For 2021, fans on the Fanfiction.net Azure Week Forum and our Discord server have put together a list of 10 themes to use throughout the week to inspire fanfiction, fanart, fanmixes… or whatever! They’re inspired by the overall theme “Celestial.”
Azure Week Has Been E X T E N D E D
At the request of several members of the Azure Week Discord, we’ve decided to extend Azure Week into AZURE MONTH! It will now last until October 25, 2021, a.k.a. Seto Kaiba’s birthday!
Share the Love
If you want to spread the word about Azure Week 2021 on social media, please use these Instagram-ready quote images that include the event’s overarching theme (Celestial), along with a quote, the theme, and inspirational keywords. You can also find these on DeviantART, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr already, but feel free to click on them to see a larger version and save it to your own device.
If you’re interested in participating, all you have to do is tag your work (wherever you post it: Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, Tumblr, DeviantART, Reddit etc.) with #AzureWeek2021. If your platform of choice supports spaces in tags/keywords, then you may find it’s already there, formatted as #Azure Week 2021. No way to tag? Please make sure to reach out to me (I’m @Azurite on most sites; on deviantART I’m @the-sweet, and on Tumblr I’m @anzu-kaiba) so I can showcase your work here on Blue Eyes & Apricots!
Random Theme Generator
You might not be able to participate for all seven days of Azure Week, or maybe you want to try and combine themes into one work. Whatever your fancy, if you’re up for a challenge, try our Random Theme Generator! It displays one of the 10 themes whenever you refresh the page, along with up to three suggested optional sub-themes or keywords for inspiration. Use the main theme and one or more of the inspirational keywords for max creativity!
Themes & Tropes
The 2021 themes (along with some inspirational keywords/sub-themes and tropes) are:
- written in the stars
- Destiny | Prophecy | Unchanging
- Prophecies Are Always Right/Because Fate Said So, You Can’t Fight Fate, Screw Destiny, When the Planets Align, Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
- Myths & Legends | Constellation Story | Planetarium
- Eastern Zodiac, Western Zodiac, The Four Gods, Elemental powers, Animal motifs
- lucky stars
- Star of Love | Irresistible | Overcoming Obstacles
- Born Lucky, Super Luck, Blessed with Luck, Cosmic Close Call, Lucky Rabbit’s Foot (Lucky Charm), Million-to-One Chance, Winds of Destiny Change
- shoot for the stars, land on the moon
- Shoot the Moon | Upended Expectations | Confessions
- Make a Wish, Accidental Public Confession, Anguished Declaration of Love, Confession Cam, Confessional, Dying Declaration of Love, Engineered Public Confession, Sarcastic Confession
- in search of the full moon
- Freedom to be Oneself | In the Land of the Twilight | Talking to the Moon
- Lunacy, Full Moon Silhouette, Be Yourself, It Was With You All Along, Oblivious to Love
- once in a blue moon
- Many Moons Ago | Loneliness | Left to Chance
- Once in a Blue Moon, One-in-a-Million Chance, Weird Moon, Melancholy Moon, What Could Have Been
- promise me the moon
- Vows | Missing You | Everything I Have
- Chekov’s Gun, I Gave My Word, Heroic Vow, Pinky Swear, Childhood Marriage Promise, If We Survive This, Promise of a Lifetime, Screw the Rules; I’m Doing What’s Right, Intrinsic Vow
- star-crossed lovers
- Gods & Mortals | Secret Relationship | Bad Omen
- Bad Moon Rising, Star-Crossed Lovers
- we are all star stuff
- Divine Origins | Filling a Void | Shared Experience
- Space is an Ocean, Insignificant Little Blue Planet, What Do You Mean It’s Not Awesome?
- Rebirth | Darkest Before the Dawn | Hope
- Cue the Sun
Extra Challenges: Crossover/AU
If you want an extra challenge, consider creating a crossover or alternate universe fanwork featuring one or more of these fandoms that utilize our themes:
written in the stars
Destiny | Prophecy | Unchanging
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is a well-known magical girl series starring 14-year-old Usagi Tsukino, a junior high student who also happens to be a Sailor Guardian —a superhero with amazing powers of light and hope— as well as a reincarnated princess, and a future queen of the entire planet Earth! The concept of “destiny” plays a big role in her story, played in a positive way: she and many of her friends are reincarnated from their past lives (which were tragically cut short by the evil forces of the Dark Kingdom), as is her true love.
- Write a magical girl crossover where the Sailor Guardians have to investigate mysterious activity in Domino. How do Seto and Anzu/Téa get entangled in it?
- Draw Anzu/Téa or any of the other female characters as Sailor Guardians. Are they cosplaying for a convention? Dressing up for Halloween? Or did they somehow acquire Sailor powers?
- Perhaps someone discovers an ancient prophecy that seems to indicate new Sailor Guardians will appear… but in Domino? What will they have to fight, and what is their connection to Anzu/Téa, Seto, or any of the other Yu-Gi-Oh! cast?
Myths & Legends | Constellation Story | Planetarium
Fruits Basket is a family-drama centered upon a group of people who accidentally become animals reminiscent of those of the Eastern Zodiac when they are hugged by a person of the opposite sex (that isn’t related to them). Yuki Sohma turns into a rat, Kyo into a cat, Shigure into a dog, Hatsuharu into a cow (ox), Rin into a horse, Kisa turns into a tiger cub, Hiro into a sheep, Hatori into a seahorse (a “small dragon”), Momiji into a rabbit, Kagura into a pig (boar), Ayame into a snake, Ritsu into a monkey, and Kureno into a sparrow (rooster). They are all bound by the head of the Sohma household: Akito, “their god,” whose orders they must obey absolutely. Some of them also have other abilities, but their transformations are largely regarded as a “curse,” and their story is that of an outsider finding her way into the hearts of each family member.
- What if the Sohma family wasn’t the only one cursed with a zodiac transformation? Imagine Seto and/or Anzu/Téa as different Zodiac animals (you can use the Western zodiac, too)! Even if they are roughly the same age (and are likely to have the same Eastern Zodiac sign), what “personalities” do they have that seem reflective of different zodiac animals?
Zodiac P.I. is a Natsumi Ando-drawn manga featuring young private investigator Lili Hoshizawa, who, as “Detective Spica,” uses astrology —and the magical Star Ring with the 12 “Astral Spirits” representative of the Western zodiac signs— to help people in need. Her own mother went missing some years ago, and with her Police Inspector father having no luck, Lili is determined to find her. In the meantime, she attends junior high and gets caught up in a string of mysteries, including murder, fraud, a haunting, and more!
- Lili Hoshizawa comes to Domino at the request of one of the Yu-Gi-Oh! characters. What astrology-themed mystery could she help solve, and how would it bring Seto and Anzu/Téa closer together?
Ceres: Celestial Legend, also known as Ayashi no Ceres, is a supernatural drama by hit mangaka Yuu Watase. High schooler Aya Mikage and her twin brother Aki go to their grandfather’s house for their 16th birthday, unaware that the “party” is a cover for a test meant to see if the twins possess “angel” or “celestial maiden” blood. When Aya awakens as the reincarnation of Ceres, a celestial maiden whose heavenly robes were stolen by Aki’s previous incarnation, the family aims to imprison or kill her for their own ends, sending Aya on a mission to save her brother and find Ceres’ missing robes. The series takes a classic legend and puts a dramatic, family-driven spin on it, weaving in themes of destiny, reincarnation, and star-crossed lovers.
- On her journey, Aya meets several other girls who possess “celestial maiden” blood and hears how it’s upended their lives. What if Anzu/Téa were one of them? Alternatively, what if Aya meets Seto and Anzu and gets help from them in her efforts to find her “celestial robes” and save her twin brother?
Fushigi Yuugi is another Yuu Watase manga and anime series that leans heavily on the constellation motif. Junior high student Miaka Yuuki discovers a mysterious book titled “The Universe of the Four Gods” and, with her friend Yui Hongo, is sucked into the book. There, she is told that she is the Priestess of Suzaku, the Southern Phoenix, and must gather the Seven Warriors, each with tattoos and powers corresponding with the constellation assigned to the Southern Sky. But the world inside the book is medieval compared to the modern world Miaka and Yui are used to, and life isn’t easy for them; Yui gets kidnapped by an enemy nation and becomes their Priestess, pitting friend against friend in an epic war. This series also heavily leans on tropes like fraught confessions, star-crossed lovers trope, the meaning behind constellations, and more.
- Generally speaking, only virginal girls get drawn into The Universe of the Four Gods. Even after Miaka and Yui’s story ends, the book persists, with the potential to draw other girls into the book. Answer the question, “what if Anzu got drawn into the book to become a new Priestess of one of the Four Gods?” Or address “what if she knew Miaka and Yui and could somehow help them from outside of the book?” How does Seto get involved?
Star of Love | Irresistible | Overcoming Obstacles
The Lunar Chronicles is a young adult book series penned by Marissa Meyer (you may know her as popular Sailor Moon fanfiction author Alicia Blade) that seamlessly blends sci-fi and fairy tales in an epic adventure. The stories of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White all intertwine in this four-book series (with additional short story collections and a novella).
- The Lunar Chronicles story takes place in a variety of places of a not-so-distant future Earth, including the Eastern Commonwealth, of which Cinder male lead Kai is Emperor, with his capital in New Beijing. What’s happening in Domino? Are any of the familiar characters we know and love still around? Have they traded limbs for cyborg parts, or become talented hackers? Would they ally themselves with the Lunar cause, or no?
shoot for the stars, land on the moon
Shoot the Moon | Upended Expectations | Confessions
Star Ocean is a science fantasy-themed Japanese role-playing video game series that’s been distributed on many platforms, beginning with the Super Famicom (also known as the Super Nintendo). The franchise has grown over the years include a variety of other media, including an anime series (Star Ocean EX), manga for each game, and more. Several games involve time travel, epic sword fights, and what sacrifices civilizations make in the name of “progress” or “the future.”
- Kaiba Corporation was far from the only company to consider creating a virtual roleplaying game. What if Seto Kaiba regarded the creators of Star Ocean, Square-Enix, as rivals, and attended the launch of the latest game in the franchise, only to get stuck in the game, much as he did with his own RPG? Could Anzu play a role in saving him?
Stargate SG-1 is a Canadian-American military sci-fi adventure show based off MGM’s 1994 Stargate film starring Kurt Russell. Taking place a year after the events of the movie, the show focuses on an eclectic group of explorers —soldiers, scientists, historians, and aliens— traveling to distant worlds and dealing with powerful aliens that once posed as ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Norse gods and subjugated civilizations for their own nefarious ends.
- Imagine the Stargate SG-1 team discovers evidence of Pharaoh Atem’s past and thinks that the Millennium Items are alien artifacts “too dangerous to leave buried in the Earth.” Without another choice, Malik, Isis, and Rishid call upon their friends back in Domino, Japan to try and prevent the team from accidentally releasing Zork once more. Could Seto Kaiba’s stubbornness or Anzu’s hope for a second chance with Atem play a role in moving on from the greatest adventure of their lives?
in search of the full moon
Freedom to be Oneself | In the Land of the Twilight | Talking to the Moon
Full Moon o Sagashite is a hit anime and manga series by Arina Tanemura that manages to combine elements of a magical girl series with an idol quest, multiple (tragic) love stories, and family drama. Young Mitsuki Kouyama is dying of throat cancer, but refuses to get the lifesaving surgery she needs, as it will prevent her from ever singing—or speaking!—again. When two Shinigami—spirits of Death—arrive to investigate a prophecy that has to do with someone interfering with her scheduled death one year in the future, Mitsuki bargains with them: she’ll freely give them her soul if they help her achieve her dream of becoming an idol singer who can use her songs to reach “the one that got away,” her childhood love Eichi. The truth behind the Shinigami, Mitsuki’s family, and the nature of life and death all play a role in this lush, moving story.
- Anzu/Téa has long possessed a desire to dance, but is money really all that’s keeping her from achieving her dream? Despite loving the limelight, she’s often acceded the leading role to Yuugi, Jounouchi, and other duelists. Imagine a pair of Shinigami approach her, revealing a secret she’s kept from everyone about her imminent passing…but she’s not the only person who can see the two spirits of Death. With Seto Kaiba having lost his parents, adoptive father, and most recently Atem, he knows that he has to do whatever it takes to convince her not to give up her soul for a single shot at the spotlight.
once in a blue moon
Many Moons Ago | Loneliness | Left to Chance
Freedom to be Oneself | In the Land of the Twilight | Talking to the Moon
The Librarians are a group of mismatched experts—a former NATO Anti-Terrorism commander, a hacker-thief, a brilliant scientist and mathematician with a brain tumor that seems to give her psychic-like magic abilities, and a bar-fighting polymath with knowledge of world languages, history, and art. They work to solve unexplainable mysteries, rewrite important historical moments, recover powerful magical artifacts, and fight against supernatural threats” (TV Line). The series follows the events of The Librarian film series starring Noah Wyle.
- The Librarians find out about the Millennium Items and, assuming the sentient Library wants them to retrieve the Items and prevent their magic from corrupting the world, travels to Domino. How will our high school duelists fare against a group of experts that genuinely believe they are protecting the world from dark magic? Can the unlikely duo of Seto and Anzu/Téa convince the Librarians that the Items belong with their owners—if they even believe that wholeheartedly themselves?
promise me the moon
Vows | Missing You | Everything I Have
Yu-Gi-Oh! has much in common with Final Fantasy VIII, part of the bestselling Final Fantasy series from Square-Enix. A group of high school-age students with a particular card game as their favorite pastime get swept up in a plot that spells the end of the world as they know it. Memory loss, monsters —both good and bad— and magic all play important roles in the game, and series protagonists Squall has much in common with reticent Seto Kaiba, just as spitfire heiress Rinoa Heartilly does with Anzu/Téa.
- How would the cast of Yu-Gi-Oh! act if thrust into the paramilitary world of Final Fantasy VIII? Would Seto Kaiba seek to join the elite SeeD mercenary force, or would he rather aim to discover the root of the worldwide radio interference, preventing long-distance communication between regions? Would Anzu join a resistance movement, or would she prefer to keep her head down and be perceived as a model student?
Gods & Mortals | Secret Relationship | Bad Omen
Inuyasha is a lengthy “feudal fairy tale” by bestselling mangaka Rumiko Takahashi. In it, junior high student Kagome Higurashi falls through a time-traveling well on her family’s property and finds out she is the reincarnation of a feudal-era priestess and, within her body is an incredibly powerful, wish-granting gem: the Jewel of the Four Souls. The problem is, humans and demons alike want to take it from her—no matter what the cost. At first, one of those wanting the Jewel is the titular half-dog demon Inuyasha, whom Kagome awoke from an enchanted sleep. But over the course of many arcs, the two grow closer, despite their very obvious differences: he a half-demon from the Warring States period of Japan, and she, a modern junior high student. To make matters worse, Kagome bears a striking resemblance to Inuyasha’s ex-girlfriend….
- What if the Bone-Eater’s Well on the Higurashi family property wasn’t the only way to travel back to the Feudal era of Japan? Or, what if a demon came through the Well, unbeknownst to Kagome’s family, and made it all the way to Domino City, where it wreaked supernatural havoc in a desperate search for power akin to that of the Jewel of the Four Souls? Could Seto and Anzu/Téa work together to save their town, or would one or both of them end up sacrificing their humanity—or their life—in the process?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is another immensely popular series featuring students and demons, but rather than animal-inspired demons of the East, high schooler Buffy Summers faces off against familiar Western demons, including the titular vampires, werewolves, mummies, and more. Normally, the world has only one living Slayer —always a young woman— at a time, but over the course of the series’ run, others appear for various reasons. Despite being stronger than your average human, the Slayer generally dies young after facing demons and monsters beyond her capabilities, thus leading to the “awakening” of the next Slayer. Needless to say, a Slayer falling for one of her targets—like, say, a vampire who somehow got himself a soul—really complicates matters.
- Plenty of people have enjoyed adding a darker, more supernatural twist to Yu-Gi-Oh! by having one or more characters be a vampire (especially Seto Kaiba). But what if Anzu/Téa awoke as a Slayer, and learned the world was actually populated with demons and other magical entities? Would she have to try and fight a vampiric Seto Kaiba, or save him from another demonic possession? What about their other friends?
we are all star stuff
Divine Origins | Filling a Void | Shared Experience
Star Trek is the classic sci-fi space exploration franchise, starting in the 23rd century and continuing on throughout various TV shows and movies into the 30th century. Often starring the crews of a starship named Enterprise, the various series delve into numerous issues at the intersection of exploration and morality: the impact and non-monetary cost of war, what it means to be loyal to an organization or set of ideals, the dangers of authoritarianism and imperialism, and much, much more.
- Several Star Trek movies and episodes have featured either time travel or characters from earlier periods of Earth, such as mobsters and detectives from the early 20th century or famous figures like Mark Twain, Leonardo da Vinci, and even fictional menaces like Moriarty from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. What would prompt someone from the Star Trek franchise to look up Domino, or to create a holographic representation of Seto Kaiba? What if time travel shenanigans were involved and the real Seto and Anzu/Téa somehow ended up on a starship or a space station in the far future? Could you see Seto working his way through Starfleet Academy, or Anzu providing entertainment at a Deep Space Station?
Rebirth | Darkest Before the Dawn | Hope
Star Wars is the sprawling space opera brainchild of George Lucas. Featuring everything from star-crossed lovers to planets with twin suns, Star Wars, taking place “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away” seems to have little in common with Yu-Gi-Oh! Nonetheless, both franchises feature an eclectic cast of characters out to save their world(s): there’s the naïve protagonist who discovers an ancient past, a swashbuckling deuteragonist, a take-no-prisoners female lead, and many more.
- Is Anzu/Téa the princess of a world occupied by Imperial forces, or perhaps the sheltered daughter of a noble that wants to keep her as far away from politics as possible? Could Seto be an Imperial loyalist questioning whether he’s on the right side of history… or a rogue searching the galaxy for his lost brother? How would their fates intertwine in the stars, especially when much of the galaxy seems bereft of hope?
Extra Challenges: Hard Mode
Want even more of a challenge? Try one or more of these ideas:
- Do the themes in some kind of order. You can follow the order above, or you can do alphabetical order, ordered by the number of words in a theme (e.g, one word themes before two word themes). You can also choose to make a random theme of your choice go in order of the series continuity, e.g., your first theme takes place during Duelist Kingdom, your second during the Legendary Warriors/Virtual World event, etc.
- Try and create a different kind of fanwork for each theme. For example, for one theme, you can write a fanfic, while for another theme, you can illustrate a short comic. You can also write a script, create a piece of fanart, edit a fanvid, put together a fanmix, write an essay or a piece of meta…. You can even make a list of your favorite fics/art pieces/songs/sites/whatever that seem to fit the theme to you!
- Use a different POV character, art style or medium, genre, or tropes to go alongside your creation. For example, write “once in a blue moon ” as an Azureshipping fic from Mokuba’s point of view, or try your hand at illustrating “we are all star stuff” with acrylic paint.
Submit Your Azure Week 2021 Works Here
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If you tagged your work with #AzureWeek2021 (without the spaces) or submitted to an Azure Week-specific collection (AO3) or Community (r/azureshipping, @azureshipping on Dreamwidth, on the Discord server’s appropriate channel, or the Azure Week Forum on FFnet), you should see your work linked/embedded on the Master List after Azure Week concludes. If you don’t, please fill out the below form; it’s possible we missed something even though it was properly tagged!