Inquiring Minds Want To Know #36: What kind of fantasy setting do you find most appealing?

Another week and another fantastic question. I’m still seeking questions to keep this series going a little longer so if you have something you want to know, be sure to fill in the simple survey below and I will definitely get to it.

Question: With Goblin Slayer being one of this season’s most talked-about shows for various reasons… what kind of fantasy setting do you find most appealing? Traditional Tolkienesque? Witcher-style dark fantasy? Or something else altogether? From MoeGamer

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This is such a great question and the answer is not so straight forward because it really depends on my mood and the medium I’m engaging with the story in.

For books, I’m very old school in my fantasy preferences. Give me a classic sword and sorcery style setting, maybe with a bit of Tolkien in there but I prefer a bit of humour so Eddings stories with their dry sarcasm in the narration or Pratchett with his absurdist humour really work for me and I love the worlds they create. Still, I had a real fondness for the Dragonlance books as a teen and scavenged second hand booksellers to try to collect as many of the titles as I could. My collection is still very much full of holes.

That said, when I’m in full work mode and I don’t have time to get 100% absorbed in what I am reading then I need something a little lighter and I find modern urban fantasy a bit more my thing. Still I find a lot of these books very much a consume once and move on kind of deal and that’s more or less what I like about them. They don’t take a lot of my attention.

Goblin Slayer Episode 1

In anime, I’ve settled for isekai stories, that watered down vaguely fantasy-esque setting they hit us with in almost every show. The few real fantasy settings, like the one found in Chain Chronicles, was really appreciated and I liked the darker nature of the world and the conflict even if the story didn’t exactly rise to meet the challenge of the world building required to pull it off. But these are few and far between. Still, Goblin Slayer isn’t isekai, it is straight fantasy, and while there are undeniably some game-like mechanics to the world building, it isn’t as blatant as some light novels and that’s a large part of why I really enjoyed it as a book and I’m really looking forward to what the anime does over the coming weeks.

In movies I find fantasy very hit and miss. While there are of course classic kids fantasies like Labyrinth and the Neverending Story, adult fantasy movies that really work aren’t exactly common. With that said, I’ve kind of settled for more steampunk themed stories because these ones tend to look visually pretty amazing and still give quite the fantasy feel. I really liked the world created by The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (even if again the story was a little lacking).

And finally onto gaming where we are back to straight sword and sorcery D&D style fantasy. Baldur’s Gate 2 is still my all time favourite fantasy game. Though I do enjoy the world’s constructed in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII.

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So long answer, but I really had fun. Thanks MoeGamer for such a great question. Remember if you have a question please just respond to the survey below and in the meantime, I’d love to know what your favourite fantasy setting is so leave me a comment.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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13 thoughts on “Inquiring Minds Want To Know #36: What kind of fantasy setting do you find most appealing?

  1. My favorite fantasy setting are tied between 90s Berserk, and Suikoden 2. Both pretty much share the fact they have minimal usage of fantasy elements in them. In 90s Berserk, I like how realistically the world appears to me before it even introduces anything otherworldly. Making it easier for me to get drawn into its world, and wondering what other things might exist.

    Suikoden 2 uses more mystical creatures, and has odd things like a talking sword & vampire in it, but magic is sparingly use in the game. I like how basically only two characters with different ideals can control the magic in its world, and how they fight each other for the same goal through different means. By doing so, it made magic come across as a big deal since in fantasy in general magic is common place it doesn’t strike as anything magical. In Suikoden 2, they really go out their way to establish history in the world, and giving a bit of development to its many characters.

    While I’m gushing about Suikoden 2, another aspect I liked about it is the war itself is highest it goes in terms of stakes. There’s no magical being set to destroy the world, or anything like that. Usually in fantasy large scale war gets underplayed by a bigger threat, but in Suikoden 2 that grounded approach give it more weight to the conflict. It didn’t come across to me like the war itself would be something that would get dropped for the greater good, but would be something that would take a longer time to resolve. In all this, it’s able to tell a personal driven story between two friends torn apart by this war, and how each believe they’re doing the right thing for their country. Wish there were more fantasies like it, but haven’t found many more like it sadly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. FFX was great fun, and yeah, kind of need to play it in Japanese. I made the mistake of listening to some of the cut scenes in English and I ended up just laughing at the characters. The dialogue is every bit as cheesy in Japanese but somehow it manages to draw me into the scene to the point where it doesn’t matter.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I haven’t read anything by Brandon Sanderson but he is an author on my eventual read list so I must have read a review at some point and added him. Hopefully I will get to it eventually. Thanks for the recommendation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really fun post this one, and of course it’s nice to see the Dragonlance books being mentioned in this as well. If you like books like that you might also want to try out the Shannara series by Terry Brooks. Not all of those books are good, but the especially the first one are really enjoyable to read.
    I’ve really been reading far too little fantasy these days, and as you know I once told you that i haven’t even seen much fantasy animes (which I’m finally working on with both Berserk and Goblin Slayer 😊).
    And of course I am also watching Game of Thrones 😊😊

    Liked by 3 people

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