0010 - Wow, I don't think there's ever been a full chapter this action-heavy before -- lots of fighting and very little dialogue. I enjoyed it, but I don't really have much to say except OMG MY FANGIRL HEART! ALPHONSE IS SO AMAZING! *__* ♥♥♥
I'll be over here, flailing about the Armstrongs double-teaming Sloth and being made of awesome. :>
0011 - At first I was like, "ugh Arthurian legend canon rape" but more and more people on my flist were going "YAY YAY" about it. This wouldn't have fazed me, because most of the squee is about the Merlin/Arthur slash, and "it's got slashy appeal" is not the way to get me into something (slash is always secondary to storyline and characterisation, and I don't generally tend to view/read things with slash goggles on, anyway). But then I heard it had kickass female characters, and that made me curious, so I decided to give it a shot.
Let's take a trip to the department of backstory for a second here. There was this creepy, CREEPY fucking guy I used to know when I was younger. He was that weird quiet boy with a really intense fascination for torturing insects and small animals -- pulling legs off spiders, tying cats' tails together, stepping on bugs just to hear 'em crunch, that kind of thing. He was the same age as me and most of my neighbourhood friends, and as puberty advanced, he would often follow us girls around and sit at a distance, watching and watching and watching ugh I get all queasy just thinking about it. We would shout at him to go away, but he always came back when we weren't looking. Every month or so he would fixate on a different girl and follow her home at night (again, at a distance). Later on he progressed to wanking when he sat there watching us, and that was when we ran screaming to the older boys, who finally drove him away. If he continued watching us, he was really sneaky about it, because we never saw him again except in passing on the street, and later on we began to hang out in flat block basements (it was a Soviet/Russian thing; hard to explain) where you couldn't just show up uninvited. About a year after I left Estonia, a friend with whom I kept in touch via letters told me he'd assaulted another friend of ours, cut her face up really badly, raped her, and was serving time at a juvenile correctional facility. At fourteen, that kind of felt like finding out the monster under your bed was real, and I will NEVER forget his bug-eyed creepy face with the too-large ears and the weird half-smirk.
And Merlin's actor looks exactly like him. Seriously; every time he appeared on screen I began to feel as unsettled as I did when it was my turn to be followed home back then. NEVER WATCHING THIS SHOW OR ANYTHING ELSE WITH THIS ACTOR AGAIN EVER. I'm also adblocking every single icon with him in it. D: I selfishly hope he never makes it so big in Hollywood that I have no choice but see that awful face staring at me from posters. DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD:
0100 - Meme from reddwarfer. Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.
Bleach - This isn't the time for me to go on at length about why I think Bleach is so fucking amazing (I think that needs a separate post with bulleted lists and spoilers and pictures and lots of *CAPSLOCK FLAIL* space). But I will say this: I have never fallen this hard for anything fictional since I was a lot younger and a hell of a lot more impressionable. The funny thing about it is -- the Bleach plot is not exactly the most intricate thing in the world. It makes use of common tropes aplenty (though granted, there were a couple of surprise twists thrown into the works that I didn't see coming, and that's pretty rare for me these days) and on the surface it's a fairly standard Japanese version of the Hero's Journey. But for me the charm of Bleach is all in the characters -- the way they're drawn, the way they interact, the relationships they build (or rebuild). In my other fandoms, my focus had always been on what happens in general. I care about that with Bleach, too, but I care a hell of a lot more about what happens to the characters, whether it has anything to do with the general storyline or not (and it usually does, which makes the series that much more awesome). The blend of angst, typical shounen heroics, and humour (which often is, or borders on, slapstick) that comes from character interaction is what I enjoy the most about Bleach. It just... fills me with childlike joy that I never thought I would experience again.
AI - It's the only reality show that I have ever liked enough to follow -- I enjoy the surface aspect of "omg I hate this contestant I wish he'd go home" / "omg I can't believe they sent so-and-so home; she was so much better than such-and-such!" -- and, of course, the antics between the judges, especially Simon (I'm still not sold on the new judge this season, but at least she seems to have toned the bitchy side down some). Once the competition actually starts, it's fun, though the audition/selection process can be pretty irksome in its pointlessness. This year, the Top 36 crop actually includes some people I think could potentially become great artists, so I'm looking forward to seeing this season unfold. I don't take it very seriously, though -- like, I used to like VFTW when they would just try to keep the worst singers in the competition for lulz, but the recent trend of banging their chest and claiming a "higher" purpose is just tiresome. Like "exposing Idol as the fake reality show it is" or "proving that Idol doesn't play by its own rules and does, indeed, allow people with past contracts to compete". Who the fuck cares? It's trashy TV, ffs, and it's usually entertaining -- who cares if it's fake?
lolcats - I think elaborating on lolcats is like writing a book about Internet slang: potentially useful to approximately eighteen people, but pointless. I think lolcats are one of those things that if you don't get it when you see it, you never will.
Animanga - I tend towards the manga side of things, actually, so I don't know if I can elaborate on "animanga" -- so far, my experience with anime has been "it's never as good as the manga, and when it is, it's shoujo". For the shounen series I follow, the anime is substandard compared to the manga (character nuances are lost, new character dynamics are introduced -- and with a character-driven story like Bleach or Reborn, this can have tremendous effects on the overall experience of a story). However, I am really enjoying the Skip Beat anime, and I inhaled both seasons of Vampire Knight over three days -- they don't always stick to the manga 100%, but they do a great job of keeping characters in character and adding nuance unobtrusively. However, I haven't watched enough anime (or read enough manga, for that matter) to even consider thinking this is a "general" view -- it's just my experience. As for series that are anime-only, I can't ever justify the time investment. In a given 23 minutes, I can write 500-1000 words of a story, study a new Japanese word, exchange a few remarks with a friend over IM, reply to a short e-mail, and read a chapter of manga -- in the same timeframe (though not at the same time). If I'm watching anime, those 23 minutes are spent reading subtitles and watching the characters move around, plus listening for comprehension. I'm willing to spend the time for series I already enjoy and characters I already love, but not any other way.
Mockery - I think there's a huge disconnect online and in real life between people who consider mockery as purely contemptuous and destructive and people who think it's a way to laugh/make other people laugh. I don't think that divide can ever be bridged, because people have different emotional thresholds, and those who generally consider mockery irredeemably derisive will never find it funny (unless, ironically, it's directed at someone/something they don't care for... but that's a whole 'nother can of worms >.>). Mocking shit up is my preferred method of making metaphorical lemonade. There are things that make me angry, upset, or sad on different levels -- I think turning them into something I can laugh at is a much more productive way of coping than constant rage or tears. And if I can make someone else laugh along the way, all the better. Don't get me wrong -- genuine anger/sadness do have their place, and I'm not saying I turn everything into lulz to escape experiencing actual, you know, emotions. I do think there are things that should never be subjected to mockery... but fanbrats writing emo porn about gay people who don't exist is just not one of those things.