Balamb Garden, MD level. Squall, Zell and Rinoa come across an unstable-looking ladder. If you choose the 'Someone else go check it out' option:
Squall: (I'll have someone else check it out.)
Squall: (Zell and Rinoa...)
Squall: I'll go take a look. You two wait here.
This is possibly my favourite bit of Squall-characterisation in the game; it's a rather lovely glimpse behind his efforts to tell himself he doesn't care. And almost nobody will ever see it! Because what videogame player, presented with an intriguingly wobbly ladder, doesn't go straight for the 'I'll check it out myself' option? I managed to play through this game at least four times without ever knowing this moment of conflict was in there.
Recently, when editing a bibliography, I tried to type 'Leonard' and typed 'Leonhart' instead. IN FACT I JUST DID IT AGAIN WHEN TYPING THIS. Once they've typed 'Leon', my fingers know exactly where they want to go.
There's something oddly relaxing about playing Final Fantasy VIII the way I generally do, where every fight takes ages because I'm busy drawing magic to make my characters ridiculously overpowered. It becomes a very slow game, but there's something almost therapeutic about it. It's a bit like knitting.
(Apart from when I'm drawing Zombie, because I can't help finding that hilarious. I'M NOT SURE I WANT TO RECEIVE ALL THESE ZOMBIES.)
I still love it when Squall suddenly yells 'I'M NOT HAVING ANYONE TALK ABOUT ME IN THE PAST TENSE' and runs out of the room.
The Deling City assassination mission is interesting because it really makes it clear that, for all the cast's military-esque training and combat expertise, they're still just kids. Quistis screws up because she feels guilty for losing her temper with Rinoa. Irvine chokes. It really brings home the fact that these mercenaries are sixteen, seventeen, eighteen years old. They shouldn't be fighting in wars and carrying out assassination orders. They're teenagers.
Finally (and this is a terrible juxtaposition with the previous paragraph): that D-District scene in which Squall is crucified and tortured for information he doesn't have is hotter than I remembered. WHOOPS.
I have now seen My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
twice, which is probably two more times than any self-respecting adult should see it. For those unfamiliar with the premise of Equestria Girls
: it is a film about Twilight Sparkle, the main character of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
(who is, as you may have suspected, a pony), travelling through a portal to another world. In which she is a human. In high school. And meets human versions of all her pony friends. And there's a shoehorned-in light romance plotline, involving an alternate-world teenage boy and Twilight Sparkle. Who, I might remind you, is a pony.
It is astonishingly stupid.
Perhaps inevitably, I love it.
No, you don't understand how severe this is. I even find the romantic subplot genuinely cute. Developing a crush on a human when you are secretly a pony seems (a) a bit weird and (b) ill-advised, but apparently I don't care
I've had this song
from the film stuck in my head all day. I find cheerful, catchy songs about friendship impossible to resist, which is probably part of the reason Friendship is Magic
has me so thoroughly in its clutches. Oh, dear.
I've had a rocky relationship with Doctor Who
for... more or less the last seven years, but the fiftieth-anniversary special was a lot of fun! More than just being a fun hour or so, it reminded me of two things: firstly, that Doctor Who
was once something I really enjoyed, and secondly, that I really miss
Nine (I was pretty heartbroken that Ten and Eleven were hanging out and Nine was nowhere to be seen).
Therefore, in the ongoing bizarre nostalgia explosion that my adulthood is turning out to be, I've rewatched the first two episodes of the Ninth Doctor's series! And oh, I still love the Ninth Doctor. He's just fantastic. And also quite a bit scarier than I remember. That thing he did to Cassandra in 'The End of the World': wow. (That thing he did to Rose, too; it never really hit me before, but he comes back from the Time War and finds a companion and the first thing he does
is show her the destruction of her planet.)
I also seem to be falling in love with Nine/Rose all over again, which I wasn't expecting! There had been pairings I'd enjoyed before I saw the 2005 Doctor Who
series (Squall/Zell, Satoshi/Daisuke), but the Doctor/Rose was the first pairing I fell in love with in a MASSIVE EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT, READ ALL THE FANFICTION, WRITE ALL THE FANFICTION sort of way. No, hang on, I've just remembered all the slightly worrying James Sunderland/Mary Shepherd-Sunderland fanfiction I wrote. But I do think I 'shipped the Doctor/Rose quite a lot harder than anything preceding it.
(Sudden revelation: all the het I 'ship is really messed up
. If they're the same species (see Doctor/Rose, Mitsuki/Takuto, TWILIGHT SPARKLE/FLASH SENTRY I HATE MYSELF) and there's no massive age gap (er, Doctor/Rose and Mitsuki/Takuto again, plus Jeff/Annie, Rogue/Logan and Katniss/Haymitch), I'm not interested, unless it's something like James/Mary or Naegi/Ikusaba, which have a whole host of alarming issues surrounding them. I'm surprised I love Nate/Elena so much; it's so much healthier than most of my 'ships!)
Anyway! Let's push my worrying taste aside for a moment. My interest in Doctor/Rose absolutely plummeted after the Ninth Doctor regenerated; I felt that the Tenth Doctor's dynamic with Rose was very different, and the new dynamic didn't really appeal to me. And I'd assumed that I wouldn't really care about Doctor/Rose on this rewatch, whether because I'd moved on or because my dislike of Ten/Rose would have somehow tainted Nine/Rose for me. I'm delighted to discover that I'm wrong!
When I think about it, maybe it's for the best that Eccleston didn't come back for the fiftieth anniversary. We may only have had thirteen episodes with the Ninth Doctor, but they were, for the most part, a pretty great thirteen episodes. I don't know if he'd ever be able to make a return that would match my expectations.
, in which two old men re-enact a YouTube argument about One Direction, is probably the only good thing ever to be spawned by the hell that is the YouTube comments section. I laughed extremely hard.
It also, although I didn't realise this at first on account of being terrible with faces
, features one of the actors from my mother's play
, which is on in Hammersmith until this Saturday! SO I SUPPOSE YOU KNOW WHICH PLAY YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO SEE IF YOU WANT TO GET HIS AUTOGRAPH.
There is a strong possibility that I have played Final Fantasy VIII
too many times. I started it after completing Final Fantasy VII
(at last! I thought I was doomed never to finish that game, what with malfunctioning memory cards ruining my first playthrough and my own malfunctioning memory meaning I completely forgot where I was supposed to be going on my second, but it finally happened
), because it seemed a logical next step, and I was quite unsettled to realise that I knew every event of the first few hours in advance. I knew the gist of every conversation
in advance. I knew the name of every monster on the island of Balamb, taking the Fire Cavern and Training Centre into account, and I can probably name quite a large percentage of the monsters in the wider world as well. (For context: I've just finished Final Fantasy VII
, and the only non-boss enemies in that game I can name are 'Jumping' and 'Soldier (2nd Class)'.)Final Fantasy VIII
isn't my favourite game. It's not even my favourite Final Fantasy
. But it has had an immense impact on my life; I think Pokémon
is the only other work of fiction that's had a comparable effect. I have no idea who or where I'd be without it.
That isn't an exaggeration. This game helped me learn to empathise with other people; by presenting me with Squall, a character whose thoughts and feelings I could understand, it helped me realise that the thoughts and feelings of other people didn't have to be an impenetrable mystery. It's also indirectly the reason I started keeping a blog, and I currently live with a friend I made through Livejournal. Goodness knows what's going on in the parallel universe in which I never played it. I'm probably on my third Nobel Prize by now, considering all the time I haven't been wasting on things like blogging and videogames and friendship.
I love Zell's anxiety when it looks like you're about to take Selphie's shortcut in the field exam. 'Squall... You're not gonna... It's a cliff, man...' Bless him. He may not always think things through, but he can be surprisingly sensible sometimes, and his moments of concern always make me smile. I want to be friends with him.
To jump ahead in the game a bit: I think my very favourite dialogue option in Final Fantasy VIII
is one that comes up when Squall and Rinoa are reunited, if you sent Rinoa to the missile base (I don't usually send her there, as you miss out on some scenes if you do, so - tragically - I don't often get the opportunity to see this):Rinoa:
I miss'd ya. ...You know, I thought I was gonna die at the missile base. ...That's when I really missed you.Squall:
Yesterday I saw Catching Fire
, the second film in the Hunger Games
series! I enjoyed it a great deal. It's not a short film, but it never felt padded.
It's odd; in the Hunger Games
books I 'ship Katniss with nobody, but in the films I 'ship her with everyone
. Peeta, Gale, Johanna, Cinna: bring it all on.
BUT ESPECIALLY HAYMITCH.
I cannot tell you how much I needed Haymitch and Katniss to make out in that film. What a horrible, perfect pairing. I love it.
(I had a revelation, a little while ago, that I find it hard to resist pairing cynics up with the idealists who make them a little less cynical. I might have to expand that to include pairing cynics up with the cynics
who make them a little less cynical, because I don't think there's any universe in which Katniss Everdeen can be called an idealist.)
My replay of Final Fantasy VII
continues! I think I'm nearing the end of Disc 2; my plot-related thoughts are behind the cut to avoid spoiling anyone.( Notes on the post-Mideel events of Final Fantasy VII.Collapse )
In addition to appreciating the plot at last, I'm having a lot more fun with the Materia system this time around. Cover and Counter Attack on back-row Yuffie is my favourite combination so far. I also enjoy the fact that sometimes my attacks will turn the enemy into a frog.
Once again, though, just when it seems that Final Fantasy VII
and I are going to be friends, it comes up with a moment of absolutely ridiculous hope-you're-psychic game design. In this case, the offender is the search for the Key of the Ancients. All you're told is that this key is somewhere 'even sunlight can't reach'.
So it's in Midgar, right? It's obviously in Midgar. The plate prevents the people of the slums from seeing the sky; Barret was talking about this all the way back at the beginning of the game. Now, as our quest begins to draw to a conclusion, it's time to remember how it all started.
Nope! The Key of the Ancients is actually in a narrow, difficult-to-locate tunnel at the bottom of the ocean.Sigh
Despite my complaints, I've actually been enjoying this replay a lot. I'm glad I gave this game another chance! I think I've been unfair to Final Fantasy VII
; it's not the perfect game some people make it out to be, but it definitely has many good points.
Evidently, my problem in previous playthroughs of Final Fantasy VII was not having Yuffie in my second party member slot. She comments on everything and it's hilarious. I loved how deeply unimpressed she was on first meeting Vincent. I've never understood why people 'ship them; maybe that's part of it? It did make me think they could have quite a fun dynamic, even if I'm still a long way from 'shipping it myself.
One thing Final Fantasy VII does rather well is giving all the characters their own backstories and relevance. It's a particularly strong contrast to VIII, where all the characters' stories are essentially the same. It's quite nice to have these little sidequests - Cosmo Canyon, Wutai - that are centred on getting to know a member of your party better.
That said, the localisation problems continue to make immersion impossible (although I have no criticism of the line in my post title, which is pure gold) and there are some moments of truly atrocious game design, so I haven't entirely embraced VII yet. Despite that amazing scene where Cloud plays a prince in a pantomime and then pirouettes off the stage.
(And yet Cloud is always portrayed as INCREDIBLY SERIOUS, NO FUN ALLOWED in official materials nowadays! It's a shame.)
The worst offence so far, game-design-wise: finding the Keystone. You get the Tiny Bronco and go 'well, we don't really know how to reach the Temple of the Ancients; let's just look for information.' In the absence of specific advice on where to go, anyone who's ever played a game before knows that you need to go to wherever you couldn't get to before, i.e. Bone Village.
BUT NO. All you learn at Bone Village is that you need a Keystone and, quote, 'some rich guy has it'. THANKS, BONE VILLAGE. What you're actually supposed to do is go back to a little house you visited ages ago that had nobody in it, because now the owner is suddenly home (there's no reason for you to know this), and he will tell you which specific rich guy has the stone.
Really, Final Fantasy VII? The White SeeD ship in VIII was bad, but at least they told you which continent you were supposed to be looking on!
People of London! Are you wondering how to fill your evenings from now until the 30th of November? Do you like plays? Do you like singing? Do you like my mother? (You should.)
My mother has written a play! It is called Dress Rehearsal
, because she evidently doesn't understand the importance of easily-Googleable titles, and it's currently being performed in a pub in Hammersmith. It's about a group of pub performers, appropriately enough, and all the feuds and tensions seething behind the scenes. It has opera numbers and a great deal of humour and the most amazing feathery waistcoat you've ever seen. It's a lot of fun!
'Riona,' you may say, frowning, 'isn't there the slightest chance that you're biased because your mother wrote it?' In response to which I offer the following rave review from a drunk man who experienced it last night: 'THAT WAS BETTER THAN THE TELLY! It's better than the telly!' I'm fairly certain you don't get more authoritative than that. After press night tomorrow, if you're still not satisfied, we may even have rave reviews from non-drunk people! (On a related note, you are required to very obviously enjoy yourself if you go tomorrow.)Dress Rehearsal
is on until the 30th at The Distillers
in Hammersmith (64 Fulham Palace Road, W6 9PH), in the Regal Room. It's at 7.30 every evening from Tuesday to Saturday, with an additional 3.00 matinée on Saturdays. You can buy tickets here
or on the door. If you like it, excellent! Tell my mum; she'll be thrilled. If you don't like it, I suppose you'll just have to watch it again until you do.
(Fair warning, because I know some of you don't like being touched: the room is set up so there are pub tables and stools in the middle, and some benches around the outside. If you sit at one of the tables, you become part of the set and the actors may interact with you during the musical numbers (e.g. hide behind you, pretend to cut your hair during the aria from The Barber of Seville
etc.). If you'd prefer to avoid this, stay away from the tables; sit on one of the benches at the side or in the line of chairs to the left of the stage.)
I'M THE SLOWEST WRITER ON THE PLANET. Here is Chapter Four of the fic I, you know, started posting back in April and started writing
a year and a half ago. I hope someone's still interested!Title:
With These Signs Upon Our Souls, Chapter FourFandom: Final Fantasy VIII/Final Fantasy XIIIRating:
3,300 (this chapter; 8,600 cumulative)Summary:
The exam brief is simple enough: protect the fal'Cie from the Timber resistance. Squad B are about to get the mission as wrong as humanly possible.Chapter OneChapter TwoChapter Three( With These Signs Upon Our Souls, Chapter FourCollapse )Chapter Five
, I somehow fell back into Homestuck
. I'd dropped out at the beginning of Act 6, when it suddenly introduced a new cast of characters and I went 'HOMESTUCK, YOU HAVE A THOUSAND CHARACTERS ALREADY, HOW AM I EXPECTED TO HAVE ANY ROOM TO CARE ABOUT THESE ONES?'
And then, a couple of years later, I revisited it in an idle moment, and... well, it turns out that I love Jane, Roxy, Dirk and Jake just as much as I loved John, Rose, Dave and Jade. That'll teach me to judge.
The friendships in Homestuck
are so great! I had forgotten how wonderful they were. All the Homestuck
hatred floating around on the Internet had sort of driven its excellent qualities out of my mind. I had not
forgotten how fantastically incomprehensible the plot was, but the characters and their dynamics make up for it.
There's a part of me that wants to reread the entire thing from the beginning once I've caught up. There is another part of me that is pretty convinced that that would be a terrible idea. Homestuck
is a million years long and incredibly confusing, and the start, if I recall correctly, is a bit on the slow side. But it's so much fun!
It'd also be quite nice to re-experience the early acts with my later knowledge. When I first started reading Homestuck
, I didn't pay much attention to the trolling bits; I was much more interested in the conversations between the kids, and I hadn't yet realised that the trolls actually had significance in the story. I still love the John-Rose-Dave-Jade friendship, of course, but it would be nice to reread the early carcinoGeneticist logs in the awareness that Karkat is the best forever. He's just constantly ineffectually furious in a way I find utterly charming.
I think I hateship Karkat with basically everyone. But especially himself.
This is a particularly unfortunate time to get back into Homestuck
, as it happens. I haven't formally participated in National Novel Writing Month
since 2006, but I do try to write at least a little each day during the month of November. Naturally, I usually end up writing fanfiction for my fandom of the moment.
If my fandom of the moment is Homestuck
, this is a problem, because Homestuck
is completely impossible to write fanfiction for
. Even setting the incomprehensible plot aside, there's the difficulty of getting into the heads of characters who are mostly aliens, and then
there's the issue of how to write dialogue. In Homestuck
, most of the conversation takes place through chat clients; when people have physical conversations, though, their speech is still rendered in the style in which they type
. I can't imagine writing Homestuck
fanfiction that isn't in chat-transcript style! IF KARKAT ISN'T SPEAKING IN GREY ALLCAPS, HE'S NOT KARKAT TO ME. Dont Even Get Me Started On Kanaya OR T3R3Z1
. maybe writing the kids would be ok, but i think it would still feel weird not to use their font colors and capitalization styles!
(Whoops, just realised I'd used the American 'colors' but the British 'capitalisation' there; I am already
screwing up John's voice, and I haven't even started writing fanfiction yet.) And all of this would look ridiculous in a non-transcript format fic."ok, that sounds good!" John said.
IT JUST DOESN'T WORK.
In conclusion, Homestuck
fanfiction cannot be written. It looks
like there are over twenty thousand Homestuck
works on AO3, but I'm fairly certain they're all blank documents.
Why did I have to discover Atlantis
just after the first episode? I don't have the patience for this! I can't write fanfiction, because there's not enough canon to establish the characters' voices firmly in my head; I can't read
fanfiction before those voices are established, because it might interfere with their establishment. I can't pass the time until the next episode by rewatching previous episodes, because there are only two episodes
and I've seen both of them within the past week. Something about Atlantis
, for all its flaws, has instantly found the key to my reserves of fannish energy, and it's unlocked my heart and set all that energy loose and then gone 'AHAHAHA, YOU CAN DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WITH THIS.' It is intensely frustrating!
(I suspect that Atlantis
was created specifically to appeal to fanfiction writers. As it's existed for ten days and there are already twenty-six fics in its AO3 tag (which is, incidentally, twenty-six times the number of stories in the last fandom I wrote for), it seems to have succeeded.)
Even if I manage to grasp the characters, writing fanfiction set in Ancient Greece is probably going to be tricky. Jason's from the modern day, of course, which makes things a bit easier, but writing from the perspective of Pythagoras would throw up all sorts of restrictions. I ran into similar problems when I was writing for Merlin
; obviously Merlin
's dialogue is 'translated' into Modern English, so you don't have to go 'oh no, can't use that word, that wasn't around until the Norman invasion', but there are other things you have to be aware of. I unthinkingly used the phrase 'when Merlin is out of the picture' in my Merlin-Gwen bodyswap fic and realised hours after posting it that that's almost certainly a photography metaphor. Nobody used photography metaphors in the Dark Ages
Here's a terrible Merlin
fic idea I noted down a while ago, incidentally:
Merlin fanfiction, set in the modern day, after the finale. Merlin is a thousand and something years old. Arthur is resurrected as a twenty-something-year-old. (They still have sexual tension.) The plot concerns their efforts to overthrow Queen Elizabeth II and install Arthur on the throne again.
Actually, while I'm talking about terrible fanfiction ideas: during an e-mail exchange with th_esaurus
and The Great British Bake Off
, I ended up ill-advisedly combining the two:My first
Atlantis fic is going to be about Pythagoras being suddenly flung into the modern day and appearing in the middle of the
Bake Off tent, during an incredibly tense showstopper challenge.
It was a joke, but the more I think about this, the more I want to see it. The poor contestants only have four hours to make about six hundred elaborate pastries; they can't afford to be distracted by a confused mathematician from Ancient Greece! Mel and Sue, however, are amused and delighted and refuse to evict Pythagoras from the tent.
(Alternatively, Pythagoras turns up during the technical challenge, glances at the baking instructions and mutters, 'I can't read this; none of it's Greek to me.')
This is probably not something I should actually write.
It seems that Atlantis is bringing back not only the things I loved about Merlin (charming die-for-each-other friendships), but the things that really annoyed me about Merlin (the main character being presented as good-hearted but seemingly having no qualms about attacking his fellow man). Merlin has more of an excuse than you, Jason; he's from a different time, with different values. You're from the modern day, when it is generally not considered acceptable to slam people's heads into walls, even if they're your enemies. Although, to be fair, you haven't yet watched with a massive grin whilst you made someone explode.
(Another thing I recognised from Merlin: filtering night scenes around a fire in such a way that it doesn't look like the fire is casting any light. This really irrationally troubles me.)
It also bothers me that Jason's speech patterns are no different from the speech patterns of the other characters. He's from the modern day, but he says things like, 'You should fear me as they do. I will slay you as I did the Earth Bull. I will tear down your temple and I will scatter your followers to the four winds,' which is not something I've ever heard a modern-day young man say (and not just because I've never met anyone who's slain a Minotaur). Why make him a time-traveller at all if he's going to speak and behave in a way indistinguishable from everyone who grew up in Ancient Greece?
(And why is he suddenly a capable fighter? In the first episode, I loved the detail that he quite literally couldn't wield a sword to save his life, because it made absolute sense; chances are that he's never had cause to use a sword before.)
All right; that's enough complaining. I didn't enjoy the second episode of Atlantis as much as I did the first, but, despite all these minor gripes, bits of it still made me smile and I'm still looking forward to seeing the next.
It's Pythagoras who's hooked me, I suspect. Whilst I have yet to develop any particular opinion on most of the cast, Pythagoras is delightful, and moreover he's one of those characters who improves other characters just by having some sort of connection to them. I like Jason and Hercules far more whenever Pythagoras is in their vicinity. He's very much the heart and draw of Atlantis for me.
I tried to resist 'shipping Pythagoras/Jason, because the BBC obviously really wanted me to 'ship them and I like to be contrary, but they caught me almost immediately. I already know what I want from Pythagoras/Jason, in fact. I don't want them to have a romantic relationship in canon, because romantic relationships generally bore me to tears; only in very rare cases will a pairing manage to hold my interest if any unresolved sexual tension actually gets resolved. But I do want a kiss. Just one. I want a scenario in which one of the pair faces almost certain death, and I want Pythagoras to kiss Jason on the forehead, and I want it to be lit and filmed exactly like a kiss between lovers.
I've just realised that what I'm envisioning here is basically the forehead kiss Frodo gives Sam at the end of Return of the King.
Anyway! Yes. That's what I want. And when almost certain death is averted, I don't want them to talk about it. It's not that they're awkwardly avoiding the subject; it's just that Jason has accepted the kiss completely. He doesn't need to ask what that was about, because he already knows.
Wow, that was an awful lot of soppy rambling about a pairing with exactly two episodes' worth of material behind it. Watching Atlantis was almost certainly a mistake. For the most part, though, it's a mistake I've enjoyed making.
A few nights ago, I had a dream that I watched Atlantis
, the BBC's latest Saturday-night fantasy drama series. Having woken, I decided that this was obviously a sign and I should give Atlantis
a try. (It's probably not a great idea to take advice from my dreams. Somebody stop me if I try to re-enact the one in which I piss Hitler off at a fancy dinner party.)
About a third of the way into the first episode of Atlantis
, I had to pause and fire off a distressed e-mail to th_esaurus
ATLANTIS IS MERLIN IN ANCIENT GREECE WITH TIME TRAVEL
(THE MAIN CHARACTER LOSES HIS SHIRT FOUR MINUTES IN, IT IS DEFINITELY MERLIN)
I'M NOT EVEN HALFWAY THROUGH THE FIRST EPISODE
I LOVE IT ALREADY
I'M EVEN 'SHIPPING SOMETHING
THIS IS A DISASTER
Then I finished the episode and spent half an hour looking through Atlantis
GIFs on Tumblr and shouting 'NO' at myself.
There's only been one episode, so I suppose things could change, but I can say this much for now: if you liked Merlin
, you will probably like Atlantis
. If you hated Merlin
but nevertheless derived a strange sense of enjoyment from watching it, you will probably hate-love Atlantis
If you haven't watched Merlin
and therefore can't use that as a basis, here's a second 'Is Atlantis
For Me?' test: if you are looking for high-quality drama, stay away. If you're looking for something ridiculous about a modern-day young man being thrown into Ancient Greece (a turn of events he inexplicably accepts within about five seconds) and developing a gratuitously homoerotic friendship with Pythagoras, I don't know why you're not watching it right now. It's available on BBC iPlayer
if you're in the UK.
I think it has very strong potential to be the next big fandom thing.
I can't excuse this. I really can't. I was visiting my parents, and I rediscovered my old copies of The Poltergoose
and The Toilet of Doom
from Michael Lawrence's Jiggy McCue
series, which I'd loved as a kid. Out of idle curiosity, I decided to find out whether anyone in the world had written Jiggy McCue
fanfiction, and of course nobody had.
Somehow it seemed like the logical next step to write a ridiculous Animorphs
The Jiggy McCue
series is a series of rather silly books aimed at twelve-year-olds, and I've never met anyone else who has read them. They do rely on gross-out humour sometimes, and I sort of wish they wouldn't, but what appeals to me about them is Jiggy's very chatty, informal style, laced throughout with terrible jokes and unnecessary clarifications ('I opened a drawer in my chest (of drawers)
' is a line I'm particularly fond of). It's a lot of fun to read, and even more fun, it turns out, to write.
Which is why I've written eight thousand words of fanfiction that has no market at all.
(I've written it to be understandable to people who aren't familiar with the Jiggy McCue
series (or indeed Animorphs
), so you should be able to follow it if you just happen to be in the mood for something in the style of a ridiculous book series aimed at twelve-year-olds. I really hope at least one person in the world reads and enjoys this.)Title:
Earplugs Would Have Been BetterFandom: Jiggy McCue
I can't tell you who I am, or where I live. Or maybe I can? Jiggy McCue, Brook Farm Estate. That was actually pretty easy. Anyway, this is the story of the day I got possessed by an alien, which was probably only about the third-worst day of my life.( Earplugs Would Have Been BetterCollapse )
I spent today with reipan
and Yuffie, two of my closest friends. We rewatched the first and third High School Musical
films.Oh, a making-fun-of-ridiculous-films session!
I thought, when the idea of a High School Musical
rewatch was proposed. This should be fun!
I had evidently forgotten that there is not a shred of irony in my love of High School Musical
. I love those films in an absolutely sincere, wholehearted way. I love the characters. I love the songs. I love TROY AND GABRIELLA, HOW ARE THEY SO CUTE, IT'S OUTRAGEOUS. I started crying towards the end of the third film. I'm not even ashamed.
(Well, perhaps I'm slightly
We had a bit of a singalong when we knew the words (we knew the words, it turned out, to possibly too many of the songs), and I noticed that I always gravitated towards singing Troy's part when he featured in a song. I think I feel a sort of kinship with him because we both have enormous eyebrows.
Because evidently a High School Musical
singalong wasn't ridiculous enough, we also accidentally watched (or rewatched, in my case) all six episodes of Free!
to date. Afterwards:Riona:
I'm still trying to work out how I can write about Haru losing his virginity to a swimming pool.Rei:
I think he'd just lose his virginity in
a swimming pool, but be thinking about the water the whole time.Riona:
Maybe that's the real reason Rin's so annoyed with him.
This is going into the 'UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WRITE THIS' file, right next to 'the cast of High School Musical
are locked down and instructed to kill each other in a Dangan Ronpa
situation'. Even though I'm having ideas about the High School Musical/Dangan Ronpa
crossover, no matter how hard I try not to. If you're not Sharpay, there's an obvious advantage to committing the first murder: everyone will assume that the murderer is Sharpay, so you've got a good chance of getting away with it. But I'm not going to write this, I swear.
Speaking of Free!
: somehow I seem to end up 'shipping a new Haru pairing with every episode. This is an exaggeration, but not a large one. I think I'm now 'shipping Haru/Rin, Haru/Makoto, Haru/Kou and Haru/water. Haru/water beats all the others senseless, of course, but I still seem to be well on my way to 'shipping Haruka Nanase with everyone in the world, possibly including you.
I didn't think Haru/Makoto would ever really catch my interest - it just seemed too nice and functional - but the depth of Haru's concern for Makoto in episode six really touched me. And I'm fairly certain by this point that Makoto is at least slightly in love with Haru. Sorry, Makoto; you're going to have to compete with every body of water in Japan.
Sometimes, when the screen goes dark between scenes in Attack on Titan
, I catch sight of my reflection watching it.
I invariably look really distressed
I've typed up some thoughts on Attack on Titan
in the course of watching, but I can't post them because I don't want to spoil anyone! This isn't just a case of 'well, put it under a cut, then'; people who haven't watched it might still click on the cut! How am I supposed to stop them? I went in knowing nothing beyond the bare bones of the premise (it's an anime! there are giant monsters! they eat people! oh dear!) and the fact that it's a lot less cheerful than Free!
, and it's an experience I highly recommend.
There are eighteen episodes currently available. I charged through the lot in about five days. I'd probably have finished faster if we hadn't suffered a power cut in the middle, and if there hadn't been a moment or two that hit me so hard I needed several hours to recover.
If you have the time and the inclination, give it a try! It's pretty depressing and occasionally bloody, I should warn you, so stay away if you think it might distress you, but it really is extremely worth watching. It's available legally here on Crunchyroll
(in the UK, even! Legal anime websites are never
available in the UK! If you're in neither the UK nor the US, I don't know whether you'll be able to watch it, but you can give it a shot). Try the first few episodes and see if it catches your interest.
I know I love a lot of terrible things, but Attack on Titan
is genuinely excellent. And I repeat: you can watch it online
, and it's completely free and completely legal. Although I can't guarantee that it won't make you watch the same Argos advertisement six times if you don't have an ad blocker. IT DOESN'T MATTER; ATTACK ON TITAN
(If you'd like to know at least slightly more before you go in, futuresoon
has made an informative post on Tumblr
(which is actually what got me to start watching). She's also made a more detailed version of the same post on Livejournal
, but I'd recommend using the Tumblr one to make your decision and only checking out the Livejournal one if you're still not sure; as I've said, the less you know, the better.)
Apparently I've spent most of my weekend frantically writing a Super Dangan Ronpa 2
fic set in the apocalypse from The Last of Us
. Time well spent?Title:
Humanity's HopeFandom: Super Dangan Ronpa 2Rating:
Canon-divergent AU, inspired by The Last of Us
. Shortly after the first trial, the Hope's Peak kids are rescued. A few months later, a strange fungus starts turning people into mindless monsters. Maybe there's a chance for a cure; unfortunately, that chance means that Hinata is going to have to spend a lot of time with a certain Super High-school Level Good Luck.Warnings:
I'm afraid I'm not giving specific warnings for this, but it's essentially a zombie apocalypse fic, so be aware that it's probably going to get a bit dark. Full spoilers for the first chapter of Super Dangan Ronpa 2
; mild spoilers for the (Ab)normal Days arc of the second chapter. No knowledge of The Last of Us
I'm reading along with the SA Let's Play and trying to avoid spoilers, so this was written without knowledge of anything beyond the second chapter's Abnormal Days arc. It is an AU, though, so I suppose that gives me a bit of freedom!( Humanity's HopeCollapse )
Haru is probably my favourite character in Free!. At first glance he appears to be the typical serious, emotionless protagonist, but a viewer will quickly come to realise that in fact he is driven by a powerful emotion.
'Ah, yes,' you might say, nodding sagely. 'He's driven by his deep-seated love for his friends. I've seen this before.'
You would be incorrect. Haruka is driven by his uncontrollable desire to be immersed in water at all times.
Here are some notes I scribbled down on the train yesterday, illustrating why I should probably not write Free! fanfiction:
I sort of want to write a Haru/water fic, but I've got no idea how to make it work. Possibly for the best. Makoto keeps walking in on Haru and... water... in compromising situations? THIS IS DIFFICULT TO ENVISION.
Haru wouldn't be remotely abashed, either; he'd just stare at Makoto with his perfectly serious expression.
Haru wears his swimsuit in the bath. Is it more intimate, in his eyes, to be in his swimming gear in the water than it is to be nude in the water?
Am I seriously thinking about this question?
This makes a compromising Haru/water situation even more difficult to depict, particularly if Makoto is to recognise it as such. Blast!
How do you write about a guy losing his virginity to a swimming pool???
Part of the problem, I think, is that I'd want to take the Haru/water pairing seriously if I ever wrote fanfiction for it, because my Haru/water 'shipping is entirely sincere; it's easily the truest pairing in Free! and possibly the truest pairing in any work of fiction ever created. But it's inherently absurd! If I try to write about it in a serious style, the mere fact that I'm working in a serious style will make it seem silly! So I think this will probably have to remain unwritten. Sorry, Haru; I've failed you. You'll have to assuage your disappointment by sitting in a fountain and staring unsettlingly at passers-by.
Everything about Free! is so, so incredibly stupid.
I sort of love it.
Free!, or 'the swimming anime', as it's often called, is - you'll never guess - an anime about swimming! Although saying it's 'about swimming' is slightly misleading, because it's really about swimming as a vehicle for enormous amounts of male shirtlessness. Free! is about swimming in the way in which porn films are about unprofessional pizza delivery services. It features some of the most shameless fanservice you will ever, ever see.
I'm not actually watching Free! to ogle - they're all a bit muscly for my tastes - which raises the question... what am I watching it for? It's not as if there's a rich, layered plot that just happens to feature five hot guys who spend eighty per cent of every episode half-naked; the premise of this anime is literally 'HOT GUYS IN SKIMPY SWIMSUITS', the end. Every motion of Rei's arse is lovingly animated, sometimes in close-up. This is not a subtle show.
But somehow it really makes me smile. There's something so unabashed and joyous about it.
(I couldn't stop laughing during the fourth episode, which featured an extended montage of the guys trying on swimsuits whilst Kou sat off to the side, going starry-eyed over their *~AMAZING BICEPS~*.)
I glanced at the fanfiction.net section for Free! today, just to see what sorts of things people were writing for it, and the first thing I saw was a second-person fic pairing the reader up with Haru. Normally, such things would make me roll my eyes; this time, I just shrugged and thought, Well, that makes sense. Free! might as well erect a giant flashing sign saying IT'S OKAY TO FANTASISE ABOUT THESE BOYS; I can't make myself begrudge its watchers that freedom.
There is something about Free! that puzzles me, and that thing is Rin. Rin used to be friends with our heroes, and then he disappeared for a few years, and when he returned he was a mysterious brooding arsehole with an intense 'destined rival' dynamic with the main character. By 'intense', you may suspect I mean 'homoerotic'; you would, of course, be correct. On paper, he seems like he would be a fan favourite.
And yet it doesn't work. Rin is dull. And I don't understand why. How did Free! manage to screw up the 'brooding arsehole destined rival' character? What is it about Rin that causes him to fail in that regard? What is he missing? I cannot work it out. Is it just that he seems to have been constructed with the aim of creating a fan favourite? Fandom does like to be contrary, after all.
Still, we're only four episodes in, so maybe Rin will become more interesting. We'll see!