Fantasy

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Daria as Cinderella, an alter ego from the MTV website

Fantasy is a genre in which events take place that are impossible according to the natural laws of reality as they are currently understood. When set in a known world, fantasy tales are about beings, places, and events that cannot exist. When placed in a realm not of this earth, the settings themselves may be impossible, functioning in a way contrary to the real world's physical laws. Science fiction, by contrast, describes events, places, and things which might be possible, though not at the present time or with known technology.

Fantasy in Daria Canon[edit]

While most of Daria stayed more or less true to real life aside from a few standard cartoon conventions, there were still instances of fantastic elements. In "A Tree Grows in Lawndale", for example, a flower is shown growing out of Kevin's arm crutch after it is planted in place of Tommy Sherman's memorial tree. In other cases, the fantasy elements are contained with a story within the story, such as the three tales told in "Legends of the Mall".

Two episodes stand above the rest in fantastic content, however. The first is "Depth Takes a Holiday" in which teenagers who represent various holidays such as Valentine's Day and Halloween come to Lawndale through a dimensional wormhole behind the Good Time Chinese restaurant, and these beings are shown to have fantastic powers and abilities relating to their respective holidays. The second is "Daria!", an episode which takes the form of a musical, though the fantasy element - that being the inexplicable song-and-dance numbers - can also be explained by the Characters as Actors trope.

In Beavis and Butt-head, the fantasy episode "It's a Miserable Life" makes explicit the existence of God and guardian angels, and shows us Daria in a canonical alternate universe.

Metafiction[edit]

In the episode "Write Where It Hurts", Daria writes a medieval story about a knight (variously Mack, Jake, or Helen) asking a seer (variously Jodie, Helen or Jake) about the future.

Fantasy in Daria Fanworks[edit]

Like science fiction, fantasy works can be divided into several subgenres, though many Daria fantasy fics and art have their own particular fantasy types that do not always match up with the broader field. Notable subgenres are given below, with examples of each. Crossovers are included under the appropriate headings.


The Afterlife[edit]

Non-Daria examples: The Divine Comedy, What Dreams May Come

One more more Daria characters discover the hard way what existence is like after death occurs. This category can cross over into the ghost story and horror territories if it also involves the dead interacting in some way with those still living.

Examples


The Dreaded Brittany Dragon

Comic Fantasy[edit]

Non-Daria examples: I Dream of Jeannie, the Xanth series

A mix of fantasy and comedy that may take the form of silly bedtime stories told to children that one or more Daria characters are babysitting, twisted fairy tales, and other off-the-wall fics written purely for the reader's amusement. Squirrel stories in which the squirrels act in fantastic ways belong in this category.

Examples


Dream Worlds[edit]

Non-Daria examples: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise

Dream worlds are surreal environments that do not strictly obey the laws of reality and are often - but not always - accessed through sleep or other unconscious states. Characters are typically inserted into these settings from elsewhere, be it the waking world or another dimension. Alice stories are nearly always set in dream worlds.

Examples


Fairy Tales[edit]

Non-Daria examples: The Brothers Grimm tales, The Hobbit

Fairy tales are stories that make use of classic folklore, including beings such as giants, elves, wizards, dragons, and others. They typically take place in settings that resemble Dark Ages Europe, and many Daria fairy tales are crossovers with Arthurian legends as well as role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons.

Examples


Fantastic Voyages[edit]

Non-Daria examples: The Chronicles of Narnia, the Ultima series

One or more of the Daria cast discover a passage to a new world or universe that operates under magical laws or impossible conditions. Entry into this new realm might gift the travelers with new powers for the duration. Please Note: If the means to enter the other universe or universes involves the Good Time Chinese restaurant or Holiday Island, the story goes into the next category below.

Examples


Daria and Holidays

Holiday Island Stories[edit]

Spawned from the fantasy-based episode "Depth Takes a Holiday", these tales involve the Daria characters interacting with characters from or actually going to Holiday Island via the wormhole behind the Good Time Chinese restaurant. If they go from Lawndale to the island, it also counts as a Fantastic Voyage.

Examples


Modern Magic[edit]

Non-Daria examples: Hellboy, Practical Magic

Also called contemporary fantasy, modern magic stories present supernatural beings, devices, wizardry, creatures, and places that turn up in the world of today (or the late-1990s world of the Daria show). Crossovers with other fantasy works set in modern times are very common. Instances where modern magic stories also include a science fiction element are a part of the science fantasy mixed genre.

The modern magic subgenre contains several sub-subgenres that appear with some frequency in Daria fanworks.

Tinkerbell Jodie
Quinn as Ariel the Mermaid

Fantasy vs. Science Fantasy[edit]

Science fantasy is a genre that combines elements of fantasy with science fiction. Unlike fantasy, science fantasy works on rules that are better defined, striving to make the impossible elements in the story sound as if they have a plausible scientific basis. Some science fantasy may include straight fantasy, but also has straight science fiction elements such as nanotechnology featured alongside it. As it is difficult to quantify exactly how much infused science fiction causes the flip from one genre to the other, a hard line may never be drawn between the two genres.