Uncategorized

Blog Updates – Some Content Updates and Format Changes

This blog has been up since last November, which makes it about 7 months since I started it.  So crazy, considering I had been waffling back and forth about making a nerdy blog for years and then bam on a whim I just made it and the rest is history.  I’ve enjoyed the ride so far, but along the way I’ve realized there are some posts that I’d like to be doing I haven’t, some posts that I know I won’t frequently make even though I said I would, formatting changes etc etc.  So, I wanted to make a post addressing said changes, just to keep you guys up to date.  With that intro out of the way, here we go!

 

Anime Posts –  In all honesty, I don’t watch as much anime as I thought I would.  It’s not that I don’t like it, but I’m much more of a casual viewer of anime, where I’m far more of an avid fan of other things like books, video games, western cartoons, super hero media, and anything fantasy.  Anime posts will occasionally happen, just not in any sort of frequency:  If I watch an anime, and think I can write a blog post about something in it, or a general review about it, I will.  Take my Magic Knight Rayearth and Miss Kobayashi posts, as good examples.  So if you popped over here because you wanted to see a lot of posts about anime, my apologies!  Like I said they’ll be scattered around here and there, but not as much as say, my book reviews.

 

Book Reviews – I’m going to make 2 different formats for book reviews.  I’ll still keep my in depth, analytical posts about books that I have a lot to say about, but when a book comes along that I don’t have much to comment on, I’m going to be using the “Mini Review” format – a format where I just talk about my general impressions of the book, instead of break down each aspect of the book.  The mini review format will allow me to review a few books I’ve read that I haven’t been able to fill a full analysis post with.

 

For an example of a mini book review, check out The Siren Book Review

Longer Form posts, pretty much any other book post but here’s the last one I did on The Heartstrikers series of books.

 

Shorter posts, more frequent content – There are a lot of smaller posts I’d like to make so I can post twice a week, instead of once!  I’d like to start some character spotlights for characters in certain shows, some of what I’m calling “Musical Moments” where I spotlight a track or OST from a video game, anime, TV Show, cartoon etc etc, and also do some more lists (my Yugioh one was tons of fun). I’m going to work hard to get some content written so I can post more often, so stay tuned for that!  I also need to get back to doing my Disney Deconstructions, I really enjoy writing those.  General opinion pieces and possibly some tags will pop up here too!

 

 

More Posts About Being a Blind Nerd – Since it’s the name of the blog, I really need to get on this.  There are a lot of posts I’d like to make about being blind and playing video games, card games, blind representation in media, accessibility in certain mediums, and overall talk more about my experiences being a blind nerd.  I have a few stories from my high school/college years I could share, so let me know if you’d be interested in hearing any.  I’ve had to adapt a lot of things to be able to do them and sharing how I’ve done them I think would be tons of fun (playing the Yu-gi-oh TCG is a story all it’s own haha).

 

More Episode Recaps – I really Enjoyed writing up the Iron Fist episode recaps as I watched the show, so I’m definitely going to be doing more of those.  They’ll be more infrequent content, because they’ll be happening when I watch shows I’d like to do that format with.

 

Those are pretty much all of the updates I wanted to share!  Be on the lookout for some new blog features, and some old retooled ones.  Now, I’m off to write a book review, see you all on Wednesday!

Books · Uncategorized

The Siren by Kiera Cass Book Review

Sometimes you just pick up a book because it has a good concept, or has a mythology in it that you like.  I picked up The Siren because I love mermaids, and Sirens.  After reading the plot synopses, I knew it would be a generic romance, that part of it didn’t bother me.  What wound up bothering me however, was the drawn out premise, the directions this plot went, and how predictably cliché it wound up being.  If it wasn’t for the fact it had sirens in it, I probably would have stopped reading.  Overall, it was a good enough read because of its length:  the audio book was 7 hours, and I finished it in 2 days (could be one day if you felt like binging the book).  It’s definitely what I like to call, a popcorn read.  It’s nothing ground breaking, but enjoyable enough and engaging enough to finish.

 

I’m not going to review this in my normal long form format with all the categories and stuff, because honestly the book was short like I said and really not much to fill in each section.  So I’ll just touch on the things I liked, and didn’t liked, and then give my final thoughts.  Going to be major spoilers in this post, you have been warned!

 

I’ll start with the things I liked:  I loved the core cast of characters.  All of the Sirens had really distinct personalities and quirks, and it truly felt like we were looking in at pre-established relationships.  The one character that started to bother me sadly, was the main POV character Kahlen.  She just kept on whining about everything!!  I don’t mind a character complaining in a book, but the entire time she wasn’t even trying to change her situation and just was whining the entire time.  They establish early on that “her talent is obeying” but she kept on fighting against it and rebelling, but only halfway. And then going back to the way she was.  Everyone but her moved the plot forward, and although the overall themes of the story were good, Kahlen was infuriating to read about.  Half of the book is her being depressed or pining or angsting over something and it’s just so irritating to read.

 

Interestingly enough, I thought the best character in the story, was The Ocean.  In this, The Ocean speaks to the sirens, and is their maternal figure for them.  Her story is way more interesting than Kahlen’s, and she kept the story going when at times it was hard to get through entire chapters of Kahlen moping, or being depressed.  Making The Ocean a talking character that interacted with her daughters was a really nice touch.

 

 

Coming off of that, I really loved how the siren lore was used in this!  Kiera Cass did her research, while still adding her own lore to it to make the narrative cohesive.  Like I said, I love sirens, and getting an explanation of their lives and powers, and why The Ocean picked certain women to be sirens was really cool.  Honestly, if it weren’t for this section of the book, them going out and singing, and coping with killing to feed The Ocean, not allowed to speak to humans because their voice literally would make them want to kill themselves, using sign language because of this, therefore having a really good depiction of disability in the book was great to read.  It added great depth to the story that wasn’t there for me when it was strictly a romance.

 

But with all of this cleverly crafted lore, there was one thing that was a HUGE missed opportunity, and it had everything to do with the predictable turn the second half of the book took.  Eventually, Kahlen gets sick.  Which is odd, because sirens can’t get sick, don’t need to eat, etc etc.  So, I instantly thought, “Oh, really cool!  She’s going to make it like Kahlen is becoming human because she fell in love, and a siren can only be set free early from her sentence if she finds true love”.
But nope!  Instead of going with that, which would probably be just as predictable, but fit more with the story, we get some soulmate mumbo jumbo that is so convoluted and half baked that I literally was like what are you serious.  It would have made so much more sense to make the conclusion to Kahlen’s sickness be a siren based problem, and not a random soulmate’s via insta-love problem.  Dropped the ball there, Cass.

 

The “romance” between Kahlen and Akinli erked me too, because it wasn’t a romance.  They met once, and then she ran from him for a year, then met him again one more time.  So it was twice before he offered her the world, and then she had to run again because she thought she’d hurt him but oh she loves him so much and can’t stop thinking of them because they’re total soulmates!  I don’t mind insta-love, but initially the book made it like we’d be following their actual romance, and the hurdles Kahlen would face dating Akinli while being a siren.  Instead, we got two meetings, and her pining for him all through the book.  If you count the final chapter, and the epilogue, they were together a total of four times in the book and the rest of it was Kahlen moping about how she couldn’t be with Akinly because of her duty to The Ocean, and daydreaming about being in love with this boy she had only hung out with probably a total of like 30 hours.

 

And still, with all that said, there was something engaging about this book that made me want to keep reading.  Maybe it was the half good seen amongst the half flaws, the other more likeable characters that weren’t the leads, the fact that they were sirens (I can’t stress how very in love I am with mermaids and sirens) or the fact that it was just so short it wasn’t worth not finishing.  I’d honestly probably read it again if I were bored, because it’s a quick, enjoyable read like most romance novels are.

 

I usually wind up liking paranormal romances, but an aspect of them frustrate me.  I think this is a good example of that:  They always have so much potential, but at the end of the day they’re made to sell for a light read on a trip or something, so not much weight is put behind the interesting, dynamic concepts initially put forth.  The Siren is a shining example of that, but still something I’d suggest reading if you just want an easy read, and want to see a good take on siren mythology in modern culture.

 

Did this book make me want to read any more of Kiera Cass’ novels?  Not at all.  If your stand-alone novel can’t do that, I feel like there maaay be a problem with your writing.  But hey, I may be wrong, and The Selection series is an amazing piece of literature I’d enjoy.
Have you read The Siren?  Or any of Kiera Cass’ other works?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments!

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!

Uncategorized

The Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine-award

The sunshine blogger award is an award given to bloggers who inspire and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers/fellow bloggers.  Which, after reading that description I was like DAWWW because it’s super flattering, and this is also my first blog award, so woo!  I’m a sucker for questionnaires, so this is going to be super fun to fill out!

I was nominated by Weekend Otaku to do this award!  Check out his blog for some great reviews on anime that’ll get your brain thinking~  Thanks for nominating me to do this 😀

Anyone who I would nominate I’ve seen do this already, so I’m going to leave that part alone.

[Rules]:

Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write then 11 new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

  1. What is your preferred hobby outside of anime/manga/tv and blogging?

I love to sing and write.  Not blog writing, but like short stories and fanfics and stuff.  I also like to produce radio dramas, and do amateur voice acting!  Though I do a lot more singing than I do voice acting on the web nowadays, but the first thing I did when I was fresh and new on the internet was hunt down amateur voice acting forums and made all of my friends there, and that was like ten years ago.  A decent amount of people from the forum I used to frequent are professional voice actors now, it’s super weird haha.  But TL;DR:  Singing and fiction writing~

I also love crafting, specifically making jewelry and baking/cooking (does that count as crafting?).  So basically, I like anything that you can be remotely creative with lol.

  1. Are there any blogging lessons you wish you knew before you started?

If you want to start a blog, just start a blog.  I wanted to start this one way before I started my other blog, but I got so hyper critical of what I would write and if anyone would read my posts and stuff like that.  OF course, have a general outline for what you want your blog to be, but if you’re really passionate about starting a blog, just start and iron out all of the kinks later.  Also just post a post, even if you think it’s not perfect!  The worst thing you can do to yourself, and your creative flow is over think.

  1. What got you into anime/manga in the first place?

Ok so, long story time!  The first anime I watched was Sailor Moon, but I didn’t know that show was an anime when I first started watching it.  When I was a kid, and still had enough vision to play video games visually, I would download a ton of Super Nintendo Roms (Don’t judge, I was like 12 and pirating wasn’t really known as a thing back then!).  One of the games I downloaded was a translated Magic Knight Rayearth RPG based on the manga, and I fell in love with it!  So I started looking up stuff about it, and found out it was an anime.  I told my Mom, and she hunted down the VHS tapes at our local Suncoast and we watched it together and my age is showing after mentioning Suncoast XDD

But yeah, watching MKR not only got me into anime full force, but made me want to get into voice acting after realizing that was a thing you could do!  And after that, My family would always go to Suncoast/Blockbuster and rent or buy any anime we could find.  My entire family was really into anime in the early 2000s, so watching things together will always be a really fond memory I have.  Plus, anytime I mention my Mom knows anime things, like what Gundam is I always get “Wow, your Mom is so cool!” which she is but I always like hearing it nevertheless lolol.  And that’s the rest of the storyyyyy~

  1. Is there any anime you feel you got into too late? Or that you wish you had seen at a younger age?

I went through a long phase of not watching any anime at all for about five to six years, so I guess that entire era of my life?  When I think about it though, probably Welcome to the NHK.  That one really helped me cope with a lot of issues I had and made me feel a bit more normal about having them.

  1. Name the anime/manga character you are most attached to

Aino Minako/Sailor Venus.  That girl is so fierce and hides it under a guise of ditzy bubbly blondness.  Pretty much my M.O. for life, so I adore her.

  1. You can stop the evil plot of one anime/manga villain. Who would you stop?

Uuuugh this one is so hard!  I want to cop out and just say a Sailor Moon villain, but when I think more closely, Ragyō Kiryūin from Kill La Kill.  Our clothing will not rule us, rawr!

  1. Flip the scenario: You get to be the sidekick to one anime hero. Who do you help?

Sailor V.  Stand aside, Artemis!

  1. Do you have many friends where you live who love anime?

I don’t have many friends in general, but everyone I am friends with likes anime so…yes?

  1. What is the first anime you would introduce to a child?

Azumanga Daioh.  Best humorous slice of life anime ever.

  1. Do you have any pets? If so, tell us about them.

Not anymore, but I used to have a dog named Yoshi!  He passed away four years ago and I haven’t really wanted to replace him T_T

  1. What do you want to improve most about yourself?

I’m not really shy when I know someone, but I have a horrible time approaching people to talk.  I always need someone there as a buffer to start a conversation for me when it’s irl, so I’d like to be able to talk to people a lot more easily.

Uncategorized

Welcome to The Blind Nerd!

Hello!  I’m Crystal, and if the title of this blog wasn’t obvious, I’m a blind nerd.  I’ve been into anime, video games, cartoons, and nerdy TV shows ever since I was a kid and my obsession with them has only grown.  Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of different blogs that go in depth about being a part of nerd culture, but I’ve never seen any that talk about it from the view of being a blind enjoyer of the media, so I figured, why not be someone who looks at it from that perspective?

 

There are a lot of visual aspects to the media we watch.  But, take that aspect away, and what happens to the story?  Do the characters hold up without a ton of fancy visuals keeping the viewer interested?  Does a certain show have audio description, and if so does the audio description help in the enjoyment of the media?  If it doesn’t have audio description, does it hinder the show at all?  These, and a lot of other questions are ones I want to dive into, and pick apart on this blog.  I also intend to look at different character tropes, try and figure out why certain shows I like or dislike have that effect on me, and just geek out over different topics in nerd culture, from a different perspective than most are used to.  So, if you’re interested in that sort of thing, stick around on the blog!

 

I’m super excited to get this blog going, and can’t wait to start this journey with you all!