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Thinking Out Loud

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CM
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« Reply #225 on: April 10, 2009, 01:55:21 am »

I've been where you're hanging - with the virusy crap, I mean. If you have the installation disc for your operating system, you won't have to buy a new computer. Just pop 'em in and reformat. That's how I've dealt with that problem in the past, and it's happened a couple of times.

If you don't have it, uh... well, I look forward to God's surprise. Speaking of which, I'm going through some sort of existentialist phase and I have some questions about God. I'll bring them up just as soon as I can remember them...

[Edit] Remotely unrelated: I just watched Doubt.
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pıɐs ǝɥs 'ɟɹɐ

suıɐɯop ʇuǝıqɯɐ ʎןɥbıɥ ɹǝɥʇo puɐ ǝɔuɐuosǝɹ ɔıʇɐɯoɹɥɔuɐd pǝssǝɹdǝp-ןɐpǝd uı ɹoıʌɐɥǝq uosɹǝd-ʇɹoɥs ɟo ǝɔuɐɔıɟıubıs ǝɥʇ pǝɹǝpuod 'uoıʇɐɔıɟıpoɯ ɹǝɥʇɹnɟ ǝuobɹǝpun buıʌɐɥ 'bop ɐ 'uʎןǝʌǝ
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« Reply #226 on: April 13, 2009, 02:58:12 pm »

Hope you're holding up all right, CM.  I looked up Doubt on Wikipedia, and unlike the first impression the cover gives you, it isn't so much about doubting God, but a priest.  But you knew that already.  I'm just a little disappointed that it wasn't another vain attempt by Brian Flemmings to try and prove Jesus never existed.

Okay, so this story's resolution has just finished up.  I'm typing from my computer, which is completely clean now, thanks to two of my roommates.  I never asked much about their college studies, but I knew they liked messing around with computers and building 'em.  It turns out that Jon and Clark are going to start their own business when they graduate at the end of this month, and they'll be sure to give me their phone number.  Jon has already seen nine (or twelve? I forget) cases of Untra Antivir2009 at his present part-time computer repair job.  They were happy to help me, and they even updated me to Microsoft Office 2007 (I had 2003 before).  Finally, all the clutter on my desktop disappeared, and I managed to fit it all into My Portfolio.  Perhaps that's also the reason it's running so much faster now.

So . . . I'm better off than before, by a great deal.  This feels like the Book of Job, where the guy loses all his wealth when God permits Satan to take it from him, then after a short while of Job's lamentation, restores him to even greater wealth than he'd had previously.  The important thing is: did I learn anything from this?  Did I?  Guess my future actions will speak for themselves.

Anyhoo, I managed to waste three minutes of your time with this jumble of words about me, me, me.  Hope you're having a good day!
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« Reply #227 on: April 21, 2009, 12:09:35 am »

Hmm, I might be fading faster than I thought.  Just before the virus attacked my computer, I was spending all of my time developing my own little fantasy world.  I say that I'm going to be an adult, and then I do this stuff two months later.  I guess old habits die hard.

Well, it's ultimately an unproductive use of my time, but it's addictive like building Legos.  I've completely finished creating my little world, from map areas & cities to character personalities.  On top of my usual character cast, I now have my own sort of Organization XIII (except there are only five of them instead of thirteen) and a couple of nameless people made: leftover unsatisfactory primary character designs.  I've got overworld sprites for every last one of them (which can face in any direction, and either "stand" or "walk"), battle sprites for any fighting scenes, and the special effects which show speed, "taking damage," magical effects, etc.  There are even Fire Emblem monsters and faceless soldiers, just in case they're needed.  In contrast to before, when I had the bare minimum amount of sprites and characters to pull off a legitimate Christmas comic, I now have a big enough cast to pull off any story.  Erm . . . any story, that is, which isn't modern times.  But if I wanted to, I could create the comic strip version of M.A.G.I.C. Number.  Seriously, I've gone so far as to sprite "young" versions of Kenta, Valtor, Darius, and Hakujou (whom I've renamed "Silvero"; I can't keep using such a blatantly Japanese name in the middle of Europe).

Why did I do this?  Perhaps it goes back to sixth grade.  When I was still the new kid and nobody wanted to be friends with me, I turned emo and began to deafen my ears to the world.  I'd make comics- stacks of them- during the many times in my day when there were gaps between learning.  The problem was, my art sucked.  I didn't have the patience to keep drawing the same guy over and over again for every new strip, but it was necessary if I wanted to retain the fake little world I'd created.  So I got VERY good at making very sucky character drawings.  In them, I self-identified.

Then along came the two biggest obsessions in my life, anime and the Internet.  I rejoiced and sorrowed at the beauty of Japanese manga-style art, and at the raw talent posed by some of the contributors to DeviantArt.  How I wanted to be as good as them . . . how I wanted to bring my abstract characters into the visual realm, just as I'd imagined them.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the necessary talent to ever be an expert at manga.  Believe me, I've tried many times.  So I did the next best thing, and borrowed.  I took Fire Emblem sprites, edited them like a madman, and substituted anything I couldn't do myself (such as eyes and wrinkles in clothing).

And finally, I had it.  Authentic-looking characters at last.  But they alone weren't enough, because a true character cast is distingushed by the fact that there are others, those people in the background who never take the spotlight, the nameless pedestrians who make the main characters special.  There are other characters to spend screen time on, but the main characters get the focus because they are worthy.  Not because there's nobody else.  There's a little variation everywhere you look.  Hell, I've even got a gay guy.  There's some realism for you.

There's no preparation work left to do.  Unless I want to add a guest character to my collection, I'm ready to make anything.  You know you're ready when you've already started adding guests like Link, Sephiroth, and Sonic the Hedgehog.  As if that's not believable enough, I've even put in two guests from the real world.  Guess who they are.  Go on, guess.  Cover up the screen and give it a shot.  You ready?  The two additions from the real world are Jesus and me.  I haven't a clue what I plan to do with Jesus yet, but I'm putting myself into that world as another face in the crowd.  I'm not going to give myself any powers, my characters aren't going to recognize me, and I'll get maybe 1% screen time, if that.

All I really have to do now is decide what to name the world.  It's a fictional universe, but it also happens to be thirteenth-century Austria.  Perhaps it really should just stay what it is today- the city of Graz.  Who's going to compare the modern version to how it was over six hundred years ago?  Like I said, everything's completely ready to go.  Here's the problem: I have a bunch of crap due for college, and I've got an entire book and a half of M.A.G.I.C. Number left to write.  In spite of the burning to share MY little world with everyone I come in contact with, there are so many other things to do first.  Yeah, same problem from five months ago.

However, I may just get rolling anyway.  There are three major motivations for getting a story out.  For one thing, school's almost done for me.  By the first of May, I'll be home with nothing to distract me but farmwork, at least until it's time to go back to Camp Ligonier.  Secondly, I've gone too long without being active in Aisenfield, and it's high time to pull my weight.  I want to contribute something to this board's reputation!  And finally, like I said, everything for a webcomic is ready.  I've got at least three plots prepared in my mind for the storyline, but Overlords' Reign is still at the forefront.  The only possible lack of preparation on my part is the fact that only four Aisenfielders are actually in the comic.  That would be me, Terak, Tyren, and Picard.  No Renn, no CM, no DT, no Bibliophile, etc.  I just hadn't planned for anybody else . . . maybe because I hadn't known them well enough on Crater.  I dunno.

Anyway, I'd better go to bed now.  This post isn't a bluff- there's a serious likelihood that you'll be seeing much more from me, come early May.  In any of my upcoming daydreams, I'll be going over the finer plot details of whatever story's on the way.

See you later . . .
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« Reply #228 on: April 21, 2009, 01:02:31 am »

Quote from: K
I've got at least three plots prepared
Quote from: CM (paraphrased)
jesus murphy i can't think of cool storylines to save my life
Quote from: K
I want to contribute something to this board's reputation!
Quote from: CM (paraphrased again)
jesus murphy i need some hot young talent on the aisengame front
Quote from: K
no CM
Quote from: CM (paraphrased round 3)
jesus murphy what am i going to do with all this extra CM

Kenta. You gotta team up with me, right now. In return, I'll whitewash your problems so hard you'll never have to think about college again!

Honestly, though, you and I gotta collaborate someday - or, at the very least, I gotta plunder all your plot ideas. Give me a shout sometime, dawg.
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suıɐɯop ʇuǝıqɯɐ ʎןɥbıɥ ɹǝɥʇo puɐ ǝɔuɐuosǝɹ ɔıʇɐɯoɹɥɔuɐd pǝssǝɹdǝp-ןɐpǝd uı ɹoıʌɐɥǝq uosɹǝd-ʇɹoɥs ɟo ǝɔuɐɔıɟıubıs ǝɥʇ pǝɹǝpuod 'uoıʇɐɔıɟıpoɯ ɹǝɥʇɹnɟ ǝuobɹǝpun buıʌɐɥ 'bop ɐ 'uʎןǝʌǝ
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« Reply #229 on: April 21, 2009, 10:27:06 pm »

Hiya, CM.  I've re-opened my MSN messenger after weeks of neglect.  I'll be sending you a PM, and afterwards you can tell me what you think.  Try not to puke.  I get real egotistical whenever I do stuff like this.  It's all part of the Asperger's Syndrome.

EDIT: On a sidenote, I just found the greatest adrenaline rush on YouTube.

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« Reply #230 on: April 22, 2009, 07:16:21 pm »

Damn that guy's good at Sonic.
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Xavier, making it rain on dem ho's XD. Credit to CM for the win pic.

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"Only through struggle, have I found rest, but with a piece of me taken away. Remove from me this deception, that I called love" ~ As I Lay Dying
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« Reply #231 on: August 27, 2012, 08:13:08 pm »

I'm not trying to start up the blog again, or anything.  I just found this while I was going through some old computer files.  I thought you might get a kick out of it, but I didn't know where else to put it.  Just something from 2006 that never got off the ground.


Nostalgia trip over.  Back to work.
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« Reply #232 on: August 31, 2012, 01:37:40 pm »

i remember laughing pretty hard at spoink muffins back in the day. good times.

how's life, old pal?
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suıɐɯop ʇuǝıqɯɐ ʎןɥbıɥ ɹǝɥʇo puɐ ǝɔuɐuosǝɹ ɔıʇɐɯoɹɥɔuɐd pǝssǝɹdǝp-ןɐpǝd uı ɹoıʌɐɥǝq uosɹǝd-ʇɹoɥs ɟo ǝɔuɐɔıɟıubıs ǝɥʇ pǝɹǝpuod 'uoıʇɐɔıɟıpoɯ ɹǝɥʇɹnɟ ǝuobɹǝpun buıʌɐɥ 'bop ɐ 'uʎןǝʌǝ
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« Reply #233 on: September 01, 2012, 03:41:32 pm »

Life is good at the moment.  It's bound to spiral out of control in the near future, but I'm almost used to that by now.  I hope you're still pulling through okay.
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« Reply #234 on: September 02, 2012, 05:43:01 am »

Nice to hear that you're well, outside of RPing, because my school work is pretty tough, so I haven't been able to write as much as I would've liked to.

...And bugging Tyren to post, because he's already got the ideas down, just that he's always too distracted to type them down.

Truth to be told, I don't exactly have a specific route of any sort for Kenta and Saphiel's gang to take, mostly because I wanted to see where you'd have wanted to go with it (like that bit where you went with Corey last time). I understand I haven't been providing an ample amount of information for you to work with for the Vortex World as well, so it's largely my fault. I'll try to list some of them down (or whatever I can think of) at the end of my next post or something if I can, but if you've anything you'd like cleared up, just ask me.
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« Reply #235 on: October 17, 2012, 10:00:49 pm »

When is the glass blower going to make an appearance in your posts, huff-puff?
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« Reply #236 on: June 10, 2017, 10:51:56 pm »

So I've been-

*Pauses, checks date of last entry- 2012*

Huh.

So I've been thinking about RPing lately, due to the deja vu effect of returning to my parents' house to help with farm chores.  Here in my original home, things feel much the same as they did five years ago, causing my mind to drift back to how things were then.  Aisenfield roleplays were a repeating theme. I thought back to 2008 (I think it was 2008), before Oblivion's Joy took root, to a card deck battle system that I'd dreamed up, and Terak helped iron out. It's a shame we never got to try that system out, because it would have added an uncertainty factor to the outcome of any story. I was planning on using it someday when I had an in-depth world planned out with its own history and everything.  That's what Revolutionary Kindle was supposed to be: a sort of Middle-Earth, or Last Airbender world. I'd be back when I had it all worked out, and then I'd host an RPG worthy of the old times when we were barely out of high school.

Buuuut it never worked out. I'd always get distracted by substitute teaching work (now actual teaching work), shows on Netflix, pokemon games, a line of obsessions (Markiplier horror games, Subnautica, Pathfinder), read-alouds of novels, and most often, the seasonal peaks and troughs of life, none of which prioritized writing. Perhaps it is because of all my self-indulgence into nerd culture that I've convinced myself that I'll never be as creative as those guys who write up SCPs, the ones who compiled the Dungeons & Dragons bestiary, or the writers of such epic fantasies as Kingkiller Chronicle, Beyonders, Type-MOON novels, and whatever else gets lots of Deviant fanart on their behalf.

(Where is this post going?  It seems to be little more than a ramble.  "Thinking Out Loud" was right.)

With so much legitimately good stuff out there competing for the love of the culture, anything I could bring forth would be like one more flavor in an already-rich soup, subtle and unnecessary. Even so, I am a creator. I make things. Therefore, in these past five years, I figured I would pay tribute to my favorites that have established themselves. I created two webcomics of the online Pokemon game PokeMMO, and one based upon a favorite book of mine, Prophet of Doom. These, combined with comics I've made in the past, culminate to well over a thousand pages. I did a Let's Play of Final Fantasy 8, which I consider grossly underrated since it happened to come after the ever-celebrated 7. As mentioned above, I did read-alouds of two Pokemon fan novels that are ten hours each, and am currently working on two more. The feedback I have received on these projects has been bare-bones minimal, and I find that disappointing. Perhaps that's for the better though; if I suddenly gained a fanbase, there would be an expectation- indeed, an obligation- to keep producing more. I don't have the discipline to be consistent, and that is a MUST when creating content. I did finally finish my story "Corrupt Authority," but only after an eight-year hiatus. Maybe an encouraging fanbase would have made me more disciplined and gotten me through sooner, but it turns out that I finish things anyway, for love of the craft. I don't half-ass it either; I make it as good as I know how to. But . . . why did I get through these projects, and not one of my own entirely original design?

Perhaps I had hope that the previous stuff had all gotten credible recognition already, and one day would again. FF8 was one of Playstation's "Greatest Hits," PokeMMO is massively popular, and both "Kaze no Kaeru" and "Making My Way" were Reader's Choice Awarded fanfics on The Pokemon Tower fanfiction site.  But Craig Winn's "Prophet of Doom" was a relatively obscure online book, and I probably put more time into that one than all the other projects put together. Maybe these were the things that I fixated upon the most throughout my life.  I've gone through Prophet of Doom about a dozen times, probably more through Final Fantasy 8, and I've played through PokeMMO at least fifty runs.  Buuuuut I've only read the two Pokemon fanfics twice before devoting about a hundred hours to making them audio books with music and sounds. I notice that most of my projects were Pokemon, but again, why did POD and FF8 make it?  Perhaps I think that I'm being noble by promoting something greater than myself, such as the fight against fundamental Islam and the push to put Final Fantasy 8 back into the spotlight . . . but that can't be right, because I'm being super self-indulgent presently and turning "Corrupt Authority," my own Pokemon fan novel, into an audiobook. (I could say that I'm doing it to promote my all-time favorite pokemon trainer, Kenta . . . but the Kenta of my story deviates too far from the character portrayed in the Raikou movie.)

I'm not even sure why I'm typing this, or why I'm doing it here. Perhaps I thought some old friends would read it, and have some outside perspective to offer. Thinking this makes me feel like a hypocrite though, because I've never read anyone else's blog here, except for a couple quick peeks. "Hey, you, come here and care about my first-world problems, even though I can't be arsed to comment on yours."

***

Why did I originally come here to post, now . . . ?  Oh, yeah.  I wasn't even planning on typing all that. I was going to talk about villains in roleplays and co-authored stories.  I've meditated on it while hay bailing for my father, and I'm starting to think that a good roleplay is largely contingent upon an interesting and personal badguy.  Back on Pokemon Crater and Suikoden Survival/Revival, everyone's favorite thing to do in an RPG seemed to be simply joining it, and adding their character profiles. (This has to do with the villain thing, I just need to set it up.) For a while, I thought that joining profiles were simply a way of anchoring yourself in the story, and getting a foothold before deciding how you wanted to proceed.  It is, but . . . it's also necessary for determining how each member's character is expected to be portrayed and interact with other characters that aren't theirs. People would often get touchy about how their characters would get used (usually mishandled), which would be understandable in a forum of mostly insecure amateurs who have invested much of their real selves into their fictional sprites. It's understandable, but that's not how I think it was meant to be. I think the greater point of the joining profile is to offer one's character for use to the other RPG participants, in a spirit of good faith that everyone will follow the guidelines you set down. Even if they slip up, relaxing and surrendering to others' molding of your character adds a little flavor.

Okay, so the villain . . . get someone who everyone has a personal grudge against, and everyone, no matter their differences, unites under the common goal of kicking his ass.  How to go about doing that?  I really like the concept of an enemy who can set you against yourself (probably because I have a selfish nature).  I imagine this would be the sort of person who, when he steps on peoples' heads in his quest for power, wipes his feet on their faces on the way. It would be a guy who gets sadistic pleasure out of destroying others' lives: not carelessly in pursuit of some greater end, but deliberately, so that their pain is an end to itself. Rather than a cockroach to be squashed, you are a firefly to be captured in a jar, and shaken roughly when you stop producing light. And THIS is why the joining profile is so important: the villain needs proper insight into the characters to be the best personal nuisance he can be. Anyone can kill anyone's parents or girlfriend or whatever. But with proper attention to a character joining profile, a chameleon villain can be very creative.

Of course, it still has to be a smart villain, because someone who just hurts people for no reason is unrealistic and shallow.  So at risk of utterly spoiling what might be something great, here's what I propose.  In a world where genie-demons (jinn) exist, an obsessive man sets out to find one, and ends up trading places with it. Basically, he's a proud guy who wants to be a god, and is therefore subject to no standard of morality but his own. But rather than being bound to an object (think: genie lamp), as part of his jinn contract, he becomes bound to his word. Said another way, once he says he will do something, it takes precedence over everything else on his mind, so that he cannot take any action that does not directly aid in fulfilling his oath. Despite being a slave to his word, he gains about as much power as a former mortal can obtain: he no longer ages, needs to sleep, eat, or breathe, and in addition to a couple other powers that mortals take for granted (somewhat including time/space manipulation), he has the capability of granting limited wishes. Naturally, being a proud entity who desires praise, grants wishes, and is reliably a "man" of his word, he attracts a lot of attention- though he is usually only found when he wants to be.  As time and death are no longer limiting factors that give his life precious value (or the lives of others), he becomes whimsical with age, doing more and more radical things to sate his curiosity about the world. Typically, these come in the form of social experiments. For instance, he may study a rich person and a poor person at length, then cause their wealth statuses to switch just to see how they react.  Or he might accumulate twenty dogs of the same breed and temperament and kill them in twenty different ways, just to note any subtle differences in how the light leaves their eyes. As a favorite technique, against those he considers "enemies," he steals their DNA and creates clones of them with certain personality designs in mind (but always gender-swapped).

The coolest features with this villain, I think, are the personal ones. He may not have deliberately f#$%ed you over at first, but once you make it your mission to get payback, he's pleased to get to know you and make you a toy. The whole "you fighting your gender-swapped self" thing is particularly intriguing to me, since you'd know your own character best, and fighting another "you" would make for a close and interesting scenario. And then there's the whole "this guy has the ability to grant wishes" thing, which, if you can outsmart his centuries of wisdom, guarantees its granting if you can just get him to say he'll do it. What would you wish for?  What would it reveal about you?

I feel like villains are hard to make great, because at their core, they are almost always apathetic, proud, and/or misguided (including crazy).  This makes their motives overly simplistic. The Three Dark Lords (Vader, Sauron, and Voldemort) all demanded obedience and submission. Heartless Ansem would always yell "SUBMIT!" when you fought him in Kingdom Hearts. Every Disney villain ever could live by the motto "It's all about me." The fallen hero from Tales of Symphonia, Mithos Yggdrasil, was a bit more interesting in his complexity, but in the end still proved to be so single-minded that he was incapable of listening to reason.  Even the ones who consider themselves "good guys" are constantly seeking to remake the world, because "humanity so so fallen and incorrigible," blah, blah, blah (think: League of Shadows, the Silent Hill Cult, Gilgamesh from Fate/Stay Night). Actually, Gilgamesh is a lot like the villain character I was thinking about above, only much less interested in lowly mortal dogs.

Anyway, uh . . . I said a lot more than I meant to, bit off more than I could chew, took three hours to make what was originally meant to be a 20-minute post. I don't know what I'll do with this. There's too much different stuff here to sum up in short, and my mind's now officially sleep-deprived. Time to fix that.
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« Reply #237 on: June 12, 2017, 08:24:46 am »

Heyo, Kenta. It's fine to ramble here. It's not like this forum has anything more to it these days apart from seeing old friends, right? I feel that what you wrote could've been something great for me back when I still roleplayed in forums, but it's unfortunate that I no longer do so. I do think that villains are what can make or break a story, and I have seen underwhelming villain after villain come and go in the Marvel movies, which are mostly propped up by the charisma of their heroes.

This is partly why Civil War is so great, because the villain is not someone "apathetic, proud, and/or misguided" (okay, maybe he's quite misguided). He would have been a protagonist in an anti-hero movie, like The Punisher or something, seeking out vengeance for the oversight of some group of popular heroes. His motive was pretty simple, but his process to go about doing it is atypical of a Marvel movie villain, attacking the heroes on a personal level instead of exchanging physical blows. The Joker from the Dark Knight is also another shining example to me, with his motive of trying to prove to Batman that humans are all just as ugly as him inside, while trying to show Batman that they are two sides of the same coin. Even Gilgamesh, as you have mentioned, despite all his immense power, he often sits back from the action and influences those around him instead, depending on his whimsy.

Still, I think it's fine to have a villain with simple motives, as long as the author knows how to pull it off effectively. I have recently caught up on the manga "Boku no Hero Academia", and there was something really interesting about the Big Bad and the Mentor figure. Spoilers below if you intend to read the story:

*SPOILERS*
They had previously fought to near-death, and now both of them are trying to pass on their powers and ideals to the next generation, making them battle in their stead. The Big Bad is extremely powerful, surpassed only by the Mentor figure, but for the little screen time he had, much like the Joker, he drilled into the psyche of his bitter rival, the Mentor figure. The person that the Big Bad wanted to pass on his power to is also an interesting figure; an immature, deranged brat trying to find his way, his goal in life, just like the main character of the manga. This newer generation villain has his fair share of failures, and he constantly learned from them, slowly building himself up to be someone not to be reckoned with. At the same time, our protagonist is also doing the same, and it is an interesting parallel to see the both of them become the next generation of hero and villain. For a story about heroes and villains, where the lines are drawn so clearly like a cliche, it is a very enjoyable read.
*END SPOILERS*

Anyway, I also think it's fine if you're working on projects that stem from other works, as long as you enjoy it, unless you are really trying to be a professional writer and publish something that isn't Fifty Shades of Grey.
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