We’re starting to see some patterns settling in with the “other” series this season, but one thing never seems to change much, and that’s Dororo being on top of the weekly rankings. Apart from a few weeks pipped by Mob Psycho 100 last season and Fruits Basket’s premiere splash, the top of the poll has been the one spot that’s hardly ever changed.
This week’s question (courtesy dowager RC writer Stilts-chama) is “ask about the writers” – as in, which scribes do we personally admire? It’s one of those queries that’s tougher to answer than you’d think – we’re not talking about our favorite writers per se, but those we admire as writers (and people).
Weekly Staff Poll
Ask The Writers
“What writer in any medium do you most admire, and why?”
- Stilts: Terry Pratchett, because his writing was witty and personable and intelligent and fun, and it made me want to write too.
Obvious answer to anyone who knows me, but it has the advantage of truth. (Editor’s Note: Terry Pratchett’s “Good Omens” – adapted by Neil Gaiman – is premiering on Netflix this month)
- Stars: Urban fantasy and supernatural romances have a tendency to be written off as shelf-fillers when it comes to the literary world. Oh, they’re always at the top of New York Bestsellers list, but that doesn’t make them real literature, right? Well, as with many things, that depends on your preferences. Stephen King, for example, is being lauded as an author of classic horror, but not too long ago, his prolificness and at times formulaic style were used in defense of claims that he was far too commercial to be a true artiste. Now, with all that out of the way, I can safely say that the author I admire the most is actually a little known one, and his name is Jim Butcher. Ever since I picked up one of his books in my high school library, I’ve been reading his works with a voracious appetite, especially his Dresden Files series. The main narrator is a wizard with a tragic past and a private detective who gradually becomes stronger and more experienced as the series goes on. Butcher’s also written high fantasy, as well as science fiction, and all while retaining his humor, even as his style varies to accommodate the differing styles. Even today, he’s still trying new things, still finding new ways to incorporate his modern city’s struggles with the likes of Queen Mab and Odin. As much as I would like to write with the elegance of Jane Austen or the eerie beauty of Holly Black, his direct style successfully tells his story, and his jokes never fail to make me laugh. Whenever I’m stumped about what to write, I try to remember the Jim Butchers, the Kelley Armstrongs, and even the Stephanie Meyers, and then write whatever makes me happy. The rest tends to fall into place..
- Choya: About to drop a ton of video game writers on this entry because one of the writers I admire the most is Suda51. His recent stuff hasn’t been as deep and I’d say to only check out the games he made where Masafumi Takada composes the score, but playing his older games for the first time blew my mind when I first experienced them. Each of those games had such intricate detail and meaningful messages weaved within the vague, mindscrew plotlines of his narrative. I could only wish to make a story as brilliant as Killer7 where he creates a cerebral thriller that combines political intrigue with psychological horror. Or a story that has so much fun pulling the audience in and peeling back the layers of its twisted world like No More Heroes. Much of his love for indie cinema also gets my jollies, but the surreal humor and commentary he disperses in his game’s stories really drives me to admire much of his output. I also admire Kodaka Kazutaka for creating the wacky macabre scenario of the Danganronpa games and going above and beyond to make sure every new game continuously screwed with the readers as well as fans of the games by regularly flipping the script on them. The twists at the tail-end of the second and third games are so off-the-wall and out of left field that it’s hard not to admire the tenacity that went behind such decisions.
- Zaiden: It’s difficult to admire or respect a person when I don’t know them on a personal level. There’s writing that’s great which I admire – but I don’t usually admire the writer for it. If I admire a writer, it’s typically because they’re a great human being on a personal level who inspires me – which doesn’t necessarily have much to do with their actual writing. In that case, my answers would be Stilts and my Tax Law professor, who shall remain unnamed so that my details don’t get traced out. However, if we’re talking about admiration for the writer due to the writing itself, I’d have to go with Jun Maeda. His seminal works for Key, especially writing Clannad, has proven to be the most transformative pieces of fiction to have touched my life. No other work of fiction has come anywhere close to influencing me on such a fundamental level. And although Jun Maeda might have lost some degree of that magic touch for many years now, I appreciate that he continues trying to write stories that speak to the heart and soul while focusing on family, friendship, loss and salvation as core values.
- Enzo: I was tempted to pick Ray Bradbury, as I loved his books as a kid and once ate 10 feet away from him at Mr. Chow’s in Bevery Hills, but I hear he was kind of a douche. So I’ll say Isaac Asimov, who I likewise loved as a kid, and more closely fits the request for “admire”. He wrote brilliantly on so many subjects – history, literature, math, various sciences – in addition to his seminal sci-fi and mystery works. He was also a mentor to many young sci-fi writers, like Harlan Ellison. My favorite Asimov story: though his graduate degree was in biochemistry, he once taught a college course in physics (despite no degree in it whatsoever). How? He read one lesson ahead of the class, and taught based on that. Asimov wasn’t just a great writer, he literally made the world a more literate place by taking incredibly difficult concepts and writing about them in an entertaining and understandable way.