Monday, May 4, 2015

Anime/Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn (Akatsuki no Yona)

Generally, as I have mentioned, I'm not into shoujo. I find that Japan's habit of using cookie-cutter formulas for their genre's means you get way too much of the same thing and it gets boring and problematic, especially in a girl focused story where the heroine doesn't do much, is acted upon rather than being active, and uses rape as a plot device/back story. Especially in a historic shoujo. While shoujo has great success, it leaves little room for creativity and uniqueness - though there are exceptions (Dengeki Daisy, Ouran High School Host Club, ect. ect.)

Well, today Ladie's and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce a Fushigi Yuugi/Historic Romantic drama done right.

I don't know how many of you remember or even know about Fushigi Yuugi; it was popular in the late 90's and every fan knows and can imitate the horrible, 'Tamahome! MIAKA! Tamahome! MIAKA!' litany, as their relationship was classic of shoujo, hot and cold, love me now you don't but you really do! formula used in the genre. Not to mention it carries all the problematic themes (and then some) I've mentioned above. Not to say it wasn't enjoyable, only that looking back on it now I can see how problematic a LOT of story material was. Don't even get me started on Yuu Watase's Arashi no Ceres.

So I was more than a little dubious when a friend recommended Yona of the Dawn because it was very VERY similar to Fushigi Yuugi. So I watched an episode. Then another. Then the next thing I knew two days had passed and I had just gobbled up everything I could about Yona of the Dawn in anime and/or manga form.

I want to discuss the story (its pretty short, so far - not even to 100 chapters yet) so if you don't want to be spoiled you better stop reading.

The world we are introduced to is very similar to ancient China - a ruling family in troubled lands where mystical creatures (descendants of dragons) exist. Yona is the only child of the Emperor; sweet and spoiled and beloved by the people as the only Princess. She is a child of privilege, having never even traveled beyond the walls of her castle, never having known any trouble or darkness. The Emperor is a good man. He is loving and peaceful and has gone so far as to forbid the use of weapons in his castle. He refuses to get drawn into war with his neighbors or pick up a weapon, after having lost his wife to an assassin.

He has called upon the Wind Tribes greatest warrior and General to protect his daughter. Son Hak has known Yona since childhood, loves her but can't come to term with those emotion's yet, as she is the royal Princess and also -

Yona is desperately in love with her cousin and other childhood friend, Soo Won. He is compassionate, kind, handsome and treats Yona like a precious flower.

Our story really begins on Yona's 16th birthday as she has decided she wants to marry Soo Won, no matter what. Her father refuses in absolute terms, shocking Yona who has never been refused anything.

She goes about her day, celebrates her birthday and come that night she decides she is going to try one more time to convince her father to let her marry Soo Won. She doesn't notice that palace grounds seems to be strangely empty and pushes into her father's chambers....

only to find Soo Won in the action of impaling her father on a sword.

This catapults Yona into an extraordinary destiny. She barely escapes thanks to Hak and his inhuman prowess in battle and they flee to his village. From there Yona realizes there really isn't anywhere that is safe for her and demands that she travels with Hak around the country she has never seen, in search for an oracle priest who may have answers for her. Once they find him he tells them of the story of the Four Dragons and first king of the country Kouka.

It is now Yona's destiny to gather the descendants of the Four Dragons and understand how her destiny came to be.

Things I LOVE about this series:

- It is surprisingly realistic and level-headed. Yona goes from being spoiled Princess to War Hero in the Making throughout the 24 episodes of the first season and by the end of the first season she isn't there yet but is vastly different from when she started out. You SEE her struggle with her weakness. You watch as she comes to terms watching her father being murdered by her one true love, as it almost destroys her. She is GIVEN the opportunity to live out a trouble free existence with the Wind Tribe but lets go of security and an easy life to search out the Dragons.

In short, she is fucking incredible.

She full stop says, 'I am ignorant of the world and I am weak but I will not remain so'. No matter how much shit people throw at her, she keeps standing up and finds things that she's good at. After Hak is seriously injured protecting her she says, I cannot remain like this and asks to be trained NOT to be a warrior but be able to take care of herself, at least a little. See, she is under no illusion that she can be some warrior god, but she knows she cannot just let other people protect her all the time, either.

There is one scene at the end of the season where she says to Hak, I WILL NOT USE YOU AS A SHIELD. and for that I love this series more than anything.

I also love that Yona is the most compassionate, level-headed and kindest person you will meet but holy shit if you piss her off you better run.

She straight up murders a bitch with an arrow after he kidnaps and pimps out young women and tries to kill one of her Dragons.

- This series is deliciously morally complex. Soo Won is not the bad guy. You'd think after murdering the Emperor he would sit around twirling his thumbs like a good villain but HE DOESN'T. As Yona travels the country she comes to realize that her father was actually a very poor ruler and Soo Won may have had a good reason to murder him (kind of, I don't know if it was necessary to kill him to get him out of power). Even though her father was a pacifist and a good man, he was not a good ruler. His unwillingness to fight or even reprimand people allowed those who would use him as a shield to do some very bad things. This is shockingly realistic for a shoujo - absolute pacifism in a ruling class is actually a very bad thing.

Soo Won throughout the series is taking on the monumental task of putting the country, and tribes, back together before another country evades and decimates them all. In fact, there is a point where he says not to bother looking for Yona anymore and let her be. It is also strongly hinted at that he loves her and Hak but willingly destroyed that relationship to become Emperor.

- The true antagonist of the story is hard to point out. But mostly because, I think, the story is still new. Throughout the first season of the anime Yona manages to find all four Dragons and in the very last episode the final dragon says, 'Sooooo. You found us. Now what?'. And it brings up a very good point - with the Four Dragons (and Hak's inhuman strength - strong enough to even overcome one of the Dragons) she now has the power to overthrow Soo Won, if she so desired.

But think! What on earth would she do with the country if she won it back? She knows NOTHING about politics, nothing even about the country she supposedly would rule. It would be even worse than her father because not only would she have to wrangle all the tribes into respecting her she has to deal with a country that is falling apart. It would be a complete disaster and she realizes this. Soo Won is actually the better candidate for keeping the country intact.

While the anime didn't get into it, the manga has Yona and her dragons traveling the countryside, putting out some of the smaller fires - like a corrupt leader of a city, drug rings and helping the decimated villages. My hope is that when this great and terrible foe appears (as hinted at when the Four Dragons come together, its to save to world basically) Soo Won and Yona and Hak can come back together to save everyone. It also strongly hints that Yona is the reincarnation of the original dragon king of Kouka.

As the series ended on a rather abrupt note there isn't much more to go on about. I like Hak's and Yona's relationship - how complicated it really is and how the author takes into consideration that there are definite obstacles between them. I like how Hak realizes he can't always protect Yona and she needs to learn self-defense but still doesn't want to let her dirty her hands and he struggles with practicality and romantic feelings of wanting to protect her. The final episode has him saying, instead of putting you in a safe box somewhere I want the world to see how extraordinary you are! Damn, that's hot.

I really, REALLY hope there is another season to this. That this story reaches an end. That there is merchandise, oh Lord let there be merchandise. If you liked how this sounded you can find Yona of the Dawn on Hulu, Youtube or Crunchyroll. Also, you can continue past the anime with the manga on MangaHere.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You ever have those days where doing something you like, art or writing in my case, is like a great big weight of 'why the hell do I even bother'? Like, there are about five different projects that need to be updated, worked on and revised but I look at them and feel nothing but weight of terror and hopelessness and stress?

But then you make yourself sit down and do it and it's like not even a big deal?

Yeah, when I don't update some weeks that's what I'm going through. I guess its depression? I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I should just scrap this entire damned blog but then where would I bitch about the shows I love/hate?

Fuck. Let's see if I can push through for another Dresden update tonight.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Okay folks, I was at a Steampunk convention yesterday so Dresden is going to be late again. In the meantime have a trailer for Jurassic World, which looks entertainingly bad:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bringing back the oldies

Wait, wait for real? Gamestop is bringing back retro gaming systems?? Via the Mary Sue.

I don't know guys, I don't entirely trust Gamestop not to gouge me for every penny I own just because I want to play Super Mario Bros while seeing how well pop rocks and strawberry soda mix together and if that insane sugar high will make the experience any better. But I really want to play Mario Bros again... damn.

Portal Blind Box-vaganza

So a little while ago I mentioned buying Portal 2 blind boxes off of ThinkGeek, but not only did I order some my FRIENDS ordered an entire case. So I give to you the first of three videos of Portal 2 blind box openings:

Lucky bastards, they got a WHEATLEY and no duplicates. Stay tuned for two more blind box openings.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Book review: The Martian, Andy Weir

Tricky science-fiction that is almost too real to be fake. This is going to be another short review, because what is there to say? It's good, read it. Any book that starts off with 'I'm pretty much fucked' is either going to be really good or really bad. Thankfully, it's really, HILARIOUSLY good. I say its tricky because this story? The one where our engineer/botanist astronaut is suddenly stranded on Mars with a slim chance of survival? Is so realistically portrayed you can reach out and touch it.

Makes sense, you know, when the author is insanely smart and pretty much IS an astronaut. You'd think the book would get bogged down in technical drivel (and, well, it is a little bit like that) but its balanced by hilariously sharp wit and humor. And the need to know that the guy is going to be okay.

Funnily enough I was thinking near the end of the book, 'This HAS to be a movie, someone had better make this into a movie because damn and lo, and behold it IS being made into a movie.

Nuff' said. Damned well written book and hilarious to boot. Go read it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

hold onto your wallet

you might not thank me for sharing this BUT:

Thinkgeek is something I've discovered and regretted only because I'm not rich and can't buy everything I see on that website. I will share though, that currently there is a Portal 2 Series 3 blind box sell going on.

And I did the six for twenty dollar sale. I might even share pictures when I get a hold of them.

Monday, April 6, 2015

This is more for personal reference than anything, BUT I found the ending sequence for A Series of Unfortunate Events because LOOK AT IT

Freaking. Amazing.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Older folks play The Last of Us

From the The Mary Sue

This is actually really, really interesting because it kind of shows (to the older generations) how powerful story telling can be in video games. Not to mention - this ain't Mario Bros anymore. Video games and the stories within have evolved to have amazing influence over culture.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Okay, now that The 100 season two is done I went back and linked all the recaps on the Recap Page and I went through Hulu and found our next recap series:

The Dresden Files, ta daaaaaa.

and I'm going to apologize in advance, folks - I chose it because I've tried watching it before and had issues with the character so I'll likely be poking fun at it and also its free because I don't have a Hulu Plus account (I should probably do that so I can recap a Doctor Who season).

Monday, March 30, 2015

Parasyte anime review

Sometimes I get sucked into binge watching, although it's something I don't like doing because after eight or more hours of watching a single show my brain starts to hurt and I end up having really weird dreams. But yesterday I wasn't doing anything so I started watching Parasyte.

I may be showing my age here but I remember this manga when it came out a looooong ass time ago in MixxZine and in fact this was one of the first manga (manga's? what's the plural for that?) that I was introduced to alongside Sailor Moon, X and Rayearth (and that other one that had to do with Russia and spies? I can't remember). I remember Parasyte because it was such a good idea for a horror story. Funny, it's taken well over a decade for an anime to come out - I mean, this thing was popular like in the early 90's.

Gist of it is: Japan is under siege by an alien life form that needs a human body to survive, and after this tiny worm-like creature burrows into your brain it takes over and you are essentially dead. In order to KEEP surviving these creatures need to eat other humans to sustain themselves. Enter our protagonist, Shinichi Izumi - a normal high school boy who has the normal worries of school, girls and grades. That all changes one night when one of these parasitic worms burrows into his hand and makes its way up to his head.

In desperation and terror he takes the earphones from his walkman (HA! you youngsters don't even know what that is do you?) and cuts off the worms progress in his arm, therefore the parasite 'fails' to take over its host and settles for his right hand.

Shinichi assumes it was all a horrible dream until he wakes up the next morning and his hand talks to him, lamenting how it 'failed'.

The story revolves around Shinichi and 'Migi' and their co-existence while surviving what is a new world order as parasyte infected hosts prey upon the human population.

I will be the first to admit that this is a damn fine horror story. I really enjoyed watching the anime, it strings you along because you're hoping people will survive but they are killed off in droves, so don't get too attached to characters. There are some problems I had with it though, that keeps it from being an A + anime.

There are some tropes and just plain stupid writing that kept me from fully enjoying it and I'm going to bring a couple up:

The first that bugged the shit out of me is the age-old Fridged Woman, in this case it was Shinichi's mother. If you don't know what the Fridged Trope is, it means that (usually) a close female relation of the (usually) male protagonist (lover, sister, MOTHER - usually the lover though) is killed off in a particularly gruesome manner to further the development of the male protagonist. Killing off women so the man can have revenge and grow as a character is so common IT'S A FUCKING TROPE. Therefore aggravating as hell, and the circumstances behind Shinichi's mothers death are just ludicrous.


Shinichi is dealing with parasytes coming out of the woodwork so he convinces his parents to take a vacation, because the chances of them getting murdered are statistically lower in a smaller population that is isolated SO OF COURSE there is some rando parasyte in this isolated area who has a sudden and dire need for a woman's body to take over. AND OF COURSE Shinichi's parents JUST HAPPEN to be on a cliff side in the middle of nowhere so Rando Parasyte can sneak up behind Shinichi's mother and bite her head off and take over her body.

The body of his mother returns to get rid of all witnesses (his father and Shinichi himself) and because of the terrible trauma of having his mother's corpse confront him makes Shinichi pause he gets skewered by the parasyte then is left for dead. (No worries, he survives, barely, to come back for revenge).

Here's the real turning point of the story and one I'm not very happy with.

See, here's Shinichi before his mother died:

fluffy, scared, human

and here's Shinichi after he survives his ordeal brought on by his mother's murder:

bad-ass, fearless, strong, everything a man SHOULD be, right?

I don't know, I really feel that a male character finding growth through the brutal murder of a female figure in his life is goddamned lazy writing and EVERYBODY DOES IT. Augh, ok, that was one problem.

A couple others -

- This show keeps rhapsodizing about how RARE the parasytes are, and how unlikely it is that anyone would run into one, and how they need to keep a low profile lest they are discovered and eradicated. Like, that makes sense, and you'd think the story would follow it but Shinichi is a goddamned parasyte magnet or something because he finds ALL THE PARASYTES, keeps getting involved in mass murders and breaks the suspension of disbelief multiple times. Not to mention people are getting SLAUGHTERED on a massive scale and there is a point in the anime where the parents are like, 'meh, I'm used to it'.

This 'unlikelihood' of meeting a parasyte makes his mother's death even more ludicrous and an obvious poorly written plot move to make Shinichi 'stronger' if by stronger you mean willing and able to slaughter parasyte infected people.

- There is a definite 'HUMAN BEINGS ARE BAD AND DESTRUCTIVE AND SHOULD BE DESTROYED' message you get beaten over the head with in this anime. Is this another trope? I feel like the 'human beings are the real parasites' message has been used a lot in entertainment.

- The Geek to Cool transformation bugs me.

- and one more thing before I shut up about this, was the school massacre plot that was the dumbest fucking writing I've seen in a long time.

People are wising up to the parasytes; in Shinichi's school alone there are a few people who know something is up. When a parasyte is sent to 'observe' Shinichi and Migi one of his classmates starts following him (the observer parasyte) around, knowing something is off with him.

This girl finally gathers overwhelming proof that this thing is not human and is actively murdering people but then she goes I'D BETTER CONFRONT HIM BY MYSELF, ALONE, IN AN ISOLATED AREA JUST TO BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN. This is just stupid beyond words.

Idiot girl confronts him at school in an empty art classroom SO OF COURSE the parasyte changes to a form to kill her except by chance she tosses a bottle of ethanol at him and it breaks over his tentacles sending him into a frenzy.

This in turn causes a MASS MURDERING RAMPAGE where dozens of children (and adults) are SLAUGHTERED by this thing until Shinichi FINALLY gets his ass in there to stop it.

and it was at this point where I was done watching the anime and went and read a summary of the rest of the episodes because stupid writing is stupid and I don't have time for that.

Essentially: Shinichi struggles with what it means to be human, a shit load of people die, Migi eventually dissolves back into his body (?) the end.

Worth watching, but watch out for dumb plot lines.

Okay, since The 100 Season Two is now finished I don't have an update for today because I'm going over what I can recap next. Another science fiction show (Via Hulu) or should we do another anime series? Anybody have anything they want to see recapped?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fallout: Nuka Break

I don't think I've shared this, but since I put the Portal 2 one up why not put up this one as well:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The 100 Season Two Episode 16 Recap: Finale

The 100 Season Two Episode 16: Blood Must Have Blood Part 2 (Season Finale)

Alternative Titles Also: What in the Hell did I Just Watch? and:

Wow, the writer's must have been REALLY scraping the bottom of the idea barrel for this one.

Strap in, kiddies, Uncle Baily is taking you for a ride. All right, let's unpack this train wreck. As you may recall from the last episode everything went to hell in a handbasket at the last moment of the episode because we have to have a two-parter finale and that was apparently the best the writers could come up with.

Blondie was left out in the cold staring at the closed door of the Mt. Weather bunker, while the Arkers went home (I guess??) and the Grounders pretend the Alliance never happened, nope, and now will strive to co-exist with mass murderers who regard them as talking animals. Legit plan.

We begin THIS episode with a look at our Wandering Idiots led by the previous Evil Overlord who is losing his flock to the very aggressive outside world. They've been rowing in the ocean for who knows how long and there is a mutiny on board!! Rather, one of the flock throws a hissy fit and refuses to paddle anymore.

You know what that means right? When a redshirt complains it's time for RANDOM CREATURE ATTACK/DEATH. The Shrieking Eels end the Redshirt after Evil Overlord tosses him overboard (I give you our first BWUH(1) moment of the final - peace toting Overlord fucking TOSSES a kid overboard to DIE so they can live!?! Then quips 'he wouldn't row' as if that shit is funny??) leaving only John (was that his name? It's so boring. I like the Hyena better) and Evil Overlord the last two survivors. Looks like Evil Overlords descent into crazy times just might kill everybody, after all. Also - wandering sheep plot is a plot that makes little sense.

Octavia is sulking in the Reaper tunnels because, seriously, when these idiots spout I'M GOING TO LEAVE where are you going to go?? This entire WORLD is out to kill you, your best chance of living is with a group and pulling this juvenile WELL I'M JUST GOING TO LEAVE crap is so stupid. But wait, hey! Blondie is in the tunnels! Because...reasons??

Like, here is the first crack at a failing plot that DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE WHATSOEVER. You lost the battle, you retreat, regroup and try again. Except it's just Blondie that's regrouped - everybody else just sort of trudged home like no big deal, we'll just kick off our shoes and try for battle some other day, I guess?. Like, you have this huge group of people and an enemy has taken your children and you're just like, mmkay try again tomorrow BYE. (Bwuh(2))

Octavia is still an unforgiving bitch towards Blondie and Blondie is having a meltdown (for like, this entire episode). Gone is our resolute leader, gone is the Bad-ass Leader in Training, and we're left with someone with little options and a lot of desperation.

Oh look! It's Bellamy and Jasper and Cleaning Girl all just kind of... hanging out in the Reaper/Body Slide tunnels.

Well, what the hell let's get everybody inside Mt. Weather and just go from there.

Also - Scary-ass Co-leader has soft spot for Lincoln and lets him go do -whatever. Be with his one true homicidal love, I guess.

Mt. Weather coping strategy: got a group of people who want to kill you and stick your head on pole? Throw a party! Internal strife and possible civil war? Throw on them loafers and polo shirts and have some tea! Seriously, wtf people. Wasn't the last episode filled with 'if you oppose the ruler in any way we'll execute you'?? Also - Norman Rockwell group is gathered in one convenient location on the fifth floor.

While a few floors below they continue with the mass slaughter of children.

BWUH (3) moment three: SUDDENLY FOR REASONS Mt. Weather has captured our Main Adults as well. Just. Whut. So much WHAT. Idiot Overlord and Doc Mama are up on the chopping block. Raven is picked out from the lineup to get drilled into while the old Prez has isolated himself from the current party.

Why, hello Clarke and Co. let's play a game of Who is more Evil than Who but they get tired of that pretty quick so they take him hostage instead and head on over to the abandoned command center because Mt. Weather are fucking idiots and leave the command center unguarded while they party.

Land ho! Our cult finalists have found a lighthouse AND the drone from a couple of episodes back miraculously appears. John breaks up with Evil Overlord (like, seriously, what was your first damned clue he was off his fucking rocker?! and you should have done that ages ago) and E.O. takes off into the wilderness after his Destiny or whatever, ditching John.

Blondie makes it to Central Command just in time to see Torturers R' Us on the screen going at it with Raven. Oh and look, they have Doc Mama WHAT WILL YOU DO, BLONDIE!?

Why take the old Prez hostage and contact the Fop to negotiate the release of her people. You'd think reason would prevail here - taking bone marrow doesn't have to be a lethal procedure (even if the Mt. Weather assholes are going about it like they're drilling for fucking oil or something) and when someone is holding your father hostage you could at least TRY to negotiate but no. That would make too much sense for the plot so instead the Fop says NO GO and holy shit-

Blondie actually shoots Old Prez in the chest (in what looked like was near the collarbone so it wasn't even immediately lethal but he died like in six seconds flat) and gives the ultimatum GIVE MY PEOPLE BACK OR I AM FLOODING THE FIFTH FLOOR WITH OUTSIDE IRRADIATED AIR AND WILL KILL EVERYBODY. Okay, good threat. Time to END this already.

BWUH (4) moment four - Fop doesn't warn anybody, doesn't employ soldiers, but sends ONE DUDE to go after Blondie and Bel (two bad-ass warrior types in their own right) WHO CAN SEE HIM COMING and can shoot his ass as soon as he gets the door open. Then the Fop goes after Blondie's mother because of COURSE they figured out they are mother and daughter. Also SCREW NEGOTIATIONS my people can die and I don't care! sigh.

So much WTF. I think at this point the writers have just given up trying to have a cohesive plot and just threw random shit out there.

So now Fop says DRILL INTO HER MOTHER, HA HA, THAT SHOULD BE AWESOME AND....aannd... do what, exactly?? There is no upside to this, no intelligence, it's a suicide move.

Meanwhile Jasper wants to be an assassin (and fails at it to nobody's surprise) while Cleaning Girl and Octavia chill - until (GAWD, SERIOUSLY - a couple of kids trying to find a makeout spot find the tiny ball of homicidal rage that is Octavia and run screaming into the night - alerting the guards. Octavia goes running after them to... do what, KILL THEM?? Like, REALLY?? She's going to slaughter kids her own age or younger?? Well, it works out so she kills the guards instead, even though there are too many and she and Cleaning Girl get caught.

Dramatic tension buildup is dramatic as Blondie and Bel pull the lever and become mass murderers together. How romantic. You have to wonder who the hell built a function in a fallout shelter that allows supposedly irradiated air to be drawn IN - seems a might self-defeating (?) to have that option included.

Then all at once, we have all these... things going on. B & B pull the mass-killing trigger. Jasper is brought into the torture chamber (via a double agent guard who pretended to lock him up) Doc Mama is being drilled into, then Jasper pulls a knife while the nothing.

Then everybody who ISN'T an outsider dies while the Fop strategically runs away.

Just... oh GOD, what the hell?? This is such a mess I don't even know where to begin.

Jasper loses Cleaning Girl who says, 'nobody is innocent' or something stupid crap aaaand everybody in Mt. Weather dies. Sweet, now the Arkers have a new home to live in.

Obligatory WHAT DID YOU DOOOOOOOOO!?? from Jasper and it looks like Clarke is losing another friend over murder.

The Fop is outside running through a forest. Does he have a plan? Does he have survival skills? Will he survive the next five minutes? All highly doubtful. A snap of a twig in the forest! What's that? Something big and nasty and ready to eat him? No such luck. It's just Man Candy, who comes screaming out of the fog like a crazy person only to be felled by Mt. Weather technology. Because, you know, screw stealth and throwing knives and arrows.

In a move I guess that was supposed to be ironic or something the Fop pulls out the drug he used on Lincoln and goes, look what I haaaave! So McAbs chops his hand off and sticks him with his own drug. and dies. sigh. Irony.

Well, we're not done yet.

Everybody just kind of. Goes home. To the Ark. Where everybody else has just been chilling while all this has gone down. Like, did NO ONE ask 'where did our entire leadership disappear to?' or notice that half their population is missing?? Just. I can't. I can't even find the words for how much fail this plot has. Holy crap.

Blondie pulls an Octavia move and goes I CANNOT LIVE WITH WHAT I'VE DONE, I'M LEAVING. Where is she going to go? What is she going to do? how is she going to survive? fuck if I know, by this point I've given myself a migraine from rolling my eyes so hard.

Bel is awesome, Blondie leaves, how will we wrap up the season?

John has found a sweet, sweet man pad inside the lighthouse and helps himself to crackers and whiskey while watching home movies of the previous owner who ominously mentions something about a 'she' before he blows his brains out.

Evil Overlord is following the flying drone in a similar fashion of Alice following the white rabbit and it finally comes to...

a mansion. in perfect condition, seeing how the falling bombs didn't touch it I guess and God knows who is maintaining it. The ominous She appears and says WELCOME, NOTHING STRANGE GOING ON HERE, I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU, CHOSEN ONE!!

Uh huh, it's a setup for a possible season three of The 100 as the bomb(?) Evil Overlord rode his way down on ended up here (?!) and the mansion lady decides he's going to Do Stuff for her. See ya next season folks.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Portal 2 Mini-series

sorry babys, Uncle Baily is having a busy week. I've watched the finale of The 100 and...damn. Be prepared for Extreme Snark. Meanwhile, have an awesome fanmade Portal 2 mini-series while you wait for me to write that up.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

all right, peeps - I got myself a busy, busy schedule this week so the finale of The 100 is going to be late. I'll see if I can get around to recapping it after I get off work tomorrow and have it up... Tuesday? Wednesday? Keeping in mind it literally takes me about three hours to watch it, screen cap it, and then take notes/write it up.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Whoop, forgot

I apologize for not updating sooner this week - getting out almost four thousand words over the last weekend for the end of a short piece of fiction was surprisingly draining. But! Here's chapter nineteen of the Fable 2: Hero of Bowerstone story:

Deep waters

The 100 Season Two Episode 15 Recap

The 100 Episode Fifteen: Blood Must Have Blood Part 1

Or - that one episode that nearly gave me an rage aneurysm because they were so close to having a well-written story before they pulled the biggest WHAT THE EVER-LOVING FUCK plot twist in recent tv history.

Ahhem. Well, here we are - the second before last episode of the season. The stakes are high, we've spent the entire season getting to this Mt. Weather show-down, the Alliance is a go and let's begin with Bellamy finally reaching the caged Grounders. His new girl buddy is like, awesome let's get ready for war.

This is your Mt. Weather Prez speaking. Hello. I am an asshole. Also Fop Prez pulls the 'if you are harboring teenagers you are an enemy and we will kill you' speech. Because there are so many of the Mt. Weather people to begin with you can just slaughter them willy nilly. I like how ALL OF THIS could have been avoided if the original Prez just stayed in power and everybody just, oh I don't know, HAD A NORMAL CONVERSATION ABOUT THEIR NEEDS.

Ahhh, good old Fop Prez pulling out propaganda - the meat and potatoes of war. Bla bla bla, 'rightful place above ground' bla bla bla 'all we need to do is slaughter some children!'

But where ARE Jasper and Cleaning Girl? Hiding behind the wall of Adorable Couple while the guards harass them into compliance. Rather, Adorable Couple deny, deny, deny until the lack of the use of coasters gives away the game. (Srsly??) YOU HAVE UNTIL THE COUNT OF THREE UNTIL WE SHOOT YOU!! Jasper is a good kid though, so he bursts out of the wall and into custody.

Meanwhile, the army is coming, the army is coming!

Woooooo, the Alliance has finally stopped fighting each other and we can get on with the war effort. Queenie and Blondie get on with explaining how The Plan is going down and holy crap, it's actually a well devised plan. They're going to station groups at strategic points, Raven Co. are going to take down the power, allowing the lock on the door to disengage and then, yay, bloodshed.

Here's the hilarious difference between Blondie and Queenie:

Blondie: Ok, DON'T KILL EVERYONE YOU COME ACROSS. There are children and innocents, mmmkay? Just kill the soldiers and get our people back! (uh, don't take out the Fop Prez??? Bwuh?)


Well, we see our first cracks in what would have been an epic plot otherwise. Maybe the writers didn't realize there is an entire THING called The Art of War where I'm pretty darned certain you DON'T leave the enemy head alive and kickin' while you run out the back door. It just seems like if you're going to storm the castle maybe you shouldn't leave the people alive who WANT TO STICK YOUR HEAD ON A POLE. Just a thought.

The guards of Mt. Weather have a terrible task of rounding up ferocious... children. LOOK AT THAT GIRL, SHE MIGHT SOB ON YOUR SHOULDER!! Terrifying. No worries, Bel has still got his spy mojo going on and he saves everybody. Again. Adam Worth says I'll meet you guys where the Grounders are being kept, while Jasper and Bel team up. Save the 44!

Octavia and Scary-ass Co-leader are storming the Reaper (Reaver??? Dammit) caves to take the back entrance while Raven and Co. (Snarky guy she had a single fling with) take on the turbines that power the complex while Snarky guy snarks insightful nastiness to Raven ('I like you better before I slept with you' 'Me too' ohhhh will they, won't they)

So of COURSE something has to go wrong and the last bomb is lost so they can't disengage the lock and OH NOOO WHAT WILL THEY DO. and why was there random Mt. Weather dude, and why didn't Team Raven have more than two people? I mean, pretty integral part of the plan WHY WOULDN'T YOU SEND WARRIORS WITH THEM??

Meanwhile, Fop Prez and Old Prez have a little chat. 'Here I brought you some cocoa and oh, we're being stormed by homicidal maniacs. Ohhh, snap - Old Prez lays down the smack talk at what a colossal failure his son his and he's killed them all after being in office for one week. But Daddy Prez doesn't want everybody to die (not knowing Clarke specifically said leave innocents alone) so he throws his lot in with the evil Fop failure. Hmmm, I wonder what Daddy Prez is up to?

Queenie and Blondie are sitting in a tree waiting for Raven and Co. to blow up the turbines so they can get the front door open. This has to be one of the most hilarious things in this entire episode. Queenie turns to Blondie and is all like, 'Sooo... what are you doing after we slaughter our enemies? Wanna... come to my place?' *SNORTLAUGH* Seems like an appropriate time to ask for a date.

Oh, here we go - Raven and Snarky finally get everything to go boom and YOU HAVE ONE MINUTE TO GET THE DOOR OPEN!!

Mt. Weather opens fire, it's a fight to beat the clock and at the last moment McAbs pulls a Robin Hood moment and sends a flaming arrow into bomb-rigged door. IT'S OPEN!! GO GO GO!! TIME FOR GLORIOUS BATTLE!!!

But first we need some filler.

Bel almost has everybody safe but the last 12 are taken into level five where they will likely be killed!!

Octavia finally belongs! One of us! One of us! Scary-ass has accepted Octavia's tiny fury as worthy of the Grounders. Huzzah.

All right, folks, are you ready!?! ARE YOU READY!?! The thing we've been waiting all season for, the final attack, FINALLY we're going to get inside Mt. Weather and make those teen-murderers pay!! OPEN THE DOOOOOO- no?

Queenie calls out to halt everything and there is a moment of bwuuuuh!??! Wait, no. Come on, this can't mean...

In tow with Queenie is that captain of the Mt. Weather security team. Aw, shit - what does that...? The doors open and out comes.... the bedraggled and messed up Grounder lab rats but no 44. FUCK.

Yup, you guessed it, the old cliche of at the very last moment I WILL BETRAY YOU BECAUSE PLOT! and we have one more episode to fill out and we have shitty writers who couldn't think of a better idea then SUDDEN BUT INEVITABLE BETRAYAL!!

Siiiiighh. Okay. Queenie rambles off some bullshit like, well we got OUR people back that's all we care about - ignoring things liiiiike: virtual genocide over decades of her people at the hands of Mt. Weather who I'm sure will be very cordial from now on, the fact that nearly all the hazardous things in their world WERE CREATED BY MT. WEATHER aaaaand ignoring the fact that as soon as they get what they want Mt. Weather will very likely continue to annihilate all who oppose them including those they called 'savages' - you guessed it, the Grounders. Because history is littered with powerful groups who DON'T conquer and take over and hold territories and... oh for fuck's sake this is just stupid.



God, let's just wrap this crap-fest up.

Octavia's group hears the retreat and she's left with a choice: her brother or her new found homicidal maniac buddies, who will she choose? Her brother. Aww. But as the Arc asks her to come back she goes 'I BELONG NOWHEEERREEEE' in an overly dramatic fashion. Cool, Octavia. Why don't you run off into the wilderness and become one with the mutant two headed deer, I'm sure they have an opening.

Bel returns to an empty room where the Grounders used to be and Cleaning Girl loses her daddy, the 44 are still stuck inside Mt. Weather who is STILL after their bone marrow.

Raven and Snarky are captured.

Old Prez and New Prez congratulate each other on being manipulative pieces of shit and Fop Prez allows daddy to come out of his cage.

The Arc folks and Blondie are left dumbstruck by the front gates going, 'uhhhhh WTF?'

One by one they all head back to the Arc (aaand Mt. Weather are dumbfucks too, why didn't they take this opportunity to destroy the Arc?? GOD THIS SHIT IS SO DUMB) and finally it's just Clarke left with her seething rage and resentment.

Me too, Clarke, me too.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

I don't suppose anybody knows an online place that will do critiques of writing? Miraculously I FINALLY finished some original fiction that I know isn't the best it could be and would really like a professional to look at it. Or, you know, someone who can slog through ten thousand words without crying while simultaneously giving grounded advice on how to tighten up the story.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Agent Carter Review

I have a thing about spin offs; in my experience it just doesn't work. You're just trying to milk the cash cow when you should be exploring greener, better pastures. Disney is a fine example of this, do we really need a goddamned sequel to every Disney movie under the sun??



Agent Carter has been one of the most refreshing, amazing, well-done series I've come across. I would rather have three seasons of Agent Carter than SHIELD. Full stop. And sadly, we may not get that. As you know, often with innovative script writing (Firefly, Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) if it doesn't rake in the cash, they cancel it - not giving it a longer chance for more people to hop on the fandom wagon. Firefly is an excellent example, and one of the worst losses for television. This should have easily had at least four seasons, and knowing Joss Whedon, the ending of Firefly would have been life altering.

But it didn't make money (at first), so they canceled it.

Agent Carter is currently eight episodes which concludes it's trial run first season. I don't know if they will make more (it seems unlikely). We begin our season with Peggy Carter, Captain America's movie tie-in almost girlfriend who never quite got there because he became a Capsicle. Amazingly, Carter is the central focus of this retro spy thriller series. She is an amazing hero and all the gendered bullshit tropes are sidestepped as she can handle her own, is smart, competent, constantly kicking in heads and not a romantic interest, eye-candy or prop for a male protagonist.

Do you people realize how RARE that is? It just doesn't happen. She isn't tits n' ass, she isn't the twit going 'my heeerroooooo' and in fact, they make fun of that idiotic trope in an episode.

Social justice aside, it's just plain good fun.

Howard Stark is more bearable and human than his son, and has loads of incredible technology that has been stolen by some bad people. Jarvis is absolutely wonderful as Carter's butler sidekick, I cannot tell you how much I ADORE him. Carter goes lone wolf to clear Stark's name when her fellow agents treat her like a glorified secretary and you know the best part? She let's them have it with both barrels, calling them sexist idiots (not is so many words) and the only reason they end up losing so many agents is because of their blind sexism.

There are some terrifying undercover assassin's, beautiful costumes, amazing effects with Stark's technology and an ending that made me want much, much more. If you were undecided on watching it, go watch it. Eight episodes of retro spy thriller awesomeness with a beautiful, sharp and strong lady protagonist.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Terry Pratchett

Ladies and Gentleman... One of the greatest authors of the fantasy and sci-fi genre has passed. Terry Pratchett is more than an author, he was an extraordinary observer of humanity, a humorist and one of the few author's I've had the honor of reading who KNEW how people work and created possibly the most important fantasy series of our times: The Discworld. He was a national treasure. To say he will be missed is an understatement. We have lost one of the greatest minds of our generation. Damn.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The 100 Season Two Episode Fourteen Recap

The 100 Season Two Episode Fourteen: Bodyguard of Lies

So as you may recall the Evil Overlord done hoofed it off into the badlands of crazy, taking a number of his flock with him. Half of them realized he was off his damn rocker and went back just in time to take people out of the rubble of the Summit. Evil Overlord and the Hyena aren't done wandering the desert, however, and he does have that mighty fancy stick.

Uh oh, one the Flock is exhibiting joyful behavior and bad jokes; you know what that means. YOU EXPLOOOOODE. Literally, this time. It appears they have wandered into a minefield. Everybody is showered with blood and regrets. I hate it when that happens.

Mt. Weather is plotting. WHERE ARE THE 44 43?

And Blondie and Queenie are plotting - rather Queenie is chilling and Blondie is fretting. Pretty fraught business, warlording.

Bel is continuing his Super Spy mojo but his luck had to run out at some point, because homeboy is CAUGHT. His cover is blown, and now a bunch of Mt. Weather security is after him. In case is wasn't obvious (it wasn't) Raven is a freaking awesome superbrain - look at all them complicated numbers! It isn't going to do anybody any good unless Bellamy can get himself to where they keep the poison/melting-your-face fog though.

Octavia certainly is embracing this Grounder role, isn't she? She's like... an adorable mini-Grounder who will cut your leg tendons and gnaw on your ankles. Isn't there like a height requirement to be a crazy leather wearing Mad Max warrior of the future?

Well, Octavia figures out that Clarke kind of, more or less, you know - let everybody die. And isn't happy about it, though I don't know what she's upset about - everybody who is a main-ish character survived.

Queenie ain't the Queenie of the Mad Max warriors for nothing though; she tells her hulking bodyguard to take out Octavia before she spills the beans and ruins everybody's Warrior Spirit mojo they got going on. Though, anybody with a working brain can figure out that Blondie and Queenie didn't just miraculously survive because they are the Chosen Ones. Wait, no, seeing how most of the cast doesn't have a working brain - yeah, no their secret is safe.

Blondie is starting to get how the Grounders work, and heads off an assassination attempt on wee little Octavia just in the nick in the time, and for the love of GOD PLEASE can someone get Clarke a bigger gun?? That little pea shooter is pathetic.

Meanwhile, being in a cult is hard...

But wait! Hark! What is light over yonder!? The city of lights!? FATE HAS BROUGHT US HERE!! What about the mines? FATE WILL GUIDE ME THROUGH THEM!! SCREW LOGIC!!

Soooo, not so much Faith so much as a really big stick to poke around for mines and the most awkward Hokey Pokey dance in recorded history...

Blondie confronts Queenie and is less than pleased with her slaughter-everyone-in-sight ways and hmmmm, something between those two... naahh, I must be imagining it for the last couple of episodes.

Bel is still rocking the espionage role as Team Fog figures out how to disarm the fog.

Oh, more Queenie and Blondie hashing out their differences and....wait.. WAIT. WAAIIIITTT!!!


QUEENIE AND BLONDIE GETTING IT ONNNN!! for like 3 seconds and Clarke is like, yea I just cut my boyfriends throat a couple episodes ago. Too soon, Queenie, too soon. Hey, maybe if they survive they can join up and be like, this terrible and powerful force that will RULE THE NEW ORDER OF THE WOOOOORLD!!!

That'd be awesome.

Oh, right. ATTACK!!! The fog is down, GET THEM GROUNDER/ARC ALLIANCE but..wait - no. Mt. Weather is being sneaky and turn the fog back on. Aaaand idiot guards open fire in a room full of ...flammable... hmmmm

GO BELLAMYYYY!!!! IGNITE THAT FOG! Ignoring the fact that if it were THAT explosive and dangerous, and the fact that entire room is the size of like, two football fields wouldn't the ENTIRE underground bunker, more or less, have gone up like the now-extinct Fourth of July?

Aaaand this is the 'getting it on' episode - Raven has Relations with, er, Science Guy and then immediately shuts down because Clarke cut her ex-boyfriends throat a couple of episodes ago. That was some awkward 30 second sex.

The Warriors march onward towards glory! Octavia is still angry about Blondie's management skills and tells her they're through after Mt. Weather is awash in a sea of blood. She falls back to fume while Scary-ass co-leader says, 'what's wrong with you?' See, here is something I can get aboard with: Scary-ass KNOWS her Leader knew about the bombing and accepts her decision, knowing it probably saved the war. That is why Queenie a good leader. Plus, it's not like Blondie MADE the bomb, that was the enemy's doing not hers. Oohhh, snap, Octavia just had a real-talk dropped on her. Maybe she shouldn't be so angry at Clarke for having to make a hard decision.

Anyhow, let's wrap up with our wandering crazy cultists, who have discovered the 'city of lights'? Is just a huge field of solar panels. Ooops. In frustration the Hyena hocks a rock at the glass and LO! An angel appeared before them a tiny drone pops up and Evil Overlord, desperate for any kind of 'sign', says FOLLOW IT!!! They hop into a boat and.... row further into nowhere.