Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Legend of Korra Finale

Before I talk about the Legend of Korra finale, I want to talk about Avatar the Last Airbender a little bit, since that's where it all began.  I also feel that the book 4 finale wasn't just the end of Korra, but the end of Avatar as well, since they are connected.  Oh, and another thing, this will not be spoiler free.  If you have not seen these shows in their entirety, you may not want to read this, just in case.  You definitely should not be reading this if you have not seen the Legend of Korra finale.

Avatar the Last Airbender is my favorite animated TV show.  I remember turning on the TV when I was a kid, and watching Aang and Katara's cave scene from the second episode of book 2, "The Cave of Two Lovers".  I watched other bits and pieces from book 2 as a kid, but it wasn't until some years later that I watched all four books and fell in love with it.

I have never loved a show more deeply than I have Avatar the Last Airbender.  The world the characters live in is so enriched and well developed, it feels real to me.  The characters feel like family to me, the animation is beautiful, the music is wonderfully atmospheric, and there are many complex themes that bring a lot of maturity to the show.  There are so many great elements, like the influence of Eastern culture and philosophies, Zuko's incredible character development, and Iroh's wisdom.  Avatar the Last Airbender balances humor and emotion effortlessly.  The emotionally heavy scenes have a strong impact on me every time I watch them.

All in all, Avatar the Last Airbender is life changing, and has benefited many people's lives, including mine.

When the sequel series to Avatar began in 2012, titled The Legend of Korra, naturally I was interested in watching it.  It took a while for me to warm up to it, since it didn't feel the same as Avatar in many ways.  I had also just finished watching Avatar, so I was deeply saddened by the absence of the old characters.

However, I grew to like The Legend of Korra more and more as I watched it.  I found that book 1 was very creative and intriguing (the development of the Avatar universe, all of the world building that went into it, and the new character designs especially), with an absolutely fantastic villain.

Amon, a villain after my own heart.

Getting to meet Toph's daughter, Lin, and Aang's son and grandchildren, was enough to keep me watching, and I was always on the lookout for references to Avatar.  Overall, I thought it was pretty good, even if it wasn't quite as good as Avatar the Last Airbender was.

While book 1 was very solid, book 2 was more of a mixed bag.  I hated all of the drama between Korra, Mako, and Asami.  I didn't particularly like the romance between Korra and Mako in book 1, but that was tolerable compared to all of the drama in book 2.  I hated Mako for not being able to make up his mind, going from one girl to the other, and mistreating them both.  To summarize, I thought Mako was a character with a lot of wasted potential, and thoroughly disliked how he neglected to take full responsibility for his actions.  Thankfully, his character improved vastly once he was no longer in a relationship with anyone, and I grew to like him in book 3 and 4.

Although book 2 was messy at times, Beginnings part 1 and 2 were phenomenal, and the finale was amazing as well.  I loved that book 2 focused on spirituality, since that was one of the elements of Avatar the Last Airbender that I enjoyed the most.  It was the final episodes of book 2 that made me fall in love with The Legend of Korra.

Book 3 and 4 blew me away with their high quality.  They are the reason I now love Korra almost as much as I love Avatar, which is saying a lot.  The Legend of Korra is now one of my favorite shows, and I firmly believe it is one of the best animated shows ever made.

(It should be noted that the creators of The Legend of Korra thought book 1 was all there was going to be, but Nickelodeon changed their mind.  I think the reason there seems to be a smoother transition between book 3 and 4, is because the creators had more time to plan ahead.  If Nickelodeon didn't mistreat The Legend of Korra as much as they did, a lot of issues could have been avoided.)

After becoming so emotionally attached to The Legend of Korra, I was dreading the book 4 finale, because I knew there wouldn't be any more Korra after that.  I was in denial for a while after it ended.

However, I find that I've finally come to terms with Korra ending, and am now ready to reflect on it.

So, without further ado, here are some of my thoughts on the Legend of Korra finale.

At first, I was not completely satisfied with how it ended.  Due to some false rumors, I had thought that the Fire Nation would be featured in book 4, as well as Zuko and his daughter, Izumi.  So I was disappointed (and still am) that Zuko and Izumi only had a few short appearances.

There were also rumors that Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee would be returning, which obviously did not happen.  If I hadn't believed these rumors (which were a little unrealistic now that I think about it), I may have felt more satisfied with how things ended.  But it's difficult not to be disappointed when something you hoped would happen doesn't happen.

I was also disappointed with the lack of Kai in book 4, since I really liked him in book 3, and would have liked to see his relationship with Jinora developed further.  Kai mentions to Opal in one scene that his long distance relationship with Jinora is going well, but they are never seen interacting.  They are shown standing next to each other in a few scenes, but that's it.

Despite my complaints, I love the finale overall.  Kuvira proved to be an excellent villain, with an understandable motivation, and in the end, she was a character I could sympathize with.  None of the antagonists in Legend of Korra are evil for the sake of being evil; they are all three dimensional characters.  Zelda Williams does an outstanding job of making Kuvira sound determined and threatening, while also revealing her vulnerability beneath her cold and seemingly collected exterior.

The action scenes in the finale are incredible.  I could feel the weight of the giant mecha suit Kuvira was controlling, and how much everyone struggled to take it down.  I thought it was really cool how the mecha suit mirrored all of Kuvira's movements.

I am so proud of how much Korra, Mako, and Bolin have grown.  They have all changed so much since book 1.

I love that Korra saw herself in Kuvira, and the parallels made between them really made me think.  Korra risked her life saving Kuvira without hesitation, which I think is an incredibly selfless and admirable act.  Korra had her flaws in book 1, but I believe they were necessary for her character growth in book 3 and 4.  She pulled through all of her hardships, which makes her a big inspiration in my eyes.

Mako also displayed an act of selflessness in the finale, which is one of my favorite scenes.  This scene gave me very strong Zuko vibes, and I was reminded of Zuko and Azula's Agni Kai in the book 3 finale of Avatar.

I was worried for a moment that Mako wouldn't make it, but thankfully he did.  I'm not sure I'd be able to handle it if he actually died.  Asami's father, on the other hand, was not so fortunate.  His death was sad, but I feel it redeemed him.  I don't know why, but I really love this particular moment:

I love that this moment is shown in slow motion.  You can almost mark the exact moment she realizes what is happening.  Speaking of the animation, the visuals in the last few episodes are breathtaking.  Just look at all the vivid colors displayed here:

I've heard some complaints about Varrick having so much focus placed on him in the finale, but I absolutely love Varrick and could not be more happy that he and Zhu Li finally did the thing and got married.  I mean, just look at how adorable they are.  I would have been really disappointed if they didn't get married.  I could hardly believe it when Varrick proposed (I pretty much freaked out).

And the soundtrack, thanks to Jeremy Zuckerman, was beautiful as always, and captured the emotions perfectly.  The music playing during the very last scene is especially emotional and beautiful.  But the ending scene is something I am going to discuss in a separate post, since I have a lot to say about it.

Well, those are a few of my thoughts on the finale.  I wanted to make this my last post in 2014, so here it is.  Happy New Year's!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's been a while since I last posted anything...

The last thing I said in my previous post:  "I plan to post much more consistently now that school's over...I hope to catch up this summer by spending much more time updating my stories and as I said, posting more on my blog."


Hahahahahaha. Ha.

Soooooo...that didn't really go as planned.  Obviously.

The last time I posted anything was months ago.  And I didn't post a single thing all summer.  I did work on editing my stories, but this blog has been abandoned for a long time now.

I have come to the conclusion that I am not really capable of keeping my word, at least not as far as updating my blog is concerned.  So I've decided it's best not to make any promises from hereon out, because I can't really predict when I'll have time to post anything.

Needless to say, I'm a little frustrated with myself for leaving my blog abandoned for so long.  Again.  To be fair, I've been pretty busy with college ever since the summer break ended.  But I have no excuse for not posting all summer.  That was a result of sheer laziness, lack of motivation, and a lot of anime-watching.

Over the past few months, I've developed and changed a lot as a person.  I've become even more passionate about social issues than I was before, and I've been getting into other stuff.  For instance, my friend's roommates at her college have inducted me into the K-pop (Korean pop music) fandom.  I mean, I liked K-pop before, but now I'm a full blown fangirl.  But it's not my fault K-pop is so addicting.  Some things just can't be helped.

I'm still a fan of Jessie J and Lana Del Rey (I remember how I used to gush over them in the early days of this blog), but I've moved on since then and am now exploring other genres, such as the aforementioned K-pop.

Anyway (I'm starting to notice I say that a lot).  In other news, I'm starting to wear makeup more often.  I never did before, since I have sensitive eyes that sometimes have bad reactions to eye makeup.  But lately I've been able to control the reactions.  As long as my eyes aren't triggered into reacting, wearing things like mascara and eyeliner don't bother me anymore and I find I am a lot more comfortable with it now.  I've wanted to try applying winged eyeliner for a long time now, so I did.  This is attempt #2, after a dance performance I had for a hip hop class.

I have freakishly large owlish eyes...

Speaking of hip hop, I have also changed over the past months in the way that I no longer dislike modern dance forms.  I find that I've loosened up a lot more in that respect and am more open to other dance styles.

I am also taking Cultural Anthropology, and may be going to Ireland this summer to study castles and the High Kings of Ireland.  I haven't been to Ireland in years, so I'm pretty excited about that.

I watched a lot of anime over the summer, as well as the first two seasons of Supernatural (a series I became interested in after seeing so much of it on Tumblr).  I've missed Blogger.  But Tumblr is more accessible in a way.  It takes less energy and motivation to simply like and reblog a post, or publish a short text post, or to scroll through a tag.  Posting on Blogger, at least for me, takes a lot more thought and effort.  I think part of the reason I've been gone so long is because I lacked the motivation and energy it takes to update.  That and college, which has been taking up a lot of my time.

I remember that I used to dislike when people didn't care.  Sorry to disappoint Past Me, but I have become just that.  I no longer care.  And I said goodbye to my motivation a long time ago.  High School made sure of that.  *shudders* I don't want to think about High School.  That was a dark time.  But thankfully the past is in the past (haha, I made a Frozen reference...I know, I'm lame).

I have so many posts saved in my drafts that I've wanted to publish for a long time, like a Fault in Our Stars review and my top favorite animated films, but I never got around to any of those.  And now, I'm not sure I'll ever get around to them.  I will also probably never finish the Doctor Who tag I started a long time ago, since I don't really watch Doctor Who anymore and have moved on from it.  But who knows, maybe some day I'll get back to that.

But since I've never been able to muster up enough motivation to work on any of those things, I think it would be better if I just let them go.  I'd rather move on and post about the things I'm currently interested in, or else I'd lack motivation in writing.  And since I want (or rather, hope) to start posting on my blog again, I'd rather avoid that.

I've missed Blogger and the friends I made here, so I'm glad to be back.

Thursday, May 29, 2014



A lot has happened in my life lately.  For one, I am finally done with high school.  I graduated this week, and so did all of my friends.  It was a little depressing, actually, because I know I may never see some of them again.  Of course I'll keep in touch with my closest friends, but I may never see some of them in person again, which saddens me.  I don't know if I should feel happy that I'm no longer a high schooler or horrified that time has gone by so quickly.


The night before my last day of high school was the worst all-nighter of my entire high school experience, no, scratch that, of my life.  I was so stressed out about my exams I had what I think was an anxiety attack or nervous breakdown.  Or both.  I'm not really sure if there's a difference.  But whatever.  After the last day of school it felt like all the stress of high school over the years came toppling down on me and I was completely exhausted.  I was basically like:

So I'm glad that's all over with.  However, I will miss my film class.  Film was the class I enjoyed most, not only in my senior year, but in all four years of high school.  I enjoyed writing every essay we were assigned to write, especially the last one.  For our last essay, we were assigned to write about our favorite film and why we connected to it personally.  I chose to write about Frozen.  Best.  Essay.  Ever.  I thought such essays were only assigned in dreams.  My only complaint was that we were required to write only two to three pages.  I had to restrain myself from blabbering on and on, since I had a lot to say.  Part of me wanted to talk about Kristoff, Anna, and Hans, but I decided to keep it mostly focused on Elsa's character, since I related to her the most.

Another class I enjoyed a lot was Art.  I think this was my favorite project out of all the ones I did, even though I ran out of time to do the background:

Drawn with pastel

In other news, I adopted two cats from a cat shelter.   One is a boy named Pirate.  I decided not to change his name, since it had a nice ring to it and I had gotten so used to attaching that name to him.  He had gotten skin cancer from being a street cat and being exposed to too much sun on a daily basis.  The cancer spread around one of his eyes, so it had to be taken out, as well as one of his ears.  The vet said nothing more could be done, and she wasn't sure how much longer he has to live.  He is bursting with personality, though, and is one of the most loving animals I've ever befriended.  I'm not looking forward to when I'll have to say goodbye, but I think giving him the chance to experience life outside the shelter before he goes is worth it.  He's not too fond of my rough collies, though.  It's kind of funny, my dogs seem eager to befriend my cats, but my cats simply ignore them by turning their back, and act completely indifferent when they're not hissing them.  At least, Pirate's like that.  The other cat I adopted, Esmeralda, is very inexperienced.  She's much shyer than Pirate - Pirate adapted very quickly, in fact he settled in on the first day.  Esmeralda was in the shelter for a long time.  I think this may be why she is so fearful of everything, because she doesn't know what to expect.  She's warming up to me, though.  She also went up to one of my dogs and kind of booped him on the nose.  I named her Esmeralda because of her green eyes (she reminded me of the Disney character from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, since she has green eyes too).  I got a picture of Pirate on his first day out of the shelter, and I would have gotten one of Esmeralda too, but she was pretty camera shy.

Pirate on his first day out of the shelter
Pirate's eyes are huge and golden-colored.  He makes me think of Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.  I mean, his eyes even have a similar shape:

I've been watching a lot of Anime.  It's all my friend's fault.  I think the first Anime I watched may have been Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan, but really, it all started when she suggested I watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (which is now my favorite Anime).  So I guess it's her fault I've developed a crush on Roy Mustang.

Every time I see Roy in an episode...

It might seem weird to crush on a fictional character, but hey, I'm already weird anyways.  My friend even drew a mini Roy for me as a birthday present.

Well, now that I think about it, my interest in Anime really began when I watched the sequel series to Avatar:  The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra.  Now I've seen so many, like Ouran High School Host Club, Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, Kimi ni Todoke, and others.  I've also been watching more Studio Ghibli movies, like Grave of the Fireflies, which is a very sad film about World War II, and Howl's Moving Castle, which I love to bits.

I'm really thankful to my friend for showing me the world of Anime, because now I know more about Japanese culture, which I hadn't known very much about before.  She's also been teaching me some Japanese - she even taught me how to pronounce the first few lines of my favorite opening theme song from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which is a really beautiful song.  It's called "Again", by Yui.

And then here's an English cover of Again that I like:

I made another one of my friends watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood after I finished watching it, because it was so good.  Now we both ship Edwin (Ed x Winry) and Royai (Roy x Riza).

One of my favorite Edwin moments:  "It's your hands, they
weren't meant to kill.  They're meant to give life.  That's why."
One of my favorite Royai moments:  "I've done it again, I've hurt you."

Well, that's what's been going on with me.  I plan to post much more consistently now that school's over.  I haven't been writing much in general, which worries me.  I hope to catch up this summer by spending much more time updating my stories and as I said, posting more on my blog.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Brave (2012)

I found out about the Pixar movie Brave when I saw the first teaser trailer, which was released in 2011.  From the first few seconds of the trailer, I guessed it was something Celtic.  I was so excited when I discovered that Pixar was going to do a Scottish story, with a Scottish heroine.  Not only a Scottish heroine, but one with a bow and arrow and brilliant red hair.  I was even more excited about Brave, because the trailer gave the impression of it being a fantasy and adventure story of epic proportions.

However, as trailers frequently are, it was very misleading.  The movie was not how the trailer made it seem at all.  Although a fairly simple, personal, and heart-felt story about the relationship of a daughter and her mother is not at all a bad thing, it's difficult not to be disappointed when something is very different from what you expected.  Although Brave is a perfectly nice film the way it is, the misleading trailer did far more harm than good.  If the trailer had been more accurate in its portrayal of the movie, I think fewer people would have felt so let down by it.

Despite the issues I have with Brave, I feel that overall it is a gorgeous film, on multiple levels.  One of the most stunning and impressive aspects of the film is the completely amazing animation.  The scenery of Scotland is shown in lush detail with vivid splashes of color.  I mean, just look at the waterfall in this scene.  It's almost as if you could touch it and feel the spray of water on your face.  I love the way the sunlight makes the water gleam.  It kind of looks like liquid sunlight.

Then there's Merida's epic strands of bright red hair.

And of course, there is the mother and daughter relationship, which I find so incredibly refreshing.  I appreciate that it isn't black and white - neither the mother or daughter are completely wrong.  They need to listen to each other and learn from each other, because both are right about some things and wrong about some things.  It seems so rare for a Disney/Pixar film to have the focus of the story be on the mother and daughter.  In fact, many Disney films don't have a mother present at all.  There is also no romantic interest, which brings me to one of the messages in Brave.  Merida is a heroine that feels she isn't ready for marriage, she doesn't want it, and she is not interested in it at all.  And that's perfectly okay.  She's happy the way she is, and she is pursuing a dream that does not include a male romantic interest.  That is very important.

What I love about the characters in Brave is how lively they all are.  Their voice actors bring so much life to them.  They all have colorful personalities that are well developed.  I think my favorite part of the film may be the family aspect.  I love Merida's family and how close they are, and how well they know each other.  The way they interact feels so real.  Although the relationship between Merida and her mother (Queen Elinor) is the focus of the film, I completely adore Fergus and Merida's interactions.  They seem to understand each other so well, not to mention they have the same sense of humor.

"I bet he wishes he was tossing cabers."  "Or holding up bridges."

I love Fergus and Elinor's relationship as well.  Their understanding of each other is demonstrated so well throughout the film.  In more than one scene Elinor merely has to look at Fergus for him to understand how she feels or what she thinks.  At times Merida's family is a completely disjointed, wild, and crazy mess, but they all love each other deeply, and I absolutely love that about them.

Another part of Brave that I find to be refreshing is the humor.  I guess some people found it to be immature, or disapproved of the instances of nudity, but for me, the humor was one of the best parts of the movie.  Brave had my mom laughing a lot, and my cousins enjoyed it as well.  If you don't like the humor in Brave, chances are you aren't accustomed to Scottish (or Irish) humor.  I was impressed Pixar had the guts to include some of the humorous scenes that were in the movie.

Although I found the plot to be slightly lacking, the atmosphere in Brave is excellently done.  There is a strong sense of mystery and enchantment.  The story easily could have been a Celtic fairy tale instead of being about bears.  There was a story behind the evil bear Mor'du, but the film hardly went into it at all.  I wish it could have delved into the element of magic far more.  The will o' the wisps should have had more involvement with the story, and the witch should not have been reduced to comic relief when she could have been a more intriguing, dark, mysterious, and magical character.  There are times when comic relief works well (for example Olaf in Frozen) but the witch was not a good character to assign that role to.

Even though Brave did not go into the fairy tale aspect as much as I had wished, the atmosphere was there and it was done well.  The soundtrack helped accomplish this.  One of my favorite songs from the soundtrack is Noble Maiden Fair (or A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal).  This song is sung beautifully in Scottish Gaelic.  It makes me so happy that the soundtrack featured a song in the Scottish language.

Another song I love from the soundtrack is Touch the Sky.  The scene that plays this song in the background is one of my favorite scenes.

I'll put another one of my favorite scenes here as well.  This is when Merida rips her dress, symbolizing that she is breaking away from her constrictions, and she shoots the arrows in defiance of her mother.  I always get chills when she shoots the last arrow.

I like that Merida is a strong and confident female character, but I don't understand why the suitors lined up for her have to all be shown as complete dorks.  It would have been cooler if they were on the same level as Merida, but Merida still had no interest in marrying any of them.

I have recently noticed, though, that the suitors seem to be trying to match the image their fathers are projecting of them, but not all of them are completely comfortable with this.  I think Brave may be showing how gender roles are constricting and hold you back from being your true self, not just through Merida's character, but through the suitors also. 

I really appreciate that Brave delved into Scottish culture as much as it did, but there is a historical inaccuracy that has bothered me a lot ever since I noticed it.  In the scene showing the Highland Games, there is a very brief cut to some girls doing highland dancing on a stage, with their hair up in buns.  I am very disappointed that Pixar made this mistake.  You don't have to research about Highland dancing that much to learn that Highland dancing was always performed by males, and not performed on a stage.  The origin of Highland dancing are sword dances, performed by men in ritualized war dances.

So, as I stated earlier, Brave is a lovely movie when looked at as a whole, despite its shortcomings.  It's personal, emotional, and real.  The animation, atmosphere, and soundtrack are all brilliant.  The comedic scenes make me laugh, and the ending brings me close to tears every time I watch it.  However, I feel that story-wise, Brave is severely lacking.  There just could have been a lot...well, more.  The movie was bursting with potential, but not a lot of it was realized.  Nonetheless, I did enjoy this movie.  Although it's not Pixar's best, and not quite an outstanding film, it is still a very good film, and I will watch it many times in my life.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sunflower Blogger Award

I've been nominated for the Sunflower Blogger Award by Lizzie at His Redeemed Child.  Thanks so much for nominating me!

The rules:

- Share eleven facts
- Answer the nominator's questions
- Set your own questions
- Nominate eleven more bloggers

Eleven facts about me:

1)  I am very close (finally) to getting my Irish passport and citizenship that I talked about in a post a while ago.  I'm so happy about this!

Korra gets how I feel

2)  I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I do not like Emma 2009.  I am in the minority on this, but I actually prefer the 1996 version.  I don't think the 1996 version is perfect either, but I like it more than 2009.

Emma 2009 (left) and Emma 1996 (right)

3)  I think I've mentioned this before, but I am politically liberal, although I don't agree with everything, for example I am against abortion.

4)  I am also a feminist.

5)  I love the BBC shows Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Merlin, and Doctor Who.

6)  I love the show Once Upon a Time and am a hardcore Captain Swan shipper.

7)  I used to not like Anime, but now I love it and am beginning to watch more of it.

8)  I am introverted, often shy, and socially awkward (more so when I was a kid, but I still am very shy around people sometimes).  I'm also kind of an airhead.  I have a big imagination and sometimes I block out the world around me and get lost in my thoughts, which is why I relate to Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables.

9)  Speaking of Anne of Green Gables, it is my favorite book.  I am a huge L. M. Montgomery fan.  She is definitely my favorite writer, and one of the most inspirational people for me, besides my great grandmother.

10)  I have twelve cousins in all, but only two of them are my first cousins.

11)  I plan on moving to Ireland at some point in my life.  My Irish heritage is a huge part of my identity, even though my Irish cousins make fun of the fact that I was born in America and am probably very Americanized.

Eleven questions:

1)  What name would you choose if you could or had to change your name?

I wouldn't change my name, but there are a lot of other names I like.  I would probably choose an Irish name, like Aoife or Deirdre.  I also like Dallas (although that is not an Irish name).  But then my name's already Irish, and like I said before, I'd never want to change it.  When I was little, though, I wanted to change my name to Kelly, but I have long since changed my mind, and I am now very satisfied and happy with my name.

2)  What place in the world (time travel included) would you most like to visit? e. g. Paris in the 1920's, Egypt, 1500 B. C., etc.

That's a really hard question.  There are so many time periods and places I'd want to go to.  I think I'd most like to visit the Regency Era in England, the Edwardian era on Prince Edward Island, or the 1930's or 1940's so I could see how my great grandparents were doing during the Great Depression and during the war.  Now that I think of it, I'd also like to go to the 1960's and 1970's for the great music and the Hippie vibe.  Or maybe I could go to the 1530's and try to meet Anne Boleyn.  I can't decide, there are too many cool options!  Although time traveling would be very dangerous...I might be thinking about this question too much. XD

3)  How would you choose to spend a lovely, sunny spring day?

It would depend on how sunny.  If it were mildly sunny, I might walk my dogs and go to a park.  If it were really sunny I'd probably stay indoors and read, write, listen to music, or sketch.  I'm not really a fan of warm weather.  I'd want to go outside more if it rained, as I prefer cold or rainy weather.

4)  What are three of your favorite books?  Three favorite movies?  Books that were made into movies?

My favorite books are Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery, any one of the Emily series by L. M. Montgomery, and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.  Books I love that were made, or are still being made into movies are the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, and The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  Three of my favorite movies (I have way too many favorite movies...too many to count, to be honest) are Pride and Prejudice 1995, North and South 2004, and Frozen by Disney. :D

5)  Do you play an instrument?  If so, which one? If not, is there an instrument you would like to learn?

Well, I played the recorder in fourth grade, if that counts.  I played piano for a while, and was able to play a few Christmas carols on it, but gradually I stopped playing and forgot how.  I played the violin for five years.  Now, I just play the guitar (steel-stringed), but I'm still a beginner.  I used to want to play the cello, and sometimes I wish I had played it instead of the violin.  I'm interested in learning how to play the harp, but I don't think it's likely I will, at least not in the near future.  I'd also like to play the electric guitar.

6)  What kind of pets/animals do you have, if any?  If none, would you like to have?

I used to have goldfish when I was little, but I was always scared they were hungry so I would over feed them.  My brother still blames me for killing them, but I honestly didn't mean to.  When I was older, I had a golden retriever, but my family had to give her away when we moved.  I've always felt very sad about that.  A few years ago, my family got two rough collies, because as a kid I always wanted a dog like Lassie.

Lassie (1943)
The questions I came up with:

- If you could go into any fictional world and meet your favorite character, what world would that be and who is the character?
- What is your ethnic heritage and/or cultural identity?
- Top favorite movies you had when you were little?  Do you still love them as much as you did then?
- What are some of your favorite singers and/or bands?
- Do you have a favorite fairy tale, myth, or legend?
- Name a genre of music you absolutely love, and one you can't stand.

You know what?  I'm just going to nominate everyone (sorry if that's breaking the rules).  So anyone who wants to participate in the tag, go ahead! :D

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Favorite Fictional Couples

I am really sorry for not posting in such a long time.  The last time I posted anything was in December, and now it's February.  It bothers me that this blog has been left abandoned for so long.  From now on, I will try to post more frequently.

Anyway, since it was Valentine's Day yesterday, I made a list of my favorite fictional couples (they are not listed in any particular order).  Since there are so many, I tried to narrow it down.  Even so, it's still really long.  I have left out any couples from Period Dramas, to help shorten the list.  I am going to make a separate list on my Period Drama blog for all of my favorite Period couples.

Feel free to agree or disagree with any of my choices and express why in the comments.  I am very interested in other people's opinions, so you're more than welcome to share your thoughts.  I listed every couple by their ship name, or the pairing if there isn't a ship name for them (or I was just not aware of one).

- Everlark (Katniss and Peeta)

I read The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins a few years ago.  I remember from the very first instance Katniss and Peeta interacted, I shipped them.  I thought the romance between them was done pretty well in the books, but not quite as well in the movies (however I think it improved in Catching Fire).  I still like the movies a lot too, though.  I thought the first movie was pretty good, but Catching Fire was a major improvement in many areas.

I really love the relationship that develops between these two.  They balance each other out - Katniss is strong in some ways, and Peeta is strong in others.  They build a strong emotional bond and trust each other.  They help each other heal from the damage they experience.  I think Katniss needs Peeta.  One of my favorite quotes from Mockingjay expresses this perfectly:  "That what I need to survive is not Gale's fire, kindled with rage and hatred.  I have plenty of fire myself.  What I need is the dandelion in the spring.  The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction.  The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses.  That it can be good again.  And only Peeta can give me that."

- Captain Swan (Hook and Emma)

I didn't ship Captain Swan right away, in fact I don't remember when I started shipping them.  It was a gradual process.  I don't recall exactly which episode, but early on in season three, I realized I had shipped them all along and it was too late to turn back.  Whether I liked it or not I had become a hardcore CS shipper.  I never thought Captain Swan would actually happen, but so far, in season three, things are definitely looking up.  The fact this ship is developing so well makes me so happy.  It's like a dream come true, especially considering I never thought this ship would have a chance.

I could write a whole essay on why this pairing is so great, but I'll leave all that for another day.  Instead, have this video showing all the awesome parallels between Captain Swan and Snowing (Snow and Charming):

Knowing two of my OTPs parallel each other this well makes me very very very happy. :D

- Eleven and River Song

I don't know why, but there's just something about River Song and the eleventh Doctor's relationship that I absolutely love.  River seems to love the Doctor so much, it breaks my heart to think about it sometimes.  I don't even know what to say about Eleven and River, I just really love them together.

- Rogue and Gambit

Gambit (left) and Rogue (right) from X-Men (1992 - 1997).

Rogue (left) and Gambit (right) from X-Men:  Evolution.

Rogue and Gambit are my favorite couple from The X-Men.  My favorite version of these characters are from the T.V. series X-Men (1992 - 1997).  Although I also love Gambit and Rogue in X-Men:  Evolution, one of my favorite animated T.V. shows, they never got a chance to develop their relationship very much, since the show never continued after season four.  X-Men:  Evolution had so much potential for a fifth season.  I am very disappointed they didn't continue.

- Sherlolly  (Sherlock and Molly)

Molly and Sherlock talking in The Empty Hearse.

Although I also ship Adlock (Sherlock and Irene Adler), I ship Sherlolly the most.  It is my favorite pairing in Sherlock.  I can't really explain why, they just feel right together.  Molly humanizes Sherlock and keeps him in check.  I don't think she will ever get over him, no matter how hard she tries.  Both characters have grown so much in series three.  After watching His Last Vow, I ship them even more than before.

- Iris and Gilbert

Iris and Gilbert are from my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Lady Vanishes.  They had great chemistry and their bantering back and forth was hilarious.  I watched The Lady Vanishes (it was one of my first Alfred Hitchcock movies, along with The 39 Steps) when I was little, and I'm pretty sure I shipped them without even knowing it.

- Belle and the Beast

I love a lot of Disney characters, but I've realized that when I was little, the only Disney characters I loved together, that made me care whether they ended up together or not, were Belle and Adam/the Beast.  For example, I love Aladdin, but I never really cared if he and Jasmine got together (although A Whole New World was a great song).  Belle and Adam are definitely my favorite Disney couple, and were the only ones I truly shipped, at least before Tangled and Frozen came along...

- Amy Pond and Rory Williams

The boy and girl who waited...they waited a lot.

Amy and Rory are my favorite companions in Doctor Who.  I loved their relationship, and shipped them from the very start.  There seemed to be some sort of attraction on Amy's part towards the Doctor , but I never bought it.  Rory was always the one for her.  Honestly I hated the idea of Amy and Eleven being romantically involved, and found it rather strange and unnecessary.  Thankfully that whole thing didn't last for too long.  Rory loved Amy no matter what.  I mean, he waited two thousand years for her.  They loved each other no matter how long they had to wait.

- Snowing (Snow and Charming)

Snowing was my OTP when I first started watching Once Upon a Time, and it still is.  No matter what happens, they will always find each other.  I don't have much else to say.  This couple is simply perfection.

- Goliath and Elisa

Gargoyles (1994 - 1996) is one of my favorite animated shows.  One thing about it that makes it so great is the relationship between Goliath and Elisa.  Both characters have a deep respect for the other and seem to have an understanding of one another.  Their relationship grows beautifully throughout the show.

- Rumbelle (Rumplestiltskin and Belle)

Rumbelle, like Snowing, is another one of my OTPs from Once Upon a Time.  I loved their relationship from the start, and loved watching them grow together and learn from each other.  Belle brings out the best in Rumpel, and loves him despite his dark side, something Rumpel has not found in anyone before.

- Chihiro and Haku

Spirited Away was my second Studio Ghibli film (Kiki's Delivery Service was my first).  The first time I watched it I was pretty young.  My grandma had bought it for me, unaware of the frightening scenes in it and not knowing it would scare me.  I made it up to the scene that the parents turned into pigs.  When I saw that, I turned the T.V. off.  For that whole day I was too afraid to eat anything, because I thought it would turn me into a pig.  When I was older, I tried watching it again, this time making it to the end.  I loved it.  Spirited Away has been one of my favorite movies ever since.  I have always loved Chihiro and Haku, and the bond they have.  They definitely deserve a spot on this list.

- Rapunzel and Eugene

Words cannot express the extent to which I love Tangled.  This film is perfect in every way, and so is the romance between Rapunzel and Eugene.  In my opinion, it is the most romantic romance Disney has ever done.  Well, along with a certain other Disney couple from a movie that starts with F...

- Kristanna (Kristoff and Anna)

AAAAAHHHHH.  I.  Love.  Frozen.  So.  So.  So.  Soooo much.  Everything about it is refreshing, including the romance.  I love that they crushed the idea of falling in love at first sight with the perfect prince, and took a more realistic and refreshing route.

- Sean Thornton and Mary Kate

This couple is from one of my favorite Irish movies, The Quiet Man.  John Wayne had great chemistry with Maureen O'Hara, and they made an unforgettable pair as Thornton and Mary Kate.  What I love most about their relationship is how they are completely equal with one another (which is why they remind me of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice).  Equality between romantic partners is a quality I especially appreciate, since this movie was made in the 1950's, a time that was not very equal in all sorts of socio-economic areas. 

- Kataang (Katara and Aang)

Kataang is my favorite ship from Avatar:  The Last Airbender.  Both Katara and Aang understand each other deeply and share an unbreakable connection.  From the very beginning, it was meant to be.  Katara brought Aang back to life when she found him in the iceberg, and from then on, Aang grew to love her more and more.  I think it took Katara longer to become fully aware of her love for Aang in return, but it was always there.

- Irohsami (Iroh II and Asami Sato)

Yeah, I know Irohsami isn't canon.  I shall cry internally for all time because of this.  The potential the Legend of Korra writers are missing by not making this ship canon just hurts me to think about.  However, I still hold onto hope that some day, perhaps in book three or four, Irohsami's ship will sail.  And it will sail beautifully.

I know I sound really over-dramatic right now but it honestly hurts that this ship is not canon.  They would be the most classy couple to ever walk the earth.  Trust me.

- Tonraq and Senna

I have always liked the relationship between Korra's parents in The Legend of Korra.  They seem to love each other a lot.  It makes me so happy that they were featured more in book two. 

- Fiolee  (Fionna and Marshall Lee)

I was very wary of watching Adventure Time, since it seemed like such a weird and crazy show.  But over time, it has definitely grown on me.  My favorite pairing from this show is Fionna and Marshall Lee.  They feel very natural together and I can't help but love them to bits. 

- Jelsa (Jack Frost and Elsa)

I rarely ship crossover couples, but Jelsa is definitely one of my OTPs.  The reason I ship Elsa (from Frozen by Disney) and Jack Frost (from Rise of the Guardians by Dreamworks) is not because they share similar powers, although that is a bonus.  I can easily see them getting along and their personalities just really seem to compliment each other.  I can easily imagine them interacting in my head.  My headcanon is that Jack would encourage Elsa's powers.  Even if she wasn't romantically interested in him, she would definitely find a friend in him.

- Linzin (Tenzin and Lin Beifong)

I've always shipped Tenzin with Lin, from The Legend of Korra.  Despite their claims of having moved on, I think they still have feelings for one another.  They seem to fit each other perfectly.

- Armin and Annie

"Do I look like such a good person to you?" 

The only thing I don't like about Attack on Titan, something which frustrates me a lot, is how some pairings are hinted at or start being established, then are completely ignored afterwards, for example Mikasa and Jean.  In my opinion, the only relationship that gets some thorough development is the one between Eren and Mikasa, and their friend, Armin.  Eren and Mikasa have a really well developed brother and sister relationship, although some fans ship them romantically.  Out of the romantic pairings I like (Mikasa and Jean, Levi and Hanji, and Armin and Annie), Armin and Annie seem to have the most development.  Annie seems concerned with how Armin thinks of her, and in one scene asks what being a good person meant to him.  Their relationship interests me a lot, and I hope it continues to develop in the future, although the ending of season one left a lot of questions and I am unsure of what will happen next. 

- Amorra (Amon and Korra)

Amorra is one of my top OTPs.  Although it never had a chance of becoming canon, I will ship it till the end of time (and then keep on shipping it after that).  Other than being enemies, Korra and Amon have a very intriguing relationship, that leads to a lot of potential.  Both have different political views, but underneath their differences, they are actually similar in many ways.  Although Korra at first fears Amon, she later grows stronger and finds her bravery.  Both have their strengths and meet each other on an equal playing field.  They test each other to see what the other will do.  In addition to all of this, Amon and Korra seem to have a subtle attraction towards each other and a chemistry that can't be denied, whether you interpret it romantically or not.  There were more Amorra shippers during book 1 of The Legend of Korra, but some have hung on and continued to ship it, including me.