this movie is visually stunning

hollywoodreporter.com
'Ghost in the Shell': 4 Japanese Actresses Dissect the Movie and Its Whitewashing Twist
THR invited the women to join a no-holds-barred conversation about cultural authenticity and why Japanese nationals fail to understand the race controversy: "People in Japan worship white people."

How did the movie compare with your expectations?

Traci Kato-Kiriyama: It was stunning visually, but emotionally it didn’t draw me in.

Keiko Agena: It was harder to watch than I thought it was gonna be. To get emotionally invested, you have to really care that she needs to find out who she is. But when she finally meets her mom, my gut felt so weird in that moment.

Kato-Kiriyama: That scene was devastating on all levels. It got me because of the emotion of the mother [veteran Japanese actress Kaori Momoi]. She’s really wonderful. That scene should have been beautiful, but Major had nothing in her eyes. Acting-wise, what a missed moment.

Atsuko Okatsuka: I wasn’t aware they were gonna explain the whitewashing. I thought it was just going to be an action film, no explanation, just go with the fact that it’s a future Japan with this robot cop. And then to be like, “Oh shit, I used to be a Japanese woman!” (Laughter) That was against my expectations.

How did you feel when that twist was revealed?

Agena: That was hard, y’all. Hard and awkward.

Ai Yoshihara: Major’s backstory is white people trying to justify the casting.

Okatsuka: And they f—ed up in the process because now it looks even worse. The text at the beginning of the movie explained that Hanka Robotics is making a being that’s the best of human and the best of robotics. For some reason, the best stuff they make happens to be white. Michael Pitt used to be Hideo.

Agena: That was the other cringe-worthy moment, when they called each other by their Japanese names. We’re looking at these beautiful white bodies saying these Japanese names, and it hurt my heart a little bit.

Kato-Kiriyama: It was supposed to be so touching and intimate, and it felt gross. And kind of laugh-worthy at the same time.

Okatsuka: I would have preferred them just using American names. “You used to be Bob.”

the reason why you should watch/read Doukyuusei

i know i someone has probably done this already but i just want to truly display why I love “Doukyuusei” so much.

the movie and manga’s visual art is stunning, with a simplistic art-style and light lines with lighter colors. the gorgeous aesthetic is simply too attractive to pass.

the voice acting is simply breath-taking, the well known Hiroshi Kamiya (Levi of snk, Yato of noragami, and Choromatsu of osomatsu) plays Kusakabe Hikaru. 

whereas, Kenji Norima (Chiba Mamoru of sailor moon crystal, Taihei Doma of himouto! umaru chan, and Natsuya Kirishima of free! starting days) plays Rihito Sajou

they play the parts of nervous and shy teenagers in high school beautifully, with all of the normal “hiccups and stutters” of a teenager confessing to a loved one. 

however, the most important part of this movie is the message.

the movie’s portrayal of youth finding their sexuality is just so accurate to the real thing, something you do not often find in the shounen-ai community. 

the “but we’re boys” comment is mentioned, but is not a revolving issue of the relationship between our two protagonists Kusakabe and Sajou. it is mentioned but quickly dismissed as they realize their feelings for one another.

the two boys suffer the same hardships that any person going through a relationship will suffer such as school and college, and not only that they move at a normal pace of a healthy relationship. 

in contrast to the trope in bl stuff today, the couple does not have intimate interactions until they have been going out for a year and this is just deep kissing. this is realistic for a high-school couple of japan, thus displaying how NORMAL a same-sex relationship really is as many depictions of shounen-ai couples have had the couple have bedded one another within days of their “get-together.”

the movie not only depicts a warm and loving romance between two young-men and their innocent love for one another, it also pushes for the acceptance of same-sex couples, showing that they are not any different than the social norm.

same-sex couples have blushing confessions. same-sex couples have arguments. same-sex couples have confusion and thought.

just… this story and series is gorgeous and stunning and something i would absolutely recommend to anyone.

The 100 Hellatus Survival Kit

Since I know all of us will be in various stages of mourning and death over the next 9ish months, here’s some fandoms to fling yourselves into to cope! (WARNING: There’s a lot of books..)

* = (post) apocalypse / dystopia setting
** = relationship dynamic reminiscent of bellarke
*** = both

Television

**The Expanse

Want to fantasize about the delinquents in space? This is basically the S5 au you need.

  • kick ass space opera
  • diverse af cast
  • Nolden = Space Blarke (not kidding, this is what would’ve happened if she went to space)

**The X-Files

I know I never shut up about this show, but it’s for a good reason. Are you sad about Bellarke and need a long ass show to invest yourself in? With a slow burn couple, built on trust and respect and support? LOOK NO FURTHER!

  • government conspiracies
  • sad space parents
  • the longest slow burn that will renew your faith in blarke (its literally 7 years)
  • 10 seasons worth of content so you won’t run dry
  • MULDER AND SCULLY ARE LITERALLY BELLARKE I STG YOU CAN ASK HAILEE AND GRACE

Sense8

Looking for another “diverse group of misfits that create their own family” to cry over?

  • 8 people share a psychic link
  • the bad government want to experiment on them
  • the most diverse cast i stg (gay ships! trans characters! poc!)
  • ships that will make you cry for 17 days 
  • so many people sleep on this so and i not qu(white) understand

***The Walking Dead

How about another power couple leading a rag tag group of peeps through the apocalypse? (Yeah I’m talking about Richonne)

  • zombie apocalypse
  • i don’t think i really need to explain this
  • but ana would literally kill me if i didn’t include them on this list
  • richonne = bellarke material

**Lost

You can thank Mik and April for this one. In case you’re wondering what’s in store for blarke next season, or if you’re wanting to imagine that reunion.

  • DESMOND AND PENNY 
  • bunch a strangers plane crash on a magic island
  • it’ll melt your brains (I’ve watched it twice and I’m still not sure i completely understand everything)
  • but seriously ask mik about desmond x penny because she’ll make you cry about s5 blarke

Stitchers

Just want a cute feel good show with just enough angst and a ship that will cause you only minor pain?

  • girl with a made up brain condition “stitches” into the minds of dead people to solve murders
  • camsten gives me butterflies
  • its just really cute

Honorable Mentions: *Attack on Titan, *Psycho Pass, The OA, ***Battlestar Galactica (I’m still crying about lee and starbuck ok?) *Firefly, Teen Wolf, Glitch, Agents of SHIELD, Roswell, *3%, *Falling Skies, American Gods (SUPPORT RICKY)

Movies

***Pacific Rim

Stay with me here. How about a visually stunning movie about the people fighting monsters in giant robots? But with important character backstories, diversity, and Idris Elba?

  • giant godzilla like monsters crawl out of the ocean and terrorize the world
  • special pilots operate huge transformer like robots to fight them
  • watch and just imagine blarke isn’t drift compatible (can’t relate)
  • a sequel starring John Boyega

*Goodbye World

Still feeling that apocalypse vibe?

  • group of old college friends try to ride out the apocalypse in a cabin
  • its simple but dramatic

*Tomorrow, When the War Began (also a tv show and book series)

How about some Australian teenagers fighting back against a country on the brink of war and chillin’ in the outback?

  • its basically Red Dawn in Australia
  • its v dramatic 
  • based on the book series by John Marsden

*The Stand

I mean technically it was a mini series, but whatever. Down for the film version of Stephen King’s greatest work about the battle between good an evil across a pandemic ridden America?

  • a virus kills almost everyone in literally a couple days
  • survivors are called from all over to join either the good guys or the bad guys
  • its much cooler than it sounds
  • I’d recommend the book but its 1200 pages and I know y'all don’t have that motivation

*How I Live Now

Have a need for even more teenagers at the end of the world? 

  • political / nuclear apocalypse
  • group of kids try to survive in the english hills or whatever
  • ft. baby tom holland and a weird cousin relationship that i don’t get
  • its still good though

Honorable Mentions: Ginger Snaps, *Resident Evil (but just the first one), Electrick Children, *The Matrix, 28 Days Later, Children of Men

Books (this is gonna be a long one)

lets get the obvious ones out of the way…

**Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

If y'all haven’t heard of this yet between me, Ana, and Delaney in the past month where have you been?

  • ragtag (diverse) group of criminals misfits band together to pull of the ultimate heist
  • lgbtq+ characters! characters oaf color! disabled characters!
  • the ships will literally tear your actual heart out (*whispers* kanej)

A Darker Shade of Magic (and sequels) by VE Schwab

pretend to be shocked for a minute… are you in the market for a soul crushing series, with morally grey, but entirely lovable characters, and relationships (romantic and platonic) that make you cry?

  • parallel londons, blood magic, pirates, and princes
  • lila bard
  • bisexual prince and his pirate privateer lover
  • lila bard
  • otp thats meets when person a robs person b and leaves them bleeding in an alley 
  • seriously if you take one recommendation from this list make it this one
  • LILA BARD

ok on to the ones i haven’t spent the last month yelling about

Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

book hangover after you’ve finished the first 2 books? well here comes the perfect combo of both!

  • fantasy dystopia? basically a fantasy world if the dark lord had won
  • alchemy magic!
  • group of misfits come together to perform a heist

***The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Does the absence of blarke have you longing for an angsty, enemies to friends to lovers ship?

  • dystopia where some people have super powers
  • girl who can kill people by touching them (she’s basically Rogue)
  • aaron warner <3
  • the angstiest shit i stg
  • its a romance hiding behind a dystopian storyline
  • i think warner has elements of S1 bellamy so I’m considering a similar dynamic, deal with it

*This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

I couldn’t not include more from my queen. Looking for a book about monsters, and music, and the end of the world?

  • a future where  every violent act a human commits manifests an actual living breathing monster
  • the city of verity is controlled by 2 warring families, (August’s and Kate’s)
  • Kate and August come together to battle the big bad that’s threatening their town
  • the writing is so. fucking. poetic.
  • also no romance!

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

do you love witches? and kickass female friendship? and love interests that stab each other in the heart?

  • witch best friends (aka threadsisters) on the run
  • a complex af magic system (truthwitch-sense lies, windwitch-control wind/air, you get the idea)
  • seriously the female friendship tho
  • angsty ships that try to kill each other!!!
  • ongoing, but book 2 just came out

*On the Beach by Nevil Shute

Can’t get enough of people dealing with the impending end of the world?

  • last survivors of a nuclear apocalypse sit on an australian beach and wait for their death basically
  • how people handle knowing they’re about to be wiped out
  • be prepared to cry

***The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

More. Space. Stuff???

  • fairytale retellings in space??
  • cinder(ella) with a cyborg arm
  • + red riding hood, rapunzel, snow white
  • its been 84 years since i read, but i think cinder/kai reminded me vaguely of blarke so I’m counting it

*The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

I actually haven’t read this one so I don’t know if there’s a Blarke-esque relationship, but are you on the market for a book about gays and aliens in space??

  • space opera
  • introspective look at humanity and alien shit
  • some AI drama
  • f/f relationship (party!)

The Wrath and the Dawn (and sequel) by Renee Ahdieh

How do I open this one? Maybe you’re down for a retelling of 1001 Arabian nights?

  • such poetic writing
  • as i mentioned, retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights where this dude takes a new wife every night and kills her every morning
  • but then our salty heroin marries him and because she’s amazing she tricks him into keeping her alive through stories
  • and the romance is so angsty
  • i just started this so idk much else

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Looking to find a book basically about all of our lives?

  • fan fiction writer goes to college 
  • social anxiety is a bitch
  • theres a cute boy
  • its so fluffy it’ll make you smile

**Saga by Brian K. Vaugh and Fiona Stable

how about a few comic books? maybe one about a man and a woman from 2 warring intergalactic species on the run from their people?

  • forbidden romance between a bad ass black woman with wings and her kick ass asian husband with horns
  • running from both their governments that want their “abomination” baby dead (not a spoiler the first panel is literally her giving birth)
  • theres people with robot heads and alien orgies
  • its so fucking good
  • i feel like this is how 30 yo blarke would handle this situation

Teen Titans by Geoff Johns

On the look out for a superhero comic? Maybe, oh, ANOTHER ragtag group of misfits?

  • I know this isn’t everyone’s favorite iteration, but it’s mine and I love beast boy and raven so deal with it
  • robin, beast boy, raven, cyborg, etc.
  • just read it

Honorable Mentions: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova, The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Steivfater, Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (listen, she’s trash, but Jem is my son and I love him), An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, ***Red Rising by Pierce Brown,

I hope this helps everyone out! I tried to think of as many similarities as I could and then threw in some that are worth the interest! Happy Hellatus lovelies!

8

20/366 movies: Equals (2015)

“Ever since we were kids it’s been drilled into us that our purpose is to explore the universe, you know? Outer space is where we’ll find the answers to why we’re here and where we come from. It’s like everyone’s searching for these answers 800 million miles away and the truth is the answers are right in front of us… I know why I’m here.” “Me too.”

Tumblr is trash. You know why? Because before Beauty & The Beast came out, ya’ll convinced me that it was homophobic and trash because they made LeFou gay. Well I just came back from the movie, didn’t love it (Luke and Dan were the best things about it) but LeFou was a hero in the end and also got to dance with a man. His name is named the fool. Okay, your anger is fair on that account. But other than that? He was a good character, probably with more depth then some of the characters. The little girl next to me whispered to her mom if LeFou loved Gaston when Gaston betrayed LeFou. A couple in front of me gave each other looks when LeFou danced with that one man (who is also alluded to be a cross dresser). I didn’t hate the movie, the movie was visually stunning, the music was gorgeous although some voices were meh for me (not naming who), and the story was a repeat (of course) with a couple added things. But the character of LeFou and his sexuality was handled well coming from Disney, in my opinion. It wasn’t perfect representation, it wasn’t even amazing representation. Did add anything to the movie? Not really. But it was better than most considering the countless disney movies where a coded lgbt character is a villain. Like I said, it wasn’t something to be rejoicing over…it’s fucking Disney what did ya’ll expect. But I wasn’t shaking in my seat with anger. That is all I gotta say. 

guys i’ve just watched beauty and the beast, and, i’m, so, speechless.

i’ll try to not tell you spoilers since most of the countries the movie is being released only tomorrow (but here it was released today).

my thoughts are:
- well, the movie is visually stunning and pleasing to see, that movie is a visual masterpiece.
- there’s lots of differences between this new version and the original one, but some of them are not really different at all, and the different things that happened are still magical and some answered questions that we didn’t even know we needed to know, and the little different details are just fascinating, i’m deeply in love with this movie.
- and can we please talk about how perfect the cast is? luke evans is the perfect gaston, seriously, he totally brought the character to life, and dan stevens is such a perfect beast/prince, and ewan mcgregor as lumiere !!!!!!! absolutely wonderful ????? and emma watson as belle, josh gad as lefou EVERYBODY IN THAT CAST IS SIMPLY AMAZING !!!!!!!!!
- well so i mentioned lefou and i just can not forget to talk about the controversy about him being disney’s first openly gay character. i was really happy about it because that is such a big step from disney since they’re really, you know, traditional, but i was kinda worried because lefou is mostly used for comic relief, and also his name literally means ‘the fool’, i was worried about what disney could give us but in my opinion i can say i’m not disappointed. i really like josh gad and he perfectly played him, and i can’t lie he was the one who caused most of the funny stuff in the movie, but he’s a really really good character, i swear they portrayed him in this movie in a better vision, and the “especially gay moment” the director promised us in the movie is not something that is “so shocking” but it’s just really natural and i love it a lot, i believe this is the beggining of more lgbtq+ characters in the disney world and i’m pleased, lefou is amazing my dudes.
- and the songs ?!!?!!!! the original soundtrack is already incredible but the new songs, you guys better be ready because i bet it will kill you in so many different ways like it did to me.
- it’s such a rare thing for me to cry in movies, i swear the last movie i remember crying it was httyd 2, but you guys, I CRIED, A LOT.

i just want to watch it again and again, it’s one of my favorite movies from this year so far, i believe you guys will fall in love with it just like i felt, there’s no words to describe it, it’s just so magical.

I Saw A Film: Lego Batman

I’ll be perfectly honest, this is everything the DC Cinematic Universe should be, but that Warner and the creative-folks behind it will never let it be.

The film, well where do I even start? The production design is gorgeous, with a very busy; visually bright and colorful aesthetic brought around, like everything people like about Tetsuya Nomura’s work and the sort of vibe I’d go with if I were making a proper Final Fantasy movie. Highlights include the incredibly action-y and visually stunning opening amd the Joker’s final lair; the best depiction of a Ha Ha Hacienda (Look it up) in cinema.

Not lying, an adaptation of the New Gods would be ideal for this format. But, anyhoo, the writing is great too. The comedy is snappy and the actors are excellent; with a special shoutout to Zack Galifinakis as the Joker; one of the best adaptations of the Silver Age Joker out there.

And, really, I bring up the Silver Age because it brings back all the fun parts of the Silver Age and silver-age-throwbacks that the DC Cinematic Universe threw in the trash, the bizarre aesthetic baroqueness with no need to apologize or justify it; the actual rapport between the characters; sympathy for the actual stakes and some actual goddamn levity for once.

Like, legit, the whole plot of the movie is essentially about how the grim-n-gritty I-work-alone schtick is fundamentally immature, where the day is saved by the power of friendship and how the Bat Family is a fundamental part of the character and him moving on and rebuilding from his original trauma.

It seems like a direct rebuttal to Zack Snyder’s nihilistic DC Universe; which one critic-who-is-disgraced-to-me said were about “the death of God,” and they’re not only more mature than the “grown-up” films but do more fundamentally interesting things with the character; especially in the Joker’s main scheme and how it ties in directly with those themes and relies on a super-common criticism of Batman to work.

Of course, they’re probably never going to do with the mainstream DCCU because of that exact sort of fetishization of looking superficially “grown-up” than being actually mature that I think plagues Western media in general, but I digress.

Speaking of things they’d never do in the DCCU, there’s a major part of the Joker’s scheme with a whole bunch of major appearances from all different franchises that I don’t want to spoil except for you definitely won’t see them coming and that it’s one of the best crossovers I’ve seen in years.

But yeah, it’s one of the best Batman movies I’ve seen; the closest thing we are ever going to get to a film of the excellent Brave and The Bold animated series.

It was such a good Batman movie, that it was kinda jarring when they did bring up periodic reminders of its Lego-ness, like the mention of Master Building and the metaphysics of the Joker’s main scheme. But that’s a minor quibble.

In the end, GO SEE IT!

I saw the new Beauty and the Beast the other day. I went in with somewhat hesitant expectations for it mostly bc of the whole LeFou thing bc there were so many ways that could have been handled horribly, and partly bc I wasn’t sure how well they’d actually live up to the original movie. I walked out of the theater having actually teared up bc of the soundtrack and one of the songs in particular, in absolute awe of the visual effects. The movie was stunning on multiple levels in the best possible way and I really really want to see it again preferably in the next few days.

SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD

LeFou was given a complete overhaul and had a really great character arc, and gets a happy ending. It was a baby step, representation wise, but a good step forward nonetheless and I think we need to back Disney up on it bc otherwise it could be years before we see any more.

Now. For the real purpose of this post. Should I write fanfic of LeFou being happy and gay and in love with his cross dressing boyfriend Stanley?

I’m dead serious someone either talk me into it or out of it.

5

PadMay Day 9. Favorite Attack of the Clones Costume

…it seems, in tragedy, that innocence is not enough.

This movie is visually stunning and every costume is my favorite costume, but the meadow picnic dress so perfectly references Guinevere I have to choose it.  

Analysis of Time

Can I just take a minute to say that Time may well be one of the most unique characters I’ve seen in a children’s movie in years?  For all its flaws, Through the Looking Glass got this right; creating a character so fresh and distinctive that I liked him the moment he opened his mouth.  He basically carried the movie, stealing every moment he was on screen, and when he wasn’t I sat there wishing he was.

That said, I’d like to talk about his connection with Underland, Alice, the Red Queen, and his existence.  For all we know, Time is immortal.  He repeatedly refers to Alice as “the kindergartener”, which is comedic for sure, but also probably true in comparison to himself.  Time is ancient, seeing almost everyone around him as an ignorant child– but he’s also lonely.  It wouldn’t be a stretch to think this, considering his poor choice in lovers.

When Iracebeth enters, we see that she’s in a “relationship” with Time, but she’s clearly abusive.  She demands gifts, favours, influence, feeling entitled to all of it.  So now the question is, why would Time, possibly Underland’s most powerful deity, give Iracebeth so much as a second glance?  Well, as I stated before, he’s lonely.

We see him craft her gifts with his bare hands, bow before her, comfort her when she’s whining, and do everything but give her control of the universe.  Later, we even see her strike him to the floor, in his own castle, no less!  He’s willing to tolerate her abuse likely because she’s the only person in Underland who isn’t afraid to be near him.  Think about it.  Everything that exists inside his castle is a being of his own creation, and most of them are of a … lower intelligence.  Imagine how intimidated everyone else must be.  Time, the ruler of time.  Note how none of Alice’s friends, though perfectly capable, wanted to accompany her to his kingdom.  Note how scared they were to even suggest going.  Now ask yourself this:  If God is real, would you want to meet him?  Would you want to see what he’s like?  Would you want to make demands of him?  It isn’t far-reaching to suggest that no one in Underland is brave enough to face him.

That said, I don’t think Time can control life and death, only time itself.  Notice that when the grand-clock stopped ticking, no one died, they simply ceased to be.  As Time himself explains, he has to give a piece of himself for others to live, but when that time runs out the person inevitably dies.  It’s possible that he serves both Life and Death, stopping clocks when he’s told to, or that he’s simply unable to control how much time a person gets.  Naturally, not all of us get the same amount of time as others, and some people don’t use their time wisely.  That’s where the subject of free will comes into play– but that’s another analysis entirely.

When we first meet Time, he’s in the process of ending a life.  This immediately paints him as a villain, because death in inherently evil, right?  But then we get something unexpected.  We see him gently attach the watch to a garden of other inactive watches, then smile and say, “I hope you were happy.  I hope you used your time well.  Goodnight.”  In a matter of seconds the supposed villain turns into a man of compassion, who actually cares about each life he’s forced to end.  This leads me to believe that Time can’t control life or death, or even time in general.  Rather, he is a giver and keeper of time, simply doing his job.

From the get go, Time is perceived as the antagonist.  He “kills a man”, denies Alice the ability to save Hatter, and he’s seen with Iracebeth.  How could a person be more evil, right?  As the film continues, however, we see that that simply isn’t true.  Despite his love for Iracebeth, he refuses to give her the one thing she desires most– the chronosphere.  He realises that protecting time, and by extension others, is more important.  When Alice steals the chronosphere for herself, Time’s one and only goal is retrieving it, but not violently.  He never hurts Alice, he never shows any signs of hatred towards her, and after all is said and done, despite how much pain he suffered and the fact that she almost killed him, he forgives her.  More than that, he cherishes her apology.  When close to death himself, he even trusts her to fix her mistake, saying, “It’s up to you now, Alice.”  Almost like a parent guiding his daughter.  Father Time.

The subject of giving is significant to this film, as well.  At the beginning, Alice regards Time as a thief, stealing everything she loves.  This feeling is also likely shared by everyone in Underland, hence Time’s isolated loneliness.  Until the end, Time is widely regarded as a taker.  He takes and takes and takes and takes, but in reality he’s the most sympathetic and giving being in existence.  Literally, all he does is give.  It’s really quite sad, when you think about it.  Such a thankless job, where everyone either fears or hates him.  He gives people time, and we see him shower Iracebeth with gifts as well.  In fact, he’s so attuned to giving he doesn’t even realise the Red Queen is using him.  At the end of the movie, when Alice hands him her father’s watch, he naturally assumes she wants him to fix it.  The thought that she was offering it as a gift didn’t even occur to him, which makes it all the more heartwarming when he realises what it is.  He fully understands the impact of such a gift, knowing its significance to Alice.  Truly, he is touched by her generosity, as this may be the first and only gift he’s ever received.

This may be the most beautiful scene in the entire movie.  Ignoring the fact that the visuals are absolutely stunning, the emotional exchange affects the audience deeply, making them smile along with the actors.  It is here that Time says he’s a friend to no man (how can he be if he’ll outlive everyone?), but that he’ll remember Alice always.  How can that not tug at your heartstrings?  After all, to Time, “always” is forever.