Genre: contemporary fantasy

(Not that it really matters, but this isn’t part of any blog post series. Just an independent entry.)

As I’ve already mentioned on the About page, this webcomic isn’t a representative of any particular genre but a mixture of several ones – the main one being contemporary fantasy. I could have tried to prune it a bit to keep things simple, but I don’t want to pin the story down to any single narrow category. I personally like variety and certain amount of unpredictability in stories, so that’s what I’m aiming for. And I certainly do not want to be restricted by some established conventions just because they are established conventions. (This is not to say I don’t follow any literary rules. I do, but only the ones I agree with.)

In short, I want to write a story I would enjoy reading myself. (Whether that is a good idea considering the size of potential readership is another matter, but hopefully there are at least some people whose taste overlaps with mine.  ^_^;)

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If I write down the genres of ”ΔS”>> and rank them according to their significance in the story, it results in the following kind of list:

“Mainly”: contemporary fantasy
To some extent: mystery, comedy
At times: slice of life
Maaaaybe: romance
Depends on how you look at it: magical realism, whimsical

Save for contemporary fantasy (and magical realism), I do not recommend reading the story as a representative of the genres listed above, since each of them is but a part of the whole.

 

Contemporary fantasy

Let’s focus on this particular genre, as it is the most relevant one here.

Definition

Also known as modern fantasy, contemporary fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy where the following conditions apply:

  1.  Setting:
    – the putative real world (“like reality unless noted”)
    – the present day (approximately, at least)
  2. Fantastical elements exist. However, they are not common knowledge in the world of the story.

NB The above definition is just my take on the subject, mostly based on the information on these three sites.

Why

As in why the genre of this webcomic ended up being contemporary fantasy rather than pure fantasy or something more true to life

To keep it short:

  • I prefer settings resembling the real word over ones that are completely imaginary.
  • The fantasy elements open up more possibilities for the story, as we are playing by rules slightly different from our world. Or to be more precise, the same rules with slight alterations and more exceptions to them. (In the case of ”ΔS”>> anyway. I would also like to highlight the fact that the rules are rules also in this setting – i.e. the genre is not an excuse for making things up on the fly.)
  • The works listed below…

Examples

During the past few years I have come across quite a few interesting works belonging to this genre. (And if we don’t count Harry Potter, all of them are anime…)

Here’s a list of some of them:

  • Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Durarara!!
  • Suzumiya Haruhi no yuuutsu
  • Kamisama Hajimemashita
  • Uchouten Kazoku
  • Zetsuen no Tempest

They are all worth taking a look at by the way, especially the three last ones. They are also quite different from each other (plot, and nature of the fantastical elements, just to mention a few things), demonstrating the pretty much endless possibilities offered by this genre. (… I somehow turned into an advocate of contemporary fantasy while writing this post.)

To sum up: the genre of this webcomic is what it is.

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