i just love her development over the course of the series

The 9 Elements of a VILLAIN

If we’re being honest, one character is always the most fun to develop when you’re writing a new story. It must be the main character, right? The person you’re going to follow throughout the story, the one that means the most to you?

Nope. It’s the villain.

Villains are just FUN. You get to creep into the darkest corners of your writer brain and conjure up the most unashamedly detestable human being you possibly can. 

This is how we look when we begin creating a villain. 

But sometimes, it can be difficult to to make sure they’re fully believable humans. So here are the nine elements that have helped me out when developing these terrible people … 

1) Hero’s Shadow:

The relationship between the main character and the villain is the most important one in the story, because it is the source of all conflict. Without the villain causing trouble, the main character wouldn’t have the chance to be a hero. Without that trouble, the main character’s weaknesses wouldn’t be pressured, which means they couldn’t change. The villain is a condensed and magnified embodiment of the inner weakness that the hero is battling. They’re the SHADOW of hero, the example of what will happen if the main character goes down the wrong path. Both are facing the same problem in different ways. For example Darth Vader and Luke.  

2) Conflict Strategy:  

In the pursuit of stopping the hero from achieving their goal, the villain is going to attack them on 1) a personal relationship level 2) a societal level and 3) an inner level. They’re going to attack the people around them, they’re going to cause consequences for the community surrounding them, they’re going to get into their head and plague them. Because the hallmark of a villain is that they’re the person who’s perfectly suited to attack the hero’s greatest weakness. Villains should have a distinct set of tactics to destroy the main character, on at least two levels. 

3) Flaws: 

This one’s expected. Of course a villain has flaws, it’s in the job description. But flaws do not equate to ‘He kicks turtles every morning before breakfast’ or 'His favorite hobby is butterfly stomping’ or, more within the realm of possibility, “He wants to kill the hero”. These are evil actions, NOT flaws. A lot of villains, particularly in movies, will be given horrible things to do without any explanation for WHY they do them. And it’s pretty easy to give them reasons: just give them human weaknesses! That’s it. Whether the actions they take are as small as theft or as big as blowing up a planet, these actions stem from recognizable HUMAN FLAWS. So like a main character, a villain needs mental and moral flaws.  

Yup, even Maleficent has human flaws. And she’s a dragon part of the time. 

4) Counter Goal: 

All characters exist because they want something. And what do villains want? To get whatever the main character wants (for very different reasons), to stop them from reaching their goal, or another goal that directly conflicts with the hero’s goal. As long as that big tangible thing they want locks hero and villain in battle, you’re good. Think 101 Dalmatians: Cruella and the good guys are fighting over the puppies.  

5) Surface Motivations:  

Why is it that villains always have a team of followers? Because villains never outright state their true motivations. They always have a cover story, and that cover will paint them as righteous. Villains want to look like the good guy. So their real Hidden Motivations are defended by twisting perceptions of Good & Evil, by portraying evil acts in a positive light, by indulging their followers selfish emotions and desire to feel like “one of the good guys. " 

Take Gothel for example: she’s a loving mother who wants to protect her daughter from all the world’s darkness. (Sure you do, Flynn stabber.)  

Surface Motivations never stand up to logical scrutiny and a functioning moral compass, but giving your bad guy a compelling argument against your good side always makes things more interesting, which brings us to …

6) Counter Statement:

The main character needs to learn some kind of truth that will enable them to fix their lives, overcome their weaknesses, banish their ghosts. It’s whatever statement about "how to live a better life” you want to prove with your story. Your villain has other ideas. They don’t agree with that statement, have other beliefs about living life well, and represent an argument against it. For example, Voldemort: “there is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it." 

Although your argument isn’t very convincing, Voldy. I mean, you’re living in the back of some guy’s head.

7) Characterization: 

This is everything on the surface of the villain. The way they speak, the way they look, the way they act, their role in life, their status and power. This is the facade they project for the world to see, a calculated effort to control how they are perceived. This is closely connected to that surface want, because that surface is what they wish people to believe about them. Over time, the reader and the other characters are going to be able to see through this mask and see what it conceals. My favorite Disney example of this is Mother Gothel: on the surface she’s this bubbly mom who loves Rapunzel and wants to protect her from the harshness of the world. 

You can think of this as the text … 

8) Hidden Motivation: 

And this is the subtext. That surface motivation they want the world to believe is a mask concealing their true motivation, which is always rooted in their flaws,  selfishness, and skewed beliefs. 

9) Ghosts, Justification, Self-Obsession: 

These three are closely related, so they get counted together.
Like main characters, villains have GHOSTS: events from their backstories that knocked their worldviews out of alignment, that marked the beginning of their weaknesses, that haunt them still. Because these happened, the originally benign person allowed themselves to turn into someone who could occupy the job of "villain” in a story. Usually, these events are genuine misfortunes and are worthy of sympathy, just like the ghosts of a main character. Think of Voldemort growing up in an orphanage talking to snakes.

BUT! When it comes to ghosts, the major difference between a hero and a villain is HOW THEY DEAL with these unpleasant past events. Both have suffered, but react to suffering in very different ways. A villain will be consumed by these events, obsessed with the real (or imagined) persecution or disadvantage they’ve endured, convinced that all personal responsibility is nullified by their status of injured party. Past tragedies become a talisman that grants immunity from decency. 

This scene from A Series of Unfortunate Events sums it up.  An adult makes an excuse for a terrible person by saying he had a terrible childhood. And Klaus replies: 

Yes, maybe they’ve both lived through tragedy. But THE KIDS aren’t hurting others because of it. 

Because villains, who are constantly victimizing heroes, are completely convinced that THEY are the true victims here. No matter what they do, no matter what they are, they blame everything on that ghost, whether it was another person, society, or circumstances. And later they blame the hero, who they see as the REAL villain. For example, Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame:  

“It’s not my fault, I’m not to blame”

So! WHY are villains like this?

SELF-OBSESSION! Yup, villains spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about themselves and their plights and their plots. Think of any villain and it’s not hard to see the inherent narcissism behind everything they do. Like willingness to take action is the nonnegotiable trait of a main character, self-obsession is the trait that all villains seem to share. 

So! Developing villains in this way has worked out for me so far. If it looks like it might be helpful for you, give it a try.

And in the spirit of creating someone to torment our main characters and ruin their lives, here’s one more maniacal laugh for the road:

Are you interested in watching Adventure Time, but intimidated by the thought of watching 252 episodes? Have you watched the series before, but want to watch again without any filler episodes (unless it’s Bubbline, of course)? This is for you!

After seeing a request in the ATimers tag, I have compiled a list of all the Adventure Time episodes that contain major plot, important backstory, major characterization, and/or Bubbline moments. I have also included optional episodes that I think will increase your understanding/enjoyment of the show (I put the reason next to it; if it says something about being an arc, backstory, characterization, etc., be warned that not watching may make the major plot points of the show a bit more confusing for you). 

I condensed the show down to 128 of the 10-minute episodes (69 episodes if you don’t watch any of the optional episodes). Optional episodes are in italics. Episodes with Bubbline moments, characterization of Marcy/Princess Bubblegum (PB), or major backstory/plot related to Marcy/PB are in bold. Anything with a an asterisk (*) can be watched at any time (order doesn’t matter, though you may still want to watch it in the same season). 

I hope this helps someone out since I spent three hours putting it together! Without further ado… 

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Yuri on Ice interview translation - PASH! 2017/03 (p10-11)

The second part of the episode commentary by Mitsurou Kubo! I have now fixed it with all the italic & bold parts as in the magazine (in the magazine they are actually bold & bolder). If you have any questions please send me a private message and I’ll reply when I have some time.

You can find the first commentary about episodes 1-6 here.

Just a note: when she quotes lines from the episodes I’m not using any of the “official” English translations, I’m translating them as I would translate them myself, so they might not be like you are used to hear them, but I think you will understand which lines they are anyway.

The translation is under the cut because it’s long.

***If you wish to share this translation please do it by reblogging or posting a link to it***

***Re-translating into other languages is ok but please mention that this post is the source***

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Akko x Diana is more than headcanon

To everyone supporting the pairing Dianakko, Diakko, Akkordian or just simply Akko x Diana, I have a message to you all.

I can’t see their bond being something other than love.

I can recall Dianakko fans both during the show airing and now after the finale say that the pairing is canon but in a ‘joking’ tone, as if they don’t truly think that. That Akko x Diana is just a headcanon.

That’s not how I feel. I’ve said it before:

So I must say, as a lesbian, the level of affection displayed by Diana and Akko is to me beyond than ‘just being friends’.

If anyone would carelessly throw themselves into danger to save me like Diana and Akko do for eachother;

if anyone would scream with a desperate worry for me like Diana and Akko do for eachother;

if anyone would keep looking at me with a look full of care and concern like how Akko and Diana look at eachother;

if anyone would tell me to keep trying and chase my dreams, while grabbing my hands and being moved to tears, like how Akko did to Diana;

if anyone would tell me “You continue to astonish me in unexpected ways” while them thinking about every time I’ve amazed and impressed them like Diana did to Akko;

if anyone invited me on a broom like this

or if anyone looked at me like this before replying to my invititation;

if anyone would do such things like these, I would consider them loving me.

Of course, that’s was even before moments like these:

There’s a distinction I want to make. To me, a headcanon is a belief that you extrapolate from something within fiction. That you add something more and not taking it at face value. Like Croix only eating cup ramen is a headcanon. This is a belief extrapolated from the depiction of Croix eating cup noodles.

Headcanon pairings are then a belief that there is love between two characters extrapolated from their interactions. My personal examples would be Mabifica from Gravity Falls or Amedot when I watched Steven Universe. I wanted to see something more in between the lines of these characters’ interactions.

That’s not how I see Akko and Diana. When I see all their interactions in the show taken at face value, I still consider it love. Like all those interactions in my quote above, I define those actions as someone loving another. I’m not extrapolating and adding something to make it true in my head. The displays of affection shown between Diana and Akko are within my definition of love.

And I want to make it abundantly clear that Dianakko is not a depiction of romantic love. They are not crushing on eachother. They don’t desire to kiss the other or otherwise be closely, physically intimate. Their intimacy stretches to handholding to lovingly reassure or support the other. If they have a crush on eachother, then it is just starting to develope (now that is a headcanon).

But neither is it a depiction of platonic love. I would rather say it is budding love. An example of that is Korrasami in The Legend of Korra. Korra and Asami slowly grew closer to each other during the series. They came to care deeply for the other person, while not really knowing ‘why’ other than that they ‘liked’ the other person. They eventually became the most important person to the other. Akko and Diana also had this kind of growth between them (though their depiction was more intense because Trigger takes things to 11).

I think some have a hard time to see these interactions Akko and Diana as love, just because this budding love is far more uncommon (especially between two girls) than romantic love. Two people having intense crushes with romance early on and then with time mellowing out a bit and then come to deeply care and have full trust for the other, is possibly the most common depiction of love. This budding love I’ve been speaking about has a different curve to it. It slowly builds up the care and trust first, and then eventually may bloom into more romantic feelings.

This leads to the main difference between Korrasami and Dianakko in the depiction of budding love. The Legend of Korra ended with Korra and Asami aware of their feelings for the other and deciding to see if it would bloom into something further. However, in LWA, Trigger decided to leave it more up in the air if Diana and Akko would eventually do the same.

Speaking of Trigger:

“the lwa creators don’t approve of diakko” moodboard

and the latest addition.

What does Trigger actually think of Akko x Diana? I have no clue.

They have constantly teased it outside of the series, and they have surely amped up Akko and Diana’s interactions in it. It is impossible to not tell how important Diana have become to Akko, and vice versa, during the story. Trigger could have toned down Diana’s role after her arc was over, but they decided not to. Diana didn’t need to hold the Shiny rod with Akko in episode 24. She didn’t have to be the only one together with Akko in space. She didn’t need to shoot Shiny Arc together with Akko. Diana didn’t need to be written in this way for Akko to complete her story arc. Yet Trigger did include Diana in the climax of the series. They have kept showing how important it is for Akko and Diana being together and acting as one.

However, if Akko and Diana’s interactions were only intended to be Dianakko fan baiting for “fanservice”, then I’ll just say, whoops you went too far. It got too genuine.

To finish off:

I’m fine with Trigger not showing any romance between Akko and Diana. Little Witch Academia isn’t about romance at its core. Their first kiss, having kids together, potential marriage etc. Those are things that can be headcanons. Even Akko and Diana becoming romantic can be headcanon. What I’m trying to argue is that they have a budding love for each other, that might become romantic, and that love is what could be considered canon.

I’m not fine with my view of Dianakko as two budding, potential lovers being called headcanon and thus invalidate what I consider to be love, when there’s nothing contradicting this view in the show itself. I’m not wrong to hold that stance. If my view is only based on what is depicted in the show, I won’t call it a headcanon.

So will I adamantly claim that Dianakko is definitive canon? No. Unless it would be confirmed.

However, I’ll refuse to call it a headcanon until Trigger does something that solidly confirms that it is.

To me, Akko x Diana is more than headcanon. And I don’t think it is wrong if any of you think so as well.

The Performative Wokeness of Dear White People

“I plan to marry me a dark-skinned sister. Have the ashiest, blackest babies possible.” Says the character of Reggie (Marques Richardson) to his group of friends as they’re taking a stroll on the campus of Winchester University, the fictional university set in the world of Dear White People. Reggie’s proclamation came during a conversation about the character of Sam’s (Logan Browning) new white boyfriend.

The statement echoes a conversation that Sam has earlier in the series with her group of friends where she says that she prefers her men like she prefers her coffee “full-bodied with preferably Keyan origins.” Prompting Muffy (Caitlin Carver) to ask Sam, in Muffy’s words, “a dumb white girl question,” why it would be racist if Muffy was to only date white men, but not racist for Sam to only date black men. Sam goes onto explain that there are parts of her identity that white men will never understand in the ways a black man could. However, Sam does eventually start dating a white guy named Gabe (John Patrick Amedori), who only after being outed on his Instagram account, does she go public with.

Sam’s relationship with a white man becomes a point of contention for many of her closest friends, sparking an ongoing discussion in the series of whether a black person can really be pro-black, while also having a white significant other.

Reggie’s politics, however, are never challenged in the same ways that Sam’s are. His declaration of love for dark-skinned women, is dead upon arrival considering that the only other thing that he is known for outside of his pro-blackness, is his crush on Sam. A light-skinned biracial woman.

Based on the 2014 movie of the same name, Dear White People is a satire set at a PWI about college campus politics through the lens of black students. The show also explores the theme of identity. How often people assume identities or have identities projected onto them that contradicts who they really are. Identities such as being“woke.”

Used to describe a person who is socially and politically conscious, the word “woke” has surged in popularity within recent years due to social media and the rise of social movements such as Black Lives Matter. But what once was a way to describe someone’s political awareness, being, or staying woke, has seemingly dissolved more into a competition of who is more educated on race and other social issues.

Performative wokeness is examined within the world of Dear White People, with episode five featuring a scene where Reggie shows off an app he created called Woke or Not. The app shows photos of students at Winchester University and with a push of a button app users can determine whether a person is woke. Or not.

Even though Dear White People pokes fun at the absurdity and arrogance that comes from people who think they have the moral authority to decide who is or isn’t woke, the show itself falls into many of the same traps that it attempts to satirize.

In an episode centered around Gabe, he’s sitting at a table surrounded by Sam and other black women while they discuss white male privilege and how women of color are often passed over for opportunities that usually end up being given to mediocre white men. While he’s silently listening on, Gabe imagines himself banging his fist against the table as he looks directly into the camera and exclaims that sometimes people actually earn the things they get and that just because he’s a white man doesn’t make him an “asshole.”

“Asshole,” of course, seems just a tad bit reductive considering that being an “asshole” in this scenario is about benefiting from a society that prioritizes average white men over hard working black women. While the narrator says that only “a tiny part” of Gabe wishes he could make such a statement, it’s still concerning that Gabe, who is supposedly enlightened on issues of racism and sexism, is secretly harboring resentment against women of color for venting their frustrations about the institutions that systematically hold them back from opportunities

Is it possible that Gabe is being used as a conduit to discuss liberal racism? After all, episode five deals with how even “good” white people can be guilty of the same racism that they like to think they’re above. But this wasn’t Gabe’s first time making racially tone deaf statements without being taken to task. In the first episode, Gabe tells Sam that he wouldn’t let his friends make her feel like she didn’t belong in his “world,” after Gabe’s first uncomfortable meeting with Sam’s friends where he made a series of half-hearted attempts at trying to relate to the struggles of black students.  

 However, the most egregious occurrence of Dear White People’s lack of self awareness about their own performative wokeness comes with their handling of discussions surrounding colorism.  

The most improved upon element from Dear White People the movie is the colorism. In the movie, the character of Coco (Teyonah Parris,) a dark-skinned black woman, existed solely as a foil to Tessa Thompson’s version of Sam, a light-skinned biracial woman. With the movie being turned into a series, we see Coco, now played by Antoinette Robertson, develop into a fleshed out, fully realized character. But even with the series upgrading on the movie’s shortcomings, even going as far as calling Sam out on her light-skin privilege, the series began developing flaws of their own in regards to its colorism.

Joelle (Ashley Blaine Featherson) outside of being Sam’s best friend, also has feelings for Reggie, the guy who has feelings for Sam. This scenario is reminiscent to a flashback scene in episode four in which Coco longingly looks on as Troy, (Brandon Bell) a guy she has feelings for, flirt with Sam. Even though in that particular situation, the scene was a part of an episode that explores Coco’s relationship to colorism and how it affects her love life, the same motivation doesn’t appear to be behind the love triangle of Sam, Joelle, and Reggie.

The fact that the only light-skinned biracial woman of the show is constantly shown as the object of affection, while the two principle dark-skinned women of the show are depicted as coveting over color struck black men who constantly overlook them for said light-skinned biracial woman is disheartening to watch.

What makes this even more disheartening, is the fact that Joelle was walking right beside Reggie, struggling to contain her smile, as he declared that he was going to “marry him a dark-skinned sister,” only later to hook up with Sam. But Joelle, nor does anyone else, call him out about how his preference doesn’t align with who we actually see him dating.

Has Dear White People found itself stuck in the same tiny confines of identity that it sought out to expose through its characters? Can the contradictions that arise within the show merely be chalked up to poor writing? Or does it prove that inconsistency will inevitably happen when trying to voice the concerns of multiple people with varying opinions? A light skin woman can not speak to the struggles of colorism that a dark skin woman faces. A white man can’t relate to the problems a black man has. And one show cannot voice the opinions of all within a community.

The A-mew-sing Sequel To Adrien’s Game

This time, there are only four episodes covered but a lot of pictures so I’m adding a “read more”…eventually.  Also, Ladybug is on Netflix!  Go watch.  Here we go with the next four eps!

The last time we left our boy Adrien, he was developing his flirting technique with the lovely Marinette.  Or not.  It’s fun to speculate though, right?  Right?!

…ANYway, let’s see how he tops the almost kiss.

 In “Darkblade” (Le Chevalier Noir):

  • Marinette decides to run against Chloe for class something-or-other
  • To the utter delight of 95% of the class
  • That’s right man, just play it cool…
  • CASUAL FINGER GUNS and AMBIGUOUS SUPPORT!!!


In “The Mime” (Le Mime):

  • Hey, I didn’t know y’all were gonna be here too lol!
  • Smooth move, dude.  Just play it off like you had NO IDEA.

Our cat son heats things up below the cut!

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FightWrite: Your Killers Need to Kill

Killers need to kill. It’s surprising how many writers ignore this very specific and important piece of the ones they claim are killers, heartless or not. Sometimes, there’s a difference between the character we describe in the text and the actions the character takes. An author can tell me over and over that a character is a deadly and dangerous person who strikes ruthlessly without mercy, but if they don’t behave that way in the actual story then I’m not going to buy it.

Show versus tell: the difference between who the author says the character is and the actions the character takes in the story. Especially if the actions counteract the description. Now, you do have characters who lie, characters who misrepresent themselves, characters who say one thing and do another, but these are not the characters we’re talking about. This is about ensuring that you, the author, know the character you are writing. Unless you’re hiding their habits, let us glimpse the worst they’re capable of.

Monster. I could tell Jackson I was a monster, but he wouldn’t believe me. He saw a strawberry blonde, five feet eleven inches. A waitress, a Pilates nut, not a murderer. The nasty scar across my slim waist that I’d earned when I was ten? He thought I’d gotten it from a mugging at twenty one. Just as a natural layer of womanly fat hid away years of physical conditioning, I hid myself behind long hair, perky makeup, and a closet full of costumes bought from Macy’s and Forever 21. To him, I was Grace Johnson. The woman who cuddled beside him in bed, the woman who hogged the sheets, who screamed during horror movie jump scares, the woman who forgot to change the toilet paper, who baked cookies every Saturday morning, the woman who sometimes wore the same underwear three days in a row. The woman he loved.

No, I thought as I studied his eyes. Even with a useless arm hanging at my side, elbow crushed; my nose smashed, blood coursing down from the open gash in my forehead, a bullet wound in my shoulder, Sixteen’s gun in my hand, the dining room table shattered, and his grandmother’s China scattered across the floor. He’d never believe Grace Johnson was a lie. Not until I showed him, possibly not even then. Not for many more years to come. Probably, I caught my mental shrug, if he lives.

“Grace,” Jackson said. “Please…” The phone clattered the floor, his blue eyes wide, color draining from his lips. “This isn’t you.”

Gaze locking his, I levered Sixteen’s pistol at her knee.

“Don’t,” she whispered. “Morrison will take you in, he’ll fix this.” Her voice cracked, almost a sob. For us, a destroyed limb was a death sentence. Once, we swore we’d die together. Now, she can mean it. “Thirteen, if you run then there’s no going back.”

My upper lip curled. “You don’t know me.” I had no idea which one I was talking to. “You never did.”

My finger squeezed the trigger.

Sixteen grunted, blood slipping down her lip. In the doorway, Jackson screamed.

Do it and mean it. Let it be part of their character development, regardless of if which way you intend to go. In the above example, there’s a dichotomy present between the character of Thirteen and her cover Grace Johnson. There’s some question, even for the character, about which of them they are. It sets up a beginning of growth for the character as she runs, but it also fails to answer what will be the central question in the story: who am I? Which way will I jump?

If Thirteen doesn’t kill Sixteen, if the scene answers the question at the beginning then why would you need to read the story?

Below the cut, we’ll talk about some ways to show their struggles.

-Michi

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anonymous asked:

best top 10 camren fic on wattpad?... just hope i haven't read them yet lol

Chances

Camila and Lauren both share a room in college, but that’s about the only thing they have in common. At least that’s what they assume. From the start, they haven’t been able to get along with each other, seeing as they’re pretty incompatible and they pick fights over everything. But little do they know that they’re each other’s closest friends on Tumblr. They message each other constantly and along the way, feelings developed. What happens when they soon realize on a bold decision to meet on a blind date that the person who they want nothing to do with is the same person they think about right before they go to sleep?

Lifeboat Lighthouse

Camila’s entire life had been mapped out for her since she was child, she would go to college, study business and then eventually take over her father’s company. It was a life she never wanted but had no say in at all. But when the privileged daughter of a multimillionaire meets Lauren, a waitress on the luxury cruise ship where she’ll be spending the summer, her world and everything she knows is turned upside down. Camila is about to learn the hard way that just like the ocean that she sails on, life can be unpredictable. Like the turning tides, everything can change in an instant.

Trials and Tribulations 

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

Yellow Series : Yellow / Blue / Green 

Lauren Jauregui hated Camila Cabello, plain and simple. Of course, who could blame her? Camila had been the one who read Lauren’s private texts in front of the whole cafeteria, forcing her out of the closet. Lauren left for New York with her three best friends the day she graduated, thinking she had escaped Camila. The only problem is, Camila is back. And different. Completely different. Not the kind of ‘different’ you’d expect, either.

CC7 / LJ10

Lauren and Camila are two of the most promising soccer talents in the country. The two skilled girls are playing for the U-17 US team to win the world championship in Costa Rica. Their connection on the field is obvious but what happens off field when unexpected feelings come in to play?

Yours Truly

Lauren and Camila know a lot about each other, except for, well, their names. They’ve been writing anonymous, handwritten letters to each other for an English assignment for a couple months now and during that time, Lauren’s developed a genuine interest for a girl whose handwriting resembles a child’s first attempt at using a pencil. But she couldn’t be more charmed by it. What happens when Lauren unexpectedly finds out that the shy girl in her class who she doesn’t know a single thing about has the exact same handwriting as in the letters she anticipates reading every single day?

Walk A Mile 

Look with your eyes. Judge with your soul. • First impressions almost always suck. They can be spot on or way off, depending on how open and receptive you are to the other person. When you make preconceived notions about people, learning to tolerate them can be a little difficult. What if you have to live with them? That’s the situation Camila and Lauren have been put in. As typical and cliche as it may be, two totally different worlds collide. However this time, neither of them know whether they’ll mould or combust.

Reasons to go, reasons to stay

“And I wonder how many polar opposites we have brought together by falling in love. Inside you could have been the match that started the fire and burned down an entire house, and inside of me may live the remnants of a rocking chair inside the house that was burned to the ground. All these little things… these cells that make up our bodies, they could have once despised one another. But now every single part of me is in love with every single part of you. Just with one touch we would be resolving age old conflicts, or ushering the tip of the tallest mountain to kiss the sand that lies at the deepest part of the ocean.”

The Stripper

Have you ever imagined having two lives? Be two people at the same time? I bet you have. But between thinking about it and actually living it, there was a very big distance, believe it. Imagine… Camila, a sweet and delicate woman. Karla, sexy and imposing. Which one would you choose? What’s your type? Hard, I know. Let’s let Lauren answer this one…

Experiments 

A lot of girls experiment in college; it’s natural. It’s no different at the University of Miami, and when they’re looking to experiment, they know exactly who to go to. But what will happen when she finally falls for one of the girls she hooks up with?

Juvia isn’t a stalker

This is an old, very frustrating argument for Gruvia fans that shouldn’t even exist anymore. This post also shouldn’t exist because I am refuting something Juvia didn’t actually do, but this is what it’s come down to, sadly. The bottom line is that Juvia can not redeem herself for an issue that Mashima-sensei, the author, doesn’t believe exists (aka the non-existent stalking).

I. The amount of times Juvia watched Gray and why

Juvia did not stalk Gray EVER, but she did hang in the background. He and the guild had been the enemy. If she had walked right up to Gray and his friends, there would have been a backlash. It’s natural that she was afraid because of the damage she helped inflict. Despite this, she formed an affinity to Gray and Fairy Tail which she carefully approached to the best of her ability.

As it also shows in her memories, Juvia had a well-established history of being shunned because of her rain which further led to her tentative approach. Additionally, given the rejection and shunning of the past, Juvia lacked the developmental opportunity to refine social engagement. There was no malicious intent in her actions. She was afraid of being rejected again, so she kept her distance. 

And in fact, Juvia and Gajeel’s presence in Fairy Tail DID cause a backlash. Laxus and the Raijinshuu did get angry when they found out two former Phantom Lord members who had attacked the guild were allowed to join.

Yet, both Juvia and Gajeel made up for their former transgressions already against the specific members they had targeted by protecting them. Juvia protected Gray from Simon, and Gajeel protected Levy from Laxus. That was supposed to be their redemption…IT WAS THEIR REDEMPTION. As stated in the first paragraph, in bold this time: Juvia can not redeem herself for an issue that Mashima-sensei, the author, doesn’t believe exists (aka the non-existent stalking). 

Ultimately, Juvia did approach Gray when he was by himself to ask what he thought about her joining Fairy Tail.  This was their first direct meeting after they met in Chapter 56. Indirect encounters include chapter 67 where she observed from afar and delivered a bento and chapter 75 where we see her watching Gray and the rest of team Natsu at the resort.

It was at this point that Juvia approached Gray properly when she finally caught him alone, and they went to get drinks together. It’s supported by the manga that Juvia joining Fairy Tail would have caused a backlash, as even Gray was wary of her joining because of the things that they did, but he personally did not mind her joining.  Juvia then spent the rest of the arc openly helping Gray and his friends in the Tower Of Heaven. 

At the end of the arc, when Erza asked after Juvia, Gray was the one who knew her name, and where she had gone. Once team Natsu returned to FT, Juvia became a member, and Gray was quite happy about it. After chapter 75 Juvia has never in the manga followed Gray without his knowledge again until chapter 416, where she came to apologize for what happened to Gray’s father. 

When Gray seemed dismayed that Juvia had followed him to his parents grave, she immediately apologized

In fact, Juvia has apologized a few times within the series when she thought she upset Gray, including in 413 Days when she apologized for fearing that she ruined Gray’s day of mourning. But, in fact, Gray ended up also apologizing to her, because he thought it was his fault. He profusely apologized to her in chapter 416 as well while sobbing in her arms.

II. Gray’s feelings

If Gray was so uncomfortable and disliked Juvia’s presence, the above scene would not have happened. He appreciates and is grateful for Juvia always being next to him, which by default completely annihilates the claim that he is disgusted by her. This is obvious because we see the change in their relationship throughout the course of the manga, on panel. I repeat, Gray likes the fact that Juvia is always by his side and wants her there.

Furthermore, Juvia’s comedic advances and Gray’s reactions (which have actually become softer/changed) are exaggerated on purpose. Japanese love this type of humor use in their mangas. It’s meant to be lighthearted, not give off an awful message regarding a pairing. As with many shounen, panel space is often limited for character interactions, so “dramatic” presentations are necessary for conveying points. Mashima-sensei has only ever portrayed Juvia’s love as a positive thing for both characters. Her love for Gray has saved not just Gray’s life, but also the lives of others on multiple occasions. 

While it’s true Mashima-sensei loves using Juvia for comic relief from time to time, it’s important to not let the jokes outweigh the serious moments. In reality, we are not supposed to put so much stock into comedy. Adding to the fact that Juvia’s fight with Meredy proved her love for Gray to be genuine, there’s another factor some people seem to miss.  

In the final chapter of the Tartarus arc, Juvia was about to give up on her love for Gray because she believed she did not have the right to love him anymore. She truly thought it was for his sake, and was prepared to be hated by Gray forever. An obsessive person or crazy stalker would never do this. But Juvia did, expecting this would ruin any chance she had with Gray, and was positive she would be loathed. However she knew confessing what she did was the right thing to do and came clean. Here, Mashima-sensei is showing the difference between an unhealthy obsessed individual and someone who’s love is selfless as they put the other person’s feelings above their own. Above all, Gray didn’t let Juvia give up on him. He embraced her, thanked her, and cried in her arms.

Chapter 499 speaks for itself, so I really don’t see the need to touch upon it other than the fact that the Japanese raw text confirms that Gray does see Juvia as more than a friend, aka, a love interest. As if his actions in the chapter and prior to weren’t enough. Double suicide in Japan is one of the most romantic acts of love based on samurai history.

III. The definition of a stalker

  • a person who harasses or persecutes someone with unwanted and obsessive attention.
  • a person who harasses another person, as a former lover, a famous person, etc., in an aggressive, often threatening and illegal manner.

Neither of the above definitions describes Juvia’s character. Juvia would be the last person in the world to harass or threaten Gray in any way. The two times she watched him were harmless and there were justified reasons behind them. Back to the definition; Juvia doesn’t need to do any of these things, because she is Gray’s friend, and at this point, so much more than that. She’s a partner, they go on missions together, socialize together, and have even lived together. 

Real cases for stalking often involve the stalker having control over their victim, sometimes employing fear in a desperate attempt to maintain control, which Juvia has NEVER done. Admiring someone from afar is not the same as stalking them, especially when you don’t have the courage to talk to them. That’s why Juvia quickly threw the bento in Gray’s hands without trying to be noticed. She wanted to do nice things for him, but couldn’t do them directly out of nervousness. That’s not what stalkers do. And of course, as stated above, Juvia was about to give up on Gray. Stalkers aren’t willing to give up their ties with the person.

Juvia does not need to “stalk” Gray. She stands proudly by his side with no reluctance from him.

And even more importantly Gray has never expressed any adversity to Juvia’s presence. If anything, he has expressed the opposite. Gray of his own accord hangs around her. And Gray had mentioned once in 338 that he would say no to the things he dislikes from then on. Yet he had never said no before, nor after that statement. In fact, he contradicted his own statement later on by eating the bread Juvia offered him, and holding her hand in comfort during the Tartarus arc.  

We also have to keep in mind Gray falls under the tsundere character trope, which means his actions often contradict his words, and as stated above, his adverse reactions are often played off comedically, because he is not being honest about his actual feelings. Juvia’s earnest feelings towards Gray usually cause the cool and collected character to lose his composure. That’s the joke. 

IV. Conclusion

Juvia is often labeled a stalker while we look past Gajeel crucifying Levy or Jellal trying to murder Erza. All of these things occurred at the beginning, but have ceased to be current habits. That’s character development. It’s one thing to not like a ship because of the dynamic. But it’s a double standard to hail the development of one ship and ignore another. People simply cannot move passed Juvia’s first impression, and that is sad.

Every pairing has its shtick, such as Natsu touching Lucy inappropriately and breaking into her house, and Levy hitting Gajeel often. Humor is completely subjective, that’s true, however it’s obvious what Mashima-sensei intends to fall under the umbrella of humor, and that absolutely includes Juvia’s antics and Gray’s reactions to them. Saying they aren’t meant to be funny is just being purposely oblivious and contrary. You don’t have to think it’s funny to know it’s meant as a joke. Gruvia gets condemned by the fandom the most when it comes to their particular aspect of humor, and that is unfair. 

This is a fictional world, they are fictional characters, and they do not have to meet real life standards. Many of the characters within Fairy Tail have quirks or perform actions that are not acceptable in reality. Fairy Tail itself is a fantasy manga. The world and the characters are exaggerated for the purpose of drama and comedy. This fantasy world is also based on Japanese humor and storytelling conventions, and ignoring this fact can lead to misunderstanding characters. 

Juvia has not watched Gray from a distance without his knowledge since before she joined Fairy Tail. That was at least 8-9 years ago in both our timeline and the manga time line (counting the 7 year time skip). No one in the Fairy Tail universe, nor Mashima-sensei, seem to think Juvia’s actions from her introduction need to be addressed or redeemed, because it is a non-issue that only certain parts of the fandom can’t let go of. She will not vocally apologize for a problem that doesn’t exist. 

Gray, especially, has gone so far passed his initial relationship and dynamic with Juvia. It’s sad that so many fans are concerned on Gray’s behalf, but never truly take Gray’s actual feelings or words into consideration. He cares for Juvia, he almost definitely loves Juvia romantically, and he is grateful she is by his side. He’s willing to go above and beyond, including sacrificing his life for her (twice) just to ensure her safety. Those are not the feelings of someone who is a victim of stalking. 

Analysis: Romance in One Piece

Note: I’ll be posting condensed versions of this analysis in other sites

A) Relevance of plot and characterization AKA Unbiased Readers Vs. Delusional Shippers

“Who lives on ilusions dies from disappointment” – An old Puerto Rican saying

Most of us know One Piece is a very popular manga. Its high quality and popularity depends on several factors, among them we could name memorable and likeable characters along a deep, compelling, fun and action-packed story. The One Piece many know and love wouldn’t exist without the balance between these factors

When talking to at least 3 different One Piece fans, each of them non-shippers who analyzed the manga they all enjoy, I found interesting and pretty sound perspectives of the One Piece story and its nature. All of them value characters, story, development, consistency and logic; something I can totally relate to

But I also found a pattern; these 3 guys shared one single outlook on the very same subject: shipping. Regardless of their expectations, all of them expressed distate for shippers’ general mindset and “odd” viewpoint:

One of them called shippers out for ignoring characterization and very clear and direct statements made in the manga. His attention was centered on a Luffy pairing and how it contradicts his own character. Oda once explained that he writes Luffy as someone pretty straightfoward when it comes to expressing his thoughts and feelings, and this non-shipper said with brutal honesty that for the discussed ship to happen we would need to disregard and/or discard the very core of Luffy’s character. Meaning Oda would need to stop being consistent and faithful to his own story and characters

The next one explained how shippers tend to turn a characters’ relationship into a sappy teen love fantasy that doesn’t match One Piece at all. His analysis also exposed how integrating this kind of underdeveloped “love” into the story would severely damage One Piece originality, ruin the series and needless to say destroy the likable dynamics between several characters as well as their own development. This fantasy, this so-called “love”, is what the vast majority of shippers support and defend. The same kind of “love” most non-shippers, fans and critics dread

The third non-shipper gave me a more detailed explanation: this is even more rough than the other two as he describes that the common shipper mentality of “he/she likes her/him so they should be together” can “only be likened to that of elementary schoolers”. And how shippers take every little meaningless detail and blow it out of proportion with no regard for context, legitimate bonding or the canon story!

But we can’t put all the blame on shippers. Many manga authors seem to have no idea how to write a character-driven series or complex character relationships. In fact, mainstream shonen writers have their fair share of guilt into promoting this common shipping mindset by being notoriously bad at writing romance. Which results in underveloped premises that leave your average fan skeptical, and your average critic disappointed at a poor portrayal of emotional bonding and a severe lack of cohesive narrative in the “romantic love” department

This is the reason why many fans, critics and non-shippers hold the shippers’ perspective in a very low regard. Just like the third non-shipper states: “The blushing, longing stares, corny ass lines etc. That kind of poorly portrayed romance is the kind of thing dreaded by the average fan because it reduces the quality of One Piece to the level of such poorly written series”

So an author needs to build a relationship the same way one person would construct a building: stablishing a strong foundation on companionship, respect, trust, signifcant moments, and emotional bonding. All of this must come before reaching the status of “romantic interest". In relation to this subject, there’s a trope called “First Girl Wins”, a portion of its description truly fits this criteria:

“From a [extradiegetic] point of view, the Law of Conservation of Detail suggests introducing the Love Interest early. An early introduction allows you to get the audience interested in her and rooting for her, gives you space for Character Development, and gives her relationship with her (eventual) partner the most time to develop organically. And with all that said, it’s such a common device that in all likelihood, it sometimes gets played for its own sake.” – tvtropes.org, 2017

Notice this isn’t a cliché, this is a literary device to enhance the story. Pairing up two characters without meaningful moments, emotional build-up and development, is the equivalent to lazy writing. Having such elements firmly stablished for two characters and then deciding to go for a different “route”, pretty much wasting a well-developed relationship for the sake of a “weaker” premise, would be the equivalent to bad writing

Is Oda, the man who’s willing to die for One Piece, a lazy writer? Of course not! Is he, a man who planned the ending years ago and is still sticking to said ending, a bad writer? Being number 1 in Japan and having such a loyal fanbase all around the world prove he’s not!

Do shippers want Oda to be a lazy/bad writer? Facts already answered this question as many (although not all) fans value their own fantasies and delusions over the manga canon and/or the author’s take on the characters and their relationships

Many (but not all) shippers now have a war. Not only against rival ships but mainly against One Piece story and consistent development. Yet as the old saying goes, those who live on delusions will have to eventually face reality and disappointment, because Oda is not a lazy/bad writer like some people here would want him to be

B) Romance Dawn AKA The not so secret origins of One Piece

“If we don’t know where we are going, it can be helpful to know where we come from” – Jostein Gaarder

When debating posible outcomes, fans rarely look back at the time when One Piecewas a still a work in progress. Taking a look at Romance Dawn V.1 and Romance Dawn V.2 helps us to see there are constants present in all versions of these Works that made it into what would later become the most popular manga in Japan

But before discussing those constants I would like to clarify the meaning of the word: “Romance”. There are people who doesn’t really grasp the concept of “Romance” both One Piece and Oda work with. Luckily the first two non-shippers I meantioned shed some light on this subject:

Romance:

“A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, as of something adventurous, heroic, or strangely beautiful
“A long fictitious tale of heroes and extraordinary or mysterious events, usually set in a distant time or place”
“A narrative in verse or prose, written in a vernacular language in the Middle Ages, dealing with strange and exciting adventures of chivalrous heroes

– thefreedictionary.com, 2016

“A prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious
–  Merriam Webster, 2016

Romantic:

“Marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized
“Having an inclination for romance: responsive to the appeal of what is idealized, heroic, or adventurous

–  Merriam Webster, 2016

These definitions match pretty well One Piece and Oda outlook on this concept. Even Oda lampshaped this by giving his own translation to the title: 冒険の夜明け (“Bōken no Yoake”, “Dawn of the Adventure”)

So Oda’s “romance” covers a wide variety of themes: Adventure, heroism, mystery, virtue, idealism… we can find comedy and tragedy, happiness and sadness. And among the virtues and the idealism we find companionship and love. As the second non-shipper I mentioned explained One Piece is pretty much like an “Adventure novel”, which is why we’ll find in One Piece many of the tropes commonly used in those books

Among those tropes, we find a couple of constants in all versions of “Romance Dawn”

The golden-hearted protagonist and the “First Girl” who doubles as a female lead. Think about this “what if” scenario: If things would’ve played different back then and One Piece never went beyond “Romance Dawn V.1”. If that story were to be elaborated futher, which two characters would had shared the most moments to become endgame? The answer is pretty simple: The golden-hearted protagonist and the female lead!

But when debating, the weight of the argument depends on edvidence so we need to rely on what we can confirm. And we confirm this, what’s the constant in Luffy’s story in all versions of Romance Dawn? a Nami-like character

This becomes even more interesting when we discover that at an interview at “Manga no Chikara” and others, Nami was supposed to be the first one to join Luffy but her debut was postponed by Oda’s editor at that time. Edvidence of this being a last minute decision remains on the first color cover:

Yet as the second non-shipper noted: “her role as secondary protagonist was not altered” for “Nami shares with Luffy the largest character development in the entire series”. And as explained here we already know how the trope goes when someone seeks to write a natural growth for an emotional connection between two characters 

In fact, the relevance of Nami to Luffy’s story is implied in what Oda himself said about Strong World: “I really wanted to make a ‘hero saves the heroine’ story (ヒロインを助けるヒーローを描きたい the japanese sentence). [….]. You might think otherwise, but I had no intention of bringing in someone new to fill that [heroine] role. So when I had to think about whom to use for it amongst the straw hats of course that meant Nami

In Oda’s mind, Luffy is the hero and Nami is the heorine! We can tell that the hero and the heroine are meant to be the driving forces of the series, and therefore putting them together makes the most sense from a storytelling perspective

C) LuffyxNami AKA LuNa/LuNami

“Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men” – Thomas Huxley

Many shippers tend to ignore and disregard the importance of staying faithful to the canon story, and the author’s take on the characters and their relationships

To makes matters worst some of them even deem as illogical any argument solidly based on these factors. While considering stuff like lines, frogs, sweat, fire, nonexistent sexual tension, assumption of sexuality, and even assumptions of pregnancy, as legitimate proofs of a plausible outcome! In fact they even value comparisons to other series with a different tone, themes, and characters over anything that the One Piece author conveys through his work

There’s even people who goes as far as editing the wiki as if that would change the story to match their preferred pairing!

But in order to reach a conclusion that remains true to One Piece and its nature we have to rely on the very same foundation that was already described several times: mutual trust/respect, faith on one another, significant moments, stress in their relationship and emotional development. If the story doesn’t let you build your premises on these elements, the conclusion you’ll reach will obviously be flawed and stray away from what One Piece really is

So here I’m not only defending the premise I strongly support; I’m defending the very same story and build-up that contributes to this bond’s natural growth:

As explained before there’s nothing explicitly romantic about major interactions. But given we’re dealing with a good and dilligent writer, what we’ll get to see is how big to small moments stablish an emotional connection between two characters, and how that becomes the base for a even greater growth

First we have the themes of trust and faith: At first Nami doesn’t trust Luffy very much, out of her clear distate for pirates, until witnessing how far was Luffy willing to go to selflessly help others. Even then Nami treated their relationship as a mere business and later betrayed the crew

Still Luffy always trusted Nami to the point of putting blind faith in her. Even when given reasons not to do so. One remarkable example is when Luffy was informed by someone trustworthy (Johnny) that Nami apparently “killed” to Usopp, and Luffy not only kept holding onto his blind faith in Nami but he also threatened Johnny for saying such things about her


This becomes something remarkable when we take into consideration that Zoro quickly gave up on Nami and later tried to attack her without even a second thought! While Usopp just wanted  the Merry back…

And it would later become even more impressive in the Whiskey Peak Arc when Luffy came to doubt Zoro because of the words of wounded man he didn’t even know, and even doubted Robin during Water 7 until Nami told him and the crew the truth behind Robin’s desertion:

But what else makes this situation with Nami any different from others we see in the manga? Some might point to the saga where rescuing Robin was the primary objective; but in Robin’s case Luffy knew her life was in danger for Robin was planning to die for the crew, and he got the resolve to save her only after learning the truth. Others might point to the current arc, but he saw right through Sanji’s act and got desperate to rescue him only after hearing his life is in danger.

Here, Nami’s life wasn’t in danger as far as Luffy knew. And he constantly try to reach out to her despite her harsh attitude and the fact he knew next to nothing about her past and her current circumstances. It was only when he saw her cry he got enough motivation to beat Arlong, and it was only when he got a small glimpse of what she went through that he lost it!

How does Nami respond to this? Initially she wanted to get Luffy out of her villaje and her life. While Nami indeed grew fond of Luffy and the others she wasn’t willing to bond with any of them; she held on her distrust of others. But that changed when she finally hitted her lowest point, when she finally lost all hope. Then it comes Nami’s first major development as character: she realized she needed to rely on someone else, she realized Luffy was her only hope Nami decided to rely on him. The following scene marks the first time of many when Nami relied on Luffy to a emotional level. And the first of two times when Luffy entrusted his treasure to her in a touching gesture to provide comfort and hope:

From the very beginning the emotional build-up between Luffy and Nami was a key factor for one of the most meaningful and memorable moments in One Piece. The moment when Luffy becomes Nami’s “emotional anchor”

The effect Luffy had on her character was also quite powerful as we could see during the 2nd pass of the hat: back then at Skypiea arc Nami could still panic at dreadful situations: 

But as soon as Luffy gave her his treasure, the panic stopped and when he was later removed from the battle field, Nami was capable of drawing enough courage from Luffy to face the big bad from that arc:

Not to mention Luffy’s final move against Enel was combined effort of the two as well as an impressive display of mutual trust/faith

We can continue to appreciate their development even futher as the story goes on. As someone already pointed out, Nami during Water 7 displayed an impressive resolve and determination, but as soon as she got the chance to explain Luffy their situation she opened her heart to express how she felt, her anguish and her distress. When Luffy reassures her that he will save Robin, she doesn’t cry anymore until she reunites with Robin

Their bonding is even futher explored in the only One Piece movie fully written by Oda: Strong World. As this is the author’s take on their relationship is still a valid argument to support Luffy/Nami development:

We already considered how impressive Luffy’s blind faith in Nami can be. So after listening to most of Nami’s recorded message, Luffy gets enraged! Why?

Well, after all that time Luffy relied on his navigator without ever doubting her. He was likely expecting all his trust and faith in Nami to be reciprocated

Turns out Nami does return that feeling! And why can we say that? Remember the movie’s ending: Nami finds out everyone in the crew got her hidden “save me” at the end of her message… everyone but Luffy. Then when Luffy is about to play the recorded proof of Nami’s unwavering faith in him, what does she do? She tries to get rid of the “edvidence” out of embarrassment 

It’s easy to see then why Nami seeked out Luffy for hope and comfort during Zou. And how she did something similar to what happened in Water 7: she opened up to Luffy

I said it before, since Luffy is Nami’s “emotional anchor”, it makes sense for her to keep strengthening her bond with Luffy. And given Luffy needs a guide to new adventures and someone “mature” enough to sometimes keep him in line, it makes sense for Luffy to grow closer to Nami

She once summed it up pretty well: “He always talks big, but when it comes down to it, he knows nothing about the sea! He’s severely lacking in the ‘sense of danger’ area! And he always overdoes it…if I left him alone, he’d die. And he’s stupid, so I have to take care of him. That’s why I’m gonna help him!” - Nami, chapter 596

Still, none of this is explicitly romantic in the traditional sense of the word. But just like someone who’s contructing a building, we start dealing with the foundations to then proceed to make a solid structure: a well-written relationship that enhances the story

As someone once reviewed, Luffy and Nami dynamic doesn’t need to chance for them to become endgame for they already have anything they need to finish that “building”. And that’s what’s being a potent pairing means: having everything to your favor for futher development and growth. Luffy and Nami definitively have the major moments and the emotional bonding while remaining consistent to the One Piece canon to be considered a Potent Pairing

Bonus:

It’s interesting we find other interaction that proves how comfortable is Nami around Luffy: 

She doesn’t mind having Luffy around her, what she really minds is Luffy wanting to go to dangerous places But why is this relevant? In Thriller Bark we had a clear showing of how she reacts to pervs trying to accomplish what Luffy did here. She electrocutes them. We can confirm she haven’t changed in this regard because at the end of Fishman Island arc Nami electrocutes a perv for trying to peek at her while she was taking a bath

Another interesting detail about Nami’s attitude toward Luffy is a change we see in WCI. Of course we have the remarkable faith and trust Nami puts on Luffy by even boasting how him being the future Pirate King ensures their victory over Cracker’s ability.

But the real change is when Sanji brutalizes Luffy. Nami already stated she felt guilty for what happened when Sanji got taken. But when Sanji did his “little” number on Luffy her attitude changed, she not only begged him to stop but was also promising they’ll leave if he did (Luffy clearly disagreed on that)

After seeing the way Sanji treated her captain, Nami did something the could seem pretty justified because of what happened: she slapped Sanji and then sarcastically played along Sanji’s “royal” act.

When she goes to Luffy and finds out her captain is not relenting on his effort to get Sanji back, she gives us this little gem:

The Japanese text for Nami’s dialogue reads: “Luffy!! Why?! No matter what his reasons are, after he did all that to you…”

The term she used here for the line in bold conveys the idea of severe mistreatment. She was obviously mad at the way Sanji attacked and badmouthed Luffy and his dream. Ironically Luffy is the one who shows far more emotion to the prospect of getting Sanji back than Nami, she kept displaying far more concern for Luffy as the chapters went on

Nami is now showing, little by little, more of a emotional attachment to Luffy. Which makes a lot sense given what we saw in their story

What Sherlock Doesn't Say to Molly

In light of Sherlock finally saying those three little words to Molly, I’ve been going back and tracing the progression of his feelings for Molly.  And one of the things that stood out to me started with that often analyzed Sherlolly question… “Was Sherlock really oblivious about the coffee invite?"  Because there is one thing that Sherlock has never said to Molly despite having ample opportunity to do so.

We’ve noted for ages that for all his supposed obliviousness Sherlock is socially perceptive enough to realize that John’s questions about Sherlock’s dating status could denote a romantic interest, and Sherlock immediately and politely shuts that down lest it create some misunderstanding or trouble with his new roommate.  Not that John meant it in that way, anyhow, but an ounce of prevention… 

So if Sherlock can recognize those social cues, how does he miss Molly’s date invitation?  One could argue that Molly’s invite was more subtle and at a time when he was rather distracted by the experiment that he was conducting at the time… except for one rather large fly in the ointment. 

For someone who is supposed to be oblivious to Molly, Sherlock is awfully damned observant.  His reaction to Molly’s explanation is equally problematic if we are supposed to believe that Sherlock is completely oblivious. 

That is not the face of a man who is just going with the easy explanation.  Even as Sherlock starts to turn back to his notes, his eyes are warily fixed on Molly and his expression and body language seems quite suspicious and nervous, rather like a man who has just discovered a large cobra that looks ready to strike.  He knows there’s more to this and that Molly is about to make a move.  This would be the perfect time to lay things on the line, as he later does with John, but instead he feigns complete ignorance. 

We’ve thrown out plenty of theories about his actions here before, but I think that in light of the progression between Sherlock and Molly it’s worth a few new thoughts.  I am honestly not sure if Sherlock knows why he plays dumb at this moment.   As Mrs. Hudson points out in S4, Sherlock is actually all emotion… however in S1 Sherlock is firmly denying his emotions to the point that you have to wonder if he’s even convinced himself.  

For as concerned as Sherlock was about his observation that Molly had put on lipstick for him, he’s equally concerned when he observes that she has taken it off after her failed invitation.  And it is not at all inconceivable after all we’ve seen between them that a primal part of Sherlock actually enjoyed the fact that Molly was putting on that lipstick for his benefit. 


He doesn’t want her to push for something he thinks is beyond his capabilities, but he doesn’t want her to completely lose interest in him either.  Sherlock knows how to give Molly a compliment to get in her good graces, as he does in the very next episode, but he doesn’t do that here either.  A compliment this soon after her invite could provoke another invite.  So he needles her instead, trying to provoke her into continuing to wear lipstick around him. 

At heart I really don’t think that Sherlock is behaving this way because he’s a cold bastard who’s merely trying to use Molly at the beginning of the series.  I think that would have been his way of rationalizing his behavior in the first two episode, but I also think that from the beginning Sherlock at least subconsciously wants Molly’s romantic attention.  There could even be a conscious recognition of this desire on his part that he is internally at war with himself over, because there is a pattern of behavior here that continues even as their relationship escalates. 

Let’s skip ahead to the next big development in their relationship.  The Christmas party where Sherlock discovers that Molly’s regard for him is deeper than just a little meaningless flirting… after he humiliates both of them in front of their friends by trying to deduce her.  She’s dressed to the nines, she’s carrying one specially wrapped present, and she’s wearing that sexy red lipstick for someone–and Sherlock’s deductions make it crystal clear that he does understand the psychology behind a woman trying to draw a man’s attention to her lips.  The "Jim” incident made it clear that Molly wasn’t just sitting around and pining for Sherlock, and he might even have reason to believe that Molly has moved on after that particular scene in the lab.  It’s only after he has behaved like a complete bellend that Sherlock realizes that he was the object of her affection all along. 


Sherlock giving his first ever apology in the series to Molly was a beautiful and important moment.  Sherlock goes beyond that though by giving Molly a Christmas present in return. 

After all the horrible things he’d said, Sherlock gives her a tender kiss on the cheek while wishing her a Merry Christmas.  Leaving Molly (and the rest of the world) to wonder what to make of his actions.  Was he so cruel before because he was jealous?  Was he overcompensating for having just been a total jerk to her?  It’s not like Sherlock bothers to clarify with something like, “I’m flattered Molly, but I’m married to my work."  Is that because he’s trying to spare her more pain, or because he, himself, is confused especially with how Irene has been trying to stir his libido? 

Between the kiss, Sherlock’s lewd ringtone, and Sherlock identifying Irene at the morgue by "not her face”… Sherlock is definitely not giving Molly the impression that he is a man who is married to his work.  No wonder she’s looking for a little clarification on the subject while they are working alone in the lab. 

And this was Sherlock’s golden opportunity to tell her if he didn’t want her affections, because he didn’t have to make the answer about Molly.  There is nobody around to make the situation humiliating.  He could have simply answered, “Molly, I think you should know I consider myself married to my work, etc." 

Because at this point Sherlock knows how Molly feels about him.  All the Christmas deductions plus the "three x’s… sign of romantic attachment."  And yet again, Sherlock doesn’t say it. 

For someone who had zero trouble saying those words to John when he thought John might have a romantic interest, Sherlock goes out of his way to never say those words to Molly, even after he knows she is romantically interested in him.  Even when Molly thinks that he is in love with Irene, Molly is still that helpful and loyal soul he can rely on.  He’s not going to lose her help in the lab or on his cases, so none of his potential earlier rationalizations for not telling her would apply anymore. 

Instead, Sherlock goes on to tell her things like, "You can see me.” “You do count.  You’ve always counted, and I’ve always trusted you."   "If I wasn’t everything that you think I am, everything that I think I am, would you still want to help me?"  And let’s not forget his answer to "What do you need?"  Obviously the only way to answer that was, ”You.“  ;)

So Molly helps fake his death (and keep it secret for two years) and lets him use her bedroom for a bolthole, so I think we’ve reached a pretty high level of trust between them by the beginning of season 3, where Sherlock gets yet another scene where he could have said those words. 

Yeah, so if Molly considers "have dinner” a viable ending to that sentence, Sherlock has obviously still never mentioned his “no dating” policy to her.  They have a day filled with crime solving, meaningful looks, Sherlock’s heartfelt thanks, declarations of Molly being “the one person who mattered most”, another kiss from Sherlock, and an offer to take her to dinner after all… until Sherlock and Molly finally have to acknowledge that she’s currently engaged to another man. 

And do you know when else Sherlock would have had an opportunity to tell Molly that he was married to his work and not interested in romantic entanglements?  During whatever off-screen conversation that had about saying “I love you” to each other during the whole bomb threat scene.  Of course, with the way that Molly was beaming the world’s biggest smile and rushing towards Sherlock’s favorite spot in the ending montage, I think it’s safe to say that Sherlock never said those words to her then either. 

Top Ten Awesome Fanfics *

* yep, not “all-time favourite”, because I cannot choose in all objectivity only ten fics. This list is a list of ten fics* chosen in my five main fandoms that I love and feel like they should be read, but it could have been ten others … It’s very hard to choose. One day I’ll do a real masterpost fic rec …
* yes, I’ve cheated. There are waaaaay more than just ten fics here … Sorry not sorry.

The lovely @justkeeponthegrass had a brillant idea : to make a collection of our favourite fanfics to show writers just how much we appreciate, respect and admire their work. I personally owe a great deal to fanfic writers, especially in the Merlin fandom, for they helped me get through a very hard period of my life. Fanfic writers have been and are constant companions of my life, whether I’m sad, happy, tired or feeling excited, they always deliver, they are amazing people who do an amazing work just because they like it. I admire the hell out of any of you, and the following ten titles, plus the special and honorable mentions, are me trying to tell you how much you mean. Very, very long post incoming …

Originally posted by whyso-se-ri0us

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anonymous asked:

I've never read any type of fan fiction , soo can you recommend me good slow burn camren fics? Thanks love your blog girly

Lauren never planned on living in the house she lived in. She never planned on working the job she worked. She never planned on befriending a strange girl named Camila, either. Lauren never planned a lot of things.Thanks sweets 😘

Chances (one of my favs)

Camila and Lauren both share a room in college, but that’s about the only thing they have in common. At least that’s what they assume. From the start, they haven’t been able to get along with each other, seeing as they’re pretty incompatible and they pick fights over everything. But little do they know that they’re each other’s closest friends on Tumblr. They message each other constantly and along the way, feelings developed. What happens when they soon realize on a bold decision to meet on a blind date that the person who they want nothing to do with is the same person they think about right before they go to sleep?

Lifeboat Lighthouse (favs)

Camila’s entire life had been mapped out for her since she was child, she would go to college, study business and then eventually take over her father’s company. It was a life she never wanted but had no say in at all. But when the privileged daughter of a multimillionaire meets Lauren, a waitress on the luxury cruise ship where she’ll be spending the summer, her world and everything she knows is turned upside down. Camila is about to learn the hard way that just like the ocean that she sails on, life can be unpredictable. Like the turning tides, everything can change in an instant.

Walk a Mile (favs)

Look with your eyes. Judge with your soul. First impressions almost always suck. They can be spot on or way off, depending on how open and receptive you are to the other person. When you make preconceived notions about people, learning to tolerate them can be a little difficult. What if you have to live with them? That’s the situation Camila and Lauren have been put in. As typical and cliche as it may be, two totally different worlds collide. However this time, neither of them know whether they’ll mould or combust.

Yours Truly 

Lauren and Camila know a lot about each other, except for, well, their names. They’ve been writing anonymous, handwritten letters to each other for an English assignment for a couple months now and during that time, Lauren’s developed a genuine interest for a girl whose handwriting resembles a child’s first attempt at using a pencil. But she couldn’t be more charmed by it. What happens when Lauren unexpectedly finds out that the shy girl in her class who she doesn’t know a single thing about has the exact same handwriting as in the letters she anticipates reading every single day?

Through Her Eyes

Lauren never planned on living in the house she lived in. She never planned on working the job she worked. She never planned on befriending a strange girl named Camila, either. Lauren never planned a lot of things.

Reasons to go, reasons to stay

“And I wonder how many polar opposites we have brought together by falling in love. Inside you could have been the match that started the fire and burned down an entire house, and inside of me may live the remnants of a rocking chair inside the house that was burned to the ground. All these little things… these cells that make up our bodies, they could have once despised one another. But now every single part of me is in love with every single part of you. Just with one touch we would be resolving age old conflicts, or ushering the tip of the tallest mountain to kiss the sand that lies at the deepest part of the ocean.”

Yellow series : Yellow / Blue / Green  (FLUUUFFFF)

Lauren Jauregui hated Camila Cabello, plain and simple. Of course, who could blame her? Camila had been the one who read Lauren’s private texts in front of the whole cafeteria, forcing her out of the closet. Lauren left for New York with her three best friends the day she graduated, thinking she had escaped Camila. The only problem is, Camila is back. And different. Completely different. Not the kind of ‘different’ you’d expect, either.

The Stripper (SMUT)

Have you ever imagined having two lives? Be two people at the same time? I bet you have. But between thinking and living there was a very big distance, believe it. Imagine… Camila, a sweet and delicate woman. Karla, sexy and imposing. Which one would you choose? What’s your type? Hard, I know. Let’s let Lauren answer this one…

Experiments (SMUT)

A lot of girls experiment in college; it’s natural. It’s no different at the University of Miami, and when they’re looking to experiment, they know exactly who to go to. But what will happen when she finally falls for one of the girls she hooks up with?

Trials & Tribulations (very long but must read)

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

CC7 / LJ10 (still ongoing - not many updates)

Lauren and Camila are two of the most promising soccer talents in the country. The two skilled girls are playing for the U-17 US team to win the world championship in Costa Rica. Their connection on the field is obvious but what happens off field when unexpected feelings come in to play?

Surreal Perfection (non au)

It’s been a year since Lauren decided to break out from Fifth Harmony to start her own band, and Camila still hasn’t forgiven her for leaving them, and for leaving her. After a brief encounter at an award show, their lives come crashing back together. Angst, Drama, Humour, Romance, and everything else in between.

The Girl Next Door

Camila Cabello is an average girl. She’s not popular, or somewhere in between. She belongs to a group that her school refers to as the Brains. She’s extremely smart, involved in many educational clubs and the only thing fun in her life, advanced choir.  She’s that type of girl who gets pushed around, does people’s homework because they tell her too, and gets tormented by the preps. The preps (the popular kids) are a group of people who torment people like the Brians. Camila has found her self running from them all her life. Along side with her friends Dinah Jane Hansen, Normani Kordei, Ally Brooke and Darren Criss. But one day during one of her encounters with the preps, her life changes forever. And it was all because of her.

Heliophilia 

Do I Wanna Know (non-au)

Sansa, Smart

So. Sansa. I hear some people think she’s not very clever. This is a view shared by several characters in the books.

But there’s no reason the readership should share those views. Sansa is a very clever individual who makes increasingly good use of several skills she started the series with, and develops greatly as an observer and an actor over the course of the story.

Putting everything under a cut, for reasons of four books of brainpower.

Keep reading

BTS Fic Recommendations

 There seems to be a weird divide in this fandom between reader x member and member x member stories, but I’m just here in the middle like “all Bangtan smut is good smut!” A good story is a good story and good writing is good writing. Some of these have no smut at all and some are so filthy that I can’t believe I’m recommending them, but, you know, BTS ruined my life and I have no shame anymore. 

I’ve probably read hundreds of BTS stories by now and these are the ones that I go back to over and over. I tried to pick only one per author, but all of these authors are amazing and you should go check out their whole masterlists. These are the authors that I personally fangirl over and stand in awe of. None of these are particularly similar to mine (eg. they are way better) and none of them are particular similar to each other. These are the fics that, for whatever reason, I couldn’t forget about after I read them.

Warning: Some of these are very explicit, so use caution. Anything marked with an M is definitely NSFW. 

Hope you enjoy!

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anonymous asked:

Hi! I was wondering if you could do a post about the parallels between the fire nation royal family and the SWT chief's family. Obviously I have some thoughts but I couldn't really formulate them well. I think it would be interesting to consider the similarities between the two families but also the contrasts

I understand completely why it’s difficult to articulate, because while all four family members have counterparts in the opposite nation, there are as many contrasts as there are comparisons, and subversions of what we might think is a parallel, but isn’t.

Ozai and Hakoda. Ozai rules over his family with an iron fist. He demands respect and longs for total control over everything and everyone in sight. His lust for power consumes him and leaves his family twisted and shattered.

Hakoda is the diametric opposite. Although Water Tribe culture could have led Hakoda to assert authority over his family as the head of his house, he didn’t; instead, he listens to and is proud of Sokka’s ideas, and lets Katara yell at him (quite disrespectfully, I might add) in order to release her pent-up emotions. While Ozai rules through fear, Hakoda commands his warriors through respect. Where Ozai is manipulative, Hakoda is cunning with inventions. And while his family quite easily could have been shattered by Kya’s death, Hakoda’s love for his children and their love for each other kept them united.

Ursa and Kya. These two are the most similar, and occupy virtually the same place in the story and their respective families. They are strong and determined mothers who sacrifice themselves to save their children from harm. After they’re gone, the children who look up to them the most have a difficult time dealing with their loss, and their families suffer greatly. It is important to note that this applies to the A:TLA TV show only, and not the comics. You can’t make the claim that Ursa “sacrificed” for Zuko if she spent all the intervening years in deliberate obliviousness to the suffering around her, living the life she’s always wanted to with the man of her dreams!

 Pardon me while I take a moment to let off some steam.

Anyway.

Azula and Sokka.

“But wait a minute, Araeph! Zuko is the older brother, so shouldn’t Zuko and Sokka be paralleled?”

Zuko and Sokka do have similar experiences throughout the show; however, they are not true parallels. Azula is the coldly logical (and yet creatively crafty) one of her family. Sokka is the strategist of the GAang, and the one who can see clearly past Azula’s strategic manipulation (if not her emotional one).  Sokka and Azula are also the ones with the most responsibility thrust on their shoulders, as Sokka feels pressure to be the “man of the house”, especially with his father away at war. Meanwhile, Azula faces so much stress for being the only child Ozai considers competent and the heir apparent to the Fire Nation that she develops an insidious strain of perfectionism that eventually tilts her world upside down. However, while Azula’s response to her father’s abuse is to regiment her firebending so that not even a hair gets out of place, Sokka absorbs his father’s ideas and praise like a sponge and gets the chance to stretch his creativity on pursuits other than warfare. As the privileged firstborn son, Sokka could have refused to listen to Katara and Suki or used his position in the tribe to try to gain more power, but he didn’t. He made a conscious choice to become a better person throughout the series, while Azula, despite her exceptional skills, never grew in such a way.

Zuko and Katara. Katara is the person who wields her emotions like a weapon, determined not to let anything stand in her way. Zuko is the same: he goes where his emotions tell him to, regardless of whether it’s the wisest course or whether it affects his personal safety. Both of them are very practical when the need arises but can be blown off course by an event that evokes their childhood trauma or their current state of cultural oppression (Katara) or abuse (Zuko). They are capable of enormous acts of kindness, but they also take their anger out on safe targets—not people with less power, but people who will see them at their worst and accept it (Sokka, Hakoda, Iroh, each other). Katara is the mighty bender of the SWT family, but her fighting style mirrors Zuko’s much more than it does Azula’s. Zuko’s bending is characterized by drive and determination, and one look at Katara trying to freeze the firebenders in Episode 2 alongside Zuko’s duel with Zhao in Episode 3 shows just how similar these two are. But since both of them began their journeys on opposite sides of the war, their challenges are different: Katara has to fight for the rights that she deserves, while Zuko needs to learn that he doesn’t have the right to be spoiled and have everyone bow to him just because of his lineage. Still, they’re alike in one more important way: they successfully learn to see the “enemy” as an ally, even a friend, and despite their childhood experiences or conditioning, they are both willing to embrace an element of change.

5

April’s Featured Game: ARCADEA

DEVELOPER(S): Aishin
ENGINE: RPGMaker VX Ace  
GENRE: Fantasy, Adventure, Puzzle
WARNINGS:  N/A
SUMMARY: In the world of Arcadea, people can accomplish their dreams. How? Through video games of course! Everybody who lives in Arcadea has a special arcade machine they can visit in their dreams that lets them fulfill their strongest wishes. Whether it’s to go on an adventure, or make friends, or fall in love, or solve a mystery, or completely start a new life, there’s a game made just for them..
The game follows Maisie, a new arrival to Arcadea. She’s not very interested in all this gaming stuff; her only goal is to find an important person. But along the way, she can’t help but be roped into other people’s problems. She also can’t help that the arcade machines seem to glitch around her. A lot.

Our Interview With The Dev Team Below The Cut!

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Why we enjoy Sarah J Maas’s books:

Alright! So I finally got through all of the survey responses. I got over 300! However, I did have to throw out over 50 as many people decided to check more than 5 for likes or dislikes. And I don’t think google forms lets you limit the number they can check? Anyways, it’s fine because I still have 254 usable responses and tons of lovely quotes/thoughts/rants from all of you!!

I’ll put the data charts up top and then the long answer responses below, divided into sections.

So clearly, we are overwhelmingly here for the female characters, the character growth, and the romance. But we also like the morally grey characters, the world building, and the representation of PTSD, abuse, and mental health issues. 

I’m sorry that is so tiny, but basically, we overwhelmingly dislike the lack of diversity in terms of PoC and LGBTQ character and we also have some issues with world building, magic, and seeing our favs do problematic things. 

Also 18 of your hate Celaena lol (I love her and I know that putting that answer in there as a selection was petty af but I cannot help myself. It was all for a good laugh)


Alright, so most of us feel negatively and positively about the fandom. But a solid chunk, 34%, feels positively most-all of the time. Which is great. We are doin okay friends. Only 5.5%, 14 people, felt like the fandom affected them only negatively. 

So we clearly are here for enjoyment and escapism. And pain. 

Also, I apologize for the wet dreams one but THIS FANDOM LOVES SMUT I HAD TO PUT IT ON THERE OKAY

So 70% of the ppl reading to enjoy things and find it easy to ignore the things we dislike. 


And the long answers:

Enjoyment:

Some of us really enjoy the way she writes characters—she really makes us really care with backstory and character development:

“When I finally decide to shut the book, it takes me a minute to forget that the characters aren’t real. I’ve fallen in love with almost every single one of her characters because they’re so authentic; they go through hardships, they love, they fall out of love, they get angry, they grieve deeply, but most importantly, they GROW. I’m so impressed with who Feyre and Aelin have come to be as women over the years. The familial love that bonds the characters together is also something that I really connect to. They really would do ANYTHING to protect each other.” anonymous

“She delivers types of characters and points of view that other YA writers haven’t done. She pulls of tropes without making them boring. She isn’t afraid of calling characters out for doing the wrong thing.”- @the-heir-of-terrasen

“I think SJM’s character development is her biggest strength. I haven’t connected to so many characters in a series since Harry Potter. She is good at showing rather than telling when it comes to several moments of key character building, especially for . That I am so emotionally invested in such a wide variety of characters across two series is a testament to her gift.” -anonymous

“Her use of description and narrative really is eye-opening to the world of the characters in the most subtle of ways. She knows how to wield a character’s experiences and history to cleave new paths in their personalities, and thus makes ever-changing, ever-growing characters that are so much more relatable than most other fantasy books. Not to mention that her villains are just as mysterious and wicked as her protagonists, making even the antagonists realistic to the point of you *screaming* at the book for whatever the character has done this time.“ - @cynical-minds-for-cynical-times

“The Connection to the characters. I don’t relate so much as I do just care very, very deeply about them. I LIKE them, even if they aren’t likable people?” @squaddreamcourt

We also really enjoy how morally complex the characters are:

“What I love about SJM is that she doesn’t make things prettier than they are. She has not created a perfect world, with those perfect good characters finding a perfect happy ending. Instead she created a world that has loads of problems we’re also facing in our world and she shows us how layered and well thought out characters are dealing with them. Her characters grow and the emotional impact of their deeds is not shrugged off. I love it how everything they do has consequences and how the heroes make mistakes and bad decisions and how the villains do good things sometimes. What I love is that it’s a fascinating world with fascinating characters that gives me an unique view on our world.” @acourtofhopeanddreams

“The characters are very well-rounded and dynamic. Almost every character has a motivation for what and why they’re doing what they’re doing, which is something some villains lack in other stories. You find yourself hating the characters, but still enjoying the parts that they’re in because they are so realistic in their mannerisms and motivations.” anonymous

Her books help us deal with personal issues, and we also seem to enjoy how relatable or realistic the personal relationships between the characters are:

“I feel like her books help me a lot, for one thing because they make me feel excited and enthusiastic about something which I think everyone needs more of in their life. I also love the platonic and romantic relationships between the characters because they educate me about abusive relationships, healthy relationships, and the complications of friendships etc. I love this because I feel like it helps me understand myself and the people around me better emotionally, and puts my own personal experiences with other people in perspective. I also find a lot of the things that go down between the characters help me feel more secure about my personal life, and they help me accept myself for feeling the way I do about certain things. Also, I love just love reading them because I find them really fun and enjoyable.“ - @ashryverblue

“I enjoyed the way she wove my favorite fairy tales together and wrote compelling romance. I also connected to the characters and appreciated how she prioritized female pleasure in sex.“ - @sarahviehmann

“The representation of mentally ill and abused characters and their arcs that deals with their past and their issues that isnt “love fixes everything” -anonymous

“also like how they don’t have the common ‘no body likes me because I’m ugly I’m so sad boo ho’ because I never really related to those characters. I want to read about someone who is confident in their body and with their skills, and not someone who is whiny and needs someone to hold their hand through everything.” @a-book-love

“Feyre’s struggle with abuse and PTSD in ACOMAF was relatable and her growth is inspiring. I love her relationship with Rhys and the understanding and respect they have for one another. I love Rhys and his Inner Circle - they’re funny, kind, intelligent, strong, witty etc. I like that Rhys, Mor, Az, and Cassian are abuse survivors - it gives me hope. I love how supportive they are of one another. Of course, I love the magic and world-building in the series but the characters and their relationships are what stand out to me the most in this series.” @pencilsfulloflead

And some of us are here for the drama (myself included):

“Honestly these are the most dramatic books I’ve read, which I love. My favorite thing about fanfiction is how character focused they are, all the big sweeping emotional gestures, all the angst and drama. Give me all that shit. SJM’s books give me that but with original characters/a new world/etc. which allows me new content with those same tropey, dramatic things that I love, with good writing. “ anonymous

“GOD I WISH I KNEW, I HAVE ALWAYS CONSIDERED MYSELF BEING HELD IN THIS FANDOM AGAINST MY WILL AND BETTER JUDGEMENT. I guess I’d say the characters– while I wouldn’t call them “relatable” necessarily– are engaging, and the light fantasy trappings, digestible (though not refined) prose, fast pace, exciting-if-not-necessarily-logically-sound plot twists, and heightened drama create an exciting tableau/ fertile ground for indulgent romance narratives/ heavy interpersonal dramas, which SJM does well. There’s also lots of side characters/ unexplored plot or world-related threads prime for creative exploration that make the world fun to explore as a fic writer.“ @valamerys

“The books have an element of wonder to them; my jaw was wide open during the scene in HOF when all the witches drummed for Abraxos and during the Weaver scene in ACOMAF. Aelin never fails to make me laugh, and on the flip side, her story in HOF is my absolute favorite.” @screaming-at-billiards

And finally, this little snippet that I thought explained why most of us read for the female characters:

“that the women don’t need men to be powerful”


Dislike:

So we clearly have some issues with the diversity…

“Two black girls died for white pain (Dorian/Sorscha and Aelin/Nehemia) in back to back books.”

“I would like to see more POC and LGBT characters because I feel like with the powerful messages and arcs these characters go through it would be beneficial not only to the storyline (with experiences like racism and LGBT discrimination to add to their issues and how they deal with them) but to how people read the book.”

“She messed up big time with ACOWAR and how poorly she treated Mor’s trauma.”- anonymous

“I can’t think of a general thing I dislike about Sarah’s books. I know lack of/poorly handled diversity is an issue but as a straight white female I tend to let others speak on this as I don’t feel like it’s my place to say whether or not POC/LGBTQ+ characters are represented well/enough. Other than that there are plot points, conversations, small things, etc. that I wish had gone differently but that’s my nitpicking and personal preference.” anonymous
“Primarily it’s the lack of representation and understanding of diversity, but recently with acowar I felt she became too busy and it was a bit rushed and unfinished.” @fcyrearcherxn

“Eh I wish it [descriptions of skin color] was clearer so ppl would stop drawing illiryans white” @acourtoffeyreandaelin

And some of us have issues with world building…

“Sjm seems to think about a lot of things while writing, but she doesn’t think them all the way through. For example, the magic system, the references to mythological characters/creatures from multiple cultures and smashed together, etc. I get the sense that even if she has to outline for her publisher, there is still so much that just isn’t thought about with enough attention to detail.“ @abookandacoffee


How dislike affects our reading:

Some of us are not affected by the things we dislike:

“Not at all really, if anything it just fuels fanfiction.” anonymous

“Literally not at all. Even if there are things I dislike, I still love the characters and their stories.” anonymous

“they mildly irritate me until i get over it about 4 minutes later” anonymous

“not much tbh, I just skipped that shit lol” @squaddreamcourt

Some of us were disappointed by acowar and the world building issues it raised affected our enjoyment:

“It makes me cringe when I read it, and honestly all the issues in ACOWAR made it harder for me to get into. Some illogical (even with magic in place) things in the end battle made it impossible for me to focus on the end of the book, cause I still couldn’t get over how little sense what had just happened made. Which was the opposite of ACOMAF, I couldn’t get enough of that book.” - @nightinsurgent

Some of us are negatively affected by the way SJM has handled certain issues:

It [ Mor’s trauma in acowar] honestly ruined the entire book for me and I try to pretend like the third book isn’t even canon.” -anonymous

“Sometimes it can put a downer as I’m a POC I can sometime realise I can’t fully relate to all characters but usually i brush it off as I realise that all books have faults.”-anonymous

And some of us feel guilty for enjoying these books despite the issues:

“I have at times (particularly after major online discussions) felt guilty for taking pleasure from something that hurt another person’s feelings.“- anonymous 


How the fandom affects our enjoyment:

Some of us love the fandom and how it leads to deeper understandings of the story:

“I LOVE fandom. It makes me feel like I’m part of something and that I have people who are there for me. It also gives me new ways of obsessing about the series, and I love seeing other people’s interpretations and feelings about the books, especially when they point out things that I haven’t noticed before. It just gives me a deeper, richer reading experience and it’s like I’m always partly in the world of the books, because I’m always thinking about them and in that sense they never really leave me and are always a part of me.“ @ashryverblue

“WE RIDE AND DIE TOGETHER SO NOTHING IS TOO PAINFUL WHEN YOU HAVE EACH OTHER” -anonymous

For some of us, fandom really affects how we enjoy the books and how we think about certain aspects and characters:

“I’ve always been a critical reader but I wonder if I didn’t have a medium to see, read, and interact with my criticisms that I would let them go easier.”- anonymous

“I can mostly ignore it but sometimes it makes me feel shame for liking the books as much as I do. I also can get past it because I think some people are way to harsh and expect perfect characters which is not what I’m here for. Also, even if improvement in terms of representation is slow at least sjm has made some changes which is something most authors would never do.”-anonymous

“I get to see both sides of all the arguments and my own opinions are sometimes changed based on an argument someone might present considering any topic, which expands my horizons and makes it more enjoyable for me.” @angrydinosauryouth

“I don’t think I would care about Suriel’s death so much if it wasn’t for this fandom who made him a drama loving queen. Things like that” @jmaas-books-lover

We are disappointed with the fandom recently:

“At first I loved how we were all interacting, but the fandom has grown so negative and condemning of any differing opinions. I don’t mean people being called out others for saying abusive characters are not abusive, but people seem to go to war over inconsequential opinions that don’t harm anyone.” @nightinsurgent

“The ACOTAR fandom in particular used to be really lovely and amazing, and there are still groups with whom that is still true. Everyone let people think about and enjoy what they wanted as long as we weren’t perpetuating or justifying abuse, and it was a very supportive environment. It’s less so, now, and people are defending the text just to defend it, which is frustrating to me both as a fic writer AND a reader.” @sarahviehmann

“What gets at me is the clouds of negativity… And it seems really  hard to avoid sometimes, especially in such a small fandom. And when a few vocal members, who otherwise make good stuff, get very negative it gets worse…”

Some of us love the books despite what the fandom has to say:

“The fandom itself doesn’t affect my love of the books, I make my own opinions about them. But the fandom is severely affecting my enjoyment of being a part of the fandom.” @miladyaelin

Some of us enjoy parts of the fandom, but have serious issues with how the fandom reacts negatively to certain aspects of the books:

“Parts of the fandom really make me happy and allow me to discuss my thoughts and feelings about the books. There’s an amazing community of people. But there is a huge part of the fandom which really, really negatively affects my experience through heavy, harsh, and often unnecessary criticism. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t be critical and shouldn’t discuss the issues in her books, but there’s almost a frenzy about it now to the point where those of us who enjoy her books are made to feel bad about it. Yes, she has problems. But there has been significant improvements that no one seems to want to acknowledge. The second something new is released it’s torn into shreds and if you have a different opinion then you’re wrong. (For example, how Morrigan’s coming out was handled. Everyone has been saying how bad it was and how Sarah really messed it up, but I’m bisexual and I now really relate to Mor and the way she came out and her reasoning for not doing so before was incredibly real and believable to me. It seems that a lot of the people (though obviously not all) who criticise the lack of diversity in SJM’s books aren’t actually diverse themselves and are just on some sort of crusade to make themselves look like better people.) Why can’t some of us just enjoy a book for what it’s worth?” anonymous

Why Robert E.O. Speedwagon deserves your love

So today I found myself writing a fucking essay on Speedwagon. Please enjoy.

I feel like people never really- and I mean really- talk about just how strong Speedwagon’s connection to the Joestars is. And it all started because Jonathan Joestar didn’t kick him as hard as he could have.

I’ve always gotten the impression that Jonathan was one of the first people to show Speedwagon genuine kindness; it’s even more meaningful when you realize that Speedwagon initially stereotyped Jonathan as a dumb rich kid. But Jonathan not only held back against Speedwagon when they fought, he stated that his reason for doing so was because he understood that Speedwagon had a family who would mourn his death. Jonathan didn’t want to put them through the same sadness that he himself was going through. In an era where classism was at its highest, a nobleman acknowledged that a street crook had loved ones and had just as much a right to live as he did.

I think that just completely blew Speedwagon’s fucking mind.

Keep reading

What changed during Jaime’s conversation with Cersei.

“Finally he saw what everyone else had been seeing. Or finally he’d had enough. You always have to believe in something, and you always have to believe you’re fighting the just cause. I think that for him he could keep telling himself that they are invading us—that Daenerys Targaryen, the Dothraki, are invading our country and want to take what’s ours, and we want to defend ourselves. I guess you can argue that point. He saw what the mad king was like, and dragons are not nice animals. But now he’s seen the truly horrific sight of these undead and he believes it. He believes how scary they are. He believes Jon Snow. He believes his brother. And he believes Daenerys when she says she saw 100,000 marching.

Obviously, the right thing is what Cersei does to begin with—that they’re all going to fight this and see what happens after. Her argument before was that they have to fight these foreign invaders; now she’s suddenly saying that she’s getting an army of foreign invaders to fight for her. It’s so messed up. And it doesn’t make sense. Fundamentally, it’s the wrong thing on any moral scale that he knows. She also has no respect for him. He’s just there to do what she says. She shows so little respect for him as a human being, as a counselor, as a partner, for everything. He’s had enough.”


What Jaime meant with the words: “I don’t believe you.”

“When he says, “I don’t believe you,” it’s not just that he doesn’t believe she’s going to kill him. For me, at least, it was more [like], “That’s it, I don’t love you anymore. You’re on your own.” Why it took him so long, god only knows, but he got there in the end.”


How his character has developed throughout the series.

“I think he’s had it all along, but what defined him was that he’s known as the Kingslayer. He got that name from an act of going against loyalty. That thing that Brienne says before his scene with Cersei— “Fuck loyalty"—that’s what got him in trouble in the first place. He killed the Mad King, and he became known as the most dishonorable man. And of course his sister says that if he does this, it will be treason. Which of course is what he might become known for now. He’s the Kingslayer. He’s the traitor. 

I do believe that he’s had a pretty good moral compass, but he’s also done horrible things, no question about it. But in all these years it was all about what was right for Cersei; now it’s about just what’s right. I do believe when he says this is bigger than any of us that he means it. When this fight is over, either the living or the dead will win. This is the right thing to do. In Season One, Tywin said he wanted Jaime to become the man he was meant to be. Clearly this isn’t the man Tywin would have wanted him to be, but this is the man that I want him to be. He’s doing the right thing—he’s joining the fight for humanity. “ - NCW