'Scars On the Heart' was, of course, inspired by the last episodes of 'The Vision of Escaflowne.' I was introduced to the series by Kevin (he's also responsible for my Nuku Nuku, Ranma and Captain Tyler addictions, the pusher), and after I'd watched it we discussed, rehashed, and generally talked the whole series to death. There is so much going on in Esca, after all, that it can keep two reasonably verbose people like us going for weeks. I had a Big Fat Crush on Allen Schezar, so anything involving him was fascinating to me, and both Kevin and I are interested in anime's redefinition and mixing of gender roles. Dilandau was, unquestionably, one of the niftiest anime villains ever, quite unforgettable. And of course, we both suffer from AEDS (Anime Ending Dissatisfaction Syndrome), so we definitely wanted to know what would happen to Allen and Celena next.
What I'm trying to do, in a roundabout way, is show how I got the idea for this story. The title, 'Scars On the Heart,' although it obviously refers to Dilandau and to the kind of emotional wrangles that are all-too familiar to Esca fans, was actually pinched from an exhibition at Auckland Museum, about the effect war had on the development of New Zealand as a young country. The entire museum building is a war memorial, so you can't go in there without being reminded of the sacrifice of young lives (and, in my case, wishing they still had the big stuffed rogue elephant named Rajah, even if it was beginning to smell funny and flake).
(Update, September 1999 &endash; Rajah has been restored and returned to the museum! All royte! *^.^*)
You could say that the story is the result of brooding on this (war, not Rajah), on the roles of men and women, on how far the body defines the self, and how to reconcile the many selves that seem to occupy one soul. You could say with equal justification that it's the result of getting far too interested in a cartoon series. The idea germinated many months before I started writing the story, and it was only with some trepidation that I started to set it down, afraid that what seemed so interesting in my mind would go small and boring on the page. So far, I don't think it has, and Kevin certainly likes it. I think I have to keep writing it, because I want to know what happens next.
I wish to thank everyone who produced 'The Vision of Escaflowne,' one of the best stories I've ever experienced. Off my own bat, I'm very grateful to Kevin, for encouragement, enthusiasm and bullying-when-necessary, and to Helen 'Hell' Vanderkley for watching the show with me even though it weirded her out (and for bringing Gaddes to my attention - thanks a bunch, Hell, one more Big Fat Crush to lug about - and for making appalling smutty jokes at Allen's expense, and for having interesting ideas about Deceptants).
That's really all I want to say. I hope you enjoy the story. I write this just after completing Chapter Five; chapters will continue to come out over the Southern Hemisphere Summer, and I just hope to high heaven I can get it finished before I go back to university at the start of March. Every great writer needs one unpublishable novel behind them, right? Oh, and in future I may well produce a few illustrations to go with it. If you've looked at the True Jade and Chibi-Sailors pages, you can see that my drawing started out fairly naff and is getting better (TJ is about a year and a half, or even two years older than CS) - now all I need to learn is how to draw those Escaflowne noses... not to mention Allen's Amazing Hair.
Afterthoughts to Introduction
Before you decide to read the story, you should be informed that it is probably not suitable for children. (I consider Tenkuu no Escaflowne a story for teenagers and young adults, anyway, not a kids' show.) Because I am a potty-mouth who can't express what she means without occasional effing and blinding, there is a certain amount of profanity, but this is not extensive or extreme. (I think the 'worst' word in the whole thing is 'shit.') And I'm afraid sex has reared its ugly head (whoever came up with that expression, and exactly how repressed were they?).
This story is not intended to be 'ecchi,' 'hentai' or 'lemon.' It does not include explicit descriptions of sexual activity, because I didn't want to write that kind of story. However, sex is part of life (so, of course, are violence and profanity) and it has a part to play in this story. As I wrote, I realised more and more that I was writing a romance, and sex is certainly part of love.
I would not call this story R18; an M15 rating sounds more like it. Anyway, I'm just saying like the TV stations do, this story contains content and language which may offend some audience members, and viewer discretion is advised. (In other words, I warned you, don't sue me.)
Anyway! I really hope you enjoy the story; I hope to high heaven it's not clichéd, and you don't find yourself snorting in derision a lot. I'm particularly concerned that I may have idealised Gaddes but go on, see what you think yourself. Also, this story contains far too many semi-colons, but never mind.
Sarah-neko (Sarah Dove)
14 June 1999
Here's the revised version, at last! It's a bit different and I feel that it's better, though your mileage may vary. (If you really don't like the new version, email me - I can put the old one back up as well.)
There is much more to come - several more stories in this continuum. So watch this space, my friends.
5 January 2000
Back to the Scars On the Heart page