So I'm a big fan of brainstorming settings and characters and various mythos and such. I assume others on the site probably are
Yesterday I was dazing off at work and thought up a concept I thought might make a fun "extreme-fantasy" setting: "Sky Isles and Dark Seas".(working title)
Mixing one of my favourite settings of "skypunk" settings found in games like Skies of Arcadia and some of the Final Fantasy settings, where there are grand floating islands and gigantic airships flying about and battling each other in aerial swashbuckling mayhem, with an RPG favourite of Lovecraftian nautical horror, with insane cults, uncontrollable magic, and a crushing sense of insignificance.
But How? Also, Why?
How: A fractured world, not too dissimilar to the one found in Bastion, essentially, an apocalyptic event of the Great Old Ones reawakening occurs in a high-fantasy world. There is a mineral that rejects the Old Ones and pushes large sections of the land up into the clouds, with the land left below flooding in a great cosmic sea as black as tar. Horrific monstrosities and insane cults crowd these lower isles and waters and are constantly struggling to survive with ever larger fish in that massive pond devouring all in their wake. Meanwhile, those who were wise, rich, powerful or privileged enough to reach airships before the great flood followed the rising lands, using the same mineral in their engines to allow the ships to fly. Now, decades have passed, those above have repopulated and formed medieval-like feudal societies with empires, kings, scrappy sky-pirates and villages alike on and around the great sky-isles. Those below have been mutated and broken, and those who do not immeidately serve and bend to the Great Old Ones' will live a struggling survival on rusty old boats and the occasional safe-haven that is sure to be met with despair and anguish soon enough.
Okay, Why: Skyward Settings tend to have this sense of individualism, heroism and childlike wonder that is best expressed in the Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli films (this filmmaker is also one of the ones who popularized the setting); whereas Lovecraft's stories are all about insect-like insignificance, and usually feature terror and helplessness as their major themes. What both have in common is typically unlikely protagonists caught up in something far grander than themselves and forced to act. The contrast between the two settings could make for interestingly mixed parties and adventures, thrusting snarky swashbucklers into situations they have no control over or even a quip to make to re-instill confidence in themselves; whereas the twisted horrors of the Dark Sea could be washed away by the beauty and fantastical nature of the skies above, bringing emotional scenes out of otherwise grizzled and morally reprehensible survivors. Storylines could focus on cults trying to spread mayhem to the lands above, foolish warlords of the skies trying to wage war on the Great Old Ones, cocky adventurers biting off more than they could chew in either world, and great magical wars between the crazed warlocks of the lower lands and the high tech-mages of the lands above.
I like it. You have a wide variety of themes and plot lines available. Would make for an interesting twist to run a game set in one level without the players knowing about the other, until something happens....
So awesome! Also what if cthulhu is really a teenage maid? And the Miyazakis have to keep making a mess so it has things to clean and will not eat their minds. Is there a way to bring rape into this, just for awareness? And I feel a Harry Potter mashup is in order. Or Game of Thrones? Dragons might be too much.
>failing to realize that Ghibli movies already have cosmic horror aplenty
Eh, I'm not sure about this OP. Lovecraftian settings aren't something you can dilute or white wash. It's a kind of setting that has to be done wholesale; if the Eldritch Abomination can be defied, tricked or held at bay that makes it vulnerable. If they're vulnerable, you've already diluted the setting and themes of it.
The idea is really cool but it could definitely go either way. Instead of presenting them as God like beings or exactly how Lovecraft did it, I'd imply that all of the monsters are mutations created by the flying stone, whether sea creatures or humans.
Have the stone repulse them via either killing them due to radiation oding or literally repulsive them.
That way you get your horrifying mega beast gibberlies and can keep thematic integrity.
You don't say...
Naushicaa is fun.
I mean, I wouldn't call that cosmic horror, but it certainly has the same visual aesthetic. gooey slime appears in like every one of his movies.
>the prince's arm in Princess Mononoke
>the giant monster in the climax of Nausicaa
I can't say I'm particularly fond of Nausicaa's main story and the environmental message (it's a bit on the head for my taste) but MY GOD is it beautiful, fucked up and epic. And I use the word "epic" here in the original sense of the word: as a specific form of storytelling that combines grand mythological with human cultural narratives.
I'm just downloading it from Manga Fox for the purpose of this thread. I have the whole thing in original Japanese in collectors edition at home.
Miyazaki needs no Mythos. All the themes are there, you just have to break the conventions to bring them out. But it's a wonderful world of Japanese mysticism, why would you throw in New England 20s themes?
Have you ever watched his earlier works, or read his mangas? Do you not KNOW about Laputa or Howl?
It's true what somebody else had said: the elements of arcane terror and great dark mythological undertones ARE already present to the world, but so are anachronisms, homages to classical european works of fictions, steampunk in the purest form, extremely western-centric motives, and on top of that many even more exotic aspects, particularly from Mongolian and Tibetian mythology and aesthetics.
Being puritan about Miyazaki and reducing his work to only pure Japanese, Shinto aspects is really, really stupid and completely disregards the actual MAJORITY of his works.
Quite salty there anon-kun. Is your blood sugar low?
It would make for a much more coherent and less magic realmy setting to stick to genres that have a new perspective when mashing things up. Cosmic Horror is an underlying theme of Miyazaki, so introducing Lovecraft doesn't really give you a lot. Better introduce something like survival horror, that way you get to shine a new light on everything and give characters a direction to develop.
Miyazaki always tells a story about coming-of-age with a bittersweet happy end. Growing up in his stories does not mean having more answers, but asking better questions because the self has firmer standing after growing out of harrowing experience.
Miyazaki is about the horrible truths of the world seen through a child's eyes. Lovecraft is about the reflective agony of aging intellectuals and how it tears down the comforting lies we tell ourselves. Both deal with dissociation, but from different directions and with different concepts of what makes a character. One is learning, healing, and becoming part of. The other relies on undermining and falling out of community. It'll just be concept groaning against each other all the way through.
The only way to do it is to reduce one to just superficial flavoring and use that to ruin the other. No matter which way you put it, it comes out a mess.
First of all, I'm not OP. Second of all: you are an asshole. Third of all: you are, once again, being completely needlessly reductive of Miyazaki's work. Porco Roso is not a coming of age story. Neither is Naushicaa or Shuna, or the latest Wind Rises. Fourth: you wonderfully moved your goalposts from the last post, where you talk about Miyazaki being all about Japanese mysticism, which quite clearly, it isn't.
I don't really get your point besides trying to be an absolute prick and demonstrating some form of pretentious "understanding" of Miyazaki's work while being so blatantly and stupidly reductive of them that you are basically ignoring larger portion of his work.
It's embarrassing: both how desperately you are trying to prove your intellectual superiority, without actually having sufficient grounds for it, and your basic inability to maintain a consistent argument between two posts.
I'm not OP, and I don't know where he wants to take the concept. I don't know which specific aspects, and how much of them does he want to borrow from the very wide and varied bulk of Miyazaki's works. For all I know, he meant only aesthetic inspiration from works like Laputa, which in itself is owned to Karel Zeman and his Fabulous World of Jules Verne, which again itself is owned to some very old 19th century iron prints.
Be it as may, you are a fucking prick and your insecurity leaks from those two posts. Please don't bother posting again.
You are a child trying to recreate the atmosphere of Star Wars with plastic figures, but leave the G.I. Joe in the box for this.
You obviously read up on sabotaging threads, your vocabulary is quite revealing. So I have to wonder, what is your pony here? You seem to have watched some Ghibli, but you don't seem ready to talk about it. Instead you are making this into some kind of pissing contest.
You are also quite rude, and I'm done talking to you.
>You are a child trying to recreate the atmosphere of Star Wars with plastic figures, but leave the G.I. Joe in the box for this.
You really need to hit the rock bottom of the "pathetic" pit before you realize what exactly you are doing here, don't you. Fair enough - knock yourself out.
>I can't say I'm particularly fond of Nausicaa's main story and the environmental message (it's a bit on the head for my taste)
Do you mean on the nose?
Because I don't think it could be considered upside down. It could be considered too obvious. But it is a minor reveal in the manga, more a device to connect the protagonist to nature really. The main story is about people always making war. Both are sanctimonious, but the gritty charm makes up for it.
>Do you mean on the nose?
Yeah, that was the phrase I wanted to say. It seem a bit too obvious.
I definitely consider it one of the (if not THE) favorite manga(s) I've read. I find it utterly fascinating, beautiful, and I've based quite a lot of my own worldbuilding efforts around concepts and ideas from that work. So yeah, everything else more than makes up for the (in my opinion) a bit weak main story and message.
It's interesting, because if you look into his earlier iteration on similar subject, Shuna (which I'm unapologetically ripping off my own world), you'll find much darker and more nuanced story of nature against man. Probably because Shuna is almost a literal re-telling of an old Tibetian myth.
Shuna takes things even further than Mononoke. Really, it takes things to a very much Lovecraftian level of nasty.
The God-People in Shuna, beautiful natural spirits that live in perfect harmony in an Eden like garden buy human slaves and feed them while they are alive into gargantuan organic, breathing processor that looks like a tower made of human guts to turn them into fertilizer they use to grow their crops in.
Yeah, Miyazaki's storytelling style is often didactic, but you never really care that much because it has a quality of innocence and naiveté that resonates with the characters and story content itself.
Just posting this Lovecraft mythos chart in case it's useful for the thread.
Cutesy henge-spirit RPG translated from moonspeak.
>posting the chart of WRONG
so many fuckups in the hierarchy there
You know the artist/author for that draws massive amounts of loli-beastiality and is an actual convicted pedophile child molester, right?
Every 'cute' character in there is his jerkoff material.
>Miyazaki Above and Lovecraft Below.
AH, MAJESTIC! A LOLI IS A LOLI, EVEN IN A DREAM!
Honestly, were this my idea, I would try to blend together GSS with something else, depending on the mood I want to set - probably Exalted (but only with yozi and mortals and spirits/gods) or Dread (if I wanted the spirits to be more remote than as sheltering protectors and interactions).
Also, I would try to avoid copying creatures out of this: >>44752453 for fear of making everything too predictable. After all, the best part of Lovecraft is the fear of the unknown, not the squamous tendrils slithering through the flesh of those who failed as they imitate your loved ones...
I may just want to do too much work for myself. It's an awesome setting though.
It was the only thing anyone would talk about when the RPG was being developed.
The porn part is true at least, if you dig a bit through the artist's profiles and compare artstyles.
I wouldn't be surprised if he was an actual pedo either, given the content of some of his blogposts from the time. Dunno if they can be found anymore.
So you just repeat gossip as fact? I'm with >>44752784 - I don't care either way. I had no idea what GSS was or who the artist was until this thread, but if you make a claim like that you need to cite a source.
I love how this guy went from
>Didn't you hear? He's a convicted child rapist with a record!
>Well I'm PRETTY sure he draws loli porn, if you compare styles
That's a helluva lot of backtracking there.
well everything takes on a new meaning when you know it was created solely for someone's fetish. It changed the whole context of the art and degrades it.
it never stopped being it, gay just became less of on offense.
but you're a pedoapologist so the effort's wasted anyways.
Sorry I don't keep images of little girls being fucked by dogs on my hard drive to post for you to see, but it really is the same artist.
You have to know how common it is for major Japanese artists to start off drawing fucked up porn, this isn't a major revelation.
Okay, if you make a compound word with punk as the semantic modifier. Happy?
The genrepunk police are so tiring. Every other genre besides cyberpunk is just a joky reference to the term cyberpunk. There's nothing punk about steampunk either but people don't get upset everytime the term is used. It's clear what the OP meant.
>It changed the whole context of the art and degrades it.
Not really. A dude getting off to little girls bullying his penis or getting fucked by a goat or whatever doesn't suddenly make his unrelated cutesy work evil, deviant porn.
You're just as bad as those people who claim that someone can't write a character who endorses and believes in morally reprehensible things without it meaning the author themselves believes in said wickedness.
>Sorry I don't keep images of little girls being fucked by dogs on my hard drive to post for you to see, but it really is the same artist.
I don't think anyone is asking you to post loli bestiality porn, despite how many words you try to shove in their mouth. We're just asking for a source on the whole convicted child molester thing.
That said, you seem to have an awful lot of familiarity with his work for how much you claim to despise it. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
>joky reference to the term cyberpunk
It's less of a joke and more of a thoughtless riding of coattails. It's also really annoying to see people try to forcefully pigeonhole everything into pretty little "-punk" boxes because their autism demands them to apply a label to everything instead of taking a setting for what it is.
I looked him up before writing >>44752668. He does a lot of bad art and maid/loli stuff it seems. Not my cup of tea at all. That isn't proof he's a convicted child molester.
>it was coined by a guy trying to shoehorn multiple completely unrelated works into the same label in order to ride the coattails of cyberpunk
That's what I said, yes. Thank you for agreeing.
>i was wrong about it being a joke reference so i will pretend i was proven right instead of wrong in order to save face
>i haven't read of any of the mentioned works so i will invent a story about the author's motivation for coining a term after recognizing an emerging pattern in new genre fiction
Going by >>44748002, your term for it would be "Crazy and Fantastic Industrial and Victorian Era Adventures!"
Wait, who cares?
Ewen Cluney is just some translator guy.
The Maid RPG guy is the one who originally wrote the thing.
And I mean, we know he's a raging pervert. He never tried to hide it in MaidRPG or his other games.
It's just not on display in GSS, because it is a cute and warm game made of fond feelings.
Which they aren't exactly eager to share, despite the fact that they can be grown anywhere...
>Yeah, Miyazaki's storytelling style is often didactic, but you never really care that much because it has a quality of innocence and naiveté that resonates with the characters and story content itself.
Actually, the odd thing about Miyazaki is that it's the naiveté part that feels forced and out of place. The guy is most comfortable and most convincing when he abandons the moralisms and the stories with happy endings, and where he starts doing a bit more dark and adult things.
I mean, I enjoyed every single one of his movies aside from Ponyo, but his best stuff? Shuna, Naushica, Howl BEFORE that awful happy ending and the latest, The Wind Rises. I think it was kinda a mistake he decided to profile himself as a child movie director. The guy has a lot of bitterness inside of him, and I think he is very familiar with depression and very rather dark subject matter.
Also, and this is maybe the most overlooked side of his work: he is INSANELY good world-builder. He is incredibly good at making detailed fictional worlds coming to life. Shuna and Nausicaa the manga are some of the best, most original and beautiful fictional worlds I've ever seen.
I like the tone.
Ponyo was beautiful.
The naive spin only conceals the adult story, but it's always there. The father at sea in Ponyo, Fio in Porco Rosso, Master Yupa in Nausicaä, ... It isn't the main plot. But it's enough to keep a parent interested when watching it with their kid.
Yeah, I suppose that is true. I guess I was mostly thinking of Nausicaa, and the heavy combination of didacticism/sanctimoniousness and naiveté in that work specifically, which was written earlier in his career, soon after Shuna iirc (he might have done Prince Valiant and Lupin in between or whatever).
I definitely agree with what you're saying though. I remember reading an interview where he specifically said he finds happy things more interesting narratively than sad or bitter things so tends to gravitate towards those ideas when writing stories - which I remember finding kind of odd because based on what you can see in his other works, and things like Kingdoms of Dreams and Madness, he certainly does have a lot of bitterness and seems like he would be able to use that to great narrative effect if he chose to.
If you like the tone of Miyazaki but don't like the Japan flavor, look into Little Nemo.
It's much more extreme. The kid bites it on every page. But it is beautifully made and has a very Dadaist vibe behind its Art Nouveau surface. I have no doubt Miyazaki did.
>(he might have done Prince Valiant and Lupin in between or whatever).
Panda Kopanda, Prince Valiant and Lupin all predate Nausicaa by a couple of years before he even started working on Nausciaa (he started Naushica manga in 82, and I think finished somewhere in 94 or so). Curiously enough, his very first work, as far as I know - before Shuna, before Panda Kopanda, before his work on Hols etc... he wrote a manga called "Sabaku no tami". It was historical manga for children, set in 11th century Mongolia, and it was surprisingly well researched. The fascinating by central Asian cultures then seeped deep into Shuna and later Naushicaa.
By the way, Miyazaki's formal education is political science and economy.
He stated more than on one occasion that he actually thinks himself a rather radical leftist. He stated elsewhere that he avoids talking about politics too much because it tends to make a lot of people mad.
Also, he quite literally called himself "feminist" more than on once occasion, although I'm not entirely sure he even realized what the term means.
>I mean, many of his protagonists are girls. Pretty sure he knows what it means.
I doubt that. I think he means that he really admires women (which he clearly does, aside from being just a little on the pedo side), but that is very much the exact opposite of feminism (at least second and third wave feminism) are about.
To be honest I think a lot of his world views are based on a rather naive utopism. I also think he is aware of that, which is why he avoids talking about it more.
That's possible, though I'd believe he was only and simply an admirer of women if his career stopped at Mononoke and Lady Eboshi. Chihiro and the girl from Howl are a lot more robust characters in the sense that they have weaknesses that lead me to believe that yeah, he is an admirer of women, but has a grasp of feminism that's strong enough to say that he's not just clueless about it, and understands to a certain extent what he's talking about.
You've brought up the pedo thing a couple of times but I don't really see that. He's spoken a few times about his distaste for the current direction of the anime industry and it's pandering to the loli and pedo market, but not with enough vigor to give me the sense that it's a way to project or mask insecurity. The only pedoness I can recall is a couple of shots in Kiki, but other than that I really don't get a sexual pedo vibe from his work. Maybe I'm wrong though.
I agree about the utopianism though.
>Chihiro and the girl from Howl are a lot more robust characters in the sense that they have weaknesses that lead me to believe that yeah, he is an admirer of women, but has a grasp of feminism that's strong enough to say that he's not just clueless about it, and understands to a certain extent what he's talking about.
First of all, Chihiro is a very classic child character and the Howl chick is not a character he actually wrote: she is taken wholesome from the original book.
Second of all, I don't doubt he know what he is talking about when he talks about female characters, even strong female characters (Eboshi and Kushana are, I think still the clearest example of his fondness of strong female characters, athough note that both are not even close to clear-cut positive characters).
I doubt that he understands feminism. Mostly because feminism itself is based almost entirely in profound levels of misogyny. But that I think is a subject matter for a different place and format.
I haven't brought up the pedo thing multiple time - you are confusing me with a different poster, but that is understandable.
I distinctly remember an older interview in jokingly refers to himself as a lolicon, actually. His fixation on very young girls is quite undeniable, and sexual undertones appear in more of his works.
I do think, and I hold his works as a testament, that the person views (very) young girls as an absolute aesthetic ideal. I don't hold it against him, I don't think there is anything wrong with it, especially not in his culture. But from our cultural perspective, claiming that he is "a bit on the pedo side" is not completely inaccurate.
As for his later commentaries: they were specifically aimed against pandering and distortion, rather than the specific obsession with very young girls. He has a problem with reduction of characters to pure symbols, and then even further to pure tools.
I wholeheartedly agree, it's why I stopped caring about most anime.
>First of all, Chihiro is a very classic child character
Yes, it's a classic Bildungsroman/coming-of-age tale - that doesn't mean the characters in it can't be analyzed or have merit beyond the narrative archetype they inhabit. And in regards to Howl, he did not write the original book of course, but it was his idea to choose that book to adapt. Obviously he liked the character.
>(Eboshi and Kushana are, I think still the clearest example of his fondness of strong female characters
As I said. What I'm saying is that many of his works involve, weak, evil, flawed women, as well as one-dimensional strong women. It's not just a simplistic, unnuanced admiration, if I'm understanding what you mean.
>I haven't brought up the pedo thing multiple time - you are confusing me with a different poster, but that is understandable.
Maybe it meant something different at the time, but he certainly isn't a lolicon now, and unless you have the direct quote I'd doubt he ever referred to himself as such.
Obviously he has a fixation on children and child-like characters. You say it's undeniable that he sexualizes young girls but you haven't presented a lot of evidence for that point - like I said earlier, the only time I ever got that vibe was from a couple shots in Kiki, which also involve a witch flying on a broom, a difficult kind of shot to avoid when dealing with that kind of action. That's not an undeniable pattern of sexualizing young girls.
He certainly holds certain kinds of characters as ideals - the coming-of-age young girl who goes from being weak and scared to confident is one, and the adventurous and willful young boy who engages in a monomythic adventure to help his people is another.
>Mostly because feminism itself is based almost entirely in profound levels of misogyny
Ahh, I see what I'm dealing with now. Nevermind.