Meanwhile, we have been watching Onihei, which is set in Edo -- which is now known as Tokyo. It's about the chief of police, so there's lots of daring capers and gentlemen thieves, along with some true ruffians who don't mind a little bloodshed. It reminded me of House of Five Leaves -- except that is told from the viewpoint of the scoundrels (and of course, the visual style is completely different).
And then I thought I could see some parallels between Edo and The Sprawl:
- The setting is very urban, with lots of houses, shops, inns etcetera: enough room to fall in between the cracks;
- There is a stark divide between the haves and the have-nots;
- Information, as well as goods, have power.
The Edo-period is also only 150 years ago, so it's not some fantasy-land: things like photography existed, so it's kind of relatable.
So I was thinking: could I create a 'hack' of The Sprawl set in Edo? You'd have a group of scoundrels contracted to do someone's dirty work: could be a gang of thieves who want to burglarize a wealthy store, could be to spring a captive from the magistrate's prison, could be to collect evidence of some sort from the mansion of a high-ranking shogunate officer...
I tweeted this out, and the official The Sprawl twitter account told me to do it. Maybe I will. I need to think about it a bit more, because it's not a one-to-one translation. It's not just cosmetic!
I think it would be fun though.