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16 August 2016 @ 12:57 pm
On Writing 06: Exploring a New Fandom  
It's been two months since I wrote anything in this journal, particularly when it comes to my writing. However, I'd take my absence here as a sign of productivity because I've been writing fics constantly in those last two months instead, and not just in the xxxHOLIC fandom at that. I actually started writing in the Fate/Stay Night fandom as early as April with a story entitled Freedom in Chains focusing on the pairing of Kirei Kotomine and Gilgamesh. Without realizing it, I managed to write three more stories about them (one was a oneshot, the other was a possible multi-chaptered fic while the next had already three chapters so far). I decided to take a break with all four of these stories (and the two ongoing xxxHOLIC ones, Entwined Hearts and Other Glands and Queasy, Teasy and Nothing Easy) to work on a major fic that ultimately spanned for ten chapters (with 115, 293 words in total) called Little Broken Things and Sad Trinkets.

For my next entries on Writing, I'll tackle the FSN fandom, the pairing in question collectively known together as KotoGil and then the aforementioned fanfic itself. I may have to give more background details on
Freedom of Chains as well, but I'd focus more on Little Broken Things since that is a major work that I was very proud to accomplish. I still plan to continue writing in xxxHOLIC, of course, but I also read and review books and graphic novels so for August, I actually decided to take a short break from fanfic writing and would pick up again next month. I even scheduled the fanfics I plan to pick up and hopefully finish until January 2017.

What is Fate/Stay Night? It's a visual novel/erotic game about a typical shounen protagonist named Shirou Emiya who embarks on a quest to be a 'hero of justice'. Accompanied by three love interests for three separate story routes within the game's structure (Fate, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel), he begins to discover new things about himself and others while also having his ideals challenged especially after getting chosen to fight a war he had sworn to win for reasons that would change over the course of the said three routes. FSN is a popular game that spawned several spin-offs in light novel form, arcade game forms, and anime adaptations because of the originality of its plot that can be expanded and interpreted in many creative ways. The story is essentially about a war to win a magical wish-granting device called the Holy Grail. Mages from pureblooded families or even novices of magic with no traditional lineage but do posses the gene (or 'magic circuits' as they are called) can join this war, and they become what are called Masters. As Masters, they are granted the power to summon 'heroic spirits' that belong to seven classes (Saber, Archer, Rider, Lancer, Caster, Assasin and Berserker).

These heroic spirits are legendary heroes of the past that could fit any of these seven molds. In Fate Stay/Night, Shirou Emiya summoned the Saber class heroic servant Arthur Pendragon, King of Knights--but with a twist. The legendary hero of Camelot turned out to be biologically female (named Arturia) who pulled Excalibur from the stone and was heralded king in the expense of her personhood and gender. She is but one of many complex heroic spirits that were summoned in the Grail Wars (which officially have five in total).

There are still so many details to be discussed about the Fateverse but I won't touch upon ALL of them since what is important here is to discuss the pairing I chose to write fanfiction for and they also happen to be two of my all-time favorite characters from the fandom. My favorite spin-off of FSN is the four-volumed light novel Fate/Zero written by Gen Urobushi which got an anime adaptation in 2012. FSN becomes a mere Battle Royale/Hunger Games thing next to the breadth and quality of Fate/Zero which is more adult-oriented, a true Game of Thrones piece of writing that somewhat resembles a razor-sharp and all-consuming battle of chess where all the pieces are essential and have to be taken off the board as strategical as possible if a player hopes to claim victory in the end.

The characters I speak of have pivotal roles in FZ while they are actually the designated villains of FSN. Interestingly enough, writer Urobushi favored these characters a lot and therefore portrayed them in a more flattering light than their counterparts in FSN. FZ is more or less a prequel to FSN but undeniably a more superior story, and the character who was more intimately focused in said light novel than the rest of the ensemble cast is Kirei Kotomine. He belongs to the Catholic clergy, a man of God having a crisis of faith when Fate/Zero started, and who was assigned by his priest-father (who also happens to be an Overseer of the Grail War, a representative of the Holy Church) to study under the tutelage of Tokiomi Tohsaka, a top-tier magus of his lineage. Kirei was going to learn magic since he has the gene, and most importantly because he was summoned by the Grail itself to become a Master in the Fifth War. The plan was for Kirei to merely assist Tokiomi as an apprentice, since Kirei has no personal goals or wish to be granted by the Grail anyway. So Kirei summoned the Assassin class as his servant to aid his teacher, while Tokiomi summoned someone from the Archer class; the heroic spirit of the Mesopotamian legend, Gilgamesh.

Things would have gone the way Kirei's father and teacher have planned, but Gilgamesh as a heroic spirit and person himself was unpredictable and quite vain, having a very high opinion of himself because he believed he is the King of all creation. In this sense, he was not content about the Master he was assigned to, calling Tokiomi 'boring', as well as finding his methods and reasons to win the Holy Grail lacking and not entertaining enough. And this was when he crosses paths with Kirei one night in the priest's office. This seemingly random meeting would actually become a very vital one in the long run, fueling a series of more meetings and conversations between the two men concerning Kirei's inner conflict about his lack of personal joy and pleasure in every past endeavor he had pursued and given up on, and Gilgamesh's enligtening insights about this character flaw. Soon enough, much like the serpent of Eden, Gilgamesh seduces Kirei into a quest of self-knowledge in order for Kirei to discover for himself what kind of soul he possesses and what that soul ultimately yearns for--especially what gives it utmost pleasure.

In my next entry, I will tackle an in-depth analysis about the dynamics and engrossing interplay between these two paradoxical characters, and the reasons why I ship them so badly together.
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