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First of, I'm afraid this idea has some Unfortunate Implications. If it has, forgive me. -_- I can be a clueless, stupid idiot at times. No, most of the time. I had this plotbunny while reading the Playing With entry on Gender Bender. Remember the "boy is a casanova, one of the girls turns him into a woman, boy learns An Aesop" trope? This fic would be a brutal deconstruction, Puella Magi Madoka Magica style. It would be: Hikaru is a casanova, Miki wishes Kyubei for Hikaru to become a girl, Hikaru hates his new body, all of his relationships change and is kidnapped and becomes a lab study (maybe more bad things would have happened before Hikaru became a lab study?). One day, after much experimentation, Kyubei appears to him and offered him the chance to make a contract with him. Hikaru's wish was: "I want my life back to normal." Since Kyubei isn't dumb (the soul gem would already come extremelly corrupted) rather than turning Hikaru back into a boy, he retgones him into a girl. Which means Hikaru starts losing his identity, too. Not to mention he has fight witches. One day one his classmates, Fuyuka, asks Hikaru if he used to be a boy. Turns out Fuyuka Ekiguchi was once a boy, Fuyuhiko. Fuyuhiko's father, Masatoshi always made clear to most people he preferred Fuyuhiko to Fuyuhiko's twin sister, Koharu. Koharu desperately longed for her father's affection, and tried to do so by acting like the perfect daughter from a wealthy family. But no matter how hard she tried, Masatoshi always preferred Fuyuhiko to her. So when Kyubei appeared and offered her a contract, her wish was "I wish father treated Fuyuhiko and I equally." The wish retgonned Fuyuhiko into a girl. Only Kyubei, Koharu and Fuyuhiko remembered Fuyuhiko ever used to be a boy. Now Masatoshi had always being cold to both Koharu and "Fuyuka". Like Hikaru, Fuyuhiko hated his new body, had trouble fitting in the social role of a woman (and his father was far more strict about it than Hikaru's parents) and the girl he loved was straight. By the time Koharu had told Fuyuhiko of his wish, he had started to think he had always been a girl. The story is mainly about Fuyuhiko and Hikaru's friendship. I was originally having them fall in love, but I never wrote Boys Love before. Is the idea bad? Too many unfortunate implications? If it's not awful, could I have some ideas?
While I have no input on the ethics of this at this time, especially since it really depends on how it's actually written, you might want to reconsider Miki's name since that's Sayaka's surname. Before ethical considerations, too, I'm immediately alerted to the girls making wishes to turn people they know into boys. Because of the cost involved, and the fact that they get only one wish that they'll have to fight the rest of their lives for, it seems intriguingly idiotic to make that wish (which is not unusual for the show; see Charlotte), and especially for Miki it implies she's fairly obsessed with Hikaru. Kyubey hasn't been demonstrated to twist wishes away from their original intent, either; the result is usually at least initially what was intended, and the despair-inducing consequences are the actual natural consequences of the wish because of how the real world interacts with them. Miki's wish is played out that way, it seems, but the way you've worded Hikaru and Koharu's wishes aren't. The result of Koharu's wish is a possible way of achieving an interpretation of her words, but Kyubey's not quite a Literal Genie, so forcing more changes than she actually asked for is likely not what would happen. And while it'd be easy to change Hikaru's words (so he doesn't say "back to normal", which doesn't quite imply changing what "normal" means), that'd also be quite against his intent - you might be able to solve it by claiming it's impossible to undo another person's wish with your own, or something about having to fight as a magical girl, or whatever, so that at the time he actually wishes he'd always been a girl. Is Hikaru's kidnapping necessary to your vision? It's also not something I can make a solid case for, but at least in Mitakihara Town, the hospital let Kyousuke go even after being curious about the miracle that cured his hand, and no one seemed interested in Homura and Mami's recoveries, so they seem content to ignore miracles. Besides that, the resources and investment inquired to kidnap one person for testing means that plot point would have to loom over the whole story. It's true that they would be retconned out of the past if Hikaru had always been biologically female, but it's not something that can be ignored, and you don't mention it at all later. As for addressing its apparent story role, dysphoria and the sudden change in all of his relationships and having to deal with everyone's wtfing could believably push him into making a wish to turn everything back to normal. Also, the results of Koharu's wish: The family's past has been retconned so the father always treated them the same, meaning Fuyuhiko's been retconned to have been biologically female this whole time, but he's always had dysphoria despite that, yes? It does have somewhat awkward implications since both of your transgender characters were actually originally cisgender males at one point with no counterexample given, I think, which might seem to invalidate the issues of real people who weren't. Though it'd be easier if you started reading up on trans* issues, blogs, et cetera before making a judgement call on that; a sensitive portrayal would practically require you to do so anyway.
edited 9th Apr '12 11:03:05 PM by greedling
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I'm considering abandoning the idea, due to your observations about Kyubey, that made sense. Also, yeah. If I don't drop, I must change Miki's name, as is Sayaka's last name X_X. The problem with Miki is that she's an idiot who has read too many sappy fiction, has a completely wrong idea of what being a Puella Magi is and thinks something will be able to turn Hikaru back to normal. Maybe it's the wording of Koharu and Hikaru's wishes? I think I would go with the "not being able to under other people's wishes" idea. My original thought was that Kyubei doesn't grasp the concept of gender identity and would want Hikaru to stay as a girl. As Incubators seem to think only teenage girls are more emotional than teenage boys, and would become witches faster. Which is bullshit, of course. Koharu believed their father would treat her better than Fuyuhiko if she had been born a boy, as she would be the oldest son, and the sucessor. Koharu's wish could be "I wish Fuyuhiko and I were the same sex, so I could have always been father's favourite" Once again, Incubators would believe boys wouldn't become good Puer Magi. Koharu's wish would come true, in this case, mind you: Akiyoshi would prefer Koharu to "Fuyuka" due to her being a Yamato Nadeshiko. With the plus of Koharu keeping her biological sex. And yeah, the kidnapping idea was pretty dumb and not needed. Thanks for pointing it out. ^_^' As for Fuyuhiko's situation, it would have been something like Ash from a webcomic named Misfile: the rest of the world remembers him as if he had always been female. Fuyuhiko remembers how it originally was. I was intending to have a transgirl, who would have wished to become biologically female. And a transboy who would have asked if Kyubey would be able to him into a biological boy (Kyubei said no, the guy was NOT happy).
edited 9th Apr '12 11:40:56 PM by risingdreams
... I take it that there's a part of you resistant to actually abandoning the idea, since you're looking for justifications? If Miki's supposed to have problems thinking things through, then you can probably get away with it. Is this post- or pre-finale? Well, if you're just changing the words they say, then it's trying to take advantage of a Literal Genie aspect that Kyubey doesn't have. Magical girls have been observed to ask for something when it's not what they truly want (see Sayaka), so you can take advantage of that and make them actually ask for the results - give Koharu a reason to think she'll get what she wants if Fuyuhiko was always a girl, and give Hikaru a reason to wish the same for himself, and you can circumvent that. Perhaps Koharu thought she'd be happier as a boy but was told it couldn't happen ("That would be a problem. The contract is made for you to become a magical girl, and that can't be done if you're a boy," or something), and Hikaru could be told the same, so they go for what they think is the next-best thing without realising the consequences. That's also a bit of a deviation from what Kyubey does, since it has never actually told anyone their wish is can't be fulfilled in canon, but that could be more easily ignored since we didn't see that many wishes. I can't tell how important it is for this story to be fanfiction, but not much mention of the actual magical girl stuff is made, no canon characters but Kyubey are present, and deconstructioniness doesn't have to be related to PMMM to work, so there is the option to move this out of the fandom and create your Jackass Genie and rules for wishes and such. As for trans* issues, I'd still advise actual research if Unfortunate Implications and sensitivity is something you care about, since you can't plausibly deny that this work touches on the concept. If nothing else, I've noticed several comments from people on the spectrum who consider TV Tropes ignorant to hostile to trans* issues, so this may not be the best place for advice anyway.
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Total posts: 41