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  Messages - Triple_R
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1  General / El-Hazard Online / Anybody here familiar with the anime School Days? on: July 13, 2010, 11:36:30 AM
If so, you might get a bit of a chuckle out of my little anime theory relating to it and El Hazard. ;)

Here it is, copy and pasted from a different forum. Don't continue reading unless you're prepared to be spoiled on School Days:



My funny theory is that School Days is actually wrote by El Hazard villain Katsuhiko Jinnai.

In the case of El Hazard, and School Days, the lead protagonist is a teenager named Makoto:






The resemblance between the two Makotos is quite uncanny. When you factor in that they also share the same given name, its pretty intriguing.

Spoilers coming up to explain my theory, so please stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled on El Hazard or School Days... ;)

S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S
!!!



The Makoto of School Days (Makoto Ito) ends up having sex with almost every girl in the show. He is rather (in)famous for this, and this ultimately results in his brutal and gorey demise.


From the perspective of Katsuhiko Jinnai, the Makoto of El Hazard (Makoto Mizuhara) may seem like a bit of a philanderer as well. Makoto was popular with girls in school as one of Jinnai's flashbacks made pretty clear, and Makoto also attracted the romantic interest of many prominent females in El Hazard, including Jinnai's "ultimate weapon" Ifurita. Makoto's romantic allure was definitely part of Jinnai's undoing in El Hazard, so one can see the psychological catharsis that could come from Jinnai writing a story where "Makoto" is the one undone by his romantic allure.


Its notable that School Days also has a character named "Nanami", and interestingly enough she's one of the few girls to remain untouched by Makoto. Perhaps this reflects Jinnai's hope that his own sister Nanami never actually slept with the accursed Mizuhara. :wink:

The ending that Makoto Ito suffered in School Days is probably what Jinnai would like to see happen to his archrival Makoto Mizuhara as well.


So, what do people think of my little funny anime theory here? :)
2  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: Major site overhaul for El-Hazard's 15th anniversary on: May 27, 2010, 09:01:41 PM
I want to personally thank you for keeping this site going.

I myself never became a major anime fan, much less an El Hazard fan, until a few years ago. But even so, El Hazard was considered a "cult classic" at the time, and hence I was encouraged to check it out. And I'm very glad that I did!

Probably moreso than any other anime I've seen, El Hazard really captures the imagination. It's a shame that I can't think of many animes quite like it, that mixes action, epic fantasy, comedy, romance, gorgeous character designs, cool heroes and megalomaniacal villains quite as well as El Hazard does. And it's aged quite well, imo.

So having a site like this one, were I could talk about El Hazard with other fans passionate about the show, and share my fanfics and AMVs with them, was a real joy. Your resources were and are out of this world too; I truly haven't seen anything quite like it for any other anime. Your screenshot collection is exhaustive, and it's great to simply look over it.

So a big thank you to the staff of this site!  :D



3  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: Picture request on: February 24, 2010, 12:03:52 AM
If you still need that screenshot, I could do it for you.  I think I also know who owns a cel of it also so I might be able to get a better pic for you.

It would be better than what I ended up using, so sure! :)

Thanks a lot!  ^_^V
4  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: So How Successful Was El Hazard Back In The Day? on: February 10, 2010, 07:16:39 PM
Hype/Popularity-wise (not quality-wise, I want to point out - El Hazard is one of my five all-time favorite animes; very few match it quality-wise, imo), I would consider El Hazard a 2nd Tier anime during the mid-to-late 90s.

1st tier would be DBZ, Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Then you have a few animes like Ranma 1/2 and Tenchi Muyo! that kind of straddle the line between 1st tier and 2nd tier.

Then, I would consider El Hazard a very solid 2nd Tier anime (hype/popularity-wise), probably alongside other mid-to-late 90s animes like Fushigi Yuugi and Card Captor Sakura.

In its day, El Hazard was pretty big.

Ifurita and Shayla Shayla were two of the most popular female anime characters of their time. Jinnai (OVA version; I don't think the TV version was quite as well received) was widely considered one of the best anime villains of his era. The Makoto/Ifurita romance was definitely one of the most popular anime romances of its day. Fujisawa, Alielle, and most if not all of the major cast members, really, each had their own dedicated fans.

There were a very healthy number of El Hazard fanworks, or fanworks that at least included El Hazard. 

Also, there was an anime that many would argue was based off of El Hazard quite a bit.

It was called Dual!

If you look at screenshots of it from this review of it,  it's abundantly clear that Makoto Mizuhara and Masamichi Fujisawa's character designs were practically copied for two of this anime's main characters.

So, when an anime popular enough to have other animes designing major characters off of it, that's a pretty good sign.  ;)


The 2nd, and particularly the 3rd, OVAs were a bit of a disappointment though, at least in the wider anime fan community. Sadly, I do think that halted El Hazard's momentum a bit. It's regrettable, because I think that this anime franchise had incredible potential.

Also, it's important to keep in mind that a decade is a lifetime in the world of anime. Really, the only pre-2000 animes that I still hear talked about a lot on major anime sites are the four 1st Tier animes I mentioned above. So, El Hazard unfortunately suffers like many other pre-2000 animes in this respect.


Still, I do think that El Hazard still continues to inspire anime to this day...

Case 1:




The similarity between these two anime characters is striking, I think. The character in the bottom image is, of course, Nanami Jinnai. The character in the top image is Mai Tokiha, the main protagonist of a popular anime named Mai HiME, which was made only within the past few years. When I first saw Mai, I immediately thought of Nanami. I don't know for certain, but it's certainly possible that El Hazard inspired this anime, at least as far as Mai.


Then there's this...

Case 2






The above is downright uncanny, in my opinion. The stance, the background, the facial expressions, the laughter, everything. I'd be shocked if the top image wasn't inspired by El Hazard.

The character in the bottom image is, of course, Katsuhiko Jinnai.

The character in the top image is Beatrice, a villain from an anime that just came out this past year called Umineko. Umineko is a very heavily hyped anime, and certainly talked about a lot.


So, El Hazard is a pretty popular cult classic anime. It isn't in the 1st tier for various reasons, and due to how new-focused anime tends to be, it's not talked about much outside of this site, sadly. But, it's influence is still felt today, and that's a great testament to how popular and good El Hazard was, imo.
5  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: Picture request on: January 27, 2010, 11:35:37 PM
Unfortunately, there's no shot of this in this site's otherwise incredible array of episode screenshots.

The only way to do it  is to screencap the DVD then. May I ask why you need it?  ;D

Over on my anime blog, I was doing a list of my Ten Favorite Anime Characters of All-Time.

Katsuhiko Jinnai and Haruhi Suzumiya tied for 2nd Place.

So... I was looking for some good pics for the blog write-up on Jinnai and why he came in the Top 3. ;)

Thankfully, I was able to find the statue pics elsewhere.

If anybody's interested, here's the blog write-up for Jinnai:

http://assessingtheanime.blogspot.com/2010/01/number-2-katsuhiko-jinnai.html

6  General / El-Hazard Online / Picture request on: January 25, 2010, 09:27:40 PM
I need a screen shot of the large Katsuhiko Jinnai statue that the Bugrom made in episode 5 of the first OVA.

Unfortunately, there's no shot of this in this site's otherwise incredible array of episode screenshots.

Any help here would be deeply appreciated. :)
7  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: How you got into El-Hazard on: January 01, 2010, 07:07:02 PM
A close cousin of mine was the person who got me into anime a lot in general. One of the first animes he introduced me to was El Hazard: The Wanderers. So, I actually watched the Wanderers before I watched the OVA.

I found the Wanderers nice, comedic, and light-hearted. It had a certain zany endearing quality to it.

The basic story premise - the premise of a passionate rivalry between two smart high school students (smart in somewhat different ways though) spilling into serious conflict and warfare on an alien planet - just struck me as very amusing and compelling for some reason. I've always liked fantasy stories that place modern humans in fantastical somewhat alien worlds, and El Hazard is no exceptions.


And then, when I saw the OVA, that permanently made El Hazard one of my all-time favorite animes and anime franchises.


To this day, and with me having now watched many anime, Katsuhiko Jinnai remains my all-time favorite anime villain, and the Makoto/Jinnai rivalry has a charm to it that I honestly haven't quite seen in any other anime rivalry. Fujisawa and Ifurita (all versions) are also favorites of mine.

8  General / El-Hazard Online / Like the new look. on: November 08, 2009, 08:44:14 AM
I really like the new look of the site... some really neat smilies too.  ^_^V

I hope that we might get some more activity here due to the recent board upgrade.  :)
9  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: The Magnificent Destiny of Haruhi's El Hazard on: August 12, 2009, 04:01:17 AM
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So...finally, here's the much delayed feedback. Apologies for the wait, but I'm something of a procrastinator and I was busy this past week. Anyway, the first scene is fairly good and Galus's part in it was a pleasant surprise. I honestly wasn't expecting him to show up again anytime soon, and it's nice to see him in a different role than ranting comic book villain. His conversation with Nanoha was interesting, and while I think his mental leap connecting SOS propaganda to ethnic cleansing is a bit of a stretch his efforts to (apparently successfully) plant doubts in Nanoha's mind seem quite in character for him.


Galus is being a bit paranoid, absolutely. But that's how I think he is in general towards non-Shadow Tribe members - he's overly distrustful and suspicious of the actions and words of others. He sometimes reads too much into things. Although he is right about how the SOS Brigade is exploiting the Shadow Tribe here - that'll be delved into next chapter - he's greatly over-estimated how far that exploitation goes.

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 The physical description of his cell was clear too, and I got the sense that you were channeling Magneto's imprisonment from the X-men movies.


Good eye! When writing this scene, I was thinking "Ok, where have I seen a good prison cell for
super-powered folks before? A cell that's not inhumane, but also quite secure?". Magneto's jail cell in the X-Men movies immediately came to mind. To a certain extent, I want Galus to channel Magneto here as well - Galus is deeply suspicious of all non-Shadow Tribe members just as Magneto is deeply suspicious of all non-mutants.


Quote


I already commented on the Jinnai, Haruhi, and Nanami scene earlier, and I think you incorporated it into this chapter well.  


The chapter, overall, is pretty serious, so I felt that Haruhi's impersonation scene would make for good comedic relief about half-way through it.

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The next scene with Kyon and Nanoha was cute and it's good to know that Kyon is still as perceptive as ever. With minds as devious and unpredictable as Haruhi and Jinnai, that's a talent he might need soon. Without Kyon's narrative, though, you're going to have to find other ways to present his characteristic sarcasm.


I might give him some "thought Kyon" lines, where we delve into what he's thinking. I didn't want him to be snarky here, though - this is meant, after all, to be a cute scene with him and his new girlfriend.

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I'm a bit ambivalent about the class idea. It sounds like a good way to get the main characters together regularly, but with their different interests, activities, and schedules I'm not sure how much sense this makes. Is Haruhi supposed to shuttle back and forth from the Hive to Florestica 6 days a week, take classes, and learn how to run an empire while simultaneously actually running the empire? Or how about Nanami's business ventures and Makoto's scientific pursuits?  And is putting Jinnai and Makoto in the same room on a nearly daily basis such a good idea? A once per week class or something to that effect might work better.


I already have a plot-line planned out for the class.
I'll reveal now that I intend to have two major plotlines - a class plotline, and a Shadow Tribe plotline; one for humor, the other for serious intrigue.

That being said, Fujisawa's class is going to be an experimental project - it won't necessarily have a set schedule, at least not until it's in full motion. I already have about a half-dozen class or class-esque scenes planned out, though - and I hope/think that most of them would be funny.

Like you said, Haruhi's responsibilities are the biggest hurdle - and don't worry, I'm aware of that, and will need to find a good way of addressing that.


Quote


The scene with Makoto and Yuki was unexpected but also intriguing on some levels with the hints of a developing romance. Heh, sometimes I wonder if the trip to El-Hazard gave the "Wanderers" two powers each instead of one: almost instant recovery from any injury on Jinnai's part, the ability to arrive in the nick of time to save someone for Fujisawa, Nanami's power to put together a restaurant and cook Japanese food no matter where she is, and Makoto's harem-generation power. More seriously, his love for Ifurita is so strong that I have a hard time picturing him falling for anyone else except in a moment of utter despair, but that same devotion seems to make him blind to the effects his pure heart, brilliant mind, and genuine willingness to help others have on others. Yuki doesn't come across as the type to act on any romantic feelings she might develop, though, so if you're trying to spark something between them then you face the hurdles of a character who is unambiguously in love with someone else and another character who seems content not to act on such feelings.


Of the three romances, this is the one least set in stone, and may in fact, not last very long (kind of like Kyon's own semi-romantic moments with Yuki in the Haruhi canon). Mostly, it's designed for character development - to challenge Yuki's perceptions of herself and/or to make Makoto re-think his ideals. I think it makes for an intriguing ethical dilemma for both of them. That ethical dilemma will probably relate to other plot points as well.


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Anyway, I think you went a bit overboard with the scene description here. I mean, petri dishes of Demon God DNA samples and textbooks on Quantum Mechanics? Considering the technology level of El-Hazard's contemporary humans, books on quantum mechanics and genetic research seem more than a bit advanced and out of place. Remember, Dr. Schtalubaugh is not Dr. Light and while relics from the past lying around Makoto's room make sense a full-blown state of the art futuristic lab does not. :)  


You never had a problem with my spatial anomaly listening posts in Chapter 1 of the prequel - that was pretty high-tech itself. ;)  Still, this was Makoto's moment of looking like a scientific genius by his actual words and lab design - I felt it would be nice to play that up for a change. In fact, one of your favorite fanfiction.net fanfics inspired this scene, in part, Rowan. Should I go back to Makoto's lab, it'll be just to focus on his comparisons between the two key staffs, and his attempts to find a way back to Earth.

However, I might edit this scene a bit to go with your critique here.


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As for the scene with Jinnai and Diva, I kind of like what you seem to be developing here but I'm not sure how it would realistically be executed. Jinnai revels in conquest and the elation of victory so I can understand why he'd be so eager to wage another war, but how exactly would one invade Phantom Tribe territory when their entire society seems to be hidden and they probably have secret enclaves throughout Alliance lands?


Bugrom reconnaissance.

Well... you won't get every Shadow Tribe member (some are hidden elsewhere like you said), but you could conquer the places where they actually live together. It's not that they're publicly pointing out where they live, it's that Jinnai has had time to interrogate some Shadow Tribe members due to his conquest of their base, and sent out Bugrom recon parties, and hence he now knows where the hidden Shadow Tribe cities and towns are.


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Considering how they operate and how hated they are, I kind of doubt the Phantom Tribe has a chunk of land they publicly call their own that the rest of the world knows about. And I'm disinclined to believe that Haruhi would condone the subjugation of an entire race, though after what Galus did to her I can understand her developing a dislike and distrust of the Phantom Tribe in general. At the very least, though, the set-up is ripe for Nanoha (and possibly Galus too if matters progress in such a manner as to convince Nanoha that she should free him) to play a significant role.

Regardless, thanks for sharing and apologies if this sounds a bit rushed. I went out to dinner with my brother and his girlfriend after work today so I was busier than I expected.


You've put me in a bind when it comes to what to do with Haruhi and Jinnai. You don't want them in class, and you don't want them conquering Shadow Tribe lands either...

Honestly, considering that Haruhi and Jinnai aren't Saints, and considering what Galus (and Nahato and those Shadow Tribe scientists) did to them... is it really that hard to believe they'd want the threat of the Shadow Tribe to be neutralized - even by subjugation, if need be?

Anyway, your feedback touched on each scene, which was what I had hoped for. :)  I'm glad that two of the scenes surprised you - bodes well for potential future plot twists.
10  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: The Magnificent Destiny of Haruhi's El Hazard on: August 11, 2009, 01:46:45 PM
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I read through the chapter today and enjoyed it overall. It's not perfect and I do have some criticisms, but in terms of writing I definitely think it's an improvement. The change from Kyon's narrative to 3rd person seems to be working out well for you. Anyway, I want to do a thorough job with my feedback so I'm afraid I'm going to put off the full response for another day or two (apologies!), but this looks like a good start.


No apologies necessary (yet  ;) ). I'm glad that you enjoyed it overall. I am eagerly awaiting your feedback!
11  General / El-Hazard Online / The Magnificent Destiny of Haruhi's El Hazard on: August 01, 2009, 04:09:29 PM
Here's Chapter 1 of Section 1: http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=280751

A few notes...

1. I'm going with my own narration here. I'm also drastically cutting down on (but not entirely removing) italics and bolds. So, first of all, I'm mostly curious about what the narration is like, and how the change in presentation style is coming across (good, bad, neutral - want even more italics and bolds wiped out?)

2. The continuation of this continuity will focus mostly on the humans from Earth, and Nanoha. Other El Hazard characters (particularly the Three Priestesses) will feel pretty cut out of the story. I feel that this will enable me to handle the cast better. Not saying that they won't make cameo appearances, but that's probably what it will be limited to.

3. The Sequel Sample has been fused into Chapter 1, all in one large clump. You can skip over it once you get to it if you want.

4. Now, I've given this a lot of thought, particularly given feedback from Rowan and Spanner.

Here's my plan for my fanfic continuity as a whole...


Part 1 of the Trilogy - The El Hazard of Haruhi Suzumiya

Part 2 of the Trilogy - The Magnificent Destiny of Haruhi's El Hazard

Part 2 of the Trilogy is broke up into 3 sections (each about half the size of the El Hazard of Haruhi Suzumiya)

Section 1 - The Sensei Fujisawa of Haruhi Suzumiya

Section 2 - The Fight to Return to Earth

Section 3 - The First Family of the Bugrom Empire


Section 1 and 2 - here is where I hope to grow as a writer, if possible. In other words, constructive criticism is my main hope for feedback for these two sections.

Section 3 I have different hopes for, but I'll share that with this board once we get to it.


If I accomplish one or both of my two goals for Section 3, then I'll write...

Part 3 of the Trilogy - *Classified Information*

...As Mikuru would say. ;)


I have an actual  name and basic plot concept for this Part, but if I reveal it now, it'll spoil Part 2 of the Trilogy, so I'm keeping it to myself for now.


5. Section 1 of Trilogy Part 2 (The Sensei Fujisawa of Haruhi Suzumiya) is going to revolve around 3 romances. You can even call it the three romances of the three kingdoms, if you want. ;D  So, six characters in particular will be the focus of this Section.


Well, I very much look forward to what people think of the 1st chapter of The Magnificent Destiny of Haruhi's El Hazard! :)

Please feel free to nitpick everything, as I'm hoping to grow as a writer here.
12  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: The El Hazard of Haruhi Sequel Sample on: July 31, 2009, 11:43:41 PM
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Very cute, very comedic. While I question whether the ruse would hold up in real life, in the context of a comedic anime continuity like El-Hazard or Haruhi, this kind of transparent ploy to "prove" Jinnai's independant identity from SOS Man is likely to convince pretty much everyone except straight-men like Kyon, and establish numerous opportunities for running gags down the line. ("For the last time, I do NOT eat babies! Or anyone else, for that matter! Gaaah!")

I appreciated Megraton's brief mention as a leader who does NOT allow Bugrom within his borders. It was a nice touch.

Anyway, it gets the thumbs-up from me, at least. ^_^V

I did notice that the new Bugrom/Alliance... er... alliance seems to be built partly on the platform of "Our two races against the nasty Shadow Tribe!" or, at least, that's how SOS Man's spiel sounded. While he did couch it mostly in terms of his great victory over Galus, rather than over the Tribe, phrases like "dispensing with all shadows" and "aid bugrom and human alike" seem to imply it. Does this mean that Haruhi and Jinnai don't plan to extend the olive branch to the Shadow Tribe, as well? That they will be enemies, even with Galus deposed? How do sympethizers among the Tribe feel about this (well, I suppose Nanoha is really the only one we actually know about)?

I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, or should be changed; on the contrary, it opens up all kinds of interesting story opportunities. Do the Tribe still resent the Allies and Bugrom, and vice-versa? Or do they want a piece of this love-fest that's suddenly erupted but feel alienated by being labeled the "bad guys"?

I'm not sure whether your softer, gentler, school-romancy sequel is the place for this kind of racial tension or not, but I thought I'd throw that out there.



Very good eye, Spanner! I was afraid the "dispensing with all shadows" bit would be too subtle, but yes, that was Jinnai's way of implying how the Shadow Tribe are the mutual enemies of the Alliance and the Bugrom.

I'm very glad that this Sample was well received by both you and Rowan.

I'm glad that you liked the Megraton touch, as well.

Thanks to you and Rowan for the enthusiastic feedback!


Rowan - I'm glad that you approved of my handling of Nanami here!

My main goal with this Sequel Sample was to see if this style of humor was a bit too zany for you and Spanner - you and Spanner are both strict on plot believability, and I basically wanted to ensure that this style of humor would be funny, but only in a good way, for you both. ;)

Somewhat ironically, Jinnai's SOS Man alter-ego will not be that prominent in the school-romancy sequel.

This is definitely not a chapter in and of itself. I was considering making it a prologue, but since you dislike that idea, I'll probably try to fuse this section into the actual first chapter of the sequel.

Oh... and pleasing Nanami aside, Haruhi and Jinnai do have a good reason for going along with this - simple Roshtarian currency, quite frankly. It only makes sense that they'd both get a cut of the sales for Bugwoman and SOS Man toys.

Granted, Haruhi and Jinnai hardly need cash while in Bugrom Empire territory (for obvious reasons - it's not like the Bugrom are going to require cash from their Queen or Supreme Commander), but while in Florestica, it can be helpful even for them.

I'm also glad that the writing seems a bit stronger to you. There's a good chance that feedback from you and Spanner during the prequel helped improve my writing in general.
13  General / El-Hazard Online / The El Hazard of Haruhi Sequel Sample on: July 28, 2009, 04:47:37 PM
I just wrote two pages of what might be the start of a sequel to my The El Hazard of Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic.

I'm currently leaning towards writing a comedic slice-of-life seven-chapter (or thereabouts) story that will focus on romances and softer drama (i.e. school-esque drama instead of world hangs in the balance drama).

These following two pages reflect what my humor will likely be like if I go ahead with this seven-chapter plan. I basically would like to know if it's too zany or not and if it survives the laugh test.

If I get mostly positive responses to this sequel sample I'll incorporate it into the El Hazard of Haruhi Suzumiya continuity and begin working off of it. If I get mostly negative responses to this sequel sample, I'll scrap it and go back to the drawing board.

Well, anyway, here it is (in my narrator voice - not Kyon's)...

_____________________________________________


Approximately four weeks, and one Bugrom Queen Coronation ceremony, had passed since Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon, Itsuki Koizumi, Mikuru Asahina, and Yuki Nagato had all found themselves in diverse locations through out the magnificent alien world of El Hazard. In that time, much had changed in El Hazard due in no small part to their arrival.

First and foremost, the Bugrom Empire now had a new Queen, a Queen who had negotiated peace between the Bugrom and the Alliance and who had also even managed to tame the lust for revenge and warfare that had previously known a ceaseless beat within the heart of Katsuhiko Jinnai. With this peace, came the establishment of human settlements within Bugrom territory and bugrom settlements within every Alliance nation, except Megraton's Cyberica. These settlements were founded with the goal of bugrom living peacefully within easy walking distance of humans leading to the two species growing more at ease and at harmony with one another.

Due to the popularity of the action figures bearing his miniaturized likeness, as well as his integral role in Galus' defeat, SOS Man began to enjoy an almost iconic status amongst the human children of El Hazard. This status was helped along by the already growing legend of how he and his ally Bugwoman had saved the entire world from the destructive wiles of Galus.

"Look!" one jubilant eight year old Fasudan boy shouted, while pointing his finger at the costumed Katsuhiko Jinnai, "It's him. It's the great SOS Man! He's the hero who stopped Galus from blowing up the entire world!"
"A ha!" laughed SOS Man in reply, striking an imposing pose while puffing out his chest as much as he could and holding enclosed fists next to his waist, "Yes, it is I, your peerless champion of justice and peace! Do not worry, good citizen, for I am here to dispense with all shadows, and aid bugrom and human alike through charting a course of limitless joy under the auspices of the SOS Brigade!"

"SOS Man! SOS Man!" exclaimed dozens upon dozens of children, flocking to him as starving sheep flock to a shepherd.

Katsuhiko Jinnai actually did quite well in this new role, as it brought him an ever increasing sense of personal grandeur and importance. SOS Man was becoming, ironically enough, a roundly beloved hero. He was even becoming beloved once more by his formerly estranged sister.

Nanami had shrewdly determined that SOS Man could be a money making machine for her, and hence went to great lengths to ensure that SOS Man's true secret identity was kept hidden from the general human populaces of El Hazard. SOS Man hence was a figure clad in handsome hope yet shrouded in mythical mystery. The perfect image to commodify, copyright, and sell in the form of thousands and thousands of toys.

Jinnai Industries was the name that Nanami gave to her toy manufacturing company, which with bugrom help was up and running and steamrolling out SOS Man and Bugwoman toys by the thousands only a few days after Galus' defeat.

A significant number of adult El Hazard peasants were displeased by this mushrooming rise of SOS Man as they suspected that he was really the despised warlord Katsuhiko Jinnai. Nanami set up a large ten foot tall theatre platform of sorts in the city square of Florestica with a plan set up to dash these suspicions. Thankfully, the following staged appearance would succeed in accomplishing that...

"SOS Man is not Katsuhiko Jinnai... for I am Katsuhiko Jinnai!" was the bold declarative shout of a widely smiling person with an exact likeness to Katsuhiko Jinnai walking out from the red curtains to stand next to SOS Man's side.

"So you see, fine citizens" stated SOS Man, who had already been standing on stage after being introduced by Nanami, "Clearly I am not the warlord Katsuhiko Jinnai... though I am pleased to be in his esteemed acquaintance!"

"That is right!" shouted 'Katsuhiko Jinnai' with the voice of Jinnai, in what looked to be Jinnai's student uniform complete with medals, and with 'his' arms neatly folded in front of 'him', "You should all be thankful to have the heroic SOS Man on your side, for otherwise I would conquer all your lands, burn all your houses, eat all your babies, and rule you like a King! And then I would disembowel Makoto Mizu~hara and drag his entrails through out the streets to demonstrate my ultimate act of superiority over him! Fear me, oh humans of El Hazard! Fear and respect the unstoppable villain Katsuhiko Jinnai...
Mwa-ha-ha-ha-HA!-ha-ha-ha-ha-HA-ha ha ha ha ha ha...!!!"

These words left the gathered crowd in front of the oddly innocently grinning Katsuhiko in a temporarily petrified state of astounded horror.

"Hey!" whispered SOS Man angrily to Katsuhiko Suzumiya, "I'm supposed to be reformed, remember?!"

"Oh, sorry, I forgot..." replied a whispering Bugrom Queen Haruhi in the midst of one of her hammiest acting performances ever, "I thought you'd like this tribute to how coolly villainous you used to be!"

"P-please don't take my brother seriously here!" stated Nanami nervously into the mike that was situated at the outermost rimmed edge of the platform that she had set up, "He's only joking, I can assure you!"

"That's right!" exclaimed Katsuhiko Suzumiya, "I was joking about everything except eating babies. All great villains eat babies after all!"

"Ggaaaahhh...!!![/i]" cried SOS Man bringing a palm to his golden mask.

So while Katsuhiko Jinnai was now suspected of cannibalism, his alter ego of SOS Man was no longer suspected of being Katsuhiko Jinnai. This made him a palatable hero for El Hazard human adults, and retained his iconic status amongst the El Hazard youths.  


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Any and all feedback on this writing sample is greatly appreciated.
14  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: The El Hazard of Haruhi Suzumiya on: July 22, 2009, 10:32:15 AM
A couple things I wanted to add after thinking about it a bit more.

1) I want to be clear that I don't dislike Kyon. His cynicism, for me, goes back and forth between humorous and annoying (annoying when it feels too cynical to me), but it's more often humorous than annoying. And, for the most part, I definitely think that he's a good decent guy.

Actually, the second major relationship dynamic I was going for in this fanfic (after Haruhi/Jinnai) was Kyon/Makoto (this one plutonic; I don't see either of these two as gay) - I see Kyon and Makoto as flip sides of the same coin; I think that both share very similar moral values and personal drives, but that Kyon is the eternal pessimist to Makoto's eternal optimist.

I also like Kyon/Nanoha in my own fanfic as well - because I've molded Nanoha into being what, in my mind, is the ideal girlfriend for Kyon - someone who wants to be upbeat, but who is a bit soft emotionally and could use words of encouragement from time to time. Someone stronger than the overly weak Mikuru Asahina, but someone a bit weaker than the very strong Nanoha Takamachi

Kyon's natural caring instinct provides words of encouragement... which uplifts Nanoha Inverse... which then makes Nanoha upbeat to the point that even Kyon is uplifted by it himself... or humorously embarrassed (depending on if I want to play the scene for cute comedy or touching romance ;) ).

Kyon's natural caring instinct is almost wasted on Haruhi, who so rarely needs softer words of encouragement. Haruhi, I think, just needs someone to revel in over-the-top bold zealous determination and optimism with.


2) I think that your argument, Spanner, applies to Haruhi and Jinnai as far as close plutonic friendships are concerned. In other words, I don't think that either Haruhi or Jinnai could be a close plutonic friend with someone that either considered an equal. I think that both like to boss plutonic friends around.

But a romance takes it to a different level for both of them, in my mind - I think that with an outright romance, both would be looking for someone "worthy"; someone deserving of the great honor of being Haruhi's boyfriend or Jinnai's girlfriend. Someone at least close to an equal, if not a complete equal.

Someone they could point to and say "Behold my awesome girlfriend/boyfriend!".  

Actually, one argument I could make for why Haruhi and Jinnai only waited a few days to make romantic feelings known to one another is because both felt that the other was ill-suited for plutonic friendship (too equal for that ) ... but was perfectly suited for a romantic partner.
15  General / El-Hazard Online / Re: The El Hazard of Haruhi Suzumiya on: July 20, 2009, 05:30:03 PM
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Probably what I consider to be the core of the problem is something that you seem to feel is actually one of the greatest STRENGTHS of the relationship: Haruhi and Jinnai consider each other to be equals. It is my feeling that one of the defining aspects of both characters is that they have no equals - and that if they find someone that they see with the potential to be an equal, the one and ONLY recourse is a rivalry to firmly establish which of the two is better than the other.



I agree with this to a point. I don't think that either Haruhi or Jinnai could be happy in a romance where their partner had them matched or beat in every noticeable area - they each need to have room, so to speak, in having their own unquestioned area of command and expertise.

I think that with Haruhi she actually takes comfort in the fact that Jinnai is physically out of shape (at least relative to her) - it makes her athleticism an edge on him so that she feels that she can hold that over her boyfriend. Also, Jinnai acquiesces to Haruhi's playfulness (Mikuru being the Bugrom's moe mascot, most notably) because he doesn't care about it either way - but for Haruhi this is important in how Jinnai is... giving her room to breath, be herself, and command within her area of expertise.

I think that with Jinnai, he takes comfort in the fact that Haruhi is not his match in military tactics - her failure to notice the Itsuki-is-being-tortured trap when he noticed it quickly comforts him somewhat in retrospect, letting him know that he has an edge that he can hold over his girlfriend. And here, Haruhi acquiescing to letting Jinnai handle the planning out of the military operation to rescue Itsuki gives Jinnai room to breath, be himself, and command within his area of expertise.

So, here, Haruhi and Jinnai view in the other an equal that commands their respect, and an equal that they see much of himself/herself in, causing some admiration given their own egos (Jinnai saying how Haruhi takes after his own heart, while Haruhi loves how Jinnai likes adventuring - and he does, in a sense - just like she does). BUT each holds an important trump card over the other enabling both to feel comfortable in a relationship that is equal on the whole... but in which power shifts from one to the other depending on who's expertise is called upon.


If Haruhi's main strength was military tactics, or if Jinnai's main strength was athleticism or running school clubs, I'd agree with you - their romance would feel suffocating to each other and both would hate how they didn't hold anything over the other one. But since both are willing to admit the particular areas where the other one is better than him or her...

So, a big key for me in any sequels, I feel, is providing situations where Jinnai's skill set (military tactics - or something that can borrow off of that) has opportunities to be used. Or, perhaps, Jinnai gives a lot of speeches, where he arguably has Haruhi edged out (not that she's bad at speeches... but I like to view Jinnai as an excellent orator).


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In both cases, it's hard for me to imagine them in a romantic pairing in which they are not "wearing the pants", as it were. I feel that for a romance to bloom with one of these characters as a member, the other member would need to be the sort who quietly supports them, not someone who calls the shots. Haruhi or Jinnai would certainly acquiesce to the wishes of their partner from time to time, but because they choose to please their partner, not because they believe their partner has an equal place in the decision-making process.


Here, again, I think that both are willing to admit where the other is superior to him or her... largely because they don't really care about that area (but to humor the other, they won't say that).

Haruhi probably couldn't care less how good she is at military tactics or planning military operations... but Jinnai cares, so she'll humor him there.

Jinnai probably couldn't care less how good he is at running clubs based on anime tropes like 'moe mascot'... but Haruhi cares, so he'll humor her there.

See what I'm saying?


I will say that Haruhi, simply because of the Bugrom Empire chain of command, has the overall edge on Jinnai. But, I actually feel that this is fitting, for a reason I'll get to later on...


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It is my feeling that, if Haruhi and Jinnai were placed into a situation like the one you constructed for this story, each of them would chafe more and more as each attempted to assert their own will. Eventually, one or the other (or both) would blow up, and they'd go their seperate ways.  


Well, the two were (as far as they could tell) in complete agreement up until Haruhi endured the big reveal. Aside from enduring the SOS Man costume, Jinnai really wasn't knowingly at odds with Haruhi on anything. And, because of what Diva said to Haruhi about the proper relationship between Bugrom Queen and Supreme Commander, Haruhi let Jinnai pretty much run the show as it pertained to "converting" Gannan over to the SOS Brigade.

The "Haruhi determines the ends/Jinnai determines the means" set up provided by Diva is going to come in handy as a means of compromise between the two of them; it'll be reinforced by Groucho and the other bugrom as well.

<Haruhi... you really should let the boss call the shots here; this is HIS role as Supreme Commander after all.>

<Boss... it's the role of the Bugrom Queen to chart the broader vision for the Empire; you know that!>


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It seems that you felt the same way, at least to a degree, as you built up their relationship on a series of misunderstandings.


Yes. The facade of agreement had to be there to avoid chaffing until they had fallen in love with each other.

THEN once they learn the truth about each other, they have a natural inner desire to make their romance and friendship work anyway.


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 However, I just don't feel that the love should have developed as far as it did without Jinnai and Haruhi "testing the waters", so to speak, for dominance - and as soon as both members realized that a vy for power was on the table, things should have gotten ugly.


I guess that this is the crux of our disagreement on the pairing. I don't think that Jinnai and Haruhi take their desire for dominance THAT far... where they would "test the waters" for dominance when they both had every reason to believe that the other one was in almost complete agreement with him or her anyway.

At some level, I think that they would shrug their shoulders and think...

Jinnai: This is perfect! I have found an equal worthy of my respect... but I need not ensure my dominance over this equal since she agrees with me all the time anyway... except on this SOS Man business which is fairly inconsequential to my broader plans. What a perfect ally I have in Haruhi Suzumiya! Indeed, she may be the perfect girlfriend for me as well - a girlfriend far greater than any girl that the accursed Makoto could manage to attract!


Haruhi: This totally rocks! I have found a really extraordinary guy that is beloved by an entire alien empire, an intellectual equal, and worthy of my respect! He is perhaps even my equal... Normally, I'd feel challenged by that, but we think alike so much that I'm effectively calling the shots anyway! I get to have my cake and eat it too! What a great friend and new SOS Brigade member I have here! In fact, he might make a nice boyfriend...


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Basically, one or both characters needed to change some fundamental aspects of their characters in order for the romance to work. In this case, I felt it was Jinnai that got "nerfed", as it were.  


Jinnai's character didn't change so much as he was simply dealt a difficult hand, and had to choose what to do with it - stay imprisoned for life, or 'give in' to the woman that he had come to love and hence at least get to have some small measure of glory by successfully running the mission to save her.

Don't think that Jinnai has been emasculated here - he hasn't. I intend to write the Haruhi/Jinnai relationship (in the sequel) as a continuing give-and-take where the role of "pants wearer" shifts back and forth given circumstances and area of expertise. Over time, I intend for the relationship to take an edge off of both characters, as they learn that they can be happy in an equal partnership.


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By the end of the story, it was pretty clear that Haruhi was the one that was going to get her way. He wants to kill Makoto, she doesn't want that, Makoto lives. He wants world conquest, she wants to form a club, they form a club. While Haruhi was willing to make some concessions for Jinnai's benefit, she's definitely the one calling she shots. I just can't put myself in a mindset that's able to accept this as a valid development of Jinnai's character, any more than I would have been able to accept a Haruhi that was content to sit back and let Jinnai continue his rampage.


Aside from what I wrote about how circumstances simply forced Jinnai to make a hard choice - at some level, I think it makes more sense for Jinnai to bend a bit more than Haruhi.

The reason being is that, at a superficial level, Haruhi's "the better catch", if you will, than he is.

Jinnai's appearance is not ugly, certainly, but he's not presented as someone that women flock to.  

OTOH, Haruhi is presented as someone that even the likes of Tamiguchi (Sp? - Kyon's friend) considers athletic, cute, and intelligent - a great girlfriend on simply these superficial measures.

Jinnai is still a man and is not oblivious to Haruhi's beauty and positive qualities as a girlfriend - whereas for Haruhi, the attraction to Jinnai I think will have to be rooted in her appreciation for his intelligence, his style, his personal flare moreso than superficial factors, since Jinnai is not presented as magnetically handsome or as athletic. His attention to personal grooming is probably pleasing to Haruhi, but that's his main appeal on a superficial level.

I just have to think that even Jinnai is going to see a great cute girlfriend as a great cute girlfriend - someone to be cherished, at some level. It also helps that Jinnai can hold Haruhi over Makoto's head as a reason for his superiority over Makoto (which I intend to show in a scene or two in the sequel).

Really, for me, Jinnai's the big winner in my fanfic - he gets a great girlfriend out of the deal, and a revived Bugrom Empire, and new friends (Mikuru - and later on, other SOS Brigade members possibly).


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Kyon/Haruhi works because it's easy to imagine Kyon pretty much letting Haruhi have her way, stepping in only when he feels she's gone too far, and her listening to him only because she cares for him and doesn't want to upset him. That's more or less exactly the relationship they have already, to be honest, just without any open declartions of love. XD He's clearly the passive member of their relationship and she the dominant.  


Personally, I don't think that Haruhi/Kyon works. I'm not a fan of the pairing.

Also, speaking seriously here, and from my time studying human psychology in College... a thoroughly dominant/submissive relationship is not a healthy one. This is one of my main problems with the Haruhi/Kyon relationship - that, along with how I don't get any romance vibe whatsoever coming off of Haruhi and towards Kyon. Frankly, I really do think that Haruhi sees Kyon precisely the same way that Jinnai sees Groucho - a nice submissive subordinate/friend (almost a pet) to have around. That's really not a good basis for a life-long romantic partnership, in my mind. It's just as bad when the guy is always submissive as it is when the gal is always submissive, in my mind. Both can lead to abusive relationships.


Jinnai's personality is dominant enough that it'll force Haruhi to learn valuable social skills like compromising, power sharing, and so on. It'll make her a better person. Haruhi, of course, is already having this beneficial effect on Jinnai.

Haruhi and Jinnai both need each other to learn how to be more well-rounded human beings, really.

Keep in mind that Haruhi and Jinnai are not even adults yet - it's still quite believable for them to change and mature as they grow into adults, just like teenagers typically do.


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Well... to be fair, I'm throwing around words like "never" awfully freely. My difficulties with the pairing work under the assumption that I know every aspect of the characters involved, which, naturally, can't be true, as there's no way for one person to know another completely. For instance, one of the steps you took to make Jinnai a valid partner for Haruhi was to assert that he'd taken the path of a villain because he felt that taking the role of a villian was the only way he'd be able to properly defeat Makoto. I tend to feel that Jinnai chose that path because it was a convenient one that had been offered to him, and that defeating Makoto was simply one of many goals he had in his desire to acquire power. Both views of his character are valid ones, given what we've seen of him from the anime.


Well, Jinnai became villainous the moment he tried to strangle Makoto with rope before they even went to El Hazard. I will say that Jinnai wants personal glory over and above any obsession with Makoto - it's just that Makoto means that he tries to achieve that obsession through a road of villainy instead of through a road of heroism.

Although, Haruhi is changing that.


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To sum up, I don't feel that Haruhi or Jinnai would ever be satisfied in a relationship with an equal partner; they would each continually attempt to assert dominance, and that would spoil any attempt to actually remain together.


Or, conversely, this would lead to both growing as characters and human beings (well, as a human-esque bugrom, in Haruhi's case).

Rowan said something way back in one of his earlier chapter reviews that resonated with me - he wondered if Haruhi and Jinnai would have a positive, or negative, effect on each other... as both do have their good sides. And I think that they're bringing out positive effects in each other.

One thing I should point out - it's possible that even the writer of the Haruhi novels is thinking how I'm thinking, as Season 2 Haruhi already seems to have an edge taken off of her vis a vis Season 1 Haruhi. She actively welcomes input from other Brigade members on what they'd like to do, and takes them up on it.


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Don't take this to mean, by the way, that I believe that all couples require a dominant and submissive pairing. I just feel that these particular characters have a drive to remain on top that would prevent that kind of equality in a relationship.


I would argue that any healthy, successful romantic relationship would have to have some degree of equality within it. So, quite the contrary - a romance involving Jinnai and/or Haruhi should have some equality within it just as any romance should.  

Also, I think that Jinnai, at least, strives for personal glory moreso than to constantly be on top, per se. So if Haruhi's methods give Jinnai the personal glory that he desires...


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Anyway, the reason that I can be so dead-set against the pairing and still provide positive feed back on many of their interactions basically has to do with suspension of disbelief. I was not convinced that the progression you showed us actually would have lead to a romantic pairing, but I was still able to evaluate subsequent scenes AS THOUGH they had been enough. Essentially, I approached scenes like this: "If we were to assume that Jinnai was in love with Haruhi for some reason, is this how he'd come to her rescue?" or "If we were to assume that Jinnai was in love with Haruhi for some reason, is this how he'd react to the S.O.S. Man costume?"

Essentially, I was able to give positive comments about their characterization during their romance by ignoring the fact that I was totally unconvinced that the romance could ever form. Basically, they're in love, deal with it, now is this how they would behave if they were in love?


I see what you're saying here.


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I will admit that of all the possible paths you could have taken to establish their loving relationship, the one you took is the closest I can think of to something that has a remote chance of working. In the beginning, they were able to get close to one another because each had a thorough enough misunderstanding of the other that each believed that they were the ones in charge - or at the very least, that the other was no threat to their authority. This allowed them to become close in ways that no straight-up rivalry would have allowed.

To end things off, I'd like to mention that I was a bit bemused at one of the things you mentioned about your reasons for attempting this story: That Jinnai was pretty much a male equivalent to Haruhi. While I agree wholeheartedly with this assessment, I disagree with the sentiment that this would make them a natural pairing. Characters - or even real people - that are too much alike rarely make for good couples. It's better if a couple has a variety of traits between them - they should have personalities that complement one another, not exactly match.


Again... and with all due respect... my studies in human psychology have told me differently. Oh, it's good to have complimentary skill sets - like how Jinnai's skill set is different from Haruhi's... but when it comes to personality types, "birds of a feather flock together" wins out over "opposites attract".

Every psychology professor that I have had has stressed this when discussing human relationships, and human romances - straight people tend to be attracted to those of the opposite gender who are like an opposite gender version of themselves.

At some level, I think that Kyon's submissiveness is a turn-off to Haruhi - I think that she perceives it as weakness; convenient weakness for her, but weakness nonetheless. Actually, what would make me buy into Haruhi/Kyon is if Kyon would effectively stand up to her at some point (perhaps in stopping Haruhi's abuse of Mikuru once and for all, for example), hence earning Haruhi's respect.

I really think that Haruhi would want HER boyfriend to be someone strong, passionate, with bold initiative like she has - someone that she could respect. And I think that Jinnai would need to see this in HIS girlfriend, as well. For Haruhi and Jinnai, I think that they would see their romantic partner as an extension of themselves, and a reflection on themselves.

I don't see Haruhi or Jinnai wanting a romantic partner that they couldn't respect... and, as such, I think that seeing such a romantic partner as an equal is partly what would make such a romantic partner alluring to either of them.


Very nice, riveting discussion with you, Spanner, even if we do disagree. :)

I'm going to share my nuclear solution idea with you via PMs to see what you think of it. If it would make the Haruhi/Jinnai romance more acceptable to you, then it would be worth it, I think.

I'm actually not a big fan of gender-bended Haruhi myself, for many of the same reasons as you aren't. I just found the concept of a male Haruhi interesting; mostly for comparison purposes with actual anime characters.
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