Hear Ye Hear Ye, Princess Pinkie has returned with another anime post!
Salutations my loyal subjects and sweet island guests! I have come to the conclusion that I like dabbling in stories and creative writing a lot more than flat out reviewing anime or games for that matter. I like creating new ideas! So I will start doing that more from now on! Unless you totally shoot it down! I challenge myself to create an anime, or a game concept or whatever by choosing a genre and a topic at random (Because randomness is also still a thing here) . Today I decided to put the topic of Poker together with the genre of Horror. As I wrote the concept for an anime called “Kuro-Queen”
So let’s talk about how I will do this anime creation series. I do hope for some audience interaction when it comes to challenging me with new ideas, however the past has shown me that people are a bit reluctant to offer new ideas in the comments and these posts usually have little interaction. So if I do not receive any ideas from the audience I will create a few wheels with genres and topics and roll a combination at random. So your support is welcome .. but if you rather just read through the post that is fine as well! People who offer an idea will be shouted out in the respective post though!
Characters that I will use will often be obviously inspired by people around the blogosphere or generally known characters. This does not mean I want to force them to associate their blog with mine in any way. They are part of my life though and thus I take inspiration from them. For the sake of comedy these references will be fairly on the nose as it will be fun for readers to find the counterparts of all the characters. So if I use you and you take offence please let me know.. I probably will think that is rather petty.. but I will stop using you, I like the community and everyone in it and I assure you everything I do is all in good fun and never meant to hurt anyone. I will also not shout out the inspirations as I do not know if the wish to associate with me, nor does this work have anything to do with their blog.
I can not do art but since I use some weird concepts I will use reference art with wil often be a bunch of art slapped together to give you an impression of what kind of look I am going for. This means I can not really credit everyone who provided fuel for these images but I will do my best. It is never my intention to claim these works of art as my own simply to show them to you and give you an impression. Now onto our story!
Horror and Poker seem like two words that are hard to combine. Thriller and Poker is easily done but how do we bring something like Poker together with Horror?! That will be trough the titular character. The Kuro-Queen. The anime is basically a deconstruction of the sport/card battle anime genre where our protagonist has a special power that makes him or her especially good at a game. However unlike Yu-Gi-Oh , Keijo or even Saki for that matter we will not simply approach the hero’s ability as a strength! It will also be something that haunts them. The series would be aimed as a single season anime with a potential second second story if successful but not much more after that. Pacing Wise a season would need to have about 16 episodes of 21 minutes. Given that horror and Poker are more popular concepts in the west, a Netflix or Crunchyroll exclusive seems like the best media to launch from.
The setting is where I had the most trouble deciding which route to go. Horror suffers deeply from the plethora of technology to get yourself out of hairy situations. Research is super easy and finding yourself all alone is never as big of a problem due to us always being able to call someone or reach out to someone on Discord or whatever. A great flavourful choice for Poker games to prevent that would be America during the prohibition area. The Mafia and war on crime days. Like Baccano. The problem with this though is that horror in the past is much less relatable. A lot of problems our heroes could easily solve these days! It would also be a very obvious choice. Since magical powers and mysticism is involved in the story I decided to set the story in Macau instead. It is often depicted as a seedy grim place full of crime, but also a lot of tourism and gambling and the tropical heat could provide some interesting challenges. The main character would be in foreign territory which solves some of the problems of modern day horror.
The first Episode
The story would follow the adventures of Jonathan , a young man from a moderately wealthy game development company.The Landstar Corporation. His father George Landstar has forbidden Jonathan to use the company’s funds to finance his latest game, about his favourite animals. Ducks! Jonathan really believes in his own resource management game and wishes to prove his father wrong. In a lapse of Judgement Jonathan decides to go to a retirement home and play against some old timers in his favourite card game “Hearts”. He plays for money as these old people usually have plenty with little time left… it’s resource management at it’s finest. He is a gifted card man so he can cheat fairly easily! Only this time.. the game shown in the first episode goes horribly wrong. An old chinese lady catches him cheating and puts a curse on him. At first Jonathan laughs this off , as the old lady curses him to forever be followed by the Queen of Spades.. but soon Jonathan realises the card that holds the most points in Hearts is glued to his hands.. his swindeling career is over…or so it seems!
We jump ahead in time, we see Jonathan at some local casino play a new game. Five Card Monte. We see him draw three queens. Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds and without blinking an eye he only trades in one card as he goes all in. People show their hands as everyone is all in and people tell Jonathan is a fool, he should have trades an extra card for an extra chance to make something good. One guy a full house, Aces over Kings, as he tells Johnathan only has one chance left. They make an illegal bet for our hero’s shiny watch, while the scoundrel on the table bets his. Jonathan coldly accepts and to no surprise at all to him.. he gets the queen of spades dealt to him. Mister Landstar exits the table taking the watch and the pot. He almost has enough money to finance his game now! As he walks home he can not help but feel like he is followed. In the street shadows he sees the shadow of a woman wearing a crown. Yet there is no light to cast a shadow!
Our Protagonist arrives at home, he has a friend sleeping over on the couch! He barely gets up to acknowledge Johnathan. The man is a total leech! John asks his friend when he is going to find a job, he tells him it is time to find a new job. His friend makes up an excuse and John accepts it for now as the friend showers him with compliments for all the great concepts of games John makes and the great quizzes he hosts for his friends. John is tired after a long night of hitting poker tables all across town and goes to bed. Late at night his friend wakes up from hearing the sound. He asks if Jonathan can toss him a can of cold one. A beer can flies his way and hits his head hard. The man curses a bit and asks why John did that. Then he sees it is not John standing in front of him but before he can scream his head is bashed in with what seems to be a golden crown with scorch marks.
The Second Episode
Our main character wakes up , smelling a burning scent coming from down stairs. Did his friend try to make omelettes again?! As he moves downstairs he finds the corpse of his friend.. his head misshapen and bloody and in his hands is a a queen of spades card that burns up as soon as our hero sees it. Panicked John calls the police, whom to his surprise do not suspect him at all. He was fully expecting to be the prime suspect here. Yet a police officer tells him that this low life card shark a few blocks further suffered a similar fate. There were some witnesses that all saw the same suspect. A woman’s face shrouded behind a black vale and wearing a crown. Those two are not even the only victims. As John hears that nearly all the card games he had been to have had a fatality he knows his curse is way worse than he had thought.
After he has been released by the police he moves to the geriatric home to find the old lady to undo his curse, but he is told the lady has moved back to Macau to live with her son. Yet she left him a letter, as if she expected him to come back. The attendant of the hospital gives John his note and in it is a plane ticket to Macau and an invitation to a high stakes Poker Tournament. So high stakes that John will have to sell everything he owns, just to pay the ante to participate. The woman Nushi Zuzhou says she will undo his curse of he can beat her son in the tournament. The main character originally refuses this, thinking if he doesn’t play cards that the queen will not show up again. He goes to his father and asks to be funded for the tournament just in case. His father refuses saying poker still is gambling no matter good how John will be. That this curse John talks about is just in his head.. caused by stress and an unhealthy lifestyle. John shows him his ability trying to covince it isn’t gambling when you have this. His father scoffs and tells John it is just one of his old party tricks! He isn’t funding a trip to China.. and he suspects it is just a ruse to fund that game, John can’t play him! The son goes home cursing his bad relationship with his father.
He wakes up the next day by a distressed phone call. His father has been murdered. They found a single playing card in his hand. The queen of spades. As an eulogy is read, John looks at the concept for the card game he wanted to make.. and all the money he had saved up to make it a reality. He then tosses his concept in the garbage bin.. and the money he hides in his suitcase. We see flashes of the funeral of George as well as Johathan checking into an airport. As the flight attendant welcomes everyone on board , she welcomes a latecomer, a woman dressed in all black, who smells a bit like charcoal. As her other attendant asks who she was talking to, the woman tries to point out the shrouded dame, but she doesn’t see her on the plane at all. The pair chuckle a bit saying the woman probably needs a vacation.
The series picks up
The third episode sees John settling in Macau, but he can not stay in one place for to long! Each game of cards he plays makes the queen of spades stronger. With every time she shows up in his hand, she can move faster, she begins to gai n the strength to rip of limbs and even cast some magic. Even if kids play cards near him, his eye will fall on the queen of spades strengthen the black suited lady. She gets an ability to burn people on touch, as happens to a poor street swindler who had an encounter with John, who would not let the man pass unless he could guess the card in his hands…. We are also introduced to the gambling king Kay. Who at his Mu-Vhy’s Kasino will hold the tournament that will decide John’s fate. He himself also seems fearful of something. Stating no one will know this tournament.. asking himself loudly what his mother has done. Wishing there was another way!… We then see him play a game with a terrified looking maid and butler, whom he forces to flip the next card.. as the queen of spades shows up! The lights in the room flicker, screams can be heard and Kay leaves the room, looking displeased.
The show would follow the tournament taking place as a one week survivors match. Each day a variant of Poker will be played. Five Card Monte, Jacks are Wilds, Texas Hold Em, Omaha. If you lose all your money, you are out! No buys in, no second chances. It will be a journey where John encounters several types of poker players. Such as a father trying to gain enough money and pass the first round so he can buy health care for his daughter but also a crime lord, who wants to use the tournament to get powerful enough weapons to take over a neighbourhood. On the last day of the tournament people can face this man named Kay and if they manage to bust him, rumor has it his mother can bestow you with magical powers. Let alone the wealth you’d win! Some people are here for the money, some are here for the magic, others never even show their true face.
Because of the risk of making an enemy of local crime lords, the Landstar heir decides to wear a mask during his games. As his Poker Mask John uses a white face mask with a red question mark on it! This not only helps him hide having 0 reaction the that one card flipping up.. and make him harder to track for mob bosses.. but maybe! Just maybe it can fool the queen herself. It gets him the poker handle of Mister Mystery! It is an alias that helps John move around in the city as well! Allowing him to exploit shadier places.. for example when he tries to get a weapon to defend himself! Or when he is doing some research into the identity of this mysteriously wealthy Kay fellow, who appeared out of no where! And no one knows where he came from! He seems to have some connection to the Kuro-Queen!
Each tournament day would be roughly two episodes. With one focusing on the poker match and the other on trying to escape the Kuro-Queen. She will go away for a day once she has been killed, but she will also not rest until she does, relentlessly chasing until she gets a kill. . So fairly soon in the series John realises he has to recognise who is a bad guy at this table. Only by doing this might he be able to save innocents. This journey will take John to dark places, not only does he consider harming himself to save others from the queen, but when he finds out that will only set her free, he now has to decide who lives and who dies. He is forced to be close with criminals, which might mean he has bankrupted a young man trying to make the money to give his terminally ill wife her dream wedding before she goes. If he bankrupts the criminals, they will disappear and innocents will fall victim to the monster hunting him. So he has to make some insane choices.
Sometimes John will give the money to the deserving and try everything in his power to save them from death, sometimes he can not put them or himself at risk because if the Kuro Queen is freed things would be much worse. It will all be a tricky balancing act, where Poker skills will directly apply to survival as well. Reading people, calling their bluffs , seeing trough smokescreens! Many other people will wear masks or sunglasses as well, so sometimes he has to get people to talk, other times he has to look at their hand motions.. or consider how much delays are between the start of their turn and their plays. With some episodes allowinging him to do some research, while others force him to end a game quickly..because he can find the queen drawing closer. When John finds out that Kay has been stricken with the same curse as him, and his mother was manipulating them all along the final game ends up being more high stakes than ever, involving strategies and risks no one in their right mind would ever take. The season would end with the old lady meeting her demise and either Kay , John or both being freed of their curse.
The second season could revolve around the actual ghost of the Queen not being stopped yet. While the woman who summoned her might be gone, whomever survived the final duel would have to find a way to destroy the original body of the Kuro-Queen, hints on her identity and lore would have leaked in season 1 but season 2 would dive deeper into her mythos and story as she is trying to manipulate other gamblers of willingly taking on her power this time round to give them an edge.If she can kill her host, she will be set free at last and our hero whomever it may be can not allow this to occur. If the season would end in a good or a bad way would be unclear! It is horror after all! So both options are viable! The second season will delve deeper in moral choices! What do we have to sacrifice, but also how much must the individual sacrifice versus what would set more people slightly back! The price of gambling and guesses would extend way beyond a game of cards.
That is the anime I would make based on “Horror” and “Poker” ! Would you have an idea on how to make such an anime?! Do you have an idea (topic and genre) for my “create an anime” series? I have so much fun doing things like these! So I would really appreciate some suggestions! Either way! There is this shrouded black woman standing in front of my door and she keeps ringing the doorbell! I’ll go see what she wants! Stay random loyal subjects!