aliceylain: ([lain] walk out of the machinery)
Another quiet day. I had the discouraging thought today that no one talks to me on their own volition unless it's about work-related stuff. I don't think that would bother me so much if I didn't sit across from a co-worker whom EVERYBODY in the office adores. She usually has at least three visitors a day to see her and gab about silly stuff. She's very nice so I don't begrudge her her popularity but...well. You know. I didn't butt into her conversations with her friends, which I usually do, so another quiet day.

I shouldn't be sad about this because it's not like I'm the only one who doesn't have people come by to talk about non-work things. I need to keep that in mind. Also, I really need to stop comparing myself to others. That way lies madness, I KNOW this because I've been struggling with that particular form of madness all my life.

Did my running today. I know that I mentioned this past spring that I took up running and I'm still at it amazingly. I even joined a gym, something I thought I would never, ever, EVER do. To be honest, I joined it because once the time changed back in November, I couldn't go running outside after work anymore. Even if I could deal with the cold, it's certainly not safe to run outside at night. The gym is okay and relatively cheap and I'm not locked into a contract so I can quit when the time changes back next April. I've also picked up some very limited weight training, just with my stomach muscles and hip muscles.

I'm pretty pleased that I've been able to keep up with the running. I'm not fast and I don't run for long, but I'm still at it. I have also begun to MAYBE see the glimmerings of what people mean by a runner's high. I definitely run the best on the weekend because I go running in the morning when I've got the most energy and am feeling the most alert. I feel stronger too, although I'm pretty sure I haven't lost any weight since I love to eat too much. But I've got some muscles forming and like I said, I feel stronger. It's a really good feeling even if it might only be in my head and not a reality.
aliceylain: ([tennis] what your eyes can do)
Last night's entry was really less about friends and more frustration about myself. I've been the same for so long, been someone that I don't particularly want to be, that it spilled out incoherently.

I want to be a nice person and I'd like to have friends, but not if it means hurting myself. I've spent so many years pushing down my confidence, blaming myself for things that aren't even remotely my fault, and trying to hide in the background while still being there for people. It just doesn't work for either them or me. I end up with a lot of anger over the situation and it spilled over last night.

Today, I tried deliberately to not necessarily be nice or self-effacing. Instead I tried to be quietly confident. I tried walking upright instead of hunched over, I didn't say "I'm sorry" once, I didn't run into other conversations in a pathetic play for attention. It was a quiet day; no one talked to me unless it was about work-related things but I can deal with that. I also didn't say anything stupid with my run-away mouth, which was nice. It's the beginning of what I suspect is a long road. I think it'll be worthwhile. I want to be a quiet, calm, honest, confident person. I want to stop blaming myself and then getting upset when no one cares that I blame myself. It's a vicious cycle and I'm old enough that I should be able to break free.

So I'm turning back to this journal again after three months of silence. Comments won't be turned on because I don't trust myself with comments and it's not that I was a timely responder anyway. I'll be talking about this, my new road that I'll be walking, but I'll also talk about other things fandom-related to. Having a place for quiet introspection is useful.
aliceylain: ([utena] she's a little bit dangerous)
And sometimes I just get so tired of trying to make friends. I try to be nice at work, I try to talk to people. I try to say interesting things and it doesn't seem to work. Whatever the friend-making gene is, I just don't seem to have it anymore. People talk to me if it is directly work-related. People talk to me if I butt into their conversations. Otherwise, there's just nothing and I've gotten to the point where I'm tired of my social anxiety telling me every word I said that was stupid, every intonation that was off.

Work is having a department holiday party at a local restaurant this upcoming week but I didn't reply to the RSVP. Holiday parties are nothing but anxiety. I have to worry about who I'm sitting with, which is largely a matter of chance and the order that people arrive in. I have to worry about what to talk about. I have to scrutinize my words afterward and be embarrassed about all the stupid things I said in a pathetic attempt to make people like me. It's not worth the free food, all that worry. So I didn't RSVP. Maybe this time would have been different and I would have made a connection...but odds aren't high.

I haven't had a proper friend outside of work and the internet in years and nowadays I'm mostly okay with it. I like that I'm in complete control with what I do in my free time since nobody wants any part of my free time. On the other hand, I know that having no friends is not healthy and I do get lonely sometimes. I'm 35 and if it weren't for work and visiting my parents, I would definitely qualify as a recluse. Is it bad that outside the occasional feeling of loneliness and the knowledge that this isn't a good thing, my worst fear about being a recluse is what is going to happen to me when I get too old to care for myself by myself?

I'm tired of feeling like I say the wrong things every damn day of my life. Why do I hold myself accountable? I'm going to quit trying. I'm going to quit trying to strike up conversations, I'm going to stop joining conversations. I'm going to stop reaching out and engaging because I haven't been able to get what I'm searching for out of it in a long time. No more crappy jokes, no more small talk, no more trying to impress. Time to stop lying to others and myself.

I'm not nice and I don't want to care anymore.

go. die.

Aug. 10th, 2014 07:20 pm
aliceylain: ([jellyfish] BEST. ART.)
HELLO, MY NAME IS ALICEYLAIN AND I AM PROUD AND HONORED TO ACCEPT THE TITLE OF "WORST JOURNAL/COMMENT RESPONDER EVER". IT TAKES WORK TO PROCRASTINATE AT RESPONDING TO JOURNAL ENTRIES AND COMMENTS AS CONSISTENTLY AS I DO.

Continuing in the vein of Obvious To Everyone News, sports anime is the worst thing ever. Ever.



Like this little shit. Ugh. Go into a fire and die. He reminds me so much of Atobe from Prince of Tennis, with his stupid King title and his fangirls and his "I'm better than you attitude". I know that Karasuno needs to lose a match at some point but it'd better not be the one against Aoba Josai. KARASUNO, YOU'D BETTER BEAT THIS GUY UNTIL HE'S CRYING UNDER THE FLOOR BOARDS. I hope his perfectly coiffed hair flattens under the strain of the impending beat down.

I have also decided (finally) my favorite Miracles player from Kuroko's Basketball. It's this other little shit.



STUPID GLASSES KINK UGH UGH UGH. I mean, I love Kuroko and all but I will always have my heart stolen by the glasses character. It's just the way things are. Plus, Aomine is even more of a shit than Midorima, Kise is Popular One which automatically invalidates him to me somehow, Murasakibarahooboo pretends to not care about sports and teamwork, and Akashi doesn't know the meaning of the word "lose" which annoys me in sports anime. That leaves Kuroko and Midorima and Midorima has glasses and a fetish for perfection. So. You know. *draws sulky hearts around him* HE HAS GREEN HAIR IN THE ANIME, THIS IS WHAT SPORTS ANIME HAS REDUCED ME TO.
aliceylain: ([lain] walk out of the machinery)
Soooooo. I may not have ever said specifically (I honestly can't remember) but I have a thing for zombies. I'm not saying that I'll read or watch every piece of fiction with zombies in it, but if there ARE zombies, there's a good chance I'll check it out. And [personal profile] pommenade reblogged quite a few photosets on tumblr that had what appeared zombies in them, I knew I had to check out the series.



Yeah, so I watched both seasons of BBC's In The Flesh and I pretty much adore it. The trailer from the first season is pretty spot on; if you think it looks like it's a show where there are very few happy endings, then you're absolutely right. There's very little happiness in the show, so be aware of that going in. The basic premise is that a zombie uprising happened but mankind figured out a way to "fix" the undead. They're still undead but when they take a special medicine, they regain their memories and brain functions. It's an interesting premise which leads to a lot of clashes and questions as to what to do with the "fixed" undead. I am REALLY hoping to get a third season as the second season didn't wrap up all the questions brought up but so far there isn't any confirmation from the BBC.

Since I'm talking about zombies, I might as well quickly pimp some other zombie fiction that I enjoy.

Feed by Mira Grant: This book is abso-fucking-lutely amazing. It takes place around 20 years after the undead uprising and society is still plugging along. Blood tests are required to go anywhere, the CDC reigns supreme in the US government, and bloggers are starting to take over from the mainstream media as the preferred form of news reporting. A team of young adult bloggers are chosen to follow a presidential candidate as he campaigns and. Well. Stuff happens. The strength in this book is by far Georgia Mason, the narrator and main protagonist. Georgia is AMAZING and I love her so much and everyone should give this book a chance just for her.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry: I love this book as well, although not as much as Feed. This one takes place in California and humanity isn't doing so well. Benny Imura lives in a fenced-in town and his big brother Tom is known as the biggest, baddest zombie killer around. Benny reluctantly becomes his brother's zombie killer apprentice and we learn that zombies aren't the scariest thing that can be found out in the "rot and ruin". My favorite character in this story is Tom Imura due to how he handles his brother and makes his own philosophy and morals in a zombie-infested world. Also, unlike Feed, we don't know why the zombie uprising happened and that is one of the ongoing mysteries as the series progresses.

Warm Bodies: I kind of love narratives that are from the point of view of the zombies and Warm Bodies does it very well. The movie is narrated by "R", a teenage zombie who can't remember his name but wishes that he could really connect with people. While chomping down on somebody, he sees a living girl and faaaalls in loooooove. It's a little sappy but I still like the movie a lot, particularly R's internal narrative and how he begins to change from a zombie into something else. I keep meaning to read the book that it's based on sometime. Note to self: I should do that soon.
aliceylain: ([op] laugh until we die)
I was going to do a long post that held reactions from the Spring 2014 anime season. Then I saw [personal profile] naye's post where she embedded an AWESOME One Piece AMV and well. You know how things go.



Sooooo goooooood. Oh, my heart, One Piece. Now I want to rewatch all the OP movies and get caught back upon the manga.

Okay, maybe I can do a quick reaction post.

Haikyuu!: Sports anime will forever have a special place in my heart. I adore Haikyuu!! a lot because it does remind me of Oofuri quite a bit. Seems to me there are two types of sports anime: the type where it's almost a flat-out shounen show where the players have special inhuman moves and every match just ups the intensity to max and then the type where the pace is slower and the characters don't have inhuman moves but more thoughtfulness and heart. Now don't get me wrong, I watch the first type since I've been a fan of Prince of Tennis and watched all of Kuroko's Basketball. But I will always prefer the second type and I don't have random times where I'm thinking, "And where did the laws of physics go?" to distract me. I don't know how long Haikyuu! is greenlit for but I hope it's for a long time. Also, Tanaka's my favorite by far. By faaaaaaaaaaar and I hope he gets a larger role as the series goes on.

Akuma no Riddle: This was a very niche show that I just so happened to be the target audience for? I dunno, maybe I just have a weird thing for girl assassins but I eagerly watched each episode during the run. It's nothing special, the plot is rather formulaic but oh my god, I just wanted to see Tokaku and Haru get their happy ending. I don't think this show has much rewatchability value but I still enjoyed it a lot the first time around. If you like assassins, violence, and girls kicking ass, you'll probably enjoy this one.

Selector Infected WIXOSS: I came into this one late but boy, am I glad I did. The plot is a very close sibling to Puella Magi Madoka Magica in which wishes are promised to girls but nothing good happens as a result. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is definitely superior in my mind as the plot just seems tighter and I enjoy the characters more. Still! I'm happy it's getting a second season since the first season ended on SUCH A CLIFFHANGER OH MY GOOOOOD ugh. If you like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, I'd definitely recommend giving this one a try.

Soul Eater Not!: I HAVE NOT ACTUALLY FINISHED THIS YET, I STILL HAVE THE LAST EPISODE TO WATCH but it looks like there's a definite theme in the shows I watched this season. And that theme is female-heavy casts. I love Soul Eater a whole lot and was relatively pleased with Soul Eater Not! I loved getting some backstory on Liz and Patty, I loved the friendship between Tsugumi, Anya, and Meme. I could've done with a tighter plot. (The stuff with Eternal Feather was totally swept by so quickly that it felt jarring.) But it was a sweet show whose ending will hopefully not break my heart.

No Game No Life: I gave this one a chance because my brother is head-over-heels about it and I did end up enjoying it quite a bit! I'm not a gamer at all (if I play games, it's for the story and not the actual gameplay) but I liked the insight into how gamers thing AND how a gamer world would operate. I could have done without all the fanservice, which got icky at times, but it wasn't anything I hadn't seen before (and how sad is it that fanservice is so commonplace). I really enjoyed the animation too because anything with over-the-top color is fine by my book. I actually hope this one gets another season since I'd like to see Sora and Shiro actually challenge the gamer god.

This next season is looking good too! I'll have to post some first reactions once I, you know, watch some of the first episodes. Unfortunately, I've been sucked into watching Umineko No Naku Koro Ni and considering how much I love horror, it's unlikely to shake me loose until I finish the 30-something episodes.
aliceylain: ([jellyfish] BEST. ART.)
I just cannot seem to get back into the groove of weekly posting. I have things going on, it's just that I have zero desire to put those things into words. Blegh. Here, have some more comics.





aliceylain: ([korra] FIRE N@TION!!@!)
Oh man, there is NO WAY to come back from an extended hiatus gracefully. So instead of being graceful, I will just list out things I've been watching lately that I have an opinion on.

Haikyuu!!: I am watching this because sports anime seems to be my hidden bulletproof genre that I can't resist. I've only seen two episodes but am enjoying it. The animation is quite good, the characters are interesting, and it's a sports anime.

Baby Steps: Another sports anime that has a horrible, horrible, horrible title. I almost didn't watch the first episode because of how horrible the title, despite it being my bulletproof genre. BUT one of the main characters is a girl and my god, how much do I want a sports anime with a girl actually playing the sport? SO MUCH. I am waiting for the day for a modern girls sports anime and when that day comes, I will scream my joy from the top of my apartment building. Anyways, I wasn't overly impressed with the first episode, because I don't care much for the main hero, but so many people have praised that manga that I'm willing to continue with the series for awhile. Plus, I mean, tennis. Part of my fandom roots is tennis.

Soul Eater Not!: I've never really talked about it much but I really loved the hell out of Soul Eater. I loved the world design, the character designs, and Crona is a fascinating character. Again, I've only seen one episode so far, but the fact that the protagonists are three girls already endears me to it. And two of them kicked the shit out of two jerky boys was icing on the cake. I could have done with 50% less Soul Eater cameos but eh. It was just the first episode.

Akuma no Riddle: This is so horrible, horrible, horrible and I am lapping it up with a spoon, I am. All lady assassins, all stuck in a high school, all targeting one girl with a Mysterious Past except for one lady assassin who says NO I SHALL DEFEAT YOU ALL AND PROTECT HER and they are such stereotypes and I don't care. I don't care. Judge me all you want but I can't wait to see how renegade lady assassin will prevail each week and to find out the Mysterious Past of the target.

Mushishi: I tried watching the original season of Mushishi and could never get into it. I watch the first episode of this second "season"...and I still can't get into it. Guys, why is Mushishi loved so much?

One Week Friends: I watched the first two episodes and I don't think I'll continue. While I don't have anything against it's amnesia premise, the characters just don't speak to me at all.

Community: Is it me or is season five WORSE than season four? I mean, I love gimmick episodes as much as the next person but every. single. episode. has been a gimmick episode. Every single one. It was a huge mistake to have the characters graduate from Greendale because part of the plot of the show was watching how the characters dealt with the school and classes. Without that, they're apparently stuck with gimmick episodes where the characters don't grow and where there are no good plots. I just. I love Community and to watch it in its current incarnation is a little painful. Plus, just how many times are they going to Save Greendale?

Parks and Rec: I'm putting this under a cut since it contains a fairly significant spoiler. SPOILER )

Hannibal: I mostly watch Hannibal while peeking out behind my hands because I hate gore. Watching Hannibal is like watching a very slow-moving car wreck. You know what's going to happen and damn, you're wincing all along the way. NOBODY IS HAPPY IN THIS SHOW. NOBODY. But I am THOROUGHLY glad that Will found out about Hannibal at the end of last season and that they didn't stretch out the "surprise" another season. It's more interesting to me now that Will isn't so much a victim.

Even though I wasn't posting journal entries here, I was still posting comics on tumblr. Here's yet another one. I seem to have been sucked into a Revolutionary Girl Utena headspace and I'm milking it for all it's worth.

aliceylain: ([jellyfish] hay guiz)
Guys, I'm gonna have to call a moratorium on weekly posting of actual posts for awhile. I've just been feeling tired and sad and tired and tired and TIRED. Hopefully, I'll get my groove back in a couple of weeks. In the mean time, I don't have anymore Honey pictures, but here are some more comics that I've done.



aliceylain: ([lain] whisper in your ear)
Oh man, some weeks you sit down to write and entry and your brain totally bails on you. I've got zilch right now and want nothing more than to watch some episodes of Parks and Rec. So I'm gonna go watch some episodes of Parks and Rec and bail on all of you on a weekly entry!

In consolation, here are some of my favorite pictures of Honey that I have totally posted before but let's be honest, I'm bailing here, so the bar for new stuff is pretty much non-existent.







aliceylain: ([tennis] eye of the tiger)


I have, strangely enough, been feeling like doing comics lately. So, I've been doing comics lately! And yes, I really do have blush that old, chapstick that old, and a tiny nub of eyeliner that I've had since the beginning of time. This probably says more about me than I'd like it to.

That said, it's a little misleading because I haven't worn make-up consistently through-out my life. There have been times when I went years without wearing make-up unless it was for a fancy occasion. For a long time, I've actively hated make-up because I didn't know how to put it on correctly and I hated that I felt like I had to wear something that I didn't know how to do. Now, I wear make-up almost every day because I feel more confident with it on and I like the way it makes me look. I still don't think I put it on correctly but I did get some fool-proof eyeshadow that makes my eyes look dramatic despite my floundering.

There is no much to report on except that our Technical Lead is going to be out of the office for the next six weeks due to surgery. This is BAD NEWS because he knows everything and always has an answer to a problem and we frequently have lots of problems. It's gonna be a rough six weeks, let me tell you. I have a small poster that I drew up in my cubicle that says KEEP CALM and DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD. I need to keep that in mind, particularly the keep calm part.
aliceylain: ([community] do the line atheist)


Seriously, Community, give Shirley something to do. She's pretty much been a one-liner for season four and so-far for five. We've heard nothing about her husband and kids except for episode one. Give her moooooooore to doooooooooooooooo.
aliceylain: ([utena] what a good girl)
So Yuletide did its reveal and I'm happy to post my story here. It did decently in the exchange, all in all, although I get the feeling that my assignee didn't care too much for it. I did the best with their request that I could; after-canon stories aren't usually my favorite so I tried to mix canon timeline with after-canon timeline. [personal profile] serrende was a gem and did a GREAT beta. In the end, I'm pretty satisfied with what I finished with. I wouldn't say it's a perfect story but there are some elements that I adore and the flow is well-defined.

Title: A Better Happy Ending
Fandom: Revolutionary Girl Utena
Rating: PG
Summary: "Once upon a time," Anthy began, "there was a girl who wanted to be a prince."
Notes: Written for veleda_k. The title is from the song "Fairytale" by Sara Bareilles. Thank you very, very much serrende for the absolutely fabulous beta. This story would have been riddled with grammar and tone issues without your input!

Read more... )
aliceylain: ([op] HEY GUYS)
So, I've been reading the Yuletide archive (ah, to have a couple of days off work!) and I've got a number of initial recommendations to give. The first being, of course...

Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik
Call and Response
Temeraire and Perscitia
Summary: Dragons, higher education and excerable poetry...Excerpts from the historic correspondence of Vice Chancellor Emeritus Perscitia OBE PhD PhD and the dragon Temeraire, circa 1870.

This was my gift and oh my, is it a good one. Something that disappointed me in the Temeraire series is how Perscitia pretty much disappeared from the narrative after Victory of Eagles. So to get a story where she's one of the main voices is a real treat. That it explores the struggle of dragons being recognized as academic figures is even better. Seriously, if you're familiar with the Temeraire series, this is a great story.

Revolutionary Girl Utena
Their Tragedy
Shadow Play Girls
Summary: The part where they woke up afterwards was--blurry. Painful. Michie never liked to think on it. Particularly not the part where the End of the World carefully peeled up their shadows like water-soaked labels off a jar, his long fingers sliding under the skin of their being--no, they were all skin now, nothing else left--and pinned them up neatly against a smooth wall the next building over.

This story is not getting the traffic it should and that's a shame. It's a fabulous look at the Shadow Play Girls and their origins. I read the entire thing with my eye growing larger and ugh. Seriously, this is so good. Read it, read it, read it!

The Stand by Stephen King
How the Light Gets In
Original Character
Summary: Bipolar in the wake of the superflu.

I am not particularly educated on what it's like to be bipolar but this story is an excellent look at what it would mean to have a pre-existing condition in a post-apocalyptic type world.

Gentleman Bastard Series by Scott Lynch
a glass poured to air
Lock, Sabetha, Jean
Summary: There comes a day months afterwards, almost enough to begin counting in years, when Locke Lamora stops in front of a mirror and says, "Lamor Acanthus."

SPOILERS IN THIS STORY. But it's a lovely look at a possible after of the third book.

Parks and Rec/Welcome to Night Vale
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Dog Park
Leslie Knope, Ann Perkins, Night Vale City Council
Summary: The curious incident is that there is no dog in the dog park, and Leslie thinks that's really stupid. Ann's pretty sure that argument's going to get her killed.

This is absolutely brilliant and a perfect fusion of both the canons. Ugh, now I want to see a series of the Parks and Recs characters in Night Vale.

Kushiel's Legacy by Jacqueline Carey
The King's Poet
Anafield Delauney, Rolande de la Courcel, Edmee de Rocaille
Summary: In which circumstances are different enough that Anafiel becomes an agent for the Unseen Guild, and later the King's Poet, until he finds that his obedience to the Guild is becoming compromised by his deepening feelings for Prince Rolande.

An alternate look at how Anafield and Rolande could have gotten together. I was struck at how much like Carey's writing this story reads. Very, very well done.

The Emperor's New Groove
we must strive for perfection
Kronk, Yzma, Kuzco, Pacha
Summary: It figured that the week Kronk decided to really concentrate on his baking would also be the week that everyone decided they wanted to see him.

Kronk is always the best choice for a narrative voice and this story does NOT disappoint.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
River Deep, Mountain High
Bitterblue, Katsa
Summary: To Bitterblue, Katsa will always be as big as a mountain.

This is more of a character introspective and doesn't really have much plot but it's a fabulous introspective on how Bitterblue views Katsa.

Chihayafuru
Knew You When
Wakamiya Shinobu, Ayase Chihaya
Summary: In the last year of elementary school, one of the most promising young karuta prodigies of the decade transferred to a new school in Tokyo. From Kyoto.

Ugh, ugh, ugh, this! I didn't know that I ship Shinobu and Chihaya until I read this! Lovely look at Shinobu and what might have happened if she had transferred to Chihaya's school instead of Arata.

Karuta Clubhouse
Ayase Chihaya, Mashima Taichi, Wataya Arata
Summary: When Chihaya comes up with the idea of the three of them moving into a shared house, Taichi gives her a bulleted list titled, “Reasons Why This is the Absolute Worst Idea, Ever.”

I was absolutely pulled in by the summary and charmed by how each of the three characters react to living together.

Oofuri
Strategies of Trust
Abe Takaya, Mihashi Ren, the Nishiura Baseball Team
Summary: The team takes care of its own. Abe and Mihashi finally master their own forms of communication.

Lovely team interaction, interesting plot! I loved how the team pulls together and each member has their own voice.
aliceylain: ([5cm] footsteps in the snow)
My Yuletide story isn't going as well as I hoped. It's my own fault since I didn't work on it in the month of November except for the last week. Now, I'm on strict half-hour writing session every day until it's done. The good news is that it's about 90% done. The bad news is that it still needs a lot of revision because I will often write awful, clumsy sentences just to get something out and moving forward. Of course, I'm also in the phase of the story where I believe it's awful and stupid because I've been thinking about it so much. I pretty much always am convinced a story is awful if it takes me more than a day or two to write.

I expect that it will turn out decently in the end; nothing that will shake the fandom but my writing isn't particularly fandom-shaking anyways. I just hope my recipient likes it. I did try to put in everything they asked for. Plus, the story is currently 3500+ words and will likely hit over 4000+, which is pretty good for me.

I don't have much else to say right now. Been feeling a little down, which I will chalk up to the fact that it's full-blown winter in Ohio with darkness and ice and snow and freezing temperatures. I took yesterday and today off work, but I will be glad to go back tomorrow. Yes, work brings me worries but it's also nice to socialize with co-workers and put my energies towards a goal. When I have days off, I just tend to putter around and not do much. It's relaxing, sure, but I don't necessarily feel fulfilled when all is said and done.
aliceylain: ([utena] she's simply irrisistible)
Soooooooo, the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special aired last night.





Hoo boy, did it ever fan the flames of this little Whovian's heart!

spoilers under the cut )

In short, it was a fun, HAPPY, hopeful special that I definitely will be rewatching. And I'm really jazzed for the Twelfth Doctor to make an appearance and the next season to begin. As much as I like Matt Smith, it's exciting to get a new face and new talent into the role. PETER CAPALDI, I'M EXCITED FOR YOU. God, have they announced when the next season will air? Pleeeeeeeease let it be Spring 2014 and not December 2014.
aliceylain: ([op] whoa dude)
I totally had a post planned out in my head last week but I'm just not feeling like actually writing it out in paragraph form. So I'm going to try doing this in quick sentence form!

1. I think I might be turning into a cooking person? Which I think can only be good for me.

2. I'm also turning into social justice food snob. You know, someone who defends vegans and wants everyone to question where their food comes from and wants to tell them how the majority of their food is made. Which won't help me make friends, that's for certain.

3. Whenever I cook, I think about Sanji from One Piece and how disappointed he would be in how much food I waste. So I try to waste less.

4. But I also think that he would try to support me when my meals go horribly wrong. "Don't worry Aaaaaamber-chaaaaaan, do you know how many shitty meals I've made? And I'm a world-class cook!"

5. I love Yowapeda so much, help help help, there's only been three episodes! But the main character is so charming!

6. Trying to make myself watch Ace of the Diamond. So far, isn't working. Same with Elementary and I loved the first season of that show.

7. Where is the next episode of Sleepy Hollow?! *grumpy face*

8. DOCTOR WHO THIS MONTH WOOOOOOOOOOOOOODEEEEEWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

9. Where oh where is the good Fullmetal Alchemist fanfiction hiding? I must not be looking in the right places.

10. I got another 1,000 words written on my Yuletide assignment! I figure that I'll have the first draft done in another 1,000. Then I can focus on editing, revising, and fleshing things out.

10. It's funny how I made a valiant effort in the beginning of this list to be somewhat serious and it quickly devolved into fandom stuff. And not well connected either. I will have to try harder next weekend to do a proper post.
aliceylain: ([op] orange juice doesn't go with canada)
Another week, another post. I decided to do first reactions to this season's anime shows that I'm currently following. I'm not particularly spoilery with my reactions but I've placed them under cuts just in case.

Kill La Kill )

Kuroko's Basketball )

Ace of the Diamond )

Yowapeda )

Also, I got my Yuletide assignment and I'm relieved. The prompt is something that I can definitely do and, in fact, I've already got a decent idea brewing. It needs some more work before I can begin to actively work on it...like coming up with an ending. (Endings are the absolutely bane of my creative process.) But! All in all, I feel pretty confident! Plus, I have about two months to write at least 1,000 words, which shouldn't be too hard. (I say now. Watch me totally stall on it in December.)
aliceylain: ([utena] cruelty)
Hoooooooly crap, signing up for Yuletide was an exercise in dithering and dithering and more dithering. The problem, of course, wasn't the requests. Those took me ten minutes to nail down. The hard part was the offers because I had very specific criteria for an offer. It had to be a canon that I was very familiar with (read or watched at least two times), not known for overly clever dialogue (because I don't want that sort of pressure on me), not known for overly clever plots (I am better at character-introspective stories than plotty stories), does not have specific accent or pattern to dialogue (archaic or era-specific canons are right out), and lastly, something that I actually wanted to write in. While there are canons I adore, I don't always want to actually write fanfiction for them.

While coming up with my sign-up and worrying about whether I could write a decent story, it occurred to me that I haven't really written anything since January of this year. Which means...I need to start writing again. Even if what I write is crap. Even if it's hard. And since I had the day off today, I decided I would write and post something. Even if it is crap. Even if it is hard. Since this was a product of about four hours, I decided to start easy and with a canon that I've written in before. This week, I'll try to write in a canon that I haven't before and see where things go.

Shiori holds a fascination for me, more so than Juri does. Juri seems so one-note, while Shiori more complex. I've also found fanfiction that has them getting together in the end to be a little ridiculous. It's clear to me from the canon that even if Shiori were inclined that way, that they would still never, ever get together. And even if they were to get together, it would be the worst relationship in the world. It's a relationship of failed communication and pain and it's hard for me to believe that anyone could look past that.

Title: Undone
Fandom: Revolutionary Girl Utena
Rating: PG
Summary: The path that was prepared for Takatsuki Shiori.
Notes: Includes dialogue from episode 17. Very rough but this is meant more as practice than anything else.

Someone behind her stabbed a black rose into her chest and Shiori flung back her head back with a groan. )
aliceylain: ([utena] she's simply irrisistible)
Dear Yuletide Person!

This is my first year participating in Yuletide and I'm seriously excited! I've read stories from previous Yuletides but didn't really feel the need to participate until this year. I'm trying to get back into writing or doing creative things. And I can't get back into something unless I do it!

I absolutely adore all the fandoms I requested, so I'm pretty much guaranteed to enjoy what you write. However, you want to clearer ideas on what I like (I almost didn't make the sign-up, which is why I didn't write much or anything in the optional details), please see the below.

Revolutionary Girl Utena )

Princess Jellyfish )

Ookiku Furikabutte )

Gentleman Bastards Series )

Temeraire Series )

In general, I would prefer a story that is light on the angst. I tend to focus more on characters and dialogue than plot, so if your story isn't thick with the plot, no worries. The story can be gen or romance, I enjoy both. As for squicks, it'd be best to stay away from rape, torture, extremely overt or gross violence, and humiliation. (Although, with these series, I'd be shocked if you wanted to lean that way.) Anyways, I'm sure you'll do fine. I can't wait to read your story!

~aliceylain
aliceylain: ([jellyfish] my best side)
*determined fist of determination* I have, despite never having done it before, decided that I'm going to try Yuletide this year! [personal profile] opusculasedfera suggested it in my fandom ennui post last month and after having looked at the staggering amount of possible fandoms for this year, I think giving it a go will be good for me. I should be able to handle writing 1,000 words without too much trouble. (She says without too much trepidation.) I'm even a little excited! And I'll get to do one of those Yuletide letters that all the Yuletide kids get to do each year. Getting involved! In something fandom-y! Hopefully, it turns out well. Now, I just need to figure out what I want to request and what I want to offer.

I also have, right at this very moment, Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch on my book reader. IT IS ON MY READER, SET AT THE PROLOGUE. HOLY CRAP, HAS IT EVER BEEN AWHILE SINCE I'VE BEEN THIS EXCITED ABOUT A JUST-RELEASED BOOK. I haven't looked at any reviews yet, just the summary. I don't know if I'll finish it by the end of this weekend to do a reaction post but by god, am I ever going to try.
aliceylain: ([tennis] eye of the tiger)
Just what is it about sports anime?

I mean, I'm not particularly into sports; I don't go out of my way to watch any games. If there's a sport that I like watching, baseball would probably be it. Still, I don't go out of my way to watch it. But I tend really like sports anime anyways when I tune into it. It's probably because we get to see inside the characters' heads as they play their game and that the author (usually) structures the games to be exciting or have a definitive narrative purpose. There are three sports anime airing this season that I'm looking forward to: the second season of Kuroko's Basketball (basketball), Ace of the Diamond (baseball), and Yowapeda (cycling). But to be honest, I might not be as excited as I am if I didn't recently rewatch probably my favorite sports anime: Ookiku Furikabutte. (And yes, I've written posts about this series before. Humor me yet again, friends list.)



There are lots of things that I love about Oofuri. I love that the sports is grounded in the real world; the sports isn't physics-defying like Prince of Tennis or Kuroko's Basketball or Eyeshield 21. The majority of the players are average players, with a couple of standouts on most of the teams. Their level of play feels plausible, although I'm definitely not an expert on high school baseball. I love that the focus isn't just on playing harder, there's a psychological aspect in the training as well. I really, really love that the team isn't the only focus with regards to characters. Oofuri is one of those rare series where we actually see the support of the parents for the players. Parental support is so important in a lot of ways and I'm glad Oofuri included it.

But I'm a character-driven person. While I can love a plot, I'm always more interested in character development than plot development. I'm usually very willing to forgive a plot for being thing if the characters are stand-out; it's harder for me to forgive a story if the plot is stand-out but the characters are so-so. And I happen to think that the development of the characters in Oofuri is superbly done.

Take the scene that I crappily screen-capped above. When the series starts, Mihashi has no confidence. Abe has a lot of confidence, so much that he pretty much steamrolls Mihashi. He says that he will make Mihashi a star if Mihashi always throws the pitch that he asks him to throw. Abe wants that control and Mihashi is so desperate for anyone to acknowledge him that he allows that control. In fact, as the story goes on, Abe likes it that he has all the control. But in the above screencap, Abe has just gotten hurt. He can't go out and catch Mihashi's pitches at that point and he can't tell Mihashi what to throw. In that moment, you can see how Abe realizes what a mistake it was to demand all the control. If Abe is not there to construct the plays, just what is Mihashi supposed to do? Especially with a substitute pitcher? Even more importantly, I think Abe also realizes that it's not only that Mihashi is dependent on him. HE is also dependent on Mihashi. He wants to catch Mihashi's pitches, he wants Mihashi to acknowledge him too. It's not a one-way street anymore and I don't think Abe wants to "use" Mihashi in this manner anymore.

Even more amazingly, Mihashi realizes that allowing Abe to take all the control for constructing the plays wasn't fair to Abe. The pitcher and the catcher are a team; no matter what experience imbalance there may be, the pitcher sees things from a different perspective that the catcher can't. The pitcher also is the only one who truly knows his/hers own condition and what they can throw. That Mihashi allowed Abe to make all the decisions was unfair because Mihashi never gave Abe all the information that Abe would need. Even if that wasn't true, it's also unfair to make someone else take the brunt of the strategizing. Team sports are team sports, which means that everyone participates. While Abe was in the wrong with regards to the promise he made Mihashi agree to, Mihashi was also in the wrong for agreeing. And he realizes this and resolves to change it.

Boom. Character development.

I actually caught up on the manga after doing my rewatch and the series just gets better. I'm sad that it's probably unlikely that another anime season will come from the manga. I'll just have to follow the manga more closely than I was. And watch the sports series that are coming out!
aliceylain: ([jellyfish] my best side)
Multi-fandom post attempt! And this time, I shall properly cut each series/book so that I don't inadvertently spoil anyone. I try to be a lady, except when I forgot to.

Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik )

Silver Spoon (anime) )

Attack on Titan (anime) )

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan )

Aaaaand we're getting into television season again! So much is happening before the end of this year. Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special and Christmas Special, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, Community, Parks and Rec, Elementary, new anime season, Sleepy Hollow, and probably more that I'm forgetting. So much media to consume, I feel rather spoiled.
aliceylain: ([op] HEY GUYS)
I wasn't going to post an entry tonight, I really wasn't.

Because I'm tired. I went to the local arboretum with Honey and we ran around chasing each other and sniffing things and peeing everywhere.

(Well, I didn't do the sniffing or peeing thing, but yes to the running around.)

So I didn't feel that I had the mental power to write something. Mostly because I'm lazy.

(Also, it doesn't take much to kill my mental power.)

But I just made a new meal for dinner tonight, which I did with trepidation.

(Because at least 75% of the time that I try a new recipe, it turns out bland or tastes somewhat odd.)

But this time, I hit the 25% percent winning percentage and I'm excited! New meal! New horizons!

I made Surf and Turf Cajun Pasta.

Minus the turf because I don't eat red meat these days. And minus the parmesan because I try to consume as little dairy as possible. And I substituted soy creamer for the heavy cream, which I do not particularly recommend because it didn't combine with the broth well at all. And without tomatoes because by the time I should have added tomatoes, I was tired of chopping. And I put in waaaaaaaay too much chicken broth by accident and my sauce wasn't sauce at all but broth.

And yet, even with all those substitutions and mistakes, the meal turned out good. I mean, really good. I've never cooked with cajun seasoning before, which I am suspecting has been a mistake since this meal turned out so good. The broth taste meshed really well with the cajun and the peppers. I can't wait to eat the leftovers that I boxed up!

The meal does take some work, particularly since you have cook things separately. (Although, possibly you could cook everything together but I am a cooking novice and usually follow instructions). But it isn't the hardest meal I've ever made and it's a one-skillet meal, which is nice. Anyways! Definitely try if you like pasta and shrimp!
aliceylain: ([lain] walk out of the machinery)
I have been in a fandom creative slump for around two years and it's started to drive me nuts.

I used to be mildly creative and I seems to have lost that temporarily. When I was in the Harry Potter fandom, I wrote a little fanfiction, maintained a couple of websites, and helped out with FictionAlley. When I was in the Prince of Tennis fandom, I wrote a ton of fanfiction, did some comics, and role-played some. When I was in the One Piece fandom, I wrote a little fanfiction, did some comics, and role-played a ton. And even until recently, I was doing comics, whether they were fandom-related or not.

But a couple of months ago, something switched off in me and I stopped doing comics. I've been struggling with some Utena fanfiction for ages but haven't gotten much anywhere. In short, I just feel stuck. I don't feel particularly part of any fandom and haven't for around two years. I mean, I though Community was going to be my next thing but that didn't pan out. Same with Doctor Who. I'm at loose ends and I'm not even creating anything anymore. I'm just blindly consuming without any sort of dialogue with any other fans. Where did my dialogue go?

I don't know if I'm going to get my drive to create back anytime soon, which saddening to think about. I just don't feel anchored in any sort of fandom. There are series that I enjoy, sure, but I'm not entrenched in them. I want to be entrenched again but I don't know how to consciously do that. Before, it's always felt that I just feel into a fandom without even trying. Maybe part of this is because fandom seems to have moved mainly to twitter and tumblr, where communication isn't always the easiest. Maybe part of this is because I'm older and have other interests taking up my attention (gardening, cooking). Maybe part of this is that I'm more reluctant to blindly reach out to people nowadays. Or maybe it's some other undefinable thing that's holding me back. I just wish I could fall into a fandom again and feel that spark.

Does anyone else feel like this? Does anyone have any suggestions?
aliceylain: ([rod])
While I may not have much to talk about myself, I did get four books for my birthday and I'm nearly done with all of them. Review time? Review time! I tried to be vague and non-spoilery as I could, while giving a brief sense of what the book is about.

Shades of Grey by Jasper FForde - I love this author's Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series, so I thought I'd give the first book in his new series a go. I...can somewhat see what he was going for with it, although I think he flubbed the execution. This book is set in a dystopian future, where people's status in society is determined by how much color they can see. People who can see high levels of hue have the power while people who can't see anything beyond grey are in the dregs. With such a premise, it makes for a very, very bizarre world, where artificial color is piped into towns so that people can see all the colors artificially since they can't naturally, life is strictly regulated by some sort of rulebook that was written awhile ago, and periodic Leapbacks happen where the society will just suddenly stop using certain technology.

It's a neat premise but so many stretches of the book were boring. Except for the high plot points, I can't really remember why it took so long for the protagonist to get from point A to point B. There's just something about either the dialogue or description that just didn't gel for me. And yet, the premier was so intriguing that I am considering reading the second book when it comes out. So take from that what you will!

Fire by Kristin Cashore - I read Graceling by this author awhile ago and then did a reread of that book a couple months back. I was surprised to find that I loved it much more the second time around than the first and so I wanted to read the other two books that the author had written. Fire takes place...somewhat in the same world as Graceling. Only one character is present in both books, but the setting is high fantasy so it's familiar. The book revolves about a half-human, half-monster woman who can read and influence other people's minds. She's also saddled with the fact that people are unnaturally attracted to her unless they close their minds and other monsters want to eat her. The plot of the book follows the woman, named Fire, as she comes to grips with her father and finds a place of her own in the world.

Fire was an okay book. I enjoyed it alright but I just didn't have much to relate to the protagonist. The plot was okay, the characters were okay...all in all, the book was pretty mediocre. I could see the main love match from 500 yards away. I guess if I got down to it, there just was nothing about the book to excite me or get me invested in what was happening. But it was nicely written and is one of the few books that I've read that actually references a woman's period so...uh...yeah...moving on.

Legend by Marie Lu - Yet another dystopian future book that I asked for simply from the reviews. The United States has become the Republic, which seems to be a small collection of the current United States. There is a war going on between the Republic and the Colonies, which isn't the focus of the book. The Republic holds Trials for kids once the turn a certain age and those Trials determine their place in society. The book is split between the POV of someone who flunked the Trials and is a criminal who lives on the outskirts of society and someone who got the only perfect score and is going to the best military school there is. Naturally, their worlds collide and they uncover how corrupted the Republic is and fall in the love and blah blah blah.

Uh, I didn't care for this book at all. Not that it was bad; it was nicely written with fleshed out characters. But the plot was very, very tired and telegraphed and I predicted nearly every twist. Again, like with Fire, I just wasn't invested in any of the characters or plot to be excited about this book. I won't be reading the sequels, unless I get them from the library. But if you haven't read a lot of dystopian futures like I have, you might like it a lot more than I did.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore - And this book, right here, is putting all the other three books in the shade. It's a more direct sequel to Graceling than Fire is, with a lot of recurring characters. It follows the aftermath of what has happened to the kingdom of Monsea after...you know what? I can't even talk about this book without spoiling Graceling up and down. So if you want to read Graceling PLEASE STOP READING THIS REVIEW OF BITTERBLUE.

I MEAN IT.

STOP READING.

...

Bitterblue follows the aftermath of Leck's death and how the kingdom of Monsea is recovering. Or not recovering, as it seems. Bitterblue is stuck trying to uncover the secrets of Leck's unfortunate reign while also trying to deal with the severe mental trauma that everyone is still suffering under. I haven't finished this book yet (75% of the way through) and I have to say that this book is even better than Graceling was. It's really is amazing simply from the fact that it depicts the ongoing mental trauma of an entire kingdom who were lied to and forced to do terrible things instead of having everyone magically be okay. Bitterblue is an amazingly strong heroine, exasperated and desperate to help her people while also suffering from the mental trauma herself. She makes mistakes and tries to own up to them and she tries to be honest while knowing that she sometimes has to lie. While there is romance, it's delightfully understated and I so far don't know how it's even going to end up. The book also very cunningly demonstrates the idea of privilege and how people with privilege often don't realize what they even have. And lastly, we are learning more about Leck and possibly his motivations for the terrible things that he did.

Seriously, this book is amazing and wonderful and I think everyone should read it. If you skipped reading it after Graceling, you missed out and you need to get your hands on it as soon as you can.
aliceylain: ([utena] light up my yard)
WHERE ARE YOU? she screams.

WHERE ARE YOU?

The beauty of the internet is that if you want you disappear, you can disappear. You can be an image, an avatar, an archetype, a spark and then when you can't handle it anymore or you're too bored or too frustrated or too much you, you simply cease to be. All you have to do is be silent. Then you can become someone else if you want. You can control completely who you interact with and sometimes it's intentional and sometimes it's an accident but it's always in your control. Who do you want to be and who do you want to interact with?

I've never been one who's been able to become someone else. I've put too much into this internet identity, however much it matches my actual identity or not. A couple of times, I've tried with sockpuppet accounts for certain communities and it's just too much work. I'll always be this me on the internet. I could disappear, I guess...I have disappeared at various points. But if I do disappear, it won't be forever because again, I've put too much into this identity. I have to come back. I've built something and it's mine and I'm selfish enough to want to keep this spark alive.

There are people I miss, even though I only really knew them through internet friendships. Sometimes I want to email them, say that I'm still here and I still want to listen. But I don't because I'm still hanging onto something when all they want to do is hide. How long do you hang onto something that the other person isn't acknowledging? So I stay silent and when I remember them, I hope.

I will stay here and I will always stay here. I always want to talk to you. I'm horrible at timely responses and I'm horrible at emails and I loathe chat programs but I always want to talk to you. I will try harder to be less horrible at communication and I will try harder to be more with my internet identity, because I surely know that I'm not as entertaining now as I have been in the past. Please log back onto dreamdwidth, livejournal and see this. I will be here.

For those of you who are already here, thank you. Please stay. Please stay.

(It may seen incredibly, incredibly hypocritical to post an entry about missed relationships and communication and not allow comments on the entry in question. But asking for important things is hard and it scares me. What can I say, I'm full of contradictions about how I feel because I want to talk and I don't want to talk and you know. If you're someone who has been hiding and wants to get back in contact or if you just want to talk about this post in general, reply to any other entry on this journal or you can email me at alice.and.lain@gmail.com. I will get over myself for you. SHIT SHIT SHIT NEVER MIND, FOUND SOME COURAGE. Sorry for being completely embarrassing all over your reading lists.)
aliceylain: ([stitch] mine is an evil laugh)
I saw Pacific Rim this past weekend! It's funny because I wasn't even vaguely aware of this movie until everyone on tumblr began posting all sorts of things. And it's not normally the type of movie that I go to the theaters to see but again, tumblr hyped it so much that I was curious to see if it really was that good.

Again, Pacific Rim isn't usually my thing. I mean, I like end-of-the-world blockbuster stories but there wasn't anything about the plot that really pinged me. A dirty secret of mine: I'm not usually interested in giant robots. I mean, they're okay but they're not a plot element that interests me. However, I did enjoy Pacific Rim more than I thought I would! For one thing, it's a very pretty movie, gorgeously shot and produced. The special effects are amazing. I was in awe of the giant robots and that's speaking as someone who is usually not in awe of giant robot design. Second, there were excellent characters in it, nicely colorful and intriguing. I particularly liked the bit characters, the scientists and the alien body guy, and Pentecost. I also liked that there was a we're-all-in-this-together feel, with representation from quite a few countries, not just America being America.

The best thing was that the plot was pretty solid. Granted, I'm not the most critical about plots in general but I sometimes get bored during blockbusters or notice that things don't make sense. No problems on either front with Pacific Rim and I got sucked into the world pretty quickly. I can definitely see why tumblr was going nuts over this movie.
aliceylain: ([tennis] love-love match)
THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES, THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES, THE REEEEPUBLIC OF THIIIIIIIIEVES!!!

Ahem. So, there's a book series that I really like called The Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch. The story revolves around a small gang of thieves and the incredibly clever and gutsy exploits that they pull off (or sometimes not pull off). It's a very fun, imaginative series with snappy, hilarious dialogue and fleshed-out characters. And despite the name of the series itself, there are quite a few excellent ladies in the books (although, admittedly, more in book two than book one). The only problem? Only two books out of the projected seven have been published and it's been five years since book two was published.

But. But but but but but the third book is FINALLY going to be released in October of this year and I know it's real because there's a page count (672!) and a cover and the author's blogged about it and hooooooraaaaaaaaay!

If any of my brief description of the above intrigues you, I'd definitely suggest checking out the series. I warn you, the books tend to jump in time quite a bit so if that's a pet peeve of yours, you probably would want to give this series a bye.

On a different and infinitely more embarassing note, I've been watching Free! and I don't know how to feel about it. When I first heard of the animated series, I told myself that I wouldn't watch it since it was billed as fanservice for ladies. Not that I'm against fanservice for ladies, but the neverending series with fanservice for men annoy the heck out of me so I thought I'd avoid the series on some sort of weird moral ground. But then I saw some screenshots on tumblr and thought I'd give the first episode a try. The plot didn't seem anything special but what the heck.

And then the first shirt was whipped off with much pectoral fanfare.

And then the stripping happened again.

And again.

And there were sharply defined bodies everywhere it seemed.

And I.

And I was weak against it, guys.

And now I think I know a little bit what it feels like to be a guy who enjoys those shows with tons of boob and ass shots. Because the plot of the series isn't anything to write home about. Pretty generic all-in-all with pretty generic characters. But it's animated very sharply and my god, the upper bodies of these swimmers are mesmerizing in some ways and I can't stop laughing whenever someone strips yet again in an episode.

It certainly doesn't hurt also that they introduced a glasses character in episode three. A glasses character who adjusted their glasses approximately 33899403 times during the episode. A glasses character who murmurs calculations to himself.



Yeeeeeeeeah, that doesn't hit any of my character pings at all.
aliceylain: ([utena] what a good girl)
Oh my god, hit the deck, it's a super rare fandom post!?!?!?!?!

I've been rewatching Chihaya Furu lately because goddamn, that show is so sweetly earnest that I can't resist it. I was trying to think of why I like it so much more than Hikaru no Go and I think it's definitely due to the characters. Not that I didn't like HnG's characters, I just love CF's so much more. (Seriously, Ayase is wonderful and determined and clueless and ugh.) Although, I could do without the eternal love triangle which much plague every story in creation where there are two boy main characters and one girl main character. WHO SHALL WIN THE HAND OF THE HEROINE?!?!?!?! Bleh. I'm sad that there probably won't be a third season of Chihaya Furu for several years yet since the second season apparently caught up with the manga.

I've also been rewatching Durarararararaarara and I don't have too many thoughts except I enjoy Anri Sonohara a lot more this time around. I kinda want to read the light novels and manga to see what happens with her since I know the anime didn't encompass the entire story.

I've been working on what I'm considering my Love Letter to Himemiya Anthy. After years of denial, I'm ready to admit that she's my favorite Utena character and it's about damn time that I wrote some fanfiction that pulls all my weirdo theories about her together. The story is basically what happened before the series, or how Anthy got to where she is. Writing Anthy is really, really hard because while she's a strong character, she's more of a quiet strong character. There aren't many BAMF moments in the series for her. And her dialogue in the series comes off as kind-of bland, which is also hard for me because I love snappy dialogue.

It's also hard because I'm trying to justify certain elements of the story. Like in episode 13 where it's clear that Akio and Anthy are visiting Dios in the castle. Like when Anthy says that the power of Dios sleeps within her; is that literal or just pretty words? Could Anthy have released Dios back to Akio at any time? Like why exactly does Akio want his nobility back so badly if it hurt him so much before (thoughts on that in the next paragraph). It's clear that Anthy locked part of her self away when she locked Akio's nobility away; what part of her then did she lock away? (I have my theory which I'm writing into the story.) What does it really mean to be a witch in a story?

When I said Anthy is a strong character, I should really say powerful. She is the one who literally enables the entire story. She's the catharsis, she allows it to continue, and she's the one who ends it with the help of Utena. It's Really All About Anthy.

Of course, writing such a story about Anthy means that I'm also writing about Akio, which isn't a terrible thing but I'm having to restrain myself from writing him as an utter villain. (Me = Prejudiced Against Akio.) And so I was trying to think about Akio in a rational way and had an epiphany which isn't much of an epiphany. It occurred to me that when I think about the word nobility, I usually think of the definition that means morally or spiritually good. I've never really thought about it as a system of class. But the thing about Utena is that both definitions work in terms of the story. Akio was a prince until Anthy locked away his nobility; he was no longer royalty and no longer had special standing, which means that he couldn't solve/fight other people's problems so easily anymore. Utena's heart sword didn't work when Akio tried it because she wasn't a prince. He really wants his nobility back because he wants that special standing back. As I said, not much of an epiphany but it was a new thought for me.

Tonight, I'm having kebabs and SANGRIA with the parents, so that should be fun. It's going to be a nice, relaxing day today. I hope everyone else's day is relaxing too.
aliceylain: ([op] zoro mama)
I KNOW THIS IS THE WORST KIND OF POST TO COME BACK FROM A LONG SILENCE WITH BUT THEM'S THE BREAKS.

In an effort to be less of a shut-in and all, I signed up to do Relay for Life at work this year. Relay for Life is a fundraiser for cancer and is completely legit. The money raised goes towards cancer research and to help provide support for people suffering from cancer. I am absolutely rubbish at fundraising because I had inconveniencing people but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask if anyone on my friends list would like to donate.

If you do want to donate, and it could be any amount, just leave your email address in a comment and we'll work out how to get the money to me.
aliceylain: ([op] HEY GUYS)
GUYS. GUYS. I HAVE SEEDLINGS GROWING. I REPEAT, I HAVE ACTUAL SEEDLINGS SPROUTED FROM SEEDS THAT ARE GROWING IN MY APARTMENT AS WE SPEAK.


SERIOUSLY, AREN'T THEY BEAUTIFUL?

Last weekend, I took a vegetable garden class at the local arboretum. This was done because I'm growing (ahahaha) an interest in eating more natural foods and because I'm trying to be less of a shut-in. In general, the class was pretty educational, although I'm a complete novice at the process of growing my own vegetables. I'm sure that people who're an old hand at it were bored out of their mind. I dutifully took a page of notes during the class regarding the things that I should do to raise vegetable plants from seeds and then we all got our own trays and seed packets to plant.

AND LO, I HAVE FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS AND LO, THE SEELINGS ARE GROWING AND LO, I WILL HOPEFULLY HAVE TOMATOES AND BASIL AND PEPPERS THIS SUMMER IF THE STARS ALIGN AND I DON'T DROWN MY PLANTS BY OVER-WATERING THEM.

I apologize for the extreme excitement but the idea of growing my own food is pretty cool to me right now. Each morning, I rush to the tray to see if any progress has been made. It's mainly the tomatoes that are strutting their stuff and growing like nuts, but the basil is starting to pop its shy head out of the soil. The peppers are still no-show slug-a-bugs but they have a longer germination time, according to the seed packet.

(I will not anthropomorphize plants, I will not anthropomorphize plants, I will not anthropomorphize plants.)

Anyways, I will update occasionally with information regarding my budding (ahahaha) garden going forward. Please, don't everyone do a happy dance at once, I can feel the gyrations from your excitement from over here.
aliceylain: ([op] hey pretty)
Things I have learned in the past week
1. Home-made soup tastes a thousand times better after having sat in the refrigerator for awhile. I made a tomato soup last week, had some right after cooking, and thought it was okay. Then I had some as leftovers and it tasted so much better, a lot more flavorful. Last night I made potato soup and didn't bother having it right away. I had it for dinner tonight and it was pretty tasty.
2. It's tough to have dietary restrictions and eat out at a restaurant. I've decided to stop eating beef and pork, and to limit my dairy intake as much as I can. Unfortunately, I'm learning how much food has red meat and dairy in it. I went to the mall to buy a dress for my brother's wedding and ended up just getting fries at the food court after wandering around in consternation for awhile. Seriously, I have a lot more sympathy for people with food allergies now.
3. Supernatural really isn't a female-friendly show. Or, at least, the fourth season isn't. I watched the fourth season this past week and couldn't believe how many "bitches", "whores" and "sluts" were thrown around in the dialogue. What the hell, writers, what the hell.
4. I also seem to have a weird interest in angels. See my recent Supernatural-watching habit.

Next month is my brother's wedding and I'm so excited. I can't remember if I've written about it on this journal before but my brother is getting married in Disney World. :))))))) I've booked a room at a Disney hotel and have my flight and I've got my dress and I'm ready for have a lot of fun. Honestly, I think small destination weddings are the way to go. My mother's friend is planning the wedding for her daughter and they've already spent $25,000 on it and they're not done. My brother and his fiance have spent around $5,000 and everyone is set. Plus, we don't have to deal with a boring reception AND we get to have a vacation at the same time.
aliceylain: ([op] chillin')
Bottled Water
- 25 to 40% of all bottled water is simply filtered tap water.
- Tap water contaminant findings must be reported to the public. Bottled water contaminant findings do not. Bottled water companies also aren't required to submit any testing results to the FDA and any test they do aren't required to be done by an independent party.
- Yes, there is such a thing as bottled water recalls.
- The bottled water companies sometimes go into local communities and pull out their ground water. There aren't any laws surrounding who owns ground water so if you can pump it out, it's yours. In essence, the companies are stealing the water from the locals and then selling it back to them.
- 90% of all bottled water was taken and bottled within the same state that it was sold. Your bottled water isn't coming from an exotic glacier somewhere.
- And I'm not even going to go into the awfulness of the plastic bottle itself because I just get depressed.
- No wait, I am. There are parts of the ocean are known as garbage patches that are just riddled with plastic bottle containers. Look, here's a wikipedia page. Seriously. Garbage patches in the ocean.

Meat
- The meat you got at the grocery store didn't come from one cow. It came from hundreds of cows all mashed up together. Same for turkey and pork and chicken.
- Industrialized meat is treated with ammonia in a futile attempt to get rid of the E. Coli that can be found in it.
- If the industrialized meat companies really wanted to get rid of E. Coli in their meat, they would feed their animals with grass and not corn.
- It's time for me to get serious about me transitioning to getting my meat from a local farm.

Happiness
- 50% of your capacity for happiness is determined by genetics. 10% is determined by your social status, money, job, etc. 40% is determined by your voluntary actions.
- After your basic needs are met, more money usually does not lead to more happiness.
- If you give into your wants, you will always want more. You will never be satisfied.
- The Japanese have a word for working yourself to death at work, karoshi. That's because it happens so much for them. Yet, Okinawa has the largest number of old people in their population than anywhere else on earth.
- Denmark is the happiness country on earth. They have free health care and college. A lot of its population lives in co-housing communities. They look pretty awesome, actually.
- Through intention and compassion, you can actually change your brain.
- Compassion, compassion, compassion and tolerance.
aliceylain: ([rod])
Community comes back on February 7th! Hurrah! 11 days left!

Doctor Who comes back on March 31st! Hurrah! 63 days left!

Tonight, I made Meatball Bubble Biscuits for dinner. They turned out pretty good and were SUPER easy to make, although next time I'll use a stronger tasting cheese. I used mozzarella this time and the meatball center could've used more of a kick.

I'm nervous to go into work tomorrow because...well. I put my phone on silent last night because the two processes that I support after-hours don't run on Saturday. But when I woke up this morning (at 5:30 AM and let me tell you, my sleeping issues is a whole other post), I had a voice mail from work that was left at 1:00 AM regarding a process that I know very little about. :( Granted, I've been told that I don't need to learn about that process or support it but I still got called and didn't answer. :( I hope that whatever trouble I may get into, it's not too much. After all, I couldn't have solved the issue even if my phone hadn't been on silent.

Oh, look, here's another Doctor Who comic. I have been a comic fiend lately.



Not a very substantial post but sometimes them's the breaks. Zip zip zip zoop!
aliceylain: ([utena] what a good girl)
Oh man. Oooh man. So here I am, writing a crossover with one series that I've really only ever just finished six seasons out of a gajillion of and with another series that I sometimes have difficulty capturing the voices for. I normally wouldn't even have attempted but the idea just seized me by the hand and would not get out of my head. As such, it turned out to be a good vehicle for me to explore Anthy's character a bit more, while trying to write Doctor Who characters. Don't be afraid to tell me all the ways that I've messed this up.

Title: Something Eternal
Rating: G
Characters: Himemiya Anthy, The Doctor, Amelia Pond
Summary: The Doctor and Amy accidentally drop-in on Himemiya Anthy.
Notes: Yes, I’ve got a sequel planned. Just what I am getting myself into?

'Pond, welcome to Japan on Earth circa 1997 or thereabouts-ish.' )
aliceylain: ([op] HEY GUYS)
JUST FINISHED THE FIFTH SEASON OF DOCTOR WHO.

HOLY QUIDDITCH BALLS, WAS IT GOOD.

(WELL, EXCEPT FOR THE LIZARD EPISODES. WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE WITHOUT THOSE EPISODES AS THEY WERE A BIT BORING.)

I'M SERIOUSLY LOVING THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR A WHOLE TON. I MEAN REALLY. WHOLE GALAXIES OF LOVE.

WHICH MAKES ME SAD.

BECAUSE I'VE HEARD THAT THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH SEASONS AREN'T VERY GOOD. AS IN AWFUL.

NOT THAT I WON'T WATCH THEM OF COURSE. THEY WILL BE WATCHED.

BUT I HEARD THAT CHARACTERIZATION GOES OUT THE WINDOW AND THE PLOTS GET EVEN MORE INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND THE FEMALE CHARACTERS LOSE AGENCY.

MAYBE I'LL MAGICALLY GET ZAPPED TO AN ALTERNATE REALITY WHERE THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH SEASONS ARE EVEN BETTER THAN THE FIFTH.

A GIRL CAN HOPE, CAN SHE?

aliceylain: ([utena] jump! for my love!)
My heavens, today was tiring. So tiring that yet again, I don't quite have the energy to write a proper post for this week. Today I:

- cleaned
- cleaned
- cleaned everything
- swept and dusted and mopped
- took a Doctor Who break
- cleaned some more
- baked gingersnap cookies
- more cleaning
- did laundry
- made dinner
- and my god, I messed up the kitchen while making dinner so I need to clean it again

I also drew this:



If you've got me friended on tumblr, sorry for the duplicate post. I really wanted this comic to be funny but coming up with humorous stuff for a classified ad was somewhat out of my mental reach today.

I can't wait until tomorrow at 1 PM because I only have to work until 1 PM tomorrow AND AND AND then I have an entire week off work. I plan to do 0% thinking next week. Seriously, work has been frying my brain circuits and I need to just not think about anything strenuous for awhile. Hopefully, I'll recharge and be raring to go in January because I've really got to be on my A game in January.

And now, with most of my duties for the day done (I also wanted to do my holiday wrapping today but I don't think it's going to happen), I'm going to watch yet more Doctor Who. Because I am well and surely caught by this show.



Seriously, I could spend all day looking at Doctor Who gifs. It is a very sad state that I'm in.
aliceylain: ([5cm] footsteps in the snow)
I don't have much to say but I wanted to post this week. Because I want to keep saying things and not just drift off into the land of passive consumption like I have been. SO HERE I AM. TRYING TO THINK OF THINGS TO SAY.

Oh wait, I saw a movie today, Rise of the Guardians because I am six years old inside. It was an absolutely gorgeous movie and worth the ticket price for the visuals alone. The story was...meh. I mean, it was okay but generic and had some continuity errors that actually jarred me out of my passive movie consumption. However, I liked the characters enough that I'm thinking of checking out the book series that the movie is based on. Because honestly, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Sandman, and Jack Frost as a superhero team? Pretty much a winning idea.

Okay, seriously, I have nothing else of importance to say. I'm working on a post about why I love Revolutionary Girl Utena because the world could always use more gushing posts about why that series is the best. Also, I think I'm going to do a post on cooking and how it has (slowly) gotten easier for me over time. I was going to post another fanfiction story, One Piece this time, but I didn't do as much revising as I should have done this week. Maybe next weekend? In short, more interesting posts are coming and hopefully I'll get back into the knack of post writing.
aliceylain: ([tennis] what your eyes can do)
Title: Here's to the Night
Rating: G with slash overtones
Characters: Inui Sadaharu, Kaidoh Kaoru, Seigaku team
Summary: "To Seigaku! The National Champions!" Everyone at Kawamura Sushi cheered happily in response. Grinning, the expression hidden underneath the bandages on his face, Inui panned the camera across the crowd of excited people. That was the fourth time so far this evening that someone had yelled out a toast to the entire room and no one seemed to be tiring of it yet.
Notes: I originally wrote this story 500 years ago back in 2008 and never posted it, mostly because I felt that it ultimately had nothing to say. It still has nothing to say but there are some scenes and dialogue that I like. And so, in my quest to try and finish all the WIPs that I have for various fandoms, out into the wide world it goes!

Read more... )
aliceylain: ([utena] what a good girl)
Title: Love Potion
Rating: G
Characters: Himemiya Anthy, Takatsuki Shiori, Tenjou Utena
Timeframe: After Ruka's rejection of Shiori in episode 28.
Summary: And yet, it was Takatsuki Shiori who closed the door behind her and leaned back against it. It was Shiori who turned the lock, her school uniform rumpled and her hair covering her eyes. And it was Shiori who got straight to the point and said, "I need a love potion."
Notes: I've had this in my drafts folder for over a year. I'm still not entirely pleased with it but figured it was about time I just posted it anyways and lived with the rampant imperfection of what I was trying to say.

Read more... )
aliceylain: ([00.05] then splatter splatter)
So, I haven't posted in awhile. That's because my stress level at work has gone up a ridiculous amount. There's currently a huge project underway and I've got a significant portion of it to do. And it is really, really, REALLY stressing me out. I end up coming home from work on the weekdays and am good for nothing but scrolling through my friends list and watching videos. I'm better on the weekends, but I spend most of my time getting things out of the way (like cooking/cleaning/other stuff) so that I don't have to do much during the weeknights.

This is likely to continue for awhile since the project isn't supposed to be "over" until October. (I use over lightly because the project is very likely to continue for a few months after the implementation date.) I already can't wait because I want a normal work and project load, not this behemoth of ridiculousness. Anyways, I'm likely to continue to be scarce and non-communicative. If anyone has been missing me, sorry about that.
aliceylain: ([utena] jump! for my love!)
My apartment has power back! *tiredly mambos* And the grocery stores are stocking up again, so I was able to find food pretty easily. And while it's the Fourth of July, it's so damn hot out that I'm pretty much hiding inside. Possibly for the rest of the week, since I have tomorrow and Friday off as vacation days.

But in more important news, I have finished watching all the available episodes of Community. And my wary liking of the show has morphed into full-on aggressive liking with a side of wary. HERE, LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS SHOW.

COMMUNITY



Take a guess at who my favorite character is. Go on. Guess.

Read more... )

And now, I get to wait for the fourth season. WHY ONLY THIRTEEN EPISODES, NBC? WHY?!
aliceylain: ([jellyfish] hay guiz)
So quite a few people commented to my previous entry and I haven't responded back because...I'm afraid? I wrote that post really quickly and the next morning, I pretty much regretted posting it because I surely don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to consumerism and waste and recycling. For some reason, I think people are going to be mean to me even though no one has ever been mean to me via my DW or LJ ever. It's my paranoia speaking, what can I say, and the crippling knowledge that I don't have much knowledge. So I'm going to quietly pretend the previous post doesn't exist. We cool? We cool.

In other news, I built a table.

A table of BOOKS )
aliceylain: ([utena] she's a little bit dangerous)
As I get older, I find myself becoming more concerned with the following two things:

1. The amount of chemicals that I put on and in my body.
2. The amount of crap that we dump into our landfills and atmosphere.

It really started about five years ago when I decided to start bringing my own cloth bags to the grocery store. I found the amount of plastic bags that I used only to transport my groceries from the store to my house to be depressing. Plus, the plastic bags sometimes broke because I overfilled them in an attempt to use less bags. And while it took me some time to consistently remember to bring my cloth bags with me when I went to the store, I found I liked them much better than the plastic bags. Not only could I fit more things into them, but the handles have never broken.

Then I got mesh bags for my fruits and vegetables so I didn't have to waste plastic bags for those items. Then I convinced my parents to change from commercial detergent to Charlie's Soap, which was a good thing because Charlie's Soap cleans better and doesn't "perfume" my clothing. Then I convinced my parents to start recycling their aluminum cans and plastic containers because the number of those that they threw away every day was also depressing. Then I began to get depressed at the amount of packaging that I throw away throughout a single week, which led me to wonder why I buy so many things news and not many things used. That led to thoughts about advertising and consumerism and why do I even buy so many things in the first place.

At some point, I stumbled across No More Dirty Looks and became aghast at how unregulated the beauty and cleaning industry is. I never much thought about the chemicals that I was dumping on the counters in the kitchen or into my body. When I moved to this apartment, I only got white vinegar, baking soda, and borax for my cleaning needs. So far, I've seen nothing to suggest that they don't clean as well as the commercial stuff. I don't have any paper towels; I've been doing just fine with my sponge and cloth towels. I'm still using chemical-laden products to clean my body because I'm trying to use all of them up before I switch to stuff that's clean. But I've tried some samples of body cleaning products that were clean and they seemed to work just as well as the commercial stuff.

I struggle with how to get clean beauty products in the first place because the town where I live doesn't carry them. For example, to get castile soap, I would have to drive at least thirty minutes to the closest store that sells it. Castile soap would allow me to make my own dishwasher soap, shampoo, and hand soap, which appears really easy to do. On the other hand, I could order castile soap online and have it shipped to me...which would include wasteful packaging and someone else driving. I think what I'm going to do is drive to Columbus next weekend so I can visit a Whole Foods store that carries some various clean products that I want to try. While I'm there, I will also go to ~*the*~ ~*zoo*~ and see a lot of lovely animals. I still feel bad about the amount of gas/carbon that I will use/create but I think it's a better solution than having the products shipped to me.

I worry because I've read there are four things that dump the most carbon into the atmosphere: going from place to place, regulating temperature inside a building, creating electricity, and raising meat. I can see where I can try to be better with not turning on the air conditioning so much, using less electricity, and eating less meat. But going from place to place? I don't see how I can limit that without becoming a hermit. And I don't want to become a hermit again. I've done it before and I was miserable. So I try to limit the times that I drive but I feel that I'm not doing a good enough job.

And then I get depressed again because while I'm trying my best to limit the resources I waste, a lot of people aren't doing that. In the long run, a change needs to happen on a global scale. The thing is, will change happen? People need an incentive to change their habits and the only incentives I can think of are tax-related, which will go down like a lead balloon. How do we reconcile having an enjoyable existence with fucking up ourselves and our planet? How do we reconcile people making a living with how we're fucking up the planet? It's a bigger problem than I can solve and right now, the only thing I can do is try to make informed choices.

Holy crap, I just nattered on forever about environmental stuff. Sorry about that, it really has been on my mind lately.
aliceylain: ([jellyfish] my best side)
Today has been a mildly successful day in that all of my very low, easily reached goals were easily reached! I woke up (too early but that's how things are nowadays) and did my weekly cleaning, which included vacuuming. I took a walk and it was GORGEOUS outside and I saw a woodchuck, a bird trilling its heart out, a dog running besides a guy on rollerblades, and approximately 128 butterflies. I've done two loads of laundry and, shockers of shockers, busted out the ironing board for some ironing. (I think I actually iron things about three times a year because ironing just seems so pointless to me. It's the same with dusting. Dust never goes away, I should just let it live its happy life on all my horizontal surfaces.)

(And now that I think about it, the same thought process could be applied to vacuuming so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.)

I cooked an actual meal today, which wasn't too successful. I've been trying for awhile to find the perfect measures of ingredients for a meal that I'm sure has an actual meal name but I can't be bothered to look up online. It's essentially cheese tortellini, mushrooms, water, some marsala cooking wine, and a roux to make the marsala cooking wine act like an actual sauce. Either I put in too much of the wine or not enough. Tonight was one of those not enough nights and I get to look forward to eating the bland leftovers during lunch tomorrow. But! I bought a pineapple yesterday so I get to slice it up tonight and eat some and that somehow balances out the bland tortellini in my mind.

The rest of the day has been spent watching videos by the VlogBrothers and going eeeerghphewarbleWHYWHYWHYblehughwah. Every time I think that maybe I'm a halfway decent communicator and could possibly have a personality that others might like, I find approximately 1888390090920 other people on the internet that are personable and charming and smart and hilarious. Then I found out that John Green is the same John Green who co-wrote Will Grayson, Will Grayson and sometimes I really wish I had the talent that some people seem to have in their pinkies. WORLD, WHY CAN'T I HAVE JUST A LITTLE PINKIE TALENT? If I could choose the type of talent, I would definitely choose humor because people who can make other people laugh are just amazing. And then I read things like this:


And I think that maybe I can do it someday.
aliceylain: ([lain] whisper in your ear)
Okay, I'm still annoyed at how Blackout went down so I'm going to talk about it and possibly make an ass out of myself but here I go.

Spoilers for Blackout and Feed by Mira Grant. Also, me making an ass out of myself. )

Well, that's out of my system now. I'll get over it, I'm just still sulking.
aliceylain: ([utena] cruelty)
Analysis help is needed! And of the Revolutionary Girl Utena kind!

I'm trying to understand the symbolism of Shiori's bird in her Black Rose episode. All the Black Rose duelist have a symbol on the desk during their fights and I understand the important of most of them. However, I just don't understand Shiori's. I know that a bird flies into the window during a conversation between her and Juri earlier in the episode but...the significance? It is escaping me.

I'm sure it's something that I'm just overlooking, but could someone help a girl out here?
aliceylain: ([tennis] burning blur)


I seem to be on a rewatching kick, as I rewatched the first season of Ookiku Furikabutte in its entirely this past week. I'm still quite enjoy it, even though I know what's going to happen in the plot. And when I think about why, there are the usual suspects. The characters are engaging, the games are well-paced, and who isn't a sucker for an underdog story? But the real draw for me, to be honest, is the main character Mihashi.

Yes, Mihashi. The one who cries, trembles, and can't go against someone's decision if his soul depended on it.

I won't act as if I've watched all the shounen and all of the sports series out there in the universe. But of the ones I've personally seen, the only one that's had a main character that isn't overflowing with confidence is Oofuri. I remember being struck at Mihashi lack of confidence was when I watched the first episode waaaaay back. Here was a kid who believed that people hated him, who felt that his pitching was lousy, who cried very easily, and who shied away from compliments as if they were double-edged swords. And shounen/sports series main characters...are never like that. They aren't always egotistical (although some are annoying so *cough*Echizen*cough*), but they usually have some measure of confidence in themselves. Mihashi has absolutely no confidence and when he strikes people out, feels that it's all due to the guidance of the catcher and not his skill at all. It's surprising and refreshing to see a series tackle such a main character.

I'm not surprised that the anime series here in the United States. Watching a main character cringe and stutter and cry is not what people expect in a sports series. Secondary characters? Sure, that's been done. But the main character in a show that's aimed primarily at boys? Heck no. But while some may not enjoy that (my brother sure didn't when I tried to get him to watch it), I love the show for that. The fact is that talented people aren't always confident and sometimes confidence is a hard thing to grow. I like that Oofuri goes in that direction.

I also like that Mihashi doesn't magically become confident after a win or two. While the show is an underdog story about a group of freshmen playing in Japan's summer high school baseball tournament, it's also largely a story about the relationship between Mihashi and Abe. Mihashi is overly dependent on Abe to control all aspects of the pitching game. And Abe is one of the worst communicators in the history of ever, and even doesn't really care to understand Mihashi in the beginning. While they're able to get by in the first season of the anime series with Mihashi blindly following all of Abe's calls and Abe doing his best to not yell at Mihashi all the time, it's very clear that the partnership won't survive too long on just that. Mihashi will need to learn to have confidence in his skills and at least realize that Abe's game-making skills wouldn't matter at all if Mihashi didn't have the talent to throw the pitches that Abe wants. And Abe needs to realize that Mihashi needs that confidence and help him grow it.

So while Tajima is hilarious in the series, Mihashi Ren will forever be my favorite.

EDIT: IN ISN'T-THAT-IRONIC NEWS, I reread posts that I made back in 2007 about Oofuri and I apparently found Mihashi very annoying back then. Oh, how time can change a person!

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