Hey guys, another editorial here to help with your fan fiction.
Now there are many here who like taking ideas directly from the actual series and using them and that's not a problem, it is an Ultra FanFiction Wiki. There is nothing wrong with having and Ultraseven Episode of your dreams etc. The problem is, some people have made their own 'original' characters...which don't feel that original.
Now, being original is not that easy, Joseph Campbell said and I paraphrase 'all the great stories have been told, we're now just looking for new ways to tell old stories'. Basically the format of most stories is the same, the characters, setting, in-universe rules and logic may not, but the basic premise has not changed.
Now why is it important to be original? Simply beyond the respect of your peers? Well people won't call you a copycat for one and originality is something we support here.
People love and praise creativity and originality the same way they praise genius. That's part of the reason why Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones are so respected. Alot of their content isn't new, it isn't, but these old pieces have been brought together in new ways to make something fresh.
That said, it doesn't mean you should be original for the sake of it, to the exclusion of what makes Ultraman, Ultraman, that makes no sense, but still try to be original. Let me give you some examples.
Ultraman Versus Godzilla
This is my own personal work, I have taken plot points from, several Godzilla Films (Godzilla Versus MechaGodzilla (Kiryu Movie), GMK and Tokyo S.O.S.) Yet I have merged them with Elements from Ultraman Movies (The original series, Cosmos:First Contact, ULTRAMAN 2004) to create my own original piece.
We have Shin Hayata, that's not original but he's not a member of the SSSP, in fact he doens't get along with them. His dad and nephew are from the second Kiryu movie, but merging tha main character with Shin I made an original version of him that is my own
UVG Ultraman is just mixture of the original and The Next and honestly, that's not a problem for the context of this Work since it's just Ultraman VS Godzilla.
The plot is a mixture of First Contact and GMK, but only so much, at the bare bone premise, that's the plot but between the beginning and the end I have other stufff that I've come up with.
The SSSP is different, it's role in the work is rather different and many of the characters or shout outs to the originals. While the SSSP is not new, what is being done with it is.
Now I generally don't like calling out names, but for this topic I fear I have no choice.
Now Ultraman One is the son of Ultraman Zero, okay, that's not strange, not the most original thing, but it's not a complete ripoff... at just that. Now I'm just going to judge the character on the character alone and his basic starting plot.
Now, One is the child of Zero, the son of Ultraseven, he has three crest weapons, one more than his father, he has his father's basic design but with one more color. He has similar powers to his father and those of other, previous Ultras. Yeah, I just described Zero.
Now, One has his own original, he has a red power form, a blue speed form, a form based on Cosmos' Eclipse mode, V2 mode, and a Sluggers Form, which is where he gets the power of his parents and the Ultra Brothers.... So basically he has the powers of Tiga, Dyna, Cosmos, Gaia/Agul and now Ginga. Honestly that's not really a problem, the reason it may appear to be annoying to some people is that it is so obvious where the powers come from.
Even worse is the plot, One defeats Belial after he returns, that's literally Zero's plot in a nutshell, granted it's done in a series but still it's clear the wasn't that much thought about the plot in the beginning.
Now it wouldn't be fair if I didn't take a look at my own character and criticize it after what I did to One.
Now Orion, honestly when you get to the bare bone premise about him, nothing's original. He's red and blue, Tiga, Dyna and Zero have already done that. He has a red power form for strength and a blue form for speed and ESP, again Zero, Tiga and Dyna. He's from another world that has been destroyed save for him and a family member and has been adopted by M78, Leo did that already. His ability to grow stronger after every battle, that's Nexus, even his Color Timer is based off of Nexus'. Orion is just a amalgamation of different aspects from different Ultras and that's not actually a problem.
Let me explain why, the concepts are old but what being done with them isn't, One's problem is that he just treading over old territory, Orion is approaching these old concepts from a different angle, that all combine to make something new.
- His red and blue forms: Unlike the previously mention trio, Orion doesn't first appear with them, or just gets them. Using each form requires a different philosophy than his normal fighting style. Before he masters using his red form he runs the risk of going mad and going on a rampage, before the series is over he can't even access his blue form. His final yellow form represents his mastery of the power of Ultra, his mastery over himself and his aquisition of enlightenment
- His Home World: Firstly Orion isn't a Prince, he is also not looking for revenge when he came to Earth, his opinion of his people is also very low. In fact he tries to distance himself from that place as much as possible. Also the have the added elements of Tiga's people, having been reduced to statues littering their home world.
- His Heart Stone: I wonder, if I didn't say his Heart Stone and ability came from Nexus, would anyone notice? His Heart Stone actually only looks so much like the Next's energy core, it is amber instead of red and shaped differently.
- The Plot: Orion's plot is rather cookie cutter, an Ultra comes to Earth, that's it, nothing fancy but his relationship with the attack team is different. He doesn't join them and most of them time he would rather them deal with their own problems, unless he knows mankind doesn't have the knowledge to properly fight such a menace. His wanderings are based on Dan's from the Heisei Ultraseven series, in a way represent someone on the journey to enlightenment.
- The Villain: The idea of family members on the opposite sides of the conflict is FAR from new, but for an Ultra series it is. Zoe, is an interesting character because beside her name and typical dark ultra appearance, she isn't based on anything from the real series, at least not directly. There is Zagi and Kamilla but those two are for her powers. She is the mother of the main character and the object of his hatred, she a hurdle for him not just physically and in terms of story but also emotionally and that in itself is part of what hold's back Orion's progress.
ALL the fan Ultras have some level of creativity and some percentage of previous characters put into them. For some, the ratio leans towards one side than the other, sometimes that's good, sometimes that's bad.
If you want to be original in your fan fiction, my best advice is to go and get several sources, not just one and combine them and not just from the Ultra Series. Orion's people's ability also comes from Heisei Gamera. The Land of Giant's look is based on the planet from Interstellar 555. If something new seems impossible then go combine a whole bunch of stuff to make something new.
That said, when those aspects are so obvious, when the reader can't help but notice them such as the case with One. Heck even Zero can be called unoriginal when it comes to his design and powers and he's an official character!
With your aspects, you have to tweak them, if you just directly copy them, it's just that copying. When you are using the concept but your execution is diferent or mixed with something else, you've been inspired by something. Star Wars was inspired by Flash Gordon, Lord of the Ringa by Norse and Celtic Mythologies, Game of Throne was based of the real War of Roses in history. Yet each of these franchises also have the added elements of other sources, other things that make it more than just imitations, in all three cases the average person probably would not have guessed what inspired these three franchises. Think about that...