The History Of Pastel Defender Heliotrope

The Kamishibai Player was created in 1997,

Pastel Defender Heliotrope was written shortly after that.

It All Started With A Kamishibai Story...

Pastel Defender Heliotrope first appeared in 1998, as a Kamishibai story to be played on a special program written for my website, I had become inspired by some of the work that other Kamishibai artists had been creating since the initial release of the program.

One of the things I wanted to do with Pastel Defender Heliotrope was to see if the Kamishibai player could be used for making simple games, despite not having been originally designed for that purpose. The Pastel story includes a simple battle system consisting essentially of a trial and error set of choices, bolstered by the odd hint as to what to do. Although very simplistic, it showed other artists the possibilities of the Kamishaibai player.

In order to experience the original Pastel Defender Heliotrope story, you will need to download the free Kamishibai player, which comes packaged with two stories of my creation, Pastel, and a bonus story, The Legend of Ika Takozushi -the very first story ever created for the Kamishibai program.

The Kamishibai program, created by myself and one of my spouses, Stephen, is a story-telling program based on an old Japanese entertainment which was the origin point for modern manga, and eventually, anime. Created for, the Kamishibai player, and Jennifer's works, have always been freely available.

The download below includes the Kamishibai player, which can be used to create your own original stories (many, many more are available at Otakuworld) and not just one, but two stories created by me.


This is the story that is the basis for this comic! The events within this Kamishibai will be retold, somewhat differently, much later on, somewhere around the end of the first third of the saga. In effect, this Kamishibai is one chapter of a larger story, which is what you are now reading here.

Bonus Story: this is always distributed with the Kamishibai Player.

A classic Samurai drama with a twist: the Samurai is an Enlightened anthropomorphic Octopus who lives in a 'Furry' universe, and his apprentice is a young pig who is more than a little like Sancho Panza from Don Quixote...

The Kamishibai Program, and both stories:            5.60 MB .zipped file


Kamishibai was the precursor and origin for both manga and anime. Manga and anime were born of the interaction between the American occupation of Japan (television shows, American cartoons on the silver screen, especially things like Betty Boop and Disney), as well as French cartoonists of the time, mixed together with traditional Japanese painting, especially the works of Katsushika Hokusai, who invented the word 'Manga' (thoughtless, unconscious or whimsical paintings). Originally, what became manga and anime were attempts to copy, to recreate, the wonder of foreign cartoons and animation, albeit with an unavoidable Japanese take on the look and style. In time, a new look was born that was unique. The word 'anime' was borrowed from the French language, and in Japan is used for all animation, of any type, from anywhere in the world. Manga is cartoons, also from anywhere, though Korean manga is called 'Manwha', a slight alteration of pronounciation.

Without the American occupation, without the influence of cartoons, animation and television from overseas, there would not have been Kamishibai, and without Kamishibai, there would have been no modern manga and anime being made in Japan. Japanese styled cartoons and animation have become so popular in America and France, now, that both nations have many people drawing and creating animations following that style.

Full circle.

So the next time some anime geek tells you that 'anime' and 'manga' can only be done by Japanese people, and that these words refer only to Japanese art and artists, you can know that they are an ignorant boob that does not deserve your attention.

A real otaku (a borrowed word newly added to english from Japanese, with the original meaning heavily altered) knows that the world of illustration is one big pool where everything influences everything else, and styles and techniques are open to be used by anyone.

By Jennifer Diane Reitz

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