2. Answer the questions given by the person who tagged you
3. Write 11 questions of your own
4. TAG PEOPLE
1. Is there a book/movie that you’ve read/watched many times? Which one?
Boondock Saints. I honestly can’t even count how many times I watched it. Сan recite the entire script in my sleep. As for books, was crazy about Treasure Island as a kid. Read the shit outta that book.
2. What do you love most about your friends?
They don’t piss me off. Ever. It is the most meticulous selection of 100% chill people. I cherish them dearly.
3. Ever been a witness to someone doing something hella embarrassing? (You don’t have to tell anything about it)
Constantly. Although what I see as embarrassing most people consider normal behavior.
4. A fandom you didn’t think you would ever be a part of?
Hobbit, actually. If someone ever told me I’m gonna be yelling about small hairy people, I’d never believe that. Still, by far the best fandom experience I’ve ever had.
5. Do you have a “trash character” you like?
You probably expecting me to say ‘Izaya’ buuut I don’t consider him as such. At all. So I’m going with Ozzy Cobblepot of Gotham (TV). All hail the gutter king.
6. Pastel or Black?
Once you go black you never go back.
7. Pet peeves?
8. If you had one free wish what would it be? (Wishing for xx/endless wishes is not allowed)
To have no physical needs (eating/sleeping/etc). Being human is extremely tedious in that matter.
9. What are your favourite tropes/AUs for your ships?
I am a sucker for vampire AUs. Also mermaid AUs. It just never gets old. And generally that trope where one character is a supernatural being (especially if it’s carnivore) while another is a human and they struggle to communicate and interact without killing each other.
10. Are you an emotional person?
I…don’t know. My mental condition was fucked up for my entire life so I honestly can’t even tell anymore.
11. Are you more attracted to popular ships or rare pairs?
Rare pairs are my curse but sometimes I get lucky with popular ships. The curious part of it, for almost every rare pair there was that one dude who wrote/drew absolutely kick-ass stuff, way better in quality than most of popular ship garbage.
Tell me then:
1. Best day of your life 2. Earliest childhood memory 3. Most stressful experience 4. Most relatable quote 5. Scariest movie you’ve seen 6. Person/people who restores your faith in humanity 7. Something you could literally kill for 8. Most beautiful person you’ve ever seen 9. Any phobias? 10. Place you feel most safe at 11. Last thing that made you laugh to tears.
If you’re interested in neuroscience or psychology, I’d highly reccomend any book by Oliver Sacks! I get asked a lot about books to read so you can also check out this video I made with my top 7 and this masterpost which includes websites where you can learn more!
For centuries, physicians have been fascinated by the many manifestations of migraine, and especially by the visual hallucinations or auras- similar in some ways to those induced by hallucinogenic drugs or deliria–which often precede a migraine.
Dr. Sacks describes these hallucinatory constants, and what they reveal about the working of the brain.
Awakenings is the remarkable account of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen in a decades-long sleep, these men and women were given up as hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, “awakening” effect. Dr. Sacks recounts the moving case histories of these individuals, the stories of their lives, and the extraordinary transformations they underwent with treatment.
3. The Island of The Color Blind
Oliver Sacks has always been fascinated by islands, and this book is an account of his work with an isolated community of islanders born totally colorblind. He listens to these achromatopic islanders describe their colorless world in rich terms of pattern and tone, luminance and shadow.
4. Uncle Tungsten
A book about Sacks’ childood;
his discovery of biology, his departure from his childhood love of chemistry and, at age 14, a new understanding that he would become a doctor.
5. An Anthropologist on Mars
This book talks about 7 seemingly paradoxical neurological conditions: including a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of Tourette’s Syndrome except when he is operating; an artist who loses all sense of color in a car accident, but finds a new sensibility and creative power in black and white; and an autistic professor who has great difficulty deciphering the simplest social exchange between humans, but has built a career out of her intuitive understanding of animal behavior.
6. Seeing Voices
A journey into the world of deaf culture, and the neurological and social underpinnings of the remarkable visual language of the congenitally deaf. Sacks writes “The existence of a visual language, Sign, and the visual intelligence that goes with its acquisition, shows us that the brain is rich in potentials we would scarcely have guessed of, shows us the almost unlimited resource of the human organism when it is faced with the new and must adapt.”
What are other books/series that you'd recommend that are in the same vein as Animorphs?
Honestly, your ask inspired me to get off my butt and finally compile a list of the books that I reference with my character names in Eleutherophobia, because in a lot of ways that’s my list of recommendations right there: I deliberately chose children’s and/or sci-fi stories that deal really well with death, war, dark humor, class divides, and/or social trauma for most of my character names. I also tend to use allusions that either comment on Animorphs or on the source work in the way that the names come up.
That said, here are The Ten Greatest Animorphs-Adjacent Works of Literature According to Sol’s Totally Arbitrary Standards:
1. A Ring of Endless Light, Madeline L’Engle
This is a really good teen story that, in painfully accurate detail, captures exactly what it’s like to be too young to really understand death while forced to confront it anyway. I read it at about the same age as the protagonist, not that long after having suffered the first major loss in my own life (a friend, also 14, killed by cancer). It accomplished exactly what a really good novel should by putting words to the experiences that I couldn’t describe properly either then or now. This isn’t a light read—its main plot is about terminal illness, and the story is bookended by two different unexpected deaths—but it is a powerful one.
2. The One and Only Ivan, K.A. Applegate
This prose novel (think an epic poem, sort of like The Iliad, only better) obviously has everything in it that makes K.A. Applegate one of the greatest children’s authors alive: heartbreaking tragedy, disturbing commentary on the human condition, unforgettably individuated narration, pop culture references, and poop jokes. Although I’m mostly joking when I refer to Marco in my tags as “the one and only” (since this book is narrated by a gorilla), Ivan does remind me of Marco with his sometimes-toxic determination to see the best of every possible situation when grief and anger allow him no other outlet for his feelings and the terrifying lengths to which he will go in order to protect his found family.
3. My Teacher Flunked the Planet, Bruce Coville
Although the entire My Teacher is an Alien series is really well-written and powerful, this book is definitely my favorite because in many ways it’s sort of an anti-Animorphs. Whereas Animorphs (at least in my opinion) is a story about the battle for personal freedom and privacy, with huge emphasis on one’s inner identity remaining the same even as one’s physical shape changes, My Teacher Flunked the Planet is about how maybe the answer to all our problems doesn’t come from violent struggle for personal freedoms, but from peaceful acceptance of common ground among all humans. There’s a lot of intuitive appeal in reading about the protagonists of a war epic all shouting “Free or dead!” before going off to battle (#13) but this series actually deconstructs that message as blind and excessive, especially when options like “all you need is love” or “no man is an island” are still on the table.
4. Moon Called, Patricia Briggs
I think this book is the only piece of adult fiction on this whole list, and that’s no accident: the Mercy Thompson series is all about the process of adulthood and how that happens to interact with the presence of the supernatural in one’s life. The last time I tried to make a list of my favorite fictional characters of all time, it ended up being about 75% Mercy Thompson series, 24% Animorphs, and the other 1% was Eugenides Attolis (who I’ll get back to in my rec for The Theif). These books are about a VW mechanic, her security-administrator next door neighbor, her surgeon roommate, her retail-working best friend and his defense-lawyer boyfriend, and their cybersecurity frenemy. The fact that half those characters are supernatural creatures only serves to inconvenience Mercy as she contemplates how she’s going to pay next month’s rent when a demon destroyed her trailer, whether to get married for the first time at age 38 when doing so would make her co-alpha of a werewolf pack, what to do about the vampires that keep asking for her mechanic services without paying, and how to be a good neighbor to the area ghosts that only she can see.
5. The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner
This book (and its sequel A Conspiracy of Kings) are the ones that I return to every time I struggle with first-person writing and no Animorphs are at hand. Turner does maybe the best of any author I’ve seen of having character-driven plots and plot-driven characters. This book is the story of five individuals (with five slightly different agendas) traveling through an alternate version of ancient Greece and Turkey with a deceptively simple goal: they all want to work together to steal a magical stone from the gods. However, the narrator especially is more complicated than he seems, which everyone else fails to realize at their own detriment.
6. Homecoming, Cynthia Voight
Critics have compared this book to a modern, realistic reimagining of The Boxcar Children, which always made a lot of sense to me. It’s the story of four children who must find their own way from relative to relative in an effort to find a permanent home, struggling every single day with the question of what they will eat and how they will find a safe place to sleep that night. The main character herself is one of those unforgettable heroines that is easy to love even as she makes mistake after mistake as a 13-year-old who is forced to navigate the world of adult decisions, shouldering the burden of finding a home for her family because even though she doesn’t know what she’s doing, it’s not like she can ask an adult for help. Too bad the Animorphs didn’t have Dicey Tillerman on the team, because this girl shepherds her family through an Odysseus-worthy journey on stubbornness alone.
7. High Wizardry, Diane Duane
The Young Wizards series has a lot of good books in it, but this one will forever be my favorite because it shows that weird, awkward, science- and sci-fi-loving girls can save the world just by being themselves. Dairine Callahan was the first geek girl who ever taught me it’s not only okay to be a geek girl, but that there’s power in empiricism when properly applied. In contrast to a lot of scientifically “smart” characters from sci-fi (who often use long words or good grades as a shorthand for conveying their expertise), Dairine applies the scientific method, programming theory, and a love of Star Wars to her problem-solving skills in a way that easily conveys that she—and Diane Duane, for that matter—love science for what it is: an adventurous way of taking apart the universe to find out how it works. This is sci-fi at its best.
8. Dr. Franklin’s Island, Gwyneth Jones
If you love Animorphs’ body horror, personal tragedy, and portrayal of teens struggling to cope with unimaginable circumstances, then this the book for you! I’m only being about 80% facetious, because this story has all that and a huge dose of teen angst besides. It’s a loose retelling of H.G. Wells’s classic The Island of Doctor Moreau, but really goes beyond that story by showing how the identity struggles of adolescence interact with the identity struggles of being kidnapped by a mad scientist and forcibly transformed into a different animal. It’s a survival story with a huge dose of nightmare fuel (seriously: this book is not for the faint of heart, the weak of stomach, or anyone who skips the descriptions of skin melting and bones realigning in Animorphs) but it’s also one about how three kids with a ton of personal differences and no particular reason to like each other become fast friends over the process of surviving hell by relying on each other.
9. Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Louis Sachar
Louis Sachar is the only author I’ve ever seen who can match K.A. Applegate for nihilistic humor and absurdist horror layered on top of an awesome story that’s actually fun for kids to read. Where he beats K.A. Applegate out is in terms of his ability to generate dream-like surrealism in these short stories, each one of which starts out hilariously bizarre and gradually devolves into becoming nightmare-inducingly bizarre. Generally, each one ends with an unsettling abruptness that never quite relieves the tension evoked by the horror of the previous pages, leaving the reader wondering what the hell just happened, and whether one just wet one’s pants from laughing too hard or from sheer existential terror. The fact that so much of this effect is achieved through meta-humor and wordplay is, in my opinion, just a testament to Sachar’s huge skill as a writer.
10. Magyk, Angie Sage
As I mentioned, the Septimus Heap series is probably the second most powerful portrayal of the effect of war on children that I’ve ever encountered; the fact that the books are so funny on top of their subtle horror is a huge bonus as well. There are a lot of excellent moments throughout the series where the one protagonist’s history as a child soldier (throughout this novel he’s simply known as “Boy 412″) will interact with his stepsister’s (and co-protagonist’s) comparatively privileged upbringing. Probably my favorite is the moment when the two main characters end up working together to kill a man in self-defense, and the girl raised as a princess makes the horrified comment that she never thought she’d actually have to kill someone, to which her stepbrother calmly responds that that’s a privilege he never had; the ensuing conversation strongly implies that his psyche has been permanently damaged by the fact that he was raised to kill pretty much from infancy, but all in a way that is both child-friendly and respectful of real trauma.
Disability representation is one of my favorite things, but does anyone else get a little tired of the disability=superpowers things?
Like, this character has epilepsy, but don’t worry, they can see the future during a seizure! This character is autistic, but don’t you worry, they’re a super detective. This character’s psychosis lets them talk to elves! This character is blind, but they can see into the spirit world!
And it can be fun, don’t get me wrong. I love Akata Witch, where noticeable features or disabilities can influence the type of magic you have. My favorite book is Chameleon Moon, where a cure-all type medicine backfires and can give people either superpowers or curses.
But sometimes I want to see myself without a justification. I’m autistic, but I could never solve a crime. My anxiety doesn’t mean I can see the future. I really want a paranormal, fantasy, Sci-fi, etc. book where the disabled character just is. They’re autistic and they can talk to plants, not they can talk to plants because they’re autistic. A character is epileptic but it doesn’t do anything for them, it’s just part of who they are.
Katara and Ty Lee questioning how Aang and Zuko have shut themselves off emotionally, pretending like they do not care (for Aang, it’s about losing Appa; for Zuko, it’s about his past), even though they certainly do.
Aang is trying to distance himself because of what his anger did to him in “The Desert.” For Zuko, he’s trying to sort everything out, and he just gives into his anger.
“I was standing on the dock, when, by the merest accident, I fell in talk with him.
I found he was an old sailor, kept a public-house, knew all the seafaring men in Bristol, had lost his health ashore and wanted a good berth as cook to get to sea again. He had hobbled down there that morning, he said, to get a smell of the salt.
I was monstrously touched–so would you have been–and, out of pure pity, I engaged him on the spot to be ship’s cook. Long John Silver, he is called, and has lost a leg; but that I regarded as a recommendation, since he lost it in his country’s service, under the immortal Hawke…”
It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days…Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me…to throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling…
Anybody who has studied Japanese and Linguistics will know that Japanese is a part of the Japonic language family. For many years it was thought that Japanese was a language isolate, unrelated to any other language (Although there is some debate as to whether or not Japanese and Korean are related).
Today, most linguists are in agreement that Japanese is not an isolate. The Japonic languages are split into two groups:
Japanese (日本語) and its dialects, which range from standard Eastern Japanese (東日本方言) to the various dialects found on Kyūshū (九州日本方言), which are, different, to say the least.
The Ryukyuan Languages (琉球語派). Which are further subdivided into Northern and Southern Ryukyuan languages. Okinawan is classified as a Northern Ryukyuan Languages. There are a total of 6 Ryukyuan languages, each with its own dialects. The Ryukyuan languages exist on a continuum, somebody who speaks Okinawan will have a more difficult time understanding the Yonaguni Language, which is spoken on Japan’s southernmost populated island.
Japanese and Okinawan (I am using the Naha dialect of Okinawan because it was the standard language of the Ryukyu Kingdom), are not intelligible. Calling Okinawan a dialect of Japanese is akin to calling Dutch a dialect of English. It is demonstrably false. Furthermore, there is an actual Okinawan dialect of Japanese, which borrows elements from the Okinawan language and infuses it with Japanese.
So, where did the Ryukyuan languages come from? This is a question that goes hand in hand with theories about where Ryukyuan people come from. George Kerr, author of Okinawan: The History of an Island People (An old book, but necessary read if you’re interested in Okinawa), theorised that Ryukyuans and Japanese split from the same population, with one group going east to Japan from Korea, whilst the other traveled south to the Ryukyu Islands.
“In the language of the Okinawan country people today the north is referred to as nishi, which Iha Fuyu (An Okinawn scholar) derives from inishi (’the past’ or ‘behind’), whereas the Japanese speak of the west as nishi. Iha suggests that in both instances there is preserved an immemorial sense of the direction from which migration took place into the sea islands.” (For those curious, the Okinawan word for ‘west’ is いり [iri]). But, it must be stated that there are multiple theories as to where Ryukyuan and Japanese people came from, some say South-East Asia, some say North Asia, via Korea, some say that it is a mixture of the two. However, this post is solely about language, and whilst the relation between nishi in both languages is intriguing, it is hardly conclusive.
With that said, the notion that Proto-Japonic was spoken by migrants from southern Korea is somewhat supported by a number of toponyms that may be of Gaya origin (Or of earlier, unattested origins). However, it also must be said, that such links were used to justify Japanese imperialism in Korea.
Yeah, when it comes to Japan and Korea, and their origins, it’s a minefield.
What we do know is that a Proto-Japonic language was spoken around
Kyūshū, and that it gradually spread throughout Japan and the Ryukyu Islands. The question of when this happened is debatable. Some scholars say between the 2nd and 6th century, others say between the 8th and 9th centuries. The crucial issue here, is the period in which proto-Ryukyuan separated from mainland Japanese.
“The crucial issue here is that the period during which the proto-Ryukyuan separated(in terms of historical linguistics) from other Japonic languages do not necessarily coincide with the period during which the proto-Ryukyuan speakers actually settled on the Ryūkyū Islands.That is, it is possible that the proto-Ryukyuan was spoken on south Kyūshū for some time and the proto-Ryukyuan speakers then moved southward to arrive eventually in the Ryūkyū Islands.”
This is a theory supported by Iha Fuyu who claimed that the first settlers on Amami were fishermen from
This opens up two possibilities, the first is that ‘Proto-Ryukyuan’ split from ‘Proto-Japonic’, the other is that it split from ‘Old-Japanese’. As we’ll see further, Okinawan actually shares many features with Old Japanese, although these features may have existed before Old-Japanese was spoken.
So, what does Okinawan look like?
Well, to speakers of Japanese it is recognisable in a few ways. The sentence structure is essentially the same, with a focus on particles, pitch accent, and a subject-object-verb word order. Like Old Japanese, there is a distinction between the terminal form (
) and the attributive form (
). Okinawan also maintains the nominative function of nu ぬ (Japanese: no の). It also retains the sounds ‘wi’ ‘we’ and ‘wo’, which don’t exist in Japanese anymore. Other sounds that don’t exist in Japanese include ‘fa’ ‘fe’ ‘fi’ ‘tu’ and ‘ti’.
Some very basic words include:
はいさい (Hello, still used in Okinawan Japanese) にふぇーでーびる (Thank you) うちなー (Okinawa) 沖縄口 (Uchinaa-guchi is the word for Okinawan) めんそーれー (Welcome) やまとぅ (Japan, a cognate of やまと, the poetic name for ‘Japan’)
Lots of Okinawan can be translated into Japanese word for word. For example, a simple sentence, “Let’s go by bus” バスで行こう (I know, I’m being a little informal haha!) バスっし行ちゃびら (Basu sshi ichabira). As you can see, both sentences are structured the same way. Both have the same loanword for ‘bus’, and both have a particle used to indicate the means by which something is achieved, ‘で’ in Japanese, is ‘っし’ in Okinawan.
Another example sentence, “My Japanese isn’t as good as his” 彼より日本語が上手ではない (Kare yori nihon-go ga jouzu dewanai). 彼やか大和口ぬ上手やあらん (Ari yaka yamatu-guchi nu jooji yaaran). Again, they are structured the same way (One important thing to remember about Okinawan romanisation is that long vowels are represented with ‘oo’ ‘aa’ etc. ‘oo’ is pronounced the same as ‘ou’).
Of course, this doesn’t work all of the time, if you want to say, “I wrote the letter in Okinawan” 沖縄語で手紙を書いた (Okinawa-go de tegami wo kaita). 沖縄口さーに手紙書ちゃん (Uchinaa-guchi saani tigami kachan). For one,
is an alternate version of っし, but, that isn’t the only thing. Okinawan doesn’t have a direct object particle (を in Japanese). In older literary works it was ゆ, but it no longer used in casual speech.
Introducing yourself in Okinawan is interesting for a few reasons as well. Let’s say you were introducing yourself to a group. In Japanese you’d say みんなさこんにちは私はフィリクスです (Minna-san konnichiwa watashi ha Felixdesu) ぐすよー我んねーフィリクスでぃいちょいびーん (Gusuyoo wan’nee Felix di ichoibiin). Okinawan has a single word for saying ‘hello’ to a group. It also showcases the topic marker for names and other proper nouns. In Japanese there is only 1, は but Okinawan has 5! や, あー, えー, おー, のー! So, how do you know which to use? Well, there is a rule, typically the particle fuses with short vowels,
a → aa, i → ee, u → oo, e → ee, o → oo, n → noo.
Of course, the Okinawan pronoun
我ん, is a terrible example, because it is irregular, becoming 我んねー instead of
我んのー or 我んや. Yes. Like Japanese, there are numerous irregularities to pull your hair out over!
I hope that this has been interesting for those who have bothered to go through the entire thing. It is important to discuss these languages because most Ryukyuan languages are either ‘definitely’ or ‘critically’ endangered. Mostly due to Japanese assimilation policies from the Meiji period onward, and World War 2. The people of Okinawa are a separate ethnic group, with their own culture, history, poems, songs, dances and languages. It would be a shame to lose something that helps to define a group of people like language does.
I may or may not look in the
Kyūshū dialects of Japanese next time. I’unno, I just find them interesting.