starfire11: (Mira)
So how did this year begin?

Well, a friend got me addicted to three new webcomics. Which are AWESOME.

"Plume" looks like a Supernatural Western (that reminds me more of Twilight than a classic horror film, but in a good way, if that's at all possible). The art is GORGEOUS, the script is beautiful, and the characters are rather interesting. The story has some interesting potential.

"Knights Errant" is a sort of medieval fantasy story. I can't really give it any other description besides that it defies expectations, and then makes you deeply question why you had those expectations in the first place. Yes, it's a "sort of" big reveal. But it isn't REALLY a big reveal, because you don't have a "well now everything makes sense" moment. You have a rearranging of your understanding because the timeline makes sense, not because of character reactions. The art is rather diverse (since a lot of time has passed and the artist has progressed rapidly), but I love all of it. I also love the script and the characters are just fun. I've reread it so many times now.

"The Fox Sister" is a Korean story about a priestess on a quest to kill a Kumiho - a nine-tailed fox that typically takes human form before murdering and devouring pray. This Kumiho has taken the form of her sister. It's quite touching. The art is also adorable and beautiful and I LOVE the characters.

I read a TON more of "Before Watchmen". I have a better impression of it now, but I can't say that it was fully worth it. Yeah, it was still fun to see all the characters having a romp in 21st century art styles, but the stories were sometimes eh. I feel like some of the authors tinkered a bit too much with continuity for my taste. It is hard to deal with some of the personality shifts I see in the characters between this series and "Watchmen". I really did like the "Nite Owl" story, though. There's also this one "might have been" panel of the Comedian and the Vietnamese woman he impregnated, and Eddie is holding their baby in the air while the woman watches and smiles, all under the sun. It's a small moment of sunshine.

I'm... sort of up to date on SourceFed, at long last! I still have a bit to get through because of what I missed while I was in Israel, but I'm otherwise up to date!

I'm also really tired. I'm not entirely certain if I somehow got really lazy while not paying attention or if I'm still magically suffering from jet lag after being back for over a week.

I finished "Chrono Crusade", which made very little sense. And what sense it did make, I did not care for. "Ayashi no Ceres" still sucks. "Ayashi no Ceres" is what makes people like Stephanie Meyer, who are then inspired to make things like "Twilight". That is how terrible it is.

Aight. Gonna go finish me homework. Ta.
starfire11: (Mira)
So "The Secret World of Arrietty" was randomly TV today and I decided to watch it. I was planning to turn it off after ten or fifteen minutes. And then half an hour. And then forty minutes. And then I decided to watch until the end of the credits.

I'd heard two things about the film before I saw it: 1) That it did well in the box office, and 2) the English dub was bad, or at least not Studio Ghibli's best. Personally, I had no interest in the story concept, and that's why I never tried to see it. I've been mildly curious. Plus, this way it's "free" (ignoring the cost of cable, electricity, and the price of a television).

So I watched it, and I really liked it. It's not my favorite movie of the year, and it's not my favorite Ghibli movie, or my favorite Miyazaki movie. But it is a very good, enjoyable film.

First, the pros: the art was gorgeous. I loved all the little details and the color contrast. The house and greenery was beautiful. The character designs were fun, and the way the creators worked to just make the house work as designed by the Borrowers so they could get around was just... amazing. I also loved the frequent shifts between "perspective from the Beings" and "perspective from the Borrowers". For instance, from the Borrowers' perspective, a clock ticking is sonorous, while a Being might barely hear it, if they hear it at all.

The story was fun and interesting. I liked the characters, especially (of course), Sean, Arrietty, and Aunt Jessica. I have to say that the movie really wins out because of Sean. He just tugs on my heart strings. Please forgive the pun. I also loved the bit of realism in relation to his illness. So many people create a character with a problem... and then that problem just HAPPENS to be absent (or present) at convenient moments. This film takes a rule and sticks with it. It's nice. It also didn't totally stick it in your face (e.g., OMG MY LIFE SUCKS SO MUCH I'M GOING TO DIE I NEED TO BE WEEPY AND WHINY BLAH...). Sean is an interesting character who is most certainly NOT a little TOO GOOD FOR THIS WORLD angsty angel. He has some quirks of his own. Rather than simply wallow in his sorrows, almost from the start of the film, he is curious about his surroundings and ready to embark on a journey to answer his questions.

[SPOILERS] This is also remarkable for being a film for which I'm not all that angry that the two principal characters went their eternal separate ways at the end. Not that I'm HAPPY about it. I'm just not

The music was also okay.

The cons: this movie suffers from Trailer Trolling. The trailer was very actiony. The movie... not so much. At least for what we typically consider "action".

The dub was definitely not one of Ghibli's best. It's actually the worst I can think of, but it's not as terrible as I thought it would be.

Other than that... I liked it. I'd like to rewatch it. I'll probably buy it.

So I'm watching this "new" movie based on the Kyoto arc in "Rurouni Kenshin" the manga. It's apparently supposed to be some reworking of the original manga, from Misao's perspective of all things. The dialogue is terrible. The story is stupid. The art is... okay. It's better than the original anime, of course, but not the best art I've seen. I can't say I like it all that much. Being better isn't the same as being good. For instance, my stepfather can be less of an asshole than he typically is. That doesn't make him a non-asshole.

I had to give up. It was just... too stupid.

There's also this new RuroKen manga that's somehow related to the live-action film. In that they're both terrible and both terribly warp the original story... yeah. I can see how they're related.

Yes, the clothing is probably more historically accurate and some of the character designs are better... but jeez.

"Rurouni Kenshin" is one of the best series I know of. The few problems it has involve the early art (which was okayish and drastically improved over time), and the somewhat repetitious and over-the-top villains.

WHY EXACTLY DID THEY... Oh. Right. Because they could. And because if you stick RuroKen in the title, it will probably make money.

Well.

Ta.
starfire11: (Mira)
I saw "Les Miserables" at long last.

I can't really say that I fell in love with the story. It did some interesting things and made some interesting points, but I'm still a little confused about some of the messages that came through (one of which seemed to be that, like most other fairy tales, "having money is awesome"; I don't mean this in the sense that the soldiers were well off or the rich were well-off; I mean that Marius goes back to his well-to-do family in the end, and is probably able to marry Cossette because Cossette most likely inherited a lot of money from Jean Valjean, and was brought up well because Jean Valjean squirreled away a lot of money from his time as mayor).

Part of the reason the story fell apart at times for me was because of the lack of character development. I understand that this is a musical, and more of an opera than a musical at that... but there's a TON of contradictions here.

Firstly, if it's an opera/musical, and it can tell a successful story with just the singing, then why the big over-the-top movie? The visual aspect itself seems rather pointless if the whole story is meant to be told through song. It's almost cringe-worthy at times.

Too much of this story plays like tell rather than show, which is not a good thing. Character growth (what little there is) is scrunched up. Jan Valjean has some sort of revelation in relation to Cossette and outside of his relationship with her mother that involves him taking on a fatherly love towards her rather spontaneously. If he were to sing something more when he meets her rather than his creepy "tell me where you live" three line bit, this would make a little more sense. Or it would be creepy still... I don't know.

I said that I didn't care for most of the characters to my father and his wife, who saw it with me, and the response (in relation to Cossette) was that "Cossette is not the important character; Jan Valjean and Javert are. It's about good and evil and what either really is. Everyone else is just a side character."

Okay. Fine. I understand that.

Then why is Cossette the one on every damn Les Miserables poster, and not Jan Valjean or Javert?

Cossette is a big part of the reason that Valjean feels for Fantine. Valjean dedicates his life to raising her. He searches for and eventually saves Marius for her. He leaves to save her from the pain of his dying. Cossette is the reason Fantine sacrifices everything and eventually dies. Cossette is the one who enlivens Marius and then crushes him (by way of Epponine) when he thinks that she vanishes, and almost drives him down the path of suicide for martyrdom. Cossette is the one who dashes Epponine's hopes at the very end by fully attracting Marius' attentions.

Cossette is doing ALL of this. Not purposefully. She's the locus around which most of the story moves, just by existing. She does more by simply EXISTING in the story than most of the other characters accomplish, combined. Is she the main character? No. Like I said, she doesn't do much at all in the story. The other characters do the action and sing most of the songs - Cossette sings VERY little.

So Cossette is an important character.

So I would like to give a damn about this character. And after the second time skip, I just don't. I don't know much about her relationship with Valjean after the time skip, other than she lives well and apparently alone and she wants answers. Sort of. What's her favorite school subject? Does she really never see other people? How does she cope with strangers if she NEVER SEES PEOPLE? What's her relationship with Valjeans's well-vaunted Christianity?

I like Marius. He's the young revolutionary. Yeah, he completely ignores Epponine, but I can understand his entire story from the way they showed him (ignoring Epponine helps explain him - he's young and clueless; this is continued when he talks to Cossette for the first time and acts all bashful and forgets all the right things to say. Yeah, I think Epponine deserves him, but, well...). I got it all.

I like Epponine. I'm a bit confused about her family history - did they lose the inn or something? - but I like her. I am amazed at her skill to keep her body intact after getting shot with a musket at point blank range. I'm also quite certain that Epponine's actress had the best singing voice in the film after Hugh Jackman.

I like Javert, but it's a conflicted thing. Russel Crowe did a great job in a role I'm not used to him filling. I like seeing actors expand and try new things. My favorite song in the film is one of his solos. The lyrics were gorgeous and intriguing, the sound was beautiful, the visuals were well-done, and he sang quite well. Javert's character all-around is a little iffy, but he was good.

I think Hugh Jackman did a good job. I'm just a bit confused about some of the homo-eroticism that kept popping into my mind, and I completely blame my friends. One thing I love about this film is that there are very few "I'm a manly man" moments in the film that I can recall, at least from the "good" characters. Valjean has no issue saying that he'll be "father and mother to [Cossette]". He has no issue becoming a "gentle" man, rather than living by his labors. Even Javert is more focused on his duty than scoffing at others because of their "manly" weaknesses or whatever.

Yes, I'm still smarting from that ridiculous line in last week's "Naruto" comic in relation to Hinata feeling Naruto's hand: "His hands are so manly". Why? Just... why?

I will say this, though: despite the characters, and despite the story, I LOVED the music. The lyrics were beautiful and amazing, and the cast did a great job at performing them. The sound was just gorgeous. I've never watched an opera before, so getting into the whole "we sing most of the lines in the story" thing was a little odd, but you get used to it fast.

Anyway... I'm tired. Ta.
starfire11: (Mira)
Yay! Gratuitous almost incest/pedophelia/rape! Well not ALMOST rape, anyway. Just almost "normal rape".

And... a random hug in the sky. Because... uh... it's cool, I guess?

Just when you think this show cannot do anything dumber!

Yeah, you found Kagami in a rather nasty pose with your sister half-dressed in a weird room, and he froze her, and took some of her blood. And you just don't care. You know, I get how it is. We all go there.

Oh, right.

NO, I DON'T FREAKING GET IT. I HAVE NO IDEA. WHAT? You're her fraternal twin, you fucking moron! I'm not even fraternal twins with MY sister and I'd have ten thousand issues with any part of that scenario!

I can think of twenty different scenarios that they could have used to make this show decent/interesting. And none of them require any storytelling technique they didn't have back then, really.

I'm going to finish this show. You just watch me!

I am so tired. All the time. Wish I actually did anything that tired me out for a good reason other than staying awake.

The Drake of the North Wind dropped yesterday. At long last. It's nice, because now I have less to do in a day, but I still have to do the Vitreous Stone Drake run.

Studying, studying. Finishing stupid anime that hopefully improves after a while.

Ta.
starfire11: (Mira)
I also wish I could read/use Japanese kanji so that wouldn't be a problem.

I can see this ending up tragically. It's so obvious.

But the build-up really sucks. People overreact to stuff a lot. I'm used to that in anime, but this is ridiculous.

Chrono's "sensing" or whatever is also so... silly. It has the sense of the Counselor from "Star Trek: Next Generation". It sounds important at the beginning, until you realize that it doesn't communicate any valuable information whatsoever. "I'm sensing something... But I can't tell what it is." Oh, well that was helpful. Let's go back to looking for things with all our scanners and things so that MAYBE we'll actually find some valuable information.

Since I love comparing the stupid writing decisions in these shows to actually successful writing decisions, here's an example: the treecats in David Weber's Honorverse are telempaths. Honor Harrington is a minor empath after spending so much time with them. When they sense something, they typically describe the feeling, and then there is description of how they react with that information. If it's a dirty feeling, they regard the situation with additional wariness, and pick out whichever individual is giving off the feeling to watch. They also serve as lie detectors and can catch brainwashed individuals and assassins. They can also detect the locations of individuals from a long distance off.

Back to Chrono. We're seven episodes in, and his senses have done diddly squat for the missions. I don't even know why they're mentioned. One could make a case for his senses being originally used as a sort of enemy detector, but they haven't done that thus far. They're just added dialogue to pad the episode time and to lower the writing budget because they have to draw fewer screenshots if the characters are just standing still and talking.

Here's the thing: the treecats are not the life or death of the universe. Sure, they're damn helpful. I think that Weber is teetering on the knife edge of deux ex machina when he has them, but he's been mostly good with it. Giving Chrono at LEAST an enemy locator ability (and it doesn't have to be, "Oh, I can stand ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET and find you"; it can be like what the treecats have, which is about 150 yards) would not give our heroes too much of an advantage. Sure, it would take away the convenient enemy pop-ups this show seems to love, but this isn't a freaking horror anime. It's... possibly a shounen. That's about it for its impact. It would make the show less stupid, overall.

I'm imagining the reactions of people on the street as our band of heroes travels along: "Look, a group of cosplayers!" "Look, circus people!"

Also, in "Ayashi no Ceres", Toya is totally the Gary Oak troll. ALWAYS watching... ALWAYS there... even if there's no freaking way he could have gotten there.

Also, constantly threatening your blackmail against a rogue agent is a bad idea. It's just plain stupid.

"Rising Thunder", from the Honorverse, is not that bad. It's interesting to see how much Weber has matured. He's mixing so many different elements from his Honorverse together. Honor probably isn't even in half the book.

It's nice to be looking through something that isn't terrible.

Ta.
starfire11: (Mira)
I think I've figured out the solution. Or at least a sort of one.

It is actually perfectly fine if Hawkeye looks like he's doing a sexy pose when he's transposed into the pose of the female character. Guys can do sexy poses. Guys can be sexy and be silly and be enticing and seductive. Unlike certain beliefs of morons on the Internet, "sexiness" is not a strictly "female" attribute. It's even fine if the clothing he uses is obviously there to show off "teh sexy" and so on. There is no problem with that.

This actually promotes the cause. With Hawkeye, rather than a woman, you can see that the pose (ignoring anatomical impossibilities, discomforts, and action failures) is made to make the character look sexy. It is most likely impractical as a fighting pose. These are poses you would probably see from someone trying to attract the attention of someone else, typically in the search for sex or money. Just look at what strippers do: all of that movement may require a lot of dexterity and body strength, but most of their poses are very open and would not help them in a fight or if they were attacked. Or look at what happens when people try to be cute and play "sexy" with others - they leave themselves very open and typically get surprised if there's backlash. This is not what you want in a fight. You want to be ready for anything and you want to present a show of strength. If you want to hide your strength, then typically you keep a calm pose, not an exposed one. When I look at the Initiative and say a pose looks "stupid", I don't mean that "ew, why is a guy doing that pose?" I mean "are you TRYING to get yourself killed by those eight people pointing guns at you while you pose sexily in the foreground and face the completely wrong direction?" The Initiative is hopefully helping people realize that these poses are not only not strong, but also dangerous for the character in quesiton. There's a BIG difference between an experienced fighter taking down an enemy and having fun while doing so because of the adrenaline, the distraction, or whatever, and an idiot orgasming and making out with their foes in the middle of combat and choosing to show off 'teh sexy' rather than try to SURVIVE the battle.

The point of the Hawkeye Initiative is not to laugh at how stupid a guy looks in thongs or when he's showing off his butt. The point is to completely trash the argument that purely sexy poses/sex imitation poses a) make women look strong, b) are THE strong pose for women, and c) form the majority of female fight sequences. It is also to show how impractical certain costumes are for women. If they're impractical on a guy, then they are certainly impractical on a woman. Yeah, both can look REALLY good in them. They can look REALLY sexy in them. But if this were real, they would be complete numbskulls to choose to fight in them. Not because "that's something a woman should wear, not a guy", but because of problems like 1) lack of protection (boob windows/short shirts that don't cover the stomach, short sleeves, no sleeves, thin cloth rather than light/heavy armor, short shorts, miniskirts), 2) bright colors/designs that make you a target, 3) random bits that get in the way/weigh you down during a fight or when you have to move (extra-long hair, useless metal bits), 4) costume bits that actually could/do hurt the wearer (high heels, thongs), and 5) costume bits that make no sense in the environment in question (bikinis in the Arctic, thongs just about anywhere, dresses on a character who runs for a living).

When I look at the Initiative and I see a guy in heels, I'm not shaking my head because I think "ew, a guy in heels!" I'm shaking my head because I hope people out there who think it's practical for women to fight and patrol and move around a lot of area in high heels are seeing this image and realizing "wow, that looks really impractical and he probably has trouble walking in those." People are so used to the image of a woman in heels that they don't seem to consider the pain involved there - one of the sacrifices for what our culture considers beauty to be. They think "gee, I like women in heels", and then don't stop to consider what women who are ACTUALLY involved in combat wear. They just want the fantasy, which they think is the same for everyone.

When I look at the Initiative and I see a guy in a thong, firstly, my sexometer is going off. Secondly, I can see how impractical it is for him in the same stance. He would not fight that way, because unless he's invulnerable (or happens to the Thing, the Hulk, Luke Cage, Captain Marvel, or Superman), he's exposing most of his body to enemy fire, and he's going to be in a lot of pain when he tries to move around. Why would a woman do so? We wear bras, carry tampons and sanitary napkins around with us and take birth control pills for a living. Why would our gut reaction when we're throwing ourselves into a dangerous situation be to EXPOSE ourselves?

People who think that is a woman's reaction need to remember this: there's a BIG difference between Clark Kent taking off his glasses to become Superman, and Starfire wearing spray-on lines to fight in.
starfire11: (Mira)
So I keep seeing "Victoria's Secret" comercials around on YouTube, and they continue to weird me out. I was watching television with my dad recently and one came on, and I asked him who the advertisers were aiming the commercial at. He said they were aimed at women, because women want to be thought of as beautiful. It was serious and I could tell he recognized the silliness of the commercial and the fact that it was rather tragic.

I do not like these commercials. I do not like seeing stick people wandering around in skimpy lingerie that doesn't seem to serve any other purpose than as a sex toy, telling the audience to "love me" and "worship me" or whatever the heck they're saying. I think it's silly that they're wearing angel wings and walking around in rooms with pianos.

Here's something I would love to see: a commercial featuring a woman at work in normal underwear, versus a woman at work in Victoria's Secret underwear. The second woman is more comfortable, because the underwear is of higher quality and feels more comfortable. Or a Victoria's Secret pajama commercial, because that's one of the things I'm told they sell well.

Then again, I know nothing about the store, other than the fact that they sell underwear, bras, lingerie, a little perfume, and pajamas. I don't know how the franchise got started - maybe it started as a lingerie store and expanded. And I certainly don't shop there.

I just hate how these commercials shame women into thinking "this is the ideal people want to see". "I need to look like THAT to get people to like me or show romantic feeling towards me."

Also, what says "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukkah" or "Happy New Year" like lingerie that the giver PROBABLY wants you to use while having sex with the giver? Am I right or am I right?

Somehow I'm now finding more time to watch anime. I marathoned "No.6" on Saturday. It was good, but definitely not as amazing as one of my friends. It definitely pulled me in and I was very involved in the characters throughout most of the series. For the first time in a LONG time, I liked almost all of the characters in the story. While I could have done with a bit more explanation, it was an enjoyable anime, and I would watch it again.

Yesterday, I started watching "Ayashi no Ceres" ("Ceres, Celestial Legend"). It was INCREDIBLY painful to watch. I got through the first 2.5 episodes and I just... I had to give up at a certain point. I also found out that this came out in 2000, not the 90s. I suppose it could have been produced principally in the 90s, but by all that's holy, animation has gone from THAT, to stuff like "Terra e..." and "Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo" in only a decade? SERIOUSLY? I plan to finish. I'm only going to assume that the beginning is awful, because I've seen a number of clips from the rest of the story, and I've heard favorable reviews from friends. Along with the fact that "it's awful to watch, but you'll like it in the end".

I watched "Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo" ("Children who Chase Lost Voices"/"Children who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below"), a film similar in many ways to Hayao Miyazaki's films with Studio Ghibli. It's what you get when "Fullmetal Alchemist", "Priness Mononoke", and "Howl's Moving Castle" have a baby. Except the soundtrack is kind of "eh", and it makes it a lot less sense and it's even more random. It was a very enjoyable story. The art was PHENOMENAL. There was eye candy everywhere. The fights were fun to watch. The characters were great. I also liked most of the characters in this story, which was awesome. While the story did not make sense at times, I didn't mind because it pulled me along and kept to its own rules. Until the end, anyway. And don't get me started on the ending because... AAAAGH...

[SPOILERS] I REALLY hate stories that are "protagonist goes an adventure, then goes back to normal life, leaving all parts of their magical journey behind".

...Let me say this. I love "Spirited Away", which ends in this manner. Because in my universe, Haku and Chihiro meet up later in life and get married and have babies and live forever in some spirit paradise and make the world a better place because they're awesome.

I love "Princess Mononoke", which technically has this kind of ending, but it's very obvious to me that San and Ashitaka end up together later. They discover what it means to be a couple, fall more in love, get married, and form a strong part of the forest and Iron Town communities.

This also does mean I like ridiculous balls of dumb fluff like "Twilight", where the protagonist gets literally everything they wanted because they're "just that special": unlike EVERY OTHER PERSON ON THE PLANET, including the luvvy duvvy sparkly vampires, she gets a) immortality, b) eternal youth, c) "beauty", d) speed, e) agility, f) super strength, g) kids when you're a vampire, h) a genetically blood-related family WHEN YOU'RE A VAMPIRE, g) eternity WITH YOUR CHILDREN, h) your "soul mate" and the runner-up, by your side, forever, i) continued communication with your human family and friends.

What I like are stories like "Howl's Moving Castle", where the protagonist stays in the magical world. She doesn't go back to working as a seamstress in the middle of nowhere. She ends up with Howl, who she's in love with. Problems with that relationship in both versions of the story aside. I like stories like "Whisper of the Heart", where the little couple end up together at the end, and they don't just go their seperate ways and NEITHER. OF. THEM. DIE. What is it with romance stories and one half of the pairing dying? JEEZ.

I liked Alexstrasza and Krasus from "World of Warcraft". ...UNTIL "THRALL" CAME OUT AND THEN I HATED EVERYTHING. They took ONE of the FOUR couples left intact in the world and just AGH. KalecgosxAveena,  JainaxArthas, MedivhxGarona, VarianxTiffin,... and oh, right, NO ONE ELSE GETS TOGETHER WITH ANYONE! Now RhoninxVareesa is gone, too. WHY DID THEY DO THAT??? Now they're back to four because KalecgosxJaina is a thing which... I'm conflicted about because a) it's cute, and b) I have no idea what's going to come out of that. JarodxShandris might be a thing... I think. AFTER THEY KILLED HIS LAST WIFE, ANYWAY. AND I WANT VARIAN TO END UP WITH SOMEONE, DAMMIT!

Also, Anduin, anyone? Come on? Varian has no one at the moment, and Anduin is the only heir. He's also a level 90 now. I think he's ready to marry somebody. Maybe Tess Greymane. Stormwind isn't the only kingdom with only one heir, and by the time they have kids, they might finally be able to return to Gilneas and take it back so their kids have another kingdom to rule.

I still refuse to forgive them for killing off Krasus. Just... no. No. Yes, he kept Deux ex Machinaing things and AGGH WHY DID YOU KILL HIM!!??!?!?!?! HATEHATEHATEHATEHATEHATE...

Anyway. Moving on. I started another anime called "Terra e..." or "Toward the Terra". It's actually based on a manga created in 1977. They made a film based on it in 1980, and the anime I'm watching is from 2007. It looks beautiful. The story pulls you along. It's got angst. It's got an interesting science fiction idea at the core of it. It reminds me a lot of a "What if...?" version of Anne McCaffrey's Talents Universe, where the universe is basically the same, except they live like the X-Men. So the Marvel Universe and the Talents Universe had a baby and they called it "Terra e...". That is LITERALLY the best description there is of this. I would say DBZ got involved in it, too, but Marvel has a rather wide variety of powerful characters who match the type of things that the "Terra e..." people can do.

BUT IT LOOKS LIKE A CHARACTER I LIKE DIES.

... WHY. JUST...WHY. IT'S NOT...WHY.

I've also started looking at the Hawkeye Initiative, and apparently there's some weirdness going on that I don't like. Apparently a lot of people like what the tumblr page is doing because they get to make fun of a guy wearing heels and a thong (or whatever that thing is called), and not because of what it's pointing out about comics. And so a lot of other people are angry because this, in turn, is making fun of transgender and other trans folk and promoting the culture that sticks them on the bottom of the social food chain.

I'm curious about how many people, exactly, this is representing. I'm not saying it's a small portion of readers. People who just see random reblogs might also be confused, but hopfully they'll check out the tumblr page and learn more about it.

The tumblr has numerous purposes. One of them is to destroy the idea that a lot of ridiculous posing and body proportions of women in comics are "okay because it's a woman and it's a feminine/womanly pose". No, they're not okay. They make no sense, they're insulting, and they're typically not physically possible or at least HIGHLY uncomfortable.

Putting a guy in this position points out the physical impossibility as well as showing just how dumb the pose is. It actually doesn't have to play on the homophobic behavior that so many people feel is part of the "masculine" image. So many of these poses are called "empowering" on a female figure (e.g., "It's just they're way of standing in an intimidating pose"). But when you put a guy in the position, it's blatantly obvious that this is just an excuse for sexism. You don't have to be homophobic to appreciate it. You can just see how utterly ridiculous the guy looks, and hopefully people who put on blinders when it came to women, would now look at the guy and realize "oh, crap, that looks bad".

Personally, when I see the images with Hawkeye in a thong, like the drawings he's imitating, I see it as a better imitation because it's more accurate. Why should he get clothes in the redraw if the original didn't? The outfit should be just as useless for him as it is for her. This is a good poke at female armor, which is one of the other purposes of the Initiative. Most female body protection in comics and video games SUCKS and would serve as really poorly designed lingerie or bondage clothing.

I like that people are talking about this. I like that there's a lot of discourse around this. I like that people are rising to support the trans community in the face of things like this, innocent as they are (for the most part).

Now I have a final to write.
starfire11: (Mira)
So now I have officially turned in my research paper and a portfolio and final essay. That leaves one last big homework assignment, a project, two take-home finals, one portfolio, and one sit-down final. Sigh. I have to have my big homework assignment done by tomorrow. Most everything else needs to be turned in on Monday.

I don't really get the appeal of "Chrono Crusade" thus far. Even in Japanese it's pretty lame. I have no love for any of the characters. Apparently it's good as an adaptation from the anime until it drastically changes a big plot point and then, well, whatever for it all. I haven't read the manga, but I don't like what I'm reading about the changes. Although I suppose that if the manga is this bad, I could be wrong. The story is boring - it's just a monster of the week meets "Trinity Blood", but lacking more plot.

I'm making my way through more of J. Michael Straczynski's "Amazing Spider-Man" run, and I realize that reading stuff at 2 AM really improves it, because I changed my mind about a lot of them after a second look. They still have great story, but they're just not worth a reread. I also went back to the early "New Avengers" because I've just passed that area in my reading.

I started reading "The Other Boleyn Girl", which is rather interesting because a) it keeps bringing up "hey, look, legalized pedophelia!", b) women commenting on how much sex sucks, especially in relation to the habits of men when they're undressed (which is hilarious and awesome), and c) Anne Boleyn's sister was... a teenager. Like, with actual thoughts actual teenagers have, and not the "fair-haired angel" personality almost EVERY SINGLE chronicle of her paints onto her. Even the film adaptation of this book painted her that way. FOR SHAME! I also think she was older than Anne. Which... is odd.

I hate computer science, the course. I understand the value. I just have no interest in doing it. It's not my field. I will gladly stand up in court someday for some computer scientist pushing through something to save us from an apocalypse, but I. Do. Not. Like. This. Course.

Ugh....

Later.
starfire11: (Mira)
So I have made a pledge to do utterly useless things like finish book 1 of YST for research. I have learned many things. 1) So much Ryo angsting - there is ALWAYS more than I remember. 2) I STILL freaking hate Jun and Naste. 3) The villains in this show are completely stupid, and I find it extremely amusing that this is a shounen, because the only two intelligent people are women. 4) This is SO much easier to watch without sound and just by reading subs. Yes, it's so bad that I can't even just listen to the Japanese. 5) The people who made this show clearly knew only slightly more than I do about fighting, because they really suck at crafting battles and go out of their way not to show them. 6) You know, I really think that some of my ideas for "better dialogue" in this series really, really suck. Most of them suck, really. But then I see the dialogue in the show and I remember. And it makes me feel better about myself. And I find that EXTREMELY depressing on so many levels. 7) So much of their behavior does not make ANY FREAKING SENSE. IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE. IT JUST DOESN'T. I DO NOT-WHAT-THINGS! That was GOOD advice, Ryo! Why are you so depressed about it??? And you other Yoroi Senshi! I am ASHAMED of you! You not only DID NOT make a plan to fight or try and figure out just about anything - you actually backtracked on the logic train! YOU BACKTRACKED! YOU BECAME DUMBER! I DID NOT KNOW THAT WAS POSSIBLE! Also, this show goes to great lengths to present problems... use deux ex machina to solve them... build up like they're going to explain how they were fixed, and then COMPLETELY throw them aside with "well, we solved it, so whatever". I mean WHAT??? WHAT????

Here's the thing. I like angst. I'm okay with angst. I know a lot of angst situations are made to create angst and not because they just "happened". I know that. I am aware.

Angst for no reason is just plain STUPID. It's WHINEY. It's ANNOYING. It's also REALLY bad storytelling if it isn't played off as a joke. Which NONE of this series does. There is no miscommunication-this-is-all-a-joke-anyway plotline. There is no "overdramatic angst for the sake of being silly". It's just stupid.

I am 90% certain that the last time I watch this series full-way, I was not in college. I've changed a lot in that time period. I can only reason that my tolerance for stuff like this has gone WAY the f down.

I made my way through more of the Marvel Civil War. Spidey's getting beat up. Tony's depressed. The Sentry... ponders.

I did do one thing today that was valuable! I got through a lot of my homework 5 assignment for comp sci! I am quite amazed at how it's coming together.

I have at least partially mastered the art of reading textbooks! I feel so proud! I really want this course to be over so I don't have to worry about comp sci again.

I give up. More work.
starfire11: (Mira)
Well this looks a little weird. Cool, but weird. Go LiveJournal...?

So I had to go home this past weekend to take my car in for a recall and get my computer set up and help Dad pack some stuff. It was okay. Dad was kinda tired and physically hurt and I wish he wasn't hurting all the time... :(

So, randomly, I felt the need to watch "Exodus" (needed my Robert Redford fix), followed by "Stardust" (needed my Charlie Fox with long hair and that sexy adventurer outfit fix), followed by "Starship Troopers", because I watch SourceFed. It was awful. But I watched it. Huzzah.

Thanks to the recall, though, I managed to get through my reading for "Our Mutual Friend", so that was nice. I also didn't have to get some school supplies for my final projects because THANKFULLY we had stuff lying around for me to use. Saving money is always good! I love it!

I have watched a TON of SourceFed. I'm at the point where my watch later list is at the 1 month mark. OMG THAT'S SO AMAZING! I'M SO GLAD THAT I SPEND MY TIME DOING USEFUL THINGS!

I also finished NaNoWriMo 2012 as a winner with 26 minutes to spare! Fourth year in a row! Yay!

I am still not fully recovered from that.

I actually finished NaNo with around eleven hours to spare because I wrote up the prose during class and only got the chance to transfer it to my computer to get the word count at like 11:20 at night. But whatever. I FINISHED! IT WAS TENSE!

I honestly did do a lot of work this weekend. I've read a lot of "Our Mutual Friend". I did a lot writing. I greatly regret "Starship Troopers", but I've been meaning to watch it, so whatever. I watched the other movies while eating meals and writing for NaNo, and then I started packing DVDs and waiting for my computer to finish migrating all its stuff to the new compy and... yeah.

Did I mention that I'm like... written out at the moment? That's probably the wrong word, but that's how I feel.

Back to "Our Mutual Friend"! Only like forty pages left, so... fun!
starfire11: (Default)
So movies. Lots of movies. And music.

Over the past week, I've seen "Skyfall", "Breaking Dawn" (blech), "Anna Karenina", "Wreck-it-Ralph", "Tower Heist", and "Rise of the Guardians".

Of the bunch, I love "Skyfall", "Wreck-it-Ralph", and "Rise of the Guardians". The new Bond film was very fun to watch. "Wreck-it-Ralph" had a great story, and ALL THE THINGS for "Rise of the Guardians".

It was not as amazing as I wanted it to be, but it was still pretty good, so all's okay.

I listened to all the Florence and the Machine music I could get a hold of yesterday. I didn't like most of it, but I found a couple that were okay. I also listened to most of Imogen Heap's music, which I also haven't liked most of.

I also just have to say this: I made the decision yesterday to do what I did for Big Bang, which involves making a list of all the band's songs so I can make sure I've listened to them all, like I can say of bands like Clannad and Enya. I made lists for Skillet, Imogen Heap, Tokio Hotel, Owl City, Linkin' Park, Florence and the Machine... and then I tried to do it for Two Steps From Hell. I read the comment that they have well over 800 original songs in their arsenal. I thought "psh, 800, that's not really much"... and then I got to 220 and was like "WOW, 800 is actually a significant number!"

But well... whatever.

I'm also finally back up to date on NaNoWriMo! Until tomorrow!

I'm also... about a fifth of the way to being up-to-date on my class reading! Huzzah!

Only about... 400 pages to go... hehehehehe... heh... Tonight.

-sob-

I read both of the "Le Portrait de Petit Cossette" graphic novels. They were kind of eh. The second volume was much better than the first, but that isn't saying as much. The story is definitely not the same: it's more of a quest story than a horror make-you-think story. The ending was less ambiguous and well... more depressing, because nothing is really settled at all.

Still working on getting up-to-date on SourceFed (it's very slow going... my watch later list is like... 3 months before when I started watching up-to-date videos that I've seen). I know this is COMPLETELY INTERESTING, but I'm putting off going to dinner because I can't decide which place to go to and where I would better spend time reading for class while not puking my guts out.

Aight. Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So I'm reading through these papers from my short story workshops. Now flashes of memory from the workshop are coming back to me and I'm remembering comments people made and it's making things WORSE.

So for short story workshops you can pick one of three options: you can do a small collection of very short stories, a single short story, or a chapter or so of a larger work. The minimum is eight pages, and the maximum is ten.

So I have a couple idea that have been floating around my head, waiting to get written, and since I couldn't come up with anything else, I used one of them and wrote about it. Since I knew it was a piece that would require at least novelette length to do it any justice, I decided to put in either the first or an early chapter of the work as my piece. I gave the story a title, and then, in the same style and size font, clearly typed: "Chapter 1", and then the story started beneath that.

One of the things a LOT of people repeated was this: I WISH YOU'D COMPLETED THE STORY SO I COULD KNOW THE END. I'm remembering this because a lot of people also WROTE THIS IN THEIR NOTES.

Gee, I'm sorry I didn't FINISH THE WHOLE DAMN STORY IN THE FIRST DAMN CHAPTER. I'm sorry I didn't just SWEEP AWAY the whole PLOT for you after a whole chapter. Gosh, introducing a problem in chapter one like, oh, a WHOLE DAMN KINGDOM BEING DEVOURED and not immediately solving it by chapter's end? Bleeg.

...

I need to go to bed. These people are giving me a headache.
starfire11: (Default)
So I'm writing this Yoroiden Samurai Troopers fanfiction/rewrite/AU/thought experiment/what-the-f-ever.

Yes, I am a really ridiculous person.

But I'm writing this story and a lot of it isn't planned the way I wanted it to work, although with a little tweaking, I could get it to work right someday.

But I am going with the flow for the moment, and right now I'm finishing up the Sarenbo fight.

There are a lot of questions that come up in relation to this series. I'm going to pretend Naste and Yuli don't exist, because that gets rid of a lot of them.

One I came across recently is this: the guys NEVER discuss going to a hospital. Ever. Not once in memory. They are CONSTANTLY getting into fights. They have scenes where they are collapsed from exhaustion and covered in wounds. Yes, they have mass magical recovery, but I mean... seriously? Football players retire young for the most part because they are just so BATTERED after the collection of all their games. They have accrued so many bruises that they cannot function normally afterward. Soldiers are the same.

Magical recovery is always problematic, even if it's used "correctly". A good magical recovery is "I fixed this for you, but you'll still be tired because I made your body work in overdrive" or something, anyway. Or "I healed you, but you'll always have a scar" or something. When there's been consideration for effort involved in healing. Healing takes time and energy. Your body works in overdrive to fix you. If your body isn't supplying that energy, then someone else has to. This is why characters who heal serious with a flick of their fingers are ridiculous. People are not boxes filled with liquid. We are sophisticated machines that require a lot of know-how and precision. That type of precision and focus to heal is hard and difficult to maintain. A healer should feel that burden, in proportion to their power level and the nature of the injury.

My point is that the guys should be showing signs of SOMETHING after all of these fights and all these times getting knocked to next Tuesday by summoning the Kikotei. They don't. Why is that?

The simple answer is that the armors heal. Okay. For such extensive healing properties as "there is no bodily fallout after so many healings", that is a LOT of energy that comes from... where exactly?

I get the magical healing thing. I get it. But these guys are HUMANS. They have all lived for over sixteen years as HUMANS in the 20th century. HUMANS have things called HOSPITALS, which we go to when we are hurt. At least once, someone should bring up, "Should we go to the hospital?" or "Should we take x to the hospital?" This is typically solved by the presence of Naste, who occasionally bandages injuries. Without common sense for the most part, but what do I know? It's not like Naste just RANDOMLY knows everything useful. OH WAIT SHE DOESN'T! She spends the majority of the series NOT knowing anything useful, being vague, and CONSTANTLY running into trouble and forcing the senshi to rescue her.

Here's another thing: until Arago and Kaos reveal the armors' origins, the guys NEVER question where the source of their power is from. And almost immediately after that they stop caring.

They have an endless power source (except in moments of the best drama) and they never. ask. questions.

Noooo, they'd rather talk about their FEELINGS. Particularly Ryo's feelings. He has more feelings and angst than the rest of us, you know, cause he's the main protagonist.

I have no issue with talking about your feelings. The guys don't really do it with any inherent sense, but I'm glad they're at least trying!

But I'm thinking of it from my perspective: if I had access to a powerful weapon that recharged without me doing anything and could heal any wound and give me superhuman powers, and was wrapped all around my body... I would be really freaked out. Sure, it would be cool to fly and jump high and such. But honestly? Once I'd destroyed a building or two, I'd probably start to get scared of actually hurting people. Which is also NEVER really brought up. The guys have no issue destroying property. In one early scene in the series, Ryo realizes that he's damaging the building where Naste's father is working, and then to fix this, goes outside, so they can fight on top of and in front of the building.

...

This satisfies him by the way. I mean, he still wrecks the roof and the surrounding area, but psh. He's not directly wrecking the INSIDE, which is what REALLY counts, you know!

"The problem with being able to do everything, is doing anything." It is HARD to do things when you have power.

When you have free time, you can get bored easily. We adjust so easily to work that free time can be terrifying.

When you have control over someone else's life... that is terrifying. One of the things that terrifies new parents is the fact that they are now responsible for another life. A life that will perish if they do nothing, or suffer if they do something wrong. It's similar to the situation between owners and pets and gardeners and their plants.

Power is desirable and terrifying. The first time I got behind the wheel of a car, I wasn't thinking "Gee, I wanna go drive to the other end of the country!" It was "I hope I don't kill us by driving into a tree!" Having a lot of money is terrifying. What do you save? What do you buy? Where do you put it? Who do you trust with it?

The guys do play with this idea of power as terrifying, at least in relation to the Kikotei. But it is so rarely touched on for the most part in the series. The general sentiment is "Arago is evil, so we should kill him".

Some things I would add to a series re-write (if a miracle occurred and someone magically picked up the series to reboot it): 1) mention of going to a hospital and an explanation of why this is bad, 2) the presence of someone experienced with basic first aid on the team (other than Naste because I don't like her), 3) a discussion of how the senshi knew to gather in Tokyo, 4) a discussion of how the guys got their armors in the first place, 5) a discussion of what they're supposed to do with the armors, 6) their thoughts on the future, 7) talk about their families, 8) a LITTLE bit more time for the guys to get to know each other, and more attempts to do so... and so on.

Ta.

Packing Up

Nov. 20th, 2012 01:02 am
starfire11: (Default)
So I did a lot of cleaning up of my YouTube channel. I had so much on there that was just... ridiculous. A lot of music that I actually don't like, some dead videos... It was ridiculous.

I've also been going through a lot of my computer files. Again. On top of clearing out the papers in my room and making sure I'm getting homework done.

I finally went and spoke to my comp sci professor out of class. It was actually really okay. He's a great guy, and I feel really bad for letting him down the way I am...

I feel so happy! I made a good decision today! Ish!

Well it was better than a most likely bad decision!

So I was really, really sick last Thursday. As in I puked seven times in one afternoon. I don't even remember the last time I threw up. It was at least way back in Elementary School.

The culprit could be one of two things: a stomach flu that's been roving my school for a while, or food poisoning from one of the eating areas on campus.

Now I do not get sick frequently. I still get the sniffles in the winter and I don't take being sick well. I don't think I recover fast or anything. But I don't think this is a flu, because I know that you don't recover from flues as fast as I did. I was basically sick for the afternoon, felt sleepy the next morning... and then felt fine, really. The stress and late nights of the past week could have contributed to the feeling of being tired.

Food poisoning is something you apparently recover from quickly. I've now had it twice, and I remember that I only felt sick for a day back then. I didn't even throw up. I just sat by a toilet for about three hours and tried not to breathe through my nose. Also, food poisoning was another recent problem from the same eating area in recent days. And I haven't trusted their food since almost immediately after I tried it.

I mean HOW does one manage to screw up french fries? HOW? (Without making them with sweet potatoes)

It could also be that I just ate too much. I felt that way when I was eating lunch. And I didn't feel hungry until dinner the next day.

So anyway: my good decision was to go to a different eating area because I would have gone to the dark side and got OTHER food I swore off for good reasons.

So that was fun!

I've decided that I don't care for Deadpool. He's not the type of funny I like. Especially if I have to wade through Rob Liefield artwork half the time and corny Marvel plots.

Off to read for school!

Skyfall

Nov. 17th, 2012 11:06 pm
starfire11: (Default)
We watched "Skyfall" today. I really liked it. It had a lot of great acting in it and some rather amusing scenes.

Daniel Craig was great, as usual. His interactions with Judi Dench (who was awesome, as usual, death scene aside), were cute. I liked the aspect of the story where M and Bond had some moments. They weren't as intense as the reviews I read made them sound, but they were fun. His interactions with Javier Bardem were also great. There's a moment where they meet and... well... So basically Silver (Bardem) sits down while Bond is handcuffed while seated on a chair and talks creepily. Then he stands, talks some more, and sits oddly close to Bond. Oddly close.

So then he reaches out and starts kinda touching Bond on the face and starts unbuttoning his shirt.

So at first I'm laughing at the billions of fanfictions that were born in the moment this scene began, and now I'm wondering what's going on with this scene. For starters, I never heard of any Bond rape scenes (which was the first possibility that popped into my head). Secondly, it doesn't click with what I know of Bond cannon. Of course, what I know of Bond cannon could fill a teaspoon, really, so who knows?

Then I'm wondering "hmm... a rape scene is a little much at this point. What is the purpose of this scene, other than to satisfy yaoi fans and homosexual men who are in love with Daniel Craig"? I don't really mind them playing to their audience, but I already have an issue with a couple of the movie's choices, cinematic-ally, so I really want the rest of the movie to be good. I don't want this scene to be a waste.

So my first thought after that is this: "If this isn't a rape scene... maybe he's going to look at Bond's scar? If Silver is looking at Bond as a sort of younger version of himself, he could look at him as a son or younger brother, or even himself in the past, and thus with a tenderness. Or it could be just empathy: feeling for another broken soul. It's like looking at a broken doll and trying to find all the cracks." Which actually followed. Silver looked at Bond's scar first.

Okay.

And then he proceeded to touch the other side of Bond's collarbone. And his face. And... a rather sensual leg touch.

And then Bond, rather than do what I expected, which was the "Woah dude, no homo!" (I really hate that stupid meme) like sexuality fearful manly men are oft to do in movies and comics... actually either played along or was rather honest.

The conversation went something like this:

Silver: "You aren't familiar with what to do in these type of situations, are you, first timer?"
Bond: "What makes you think this is my first time?" -insert grin-

And Silver laughed and they talked some more. And it was hot and adorable and hilarious and it brought a whole new level to my admiration for the growth of the franchise.

Also, of course: more fanfics were born.

I didn't know Ralph Fiennes was in this. He was quite fine. It was also amusing to think "oh look, Voldemort and James Bond are sparring".

I also didn't know Albert Finney was in it. He was in the last two "Bourne" movies, as well as "Amazing Grace" and so on. He played Kincaid near the end of the movie, and was awesome!

Ben Whishaw, who played Q, was also adorable. When he and Bond first met... billions of fanfics were born. When they met the second time... these happened again.

The world may never recover from all the fanfics resulting from this movie.

Some things I really loved about the movie, cinematic-wise, include the intro, the fight scenes (of course), and the story. The intro was a little less amazing than I was led to believe, but combined with the quite enjoyable song, it was good. I didn't completely figure out the storyline from it (like I was led to believe one could), but there wasn't much I didn't see that I couldn't have figured out from the trailer. For instance, the graveyards. And while I still like the "Casino Royale" intro better (the song was better and it was prettier), I still think that it was also still an enjoyable idea.

The story was enjoyable. It kind of dragged a little at times and felt random, but it was filled with moments of really good humor, a number of Bond cannon references even "I" could recognize, and some interesting character interactions.

Overall, I would probably like "Casino Royale" better as a film... but I think that "Skyfall" was more fun. Yes, the second one does not bear mentioning.

Other than that I've been steadily avoiding work. I'm trying to get up to date with SourceFed, read lots and lots of things and update my NaNoWriMo rather unsuccessfully...

Well anyway. Off to stuff!
starfire11: (Default)
Firstly, I saw a commercial that bothered me. It was something about a dating website. It started with "what really matters? Is it 'hugs'. 'Kisses' or..." etc.

Really?

REALLY?

I think the things that REALLY matter might be (in no particular order): food, warmth, shelter, stimulation, and then maybe love.

Just saying. Personally, I'd take enough money to pay for law school over hugs from a boyfriend at the moment.

So this is going to be a long-ass post about Anime USA. Just warning you.

So on Friday I picked up my four passengers, squished all of us into my really tiny car. We then proceeded to drive to the WRONG address because the hotel is located about half an hour away from its address.

I don't get it either.

We finally found the place. Lesson learned from this: hyphens are REALLY important. Also, KNOWING WHAT HAZARD LIGHTS ARE IS A REALLY GOOD IDEA. Bloody idiots who don't know what hazards mean... BLAH!

Then I dropped everyone and the stuff off. And proceeded to spend about 30-40 minutes trying to find the parking garage because, even though we were all staying at the hotel where the convention was taking place, the hotel was full.

Yes. As far as I am aware, they were keeping people out of the garage who weren't staying at the hotel. I am 60% unsure on that. And they STILL didn't have space for everyone who was staying there.

So the solution was this: borrow space from a nearby university's parking garage 1.6 miles away, and give your hotel guests a shuttle back and forth from the hotel. That costs $3 per passenger, each way.

Yes. It was amazing. Also amazing was how I had to backtrack twice. Because SOMEONE had the genius idea to hand out directions that say: "You are at x hotel. Head east for .10 miles. Take first left."

From the current exit we were at, you can turn left or right.

... WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN???

... Like most of the stuff in the convention, I find this to be a "first year" issue, as well as something several someones SHOULD have looked over more than oh, less than once.

I put it first in my GPS because I didn't want to read something on paper while I was driving in the middle of a city. It took me to a construction site a block away. That is, in fact, at the address named. On my second backtrack, I followed the directions that said "it is located just past x street". It is ON that street. The street runs in a diagonal and goes through on intersection. The more visible street sign is on one end of the intersection. The garage is past the other end of the intersection on the same road.

So yeah.

After all that and I FINALLY got into the hotel about an hour after I'd expected (although at a little earlier than my worse predictions), I went to the Dealer's Room and looked around. I was very happy to discover a GINORMOUS table devoted to KPop. It was amazing. There were two people there. One was an older Asian guy and the other was a Caucasian girl who... was actually fully aware of what I was asking her. She was confused initially because she couldn't hear me say "Kyuhyun". She thought I was saying something else, and THEN she knew who I was looking for. Which was nice because I was getting those postcards for a friend and I did not want to get the wrong person. I was very terrified of getting the wrong person. That would be so sad!

I went into the Artist's Alley, which had some interesting art. I talked with some of the artists and spotted some time I was VERY tempted by, but I didn't get anything.

I will say this. There is one thing I was looking forward to and pleased to see: having a bigger and better location for the convention, as well as more take in tickets to the convention means that they could have more artists at the Alley. That means that there is a higher likelihood of better artists. And there were a LOT more artists, and a lot of really good artists.

Unfortunately, that also meant that there were some really, REALLY bad ones... Like... bad to the point where I wonder why they were even there.

I'm not being a snob here. I'm really not. If I know that "I" personally can draw better, that's really saying something. I doodle. I can't even doodle pretty. BUT I COULD DO BETTER THAN SOME OF THESE PEOPLE. That... THAT'S NOT GOOD... that's REALLY not good...

A friend of mine also bought one of the bad art pieces. It's painful to look at. I don't think too highly of her opinion, though. Yes, I'm mean! But she... well... she doesn't have artistic... anything...

Ye gods, I'm commenting on "taste"... what IS the world coming to...

I had a discussion with another friend I was rooming with and we agreed. A lot of the art was really bad.

On my way back into the Dealer's Room, I ran into some friends and we wandered a bit. I got a shirt that was Dalek Senshi.

Yes.

It is amazing.

I kind of wish the image was a LITTLE bit bigger on a the GIANT WHITE shirt... but, well... it's amazing anyway.

I also found "Le Portrait de Petit Cossette" and got it for  good price. Ish.

We stopped in the normal version of Anime Parliament and it was funny. I put forward a silly case because no one else was coming forward. Whatever.

We wandered into the video game room, and then we went to another section of the Artist's Alley outside the Dealer's Room by registration and there were some nice artists there. One artist there was the one who's designed the cover art for AUSA for the last four years, and who also drew redrawn covers for the "Avalon" books I loved when I was little, that only finished a couple years ago. And her covers were so pretty and her ART... AGGGH...

So yeah. I fell in love with her art.

Pretty sure all I did for most of the evening was wander around taking pictures of lots of people. There were some great cosplayers there.

At around 8:50, we went to see the AMV contest finalists. There were some good ones and some not-so-good ones... and that Haruhi one from Katsucon that just... AAAAAGH... SO MUCH HATE... There were also a couple of interesting anime that I would look into, and some good music. We left in the 2nd to last section when it was starting to drag.

I eventually picked up my stuff and went to my room where I met my roommates, who were some interesting people. They got pizza and I ate some. It wasn't very good but I did donate a little to the cause!

I read a bit of "Great Expectations" before I took a shower and went to bed.

The next day I woke up... and then I went down to "How to Make a Webcomic"... which was actually interesting. I didn't know any of the artists who were being interviewed, but their stories were funny and interesting. They were fun people. One of the guys kept making faces when the people next door shouted. One of them was a married couple, and the wife showed up late. When she was introduced and asked if she had a word for us, she said instead that she was okay and would rather shout back at the people next door who were VERY LOUD and shouted at random points. So she got us to shout back as a group at the people next door. It was awesome.

Pretty sure I went walking around and taking pictures of people. I hooked up with one of my roommates, who was interesting. We kept separating to go take pictures of people and stuff. We found some interesting things around the hotel: they had several ACTUAL CHOCOLATE MODELS of things like the Lincoln Memorial, the Capital... a cupid... and so on. It was awesome.

A little after that I stopped by a Sailor Moon panel which... really degenerated into "who can talk about fangasms the loudest". So yeah... I got to see "Ami's First Love" from the anime and bits of the live-action stuff, and I talked to a girl dressed as Kyubey. She was nice.

I spent a couple hours writing and sitting and taking photos. I was REALLY tired (from driving and stuff and going to sleep at like 1:40 AM) and I'd been wandering around all day. And then I met up with a friend and we sat through two episodes of "Muv Luv Alt.: Total Eclipse"... which was cool and interesting a little silly. Then we went to Chipotle to get some dinner. I made the mistake of choosing to be experimental... and saying "put everything but guacamole" on there... THIS IS A BAD IDEA WHEN YOU HAVE THREE CHOICES OF SPICY SAUCE...

So it was okay. It was filling. It wasn't the spice - it was the fact that the spice kind of knocked out all the flavor.

We met up with some people and saw this panel called Disorganization XIII's Spoiler. It's something that involves, well... spoilers. Since there were a lot of screw-ups with the schedule... well... they ended up having an extra hour of time BEFORE they thought they were supposed to go on. So they went over some old stuff. Most of it was funny and amusing. Nothing was spoiled for me: the things I saw I either never heard of or already knew. Also, the one I was unfamiliar with but previously interested in, "The Wheel of Time"... was EXTREMELY funny... I didn't mind that there were spoilers because it's something on the WAY low part of my "to do" list... and I dunno...

There was a great "Evangelion" part and a hilarious bit about shounen. The best one was PROBABLY the "Kingdom Hearts" one which just.... it was so funny. My sides hurt from laughing.

Then I went to my room and talked to my roommate from school for a bit and then went back downstairs and participated in Anime Parliament 18+. Which was also hilarious. There were water guns, an awesome hand-crafted Voltorb that was ADORABLE... Also Vaginas. And a vote to enlarge P.E.N.I.S. And kimono jokes. I assure you that it was hilarious and in NO WAY taken seriously.

This morning I took my stuff downstairs and wandered around the Dealer Room again. I got a keychain of Charlotte from "Madoka Magica" in her pre-change form. Because it's adorable and terrifying and I couldn't find a plushie of her. Somewhere along the way the previous day I stopped by the cool artist and bought three AWESOMESAUCE buttons from her and a REALLY PRETTY print (I WAS WEAK!) and Madoka's Grief Seed.

Yes. I'm very very very weird.

But I see it this way: since Mami's wasn't there and the soul gems were kinda eh and the grief seeds were pretty... well... After Mami, I don't really have a favorite. And Mami is so fanserviced that I just don't know about her.

I really don't like Madoka, for reasons ranging from her personality and choices to the outfit she designs for her magical girl form.

But three of the moments for which I like Madoka at all are in relation to a grief seed. For starters, after the first time we see her grief seed, she sacrifices her leftover grief seed to save Homura, becoming a terrible witch herself so that Homura can save the day. It was sad and sweet and... interesting. It was also kind of really selish, but well... whatever.

Then there was the moment when she chose to become a magical girl to save the world. And then became the worst witch there ever was after saving the day. That was kind of neat.

And then there's the end. Which I only have vague knowledge of, but, well... I like her final outfit. It's perty.

So yeah. That's how I decided. Also, my friends had the others.

And then we waited an 80 minutes for the "we go there and come back every 30 minutes" shuttle to pick us up and take us the garage.

Yeah.

And then I drove us back to school.

So that's that.

Night.
starfire11: (Default)
So yeah! I voted!

It was kind of weird because it was like... not what I expected. Doy.

So there was no line, for starters. Well there was. But there were like four people in it: one girl I didn't know, one of my suitemates, and my roommate. And then me. And it didn't take more than maybe three or four minutes to get through. We handed over an ID card and the voter ID card and then he checked to be sure of something (whatever he was doing) and then he gave us a ballot and then we sat down, filled in some dots, and then faxed it in. And then we went outside, waited like five minutes for the shuttle, and went back to school.

And I got an "I voted" sticker for my boob. Well, for Spider-man, who's on my shirt. The sticker is on his shoulder.

Did I mention that I was ridiculous and managed to stay up until 4:30 this morning writing 8000+ words for NaNoWriMo and finishing "Tiger & Bunny"? I'm pretty sure my suitemates think I'm on drugs. I'm not entirely certain this isn't a dream.

Yes. Yes. Things. I'm pretty sure that the shuttle ride back was mostly silent because everyone was listening to my 4:30 coma status as I discussed silly things with my roommate. I know the driver and his granddaughter(?) were amused.

I don't know why I decided to finish "Tiger & Bunny". I reasoned that I was close to the end and... well... I didn't want to study for the LSAT.

The ending was interesting. There was a lot more support for TigerxBunny in the end, moving a little further from the bromance to whatever. I don't know. It's weird, but I kind of ship TigerxBlue Rose more. Just cause she's adorable and, well... he's lonely!

I also kind of see Bunny as the son or brother/brother-in-law Tiger never had. Also, the guy seems to want friends more than romance at the moment. I don't actually ship him with anyone. But if he wants to wait a bit until Blue Rose is less jailbait and more... well... a little less bad...

And I am perfectly okay with a threesome. BunnyxTigerxBlue Rose. Just sayin.

I am not entirely satisfied with the end. I liked seeing Bunny get a lot of emotional bits that weren't kind of like Batman reruns. There was some blatant mind rape that showed Bunny as very vulnerable and some interesting reactions to hard shocks and some "WOAH I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING"... Also, not mind rape in support of sadistic means. More like "this is mind rape and he literally can't really do anything about it because of reasons".

It helps that I know fewer of the members of show by name than I do most shows, even "Bleach". Which is odd. The end plot caught me very off guard, and I liked that. I seriously didn't see that coming, and it was in a good way. Sorta.

The villain end was a little "eh" and the way Tiger just... lost his powers and went the silly way out and didn't even get a second chance to get his powers back... we never figure out what's with Ouroborus...

I don't know. I'm really not satisfied.

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
So yeah. I had three club meetings and multiple opportunities yesterday to say "I have to go back to my room and do homework"... and then when I finished WoW and finally took time to do stuff... I spammed my way through all of "The Darkness".

Yeah.

Well, I'm done with it, at least. I will say this: my opinion has improved. While the story is a little odd at times, as well as repetitive, and the art is MOSTLY terrible... it has its good bits. There's an old arc called "Unholy Union", and it had a couple. For one thing, the artist was very good (although not perfect). For another, there are just some adorable moments, like when Jackie speaks to Sara before heading out to defend her from the Angelus and her minions while Sara gives birth. There's the moment when the Witchblade saves Sara's life, and when Hope nukes the Angelus. There's also the simply adorable moment at the end of the story when Sara gives Jackie Hope to hold... and it's adorable.

I'm a little confused about why they kiss... when their relationship in the past has been a mix of aggravation, physical attraction, and... at best ambivalence.

Also, the way Hope was made... basically the Darkness raped Sara/the Witchblade. And also sorta back-raped Jackie (it DOES make sense... really... Since Jackie has had a lot of problems in relation to sex because of the Darkness, and Sara basically threatens to geld him every time he checks her out (which he does a lot).

Sara also seems to be in a very healthy relationship with a fellow cop, and she hasn't seen Jackie in a while.

They also haven't actually seen each other in a LONG time... like a year. Outside of the whole double-rape thing. It honestly was - Sara was in a coma, and Jackie was unconscious.

I find that a little terrifying. Even for what Jackie and Sara have gone through already... I wouldn't just EMBRACE things or whatever. And having a child with someone, contrary to TV and the movies, does not "create love" between couples. In fact, if you look at it enough, love dying happens at about the same rate as love creation in relation to spontaneous baby creation in fiction. It probably happens even more so in real life, especially because of the ways people actually react to the fact that they're going to be parents.

So I'm a little very confused about why Sara and Jackie kissed at the end of the comic.

Then there's the thing where the Witchblade not only saved Sarah's life (does it have an 'h'? I forget), but also... fixed all the problems related to pregnancy... like an inflated stomach, all the blood, a strong desire to be knocked out, pain... and so on. I mean, she was able to WALK, holding a baby, a couple minutes max after she gave birth.

So yeah, there were issues...BUT THE BADASSERY! THE CUTENESS!

So yeah, I dunno.

There were a couple other moments in the main Darkness series where the writers reminds us that Jackie is still like... in his mid-twenties at best. This guy is my age (well slightly older than me - he did start the series by turning 21, after all). I'M IN COLLEGE. I still technically live with my parents. At the point in the story I'm thinking of, he's been a successful hitman, run a large chunk of the mafia, fought at least four or five superheroes, taken over a hotel, and taken over a small country. To say the least. He's also managed to have... 1.5 kids. The second one REALLY doesn't count, but, well... there was sex and pregnancy and birth that makes Twilight look dumbed down so... yeah. I sorta count that one. Yeah, Jackie killed him. But well, whatever. He was evil. There was darkness and disparity and shit. I LOVE YOU TWO BEST FRIENDS PLAY, EVEN IF YOU ARE KIND OF REALLY DICKS!

But anyway, the writers remind us that he's still very young, in a world run by adults, throwing quite a bit of power around. Heck, he's a spare few years shy of being eligible to be a member of the Runaways.

And he brings in a couple adults who CALL him a kid. It's not "you're less powerful/intelligent than me, so I'm going to insult your maturity". It's "you're a kid, even though you never actually got a chance to be one."

And so that was nice.

On another note, my anime club did a showing for "Le Portrait de Petit Cossette" yesterday. Partially because it was the end of Halloween week and LPdPC is technically horror, and we're watching "Madoka Magica" and the creator of Madoka watched LPdPC while looking for inspiration. It's so blatantly obvious, too...

For instance, a character named Sayaka (pronounced the same way) shows up in the first two minutes of the show in reference, and people don't like her.

There's a soul trapped in a pretty (champagne) glass. A female soul. She also has magical powers.

There are frequent screenshots of an art style reminiscent of the witch world scenes in Madoka (or vice versa, really).

There are references in the background and foreground of the scenes that use symbolism to relate the story. For instance, a set of stained glass windows features in the foreground of an interaction between two of the characters. Two of the windows are giant multi-colored skulls. I don't know if SHAFT came out with this, but it does kind of work with SHAFT's style. SHAFT produced Madoka.

There's an alternate world/dimension. The supernatural is involved. There is SO MUCH Christian mythology used... I mean really. It's just... wow... SUDDENLY THINGS MAKE SENSE!

One of the characters is a lolicon. A supernaturally empowered lolicon.

The single male love interest in the show is someone who is defined by their artistic talent. True, he's a sketch artist/painter, while the guy in Madoka is a violinist... but still.

The principle female love interest (the lolicon) damns herself by more involved interactions with the male love interest. Admittedly, Sayaka saves her love's life, while Cossette... I don't even know. Tortures Eiri every night? Almost kills him every night?

It's weird.

AND AWESOME... sort of... COSSETTExEIRI FOREVER! THE PAINTING WAS REAL!!!!

Most of the cast is female.

There's mind rape.

A lot of mind rape.

One of the grand total two male characters (who happen to share souls) is pretty much a murderous lolicon bastard. While Kyubey is basically genderless (as far as I'm aware), I typically refer to it as a he, although the characters in-show refer to Kyubey as an "it". I think it's the voice. Also: even ignoring Kyubey, there are a grand total of two major male characters in Madoka: Madoka's dad (who has appeared for like... a grand total of five minutes by halfway through the series) and Sayaka's love interest.

Another connection I can recall off the top of my head: almost none of the relationships in this story are healthy. Eiri's friends are not very good friends for the most part. They're kind of arrogant and ignore him. No one but Shoko actually does much when he disappears from his own life for the most part. While this reflects the current status of most people's lives... it's not healthy. Eiri and Cossette may be (at minimum) six years apart... but it's the difference between a minor and a not-minor. Eiri may not be sexually interested in Cossette (possibly), but, well... she's not getting older, and he's still alive. So he's gonna. Cossette's last love interest was a lolicon who murdered her and her family. Shoko's interest in Eiri also makes no sense for the most part, beyond the fact that [SPOILERS] she MIGHT be reborn Cossette. Or at least holding onto part of Cossette's soul.

Also, the reason Yuki Kajiura did the soundtrack for Madoka is because she did it in LPdPC, and Madoka's creator knew he wanted her for the part. It was beautiful. I WANT IT ALL!

Ta.
starfire11: (Default)
I'm going to blame it on the fact that the last thing I did before bed was read comics.

So I'm in my dream. And it's a mix of "Star Wars" meets "Star Trek" meets DC/Marvel. I'm in the middle of a whole crew of superheroes who I vaguely recognize in a sort of Justice League structure, at least insofar as they have a hierarchy and a system of voting people into and out of the group.

There's a war or something going. A lot of espionage. Earth is mostly clueless while riddled with spies. We've got aliens, interdimensional travelers, robots, gods... The whole kaboodle.

So there's this one guy who kinda reminds me of a mix of two heroes I'm not very familiar with in the Marvel universe. One is... Black... Target or something. He's the one who, when he talks, he blows cities up with his voice. The other is this interdimensional hero or whatever who's married to some alien and he's like a champion of some sort. I think his sister is Psylocke. The dude in my dream is like a blend of them.

Now that I think about, I was looking at a poster that included the first guy before I went to bed, too. Least I'm PRETTY sure that was him. Again, I'm not familiar with the Inhumans or his story.

Anyway, this guy was dating some girl and they hung out all over the ship and there was a lot of discussion and angry talking and some fighting.

So an enemy gets onto the bridge or wherever we are in the fake Enterprise/Borg Cube/flying saucer thing we're in, and shoots this guy's girlfriend (who I believe had a name in the dream... but I can't remember it...) and he breaks down. Too much has happened in the war. He's failed too much. He kills the shooter (I think) with a gun. Then we go to earth, and he goes after either the shooter or the guy's cronies, and shoots them with a gun. And then he pulls off a sash he's wearing, and his mask, and lies down in the rain and cries himself into unconsciousness. Or death. I'm uncertain. The other heroes look on, saddened. They stopped the bullets from killing anyone, but they still have a comrade who tried to kill people. They'll have to decide what to do with him later while they deal with the invasion.

For some reason, while I was reading, I thought I was just reading a comic book.

...

So that was odd.
starfire11: (Default)
You thought he forgot. You thought it was a DBZ rip-off. You thought it was a deux ex machina. You thought it would never be explained. You thought this arc would just be filler.

YOU WERE HALF RIGHT. PERHAPS EVEN MORE SO.

BUT.

BUT.

So at this point I would be only mildly surprised if Ichigo is the Quincy King's grandson. I really don't think Ichigo is his SON. That line could have either been poorly translated or it could have been in reference to one of the default ways rulers typically think of their subjects: as their children.

The other is as their servants. That doesn't seem to fit here.

I had a couple questions going into this arc.

1) Does Ichigo's reputation REALLY get around THAT much? Are we REALLY going to further promote the fact that he's JUST that special?
2) They want Ichigo behind bars. Becaaaause why? They're Quincies. They're arrogant. I don't think THEY think much of Aizen. It doesn't sound like they do. Sure, Ichigo took Aizen out. Sure, the Soul Society is showing a bit too much interest in an outsider. But so what? He's not a "secret weapon"... really... and even if he were, he doesn't seem to have demonstrated capabilities that the Quincy should be afraid of. And even if he DOES use his world-altering powers, he can only do it once. Supposedly. And then it's gone forever (or until other people step in and give it back, anyway). And if they kill off most of the Shinigami, especially the powerful ones who were mainly responsible for that, then, well... it's not like he can get a restart again. He'd be able to use it once. On one person. All they'd have to do is get him to use it up on a low-level person, and he'd be out of the picture.
3) Okay, what jaw-dropping truth is coming out for THIS arc? You're killing off principle cast members left and right (aka PEOPLE WITH NAMES), and the story's barely even started yet! Something is DEFINITELY going down. Or we're having "Madoka Magica" levels of world restarts heading our way.

Other questions I've thought about for a long, long time, without ever really thinking up any reason for why beyond "it's a DBZ rip-off" or "he's a deux ex machina/angsty generic shounen hero":

Why is Ichigo so special?

Well I thought it was because the author just wanted him to be that way. Heck, he was heading along the endless powerup stages so reminiscent of other shounen, like "Dragonball", "Rave Master", "MAR", "G Gundam", and so on, with perfect recyclable plot glee. He's learned powers from the Shinigami, the Vizards, Xcution... He's learned from Rukia, Urahara, Yoruichi, general Vizards, general Xcution, his father... It would not surprise me to know that he now has to turn to the only group he's only really learned one minor fact from, way back when: the Quincy. Heck, if any more groups get thrown into this, alongside the humans, the ghosts, the Hollows, the Arrancar, the Vizards, the Shinigami, the Quincy, the Xcution people... I have no idea what to do. I barely even remember the cast from the Vizards and Arrancars. STOP ADDING IN MORE DAMN CHARACTERS AND THEN KILLING THEM OFF BEFORE I LEARN ENOUGH TO CARE ABOUT AND/OR CELEBRATE THEIR DEATHS!

I thought he'd never get around to it. I'm not entirely certain we ever learn about why Goku or Gohan are so special in the DBZ universe. Gohan, of course, is Goku's son, and therefore receives specialness by bloodline. Goku, though... I have no idea.

In "Rave Master"... well... I mean it's destiny. And bloodlines. "Our bloodlines have fought for all of time, because of x, and therefore destiny will always make sure we fight."

In "MAR"... well, part of it is that oh-so-magic-thing called will. And people from our world are "just that special" in the MAR world. "G Gundam" has a similar explanation.

I always assumed it would never be gone into. We know that Ichigo's father was Just That Special and was banished for Reasons Unknown (I presumed because, after using his power for whatever reason he did, which was apparently never being gone into, he was powerless, and was thus kicked out cause the Shinigami are snobs), and thus his children would be Just That Special. It's been done quite often before.

But, well... if Kurosaki Isshin fought in the Quincy War... or whatever happened way back when (and who knows how long ago it was, really), and had to use his power... on someone... and somehow Masaki, the Quincy, was involved... perhaps he was protecting her. Perhaps he was running from pursuers who wanted to punish him for loving/marrying Masaki. Or even escaping to the human world. Or something. I can see this happening.

Was this what he was hiding the whole time? I doubt it. I believe it was Tite Kubo who said something along the lines of "when I'm under the effect of writer's block, I create new characters rather than continue story because that gets me nowhere."

So he wanted to go out with a bang. Tie up some loose ends. We never went into how Isshin and Masaki met. Why Isshin got kicked out of Soul Society. How Isshin and Ryuken met. Heck...

...

...

He's going there, isn't he. HE'S GOING THERE!

I forget what the trope is called. It's like "multi-generational copying" or something. Where children mimic their parent's romantic messes. For instance, Minato and Naruto fell in love with women with strong personalities and red hair. Picture a scene where you see two parents talking to their kid, who looks like a mini version of one of the parents. Another kid walks into the picture, and they look exactly like the other parent, and even match that parent's temperament in some way. Of course, this child is destined to be child A's future soul mate.

I can see a story where Ryuken, a Quincy with ingrained power-climbing desires (for the sake of his family), was pursuing Masaki, a powerful Quincy. With his demonstrated abilties, coupled with the way the new Quincy refer to the Ishida family, I have no doubt that he was a strong Quincy and/or from a very strong and well-respected family, who would have thus made a VERY good match for the daughter of the Quincy ruler.

I can then see a story where Masaki and Isshin somehow cross paths, whether during a fight between themselves or with another foe, and fall in love. I can see Ryuken either getting angry about this and fighting it out with Isshin until they resolve to like each other like Comradely Male Fighters love to do, or doing something and admitting that he's in love with someone else (possibly Uryu's mother, whom we have never once heard anything about), and giving Masaki up. He might have even helped Isshin escape. Or his anger over Isshin winning Masaki over could be the basis for the pair's frosty relationship. The fact that he knows about the time Isshin lost his powers speaks volumes. The fact that they haven't spoken in some time speaks volumes.

I so see Kubo doing this. It's... well... yeah. He's gonna do it. I hope he does because I would REALLY love to at least ONCE see proof that Uryu has a mother. Maybe even proof that he has a grandmother. I mean, come on! What the heck HAPPENED to those women?

Heck, maybe Ryuken married Masaki's sister. He could have been close to the royal family and so went after Isshin and Masaki when they got together. Perhaps to kill them. Perhaps to just kill Isshin.

A mix of Quincy/Shinigami heritage would help explain the weirdness of Ichigo's early powers (I'm sure there's a trope about RANDOM POWER JUMBLE SOLVES PROBLEMS/DOES AWESOME FOR REASONS), before that power was taken away and he went through hollowfication. The hollowfication, mixed with the Quincy/Shinigami mix, plus any unusual bloodline capabilities he recieved through his parents (his father, a very powerful shinigami, and his mother, a descendent of royalty) would explain most other things. This makes me very curious and Yuzu and Karin. They already demonstrate latent abilities of some sort. I have to wonder what they'll be, sometime in the future.

On a side note, King Endymion: Troll of epic proportions. At least according to the anime. In the manga... he's a mix between somewhat helpful and moderately useless. MUCH LIKE TUXEDO KAMEN! OOOOH! STAYING IN CHARACTER! You know how he's grown as a character in the 900+ years he's lived since the present story? ...Um... he's slightly more useful than he was 900+ years ago! And he went purple!

On another side note... I wonder what fashions Takuechi would give the cast if she were to start fresh with the series. The senshi already went through at least one costume change - all of them have draft costume designs. At least in the case of the Inner Senshi, the early costume designs were substantially different than what they ended up wearing. The costume design changes gained through power-ups over time could even be seen as an excuse to build on poor early costume design. Plus, she would probably have a BIG group of assistants to help her this time around. Some of her choices could have been an attempt to lessen the amount of work she would have to do on her own. All of the original senshi uniforms are relatively simple. Even things like Neo-Queen Serenity's/Princess Serenity's gown are relatively simple for what it should be. And why does Chibi-Usa always wear a school uniform? We never see her going to school in the future, and we never see any other children wearing it. I don't know why she wasn't given a gown similar to Usagi's, like she does later in the series... until much later in the series. Say... most of the way through the Stars arc. Or why she wasn't given civilian clothes.

Now I'm not supporting the use of ridiculous outfits. I'm just trying to be realistic, story-wise. You've got royalty. You've got a set of guardians with armor that is by no means made in consideration of actual protection, intimidation, or fight capability... and, over time,they got exceedingly more so. You've got a basic world creation.

If Takeuchi could remake them... what would she take into consideration?

It would be so much easier if she'd done anything AFTER Sailor Moon, so we could see her growth as an artist afterwards, as well as her changes in preference. Authors like Nobuhiro Watsuki, Noboyuki Anzai, Rumiko Takahashi, CLAMP... they all went and continued with their work.

Toki*Meca seems to be the only thing she really returned to after Sailor Moon. And... it's kind of weird and doesn't really tell me anything. Her art HAS picked up somewhat, at least.

Sigh. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT ARTIST IS DOING THE NEW SERIES OMG....

I hope it's amazing. I hope it is SO amazing I cry when I see the first episode. FROM JOY!

So NaNoWriMo is starting in two days. Well, midnight tomorrow. My goal is to have 11/01's portion done before I go to the Halloween costume contest so I can just put it up and not have to worry about things...

There have been a couple of students taking the initiative and starting some English-major relatedness.... things... For instance, we now have an English major's club. For some reason. I'm still not entirely sure about why, but we have one. People have also brought up some other events related to the major. And they mention them during my Creative Writing class.

Yes it's a stupid major.

So I thought about, during today's class, making an announcement for NaNoWriMo, since that's writing-related and such. It's fun. Ish. And very educational. It's good to give people what, two days to decide whether to participate or not, right?

So anyway, since class was cancelled today, I never had the opportunity to do that. So I put it up on our school's homework website on our class section. Which is always emailed out to people. I don't know how I could have avoided that, but, well... maybe people actually read it.

Of course, I didn't contact my professor beforehand and ask if it was okay... I kind of just assumed "well, I get no profit whatsoever out of this, it's a way for people to practice writing, it's a way to get connected with other writers and a way to get helpful information from other writers and a way to join the writing community and it's educational and if you do it right it doesn't take a lot of time and you don't have to pay for it and if I send it out like this it doesn't take away from class time like the OTHER student announcements did so... maybe I can just put this out there without any problems..."

Also, the homework site is kind of up at least partially for communication and discussion. So... yeah.

My email could have been shorter. The use of summary is not my strong suit. Note, this entire journal/blog thing.

I think I was 99% successful at keeping myself out of the email though. It was pretty much just about NaNo. I made a comment about how the goal is intimidating, and that it can be seen as unintimidating at first, possibly, and that I originally didn't see it as intimidating (it was very brief). I then added that "as someone who has done this for three years, I can say that it is helpful, worth it, and blah" and that was about it for me. After the "hi!" at the beginning of the email, anyway. I was very good for once! I even checked it over twice for grammatical and spelling mistakes and to be certain it was clear!

I think maybe I should have asked for her permission first... I don't really think she minded but, well...

I spent my lovely free day yesterday doing a couple things: a) sleeping, b) surviving the rain to get food for lunch, dinner, and lunch and breakfasts for the next week or so, c) WoW, of course, d) some writing, e) at least five or six hours of computer science homework, for which I have STILL not heard anything back from my professor, and f) reading "The Darkness".

My professor was supposed to have office hours today for students to come and ask him questions on the homework that's due tomorrow, general questions, and questions on the project due in a couple weeks... and whatever. I sent him questions early yesterday afternoon, and at like... 1 AM. I kind of expected to at least see a "sorry, you can't ask me these questions - you need to figure them out on your own" email. I haven't even gotten that. I'm going to assume that he's lost power. Certainly he doesn't have the excuse that I sent him emails at the last minute.

I really did knuckle down and get some comp sci homework done. Like really. I learned some stuff. That I really should have known a while ago, but STILL! I learned stuff!

I really don't like "The Darkness". It has occasional moments of amusement... but the narration is so over-dramatic, difficult to read because of font decisions, and, well... predictable... that it is extremely uninteresting. I've started completely ignoring the pure narration and just reading over speech bubbles. I even skip a lot of the speech bubbles because of, oh, predictability and sexism.

"Why are you reading "The Darkness" if you're concerned about sexism? Are you a moron?"

Because I grew up reading "Tomb Raider". Thank my dad. Personally I think it had a great story. I also haven't read over it in a long time because I am quite certain the sexism in certain places would bother me. The "Tomb Raider" comics interact with the other major Top Cow franchises, including "The Darkness" and "The Witchblade". I always wondered about these other two. Jackie also looks pretty hot when he's drawn interacting with Lara, so... yeah. A story featuring a hot guy who's really badass.

AND THEN THEY ADD IN THE SEXISM AND... WELL...

Anyway. The idea is at least half-decent. Like a wrote earlier, it's amusing at times. I've been reading in a rather non-chronological order at times, and Jackie made a reference to getting probed in the ass at one point while talking to aliens... and I thought he was joking. And then, well... let's just say he had a bad run in with some Predators. It was very amusing.

Honestly, you don't need to read the speech bubbles to get what's going on 95% of the time. If I realize I'm missing something important... which happens INCREDIBLY rarely, the most I have to do is re-read the page I'm on, closely. There's so much repetition and, well... I'm sure the authors are at least somewhat aware that their target audience will be distracted by BOOBS and PANTY SHOTS that they need simple ways to know what's going on, and not long-ass narrative.

Also, when a comic consists of 70% story and 30% sexist darklings being sexist with no real relation to the plot 99% of the time... that already takes out a chunk of the text you need to read.

I'm also familiar with a lot of the plot at this point, through the issues I got a hold of early on, before I started reading the comic in mostly chronological order, and what I've been connecting as I read. I don't need to read through every. single. character. epiphany. that really isn't an epiphany and is just a character angsting. Most likely with sexism involved, SOMEHOW, and 95% of the time doing it out of character. The number of out-of-character moments are simply RIDICULOUS in this story. The way women react to people in general and to each other and their jobs just makes no sense, and then the way they act on their own, when you're already familar with the character is just... wth people? WTH??? And then there's the way Jackie just randomly becomes the omniscient narrator perspective on his life, and not in a "I'm telling the story, and this is how I feel" way, which would be fine, but in a "yeah, I see all these things and all this stuff and everyone is right" or well... it just doesn't make sense how he's doing some of this stuff.

Could I have missed it because I'm reading too quickly over the damn speech bubbles?

No. Not some of the stuff. I'm not talking about ARC-CROSSING changes. I'm talking about weirdness going down in single issues and on pages that are SIDE-BY-SIDE.

The art is also REALLY terrible for the most part. I mean REALLY terrible. To the point where I question whether this was done by Liefield or not. It's THAT awful. And there are so. very. many. splash pages. that are AWFUL!

I also think that Nebeziel, who did some of the comics, put in some of his earlier art here. It's how I forgive him for, on occasion, not being very good with his techniques. But he's one of the few artists who does a somewhat decent job with the comic. That narrows it down to about... three or four people. Outside of that...

I was also still tempted to read "The Witchblade" series. Now I'm really, really not. The art looks twenty times worse than what's in "The Darkness", and so does the story. Sara has more OOC moments than Jackie does, and I'm only looking at the Darkness/Witchblade crossovers.

Anyway, I got through a lot of it yesterday, and I'm at least halfway done. So far, I've enjoyed... three story arcs. There's at least one large plothole (Jenny was engaged to a badass with badass levels substantially larger than Jackie... and she STILL somehow got kidnapped and killed? What? - I'm assuming we're going to learn how this happened soon). I don't really know. I'm so close now, I'll just finish. And heck, it's a way to avoid reading "Deadpool"! Which IS drawn at least on occasion by Rob Liefield!

So apparently Disney bought "Star Wars". Okay... Disney now owns Marvel and Star Wars. I don't really understand the point of that... but whatever. I now demand a Marvel-Disney-Star Wars zombieverse storyline.

I also really look forward to Star Wars movie 7. Yes, people were disappointed with the new prequels. But look at it this way: I enjoyed at least the first two movies. The third one was kind of eh. Admittedly, I was distracted by a number of things at the time. Including the fact that I was sitting between my Dad and one of my best friends and they were both trying to talk to me about different things at the same time and I was not used to being someone people ACTUALLY wanted to talk to (this still confuses me) and, well... I'm really terrible at multi-tasking.

Also, Hayden Christensen will not be in it. CGI Yoda and Jar-Jar Binks will not be in the show (I assume, anyway). If Anakin and Yoda are in it at all, it will probably be a brief thing where POSSIBLY Older Luke will be asking them for advice. Assuming the story involves Luke at all.

While I know it's not going to happen because Mark Hamill is having a lot of health problems, it would be really awesome if he at least had a cameo as a Cool Old Dude. Heck, if they even just had Harrison Ford show up as ye old Rogue of Yesteryear... he's still kicking as an actor.

Back to homework. Ta.

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January 2013

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