March 28th, 2020

RubberLotus

The daily life of a karate girl

Hey, all. Long time no see...

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with Detective Conan, but right now I'm developing a story around its karate-ka heroine Ran Mouri (Rachel Moore, for those of you who might dimly recall the dub from [adult swim]), and I could really use some pointers from folks who've got more experience practicing, writing, or reading about the art.

The setting, of course, is Tokyo. Ostensibly modern-day, but the source material began in Heisei ('89 onward) and has an infamously loosey-goosey chronology, so no need to be persnickety about the year.

Ran is somewhere between sixteen and seventeen, a second-year at her high school. She captains said school's karate club (there may be a parallel one for boys, but if there is it's never mentioned), and in fine Shonen tradition can dent cars and kayo men twice her size with one kick. I may or may not tone this down in my own writing; the important thing is that she can outfight most if not all of her age group. Here's a small compilation of her karate feats, if anyone's interested.

(My own research also unearthed this RP page; could anyone familiar with the Japanese Karate scene tell me how accurate it is?)

The source material not being a sports manga, it barely brushes on Ran's daily training regimen and such, so I could use some recommendations for books and shows that do show this kind of thing in detail, as well as how the principles/philosophies behind karate might influence a teenager's everyday life. For reference - apart from reviewing some of Mas Oyama's writings, I'm a few chapters into Yawara and looking to finish Teppu sometime soon, so feel free to rec stuff that goes outside karate (though they should all be focused on barehanded arts, and preferably star a modern-day schoolkid).

Relatedly, I'm also looking for general recs on authors who can depict thrilling martial-arts battles in prose. I've tried Fonda Lee's Jade City, but (despite its many other charms) haven't found it very useful in this regard. Realism's not a high priority here, only style.