We are excited to introduce our next shining star for the Creator Spotlight… @kage!
This is a member’s only activity where we reach out to one of the talented people in our community each month to find out all about them and their kakairu creations, and then show them off to the world!
We hope you enjoy learning about Kage & her creations as much as we did. Please give her some love!
Type of Creator: Writer
Where to find her:
1. How long have you been creating KakaIru fanworks?
I have been around for a long time. I remember watching the episodes and reading the manga when they were first being aired. I was hooked! My first KakaIru work was back in 2009 where I tried to write a Nanowrimo for it that I never finished. My first published work The Road of Life (G | 2.9k) was for KakaIru Fest in 2014 back when it ran on LiveJournal and I saw @megyal’s prompt.
2. What are you working on right now?
Help me. I have WIPs that probably have WIPs; too many different story ideas and so little time; I try not to post before I am done with the story. There are a number of -mumble mumble- AUs, and an attempt to do pieces for @the-umino-hours, one of which I will be collabing with dearest @rocketpunchhh with. So keep an eye out for that one
3. What is your favourite trope to create for?
Fluff and Found Family hands down, closely followed by dumbasses in love. Perhaps in a different alternate timeline, there’s a Kage out there doing her best to write angst. Alas, in this timeline, my Kakashi meter is broken and perpetually stuck on ‘absolutely smitten’ and ‘dumbass’. Iruka’s is honestly the same.
4. Which of your creations is your favourite, and why?
I would have to say Bring Dog Treats (PG-13 | 44k), the Kakairu Big Bang 2021 project that I worked on with @rocketpunchhh. Before I joined the Big Bang, I was floating along in fandom space, dabbling in this and that but craving that fandom community and space. It holds a dear place in my heart for challenging me to write something longer with more cohesive character arcs, while exploring ideas like ‘what if Iruka was adopted by the Teuchi family’, ‘what if Konoha was run by the women in their respective lives’ and ‘Kakashi has no idea what to do with Naruto, but he can’t very well let his sensei’s only kid languish in an orphanage.
But also running ANBU missions while caring for a kid is hard, so of course he makes his ninken look after Naruto while he’s gone. Kakashi enlists the help of the Konoha’s finest jounin and chuunin by posting up a D-rank mission, but Naruto hates everyone he meets because the village hate the Kyuubi. Oh no, it’s now been a year and Naruto has gone feral. This is now a C-rank situation. Send help.’
And then who should choose me like a lost puppy in a cardboard box but Ciça? Our shared braincell is too strong. Team X, bay-bee!!
5. Do you have any WIPs you’re excited about?
Oh so many! The multiple -mumble mumble- AUs, the potential of collabing with more friends, and perhaps one day an exploration of the Dog Treats universe!
6. Do you have any original characters? If so, tell us about them!
I do! The one that’s most fleshed out is Iruka’s adoptive mother, Mrs Teuchi Tomoyo. She works in T&I’s “administration” department, but knew Iruka’s parents because they all took baking de-stressing classes together. She’s also distantly related to Kakashi through his mother’s Inuzuka side and so she has a weak super strong claim to keep an eye on Kakashi while he served in ANBU (ironically, this is also where Kohari met Kakashi too).
Otherwise, I have a small number of others that are peppered throughout my fics — usually kids — like the two in Iruka’s class in Pterrible at Flirting (G | 5.2k) that I wrote for @thegigibeegees as part of @kakairu-discord-server’s Fall Exchange and poor, unfortunate Shuusuke in Daydreaming and I’m thinking of you (PG | 4k) who was being sweet and gave Iruka flowers, but unfortunately ends up being scarred when the Rokudaime thinks Shuusuke is trying to assassinate Iruka somehow.
7. What was your hardest piece to create, and why?
Excellent question! What the Seeker Had Sought (E | 14.3k) would definitely have to be right up there. This is a Horizon Zero Dawn AU that I wrote for @mytsukkishine’s birthday, after she played the game and loved it! But there was one major flaw in my terrifically clever plan: I’d never played the game despite owning a copy. Thankfully I had Ciça by my side, and we ended up dedicating a few weekend hours to watching someone’s playthrough of HZD, which was super fun and I will have to play it one day.
The hurdle — aside from having not played the game — was trying to come up with who Kakashi would be. There are several characters along the way that the main protagonist (Iruka, of course) meets that could fit the bill, but what if @mytsukkishine doesn’t like who I end up choosing?
The solution was of course to write three possible choices for Kakashi (Nil, Avad, Sylens) and then wrap up the story… but I couldn’t resist throwing a surprise at the end for those that have played the game Ciça ended up doing so many sketches too. It unfortunately ended up being a bit late because of my waffling.
8. Do you have any favourite scenes from something you’ve created?
I think with every work and with every creator, there’s just a little something special, a little sparkle that goes, yessss this is why we did it! Spring Affair (PG-13 | 3.4k) is one of those. Mushishi is one of my favourite anime — like a mix of Natsume Yuujinchou and Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke — and was posted in 2019 before I met the incredible community. I tried to capture the whimsical and natural themes of the original work because the original isn’t about the different supernatural mushi that cause problems for a the Edo / Meiji setting of villages but rather about how the world should co-exist because it’s just the natural order of things and everybody is just trying to survive. No good vs evil.
Ah, I’m tangenting a little, but the story focuses on Kakashi returning in time for Iruka’s birthday in their little village of waves. The beginning always pulls me back to watching the anime; I would love to return to this story one day and expand on what happens next.
9. Where does your inspiration come from?
A large amount of my inspiration comes from thinking up ‘what if’ scenarios — like what happened with Bring Dog Treats — or watching media through my Kakairu goggles and then forcing friends (usually Ciça :D) into watching it too. This is usually how I end up with -mumble mumble- AUs and seeing how those stories transform with Kakashi and Iruka in the driver’s seat.
Usually, there’s a theme or something that I would like to read or see and I’m a huge believer of writing for yourself above all else. Having a partner in crime that has the same brain cell also helps incredibly because I’ve found letting myself write something and then sending it off to someone helps the writing process for me somehow (probably that instantaneous feedback and validation xD). Sorry not sorry, @dooilimx and @rocketpunchhh; also sorry not sorry, @mandapandabug for ending up wading through the mess afterwards.
Also, if you’ve read this far and know me well enough, usually the art god does something stunning and I am weak. Not writing for Ciça was never an option. If you’re curious, you can usually find those over at AO3: Drift Compatible Kakairu or under the tag kage wrote a thing on my tumblr.
10. Which of your creations is the most meaningful to you, and why?
In their own way, everything I write is meaningful. Stories exist for a reason and especially with fanfiction with a universe that is as large and hole-y as Naruto’s, there are so many places and avenues to explore the million ways that Iruka and Kakashi meet, fall in love etc.
Storytelling is an artform that I’m scratching the surface of, and the incredible community I’ve met last year has gotten me to write more consistently with all the events that are happening. It’s easier to see the progress and improvements I’ve made when comparing the unfinished 2009 Nanowrimo work to something longer and more polished like Bring Dog Treats that took ten months to write.
I’ve been in a few fandoms since 2009, some I’ve actively written for, others just as a consumer, but there is something special about KakaIru and the fandom community here that has resonated within me. Perhaps it’s because we have more tools at our disposal like discord where we can talk with others, or whether it’s because the love for these ninjas has endured since the early 2000s. But there is nothing quite like opening up discord every day and wishing everyone a good timezone.
It feels a lot like coming home to a family, both young and new and constantly growing, and that above all else is the most meaningful to me.