03 November 2017

Nov 2017 Update: Trying [and Failing] to Dodge Bullets

Hello, dear readers!

Real life remains a priority for me, even though some mild depression has dampened my motivation to get out of my rut of unemployment. I can't say how good things look at this point, but I still have enough energy to keep moving, even if the overly critical voice in my head loves to find new ways to subvert any progress I've made. The fact I'm aware of my current state of mind means I'm starting off on the right foot when I start to take action.

That said, I'm still uploading my Persona 3 fanfic, Through the Empty Spiral, on AO3 (30 chapters as of this post), and I'm trying to get my own original story off the ground. A few scenes have come to life, and a dozen characters are begging for their time to shine, so I have plenty of ideas to sculpt and polish. Once I have a more concrete design plan and an actual narrative timeline structured, I might rant about some of the problems I've run into and other concerns floating around my head as I break down this seemingly herculean project.

Between Rei and Yuuri Katsuki, I don't know who I love more.
And adorable, squee-inducing fanart doesn't help my poor heart.
Entertainment-wise, I've been watching season 2 of March Comes in Like a Lion and fighting every urge to adopt Rei Kiriyama as my son or little brother, and I admit I'm tempted to watch My Hero Academia due to my thirst for shonen anime kicking into overdrive after years of avoiding the genre. Long-running anime with substantial filler content are too great of a commitment and One Piece never did anything for me despite trying multiple times. Thus My Hero Academia, which seems to be running in concise, tight few-episode seasons, may be a safe investment at this point. Maybe a Japanese take on superheroes will provide a different kind of story I can get behind compared to the unavoidable decade-plus-and-still-running Marvel and DC typhoon. If all else fails, an anime reviewer I once followed in high school recommended Busou Renkin many years ago, and I'm enjoying it enough so far. And there is always JoJo's Bizarre Adventure if I'm that desperate. I have options.

My music listening habits has taken a strange turn this year. My Spotify playlists suddenly have 80s, 70s, and 60s hits that radio stations my parents listened to during my childhood, and a few recent pop hits slipped in too. The former is nostalgia hitting me in a sudden wave, and the latter is my best friend's bachelorette party playlist indoctrinating me for an entire weekend during the summer. Although by my own volition I have slowly become a small fan of Charli XCX (hence my Music Mood having "Black Roses" a while ago) after listening to some songs that appeared in The Sims 3 (which I can no longer play thanks to computer problems *sobs*), and I danced for joy when Marilyn Manson dropped his latest album a few weeks ago.


As for movies and video games? The last film I saw in theaters was It, which is both one of the better and more frustrating horror films as of late due to it squandering its diamond-quality potential with severe tonal inconsistencies and an abusive number of tactless and moment-killing jump scares. At least the Nostalgia Critic's review made me laugh harder than I ever had over his content in years. Beyond It and Saw 1, no films impacted me in a meaningful way this year.

The same can be said about video games, since I already discussed (in some detail) Mass Effect: Andromeda and Persona 5. However, I recently impulse-bought Yakuza Kiwami and called it crack on Twitter. The gameplay is addictive as hell, the characters bleed so much delicious ham and cheese, and I get to soak up more little (albeit fictional) things about Japanese culture and the yakuza, so call that game a net positive experience.

All of that said, seeking escapism and looking into myself for refuge against the insanity of the world only works for so long. That might be why I am feeling more melancholic and pessimistic than usual. Being thoughtful and introspective doesn't help when everyone in the world is screaming bloody murder over every little thing until nothing seems to matter anymore. We are in chaotic times, and I wish I knew how to navigate the colossal, seemingly planet-sized hurricane.

It's still too soon to render judgment on the state of things in 2017, but at least beloved celebrities weren't dying on a bimonthly basis like last year. (Oh, yes, I am still butthurt that David Bowie and Alan Rickman died within days of each other in January 2016. That was one of the worst weeks of my life.) Sure, the orange monkey still tweets like a tantrum-throwing toddler with immunity from being banned for some unfathomable reason, cock-measuring contests between the US and North Korea has me fear for Japan's and South Korea's safeties, and reputations are getting slaughtered over things as small as illogical accusations and blatant corruption, but at least getting stabbed with acupuncture needles every day still beats a shotgun to the balls every week! I'm bleeding, but I can still force myself to smile when I have to!


It's a miracle I still retain some sanity and have not succumbed to the "breaking news" bullshit the media farts every second by listening to political podcasts from different sects of the political spectrum back when it still mattered. I try my best to not become too political here despite this being my personal blog, but since I have had some people leave comments who did not agree with my thoughts at all, worrying constantly will do no one any good. You are your own worst critic, and I have said some scathing things about myself that other people haven't conceived of yet. It won't stop trolls and negative comments, but some self-awareness goes a long way.

So if any bridges are to be burned over what I say, so be it. Don't let me stop you. I'm not going to cry over the loss of the negative two hundred followers I actually have. Because I'm not going to throw a tantrum over every stupid thing the president and his administration says or does, and I'm not going to blindly follow a political side or cause solely on the basis of how moral an ideology or person supposedly is. A lot of people in the world are suffering and are in pain, every side has a slither of truth and a slither of falsehoods; the last thing I want is to develop a knee-jerk habit of devaluing a human being because they do not share ideas, educational background, or opinions with me. And yes, that means that I am not going to punch a Nazi unless in legitimate, legally defined self-defense because they tried to physically and deliberately cause injury to me (them simply existing does not count).

The state of the world at the moment... sadly.
Now that I got that out of the way and my readership fell to -10,000, I can be left to listen to so-bad-it's-fun music on Spotify and vent my frustrations with American politics into another potential novel that likely won't be published until I'm on my deathbed. Or watch teenagers will bizarre hair punch each other in crazy, nonsensical ways.


Bless the age of streaming, even with the obnoxious commercials. My soul feels slightly cleaner now that I can watch a good portion of anime on legitimate websites.

30 October 2017

'Saw'

Once I started college, I felt less motivated to celebrate the holidays. I'm not entirely sure of the reason why, but when I do feel that the festivities bit me and gave me a three-day fever, I try not to fight it. So while I have no plans to embrace the spooky on the 31st this year, I can admit that I did embrace some of the feelings Halloween inspires.

For example, I finally watched Saw.

Yep. I watched it. Willingly.

I - Fangirl, Mel, Astrid, or whoever people know me as online - who has denounced the torture porn genre without hesitation, watched Saw.

Even my real life friends and parents didn't believe me when I said it.

I watched the grandfather of the torture porn genre's popularity in the first decade of the 2000s.

And I liked it.

Yes, I am dead serious. I like Saw 1.


And yes, since I am an opinionated bitch who has never failed to completely stop voicing her thoughts on something she feels strongly about, I will explain myself. Spoilers ahead, if you dare.

10 October 2017

'Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, Vol 2'

Three years. I've been biting my nails in anticipation for this book for three bloody years.

And now I have to wait for the translation of volume three. And this book ends on an even more nerve-wrecking note than volume one. I love this book so much that my anxiety for volume three's translation and publication might kill me.

While it has been a long time since I last thought of the five-volumed Quantum Devil Saga and its spiritual older brother the Digital Devil Saga duology, I easily jumped back into the narrative and world without feeling like a day passed since I last read about Serph, the Embryon, and the denizens of the mysterious Junkyard. I rarely felt that connected to a story's world, and I cannot praise everyone involved in the games and this book series enough.

Before reading further, I suggest checking out my thoughts on Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, Vol 1 from 2014. Also, as I went down memory lane to prepare for this post, I remembered Kevin Frane informing me that the guys at Bento Books read my review of volume one and liked it. Supposedly. I-I'm still kinda in denial about it. *fans self to prevent fainting*

Anywho, enough about silly me. SPOILERS AHOY!


28 September 2017

Netflix's 'Death Note': Another Awful American Adaptation

Once upon a time in the scenic but boring Philadelphia suburbs, a girl quietly took notes and waited for her teacher to return as her classmates gossiped and played pranks. The boy in front of her annoyed her especially with his radiant gold hair, light skin that tanned into a crisp Hollywood celebrity glow, and pearl-white teeth. He always sat in front of her, but not by choice; students sat alphabetically in rows for every period from the first day of the school year to the last. A jock and one of the smartest kids in her grade, that boy bragged about his supposedly authentic Italian heritage and basked in attention, adoration, expensive cars, and education awards. He was not the one she hated most in the school, but even if he was moderately attractive, she was physically unable to say a positive thing about him as a human being. She once slammed the back of his head with her history textbook for making an ignorantly sexist comment, shocking the class who never thought the quiet, muted girl living in her own mental dreamscape had a vindictive streak.

Given the right environment with the right people, that girl would rant and debate for hours on anything that she felt passionate about. Instead, she sealed her lips shut, kept only four friends, and navigated through eight years of Catholic schooling. She never knew what group she belonged to - nerds, goths, gamers, or whatever labels were cool in the late 2000s - but she knew herself and her interests enough to not feel completely lost when she was alone. After she graduated high school, she kept her friends and burned the names and faces of her peers from her memory. They never cared for her in school, so why should they ever try to reach out to her now? She feared that if she tried to remember them, hatred for them would fester and manifest into urges too "logical" and compelling to not act on. Instead, she poured her energy into studies and work to live a productive life, and she allowed herself to relax with entertainment to cope with emotions not respected in a post-industrial society.

I am glad Death Notes aren't real, because I would definitely be one of the worst people who could ever have the power to murder at will. If I did have it, I'd be fighting the temptation to get rid of any of my Catholic school peers who dare to try to contact me instead of targeting the politicians that have allowed the political, economic, and cultural capitals of the US to become ideologically cultish cesspools. Imagine Stephen King's Carrie if she was a Myers Briggs INTJ like Augustus Caesar and channeled Rei's stoicism from Evangelion. I still resent the people I went to school with, but I am aware enough of my feelings that I do everything in my power to not allow them to mutate into an uncontrollable monster that consumes me. That is something someone like Light Yagami would completely fail to understand... but at least he's not Light Turner.

Fuck. He looks like that douchebag I sat behind.
Oh yes, people, I watched the Netflix adaptation of Death Note. And I have opinions. Strong opinions.

Spoilers, if anyone cares enough about this predictable dumpster fire.
Oh, and as an added disclaimer, I do get a bit political given some of the ire American adaptations of Japanese fiction tend to stir on the lovely English-speaking side of the interwebs.

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