petronia: (Default)
Fantasia Festival and so on. As per usual, these are not by order watched, more by order of writing inspiration. I'm also not done -- there's maybe 4-5 more blurbs to go. XD;

Spoilers to varying degrees, of course.

petronia: (Default)
Left out a couple of items from last week's, actually:
  • Also watched the Rurouni Kenshin movie at Fantasia, finally. Loved it. It was better than the anime. And it's not even the Kyoto Arc! (Reality check, guys: by your 2013 standard, the first season of the Kenshin TV series is not good.) The condensed plot and action choreography were smartly executed, but the performances were what did it for me -- Satoh Takeru really nailed that combination of physical grace and weary gentleness that I think of as primordial to the Kenshin character (these days; I'm not sure I picked up on it in my callow youth). There's a transparency to him, like an old item of clothing that's spotlessly laundered but worn so thin it's nearly see-through, though you can tell the material was good quality once... Kaoru was very good, Sanosuke was very good, Saitou was very good -- though you have a little more leeway with Kaoru and Sano, and none at all with Saitou XD so I didn't expect they would screw up those characters, actually. But Kenshin himself is a tough one, both to cast and to act.

    I'm not sure why they lost Aoshi and Misao, though? Unless the idea is a straight swap for Saitou being introduced here as opposed to the Kyoto Arc, which leaves both storylines cleaner and, well, lets them introduce Saitou in the first movie. *checks wikipedia* Hey, I was right!
  •  

  • Re-watched Prometheus with my family. I liked it better the second time around, actually -- the part of it that's classic SF is very strong. The Weyland-Meredith-David relationship, and then the David-Weyland-Engineer relationship: immortality of the body, dissolution of the body, genetic immortality, memetic immortality, relationship versus one's creator, relationship versus one's parent... The part of it that's Hollywood space action monster movie is still full of people doing inexplicably dumb shit. It pains me to say this, but even Idris Elba's and Charlize Theron's characters having sex was in context a really dumb thing to do.
petronia: (Default)
Very quickly -- commentary to be added later.

What are you reading/watching now?

Bentham on Torture and Unfinished Tales still (both nearly done). Re-read a bit of Captive Prince when the books came, like everyone else in the known LJ-verse.

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books:
David Wondrich, Imbibe!

Movies/TV:
Mama
Cabin in the Woods
Evangelion Rebuild 2.0 and 3.0
Princess Tutu 1-5


What will you read/watch next?

Who actually knows. XD; Finish the ones I've got, then I'll see.

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?

S.U. Pacat, Captive Prince 1-2 (technically I bought these a while back, but the Amazon box only came this week)
JRR Tolkien, Unfinished Tales
Jo Walton, Among Others
David Wondrich, Imbibe!

petronia: (Default)
Since I know I have to get out of here in 1/2 hour and I won't have time to answer them all XD; (work has been insane today, but at least I have had some good $$$-related news *ahem*). Questions asked by [personal profile] ayalesca.

1. your imagining of anime genderswap sherlock :DDDDDD

Read more... )

2. fashion/personal style

Read more... )

3. favorite alcoholic drinks

Read more... )

4. places I need to go if I ever hit up Montreal

Read more... )

5. favorite tropes in fiction, all forms of (yeah I'm asking a lot of people this XD)

Part 2!

6. the next thing that you would like William Gibson to write

Read more... )

7. most surprising/counterintuitive thing you learned in business school

Part 2, again. XD;
petronia: (tamaki)
Endhiran: contains dancing and robots.

Gantz: contains manga adaptation.

Blackthorn: contains Butch Cassidy.

Redline: contains Initial D + Five Star Stories mashup.

13 Assassins: contains samurai.

Vampire: contains a shitload of triggery content.

The Phantom of the Opera (1925): contains silent film acting.

What I've managed not to do thus far is review the actual horror films (not that they were all that horrifying XD;).

***

Mawaru Penguindrum: I'm... halfway through episode 4? Certainly it looks gorgeous - the music is great, even. My mind isn't blown yet, but I can admit to having absolutely ZERO idea where the setup is headed. These days, that in itself is worth something.

xxxHolic 17-18: if CLAMP ended it right after this it must've been pretty abrupt. o_O Anyway I'd stopped reading just before the Important Shiz went down and only heard about the consequences, so I was unprepared for Watanuki swanning around in his gilded prison occasionally giving a heavy-lidded mysterious look over his kimono-clad shoulder. Like, seriously? The original settei wasn't moé enough, is that it?

Confused arousal aside, the resource shuffle came across as promising - for one, I like Kohane better than Himawari ahaha. It's cute how Doumeki and Watanuki subscribe to this thin fiction that they are not gay married.
petronia: (Default)
10 – Pairings – Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

But found you couldn't write it after all, that is? Often. Almost always for external reasons, eg. half my flist vocally dislikes the pairing, the other half loves it: I find this distressing. Or, the canon has said everything there is to say on the matter. This had seemed the case with Madoka, except cut for spoilers. ) Another case: in a series like Mirage of Blaze the entire canonical universe is coloured by Naoe/Kagetora - you are literally not in MoB canon-verse by definition if you are not writing N/K, and if you approximate MoB canon-verse you assume N/K by default. But that rather decreases one's motivation for focussing on N/K specifically.

Alternately, the fandom has said everything there is to say on the matter. There is a generally inverse correlation between the size/quality of a ficcing fandom I read in, and my own urge to write for said fandom. You'll never catch me writing for SPN, or SV, or HP, or any of the massive acronyms. I have to have some sense of lingering unmet demand in my self and/or my immediate circle. But this is also one of the hard-to-predicts. ) At the same time, external demand often outpaces how much I myself have to say; even for pairings I like a lot, I tend to state a thesis once and that's it.

Pairings I don't like... I never try to write them. What would be the point? XD;;
petronia: (love potion)
I finished watching Madoka Magica: You Can (Not) Advance last night. Then I read all the meta and reaction posts [livejournal.com profile] canis_m linked, and all of the wiki, which inter alia demonstrates that one of the series' creative goals was to aid 4channers' battle against cognitive surplus (hard not to think of Jane McGonigal again). XD Not that multiple audiences and goals (more than one goal per audience segment!) are incompatible, or difficult for the series itself to juggle. The moe aspect passes me by, is all. I note it more as a visual language that attained standalone sophistication after I stopped watching anime omnivorously, so in a minor way it's like the culture shock of when I came into contact with ONTD/TMZ/Perez in 2008, after ignoring anything to do with celebrities for the better part of a decade. The line I'll always remember from Pattern Recognition has to do with the ability to unerringly parse fetish-foci without at all grokking the appeal XD although the character in question was thinking of baggy schoolgirl socks, this being the era of baggy schoolgirl socks, and I thought that was completely off-track.

Speaking of visual language, every aspect of this show is coded. And not in Utena's sometimes Lynchian-trolling way, but with purpose. By the by, apparently it is possible to watch Utena and be like, you know what, this is way too focussed on dudes and their feelings. Let's just not talk about male agency for a while, OK? OK.

Cut for mild spoilers, and not a lot of thinky thoughts )

In the meantime, I am 1/3 way through the Dunnett, progress marked by an increasingly edgy sense of deja vu until it came to me: THIS SHIZ READS LIKE MIRAGE OF BLAZE. Not the first two Dunnetts (although, gawd, entire arcs of Mirage turn on the reader not having any idea why Naoe or Kenshin are committing the actions you see them committing), and not the really ridiculous Naoe/Kagetora bits, but maybe 70% of the actual wordcount of the Mirage of Blaze novels is just like this. The character types encountered, their motivations, their interactions and conflicts with yr protagonist, the no-win political and military SNAFUs. Even the narrative voice is similar, and the persistent feeling of not being able to pin motivations down properly, even when you seem to be told what those motivations are. Basically, you've got Christian knights in lieu of samurai, and the prose is much improved at the micro level.

So I will need to dash about in horror for a bit and get some fresh air, which I've been very short of this past week. XD;
petronia: (get your own coffee)
Doctor Who S06E01 (plus those two eps of the Sarah Jane Adventures, sob)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica E01-08

I plowed right into it without putting away the Dorothy Dunnett mental toolkit, so, well. XD Let's all discuss etc.
petronia: (shinsenplushies)
Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves): now up to episode 6 )

Gente: this part was written a couple of weeks ago )

Later I was reading this Neville/Draco fic by [livejournal.com profile] helenish (recced by [livejournal.com profile] elfiepike) and it just wouldn't appear in my head as other than Ono Natsume art. orz|| One supposes she does a good line in pale boys in aprons and understated domestic angst.
petronia: (another one of those days)
House of Five Leaves: the opening theme to this sounds like - and I say this in the most complimentary way possible - something they'd play in Banana Republic. (Air remixing Phoenix. Michael Mayer remixing Kylie. Annie remixing Saint Etienne or vice versa or whatever.) Obviously, they have the same target audience as Banana Republic, i.e. me. >_> I have kinda slept on this Immi person I guess?

Anyway. I haven't actually read the manga, because I buy Ono Natsume and there is too much of this one. XD; I have the Ristorante Paradiso side stories sitting on my desk upstairs and haven't gotten around to reading them. I sort of can't believe Ono Natsume wrote a samurai story and it... got animated by Manglobe, like what just happened there. You think you were confused, try watching this right after you wrap the SSBB historical romance issue. Dude did you just FTB on that action. Did you. The sad-sack protagonist is voiced by Namikawa "Rock" Daisuke, last heard when sororial unit and I were LOLing over clips of the Japanese dub of Merlin**, so evidently he's doing a good line in Long-Suffering Dudes.

...Do you think they'll ever animate the Italian politicians BL? Will it be better or worse than the Sex Pistols OAV? LET'S TAKE A VOTE.

***

Have not yet watched yesterday's Doctor Who ep. It took ages to download so ended up watching Rose with T and then I just kept on watching Image of the Fendahl. Which has comedy characters named Martha and Jack Tyler. IDEK.


** Frighteningly natural. I mean it could basically be Kyou Kara Maou or something.
petronia: (gourmet sensation)
Rice wine soup: my philosophy is that if you're going to make this stuff, make it tooth-rottingly sweet and eat a smaller portion. It turned out we didn't have flour for tangyuan, though, and it never occurred to me to buy them pre-made because we never do - what I care about is the osmanthus syrup anyway. XD; So I used, uhh, bubble tea tapioca.

Chocolate cookies: I forget what these were called in the book. They turned out to be the Danish butter biscuits that come in a tin, basically, only with cocoa - sort of smoky-tasting. Good basis for cookies'n'cream type desserts I'd imagine... next time, stick a chocolate chunk in the centre, sprinkle with crystallized sugar, and give them 12 minutes instead of 10.

***

Darker Than Black: in [livejournal.com profile] lacewood's comments a few days back, discussing how DtB was one of the few anime series with a reasonably non-faily and nuanced portrayal of foreigners; Chinese characters in particular (going as far as knowing subversion, eg. sticking Kirihara in the cheongsam and buns instead of Alice). Then again, it had better be, considering it's an immigration/xenophobia parable. XD; Just not as overt as - say - District 9, due to viewers being kept in the dark for 20-plus episodes as to what anyone's motive or provenance is. But there aren't many non-gaijin Contractors in Tokyo, that much is evident.

Then there's the OAV ep, which... I don't know what to say. XD;;; BNF PROTIP: IF YOU MEET A MASKED, SUPERPOWERED ASSASSIN IN ACTUAL REAL LIFE MEATSPACE, DON'T BASE YOUR GARY STU ON HIM

Nnnh have to confer with T re whether we're watching Ryuusei no Gemini. Meanwhile Amber's chara settei made me so nostalgic for C.C. I've picked up Geass R2. That shiz qualified in shark jumping at the Olympic level from episode one but whatev, I really love seeing that rabid little weasel Lelouch get wound up like a ticky toy.
petronia: (music)
Today's not!Advent thingy. Requested by [livejournal.com profile] woodburner back in, I believe, 2007; better two years late than never. XD;; I originally had some Japanese paper with which I meant to make origami packaging for the CD, so here is a digital version of sorts.



Mononoke: The Fan Soundtrack

Fuka Vincente - Tempura Soul
David Bowie - Beauty and the Beast
Fever Ray - If I Had a Heart (Familjen Remix)
Laika - Black Cat Bone
DJ Krush with Shinichi Kinoshita - Beyond Raging Waves
Gorillaz - Ghost Train
Nick Cave - O Children
Florence + The Machine - Blinding
Hajime Chitose - Kono machi

Total Time: 40 minutes



Keepin' it short: one track per story arc, roughly, plus the Medicine Seller, plus Kayo, plus intro - but in listening rather than chronological order. (Who knows what the chronological order of the arcs is anyway?) It is all about funky shamisen cutz~♥ I'm pretty sure the one was off [livejournal.com profile] moebius_rex and the other from [livejournal.com profile] jantalaimon, even after all this time.
petronia: (Default)
And it is hilarious because



We are actually in this anime series you guys.

Moar SF

Nov. 24th, 2009 01:04 am
petronia: (bibliophile)
Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man: here is an idea if you want to be really evil to readers.

  1. Make up an Advertising Jingle Of Doom.
  2. Have your protagonist earworm himself with it as a block against psychic probes.
  3. Repeat continuously for an entire novel.
What have we ever done to you Besterrrrr for this ppl gave you a Hugo

There is an Espers' Guild in this book! It's funny, when I first started to read about paranormal nonsense in the early 90s the word "esper" was used all the time, but nowadays it feels oddly deprecated (except in Japan). All the characters in Heroes are espers, but no one would call them that. Wikipedia actually attributes the term to Bester c. 1950 although if you click through you find that a citation has recently surfaced of E.E. Smith c. 1942. I like to think Suzumiya Haruhi based her idea of espers on Bester, though, because Itsuki's faction seems to deal with each other roughly like the Guild in The Demolished Man, and also because the idea of Itsuki thinking in C O N C R E T E P O E T R Y pleases me. XD Tension, apprehension, and dissension; sounds like a typical day at SOS-dan HQ.

Anyway this one reads even more weirdly like Ayn Rand than the last one. It was published earlier and in fact is basically to The Stars My Destination what The Fountainhead is to Atlas Shrugged scope-wise, except yanno. WITHOUT THE PESKY OBJECTIVISM.


Samuel R. Delany, "Aye, and Gomorrah": via [livejournal.com profile] dubdobdee's podcast here, and wayback'd here because it really doesn't work as well read out loud, as mentioned. XD; I took some mental notes while listening to the discussion but of course have lost the coherency. Stuff like:

  • the "visitor from above" in the original Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah (of which I have always wanted to read a rewrite with "naturalistic" psychology, because it is such a deeply weird story as-is that it's almost not horrifying - everyone in the city wanted to rape the angel? Rly? Just to say hi? Like a SURPRISE BUTTSEX 4chan macro? Must've been one smokin' angel Bible sex is like WTFFFFF 80% of the time)
  • according to later tradition [cit.? --ed] Gomorrah is where lesbians live, so obviously nothing is ever said about it. This joke has been made I would guess
  • how every city is Sodom, or rather you can find a charmingly picturesque two-block-square Sodom in every city. In general Delany seems to like the Invisible Cities-but-with-more-sodomy approach (see below)
  • conflation of SF fandom/interest with kink, which... I had thoughts on that I've forgotten, but that at any rate reads like a [livejournal.com profile] metafandom topic. Not gonna lie though, this story is about 1,000x funnier if you picture the characters as the cast of Gundam Wing. Like my instinctive reaction once I finally figured out the dodginess they were talking around was "but doesn't everybody... oh wait"
Regarding French urinals )

I tried to keep to my semi-chronological thing with Delany but somehow ended up whiling away a few library hours reading his "sword and sorcery"** stuff.......... LMAO this is not Franz Leiber's sexual politics



** Realized that over the years I have chomped through way more deconstructed than straight although I can't even really cough up names beyond Pratchett... forex I know I read Joanna Russ as a young teen but remember NOTHING. Then again Nevèrÿon belongs to whatever genre Invisible Cities is amirite (sword and semiotics?).
petronia: (individualist)
Evangelion 1.0: the original series with a classy face lift.

MORE
foreshadowing
Tokyo-3/NERV/Eva mechanics
visible as opposed to invisible Shinji emo
in general, explanations of what the shit is going on
gore (the Angels are all bleeders now apparently argh - this is also foreshadowing though)
underage nudity
Kaworu

LESS
stock footage
"auteur" pacing
visible as opposed to invisible Anno Hideaki emo
Brechtian soundtrack selections (to come??)
"is the Crayola flip book animation due to directorial self-indulgence or Gainax embezzling the budget AGAIN"
Asuka

SAME
Misato is a drunk
Gendou is a dick
Shinji is a navel-gazing passive-aggressive emo whiner with zero self-esteem fourteen
Pen^2 is a penguin

...Actually, Asuka isn't there yet because we're only up to the Sixth Angel. Why couldn't they have gotten hold of the second film for Fantasia as well is what I want to know.

(Saw two more films but will review later for lack of time.)
petronia: (fine cheese)
Doctor Who: annoyingly stuck for scheduling reasons at S2 episode 8, to be continued. On the whole S2 isn't as good as S1, actually; a lot of what X-Files fandom used to call Monster of the Week. The current two-parter is good, though. It still has an X-Files vibe - like those storylines they used to do about horrible worms brainwashing the inhabitants of Arctic research stations or whatever. But in space. XD

I can't really tell from the Confidentials if I'd like the older seasons or not, with one element excepted: the outfits. The outfits are CLEARLY FIERCE.

Antique Bakery (the Korean screen version): which I downloaded from [livejournal.com profile] halcyonjazz, only both files died halfway for some reason, so we ended up watching off Youtube, not completely in order. XD; I might watch it again... Someone started an awesome rumour in the Douban review thread to the effect that on a trip to Korea she saw the movie in the theatre then went clubbing with a gay friend, and bumped into one of the lead actors in the gay club - but refused to reveal which one when pressed. XDD

Then I got back on Livejournal and discovered via [livejournal.com profile] beeblebabe that Ristorante Paradiso had been turned into an anime. Did not see that one coming, guys.
petronia: (skyward from city streets)
Watched:

1) Five episodes of Xam'd I downloaded from [livejournal.com profile] kickinpants about two months back. ^^; Is it just me or is television getting more and more difficult? A few weeks ago we had a CSI Miami marathon at T's apartment, of all things; Hitchcock might have found the plots mildly convoluted. High-production-value anime series drop you in the middle of everything plus the kitchen sink, then leave you there to paddle. It's war mecha, it's Miyazaki fantasy, it's steampunk picaresque, it's slice-of-daily-life drama... Heterogeneity of convention has always been my end goal in genre fiction, but now that I have it I'm not sure I like it.

No - I still like the series (some great characters there), but thinking about the framework is tiring. Like mashup nights where you dance to one 30-second hook after another without ever encountering a full song. All orgasms and no sex; ringtone culture. For some reason it goes down easier with a series like Code Geass, which is blatantly over-the-top and self-knowing.

2) 2.5 episodes of Doctor Who (2005). ([livejournal.com profile] helvetius sent me - I think - the entirety of New Doctor Who extant, plus all manner of other things I will not list. XD) There doesn't seem to be a way on Douban to log the fact that one is a few episodes into a multi-season TV series: UNSATISFACTORY. One would've thought they'd have a page for each season, or at least each DVD release or something... This one I'm watching with my sister, the other one was with T. The writing's smart and the general tenor lighthearted, which is probably what I need right now.

Reading:

1) Thomas Kuhn, "What Are Scientific Revolutions?" [Google Books full text] for [livejournal.com profile] koganbot's discussion group. Basically, a 20-page essay that sketches out the concept of a "paradigm shift", although it's never called that.

What came to mind reading this: the scene in Brideshead Revisited where Charles converses with Cordelia, and there's that moment where he realises he's being faced with a totally alien mindset and conception of the universe, rather than - yanno - a normal person with some private spiritual beliefs. XD;;

2) Which segues nicely into: The Big Sort, by Bill Bishop. This was on the Buyer Behaviour class reading list but it's about American demographics and politics rather than marketing per se (although the marketing applications are easily derived). Compact thesis with a great deal of ramifications to sift through.
petronia: (fine cheese)
If you'd caught me any time last week (and probably this one) you would have gotten a rant on the state of the North American economy and/or the Chinese tainted milk scandal which I find as upsetting as anyone could who's not directly affected - for cripes' sake there's a global recall on White Rabbit candies, that's like the Chinese equivalent of Kraft dinner being tainted, it's just not right. I'd been seriously considering moving back to Shanghai to work for a while, but then the idea comes that it's nuts to leave Canada for a place where smog is normality and infant formula isn't fit to drink. That never used to be a consideration, but as I get older it sort of... is. :/

Anyway, the point was more that I don't want to talk about stuff like that on the internet. XD Instead I'll talk about LUCKY☆ STAR, which T. and I are currently watching. This series is like hanyaaaaan~~~ XD Relaxing, I guess, because of the note-perfect evocation of coasting through high school, even though I wasn't even an anime fan back then (and online gaming barely existed). BAD STUDY HABITS R 4 LIFE. Kagamin is my ideal, in practice it's a combination of Tsukasa and Konata to this day - sleep patterns especially. Meanwhile T. is procrastinating hardcore on her Ph.D. thesis, she says the table of contents alone is 18 pages and counting. We had a serious discussion re: how by some measures we're becoming less responsible, since before we used to panic and/or feel guilty about not getting stuff done or cutting daily-life corners and now it's just like, whatevs! Ecksdee ecksdee.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] ladysisyphus wrote me some farfuture!Vaan and Penelo as part of a request meme, and there is some mindbogglingly awesome fanart happening at [livejournal.com profile] bangbangwhimper. (My stuff if anyone wants to try. XD By the evidence people want to do f/f pictures though, don't they.) I'm also thinking of standardizing SSBB's logo, but that's a design job in and of itself.
petronia: (happy place)
MUXTAPE: BACK TO THE NINETIES

First person to accurately identify all anime series wins a Gundam the right to emote over a misspent youth.

(Bonus if you get the season right too)

June 2016

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