Original Flavour

Said of a Fan Fic that attempts to emulate the tone, atmosphere and style of its inspiration as closely as possible. The goal of the Original Flavour fic is to seem as though the original production team could have thought it up. Even if it heads off into previously unknown and unexplored territory for that property, the story will emphasize the use of existing gimmicks and devices rather than introducing totally foreign ones.

If you are writing an Original Flavour fic, you (usually) don't introduce or kill core characters, revise continuity, or do anything that is non-canon beyond the events of your story. To an extent, it is possible to pull off and still maintain this trope, but only if it's in a way that the canon itself could have evolved (as opposed to anything drastic). Original Flavor is exactly like writing a spec script you could submit to the showrunner, but not necessarily in script form.

Note that some fandoms, especially those with looser story arcs, are easier to write in Original Flavour than others. It's also more popular for works with a distinctive style of writing and/or dialogue, as this is a particularly easy element to imitate. If the original work was Cut Short, anyone would be glad to read how the rest of the series could have played out if a fanfiction continuation assumes this trope.

Original Flavour has been the direct polar opposite of most other Fan Fic types at one time or another. Because of the widespread prevalence of labyrinthine Fix Fic, our old friend Mary Sue, and florid Shipping, Original Flavor can be incredibly rare. Fun is also found in a self-imposed challenge to see how far a writer can go out of the lines without technically deviating from "canon", without becoming an overt Elseworld.

For when this treatment is done for individual characters rather than entire stories, see Sailor Earth. For fanfics that take this up a notch, see Script Fic. Frequently overlaps with Pseudocanonical Fic. Cousin trope of Spiritual Licensee, in which a brand new work or franchise attempts to emulate an existing one, due to appreciation for what the latter was as a whole, and could be considered a symbolic installment for that franchise.


Examples:

  • Death Note has If It's Not Me, It's You, a Gen Fic that has been praised for it's very canon-like plot, mind games and excellent, IC characterization.
  • In Manga-ish form, the french comic, Magical Fami fanfic of Ojamajo Doremi, by Alexandre JBOMagical follows the exact same formula as the original counterpart. It is to a point that it has enough material and is so close to the original it could be adapted into a ~26 episode sequel of the original and most wouldn't notice.
  • In A Shadow of the Titans, a Jackie Chan Adventures and Teen Titans crossover, and a part of the collection of fics referred to as Project Dark Jade, it has been commented that both Jade and the TT characters are kept very much in character.
  • Rob "Kenko" Haynie's Girl Days is an excellent Original Flavour Ranma ˝ fic.
  • Child of the Storm, despite being a Mega Crossover is particularly noted for keeping many of the various characters very much in character (so long, that is, as their backgrounds remain broadly the same. Outside of canon Harry Potter and Avengers characters, there are few that haven't had a little spin put on them) while those chapters from the point of view Harry Dresden are regarded as being downright uncanny in their mimicking of the original author's Signature Style.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has Lost in Translation, which makes up a fairly realistic origin myth that all the four nations would know... and then creates a new version for the fire nation under Fire Lord Ozai's rule.
  • Edan R. wrote a series known as PMD: Legendary & Ancient Discoveries.
  • The White Dog for an InuYasha Original Flavour fic.
  • Talya Firedancer's Gravitation fanfics were explicitly written to read like a typical script taken from the anime.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion RE-TAKE has the same sort of occasionally Mind Screw-ey plot as the original Evangelion, the art is as good or BETTER than the canon source, the characters are all perfect, and the eventually happy ending is completely believable, taking into account the characters and the situation. Asuka fans consider it to be the true continuation and ending of End of Evangelion, while others feel conflicted about the plot direction it takes, particularly some very graphic sex scenes (in the unedited version) and plot details towards the ending. Original Flavour may not always be a good thing, especially when it's based on an already divisive series.
  • Not He Who Tells, an original short story written in the style of Stephen King. The author is G. Norman Lippert, who has also written a Harry Potter continuation series.
  • Online Fan Fic pioneer Ryan Mathews once participated in a hoax wherein an unfinished Dirty Pair fanfiction was released on Usenet as the purported "transcript" of a lost OVA. Apparently, it was Original Flavour enough for those who read it — the record shows some of the readers engaged in several weeks of frantic research.
  • The Ace Attorney sprite comic Kristoph Gavin: Ace Attorney does a very good job of emulating the original's style.
  • The longer the Super Mario World romhacking scene sticks around, the more its participants rely on different graphics, new music, and unusual game mechanics in order to make their creations stand out from the pack. Return to Dinosaur Land, on the other hand, is a hack consisting almost entirely of levels that could have been in the original game. These sort of hacks are usually referred to as "vanilla" hacks by other members of the scene.
  • Some of the later works of JBERGES in the Futurama Fan Fic community read exactly like a canon episode, only with the science and math gags turned up to 11. Of Mice and Mensans is probably the best-written example, despite being Script Fic.
  • Firefly fanfic writers seem to be obsessed with fulfilling this trope, a possible side effect of Firefly never getting enough of its own "Original Flavor" in the first place.
    • Forward captures the characters and the setting so well that many reviewers consider it as good as (or better than) an official Continuation of the series.
  • The Oswald Adventures are direct spiritual successors to the Epic Mickey series.
  • Revenge of the Old Queen is a cleverly written fanfic for the The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • Screennameless's Gears of War fanfic Reconnoiter is praised for its borderline obsessive maintenance of the canon character's personalities even as new characters are introduced.
  • The whole purpose of the Tomb Raider Level Editor project Back to Basics 2009 — all levels must be built with only the resources given when the editor was released to the public nine years ago.
  • Rich Drushel added to Bored of the Rings parodies of The Lord of the Rings's Appendix A and Scouring of the Shire. The latter is intended to be fitted into the text between the final two chapters.
  • Though she dislikes being recognized for only this, The Illustrious Crackpot did one of the best Phineas and Ferb fanfics in the entire fandom: The Great Danville Cold Wars.
  • Emperor's Ward: A Ciaphas Cain Story captures the style of the Ciaphas Cain yarns nigh-perfectly.
  • Silent Hill: Promise attempts to faithfully create a full Silent Hill game as an interactive web comic.
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic entitled The Love Affair of Nagato Yuki (whose title doesn't prepare you for the various surprises inside—well, except one), received various praises comparing it with both the series and the novels.
  • Though it starts out roughly, The Clone Wars: Commando's Dirge winds up having several readers proclaiming it not only tastes just like Karen Traviss' Republic Commando Series (without all the Jedi-bashing, too), it seamlessly brushes against a chapter of Triple Zero, without changing the scene at all.
  • Astrokath has a particularly good take on the events shortly after Dragonsdawn in Dragon Days.
  • In which Frank Herbert's ellipses are severely abused: Good Surprises.
  • Neutronium Dragon's Sojourn would make a dark (and relatively short) installment of Quest for Glory, but as a story, it would fit right in — out-of-left-field goofy moments included.
  • Todd Smitts' Cold Case fanfics, written as conventional episodes of the series down to the use of music of the period in the flashbacks.
    • Smitts and others also began to write a fictional 8th season after the series was cancelled, picking some of the lines left loose at the end and even proposing actors for the new roles. You can read it here.
  • Lord Amadeus's A Calvin for All Seasons manages to convey the heart of Calvin and Hobbes' friendship.
  • Neko Love Hina is a take on the Love Hina franchise by Kytranis that aims for humor with every chapter.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse is a webcomic with an art style in the tournament chapters very similar to official art from Dragon Ball, Akira Toriyama. However, later chapters have been drawn by several different artist, each putting their own spin on certain facial expressions.
  • The Axis Powers Hetalia fic An Incident and Jerusalem/Increments of Jerusalem play out (for the most part) like a classic Sherlock Holmes story, going so far as to capture Sir Arthur C. Doyle's narrative style. This stays consistent all throughout, even as Arthur casually outwits Holmes.
  • The Joker Blogs. Barring the Mythology Gags, everything is as Original Flavor to The Dark Knight Saga as can be. This is multiplied to the nth degree considering the Joker's characterization, and his performance is so good that a lot of commenters jokingly(?) think that Heath Ledger has come back from the dead.
  • This author seems to have a taste for Original Flavour. Besides for a few quirks, most of the stories are obvious (but apparently highly effective) attempts at writing actual episodes.
  • This Pendent Heart is a Princess Tutu fanfic stunningly similar to the tone of the original show, even despite being overtly shippy at times (it helps that the anime is, after all, a shojo work). It also ties together and expands on a few plot threads, while continuing to develop the characters.
  • The Stepbrother Sitch and all its follow-up stories are as close to Kim Possible and Phineas and Ferb as possible, with plenty of Lampshade Hanging, Continuity Nods (possibly bordering on Continuity Porn at times), and some thoughts on various pieces of Canon Fodder.
  • There are many, many Homestuck-derivative fanworks. However, probably the most Original Flavor of them all is Housetrapped, which carefully copies the art style of the original with different characters, and which is being used as the basis for a fan-game.
  • Til the Sun Grows Cold and the Stars Grow Old is written with this trope in mind; it was intended to be so close to canon that it could be read almost as a novelization of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  • The Ollivander Children attempts to write in the style of the later Harry Potter books, or that failing, some of the best fanfiction - such as seen Harry Potter and the Society of Orpheus and Bacchus and Interwoven.
  • The Elemental Chess Trilogy, a series of Fullmetal Alchemist fanfics, was intended to be this. It apparently succeeded, since a few reviewers questioned whether the author was really Hiromu Arakawa writing under a fake name.
  • The Joy of Battle: Historical Espionage Action is a Metal Gear Solid 3 fanfic that presents the adventures of the Cobra Unit in a similar style to a Metal Gear game. The story does not change any of the existing canon and includes the Once Per Game torture scene as well as a prison escape, dramatic "ultimate weapon" reveal, and quirky villains. The main break from the style of the Metal Gear games is a non-linear plot.
  • Spreading Their Wings and Another New World are two Robotech fanfics that follow the style and canon of the series.
  • The Colin Mallory Series of Sliders fanfics. Although it takes place in the fifth season, the plot of the fanfics are similar to the plot of the first season episodes.
  • Mado Of Stone Mill is a great Haibane Renmei original flavour that takes place a little after the events of the anime.
  • Of Science And Magics is one for the A Certain Magical Index franchise, with Touma becoming childhood friends with Mikoto.
  • Meet Nadeshiko, a Shugo Chara! fanfic. It starts out as a generic rimahiko fanfic, but as the story progresses, it becomes a great sequel to the series.
  • Between Minds by 3theCaptain is one for the Half-Life and Portal universe. "If all goes according to plan, this story will not interfere at all with the canon material."
  • While a number of Pokémon hacks shoot for ambitious story telling, changes to the overall badge collecting formula, or otherwise veer off the main series's very narrow design concept, the Emerald and FireRed hacks Altair, Sirius, and Vega are designed to mirror the main games in every way, from the stat spreads of their new Pokémon down to the style of music, trainers, and towns. About the only thing that's out of place from the typical games is the last of the three hack's extreme difficulty, and their choice of an eighth Gym Leader.
  • Word of God says one of the main goals with Getting Back on Your Hooves is to emulate My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. They've stated that the events of the real episodes take place before, after, or, if at all possible, during the events of the fic.
  • Most Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers fanfics try for something close to this, but remove the 80s cartoon radar system.
  • Tales From Tamriel does this with Skyrim.
  • There's a short one for CLANNAD: Whenever You're Ready by Infinity Or None. Despite being about the Official Couple having their first night of marital bliss, it manages to be rated T.
  • The Ben 10 Hero High Series pretty much reflects the first episode but then goes off in an entirely new story line with strong character development and stories.
  • Ezra Lost, a Star Wars Rebels fanfiction. It doesn't hug to canon completely, as it was in the progress of being written before the second season began to air, but the alternate things that occur rather than canon are relatively reasonable.
  • Although some could be interpreted as Fix Fic, this author tends to get the Scooby-Doo formula down pat.
  • Hitman Miami is an unusual example, as it is a text fanfiction of a video game and attemps to convey the feeling of actually playing a Hitman game. It is written like a walkthrough, with each chapter being a different mission, the plot being advanced in "cutscenes".
  • Night of the Vent: A Tale of Weirdness does its best to capture some of the fear and paranoia of Five Night's At Freddy's Three. However, in this case the guard didn't realize there wasn't very much to be upset about in this situation.
  • The North Remembers for A Song of Ice and Fire, so much that many of the reviewers were claiming that the author Silverblood was George R.R. Martin himself.
  • Interstitium is filled with scenes that easily fit within Mass Effect 2, and the flashbacks and Character Focus just as easily fit in the Mass Effect setting as a whole.
  • The Man with No Name somehow manages to be Original Flavor to both Firefly and Doctor Who, despite the two series having widely varying tones (though granted, Doctor Who itself has widely varied its tone over the decades).
  • Twilight Unbound is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Original Flavor blog. Despite the storyline taken from Sonic Unleashed and characters have a tendency to break the fourth wall while answering questions, it stays true to the show's world and the characters that live in it.
  • A.A. Pessimal's work in the Discworld and Good Omens fanfic universes is essentially Original Flavour fan fiction. Even when introducing and elaborating on concepts which have not yet appeared in the canon, Pessimal is at pains to explain they are firmly rooted there and will show his working. For instance, "Rimwards Howondaland" - a Discworld expy of South Africa - is kind of there in the canon, as he collated eight or nine clear hints in the published books that point to its existence. Terry Pratchett just hasn't developed it past those few hints and throwaway jokes. Noting, not unreasonably, that originally the Discworld Australia was no more than three or four throwaway gags which paved the way for its later introduction, Pessimal felt at liberty to introduce Southern Africa to the Discworld. The author also focuses on bit-part players and incidental characters in the canon, some of whom have not even had one line yet, as so much more can be creatively done with them.
  • Many of the Game Mods for the original 1993 Doom are "episode replacements", level packs which emulate the look and feel of one of the original game's episodes.
  • bebop-aria's ''Left Eye'' is a brilliant Cowboy Bebop fic assembled from still photos in the anime series. It is a mature, detailed outline of Spike, Vicious, and Julia's lives pre-Bebop that ties together some of the series' unresolved plot points, and provides a deeper look into the trio's characters.
  • Secret Agent Men strives for this in its approach to the series that inspired it, Niels.
  • A Cluster of Stars. Especially recommended for people who want more of what Lucky Star itself could have offered.
  • Unlucky Black Holes, about what kinds of Witches the Lucky Star girls would become if they were fallen Magical Girls in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Despite being not only a crossover, but only one by borrowing the concept of witches from Madoka-verse, it does a fine job capturing the essence of witches. One reviewer even commented that it would be interesting to see everything described in each Witch's profile in the spinoff game Grief Syndrome.
  • MOTHER 4 is a purely fan-made game, intended to capture and emulate the style and themes of the Mother trilogy and feel like a true, official sequel. The game is still in development, however, so only time will tell if it lives up to the name.
  • Many feel that the Danny Phantom series Facing the Future Series fits the tone so good that they feel it's an unofficial fourth season.
  • Some Touhou fanfics fall into this:
    • Touhou Tonari: Does this in the attempt to shed some light on Yuyukos backstory.
    • The same applies to Though the Wind Cries but focusing on Suwako, Kanako and Sanae.
    • Diamond in the Rough (Touhou) provides an absolutly brutal Deconstruction of the Gappy Stu archetype simply by using nothing else than Touhou cannon.
  • Warrior's Secret reads like a somewhat darker, but still true-to-canon continuation of the Kirby anime. Unsurprising, because the author was also the main translator for the anime's fansub, and thus knows the canon quite well.
  • San Tropez by Breakinglight11 is a Cabin Pressure fan fic designed to be like just another episode of the series. Not only does it fit in with the continuity, the voices of the characters and the style of humor are a very close imitation of how original author John Finnemore writes them. San Tropez is even written in audio drama script format.
  • The Meg's Family Series reads a lot like actual Family Guy episodes, minus the Meg bashing.
  • This original soundtrack is designed to capture the essence of the MSX Gradius games' soundtracks.
  • Averted with the Screwtape Letters fanfic Screwtape's New Secretary (which is Rule 34 and therefore NSFW), but a review of the fic fits the trope.
    My dear Snaremouth,
    When that fool Blargrot allowed his patient to get his hands on thirty-one of the letters I had written to the idiot Wormwood, it was a serious intelligence fiasco. Imagine my elation, then, to learn that you got your own patient to write porn of it. It is a clear sign that your patient has completely missed the point.
    That said, did you really need to include ME in it?
    Your affectionate mentor,
    Screwtape
  • Mario & Luigi: Cleanup Crew: The artist has claimed that the comic is actually his concept of a game for the Mario & Luigi series.
  • A Door Jam can be feel like an actual episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic due to its plot, pacing, and length.
  • Ah Ain't Got no Ack-cent! is another FiM fanfic that could pass for an episode.
  • Power Rangers: Oceania is a Power Rangers fanfic which emulates the typical format of a Power Rangers episode.
  • Young Justice: Darkness Falls. This is a tricky example, as it breaks so many rules of original flavor what with introducing new characters, tricked out plot twists that upends parts of Young Justice's premise and shifting character focuses. And YET, so many of the readers say that what was created would serve as a suitable conclusion to Greg Weisman's vision for the show with villain intrigue, tapping into the deeper DC universe, revised character origins and the same kind of espionage and tricks as the show but in different ways.
  • The main draw of Pokémon Story: Sinnoh Journey. It reads like an actual Pokemon Contest episode from start to finish. The extra chapters deviate from canon when Tobias and Darkrai are Adapted Out, but even then, it still reads a like logical, unofficial conclusion to Ash's Sinnoh conference without them.
    • The sequel, Pokémon: Nova and Antica, continues the trend to an impressive degree. It's your standard travel-to-a-new-region story following Ash as the protagonist, but with many twists, alongside an overarching Myth Arc, that lives up to its aim of combining the new with the old. The Tenla Region and its Pokemon sound like stuff from game series.

Alternative Title(s): Original Flavor, Just Like The Original

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OriginalFlavour