Unbeatable Part 5: Afterword

The Legend of Sun Knight Side Stories

Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)

Unbeatable Part 5: Afterword – translated by dahlys

Actually, the character Aldrizzt can be considered a figure of resentment.

I, Yu Wo, really love a book called The Dark Elf Trilogy by Mister R.A. Salvatore. Although I find this book extremely interesting, it is not very famous in Taiwan. Because I rarely meet fellow enthusiasts, I have accumulated quite a bit of resentment.

The main character of The Dark Elf Trilogy is a dark elf (duh!) and the name of the main character is Drizzt Do’Urden. He is a character I really, really like.

Hence, Aldrizzt was born. (I love Drizzt~~~)

Many of Drizzt’s character traits were used for Aldrizzt, so on a certain level, it can probably be considered as a doujin.

However, since The Legend of Sun Knight is published commercially, I cannot really write a doujinshi. Therefore, I didn’t copy too much. On the other hand, since Unbeatable was released in the doujin market, I can haughtily treat Aldrizzt as Drizzt and write.

I finally wrote a doujin! (After being called a doujin writer for three years)

I hope that everyone likes Aldrizzt, and you can also read about the actual “Drizzt Do’Urden” at the same time! He really is a great character, and The Dark Elf Trilogy is also a really great book.

Since I’ve finished recommending a good book, I shall talk about Unbeatable.

In The Legend of Sun Knight, I did not write much about the partners, Neo and Aldrizzt. This is mostly because the series is written from Grisia’s point of view in 1st person, and their story was not the main story, so it’s not good to write too much.

However, they are actually a really fun pair, so I specially wrote the book “Unbeatable.”

Everyone should have realized that the Neo in Unbeatable is not exactly the same as the Neo in The Legend of Sun Knight. Actually, this version is closer to the truth.

The Legend of Sun Knight is narrated from Grisia’s perspective, so it includes his personal opinion as well as a few misunderstandings he had of his teacher. Some of it was even because of Neo’s acting when he was the Sun Knight. Putting these together, the Neo from The Legend of Sun Knight was created.

However, in Unbeatable, Neo is not a teacher. He has the same status as the people around him, so he revealed quite a lot of his real personality.

Actually, this book can be read together with Vol. 4 of The Legend of Sun Knight. The understanding amnesiac Grisia had of his teacher was perfectly accurate!

Lastly, to thank those who took great pains queuing up to buy Unbeatable, I shall secretly disclose some news about Vol. 5 of The Legend of Sun Knight.

The title for Vol. 5 of The Legend of Sun Knight is “Undying Lich (Part 1).”

Also, Neo and Aldrizzt will appear again.

Wishing everyone has their own unbeatable method.

Signed, Yu Wo

December, 2008

15 Responses

  1. “The understanding amnesiac Grisia had of his teacher was perfectly accurate!”
    ^Looking forward to reading about this!

  2. H. Y.

    Just a lil thought I had, isn’t it a little dangerous for Yu Wo to refer to The Dark Elf trilogy when coming up with Aldrizzt, even if it is just a slight bit, and that she openly admits that this is somewhat a ‘doujin’? What if one day someone decides to sue her for copyright infringement? D: Then again, I guess she has done even more obvious referencing like Kenshin in 1/2 prince so this nothing in comparison!

    • @H. Y.
      I don’t think it’s that she “openly admits that this is somewhat a ‘doujin,'” it’s that it is a doujin. In doujinshi, authors often create their own stories using characters from other books. My question is, if Yu Wo was worried about copying too much with Aldrizzt, how was she able to use Kenshin and his entire backstory? I know 1/2 Prince first came out online, but wasn’t it commercially published after that?

    • Jasae Bushae

      well im only guessing here but i have a few theories
      1. She has changed his name slightly, doesn’t reference any characters or such from drizzt’s backstory and she switched out his amazing sword skills for magery.
      Considering the comic book scene here in the states to give an example,
      you have a character named Taskmaster belonging to marvel comics who is a skilled assassin in an outfit and DC comics wants very badly to use that character. They cannot ask permission however so they use an alternative, they create a copy of him, name it Deathstroke and voila~ you have a different character.
      But later when the writer for Deathstroke moved over to marvel he wanted to bring over deathstroke (regardless of the fact that he had a perfectly acceptable taskmaster to play with) so he went and copied the character over to marvel and changed the characters name and voila, Deadpool was born. (annnd later another writer would merge deadpool with the ambush bug to have him stand out more from task master but thats another story)
      Now none of this was a secret or really denied, everyone in the industry including the artists behind it openly admitted they were basing their character off of the previous character. Its just that everyone was making little changes here and there that were enough that even if they were called out on it that it couldnt really be called copyright Infringement. Even though all three of em had the same backstory and more or less the same appearance, each of them had different names and none of them had the exact same power set.
      Likewise, to go back to Yu Wo, Aldrizzt as far as I know doesn’t even have a last name but his first name is certainly different. Furthermore, the character he is inspired by is a flawless doubly sword styled warrior who traveled with a kitty and escaped from his home to become a hardened warrior who swore never to kill his own kind.
      Aldrizzt on the other hand hand is a mage with a strong dark element, isnt much of a muscly fighter and has the entire dark elf army after him because he blew up the gate to the city and pissed off the local church (again just to point out, he never mentions lloth or spiders) he has no pet kitty and he spends his entire time on the run and probably would have died had he not run into Neo which lead to Aldrizzt essentially being downgraded to maid status.
      That leaves the only similarities between Aldrizzt and Drizzt do’urden some faint similarity with their first names, exile status and that their both dark elves. (I should point out that dark elves are in the public domain so as long as spiders or the goddess lloth wernt mentioned it doesnt count)
      Meaning as far as aldrizzt is concerned, copyright infringing isnt a problem and yu wo is in the clear ^^

      2. regarding Kenshin though….
      Firstly im going to theorize that 1/2 Prince was her very first series and when she was writing it she didn’t really think about consequences of making references and just wrote whatever she wanted. ^^;
      (Just to point out something, in her very first book she was making constant references to characters copying moves from street fighter like chun li’s helicopter kick)
      and how legal 1/2 prince’s actions are can actually be easily identified if you were to compare the original light novel to the later manua release that can probably be seen as an edit. (in it all references to copying moves from video games were removed and prince does not mention how kenshin is a copy of ruroni kenshin like she does in the light novel)
      Now himura kenshin himself was based on a figure (though in his case a real person well in the public domain) and also it could be argued that Yu Wo’s portrayal of Kenshin as a demon who abandoned his lover kouru is different enough from the original as to be a different character. (Personality is totally different, the fighting style doesnt match, the tragic resolution with him and kouru is totally different….)
      But somehow I don’t think Yu Wo will have much trouble in that regard. ^_^;
      For reasons I do not in the least bit understand, literature gets a past when it references things from other series and can pull off things that would be very much illegal in manua/manga or animated/live action form.
      To bring up some examples, the japanese light novel ‘High School DXD’ makes several references to Dragon Ball Z and Goku in perticular. It has a character making constant references to that series and he powers up by using moves from that anime and shouts out trade marked terms like ‘Kamehameha’ or to use a western example, Jim Butcher’s harry dresden series constantly makes allusions to things in pop culture like comparing the main to batman, using loads of trademarked catch phrases and even borrowing ideas from other works.
      So for some reason, light novels and books in general get a pass when they reference characters and stuff from other series. No idea why, its just how it works ^^;

      Though it should be mentioned that since R.A salvatore’s drizzt is very much a literary character which Aldrizzt very much is, Yu Wo might have had a larger cause to worry which I think is overall groundless.

    • @Jasae Bushae
      Wow, I didn’t know comments could be that long. Thanks for the reply!
      I’m used to seeing a lot of “borrowing” going on in Japanese manga and light novels. I wouldn’t have thought anything about it if Yu Wo hadn’t mentioned it in the Afterword. Maybe copyright in Taiwan is different? Or maybe like you said, Yu Wo’s just being overly cautious. I know next to nothing about how copyrights transcend country borders.
      Ditto on literature getting away with more stuff than manga and visual media. No idea what the reasons are for that. There’s even a huge gap between manga and animation. For example, in the Bakuman manga there are references to real-life manga, authors, magazines, etc., all of which are slightly altered in the anime version.

      Well, whatever Yu Wo’s situation is, I’m extremely grateful that she was able to write Unbeatable and 1/2 Prince, along with characters we all love.

    • Jasae Bushae

      yeah, ‘borrowing’ in japan does pop up alot. Seemingly its a matter of if your owned by the same publisher you get a pass and using things not of the same publisher can work so long as you make slight alterations so its at least slightly different though there might be more to it than that for all I know.
      How copyright transcends country borders is something im on firmer ground though, and its basic word of thumb is ‘If they haven’t registered a copyright in the region then it gets a pass’ Examples include Lupin the 3rd being the descendant of Arsene Lupin. Something the author did without permission but he was not breaking the law. Later when the manga was to be translated in france they hit this legal barrier but were able to get away with it simply by change his name from Lupin to Rupin (Im a little sparse on the details but it had to do with appearance not being a definitive thing with literary figures)
      and for some reason when manga go to anime alot of the changes are slight name alterations or even censor bars over portions of a characters face which is also considered a pass.
      So at least for countries outside of the states it might not be as big a deal so long as one was not trying to write whole new adventures centering around a carbon copy as the main character.
      Thinking On it, I cannot come up with a single example where someone references a character that doesn’t belong to them and it is both that actual character (unlike say 1/2 prince kenshin whose only similarity seems to be appearance) and they become integral to the story. bakumon as an example you mentioned would reference prexisting series and even whole scenes from mangas but they never tried claiming to be working on say, one piece or bleach. So I think how far your taking your parody is a big factor.

      Annnyway~ I agree, unbeatable was indeed quite a wonderful series. XD It gave us a wonderful look into Neo that we could not have properly seen were it not for a character of a ‘pure evil race’ like Aldrizzt. Also we got a nice look at Neo’s pushy nature that was nicely shown through a fresh set of eyes who were not quite used to him or his sun speech. XD

  3. zeek17

    I don’t get it. Why there’re so many Chinese proverbs and other references if author lives in Taiwan?

    • @zeek17
      Among other things, Taiwan does share a history with China. Plus the official language is Mandarin.

    • mizu-kun

      If I recall correctly, after the civil war in China ended and the communist government took power, the former democratic/republic government fled China and set up base in Taiwan.

    • Jasae Bushae

      well to spoil it a bit for you its not just a trilogy, R.A. Salvatores made an entire series around the exploits of Drizzt. Dark Elf trilogy though is arguably the best chunk of the entire series and details Drizzt’s time in dark elf land and his exile and initial efforts to live above ground.
      the rest of the series focuses on various adventures he has about the world and are still ongoing to boot

  4. Jasae Bushae

    Yu Wo has been refered to as a doujin writer? XD
    and aha~ so it wasnt just a coincidence that unbeatable was picked up now~ she actually talks about the current volume and hints at the upcoming one~
    But yay~ this is so much fun. X3

  5. saitou2512

    whoa. actually, i’ve also read The Dark Elf Trilogy long time ago, when i noticed aldrizzt’s name, i just shrugged it off… until now that ;)

    btw, you can download it somewhere, it’s good.

  6. Aerebes

    I cheered when she mentioned Aldrizzt in the novel. I love The Dark Elf Trilogy as well!

  7. wolfjackle

    Wow, that is one of the few books my brother will still speak about with excitement! I have always been planning on reading it at some point, well it has definitely gone up on my list now! I even own a lot of the series. Excellent.

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