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on revisting old favorites

Playing/replaying Mass Effect got gnine and I in the mood for more space opera. So instead of watching all the anime and other shows we were intending to catch up on while we were together, we found ourselves rewatching Babylon 5 instead.

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!"

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more on Mass Effect

gnine is here for the month, and with a little urging she re-played ME3 with the DLC. So I now have watched all the ME3 DLC, as well as the mShep romance with Kaidan. (Gnine was pleased to do so, as the main reason she played mShep originally was for the m/m relationship, which she screwed up the first time around by accidentally staying with Tali instead.) And most of the rest of ME3 again as well...random thoughts to follow.

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?)
I've been thinking more about the end of the Mass Effect trilogy, and by the fan reactions to it that I've encountered online as I look up vids and fanart. (Among other things, I found these essays, from a fan who uncompromisingly loved the original endings even pre-extended cut, a fascinating read. This post isn't anywhere near as thought-out or high-concept, and the way I fan is quite different, but it does echo some of the ideas mentioned in those.) Spoilers for the ending of ME3Collapse )

on voice acting

...In Mass Effect. (You weren't getting away that easily, sorry! :P) I do love voice acting, and this vid is a great example - it's a clip of Garrus's VA as a bit role on Castle, and it's awesome because he doesn't sound like Garrus at all...until the one minute mark when his voice drops and then he's instantly recognizable. Which everyone freaks out about in the comments, when they're not discussing Garrus chatting with Mal Reynolds... (I gotta say, I'm used to youtube comments being the bottom of the internet barrel, but for some reason a lot of the comments on ME-related clips are gold.)

on Mass Effect, redux

So I beat ME3 a few days ago. And then at the advice of sheliana and others I got the Citadel DLC and played that (thank you SO MUCH for the rec, it's amazing, epic fanservice in the best of ways!) And now I'm out of Mass Effect to play! Other than the other DLCs, but some of those (From Ashes, at least) seem to require replaying pretty much the whole game, so...maybe later.

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.

on Mass Effect

For years now, whenever I complained about the lack of space opera on TV (which is every other month or so - and right now is more just "why are there no shows in space at all, argh?!" - but glorious sprawling epic multi-world culture-clashing space opera is my joy) my brother's answer has always been, "PLAY MASS EFFECT!"

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 )

on Gintama

Sooner or later there comes a time when a fangirl must just sit down and acknowledge that yes, as ridiculous as it might be, Gintama is one of their favorite animanga series of all time. Such as when you hear the anime has been renewed (again!!!) and shriek so loudly you terrify your cat. (As opposed to Gintoki's reaction (no spoilers))

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!

on endings

So Benedict Cumberbatch has put in the final performance of his greatest role. Which is to say, Cabin Pressure's finale has aired.

Spoilers for Zurich parts 1-2Collapse )

Happy holidays!

gnine is here for the holidays, and the household will be doing presents as soon as the brother arises. --and now I have a cat on my lap, oh dear, I was just getting online for a minute, kitty...

Merry Christmas to those who do that, and Happy New Years to everyone!

on the Dresden Files

sholio recently talked about Dresden Files: War Cry, an original comic story (by Jim Butcher, so part of canon), and as she mentioned it features Harry & Thomas snarking at one another (it's set a bit after Dead Beat), I had to get it.

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 )

on WTNV Old Oak Doors B

Spoilers for the ep. Also flailing.Collapse )

Is the next ep here yet? What do you mean, TWO MORE WEEKS? D:

on the Warehouse 13 finale

Watched Warehouse 13's series finale.

[Spoiler (click to open)]My feelings are mixed, and not just because I had to say goodbye to a show I loved. This last mini-season has been mixed but most of the finale was great, entirely suitable to the show - I liked that it wasn't a crisis, that it was about an epic event but not one not yet come to past, nor one they had much part to play in, so ultimately it was a quiet character story. Most of the flashbacks were hilarious and perfect as "eps that could've happened but didn't" and about making the actors look as ridiculous as possible, which is totally in keeping with the show!

I loved the reveal of Artie's son, because it was something that could've been made into extra last-minute angst and instead was cute and sweet and, Artie being Artie, entirely believable that he'd simply never mentioned it before. Also his argument with the Warehouse and its thank you was maybe a bit cheesy but I liked it - the Warehouse's semi-sentience totally hits my kink for places-as-characters. Nice to have Leena cameo, and ahahahahah so petty and hilarious to have Mrs. Frederic telling Jinx everything off-screen, "Was that Mr. Frederic?" indeed! I do wish they'd gotten Abigail in for a bit (did she even warrant a mention? I missed it if so) as I really liked what we saw of her; but she was never a main character and I can see why they kept it limited. And the flashforward at the end worked well, left so much open while reassuring us of the status quo. Plus, Claudia as the Caretaker, hee and yay - I'm glad that she went through with it despite her doubts, it was the future I wanted for her.)

Actually, given Claudia as Caretaker, and that she didn't look much older, I was wondering if the reason the Warehouse rang a false transition alarm was to say a sort of farewell to Mrs. Frederic?

The one thing I could've done without, and which didn't ruin the finale for me only because they kept it small and open enough for me to fanwank over it, is the Pete/Myka. Why, why, why did the writers have to go there? Why couldn't they have left me that one, just that one, in the whole history of TV? I started watching the show because someone told me it had platonic m-f friendship, and Pete & Myka were one of my favorite things in the show. Moreoever, I loved the way Warehouse 13 showed them - and the other characters as well - that it outright stated that not only is romance not the be-all and end-all of happiness, but that you can actually find peace and happiness and family and love even if you're not romantically involved with anyone. That romantic love can be great but it's not absolutely necessary, not for everyone, not for all lives. Peter and Myka were the most important people in one another's lives, and they weren't romantically or sexually involved, and that worked for them, they were both better people for it, for having one another's back, for having one another in a way that was as strong and meaningful as any romance could be, just different. It felt like a punch to my fangirl soul, to refute that at the end - to say that the only way they could possibly make it work long-term is if they're in love and sexually attracted to one another.

(Not to mention, everyone knows the only real romantic OTP in W13 is Myka/HG - to have HG in the ep but not actually have a scene with Myka was fan-baiting of the cruelest sort! Even if it did make it clear that they're still in touch, and also that HG isn't as happily settled as she seemed to be. So there's always the hope that in a month Pete and Myka will realize that they were misinterpreting their partner-love as something else because they didn't have the framework to understand what they actually had, and go back to how they really work. And also maybe have a platonic no-sex baby together because I can't tell you how much I really wanted that to happen! And when HG breaks up with her current dalliance she and Myka can make a real go at it...)

So, yes, in the end the Warehouse 13 finale was mostly a good send-off, and I will fanwank the Pete/Myka away so I can still enjoy the rest of the show. I'm sad to see it go, but enjoyed it greatly while it was here!


Though now I need a new lightweight team-show to get my recommended dose of adorable! For most of the season I thought Agents of SHIELD was stepping up into that role nicely, should've known better than to cozy up to a Whedon show (I actually really enjoyed the end of the season and am looking forward to next year, but yeah, not quite what I'm looking for.) And Arrow is fantastic and team-y - its season finale wasn't quite as strong as most of the the rest of the season, but still left me wanting more - but while's it's often shamelessly comicbook-ridiculous it's not as joyfully goofy as Warehouse 13 could be...

(Meanwhile, if anyone is wondering, YES I AM STILL FREAKING OUT OVER NIGHT VALE OMG OMG OM(smiling)G!!!! It hurts so good and I'm loving it!)

on the latest Night Vale

Concerning Welcome to Night Vale ep 47, Company Picnic, all I have to say is,

[Spoiler (click to open)]AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

*deep breath*

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhghfgjdkgdfjkdgrlw!!!!!11!!!

(where is Cecil!?!?!?!?)

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on Night Vale: "Cookies"

Sooooo this latest ep of Welcome to Night Vale...! spoilers for ep 44 "Cookies"Collapse )

Ahhh this show! The problem with fanning on a canon this incredibly open and vague is that every new ep can shake the pieces up, entirely rearrange them on the board...my current WiP is not quite jossed yet but it's only a matter of time, I'm sure. Fortunately this is Night Vale, which has room and weirdness enough for a multitude of contradictory realities...

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a long time ago, we used to be friends...

The worst part of the new Veronica Mars movie is getting the damn theme song stuck in your head for like 24 hours. Other than that, [Spoiler (click to open)]really enjoyed it! I'm new to the show - gnine showed it to us last year to prepare for the movie, and we didn't actually watch s3 as she said (repeatedly) that it was not worth it. And I didn't have any trouble getting the movie despite that. It felt a lot like the first season, decent mystery, good character beats, great lines, some h/c. Not enough Weevil (or Weevil and Logan) but otherwise a good time! And they definitely knew the audience they were playing to, without feeling entirely gratuitously fan-service-y .


(Not that there is anything wrong with gratuitous fan-service, such is what made the new Gintama movie one of the best based-on-an-anime movies I've ever seen...!)


Then there was the latest ep of WTNV, which judging by Tumblr and AO3, I think I speak for the whole fandom when I say [Spoiler (click to open)]AHHHHH KHOSHEKH STREX HOW COULD YOU?!!!?? Okay, you're an evil megacorp but still, here is a line, and it happens to lie before hurting an innocent spine-ridged venomous floating kitty cat. The show is often at its best when Cecil shows genuine feeling, and for all his building frustration with Strex we've maybe never heard him this angry before. I still am not sure where the Strex storyline is going (given the nature and style of WTNV I will not be surprised if the majority of it is resolved off-the-air and in passing) but the slow way they're building the tension - mostly background mentions but increasingly more often brought to the forefront - has been really effective so far. (All the more impressive because objectively speaking, Strex/Desert Bluffs is arguably no worse than Night Vale itself - that is, Strex is absolutely horrifying; but Night Vale might have an even higher mortality rate! But Night Vale and Cecil are the devil we know and have come to love, while as Kevin is just terrifying and wrong, and we want to see Strex go down as much as Cecil does...)

Then there's the question of what happened to Khoshekh. During the confrontation, the first sound is pretty clearly Khoshekh's growl that we've heard before, but then there are what sound like normal cat meows and it's hard to tell whether that's Khoshekh or the Strex-pet. Did removing Khoshekh from his fixed position also remove some of his more unusual attributes, render him more like a normal feline? And was this deliberate, Strex, bringing the bizarre and the unique down to a baseline, perfect normal, as they will try to do with all of Night Vale...


Naturally I had to write up some of these thoughts into an episode tag (me and half the fandom!) Mine is: Displacement, in which Carlos comes to Cecil, and to some realizations.

on fandom and tumblr and tumblr fandom

Tumblr is weird.

For a whole lot of reasons, but for me one of the biggest ones is how...disconnected I feel from it. I'm constantly encountering things on it that surprise/confound/irritate me, but I rarely feel comfortable bringing them up on tumblr itself, because I feel like any opinion I express there is liable to be reblogged and taken out of context and get me flamed in six months because dating on folks' blogs is erratic (really now what's the point of a blog with no visible dates?!) Safer to just stick to squee and baby elephants. (and other animals. but baby elephants, guys!)

On lj I rarely felt this hesitant to express myself, because it's a platform I feel comfortable debating on (sometimes a little too comfortable, apologies; but I did get better...) I'd always have the comments to explain myself if I mispoke, and if I was really worried about being misunderstood, I could f-lock. It's definitely possible to debate on Tumblr, people do all the time; but it doesn't work for me personally, to reblog rather than having comment thread discussions, and to have no way to limit yourself to a personal social circle.

Anyway. Am thinking about this at the moment because Welcome to Night Vale fandom has a lot of Opinions, some of which confuse me quite a lot...

concerning WTNV fic tropes and the comparative fluffiness of OTPsCollapse )

on Sleepy Hollow

Anyone else catch the finale last night? Boooooo to it being a finale now (and not back until fall, I was kind of hoping they might do a summer run with this first season being short) but for the rest of it, [Spoiler (click to open)]heee so ridiculous and absurd and so much fun - it really does feel like Supernatural for the 2010s, with Mills sisters instead of Winchester brothers (Abbbbbbie~~~!), and even more crack (following a map to purgatory from zombie George Washington's secret Bible because OF COURSE THEY ARE). And I didn't guess Walter Bishop's (or whosis... :P) secret identity but it has all kinds of potential (also rather love that if I'd thought about it, it's an obvious conclusion, seeing as he's the only other recurring white character on the show besides his parents who's still alive, that I can recall?)

Parents dealing with children who thanks to shenanigans are their age or older than them seems to be a thing on TV these days (there was Henrietta Bishop, and River Song, and of course the amazing genealogical clusterfuck that is Once Upon a Time) - well, it is an intriguing story, and I'm curious where it will go in Sleepy Hollow. Though not as curious as I am to see Abbie get back and kick ass and be all adorable siblings with Jenny, because I don't get nearly enough sisters on TV and the Mills are filling that gap so very nicely!

WtNV Live!

Welcome to Night Vale Live - so much fun! \o/ Non-spoilery recount of the evening on top, some spoilers for the ep itself under the cut.

The theater's doors (the Neptune in Seattle) opened at 7, with the show starting at 8. The sibs and I went early to eat in the area - when we got there a bit after 6, there was already a line outside the theater; when we got back after dinner, the line stretched down and starting to go around the block. Fans do love their queuing! Standing in line was a bit like standing in the middle of a Tumblr tag feed; the group ahead of us was discussing meeting Misha Collins at a bar, while random people cheered at my brother's Hero of Space Homestuck shirt.

It was cool night but not freezing or raining, not too bad. The crowd was about 4 to 1 female to male, I think (an unusual ratio, I'm used to either 50-50 for anime and SF events, or 99% female!) and the age range was all over the place - skewed toward the younger but we weren't the only 30+. It's a pity it was night because there was a lot of cosplay that was hard to see in the dark. There was a girl with a fantastic and adorable glow-cloud umbrella, internally lit (and the colors kept changing, slowly but every time I saw it it was a different shade) who got applause from the whole line when she walked by. The theater was low-lit as well, but there was a hooded figure, an Eternal Scout, and a Faceless Old Woman sitting in front of us, a bunch of various Cecils everywhere, including a guy who is getting a half-sleeve tattoo inspired by fanon!Cecil's - it was about half done (he said it had been about 12 hours so far), absolutely gorgeous work (Gnine has pics, I'll get 'em later.)

And the show! Cecil Baldwin is omg so adorable how even - he can't stop moving his hands the whole time he monologues, despite holding the script in one of them (someone on Tumblr described him putting on an invisible finger puppet show, which, yes) and he clearly had a blast, voice flipping between the sinister and the giddy and the occasionally terrified. It's really worth it to see him live, he's one of those performers who feeds off the audience and gives 200% when he's up on stage.

The Weather was Jason Webley, who did the Weather for PYRAMID - he has quite the spectacular if unusual voice, and is one of the more entertaining musicians to watch, as he accompanies himself on accordion for half his songs (acoustic guitar for the other), as well as keeping rhythm by stomping on the stage. Alex Guy accompanied him on viola for some of the songs and damn she can play. So pretty much everything I love about the Weather, as it's not usually the kind of music I would listen to but then am glad I do. (The best song was the Giraffe Song, which is hilarious and the story with it ("Forget About The Giraffes. Put Them Out Of Your Mind!") is perfectly Night Vale.)

So yes, if you're a fan of the podcast and have the opportunity, the live show is totally worth going to, highly recommended!

As for the episode itself - we were asked not to spoil the show for those going to see it later, and so far on Tumblr people seem to be being pretty good about that (it will all be recorded and released eventually online, of course). And if you are going to go, I'd go unspoiled! But if you're not going to be able to make any of the tour, here's a brief ep review - not a full recap, since any plot summary I could give wouldn't do it justice; as is often the case with Night Vale it's less about the story and more about the performance and the precise words. But I'll mention a few things for the purpose of headcanon construction.

Spoilers for The LibrarianCollapse )

So yes, had a great time - though it's going to be such a looooong two weeks until the next ep, after the delight of getting two in a row! :D

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on live shows, fancraft, and squee

Happy holidays to all, and I hope 2014 is going well for everyone so far!

Can't complain about my own - Live Night Vale show tomorrow~! \o/\o/\o/ Glad I'm seeing the very first show; I wouldn't be able to stop myself from reading spoilers otherwise. At this point all anyone knows is the title ("The Librarian", which sounds ALL KINDS of interesting - a librarian, possibly loose on Night Vale???)

No word yet on whether there will be any voices besides Cecil Baldwin. This interview with Carlos's new voice claims at the end that he'll be appearing in live shows in 2014 - he was in the last live show of 2013 however, so it might just be mixed messages. But fingers crossed~! (I'm thinking Carlos will be in there somewhere, as they know their audience...but not sure...)

(--Incidentally, for those who haven't gotten around to Night Vale, the reason Carlos has a new voice, as explained by one of the show creators, is an argument to listen to it all in itself. Beside the obvious reasons, that it's hilarious and clever, and the fandom has some of the most outrageous and extensive fanon I've ever encountered. And of course canonical (and canonically adorably domestic!) m/m romance, but if you're a fangirl you probably know that much already...)

As far as my own Night Vale fanning goes, for Christmas naye asked for my interpretation of Khoshekh the floating station cat, so I got busy with my favorite crochet hook and some lovely purple yarn:



(Really gotta take pictures and post my other geek crochet creations...)

I also have a couple more WTNV fics up on my AO3, including the end of "Unvoiced".
There needs to be some kind of fanwriter confessionals. "Mother, I have sinned. I have failed at even the simplest of kink."

Either that, or I'm just going to blame it on Night Vale's weirdness. And ace romance being so table-flipping adorable.

First I wrote (my first?) sex pollen PWP that skips the porn in favor of angst:

Anyone But You (no one but you)

Then I wrote (definitely my first) tentacles fic...in which Carlos discovers his boyfriend has tentacles, and then they happily proceed to have no sex whatsoever. While my headcanon Cecil is more human than eldritch, when else would I get an excuse to indulge in G-rated tentacle not-hentai? (And for some reason, probably because Night Vale fandom is awesome in very special ways, people seem to really enjoy fluffy ace tentacle shenanigans!)

5 Things to Do with Tentacles (other than the usual)

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