Follow TV Tropes


Original Flavour
aka: Original Flavor

Go To

Said of a Fanfic 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 these 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 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".

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 Pseudo-Canonical 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.


    open/close all folders 

    Based on Anime and Manga 
  • Future Reunion is a fan comic based on the manga Sailor Moon. The artist's style in both artwork and storytelling ability is near identical to the original work.
  • It has been commented on that the the alternate versions of the non-Arc-V characters that show up in Arc-Ved Protagonists make perfect since for how they exist in an Arc-V setting and that they are still true to their original selves despite the new settings they are put in.
  • 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.
  • Iron Touch closely mimics the tone and plot structure of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, specifically Part 3 and Part 5. The author often refers to it as a fanpart rather than a straight fanfiction for this reason.
  • Rob "Kenko" Haynie's Girl Days is an excellent Original Flavour Ranma ½ fic.
  • 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.
    • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, while not a Doujinshi like ReTake, is also an alternate universe fic which shows an impressive attention to detail on the part of the author. It is written as a Alternate Universe continuation that picks up where Episode 24 left off, but going in a different direction than Episode 25 and 26, and The End of Evangelion, and is essentially written as the second season of the show that never was. The writer has also commented that he even deliberately attempted to be vague on some of the same elements that the show was (such as the more metaphysical stuff).
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 artists, each putting their own spin on certain facial expressions.
  • The Hetalia: Axis Powers 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.
  • 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 Shōjo work). It also ties together and expands on a few plot threads, while continuing to develop the characters.
  • 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.
  • Spreading Their Wings and Another New World are two Robotech fanfics that follow the style and canon of the series.
  • Mado of Stone Mil 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.
  • 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.
  • There were several light novels based on JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, with one of them being commissioned by Hirohiko Araki himself, but by far the most popular one for its faithfulness would be Purple Haze Feedback, which serves as an epilogue to Part 5 whilst also tying it back to previous parts and expanding on loose plot threads that were left open to interpretation. Readers have praised the novel for retaining the wacky, yet comprehensive narrative that JoJo is known for, to the point of having some kickass action scenes described in words only. It also helps that it focuses on Pannacotta Fugo, whom Araki regrets not having done more with, and although he didn't write it, Araki contributed some really nice art to PHF.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • This is one of the main goals of Kirby of the Stars: The After Story for the Kirby series. Since this story is a crossover of the games and the anime, both the anime and the game canons are taken into account, and the chapters read very much like anime episodes (albeit with more lengthy story arcs in mind as opposed to being episodic).
  • Despite being a case of Rule 34, one particular Gintama H-doujin kept all the hallmarks of the series without a break in character. It's even done in a Two Shorts format like earlier seasons of the anime; the iconic shot of the Odd Jobs building is used as a faux-Sexy Discretion Shot while Gintoki and Kagura yell dirty phrases to get the reader away, Shinpachi chastises the pair for making the audience read that, and the pair do a small spiel on how the words matter more than the actions as a coverup for being lazy. The second part involves a wave of "dick slasher" cases in Kabuki-cho, to which Gintoki and Shinpachi turn to Kyuubei to protect them from the perp.
  • Life with Fumi: A Yo-kai Watch AU is a Yo-kai Watch fic based on the episode where Whisper enters an Alternate Universe where Katie received the Yo-kai Watch instead of Nate. In it, Whisper ends up back in the universe and must work with Katie (known by her Japanese name "Fumi") now.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • The main draw of Pokémon Story: Sinnoh Journey. It reads like an actual Pokémon 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 Pokémon sound like stuff from the games.

    Based on Films 
  • The Joker Blogs. Barring the Mythology Gags, everything is as Original Flavor to The Dark Knight Trilogy 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.
  • The Disney fanfic Lost Tales of Fantasia, despite being deliberately darker than a typical Disney movie, still imitates the usual Disney format by excluding swearing and sex and having regular musical numbers.

    Based on Literature 
  • Eleutherophobia sticks as close to K. A. Applegate's writing style and tone as possible, mimicking Animorphs' balance of the hilarious, heart-wrenching, and horrifying.
  • 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.
  • Alice Through the Needle's Eye is a Fan Sequel to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland that perfectly mimics Carroll's style.
  • Peter Pan and the Only Children is a Fan Sequel to J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, that perfectly mimics Barrie's style
  • 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.
  • Emperor's Ward: A Ciaphas Cain Story captures the style of the Ciaphas Cain yarns nigh-perfectly.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
    • The King Nobody Wanted has also gotten enough praise for indistinguishably following Martin and his style to occasionally spark speculation that Martin could be writing 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.
    • Word of God is that Pessimal thought he was taking a big liberty by introducing the land of Aceria (with its Eagleland-like Lower States) to the Disc, as Pratchett had famously decreed that no part of the Disc should evoke any part of North America. And then, the posthumously published The Compleat Discworld Atlas introduced the Discworld's Canada/USA, called "The Great Outdoors"—exactly in the blank space on the Mapp where Pessimal put his Aceria...
  • 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,
  • General consensus in the Worm fandom is that very, very few fics are able to successfully emulate the tone and style of canon. Cenotaph is one of the few considered to succeed, and is among the most celebrated and notable because of it.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid has an entire genre of original flavour fics thanks to the r/LodedDiper subreddit, called "Looks Like Books" (L.L.B.s for short). Like the title implies, they take great pains to make their fanfics look like the original books, down to the text, journal paper, and art style.
  • Geraldine Brooks's March is a Pulitzer Prize-winning take on Little Women from the perspective of patriarch Mr. March, who is offscreen for most of the original novel. The whole book is written in a sort of 19th-century style meant to emulate Alcott.
  • The one-shot The Road Built in Hope doesn't stray that far from Land of Oz canon, aside from some references to romance (lesbian romance, at that) and American politics that you wouldn't normally see in the series.
  • The Animorphs fanfic The Wheel reads just like one of K. A. Applegate's books, accurately channeling Marco's POV.

    Based on Live Action TV 

    Based on Radio Drama 
  • 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.

    Based on Tabletop Games 

    Based on Video Games 
  • 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.
  • The Oswald Adventures are direct spiritual successors to the Epic Mickey series.
  • 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.
  • Silent Hill: Promise attempts to faithfully create a full Silent Hill game as an interactive web comic.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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."
  • Pokémon:
    • Edan R. wrote a series known as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Legendary & Ancient Discoveries.
    • While a number of Pokémon hacks shoot for ambitious story telling, changes to the overall badge collecting formula, or otherwise veer off the very narrow design concept of the main series, 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 hacks' extreme difficulty, and their choice of an eighth Gym Leader.
  • Tales From Tamriel does this with Skyrim.
  • There's a short one for CLANNAD: Whenever You're Ready by InfinityOrNone. Despite being about the Official Couple having their first night of marital bliss, it manages to be rated T.
  • Hitman Miami is an unusual example, as it is a text fanfiction of a video game and attempts 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 Nights at Freddy's 3. However, in this case the guard didn't realize there wasn't very much to be upset about in this situation.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Some Touhou Project 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 absolute Deconstruction of the Gappy Stu archetype simply by using nothing else than Touhou canon.
  • This original soundtrack is designed to capture the essence of the MSX Gradius games' soundtracks.
  • Mario & Luigi: Cleanup Crew: The artist has claimed that the comic is actually his concept of a game for the Mario & Luigi series.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Tamriel Rebuilt, a massive Game Mod for Morrowind, seeks to recreate the rest of the province of Morrowind (despite Morrowind's title, it restricts the action to the island of Vvardenfell), while adhering as closely to the official lore as possible (or more accurately, official lore around the time of Morrowind, to stick closer to the style and feel of Morrowind and not have to worry about integrating retcons from later games), aiming to feel more like an official Expansion Pack, than a game mod. The associated Project Tamriel mods aim to create other Tamrielic provinces in the same spirit, although the "around the time of Morrowind" clause can obscure it for people familiar with the Cyrodiil of Oblivion and the Skyrim of Skyrim.
    • In a similar vein to Tamriel Rebuilt, there is also the massive multi-team Game Mod, Beyond Skyrim for Skyrim, which seeks to recreate most of the continent of Tamriel, (and even a few places beyond) for the player to explore. Like Tamriel Rebuilt, developers of the different mods have it as their stated goal to stick as closely as possible both to to the official lore and the style of Skyrim to ensure that the mods integrate more or less seamlessly with the base game and appear like they could be official DLC. One of the project's stated tenets is also to not make or introduce any significant changes to Skyrim's core gameplay, but keep it as close to vanilla as possible.
  • Resident Evil: The Progenitor Chronicles sticks very close to the themes of the games. The finales of the first 2 volumes are straight survival horror. The finale of the third volume is way more action-focused, which ironically mirrors the evolution of the series from 1 to 6.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic III: One of the Horn of the Abyss Game Mod's main selling points is closely sticking to the aesthetic and lore of the original game while still adding tonnes of new content. The first new town, Cove, is a Pirate faction that fits well into the Fantasy Kitchen Sink world. Story-wise, it represents the island nation of Regna, which could only previously be shown as the unfitting Castle or the equally unfitting Stronghold. The second town, Factory, is a recontextualizing of the scrapped sci-fi Forge, instead going for a Cattle Punk theme that fits into the game better. It adopts the lore of a faction discovering super-advanced tech, but instead of cyborgs and laser guns it's steampunk and revolvers.
  • The Fallout: Sonora total conversion Game Mod for Fallout 2 as the straight forward ambition of being true to the graphical style, story, gameplay and especially quest design of the first two Fallout games, and the developers' dedication to achieve this goal shows throughout the entire game. The game essentially styles itself as an Elsewhere Fic of sorts, taking several elements and cues from both the original games, and even some bits from their later sequel Fallout: New Vegas (it takes place shortly after Fallout 1 in the area that will become the Legion's domain some eight decades later), but also slightly remixes them in a way that the story still feels fresh and original.

    Based on Webcomics/Web Original 
  • 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.
  • Secret Agent Men strives for this in its approach to the series that inspired it, Niels.

    Based on Western Animation 

    Based on Multiple Properties 
  • Child of the Storm, despite being a Massive Multiplayer 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • This is the entire point of the "Sbubby" meme (which has an entire sub dedicated to it on Reddit). Take a logo, poster, or box art and cleanly rearrange the letters so it looks like its saying something completely different (usually gibberish, though more coherent words phrases are just as common) while still visually resembling the original.
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness, a crossover between Megas XLR and Touhou Project, has been noted to fall into this category. One of the author's stated intentions when writing the story was to adhere as closely as possible to the source material for both series, evading most of the memes and fanon associated with Gensokyo and its residents. The end result looks as if it falls squarely into Megas's canon, while simultaneously having the feel of one of Touhou's supplementary manga.
  • A Peaceful Afterlife: The author does an impressive job of keeping the tone of both series than comprise it, namely Hazbin Hotel and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The majority of the story keeps with the debauched, comical nature of Hazbin, but the fights manage to incorporate the Outside-the-Box Tactics and Indy Ploys of JoJo.
  • Somehow, Cross Cases manages to feel like a perfect combination of installments of both Supernatural and The Dresden Files at the same time. The sections written from Harry's POV align perfectly with his narrative voice in canon, and the plot is paced well and twisty enough to feel like an actual Dresden novel, with even the length, number of chapters, and timescale falling within normal range for the series. And on top of that, the sections from the perspective of any of the Supernatural-side characters hew closely to their canon characterizations and somehow manage to feel like an episode of Supernatural whose events slot in well with both the ending of Season 10 and the start of Season 11, without ever once feeling out-of-place with the sections mimicking a Dresden novel. There's only one OC of note- the main antagonist -and even they fit nicely into the canon of Dresden, complete with their history with the protagonist being something that could totally be present in canon. It's quite remarkable to see.
  • Though there are some things about the series that are different from the main canons that make up the crossover, the author of Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee sticks as closely to the source material as possible regarding the battle mechanics, which follow those used in the Pokémon games closely as well as the overall tone of the series being just as dark as Pokémon media outside the anime can be at times like the games, Pokémon Origins and Pokémon Generations and as action packed and filled with Shocking Moments as a Shonen anime/manga while also keeping the general lighthearted atmosphere and focus on School Idols that Love Live! has normally as well as the romantic atmosphere of Tokimeki Memorial!
  • Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship: The story is intended to be an authentic combination of both the moods and humor of EG and FOP.
  • The crossover fic My Hero School Adventure Is All Wrong As Expected is very original flavor for the the My Hero characters and even matches the original works Shout Outs to Star Wars.
  • The New Teen Titans Play The Muppet Show is written out like a normal episode of The Muppet Show, with the Teen Titans playing the part of the celebrity guests.

Alternative Title(s): Original Flavor