I think I might have mentioned before how I love anime. But lately it’s really taken over my soul.
I’ve always been envious of the Japanese way of story-telling. They’re fearless in the way they develop stories, characters, and aren’t afraid to have their endings leaving feeling emotionally drained and ecstatic at the same time. They’re basically the anti-Hollywood and every cookie cutter movie ever made there.
I think it started with watching Akira, laid on the floor of a friend’s living room, late at night, when I was about 12 years old. And I was hooked. But I’ve slacked off since then, always having my love a distant, unrequited thing. Until I recently found sites like Animesetsu and even Netflix. And now the game is on!
In the last year I’ve inhaled as much as I physically can from Attack on Titan and Sword Art Online, to older classics which I missed out on such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Neon Genesis Evangelion. That’s just the tv series, of course. I’ve had the pleasure of Steamboy (which has to be a personal favourite, speaking directly to my Steampunk soul) and the Studio Ghibli classics.
But what effect has this had on my writing?
I think a lot of my WIPs now have a less Hollywood feel to them, and more of an anime slant. This, of course, means that I may never get my Greaveburn movie (like that was ever going to happen anyway! hahaha). But it does mean that I’m satisfied my readers will be getting something a little different from my books. At least, I hope so. There’s nothing worse than an ending that is too neat, too happy, too clean. If your hero comes out the other end without some scars, what have they sacrificed in order to win?
Anime characters often have everything taken from them, and still emerge with something they never knew they needed. Stronger and better despite the scars. That’s what I like in the stories that I read, anyway.
Like the Dresden Files novels. HUGE FAN! And even through Harry Dresden may win the battle, you get the idea that each round takes more out of him than he can spare. He’s a little darker, a little more damaged, and he has to push his personal limits to make the tough decisions. That’s a hero! Dresden is very much an anime character. And I want my creations to be anime characters, too.
Here’s a thought…Greaveburn, the anime.
I know I’m biased because I wrote it, but even if not, I would watch the HELL out of that! 😀
In summary, readers and writers out there, if you want to refresh your storytelling and get some inspiration from a different source with entirely new ideas and outlooks, try anime for a change. If you’re anything like me, your notebooks will brimeth over with new ideas.
Embrace the weird, my friends!