Monday, April 28, 2008

Faery Jam Development Notes 1

Now that my 2-month old project finally has a proper name, I can start writing some good ol' development notes. =)

The basic premise of Faery Jam is this: a short, young bard named Wilkob one day discovers his special musical powers of communicating with faeries and eventually gets involved in a bigger conflict.

But Faery Jam has changed much since its original conception. It used to be Grimm, a crossover of all Brother Grimm Fairy Tales mixed with musicians and robots. In point-form writing, the story reached 18 episodes. There was a very huge amount of characters involved, after being fleshed out.

However, after further thought, I find that having too many characters to handle will make it more difficult to have enough development for each of them. The focus would be too spread out. That was the impetus to revamp the entire plan for Grimm that I've already laid out.

A case study about the danger of too many characters:
Shaman King is one of the many shounen series that left an impression on me. As with most shounen series, the cast is numerous but Shaman King really takes the cake with one of the biggest character lists around. It exceeded 100 characters over the course of 285 chapters and 32 books. Here's what history has got to say about the fate of Shaman King:

"In November of 2004, Shaman King was cancelled by Weekly Shonen Jump. Shaman King was let go due to declining popularity in Jump's fan polls (indicated by their willingness to release the final completed manga volume (Vol. 32) if there was a great enough fan response)."

Before the actual Shaman King tournament in the story, everything went well. Concepts of spirits and methods of summoning them to fight was explained thoroughly. There were many types of spiritual abilities and it was really fascinating with the fights between each unique character.

Suddenly, the story took a big turn and the previously already big cast was dumped into a huge sea of new characters.

This is already 96 characters, and still MANY more unrevealed characters in the plot later on. Why give yourself such a balancing burden, Takei-sensei?

Seeing how the series went from potentially good, to unique and awesome, to a colossal disappointment... I've decided to limit the number of characters. Speaking of that, my previous work T.H.S should receive the same treatment as well, but I'll save that for another post.

As Faery Jam has shounen manga qualities (despite being cartoonish), it is susceptible to the same faults. I'll have to be responsible to keep the character count in place now.

And now, to recast all the characters from scratch...

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