Sunday, March 1, 2015

Some Thoughts On The First SAO Fairy Dance Light Novel

Spoiler alert: Post contains spoilers for Sword Art Online's anime and the first Fairy Dance LN.

Kirito has escaped Sword Art Online, the forbidden VRMMORPG of death, and returned to reality. He heads off to find his game partner and lover, Asuna Yuuki. But Asuna never made it back from the nightmare. Lost and desperate, Kirito’s only clue to her virtual whereabouts is a mysterious screenshot of Asuna as a fairy trapped in a giant birdcage. His conclusion: She must be trapped within the new, high-powered VRMMORPG, ALfheim Online. Now Kirito must plunge into the world of ALO, where players are fairies who fly gracefully through the air!

Sometimes, seeing into a main character's thought process can really elevate their actions and give clarity to a story. In visual novels, this usually works against the story - a lot of VN main characters are either arrogant blowhards who somehow attract lots of women or blank slates lacking personalities. Even in some light novels, seeing inside a character's head can make them more distant and unliked that before; Kyon of the Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu novels comes to mind.

And yet, if the Fairy Dance arc of the Sword Art Online anime had bothered tapping into some of the more pertinent thoughts of the arc's protagonists - cousins Kazuya/Kirito and Suguha/Leafa - those episodes would have been less painful to watch. In the anime, the Fairy Dance arc is my least favorite of the first season. In the light novel series so far, it is a lot more bearable and, in fact, more interesting as it plays out on the page.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: One Long Drink

Somehow, through the grace of the writing muse, I have returned with another part of the Washed Right Out series. Unfortunately, it's another bloody side story. I hope y'all like it anyway, though. It features our protag, Riley, and his uncanny colleague, Eren. I'd say that as long as you know who these men are, you are good for reading this story. Chronologically, it's a bit funnily placed. Just pretend it's set sometime in the real early part of the series.

One Long Drink. Word prompt: "You know what cures a headache, right?"
Eren was the one who took Riley out that Friday night, to a small bar only a few blocks from work where the hipsters sold their experimental brew and the music was live and incoherent.
"Let's have a drink."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

PR: Viz Media Releasing Box Sets Of Claymore and Rosario + Vampire's Manga

by Norihiro Yagi/SHUEISHA Inc.
I am actually rather excited about this news! Claymore has always been one of my favorite shonen manga centered around women, but I had fallen behind in reading it around volume 15/16. Rosario + Vampire is a ridiculous, silly supernatural series but it never fails to be entertaining. I would recommend both of them, although perhaps not to the same person.


Sets To Feature Entire Series Runs For The Bestselling Medieval Action Saga And High School Vampire Comedy
With Exclusive Premium Items

San Francisco, CA, February 24, 2015 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, details two substantial forthcoming manga (graphic novel) releases set for the Fourth Quarter that feature new complete series box sets for CLAYMORE and ROSARIO + VAMPIRE.

Both sets will be published under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint and will arrive in time for the start of the 2015 Holiday shopping season. The CLAYMORE complete series box set releases in October and will include Volumes 1-27 of creator Norihiro Yagi’s epic medieval action saga. CLAYMORE is a riveting, multi-arc, character-driven action story that has been a New York Times manga bestseller. The ROSARIO + VAMPIRE set debuts in November and will contain BOTH “seasons” of creator Akihisa Ikeda’s acclaimed high school vampire drama in a special 24-volume manga box set edition. Both releases also will include a collectable premium.

Monday, February 23, 2015

That One Time I Reviewed A Hentai Anime On MyAnimeList

Above: the real life reaction of everyone who just read the
subject line of this post, probably.
NSFW Warning: Contains descriptions of unsavory sexual activities in animation and the cover image of the OVA itself. But seriously, y'all, 'hentai' is in the title. You really want to read this one at work? Do yourself a favor and save it for out of the office. Unless you work at Fakku, in which case go right ahead.

Yes, let us look back at the year 2008, in which I apparently decided that the hentai OVA Zero no Mono needed a review on MyAnimeList, everyone's favorite anime website. Right? Anyway, it remains the only review I've bothered to write on MAL, mainly because at that time the compartmentalized style of review was mandatory and it's a pain in the butt to follow. So, let's take a jaunty trip to over six years ago and see what scintillating thoughts I could delve up on Zero no Mono and it's semen jar fixation.

("Is this a poor excuse of a post from an overworked college student?", one might ask, hypothetically. Shush, hypothetical asker! And ask that to the various paper deadlines looming overhead.)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Captain Sikh America Fights Bigotry With Cosplay

Thanks to Colorlines for the video link: Watch Captain Sikh America in 'Red, White, and Beard'. If you recognize Vishavjit Singh, the man behind the Captain Sikh America costume, it's because he's gained popularity in the past year. He's been interviewed, featured in a Facebook advert, and now has a short online film centered around him and his project of fighting intolerance in America. You can even follow him on Twitter!

The full Red, White and Beard film can be found below:

Singh is a ridiculously talented, brave individual. I hope his costumed approach wins even more hearts and exposes more of America's issues in 2015. Plus, his costume is seriously cool looking. Are we sure that isn't really Cap's shield he's wielding? He handles it like a pro. I'm pretty sure that if we handed Singh the handle to Mjolnir, he would be able to swing it around like a whiffle bat.