YES! "Tales of the City 1/2" is written
for the general audience and has almost no connection to the Ranma 1/2 story
or anime in general. Its main purpose is to promote a positive image of gay
Asian Americans by borrowing the characters of Ranma 1/2. If you do not understand
the Ranma 1/2 plot, read the story like a normal book.
From the last time I checked, I am not a lesbian. (looks in pants.) Yup, I'm
still a guy. It really upsets me that the visibility of Asian lesbians in fiction
is only pornographic with the exception of Margaret Cho. Creating the Shampoo
storyline has actually been the most fun of all. I have done a lot of research
into lesbian culture in order to accurately portray the image of lesbian culture.
I have a growing number of lesbian friends. But once again, Shampoo and Jane
are only two experiences of the lesbian community. My point is that Asian American
lesbians are visible in the gay community and the community needs to readjust
its structure to cater to their needs to. YES. I understand that the content of "Tales of the City" was a little
bit more clean than "More Tales of the City" but the content within
"More Tales of the City" will contain both graphic language and graphic
sex scenes. The scenes are as graphic as those found in RRYaoi fanfics . I never
targetted this online novel towards young children.
When did you start writing this story?
I started writing the story in early May 2002 and finished five chapters before
debuting the website. I was laid off by the school newspaper due to budget cuts
in the University of California system. In the midst of my frustration for a story
to write, I wrote this fanfic dedicated to Ranma 1/2. I've always wanted to write
a yaoi fic after reading so many from RRyaoi:
Ryoga and Ranma Yaoi. I started writing "Tales of the City" as tribute to
the work of Armistead Maupin and to promote the visibility of gay characters of
color in the media.
Ryoga hints he is bisexual in one of the stories- "Any cute girls out there,"
I recall him saying. Is he? What are the sexualities of the characters?
I can tell you clearly that Ryoga is not bisexual. A bisexual character will emerge
soon but it is not Ryoga. Ryan and his friends are all gay. Jane Dunway is clearly
a lesbian. Shampoo is bisexual (she has a boyfriend) but she is leaning more toward
women as the story goes along. This is not to say that bisexuality is just a phase
to either homosexuality or heterosexuality because I believe that sexuality is
Is Ryan Hitomi you?
This is what a lot of my friends are asking. Yes, I have incorporated some of
my own personalities into this character. Ryan Hitomi is more of the ideal person
that I personally hope to grow up to be. He is responsible, independent, attractive,
witty and a very successful journalist! I've also incorporated characteristics
of other friends into the storyline too.
What is your writing process, inquiring minds want to know.
(Laughs). There is an intricate writing process that involves taking a lot of
time that I can do something else. The plots come out visually in my head. I can
see the plot unfold like it is a TV show. The really difficult part is actually
writing the story down. Even though Chapter Twelve is currently visible, I am
already ahead to Chapter Twenty. As a writer, I know what is going to happen in
Chapter Twenty. I already have a blueprint for the next ten chapters available.
The one thing I enjoy about this project that it is more like a free-write and
I really don't have a limit. As for the ending of the story, I really don't know
where the plot is going but I do have some hints of what will happen. It is usually
when I am writing the story, either on my Palm Pilot keyboard or my computer,
that the story actually starts to make sense and flow correctly.
Who does Ryoga really like? Ryan or Ranma?
I really haven't decided the ending yet, which is the fun part of writing a fanfic,
not a great novel. I will say that Ryoga does have certain affections towards
Ryan right now and the fanfic does make it obvious that Ryan has the same thing.
But we will have to see when Ranma makes his entrance into the story (big plot
When does Ranma finally appear in the story?
Many Ranma and Ryoga yaoi fans really want to know when Ranma is making his debut.
Yes, Ranma will eventually reappear into the story line. I am currently building
a lot of background detail before I include Ranma into the story.
How does Ranko appear in the story? (For the Ranma 1/2 fans)
The fanfic has fastforwarded through the Ranma 1/2 series to close to the end
of the anime series. This is right after Ranma is finally cured and splits with
his female half, otherwise known as Ranko. Ranko is her own character. I changed
the story a little bit. Both Ryoga and Shampoo are stil cursed in order to add
some fictitious magic into the story. But Ranko Saotome is an Arts and Entertainment
writer for the San Francisco chronicle in this story. And she is an ally (heterosexual
person who supports gay issues.)
Who is your favorite character so far?
I know many of you think I am going to say "Ryan Hitomi!" Yeah, he's in the top
three. But my real favorite character in the fanfic so far is Shampoo Chen. There
must be someting about writing a complicated character like her into a fanfic.
I really like building the coming out story because I recently came out too and
share her experiences.
Do you feel underneath the "burden of representation" when writing this fanfiction?
I must say first that this is FICTION. My disclaimer is very important because
this story only on the lives of the characters within. Every single person has
a different experience. I do feel some pressure though because it is a GAY ASIAN
fanfiction. I perosnally believe that my fanfiction is more like a challenge to
the Asian-American community to start making their voices visible. I believe that
the burden will be lifted when there is an array of gay Asian American experiences
available for readers to choose from.
As a gay man, how do you write in the POV of Shampoo and Jane as lesbians?
The sex scene in More Tales of the City was extremely graphic. Are we going
to see more detailed heterosexual and homosexual scenes in further chapters?
The only Ranma 1/2 style metamorphosis I see in this novel is in
the first chapter of "Tales" in which Ryoga turns into P-Chan. What
happened to this?
I'm glad you asked this question. The curses didn't translate very well into the
novel after the first chapter. Ranko does hint about the curse in "More Tales"
but that is probably the last time you will hear them talk about it. I've come
to realize that the story is less about Ryoga and more about the different characters
and how the characters interact with each other. Therefore, the curses don't make
an important impact to the story except to introduce Ryoga to Ryan.
How many books are planned?
I'm trying to follow Armistead Maupin's tradition. Maupin released five novels
for this series- Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales
of the City, Babycakes, and Maybe the Moon. In the same way. My
goal is to release five novels but it is very difficult to think of storylines
and not lose the focus of the story. I do intend to write a Further Tales
of the City 1/2 at this rate.
The first novel also hinted about Ryoga's father, which the fanfic doesn't
really talk about. What is going on with that storyline?
From the last time I checked, I am not a lesbian. (looks in pants.) Yup, I'm still a guy. It really upsets me that the visibility of Asian lesbians in fiction is only pornographic with the exception of Margaret Cho. Creating the Shampoo storyline has actually been the most fun of all. I have done a lot of research into lesbian culture in order to accurately portray the image of lesbian culture. I have a growing number of lesbian friends. But once again, Shampoo and Jane are only two experiences of the lesbian community. My point is that Asian American lesbians are visible in the gay community and the community needs to readjust its structure to cater to their needs to.
YES. I understand that the content of "Tales of the City" was a little bit more clean than "More Tales of the City" but the content within "More Tales of the City" will contain both graphic language and graphic sex scenes. The scenes are as graphic as those found in RRYaoi fanfics . I never targetted this online novel towards young children.
Keep reading carefully! This storyline will become more important in the later novels as more of Ryoga's background is revealed?
As a busy college student, I will literally write ANYWHERE and ANYTIME I can. I've purchased a portable Palm Pilot keyboard which allows me to access chapter drafts in my Palm Pilot anytime I wish. When an idea comes into my head about the characters, I quickly scribble it down into my Palm Pilot. I find that I write best in peaceful areas, such as Davis' Community Park or with a cup of coffee in a nearby cafe. I feel that my best inspiration comes from writing the novel while in the Castro district because I am in the environment that my characters exist in. I must also admit guiltily that I also work on the novel during class because it keeps me up when professors are droning and I'm about to fall asleep. I'm listening to the professors of course. And yes, I have been listening to the Tales of the City 1/2 soundtrack as I write the novel. Especially Five for Fighting's "100 Years."