Thursday, May 21, 2015

Open Thread: Avengers Age of Ultron

We've probably all seen Age of Ultron at this point. You've probably all moved onto Mad Max (which looks and sounds amazing) and Tomorrowland (which looks amazing but sounds disappointing) by now, but I haven't, ergo this post! I saw it last weekend and I've been thinking about it a lot since. I'd like to read people's thoughts on the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's a pretty solid popcorn movie but I also think it will prove to be one of the better and often argued over entries in the current Marvel canon. Below are some starting points on the film and MCU in general.

Spoilers for all Marvel films up to now can be expected in the comments! Please, if you've seen any of the leaked set pics from the new Captain America, keep it under wraps for now. I've been trying to avoid them for the most part, although sometimes a rare small pic will slip under the radar.

  • The trailer for Ant Man
  • The seemingly controversial Nat/Bruce relationship
  • Bruce and Tony: are they wholly responsible for Ultron's behavior?
  • Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch!
  • Hawkeye's surprising back story, so surprising almost none of the Avengers knew about it.
  • Could this be the most religiously loaded Marvel film to date?
  • How do the events of this film shape the MCU and how SHIELD/the Avengers operate?
  • Tony's special big shiny suit - yeah, that one
  • Thor in the bath scene, also known as "why is this happening? am I on drugs right now?"
  • Anyone else disappointed the GOTG didn't make a cameo?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Novel Review: Sword Art Online LN 4

Sword Art Online: Fairy Dance LN 2
Author: Reki Kawahara
Artist: abec
Yen Press
204 pages
Kirito plunges into a suspicious new VRMMORPG called ALFheim Online to rescue Asuna, who never returned from Sword Art Online. ALO offers many features to entertain players in the wake of SAO: ultra-high-end graphics, action-heavy gameplay, a choice of fairy races, and a next-generation flight engine. Playing as a spriggan, Kirito heads for the location of Asuna's prison --- the top of the World Tree, the final destination of every player in the game! (Source: Yen Press)
Here is the ultimate kicker about the Sword Art Online light novel series, for people who have watched the anime and already have an opinion on Reki Kawahara's canon. If you watched the anime and hated it, the LN will not change your mind. If you watched the anime and loved it, you will love the LN. If you watched the anime and fell anywhere in between these two groups, you will find that the LN adds a substantial amount of depth and meat to the story that the anime could not provide. Fairy Dance volume two concludes the second arc of Sword Art Online's first season story-wise, and it pretty much follows the above line of thinking to the letter.
With Fairy Dance GN 2, however, there is an additional subplot not touched upon in the anime, and somehow it makes all the difference between what made it on the screen and what stayed in the book. Perhaps if the book's opening scenes had been included in an episode, I would have warmed more to the Leafa/Kirito relationship. Plus, it's just a really great scene and I wish I had seen it animated. Deviant Gods are awesome!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Another Dispatch From LLSIF World: Alpaca Edition

Is it weird that, in a game based around beautiful young female pop idols based in Japan, the in-game event award I'm most jazzed about is a furry long-necked animal mostly found in South America who is often found in petting zoos?

I am talking about, of course, the Love Live alpaca.

I still am not sure why this alpaca is such a big part of LLSIF fandom. He doesn't do anything, not really. You can't add him to your teams or level him up. All he is good for is giving another idol experience, after which he disappears into the cosmic ether of your smartphone forever. But look at him! That's an adorable alpaca! How can you not love something so fluffy?

Side note: the most recent event was really fun, if only for the fact that I got to play against other people and compare scores/look at other people's weird user names/greeting choices. I was surprised at the lack of variations on "(X Girl) is my waifu" on people's profiles, though. None of y'all married a Nico body pillow? Don't lie to yourself, it is something you considered.

I can't wait for the next event! And to see the other songs the game are releasing as b-sides for this year's anniversary date.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Authors I Really Want To Meet

There's this fun book-centric meme for bloggers via the Broke and the Bookish that runs every Tuesday called Top Ten Tuesday, and while I probably won't do it every week, I thought I'd try and break into the fray for this week as an opener. It's - wait for it - a weekly top ten list that runs on Tuesdays and each week a different topic is picked by the BATB blog runners for participants to discuss.

I used to do so many memes like this back when I ran Dangerously Cold Tea, my old book blog (wow, that takes me back...) and I promise, they are super fun. Hopefully, y'all find this as much fun as I do.

This week: ten authors I really want to meet. I'm gonna keep it split ever across prose authors and manga-ka, since this is primarily a manga blog. I'll count a few dead ones, since it's a fantastical whim and within that framework, anything could happen.

Friday, May 8, 2015

And Now, Miku Hatsune With The Weather

It's Friday, so be kind to yourself and watch this adorable as hell fan-made video of Miku Hatsune trying her hand in broadcast journalism. What more is there to say to make you wanna watch?

Hat tip to ANN for the video link, where there is also news about a new Miku album from the same artist who created the above video.