From an amusing antagonist to a spiceless song… (#50 – A. T. Landon)

Whether it’s anime or books… I can’t be the only one who really loves a good villain, right?

As in: some smart, well-spoken, eccentric villain with a stage presence that can often shadow our protagonists—I could list a bunch here, but I’m sure you have your own favourite example of this trope!

If I had to explain it… I guess it’s some sort of hate overflow: you detest this kind of villain so much for being annoying or malicious—yet they’ll find a way to grow on you through sheer personality alone ٩(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)۶

Roswaal Mathers from the Re:Zero franchise is one of these kinds I fawn over—I don’t wanna spoil too much of course, but despite what’s revealed about him as the series goes on, I can’t help but love that formal clown look he rocks- not to mention his voice in the show!?

Whether it’s Takehito Koyasu (子安武人) or Ray Chase, I honestly can’t decide whose performance I love more—I think it’s especially funny that they got Koyasu in the role given his usual typecasting as villains, but all those aside~

I have this kind of type for villains… and in my own writing, I’ve always loved writing at least one, two, maybe three of them into each story—so! Who exactly did I get started with?

“The acquaintances of real men are those from whom he may find comfort in, and those whose presence alone is a mutual benefit.”

Now we’re skipping ahead a bit in the timeline so… I’ll summarise things a bit quickly to avoid confusion~!

My fourth attempted book differed from my previous ones in that I wanted to write just a novella for once—and I got the idea right from a friend, who had inspiration to write this murder mystery family drama type of affair, but couldn’t really find the time to get her idea into writing (´-`).。oO

Set in an unnamed city in early-2000s South England, our story follows a wealthy but troubled man attempting to piece together the sudden assassination of his brother, who was murdered the same night their father died of a suspected poisoning.

One of his closest friends and confidants is the CEO of a local law firm, Griffin A. T. Landon, someone I’d describe as an old-fashioned and upper-class kind of man, but also someone who’s very willing to conduct illicit acts for personal gain.

(this balloon would love living in either of these~)

Now I’ll be honest here—Writing Griffin was one of my most enjoyable experiences in my early books, and it’s largely because he’s the archetype I described earlier: an affable, maybe-quotable villain character with a confident presence, even if some of the things he says are ridiculous, archaic, or just completely repulsive!

So to spoil the twist here: Griffin turns out to be behind most of the book’s “sudden accidents”, having orchestrated a series of killings to protect himself in a criminal investigation he got caught up with—and this poorly-thought out plan ends just as poorly for him: he does get out the country, but ends up taking his own life before he could be arrested.

The quote I put up here as our title’s actually something Griffin said at one point: I think the matter-of-fact way he puts it, plus the way he implies there’s some sort of rulebook for masculinity, perfectly captures how I’ve always pictured this bastard~

Goes without saying I don’t agree with 99% of the stuff I put into this guy’s mouth—and the fact this kind of masculine success-oriented toxicity’s becoming more widespread again is really bad for us on this side of things—but given Griffin’s pure fiction?

Well… I had enough fondness for this doofus that I wondered: what if I produced a song about him!?

“My hands shall always be clean, unless there is an interest I mean to protect.”

Another Breeze ended up being my first real album, and like I discussed in my previous entry, that project had environmental destruction as an underlying theme of sorts.

So moving immediately into a second project—I thought: what better theme to dabble with than politics!

Not any one ideology in particular—my idea was more on general concepts like corruption or fabrication or propaganda- You know, near-universal problems about everyone everywhere has some idea about~

My idea for A. T. Landon came right from that idea of corruption—and when I was thinking of how I could frame this song in the least-controversial way possible, I settled on letting Griffin become the star of it!

In my “official” index for ideas, this song is #6, and from the earliest stages, I really wanted this conceptually-bitonal song, with an upbeat, cheery melody hiding something more nefarious.

Only problem?

I had no experience doing anything that complex…

So this is what we have instead: a really-repetitive, directionless jingle that starts at point A, wiggles around, and then ends having accomplished pretty-much nothing… ( ゚д゚)

Compared to Searing Debut or Floe, A. T. Landon’s much more listenable for me I guess, but I find myself spending most of these six minutes just kinda begging for some reprieve.

And that’s really what I find most troubling about this song… It’s not overly-atrocious, but it’s nothing spectacular, and it doesn’t commit any like huge, glaring mistakes I could learn a lot from—it’s just mediocre…

Which is kind of its biggest shame, yeah?

The novella’s tale of Griffin Landon is an arc that, conceptually anyways, really nosedived from atop the outermost peak, to the deep end of an arid gorge.

But I failed in capturing any of that in this song named after him… None of his stage presence, his charisma, his utter depravity~

I do have some desire to try and remake this track, but that’ll probably come some time in the distant future—Maybe you’ll be there to witness that too-? But I jest~

I think a lot of my takeaways from this track come down to one thing: rushing!

like look at the completion dates on these recordings… (*_*)

A. T. Landon was the fifth song I finished for my second album, and the catch? I finished all five of those songs in five days!

From start to finish, September 8th to the 12th, these songs went up one by one… and for comparison, my latest tracks have upload gaps of anywhere from a week to several months!

Like with a lot of creative matters, I didn’t take the time to polish the edges, and I’ve been left with something… befitting of being stuffed into a Hyottoko (火男) mask~

~A brief message for you~

Hiya! Another post, another weekend huh? At least in my timezone~

If you’re reading this, then I wanna thank you for sticking around!!


Even when I spew out all these negatives, I still have a lot of fun retracing my creative journeys so far, breaking down the lessons I’ve learned, and just appreciating how much I’ve personally grown since then… but I guess all of us creatives do this, yeah?

Now if you’ve been around earlier, you may be wondering why I didn’t do any musical analyses this week—honestly, I just wanna make my schedule a bit more flexible since I’ll have to shoulder additional commitments in a week or two (´⊙ω⊙`)

Next week, I can’t promise what I will or won’t post, but you can count on my word: I’ll put up at least one more recommendation / analysis type thing-!

I will love David Bowie ‘til I die, but for that upcoming post, I think I’ll come back to something a lot more homely for me~

So stay tuned, and all the love for you and your incoming weekend~!

– むんだえ

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