geoviki: (Loveless Soubi b&w)
[personal profile] geoviki
I have fallen for a new fandom.  It's been the bright spot of this awful week, to be honest.  Before I drop its specific name, I want to talk about the more universal facets that I think everyone still reading my LJ can relate to: both how and why we fall for a story and its characters, be it written or visual.

For me it's just like falling in love.  It's whiplash fast and intense.  I inhale the original source, I use my google-fu to seek out more, I gobble up any scrap of information about the author, the characters, and the apocrypha.  And then I fall head-first into reading the fanfic.  In short order, I find myself an addict.

For me, it's been a long, dry spell.  It's not like I'm not always open to new fannish love, and you lot are terrific at bringing great stuff to my attention,  stuff you've fallen for yourself.  But just like human love, the chemistry hasn't been there for me.  I apparently have a tough time with movie or TV fandoms, although the BBC Sherlock has come close.  I dabble, waiting for lightening to strike, but…

So what exactly is it about this new fandom that hit me so hard? 

First, it's open canon.  Not only that, there's a lengthy list of important, unanswered plot points that beg to be explored.  For me, it's like opening a huge box of brand new crayons that are crying to be used.  I want to know more, but even better, I want to write more.

Next, it's chock-full of seriously messed up, emotionally damaged characters.  There's hurt/comfort in spades, which I've known for a long time is my biggest fandom pleasure.

In addition, the story is dark and complex, with interesting fantasy twists. It unfolds through the eyes of an unknowing protagonist, and he learns about the world and the plot twists as we do.  It's one of my favorite methods of telling a story.

Finally, nothing is over-explained, which leaves a lot of space between the story for me to fill in with my own ideas.

…is Loveless.  It's mostly a manga but the early chapters were made into an anime series back in 2005.  Okay, I know I'm not gonna sell any of you on it who aren't already in it.  There are a few of you already ahead of me who've written some awesome fic for it (better reviews will be coming once I can stop rereading them, ha!)

My infatuation is so bad that, no shit, I've actually picked up on a bunch of YouTube vids that use an Evanescence song to echo how I also feel about one of the main characters, Soubi:

And for the handful of you who are already fans, here's my list of 28 major unanswered plot points that are wide open for fic (includes major, major spoilers, so beware):

Why did Ritsuka lose his memories 2 years ago?
Why does his mother insist he is a different Ritsuka from 2 years ago?
Did Ritsuka's personality dramatically change 2 years ago or not?
If Soubi can modify the teacher's memory, did he have anything to do with Ritsuka's memory loss?
Who is Ritsuka's true Loveless fighter?
Why has the name Loveless not yet appeared on him?
How does anyone know his name is actually Loveless?
What is the meaning and power of the name Loveless?
Where did Ritsuka's father go?
Are the Aoyagi parents involved in the fighter/sacrifice world?
Why did Seimei need Soubi so much when he was 14?
Why did Seimei fake his own death?
What is the purpose of Septimal Moon and how and why were these 7 members chosen?
Why did Septimal Moon condemn Seimei to death?
Why did Seimei abandon Soubi and why is the bond broken?
Why has he now reclaimed him?
Why did Seimei order Nisei to rape Gomon?
Why did Seimei blind Ritsu?
Why didn't Ritsu take Soubi as his own fighter and instead give him to Seimei?
Was Soubi's mother, Chouko, Ritsu's lover, his fighter, or an enemy?
How were Soubi's parents killed?
Why was Kio raised in and then expelled from a female-only household?
How did he father a daughter, Shikiko, without knowing about it?
Why is Shikiko head of the house?
Why doesn't Shikiko have ears at her young age?
Is Chouma really Kio's twin sister?
Who is Chiyako and why is she harboring Seimei?
Who is Kunugi, the 7th member of Septimal Moon?

Date: 2013-09-15 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As soon as I saw your icon, I said, "She likes Loveless! Yay!"

I like Loveless lots--my very very favorite thing about it, though, is the score. Oh, my god, three of the tracks on that score are some of my favorite songs in the world, and I've even got my relatives loving the music and they have no idea what it's from.

Date: 2013-09-15 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ha, yes, I've even converted the beginning and end themes to mp3 already and googled multiple translations of the lyrics. Didn't I say I have it ba-a-a-d?

Now I'll just be off in search of the rest of the soundtrack songs, la la la.

I have to say, anything I do manage to write will be darker than my usual's really got to be, given everything presented to us so far.

Date: 2013-09-16 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The tracks "Memories- Ritsuka," "Noughts," and "Ordinary Days," oh my GOD, they are so beautiful. The rest of the score is lovely, but those tracks, eeee, so gorgeous.

I have all the manga that was released in English up to a couple of years ago--I wonder if there are now more? I know the author was on hiatus for a time. Should go look...

Date: 2013-09-16 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are new English volumes up to #11 and current scanlations beyond that here:

I'm guessing you are up to vol 8? Vols 9-11 are by a new company; I bought them off Amazon last weekish. I think the story's getting better and better, if not darker.

In an interview apparently the mangaka says it'll take 15 volumes to complete.

Date: 2013-09-15 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Is the series (manga) complete now?

Date: 2013-09-16 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There are English translation volumes up to #11 and current scanlations beyond that here:

In an interview apparently the mangaka says it'll take 15 volumes to complete.

Date: 2013-09-15 11:37 pm (UTC)
ext_14568: Lisa just seems like a perfectly nice, educated, middle class woman...who writes homoerotic fanfiction about wizards (Loveless - Soubi)
From: [identity profile]
Yay!! Oh, man, your 28 points! I blame Seimei for (almost) everything! And the rest I blame Ritsu! :-P It's easier that way. Yun Kouga took a really long hiatus, and we weren't sure she'd ever get back to it. I was convinced she'd leave everything hanging in the breeze. But I'm really glad Viz has taken up publishing the English manga volumes!

I didn't read that light novel (I know one of the scanlation teams translated it, or at least most of it), and I didn't even know about that first story with Soubi. Ha! You're more intense about it in two weeks than I've been in eight years! I can't wait for you to write some fic!

I think a lot of people shy away from Loveless because they're wary of the age difference. You know how people can be about "chan" in fandom. Even in most of the fic, they age Ritsuka up at least a few years. (LOL not me!) But I love it, and you're right about the tropes hitting hard. It's funny because in most of my fandoms I'm all about the light, fluffy, happy, humor ships. But in Loveless (and even an extent in Saiyuki, although I love the humor there too!) it's all about the hurt/comfort. And more hurt. That and I fell in love with Soubi in about five minutes. :-P

Yay! So excited! ♥ ♥ Welcome to the fandom! \o/

Date: 2013-09-16 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The psychology of the messed-up-edness is pretty intense. Seimei is turning out to be quite the sociopath, and Soubi, who grabbed me fast too, is, in the words of Sarah McLachlan, "a beautiful, fucked-up man."

I've always been squicked by chan until now. Maybe because it really isn't classic romantic love or sexual attraction. How can it be when Soubi's never known love himself and Ritsuka's, well, 12. It's not played up as a true relationship as you and I would know it. There's that unexplained business of Soubi gaining power to fight from Ritsuka when they physically embrace. And Ritusuka said it best, you can't love someone because you were ordered to.

I have to let things mix around in my brain a bit more before I can actually write anything. But I suspect it will be dark. Or darker than my usual stuff.

Date: 2013-09-16 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So glad you've found something that has sparked your passion! Also, great news on son!

Date: 2013-09-17 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay to both! We took him out to dinner last night to gorge on high quality protein (steak). They get very little $ to eat on, so they've got to combine resources and cook together. They've moved somewhere today but he didn't know what part of the area he'd be in.

Date: 2013-09-16 09:17 am (UTC)
ravurian: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ravurian
Look! Look, there are people commenting who also love the thing you love! Congrats!

Date: 2013-09-17 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, it's an actual fandom, unlike the last manga I fell for (and wrote 2 stories for), which was a fandom

And look, I've already made icons! This is how I know it's twoo lurve.

Date: 2013-09-16 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Loveless! Yes, I read some good fics in this fandom back in the day. It touches some profound themes: Soubi's trauma, the nature of his love for Ritsuka, the feeling of being loved without loving back. Also, the view of this universe on sexuality and loss of virginity... This fandom should have had a lot more members :)

Date: 2013-09-17 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I definitely feel like a newcomer. Seems like everyone's been here and done that and maybe moved on? Still, they've left behind a lot of relicts for me to treasure.

Some of the themes are incredibly complex and moving.

Date: 2013-09-16 01:26 pm (UTC)
who_la_hoop: (Loveless: ritsuka/soubi hug)
From: [personal profile] who_la_hoop
Ah, Loveless. *happy sigh* I'm a little bit behind, so I need to catch up!

I see your questions and... would it be dreadful of me to admit that I only really care about the answers in as much as they affect Soubi and Ritsuka? The Loveless universe is so deliciously crazy, and I am convinced that by the end we still won't know half of what's going on. It makes it all wildly fascinating, and intriguing, and mysterious, and... and all I want is for my two broken boys to get through it all alive and try and put themselves back together, whether that's as family or as something more, in the future.


If Soubi dies at the end protecting Ritsuka, I will weep for a week D:

Date: 2013-09-17 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't imagine a scenario where Soubi dies. Not enough foreshadowing, although I got blindsided on that little point with another manga I'd read. Still, I think there's a lot riding on Soubi's continued existence. *crosses fingers*

And then there's Snape as another his fans cried and are still crying.

*plugs ears, shuts eyes, refuses to consider it*

Date: 2013-09-16 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mmmm Soubi/Ritsuka <3

Date: 2013-09-17 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I even like Kio and the Zero boys! <3

Date: 2013-09-16 04:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi Geoviki. Good to see you about. I know exactly what you mean about falling head over heels. I did that when the Fellowship movie came out and my affection for that has continued (albeit not nearly as intensely) to this day. There have been a few others that for a time provoked that intense affection. The Persian Boy was one. Ai No Kusabi was another one briefly because I could only watch parts of it on youtube. I was obsessed until I managed to get the whole anime on ebay and watch it. Not sure what exactly strikes the spark, but as you say when it's there, it's there. Since then, well, nothing has done it, I'm afraid. I'm glad you're feeling the Luv, although I don't know this fandom at all.

Date: 2013-09-17 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I wholeheartedly agree with the Persian Boy love. I reread that for weeks. And made an icon! I started to work out some post-Alexander Bagoas fic but it never gelled for me. And your story, Oromedon's Lessons (which brought us together on LJ), is still one of my all-time fav fics in any fandom.

Date: 2013-09-17 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*blush* Thanks!

Date: 2013-09-17 04:31 am (UTC)
ext_150: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I dismissed it for a long time because I thought it was just a cat-eared BL series, and I'm not really into cat-ears or BL, but a friend of mine got into it and wrote some very persuasive posts, so it's on my to-read list now. I just haven't actually gotten around to reading it yet. ^_^;;

Date: 2013-09-17 04:34 am (UTC)
ext_150: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
And I don't know if you read manga blogs at all, but here's the loveless tag on Manga Bookshelf, which is my friend's manga blog.

Date: 2013-09-17 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, jackpot! Thanks a ton for that link; their in-depth discussion is just what I needed.

Date: 2013-09-17 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I dismissed it too for a while. I bought the first 8 volumes at a library book sale over a year ago and they just sat here. I finally got the urge to take a look. Unlike you, I do kinda like cat ears, but it's not a requirement, and I do like BL quite a bit. I can say, though, that I really wouldn't call it a BL series (and the author herself doesn't either). It's more of a fantasy murder mystery with lots of psychological flavor. And the cat ears has more to do with defining sexuality and adulthood. It's hard to explain properly. I can say that each volume improves over the earlier ones. It's also not finished yet (WIP warning!). I don't love every bit of it; I can do without the schoolmates, which are there to lighten what is really a darker story line. And it dances on the edge of shota-con, a usual squick for me, but fortunately stays on this side of the line.


geoviki: (Default)

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