Hi there...long time Shadow Skill fangirl, first post. I fell in love with the anime from the moment I caught the first episode on AXN-Asia, more than two years ago. Since then, series have come and gone, but it's only this one that has really captured my creative interest - or what passes for it, anyway.
I'm pretty sure the very talented Megumu Okada never knew what he unleashed in my imagination with this series! When the main story arc was turned into the anime series, trying to reconcile the manga timeline with the anime timeline was a challenge that made climbing Mt. Everest look easy. (I decided to stop trying, in the end.)
There's also the fact that some characters' distinctive features morphed somewhat -- usually in very interesting ways. The most glaring example would be Crimson Kai Sink's hair. It's basically reddish-brown in the manga; in the anime it turned wasabi green. Fortunately his eyes remained blue, which was a relief. Let us not take into account the romanization of the character and place names, to spare ourselves headaches, shall we?
A comment made by Scarface in the last episode of the anime series made all the fangirls on the ML sit up rather abruptly. It had to do with Crimson being a "womanizer." Now, until about that point, our man had come across as quite the rules-enforcer, so to hear him named as a womanizer came as an interesting surprise.
On my part, the comment set fire to a concept that has entertained me immensely over the years that I've enjoyed the series. The concept, basically, was to settle down our Crimson after the tumultous events of the anime series...assuming that there could be found a woman in the length and breadth of Kuruda who could capture his heart. Vy Low was already claimed by Faulstis, Dias was in suspended animation by series end, and Kain, alas, was well and truly in the next life as well.
Enter Fort Ly'valle, my alternate universe. Because no sooner did this concept take root in my brain, than various bits and pieces began falling into place. Based on various bits of information from Okada-sensei's character profiles, I began sketching out the character of Shavra Lyvalle, the heiress of a landholding in Kuruda that's almost as old as the kingdom. Once Shavra started assuming a concrete form, her back story started to fill out as well, and the adventures of Fort Ly'valle are taking life in one of my fic blogs. Naturally, the timeline of this AU is just as confused as the one for the animanga, so establishing consistency is going to be one heck of a challenge over there.
I recently had the pleasure of downloading the English-dubbed episodes from YouTube, and listening to the dialogue has raised a whole crop of interesting points, which I'll be posting here. For now, I'll sign off here, be back soon!