Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Update on my own writing - Do We See The Same Ocean?

In addition to reading and reviewing manga, anime, and books, I also am an amateur writer. My first major project was the scripts for an 82 chapter yuri manga-style comic series called "In the Morning, I'll Say Hello." (just let me know if you want to read it - its only scripts since I can't draw!). Since finishing that project last fall, I've been developing a screenplay for an animated movie called "Do We See The Same Ocean?".

After months of thinking about it, doing treatments, character development, etc... I am finally at the drafting phase of the screenplay. The basic synopsis is this:

Rebecca Lewis is a tom-boy-ish teen whose parents move to a seaside town when her mother gets the job as headmaster at a prestigious private school. Rebecca is pushed to be an intellectual by her parents, but she loves being outside and becomes transfixed by the fishing industry. In her walks along the coast she stumbles onto a female shipwright. From a distance, Rebecca watches this woman planing the wood, sanding, staining...she watches her tanned muscles glisten in the sweat. Over time, Rebecca realizes she's falling in love with this woman.

At the same time, she's having trouble fitting in at school. She's ostracized both for her mother's position at the school and her general lack of idealized femininity. She is teased and lightly bullied. Her parents mostly ignore her or put subtle pressures on her to conform to their idea of an intellectual. But Rebecca keeps walking the coast, spending time with the fisherman, and secretly watching the woman she's fallen for.

One day on the coast, Rebecca sees some of the awful boys from school coming her way. She ducks into a seaside cave. There she stumbles onto something big and metallic buried in the cave. Over time, she spends more and more time in this cave, as her special place to escape the outside pressures. As she does so, something inside this large metal object begins to power up, slowly growing in energy as if it is feeding off Rebecca's presence.

One day, Rebecca is watching the shipwright work when she sees a woman walk up to the shipwright and witnesses them kiss and affectionately speak together. She hears them talk about coming home for dinner, etc... and Rebecca realizes that this woman already has a partner. Devastated by this, Rebecca runs to the cave where she cries her heart out. The intensity of this emotion finishes powering up this strange buried metal object, which once powered up, reveals itself to be a full-size robot mecha.

Curious, Rebecca climbs into it and is automatically neurally connected in before she knows what has happened. Once connected, she begins to see flashbacks from a terrible war and a powerful, planet killing energy sphere. Piloting this mecha is a young woman, determined to stop this energy sphere. But in the climax of the battle, things go dark. Rebecca finds herself crying for this woman. As she does, the mecha closes up and launches itself into space, with Rebecca inside.

As the mecha, with Rebecca inside, is hurtling through space, Rebecca continues to see videos from the mecha's storage files and leans about its former pilot, Bryn Amara. Bryn's mother is the scientist who invented the neural technology that powers this mecha. Her father died in a terrorist attack by people who decried the use of technology. Bryn's mother, in anguish over losing her husband drowns herself in her work, ultimately developing this neural technology to create the ultimate fighting machine to destroy the terrorists. However, in a tragic accident, Bryn's mother is killed and the planet killing energy sphere is formed.

Bryn, determined to avenge her mother and stop the energy sphere from destroying all her planet gets into the prototype mecha her mother was developing. She ultimately confronts the energy sphere and in doing so, realizes that it is the embodiment of her mother's rage, transformed by the neural power cell her mother was working on when it exploded. Crushed, and uncertain whether to destroy the sphere (the last remaining shred of her mother) or not, Bryn and her mecha are blasted down to the now destroyed planet's surface. There, Bryn crawls out of the mecha and seemingly dies. She is still connected to the neural wires. We see her squeeze her eyes tight, commanding the mecha to blast off, leaving her body to die on the  withering planet. It is this mecha that Rebecca has found.

Rebecca and the mecha land on Bryn's desolate planet. Everything is in ruins, there are some bones but mostly rubble everywhere, it is a gray, destroyed world, no green, no sunlight, nothing. Rebecca steps out of the mecha and comes upon a shard of clothing where the mecha has landed, it is the shirt patch with Captain Bryn Amara's name on it. Rebecca realizes that whatever happened to this world, happened a long long time ago, that the mecha has been on Earth for centuries perhaps and that Bryn is truly gone.

Saddened and enraged, Rebecca gets into the Mecha to hunt down this planet killing energy sphere. She tracks its energy down and realizes it's on its way to Earth. She catches up to it, determined to destroy it. As she confronts it with her powerful Mecha, she starts getting crazy input from the neurological system in the Mecha. It is picking up traces of Bryn and her mother, she is caught in the remnants of their beings, trapped in the energy sphere and in the mecha itself.

Through this complex connection, she inherits the remnants of Bryn and her mother's memories, learning about them, and coming to connect strongly with Bryn. But she is no match for this energy sphere and in her confusion, is not able to strike a fatal blow. Ultimately, Rebecca and the mecha are blasted away, floating in space, crippled, and near death.

Rebecca cannot fathom the pain that Bryn and her mother have experienced. Rebecca reflects back on the teasing in school, the woman she loved but who was already married, and now the pain of Bryn being dead. This sorrow refills the energy of her Mecha, ultimately spiking it into a new configuration, powering it up. When this happens, Rebecca loses herself into the mecha and finds that Bryn is there too, her being, her soul was embedded into the mecha when she sent it away to Earth.

Bryn takes Rebecca (their energy souls) in her arms and thanks her for everything. Their connection is palpable. Together, their souls embodied in this mecha, they go to find the energy sphere once more. When they do, they fight but are losing badly. Finally, as a last measure, Bryn and Rebecca dive into the center of the sphere with the intent to explode their mecha. As they are ready to die together, Bryn tells Rebecca to closer her eyes. She kisses Rebecca gently on the forehead, and says: "This isn't your fight. Yours is back home." Bryn pushes Rebecca away, Rebecca screams: "NOOOO" and we see the energy orb blow up from the inside as the Mecha explodes, leaving only empty space behind.

On the shore on Earth, the shipwright is rushing through the water, leaving her boat behind and runs up to a limp body on the sand. It is Rebecca. The next thing Rebecca knows, she's waking up in a strange bed. She looks out the window and sees the woman and her wife on the shore talking, smiling, flirting. Rebecca is sad seeing them together, things of Bryn, but also knows what she must do.

She comes home, her parents hadn't even known she was gone. They are distracted doing their things. Rebecca slams her foot down and says, "Mom, dad, I have to tell you something." The End.

So that's the rough treatment for the animated movie. I'm just starting the drafting and I can only imagine how many months (or years) before it's done. But I'm so excited for this project. Here's an aesthetic that actually maps out the general plot points:

I'll keep you posted as I work on it. And if anyone does want to read the scripts for my yuri comic series, just email me. I'm happy to share what I've written! Thanks for listening.


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