Otaku Senshi EtiquetteOtaku Senshi etiquette is the code of ethical behavior regarding the otaku senshi community. There are certain proprieties of conduct that have been established within the community that are now considered the norm. Those interested in making otaku senshi or becoming more involved in the online community might find it beneficial to review this etiquette.
Using Existing Otaku Senshi Images
This one's easy: just don't do it.
Under no circumstances should you ever take an image of someone else's fan character and repost it on your site as your own character. In addition to this, you should never, ever take a picture of someone else's otaku senshi and edit it to look like your otaku senshi. This is seriously looked down upon in the community and will not help you gain a respectable reputation.
It's always best to create your own image of your otaku senshi. If you are completely inept at everything artistic, there's no need to worry! There are artists that sometimes provide art for free, providing you read and follow their rules. Here are some sites from which you can request images of your otaku senshi:
- In and Out of Darkness
- Senshi no Danza (Go to Requests)
- Browse DeviantArt.com and look for artists or groups who are open for requests, like #C-T-R.
'Borrowing' Outfit Designs
There are many really interesting and unique designs for otaku senshi outfits floating around the web. When you are designing a new outfit for your character, it's easy to be inspired by other designs that you have admired. There are certain types of 'borrowing' that are generally frowned upon in the circle of otaku senshi creators. If you use an element of an outfit and you know you were inspired by another person's design, it would be very nice of you to mention credit for the idea on your site somewhere. Just remember: coincidences happen. Just because someone is using a design element similar to something you consider your original design doesn't mean they definitely ripped off your ideas.
It is very possible that separate individuals will design similar styled outfits without having ever seen the other person's design, but it really is frowned upon when an otaku senshi creator uses a 'signature' outfit that has been used by another established otaku senshi or team. For example, if someone designs something like a new "Crystal" form of the Sol sailor fuku, it would be in bad taste to use that exact outfit style for your own otaku senshi without permission.
It's best to just be forthright and honest. If you come across an element that you like, and you want to incorporate it into your design, it's always beneficial to be in open communication with the creator of the inspiring sailor senshi. Additionally, if you find someone has used a design element that you considered unique to your senshi, there's not harm in contacting them and politely asking if they happened to have been inspired by your senshi.
Once again, remember that this is only fandom, imitation is the highest form of flattery, and there are more important things to get really, really mad about.
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There are several mediums by which an otaku senshi can be represented visually such as: hand drawn (traditional or digital), coloring book edits, kisekae ningyou (or KiSS dolls), pixel dolls, and designs (which are usually no more than rough sketches). It's fantastic if one can make these for themselves, but there are some people - newbies and oldbies alike - that cannot draw for beans. This is when an otaku creator will employ the skills of a request artist or friend.
One thing must be clear, especially in the realm of credit: if you did not make it, you MUST GIVE CREDIT. Now if you're saying to yourself 'well, they'll never know'. Yes, they will. The otaku senshi community is very strict when it comes to this, and it will not be tolerated. How do you avoid the slings and arrows? There are two ways to credit: the first way it to place on your site an html link to the artist's web site or contact address. Another way to give credit is to have the credit appear the image itself, with their name, e-mail, URL, or combination of all three. If someone creates an image for you and places a watermark or URL on the image, you should not remove it. Before you use that image for something like a layout or banner, make sure the artist has given you free range to do so. Keeping open communication with people is the key to avoiding misunderstandings which can lead to arguments and hurt feelings.
Hand drawn art, coloring book edits, and rough designs are usually very easy to give credit for since there is usually a direct line between the request artist/friend and the requester. However, there are two media which credit is very particular for: KiSS and pixel dolls. In these two communities, credit is essential for 'base bodies' in which you draw the clothing, or fuku, of your character. If you cannot find base credit for the artist, please refrain from putting it on your site, and visit either an otaku forum or one for pixel art to try and find the base maker for it.
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When making a new otaku senshi, a creator might copy and paste another otaku senshi's profile in to a document to work from. There are a number of reasons why this can be a bad idea. Mainly, it's very easy to just leave stats that are already filled in because you like how they sound. It creates a much more tempting scenario that might result in the new otaku senshi creator copy things from the other creator's character. Of course, this can lead to a many number of conflicts and misunderstandings.
Using blank templates or making your own profile blank can be much more useful because it gives you a 'clean slate' to think on without any distraction. This site provides you with everything you need to create your own profile template and even includes a section that will generate the HTML for you. Take advantage of it and design a blank profile template that works well for your character development style.
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Critique can be a big part of the otaku senshi community. Often, creators will post their otaku senshi's profiles or stories to get feedback and ideas. Critique should be used as a tool for improvement. Constructive thoughts that offer suggestions for improvement or expansion of an existing idea are more appropriate and useful that general opinions.
Under no circumstances should an otaku senshi creator be bashed for their original creations just because they use clichés or ideas that are seen as 'unoriginal.' We all start somewhere and there's always something new to learn about character creation. Helping new otaku senshi creators develop their characters helps support the community and builds a network. Making fun of someone's early attempts at making a fan character will most likely dishearten them and cause them to lose interest. Nothing is accomplished by alienating people so always practice respect and encourage beginning otaku senshi creators to continue to improve their works without being harsh or condescending.
This does not mean you have to be fake or sugar coat your opinion. However, there is a difference between being helpfully critical and hurtfully critical.
If you are interested in giving good, critical thoughts about someone's character it is important that you include reasons for your comments and it would also be helpful to include suggestions as well. For example, saying, "This needs a lot of work" doesn't really help the creator improve. It would be better to say something such as, "This needs a lot of work because you only have very basic information and some of the more important stats such as her personality are blank. You have a pretty good start on her stats, perhaps you can use those to develop the beginning of her personality and tell us a little more about why she acts that way." More thorough information about good critique will be added to this site in the future.
Remember, if you are on the receiving end of a critique, try not to take it personally. Even if the person isn't particularly nice about their comments, there still maybe something you can learn from them. If someone is too vague, try asking them why they think that way. It can be hard to not take critical thoughts personally but as long as you remember that this is all for fun, you'll be okay.
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