Bubblegum Crisis Post 2040: File 1 Author’s Notes
The Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 Continuation Fanfic Series
by P. Kristen Enos
Most of these stories take place AFTER the TV Series! So DON’T blame me if I ruin the ending for you because you read these stories first!
Lesbian/Yuri/Shoujo Ai Warning! (Non-explicit — at least in the “PG13″/”R” sort of way.) Just not written for children because they probably wouldn’t get half of it.
All rights belong to JVC/AIC, ADV Films and the other creative powers that be. I just want credit for writing the story.
The Story Behind “File #1: Dominant Species”
Otherwise known as
“The Tale of the Boomer Who Just Wouldn’t Die!”
Originally Posted 10/15/01
* * *
I know I’ve been extremely vocal about the crazy creative process behind this fanfic epic, my first ever attempt to write a story with someone else’s universe and characters. Most of my griping resulted from the feeling that the story was never under my control since early on. Other factors, either reader response or character rebellion, quickly took the lead away from me and I felt like I was put in the chauffeur’s seat in that I had technical control of the vehicle but someone else was telling me where to go.
To understand the story evolution, I’d have to take you all the way back to the “infamous” prologue “Compatibility”, which was originally written as a self-contained, “for the hell of it” piece.
Up until then, I was perfectly happy to be the anime and fanfic fan, enjoying the creative output of others. My own career as a writer has been in totally unrelated genres so I never thought of actually crossing the bridge to the “other side” into someone else’s creative universe.
Part of my otaku nature did propel me to create “This Lesbian’s Guide to Anime and Manga” website, where I did reviews and lesbian analysis of famous and not so famous works. It was because of this site that Greenegret contacted me and said she wanted to link my site to her site, which is devoted to lesbian slashlinks.
One thing did lead to another and she let me know that she had Classic BGC exposure and not 2040. With a vaguely similar interest base and discussions that led to quirky places, I wrote the prologue “Compatibility” to her, totally without her knowing that I would actually take a proactive step. Well, her response was pretty positive and my nervousness about taking on the task of handling someone else’s creative entities was put at ease somewhat.
I can’t remember what propelled the idea, but it basically started into a “why stop there?” moment. And so, with the mindset that I would do it for as long as it was fun and interesting, I launched a self-contained story “Post 2040”, having serious doubts that I would even complete, it given my fickle nature when there’s no feedback or when I feel like I took on more than I could handle.
Since I’m a die-hard 2040 Linna fan, I REALLY wanted her to have a happy ending, and since I wasn’t a Priss fan, I was quite content with the idea it could be with someone else (still female though.) And since I had a certain fondness for the “Double Vision” storyline, and the interaction with Classic Linna and Reika, I thought there was just too much potential there.
So the original story was supposed to be as follows:
Inspired by the “Double Vision” storyline, the beginning was pretty much the same as written in the first few chapters of “Dominant.” The biggest difference, as I’ve said before, was that Sylvie was not part of the picture AT ALL. The boomer introduced in Chapter 3 was actually inspired by the little girl boomer Cynthia from Classic BGC episode 1 in that I liked the idea of boomers impersonating a real person. Also, the Chang sisters were already orphaned by then, though probably not for Genom related reasons.
Sho was to continue to work for Genom but have a strongly ethical reaction to what his creation was being used for. To shut him up, Quincy and Madigan launched the ultimate plan. Irene would have been working at the health club, been friends with Linna, while a growing attraction would have been established between Linna and Reika.
When Irene and Linna were packing up after a work-out in the locker room, the assassin boomer would have appeared in the guise of one of the other physical trainers at the gym. Linna would have reacted to the white noise and passed out, and Irene was to have been shot, thus kicking off the police case and real chain of events. Sho was to have been framed and killed in what appeared to be suicide with a confessional note linking him to an affair with the trainer in question. The girl whose identity was taken over by the boomer would have been found dead, apparently also from a suicide, and evidence would have been planted to show there was really an affair going on.
After taking over Hou Bang and getting some evidence that revealed the truth, Reika would have launched into her plans to personally hunt down Quincy in order to avenge her sister. By then, she and Linna would’ve had a full-fledge romance but also had the conflicting issues about justice and all that, as following the original storyline from Class BGC, as well as whether or not Reika herself had it in her to actually kill another human being.
The story was supposed to end with a full fledge confrontation with Sabers, Genom and Reika. Reika would’ve shot Quincy and be shot herself. I was going to end the story with a very real possibility that she was going to die.
And that’s as far as I got before things just went out of control.
I got a good response with the first installments of the story, and I was having fun doing it. So that’s when I decided that maybe there was potential to extend this out and make it an ongoing universe where not only would I write stories, but others could join in as well.
Well, that’s how the whole can of worms was opened.
So why do I keep referring to the characters taking control of the series? You have to understand the way I write.
My writing style follows what I term as “logical progression.” In order to do this, I have to have a vague idea of what I want to accomplish with the story (I know the beginning and ending but don’t know the exact details of how I’m going to get there) as well as have a good understanding of the characters involved in terms of their experiences and motivations. I’m not a multi-draft writer; 95 percent of my draft work is done in my head and the other 5 percent is vague plot notes, just to make sure I don’t forget to include key points. This also means I cannot write chapters out of order because I never know whether big or little plot-affecting events will suddenly come up in the writing of the chapter of the moment, and a lot of that happened in “Dominant.”
The real challenge was around the fact that my writing style is character-driven — it’s the characters who ultimate determine what’s going to happen and whether or not the plot plans I have for them makes sense for their characterization. When a moment comes up where someone could “act out of character”, I either modify the plot or modify the character. Well, when I’m writing canon-based fanfic, I realized the last option is a big fat no-no. So a lot of scenes were just written to see the characters go through their motions and watch where they end up.
The biggest example of this (and the reason for this essay’s subtitle) was that Sylvie was the huge wild card that pretty much turned everything upside down when she was introduced as a major character in the story. I knew from the beginning that the new focus of “Dominant” would be the definitive Sylvie story arc, it would begin with her creation and end with her death. I had it originally planned that in the “Sylvie for Linna exchange”, Sylvie would be returned to Genom, revert back to her original state (with no chance of coming back as her sentient self) and that would be the end of the tale. Future versions of Sylvie would’ve been the non-sentient combat boomer model.
Well, when it came down to actually writing the chapters where our heroines debate over what to do with her, I realized Sylia can be one hell of a tricky bitch. There isn’t a technical problem that she isn’t willing to try to tackle and solve (unless of course she’s overwhelmed with grief and guilt over a dead brother.) And her pairing with Nigel just adds more possibilities of what BGC 2040 technology can accomplish. I felt it was very in character for her to try any remote possibility to save Sylvie, even if it meant just saving the core and starting from there with no guarantee that she would be successful. But the point is that she would try, and that’s one of the qualities I love about her character.
And that’s pretty much the perfect example of how a story can go in directions I never thought possible.
So what other major changes happened in the story writing evolution?
* The biggest eye-opener for me was my beta pointing out the fact that some people read slash fiction without ever having seen the source material (herself being one of them. She didn’t even watch “2040” until she had beta’d over 40 chapters of this story.) So it was challenging for me to write a story that wouldn’t bore die-hards to tears with details, yet be “elementary” enough for the non-converted.
* There was the obvious change of sparing of the lives of both Irene and Sho. But I killed the Chang parents instead. (Someone had to die, after all, to give Reika some real angst.)
* I honestly hadn’t planned to break up Priss and Leon, but after analyzing their relationship and their characterization, I couldn’t see any other option that felt realistic and true. (And I felt comfortable in the fact that of the group of 2040 fanfic writers, I would be in the minority where others would be more than willing to keep them together. So if you’re looking for Priss/Leon fic, you can go look for those writers.)
* And with that being true, I obviously hadn’t planned to truly explore a real romance between her and Sylvie — mild attraction maybe, but they wouldn’t have gotten any further than Priss and Linna did.
* Yuuji, Daley’s significant other, was a character creation that happened in the midst of writing a chapter and thinking of something to throw in there. After all, if I was going to focus on giving Linna a love life, then I felt I should do the same for Detective Wong, whom I’ve always liked.
* Sylia was NOT supposed to be wounded. This was a “logical progression” point that I felt I had to make to show that Sylvie was a kick-ass combat boomer, and what better way to show this than actually causing injury to the best fighter on the Knight Saber (who admittedly was handicapped by having to capture her in one piece.) I’m glad it turned out to be such an important plot point.
* Obviously, if there was no Sylvie, then Priss certainly wouldn’t have had such a big storyline. Although part of that spotlight focus was due to my re-watching “2040”, which I’m sure would have caused another storyline of similar proportions.
* The Linna/Sylia make-out session was just me having fun by putting it in at the last minute. I figured I could get away with it as long as they didn’t fully consummate their relationship. Of course, I thought I was pushing the entire attraction angle until I got a box of BGC 2040 trading cards at Anime Expo this year and saw the picture of Sylia and Linna in an extremely mutual seductive pose. My jaw was in my lap (happily so) upon seeing this.
* Of course, the entire Watanabe clan (Densuke, Largo and Yoshiko) was not meant to be included. (They’ll be major players in File #3: “Web”. Their appearances here were teasers more than anything else.) The same holds true for First Knight Saber Team veteran Mei.
* And the appearance of military combat Sylia was kind of a personal lesbian fantasy momentarily taking the creative reigns, even though I can claim Classic inspiration for that one!
And that’s just the big stuff.
The troublemaker in me did indulge in some “evil” moments of fun with my two sounding-boards (my beta and my best friend) that I knew I would NEVER put in this fanfic series (a public version anyway.) For example, there was a hysterical five minute discussion involving having Priss gain a hundred pounds, wear a jumpsuit and perform in Vegas. And I won’t even go into the threesome comments about Sylia/Linna/Reika.
Now that the story is finished almost half a year later, I had an incredible amount of fun despite the hard work. I met some great people in both my beta reader, my discussion group members, and other vocal readers. And I achieved a huge personal milestone of actually completing a novel for public consumption, which adds to the fact that I’m quite proud of the body of work that resulted. So who would want to give up something like that?
I’ve got two solid saga-length storylines pending, as well as a couple of one-shots that are fillers. As long as I’m having fun, and people enjoy me doing so, then I don’t see this ride ending in the near future.
Thanks for coming along!
P. Kristen 😉