Failure to Launch – The Answers!

Greetings all! Back at the tail end of last year I took part in Yomu’s ‘Failure to Launch’ tag (check it out HERE for details). The basic premise was to come up with story descriptions for series, but imagining if the main characters missed their calls to action. It was a lot of fun and now, a couple of months later, most of my prompts have been correctly answered, but not all. So here’s the full list of answers for anyone still pulling their hair out, enjoy! And congratulations to those that guessed correctly.

Story 1:

A hard-working and handy student decides cleaning the dojo can wait until tomorrow and decides to go home for the evening. His life remains uneventful and his dreams of being a hero go unfulfilled.

Answer: Fate/stay night

I’ll admit the response to this prompt surprised me because no one got this one, and now I’m questioning if my description was too vague. It doesn’t describe the start of the story, but this is the moment where I feel Shirou actually gets involved in events. Shirou, being generally handy and unable to refuse any kind of request agrees to stay behind and clean up the archery dojo. Because of this he sees Archer and Lancer fighting, which through a series of fatal/near-fatal encounters leads to him becoming a participant in the Holy Grail War. If he’d just gone home on time none of that would have happened and he’d have remained ignorant to everything that was going on.

Story 2:

After leaving the theatre early, a doctor, his wife and son decide to call their butler to pick them up rather than wander down a dark alley. They make it home safely and their son grows up to be a happy and well-adjusted young man, even though the city is only getting worse and worse.

Answer: Batman

I should have started with this prompt, because let’s be honest here even non-comic book fans know Batman’s origin, it’s seeped that much into popular culture thanks to a variety of movies. Thomas and Martha Wayne take their son Bruce out to the theatre one night, only to make the poor decision of walking down a dark alley on their way home where a man with a gun is waiting for them. A few gunshots and a broken string of pearls later and Bruce is left an orphan, on his way to becoming a dark avenger of the night.

Story 3:

A schoolgirl comes across a mysterious book in her dad’s basement library and doesn’t open it. She goes on to have a perfect and adorable life, but is yet to meet her one true love.

Answer: Cardcaptor Sakura

Not much to say on this one, Cardcaptor Sakura is one of my favourite anime series and a definite pillar of my childhood. This origin story is baked into my brain, I can pretty much replay it frame by frame in my mind. Sakura heading down to the basement, picking up the book and curiously reading the name of the Windy card that’s inside, thus summoning a massive gale that scatters the rest of the clow cards around the town. It’s pretty much perfect and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Story 4:

Astronauts discover a strange capsule on the moon. Showing a remarkable amount of genre-savvy they decide to leave well enough alone and don’t open it.

Answer: Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers

A pretty vague description, but a few people got it. Let’s face it if want to avoid an adventure, or unleashing an ancient evil or whatever, you just have to follow one simple rule. Don’t touch anything! These two knucklehead astronauts clearly didn’t know that though because as soon as they found a strange capsule on the moon did they radio in to mission control? Did they take plenty of photographs or try to document or study the object in any way without disturbing it? Nope, they jumped straight to popping it open and seeing what was inside. Actually, thinking about it, whatever happened to those guys once Rita emerged and set up her moon castle?

Story 5:

After a stressful day of work an office worker decides to have a few drinks before heading home on the train. Luckily she has enough self-control to stop herself getting too drunk and doesn’t miss her stop on the way home. She continues her lonely life.

Answer: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

I’ll admit this was a bit of a sneaky one, since the actual origin of how Kobayashi met Tohru was a flashback in a much later episode. Still, it is the point at which Kobayashi finds several dragons intruding on her mundane life and she’s all the better for it. So remember kids, make sure to get blind drunk and you might meet an actual dragon! Wait, that doesn’t like the best advice to give…

Story 6: 

Two school teachers decide the odd behaviour of their new student is none of their business and don’t follow her home one night. A few weeks later the girl mysteriously disappears never to be seen again.

Answer: Doctor Who – An Unearthly Child

And finally, this one I really thought was going to stump everyone, but I must have some Whovians in my audience because this was also answered correctly. Yes this is the plot of the very first episode of Doctor Who, called ‘An Unearthly Child’, and one that holds up remarkably well. School teachers Ian and Barbara grow suspicious when their new student, Susan, says bizarre things and has knowledge that she really shouldn’t, questioning the history books and correctly guessing that Britain would move to the metric system in a few years. Ian convinced Barbara to follow Susan home and there, in an out of the way junkyard, they encounter a grumpy old man and his strange blue box.

Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisGJoynson.


  1. ospreyshire · March 5

    I haven’t seen everything you mentioned, but that was such a fun challenge. I did feel good about getting a couple right.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Merlin · March 8

    Well, I don’t feel bad about not getting Fate Stay Night. Not only have I yet to watch it, really, but 1) as you say, that was not the first episode (which is all I’ve seen) and 2) …an *archery* dojo?! I would literally never have guessed that it was a dojo for archery! I do not think “dojo” when I think of archery. Practice ranges, yes, archery fields, yes, but dojos, no. Hah, I had no clue whatsoever, LOL! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • neverarguewithafish · March 8

      I’m blaming the Unlimited Blade Works anime for this one because they definitely refer to it as a dojo (I went back and watched the episode again to make sure). Now there could be more places than the archery range that make up the dojo that he cleaned as well, but we only see him cleaning the wooden floor in front of the archery targets. It’s either a translation error or that’s just called a dojo in Japan. Not sure which.

      Liked by 1 person

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