she's by the far the most interesting character in this series

Comic Poison Ivy in the last 15 years: Hey you know, the whole man-hating evil seductress trope is kinda old and disrespectful and it’s time to recognize the potential of this complex and interesting character. We’ll focus on making her more sympathetic and less crazy. We’ll show she has a deep, real, and profound connection to the earth. We’ll show that she is struggling to maintain her humanity in light of a darkening situation and that she still feels compassion for human life, as it is also part of the earth. She will only apathetically kill people who are 100% irredeemable. She will have many moments in which she spares human life. She will have many complicated relationships with other women in the Universe, including Batgirl, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman, Black Canary, the Birds of Prey, and many others. These relationships will range from uneasy trust or anger to understanding and love. She will not show romantic interest in men and will not be a sexually driven character. She will be a member of many hero teams, including the Birds of Prey and the Justice League, even if there are missteps in the writing of the character. Most of the Bat-family will recognize Ivy as a grey-area case that must be handled on an individual basis and will acknowledge that her situation is centered around tragedy and loss of self. They will recognize that Ivy could very well be the thing the saves the entire planet. They will recognize that Arkham is making her worse, and will do what they can to reason with her. 

Wonder Woman will acknowledge that the Green and Mother Gaia chose Ivy as her protector and that she was wise to do so. (Sensation Comics #31)

Batgirl will show numerous moments of concern and understanding and will even acknowledge that if they were in another world, their relationship would be very different. She will value Ivy’s powers as a source of good and believes Ivy’s struggle stems from the flawed nature of humanity. (Batgirl Annual #2, various)

Batman will return to Ivy to ask her for help, knowing that when the world is at stake, she is a trustworthy ally to the Earth. (Swamp Thing) (Sensation Comics) (Detective Comics, various) (Justice League United) (Animal Man)

There will be many moments where the relationship between the part of Ivy that is still human and the part that is the Green struggle to cooperate or have complexities in their natures. (Cycle of Life and Death) (No Man’s Land) (Birds of Prey)

Harley Quinn will express implicit love for Ivy and in certain series, they will be in a canon loving relationship. This will not be subtext as it has been in the past. We will show an actual relationship between two women that isn’t just for eyecandy. (Harley Quinn series) (Bombshells)

Yes, there will be missteps in the canon as many different hands are working between many different series, but overall the character will have undergone a complete transformation that far exceeds the previous incarnations.

Every Media Outside of Comics, obsessed with an Ivy that hasn’t existed prominently in 15 years: u know, the slutty evil plant lady?

A LIST OF SWAN QUEEN FAN FICTION

B/C I KNOW Y’ALL ARE TIRED OF LOOKING FOR SWANQUEEN FANFIC RECS ON TUMBLR SO HERES THE GOOD SHIT.

  • all of these are in english
  • if you have any recommendations or additions, please let me know!
  • some fanfictions that i originally planned to include on this list were deleted by their authors :( 


CLASSICS (favorites)

The Art Of Being Extraordinary - if you haven’t read this already, wyd? The ending will destroy you - be prepared to cry. 

Letters From War - another extremely well known fic among swen. a heart-wrenching and beautifully written AU fic. even if AUs aren’t your thing, seriously, give this one a try.

Emma is a soldier on reserve in Fort Benning. Regina is the Mayor of Storybrooke. Through a pen pal program designed to ease the ache of homesick soldiers, Emma and Regina begin sending letters to one another as their relationship grows from cordial acquaintance to something neither woman would have expected - until the letters stop coming.

A Trail Of Destruction - DEFINITELY a classic imo. this is one of my favorite fanfictions of all time.

A hostage situation in City Hall leaves behind a battered, broken sheriff, and a mayor wracked with guilt. Trigger warnings for violence and gun threats and general angst. Slow-burn swan queen.

Miles To Go - AU; emma and regina meet at a party and the rest is history. this ones pretty long (80 chapters), but so worth the read! angsty & lots of ‘sexy times’ 

Everyone has their own story, this one is theirs and it paints the picture of a love story that spans over two decades, with all the ups and downs and everything else in between. SwanQueen AU
 

Of Love and Loathing - a lot of angry sex in the beginning, which eventually turns into lovey sex. another well known and well written fic - this author is one of my favorites. *reaaallyyy hot smut 

“I have been sleeping with someone,” Regina began tentatively, an acute awareness that once she said the words out loud that the madness behind her highly unorthodox situation became all the more real, “whom I absolutely loathe.” •Emma/Regina•

Meet me Halfway - one of the first swan queen fan fictions i ever read! still a classic to this day. AU

Emma Swan works hard every night as a bartender, struggling to raise her son and save up enough to own her own bar. Regina Mills is an upper class New York photographer who wouldn’t normally spare a second glance at people below her. When their paths cross, their lives adapt to each other, but how much are they willing to change?

Love Undefined - in the process of re-reading this one because of how much i love it. angsty as hell but such a beautiful story.

It’s been eight years since the last time Regina and Emma saw each other, eight years since Emma lost part of her happiness, her family, and everything fell apart. But she hasn’t forgotten those three years in New York, or any of what Regina had brought into her life. A late night phone call to Regina takes Emma back eleven years to when they met, saved each other from loneliness, and Emma started learning what it meant to live. She relives the moments that had changed her life for the better, and even the ones that had hurt.

Teacher’s Pet - KNOWN AS THE ONE TEACHER/STUDENT FANFIC THAT EVERYONE HAS READ. 

Emma Swan is starting her senior year. Her friends tell her about the Creative Writing teacher that she has on her schedule and how no one had passed her class with an A, not even her bookworm friend, Belle. What will she do? And who exactly is this ‘bitchy Evil Queen’ as they claim her to be? SwanQueen. Student/Teacher. M for language and future chapters.

Lost in Translation - i wasn’t sure about this before reading it but i LOVED it. the description pretty much sums it up.

AU. Regina is deaf. Emma is the only one who refuses to give her pity. In response, Regina is thrilled by this new challenge and the stand-offs commence, but over time she finds out there is more to the blonde woman than just a target to throw a stinging quip and pointed glare at.

Send Up a Signal - emma and regina are actresses and their fans ship them with each other. ;)

Emma Swan is catapulted into stardom, the newest lead actress on a sanitized show featuring modern fairytales. Regina Mills is a long-undermined star with a chip on her shoulder and a thousand reasons why she’s invested. Naturally, they loathe each other on sight.Their characters’ fanbases, however, have other ideas.

Reset - SO. GOOD. 95 chapters. if you’re looking for long fanfics, this is for you. 

Following the breaking of the curse everyone in Storybrooke is finding their happy ending, with one exception. Resigning herself to having lost Henry’s love and respect forever, Regina decides there is only one path available to her.

Take Me Home Tonight - AU!! lots of smut :) this is a newer one that i’ve seen around twitter and tumblr and i really enjoyed it! this one’s pretty short (14 chapters)

AU: Nineteen year old Emma Swan is a senior at the exclusive all girls boarding school, Foxhaven Academy. When her friends find out she’s a virgin they send her to the city to find a guy to take her v-card. But Emma is more interested in a sexy older woman she meets in a bar. A SwanQueen story.

The Staircase - non-consensual sex in the first chapter, so please be aware of that; its not for eveyone. this story is very dark but has a happy ending i promise!

Regina could still smell her cologne and feel the cheap pleather pressing into her back. The brunette sucked in a breath. She was still lying on the floor at the staircase’s base and she stared back up at it. Everything was different now. Changed. She felt broken by what had just happened, appalled and enraged, dirty. WARNING: NC17 for non-consensual sex. Dark. (But gets lighter.)

the trouble with emma - very very well known within the swan queen community. i’ll be honest, i never really got into the story but i can acknowledge that it is the most well-written fanfiction i have read to date. the author is truly talented. (the first in a series of fanfics)

Post ep 4x23, Emma becomes the Dark One and learns nothing is quite as it seems or as simple as black versus white. When Regina removes the curse no one in Storybrooke is prepared for the far reaching fallout which leaves none of their lives unaltered or untouched, least of all Regina’s.

SMUT 

shadow haven  - the one smut fic everyone has read.

Emma Swan is a PR agent who is sent on a holiday by her boss. Regina Mills is the owner of a private island named Shadow Haven. There is more to Regina than initially meets the eye. This story dips heavily into the BDSM subculture. Swan Queen romance / BDSM story.

the wicked stepmother - the one kinky fic everyone has read- or attempted to. i couldn’t get through the whole thing but the first few chapters,,, holy hell.

When the Evil Queen catches baby Emma along with Snow White, she decides on a new revenge. In Storybrooke, Snow White will be allowed to raise her daughter… but on her eighteenth birthday, Regina will come for her. Emma might just enjoy that.

in control  - Regina had never been in the habit of relinquishing control, but when it came to Emma Swan, she was starting to find out that giving in had its benefits. - Established Swan Queen - One Shot. Rated M for language and content.

the collar - It will carry strong mature themes as well as a Mistress/Slave relationship but it is also a lot more than that. However, as a warning this story will celebrate the shades of grey of our favourite couple as they find their way to each other and will deal with darker elements of their characters. Emma’s history differs a little from canon but will be covered by the story but there is no Henry and she is an adult in this fiction.

a little taste  - author of A Fine Line and Letters from War. 

Emma has been desperate to know what it’s like to kiss the smirk off of Regina Mills, but when she finally gets the chance, it doesn’t seem to be enough.

tempest - A storm ushers in an expected opportunity for Regina to finally rid herself of Emma Swan. She will posses the sheriff’s heart and then crush it. But what happens when nothing goes as planned? Rated M for language and Swan Queen sexytimes.

come on be nice - Regina has decided that the quickest way to get rid of Emma Swan is to scare off the commitment phobic woman with a come-on. This, as with many of Regina’s plans, does not go as, well, planned. Rated M for Swan Queen sex.

black lace - Emma and Henry find a way around the 'no visiting’ rule involving binoculars and the walkie talkie. Emma’s attention is fully on her son, she truly doesn’t intend to watch Regina at all. At least until the mayor begins undressing in front of her window..

dirty words - Regina is plagued by thoughts of a certain blonde. Deciding she is in need of cathartic release, she writes a quick narrative in hopes of cleansing her system. However, by a happy accident, the story falls into the wrong hands. What will Emma do with this new and intriguing insight into the mayor’s mind?

damn you, miss swan  Emma visits the mayor one night with a bottle of wine to cheer her up. Anger issues and smeared lippy ensues. WARNING: Includes a non-explicit passing reference to rape. This is my first story. A/N Jan 2015: Way back when I wrote this, no one knew anyone’s back stories, so I just made up stuff. Don’t be upset for canon divergence if you read it now. It wasn’t canon then.

mirror tricks The Evil Queen has made her way to Storybrooke, but she only seems to be interested in one thing: Emma. When Regina realises this, her jealousy starts to get the better of her.

my enemy’s enemy After her mother’s death, Regina finds a terrible surprise hidden among the witch’s belongings. Unfortunately, the only one able to cure her from the ailment is Emma…if she agrees. Strong language and mature themes. First stab at SwanQueen :)

ANGST

to remember her happy ending - “She doesn’t even remember her family! How am I going to explain this to her when she hates me!” She was falling apart now. The way the women in the other room had just looked at her, with such disdain. That wasn’t her wife. That was the Mayor, the Evil Queen maybe…but not her wife.

for endings are where we begin Regina Mills is your average working mom - she spends long hours at her bakery, loves her son Henry with all that she is, and can touch dead things and bring them back to life.Emma Swan is an orphan, an ex-convict, and a bail bondsperson residing in Massachusetts. She is also currently dead.This is the story of how they meet.

the loudest silence - New to Chicago Emma, a professional cellist, is shocked to find that a beautiful deaf woman is her new president of the board. As their friendship grows Emma begins to wonder, what does it look like when a world of sound and a world of silence meet somewhere in the middle? SwanQueen AU

broken 16 year Emma Swan is a preachers daughter on a tight leash, what happens when Regina Mills returns to town, dark, mysterious and dangerous? Will her father’s expectations take over or will Emma follow her heart? Is Regina legit or is Emma cute little pawn? Will Emma be able to love Regina for who she is or will her dark past ruin it ALL! SwanQueen G!P Some BDSM

bring her home Cora’s dead. Henry lives with the Charmings. Regina continues spiraling through grief and loss and hatred. Then Emma suddenly falls unconscious and Henry shows up at Regina’s door because he needs her help to bring Emma back. Reluctantly, Regina embarks on a wild swan chase through Emma’s mind, a whirlwind of ‘roads‐less‐traveled’ and ‘what‐ifs’ and ‘might‐have‐beens’, in order to bring her home.

if the blazer fits Emma decides to dress up like Regina for a Halloween party at The Rabbit Hole, a seemingly innocent decision that surprisingly leads to a relationship. The romance is openly feared by some and secretly despised by an unlikely source, who plots to end it.

a fine line Upon Regina’s banishment, the small town of Storybrooke becomes protected once again by an enchantment that prevents anyone from leaving or entering Storybrooke. Emma and Regina find themselves on the edge of the town, wishing for a way to the other side.

a pale imitation Regina is furious with Emma after she brings back Marian, but since she can’t take it out on her, Regina creates a mindless clone of Emma to hit instead. The clone doesn’t stay mindless for long though, developing an obsession with Regina. Written for summer 2014 Swan Queen Big Bang. (TW for sexual assault/rape and graphic depictions of violence)

FLUFF

one fine mess - Regina’s gut twisted with an agonizing pull and, for just a moment, she thought she might need to take up the same position as the woman crouched before her. “You’re pregnant?” she whispered grimly. Emma’s only response was to turn and retch into the toilet again. — Swan Queen, magic!pregnancy

coffee at midnight - (so good) Slow burn AU that starts with two women from different parts of the USA meeting on Twitter. Emma is an insomniac loner who is a Personal Trainer. Regina is a writer with a sleepless baby. Their lack of sleep and love for coffee soon brings them together and after that they find it hard to part. This is a fic where coffee is taking to mythical levels, despite it’s bad effect on people with insomnia and people with babies - showing that sometimes what you need and want isn’t always the thing that is wholesome and harmless. But also that denying yourself it will only lead to misery, something which Regina has to apply to other parts of her life.

all the single ladies With the library in desperate need of renovation, Storybrooke prepares for a fundraising dinner and bachelorette auction. What mischief and romance can be found as a result? SwanQueen with some RedBeauty Rating has been raised to M - now including adult content.


TEACHER+STUDENT / EMPLOYEE+BOSS

teacher’s pet - see above (classics)

take me home tonight - see above (classics)

step into my office, baby  - This is what you get for doing the nice thing, Emma thinks. You do that whole Pay It Forward bullshit - you buy a lady some coffee and you pretend like it isn’t totally motivated by how she looks in a pencil skirt - and she goes and insults your business card and turns out to be your company’s new Executive Director. Real fucking cute.From now on, she is drinking tea.or, the one where they’re in an office.

teaching miss mills  - Swan Queen Teacher AU: Emma is a gym teacher, who moves to Storybrooke Academy after becoming disenchanted with her job back in Boston. Regina Mills is the Head of English who Emma somehow seems to keep having run-ins with, despite the best of intentions. Along the way, Emma adjusts to small-town life, gets her teaching mojo back and grows closer to Regina. NOW COMPLETE

troubled teachers - COMPLETE! SwanQueen AU. Geography teacher Emma Swan starts a new life far from her troubled past and meets history teacher Regina Mills. But all is not as it seems when it comes to the composed, intelligent, and beautiful brunette. Family struggles and difficult relationships lead to a friendship and soon something more blossoms. Rated M for Ch 7, 18, 22, 24, 28, 29, 31, 35 and 38

not a virgin anymore When college student Emma Swan wakes up one morning with no memory of what happened the night before she’s very surprised she finds herself in professor Mills’s bed. 

is that so, miss swan? - College student, Emma Swan, is confronted by her favorite professor and secret heart-throb, Dr. Regina Mills. What happens when Emma is forced to reveal her secrets? We shall see. AU. Slightly OOC at times. No magic. SwanQueen. Rated M for serious language and eventual sexy times between our two favorite ladies.

butterfly effect - in her final year of college, Emma finds she has more to account for than the extra credits she needs in order to graduate. Only… she doesn’t expect it to come in the form of her newest instructor, Professor Regina Mills. Complete. AU Swan Queen

a sophisticated seduction Emma’s a college student, working as an intern at the Dazzle Magazine for a powerful woman she has never had the good fortune of meeting. But everything in her life is about to change when they finally meet. Especially when one falls so deeply in love with the other and the insecurities from a broken marriage comes to light. (Not Based on The Devil Wears Prada)

some other faves

down east decisions - Massachusetts State Police Capt. Emma Swan leaves her red-hot career to become the police chief of sleepy Storybrooke, Maine. She’s hoping for a less-complicated, less-dangerous life, a desire that is dashed on both counts. AU. No magic. Crime drama and romance. Swan Queen is endgame.

that drunken night - Emma’s wasted and accidentally calls Regina instead of her mom. And Regina isn’t as loathe to talk to the blonde as she usually pretends. Did things change between them so radically while they were in Neverland? (No copyright infringement intended.)

chasing henry - SQ. Tired of the tricks and lies of both of his mothers, Henry follows the dwarves, Red and Granny when they use Tiny’s magic beans to return themselves to their old land. Emma and Regina both chase after him, and they reluctantly travel together through the Enchanted Forest in order to find him and bring him back home safely.

so does this make us both the other woman? - Set after 3b in a peaceful Storybrooke where Regina is with Robin and Emma’s fallen into a relationship with Hook. Shame about all that subtext that’s rapidly threatening to become text.

i’ve been getting a lot of messages lately (and unsurprisingly, considering how unrepentantly i’ve been reblogging stuff from them) from followers asking me for podcast recommendations - and i love getting those so thank you, guys! - and i thought i’d make a masterpost of what i’ve both a) finished and b) enjoyed since i’ve started bingeing them.  and, as an extra added bonus, what has canonical lgbt+ representation (since i know what you guys are into [waggles eyebrows]).

1. the bright sessions

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  this is definitely the first podcast that i’ve fallen in love with as hard as my original gateway podcast: welcome to night vale.  it’s so well-written, the characters well-drawn, the premise fascinating - atypicals, or people with some sort of special ability, in therapy - and it’s such a positive story and experience that i can’t help but feel better on days i listen to it.  it really believes in humanity and that’s such a wonderful thing in this day and age.  plus, the voice acting is killer.

2. eos 10

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  i don’t think it’s been officially confirmed that dr. dalias is, at the very least, bisexual (in fact, the official channels seem to be dancing around it, possibly so as not to spoil anything in the upcoming season), though it’s been hinted at plenty in story.  especially as i don’t know how else you can explain a supposedly “straight” male character getting called out on repeatedly thinking about a naked man during a group mind-link experience.  that aside, it is freaking hilarious.  the premise is doctors in space, one formerly drug-addicted doctor helping to stabilize a currently alcoholic one with amazing side characters including nurse jane johns and levi, a hypochondriac alien and deposed prince who seems to have a personal vendetta against wearing pants.  it’s well-acted, cleverly written and a freaking joy to listen too.  so funny and so smart, i can’t recommend it enough!

3. the penumbra podcast

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  so much queer representation it’s bananas.  this ask the creators got is actually pretty representative of their approach to the show, slyly funny and very gay.  our main character is a genderbending queer private investigator who’s lost his heart head over a sweet-smelling thief with a heart of gold and more aliases than jennifer garner, all set against a noir backdrop.  oh, and on mars.  yeah, you read all of that right.  there are a few awesome side stories as well, including a couple of horror ones (that have no effect on the main juno steel story line, so can be skipped - and the creators are VERY GOOD about warning what’s to come in the episode notes), as well as lesbian outlaws and a disabled knight.  there’s literally nothing not to love.  EXCEPT FOR HOW JUNO STEEL WON’T LET HIMSELF HAVE NICE THINGS.

4. the black tapes

hey, hi, if you’re into horror, suspense, creepery or demons, this is so very much for you.  the premise is that alex reagan, our host, begins a podcast to interview people with interesting professions.  she starts out with dr. richard strand, a paranormal investigator whose mission statement is to debunk all things paranormal.  he even has an institute that offers a one million dollar prize for proof of the paranormal, which he has never even come close to having to part with.  while alex is interviewing him, she comes across a handful of black vhs tapes: the only cases that strand hasn’t been able to definitively solve yet.  the technology to disprove these incidents simply hasn’t come far enough, in his opinion.  needless to say, she never moves on from dr. strand and the mystery of the black tapes.  each episode, alex investigates another of the black tapes and much later on realizes it’s possible that they’re all connected.  oh my god, i almost got chills just writing that, it’s so good, it’s so real, because dr. strand is such a good anchor to reality.  alex will occasionally lose her skeptic’s perspective; dr. strand does not.  and once alex starts experiencing intense insomnia, making you realize your narrator might not be so reliable?  things somehow manage to get even murkier.  i really, really adored this one.  it’s paranormal set in the most normal of normal worlds, only making it that much spookier.

5. wooden overcoats

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  okay, well, if you’ve ever watched black books?  this is kind of like black books, aka one of my all-time favorite shows.  rudyard funn is just as incapable and universally disliked as bernard black, which was all well and good when the village of piffling vale (which is very nearly a town, you know!) only had one funeral home to choose from.  unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore.  eric chapman has moved his funeral home right across the street and stolen all the business from rudyard, his embalmer (cum part-owner) and twin sister, antigone, and georgie, their assistant.  to add insult to injury, he’s charming and universally adored by everyone except those at funn funerals.  very british, very ridiculous, and very funny!  WE GET THE BODY IN THE COFFIN IN THE GROUND ON TIME.  (well, like that one time they did.  [coughs])

6. ars pardoxica

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  i listened to this one pretty slowly, for me.  it’s very much plot over character, at least in my opinion.  which is fair since there’s quite a lot of plot and set dressing to establish.  we’re following (dr.) sally grissom, a scientist from the twenty-first century who accidentally creates time travel and ends up stuck back in the 1940s.  think a bombs and eisenhower.  it was always interesting, and the paradoxes created by the time travel experiments they kept doing were fascinating (i love time travel stuff because of the paradoxes it creates) but i didn’t get really ravenous for it until season two, which is when i really felt it picked up speed.  you’ve got anthony stuck in a literal CAGE - a “blackroom” bubble set outside of time, sally trying to garden (oh god), a gang consisting of a veteran, a (former) widow and time doubles trying to bring down ODAR (the company sally used to work for, and that anthony still does) and esther sliding down the ladder of morally unsound one determined rung at a time and it makes for a REALLY grabbing audio drama, eh?

7. the strange case of starship iris

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  i’m already in love with violet liu, all right?  she’s a science officer on starship iris–well, what was starship iris.  when we first join violet, every single one of her crew mates has just died in an explosion on the pod they were traveling off ship with and the starship iris is in its last throes as well.  luckily(?) a passing ship comes along with a plan to get her to safety.  this has a real illuminae vibe to it (which is an amazing book btw) and all the characters are already so freaking likable.  it’s only on episode two and already shaping up to be a favorite!

8. the orbiting human circus (of the air)

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  if there’s a more heart-warming podcast out there, then i haven’t run across it yet.  first of all, julian koster’s voice is so vulnerable and soft that i would use myself and everyone i know and also puppies as a shield against everything terrible in the universe for him.  second, the rest of the cast - leticia especially - is just as freaking talented.  the premise is that julian is the janitor at a radio show that broadcasts from the top of the eiffel tower and has strange and impossible acts every night, from tale-telling crickets to singing saws to the orkestral, a bird that can play every orchestral instrument (except that it refuses to play the viola, because reasons).  it’s fun and cute and breaks your heart with happiness regularly and often!

9. alice isn’t dead

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  this is a horror podcast about a truck driver who is looking for her missing wife.  jasika nicole has to have one of my favorite voices around and having it be so heavily dependent on that makes me ridiculously happy.  throw in the story-telling of joseph fink, the depth and cohesiveness of his writing, and there is nothing not to love here.

10. within the wires

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  this is really sufficiently creepy considering it’s not often overtly creepy.  this is set up as a series of relaxation tapes, which progressively get more and more interested in helping the listener break out of the facility in which she’s being kept.  super chilling at times, because the voice is so calm and the action so dangerous.

11. welcome to night vale

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  okay, well, what more can be said about this at this point?  if you’re not listening to it, you’re wrong.  why wouldn’t you want to visit a town that can’t be visited and where every conspiracy theory is real and a part of everyday life?  yeah, everyone knows about the vague yet menacing government agency, steve carlsberg, you’re not hitting on anything new there.  there’s a dog park that doesn’t allow dogs, angels that are never to be identified as angels, mountains that aren’t real, a glow cloud that–ALL HAIL and a love story so complete and perfect that it can and will utterly steal your breath at times.  go, listen, inhale.

All About Writing Fight Scenes

@galaxies-are-my-ink asked,

“Do you have any advice on writing fight scenes? The type of scene I’m writing is mostly hand to hand combat between two experts. I’m definitely not an expert so when I try to write it, the scene ends up sounding repetitive and dull.”

Fore note: This post is coauthored by myself and one of my amazing critique partners, Barik S. Smith, who both writes fantastic fight scenes and teaches mixed martial arts, various artistic martial arts, and weapons classes.

I (Bryn) will tell you a secret: I trained MMA for seven years, and when I write authentic hand to hand fight scenes, they sound dull too. 

The problem with fight scenes in books is that trying to describe each punch and kick and movement (especially if it’s the only thing you’re describing) creates a fight that feels like it’s in slow motion. 

I write…

Lowering her center of gravity, she held her right hand tight to her face and threw a jab towards his chin. He shifted his weight, ducking under her punch. His hair brushed against her fist, and he stepped forward, launching a shovel hook into her exposed side.

But your brain can only read for fast. In real life that series of events would take an instant, but I needed a full eight seconds to read and comprehend it, which gave it an inherent lethargic feel. 

So, we have two primary problems:

  1. How do we describe this fight in a way the reader can understand and keep track of? 
  2. How do we maintain a fast paced, interesting fight once we’ve broken down the fight far enough for readers to understand it? 

(We will get back to these, I promise.) But for now, let’s look at…

Different types of “fight scenes:”

Keep reading

What podcasts I listen to

This is a post that most likely no one cares about since I shitpost whatever I’m into but I wanna get my thoughts about the podcasts I listen to regularly and what I feel about them. 


Welcome to Night Vale - This is the one that got me into podcasts although it scared me at first. I managed to listen to 60 episodes in almost a week so I was pretty hooked. This is about a friendly desert community where the sun is hot, the moon is beautiful and mysterious lights pass while we all pretend to sleep. It’s set in a H P Lovecraft style of world where the scariest of things are seen as the most normal of things. Things change when a beautiful stranger comes to town but you’ll fall in love instantly. Episodes come out the 1st and 15th of each month

Alice Isn’t Dead - This is done by the same company that does Night Vale and it’s a lot darker and creepier. It is about a truck driver who drives around the country trying to find her wife Alice while discovering things about the towns she goes past. A warning if you don’t deal with gore or violence very well (also spoilers) someone does get murdered in the first episode and the main character does get attacked in a later episode. This show is only done by Joseph Fink and his style is a little scary at times but it’s still good. I recommend binge listening to the first season before the second one comes out because it’s a little easier to keep up with the story that way. I prefer Night Vale over Alice but that’s just a personal opinion. Episodes will continue when the next season starts. 

Wolf 359 - This is one of my favourite podcasts I have ever listened to. Written by Gabriel Urbina, it’s about Doug Eiffel’s life on the Hephaestus Research Station as they orbit the red dwarf star Wolf 359. This a podcast you’ll want more of and you’ll want to know every single plot twist and theory. The characters are loveable and it just makes me really happy. Renee Minkowski is the station’s commander and she makes sure that her boys stay in check (mostly Eiffel). Dr. Hilbert is honestly a little creepy but you can’t hate him and HERA is my computer wife. Every storyline is great and will only keep you guessing. The website also has other cool stuff such as playlists for the characters which are on spotify and there are small little things that are fantastic. The early seasons are very lighthearted and Zach Valenti (@iamzachvalenti) voices both Doug and Hilbert and it’s just fantastic to listen to. Episodes come out every two weeks.

Limetown - Limetown is very different compared to the other podcasts. It’s a news report that follows a reporter, Lia Haddock, as she tries to find out what happened to an entire town of people that just vanished into thin air. The length of the episodes span under 10 minutes to nearly an hour. It’s interesting but Lia is kinda annoying with her methods of obtaining the information she desires but her intentions are in the right place, despite her actions getting innocent people hurt. The podcast kinda stopped in December last year so it’s real easy to listen to but you will want more which is disappointing since you want to know what happens in the next season. It takes a very realistic turn of events so who knows when the next season comes out. If you like realistic podcasts then this is the one for you 

The Bright Sessions - Another personal favourite of mine and I no joke want more right now. The only way I can describe the podcast without spoiling it is X-men go to therapy. It’s an actual pleasure to listen to and it keeps you hooked. Lauren Shippen  (@thelaurenshippen)  has created something thats actually beautiful and has created characters who are relatable in every way. Sam is a time traveller with anxiety, Caleb is a high school student who can feel others emotions, Chloe thinks she’s going insane with the voices of angels then there is a mysterious character who I shall not name. It’s defiantly worth a listen and it’s an A++ podcast. The website also has things that are unique to each person. Sam has a blog, Caleb has instagram and playlists of his own and Chloe has tumblr. This is no joke something I want to make in the future so it’s amazing to me. New episode dates will be released with the new episodes. 

King Falls AM - This is like Night Vale but less creepy and more paranormal. The main characters are Sammy “Shotgun” Stevens and Ben Arnold who host a  late night call in show. I can only imagine this like Night Vale because of the similar format but they are completely different. King Falls AM is what Night Vale would be if the town normal and unusual things aren’t normal. The characters are really loveable and I just love them so much. There are people you will love to hate and it definitely makes you feel like you are a citizen of the town which is great. It brings a sense of community to the small fandom. I want to say more but it’s very spoilery so I will say no more. It’s worth the listen to and I recommend binge listening to this one, trust me you’ll want to. New episodes come out the 1st and 15th of each month. 

EOS 10 - I’ll admit that I haven’t finished this podcast but I don’t think they’ve made new episodes since last year?????? (it was December so I wasn’t wrong). The story follows Ryan Dalias arriving on EOS 10 to check up on the doctor on the ship who has been going through his share of addiction. From what I’ve listened from this, it’s not bad but not my cup of tea. Scifi podcasts don’t work for me but I still enjoy this quite a bit. Warning if you aren’t interested in hearing people do the frick frack then there is a part of episode 3 that you’ll want to skip because it’s a little uncomfortable. The first two seasons are out and god knows when the next season will be available. 

Within the Wires - This is another one done by Night Vale presents. Within the Wires is written by Jeffrey Cranor and the story is based through a series of standard relaxation tapes where you soon realise that yours aren’t standard. The woman on the to the main character and you slowly figure out what that connection is. The tapes themselves are a little creepy but they are sort of relaxing at the same time. Season two may be different and possibly might not be relaxation tapes but that’s the exciting thing about it. I personally prefer this podcast to Alice because I can listen to this and not feel scared when I’m trying to sleep. This one just creeps me out opposed to scaring me so I stay awake. I wouldn’t listen to this before bed though. I recommend to listen to this on a really long road trip because that’s the most comfortable I felt when I heard it. New episodes will come out when the new season does. 

ars PARADOXICA - Imagine if you had accidentally created time travel and you find yourself in 1942 in the middle of the second world war. That’s what Sally Grisham does and she soon discovers that her time travel only goes back so she attempts to find a way to go back to her own time which is a little difficult with only technology from the early 40′s. I’ll be honest, I did really like this podcast when I first started it but the last 4 episodes make me question if I actually want to continue it. The latest episode makes me think that I could continue it. They do give warnings about gun violence and terrible things happening to kids which made me super uncomfortable but the warning was nice. New episodes come out the 1st of each month

The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air) - Yet another Night Vale presents project but it’s not written by Joseph or Jeffrey. The story follows the janitor Juilen as he tries to get into the show without getting caught. The podcast is set on top of the Eiffel tower and the most magical things happen such as a bird who can recreate a whole orchestra perfectly and a machine that can make the thoughts of a cricket come to life. There are only four episodes so far but it’s pretty good so far. The janitor is my favourite and he just shares stories about his life that only make me want to get to know him better which is nice. The french accents also make me really happy. New episodes come out every other Wednesday and I high recommend it. 

Podcasts I haven’t started but are on my list

Homecoming 

Lore

The Penumbra Podcast

Return Home

Our Fair City

LifeAfter 

I wanted to make this in case anyone was interested with what I was listening to and I would like recommendations with podcasts because I’m always looking for new podcasts to listen to

Can I just say...

You guys, not gonna lie, I’m a decent amount disappointed with a number of you. Yana puts her heart and soul into her work and just because this theory was confirmed, you start leaving her?

That is a ridiculous concept to me. It’s okay to not like the idea of it but seriously, guys, trust in Yana that she has big plans for this. Don’t set Black Butler aside because this makes you uncomfortable, that’s what she’s TRYING to do. She wants to make us uncomfortable so the manga can take a turn.

This is hardly cliché. People are saying it is but let’s be honest. Yana executed the setup brilliantly. Hints as far back as the CIRCUS arc. She’s planned this for a while. And with how Black Butler has gone so far, this is a truly interesting turn. She constantly reminds us “Once something is truly lost, one can never get it back again.” Which is blown away by this new concept and that’s what she’s TRYING to do. Make it shocking because something that was so solid in the series, in real life, is blown out of the water. It’s supposed to distort us. It’s supposed to have us on edge.

You guys who are leaving the series behind because of this turn… You really didn’t have that much faith in the series to begin with, did you. You need to trust in Yana that she will take this to a most interesting length. Not only that but this has felt like such an important step in the series that there’s not a doubt in my mind that this will take our characters another step towards exacting Ciel’s revenge. And that’s exciting to begin with.

I’ve been hearing a lot from Japanese fans saying how ridiculous westerners have been taking this. And I couldn’t agree more, you guys. You have unrealistic expectations for a series that it always has to be satisfying, always has to fit your ideals. But that is never true. Yana took a leap with this one because she has plans. Because she knows what she’s doing. Because it’s HER series and not yours. This twist has opened so many doors that I don’t think all of you are thinking about. It has so much potential to be a true challenge to our young Earl who normally sits on top, always one step ahead with Sebastian by his side. This has put our boy in a completely different spot. Wait to see how this turns out. Wait to see where Yana takes this. Wait to see where Ciel ends up next.

Trust in Yana.

Black Girl, NYC

Greetings people. I identify as a Black female who was born and raised in NYC. I am slowly progressing through my study of education and history in college. Other then that, I spend (probably) an unhealthy amount of time reading and writing sci fi and fantasy. But by high school, I got sick and tired of the same story featuring blonds and brunettes saving the day with their straight, lean male heroes so I turned to my librarian seeking something new. She pointed to Octavia Butler and the rest was history. I’ve been seeking diversity in media ever since.

Family life and Culture

I grew as the middle child of six siblings with my single mother and grandparents. Yes, my working-class household fits the stereotype. We even have an absent father *sighs* But, hey shit happens. And with the biological father turns out not to be the best father figure, shit had to go right out the door. Yup. But make no mistake that this is a norm. Most households on my block do have both parents involved in their children’s lives. Our circumstances called for us to have one. That’s all.

The house was full, loud and rambunctious. We made up a good portion of the children on the block (unsurprising) and basically ran it. There’s a whole novel that could be fleshed out of my childhood if I wanted to. Our neighborhood is very tight knit. Next door neighbors were treated like Aunts and Uncles. When summer came around, we were sometimes divided into groups as the parents who were off from work overlooked us while braiding our heads. Blackouts became an all night bbq and sleepover on each other’s porches. Crooklyn by Spike Lee was a good representation of what it was like in fact. Somewhat. Minus the brownstones, plus a couple more fights (lol).

My grandma was a nurse who’s pretty big on us knowing our family history. She made sure to talk a lot about our Gullah Geechee roots. We also had some Dominican culture influence since her closest friend and our Madrina was, well, Dominican. But she is fairly strict on gender norms and how my sisters and I should act especially with brothers. She antagonized me the most growing up because I continued to ignore this. We don’t get along but i can’t say i don’t get why she’s the way she is. She has a pretty dark past. My mother, a latchkey kid of the finest stock, is more laid back and gives all of us free range to make our own mistakes. Most times. Other times, she’d rather lecture us. Depends on our crime.

I don’t know what my grandpa used to do. He retired waaaaay before my grandmother. I also don’t know much about his culture. He’s 1st gen Jamaican who fully assimilated into American culture. Well, beside his food choices. Now, he gambles and goes to church. When I was younger, he used to teach us how to gamble too. And how to cheat and not get caught. We got a lot of free fast food while he taught us. He has gotten more frugal the older he got. And more isolated.

Dating and Relationships.

I don’t date. I have no interest. Well, no, that’s not exactly true. I’ve considered it but I rather have not seek out anything outside of platonic right now. I have a tight knit circle of friends and several other groups of friends I associate with depending on the activity. I’m realizing it seems like I’m using the term “friends” loosely but I swear I’m not. I’m a virgin and I feel nothing about being one until someone goes “*gasp* You’re a virgin really?” and then I end up on high defense saying “So?” Believe or not, that messed with me a lot.

My love life and lack of interest in having one has always been a struggle. In middle school, the group of friends I hung with were becoming more infatuated with love and sex. Yes, middle school, fifth through eighth grade, ages nine to thirteen. But, when they would talked about who’s hot or not, they would look at me funny when I didn’t join in the discussion. Instead of explaining myself, I simply copied other’s reactions and gushed along with them. This instinct followed me through High school til stopped out of annoyance. I became a listener and adviser in their relationships because I really do love stories in many shapes and forms. And I would never turn down hearing a story.

Language

My primary language is English and AAVE. I’ve been living in a neighborhood filled with Blacks and Latinx. Most of my friends are Black and Lantinx. I didn’t meet a white person my age until college. Okay that’s a partial lie. I’ve been in a summer camp that was made up of predominantly white children. But as the only black kid in my age range, I was sorta uncomfortable. I never made lasting friends there. After High School, I spent a year abroad in Tena, Ecuador where I learned Spanish and Kichwa. I still suck at both languages.

Clothing

Lots of my clothes when I was younger were borrowed or hand-me-downs. Half of them still are. It’s like thrift shopping without the hiked prices thanks to its popularity by rich white people (Thanks rich white people!) All my siblings’ taste varies. In my case, I’m fond of combining loose and tight clothing (tight jeans and a loose sweater/ baggy jeans and a tight top). No makeup. Silver accessories.

I used to have a short bob cut permed. I hated it. But I rather a perm then getting my hair straightened with a hot comb because the back of my neck and big ears would always get burned. It wasn’t until I made a friend with a natural afro that I realized my natural hair was even an option.

Academics

Lol I was a nerd with bad grades.

Religion

My family practices Santeria, which has historical roots in both Catholicism and Yoruba thanks to slavery (Yay slavery!). However, because the religion is not fully accepted or well-known, I tend to say I’m simply Catholic if asked. Apparently, a Black Catholic is hard to believe. It is assumed all Black folks are Baptists or some branch of Christianity. I have no idea where that stereotype came from. But I can give some guess. (*cough cough* Tyler Perry….).  

As I stated before, I love scifi and fantasy. I especially love urban fantasy involving witches. I blame this love on Practical Magic and Eve’s Bayou, my childhood faves. It’s because of this love that I wish to see more stories with witches of color. And no, I don’t mean that one evil/mysterious southern/Caribbean Voodoo/Hoodoo witch hollywood loves to portray so much. That always plays into the “Black is evil” trope. Give me some damn variety!

I would squeal so hard if the mythology involved in a story isn’t even Eurocentric. I’m not joking. This is serious. When my religion was simply hinted at in the Raven Boys series (It was also a great way of making even more obvious that the character was definitely not white.) and Kenya Wright’s Habitat series, I squealed. All the authors did was write the names of some of the Orishas and I couldn’t help but put my phone down for a moment and inwardly scream with glee. That being said, if a writer does decide to use afrocentric or any religion involving “witchcraft” as a basis, I would personally ask that they make sure is is not a closed religion.

Santeria is, in fact, a closed religion. And while I don’t mind mentions of it in fantasy and even a main character stating they practice it, do not go any further than that. Don’t even research the practices within the religion other than what is public knowledge (And if you don’t have any public knowledge, just ask) Respect that there’s a limit. Anything further spelunking  is consider rude, disgusting, disrespectful and dangerous. There’s things that I don’t even know because I haven’t been properly initiated. And the internet has a lot of these practices exposed when it shouldn’t be so please don’t look into it. Please.

Food

Most of the cooking in the house has been done by my grandmother. Because of her various relationships, our food has always been a mixture of Black American, Gullah, Lantinx and Caribbean influences. It is so good. So, so good!

The only thing I don’t eat of hers is her seafood gumbo because I don’t like shellfish. One of my sisters said I should have my “black card” taken for my distaste. I said she could take it if she can name more black movies than me. She still can’t take it. My other sister wishes we could switch places because she loves crab but is allergic. The crazy girl actually sends her husband to buy some benadryl so she can eat some if we ever have some on the table. Smh. Siblings.  

Holidays

My family on both sides are quite fond of reunions. On my grandpa’s side, the family uses Fourth of July and Christmas to get together. On my grandma’s side, they tend to host annual summer reunion and send out RSVP invitations complete with schedules of the whole two to three day event. I didn’t mention this under my family life, but both sides of my family are boujee to different degrees. Lots of black sorors and frats members on both sides. I can’t believe that slipped my mind typing.

I’m a little iffy with Christmas. It’s more of a holiday for the older generation and our niece and nephews. The younger generation, however, don’t particularly care for the holiday. For some of us, it’s because it’s not really Jesus’s Birthday and Santa was whitewashed. For others, it’s because we don’t care to feed into the corporate holiday. For most of us, it’s a combination of the two. But we do love getting together when we can. My older sister and I have conspired to celebrate kwanzaa instead for the past two years. So far, it hasn’t grasped the interest of anyone else in the family.

Struggles

  • Being nerds from a young age, my siblings and I have been called “Oreos” or“Not really black” by kids in school on more than one occasion. We shut them down by fighting. Probably not the best strategy but it was best one I could think of in middle school and below. Made it easier to go back to reading my manga.

  • I got compared to my sisters a lot. It was the absolutely most annoying thing ever. And a major source of my insecurities growing older.

  • Need I address colorism? My highschool was filled with it. #TeamLight v #TeamDark. I was on neither team, because in the region I live, skin color was a pretty long spectrum. I fell in the between. Who came up with this?

  • I’ll admit it. I hate my own tears. They make me feel weak. Which isn’t true…I know. But, it is a mentality I always had. I have depression and PTSD. This isn’t really a secret. I tell people if I’m asked. But have you ever had someone look at you and say, “Really? You don’t seem like the type.” ……

  • I am a black female. I’ve been labelled “Strong” and “Independent” the older I got. By my mother. By my siblings. By my peers. And I get those labels. Even from friends. I loved those labels. I call myself by those labels. I mean, who doesn’t want to be seen as strong and independent? Those are positive affirmations, right? I think they would be. If that wasn’t all the positive labels we could get. Somehow, society has decided we are beings that are incapable of being multifaceted. I was indirectly taught to hate my own tears because black girls don’t cry. You can’t cry and be strong. What a terrible mantra fed to black girl at a young age. So, instead you tell everyone “It’s fine.”

I told my therapist it was fine. Until she told me straight up it was not fine. And it was okay to cry. I don’t like to cry. But I still (involuntarily) did it.

Things I’d like to see less of/Things I’d like to see more of:

  • I’m sick and tired of seeing black and latinx folks being portrayed as only fantasy gangs members. We are not only gang members. That’s a terrible popular myth the media put out there and I hate it even more so when it’s portrayed in SFF genre..

  • I’m tired of having one black person in a novel being described as having skin the color of “midnight.” And he’s (it’s always a he) not even that important to the story

  • I hate how every time someone decides to add a person of color, they have to be ambiguous brown. I’m not saying ambiguously brown don’t exist and don’t need representation but is it really that had for a dark brown skin person to play a major role in a story that’s not about slavery? Speaking of which….

  • Why we always gotta be slaves? Or better yet….

  • Why don’t we exist at all in High fantasy stories? Urban fantasy? Brooklyn wasn’t always the gentrified white town it is now. Still isn’t. How are you erasing people of color from NYC??? We make up way too much of the population to be completely erased

  • Stop racial coding other creatures to surround your white human characters. Especially as the bad guys. That’s just shitty writing. Step up your game!

  • I love Black love

  • I love Gay love. I wish more would follow moonlight’s example and show poc are gay too and gay doesn’t always equal to stereotypical femininity.

  • I love interracial love HOWEVER, can we pair people of color with other people of color as well? I’m starting to hate seeing it always a white person paired with a Poc. Variety damnit!

  • Friendships between boys and girls that don’t transform into love.

  • Friendships between girls that didn’t start out as a rivalry.

  • Different body types besides the skinny and tall. Make a main character that’s fat for once. It’s not a problem.

  • Magical characters of color that aren’t “Noble Savages” or “Wise Monks” that used their magic for personal gain for once instead of waiting for the white hero to come.

  • Nerdy black characters who aren’t 100% competent and cries. One that isn’t in a five token band that always gonna be compare to the white main character. Make the nerd the main character!

That’s all I can think of at the top of my head. But my list really does go on. 

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.

cassian/jyn fic recs by MUTUAL PINING TROPES

I told an anon that I wouldn’t be doing this, yet here we are. This fic rec list is dedicated to fandom’s dedication to mutual pining + tropes that shove Cassian and Jyn together. All are either post-Scarif AUs, or canon missing scenes.

In brief:

fake making-out
like real people do by mollivanders ( @ladytharen​​) 3.4K
It’s a Classic for a Reason by mosylu ( @mosylufanfic​​). 0.4K, oneshot
Faking It by mosylu ( @mosylufanfic​) 2.8k, oneshot

sharing a bed
The Second Mission: Cold and Codependent by angel_deux. 26K words, complete.
semantics (series) by katsumi ( @leralynne​​). 4 oneshots.
the quiet we hold by ithacas ( @dazy-laze​​). 12K, oneshot
Cold, Cold Nights by Felurian. 2.4K, oneshot
we were secrets to keep by mollivanders ( @ladytharen​​)
Finding Myself (And Maybe You) (series) by Copper_Nails (Her_Madjesty) ( @coppernailpolish​​). 5 oneshots.
Remastered by Lafayette1777 ( @lafayette1777​​) 9.7K, oneshot
5 times Cassian and Jyn shared a bed by Moonprincess92 ( @moonprincess92nz​​) 4K, oneshot
Crash into You by jeeno2 ( @jeeno2) 8K, complete
the benefits of conversation by ignitesthestars ( @ignitesthestars​​). 1k, oneshot
falling together by ninemoons42 ( @ninemoons42) 4.7K, oneshot
Before I Wake, Before the Dawn by redfantasyfox ( @redfantasyfox​) 6K, oneshot

fake relationship
compromise by ignitesthestars ( @ignitesthestars​​). 2.6K, WIP

hurt/comfort (i.e. taking care of one another)
cover me, I’ll cover you by mollivanders ( @ladytharen​) 3.4k, oneshot
Hoarse by Selkit ( @coppermarigolds​). 2k, oneshot
Bloody Little Worms by Kobo ( @rxbxlcaptain​). 2.7K, oneshot
Closer by muggleindenial28 ( @jyn-mother-fucking-andor​). 3.3K, oneshot
what is decayed in you shall be made clean by imgoingtocrash ( @imgoingtocrash​) 2.3k, oneshot.
Two Hours by vaultfox ( @vaultfox​) 4.4K, oneshot
flight lessons by ignitesthestars ( @ignitesthestars​) 1K, oneshot
There For You by guineapiggie ( @ruby-red-inky-blue). 1.9K, oneshot

back from the dead
We Can Turn Over and Start Again by kyrdwyn. 13K, WIP
you are your father’s daughter by gingergenower ( @gingergenower​​). 1K, oneshot
Fifteen Days by clashofqueens. 1.1K, oneshot
untitled by @hurricanedancer​​. oneshot.

caught in the act
Caught in the Act by jeeno2 ( @jeeno2). 700 words, oneshot
A Million More Deaths by starforged ( @starforged​​) 3.2K, oneshot
‘cause i’ve been banging on the walls, i’m too dry to cry by youareiron_andyouarestrong ( @youareiron-andyouarestrong​). 500 words, oneshot

sex pollen
Dust by impertinence ( @stopthatimp​). 1.6K, oneshot
Color My Cheeks by Copper_Nails (Her_Madjesty) ( @coppernailpolish) 29K, complete

mutual pining co-dependence (that doesn’t fit anywhere else)
run to me in the rising dawn by katsumi ( @leralynne​) 4.9k, oneshot
Alternatively, by ibohemianam. 10K, WIP
We’ve Been Here Before by angel_deux. 2.5k, complete
my knees are cold (running home) by filzsimmons ( @jynersq). 7.3K, oneshot
Take Shelter by nymja ( @gizkasparadise​) 20K, complete

Notes on the recs below:

Keep reading

Romance Manga

Here are some fabulous shojo romance choices to keep you warm and cuddly! Enjoy! (No particular order)

Haru No Ride

Reason to read: The struggles the characters face are real. Futaba struggles with her identity, and Kou with his family and self-worth. We get to see these two characters fall in love and get many satisfying romantic moments! 


Wolf Girl and Black Prince 

Reason to read: At first, I wasn’t a fan of this one, but I am glad I gave it a second chance because this manga is freaking fantastic. The dynamic between the two has a rocky start but romance and reciprocated feelings soon ensure. Another great thing is that this manga actually mentions (and may in the future show) sex, unlike many shojo that tend to pretend that it does not exist. 


Ouran High School Host Club 

Reason to read: If you haven’t seen the fabulous anime, then go watch it and come back and read it. Your welcome. If you have seen it, then we all know what that final scene was missing. Do not fret! For this manga continues the antics and the romance! Everything from the characters to the plot are perfect in this manga and I can say with complete confidence that this manga has the most satisfying, heart-warming ending of any manga I have ever read. 


Nodame Cantabile 

Reason to read: I do not play an instrument and have never listened to classical music, but this manga gave me a profound appreciation for that world. Nodame is by far the most unique and interesting heroine I have come across in manga, and her relationship with Chiaki is great because the love takes a while to blossom, but that makes it a lot sweeter. There is a 3 season long anime series that I watched and enjoyed and I actually do believe that watching it might be a better option because this show does involve music, but the manga has a lot of spicy details that are fun to come back to after watching! 


Hibi Chouchou 

Reason to read: This manga is not everyone’s cup of tea, but those who like it LOVE it! The reason this manga polarizes people is because both protagonists are extremely quiet and shy, so we get a lot of glimpses into their thoughts and wishes, but not a lot of actual dialogue. The reason everyone should give it a try is because it really is an accurate depiction of the struggles of shy love and is really well drawn and cute.  


Kamisama Hajimemashita 

Reason to read: Nanami proves that a cute face and dainty demeanor does not define her level of strength. Tomoe and her relationship grow so naturally and the special circumstances they are in makes the reader really want to root for them. 


Horimiya 

Reason to read: Hori and Miyamura show each other sides of themselves that no one knows and they become essential parts of each others lives. They are so freaking cute together!


Your Lie in April 

Reason to read: First of all, I REALLY recommend watching the anime first. Our protagonists are musicians so if you actually want to hear their music, the anime is the best option. I would recommend reading the manga after watching the anime if you want to relive the pain good feelings. The strange thing about this show/manga is that technically, it is categorized as a “shonen” which automatically makes me think of lots of boobs and butts, but this show is an innocent and lovely choice for any reader! WARNING: sadness inside. 


Kaichou wa Maid Sama! 

Reason to read: Misaki is one of the most kick-ass girl characters. She juggles being the student council president with great grades and a job at a maid cafe all while her home life crumbles. Usui and Misaki are one of my favorite manga couples because they truly deserve each other! 


Akagami no Shirayukihime 

Reason to read: Shirayuki may look like a weakling, but she is actually mentally strong and incredibly brave. I have not read too much of this manga yet, but so far I like what I see, and since I always spoil stuff for myself, I know for a fact that love is around the river bend! 


Cherry Boy, That Girl 

Reason to Read: First of all, this is a Korean manhwa, not a manga, so you read it left to right. This freaking work of art…I love this manhwa. It has it all, twists, turns, love, deceit, tricks, and treats galore, all wrapped up in fully colored chapters!


Last Game

Reason to read: OMGGGGG. It all started when Kujou knocked Yanagi off of his high-horse by beating him in almost everything: school, sports, and the like. Yanagai was one of those boys who has talent, but mostly gets what he wants because he is rich. Then Kujou comes out of nowhere and with her ordinary, plain-jane looks steals his pride without really trying at all. From that moment, Yanagi has followed Kujou to high school and now college to try to win the Last Game. Yanagi is the true gem of this manga because unlike in many shojo romances, it is actually told from the boy’s perspective and the boy falls in love first. 


Special A

Reason to read: This is literally the epitome of the classic “competition –> love” scenario…and I love it. The charm of this manga is all of the different love stories that blossom between all of the other characters. There is a good anime for this show, but the manga is a tad better.    

Please stop the hate for Touka

The amount of hate for Touka in the ship tag is ridiculous, like people straight up wish her to die because her relationship with Kaneki is “unhealthy” and “abusive” or just so that their ships won’t go down. Meanwhile Touka was the one who trained Kaneki when he first became a ghoul, who risked her life to save him from Aogiri, and also the one who decided to wait for him if Kaneki ever returned and built :re as a place he could call home.

She even went so far as saying she would have sex with him if it meant he could have a reason to stay and know that people truly cared about him. Touka is neither insane nor obsessed, she had grown out of her bitter phase towards CCG in TG and become a calm and more understanding person in TG: re who knows what she wants, who wishes for Kaneki to live and is willing to stay by his side no matter what.

And all of that was unhealthy just because she hit Kaneki a few times or kept him waiting for a couple hours while she literally waited for him for 3 years without knowing whether or not he would come back, and even accepted to stay away if Kaneki could live peacefully as Haise? No, it is not.

 I get that you have your freedom of choosing whom to ship, and I don’t hate any of the ships within the fandom, but was it necessary to wish Touka dead while she has repeatedly been shown to be the only possible person Kaneki might have romantic feelings for throughout the series by Ishida himself since day one? Ship all you want, I don’t care, I know how it feels to ship non-canon couples or crack ships, but it does not mean insulting the female character is okay under any circumstances. That just makes shippers become ugly to the fandom. And even if she dies in the future, your ships have almost zero chance of becoming canon because this is not BL nor would it be the right direction of the manga. Ishida never states that Kaneki has romantic feelings for any male characters throughout the series, and suddenly having him fall in love with other female characters is just plain weird. Kaneki is someone who had been through so much that he hardly found romance in anyone anymore, Rize is basically a plot device and the cause for his tragic life, Akira and Amon are canon, Eto is presumably dead and had fucked Kaneki up badly before, Hinami is his little sister, Miza is a Aogiri member that barely interacted with him before Goat, Mutsuki is a bit fucked up in the head and someone he considers a student just as Saiko. Looking at the full picture of TG, Touka is the only woman who was fully established and developed alongside Kaneki as a possible love interest for him and explicitly told Kaneki she liked him that way. I mean, even his Haise personality had a crush on her. I perceive Haise as someone Kaneki would have become had he not been involved in the past tragedies, who actually had time to think about a love life and be happy as a normal person, and that side of him also chose Touka to be a love interest.

Canon evidence and yet people still think Kaneki won’t be happy with Touka by his side. This is the most healthy relationship Kaneki/Haise can possibly have within the messed up world of his already, and there is nothing more I love for Kaneki than to find someone who truly loves him and stays by his side so that he can develop into a more positive and cheerful person. So please, do not spread hate to the ship tag or Ishida just because your ships did not come true.

Yuri on Ice interview translation - Febri 2017/03 (p29-33)

Finally the interview from Febri is finished! I like Kubo’s interviews but I swear I don’t want to see any more for some time… This one is also mentioning a lot of stuff that I haven’t read in other interviews so far. It’s a bit long but definitely worth reading!

Translation is under the cut. I might fix the format a little later on to make it visually better, now I have to leave to go to Wonder Festival… (who needs sleep?).
If you have any questions about the interview feel free to message me.

***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***

Keep reading

Talks Machina (Episode 88 spoilers!)

Highlights from this week’s episode:

  • This week’s pre-show message from Denise: “Brian is a puppet and I’m pulling the strings.”
  • Overwatch mention! Brian shout-outs D.Va, Marisha’s all about Symmetra, Matt breaks out the McCree voice.
  • 1PM Saturday, much of CR will be playing Mansions of Madness on the stream, and Matt will be guesting on a show at 11AM as well.
  • Brian: Our special guest, Gil Ramirez. Marisha: (whispers) Don’t fuck us, Gil.
  • Gil was helping out in the twitch chat from episode one. He’s also been smithing for sixteen years!
  • Gil uses liquid mercury to balance his steel dice. Travis: …you just have liquid mercury hanging around?
  • Gil and Taliesin both have a periodic table collection.
  • Gil takes off his button-down to reveal a t-shirt that just reads “Don’t fuck me, Gil.” with “Dammit Gil!” on the back.
  • Gil pulls out cards that read “Malks Tachina” that are all sick burns on Brian.
  • 4:46:50 total gameplay time last week. VM had 936 total HP at the start of the kraken battle, ended with 70 total HP.
  • A fan points out the similarities between the kraken fight and the Kobayashi Maru in Star Trek–an unwinnable fight to see how you do under great pressure. Marisha points out that nobody is expected to do the Aramente alone, but they’re never told that explicitly, so Keyleth’s been figuring that out, and that was one of the big lessons here. When she decided to planeshift out, she had to trust that Grog was going to finish it without her. She’s been moving beyond her previous urge to be self-sacrificial.
  • Matt points out that if Keyleth had stayed, Grog probably would’ve stayed until the end, too, and things would’ve gone a lot worse.
  • Matt wasn’t playing the kraken to full intelligence (his argument being that the rules-as-written version is better suited to being a full-arc villain kind of deal), but if they’d decided to talk to it, it probably would’ve stalled long enough to get everyone exactly where it wanted them.
  • Travis on Tary not using Luck to reroll: Either he is the most genius, maniacal character in a long-running arc… or he just rolled shitty dice because Gil fucked him.
  • Keyleth would’ve rather failed the Aramente than kill the kraken or lose her party.
  • A question on screen flashes twice. Laura (who isn’t even on the show this week) immediately tweets “Two flashes!! Free Denise.”
  • Grog was trying to abide by Keyleth’s rules of not killing the thing, but his whole priority was getting Vax out, because he realized that not getting him out while he was unconscious might’ve meant losing his body for good. Matt points out that it worked out well that it was always Grog getting eaten, because he was more likely than most of the other party members to deal enough damage to get out.
  • Why didn’t the water ashari let Korren and Keyleth know Vilya was suspected dead? Matt starts to answer, then admits it’s mostly just to maintain narrative drama, because that’s how storytelling works.
  • Gil wonders whether one of the lodestones could be Keyleth’s mom. Marisha: …my mom is octopoo?
  • Grog’s decision on leaving Tary mostly boiled down to “…eh.” Grog didn’t mind too much that Percy made him go back for Tary, because he didn’t feel too strongly about leaving him behind, but there might be consequences once Friends wears off.
  • Keyleth would’ve definitely still planeshifted out if Grog and Vax’s positions had been reversed. She trusted that Vax would’ve managed to get out, too.
  • Travis’ wise words on the Raven Queen: “Didn’t she need the blood jacuzzi to get the thing going?”
  • Travis thinks Grog would be interested in participating in Vax’s ritual.
  • Travis was stoked for Vax to join the Dead Club, but he has no idea how it’s going to go because of the Raven Queen.
  • Matt re: people yelling about revivify/resurrection no matter the outcome: “I… mostly don’t care. I’m still a sensitive boy.”
  • Brian brings back the intro to the first episode, in which Matt points out that this is the continuation of a home-game and number-crunching shouldn’t be the priority. Of course, Critrolestats is an exception: “They keep track of the numbers we like.”
  • Brian: “Discussions are great, and we love talking about the show even if we disagree… but when it gets to be this weird thing where people are… it’s like, guys, you’re kind of embarrassing yourself. Like, give me a break, dad. Maybe intense scrutiny of a D&D game that’s on the internet isn’t the best way to live your life.”
  • Travis: “I’ll never go on [reddit]. It requires reading, right?”
  • Matt thinks the kraken was probably watching the party for a while, and then Tary’s natural one was a focus point. If they hadn’t failed that challenge, they might’ve had to fight it as they were escaping.
  • The one spell Marisha forgot to write down on her spell sheet was Freedom of Movement, which would’ve been incredibly clutch in the fight. Matt forgot about it, too.
  • Matt points out that everyone had an extremely stressful week leading up to that episode. Brian mentions that he’s known everyone for a while, now, and they all generally act the same on-screen as they do off-screen, so they’re not gonna be putting on an act. Sometimes you just get a bit of a slog playing D&D when everyone’s exhausted, but it can still be fun as long as people aren’t going over every decision with a magnifying glass.
  • SURPRISE ASHLEY WITH AMAZING HAT ON AFTER-DARK

After dark:

  • The first shot after the break is just a close-up of Trinket.
  • Matt to Travis, in one of the best out-of-context quotes thus far: “So what you’re saying is that your deviantart is full of vore?”
  • If Grog had an intelligence of 20 for 24 hours, he’d probably go down to Percy’s workshop and build something.
  • Matt ran a session pre-stream that was just Pike and Vax, in which the two of them had to fight a chimera. There was also one that was just Vax, Scanlan, and Pike.
  • If Grog had been left behind and died, Ashley thinks Pike would’ve pulled a Scanlan and left the party, then would’ve gone to go live under the sea until she found him, and would’ve kept his body until she got True Resurrection, “even if it took a hundred years”, so she could bring him back.
  • Matt re: Keyleth being the only one who hasn’t died: “No, there’s a reason for that. Because she’s my fiancee and I give her special treatment.” Marisha: “Don’t say that even in jest!” Matt: “No, if that were true, I wouldn’t sleep on the couch as often.” Marisha: “They’ll believe that, too! They’ll actually think that’s true!”
  • Ten or higher on that saving throw and Grog would’ve died in the kraken. Matt rolled a nine (which is why he tweeted the picture).
  • Marisha’s biggest fear re: ways for her character to die was tripping and falling in lava, which just about happened, so almost anything else would’ve been okay in comparison. Brian: “Keyleth died doing what she loved: a series of errors.” Marisha: “Failing.”
  • Travis’s Xbox gamertag is MeatyAlbatross.
Enrique’s recommended cartoon list

The Amazing World of Gumball

A love letter to animation through and through! Using CGI, traditional animation, flash, stop motion, puppets, clay animation, among others, a show solely created to exploit and push the possibilities this wonderful medium offers, with top-notch tongue-in-cheek humor alongside more slapstick one, that can make you feel when itself to do so in ways that never feel manipulative, the best from both Europe and America.

Courage the Cowardly Dog

Like Gumball, another love letter to animation, but with the added bonus that it’s also a love letter to classic horror films; very surreal, experimental at times, with a writing that can take you anywhere, from scaring the shit out of you, leave you uneasy, leave you uncomfortable, to just downright bittersweet feelings that never once feel forced or hamfisted, the only Cartoon Network show that has ever been nominated to an Oscar. 

Ed, Edd & Eddy

It’s surreal as fuck and it captures the feel of the old, golden era shows from the 30′s and 40′s, plus it has the best ending of a cartoon I’ve ever seen.

Harvey Beaks

It’s cute, it’s uniquely animated, it’s chock full of great characters, and it will constantly remind you of how great it was being a kid; plus, it has the thirstiest, gayest fucking bunny rabbit you’ll ever see, and you will love every second of his appearances. It’s the purest cartoon you’ll ever get to see!

King of the Hill

Relatable characters, relatable storylines, absurd situations that nevertheless always feel real enough, an MC that couldn’t be more different than us, and yet we one way or the other end up identifying with, one fo the very few adult cartoons that don’t have to rely on violence or sex to convey a mature feeling.

Star vs the Forces of Evil

Basically, america taking the magical girls genre from Japan, and just doing it right. The animation goes to shit around mid-season 1, but it recovers in season 2, the writing, however, just improves. One of the very few shows to pull off romance right, and with a constant knack at game-changing events after each season, a true example of how to do overarching plots that actually respect the audience. 

Rick and Morty

Basically everything Futurama ever wanted to be: A love letter to sci fi, with dark yet compelling storylines that are always fun as fuck, fundamentally broken characters that continually evolve without losing their essences, gracious violence, lack of reliance on tired tropes, and surprisingly emotional moments that never feel out of place nor forced. 

Golan the Insatiable.

Uniquely animated, with a very bizarre, borderline ADHD writing that nonetheless always keeps it entertaining, a pity it’s so short.

Samurai Jack

While the current season is the best animated series I’ve ever seen period, the older seasons are just a great, if much more lighthearted and a bit unfocused (mostly due to the old setup of stand-alone episodes), and while it’s true you can watch the new episodes without watching the older ones, as the season has been designed to be enjoyed like that, you can get a much better view of Jack and his current struggles by knowing what he already went through and how he used to tackle his old challenges, which makes the new ones much more striking.

Edit: Having finished season 5, I must say, the first half is still the best animated series I’ve seen period, the second, however, now belongs in the mentions with an *.

Wander Over Yonder

The closest we got to a return of the old slapstick-era cartoons of the golden age, at first a bit superficial, but as the series progresses you learn to love all of its characters, which all go through their own character arcs, alongside a big overarching plot that spans the entire second season, with an excellent ending worthy of its legacy. 

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy

An everpresent dark humor that never takes itself too seriously, broken unlikable characters you will learn to love, a constant improvement in the animation as the show moves forward, an expanded secondary cast that help bring a breath of fresh air to the formula, and just plain awesome movies and crossovers. 

Clarence

A completely slice of life show that just works! Sure, the MC can get annoying, and the first season relies too heavily on gross-out humor, but from the second season the show finds its footing, with characters that are just filled with personality, settings that vary from mundane to just complete bizarre and yet always feel like part of the same universe, and plots that just serve to remind you how it felt to be a kid. Plus, there’s a teacher character that’s completely broken, and yet she always ends up being the most competent character of them all!

And finally, special mentions with a big asterisk:

The Loud House

At its core, it’s a great, unique show with a diverse cast of characters and an interesting animation that while simplistic, has a ton of charm, and when its properly exploited, is fun as hell, but sadly, more often that not it falls into old, tired tropes, making it a frustrating chore to watch, and so far those episodes outnumber the good ones, so it’s still a mixed bag.

Gravity Falls

Everyone and their mom will tell you this is the greatest cartoon ever made, but once you disregard the “muh deepest lore” and “muh mysteries”, it kinda falls apart, mainly due to an overfocus on the first MC, Dipper, heavily distracting from most of the lore in many episodes, the complete flanderization of the second MC, Mabel, originally a great character with tons of charm that eventually devolves into a selfish bastard that never learns from her mistakes or faces consequences for her actions, and finally, a lackluster second half of the final season that kinda throws away all the build-up lore and mysteries. 

Phineas and Ferb

Great songs, great characters, very creative settings, and a fucking Top Gear’s trio cameo! But man if the formula just gets old, some of the songs are just god-awful, and many neat concepts and characters get terribly underused in favor of the same old tropes. Plus the simplistic designs of the main characters tend to clash a lot with the more polished ones found in later seasons. 

This was actually harder for me to put together than the French and Spanish ones, as I don’t listen to much “modern” Italian music, and I feel that’s what learners would like to have some advice on. In the end, I mostly went for classics, I hope you can forgive me ;) As usual, the playlist is only half-serious, and I tried to include links to videos featuring both the Italian lyrics and the English translation when I could. Enjoy!

Also in this series: Random music in French | Spanish

  • Mina – also known as the Tiger of Cremona, she’s been called the greatest Italian singer of all time, so I’d say her songs are definitely worth a listen. Famous titles are Tintarella di luna [x], Se telefonando [x] and Città vuota [x].
  • Fabrizio De André – probably the most famous Italian songwriter ever, and a crowd favorite for sure. Listen to his works if you’re looking for melancholic tunes and thought-provoking lyrics; I’d recommend Il testamento di Tito [x], La canzone di Marinella [x] and Fiume Sand Creek [x] (but honestly I’d recommend his whole discography and I’ll always be glad to translate his songs if anyone wants me to).
  • Francesco Guccini – another great songwriter. L’avvelenata [x] is what you want to listen to if you wanna learn some swear words (or if you just need to vent), Canzone per un’amica [x] might kill you inside if you’re like me, and Auschwitz [x] is a powerful but delicate ballad about the death of a boy in a concentration camp.
  • Mia Martini – one of the most soulful voices in our musical history, who died in the Nineties under circumstances that to this day are still not completely clear, many great lyricists wrote for her. In her repertoire you’ll find hits like Minuetto [x], Almeno tu nell’universo [x] and Piccolo uomo [x].
  • Lucio Dalla – keeping in line with the Italian songwriting tradition, here’s another household name. Listen to 4/3/1943 [x], Caruso [x] and L’Anno che verrà [x] (here sung in a duet with Francesco De Gregori, yet another singer-songwriter).
  • Tiziano Ferro – so, here’s an artist that’s still consistently active nowadays (I’m more versed in his earlier songs, though). If you know how to scream-sing at least the chorus of Sere nere [x] you’ll blend among Italians in no time; Non me lo so spiegare [x] is also a classic, as can be said of E fuori è buio [x].
  • Laura Pausini – possibly one of the best known Italian singers worldwide right now. Her big breakout song, La solitudine [x], is now a cult. Strani amori [x] and Simili [x] are also worth mentioning.
  • Caparezza – the first rapper on this list! Cool lyrics and quite far from stereotypes, but not the easiest to understand, I’d recommend him (strongly) to more advanced learners. Among his older songs I like best, Vieni a ballare in Puglia [x], Eroe [x] and Legalize the Premier [x].
  • Elisa – beautiful, melodic voice. Luce [x], Ti vorrei sollevare [x] and Eppure sentire [x].
  • Rino Gaetano – a voice with a raspy quality to it with which many a generation has fallen in love. Listen to A mano a mano [x], Ma il cielo è sempre più blu [x] and Gianna [x].
  • Fiorella Mannoia – Quello che le donne non dicono [x] and Il cielo d’Irlanda [x] are old hits of her, a more recent one is Combattente [x].
  • Jovanotti – funky, alternative hip-hop, pop. Check out Penso positivo [x] (old and upbeat one), Sabato [x], and A te [x] (the song everyone was dedicating to their friend/significant other/cat when it came out).
  • Baustelle – indie rock group. Personally, I like Gli spietati [x], La guerra è finita [x] and Le rane [x].
  • Eros Ramazzotti – he was only twenty-one years old when he first competed in the Sanremo festival with Terra Promessa [x]. You can also check out Adesso tu [x] or Più bella cosa [x].
  • Gianna Nannini – have a look at Fotoromanza [x], Bello e impossibile [x] and Sei nell’anima [x].
  • Max Gazzè – I almost forgot about him! Witty, generally upbeat and fun (but also interesting) to listen to. La vita com’è [x], Sotto casa [x] and Teresa [x] are cool songs of his.

BONUS – random songs I like (and more)

  • Alice [x] – we mentioned De Gregori, and this is one of my favorite songs of his (but there are many more! Rimmel, Niente da capire, Generale…).
  • Per Elisa [x] – singing this one is an artist called Alice, haha. You’ve got to watch the video, she makes the funniest/most badass faces.
  • La terra dei cachi [x] – by Elio e le storie tese, pretty emblematic as far as the Italian spirit is concerned. Might be a little tough to catch, though.
  • La bambola [x] – there had to be some Patty Pravo in this. “The girl from the Piper club”, as she was known at the beginning of her career, is a true icon of Italian music.
  • Ti regalerò una rosa [x] – a touching ballad that won the Sanremo festival in 2007.
  • Controvento [x] – I’m not the biggest fan of Arisa’s songs, but I really enjoy this one.
  • Per tutta la vita [x] – I really like Noemi’s voice. Fun fact: she was the soloist in Disney Pixar’s Brave!
  • Luci a San Siro [x] – melancholic hymn to a lost romance and youth.
  • Notte prima degli esami [x] – Antonello Venditti making high school seniors emotional since 1984.
  • Triangolo [x] – the song that comes to every Italian’s mind whenever show writers throw in a daring love triangle.
  • Il gatto e la volpe [x] – Edoardo Bennato’s take on two well-known character from Pinocchio.
  • 50 special [x] – a classic, you’ll end up singing it to the top of your lungs with your high school friends sooner or later.
  • Gli anni [x] – basically, same as above (and it’s a rule that has a tendency to be valid for every 883 song).
  • Monna Lisa [x] – Ivan Graziani in one of his best performances.
  • Maledetta primavera [x] – come on, it’s called “Damned Springtime” and was covered in way more languages than I thought.
  • E la luna bussò [x] – sung by Loredana Berté, Mia Martini’s “edgier” younger sister.
  • …I could go on forever, but here’s a list I made featuring a bunch of songs that marked my childhood [x] (and probably those of many others Italian twenty-somethings).
  • I also translated I promessi sposi in dieci minuti [x]. You’ll find a thorough explanation of what this is in the link, but let me tell you that this epic mash-up features a lot of Italian hits, albeit with different lyrics, so it’s a great resource! If you want me to, I can write you down a list of songs that appear in it.
  • as I was making this list, I noticed that @langsandlit had just written a post suggesting many artists definitely worth checking out [x]. Give it a look, it’s really helpful and I agree with what he wrote (plus, there’s a significant section dedicated to contemporary artists).

There’d be many, maaany more (and I might make a second post soon, maybe slightly more concise haha), but that’s it for now!

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd recommend my top ten favorite romance anime.

1) NANA

A frank depiction of the love/sex life of a woman in her twenties, this anime follows badass, chain-smoking, aspiring punk rocker Nana, and her clumsy, feminine roommate of the same name as they struggle to find a meaningful connection with someone in the big city, and also find themselves. Features the struggle of love vs. career, the consequences of giving your heart (and body) to the wrong person, the difficulties of long-distance relationships, and the joy and pain of living on your own. 

Warning: depicts sex, drinking, smoking, domestic violence, and a male prostitute character. Not a show for kids or anyone uncomfortable with these subjects. 

2) Peach Girl

Teenage protagonist Momo takes absolutely zero shit from the characters around her, be it her love interests or her female rivals. That’s one of the reasons I love this series. It’s got an insanely complex and dramatic plot with a million twists and turns that would be impossible to explain concisely here, but the basics are this: Momo’s years on the swim team have bleached her hair and tanned her skin, making her think her crush, Toji, will never be attracted to her and the rest of the school think she’s a Barbie-copycat bimbo. Her “friend”, Sae, bullies her constantly, and her one actual friend, Kairi, is a perverted knucklehead who she can’t quite figure out her feelings for. How can she survive the minefield of rumors, miscommunications, and mean girls that is high school?

3) Suzuka

This anime is unusual in that it’s a love story (not a harem and/or ecchi series) told from the perspective of a teenage boy. Yamato falls in love at first sight with the beautiful Suzuka when he sees her practicing her high jump, and summarily joins the track team in an attempt to impress her. It….doesn’t work, at least not at first, but Yamato vows to keep trying, because she’s the only one for him. Yamato and Suzuka are also hilariously tsundere to each other and manage to say the exact worst thing at least a dozen times. XD But, there’s also a lot of real drama here that will hit you right in the feels. 

4) Uta no Prince-sama

This admittedly cheesy reverse-harem anime follows young Nanami’s quest to write songs worthy of the seven handsome musicians she attends performing arts school with, in hopes that one day they can all debut as idols together. Many of her scenes with these boys are incredibly romantic, despite the fact that not one of them actually kisses her in the entirety of the two currently available seasons. -_- This series is full of awesome J-Pop, beautifully animated bishies, and far more heart than you’d expect.

5) Kamigami no Asobi

Revolving around a mortal woman named Yui who is spirited away to an extradimensional island and commanded by Zeus to teach the value of humanity and love to gods from Greek, Norse, Japanese, and Egyptian mythology, this reverse-harem series starts out cute and fluffy and then heads right into Feels-and-Yandere Land with no goddam warning. It also has copious amounts of manservice. ;) I highly recommend it! 

6) B Gata H Kei

An extremely frank depiction of high-school sexuality that’s also over-the-top comedy, this anime tells the story of horny teenager Yamada, whose dreams of having casual, anonymous sex with as many boys as she can get her hands on (a total 180 from the usual blushing, innocent shoujo heroine). But, every sexually liberated woman has to start somewhere, and so Yamada chooses naive, awkward gentleman Kosuda (what a role reversal!) to be her first sexual experience. But, seducing him proves much harder than she initially imagined, because he’s the most oblivious boy on the planet! This series bravely features scenes other anime would consider taboo, like shopping for condoms and visiting a love hotel.  It’s also one of the funniest comedies I’ve ever watched.

Warning: contains nudity and arguably “ecchi” scenes. 

7) Fruits Basket

A shoujo classic suitable for any age group, this anime tells the heartwarming tale of how unfailingly optimistic orphan Tohru heals the emotional wounds of a beautiful but broken clan of cursed shapeshifters. 

8) AnoHana

You’ll bawl your eyes out over the tragic love between emotionally stunted Jintan and the ghost of his childhood friend, Menma, who he was never able to confess his true feelings for (and the unrequited-ish love of his other friend, Anaru, who still lives, but wonders if she can ever compete with Menma’s memory). 

9) Ouran High School Host Club

Another classic, this anime tells an unconventional but unforgettable love story about a blue-collar, arguably non-binary teen and the ultrarich, clueless coterie of boys who she forms a host club with. It’s half parodying comedy, half feelsy drama, and all awesome!

10) Princess Jellyfish

Tsukimi is an agoraphobic, extremely socially anxious, awkward, nerdy NEET girl with a bizzarre obsession with jellyfish. Kuranosuke is a rich, extroverted drag queen. You wouldn’t think they’d fall in love, but they do, and it’s one of those stories you just need to see. 

I definitely reccomend all ten of these anime to anyone!! Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, followers!!

Farewell, Pretty Little Liars.

Today is the day that we must finally say goodbye to Pretty Little Liars. With its never-ending theories and constant renewals, the PLL endgame always seemed like an intangible, abstract and theoretical concept that is just so far away, that it will simply never come. It feels so surreal to say that today is that day, which again, over the years, was never in sight. I thought watching Pretty Little Liars would just be some light, weekly, background entertainment. On June 8 2010, I did not truly know what crazy rollercoaster I had stumbled upon. Through numerous ups and downs, these past 7 years have certainly been unforgettable. If you told me seven years ago that a television show will have such a positive impact on my life, I would have laughed at you and called you dramatic. Tell me that today, and I’ll smile in appreciation at the positive influence and power a television show can bestow upon its viewers.

Not every show makes it to seven seasons, particularly mystery shows. Seven years is a long time. I started watching this show when I was 13, and I am now 19. (I realise I am probably very young in comparison to most other PLL fans!) Just to visually see this: Pretty Little Liars was with me while I was 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19. These are arguably some of the most important years of one’s life. As I grew, PLL grew too, in a literal sense, as we got a time jump where the characters matured, but also in figurative sense, since the stories gradually shifted from being high-school oriented to dark and twisted themed through a demented dollhouse and a psychologically straining board game. All while PLL was on the air, I graduated from primary school and high school, started university, got my driver’s license, my first job, credit card, car, gone overseas by myself, and made life-long friendships. Achieving all that never was easy, but it was made easier by PLL. If I ever struggled in my personal development, I always had PLL to fall back upon for psychological stability and security, aside from general entertainment. A part of me sees the end of PLL as if the training wheels are coming off my bike: for 7 years, I was learning how to become a young man, and now that I finally am one, I no longer need this safety rock that is PLL in order to continue developing.

This long, personal post is dedicated to me and my seven-year relationship with Pretty Little Liars.

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BTS Fic Recommendations

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

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

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

Hope you enjoy!

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April’s Featured Game: ARCADEA

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

Our Interview With The Dev Team Below The Cut!

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Ch 93: Not the end for Ymir?

Chapter 93 gave us the confirmation that Ymir has in fact been eaten by Galliard, Marcel’s brother, seemingly marking the ending point of her character once and for all. Given the context of the new episode, as well as the little focus or pages dedicated to her apparent last moments, many of us are very upset with the seemingly lackluster climax of her character arc; and her decision to abandon Historia to save RB and let herself be killed seems to go very much against everything her characterization according to many fans. 

The point of this post isn’t to argue about any of that, but instead, to illuminate a possible indicator that we may have not seen the last of everyone’s favorite goddess.

Please let us think back to chapter 50; one of the most impactfull and monumental chapters in the entire series, for many reasons. It marks the only time so far in the story that Eren has successfully manipulated the founding titan within him, the godlike power at the center of the current (and probably final) plot, aimed at his very first enemy; that alone marks a milestone in the series, not to speak of the various character interactions happening along the way. Among others, this chapter also marks the moment Ymir chooses to abandon Historia, the person she seems to care for more than anyone else, despite the fact that the coordinate marks a real hope for the walled world to survive the dangers Ymir is aware of. 

Now, despite the fact that this game changing power debuts in this chapter, the narrator this time around focuses on one arguably lesser important event: the aforementioned separation. Let’s look at it.

“At the time, we didn’t know what Ymir’s actions meant. But after that, the armored titan stopped chasing after us”-narrator, chapter 50.

This narration is interesting for various reasons. First of all, it marks one of the rare occasions in which the narrator is not impersonal, but in fact identifies with present characters. Other notable occasions of this include Kenny’s flashback in 69, and Eren’s description of the photograph in chapter 85 (both chapters with heavy plot and thematic value for the story, just like ch 50, if I may add). Here, the narrator refers to himself as part of a group, but opposes themselves against the armored titan, implying narrator is not part of RB’s team, but in fact of the Survey Corps escaping back to the walls (most likely part of the EMA, maybe even Armin himself considering Marina Inoue typically voices the narrator. We should hear that animated soon enough). 

That’s not the only thing the narrator is implying though. The use of the past tense as well as “at the time” is crucial. It literally means that, although they did not understand Ymir during chapter 50; at the time of narration, some form of understanding is clearly present. If, at the time of narration, the narrator was still as clueless as back then, there would be no need for “at the time” of past tense, but this particular formulation very much implies that an understanding of Ymir’s actions is very much there in the present time. And here’s the thing: even though Ymir’s death has been confirmed, our characters among which the narrator finds himself have yet to reach a point of understanding Ymir’s actions.

First of, let’s determine “Ymir’s actions”. Ymir herself is a big mystery to our cast, but according to the narrator, Ymir’s actions are what directly precedes the armored titan not following narrator and co; in which case, “Ymir’s actions” has to refer to her abandonment of Historia and her helping out R and B. In that case, the narration above implies the following: the narrator part of the surviving SC forces will eventually come to understand the meaning behind Ymir’s betrayal. Now, as of chapter 93, let’s ask the question: Does anyone present back then understand Ymir?

yeah……

Ymir herself expresses surprise at her actions, Ymir herself is unsure of her actions when writing the letter, which marks the most recent time anyone inside the walls has received information concerning Ymir. As of chapter 90, the last moment we spent with whomever the ch 50 narrator is, said narrator has yet to reach a point of understanding Ymir. OUR CAST STILL DOES NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF HER ACTIONS, AS FORETOLD BY CHAPTER 50. Isn’t that basically a confirmation that Ymir’s story isn’t done yet?

You may counterargue that its been 4 years and that Isa has changed his mind since, esp since he doesn’t want to drag the story out at anymore. But I find it so hard to believe that, in one of the most important chapters in the series, one that is still relevant to this day, the narrator focuses on this one plot point that simply ends up dropped over the course of the series. Chapter 50 is too important for that kind of redesign, wouldn’t you say? Who knows, maybe it’ll wind up different in the anime and will mark a retrofit by Isayama that fits better in line with 89 being the end of her story, but until we see it animated, I’ll chose to keep doubting that.

As for how Ymir’s story can still be told to our main cast? Here’s one possible option: Galliard

 According to the (admittedly bad) fan translation, Galliard understands Ymir and her wish to bring back her titan-something neither us readers nor the narrator in question do as of right now. Granted, this could just be terrible translation, but Galliard could wind up being the gateway between Ymir and the main cast. Or its something entirely different. In a story about time travelling memories, matter that forms out of thin air, and the literal power of a god capable of reshaping the planet and controlling an entire species, death seems like a far too small barrier to stop someone from being relevant to the story, one way or another.

Since the majority of this argument is based off the lines spoken by the narrator in 50, there is a minor chance this is all ridiculous blunder if the official translation turns out to somehow differ from the Japanese original, and if anyone knows if it does, I would appreciate if you could inform me. But otherwise, I personally will start taking those words from chapter 50 as heavy evidence Ymir’s story hasn’t fully been told yet. I don’t want to create false hopes for anyone, but until proven otherwise, I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to believe in it.