I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

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I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:21 am

It doesn't yet have a name, and the biggest connection to Dragon Ball is really its main character and her race. The name of this race being "yaban" at the present moment.

The gist of the story is that there's this alien girl, Enekai, who had the full extent of her powers stolen from her following a crushing defeat and a 500-year-long imprisonment sentence (of which she only served 50). This power's locked up in a megaweapon, so her "master", a Gray alien named Alusru Rasa, comes to Earth (bringing her along with him) after old signals suggest it's here. But Alusru prevents Enekai from searching for it because he doesn't trust her with that power, so he sends her on wild goose chases.
She winds up meeting a human and his brother: Cyrus and Ken. That's where their adventures begin, though it's a bit more slice of life at the start. The quest to get her powers back is due to her desire to defeat a space shogun who wronged her (she feels, at least), but that warlord turns out to be in a struggle to resist a creeping influence from another universe and essentially needs her power to hold it back, but things naturally got muddied as they tend to in power politics.
The overarching story has a lot of inspiration from Wuxia and science fiction, but later down the line, I get to have some fun with Tolkienesque fantasy. That's always been a little dream of mine: clash some Wuxia warriors with Tolkieneque warriors.
Enekai's one desire is the same as Goku's: become stronger. Her whole revenge motivation here comes from the fact she was once incredibly strong— Dragon Ball Z-tier strength, more strong enough to deflect the Death Star beam with no adverse effects, whathaveyou— only to have that strength stolen from her.

I even have a couple images of Enekai: https://imgur.com/a/rTFGH
May or may not be writing a Dragon Ball-inspired serial.

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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:26 am

Now right off the bat, there are a few things that seem obvious that have indeed been asked to me before now:
"Hey, is Enekai based off Caulifla?"
and
"A Saiyan and a Gray alien? Goku and Jiren, right?"

Okay, this is the crazy part: all of this? Dates back to before Dragon Ball Super ever aired. Enekai's appearance goes as far back as 2013; Alusru Rasa dates back to 2011 but he was in a different story for a while. I've always wanted to use a Gray alien in a story, especially one that looks like "Skinny Bob".
I can also prove Enekai's look predates Caulifla's by at least several months because I had a commission of her back in October 2016, posted to Reddit in November 2016 (which in itself was meant to be a portrait for her as she was in a story I was writing for NaNoWriMo 2015). Her high-voltage hairdo's based on the "Super Saiyan Future Trunks" hairstyle, which had been the original inspiration half a decade ago. That Caulifla has the same hair (sometimes?? Can the animators ever make up their minds?) was more of a pleasant little joy because I adore that over-the-top hair Trunks (and I suppose Broly?) had.


Also, yabans are basically suspicious similar substitutes/expies of Saiyans. So similar that one of my biggest worries is that it could incur a lawsuit should I ever write it. I say this only because copyright law seems to zigzag back and forth— some blatantly obvious and shameless ripoffs wind up becoming bigger than the thing they were "inspired" by, while others that barely have any resemblance to the offended material beyond some certain accidental aspect get nailed with every available inch of dick of justice of Earth.

Because I'm essentially free to create my own story, I've gone way too in depth with the creation of this race, going into detail about literally everything. I originally imagined Saiyans to be Space Mongols or Space Spartans and used that to create yaban society, but then one of the focuses of the story became an intent to show/compare/contrast truly alien mindsets and behaviors (i.e. "Blue and Orange Morality") with our own, and that led to me making yabans gradually more and more different than humans in various ways while also generally keeping to realistic animal behaviors that any lifeform, especially primates, would have.

This is one reason why I don't want to try to replicate Dragon Ball even if a few scenes inevitably appear similar due to high-energy fighting— I'm not Toriyama and never will be. My style is completely different. I'm too cerebral, too ethereal, too focused on different things— one of my favorite skits to keep writing about involving this story deals with relating Enekai to paranormal phenomena, particularly through the lens of how we treat paranormal phenomena. Things like "high strangeness" and the fleetingness of Fortean entities and the bizarreness no one in fiction seems to recognize when you realize that you're close to an extraterrestrial. I'm really more of a slice of life writer— I especially love combining slice of life with sciecne fiction. So action isn't quite my forte just like it wasn't Toriyama's, but that and our common desire to subvert conventions (something many people have, though) is the limit of our similarities. I'm also a child of Grand Theft Auto, someone who adores the freedom to fuck about in wide open spaces with whatever I choose. This also helped define this stories (and others I'm planning).

When I stopped trying to hold the story up to Toriyama and Dragon Ball, I went off in my own direction for good (and wound up inadvertently coming back to it).


"Did this start out as a DBZ fanfiction?"

Yes and no. The current incarnation definitely began as fanfiction. That one came back in 2016, when I created this slice of life fanfic concept about a Saiyaness who came to Earth and became the waifu for a human. Over time, the slice of life aspects begot a major desire in me to shift from cutesy scenes to a more thorough deconstruction of just what it'd be like to live with a Saiyan and, eventually, an alien life form. We never think about a lot of the little things.

Then, around December of last year, I decided to wrap up every disparate idea into one package, and here we are.
May or may not be writing a Dragon Ball-inspired serial.

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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:24 pm

As for Enekai herself, I've been using her as a vehicle to explore alien and pseudo-human psychology and biology. Yabans are Saiyans— full-stop. I can't even deny it. It would be like Greta Van Fleet denying they're trying to sound like Led Zeppelin or Electric Wizard denying they're trying to be Black Sabbath. You look at a yaban, you see a Saiyan. That's a gag I want to use in the story too. I'm not too big on pop culture references, but this is one that's virtually impossible to not use. Dragon Ball and Monkey, that is, because one of Enekai's nicknames is "Lady Wukong".

The only difference between yabans and Saiyans is that yabans have no transformations. I deliberately chose against having anything like "Super Saiyan" or "Oozaru" and I'm currently debating with one other whether or not to relent on having one single Messianic-style transformation form. There are a few things close to Super Saiyan and Oozaru—

The high voltage state is technically like Super Saiyan, but that's the weakest technicality of them all because it's their natural state. This is how I get away with letting yabans have ridiculous spiky hair: they're naturally electrotelekinetic. This actually came from when I was looking at a picture of Kid Vegeta once (I think it was Super Vegeta Den/Dragon Ball Sai?) and I just got this feeling that his super-spiky hair and incredibly power made him look so high-energy that he was virtually spewing electricity through his hair. The idea that Saiyans would have spiky hair because of ultrahigh levels of bioelectricity (and not because they're anime characters) made sense to me ever since.

As of yet unnamed very-very high voltage state. I used to call it "superchaosborn" when "chaosborn" was the name for electrotelekinetics, but during that time, this was a different story more like urban fantasy. It's not a transformation, however.

Feral yabans. This is the absolute closest to the Oozaru form. The gist here is that all yabans can become "feral" with enough stimulation/excitement of a certain gland. There's also a whole segment of the yaban population that is naturally feral.


Besides this? You can pretty much take "Saiyan" and apply it to "Yaban". As mentioned earlier, I designed yabans to be space Mongols like Saiyans or Klingons, complete with Khans. Eventually, though, I decided that while they can have brutal cultures, I'd rather compare them to humans as a whole— they are to humans what tigers are to housecats. Things like physiological differences, sexual differences, cultural differences, and spiritual differences were all fair game.
I also went into their creation story, explaining how Alusru could prove they are a "created" race rather than a naturally evolved one judging by how almost all yaban societies— despite language and geographic differences— have the same name/word for their dominant deity with only a little drift.
I mentioned earlier that I can never be Toriyama, so the pun naming convention thing is out. The last vestige of it comes from the yaban god, Getabaru Khan. Getabaru being the mad scientist who turned them into the humanoid/elfoids they are now.

The best part was when I created their predecessors, yabansaru monkeys. I decided that yabansaru monkeys should still persist. Being a massive lover of primates, creating them was one of the funnest aspects of world building. These are essentially yabans' original, unengineered form. I designed yabansaru monkeys by taking various hyperaggressive human animals, mashing them together into an orangutan's body, then giving that demon orangutan a tail. Black mamba snakes were the original inspiration— pale gray-white skin and ink-black mouths. Extremely venomous and very aggressive. I also tied in the electrotelekinesis aspect of yabans into this by having yabansaru monkeys naturally have bioelectric offensive/defensive abilities like electric eels.


When it comes to tails, I realized that one of the reasons why I love Dragon Ball more than Dragon Ball Z as an adult is because Goku (usually) had a weakness: if you grabbed his tail, he was incapacitated. Outside of the earliest part of Z, tails didn't fact into anything. Freeza losing his tail didn't affect him; Cell's tail was only for absorption; Boo didn't have a tail at all; Beerus's tail is just a cat tail; U6 Saiyans lack tails altogether; tails were vehicles for attaing Super Saiyan 4 in GT. It would've been cool if one of the ways the Zetto Senshi could slow down Goku Black was because he grew back his tail without developing immunity towards grabbing it.

In this story (please, somebody help me find a damn name!!), yabans can never lose their tails. Their spines run through their tails to an extent and while they can take abuse (they can sit on their tails without feeling discomfort; you can tie their tails up for torture without causing spinal damage), if you actually remove their tail, you'd paralyze them. Squeezing their tails can also incapacitate them. This goes for all yabans, too. Unless they have ETK guards up (which technically applies to their entire bodies), even a wimpy untrained human can defeat a strong-ass yaban if he gets one's tail.

Another weakness is muscle density. It's both a strength (literally) and a weakness. Right now, my canon is that yaban muscle density is 5x to 10x that of humans, alongside also having a much better/fattier kind of muscle, which allows for them to have Doryphoros-style bodies but incredible natural strength. Gorillas are about 15x stronger than humans, and yabans are 2x to 4x stronger than gorillas naturally. So they can run much faster and hit much harder than humans ever can.
But humans will always be better swimmers. And not even by a close amount— unless they use their electro-magicke, yabans can't swim. Period. Their muscles are much too dense. This also makes quicksand an actual threat for them— humans can't actually be submerged in quicksand unless we panic and force ourselves to drown by thrashing about (and even then, we just float back to the top), but yabans will indeed sink. I can't wait to make something of that.

Speaking of strength, there's also their power. Electrotelekinesis is a strange niche, but it works surprisingly well. Yabans from Enekai's homeland call it "bril" or "vril", and the standard vril for yabans is enough to allow them to go toe to toe with anyone in Dragon Ball (barring the "blowing up the moon" thing). Vril allows them to pull of feats we recognize as ki blasts/beams, flight, super speed, etc.
There are "secular yabans": those who either lack vril or don't use it. Because yabans are still so much stronger than humans, they're still superhuman.


Another big thing is that yabans are essentially monkey elves. They're knife-eared bastards. So giving them actual flaws feels better than drawing back upon movie-LOTR elves' as ethereal Aryan perfection. Besides, I already have Tolkienesque elves later in the story.
Yabans look like elves: I said that if humans average at a "6", then yabans average at a "7" (if you discount their nonhuman extremities and that they only have two skin colors: vampire-white and dark-gray). However, they act more like orcs and don't deny that they are a species of war and destruction. Saiyans seem to be more like humans who have dominant warrior cultures. This is especially obvious in Universe 6.
My intention is to bring back the old '90s Saiyans— vicious xenophobic bloodthirsty warriors. But the only way to do that and have it be convincing without turning it into a Planet of Hats is to make yabans naturally more aggressive and violent than humans, and if you want that, you have to be prepared for the consequences, especially when you consider how violent humans already are.

It's hard to understand the mindset of yaban aggression (which is exactly the thing I'm aiming for pointing out and driving home). How they can seem docile only to attack everything in sight, how they are fearless and obsessed with killing, and how they worship war as a religion (generally).

And then there's sex. The joyful discussion that makes everyone blush. Putting it short: there are three sexes— male, female, and omega. Females and omegas give birth, but omegas can do it asexually in the right circumstances. Omegas are also basically traps, hermaphrodites. The strength difference between the sexes usually goes as 1::0.999::0.05 (whereas the difference between human men and women usually averages 1::0.77. The keyword is 'average').
Yaban females are estrous, and generally they don't feel pleasure from sex. This makes their sexual patterns wholly different from our own and also alters their behaviors enormously. Because males and females don't and can't have sex for pleasure— this extends back to yabansaru monkeys— and many often fail to have sex in their lifetimes due to simply lacking interest in doing so, they needed the omegas to survive at all. When Getabaru first came across yabansaru monkeys so long ago, he introduced money/tokens to them and expected them to use them for prostitution relatively easly, but in fact it took nearly a decade before he saw a single one exchange a token for sex. Mostly, it was paying someone to beat up/kill someone else or get their food. So sexual violence isn't much of a problem with them.

It'll make for some fun storylines involving us hypersexualized, hypergendered humans!

In terms of class:
Right now, this is still being worked on, but I have three more basic classifications.
Civilized > barbarians > feral.

Civilized: Those who live in civilization, basically. Still as violent as the rest, and yaban civilizations are dire affairs. Will there be a PRINCE OF ALL YABANS? I don't think so because there are several yaban empires and republics, though it would be interesting to have leaders who believe themselves to be the rightful rulers of literally everyone. There are also plenty of slaves, particularly of a goblin-esque humanoid lizard race. Enekai's father is "civilized", but his father was feral (see below), which caused him to be cast out as a barbarian.

Barbarians: Those who live in the primeval world outside yaban civilizations. They're not any different from the civilized; they merely prefer staying close to the fun stuff they can destroy with impunity, like animals.

Feral: Feral yabans are those who lack any behavioral modernity to begin with and are essentially wild, rabid animals with humanoid bodies. Or, more accurately, they are yabansaru monkeys with yaban bodies. Enekai's mother is feral.



Christ, why did I spend so much time on this?? Sorry for wasting your time there.
There's still a lot more, but no use mentioning it here.

The only thing I see the need to mention at this moment is that Enekai is not necessarily a Goku-clone for reasons already obvious, but she does share a lot of his adventurous fighting spirit and a demeanor that makes it difficult for her to take things seriously.
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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:18 pm

Yeeeah, I finally got my new Enekai commission in. I felt the need to mention it here only because it's done in the early DBZ style, unlike the others.
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]

I think another big reason this story developed the way it did was because of my fascination with my own created technique, Kyōka-tai (roughly "Reinforced Body") and Kyōka-ken (roughly "Reinforced Fist"). We've already seen Kyōka-ken in Dragon Ball Z, but it was never explicitly called that. The gist behind it is that you can raise your ki multiple times over in extremely short bursts, usually about as long as it takes for a punch or kick to make contact. Kyōka-tai is doing the same thing, but as a means of defense— you can tank otherwise crippling blows to the body as long as you time your ki burst perfectly.
This is what kaiōken was originally stated to be in Dragon Ball Z, but kaiōken became something similar to "proto-Super Saiyan" as soon as the Namek arc. The strain it puts on the body makes sense if it's a prolonged forced power increase, but there didn't seem to be many instances of it besides Piccolo messing up Android 20. If you can increase your power 40x in a super short burst and this is something most of the warriors could do, then that dramatically affects power scaling after Freeza. Likewise, surely it would be possible to turn this inward and have a character withstand an attack from someone dozens of times stronger than themselves, but it also makes sense that this is a harder one to pull off since you have to be very quick to notice they're attacking you and raise your power but also not quick enough to dodge it.
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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:10 pm

Actually, let me harp on technique some more.

One of the things I like about the early series is that there's actual technique and tactics involved, but I don't mean this as "you can see the individual attacks rather than a looped cycle of punches, kicks, and dodges played at 10x speed". Well I do, but my point is that there are plenty of instances in the series where a weaker opponent manages to put up a decent fight against and even defeat a physically stronger opponent without resorting to a power boost. This, in turn, made power boosts and OP beatdowns feel so much more special, which I think is why Dragon Ball Z, GT, and Super haven't been able to really capture that sense of magic that mid-to-late DB and early Z seemed to grasp so well and why people keep thinking that they're not as good as "the old stuff". We keep pointing to surface and lower level problems like cheap animation and questionable characterization when a lot of it is stuff we're capturing unconsciously but not often fully aware of, like flow and choreography. Dragon Ball Super's been really atrocious with conveying power or technique, something even late Z was able to do when power levels were already way off the scales, and maybe that's why I felt such a raging desire to create something of my own that starts back down on Earth again (metaphorically speaking) and builds up. Vegetto felt like an overwhelming force of nature, but the only two times in Super I've ever felt anything close to that was with SSJ Rage Trunks (at least the initial transformation) and Ultra Instinct Goku, particularly the first instance.
And part of that comes down to the fact that there's only so many times you can go "Oh wow, I've never felt a ki this great before!" before it becomes a running joke. Remember how Piccolo seemed to say that every other episode of the Boo saga? Probably not the first time in the series, but I remember doing a full watch-through of Z a few years back and that was the instance that stuck out to me the most, sticking out like a naked Majin's bulbous ass in my face in fact. The reason why it stops working is because it's a blatant act of telling rather than showing. That's why SSJ Rose Goku Black's introduction worked somewhat well, I think. No one said anything about his enormous power, and we already saw him no-selling SSJ Blue Vegeta Toguro-style, so it was both shocking and to be expected to see him impale Vegeta, the first genuinely gory injury in the series (though not bloody). It gave you a sense of his power and danger. But it still didn't quite work because these sorts of scenes truly work when you have a clear idea where characters stand, where their abilities lie, what class they fight in. That's why Jose Aldo going down in one punch


Compare the climactic turning points of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Super's final battles.

Dragon Ball was never really going to be a Jackie Chan-style kung fu story on principle because Chan's gimmick is that he's more of a goofy everyman who stumbles into bad situations and has to work out from the bottom. Even though you know he's Jackie Chan, you initially expect him to get his ass beaten raw until he surprises you. See:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1PCtIaM_GQ

Goku's story from the very beginning was that he was a stupidly strong boy who couldn't stop getting stronger and obliterating everything in his path. Sometimes he was the underdog, but usually we watched hoping to see Goku take apart some uppity fool and were shocked when he lost the upper hand. Because of this different dynamic, the fights were different for action comedy. But they still had decent amounts of combat. Usually funny combat, until the series went on and it got more brutal.

Because of the nature of underdogs, giving them good characterization is pretty easy. You need only follow their story of overcoming the odds. With OP characters, you need a lot more elements to keep things interesting because otherwise the protagonist would one shot everything and nothing would keep your attention— One Punch Man excels at this. Dragon Ball found something of a middle-ground at first by making Goku OP but then making every subsequent villain also OP to give him an actual challenge. Early opponents made sense for whatever reason— Jackie Chun/Muten Roshi was a centuries-old martial arts master, Android 8 was a literal Frankenstein's monster, Taopaipai was a renowned and feared assassin from the Crane school, whose rivalry with the Turtle school was established well and we could understand what the rest would bring to the table, and so on. Then we get to Piccolo Daimao, who was the first real planetary threat. And that felt epic because the Red Ribbon Army was more of a joke and they weren't actually out to destroy the world. Technically, neither was Piccolo Daimao, but you still felt he was a much more serious threat. Then we get Goku's brother, Raditz, who was so far beyond anyone and anything Goku had ever faced up to that point.

I'd say that there are two diverging paths: those who started with Dragon Ball and those who started with Z. For those who started with Dragon Ball, I can imagine things probably started feeling a little stale by this point. Not series-breaking by far, but it's clear that DB is falling into old sins. Goku's the strongest > someone stronger comes along and kicks his ass so hard that he's wearing his buttocks like a hat > Goku drops out > secondary characters step up to the plate > secondary characters job > Goku gets a power boost > Goku comes back to win the day. Believe it or not, only the first third of Z is like that, despite the fact that's its most well known storyline.

Whereas for those who started with Z, they didn't see that Goku's fight with Raditz and onwards to Nappa and Vegeta had essentially played out before with Taopaipai and Piccolo Daimao, so it was exciting and new. And it was pretty sweet regardless.

But the general problem with OP protagonists that can't immediately overcome their opponents is that their next opponent always has to be stronger or else the audience won't feel any stakes. You don't get that with the underdog by nature until they become this (if they ever do) because they're always aiming towards taking down someone stronger. That stronger opponent is established early on and used as a goal in and of itself. Whereas with the totally OP protagonists, you have to rely on cleverness and characterization to keep a story going— this is why Superman has been going on nonstop for nearly a century, with only a few eras of a blatantly overpowered Man of Steel. In particular, they need some sort of drawback or weakness, something that can incapacitate them, whether it be a character flaw, being too paragon, an element toxic to them, a sensitive body part, etc.
Dragon Ball started to slip because there were no drawbacks to characters after a certain point. You had character flaws, certainly— most (in)famously, Vegeta's hubris, Gohan's overconfidence, Gotenks' juvenile naivete, and Future Trunks' lack of battle experience and overzealousness. You could use these to take down these characters if you knew what you were doing, as Cell did with Vegeta and Trunks and Boo did with Gohan and Gotenks. But these were weaknesses that could be permanently overcome unlike, say, kryptonite. Again, that wouldn't be a problem in an underdog story with a single arc or in a story where certain characters have certain abilities that other characters don't so they can complement each other (i.e. the 5 Man Band), but Dragon Ball isn't that. Thus, there wasn't much else to really hold back characters, and it really showed in Super. Badly. Because even though Vegeta changed as a character (which is good), he also lost his only heel that villains could use to reasonably defeat him, and yet he still kept losing because the plot demanded it. Goku's only weaknesses before now were hunger and his tail, but hunger stopped playing a role when the series became serious and he permanently lost his tail after Kami pulled it off, so that was that basically. Beyond that point, the only weakness in the series was "you're literally physically weaker than your opponent", and when that happens, you basically reach supercritical mass of anime escalation.



"So why are you wasting our time mumbling nonsense?"

1: I'm really just trying to see if I learned any lessons about what not to do with this story (unless I can be assured I can do them well enough to make them less of a problem than they became in DBZ).
2: I wanted to identify some issues I saw in Dragon Ball. A lot of problems you see in Dragon Ball are endemic to wuxia/xianxia fiction as a whole, which includes a lot of shonen anime. It really surprised me to see how unoriginal Dragon Ball's flaws are, especially the whole "cutting away to show someone looking stunned or commenting on what a fighter just did" cliche. Because I'm just not of that background— I really only started getting into wuxia in the past year— it would be a fool's mission to try to emulate that outside of surface homages. Especially considering I still consider some of these classic tropes to be narrative flaws rather than actual tropes defining a genre, so it wouldn't feel right doing something I consciously dislike.
3: A natural consequence of powers becoming so great is that a lot of the martial arts spectacle vanished in lieu of the ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta loops, partially because it would be near impossible to actually show what's going on without constantly slowing everything down. I want to see how far I can go before I reach that point without the story getting bogged down, while at the same time I still do want to reach such an OP level of power. I figured out early on that it's the lack of real weaknesses that hurt Dragon Ball down the line and contributed to its meathead perception. By the very nature of the series, since there's no physical or emotional weaknesses anymore, raw strength is truly the only factor, and any statement otherwise ("see, you gotta be smart too!") is more or less the series weakly trying to cover its tracks rather than show us. So if I give my characters actual weaknesses, including weaknesses that are basically built in to who they are and can't be overcome but can be worked around and exploited, I'm already starting off on a better footing.
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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Pantalones » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:33 am

Also, yabans are basically suspicious similar substitutes/expies of Saiyans. So similar that one of my biggest worries is that it could incur a lawsuit should I ever write it.
As far as copyright lawsuit issues go...
The only difference between yabans and Saiyans is that yabans have no transformations. I deliberately chose against having anything like "Super Saiyan" or "Oozaru"
...I'd say that if your species lacks transformations you're probably 100% safe, even with the tails and all. There's so many spiky-haired super-strong anime characters out there that if Toei or Toriyama were going to sue, they'd be able to sue A LOT of people and would probably go for something a lot higher-profile rather than one fan's story. It'd be like Nintendo suing anybody with a character who wears a red hat and can jump, or Sega suing anybody with a blue character who goes fast.

Especially considering that they have different powers from Saiyans (the whole electrical thing, denser muscles = sinks like a One Piece devil-fruit user when trying to swim, etc.), I don't see the concept as being copyright-infringingly close even if the Saiyans were the original basis for the species.

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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:35 pm

I mean, you never know. Maybe the tail's all it takes.

Oh lookee, two new completed commissions, one of Enekai and one of her brother, Tarus.

[spoiler]Image
Image[/spoiler]

Both thanks to Salvamakoto.
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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:28 pm

A few more things I've done with Enekai of Kollidor in recent days.

First: images.
Another Salvamakoto image
"Lady Wukong"
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]
A meme I created
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]
And a few 3D faces I created in Black Desert Online.
[spoiler]Image
Image
Image
Image[/spoiler]
Kinda frustrating that you can only make females' muscles so large. Breasts are fine, but muscles are still smaller than they should be.

As for the story itself, I decided to take Alusru Rasa out of the story. I wanted to tell a different story and it worked to have him be elsewhere. I wanted there to be more mystical and soft sci-fi elements in the story, so focusing so totally on aliens from the start kind of bummed me out after a while because my science autism kicked in.
That's not to say there won't be Gray aliens in the story; I just felt it better to switch things up. I think Shadowrun was what helped me get over a crippling need to make things physically realistic.
I wound up becoming sort of obsessed with what I dubbed "Tropical Wuxia" settings. I blame my love of bright blue skies, palm trees, and Buddhist temples (especially everything about Angkor Wat). That whole coastal India/Cambodia/Vietnam/Taiwan/Okinawa/Philippines/Indonesia setting interests me. I think I can also blame Sonic the Hedgehog for this because my favorite Sonic stages were always the beach stages.
So I'll probably do that at some point.
But I still want to do some of that esoteric paranormal nonsense.


When it comes to the yabans, I had an idea to justify their continued ultraviolence, something that builds off of one of my favorite works:
Image

In wanting to establish a proper Blue and Orange morality system, I realized that the Party of Nineteen Eighty-Four fame has the best one for any true "warrior race".
Yabans, especially those from Enekai's particular homeland, have this cultural quirk where they wage war for no reason. It sounds utterly ludicrous to us humans, us psychotic apes who have wired our planet to blow up, but that's because we are not actually a warrior race.
A real warrior race fights for the sake of the thrill of fighting; violence for violence's sake is the point of violence! If there's a goal to that violence, then that detracts from the sake of violence.
Humans fight wars and play competitive sports to achieve goals. Whether that's physical or spiritual/emotional/mental/whathaveyou.
Yabans are so stupidly violent that they will actually organize entire wars just for the sake of fighting wars. Even the losers are fulfilled. It's hard to describe who is the winner and who is the loser, actually, because since they're not fighting to accomplish a goal other than "to fight"— not even to train, not even to let off pent up frustration, just for the raw thrill of violence itself— then who exactly loses? It's closer to the psychology of Lovecraftian ultraterrestrials or, in my favor, Saiya-jins!

That sort of "What the fuck is going through their insane minds?" that I felt when I thought of that is exactly why I wanted to write the story in the first place.



Lastly, I'm probably going to make Enekai's full name "Ral Enekai". Just to tie her to her alternate universe self, Ra'hal.
This is who Enekai originally was a few years ago. Actually, no, Enekai is now once again who she basically originally was when I first created her about five years ago, but this is what she became about around 2015-2016: a gothy high-elf maiden, named 'Enekai Rahal':
[spoiler]Image
Image
Image
Image[/spoiler]
This is what I meant when I said Enekai predated Caulifla. These images are literally from November 2016.

I figured I could have fun if I made both incarnations meet each other.
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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by dbgtFO » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:24 am

Yuli Ban wrote: First: images.
Another Salvamakoto image
"Lady Wukong"
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]
And a few 3D faces I created in Black Desert Online.
[spoiler]Image
Image
Image
Image[/spoiler]
Kinda frustrating that you can only make females' muscles so large. Breasts are fine, but muscles are still smaller than they should be.
Really? She looks as muscular if not more so than SalvaMakoto's designs. If you could make the model flex, I'm sure that would make it clear how muscular she really is. That arm and that stomach are definitely very muscular.

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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:13 pm

dbgtFO wrote:
Yuli Ban wrote: First: images.
Another Salvamakoto image
"Lady Wukong"
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]
And a few 3D faces I created in Black Desert Online.
[spoiler]Image
Image
Image
Image[/spoiler]
Kinda frustrating that you can only make females' muscles so large. Breasts are fine, but muscles are still smaller than they should be.
Really? She looks as muscular if not more so than SalvaMakoto's designs. If you could make the model flex, I'm sure that would make it clear how muscular she really is. That arm and that stomach are definitely very muscular.
Looking back, I think it's mostly that BDO's female musculature downplays definition.
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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:54 pm

Suweet, I've got a megapost to show off!
https://imgur.com/a/Gb7c07e

In terms of using completely unrelated things to help build up the story, I found this neat little dilly about Saiyan tails.
Image

Scratch out "Saiyan" and insert "Yaban", cut out the part about turning SSJ/Oozaru, and you basically have my thoughts on the matter.

I've also been writing some quick drabbles, mainly as part of my daily 500-words-of-narrative practice. If anyone cares to see one, just let me know. Since none of them are canon, they've gotten a little... out there.
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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:55 pm

You know what's nice about having an overactive imagination alongside schizotypal disorder? You can visualize things incredibly well— such as, por ejemplo, what it would realistically be like if you lived with what basically amounts to a female Saiyan and said Saiyaness brought her Saiyan "friends" to Earth. It's not good. Not at all. For one, you have to keep her out of civil society. The very existence of superpowers would up-end society— when "god-kings" roamed the Earth and it was commonly believed that you could directly commune with and befriend gods, demigods, demons, and spirits that also walked freely, society was chaotic and pointless. Not to mention that these over-the-top fights they regularly engage in cause billions, even trillions of dollars in damage and will bankrupt the planet. So in a manner, you don't need superpowered battles to lay waste to Earth— just prove supernatural abilities exist and we'll destroy ourselves before any superhuman has thrown a single punch.
Not to mention that supervillains would create cults around themselves. Science obviously has been permanently discredited, even if it's a neutral observer of natural events, because we've created theories and laws that should hold up. Newton's three laws, general and special relativity, etc. completely collapse the moment a man appears who has enough power to punch a planet out of orbit and blow up its natural satellite with a flex of his fingers because obviously they're false. If you think it could still hold up, you don't understand the limits of these laws in the first place.

Now I don't want to create a purely joyless story that has to follow all physical rules all the time because that would get a bit lame— one of my favorite parts of superpower-based fiction is when you can punch someone and send them flying. In reality, if you hit someone with anywhere near that much strength with an object as compact as a fist, you're only going to leave a bloody, splintered, gory hole in them. But it is fun to imagine some deconstructions. Particularly the one about how society can't handle the existence of superhumans. Comic books and manga never talk about such a thing, instead taking them for granted for the sake of getting to the action. In fact, the only real social drawback to superpowers we've seen in the past is "hide your identity or else villains will use your loved ones as collateral" and "humans will treat you as an outcast to be distrusted because you're different from them".

________________________________


The series shifts over into pseudo-wuxia after a point, but up to that point there's a bit of a clash of two worlds when you have Enekai and her ilk who have cultivated superhuman powers (on top of their already superhuman biology) vs. Earthling and other alien characters who are powerless by themselves and have to utilize magically, divinely, or technologically-enhanced weapons and gadgets. Have you ever noticed this about fantasy? And by "fantasy" I don't just mean "elves, dwarves, swords, sorcery, knights on horseback, timber-frame Germanic houses in the Shire," etc. but any genre about larger-than-life characters solving epic problems through superhuman means. In Eastern fantasy, there's a lot more "cultivation"— by that, I mean it's more common for the source of one's power to be one's own mastery of chi. There can be superhuman abilities from other means, such as being born by divine, demonic, or alien means, but it's always possible to grow stronger. Compare that to Western fantasy where you can certainly train to improve your abilities, but you'll almost never become superhuman through training. In our case, such abilities can only be achieved through actually magical means. For a random example, the hero is an average ordinary girl, but when she wears the Crown of Avalon, she can easily lift cars and jump over buildings.

Japan is a good example of a country that has fused both paradigms because I can point to two Japanese IPs that are commonly compared but utilize different styles— Sonic the Hedgehog and, of course, Dragon Ball. We always talk about how Super Sonic = Super Saiyan and whatnot, but for around 6 years now I could tell that there was something not quite right about these comparisons besides surface similarities. Back then, it was more that you rarely saw similarly sized characters fight each other like you did in Dragon Ball— Super Sonic fought skyscraper-sized kaijus and pseudo-kaijus, not other super forms like Super Shadow, Super Silver, etc. Nowadays I realized that the very means by which Sonic and co. reach these forms is also different and closer in spirit to Western fantasy. Sonic cannot transform into Super Sonic without the 7 Chaos Emeralds. What's more, it doesn't seem that Super Sonic's abilities are variable [ADD moment: I used to like to imagine that he could use more or fewer rings per second to increase and decrease his power, but this is apparently too clever for Sega (which is sad since it's ME we're talking about)]. There is "Hyper Sonic", but it's achieved in a very similar way.

Imagine if Goku and the other Saiyans had to gather the seven Dragon Balls every single time they wanted to go Super Saiyan. That would make it closer in style to Western fantasy.
Even if Goku were actually Japanese Superman and could increase his power level by sitting in the light of the sun, that wouldn't qualify as "cultivation" since the true power is coming from the wrong Sun.

That. That's what I'm playing with. I wasted your time just so I could point to the blocks of text and say "I'm gonna use this in the story." NaNoWriMo 2018 is coming up soon, so I suppose we'll see the first installment soon.
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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:06 am

So I decided to go with another story for NaNoWriMo this year.

Here's the latest image I decided to get commissioned.
A few things that have developed:
  • Changing the world setting to an original version of Earth, much like Dragon Ball. This because I'm too lazy to do any research about foreign countries but still want my Tropical Wuxia.
  • Ral Enekai herself is also going to be a child, like Kid Goku at the start of the franchise. She'll eventually grow up, of course.
  • Removed self-awareness from child yabans. This is going to sound strange at first, but there's a point to this. Also makes for some funny gags, primatology!nerd moments, and a legit weakness. Basically, child yabans have no self-awareness even though they have human-level intellectual capability. Even a lot of adult yabans lack self-awareness. See this post for a more in-depth explanation, though using orcs.
  • Gave omega yabans a proper term, "yenoi". At this point, yenoi are like an entire sex of traps. It's kind of the tradeoff that has to happen when nakoi and bolloi are both masculine in behavior.
  • Looked back at transformations in Dragon Ball and realized that having something like Super Saiyan/Ultra Instinct would be neat, but it can't be a transformation or have any levels beyond just the one. Continued after the list.
  • Created "Ral la Ral" which are basically slice of life/weird noncanon stories to go along with the main one.
  • Added some bodhisattva characters, which will be important at some future point.
  • Added magic and a Demon Realm to the setting. This is also important because there are multiple types of demons and ghosts, ranging from the physical types we see in anime (like in Yu Yu Hakusho or Dragon Ball) to the cheesy jumpscare-friendly horror tropes found in games, books, and movies to the fleeting ethereal specters that are part of Fortean paranormal phenomena. All are part of the story.
  • Ended the "danger of superpowers being found out" plotline for obvious reasons. I'm using it for other concepts. It's still a cool concept that few people really think about— you could probably write a bestselling realistic book about superpowers developing on Earth and the very existence of them leading to the breakdown of civilization before anyone has a chance to use them.
  • Added various "external power sources" that characters can use to gain energy. In an earlier post, I mentioned how Western and Eastern fantasy differ— Western superhumans tend to be given superpowers from external/divine/technological means while Eastern/wuxia superhumans will often be normal humans who cultivated enough chi through extensive cultivation. I wanted to add some of these external power sources to the story. Some might even be able to make characters go Super, a la Sonic the Hedgehog. More of a way to help non-yaban and non-demon characters keep up.
  • Enekai herself will likely be a lot less talkative than I originally planned. Relating to making her lack self-awareness early on, I also realized that another way to drive home her alienness is to make it seem like talking is an unusual action for her.
Somewhere on the list, I mentioned that I wanted to introduce a Super Saiyan/Ultra Instinct-esque form into the story at some point. There are a few things from Dragon Ball I'd love to use in EoK, including Kaioken and Taiyō-ken. At some point, I realized what I didn't like about Super Saiyan and how I'd go about using it:
Image
Super Saiyan, to me, is much more special when it's a Messianic fulfillment of a warrior race's prophecy. Super Saiyan was at its best when it was what it was: a "super" Saiyan, a warrior who is not only much stronger but whose battle instincts are at their peak. They are "killing machines" because they are literally acting purely on Saiyan battle instincts. Back in the day, Super Saiyan was Ultra Instinct, where the Saiyan's body was all but acting on its own in all ways.
Broly's legendary Super Saiyan form was just like this in a time when Super Saiyan had become a golden power-up. It was a fine explanation why Legendary Super Saiyan had none of the drawbacks of Super Saiyan Grade 3.
But your battle instincts can't be at 400% their peak when you become Super Saiyan 3.
At some point, Super Saiyan was no longer special because it wasn't about any of that anymore. It was all "multipliers" and who had the craziest hair. And once it reached that state, no future form would ever feel special. Hell, Ultra Instinct is getting back to what Super Saiyan originally was supposed to be and it doesn't even feel very special. At this point, if you're a Saiyan, you have to have Super Saiyan just because, even if it doesn't make any sense. And you'll inevitably get Super Saiyan 2 and probably even 3. And the only thing that will be different is that you'll be faster and stronger, but you otherwise won't see any other effects. With the modern art style, you won't even see any muscle growth.

Image
GOOD LORD.
Super Saiyan is basically Golden Kaioken. Super Saiyan 2 is Golden Kaioken x2. Super Saiyan 3 is Golden Kaioken x4. That's literally what it's become. And maybe it was always that and I'm reading far too deeply into a Japanese children's cartoon, but certainly that would NEVER happen on this forum.

With EoK, I'm fine with having a racial ability of the yabans that allows for them to increase their speed and strength as well as push their battle instincts to the absolute maximum as long as it absolutely cannot be improved, surpassed with a new form, or "mastered". Better yet, I'd love it if you had to stack other abilities together just to reach this point. Feral yabans act purely on instinct, another technique increases speed, and a third increases power. There you go, right?
Well, there's still time to work out the kinks.
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Re: I've been toying around with a story concept that takes up a lot from Dragon Ball

Post by Yuli Ban » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:17 pm

A few things going on recently:
I want to give yabans an official binomial nomenclature. How does Saiyanthropus robustus sound?
I've grown obsessed with watching videos of primates grooming. This is just making me want to double down on making yabans more primate-esque in behavior.
Young Enekai is pretty much Cyrus's pet monkey. An electric punchmonkey who is also retired, but a monkey nonetheless.

One of the Ral la Ral stories takes advantage of all this. Whereas the main story is more of a shonen-esque action-adventure storyline, Ral la Ral is where I can go full Yuli Ban, and one of the stories involves a take where Cyrus and friends find Enekai and display her to the media and scientists. Imagine what it would be like if we found an actual Saiyan. An alien, a monkey-person, a Saiyan, whathaveyou. The media would go wild! Forums like Kanzenshuu would be set alight.


Something else that's been part of the themes I'm working with is the nature of Strong Female Characters™. I actually have a spoof of a YA Mary Sue-type character in the story, one who is a classic SFC™. But the thing is, Enekai herself is an SFC™. She's one by design.
They differ from strong female characters in that SFCs™ are basically big burly sex-obsessed men in petite, attractive womens' bodies, whose only means of solving problems is through violence. SFCs™ are just physically strong, often ridiculously so. My personal standard is "if it sounds stupid for a man, it is stupid for a woman." SFCs™ are typically svelte, trim, maybe around 5'2", weigh around 100 pounds, and yet can use martial arts to take down trained men thrice their size. This is often seen as empowering. Yet if you change the pronouns from "she" to "he", it becomes utterly hilarious to imagine a twinky man in a skin-tight catsuit fucking up Arnold Schwarzenegger. So why is it any different for women? Why do we even see violence as an acceptable path to take rather than a last resort? Aren't the best stories about what make us human?

Enekai sorta screws all this up because she is very much female but isn't a human, and she's also terrifyingly strong. It wasn't an coincidence that Enekai weighs a thousand pounds and has bulky muscles and is also a brawler character. My view is always "if you want physically strong female characters, don't wimp out and make them supermodels with magically invisible muscles. Give them fucking muscles!" It's not going to lead to the extinction of all dicks in the omniverse if there is even one muscular female in an action story.
It's also why I love making yabans more and more psychologically alien.
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