kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 dimples that kill)
The past few months have been... well, there they've been. So instead, I'll list what's fit for quasi-public consumption. Reading list!

First, the manga.

Kamisama Hajimemashita: read it for the female protagonist. It's shoujo done right.

The summary sounds like yet another stock premise from the land of girl's (and boy's) manga: our hero has a single parent, who up and abandons the kid, for reasons of debt, in this case gambling-related. Thus, by the end of the first chapter, Nanami has gone from being the poorest girl in school with a gambling father to still the poorest, but now abandoned by her father, and homeless thanks to the loan sharks confiscating everything. Stuck in a park with her one duffel bag and nowhere to go, she rescues a man from a barking dog, and in appreciation he... gives her his house. Which turns out to be a shrine. A rather forgotten and run-down shrine, at that. Which comes with its own shrine guardians, one of whom is a former wild fox and is mightily displeased that the shrine's god not only has not returned (after an absence of twenty years) but sent this girl in his place, as the new land-god.

Kamisama comparisons, and Dengeki Daisy, Sengoku Strays, and a hope there'll be more coming from Rinne no Lagrange. )

I realized the other day that the first anime I saw was ten years ago, with Spirited Away. Outside of Miyazaki, it's taken ten years to be able to list this many good heroines in one post. Here's hoping in another ten years, such heroines will be so common that I can't fit them all in twenty posts this long.
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
[Edited/consolidated to reduce where I rambled. Wow, those cold meds are something.]

For a little background, read [personal profile] phoebe_zeitgeist's A perhaps-obvious point about shipping and voice work, and don't skip the comments, which are equally insightful.

The TL;DR version is that voicework can completely alter our impression of a work, which is (as Phoebe says), probably completely obvious. I think there's a side-issue at work, though, which is that the voicework can also tell us how the voice-actors, themselves, approached the work—and our impression of the work, therefore, is informed by the actors' interpretation. That is, interpretation as the output (the voice recordings) and interpretation as the input (their own view of a character, a story, the conflict, and so on). I'll refrain from quoting too much of the original post & replies, since you can read it there, but I do want to call out this example, from [personal profile] aquila_black:
...my first introduction to Naruto was one of the movies, dubbed into English and shown once at our local theater... The movie had interviews with several of the American voice actors, the Japanese voice actors, and the manga-ka himself. The middle-aged American lady voicing Naruto was embarrassingly informal and unprofessional, and had nothing interesting to say about her character. The Japanese voice actress gave the camera a serious, well-thought out response about the responsibility she felt, at portraying the emotional complexities of an orphan who projects a relentlessly cheerful exterior, while often feeling desperately alienated and alone. Needless to say, it was a night and day difference. The Japanese actress convinced me that her character was worth my time.

In short, I see the output-interpretation as hampered or stifled by the lack of input-interpretation. Or, in the instance of the Japanese voice actress, the output is significantly enhanced by the amount of input she gave it.

This is not that unusual for Japanese seiyuu, from the interviews I've seen. It's the English-speaking VA who spends considerable time watching the original, thinking about the character, that's the unusual one (and they do exist, but there's plenty more who don't know of the original or seem to care). A similar case in point, for me, was watching the VA interviews that came with the US release of the Cowboy Bebop movie. Spike's VA (from the series) didn't do the movie-Spike [See comments in re this statement.] Faye's VA... well, I recall the question was something about playing Faye, and the answer was mostly about how awesome it was to hang out with the gang, and we all get along well, and blah blah blah.

(Not saying VAs are the only ones who do this; I've seen many actors/actresses asked about their character and answer with how hard the filming was, or doing their own stunts, or how close the entire cast got to be. Okay, some actors/actresses just don't like to analyze a character, and insist it should be left to the audience. Except I'm not asking for the definitive meaning; I just want to know the actor/actress or VA actually gave characterization as much thought as I'm going to give it while ripping it apart.)

The reason the other VA non-responses stood out was because Edward's VA spent no little time explaining how much thought she'd put into trying to communicate Edward's utterly-Japanese wacky dialogue into an English equivalent (IIRC, the VA doesn't know Japanese). She put time and effort not just into understanding Edward, but into crafting the translated dialogue with the director and scriptwriter, to "find" Edward's English voice. That's a lot of extra work, though, for a job where you're probably only making a pittance, anyway. Not everyone can, or will, or even is allowed to, go beyond like that.

But criticisms like mine do put a lot of weight on VA shoulders, and I think we need to shift some of that to where it belongs: the director. If you're in a play, and you don't know or haven't yet seen where the story's going, it's the director who says, "read the line like this," or "the character is actually feeling like ___ but showing an expression of ____ because s/he is thinking ___." There's a reason for the old joke about the actor asking, "what's my motivation!?" When all else fails, the one who can best answer that is the director... and I think we may have a substantial lack of directors in US VA work, from the results I'm seeing. Either that, or the English-speaking VAs are so incredibly bad that no amount of directing would save 'em. Hard to tell from the final product.

Now that's out of the way, time for the main course: Kuroshitsuji, and some side-by-side comparisons. )

This took all day on benedryl, so I think I'll turn the mic over to the rest of you, now.

ETA: forgot to mention this, but at least one member of the English Kuroshitsuji cast does deserve some mention: the VA for Meiran did a remarkable job of matching the Japanese VA's peculiarly hoarse-raspy-funny delivery. It's not a total match-up, but the VA gets points from me for not only mimicking the Japanese Meiran-style, but doing it with a low-class Brit accent as well. Well done, that.
kaigou: (1 olivia is not impressed)
Been watching Fate/Zero, which seemed (so far) intriguing, so I thought I'd watch some Fate/Stay_Night, just so I'm not completely lost.

TL;DR: just read the wiki entry and save yourself the pain.

Let's see. Where to begin, and yes, here there be spoilers. Technically. Me, I think the premise's treatment already stinks, so hard to spoil it any further.

Well, for starters, the hero -- Shirou -- is a textbook case of TSTL. I mean, we could teach entire semesters just on his stupidity alone, he's that textbook. Granted, it's not entirely valorized in that other characters voice their annoyance with his stupidity, but at the same time, the instant he tries to lift even his teeniest finger he's praised as being very good, a natural at something. Someone mentions spell-casting spots, and he identifies one immediately. He gets attacked by a champion, picks up a baton, and changes it into a weapon, first try ever. He tries sparring and he's a natural with powerful moves and assurance! It just makes his stupidity the rest of the time even more painful. I mean, if he at least struggled with what he can't do, then I'd be less likely to see his TSTL traits as, well, so damn stupid. Instead, he just comes across as naively unthinking, and I don't mean that in a cute way.

In the wiki entry, one of the antagonists -- Shinji -- is characterized as narcissistic (he is, definitely) and chauvinistic. Not sure about the latter, but I can say that Shirou is without a doubt one of the most sexist characters I've come across in awhile. He's facing the spiritual embodiment of King Freaking Arthur (aka Saber), and because (in what could've been a cool twist) King Arthur is more like a Joan of Arc character -- being female -- Shirou is adamant that she, uhm, shouldn't fight. Because girls are to be protected. And it's not like she's even facing death; as a non-corporeal entity, if she loses a battle, she just fades back into oblivion until the next time someone summons her. I'm not seeing a major issue here, in terms of the final cost of omg-death kind of cost.

But no, Shirou's got to jump in the way of a major baddie and get himself almost killed, because he's that adamant that girls should be protected. If Saber just hauled off and smacked him, I'd be all for it, but this story is more of the transitional same: the writers gave the girls guns, but took away all the ammo. Makes for a female character, like Saber, being a lot of talk but nothing to back it up. She tells him she's trained for combat, but caves almost immediately and agrees to let him (the untrained TSTL twit) fight; she hares into battle but the script makes sure to trip her up. Either it's her opponent calling a halt (like you didn't see that coming), or it's the script's setup that Shirou doesn't have enough "energy" to feed her spiritual needs. She's rendered helpless because the hero is a loser, but the result's the same: presented as a great hero, King/Queen Arthur is a lot of flash and not much kicking ass.

My reader-writer-analysis brain finds it all so frustrating... )
kaigou: It's dangerous to go alone, Alphonse says, and holds out a cat: here, take this. (2 dangerous to go alone)
Well, No.6 is over. Le sigh. Great series, if you ignore the fact that a) it was too damn short, b) the final episode was one big honking deus (dea?) ex hornet, and c) it was too damn short. Now if someone would just translate the novels, there might be hope. (Note: not the same people who translated the 4th volume of Twelve Kingdoms, please. Or at least not the same copyeditor. Or maybe just make sure to hire a copyeditor, and not your neighbor's 10-yr-old.)

Break Blade finished a while back, but so incompletely and abruptly that I had to go digging to make sure it was really over. It might not be -- Production IG was going long and inconsistent gaps between hour-long OVA-like releases -- but it seems to be. Over, that is. And it ended on kind of a "well, uhm, let's end it here," note. Actually pretty disappointing, especially the way it sank in the last episode or two into the law of adaptations. I was hoping it'd hold out, but apparently not.

And Natsume Yuujinchou is now complete, but in three months the fourth season will begin. Woo, and may I add, hoo, although I'd have to say that if you'd asked me at the end of the first season, I never would've expected this series to continue. It's so episodic, with so much weight on character development over any truly over-arching arc, with limited bad guys (and oftentimes, no true 'bad' guys so much as opposing protagonists). It's so well-written and animated and voiced, that I would've expected it to remain a hidden, unappreciated jewel. Still. Waiting three months is gonna be hell.

Rambling commentary on finished series, dropped series, new series, and upcoming series. Expect several comfy chairs. )

Cripes. Three months until more Natsume.
kaigou: (5 flowers on brick)
There were several issues with Paper Butterfly (Diane Wei Liang), one being that the voice was rather dry and distant, the other being that it couldn't seem to keep my attention. The reason for losing my attention, though, wasn't from the book but from my reaction, and I'm still trying to put my finger on it.

A few weeks ago or so, I recall linking to this essay [thx to [personal profile] soukup!] that discussed -- well, lots of things but this was one of the sub-themes -- the issue of works written for the insider group and works written for an outsider group. A significant point was that of the texts mentioned, some of them (which had been highly lauded in the West) were stuffed to the brim with a certain kind of sell-out, catering, mindset. The intended audience was clearly Western, and that audience's viewpoint was valorized over the insider/non-Western view.

That's fuzzy, but it's a jumping-off point into a critique of Paper Butterfly, and why I stopped reading. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 nobuta smiles)
Of the last round of library books, I finished Faust's (more like tore through it) and then decided the only other one that held my attention was Nina Revoyr's Southland. Short review behind cut. )

Returned those books, and now I have the next set to read:

The hell screens — Lu, Alvin
Mama rocks the empty cradle — DeLoach, Nora.
The mistress of spices — Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee
The Midnight Palace — Ruiz Zafón, Carlos
The Dervish House — McDonald, Ian

...a few early impressions of the first two in the list. )

More on the rest later, when I'm done with these. (I suspect Lu's is going to be a slower read, because the book's voice doesn't really give you the room for speed. DeLoach does, though.)
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (5 bookstack)
Paper Butterfly — Diane Wei Liang
...trying to, at least. It's slow going, and the protagonist (a private eye in Beijing) is a little too reticent or introverted to get a handle on her. Cautious, as well, and the third-person POV is a little distant, and all of it's creating distance where I think I'm supposed to find sympathy. But I want to like the story, so I may keep trying.

Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad — Minister Faust
This is a book I can't review with any kind of distance. It was just that good, and caught me that much. Tore through it in an evening, because I simply could not stop. Now I want his next books. Like, fifteen minutes ago.

Chinatown Beat — Henry Chang
Not sure if I'll keep with this one. Decent writing, solid, but there are starting to be hints of misogyny. Not sexism (where women are less capable/able than men) but outright don't-like-women-that-much. Haven't read enough to pinpoint whether this is the narration/author or the character in particular. Problem is, not sure I want to keep reading to find out.

Southland — Nina Revoyr
I'm four or five chapters into this one, and I'm starting to get that feeling, the same one I got at this stage of The Hero's Walk, that something marvelous is unfolding in front of me. Stay tuned, will report in later.
kaigou: Toph says, this! (2 this!)
Lots of classes and web-posts and agent interviews and whatnot talk about how a story needs a hook, something snappy at the start to suck readers in. Try this one on, and then give me a cookie for prying myself away from the fifth chapter just to take the few minutes to type this up for you. Because I'm sucked and not getting unsucked any time soon, I'd say.
Cue theme music: "Fe Fe Naa Efe" by Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Badass Nigerian horns and Afrobeat drumming funk--James Brown's Jurassic DNA blasted balls first into the future. That's my song, damnit, and I pity the fool who forgets it.

It's Wednesday night again, which it always is after Wednesday afternoon, which it always is after Wednesday morning.

Wenzzday.

This is what my life has become as I stand in front of this stinking sink in the colostomy zone of the Brightest-Lil-Preppy-Joint-in-TownTM, called ShabbadabbaDoo's. Can you believe that name? Temple of freaking jerks. Here's a haiku for you:

ShabbadabbaDoo's
Frolicking fashion fascists
Wealthy swines dining


Yes, while mentally composing happy poems just to keep my soul from falling into the deep fryer, I get to both scrape AND wash the crud off the shingles they slide in front of a bunch of rich kids' maws night after succulent night in this Tex-Mex-Cali-cocktail cesspit, before, during, and after they drain pitcher after pitcher of Can't Believe it's Not Urine!

Actually, the story starts with an epilogue (yes, an epilogue) and then a character chart just like old-time gaming -- back when it was a bunch of folks making notes and little one-inch metallic figurines moved around on graph paper -- and then you get the first chapter. And then you get to the second chapter and meet the other Coyote King, and eventually they're walking home from work, and you get Hamza (excerpted above) and his take on Yehat's July idiosyncrasy: a cape.
I hate to admit it, but the cape is smoking: black on the outside, emerald, I think, on the inside (it's hard to tell under the fluorescents), with two Kirbyesque star medallions at the shoulders, gold braid ringing the collar, and fancy gold vine trim down the edges.

I'm jealous.

"The cape is dope, Ye."

"You like? You're not just saying that?"

"Naw, it's dope."

"Well"--he shrugs--"it was either this or a red leather diaper and a hat with moose antlers."

"Well, far be it from you to fly in the face of convention. Maybe next month."

Already I've figured out that I can't figure the two main (switching POV) protagonists out, because they won't be. They're throwing curveballs, sliders, and a few oddballs, but me, I'm along for the ride. I'd explain more, but I've gotta get back to the story, find out what happens next. Don't want to get left behind, and this is one story with voices that sound like they'll leave me behind if I can't keep up. Get your own copy!
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 Edward armor)
Current status:

Done Wrong — Eleanor Taylor Bland (mystery)
Dropped. Not really where my brain is at, right now, and this title is fourth in the series, I think it is. Going to try and find the one with the summary/case that was more interesting.

The Steel Remains — Richard K Morgan (fantasy)
Dropped... for now. Just not doing it for me. Story is okay, characters have potential, but it wasn't holding me.

Havemercy — Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett (fantasy/steampunk)
Dropped. See this exchange for an uncharacteristically (for me) succinct review.

The Hero's Walk — Anita Rau Badami (literary)

GET THIS BOOK. READ IT. It's not slow, it's dense, but it's rich. Emotional without being melodramatic; introspective without drowning in navel-gazing. It's a story of mourning, grief, loss, and how even inside a family, we can still be strangers.

It's about an upper-caste (but hardly wealthy) man who disowned his daughter for marrying a Westerner and ditching her arranged marriage, who after nine years of distance learns his daughter and her husband have died in a car accident -- and his is the only family able and willing to take in the orphaned grand-child. It's about an eight-year-old girl who's lost her parents, her voice, her culture, and her moorings, in that order. It's about a grown woman who's lost repeated chances at marriage thanks to her mother's selfishness, but might not have lost her chance at love. It's about a life-long obedient daughter-then-wife who realizes she's had it up to here and it's time to start declaring, and chasing, what she wants. It's about a younger son, shadowed by his older sister and desperately wanting to make the world better but getting nowhere. It's a lot of people getting nowhere, but that's to be expected when you're not sure how to get there, or if you even have the courage to try. It's a gorgeous, thoughtful story, sometimes-sad, sometimes-wryly-humorous, always human and respectful and ambiguous towards its characters.

This is not a story to swallow whole, or even to chew up in large bites. It's a story to be savored, and a story that lets you in to be the observer in complex and burdened personal histories that make up this strange new land for an orphaned child. It is also not, I should note, saccharine, in any way at all: the grand-daughter is not some bubbly Westernized child who shows up and delights, charms, and changes everyone. The grand-daughter is suffering and struggling with her own grief for her lost parents that's just as deep as her grandparents' grief for their lost daughter.

Honestly, I can't speak highly enough of this story. The plot is simple, though the story gets right into it very quickly -- and then backs up, circles around, to give you a bigger picture to understand each character's reactions and fears -- so it's both slow and quick-moving at the same time. It's written without overly-purple pretensions at poetry; it's just deft and assured writing that carries you along, giving enough description to create the place and time. The craftsmanship in the writing is just that good, that you never stop to say, oh, how the author must have labored over this description! -- which is what I mean by 'pretentious'. The author trusts the power of her story and has the confidence in her own voice to give you the story as it needs to be given, at the pace that works, with the details that belong.

Really. Find a copy, read, and enjoy.

The Devil in the Dust — Chaz Brenchley
Currently reading. Figure it'll kill some time while I wait for the interlibrary loan books to come in, even if I'm less than crazy about the alternate-history/reality version of the Crusades. (The mention of 'Catari' in the first few pages as one of the heretical groups was slight giveaway; the next four pages' details confirmed it.)

Also: commentary on Water Touching Stone, Companion to Wolves, and The Hero's Walk. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (5 bookstack)
Currently reading -- and yes, I do mean all of them --

Done Wrong — Eleanor Taylor Bland (mystery)
The Steel Remains — Richard K Morgan (fantasy)
Water Touching Stone — Eliot Pattison (mystery)
Havemercy — Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett (fantasy/steampunk)
The Hero's Walk — Anita Rau Badami (literary)
A Companion to Wolves — Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear (fantasy)

A chapter of one, a chapter of the next.

I'm thinking maybe I should pick one and stick to it. Most likely bet would be The Hero's Walk — a gracious and incredible and gorgeous work of poetic verse with a deep heart — but it also deserves to be savored, not chewed through or swallowed whole. So when I start getting anxious about sitting in one place for too long, I move to sit somewhere else in the room, and look, there's a different book right there.

Bad habit, I know, but a very old one.
kaigou: first I'm going to have a little drinkie, then I'm going to execute the whole bally lot of you. (2 execute all of you)
Yesterday I read Warchild, then Burndive, and quit a chapter or so into Cagebird, and then read reviews to see if I was the only one feeling the lack. (Far as I can tell, I am.)

When I was a teenager, I read Majipoor Chronicles, which was a collection of short stories within a framework (honestly, the only kind of short stories I'll tolerate; entirely unconnected short stories just aren't my thing). Several of the stories in that book dealt with, or implied, things like child prostitution, rape, and/or abuse -- as have other SFF books I've read over the years. While I've rarely read full-on-id all-the-details page-time in mainstream SFF, I've also rarely read truly oblique glossing. A good writer can let you know that two characters had sex (consensual or not) without wallowing in it.

I've learned to ping on when a work is ex-fanfic (or the author is). The id gets page-time (often deep emotional)... and then it's wiped with no warning. It's like the story's voice/flow was suddenly truncated by an embarrassed author, censoring lest the story show its idtastic origins or influences. The narration loses its honesty; it becomes evasive. The author doesn't just require me to read between the lines; I'm being forced to insert lines that aren't there, before I can even read between those deleted lines.

Unreliable narrators, storytelling pattern-breaks, Barbara Cartland, word of god is not my canon, aliens vs Asia, and geisha as the final straw. )

Now I'm reading Eleanor Taylor Bland's Done Wrong. It's not the first book in the series, but I already have five books reserved on interlibrary loan and I really wanted to read Bland's series, so I picked the earliest in the series that was actually on the shelf. It's another genre-jump, as Bland writes present-day Chicago homicide investigator mysteries, but already I'm sucked in. Will report back, next time I come up for air.

(After this, it's onto Anita Rau Badami's The Hero's Walk.)
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 olivia is not impressed)
The Skull Mantra is intense, austere, and awfully bleak for the majority of it (and I have some issues with what might lean towards a kind of romanticizing going on there in the middle, but I'm refraining because I'm not sure how to discuss w/out spoilers). The Feng Shui Detective is like the polar opposite: oddball, multicultural to the most clashing but humanistic extreme (including "teenager"), and very little introspection. Unless, of course, bemoaning the sad fate of this world in the hands of the younger generation counts as introspection. A fun ride.

The Whale Caller is a love story, but with a delicate phrasing that reads almost like a fairy tale or old folklore, that kind of "only simple on the surface" -- but unfortunately, it's just not where my taste is at right now. I think I need to track down Mda's work that I'd originally wanted (which my local library didn't have, so I grabbed this one as replacement).

And lastly, I have tried four times now, over the course of today, to get into White Teeth and it's just not happening. Not meant as insult to the author's skill, which is clearly considerable; it has more to do with the fact that maybe I'm just not in the right place for literary fiction. I enjoy good writing, but the good writing needs to have a problem to solve (and the wish to solve it) underneath. I pushed through to the second chapter, decided that was enough of an attempt, and tomorrow I'll move onto the next set from the list.

ETA: now reading Warchild. Nearly quit on the first page -- I did my time with Bright Lights Big City for the entire freaking novel of that, thanks -- so skimmed & skipped until it shifted to first-person-past. Second-person is just too gimmicky. Reaction at halfway point: it's okay. Not blown away. Still reading though, which is something, I suppose.
kaigou: (2 start drinking heavily)
1. We went back again last night, and I finally had bibimbap. Omg, so gooooooood. I think this is what they meant in high school when they said IT ONLY TAKES ONCE AND YOU'RE AN ADDICT.

2. Book-searches last night, taking the recs from all ya'll, and [personal profile] firecat's suggestion to read up on [community profile] 50books_poc and then went browsing through Amazon on top of that. Apparently, if you're going to set a book in Asia, especially the Far East, then you have to have "dragon" in the title. It's like naming a Chinese restaurant: two from column A, one from column B: lion, golden, palace, peking, etc. Except in this case it's dragon + generic verb or noun that'd be used in any other thriller/suspense. Add a "The" and you're set. Strangely, this also appears to apply to espionage/thriller works set in Indonesia, Indochina, Malaysia, and Singapore, but not works set in Japan (which get "sword" and "chrysanthemum" and "samurai" instead). I haven't found any Western-written espionage/thriller works set in Korea, though, so no idea whether the pattern, or what pattern, holds there. Still, it got pretty annoying after the twelfth title. Sheesh.

3. Now reading The Skull Mantra, which is well-written but so freaking bleak. (Not to mention awfully, ahem, pointed -- not critical per se, just plain pointed -- about China's role in Tibet and PRC politics in general, enough that I started to feel a little uncomfortable. Yes, I know it's a totalitarian system, but it just feels... something feels off to know such criticism is coming from an outsider, if that makes sense.) I figured get the depressing one out of the way, and then start on the rest. Maybe I should go ahead & reserve the next batch now, so it'll be ready by the time I finish this batch in the next day or so.

4. Local friend, invaluable resource for finding good spoons. Yay.
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
This is entirely starscream/recession's fault. Probably in retaliation for the APPLESAUCE.



Is that guy in the middle Matt Damon? Same smirk.

Long tunnel is long. Be foreboded! And just in case, the music reminds you.

Don't these people realize burning brands right near a horse's ear would piss off the horse?

Oh, look, it's what Hadrian's Wall wanted to be when it grew up.

Where is this filmed. No, seriously, where is this filmed.

So far, love the dialogue! Very snappy. That is, none at all. Hard to improve on silence.

Obligatory faint echoes of wolf howl. It's like adding salt to bread. I wonder if Hollywood knows how to makea movie without obligatory faint echoes of wolf howl when it's a forest.

...and more. )
kaigou: (1 Toph)
Man, the gender!fail on some of the stuff I've been watching recently... it's like, it's great as long as I just forget that any character has any gender at all, and then I can enjoy the pretty pictures and not have to think about the constant message that girls are weak, that power makes girls crazy, that the only agency it's okay for a girl to have is in the act of choosing her lover (of the opposite sex, natch).

Seeking a break, I went to see what anime's now available since the last time I checked, and wah, two more episodes of Break Blade (sometimes translated as Broken Blade). Yay!

Yes. It's mecha. (What did you expect? This is me, after all.) It's SF with a slight edge of the extra F, at least in terminology (people can operate quartz as a power-source or power-channel; the very rare souls unable to manipulate quartz are known as non-sorcerers). It's political, in that several countries are embroiled in a current war that seems to be heightened due to little-mentioned history (low-key on the exposition, which is actually rather nice). And, being mecha, it's unsurprisingly running about 7:1 on the fanservice, with one of the main female characters getting plenty of screen time in a gauzy cropped (and open) jacket with artfully placed long hair just so.

[Have you ever known anyone with long hair who drapes the hair just so, and for whom the hair will then actually stay like that, instead of falling to either side? Mangakas: it's called gravity and it don't work the way you're drawing. Just sayin'.]

Fine, it's the usual shonen-mecha, but for once the boys don't take up quite so much space. )

When I look at all that... I'm willing to forgive the superfluous fan service. Still wish the mangaka would up the male-character fan service, but 1 is better than 0, I suppose. As long as I keep getting so many moments of crowning kick-ass from female characters, I can live with 7:1 of panty-shots and cleavage vs bare chest.
kaigou: (1 Toph)
Plenty of spoilers in this one, so if you haven't seen Love Fight and plan to, or just prefer to avoid spoilers just in case, then skip. Otherwise, read on.

About Aki, and a handful of pictures. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Continuing with shots from Love Fight, but still minimal spoilers. (Basically, you won't see anything here that isn't covered or implied in the synopsis.)

Lotsa more images behind the cut. )

...and that's where I'll leave it. The rest is for you to watch, unless you already have (or will and don't care about spoilers), in which case read the next post, at http://kaigou.dreamwidth.org/417316.html. If you'd rather avoid spoilers, stop here.

whois

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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