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Beam's Blog of Writing and Other Things.

Mind of a Wild Fanfic Writer: Fellows, Introduction.

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So I haven't done one of these posts in awhile, and figured I'd touch back to it again with one of my personal favorite projects: Fellows, my RGU/FSN crossover that is woefully behind on updates because I swear to God school is trying to murder me. I'm not even through the first arc yet, but a lot of thought went just into the creation of the idea, so I thought it would be fun to ramble about that a bit.

As I've probably made blindingly obvious in the past, I utterly adore RGU with every fiber of my being. I very much hold it up as the way HF should have been written and characterized, and I rewatch it constantly because I always find something new. Himemiya Anthy is by and large my favorite character in the series, even if some of her decisions in the last two episodes are... questionable, to put it lightly (friends do not stab friends in the back, Anthy, m'kay? M'kay.). But I also have a large soft spot for the main heroine and prince figure of the current story, Tenjou Utena.

Sadly, the Utena fandom does not have a mass of fanfiction at its fingertips; or if it does, I've been looking at all the wrong sites to find it. One thing I found especially disappointing, however, was the lack of stories dealing with how Utena, in particular, handled the fallout of the series: the manipulation of Akio, the realization that she wasn't as noble as she wanted to believe, the betrayal of Anthy, and in the end, her belief that she had failed to save Anthy at all. Most post-series fics tend to go with the belief that Anthy finds Utena, and all is well again.

And as much as I love the thought of Anthy and Utena getting their well deserved happy ending, it really isn't that simple.

Duel Called Enmity is a post-series fic that has a beautiful take on Utena, and inspired me partially in my tackling of Fellows. However, my greatest challenge was finding a setting for which Utena could heal and regain herself. I'd earlier batted around the idea of Utena saving young Shirou from the fire, or young Shirou finding Utena in the hospital and convincing Kiritsugu to take her in, but those ideas had never settled right for me.

And then one day, it hit me. Have Utena be found and taken in by Archer. Because really, they're just so damn similar; both of them were betrayed by their ideals, and both of them never gave up and kept going, only to be rewarded in the end with pain and failure (truly on Archer's part, believed on Utena's part). I say often that Utena has many similarities with HF!Shirou, but she also has quite a few with Archer, and from there the seed for Fellows was planted.

Other little random tidbits:

- The title is based off the ending theme of Carnival Phantasm, and was the song I listened to when I wrote chapter 1. I don't actually know how it relates to the story proper.

- Early drafts of the story originally just had Archer taking in Utena, but those seemed... a bit too dark and broody for what I wanted to try and accomplish. Healing is painful, but under the right circumstances it can also be cleansing, and Archer alone I didn't think could help Utena with that part.

- Another early draft of the story featured Gilgamesh instead of Lancer, mostly as an easy out for handling the million swords of hatred. This was scrapped right away when I realized "Shit, wait, Gilgamesh has no reason to not just straight up rape Utena."

- Lancer was eventually added to the story to be more of a big brother figure to Utena; someone she could lean on and look up to, without having the additional thought of knowing that he wanted to fix her or save her. If I had to describe her relationship with both men, I'd say Lancer is her cool, teasing, but still protective big brother whom she loves being around, while Archer is the slightly more distant, slightly more scary big brother that she still nonetheless feels calm and at peace around. I'd almost say Archer is 'fatherly' to her, but I don't know how well Archer would father anyone.

- My original concept for Utena was of a far colder, more withdrawn and wary young girl who would take more time to gradually open up to Lancer and Archer after the emotional manipulation and confusion she'd felt at the hands of Touga and Akio. The current version of Utena as seen in Fellows is.... not like this at all. In fact, if I was going to describe her, I'd say she's almost starved for some decent, positive interaction with people who won't use her for their own whims and purposes.

'Tis all for now. More will be posted as Fellows progresses, which will hopefully be soon, if school finally starts calming down.


  1. Aiden's Avatar
    Pure denial helps with Utena's presentation, too.

    Keep walking keep walking keep walking don't think about it-
  2. Moczo's Avatar
    I have to say, I'm rather happy with the way it turned out. I only know Utena secondhand through you, but her characterization here is some of my favorite writing you've ever done. At first glance she seems almost fine, but if you look closely and see her interactions with the guys, it becomes clear just how much she's repressing. The warning signs are all there, it's just awaiting something to poke the gaping emotional wounds and make it all come rushing to the surface.

    ... And while Gilgamesh might have been kinda amusing, he wouldn't have worked in any sort of serious capacity. Lancer serves much better as the irreverent big bro. And Archer as the quiet, calming, father figure... well, we've already discussed at length how well that works out. (Knitting.)

    Looking forward to more from this, when school stops stomping on your face, sweetie. ^_^
  3. Seika's Avatar
    Oooh! Looking forward to more, definitely. Fellows is one of my favourites out of all your work, and I agree that RGU needs a lot more love and a lot more 'fics.

    (And, yeah, I'm very glad you kept Gil out of it. He's a lot less deceptive and manipulative, but he's also really not what Utena needs at that point).
  4. Elf's Avatar
    I adore this story actually, and Archer does seem more like a father figure than the cool, older brother.

    And Utena needs a hug.
  5. Lycodrake's Avatar
    It's been a while since I last watched RGU, but I think you've done a wonderful job with Fellows, and characterizing all the characters. ^^
  6. Ruu-tan's Avatar
    It's interesting to see where Fellows come from.

    I like your choice of Lancer; He's a source of all positive energy needed to balance Archer's cynic.... Gil would have been interesting as well, but you have mentioned the problem of that one idea.

    Anyway, I think you are potraying Utena and Anthy very well in your fic. Can't wait to see how this story rolls...