Yesterday, my post ran quite long. I nearly cut the CLAMP-dissing convention story, but then just decided to leave it. Instead, I curbed my usual efforts to include all pertinent story information and used a briefer style to explain the premise. Which I liked.
This girl collapses, her soul fractured. Her best guy friend (unspoken love) pays a time-space witch to help him travel to different worlds to get back the pieces of her soul. The power to travel comes at a price–no matter how many soul pieces (memories) they get back, she will never again remember him. Travel is accomplished through the use of a magical creature. Two other men also request this travelling power of the witch for their own purposes–one needs to stay on the move, while the other just wants to get back to his own world. After taking their payment, she convinces them to travel together.
That’s where the story starts. They just wreck it later.
The Hero’s Journey came up in comments, which made me think. My first reaction was to be kind of bemused, since I hadn’t noticed any Joseph Campbell worship in this story. Manga tends to follow the Dragonball-video-game progression of the hero. Level up, get stronger, become the best. The end. Zarking fardwarks, even Yakitate Japan follows this style of hero growth. There’s no call to adventure, there is “I wanna be the best Pokemon trainer, let’s battle in successive gyms until we get cancelled.”
My second reaction was, well, there are steps, so let’s have a look. I could be wrong. Let’s say that Syaoran is the hero. Spoilers ahoy, probably. They’re actually pretty funny spoilers, taken out of context.
- Ordinary World: This step refers to the hero’s normal life at the start of the story, before the adventure begins.
- Call to Adventure: The hero is faced with something that makes him begin his adventure. This might be a problem or a challenge he needs to overcome.
- Refusal of the Call: The hero attempts to refuse the adventure because he is afraid.
- Meeting with the Mentor: The hero encounters someone who can give him advice and ready him for the journey ahead.
- Crossing the First Threshold: The hero leaves his ordinary world for the first time and crosses the threshold into adventure.
- Tests, Allies, Enemies: The hero learns the rules of his new world. During this time, he endures tests of strength of will, meets friends, and comes face to face with foes.
- Approach: Setbacks occur, sometimes causing the hero to try a new approach or adopt new ideas.
- Ordeal: The hero experiences a major hurdle or obstacle, such as a life or death crisis.
- Reward: After surviving death, the hero earns his reward or accomplishes his goal.
- The Road Back: The hero begins his journey back to his ordinary life.
- Resurrection Hero – The hero faces a final test where everything is at stake and he must use everything he has learned.
- Return with Elixir: The hero brings his knowledge or the “elixir” back to the ordinary world, where he applies it to help all who remain there.
- Fairly common at the beginning of any story. Romance, comedy, horror. Whatever.
- I guess Sakura losing her soul bits could be a call to adventure.
- Not remotely. The time-space witch explains the problem, how to fix it, and really lays it on thick just how much it will cost Syaoran. He doesn’t even hesitate, just says, “I’ll do it.” Kid never wavers, either.
- Do these have to come in order? Because a character does become a mentor in fighting much, much, much later. Before that, he’s just that guy over there.
- Many, many thresholds are crossed.
- Every time, they have to learn the rules. This is what I think of as montage time in the movies, personally. But it happening over and over, and kind of being the point, I don’t think you can montage it.
- Hmm. It’s revealed that Syaoran is blind in one eye, and learns to sense people so that he can fight better. It doesn’t come up all that much after a certain point. It’s just sort of something he can do now.
- There are lots of these. Syaoran is a clone, the original takes his place after the clone eats someone’s eye and becomes a destroyer of worlds, then Sakura turns out to be a clone, she abandons them for some reason I never understood, then both clones die, they find out that Fai has been in with the enemy all along, Kurogane has to cut off his own arm because of reasons, Syaoran broke the logic of the entire universe and now people are melting if they leave the time loop…
- Rewards do not tend to happen. After each ordeal, they can only plateau back to Mostly Okay until something else bad happens. Sometimes they don’t even have time to be okay. I guess relaxing in Nihon Country for a while might count.
- They return to Clow Country, but that’s glazed over. Drama drama drama resolution of drama, oh now we’re home.
- Resurrection Hero could refer to how the conflict is resolved, but the again, the order is throwing this all off.
- No elixir. He goes home and then almost immediately leaves.
Seriously, Syaoran’s reward is to learn that his father is actually his own clone, and the girl his loves is a younger version of his mother. Also, his parents are stuck in him and Sakura somehow, so he wants to go back to finding the soul bits and also some bodies. So… they get to the end only to realise that the beginning was the best part anyway.
And long post! ffffffff