Very nice show, starts good with a bit of cheese and builds up to pretty damn good quite quickly. Great world-building especially, with a very evocative tone of noir and pulp built with the recurrent supportive cast. Definitely makes you want to see more of them and of the back-story.
The main cast is good - three characters only, the main one a woman of color with a mysterious past of being trained as an assassin who is extremely badass, and two brother, one a former soldier also with a past, and the second the tech guy / heart of the group. I'm not quite in love, except for the female character being awesome, but they're fun enough.
Plotting's decent, and fairly efficient in term of the story moving fast.
Definitely scratches a farscape / firefly / cowboy bebop / shadowrun IN SPACE itch that I'd been missing for a while!!
Green and Golden (5748 words) by Salinea
Fandom: Fire Emblem: Soen no Kiseki/Akatsuki no Megami | Fire Emblem Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn, Fire Emblem Series
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Naesala/Leanne, Naesala/Reyson
Characters: Naesala (Fire Emblem), Reyson (Fire Emblem), Leanne (Fire Emblem), Nealuchi (Fire Emblem)
Additional Tags: Dramatic Irony, Irony, Puppy Love, Coming of Age, Pre-Canon, Fantastic Racism, Fluff and Angst
Summary: I trust you remember that when you and your sister were young, it was I, and not Tibarn, who watched over you?
The shift to Ao3 does mean a lot less comments, I hadn't quite realised how disheartening that (I mostly leave kudos over comments when I read fics myself). Not that I dislike kudos - I'm always happy receiving them ^^ - but when you have the expectation of a newly posted fic, it does feel a bit... lacking in interaction, I guess. It doesn't help that in the first place the shift to tumblr means much less in-depth fannish interaction. *sighs* Such in the stuff.
So yeah, I haven't written on DW/LJ myself in forever. I always want to post reviews of books I'm reading or such, but I can't summon the motivation for it. Fandom wise, obviously I'm still very much in the fire emblem fandom (mostly Tellius, but also Jugdral remains on my mind. I'm liking the Elibe games but not so much in a fannish way) and I've actually been reading a whole lot of final fantasy 7 fanfics (as my pinboard can attest). Not reading much comics anymore (I vaguely follow and want to get back in it, but also lack the motivation for it) and haven't felt like reading MCU fanfics lately either. Can't say I'm much excited for Age of Apocalypse either given how disappointing i found DoFP.
I finished the game this week end. It’s a pretty awesome game.
My favourite part was the three lords, who are all great in term of characterisations and have awesome interaction with one another. Of the FE I’ve played so far, they are my fave set of lords!
On of the other hand, of the FE I’ve played so far, Nergal is probably my least favourite villain >_>; Also all the narrative around Ninian was pretty awfully sexist :(
Anyway, there were a lot of other awesome, loveable characters, and some which I would not call loveable but who were interesting. A short list of my favourite would be Nino, Erk, Serra, Legault, Mathew, Rebecca, Sain, Canas, Fiora, Pent and Louise, Guy, Rath... and I'll keep it at that because I said it was a SHORT list. XD
The overall story is… I’d say serviceable without being great (certainly no worse than Path of Radiance). The most interesting part of it was the Bern shenanigans, the Black Fang as tragic villains and Nino.
I found the motif of bad and exploitative parenthood unfolded in a very interesting way (and especially as a commentary of Nergal as a would be transcendent immortal vampire), as was the motif of found family. (well tragic family shenanigans is one of my fave things ^^).
So I will want to play FE7 again on Hector mode; and I will also want to play FE6. I’m not actually sure in what order I should do that so do you guys have suggestions?
( elemental musings under the cut )
Not sure what to make of it yet… but I think my favorite bit of symbolism is the only male characters present being the judges putting the characters’ love on trial as the arbitrators of beauty, coolness and sexiness. Yeaaaaaah.
Quite a lot of stuff on invisibleness, too. Hmm.
Kamisama Kiss is probably the one with the most solid new first episode, with a proper story as such and back in great form.
Durarara x2 I found pretty disappointing in that it didn't try at all to kick-start a whole new season and basically relied on our already existing love of the series and characters to carry itself and didn't have a great sense of rhythm. But then again it's Durarara so it's not like it wasn't sufficient but I hope they'll get back in the groove well soon enough.
Aldonah Zero is somewhere in a middle. It mostly focusses on re-establishing the new status quo after a slight cliffhanger ending + time skip. Doing so by withholding a flashback reveal to the end is somewhat clumsy but worked well enough. It leaves questions but not too many related to the cliffhanger itself, so it seems we're back to pick up the plot very quickly which I'm thankful for.
Probably won't bother trying the new season of Tokyo Ghoul.
For reference, a list of the books I read.
How many books read in 2014?
Only 8 books by a male writer this year, the rest by one or two female writers.
Favorite books read?
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore was not flawless but is probably the one that will stay the most with me for its complicated treatment of how one recovers of trauma on a country wide scale.
Precious Dragon by Liz Williams bored me enough I decided to drop that seire sof book. Also I thought The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P Beaulieu was thoroughly confused and mediocre.
Oldest book read?
Probably the Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff, lol. (Which I thought felt rather painfully British at times.)
Probably the Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. At least it is the "new hot book people are talking about".
Longest book title?
Well I reread "First Against the Wall" which is always a nice, long title.
Cold Fire by Kate Elliott
How many re-reads?
Most books read by one author this year?
I read 10 books by Kate Elliott between the Crown of Stars and the Spirit Walker series.
Any in translation?
All in English.
How many of this year's books were from the library?
Zero. Haven't been much to the library this year.
Book that most changed my perspective:
I don't know that any really did that >_<
Especially liked the protagonists of Kate Elliott's Spirit Walker trilogy (Cat, Vai and Bee), Alain in her Crown of Stars, Bitterblue in Bitterblue, Oda in the Kate Griffith books, and Sin in Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon series. Oh the protagonist from Slow River was pretty awesomely well realised as well.
Not counting characters from the books I've reread this year because OF COURSE I'm ridiculously fond of them.
hahahahahaha, go away.
Sorry, I don't write them out while I read, what do you expect?
Most inspirational in terms of own writing?
I don't know. Maybe Song of the Basilisk because Patricia McKillip's writing is always stunningly and hauntingly beautiful.
How many you'd actually read again?
Not quite sure, I could see myself reread about 5 of them (not counting those that were already rereads).
(she had two of them, but I got lazy).
Kill La Kill
Pilot’s Love Song
Sore demo Sekai wa Utsukushi
Aldnoah Zero S1
Zankyuu no Terror
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaku-kun
Ao Haru Ride
Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
★ Anime series I rewatched
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Shion no Ou
Kill la Kill
★ Western series
Sleepy Hollow S1 (twiced
The Bletchley Circle S2
True Detective S1
The Good Wife S5
Marvel Agents of Shield S1
Mist of Prophecies by Steven Saylor
Judgement of Caesar by Steven Saylor
Cold Magic by Kate Elliott
Cold Fire by Kate Elliott
Cold Steel by Kate Elliott
A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffith
The Magpie Lord: A Charm of Magpies by CJ Charles
The Midnight Mayor by Kate Griffith
Triumph of Caesar by Steven Saylor
A Matter of Oaths by Helen S Wright
A Case of Possession by CJ Charles
Point of Hope by Melissa Scott & Lisa Barnett
Point of Dreams by Melissa Scott & Lisa Barnett
The Neon Court by Kate Griffin
Dynasty of Ghost by PL Nunn
Eona by Alison Goodman
The Seven Wonders by Steven Saylor
The Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
When True Night Falls by Celia Friedman (reread)
Precious Dragon by Liz Williams
The Administration series by Manna Francis (reread)
The Creation by Gore Vidal
The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Reeds Brennan
The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P Beaulieu
Laying the Ghost by Jane Davitt
The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Minority Council by Kate Griffin
Runemarks by Joannes Harris
Slow River by Nicola Griffith
Stealing Fire by Jo Graham
Blackout / All Clear by Connie Willis
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
King’s Dragon by Kate Elliott
Prince of Dogs by Kate Elliott
The Burning Stone by Kate Elliott
Child of Flame by Kate Elliott
Song for the Basilisk by Patricia McKillip
The Gathering Storm by Kate Elliott
In the Ruins by Kate Elliott
The Crown of Seven by Kate Elliott
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller
★ Comics and manga
I was very crap at keeping track of what I read this year. There’s a bunch of Marvel NOW series which came to an end, and I also read the Infinity Gauntlet.
Manga wise I read (to the end, at last) Banana Fish and Beauty Pop. And a bunch of BL heh.
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
Batten Kaitos Origin
Tales of Xillia
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
Much Ado About Nothing (2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Summer War (rewatch)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Millennium Actress (rewatch)
I was playing with runespoor who’d finished the Milla version of the game just before, so we were doing the Jude version of the game.
I mostly liked it a lot, at least I very much enjoyed the characters and ambiance and gameplay. I have a bit more mixed feelings about the plot and themes.
( Read more... )
Next game I’m playing with Runespoor is Fire Emblem 4. :3
- The Good Wife: Yes, good, show. I still love you the most. Especially you, Kalinda. OMG Eli even got to be COMPETENT. That’s wonderful. Keep on with it. Don’t make me stress too much about Cary though, show, I rather like him, all in all and I don’t watch you to be stressed.
- Sleepy Hollow: ( small spoiler )
- Gotham: Well you do the city Gotham pretty good, so that’s a big point in your favourite, and I also I loved baby Selina so far and even baby Bruce. I never like Bruce, wtf. I’m actually not sure what to make of what you’re doing with Renée yet (and Cris) but she’s one of my fav SO DONT MESS UP. I’m afraid your Gordon bores me. I fear this is my white male protagonist fatigue more than anything, cuz he’s not badly acted or anything. Fish Moony is delightful tho, so there’s that. You need to improve on the writing front fast though, otherwise you’ll be as mediocre Agents of Shield.
- Agents of SHIELD: Oh show, I’m afraid you’re on a countdown. Improve quickly and stop mistreating your female characters quickly. Stop making Coulson so fucking aggravating, I’m starting to hate seeing him on screen if you keep doing that raising music and it’s so cheesy and I want to throw things at my screen. ( spoiler ) So basically you have a few episodes to improve quickly or I give up on you. Cheers!
- How to Get Away With Murder: Good writing, good plot set up, intriguing characters if not yet quite what I would call sympathetic yet. But I like plotty stories too, I can roll with that rather than character appeal for now. I like the use of male seducing, too, interesting gender reversal in how it was handled. Don’t get too excited with the fancy jumpcut shit, it’s not 2007 any more and it just looks silly. Just, be smart and not too creepy and we’ll be great friends.
so yeah, hi! Anybody still reading?
Someone on failfandomanon asked for comics recs to learn about Magneto at his morally ambiguous best, and I spent a half an hour typing a huge ass long answer and was late to meet a friend >_>. Anyway, I’ve cleaned it up and clarified some stuff and decided I might as well share it here:
In order of chronology of the character
Magneto - Testament by Greg Pak: Magneto’s youth during the Shoah. Very good and heartbreaking. Highly Reccomended.
Classic X-Men #12 (A Fire in the Night) by Claremont: After the war Magneto tries to settle in Ukraine with his wife & child. It does not go well. Essential reading.
Uncanny X-Men #161 by Claremont: Magneto meets Charles Xavier in a hospital in Israel. It goes well until it doesn’t. Essential reading.
Classic X-Men #19 (I, Magneto) by Claremont: Magneto goes Nazi hunting for the CIA. It does not go well. Highly recommended.
Uncanny X-Men #150 by Claremont: Magneto tries to stop nuclear proliferation by threatening the world’s governments with his power. The first issue in which Claremont gave Magneto’s depth and recreated him as a Holocaust survivor.
God Loves, Man Kills by Claremont: Somebody is targeting mutants. Magneto seeks the X-Men to help. Highly recommended and fairly standalone.
Secret Wars by Shooter: An overly powerful entity decided to summon a bunch of villains and heroes and have them fight against one another for his entertainment. Magneto was summoned among the heroes, to everybody’s shock. Not absolutely necessary but takes place in the lapse of time when Magneto was getting more nuanced and Xavier was using the chance to try to convince his friend to amend his way. Lots of other cool stuff in it otherwise (Doom is the star of this show tho).
Uncanny X-Men #196 by Claremont: Magneto chats with Rachel, who came from the future in which Magneto’s worst nightmares happened.
Uncanny X-Men #199 by Claremont: Kitty takes Magneto to a Holocaust survivors reunion.
Uncanny X-Men #200 by Claremont: Magneto is put on trial. It does not go well. Both of those are highly recommended.
New Mutants v1 #21-75: Charles left Magneto in charge of the kids at his school. It does not go well. In particular issues #35, 38-40, 50-52 by Claremont are highly recommended. #60-61, 64, 73-75 by Louise Simonson for how it goes to hell, but I don’t much like Simonson’s take on the character.
X-Men vs Avengers by Stern & Shooter: The Avengers question Xavier’s choice of substitute teacher. It does not go well.
X-Men vs the Fantastic Four by Claremont - Magneto tries to save Kitty Pryde’s life.
Uncanny X-Men 274-275 by Claremont - Magneto and Rogue in the Savage Land and old ghosts. Highly recommended.
X-Men 1-3 by Jim Lee and Claremont - Magneto’s descent into heartbreaking crazy villainy again and Claremont’s farewell to the X-Men for a while.
IGNORE SHITTY 90S EVENTS
Well, except for:
Legion Quest (Uncanny X-Men #320- X-Men #40- UXM 321 & XM-41) by Nicieza, Lobdell and Waid - Xavier’s crazy and crazy powerful son goes back in the past to Xavier and Magneto’s first meeting in Israel to try to kill Magneto before he becomes a supervillain. It does not go well.
X-Men Unlimited #2 by Nicieza – A story of vengeance and grief.
ANYWAY ON TO THE 00S
Excalibur v3 #1-14 by Claremont - Xavier and Magneto hang out in the ruins of Genosha. Not very good but very, very slashy.
House of M (main series) by Bendis - Magneto’s dream has been made true and replaced reality. His family is the stuff of Greek tragedy.
House of M - Civil War by Gage - How Magneto’s dream came true in the House of M alternate reality.
X-Men Legacy #208-210 by Carey - Xavier was shot in the head during the Messiah Complex events. A depowered Magneto helps him finding himself again.
Magneto gets repowered and then joins the X-Men who are living on an artificial island made of the ruins of Asteroid M off the coast of San Francisco and has declared themselves to be their own nation. Because if they’re copying him he might as well join them, ya know.
(This is Uncanny X-Men #516, but I don’t much like how this issue is written so it’s not highly recommended. OTOH I’m pretty fond of UXM #518-522, in which Magneto does his best to show his use to the X-Men).
Nation X #1 (The Ghost of Asteroid M) by Spurrier - Short story about Magneto settling in with the X-Men and especially their students
Uncanny X-Men #534.1 by Gillen - The X-Men ask their PR agent to deal with Magneto’s joining their team. Hilarity ensues.
X-Men Legacy #231-259 by Carey - Magneto as a member of Rogue’s team. Not always very Magneto focussed, but Carey writes one of the best Magneto outside of Claremont so… Also the Magneto/Rogue romance, if that rocks your boat.
Uncanny X-Men v2 #1-3 by Gillen – Magneto as a member of Cyclops new Extinction team, which he boasts as the world’s mightiest heroes, vs Sinister. Not essential, but has a couple of great Mags moments and is a great mood setting for that point of time in the X-Men.
Magneto: Not a Hero by Skottie Young - A mini about Magneto’s clone re-appearing and starting to kill people in his name. Highly recommended.
Uncanny X-Men v2 #13, #15-20 by Gillen - the Avengers and the X-Men went to war and a few of X-Men became the host of the Phoenix Force. Oh, also Sinister is attacking. What does Mags do?
Avengers vs X-Men – Consequences by Gillen - The Avengers won and the X-Men are on the run. What does Mags do?
All New X-Men #1-5 + Uncanny X-Men v3 #1-3, #8, #16, 21-22 by Bendis – Cyclops’ group of hunted X-Men try to a be a radical force for good for mutants and train new recruits. Magneto plays a dangerous game with SHIELD trying to uncover who is resurrected the Sentinel program.
Magneto v1 1-on going by Bunn - Magneto left Cyclops to go and hunt the enemies of mutantkind by himself. Very good and very dark.
No More Humans by Carey - Humans have mysteriously disappeared from earth, leaving only mutants. What does Mags do? Carey still writes the best Magneto outside of Claremont.
Outside of continuity:
X-Men – Mythos: A rewriting of the first mission of X-Men against the mutant terrorist Magneto.
Well next she made me play Fire Emblem 9/10.
Actually we played Path of Radiance... I think in the spring? I don't actually remember, but I remember we spent the summer with FF9 and Kingdom Heart 2 and fall with FF7 (the final fantasies, I was the one who had already played with them though I hadn't finished either up till then) and I think PoR was before, so.
And in the last few weeks we did Radiant Dawn (there was a big gap because of technical difficulties with the data transfer and all sorts of stuff).
Anyway PoR didn't make that much of an impression on me... it's a fairly nice, but fairly straightforward story. I'm really not much into strategy game, and most of the time "playing" meant moving the characters where runespoor was telling me to. I also found the way that the characters we use in the game to fight the battles and the characters who have the most storytime focus are somewhat... not quite the same a bit hard in term of emotional involvement. Still, I didn't dislike it, by a far mile, I was enjoying the game and found quite a few characters to like. I latched very quickly on Soren and he remained by favorite through the game; also Jill has a most awesome character journey and I also found the birds interaction very entertaining and Ranulf pretty great.
Radiant Dawn worked on another level for me still. Part of it may have been being more used to the gameplay & storytelling style; but also because it's a story that works in a much more interesting and multi layered way. I love the way that each part somewhat deconstructs what has gone before XD I found the way we shifted PoV from sides was brilliant. Part 3 was my favorite, and also liked part 4 a lot (although I wish they had had more discussions addressing the awkwardness of it - likewise the last part and ending doesn't have enough discussions addressing reveals for my taste). ( hitherby spoilers )
To be honest, this wasn't a great year for anime and I was getting a bit disgusted with it by the end of spring. Summer was mostly crap too, except it had those two AWESOME show. So I guess there was that.
For the Winter shows that I mentioned before and which ended this year... Psycho Pass and From the New World are two that stand out as very well done, very terrifying dystopia which I'm disappointed in because I find them morally bankrupt. They have weird similarities underneath a very different style, too:
They both follow a heroine whose biggest distinction is an ability for emotional stability and recovery from psychological trauma. This ability, as recognized by their society, grants them special dispensation and decisional status.
They both end up having the heroines nominally repudiate the horrible control of their dystopia by the end, but really only for the form, while supporting them in their actions because the enemy they face, who try to uproot the horribly controlling dystopic societies are obviously manipulative, murderous bastards. Said enemies are the only genuine opponents to the dystopic society we ever really see (there are hints of more in one episode of Psycho Pass but it's n ever followed up on), therefore it seems to tacitly say that people's alternatives are between embracing horribly murderous and controlling dystopic societies or condoning horrible acts of murder in order to oppose them, despite the nominal rejections of the former we see in the ending. That's what I felt was morally bankrupt.
Of the two, I liked From the New World more, I found it much more fresh and original in its world building, with a much more interesting and genuine sense of horror (which kept getting deeper and more existential as we went in); whereas Psycho Pass' cyberpunk and gory aesthetics felt at times rather smug and patronizing. People who prefer Psycho Pass would probably rightly emphasize its heroine great agency in the plot by the ending. But they're both very well done stories, with excellent character work, atmosphere building and world building; and both are great SF works. Too bad that they end up being so conservative in the end in effect :/ I'm not even sure that was intentional (well it might have been with Psycho Pass, but I don't get the feeling from From the New World)
The second season of Chihayafuru was very, very good, although with a very different pacing from the first one. A lot of it was taken with a tournament arc, although it still feel as fresh as ever, with great, subtle characterization. We also got a few new characters, which I liked a lot, especially Sumire. And also loved all the developments to Shinobu. I hope there'll be more anime someday. I need to try out the manga too.
As for Zetsuen no Tempest, I felt it had a pretty weak ending. Overall it was weird, rather entertaining show, which sometimes delighted in doing quirky, anti-climatic stuff. I also loved the way Aika was characterized as the "already dead at the start little sister". She's not as awesome as Lia de Beaumont, but she was pretty cool ;) but yeah, often it was just... weird and not particularly coherent. Although, if several billions of the world population die in the middle of the show, I'd like to have more of a feel for that having happened >_>; mass slaughters with no real effect to the world is starting to be one of my peeves. I blame comics.
For the other shows I watched this year...
In the "why did I watch that again?" category, there was Karneval and Valrave S1 (I didn't actually watch the S2 which is currently broadcasting).
Karneval is a steampunk show has bishounens and pretty aesthetics and very little else. It's one of those show that tries to float by with cute charadesigns and tropish characterizations and thoroughly failed at plot. I mean, it did try to have a plot, it was just mostly incoherent and badly thought of, kind of mildly pleasant to watch if you didn't care too much about the plot or pacing though.
Valrave is space mecha/political drama/bodyjacking vampire show. It is a pretty weird case of trying to be like Code Geass but with a boring lead, more creepy gender dynamics (it's pretty infamous on the internet as The One in Which the Main Character Rapes a Girl) and not as interesting politics (it might get better in the second season). It did do a couple of things that were interesting, especially with the two female leads, and it did have a rather over the top "what the fuck" quality that made it interesting, but it's mostly a failure. (And I'm one of the people who think that despite being flawed, Code Geas was not a trainwreck).
Another SF mecha show, Gargantia was slightly more successful, in that it does end up being a mostly coherent story from start to finish, despite having an extremely weak middle. This one revolves around a genetically programmed space soldier who is shipwrecked with his mecha (and its AI) on a peaceful, low tech, sea covered planet. It's biggest failure, IMHO, is that it never properly lives up to the brilliance that was the first episode. It sets up some interesting things about cultural clashes and learning to communicate, but then is more interested in cute girls and cheap jokes to really pull it off. Then it ends up with info dumping a lot of interesting SF stuff about the history of the world and resolve them overly quickly. Wasted potential overall.
I watched a couple episodes of another mecha show before dropping it, and also the show in which they wish they had mechas, Attack on Titan, but quickly found myself bored/uninterested in either.
I also watched Red Data Girl, a shoujo romance with a supernatural premise about a girl who has a special connection to a powerful Goddess getting sent to a highschool for people with an affinity with the occult. I rather liked it, although it's a little bit weak and badly paced. The heroine is a very much on the overly timid and lacking confidence side, but I thought that made her character journey all the more interesting; and it had an interesting atmosphere.
And I watched an action shounen, Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited; mostly because I wanted to watch the show about not!Magneto and the not!Brotherhood of mutants, which it was wonderfully and crackfully entertaining as. It's also pretty fun and entertaining on its own right. Anyway, it's a spin off of Zettai Karen Children, a not!X-Men manga, which is supposed to be quite a bit too much on the loli, harem & comedy side to be something I'd be interesting in watching or reading; but The Unlimited is much more of a traditional shounen in mood, with a more dramatic tone and the lolicon jokes kept to a minimum. It did a few clever things with the plot, especially with the contrast of the PoV lead, a guy who joins the not!Brotherhood of Mutants at random but is actually infiltrating into them to spy and undermine them, and his reaction to Hyobu Kyosuke, the charismatic leader of radical
Remembering my reactions to it, I'm very much glad we're finally getting a Magneto ongoing soon in comics ^_^
And at last the two great shows from this summer:
Gatchaman CROWDS is a weird beast. In name it's a part of a very old sentai franchise, although it was really conceived as a story separately and tied to the franchise for production reason and doesn't end up having all that much to do with it. It is a pretty awesome reconstruction of superhero tropes in many ways, although it doesn't even have all that much action in it. It's one of the very rare case with an aspirational character as lead which I actually liked. I found it extremely thematically brilliant, in particular; although it also have a great visual style, a very catchy sountrack and some great characters. It does suffer a bit of a rushed ending (which might be fixed in the DVD release and/or planned second season) and of some characters being not as developped than others. But otherwise, I really found it brilliant. It's one of the most positive and empowering story I have ever seen on the topic of heroism. And it tackles the theme of heroism in the age of crowdsourcing especially in a way I found especially fascinating, inspiring and democratic. A lot of the discussions I've seen about it revolves around the lead, Hajime, who is incredibly upbeat and cheerful and also unbearingly independently minded (she tends to do what she decides is best, disregarding others opinions unless they give her a good justification); and - weirdly enough - not a PoV character, which makes her nearly hermetic at times. Careful watching does show her being extremely smart, observant and intuitive in her decision making; but she's actually pretty bad at communicating straightforwardly, so I understand why watchers sometimes found her frustrating. She is a little bit overly perfect at times (as I said, she is an aspirational character rather than an identifying one) but I still found her interesting. My emotional interest, however, was mostly triggered by Rui, who is introduced a few episodes in, as a not-quite-antagonist character and who is very earnestly, very passionately believes in saving people but has a lot more obvious emotional weaknesses in the way he holds himself.
Uchouten Kazoku is not quite slice of life urban fantasy show set in Kyoto, adapted of the same novelist who did the also excellent Tatami Galaxy. It revolves around a family of Tanuki, 4 brothers and their mother, who are held as losers since the death of their father who was a pillar of the community. We especially follow the third brother, a laid back guy, as he takes care of his sensei, a bad tempered Tengu with a bad back, is teased to death by the human woman who learned magic from the Tengu, and deals with his family. It is gorgeous, with brilliant characterization, multi-layered relationships, wonderful storytelling, and great production value. It handles both comedy and emotionally poignant moments with brio. Can't think of any reason not to watch it. It did have a properly great conclusion, although it still made me yearn for more at the ending (there will be more novels but I don't think any ready for more animation anytime soon, sadly.) I don't have all that much to say about it, but it's just very, very good.
Of the Autumn shows I'm currently watching, there's mostly Kill La Kill (which is pretty insane in an over the top ridiculous way but also very clever and filled to the brink with political commentary IN A VERY WEIRD WAY. Also sexual objectification.) and Tokyo Ravens (a supernatural shounen series, in which I like most of the characters a lot but which isn't going anywhere yet in terms of plot and has annoying harem dynamics). Will have more to say about both once they'll be wrapped up. I also watched Samurai Flamenco for a while, but kinda got bored with it.
This year I also watched Sailor Moon S & R, which was wonderful. I did love Michiru and Haruka a lot. I also really loved Chibi Usa which I didn't think would be so hardcore as she turned out. That girl is wickedly brave and underhanded which is awesome. And also Hotaru! I had never really been told about Hotaru and her epic love story with Chibi Usa!!! There are a lot of hilarious quirky villains (runespoor decided that Eudial went off to work for Tony Stark after her apparent demise, which why not). It was funny to see all the... idiosyncrasies that I associate with Revolutionary Girl Utena appear more and more in episodes. I ended up a bit disappointed by the final for reasons which have more to do with reminding me of Magik's fate in Inferno (see my rant on it here). But overall, great stuff!! I dunno if I should watch the further seasons since as far as I've heard it all goes downhill from there.
I also watched Eden of East, a pretty weird political thriller series about an anmesia guy with a weird cellphone which holds money enough to fulfill all his wish as he's apparently taking part in a weird context to change Japan and the girl he meets who helps him out. That one has an interesting premise and some nice storytelling, and, at heart, a political critique that I didn't feel it really went far enough or consistent enough in order to tackle properly. A bit like Gatachaman CROWDS (which it suffers in comparison of) it talks of crowdsourcing and online communities pulling resources together as a source of positive change for the world, but actually felt pretty backward and anti-democratic in the way it tries to pull it through. Couldn't quite decide whether to be optimistic or cynical, I guess. Disappointing, although it's still a very interesting and mostly very well done anime.
For the most part, I did a lot of rewatch this years. I'm just listing them:
Kaleido Stars S2 + OAV
Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Seirei no Moribito
Towards the Terra
Hikaru no Go
Haven't posted in an eternity, have I? The sad thing is, it's not even because I'm using tumblr instead. Haven't been posting on that either. (I've still been reading my flist on LJ/DW though). I don't have much interesting news to talk about (there was that time when my computer broke down during the summer and I lost all my files of comics, manga & music as a result. Still trying to recover from that -_-;) but I figure I still might use the end-of-year-surveys to talk about all the media from this year I haven't said anything about. So what do you guys want me to start with? Anime, TV shows, comics, books, something else? (well if anyone's still interested after my long absence and everyone leaving journalling that is).