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Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

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Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by MidnightPersona on Tue May 15, 2012 6:36 am

Shizuru Fujino and Natsuki Kuga. Archmeister Shizuru Viola and Gakuenchou Natsuki Kruger.

HiME. Otome. Two series with two characters that stand out. Whether we want them to or not!

Some of us have been fans of the Mai-Series for years, some just beginning, but we all know some of us saw ShizNat before anything else. But have the fans ruined ShizNat?

You see fanfictions in both canon and AU setting, you see spinning leeks and a ton of mayo and puppy ears. The question is have the fans kept true to the REAL Shizuru and Natsuki or have these imperfect yet relateable icons been twisted into something that most would consider 'perfect' and yet insufferable?

I, for one, am against how most (note I didn't say all) people write and treat ShizNat. I may be the Resident HaruKino Fanwhore, but I have a strong love for Shizuru and Natsuki and a bond I feel that should be shared and their imperfections and love and suffering that gets worked out, explored, and slowly understood by fans overtime.

I, myself, do not see the characters that I watched and grew to love in HiME/Otome in most of the fanfictions I see and dread seeing this overused and abused pairing everywhere. People forget that Shizuru Fujino and Natsuki Kuga are far from perfect. They forget that there is perfection in imperfection and to explore the issue and bond that the two formed within the series without completely abusing it... or abusing other characters while doing such.

Haruka and Yukino are abused to put Shizuru and Natsuki in a better light, especially by making Haruka a 'fool' when she is far from.

Takeda, poor guy, is made out as a pervert and unwholesome guy when he's just in the wrong place at the wrong time and has never went out of his way to violate Natsuki or her personal space.

Nao is used consistently as a ploy to put something--anything--to make the couple more interesting at times and, while at times original, makes the poor spider-girl seem to be nothing more than a pawn for ShizNat tales.

I know people whom wish other couples could be seen and heard and whom use to love Shizuru only to have the fans ruin the poor Kaichou's image with unseen and unneed edits that anyone not use to looking deeper into the series may miss and so, while easy to trick those whom love shallow tales of sex and fluff... those of us whom desire more heart and soul are left with shallow shells of what ShizNat could be.

Thoughts?

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Tue May 15, 2012 8:02 am

It only destroyed the fandom for the people who allowed ShizNat to destroy it for them. As mentioned, the ShizNat that "destroyed" the fandom is not same ShizNat that made me fall in love with them. Let me know you what I mean; here are the types of ShizNat:



^ Canon ShizNat. The ones who were genuine friends, went to Hell and back and possibly have a long lasting future together as lovers.



^ Fanon ShizNat. Leeks, Tsundere antics and rape...Ikezu!~

No matter which form of ShizNat you want to follow, it doesn't matter to me personally. ShizNat is successful as a whole because it is an attraction. If they are pulling in new fans for the sole purpose of their yuri relationship, then that only works in our favor. Eventually the curious fan will want to know about the others like Akira, Yukariko, Nina, etc. It's happened before on countless occasions, members joining for ShizNat fandom, only to end up fans of another character.

ShizNat will never hurt the fandom to me because of their selling power. Heck, most of our chain/affiliated websites are ShizNat themed like Ara Ara Oi Oi, ShizNat Webs and even Krystal of Nol's deviantART club. Only a real moron, like the former self-proclaimed leader of the Mai-Project forum, would ban ShizNat from their Mai-Series focused website. It's bad for business when you know these two are the key to a lot of other great crack pairings to discover like ShizTom. To even further the discovery of potential romance within canon, ShizNat is also the key to "what if the circumstances were different during the series" pairings like the infamous NatNao or MaiNat.

ShizNat only hurt the fandom in one way to me: deviantART. It's a bit overdone to the point of no return, but that's why we're here now. Had I pushed ShizNat to the moon, we wouldn't have so many new artworks with Midori, Alyssa and anyone else Sunrise left for us to worship. Fanon ShizNat aren't as bad as people think, it's funny seeing exaggerations/interpretations of the favorite duo from time to time. My girlfriend, GoldenSun, Krystal, even ShayP does it all the time. But yes, Raven, at the end of the day, THIS is my ShizNat:






Last edited by M.I.Y.U. Greer on Tue May 15, 2012 9:44 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by GoldenSun13 on Tue May 15, 2012 8:23 am

I have to say that I kind of agree with you here, MidPer. I have read some very well written ShizNats, both AU and within Canon but I have also read a vast majority which stray from the heart of their characters. I understand and accept certain tendencies to be OOC; especially in an AU world where the character would have been through different circumstances, therefore it would be impossible for them to be the same as the canon.
What I don't like is ShizNat being so far from their canon personalities, the only thing they have in common with their Mai 'verse counter parts are their names. Reading one Mary Sue Shizuru after another gets really old and especially if her perfection is at someone else's expense.

For Mai Hime we have Takeda, who, as you said, is made out to be the pervert or the resident ignorant man who needs to be crushed. I know we don't get to see too much of his character in the anime and when we do see him, he's got a waterfall of blood coming out his nose, but who wouldn't be "instant-bonered" after seeing some Natsuki panty?

For Mai Otome, we have Tomoe. I myself have used her as a villain in one of my AU's and to be honest, I wouldn't change that. Her psychosis which makes her both level headed and a crazy nut, and subtle smarts were perfect as a foil to my hot headed, overly confident Natsuki. What I don't like seeing, when it comes to Tomoe, is her back story being completely disregarded; her being given all the flaws because ShizNat have taken all the good traits.

The problem with Nao is, due to her special person being her Mother, her love life is a bit up in the air. This makes her the perfect wedge to put in between Shizuru and Natsuki. At the end of the day, though, according to the majority, ShizNat were meant to be so in most cases, when a Nao pairing is made, the progress of that relationship is stilted because the main aim in the authors mind is to bring ShizNat back together. Don't get me wrong, I have read quite a few good love triangles involving these three and I might be using some of Nao smexy-ness to heat things up a bit in my latest FF, but as with Tomoe and Takeda, we sometimes see no character development and that is very disappointing.

What I like to see, and try to bring up myself, is the characters inner struggles. We have Natsuki who for the last years of her life has not had anyone to depend on apart from herself. This makes her stunted in the socialising department; torn between opening up to people she trusts and wanting to be alone.
Then we have Shizuru who on the outside seems perfect in every way. Serious emphasis on the seems because on the inside she's a mess. She has this secret about herself which she must hide day in and day out; she has to carry the weight of this perfect façade her fans have placed on her (in some cases, that she has placed on herself)... it's enough to make anyone crazy, which it eventually does. When she does crack, she goes on a murderous rampage, possibly rapes the person she loves most and loses herself in the process. The people who seem to forget this and yet write a canon fic after the Carnival are seriously missing out on some good character writing.

I guess what I'll end by saying is that I know I'm not brilliant at character writing, so don't think I'm being holier than thou, these are just my thoughts and I try to stick to them as best as I can whilst writing. ShizNat are pretty much my first ever OTP, so even though I do enjoy some good fluff and PWP ever now and again; bringing out their more playful side by drawing comics and writing funny one-shots, there are times where their characters have been so completely disregarded, I have to close the FF page.

Edit: As Luu has said, if it wasn't for ShizNat, we wouldn't be here, so in some ways, the over broadcasting of ShizNat is a blessing in disguise. I wouldn't say it destroyed ShizNat though... maybe just too many chefs in the kitchen at one time.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by IlliterateKoi on Tue May 15, 2012 5:35 pm

I don't think it's possible to 'destroy' a fandom by adding to it, even if what you add isn't considered very true to the original characters. Unless that person is being a complete troll all they are really doing is adding their own spin on the characters or portraying them the way they see them. Everyone sees things differently, so obviously people will differ in how they think a character will react in certain situations.

Analysing the characters is also individual, your analysis may differ from mine considerably due to our own experiences. If you strongly identify with a character you will see more in them than someone who doesn't identify. Plus, if everyone wrote the characters in exactly the same way it would get boring very quickly.

That being said if I start reading a ShizNat fanfic and one of them grows cat/dog ears, or ends up being a vampire/werewolf, I stop reading and find something else. I have nothing against the authors of those fics, they're just not my cup of tea.

Sometimes though, let's say I'm having a bad day, an over the top 'Ara ara! Natsuki is sick? Negi timez~!' fanfic is just what I need.

I don't like Shizuru being portrayed as a perfect person who says 'Ara' at the beginning of every sentence, which is why I try and avoid writing her that way myself. I like characters to have more depth to them and I like them to be believable, which means them having imperfections and insecurities. Personally I find it harder to write for Natsuki, getting the balance right between 'badass' and 'easily embarrassed/constantly blushing' is difficult lol

I am guilty of using Nao to create tension, but Nao is one of my favourite characters so I want to have her in the story, and since my fic is ShizNat, AND I'm a NatNao fan, I can't resist lol The same thing can be said for poor Reito though, I have only ever seen him used in ShizNat fics as a plot device (guess I'm a little guilty of this one too, though not to the same extent as Nao). The difference to me is whether or not the characters being used are there purely to create drama, or if they still play a role when that particular issue has been resolved.

As for other characters/couples not getting the attention they deserve and ShizNat being shallow etc, I agree that this is oftentimes the case, however, if people really want to see other characters get more attention, or see ShizNat explored on a deeper level then what is stopping them from contributing to the fandom and making these things happen? Yes they will be out numbered, and yes they may get some ignorant people who flame them, but so what? If you want something to happen, go make it happen (this isn't directed at anyone by the way, just a general statement that applies to just about everything in life lol)

Anyway, I'm rambling and think I may have digressed a little lol Basically, no, I don't think that ShizNat has destroyed the fandom, without ShizNat the Mai series fanbase would not be so huge and I think it's given more than it's taken away. As Luu said, for a lot of people I think ShizNat is the gate way to other characters and the Mai series as a whole, I'm pretty sure that there's a lot of people out there that only watched HiME because they knew about ShizNat, but then realised that it's a kiss ass series even without the yuri goodness ;3

Now before I go off on one again: I declare this ramble over XD

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Tue May 15, 2012 11:18 pm

Vampire Orphan wrote: I don't think it's possible to 'destroy' a fandom by adding to it, even if what you add isn't considered very true to the original characters. Unless that person is being a complete troll all they are really doing is adding their own spin on the characters or portraying them the way they see them. Everyone sees things differently, so obviously people will differ in how they think a character will react in certain situations.

Analysing the characters is also individual, your analysis may differ from mine considerably due to our own experiences. If you strongly identify with a character you will see more in them than someone who doesn't identify. Plus, if everyone wrote the characters in exactly the same way it would get boring very quickly.

That being said if I start reading a ShizNat fanfic and one of them grows cat/dog ears, or ends up being a vampire/werewolf, I stop reading and find something else. I have nothing against the authors of those fics, they're just not my cup of tea.

Sometimes though, let's say I'm having a bad day, an over the top 'Ara ara! Natsuki is sick? Negi timez~!' fanfic is just what I need.

I don't like Shizuru being portrayed as a perfect person who says 'Ara' at the beginning of every sentence, which is why I try and avoid writing her that way myself. I like characters to have more depth to them and I like them to be believable, which means them having imperfections and insecurities. Personally I find it harder to write for Natsuki, getting the balance right between 'badass' and 'easily embarrassed/constantly blushing' is difficult lol

I am guilty of using Nao to create tension, but Nao is one of my favourite characters so I want to have her in the story, and since my fic is ShizNat, AND I'm a NatNao fan, I can't resist lol The same thing can be said for poor Reito though, I have only ever seen him used in ShizNat fics as a plot device (guess I'm a little guilty of this one too, though not to the same extent as Nao). The difference to me is whether or not the characters being used are there purely to create drama, or if they still play a role when that particular issue has been resolved.

As for other characters/couples not getting the attention they deserve and ShizNat being shallow etc, I agree that this is oftentimes the case, however, if people really want to see other characters get more attention, or see ShizNat explored on a deeper level then what is stopping them from contributing to the fandom and making these things happen? Yes they will be out numbered, and yes they may get some ignorant people who flame them, but so what? If you want something to happen, go make it happen (this isn't directed at anyone by the way, just a general statement that applies to just about everything in life lol)

Anyway, I'm rambling and think I may have digressed a little lol Basically, no, I don't think that ShizNat has destroyed the fandom, without ShizNat the Mai series fanbase would not be so huge and I think it's given more than it's taken away. As Luu said, for a lot of people I think ShizNat is the gate way to other characters and the Mai series as a whole, I'm pretty sure that there's a lot of people out there that only watched HiME because they knew about ShizNat, but then realised that it's a kiss ass series even without the yuri goodness ;3

Now before I go off on one again: I declare this ramble over XD

Right, exactly. I didn't bring this up before, but notice how versatile Shizuru and Natsuki are as characters? One thing you can't take away from them is their ability to be used in ANY type of story. The girls work for hentai, drama, comedy, action and family genres so well. Like Koi mentioned, reading the vast amount of ShizNat fanfics greatly depends on your mood. You can minimize the "Ara ara~ Let's stick negi up Natsuki's tush" fics all you want, you'll appreciate them the day you have a fight with your best friend over something stupid.

That's the thing about the Mai-Series and any fandom. It didn't matter if you broke up with your lover, got bad grades in school, had a family quarrel or whatever else. Funny stories or tumblr-esque crap cheered you up when you're locked away in hibernation from the cruel, cruel world. In our fandom, a lot of that funny content comes from Shizuru and Natsuki doing something over the top and kinky. You got to hand it to these two for having the ability to deliver the best kind of medicine there is: Laughter.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by shezaei-neko on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:04 am

I'll keep things short and just sharing my thoughts.

ShizuNatsu are individual characters have a lot of potential be it in the hime universe or an AU if you know how to handle them.

What I think that the 'fandom' has done with this couple in the past years is due to the lack of understanding, and why is that?
Well, because unfortunately the authors or artist (which some may be ravid yuri fans) that use ShizuNatsu in their work do not know how they are! They haven't read the manga or watch the series, and much less read all the extra material out there to try to analize them and portray them close to what they may be.
They came across them because there's so much material out there of these two that they wanted to give it a try, thus they have only read stories that do not show how Shizuru and Natsuki really are. And sadly they back-up their works with the AU and OOC argument.
I don't think it's bad if it is necessary for the plot and development of a story but please, don't overuse it.

IMO, this is what may have destroyed the couple for some.


Last edited by shezaei-neko on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:22 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:01 am

shezaei-neko wrote:I'll keep things short and just sharing my toughts.

ShizuNatsu are individual characters have a lot of potential be it in the hime universe or an AU if you know how to handle them.

What I think that the 'fandom' has done with this couple in the past years is due to the lack of understanding and why is that?
Well, because unfortunately the authors or artist (which some may be ravid yuri fans) that use ShizuNatsu in their work do not know how they are! They haven't read the manga or watch the series, and much less read all the extra material out there to try to analize them and portray them close to what they may be.
They came across them because there's so much material out there of this two that they wanted to give it a try, thus they have only read stories that do not show how Shizuru and Natsuki really are. And sadly they back-up their works with the AU and OOC argument.
I don't think it's bad if it is necessary for the plot and development of a story but please, don't overuse it.

IMO, this is what may have destroyed the couple for some.

Remember in the chatbox a few days ago? How I mentioned fans that never played Final Fantasy XIII before just blindly enter the fandom and write anything between Lightning and Fang. Leading to what a lot of fans don't favor: OOC.

I'd highly suggest to anyone to watch Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome first before pulling these two physically beautiful characters into their world. What happens in the source material is inspiring. The key to making those fanfics better. If a ShizNat is heavily OOC, then ShizNat could might as well be anyone. ^^;

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by shezaei-neko on Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:26 am

Yes exactly!
They really should watch the series first, and who knows? Maybe they'll come to ship another pairing.
And as you said Luu, it is inspiring. It really is.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by Magus Phantalus on Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:03 am

I wanted to say something amazing and profound but really you guys pretty much hit the nail on the head. Still though sturgeons law and all that when the fandom succeeds at writing for the two they really succeed. Ispiring on a multitude of levels really where the fandom is concerned for those who write for shiznat well it just goes to show how far the flegling fanfic author such as myself still has left to go.

One day I hope to write for shiznat in a way that has moved me like such stories as Mai Kisaki written by Ange Sinistre.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:42 pm

shezaei-neko wrote:Yes exactly!
They really should watch the series first, and who knows? Maybe they'll come to ship another pairing.
And as you said Luu, it is inspiring. It really is.

Magus Phantalus wrote:I wanted to say something amazing and profound but really you guys pretty much hit the nail on the head. Still though sturgeons law and all that when the fandom succeeds at writing for the two they really succeed. Ispiring on a multitude of levels really where the fandom is concerned for those who write for shiznat well it just goes to show how far the flegling fanfic author such as myself still has left to go.

One day I hope to write for shiznat in a way that has moved me like such stories as Mai Kisaki written by Ange Sinistre.

Ange Sinistre's works were pretty good, I agree. On that subject, there have been discussions about ShayP's work doing damaging the ShizNat fandom. These naysayers (whoarenolongerherethankgod) always came to the conclusion that most ShizNat fans would depend on Shay for canon and ignore everything from canon-verse. If that is true, then that's overrating someone and not how I see things. Her work is good, particularly 'Monster', but nobody knows these two characters better than Sunrise. And not to sort of crap on anyone's written work, but all it takes it ONE little update about ShizNat from Sunrise to trump waves of fanfiction. Because in the end, I'd like to think a lot of us are just waiting for Sunrise themselves to give us more ShizNat in any way, shape or form.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by shezaei-neko on Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:58 pm

That's the problem. Many readers and authors take what is written in fanfiction as canon because they haven't watched the anime or read the manga.
And the moment they read something that certainly takes canon elements from whatever reliable source, they don't take it nicely cause it's different from what they've been exposed before.

Let's be sincere, I've read comments be either reviews or author's notes where they claim they have not seen the series, but they thought the couple was nice and they had read some other works that inspired them....
And I mean, that's good, that a work inspires you to do something. But please, if you are going to use the same characters at least get to kow them how they really are, and also so you get to see what was what inpsired that author to create the piece that also inspired you...

It's like some comments back Luu and I were saying, I absolutely love Lightning and Fang. I've seen videos in youtube with the gameplay, I've read the novels, but I don't think I know them well enough to write something about them. And until I do, I might, but not sooner than that.

I agree with Luu, Sunrise themselves know better than anyone these two and all the cast.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:44 am

shezaei-neko wrote:It's like some comments back Luu and I were saying, I absolutely love Lightning and Fang. I've seen videos in youtube with the gameplay, I've read the novels, but I don't think I know them well enough to write something about them. And until I do, I might, but not sooner than that.

I agree with Luu, Sunrise themselves know better than anyone these two and all the cast.

If you can't get a hold of the game any time soon, Neko, you could always watch the playthroughs on YouTube. It counts as something. Shizuru Fujino

Several past members of MM have told me that discovering ShizNat either happened through YouTube AMVs or fanfiction. AMV is usually the key needed for the curious Otaku to hunt down the anime and discover how great ShizNat really is.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by CaptainVonCookie on Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:28 pm

Indeed I too was introduced to Shiznat through Youtube amvs!! There were so many of them I finally cracked and watched the anime.
My life was never the same again! Literally.

But, regarding the topic at hand, I don't think the fandom destroyed Shiznat. There's no such thing as bad publicity! It all depends on how you see things. If twisting the characters is giving more visibility to the couple then that's okay! A reasonable person interested in such a work would seek to find out who they are and where they came from. And from there get to know the original characters. So all in all, a twisted, delusional, annoying, awful, unbearable interpretation in the end introduced someone to such an amazing world.

But I understand the issue... Being surrounded by crappy interpretations starts to wear you down. I get frustrated when I'm in the middle of a story and suddenly they start doing completely WTF stuff. Irrationally I get mad at the characters and that can turn away some people. Solution is simple!! Hunt down and those authors and break their fingers!!

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by Cheshire Kat on Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:12 pm

Personally, I'm not even a fan of ShizNat (as a few of you are EXTREMELY aware, lol), but I don't think it's destroyed this fandom. It's made it very large, which is good. It brings in a lot of skills.

However, we have people focusing completely on the pairing, which I can respect. They are very tantalizing given their comparability to a lot of situations a lot of people have been in, which was one of the reasons why I liked them in the first place- I had a crush on a friend a couple years ago, when I got into the fandom, and she was completely oblivious. I could click with Shizuru in that sense, just minus the psycho lashout.

But enough about me, haha.

I feel that with all this fame, ShizNat could also be pushing the odd, potential fan away from the Mai-series due to the massive amounts of ShizNat in it. Not because of the pairing itself, but because of just... the mass swarm of not-too-good or really OOC fanfics; in which both ShizNat and other characters' personalities are slain with a diamond sword (too much Minecraft, Kat). Also, it can be very pushing on people who are already within the fandom, and are wanting more than just the two 'beauts and more creative, "crack" pairings.

I have nothing wrong with ShizNat that keeps the pair in their original, flawed and crisp personalities (I actually indulge in the odd fic every now and then, but I'm repeatedly pressing the back button after a couple paragraphs of one fic to go look for the next, better written and in-character one). But the ShizNat that is fandom, that involves leeks, obese amounts of mayonnaise, Ara in every sentence Shizuru speaks, sexual harassment, complete OOCness both from ShizNat and supporting characters, and the overdone Nekomimi forms/ Vampire/Werewolf stories? Nu-uh, count me out and give me the ShizNat I loved, pls.

Just my two cents, lol.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:24 am

Cheshire Katniss wrote:Personally, I'm not even a fan of ShizNat

But you were! I remember all those positive comments you made about ShizNat a long time ago.

count me out and give me the ShizNat I loved, pls.

Loved See? ;p

---

There's no such thing as bad publicity, this is time. Repeating myself for the 100th time, ShizNat is the single greatest attraction of our fandom. Our wonderful O.C., crack pairings and anything else owes ShizNat for putting bread on their table. ;p Metaphor. Just hope that once Mai-Series fans like that are drawn in, that you are ready to open him or her to new possibilities.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by PostoronnimV on Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:51 am

I can not say that the fandom has destroyed ShizNat for me... While, yes, prevailing number of stories on FF.net have a very distorted/misleading characterizations to such an extent that it becomes impossible to recognize your favorite characters. The majority of authors adopt other people's ideas or even worse they base the characters on someone else's characterizations. And in the end, we have a classic case of broken telephone.

I come across a lot of stories with Mechanic Natsuki and Business Woman Shizuru... I can understand 'Business woman Shizuru', but 'Mechanic Natsuki'... It makes me puzzled. And, of course, hard to forget Natsuki's obsession with mayonnaise, Shizuru's 'Ara-ara' and obsession with tea... From where or from whom it all started?! It's a bit annoying, but it would become more than tolerable, if there was a good characterization. But the story with a good characterizations is such a rarity.

For example, within Canon... if we do not take into account the stories of the genre 'Humor/Romance' and one-shots, then I can only select a few stories(although I did not read all the ShizNat stories on FF.net, I'm not that masochistic, so I could miss a good ones) that are more than worth attention, in my opinion:
1) All of J. Peterson's stories... well, she is my favorite ShizNat author...
2) "Barricade" by IlliterateKoi. This story has absolutely no syndrome of 'a perfect Shizuru'. What I also love, that has not been ignored progress and development of characters. Natsuki did not regress, as in many stories, back to 'distrusting' Natsuki. And Shizuru, too, did not regress to Shizuru, who fears to open up to Natsuki. Also Shizuru does not drown herself in self-pity and self-loathing.
3) "Windows of the Soul" by Lestaki... Although in this story we have a case of very angsty Shizuru, but the author gave a serious reasons for it, which made it believable.

But still the prevailing number of ShizNat stories (AU and Canon) in Mai-Hime section have an idealized verson of Shizuru, who is better than everyone and in everything and/or who is full of angst inside. But what annoys me more is how they portray Natsuki... as a dumb, dense, ignorant simpleton... The Kuga fangirl in me just cannot take it=) And I always tempted to ask the writers of such stories... "Did you even watch the anime?"... Ah, also there are instances, where Natsuki or Shizuru is purposefully turned into a complete ass to make Shizuru or Natsuki look better in the eyes of readers...

It all, of course, frustrates me, when two self-sufficient, complex and deep character as Natsuki and Shizuru are turned into superficial, shallow and empty characters...

But does it make me love Natsuki or Shizuru, or ShizNat less? Absolutely no... I still love them and their couple very much.
Does it make me want to stop visiting FF.net? Most definitely yes.

So I agree with Luu... It only will destroy ShizNat for the people who will allow the fandom to destroy it for them.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:37 pm

IlliterateKoi and J.Peterson are members of MM and would be flattered by your comments. Wink

In all seriousness, you're right about everything. When I reference Shizuru and Natsuki in any kind of discussion, I'm usually referring to their anime counterparts only. The official manga and fan doujinshi are just re-imaginings of these historic characters, no different from the fanfiction on ff.net. What happened was that fanfiction like ShayP's two big hits or the "Rapist" leek carrying Shizuru and "exaggerated uke" Natsuki from the doujinshi became a staple for ShizNat. These versions became so popular, I guess you can say their identities from Mai-HiME were somehow lost.

Here at my forum, I don't really matter which version of ShizNat you prefer as long as they're celebrated in some way. Though I do try my best to point casual fans in the direction of the original Mai-HiME anime. It's the very foundation of ShizNat, otherwise we wouldn't have all the AU incarnations today.

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When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by IlliterateKoi on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:58 pm



Thanks Wink

It was interesting to read through my original comment on this thread...I still feel the same way about the topic.

The ShizNat fandom is pretty large, so it's only normal that there would be differences between how people interpret the characters. And, especially when we're talking about ff.net, authors are looking to have people enjoy their story, which sometimes means playing up to what the majority of people seem to like. Which would help explain the over abundance of the type of fics you mentioned.

I can't say that it really bothers me all that much, and I don't see it as doing any harm to the fandom...but I don't frequent ff.net like I used to, so I don't know what the fics are like over there these days Razz

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by J.Peterson on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:42 pm

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:IlliterateKoi and J.Peterson are members of MM and would be flattered by your comments. Wink

Very much so - but PostoronnimV reviews practically everything I post these days, so I'm already well aware that she appreciates my feverish typing. The plugs are appreciated, though. Wink

I know I haven't poked my nose in here in ages (visibly anyway), but on this I actually have something to say. Let's see how much sense I make, and if I actually end up adding anything new. -_-

Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat? Yes... and no. The 'yes' part really all depends on your definition of what it is to destroy something. Are Shizuru and Natsuki - in the majority of fanfic available out there - the characters that we see in Mai HiME or Mai Otome? No, not really; or in some cases, really not. So if you look at the situation through those glasses, then yes; the fandom has destroyed the pairing, or is at least teetering on the edge of it.

But - and that's a big but *insert well-known hitchhiking clip here* - one could also argue that in a lot of cases (concerning mainly the AU and OOC tags and ignoring the admitted plethora of instances revolving around mayo and tea), ShizNat as a pairing has been around for a damn long time at this point, and there's only so many times you can make the same dish in a different way. Maybe it all comes down to something as simple as evolution.

Hell, when I first started out writing this pairing, I committed an error that's already been brought up here. I didn't watch the anime. When I wrote Prologue and Glimpse, for instance, all I based my characterizations on were what I'd read in stories written by other people. That turned out alright, thankfully, so if a few thusly inexperienced writers start out that way, I don't think their efforts should be discounted. Even if they end up butchering the characters, they're still adding to the fandom, and that's what I see as being the most crucial part.

Mai HiME came out in... was it 2004? Ten years ago, almost. Ten years of fanart, fanfic, AMV's, you name it. Yet, ShizNat still here. Many corners of the interwebs still echo with the sound of an engine revving, or a lilting "Ara, Natsuki~!". Even the writers who don't stay true to the characters are still fascinated by them and - in the case of the vampire/werewolf/magic stories - use them to reflect the popular culture of the day by combining them with the things they've been fascinated by elsewhere. Somehow, Shizuru and Natsuki manage to transcend the boundaries of the Mai-verse, because they're just that relatable.

That alone is enough to convince me that all in all, ShizNat is doing just fine. IC and OOC. And if the two of them have to get mangled in some stories to keep standing as strongly as they have been for almost a decade...

Well, that's something I'm personally willing to put up with. :)

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

Post by PostoronnimV on Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:36 am

IlliterateKoi wrote:

Thanks Wink
J.Peterson wrote:

Very much so - but PostoronnimV reviews practically everything I post these days, so I'm already well aware that she appreciates my feverish typing. The plugs are appreciated, though. Wink
It's my pleasure :D

Now on the topic... Hard to disagree with both of you.

I understand that there would be differences between how people interpret the characters. What I do not like that the authors ignore (or just don't want to see) some apparent good character traits and/or simplify the character in favor of another character(mostly Shizuru). And I also understand why it happens. Because, according to my observations, Shizuru is the most popular character of the whole Mai series (I myself love Shizuru, so I can understand whence comes all this adoration) and so it is understandable that many would idiolize/idealize her in her/his story and simplify the other characters.

However I do not understand, why take Natsuki or Shizuru's character, if all that will remain of their anime counterparts is their names only, especially if the story takes place in canon-verse. I can accept the OOCness of the characters, especially in AU stories. But the main problem that many people used OOC as an excuse to basically demolish a canon character and the characters are no longer themselves. But there are also times when the characters is absolutely OOC, but you do not mind... because the author made ​​it so that you just can not mind!

For example, the famous and one of the most popular stories in Mai-Hime section - story 'Inter Nos'. Natsuki and Shizuru are rather OOC there... who I'm kidding... they are very-very-very OOC... but the author has created a very complex characters, world, story... And I did not even notice how or when I became wholly abstracted from my understanding of the characters and stopped to associate Natsuki and Shizuru from Inter Nos with their anime counterparts.
J.Peterson wrote:
ShizNat as a pairing has been around for a damn long time at this point, and there's only so many times you can make the same dish in a different way. Maybe it all comes down to something as simple as evolution.
You're right... But the thing is that there is no evolution, by the masses had been created some sort of a fanon characterizations, that repeats from one story to another, or at least that is what I see...

I will give totally idiotic allegory, which describes many of the stories within Hime-canon-verse:

Shizuru bathes in a bathtub fully filled with water of self-pity infused with essential oils of self-loathing...

And outside the door of this bathroom, stands Natsuki, she's stuck in indecision... Her hand reaches for the door handle, then retreats from, then reaches for, retreats from, reaches for, retreats from, reaches for....

Meanwhile, Shizuru's skin is completely absorbed all of the water and oil... And she became looking like a wrinkled, chubby, pale pink, humaniform sponge.

At this moment, Natsuki decided to enter the bathroom... sees a wrinkled sponge-Shizuru... gets scared... then loses her footing in a hurry to get away from horrifying image... falls... splits the skull, in such a way that we can see what's in her head... and what do we see? *dramatic gasps* OMG! Natsuki has no brain.... therein absolute emptiness.

Oh, such a cliffhanger... But what happens next?
This -> Shizuru decided to take yet another angsty bath, and turns out that Natsuki entered into the bathroom, just because she very much wanted to use the toilet!

What happens next?
On taking fifth bath, Shizuru body explodes like a bubble, staining the walls of the bathroom with a funny stencils vaguely similar to the pictures on associative metaphorical cards, which are used in psychotherapy. And Natsuki died of old age near the bathroom door!

The curtain closes. The end!


With this I finish my rant and cease to be an ass, who can only criticize and can not create a worthwhile story of my own =)

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Re: Has the fandom destroyed ShizNat?

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