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September 2019-December 2019 ()
#1 Copy


So, I recently started watching Bleach. It's a popular anime with 300+ episodes that started airing in 2004.

I couldn't help but notice similarities between Simon (The protagonist in Will Wight's Traveler's Gate) and Ichigo (The protagonist in Bleach):

Ichigo is an adolescent boy who uses a ridiculously big sword. Just like Simon.

Ichigo has a mask that when worn, allows him to get stronger. The main upgrade is his speed. Just like Simon.

Ichigo gets chains around his arms when he uses his maximum power. Just like Simon.

Ichigo has a small, talking stuffed animal doll. Just like Simon.

When Ichigo uses his mask, he risks losing a control and going "mad". Just like Simon.

Ichigo's large sword comes from a dark, brooding, powerful man who's now stuck in his "world". More similarities.

There are even similarities between Ichigo's personality and Simon's...

The fact that Bleach has been running for years before Traveler's Gate was released, and Will Wight seems to be a fan of Anime makes this seem like more than just a series of coincidences.

Here's a link to pictures of Ichigo and other Bleach characters :

Perhaps there's more to this than I'm aware of, so I'd like someone - Will, maybe? - to clear this up, because watching Bleach is starting to unnerve me.

Will Wight

So I love Bleach, but it didn’t actually have any influence on Simon’s design.

Obviously I’m going for a very anime aesthetic, hence the giant swords, but I described them to my artist as Final Fantasy swords rather than Bleach swords. The chains and doll and mask don’t come from Bleach at all.

Chains: I just needed a visual indicator of the increasing influence of the Territory and thought chains would be cool.

Doll: I wanted a prop to show that Kai was crazy, and I thought talking to dolls was a cool way to do that, and then I thought it would be funny if he WASN’T crazy and the dolls actually talked. Plus Simon is alone a lot and needed someone to trade dialogue with, so that’s where that came from.

Mask: I didn’t intend to give Simon a mask power-up, but Malachi had a mask that he would have dropped when he died, and I thought it would be logical if Simon picked it up. Then I was like “Hey, I wonder what would happen if Valinhall took this in like they’ve taken so many other things?” And thus the mask was born.

Bleach did have one major influence on my writing: the Abidan organization that oversees the multiverse was essentially the Gotei 13 in its first iteration. The fact that the Judges have long flowing white mantles of energy now is a nod to the haori of the Bleach Captains.

Bloodline Release Stream ()
#2 Copy


Will Will do the audio for the next Traveler's Gate series?

Will Wight

Ahh... no. If it's up to me, I would not be doing the current Traveler's Gate audio as it is currently available on Amazon. I would absolutely get a professional to do it; and if I have my way, it would be one professional, and that is Travis Baldree.

So that is my preference, so... I have no attachment to my own work - by all means, burn it to the ground and let it be forgotten by man.

Cradle ()
#3 Copy


My main problem with romance is that it's added to literally every story as though it's a required component, and it's often just thrown in there. In nine out of ten stories, the characters are just in love because they're in love, and we expect that because it's the weird side item that comes with every single meal.

So I intentionally left it out of Traveler's Gate.

But now that TG has become much bigger than I thought it would, if I want to expand on the character's lives, logically there's going to be SOME romance in there. There's romance in everyone's life to some degree.

It just won't be the focus, because the focus is fighting giant interdimensional monsters with a huge sword.

***As for the anime influences, the parallels to the Shounen Jump Big Three are almost entirely coincidences.

The madra in Cradle parallels chakra from Naruto because they're both based on chi myths and legends that originated in China and Korea. We're drawing on the same source material. But the two magic systems work exactly the same way, so picturing madra flow as chakra flow is dead-on.

The only One Piece connection is that they both involve pirates on a magical sea, but I wasn't intentionally making that parallel. They're pirates because I wanted to do a pirates vs. ninjas thing, and it's a magical sea because awesome things are awesome. I would love to write something that was directly inspired by One Piece, though. That would be amazing.

I love the Devil Fruits system but I wish it had more rules, and I love how haki solves the main Fruit problem (i.e. why aren't the Logia users invincible?) by giving them a catch-all force that can be used against anyone with any powers. But it's also kind of vague, as haki is just sort of "general magical power," so I'd want some more character there.

And if I wrote my own series I'd get to tweak those as I wish, which would be so much fun!

The Traveler's Gate parallels...I get the connection to Bleach, I really really do, but believe it or not it's entirely a series of coincidences. Simon uses a large Japanese-style sword because it's cool, and if I was inspired by anyone it was Sephiroth. With that sweet sweet Masamune.

The black cloak was a last-minute addition. Seriously, it was like the last thing I added to the book. My cover artists had come up with that sweet-looking Nye on the cover, but my beta readers kept assuming it was Simon (because anyone on the cover has to be the main character, I guess). And they were confused when he never wore a black cloak; I had him in peasant clothes all book.

So I gave him a cloak. Now it's Simon on the cover if you want it to be, or it's the Eldest, or it's just a random Nye. However you interpret it.

And the mask was complete improv. I gave Malachi a mask as his Ragnarus artifact, but when he died it was just sitting there on the floor. And I've always had this pet peeve where main characters let their enemies' strongest weapons sit there and rot instead of taking them and use them for good.

So I had Simon take it. Then I had to think...well, he has to find a use for this mask. For Malachi it allowed him to draw more from his Territory, but how would that help Simon? The chains already limit how much he can draw. Maybe they can fix it and make it work for Valinhall...

And that's how that happened.

If I were to take anything from Bleach, it would be shikai/bankai. In fact, I'm trying to figure out how to work something like that into Cradle, because I think it allows for a lot of character individuality.


That said, I can tell you where I DID intentionally copy the Big Three as well as a bunch of other anime series, and that's in the fight scenes. I usually picture fights as a choreographed anime sequence in my head, and work from there. If you think of them as reading an anime, awesome!

And finally, to answer your main question: yes, I picture Lindon and Yerin as Chinese, as well as most of the characters. The only exceptions so far are Suriel and Eithan (and, in Blackflame, the rest of Eithan's family).

Thanks for reading, Simon! Glad you're enjoying the stories!

Bloodline Release Stream ()
#4 Copy


In your last stream, you compared the Valinhall Incarnation to Overlords from Cradle. Since Simon with the mask is equal-ish to an Incarnation, would that make White Light Simon somewhere within the realm of Archlords? The boost seemed like it was pretty big.

Will Wight

It's hard to make these comparisons. I think I probably said is that Lindon as an Underlord or Overlord is roughly physically compatible with Simon  when he's using the mask and going full power. That's probably true, but Lindon can also shoot disintegrating fire from his hands. There's a lot that Cradle has a lot for more deadly powers than Valinhall does. I would say that Simon would be outclassed in Cradle pretty quickly. At least as he is now.