Frequently Made Comments about the Visionsverse
Answered for those who wonder what the heck I am doing….
I have received many comments about these stories over the years from many people.
Some people out there LOVE the realistic, slightly-off kilter take of mine on the Yamato/Star Blazers universe in these tales (this universe also includes other bits of the “Leijiverse” as well as connections to and guest appearances from other live-action and anime SF and adventure series I like, such as Doctor Who, Speed Racer/Mach Go Go Go, Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets, and hints of the Robert Heinlein and Stephen King universes thrown in for flavor)
Others hate it (or shake their heads and go “WTF?” at it) and wonder WHAT I am doing and why I write some of the characters and situations the way I do.
First, read this sentence, re-read this sentence, rinse, and repeat (LOL)
1. This is an alternate take on the Star Blazers universe which is partly Star Blazers, partly Space Battleship Yamato, and partly Leijiverse. It is like but also unlike the show in many
ways. While this developed slowly, in
A look at this in general (thanks to Tim Eldred) can be seen on the Star Blazers official web page at this article: Yamato Novels
Two novels that diverge quite a bit from the feel of the original as-made Yamato-verse were (according to Tim’s research and some translated articles he gave us here) known as Yamato: The Fall of Earth and Yamato: The Recovery of Earth, which take a very dark, divergent view of the original Iscandar tale. On the other hand, another novelization took a very romanticized view of the saga, and gave an almost pre-war naval type feel; that set of novelizations was known as the “Space Battleship Yamato Hot Blood Edition.” I would love to read those novelizations some day in translation, although I feel that the one closest in spirit to the approach I take here would be The Fall of Earth version. Although, granted, there is a lot of romanticism in my work, too.
Giving a bit of background about myself, I like Naval History, Avation History, Political and social history, music, theology, Hard SF, Horror, Fantasy, Passionate Romance Tales, and very bizarre humor with a tinge of the dark (Monty Python’s Flying Circus…)
Somebody described my work as something rather rare: a technically-oriented gearhead’s fantasy where I have every rivet and switch in a Cosmo Tiger numbered and described mixed with dark fantasy and romantic character development like an afternoon soap opera.
My favorite authors all liked to write epics: Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkein, Herman Wouk.
This storyline might be decsribed as: Start with Star Blazers, liberally dose with bits of character development and content from the original Yamato series, combine with the feel and approach of Heinlein’s “Future History” series, throw in some epic Frank Herbert feel, throw in the romance, passion and horror seen in Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Rememberance, throw in some character development and heroism from The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The Stand, shake well, mix, and, voila, you have a very different take on Star Blazers/Yamato.
Now, that I have (sort of) described what I have done, I will give some answers to a lot of the questions people hit me with over and over again about why I write some things the way I do and why I interpret some of the characters the way I do.
Let me try to answer some of the comments here:
It's too violent. It’s way too violent!
War is violent. Earth faces a NUMBER of space wars in this epic, guided by a single hand, a single twisted villain, who uses others to torture, humiliate, and kill people…in the hopes that they will surrender and accept the sort of “Eternal Life” he offers. My main villain is a precursor of sorts to Matsumoto’s Mechanoids and Count Mecha, except that he is worse, far, far worse, because he is also a dark spiritual force. At bottom, the conflict in this storyverse is: Do we worship man, the machine, and technology? Or do we worship God and give Him His due honor and accept the place in the cosmos He has intended for man?
It's not violent enough.
While I have the wars the characters face being violent, being horrid, at some points being graphic, and I even hint at torture, I tend not to like to kill my protagonists off, not without good reason.
It's too sexy (or) It's nowhere near sexy enough.
When I first began writing these tales, I tried to keep the passionate aspects (sex/nudity) in the background. A lot of popular demand caused these aspects to be re-inserted, and I found that a lot of the character relationships seem more fully realized (for a novel) if I go behind the curtain to describe what happens when some of our characters turn in for the night. I am working up PG versions of some of these chapters for those who do not want to see this aspect of the characters’ lives, while I’ve worked up R versions of the chapters for those who want to see such stuff.
Of course, if an audio production was ever to be made of these stories (which I think is an impossible task because of the scope and depth of this storyline; it would go on for several hundred episodes!), THIS ASPECT OF THE CHARACTERS’ LIVES WOULD BE KEPT STRICTLY PG IN ANY SUCH PRODUCTION. I WOULD NEVER, EVER ASK ANY VOICE ACTORS OR ACTRESSES TO DO R-RATED WORK. As it is, I do have an audio production in mind to produce someday; but it would be a far shorter story, and it would be based not upon Star Blazers (where many of the voices are epic, distinct, and, the original actors and actresses’ work just **can’t** be touched or duplicated in my opinion) but upon Yamato (where I think it would be an interesting and original approach to try and hear English-speaking fan actors trying to match the Japanese voice actors and actresses)
You have the characters sounding and acting too much like Yamato.
Guilty as charged. It’s a matter of taste, but while Star Blazers got the show about 88% right and quite well translated (in my opinion) the parts they left out were pretty important to the storyline, and I’ve taken the liberty of re-introducing those aspects. Aspects such as honor, suicide, death, Kodai/Wildstar’s and Yuki/Nova’s original dialogue after the Battle of Gamilon, the original commitment of Kodai/Wildstar and Yuki/Nova to give their lives fighting Zordar at the end of the Comet Empire storyline, and other such things….have been reinserted here. Deal with it. It’s just a fan novel! (LOL)
You have the characters sounding like they're from Star Blazers and they are on drugs.
Yes, this sort of…it’s based upon Star Blazers and it departs from it quite a bit. Wildstar’s temper, Desslok’s sense of cool, Eager’s stupid comments, Hardy’s cool Georgia accent, Nova’s gentleness (most of the time anyway), but things get a bit different because I have the characters talking (most of all in the R-Rated pages) like real members of the military (who have salty mouths; I know, I’m an Army vet myself) mixed with a bit of gallows/sick humor (gallows humor often comes out in moments of stress to blow off steam) At times, I have the characters sounding like they’re doing outtakes from M.A.S.H…if you see horrible things all the time and deal with your comrades and innocent people getting killed, you will get a bit hardened, a bit toughened, but not calloused.
You have Nova sounding too serious and scientific-minded (or) You have Nova sounding too bitchy and airheaded.
First, many fans I’ve met out there have “anime crushes” characters (quite usually of the opposite sex) with whom fans out there have an affinity for. I’ve known female fans with “crushes” on Desslok, Mark Venture/Shima, Derek Wildstar/Kodai, I (sort of) know of a Gay male fan who likes Sanada/Sandor, and I’ve known males with “crushes” on Starsha, Trelaina, and Sasha. Desslok and Derek Wildstar are my favorite male SB/Yamato characters. Nova is my favorite female SB/Yamato character. She’s also in my “crush” category. I don’t quite know what Leiji Matsumoto was thinking of when he designed her (her character design is supposed to be based on a famous French actress and is pretty much in the mold of all of Matsumoto’s other strong/vulnerable females (“who have anorexia!!” my wife Gail just added)
I see her as a person with a deep artistic sense, a poet, a writer, a musician, an artist. The Gamilon War made this gentle, would-be “space poet” (description from one of Matsumoto’s own outlines) into a tough, yet tender capable space sailor, officer, and nurse in a hurry. In Yamato, it was also added that she was a bit of a flirt who came out at times with goofy comments and crossed her eyes when she got mad, but I see her as very much ignoring her mother’s aspect of “get married right away to have babies and leave the service” to “I am going to find my own true love, marry him, and then he will deal with me and my career as I am” My take on Nova mixes a lot of Yuki in there, combined with some of the mystery and sense of danger seen in some other Matsumoto females, such as Maetel and Emeraldas…I see her as their “foremother” in many aspects.
In my view, Nova, especially after marrying Wildstar, combined her own strength and sense of justice with his passion and she came out of her shell a bit more, while Derek Wildstar took on some of her gentleness and compassion. I also view Nova as a scientific genius in her own right (140 + IQ) and someone with a deep sense of aesthetics, beauty, and a sense of humor and fun that comes across as eccentric and even goofy at times. She’s going to be a future doctor, and has served some time in the Captain’s chairs of various ships, and she loves her husband deeply, passionately, and dearly; which is the sort of behavior that I think would make sense for someone who nearly gave her life for him and the mission twice. She also has some private demons and has come through the back door of Hell at times…and come out with a curtsey, smile and bow.
She is also the primary protagonist of my saga, is written as very Japanese in many aspects and very much 23rd century postmodern in others, and is my primary villain’s greatest nightmare.
Now, to find out why a 3,300 + year-old cyborg who is nearly seven feet tall and 300 + lbs and has godlike powers is so afraid of a young woman in her mid-twenties to thirties who is maybe 5’ 7” and weighs maybe 120 lbs soaking wet, you will have to read on. Oh, in my storyline, she likes nice/cute clothes, is not a prude, and loves to swim and sunbathe quite a bit, because she used to love to swim and enjoy the sun as a little kid and really missed it when underground.
You should have Desslok shooting more people.
Why? He’s already a despot. But he is a cool and honorable despot. He needs a good reason to shoot someone.
Don't have IQ-9 lifting up anyone's skirts.(or) Have IQ-9 chasing more girls around, it's funny.
IQ-9, I view as an artificial intelligence with the morals and character of a bratty genius ten-year old Japanese kid stuck in a metal body. Part of what makes him the annoying, comic, yet sad creature he is (because he is in love with Nova/Yuki but I think he knows she is unattaianble because she is a human, he is a robot, and, besides, IQ-9 knows Nova is a very happily-attached human vis a vis Wildstar) is his goofy skirt habit and leering. It took a while to grow on me. However, it is best (in my opinion) when that part of him comes out when no one is expecting it. Repeating this joke every chapter does not make it funny or amusing anymore. Or, in other words, he is a bit of a pervert, but not a criminal….and he knows when to quit it.
Have Doctor Sane drunk more. (or) Doctor Sane is not a drunk, he is very serious.
I see Doctor Sane as part of the typical Leiji Matsumoto doctor archetype; the eccentric, off-the-wall, but very wise doctor who has a bottle of booze at hand at all times, because it helps him function, blow off steam, calm down. I see him as a bit of a functional drunk…someone who knows when to hit the booze and when to stop.
Does Mimi the Cat/Mi-kun help Doctor Sane? What would he do if he didn’t have Mimi?
Probably drink more and be more depressive than ever.
Any other questions?