Based on the Japanese light novels by Reki Kawahara, Sword Art Online portrays an interesting perspective on the concept of virtual reality. When I first discovered this anime, I did not know what to expect. However, when I watched it, I was amazed by the amazing animation and special effects as well as the unique characters that move the story along. In many ways, this anime reminds me of The Matrix Trilogy in that the characters’ minds are transferred into a computer-generated world and that if they die in the computer world, they die for real. In particular, I had a keen interest in the relationship between Kazuto Kirigaya (Kirito) and Asuna Yuuki (Asuna). Before watching the anime, I wasn’t a fan of romance stories and never truly understood what romantic love was, but after watching Kirito and Asuna interact with one another throughout the series, I started crying, which is something I do not do very often. As for villains, Akihiko Kayaba is what I would categorize as a morally ambiguous character, neither good nor bad despite all the blood he had shed. On the other hand, Sugo Nobuyuki was a completely hateful character who reminded me in many ways of Joffrey “Baratheon” from Game of Thrones and when Kirito defeated him twice, I just had to watch those scenes over and over. Overall, I would recommend this anime to anyone who is looking for stories that portray characters finding themselves in unexpected situations and emerge from those experiences as changed characters.
For as long as I can remember, I have always had stories to tell and I was eager to find a way for these stories to be heard. When I was young, my parents would supply me with whole truck loads of yellow tablets, which I used to draw stories. When I was in sixth grade, I started to tell stories in words instead of pictures and developed the ambition to have my work published. When I write, my autism allows me to visually see the story taking place inside my head as though it were a movie. Then I would write down exactly what is happening in the movie as I imagine it. Also, it gives me a strong memory and allows my brain to store and record vast amounts of information as though it were a computer hard drive. In a way, writing has become a form of meditation and therapy for me. When I write, I am able to channel the emotions I feel about certain topics into words when a character faces a certain situation or when I create a new character. For example, when I created the villain of my first book, I based him on all of the bullies who harassed me when I was young. When the main characters fight him, it was a way for me to express all of the emotions I developed when I was dealing with those individuals.
I have always loved anime and manga ever since I was a child. There are three reasons for this. First, the art style required to create anime and manga is so unique that it always keep a person hooked into how the characters are portrayed. Second, while traditional storytelling only demonstrates a limited view into the human creativity, anime and manga can go even deeper and show the audience things that a normal person would not normally imagine. Third, writers and illustrators of anime and manga often think outside of the box and are not limited in their thinking whenever coming up with a story or characters. I love anime and manga so much that ever since I started writing my series, I always envisioned them to be converted into anime and manga format, preferably in the style of either Bleach, Sword Art Online, or Attack On Titan.
Written by Dan Jurgens, when I first read this graphic novel, it broke my heart that one of the most beloved superheroes was being critically injured during the fight of his life. Still, there were numerous cases where Superman was portrayed as all but invincible. With that in mind, it was satisfactory to see Superman being pushed to his limits as he battles the monster Doomsday. That way, Superman would have a more human side to him when engaged in extreme combat. I believe that every superhero has their own ultimate villain that pushes them to their limits. With Batman, his ultimate villain is Bane while Superman’s is Doomsday.
For the longest time, I have been fascinated with the idea of teenagers becoming superheroes. Some incarnations depict young heroes who are immature and prefer to use their powers for fun and mischief instead of fighting villains. Others show youths who who are rebels without a cause or require the supervision of older superheroes to keep them in line. While there have been various incarnations of this concept, I decided to develop my own team of teenage superheroes based on the personalities of myself and my best friends. I wanted to create characters that were not stereotypical teenagers. Therefore, I imagined how my friends and I would handle certain situations if we were given superhuman abilities. When the Young Guardians’ powers first manifest, they are frightened, confused, and initially have no idea what their purpose in life was. However, after one of their own accidentally injures another human being, they conclude that their crusade against evil should be one of redemption. In addition, they are the first and only superheroes in existence in their world and have no older heroes to watch over them. So, they are basically left to their own devices when their lives are inexplicably changed. As for leadership, even though Patrick is often viewed as the leader by the public, the first four members have been friends since elementary school and have always viewed each other as equals. Also, despite being the oldest of the group, Tinisha was too inexperienced about the modern world and often followed her younger companions’ lead.
I decided to include magic in my series because I see it as something that transcends the laws of physics as we know it. The way I see it, true magic is not something you see on a stage or show, but something that exists in another world such as an alternate reality or dimension. In Tinisha Dolaira’s case, she comes from such a world where beings are capable of things that would not be possible in our world. As a result, she is well-versed in magic and can utilize it in various ways. For defensive purposes, she can use magic to heal injuries, such as those her team sustains in battle. For offensive purposes, she can unleash beams of energy that can overwhelm most opponents. Also, she can use magic to grant other beings superhuman abilities through the Genesis Spell, which is something she can only do once in her entire lifetime. If real magic existed, we probably would be capable of such feats as well.
On Barnes and Noble’s website, the first volume of my series, The Young Guardians and the Genesis Spell, received this five star review:
“I have read this author before and he has a way of writing page turning material. In this new book he follows a group of LA youths who are transformed from mere mortals into protectors for the benefit of humanity. An interesting aspect of this book is that in a character appendix, the author lists all of the super powers of his heroes. This drama plays out in the area around Los Angeles, and their arch enemy is the Cyber Shadow who is tall, with red eyes, and dresses in black and grey armor. He is a power hungry madman who wants to be King of the World. It is the Young Guardian’s job to make sure that does not happen. All of the battling leads to a dramatic confrontation, but it is not the end of the story. Although the Shadow is defeated, it turns out that he has not been vanquished. The author is a talented story teller and includes many imaginative plot twists in this tale. This is a fast paced, dialog driver thriller that is hard to put down.”
Derek Marvin is the intelligent member of the Young Guardians. He is a strong believer in reason and logic and unlike his teammates, he was the only one who was skeptical about their potential as superheroes. Originally, Derek was a slim youth, but after being exposed to the Genesis Spell, he is transformed into a physically strong young man with tremendous muscles. The powers he possesses include earth manipulation, superhuman durability, and elemental transmutation. With his elemental transmutation, Derek can use his earth manipulating abilities to alter the molecular structure of any earth-based element into whatever he chooses. For example, he could alter coal in order to create a type of crystal that is harder than diamonds to form armor and weapons. Despite his stubborn adherence to logic and skepticism of becoming a superhero, Derek accepts his new purpose in life and supports his teammates in their crusade against evil.
A few months ago, I was interviewed on NoWastedInk.com and the interview was reprinted on Del Rey Books’s blog Suvudu Universe. In this interview, you will learn more about the origins of my series and the inner workings of my writing process.
I have done some thinking about what direction my writing is taking and I have figured out what my writing goal is. After the main five volumes of my series are written and published, I will be doing a series of spin-offs, prequels, and so forth. For example, I will be writing a trilogy about the origins of Tinisha Dolaira and the history of the fantasy world she comes from before it was destroyed. Another example will be a prequel describing the origins of the main villain of the entire series. In addition, I will be writing three superhero storylines that are unrelated to the Young Guardians, but exist in the same universe as them. Two of these storylines will take place in the distant future while the third will take place in the late 1930s. These are only a handful of the stories I plan to write in the future and my overall goal is to create my very own superhero universe like Marvel and DC Comics have done.