF_SHOW and save the day (optionally: while becoming a character almost, but not entirely, completely unlike Ranma).
Ah, yes, of course. Foolish of me to have asked. It's so obvious, people!





Ranma as Annakin Skywalker! *ducks*
 

Cruton

Retired User
It manifested worst in '90s anime fandom, where the canon was often extremely difficult to get a hold of. Nowadays, of course, that particular problem has been nuked, but you still get writers who only know it through other fanfics.
Actually, it's made a pretty strong resurgence in at least one fandom.

Zutara
 

HeWhoSpeaksOfDarkness

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Re: #71: For Friendship! Ami and Berthier Clash.

The whole Purification-As-Brainwashing idea is one of those things that can make me drop a fanfiction faster than anything. It was an interesting twist the first time I encountered it, but there's been so many (often crossover) fanfics that were primarily inspired by other fanfics, many of which I get the impression that they were written by people who had only watched a handful of episodes of Sailor Moon, that treat it like the only possible, obvious interpretation... bleh. But more on that, at a later point!
There should be a name for that sort of interpretation that is obviusly, agresivly deconstructive of the original work but becomes fannon anyway.

See also, the strain of Ranma 1/2 fandom that would make you think that the original series was a tragedy, rather than a slapstick comedy. Or Nartuo was a romance!)
I think the reason I like Ranma fanfic is you push things in somany differnt directions, just by changeing the tone.

I mean lots of the things in Ranma really are kind of horrific, if you forget that its a slapstic comedy.

Where as well say Inuyasha seems harder to really create something with a unique feel.
 

Cruton

Retired User
Re: #71: For Friendship! Ami and Berthier Clash.

I mean lots of the things in Ranma really are kind of horrific, if you forget that its a slapstic comedy.
Well, a lot of slapstick comedy is horrorific, if you forget the original presentation. To quote the divine Mel, "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when I fall down an open manhole and die."
 
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