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: (twilightsparkle)
So I did not find the Sunset Shimmer plush, as I was hoping to. The waiting gap for the Applejack and Octavia plushies two years ago was March to the end of July, and that's been about the same timeframe here; I think it was March when I first knew the plushie had been released somewhere in the nation. So I hoped for another end of July find here. Although it was later in the week when I found them; possibly I'll see Sunset later on. Or maybe she'll be like the Princess plushies and Wal-Mart won't even get her at all. Ugggh. Right now I know that there's only a very few stores across the nation that have her in stock, so as long as she isn't very plentiful anywhere, there's still some hope.

However, the dolls connected to the movie in a couple of months are starting to come in! I saw the new deluxe Applejack and Fluttershy, and oh my goodness. I must have them both, but especially Applejack. She looks so gorgeously autumny! And since autumn is my favorite season, I think just having her around would make me happy thinking of autumn all year. It was actually very difficult not to immediately buy her then, at the price Wal-Mart is charging. It's $5 less than someone else thought she was going to cost, much to my relief, but it's still a little pricey. I would certainly prefer a sale price, but I'd be willing to buy her at full-price.

I also saw some of the new Apple family playsets, and while I'm not sure why they're being spotlighted, I really liked the house playset and that is honestly tempting to get sometime. I wish I could have seen what the interior looks like, though. I'll have to see if anyone on the forum has one and took pictures.

I should be getting a gift card for Amazon in the next week or so, and when I do, I'll probably give in and get Octavia with it. I didn't want to buy any more dolls through Amazon, but I don't feel like paying an arm and a leg for shipping to have someone else get her for me, either. I'll just have to hope that Amazon will do a better job than they did with Rarity.

I am so excited for this upcoming movie! It's torture thinking of waiting two more months for it. I wonder when Hasbro is going to start releasing the pre-movie shorts. It seems like they should be getting going on that by now. They said there were going to be some.

I also saw the next Batman and Sailor Moon sets. I still need to finish getting season 1 of Sailor Moon. Maybe I'll do that through Amazon too, since Wal-Mart doesn't have that set right now and it would be nicer not paying tax on it anyway. It adds over $2 to the price.

Then at the grocery store I saw a magazine with some information on Gotham. I had a curious peek. I wasn't too happy with the information on season 2, but it wasn't anything I wasn't expecting, after the way season 1 turned out. Mild spoilers )
ladybug_archive: (twilightsparkle)
I'm not sure whether to keep this icon or not. It's adorable and squeeable and so cute, but it stands out so colorfully from every other icon I'm using, even the other color ones. (There, in fact, I'm showing my Twilight side of liking things to be in order.) Still, I've wanted a Pony icon for a long time, and even though sometimes I feel like I'm a doormat like Fluttershy, in the end I really think I'm more like Twilight Sparkle (with some Applejack mixed in; once I got both of them on a Pony personality test). And regardless of which one I'm most like, I simply love Twilight the very most.

I finished the U.N.C.L.E. fic and printed it. As usually happens, it turned out a little different from my initial idea. I had planned to have a silly subplot where Napoleon and Illya start spying on Ecks and Wye to try to figure out how they get along under the same roof when Napoleon and Illya have trouble doing the same thing. I eliminated that and pretty much focused the story completely around the mystery. I'm still amused by the idea, though, so maybe I'll write it sometime as a random stand-alone piece.

I'm not sure if in the end it moves too fast; I was thinking to myself how it's like the manga version of Sailor Moon in that it stays strictly to the plot and doesn't have fillery detours, except an occasional character-developing conversation. I think the Sailor Moon manga moves too fast; I prefer for there to be some filler, as it's both a nice diversion from the heavy stuff and it serves character-building purposes. But I was hesitant to do filler in the fic, knowing that a lot of people don't care for that. And it never seemed like there was a good place to insert it, either.

Towards the end of the story, I got the idea that Napoleon and Illya should meet David McCallum's meek and mild Perry Mason character. By the time I wrote the epilogue, I had decided to make that the next fic and also to have it continue from the one I was finishing, with them on the trail of a missing enemy spy from Ecks and Wye's organization. I'm going to call it The Fifty Millionth Frenchman Affair, in tribute to the Perry Mason episode, and also signaling for those in the know that it's going to bring in that character.

It's interesting writing in a way that leaves the time period completely vague. I managed to get through the story without encountering one issue where I'd have to reveal the truth, which is unusual. It will be even more interesting seeing if I can pull it off in the next story, since they'll be in Los Angeles and therefore probably crossing over with all of my L.A. shows. I'll probably drop a couple of small mentions to the WWW fic Deadly Codename, since Napoleon, Illya, and Mr. Waverly were in that and trying to stop THRUSH from destroying the world, along with WWW, Cannon, and The Fugitive characters.

And there's a challenge running soon to write fics showing Napoleon and Illya's first meetings. I'm toying with the idea of participating, probably just to the extent of showing a short, first conversation fic. That is probably going to be the most interesting experiment of all, trying to write that and show distrust between them and somehow not reveal that it's the approximate present-day (several years ago). I've even been doing some research of Russia in the 1990s to start crafting my own backstory for Illya in my timeline. Even though it's highly unlikely that I will actually write that backstory into the story, I think crafting it in private will still help me figure out how to write him in a first meeting piece with Napoleon.

As to why hiding the time period is even a thing, the explanation is fairly simple. Most people prefer U.N.C.L.E. to be a period piece, even though the episodes are really timeless and rarely ever show an indication that it's meant to be a period piece. There's not even consternation over a Russian being around in a law enforcement position; it's just accepted everywhere, by most all the characters they encounter. So to me, it only takes place in the 1960s because it was made then and was taking place in the present-day of its time. And I think it fits seamlessly into the present-day of this time. But since most people want it to be a period piece, I try to compromise by not revealing any time period at all. That way, everyone can picture it as they want and everyone's happy.

I do reveal it's the present-day in the Ecks and Wye solo pieces, though, since I figure I'm the only one who'd be reading those. Ecks seems to like the (1970s?) band Queen, as Wye mentions him listening to them once, Mr. Zed has a DVD collection as well as his actual vintage film collection, and Ecks uses a rock song as his ringtone (probably a Queen song, although I didn't specify that). It's also mentioned that he hacked into U.N.C.L.E.'s computers, whereas in the stories with Napoleon and Illya I just say he reprogrammed the computers and don't mention how.

... There was a slight place in the mystery story I just did where the time period was accidentally alluded to, now that I think of it. When Illya's communicator pen goes off in chapter 2, no one around him seems that confused. The reason is because they figure it's a cellphone going off, but I didn't mention that in the story. It wasn't a deliberate thing, but once Illya's pen went off, I realized that how the characters behaved about it would definitely indicate time period.

Another fic plan involves a Mannix story where Roger Bard shows up wanting Lew Wickersham's help because he's got some important documents and all kinds of people are after him. If I write that, Napoleon and Illya would be among the pursuers, as well as Ecks and Wye (and other characters from Roger's Mannix episode). It's based on a role-play I've been doing.

I also need to finish the two Mannix stories I've got going, the one showing how Joe and Lew first met and one where they're trapped in a town without pity. The latter is the shorter one, but I'm having trouble getting inspiration for it beyond some of the horrors Lew goes through. If I launch into those now, though, it's probably too soon and the story won't feel natural. That's how I ended up stalling on that one in the first place. After re-reading both, I have more inspiration for the other one, yet I really wish I could work on the town one since it's the shorter one.

Then there's two Mannix oneshots, an old idea and a new one. The old one involves Joe going to Lew's office around season 8, getting a drink from the decanter (as he really does multiple times in season 1), and flopping on Lew's couch for a tired rant. He's so sick of so many friends turning out to be crooks. Seriously, sooo many episodes have that plot twist. I think Joe really would be getting sick of it by season 8. And he wants to reassure himself that Lew is still the same honest, upright person he remembers.

The new one would be Joe, Peggy, and Lew in a weird, creepy house, because there can never be too many weird, creepy house fics. I love figuring out how to make each house different from all the others.

I still want to do my idea of Della Street meeting Peggy, too. They could have an awesome friendship.

I also have some less distinctive plunnies that I nevertheless might like to do sometime, like another Sunset Shimmer fic, maybe with backstory for her from her time as a Pony, because I don't entirely agree with the comic's portrayal of her and I want to show my version. The comic had her portrayed as really nasty all the way along as a Pony, but to me that doesn't align with the movies. In the first movie, Celestia says she only became nasty when things didn't happen for her as soon as she wanted. And she's such a sweetheart in the second movie that I feel she must have been sweet as a Pony too, until her impatience got the better of her. I also kind of like an idea I saw in a fan-made video where she was bullied as a Pony. It could definitely help explain why she turns to bullying when she first arrives in the human world. She doesn't want to be anything less than the best, and by this point she thinks being cold and cruel is the only way to be the best. She doesn't change her mind on that until Twilight and the human counterparts of her Pony friends are able to defeat her when magic is activated by the power of Twilight's friends trying to protect Twilight.

I picture the fic opening with a nightmare, maybe with bullying going on, and then it zeroes in and shows that Sunset is being bullied by her bad self. Sunset awakens in horror. It would take place between the two movies and show how she's dealing with her actions and how she's trying to turn back to being good again after being so bad. Throughout the fic, there would be little flashbacks to her time in Equestria.

Writing about it, I'm getting really excited for it again. Maybe I'll start writing it soon and see how it starts coming out. I had wanted to finish the U.N.C.L.E. fic before I started it, and now I have, so maybe I should test it out before I start the next U.N.C.L.E. fic (even though I'm excited for that, too).

Another idea would be very surreal and have Sunset talking to Snakes, even though I generally have the show as fiction in my main verse and it's something Snakes knows about. I just have this urge to see what would happen if he and Sunset conversed, considering all the canon parallels of Sunset with my fanon version of Snakes. It's really interesting how that happened entirely by accident.

I also found someone on the Pony forum who likes The Batman, so I'm getting plunnied again for my idea where The Batman's Riddler meets The Animated Series Riddler. I looked over my notes for the story and hope to test that out soon.

So many stories, so little time.
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
So I further discover the swift turn-around in that my Wal-Mart no longer had the big Cheer. They had a Good Luck Bear, which I probably would have gotten if his left eye hadn't been pushed in weird. Sigh. They also had a batch of the small ones and I heavily considered the Wish Bear, since she was finally a clean one. But they're coming out with a bigger Wish Bear (yes, I finally found some information), so I wondered if I'd rather wait and get the bigger one. Also, I kind of had my heart set on the big Cheer, so she's on the list of ones to look for. It's hard to know whether to grab characters I want when I see them, regardless of size, or whether to wait to get the sizes I want. I don't want to run into another situation where I find a big one I really want, especially of Bedtime, and then can't get him again because of not having funds. It seems very possible that he could turn up at any time!

There was also a big Funshine. I believe he was there last week, but I'm not fully sure. I'd considered getting the medium of him, but that was at least partially so he'd be in scale with Grumpy. (The medium was there last week and already sold this week.) I wasn't sure I wanted the biggest size of him before getting some of the other characters. And I definitely didn't want that particular copy, as he had loose threads. Gah.

There's a medium Tenderheart way up on the shelf who's still there, poor thing. I wondered if people weren't as interested in him because he's brown and they're more into the unusual colors. But it seems more likely that the only issue is that he's so far back on the shelf. Maybe if he's still there next week, I'll climb the shelf and bring him forward some more. **headdesk.** I know climbing shelves probably isn't the best idea, but I only do it occasionally when I'm really after something at the back. I had to do it for Grumpy last week. I'm interested in getting a plush of Tenderheart, but I want some others first.

I'm also thrilled that among the information I learned, Friend Bear will be released! She's another of the ones I've been especially sentimental about. I'm so excited for her to start turning up.

This overall fast turn-around is something so foreign to me. Compare this practically weekly change in merchandise to how slow the same Wal-Mart is about getting new Pony plushies, literally taking months to get the latest merchandise. It's rather phenomenal! They're also pretty good about restocking at least some of the dolls; they already got a new shipment of Lyra and Sweetie Drops, after they were gone last week. Why can't they get Octavia?!

I also started pondering on Halloween plans. It's never too soon to start thinking about a costume, especially if it will take a lot of work to put together. It was neat last year when I didn't have to wear a wig because the character's hair was the same color as mine. I'm sort of thinking of a Sailor Jupiter cosplay this year, for the same reason. If I put my hair up, it would be about the same length as her ponytail.

The only problem is, hair is the only part of such a costume that I have. **headdesk.** I would need green bead things to hold the ponytail up (or else I could fasten them to a bare barrette; I don't think I could fit my thick hair through those small bead elastics). A headband with bangs on it would be nice, since she has bangs. The elbow-length gloves would be one of the easiest things to find; I always see those at Wal-Mart every Halloween season. And big pink bows; I could just get some ribbon and tie it into big bows. I'd like taffeta ribbon, but that would probably be too expensive.

The most difficult thing would be the clothes. Naturally the skirt would be longer than it is on the show; no way in heck would I want to show off that much of my legs! But I don't know if a green pleated skirt would be easy to find. The white top should be easy enough, but the sailor collar probably a problem, especially in green. If I had a bandanna in the right pattern, I could easily make it work. But I don't know if they have bandannas in sailor patterns, at least in colors other than blue.

I could probably easily enough sew such a bandanna, but the thought of sewing a green pleated skirt doesn't sound fun. I'll have to keep a look-out for anything that might work. One fun thing about getting something like that is that I could wear it in regular life and not just for cosplay, so it could be a good long-term investment.

Rose earrings would be nice, too, since they're one of her trademarks. But I would probably have a terrible time finding them, let alone clip-on ones instead of pierced. I will likely never pierce my ears, since I rarely ever care about jewelry other than necklaces. (I love necklaces!) And I don't like clip-on earrings either, really. They pinch like whoa. I might look into seeing how much SetsunaKou would charge to make just the earrings, but when I usually can't wear clip-ons for long before I have to take them off, it probably wouldn't be worth the bother.

Of course, by the time Halloween rolls around, I may have given up and moved on to another idea. But the first time I decided to cosplay Marik, I decided it in July and it definitely came together for me. So I guess we'll see.
ladybug_archive: (scofield)
So in the morning I watched a whole bunch more Care Bears clips, in preparation for probably going out today and maybe getting a plush. I was hoping to decide which one I'd like most, but that ain't happening. Like a plushie commercial I saw said, "How can you have just one?" Not only do I want quite a few, I can't decide who should be first. LOL.

I saw Cheer Bear actually being helpful and sweet, instead of making up dumb and unhelpful and discouraging "cheers", so maybe when she did the latter in that one episode, it was a one-time thing because she was so nervous herself about the imminent disaster. That's kind of amusing and in any case, I'm glad to see her behave mostly as I thought she would. I like her now.

I liked Share Bear (the lighter purple one) from the first round, and I like her even more now. She's nice and sweet (when she isn't being overcome by jealousy, which hopefully was just a onetime thing).

Wonderheart, the little girl bear, I liked on both rounds. She's little enough to be cute, but old enough and intelligent enough to have good conversations with and to know what's going on around town. I don't know; I usually tend to like the little kid characters. I always loved Chibiusa on Sailor Moon, even when a lot of dub fans were railing about her. I liked her in the dub (although I admit I did not like her in her very first episode) and then I liked her much more in the sub.

I wish I could have seen Wish Bear in some more stuff, but I was only able to find a clip where she said one line. I'll probably watch some of the older stuff with her, but since there may have been personality changes through the years, it might not tell me what she's like in her current incarnation. Since I loved her all through the years because of that little figure I have, it's tempting to get that small plush of hers despite the issue with her foot. Maybe I could clean it; it wasn't anything real big, just aggravating that it was there at all.

Harmony Bear, however, is honestly still getting on my nerves, much moreso than on the first round. I think that, like with Rainbow Dash on My Little Pony, she's one character I probably never will really warm up to. Now my annoyance isn't just because of her doing something silly like speaking in song; she seems to have some of Rainbow Dash's worst traits, like her arrogance and rudeness. I saw one clip where I kind of liked her, where she was encouraging a girl to stand up to a bully, but there are some times where I like Rainbow Dash too, yet never enough to make her a favorite overall.

I think the order I like the main characters is this:

Grumpy (male)
Share (female)
Wonderheart (female)
Cheer (female)
Tenderheart (male)
Funshine (male)
Harmony (female)

Funshine, oddly enough, reminds me a bit of Mikey of the Turtles. He's a goof-off who seems to have a hard time being serious. Not a favorite character type of mine.

Wish Bear, Bedtime Bear, Good Luck Bear, and others seem to mostly be background or oneshot characters. So far I haven't got too much of a handle on their personalities, other than Bedtime Bear. Ladyamberjo reminded me about Good Luck Bear and then I started wondering about getting the plush of him, to celebrate my Celtic roots. Ireland is the one place I haven't been able to pinpoint a direct connection through my ancestors, though. But I assume that when I have Welsh, Scottish, and English blood, it's probably not a stretch to assume that there could also be some Irish blood in there somewhere?

Other background/minor characters I've seen are Secret Bear and Thanks A Lot Bear. I saw an amusing clip where Thanks and Share keep thanking each other. **snerk.** Birthday Bear was in another clip.... I remember him (?) from an old book I have. And Surprise Bear. Didn't really get a handle on their personalities either, though.

So the main plushies I'm considering now are the blue ones (including Wish, although she's more blue-green) and Good Luck Bear, but Share and Cheer are also possibilities. Harmony I might get sometime for aesthetic reasons, but I definitely wouldn't get her first.

Bleh.

Apr. 21st, 2015 05:02 am
ladybug_archive: (faye)
So I watched the most recent Sailor Moon Crystal episode on Saturday. I am ... really not caring much for the R/Black Moon arc in its manga incarnation. It's just so dark and depressing. I far prefer the original anime's version (even though in either case, I still don't like the idea of Crystal Tokyo).

And the next original anime DVD set releases in July. I was thinking it might be in May. But I guess July is better; I still haven't picked up the second half of season 1 yet.

The next My Little Pony season started at the beginning of the month, too. So far I'm liking it and haven't seen any glaring OOC issues yet. I hope I'm not speaking too soon.

...

Mar. 13th, 2015 05:35 am
ladybug_archive: (coley_lafe)
So, it happened.

After a little over a week working on these [livejournal.com profile] 31_days prompts, not to mention several weeks before that of fiddling with other assorted, related U.N.C.L.E. fics ...

... I dreamed about those two rascals.

It was a convoluted dream of watching The Odd Man Affair episode, only somehow it had gained a lot more content than it had in actuality and there seemed to be a whole subplot with Ecks and Wye and some assignment they were on. I can't even fully put together what was happening well enough to recount the plot while awake, except I was thinking "... Chrissy has a lot more screentime than I remember," and something about Wye having a daughter and mentioning her to Ecks. And I believe somebody got punched. And they were driving old cars, like, 1940s-ish.

And I was dreaming in black-and-white.

The themes have been interesting to work with. I was having the hardest struggle figuring out what to do with Monday's, "want to pet every monster." It would be fine in a fantasy setting, but how on earth to adapt something like that to reality? And then at last, the plot slowly started coming to me. I wrote a piece where Wye is terrified of the vicious dogs, since he doesn't like being around something with a mind of its own that could turn on him, and Ecks is just calmly sitting with one of them.

That was a day when I went out shopping a bit. I was looking for Pony stuff, mainly, the Octavia doll and any clean G1 Ponies. I went all through both warehouses of the big antique mall, but couldn't find any Ponies except a dirty G3. I would have bought her had she been clean. Sigh. I'm just not up to cleaning dirty toys that I have no idea where they've been or what they've gotten into. More power to people who deal with that sort of thing with ease.

I wish the other branch of that antique mall still existed. There were a lot more 1980s toys in it. Clean ones, too.

So I was pretty exasperated by that shopping trip, all in all, but at least I was pleased with the prompt that day.

Also, I finally got through the three Star Wars: Legacy of the Force books written by Karen Traviss and I went on to the fourth one I had out. I was only doing the Boba Fett ones. And I knew I'd miss Karen as the writer, but I didn't realize just how much. Troy Denning not only clearly didn't like Boba Fett, he apparently disliked him so much that he wasn't willing to make his book fit in with Karen's previous one! Continuity got completely unhinged.

In Karen's third book, Han and Leia's daughter went to Boba Fett for help and he was training her to go against her brother, who'd gone to the dark side. In the process, it was canon within the story that she found that Boba Fett wasn't as horrible as she had always thought he was. And she also found out that the reason why his marriage broke up was a lot different than what she'd thought. But then in Troy's book, Jaina Solo seems to still have as bad an opinion of Boba Fett as she did to begin with. And Boba Fett is very far removed from the reader; there aren't any scenes from his POV so far, like there was with Karen's books. I was surprised when Troy included a paragraph about how being a stormtrooper didn't mean the person was flat-out evil and that they were likely fighting for what they believed was right. He seemed to see in black and white so much, not even following previous book continuity, that it was a real surprise to see him include a shade of gray like that. He also didn't capture Mirta, Boba Fett's granddaughter, with as much fire and personality as she has in the other books. I don't think I'll have too much trouble getting that book finished up by Monday evening, when they all have to go back.

Honestly, I fell so hard in love with Karen's books and how she brought the characters to life that I definitely want to purchase all three of her books from that series, as well as every other Star Wars book she wrote. She did some that I believe take place during the Clone Wars and are about the clones. She brings them to life and gives them personality, instead of just being robotically programmed to obey every order given. You can tell she really got into what she was writing about and she loved the verse she created.

And Venus came, a day before the estimated arrival dates started! She is the right size, thankfully, albeit the right size is slightly smaller than what I remembered from F.Y.E. I remembered the correct size when I first got home, but then I started visualizing her as bigger than that.

I'm a little puzzled as to why I wanted her, because I do not and never have liked chibi-deformed style. But she is really cute and most Sailor Moon plushies are in that style, so unless I want to shell out a lot of money for a Japanese plush with the right proportions, I pretty much have to consent to getting chibi-style. They seem a lot more huggable than those Japanese plushies, so that's always a plus, and Great Eastern plushies' eyes are just gorgeous and so full of life. And the hair is so soooooft....

I still want the giant Sailor Moon plush, too. She would be pretty well aligned with my small Chibiusa plush, which was my original reason for wanting her instead of the small size Sailor Moon. And if GE ever gets around to making Mercury in the large size, I'll definitely have to get her. Jupiter I might get, but I'm not crazy about getting Mars. Still, if I actually ended up getting all the rest, I'd probably feel bad not to get Mars.

There's a small size Pluto out now, too. I wish F.Y.E. would get her, because they would hopefully be a little cheaper than Amazon. I must have Pluto, and I don't know if or when they'll make a big one of her, so I have to get the small one. I just hope I won't have to resort to Amazon, unless their price comes down a bit.

...

Mar. 8th, 2015 08:27 pm
ladybug_archive: (schrank_krupke)
So it suddenly occurs to me to wonder, I hope the Venus plush is the correct size. The stock picture was the big one, and the weight of the package fits, so one would assume the individual seller was aware of that and listed their product on the right page. One wouldn't think the small size plush would ever sell for that price, but I saw some outrageous prices for her on eBay. All there is now is to wait and see.

And I got up today's vignette, in which Vivalene bothers Ecks. She turns up in most of my fandoms and I thought it would be fun to see her there. The setting is the present-day, as per my preferences, since to my surprise the Cold War didn't really seem to play any part in the series with regards to Illya's presence. (I.E., no one ever seemed alarmed that a Russian was there, etc., so time period seems of little importance.) Nevertheless, for pieces posted on FF.net and such, I will probably try as much as possible to be ambiguous and not state a time period one way or the other, since I know most people prefer it to be the time in which the series was made.

Ecks still thinks Wye is dead, and Vivalene is only furthering those thoughts (albeit Vifa really thinks he's dead). I'm still anxious to get to the reunion, but I'm not downright upset like I was last night. I think that had less to do with them thinking each other dead and more to do with my distress over the injury and the treatment and the extended hospital stay. It downright upsets me to write things involving extended hospital stays, as mentioned, especially if said stay includes any length of time in which the patient can't perform normal bodily functions themselves without tubes and machines everywhere (which certainly is the case for injuries like that, probably moreso than some other injuries). That is just disgusting and gross. What I wrote didn't actually touch on any of that, but it was a hospital piece and it upset me just knowing what must have happened that I didn't write about. I thought I was upset more because I can't stand hospitals in general, after my grandmother was in one for so long and we kept going in for long hours several times a week. That's probably part of it too, but I think I figured out it's the other element that bothers me most. But ah well, there was nothing I could do about that, since I wanted the character to survive the injury and that would mean he'd have to suffer through the treatment for it.

And then I also think I'm just plain feeling guilty for writing about some more antagonists. It takes me a while to get used to doing that each time it happens, because I always feel like I shouldn't be doing it. Sometimes I never do stop feeling that way; I slacked off on those Once Upon a Time vignettes because I kept feeling guilty to write about Mr. Gold after all the horrible things he's done.

Anyway ... I'm kind of thinking I'll write the reunion piece for Wednesday's theme, but we'll see.

And apparently my post where I was trying to find out some other details of such an injury made it into the top 25 posts for today, according to Livejournal. That's cool. I never thought any post of mine would be quite that popular.
ladybug_archive: (snakes)
So after reading the Sailor V manga, it seems really sad to see Venus so flat-out serious and sad in the Crystal anime. I really like her to know when to be serious, and the idea that she's a little more grown-up than the other Senshi, since she's been fighting longer, but for her to lose all of her fun-loving attitude is too sad. Suddenly she just seemed so bland in Crystal.

I ended up ordering the plushie tonight. I have two gift cards I'm waiting to get for Amazon, but those might not come until towards the end of the month and I really didn't think this plush would hang around that long, since there was only one left at the price I wanted. I wibbled a bit over whether I'd made the right choice anyway, but I've calmed down now and I think I'm pretty happy with my decision. I'm glad I got to see the plushie in F.Y.E. this week. I like to see in person what I'm getting, and it was the seeing that made me decide I definitely wanted that plush.

Also, I really like that by buying the plush from this person, I'll still have some money left over to put towards more stuff. If I'd bought the DVDs, with tax it probably would have drained every bit of the fun money for this month.

And after all that U.N.C.L.E. writing and coming up with three possibilities for the fanzine (the third of which I used for submission, as decided), I ended up with other ideas for online fics. I had to review the episode in order for any of the ideas to work, and while doing so, I discovered I'd completely forgotten that Mr. Wye just seems to completely lose it after he finds Mr. Ecks stabbed in the park. He flips out on the retired female agent working with U.N.C.L.E., even blaming her for what happened in the park despite knowing she was not the one who did the stabbing.

I hadn't even taken Mr. Wye into my equation when I wrote the drabbles with Ecks a couple of years ago, but after a review I did of the episode back then, I started thinking he needed to be involved. But I hadn't watched the episode straight through again at that point. Now that I have, I can't shake the idea that Mr. Wye and Mr. Ecks must be very close, and of course, that's the instant trigger for me to become fascinated.

The end result: I decided to do another month-long [livejournal.com profile] 31_days challenge of vignettes, focused around them. Right now I'm sticking to episode-based, fleshing out my ideas for them to both survive their ordeals. The piece I'm most proud of so far, I think, discusses their organization and its goals and how and why they decided to betray it with Mr. Zed. (Mr. Zed ... LOL. Why do the British hate saying Zee?)

At this point in the vignettes, they are separated and each is afraid the other is dead. And I successfully made myself sad with this past day's piece. (I also successfully grossed myself out by spending over an hour reading about the various possible consequences of being stabbed somewhere in the abdominal region.) I need to get to the reuniting vignette soon or I may burn out (especially since I honestly hate writing extended hospital stays). After I get to that point, I'm not sure where the rest of the pieces will go. Some may flash back to their time in the organization, while others may stick with the present. I may have them encounter Illya and/or Napoleon some more and exchange some unfriendly banter. Or I may just stick with fleshing out the interaction just between them. Naturally I will only post the pieces to 31_Days, unless there's one with Illya and/or Napoleon present as well. I wouldn't imagine anyone but me would be interested in reading/writing about these oneshot episodic characters.

I started the set on the 3rd, so I'll need to do the first two as make-up pieces on the 31st, when we're allowed to post pieces for any day. Hopefully I'll be able to get ahead enough in writing the vignettes that I won't be writing those pieces plus the 31st's prompt all on the same day. It takes me at least an hour to get a good vignette for this series. Currently I'm managing to write each piece on the day it's for. Usually when I do these theme sets I can write some pieces ahead of their time, so I want that to happen again, and it may, if I can get at least one other project done first. I'm thinking prompt #2, "eyes the color of water", will be at least partially about when they first meet. Chrissy has such beautiful blue eyes....

As I wailed on Tumblr, why can't I ever just stick with writing for the good guys for long?

I know the answer to that, really. It's because while friendships between good guys are squeeable, you'd expect good guys to have friendships. With bad guys, it's not always something you can expect. And when I see it, I'm intrigued. It's the same basic principle as to why I find certain antagonists endlessly fascinating, like Coley Rodman. If they show they still have some goodness despite unsavory things they're doing, I must know more about them and write about them and pick their minds apart.

And then sometimes my interest is a little more shallow, like if a favorite actor plays the character. But they still have to have some other reason to warrant me being interested enough to write about them. Being killed in the episode is often, but not always, one thing that will make me write about them, as I'm trying to fix the death. And I may not warm up to them fully for a while. It was that way with Snakes. After I wrote so many stories with him and let him develop as a character, however, I became very fond of him. That also started my crush on his actor. I have little doubt that before I'm done with this theme set, I will be quite fond of both Ecks and Wye.

Another thing I mused on is that while I have one list of my "darlings", then there's a list of "actors I like by association". If they play off of a darling especially well, or even repeatedly, I tend to become fond of them on some level. I'm fond of Pippa Scott because of her playing against H.M. Wynant on I Spy, for instance, and Allison Hayes for being with him on Perry Mason and Shotgun Slade. I started out being fond of Luke Andreas because of him playing off of Chrissy on The Rockford Files. Luke is a unique case, as I ended up loving him so much, he became a darling too. I'm fond of Joe E. Tata for his association with both of them. And I'm fond of Hedley Mattingly for his playing off of Chrissy ... twice. Apparently it was either a weird coincidence or somebody thought they worked well together. About four years after U.N.C.L.E., they're teamed up again on Mannix. Neither of them die that time. Actually, that episode (All Around the Money Tree) is the only really humorous episode of Mannix and is also only one of two episodes out of 194 where nobody dies. That's ... kind of a sad track record, actually.
ladybug_archive: (faye)
So I'm trying to decide what to use this month's fun money on. The plan was to get the next Sailor Moon DVD set. That would be more practical and logical. Alternately, a season 2 Pony Luna plush comes out this month and I really want her, too. Midnight blue! SO GORGEOUS.

But I discovered the other day that they've released a huge Sailor Venus plush, and last night I was able to see how big she really is.

She's far bigger than I imagined. And so soft and cuddly....

At F.Y.E., she's the same price as the DVDs at Wal-Mart, which surprised me. I thought they'd charge way more for something that big. Or she's several dollars cheaper if I can get her from somewhere else before they sell out of her. Either price is very reasonable.

I want to tell myself to focus on the DVDs. I thought I'd probably wake up wanting to focus on them and the plush was just an impulse infatuation.

But I woke up instead unable to get the thought of the plush out of my mind. When that happens, I generally can't stop wanting something no matter how hard I try. The same thing happened with the Boba Fett figure and the Batman plush.

I do have a season 1 Pony Luna, so technically I could probably wait a little on the season 2 plush. The designs are very different and I really want the season 2 plush, but I don't have any Sailor Venus plush at all, and she's so big and the price is so good for that size.

I have this feeling I will be unable to stop wanting that plush. Venus has been one of my favorites for years, and I love her even more from reading the Sailor V manga (which, ohmygosh, a local friend knew to get for me even though I don't recall ever mentioning Sailor Moon to her! Squeeee!). She starts out rather ditzy in the manga, but that makes it all the more meaningful that she matures as much as she does by the later Sailor Moon manga. (Although she's still ditzy in some ways, unlike the picture people usually paint of Manga Venus.)

Even Mars, whom I really don't like in the classic anime much at all, looked really cute and cuddly in the giant plushie version. But since I actually do like Venus, I really really like the thought of getting that plush.

I suppose I've loved Ponies much longer than Sailor Moon, but as far as the character of Pony Luna in specific, she's very recent and I've loved Sailor Moon much longer.

(Note that I have to keep saying Pony Luna because there's a Luna in Sailor Moon too. LOL.)

As far as the two fandoms go, though, if I could find the Octavia doll, that would trump everything else. But everyone all over the country is having trouble finding her and I really don't like ordering dolls online (unless they're out-of-print and I have to, like with Sailor Moon dolls). And who knows when we'll start seeing her, so I don't like to hold onto the money hoping to find her and then miss out on the best price for the Venus plush. With tax and stuff, the other price is about $8 cheaper than F.Y.E. Even though both prices are reasonable, $8 less certainly sounds more wonderful.

Hmm.

Jan. 31st, 2015 08:33 am
ladybug_archive: (joe_lew)
Ugggh. I had absolute killer insomnia yesterday. I was so eager for a shopping trip that I kept not being able to sleep and I'm not even sure I ever did. If I did, it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 minutes. I definitely crashed when we got home. But I was only trying to have a nap at that point and I slept too long and now I can't seem to get any more sleep. **headdesk.**

The trip was a lot of fun, even though I couldn't find everything I wanted. But I found a surprise when I popped in at the comic book store: for once they actually had something I wanted! I got the sixth issue of the recent Six Million Dollar Man comic. That leaves #5 to get. I'm a little disappointed, though, as from #6 I can tell that there probably isn't any Oscar hurt/comfort in #5, and the alarming cover of #5, with him clutching a chest wound, made me think that there would be some really intense Oscar hurt/comfort going on. It seems like the covers of comic books often don't match the stories inside, intensity-wise.

I still don't like the utter bizarreness of the people being infected by an alien substance and turning into monsters. That is too weird even for that cheesy (but awesome) show. But at least it looked like Steve and Jaime have been able to help them recover.

Oliver Spencer's fate is now up in the air, though, as he tried to use his mind to lock into the rampaging robot's mind and force it to stop, and instead he was electrocuted and is unconscious and they're not sure if his consciousness is still linked to that blasted robot, which is still loose and will apparently play into a new arc, if there is one. Gah.

I love how the comic took a basically disliked character and really fleshed him out. Oliver still acts like a jerk sometimes, but we know at least part of his reason for his intensity (wanting to find a way to help his crippled daughter). And he has a heart for other people's suffering too and is horrified by the things the monster does when it goes out of control. Upset over his part in creating the beast, he risks his safety to try to stop it. Steve wants to help find a way to wake Oliver up and reunite the little family, even though he doesn't like Oliver.

I think Oliver is really unfairly demonized by a lot of the fanbase. I ranted about that recently on Tumblr. http://lucky-ladybugs-lovelies.tumblr.com One of my main annoyances is how everyone gets up in arms over his most infamous comment, that it's too bad Steve can't be put into hibernation and only wake up for missions, but they don't get that he really didn't even sound completely serious when he said it. It was a nasty comment and shouldn't have even been made in jest, but even in the comics they make it sound like it wasn't just an idle crack and was instead something he actually tried to enforce. In the movie, I don't recall any such thing. It was just a remark that I doubt he had any real intention of following up on.

Barney Hiller was operated on by a doctor and now has robotic parts. It looks like a whole exo-skeleton, really. And whatever happened in #5 apparently resulted in Steve's bionics being so damaged that they were forced to operate on him and give him the bionic limbs that the rampaging robot tore off of Barney. Steve doesn't know, and boy, is he going to be furious when he finds out. They really didn't have a choice, when they desperately need Steve to help with these problems and Barney is too mentally unstable to be an agent, but it's still unsettling. Rudy commented on that, and Oscar agreed, but he didn't see that they could have done anything else under the circumstances. It's not like they have spare bionic limbs and millions of dollars for expensive operations lying around. And I'm assuming Steve had to be operated on right then or he might have died.

I'm glad to finally know how the arc wrapped up, but they left so many things open-ended and the bionic program is still down, because apparently the Secretary of State has been replaced by a robot and won't green-light it going operational again. Uh oh. Oscar got to be awesome and yell at him about how they need Steve and Jaime as agents. It won't be pretty when he finds out the truth.

At Barnes and Noble, they didn't have the anthology book that I decided I wanted the most. And since I was saving money for Sailor Moon (which I found, squeee), I decided that since I'd bought the surprise comic, maybe I wouldn't buy a book too. After all, I want to save some money for next month.

I did look at the Legacy of the Force series, and while I take issue with the storyline of Han and Leia's son going bad and killing Luke's wife (!!!!), I am dying to read Boba Fett's storyline. After comparing some earlier stories written before episode II came out with some stories that came out after episode II, like Legacy, I determined that with Boba's backstory revealed, the writers more often than not portray him as a more human character instead of so completely cold. There are some earlier stories that depict him as showing kindnesses sometimes, including the awesome one in Tales From the New Republic, but overall, most of the stories like that came out after episode II. I already know how his storyline plays out in Legacy, and that he eventually gets a happy ending, but after peeking in some of the books, I'm more intrigued than ever and absolutely must read. In particular, I love that we learn about his family (he tried to get married and settle down once, although that didn't work out as he had hoped) and that Han and Leia's daughter goes to him for help when she wants to train in order to defeat her corrupted brother. Also, he talks to Jango a lot in his thoughts. This Boba Fett is very open to the readers, unlike the mysterious character of earlier novels that even the readers couldn't always figure out.

Since I don't like some of the plot of Legacy, I wasn't sure I wanted to actually spend money on any of that series. The library has three of them, including the first one, so I'm hoping to try at least that one from there and if I decide that I adore it in spite of the plot elements I detest, I'll probably go ahead and buy the others that Boba Fett plays a part in. I'll have to buy some of them, since the library only has those three. Oh, if only there was a county system....

And I've seen three Sailor Moon episodes on my set so far. It feels so good to see the classic anime again. The pace is really much better than in the manga/Crystal. I prefer it to not be so frenetic, especially since character-developing stuff often happens in the filler episodes.

(Also, after peeking in some of the manga, I don't quite understand why people complain about Minako's ditziness in the anime. She really seems pretty ditzy in the manga, too. It's only in Crystal and the live-action where she's more serious. And the first season of the classic anime.)

I'm happy to say that the frame-ghosting isn't really an issue when watching, as I hoped. It probably only becomes a problem if you're taking screengrabs. However, I am irritated that it can't be full-screened. It's a picture in the center of giant, thick black lines on all four sides. But it's a big enough size that I don't have to be right up by the computer to read the subs, so that's okay. It's about the size of the screen on Hulu.com.

I'm just so happy to have more Sailor Moon that's all my own. Aside from this set, I only have two dub DVDs and four subbed: two S and two SuperS. I'll probably never be able to afford the older, better season sets, so these new ones will have to do in spite of the flaws. I'm very excited for the next release in February! I hope they'll keep being steady like this and there won't be big gaps between releases.
ladybug_archive: (schrank_krupke)
I've gotta say, as much as I love the squee when Leia finally acknowledges she loves Han, I feel sad to think of all that wonderful banter ceasing. They have so many classic exchanges in the first two films. I was laughing and laughing when seeing those films again this past week. One of my favorite lines, when the Millennium Falcon just won't start:

Leia: Would it help if I got out and pushed?

Such classic sarcasm.

That's a great example right there of why I generally don't like when unresolved romantic tension gets resolved. It changes the whole dynamic of things.

That said, I do support the pairing and find it very squeeable and I just adore Leia's daring part in the plan to rescue Han in Return of the Jedi. Leia is awesome.

And while The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite of the original trilogy, I do love that in Return of the Jedi we get to see a scene of Boba Fett in action. As a kid, I was always heartbroken by him falling into the Sarlaac pit and I wanted so much to believe he got out. When I was old enough to read the stories and I discovered that it is very much a thing in the Expanded Universe that he gets out, I was absolutely overjoyed.

Even though episode VII will not follow the Expanded Universe canon (and I am mostly glad about that), I really hope that they will at least accept the idea that Boba Fett survived and have him make a cameo appearance or something. That would be so awesome. Even though George Lucas really had intended for him to die, he finally resigned himself to the fact that the fans did not want that. He even said once that he considered inserting a scene in the movie showing Boba Fett getting out, but he thought it would break the flow of the film (which it would have), so he didn't. That's as close to an official sanction of the idea that he gets out in movie-verse as we'll get, if he doesn't appear in episode VII. (Of course, I will insist on believing he did, even if he doesn't appear in episode VII.)

Also, I just keep marveling that I actually have the 20-inch Boba Fett figure. They came out in September, a Wal-Mart exclusive. In all that time, I have only ever seen one, at any Wal-Mart. That Wal-Mart is ours.

The first time I saw him, I didn't have the money to spare to buy him on the spot or I would have. I thought sure I wouldn't have another chance. But then he was there the next time I looked, and stayed there all the way up to when I actually could get him several weeks later. I know it's silly and wouldn't really be true, but it's nice to geek out and think that he was there just for me. I'm sure there's other Boba Fett fans in this area and they just weren't lucky enough to be aware of the figure's existence in Wal-Mart right then. But to a starry-eyed girl who's loved him for 23 years, it just seems squeeably amazing that things all fell into place for her/me to be able to have him.

I'm hoping to soon go to Barnes and Noble and a Wal-Mart or two other than ours. I want to see if Wal-Mart still carries the first half of Sailor Moon season 1 and I'll probably buy it if they do. Ours has one more copy, but the case was actually dented in on the corner and I worried wondering if the discs would be alright inside, since it would take some serious crushing to dent a DVD case's corner, so I decided I did not want that copy and I'd try to find another, or buy it on Amazon if I couldn't. And I'm debating whether to get it if I see it or to save my money for February 10th and then debate between the second half of the season and Batman season 2 (part 1). I want all badly, but I can't have them all at once. It would make more sense to get Sailor Moon right now, I think, but gaaah, I learned that the Batman set will include the Chrissy episode and even though I recorded it, that's not as good as having a DVD. And there's King Tut and Penguin and so much fun. I'm sure I'll love those episodes, even though season 2 does get sillier than season 1.

And at Barnes and Noble, it is terribly tempting to splurge a bit and get two or three Star Wars books. Which I doubt I'd really do, but I want to go look at them anyway. I still have Star Wars books here I need to read (or want to re-read), in addition to all the other unread books I have stacked around, so getting more books is not sensible at all. But ... when I have money that I could, it's awfully tempting. I want some more of those pre-movie Han Solo adventure books I've seen around, maybe the Lando ones too, and I always wanted the one where Han and Leia go to Tatooine to learn about Anakin, and then there's the anthology set with the story of Boba Fett in the Sarlaac apparently talking to either it or someone else who fell in some time ago, and that new book that's out taking place after episode IV.... (I adore midquels!) The wanted list goes on and on. And the thought of all those wonderful books and more makes me inwardly wiggle happily all over.
ladybug_archive: (faye)
So the Dark Kingdom arc is officially concluded and we are moving into the Black Moon/Chibiusa arc. Final thoughts on Dark Kingdom below, and a bit of thought on Black Moon (with a slight spoiler or two from the manga).

First arc end )
ladybug_archive: (hamilton)
So, today's Crystal episode. I have confirmed for myself that most likely, Crystal is divided into two arcs: Dark Kingdom and Black Moon. The next episode will be the final episode of Dark Kingdom, leaving the same amount for the Chibiusa/Black Moon arc.

And on the Generals/Kings: Spoilers! )

I like to say that the bad guys are better developed in the classic anime and the good guys are better in the manga and Crystal. That still holds true; classic anime Luna is so mean sometimes. Although Usagi is certainly ditzier there, but even when she's ditzy in Crystal, Crystal Luna understands the horrible burden that's been placed on her and is much more patient. Crystal Luna also worries that she's a terrible companion to Usagi and she's so adorable. And Venus is much better being a more serious, mature character instead of the over-dramatic ditz she is through most of the classic anime.

However, one thing that's definitely true is that Crystal and the manga don't really seem to take a lot of time to develop the characters' personalities, whereas the classic anime does a lot of this. Some episodes are filler, true, but a lot of the filler episodes help the characters grow. Overall, I will probably always prefer the classic anime in spite of its flaws, even if Crystal's Dark Kingdom arc ends the way I'm hoping for.

And on Thursday we did the big shopping trip. We're going to do one more this coming week, as we still didn't get to everything, but meanwhile, I'm overjoyed that I finally got my Twilight Sparkle ornament. I wanted her so bad last year and wasn't able to get her. This year I was determined to have her when I saw the ornament was out again. ShopKo had 60% off all ornaments, and Twilight was almost completely sold out except for the display copy, and they let me buy her since they wouldn't be getting any others in. I immediately got her set up in a prominent place on the tree, with one of the tree lights beaming on her.

Still didn't get the Build-a-Bear Pinkie plush, as I have money tied up in transit (again) and didn't have enough for her when I was also getting Christmas presents for people and the ornament. She's sharing a bin with Rarity and there weren't too many. I'm hoping I'll be able to get her this coming week if I want her. I also saw the Batman bear, which was cool, and I'm wondering if they're no longer selling the regular Hello Kitty. I only saw the watercolor/tie-dye and the 40th anniversary sprinkles editions. I'd rather have pure white, the way the character is supposed to be.

I also saw the giant Ty plushies at Hallmark, which are the same size as Build-a-Bear's. The hair is extremely thick and luscious and I like it a lot better, but the Ty faces look so pushed in and the noses are even shorter than on Build-a-Bear's, and for Ponies, that just doesn't look right to me. They look like they chomped into lemons. LOL. They're also stuffed much harder and aren't as soft to cuddle. So I'll probably still prefer the Build-a-Bear versions.
ladybug_archive: (lifealikeaboat)
Sometimes I get way too wrapped up in certain shows. There was a time when I actually wanted to be a Sailor Senshi (of course at the same time knowing they don't exist). It seemed fun and glamorous. I was finally pulled back to Earth by reading a friend's post where he was musing how they had no lives to themselves and had to jump up at a moment's notice to fight horrible monsters and evil people and eventually, realistically, they would likely burn out.

But I'm having the same sort of thing happen again, thinking it would be fun to be in the Batman world and/or if there were really similar things going on in the real world/vigilantes like Batman/etc. Yet at the same time, I know it wouldn't be fun at all; people would live in terror of the next horrific scheme of the Joker's or the next bizarre experiment by Dr. Langstrom or Scarecrow or Hugo Strange.

I watch Batman and Robin and Batgirl swinging on buildings with their Bathooks and it looks fun and exciting, but I know in reality I would be utterly terrified. And in reality, I doubt such feats as theirs could even be performed safely.

I would make a horrible vigilante and it would be absolutely horrifying if supervillains really existed.

But ... I still think it would be fun to visit Gotham, or fun if there was really a Batman, or fun to help him stop at least one crime, etc.

I suppose a lot of kids have fantasized with those types of thoughts. But I'm an adult; I should know better.

I am hopeless.
ladybug_archive: (faye)
Well, my confusion over the DVD set has fully been solved. Not only does disc 1 have more odd nicks than I remembered, disc 2 is now misbehaving as well. I watched all of it before since it played okay, but now it's totally locking up the DVD player when I try to play one particular episode. None of my other sets do dumb things like this. The whole set is definitely faulty. It's going back Friday. At least I don't have to pay return shipping.

I can hardly believe it's almost been a year since I got my Build-a-Bear Twilight. That was a happy and fun day, when we went in and it was snowing and felt so Christmassy, and even though we hung around the university library quite a while as Dad looked up stuff he wanted, and I was exhausted from not having had any sleep, I remember the whole day so fondly. As much fun as it always is to visit Build-a-Bear, nothing ever quite compares to that very first time. Maybe because Twilight is such an extreme favorite of mine and it was so thrilling to get a big, beautiful plush of her. And it was so magical to experience the store for the very first time.

I've been feeling very nostalgic and am thinking I'll spend some time with my Twilight soon.

Also, I'm ... kind of partial to the Batman bear the store currently has. You can even get a cute Batman costume for it, although since the bear has the Batman logo all over it, I don't know that I'd want to cover that up. (And anyway, the costume is $16. When the bear by itself is $25. Eeeek.) I don't recall if I've actually seen the Batman bear in the store, though. I definitely remember the Spider-Man and Captain America bears, but not the Batman or Superman bears.

And I was thinking about my most favorite female characters in shows. Usually I'm not absolutely ecstatic over female characters to the point of "Must have merchandise. I love this character so much it's probably not healthy." But there are definitely a select few that I feel that way about. On that list are:

Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop)
Meroko Yui (Full Moon wo Sagashite)
Sailors Mercury, Chibi Moon, and Pluto (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon)
Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer (My Little Pony)
Detective Ellen Yin (The Batman)

I adore how much Yin grows through the episodes she's in. She starts out so flat-out by-the-book and ends up deciding Batman is needed and allies herself with him. She's loyal and strong (both physically and mentally) and very sharp. She puts together things like Ethan being Clayface all on her own, without help from Batman. Season 3 is toted as being filled with girl power because of Batgirl, but honestly, they had girl power all along with Yin there.

Ah, sigh.

Nov. 15th, 2014 06:58 pm
ladybug_archive: (riddler)
I'm still torn between the two DVD sets.... My money will hopefully be available on Monday, and both sets will hopefully still be available then, too. I have established that our local Wal-Mart carries them. But Sailor Moon is selling so quickly that there might not be any by Monday. And I really wanted the Batman set first and wait to get the Sailor Moon one until my Amazon gift card comes in....

The Crystal episode today did not help me decide. I have more hope that the Generals/Kings may live in Crystal-verse, because I get the feeling that Crystal is aiming for an ultimately happy ending for everyone. It feels so hopeful in the mood it sets. However, the catch is that Spoiler! )

Even with their sad fates in the original anime, I still want that set. I just wish I could feel confident that it wouldn't completely sell out if I get Batman first and wait for the gift card for Sailor Moon. Then I start thinking that I'd really like to see the Nephrite/Naru stuff in the original anime right away and that I want that first. But they don't even have the whole Nephrite/Naru arc on this new set; the final episode is delayed to the second set. Ugh. They did that so each set could be evenly split into 23 episodes, but that is still way frustrating to be left hanging like that.

And I watched The Batman vs. Dracula again and suddenly realized that the most obvious time period for it is season 1, not 2. Yin wouldn't be Batman's ally in season 1. Ethan supports Batman, but he doesn't have access to him like Yin does later. They wouldn't have agreed with the SWAT team's actions, but probably wouldn't have had any power to stop it. I always figured it was season 2 because that was when they started making the film, but it just doesn't make sense for Yin not to be there if it's season 2. And if it's after season 2, it doesn't make sense for Commissioner Gordon not to be there. So season 1 is what's left.

Also, I determined that Kevin Michael Richardson's interpretation of The Joker can actually be lovable at times. He's deadly dangerous, make no mistake about that, and he's nasty and only cares about himself, yet he can be genuinely funny and somehow, Kevin plays him so well that he's somehow lovable in spite of all this. That takes talent! And I, at least, am left wanting more. A lot of people hated that Joker because of his wild redesign (giant floppy spikes, like Yami Marik's, only longer, and no shoes, ROTFLOL), but that's such a shame. I was stunned by the redesign, I'll admit, but it didn't take me long to warm up. I was more interested in personality than design, and he was such fun that I focused on that. And eventually I became very fond of the redesign, too.

(With the Riddler, I'll admit that I was instantly attracted to his redesign. I thought it was awesommmme. But personality-wise, I was disgusted by him until it was revealed halfway through his first episode that there weren't real bombs throughout the city at all, just lime Jell-O. Suddenly he was extremely intriguing and I was fond of him in every way. He really isn't like most of the other members of the rogue's gallery.)

You know, it's kind of scary to think that a nutcase like The Joker must be really smart where chemistry and biology are concerned. He couldn't just throw a bunch of random stuff together; he'd have to really know how everything worked in order to make things that would do what he wanted, like the Joker Gas and the Joker Putty. I think that might be the most frightening thing about him: he's really capable of making dangerous stuff and has no qualms about using it everywhere, on everyone.

And Tom Kenny took more from Burgess Meredith's Penguin than just the laugh. While watching a couple of 1960s Batman clips, I was amused by the familiar, gravelly voice. That may be one reason why I ended up loving the 1960s series so much, because the Penguin there was like the one I was used to from The Batman. I think it's way cool that Tom Kenny copied the voice and laugh on Burgess Meredith's. The 1960s Penguin isn't crude, at least, not that I remember, but otherwise, Tom Kenny's is very similar to him.

I watched a couple of clips from The Animated Series too, and I kind of winced at their Penguin's voice. He's interesting in personality, but the voice just really ... lacks something. It seems so bland compared to the colorful tones of Burgess and Tom's Penguins.

Also, the new and popular Arkham series of video games.... Wow, a Cockney Penguin. That's something I thought I'd never hear. And the graphics .... oh my goodness. The graphics are incredible.

I wonder why it's becoming a trend for the Riddler to wear glasses? I think it started in Batman Forever, but then stopped; the cartoon versions did not wear glasses. Then Young Justice's did, and Arkham's did, and Gotham's does. Huh.

I like the Riddler's voice in the Arkham games, too. And the voice actor is actually on the message board for the 1960s Batman series! Sweet. I love accessible celebrities. I wish some people from The Batman would wander in too, and I could ask them the questions I'm dying to about the Riddler redesign and Robert Englund playing him.
ladybug_archive: (ginger_lou)
Finished the first draft of the fic! I'll re-read the whole thing before I post the epilogue, just to make sure I've tied up all loose ends. I include the proposed teaser at the end, with Dr. Portman and Scarecrow laughing about their plans for Gotham. I describe Scarecrow as having dark hair, as that's what I remember from the movie, but it looks like from some comic panels that his hair was originally lighter? Oh well, since there's no Scarecrow in The Batman, and the only design picture has him costumed, I can make him look any way I choose.

I'm not quite sure how I'm going to write him, though. I might need to watch the movie again to refresh my memory on that portrayal. One comic version has him speaking in rhyme, but I don't think I could do that. I will have him recite nursery rhymes, though, because that is just so, so demented and creepy. Reading his comic backstories and about all the people he killed makes my skin crawl. He is definitely among the darkest in Batman's rogue's gallery. Portman will love working with him.

And it would be lovely if money grew on trees. Thinking about things further leaves me in a quandary over whether to buy the 1960s Batman or the Sailor Moon set. I seem to want both equally, but can only have one right now. I actually wasn't expecting the Sailor Moon set to turn up at Wal-Mart, or that it would be the same awesome price as the Batman set. Reading the episode guides for each does nothing to help the problem. I am concerned, however, that it may be more difficult to find Sailor Moon at the continuing lower price than Batman. Wal-Mart probably won't have it for long, and Amazon's price for Sailor Moon has never been as low as Wal-Mart's ... at least, not before this week. Checking it just now reveals that it currently is the same price. Which only makes the decision harder still.

I also really need some new pajama pants and have been looking over the fun licensed character ones Wal-Mart has. I like both a TMNT and a Batman logo print. But I can't seem to find the Batman print in the size I need, and the TMNT one is for the 1980s show, which I was never actually into as much as some other branches of the franchise. So I kind of lean more towards wanting the Batman one. Wish they'd get some in in the proper size....

I also finally saw The Batman vs. Dracula movie. (LOL.) I don't know why it's taken me nine years to get to it, since I was interested from the first year it came out. Even people who aren't big fans of The Batman incarnation will sometimes like the movie, as it's darker than the series. There's blood as Penguin cuts himself on his umbrella sword (and accidentally revives Dracula when it drips on the bones), The Joker gets electrocuted and supposedly dies (for a while), Batman is very shaken by it, as he was there at the time, and later on, when The Joker comes back, he immediately gets assaulted by Dracula and turned into a vampire himself.

What I find especially intriguing about the film is that Batman immediately takes a scientific approach to the vampirism plaguing Gotham and decides that since the vampires' bites infect the blood, maybe there's a way to heal the blood and reverse the process. After a fight with Joker in a blood bank (LOL), Batman locks him up in the Batcave and tries to use him to find a cure for everyone. It takes so long that Joker is screaming about being hungry and is in a lot of pain. Batman actually fills a blood bag with some of his blood to give to the Joker to ease his suffering while the search for the cure goes on. It's a very moving and powerful scene.

Of course, Batman eventually finds the cure and is able to help Joker and all the townspeople. But Dracula himself cannot be cured. He calls himself The Prince of Darkness and it's very creepy. He also tries to use reporter Vicky Vale's soul to revive his dead love. Batman rushes in to stop it just in time.

The title of the movie is definitely amusing, but in actual practice it's quite a dark and intense film. I loved it so much I wanted to watch it again the same day, but I didn't get that chance. I'll probably watch it again today sometime.

Another thing I adore about it is that it takes place in the earlier seasons era, so the focus of the interaction is on Batman and Alfred and Batman and the bad guys. There's no Yin, sadly, and Batman really could have benefited from her being there, as the police end up thinking Batman is responsible for the disappearing people and come after him. That makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact time period, because if James Gordon was commissioner yet, I don't think he would have allowed the outrageous and unfair attack. (The SWAT teams seemed to be shooting to kill, without Batman even doing anything to fight them!) And if he wasn't commissioner yet, Yin should have definitely been there. If I had to guess, I'd say it was probably in the middle of season 2 and maybe Yin was on vacation or something.

There's also some awesome special features, including a section on the voice actors and some of the fun things going on while they were recording. I love seeing what the actors look like, and how they perform the voices during the recording sessions. It makes me wish so much again that they had kept doing awesome special features for every release of the show. I still want so bad to know about what prompted them to redesign the Riddler so drastically (and awesomely) and what it was like having Robert Englund come in to do the voice.

Yay!

Nov. 12th, 2014 09:25 pm
ladybug_archive: (riddler)
Note the icon of my beloved, serious, Marilyn Manson Riddler from The Batman. When I talk about The Riddler, unless otherwise specified, this is the one I mean.

Had to get my I.D. renewed today, and that took us out by some of my favorite stores, so I browsed for a bit and weighed how much I wanted certain things.

Spent the longest amount of time in Barnes and Noble, looking at some of the Batman graphic novels. Found Hush and read the part where Batman pieces together that the Riddler is behind everything. Unlike what Wikipedia said, it seems like the Riddler was only in the scheme to prove he was capable of masterminding something so intricate and ingenious. He didn't have it in for Batman so thoroughly that he went through the whole thing just to torture him. That's good to know. I could certainly picture The Batman's Riddler orchestrating the scheme just to prove he could. So if that's how they would have done a version of Hush in The Batman, I wish now that the project had been green-lit after all.

I still think it was too cruel of him to taunt Batman about Jason Todd, though. Gah. Of course, Jason Todd isn't part of The Batman continuity (it's before his time), so there wouldn't be that problem in the proposed and failed Hush movie for The Batman.

Also looked for 1960s Batman stuff at Toys R Us and was horrified that they're selling the 6-inch figures for $22.99. And Wal-Mart had them for $15.99! The Batmobile Toys R Us has as an exclusive is way awesome, though.

Found season 1 of 1960s Batman and the new Sailor Moon season 1 set at a Wal-Mart. Squeee. I hope our local one will have them too. I have money in transit, so I will likely buy one or the other in a few days. I lean towards the Batman set for now, although I want both eventually. But as much as I adore the original Sailor Moon anime, the Generals certainly didn't have good fates in it and I'm still desperately hoping for happier outcomes for them in Crystal.

I'm almost done with my fic for The Batman. But I think I might write another one after it's done. I've had this image in my mind of a scene where Yin comes and finds the Riddler lying beaten on the sidewalk outside his private detective office. She helps him up and asks what on earth happened. He tells her his father showed up and went berserk, beating him as he had done years ago.

I haven't been able to figure out why it happened, though, and then tonight it clicked. There was never a Scarecrow in The Batman verse, albeit they did have a design for one. Maybe I could write a fic about a The Batman version of Scarecrow, and he either caused the father to flip out and attack the Riddler, or else the attack didn't really happen and the Riddler was hit by the fear gas and imagined it.

This would also enable me to tie things in with my Dr. Portman character, who is currently head of psychiatry at Arkham. She's basically a female Hugo Strange, but her true colors haven't yet been revealed. She would be fascinated by Scarecrow and his experiments, and I could definitely see them working together to cause mayhem.

Also, Scarecrow is seriously creepy. Living scarecrows are freaky things (except in The Wizard of Oz), and his get-up definitely invokes fear. It would have been cool to have seen him on The Batman.

Birthday

Oct. 4th, 2014 09:04 pm
ladybug_archive: (faye)
It ended up being a really nice day after all. Dad was able to find the things I'd asked for, so I got those and some nice surprises, such as a leaf necklace from an aunt. Crystal wrote me a lovely fic and JP's present and card came in time for the day. I received lots of well wishes from people online. And there are other things in the mail now that should come next week, so I have those to look forward to.

I ended up really feeling that the illness had passed and I was just left with post-nasal drip and this blasted lingering cough, so we went out. We didn't make it everywhere I had planned, but I trimmed the list way down and we made it everywhere I especially wanted to go (except we forgot to look in the Halloween store in the second mall, sigh).

Target has apparently eliminated their classic TV shows almost entirely. They used to be the go-to store for cheap Universal releases, but not anymore. Sigh. I was hoping to find some Kojak DVDs. I miss it being on MeTV regularly and the prices are too high at the moment.

But I had a fun time and was thrilled to find that F.Y.E. carries some of the new Sailor Moon plushies by Great Eastern. I'd been debating getting the Chibi Moon one for a while, but I was hoping to see her in person first, and then when I actually saw her in person, and at the same approximate price as Amazon's, I couldn't resist. I seriously adore Chibi Moon and am thrilled to finally have a plushie of her (although I hope in the future to be able to find a bigger one, too).

Then I found a Pony hat at Wal-Mart and decided to get it. I'd already tried to get it at the local Wal-Mart and didn't because it ended up being dirty. Blech. But this one was nice and clean. I can never find a Pony shirt that I can actually fit into, with decent-length sleeves, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and the hat was the same price as the character shirts I usually buy, so it seemed like a good trade. I did see a shirt at Target I might have been able to wear, but it cost $9.99 and that was more than I wanted to pay when it only had one of my special favorites and two others that I don't like as much.

I really don't understand why it seems like girls' shirts always have tiny sleeves these days. It's so annoying! They should have different styles so that everyone can get what they want. The $9.99 one at Target had long sleeves. Maybe if it goes on Clearance later, I'll think about buying it. Another thing I don't like, though, is how thin these shirts tend to be. Shirts in the boys' department have both longer sleeves on the short-sleeve shirts (to the elbow, like they should be) and are generally thicker.

We also went in the Hallmark store and had fun looking at things in there, and the lady knew about Mannix, so we all had a fun little conversation.

One thing I'm a little sad about, though, is that it looks like the lovely store that made custom shirts has closed up. I was actually surprised when they were still there last year. And then it was just in July when I had them make up a shirt with Joe Mannix and Lew Wickersham. But by then, they had a new process and the price had shot way, way up. I had to pay about $24 for the shirt, compared to $14.95 plus tax for the other two! They said the other process was better and made the shirts last longer, but honestly, if you take good care of them, like I do, they last fine with the old process. I think they should have kept both processes and let people pick what they wanted for the price they could afford. I have this feeling that people just couldn't take the more expensive prices and that's why the place folded. Sad.

... Although I also considered maybe they just moved, and after performing a Google search, it looks like they may have done that. I'm getting a listing that's actually closer to me. Yay! I'll have to investigate. I still kind of wanted a shirt with Ginger and Lou, too, although it will probably have to be the last one if I do it.

So yes, the outing was lots of fun. But I was honestly surprised to discover that our local Wal-Mart has the best Halloween selection over the one in the bigger city! Now we need to go to the local Wal-Mart so I can show Mom all the cute decorations, like the knick-knack Halloween shops and eateries and such.

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