My personal thoughts on all of the Nicktoons (so far as of May 2017)
Cute, sweet show. I love it. Sad how it tends to be labeled as "boring" now- it's still a great show. And of course it kicked off the whole "slice-of-life cartoons" trend so that's pretty cool. And yes, I did like the Disney version. But it's nowhere near as good as the Nick version.
Probably one of my favorite cartoons ever. Funny, clever, great characters, great music, great '90s aesthetics, and Klasky-Csupo's style is perfect. One of THE best Nicktoons..too bad it got dumbed down in 2001. Ugh...it was such a great show and then I don't know what happened there. Rugrats in Paris should've been the finale. But...even the later episodes are better than it's spin-offs.
The Ren and Stimpy Show:
While I'm not the biggest fan of most gross-out shows, I LOVE this one. I'm pretty much with Mr. Enter on how most gross-out cartoons seem to be TRYING to be R&S but rarely getting it right. The characters are hilarious and it's so weird, it's funny. But the less about Adult Party Cartoon; the better.
Rocko's Modern Life:
Amazing show and I'm really excited for the TV movie...whenever that's coming out. I love the visual style, the music, the characters, and I'm sure I love it even more as an adult than I did as a kid (and I did love it as a kid)
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters:
Another great show (really, Nick was at it's highest point in the '90s, but the early-to-mid '90s especially). Love the characters, the intentionally ugly style...it's just great. Shame it tends to be so underrated.
One of the greatest cartoons ever and probably the best Nicktoon ever. I love how it never tried to shy away from more mature themes that other kids' shows wouldn't try touching and it did a great job at it. Looking forward to the Jungle Movie, and of course...Helga was the best.
I loved it as a kid. As an adult, I REALLY wonder why. The wraparounds try way too hard to be "hip", just akwardly shoehorning in references attempting to be the next TTA or Animaniacs, but falling completely flat. Characters were annoying but the voice acting was awesome. I do need to give the show credit for making me a ska fan. Most of the individual shorts kind of sucked but Action League Now! was hilarious and The Off-Beats was cute. And of course...
Life With Loopy:
Yes I had to give this it's own mention because it's just that good. Nick really needs to give this one it's own series because the campy and surreal nature mixed with the overall sweetness was just a perfect blend, and the animation style was pretty awesome. The title character is just so perfect and so underrated. And I LOVE how aesthetically '90s the whole show is.
The Angry Beavers:
Another one that's pretty underrated. I always really loved this show. I love all the banter and ad-libbing between Norbert and Daggett. And the music was great. I still listen to "Beaver Fever" and "I Think I Like You" now and again (also...Salem and Zim as beavers. How could you go wrong there?)
Everyone hates this show but I really loved it. I love the character designs, CatDog themselves, and the theme song is NEVER going to leave my head. Sure, it's no Rocko or Hey Arnold!, but it's still a funny show.
Oh Yeah! Cartoons:
Unlike KaBlam!, this one had different shorts in every episode rather than just four main short series, so it would take too long to go over all of them (not to mention that a good chunk of them aren't even online!). A lot of the shorts on this show were really funny and had some great visual styles. And Mina and the Count still needs a TV show.
The Wild Thornberrys:
Really loved this show; I was the "animal kid" in my class so obviously I really liked this one. I just really love Klasky-Csupo. The movie was awesome and so was the show.
One of the funniest cartoons ever. While it got annoying seeing it become a schedule clog, the earlier episodes are still great. I heard that it got itself out of seasonal rot (look, let's pretend most of what came in-between the movie and the second movie never happened), but I rarely watch Nick anymore so I wouldn't know. Let's hope so.
Not one of my favorites as a kid or as an adult (I wasn't really into the extreme sports craze), but my friends really liked it so I watched it with them and yeah, I enjoyed what I saw. It does have it's funny moments and while it's incredibly cheesy and way too late '90s/early 2000s that it hurts, it's a fun watch just for the cheese.
As Told By Ginger:
A great show that I don't think I really appreciated enough until I got older. I guess I was just a LITTLE too young when it was new and by the time I was older and getting more into it...the show got cancelled. It's a really great show and one of Nick's best slice-of-life shows.
The Fairly OddParents:
Really funny...for the first four seasons. S5 was when it started to slip and everything after that just got worse and worse. I still have fond memories of watching the older seasons and they're still good...but let's hope that jump to Nicktoons meant something.
Great show, great animation, great character designs...did NOT deserve to be screwed over. I'm really looking forward to the TV movie. But...while I do love GIR (though he's not my #1 favorite character), the whole Hot Topic worship of GIR was pretty annoying. Let's face it- 2006/2007 on the internet was a bad time.
Really cute. Admittedly I like the worldbuilding elements and characters a little more than the actual episodes (I did love all of S1 though; I think it was the best season), it's still great. S4 was...not the best though. From what we know about the canned S5, it was probably gonna be a lot better but...Nick had to be Nick. Let us have S5, already. And really- why didn't we get a ton of Snap merchandise?
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius:
Good show but I liked the movie more. Had some really funny moments and is so aesthetically early 2000s that it's pretty fun looking back on.
My Life as a Teenage Robot:
Loved this one and I wish it got more recognition. Jenny was absolutely adorable and she was a hero to me as a kid (okay, looking back...I'm sure I had a crush on Jenny). Sad that the network treated it like shit.
All Grown Up!:
The special was good. The first season was pretty good. After that I felt like I was reading glorified Rugrats fanfic. All it was really was "Ginger Lite" as ATBG was dealing with the heavier stuff while this was all the leftover stuff. Rugrats was great and had an interesting premise. AGU! was more of the same.
This was the last Nicktoon I REALLY loved as a kid. A really good show that could've gotten even more awesome had it's own creator not fucked it up. Ugh...I want a revival but PLEASE let it be by Steve Marmel and not Butch. Also Sam was like...my hero...as a preteen. And I've got tons of purple and black in my wardrobe (and the same purple lipstick) now that may or may not have been influenced by her (well, that and/or the fact that those are my favorite colors anyway). Like many others...I totally had a crush on Danny as a kid.
Avatar the Last Airbender:
Okay, admittedly...I was never into this show. But I praise it for it's themes, animation, story...while I personally couldn't get into it, it still is a great show and probably the last really good Nicktoon for a while. And yeah- we don't talk about that movie.
I didn't really see enough of it but what I saw I liked. Wanted to see more but it came and went really fast.
While the previews for it looked pretty good, I...did not like it. I watched it when it premiered and everything but it was a letdown. Felt like they were trying WAY too hard to make their own version of The Incredibles but with Erin Esurance-esque animation. Voice acting was great though (I noticed that Wendie Malick was the saving grace for TWO bad 2005 cartoons)
Okay this was RIGHT around the time I was starting to lose interest/outgrow Nickelodeon. Had a great premise and could've been a really good show and I was looking forward to it, but it felt like tons of other flash cartoons at the time and the voice acting could've been a lot better (great talents- direction-wise though...). Maybe if I were a younger kid when it came out, I would've liked it more, but...it was annoying. But the creator has made some other great stuff and I STILL need to see The Book of Life. I'm kicking myself for not seeing it in the theaters due to my work and college schedule.
Tak and the Power of JuJu:
Didn't play the games but I already knew the franchise was pretty much dying by the time the show came out. It was awful. And we never heard from Tak again...
Back at the Barnyard:
The movie had it's problems but was at least watchable. The show was just annoying and unfunny.
The Mighty B!:
Unpopular opinion, but...I really loved this show. It has problems, but there was something about it I couldn't hate. Bessie was just such a great character. Wasn't a big fan of the grossout elements but otherwise it was really funny. Not a great show, but I was entertained enough.
Rugrats Pre-School Daze:
YES THIS IS A REAL SHOW. Ugly art style (I'm pissed that K-C didn't use their signature style and went for something more "cutesy"; it just looked awful), bland writing, and really not a very interesting series. No wonder why it only lasted four episodes and didn't even air in the US until 2008 after all the episodes were released direct-to-video as bonus features on those Tales of the Crib DVDs (the less about them, the better). All it felt like was a desperate attempt to keep a dying franchise alive.
The Penguins of Madagascar:
I was pretty neutral to the Madagascar franchise- saw the first movie in theaters and it was alright; wasn't dying to see the sequels so I never did. The show however never did anything for me.
Fanboy and Chum Chum:
While I was already losing interest in Nick around 2005-2007, this was right around the time where I was officially done. I was a teenager at this point and not into this stuff anymore, but I stuck around for the old SpongeBob or FOP rerun and well...guilty pleasure Mighty B!. Then they changed the logo. And then this show came out. God...it was SO annoying. Annoying theme song, annoying characters...animation style would've worked a lot better if it was in 2D rather than CGI; it just fell way too deep into the uncanny valley for me. I wouldn't say this was the final nail in the coffin for me though; it was definitely the logo change.
Didn't like it. Jokes weren't that funny. I did love the character designs though.
Sheen didn't need a spinoff. This was one of the worst ideas ever.
Kung-Fu Panda Legends of Awesomeness:
Liked the first movie (I need to watch it again), haven't seen the sequels but I should. Was bored with the TV show.
Haven't seen it but I've heard nothing but good things about it. Maybe I should check it out.
The Legend of Korra:
Heard it was pretty good, but as I wasn't really into Avatar I probably wouldn't be too interested.
Robot and Monster:
Monsters vs. Aliens:
Saw the movie and it was...alright. Didn't think it was warranting of a TV series. Didn't watch it.
Sanjay and Craig:
Saw some of it while waiting for another show to come and...I never wanted to watch it again. Not a fan of the character designs and it was really unfunny. But it's better than Breadwinners.
I did like the Rabbids games as a preteen but...by this time, I don't think they were that popular anymore. Didn't watch it. How is it still running?
Worst Nicktoon ever (so far). Ugly characters, awful animation, shitty writing...how did this get greenlit? Nick...just because "it's for kids" doesn't mean "we can half-ass it"
What's this? A GOOD NICKTOON? Yes- it's such a cute show with cute character designs, really nice animation...it's got a nice, nostalgic feel to it while also feeling like something brand new that Nick hasn't done. I'm pissed that it was screwed over.
Pig Goat Banana Cricket:
Like Monsters, I like how it's "intentionally ugly" and some of the jokes/line delivery managed to be pretty funny, but is otherwise pretty meh to me overall. I'd like it more if I were seven, because hey, that's the show's target audience.
The Loud House:
I'm glad it has positive representation (thank you for including gay parents in one of your shows, Nick!), but otherwise it's just too bland and cliched for me. Nice character designs; animation could be better. Again, I'd probably like it more if I were in the target audience.
Bunsen is a Beast!:
Haven't watched it. Don't plan on it, either.
Ya know what… I would love some DLC that featured that two year gap in
time. Not just for them interacting together, but seeing each of them in
a different element, and shedding more light on their characters then
the main games story-line was able to (especially Rafe in that regard,
whom we saw very little of).
Seeing things from Sam’s perspective. Seeing Sam away from Nate, working
some on his own, as well as with Rafe, and Nadine and company. Seeing
how Sam and Rafe operate as a team, and perhaps Sam having to do some shady
stuff with Rafe on certain missions. Seeing the conflictions he has
about everything, about wanting Nate with them, but knowing he wouldn’t
approve. About wanting to tell Nate anyway, but thinking it’s better for
everyone that he doesn’t know. About his relationship/partnership with
Rafe, and about Rafe in general. About what they’re doing, and their
motives behind it. Conflicting thoughts and feelings everywhere! Finally confronting Rafe about it and whatever conversation that might spark (ohman… I can just imagine how it might go).
also love to see more flashbacks, like when Sam met Rafe, and more of
young Nate and Sam, showing more past and present parallels. Also how
much his stay in prison - and working with Rafe - changed him and his
outlook on life. Changed how he views the world, how he views himself,
or his view of people in general. Seeing him interacting with more unsavory characters, but somehow fitting in a little too well. Maybe,
he actually enjoys it a little too much.
Maybe that bothers him more then he cares to admit.
Maybe besides wanting to fulfill a childhood dream and see his brother
again, the fear of becoming just like these people also drove him to his
final decision. Maybe, however, he was already too close for comfort. Maybe it was already too late. In fact, I’m sure it was. The damage had already been done.
Again, seeing things from his perspective too would be awesome, as would
learning more about him in general. There’s so much we don’t know. I’d
like to see some of his life outside the obsessive-treasure-hunting.
Seeing where he came from and what shaped him. Why he is the way he is…
why he’s so angry and insecure and just not quite right.
Personally, I think having been born into great wealth, people instantly labeled him as the Rich Little White Boy who had everything handed to him on a silver platter. Which - in reality - isn’t untrue. So he must be nothing more then that, right? That’s what everyone thinks, and Rafe hates
that. That much is painfully obvious. So he spends his life trying to
prove he’s more then just what people see at first glance. However, no
matter what he does on his own to try and escape that two dimensional
stereotype, it is still all anyone ever sees. The effects that
has on him are very clear even in his adult life. People still treat him
like the little boy who never earned a single thing on his own. That,
in fact, he probably couldn’t do anything on his own if he tried. I
imagine it gets under Rafe’s skin all the more because somewhere deep
down he thinks they’re actually right… so it’s not just about proving them wrong, it’s about proving to himself
that he can do it, that’s he’s more, that he has agency and a will of
his own (Sadly, and perhaps ironically, he goes about this by employing
the help of others and using his families vast wealth to fund his
endeavors. Which is not in and of itself a bad thing… but considering
Rafe’s mental state and his reasons for doing it all, I imagine if he
sat down and thought about that he’d probably hate it, and hate himself
for it too). Some of this is made obvious in the main story, but I want
more then just subtext and speculations! I also wanna know what exactly
his families business is, and since he runs that whole operation now,
does that mean his parents passed away? What was it they did exactly?
Criminal enterprise? High class thieves? Probably something of the sort.
Would make sense (right now all we can do is make educated guesses
((oops, kinda went off on a Rafe-tangent. lol))
Beyond learning about his past, I’d also really like to see Rafe interacting with his friends (I use that term loosely. lol) and allies more. Especially Sam,
whom - perhaps even against his better judgment - he began to trust and
feel more relaxed around during those couple of years… before it all
went to hell and came back to bite him in the ass. You know that what
Sam did, apart from being angry at the betrayal itself, just added more
fuel to the fire of his bitterness and jealousy towards Nate! And his
anger levels in general. He had to be angry at himself too for letting
it happen. For letting himself trust Sam too much, for maybe getting too close.
To both of them really. Perhaps vowing that would never happen again.
He won’t let them take advantage of him, or get the drop on him again!
If only he’d applied that sentiment to all his allies from then on… he
might have succeeded.
Anyway. Just getting a taste for how he
operates when shit isn’t hitting the fan 24/7 would be cool to see. I’m
sure even in his down time Rafe is still, ya know… Rafe (#UnchartedsAngriestSmol).
I think he’s probably always a bit of a loose canon, and despite the
fact he could buy anything, and do anything he wants, I believe he has a
difficult time finding true happiness or validation in life. He
probably doesn’t enjoy “down time” like other people do.
Honestly, I think Rafe probably has a difficult time being idle at all.
Sam, if there, would totally be telling him to just chillax for once in
his life. The treasure ain’t goin’ anywhere. So enjoy the calm
moments while he can. This is a conversation I’d really love to see. For
all the things they have in common, they are also so sharply contrasted
personality wise, and seeing what they’d each draw out of the other
would be fascinating. Perhaps even saddening and heartwarming all at
Although, I could very well be mistaken. Maybe Rafe
totally loves sitting on some picture-perfect-beach sipping pina coladas
out of a coconut. lol And maybe Sam would be the anxious one wanting to
get back to work. *facepalms* Frankly, I’m probably wrong.
They’d probably both be hyper focused on the treasure, and Nadine would
have to intervene and use her Mom Voice to get them both to take a break
once in a blue moon. Because obviously they’re no good to the mission
all strung out and pissy. lol SIDE NOTE: omg I wanna read that fic!
Nadine forcing them to go on a vacation for the greater good. And the boys both being super annoyed like -Rafe: *pouts*“This… is so stupid” -Sam:*sigh* “Yep. Totally”,
and them weirdly bonding over it. lol xD Anyhow, yeah, it’s difficult
to say anything for sure since we didn’t get to see enough of any of
these characters, much less them interacting together. Which again, is a
shame. Regardless, I still think they’d have an awesome dynamic.
I think there’s a part of them deep down that would secretly enjoy
working together more then either of them would openly express. Even in
spite of Rafe being a bit scary and unhinged sometimes. Even though Sam
likely annoys Rafe very often. Though perhaps in an endearing sort of
way. Maybe Rafe acts annoyed but is secretly fond of Sam’s bad jokes and whatnot. lol Hell, maybe Sam - too - kinda likes it when Rafe goes all Full Metal Jacket.
xD Maybe they’d hate to admit it, but they both kinda enjoy the others
company. Even whilst both plotting to stab the other in the back and
take all the treasure and recognition for themselves. *facedesk*
Although, Rafe claimed that’s not his style, so I dunno. It’s true that Rafe never outright betrayed anyone first, and
is - weirdly - overly trusting of his allies. To the point it
keeps screwing him over. We see this happen even after what Sam did,
which you’d think would have made Rafe less trusting of others.
Admittedly, it’s also true he is the one usually driving them to make
that choice, cuz ya know, he’s kind of a giant asshole and all, but it’s
still really interesting, and not a trait we often see in villain
characters. So maybe it was never Rafe’s intention to betray Sam. We
only know that ditching Rafe and working against him was Sam’s plan (Was
it his plan from the start? Maybe. Currently only Sam knows the answer
to that). Although, we also know he had very personal motives for his
betrayal that went deeper then just gold and glory, or even however he
felt about Rafe, good or bad. In the end, it was always all about him
and his brother, a childhood dream, to finish what their mother started.
Finding Avery’s treasure was a chance to prove something, to himself as
well as the world, a desire that became an obsession, one that ended up
defining him for a long time.
Good God! He and Rafe share so
much of that in common it’s kinda of ridiculous! Neither of them
actually give a shit about the treasure itself (lord knows Rafe sure as
hell don’t need it), yet they’ve dedicated their lives to finding it.
Investing years of their lives, risking life and limb just for a chance at finding clues. Why go so far if the treasure itself doesn’t matter? Because for them it’s personal, so very personal,
and directly linked to their sense of self worth. Just the details are
somewhat different. That’s why neither of them could let it go, and why
it almost destroyed them both, as well as the people around them.
Seriously, just… I could go on, and on about these two for forever, tbh.
I picked up on this early on. Sam and Rafe, despite differing
personalities, share a lot in common. If they
ever looked close enough to figure that out I think it would probably
bother them. Maybe they’d feel sympathy for each other, maybe they’d
reach a deeper understanding of the other, maybe they’d be at risk of
suddenly getting too close… and regardless of whatever they’re feeling deep down, they’d probably hate that, even resent the other
for it, deny it means anything, and try to run from it. After all, they
both have more important things to worry about, right? In the end, they
both suffer from tunnel vision regarding their life goals, goals that
have blinded them from seeing other opportunities, or seeing themselves
(or even others) in an honest light. Which screws them over on so many
levels. They’re both selfish and flawed human beings, who think they
deserve the “treasure” more, think they’re better then the other. Yet they need each other (for now).
We’re not alike. I don’t care about you. I’m using you. I’m better then you.
They’d both think to themselves, and think they mean it, believe it’s just fact… but is it really that simple? Maybe it is, but I doubt it. Nothing about these two characters is simple.
I tell ya what, I sure as hell would like to find out! I mean,
seriously! This is dripping with potential! I really believe it would be
a very interesting and engaging story, full of conflicting emotions
(both from Sam and Rafe, as well as the audience), angst and humor
Yes. good. All the shades of gray.
Seriously, I wanna understand their motives and emotional
state more so. In regards to each other and as individuals. I wanna see
the best and the worst of them. I wanna see them overcome their demons,
only to later succumb to their darker natures. I wanna see them fail and
succeed in grand and personal hardships alike. I wanna see them
struggle together, get angry at each other, actually get along a little too well sometimes, and hating the fact they’re enjoying this adventure again, but for the first time in a long time, and enjoying it together (until
it all falls apart of course…). I wanna see them being clever badasses,
and sassy little shits, and breaking all the rules together. I wanna
see all the different sides of both characters. The softer sides… and the darker ones. ♥
A comprehensive ranking and review of all 33 Nancy Drew games
In light of unsuccessfully trying to finish RAN and feeling the need to express my anger about its quality, I wrote this unprompted, totally biased and subjective ranking of all the games. (spoilers, of course):
**alphabetical by fandom; stories listed in order of how much I loved them
***Naruto list is most comprehensive because that’s what I’ve read the most, but there are a couple of other anime fandoms in here as well
****if you have recommendations or if any links aren’t working, let me know!
avatar: the last airbender
Honor Among Thieves by ShatteringDaybreak: OC, in progress. The main character is a “thief with a heart of gold and a pathological liar with the very best of intentions.” Loved the idea, loved the writing even more. Follows canon, with a few OC-unique subplots and excellent characterization. Major characters include the Gaang and Zuko, but no romance yet.
Kaze no Uta by Against.The.Current: OC, in progress. Only two chapters long, but already showing signs of excellent writing and great detail and description, as well as some serious world-building. “A grittier take on the ‘girl falls into another world’ trope.” Major characters (appear to) include Zuko.
Happy Endings, Book I: The Drifter by Distant-Moon: Zuko/OC, in progress. Extremely long, epic, doesn’t exactly follow canon due to a very interesting original plot involving the OC. Good characterization and character dynamics. Major characters include Zuko, and other OCs.
Final Exam by Magnusrae: OC, complete. "A young archer wants to prove she is worthy of being the best of the best. But while her technical skills are great, she lacks the proper yu-yan attitude. Will traveling with a banished Prince help her find her true path?“ Absolutely no romance, but a very good plot, excellent world building, and interesting OC.
Water: Twist of Fate by Sapphire-Raindrop: OC, complete with sequel.A well-written OC falls into Avatar world!fic. Excellent character dynamics. No romance that I’m aware of, but the sequel is categorized under it, so there probably will be. Main characters include Zuko and Iroh.
Diamonds in Wine by moonlit.nocturne: Kanda/OC/Tyki, AU, complete. Less of a D.Gray-man OC story and more of a separate romance novel, but well-written nonetheless, especially if you’re fond of Kanda. Or Tyki.
Indebted by Velf: Edward/OC, Alphonse/OC, 2003 based, in progress. A post-movie OC fic. Really, really long. Good writing, realistic romance, tons of fluff, gets a little cheesy but there you go. Have I mentioned that it’s really fucking long?
Just One of Those Days by Marshmellowtime: Ling/OC/Greed, Brotherhood/manga based, complete with sequel.The main character wakes up to find that she’s a ghost, and teams up with Ling to figure out why. A bit of a throwback to those slightly crazy middle school OC stories, and the writing improves over time, but overall amusing and with an unexpectedly mature romance.
Oh, no! by Witherychode: OC, in progress. A main-character-is-thrown-into-FMA fic. Kind of a middle school throwback, really, with its crack humor and somewhat unrealistic plot twists, but rates high on the sheer amusement scale and has its deep moments.
The Reader by Frodo'sPen: Sirius/OC,complete. A girl-from-our-world-drops-into-HP, but with a twist: she can’t say or do anything that will change the future. Beautiful and epic; starts in Marauder’s Era and ends with book 7. Slow romance.
All or Nothing by Tsume Yuki: Self insert, in progress. The protagonist gets reborn as the child of circus-performers, who promptly die and leave her in the orphanage of Tom Riddle. Good writing, very interesting premise. Major characters include Voldy. No romance as of yet.
hunter x hunter
The Lost Night by Lyra Klaude: Killua/OC, in progress. I’m not a big Hunter x Hunter fan, but this is a really good romance–and, as the summary implies, it’s not cutesy in the least: "Killua was just like any normal, seventeen-year-old boy: an asshole.”
katekyo hitman reborn!
My Heavenly Judgment by colbub: OC, in progress. Reincarnation!with important explanatorylsideplot!fic. Generally good writing, interesting character, fascinating reincarnation premise. Major characters include Tsuna and Hibari. Romance in TYL!verse only.
Adoption by Memory25: OC, in progress. The main character is Hibari’s distant relative, and adopts him when his grandmother dies. A REALLY FUCKING CUTE young!Hibari family story.
Heart of Ice by Umei no Mai: Squalo/OC, in progress. “Trapped by the Mafia and sent to Namimori to keep an eye on the son of the Vongola External Advisor, Helene tries to settle into her new life under an alias and look after her little brother.” Intelligent!powerful!interesting!OC, somewhat Mary-Sueish but overlooked for the good writing, characterization, and world-building.
C'est la Vie by Ita-Neo: Squalo/OC (only barely), in progress. Snark, violence, and general crack in Varia’s mansion. Hilarious, but hasn’t been updated in a while.
Cries of the Heart, Echoes of the Night by Marshmellowtime: OC, in progress. She’s lazy and apathetic and has a shady past (of course), but she’s dedicated to Tsuna. No romance yet–but it’s in the genre listing and Marshmellowtime really likes making her male characters suffer unrequited love, so it’ll probably pop up eventually.
Keeping Your Character by Insanity-Red: Self insert, in progress. The main character gets shoved in the body of Lambo. The results are slightly Mary-Sueish but very entertaining.
Casalinga by Freydris: self insert, in progress. The protagonist inserts into Nana. As the summary says–“BAMF!77."
Zero by 999patentia: OC, in progress. The OC is a slow little girl (? robot?) without much thought except Xanxus, food, sleep, and Xanxus. Unique writing style and tone.
Lingua di Fiore by ShizukaRen-Hime: Xanxus/OC, in progress. Childhoodfriend!romance!fic. Cutesy and fluffy and dramatic.
kuroko no basuke
Egotistical by TheKiro: Aomine/OC, complete. Slow, fumbling, and adorable. School-desk-neighbor story. Really really REALLY good writing; definitely worth the read.
Lionheart by TheKiro: Akashi/OC, in progress. From the author of "Egotistical,” a romance brought forth by Akashi’s shogi hobby and appreciation for Japanese tradition, with TheKiro’s special touch of slow, realistic pacing, excellent character interactions, and so much cuteness.
The Ultimate Sophistication by LeoInuyuka: OC, in progress. The protagonist is a sports reporter for the school newspaper with a well-founded (angsty) grudge against the GoM. 'Nuff said.
The Definition of Happiness by noelswonderland: Hanamiya/OC/Kiyoshi, in progress. Angsty, realistic, and full of feels. Warning: anything with Hanamiya in it is painful af. *This writer also has a bunch of other knb stories, if you’re interested.
Of Pocky and Pepero by sunnykong1210: OC, in progress. A South Korean student (whose Japanese sucks) transfers into Murasakibara’s class in Yosen. The results are hilarious.
Masquerade by noelswonderland: Alois/OC, complete. The only realistic Kuroshitsuji OC fic I’ve ever read. Depressing af because this series is depressing af. Don’t read if you don’t want pain.
Enigma by Marshmellowtime: Sinbad/OC/Kouen, in progress. I’m a sucker for Marshmellowtime’s powerful-but-apathetic OCs–they create great plot and they’re hilarious to read. Follows canon. Quote in summary: “Must you always disappear all the time?” “Well, if I didn’t, you’d have nothing to look forward to.”
Dreaming of Sunshine by Silver Queen: self insert, in progress. One of the first successful, well-written self insert fics, and the one that started the trend. Beautiful writing, sticks to canon but still makes it interesting. Not enough words to describe how awesome it is; if you haven’t read this yet and you’re browsing this list, GO CLICK THE LINK NOW. Major characters include Shikamaru and Team 7. No romance.
Vapors by ElectraSev5n: self insert, in progress (close to completion). Analytical, intelligent, Good Ninja of the Leaf, twin-sister-of-Naruto main character. Writing is choppy at the beginning, but smooths out later; excellent world-building. Major characters include Naruto, Kakashi, and Tsunade. No romance unless you read the other version at ao3, which is barely a romance, anyway.
What Doesn’t Kill You by Zbluez: self insert, in progress. Takes place in the Leaf, but with a unique, dark tone. Excellent writing, spot-on characterization, extremely complex and a well-developed (if slightly cruel) protagonist who happens to be Orochimaru’s (biological? experimental??) daughter. Major characters include Danzo and Orochimaru. No romance.
Aberration by Rin O’ Gen: OC insert, in progress. Main character finds herself in Naruto’s world and, through a series of accidents, adopts him. Unique OC, hilarious character interactions (particularly with Kakashi and Gai), and a refreshing look at how all that knowledge of the future would be used. Major characters include Naruto and Kakashi. No romance yet.
Dark Waters by TheMaraudersMischiefManaged: self insert, in progress. friendship, family, bloodshed, and betrayal in the Village Hidden in the Mist. Good writing, interesting moral ambiguity and separate plot from the canon, though not necessarily AU. Major characters include Kisame and Yagura, as well as more than a few other OCs, but no romance as of yet.
Bound by deardeer: OC, in progress. Given that the main character is cursed to obey Sasuke by clan tradition, it could very easily turn into a Sasuke/OC fic–but doesn’t. Extremely well written, excellent characterization and character relationships, and very long. Major characters include Sasuke and Shikamaru.
Decaying Bluebells by Darkpetal16: self insert, in progress. Probably my favorite of her numerous OC stories: unique protagonist (shy, quiet, Ino’s younger sister, not all-powerful, doesn’t keep her past reincarnation’s memories), fun character dynamics, diverges slightly from canon. Major characters include Ino, Kakashi, and–eventually–Yagura, but no romance as of yet.
For Whom the Bell Tolls by cywscross: self insert, in progress. Main character is the bastard daughter of Jiraiya. By a writer who doesn’t usually do OC stuff, but is very good at writing slow!fixit!fics. Major characters so far include Naruto and Hinata. No romance yet.
A Glass of Crimson Souls by moonlit.nocturne: Itachi/OC, complete. Probably one of the only romance-centered Naruto OC stories I would ever recommend. This author’s a genius at writing painful romances with tragic characters. “Hate breeds passion, and passion breeds grief. And because Fate is cruel.”
Unsung Story of the Inconspicuous by Wrought: OC, in progress. The adventures of a normal genin as she tries to be “emotionally well-balanced and happy even if it kills her. Which, in Konoha, is almost a statistical certainty.” It’s hilarious and based on a very interesting premise. Major characters include many OCs, Naruto, and–oddly enough–Neji.
Reincarnation Roulette by Silver Queen: self-inserts, oneshots. Realistic-but-sometimes-depressing takes on potential self insert situations in the Naruto world.
Starting Out at Six Feet Under by sonyat: self insert, in progress. The chosen reincarnation!body is Rin–right after she’s supposed to die. The story is currently too short for good judgment, but if that’s not an interesting premise, I don’t know what is.
The Price of Living by LovelyWeather: OC, in progress. A depressing, gory, and psychologically bloody look at what would actually happen to OCs thrown into the Naruto world. Don’t read if you don’t want to hurt.
Till You Die by Mersea: Madara/OC, in progress. Pretty much a historical romance, since it takes place in the time before canon–it can be read without any knowledge of Naruto whatsoever. As painful and angsty as any romance with Madara would be.
Only a Moron by swabloo: Self insert, in progress. “–and a nutcase to the suicidal degree would ever find the concept of being born into the Shinobi world as cool.” A realistic but dark OC insert, set during the second war. No major canon characters as of yet–only brief interactions with Minato and Kakashi.
Necessary Things by SlimReaper: Kakashi/OC, in progress. A kind civilian woman who has a mysterious relationship with Naruto catches Kakashi’s attention. Fluffy, smutty, mostly well-written romance. Kind of follows canon but not really.
Ryukaze: Dragon Wind by Lanse: Neji/OC, complete. Doesn’t follow canon; assumes no Sasuke defection or Tobi/Madara. Basically a separate plot involving TYL!Neji and others. Solid writing–read if you like a good love story with fighting scenes.
ouran high school host club
A Vow by paresthesia: Kyoya/OC, in progress. More of the romance novel than anything else, but with a great main character and excellent Kyoya characterization.
tsubasa: reservoir chronicle
Hitsuzen yeah, right by Blood Butterfly: OC, in progress. The title and the first couple of chapters need work, but the writing gets exponentially better, and the protagonist is characterized well.
yu yu hakusho
Future Talk by Graphospasm: OC, in progress (unfortunately hasn’t been updated in a while). External (non canon) plot, very good characterization, one of the few fics I’ve seen with a well-written disabled!OC. Slow and somewhat painful romance.
twin au anon here. i sent you an ask and totally forgot to even ask you what i wanted to ask. i was just wondering if you got any cute kamunami headcanons that i might be able to implement or just anything that would be cute to see. :) also, can you tell me what your ao3 is? i wanna mention that i probably wouldn't have even written it if i didnt find your tumblr. <3
Top of mind kamunami headcanons:
Kamukura likes to be petted but only by Nanami
Kamukura has just one expression but only Nanami can read off different emotions from his stoic face by just the subtle signs
Kamukura is blunt and oblivious and makes Nanami blush/embarrassed a lot even without consciously trying and there’s a short lag time before he realizes it but when he does, he’s sort of proud
Kamukura is just generally bored with everything and nothing surprises him anymore until Nanami reminds him by unexpectedly making him flustered
Kamukura follows Nanami around (within reason and appropriateness) he’s like a quiet and overprotective dog in a sense
Kamukura doesn’t understand it himself but he just generally likes any form of physical contact with Nanami. Even if it’s something small like holding hands or their shoulders touching. Or something more intimate like cuddling, he just feels comfort in her presence
Nanami likes to try and surprise him at any given opportunity. She really does try her best. Oddly enough, most of the times she does successfully surprise him are times that she herself did not expect either
Nanami likes to play with his hair a lot. He doesn’t mind it one bit. Oh, but he would get angry if anyone insulted his hair when she styled it
Nanami likes to be the small spoon but when they’re not cuddling, she tries to give him surprise hugs from the back. She’s very fond of showing affection but for the record, Kamukura is the one who steals kisses more often which flusters her
Nanami likes to bury her face in his hair sometimes and says its therapeutic. She only does this when she’s especially down so during those times, Kamukura is the one who pets her gently
Not really a headcanon but just imagine them sleeping peacefully together
OKAY HEAR ME OUT. What if one time they kiss (could be first time or not) and Kamukura just leans down and his hair drapes over and curtains around Nanami’s face and we can’t see them kiss but then after, he just pulls back and she’s all flustered and slightly out of breath
and uh, what’s the rating of the fic? because i could add more if…
they play games a lot and while Nanami is really invested into beating him even just once, Kamukura uses this as an opportunity to just watch all the interesting expressions she makes
IMAGINE! THEM! CUDDLING! WHILE! PLAYING! GAMES!
My ao3 is SHSL_ex_SOLDIER and yes, please. Tell me when you’ve posted the story because I will absolutely read it. I still can’t believe you wrote a full fledged fanfic because of my shorts I’M CRYING?? BLESS YOU SO MUCH!!!
You know what? I’ll throw in an extra fluffy kamunami prompt for you tonight! Because you deserve this and you have earned my favor. Bless you.
Ashton: Growing up, Harry Styles had been one of your closest friends. Of course, you two had gone to the same primary school, never really interacting. But it wasn’t until year eight did you two really become close friends. It was a matter of working on a group project together. Throughout your friendship, there were no romanic feelings, and you had both expressed you didn’t see either of each other in that kind of way. Little did you know, one of your closest friends would grow up to be one of the main singers of the acclaimed One Direction, or be one of the heartthrobs that millions of teenage girls nearly fainted over. You would take the piss out of Harry, and you had the ability to bring him back to reality when fame got to his head. Through everything, you two remained just as close. The fans respected you, acknowledging that there was never anything, nor was there every going to be anything, between the two of you. You were there through the X-Factor days, the awkward mop of curly hair faze, and you were even there during their stadium tour. You were Harry’s rock really, his small notion of home that he could call at anytime, regardless of time differences, or distance. You were incredibly grateful to have Harry in your life, and you always knew that he was just a Skype call away. Of course, it became difficult when you two were leagues apart and you felt the distance. Not having your best friend around was difficult, but you made it work. You had grown close to all of the band members, just because they were so close to Harry. They treated you like a little sister, and you adored the boys with all of your heart. Even the band that they had signed to be their opener, 5 Seconds of Summer, was amazing. The lads were truly something else, and you grew just as fond of them, as you did the members of One Direction. But there was one member in particular that you had a different form of chemistry with. You felt a tension between you and Ashton. It wasn’t hostile, nor was it aggressive. There was a budding passion building between the two of you. Something that was amounting to more than friendship. You were skeptical about it, because you didn’t know how Harry would react, nor the rest of the band members of both bands. You had the opportunity to see Harry on tour, and that was how you were introduced to Ashton. You were taken aback by his classic Australian looks, but more so by his ability to woo you with his joyful laughter, and his easy going personality. When you met him, you heard his laugh before you saw him. Even that intrigued you. When Harry had introduced the two of you, you could feel a warm blush spread across your cheeks, and a dopey grin plastered over your face. “Hello,” His warm voice had said, when Harry told you who it was. “Hi,” You nervously said. “C’mon, I want to show you are the stadium,” Harry said grabbing your waist and tugging you along. You awkwardly waved at Ashton, as his eyes were trained on Harry’s hand around your waist. It wasn’t until nights later did he finally ask you the question that had been burning his thoughts. “Are you and Harry a thing?” He asked casually one day. Louis and Niall overheard, and began to snicker to themselves. Ashton turned towards them looking at the quizzically, which spurred their laughter on further. “(Y/N) and Harry a thing? What a sight!” Niall said, still laughing. You shook your head, fighting a smile. “No we aren’t, we grew up together. He’s my best friend, it would be bloody weird if I was his bird.” You said, shaking your head. “Really?” Ashton asked. “Yeah, why?” You said. “Well, he’s just so touchy with you and is always staring at you.” You laughed. “Its a Harry thing. He’s always been like that with me. Believe me, we’re nothing.” You said, almost too encouragingly. Ashton was silent for a bit, and you could hear Louis and Niall talking behind you. From that moment on, the tension between you and Ashton was almost tangible. By clearing up any notion that you and Harry had something, Ashton grew more confident in his flirting. He was far more touchy, his remarks were often laced with an innuendo, or some sly comment. He was smooth in his compliments, and playful in his banter. You weren’t the only one that noticed the tension between the two of you, because the rest of the band members did. When Ashton came up directly behind you, pressing his body flush against yours to grab something from around you, Niall looked at you quizzically which only increased the harsh blush spreading across your cheeks. Ashton merely laughed, walking away with a cheeky smile plastered on his face. Finally, it was one night you were talking to Lou, the hairdresser for the boys did Ashton, come up to you, grab your hand, interrupting the conversation you were having and pushed you against a wall. Within seconds his lips were on yours, his hands either side of your head, his body flush against yours. You gasped into the kiss, unexpectedly intertwining your fingers in his shaggy hair, pulling him even closer. When you broke apart, you two were breathless, expect for one word drifting between the two of you. “Finally,” He whispered, his lips ghosting over yours.
Calum: You were One Directions stylist. Your job was to make sure that the lads looked on point at all times. Whether that be their clothing, or the way their hair was styled, it was your job to make sure that when they faced the hoards of screaming fans on tour, that they looked drop dead hot. Each boy had their own particular style that you had to work with, and you had developed a close relationship with each member. You toured relentlessly with them, practically lived together, and experienced all the ups and downs of tour life with them. You were around the same age as the band, which was something that took a bit of getting used to. You felt uncomfortable telling men that were close to your age how to dress and how to look, but eventually it became easier. When 5 Seconds of Summer was signed to be their opening band for touring, you were interested to see what kind of style they had. You had heard they were pretty punk, and in no way were you ready for the always changing hair of Michael, Ashton who wore his clothing so much that he developed holes in the material, who as a result refused to throw out the pieces. There was Luke who happened to hit a growth spurt, making his wardrobe shrink. And then there was Calum, who was punk rock and developing a love for tattoos just as One Direction had. He was devilishly handsome, and always made your heart race. You were not requested to be their stylist, but because the two bands were so close, and basically lived together on the road, you were with 5 Seconds of Summer all the time, which meant being with Calum all the time. You were flipping through a fashion magazine when Calum sat down next to you, his thigh touching yours. “Whatcha reading cutie?” He asked, playfully. You were taken aback by the reference to being a ‘cutie’ but you looked up from your spot in the article. “Just a fashion mag, what are you up to?” You asked, not daring to call him anything endearing. “Bored,” He said, sighing. “Everybody is too busy, or just doesn’t want to do anything.” He said simply. “So you’ve come to me?” You asked, raising your eyebrow. “Well, you strike me as the type of girl that seems subdued but really, knows how to have a good time.” He said, smiling. You laughed, shaking your head. “You’ll never know.” You said teasingly. “Show me.” He said, nudging you with his elbow. “By doing what?” You asked, confused at how to show him. “I don’t know, be spontaneous.” He said. You sighed, dog earring the magazine and placing it beside you. “I really don’t know.” You said. “Well, lets do something. I don’t want to sit around all day.” He whined playfully. You laughed, looking out the window to see a vibrant and clear day. “Want to just go sightseeing?” You asked. “Yes.” He said quickly. “Eager?” You teased, and he only stuck his tongue out at you, getting up and going to grab his jacket. You slipped on a pair of heels, and grabbed your jacket, meeting Calum before telling one of the boys where you were off to. They smiled suggestively at you, but you shook your head and rolled your eyes. You two ventured out, grabbing a quick up of coffee to keep you warm in the cooler air, before letting your feet take you wherever they led you. “You know, I never understood how girls just casually walked in heels.” Calum said, staring at your feet. “I’ve done it for years.” You said, sipping your coffee. “Like you look great, like really good. I’ve just never understood heels. But I’m a dude, so.” He said. You smiled at his compliment, before looking at the ground. “Did I mention you look good? Because if I didn’t you look amazing today.” He said, making you laugh. “You did,” You said, laughing along. “Well i just wanted to make sure,” He said bumping your arm. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you fancy me.” You said daringly. Calum scoffed, but the pink pigment to his cheeks said otherwise. “Thats an awfully bold statement, and how do you know?” He asked. “Who even asks that?” He said laughing. “You said be spontaneous.” You said, and he laughed harder. “Throwing my words back at me, eh? Well you’ll never know.” He said. You rolled your eyes, but you quickly were shocked when Calum grabbed your free hand and intertwined his fingers with yours. Wordlessly, he smiled at you, and continued to walk, as if nothing had happened.
Luke: If it wasn’t for Niall, you and Luke would have never met. “I’d like to give a toast,” Niall said, standing up and hitting his champagne glass gently with the end of the fork. The room quieted down, and you looked up to see Niall standing and facing you and Luke. “I would just like to start off with saying, congratulations to the beautiful couple! Give it up for Mr. and Mrs. Hemmings!” He said, clapping. You smiled, still not used to all the attention on you. When the clapping died down, Niall cleared his throat. “I was initially jealous when (Y/N) and Luke began to date, I’ll admit. When (Y/N) met Luke through me, I always had a soft spot for her. But stepping back and watching their love blossom through the years has been something to behold. You watch romance in the cinema or you hear about it, but never can you really see it before your eyes. But I’m lucky enough to see something spectacular grow. I didn’t know that the day I introduced the two of them, that they would click this well. And look at us now, its been close to seven years, and I’ve watched two people fall helplessly in love. (Y/N) has always been beautiful. Watching her fall in love has made her more radiant and more happy than I’ve ever seen. I’d like to thank you Luke, for giving her that. For putting the biggest smile on her face that anybody could imagine. And (Y/N), you’ve made Luke smile more than anybody I’ve ever seen. And that’s saying something, because the kid is rarely not smiling. What I’m getting at, is that you two are good for each other. Better than good, you two are meant to be together. I believe that there are people out there, that are destined to come together. Whether its some cosmic force thats driving the two together, or some form of fate, I believe that eventually the two people will meet. And I think here, is a perfect example of that. So, here is to a beautiful couple, that is so in love, and will continue to be in love. Cheers to the newly weds!” Niall finished, raising his glass and toasting to you. The room erupted into a cheer, and you sipped your champagne. You smiled and Niall, who was walking towards you two. You stood up, leaning over the table to hug him. “That was beautiful,” You said, sitting back down and smoothing your wedding dress out over your lap. “You deserve it, again, I’m so happy for you two.” He said, smiling down at you. “Were you really jealous?” You asked, tentatively. Luke put a hand on your thigh and squeezed. “A little.” Niall admitted. “You were my friend. I wanted you. You know you always heard of those stories of friends ending up confessing their love and falling in love? I hoped that would happen to us, but truly, I’m glad we’re just friends.” He said, smiling. “I love you Niall,” You said, and you meant that. Niall had been one of your closest friends since childhood. You could thank him for making your life better in everyday. For introducing you to your husband, Luke, and even for just being there through everything. Niall sat back down, as you turned to face Luke. “Did you know Niall liked me?” You asked. It was merely a statement, with no anger or anything behind it. Luke smiled a tiny bit. “A little, but I just had this strong feeling for you. That was something I had never felt before. It was so surreal to feel. And I knew you felt the same, because you went weak in the knees the first time I kissed you. So I knew a little, just because I saw the way he looked at you, and the way he would talk about you. Sure, what I did was a little out of character and a little mean, but I had to make you mine. I knew you liked me romantically, and after watching the two of you, I saw you didn’t see Niall’s affection, nor did you reciprocate his feelings. So, I made my move.” He said shrugging. You turned to stare at Niall who was across the room, talking to some old friends from high school and for a brief moment you wondered what your life would be like if you had married Niall. But that would have been weird, truly. You saw him only as a friend, and you had kissed Niall before. You hadn’t gone weak in the knees, nor did you have the same fluttery effect every time he touched you. You felt that with Luke, and you knew that it was real what you were feeling. You did have to thank Niall for introducing you to Luke, because he had literally introduced you to your world. Niall looked up and he met your gaze from across the room. He smiled faintly, nodding his head, and smiling more widely before regaining his conversation with your friends. And at that moment you knew everything in your life was going in the right direction.
Michael: Being a vocal coach meant that you not only coached the boys how to sing, but you taught them how to breath, and to sing while moving. “Come on you slackers! Take it from the top!” You said, as they stood panting. “Its been months since we’ve done this, give us a break!” Zayn complained. “Nope, one more time.” You said, crossing your arms and watching as they groaned and resumed their original positions. The music began and so did the boys as they rehearsed their tour routines. Last thing you needed was one of them to strain their voices, and moving while singing would do that. You walked up to Liam, pushing his diaphragm in so he was breathing properly, before stepping back. After completing the routine, you gave them the night off from practicing, telling them to try and minimize the use of their voices to give it a rest. It was a love hate relationship. You pushed them to the breaking point, but you had to be careful for their well being. You had witnessed many singers hurt themselves by pushing themselves too far. And being one of the biggest bands in the world right now, they couldn’t afford to hurt themselves. You grabbed a bottle of water, walking to the back where you heard singing coming from one of the rooms. You followed the sound, wincing at how much the person was pushing themselves, and not carrying the notes properly. You peeked through the door to see an odd coloured hair boy singing to himself as he idly walked around the room. You pushed open the door, and immediately the singing stopped. “Oh I’m sorry,” You said apologizing. “No, I’m sorry,” He said. “You are?” You asked, and he smiled. “Michael Clifford, from 5 Seconds of Summer.” He replied. “Oh right! You’re the new band!” You said shaking your head. “And you are?” He questioned. “(Y/N), One Directions vocal coach.” You said. “I just heard you singing. I hate to be a nag, and especially on just meeting but you may want to straighten up when you sing. So when you sing, the air comes from here, and not from your throat.” You said, patting your stomach. “I just don’t want you to hurt yourself.” You added hastily. “I appreciate it,” He said, straightening up. You smiled awkwardly at each other, before you left. From then on in, you continually saw each other, and slowly you began to help Michael work on his singing. It was a slow process, he didn’t need much work, but there were some things that he could work on. So almost everyday you found the time to see each other. It grew into something you grew eager to do during the day. Even One Direction noticed how much time you spent with Michael. And day by day you two would get a tiny bit closer, or you would catch one of you looking at the other, seeing them staring would cause the other to blush. It was a shy game of skinny love. Neither of you were willing to admit just what was happening. But as almost a year progressed, you two found yourself growing closer and closer. Occasionally sleeping in each others bunks, spending the nights together, going for ‘friendly’ dinners. You two would manage to find time to yourselves in your chaotic schedules, or you would seek solace in each other when things got too busy. It was skinny love, you two were in love, but neither of you cared to admit it. It was almost better that way. Because there was not title, no pressure, and no desire to make it official. It was almost acknowledged that you two were something by the band members and the crew. Occasionally jokes would be made, or references to the two of you but it was all in playful banter. Who knew that simply offering to help with singing would manage to land you something that was so content and so peaceful that you wondered how you functioned without the presence of Michael in your life prior. It was amazing to think that a few words spoken to each other managed to create something so beautiful.
Can you do a Xiumin scenario of him confessing to you, but you don't believe him and he is trying to prove it? Thanks a lot, I love your blog *-*
“__, I love you,” you heard your best friend coo in his sleepy voice. It was almost 2 in the morning, and you had spent your entire saturday night watching movies with Xiumin, who was now drifting off to sleep on the couch next to you. He was leaning his head against your shoulder, one of his hands draped lazy over his propped-up legs while the other one was around you. You were in a similar position; knees to your chest, slightly curled up facing him.
Chuckling, you pushed back his bangs. The two of you did this often. Movie nights every saturday (which also means pizza and ice cream), until the two of you fall asleep. The sound of him drifting off to sleep always soothed you and eventually, you too fell asleep.
It often took quite a few variables to wake you up, today being no exception. First it was the sun wading through the window behind your couch, casting a bright shadow along your eyes. Next, it was the sound of sizzling, something being cooked only a few feet away. After that, a delicious smell brought you to your senses, waking you up completely. You sat upright immediately, but couldn’t bring yourself to open your eyes.
“__, are you awake?” Xiumin asked from the kitchen. You nodded, hoping he was looking at you. Sundays were your least favorite days of the week. Because of the movie nights you shared with your best friend, you never got enough sleep and he doesn’t like waking up late. So here you were, fighting consciousness at 9 in the morning, seven hours of sleep never being enough for you. The sound of Xiumin chuckling caused you to open your eyes extremely slowly, like a cat giving love winks. He stood with a frying pan in hand, watching you from over the kitchen countertop. “You’re so cute, __. I love you.”
“I don’t understand why we’re here on a monday night. People don’t go to bars on monday nights, Xiumin.”
“They do for engagement parties.” You scoffed at his reply. One of his friends had just gotten engaged, and the invitation for this little surprise party indicated that he may bring a plus one. You were the closest thing to a girlfriend he had, and he had gone through a lot of begging to have you agree to accompany him. Normally, the bar scene wasn’t your style. When you were younger, you had gone often. Not for drinking, dancing, or hooking up with randoms, but because your friends simply liked to party. A wave of nostalgia washed over you as you walked past the sports bar, overdressed. You wore a simple black dress with long lace sleeves and black boots that went up over your knee. A couple of the bar-goers eyed you lustfully, and you wrapped your arm around Xiumin’s to dispel them. He looked down at his arm, which you so painfully had your’s looped through, and chuckled to himself. “You can’t blame them for staring, you know. That dress looks lovely on you.” You prodded him with your elbow playfully at the comment. “I’m just glad your arm is wrapped around mine and not one of their’s.”
“Chanyeol told me that you cut his hair today,” Xiumin snorted from the other end of phone call. It wasn’t unusual for him to call you on tuesdays. In fact, he called you every day the two of you couldn’t hang out. Tuesdays especially, since you worked a longer shift at the salon and he had practice at night. Over the years, Xiumin had recommended your salon to his bandmates, until you saw every single one of them-at least once a month-bound through those doors. They often talked to you about your best friend, telling you embarrassing stories of him. You thought them all to be charming. Chanyeol and Baekhyun were often the embarrassing-Xiumin-stories gurus. Luhan, more than once, showed you embarrassing pictures of Xiumin, following stories that almost had you messing up his haircut. The conversations you had with Chen, Yifan, Suho and Kai were everything but boring. You liked babying Sehun and Tao, and talking about cooking with Kyungsoo. Lay was charming, and tipped nicely. He especially loved the attention you gave to his head. Needless to say, you thoroughly enjoyed EXO.
“Yeah, I did,” you giggled into the speaker. “Tell him to start straightening his hair more. It will give him dead ends and his hair won’t grow as fast. Then I can stop hearing the same stories of you multiple times a month.”
Xiumin hesitated on the other line before asking, “He tells you embarrassing stories about me?”
“All of them do, Baozi.”
“Aish, maybe recommending you to them was a bad idea,” he joked.
You laughed with him. “No, I like your friends.”
“I hope you don’t like them as much as you like me,” he cooed.
“Of course not.”
“Good. I love you __, but I have to go to sleep now.”
Nothing ever interesting happens on a wednesday. You get to the salon at 8 in the morning, open the store, and go through the motions of a day as a cosmetologist. However, when you got to the shop today, it was already open. One of your coworkers, a young girl who had started off as your intern, glanced up when you walked through the front door and flashed you a cheeky smile.
“Unni, some guy came in here while I was opening up and left something for you in the back. Was he your boyfriend?”
You thought for a long second. Which one of your guy friends would bring you something before you even got to work? Xiumin. He was always doing little things for you. It amazed you how he even had time to fulfill his schedule and still pamper you. You dismissed her question, and walked to the back of the shop. There sat a lunchbox with a simple white rose sitting atop it. Rolling your eyes, you plucked the rose from the box and put it in a vase, decorating the front counter of the shop with its simple beauty.
When you opened the lunch box later, you found a little note left by Xiumin, that read: “Kyungsoo was making your favorite food for lunch this morning, so I asked him to make an extra for you. I know how much you love his cooking, but I’d hate to inform you that you don’t love it as much as I love you. Saranghae!”
Thursdays were the most boring days of the week. You received half as many customers than on every other day, and reduced to utter boredom with your coworkers. The sitcom playing on the television in the lobby reminded you of Xiumin, so you decided to text him. You knew he had a busy schedule today, but you also knew that he would take every chance he could to show you attention. Especially this week, it seemed he was being very affectionate, constantly reminding of his fondness for you. Now that you think about it, it was very odd. You never really took those three words seriously, especially not from him. He threw them around so loosely. What he really means by “saranghae” is “I appreciate you.”
Forget about contacting Xiumin on a friday. Those were his big training days. But still, you couldn’t help yourself but send him a picture of an adorable puppy while at an animal shelter with your best girl friend. Her fiance had finally allowed her to bring a little bundle of joy into their life-but not the kind most couples expect when using that analogy. The puppy you had sent him a picture of was a little sweetheart. He was an extremely playful chocolate lab, constantly butting his head against your hand and licking your fingers. You giggled at the little dog and whispered, “I guess everyone wants my affection this week, huh?”
Preparing for movie night was a feat in itself. First you had to clean your apartment, which still wasn’t completely clean from last week. Xiumin always helped you on sundays, but he had to get back to work, too. So every saturday, you crammed pre-cleaning into your schedule, restocked the groceries, and ordered pizza all before Xiumin could even walk through the door. He was late tonight; you almost mistook the pizza delivery boy for him when you answered the door. You had to run back inside quickly to grab the money, and apologize to the bewildered teenage for almost hugging him. Although you’re sure he wouldn’t have minded, and will probably brag to his friends later. You paced the hallway of your apartment, suddenly anxious that your Baozi was a no-show. What would happen if he broke this sacred tradition of wasting your lives by watching romantic comedies and god-awful horror movies? You couldn’t even comprehend how much little sense your life would make, take away this almost mundane activity.
Xiumin never knocked, always just barged right in, ice cream and soda in a bag at his side. So when you heard the second knock, you were in a state of confused panic. Walking to the door hurriedly, you finally made use of your peep-hole. There Xiumin stood, bags in hand. You opened the door for him, realizing that he couldn’t have opened it with all the stuff he brought. Inside the bags were white boxes, and you didn’t even try guessing the contents. Instead, you helped Xiumin drop the bags and pulled him close to you in an exasperated hug. Pushing him away by the shoulders after a solid minute, you cupped his face in your hands and looked into his dark eyes. “I thought you weren’t going to come! You know how I hate when my schedule gets messed up, Minseok!”
He laughed heartily at your reaction, and motioned towards the boxes that now sat propped up against the wall. “Are you even going to ask what’s in them? I happen to think they’re very important.”
You raised your eyebrows at him, earning another chuckle. He instructed you to open the largest one first. It wasn’t the most beautifully wrapped gift (Xiumin explained how he had Sehunnie wrap all of them for him, when the maknae was bored out of his mind, and he didn’t realize gift-wrapping wasn’t one of Sehun’s fortes. “It’s good enough,” you reassured him). Inside was a white plush teddy bear, holding a red heart. You bursted out laughing, and complained that it wasn’t even close to Valentine’s Day. “Where did you even find this?” You said in between your hollering. He ignored you, instead handing you the medium sized box. In this one was a picture frame holding a picture of you and Xiumin in an American pumpkin patch last autumn. It was your favorite picture of the two of you, and seeing it in a beautiful frame almost brought a sentimental tear to your eye.
“Do you remember that trip, __?” He said softly. It was a stupid question. Of course you did. You had only known Xiumin for a couple months before agreeing to visit the states with him. You realized later that it was a brash decision, but now you didn’t really mind. If you had denied him then, you two probably wouldn’t be as good of friends as you currently are.
The last box was bigger than the box that held the picture frame, and the first thing you noticed about it was the fist-sized hole in the top. The second thing you noticed was the sad little yelp from within it. “Is that a puppy, Xiumin? Did you put a puppy in a box?”
“I just picked him up before coming here. Stop complaining and take him out,” he said cheekily. You lifted the lid off the box, and a sad little chocolate lab lit up the room with obvious joy as it leapt out and beginning attacking you and Xiumin with affectionate puppy kisses. Xiumin had gotten him a collar, food dishes, and a bed already. It would be impossible to remove the smile off of your face now, and you turned to face your best friend, who turned to face you.
“What’s all of this about, Xiumin?”
Instead of replying with words, he lifted your chin up with his index and middle fingers, and placed his lips over your’s in one swift motion. Your cheeks reddened, and you couldn’t keep your mouth shut when he pulled away. “I told you, __. I love you.”
Oh my goodness, this was so cute. Thank you for the submission!
In a very short time, Lana Del Rey has become one of the most famous artists of this decade. For Grazia magazine, she remembers moments of her 2014, talks about the future, her next album and the madness of fame in the age of Twitter and Instagram. A very shy star.
There is something really strange in the eyes of this young lady, a flash of lightning that comes right to her hands, swallowing around her tattered jeans. This is the lightning of her phlegm, the way she moves and talks. Here she is, right in front of us, quiet and mysterious, and yet she seems to not be really aware of her terrible charms. Then it appears hard to explain exactly why she inspires us – is she just a good-looking girl? To be fair, she’s far away from this archetype. An assumption comes to our mind when she starts posing for the photographer: Lana Del Rey is gracious, yet obstinate. Fragile, but confident. She is a shy star who fell on earth to possess (haunt?) the body of a 2010s pop star. And this duality is responsible for her unpredictable personality. She’s probably the only one who would be okay with an interview in such a short time before the end of the year (as it usually takes months before getting a proper interview of anyone really famous). We had asked her last Wednesday per mail, and only a few days later we were on the way to meet her in a city similar to Los Angeles (where she currently lives), New York City (where she goes whenever she can) and Paris. Yeah, we’re talking about London. That’s it, the strange freedom of this singer made of paradoxes: Being able to control every aspect of her career and suddenly deviate from her initial path if she feels the need to do it. Taking time for herself, and giving to the others, investing all her energy into her interlocutor’s comfort if she feels okay with them. Our meeting could have lasted one day, one night, one week, one month or one life-long, with Lana, we never know. While we were chatting, she recalled that, when we first interviewed her two years ago, we had noticed how long her nails were. She showed them up again and told us that she had just shortened them. Then she started drawing little palm-trees in the sketchbook that was laid on the table while playing us some extracts of songs she plans to record. She also asked about each of our birth dates and started talking about astrological signs and the American writer Joan Didion… Despite of all that curiosity, Lana never revealed herself completely. That is probably what makes her such a modern woman. She is not in her thirties yet and wears all the typical features of her generation (which is usually called X, Y or even Z depending on who you will be talking to). And although she is a celebrity, she is very discreet when it comes to her personal life. And although she has millions of fans all over the world, she remains true to herself. She chose to sing about her love and her lovers, but keeps protecting her privacy. Well, at least she tries to protect it. The conversation that follows is a rare insight into Del Rey’s perception of the various events that marked her 2014 and the release of her newest album, Ultraviolence. This interview is the first she gave since a very long time.
How was your year? I would say it was unusual. I toured from April to June, before releasing the album, and then I did absolutely nothing. I was really happy with the sound of Ultraviolence, but now when I hear it again, I start thinking about the hunches I got when I was still writing the songs. Now I think that I went too far. I’ve been in some awful situations, you know, situations that I couldn’t control, that I didn’t even want to create. Especially with journalists, the one from RollingStone and the one from The Guardian, and all the others who were always asking me the same goddamn questions. “Do you really wish you were dead?”, “Did you fuck with someone in the industry?” Obviously, when I wrote tracks like Fucked My Way Up To The Top, I knew such kind of things would happen, and I should have simply answered “no”, I should have moved on.
What is your state of mind now? I’m afraid that the album will be forgotten. I’m always afraid good things will be forgotten, buried. Musically, I’m still looking for something different, with majestic choruses, beautiful orchestrations, a type of 50s vibe with a bit of soft grunge. Since March, I’ve been writing a lot of new songs, in a more conventional way – verse, refrain, with a strong Jazz influence. I’m having a lot of fun with all of that. And next year, I’ll tour across the USA. I’ve been doing it only once before and I was really moved, especially in Detroit where I could feel the weight of its history. So, that’s why I decided that I wanted to do it again, this time with my friend Courtney Love, for two months. My new album will be released afterwards, maybe for in late August.
Did your writing style change for this next record? My lyrics are very similar to me, who I truly am, but I must admit that I’m currently trying to do some new things. It’s a bit surrealist, full of colours. I feel much more inspired by people like Mark Ryden, Fellini or Picasso. Oh, I’m totally fond of this documentary “Fellini : I’m a Born Liar” which explains that the film maker was in love with his hometown, and each of his movies is like one of its facets. I like his idea, the fact that truth should never impede a beautiful lie. [Smiles]
You seem to like evoking the 50s imagery in your songs: the Golden Age of record studios, ladies singing late at night with their big band… Yeah, I love it. I love nightlife and its mood. That’s why I wanted to meet Mark Ronson: I played him ten songs I composed for the new album. Not so much that he added his usual signature, soul and funk, but rather it explores a sound close to the Golden Age of Jazz. I wasn’t even born in the 50s but I feel like I was there. And when I was still living in New York, I was looking for this dream, maybe some other girls had the same, to live as a singer in a Jazz club where I could sing some classics, but my own compositions, too. I had a very romantic vision of what a singer’s life should be like. I daydreamed about tours in Europe, just like Chet Baker, for example.
You like drama, right? You find it attracting? I don’t. I came into [the music business] without any drama inside me. But immediately, things started to get heavier.
Isn’t it strange to be nostalgic about an era you never lived? Yes, it is and it might be the reason why I never really had a lot of friends – only those who feel connected to the past and the future at the same time, like me. And we are not many out there. I’m friends with James Franco… He’s one of the very few people I know who are linked to the past, the actors of the past, the California of the 60s, and the New York of the 70s.
You grew up in a small town near the Adirondacks. Do you miss the places of your childhood? Yes. The house is full of memories. It’s hard for me to come back there. I did two weeks ago, I was coming from New York, for the first time in four years. My room hasn’t changed. There’s still the same poster pinned on the wall, but everything seemed much smaller to me…
You did a cover of The Other Woman, a song that was already famous, especially Nina Simone’s interpretation. The song is about a love triangle. But your version isn’t very clear: we don’t know which point of view, which ‘other woman’ you are in the song. So, I’m asking you: Who are you? Are you the wife, the mistress, or even the husband himself? I always wanted to cover this song. I’ve been constantly listening to it for years. It’s interesting to see an ambiguity in the lyrics… [She starts humming a bit of it] I think I’ve always been ‘the other woman’ in a way, well, at least I always felt like it. I don’t necessarily want to be at the edge of everything, but it’s a fact, I’m a kind of outsider. I’m always the one who stands outside of the circle. Even in my private life, I often feel overwhelmed by what happens around me. That said, I also played the part of the normal girlfriend, the more ‘legitimate’ one.
Do you feel like you are the spectator of your own life? More and more. Because of the internet, when you are with someone else, it’s very different. People do not know you only from what you choose to tell them, they know you from what they’ve heard, seen or read on the web. This is undeniable, especially when I meet someone for the first time.
Are you loyal? I want to be and I think I am in my heart. If I find someone I love, I will probably love them forever. I am a very faithful person, emotionally, I offer all my trust. But I’m always careful. Because I see red flags around everyone new I meet. Finally, I think I like people with a constant temper the best. I don’t want any more surprises in life.
Are you a control freak? No, not really. Okay, I totally am! [Laughs] When I have a sound or a mood in mind, even for a very simple song, sometimes I have to fight to get precisely what I wanted. But I try to chill. Otherwise, I’d be doing the same things over and over again. And that’s not what I like in music.
Are you ever bothered by your perfectionism? All the time. When I tour, for example. It’s difficult to perform the songs every single night.
Did you ever want to give up, erase all this and make a fresh start? I have often thought about that, but I can’t. I’m famous.
Does that mean that fame is like a burden for you? It certaintly made things more complicated than they used to be… Apart from my private relationship with my family, everything is public. Even my phone calls. I can’t be sure they’re not listened to. You can’t even imagine what people already stole. Only my memories and my imagination are private! [She laughs before pausing for a moment] I am a very shy person, maybe even pathologically shy, and being famous doesn’t really make it easier. I like going out, dinner at a restaurant, but it has become almost impossible for me. Everyone has a phone or a camera… It’s odd, but that’s what my daily life is made of. I’m always being photographed, even when I’m buying Aspirin. Obviously, I should have known better. But it is also true that when I started singing, when I was 20, the world was very different. It’s not easy to be quiet now. I never suffered from all that, but I must be careful. There are many strange people out there. [She laughs again] I carefully swim in new waters.
I've been meaning to ask you something for a while... what would you consider the fundamentals of a writer? What kind of things would make someone want to keep writing?
This is kind of a peculiar question for me to answer, as I’m unfortunately one of those people who has always written (practically since I first was taught how to use a pen), and ever since have had to really work to understand the kind of inner life that doesn’t involve writing — writing something, anything — as an innate part of it.
Let me break this in two. The fundamentals of a writer? … (Inserting a cut here, because this gets long…)
summary: in which niall is not prince charming, liam is not a damsel in distress, and zayn is not a dragon, the witch is not evil, no one gets rescued, and niall does a lot of things in the spirit of blowjobs.
Oh, it's prompt time again! Most coveted times of the year. <3 Would Ragnar/Athelstan in a modern agent-handler setup interest you? Or any variation of the good ol' spies/undercover trope.
(It is Vikings OT3 because I really cannot leave Lagertha out, I am constitutionally incapable.)
“Good luck with them,” Helga tells Athelstan on his first day.
All the handlers he’s met have had a certain amount of exasperation in their tones, but he hasn’t heard anything quite like this yet, and Athelstan pauses, filled with sudden trepidation, before he opens the door to the room where he’s going to meet his agents. “Should I be prepared for something difficult?”
She pats his arm gently. “Sorry, it’s kind of a rite of passage to be their handler for a few weeks. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work out. HQ is very aware how difficult they are. Now go in there, may as well make a good showing of it.”
That doesn’t fill him with much comfort, but he takes a deep breath and opens the door. He knows Ragnar and Lagertha’s pictures from their files. He’s studied their techniques and fighting styles and expertises until he knows them by heart. He’s still not prepared for their twin gazes on him the second he opens the door, and how their mouths curve into almost-identical smiles.
“Oh, hello,” says Lagertha Lothbrok, one of the two best agents the agency has ever seen. “We’re going to have fun with you, aren’t we?”