joiedecombat: (I'm okay)
Things I did not quite realize about my preferences re: fiction until tonight:

1) I like characters whose personalities are based almost if not entirely on their single-minded, obsessive, usually silent devotion to another person. (For example, Hagi from Blood+.)

2) I also apparently like it when characters get their arms cut off. Especially if they have to do the cutting-off themselves, because that's badass.

Sadly, Le Chevalier d'Eon is proving to have much less genderfuck than I'd hoped... although "Everyone knew his sister" is still at least a once-an-episode occurrence and the Queen of England's behavior is awfully subtexty, I am just saying. Also, aw, Durand.
joiedecombat: (Aya)
Sarah Rees Brennan, on the subject of writing damaged heroes.

Highlights:
JANE EYRE: And then you decided to disguise yourself as a gypsy woman in order to tell me about our eternal love. 18753th count of lying to me. First count of cross-dressing.
ROCHESTER: And your point is...?
JANE EYRE: Kiss me, you mad bonnet-wearing fool!
READER: ...Bzuh?

And also:
But an important part of That Guy is that That Guy Is Not Right. My hero Nick doesn’t kill puppies or cross-dress, but he’s been raised in a atmosphere of constant violence. He learned to use knives when he was seven, he ditches bodies in the river and then drives home annoyed about being late for dinner. Finding true love isn’t going to fix him. Finding a voucher for five years of free therapy probably isn’t going to fix him. I wanted to show all that, and yet not write a book which made readers go ‘Oh my God, the main character... if only one could reach into the pages of a book and BEAT THE HERO TO DEATH WITH A SPATULA.’
joiedecombat: (heroine)
I found this article about female roles in film via [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain. It is worth a read, but I am particularly struck by some of the comments, in which several people complain about the ending of Disney's Mulan being anti-feminist.

TL;DR ensues. )

Comments, anyone?

Gundam 00

May. 11th, 2009 10:06 am
joiedecombat: (Gundam 00)
I finished watching Gundam 00 yesterday in a final marathon session. I have to say I'm fairly disappointed with season two; although there was a lot that was good, or could have been good, there were also a lot of shortcuts taken with characterization and relationships the development of which took place almost entirely offscreen, to the detriment of the story. I am looking at you, Lyle/Anew, although there were other instances as well.

Cut for some spoilers. )

Now, that negativity aside, stuff I did like about the series as a whole:

Tieria. ♥

And of course Neil, and his interaction with basically everyone, especially Tieria.

Kati and Patrick. They're another example of a relationship happening mostly offscreen, but they're less important characters and the series doesn't ask us to care as much, with the result that I'm able to sit back and enjoy how cute they are. (And they still had more scenes than Lyle and Anew did.)

Soma and Sergei. (But not particularly Marie. Also, shut up, Allelujah.)

GRAHAM. (If only he'd gotten to show up to help in the final throw-down. Well, there's still the movie.)

Sumeragi, mostly.

The animation. Very pretty!

Oddly, I didn't really latch onto Setsuna as much as I expected to given that he is, as described by [livejournal.com profile] atrocity, essentially the secret love child of Sagara Sousuke and Squall Leonhart. I don't have any complaints about him (aside from his ridiculous dialogue, which is hardly an issue exclusive to Setsuna) but I think Tieria just tripped my moe switches better.

So, now that that's done, I will make another try at writing that Baccano! fanfic, and start watching Pumpkin Scissors - have only seen the first episode so far, but I already love Alice so much I want to hug her.

Also need to catch up with NCIS season 6, but I might wait for the DVDs on that since watching it online is a bit of a chore.

Do I need a Tieria icon, flist? Or perhaps a Patrick one.

Trek!

May. 9th, 2009 02:22 am
joiedecombat: (awkward)
So. Star Trek. Thoughts, with spoilers.

The Good )

The Bad )

The WTF )

TL;DR non-spoilery version - I enjoyed it, I thought the main cast did fantastic jobs and I really hope there are more movies with these actors, but I thought that using the plot that they used wasted a lot of the potential available to the movie, which is a shame, because even if there are more movies, not all of that potential can be regained. Bummer.
joiedecombat: (lol fandom)
While I'm at it: the "otaku baton" meme, from [livejournal.com profile] annwyd.

spam! )
joiedecombat: (Aya)
Haven't caught up on the last new NCIS episode yet. Probably tomorrow. In the meantime, anime night's gone to twice a week: Tuesdays we watch Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, Thursdays we watch Black Lagoon. I've been watching a bunch of anime lately, so have some thoughts on all of it.

Tsubasa )

Black Lagoon )

Other stuff, including Mushi-Shi and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time )
joiedecombat: (ncis)
Otherwise known as 'Tony, framed for murder again? Really?'

Cut for spoilers and natter. )
joiedecombat: (ncis)
So [livejournal.com profile] yang_wenli got me hooked on NCIS, and now that I've finished mainlining seasons three through five on DVD, I am once more in the position of keeping up with a current TV show as it airs.

This never seems to end well, but it's too late, I'm hooked now!

Some preliminary thoughts about the series as a whole and how I got hooked. )

Episode 6.15, 'Deliverance' )
joiedecombat: (read the manual)
Stumbled across this comment on TVTropes today:

It's interesting the philosophical differences in how people approach science fiction. A lot can be said about the fundamental divide between people who look at a zap-gun and say "Real lasers don't work like that, so this story is Wrong" vs. people who look at a zap-gun and say "Real lasers don't work like that, so obviously zap-guns aren't lasers, but something else".

Hm.
joiedecombat: (RTFM)
Still hooked on Mass Effect, yes. I've been dabbling with a male Shepard to see how I like it, and although I'm not very far in yet, I have to say that I much prefer female!Shepard so far.

Why is that?

Cut for spam and nattering about gender roles, yay. No particular spoilers. )

Glass Fleet

Aug. 1st, 2008 10:24 pm
joiedecombat: (Default)
Tonight I finally watched the last disc of Glass Fleet, so now I'm going to talk about it for a while.

Cut for CRAZY. SO MUCH CRAZY. )
joiedecombat: (ang ang ang)
So now that Avatar is over, I wandered over to the Television Without Pity Avatar forum to see what other people had to say about the finale.

Azula whatnow? )

This is an impressively negative post. To follow that up: I finally went to see The Dark Knight yesterday, after failing to quite be motivated to do so earlier. I wasn't as impressed with it as most of my friends list, I'm afraid. It wasn't by any means a bad movie, but I thought it reveled a bit too much in how scary and crazy the Joker is - and yes, the Joker should be exactly this crazy and scary, but I think the point was belabored at the expense of both the plotline and Batman's role in the story. Batman himself was essentially tertiary character compared to the Joker and Harvey Dent.

Plus, with regards to Harvey, there was practically another half a movie shoehorned in that could and probably should have been reserved for a sequel.

So, yeah.
joiedecombat: (zuko)
So, the finale of Avatar was - and I say this as someone who wasn't all that impressed with either "The Southern Raiders" or "The Ember Island Players" - Nearly Perfect In Its Beauty. There was so much that was awesome about it that I can't possibly mention all the things I really loved.

ZOMG YOU GUYS )

Dr. Horrible, on the other hand... ow. :(

Tomorrow, The Dark Knight.
joiedecombat: (silly)
Glass Fleet is even weirder when you're sleep-depped.

Brief comment with spoiler for episode 14. )

Now I'm going to go fall over something fierce.
joiedecombat: (ang ang ang)
Watched some more Glass Fleet.

It's still kind of on crack. Cut for length and oblique nonspecific pseudo-spoilers. And crazy. )

Meanwhile, probably because it's Global Plot Tiems on BnB... I'm getting random fiction ideas. For one thing, as already mentioned, I've gotten renewed inspiration for that FFVIII Squalltimecia fic; I'm also inspired once again to write "Persistence of Memory," which I originally plotted something like four years ago and never wrote because Squall's deep thoughts are hard for me to write. So maybe I can turn out at least part of one or both of them sometime in the near future.

And at least one Gundam SEED fic, WTF. I'm not sure but I think this is indirectly [livejournal.com profile] annwyd's fault somehow.

And a story set in an alternate version of [livejournal.com profile] nexuscity which doesn't actually use any of the characters established in NC so far, what the hell, brain. It's still sketchy, as, let's face it, all of my ideas are, but presently it involves a pre-teen or teenaged girl refugee from a world that fell to a Zombie Apocalypse (heavily inspired by [livejournal.com profile] funwithrage's Ivy Freeman); a Sekrit Society organized for purposes as yet unclear but related to, at least as they see it, keeping Nexus City from going all to pieces and/or getting taken over by Scary Supernatural Stuff; and the guy who ends up taking the girl in. He lives in an abandoned church, and the community in general, although aware that he's not actually an official priest, accepts him as the next thing to because, let's face it, Nexus City doesn't exactly have a seminary or whatever it is that Catholics go through to become priests.

The community in general doesn't know that he's one of the aforementioned Sekrit Society's wet-works men, but what they don't know won't hurt them. At least not so long as he kills it first.

This is so done in so many ways, but whatever.
joiedecombat: (lol fandom)
I am working idly on that Final Fantasy VIII fanfic idea I had way back when, involving Squall beginning to turn into Ultimecia as a Take That to everyone who thinks that Ultimecia was clearly intended, in canon, to be the future Rinoa. I find myself unable to resist the inclusion of a scene in which Seifer, hearing Squall's friends discussing a similar theory, declares, "That's the most retarded thing I ever heard."

I am also prodding dubiously at Glass Fleet, an anime series by the same studio that brought us The Count of Monte Cristo IN SPACE, Seven Samurai WITH MECHA, and Romeo and Juliet ON A FLOATING CITY WITH CROSSDRESSING AND MAGIC TREES. This one appears to be the French Revolution IN SPACE, kind of, except space has breathable atmosphere and tornados, and is bright green, and the spaceships use hand-loaded cannons. With actual cannonballs.

All the spaceship stuff is done in plasticky CG which I'm not keen on, but the main characters are interesting enough that I've put the series into my Netflix queue. I have only seen five episodes and have no idea yet what's going on, but, summed up: forces led by the vaguely skeevy Vetti Sforza overthrew the forces of some other pseudo-French aristocrats and took over the poorly-defined space empire in which the story takes place. Since this is the French Revolution IN SPACE, what this mostly means is that life is pretty good for the current aristocracy and crap for everyone else, inspiring some of the common folk to form the People's Army under the inspirational leadership of Michel Volban, a young aristocrat who nevertheless Really Cares About The People. Michel has two loyal retainers whose primary responsibilities appear to be to make sure Michel has a cup of hot tea from a civilized china tea service whenever it's needed. They also act as Michel's bodyguards occasionally, but they're not nearly as good at that as they are at making tea, which results in all three of them having to be rescued by a quirky band of space pirates in a snazzy glass spaceship under the command of "Cleo of the Wind," the last survivor of the original royal family.

Cleo wants to reinstate the monarchy and reclaim the throne. Michel wants Justice For The Common Folk. Vetti mostly appears to want Michel chained to a bed. Guess which one of the three of them is secretly a woman. Go on, guess. Hint: it's the one who hasn't gone running about shirtless for several scenes by the end of the fifth episode.

So, yeah. Glass Fleet: pretty much on crack. But reasonably fun crack, and I like Michel and Cleo pretty well so far. So we will see.

Have also been reading a metric nassload of manga courtesy of Jack, particularly Bleach, d.Gray-man, xxxHolic, and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, but also stuff like Bizenghast (creepy-cool Victorian Gothic ghost story), Azumanga Daioh (high school girls are CRAZY), Claymore, and Penguin Revolution (the entertainment business is WEIRD; also, recursive cross-dressing!). Most of it's pretty good.
joiedecombat: (*sparkle*)
So after finally getting sucked into reading Fruits Basket(I blame [livejournal.com profile] evilbeej) I ran out of borrowed volumes at v17 last night and just gave in and looked up the rest online. (I know, I know, but I'm planning to buy the series for myself gradually anyhow, so.)

Then I cried like a little girl. I should stop reading things that make me cry, really. (Katsuya ;_;)

The main thing that strikes me about this series is that it's crammed full of very winning characters. I'm not entirely sure if it's just that immersion has made it increasingly easy for me to buy into the feel of the story and the particular way that things play out in it, or if it's just something about Takaya's writing style that makes it possible for her to introduce a minor character and have me firmly invested in that character's story within a single chapter. With only two exceptions (Ritsu, who... needs a Valium, and Akito), even the characters that had otherwise left me cold managed to have at least one moment of winning at life which won me over. (See particularly Ayame at Yuki's parent-teacher conference.)

Cut for some spoilers. )


And edited to add some further, non-spoily natter about Shigure and the appeal of the series in general. )
joiedecombat: (adorkable)
I did say I'd natter more on this subject.

First I should note that I grew up with these books and have loved them for as long as I can remember, so I was predisposed to like the movies. It would take a really awful adaptation to alienate me, and the adaptations of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian are not awful, so I approve of them in general. But I do have a lot of fangirl nitpicks. Some of them are about silly minor details that don't mean anything, but some of them, at least in the case of Prince Caspian, are about broader characterization issues.

I should also mention that of all the protagonists of the various Narnia books, Peter is my favorite, so I'm more inclined to be nitpicky over his characterization than, say, Susan's.

Cut for spoilers )

Overall, I did enjoy it, despite little nitpicks like "would it have killed them to have Peter say 'It is my sword Rhindon. With it I killed the wolf.'?" I'm very much looking forward to seeing what they do with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (especially since they won't be able to insert any big army vs. army battle scenes into it, haha).

On an unrelated note: God help me, I really kind of want to write an epic multi-chapter Avatar: The Last Airbender futurefic focused on Zuko and Sokka, with Zuko as Fire Lord and Sokka as a full-fledged member of the Order of the White Lotus, and a secret plot against Zuko by dissatisfied members of the Fire Nation's old guard and surviving Dai Li agents which Sokka ends up uncovering, and augh.
joiedecombat: (accomplished)
I have been tagged by [livejournal.com profile] dragonsquee to explain some of the interests in my LJ profile, so here they are:

Alone time: I am a firm believer in the value of time alone. I'm a pretty introverted person, so being social, even if it's with people I like and I'm enjoying myself, drains my energy. I need time by myself to recharge, or I start getting twitchy and irritable. Fortunately most of my family is pretty good about understanding that.

B movies: I love cheesy B-grade movies, especially cheesy B-grade sci-fi/fantasy movies. Red Sonja. Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time. The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Clue. Big Trouble In Little China. Weiss Kreuz, which is basically a cheesy B-grade anime series. Mystery Science Theater 3000. And the A-list movies that pay homage to B movies by just not taking themselves too seriously, like The Fifth Element and A Knight's Tale. They're just fun, and I ♥ them, because entertainment does not have to be all serious business all the time.

Damaged heroes: As mentioned in my last post. My favorite heroes are broken. I do not know why this is, really. Maybe it's something about how a genuinely flawed character is more interesting to watch than a character who's got it all together; the broken hero has more to overcome. He (or she) isn't just struggling against the antagonist; he's got to struggle against himself too. I like them emotionally and socially retarded, because while emotionally balanced, socially adept characters will mostly follow socially accepted patterns, each damaged character will come at things in his or her own damaged way, and we get to watch them learning to overcome their damage as they go along. Plus, watching emotionally stunted characters trying to figure out their own emotions is just neat.

Magnetars: It's a musical instrument! It's an alcoholic beverage! Actually it's a star with an immensely powerful magnetic field. No, really. And by immensely powerful I mean ridiculously powerful. Could strip the information from a credit card's magnetic strip from more than 190,000km powerful. Stretches hydrogen atoms into spindles powerful. This is relevant to my interests because I play Magno of the Legion of Super-Heroes on The Brave and the Bold, but what makes it really entertaining is that the name they used is so fantastically lame. Magnet - star - magnetar. It's so lame it's epic. And to make matters even better, when I tried to use "Magnetar" as a character name in City of Heroes, it was already taken! I have no idea who else would voluntarily be that lame, but I would really like to know.

Rinoa is awesome: Because she is. She's practically the antithesis of a Mary Sue: she's intended to be kind of annoying. She's immature, inexperienced, and pushy, but she's also idealistic and highly motivated; her biggest flaws and her biggest strengths are ultimately sides of the same characteristics, and yes, she's naive and a bit overbearing, but she's seventeen years old and grew up sheltered and wealthy and she voluntarily abandoned that to join a resistance movement against her own home nation, and that's pretty damn cool. And it puts her in direct contrast to the other major characters, who are mercenaries less concerned with right and wrong than they are with getting the job done and getting paid. She dovetails beautifully with Squall's damage - she's an optimist, he's a cynic; she lives in the now while he dwells on the past and works to plan for the future; she's motivated, he's apathetic - and they both have the same sense of responsibility to other people and the same fundamental refusal to give up once they've set their mind to something, and most importantly of all she gets him and she tells him what he needs to hear as no one else does. And yet she gets almost no respect in fandom and it makes me sad. Thus the inclusion in my interests. Rinoa is awesome. I have preached it.

Spike Spiegel school-of-repair: AKA percussive maintenance, AKA "my ship works better when I kick it." The way Spike Spiegel of Cowboy Bebop fixes everything. I find it amusing.

Unconventional love stories: Closely related, no doubt, to my love for damaged heroes. I don't like pat love stories nearly as much as I like the ones that are skewed somehow. Reversal or twisting of standard gender roles is a big A+; I have a firmly established weakness for relationships in which the guy is the more emotionally needy and/or submissive partner. Complicated power dynamics are also for the win. Endings don't have to be tied off into a tidy happily-ever-after bow. It's better when it's messy.

If anyone would like to expound about some of their LJ interests they may comment and I will pick some out from their profile for them to explain.

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joiedecombat: (Default)
joiedecombat

August 2012

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