Anime That Made Me Wanna Write! A Guest Post by Jaclyn Dolamore

Friday, April 29, 2016

Anime That Made Me Wanna Write!

Today, we have author Jaclyn Dolamore to give you a list of animes that made her want to write!
And, now, onto Jaclyn!

Final Fantasy IV
Okay. It’s not actually an ANIME, it’s a video game. But it was my first exposure to Japanese storytelling, because when I was a preteen, as far as I know, there was no anime on TV. Not even badly dubbed anime with some of the good parts cut out. So when I first saw a Final Fantasy game, I was ALL OVER IT. The story seemed so magical! It had crystals and paladins and a girl who could summon monsters and an amazing soundtrack! My mind was further blown when I saw the original character designs by Yoshitaka Amano. In the US, video games, comics and cartoons got no respect and were barely considered art at all. In Japan, they had amazing composers and artists working on these things. This shaped my entire attitude toward the art I was creating as a kid and a teenager.

Studio Ghibli Movies
Well, seriously, who can watch the work of Studio Ghibli and not be inspired? My second book, Between the Sea and Sky, was heavily inspired by Ghibli movies, especially the adorable, thoughtful teenage romance of Whisper of the Heart, and the flying scenes of…nearly every movie they’ve made. Howl’s Moving Castle has been a general inspiration for everything, especially my Magic Under Glass series. And I have a book in progress about a witch and her familiar that is most definitely an homage to Kiki’s Delivery Service. From the magic, to the strong female characters, to the quiet little details interspersed throughout, and the charming settings inspired by both Europe and Japan, it is hard for me to write anything without thinking of a Ghibli movie at some point!

Fushigi Yuugi

This was the first anime series I got really hardcore obsessive over. Fushigi Yuugi is about a normal Japanese schoolgirl (of course) who gets sucked into a book and finds herself in a version of ancient China with a lot of beautiful and/or quirky boys with tragic pasts. I’ve always been a sucker for beautiful and/or quirky boys with tragic pasts. My Hidden Lands series draws from a lot of influences, but certainly one of the images I keep going back to are beautiful Chinese emperors in magical palaces with weird hats, especially with book 2 and all the tradition and pomp of the Palace of Blessed Wings, and that’s all thanks to Watase Yuu.

The Works of Ai Yazawa

I’ve always been a fantasy writer, but one with a serious love for intimate, relationship-driven conflict over WOWIE ZOWIE MAGIC stuff. So sometimes I want to write contemporary, but then it seems too boring. Where is the magic? Paradise Kiss and NANA are, to me, perfect examples of writing contemporary stories that feel utterly magical. Everything is a little larger than life, but the emotions still hit home. And the fashion illustrator in me is just plain envious. Whenever I think of writing stories in the real world, I want to capture the feeling of Paradise Kiss and NANA. (Also, one of my characters is totally George. And no, it’s definitely not my character who is named George, haha.)

Legend of Galactic Heroes

Legend of Galactic Heroes is a long, long series that has never been released in the US and can be hard to find. It’s an amazing space opera, although I have a hard time recommending it to people because iIt’s really long, and gets into a level of historical and political detail that can be very confusing at times! The payoff, though. OH MAN. When a certain character died, I cried more than when I had to put my cat to sleep. That is a LOT of crying. I was just so invested in this story. So anyway, I was watching Legend of Galactic Heroes while writing my fifth novel, Glittering Shadows, which was a difficult book to write because it involved lots of politics and battles and I don’t usually write that stuff in such detail! Part of what helped me get through it was the inspiration from this show, and in homage, there are names from LoGH peppered throughout the novel. Luckily the names worked because the world of Glittering Shadows is based on 1920s Germany, and one of the warring forces in LoGH is based on Imperial Germany!

This was so fun to think about, and I could go on and on…but now I feel like I need to go watch some anime and see if I can find my next inspiration!

About Jaclyn

Jaclyn Dolamore has a passion for history, vintage dresses, David Bowie, anime, drawing, and organic food. She is the author of six YA novels, including Magic Under Glass and Dark Metropolis. Her new series, starting with The Vengeful Half, also includes manga-inspired comics in the narrative. She lives with her partner and three weird cats in a Victorian house in western Maryland. 

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