If you are already familiar with fanfiction terms then you can skip this. For those who aren’t too familiar with this stuff, let me introduce some terms:
yaoi – fanwork depicting gay pairings
shou (uke) – the “receiver” in the relationship
gong (seme) – the “attacker” in the relationship
OOC – out of character. For example, if a character is cold and unpleasant in the original work but the fanfiction writer turns him into a charming ladies’ man.
Mary Sue – an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character. Often, this character is recognized as an author insert or wish-fulfillment.
“Record of Nine Thousand Vicissitudes” was a very popular Xianxia novel. It told the story of two teenage boys who overcame all kinds of difficulties together, ultimately reaching the peak of the cultivation world and becoming legends.
The novel was suitable for all ages since the author and protagonists were very upright. The love between the two teenagers was based on friendship, brotherhood, and the bond between disciples of the same sect. The two protagonists were bosom buddies, comrades who have lived through life and death adventures together. Their affection for each other was both deep yet light-hearted. However, their relationship was not one of romantic love.
However, the so-called “rotten women” (fujoshis) saw “rot” everywhere. They saw this as a gay relationship. The author of the original novel wrote that the friendship between the two teenagers was as deep as the sea but it was also somewhat ambiguous.
Zhangsun Zijun’s frosty demeanor only thawed when he was with Yi Xichen while Yi Xichen was a handsome young boy who was pure on the outside but saucy on the inside. Countless sparks flew between the two of them.
Yi Xichen liked to tease Zhangsun Zijun again and again until his face turned red, making him sigh in exasperation. When they were in danger, Yi Xichen would rather sacrifice himself and save Zhangsun Zijun. That time when Zhangsun Zijun was invaded by devil qi and went on a murderous rampage, only Yi Xichen was able to restore him to sanity, preferring to let himself get hurt rather than injure the other person. However, at the end of the novel Zhangsun Zijun and Yi Xichen were just sitting under a thousand-year-old banyan tree, smiling at each other after playing a game of chess. This made countless readers cry out in unbearable thirst. As a result, countless fan works came into being.
In the fan forum, one of the hottest fanfiction was a “Bondage Play in the Vineyard”1written by “Golden Eggs and Silver Goose.”2 The fanfiction was set in the same world as the original story but the characters were OOC to the extreme and it was very Mary Sue-ish. Most of the story consisted of H scenes. Zhangsun Zijun, who was mature and prudent in the original work, turned into a sex machine who was perpetually in heat. Yi Xichen, who was a little roguish and sly but still honest and kind-hearted in the original novel, turned into a lovely, delicate little angel whose role mostly consisted of saying lines like “ah, ah, don’t, don’t, faster, faster, you’ll break me, ah!” Moreover, he was a shou pursued by ten thousand suitors who wanted to see this flower bloom!3
As one might imagine, this type of Mary Sue story was very controversial. Although there were numerous critics who held it in contempt, many thirsty readers also enjoyed its spicy hot H content.
One day, after Golden Eggs and Silver Goose updated, there was an anti-fan who commented sarcastically: “Great God,4 do you really think it’s good to write characters this way? Have you ever wondered how scary it would be if the protagonist in the original story really turned out the way you wrote him?”
At the exact moment when this comment was submitted, lightning from the heavens struck the ground and a white light flashed through the window …
Something magical happened!
- 倒挂葡萄架 – lit inverted grape trellis. It’s reference to a famously kinky scene in a movie. I haven’t watched it. Anyway, it’s basically bondage play as far as I can tell.
- 金蛋打银鹅 – Golden Eggs and Silver Goose. No idea why but this means perverted or immoral activities.
- Meaning, everyone wants his chrysanthemum.
- 菊苣 – lit. chicory. Internet slang. A sarcastic way of addressing someone respectfully.