An Ode To Fallen Nemo - Tales from the UnderCurrent (Short Story Prequel Series)
Hello there! My utmost thanks for clicking on this novel and giving even just this foreword a once-over.
As the title states there is no requirement to read this chapter but if you would like some additional context into the UnderCurrent-Series, then feel free to read on.
Firstly I should state that this is most likely the one and only time I will break the fourth wall in a chapter - Usually you can find me in the comments with links to some terrible concept sketches or replying to any of the kind people who've chosen to read my work - However just this once I wanted to break down my thoughts on the series as a whole, give thanks for the warm reception I've found on HoneyFeed these last few months, explain my plans for UnderCurrent going into 2022 - And lay out my mission statement a little bit (With this in mind this forword is more of a blog post and lacks my usually style and word-choice).
Again if you've no interest in any of this, then I hope you enjoy the actual stories.
State of the 'Series';
One point of note is the word I just used a couple times; 'series'.
The path to where the novel is now has been something of a convoluted one - While writing a parody of Zeta Gundam to go in tandem with my review of that show, it was as though a damn broke.
All these ideas, characters and day-dreams I'd had in my head for quite literally years - All seemed to flood into one cohesive story and before I knew it I had a notebook and sticky notes of sketches, timelines and story descriptions.
However all of these were situated with the stipulation of being with-in the universe of Gundam, a universe that I find convoluted and money-grabbing (don't get me wrong I really love alot of Gundam but thats a conversation for another time).
Further while I mean no disrespect to some of the people who write wonderful fanfiction and even go on to write for the show's they fantasize over - I realistically don't think Yoshiyuki Tomino is going to ring me up anytime soon asking to adapt An Ode to Fallen Nemo(OFN).
And moreover you have the fact that even those original short-stories I had planned, were more than 80% my own.
Past 'OFN' characters from the actual Gundam series were seldom relevant and the main plot-line of the show was simply a backdrop.
In essence I wanted to tell stories that were wholly my own - With characters I had created by myself.
So then why write a fanfiction?
Enter 'UnderCurrent', my main work here on HoneyFeed and in general.
An original story in a world of my own devising but using the cast of characters I had created myself to originally go into a fanfiction.
But of course with every project comes new issues. To be a little personal for a moment, I am not a confident guy. During the pandemic I was furloughed and to put it lightly I haven't been able to go back to full time work;
So you can guess the sorts of questions that have plagued my mind writing UnderCurrent, of weather the act in itself is a waste of time considering my complete lack of qualifications and experience.
Thoughts on weather literally anyone but me will be able to keep track of the convoluted plot, weather it will all just come off as childish tripe - And most of all:
"Will the handful who do read it, think I'm just coping Gundam?"
HoneyFeed is a truly lovely place;
All this in mind I came to a couple of resolutions, first I uploaded OFN to test the waters of how people are on HoneyFeed and I must say you guys are a wonderful community.
A small one, no doubt but caring;
Insightful comments and supportive ones are everywhere you look and everyone is down to chat no matter how harsh you are about their work.
As someone who has floated around the Myanimelist forms and Youtube comment sections for my fair share of time - This place is a real breath of fresh air.
People like @Vnator @mugmoth & @Pearlyn.M are always responsive to your comments and ready to accept criticism from a nobody like me.
It's also great to see other new writers writers like @Abraham B. A. @ocrali @Workaholic @ACHIEVE @Gulfstream @Tony Raven & @Gorou Hizadame, Blueberry & Senkosenpai growing and honing their craft with each new chapter they publish.
And others like @Sharpedon @Cas_Cade @WittyAcorn @ALTaccounti & @ArufaBeta @EliteWarrior910 who I've only recently come across but Am already enjoying each of their works.
And of course I've been following @Ochroleucous and @iaraman since I pretty much joined a couple months back, watching their books go from strength to strength.
There all people you should check out and I love how they and pretty much everyone on this site is polite, helpful and just generally friendly, it's wonderful.
(You can take the above list of names as my 'Must read authors on HoneyFeed' list 2021😂, I think I've set it up so that you can click on any of their names to see their selection of great novels😊.)
Going Forward with UnderCurrent;
So with that tangent in mind (I did say this is a scattered & personal blog post rather than my usual content didn't I😅) I took the plung and started uploading UnderCurrent here - And I think that was a great decision.
No one is going to become famous from a site as small as this one but it's genuinely lovely seeing people actual take an interest and provide much needed feedback.
Over its course I've not only been able to keep to a strict writing schedule but also to really dedicate my unwarranted abundance of freetime to writing this.
As I said before alot of the concepts and ideas in here are ones I've had for a long time but never got past the notes phase or a single chapters or twos worth of writing.
With UnderCurrent's first two arcs now complete (Arc two will be fully online in the next few weeks😉) I took Christmas as a time to reflect on the stories direction and my own relationship to it.
A part of me (with my insecurities over the whole thing) had concluded that if i could finish just the one book, then that would be enough - That after that I'd magically find the inner-strength to do more but I think now that mindset is damaging.
I found myself wondering if I should change elements & the ending, to make the book more self-contained - Now make no mistake, it is a single solid story but thematically a rather depressing one if I were to stop were I know in my heart it must stop.
And so I've decided - For better or worse - to go for it.
UnderCurrent has from it's fanfiction begins been a two book story, with a set of short stories as a sort of short third additional novelia as prequel - And so that's what I'm going to write.
This foreword you are reading right now is situated within those short stories. There are 6 in total (thought that may change with time) starting with a re-written version of OFN which now fits into the UnderCurrent Universe (The original parody will be left on my MAL account for prosperity's sake).
However my aim is for every part of UnderCurrent or be atleast partially independent.
For example the short stories here can be read in any order, before or after the main book, or not at all - While still allowing the primary novel to make contextual sense (I hope).
If you familiar with Doctor Who or the Magnus Archives you'll already know similar styles of anthology stories, linked by their characters and overarching plot-lines
To All Authors Who Worry Like I Do;
As for the similarities to Gundam and other mecha anime, I think I've come to a peace on that. My favorite thing to 'study' as it were, encompassing anime - Is genre-fiction.
The way visual novels are in conversation with one another, or how a good harem, isekai or magical-girl property is usually the ones' that build on all the others.
So to me I want to threat standard mecha troops as 'Dere-Archetypes'.
Federation vs Zeon, Britannia vs the 11s, The Government vs the Gekko State, Sith Empire vs Jedi Rebels etc etc - That's your mecha equivalent of the Tsundere.
Your young, possibly child protagonist with semi-magical powers? That's your KuDere
And like the Dere archetypes, they are at their best when something innovative is done with them.
Everyone knows the monotony of an isekai with a bland Tsundere who is simply bad at showing her feelings - Meanwhile a character like Evangelion's Asuka, who's reasons for being 'Tsun' are so well thought-out and integral to her character that it's just plain brilliant - Now she's the sort of Tsundere we all remember for literal years to come.
And so I want my stories 'States-Union' to be nearer 'an Asuka' then a bland one-note isekai Tsundere.
I want all my factions to have motives, politics and philosophies.
In a way UnderCurrent is an active commentary and borderline deconstruction of the Real-Robot-Genre - Certainly once both books and the short stories are complete it may as a whole be a complete deconstruction - However individual parts are not and so I won't be labeling it as one.
There is no 'Madoka-Magica' Episode 3 or 'School Days' episode 11 so to speak.
Which in a way is important. Gen Urobuchi, whether you think it wierd or not - Was only able to write such a brilliant deconstruction of the magical girl genre in Madoka-Magica, because he is both a massive Magical girl fan and a superb author.
I am neither an expert on giant robots or anything more than a hobbiest but I hope that's ok.
It's something I feel alot of people here on HoneyFeed seem to struggle with, myself among them - But I think it's ok to be embarrassed or annoyed by something you wrote only a month ago.
Already I go back to earlier chapters and change small paragraphs or re-write a portion with some new technique I only just learned.
My hope is, that while maybe not now, by the time I finish all three works (And I will, God willing) that I'll of gone back so many times, learned so many new techniques and had kind people offer their advice - That by the second and third and fourth drafts, this might actually be something really worth reading. I can dream anyway😊.
To conclude this section here's a quote I think any of us self-conscious readers could really use. It's from a book I was given just this Christmas and while not necessarily the most high profile of works, I think that if anything just makes it all the more appropriate;
" 'All I have are bad memories' the boy said.
It was the sort of thing you said when you were twelve , and Bill had to remind herself that it didn't make it any less true to him. There were times in her life when she would of the said the same - And it wouldn't of been a lie' "
It's a story about what family means, about what we as humans are willing to do to each other & how easily we can be missguided into doing so. It's about faith and how 'normal' people are meant to live in a world where there truly little more than background characters in someone else's far off adventures.
It's also just a dumb book about giant-fighting-robots.
And I'd be most grateful if you indulge with me on this silly little tale.
Thanks to Dad, Pete and Pedro for encouraging me, I hope they'll countinue to do so until I finish this thing
Thanks for reading, see you all in 2022 - Happy New Year!