I’m writing a Gundam franchise AU exclusively using characters from light romantic comedy, slice of life, low-intensity shoujo and josei manga or anime series. Specifically, I picked the following series:
True to form for Gundam, there’s an Earth faction and a space faction. The spacers (our heroes) are fighting the Earth (the bad guys) for political independence due to a series of misunderstandings. Most of the people involved will not have a personal stake in the struggle, and are following orders. Both factions must have sympathetic representatives, but our protagonists’ side must be shown to be the morally superior one.
Environmental damage to the Earth left two groups active: those who stayed on the planet to repair the damage, and those who traveled to space to preserve science and mine the Moon or asteroids for minerals. The Earthers feel they are doing the hard work of keeping the planet livable, while the spacers see themselves as Earth’s raw materials and high-tech supplier. The two factions have come under attack from forces claiming to be from the other side. The governments are officially not at war, but unofficially are mobilizing military forces.
The characters will be deployed from a central ship in the White Base style. Characters will be ship’s officers and crew, mecha pilots, and support personnel, along with a small civilian complement. Our protagonist characters would have lived on space colonies or the Moon, and be familiar with life in space.
I wrote an introductory piece featuring characters from two of these continuities already, and am working on another story now. Some additional themes are sort of suggesting themselves: gender roles in a traditionalist culture, self-determination, and one-sided or otherwise complicated relationships. If I can tease out some of these themes into a clearer picture, I’m hoping to write up some supplementary material for Souls of Steel to model these sorts of relationships.