Wikia has been hosting collaborative writing projects for some time now -- with subject matter spanning spaceships, kaiju, and Lord of the Rings -- and they are always something truly special. Not only do these campaigns inspire entertaining stories rife with suspense and dramatic tension, they illustrate the collaborative spirit of Wikia's impassioned user base and the platform's unique ability to engage fans in creative ways.
Now, Wikia is trying something new to further bridge the divide between fans and creators. The Masters of Animanga project has anime and manga's most renowned figureheads providing original art, characters, and story outlines to set the stage for a trio of new collaborative writing projects. With the Masters of Animanga CWP, users aren't only collaborating with one another -- they're collaborating with the masters themselves. It's a one of a kind opportunity for fans of anime and manga to play a principal role in the creative process, transcending fan fiction to help build something striking, entertaining and -- above all -- completely original.
We just wrapped up the first of three Masters of Animanga CWP's -- Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki's Red Bat. Keep reading for a summary of how things progressed from start to finish!
Okazaki's team provided descriptions of the world and its principal characters, as well as a couple of illustrations to get writers thinking. Here's the gist: the year is 2020, and in New York City, humans and vampires co-exist. Vampires don't need to suck blood anymore, however -- Red Bat, a monster corporation, provides artificially engineered blood to satiate the vampire's unique chemical dependency. Not everyone is feels hunky-dory about the state of things, however -- the "Vanarchists" are an extremist radical party advocating human supremacy and the downfall of not only the Red Bat corporation, but vampires in general. It was up to our users to expand on this premise.
Things got rolling very quickly. Wikia's own Brian Linder got things started, introducing the CEO character, furious about a recent vanarchist attack. ScorpionTail followed by introducing the main Vanarchist character as a prideful activist, vandalizing a statue of a certain Governor Redwater on Red Bat property. Mujie introduced us to the Rival, who has been watching the Vanarchist work. As the rival approaches the Vanarchist, the Vanarchist catches the rivals eye -- but before they can argue, they're interrupted by The Girl, sitting on a bike on the overpass above them, letting them know that the police are en route. The CEO watches everything from his office before calmly feeding his dog and asking his assistant, Eugene, to schedule a meeting with the trustees.
ScorpionTail developed the Vanarchist character by providing some backstory: turns out that his father was a werewolf who was murdered by bigoted vampires while his mother -- a vampire herself -- watched. So, even though the Vanarchist is half-vampire, he nonetheless holds a hefty grudge against them.
The day's writing ended with a visit to the Vanarchists base of operations, the introduction of their unofficial leader (The Commander) and an important plot twist -- the main Vanarchist, who defaced the statue above, had leaked the location of the Vanarchist base to authorities.
On the second day of writing, word spread quickly about the Vanarchist's treason. A variety of characters are introduced -- "The Scholar," whom the Commander consults with; and Visionary (or Big Dog), who leads an elite team of vanarchists into the Red Bat production facility. A series of Vanarchist riots ensue on Red Bat property and The CEO puts The Rival in charge of putting a stop to it. The main vanarchist's name is revealed to be Gabriel.
Zeromaro tells us about the true makeup of the Red Bat formula: werewolf blood. Gabriel explains this to the girl (now named Rose) during an altercation, and a bond begins to develop between them. Soon after, user Returnoftheking dispels this rumor, revealing that the CEO would never harm werewolves -- because he used to be married to one. Meanwhile, the Vanarchists have released Werewolves from their prisons within Red Bat. An infuriated CEO contacts his friends in the media, who immediately skew the events in Red Bat's favor, releasing a message across the news that reads: "TERRORIST MASSACRE AT RED BAT BUILDING."
Total war breaks out on the streets of New York City. The CEO of Red Bat has used his connections to ensure the military shoots Vanarchists on sight. A new character is introduced -- a shape shifter named Arborius, a fairy who is the real villain, having used werewolf serum to create his potions.
The President of the United States, frustrated by the dire nature of New York City, launches a nuclear bomb at New York City -- unaware that Arborius, the shape shift, will use its nuclear power for a spell.
Meanwhile, Julius, Gabriel, Rose and Bethany are doing everything in their power to stop Arborius. Bethany reroutes the missile and makes it explode in space. The president, however, has three more nukes at his disposal and sends all of them towards New York City -- but they are stopped by Arborius, who freezes them in place to harness their nuclear energy. Julius murders the commander, once and for all.
The Rival stands atop the Empire State Building. Julius develops an alternative to Red Bat. Gabriel and Rose have fallen in love. For the time being, it seems like everything is returning to normal in the wake of both the Vanarchist's and Red Bat's downfall.
Komori Yukimura is introduced as the leader of a shadow organization called Shuramisa -- a group with members far stronger than anyone in Gabriel's ragtag group. Shuramisa poses a new threat to our heroes. The group seeks Yukimura out and finds him in a NYC skyscraper.
The CEO is incarcerated for crimes against humanity. It turns out Shuramisa is a cult consisting of vampires hypnotized by another one of Arborius' spells -- and it's all a part of Arborius' Plan B for fairy vengeance. Abrorius' tries to use the spell against Gabriel, but because Gabriel is only half-vampire, he is able to resist the brunt of the spell.
Gabriel manages to break Arborius' spell entirely, finds a knife, and stabs Arborius, ending him once and for all. A new character, named the Artist, helps the CEO escape custody. The story concludes with the CEO and Gabriel coming to terms with one another as they light Arborius' ashes, which explode into a majestic fireworks display.