Chasing Plotbunnies: Aoharu X Machinegun

Currently reading – and now watching, thank you Crunchyroll! – Aoharu x Machinegun. There’s a reason for that. Yes, beyond the lovely animated fight scenes.

(Though that would be a good reason all by itself. You can never have too much fight scene inspiration.)

As far as “where do you get your ideas?” goes, sometimes it seems like most writers I’ve read will say “X, and then I had it!”

For me, it seems to be more of a… collection of sticky cobweb-type things. I run into X, say, “Huh, that was interesting, note that.” Then later – days, hours, weeks, who knows – I run into Y. And then Z. And… well. You get the idea. I usually accumulate a small pile of “that’s kind of neat” that starts jostling together in my head before I get any full-fledged Idea.

But one of the more intriguing parts of the process is when I have what feels like the start of an idea, and end up picking up things that don’t – on the surface – seem related at all.

Aoharu x Machinegun is one of those things. Saw it on a bookstore shelf, bunnies went “ping!” so I took a chance and bought the first volume.

On the face of it, it’s completely unrelated to what I want to write, especially in Leatherbound. It’s real-world based, not a trace of magic; the main characters are running around in survival games, and there’s some serious psychodrama going on with the main characters. Not to mention the facepalmy aspects of Hotaru’s Quest for Justice!, team leader Masamune’s obsession with opposing team leader Midori (who saved Masamune’s life and then turned out to be a sadist), and Tohru’s… shall we say, distinctly uneven social skills.

On the other hand… it has several elements that do, indeed, fit very well. The main characters lead “double lives”, given they tend not to bring up what they actually do for fun around most people.  Hotaru’s thrown into a completely unfamiliar setting, figuring out how to adapt, and sometimes failing badly. Combat happens. (Granted, it’s not meant to be fatal, but combat it is.) There are Suspicious Characters, doubts about “do I really want to be mixed up in this situation?”, and there is a Villain.

There’s also the fact that the bunnies say Hotaru is what happens when you get a Shonen Hero attitude in someone stuck in ordinary reality. *Amused*

Personally one of the things I like about Hotaru is that she is upbeat, determined, and outraged at the injustice of the world. There’s a lot of injustice out there. If she can only learn to channel that instinctive bloodlust and those combat reflexes, interesting things could happen….

So. Planning to get the next volume, and see some more eps. Research! 😉

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11 thoughts on “Chasing Plotbunnies: Aoharu X Machinegun

  1. I actually checked out the summary for that series, but the bunnies were uninterested – they instead shoved me headfirst into Dendrobates and Noragami while I wasn’t looking, leaving me adrift in new fandoms that made me think “I wonder what would happen if this crossover happened and X met Y?”. TT.TT Here’s to hoping your bunnies are merciful! Best of luck on your writing!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Understandable, research is important. I never knew how many dog monsters existed until I started doing research for a short story and then had it snowball. 😛 Glad you think it looks interesting! I hope to one day shove you off the fandom cliff into it, just like the bunnies did me! *EG* XP

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  2. Huh, my own ideas tend to be relatively chained together from old reading and various people throwing stuff up I didn’t know about and then I do wikipedia or science daily crawls. I know people say that TV Tropes consumes your life, for me it’s the science stuff! Especially the stuff they’re discovering about ghost strains of humanity…

    That and talking to online friends, because the amount of “stuff that we know.” has some overlap, but when it doesn’t is the best part.

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  3. Most creative types I know – including myself – have a section in their brain that goes “Oooh . . .” when they encounter something like a song, a picture, a scene in a book or movie (or play, etc, etc) that really speaks to them, an interesting fact that their bunnies immediately grabs to squirreled away in the Inspiration Store Room (ISR).

    What the bunnies do with the stuff in the ISR can depend . . . some of it can sit in there for years, getting rather dusty, before they haul it back out. Some of it never see the light of day. Some of it is stripped down to its bare elements to figure out that is thing fascinated you so much and/or resonated so strongly . . . or your New or Old Fandom did something to put the bunnies in a frothing rage and suddenly they are pulling out stuff from years ago that is catalyzes into fic . . .

    Or original work because you can’t find what you want to read / watch . . . or you want more. You need more. There isn’t enough.

    On the other hand, sometimes they just like the pretty colors.

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    1. I subscribe to the theory that creativity is trained pattern matching, and to be creative in an artform, you collect memories of prior art, inspirations, and problems of that type.

      What do I mean by problems? It is obvious what that means for something like programming, but what about artforms with no practical real world applications? Drake’s Vietnam experiences, Zelazny’s car accident and Lovecraft’s sleep disorder so strongly influenced them that it came out in their work. There are things that are powerful influences on an artist. They can channel them into a piece, which makes it stronger when that problem resonates with an audience. (Though it can also be a way to turn off people pretty quick, if the ‘notes’ are wrong.)

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