type_wild: (Stare - Subaru and Hokuto)
ANIME
The Royal Tutor
Samurai Flamenco
Erased

Tiger and Bunny (Re-watch)
Ouran (re-watch)
Finish Cowboy Bebop
Code Geass S2
Fruits Basket

COMICS
Saiyuki

GAMES
EVERY FIRE EMBLEM GAME THAT HAS BEEN TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH EXCEPT FOR AWAKENING, I'VE FINISHED AWAKENING



And for that day in the future where I'll definitely spend more time doing productive stuff than reading wank and fanfic )
type_wild: (Stare - Subaru and Hokuto)
Here's the shocker of the year: I'm at episode fifteen of Samurai Flamenco, and am low-key upset that I'm visiting relatives with no wi-fi and will have to wait until I get home to see watch the rest.

I didn't expect to like Samurai Flamenco. The reviews I've read have agreed that it starts out okay and becomes a mess in the second half, so maybe it's just the low expectations that made this unexpectedly fun? Rest assured, I won't be the person who tells you that this is a great anime. But I did find it lovable.

One review made the point that this series is really several different series, thanks to a number of WTF plot twists and story arcs with wildly different focuses. This is true, but it's also a description that makes it sound like the plot twists are bigger than they felt like to me. But in order to discuss how successful it was at being several different shows in one, I'm going to discuss the first of those plot twists. So: Spoilers for episode seven ahoy, but I honestly think you'll need to know about this one to know what you're getting into anyway.

If you don't want that, then this is what I took away from it: Samurai Flamenco might be a parody or homage, but for people who aren't familiar with Super Sentai beyond that it exists, it's really hard to tell. So for us, it's ridiculous. But I had fun watching it anyway. Also, did I mention the lesbian OT3?

show me the show with a lesbian OT3 that isn't ridiculous )
type_wild: (Smile - Suguru)
The thing with living in small-ish language spaces is that getting into any foreign thing that isn't strictly mainstream means BUYING STUFF ONLINE AND IT'S HELLA EXPENSIVE. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure that the single factor of international shipping and custom fees is at least 70% responsible for the fact that my anime collection is relatively high quality, or at least made up of things I sincerely enjoy. The only anime I have bought and dropped was Eureka Seven, and my dropping it had less to do with quality and more to do with rage at certan decisions on behalf of the writers. I lived on student loans; I couldn't afford to just "check something out". If I was going to get it, then I was going to be sure it'd be worth it. I read a lot of reviews.

Having a Crunchyroll subscription presents me with problems that just never existed in my life before: At what point should I stop watching? As someone who strives to have Opinions on things, I feel obliged to at least watch it all if I'm going to whine about it afterwards. Thing is, I should be reading Good Books instead of watching trashy anime, or at least re-read good fanfic or something. It should be a hint when I need to remind myself to watch, I guess.

SO ABOUT THE ROYAL TUTUR, which obviously needed reminding:

I don't know what it wants to be. The less funny and less emotionally engaging and completely genre-abiding version of Ouran? The grade school version of Maoyuu? Some weird, platonic student-teacher take on the Otome genre? Except the character design is a lie, and the manga at least is shounen. It obviously isn't memorable, and it's predictable AF, and clearly not interested in a frank discussion of the things royalty needs to learn in order to rule well.

TL;DR summary: In Shinyland (that's the literal translation, boys and girls!), there are five potential heirs to the throne. The four youngest live in the royal castle, and have successfully proven their lacking kingship skills by driving away all their tutors. Obviously, things change when the next tutor in line is Heine Wittgenstein, who to no-one's surprise reforms the four princes by the ideas at the fundament of modern pedagogy.

There's not a lot of plot to it. There is, in fact, like three episodes of just basic classroom leadership (get all the kids present and make them shut up and listen to you) before the tutoring even starts, and the focus isn't the content on the tutoring as much as it it watch the princes have epiphanies, learn about the true meaning of governance, ponder their true desires in life. And as said, it's... juvenile, at this point. Yeah, of course you want everyone to be happy; that's admirable, but the youngest of you is 14, so maybe we should also ponder how you're going to pay for that?

According to a friend of mine who follows the manga, there's at least more drama and succession intrigue going on there. What we're getting here is "spoiled teenagers reconsider their vision of life, gets ambitions" in an artstyle that is a weird mix of bishounen and chibi. It's fairly visible that the anime is really just the setup arc to a bigger story, but that probably isn't coming; there's an anime-original ending that is nothing else than what it of course has to be when a mysterious new teacher comes in from no-where to transform the lives of troubled childreen. Unfortunately, this anime doesn't trust its viewers enough to handle even that take on the realities of life.

More than anything, I feel that this anime was made for a younger audience than most people watching anime in the west. It's cute and it's impossible to hate, but if someone asked me why they should spend six hours watching this, I'd struggle to answer. Like... if you really really like cute teenage boys have non-problems? Because everything else in this anime has been done better elsewhere.
type_wild: (Smile - Suguru)
The Thing With Franco-Belgian Comics is that I buy them 110% for the nostalgia value, though which nostalgia here is debatable - the only one of them belonging to my childhood is Asterix. I never much cared for Tintin (it's the art); Spirou and Fantasio I only really discovered as an adult, and I love it but it's also kinda... hard to defend, on quality measures? It's essentially a fifties boys' adventure series that never really grew out of the fifties, and god only knows what it sells itself on these days. It's not parody the way Asterix was parody, it's not really comedy, very shallowly political, and the format is too short to allow for drama or engaging plots. I guess it's essentially aimed at the same market as the Donald Duck pocket books, except that they clearly have some kind of artistic ambition; The Moran and Munuera run might've had some storytelling issues, but I forgive them all of it, all of it, for how bloody gorgeous those pages are.

So also with The One With Borneo. No, no panning citiscapes or actions scenes in breathtaking angles, but a lot of really gorgeous animals, really pretty Franco-Belgian backgrounds, and that one thing that I love so much about modern Spirou: they've taken the European caricatured style out of its original stiff format and made it work with dynamic panels, in closeups and in serious scenes. This one is particularly good at it. There are also some dream sequences that honestly work a lot better for me than non-verbal dream sequences in comics normally do. Can't say much about the story: It's Spirou and Fantasio, it's a fifties boys' adventure story with a fixed ending and an appropriately politically correct moral. I'm not reading this for the plot and neither are you.

I'm also 95% certain that Spirou and Fantasio are a couple in this one, and believe me, having Spirou flirt with the Cute Art Teacher on the literal final page of the story just cements it further.

Your Name

May. 10th, 2017 10:04 pm
type_wild: (Default)
For such a gorgeous-looking film, it was honestly jarring to notice cheap tricks - the "loop animation of characters walking while swapping the background" thing - but it was only once, and it was the only bit where I noticed, too.

It's gorgeous-looking and well-told, you should see it for those reasons if nothing else, but fact is that this story is really engaging. A lot of that engagement rests on plot tweeeests, so I'm honestly curious about how interesting it'll be upon the inevitable re-watch when I get the BD. It plays the high school romance angle completely straight, but who the hell cares about that when the rest of it is really, really good? I mean, this is the one you're going to show the next person claiming that 2D is dead. Hell, this is probably going to be my go-to film for people wondering why I'm into "cartoons" in the first place. Get your proper review elsewhere, I just wanted to put this out there.

And now, let us all consider what the press would've been like if it had been Disney who put out a film doing this story.
type_wild: (Smile - Suguru)
1. It's really pretty and regretably boring

2. And I mean regretably in the sense that it's gorgeously animated, that it's about a genre of music that is so very near and dear to my heart, that it's about women and women's friendship and oh my god that festival scene and don't lie, you KNOW that this would've had a fandom to rival Free! if they had been boys instead

3. I'm torn between celebrating the bari sax representation and feeling offended by it being played by a Japanese teenage girl using a neckstrap, not a harness

4. I mean, this IS pretty much just the girl equivalent to Free! with Makoto as the MC and Rin and Haru merged into one character

5. Nagisa/Midori OTP y/y?

6. If you ever wondered if fandom really loved women as much as it claims it does, look no further than to the fact that this has like five pages of fic on AO3

7. Not that I expect you to care, but Nagisa somehow became the "always opposite sexuality as all the other boys" to me so either he's the gay one or he's the straight one, and I really need that Nagisa/Midori fic okay
type_wild: (Stare - Subaru and Hokuto)
I'm a Windows Phone stan.

It's mostly because after a month of using it, my attempts at navigating my mum's Samsung and my dad's applephone were about as elegant as I expect my eightysomething grandma would be at it. Look, I'm absolutely aware that nobody is going to start using WP unless they're native users or is told to by their work, but I maintain that the WP UI is far more user-friendly and intuitive than Android and IOS, and that it is a goddamn tragedy that people won't use it because ew Microsoft.

The problem with WP, of course, is that few people = few apps. I've been doing just fine with it, but when my mum became enough of a Kleinbürger to get a new phone simply because the camera sucked at the current one.... well, the current one was handed down to me. She was very happy in her belief that I'll finally be on Snapchat.

But unless something extraordinary happens, the plan is that it becomes my designated running phone, because Zombies, Run only ever released S1 on WP and stopped support in 2012.

I might be a year later for Pokémon Go, but FE: Heroes will be faaaaar more recent.
type_wild: (Smile - Suguru)
I called Heart of Thomas the grandfather of mothern BL, and the father is, in our context, Maki Murakami's Gravitation.

a comparison of their glaringly obviuos common points )
type_wild: (Tea - Masako)
So I watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica and I definitely think it would've been better if it wasn't so hyped, by which I of course mean that my expectations were high and this didn't live up to them, which of course isn't a fault in the series itself.

The moeblog character design, though? THERE IS NO EXCUSE.

I'm not sure what it set out to do, but I feel pretty confident that it was a mission that probably wasn't needed. Not really a review, but also no spoilers. )
type_wild: (Tea - Masako)
Fun fact: A depressing amount of my actual interest in Yuri!!! on Ice could, at some point, probably be traced back to its thing for katsudon, since katsudon has been high on my list of exotic food I'd like to try an authentic version of ever since I discovered Cooking With Dog some five years ago



Fact 1: I'm no fan of cooking, and yet I cook my meals from scratch. This because it saves money, but more importantly, because I'll at least know what exactly it is I'm eating.

Fact 2: So I'm not gourmand, which means that 90% of what I cook are varieties of soups or stews that can be made in big quantities and frozen for easy microwaving the upcoming weeks. Soggy vegetables, unbalanced seasoning, weird combination of whatever the hell that was about to expire, that's where it's at. It's not something I serve other people, but my dietary demand is one hot, savoury meal daily and I hate wasting food.

Fact 3: It's a terrible, terrible thing to develop an addiction to youtube cooking channels when you're back to living on student loans in a tiny room with a not exactly well equipped kitchen. I've spent a sad amount of my life going through the archives of Titli's Busy Kitchen, Sorted Food, and this ridiculous cake channel. (my newest discovery is this Swedish thing, which I don't suppose a lot of you'll understand but look at those cakes)

Youtube, having clearly cottoned on to what's happening, has sent me over to Foodwishes, which is okay and all, and I liked the goofy narration. But I never realised why I was watching until this video happened. Now THAT is what cooking is all about.

But secretly I could do with more people doing recipes like this.

Love Stage

Mar. 2nd, 2017 09:18 pm
type_wild: (Stare - Subaru and Hokuto)
I wasn't expecting much when I sat down to watch Love Stage, and I sure as hell wasn't expecting to watch half of it in one sitting, prompting the reaction that:

1. This is better than I expected
2. Gravitation was better

SO DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS DOES
It takes that whole "fell in love as a child and have never let them go in the ten years since" and takes it where it inevitably would have to go some day, because our poor, obsessed love interest didn't know that his first love was a boy.

A moeblob-lovin' otaku with delusions about becoming a manga artist, at that. No, seriously, they bribe him with a body pillow to kiss another guy, it's...

clickbait )

No. 6

Feb. 18th, 2017 10:26 pm
type_wild: (Tea - Masako)
This story starts sometime in 2014, I think, when see this collection of images of what I think is two boys.



I don't know the series, I *think* it's fanart because it's really slash-looking but for some reason I also think it's not? - and there's something about it that really captivates me. I save it, and wonder if I'll ever know where it's from. It's not something I ever feel strongly enough about to go plastering up all over social media going HAVE YOU SEEN THESE KIDS BEFORE. But I remember it, from time to time, and wonder what kind of story it was from.

Come 2016 and the Yuri on Ice discourse. Specifically the part about how uh no, they didn't "hide the kiss because of censorship" because there's been gay stuff in anime since the nineties at least and IF that thing in YoI was a kiss, then it sure as hell wasn't the first time a same-sex kiss had been shown between main characters in a non-BL anime. Guys, No. 6 happened like five years ago.



I probably wouldn't have ever gotten to know where white-haired kid and is-it-a-girl-or-a-guy came from if a certain subset of the anime fandom hadn't believed in Yuri!!! on Ice like middle America believed in Donald J. Trump, and for that reason alone, I guess I'm grateful for it.

I mean, and JJ.

but was it GOOD )

ETA: Or just read the manga
type_wild: (Tea - Masako)
School update:

1) No, there's no extra reading for writing the 5big paper, that was the uni webpage lying (they're also lying about the due date, but that was a matter of three days - I mean, just to note how they're being Very Professional)

2) Thus far, the part about the dialects has been repetition of what I did this autumn, just in my native language and in far more detail. So it's somewhere between "convenient repetition" and "wow I knew all of this already", and let's hope it continues like that.


INSTEAD, let's talk about how my incentive for finally learning Japanese arrived in the post



cut for pics )

I should probably write something about that, I guess, but the long and short of it is that ever since I discovered this half-scanlated masterpiece three years ago, I've been kinda serious about learning Japanese, because - I guess - I finally have an excuse.

So yeah, those things I said about fic in the last post? My prejudices and internalised resentment of the fangirl was not limited to that. I'll claim to be into comics and cartoons (no, I'll never call it "sequential art" and "animated film"), but the truth of it is that at least half of what I've consumed of those artforms since I was sixteen or so has been from Japan, and if that had been in any other language, then I'd sat down to learn it years ago, for sure. My ambitions about learning French might've started with some studies I read for my MA that didn't bother translating the French excerpts it used to illustrate the evolution of a certain novel format, but these days? Sure, I still want to learn French, but that's mostly because of the infuriatingly slow translation of Spirou et Fantasio around here.

But French has, well, it has history, it has class, it has a number of things to say about half of Europe's languages but English most pressingly, but Japanese is weabo and certainly when you're doing it because of the comics. The hilarious part is that I have absolutely no prejudices against other people learning it just for the comics, but desperately want to distance myself from it even if people IRL can clearly witness my FMA thermos mug.

And now I've paid enough money for Takemiya Keiko - oh, you don't want to know the story of me and the DVDs for Towards The Terra - for this to be justified.

Hiragana level: Practiced the s-row today
type_wild: (Tea - Masako)
The fact that Goodreads has a reading challenge at all is proof that for a not inconsiderable amount of us, reading isn't just pleasure, but some variety of self-improvement project that's enough of a duty to be something we procrastinate about.

For some of us, of course, the question isn't the action of reading, but of reading the right things. I'll be the first person to admit that there's fic out there that have a lot more literary qualities than most of the what's given the best shelf space in physical bookstores around me, but that's no excuse for reading it instead of the truly good stuff you'll find in your library. The fact that you find the occasional gem on some old LJ account doesn't make up for the fact that fanfic is an extremely conservative genre what form and content concerns. It doesn't hurt anyone to read something that will surprise you, and in my personal case, there's that whole bit about all the classics of some three different literary traditions that I feel I should be familiar with beyond having classes on them.

I'm currently torn on whether or not I should add the No. 6 novels to my reading list on Goodreads.

The answer should be given, really: they're proper novels that have been published in some three different formats and were adopted into two other media. They're individually short and written for a young audience, but they're real books with ISBN numbers and stuff. They're as "real literature" as it gets.

But the part of me that rates my literary experience on whether or not it was at least deemed worthy of being published by a real publishing house at some point (just liek fifty shades!!!!11) keeps on insisting that it's cheating, because

1) I'm reading unofficial translations of unverifiable quality
2) I probably wouldn't have gone looking for them if I hadn't seen the anime and really liked it, meaning that
3) My motivation for reading this pretty much equals fanfic, and thanks to the notably literal feeling of the translations and how I'm already familiar with an adaptation, the reading experience is likewise a case of "well I'm not here for the pretty prose anyway"
(Bonus: 4) They're really short and adding all nine of them would feel like using comics and plays what the reading challenge concerns - it doesn't count if you can finish it off in one afternoon)

Who knew I had such staunch moral standards for my consumption of prose fiction. Certainly not me.

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