Star Wars is one of my first and core fandoms, it's got a bunch of tropes that I honestly don't know if I loved them all along and Star Wars was the first place I saw them, or I love them because I imprinted on Star Wars. (I'm talking about the original trilogy here of course, the movies I still have mostly memorized - if not to the extent I had as a kid, in which my sibs and I once recited the entirety of Empire Strikes Back during a long car ride.)
As for the latest outing - I've been wary about it, but I still had to go opening night. And...
( Spoilers!Collapse )
My general thoughts so far align with sholio's in that I'm enjoying the show but wish its crimefighting to interpersonal interaction ratio tipped way more toward the latter. (Arrow and its ilk have spoiled me for that...) But this ep finally delivered on the interpersonal goods and they were so delicious, just about worth the wait. The crying, oh, boys...how are you going to work through this?
...There is this issue that I kind of think Foggy should just go and make better friends, because oh my god Matt is terrible. It's not keeping the vigilante business secret, but the whole superpowers thing, when those superpowers are as invasive as Matt's can be, with his lie-detection, and how much he can actually 'see' - Foggy's sense of betrayal is so justified. And Foggy is a great guy, he could make new friends!
On the other hand, as their whole backstory makes abundantly clear, Foggy is, not just Matt's best and only friend, but pretty much his only human connection, period (especially since he's driven Claire away, and even then she barely knew him, she only got glimpses of his human side.) Matt loses Foggy, and he puts on the mask and never takes it off and is dead in a month. Maybe two if he's lucky, which he is never. (Matt Murdock is such a baby elephant, he can't do anything right. I still love the fight in the second ep in which he's falling over as much as the guys he's punching out ahahah Matt you suck. And then he nearly gets taken out by a ninja. A ninja! In New York! With no mutant turtles in sight! Superheroes, never change.)
(Also, I don't really slash Foggy/Matt but I really hope the fic exists that their first meeting in the dorm room, when Foggy remarks on how good-looking Matt is and then says because it'll attract girls, that Foggy is actually bi and backpedaled because he noticed Matt's reaction to his line. And Matt would perceive Foggy's attraction of course and as a good Catholic boy it would've bothered him, except he's in college now and is not going to be an asshole like that, though it'll take him a lot longer to acknowledge his own feelings...there must be fic like that. Right? Right? Fandom don't fail me.)
Meanwhile poor Karen is going to get back to the office, see the sign in the trash and not know what the hell is going on. I suspect Foggy is going to avoid her. Otherwise he's just going to tell her everything, I can't see him keeping this secret. Or else things will go to hell before she sees anything, and ahhh I wanna know what happens next!
--I admit, I'm mostly invested in the plot only insofar as its personal impact on the characters, like, Kingpin, whatever, he's weird but I don't find him that compelling. And I'm annoyed if Vanessa's whole purpose was to be fridged here, she was given enough story that I was really hoping there was going to be more to her than that.
Looking forward to watching more tomorrow~!
...Though gnine and I are freaking out the brother because we keep going, "Oh, this is so much more cheerful than Jessica Jones!" (...but it is!)
( More review, minor spoilersCollapse ) Flawless entertainment, four stars, would recommend to everyone!
Was in a particularly good mood for it because on naye's recommendation we've been watching the anime Space Brothers, which feels like it could be in the same universe (except there's no Japanese astronaut on Mars, but maybe Mutta was on an earlier mission!) I also recommend that to anyone interested in space exploration, or who'd like a story about someone in their thirties going ahead and pursuing their crazy childhood dreams - it's a slice-of-life anime about a salaryman who loses his job and enters the astronaut application and training program, following his younger brother who stayed committed to their childhood ambitions and is already a successful astronaut. (I admit, the running theme of being an older sibling surpassed by their younger sibs as adults plays very close to my heart, and it's not someone there's a lot of fiction about. And Mutta and Hibito have one of the most normal and healthy sibling relationships I've seen in anime or most other fiction, they're close but not dependent, competitive but loving even if they're both bad at staying in touch.)
The show is set in the near future and the space and technology details are meticulously researched; they consulted with NASA and it even featured the first voice acting ever done in space (a Japanese astronaut recorded a few lines on the ISS for the show.) It has that particular sort of pacing that most eps feel, if not slow then sedate, sweet and low on drama, and yet just enough happens that it's hard to stop watching - you get so wrapped up in the characters' lives that you want to know what happens next. And occasionally it will get unexpectedly intense. We've been burning through episodes and I'm going to be sad when it's over (onto JoJo's next, I suppose~)
Check 'em out! Sadaharu is especially adorable. :)
From the Ground Up (157104 words) by Xparrot
Fandom: Welcome to Night Vale
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Carlos/Cecil Palmer
Characters: Carlos (Welcome to Night Vale), Dana (Welcome to Night Vale), Original Strex Characters, Kevin (Welcome to Night Vale), Cecil Palmer
Additional Tags: Drama, Angst, Drugs, Dystopia, Strexcorp, Present Tense, Memory Alteration, Canon Divergence
"The colloquial name is bloodstone," says the man from StrexCorp's Acquisitions division. "Heard of them?"
Carlos shakes his head. "No, but I'm not a minerologist. Are you certain this wasn't intended for the geology department?"
Carlos is a loyal company employee, who has never been to any place called Night Vale and never met anyone named Cecil…which doesn’t explain the mysterious woman appearing in his lab, or these dreams he’s started having…
( a bit of rambling on the writing of it, mostly for my own recordCollapse ) ...Actually, according to my stats, I've written more words for WTNV than any other fandom (the majority in this fic.) Wow, how'd that happen? (Don't kill me, gnine! *hides*)
Now it's time for the regular sit-here-and-compulsively-check-email-fo
--I got a comment! They liked it! \o/
In the end I can't honestly recommend it, though I really enjoyed a lot of it. The concept (adapted from a seinen manga I might have to look up) is compelling - two orphan boys witness the murder of their teacher/foster mother and vow to get revenge; twenty years later, one of the boys has become a police detective, the other is a rising yakuza lieutenant, and they're still working together towards their vengeance. The plot spirals out from there into government conspiracies, secret agendas, and conflicting loyalties; the story has more turns than a Boston street, constantly leaving you guessing who's on what side and what's really going on. The violently codependent bond between the two main guys, with the added identity porn of their shared secrets, is pure fan catnip and milked for all its worth as only a drama can - it's often campy and cheesy and always over the top, but man do they deliver on the angst and h/c. Also I've finally gained an appreciation for Oguri Shun - never quite got the appeal before but apparently all it took was putting him in a pair of cool glasses and three-piece yakuza suits (and then repeatedly shooting him and beating him bloody. Mmm yeah Japan knows fangirls.)
...Then there was the end. ( Massive spoilers for the series finale; general content warnings that would be spoilery to specify.Collapse )
The first is Ore Monogatari!! aka My Love Story!! aka the cutest cute that has ever cutely cuted. This anime should come with a sugar warning for diabetics. It's a shoujo about a high school boy who is the polar opposite of the attractive shoujo hero, both in his colossal manly body and face, and his straightforward personality. Due to his looks, he's never had a girlfriend; they all fall for his bishounen best friend. Then one day he helps out a girl, and you can guess where the story goes from there. Except whatever you're imagining, it's cuter than that. It's a fun, sappy, quietly silly show focusing equally on Takeo, his best friend, and his girlfriend, and the relationship developing between them (don't worry, it's not a love triangle; not a threesome either, but equally about friendship as romance), and most of the stories are basically about which one of the three can be the sweetest (spoilers: it's all of them.)
Also the brother (who not-so-secretly enjoys school shoujo comedies) was honestly wondering about the gender of the mangaka - the writer is female, it turns out, but we guess she might have teenagers, because she captures a particular sort of low-key teen boy friendship in a way that felt very true to him.
If you like Ore Monogatari, I'd also recommend last year's Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun/Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, which has similar character dynamics, though is a lot goofier, more a straight comedy, bordering on parody - of the gentle and loving sort; if you're a shoujo fan I wouldn't miss it. Both are up on Crunchyroll.
The second is Ansatsu Kyoushitsu/Assassination Classroom, which has to be seen to be believed, but I'll try to explain why (and the summary is going to sound more spoilery than it really is - the basic idea is laid out in the first five minutes of the show - but if you want to watch it cold, go ahead, do it, you won't regret it. Provided you have a tolerance for certain shounen tropes, crack, and crack played straight(ish). And a basic grasp of Japanese schooling would help. But seriously, this show is amazing, I fell for it so much harder than I was prepared for.)
So Assassination Classroom is yet another take on that educational classic, the class of troubled teens getting an unusual new teacher who turns their lives around, à la GTO, Gokusen, etc. The twist - and it's a doozy - is that this teacher is a super-powered tentacle monster who blew up most of the moon and is going to do the same to the Earth in a year...unless this class of plucky young junior high students can assassinate him first.
This is quite the challenge, as he can move at Mach 20 (and the brother is thrilled by how cleverly and accurately his superspeed works), he's immune to most weapons, and also he's the best teacher the kids have ever had.
On the other hand, if they can kill him, they get a ten-billion yen reward from the grateful nations of the world. And (hopefully?) save the planet.
And if you're thinking this sounds completely absurd - absolutely yes! and yet the series makes it work. It's crack played straight - not realistically, and it's not a dark series; half the time it's a comedy and it keeps hitting the expected hopeful and triumphant chords of kids overcoming adversity with the help of a few adults who really care. But the emotional tension is all over the place and off-kilter from the tropes it's deploying, and that's deliberately and effectively done, often hilariously, occasionally disturbing. The kids are all the standard types of failures and delinquents, but they're well-sketched and lovable and you can't help but cheer them on...even when you're not quite sure you should.
(As a bonus Sugita Tomokazu is playing the PE teacher/special forces agent teaching the kids assassination skills and becoming way more attached to his students than he should be, considering the stakes. I apparently have a thing for Sugita-voiced characters who should never in a million years be mentors for kids and yet end up mentoring the hell out of them, though otherwise Karasuma-sensei is a 180 from Gintoki.)
The end of the season falls down a bit in how it goes more overtly action-shounen; but there's another season coming next year and I can't wait for it. Not the least of which because there are so many questions about the whole scenario, and it's offered enough hints to imply answers may come. In the meantime you can watch the first season on Hulu. And then come here and talk to me about it, because yes, so many questions!! (I'm debating whether or not to read the manga or be patient...)
I was going to write a long rambling thing here on how B5 remains one of my favorite shows ever, but then I got sidetracked watching bloopers on youtube, and, well...out of everything I love, Londo and G'Kar are still and always the best thing in the show. Their performances are simultaneously completely over the top and yet spine-tinglingly nuanced; they have lines that give you chills, or reduce you to tears of hysterical laughter. And whenever they're together that impact is squared, the characters' relationship is so complicated, and the actors have so much chemistry...
...and then you have this outtake, and just, I can't even. "Great Maker, your eye...I have smuggled in some Wheat Thins for you. Wait, wait--and a banana!"
( Spoilers for all the games, including DLC, plus a few fan theoriesCollapse )
Gnine and I have done some other things, last week we went to Age of Ultron and Furious 7, but while I enjoyed both and have some thoughts I might get down later, my fannish heart is definitely still taken with ME.
(And whyyyyyyyyy are there no space operas on TV now? I miss them more than ever! If only it were possible to adapt ME...it has to be a game, it wouldn't be the same any other way, but there's several non-gamers I'd love to show it to. They could at least do a mini-series set in the same universe, the First Contact war with the turians, perhaps?)
For now - a lot (LOT!) more squee and rambling under the cut. Unlike last post this will be spoilerific for all three games, so I advise you don't read unless you've played them already or are absolutely sure you never will - otherwise I strongly recommend playing unspoiled.
( Spoilers for ME1-ME3 (including the Citadel DLC, though for Gnine´s sake I´ll hide the main plot spoiler)Collapse )
And then, inevitably...I make no promises about completing it, but I have 3K words and counting of post-game fic. As I have said so often before: Whoops.
So last month I finally did. And now I'm a couple hours away from beating the third game, and. Yeah. This is where the space opera has gone, and it is amazing. (Doesn't hurt that of all ME's influences - which range from Star Wars to Niven's Known Space - the strongest might be my beloved Babylon 5.) Being a game, it has elements in common with both visual and literary scifi - while it has the cinematics like TV and movies, it also has a ton of background text that fleshes out the universe, explaining details of aliens and technology in a way TV can only do in tie-in books. And yes, I'm one of those geeks who has to read the entire Codex.
And it's worth it! The alien species are fascinating, and not just in the character designs - though those are great, being a video game they aren't limited to humans in makeup. (Actually the aliens look better than the humans, who tend to live in that point in the uncanny valley where their fixed-plastic features don't quiiiiiiite ruin the dramatic scenes, but it's close.) All the species have distinct, complex cultures, and the story manages that difficult trick of having alien characters who are representative of their species, and yet are also unique individuals - their personalities are shaped by the societies they were raised in, but not determined by them. ( More random babble, no real spoilersCollapse )
So yup, the Gintama anime is rising from its final ending yet again. (Apparently now called Gintama゜ because crack.) I'm even more excited about this than I am about Durarara!!! being back (and I'm thrilled about that!) So many things I can't wait to see animated - the Rule 63 arc (for the entire cast!) Bodyswap! *censored* *censored*!!
And then last night I went and caught up with the manga and...ooooooooooooh boy. ( Spoilers for the Gintama manga through ch. 525Collapse )
I love Gintama for its insane ability to switch from comedy to drama - I've never seen anything that goes from such extremes as Gintama can. There are a few things that come close. There are other manga like One Piece which are primarily action leavened with really silly comedy. Or there are comedies like Futurama, which is mostly wacky comedy that occasionally hit a genuinely dramatic chord, and it works in part because it's unexpected, because you're not ready to have your heart played like that. But Gintama is so ridiculous that when it does go dramatic-tragic, you're never prepared. Every single time it takes me off-guard.
Speaking of which - now to catch up with One Piece!
I've been reading the Dresden Files since about book 7 or 8, and while there's a lot of the series I enjoy, Harry & Thomas is - not necessary my favorite thing about it, but it's the part that gets my fangirl heart pumping. The only parts of the series I've reread more than once are with them. ( Some general spoilers for the series; spoilers for the comic specifically will be spoiler-tagged as wellCollapse )