if you like your villains falling in love with your protagonists

Book Rec List

I’m bored, home alone, and packing all my books. So here, have a list of book recommendations from yours truly!

Fantasy

  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
    • A young girl meets a family that gained eternal life after drinking from an enchanted spring, and is left to wonder whether living forever is a blessing or a curse. It’s a fantastic book that hurts your heart in 139 pages.
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    • Six morally horrible people plan an impossible heist for selfish motivations. But the romances between the morally horrible people are somehow still very pure and wonderful. The plot also keeps you on the edge of your seat because you never have all of the information until the last possible second. And if you love fantasy worlds that include POC main characters and LGBTQ representation, this is the duology for you!
  • The Last Dragonlord by Joanne Bertin
    • Human/dragon shapeshifter romance with political intrigue. And really fun worldbuilding, too.
  • Green Rider by Kristen Britain
    • One of my favorite series. The overarching plot is wonderful, you genuinely care about all the characters, and this is one of those stories where “strong female characters” means both “well-rounded, well-developed females with agency” AND “kicks some serious ass”.
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    • The protagonist is the villain. I wrote that correctly. Artemis Fowl is the villain. The entire series is about his personal journey from villain to hero, with all the beautiful and human mistakes throughout.
    • Also, it’s got fairies. With guns.
  • Dragon’s Milk by Susan Fletcher
    • A super fun (and quick-read) series about people smuggling dragons to safety in a world that is determined to destroy them. Also, lots of baby dragons. And dragons being dragons, and neither morally good nor evil. It’s wonderful.
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    • The funniest fucking book I’ve ever read. God’s starting the apocalypse, but they’ve somehow managed to misplace the AntiChrist. And it just gets more insane.
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
    • One of my favorite books of all time. It has a fascinating new take on dragons, genuinely fun political intrigue, romances you root for but aren’t the focus of the plot, and a half-dragon heroine that you absolutely fall in love with. And, if you make it to the second book, Shadow Scales, there is massive LGBTQ representation. I’m talking gay and bi characters, I’m talking trans characters, I’m talking people asking “How may I pronoun you?” and strongly-implied polyamorous relationships. And dragons. And plot twists.
  • Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques
    • When the Flying Dutchman was cursed to roam the sea forever, a boy and his dog who were on board are spared from the curse due to their pure hearts, are washed ashore and granted eternal life and youth. Now they roam the world helping people and getting into adventures. Don’t let the fun fool you, though, it’s fucking heartbreaking. They really don’t skimp on the “we’re immortal so everyone we love dies” angle, and the “wow, this kid looks like he’s seen some shit”. Also the first book feels much more YA than the other two.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
    • I know it’s pretty much only known as middle-school assigned reading, but this book is clever, insightful, and absolutely fantastic. I definitely stood in line to get this book autographed in high school. A boy with no imagination is sent to a crazy world of unique perspectives and interesting insights to rescue Rhyme and Reason.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    • That book they made us all read in 5th grade that is actually all it’s cracked up to be. It’s absolutely trippy fantasy with a sci-fi edge to it, and the characters are so utterly endearing. Personally, my favorite is A Wind in the Door, but that’s book 2.
  • The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint
    • Contemporary fantasy at its absolute best. It’s modern urban fantasy that puts the fantastic in our world in such a wonderful and beautiful way. The best part is it’s also a story about dealing with physical disabilities, trauma, past abuse, self-healing, the complexity of forging and rekindling relationships with others when one is hurting, etc. Honestly, it’s just fucking awesome.
  • Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
    • A book of short stories (all contemporary urban fantasy), and the best way to be introduced to Charles de Lint’s writing. So, if you want to read The Onion Girl but aren’t sure you’re ready for it yet. This is the first book I ever took a highlighter to.
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    • Do you want to crush your heart and destroy your soul and cry like a baby in 128 pages? You’ll be happy you did.
  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
    • This is a standalone novel, and the best way to be introduced to Sanderson’s work. This book has phenomenal and complex worldbuilding, three-dimensional characters with agency you will fall in love with, and a book-long mystery that just blows you away when you figure out the answer. If you enjoy this book, you have to read Mistborn next.
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
    • Elantris on steroids. This is, without a doubt, the most fascinating worldbuilding I have ever encountered in literature. It’s so complicated, but completely logical, and the plot is so bewitching. And Sanderson can leave you as many clues as he wants - he will still blow your fucking mind when all the pieces come together at the end. The book takes a while to pick up the pace, but I swear to you it’s worth it.
  • Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede
    • A princess gets bored, and decides to volunteer to be a dragon’s captive. Then she gets into a ton of adventures and ends up discovering a plot to overthrow the dragon government. It’s a lighthearted, quick and fun read, and Cimorene is my fucking hero.

Classics

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    • Oh God, read Pride and Prejudice. It’s my absolute favorite book.
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
    • If you can, read the abridged copy. It’s kind of hard to find, so look for the one that was translated by Charles Wilbour and abridged by Paul Bénichou. It’s all the meat of the story and barely a third of the size.
  • Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
    • I mostly like it because it’s written from the rather limiting perspective of Raoul, which means you’re in the dark about the goings-on of the book until someone bothers to tell Raoul what’s happening. It’s actually a lot of fun.
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    • A grim mystery wrapped up like a romance, where the second Mrs. de Winter is trying to discover what truly happened to her husband’s first wife. It’s by the woman who wrote The Birds (which you may know as the famous Hitchcock movie), if that clues you in to the vibe of the book.

  • I don’t really have enough classics on this list

Anonymous said: So i love your “protag breaking down in front of the antag” prompts, do you think you could maybe do some of the reverse? The antagonist breaking down in front of the protagonist? 

dentist-why said:Could you do the villain breaking down in front of the hero because they don’t want to be a villain. (P.S. your blog is so good you are such a great writer.)

Anonymous said:Your protagonist breaking down in front of the antagonist prompts are fantastic! But, maybe to mix it up, could we get some antagonist breaking down in front of the protagonist prompts? (Unless they’ve been done before, I mean)


1) It wasn’t an obvious or sudden shattering. There were no tears, no screams, no heaving breaths. But something in them seemed to have just crumpled. And people could make a lot of jokes about the antagonist being heartless but they weren’t hollow like that. The hero watched it happen, barely aware of it at first - the way a person didn’t notice a cliff being eroded or the colour leeching from an old painting when they saw it so slowly. 


2) “Go on then,” the villain said. They wet their lips, eyes aglow with an almost mania, a fever. “Kill me.”
It was a horrible moment to realize that they weren’t being taunted or mocked or dared - they were being begged.


3) “Tell me what happened, please.”
“What does it matter?”
“Of course, it matters. I’ll-”
“You’ll what?” the villain tried for a smirk, but it was all wobbly and then pressed thin as if desperate to hold back a sob. They swallowed hard. “It’s not crime when it happens to bad people, it’s justice. Karma. Just the way the story goes.”
“You don’t actually believe that.”
The villain glanced up, the look on their expression heartbreaking. Because oh, they actually did. And oh, they looked terrified.
The hero’s teeth gritted, and they crowded a little closer, lowered their voice. “Look. If someone’s hurt you - told you that - if someone’s got something on you-”
“Oh, don’t you know, hero?” this time, their voice really did crack. “No one’s ever got anything on me.”  
It was enough, they’d seize hold of the antagonist in a moment. “Let me help you.” An order, not a plea this time.


4) Being them, they weren’t allowed to splinter. They didn’t have friends to fall back on, they didn’t have a safety net, the people of their court had no mercy towards the weak or the stumbling. To slip, to mistep, even an inch was to beg the wolves to fall on his throat. In a room of predators there always had to be prey and they’d vowed never to be prey again. They would never be seen as weak again.
“I’m sorry,” they said, as the protagonist’s door opened. “I know I shouldn’t be here. This was a terrible idea-” they took a step back, regretting coming already. It was foolish.
The protagonist caught their arm and reeled them inside. Gently. So gently.
It was the gentleness that did it and the next second the antagonist was in tears. Hideous, world bent out of shape, tears.  


5) “I’m fine,” the antagonist said.
“Okay.”
“I’m fine.” They’d just said that, and the protagonist was starting to look concerned. “Just fine. Everything’s going to be fine.” Oh god, they couldn’t stop saying it, couldn’t stop gabbling it, couldn’t breathe over it choking on that word. Fine, fine, fine, always perfectly fine.


6) The villain’s lungs strained for air as the hero slammed them up against the wall, face inches away. Fear licked up their spine.
“You’re sorry?” the hero spat. “Sorry doesn’t even begin to cover what you’re going to be for what you’ve done. You don’t get to cry over your guilt - you’re not one who got hurt.”


7) They knew it was wrong, they knew they shouldn’t like seeing the antagonist like this. A shell of themselves, fragile, held together by stitches. But oh they were so pliant like this. So scared of doing wrong and so desperately needing reassurance.
“I forgive you.”
“It’s going to be okay.”
“You’re not a monster.”
The hero had never felt so addictively needed in their life, so redemptive, so powerful to have the villain breathless and overwhelmed with the smallest of kindnesses. They felt like god.

1. Use the lyrics of your favorite song as the basis for a short story. 

2. Write a mystery. Start with a question and write until you answer it. If you don’t know the answer: even better. 

3.Tell this story: “And it was that exact moment that the power came back on…" 

4. Write a scene that starts with the line, "Darling, stop." 

5. Write a scene that happens right after a tradegy. Don’t mention the tragedy. 

6. Go to your nearest book. Turn to page 51. Find the first line of the last paragraph on the page. Use that line to start your scene. 

7. Write a story that starts with a word you picked out of a dictionary at random.

8. Write a scene using the line "Wait, these codes aren’t right." 

9. Use this in a scene: All I heard was "I swear it will be funny…”  and then we were in jail. 

10. Write a scene where your Antagonist stumbles upon someone from their past. Someone they tried to forget. How has time changed them? 

11. “So… I wasn’t supposed to press that button?”

12. Tell this story: “It was less than a second, maybe half a second, but it changed everything." 

13. Write about this: They sent me because I don’t exist.

14. Your story has to include this line, either at the beginning, middle, or end: ”…but if anyone asks, tell them we’re fine.“ 

15. Write about the sound of winter.

16. Create a character that is a villain to both your antagonist and protagonist. 

17. Shuffle time!! Put your music on shuffle and start writing. Everytime the song changes, change the mood of the story to match the music. 

18. Your character falls down a flight of stairs. What happens? 

19. Write about the morning after the day she died. 

20. Write a scene that takes place on a subway. There are five stops in the scene. 

21. Write a story that starts with a screech. 

22. Write a short paragraph ending with these words: He would give anything to turn back the clock five minutes.

23. What if the story started with this? The bomb exploded. 

24. When they were young, your Protagonist made a promise they weren’t able to keep. What was it?

25. Describe a character twice. Once to fall in love with them, then again to be repulsed by them. 

26. You are a kid’s imaginary friend. He’s growing up. You’re fading away. 

27. At birth, everyone has the date they will die tattooed on their arm. You were supposed to die yesterday. 

28. A little girl is terrified of the monster under her bed, but what she doesn’t know is that the monster under her bed protects her from the true monsters - her parents. 

29. Everyone human being is born with a birthmark signifying a great deed they are fated to do in their lives. Your first child has just been born with the mark of a murderer across her face.

30. Prompt: This is what the darkness promised. 

31. Write a letter to someone who doesn’t like you. 

32. I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first I thought it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again. 

33. Suddenly, all over the world, all children start drawing the same thing over and over again. 

34. Write about a character who can’t keep secrets. 

35. At the beginning of mankind, there were only zombies. They began to evolve and have a human apocalypse. 

36. You run into the gym and mysteriously find yourself in a forest. You learn you have been granted one super power. Describe your journey home. 

37. Write about this: What would you do if you weren’t afraid? 

38. What if tattoos just randomly appeared on our skin at key points in our lives and we had to figure out what they meant for ourselves. 

39. Write down who you were, who you are and what you want to remember. 

40. Write a scene that starts with: "I haven’t told anyone this before, but I’m going to tell you now.”

41. Write a scene using this line: “I saw what was in his mind. I know what he’s planning.”

42. Write a scene only using dialogue. Start with the line, “What do I do? He’s been there all day." 

43. Write dialogue - two people. They both say "I love you,” but only through subtext. 

44. Write a scene using these dialogues: “Do you trust me?” “No.” “Smart man.”

45. Dialogue Prompt: “I’m trying my best to be polite, but if you move that knife a centimeter closer to me I will tear you apart." 

46. Use this as inspiration for your next scene: You ruined me. I plan on returning the favor. 

47. Have one character convince another to do something incredibly stupid. 

48. Dialogue Prompt: "What’s the little blinking light mean?” “It means… wait, blinking?" 

49. Dialogue Prompt: "Now remember, if you hear ominous chanting, the appropriate response is to run." 

50. Dialogue Prompt: "Shit, man, we brought the wrong kid.” “You’re kidding me." 

Have fun writing!

Posted: 10 January 2015

Last Updated: 10 January 2015

Lyrics of Infinite’s theme and some interpretations

I am the tallest of mountains and the roughest of waves
I am the toughest of terrors and I am the darkest of days
I’m the last one that’s standing, don’t try to stand in my way
Cause I’ve been up against better, just take a look at my face

Cause if you’re messing with me, I am a dangerous weapon
I am the sharpest of blades, I’ll cut you down in a second
Cause I was born in this pain and it only hurts if you let it
So if you think you can take me, then you should go and forget it

After all this time, you’re back for more
(I wont stop until they know my name!)
So take what’s mine, and start this war
(I’m coming at you like a tidalwave!)

When everything you know has come and gone
(Don’t you notice, I am right behind you)
And the stories made are thrown away
(Nothing in the ashes, noise in the silence)
When there’s no one left to carry on
(This is an illusion, open up your eyes and)

[Fate persists?], I can’t resist,
Cause that’s what it takes to be INFINITE

So look around you and tell me what you really see
I never [ended?] and that’s the difference in you and me
Cause when your time is up and everything is falling down
It’s only me and you! Who is gonna save you now?

So look around you and tell me what you really see
You live a lie and that’s the difference in you and me
I am the power, let me show you what it’s all about
It’s only me and you! Who is gonna save you now?


I am a dangerous weapon
I am the sharpest of blades

This part caught my eye immediately. Does Infinite actually think of himself as a weapon, a tool? Is this why he accepted to work for Eggman, or was the doctor the one who somehow convinced Infinite that he’s only good for that? It would certainly be original, considering his arrogant demeanor - and would prevent any nasty betrayal shenanigans.

After all this time, you’re back for more
(I wont stop until they know my name!)

The first verse reminds me a bit of the situation with Lyric at the beginning of Sonic Boom - the antagonist acts as if he’s an old enemy to Sonic, while he doesn’t even know his name. And Infinite wants to be known, and possibly feared.

… unless he’s talking to someone else. Like the Avatar. Somebody already theorized that Infinite is supposed to be a foil for the Custom Character - face covered, mish-mash of features, powers related to alternative realities, and the God Mode Stu to the everyman of the Avatar. So maybe they have some kind of relationship, whether from the start of the game or by the end.

When everything you know has come and gone
And the stories made are thrown away

This reminds me of Erazor Djinn and his plan to carve out the Arabian Nights stories, and ties well with the concept of Infinite messing with alternative dimensions. It probably means “I’ll destroy everything you love”, but eh, this is more interesting.

Cause when your time is up and everything is falling down
It’s only me and you! Who is gonna save you now?

I still don’t know if he’s talking to Sonic or the Avatar, both would make sense. If he’s talking to Sonic, it would put some focus on the Avatar, as they’re the one who’s gonna save the day and help Sonic in true fanfiction tradition.

So look around you and tell me what you really see
You live a lie and that’s the difference in you and me

I wonder what he means by “living a lie”. Is he accusing the heroes of being too idealistic, of having too much hope? And… he doesn’t?

Cause I’ve been up against better, just take a look at my face
[…]
Cause I was born in this pain and it only hurts if you let it 

This almost sounds like Infinite has a dark and troubled past, as if something has happened to him (a fight? He’s “been up against better”) that lead him to hide his face and he’s hurt but he’s suppressing his suffering.

… I doubt it’s true but it would make him even more of a parody of an edgy OC. But if it’s true, it would put this stanza in a different light:

When everything you know has come and gone
(Don’t you notice, I am right behind you)
And the stories made are thrown away
(Nothing in the ashes, noise in the silence)
When there’s no one left to carry on
(This is an illusion, open up your eyes and)

Maybe Infinite’s not just talking to the protagonist of what he’s gonna do. Maybe he’s lamenting of what happened to him. And a dark, traumatic past fits with him being a pessimistic person that wouldn’t “live a lie” and referring to himself as a “weapon”.

And since I’m a sucker for tragic villains, I’ll keep this headcanon until further proof.

anonymous asked:

God do I love your prompts where the villain and hero have sexual tension 😏 just wanted to tell you you're amazing!

“You know, I’ve always wondered what you looked like under all of those clever disguises and deceptions of yours,” their enemy said. They studied the protagonist with unconcealed curiosity, biting down on a grin on their lip.

The protagonist swallowed, mouth dry, trying to get a good look at their enemy in turn. Of course, after all, they’d wondered. Perhaps more than they should with the glimpses they’d caught here and there. They raised a brow. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”

Their enemy laughed and took a step closer in the gloom, letting the light fall upon their face. 

The protagonist’s breath caught, before they fumbled to fulfill their own part of the bargain however foolishly.

“Oh now,” their enemy murmured. “Aren’t you lovely. It seems a shame to hide it.”

Baby Driver review

Edgar Wright can do no wrong. This may seem like a horrible pun, and it is, but after seeing his latest cinematic offering, Baby Driver, I think it’s a pretty safe thing to say. Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and now Baby Driver… the man just seems incapable of disappointing with his films. This film was still a risky move for Edgar Wright; the man is known mostly for comedic films, or at least films where comedy is a huge selling point. Scot Pilgrim and Hot Fuzz are both action-comedies, whereas Baby Driver is more of an action crime thriller with comedic elements (hey, Wright’s not just gonna drop his signature style, is he?). It is also a low budget film where Wright insisted all the stunts and driving be done with practical effects rather than CGI, and it was originally going to be tossed in August, which is a dump month for… but after being screened at South By Southwest and receiving critical acclaim up the wazoo, it was pushed on up to June. The riskiness of jumping into another genre paid off, because Baby Driver made up its production budget its opening weekend and is still going strong!

In short, this movie is a massive sleeper hit, and for very good reason: it’s fantastic, stylish, exhilarating, and populated by some of the finest actors playing the most intriguing characters in a crime film since The Usual Suspects or GoodFellas. So what story could produce characters so good? Well, let me tell you! The story centers on a young man known only as “Baby.” Baby is the getaway driver for a criminal kingpin known as Doc, who has a gang of bank robbers he sends out to commit crimes. Baby is a kid with a tragic past, as an accident claimed his mother’s life and gave him tinnitus, which is why he constantly listens to an iPod at all times. One day, he meets a lovely young waitress named Deborah, and the two soon fall in love… and now Baby finally has a reason to leave the criminal world behind after his last job. But things never turn out so easy, do they?

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Aaron’s Top 7: Attractive Animated Males

I’m not a fan male designs in animation. At least, not in the way I’m going to be judging them in today’s list.

Originally posted by none-tadashi-left-hiro

Previously, I did a top 7 list of attractive female characters. The problem I had with that one was selecting characters based on personality over design with cosmetics being an aesthetic factor. With this list, the issue is reversed.

When you think of a male anime character, you think of a slim guy with slumped shoulders and a soft face. Any character that’s ‘masculine’ is often to an extreme to show how muscular they are. The point is that they look ‘pretty’. Just about 70% of male characters in anime can easily be redrawn as a girl. 

Which brings me to my issue with male characters in western cartoons. I can look at them and immediately tell who the protagonist is. You’re the comic relief. You’re the wise old mentor. You’re the token black character. Either that, or they’re animals. I like Stan Pines from Gravity Falls because they put a spin on the grumpy old man trope making him a greedy conman who doesn’t stop conning people as the show goes on. But design wise, I see him and go, ‘you’re the grump with a big heart’. And before you ask, no, that old dust buckle is nowhere near this list.    

I just became numb to designs of a lot of male characters since there’s so many men outnumbering females in media. I don’t really think about which one stands out. I’m just seeing how the character develops in the show. 

‘Nerd who wants to prove himself and has some sort of famous/prestigious family/background’. Let me guess, you just named 20 male characters in your head didn’t you? So why am I doing this list? Well, here are some characters who have a design that I found interesting with personalities to match. 

Same rules as the women’s list: 

Character comes before design. 

No villains/antagonist. 

Characters must be 18+.

It’s my list so if your hubby isn’t here…too damn bad.

Originally posted by insane-addiction

Guys Gals & Non-Binary pals, this is Animated Aaron’s Top 7 Attractive Animated Male Characters.

Honorable Mentions:

Originally posted by christopher-reeve

John Stewart/Green Lantern-Justice League; Justice League Unlimited 

Originally posted by goku-z

Scar-FMA (Franchise) 

7:

Originally posted by vgeta

 Goku-DBZ

He’s a fucking idiot. Know that you know why he’s at the bottom, he’s actually got one of the most unique designs in anime. As I said before, anime men are fucking twigs with slumped shoulders.

Goku is actually muscular in a way that isn’t comical like in most cartoons. He’s build like an Adonis, true, but he’s still very close to how a real human would look opposed to the over the top shit in stuff like ‘JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’ or ‘Kenichi-The Mightiest Disciple’.

That being said, everyone tries to emulate the character. A big/powerful guy who’s as gentle as a bird and believes in the good of others while holding his ground for his beliefs. I’d like him a lot better if this dynamic didn’t create so many clones of the guy. Naruto, Luffy (One Piece), Gon Freecss (Hunter x Hunter), ect.  

6: 

Originally posted by leeminlimer

Spike Spiegel-Cowboy Bebop 

Alright. So while Goku is built like a brick house, Spike here is more on the slim side. Most men in anime don’t look like their balls have dropped despite being ‘martial arts experts’. Spike isn’t stacked but the few scenes where he’s shirtless prove that he’s got some meat. Again, he’s more how someone would realistically look given his fighting style. He’s quick on his feet and loose with his punches. He’s actively trying to wear the person down but knows where to hit them for a k.o if he’s in a hurry. 

He’s cocky but doesn’t go around bragging about his skills like most protagonist. Rash and impulsive but isn’t hyperactive. He’s just a cool dude with a checkered past. If the situation gets the best of him, he’ll let his wounds heal and go at it again. If there’s money involved that is. 

Whatever happens, happens.  

 5: 

Originally posted by diolazuli

Takashi Shirogane-Voltron LD

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Top 5 Underrated Anime to Watch for Halloween

Happy Halloween everybody! I know that I usually would open the askbox or do some kind of event for the holidays, especially my favorite one, but I just didn’t have time this Halloween and think that I have enough requests in the askbox to work on without adding others. So I decided to continue with this new thing I’m doing or anime analysis with a recommendation of the top 5 underrated anime I think you guys should watch this or any other Halloween. I worked hard on this so please enjoy!


5. Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro

Originally posted by benjandan

This is probably my favorite series of all time. Written by the author of Assassination Classroom, Yuusei Matsui, Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro is an occult detective fiction that tells the story of Neuro Nougami, a mystery-eating demon that, due to eating all the mysteries in demon world, comes to the Human World to find the ultimate mystery. With the help of teenager Yako Katsuragi, he founds a detective agency and the two go around solving cases around Japan. It’s not so much a straight-up horror or Halloween-themed show, which is why I have it so low on the list for how much I adore this series; it has very dark comedy and the characters definitely come across a lot of horrible things and characters as they investigate murder after murder. It’s a villain of the week type of show with a few recurring villains, especially when you go farther and read the manga, but you’ll, as messed up as it is, never get bored with the way the antagonists murder their victims. The show is highly stylized in just the way I love and the main characters Neuro and Yako have an amazingly original and fun friendship you loved to watch. The recurring protagonists are dynamic and original (one of them is a sentient braid of hair named Akane), the story arcs are fun, and it expertly plays hopscotch with the line between light-heartedness and fucked upness in an absolutely delicious way that makes it a juxtaposingly dark and fun show with the same weird, wacky, and twisted humor of Assassination Classroom, but about demons you won’t be afraid to watch at night but will definitely get you in the dark and spooky mood. I cannot recommend it enough.

4. Blood: the Last Vampire

Originally posted by shultzmanganime

The Blood Series (Plus, C, etc.) are an anime Halloween classic and the original animated film did not used to be considered underrated at all, in fact, it was a staple, and for good reason! The artwork is beautiful with a stylized realism and amazing shading work that is just stunning to see. And the animation is just as smooth, crisp and realistic to match. The story is actuall pretty compelling and scary too, and pretty straight-forward. In the year 1966, Saya is the last of the pureblood vampires and is a stone-cold badass that spends her days killing the blood-sucking, bat-demons: chiropterans. The story takes place on her mission at a high school near the Yokota Air base where she is to pose as a student and hunt down the hiddern chiropteran. It’s a straight-forward but bloody story with terrifying artwork and just amazing direction, writing, and animation in both the sub and dub that, despite its loss of relevance over the last 16 years, still holds up remarkably well. If you’re looking for something bloody, edgy, and dark that isn’t Hellsing, this is a classic place to start.

3. School Live!

Originally posted by lilium

If Japanese Horror has taught us anything, it’s that it can do a whole lot, by showing very little, and School-Live freaking nails that concept. The series follows the girls of the Megurigaoka School Living Club, specifically the super cheerful and optimistic Yuki Takeya, who experienced delusions of a regular moe-moe school life while the girls live in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. It tricks the audience by setting the show up like a traditional moe club girl anime to be fully immersed in Yuki’s delusions, but tbh, I don’t feel totally guilty spoiling that because it’s pretty easy to predict that there’s something seriously wrong with it about five minutes in and it’s one of those shows you really enjoy a lot more once the secret it out. It’s ridiculously smart in the way it portrays it’s zombies and horror, far more unnerving than The Walking Dead’s gratuitous use of shock-value gore and violence (although I do also love that show), it really just plays double-dutch with how it comforts and yet at the same time alarms you through Yuki’s expertly portrayed delusions and growth, and especially in watching the growth in both the characters and the show openings—it’ll have you on the edge of your seat the whole damn time AND give you a couple best girls to choose from. What better way to spend your Halloween?

2. Highschool of the Dead

Originally posted by zicosontheblock

Now on the opposite side of the zombie spectrum. Highschool of the Dead is a very straightforward zombie invasion story with overly-straightforward ecchi, harem themes to it—understandably so, it was written by a hentai artist after all—about a group of high schoolers trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. It’s the straight up horror of The Walking Dead and 28 Days Later. Now I’m not saying this show is underrated because it’s not well known—it’s on every horror anime list and the manga, although on hiatus, is still a top seller. I’m calling it underrated because I don’t think that people give it nearly enough credit. Yes, the fanservice is ridiculous at times as is the way all the girls are constantly falling for Takumi, but the characters are all really dynamic and interesting, including the main audience-insert character Takumi, who actually, isn’t a totally pathetic, Gary-Stu audience insert. He’s funny, strong, courageous, and handsome with some real emotional baggage, and it’s actually pretty easy to see WHY girls fall for him. Similarly, the girls all have personalities, even if they do fall along the lines of harem tropes, these are pretty strong, independent and interesting women. And don’t even get me started on Kohta. I love that chubby little gun otaku so much I can’t even fucking stand it. Overall, I just think it’s a really solid story with one of the greatest English dubs I’ve ever seen that I think people are way too quick to drop because of its fanservice and if you stopped watching after the third panty shot in the first 10 minutes, go back and power through because you’re really missing out on a great dumb, fun series.

And at number one is…

1. Blood Lad

Originally posted by michi-i

GREAT fucking show and I am shocked that not as many people are as crazy about it as I am. Blood Lad tells the story of Staz Charlie Blood a powerful vampire in the Demon World who is obsessed with humans, anime, and Japanese culture. One day, a human girl, Fuyumi Yanagi, stumbles into the Demon World, which he’s thrilled about! …until she’s eaten alive by a carnivorous plant and turned into a ghost and he then takes on the responsibility of bringing her back to life. Huge Halloween-esque fun as they go about battling werewolfs, Staz’s vampire relatives, and even Frankenstein-themed monsters—seriously, I’m shocked this isn’t on at least one Halloween list I’ve watched. Maybe that’s because even with all these horror themes and references, it’s a really fun show. It’s an action and supernatural black comedy with cute and funny romantic tensions and love triangles, ridiculously fun and likeable characters, and just a fantastically entertaining occult story. I adore this anime and while it won’t have you screaming, it’ll get you pumped for a fun Halloween in the same way the American film Hocus Pocus would. It’s ironic, satirical, and just absolutely wonderful, and is a must watch, for Halloween or otherwise.


So yeah, those are my recommendations! Let me know what animes all of YOU recommend for Halloween or otherwise and I’d be happy to post them. And remember, to celebrate this blog’s first anniversary, I’m accepting fanworks for sports and shounen anime that YOU all produce so send those in if you’ve got them! Thanks for all the support and keep on sinning!

–Admin Ryou

In which I live-blog Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Okay. Here we go.

Can I get more Heather and Valencia this episode? Please?

Oh, Rebecca. So many unresolved father issues.

Wait? Paula made that veil? What a gem. What a fantastic human.

Rebecca, I know you’re SO HAPPY but this wedding CANNOT happen.

I mean, this wedding isn’t going to happen, right?

RIGHT?!?!

YES A DEATH METAL NUMBER THIS IS EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED FROM THIS SHOW

You know Josh, you’re not the brightest, but thank you for recognizing something’s up and that Rebecca’s has done a complete 180 in regard to her newfound idealized vision of her relationship with her father.

You still shouldn’t marry Rebecca, though.

Stop being cute. I refuse to ship this.

Oh, God; she’s said her life is practically perfect. She’s happy. How is this all going to fall apart?

Hmmm…

Oh, God.

Josh is a stand-in for her dad.

No, not like that.

Just that she had abandonment issues regarding her father and that Josh is her way of fixing that. Like, by him sticking with her, she can mentally erase what happened with her dad by making Josh the primary male figure in her life. Just like “A Boy Band Made Up of Four Joshes” in season one suggested-that every guy she dates is just a stand-in for her dad.

This show, guys. It’s so good.

Robert? Who tf is Robert? Was she engaged before? Interesting

Darryl’s in the stag party, God bless.

REJOSHECCA CHABUNCH DID I MENTION HOW MUCH I LOVE DARRYL

Looks like Rebecca’s not the only one with an unhealthy relationship with her opposite-sex parent. (Lookin’ at you, Hector.)

White Josh is right; last two people who should get married.

WiJo is not into marriage; of course. Kids, yes, marriage, no-Darryl is going to be so upset.

But, you know, actual conflict that couples have to deal with is good, so props on that. I’m excited to see where their storyline goes. And, you know, I think there’s something to be said for not having to “legitimize” a relationship by getting married.

But I also really want them to get married at some point, so…

But, you know, it’s fine. Because I trust the creative team on this show-I trust them in whatever decisions they decide to make.

Wow, I have literally never said that about a show before. Good, job, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Team. (This show is the best, you guys.)

I love Father Brah. Like, legitimately so much.

Shut up, Naomi; Valencia is great.

“Hootenany.” I’m so glad Valencia’s vocabulary is this way.

All of these guests, but no Trent? I was promised Trent. Where is Trent?

Did she just…pop her foot while hugging her dad? WTF?

Aw, Scott and Paula went together. As much as I don’t like infidelity plots, I’m glad they’re working things out.

Naomi is dishing. It. Out. I wasn’t aware how much I loved her before this episode.

NATHANIEL IS HERE

WHY

WHY IS NATHANIEL HERE AND NOT TRENT

Is he trying to be a Nice Guy ™? Or does he just want approval because he also has father-based self-esteem issues? In either case, he really needs to shut up.

Hmm…accepted to Harvard, Robert happened, went to Yale instead? GIVE ME ANSWERS

Yeah, she’s an enigma because she kept one obviously traumatic event from you, Josh.

He thought….

The dance instructor thinks Rebecca is marrying her dad. Wow. And she finds it funny instead of being freaked out (presumably because a stranger sees an emotional connection between them and she’ll take anything she can get at this point)? Can this show get any more blatant?

My poor, little problematic protagonist.

I NEED. TO BORROW. SOME CASH. WOOOOOOOOOOOW. What a fucking jerk.

No wonder Rebeca has so many issues. Her own parental unit only came to her wedding in order to ask her for some fucking money. God, I hate this show.

(That’s a lie; I love this show with every single atom in my body.)

Thank you, Doctor Akopian. Dr. Akopian is the hero we all need. #AkopianforPresident

Oh shit, Robert the mysterious ex-boyfriend was her TEACHER?! (I mean, she said “I dropped out of your class” and “You said you’d leave your wife,” so I assume…)

Oh, no, Rebecca. You did not drive your father away, you were eleven. You were not a needy child. Someone give this poor woman a hug.

Forget about the past? I do not like this. I don’t trust you, Silas. I’ve got both my eyes on you.

YES TRENT FINALLY

PLEASE SAVE US WITH YOUR MORALLY UNSOUND PLOTS

So, this wedding can’t happen, but I don’t want Josh to be the one to call it off because I know that will utterly break Rebecca.

But I also don’t want Josh to be sad because he’s trying his best.

Yes, communication is good. Thank you, Father Brah.

This conversation is going to be a time.

A REPRISE OF YOU STUPID BITCH

AND VILLAIN IN MY OWN STORY

IT’S A MEDLEY

Okay, this show wins all the awards. All of them. Everyone else can go home.

NO JOSH A GIRL CANNOT FIX ALL YOUR PROBLEMS

YES JOSH RECOGNIZING YOUR ISSUES AND CALLING YOURSELF OUT I KNEW YOU HAD IT IN YOU

Please, talk to each other. I don’t ship you, but you need to have this conversation.

I am actually legitimately scared; I have no idea what is going to happen.

This friendship is so important. Paula and Rebecca, I mean.

HAHAHAHAHA DON’T ASK ME I’M JUST A DUMB COWBOY WHO LIKES WEDDINGS Darryl is my favorite. Like, actual favorite on this show.

WiJo, maybe you shouldn’t argue about it, but you should talk. Discussing where your relationship will go is important for couples everywhere.

Heather’s directness and honesty is everything to me.

JOSH WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU GOING

DARRYL DARRYLDARRYLDARRYL IT IS FAR TOO EARLY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO CONSIDER HAVING A BABY YOU GUYS ARE PRECIOUS BUT PLEASE THINK ABOUT THIS

Why is this show like this? Why did I sell my soul?

…I hate this.

Josh, no. Don’t just leave. You need to talk to Rebecca. Trust me, it will hurt her less than if you just don’t show up without an explanation.

I am so here for all of Rebecca’s friends being willing to rip Josh apart for abandoning her.

“With someone else, but it’s not what you think?” Is he dead?

WHAT

JOSH IS JOINING THE MINISTRY

…Because Father Brah said it was the answer to all of his questions about life and Josh thinks this will solve his serial monogamy problem.

I…honestly didn’t see that coming.

Oh, no. Rebecca is thinking about jumping. I can’t do this. I cannot do this. I asked for a silly musical show that deconstructed romantic comedies, and I did NOT ask for this.

Aw, she admitted she loved Greg while he was here. This makes my heart happy. They were not good for each other and shouldn’t get back together, but I’m glad she acknowledged his importance.

Okay. So, Robert was her teacher, he broke up with her, she tried to burn his stuff and got tried for arson, and the judge agreed to strike it from her record if she sought mental health counseling. She went to a mental institution and did the whole drug cocktail thing, and that explains why she was on so much medication at the beginning of the show and couldn’t feel anything.

That…makes a lot of sense, actually.

YES PAULA

Oh, God, this is so important. Everyone in Rebecca’s life left her because of their stuff, not because of her. And it all starts with her father walking out.

YES YOU TELL HIM REBECCA

Oh, thank GOD.

“You’re crazy.” “Little bit.”

REBECCA OWNING HERSELF AND ACKNOWLEDGING HER ISSUES HOW LONG I HAVE WAITED FOR THIS DAY

“Have fun flying coach, dick.” Oh, Nathaniel. You know, I just might come to like you.

Destroying Josh Chan. What is she planning?

WAIT WHAT NO

YOU CAN’T JUST END IT THERE NO

I CAN’T WAIT ANOTHER 8 MONTHS FOR A RESOLUTION TO THIS

GIVE ME MORE

Well, at least we got renewed for season 3.

I look forward to it.

And, I gotta say: Rebecca hating Josh is a new dynamic I am beyond excited to explore.

Peace out. This has been a Liveblog No One Will Read.

anonymous asked:

do you know why people like Sansa so much, but usually hate on Daenerys? Sansa was never one of my favorite characters so idk I don't get why people always put her on a pedestal, considering her and Dany went through a lot of similar stuff

To understand why Sansa & Dany are such polarising characters we need to understand that characters aren’t real people, they are metaphors for the human heart to be moved by a story. A writer’s goal is to make people feel passionately about things reality doesn’t offer or things not meant to be explored in reality. Different people are moved by different things and thats why there needs to be that variety. Sansa and Dany are designed to draw very different reactions and strike different chords in society.

Reactive vs Proactive : As a writer, I enjoy proactive characters who start driving the plot from a very early point compared to reactive characters. Dany switched from reactive to proactive end of season 1, Sansa got there end of 5.

Reactive characters are important to show what the stakes are and to make people sympathise or empathise with their circumstances they have no control over. Or they are hated because they remind us of our own lack of control on life which we wish to escape through fiction.

Personally I started enjoying Sansa since season 6,but the reactions to her taking a step back or speak up speaks volumes for a person’s world view of “the appropriate behaviour for struggling woman in a harsh world”

The reactions to Dany’s proactive characterization again show why the “fallen woman” trope was such a success. (Cersei adheres to this trope btw) A good part of the world takes a lot of sadistic pleasure in watching a promiscuous & ambitious woman fall. A proactive character, both male & female gets criticism for their mistakes & weaknesses a lot more than reactive ones because of the impact they have on the story.

But I would like to stress that no matter how despised, a story is nothing without its proactive characters, both negative & positive, any writer worth their salt could tell you that. That’s why they are the most layered & imperfect of all characters and they get a few advantages over the reactive characters.

Underdog vs Unstoppable force : There will always be people who react to one of these. Dany has magic which helped her hatch dragon eggs. There will always be people who will see that as the moment she came into her own and used it to drive her own story & there will always be people who narrow all her accomplishments down to her magic. Just like in real life, people have varying opinions over other people’s privileges.

Sansa is clearly the underdog and there will always be people who will feel for the underdog but want them to stay weak, there will be people who root for them to take charge, there will be those who will resent that change and there will be people who will secretly hope their favourite underdog had the advantage that they would surely hate them for once they do.

Then there are a person’s world view.

  • Most arguments against Sansa are for being too weak. The ones against Dany are that she is so assertive & dominating. If they were men, one would be worshipped for his man-pain & the other would be the alpha male with a fandom larger than Jesus himself. Aegon Targaryen wasn’t selflessly abolishing slavery or holding back on violence, he just burnt castles & took the seven kingdoms by force and he’s the Jesus figure in his world. Dany in the other hand, motivated by philanthropic goals & reluctant to kill innocents, is hated for her strength & reluctance equally. All her earned titles are often dismissed.
  • Sansa was presented as the virgin maiden. Dany was raped in the very first episode but she owned her body & sexuality. I have heard way too many disturbing thoughts from both men & women adhering to our society’s toxic need to hold a woman’s worth in her vagina.
  • Then there are the disturbing arguments about how Sansa “takes it” (abuse or pain) without complaining, compared to Dany who takes none of that shit. Again a story is only meant to make a viewer feel deeply, what they feel depends on who they are as people.
  • But usually most arguments revolve around Sansa fitting better into stereotypes traditionally associated with feminity, compared to Dany, whose warmth & feminity is discounted as non existent because of the duality of her hard exterior which is traditionally an attractive masculine quality.

Relatability

Sansa was the pretty girl with the perfect childhood with fairytales of a prince & a palace whose nativity was taken advantage of when she went into the real world. Its easy to understand why a lot of women would be able to relate to her & want her to have her happy ending. This archetype is also the reason why the people who started hating Sansa in season 1, felt annoyed by her.

Dany’s childhood is a nightmare, she was raised in that cruel world. People with harsh beginnings, walk into the real world with pessimism, expecting cruelty, not so easily shaken up & when they see an advantage, they claw at it to change your circumstances. That’s why there are countless people all over the world who root for Dany’s success & feel empowered by her. It is also the reason why a lot of people fail to understand her character because her roots aren’t that easy to understand for someone who comes from a Sansa like upbringing.

Martin’s diversion

Sansa embodies many traits of the heroine in your average story. If this was a fairy tale, the pretty princess would go out in the cruel world, face just enough harshness to be enlightened but she would remain in her reactive & feminine mould, waiting to be saved by a brave prince whom she would marry to live out her days in his castle. But she changed, she became darker, she saved herself & she’s he Lady of Winterfell, her childhood home, now. 

Dany embodies many traits female characters have been villainized for over the years: having multiple sexual partners throughout the story, being barren, having ambition, being strong, proactively going after what she wants, making mistakes, serious firepower and the kind of moral grey areas that are usually reserved for male protagonists.

Over the years we have been taught by repeated tropes that one should fit into the mould of a pure princess & one should be the evil queen but this diversion, due to with which both these women ended up with such complex & grey characterisation with several similarities, baffles the audience. That’s why a lot of people struggle so hard to put these two into cliche moulds “Sansa - Good! Dany - Bad!” and end up looking very foolish & immature. It’s also the reason why a lot of viewers just can’t understand how Dany could be the protagonist & not the villain because this should be the kind of woman your hero fights, not falls in love with & he definitely shouldn’t need her help to save the world.

In conclusion, it’s possible to enjoy the show without being carried away by hatred or personal desires. It is possible to not get polarised or pit female characters against each other. That is usually my only suggestion when I recommend Game of Thrones to someone. 

nettlestonenell  asked:

Any meta thoughts on wig wearing and Turn characters? Particularly in the wake of Hewlett in photos with his real hair? Culpers seem to wear them the least (then again, Richard never wears one), and Hewlett always wore one until he was kidnapped. Andre had his brief debut in one and then never again. And Simcoe--well, what do you think? Does wearing a wig/false hair signal anything to the audience about characters on Turn?

This is SUCH a fun question, thank you! Disclaimer: I am soooo not a fashion or military historian. I’m not any kind of historian, in fact, and as such, I feared I wouldn’t be able to answer because I simply don’t know enough about wig-wearing habits of the 18th century. INCREDIBLY, though, I actually DO know a totally concrete answer to at least ONE of these character’s situations, because JJ Feild told USA Today last year:

[Andre] did have the wig early on, but Feild was able to ditch it after asking executive producer Craig Silverstein, “‘Do you really want that for your seducer/lover for the next three years? And he said, ‘No, not really.’”

So, where Andre is concerned, the answer is — yes! His wiglessness was much more a narrative choice than a historical one, and it absolutely signals something to the audience! It signals, “You Are Supposed To Fall In Love With This Man And His Sexy Hair”!

(pictured: HAHAHA NO.)

Feild also said that he wanted to ditch the wig because he wanted the audience to see Andre, born to immigrant merchant parents, as an outsider among his fellow officers, who are largely of gentle birth. This is more of an in-universe explanation than the sexiness principle, but it was still definitely a conscious choice intended to influence audience perception. So overall, I suppose the question is: Does TURN give its men wigs based on historical accuracy to their social class, military rank, etc.? (Aka, an in-universe justification?) Or is TURN more concerned with the overall impression of a character’s costuming than with strict historical accuracy?

…TURN being not particularly known for its historical accuracy, I kind of already have my suspicions. But I’m also not discounting the historical element entirely; I think that does play a part. Let’s see…

Powdered wigs were expensive and troublesome to maintain. As such, I would expect to see them only on men of means, status, and/or a keen sense of fashion, and broadly speaking, TURN … kind of holds true to this principle. Most of the civilians we see are wigless, as are the Continentals. Makes sense; these are colonists, after all, provincials, many of them country folk. Even GWash powders his own hair for formal occasions rather than donning a peruke. A notable civilian exception is Rivington and a notable Continental exception Lafayette; I think both can be justified in-universe by Rivington’s pretentiousness and Lafayette’s status as foreign aristocracy. (There’s also Freddy! Who’s just stylish.)

Where things might get a little shakier is the British army. While there are background redcoats who wear their natural hair, I’ve seen it opined that TURN honestly features far too many wigs being worn by soldiers who would have more likely just treated their own hair with grease and powder and styled it into some sort of queue or plait. Again, Hewlett and Simcoe we can forgive on the basis of their social class, but what about orphaned Baker? What about all the other background common soldiers in their expensive, troublesome-to-maintain perukes? 

The overall trend — though with definite exceptions — seems to be a not strictly historical effort on TURN’s part to associate wigs with British rule and wiglessness with the colonists. More abstractly, these expensive, fussy wigs are associated with the old-money wealth, social hierarchy, and pomp implied by British rule, while the colonists are made to seem more down-to-earth, more egalitarian, less pretentious. It’s alllllmost a way of coding Good Guys vs. Bad Guys, at least in s1, when that was more clear-cut — but that’s a complicated issue. Again, there are practical, in-universe reasons for this. I mean, the Continentals are broke, they couldn’t afford wigs even if they wanted them! But I really do think that the general principle goes back to what JJ Feild said about Andre. Andre is allowed to go wigless even from the beginning because we’re meant to dissociate him from the wealth, status, and pomp (and … villainy?) of the rest of the British army. Rivington, although a colonist (an English immigrant, but still a colonist), does wear a wig because he’s pretentious and at least ostensibly a Tory. Lafayette’s wig likewise signals wealth and status.

Okay, what about the other exceptions, then. Simcoe and Rogers. British soldiers, yeah. But wildcards. They — and the Rangers in general — are Irregulars, with a sort of wild, woodsy, feral lawlessness that sets them apart from the fussiness and ceremony of the Regulars. Also, as far as I can tell, historical Rangers just legit did not wear wigs. But I still think it fits the theme, especially since historical Regulars apparently probably wouldn’t have either. Certainly Simcoe’s shift from Regular to Irregular is essentially one in which he’s let off his leash, free from the constraints of regular military hierarchy that kept him somewhat in check in season 1.

And then there’s Hewlett. Of COURSE I have thoughts about Hewlett.

Honestly, ever since the photos of him with natural hair came out, my mind keeps going back to that JJ Feild quote. Like, I don’t want to sound like a crazy shipper fangirl here, but the evolution of Hewlett’s wig situation over these four seasons has been notable, and I think that it’s very much been about influencing audience perception of him. I mean, look:

Season 1: The Worst Wig. The poofiest wig. I can’t look at it, it’s so tragic. But it’s also no better than I’d expect, because at this point, Hewlett is essentially a non-villainous antagonist whom we’re meant to find a bit ridiculous — and, of course, the absolute epitome of that upper-class old-money fussiness that’s being contrasted with salt-of-the-earth ‘Merica.

…But then suddenly. Holy shit. Suddenly, someone decides that this guy should be a love interest. A love interest for a major protagonist. And like JJ Feild said, you can’t have your love interest looking like … that. You have to make him attractive! You have to give him a much more dignified, more understated wig that flatters the shape of his face!

And is it coincidence that part of season 2′s process for making Hewlett more likable involves revealing that, oh, actually, he’s not the epitome of old-world wealth and status? That he’s a gentleman, sure, but his family’s broke, and he’s just trying to support himself and his parents, and actually he’s big into the kind of Enlightenment thinking that (particularly in Scotland, which is where he’s, uh, from, suddenly?) was concerned with social progress? …Weird.

As part of this humanization, s2 also gives us our first glimpse of his actual hair, which I am … more than okay with, even considering the circumstances.

Season 3 is either the same wig or a very similar one, which makes sense given that Hewlett does not have any major beats of character development between 2 and 3. But then season 3 smacks him with some MAJOR disillusionment and personal tragedy, and thus … The Hair!

I still suspect that the in-universe explanation for this is that he’s been demoted to some extent, if we’re to believe what he said about resigning his commission and being cashiered. But I seriously cannot shake the sincere suspicion that this development is FAR more about making him more appealing to viewers than about anything in-universe. It’s another step in the same progression of character development that has, since 2.01, been continually positioning Hewlett as more sympathetic, more down-to-earth, more at home in the colonies, and — critically, if my theory about the overall wig theme holds true — less certain about his devotion to the British cause. And if there’s Annlett this season, the hair will also be part of his progression as love interest.

Again, I’m definitely coming at this from the perspective of a storyteller, not the perspective of a historian. I would love to hear from anyone who can give a better opinion on TURN’s wig accuracy and how much of a role historical fact plays in determining which characters wear wigs. But the more I think about it, the more I think that there is some sort of general characterization trend here and that the costumers are conscious of how audiences will perceive men who wear wigs versus those who don’t.

Top 5 Final Fantasy Antagonists

It’s not like I have 3 fics to finish 2 of them with deadlines, nor like I am facing a mayhem of time chaos, or that I have the basic human need to sleep, nope. Let’s just find something else to spend time on. So here we are.

Because this will feature spoilers related to FFXV under a cut at the end, I have to do this now. Tags! Please, I tag everyone that wants to do this, and all I ask is that you mention me in the post @hannibalcatharsis-zero because I want to read people’s opinions, thoughts, biases, whatever, on your top favorite FF antagonists. You don’t have to make it as lengthy as I did, but I do talk a lot.
If I may, I’d like to directly tag @lvl99fangirl @adrastia @fujoshilyfe @datamarluxia @haeng-syo-peace@dancing-aqua@allowthisfam​ if you want to, simply because I’ve exchanged some words with you before.

Enough endless intro, on to the huge post.

Runner ups:

- Rufus Shinra (Compilation FFVII)

A rare case in FF, he’s neither an experiment, hybrid of some sort, madman or blessed/cursed with some awesome powers. 

This guy is entirely and purely human and therefore is all the more cold heartedness, lust for power, intellect and cunning. Seeing him the first time in Advent Children was one thing, but going back and seeing the stuff he did in FFVII? Even before that? Man, Papa Shinra wasn’t a nice man at all, but apples don’t fall far from the tree and the prodigal son sure as hell did some bad stuff and planned worse. And tried to kill dad more often than his other two brothers did just to rule in his stead even more ruthlessly than the old man. 

Good thing it just took a damn WEAPON firing, explosion and near death experience, Meteor falling and Geostigma to make him consider atoning.

I actually want to see him on the FFVII remake more than anything else really. Full HD Rufus on the prime of his full power-mad and evil persona? Damn.


- Kadaj, Yazoo & Loz (Compilation FFVII) - specially Kadaj

Originally posted by petite-princee

Originally posted by shinysnivy

I love Sephiroth’s Remnants, particularly Kadaj. They’re all so childish (including Yazoo!), which I find rather interesting when you know they’re parts of Sephiroth. Shoutaro Morikubo’s voice acting was beautiful and really built Kadaj’s threatening and deadly persona, while having the feeling of mean but lost child you kinda want to hug. Or would want to, if he wouldn’t likely kidnap your children, torture and kill you.


- Snow Villiers (Lightning Returns Final Fantasy XIII)

Yes, I know he’s not a real antagonist (not for long anyway), but look at him. He needs to be mentioned just because look at him.  

Holy shit.


–My top 5 favorite antagonists–

(not in order of preference!)

- Sephiroth (Compilation FFVII)

Originally posted by xsephiroth

Sephiroth is the name even non-FF fans know of. You have to give to a character when they create such a huge impact overall.

He is visually striking. When he did get voice acting, his voice is memorable (the Japanese one more, but the English isn’t bad either). His theme is memorable. He commited one of the most unexpected and memorable main-character murders in games specially as of 1997, and for that reason remained engarved in gaming history. He overall has all the immediate aspects to make him memorable.

The fallen hero that became a villain instead when he loses his mind after finding about (and missinterpretating) his origins as a genetical experiment. Personally, seeing his downfall in Crisis Core made me all the more fascinated with him. I grew to like him a lot more after seeing that, the change that happened to him. How awesome was Sephiroth, seriously? He was kind. Funny even. Man, Hojo is one of the most truly evil characters in the wholeout FF franchise.

The only one with shitty father (the worst) who DIDN’T kill him! Man, seriously, Rufus tried, Genesis did, so did Seymour. Seriously Sephiroth, why didn’t you kill Hojo.

Crisis Core is excellent overall. One of the saddest games.

I honestly don’t know how to exactly pinpoint what makes me like Sephiroth so much.

But the music helped too.
EVERYONE that knew me in 2006-2010 knew this song. I made sure of it.



- Genesis Rhapsodos (Crisis Core/Compilation FFVII)

Originally posted by caerberus

Genesis doesn’t really get a lot of love, and I can’t really blame long-time fans in particular. But personally, I find it a shame.
It does help, I think, that I don’t take Crisis Core in its English version. The whole FFVII universe exists in my head in its Japanese format, I’m sorry to the voice actors of the Eng sub. Gackt’s voice is Genesis’s (well, that’s the point really. He is a lot more irritating in English.

I love everything about this guy. I love the melancholia he lived in, the search for purpose/understanding through parallels, the obssession and obssessive persona he created, the search for friends of equal worth, the utter self hatred, the madness he fell into.
Genesis is tragic.

And the just little (little) stabs and just friendly twists of the knife on Sephiroth’s psyche “We’re all monsters, I’m a monster, but you’re the worst of all. You’re the defination of monster, you know? But hey, I want you to be my friend, help me out :) “

I find it a huge tragedy that he outlives so many people when he didn’t plan to.


- Seymour Guado (FFX)

Originally posted by datamarluxia

My love for this guy exceeds my argumentation ability.

The nihilist even before I knew what nihilism was. I for one never minded his English voice, which in later years I found that people had a quirk against. One of the things I appreciated was to see him fall to madness and how it reflected in his voice turning fiend-ish. I like that he’s the counterpart/parallel of Yuna and how she turned her goal into preserving life and overcoming pain while he decided to end life to end pain.
With the life he lived, you can hardly NOT understand why he sees the world like that. Ostracized for being half-Human half-Guado when obviously he had no fault on that; his father who DID have a part on that shipped him away with his mother arguably for their protection; his mother commiting second-hand suicide to help him gain public appeal against him literally crying for her not to (I wonder why he would prefer his mother alive, huh? I still love those memories in Zanarkand Ruins so much); finally being accepted because he fucking exceeds at magic and has the most powerful Dark Aeon one can have only to see the utter corruption of the world and the religious-political regime that ends up confirming and preaching what he knows from experience - life is about suffering and will ever be.
Yeah.

And he’s the definition of ‘doesn’t die’ (Sephiroth too). I mean, you KILL him at 30% of the game, and he literally returns more than to haunt you :) that’s 4 fucking fights, and overall most people can agree that Seymour Flux was one of the hardest storyline boss fights in the franchise. Many tears were shed under countless hours of attempts only to be crushed each time under Total Annhilation attack.

Besides, not many antagonists include in their plans literally marrying the protagonist (and beforementioned parallel)and having one of the most beautiful wedding purposals 

Originally posted by caerberus

Originally posted by caerberus

Originally posted by captestheimxv

and one of the most awesome weddings ever in gaming history,  in my opinion.

Originally posted by caerberus

Originally posted by iures

Originally posted by caerberus

Originally posted by ethernalium

Originally posted by aegisol


- Caius Ballad (FFXIII-2/Lightning Retuns)

Originally posted by cleyra

Caius saved Final Fantasy XIII trilogy for me.

The whole point of making a post on antagonists/villains is because these characters are a structural part of any story - any FF in particular. FFXIII severily lacked and failed overall to me because of this. Then came this guy and as soon as he appears in the intro, you cannot take your eyes off him.

Originally posted by finalaeon

Originally posted by liberatorofsouls

Originally posted by thingsinlifeyoujustdo

Originally posted by noellkreiss

Caius has got to be one of the most selfless antagonists in the franchise. He’s mean, yeah, but you get his point from the get go. He’s willing to end everything and everyone if it means he can save a girl that has been suffering endlessly (in his view at least - that was one beautiful twist in the story/interpretation, Noel’s words about Yeul’s reincarnation).

And you know what, another rare thing in FF antagonists: he’s successful. He got what he wanted, most of it anyway, including his death. There were some setbacks and unexpected stuff for him in LR indeed (he didn’t plan the Chaos of Yeuls binding him in the paradox, but well) but he got pretty much his biggest three wishes - kill Etro/kill himself, unleash Chaos and Valhalla to destroy time and save Yeul.
Not everything ended up exactly like he envisioned, but the result was basically the same. And he was happy.

Also. The voice. The fcking VOICE. Liam O’Brian, man.

The pain in his words!

And the music!


- Ardyn Izunia (FFXV)

Originally posted by datamarluxia

Well this part isn’t spoilers yet so:
The voice. The. fcking. voice. The range of emotions Darin de Paul and Fujiwara Keiji have in their performances is amazing. Ardyn is so unique, so regal, over the top if he wants and so often funny. So captivating. 
His whole image/pose is striking, the way he stands and moves. Will anyone deny that that entrace in the fucking BEAUTIFUL MAGESTIC throne room in Kingsglaive didn’t immediately steal all and any attention to himself despite his surroundings and King Regis standing in the throne? He owns a scene the moment he appears.

Originally posted by verryfinny

I also found his more human image (meaning his realism really - you don’t get an antagonist in FF looking this real when it comes to mid/late 30s) quite appealing when compared to others. He’s beautiful obviously, like all others, and still clearly FF-ian, but he’s less ‘facially perfect’ compared to several others before him.

-spoilers- henceforth obviously

Keep reading

Writing Tips

By yours truly, Ea SkyrAHHHHHHHHHHH because how does one write?!?!??? I shall attempt to do the justice as requested without coming across sappy and superior. I would like to put it out there whoever said writing was easy doesn’t know how to write; look at me, already going on a tangent. So I’m just going to leave this here for now, but edit and add on as time proceeds. Note that these tips work for me, but do not have to work for you!

Be realistic to yourself

  • One thing I’ve noticed is that most fan-fiction writers conform to the type of writing style of the author in the fandom. While this does draw more attention to the fics and appeal to the general audience, this does not promote the writer’s own style. 
    • Most fan-fiction writers aspire to become authors. Play around with writing styles. Personally, I’ve toyed with hyphens a lot after becoming hooked with Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry, and started using more ellipses after reading Sarah J. Maas’s works. 
      • However, Poe uses a plethora of commas and exclamation marks. Maas utilizes myriad of fragments. This doesn’t mean you must incorporate all aspects of another’s. For example, when varying sentence length, I tend to use alliteration—extended with hyphens—perhaps finalized with an ellipse…
        • Take what you need and flesh it into your own writing style. Take what you love and build what you want. Take what you see and observe your own style emerge. But never, ever feel forced to wedge your words into other works.  
  • Are you a fluff writer? A smut writer? An angst writer? If you tend to lean towards one genre, don’t jerk yourself in another to attempt to “be more diverse, learn how to write more, etc”. Don’t force yourself into a direction that is not you
    • Doing so allows writer’s block to seep. Doing so means that your writing is now not reflective of who you are and what you want your writing to come across as. 
      • Trying out new writing types is great, don’t get me wrong. But if you’re not doing it for yourself, for your own experimental purposes, then you lose that passion in writing. 
        • Once you lose that passion in writing, you lose the senses captured in the writing. And if you’re not happy with your writing, then chances are, your readers will not be happy with it either.

Channel the Characters

  • Most people agree that the plot is the heart of the story, yeah? If so, then the characters are the blood, the essence of life that circulates around, the makes us cherish or condone the story. If there’s no characters, or blood, there’s not story, or life. 
    • Characters have their own unique personality: they react differently in varying scenarios; they have their own personal ghosts, flaws, and vices. With all these facets and more, it’s hard to piece together a plot that resounds to each of the character’s fundamental pillars.
      • What I do is pretend I am the character, not am I seeing through the character’s eyes. In fan-fiction, you don’t have to exactly follow the same lines of the original characterization. You’re allowed to have a Dark![name], or even Switch. That’s why OC’s gain such popularity nowadays. 
        • You can hold the character with one hand, and have he/she have the other folded into the original pages. You do not have to fold the characters around the plot. You can have a crack character. That is okay. Do not let your mind conform to the characterization. 
  • If a character does something small as small as waggling his/her eyebrows to something large as tracking down your family’s location across the seas from separation since youth and bringing them to you despite others planning contingencies against you, which also takes time away from plotting to gain $$$ since you’re all about greed: I’m just SOC trash, then piece together those small skins of sanctuary in your fics. 
    • That repeated idea will elicit familiarity from your readers. Not only will it seem like you’re just deep in the fandom as the next person, but also will make you a credible writer. Details are the cells in the story’s body. If you can capture them, then you can write the fic.
  • So when you think of characters, you probably think of the heroine or hero first, yeah? For me, at least, I think of the villain. The villain can be the environment, the mind of the protagonist, or a physical entity. Without the opposition, the character’s response, inner strength, and/or Achilles’ Heel does not manifest. 
    • Who is the villain in your fic? How will he or she challenge the protagonist? Is your villain a flat type, or will he or she undergo character development? Is she insane and fickle, keeping readers on their toes? Or is he beyond strong that he can smash the protagonist to the floor, creating mutual hatred and a cycle? Is their fates intertwined to the point where Priestess Chay-ara and Prince Khufu have their fate encircled by Vandal’s Savage (DC trash)?
      • The villain challenges the protagonist’s beliefs. Whether if it’s outright as the devil whispering in his or her ear, or indirect as having the protagonist save a child or an elder, the main character and his or her response will determine his or her own characterization. 
        • His or her flaws will be revealed. Is he obsessed with tracking down the villain? Is she lazy to follow through her sense of duty? Is he a stringent, judge-type character? Is she a morally gray character? Does he have a twisted conscience? Does she strike up a deal with the villain? Does she does so for greed or for self-sacrificial purposes?
          • You can spin the villain in so many ways to shape the plot. What if the main villain was bullied into his or her own the present assessment? Break the trope that the villain victimizes others so they can play the victim. Or will you follow the emerging trope: make the protagonist a bad guy (because he’s threatened? because she’s under mind control?), and only the villain can stop the lead character after fighting him or her for so long.   

At Large

  • In the end, sometimes I really don’t care about the plot or the characters. I don’t care about the snazzy dialogue or elegant symbolism    I care about how this overall piece made you feel. Did you cringe? Cry? Smile? Laugh? Those responses allow writers to see how to flesh their writing. 
    • If the writings elicit feeling, then you’ve accomplished beyond scratching the surface. You’ve given human qualities to pages, and given personality to characters. You’ve exploited the emotions, and that in itself is more than talent. 
  • Repetition is no easy aspect to use. If you repeat words such as “lips” or “walls”, that dulls the entire writing. Use synonyms that appeal to you, but do not essentially change your writing style. Doing so only exacerbates the piece at whole. 
    • Your word choice defines who you are as a writer. The jump from “postponing” to “procrastinating” is no large one, but going from “impromptu” to “extemporaneous” is. Having one technical word in a fluff fic creates inconsistency. 
      • With this, I tend to read certain scenes aloud. Doing so allows me to see if the sentences flow, and also adds an emphasis on the syllables, which have stressed and unstressed sounds. 
        • Following the sounds also allows more similar words and something congruous to follow up. I tend to highlight variance in sentence length, and doing so means that each word has to be concise, and chosen carefully.

At Small

  • Flatter yourself. You are a writer. The eyes are the window to the soul? Pffft, it’s the words that are that, and the key to the heart. You are conquering realms, immersing yourself in the imagination, and jumping across cultures. 
    • If you’re attempting to write, do not multitask. Trust me, you get nowhere doing that. Sit down, and imagine. Close your eyes, and see what you want to happen. Take a journey down through the details. 
  • Personally, I don’t plan when I write. I write on whims. It’s a talent if you can sit down, feeling dry, and conjure up words. To circumvent writer’s block, I take a stroll down Pinterest, talk to other users, or don’t think about writing at all. Often I find that when I’m running a recovery run, that’s often when the creative juices leak. Find your outlet. 
    • We all have other talents or topics we’re experts on. For me, as a cross country and track and field runner, running’s my specialty. I’m no Olympian, but if you can weave in facts that flow in scenes (e.g. Cassian attempting to train Nesta in ACOWAR), then you build credibility piece by piece. 
      • If you have a green thumb, perhaps incorporate your knowledge of plants and the environment into fics. You could create an AU where there’s plants versus zombies (like the app), and have the characters zombies. Or perhaps you can create a fluff scene where the manliest character actually knows about flowers and has his soul mate swooning over him because of that fact. Now I’m just rambling, oh wells.
  • Many readers are becoming concerned with ethnicity. This is going to be hard to tackle. But if you’re writing a fan-fiction, you don’t necessarily have to detail all the looks of a character. I personally tend to stray away from saying “small eyes” to reference to Asian characters, because one, I find that offensive, and two, not very artistically written. Instead, if describing appearances in new environments, I focus on the details that are altered. Does that even make sense??
  • Do, not tell. That’s one essential mantra I have to repeat to myself. Don’t say a character’s “mean and cold and crude” right off the bat. Instead, demonstrate such qualities through actions. Don’t say a character’s a sick sadist. Show the reader how the character is one. 
    • Yes, 99% of male characters are hot as heck, rocking those muscular bods, but perhaps go beyond that? I protest that having broad shoulders, often one detail given by writers, is a sign of being hella hot and out of this world handsome. 
      • You can manipulate the tropes to make readers fall in love with characters. For example, the mysterious, violent detective has his determined significant other tucking sunflowers in his hair keeps every flower and upon asking his SO to marriage, he sweeps her away to a sunflower field. Keep the environment mysterious, reflecting the male’s own character, by having the proposal at dusk or dawn. 
  • When world-building, which is essential in AU’s for fan-fictions, space out the facts in the world. Perhaps have a billboard displaying one of the rules society has to follow. Have the character speak one of the despised government regulations through his or her own unique dialogue. 
  • OH AND THE OXFORD COMMA. If there’s not that third comma, I tend to just stop reading the fic. It’s not a huuuuge deal, but it always triggers me. I’m just biased like that so please just kindly turn away from me I just don’t understand. 

I’m skipping sooo much, but feel free to add on. I’ll be revising this as I think upon this more, but these were what I could think of at the top of my head. 

My Favorite Episodes of O.K. K.O. (Thus Far)

Presenting Joe Cuppa

Originally posted by zombielolipop

Where Rad is K.O.’s personal hero, Joe Cuppa is Rad’s. He’s a comedian that enjoys making coffee-related puns and wordplay. Unfortunately, where his pun penchant used to fill auditoriums, he nosedived to the point a pitiful local gig is a lifesaver. Rad and K.O. step in and try to help their favorite comedian pick himself back up. 

Other cartoons have played with the idea of the series protagonist helping their favorite burned-out celebrity. When the trope is played straight, the celebrity finds some new direction in life, hope, and optimism because of the encouragement from their fan. O.K. K.O. plays the trope pretty straight, too, but how many cartoons make said celebrity the point of view character for the episode? Seeing the narrative play out from Joe’s perspective is a huge part of what makes it stand out compared to similar stories. Not only does the opening titlecard highlight his role in the episode, but the overall story shifts from following the leads to Cuppa within the first few minutes. 

 Viewers are drawn into his self-doubt and journey towards self-discovery. He’s trying to figure out if there’s more to him than his long-gone career and seemingly limited skillset. A very real problem that most people face at some point in their adult life. Joe is the relatable core that makes viewers laugh along with his blunders and ultimately cheer him on. 

Rad Likes Robots

Originally posted by doafhat

This episode is definitely a parody of Shakespearean drama. Rad and Shannon fit the most cookie-cutter roles for Romeo and Juliet, particularly the ‘lust at first sight’ element. When someone comments, “It’s so random! They barely know each other.” That’s a huge part of the joke here. Every lovestruck and heart-eyed reaction from Rad or Shannon is framed as incredibly over-the-top and corny: Just listen to Shannon’s goopy rambling or Rad’s dreamy sighs. Their reactions are paired with skeptic looks or snarky comments from Rad’s co-workers and Shannon’s brothers alike. 

To the episode’s credit, Shannon’s feelings are an interesting, low-key take on the sci-fi staple “Can robots feel?” Obviously, Boxman’s robots are sentient beings with defined personalities and attitudes. Whatever character growth they have stems from what they’d pursue beyond their core “destroy the plaza” programming. It starts with Daryl and Shannon vying for Boxman’s affections in “Sibling Rivalry.” Shannon’s crush on Rad is one of the series’ first steps towards bot-specific episodes. We may see future episodes chronicling the robots’ interests, hobbies, or lives outside of Lakewood Plaza and Boxman. 

The Power is Yours

Promos present “The Power is Yours” as a love letter to the original Captain Planet. That’s the best way to describe the episode even now. 

The writing playfully ribs at how ridiculous certain plot points and character motivations in the original series could be. Everyone knows Captain Planet villains were one-dimensional with a motive as simple as corporate greed. Enter Dr. Blight, a villain that outright states she wants to destroy the world through pollution. Lord Boxman, a pretty one-note villain himself, challenges her logic and only gets as far as a “Because it makes a ton of money and I can!” answer. Most of the episode’s jokes are in a similar vein: following a classic Captain Planet episode, but subverting certain aspects with character dialogue or reactions. Overall, it’s a fun watch. 

Despite the episode’s campy presentation, O.K. K.O. manages to deliver the importance of environmentalism. The end scene has surprisingly thoughtful gravity to it. Enough to make the viewer reflect for a few moments. I’d go so far as to say O.K. K.O.’s self-aware humor is what made the “save the environment” message translate so well. This toon can flip the switch between lighthearted fluff and more significant character moments when it wants to. 

Second First Date

I can’t express how much I love this particular episode. I’m a nutbar that actively seeks out episodes of cartoons that focus on romance, love potions, and even Cupid meddling with some poor soul. “Second First Date” subverts the viewer expectation that this is shameless ship bait. Nope, it’s a character building exercise almost on par with how dramatic and tense as “You Have to Care” was. 

Rad and Enid’s crummy first date was the cornerstone for why Rad “doubled down” on his macho persona. And, if “Second First Date” can be considered a companion piece for “You Have to Care,” there’s a bit of extra weight to Enid’s comment “I keep giving jerks second chances.” Elodie was the major contributor to why Enid comes across as so reserved and aloof now. Rad may not be as severe, but he definitely helped reinforce why Enid is so wary about letting people in. She really liked the guy because he came across as sweet and sincere; a set of very similar traits for what initially drew her towards Elodie. He took every opportunity to destroy Enid’s perception of him, presenting the toxic idea that “Nobody is what they seem to be.”

“Second First Date” focuses more on Rad and Enid finally discussing the proverbial elephant in the room. They got along well enough before, but other episodes showcase how Rad really doesn’t know much about Enid outside of work (Look at “Parents Day”). The same scene where Enid makes the comment about jerks, Rad saves her from, presumably, falling to her death. The entire point was to illustrate Enid’s renewed trust in him. That they can overcome this particular incident and start moving forward with their lives and friendship. 

Friendship is a key aspect of O.K. K.O. (presumably as a legitimate plot point and parodying shonen anime). Here, the toon showcases the importance of having that seemingly difficult conversation with a good friend. Active communication is the foundation of any kind of relationship. Enid making amends with Rad may be one of the starting points to her eventually making amends with Elodie. 

anonymous asked:

I recall that at some point in your tags you mentioned that Kiibo was your third favorite character... why is that?

Haha, I’m surprised someone noticed! The more I reflect on ndrv3 the more I come to really, honestly love Kiibo. When I last took the DR sorter he wound up ranked as my third-favorite right under Ouma and Saihara, and it really caught me off guard myself, because I hadn’t expected him to place that high.

It’s funny, because while I certainly liked Kiibo well enough for most of the game (there was never any active reason to dislike him) I don’t think I wound up getting really attached to him until around Chapter 5. And then Chapter 6 only made me love him more, of course.

The ways in which Kiibo subverted the expectations I (and the ndrv3 audience, and everyone playing the game) had for him as a sort of “Naegi-like” character and ultimately accomplished something meaningful really made me love him a lot. I have quite a liking for characters who are meant to be someone else’s puppet but struggle to find their own meaning and autonomy. If Ouma was the embodiment of this from the perspective of someone who was set up to be the villain by Tsumugi, then I feel Kiibo really embodied it well as someone who was meant to be “the hope” of the story.

Keep reading

[ID: The title Hold We to Braver Things over a photo of a machine.] 

A moon dedicated to AI creation isn’t safe for children. For a girl running from her memories, anywhere but there will do. Sixteen-year-old Rosalie Dasi is fighting to escape a world full of mechanical dragons, engineering witches, and policing ogres. She and her friends do what they can to survive, taking a job from a witch and traveling all the way across the moon—all while a government agent and his Black Dog are hot on their tail. The goal: slay one of the crooked government’s artificial dragons and sell its power source to get money for ship tickets, before the agent can throw them all in jail. No matter the danger, Rosalie will throw herself in headfirst, all to protect her little brother. She’d do anything not to lose another sibling—so what happens when he’s gone and she doesn’t even know?

Hold We to Braver Things is a science fiction fairytale YA novel, completed at 86,000 words. 


Meet The Writer 

[ID: A young adult with brown hair, pale skin, and a brown leather jacket. A tan pit bull is pushing her nose into the person’s forehead.] 

As a child, I didn’t ‘get’ people. Now dogs, dogs I got. I lived and breathed dogs. My dogs were my best friends, I drew only pictures of dogs, I knew every breed name (yes, even those super obscure ones), and would always proudly choose to be the dog while playing house. Dogs were my life. If anything made sense in this topsy turvy world, it was dogs. 

Some things have changed. Others … not so much. 

Dogs are still my bread and butter, but I understand people a lot better now. Most of that is because of writing. I’ve been a writer since I could hold a pencil, and it’s always pushed me to take in more and understand the world a little better. I explored other people–and myself–through writing, and I’ve never regretted it. Writing was my drive and my outlet. Writing bonded me to other people, and that’s how I’ve made some of my closest friends. 

I am very much a realist (yes, I know I write science fiction) and thus I find it of the utmost importance to show the true scope of the world in writing. I’m talking about diversity. Growing up as a Jewish, disabled, queer kid, I never saw characters like me in my stories. At best, characters I could relate to were featured for one ‘teaching time’ episode. At worst, they were the butt of the joke. It took me so long to come to terms with my identities because I never got to see myself represented. Fiction was how I explored my world, so having never gotten to see myself in it, it took me a very very long time to explore myself. 

That’s why I’m proud to be an #ownvoices writer, and write characters that a new generation of kids will be able to see themselves in. 


What I Strive For 

I want characters that grow like Bod from The Graveyard Book. I want scenes that drip with as much poignancy and meaning as Story of Your Life. I want wistful adventures like East. I want to be as clever with words as The Phantom Tollbooth. I want a universe you fall in love with like Firefly. I want scenery that breathes like a Miyazaki movie. I want battles as big and as fun as Pacific Rim. I want a story that’ll leave you thinking like The Last of Us

I want my story to be alive

And if I’m not there yet? I’ll learn. I’ll grow. I’ll never stop writing. 


What I Love About My Book 

Braver Things, despite being a science fiction novel set on a far away moon 500 years in the future, deals with a lot of real topics. Multiple characters suffer from the very real consequences of familial abuse. Childhood abandonment and homelessness is a pressing issue for the children of Hanau City. One character, throughout the novel, deals with the shame and anger that can come from sexual assault. The children must weigh political action against their own safety. One character is shunned from her family because of her deafness, and finds solace on the fringes of society. Rosalie must learn to live with an acquired mental disability, and find out what it means for her role as a leader. They all are faced with the problem: even if you tried your hardest, what if you still fail? 

However, despite all these heavy themes, Braver Things is still a fun read. It never wallows in the darkness, choosing instead to explore family, adventure, and just have a good time. It’s full of wacky robots, dog sidekicks, eclectic characters, junkyard fights, songs, and a whole lotta love. 

It also features a very diverse cast of characters–4 of the main 5 cast are POC, 2 of the 5 are queer, the two twins are autistic, and Rosalie acquires a disability about halfway into the book. The diversity doesn’t stop at the main cast. The moon of Orchada is a very colorful place filled with many types of people. 


Meet the Cast 

Narrator 

[ID: A heart-shaped locket on an open, blank book.] 

The teller of our tale, the spinner of our web, our narrator takes us through the children’s journey in the way that only she can. An old Jewish bubbie and former displaced child, the narrator sets our scenes with a lot of heart and a few wise words about always having compassion. 


Rosalie 

[ID: A person’s legs hang from the top of the frame, with leather boots and dark pants. The background is a shabby wooden house or barn.] 

Rosalie, the protagonist of the novel, feels like she has the world on her shoulders. She feels responsible for the death of her little sister at the hands of her neglectful parents, she feels responsible for the well being of her new baby brother, and she feels responsible for the happiness of every child in Hanau City. A teenage Atlas, she’s going to save every kid she can get her hands on until there’s no one left to save. 


Samael 

[ID: A person’s fist wrapped in a cloth wrap like a boxer. They are wearing boxing shorts.] 

Struggling with the lasting effects of his brother’s mistreatment, and still growing into his gender identity, Samael hides his internal rage with a quiet demeanor and a profound sense of loyalty. Forever Rosalie’s second-in-command, he would follow her to the end of the moon and beyond if it meant she was alright and by his side. 


The Twins 

[ID: Two young children dressed in winter clothes walking along a gravel road.] 

The smartest things on two pairs of legs, 9-year-olds Beyna and Malcah wouldn’t go anywhere without the other. Malcah usually types to talk (with the help of his mechanical service dog sidekick, Argos), but he and Beyna never needed words anyway. Their immense love for robots and flora respectively are what drives them through life, and past their early abandonment by their parents. 


Cade 

[ID: A brick wall with an open window in it. The window has blue, patterned curtains and a speaker in the windowsill.] 

Cade lives to protect the twins, and is really only along for the ride in hopes that he’ll talk them out of it before it’s too late. He’s not sure his grandmother really loved him, but he’ll never forgive himself for leaving her behind. 


Avery 

[ID: A colorful model of a human heart.] 

Rosalie’s more-than-a-friend, not-quite-a-lover, Avery is the one to hold down the fort when Rosalie leaves. She only agrees to stay on the promise that she’ll look after Rosalie’s baby brother while she’s gone, and because she’s the only one who has a shot of making it in Hanau City. 


Agent Bogey

[ID: A man in shadows dressed in a nice suit. He is fixing his tie.] 

The villain of our tale, a shady government agent with a secret the children have taken to calling “Agent Bogey”. Little is known about him, only that he is ruthless in his pursuit of Rosalie and her friends, and he’d do anything to capture the rebels that are rising in Orchada. Together with his sidekick, a mechanical monster called Black Shuck, Bogey never seems to be far behind. 


The Witches 

[ID: Three skulls sitting in an indent in a stone wall. There is a candle burning beside them.] 

These women were never less than unusual. Engineers by job and rebels at heart, these kooky ‘sisters’ specialize in illegal AI creation and flight technology. Outcast to the fringes of society and hidden from the government, they’re willing to help Rosalie and her friends on their journey–but always for a price. 


In the end … 

In the end, Hold We to Braver Things is a story about family. The one you find, and the one you leave behind. It’s a tale full of adventure and heart, just waiting to be discovered. I hope you join me on this journey. 

-Dakota Milo 

“A House Of Many Doors” And Queer Villains

I got @pixeltrickery‘s A House Of Many Doors when it came out two months ago, and I have loved it ever since. It has enjoyable gameplay, stunning art, and, most importantly, a surpassing depth of story. (I'm still finding events that make me go, “hold on, wait a minute, this is another interpretation of those secret history events I learnt about on the last playthrough!”) If innovative fantasy and eldritch mystery are your thing, I highly encourage you to get it.

I also love its approach to romance - not all the people you can flirt with are interested in (or capable of) a relationship, a touch of realism I found appealing. However, more importantly, you can flirt with anybody the game provides as an option, regardless of gender. (Indeed, the player character only has what gender you assign their little portrait option; the only time the game gives you explicitly gendered terms of address is if you become a monarch, and even then, it’s your choice. The rest of the time you’re “boss” or “Captain”, and the game sometimes milks this for humor - a robot police officer asking you to select your preferred form of address from “Bucko. Kiddo. Buddy. Sport. Bub. Junior. Pal. Buster. Slick. Sparky. Hotshot. Champ.” - or to provide a clue - the guy who calls you “Boy! Girl! Whatever!” may not be something to whom mammalian gender distinctions make sense.)

And something else that makes me happy is the fact that the protagonist isn’t the only one to whom this applies. The guard-captain Fiona McConnaghe, in some endings, marries a woman, whom she loves very much. The lookout Nicholas Verdant mentions a man he has back home if you try to flirt with him. And, as it turns out, there’s another important character who’s not straight.

She’s the villain.

Creators very frequently, whether intentionally or unintentionally, queercode their villains, having the villains but not the heroes deviate from Western gender norms, or having the villains act vaguely sexual towards heroes of the same gender, indirectly vilifying such acts. AHOMD, however, provides a heartening example of a way to create not just queercoded, but explicitly queer, villains, while still avoiding the nasty tropes surrounding them. (Below the cut for major spoilers.)

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anonymous asked:

Hello, how are you? First of all, thank you so much for your blog, it is very useful :-) I am outlining a novel and I have run out of ideas in order to make the plot more complex. Mi main character need to find a weapon to destroy the villain (similar to Horrocruxes of Harry Potter). What kind of obstacles she could have? Thank you :)

Hey darling! I’m well thank you, I hope you are too? I really hope I can help you out because this sounds awesome XD

So, at first, I wasn’t quite sure if you wanted ideas of what the object(s) might be, or ideas for developing the characters adventures. I am guessing it was the latter, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, hehe.

So your character is on an adventure (or similar) to find a certain weapon that will destroy your villain? I’ll write a little list of some encounters she might fall upon on the way, I hope that might jog something in your brain! Here we go:

  • Temptation. Things to throw her off her trek.
  • Panic/anxiety. This may be a bit too much like The Hunger Games, but what if you had voices of close family and friends or apparitions to make her think they’d fallen to the afterlife?
  • Encounters. Strangers, friend or foe, people looking for something too, etc. Who might she meet? How do they affect her journey? what kind of character are they?
  • Fights, self-defence. Does someone come to rescue her? Does she suddenly recognise her opponent? Does she become friends with her opponent afterwards?
  • Does she travel with anyone? Keep in contact with anyone? Who does she interact with throughout the story?
  • Who are the supporting characters/ minor characters and how might they impact her life/adventure?
  • Redemption? Interpret that one how you like XD
  • Riddles or mazes she must complete or cooperate with to continue her journey.
  • Traps?
  • Certain powers or abilities she has been granted with? Who is on her side and wants to help her kill the villain?

Okay, so think about who else is in your story, it will help out a whole bunch! Who does the protagonist trust and/or love? Think about who your characters role models are and how they might impact her, or alternatively, how her villains could be motivating her unintentionally. Much like myself when someone tells me I can’t do something- I’m going to do it…! This probably didn’t help a whole bunch, so definitely message me if you want to chat it through! Good luck darling, lots of love from Yasmine xox

TURN, Hewlett, and Why He (& Characters Like Him) Matters

It’s no secret that I love Edmund Hewlett. That’s basically the opposite of a secret, as is the fact that I’ll be pretty crushed if season 4 reveals that, yepp, he really did sail back to Britain and will not return.

But the thing is: my dread is not just about him, per se. I’ve weathered the loss of a favorite character many times before. Who hasn’t? In Hewlett’s case, however, I think the show itself stands to suffer without him — or at least, without the narrative role that he plays so well.

This post is kind of rambling and naturally a bit verbose, but take it, I suppose, as a justification of my sorrow at the possibility of a sans-Hewlett season 4 by way of an exploration of his thematic role in TURN’s narrative and a defense of that role’s importance to the heart of the show. Because for as much love as Hewlett gets, he’s got plenty of detractors as well: critics and fans alike who don’t see the point of the Anna/Hewlett plotline or understand Hewlett’s purpose beyond “local obstructive bureaucrat.” To which criticism I humbly submit the argument that Hewlett & his plotlines absolutely have a point, thank you very much, and that he has in fact proven to be among easily the most moving and successful articulations of a theme TURN has continually tried to reinforce:

That neither the audience nor the characters can side wholeheartedly with only one side of the war, because there have always been sympathetic and admirable characters on both sides, muddying the moral waters and forcing the characters to grapple with loyalty to ideals vs. loyalty to people.

In other words: although TURN ultimately portrays the patriots as the protagonists, it’s also increasingly made a point of forcing its patriots to confront the fact that they do not have any kind of exclusive claim to decency, morality, or sympathy. Quite the opposite, in fact.

And Hewlett is not the only permutation on this theme, but he’s a pretty dang significant one.

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The other day I read The Iron Trial and I loved it. I, like many others before me, probably assumed Callum would be the Makar, after all, that’s who the main character is expected to be, the hero. The one who saves them all. But him being The Enemy changes it all, the whole dynamic. In a good way though. Instead of him trying to be honourable and good and saving the whole Magisterium, he has to try and not be bad, try and not destroy the Magisterium and his friend. Instead of already being good, he is bad. Not evil, but when his memories come back, he’ll remember what it’s all for, what he had done. When (if) that happens, he’ll have two conflicting sets of memories, two different side of feelings. Callum has a choice, to be good or to be bad? Have you ever considered making Callum bad? Or remember who he was and continue fighting for it? — Releasethefandom

Holly: So, one of the things we decided to do on Magisterium Day is talk a little bit about the BIG TWIST of The Iron Trial. I’ve been calling these our “magician antihero” books for a while, but only in secret.

I think your question gets at the BIG question of these books: is Call evil?

And yes, we’ve definitely thought about making Callum bad! That’s one of the possible endings to the series — he and Aaron, facing off against one another, Call, sitting on a throne of skulls.

You bring up a really interesting question in terms of memories — is it possible to access Constantine Madden’s memories and if it is, would Call want to? If he did, would he still be Callum?

Cassie:

Yeah, this really is the big question of the books. It came out of a discussion Holly and I were having about character “markers” - we are accustomed to signals within a story that hint at the role that the character plays. For instance being the protagonist is a good sign you’re the hero! Having secrets in your past, also a good sign. Having what appear to be unusual powers, also a sign.

But a lot of those signs can be flipped around and applied to a villain. Call has all those hero markers, but also all the markers of a bad guy. And so yeah, Call could definitely turn out to be a villain. The potential is there in his soul. Master Joseph knows that. I think that’s part of what makes his relationship with Aaron interesting. He’s destined to, specifically, be Aaron’s enemy. Can friendship erase that? When Aaron knows the truth about Call, will they even still be friends?

Sarah (having stolen my computer):

I for one embrace our future evil overlord.

AARON: At last I have found you, my destined enemy. In your dark lair of evil, in your throne of skulls, stroking a white cat which contrasts with your surroundings and also the fact you are… dressed from head to toe in tight-fitting black leather…

CALL: Yeah, it all kind of came with the lair.

AARON: …

TAMARA: Oh blame it all on your past self, Call, that is so like you. Constantine Madden wanted to enslave mankind for their own good, Constantine Madden’s soul burns for vengeance, Constantine Madden always leaves the toilet seat up…

AARON: …

CALL: I mean, it’s not all Constantine Madden’s stuff. It’s modern. It’s the latest thing. Master Joseph has been keeping it up-to-date. He turns out to be mad for the Evil Home Shopping Network.

AARON: … I’m going to need a time-out.

CALL: Sure, I understand. You look a little flushed. You need to reschedule? I mean, I’m evil, but I’m not, like, inconsiderate.

TAMARA: Take all the time you need. We all cared about him, his fall from grace is hard for us all—

HAVOC: Woof! (Translation: I’m from a broken home!)

AARON: Why, why, why? I can’t deal.

TAMARA: I get it. What evil dwells in the human soul? Can none of us escape our destiny? This is big stuff. Totally.

AARON: Why, why, why, how did it happen, how has it come to this? So black.

TAMARA: His soul and also our fate.

AARON: But also the leather.

TAMARA: …

AARON: Don’t look at me that way! This is the eternal question that has plagued mankind, Tamara! Why, why, why must evil be SO SEXY?

CALL: … Do you mind if I take this call? It’s for a calendar: ‘Evil Uncovered! Not In the Justice Way.’ That jerk Loki’s trying to upstage all of us by doing his with a horse. I’m getting a piercing. I won’t say where because you’re good people and this is children’s literature.

TAMARA: ARE THERE ANY EVIL SMELLING SALTS IN THE EVIL LAIR?