“Not only are there no happy endings…There aren’t even any endings.”
Every time I read American Godsby Neil Gaiman, I find more things to adore about this novel. I read it this time while traveling across the United States, and I have to say, something about reading this book in transit just makes sense. It makes even more sense reading it while soaring over America itself, gazing down on fields and hills, a New Jersey import who lives in Chicago, went to LA a week or so ago, and just left Florida. There is something so intensely American about this novel, and it wows me every time. From the smaller mythic chapters telling folk tales and stories of the people who brought their gods to America, to the gods themselves and their characters, this novel always gets me. This was my third time reading this novel, and I’m going to dig deep to highlight new things that I had forgotten, so solid warning: Spoilers ahead.
I will never get over the way that Neil Gaiman melds together the idea of the gods and the land, and gives them both their own power and will. Something that wows me that I often forget about the standalone is now astoundingly diverse it is without being appropriative, and how Gaiman incorporates so many cultures, a diverse range of characters, as well as a huge amount of humor without it becoming problematic. I think this novel could be a guidebook for authors who want to know how to write diverse stories and mythos respectfully. I forgot about so many fantastic characters that Gaiman pours himself into, from Samantha Black Crow to side characters that brim with energy and character themselves, like Whiskey Jack’s son or Bilquis. I also never noticed before the two mentions of Mr. Nancy’s son that point to Anansi Boys. Not to mention the wealth of research and knowledge that goes into the bottomless well of background characters and visions leading up to the battle.
One thing I gained a new appreciation for in this novel was the character of Shadow. He is big, and not dumb, and I remembered all that, but what I forgot is how nice he is. Shadow’s such a cinnamon roll of a character, and I forget that. He stands up for a waitress and believes in the good of people. At the Lakeside library book sale, he tries to find the book that’s least likely to be purchased, so that he can help the library out by buying it. He performs coin tricks for children. He is obligated to hold Odin’s vigil, but he never questions whether he should also hold Mad Sweeney’s. As Laura speaks with the cutting, too-open words of the already-dead, Shadow still refuses to tell her about her appearance or to not hold her hand, because he doesn’t want to hurt her still. When Shadow picks up bodies with the coroners, he carries them always in his arms.
The scene between Shadow and Odin before his death is one of my absolute favorites (other favorite scenes include Samantha Black Crow’s protest kiss, the scene in which Shadow thinks snow into being, and Shadow’s long death scene). Odin recites to Shadow what he knows—the charms, in a long list. And it ends with that long scene where Shadow wonders what would have happened if he touched Odin’s hand, and wishes he had. And Odin’s twisting grift of the fiddle is so complicated and well done that even on the third re-read, I find myself forgetting about it until the moment Odin dies, and doubting myself on it until the moment Shadow says it out loud.
@neil-gaiman’s American Gods just gets better every time I read it, and I am cautiously thrilled and excited for the show coming out later this spring.
“It doesn’t matter that you didn’t believe in us. We believed in you.”
let me help you fall in love with tanaka’s character (i’m gonna cut some parts from the first volume of the manga).
this is tanaka ryunosuke. he appears for the first time in the manga on vol 1 . he’s a second year and as you can see, he’s got that delinquent boy look going on. oh, and you’re gonna see that facial expression a lot, it’s his signature. it’s meant to intimidate people, but, no, just no, it’s hilarious af.
guys, guys, guys, tanaka is a dork. we love dork characters, right?
he’s so simple minded. he’s just like bokuto. i’m dying.
whether you’ve watched the anime or you’re reading the manga, you probably know that the weird duo knocks off the vice principal wig, leading to daichi kicking them out of the gym. this scene is right before any of that happens. daichi is trying to talk to hinata and kageyama, but they’re just too absorbed in arguing that they do not hear him. tanaka is scolding them because daichi san is talking. he respects the third years a lot and wants the first years to respect them as well. we love respectful characters, right?
and here is the part where i start talking about how good of a senpai (and a person) tanaka is. this guy wakes up at 4 to let those two practice in the gym without daichi knowing (heh). this is obviously not the only time tanaka looks out for his kouhais. there are so many scenes in which you can see tanaka taking care of the kids. my favorite one? it’s probably the one from the OVA. if you still haven’t watched it, go watch it, because if you still think that tanaka’s nothing more than a funny gag, you’ll understand that you’re wrong. so wrong.
he is such a caring person. karasuno, his teammates mean so much to him. when hinata and kageyama don’t pass their exams, they need to re-do it, but in order to practice with the others in tokyo they need a ride. in the OVA you see tanaka asking his sister if she can do this favor for him, at first she tells him no because it’s an at least four hours drive, but then she sees her brother counting his savings. guys, guys, guys, here me out, tanaka’s willing to use his own money for hinata and kageyama. unfortunately he doesn’t have enough, but do you know what he does to provide a ride for them? he kneels in front of his sister and begs her. and he did not tell anyone how hard it was for him to provide a ride for hinata and kageyama. y’know, he deserves being called tanaka senpai by everyone everyday of his life, tanaka is the man
but this, this is probably what i like the most about him. this is just an example, okay? here we have tsukishima, telling them about kageyama’s nickname. tanaka has never liked people talking shit about others. look at his expression, he’s mad. he’s gonna scold tsukishima, but daichi stops him. this happens not a lot, but a shit amount of lots. tanaka is always ready to shut up people who belittle others. he steps up for kageyama, he is always there for hinata, he’s always ready to say “no, don’t say that you’re great” whenever someone is self depricating or he’s ready to fight whenever they talk shit of his friends. he’s such a good character, guys.
(oh, and have i already told you how strong this person is? when oikawa’s targeting him he puts himself together. all by himself. most players wouldn’t be able to do that, they’d be so down because they’d made a lot of mistakes, but tanaka? not tanaka, bitch. tanaka is stronger than that. tanaka is better than that. tanaka slaps himself and receives that powerful serve.)
tanaka is in my top 5 favorite haikyuu characters and now you kinda know why. i think there’s so much more i need to say, but this post is getting too long. but please, give a little love to tanaka ryunosuke. call him tanaka senpai. he deserves it.
Honestly, I can’t believe that journey we went through side by side with Emma until we got to this point.
If you look carefully on the “win your heart” scene, which is still to this day one of my favorite CS scenes, you can spot Emma skipping a beat or two by his romantic words, but she hardly flinch about it. Her walls are so high up that only by re watching this scene again and again you can spot these little micro expressions that reveal the storm that is in her heart at that moment.
Look at the journey she made since than, losing herself with him in that kiss in 3x22, letting herself take a leap of faith of a true relationship after their big date on 4x04, saying to him that she loves him and dealing with the depth of this emotion on 4x22, taking their relationship to the next level and initiating they move in together on 6x03. And now on 6x13, accepting to be his wife without any walls, any micro expressions, all her being and emotions are shouting that she wants it, with her entire body and soul.
What he did to win her heart wasn’t just a win, it was a knockout.
I’m gonna support Fairy Tail and Mashima till the end. Fairy Tail isn’t one of my favorite anime because of the fight scenes. Fairy Tail has become a favorite of mine because of the all the many different characters and their character development, the comedic scenes, the romance between the characters (our ships!), the sad and depressing scenes, the soundtrack (in the anime), the friendship aspect, the inspirational messages, the fights (which are still good), and overall its very entertaining. Fairy Tail is much more than just big extravagant fights, there’s so many more things that make Fairy Tail an amazing anime/manga.
Okay, you see this? These are jacket cover/inside cover of a book called “The Beast Within” written by Serena Valentino, who wrote other Disney books that are so amazing. I purchased her first Disney book in the Germany Pavilion in Epcot a few years ago and have bought every other book of hers since. But lemme tell you why this one is my favorite:
Not only is “Beauty and the Beast” one of my favorite films of all time, but the Beast is one of my favorite characters in any film. And this book makes him seem so much more understandable. It’s written in his perspective and there’s literally a scene where he’s so close to being an actual monster that he goes out to kill Belle after she runs away from him.
Did you hear me?
HE GOES TO KILL BELLE.
Of course, he fights the wolves that attack her because in his mind, he’s like “wait I can redeem my human status still” while the beast side is literally chanting “RIP THE FLESH OPEN AND SPILL HER BLOOD EVERYWHERE ALL OVER THE SNOW COVERED GROUND”.
Let me tell you, this book is so good. And it gives more backstory to Gaston (who is, as you guessed, one of my favorite Disney villains).
If you enjoyed the 2017 version of “Beauty and the Beast”, you’ll enjoy this book. It’s different than the film, but just as good, in my opinion.
Heey I love your art! What are your top favorite 5 Nalu momentas?
thats really hard to choose oh my god! i love even when they are looking to each other but for you ill choose so
Number 5: Unlike the other scenes when Natsu threatens his enemies who are trying to hurt Lucy with his already well known quote “ Ill burn you to ash” This one is different. Natsu has already experienced how it is to loose Lucy so this time, he is angrier than other times, He points there “ It is still Lucy” No matter what happens to her, Lucy will always be Lucy for him. Even so, look at her face. After staying near his bed, worried about him dying, look how happy she is.. her smile here is precious
Number 4: Lucy sleeping near Natsu, She has been worried about his life and she didn’t move away from him one single second, no matter that Freed told her he will be okay and anyone else. Natsu had a lot of friends, each one doing his fights but it was Lucy staying near him all this time, like in the earlier chapters when she got naked to save his life.
Number 3: Lucy hugging Natsu from behind
She now does this quite often, but this one was a relief for her. She needed it, she wanted to thank him for everything he has done. I dont think i Can explain this that much, but i just love this moment
Number 2: Lucy jumping from the tower She chooses to jump, to have faith in Natsu. She knows that wherever she is, whatever she does, he will always be there protecting her, catching her from falling. I dont think she really heard his voice, but she says “ I am sure” she knows he will hear her, he will save her once more time. I loved how this scene was animated, because I love hearing Lucy screaming “ Natsuu” Aya really did put passion voicing that scene lol
And there he is, catching her right on time before she hits the ground.
Number 1: the last and my favorite: LUCY!
How I said before, he experienced already how it is to loose her, he doesn’t want to loose the most important person in his life, after loosing Igneel.He climbs onto her, protecting her with all of his body. He was faster than he was with Future Lucy, he was with all of his on her, taking the impact to protect her. You can see into his eyes all of his feelings: Agony, desperation. He would do everything for her, even sacrifice his own life
Mashima shows us how Nalu grew into a strong friendship-relationship. More than friends but less than lovers. Their time will come. Natsu cares the most about Lucy and Lucy cares the most about Natsu. Being put in face of one another`s death, it shows not once, but every time that each one of them would do absolutely everything for one another, giving their own lives for the other one.
People were interested in me doing a thing like this, so here we go! I figured I’d do a short little blurb about each writer, including one or two of my favorite works by them. So, in no real order (like, I literally randomized the list) here are some of the most talented people* whose art I’ve had the pleasure of reading:
*Please note that some of these people haven’t written for bellarke in a while! That doesn’t mean you should pester them about it! Appreciate the heck out of what they have written instead. Cool? Cool.
Maria’s written a good variety of longer and shorter fics, and each of them is excellent. (She’s also an amazing human/friend, but that’s more of a side perk.) She’s currently writing Things We Shouldn’t Do which is what everyone wants out of a multi-chap, fake-dating, actors AU. Or for something shorter, check out T.O.P. S.E.C.R.E.T. for some friends-with-benefits/feelings-reveal goodness. And maybe if she loves me she’ll finish Let’s Go to the Mall but it’s nbd.
I read The Squire (multi-chap, medieval AU) when I was pretty new to the fandom, and I’m still completely in awe of it. Steph’s also written a million other amazing bellarke fics, like this fluffy-af youtubers AU (and, recently, some fucking amazing Jyn/Cassian stuff, if you’re into that) so make sure to check out all of her incredible writing.
Chash has written a million and one amazing fics, so obvs read everything she’s written, but one of my particular faves is Some Cheese With That Whine. It gives me all the best-friends-to-lovers feelings. Amazing. Plus she likes all my posts when I’m flailing about ffx <3
Lana’s another one of those writers where I know I’ll like everything she publishes. She’s like, the queen a soulmate AU’s. Her most recent one is here–a cool iteration where you feel whatever pain your soulmate feels. As with all the other authors here, don’t forget to check out all her other stories!
I discovered Kacka this summer, and her stories saved me from boredom on the countless train rides I was taking across Europe. By which I mean you should just read through everything on her AO3 page, like I did. Everyone loves a good coffee-shop AU, right? Check out Got to Find Those Extra Cups to Fill. She’s a fantastic, inspiring writer and an even lovelier human being.
Bri’s another one of the authors I first read when I joined the fandom! She doesn’t write much bellarke anymore, but it’s all still up on her AO3 along with a ton of quality Jyn/Cassian fics, if that’s your jam!
Kayla’s the first person I ever considered my “favorite fanfic author” and the title still fits, even if I do have about a million “favorite” authors now. Full Circle is an older, post s2, fic of hers, but it’s undeniably still one of my faves. A more recent fave is: this is your heart (can you feel it). These are both canonverse, but she writes amazing modern AUs as well. <3
Is it getting old for me to keep saying I like everything insert-name-here writes?? I’d stop, except that it’s TRUE. Mel is fantastic. Her last installment in Good Times Gonna Come is so cute I can’t actually stand it. Something In The Air (That Night) is also super good. (She also writes Sethkate and Jyn/Cassian!)
(Okay I’m running out of time for these last few–gotta get to class–so I’ll just do one fic rec from each writer, BUT they’re all such fucking talented authors. Everything they write is amazing.)
OKAY PHEW. I think that’s everything. As a last note, don’t forget to appreciate your favorite authors! A comment or reblog here and there goes a long way. Kudos and likes are lovely, but not quite as tangible as comments and tags.
I know it's fashionable to hate shakespeare for being a white cis male shitlord but calling his work trashy just displays your ignorance. there are reasons he still gets studied in school hundreds of years later. the man basically invented the english language as we speak it today.
I don’t hate Shakespeare.
I love Shakespeare.
In my opinion, the greatest disservice anyone can do to his work is to elevate it to some kind of highbrow high art literary thing. The reason he’s studied today is that his plays endured (plus or minus some changes in fashion over the centuries), and the reason his plays endured is because they were popular, and the reason his plays were popular is because he crammed them full of stuff that people wanted; i.e., lots of jokes focusing on the less refined features of the human anatomy and the things they get up to.
Perhaps you’ve had it explained to you that Hamlet’s talk of “country matters” was an uncouth pun, and his reply in the same conversation of “nothing” was a similar reference. Did you think that was a one-off thing?
If you’re aware that “nothing” was a euphemism for the vulva in Shakespeare’s England, have you ever stopped to marvel at the sheer audacity, the sheer brass somethings that a man would have to have to name a play Much Ado About Nothing?
Translate that into modern-modern English, and you’d get something like Everybody’s Up In Arms About Pussy. Though you’d lose the pun on “nothing/noting” in doing so… yes, that’s how far from highbrow Shakespeare is. He made the title of his play a triple pun.
And yes, Much Ado is not one of the Bard’s more serious works to begin with… but then, what is? We divide Shakespeare’s plays up into tragedies and comedies based on the dramatic convention of which ones have a happy ending versus a sad one, but they are all comedies in the modern sense of “things you go to expecting to laugh”. The country/nothing lines come from Hamlet. Heck, Hamlet is hilarious throughout. Any scene with Polonius in it is guaranteed to be comedy gold.
Of course, the people who want to call Shakespeare highbrow are probably the people who quote him in all blustering sincerity when he says “to thine own self be true”… or funnier still, when they paraphrase him as saying that “brevity is the soul of wit”.
Of course, hands down, my favorite bit in Hamlet is when he’s giving instructions to the players that basically amount to William Shakespeare pre-emptively bringing up every stereotype of Serious Shakespearean Acting we have today and saying, “This. This thing. Do not do this thing.”
Anyway, let’s talk about the idea that he “invented the English language”; e.g., he created so many hundreds of new words. Okay, well, first of all, we don’t know how many he invented. We just know there are words and usages of words for which the texts of his plays are the earliest surviving example. The thing is, all those words evidently made sense to his audience.
There’s a post that goes around Tumblr listing some of the words credited to Shakespeare, and one of them is “elbow”. The commentary attached to this post basically boggles over the idea that nobody in the English world had a name for “the bendy part of an arm” until an actor gets up on stage and says “elbow”, and everybody’s like, “Oh, yeah, that’s what it is.”
Except it didn’t happen like that. The noun elbow isn’t what is attributed to Shakespeare; the verb to elbow(as in “elbowing someone aside”) is. His character took a noun and used it to describe an action. That’s not a highbrow creation of language as some sort of received wisdom handed down from authority. That’s naturalistic language use.
Even if he was the first person to describe the act of “elbowing someone”, it caught on because it worked, because it made sense to vernacular speakers of English.
So many of his words fit this model: they are butchered foreign words, they are slangy applications of English words, they are colorful metaphors or synecdoches. In short, he was writing in what we call “Buffyspeak”. If he had an unusual talent for doing it memorably, it still ultimately worked because it reflected the language of the time.
I can’t even begin to explain how shitty this is????????????????
Also I just can’t see this show going forward from here…michael was such an intrinsic part of the show.
Like…They’re actually going to put Jane and Raf back together, it’s CLEAR that that’s happening. Which is just? So incredibly frustrating
Why save him at all? It’s not like he’s had a huge storyline this season (most of it has been recovery centered which is now. Well.) It feels like they brought him back solely for Jane to lose her virginity to him, as if that would “throw a bone” to this side of the fandom so they could then get on with Raf and Jane. I’m.
They skipped three years so they don’t even have to address the grief. Like. If you’re going to kill a character you should at least properly deal with the ramifications of that I’m sorry.
Bringing back the abusive af rose and Luisa relationship? I’m so tired. I mean I saw it coming but. Honestly what made this show good was the balance between the jane plot and the drug ring plot, and a large part of that had to do with Michael. Both in being with Jane and spearheading the detective aspect. Sin rostro was michaels case. He sacrificed so much for it. He was supposed to be the one to solve it. He was supposed to be the one to finish it. Are we just done completely with the police stuff now? I loved that part of the show and have missed it this season, even with Michael still there.
They didn’t even giving him a good death scene. I get that that’s how life works but really? A throwaway scene in the last minutes of the episode? After everything?
No more Rogelio and Michael
No more Mateo and Michael (or baby Mateo in general which is :( )
No more jane and Michael
And most significantly…Just no more michael.
I’m angry and upset and I realize a lot of that has to do with yes, half of my otp and one of my favorite characters dying. But also the more I process the more I become aware of how sloppy this was written and planned and that’s equally upsetting to me.