Anime · Uncategorized

Blog, and Anime Update!

Hi guys!  So as you’ve noticed, this blog hasn’t been updated for the past week.  That’s mainly because I’ve been busy, and the posts I write over here take a lot of time to write. Don’t get me wrong:  I love writing them, but it does take a lot of time to do so that I’ve had to use to do other things the past week.  But in the past week, I’ve also been thinking of smaller posts, and projects I can start over here that would be more like small first impression posts, episode recaps/impressions of anime, or something like that, then in comes Weekend Otaku with his Your Lie in April viewing party, and I was like “That’s perfect!”.
I already was planning another project with anime, where I watch a lot of older anime that I haven’t seen that are really popular.  I was into anime in the late 90s, early 2000s, and due to not having the huge range of availability for shows we do now, I didn’t watch a lot of anime because DVDs were expensive!  Chibi Crystal also was really into one specific genre of anime which was magical girl and fantasy, which in the early 2000s equated to only watching Inuyasha, Sailor Moon, Card Captors and Magic Knight Rayearth.  I know Cowboy Bebop used to come on Adult Swim in that block with Inuyasha, as did Outlaw Star for a time (which I did like, but it got pulled from the block of shows I used to watch before I could finish it) but Cowboy Bebop didn’t have swords and magic and half demons falling in love with high school girls so Chibi Crystal was having none of that.

 

Now that Chibi Crystal is no longer chibi however, and is getting off of her I haven’t watched anime in six years or so and just started watching again in 2016, I want to revisit a lot of old shows.  So things like Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, Evanjelion, Death Note etc etc. Aka, I have a lot of catching up to do!  I have yet to schedule those, and not sure if I’m going to do an episode to episode recap, or a chunk of a few episodes, but if you have any good, iconic anime to throw my way to watch I’ll add it to my list and finally start my watching anime new year’s resolution I’ve been putting off XD

 

But, before that, back to the Your Lie in April watch party!  Weekend Otaku is hosting one, and it seems like tons of fun.  If you’d like to join in, here’s the post for more details!  I’m going to be using this to post more and watch an anime I love, so it’s win-win for me haha.

 

So yeah, be prepared for blog posts to start up again next week, with my first impressions of rewatching Your Lie in April on Monday!

Editorials/Opinion Pieces

My Policy on Spoilers

I’ve been wanting to start this series of opinion pieces on different fandom/nerdy topics, but couldn’t think of a snazzy name for it.  That’s a silly reason to not start a post series, so I’ll just write some and if I come up with a snazzy name rename and tag accordingly later.

 

If you’ve spent even a second on the internet, I’m sure you’ve seen the word “spoiler” around.  More specifically, you’ve probably seen “No spoilers!” which to me, is even more annoying to see.  After all, if you don’t want spoilers you can not read or look up stuff about the topic, instead of yelling at the entire interwebs about sharing spoilers.  This got me thinking:  What do I think about getting spoilers?  Scratch that, I already know the answer:  I don’t care about seeing spoilers.  But that got me thinking:  why don’t I care about seeing spoilers?

 

The short answer is, I don’t think seeing a spoiler detracts from enjoying a story.  When you look at the story structure of an anime, a book, a game, they all are very straight forward.  Every story has a beginning, middle, and end, and getting spoilers for say, the end of a story will never spoil the journey I experience with the characters.  A spoiler doesn’t ruin getting to know a character, cheering for them, crying with them, all in all bonding with them.  And, let’s be real:  unless you read a Wikipedia article, you’ll never get every spoiler from a story.  If you’re reading a Wikipedia article, or looking at say, tumblr to see if you’ll like the story, you probably weren’t fully invested in experiencing the story in the first place, because if you were, you’d just hop straight into experiencing the story.  So when I see a spoiler like someone dying, or the final plot twist, or a betrayal, I’m not really concerned because even though you know that spoiler occurs, you don’t know how the other characters react to that death, or plot twist, or betrayal.  You don’t know how anything will effect the story moving forward from that point on, because you only really know that one specific event in time that happened, unless for some reason you read the synopses of the entire story (which I do often).

 

Still, after reading an entire synopses, I decide to watch or read the story anyways.  Why?  Like I said, there’s a huge difference in just reading what is essentially a plot blurb, and watching 25 episodes, of ups and downs with characters, seeing the inner workings of the world you’re setting takes place in, the side characters that aren’t mentioned in the synopses because they aren’t relevant  enough to the central plot to be mentioned. There’s a lot of depth to every story, and knowing spoilers really doesn’t detract from that depth of story for me.  If it’s just a bad story however, I really could care less about knowing what happens.  It may peek my interest enough to wiki the plot, but I really don’t want to sit through 20+ hours of force feeding myself a boring story, when I’m more or less slightly curious to see how the story unfolded.  A good example for me of this recently, is The Red Queen novels by Victoria Aveyard.  If you read my review of the first book, you’ll know I couldn’t stand the characters or premise.  However, the third book of the series came out last month, and I’ve heard that some things I wanted from the first book happened in the third.  I wasn’t willing to read the second book, or buy the third, and that’s where simply looking at spoilers and synopses came in handy.  In the end, there seem to be good concepts, but not enough for me to brave revisiting that series again.

 

A better question for me I suppose, is when do I not like spoilers?  Usually when I’ve already started reading a book series, or watching an anime/TV show, and am enjoying the ride.  Because of the speed I consume media at when I start…consuming it, stopping and looking for spoilers just isn’t my style.  If something is driving me crazy that won’t be revealed for a while (like will a certain romantic pairing end up together, because authors like to drag that sort of thing out) I’ll go look up a spoiler so I’m not driven crazy while reading or watching.  Sometimes that backfires, because it’s easy to read a piece of spoiler material you don’t want to know, but for some things it’s easy for me to forget what I didn’t want to know.  Other than wanting to know tiny tid bits like that, if I’ve started a story and only know the basics about it before starting it, I won’t look up anything about it because I’ll finish it in a few days anyways, so what’s the point of looking up spoilers.  I’m doing this with the Heartstrikers series by Rachel Aaron, because I’m really enjoying the ride and it’s an easy, light hearted read to get through (most of the time, it’s starting to get a bit dark).  Even if I find a spoiler with this method of media consumption, it doesn’t bother me that much because still, it’s all about the journey, and why the events leading up to the spoiler made the spoiler happen, and how it effects the characters and plot.
So that’s my basic policy on spoilers!  TL;DR  They don’t bother me at all, and some people need to chill out about seeing them, or not engage in social media about them until they’re done enjoying the story.  What’s your policy on spoilers?

Books

What Characteristics Engage Me in a Story?

I swear this isn’t exclusively a book blog.  I’ve just started an Audible subscription a few months ago, and have been reading like a mad woman.  I’ve seen a lot of people say they prefer to add their own voice when they’re reading, but for me that doesn’t really matter.  If I’m reading an Ebook, or a book in a PDF, my screen reader is doing the reading.  So instead of being able to make my own voice in my head, a robotic voice is reading the text quickly to me.  Between that, or having a human being perform the book like it’s a play, and having voices for the characters pre-made and stuff, I’ll take the Audio Book any day.  There are a few exceptions, like if there is an audio book narrator that bores me to tears, so much so that I can’t finish the book, then I’ll default to my screen reader doing the reading.  One thing that’s majorly annoying, though, is the main Ebook hub is Amazon Kindle, right?  Well instead of allowing me to use NVDA’s screen reading voice, it uses the horrible Microsoft narrator one!  Have you ever heard the Microsoft narrator voice?  If not, go turn on Narrator in the Windows settings if you have a PC, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  That voice gives me a freaking headache.  So for me at least, reading Kindle books is out.  I guess I coooud get used to it, but I’d rather not spend money on a book I won’t read because I can’t stand the narrator voice.

 

That tangent aside, I did something that I don’t usually do.  I read the first Throne of Glass book, and then Audible sent me an email for a sale.  First book in the series is 4.99!  As a book fanatic I couldn’t pass that up (I’m terrible at digital impulse buys) and bought a book in my wish list that I’ve been dying to read:  Nice Dragons Finish Last, by Rachel Aaron.  I use Audible like a library, more or less:  browse the digital book shelves for interesting looking titles, then click on the books that interest me and read the summary.  If it interests me, I click on the preview to see if I like the narrator and the writing, and when I did that for Nice Dragons I was instantly captivated by the humorous voice of the author, along with the interesting characters.
My second tangent aside, what I usually don’t do is start one series before finishing the one I had already started.  I like to read series books in a row, because I like to get the full story in a continuous motion:  part of the reason why I like to binge watch a series instead of watching week to week.  So when I finished Nice Dragons Finish Last, I had planned to purchase Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass Book 2) but after finishing it, I had a dilemma.  I was really into Nice Dragons Finish Last!
So that got me thinking:  what made me like Nice Dragons more than Throne of Glass?  I liked Throne of Glass, it was a great read.  But there was something about Throne of Glass that made me not mind not continuing it right away.  Nice Dragons Finish Last, while being a slower read for me (I read five chapters of that a day, while I read one of Nice Dragons – although those chapters were far longer) in the end, Nice Dragons got me to want to read onto the next book in the series right away, while Throne of Glass, I don’t mind waiting to finish up.  That got me thinking:  What draws me into a story?  So let’s break this down after that very lengthy introduction!

 

 

I know for me, characters outweigh good plot.  A plot can be generic and overdone because let’s face it, every plot has been done before.  But what I read a book for, or engage in any story for, is good characters.  While the characters in Throne of Glass were really fleshed out and well done, the characters in Nice Dragons Finish Last were quirky, adorable, fleshed out, and so entertaining.  Reading Nice Dragons was like reading a sitcom, it was just so much fun and so funny.  I read the first half slowly (for me, which is in about a week) but the second half?  It picked up, and I read it in one night.  That wasn’t because of the plot, it was because of the characters.  Even the ones you dislike, you still like to a degree and everyone is really fun, even the side characters.  Throne of Glass had that sometimes, but other than Celaena who is amazing, the other characters stuck pretty well to their archetypes.  I’m not saying that’s bad, by any means:  I still enjoyed visiting with them, and will enjoy visiting with them again.  But for a full cast of amazing characters that I hope will grow in its second book, Nice Dragons Finish Last wins in this category.
For the world building too, I think Nice Dragons wins by a landslide.  It’s such an interesting setting!  I’m not a huge urban fantasy fan, but this is like, an urban fantasy with magic, and dystopia, and dragons!  It all merges together into something you think wouldn’t work, but it totally does.  A meteor hit the earth a few decades before the story began, and brought magic back into the world.  So it’s commonplace, and me being a majorly obsessed with magic fantasy fan, I ate this up with a spoon.
Once again, Throne of Glass’ setting isn’t bad by any means.  But what it is, is a typical fantasy world, with magic, and tyrannical Kings, and oppression and I think you get the jist.  It’s a Game of Thrones that I actually can read, so that’s saying something because I find epic fantasy to be too long and drawn out (sorry to any epic fantasy fans).  But once again, I attribute that more to Celaena than anything else.  She’s really the driving force of enjoying Throne of Glass for me.

 

After writing all of that out, I think I see why I decided to read Nice Dragons sequel over Throne of Glass’.  At their cores, both stories are good, but in the end Nice Dragons Finish Last offers more to me as a reader than Throne of Glass does.  Like I said earlier, Nice Dragons is a light, fun read that read like a sitcom, or dramedy and is really easy to get through. I enjoyed reading Throne of Glass, but it took me a lot longer to read it.  I kept on stop-start reading it over the month of February, and when I really enjoy a book, I can finish it in a week or less.  I’m still going to finish the Throne of Glass series, but after I read all three books in the Heartstrikers series.  I just have to know what happens next in those, where learning what happens next to Celaena will be interesting, but isn’t a priority of mine.
I’m glad I figured that out after writing that novel of a post!  I’d love to know:  what draws you into a story, or series?

Video Games

The Nintendo Switch Launch -A Beautiful Disaster

But not really.  Since the press conference in January, I’ve been trying to get my hands on a Switch console for pre-order.  Needless to say,  was unsuccessful in doing so but that was a blessing in disguise.  Why, you might ask?  This launch has been so poorly executed, both on the side of the retailers, and Nintendo, that it’s gotten to the point where I’m just going to wait a few months before getting a console.  One of many reasons being, because Nintendo I feel was very misleading with their launch titles.

 

So a while back, they announced a Streetfighter 2 port.  I was majorly excited!  Fighting games are my jam, hands down my favorite genre to play.  What does Nintendo announce today?  That Streetfighter won’t be out until May.  If I had pre-ordered a console, I would have been pissed that I had to wait until May to get something I actually wanted to play because Breath of the Wild doesn’t really interest me.  There are a lot of games that they showed in the January press conference that Nintendo made it seem like would be releasing on launch, but then later down the line they said nope it’s coming out a month or two after launch.  The launch titles are really just Breath of the Wild and 1, 2, Switch, plus a lot of ports from old systems I don’t really care for.
Along with the lacking catalog at launch (I can forgive that, it’s just Nintendo’s way at this point) the retailers are so haphazard with this!  I’ve called around to so many retailers, and they don’t know anything.  I’ve seen so many news articles about pre-orders not being able to be fulfilled because stores were not concrete in how many systems they’d get, Best Buy saying they aren’t going to be getting as many consoles as they were told, and their midnight launch is just going to be to pick up pre-orders (another mislead). When I talked to Target, they said they were only getting 15, that’s right fifteen consoles and were going to be doing a ticket system for people to buy.  Walmart has no idea, but is just selling to people on a lay away program, and Game Stop is…well, acting like Game Stop usually does.  I have no idea how they’re working the launch, but overall the retailers are being kept in the dark, all the while Nintendo is giving out free consoles to “Nintendo Influencers” with Breath of the Wild,, but really they don’t have much to review with the console, because Breath of the Wild doesn’t have any of the Switch’s features built in.  It doesn’t use HD Rumble, and 1, 2, Switch I doubt is an indication of the full potential of the Switch’s capacity since it’s just a party game.

 

I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m severely disappointed in how Nintendo is handling this launch.  Not a large launch catalog, along with Nintendo’s usual supply and demand issues just made me decide to wait until May or June to pick up a console, because at least then there will be games I want to play and the pointless hype and pre-order madness will be no more.  It’s really frustrating to not be able to pick it up at launch, for the sole reason of bad planning on Nintendo’s part.  But why should I be surprised?  This always happens with any major launch with Nintendo.  I guess I was just hoping for something a bit more organized for a change.

 

Were you able to get a Nintendo Switch pre-order?  Or are you waiting until the hype dies down to pick a console up.