this are only the praising parts and not the full dialogue



A lot has been written on Moon signs.

These perspectives come from a Scorpio moon (in the Third House)

The understanding of each astral body deepens as you factor in what each works with or opposes. This is where it is crucial to see what else is creating discord or harmony with your moon. You are attempting to perceive the universe as a whole rather than isolating each individual part. Your sun and rising sign especially help to define what exactly your Moon is to your conscious mind. How you feel is not always what you present to others –something most people would agree on. The drives of the moon are not always easily understood by the intellect.

These are my experiences with each individual moon sign. I don’t have an equal amount of experience with each and so I apologise if some signs have longer write-ups than others.


Bold, yet child-like, yet anxious. Dramatic, explosive, quick and then bored. There is a wonderful sincerity and silliness about the Aries moon. They are the first to get up and boogie. I find many of the pains Aries moons carry very visible to me and I respect that vulnerability. I think it is part of what makes them direct. They play by fighting you. Imaginative and raw. I think of the archetypal anime protagonist gleaming a toothy grin and then fist-pumping in the air as we embark on a quest up Candy Mountain. They are social-spiritual pioneers. Sometimes, they don’t stand up to the people they should and take their anger out on those who don’t deserve it (ala ‘kick the cat’ syndrome). Sexually open and willing though the roles are traditional, primal. They can get quite down when their flame flickers out and the warmth fades. Their competitiveness can get the better of them and it can be hard for them to detach from their identity into a larger unified picture. However they are equipped with fantastic gusto and enough of it to make it up those mountains. They may see themselves as that youthful inner child however that image can become the justification for roaring anger – to protect the child.


Oh, man.
I have an intense level of respect and also, to be frank, fear of the Taurus moon. I fear getting too close, and I think they do too (maybe that’s why I feel it) (hold on maybe they’re afraid of me?)

So yes of course they progress slowly, steadily, stubbornly, charmingly… With a silent and deep appreciation for the small pleasures in life. They are beautiful and frustrating. Wise and sometimes closed minded. Forgiving but not forgetful. I think the patterns and routines Taurus moon carves deeply can lead them to believing that people are limited or ‘they are who they are.’ It may seem like a safe thing to do but it inevitably leads to buried feelings that manifest as irritation. This is why they feel that magnetic attraction to their opposite, Scorpio, as buried feelings is what Scorpio specialises in. They need to be released!
If they do have transformative experiences with people, however, there is not much in the world they cannot accomplish. You don’t want the limits of your perception to become the balcony you lean over to judge others. Taurus moons are, regardless, unendingly kind, caring, generous and full of good humour with those they love truly. They do not seek outright praise, preferring the smilingly cheer you on from behind the scenes. They step into a nurturing authoritative role with ease because it is easier for them to do that than be on the receiving end. They do want both sides though. They understand boundaries instinctively.


I wish I knew more Gemini moons!! I do not feel that qualified to comment as I have not gotten terribly close with one. I can only think of a few people I know with Gemini moons who will have to serve as my inspiration.
I am still grasping mutability (or not, you changeable bastards) and I imagine Gemini moons to have fervent mental chatter, a whole cast of different characters their radioheads tune into. 

The wittiness is always a go-go and I also do wonder if the 'identity crisis’ many astrologers report with Gemini could be more to do with conditioned language patterns Gemini is highly attuned to. Seeing as being overly identified with words and labels can trap you, Gemini dances between contradictions and in the in- between, wonders who the heck they are. But crises can purge and the truth is always what’s left behind.
There is a lot of restless energy here. Gemini’s curiosity is something they must accept in its entirety if they wish to wield it to its utmost potential. If only we were inside a simulation game, these guys would be the game masters for sure. Gemini moons may feel like keeping the dialogue internalised but actually they should share it. It is the way they will attain the peace and relaxation they crave. By communicating with meaning and truth –these are the lessons they must embody and bring to us all.


Ah yes the intuitive understanding of Cancer moon. Sensitive, headstrong and goofy they can swim in the natural affection they feel all around, breaking the ice and helping us all accept the sweetness of the moon, forever watching us at night. Their sacrifices (farts) are a blessing. Like Gemini moon, I have yet to get really deep with a Cancer moon but I know it would be powerful.
They have a contagious excitability and sincerity that will forever be taken advantage of if they do not learn to love and value the magicians they are. 

They must never slip into a Madonna/Whore complex or let purity be defined for them by others. Lucky that their intuition is always so on point. Expressing their anger in healthy ways that don’t perpetuate victim-centred scenarios is something they are learning. It is easy for Cancer moon to suck in aaaaall the bad vibes as water signs do. Don’t ignore your feelings and don’t be compliant, especially if you know you’ll regret it or backtrack it! Cancer moon’s energy is precious and magical. They do not always see the doors they open for people because they can get distracted by shitty thoughts or past emotional residue. Love you guys


Leo moons are insanely loveable, proud, gleeful, naughty, fun, dramatic, loyal… They are like a non-submissive Pokemon who wants to kick as much ass as possible with you. They are less forthcoming with their emotional issues, preferring to be a proud lion. Pride is a lonely cage though and isolation, especially for Leo moons, can lead to very depressed slumps. Ultimately though, all their lows help them appreciate comraraderie all the more. They dislike being ignored.

Leo moons are inventive and creative practically, they will really do it, not just say it. Their impulsiveness can get them into all kinds of trouble and even then they are so friendly and groovy that they can get away with it. Their hearts are powerful and when all is aligned they exude warmth followed by big headed claims and roaring laughter. 

They really are the party Kings and Queens of the zodiac because no one else will get so wrecked and hold it down so well and also still look like they had the best time ever. Their things are their treasures. A mere scarf becomes a robe, a daisy chain a crown. 


There is a quiet (and somewhat bitter) determination to Virgo moons. They are aware of the bullshit in this world and make sure you know it too. Their kindness is not loud or showy but a quieter, understated recognition of all the work we do to help this Ferris wheel of a life be better for all. They are secure when they are in their homes or a place where they are understood for the dexterous work they do, whatever it may be. It has been said before but I will say it again: you Virgo moons are too hard on yourselves. Yes you must be brave, Virgo moon, and share your legitimate concerns when they arise. Once you feel accepted for your thoughtfulness, even if it’s a bit sharp, the pressure will be released. Don’t hold it all in, or you will suffer from nervous tension that can fester. They need to be wary of the preconceptions they bring into conversations that may have people thinking they are more closed minded than they really are. 
Virgo moons are a lot cooler than they give themselves credit for so let them know (though they will laugh it off). They need to be not stuck in their own heads. Analysing is fine but only if you already have material, a project or a relevant issue to use those powers on. Otherwise you are putting the needle right into your soul and it is destructive. Facing your fears and mistakes instead of hiding will open you up and others will finally get to see the very real and down to earth being that you are. I am very grateful for Virgo energy. Their conservativeness may polarise and they may get stressed but they are never ones to ignore good common sense or injustice. Their shyness and dirtiness reflect the contrary mutability they possess. Someone you can underestimate but will surprise you when they pull out  the perfectly sharp edge of the knife.  


Libra moons are playful and intelligent; they quickly slide in golden nuggets of advice during a conversation, like their words are the lubricant to help everybody get along… And they do. A libra moon (or sun) who believes in love and in people can open up the mind of the most hardened  of cynics. It is essential that they make room however to have quality alone time. That way they will feel far more centred and their own person when interacting with others, instead of getting lost in a room of mirrors. They can be so nice and compliant that they can slowly lose their true sense of who they are and what they believe in as they care a lot about the wellbeing of everyone.  Only when they are unbalanced do they get defensively self righteous. Or block everything out. That said a Libra moon won’t go to bed after an argument – they really can’t tolerate the tension and would rather apologise and seek a peaceful resolution.

There is a very natural understanding here that the state of being people are in greatly affects the environment. Ideally though (see what I did there) they are cool, calm, collected, filled with balanced thoughts for us all and ever graceful. And pretty.
Conflicts and issues in relationships can shake them up so much that they may deny and avoid them for a long time. It can result in a lot of heaviness – and this sign wants to be light! Comfort, like with the also-Venus-ruled Taurus moon, can become the enemy if they are not doing work they truly believe in or are not supported by real friends who care for them. Most Libra moons wisen up to the limits of superficiality, as beautiful and interesting as some people/places may seem. They don’t want to waste beauty.
Libra moons are also awesomely progressive and they should share their great ideas with people who can help them manifest it all, or at least push them to. They can’t cope with being on one side of a fight unless there is extremely good reasoning behind their choice, the possibility of being bigoted really screws with their principles, which are essential to them. Bitching about people hurts them a lot because they want to be liked and for everyone to co exist peacefully. It may take a while to get close with them and they can flake out when it comes to routines and schedules but if you are patient they prove to be the most loyal of friends.


Aaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!! Why do we try to fix things by controlling them MORE??!?!?!?!? Scorpio moons need to learn, on as many different levels and in many different ways, to relax. For real. Surrender, as much as you can, to whatever the situation is, and let yourself relax. Whenever a Scorpio moon transforms though, everything changes. People are gob smacked by how low to how high a Scorpio moon can go. They think we must be utterly mad ;-) It is extremely difficult but extremely necessary for Scorpio moons to transmute and transform their emotions. Only then can we unleash our gifts. Otherwise, yes, we will become the villain in any given scenario (unless cap moon is on a rampage) 

okay so yes sex and death deeply changes the vibe in the room but is that all we want to be known for?? Not at all. Not at all. Scorpio moons must not numb themselves because then they are building and building and building up all the pain and gearing up for another destructive bender. It is far better to cry and scream and simply let yourself feel the pain. All the answers are in that pain. Don’t you forget it.
As always and with all signs, Scorpio moons are their own worst enemy. By not showing our emotions we create and perpetuate a MASSIVE LIE about WHO WE REALLY ARE. This is what I believe to be at the root of the notorious intolerance Scorpios have for lies. It is intolerable precisely because we are already experiencing lies on a soul level, lies that do not allow people to see our depth of feeling and understanding. Vicious cycles of lies that lead Scorpio moons to believe that by closing more people out or building taller walls, will be better for us. Note how close Scorpio is to Libra and the theme of relationships. Sometimes people need to see those flowers that bloom in the dark, when they’ve lost all hope.

 The sooner we can relax and reveal more of who we are the better– not only will people have a better idea of how to respond to us but ultimately those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter!
The more a Scorpio moon argues the more everyone in the room feels that painful non-acceptance of reality building tension. Such is our force. We are equipped to do incredible things and incredible never means easy.
Sex is not the sole route to intimacy and life does make that lesson torturous and clear. Scorpio moons can get very lonely and will push themselves to extremes when they are not accepting reality. The struggle to express our feelings, fear of vulnerability and other peoples wariness of us all plays into us thinking we are some long-living Gollum creatures. We are not. Believe that you are sexy. You don’t have to prove it to anybody but you. Power is knowing you already know. Yes the know-it-all controlling nature destroys all our relationships. It’s only because we are overdoing it. Pull back and let people impress you back! Take note of people’s discomfort and make changes in the moment to show you do feel it too. You do have a lot to share, don’t hide behind your pride. (And yes we do know when we are being lied to or if you are having sexual thoughts)


My best friend since childhood has a Sagittarius moon. Intelligent, at times too cool for school, wild and loud and self-conscious- where do I begin? Sagittarius moons are righteous and don’t hold back on delivering the truth to your face. Their friends will think it’s the most hilarious thing ever and you will feel dumbbb. They are damn good at that, however if they are having internal struggles they will stir the pot just to stand up righteously, or wait for you to fuck up.
It’s understandable that many fall for Sagittarius moons – they’ve been there and done that and their sense of humour demonstrates that well. You want to impress them! Their open minds are a turn on, and I have found it to be true that they have a lot stories to tell surrounding cults, religions, specific groups and cultures of people… I can always see myself skydiving with a Sagittarius moon. They don’t do well with clingy people, but accepting that emotional attachment is a naturally occurring phenomena would help them.  

They need to work on staying humble in their hearts not just in words or in clothes or style– that is what led to the bountiful knowledge of the spirit in the first place. They can chase after the original high until they’ve burned down the path entirely. There is a cheeky, mysterious side to them that is sexy and their joy and gratitude is so vibrant it can reverberate right up your spine.


I really love Capricorn moons, even though we likely roll our eyes at each other and really have no clue about the other at times. You can’t get away with everything, boss or not, and Saturn makes sure these people know that (eventually). They are industrious, ambitious with high expectations, professional, suave, aware of the 'audience’ and have great reserves of ancient knowledge stored in their laughter and often pained expressions. 

Capricorn moons, surprise surprise, are really hard on themselves, like Virgo but with far more whiplash. They keep it under wraps. They need to be careful they don’t get crushed by the weight of the burdens they carry…and maybe to remember too that those burdens may in fact be wings they have yet to unfold and fly with. Shrewd and covertly manipulative, they can bring out the criminal in people, yet at the same time their logically intuitive judgement is there, watching you make an ass of yourself. They don’t always share their shady observations, but should with confidence, not anger, because they make a lot of really great points the right people don’t get to hear. Their realistic feedback could serve to really improve a myriad of issues. 

Capricorn moons are great at working the system (that includes within a family system) but need to remember not to become slaves to that system and cold to everyone else. That system could be based on lies or agendas that don’t factor in their personal success at all. Luckily as soon as they know that they will dump anything that is holding them back. Their feelings are private and reserved only for them, and if you’re lucky and earned their trust consistently, you too. They know how to work you into a state of compromise.


I go through periods of being intensely fascinated by Aquarius moons and then I dismiss them. This may be a mutual thing between us. They really are ahead of everybody though (and slow to admit they care!) and they do know what they’re talking about. Try not to always believe everything they say, as they need to be pushed to be the best messengers they can be. Otherwise it comes a predictable Gaslighting exercise, sorry to say it.

Their emotional detachment can get in the way of people engaging on a real level with them and of course their own ego. The gifts they do bring are life changing but hence the struggle. The pride of being an original, of giving no fucks, of going anywhere and everywhere, of laughing at the aliens in your mirror… This is the Aquarian. However as the moon is much more internal people may not realise how weird and zany those with an Aquarius moon are, and they may hold themselves back socially..and then erupt into a nutty character when they’re drunk. They work hard to maintain objectivity and a logical mind state, though the bellows of emotion from others can send them back into their rooms for a while. They may struggle to deal with one on one interactions for extended periods of time, preferring to thrive in a group where they can disperse their knowledge through vivid storytelling or in juicy snippets.
Aquarius moons far reaching perspective does make them a boss, but the fear of getting 'too close’ can really stop them reaching out. I know it’s crazy to say to them that not all emotions were manufactured by Disney but it’s true. It is the fear ITSELF that warps their visions, not experiencing intimacy. It would really help them express their natural eccentricities a lot more if they could dare to go there, don’t hide out in space! It is true that in some of my darkest times I have been inspired by an Aquarius moon, or they have simply pointed to all the space above us and smiled, because with so much space how you can get caught up in such pettiness?
Anyway they are lovely souls and friends, their intelligence is anchored in carefully thought out principles and they will still listen to you before disagreeing! Hahaha


With all water moons it is important that they stand up for themselves before they feel violated by too aggressive people. Such is true for the Pisces moon. They are natural space cadets, dreamy, creative, musical, impressionable and empathetic. They also give no fucks about current fads and trends that enslave people in time. They are not ones for tedious, high pressure work with no creative or tangible productive merit (and fair enough too). There is far beyond all of that and they know it.
What they aren’t always aware of though is how powerful their empathy is, how strongly people feel understood by them to the point where people will unleash their demons on them because they think it’s okay–Pisces moon will understand, right? Wrong, it’s never cool to abuse people like that and we should aim to get more on their level rather than pull them down to ours.
Pisces moon needs a consistently peaceful and chilled out environment where they feel they can creatively nourish themselves without getting dragged into any of the preceeding 11 moon signs’ drama. They are wise in that they know how closed off people can be whilst still having a heart.

Yuri on Ice BD audio commentary translation - Volume 4

I absolutely wanted to post this within today because this evening I want to work on the Pash interview with Sayo Yamamoto… This BD volume has lots of choreography footage so that will take a while to translate, and I’m going to give priority to the interview.

This commentary is different from the others because it’s not just Kubo with another person, there’s 4 of them. Luckily enough they don’t really talk over each other (except for one part, lol), but in the second half I translated most of what they say as dialogue because I felt it was more fitting. In the dialogue parts my notes/comments are in brackets.

The commentary is only for episode 7. Episode 8 has no commentary. It’s not a full translation but I summarized most of what they said, and some parts are almost completely translated. Fans of Phichit, Guang-Hong and Leo should definitely read it as it’s a rare chance to get comments from these voice actors. Also, their reactions to the last scene are hilarious, that’s a must read too.

The commentary is by:
-Mitsurou Kubo
-Kenshou Ono (Phichit)
-Yuutarou Honjou (Guang-Hong)
-Shunichi Toki (Leo)

Translation under the cut because it’s long. Enjoy!

Keep reading

Book Ron vs. Movie Ron

In the books, the trio fits together and each of them fills a distinct role.

The movies basically ended up taking all of the good parts of Ron’s character and applying them to Hermione. So Hermione becomes perfect and all that Harry really needs, and Ron is just extraneous.

I could write a whole post about why airbrushing Hermione’s flaws is a problem, but I’ll try to keep this about Ron since I think he suffers the most.

Book Ron is a valuable member of the team. Movie Ron is comic relief and dead weight.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

Devil’s Snare


“Stop moving!” Hermione ordered them. “I know what this is — it’s Devil’s Snare!”

“Oh, I’m so glad we know what it’s called, that’s a great help,” snarled Ron, leaning back, trying to stop the plant from curling around his neck.

“Shut up, I’m trying to remember how to kill it!” said Hermione.

“Well, hurry up, I can’t breathe!” Harry gasped, wrestling with it as it curled around his chest.

“Devil’s Snare, Devil’s Snare… what did Professor Sprout say? — it likes the dark and the damp.”

“So light a fire!” Harry choked.

“Yes — of course — but there’s no wood!” Hermione cried, wringing her hands.


“Oh, right!” said Hermione, and she whipped out her wand, waved it, muttered something, and sent a jet of the same bluebell flames she had used on Snape at the plant. In a matter of seconds, the two boys felt it loosening its grip as it cringed away from the light and warmth. Wriggling and flailing, it unraveled itself from their bodies, and they were able to pull free.

“Lucky you pay attention in Herbology, Hermione,” said Harry as he joined her by the wall, wiping sweat off his face.

“Yeah,” said Ron, “and lucky Harry doesn’t lose his head in a crisis — ‘there’s no wood,’ honestly.”


[Hermione tells them to relax, Harry does. He and Hermione fall through. Ron continues to panic and shout for help from above]

HERMIONE: [to Harry] I remember reading something in Herbology.

RON: [still trapped] Help!


RON: Help!

HERMIONE: ‘Devil’s Snare, Devil’s Snare, it’s deadly fun; but will sulk in the sun.’ That’s it! Devil’s Snare hates sunlight! Lumus solem!

RON: Aaahh! [Ron falls through]

HARRY: Ron, are you okay?

RON: Yeah.


RON: Whew! Lucky we didn’t panic!

HARRY: [sternly] Lucky Hermione pays attention in Herbology.

So in the book, Hermione wrings her hands in a sudden panic and Ron reminds her to light one of her bluebell flames. Both Harry and Ron fall through at the same time. In the movie, Ron panics and is essentially deadweight while a calm Hermione solves the problem. And then Ron pats himself on the back for not panicking (comic relief for the viewers), and Harry coolly defends Hermione.

Snape calls Hermione a know-it-all


“That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger,” said Snape coolly. “Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all.”

Hermione went very red, put down her hand, and stared at the floor with her eyes full of tears. It was a mark of how much the class loathed Snape that they were all glaring at him, because every one of them had called Hermione a know-it-all at least once, and Ron, who told Hermione she was a know-it-all at least twice a week, said loudly, “You asked us a question and she knows the answer! Why ask if you don’t want to be told?”

The class knew instantly he’d gone too far. Snape advanced on Ron slowly, and the room held its breath.

“Detention, Weasley,” Snape said silkily, his face very close to Ron’s. “And if I ever hear you criticize the way I teach a class again, you will be very sorry indeed.


SNAPE: Thank you, Mr. Malfoy. That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger. Are you incapable of restraining yourself, or do you take pride in being an insufferable know-it-all? [Hermione looks hurt]

RON: He’s got a point, you know.

SNAPE: Five points from Gryffindor! As an antidote to your ignorance, and on my desk by Monday morning, two rolls of parchment on the werewolf, with particular emphasis on recognizing it.

Ron shouts at Snape and gets himself landed in detention on Hermione’s behalf, whereas in the books he just twists the knife.

The trio meet Sirius Black in the Shrieking Shack


Without knowing what he was doing, [Harry] started forward, but there was a sudden movement on either side of him and two pairs of hands grabbed him and held him back…"No, Harry!” Hermione gasped in a petrified whisper; Ron, however, spoke to Black.

“If you want to kill Harry, you’ll have to kill us too!” he said fiercely, though the effort of standing upright was draining him of still more color, and he swayed slightly as he spoke.

“Lie down,” [Sirius] said quietly to Ron. “You will damage that leg even more.”

“Did you hear me?” Ron said weakly, though he was clinging painfully to Harry to stay upright. “You’ll have to kill all three of us!”

[Sirius says there will be only one murder, Harry asks Sirius if he’s gone soft]

“Harry!” Hermione whimpered. “Be quiet!”



[Ron snivels incoherently on the bed, nursing his leg]

HERMIONE: Ron! You okay?

HARRY: The dog- where’s is it?

RON: Harry! It’s a trap! He’s the dog. He’s an Animagus…

HERMIONE: If you want to kill Harry, you’ll have to kill us, too!

In the books, Ron is right by Hermione holding Harry back, and while Hermione addresses Harry in a “petrified whisper” and tells him to be quiet, while Ron is the one to address Black directly and say that Black will have to kill them to get to Harry. Despite the fact that he’s barely upright. In the movie, Hermione looks like the brave heroine, sacrificing herself for her friend while Ron moans about his broken leg.

The movies omitted the part where Harry physically attacked Sirius and Sirius defended himself by grabbing Harry by the throat, but in that scene Hermione reacts by kicking Sirius hard enough to loosen his grip on Harry and Ron literally “throws himself on Sirius’s wand hand” in order to knock it out of Sirius’s hand. That’s a far cry from whimpering in the background while Hermione and Harry confront Sirius.

Other examples:

  • In CoS, when they “follow the spiders,” Ron resigns himself to following them. When they get deep into the forest and Harry asks if Ron thinks they should keep going, Ron says “we’ve come this far.” When they do encounter the spiders, Ron holds his own despite being terrified. He literally picks up a full-size boarhound and throws him in the backseat before throwing himself in the drivers’ seat. When they reach Hagrid’s, Ron sits in the car for a full minute and then vomits in Hagrid’s garden. It’s not that Book Ron wasn’t terrified out of his mind, it’s just that he was keeping his fear at bay in order to help Harry (and Hermione). Whereas Movie Ron just whines, cries, begs Harry to go back, and is completely useless in that entire scene.
  • In GoF, when Book Hermione reads Rita’s article about her and Krum. Book Ron is actively concerned for Hermione, saying that Rita is making her out to look like a “scarlet woman.” Movie Ron is barely paying attention as Hermione reads the article aloud.
  • In CoS, when Draco calls Hermione a mudblood. In the books, Ron Both jumps to her defense, but Book Hermione doesn’t even know what the word even means. Ron is the one to explain it to her. Movie Ron jumps to her defense, but in this case, Hermione already knows and explains it to Harry while Ron vomits in the background. Lots of other wizarding world exposition goes to Ron in the books and Hermione in the movies, for example, the discussion of Harry being a Parselmouth later in that same book.
  • In GoF, Ron acts like a spoiled brat to Harry and it’s never explained why. Whereas in the books, he acts like a sulky brat and Hermione explains why.
  • In OotP, Movie Ron makes a comment about going easy on Hermione during a DA practice. and then when she stuns him first, he tries to play it off like he was just going easy on her. Book Ron repeatedly praises Hermione and makes it clear that he thinks she’s better at magic. It’s easy to imagine Book Ron joking about something like that or teasing Hermione, but Movie Ron is completely serious and viewers get to laugh at his conceit.
  • In DH, Ron is freaking the hell out when Hermione’s being tortured, he’s shouting her name and banging on the walls. Movie Ron is much less concerned and emotional.
  • Important conversations that take place with only Hermione and Harry rather than Hermione, Harry, and Ron. the biggest example of this is the scene at the end of HBP where Hermione and Harry are talking about the future while Ron sits on the steps behind them.
  • Ron’s decisions/ideas or decisions that were made as a group turn into Harry (or Hermione)’s decision/idea. Individually they’re just tweaks to the dialogue and seem unimportant, but they kind of add up. Movie Harry will tell Movie Ron to do something that Ron volunteered to do in the books.
  • A lot of little moments where Ron defends Harry or helps him are omitted. It’s not that I expect every book moment to be there, but there are so many smaller moments where Ron tells Malfoy to shove off, defending him from Snape, or even telling Hermione to lay off Harry.

Ron is still comic relief, but he’s the butt of the joke rather than the source. The movies omit a lot of humor, probably because it kind of screws up the tone, but the filmmakers tend to either use Ron as the butt of a joke or have another character (like Hermione) to say/do something that will lighten the moment.

Seriously? WTF, filmmakers.

5x09 review-One Fettered Slave

I can’t believe we’ve come to this point.

One episode before the final epilogue and it feels so surreal-i can’t even begin to imagine  how it must’ve been for the people that have sticked to this show for 4 years.

Ep 9 was what i imagined it to be: quick paced, action packed and extremely emotional.

I was scared about the analogy between the Helena moments and the general mythology arc cause they had to show a lot of things- especially after Siobhan’s death- but they balanced it well.

let’s analyze the different thematics:

  • The Funeral

Siobhan’s funeral  started with Sarah speaking . In an episode that is focused on another character i think the writers did a good choice not showing Sarah’s vulnerability.

She’s suddenly the pillar of the family and eveyone is expecting directions from her. She has to be the strong one there’s no other way. Her grief and feelings are not her priority right now  so she won’t break down. Not in front of Kira, not in front of everyone.

Sarah’s grown so much.This moment says it all

what am i supposed to do?

she can’t afford losing her child as well. She’s the reason she’s keeping it together after all. So she stays with her and comforts her. Something Ms S had done all those years when Sarah was absent.

I also adored the symbolism of her wearing her mother’s jacket.

Sarah taking responsibility, lifting the weights of this family

also congrats for letting Tatiana without make up in her  portrayal of Sarah (or rather the “no make up” makeup ya know) cause it made her emotional chaos more humane… her eyes said it all..

also about her breaking down- i believe we’re gonna see her grieve the way she’s supposed to after everything is finally over. Last episode is Sarah centric so it totally fits to have her moment in the epilogue.

What i didn’t like from the funeral scene was the singing at the beginning, which i found would be much better if we could just hear Sara and Felix speaking with no other sound in the background..

Also the fact that 4 days after S’s death they could walk and talk in a house that is a murder scene was totally unrealistic..Police had to be all over the place investigating and all…

Unless Art handled the situation in a way..but still a plot hole is a plot hole

  • Team working together

Cosima,Felix, Art, Hellwizard, Scott, Rachel ok what a pleasant suprise to see everyone working together. I loved the fact that supporting actors got the chance to actually help the ledas and be useful. Each one helped in their own field.

Cosima helped with the Dyad information and Scotty-Hell with the security system (even if it was kinda weak to hack the security system with such convienience-i’m bypassing that lol)

Even Rachel helped!! Rachel!!! My only complaint was Alison’s minimum participation in this but i get that given the circumstances her involvement  would be extremely difficult

Should i talk about Art??

Cause everything



and all this time i ‘ve been crazy rambling about how his chances of surving are veeeery  low…. ep 9 built his exodus cause the final episode will be Leda/Sarah Centric…so be prepared guys…

i get Ebro’s schedule..i trully do..and i was fine with Sardinia..i was fine with Geneva as well cause there was a reason behind it plotwise but we’ve come to the point where there isn’t even an explanation about this…

they didn’t clarify the reason she left… cause it doesn’t make sense when Siobhan’s funeral was 4 days after the gallery party…there wasn’t a reason good enough to justify her absence that’s why the writers didn’t give one…they prefered to let the fans decide which reason was good enough…let’s be real though that was sloppy..and as much as i love orphan black i’m gonna point out  it’s weakening points as well.

  • Coady+ Mark

So Mark died absolutely clueless…his death matched Ira’s death, both manipulated by their creators, hoping for a cure that never existed in the first place.Too bad that there wasn’t any building up to bring tension and to make us care about those characters… so this scene felt kinda flat at least for me…i believe the reason behind this was cause ob writers didn’t want to make Coady a grey character…. well i for once celebrated her death after this scene

wait it is confirmed that Coady is dead right? I mean Helena beat the shit out of her so it would be  impossible to zombie out ?? or should i be worried??

  • PT + Rachel!Sarah

oh god PT without his wig is like a bulb with ears lmao

anyway so i loved these 2 together…this is the first time Sarah meets John am i right?

also congrats to the props team and the level of detail they use in each scene…i liked that Sarah didn’t wear the same patch Rachel wears…

a++ to the dialogue about PT perving out on Rachel because in that way Sarah put herself on Rachel’s shoes and actually saw for the first time how they were monitoring her sister and what actually means complete lack of privacy…

also both Susan and PT seem to have a perplexed image as to what a father/mother figure looks like

you don’t fuck your ‘son’/ or watch you ‘daughter’ masturbate and then call them “son/daughter” lol

but it gave me pleasure that Rachel never actually called PT “father” and that’s how Sarah got exposed..

the moment she cut him with the knife i was like “yaaaas finish him lol”




don’t get me wrong the kid was very good/ super talented and all

but how could they do this???

i mean it was SO.FUCKING.OBVIOUS that this isn’t the face of a leda clone you couldn’t concentrate on anything else!

at least i couldn’t! Especially when 2 episodes before they used canonically Cynthia!

i mean


it defies logic?? there’s no excuse??

they could have dubbed the ukranian parts i don’t care if little Cynthia couldn’t play that good that was so wrong in so many levels… it had the “Spongebob takes a bath in the sea” logic lol

and it was really such a shame cause the flashbacks were so amazing..

first of all i loved the whole “pleasures of the flesh are unacceptable in a religious environment” thematic cause it adresses real social issues like the austerity and fake puritanism of social institutions.

the reason behind Helena’s bleached hair was a nice touch even though little Helena should also have some  burn marks after this…we got to know why she has those pink shades under her eyes as well so that was good..

as far as to why her hair is still blonde after all this time…well i choose to patch this plot hole by believing that Helena did this to herself again and again..she bleached/dyed them as a sign of punishment, self harm  and guilt cause that was the way she was raised- a mouthpiece and killing machine of others..

the art department did a brilliant job with the dollhouse and the correlation between Helena’s fixation with dolls back in her Rachel assassination attempt

Tomas took her and hide her the fact  that she’s a copy..she grew up in the illusion that she was special..that she was the fact Rachel and Helena fantasized about the same thing and it is so fascinating to see how they are 2 different sides of the same coin…

  • Most Heartbreaking moment

Oh god this moment…

what kind of mother could you possibly make?

jesus Tatiana each time you give more and more, i haven’t seen an actor as committed and devoted as you are, you deserve all the praise girl woah

Coady found Helena’s weakness and it is not how she smells, looks or talks…it’s about her capacity of giving a future more bright and beautiful to her children than the one her younger self  had to endure…

and at the end of the day she’s willing to take the bait..  it’s either freedom or death…exactly like Rachel..there’s no middle ground..she won’t leave her children become experiments so that’s why i find super important that we finally get a Rachel Helena scene…there’s a high probability Rachel won’t make it in the finale so at least lets have a last glorious scene with the 3 of them as they try to escape…or so i hope…



all this crazy rambling about this being a Sarah-Helena season finally came true! Everything came full circle and this moment was SO important like you guys don’t understand…

Sarah finally made up for Helena..she gave her her blood to keep her alive…she put each and everyone of her friends and family searching for her, she made her a priority- drowning her grief -cause she couldn’t lose another one..especially Helena.

And now she will help her give birth..she will be there for her, protect her, give her life even..even tho after the obspoilers fiasco my theory now is that Art is gonna save Sarah…because it is super symbolic .. it would be his second chance and his redemption after losing Beth.. now he’s gonna do it right. Idk it is so foreshadowing… i wonder what Rachel’s role is gonna be..i sure hope she’s the one that’s gonna kill PT but who knows at this point.

Ep 9 set the mood for a very powerful ob series finale..Helena’s inner world was raw and pure and it’s going to  parallel  Sarah’s  final  gut-wrenching episode.The twins are going to set the epilogue and i trully hope their journey will be as magical and  satisfying as this show was  for all of us.

Studio Pierrot’s huge mistake

Naruto Shippuden episode 495 was a really important day for all true TenTen fans (not counting those who only like their OOC versions of her), those who, no matter what they ship, respect her growth as a character and praise Kishimoto and the novelists for turning her into a strong independent kunoichi with 0 interest in romance we had in Boruto the movie and Konoha Shinden.

Konoha Hiden was the novel that explained TenTen’s deep character to those who didn’t pay attention through the manga or that had doubts about her motives behind certain decisions and life choices. It showed how girls in the Naruverse can choose a different path out of the usual one (becoming wives and mothers) because of their own will or preferences. TenTen was the example of a woman who didn’t need a man to feel complete.

Yet, Studio Pierrot spits this piece of crap on our faces:

And that’s it! No further explanation or character development. The whole thing just dies with TenTen making an “oh crap” funny face. Here you have yet another Naruto girl obsessed with marriage and love, daydreaming with hearts all around her until she suddenly realizes she has no boyfriend, so she can’t get married a live happily ever after.

Wait a second, I need to puke… I’m allergic to japanese single-woman shame.

For those who didn’t read the novels, maybe you didn’t notice but SP dared to change the context of TenTen’s lines from the novel. Here is the original script:

“Marriage, huh… well, it’s a nice thing”

[…] She lived her life without any thoughts for romance or feminity. Hearing about someone close to her getting married suddenly made one disturbing thought fly into TenTen’s mind and refuse to leave: Was it really okay for her to be like this? […] Was it really okay for a young woman to be like that?

From here, the question “Is it really okay for her/a woman to be like that?” is repeated numerous times, nearly once per paragraph. TenTen deals internally with the fact that she isn’t interested in men or love at all, in fact she has never being in her whole life because she finds weapons far more attractive and interesting. TenTen actually fears that she is not normal, that she should force herself to enjoy what others do.

Do you realize the struggle of a girl who just doesn’t feel she has to follow what society tells her it’s right for her gender to do? But no! Pierrot decides to add hearts, skips the whole inner dialogue sbout her doubts/way she feels, and just jumps to the recreation of imaginary people teasing her over giving a present everybody expects. And yeah, this last part was also in the novel, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of respect over TenTen as a complex character with an inner struggle concerning the way she sees life and even her sexuality.

I enjoyed most parts of the episode, of course. As a Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden fan I was happy to see how Pierrot fused both Lee’s and TenTen’s chapters to praise their good old anime spin-off and Kenji Taira; but I missed the dramatic parts of Konoha Hiden, being this the one I wanted to see animated the most.

This wakes an uneasy feeling in me. With the Boruto anime series airing in April… did Studio Pierrot re-wrote this part of the novel on purposse to turn TenTen into Mei 2.0 for the sake of comedy? It’s not the first time Pierrot changes a character’s personality in fillers, including the whole romance issue. I’m really scared.

kerryquartz  asked:

Any tips for a beginner writer?

Here’s a bunch of random advice that I’ve been given or learned over the years:

Train Your Brain - Write Every Day
This one is so so sososo important. If you want to be a writer, you absolutely need to train yourself to write every day - It’s the only way to get better. You need to make it part of your routine, and part of your life. Set aside a little time, even just 30 minutes, and make that your Writing Time every single day. For me, it’s the first 2 hours right after I wake up. I get up, I make coffee, I sit by my window that looks out at my garden, and I type or scribble away for 2 hours. No surfing the internet, no getting distracted… that’s my writing time. By setting these sorts of habitual patterns you’ll train your brain to be creative on your command.

Finding your “voice”
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a novel or an episode of a scifi TV show, great writing always has something personal in there from the writer; some nugget of emotion and truth that makes it sing. It doesn’t matter how cool your story is, how complicated or interesting your characters are, if you’re not finding inspiration in your own life and putting Yourself in there it’s gonna fall flat. This one took me a surprisingly long time to learn. Which leads me to…

“Write what you know” doesn’t just mean “Write about your life”
I used to think that “Write what you know” was lame advice that meant people should only write about their own lives and experiences… and that’s pretty boring, right? The thing it took me ages and ages to figure out was that it meant “Take what you’ve learned about emotions, relationships, friendships, and living from your own life, and apply that to your stories.” So even if I live alone in the middle of nowhere with no friends (hello, 2013) I can use that experience to, say, write a story about an astronaut on a space station.

Make your characters sound different from each other
There’s nothing worse than reading something where all the characters’ voices sound exactly the same. Whenever I write a new character I always, always try to have someone’s voice in mind for them - Could be an actor, a friend, a family member, someone I heard on a train… But as I write that character I imagine that person’s voice saying the words and what they would say; it helps inform sentence structure, vocabulary, verbal tics. It helps keep the dialogue feeling real and unique from other characters’ dialogue. The whole process is kind of like being an actor except entirely in your head and on the page. To help build up a “database” of voices, I spend a lot of time studying people’s speech patterns and voices out and about in the world. I’ll be at a restaurant or in a store and hear someone say something in a unique way, or with a great accent, and I’ll write it down in my notebook for later. Speaking of which…

Keep a notebook (or at least a note on your phone) for ideas
Now admittedly I’m a bit of a notebook fiend (I go through 3-5 of those Moleskine notebooks a year) but I really think they are one of the best weapons a writer can have in their arsenal. Anytime you have any scrap of an idea, whip out your notebook (or, sigh, your phone) and jot it down. It could be a single idea for a joke, it could be a great line of dialogue, it could be a character or location you want to use… write it down. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve found solutions by just flipping through a notebook and spotting something that I forgot I wrote down.

Analyze your favorite writing
Make sure to spend time thinking about the writing that inspires you and gets you jazzed - Why do you like it? What are the common elements? Do you think you’d be able to write something like that? That sort of academic work will pay off in the long run, trust me.

“No one will read this…”
…And that’s okay! You need to remind yourself when you’re first starting out that no one may read what you’re writing - But don’t let that discourage you! I have a whole drawer (okay, a Dropbox folder) full of scripts that no one else has ever read. And they’re mostly garbage! But I learned lots of stuff from writing them. Remember that, at first, you should be writing just for the joy of doing it, rather than looking for praise from other people. I find that lots of young writers spend more time thinking about the end results rather than actually doing the work - So stop thinking about ways you’ll “troll your fans” and focus on actually writing, ya sillyhead!

Happy trails, and don’t forget to write!

nickandch33se  asked:

What are your opinions on the Adventure games from a critical standpoint? It's obvious that you like going through them and finding unused content but do you genuinely enjoy playing through them?

I could go all day about positive aspects of the games and why I find them good so I’m just going to address what I see as the negatives of the games.

The problems I see with them are:

  • Camera
  • Collision
  • Game Design
  • Localisation
  • Development Time
  • Port Quality

I’m going to explain each of these, because I see a lot of people complaining about the games these days and then not knowing what they’re supposed to be talking about when asked to go into more detail.

Keep reading

RPG Maker Fever Returns

Warning:This article may contain spoilers and the content inappropriate for children…or may not contain.But get the children away from the screen just in case.

Guess who’s baaaack?It’s a Bird? It’s a Plane?it’s maskedpeach the RMK-maniac!Heh,I’ve finally played enough RPG Maker games to make a new part of my RPG Maker Fever.There isn’t much horror games this time,but RPG maker games aren’t about horror only,right?

1.Dreaming Mary

Dreaming Mary is one of those “not-what-it-seems” games.,where beneath the sweet dreams lies the nightmare.Story in this game is somewhat bland,but it doesn’t matter much.‘coz the things that make this game really enjoyable are outstanding visuals and very good sountrack,which helps you to fully dive into that unusual dream world.Btw,it’s actually the first game for a long time,which creeped me out with its Sweet Dreams-gameover.


One of my personal favourites among the new RPG-maker games.This is a short story-oriented adventure game made by the same author as Alice mare.There’s some battles in turn-based RPG manner,but they’re all very simple.The game’s story lacks of originality,but still fun to follow thanks to bright well-developed characters,stylish illustrations and great soundtrack,which unlike Alice mare’s is fully original.

3.LiEat 2

The second game in the series is pretty much the same as first.Story in my opinion is more interesting than the first game’s one,but still I suggest you to play the both in the order,because LiEat is planned as trilogy,so their stories are connected and some things may be unclear,if you play only the second one.Overall both parts are nice and comfy games,which is good if you need to play something relaxing.

4.LiEat 3

If two previous games were pretty similliar,the third one is quite different from both of them,the game’ve become more challenging.Unlike first two games,LiEat 3 has a lot of puzzles(simple,but still tricky and fun) and fighting lies and leveling up this time actually affects the ending.The story is interesting,characters are good(especially a new police officer Iris),dialogues are well-written.Overall it’s a very decent conclusion of the trilogy,so if you haven’t played the first two games-now you can play all three and watch the story through the end.


I’ve already written the full review on this game some time ago,so I’ll make it short.Pros:Interesting puzzles,beautiful illustrations,neat atmosphere,touching bittersweet story.Cons:Poorly written,long-pacing dialogues,huge and uninspiring maps.If you’re the fan of RPG Horrors,I recommend to give this game a try,since it’s a quality horror adventure game.Maybe somewhat flawed,but still very enjoyable.

6.Pom gets Wi-Fi

This a game is one of those WTF-games I really enjoy.The first weird thing about this game,that all characters are dogs.And the main heroine is the weirdest among them-where else you’ll see a pomeranian who likes to seat in social networks and represents a walking image of forum troll?This game has cute unique visuals and good humor.To someone jokes may seem rude,but personally I laughted my lungs out.The only bad thing in this game is slow-pacing,easy battles,but there’s very little of them.

7.Dear Red

Dear Red turned out being a nice surprise for me.I thought it would be something like Hello?Hell…o?-welll,technically it is-this game is extremely short and has many endings.But that’s where the good thing lies-from all those endings(they depend on your decisions during the game) the whole story consists.Every time you get different ending you discover more curious plot-details.So I recommend to spend 20 minutes of your life to play this game-it’s worth it.


This one of don’t-judge-by-appearance games.Don’t get fooled by it’s simple looks-it’s a very interesting and deep puzzle-adventure with outstanding opening and ending credits.Puzzles in this game are well-constructed and follows pretty simple logic,so you can handle them without a guide.Additionaly I want to praise the music,which helps to create the unique nostalgic retro-atmosphere and makes the game more enjoyable.

9.Skinwalker\The Visitor

I’ve decided to combine both these games in one mini-review,'coz they’re both by the same author and have pretty similliar conception.In both games you listen a story,solving puzzles time to time in order to proceed.Skinwalker is more story-oriented and reminds something beetween old text adventures and old horror B-movies,while The Visitor is closer to common RPG-horrors like Majo no Ie or Paranoiac for example.Both games are perfect if you want a short horror game to play with lights off and headphones on.Additionally I want to praise Skinwalker’s creepy and detailed illustrations and The Visitor’s storyteller-granny Agatha(infernal grannies rules!).

10.Infectious Nightmare

Infectious Nightmare is very much common RPG-horror.another story about amnesiac girl with extremely easy and uninspiring puzzles and poor mapping.But it’s still worth a playthrough,'coz it has pretty decent story and a very nice true ending.This game isn’t bad,it’s just no different from others in any way.

11.Monster Love Party

Monster Love Party(I’ve just noticed that it can be abbreviated as MLP-oh,God!) is a short and pretty typical Halloween-story.The game has well-drawn illustrations and mapping(but there’s one upleasant thing about it-sometimes you can easily stuck in decorations-so be careful) and nice logical puzzles,so if you have 30 minutes to spare-you can give this game a try.

Must Listen May: Mabel

An interesting piece of trivia I’d like to offer to you all before starting this review is that this show officially premiered nine days after my nineteenth birthday. And when I think of September, the first thing that comes to mind is how much I enjoy doing September in Review and how long it took for me to figure out whether or not I wanted to squeeze Mabel into it. 

But the siren’s call of horror has been a strong one this month, and I was compelled to go with my instincts on the SABLE and Mabel match up for the end of spring. Also, I like rhyming as much as I love perfect timing.

Keep reading

joneetheocelot  asked:

Do you have any tips for Beginner Writers? Cause after I graduate high school I am going to a community college and I am wanting to be a writer! Is there any tips or advice? And I want to be a writer cause your are my favorite writer ever!

Hi Jonee! Thanks so much for the nice words - That’s very kind of you!

Here’s a bunch of random advice that I’ve been given or learned over the years about Being A Writer:

Train Your Brain - Write Every Day
This one is so so sososo important. If you want to be a writer, you absolutely need to train yourself to write every day - It’s the only way to get better. You need to make it part of your routine, and part of your life. Set aside a little time every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes, and Write. For me, it’s the first 2 hours right after I wake up. I get up, I make coffee, I sit by my window that looks out at my garden, and I type or scribble away for 2 hours. No surfing the internet, no getting distracted… that’s my writing time. Back before I was writing professionally I still found time to cram writing in every day. By setting these sorts of habitual patterns you’ll train your brain to be creative on your command.

Finding your “voice”
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a novel or an episode of a scifi TV show, great writing always has something personal in there from the writer; some nugget of emotion and truth that makes it sing. It doesn’t matter how cool your story is, how complicated or interesting your characters are, if you’re not finding inspiration in your own life and putting Yourself in there it’s gonna fall flat. This one took me a surprisingly long time to learn. Which leads me to…

“Write what you know” doesn’t just mean “Write about your life”
I used to think that “Write what you know” was lame advice that meant people should only write about their own lives and experiences… and that’s pretty boring, right? The thing it took me ages and ages to figure out was that it meant “Take what you’ve learned about emotions, relationships, friendships, and living from your own life, and apply that to your stories.” So even if I live alone in the middle of nowhere with no friends (hello, 2013) I can use that experience to, say, write a story about an astronaut on a space station.

Make your characters sound different from each other
There’s nothing worse than reading something where all the characters’ voices sound exactly the same. Whenever I write a new character I always, always try to have someone’s voice in mind for them - Could be an actor, a friend, a family member, someone I heard on a train… But as I write that character I imagine that person’s voice saying the words and what they would say; it helps inform sentence structure, vocabulary, verbal tics. It helps keep the dialogue feeling real and unique from other characters’ dialogue. The whole process is kind of like being an actor except entirely in your head and on the page. To help build up a “database” of voices, I spend a lot of time studying people’s speech patterns and voices out and about in the world. I’ll be at a restaurant or in a store and hear someone say something in a unique way, or with a great accent, and I’ll write it down in my notebook for later. Speaking of which…

Keep a notebook (or at least a note on your phone) for ideas
Now admittedly I’m a bit of a notebook fiend (I go through 3-5 of those Moleskine notebooks a year) but I really think they are one of the best weapons a writer can have in their arsenal. Anytime you have any scrap of an idea, whip out your notebook (or, sigh, your phone) and jot it down. It could be a single idea for a joke, it could be a great line of dialogue, it could be a character or location you want to use… write it down. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve found solutions by just flipping through a notebook and spotting something that I forgot I wrote down.

Analyze your favorite writing
Make sure to spend time thinking about the writing that inspires you and gets you jazzed - Why do you like it? What are the common elements? Do you think you’d be able to write something like that? That sort of academic work will pay off in the long run, trust me.

“No one will read this…”
…And that’s okay! You need to remind yourself when you’re first starting out that no one may read what you’re writing - But don’t let that discourage you! I have a whole drawer (okay, a Dropbox folder) full of scripts that no one else has ever read. And they’re mostly garbage! But I learned lots of stuff from writing them. Remember that, at first, you should be writing just for the joy of doing it, rather than looking for praise from other people. I find that lots of young writers spend more time thinking about the end results rather than actually doing the work - So stop thinking about ways you’ll “troll your fans” and focus on actually writing, ya sillyhead!

Happy trails, and don’t forget to write!

anonymous asked:


I am certain that you already know the answer to that question: 




For a few of you, you may have been caught by surprise. Why would someone with the blog of Madara’s brother state Aizen as the answer? Are you joking with us? 

I will tell you in the greatest honesty: For the first time in my life, I stopped being a lazy, biased ass and actually went online and researched about Aizen before making my statement. 

Sure, I knew he is Bleach’s main antagonist. And that Bleach and Naruto are supposedly “rivals”. And that the Naruto fandom just wants to hear Madara > Aizen for no apparent reason other than that Madara is a character in their fandom. 

I will tell you now: There is much more to this guy named Aizen Sousuke than “the antagonist of a rival series”. 

I will divide my statement into two parts, in which the first part will be based on the fandom, while the second part will be based on the mangakas’ viewpoints of their two characters. 

I. The Fandom 

The first point of interest I will mention is this diagram. 

As comical as you may believe it to be, it goes to show how much the Naruto series switches antagonists, each time replaced by a more powerful manipulator. From the bottom to the top, the list goes as follows: Nagato, Obito, Madara, Black Zetsu, Kaguya, Kishimoto, Marijuana, Bob Marley, (and you guessed who’s as the top of the hierarchy) Aizen Sousuke. Aizen is at the top of this puppet master hierarchy, even without being in the Naruto series. In contrast, Madara is 3rd from the bottom in this list. That does not even make a worthy challenge to Aizen’s influence of manipulation within the fandom. 

The second point will focus on this post made in the Naruto Subreddit. Source

Again, should you be in denial, you will simply ignore this as a joke. However, what is interesting is the location where is this post is made: Naruto Chapter 679 - Links and Discussion. This is the chapter where Madara swells, blows up, and literally disappears from the main story altogether. Yes, it is that chapter. 

Many people were expecting Madara to return in epicness and follow Obito’s path in taking over Kaguya. In all honesty, I also thought as such. Yet, that did not happen in the slightest. Madara was literally spit out of Kaguya like a piece of gum and died shortly after. There was not even a flashback for him. And we all know how much was devoted to Nagato’s and Obito’s flashbacks.

Returning to the main point, right on the chapter where Madara dies (away from the main plot), someone in plain words brings up Aizen stabbing Kaguya. Another comment even brings up Aizen mindfucking with “Shatter, Kyouka Suigetsu”; all the Naruto world is merely an illusion created by Aizen. The second comment dismisses the Naruto world as a joke created by Aizen on a whim. However, what is more interesting is the first comment, where Kaguya (the antagonist who killed the previous antagonist Madara within seconds) is placed on the same level as Hinamori Momo (a character who is often associated with getting stabbed by Aizen). Placing Kaguya (who killed Madara) on the same level as Hinamori SAYS SOMETHING.

Following the image and the text, I went to YouTube and searched through the most recent videos that would mention both Aizen and Madara in it. Here is one I found after hours of searching, though there could be more that I have yet to find. Source

Around 1:15, he states: “You can name one character, and everybody loses their shits. And I’m telling you, it definitely ain’t fucking Madara. maybe back in the day. But AIZEN CONSISTENTLY, EVERY TIME you hear that motherfucker’s voice, EVERYONE LOSES THEIR SHITS.

II. The Mangaka 

This part will focus on the respective mangakas’ method of introducing these two characters. 

This is Madara’s first formal appearance (outside of flashbacks) in the manga chapter 559: 

Despite the chapter being titled “Uchiha Madara”, Kishimoto closes the chapter with not a major cliffhanger from the actual Madara, but the question of who is the man in the mask. 

Madara makes his second return in Chapters 656-657 as a human being. Just as Kishimoto misled the fans into believing that Sakura was Naruto’s true love, Kishimoto misleads us into believing that Madara is the “most vile threat”, when that threat is Kaguya.

The above is the official title given by Kishimoto: The Return of Uchiha Madara. Other than that one time Gaara mentions/asks if Madara’s power is that of a God, Kishimoto never directly (e.g., through titles) mentions that Madara is God. It is simply “Madara’s Return”.

The final time Madara returns is in Chapter 690, where Kishimoto does not even give him a mention. To be honest, other than a few incomprehensible words, this page has no dialogue. In addition, Madara dies shortly after.

The below image details Kubo’s re-introduction of Aizen as the mastermind. However, even before we find out his true intentions, Kubo introduces the gentle and affectionate Aizen with a full page. He has yet to reveal himself, though his extremely kind nature certainly gives a mysterious atmosphere, as we wonder about his “death”. 

Following Aizen’s introduction as the most manipulative being known to anime/manga, Kubo appropriately gives Aizen a color page in Chapter 170, alongside his subordinate Ichimaru Gin. If you read/watched Bakuman, you will know that anything in color means something big for the manga and mangaka. Recall that Kishimoto does not give Madara a color page dedicated to his return.

Next is the color spread (yet again) of Aizen’s Second Return. Appropriately, it has Aizen’s image and is titled RETURN OF THE GOD.

AIZEN IS BACK, AND EVEN KUBO KNOWS IT! Kubo once again gives Aizen a color page for Chapter 617. Aizen’s return is confirmed in Chapter 616 where only his name is mentioned. And, even then, a massive shitstorm starts in Chapter 616 simply at the sound of his name.

In comparison with Kishimoto who never (or rarely if you are desperate) refers to Madara as God, KUBO EVIDENTLY DESIGNATES AIZEN AS GOD. There is an entire series of chapters named Deicide, which means Killing God, or much more like Soul Society’s attempts to kill God. Ichimaru Gin’s Bankai, which’s sole purpose is to kill Aizen, is appropriately named Kamishini no Yari, the God-Killing Spear. Yet again in Chapter 617, Kubo titles it RETURN OF THE GOD, complete with Aizen’s image above it.

Aizen is never called “God of *Something*”, as opposed to how Yoruchi is the God of Flash, Baraggan is the God of Hueco Mundo, or Juhabach is the God of Quincies/Christians. For Aizen, it is purely God. (and God of Trolls does not count FYI because it is not a named element in Bleach). 

In contrast, Kishimoto has not even given Madara the title of “God of Shinobi”. That title is reserved for Hashirama, Hiruzen, and Hagoromo. 

A special note I would like to make is how Kishimoto and Kubo introduced Aizen and Madara respectively.

Kishimoto has Madara debut through such a fierce way. 

Madara first appears in Chapter 370. Note that more than ½ of the series has passed. Kishimoto introduces Madara this late into the series. Despite being much earlier than Kaguya, more than ½ of Naruto’s 700 chapters are completed before Madara appears as a named character rather than as a statue. Trivia that 370/700 = 0.528571.

Kishimoto built up too much praise for the Uchiha clan as being a powerful and prominent family in Konoha. They were the strongest clan, as well as one of the founders of the Hidden Leaf. They have powerful eyes which grants their members similar abilities. Kishimoto tops it off with claiming that Madara is the founder of that prestigious clan. Kishimoto falsely gives Madara a sense of power and authority that falters soon after. This is especially true when we find out that the start of the Uchiha bloodline is Otsutsuki Indra. In addition, the person Jiraiya mentioned to have summoned the Kyuubi turns out to be Obito, a contemporary of Kakashi.

Now, unto how Aizen debuts: 

Aizen debuts in Chapter 79, and 79/617 = 0.128039. (Chapter 617 is Return of the God). 12.8% into the Bleach series, Kubo introduces Aizen.

The below details how Kubo chose to introduce Aizen, whom would later be referenced as God.

Kubo does not give Aizen an aggressive or powerful persona until the actual Aizen appears. In fact, Aizen does not even appear to be powerful. Aizen literally debuts as the least threatening of the entire Gotei 13. Compared to Soifon, Ichimaru Gin, Kuchiki Byakuya, Hitsugaya Toshiro, Kaname Tousen, Zaraki Kenpachi, Kurotsuchi Mayuri, Kyouraku Shunsui, etc, Aizen even appears to be the weakest of the captain class. What else would be expected through these panels? Aizen literally debuts as an unassuming, smiling nerd. The entire page after his actual debut is him smiling. 

It is also important to note that Aizen does not come from a “high expectations” family as Kishimoto introduced Madara. Unlike Kishimoto’s pattern of introducing Uchiha as “members of this powerful family with powerful eyes”, we still do not know anything about Aizen’s family. Even upon the time this post was made, hundreds of chapters after Aizen’s debut, we do not even know if Aizen even has a family, much less about his background or upbringing. All we know is that the name “Aizen” is not listed upon the main families in Soul Society. Wherever Aizen is from, he was certainly not born into nobility or prestige.

Who would have expected that someone who debuts as a weak-looking scholar from nowhere would become the God who cuts down the captains we previously classified as more powerful than him.

Kubo evidently devotes more space for Aizen to grow as a dominating presence instead of straight off mentioning him as someone from a high-ranking, powerful family with a threatening face to “back it up”.

Madara starts out as someone from the powerful Uchiha family, the founder of his clan, the sole summoner of the Kyuubi. All this SHATTERS when we find out that he was banished from his clan, the Uchiha were founded by Indra, and Obito summoned the Kyuubi as well.

While Kishimoto uses Madara’s family to “back up” his character as powerful, Aizen is powerful not because of a family, BUT BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS.

Aizen probably knew about this all along. Even before he leaves Soul Society, he says something a bit too fitting for the situation:

Madara is basically written out “just like any other Uchiha, only more powerful” even before he gets any development as a person. He is EXPECTED to be powerful, aggressive, dangerous, vengeful, the founder of Sasuke’s and Itachi’s clan, etc. There is just too much false expectation placed on his character even before he says a word. Death (after a long line of supposed deaths) becomes the end of Madara’s story.

Exactly the opposite, Aizen’s story starts with his “death”, which does not even count as an actual death as a result of the Perfect Hypnosis. 

Kishimoto has Madara introduced as one of the most powerful characters, only to have his death executed in the worst possible way.

In contrast, Kubo introduces Aizen as an innocent, weak-looking, unassuming character who rises to the top of his series, with the ability to command total attention with merely his smiles.


++ Coriolanus - A Truly Amazing Experience ++

Ahh, London!

My arrival in London started the amazing-train immediately. My airplane flew over the city like they were giving us a sky tour. I saw everything. The London Eye, Tower Bridge, that skyscraper at “30 St Mary Axe” that looks like a glass football (hey it does to me, ok). I would have taken photos if we weren’t in final descent and banned from using our phones. Even the weather was in fine form. Perfect clear skies, white puffy clouds without a hint of rain and rather warm for winter. To top it all off the traffic was behaved. My driver from the airport was in mild shock at this and remarked on it twice.

Driving to my hotel I passed even more landmarks. The Odeon, Harrods, an enormous school complete with children playing in these impeccable little red uniforms complete with cloaks that seemed to be ripped right out of a Harry Potter book. Before I knew it I was smack dab in the middle of Seven Dials/Covent Garden. I checked into my hotel and immediately went for a long walk.

I’m not a proper tourist I guess whenever I go someplace new. I like to wander (almost aimlessly but not enough to get into trouble) and people watch. So I was less interested in Big Ben and more interested in traversing the tiny cobblestone streets and watching the hustle and bustle of people going about their everyday business. This city is everything I hoped it would be and I ended my first day locating the Donmar Warehouse, snapping a few photos, then settling down at a pub for a pint (or three).

But enough of this, you’re waiting for me to get to the damn point, yes? Coriolanus and the big man himself (or I should state, “men” because Mr. Gatiss is equally responsible for me traveling to see this play)…

The Play Is The Thing

As you’ve probably already heard, Donmar Warehouse is tiny. The street it’s on is small, the entryway is small, yep…it’s small! They don’t really have a foyer/waiting area/box office, they have a narrow hallway with the box office desk nestled at the end (definitely a job where you better like your co-worker!). It’s too small even for a coat check area. However, for what it lacks in size it makes up for in service.

The folks working there, especially the bar staff, were polite and efficient. I had to return a ticket and there was no muss and no fuss. I even cracked a few jokes with the box office peeps. The bartenders didn’t skimp on the drinks and I happily tipped them well. I even had a fangirl/fanboy moment with the bar staff as we talked about Brian Cox and “The Weir” production when it was playing at the Donmar among other things (and yeah, Mr. Cox is a sweetheart and they are the luckiest staff ever). If I didn’t live so damn far away I’d visit this theatre regularly. I was that impressed.

This is not the only play I’ve seen while here. I’ve seen “The Weir” (also directed by Josie Rourke, and playing at the Wyndham Theatre now) and “Henry V” (with Jude Law), both bigger venues and very nice, but I liked the Donmar best. The people there were just really sweet.

Also, stating for full disclosure, I saw Coriolanus twice (Henry V as well). Why? Well for one, I’m fortunate enough that I can. No, I didn’t camp outside nor get Barclay tickets. I got my tickets the boring way, the day the play initially went on sale. Second, I like seeing plays (and movies for that matter) at least twice. For plays in particular, I just find I really like that 2nd viewing to really let it soak in.

The reaction of the crowd (I’m a people watcher remember) is usually different from one show to another, with folks either laughing or gasping at different things at times. Heck even the show itself can make little subtle shifts, like an actor giving a look that he didn’t give a day or week before. I realize that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s how I roll.

[Note: I also attended the Coriolanus - Open Workshop hosted by the Donmar. I won’t detail that here, but I highly recommend it. It was well organized, loads of fun, I learned lots, and no you don’t need to be an actor or “in the business” to enjoy it. It’s completely group-centric and very interactive though, it’s not a lecture or just a discussion. So if that’s not your thing I’d skip it, but it was exactly what I was looking for. Again, many props to the Donmar.]

I’m also a Shakespeare nerd, so yes I’ve read Coriolanus in the past. Admittedly, it’s not one of my favorites on paper. This can be said of all his plays, but you really need to see this one performed. On paper there are parts in the play that (to me) really drag on, but on stage they just seem to work. It’s kind of unexplainable. So, if you’ve read it and didn’t “get it”, don’t be disheartened. Give it another go. Sadly, this play really isn’t performed nearly as much as others, but if you can, go watch it (the NT Live showing, in person if you can swing it, or even the Ralph Fiennes movie version which is currently on NetFlix). But anyway, back to the production itself…

As with all things at the Donmar the stage is small too, and as others have stated the whole experience is “intimate”. Both times I was seated in the stalls. The first time I was 2 rows back from center. The second time I was front row stage right on the end. For the curious, no the theatre was not full of raging fangirls on either day.

It was a good mix of men and women, young and old, couples and folks on their own. And I wouldn’t necessarily jump to conclusions on who the crowd was present for. I ran into a lot of folks seeing this to see Mark Gatiss in particular, which made my little fangirl heart merry. It was also a veritable smorgasbord of nationalities. First time I met a girl from France, and her friend from Russia, several folks from Italy, from Spain, Germany, Brazil, various parts of the UK and the US. As an avid people watcher this made the experience all the more enjoyable.

The play starts with Caius Marcius’s son painting a square on the ground, framing the stage, then *bam* it starts and you feel like you’re in the thick of the action. The costuming was well done. I collect antique weapons (mainly swords), so I admit that my eye lingered way too much on everybody’s weapons (and how they were used) and not a whole lot on what they were wearing! So yeah, I spent way too much time looking at Tom and Hadley Fraser’s (Aufidius’s) thighs…namely the one thigh with the falcata sword strapped to it…as well as their footwork when they were fighting. Sorry, it’s my thing! Regardless, nothing in the costuming made me raise my eyebrow and think, “that isn’t right.”

The props were simple chairs, that single lonely ladder, the occasional bowl/platter/cups, and paint (used to graffiti the wall and paint the floor). When the chairs are moved around the stage the change is punctuated with music (electronic/techno). I’ve read that some critics didn’t dig the music, but for me it worked. It wasn’t too loud, or overly used. It didn’t detract from the play at all in my opinion.

I won’t spell out the overall storyline, plenty of other bloggers and journalists have done that well enough. So I’ll focus on a few things that struck me most. I have to give praise to how the Virgilia character (Caius/Coriolanus’s wife) was handled. This is the character I like the least in the play. In other productions I’ve seen she is so overshadowed by Volumnia it’s almost laughable. In this production she seems to have a bit more purpose to her existence. The loving and faithful wife. What she lacked in dialogue was made up for in poignant glances and loving kisses to her husband (On a side note, what a job! You get to romantically kiss Tom, ok Caius, multiple times per day, get thrown lovey-dovey looks, and get paid for it. Where did I go wrong in life?! *ahem* Moving on…). I did notice the hairstyle shift/change between Volumnia and Virgilia between acts. It’s subtle and it works.  

Mark Gatiss was perfect as Menenius. So perfect I can’t see anybody else in the role now. I feel for this character the most, so yes he’s my favorite in the play. Sure he’s a typical politican, and says some rather arrogant and dick-ish things quite frankly. But there is nothing like seeing a close friend seemingly piss everything away and be powerless to stop it, and even worse, lose the friendship altogether.

The parts where a bit of levity were introduced were done well in my opinion. This is a tragedy after all, and the lighter points did not lessen this fact. Despite the laughs you know everything is going nowhere positive. Mr. Gatiss did this part massive justice. He was phenomenal. (On a side note, I forget how damn tall Mark is. Seeing him on TV he clearly isn’t short, but on stage you really notice his height. When I was sitting front row I had to seriously look up when he passed me.)

Yes, the actors make eye contact with the crowd at times. Tom does it the most, but Mark, Hadley, and others do it quite a bit as well. And it’s not just the folks in the stalls (1st floor) they are looking at. They look up to the folks in the circle (2nd floor) a lot. I’d say more so than anywhere else. When I was sitting 2 rows back in the center I thought, “Bah, I’m safe way back here. No way anybody will look at me.” Well, I was wrong. I got Tom’s eyes full blast for a good bit. Don’t ask me what was said during that moment in time because I don’t remember! I was too busy thinking, “Wait, did that just happen? Holy fuck it did!” Ditto for the second showing when I was front row. It was brief but my brain did “skip” for a millisecond.

Ok, the infamous “shower scene”. You knew this was coming, right? Well, there was nothing and I mean nothing sensuous or sexual about the shower scene unless you are seriously into pain. (And if you are into pain, then well this scene is right up your street.) Have you ever cut yourself and then had water poured on it while it was still raw? It sucked right? Probably stung? Well that’s what this scene was like, except it wasn’t just a cut but big gaping bleeding gashes as water poured on him.

It didn’t look fun, and despite the shirtlessness, it did nothing for Your Humble Narrator’s libido…nor was it meant to. It was a powerful scene and you could feel the audience respond to it immediately. There were gasps (and not the “oooh that’s hot” kind) when he took his shirt off and you saw the wounds. I saw more than one person wince when the water hit him. It looked like it hurt like the seven hells and even I winced once when Tom gasped in pain.

As you might have heard, the part of Sicinius Velutus (in this production, “Sicinia” Velutus) is played by a woman (Helen Schlesinger). There is a scene where Sicinia and Junius Brutus (played by Elliot Levey) kiss. It’s brief, but I gotta admit my first thought was:

I didn’t see this one coming, but it still worked. It made their conspiring together seem that much more realistic in a way. Like a power couple relishing in the triumph of taking someone “big” down. When I saw it the second time it kind of colored those two characters in a different way in my mind. And yeah, needless to say both actors were incredible in their roles.

Last but not least, the Coriolanus and Aufidius kiss. This was not a tonsil-cleaning, face-mashing, erotic kiss to my eyes. It wasn’t exactly innocent, but it wasn’t this huge snog-fest as some have made it out to be. Perhaps they toned it down from the preview showings to what it is today in the final cut. Whatever the case may be, the kiss looked rather one-sided to me. Aufidius being overjoyed about Coriolanus switching sides and embracing him. But Coriolanus didn’t really look into it. Actually he looked like he was kinda doubting his decision a wee bit. After the whole exchange, even Aufidius’s people looked at each other like, “What the hell? Seriously bro?” which actually got a laugh both times I saw it. So, maybe I’m reading it wrong (or into it too much), but again I didn’t find anything overtly sexual about it at all. An obsessive kiss maybe, but not really sexual.

At the end of the play some in the crowd, myself included, gave a standing ovation. Not just to Tom, but to everyone. I didn’t touch upon all of the performances, but trust that each person in the cast did their job extremely well. If this production isn’t given a nod or more when award time rolls around, then I call supreme bullshit. If Tom wasn’t filming Crimson Peak soon, I’m sure that the production would have been extended even longer than the additional week they are adding and probably be moved to a bigger venue (like they did for “The Weir”).

However, I’m also a little saddened that the NT Live showing will most likely not get properly recorded and released later on DVD. I really wish they would consider it. This cast acted their asses off in a play that (arguably) not a lot of folks like. In my mind it feels like it should be preserved. Which brings me to the last bit…

The Man Himself

Every time Tom takes the stage you know it. Even when he has no lines to deliver you can’t completely ignore his presence. Let it be known, Tom fucking OWNS this stage. If anyone is judging his skill by the Marvel movies alone, you’re doing him a grave disservice. I’m a fangirl yes (I run a blog with his name on it for fuck’s sake), but I never ever bullshit anyone. If I think an actor (even one I REALLY like), is “phoning it in” I’m gunna call them on it. Fangirl or no, I want a good show for my money. Well, there was no so-so work being shelled out here to make a quick buck. Of course I’m comparing him to the other few productions I’ve seen of this play, and there is no doubt that his take (as well as Rouke’s quite frankly) is the best by far.

When he’s angry, you can feel the atmosphere change to being uncomfortable. When he’s being sarcastic you can’t help but laugh and relish the sass. When he breaks down in tears (streaming legit tears on command I should add) you can’t help but feel for him. I think the gentleman next to me got choked up during the scene where Tom sheds tears! I know that feel bro. Your heart goes out to Coriolanus in that scene. Make no mistake, for a good portion of the play the character is a total asshole, so to feel anything for him in the end is a testament to great direction and even greater acting.

His voice was strong and clear, and even though he was coming off of a cold (and poor Mark seemed to be on one!) he seemed healthy to my eyes. I know sometimes you see him in photos or on TV and he looks thin. A relative of mine called him, “weedy”. Hell, even I admit that I think he looked like he was losing a little too much weight. Well, let me set the record, and myself, straight…he is in incredible shape.

He’s tall, svelte, and every inch of him is packed with lean muscle. There is a scene where Coriolanus is wearing his senator’s garments (begrudgingly that is, his disdain for the whole situation including the garment is palpable). It’s really nothing more than a homespun shift/smock, but seeing him in it proves my point. He’s not too built and he’s definitely not too thin. From his feet up to his neck, he has a body that should be immortalized in goddamn sculpture. Guys, it makes you want to get down on your knees and thank whatever higher power for the male form. This may seem like exaggeration, I assure you it is not.

The fight scene with Aufidius (towards the beginning of the play) is nothing short of great. They are truly going at it and it’s wonderful. This is the sword collector/martial arts nut in me talking, but that scene definitely did make Your Humble Narrator’s libido skyrocket. I think my blood pressure rose to questionable levels during this scene. I regret nothing. If I died, I would have died happy. I wish they had a wee bit more hand-to-hand combat at the very end, but again that’s probably the swordswoman in me talking!

[Note: The rest is stage door-related. I only queued once for Tom, the 1st time I saw the play. Stage doors are like premieres, sometimes you’re lucky and meet everyone and sometimes you crap out and see no one. I was lucky enough to see Tom, but not Mark…c'est la vie. Anyway…]

After the play let out, I queued in line like everybody else. As you might have heard we were lined up. Two lines, one for the matinee folks and the other for the evening performance folks (this was the line I was on). The security guy checked our tickets and eventually broke down the rules for us. No guarantees on Tom coming out. Don’t rush forward. If you wanted to try to catch the other actors you needed to go to the other side of the street, the lines were for meeting Tom only.

Nothing unreasonable and quite frankly the security guy in my opinion wasn’t rude at all. Yeah, he easily recognized a few fans trying to sneak on line with tickets that were not theirs. He told us to keep to our lines. No, you could not get any non-Coriolanus stuff signed (yes, some folks tried and were told, “no”). He even let someone take a photo of him, smile and all, and let another girl stay on line after she lost her ticket but showed him her receipt. Guys, I’ve seen security men (and women) that put the “A” in asshole. He’s not among them. This guy was just flat-out doing his job and doing it rather well in my opinion, the man is quite frankly out-fucking numbered.

Anyway, Alfred Enoch actually came out first (side note, wow has he grown! He’s forever a boy in my poor old brain!). He signed a few things and took a few photos at the front of the line, but as much as I wanted to meet him I didn’t want to give up my place. When Tom came out, and I was suprised he did because it was pouring rain and complete crap outside, both lines rushed a little forward and I got unceremoniously shoved over to the other line.

Now, in the past, I’ve been forcefully shoved up against barriers and streetlights by crazy screaming crowds rushing up to see a star. I’ve had rude people waving shit in my face, yelling, trying to get the attention of stars in front of them and me. So this, in comparison, was extremely mild to me, but I can see how folks would be annoyed by it. Tom did say to the crowd something along the lines of, “hey guys, this *hand on the security guy’s shoulder* is my friend, keep it orderly”. As soon as he spoke people listened, and everything moved in a clockwork and orderly fashion from then on. Two orderly lines, no more pushing, and no nonsense.

Personally, I don’t worry about Tom and the fans. This isn’t his first time at the rodeo nor will it be his last. He’s not doing anything, or being pressured into doing anything, he doesn’t want to. If he doesn’t want to bother with the line that night, he won’t. That’s his right and it’s that simple. I trust in the fact that he as well as the Donmar staff know their business.

Let’s be real here folks, there are asshats everywhere. Movie, play, sporting event…it doesn’t matter. It’s one of those sad absolutes in life. I’m not saying you have to like it or accept it, I’m just sayin’ shit happens (and yeah it’s fucking annoying). I have no doubt that some have made their way to the Donmar and engaged in asshattery. Having said that, the Donmar stage door was not a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Even with the bit of pushing in the beginning I saw plenty of folks smiling, getting along, and having a grand ole time. If anything, the stage door seems to have its good nights and bad nights, and thankfully I had a good night.

I personally liked the “assembly-line” routine they have going on at the stage door. (Did I not mention this place is tiny as hell?) It didn’t seem like they were using this method just to corral the disorderly horde or lessen the experience, it simply seemed like good damn sense.

But enough of this, let’s get to the good part! Quicker than I expected I was face-to-face with the man himself. We said our “hellos” and I got the standard, “What’s your name darling?” question and he signed my (damp, damn weather!) program. His voice was a little hoarse, but with all that yelling in the play (and doing two shows that night to boot) it’s small wonder his voice was done.

I told him that his performance “was brilliant” and also said, “You were better than in The Hollow Crown, I didn’t think that was possible.” To which he responded, with a “thank you” and also said, “Well, that’s reality for you!” Then I got a hug. It was that good proper bear hug he’s sorta well-known for, even though I was wet as a dog and probably looked like a hot mess (I didn’t have my umbrella!). I’m only 5'3" so I was completely enveloped in 6'2" Hiddles. Guys, I will take the feel of those muscular arms around my body to my grave. I thanked him for the hug (as if the shit-eating grin on my face wasn’t tell-tale enough that I enjoyed the hell out of it) and got that little signature laugh we all know and love.

You could not take pictures with him while on the line. So the photos I have here were taken after I met him. There were just too many people waiting and if he stopped for photos he’d have time to see even fewer of us. Some folks got creative and had people off the line take their picture for them. But even without the photos he didn’t get to everyone. However, he apologized more than once for having to go and for not meeting everybody and waved to the crowd. In short, he is as charming in person as you’ve heard. The man knows the value of keeping his fans happy, and there were many happy people indeed.

I walked back to my hotel, rain had stopped but I was still dripping wet and trying to keep my signed program dry. Like I said in other blog posts, I’m in my 30s and due to where I’ve lived/live I’m used to running into celebrities (usually at odd moments…don’t ask), but there is just something about Tom that’s different. Something rather undefinable. I might never meet him again in my life, so it’s almost bittersweet. But I don’t regret it for a second and I am immensely thankful.

Tom is smart, talented, funny, with a brilliant career behind him as well as ahead in my opinion. Hey my sapiosexual peeps, how many men do we meet who can have a philosophical discussion about the classics, read it in the original language(s), and then be willing to switch gears and happily hunker down to watch Jackass 3D afterwards? Not many. (And if you are meeting such men on the regular, you need to drop me a note in my Ask box! I would learn from you sensei.) Regardless, after meeting him I’m still scratching my head on how he’s single, but I’m not complaining that he is. Mr. Hiddleston is a rare bird indeed, and I wish him nothing but blessings and good fortune.

[Final Note: Some folks have given Tom gifts on the queue line, he doesn’t seem to mind (hell, who doesn’t like gifts?). However, the Donmar staff actually prefers that you give any gifts to the House Manager and let them pass it on. I left Tom a gift in that manner. No idea if he got it, but I hope he did, and I doubly hope he and the cast enjoy it! Because they damn well earned it.]

anonymous asked:

Hi!!! :D so I love writing but have a hard time developing plot! I've gotten as far as my main characters heading to New Orleans to investigate mysterious murders! Do you have any ideas of what can go down in NO to bring the two mains closer together? :)

Hello Nonny!

It’s great to hear that you have main characters ready to go - that is, of course, a very important aspect in the writing process, but developing a plot is also very difficult. So, to help you with your problem, I thought that rather than explicitly giving you ideas of a plot like “Character A and Character B come upon a radioactive squirrel” or something along those lines, I’d just give bits of dialogue, descriptions, or little thoughts that could potentially correlate with your original idea of traveling to New Orleans to investigate some murders. I am giving you complete and utter permission to use any part of this post that you wish. Hopefully this helps you out!

- admin °m°


List of Various Bits:

(they = any character in your story; simply enter a name or other pronoun if necessary)

  • “So what if I decided it would be best to not walk down a dark abandoned alleyway at night - I suppose I haven’t the slightest clue what came over me. What the hell was I thinking?!” they threw up their arms sarcastically.
  • “Alright, fantastic, although, keep in mind that I’ve elected to stay here rather than leaving, and I’m the one with the pepper spray, so, it’s up to you, really,” they shrugged indifferently from their reclined position.
  • A gust of wind blew across the entirety of the street, sending it into darkness. The only thing visible to the naked eye was the panicked frozen breath wheezing from their mouth.
  • “You decided to play wid fire, sweedheart - dees is whad fire feels like,” murmured the Oracle.
  • The local police department consisted of one middle-aged man, a goth teenage intern, and an extremely disturbing little girl who doesn’t seem to ever leave her home atop the water cooler. Why they believed this was an adequate police station, I haven’t the slightest clue.
  • Some people say that being shot is one of the most painful events a person can withstand - I can assure you, that seeing a bullet rip through the chest of the one you have devoted your existence to is like a thousand arrows piercing your heart at precisely the same moment, branding the single thing that you could not imagine living without with the fire of an infinite number of suns. That is what true pain feels like.
  • A single legend that truly scared me as a child was the story that my father used to tell me about the living shadows. He would turn on every light in the house, draw shut every curtain, lock every door, and gently sit me on his lap. He’d always tell me that everything he told me shook with truth, and I can’t deny that I could always see it in his eyes and in his wavering voice when he spoke of the shadows. Of course, as a child, I believed every word he said, especially when he said that he destroyed every last one - until now, that is. 
  • “I swear to GOD ALMIGHTY, IF YOU DON’T TURN OFF THAT GODFORSAKEN SONG, I WILL PUNCH YOU DIRECTLY IN THE FACE,” they screeched from within the confines of the police car.
  • And with a last great heave lifted the disfigured coffin from its musty grave. After ‘clearing the air,’ as it were, they grinned and asked us with that unsettling smile. “So…who wants to see a dead body?”
  • “Are we genuinely qualified to be doing this? Because I have a strange feeling that the resounding answer will be ‘absolutely positively not’ in most states.”
  • “Why don’t you just stand over there - yes over there - in that corner. Yes, that corner. Yes, I know there’s a draft - why do you think I told you to go to the corner? Just, go…why is this such an issue?” they groaned frustratedly to the person on the other line. “Why are you not in the corner? Are you there?…Are you really?…You’re lying, aren’t you? Yes, you are, don’t lie, you know that’s frowned upon.” "Who - who are they–” they started. "You really don’t want to know, honestly,” they grimaced.
  • “But the library has always been the best –” "Correction: it always used to be the best place for research. Now, do you know what I can do? I can take my phone, pull up Google, and browse for the nearest strip club that has sexy looking librarians. My god, the wonders of technology,” they sighed.
  • “…Well, how did they die?” they asked, eyebrows pulling together. "Well f*** me if I know. It certainly couldn’t be a heart attack or something natural - that would mean we had the night off, wouldn’t it,” they trailed off sarcastically.
  • A quick flash passed my peripheral vision when suddenly a scorching heat pressed against my exposed wrist, immediately incinerating the first several layers of skin. In an attempt to ease the onslaught, I snatched at my wrist, that now was badly damaged.
  • “This…this is the best sandwich I’ve ever tasted,” they praised in between mouthfuls of the mammoth sub. "You’re making it seem like you’ve never eaten before,” they joked. Completely seriously, they replied “Who says that I have?”
  • “New Orleans is a magical place full of wonder beyond your wildest dreams - I can assure you, if you are looking for someone in particular, you’ll find dem soon enough.”
Analysis II. Bhunivelze's Battle: A Tale of Unrequited Love

It wasn’t on my plans to do an analysis about this because two reasons: 1) I thought of it today, so it is kind of a beta. 2) I feared to be reading too much into it.

In any case, after contrasting it with some beta readers, I chose to give it a chance. So excuse the kinda rough explanation, since it still needs some polish. I’ll update if necessary.

In this analysis I’ll speak of the possible symbolism/allegory/metaphor in Bhunivelze’s battle concerning Hope’s character throughout the trilogy. It is based, of course, in the original Japanese version, so if you haven’t checked the translations, I encourage you to do so.

Please keep in mind this analysis features one-sided Hope/Lightning. I know I always say this, and that by LR: FFXIII this shouldn’t come up as a surprise, but just in case you don’t like the pairing, this is your warning.

Keep reading

Why Art of Fighting matters

By itself, Art of Fighting/Ryuuko no Ken introduced more things to the fighting game genre that are considered standard, or at least interesting, than almost any other series:

Supers (“super death blows”)

In AoF1’s story/arcade mode you had to unlock these moves in a bonus game, an option you only got after beating your first 2 opponents, but it was there. Once you used the move, it looked and felt significantly more powerful than your regular specials:

The Haohshokoken super projectile was so huge that it was practically unavoidable, and even if blocked it would take a noticeable chunk from the opponent’s life bar. In return, it ate up practically all of your power bar.

And since you had to perform the motion correctly a few times to be able to unlock it, a few playthroughs let you figure out if it was within your reach, or if boosting your life or general power was a better use of your early bonus game attempts.

Some games give you a choice of supers, but not many let you pick “none of the above” and let you boost something else in exchange.
Speaking of something you can boost…

Power bars (“spirit bars”)

Under the characters’ life bars you’d have another bar that would affect the moves available to you - this may be standard nowadays, but it wasn’t always so.The extra bar affected AoF more than it does most modern game, in that it wasn’t just for supers but was also consumed by the use of specials, which meant these had to be used carefully to make it count - a notion that appears to have been entirely dismissed during the past decade, where physics-defying attacks that do block damage in exchange for commands unguessable by beginners are treated like a part of the game that’s taken for granted by everyone else.
In AoF, if you lack the power bar to use a special, it will either came out in a very weakened state or not at all, which means no fireball spamming for applicable characters, since that’s not sustainable over time (also, regular attacks can destroy projectiles if timed right). You’re better off mastering your basics, and leaving the specials for actual special occasions when their particular properties are an actual advantage. The bonus game that let you boost the bar consists on trying to chop off the top of a bunch of beer bottles, like Mr Miyagi in Karate Kid, further illustrating how unusual the abilities it powers are supposed to be and the focus they’re meant to require:

The bar starts out full each round, and slowly refills itself over time. It’s spent by using specials and supers, and by being taunted by the opponent. You can refill it manually with a charging command, and you can increase the bar’s maximum size in one of the bonus games.
This bar is the heart of the series’ gameplay, and its effect on the use of specials to prevent over-reliance on some moves is something I’d like to see more often - instead of a standard “1 level of power bar = 1 super”, using different smaller fractions of a level of bar to pay for the use of some moves, and tweaking those values over time with patches if needed is something I could get behind.

(Relevant) Taunting

As mentioned above, these were used to drop an opponent’s power bar - to break their concentration, so to speak. Doing so at the right time could not only be the difference between an opponent being able to threaten you with a move that could counter your tactics, it could also annoy him in general - other series would mostly stick to the 2nd use in their own implementations (meaning it’s practically never used in an actual fight in those), but it was nice to have the option of the 1st one.

It was also a nice way to provide a bit of characterization to characters outside stuff like victory poses, endings, stages and limited dialogue, which were among the very few sources of lore in the genre back in the day. Dan Hibiki’s reputation exists because of this.

“Super supers” (“desperation move”)

They could have settled for inventing supers and be pleased with themselves, but then that would just be an maximum power special. SNK didn’t settle for that.

AoF was a fighting game, but it was also a story, and a story could always use a few dramatic moments. Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat with a desperate special attack that only works when your life is really low and consumes all the power bar you should have probably used to avoid reaching that point sounded dramatic enough to them. The Haohshokoken, however, was a projectile you first use in the controlled environment of a dojo against a distant and stationary target before you get to use it on opponents - it’s nice to have, but had its limits as a dramatic battle event, so an entirely different move was made for the occasion: a dash into just about every regular move the character had unleashed at an incredible speed - the Ryuuko Ranbu.

In later games of the series different characters would have other very different moves for the same circumstances. In AoF3 beating a character with this move or its character-equivalent would decide the fight - the Ultimate KO feature, meaning if you won a fight using it in round 1 there would be no round 2, since the move was meant to be so overwhelming - this particular feature never returned in any games I’m aware of, which is understandable - it destroys the possibility of a comeback off a match that must have been pretty close, but it was interesting that they decided to try it anyway… something perhaps best left for single-player games, but nowadays most story modes in the genre only make you fight 1 round per character anyway (the MK9 fails at this and many other things in its story mode, despite all the praise rained on it).

It was also a nice way to make use of the game’s zoom feature, if you started the move some distance away, as it would proceed into a nice view of the aggressor and victim’s pretty huge sprites, so speaking of which…


Back when fighting games were strictly in 2D there was a bit of a conflict between graphical detail and functionality, especially when projectiles and other aspects involving distance were involved - enough space to move freely and the sprites can’t be too big, make them too big and you’re practically fighting in a phonebooth.
SNK was all like “why not both?”, and made huge incredibly detailed sprites, detailed enough to see bruises on the characters’ faces if they were hit hard and often enough, and used their hardware’s abilities to just zoom everything out if the characters moved away from each other.
It did the trick nicely before 3D brought concerns like camera angles to the genre, and even if AoF’s implementation wasn’t the best, it paved the ground for that and other games that followed, both from its own company as well as the competition’s - this applies to a lot of what this game did, really.

Projectile abuse prevention

I already mentioned the power bar limiting the overuse of projectiles, but it can’t be overstated that SNK’s finest efforts always had some way to prevent projectile-based characters from dominating: Fatal Fury had the place shift system, in Samurai Shodown most projectiles required the use of weapons (which could be lost) and some projectiles could be cut with weapons mid-flight, King of Fighters had dodges and rolls, and SvC Chaos failed in part because it had neither, like the competition it tried to do justice to.
Like I said, the power bar meant if you tried projectile spamming your way through a match, you’d soon run out of power to do so. Additionally, projectiles could be destroyed with a properly timed attack like a regular jab, long before parrying came along in SF3.
Beginner Ryus would find themselves in need of learning their basic moves under this game’s rules.

A balance between action and story

The NeoGeo was both an arcade and home console system, so it had to walk a fine line to cater to both environments - while the arcade focuses on the action, with its owner preferring to see players spend their time trying not to lose so they’ll spend more money, the home environment allows for a more contemplative attitude, which is why narrative-heavy genres like RPGs thrive in it.

AoF took on the challenge, even if it meant going for a classic plot device:

But that was just the part that was visible in-game:

Within that limited frame, SNK did a fair amount with the genre for its time:

  • It told you the plot in the opening
  • Mentioned South Town in that opening, connecting it to Fatal Fury
  • Added dialogue before each fight, providing a little world-building from that dialogue, the information you extracted from defeated opponents and the protagonists’ musings as they traveled between them
  • Included that infamous ex-secret of King’s which still echoes into KoF XIII
  • Left a cliffhanger in the ending for the following game.

And in that following game, Art of Fighting 2:

  • South Town was given an even bigger map that included the old one
  • Every character had dialogue against every other character, with body language to match that was only ever used in those scenes
  • Ultimately it was revealed that the game took place a decade before Fatal Fury by showing us a young Geese while he was still working for the police, hinting at an off-screen story of his own - not to mention you could see his men in suits spying from corners in just about every stage in the game.

Lots of information with minimal interruption in the action.

AoF may not be the best or most fluid fighting game out there, but without it the genre would be a whole lot poorer.
Nowadays it seems unlikely that its principles will be taken out for a new spin, but I’ll always welcome new chapters on how Ryo Sakazaki is following his father’s legacy, and in general how the tale of South Town has more to do with Sakazakis and Howards than it does with Bogards.

Taking Project Joy for Jay in a new direction

Thank you all for your initial support of Project Joy for Jay. When I first thought of the idea on Saturday, I was still in the process of trying to come to terms with the fact that this is all real, that Louis — the 1D member who is most visibly such a mama’s boy, the kid whose youngest years consisted of just him and his mum taking on the world together — that he would lose his mum way too soon to such a horrific disease.

I wish I could do something that would ease the pain that Louis and the entire Tomlinson-Deakin family is feeling now and what they will be feeling in the months to come, but unfortunately that’s not how death and grief work. So instead I decided to do something that would carry on Jay’s legacy of joy and positivity. I’ve spent the past 24 hours re-thinking my original plan and I am completely changing it. As such, I’ve deleted the prior posts in order to prevent any confusion from here on it.

I greatly appreciate and am deeply thankful for those of you who supported the original idea, and I hope you aren’t offended that I’ve changed it. I also am beyond grateful to those of you who provided the constructive criticism necessary to get this project on the right track.

I’ve come up with a different plan and I am excited to hear what you all think of it. It goes as follows:

Joy for Jay Day:

The major goal of this project will be hosting Joy for Jay Day on March 25, Jay’s birthday. On this day, we will try to combine charitable fundraisers and local volunteering efforts in Jay’s honor. These efforts could include (but are not limited to):

  • volunteer efforts in our local communities at homeless shelters, animal shelters, hospitals — wherever you can think of that asks for volunteer help
  • donating clothes to the needy
  • donating books and toys to children’s hospitals
  • a blood and bone marrow drive (cancer patients are constantly in need of blood products and bone marrow transplants can be life-saving, so I think this is very important)
  • small acts of loving kindness within your community (i.e. paying for the person’s coffee who is behind you in line, carrying groceries for someone who is struggling to manage their load etc). Tell them you did it because of Jay or leave a “Joy for Jay” note on the receipt or something along those lines so that perhaps more people can learn about the wonderful woman that was Johannah Deakin
  • some type of fundraiser based on fan art in which all proceeds (except perhaps the cost of shipping and handling) go to charities Jay supported or charities which support leukemia/lymphoma
  • our talented musical fans could perhaps do covers of One Direction/Niall Horan/Louis Tomlinson/whoever else goes solo by then songs with some sort of connection included which would link it to Joy for Jay and prompt people who enjoy the music to do a good deed or donate to charity
  • anything else people can think of or suggest

One of the major benefits of Joy for Jay Day is that it is all about charity in whatever form that may take. Jay’s most common activity on Twitter (other than praising her children) was retweeting about all kinds of charitable ventures people took part in. While I did not know her personally, I imagine she would be thrilled to see a day full of charity held in her honor.

This is also great for fans who do not have the money to donate frequently to charity. There are a ton of charitable ventures going on right now in this fandom, and for some fans, there is only so much they can donate per year. There are also fans who do not have the budget to donate at all. With Joy for Jay Day, anyone who cannot afford to donate for whatever reason can instead get involved in a form of community service or volunteerism while honoring Jay’s memory.

Joy for Jay tributes:

There are so many people who are affected by Jay’s death. While this hits the Tomlinson-Deakin family hardest, every one of the boys, many of the Tomlinson-Deakin clan’s friends, people whose lives she affected through her charity work … they are all struggling too.

I’m also seeing on Tumblr that a lot of fans are having a tough time with this. None of us really knew her, but she still made an impact on our lives. To that end, I’d like to collect some tributes to Jay to keep on a list on our website. I’m hoping we can keep these positive. Talk about which qualities of Jay’s you liked best or something you want to thank her for or what ways she inspired you or how you were maybe able to relate to her or anything like that. 

I think it could also be nice if people with artistic abilities choose to send in some drawings or if people who love writing have any poems they would like to send in. I don’t want this to be a page of condolences; instead, I think it would be cool to create a record of positive ways Jay made an impact on this world.

Grief can feel very lonely, and just because none of us knew Jay does not mean we cannot grieve her loss. Perhaps being able to see how others are also affected by her untimely death might help everyone get through this with as much support as possible.

The only caveat here is that I ask that you refrain from anything relating to Larry in these messages or anything that would deny that Freddie is Louis’s son. I also ask that you refrain from saying anything along the lines of “It’s so sad that some fans in this fandom were doubting you had a grandson while you were dying.” While I believe everyone is entitled to their own personal beliefs, this is not the time or the place for any of that type of dialogue.

The tributes will be moderated before they are posted to ensure that they are appropriate [i.e. no bad language, no improper references, nothing mean-spirited]. You can send any tribute you’d like to with “Tribute page” in the subject line or send them in a message on Tumblr and make it clear that this is a tribute and you would like it to be published on the Tumblr page. If I feel the tribute is in any way inappropriate, I will respond to you (unless it is sent anonymously) to let you know why I have decided not to post it.

A possible book?

I have thought of perhaps combining these tributes into a book to send to the family. I have not fully decided whether this is the best idea, as I do not want to intrude on the family’s privacy. At the same time, some people who are grieving do enjoy having things such as these so they can see (when they feel up to it) how many lives their loved one has touched.

The decision as to whether to put these into a book will not be made for at least a few months, as I would not approach any reps for the family about this until late January/early February at the earliest. If, at that time, it feels like this book is something that is not out of line to do, I will reach out to some sort of family representative. If not, I will abandon that aspect of this project entirely. 

I really do want to give them the time and space to grieve privately and get through what will likely be a tough holiday season. If the rep says the family does not wish to receive something like this or if I get no response, I will not go forward with the book. Nobody but the Tomlinson-Deakin family will know what their grief is like or what they feel up to receiving, so I think it’s best to leave it up to them/the people around them to decide what’s appropriate.

What about the ad?

I am no longer interested in taking out any ad in any publication. People have provided many different reasons as to why that might be more harmful than helpful. The focus instead will be on spreading joy in memory of Jay, specifically on Joy for Jay day on March 25.

How to help now

This campaign will still need artwork in the form of a logo/design for the social media push related to Joy for Jay day, so anyone with graphic design experience should get in touch with me at

You can send in tributes whenever you are interested in doing so, and I am also always accepting ideas of what active things we can do on March 25 to make it the best day it can possibly be.

Harry Potter and  the Cursed Child - Script Review

The following is my Goodreads review, where I gave Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 2 stars.

This honestly gets a 2 ½. I love Harry Potter and my heart somehow doesn’t allow it to give it 2, but it most definitely does not deserve 3 stars. This review will be full of SPOILERS, so beware - you have been warned.

It is almost unnecessary to point out that I am, as are millions of other readers around the world, a massive Harry Potter fan, who grew up with the books and read them countless times. I also thoroughly enjoyed J.K. Rowling’s first adult novel The Casual Vacancy and have continued to support her in her post-Potter writing career and am thrilled about the Fantastic Beasts film(s). But after having read the Cursed Child, I fear she has started to lose her mojo… if she even really developed the story. I somehow decided to believe she didn’t to preserve my favourable opinion of her and that this is all Jack Thorne’s hodgepodge. Even this, however, is hard to believe since Thorne is supposed to be an esteemed playwright. Perhaps he is, but not for this literary universe.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child feels and reads as fanfiction written by a 12-year old after s/he watched all the eight films (not read the books) and scrolled through a couple of HP fanpages. I find the utter lack of understanding the characters or even how the world works unfathomable. I realise this is a play and not a novel (and it shows, as I will discuss later in the review), but this should not be an excuse for a poorly-written, horribly-characterised mess. As a production this surely works better with undoubtedly great performances by world-class actors and what I imagine must be a breathtaking scenography, probably so flashy in fact that it has blinded critics and theatregoers to such an extent that they are giving it praise after praise. But since I am reviewing the script book and not the play, where all the visuals are supposed to be painted inside one’s head and not served on a silver platter, I can tell you that the Cursed Child falls flat with a splat of a stale pudding.

I’ll start with the positives since the paragraph will be much shorter. I generally enjoyed Albus Severus Potter. He is by far the most developed character (as he should be, since he is the titular character) and his troubled relationship with Harry was by a mile the most interesting part of the story. It is easy to see how being the child of the famous Boy Who Lived would be a terrible burden, especially if you do not live up to the expectations. The script cleverly opens and closes with an intimate Harry-Albus relationship and this is probably the only arc that is somehow opened and closed in a satisfying way.

Is this the plot of the Cursed Child, you ask? Oh, no, no, no. Why would you make an interesting troubled relationship of a boy with a first, middle and last name weighing him down and his saviour-of-humanity father the main and only focus? In fact, why would you even set the story 19 years later if you don’t have anything interesting to say about that period, really? No, we need to fill the script with deus ex machina after deus ex machina, generic characters and time travel. Yes, you read that right. Time travel.

When I first heard that the play will be about Harry’s son and will take place after the epilogue from Deathly Hallows, I was sceptical. I always felt that there wasn’t much story to be told and if JKR were ever to write another HP book, a much better idea would be to set it during the First Wizarding War or even sooner, exploring the details from the early lives of Dumbledore, Voldemort, the Marauders or literally any other character with an interesting backstory. It’s not that the sequel starring Harry’s children would have nothing to say, I just didn’t imagine there was enough to merit a novel. I guess I was right. The Cursed Child either doesn’t want to or doesn’t produce enough material to explore issues that may arise in the time years after the defeat of Voldemort, so it resorts to the cheapest way imaginable to produce some excitement - time travel. That’s no big deal, you might say, do they travel back an hour or so? You would be wrong. The time travel takes our characters back into the time of the original Harry Potter series, revisiting (albeit with alterations) many of the original characters, places, and events. This, as you can imagine, can go two ways: either it is a positive little nudge to the beloved original series, or it starts to unnecessarily meddle with what is a perfectly ok original story. You can guess which one it is.

The Cursed Child (henceforth CC, because I can’t even bring myself to spell out the entire title) for me fails in several different ways, which are most easily enumerated using good old points:
1) It is too ‘all over the place’ for a play: if you’ve read any plays, you will know that most feature a relatively small number of characters and take place in one or a handful of locations. This makes sense, since plays rely heavily on the dialogue and the characters and less so on the movement through space and time. Most of the best plays require nothing more than an empty nondescript room and well-developed characters. It is of course naive to expect the CC to be such a play and I did not expect that when I delved into it. However, the very short acts that constantly shift settings and skip 'irrelevant’ events bothered me. One second Albus and Scorpius jump off the Hogwarts Express, in 2 pages they are visiting Amos Diggory in a nursing home and 3 pages later they are already at the edge of the Forbidden Forest, where Harry (because dreams, I guess?) suddenly knows where to look for them. To me this is lazy writing and feels like reading the very concise version of sparknotes and not a complete story. Characters just seem to know where to go or what to do off-page (or off-stage) just so the very bare skeleton of the story can progress. And attributing this to the medium of a play is no excuse - if this is the case, then the writers are unaware of how plays are supposed to be structured to work on a page or even on stage. If you cannot properly tell a story with so many settings, then downsize it.
2) Awful characterisation: let’s address the elephant in the room and get it out - we are somehow to believe that before the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort and Bellatrix conceived a daughter, Delphi, who is posing as Amos Diggory’s niece. Although I do not personally approve of this plot point, failing to see how Voldemort would have a relationship/daughter in the first place let alone when he was completely obsessed with the quest to procure the Elder Wand and destroy his foe, this is not even close to what my problem with Delphi is. She is a non-character. She keeps appearing and disappearing seemingly at random throughout the play, yet apart from the description of her hair, there’s nothing to her. Towards the end her already non-existent personality is reduced by another lazy trope - a prophecy. If the Harry/Voldemort prophecy from the original series was at least well-explained and logically inserted into the story for a greater purpose, the one in the CC comes out of thin air to clumsily explain the villain’s motivation and the entire convoluted Cedric plot. It is sad how the writers could not come up with a new original antagonist, perhaps an underground network of (ex) Death Eaters if nothing else, but instead opted for what is essentially an attempt to reincarnate Voldemort using an empty shell we are to believe is his daughter. Delphi, just as she randomly appears in the CC, is gone at the end, apparently transported to Azkaban to stare at a wall or something.
Now, let’s talk about the second butchered character - Ronald Weasley. “You know what we need?” probably said one of the writers, whoever it was, “we need humour. Comic relief. Stupid one-liners. People love those.” And so Cursed Ginger Ron was born, a character so empty, he feels like a bland impersonator of PC Jimmy Carr. That’s all I have to say.
Other characters are not much better and most serve little purpose but to be there because they are beloved or notorious characters from the HP universe (such as Snape, Umbridge, and Dumbledore, or rather his portrait). None extend beyond one dimension or act according to their personality from the original novels. Any other new characters, most notably a random Hogwarts student named Craig Bowker Jr. whose sole purpose is to be killed off by Delphi so the killing curse can be put into the play, but not to be used on a character that actually matters, are equally bland.
3) The generic, derivative plot full of conveniences: the original Harry Potter series have their fair share of deus ex machinas, for sure. However, the ones used in the CC are something else entirely. Not only, as I already mentioned, do the jumps in setting from act to act conveniently sweep under the rug important backstory and much-needed scenes that would bind the tale together, but also abruptly disturb the pacing to such an extent that at multiple times I had to turn back a few pages because I was sure I skipped an act or two (btw, I didn’t).
Deus ex machinas, the most notorious one surely Draco’s pretty gold time-turner he just happened to have for decades, are forced and poorly explained. The same goes for the 'rules’ regarding time travel, (bad) fanfiction-like alternate timelines, disregarding certain rules of the HP universe (underage Albus and Scorpius perform magic outside Hogwarts like it’s a walk in the park), and oh right, the lady who sells sweets on the Hogwarts Express is apparently over 200 years old, her pasties can be used as hand grenades, she walks on top of the train and develops spikes on her hands if anyone tries to leave the train. So there’s that.

There is so much more to say about this disgrace that is the Cursed Child, but perhaps the most appropriate summary is found in the book itself, when one of the stage directions reads: “Ginny is not sure what she’s supposed to be.” Indeed, this story doesn’t know what it is supposed to or what it wants to be. It feels as if a hired writer composed it after having skimmed through a few fanfiction stories convinced s/he now knows what the fans want. But Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will never be (despite it being marketed as such) the eight Harry Potter story, it does not even deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the original series. I still cling to the hope that JKR did not produce this, but of she did and this is indeed the last Harry Potter story we will ever get, then it is sad to see the series (if I may borrow T. S. Eliot’s words) end not with a bang but with a whimper.

we’ve got a fantasy affair [You’ve Got Mail AU]

regina x robin. previously: #1, and #2 (and #4)

note: apologies, i said i’d post it yesterday but it completely slipped my mind that it was halloween (gasp) and i wouldn’t have time to edit. sorry! and i’m going to tag all snippets as oq got mail to make it easier to find on my blog :).

They talk of nothing much. No particulars. Not names, ages, professions.

Regina tells him maliciously about the laundry service in her neighbourhood, and how she’s fairly sure it’s a front for another kind of laundering altogether for all the washing and folding they seem to get done. Robin writes of the little shop under his place, a tiny space completely dedicated to selling every kind of cheese imaginable. He praises New York, is sure there isn’t another place in the world where he’d rather be so unfailingly assaulted by the smell of gorgonzola first thing in the morning.

Of their pasts and backgrounds, they only share anecdotes and curiosities. Dozens of meaningless inanities make up a constant dialogue. But within those little things, those bric-a-bracs of who they are, a feeling begins — a feeling that they’ve shared more of them themselves through these emails than in almost any other kind of conversation.

Keep reading