Things I learnt from Ouran and LOVE!: something a good parody needs
It’s not easy to parody genre clichés. People use clichés because they work. To create something to make fun of clichés requires an intimate knowledge of the genre and a creative mind, while at the same time weaving this ‘take that’s into an enjoyable story.
Ouran High School Host Club (Ouran for short) and Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! (Love! for short) are two series that parodies their genre and still entertains.
Ouran High School Host Club is a shojo (aimed at girls) manga series about a girl who is forced to work as a host in the school’s host club after she accidentally knocks over a ridiculously expensive vase.
Parody: shojo manga/romance/high school/fangirls
Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! features five ordinary guys who are given special powers and outfits by a pink wombat to… defend the earth with love?
Parody: magical girl series
Here’s what they taught me
1. Don’t take things too seriously
Some parodies are serious business. Ouran and Love! aren’t those parodies.
In its very first episode, Ouran graces us with the most blatant foreshadowing we will ever see with bright arrows pointing to the vase that kicks off the plot.
In Love!, the five main characters are forced to become Battle Lovers, complete with special powers and elaborate transformation sequences. And like many series with fight scenes, they’re supposed to call their attacks. But because this is a parody, the characters wonder if they need to say proper phrases, or could they just say anything and the attack would appear anyway?
Which brings us a very delightful scene of the characters saying gems like “Something-or-other Storm” and “Random Splash”. Think I’m joking? Here’s a picture of another spontaneous name.
3. Have a good story
Both series are parodies, but they are still very entertaining stories in their own right.
Ouran doesn’t just stop at making fun of character archetypes and rich people, it explores the characters and the relationships they have with other people. And while Love! appears at first to be a series of random events meant to poke fun at the genre, the later episodes reveal that the series actually has a plot.
Writing a good story is already hard enough, but one day, I would love to write a parody that is also a good story. There’re so many tropes to make fun of in fiction XP
Posted on May 16, 2016, in Writing and tagged Cute High Earth Defense Club Love!, love, magic girl, Ouran, Ouran High School Host Club, parody, shojo, writing, writing parody. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.