“In the year 2675, intergalactic exploration has reached new heights. Alien species commingle between solar systems in matters of science, trade, military, and socialization. Higashi Yumi has grown up within this world and is pursuing a degree in interstellar archaeological sciences when the discovery is made: an abandoned solar system on the outskirts of explored space. A series of unfortunate events sees Yumi and two of her closest friends settled aboard the Argo, an exploratory vessel manned by various species all working to uncover the same truth; what exactly happened in this lonesome system? The Argo brings opportunity to meet many new faces, both unendingly kind and standoffish. Can a ragtag group of newcomers handle the pressure of galactic exploration into what is basically uncharted space? And when disaster strikes, can they come together, or will the secrets they seek to uncover tear them apart?”
-Synopsis, Argo 2675
Scott over at Mechanical Anime Reviews and I have had our fair share of anime discussions (both recorded and unrecorded), but it became clear early on that, while there is a good deal of overlap (FMA/B and BNHA, anyone?), he and I generally have quite different tastes in anime. Having known this since ages before Innominate became a thing (and guys, it’s such a fun thing!) and having overcome my shock that he doesn’t love Fruits Basket (the horror!!), I started wondering if there stood the possibility for a show which would exemplify both of our favorite genres. Okay, that was wordy, so what do I mean?
I’m a sparkly shoujo (hence the alias), and Scott is all about that sci-fi (and the Batman-Superman Adventures, but we align on this as well). We both enjoy shows that fall outside of those genres, too, but can there exist a title that remains stereotypically faithful to our favorite genres yet which BOTH of us could love?
Well, hold onto your hats, folks, because we’re about to create one! That’s right; behold below a Sci-fi and Sparkles collaboration as we take some time to create an anime from the ground up with the potential to be a favorite to us both. 🙂 This is part one!
Shoujo: Okay, so if we’re going to create an anime, it’s probably important to lay some groundwork. Setting might accrue some tension between the genres. I’ve never exactly seen a “shoujo in space.” (Just wait, some reader will know of a reverse harem in space and I’ll suddenly fall in love with science fiction. :P) Where shall we center our characters?
Why does it say you’re “anonymous duck?” That’s hilarious. (Sorry. I’ll get rid of this later lol)
Scott: (I think that is because I’m on my phone at the moment. That is pretty funny though.)
I’ve never seen a shoujo in space, but the Macross franchise is built out of romances in space. Haven’t heard of a space reverse harem before either, but that sounds like a pretty fun idea. I feel like I am going to ask a lot of specific questions, so that might be annoying. (Sorry in advance.) Do you think we should have this centered around the Earth’s solar system or should we just make up planets and stuff?
I can’t say for sure what would be best, but I think I’d feel more able to relate if it involved Earth’s solar system and/or focused on Earth in general. I’ve never seen Macross, but I adored Planetes for its well-developed characters and romance that, while focal, didn’t distract from the show’s other aspects.
(I love Planetes too! Oh man, are the characters great, and I love how everything is close to being scientifically accurate. But anyway…)
I’m probably going to ask a lot of questions too, but that’s okay! We’re gonna have to learn from each other, after all. Speaking of, I’m unsure as to the usual tone of a sci-fi anime. Shoujo can be funny or serious (it feels like I’m talking in 3rd person?? lol), but I think the ones that concentrate on being dramatic with just enough comic releaf… why can’t I spell? RELIEF… are the usually the best. That’s just my opinion, though.
A science fiction series’ tone can be all over the place as well. Most seem to be pretty hard and dramatic, but there are plenty of strange things that happen in a science fiction which could push everything in the funny and weird direction. Meshing the two together should be a pretty easy idea.
OH! I know where we can start! What if we both make a short list of potential sci-fi/shoujo must-haves? Then we can go through the lists and kind of mold our anime to their specifications before we get into the details? (O.O)
(Oh, my gosh, Scott. Now you’re anonymous–I can’t spell–JACKAL)
That sounds like a great idea. Definitely a good starting of point.
You wanna kick this off, or shall I?
Would going back and forth be ok, or would that make this a little too jumbled? Maybe that’s a bad idea. How about you go first?
I’m good however you want to do it. Okay, I have something.
WAIT. OKAY, so we might end up having to edit this for clarity, but WHAT IF we just ask each other genre-specific questions. Like Scott, my first question for you is this: most shoujo either features deep friendships between boys OR is a romance/reverse harem, but not both. What would you rather our anime have?
Personally, I am leaning towards the romance/reverse harem route myself because it feels like there are more elements to play with when it comes to this. Fun space backgrounds for members of the supposed reverse harem and other sorts of things would make it interesting.
Ok, my question for you is about different alien races. Some science fiction are just standard human only, others have alien races that are just generally human with different colored skin tone like blue and green, while some others have that weird alien forehead thing. Is there one that you would prefer?
Truth time, aliens terrify me. 😛 I wouldn’t mind some very… VERY humanoid aliens, though. Even better if the…oh, wait. Okay. First we should decide on this: if we go the reverse harem route, it can be mostly rom-com OR a romantic drama with comedic dashes. Also, do we want the anime to have a “true route” wherein the main timeline leaves room for viewers to have their favorites, but ultimately the obligatory female MC ends up with the true-pairing? I propose the latter of both between a human and an alien, maybe? Of course, I’m down for other options, too!
(I’m dying. This has the potential for SO MUCH ANGST GJHSPOUHD:GOIS)
(Sorry, better now.)
OOOOOOOOOH. I had no idea. Ok, definitely leaning heavily towards very human aliens with just different skin colors then.
Ok, maybe we can lean towards a romantic drama with comedy stuff? Also, I feel like we should do something cool like having our romantic heroine be an awesome ace pilot when it comes to a space fighter and then give the reverse harem different roles on a ship or something. Might lean towards one true route with other routes open. I think I might be pushing too far with that. What kind of role do you think our heroine could be; like an engineer, captain, nurse, pilot, or something else I am not thinking of?
I love love LOVE the idea of them all having different roles on a ship!! It creates so much possible interaction!! And I’m down with her having almost any position on the crew, but I think we should keep her kind of Cardia-eqsue (Code Realize) wherein she’s capable and fully fleshed out, but also has weaknesses that she has to face with the help of her love interests. (Like, she can save them too, but I’m a sucker for the prince on a white horse thing. So many heart-tingles.) Snow White with the Red Hair struck a nice balance, too, yeah? But it was a little light on the heart tingles. Hiiro no Kakera was too, but I digress. Anyway, what should their bishounen-level be? If we’re sticking to comedy as a very important aside, then I’d image we’d use level 3 and up? Usually anything below that falls into “so bad it’s good” territory.
Also, if I’m trying to shoujo-fy this too much, just let me know! We should make something we both would love, after all! (^^)b
(This is a bishounen level.)
Oh no, that isn’t shoujo-fying this too much for me at all. From what I read from your link, I think bishonen level three and up would be what we should aim for. And here is my crazy idea for all of this that just came into my head based on the Snow White with the Red Hair idea. Maybe this ship could be a treasure hunting ship, and we could have our heroine be the one of a few archaeologists on its voyage, and the plot could be that they get into more and more trouble with space pirates or something as our ship goes into heavier territory that adds some drama going on. I don’t know, that just jumped into my head.
YAS! I LOVE IT!
I am about to totally ruin this because I have no self-control. I keep typing things and then deleting them! Okay, so I love that idea. Okay, okay. Okay.
No, no you are not Shoujo. I think this is turning out pretty good!
This reminds me of Firefly. So, our heroine (Age what? Can they be young adults, please?) is an archaeologist aboard an expeditionary ship searching for ___________ on various planets. Oh! What if they’re exploring a small adjacent-to-the-“true route” love interest’s solar system that archaeological finds indicate was once fully inhabited but has since gone dead? They’re looking for clues as to what went on and why no one lives on these planets anymore! What could cause a mass-exodus or extinction like that? That’s what they try to discover! Then, as they move further away from society, they begin to have encounters with mysterious “pirate” ships seemingly bent on thwarting their harmless plans! As this goes on, the MC (human?) struggles with the help of the crew (mostly men, but with a close girl side character, too!) to figure out what’s behind all this and if the mysterious figures have anything to do with the empty system, deals with homesickness, and comes to terms with growing feelings? DRAMA-MYSTERY-SCIFI-SUSPENSE-ROMANCE?
Yes, I definitely would like these characters to be young adults? Maybe around 21 or something so they are legally able to drink? That could also provide some more interesting interactions as well.
Yes, the obligatory drinking episode is a must.
I love your plot. Are these ruins that are attached to the true route’s story in some way like he could be secretly from this location somehow or his parents were from it and he secretly has clues on what went down? And also yeah, maybe he knows about these pirates in some way. Oh, this could definitely be a mixed alien race sort of archaeological journey, but we could definitely have our heroine be a human. Maybe she is part of a journey that women rarely take part in, but she and one of her classmates from college and a couple others from who knows where made it onto the ship and formed some kind of bond. This is getting good, Shoujo!
I WOULD WATCH THIS! Okay, so our true-route main love interest! Can he be a deep-voiced, mysterious, bi-species (think Spock, but of course not Spock), tsundere angst ball conflicted because he knows more than he lets on but who would do ANYTHING for our heroine even if she doesn’t know it and is all around terrible at communicating (his feelings and otherwise)? 😀 I’m a sucker for a good kuudere/tsun-tsun! Plus, this can feed into the whole “he secretly has clues as to what went down” rational. Like, maybe he’s half human/some other alien species and half-pirate species or whatever type of alien that lived in the now abandoned system. Also, the college idea is brilliant because it allows for a functionally large crew but a small character focus for the anime (as our main cast would all be these college kids, except maybe main love interest because he knows too much for that). I truly wish I could watch this!
I would watch it too, and I like how everything is connecting so well. Especially with the main love interest being who he is because that makes complete sense to me. Plus the sense of ship life is solid as well. This is all fantastic stuff that we should get paid for for coming up with. What do you think the other routes should be? I can picture one of the routes of the more dramatic kind being one of the fighter pilots, because a ship going out on its own would need some security if it’s getting more heavily involved in the conflict of fighting the pirates. That’s pretty classic. Not much else is clicking together in my head at this moment. What are some others that you can think of?
OOOH!! I got it!! What about this for our reverse-harem cast:
- fighter pilot– energetic, loud, boyish and enthusiastic with a good heart who tends to be a little short sighted, messy hair, alien
- ship security guard– dandere, shy, built like a wall, hard eyes that grow soft when he looks at the herione, wears a lot of tank tops and cargo pant/boot combos, human
- ship electrical mechanic– dirty coveralls! the med bay kuudere looks down on him because he’s had less formal education, but he’s super smart and capable! nondescript looks, but still handsome, likes basketball, bi-species
- med bay nurse– female alien whose species LITERALLY sparkles. A comedic character for the most part who still pulls her plot weight! Her skin is probably pink and she’s the MC’s best friend. short curly hair and big eyes! When the non-main cast male ship crew hit on her, she knocks them out because she’s super strong!
- med bay doctor– kuudere, megane, loves to collect and apply information, doesn’t always get along with everyone else, but fighter pilot tends to play peacekeeper and for some reason really likes him, human
- Mechanical engineer– MAIN LOVE INTEREST (I like this because he can disappear from the rest of our main cast for periods of time under the guise of working on various mechanical portions of the ship.)
- military police officer with the nearest inhabited galaxy– constantly throwing a wrench into the group’s plans; the outlier love interest for those viewers who like things unexpected, alien
I feel like I just created children?? Did Wataru (Cheer Boys) just get siblings? Maybe!
That’s going to be all for part 1! Please take a look at Scott’s blog for part 2 and more world creation! Please let us know what you think of our new anime!
Love, Peace, Geese,
(Glorious image saved by leila.ismail on Pinterest, but I didn’t see artist credit. I’ll keep looking.)