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Isekai Where The Protagonist Has Been Chosen To Protect The Current Overlord, Since Unlike His Predecessors He's A Reformer

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firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 10th 2019 at 7:54:21 PM

You know a lot of fantasy in general is about a regular Farm Boy with a secret heritage or The Chosen One going on a quest to stop an Evil Empire or Evil Overlord returning to do damage. I was thinking what if this isekai heroine was chosen to protect the current overlord due to the fact that after the Evil Empire has ruled for a 100 years that it's beginning to decline, and the current Overlord is different than his father, grandfather, and great grandfather (who started it). He actually has plans on reforming it and gradually making it into a constitutional monarchy.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
AceofSpades Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Mar 11th 2019 at 11:18:18 PM

If you're talking specifically about the Japanese genre of isekai and not Western versions of trapped in another world plots, the protagonist is more often than not not actually prophesied to do anything in particular. The plots tend to be more like John Carter of Mars in that the protag just happens to be super awesome in their new environment so everyone wants to be on their side. The whole prophesy thing seems to be more common in Western versions of the genre, even if some of the most well known manga/ln/anime tend to feature the whole prophesy thing.

Though there are a few that give the twist that the protagonist has died in the real world and essentially been reincarnated as something else; a goblin/orc, a spider, a sword, a vending machine for some reason, or a regular person in that world that happens to have their memories from their previous life.

But anyway, yeah sure go with your idea. I mean, I'm not sure what we're supposed to discuss here since you're just suggesting a plot. It's got potential, but it also seems like you'd have to make it more of a political intrigue genre than action genre.

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 12th 2019 at 2:09:19 AM

The Overlord is 18 years old, while the protagonist is 16 years old. Both would be surprised that they are so young and expected someone older. It does have some action, but it does show that mainly the empire can be defeated by a reformer down the line dismantling it's power.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
AceofSpades Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Mar 12th 2019 at 8:42:13 PM

Here's a question you ought to ask yourself: If it's so easy for one person, even one who's in a position of power and privilege, to dismantle anything, why would anyone that this Empire has previously subjugated stay as part of the Empire? Actually, what happened to the British Empire after World War 2 might be a good example for you to research. But in that case, you've got far more factors than just your overlord. Which is far more realistic anyway, since those people have far more reason to want to dismantle things than the guy who's supposed to be in charge of it. Like, having it done solely by the goodwill of someone in power seems.... like kind of a bad way to show how progress happens. In any case, you're going to have to take into account all the outside factors that will influence this country/empire. Things do NOT happen in a vacuum.

Though you might want to also research the last Spanish monarch, I forget his name but I believe he did something similar to what you're proposing here. (Obviously not by himself, but he was likely also influenced by growing up with the whole weird Franco situation.)

I guess the main question is why is your heroine needed as a bodyguard in this case? Because presumably the overlord would already have those, and you haven't explained that yet. Like, you have given us literally no reason this couldn't solely be a fantasy world wherein the an Empire is fading and there's political repercussions to this. What part makes the heroine from the our world necessary?

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 12th 2019 at 11:17:21 PM

The Magical World I am creating is based on a lot of African culture. The Empire the young warlord would rule over is based on the Mali Empire. As it turns out, the collapse of the Mali Empire eventually splintered into smaller portions. It would kind of be like a more evil and oppressive version of the Mali Empire.

However, it's not going to be just the young Mansa (Overlord). It is going to be a coalition he is trying to build to help reform this empire. It would be from his experience that he believes that it's time to stop the suffering that has been brought by his family's dynasty. On the other hand, it would show that the empire due to being influenced by the Mali Empire brought trade and many diversity of ideas.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mali_Empire

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_empires

The reason why are protagonist from the everyday world is brought here is while the Mansa has bodyguards, as it turns out one really close assassination attempt was from a being that had a power close to the chosen one. And so, to combat these powerful resistances the Mansa's adviser summons a girl from our world to help them.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
Mar 14th 2019 at 10:46:35 AM

Well, my big question is why the isekai angle at all? The whole isekai storyline seems totally wrong for what you’re trying to do here, I’d just go straight fantasy and leave it at that. If you are dead set on the isekai angle, I’d bring them in but make them the king rather than the bodyguard so you can set the focus more closely on the political intrigue stuff.

As mentioned above you’re going to want to be careful with the “good king fixes everything” storyline, as those can develop some unfortunate implications pretty quickly.

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 14th 2019 at 11:37:57 AM

Mostly because the Isekai protagonist is a part of a long tradition of people, who have been summoned to the world to help the people. It also goes hand in hand on why the protagonist has to protect the overlord, due to the fact that there would be be people out there that would prefer to have him gone and replace him with a young sibling easier to manipulate.

I think the protagonist being a bodyguard wouldn't detract from the political angle.

Edited by firewriter on Mar 14th 2019 at 11:39:04 AM

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
Mar 14th 2019 at 8:20:49 PM

It still feels like isekai might not be the right angle to approach this from. Fundamentally isekai stories are wish fulfillment ones, where a person who is otherwise unremarkable is sucked into a fantastic world and made remarkable.

The wish fulfillment setup seems totally wrong for the story you’re trying to tell here. I’d either leave it out, or if the “summoning champions from other worlds” angle is important then maybe don’t approach it like an isekai but rather a more straightforward fantasy work. Functionally it seems like the overlord character is going to be the central focus of the work whether they’re the protagonist or not, so it may make more sense to keep the story centered around them.

It’s also worth noting that from an in-universe perspective it might make more sense to approach the whole summoning thing from a different perspective. If this person is being summoned for the express purpose of protecting the king, sucking a random person off the street doesn’t make much sense. You could have the summoning imbue the person with special powers or something, but that begins to become a little convoluted.

I’d make the overlord the main character, and have them be the one summoned. That way you can still keep the wish fufillment basics of the isekai genre while doing a slight subversion, and the whole thing is fairly consistent and straightforward in-universe.

Edited by archonspeaks on Mar 14th 2019 at 8:27:05 AM

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 14th 2019 at 8:29:31 PM

I said Isekai because I thought it was now synonym with Portal Fantasy. It's more of a traditional Portal Fantasy. The summoned hero and overlord are co-leads.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
Mar 14th 2019 at 10:03:42 PM

Well, I’d say my above post is still my current feedback on the topic. I’m not sure if the isekai plot and the reformer plot work well together, they feel like they conflict a little. I’d simplify it down a little.

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 14th 2019 at 11:22:21 PM

Maybe should discuss the difference between portal and isekai fantasy, because it does seem to differ a lot.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
Mar 14th 2019 at 11:54:24 PM

Regardless of the specific genre it occupies, I’d still say it’s worth simplifiying it. You have to consider the essential story you’re trying to tell, and then consider whether additional elements will distract from that. In this case I think the two major elements you’re working with will end up distracting from each other, so it might be worth distilling it down.

Edited by archonspeaks on Mar 14th 2019 at 11:54:37 AM

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 15th 2019 at 12:01:01 AM

I think there is a good way to make them work together. Also the summoned hero can make for a good audience surrogate to certain elements of the world.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
AceofSpades Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Mar 15th 2019 at 11:56:03 AM

Standard fantasy shows we don't really need "audience surrogates" to get into a fantasy world. I, also, don't see how you need to use a protagonist from our world, because it doesn't seem to add anything to the story. The bodyguard you want so badly could just be a loyal servant or friend to the dark lord, who agrees with their goals, and works to get empowered specifically to help with said goals.

Two friends working together to make a better world is a pretty good place to start a story. Starting with "this rando has been summoned from another world to help with a goal they know nothing about and probably have every reason to avoid getting involved with is somehow going to be convinced to help anyway."

Also, there isn't much difference besides the slang word made to refer to the genre. While isekai typically involves the hero leveling up via roleplay mechanics specifically, portal fantasy nearly always involves empowering the hero to start with.

Edited by AceofSpades on Mar 15th 2019 at 12:56:57 PM

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 15th 2019 at 12:57:29 PM

The main heroine here is empowered to become the chosen protector.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
AceofSpades Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Mar 15th 2019 at 1:44:12 PM

I repeat the point in my previous post; you don't need to specifically make this protagonist from be from this world to empower the protagonist/bodyguard character. It seems like an extra detail you don't need for this plot you've got going.

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 15th 2019 at 4:06:47 PM

I am saying you can say that about any other Portal Fantasy as well.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
AceofSpades Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Mar 15th 2019 at 5:42:33 PM

Not really, no. You take forever to get simple points.

You've been advised to simplify your story, particularly as the focus appears to be the politics. And you've yet to explain why you want this to be a portal fantasy so badly, when it sounds like it'd be just fine as a fantasy political thriller.

Like, why would the heroine want to help these people in the first place? Because right now it just sounds like magical slavery. In the case of political reform of a country, having it be instead someone who lives there and has stakes in the situation is much more natural.

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 15th 2019 at 9:16:43 PM

The reason why the heroine is transported from another world is because of the fact it's a twist on the formula of the protagonist siding with the overlord instead of the resistance. In this case, the overlord of the empire is starting to make changes with the help of other reformers. The heroine is summoned to help the protagonist, because in the past summoned heroes have helped their world.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
Mar 15th 2019 at 9:55:19 PM

If that’s the case, I’d suggest a more standard subversion. Have the protagonist be summoned via standard fantasy shenanigans to this world thinking they’re going to fight the evil overlord, then have them realize the evil overlord is actually the good guy and switch sides to work with them.

The whole magical bodyguard angle is a little convoluted (not to mention potentially problematic as pointed out above) and seems like it would distract from the central story you’re trying to tell.

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Mar 16th 2019 at 2:50:45 AM

That could work.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
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