Friday, June 26, 2015

Love Wins

Today something amazing has happened. I was so happy when I heard the news this morning, I was almost moved to tears.

It's official - there is now equal marriage rights for everyone, in every state of America.  Love wins!

I have always been a strong supporter of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gay rights is equivalent to human rights, and should not be treated as separate concepts.  Gay people are human beings, and they are deserving of equal rights.  I cannot believe it has taken so long for marriage equality to come into place, but I am so happy that day has finally come.

This is such an important day in history, and a huge step forward in the right direction.

I'm going to be honest. I haven't been very vocal about my views on my blog before, aside from a few posts (such as the post expressing how happy I was that Korra and Asami ended up together in The Legend of Korra). I know many bloggers in the community here have different views from mine. This has admittedly made me hesitant to be completely open about my views.

I made a post about my favorite fictional characters a while back, but it only featured heterosexual pairings. I was too afraid to include any gay fictional pairings. I feel that was wrong of me.

I need to stay firm in what I believe in.  I need to take a stand.

I'm going to be open about my views from now on.  Also, I may as well say it now - I'm asexual. Realizing this has been a long journey for me. It feels good to be open about it.

To make up for my first list of fictional pairings, which was not very diverse, I am now going to list some more of my favorite fictional pairings, in no particular order.

1)  Rin and Haru from Free

What I love about Rin and Haru's relationship is how they inspire each other.  Rin sparks a fire in Haru, and affects him in a way no one else can. They are supportive of each other as well.  They have an understanding. Haru has a well developed relationship with many of the characters in Free, but his relationship with Rin, at least to me, is the most remarkable.  Rin's fiery personality goes well with Haru's. They compliment each other.

2)  Haruka and Michiru

Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask aren't the only couple I love in Sailor Moon.  There's also Haruka and Michiru, who are clearly in love.  I watched Sailor Moon when I was very little, so I don't have as much to say about this pairing.  But I will always stand firm in my belief that they are a couple. They clearly care for each other in a romantic way.

3)  Sapphire and Ruby

Recently I've begun to watch Steven Universe, and it is seriously such an amazing show.  It has a lot of great representation and diverse characters.  The scene Sapphire kisses Ruby is one of my favorite moments.

4)  Pearl and Rose

This pairing is also from Steven Universe.  Pearl is head over heels for Rose, and if you think otherwise, all I have to say is you are completely in denial.  What I love most about their relationship is how much Pearl admires and respects Rose.

5)  Marceline and Princess Bubblegum

Marceline and Princess Bubblegum are one of my favorite pairings in Adventure Time.  There are many hints and clues here and there that suggest they were once a couple, so I view them as pretty much canon.  I love how well their personalities compliment each other. You could say they are complete opposites, but perhaps this is why they go together so well.

6)  Jean and Marco

Jean and Marco, or Jeanmarco, is one of my most favorite pairings in the anime Attack on Titan.  Although Marco was a minor character, he had a huge influence on Jean and inspired him to join the Survey Corps.  I wish Marco was given longer to live, because I would have loved to see his relationship with Jean be further developed. 

7)  Korra and Asami

It goes without saying that Korra and Asami have to be on this list.  I remember being so overjoyed that they ended up together.  The creators of The Legend of Korra confirmed that the last scene was intended to be romantic, and that Korra and Asami are bisexual characters.  I love the idea of their friendship growing into something more.  It's really quite beautiful.  Watching them hold hands and gaze at each other lovingly while the music swells in the background makes me emotional every time.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

10 Favorite Characters Tag

I was tagged by Sarah at How to Watch a MovieThanks for tagging me! Sorry this is so late, by the way.

Sarah made an awesome list for this tag, by the way, so go check it out if you haven't!

Instructions: For this quick, fun blog hop, you just name your 10 favorite characters from movies or TV, then tag 10 friends (if you can) to do the same!

I've decided to list my favorite characters in no particular order, to make it easier for myself.

1)  Elizabeth Bennet

I'm going to start with Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.  I have always admired Elizabeth's fiery personality.  I love that she speaks her mind and expresses her opinions.  She doesn't let the limitations placed on women in the Regency Era get her down.  I love her intelligence and her witty comments and observations.

2)  Zuko

Hello, Zuko here.

Avatar the Last Airbender is my favorite animated TV show, and if I had to pick a favorite character, it would be Zuko.  Zuko undergoes an incredible amount of growth as a character.  If I were to use a character for an example of amazing character development, it would be Zuko.  His character development is the best I've ever seen.  I could write a 30 page essay on it.  If you've seen Avatar the Last Airbender, you'll know what I mean.

Character development aside, Zuko is absolutely adorable.  He has so much personality.  At first, he comes off as intimidating and hot tempered, but throughout the show, other sides to him are revealed, and you grow to love him more and more.

3)  Wonder Woman

Not from a particular film or TV show, but I just really love Wonder Woman in general.  I've loved her since I was little.  Female super heroes seem far too rare, or at least, they don't get represented very much in film.  I have been hoping for years that she would get a proper movie, and recently, I've heard she is getting one.  I just hope it's good.  It worries me, however, that the director was changed, because I can't help but feel that's a sign the film making isn't going very smoothly.  I remember the new director is female, which makes me happy.

4)  Gandalf

I love Ian McKellen.  He's one of my favorite actors.  I think Gandalf was the first role I saw him in, and he did an amazing job of playing that character.  He captured the charm of Gandalf's character, and he quickly became my favorite character in the Lord of the Rings series, although Sam would be a close second.  I remember loving Gandalf as a kid, and my love for his character was revived when I went to see The Hobbit.

5)  Violet (Dowager Countess of Grantham)

I used to love Downton Abbey, but sadly I don't really watch it anymore.  I stopped enjoying it as much when both of my OTPs were ruined.  *glares at season 3*

However, I will always love Violet's character.  I absolutely adore Maggie Smith, and she does a fantastic job of making Violet snarky, lovable, and hilarious.

I'm just going to leave this video here because why not.

6)  Haku (spoilers for Spirited Away)

Spirited Away is my favorite Studio Ghibli film.  I love many of the characters in Spirited Away, and Haku is quite possibly my favorite.

Haku is a River Spirit that is able to transform into a dragon, although, this is not revealed right away.  He seems to be shrouded in mystery throughout the movie, and at first, you might not be sure you can trust him.  Chihiro, the main character, becomes doubtful of Haku, but she puts her trust in him and he helps her find her way home in the end.  And in return, Chihiro helps Haku find himself, and gives him his identity and freedom back by telling him his name and reminding him who he really is.  I like characters that are mysterious and questionable, and characters that are trustworthy, caring, and protective.  Haku is all of these things and more, and proves to be an intriguing and memorable character.  Plus he's really cool.  So there's that.

7)  Mulan

Let's get down to business, to defeat, the Huns!

Mulan was my favorite movie as a kid for a lot of reasons, one of them being Mulan's character.  I will admit I looked up to Mulan quite a lot, and I wanted to be like her.  It was inspiring for me to see a female character be capable of fighting and saving the world.  I loved, and still love, her personality as well.  She is definitely one of my most favorite female Disney characters.

8)  Levi Ackerman

Levi is my favorite character in the anime Attack on Titan.  When I first began to love his character, it was mostly for his personality.  Some fans of Attack on Titan view him as cold and gruff, and perhaps he is a little gruff.  But there are so many more sides to him than that.  He tends to express himself through body language rather than words, and although he may seem impassive, it's clear through his actions that he cares deeply for other people.

In the latest manga updates for Attack on Titan, more of Levi's backstory was revealed, to do with his childhood, and what happened to his mother.  It was heartbreaking and provided a lot of insight for his character, but I'll leave it at that.

9)  Marceline

There are a lot of things I like about Marceline from Adventure Time.  I love her singing voice and her personality.

I enjoy episodes with Marceline the most, and my favorite Adventure Time episodes are both to do with her backstory.  I'll admit, those episodes got me a little emotional.

10)  Roy Mustang

There are so many great characters in Fullmetal Alchemist:  Brotherhood, and so many to choose from, but I think I'm going to go with Roy Mustang for this list.  One of the things I love about Roy is how he can be light hearted and humorous one moment, and serious the next.

He can be very intimidating when he wants to be, and he's not above getting revenge for the sake of a friend.  Oh, and he's a flame alchemist, which is pretty cool.

And that's my list!  This was fun to do. :D

Monday, March 2, 2015

Top 6 Most Traumatizing Moments in Childhood Movies

There are a lot of traumatizing moments from childhood movies that I have carried with me...throughout my entire life, basically.

These scenes are ordered from least to most traumatizing.  In other words, these are the scenes I found to be especially disturbing when I was little.

1)  The doll head in Toy Story

Okay, I didn't really grow up with Toy Story.  I think I only watched it once.  But I will always remember the Doll Head Scene.  This thing just really creeps me out.  I mean, look at it.  What's so creepy about it is that it's nothing but a head, with spider-like arms attached to it (due to my fear of insects and spiders, this makes me very uncomfortable).

Years later, as a teenager, I got really creeped out by the baby in Toy Story 3, probably because it reminded me of the doll head from the first movie, and my fear of toy babies was reawakened.

I think one of the reasons people find things like toy babies or the laughter of children to be creepy, is because something seemingly innocent is made to seem not quite right.  People sense something is off about it, and that creeps them out.

2)  The banshee in Darby O'Gill and the Little People

While the doll head may have been disturbing, it didn't make me hide behind my pillow.  In Darby O'Gill and the Little People, one of my favorite childhood movies, a lot of suspense is built up towards the appearance of the banshee.  As a kid, I knew what was coming when I heard the wailing of the banshee, so the tension was extremely high by the time it was revealed.

What's most impressive about the banshee is how frightening it manages to be, even if the special effects weren't as advanced when the movie was made.  There's a scene where Darby is about to open the door of his house, and he knows the banshee is waiting on the other side of it, and so does the person watching from behind their pillow, so the moment Darby opens the door and the banshee rushes forward is very effective.

3)  The blueberry scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the 1971 version)

I love Roald Dahl, but his most famous book happens to be my least favorite.  I prefer Matilda and The Witches to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I find Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to be very...unpleasant, somehow.  It's just not for me.  So, naturally, I didn't really enjoy the movie when I watched it for the first (and last) time at my grandma's house.

Looking for a screencap of this scene was a very uncomfortable
experienceso I'm pretty sure I still haven't gotten over it...

For some reason, the girl turning blue and blowing up into a blueberry terrified me.  It really messed with my head.  I think gross things tend to scare me the most, and something about it disgusted me (and therefore terrified me).  Overall, it made me extremely uncomfortable, and still does.  It might not be the most frightening thing on this list, but in my opinion, it is definitely traumatizing - at least it was for me.

4)  The pig scene in Spirited Away

I think something about food disturbs me, because this also has to do with food.  Spirited Away is one of my favorite animated films, and definitely my favorite Studio Ghibli film, but there were quite a lot of frightening scenes that strongly affected me as a child.

The scene I remember being most frightened by, is the scene Chihiro's parents are turned into pigs.  Or rather, they turn themselves into pigs by consuming too much food.

This also plays into the gross factor, so it disturbed me quite a lot.  In fact, it disturbed me so much the first time I watched it, that I turned the TV off and couldn't watch it again until years later.  I was convinced my mom and grandma were going to turn into pigs every time I saw them eating.  I didn't eat anything for the rest of the day.

5)  The plagues in The Prince of Egypt

Oooooooh boy.  Alright, first of all, words cannot express how much I love this movie.  In my opinion, The Prince of Egypt is one of the best animated movies of all time.  Actually, that's not even an opinion, that's just a fact.

There's a lot of heavy material in this movie, but the part that genuinely disturbed me was the plagues.  Everything about it - how the music starts out faint and builds up, getting louder and louder, how more and more frogs come out of the water, the disease, the insects.  Especially the insects.  I still get chills.

6)  Pinocchio (just, the whole movie)

My parents agree with me that the donkey scenes in Pinocchio are incredibly disturbing and upsetting.  

It isn't the only part of Pinocchio that I find disturbing, but for me, it is definitely the heaviest.  I think the worst part is that once the children become donkeys, they're told they can never see their mothers again.  That is a very upsetting thought to a child.  Overall, Pinocchio is a very heavy movie for its target audience (if you're sensing some bitterness right now, you're right, because this movie was very unpleasant to me as a child).

I think heavy moments are good to have sometimes, and kids deserve to have intelligent, insightful, and meaningful films.  But sometimes, it can get a little too disturbing.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fall Out Boy

There isn't a single song by Fall Out Boy that I don't love.  It's not that common for me to love all of the songs on an album, but every song on both "Save Rock and Roll" (Fall Out Boy's first album) and "American Beauty/American Psycho" (their second album) is perfection.  I think their most well known songs are "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark", "Centuries", and "Immortals" (this song was in Disney's movie Big Hero 6).

I can't put all of my favorite Fall Out Boy songs here, since that would be all of them.  So I'll just put two.


"Just One Yesterday"

If I had to pick just one favorite song by Fall Out Boy, it would be "Just One Yesterday".  I fell in love with it the first time I listened to it, and I've been addicted to it ever since.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Rin Matsuoka Jacket

Rin Matsuoka is my favorite character in Free.  I wanted to get an Iwatobi Swim Club jacket for a long time, but I decided to get the Samezuka Academy team jacket instead.

It took a while to come in the mail, so I was really happy when it finally arrived!

I attempt to take a selfie...

It says the team name in Kanji on the back:

I'm very happy with it.  It's well made and I can't find any faults with it.  I want to wear it all the time, but that probably wouldn't be a good idea. XD  I actually wore it ice skating a few times, which might seem weird, but it's really comfy and just works well for skating, if that even makes any sense.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Writing Woes

I've had this blog for a few years now, so my writing has changed a lot since I started.  I still have many of the same problems as before, like being repetitive, sometimes sounding too cheesy and dramatic, switching from present tense to past tense (and vice versa), and never knowing how to write a good conclusion.  But hopefully I've improved at least a little bit.

I'm kind of afraid to go back and read any of my earlier posts, because it's probably a little embarrassing.

I took a long break from writing my stories, so my writing was pretty rusty when I got back to working on them.  I struggled with major writer's block for a long time, but now I find it's much easier to write and I'm finally making some progress with the story that I'm working on.

Since I took a break from working on it, the first few chapters aren't nearly as good as the more recent chapters.  I'm going to have to completely rewrite the earlier chapters.  And I have a lot of plot holes to fix.  I also find that my side characters are more interesting than my main characters, but to be fair, the plot twist that makes one of the main characters more interesting doesn't happen until later.  One of the things I really need to work on is "show, don't tell".

Sometimes I wonder if anyone would want to read anything I published, because what's popular right now is the Dystopian genre.  And that's not really my thing.  But hopefully, that will change by the time I publish anything.

I haven't read many books lately.  But I have been reading a lot of fanfiction.  Yes, I will freely admit to that.  I read fanfiction.  Lots of it.

Fanfiction is looked down upon by some people, but I think of it as a great way for writers to practice writing.  I've actually considered writing fanfiction myself, but the thought kind of terrifies me.  I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to put my writing out there like that.  But that just proves I need to do it, because how can I be a writer if I'm too afraid to share my writing?

Anyway, from now on, I'm determined to write more.  The only way to improve one's writing is to write, so that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Stupid in Love" and "Eyes, Nose, Lips"

Currently, my favorite K pop songs are "Stupid in Love" by Mad Clown and Suya, and "Eyes, Nose, Lips" by Taeyang.

Both are beautiful songs.  From my understanding, "Stupid in Love" is basically about a broken relationship between two people.  The boy accuses the girl of various things, and the girl always responds with "that's not what I mean," or "nan ani aniya" (I'm not sure how accurate that translation is).

I really like Mad Clown's voice.  His lines are sharp and fast-paced.

"Stupid in Love"

I love this performance of "Eyes, Nose, Lips"

"Eyes, Nose, Lips" is a song I fell in love with the first time I listened to it.  Taeyang has a really beautiful voice and a lot of talent.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

ACWNR Part 2 Trailer

The trailer for the second part of A Choice With No Regrets is out!  I may or may not be freaking out right now.  A Choice With No Regrets tells the story of how Levi joined the Recon Corps (sort of a prequel to Attack on Titan).

The part I love most about the trailer is Levi's smile!  He rarely smiles, in fact I think this might be the only time I've ever seen him smile.

Some of my favorite moments from the trailer... 

Wow, Levi looks really angry here. O__O

I just noticed that some of the blood is in his hair too.

I wonder what caused this facial expression.  Levi is rarely this expressive.  Something really bad must have happened in this scene.

I love the first episode and can't wait to see the second.  Levi Ackerman is my favorite character, so I'm really excited about this.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mako's Behavior is Inexcusable

Wow, that title was very satisfying for me to type.  Because it's true.

This post is pretty anti-Mako, and anti-Makorra as well.  You have been warned.

One of the things I dislike about book 2 is Mako and Bolin's behavior towards women.  Bolin was pretty unlikable for a while (it pains me to say that, because I love his character in the other books).  He was always pressuring Ginger, the actress he worked with, to enter a real life relationship with him.  He kept confusing the romance between them in fiction with real life, and he wouldn't respect that she didn't want to be in a relationship with him.  But none of the stuff Bolin has ever done is half as bad as the stuff Mako's done.

Where do I even begin.

Well, to make a long story short, Mako switched from one woman to the other all throughout book 1 and 2.  In book 1, he went out with Asami.  Then he started going out with Korra.  And in book 2, he broke up with Korra.  And then he was back to Asami again.

He just can't make up his mind.  He treats both Korra and Asami like objects.  Like a two year old that can't decide which toy they want to play with.  In one scene, he treats Asami like a distraction, something that could be put to his use, rather than a person.  He even says:  "Maybe I do need to get my mind off things."


Thankfully, Mako stopped being in a relationship with anyone in book 3 and 4.  I was relieved about that, because his character is so much better when he's not in a relationship.  In conclusion, he just was not ready or mature enough to enter into a relationship with anyone.

Another thing that irks me about Mako, is that he never really takes responsibility for his actions.  He never actually apologizes.

In this scene, he says, "I'm sorry things got so messed up between us."  That is not taking ownership of whatever you've done.  He said he's sorry "things" got "messed up", that something bad happened between them.  But he doesn't say that he is the cause of what happened, and that he is the reason their relationship fell apart.  He never says I'm sorry.  It's like throwing a dish against a wall and saying, "I'm sorry the dish broke," rather than saying "I'm sorry I broke the dish."  In other words, what he said is almost as bad as saying "I'm sorry you got hurt," rather than taking responsibility and saying "I'm sorry I hurt you."

This scene has always bothered me.

Another thing.

I understand why Makorra shippers are upset that Mako and Korra didn't end up together.  But they keep saying things like, "Mako deserved so much more."  Deserved what?  He's not entitled to anything.  The fact that he didn't end up with Korra doesn't mean he lost to anything.  Korra's not a prize to be won (haha, I threw a Disney quote in there).  I am personally very happy with how Mako and Korra's relationship ended.  They respect each other and will continue to inspire each other.

"I've got your back, and I always will."

I really like this quote from Hayao Miyazaki:

"I've become skeptical of the unwritten rule that just because a boy and girl appear in the same feature, a romance must ensue.  Rather, I want to portray a slightly different relationship, one where the two mutually inspire each other to live - if I'm able to, then perhaps I'll be closer to portraying a true expression of love."

I feel that quote expresses how I feel about male and female relationships in fiction.  I wish more relationships between a boy and girl could be non-romantic.

Wow, it felt great to get this off my chest.  All of this has been bothering me for a while.  I might rant about Mako again sometime.  It's a good way to relieve stress.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Legend of Korra Finale: My Reflection on the Ending

In case the title of this post doesn't make it clear enough, there are major spoilers ahead.

Ever since The Legend of Korra ended, people have been talking about the ending scene.  In this scene, Korra and Asami hold hands and walk into the light of the new spirit portal.

At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about the ending.  I felt something was lacking.  I guess I wanted something more all-encompassing.  It wasn't just saying goodbye to The Legend of Korra, it was also saying goodbye to the avatar universe.  I wasn't as emotionally impacted by the ending as I wanted to be.

I was left feeling slightly empty, because I wanted to see a reunion between Katara, Toph, and Zuko.  I also wanted to see how the Fire Nation was doing, but since book 4 is the last season of Korra, I will most likely never get to see that.  I was very disappointed that Korra never regained her connection with her past lives.  Aang's connection with his past lives was an element I loved in Avatar the Last Airbender, so I was a little upset that Korra lost the connection.

I like Asami, but I'm not as invested in her character as other fans of the show, which is why it seemed weird to me that The Legend of Korra ended with Korra and Asami's relationship.  I wanted to see Team Avatar together one last time.

Overall, I felt that I needed more.  I kept thinking:  "This can't be it!  I need more!  Is this really the last time I'll ever see these characters?"

After some thinking, I realized that the ending of Avatar the Last Airbender also focused on the avatar's relationship with one other character.  And yet, that ending didn't bother me at all.  Probably because I was (and still am) a big Kataang shipper.

After I had time to accept that The Legend of Korra was over, I began to look at the ending in a different light.  I am now an avid lover of the ending scene, and will defend it to anyone who disagrees with me.

One of the reasons I love the last scene is that it directly parallels with Aang and Katara's scene in the ending of Avatar the Last Airbender:

Also, the music playing during the last scene is absolutely beautiful.  It never fails to make me emotional.  I really like this quote regarding the music from Bryan Konietzko, one of the creators of the show:

"We asked Jeremy Zuckerman to make the music tender and romantic, and he fulfilled the assignment with a sublime score.  I think the entire last two-minute sequence with Korra and Asami turned out beautiful, and again, it is a resolution of which I am very proud."

The reason the ending scene has received so much attention, is because it suggests the beginning of a romantic relationship between Korra and Asami.  When I watched the scene, I immediately sensed the romantic undertone.  I was surprised when I discovered that not everyone interpreted it as romantic, because I thought it was clearly romantic.  I was overjoyed when Bryan confirmed that it was intended to be a romantic scene, and that Korrasami (Korra x Asami) is canon.  Even if I did not ship Korra and Asami before, I now see the beauty in their relationship and support them as a pairing completely.

The ending scene is a huge step forward for animated TV shows.  Not only animated TV shows, but TV shows in general.  Representation in the media is extremely important.  The Legend of Korra has been a very progressive show from the start, with a woman of color as the main character, who is not overly sexualized, and falls in love with another woman.

So many people can see themselves in Korra, and that makes me so incredibly happy.  Alright, I'll move on before I get too emotional...

I have heard some complaints, mostly from Makorra (Mako x Korra) shippers, that the ending was out of nowhere, and that Korra and Asami's relationship was not developed enough beforehand.  I completely disagree with this.  Korra and Asami's relationship received a lot of development in book 3 and 4.  Their relationship becoming romantic feels very natural to me.  Also, there's this scene to take note of:

I squealed when I saw this scene.

I'm just saying.  I don't blush like that when my friends compliment me.

I'm going to leave a link to Bryan's letter (which is beautifully expressed by the way) to the Legend of Korra fandom confirming Korrasami as canon right here.  I was very moved when I first read it.  I think everyone needs to read it, and it's very important that they do.

I am so proud of The Legend of Korra for taking such a big step forward and making history.  This show will always hold a special place in the organ that pumps my blood.

Well, I think that's it.  I think I had more to say, but I can't remember any of it.  This post ended up being a lot shorter than I thought it would be...

I'm going to end with a few of my favorite Legend of Korra fan videos.  I really admire how well edited they are.

"Rule the World"



"Wonderful World"

This one is just so well done.  The editing is amazing.  And I love the choice of song.