Friday, July 31, 2020

My Life In Fandom: Oh, Isekai

AniTwitter is a cesspit, and I can summarize it with Isekai.

Most recent releases in this genre are of the "loser goes to Not-D&D world and wins all the things without trying", with some wisely playing this as comedy and parody. The problem is that turning a genre into a factory for Loser Copefic (i.e. Gamma Male fantasies, like Rothfuss's Kingkiller novels) attracts losers, and that's bad for business in the long run, something that can quickly go cancerous if left unchecked.

Meanwhile, when reminded that Isekai includes the following, those used to Loser Copefic shows lose their shit due to (a) anime that isn't post-2000 CG and (b) not Loser Copefic.

Yes, each one of those classic mecha series is also Isekai. The protagonist(s) are ordinary contemporary (Japanese) people who are taken (without dying) to a fantasy world where they become fantastic heroes (heroines), even if they are not mecha pilots (e.g. Hitomi in Escaflowne). They aren't the only Isekai to come out in the '80s and '90s, and not even the most famous; Inuyasha likely is.

This genre needs a disruption, and by that I mean a restoration and renewal of the prior good examples as well as original works in that spirit.

Fortunately, the Pulp Revolution has your back. Israel's greatest science fiction author Yakov Merkin has you covered with his original work, Light Unto Another World. I'm playing around with an idea--want to do something with a priest as my hero figure--and I expect there are others. In the meanwhile, we'll be happy to pass on current Isekai that isn't Copefic (e.g. GATE), and some of the comedy takes really are funny because they know this is Copefic and do the whole Agree & Amplify thing--think of it as a form of Malicious Compliance with loser fantasy expectations--to take the piss out of it.

And believe me, if there is a single LN genre we in the West can step into and disrupt to good effect it's Isekai. Make it great again. Remind our friends how it's done.

Campaign Update: Still at 70%. Three more Build-a-Mech backers can easily push this over the top. I'll be on Geek Gab tomorrow to discuss "Hounds of Nimrod", so see you all in the chat, and hopefully I can talk more about Stretch Goals because we'll have hit goal by then.

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