in an attempt to understand why this style is so popular

victarionsrighthand  asked:

What do you think about Sansa's crush on Loras? Do you think it means something that no matter how much she seems to grow as a character she still holds a crush over some pretty knight that never really seemed to care about her and she still imagines him when she kisses people (even if her thoughts get directed back to sandor)

Well… Loras is a very safe crush.

Loras plays the role for Sansa that teen heartthrobs do for many adolescent girls, a safe exploration of their growing sexuality.

The idolization of teen idols typically begins in early adolescence when girls start to become interested in romance and dating and more aware of social norms which suggest that they should have romantic feelings for someone of the opposite sex (Simon, Eder, & Evans, 1992). Rather than dating in real life, developing a crush on a teen idol is a way for girls to acknowledge their emerging sexual feelings in a safe, non-threatening way (Engle & Kasser, 2005). Because teen boys are viewed by girls as only interested in sex (McRobbie, 1991), teen idols are a preferable option. Further, they often project a feminine form of masculinity that is sexually non-threatening and thus accessible to young girls (Engle &: Kasser, 2005; Karniol, 2001; McRobbie, 1991; Sweeney, 1994).

Bitten by Twilight: Youth Culture, Media, & the Vampire Franchise

One of the most popular ways people like to hate teenage girls is to complain about their “insane” crushes on boy band members. Now, let me fucking tell you something: those big dumb crushes are what helps a teenage girl develop her sexuality in a safe environment that she can control. In her world, she can listen to One Direction and hear all these songs about how great she is, and how much these cute non-threatening boys want to make her feel special. Why is this so important? Because no one is pushing them. There’s no fourteen year old boy shoving his clammy hands down your shirt without your consent. These fantasy boys are not convincing a girl to send naked pictures, only to show all their friends and call her a slut. In the fantasy land of boy bands, the girl has all the power. And we need to stop judging them for wanting to escape into that.

–Meghan Harper, “Why I Fucking Love Teenage Girls”

ASOIAF is a medieval-style world, so it of course doesn’t have pop idols and movie stars, but it does have tournaments and tourney champions, who play that role for the adolescent girls of Westeros. (And the boys, too. Consider Bran’s idolization of knights, especially the Kingsguard.) And Loras Tyrell is not just one of the best upcoming stars of the tourney scene, but he’s so dreamy handsome, young, and from one of the best families of Westeros. (Even Robert Baratheon crushes on him, in a manly way.)

Now, the fact that Loras is actually gay (as are so many teen heartthrobs - George Michael, we miss you) makes him even safer, whether Sansa consciously realizes it or not. This is all the more important, since because of the close circles of Westeros aristocracy, Sansa Stark has far more of a chance of personally interacting with Loras Tyrell than your typical teenage girl has with her most beloved Bieber or Zayn.

So when Sansa actually has the opportunity to meet Loras, is even led to believe she might marry him… the expression of her sexuality, while very real, is also very safe:

The sight of Ser Loras Tyrell standing on her threshold made Sansa’s heart beat a little faster.

Sansa was finding it hard to walk and talk and think all at the same time, with Ser Loras touching her arm.

I am talking to him, and he’s touching me, he’s holding my arm and touching me.

Desperately she tried to think of something clever and charming to say to him, but her wits had deserted her. She almost told him how beautiful he was, until she remembered that she’d already done that.

Ser Loras in white silk, so pure, innocent, beautiful. The dimples at the corner of his mouth when he smiled. The sweetness of his laugh, the warmth of his hand. She could only imagine what it would be like to pull up his tunic and caress the smooth skin underneath, to stand on her toes and kiss him, to run her fingers through those thick brown curls and drown in his deep brown eyes. A flush crept up her neck.

–ASOS, Sansa I

Or, for a visual representation:

Now, the trouble (or not?) is that this safe crush of Sansa’s is no longer something she can rely on. Whether it’s because of her aging into womanhood, or because of her actual experiences with sexuality – the dark masculine danger of Sandor Clegane, her marriage to Tyrion Lannister (including seeing him nude and sleeping next to him in bed for weeks), the explicit rape threats of Joffrey Baratheon and Marillion, the disturbing attentions and unfatherly kisses of Petyr Baelish – when she wishes to escape into her formerly favorite safe fantasy of Loras Tyrell, it twists away from her into something else:

Before she could summon the servants, however, Sweetrobin threw his skinny arms around her and kissed her. It was a little boy’s kiss, and clumsy. Everything Robert Arryn did was clumsy. If I close my eyes I can pretend he is the Knight of Flowers. Ser Loras had given Sansa Stark a red rose once, but he had never kissed her… and no Tyrell would ever kiss Alayne Stone. Pretty as she was, she had been born on the wrong side of the blanket.
As the boy’s lips touched her own she found herself thinking of another kiss. She could still remember how it felt, when his cruel mouth pressed down on her own. He had come to Sansa in the darkness as green fire filled the sky. He took a song and a kiss, and left me nothing but a bloody cloak.

–AFFC, Alayne II

Note that there are many analyses of “the unkiss” (link 1, link 2), Sansa’s imagined memory of being kissed by Sandor the night of the Blackwater, but what many point out is that it is again an attempt by Sansa of a safe fantasy, a subconscious attempt to control and understand and romanticize a frightening sexually-charged situation. It’s just several octaves away from her non-threatening fantasies of kissing and touching the “beautiful” Loras.

And though you say Sansa still holds this crush, please note that Loras is only mentioned in Sansa’s narrative once in AFFC (that scene above), where she recognizes that Loras’s attentions were nothing real, no kisses, just a rose. Also, when she thinks about the men who helped her in King’s Landing, Loras is not one of them. Furthermore, he’s not mentioned at all in her TWOW preview chapter – which, considering it focuses on an upcoming tourney and the young knights who wish to be its champions, should be a perfect occasion for the pretty knight Loras to stroll through Sansa’s head, and yet he does not.

So I would say that Sansa’s adolescent crush on Loras is something perfectly understandable… and also something she has outgrown. I hope that helps!

Aspects of Lilith

Both descriptions may apply to conjunctions.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Sun: The native has a well-defined sense of self & remarkable inner security. They thrive when in conflict with an oppressive force or structure & feed on all kinds of attention, positive or negative. They take pride in their radical traits; they are liberated by unapologetic self-expression. Shame is not part of their vocabulary. Social discord is entertaining. The identity relies on breaking stereotypes, standing out, or rebelling somehow. Hedonism can become a severe self-sabotaging issue if the enjoyment of freedom goes too far or inflates the ego to the point of unhealthy confidence. These people typically find trouble wherever they go, and are easily bored by rules & standards.
Square, opposite, or quincunx Sun: The native is constantly met with criticism, rejection, or exclusion for their individuality, and this causes them to hide or repress the most unique parts of themselves. They despise expectations, and when others have any measure of control over them they can become hostile or deeply troubled. They have a painful yearning for freedom but fear the reactions they are used to receiving. A significant amount of their energy will be spent learning how to express themselves openly & shamelessly. Social stigma or stifling of the identity in whatever form will be the primary catalyst for discovery and realization of self. They will be forced to accept themselves.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Moon: The native is comfortable exploring the darker & more unconventional parts of who they are. They instinctually understand their aberrant or taboo qualities, and they are not afraid of them; they’re naturally introspective when it comes to rejection or exclusion and intuitively realize what separates them from others. They use their emotions & imagination to highlight their individuality; they also find freedom in emotional expression. They are not tied down to the person they were raised to be, and do not limit themselves to a personal standard any more than a societal standard – they are able to break away from habitual conformity or self-stifling habits in general.
Square, opposite, or quincunx Moon: The native is emotionally upset by rejection and may cling to tradition or other metaphorical “safety blankets” developed in childhood in order to avoid social discord. They habitually repress their dark, taboo, or aberrant qualities out of discomfort & insecurity. They’re afraid of fully expressing themselves, and being free in their individuality is a frighteningly foreign concept; they shy away from situations that prompt them to stand out or rebel and will retreat into a shell of reservations when faced with the opportunity to break or bend a standard. The emotional equilibrium is ravaged by criticism, exclusion, and alienation. They feel painfully isolated.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Mercury: The native is able to logically analyze social stigmas & standards, and intellectually deconstruct the power those have over individual lives (especially their own). Reason consistently prevails over peer pressure. Their ideas and the way they communicate them are radical in some way and receive much attention, good or bad. Criticism is easily combated with the mind; they are able to see through others’ opinions and separate themselves from judgement, and are thus free to think the way they want to – free thought defines their mindscape, and they are lost without it. Mental/verbal exchanges shape their understanding of society. Controversy deeply intrigues them.
Square, opposite, or quincunx Mercury: The native has little faith in their ability to accurately comprehend themselves, others, or society as a whole, and therefore may place monumental importance on other people’s opinions. They are easily stressed by having to explain themselves or their actions; judgement and criticism easily shut them down. They are quick to label their ideas or their interpersonal & communicative mannerisms as strange and unwanted, so they may choose to be quiet and reserved rather than put their mind on display. They have a very difficult time defending themselves or rationalizing their place in a group. They can’t use their logical mind to escape twisted social structures.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Venus: The native easily merges personal freedom & social graces to create a naturally appealing individuality which gains positive attention & reactions from others, no matter how taboo or radical. Controversy is a part of the unique style; in other words, this person wears ignominy well, and may use it to their advantage in an attractive way. Others admire or romanticize their aberrant qualities. The native’s personal tastes and preferences support a happily outcast identity; criticism & judgement serve as signs of being socially relevant, and they make being different fashionable. Extreme hedonism is tied to this aspect, especially in relationships that aren’t widely acceptable.
Square, opposite, or quincunx Venus: The native is torn in a heightened conflict between individuality and conformity, particularly in the context of relationships or style. The vacillation between radical subversion of social standards and passive adherence to them is a matter of choosing between happiness and harmony, both of which are crucially important. The native may lose relationships or general popularity for their stigmatized qualities, which deeply harms their self-esteem. They wish to fully be themselves but cannot reconcile that with the risks that come with it – they are unsure of its worth, which subsequently leads to uncertain self-worth as a whole.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Mars: The native possesses an unconquerable willpower which seldom bends for anyone else, and there is little care for others’ disapproval of it. If something is desired, it is achieved; the expectations and opinions of other people have little to no influence. No social stigma, criticism, or oppressive standard can get in the way of the native’s drive. They regularly break rules and disregard structures that don’t serve their initiatives, and charge forward without waiting for anyone to forgive, accept, or get used to them. Their sexuality is openly expressed; they are proud of their taboo desires. Going against popular belief fuels their inner fire, impassions and excites them.
Square, opposite, or quincunx Mars: The native is easily infuriated by notions, structures, or actions which they perceive as threatening of their autonomy, and they typically react with hostility when others criticize or attempt to control them in any way. They are unable to handle judgement, often reject the opinions of others before they’ve even heard them, and thus usually have a narrow view of most things, lacking the capacity to see other perspectives. Their one-track mind can cause them to lack foresight & create immense social conflict/discord where it is not necessary or appropriate. All of this stems from a deep fear of of others defining them, so they invert it into aggressive opposition of others & abrasively assume the role of “outcast” before others can force them into it.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Jupiter: The native’s mind is filled with grand philosophies of the truth about society and why stigmas & standards must be broken for spiritual growth. They find enlightenment through liberation; freedom is more important to them than anything else because it fulfills them in every way and allows them to expand their intellect. Likewise, they use their intellect to expand their freedom, as well as the freedom of others. They may become something of a social pioneer or modern guru, teaching about the detrimental nature of the status quo and encouraging others to go against the norm. They don’t believe in conformity. Their beliefs separate them from the majority.
Square, opposite, or quincunx Jupiter: The native may attach to philosophies solely for the sake of controversy. They may become so invested in being different that they no longer care if they are right. Their morality is selfish; their beliefs & personal code revolve around a set of faux rules which permit them to be hedonistic or destructive for the sake of “liberation.” Unhealthy, harmful habits are proudly paraded around under the guise of self-empowered notions. Self-control feels unbearably limiting and stifling, even if it’s for their own good. They can become “special snowflake” types, and attempt to preach their flawed ideas so that others follow them in their “enlightened” lifestyle and thus validate it.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Saturn: Much of the native’s power comes from the innate ability to rework social limitations into structures that serve their purpose and growth. They are incredibly wise when it comes to the sensitivity of culture and know their place in society, as well as how to change it. They understand that freedom comes with responsibility and it does not come free; they possess the self-discipline necessary to cultivate true self-liberation and they aren’t afraid of putting in the effort to create the individuality they want to be known for. They handle stigma with grace, and rationally deconstruct the paradigms of others so that they begin to question why they believe in certain standards & “norms.”
Square, opposite, or quincunx Saturn: The native easily becomes consumed by the “process” of “becoming themselves” – they get caught up in the changes that need to be made within themselves or in their environment before they can allow themselves to be fully self-expressive. They limit themselves with their own expectations, can become hindered by tradition, and place too much importance on the judgement & disapproval of authority figures. They care about the structural integrity of society, and don’t wish to compromise its strength, so they tend to repress all that is aberrant, controversial, or radical about themselves; they see self-liberation as selfish, non-productive, and unnecessarily dissonant.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Uranus: The native possesses very extreme views and opinions on society which others either love or hate them for. They often behave outrageously for the fun of it, and do or say things that may cause discord because gives them an electric, purposeful feeling. They disregard all social limitations and couldn’t care less about acceptance. They are the bona fide rebel. Nothing & no one can prevent them from being the person they want to be. Liberation runs in their blood. They don’t believe in any social order which hinders individual autonomy, and they have a desire to change society to make room for “the atypicals” like them. They use their freedom to free others.
Square, opposite, or quincunx Uranus: Much of the traits for harmonious Lilith-Uranus aspects apply here as well, but in a harsher, more desperate sense. The native knows the pain and isolation of being rejected, humiliated, alienated, and ostracized, so they devote a lot of their energy to radically changing the social climate for the better. They have an ironic moral code; while they reject the morality of others, they follow their own rules. Their rebellion is decisive and purposeful rather than hedonistic or self-congratulating; they have a vision, a grand and noble goal of collective freedom which begins with them. They wish to change society almost as punishment for their oppressors.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Neptune: The native effortlessly, unconsciously evades social boundaries; cultural restrictions can’t contain them, because they slip away from rules and judgement non-violently, mysteriously. They live almost independent of social structure, outside of the realm of conformity. Others often romanticize their aberrant qualities & paint them as figures of graceful rebellion & unapologetic individuality, even though they may not intend to come across as such – they are just existing, but they do so with a gentle limitlessness envied by others. They draw inspiration and spiritual fulfillment from liberation, and feel most free when their soul (or subconscious mind) is uninhibited.
Square, opposite, or quincunx Neptune: The native is easily confused or lost within social boundaries; they can’t comprehend others’ judgements or the rules placed upon them, and this creates deep interpersonal discomfort which invades the subconscious mind and the soul, surfacing through dreams, art, & emotions (which are the only places they feel free). They may cling to religion/spirituality to find their individuality. They can’t differentiate external standards from interior goals/desires and often chase ideals that aren’t their own. Others demonize their aberrant qualities and label them inaccurately. They liberate themselves through deceit, illusion, and escapism, as it is the only way they know how to.

Sextile, trine, or quintile Pluto: The native is intimately connected to their individuality, possessing a raw, resilient relationship to the darkest parts of who they are which separate them from others. They are immensely courageous when it comes to experiencing the taboo & controversial parts of society, entirely unafraid of things others try to ignore. They transform through unapologetic self-expression, and find rebirth through liberation. Their sexuality is deep and powerful, extreme and different, and they are proud of this; it is part of their identity, part of the way they rebel from society’s control over ego. They never allow society or other people to control them in any way. They own themselves.
Square, opposite, or quincunx Pluto: The native is terrified of being controlled, and has extremely adverse emotional reactions to anything they perceive as having the potential to limit their freedom. They are paranoid of society’s power to erase individuality. They go to severe measures to protect their identity and autonomy, resorting to secrecy, manipulation, lies, and hostility to defend what they are afraid will be taken from them or exposed. They are fundamentally ashamed, guilty, and fearful; criticism and judgement harms their self-image. Their dark, taboo, aberrant traits are out of control, particularly their “unacceptable” sexual desires. They’re ruled by an obsession with individuality & liberation, which ironically damages or decreases their individual freedom.

in which y/n attends the after party…

a part two to in which y/n buys harry starbucks…

Y/N was not a partier. It wasn’t that she was shy or didn’t like them. It was just that she was introverted and partying took a lot out of her (Also, she couldn’t hang like she used to. By 10pm, when most parties were kicking off, she was ready to drag herself into bed). However, when Harry Styles says he wants to see you at a party, you go to that party.

She’d been iffy after she met him at Starbucks about actually getting tickets to the show. Still, a few hours later, she found herself at Will Call, chewing nervously on her bottom lip in hopes that he was serious about what he said previously. And, he was. Relief flooded her as she was slid two tickets along with a piece of paper that held an address on it. She presumed it to be the location of the after party and slid it into her back pocket. 

Her nerves were bouncing all over the place as she stood in line to enter the venue. Her feelings were put to the side, however, as she saw a girl get turned away at the door and her friend stood staring wide eyed with her jaw dropped. She instantly was moved to action. As she neared the front of the line, she could hear the girl who’s ticket was apparently fake, breathing through tears, telling her friend to go in without her, forcing a smile. “Wait!” she called out to them, not that either one of them were going anywhere. They were stood off to the side. “I just saw what happened, and I have two tickets. You could just trade me the one for these two.” She held the tickets out for them, as they eyeballed them.

“These are third row tickets. Mine isn’t even on the floor." 

She shrugged, nonchalantly. "I’m just happy to be here.” And, she was considering three hours ago she didn’t even have tickets or an invitation to an after party extended by Mr. Harry Styles himself. After meeting him today, this was the least she could do. 

“How do we know these are real?” The same girl asked, still eyeing the tickets suspiciously. 

Seeing as they were still holding up the line, Y/N scurried over to the ticket checker, so she could scan the tickets. They checked out. The two girls quickly scrambled to her side, swapped tickets, and made their way inside the venue. Once in, they hugged each other tightly, crying (what she hoped to be) tears of joy, at the sudden turn of events before they turned to her and included her in the action, letting their appreciation known through muffled sobs. “How much do you want for it?” the girl who had the fake ticket asked once she got herself together.

She shook her head, giving them a small smile. “I don’t want your money.”

“Seriously? I can’t just let you do this. These must’ve cost a fortune.”

She didn’t want to reveal that she’d got them for little more than a cup of coffee, so she just shook her head politely once more. “Honestly. I’m fine. You two just have a good time.”

“I could get you a t shirt or a hat or one of those pins or–”

She cut the girl off since she was so insistent upon repaying her in some way—which seemed to be a common theme for her today. “Water! And some popcorn, if you must.”

The girls beamed at her as they made their way to the concession stand. They did not stop talking the entire time, not that she minded. They thanked her endlessly and chatted a bit about Harry, but finally parted ways with her, giving one final hug, when they noticed the time and the length of the merch line, and she went to go find her new seat.

—–

In hindsight, she was glad she wasn’t sitting in the third row. After she played it relatively cool that afternoon it would’ve been moderately embarrassing for him to see the way she sobbed as soon as his silhouette appeared straight through Ever Since New York, only regaining slight composure once the bridge hit. But, really, she was a mess throughout the entire concert. So, not only did she do those girls a favour but also herself and possibly Harry. 

The kind, older lady sat in front of her, whom she’d made friends with, let her borrow her binoculars a few times throughout the show and it wasn’t lost on her the slight look of confusion (or perhaps disappointment, but that was wishful thinking) she saw on his face when he really looked into the first couple rows of the crowd. 

Her presence, or seemingly lack there of, had absolutely no impact on his performance, though. It was arguably the best concert she’d ever been to. She felt so at home with all the Harries screaming their heads off and just going completely nuts, as per Harry’s request, during the show. 

However, the same could not be said for the after party. She was a fan. She didn’t have any connections or friends or any real reason to be there other than the haphazard invitation Harry extended to her earlier in the day. That thought carried her straight to the open bar, where she ordered a Long Island iced tea, then caused her to beeline for one of the outer walls. She meandered around the outside of the party watching everyone mingle, only offering a few smiles to those who passed. 

It seemed as though her presence was going to go unnoticed, not that she was doing much of a job at being approachable, as she contemplated on getting another drink, having sipped hers down over the hour she’d been at the lounge, or leaving altogether. She jumped when she felt a firm grasp on her elbow, breaking her line of thought. 

She hadn’t planned on doing a lot of things that day, but it’s safe to say that getting kidnapped topped that list. Her mind was eased as she turned around to see Harry gripping her, no longer donned in his Gucci suit but looking good nonetheless. She wasn’t quite sure what to say to him so she just grinned at him, subtly looking between his face and her arm before he got the hint and let her go. 

He coughed lightly. “You could’ve told me you didn’t like my music, ya know?”

She furrowed her eyebrows, not quite sure where he got that notion from.
He answered the question she hadn’t even gotten the chance to ask yet, almost immediately after seeing her expression. “You weren’t in the crowd. I literally scanned all the front rows.”

“Ohhhh. No, I went. I didn’t sit there, though.”

“If you had tickets, you should’ve just told me.”

Her face contorted into something that was halfway between confusion and amusement. “Why are you assuming I lied to you earlier? I was waiting in line after picking my tickets up and I saw these two girls. One, apparently, had purchased a fake ticket and instead of holding onto those two tickets, I swapped with the one girl who had a legitimate ticket and just gave them the ones you got me.”

His mouth opened and closed a few times. “Sorry I–”

“Was just wondering how to get your exceptionally large foot out of your even larger mouth?” she finished, rolling her eyes, teetering between the lines of annoyed and amused.

“That was really lovely,” he settled upon as a response.

She shrugged. “Treat people with kindness, right?”

Dimples coined into his cheeks. “Absolutely. Now… can I buy you a drink?”

“It’s an open bar.”

He looked at her like she was crazy, eyebrows shot up with his lips twisted together. “No, it’s not.”

“Oh. Well, you can pay for the Long Island iced tea I already accidentally stole and just get me a glass of water.”

“You sure?” he chuckled.

“Yes, sir.”

He headed to the bar as she turned around bowing raspberries into the air in an attempt to calm herself down. 

All too soon, Harry was back, handing her her water, then slipping his hand into hers, leading her to a booth. Instead of sliding in across from her, he slid in directly next to her which sent her nerves in a frenzy. “Figured I’d sit over here, so I can hear you better. It’s quite loud in here.”

She chucked nervously, nodding in understanding, sipping on her water as he gulped down some of his drink. She couldn’t hold it in anymore. She had to ask. “What am I doing here?” she blurted before he could get a word out.

He puckered his lips to the side, furrowing his eyebrows. “I’m not quite sure what you mean…”

She splayed her hands out in front of them, releasing broken groans. “Like, bro, I just– I just bought you…. coffee! Now I’m sat in a booth with you at an after party. I’m not even, like–” she waved her hands in circles wildly. 

He giggled, looking down at the table and shaking his head. “I just want to get to know you.”

“But, why?” She just couldn’t wrap her head around it. She wasn’t anything special. She wasn’t exceptionally beautiful or talented or smart. And, she knew, even past all her nerves, that Harry was just a normal guy as well, but why on earth would he spare her more than a passing glance?

“I just think you’re lovely.”

She glared at him. She needed more of an explanation than that. 

“The guy at Starbucks told me you didn’t want him to tell me that you paid for my coffee. And, then you told me yourself that you didn’t expect anything out of it.. And, you gave up your tickets for one in the back. And, I saw you when you first came in, and in the least creepy way possible, I just sort of watched you bounce around smiling, bopping around to the music, chatting with a few people. Also, you haven’t even asked for a picture. Not that I mind when people ask me, but I don’t know, it just, I don’t know,you don’t want anything. It’s, uh– You’re lovely.”

She was stunned. Partly because of what was said and partly because of who said it. She just stared at him, not knowing how to reply. 

“Well, say something.” He laughed, eyes skipping around the room. He wasn’t quite prepared to look straight at her. “Christ, talking to girls is just as terrifying as always.”

Her face lit up and broke into a wide grin. “You’re talking to me?”

“You’re the only other person in the booth, aren’t you?”

She shook her head. “No, like, you’re talking to me. You’re chatting me up? Are you putting the moves on me, Styles? Is this what this is?”

He bumped her shoulder with his. “Piss off.”

They smiled at each other and all the possibilities.. Hers faltered after a few moments. “You’re on tour.”

“I am,” he confirmed.

She clasped her hand on top of his. “Harry, in a few days, I won’t even be a passing thought. Maybe the next time you go into Starbucks I’ll be that one chick that bought you something, but nothing more." 

His face dropped into a pout. "You’re not even going to give me a chance?”

She quirked her lip upwards and shrugged slightly. “I couldn’t ask for that kind of commitment from you.”

“Baby, I just want to get to know you,” he said in a voice all slow and thick and deep. 

She wasn’t sure at which point they shifted that much closer together, but he was resting his forehead against hers leaving her breathless. Naturally, she sputtered out a few strings of laughter. “One thing you should know about me is that I’m uncomfortable in most social situations." 

"Duly noted,” he stated, rolling his eyes because she completely ruined the mood he set, head following suit and backing up a few inches. 

“So… just friends?”

He scratched the back of his neck. “Sure."He gulped down the remainder of his drink while she sipped on her water. Neither of them were 100% satisfied with the arrangement, but someone had to be rational. She kept telling herself that she was doing the right thing. "Actually, can I kiss you?”

For the second time that night, she was rendered completely speechless. Y/N had been exercising extreme self-control up to that point. She didn’t have an anxiety attack when she met him the first time. She gave up amazing seats to see him (¼ of the biggest band in the world!). She turned him down when he came onto her. But, she couldn’t find it in herself to reject the chance to feel those lips on hers.. Like she imagined meeting him, she imagined kissing him a million times, but nothing compared to the fluffy, pillowy sensation that washed over her body when she nodded meekly at his request, sliding her hands up to grasp his face. 

It wasn’t like a full blown snog. It was short and sweet, but that knowledge didn’t do anything to quell the butterflies that took flight in her stomach. She kept her eyes closed and hands on his face for a good five seconds after the kiss ended, simply basking in it. “Maybe we can be a little more than friends.”

“Yeah?” he questioned, optimism laced in his every word, before pushing his lips back to hers for a few more seconds. 

“Yeah, but, maybe later. When you’re not so busy. After tour ends, if you even remember me.”

“I have a feeling you’ll be one of the few people I can’t forget.” His face set into that signature lopsided smirk. 

“We’ll just have to wait and see.”

“That we will, my dear, that we will.”

Creek & Communication

What’s so great about Tweek and Craig’s relationship is that they mesh well in almost every aspect. It’s one of the biggest reasons they’re so popular.  

But one way their differences come to bite them in the ass is their communication styles, and specifically their expectations around resolving issues. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

How do you see relationships between the Gaang progressing throughout adulthood? Bryke obviously did a bad job portraying them in general, and seeing how the other avatar writers felt the same, I imagined so much more for our favorite characters than what Bryke lazily did. Any thoughts on other characters like June?

First of all, there would be NO leaving Zuko completely on his own to govern the Fire Nation. That is just a stupid move politically, militarily,

Jack: Spiritually, ecumenically, dramatically …

You name it. This means that Iroh stays in the Fire Nation with Zuko, so that rather than backsliding by chatting with Ozai, Zuko would gain ground in his mission to redeem himself and the Fire Nation. The first few years would be extremely volatile, and there would be a lot of challenges ahead. He would have to search for his mother and reconcile, somehow, with Azula. But you know who would have been there to help him?

Aang. No, not the Aang who decided “A promise is a promise!” and went into the Avatar State twice to attack Zuko. No, this Aang has complete control of the Avatar State, as he should have by the end of the show, since that was one of the main goals of his character. Aang would have gone to the Fire Nation first, since he spent the least amount of time there out in the open and would have major trust rebuilding to do after what happened with Ozai.

During his time in the Fire Nation, he would have discovered Ty Lee as an untrained airbender. This would give him the impetus to start looking for other airbenders, who might not even know about their gifts. He would have difficulty with a work-life balance, but he would eventually find a way with the help of:

Toph. Toph’s metalbending academy is something I wholeheartedly approve of. I think she should eventually become a businesswoman and use her family’s vast wealth to make Gaoling (and their new ally, Omashu) alternate power centers, so Ba Sing Se wouldn’t have such a stranglehold on the rest of the Earth Kingdom, with metalbenders initially acting as private security, and later, a police force in the city. But while I understand that Toph has the attitude of a beat cop, she hates the city, walls, and rules, and there would be a bunch of all three if she became Chief of Police. (P.S. She would have many more tea times with Uncle, and get that life-changing field trip with Zuko we all wanted to see.)

Toph would also have issues to sort through with her parents, and she would probably never see eye to eye with her family. But one person would help coach her through it:

Katara. At first, Katara would bury herself in her work at the South Pole, helping her father, brother, and Pakku rebuild the Southern Water Tribe. She would be at the heart of social justice issues, especially for Water Tribe women, and would challenge more than one antiquated idea that the Northerners would bring with them. She would get many marriage offers once she turned sixteen, and to take a break from it, she would answer Zuko’s request help find his mother. This leads to her realizing how stifled she feels at home, where everyone expects her to cater to them, in addition to helping lead their tribe. She would apply for a diplomatic post to the Fire Nation and eventually create her own cross-bending school, adapting her school from Toph’s metalbending academy. At first, she would worry about not being at home enough to help the women’s rights movement in the Water Tribe, but someone else has the situation under control:

Suki. Suki would be an asset as the head of the Kyoshi Warriors, and also as a partner for Sokka. Her island’s location and the fact that the villagers wear blue all point to Water Tribe influence on Kyoshi anyway, and once the war is over and trade begins booming again, she would work to make Kyoshi less of a spectator in the world and more of a participant. She would be an excellent role model for Southern Water Tribe girls who don’t want to be pigeonholed into the homemaker ideal, and could also play a part in Republic City eventually. As the leader of an island that was neutral during the war, Suki would be an ideal person to have on the Republic City Council. (P.S. Why it’s a Council of Five when there are no nonbending representatives in LOK is a mystery to me. This would fix that oversight.) But who would lead the Kyoshi Warriors if she took up such a position?

Ty Lee. Ty Lee didn’t get a real explanation for why she joined the Kyoshi Warriors, especially considering her misgivings about spending the rest of her life as a matched set. She could turn the tables on the idea, lending individuality to the Warriors and teaching them chi blocking techniques while learning some of their fighting styles as well. These nonbenders could eventually form the Equalist movement, but a different one than in LOK—a morally ambiguous movement, instead of a villainous cadre led by a demagogue.

In the end, though, Ty Lee is a wanderer, and I’m inclined to believe that she is, in fact, an untrained Air Nomad. Eventually she would discover this, and that not only is she not part of a matched set; she is possibly one of the rarest human beings in the world. This would interfere with her “aura” for sure, because she’s not necessarily cut out for the ascetic Air Nomad lifestyle. So while she would be happy for Aang to train her, she might also butt heads with him about how to best secure the Air Nomad legacy for the future. Of course, since the Air Acolytes in Korra treated Kya and Bumi so abysmally, in my opinion this could only be a good thing. Through it all, she would still keep in touch with:

Mai. I have a different character path planned for Mai than what other fans might suggest. Mai becoming a bounty hunter is a popular fanon idea, which makes sense, since she did seem to enjoy tracking down Zuko and Iroh so that Azula could imprison them for life, as anyone would enjoy doing to a person they supposedly had a cruch on. To me, Mai’s poker face and cool-under-fire attitude screams “White Lotus”, of which there are no female members that we know at the end of A:TLA. The main obstacle to inducting her into the Order would be that the White Lotus is based on principles of interconnection and understanding other cultures, which Mai categorically does not have. But this is one of the places she could thus grow the most, without having such character development tied to a specific person. The fact that she fooled the Fire Princess means she can play both sides skillfully, which she’ll need to, considering a rival to the idea of a balanced world is going to be:

Azula. With Ozai imprisoned and without his bending, Azula is the most creditable foe the franchise still has. Patchy though her sanity might be, she is still extremely dangerous (as we saw during the Agni Kai). In an ideal world, she would use her almost preternatural instincts for personal weakness and manipulation to be a ruler, but the very confidence she exudes is based on her rigid mindset and a false sense of Fire Nation superiority. As natural as leadership might be for her, she burned all her bridges when she banished or imprisoned every follower she had. I like the idea of her relearning the meaning of firebending from the dragons and bringing the Sun Warriors into the modern era, but it would be a very painful character path for her when just being mentally stable is a huge hurdle. I think she would need to stay in the Fire Nation for several years, slowly healing with Zuko’s help, before even attempting it.

There is one other path that I would consider for Azula, and that is: the Spirit World. Azula is not a terribly spiritual person, but a spiritual journey such as Iroh underwent might actually help her. It could train her mind to separate illusion and self-deception from reality, and give her a better sense of where she belongs in the world. Not to mention, the Spirit World is dangerous and full of tricksters such as Koh; I think she would enjoy the challenge.

And what about Sokka?

Well, Sokka’s character got shoved to the side in the comics, but honestly, him being on the Republic City council, helping the White Lotus, and likely being chief one day is just fine! Legend of Korra didn’t really do him the disservice that it did the other characters. However, there is one thing that he will never, EVER be, and that is the possible deadbeat dad of Suyin. For my reasons why, please look at this post.

I don’t have ideas for anyone else, really, but we can’t leave out our most important character:

The GAang. In the comics and LOK, the GAang all seem to have gone their separate ways, especially with Zuko being so isolated from everyone except Aang. Katara, too, seems very cut off from current events, which is unacceptable. The GAang remained lifelong friends, regardless of any romantic relationships or lack thereof. Busy and hazardous as their lives might have been, they would always make the time to write, visit, plan projects, and attend reunions together.

(P.S. I don’t know that June needs to develop as a character; she’s one of those tertiary personalities that’s just fine with the amount of screentime she has.)

Yuri on Ice BD booklet translation (with Mitsurou Kubo interview) - Volume 1

The BD/DVDs were available in stores today, 3 days earlier than the official release, so of course I went to Animate to get my copy even if this meant waiting in line for almost 30 minutes, hah. I’m sure screencaps are being posted all over the net already, but I haven’t watched the BD yet because, guess what, I was translating the booklet.

The booklet has 3 parts:
1) Character introduction for Yuuri and Victor, which is mostly information we know already except for a few extra info (for example, I don’t think it was ever mentioned so far that Victor is fluent in French?).
2) “Topics”, in other words random curiosities. This is the same as above, information we already know plus extra tidbits.
3) Interview with Mitsurou Kubo, from which among other things you can understand that she is probably having fun reading all kinds of fan theories found on the web, lol (though mostly the Japanese ones I think).

Have fun reading, while I finally go watch my BD…

P.S.: I was actually meant to post the translation of an interview with Georgi Popovich’s seiyuu Wataru Hatano, but after being obscured by Victor’s birthday he also managed to be obscured by the early release of the BD… Poor Georgi. I will post that tomorrow or on Thursday possibly.

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

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


Will the piglet become a prince?

Yuuri Katsuki
voiced by Toshiyuki Toyonaga

Height: 173 cm
Date of birth: November 29th
Blood type: A
Born in Hasetsu City

Past record:
Grand Prix Final 6th place
Professional Japanese figure skater

Introduction
He finally manages to participate in the Grand Prix Final, but ends up last. Following that he is unable to display his potential in the Japan National Championships and his season finishes there. 23 years old. He is called “glass heart” and the success rate of his quadruple jumps is low, but the peculiar rhythm of his steps has a good reputation. He was rumored to be retiring soon, however after Victor Nikiforov becomes his new coach he decides to aim for victory at the Grand Prix Final on his last season.
He is a Kyushu boy who is actually very competitive. The source of all his problems is his lack of confidence, but he has made up for it by training hard and is currently the ace of Japanese male figure skating. Since he tends to gain weight easily, he has decided that he will only eat katsudon (900kcal), his favorite food, when he wins a tournament. His romantic history is top secret.

A new legend is about to start.

Victor Nikiforov
voiced by Junichi Suwabe

Height: 180 cm
Date of birth: December 25th
Blood type: private
Born in Russia

Past record:
5 times consecutive winner of the Grand Prix Final
5 times consecutive winner of the World Championships

Introduction
The living legend that from the age of 23 years old has never lost a World Championship and has kept on surprising the world. He is not only considered a legend for his brilliant results, but also because he creates his own choreographies and is a pioneer always looking for new ways to express himself. He can perform 4 quadruple jumps, among which the quadruple flip that is considered his signature technique. His splendid and unlimited performing skills capture the hearts of skating fans and athletes from all over the world.
Beside Russian, he is also proficient in English and French. Although he is always smiling and ready to provide fan service, his innocent and uninhibited remarks coming from his absolute confidence never fail to create tension in the Russian skate federation. Christmas is celebrated all over the world as the birthday of Victor Nikiforov.

YURI!!!’s TOPIC

TOPIC 1: Poodle
Looking at the pictures of Victor and Makkachin, Yuuri also decided to get a poodle and named him “Victor”. His nickname was Vicchan. Now both his smartphone case and background picture feature poodles. His dog Victor lived out his natural life span when Yuuri was at the GPF, but Makkachin came to Hasetsu together with Victor! Yuuri’s first thought when he sees Makkachin is “so huge!”. Indeed, even though their faces are identical, Victor was a toy poodle, and Makkachin is a standard poodle. The size is completely different.

*His display background is also a dog
*His smartphone case is also with dogs
*His tissue case is also a dog
*Yuuri’s pet dog Vicchan
*The magazine picture that made Yuuri decide to get a dog

TOPIC 2: Blade
The blades each athlete uses are different depending on their personalities. Yuuri’s blades are a standard type. Yurio’s are a new lighter model said to make it easier to perform jumps. If you look closely, the shape of the parts under the sole that support the blade is different. Victor’s blades are golden. Even the sound he makes when he glides the ice is beautiful. The personality of each athlete can also be seen in the color of the edge case used to cover the blades when the skating shoes are not used.

*Yuuri
*Yurio
*Victor
*Edge case: 1) Yuuri, 2) Yurio, 3) Victor

TOPIC 3: Hasetsu City
A castle town by the sea in Kyushu. …Or so it’s called, but the castle is actually fake and has a ninja house inside. It’s famous for its marine products, however due to the decreasing population it’s somewhat of a lonely place. The monument in front of the station that Yurio found gross portrays the local “yuru-chara” (mascot characters), a squid and a sea urchin, which are not very popular among the locals either. The popular menus of Yuuri’s house, daytime onsen “Yutopia Katsuki”, are squid sashimi and katsudon. The sweet potato shochu “Makai e no Izanai” was also appreciated by Victor.

*A town with a castle and the sea
*Unpopular yuru-chara!
*Currently there’s only one onsen resort in the town

TOPIC 4: Russian yankee
Yurio’s fashion style is Russian but it also corresponds to the style of Japanese punks (“yankees”). Or the style of old ladies in Kansai. His favorite design is leopard print and tigers are his favorite animal (he owns a cat). His meticulous aesthetic sense, with shoes, clothes, edge case, suitcase and even disguise mask all in the same style, makes his fans a little uneasy. However, his most hardcore fans “Yuri’s Angels” consider him a fashion leader.

*He’s fashionable but doesn’t like cleaning up
*Attempt at a disguise?
*He wants to show the world

TOPIC 5: Ice Castle Hasetsu
Skate rink at the base of Hasetsu Castle, one of the few in Kyushu that are open throughout the year. It’s the place where Yuuri started skating and also his current training base. Thanks to his friends, the Nishigoori family, working as staff, he is allowed to use the rink to train even outside normal business hours, which is very helpful. It’s rare for a Japanese rink to have light coming in through a window, and to Yuuri this is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The names of the mascot characters are Ikahime and Ikadono.

*The castle can be seen in the background
*Yuuri is lucky because he can have the rink all for himself
*The Nishigoori family


Original plan / “name” (manga storyboard) / character plan
Mitsurou Kubo interview

A story where Yuuri seizes things with his own hands.

The first time I met director Yamamoto, 2 years ago, she told me that she wanted to create an anime about the deep bond between a coach and an athlete. How to concretely shape the story is something that we decided after carrying out extensive research on figure skating and studying it. The director taught me a lot and I also checked out stuff on my own, while at the same time keeping in mind the feelings of an amateur, as it’s important to understand what would catch the heart of someone who doesn’t know anything about figure skating and has their first approach to it through an anime.

-The feelings of the creators emerge in their work-

The director doesn’t follow single athletes, she really watches everything, ice dance, single, pair, and she has respect for everyone, both past athletes, current athletes and even young ones. For example, she always calls all athletes with the “-san” suffix (common Japanese honorific), including the junior skaters. And not only in front of them, she does it when she speaks with me too. I think it’s the small things like this that emerge in your work. I believe that it’s important to act freely within our creation, while treasuring the feelings of respect and support for the athletes and without feeling superior.
However, you don’t really feel like enlivening the story with someone getting hurt. At least within the anime, you want everyone to stay safe from injuries. Since in real life it actually happens often…… But then, when the series started airing, I saw people worried that someone might get injured or die, and I realized that maybe it’s actually that kind of things that people look for in fiction.
If it were a long serialization it could have been possible to accurately portray someone going through that kind of hardship, but this time we only had one cour. That is why we chose to limit the worries of the protagonist Yuuri Katsuki to his talent and his psychological weakness, instead of having the people around him put a lot of pressure on him or having someone that disapproves of his choices. We wanted to show someone who has trouble progressing while being surrounded by kind people who don’t step too much into his territory, thus diminishing the enemies. I was careful because I didn’t want to make a story where he would put the blame on someone.
I was very happy when, after the show aired, I saw people comment that they can watch it over and over because they don’t hate any characters and so they don’t feel stressed.

-Having viewers get accustomed to the characters-

Indeed, what’s important is that characters are alive within this work. The first thing I thought when I found myself creating a story about sport is that if a saw a person completely unrelated to me that skates, no matter how well they skate I probably would not feel them “close”. If a person that isn’t really interested in real world figure skating watches it they would just think “oh, some skilled guy is skating”, like watching from a distance. I realized that if the viewers don’t become familiar with the characters they will never feel personally involved watching them in a tournament.
That’s why we didn’t jump to the matches right away but we spent 3 episodes getting the viewers accustomed to the characters as much as possible. If you can get familiar with the characters and personally experience how it feels when an athlete you really like is participating in a tournament, then you can finally be engrossed in the world of the series. I hope this mechanism works well. I really did my best, because I’m sure that the fiction will not strike a chord in the viewers’ hearts if we don’t create the necessary premises first.

-Is it the same for Katsuki-kun?-

Based on my experience working with shounen magazines, Yurio wouldn’t make for a good protagonist. He shines the most as a rival, but if you use him as a protagonist he is not going to push the story forward, he would probably send it more in a tragic direction. Yuuri Katsuki really pushes the story forward, he’s helped me more than once. Yuuri is indeed the type that doesn’t have confidence, but when you see the interviews of lots of athletes from the real world, who have developed through many battles, you see what a strong personality they have. When you see a skater who is very passionate about training say “I don’t really listen to what my coach says”, automatically you think that maybe Katsuki-kun too doesn’t really listen to his coach when he’s focused. When a kind and sensitive-looking skater says that the judges should “watch me more” in a very blunt way you think that maybe Katsuki-kun too, deep down, has that kind of thoughts about the judges. I like it when real athletes say things that I would never come up with. Still, I use what I hear as a reference when deciding how the characters would behave, but the decision is ultimately based on the personalities that I created for them.
Also, I didn’t want to make it so that Victor as a coach would give and teach everything to Yuuri. The driving force of this story is how Yuuri Katsuki seizes things with his own hands. When you have a coach that twists you around his finger you necessarily have to change yourself or to change something to understand how to move forward….

-The difference between manga and animation-

It’s the first time that I’m involved with animation, and first of all, in manga you cannot show music and movements together. Obviously. Recently I’m realizing how much manga actually rely on the imagination of the readers. If you draw someone saying “what an amazing performance!” and then spend a few frames to draw the pose in an impressive way the reader might actually be convinced that they’re indeed doing an “amazing performance”. I draw my manga adding details until I’m satisfied and consider them “completed”, but now I think that might not be true.
I feel that this work, that was born from the joint effort of animators, voice actors, musicians and many other people, is now standing on its own. I reckon that there are people who think “since real life skaters are so wonderful, there must be something deep in the world of the anime too”, and so they imagine new things. Among many different languages, sexualities and discussions, there are many people who are bringing out their creative ideas, and I guess to every one of them this work is becoming something special. When I take a look at people’s impressions there are so many things that surprise me, for example how different people will interpret something in completely different ways, and how some people look for deep meanings I didn’t even think about.
I have come to find it really captivating that these characters have left my hands and are existing somewhere else. When I see things like that I really feel like I would never get tired to hear the thoughts of people who say they love this work.
And at the same time, the feeling inside me that makes me not want to lose to anyone has also become stronger. I didn’t create these characters alone with my own power of course, but more than ever I feel that I am responsible for making these anime characters grow stronger than anyone else! Like Victor, I found motivation.


Normal is the new beautiful : Story of Nagahama Neru (長濱ねる)

Have you ever fell in love with one of your classmates? Peeking at her desk, hoping she doesn’t notice you, so you can keep looking at her. Someone you want to start a conversation with, but you’re too shy to do so. Japanese high schooler are often on the romantic side, thanks to this huge culture carried through manga and anime. Neru has this perfect image of lovely girl next door that you often see in shoujo or shonen. But it isn’t fiction. Sometime life doesn’t go the way you wanted, and you have to force your way through, building this such needed resilience to go forward. Behind this sweet smile, stand a girl who search for answers. Is Keyakizaka one of them?

“A girl in search of her honest feelings”

Let’s talk about the girl herself for a bit. Someone who’s into Keyaki most surely knows her unusual introduction to the group. Like Shinoda Mariko before her, Neru joined as 1.5 gen member because she didn’t went to Keyakizaka final audition. Her parents forbid it, even taking her back to Nagasaki. But seeing Neru’s potential, Keyakizaka staff invited Neru’s parent to attend a Nogizaka concert, and it eventually changed their mind. She then joined as Hiragana Keyaki (under-like members of Keyakizaka) and Kanji Keyaki kennin for the second single, Sekai ni wa ai shikanai. It was though for her; she couldn’t mix as well as the other kanji keyaki because she started late (she wasn’t in Silent majority senbatsu), but she didn’t took part in hiragana lessons either because she was busy in kanji keyaki promotion. Question rised: where did she belong to? Up to this day, we still don’t know. But don’t let her choose between kanji and hiragana, it’s impossible.

Most of pessimistic fans would say it’s a staged scenario to push her. Because she’s having an hard time, fans start feeling sympathy toward her. Well yes, she is popular (because of this romance affinity japanese have) but struggling to know her place in Keyakizaka was real. Yonetani nanami confessed in a Keya Room episode that she didn’t accepted Neru right away. It’s only natural, right? When someone is a newcomer in your close circle of friend, you can’t immediately be comfortable like you are with the others. However Neru won member’s hearts with her natural joy, easy going character, and light sense of humor. Members were fast to realize she just wanted to get along with everyone, and not taking someone’s else place. Being Hiragana instead of Keyaki didn’t matter anymore.

“Neru, like Yurina, was given a Solo in Keyaki second single”

With that issue resolved, Neru started to work on her individual skills. Fans started to notice her thanks to her weird and lovely individual PV, where she sang all names of the periodic element board, and thereafter all irregular english verbs. To see Neru doing a moonwalk while chanting uranium, or spelling sleep slept slept while headbanging, you have to admit it marks people mind. In her third attempt, it was a regular short film about “rules”, where she displays great acting skills, feeling very genuine and natural. Furthermore, she took part in Japanese variety show, answering quizz in order to earn 1 million yen for her team, something that only a few idol of the 48group could. Before being in Keyakizaka, she won a special prize in a cooking contest, with innovative kebab style sugar crepe.

Neru is smart, cute, funny and talented. She gets closer and closer to this “shoujo” ideal fans yearn for. It didn’t take long before she claims top position in member’s popularity chart, even being number one in Twitter most mentions in the group. Neru profile has high standard, but as a matter of fact, it isn’t something original. We have seen many other idols who are good at everything, like Yamamoto Sayaka. So why is she exceeding observers expectation in term of popularity? Because it is Keyakizaka. By contrast, something cool will always shine in a pool of cute, and vice versa. Because Keyaki is about rebellion and willpower, Neru orthodox image comes out amplified. Management is fully aware and try to develop it, by giving her a slow paced, cute song as solo. Neru presence and importance in Keyakizaka increased as her personality balance well with the style of the group.

“high socks, pink cardigan and silver ribbon; Japanese uniform aesthetics bring out the best of japanese girls feminity and youth”

Neru’s situation can be seen as very propitious to a success in Keyakizaka. But it isn’t the case, and she had to deal with a lot of pressure in a short period of time. People are often worried of Yurina hectic schedule, but Neru’s has nothing to blush from it : Not only she participates in all Kanji A and B side, but she also has to learn Hiragana B-side songs. Not counting her 2 solo and duo/quatuor with Yurina and Yuichanzu. Despite her hard work, she had to compromise. It’s quite cruel to put her in Yurina’s place in hiragana first showcase for their silent majority performance. You could obviously feel the lack of training, and beyond that, the gap of character between Neru and Yurina. It was management mistake to think Neru could manage to do a decent performance with such little time. And it affected her image. That her dancing is subpar of other members, or keyakizaka standard.

Can you imagine it? She was 17 when joining Keyakizaka (like Akanen) and was at the end of crossroads, where you choose to continue college. She’s a diligent student, but chose to be an idol. This same world that sometimes shows a cruel side, like asking for a perfect performance with minimum of preparation. An unfairness that could waver anyone’s determination to reach their goal, because they are not capable. Japan is still a society that hugely rely on academic background, and to choose the idol path instead of college is understandably contested by her parents. This is something that contrast with her overall sweet side. She went as far as confronting her parent to do what she wants to do. She’s not hesitant like those shounen female character who are often painted as weak and dependable to the male hero.

It’s not about being all sweet, or all cool of a character. Even though Keyakizaka staff built Neru character to be sweet, it doesn’t exclude the fact that each person hold a complex personality, that you need to cover as a whole to understand someone. Neru didn’t dislike studying. She likes subject like Philosophy, or science. But she wanted to try something new, something she decided for herself, and not what her parents told her to do. Despite her sweet character, she was actually the first to do an act of rebellion.

“Nagahama Neru is in fact a very entertaining girl, very connected to her fans”

It would be pretentious of me to know what kind of girl is Nagahama Neru. But there’s few hints scattered on all the data available. First, her blogs. She talks a lot about her relationship with the members. Probably because she was in a delicate situation of not belonging to kanji nor hiragana, becoming an important member on both side is now her biggest strength. She entrusted herself the mission to help the members get closer, like W-Keyakizaka no uta song. To break the distance between generation, is a harder task than we think. For example, Yukirin confessed she never was close to Kojima Haruna, despite many concerts, senbatsu promotions they did over the years. It’s hard, but it is also essential to build the group unity. The girls need to learn to open their heart.

In variety, she shows that her intelligence isn’t all about having good grades. There’s also how she use her screentime to get noticed. When to make cute face, react to host pun or joke, give sassy anecdote of other members. She’s also aware it’s good to show her emotions, when being overjoyed by other members reaction when joining the 2nd single senbatsu, or when Watanabe Risa read Yonetani nanami’s letter apologizing to her. How she juggles with those opportunities helps her not being a one-dimensional idol. Watanabe Mayu was much more of the orthodox style, but her image of cyborg idol was too strong and she had a hard time to graduate from it. 

“In Keyakizaka 4th single, she was next to Techi. Will she be center in the 5th?”

With all the opportunities brought by management, her good image as an individual (the others are more known as pairing, like Za cool, Yuichanzu), and the necessary change of Keyakizaka type of song makes me think she will lead the A-side of the next single. Neru never showed the ambition to take the 0 position, but if it’s the need of the group, she will gladly take it on. Because Neru has a great sense of responsability. When we think of reliable, mother figure-like character, we tend to think of Fuuchan or Oda nana. Neru is more like of a “i will do my best” responsible type. She doesn’t want to let people down.

In the future, we can expect her to break through in variety. This little sister character is loved by japanese audience, like Hirose Suzu or Arimura Kasumi before her. Her presence in variety is Key for Keyakizaka to get national recognition. But as said above, she’s also the key to tie kanji and hiragana keyaki together, and ensure the group unity. Without noticing, Neru became an irreplaceable existence for Keyakizaka outside and inside. You don’t need to read manga to follow exciting stories. You just have to follow neru’s normal life. I wish i could live such an exciting life, but unfortunately, pink cardigan and cute skirt doesn’t suit me as much as they suits her. 

6

[Letter from Richey Edwards to Alistair Fitchett, transcription below]

Sat 12 Jan

“Cut word lines – Cut music lines – Smash the Control Images – Smash the Control Machine – Burn the books – Kill the priests – Kill! Kill! Kill!” - William Burroughs

Dear Alistair,

Thanks for the letter. Pretty inspiring, after all the tons of bullshit mail we get. It arrived on Wednesday just as we were about to leave for London (again). At last someone who understands the Situationists etc. We actually went up to meet Jamie Reid. Still so full of hate and desire to change. Anyone who turned a portrait of the Queen in a mass image must be cool. Popularism. Afterwards we had an age long interview with Sounds. A definite 2 page article, probable front cover. I don’t feel a prostitute for appearing in the music papers. Like you said, there is nothing wrong with HYPE if the goal is not profit. Best of all it’s not even hype cos the papers ask to talk to us. It’s been so long since they’ve met an intellectual band. Last night we played a public school in Surrey and turned the place upside down. The assembled forces of WEA/EMI/SONY/DEFJAM were all there and none can understand. That we reject the audience. That we smash our instruments etc. We celebrate our own obsolete form. That there is no value in production line product. That for every broken Gibson guitar there is another one off the shelf tomorrow. Capitalism ruins. Nothing is personal or of value. They are all so dumb. WAR starts in a few days – the A+R men accept that; they accept bodybags, amputees, cripples, walking wounded, but they can’t accept a smashed guitar. On stage we destroy ourselves, we destroy our form of communication. Cos deep down we know music is irrelevant to real life. That’s what MOTOWN JUNK is about. About how music sometimes offers salvation and inspires but you still gotta face the poverty of work, life, forever. We realized it a long time ago.

The first verse goes

“Never ever wanted to be with you
All you ever gave was the boredom I
suffocate in
Adrift in cheap dreams don’t stop the rain
Numbed out in piss towns just wanna
dig their graves.”

And that last line sums it up. Here I am, in a shithole home town and INSPIRAL CARPETS talk about T-shirts sales in LA. Is that gonna save me??

All our songs offer is NEGATIVITY, CHAOS, DESPAIR. I realize when you say that we should offer more but that’s not what we’re about. We wanna create so much hate that we get swept away, we get destroyed. We are building our musical career on weak foundations that are designed to collapse within a year of our 1st number one. We are the last rock n’ roll band. Rock n’ roll is dead. But it’s our only culture. ‘Suicide Alley’ spat on its corpse. We wanna be gone as soon as possible. The biggest statement we can make is to become the biggest band in the world and then immediately split up.

And that’s what I don’t understand about Kevin Pierce (Esurient). I got a letter from him calling us “faggots…cowards, etc”. Faggots because we wear eyeliner (We wear eyeliner cos we wanna be seen as D.I.Y. style, surgeons, an attempt to uglify ourselves; the same reason we spray our clothes with slogans) and cowards because we smash equipment i.e. rock n’ roll cliche. Surely the biggest cliche is just being in a band, just standing there and singing. That cliche is thousands of years old. Believing in auto-destruction may be old-hat but at least there’s a reason behind it. What reason trad rock format? Also he said we we were pathetic appearing in N.M.E. Surely the biggest crime is not appearing at all. Would Marx be a better person if he had never put his thoughts to paper? Would Lenin be better if he realized there would be revolution and then did nothing about it? I don’t think so. Our aim is to reach as many people as possible. BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. We’re on SNUB TV on January 21st and MARK GOODIER session Jan 28th.  A tour starts Jan 23rd. We’re off to Paris to meet some still revolutionaries in March and then there’s a chance we’ll be working with the Bomb Squad (Public Enemy producers) early summer in New York. And that will produce the most vicious song ever. Anyway, thanks for the tape. Unfortunately we are completely familiar with every single song. But I’ve used the tape for some of our songs.

1/ REPEAT – Repeat after me
Death sentence heritage
Death camp palace
Royal Khmer Rouge
Imitation Demi-gods
Useless Generation of
Dumb flag scum
Repeat After Me,
Fuck Queen and Country

2/ METHADONE PRETTY
-I accuse history, I accuse
I don’t need your history

3/ FACELESS SENSE OF VOID
We blur into images of state coercion
Classified machines die misunderstood
City reflections pour out misery
We don’t count, so we hate

4/ YOU LOVE US – Until I see love in statues
Your lessons drill inherited sin

5/ GENERATION TERRORISTS
Jam your brains with broken heroes
Love your masks and adore your chaos
MP’s dress up now TV is danger
Westminster more ugly than a gas chamber
Don’t wanna see your face
Don’t wanna hear your words
Why don’t you just fuck off

6/ SOUL CONTAMINATION
Everyone stares with the glaze of obsession
Interlocking cartels bypassing the bone
The empty statement of art school dissension
Institutionalized expression of mass control

7/ DEMOCRACY COMA
Parliament mother of the United Nations
Mother of history’s dead sun, dead scum
D.N.A. of restriction and law
Death, famine, darkness, and war
I don’t see happy homes but the Belfast
Wall, In Walkman Sounds hear
Sony control

8/ MOTOWN JUNK
Communal tyranny a jail that bleeds our wrists

9/ SORROW 16
Cut your hair in front of businessmen
Kill yourself and censor health
Destroy work and ignore their truth
Wanna die and have never worked
The wall is a reason for you to believe
There’s too many numbers for us to sleep

10/ WE HER MAJESTY’S PRISONERS
England’s glory lives on in worldwide
genocide. So celebrate Buchenwald
as her Majesty’s heir. Now an
obsolete face on a currency of
illusion. No matter what we own
we can’t buy freedom.

Anyway, let us know what you think.

Love, Richey XXX

A letter for you - Harry styles

As the naive 17 year old you were you would write letters to the most cutest, dorky, funniest , popular boy in your grade level Harry Styles. No you would never dare to approach him and hand him over the personal Letters , but you would store them in a box hidden deep in the back of your closet whom your friend was the only one to know about them in case of an embarrassing emergency or something. Who were you to know that it wouldn’t be an embarrassing emergency but a tragedy …. your death. It was a late night walk you would take occasionally to clear your mind since you suffered with anxiety and couldn’t sleep so easily; it wasn’t an attempted suicide as everyone said it to be …. it was just simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time when you got hit with the car. You wish you would have had more time to do and say the things you wanted to do , but it was all out of reach now and in the hands of your friend. “ Y/N …. I don’t know if you can hear me or anything but I really miss you. I miss you being around me and making stupid jokes all the time. I wish you would have just stayed home …. I want you to just pop out of no where and say it was all a joke. I keep having dreams that you’re safely in class listening to music with your head down and I’m scaring you awake haha ”. Your friend looks around your room sadly going to sit on your messy bed as she smiled knowing how you didn’t understand why you had to fix it if you were just going to mess it up to sleep in again. It was then that she remembered the box of letters for harry you kept in a secret place as she ran over digging for the old vans shoe box which kept them safely hidden . She looked at them cautiously and carefully deciding if what she was going to do next was good or bad. The next day Y/F/N would go up to harry and hand him the letters you had written to him … some being quite personal and others innocent scenarios you made up telling him how you would picture a day out with him; how you would write him telling him how you admired from afar but would never dare to go up to him, how you admired how confident he was and that was the only thing you were most envious of, because you knew you would never be able to be like that. You told him about your anxiety, your hopes, dreams , fears , undecided future plans , funny moments , sad moments and the better part of your life you could possibly make a book out of them. Now it might sound a bit outrageous , but there was an undeniable connection between you and harry and that’s a fact to both you and harry personally. From the way you two would stare at each other from afar to the way harry would leave anonymous positive notes on your desk to the way he would wave at you which almost always shocked you into looking away blushing while he laughed to himself. It was an innocent quiet romance that never got to bloom into what it was supposed to be. That’s why you would write those letters to him , you wanted to communicate somehow with him without your anxiety blowing up or embarrassing yourself in front of him by not being able to speak. Something so personal of yours was just about to be published in the mind mind of the boy you liked so dearly. Your friend Y/F/N was clutching onto the old shoe box so close to her as she was searching the crowd for the infamous harry styles. Her nerves were starting to get to her as she fought with herself if this was even a good idea to begin with . So many thoughts ran through her mind like , “what if I hand them to him and he reads them out loud with his friends? What if he just throws them away? What if he’s just been messing around with her mind this whole time and he’s a fuck boy? What if my best friend is freaking insane and this was a made up story in her mind …. Jesus shut up it was real ..” , she gripped onto the box and quickly took it to her locker and put them there till the end of the day for safe keeping . Every time she saw Harry in the hallway she froze thinking if she should just tell him already about the letters . “Why am I freaking out so much … this isn’t a confession! It’s a …. confrontation … it’s a … it’s for her”. And with that after school she set out to find Harry in the student parking lot near his car. She took those long dangerous steps towards harry , box in hand clutching them more tightly and protectively than she had earlier that day . “Harry!” She shouted before he could get into his car as he turned around curiously and confused then realizing who it was Y/N’s friend commit towards him. He had bags under his eyes obviously from lack of sleep as Y/F/N observed him cautiously . “Harry … um” , before she could say anything harry cut her off , “ I heard what happened … I mean a lot of people know , I was… uhm also at the funeral . I’m sorry for your loss” he looked dazed looking past her blankly . “Harry I have something very important with me ok? And I don’t know if I should even be giving you this but … here” , she handed him the box carefully looking at him . Harry studied the box carefully looking up at Y/F/N scrunching his face in a very confused face before opening the box seeing lots of letters tied in a red ribbon some old and some new. “Take care of them Harry. Don’t make me kick your ass if you do anything to put these out there or make fun of them with your friends” , with that Y/F/N walked away swearing to herself and telling you she was sorry if anything went bad. Harry sat in his car for a good while examining the box carefully then the letters inside , lots of them being from a couple years back. He didn’t know what to do or how to feel because the girl who he really wanted since they were kids was gone now . What would those letters say, how would they affect him? Was he ready to read what she was thinking at some point .. to finally know what was going on in that mind of hers. Harry began to break down remembering that he was setting up a little surprise for Y/N so that he can talk to her without triggering her anxiety … if only he had planned it earlier … if only he had just talked to her despite anything. He Began to read and read and read the letters one after the other carefully occasionally stopping to collect himself again or let out a small giggle and the jokes or things crazy things she would do with her friends and family. The more he read the more he felt like he was falling for her and that was quite dangerous harry knew it . He fell in love with her personality in the letters she wrote , in the life she had , in her quirks she hated about herself. Before Harry knew it he was deeply in love with a girl who was no longer here … no longer existing and it killed him.

Originally posted by harrysgolden

Originally posted by fireproof-harry

Let’s talk about White Aligned Races

Art by Matt Stewart

Mark Rosewater recently said that the dwarven experiment in Kaladesh was not a big success. This comes from a long line of Wizards trying and failing to find a White characteristic race. Now, it’s certainly possible that Wizards of the Coast just happens to be repeatedly finding races that people don’t particularly resonate with, but I honestly think they’re missing an important part of what makes the other characteristic races characteristic races. If you’ll bear with me, I’d like to explain why goblins, merfolk, elves, and zombies are great, and why kor, kithkin, leonin, dwarves, and aven fail to get sufficient love.

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He Keeps Your Relationship a Secret

Masterlist

“Hey.” Y/n whispers, lightly playing with the collar of her boyfriend’s shirt.

The halls are empty, class having started almost fifteen minutes ago. When she went to her locker because she forgot a text book, and saw Harry doing the same, she took her chances to talk to him. 

She misses him. It’s hard to stay in a secret relationship, especially when school takes up their entire schedule. But they always find a way to end up back to one another. The idea of it, however, slaughters her insides, because she knows it’s a lot more than what he says it is. She knows he’s embarrassed to be with her in school, because, well, who even is she? The people Harry hangs around with barely even mention her, but when they do, they laugh about her. But they fell in love, it was uncontrollable. He admits his love for her over and over, constant physical attention and constant reminders. She feeds on it, she feeds on the love and attention he gives her, because it’s not something she’s ever braced for. She loves a guy who loves her back, and, God, the feeling is such a high.

She leans in to press her lips against his neck, soft and gentle, just how he likes it best. She kisses every spot on his neck, her hands gliding along his shoulders. He turns his head so that he can look at her. It’s the first time he has seen her in weeks. But he can’t let her do this, not with this much risk.

“Not here, Y/n. Someone could walk by.” He mumbles, shrugging his shoulders so that her hand can slip away from him. 

Y/n slightly backs away, looking down at her feet as she grips her books tighter against her. She should have known this is how he would have reacted, especially here. But she grab every chance she gets to touch him, even breathe him in. Anything coming from him is like a drug, she’s addicted, she always relapses.

Harry can feel the air around them thicken. He knows how much of an asshole he sounds, he has to admit. But high school is his kingdom. People idolize him there, he has a name, he has a reputation, and he can’t afford to lose it, not when he can have Y/n for the rest of his life. It just doesn’t make sense. 

“I—I just wanted to—I miss you a lot, Harry. I feel like I don’t see you anymore and I just—I miss you. I thought maybe you would—”

“For fuck sake, Y/n, not here!” he spits.

Y/n looks down again, her teeth sinking into her bottom lip in attempt to hold back her sadness. This has happened one too many times, she can’t take it anymore. All of it is making her crazy, and her walls are crashing down again.

“Then where?” She whispers, finally looking up at his slumped structure. 

“Where could we ever be us, anymore? It’s either there’s too many people or you’re going out to have a smoke with your friends or it’s in school. I don’t know what you—I don’t know what you want from me anymore, Harry. I’m giving you the safety of your reputation, but you’re throwing our love  away for that.”

Y/n runs her fingers through her hair, pushing her lips in a straight line. She looks away from him, thinking if what she’s about to do is the right thing to do. 

“I’m so sorry, Harry. I’m sorry that I’m embarrassing to be around. I’m sorry you fell in love with someone who isn’t popular and who isn’t pretty. I’m just—I can’t do this anymore, Harry. I’m sorry, I just can’t anymore.” Y/n sobs.

Harry panics, his entire body whipping around so that he can face her completely. But before he can say anything to her, she runs away from him. He stays still at his locker, unable to absorb everything that was just thrown at him. Y/n, she—she broke up with him. He made her break up with him. She was so miserable with him that she’d feel better without him. 

Oh no, what has he done?

“God damn it!” Harry growls, punching the top of his locker with the side of his fist. 

“Mother fucker.” he cries, kicking the bottom of his locker.

He leans his head against the wall, banging it over and over again. By the fifth hit, he’s crying. He doesn’t understand. She said she can do it, she said she will do anything to stay together. Why did she leave? If she loves him, why did she leave?

He kicks the lockers in frustration, hitting his head against the wall again. He has to chase after her. He has to look for her. He doesn’t know why he keeps blaming her, all this happened because of him. He’s smart enough to know that, but ignorant enough to realize it. But he can’t live like this, not without her.

The only thing he could do was run for her.

Run for love.

10 REASONS WHY "JAWBREAKER" IS BETTER THAN "MEAN GIRLS"

Teen movies of the new millennium have legitimately lost their edge. 2004’s Mean Girls was decent but played it too safe. The 1999 theatrical release of the movie Jawbreaker marked the first real attempt at a dark teen comedy in a style reminiscent to the 1988 hit film Heathers. Panned by critics and ignored at the box office, it still managed to obtain cult classic status and remains one of my all-time favorite movies. I have yet to see another teen film that dares to take the risks Jawbreaker did.

Below are ten reasons why I think you should start cherishing Jawbreaker and stop giving Mean Girls so much undeserved hype:

1. BULLYING ASIDE, THERE’S AN ACTUAL MURDER

This 90’s movie gets straight to the point, having the story begin with a high-school clique of popular girls unintentionally murdering their best friend during a birthday prank gone horribly wrong. Mean Girls doesn’t even try to touch any subject matter of this sort.

I’ll never forget the image of their deceased BFF in the trunk with that giant jawbreaker protruding from her neck.

2. THERE’S AN UNDERSTANDABLE MAKEOVER

Dowdy Fern Mayo (Judy Greer) gets transformed into the mysterious Vylette, as HBIC Courtney’s favor for keeping her mouth shut about witnessing her clique’s concealment of their friend’s murder. The only makeover Lindsay Lohan underwent as Cady Herron in Mean Girls was dressing slightly better and wearing cosmetics.

3. COURTNEY SHAYNE MAKES REGINA GEORGE SEEM TOO NICE

This movie got Rose McGowan a nomination for Best Villain at the MTV Movie Awards. She didn’t win but really should have. Her portrayal of high-school queen bee and stylish femme fatale, Courtney Shayne, was spot on. Her character murdered her best friend, creatively covered it up, insulted her peers and pushed Vylette into a mirror until it cracked. Courtney Shayne was the ruthless high-school ruler Regina George wishes she could have been.

4. THEIR SCHOOL RULES WERE MORE INTENSE

The popular girls in Jawbreaker didn’t exclude pink to Wednesdays. What they did do was ensure they were never seen eating publicly, changing their personas to attract mass popularity, all while being unapologetically aggressive with men in order to get what they want. The ladies of Mean Girls seemed tame in comparison.

5. SPEAKING OF TAME, THE SEX IN THIS MOVIE IS ANYTHING BUT

The scene between Courtney, her hookup, and a popsicle is infamous. If you’ve seen Jawbreaker, you know exactly what I’m talking about. This movie doesn’t hide the fact that some of its characters like to get down and dirty, or sticky. Mean Girls did a lot of alluding while Jawbreaker got straight to the point.

6. EVEN THE FASHION WAS DARING

Do you remember Courtney’s sleeveless sweater with sheer cutouts, Julie’s groovy white framed rose-colored-lens sunglasses, or Vylette’s hot pink t-shirt with the word “bitch” emblazoned across it in black? The fashion from Jawbreaker is unforgettable and makes you miss some of the better styles people embraced in the 90’s.

7. THE AWESOME CELEBRITY CAMEOS

From Tatyana Ali to Marilyn MansonJawbreaker featured a surprising cast of well known and unknown actors. Even legendary female action star, Pam Grier, had a role in the film as the sassy detective investigating the murder of Liz Purr. Mean Girls was written by Tina Fey and featured new faces, familiar faces and some former SNL alumni, but Jawbreaker definitely wins for its riskier casting choices.

8. THE EPIC PROM FINALE

Not only were The Donnas the performing band in the movie’s prom, but the scene simultaneously documenting the rise and fall of Courtney Shayne was classically executed. Rose McGowan really did own this role and all of the corsages people pelted at her as she made her exit into social exile. Mean Girls’s Cady Herron shares her Spring Fling Queen tiara with the school and disbands its clique of popular girls, which would unlikely occur in reality. Again, Jawbreaker wins for its consistent edginess. 

9. THE MANY ONE-LINERS

No classic teen movie goes without its fair share of memorable one-liners and Jawbreaker is chock full of them. The reason I would choose its one-liners over the ones featured in Mean Girls is because of the excessive cussing and unforgiving tone they possess. I can’t say it enough. Mean Girls was too nice.

10. THE HALLWAY SCENES

Jawbreaker officially started the whole popular-clique-walking-down-a-high-school-hallway-to-cool-music scene and Mean Girls blatantly copied it. Hell, these kinds of scenes have become a teen movie standard nowadays and Jawbreaker definitely deserves its credit for pioneering that.

You may still prefer Mean Girls over Jawbreaker after reading this and you’re completely subject to that opinion. But the truth is, Jawbreaker is a fantastic movie and I wish more teen comedies dared to get as dark as it did without being as nice as Mean Girls, farcical as Heathers or as poorly executed as Jennifer’s Body.

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anonymous asked:

Anniversary request (Happy anniversary!!!): Fluff involving Damian and Barbara. Those two need more time together!

Thank you dear! I’ve never done just Damian and Barbara together, so I was excited to get to write them. I hope you like what I’ve cooked up. 

Words: 2,596

Rating: Gen (implied previous DickBabs for the story)

Summary:  Dick has been in a bad mood for a while and Damian can’t figure out how to fix it, so he goes to the one person he’s sure can help. Barbara Gordon. (Takes place while Dick and Damian are Batman and Robin)

AO3 Link


Damian Wayne prided himself on being self sufficient. He’d been able to take out a squad of his mother’s assassins at age 4. Had developed an immunity to most poisonous plants and animals a year later. He had survived multiple different abandonment in the wilderness exercises and had enough money in his own accounts to survive any modern disaster that might befall him.

He did not like asking for help. He was not the kind of person to need it. Not with his training, not with his abilities, nor with his mind. He hadn’t needed help before, and if he found himself in a situation where it was required, he worked until it no longer was.

That was then. With Mother. Now that he was in Gotham, things were different. There was, of course, new experiences and customs to take in, and things he was forced to learn in dealing both with the people of Gotham and his new place as Robin. Still, help was a rare need in his life and growing more so with every acquired skill.

Which is why he hated the idea of even standing outside the Gordon woman’s door, and why he berated himself for considering asking for her help. As it was, he had no other alternative. He’d tried everything in his power to resolve the situation, and thus had to turn to an expert.

“Are you planning on standing there all day, or are you going to knock?”

Damian resisted the urge to jump at the voice from the buzzer. Of course she’d be watching him, the woman had probably been laughing at him for the last five minutes as he’d tried to convince himself this truly was the best course of action. It didn’t help that her voice had sounded both vaguely irritated and amused.

He scowled up in the general direction of where he thought the camera might be. “Grayson has told me that spying is looked down on here.”

“So is loitering.”

Damian had listened to Barbara over the comms long enough to hear the amusement still in her voice, layered under the disapproval she seemed to be portraying.

He crossed his arms and finally caught sight of light glinting off the camera above him, allowing him to look at it directly. “I have a purpose for my visit, Gordon.”

“I hope it’s not for surveillance, if so I need to have a talk with Dick, he’s been teaching you wrong.”

Damian rolled his eyes up at her, “Grayson doesn’t need to teach me surveillance skills, Mother taught me when I was three.”

“Then you must be rusty, it took you too long to find my camera.”

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Snugglewolf Sleep Therapy

@werewclfie | AO3I hope this is acceptable for what you were wanting! I’ll probably add some more to it on AO3 but I couldn’t get the ending to do what I wanted. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

by @d-athanasi

Stiles is having nightmares. Derek’s solution is not what Stiles expected.


Stiles wasn’t quite sure what caught Derek’s eye specifically. There were probably a couple signs that would have tipped him off: Stiles’s eyes were red and he had huge bags under them; he probably smelled like sugar and energy drinks from forcing himself to stay awake; or maybe it was him walking into the corner of the wall because he couldn’t keep his balance. It had most likely been all three. Or, who knows, maybe werewolves could smell nightmares. That’s definitely a thing that could happen, although Stiles would really prefer that it didn’t.

In any case, for whatever reason, Stiles found himself staring out his window at Derek’s face the night after Saturday’s pack meeting. Well, glaring out the window. Stiles knew that Derek could see him, which meant that Derek knew Stiles had seen him because Stiles had almost flailed himself off the bed when he’d noticed the werewolf’s hulking shape blocking out the street light. As it was, Stiles had barely managed to save his laptop from crashing to the floor from where he’d had it perched to watch Netflix.

So after a few minutes of Stiles’s glaring and Derek just staring placidly back at him through the glass, Stiles’s gave a huff and pulled himself out of bed to unlock and open his bedroom window.

“You rang? Well, knocked? Wait, you didn’t even knock so what…just, what do you want, Derek?” Stiles babbled at the man outside his window. He tried to keep his voice down, but given how tired he was, Stiles wasn’t sure he could even trust his own volume control.

Derek stayed silent.

Frustrated, Stiles shrugged his shoulders and twirled his hands as in indication to say something, anything.

Derek just raised his eyebrows and looked down at the floor then back up at Stiles face. Stiles sighed again and turned to go back to his bed, dropping to sit at the edge of it with even less grace than he could usually muster while Derek climbed almost silently into the room, and then closed the window behind himself.

Stiles rubbed his hands over his eyes and then through his hair. Maybe Derek had a project for him to research? At least that would give him a good reason to stay awake longer.

But when he looked back up, Derek was crouched right in front of him.

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vickyxmelonlove  asked:

Hi! May I request for Wonho & NERD!Au, please and thanks!! ^^

➸ word count: 1.5k *laughs between sobs* what is a drabble, clearly idk

➸ fluff/angst ish/hs au/nerd au

➸ a/n: instead of saying I’ll write drabbles, I’ll say I’ll write “a thing” because honestly, ,,,this came out longer than I wanted it to and this happens often to me. i hate everything. anyways lovely, i hope u enjoy this im not entirely sure im completely satisfied with this but an attempt was made. thanks for the request and pls let me know if u enoyed. okay bye.

“Dude, you’re drooling again” Changkyun half groans, half teases when he catches sight of Wonho staring over at ________ with hearts in his eyes. 


They’re sitting at their usual lunch table, and right across them, ________ is sitting with her other friends throwing her head back in laughter. 


Wonho sighs, “Am not”. Still, he wipes the corner of his mouth just to make sure. 


“Why don’t you just tell her that you like her?” Jooheon asks through a mouthful of pizza. 


Kihyun snorts from besides Wonho, and shakes his head. “It’s like you don’t know Wonho” he muses. 


“It’s not that simple” Wonho counters. 


“Of course it is, you tell her how you feel and she will either return your feeling or won’t” Changkyun tells him. 


“Yeah, and what if she doesn’t? I could potentially lose my best friend. I don’t want that, besides it already feels like I’m losing her, and what if this pushes her completely away?” Wonho sighs. He pushes his tray of food away and looks up. 


Catching his eye, ________ smiles warmly at him an waves. He smiles right back, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. 


Looking away quickly, he doesn’t catch her concerned frown. 


“Is this because of what Jinyoung said to you last time?” Changkyun asks. 


“Jinyoung? Uh, what did that asshole say to you?” Kihyun asks working himself up. 


“Changkyun” Wonho warns. 


“No, seriously. Is that guy bothering you again? Because if he is, tell us and we’ll do something” Shownu tells him. 


“Guys, can we all just–drop it. Honestly though, he’s right. There’s no way in hell someone as beautiful, and popular as her would actually go for a nerd like me” Wonho plays with his fingers and doesn’t dare to look up at his friends. 


Kihyun looks like he’s about to burst when Shownu speaks up. 


“Love is all about taking risks” Shownu points out, “and besides, ________ isn’t that type of person. If she cared at all about labels, appearances and that nonsense, don’t you think she’d have stopped associating herself with you?”


“Or with us for that manner?” Jooheon adds. 


Wonho drops his head against the table and groans. Everything his friends are saying rings some sort of truth, but he’s scared. 



“________, I need your help with something” Wonho says when she opens the door to greet him. 


“Hello to you too” she laughs letting him in, “what’s up cupcake?”


“What did we say about you calling me that?”


“Not to do it in public?” ________ teases. 


“No, I told you to stop calling me that” Wonho grins. 


“But how can I stop when you’re just as cute as a cupcake, look at those cheeks”


She pinches his cheeks playfully and Wonho lightly slaps her hands away. 


“That makes no sense” Wonho shakes his head. 


“It does to me. So, what’s this you need help with?” she asks. 


“First of all, promise you won’t laugh?” Wonho pleads, then sticks out his pinky. ________ grins and takes it nodding her head. “I want you to help me make myself over" 


“What?” ________ giggles, and stops immediately when Wonho shoots her a look. “I mean, why?”


“Well, I–there’s a girl” he starts off and _________’s eyes widen. 


“R-really?” she stutters, her heart plummeting to her stomach. 


“Yeah, and I was thinking that maybe if didn’t look like this, maybe she’d give me a second look” he admits, his cheeks pink. 


________ frowns. 


“You do realize that you don’t have to change yourself for anyone, right? If you’re willing to give her your heart, she should accept you just the way you are” she tells him. 


“________” whines throwing his head back. 


“I’m serious, Wonho. If she hasn’t noticed you now, what makes her worthy of your affection once you’re made over?” ________ tells him protectively. 


Wonho nods in understanding, “I mean–I haven’t really been obvious about it. I just think that if I look less like this” he points at his glasses, un-styled hair, and his khaki pants paired with a red polo and a grey cardigan, “I would have more of a chance of her saying yes. Plus I also really want this. I feel like I’d feel better about myself if I looked less well, nerdy” he laughs. 


________ sighs giving in. “Fine, this girl better be worth the trouble" 


Wonho’s blinding smile makes ________’s heart ache. Must be some girl she thinks. She decides to bury her feelings for her best friend deeper and fakes a smile. 

Keep reading

Perfectly imperfect - part 3

I yawned wide while brushing my tangled hair, almost ripping it out with each tug. The yawn caused my eyes to water up and smudge my mascara and I let out a very large sigh. I had gotten fed up of fixing my eye makeup so much today cause it took me ages to repair but I was so tired today, I didn’t get much sleep the night before as I tossed and turned thinking about my feelings, sam being the cause. I told myself I was just being silly and to ignore it, brush it off but apart of me still worried I may have caught feelings for my bestfriend. It was ten minutes til I had to go meet Sam at Starbucks as usual. I yawned once more and a little more water escaped from my eye, in frustration I wiped it away more forcefully than before and took off half my eye makeup with it. I groaned and decided to just take it all off, while doing so I picked up my phone to text sam.

‘Hey! I’m really tired so do you mind coming over here and having coffee with me in the house, we can watch anything you want xx"

I pressed send and waited for his response. I really couldn’t be bothered leaving the house today so I ran to my drawers and put on a vest top with some sweatpants so I was more comfortable. I washed my face and dried it with my soft red towel, it was so nice to be fresh faced for once. I walked to the kitchen and took out some mugs before turning on my tv and logging onto Netflix. I heard my phone go off on my makeup desk and scurried towards the noise, it was a text from sam of course which read:

'Hey, sounds great! I’ll swing by with pizza in 5 xx"

I chuckled at his message and shoved my phone in my pocket. Why did he make me so happy?

I was looking through all my recently watched movies when I heard the door go. He was finally here, took him a bit longer than I expected but as long as he showed up I guess. I swung open the door to be met with Sam’s smiley face, how cute. He held a fairly large pizza box in one arm as he greeted me with a half hug using the other. He rested the pizza box onto the kitchen counter and did a little spin to face me, he looked me up and down, his face turning pink.

“You look different.” His hands rested on my shoulders. I gave him a confused look then realised I had no make up on, I shoved my face in my hands and laughed.

“Oh god, is it bad?” I asked not really sure if I wanted to know his answer. His expression changed and he quickly Shook his head.

“No no, oh god, I didn’t mean it like that! You look gorgeous” he blurted out, then nervously laughed, my cheeks turned to a familiar shade and I thanked him. I walked over to the kettle and poured us some coffee. I gave him his cup so he could add sugar and milk if he wanted then took the pizza box over to the couch. We sat down and scrolled through a lot of popular movies, we decided we would watch Grease as it was one of my favourite movies and sam had yet to have seen it. I found a blanket and we watched, stuffing our faces with pizza. It was my favourite pizza too, he knew me more than I knew myself sometimes. As the songs came on, I sang along with all the lyrics, the first one I knew was summer nights.

“Summer lovin had me a blast, summer lovin happen so fast. I met a girl crazy for me. I met a boy as cute as can be. Summer days drifted away to ah ah summer nights” I danced a little along with sandy and Sam couldn’t stop laughing. I looked at him pretending to be offended, my hand Over my heart with a wide open mouth.

“Excuse me are you trying to say I can’t sing” I fake sniffled, he tried to hug me but I turned away from him. He chuckled

“You’re adorable” he shook his head smiling. My heart pounded so fast but I kept my cool, I carried on singing the song but this time looking into his eyes. I couldn’t stop smiling as he attempted to keep a straight face. Once the song ended we continued watching the movie, he seemed to be really into it, I couldn’t help but giggle when he got mad at the male lead for treating sandy the way he did.

It had come to the scene where sandy had gotten a make over and she was singing to Danny to impress him with her new style, new look and new attitude. I got ready to sing my heart out standing to my feet, sam gave me a dumbstruck look as I whipped off the blanket, turned to him and whispered

“Tell me about it… stud.” I danced as Danny sang his part, sams eyes stayed focus on me, he wasn’t laughing as such but smiling wide.

“You better shape cause I need a man and my heart is set on you. oh you better shape up, you better understand to my heart I must be true” I danced like in the movie. After 2 mins I sat down, exhausted. Sam smiled and pulled me in close so my head rested on his shoulder. I liked being with Sam but I didn’t like this feeling I had of liking him cause he didn’t like me like that. The movie was over but I wanted him to stay longer, I thought for a second.

“Hey do you want some wine?” I was really hoping he’d say yes. He thought about it, I could tell,he decided he would. I ran Over to my kitchen to get some glasses, I poured the wine and returned. I handed him his glass and he took a sip, he nodded his head contemplating on wether he liked it or not. I took a large gulp and he raised an eyebrow. I shrugged my shoulders and he laughed.

“I like it. how come we haven’t thought of staying in before, it’s nice” he looked around the flat and I smiled.
“I know, it is nice. Maybe we should do this once a month” Like I said, I like spending time with Sam so this was the perfect excuse. He nodded his head and continued to drink his wine.

“You’re a good singer you know, you can sing to me any day you want” he smiled, I laughed and shook my head. He pushed my shoulder and so I put down my glass and pushed him back. He put his down and we wrestled for a while, I won of course. We then drank wine and talked all night, he seemed very impressed with my performance. I just laughed cause I thought I sounded like a dying cat if I was honest.

One bottle later, I walked through to the kitchen to pour one last glass each of a new bottle. As I was pouring I felt two arms snake around my waist, my head turned to see Sams face on my shoulder. I blushed real hard but focused on pouring my wine.

“How’d that song go again? the one where she changed” he asked, I laughed at his curiosity. I took a sip from my glass and started to pour his.

“You better shape up cause I need a man and my heart is set on you.” I sang quietly. He smiled and mumbled something but I didn’t here him, I laughed and asked him to repeat himself, adding on that someone had a little too much

“I said I wish that was true.” He kissed my shoulder and I had to think for a few seconds before realising what he meant. My face went beetroot and my heart raced, making me breath fast. I slowly turned in his grip and looked at his face. His eyes didn’t even look drunk but he must’ve been to just blurt that out. He smiled and placed his hand on my cheek, stroking his thumb against it.

“I can’t tell if you’re just drunk or…” I paused, not wanting to give away I liked him just incase. He leaned in and place an soft kiss on my lips and my heart stopped. His lips with warm and I just melted into it, I could taste his vanilla chapstick on his lips. It was short kiss, he stared into my eyes.

“I’m crazy about you…” he whispered, I smiled and wrapped my arms around his neck, hugging him tight. He hugged me back. We stayed there for a minute.

“We should go to sleep, it’s late. You can stay over if you’d like” I walked into my room and checked behind me to see if he was leaving or staying. He made the choice to stay here and followed me in. I went to the bathroom and when I came back sam was asleep in my bed in only his boxers. This was a sight I hadn’t seen yet, my eyes fell on him as I looked over his body. Wow. I got into bed, as I turned on my side I heard shuffling. I felt the bed dip and two arms wrapped around me.

“Night y/n”

@tomllholland
@ya-boi-holland @marveloussebbystan @spidertransblog @marvelavengers456 @parkerbenjaminpeter @spidey-ish @spidey-mantom @peterxparkerx @weekend-writer

komed  asked:

Mr. Lovhaug/Linkara, you once did mini-opinions on each episode of Series 8 of Doctor Who. Since you have finished the Series 10, would you mind posting your opinion on each episodes?

The Pilot: Good introduction to Bill, but as a complete story it feels… off, particularly because there is no real resolution to the Pilot and its idea. Also continues Moffat’s tradition of throwing in a popular monster for no real reason, but props for inclusion of the Movellans.

Smile: Okay outing, but one of those situations where future tech is based on current tech/trend (Emoticons/Smilies in this case) and it is always silly to me when that happens. Sudden anti-war/battle thing at the end? Weird, but yeah, not a bad episode at all.

Thin Ice: Thin story, more like, but not bad. Basically one of the problems with a lot of stories during the Moffat era is a lack of character development for the secondary characters of the story, as is the case with both the villain and the thieves. Although this one is at least better than a lot in that the Doctor provides for them after he leaves.

Knock Knock: Favorite episode of the season. I love haunted house stories and this one is nicely creepy. The explanation for the shenanigans is good and the makeup on the “monster” deserves an award.

Oxygen: Great story! Capitalism taken to its extreme like this is always neat to see, plus a good, clever way to resolve the situation. The brief storyline with the Doctor’s blindness introduced here is a good idea.

Extremis: Good beginning to the three-parter! The revelation of what was going on was fantastic… although I’m iffy about the inclusion of the Pope and whatnot, especially bringing them around in the TARDIS. I don’t know, just felt kind of like an attempt to show off how cool the Doctor is - even the Pope needs to go to him for help! Seemed a bit over the top.

The Pyramid at the End of the World: I’m glad that Moffat remembered one of his old plot points, in this case the “Doctor is the President of the World” thing introduced a few seasons ago… but the problem is that that particular plot point is kind of silly and lame - once again, the Doctor is the coolest, most important super-awesome person in the room and everyone must acknowledge that blah blah that Hbomberguy talked about in his Sherlock video. That being said, a lot of props for the clever way in which disaster will occur on the planet, but what’s more that the way the Monks take over - with love rather than fear - is an interesting approach that is appreciated. The title is also rather irrelevant, since the pyramid itself is not that important in the grand scheme of things. Hell, you could have called this one “Countdown” or “Love the Monks” and it would have made more sense.

The Lie of the Land: After all that build up and the fascinating, interesting, somewhat original concepts with the Monks in the previous two episodes… this is a major letdown. It’s just a generic “Aliens have conquered earth” situation and the resolution is both pat and yet another “love conquers all” thing. It’s trite and disappointing after the last two parts.

Empress of Mars: Feels like an RTD-era episode and I mean that in a good way. While I have no particular fondness for the Ice Warriors, it’s good to see them again and this is the first in a while where it feels like we have proper secondary characters. The setup for the two Peladon episodes of the third Doctor is nicely handled and it’s just a solid outing.

The Eaters of Light: Again, another RTD-era feeling episode and a good one at that. A lot more secondary characters and they definitely feel better than what we’ve gotten. The plot is simple and more classic-style Doctor Who of the Doctor and the Companion going off to do their own separate stories that eventually intersect and lead to a good resolution.

World Enough and Time: One of the more annoying things about the modern era is spoilers. And I don’t just mean people spoiling, which sucks enough as it is… but the two major revelations of this episode were spoiled BY THE SHOW ITSELF, both because of press releases ANNOUNCING it and because of the Next Time trailers revealing them. Narratively, the episodes are structured so that these revelations within them are major twists. However, because of the show ITSELF giving these things away, they are not twists - we know already what’s happening and thus it becomes padding to get to that point. It’s like when in classic who there would be “_______ of the Daleks” titles for episodes - you can’t really pretend then that the Daleks appearing is that big of a deal or shocking twist because YOU ALREADY PUT THEIR NAME IN THE TITLE. I called the disguise element almost immediately because I knew the spoilered return. It was easy enough to figure out what the actual situation was with Operation Exile because of that same spoiler. They would have had a larger impact had I not been spoiled with this information. That being said, the episode itself WAS still good, creepy, and played with sci-fi concepts nicely.

The Doctor Falls: Unlike the last two Capaldi finales, this one is MUCH better. It actually delivers on the promises of the previous episode, has lots of interesting character interactions, and lots of great lines and moments. The Doctor actually DOES stuff. It is by no means perfect - I dislike that only new-who versions of the Monsters were seen (aside from the original versions), but it’s understandable why they did that. Bill’s resolution wasn’t too terrible, even though the setup from the Pilot is still… ehhh. But whatever, just glad Bill wasn’t the super-duper-most-important-person-in-the-universe AGAIN and I’m glad she’ll be back for the Christmas Special even if she won’t be back for the next season. Overall great stuff and improves on a lot of the problems of the last two finales, probably because it’s BASICALLY a do-over of those last two finales.

Truth And Street Photography

I love taking pictures. I’m fortunate to be able to squeeze enough life out of my finances to barely inch past disaster in order to continue to do so. But it’s very hard, and demands true devotion without compromise. I can handle it, and no matter how impossible, it’s something that is there to be conquered and I will try to remain undaunted by the sheer impossibilities presented by the world of dollars and sense each day. There are, however, a few things that I’m finding it difficult to overcome and understand in the world of photography that I find myself having to negotiate, and here I’ll state my feelings.

The image in this post and those that will follow are visible on the streets we walk each day. They represent truth and humanity, and are presented in a somewhat stylized manner, and hopefully, they are done with compassion as well. They are images of people that are part of street life but who are almost never represented by photography organizations or competitions or publications. I ask this question: how can you leave such essentials out of the business of street photography? How can you contemplate reality and include only snarky, trendy, lightweights, or otherwise stylized representations of life on the street? This is not Happy pictures versus Sad pictures…..this is reality. Where is it? Was it Cartier-Bresson that talked about smelling the streets from a street photograph? These are meaningless sentiments these days. Why do publications shy away from photos that have meaning, depth and punch in favor of images that lack these things, but are safe viewing that showcase a clever and trendy sense of snark that reveals very little beyond the surface gloss. My street animals are sometimes those of homeless people or people on the fringes. These images are every bit as important as those representing their wealthier counterparts, but they have been overlooked and passed over in some surprising ways.

One of these images has been outright copied recently and of course, I understand the risk I take when I post my images to Instagram and elsewhere. But when the copycat gets much more press than I do, where does that leave me?

I’m very disappointed by photography publications generally. I see pictures that are competent and technically great. I see work that’s definitely highly skilled and worthy of respect, but it’s not necessarily emotionally powerful in the sense that it has found a means by which to make a social statement. Should all street photography attempt to speak socially? Of course not! It should be whatever the photographer wants it to be, whether it’s flip and sarcastic or heavy and sentimental. I think, however, that all sides of the genre deserve respect….including the grit, the dirt and the hard to look at. Because it’s Street Photography, right? Not some pretense intended to appeal to a millennial mindset. Everything and everybody belongs in Street Photography, not just the pretty girls, the fancy camera work and the quirky humor. All of it, because it’s the world we live in. Photographers who do not wish to tackle all of it are graciously and respectfully excused, provided that they respect and give credit to the images produced by those of us who do choose to present our views of these realities.

I am more than tired of hearing stories of major plagiarism. I’m tired of posting pictures of cats in a particular style, and then seeing it copied by another photographer who gets more press and/or attention than I do. It happens a lot, and if course it’s not just me. It’s a serious problem for many of us, and I’ve blocked people on Instagram for it. Of course, they can continue to see my images online despite being blocked, and I find that the copying continues. Shamelessly, and inexplicably. Original ideas should inspire, but outright theft of composition and duplication of a photo series or content is a sign of a weak photographer. Unfortunately, major organizations are routinely duped and the problem arises on a grand scale and is a serious embarrassment for those that have been fooled.

It’s such a bitch, getting this party started. Devotion and love of the process keep me going, but navigating the fraudulent waters of social media sites like Instagram leaves me cold. There are so many ways to game the system that it hardly counts. Likes and followers, and all of the gaming and optimization and trickery that meshes with the Instagram algorithm has absolutely NOTHING to do with photography as an art form.

Contests are bullshit. They are money making ventures that hold very little meaning. They serve to defeat artistry in many cases and are a true waste of money. Sometimes they work, but mostly it’s a way to promote safety in numbers. And lists of photographers? Fuck the list, folks. I’ve been on one, and it was nice, but been left off plenty that I think I should’ve been on. They are nothing but discouraging and serve no purpose.

We are in a world deluged with images of every kind. Making an individual statement in this world becomes harder and harder to do with each passing day. DSW and Foot Locker and CVS and Starbucks have taken Manhattan and like-minded individuals are running the show elsewhere as well. Keep it original, be inspired, work your ass off and find your voice. Don’t let other people’s standards dictate your practices. Current standards in politics are nothing but emerging disasters and so are those in the world of artistic endeavor. Be original and stand up for yourself and others who do the same and stop this mindless following behavior. Try to look for depth and meaning….it’s not about the “#great shot”. It’s got to be about more. Strong voices are needed, and a fearless attitude about whatever it is that motivates. Never let what’s being promoted or placed in the popular view make you think it’s great or worthy or meaningful. It’s just that….popular. And there’s still a difference between popularity and originality and excellence. Do it your way and don’t let yourself be discouraged.

Suzanne

BECAUSE I’M NOT POPULAR, I’LL READ WATAMOTE: CHAPTER #120

Sometimes I feel like a broken record with the amount of times I’ve talked about Tomoko’s growth, or about the heartwarming direction that the series has been taking. And sometimes I worry that I’ll run out of things to say. But thankfully, Watamote is smart enough to avoid reusing the same ol’ happy endings over and over under the guise of “development”. As of now, Watamote has lost nearly all of the predictability it’s early chapters were infamous for. And that ultimately makes Tomoko’s story that much stronger as a result.

Take this party chapter. It’s easy to predict that Tomoko will make a fool of herself in some way, and if this were in the past, that’d be a fair guess. And make no mistake, Tomoko’s awkwardness is still present, but we also get our share of surprises here and there. The biggest of which is that this party is not filled with high-energy antics, but a deep sea of emotions that makes this one of the most significant chapters to date.

Chapter 120: Because I’m Not Popular, I’ll Attend the Party (a.k.a. The Melancholy of Yuri Tamura)

I like the difference in how Tomoko and Yoshida react to being placed in awkward social situations. With Tomoko, there’s this agitation, the natural defensiveness of being in unfamiliar territory. As for Yoshida, she seems to be facing the situation with her usual scowl of indifference, as if daring anybody to cross her. It’s a nice reminder that not all loners react the same way in a heavily socialized world. 

I find it interesting that in response to Mako’s innate friendliness, Tomoko has to force herself to sound cheerful, whereas Yuri doesn’t appear to give a damn about how outwardly cheery she looks. Perhaps Yuri is so comfortable with Mako that she knows she doesn’t have to try so hard, unlike Tomoko, who still feels the need to match Mako’s demeanor somewhat.

Coming from a guy who lives in the Western world that once considered Korean BBQs to be the “hip” thing to do, I can kind of understand Tomoko’s sentiment here. The KBBQ, at least in my case, were not popular for the food (though it was good, make no mistake) but for the experience. Barbecues, whether Western or Korean, are not just a style of food. It’s also a kind of social event, so it kind of makes sense that it would be popular with the cheerful, extroverted types. 

If there’s one thing Tomoko and Yuri can truly bond over, it’s their apathy. 

I guess it depends of the place. Given that I’ve eaten at all-you-can-eat places for around $10-$15, it does seem like a rip-off at first glance. But because KBBQs are fairly high-end restaurants, I could see why it would be so pricey. 

Masterful composition work here. Of course the moment Tomoko refers to her group as the four of them, Ucchi (the unofficial fifth member) is seen sitting right next to her. It only serves to emphasize the point that Ucchi is the outsider in Tomoko’s small circle of friends. Pretty ironic given that Ucchi probably obsesses over Tomoko the most. It’s also a good setup for the following punchline. That fact that Ucchi is cooking so seriously isn’t really funny until we get to…this.

Okay, so there’s couple things want to note here. First of which is Ucchi’s deathly serious expression. Even with her emoji face, it’s clear from her body language that Ucchi is acting with no reservations whatsoever. Tomoko didn’t do a single thing to her at this moment, and yet Ucchi unabashedly decided to do something nice for her. Unlike other times where she could come up with some poorly-veiled excuse, this is all on Ucchi. 

Second, it’s the first time she did something like this in front of her friends. When looking at it from their perspective, they’re rightly shocked. Ucchi probably told them stories that made her out to be the victim, and yet here she is doing something completely contradictory to that. 

As I’ve stated countless times before, I think it’s pretty much confirmed that Ucchi has accepted that she holds some affection towards Tomoko, lesbian or otherwise. The question now is how is she dealing with it? Judging by her silent blush, I think a safe guess is that she’s still coming to terms with it. Ucchi’s usually pretty vocal about how “gross” Tomoko is, but now, we don’t even see her thoughts on the matter. I think this signifies that Ucchi has so much inner conflict that she can’t find the words to adequately explain how she feels. Perhaps this makes her a tsundere, but if it does, then it’s the good kind of tsundere. 

I gotta admit, my heart sank a bit seeing Yuri talk negatively like this. Even if she’s not an especially positive person, Yuri never really gave the impression that she was a downer. Given that she isn’t the type to speak facetiously, it must mean that she’s given this some serious thought. 

It’s kind of telling that of all people, Yoshida is the one who brings up the possibility of just hanging out without the excuse of being classmates. Most of the cases of Yoshida hanging out with her field trip group we’re just a result of convenient timing. To actually suggest that she would spend time with them on her own accord indicates that she’s considered them to be worth her time. How sweet. 

As pessimistic as Yuri sounds, she’s not wrong. There’s plenty of evidence to support the idea that neither Tomoko or Yoshida are the types to be actively social. They don’t go out of their way to plan ahead like that, and usually only follow after someone invites them first. It a depressing thought, but I’ve been in that situation before, so I can see where Yuri’s coming from.

Ugh, this brings back painful memories of all those networking activities I had to do back in college. The “whole swap seats and make new friends” idea was clearly geared towards people of an extroverted nature. It works well for them, but it’s incredibly frustrating for introverts who can’t force genuine social interaction. 

This one of those “punchline” panels where there’s just so much to dissect. Let’s start with the one on the right. Even if you know nothing about Yuri and Minami, just by looking at them you can tell that they’re NOT friends. But you can also infer that it’s Yuri who has a problem with Minami. It’s also subtle, but do you notice Minami’s more relaxed posture compared to Yuri’s slightly jutted arms? She clearly has no intention to deal with Minami at all.

Then there’s Tomoko, getting sandwiched by two popular kids. She’s clearly on edge, and if her facial expression is any indication, she’s either looking at Yuri to relay her discomfort, or she’s confused by the distance Yuri is keeping between herself and Minami.

It’s a interesting way to illustrate their current states of loner-dom. Yuri has no trouble keeping to herself because no one ever approaches her, whereas Tomoko is the one that has to ward off unwanted attention. 

Now this is quite the interesting move here. Despite being told to swap seats and “make friends”, Minami makes no attempt to engage Yuri, and instead turns around to speak with Mako instead. This suggests that Minami does not find any value in talking to someone like Yuri, and postulates that going back to Mako would be better. 

It’s a nice case of active avoidance. Even though she’s in a situation where she’s basically forced to socialize with Yuri, Minami physically turns away from her to speak to her already-established friends. Poor Yuri.

It pains me to admit that Minami is actually kind of adorable.

Damn, talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

I can’t help but wonder if Minami is aware that Yuri, the girl whom Mako “betrayed” her for, is sitting right next to her. If she does know about what had happened between them at the field trip, then bringing it up now, is quite frankly, kind of a bitch move. But given what we’ve seen of Minami before, I think that it’s more likely that she’s just tactless/oblivious rather than malicious. 

But Yuri’s reaction is one of the many surprises this chapter. Even though she was just indirectly insulted, Yuri has a completely emotionless response: she just focuses on eating. Even though Yuri is known for her blasé demeanor, we’ve seen before that’s she’s not immune to expressing annoyance. Her non-reaction suggests that she’s really gotten over this particular incident, or that she’s just used to people ignoring her. Poor, poor Yuri.

As for Tomoko…does she actually know what went on between Yuri, Mako, and Minami? I’d imagine Yuri might have mentioned it very casually, but as of now, there’s nothing to confirm that Tomoko is in the know.  

Funny, you’d think the “class mom” type like Makeup-chan would be the one to be the class representative. 

I can’t say I agree on Tomoko on this one. As they say, maturity is in the mind, not in the body. I think that disparity between Tomoko and Katou isn’t something you exclusively feel at parties. Though, it can be more apparent, if you look at it like a relationship between a party host and their guests. People tend to think that taking on more responsibilities, whether voluntarily or not, equates to more maturity, but that’s not necessarily true, as Tomoko doesn’t seem to understand.

Also, that otaku friend of Kakinuma has the hots for Makeup-chan. 

Ah, there’s that old-school Watamote cringe humor. But even then, this is pretty mild to the kinds of disasters we’ve seen before. Even when Tomoko’s worst bubbles back up to the surface, it’s still better than it was before. 

Did we even get name for this guy before?

PFFT, phrasing the start of the conversation to sound like a confession? This is such a bait for those fans who keep hoping for Tomoko to get a boyfriend soon. 

At least we got a glimpse of this guy’s personality. From what it looks like, he’s seem like the kind of unreserved guy who has no qualms on talking about dick pictures with a female classmate. I mean, even if Tomoko was totally guilty then, it’s still kind of inappropriate to bring it up.

Tomoko’s arsenal of completely relatable lines continues to impress me. 

Hypothetical #1: Funny how in the past, Tomoko would half-joke about Tomoki perving on her. There’s also that instance when she asked Tomoki to show her his dick, so it’s nice to know that Tomoko’s incestual accusations were mostly in jest, and that she never actually believed that about her brother. 

Hypothetical #2: As many have noticed, this an obvious reference to an actual instance that happened to the mangaka. This one of those moments where I genuinely laughed out loud. Referential humor, for me, only works if the humor can be ignored by those that don’t get the reference. It works here because it’s still pretty funny, whether or not you know what the joke is referring to.

Odd use of the word “fun”. The word “fun” isn’t the first word I’d use to describe anything remotely sexual. Perhaps “fun” has different connotations depending on the culture?

Again, we have another moment that shows that Tomoko’s thoughts don’t always follow through on her actions. She may have joked before on how Yuu is a “slut”, but she would never truly out the girl as such to other people, hence why she mentally apologized for potentially giving that impression to a guy. It’s kind of sweet on how Tomoko is actually kind of protective of Yuu; likely believing that Yuu is too good for just any ol’ dude.   

Hah, Tomoko totally cut Komiyama out from that selfie. I expected nothing less. 

Yeah, I figured that the translators were taking liberties when they used the word “spaghetti-ing”. And the thing is, I actually don’t mind this kind of translation, because I could actually see this term be plausibly used by the mangaka. Not to get too deep on how I think manga should be translated, but generally, I think that indirect translations are fine so long as the meaning is still the same, and it doesn’t mischaracterize the speaker. 

Cue the mood whiplash. I figured that we would get a glimpse of Yuri being lonely at this party, but I didn’t expect it to have such a large focus. I can now understand why only having Mako at the party wouldn’t have been enough for Yuri to attend. My assumption was that while Yuri was a loner like Tomoko and Yoshida, she was better acquainted with people than either of them. But as we see here, I was totally wrong. It’s Tomoko, and to an extent Yoshida, that know more people than her

I think this drives the point on how Yuri differs in her level of solitude than either of her field trip buddies. While Tomoko and Yoshida have decidedly less social skills, they have a slightly larger network of people to actually be social with. Yuri on the other hand, has one really solid friend in Mako, but her network of people is limited to that one friend (before Tomoko and Yoshida came along). This leads me to believe that Tomoko and Yoshida at least have a marginally larger degree of energy to socialize, whereas Yuri has very little energy to socialize with anyone other than the four she came to the party with.

Poor, poor, poor Yuri. 

Okada: “So…what kind of person is Kuroki-san?”

Yoshida: “A bitch.” 

This is a nice bit of subtle development on Mako’s part. She seems to be more conscientious about Yuri’s status as a loner, and how much being Mako’s friend means to her. Good job, Mako, you managed to avoid another betrayal.

How ironic of you Minami, accusing Mako of not reading the mood when it’s you who can’t read the mood. I still can’t decide whether Minami is just innocently insensitive, or if she’s just selfish and doesn’t care how other people may be affected by her actions. It’s something I’ll be keeping an eye out for in the future.

And it’s not just Mako, but Yuri showing a positive change as well. Yuri’s always seemed pretty reserved when it comes to discussing her own feelings, but here, she’s actually opening herself quite a bit by honestly bringing up her intentions for even going to the party at all. I’d imagine that in the past, this is something Yuri would’ve kept to herself, but I think that being around the brashness of Tomoko and Yoshida has influenced her to be more bold herself. 

I wonder if Yoshida could hear her when she said this?

If there’s one thing that Yuri may still be working on, it’s realizing that there are people now like Yoshida that are genuinely fond of her, and that her own actions directly affect the choices of these people. Yuri probably realized that leaving without telling the others may have come off as inconsiderate, hence why she apologized. 

On that note, it’s nice to see a moment that directly illustrates that Yuri is someone of relative importance to Yoshida. Before, Delinquent-chan would address Yuri as just someone she knows from the field trip. But these last two chapters make a point that Yoshida is fond of Yuri beyond just knowing her.

Pulling out the same excuse from that Christmas party with Yuu and Komiyama, eh, Tomoko? It’s always good to have an excuse ready when you need to make a hasty retreat.

That’s quite the self-assessment there, Tomoko. It’s kind of what I was saying earlier regarding how she has and hasn’t changed. Her ability to actually socialize, especially under pressure, has made good improvement, resulting in her “A”. But her social endurance, that is, the amount of time she can socialize before burning out, hasn’t really changed that much, resulting in her “D”. 

Overall, I’d say that she’s more or less overcome the worst parts of her social anxiety, but obviously, that doesn’t change the fact that’s she’s an introvert by nature. 

Unlike Yuri, who thinks that separating from the class will mean that they’ll never hang out again, Mako is more optimistic. She feels that being third-years won’t change anything, and that they’ll still see Yoshida and Tomoko even if they end up in certain classes. It scares me to think how depressed Yuri might be if she never had a friend like Mako.

And there we go, people. The line that could very well change the direction of this series. As Yuri has pointed out, neither Tomoko or Yoshida are the types to put in the effort to be social on their own accord. Now, Yuri could’ve easily left it at that, and accepted the possibility that she’ll never hang out with them again. But, no. This is the point when Yuri realizes that she cares too much about her budding friendship with these girls, and to keep it afloat, she’s the one that’ll have to take the proactive approach and lead their friendship in the future. It’s quite a step up from Yuri’s normal passivity, and it really highlights how valuable these new friends are to her that Yuri is willing to step out of her comfort zone to keep them together. 

And even if she still believes that they’ll never see each other in their third year, she’s still willing to extend their time together as much as possible, even if it’s just a little bit before the next train arrives.

I’m proud of you, Yuri. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you your role in this chapter was that of a shoujo manga protagonist.   

And there you have it. Second year is now over. What can we expect from this series for Tomoko’s third year? There are still quite a few “arcs” that still need to be wrapped up. The friendly rivalry between Komiyama and Akari, plus the breaking point for Ucchi’s hate-crush on Tomoko are things to keep an eye out for. But there’s are also some new elements to the series that may come to the forefront. Perhaps Katou will play a major role, or maybe the rest of Nemoto’s squad will come into focus at some point. Yuri, will undoubtedly, continue to play the part of Tomoko’s closest school friend, and it will be a pleasure to see where she’ll go from here.

But of course, we can’t forget Tomoko Kuroki. Having overcome the worst part of herself, what sort of struggles could she face in the future? A falling out with her friends? Choosing a career? A love confession? I don’t think anything would be too overreaching at this point. But no matter how you look at it, I’ll be there to review it. 


Heads up! Starting next week, I’ll be attending a boot camp for learning user experience (UX) design. It’s only for a few months, but as this is going on, my free time will be severely limited. I’ll still be writing reaction/reviews as the chapters come out, but please understand if they come out pretty late after the initial chapter release. Otherwise, thanks again to everyone who follows me!

@magicalrocketships, @whentherewerebicycles, be careful what you wish for. Here you have it, Louis Tomlinson’s Party Sloth Rental Empire (a sequel/prequel to party slothry.)

Harry had big plans for the hiatus, until he became a sloth.

Hell, Harry’s big plans are the reason there’s a hiatus in the first place. He lays it all out in a conference room, Jeffrey Azoff standing at his shoulder, and the rest of them know that all they can do is get on board. Harry wants the million-dollar narrative of their performative friendship to float his solo boat into friendly waters, and if the rest of them try to fight it, they’re only hurting themselves.

So they nod, and bump fists with Harry. Then they exchange quiet glances with each other, and get on with making their own plans.

Or Niall and Liam do, at least. Louis isn’t quite sure what to do with himself. Something on the business side of things, he supposes. The fans only seem to care about him because they think he’s fucking Harry. That’s no basis for a solo career.

So Louis is the one at loose ends when Harry wakes up a sloth the morning after their final performance. The only one who’s curious enough to visit. Harry wraps all four of his ungainly limbs around Louis and snuffles against his neck, and Louis has the strangest sense of deja vu. But surely he’s only thinking of The X Factor because they performed there last night.

He takes Harry home with him to LA. It’s not bad; Harry never was a bad roommate. And now that it’s finally clear to everyone they’re not lovers (or, at least, Louis hopes to god it’s clear), they get back to something approximating a friendship. As close to friends as you can be with a sloth, at least. Mostly they hang out on the couch, watching rom-coms and bad reality television. Louis orders Pizza Hut and Harry looks at him reproachfully over the top of the strawberry he’s nibbling.

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