Friday, May 6, 2011

Identity 7.6 - "What You Leave Behind..." (End of book one)

This is it.

The end of one story, for a time. I've said it elsewhere and in the note at the end of the chapter, but I intend to work on other projects for a while. I can't say how long. I want to finish "Before and After" and maybe start something else--my Haruhi idea, "The Coin," is a frontrunner, but I really can't say. That's probably the limit of what I'd want to do before returning to Identity, but again, we shall see.

An updated copy of Identity in PDF should be on Scribd shortly as well.

Commentary below.

So this is the culmination of things, the true power of magic--not to make ice crystals or fire from nothing. It's the power of love, in no uncertain terms. It's that power that Sindoor rejects, though we can't know why, not at this early stage. Maybe you can guess, based on who you think Sindoor is, but for now, I leave her process a mystery to the audience, to our heroes from Nerima, and from Kohl.

I tried, as much as was reasonable, to set Kohl up for this choice. I think, as much as Kohl can appreciate how his friendship with Tilaka has proven to be a good thing, he does realize it's affected his judgment at times, that it's put the village in jeopardy as far as finding a new Sieve. Though some things can't be taken back, it falls upon him to make a sacrifice, to do the thing that is best for Tilaka in the long run, even if it means suspending that bond for a time.

You might notice I'm jumping around a bit. That's because the sequence of events here is relatively straightforward. That's not to say there weren't some tough things to address. Does Ranma show fear of Sindoor's power? Yes, I think that's an appropriate response. A reasonable response. It's also something that's momentary, that his bravado and boldness quickly try to cover up. I hoped this was a comfortable balance between Ranma's usual unshakable attitude and awe at the scene he'd just witnessed.

Just as important to me was to figure out the place of Ranma's friends, who've been underutilized since the end of "Monsters and Demons," to be honest. Initially, I'd struggled to figure out where they should be and how they should survive Sindoor's onslaught. Here, they're just close enough to be able to get out of the way of this cone of ashen death, and thanks to Cologne's wisdom, they refrain from the stupid choice, which would be to fight Sindoor head-on even as Ranma lies broken in the rubble of the tower's court.

I've known for a while that I wanted to end this part of the story with Ranma walking back home, looking out to Jusenkyo, and knowing that he wanted to come back, but at the same time, it's a goal that's somewhat periphery in the grand scheme of things. It's something he still wants to change, but almost like an afterthought, like something he's long wanted to do, having lost the big driving impetus, but the goal remains. Of course, that's easy for us to say. We're in the audience. We see that Ranma turning into a girl every so often isn't really that big a problem. But for Ranma, it's something he wants to change regardless of whether it actually inconveniences him. It bothers him on a psychological level, and as such, he'll search for reasons to point to that he wants to be cured. He'll think people will judge him because he judges himself.

I think that will do. This act is rather shorter than others, after all. See you all...when I see you, I suppose.

No comments: