I didn’t really want to have to talk about this again

Long ago, the Saitou & Sano subfandom was full and active. There was ongoing conversation about the pairing, RK in general, and all the fanfiction we posted. For years and years I’ve been trying to get that back, and it hasn’t been working. These days there are almost no fans, there is almost no conversation, and my fics get almost no attention. I’ve long been aware that if I wanted something like that again, I would have to switch fandoms.

The idea never appealed to me, however. Nothing means as much to me as Saitou & Sano; nothing touches me like they do; nothing is as close to my heart. They’ve become such a part of my life that it’s been more than I could even imagine to give up writing about them, and where would I go then? No other fandom and no other characters come even close to making me feel what I feel (including the massive amounts of inspiration) for this pairing and this version of Saitou Hajime in particular; I can’t bend my fandom life around someone else.

But now the wicked behavior of Dead Author has struck what seems like a death blow to an already mostly dead subfandom, and I’m wondering: why go on at all? I guess I’ve always known I had to prepare myself for letting go at some point; why not now? I’ve only been writing about these guys for twenty years; they’re only my best friends; I only have Saitou’s motto tattooed on my back — no big deal, right? No, of course I’m not crying. Why should this be horrendously painful?

So what I’m saying here is that I’ll be tapering off. Obviously I’ll finish the in-progress fics I’m posting — you’d have to kill me to get me not to — and I’ll probably still work on the HoH stuff I’ve got going despite not having begun to post any of that yet… but the 30 other Saitou & Sano stories (and small handful of RK stories about other characters) in various states of startedness and finishedness I have sitting around on my hard drive will probably never be completed. I’ll convert what I can into original fiction (which obviously nobody reads, but at least then I’ll still be able to write it).

My heart is broken. I know it’s selfish to be focusing so much on the effect Dead Author’s inhumanity is having on my writing and my place in a community that already hasn’t existed for a decade rather than on the much greater and more life-destroying effect that type of behavior, on his part and that of others, has on its actual victims… but there it is. I’m not as hurt as the real victims, but I am very hurt by this. I’ve spent literally half my life on something I’m now feeling compelled to walk away from.

(Note: The next entry dealing with this contains less despair and more specific planning.)

12 thoughts on “I didn’t really want to have to talk about this again

  1. Hey man, hi! um sorry to abruptly intrude in this personal post, if it’s out of turn, please ignore, but i really feel bad for people whenever i see a person feel down about this situation. Im really sorry about this whole load of suck, i can definitely relate to the feeling of attachment and like. Odd creative resonance with some characters from this franchise. Parting from them is hard, even if you decide thats the right path for you.

    I understand that artistic production of any kind, almost inevitably, needs of an audience of some kind to fulfill its purpose so you might get discouraged because of the lack of people around but…… i really hope you find a way to continue creating stuff related to these characters important to you, anyway, so you can continue to find comfort in them. In a way, with so much effort youve put into them, the are plenty yours too, after all. And if not, i hope you can find fulfillment in any writing you engage into. You deserve it.

    Um not very good at the Comfort Words, im afraid but. Have a hug from me and i wish you well and if you ever want to, and feel like it, hit me up to talk about this stuff.

    See you around, my man!

    1. Not out of turn at all; in fact I really appreciate your kind words, especially since you’re in much the same predicament.

      Though this decision was born of the logic of despair, even in calmer moments since I haven’t changed my mind. This weekend I’ll need to look through a lot of stuff and see what I can do with it. I may find some story ideas I like too much not to write about Saitou and Sano; I don’t know. I just don’t know what’s going to happen from here.

      Meanwhile, though, thanks for the hug. This sucks for everyone involved. Except Dead Author, apparently, who thinks he “owes it to the fans” to keep writing crappy new chapters but doesn’t “owe it to the fans” not to become a literal monster. Oh, and the publishers that value money over actual people’s lives.

  2. Ah, im super glad then!

    and i ttally understand my mind, i just hope you can find new affections if thats what it comes to, and that you conitnue to enjoy creating, no matter what. my best of wishes on that, tbh.

    and right??? what a load of b u l l that ridiculous excuse ofr an apology that was. but yeah i guess we have the comfort of knowing we are not alone in feeling bad about the whole thing.

    take care, man and i wish you great and satisfying writing, no matter the subject!

    1. Certainly I will never stop writing! It just seems like it won’t be nearly as much fanfiction anymore. And of course original fiction is every bit as valid; it’s just there’s less of a sense of community about it. Ah, well. Life goes on. Thanks again for your kind thoughts :)

  3. i’ve been too fucking angry to even broach this subject, so i wanted to reply quicker to this post but it’s just. i needed some time. and what can really be said that hasn’t been already?

    the fact that he has the audacity to say he’s going of out of “sense of duty” to the fans is just. it’s so mind-bogglingly insulting that i don’t even know what to fucking say. it’s not about the fucking fans. if it was, maybe, idk, he should’ve not been a piece of shit and did something so abhorrent from the get-go?? it’s all about what it always is: money. but he’s trying to make it look like he’s doing it out of the goodness of his heart for fans. and then there’s the fact that he only had to pay a tiny fine for something that is so abysmal that it has no price tag.

    so life goes on, i guess. this piece of shit got away clear and free and gets to sell his piece of shit story again. i’m so done. like the moment i read that bullshit, i deleted all of the screencaps i ever posted from my blog because i won’t be a god damn advertising outlet for someone like that.

    the saddest part of this is twofold. it’s the children who were hurt and CONTINUE to be hurt. and it’s the fucking fandom that suffers. because there’s good people out there like you, like leb, like me who fell in love with these characters and spent so much time and energy creating content to celebrate them. and it’s just extremely, extremely sad that everything had to happen like this.

    i’m still interested in your work and i’ll still support fanwork of my faves. idk if i’m ever going to finish any of the wips i have on my laptop. right now, i’m so pissed off to even think that through clearly. i’m just so sorry for you, for my other friends, for fucking ALL of us.

    1. I know exactly what you mean; I don’t even want to think about this. I made my decision a week ago, and I’m just barely to the point where I can talk about it without crying so much I can’t speak.

      I think I’ll be able to continue with the chosen projects; I’m not going to have to quit cold turkey. And I too will always be willing to look at fanworks having to do with Saitou & Sano (geez, I’m crying just typing their names)… but nothing is ever going to be the same again. Not to be melodramatic (as if I haven’t already been), but this is something like the death of a friend.

  4. *Sigh* I was finally starting to get back to a somewhat good place with writing RK fic again when the news of his ‘apology’ rolled around. I’ve not made much progress since then and I came here today to see how you were doing.

    I’m very sorry you’ve been pushed to this point, but I completely understand. I am glad that you’re not giving up entirely, as that would really be letting him win. It really has all changed, and though you and I, and the others here, weren’t affected in the same way as the children he has hurt, it doesn’t take away from the pain and frustration that we feel.

    There is a lot that Watsuki could have done, and maybe will, to show true remorse, from getting help to donating to victim funds, but his ‘duty to the fans’ was really =X

    I still want to write my RK fics, even if I don’t really feel like I am ‘allowed’ to. I might need to set them aside for awhile as everything is just too raw, but though Saitou and Sanosuke and the rest of crew were shaped by Watsuki, he is not hardly their sole creator. Many of the characters are historical in basis and have been shaped by many, many hands. There are the animators who brought them to action, the seiyuu who gave the characters voice, and so many others. Are any of these people monsters for having had a hand in bringing Rurouni Kenshin to us so vividly? No, they aren’t. Only Watsuki is the monster here.

    I like these characters, I like the series, even if my morality tells me I shouldn’t. But the characters are not him, and he, sadly, is not more like his honourable characters.

    Despite my morality telling me I’m not a good person for wanting to continue writing Saitou and Sanosuke (and Tokio!), I remind myself that not all good parents have good children, and not all good people have great parents.

    Well, if you ever want to talk more privately, let me know and I can send you an email! (I also do DC Comics fics! ;) )

    1. This whole thing still brings me to tears. I don’t know how long it’ll be before it doesn’t.

      I thought for a while I could enjoy the existing art without offering Dead Author any monetary support and feel OK about that, but I found eventually that I couldn’t. And at this point I don’t know there’s anything he could do to win me back. To redeem himself as a person, sure, but I don’t think I can ever go back.

      I agree that a lot of Saitou and Sano (and various other aspects of our fanworks) are ours as much as or more than his, which is part of why I won’t abandon them in my long WIP’s… but there’s also some really bad associations now that make it painful the do more than that.

      Thanks for commiserating. This has been so awful.

      (I see your DC fic on AO3! Superman and Batman are so great together!!!)

      1. Aaah! I meant to reply to you forever ago and thought I did! Taking care of things for the DCU Big Bang challenge and Camp NaNo made time get away from me. XD

        Again, I am glad you are still sticking with things, even if it is only your larger projects and few things here or there. I thought about changing things to fit original fiction as well, and I could, but… I just really don’t want to. I love writing fanfiction, and I started my stories as fanfiction. This is not to say you shouldn’t change things to fit original! I think it’s great you’re able to do that, I just know that, I, myself can’t do it.

        I don’t think I’d ever really forgive Watsuki, no matter what he did to redeem himself, it just would have been nice to get an actual apology and not just “I’ll continue RK for the fans”. =/ Like maybe throw in something about how wrong what he did was, maybe a mention of seeking counseling??? It wouldn’t be enough to make me forgive him, no, but it would have been a greater showing that he understood why it was wrong.

        If you ever want to talk more, let me know! I don’t use my tumblr much, but you can send me a chat there. I’ll try to respond more than every 3 weeks. XD I mostly use Discord and I’m on it all day long, if that is something you use!

        Well, take care! This is rough and so… Ugh. It’s just ugh.

        1. I too love writing fanfiction as fanfiction, but my longtime addiction to AU’s (especially fantasy AU’s) serves me well in a case like this where I don’t want to start many more long stories in this fandom. Still, a few even of my AU ideas only work as fanfiction, and I’m just not sure yet what I’ll do with those. I can totally understand not being able to convert various ideas to ofic.

          And I definitely agree about Dead Author. I wouldn’t want to continue reading his “for the fans” shitty new chapters, and I might still be cutting back on RK fanfiction, but I would be filled with less loathing and disgust every time I thought of him if he’d offered a proper apology or even, as you said, acknowledged the villainy of what he’s been doing.

          Thanks for your support. We’ve all been so hurt by this.

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