The Adventures of Yumeko Asagiri, the Purple Knight Saber



 (So far it's just the DYN stuff for Next Gen.  Ones for FTA, Half Moon and ODOS, and maybe IG, will be up soon, so please be patient ^_^)



Part 1

--The name "Yumeko"
     Keep in mind I was 15 when I started Next Gen, and my knowledge of Japanese was rudimentary.  Nonetheless, I had a basic knowledge of how Japanese names worked ("-ko" suffix for girls, "-o" suffix for boys, and so forth), and I loved the word "yume" (dream), and I thought Yumeko would be a lovely name.  It wasn't till later that I decided how I had Priss herself come up with the name, though.  Obviously written using the kanji for "dream" and "child."

--Calling Nene, Sylia, and Linna "Aunt"
     It's common in Japan for children to call elder people "aunt" ((o)ba-san) or "uncle" ((o)ji-san) (or "grandma" or "grandpa" ((o)baa-san and (o)jii-san, respectively) if they're old enough!).  In Yumeko's case, she grew up around the other Sabers, so they may as well have been Priss' sisters, hence calling them Nene-bachan, Linna-bachan, and Sylia-basan (if I'd typed it out in Japanese, anyway, and of course you gotta be a little more formal with Sylia ^_^)

--The name "Masahiro"
     I got the name from the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes; it is the name of Sadako's older brother.  It wasn't till later that I learned the name means "broad-minded," definitely not what I would use to describe Masahiro!

--Priss' debut album "Anata Dake"
     Another example of what Japanese I knew when I was 15 ^_^  Enough to know how to say "Only You"!

--The acronym "MDD"
     Yumeko's disc weapon.  An online friend of mine suggested this as the name for that weapon, although even *I* have forgotten what it stands for now!  Magnetic Disc...something.  Dispenser?  Destructor?  Who knows.

Part 2

--The name "Michiko"
     Again, being 15, it seemed like a common Japanese name, and it sounded cute too, so Yumeko's best friend was dubbed thus.  Her name is written using the kanji for "path" and "child."

--The diary entries
     Ok, this isn't about the entries per se, but the shooting at my school (Columbine, yep...) happened while I was writing these.  And in case you hadn't noticed (*inserts tongue in cheek*), Next Gen doesn't stay so happy after that...

--Michiko's last name "Ishiodori"
     I was watching ep. 7, "Double Vision" one day, and I noticed an interesting name during the opening credits.  The last name on one guy was Ishiodori.  I thought it was cool, so I gave it to Michiko.  Written using the kanji for "stone" and "dance."

--Yumeko getting shot in the shoulder
     Not-so-subtle reference to Kacey Ruegsegger, whom I was next to in the Columbine library during the shooting.  She was shot in the shoulder.  I'll put it this way: Yumeko got off EASY compared to Kacey.
Part 3

--The name "Tsubasa"
     Already explained, but it wasn't till later that I found out it's a girl's name.  Oh IS just a nickname, after all, if a girly one...;)

--Yumeko's weight
     In Japan they use the metric system (duh), hence people's weight is measured in kilograms.  Yumeko's is given as 46, which is roughly 101 pounds.

--Yumeko's uneven bars practice
     At the time I wrote this scene the 2000 Summer Olympics were on.  I watched it...for research!  Also inspired me for this scene.  It was also around this time that I had to calculate when the next Summer Olympics would be in the Next Gen world; every four years would make it 2056, which makes it convenient given the events after part 3...

--Yumeko singing "Omoidashite samishii yoru wa kanarazu ni matteiru tomodachi ga iru koto o..." while on watch at the summit
     Any BGC fan would know that Yumeko is singing a line of Wasurenaide to herself in this scene ^_^

--"Great, a 20th century cartoon fanatic," I teased. "The next thing I know, you’re gonna say 'Moon Prism Power Make Up' and KO me with your Crescent Moon Wand!"
     VERY blatant reference to the anime Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (although her weapon is actually called the Moon Stick in the Japanese version).  Apparently this is not one of her favorite shows!

--Yumeko's concussion at the summit
     I got a concussion of my very own several years after writing this scene (April '04), and a second one some time after that (Jan. '06).  Of course, how I got them wasn't nearly as violent as how Yumeko got hers, but I didn't show any "major" symptoms till the day after -- with the first one, at least.

--"It's…just a flesh wound," I said in a pathetic attempt to assure her not to worry.
     Subtle reference to the classic King Arthur vs. Black Knight battle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Who doesn't know that battle, huh?

--"Oh, don't cry, little girl," the Boomer taunted as it came back towards me. "You'll be dead in a few minutes anyway, so what does anything matter now?"
     Disgustingly enough, "Don't worry, you'll be dead in a few minutes" is what I heard Eric Harris say in the Columbine library during the shooting.  Seemed appropriate here, although I really hate to say the shooting "inspired" anything that happens in my stories.
Part 4

--Grade IV liver laceration
     There are five grades of liver lacerations, with Grade V being the worst you can get and still survive.  It is characterized as "parenchymal disruption involving 50% of hepatic lobe," i.e. having more than half of the actual liver tissue in the right lobe of the liver cut.

--"We had to use eighteen units of blood, and we've managed to sew up her abdomen and put in a plate to stabilize the zygoma fracture…"
     Zygoma is the medical name for the cheekbone.

--"A lot of athletes wear those," she said, brightening. "It provides support to the knee and leg. People that're recovering from torn ACLs, they depend on those a lot."
     ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament.  It is one of the main ligaments supporting the knee.  Having it torn is a common injury in sports (albeit one that'll have you sit out the rest of the season), and I imagine gymnastics is no exception.
--Various Yumeko-related hospital stuff
     I did a LOT of reading on the subject of "zygoma" fractures and gunshot injuries to the thigh.  Her having a rod and plates in her leg, along with the doctor trying to bend her leg early on, was all part of what I read.  Had to adjust a little bit given the time period, of course.

--"What's with the sunglasses?" Linna asked, looking at the two of us. "You two look like the MIB with those on."
     ...MIB being the Men in Black, who else? ^_^

--"That's just like Micchan to do that," I said...
     People like to condense people's names and "-chan" together since it's easier to say, hence "Michiko-chan" becomes "Micchan," and as seen later, "Yumeko-chan" becomes "Yucchan."

--"Yeah. Thank God they released me on the second of April and not the fourth. Talk about bad luck," I laughed nervously.
     Yumeko is referring to the number four being unlucky (in Japan), because being pronounced "shi," it is pronounced the same as the word for death (also "shi").  So being released on April 4th (4/4) definitely would be bad luck!

--Yumeko's panic attacks
     Needless to say, I needed to do NO research on these.  My own experiences with panic attacks were all I needed.

--"Come on now, Eiji," the lady said, pulling him back. "Calm down."
     Another name taken from Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  Eiji was the name of Sadako's little brother.

--"I showed her some information about the training that Navy SEALs do," Sylia said. "Some of the exercises you do will be the same ones they do."
     Around this time I read an article in the Rocky Mountain News about Navy SEALs and their physical therapy.  What better timing.

--Michiko smiled. "It's a cherry blossom branch. They bloom about this time of year, right? So I figured I could give Priss one."
     Based on the info I read after I wrote this scene, cherry trees actually bloom in March (the scene takes place on Priss' birthday, May 27th).  But hey, Michiko's being vague, and it's a dried branch, so it all worked out. ^_^

--The partial lyrics to Priss' song
     In English they translate to: "I want to remember your smiling face, forever more.  Do you remember our first kiss?  That was when I loved you.  I loved you, so...why could you not love me?"  Yes, I wrote those, along with the Sweet Fantasy lyrics from part 3.

--"Uh…the En Vogue nightclub, in district 3."
     Another not-so-subtle reference, this time to the female trio En Vogue.

--"You have four seconds," the red Boomer warned, stepping to the side.
     Another reference to unlucky number four (see above).
--Mrs. Sasaki having Yumeko hold buckets of water as punishment
     This was used often in Ranma 1/2 whenever Ranma or Kuno or anybody else got in trouble.  I'm not sure if this is still used in real life, but it's still funny either way ^_^

--Michiko and Yumeko's spa trip
     Anyone familiar with Japanese culture knows that bathing naked together with members of the same sex is something natural, so of course the two girls are gonna be naked in a tub together.

--Priss' new song
     Yes, I wrote those lyrics too, with some help ^_^

--Linna's PTSD talk with Yumeko
     It wasn't until two years after I wrote this scene that I learned PTSD can express itself in all sorts of ways.  In July of '03 I started getting tremors in my hands, then my legs.  I got an MRI, EEG, that sort of stuff, but in the end the docs chalked it up to PTSD.  I still suffer from them (in my hands) to this day, getting worse when I'm stressed out.  It sucks.

--Yumeko being stabbed four times by Boh
     There's that number four again...

--"But…Yume doesn’t graduate till next March, so are we supposed to wait till THEN?" I snapped.
     In Japan, the school year runs from April to March, unlike in the US where it runs from August to May (or September to June, depending on where you live).

--Priss' rape scene
     I cannot tell you how hard this was to write.  To those of you who have dared to criticize this scene: do YOU know how a scene like this plays out?  Didn't think so.  I don't either.  All any of us can do is use our imagination, and even then it's probably worse than we think.  I hope none of us ever know what it's really like.

--The lyrics to "Itoshiki Rival"
     I first translated this song when I was 17.  I ended up tweaking it several years later as my Japanese got better, but the verse Yumeko quotes has stayed the same.  I love that verse.

--And as I hung there, I asked myself the same thing: was this how I wanted my last day on Earth to be? Didn't I want to do anything else? Was this how I planned to go out, in a blaze of glory?
     "Blaze of Glory" is one of my all-time favorite songs, but it wasn't till years later that I found out that song is sung by none other than Jon Bon Jovi.  And now that I have his Cross Roads CD, I listen to it all the time now ^_^

--Yumeko's farewell letter
     This was almost as hard to write as Priss' rape scene, but in a different way.  Heck, *I* was practically crying by the time I finished writing it.

--"You've heard of face prints, right?"
     After 9/11 I heard about this face print thing on the news one day.  It said that it scans 80 points on your face and that no two people have those 80 points positioned exactly the same (although sunglasses could prevent a face print from getting done, since most of those points are around the eyes).  Funny enough, I never heard about it again after that.

--"Shall we dance?"
     Best line ever ^_^  I didn't even know there was a Japanese movie by that name until a little over two years later, but still, cool line.  Good movie too, although I hear the American version isn't as good.  That's ok, I don't want to see that one anyway.

--I pushed them as hard as I could so I could get higher up in the air. After going up about one-hundred or so meters, I suddenly deactivated them and decided to take a free-fall.
     This part of the fight was directly inspired by part of a fight scene in Wayne Cadwallader's BGC/Mega Man X fic "Misadventures in Time and Space: Part 2," which crosses over with Next Gen.  A funny read, his stories.

--I quoted a line from an old song. "My friend, before your voice is gone…one man's fun is another’s hell."
     This line is from a 1991 Metallica song called "My Friend of Misery."  One of my absolute favorite Metallica tunes!

--As I was riding my motorcycle down the street, some lyrics from an old song started to play in my head…
There’s a danger in loving somebody too much,
and it’s sad when you know it’s your heart you can’t trust.
There’s a reason why people don’t stay where they are.
Baby, sometimes love just ain’t enough.
     This is the chorus from another favorite song of mine, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough," released in 1992 by Patty Smyth as a duet with Don Henley.