ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
So MeTV is doing another round of their silly MeTV Madness this year, where MeTV shows are paired up and voted on by the viewers who use the Internet. I'm really not sure what the point of the thing is. I originally figured it was to determine what was popular so they'd have some idea what to keep/what to toss/what to bring back, but the MeTV Madness results really don't seem to have any bearing on that, so I'm not sure what the point is. Maybe it's just silly fun. Sometimes I wonder, though, if the voting is really completely what the users are saying or if MeTV makes the end result be something they want. I can never forget when 4Kids did that voting thing to get viewers to pick which new show they wanted to see a special preview of, and Tokyo Mew Mew was ahead for most of the voting time, yet suddenly when it was time, they announced that F-Zero had somehow won. Considering it had the least votes all the way along, that was more than a little suspicious.

And I was thinking about politicians being immature and flinging stupid insults back and forth at each other and that got me thinking about that Patty Duke Show episode where Patty and Cathy are running for student body president and start doing the same thing. The students get so sick of it that they end up overwhelmingly voting for the one candidate who wasn't insulting everybody else. But she also didn't have much of a voting pitch; she'd always get up and flatly say, "Vote for me." LOL. But according to Patty, she actually started doing a good job once she was voted in.

Then I started thinking how strange it is that while I remember the series fondly, there are many, many episodes that I either don't like or find tedious to watch. Episodes that I truly, genuinely liked all the way through are actually less in number than the other kind, I believe. So that made me wonder why I bought the first two seasons on DVD years ago. I think it was because I wanted the episodes with that recurring character actor who looked like Autor, Jeff Siggins. Then season 3 changed production areas and the supporting cast was dropped, including him, and season 3 changed the show in other ways and overall I didn't like it as much. But I still recorded the ones I liked best.

The other great thing about The Patty Duke Show is William Schallert. I became very fond of him while watching him in all those episodes. He reached the tier right below the actors I actually crush on, which is for other actors I am very enthusiastic about and can go out of my way to see and get very excited to see when stumbling on them by chance. I don't know if I would have come to like him as much as I do if not for seeing him every night as part of that main cast.

I also think off and on how Cathy is usually remembered for being so demure and sweet, and yet she can actually be pretty nasty too, like in the voting episode and several others. Sometimes I think she can actually be more nasty than Patty, because Patty usually just says things off the top of her head without thinking about it, whereas Cathy seems more likely to plan out at least some of what she says. Sometimes she behaves on impulse too, though, like in the Cleopatra episode. And I suppose she has to behave badly sometimes so she'll be a well-rounded character. But I have to say, it's always painful to see her like that and I don't think I like any of the episodes where it happens. Regardless, though, I do prefer her to Patty, as Patty Duke herself does. But both girls are pretty well-rounded and have good and bad points, which is nice.

That sort of thing is necessary, but while flaws are important, I honestly have trouble writing characters actually acting out/deliberately being vicious and petty and mean. Even if they're prone to such behavior in canon, I just cannot get into that mindset if I'm trying to write them as a protagonist. It's easy if they're an antagonist, but if I want them to be the one the readers are rooting for, I just ... can't seem to make myself do it, which is why canon jerk or villain characters in my hands usually end up not being anywhere as bad as canon portrays (although generally there's an explanation of trying to turn over a new leaf instead of it coming out of the blue, like it did with Hook on Once Upon a Time). It's just not my nature and I can't get into their heads and don't feel comfortable trying if I don't try to soften them/humanize them a bit to make them relatable to me. Some of them I still can't really relate to regardless of my efforts, since of course I have to try to stick to canon information and sometimes that means the character will end up darker than I'm comfortable with no matter what I do. (Usually that means I eventually drop the character, as in the cases of Gin and Vodka and some certain others in other fandoms.) But anyway, yeah, I usually have to fall back on other types of flaws for protagonists than acting out.

Then I started reading one of my locally-written mystery books. I was slightly concerned when I saw the main character described on the back as "quirky", as usually that seems to mean an absent-minded weirdo or someone who can't be serious if their life depends on it. Both character types are fine for people who like them, but they can grate on my nerves very quickly, especially since the latter category often leads to practical jokers and that's a sub-character type I don't care for either. (Which is why I've honestly never been that excited about the Weasley twins from Harry Potter.... Not that I'm that excited about Harry Potter in general, honestly. But despite my feelings, I still felt it was sacrilege to kill off one of the brothers. Gah.) There's a character in the latter category who's in a fairly popular locally-written book and movie adaptation. She says she's an intellectual, but she honestly never acts like it. She pretty much spends the whole book/movie acting like a silly, mischievous, slightly naughty goof and being rather outrageous at times. Although technically, she does get serious when her life depends on it. She dies and the thing ends up heartbreaking after starting so screwy and silly.

But to my relief when I started reading the mystery book, the lead character is a serious, capable person and her quirkiness mostly stems from OCD. I can totally deal with that. And it's rather nice to see an OCD character written seriously; as much as I had fun watching Monk, it always did bother me that he and the other OCD characters who popped up were portrayed as acting so childishly due to their phobias. We're really not all that way!
ladybug_archive: (schrank_krupke)
Regarding that anime, I tried it again tonight, as I had some free time. The first episode I watched (episode 7) was just totally nuts (although it had some good friendship bonding) and I was honestly about ready to just give up and decide the series was too off-the-wall for me. But the next episode was more serious and about a more quiet character I like a lot, so I really enjoyed that.

Still, I felt I wanted to re-read the detailed summary of the show's plot that I'd read before I watched any of it but forgot the details of later. I just wasn't feeling the show overall and I hoped maybe that would give me more motivation to continue. When I did that, I decided I really wanted to watch the final two episodes before continuing in a proper manner. I don't do that very often, but I definitely didn't regret doing it this time. The final episodes were filled with so much beautiful friendship squee that I was just in Heaven. I loved everything about those episodes and felt that the ending was just perfect. Now I'm totally eager to go back and watch the other episodes and see what got the characters to that point, even if there are other really weird episodes like #7.

The anime, by the way, is Petite Princess Yucie.
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
So several months ago Kaze told me about an upcoming magical girl/superhero show called Miraculous Ladybug. Naturally she thought of me, since ladybugs are my mascots, and she thought I'd be interested.

I definitely was, and I've been waiting for it to come out. I was hoping it would stream on CrunchyRoll. But things have been so hectic around here (and I was so occupied re-watching Carmen) that I didn't get around to checking on the show's status until yesterday. CrunchyRoll doesn't have it, I don't think, and the U.S. dub doesn't begin for about a week and a half, so I'm not late for that, yay. Yesterday, when I thought to look, I found a few fan-subbed episodes on YouTube. If I'd been more on the ball, I could have watched each episode as it came, sigh. We have 13 now, I believe. There will be 26 for the first season and I hope they'll get renewed for more.

I've watched all the ones I can, which is about six. A seventh has the subs falling off the video, so I decided I'd better just wait for the English dub of that one. I plan to watch all the episodes in English as they come out (provided I can get Nickelodeon's website to cooperate; I assume they'll show each new episode there). I just hope the dub is good.

The show is so cute! There's a definite innocence and sweetness about it. While it uses many magical girl cliches, it also feels fresh and new.

Things I especially like:

- The characters all seem to dress very modestly. It's so nice not to see all the girls running around in midriff shirts like on Winx Club! They act more like kids instead of trying to grow up too soon and wearing revealing clothing.

- Instead of destroying the evil spirits possessing the characters and making them act out, Ladybug catches them and purifies them. They're little butterflies corrupted by the Big Bad, which then in turn corrupt the chosen victim of the day. It's really nice to see the butterflies caught and helped instead of being destroyed for possessing the people.

- Ladybug in her civilian identity has a really sweet friendship with another girl. Yay, friendship squee! And her friend is awesome; I totally love her.

- It rather amuses me that the main boy, who turns into Black Cat, oddly resembles Schrodinger from Hellsing in his wild blond hairstyle and cat ears headband. I don't really care much for the character now that Hellsing is out in full, but I am still amused.

(Truthfully, I never really liked Schrodinger that much.... I tried to like him because of being told that in some ways he was like an OC of mine, but the parallels were pretty slim overall. Then when more of the series came out and I didn't like how he was turning out, I felt too awkward to say I didn't really like him anymore after all. I think I was worried that my friend wouldn't like my reason, especially since she did like what they were doing with the character. Maybe she wouldn't have liked my reason for not liking him or maybe on the other hand I was worrying unnecessarily, but eh. I can definitely relate to that Steven Universe episode where he feels too shy/worried/awkward to tell Connie that he really likes how a book series turned out when Connie didn't like it and was ranting about it.)

- As much as I love Japanese culture, I kind of find it exciting to get a Western culture magical girl show, since I can understand and relate to that better. This one is set in Paris. The only other Western culture magical girl shows I can think of are Winx Club (which takes place on other planets for the most part, so it doesn't really feel like it counts) and W.I.T.C.H. (which I've never tried). Of course, Princess Tutu takes place in Germany, despite being made in Japan. And if we think about the superhero genre, then there's Wonder Woman and others. Amusing how I've never really thought of them as magical girls before, but technically, Wonder Woman was probably the beginning of the entire genre.

The Big Bad seems rather cartoonish, but since this is a magical girl show, I do sort of wonder if he'll get some depth later on.

I feel a little bad to be so enthusiastic about the series, though, as for months I've been trying to watch an anime that another friend recommended and over the past few months, I've advanced as far in it as I did in this show in less than 24 hours. I'm not quite sure what that says about the anime and/or me. But she did say the plot picks up right around where I am, so maybe I'll get more interested in it too.

I wonder if the problem is partially that while the anime is at a fillery spot, it's short and is supposed to have an intense overarching plot and I'm anxious to get going with unraveling the mysteries of that and not have the filler. But Miraculous Ladybug probably just is self-contained with each episode, so I don't expect anything more than that from it. They don't even have an "origin" episode as the first one, so things so far don't need to be watched in order. As much as I love arcs, I do kind of like being able to jump in anywhere with this show.

(I should note that I still love Sailor Moon filler episodes, though. I wonder if it's that I'm more invested in those characters than I am in this other anime, even though I like them.... With Sailor Moon, I guess I feel like it's similar with Miraculous Ladybug in that I expect filler from it. Plus there's a ton of episodes and somehow that makes filler seem more bearable than if it's a short anime, if that makes any sense.)

Or maybe it's just that Miraculous Ladybug is more the type of show I need right now: something light and cute without a darker plot looming somewhere, and something I can relate to better since it's the present-day. I really love this cute show and I'm so glad Kaze found out about it. I don't know if I would have learned about it otherwise.
ladybug_archive: (faye)
So I have two very different sets of magical girls on my mind today.

In the evening I had occasion to finally read up on what the Madoka Magica movie Rebellion is about. And oh gosh. The TV series was always good at ripping your heart out and stomping on it, and it certainly sounds like the movie continues with that. Gah. I'm not entirely satisfied with how things end up in it, but considering how I wasn't satisfied with the TV series' ending either and now it's been turned upside-down after I figured there was no way to resolve it, perhaps there's still hope that somewhere down the line, another movie will happen that will finally end happy for all the characters.

I don't want to give spoilers, but just ... oh man. Homura! Gah. Probably the most heart-breaking character in the TV series and that pattern doesn't change with the movie, either. She just refused to give up on giving Madoka a normal life.

EDIT: I found something on YouTube that said the original creator wanted the movie to have a happy ending, but the others involved overrode him and came up with the depressing version instead. That's kind of sad. I would have liked the creator's version much better.

Then about an hour ago, I'm on Facebook and I see an ad in the sidebar talking about a new Powerpuff Girls series coming next year. Well, I hadn't heard anything about that, so I clicked. That's ... interesting. I hadn't expected a reboot of that, but since they seem to get around to remaking everything eventually, I guess I should have. The new designs look pretty close to the original, so that's neat. I wonder how the new voice actresses will sound and if the show will be much the same as the original in tone and plot.

I've had the theme song stuck in my head for the last while thanks to that. While I was never die-hard into the show, I really did like it quite a bit as silly, innocent fun and I believe I saw most of the episodes from the first couple of seasons or so. I love magical girls shows, and it's basically an American-made magical girls show. I treasure it for being something that was so special to JP, and for being what led me to YGO, since I was watching Powerpuff on his recommendation and then ads came up for YGO and I thought "... That show looks cool."

I think my favorite bit on the Powerpuff Girls was when Mojo Jojo started throwing accusations at a bird and then the telephone. ROTFLOL! I laughed so hard at that nonsense.
ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
I wonder if what I should do about Zecora is to plan to get her (or Shining Armor; they're the same price) with my next coupon or gift card and then get something like Sweetie Belle or Scootaloo to bring the price up to $40 for free shipping. That certainly seems a lot more sensible than participating in the sale and thus needing to get a character I don't like so much along with Zecora. I'd rather get two I really want instead of one I want and one I'm not so enthusiastic about. Plus, it makes me wince that it would be double the cost of a large size Care Bear. We'll see if I feel any different on Monday.

In any case, it doesn't seem like Build-a-Bear is likely to have any July Pony releases, since there hasn't been any news of any yet. I suppose that could change, but usually we hear about releases months in advance. So if there aren't any immediate releases, I definitely could focus on finally getting Zecora or Shining Armor, whether through the sale or not.

Also, I was watching Sailor Moon Crystal in the afternoon and one of the ads was this bizarre, silly thing I've seen advertised the last several times I've watched it. It looked to be a parody of magical girl shows, and there were weirdly bizarre things like a really scary vegetable monster. I think that scared me more than any of the monsters on Sailor Moon. LOL.

It also looked like it was a magical boys show, which is rather hilarious. That's not something I've seen or heard of before. I've wondered what it was since the first time I saw it. Finally this week I managed to catch enough of the title that I was able to look it up. (Things don't play entirely right for me on Crunchyroll, but it's better than Hulu.) I was right that it was boys, and it's definitely a parody of magical girl shows. But while Madoka Magica took a dark and serious route to overturn the genre, this show apparently is full of crack. **snerk.** There was a clip with their magical animal (what I thought was a pig, but it's a wombat) telling them not to call out random attack names. LOLOLOL.

I don't know if I'll actually check it out, as one review I read said that there's lots of sexual innuendo in it. Also, looking over the episode guide, one episode involves one of my most-hated tropes, the characters being turned into kids. But whether I watch it or not, I'm going to be amused by it regardless.

Now I'm not sure I remember the title well enough to write it out. It was something like Cute High Earth Defense Team LOVE! Heh.
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
So I finally got out of my writing funk, at least enough to work more on the second Mannix fic's chapter. I might be able to get it done today, but now seems to be down. At least, I can't bring it up, even though someone else can. **headdesk.** I could post the chapter to AO3 in the meantime. Not that anyone even visits the Mannix category there, but still.

And I was selecting a fresh shirt to wear and decided to see if I could still fit into one of the two original YGO shirts I bought on my 16th birthday ... twelve years ago. Good heavens, has it really been that long?

I opted for the electric blue shirt with Yami Yugi. It was always one of my favorites of my YGO shirt collection, and I'm pleased that I can apparently still squeeze into it.

But putting it on certainly brought on a wave of bittersweet nostalgia. I don't wish that it was the past or that I wasn't interested in what I am now, writing-wise, but sometimes I do miss those happy, innocent days of being excited each week to find out what was new on YGO and staying up all night to make sure I'd catch the new episode(s) instead of sleeping through them. I kind of wish that time could be concurrent with the happy parts of the time now.

It was such an exciting time of discovery. Japanese anime was so new to me and I was so excited to discover it wasn't all adult-rated stuff, like I had mistakenly thought due to a brochure from Columbia House. I gobbled up YGO, Sailor Moon, and so many others.

These days, there's really nothing I care to see Saturday mornings, cartoon-wise, except when My Little Pony is running new episodes. The other current American cartoons don't interest me and it seems like there haven't been many noteworthy anime series lately, not like there used to be years ago. The main popular one is one that I'm afraid would just be too gory for me to ever get into. I am anxious to try Sailor Moon Crystal, but I'm skeptical of it at best. I really don't like how the eyes are being drawn. They don't have the same spark of life as the original anime's eyes do.

I was already kind of wanly nostalgic remembering the happy days of discovering new things with beloved people and excitedly sharing and discussing them. Eras come and go so fast. Sometimes it gets lonely, as most everyone moves on to other things and I'm still here, still wanting it to be like it was and sharing things. It reminds me a little bit of that part in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon where most of the Senshi are so busy running around with other things on their minds and Ami/Sailor Mercury is quietly waiting for them to all come back again.

Anime Quiz

Feb. 23rd, 2014 03:43 pm
ladybug_archive: (faye)
Found this on Tumblr. I like to answer all the questions at once like a Livejournal quiz.

1. My first anime: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters.
2. My favorite anime: The same.
3. The first anime character I was obsessed with: Yami Bakura and Ryou Bakura concurrently.
4. My anime OTP: Seto Kaiba/Tea Gardner.
5. An anime I can’t stand: Ultimate Muscle. Ugh, Mr. Cheeks.... I can hardly believe they got away with airing that on broadcast television, for kids.
6. An anime I want to watch: Can't think of one offhand.
7. An anime I never finished: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (still need to see the latter half of SuperS and most of StarS).
8. The most recent anime I finished: Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
9. An anime I never thought of watching but fell in love with: If I never thought of watching it, how did I end up doing so?
10. My favorite genre of Anime: Don't think I have one. I watch stuff from many genres. I like magical girl shows a lot, though.
11. Shonen or Shojo: Depends on the anime.
12. My favorite anime character of all time: Just one?! ... Marik Ishtar, maybe. (YGO)
13. An anime that I introduced to a friend: Princess Tutu.
14. The anime that I am currently watching: None.
15. An anime that never gets old no matter how many times I watch it: Any anime I love.
16. If I own any anime merchandise: Yes! A whole lot, too much to possibly list, especially for YGO. Figures, shirts, DVDs, custom-made plushies.... Also some Sailor Moon dolls. And DVDs of other series I like.
17. Yaoi or Yuri: Neither.
18. If I’ve ever been to an anime convention: No.
19. Who is my favorite anime voice actor: George Newbern.
20. Sub or Dub? It depends on the anime, honestly. For YGO, I can never stop preferring the dub, despite how they removed scenes and changed up some of the dialogue. But for Sailor Moon, the dub makes me cringe and I must watch in Japanese.
21. If I could have any anime character’s hair style, who would it be: I don't know; I like my own hair.
22. Manga or Anime? Anime. Manga moves too fast and is often unnecessarily dark and grotesque and graphic.
25. If any of my friends or family watches anime: Lots of friends do. One of my sisters was trying Sailor Moon, but I don't know how that went. One of my brothers watches and likes YGO. Or he did, anyway. I don't know if he still watches reruns or went on to watch all the spin-offs.
26. If I listen to any anime music: I haven't for a while, but I love anime music.
27. If I’m following any ongoing anime series: I am not.
28. If I’ve ever been to an anime club: No.
29. If I’ve ever cried over an anime: Heck yes.
30. What my last anime wallpaper was: Probably one with the bikers from YGO. Or Siegfried von Schroider. It's been years since I've had an anime wallpaper.
ladybug_archive: (hamilton_mignon)
The [ profile] 31_days prompt for the 19th was Strands of Pearl. I'm not entirely sure why, but I started being reminded of the song Drops of Jupiter by Train. I wrote the latter part of the piece with that song on Repeat.

I remember when that song first came out. I had gotten interested in the radio a year or two before that and they played the heck out of that song. I got a bit tired of it being on so much, and I wasn't fully sure I understood the story of the song for a while. Later on, Aubrie's interest in the song and some intriguing AMVs (including one she liked with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and one I found with Sailor Jupiter) made me slowly come around to liking it.

Drops of Jupiter fit the latter part of my ficlet for the 19th, at least somewhat. But now that the piece is up, my mind is wandering and I'm thinking of it also in connection with Hamilton and Mignon. It reminds me of Mignon's interest in the supernatural and the like. I could imagine her coming back from some soul-searching trip and Hamilton's thoughts running similar to the narrator of the song.

I wish I could make AMVs other than slideshows.... Although I wonder if there would even be enough clips of Mignon that would fit. It's kind of a long song.

And I'm reminded again of a problem that I sometimes have when writing for friends when they're a man and a woman and there's someone else in the picture who is the significant other of one of them. The problem cropped up with Autor and Ahiru and Fakir for Princess Tutu and then again with Hamilton and Mignon and Mignon's husband, although in the latter case the husband is deceased. But the problem is, in both cases I'm more comfortable writing for the friends and not the couple, and I worry that I make it sound like the friends are more compatible than the couple. In the Perry case, several times while writing my theme set for Hamilton and Mignon I wondered if it was even plausible that Mignon would have chosen Jack over Hamilton, since she and Hamilton had such wonderful interaction and really, frankly seemed more compatible. But it's canon that she and Hamilton are friends (and don't seem to be anything else), and I prefer it that way.

Oh dear.

May. 29th, 2012 01:41 am
ladybug_archive: (hamilton_WTH)
Gah, every time I try to work on the theme set for June, I wear out. I wrote several sentences and now I feel restless and bushed. As much as I wanted to use all of these themes, I wonder if I'll be able to. I may have to just pick a few over the month and keep all the others to just use whenever I feel up to it. Maybe it's just too much to try to do the themes every day for two straight months, in addition to all my other projects. I have The Denying Detective Perry mystery, I revived a YGO mystery, I'm expanding one of my ficlets for posting on, I have my One Minute to Zero fic that I finally got off the ground, and I'm doing my blogging and my freelance article writing.

It also doesn't help that this time I was writing May's themes almost right up to the wire, as opposed to when I did the set in February and managed to get them all done by about the middle of the month. I had more time for a breather. March would have probably been a good time to jump into another theme set, after the respite I had, rather than trying to immediately jump into this one now for June.

EDIT: ... Or I wonder if it could be a combination of that weariness and the actual plot of the theme set draining me. It is a rather depressing plot. Hmmm. I wonder what would happen if I took the plot of this particular blurb and wrote it as not being part of this takeover thing. Maybe I'll try that and see if I still feel the same exhaustion. I wrote a bit of my ficlet expansion and that didn't wear me down at all.

And out of utter curiosity, I read a short Hetalia fic tonight when it wandered onto my Friend's list via a community. I know the series is extremely popular, but I've always been baffled by how you can personify nation-states. Those feelings were not alleviated after reading the fic. If anything, I scratched my head and wondered all the more how it's done. It makes no sense at all to me. How can a nation-state be a person and have a house?

The only way I can logically interpret things is if the Hetalia characters are basically the "spirits" of the nation-states rather than the physical lands themselves. And maybe that is what's intended; I don't know. But it still felt very surreal.


Feb. 19th, 2012 01:28 am
ladybug_archive: (kolchak cross)
I've only written one entry here this month. But I've been very busy with other writing, including the [ profile] 31_days vignettes I was doing. I have them done now, which gives me a bit more time to hopefully work on some of the other projects, such as that Wild Wild West fic I finally felt ready to start. I loved doing the vignettes, though. I feel a bit sad they're done. Who knows, maybe next month will have another awesome series of prompts and I'll do it again.

This entry will be mostly fanfic ramblings, but I want to insert here that we're getting the Miles Edgeworth manga starting in May! I'm so excited. I hope it doesn't take place in the Apollo Justice timeline, though. It's just so discouraging to think about what happened to Phoenix there. Miles and Phoenix are meant to be courtroom rivals. Changing that is sacrilege, like setting Perry up against a regular rival other than Hamilton would be.

And we're also getting the Puella Magi Madoka Magica manga! I think it's the one that adapts the anime. I hope they don't drastically change things. When an anime series comes before a manga, the anime is almost always better. (Although I usually think an anime is better even when the manga comes first, haha.) If the manga keeps track of the story well, I'll probably buy it. Especially since I don't know if/when I'll buy the anime.

And has a Monkees category again! This is very big news. I thought we'd never have one again. I asked in the past why couldn't there be one in the TV Shows category, since that would be for fictional and not real people, but I don't recall ever receiving an answer. I plan to post all of my semi-recent stories (from six years ago on up), but I do not intend to re-post the original Monkees fics I did when we had a category before. Those look pretty terrible now. I may leave old fics on that are already there, but I'd be mortified to deliberately put up old fics in this day and age. Anyway, anyone who wants to read those can still drop in at my Monkees website.

At the new category I've been posting my latest revision of The Return of Baby Face Morales, which I fixed up a year ago. People are reading, but there's no reviews. Ordinarily I wouldn't bother posting on with no reviews. But since this is an old fic and I have got reviews in the past, and I'm trying to build up a brand new category, I figure I'll keep at it for a while. Maybe if I'm persistent I can get some more activity going in the category and eventually some reviews.

This will hopefully force me to finish my revision of the sequel, too. I stopped on it last April when I was writing Kolchak, I think.

Which reminds me of the Kolchak fic I stalled on many moons ago. There were reasons for that. One was that I couldn't find out what happened to the giant worm-things that had become my inspiration for the worms in the story. No one would tell me and Googling did nothing for me. And I forgot to look for the book the handful of times I was in a bookstore. Without knowing what happened to those worms or how the people got away, I couldn't figure out how the worms in the story should be defeated.

Another problem was that I wasn't sure I really wanted to write about Chicago being decimated by a bunch of giant worms. But I couldn't seem to find anything else scary enough that's supposed to be able to cause amnesia. I wanted something existing (well, existing in someone else's fiction/myth/legend), rather than for me to make something up. Fairies ... just didn't seem to cut it.

A third problem was that I was having a hard time keeping the story going. I kept wanting to prematurely have the scene with Kolchak and Tony meeting up in Wal-Mart. There just wasn't enough material to keep the story afloat for long.

So in the end I threw up my hands and wondered what on earth I was to do with it. I still wonder. I'd still be very interested in writing Kolchak, if I had a decent plot.

I would also be very interested in finishing that West Side Story fic about Schrank and the kids he was mentoring, if I could get back on the ball. I open it sometimes and blankly stare at it. Even knowing where the plot was going doesn't help me figure out how to write the rest of the chapter. It's rather exasperating and frustrating.

On the Perry front again, I just got up chapter 6 of the current mystery. Jerry's stalker finally has a large speaking part (although he had a scene last chapter too). I'm a little concerned about keeping this plot rolling, as well. But I think I'll be able to make it. I do know more or less what's supposed to happen, and two of the plot twists have been thrown into the mix now. Also, since I have a timeline, one of the sub-plots is how some of the characters are still trying to heal from the previous venture, The Case of the Broken Ties. So that's interesting. I'm glad I didn't make things a quick fix, with everything hunky-dory for everyone at the end. All things considered, I don't think I could have done that and felt good about it. Things take time to get over. And some of the characters were pretty devastated.
ladybug_archive: (lifeislikeaboat)
... I'm not sure what the problem is, but I'm feeling really uneasy about the chapter I just put up. I can't tell if I'm having second thoughts about the intended plot (although I still have time to alter that, if I so choose) or if I'm concerned the Perry and Hamilton scene just did not come out the way I wanted it. I can hopefully fix that too, if that's the problem.

There, I altered it. I feel better now.

This entry is really meant, however, to talk about the short anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I finally got around to seeing it! (Thank you, [ profile] yamsteapot, for your long-ago recommendation! I never forgot it.)

Since this is a recent series and there will be some spoilers, the rest is under this cut )

Overall, I completely recommend this series, particularly to anyone who loves character relations and friendships! Even those who don't like shoujo series! [ profile] yamsteapot is certainly no fan of the mahou shoujo genre, but she enjoyed this one and passed along the news of its awesomeness. I'm so glad I finally had the chance to see it!
ladybug_archive: (david)
... My header is gone again. Where does it go when that happens? Is it bandwidth overload or something?

I randomly decided to take this quiz. I got who I wanted, so I'm pleased.

What Death Note Character Are You?
What Death Note Character Are You?
Hosted By Anime

I know he gets accused a lot of being an L rip-off, or people just dislike him because he isn't L, or people don't like some of the decisions he makes, but I always have liked him. Maybe I wouldn't if I read Death Note again, I don't know. But to my way of thinking, that series is pretty much filled with characters who have many flaws. And Near's apparently didn't rub me the wrong way and I like him in spite of them.

EDIT: I tried the Sailor Senshi quiz that [ profile] mythc_writer took and got this:

Which Sailor Scout Are You?
Which Sailor Scout Are You?
Hosted By Anime

I often do get Mercury on these. Once I got Saturn. I'm pleased.
ladybug_archive: (Default)
I should not have wasted time taking this. But it was interesting. One selects five TV shows and then answers the questions.

1. Princess Tutu
2. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
3. The Patty Duke Show
4. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
5. The Monkees

Who’s your favorite character in 2?
In YGO ... I'm not sure. The first one who popped into my head was Alister, and he's certainly still one of my favorites. He's serious, blunt, and is really good at disguises. And he's devoted to his younger brother. I think Seto is right; deep down Alister blamed himself for Miruko's death, but it hurt too much so he shifted the blame to Gozaburo Kaiba. He's a fascinating character to pick apart.

Who’s your least favorite character in 1?
In Princess Tutu ... Lilie, of course. I'll never like her, but I have started to wonder if her denseness is an act. There's a scene in Akt 11 where she's exclaiming about Ahiru being sad and Pike flatly says, "You seem happy." Lilie blushes and holds a hand to her mouth like "Oh my" and says "No way!" She looks and sounds like she knows she's been caught in the act. I would actually find her marginally interesting if she knows she has a problem, rather than for her to be empty-headed as she comes across.

What’s your favorite season of 5?
In The Monkees ... season 1, hands-down. The characterization was a thousand times better than season 2. So often in season 2, I want to slap Micky. This makes me sad, since in season 1 he's my favorite character. In season 1 he's intelligent, hilarious, sarcastic, and brave. In season 2 he's been degraded to a whiny, hysterical, random coward most of the time.

What’s your favorite ship in 3?
In The Patty Duke Show ... I think George Tutwiler/Cathy Lane would be an adorable couple if the problems concerning Cousin Betsy were resolved. If I remember right, they seemed to be studying together when Betsy stumbled upon them, so they might have a love of learning in common. And George is a sweet, innocent boy; he just had a very thoughtless moment when Betsy charmed him. But he could change; Patty's boyfriend Richard has certainly had moments of weakness too.

Ted Browning/Cathy Lane is a more canon couple and a lovely one. Ted seems intelligent and level-headed, and he's crazy about Cathy. She thinks highly of him also. Their personalities mesh very well.

Who is your anti-ship in 2?
In YGO ... I'm not sure. Seto/Serenity, perhaps. I understand the basis for it, but it seems too syrupy sweet and cliche. I also don't like Alister/Valon. If they're going to interact and come to like each other more, I'd prefer seeing them as friends/surrogate brothers.

How long have you watched 1?
Princess Tutu ... since June of 2006.

How did you become interested in 3?
The Patty Duke Show.... It's on late-night/early morning on THIS TV network. Mom watches the oldies block and I started seeing it with her sometimes. The Patty Duke Show attracted me because it's more of a domestic comedy than a sitcom and the characters are amazing and well-rounded. And most episodes have a moral point, but it's not annoyingly drilled into you. It's got so much more meat to it than say, Mr. Ed (which is also on the block). Mr. Ed is just a silly sitcom, but that's a rant for another time.

Who’s your favorite actor in 4?
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon ... is an anime. I'm not sure who my favorite voice actor is. Maybe Emi Shinohara, who plays Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter. She is incredible and her singing is powerful. When Jupiter isn't being boy-crazy, she's really a superb character. She's strong and determined and justice-driven, and always puts boys aside to fight for the greater good. She also has a wonderful relationship with a childhood friend and fiercely believes in Sailor Moon. Emi Shinohara portrays all of Jupiter's emotions flawlessly. Jupiter has really become one of my favorite characters. Even her English dub actress, Susan Roman, is really good. I think Jupiter had just about the best voice in the dub.

Which show do you prefer: 1, 2, or 5?
Princess Tutu, YGO, or The Monkees.... Well, as much as I love them all, I still think YGO will always hold the #1 spot for favorite show. I shared adventures with the characters for so many years and I learned so much about writing while doing stories about them and I met so many people I likely never would have otherwise. I think YGO has had the greatest and most long-lasting impact on me of any show I've ever watched. I really think of the characters as friends (albeit I feel the same about the characters on any show I love).

Which show have you seen more episodes of: 1 or 3?
Princess Tutu or The Patty Duke Show.... Well, Tutu only has 26 episodes while Patty has 104. There's only a handful of Patty episodes I haven't seen now.

If you could be anyone from 4, who would you be?
I don't want to be anyone from any show. I like my life.

Give a random quote from 1.
Princess Tutu....

Autor: You're late.
Fakir: What are you talking about?
Autor: It took you eighteen days, seven hours, and twenty-four minutes from the time you started researching your power to when you noticed me.

Would a 3/4 crossover work?
The Patty Duke Show and Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon.... Um, I don't think so. However, if the girls just all met and could hang out without all the magic and bad guys, I think that would work. Ami and Cathy would get along well with their love of studying, and Patty could introduce Minako and Makoto to all the cute guys in school.

Pair two characters in 1 that would make an unlikely, but strangely okay couple.
Princess Tutu.... Autor and Ahiru. There's not much canon evidence in their interaction to support it, it's true. Well, other than Autor's friendly behavior in the follow-up, which may or may not be canon. (But it's squeeful in any case.) It's in their personalities that the evidence comes. Autor is a kind person underneath the arrogant facade and Ahiru is someone who accepts and cares about anyone shown to be good. I think if they got to know each other more, they could become very close. And from there, who knows?

Has 5 inspired you in any way?
The Monkees.... I'm not sure what kind of context "inspired" is being used in, but offhand I don't think that it has. Unless it was that I think the little teddy bears cosplaying The Monkees were my first "big" purchase and I had to work really hard to earn the money to buy them. And the show certainly gave me lots of laughs. It's a joy to watch.

Overall, which show has a better cast: 2 or 4?
YGO or Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon.... Oh gosh. Well, one problem with Sailor Moon is that a lot of the good guys are better in the manga, but the villains are better in the anime. In YGO, the characters are pretty much all awesome in the anime. They only made a couple of slip-ups (Duke's intro ... ugh), but overall I prefer YGO characterization in the anime to the manga. So YGO would probably get my vote.

Which has better theme music: 3 or 5?
The Patty Duke Show or The Monkees.... I love them both. I was originally going to say The Monkees, since it's so catchy and I've loved it for a longer period of time, but I also really love The Patty Duke Show theme. All the horns are awesome and the vocals are great. The lyrics of both amuse me. Patty is more my obsession at the moment. In the end, for me, it might be a draw.

Though I suppose nothing could really top the utter silliness of the antics in The Monkees' theme.

Anime Quiz

Nov. 11th, 2010 11:58 pm
ladybug_archive: (duke_sunksolow)
Kaze took this on Facebook, but I didn't really want to post mine on Facebook. I try to keep my fandom life separate from my real life, and Facebook is kind of a halfway point.

I shouldn't have wasted time taking this thing; I need to be writing! But it was fun.

* First anime you remember watching as a child? Yu-Gi-Oh! The original Duel Monsters YGO, the only really good YGO and the sole one I will acknowledge as canon.

* First anime you purchased? Most likely Yu-Gi-Oh!

* First anime series you watched and completed? Ho boy, that's a tough one. Magic Knight Rayearth, maybe?

* Favorite female anime character? Meroko Yui from Full Moon wo Sagashite is definitely way up there, of course. But Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop and Tea Gardner from Yu-Gi-Oh! are also high on my list. Oh, and of course, Ahiru from Princess Tutu. She's adorable! And then there's Rukia Kuchiki from Bleach. If I was going to narrow it down to just one, I would *probably* pick Ahiru.

* Favorite male anime character? Autor from Princess Tutu. He's the aloof, serious, refined type of character I almost always gravitate towards. And he wears glasses, which is just a nice extra. Yes, I think glasses are attractive on guys. It might be because of how intelligent and educated it makes them look.

I mused on something recently: there seems to be two main types of aloof characters, those with/leaning towards ice and those with/leaning towards fire. I will almost always like the ice ones best. The fire ones tend to be less refined, and/or prideful in a way I find annoying. The ice ones are generally proud as well, but not in a way I usually find annoying.

* Most annoying anime character you have ever come across? Lilie from Princess Tutu. She wishes tragedy to befall everyone, even or especially her supposed friends. Who needs an enemy with her around?

* Best ‘bad guy’ you’ve seen in anime? That would depend on what defines "best." Yami Marik from Yu-Gi-Oh! is certainly a good bad guy to use in stuff if you want an intense, angst-driven plot. He has no remorse for anything and wants to kill everyone until he's the last person left. He is messed up. And when he's created from Marik's dark feelings, I doubt he has any good in him at all (contrary to what some fanfic writers like to think).

As far as complex, however, Yami Bakura/Thief King Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh! is definitely the one you want. His past is horrifying and tragic, his views on good and evil are intriguing and have some merit to them, and he's just plain fun. I feel awful saying the latter about an antagonist, but it's true for me, at least. Also, I love the hints throughout the anime and manga that he perhaps cares about Bakura, maybe as more than just a needed vessel.

* What mecha would you love to pilot? A Gundam from New Mobile Report Gundam Wing.

* Which anime ‘world’ would you like to be a part of? I don't know that I'd really want to be part of any anime world. That would be like a self-insertion, wouldn't it? Besides, while I love writing about the characters' adventures, I'm not sure I'd want to go on any of them myself.

I used to want to be a Sailor Senshi from Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon pretty badly, but I got over that. I wouldn't really like a lifestyle that those girls have, being forced to drop everything in their normal lives to fight creepy monsters and other villains day in and day out.

* Name an anime that went way above your expectations? Yu-Gi-Oh! And Princess Tutu, also. Though I think just about every anime I've watched was more amazing than I ever imagined it could be. Gundam Wing and Magic Knight Rayearth are others.

* Name an anime that was bitterly disappointing? I can't think of any anime that I found bitterly disappointing. Though I was disappointed by the ending of Princess Tutu the first time I saw it. But over the years I've come to love it. I think it was the best ending possible considering the direction the show started to turn. And there's always fanfictions to continue the characters' adventures and allow Ahiru to be human again.

The ending of Shaman King was quite unsatisfying, but the non-ending in the manga is much worse. I never really liked that show, but I watched it when there wasn't anything on that I wanted to see more.

* Name the most obscure/ ‘unpopular’ anime you’ve seen? Probably Princess Tutu, sadly. We're a small fandom. But we are devoted! Though maybe Sakura Wars is the most obscure, when I think of it. I wasn't able to find much of a fandom at all for it. Which is a shame, because the TV series is really neat!

* Favorite anime theme song? Moonlight Densetsu (Legend) from Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. And Morning Grace from Princess Tutu.

* Favorite anime at the moment? Princess Tutu.

* Do you read manga as well? Yes. I don't like reading it (or any books) online, so I will almost always read it in hard copies. I have about half (or maybe a little over half) of the YGO manga. Someday I will own them all. It's the main one I'm working on collecting at the moment, but I have assorted volumes of other manga series as well. And I own all the volumes of both Full Moon wo Sagashite and Tokyo Mew Mew.

* What is your favorite manga? Hmmm. As far as manga stories, Duke's introduction in YGO Duelist manga #9 and #10. Yes, it was dark, but that made it good! And Duke was so much deeper and better than in his anime introduction. Also, the Pharaoh's Memories arc. It was better in the manga; Thief King Bakura had more depth. But other than those things, I prefer YGO in the anime.

As for favorite manga series overall, however, I can't decide whether it would be Full Moon wo Sagashite or Tokyo Mew Mew. Full Moon is deeper, but Tokyo Mew Mew is so cute and sweet.

* What anime are you currently watching for the first time? None.

* What is one anime that everyone should see? Princess Tutu.
ladybug_archive: (lifeislikeaboat)
Ever since I was introduced to the song by Aubrie, Life is Like a Boat has been one of my most favorite songs ever. I used it as a character theme for Alister for a long time and even made a very amateur wallpaper with him and some of the lyrics.

It also had the effect of singlehandedly *almost* getting me into Bleach. Because of that song, and my intrigue with the character it pertains to, I did actually get to where I got a manga down from the shelf to look at in Barnes and Noble. But I took a look at the story with Orihime and her brother and promptly decided, Um okay. This is really too depressing for me. Thus was the end of my attempted foray into Bleach.

Fast-forward to now. I still love the song, and Rukia, and I dug out the song after deciding I wanted it as the song in an AMV I've commissioned from [ profile] nuitsongeur. (And I'm very excited to see how it turns out, even moreso after hearing what she's doing with it!) I ended up deciding again maybe I'd try Bleach, after my past curiosity resurfaced from listening to the song on Repeat and mushroomed into me having a really crazy dream in which my aunt gave me one of those season boxsets. **headdesk.** I thought my interest would fade, like it usually does after I'm awake and getting back into my normal routine, but it didn't.

So finally I broke down and had a look at the first episode. I liked it. And I liked the English dub, but that's no big surprise. (It honestly still surprises me that I detested the Princess Tutu dub, even moreso since I'd *never* heard it in Japanese before. I think that's the only time that's happened, other than when I saw Inuyasha playing at Media Play and didn't like the English dub of it, either.) Rukia was awesome. And random, but I totally cracked up when she very calmly drew a mustache on Ichigo after he insulted her drawing. LOL. I'd been expecting the cliche anime girl freakout, and her blase reaction was absolutely priceless.

I kind of rolled my eyes at the stuff with Ichigo and his father. That guy is *weird.* But it didn't deter me. It was stupid, but stupid in a way that for me is like "This is so stupid it's silly and amusing."

Anyway, so then I decided that maybe I'd go ahead and buy a Bleach manga with a coupon I had. The next day I went and looked through it, reading most of the Orihime and her brother one. Yes, still depressing, but not so much to me now that it would be a barrier. However ...

I got tempted with the YGO manga where Shadi first appears and challenges Yugi. I've wanted those for years. I remember standing in Smith's and reading the rooftop encounter when they printed it in Shounen Jump. And after much deliberation and worrying over taking far too long ...

I ended up with YGO #3.

Though, if I'd had the money, I probably would have gotten Bleach too. And I probably will, once I have that money.

And once I'm able to get YGO #2 as well, because I want the whole Shadi arc! It's been far too long that I've loved it and haven't owned it.
ladybug_archive: (autor)
I’ve been attempting to ponder on my five favorite Princess Tutu episodes for a while now. Under the cut, I’ll see if I can list them. Do note the series is not episodic; it really needs to be watched in order at least once before skipping off to enjoy individual episodes again and again. **has seen it straight through twice, and has watched favorites repeatedly and most others at least a few times.**

And LOL, going back over my tagged entries, I originally liked the first season better. On my rewatch, I totally preferred the second season and continue to do so. I don't really think the first episodes of season 2 are fillery anymore, like I did then, and it's just so much darker and edgier, it's wonderful. And of course, there's Autor! Princess Tutu is an amazing show largely because of the second season. Not to say that the first isn't good, too, especially the latter half, but without season 2 it would simply not be the utter gem it is.

Favorites. Beware of spoilers. )
ladybug_archive: (yamiM_artichoke)
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Twelve, huh? I think I'd be shocked and stunned at myself. When I was twelve, I think my only knowledge of anime were the movies offered by Columbia House that carried warnings, hence freaking me out and making me think that all anime was profanity- and violence-ridden and adults-only. And oh yeah, I'm pretty sure when I was twelve I refused to give characters in stories and RPs injuries that resulted in blood. Pretty much the only things they got were really bad knocks on the head. Sometimes I still miss the more simple version of hurt/comfort, and now and then I'll write/RP a good old knock-out.

I had a long list of injuries I wouldn't ever give a character, LOL. Eventually as I got older the only things remaining on the list were burns and broken bones. I broke those rules too. Though the only bones I broke were wing bones. XD; I still refuse to break regular limbs or anything else in fics or RPs. The most I'll do is crack some ribs.

The reason for my extreme aversion to broken bones is because of the time on Sesame Street that Telly Monster broke his arm. I watched all those episodes on one of the marathons PBS did and came away with a firm vow that I would never break a character's bones in my fics/pics/etc. The whole "cast" concept is the main thing that turned me off, I think.

And yes, I know it probably looks illogical, considering what I am willing to do. As JP put it, paraphrasing, "So a broken bone isn't okay but them nearly dying is." XD;

There are some weapons I've refused to injure a character with, including the axe, but I'm about to break that rule if I go through with a creepy blurb/fic I've been musing on. Though in my defense, it's probably the only time I'll do it, and it'll not be as real as it'll look at first.

And oh yeah, when I was twelve I did not like angst. Some things are still too discouraging for me to really appreciate, but I think it's safe to say that if I saw a lot of what I write now, my mouth would drop open in shock. However, I think I'd also be proud of how much I've improved in my writing style.

The fact that I draw people almost exclusively would also be a shock; back then I drew animals exclusively and berated not being able to draw people well. Anime opened the door for me to be able to draw people in some fashion.

Also when I was twelve, I pretty much only listened to Disney music and other animated shows' music. LOL. Though I was still twelve when I discovered oldies music, which I'd casually liked before, and then next year I found Christmas music 24/7 on the radio after my oldies show went off the air, and I liked the radio personality, so I listened after Christmas and I think that's how I found that I liked a lot of recent music. So I'd probably be surprised by my current music choices, ranging from gothic rock to anime music to classical. Though I was raised on classical, I didn't actively seek it out that much.

As for how I at my current age would react to this younger me, I think I would be amused and call myself Kiddo. And say something like, "Just wait, once you get to my age these things will make sense to you. You've got a lot to look forward to." And after my twelve-year-old self got over the shock, I think I would be looking forward to unraveling the mysteries about me. Overall, between happy or disappointed, I honestly don't know what I'd think. LOL.
ladybug_archive: (duke_fallen)
Femio = LOL. I almost always get a big kick out of conceited guys played for laughs, and Femio absolutely takes the cake. **snarks.** Plus, you've got to give him credit for being able to break the spell over him. XD; I prefer to think of it like that rather than that it was a shortcoming of Kraehe's.

And Autor. I'm still amused that four years ago I realized he was going to be important to the plot when he kept yelling at Fakir and Ahiru (and Uzura) to be quiet in the library during various episodes. It could have been just a running gag, but I was pretty sure there was more to it. And I was right. He's kind of an arrogant jerk, but for some reason I've always liked him. **still has five episodes to go on the rewatch.** And is it superficial that I kind of really like it when a character has glasses?

I remembered the Fakir/Ahiru squee in episode 21, but I didn't remember Autor ended up pretty badly hurt. o.o When he didn't realize a force field was surrounding Fakir, and tried to touch him, he got blasted back with something akin to electricity and ended up knocked unconscious. Later, he woke up enough to see the outcome of Fakir's test, but then passed out again.

I was a little surprised that Ahiru didn't say anything when he got thrown across the yard like he did. o.o She's always so concerned for everyone, so I would have thought she'd be horrified by that, but she seemed completely occupied by Fakir's ensuing situation. Which was definitely a concern too.

But ... now I kind of have a random oneshot hurt/comforty idea where they help Autor after Fakir's test. XD; **headdesk.** Now if I only felt confident writing for those characters....
ladybug_archive: (bakurae)
**squees!** The Princess Tutu boxset came last night! And it's just as addictive as it ever was; I marathoned 10 out of 26 episodes already, including while trying to revive a passed-out computer. It's just almost impossible to put down, especially when it starts getting so intense with episode 6. I love the series so much. And Mytho is just too adorable. Minor series spoilers )

And I am amused that even though no one in the show is even Japanese, I'm listening to the Japanese track. Of course, no one would be speaking English, either, but eh. The first time I saw it, I think I only saw one episode (or even just part of one) in English. The dub cast just didn't strike me. XD; I do plan to try it again in English, though. But I really really loved when Takahiro Sakurai (Cloud's Japanese VA) spoke/read a few lines of German in episode 8. X3 It sounded so good in his voice.

Speaking of Ryou Bakura, I have a fanfic dilemma. I have a blurby thing done for a prompt at [ profile] 30_quests, if I could just find out if they even accept platonic couples as well as romantic ones. But now I'm wondering if instead of posting the blurb, I should just write the fic, and if I'm allowed, post each chapter there instead of blurbs. I've decided the thing in the blurb is going to be a major plot point in the fic.

Basically, Bakura, Yami Bakura, Yami Marik, and Bakura's father have landed in a fantasy world ruled by a dictator. Somehow Yami Marik ends up working for him as the head torturer and executioner. And through a horrifying series of events, Bakura's father ends up killed (along with an entire rebel village) and Bakura, like Quatre on Gundam Wing, completely loses it. ;___; So a large part of the fic deals with trying to save him from his hatred and madness so he won't follow Yami Bakura on the path he took three thousand years ago.

So. Should I post the blurb, or should I wait and start writing out the full fic instead?
ladybug_archive: (bakurae)
... the verdict is in. I totally forgot how much I love and adore season 2. It's soooo much better than season 1. I just love seeing how the girls have matured, and the new characters, and the music, and the Hikaru/Lantis pairing, and ... !

**hugs show.** Of course, Nova has always been special to me, since she was the direct inspiration for Alexander. And Eagle Vision's English voice actor is the voice I've always pictured for Alexander. Soft and sweet.

I was always more of an Umi/Clef fan than Umi/Ascot, but this time around I'm honestly undecided. XD; I think it's the first time I've ever seen season 2 straight through instead of watching the DVDs all mixed up. And gosh, I felt so bad for Ascot. ;___; Love triangles are much hurt.

Also, a month passing between the seasons, instead of a year like the manga? WIN. I don't know how the girls stood all that grief and pain for a whole year in the manga. ;___; (I also don't know how Cephiro could have held up that long, crumbling as it was.... Yeah, I know time passes differently between the worlds, but still.)

As for the Chizeta and Fahren people? Well, those battle episodes were still kind of tedious. XD; But there were other things going on in those episodes too. And I do actually like the characters later on, especially Aska. I dunno, it really annoys me when people dislike a character all the way along and don't even acknowledge or care when the character has a major change of heart/matures/whatnot! Aska is an awesome character. She was just really really annoying until her change of heart. XD; But if you hadn't seen her so annoying, the change of heart wouldn't be as meaningful!

I also really like that on the DVDs, they only use the second opening and the first ending. (The second season had two each.) I had the chance to view the first opening and the second ending as special features on the DVDs, and ... well, the second ending made me kind of sad. XD; It made me think that a lot of time had passed and the girls were being remembered on the piece of parchment. Could be totally untrue, but that's what it made me think of. And as for the first opening ... it was just too chipper and cheery for the dark tone that the second season had. The second opening is much, much better and well-suited to it. But I may also be kind of biased towards it, because I LOVE the lines "I hold the light and the darkness of my heart/Trembling as I embrace the shadows moving me apart." There's more of an emphasis on Nova in the second opening, and I dunno, the whole thing looks so much more epic than the first opening. *___*

Also, the dub cast is one of the most amazing I've ever seen. I usually do like a show's dub, but seriously ... oh wow, the emotion they put into it, it's just incredible. This one part in the first season, when Alycone screams for Zagato, it was just heartbreaking. And I don't think I've heard any of the characters ever fall flat on a line.

This show would totally make the list of my five favorite anime.

(The manga, on the other hand ... **shakes head.** Oh gosh, it's so short. Three volumes per arc. And everything feels so extremely rushed. I only own the first volume of each arc, but I've skimmed through the other four in stores. I could hardly believe how fast everything was going. XD; The truth about Mokona was just *bizarre.* And I don't really like Eagle's fate in the manga. It felt so ... anti-climatic. Well, put it this way: the only thing I like better in the manga is that it's made clear the girls can go to Cephiro whenever they want. It's more up in the air in the anime, but I like to think they definitely got back again.)

You know, one thing I think is really awesome is that CLAMP was directly involved with the anime. They chose to make every change that happened, instead of it being strangers doing it.

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