I know that feeling.
The adrenaline is pumping. You’re totally committed. You are going to make this, and it will be awesome. Fame and fortune will follow. You’re going to transport your audience to another world, make them weep with happiness and foam at the mouth with rabid angry. You’re going to take them on a journey – one much like the one that you’ve just been on.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here, but I’m probably a little too much of a fan of the BBC’s Sherlock series. Every time I watch one of the episodes I’ll sit, spellbound, until the end of the credits. Then I’ll rush to a notepad or to my PC and start smashing out ideas.
Fiction has that great tendency to make you want to create yourself. I also know how that can go when it’s something that touches you deeply. I know the moment when I got completely hooked into the weeb culture. I was reading the Excel Saga Manga (a friend had introduced me to this but I was only a new Weeb at this point). There was a forum for fans of the editor, and there were recommendations of other anime. Both Haruhi and Higurashi were recommended there, and I downloaded both. At the time, both were 8 episodes in.
Haruhi was great, but Higurashi kept me up all night – literally. At that point I didn’t know about fansubs, but I watched all 8 episodes of Higurashi back-to-back, and I joined WinD Fansubs that night – initially as a proofreader and then eventually running the group for about 2 years.
So I understand how it feel when you experience something and then feel like you need to join in. You have that confidence that you can continue the story, and that you can keep the feels coming.
But, let’s face it – you can’t. Neither can I. We all know the story of the sequel that failed to live up to expectations, or the series that went so long it had to Jump the Shark (the fact that Happy Days actually had to get to that point to create the meme kind of proves the point).
So let’s talk about the title of this post: Why no KS2? Because nothing will meet the expectations of the fans. I’m not sure about the other devs, but I find it really hard to write Hanako now. In 2007 I had a Hanako in my head and I could drop her into any situation and see how she would react. If I did that today it would be inauthentic; the zeitgeist Hanako has surpassed the “authentic” Hanako in my head.
So, what if we let someone else do it?
Well, there are certainly people out there that have the talent to write a better story. None of the 4LS devs are deluded enough to think that we’re true professionals – at least we weren’t in 2007-2012. I’m also hesitant to say that 4LS was a fluke. We had a certain suicidal dedication and also high enough personal standards to make something that we could all be happy with. It was painful, but I learned a lot.
The thing is, I think that the people out there that have the talent to pull off a KS2 are also the people that want to create their own thing. The people that want to make a KS2 are the people that are simply inspired, but they don’t know how to deploy their creativity.
KS2 has also taken on a place in a lot of people’s minds. I still get fan mail today that goes along the lines of “Thanks for making KS – it changed/saved my life.” Before I say to someone “You can make KS2” I need to consider their ability to have that same reaction.
If, perchance, someone does come to me with an idea and a team that could pull that off, then I’ll be fighting for them with the other 4LS devs, and I think that we would likely give them our blessings. But until you see all our our Twitter accounts praising a new team, there is no “official” KS2.
I would hope that people would let the story end where it does, but, alas, every year or so another team comes along and decides that they’re going to make KS2 – no matter if I agree or not.
But, in the end, it’s not KS2. I simply don’t think that anything like that could even exist. There are much better stories than KS. There are much more talented teams than 4LS. But there are also a lot more teams that are worse than us. It’s got nothing to do with permissions or with copyright, it’s more to do with where KS sits in the community’s mind. There are still a few thousand people active in the various KS communities – you would need to convince all of them that you had a great continuation of the story to make a “true” KS2. There are some fan-works out there that even rival the quality of KS, and yet none of those creators try to say that they are making KS2.
I’m not sure how to conclude this, so let me just…
tl;dr: You can’t make KS2. Put your creative energies into something else. You’re not likely going to see me say that I’ve authorized KS2, and if you do see something like that, it’s probably a fake.