Sunday, 24 February 2013

It's Atoll or nothing

God, another pun?  Well, it has been a bit of a slow week this week and I’ve not much to talk about in terms of my life, so I was stumped about what to write about this week.  I could talk about some items in the news (the Oscar murder trials anyone??  And that was just for bail???) but I’m not sure how that would be received.  So last night, I was thinking that I would have to miss a week, breaking my streak but as I crawled defeated into my bed of shame, it struck me!  Project Atoll!  My saving grace!  No matter what happens to me or how slow a week is, I can always talk about my project like that father who keeps showing you pictures of his kid at every opportunity.  So yay me!

I spoke about it a little last week and when I first introduced it but it was fairly brief and I don’t think it covered a lot of information, so this week, I will try to cover some key topics and motivations as well as introduce the slightly expanded main characters.  Plus I can pretend I’m a little famous…

Project Atoll Part 2

What the hell happened to ‘Where the Wolves Wandered’, you big fat phoney!

As mentioned months and months ago, I have been working on a project called ‘Where the Wolves Wandered’ and all of a sudden, I’m now working on ‘Project Atoll’.  Whilst I am still working on ‘Where the Wolves Wander’, I decided to concentrate on a much smaller project to get my foot in the door.  For WtWW, I plan for it to be a long running shōnen series, in the style of Naruto, Bleach or Sword Art Online.  Should everything go well, I would love for it to become an entire universe with spin-offs, video games and films based on it.  However, to do that before I’m even in the industry would be a herculean task which, in all likelihood, would fail.

It was because of this that I decided to re-evaluate my plan and thus ‘Project Atoll’ was born.  ‘Project Atoll’ will be a significantly shorter manga series or visual novel, similar to ‘PS I Love You’ or ‘Devil Gene R’, perhaps one day expanding into an anime series.  Doing it this way seems to be a more manageable first step to take.

It’s loosely based on my life

When I say that, I mean very loosely.  For example, I do not live in Hong Kong nor am I about to join a band (dear god, imagine me in the outfits that visual kei bands wear).  How it is based loosely on my life is through the idea of becoming an ex-pat and subsequently experiencing isolation and acceptance as a result if this.  Having moved to Nepal, although I have enjoyed 95% of it, I have often felt isolated from my friends and family and felt like an alien during certain situations.  But that’s normal and what has got me through it is the welcoming attitude and kindness of my friends and colleagues here (and the support of my friends/family at home as well), and that is something that I will write about in ‘Project Atoll’ as well.  Also, the main character will be created to look a little like me but that’s more of a power trip than anything else.

Why Hong Kong?

I’m sure that many of you are surprised that Japan was not my immediate go-to for location as most manga/anime are set there and I never shut up about it (I can attest to that - Ed).  I did think about using Japan as the location but I think that Hong Kong offers up a different style of location which appeals to me aesthetically (for the story) and I know that it suits some of the key events I have planned.  For example, there is going to be a scene where Curtis is at his lowest point and is evaluating his life whilst standing in front of the harbour water, against a backdrop of glittering skyscrapers which slowly grow darker (and the water rougher) as he becomes more and more depressed.  For me, Hong Kong Harbour suits this perfectly.

Visual Kei?  Wait, What? 

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Visual Kei is a stylised movement within Japanese music combining over the top hair styles and flamboyant costumes with glam rock and punk. 

So why am I including it?  Well, because I enjoy the music mostly.  It has become a huge part of my musical repertoire and would love to write something that includes it (especially as it could include some humourous, light-hearted moments to the story).  Also, should it ever become a visual novel or an anime series, it would be really fun to be able to include some actual songs within the series.  

Meet the Family

Finally, it’s time to meet the stars of the show who have been fleshed out a little.

Curtis Trate:
Sex: Male
Age: 22
Nationality: British
Favourite Food: Noodles and Tempura
Least Favourite Food: Mussels
Personality:  Friendly but shy
Description: Having moved to Hong Kong to take up a dream internship at the European , Curtis enjoys himself at first but due to his near crippling shyness and previous history of depression/self-harm, he becomes more isolated and depressed as he feels he cannot connect.  Despite this, he is a friendly and outgoing person when with friends.  He loves to cook, watch anime and sing.

Xin-na Shae:
Sex: Female
Age: 24
Nationality: Chinese (Hong Kong)
Favourite Food: Sushi
Least Favourite: Fried Rice
Personality: Loyal and kind but easy to push around
Description: Coming from a hard-working, simple family, Xin-na leaped at the opportunity to work at the embassy and has been a great asset to them.  Hardworking and very kind, she is liked by everyone she meets and instantly catches the eye of Curtis.  Despite being attracted to him, she feels flustered around him, despite not being shy, but eventually is able to open up to him.

Rinoa Ling:
Sex: Female
Age: 20
Nationality: Chinese (Beijing)
Favourite food: Chips
Least favourite: Fish
Description: Despite having a Masters in Biology, Rinoa decided to pursuit her dream of becoming a drummer in a visual kei band and currently lives in the same building as Curtis.  However, she also supports herself as a research assistant in a private university.  She is fairly outspoken and bent on both learning and her music. 

Pick of the Week

GOG - Looking for some damn good value, old school video games that are tuned to work with your computer, so you don't need to work out how to get them started?  Check out for your fix!  I'm talking everything from Fallout 1 to Rollercoaster Tycoon to Simcity to Thief!  This is a great website for a cheap video game fix (Just bought The Witcher for £3.50) or if you're feeling nostalgic. 

Music of the Week 

One of my favourite artists just released a new single which has become the first single that I've bought in years, so that is my song of the week:  Miyavi - Ahead of the light.  Enjoy!

Well, that's it from me this week.  Thank you for taking time to read my narcissistic ramblings about my pet project!  I'm really enjoying working on it and if you have any interest in it, let me know!  Also, don't forget to like the facebook page for this blog!

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