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About Anime Reality
What Is It?
Anime Reality is basically just a fanfiction
archive dedicated to one particular, and often misunderstood, genre. The
concept is simple: what if reality competitions featured popular and
interesting anime characters instead of those bug-eating miscreants you
see on TV? Like reality TV itself, the genre is often criticized for
being a lower form of entertainment, and just like reality TV there are
plenty of examples out there to justify this argument.
You won't find any of those
examples here. The site only archives authors who write interesting and
artistic stories, many choosing to focus on the characters instead of
the game itself. Although every story on this site is a competition, and
as such there will be winners and losers involved, the joy is in seeing
the characters in situations they would likely never see in real life,
and how they respond to it. This applies to each character differently:
for Cardcaptor Sakura's Tomoyo, it's the stress and thrill of
competition she had never seen before; for Evangelion's Shinji,
it's a chance to get out of his crummy world and actually enjoy life for
a change; for Kare Kano's Yukino, her drive towards being the
best can now be taken to an arena outside the classroom.
The other advantage with the genre
is justification for the mass crossover. When not motivated by money or
marketing, crossovers can be a lot of fun if rationalized well. Here's
your excuse. Will Fushigi Yuugi's Miaka eat Akane Tendo's
cooking? Let's find out. While many are tied up in whatever game they're
playing, each character's reaction to the game and how it effects their
relationship with the others is worth checking out.
History of Anime Reality
and Reality Fanfiction
Reality fanfic has been around from the
moment the reality series boom began in the summer of 2000. The first
"reality port," as we call them (we used to say "knockoffs," but "port"
sounds less derogatory), is credited to Star Otaku, with her
Anime Survivor: Digimon vs. Pokémon. The story,
posted concurrently with the first season of Survivor, was explosively
popular among both Digimon and Pokémon fans, garnering more than 400
reviews while it was up. Other authors quickly followed with their own
Survivor stories, most of them copying Star's format, but few matched
the charm of the original.
The next milestone was in 2000,
when A. R. Pulver wrote The Mole: Anime
Edition. This story was one of the first to use something other than
Survivor, but was primarily noted for introducing non-mainstream
characters into the mix. At the time, most of the anime used were
popular series on network television. Arp used a mix of not only
characters from those series, but virtually unknown anime like the then
unlicensed Kodocha and Love Hina. While the series itself
was only a moderate success, the story signaled a shift to combining
mainstream and unknown anime in order to give readers a taste of new
characters not airing in the western world.
In the fall of 2001, A. R.
Pulver's Mole sequel became the first
to incorporate a player's contest for added interactivity. Now popular
with mystery format stories, the contest let readers play along with the
characters, rewarding the best sleuths with prizes (typically anime
DVDs). Also in 2001, Freedom Fighter introduced his Roomies series, one
of the first stories to successfully use an original format, this one
based on concepts from Big Brother and The Real World.
Around this time, Chromus entered
the picture with Anime & Video Game Survivor,
the first story to have a cast of complete strangers- that is, 16
characters from 16 media. His stories tended to minimize mainstream
series altogether and opened up the number of anime series involved. In
fact, when posted in 2005, every series sporting a team in his
Anime-zing Race 3 had never had a
contestant in a reality port before.
The one true dark day in reality
fanfic history was in early August of 2004. Fanfiction.net (which hosted
almost all of these stories at the time) "revised" their submission
policy to ban stories written in a script format. As they are meant to
be interpreted as television episodes, the vast majority of reality
fanfiction are written in this format. Without warning, the purge began
and the stories were deleted. Some authors without backup copies lost
their stories for good. A day after the mass deletion, A. R. Pulver
created Anime Reality primarily to host his
Anime-zing Race 2 and Chromus's Murder
Game 2, both of which were in progress and had a large following.
Space restrictions prevented him from hosting more stories until he
moved to a paid hosting service in January, 2006. The Anime Reality as
you see it now had been born.
Let's Take Some
Questions. Yes- You In the Green Shirt.
How do I submit a story to
If it's your story, see the
submissions page for more details. If it's
someone else's that you really like and I might not know about it, tell
the author about my site and have him/her get in touch with me.
Do you really like reality
Actually... not in general. I'm a freak for
competition though, and love the social game of Survivor, the mental
game of The Mole, and the general big ball o' stress that is The Amazing
Race. With few other limited exceptions, I typically don't care for it
much. I'm not interested in pageant series like American Idol, and
despise dating series like The Bachelor. That also explains why there
aren't many different reality series represented here, although I'd
certainly post a well-written port of something like The Apprentice. On
that note, this site is careful about posting only the good reality
fanfiction. The genre is best known for a lot of exceedingly bad
stories, but you won't find those here.
Isn't anything in script
Who gave you that idea, Billy? Those bad men
at fanfiction.net? Actually, the main problem with script format isn't
anything structural (all movies, plays and TV shows use it!). It's that
it is incredibly easy to be lazy with it. With script format, dialogue
is king, but it's just as important to describe the setting, atmosphere,
and events. Even the tone of voice in dialogue shouldn't be spared.
Since we can't act out or animate the story for the reader, it's up to
the author to help the reader picture the scene in his/her head. That
never changes, no matter what format you use.
If you're still brainwashed into
thinking script format is bad, I'll refer you to Gomamon's stories,
which aside from the occasional "confessional" are written in novel narrative, and written very well, I
What's the point of a
reality series if it's scripted out?
That's a better question. Besides all the
stuff mentioned above about displacing characters and crossover
justification, there's a plot development and resolution in reality
series that can be duplicated in fictitious works. The producers of
reality shows edit the series to craft a storyline with heroes,
villains, plot twists, and the like. We just take it to the next level-
outright fiction. It's up to each author to suspend disbelief, keeping
the events plausible and realistic, but rest assured- it can be done.
For a good example of a scripted reality series, check out Joe Schmo,
a wonderful experiment centered around a scripted reality series. And it
has lots of fan service!
In script format, what do
the acronyms, strangely-placed punctuation, and foreign terminology
Almost all of the scripts on this site are
written in a stage-like script. While it's very easy to pick up on the
terms, it may be a little intimidating for those used to novel-format.
Basically, anything in (parentheses) is a stage direction, which either
sets up the scene or indicates action. It can also be used by the
author to make snide comments about the situation, but since it's
supposed to be describing what you see instead of what you think, it's
not very professional (got that Chromus?). Speech is indicated with
the character's name on the left, followed by a colon, followed by
his/her line. Parentheses near the colon (some authors put it before,
some after), describe speech inflection or small impulsive actions. Such
Arp: Why do we use stage directions
to comment on the story when we should be telling it?
Chromus: (exuberant) Because we're ninjas!
These speech modifiers have some
tricky lingo of its own: (VO) means voice-over (or voice of, depending
on who you ask), which means the voice is narrating the scene or coming
from some external source like a telephone. (OS) means offstage, where
the character is in the scene and interacting with the characters, but
can't be seen on camera. (sotto) is short for sotto voce and is
Italian for soft voice, which typically indicates a side comment not
meant to be heard by anyone else in the scene (conveniently enough,
sotto is also Japanese for softly). This is usually a nasty adlib
that the audience would find funny but would get the speaker clobbered
with a mallet.
One of the conventions that reality
fiction has to itself is the use of italics to denote camera
confessionals, those little private moments when the character speaks
directly to the camera and we find out what they're thinking (and their
name and occupation appear on screen to remind us of who the hell they
are). When combined with (VO), imagine hearing a confessional while
other events are happening silently in the background, as if the
character is narrating a scene. Although for long (VO) confessionals,
feel free to imagine the camera cutting back to the character midway
Other lingo that may spring up in
stories- the establishing shot (breathtaking nature shots to show us the
cool landscape, or wide-angle shots inside and/or outside of the
building everybody's in), "shot of" (a short clip, usually without
dialogue, that helps fill in the story), and the face fault (the anime
sight gag when one or more people collapse in reaction to something
incredibly stupid). On that note, all the visual idiosyncrasies of anime
from the physics-defying martial arts to the melodramatic shoujo bubbles
are in play in these things. Reality series or not, Akane still has her
Where do you get all the
character pics from?
The vast majority of character pics are taken
from Best Anime,
which has an excellent directory with character pics in the exact size I
need. When I can't get them there, it's off to Google Image Search. Many
of the Pokémon pictures, particularly for the minor characters, are
actually very faithful fanart icons taken from
Japanese site which has some of the best Pokémon fanart available.
Why is there so much
Digimon and Pokémon? Where's InuYasha?
As said in the History section, the site has
always centered around mainstream series. At the time the genre took
off, Pokémon and Digimon reigned supreme. While the rosters have grown
more diverse over the years, the roots held and it was hard not to
include characters from these two series, especially with such a deep
well of characters to choose from (of the 26 kids that have starred on
the first four Digimon seasons, only Kazu and Tommy have never competed). Cardcaptor
Sakura, Tenchi Muyo and even Love Hina were also
introduced early and became staples of the genre.
As for InuYasha, the only reason I
can think of to explain its absence is that none of the authors here are
all that into the series. Simple as that. In fact, only recently has
other Adult Swim fare like FMA, Bleach and Eureka Seven gotten any love.
Why is Tracey always
written to be such a jerk?
First off, he's not always written as a jerk.
Pokévivor are pretty faithful to the
way he's shown in the anime (and Pokévivor even gives him a backstory...
even if it is borrowed from Kodocha). As for
Mole 2: Anime Edition and
Gomamon's Mole, it's because every good
story needs a good villain. Tracey doesn't receive a lot of attention in
the anime, and when he does he's usually squeaky-clean. As a result,
he's a popular candidate to be a scheming villain, using his "nice guy"
front to take advantage of people and move up. This portrayal has been
met very positively, and Tracey remains one of the most popular
characters in the genre. In fact, his image is used as a placeholder on
the template for new story pages.
The best way to summarize Tracey in
the context of the series is in the Pokémon Chronicles episode "A Date
With Delcatty," where he gets stuck cleaning the Cerulean City gym's
pool while Misty checks out a mysterious suitor. Tracey mutters
"Sometimes I wonder if it really does pay to be the nice guy," and then
scores a date with Misty's sister for his troubles.
Other characters who have gained a
dark side for similar reasons are Yomi (from Azumanga Daioh) in
Murder Game 2 and Noboyuki (Tenchi's father) in Anime-zing
Do These Stories Fall Into
Yes. For the most part, the stories by each
author fall into continuity with each other. Generally, events in one
series don't have much influence over another, but there are often
references to previous series (or concurrent series in the case of
Pokévivor) that may include
spoilers. For this reason, it is recommended that if you plan to read
all of an author's stories, do so in chronological order.
There are exceptions to this. A. R.
Pulver's first five stories comprise the "AA series," which were
produced by the fictitious Animation Alliance. Freedom Fighter and
Gomamon's stories each have their own isolated canon. Chromus's first
four stories, and the currently unavailable Pokémole, are all in the
same continuity. The Murder Game stories have very few references to the
first four and may be considered a new continuity... except the murder
mystery in Murder Game 3 stars contestants
from the previous four stories and is based on events in the original
The Anime-zing Race stories comprise
a completely separate continuity, separate from both the AA series and
Chromus's canon. An additional curve ball comes with the upcoming
Champion's Cup, combining characters and events from both the AA series
and the first two Anime-zing Race stories. Try not to think about it too
much; you'll get a serious migraine.
Complicating things further is the
fact that stories frequently will have references to other stories
written by other authors. Particularly notorious is a reference to
something a competing character did in a different series by a different
Sorry you asked, huh?
What this Animation
Alliance all about?
Survivor, I borrowed the Animation Alliance from a previous (and now
dead) fanfic project to host my silly little Survivor thing. They
produced four more series and events developed along that canon that
inspired me to write Grim Reality
to close the book on this saga. This final story was written in story
format and featured the AA as manipulative executives abusing the
characters for fun and profit (their original purpose from the original
scrapped project). Events from all five series came to a head here as
the characters either participated in the cruel Shougai series or tried
to fight back. Now that it's all over, I have retired the Animation
Alliance for the time being, and they have no connection to any other
series, except as the occasional guest host.
Survivor Format Questions
What's the difference
between Traditional and Tribal Rivalry?
Before resorting to dividing the tribes by
gender (Amazon and Vanuatu) or race (Cook Islands), the original Survivor series was
completely an individual game. However, the original Survivior port,
Star Otaku's Anime Survivor, featured one tribe
comprised of Digimon characters competing against a tribe comprised of
Pokémon characters. As a result, many reality ports choose to focus on
not only the individual competition, but the tribal competition as well.
This creates an interesting dynamic post-merge, with varying results.
Any series listed as a Tribal Rivalry Survivor forms the tribes based on
two warring factions, like Japanese anime vs. American cartoons in
Animation Survivor or major characters
vs. minor walk-ons in Pokévivor.
Although Survivor: Dewford Islands
starts out as men vs. women, it is considered a traditional
individual Survivor as each tribe not only integrates characters from
the two participating series, the gender dynamic is shaken up
immediately via one of the game's twists.
This is Survivor! Why is
everybody so darn nice to each other?
Survivor ports typically fall into one of two
categories- Strategy or Summer Camp (or, in cases like
Animation Survivor, a combination of
the two). Strategy stories are written with gamesmanship in mind: the
characters are out to play the game, and players will form and break
alliances, lying and dealing their way to the championship. The joy of
reading these is to analyze the strategies each player forms based on
their personality, and the reactions when things don't go as planned.
Perhaps the best Strategy-based Survivor port is Chromus's
Pokévivor, which featured
surprisingly harsh confrontations and excellent tactical maneuvering.
All this coming from a bunch of Pokémon characters.
Summer Camp stories fall on the
other side of the spectrum. While there is always a little strategy at
work in a Survivor port, character relationships are the focus, and
everybody's usually pretty civil to each other. Although there are
winners and losers, a good time is had by all. Stories like this are
popular because of good character interaction, the chance of crossover
couples and miscellaneous island fun. The original
Anime Survivor still remains the most popular Summer Camp-style
Survivor port, although the final five in
AVGS2 was too adorable not to merit a mention.
Where's the rest of the
Anime Survivor series? Is this because of that old rivalry?
spawned four official sequels, all written by Descendant of the Dragon
(then known as Survivor Globie). At the time, these were consistently
the most popular reality ports on ff.net. While it is true that he and I
once had a rivalry that occasionally became uncivilized, we get along
fine now and that is not the reason his stories are not posted here. The
real reason is far more unfortunate. DotD cannot locate the backup
copies of some of his stories on his computer, which means many of his
Anime Survivor stories may be lost forever. If he were to recover them,
or if somebody else comes forward with an archived copy, I would be
happy to host them here.
What on Earth is up
with Animation Survivor 2?
At the time of its posting, there was a bit of a deluge of bad
Survivor ports being posted on ff.net. DotD's Anime Survivor 2 was also
being posted at this time, and we were disagreeing about how it was
being executed. I wrote Animation Survivor 2 to protest some of Anime
Survivor 2's flaws, and primarily to spoof the bad Survivor ports. The
story was actually adapted from a bizarre plot arc I had suggested for
Anime Survivor 2, which was rejected outright (in hindsight, probably a
good idea). Although it is meant to be a parody, it does fall into the
continuity of the AA series, and influences the subsequent Grim Reality
and Champion's Cup.
About all those bad
Survivor ports... where are they?
You just answered your own question. If
they're disorganized and don't have much creativity behind them, they
aren't posted here and ff.net probably deleted them with little fanfare.
I'm sure there were some gems that I probably missed, and you're welcome
to submit them to me for consideration.
The Mole? The Murder Game?
Why these failures and not The Bachelor?
Three reasons. 1) Although The Mole and
Murder in Small Town X were not successful in the U.S., the formats were
more successful around the world. The Mole has been produced in several
countries, and MiSTX was adapted into The Murder Game in Britain, to a
larger audience. 2) Mole was often heralded as the most intelligent
reality series, and remains my personal favorite. That's not even
mentioning Anderson Cooper and the fantastic job he did as host. 3) The
mystery factor of both series adds an element that other ports can't
compete with. Along with the characters, readers also can attempt to
piece together the mystery and identify the Mole or killer.
Speaking of MiSTX, will you
be posting Mystery Solvers?
Yes, I do plan to post Freedom Fighter's
Mystery Solvers soon. The series, which combined elements of MiSTX and
The Mole, was not FF's most heralded series, but is still plenty good
enough to be posted on the site. This may not sound like a great reason,
but the main reason it's not up yet is because finding decent headshots
for American cartoon characters is a whole lot harder than finding them
for anime characters. I'm not sure why, but it's probably the same
reason why I struggle finding good DBZ mugs too.
Many of these stories had
associated contests. How were those run?
Although every author ran their contests
separately, in the case of the Mole stories, the general idea was to
mimic the quiz the players took in the series. There were occasionally
bonus questions at the author's discretion, and the scoring methods were
different, but it was always based on the Player's Quiz. The Murder Game
contests were more involved, with essay questions that not only asked
"who," but also "why" and "how." The winners of each contest were
handsomely rewarded with anime DVDs, CDs and other trinkets.
The Amazing Race is
awesome! Why aren't there more ports of it?
Because they're really, really hard, that's
why. The planning necessary to create a massive race around the world,
even when using anime like in the Anime-zing series, is ridiculous. To
get the necessary effect, train schedules, flight connections and a
host of other transportation issues need to be considered. Also, you're
writing the travel adventures for every team in the race, which overlap
and divert from each other. Unlike other formats, where much of the
interaction is between characters of different series, the "pre-existing
relationship" in each team gets the focus here, which means you have to
know every nuance of that team to write them well. Interaction between
the teams is also limited, and must be planned very carefully. Besides
the three stories posted here, Descendant of the Dragon and Freedom
Fighter both attempted AR ports, only to stumble midway. FF says it best
website: "If you're thinking of writing an 'Amazing Race' fanfic of
your own, I've got one word for you: Don't."
Anime-zing Race 2 ever be finished?
First off, it is technically finished- it
does have an ending and you do know who wins. To answer the question you
meant to ask, if the summarized portion will ever be fleshed out, the
answer is probably no. A little background- since I got my first
full-time job as I was writing it, and at 60 hours a week it was a doozy,
I suddenly had very little free time to write the series, which as
stated above is incredibly demanding. Based on waning interest, the
readers and I settled on summarizing a portion of the last episode and
calling it a day. Since then there has been very little demand for the
complete finale, and I've got too much on my table now to revisit a
story that's more than a year old. However, one of the skipped
challenges will be reborn in an episode of Champion's Cup.
So how were these contests
run? There no Player's Quiz in The Amazing Race.
The Anime-zing Race contests were run more as
a "pick'em" style contest. Besides the basics like guessing who the
winner and loser of each leg would be, participants were also asked to
guess the decisions specific teams would make, like which Detour they
chose and who would do the Road Block.
Pokéball Run based on?
Pokéball Run was based on the short-lived
Cannonball Run 2001 series that aired on USA in, you guessed it, 2001. A
cross-country race, based on the Cannonball Run races of the 70's,
featured six teams of two with a pre-existing relationship. To make
things more interesting, however, a third member was added to each team,
intentionally picked to be the polar opposite of the pair (two Playboy
bunnies were teamed up with a seminary student; two frat boys got an old
granny, etc.). The series itself was actually executed horrendously, but
the "mismatched team" concept was fun so I adapted it. The end result
was a particularly kooky series that ended up being quite a bit of fun,
even if it wasn't a screenwriting masterpiece.
I have a question
You know what, as much as I'd love to answer
questions about someone else's fanfic, I'll send you to Freedom
which has information on all of his series, including Roomies, Mystery
Solvers, and his ill-fated AR port.
What is Champion's Cup and
when will it be posted?
Champion's Cup is my answer to an All-Star
edition (Chromus's answer is apparently Murder
Game 3). This original-format story will combine elements from
Survivor, Mole, and both race formats. A few lucky people got a sneak
preview of the first four episodes, but the rest of you will have to
wait until its official release. The series now has a
page and is scheduled to premiere in
First Agent Productions
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