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.