Tap to Summon Terrible Fan Fiction

It's like Magic: The Gathering for children with ADDYou’ve probably heard that, as a species, human beings only consciously use 10% of our brains. This is total crap, but for the sake of a clever opening let’s say we all believe it. This would leave 90% of our brains open for potential improvement or, if you’re anything like me, storing completely useless knowledge that will never benefit anyone anywhere anytime ever.

With this in mind (hey, I’m witty enough to write for Kotaku), making fun of fan fiction based around games and anime that I’m, sadly, intimately familiar with is easy. Character A isn’t gay, but the 13-year-old writer has made them gay so they can pair up with their self-inserted avatar, joke ensues.

No, I’m more professional about who and what I put down in a frivolous effort to make myself feel better for a few hours before the darkness returns. And, because I do enjoy pain more than others, I should also choose something that would otherwise repulse me, something like Yu-Gi-Oh! The only thing I know about Yu-Gi-Oh! is that it’s card game with some tremendously offensive character designs. I suspect that the characters are purposely hideous and simple to make it easier for 8 year-olds to draw corny action scenes on their math homework.

My selection process begins with setting the filter on the search engine to “Mature Titles” in the hopes that I’ll come across some steamy card-on-card action. The fan fiction community, perhaps aware of my plans, has created an incompressible language to scare and confuse me. “Drabblefic with YYM, SYe, HLWED, and lol.” And these are aspiring writers.

I soldier on. There’s more Yu-Gi-Oh! fan fiction than the law should allow. More than enough to question whether censorship is really all that bad. Without diving to deep into this sea of adjectives and poorly written sex scenes I quickly find A Widow’s Kiss, which is the type of title you’d expect from fan fiction and/or dime-store romance novels. The ever-redundant author, Demented Insane Spirit, opens up with this promising summary:

Permanently Discontinued – due to the fact that people are disrespecting this piece of work. Possible continuation if it receives respect from its silent, ungrateful readers.

At first I had my hopes up–here was a work so bad that even the demented insane fan fiction community hated it. Unfortunately, it just looks like the writer’s throwing a hissy fit because no one has respected the story enough to review it despite having than 30 chapters. I love how the author threatens to not write; it’s like a serial killer threatening to stop murdering people unless he gets some attention. Well, fear not, Demented Insane Spirit, I will review your piece of, as you so naively put it, work.

Anzu Mazaki swallowed as the casket was closed, obscuring her vision of the handsome face of her older husband. It had been an arranged marriage that had bonded the two of them together, but she still had liked him. He was respectable, never forced her to do things she disliked, kept her safe, and had made her laugh away the pain of her lonely childhood. Anzu felt her throat constrict. She was three and twenty. She had been married at seventeen and had been widowed so young. How could she ever expect herself to get over this? To move on?

Maybe it’s because it’s fan fiction, but I immediately thought Anzu was the one in the coffin. If she’s three and twenty now and she was married at seven and ten, that would give her at least three plus three full years to stop talking like a southern Baptist minister. I’m surprised the author’s not referring to her age in score.

The first paragraph establishes that Anzu loved her departed husband as much as one might love, say, your friend’s dog—he’s nice, keeps you safe when you walk to the minute market, and always barks when you come around—yet she doesn’t know how she’s going to move on?

Anzu closed her eyes again, tears seeping from behind her eyelids. Someone had shot her husband. It had been murder. She would never get over that fact.

If only she had enough mana to resurrect his creature card from the graveyard. Yu-Gi-Oh! works like that, right?

“Come on, sweetheart,” her mother, Sofia Mazaki, coaxed as the men began to shovel dirt in the hole. “Come on…” Anzu leaned into her mother, trembling with tears. “Hush, now, darling. It was an arranged marriage, after all.”

Demented Insane Spirit is a sly one, sneaking important information into unrelated sentences. I assume the subject is implied, but I can picture Sofia Mazaki, in my mind Mrs. Garret from The Facts of Life but in full geisha makeup, coaxing no one in particular. Just coaxing. And coax she does! In addition to reminding Anzu about the fact that it was an arranged marriage, she explains that her now-rotting husband chewed with his mouth open, always left the toilet seat lid up, and pronounced NASA as Nassau. So get it over it already, you little baby.

Anzu knew that her own parent’s marriage had been arranged and that the only reason she and her brother, Otogi, existed was because they had needed a male to take the estate. Anzu was a year older than her brother. She had been born first instead of their needed son. Otogi came after.

Out of context it sounds as if Anzu and her brother are supposed to produce a male heir, which is fitting given that this is fan fiction.

I admit that I’m not quite up-to-date on family inheritance issues, but why would the Mazakis want to marry off their daughter when they already have a male heir. Wouldn’t the resulting offspring from Anzu’s marriage be able eligible to contend the Mazaki inheritance? Seems like a bit of an unwise move, to me. Maybe the dowry was an extra rare, chrome-covered card.

After that son had been born, her father, Hathaway, had ignored his wife. He took great pleasure in seeing to his children’s pleasantries, for they were of his limbs. He cared nothing for Sofia, though.

Of his limbs? What does that even mean? “Quickly, Anzu, now form…the left arm!” He only had two children, so it would essentially mean that he’s either the lower or bottom half of Voltron, or a one-legged, one-armed Voltron–kind of the Black Knight of Voltron. Maybe the author meant “of his loins,” which sounds dirty but at least it makes sense.

He paused, a thoughtful expression crossing his face. “Did you love him?”

“…I don’t know, papa. I liked him, I know, and respected him. Isn’t that enough?” He sighed, gently guiding her head to his shoulder, stroking her chocolate locks.

Chocolate locks is either a part of your balanced breakfast or a euphemism for turds. Don’t think about it.

Anzu Mazaki sighed to herself, pushing some hair back as she smiled at her friend, Shizuka. Earlier, her brother, Jounouchi Katsuya, had died in a war on the Continent. Her husband was Anzu’s brother, Otogi, who wasn’t the reason that Shizuka was presently there when she often needed help persuading her egotistical, fashionable husband about something.

A year passes and Anzu Mazaki is talking to someone who’s married to someone who is the brother of someone with an egotistical husband. Or someone. Sorry, I’m still thinking of those delicious or possibly repulsive chocolate locks.

Malik Ishtar gave a lazy look to his older sister, who tossed a file on his desk, her face neutral. She had become less cheerful ever since her husband, Seto, had died on the Continent in the last war.

The story up to now: Anzu reluctantly agrees to go to a ball (or soiree as the author tells us directly from his/her thesaurus) a year after her husband’s death. She was fond of her late husband because he was nice and not mean, which is the typical definition of nice. We’re now introduced to a couple of new characters, such as the neutral-faced spokeswoman for depression, Malik Istar’s sister.

Malik had wisely chosen to keep out of the war, fleeing to avoid getting drafted. “Sister, you look happier than usual. What could possibly be making you smile so much?” His dry sarcasm made her smile lightly. “Better.” He and Marik had made it their personal goal to cheer their sister up.

“That’s great. See, I wasn’t nearly as dumb as your husband and fled the Continent™ during the draft. It’s funny, maybe if I joined the war I could have been there to save your husband! Ha! That’s a goo—why are you crying?”

It was a talent that he had mastered over the years of bedding women. He was only seven and twenty, so he was still young, but he had begun his hunting of women at sixteen, after he’d lost his virginity to a prostitute.

There’s nothing about this that I dislike. Bedding women? How randy! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the word bedding used outside of a JC Penny’s catalog. I also think “hunting of women” could really make a job application pop. When asked about it, tell them the story about how you lost your virginity to a prostitute at 16, followed by a suggestive laugh. If you’re being interviewed by a woman, add an “eh?!” and wink a couple of times.

He also was a rogue, but he wasn’t as merciful as Marik was if he got a woman pregnant. Then again, Marik had never gotten a woman pregnant. Bakura wouldn’t acknowledge the woman, nor the child. He’d just throw them out on their asses.

As a writer, you need to commit to your work. Ask yourself: am I going to fill my story with frilly, abusive uses of prepositions or am I going to write colloquial lines like “…throw them out on their asses?” You jump from formal to informal without any warning. Maybe it’s to show just how roguish this Bakura fellow is.

I really do love how the author contradicts himself in the first two sentences, though. If this was supposed to be a comedy I’d applaud it. Instead it feels as if Demented Insane Whatever-the-Hell-His-Name-Is couldn’t figure out a better way to incorporate this character’s resentment for pregnant women. It’s like saying Bakura didn’t like chocolate as much as Marik but Marik loved chocolate and Bakura didn’t. At least, not as much as Marik.

Bakura was a businessman just as Malik and Marik, though he ran a gaming hell, happily cheating any of his customers of their money when he went and played.

There are, in fact, nine levels of gaming hell. Level one is primarily for developers that put underwater stages in platformers where as the final level consists of video game bloggers forced to pat themselves on their backs until the they crush their own spines.

Malik, unlike his brother and friend, was more like his sister’s husband, Seto, the Earl of Huntingdon. He, too, had his share of women, though he was particular about whom he slept with. His anger was red-hot and explosive.

So far we’ve been introduced to three brothers, all of whom have violent tempers of varying degrees and are notorious for bedding women. There was probably a description of what they look like, but I’m pretty sure it was something along the lines of “Brother A is a bit more handsome than Brother B, but Brother C is almost as handsome as Brother A, and Brother C is pretty handsome, too, but he doesn’t like chocolate as much as Brother A.” I keep thinking of generic anime characters drawn with a whiteboard marker and ruler. There’s really no better way to insult Yu-Gi-Oh! characters than by saying they look like Yu-Gi-Oh! characters.

You have to appreciate the random factoids the author adds, though. “He, too, had his share of women, though he was particular about whom he slept with. He likes chickpeas.”

“Isis,” Malik presently said in his silky voice that captivated so many women, “you realize that it isn’t my approval you need? Marik’s the person you’ve got to go through. I’m the youngest. I can’t do shit for you.”

“Baby doll, you knows I loves you but I ain’t worth shit. Let us seek out the eldest of our brothers, sibling, in a perhaps vain but no less noble effort to best receive his approval presently. Bitch.”

“I know,” she answered steadily. “It’s just that I promised a friend that I would meet her sister-in-law. I guess she had just finished mourning and is in need of some excitement in her life. I want to go back into society and then I can help her.”

Thank you, Miss Plot Summary.

Marik was never bothered by it, though, because Malik didn’t go to bed with many women. He was rather particular. He hated redheads, women with too large of chests, and wouldn’t do anything with a women in her late thirties or past that. Marik didn’t care himself.

I get the feeling that Malik has become the writer’s avatar. Stating that the character doesn’t like women with “too large of chests,” an awkward way of saying “humongous  knockers,” seems to be the author’s attempt to white knight his way into the hearts of adoring female fans.

What disappoints me is that Insane Demented Face has been so good about denoting age with absurd formality that he misses a golden opportunity with “in her late thirties.” Why not “a score and a half” or “of more than thirty one-hundred and twenty seasons?” Come on, man! Get your head in the game!

“It’s been a while since Seto’s been deceased.”

Jesus Christ, just say he died. Replace deceased with “to the fair.” It’s been a while since Seto’s been to the fair. See what happened there? In your attempt to make this character sound dignified you’ve instead suggested to the reader that Seto’s actually alive and just thinking of dying again for the sheer hell of it. You know what, fuck you, Insane Deranged Whatever. You’ve turned me into my 11th grade English teacher.

“Indeed. We’d better. He’ll throw a fit if we don’t.” The two brother’s crowed with laughter, imagining the look of outrage that would be on Bakura’s face if he ever found out about them attending a ball without him.

I’m still trying to find a connection to the card game. Does this crap happen in the cartoon? It’s like an animated Jane Austin novel. Also, I imagine crowing with laughter sounds like “KAAAAAAAAAAW! KAAAAAAAAAAAAAW KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW!” which makes this scene kind of surreal and far more enjoyable than it actually is.

“It’s true, ladies. The man’s a total asshole. I can’t help it if I don’t like him.” Shizuka shook her head at him, turning to her sister-in-law, who was glaring mutinously at her brother.

Mutinously? Was she going to take over her brother? “Yar! This strapping young lad be mine! Now I be wearin’ the pants in this family!”

Well, that was an interesting enough first chapter, eh? I think I’ll prefer this Medieval England fic. The first chapter came out better than the other completed two, lol. Anyway, please review and tell me how you liked it and what you think of it so far. It’d be much appreciated! Ciao!

I’m not entirely sure which universe the author is referencing medieval England from, but I’m almost certain it’s not ours unless I missed the description of everyone being covered with shit and boils.

I’d excuse (but still mock) the comment from the author if his story read like a Ren fair flyer but it doesn’t. Victorian, maybe. Medieval England? Not even close.

Bonjour! I’m back! Here’s the next chapter of A Widow’s Kiss! Thanks to Angel, sweet-ghny13 (Thanks, I’m glad you like my writing style,) WillowFae, and VendettaRed.

Let it be known that sweet-ghny13 is not a scholar of fine literature but, and let’s be fair, an idiot. And what’s with the bonjour and ciao? French, Italian, baw! European languages are all the same here in medieval England.

Why the author separated this chapter from the last one is mystery because it picks up immediately after, if not during, the introductions at the ball. Maybe homeroom ended.

I admit, I’m pretty lost by this point but that’s not necessarily the fault of the author—I’m just bored out of my skull. What am I talking about, of course it’s the author’s fault! Go to hell, Insane Demented Twat.

“He does seem like a pansy,” Malik agreed with a smirk at her outraged look.

This from someone who was crowing not to long ago about leaving his brother out of the evening’s gay festivities.

He wondered, perversely, if he could take away those bad memories by bringing her in a bed and coaxing her into hard, heavy rutting.

This fan fiction is rated M for it’s suggestive themes of hard, heavy rutting. It’s almost endearing the lengths the author will go to sound sophisticated and raunchy.

Chapter 2 continues, perhaps into eternity, and nothing happens. No rutting, no bedding, no card duels—nothing. At the very bottom of this drivel we’re presented with these encouraging words from the author.

DIS: As always, I don’t have a clue where I’m going with this story!

I decided it would be in my best interest to skip to the end of the story and then go lay down somewhere, resting comfortably knowing that I will never, ever have to return to this abomination again. The story ends with…look, it just ends. Someone proposes to someone else, Seto may or may not actually be dead, and there’s an epilogue that I wisely chose to avoid. I did, however, catch the author’s last words:

This was my favorite story to write. I love it like a baby. It’s currently in the process of being turned into an original fiction, but I still have a lot to add/change on it. Please leave a last review, telling me how you liked it, how I did with the ending, etc. Ciao.

Reading something like this makes me a feel a little guilty for referring to their work, all four million chapters of it, as an enormous pile of shit. Then I remember that the author calls him/herself Demented Insane Spirit and ends conversations with “ciao” and my guilt gently washes away.

This ultra-frilly tale of dead husbands, fabulous galas, and coaxing has left me feeling positively rutted. I need something with machismo. Something that I can read while on the pot and feel good about it. Something chockfull of blood, sweat, and testosterone that screams “I’m an angry little man child that still thinks chainsaw guns are totally, like, wicked cool and shit.”

If you haven’t picked up where I was heading with this, it’s Gears of War. Let’s see, we’ve got fruity little titles like The Long Waltz and Last Stand, but those don’t summon up the urge to tailgate, scratch myself in public, or load stuff into a pickup truck . There’s a story called The Showers but we’re just going to ignore that forever. Gears of War: Suicide Metals? Oh fuck yeah. That’s metal. Suicide metal!

Four stone pillars surrounded him with three semi circular tables on both sides and in front of him, seating the darkened faces of the prosecution, judge, jury and they might as well be the executioners. Spectators sat in the lecture hall like seats. The air was tense as hundreds of eyes looked on him. His skin felt like it was pelted by the gaze of angry and disappointed eyes. The bright flood light shined down on him as he looked down. His chrome handcuffs were shining brightly as he stood on the stand. They might as well have strung him up to a pole and hurl bricks at him, but his torment was to be mental.

What makes this opening so brilliant is that you can picture the scene in it’s entirety. Not because the author did such a great job setting the scene, but because we’ve seen it all before. Please keep all arms and legs inside the trial scene while we enter the flashback.

Two years after E-day…

Told you.

Suicide Metals isn’t terribly written, just terribly boring. This isn’t so much the author’s fault as it is the game’s. Gears of War is the realization of CliffyB’s overcompensation. The game goes to great lengths to convince the audience that it’s characters are the most manly men on the planet. They’re beefy, scarred, scowling, and never show their feelings outside of their sissy internal monologs.

Remember Star Control 2? Probably not because you’re a fucking little wanker that grew up on shit like Banjo Kazooie and Spyro. Anyway, in Star Control 2 there’s a race of sentient arachnids that are possibly the most evil beings in the universe (the Illwrath, of course). They’re region of space is laughably close to the Pkunk, a race of hyper-annoying hippie bird-things. The Pkunk believe that the Illwrath used to be a peaceful culture, perfect and good in every way. Then they became just a little bit more perfect and BAM! Became horribly evil. Like a circle or alignment that starts with EVIL and ends with GOOD.

Gears of War has a similar wheel that starts with HOMOEROTIC and ends with PUNCH-YOU-IN-THE-FACE MANLY ACTION. CliffyB crosses that PUNCH-YOU-IN-THE-FACE MANLY ACTION boarder by being even more PUNCH-YOU-IN-THE-FACE MANLY ACTION until it’s Brokeback Mountain with fucking chainsaw guns (I probably should have rephrased that).

I wasn’t man enough to handle Suicide Metal, so I picked another one entirely at random. Here’s the summary:

Alright this is my second fanfic so yeah be nice. Basically a new kid Justen comes in and meets the childhood Marcus and Carlos giving his insight on the types of people they were 12 years before E-Day. I based the character of Justen off my best friend Justen hahah Yea basically me and him are Carlos and Marcus, he even has the blue eyes haha but i cant really change the characters to fit our personalities cause i Dont own them. So this idea was my next best thing.

Remember, Gears of War is pure machismo–so why is it that most of the game’s fans are complete and utter pansies? “I can’t really change the characters to fit our personalities cause I Don’t own them?” It’s one thing to say that you can’t change the personalities of the characters because you want to stay as close as possible to the source material, but because you don’t own them? What the hell? It’s your fan fiction!

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: I don’t get fan fiction. Why is there such fear of litigation. Do you really think CliffyB is going to sue you because you made Marcus Fenix smile?

You’re right. He probably would.

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One response

  1. Well I have to admit that when this got sent to me, I had to ask myself, “Is someone really taking the time to rip apart a story?” and was a bit offended. Then I read through it and couldn’t help but laugh at a lot of your critique. I am more than willing to admit that my story, ‘A Widow’s Kiss,’ has absolutely – and I mean, ABSOLUTELY – nothing to do with YGO. Which, actually, is why it says in the summary, Alternate Universe. And well, it all was made up to be sort of smutty, romance-novelesque. And, in fact, it eventually got turned into an original fiction because there really wasn’t much that related to the actual fandom besides the characters. But, just to tell you, it was meant to be like a regency England story, nothing to do with the actual fandom, so… (shrug) In any case, yeah…it’s not meant to appeal to the male gender. It’s romance. It doesn’t have any gore, let’s-kill-all-the-people sort of thing. As for the random inserts of French, so sue me, I was in a French class at the time. (This was, after all, created when I was in high school.)

    Oh, and to be fair, the pen name (Demented Insane Spirit) was created when I was in middle school. I would have just changed it to my name, honestly, but it’s been what it is for so long, I felt no desire to confuse people who don’t have a login.

    But still, it was all really amusing even if it was tearing apart my story. Especially the part where you were going on about Seto’s death and me not using scores. And, after all, it’s still feedback, like I requested, as you so cleverly indicated yourself!

    May 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm

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