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I sometimes suffer from compulsions to do things like brush my hair exactly a hundred strokes, or make sure all the blinds are pointing the same direction, or build simple structures out of my macaroons, or reread manga that I just read a week ago because I want to memorize the dialog and panel layouts of all my favorite scenes because I love them so very much.
At the moment, this last applies to Please Save My Earth. Do you know why I love this manga? THIS SCENE IS WHY I LOVE THIS MANGA. (No spoilers.)
For some reason I thought this was the last volume… I guess I’m happy it’s not?
But I’m disappointed by the sense I’m getting that, in the long run, no shounen manga dares stand in the way of the almighty Shounen Jump formula. For one thing, the formula seems to require that the female characters either stop getting fight scenes, or make them the froofy passive-looking metaphysical kind.
For another, there seems to have been an executive decision that Soul Eater lose his hat, acquire a hairstyle somewhere between present-day-Ichigo’s* and Edward Elric’s, and completely change the shape of his face and eyes. Because it’s not okay to have a protagonist who doesn’t look exactly like every other protagonist?
Also, Black ★ Star has suddenly become the number-one angstiest member of the cast? The guy who pronounces a little star in the middle of his name to emphasize how special he is? The one who was introduced as a parody of Naruto!? Yet he is now More Special Sasuke! It’s like the manga’s IQ is progressively getting lower.
If Patty ends up getting angst, too, I’m just going to retreat into writing fanfic where everyone’s an adorable moron again.
* Hey, remember the good old days when Kubo Tite actually had a recognizable personal style? Whatever happened to those days? THE SHOUNEN JUMP FORMULA HAPPENED TO THOSE DAYS. If Mizuno Junko ran a manga in Shounen Jump, within twelve months it would become a story about a fourteen-year-old boy overcoming his rocky relationship with his dad through montage-intensive training to become the best evil naked zombie drug dealer gigolo nurse.
** I just checked and Soul Eater actually runs in Shounen Gangan, not Shounen Jump. Close enough!
1) Do the tutorial mission!
2) Do the first three career-path mission sets! They will be easy and will give you the same items over and over! You can sell the extras?
2a) At the end they will recommend you someone to visit next! That’s good, because there are seventy billion star systems in this game, and ones that are level-appropriate are right next to ones that are for ninjas piloting the Death Star!
3) Do the advanced military career-path mission set! All the battles will be easy, and on the second-to-last one you will get an awesome new spaceship!
4) The last battle will be really hard and your awesome new spaceship will be destroyed.
5) Maybe you can beat the last tutorial mission if you train some new abilities?
5a) (Abilities are trained in real-time. It will take at least another twenty-four hours for your character to learn the relevant ones.)
6) In the meantime, you can go visit the person the other tutorial agents mentioned in 2a!
6a) Wait, the game did not save that person’s name to your address book, and it’s not like you wrote it down.
6b) it’s not in the wiki either wtf
7) Set your character to spend the night training “Complain On Blog” to level 4.
1) When I am the villain, my minions’ uniforms will involve full-face masks of an easy-to-duplicate design, just to make it that much more convenient for the good guys to infiltrate my secret lair.
2) When I am a manga artist drawing a wacky shounen comedy series, just before the final battle I will suddenly introduce a whole bunch of new characters no one cares about. They will then proceed to have earnest romantic troubles.
3) Also, my art will get sloppy, I will decline to clear up at least two subplots, and two characters’ personalities will change completely with neither explanation nor buildup.
(The first six volumes were so great! Why does the manga want to hurt me now?)
ETA: 4) Also, my scanlators will consistently transliterate the two nerds’ names as “Ox Fold” and “Harvar,” possibly because they’re from a DC comics alternate universe where schools don’t exist because of something Lex Luthor did.
I want to go out in the snow, but I’m afraid to. I’m afraid because there’s a small swimming pool out in the yard somewhere… and I can’t tell exactly where.
Someone stop me from playing EVE Online and watching Soul Eater all day. I think it likely that neither one is a good idea on its own, but they’re particularly unharmonious in combination. I’m going to name a spaceship something like “SYMMETRY!,” and then someone named NeMeSiN will destroy it and send me a misogynistic message explaining why they did so. And I’ll want to apologize to Death the Kid for letting the symmetry get destroyed again.
Death the Kid is my favorite character. His voice was giving me weird signals, so I looked it up, and he’s Tamaki from Ouran. Things somehow make more sense now that I know that. I just looked up Black ★ Star, and he’s Excel, which is obviously also good.
is that there’s another Hell that is way worse than regular Hell and is called “NetherHell.”
I’m really trying hard here, but I think the book just beat me. I’d gotten over my cold, but it relapsed; and all my downloads keep aborting themselves; the milk has all curdled; and the sun set an hour earlier than usual, with a heavy sense of finality. This is what it’s like when the book wins.
Anyway, this concept has previously appeared pretty much verbatim in Penny Arcade.
Three small bets I just made with myself:
1) I bet the City of Heroes website is red or blue. (I won – both.)
2) I bet the EVE Online website is black. (I lost, it’s brown.)
3) I bet the Star Trek Online website is dark blue. (I won.)
I didn’t think to make a bet about Star Wars, but it’s also blue.
What is it with “serious” game websites and light text on dark backgrounds, though? Are they scared of being taken for a flash game portal? If so, so are some of the flash game portals.
(Bad decision time is when I decide I’m going to play an MMO.)
What just happened? Why do I find the horrible romantic lead likable?
I like how it’s mentioned on one page in the second volume that all these people are about three inches tall, and then that’s never brought up again. It’s irrelevant! Doomed reincarnated alien love is relevant.
(My ability to get through the whole series so quickly is related to that fact that I’ve got a cold and an extreme reluctance to get out of bed.)
There’s an interesting interview here (via Ta-Nehisi Coates) about an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks whose cervical cancer cells were taken as samples in 1951, shortly before her death, and were found to reproduce in a culture so quickly and efficiently that they revolutionized research on human tissue. They called them HeLa cells, and her family knew nothing about it until twenty-five years later, when her daughter Deborah was contacted by researchers who were interested in getting a sample of her own cells.
There is no earthly way that Octavia Butler didn’t know about this when she was writing Dawn. The heroine with whom the frightening, inexplicable alien falls in love/lust mainly due to her body’s fascinating ability to develop tumors? I think that is what a metaphor looks like.
I just read this book.
And you guys.
It is Anne Bishop fanfic. Unequivocally! Terms and social structures are duplicated!
Lisa is a nurse at a New York hospital who has magic diagnostic powers – she only needs to touch a patient to know what is wrong with him/her! Obviously we must first see her doing this to a cute child. But within two pages, a man checks into her ward and immediately uses his magical powers to “touch her like a lover’s invisible fingers, stirring foreign urges and feelings within her that she had never felt before!” He’s bleeding all over the place at the time, but it’s cool – one of those feelings within her is bloodlust.
His name is Gryphon (excellent.) and he is on the run from the evil Mona Sera, his Queen, whom he serves because it is the natural order of things for men to serve the women who are born with the magical powers that make them Queens. If you are descended from the moon people, which he is. Turns out, Lisa is three-quarters moon person herself! In fact, she is the very first half-breed Queen ever! And could she also be… the most powerful Queen ever?! (Obviously yes.) Gryphon vows to serve her, and she vows to fix his evil-rape-y society – if they can find a cure for the poison that will kill him within 30 days!
Please assume that I got all these exclamation points directly from the book.
So I’ve been looking at the message board for a Facebook game.
I know that I yelled at my cold cream the other day, and I made libelous remarks about Octavia Butler due to my displeasure at her having gotten Serious all over me, and I suggested that Lois McMaster Bujold’s latest series might have been the result of a stroke or head injury. And I may have threatened Nalini Singh’s pets.
But… I’m not serious about these things? I think I would feel kind of embarrassed if people thought I was truly distraught about my cold cream, or seriously angry at writers for not meeting all of my expectations. Yet I think these people on Facebook are seriously angry at the programmers of the little farm game.
1) Google Chrome is wayyyy faster than Firefox.
1a) But my life depends on search-as-you-type, and that’s presently only available via an extremely jittery alpha plugin.
2) It’s actually pretty easy to write a Second Life bot.
3) I like Metaplace’s aesthetics enough that I’m actually playing the Facebook time-waster game they set up when Metaplace went down.
ETA: 4) CVS house-brand cold cream is scented with something absolutely vile. It’s like citronella mixed with camphor and death. I’m sure they were trying to mimic the rose scent in the Ponds, but they… I actually have no idea how they could have ended up with this. Perhaps someone accidentally hired the mad doctor Jizabel Disraeli from Count Cain as a perfumist.
Anyway, the discovery is that in the future I’m going to have to remember to spend the extra two bucks on the Ponds. Also, try to return this stuff.
Technically, Maryland, but there’s a subway station. What should I do in Washington, DC? Aside from go to the Freer and Sackler galleries and wish I were a master thief, probably from a manga with peculiar ideas about either Catholics or consent. Because I can only do that so much.
(Restaurants and used book stores count as things to do. Also, protests.)
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords manga. Four Swords is the one where Link gets split into five Links with different-colored hats, and the one in the black hat is evil! In the game, they basically just fight, but the manga felt that this situation would be improved by a little Linkslash. I guess Link/Link is officially canon now? There’s also Link/Link/Link(?)/Zelda if you own goggles.
You guys should read it, it’s pretty crazy.
Please everyone thank thegeekgene for pointing out to me that it had actually been licensed. For some reason I had thought the eventuality unlikely.
Bring back negative feedback for buyers RIGHT NOW.
Auction Title: Pokemon The Movie 2000 DVD – No Box
Gray Feedback Left By Stupid Stupid Stupid Idiot Buyer: i didnt know that it was only the cd with no box
(I am very petty.)
I regret to inform you that the Regency Buffy book – aka, The Rest Falls Away, by Colleen Gleason, #1 in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles series – just is not very good. At all. The prose is clunky, and there’s no pacing, and the love triangle has so little chemistry from any angle that I fear that in the vicinity of these three characters matter is actually continuous and not particulate in nature. The hilarious presence of magical protective Catholic navel piercing talismans does not make up for these problems.
With that understood, please go now about your business.
Neither Darkover Nor Manga
- Fool Moon (Dresden Files 1), Jim Butcher
I heard somewhere that Jim Butcher and the Ah! My Goddess guy can combine to form a bigger misogynist.
- Dawn (Xenogenesis 1), Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler punches you repeatedly in the stomach.
- Adulthood Rites and Imago (Xenogenesis 2, 3), Octavia Butler
Octavia Butler punches you in the stomach more lightly, provides gender-bendy but oddly heteronormative tentacle sex utopia, repeats.
- The Spell Sword, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Guy from earth lands on the planet of the red-haired sorceresses and goes native (he doesn’t turn into a red-haired sorceress, ’cause that would be, like, weird). Disney could make the movie of this without changing it too much.
- The Forbidden Tower, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Guy from earth’s adjustment to his new psychic family life is hampered by his wife’s psychic powers accidentally zapping his testicles and his attraction to his sister- and brother-in-law. Maybe orgies will solve these problems?
- Heritage of Hastur, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Being gay is wrong and bad, but Regis Hastur thinks he might be gay! Betraying the Comyn is wrong and bad, but Lew Alton thinks he might betray the Comyn! OH NOES
(I would argue that “OH NOES” does not constitute a sentence.)
- Stormqueen!, Marion Zimmer Bradley
People have terrifying uncontrollable psychic powers that may destroy them and EVERYONE THEY LOVE, and pregnancy is TERRIFYING, and everyone’s family is trying to KILL THEM, and so is the WEATHER.
- Yotsuba&!, volumes 1-3, Kiyohiko Azuma
cannot form sentence dying of cute
- Crimson Spell, volume 1, Ayano Yamane
Ridiculous high fantasy comedy/porn. Why is it that transforming into your demon form always seems to involve stripes these days?
COMYN LORD: I am so angry and celibate! It has something to do with my psychic powers.
HIS DAD: Cry moar. You are going to be a warrior and awesome and give me millions of awesome grandchildren because I have inadequacy issues.
COMYN LORD: I hate you, father! I fantasize about killing you with such eerie vividness that I must flee the room to rest my burning forehead against the cool stones of the corridor wall, terrified by how near I have come to patricide this day.
HIS DAD: (That is normal on Darkover.)
COMYN LADY: HI I’M HERE FOR THE ARRANGED MARRIAGE