Imaginary invisible friends day

Chasing rainbows hand in hand with your invisible best friend. I assume the manga was made without knowledge of Calvin & Hobbes…

I got a head cold as soon as I was finished with the flu. Since you still shed flu virus for a couple days after you are fever-free, spraying virus like a garden sprinkler gone wild is a bad thing. I have become a walking biological weapon! Of mass destruction! Well, the fever has destroyed some of my mass at least, though I am now eating like a wild thing to get it back. What is worse is that the sick and elderly are more likely than the rich, trim and tan capitalists to take the bus with me, and the sick and elderly may lose more than just a little fat. They might lose their lives.  I am not risking that, and my boss luckily agrees with me.

So here I have been at home all day.  My selection of edibles is shrinking faster than I expected (yay for getting my appetite back though). I still have pasta for a few weeks of siege though. And my boss sent me chocolate, although it contains too much fat to eat all in one day (or even two).

In addition to eating, I have been watching yet another long anime series: Onmyou Taisenki. It is aimed at barely teenage boys, it seems, but since when has that stopped me? It is set in an alternate reality vaguely based on Chinese philosophy, where some people can form a contract with “shikigami”, literally “ritual gods”, animal spirits with magical powers that can exterminate demons. However, these days they mostly fight each other, as there is a civil war between them. One group is trying to make a profit in the demon realm, more or less. The other is trying to stop them.

The series is very similar to a roleplaying game, in that the characters search for new seals that give them new combat techniques, and grow stronger by defeating opponents (demons or each other).  The human characters don’t normally die when defeated, their contract is only broken and they lose all memories from after  the contract was formed. Not a capital punishment unless you are left in a place where you cannot find your way back to civilization.

I pondered why this series appealed to me as much as it did. In part I think it is because it is kind of cute and innocent.  The whole not killing people, even if you could, is like a throwback to a more innocent age. (It is actually from 2004, which was not really a much more innocent age.) But perhaps what most appealed to me was the intense friendship between the main character and his white tiger spirit who fights for him.  This is intentionally a main part of the story.

The main character is a young boy who lost his parents (that’s a long story in itself and is unraveled gradually) and he does not have many friends except the girl next door. When he has to form a contract with a spirit to protect his grandfather, he does not realize that he is gaining the best friend he has ever had. The loyalty the two start to feel for each other is touching.  Also, he can see the spirit even when it is not fighting (ordinary people can only see it when fighting).  So he spends a lot of time conversing with his invisible friend.

What is not to like about that? I do that all the time. ^_^

There was one thing I disliked though even in this theme. I have never really thought about it before, but I just realized that in all such stories where a seemingly unimpressive person is chosen by a spirit or goddess or angel or whatever, that person always has some hidden great power that eventually (or sometimes pretty quickly) shines forth.  And I realized that this had also been the case in some of my own writing.

So I made a reboot of my story from a couple years back, where a 6-dimensional being from outside the universe makes a pact with an ordinary teenage boy and becomes his amazing invisible friend. This time, the seemingly ordinary boy actually is an ordinary boy (except for being very much alone). And the only reason why he is chosen is “because I love you”.

Apart from that, I did not really do much of lasting value today. Eating, sleeping, playing City of Heroes, watching anime. Coughing up hairballs. Not much to write home about.

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