December 4, 2013 at 1:58 am #2526Rebecca ScobleKeymaster
Hey guys, I thought I’d start a thread for people to talk about cool media they’ve consumed recently! No need to restrict ourselves to just talking about Sparkler series–talk about whatever you want. And if you’d like to go more in-depth about anything in particular, feel free to create your own thread here in the “anything goes” forum!
I saw Catching Fire tonight, and loved it! I actually wrote a lengthy rant about it earlier but realized it didn’t make a whole lot of sense and decided to skip it, or at least save it for not-2AM. All I’m going to say is that dystopian fiction + badass female leads who have to protect their sweet, well-meaning boyfriends = shit I totally love. After getting kind of disillusioned with superhero movies and being disappointed with the most recent Star Trek movie, it was really nice to walk out of the movie theater without wanting to immediately tear apart the movie I just saw with angry critiques.
So…at least one person on this forum is playing Persona 4 Golden, eh? Persona 4 is only, like, one of my top 5 favorite games of all time. I’m not going to say any more because I don’t know how far anyone is and what would count as a spoiler, all I’m going to say is that any discussion of that game would be welcome!
Anybody have any thoughts/comments/recommendations?December 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm #2619
I just saw Catching Fire last week too, they did a great job adapting it from the book.
I don’t get to get out to the movies much or play many games but a friend got me “Don’t Starve” this week, which is super fun to play. I’m surprisingly good at it despite my own reputation of forgetting to eat. :C
TV shows I’m into watching right now are Almost Human, Sleepy Hollow, and Grimm. :3 I like police dramas with weird twists. Anyone else watch much TV? It’s my designated “Stop working and try to relax…hey, why is there a pencil in your hand? Are you writing with your left hand? STOP STOP STOP. Time.”December 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm #2631CourtneyLunnMember
I’ve currently been watching a lot of cartoons again like Steven Universe and rewatching Avatar: The Last Airbender. I had been on an oldschool stuff track, with Bill Nye and Hey Arnold! a couple weeks back. I tried getting into Game of Thrones and Walking Dead, but I guess they’re not for me. I have been watching Dr Who off and on and I’m SO behind, haha. I’m still on the 10th Doctor.
I’m really enjoying Steven Universe though. It’s about a kid named Steven whose part of a group called the Crystal Gems (whom the rest are female), who save their little town from different monster attacks. It’s really cute and the characters are so well thought out for how short the stories are. Steven hasn’t realized his powers yet, and is treated like a little brother by the other ladies. But it’s so sweet, and the intro is catchy as hell, haha.
I just finished playing the newest Phoenix Wright game and it was everything I wanted :) The characters, and writing are just too perfect. I’ve also been playing Viewtiful Joe since a couple friends recommended it to me. It’s a REALLY hard game ^^;
I’ve never read the books/watched the movies of the Hunger Games series, are they any good?December 7, 2013 at 7:50 pm #2637
CourtneyLunn, the Hunger Games books are quite good. They’re really psychological thriller/horror/survival novels in my opinion. I do NOT recommend reading all 3 in a short span of time. I did…it was nerve wracking. I almost didn’t go see the movie because I still remember how mentally worn out I was after reading the books. They’re very powerful emotionally which I greatly respect. Writing wise they’re rather raw, stream of consciousness from Katniss’s point of view. Think “Walking Dead” but no zombies per say. If you’ve seen Attack on Titan, it’s about that level of constant “AHHHHH AHHHHH AHHHHH AHHH” level stuff.
Speaking of Walking Dead, I stopped watching it this season, partly because I was watching AoT and couldn’t take more “AHHH AHHH AHHH” style shows. I wanted to write stuff kind of along that vein because I find it fascinating how it can touch such a primal cord in readers, BUT it’s incredibly wearing. So, I’m trying to put more uplifting albeit bizarre themes in my writing as of late, if only to lift myself up a bit. There’s still twinges of horror though, because I’m a monster that likes hurting her characters.December 7, 2013 at 11:17 pm #2639lijakacaModerator
Heeyy, did someone say Phoenix Wright? After hearing about them for years and playing lots of other VNs, I finally got into the series this year, I’m now playing Apollo Justice. I might have to buy a 3DS just to get the latest one. I really loved the original trilogy, I was really impressed by the way the plot arc was developed through the whole three games, and I liked pretty much all the characters. I had to go look up some fanfic after finishing, I wasn’t ready for it to end.December 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm #2646A M. FunkParticipant
After spending the summer without, I made it back to the land of television back in November. And have been so busy since then that I haven’t been watching much. I have caught a few mini-marathons in front of the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum and the History Channel’s How the States Got Their Shapes because I am a professional nerd, haha. (No, seriously.)
I’ve been reading a lot of Moto Hagio lately. I finally, finally, finally got my hands on a copy of A, A’. Ugh. Well worth the wait. I didn’t have time to devour it all at once, and between starting it and turning the final page, it was the only thing I could think about. Love her work. Anyone else a fan of retro manga? I’ve been following a a “Vintage Manga” tumblr for a a few months now (http://fehyesvintagemanga.tumblr.com/) and everytime they post, I feel the itch to dig out my older series.December 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm #2658NoNaneMember
So, on Black Friday I took Amazon’s bait and purchased the Black Friday PS Vita Bundle with The Walking Dead and some other stuff I don’t remember because the last 2 weeks have been entirely consumed by Persona 4 Golden. I just checked, and my total time spent on my game so far is just shy of 30 hours. Needless to say, I am enjoying it. Mind, there are parts that creep me out (READ: SHADOW RISE), and there are a few bits where treatment/depiction of women has made me cringe visibly. But overall, I very much like the story, and Atlus has done a phenomenal job of improving the graphics and letting combat fade off to the side, because nothing ruins a strong story faster than combat that gets in the way of it. I’ve never been a huge fan of turn based combat (my last major game obsession before this was Sanctum 2, a First Person Shooter/Tower Defense hybrid), but in Persona 4, it works perfectly, especially considering how clunky navigating the dungeons in third person can sometimes be. I played Persona 4 a little with my controller on a PC emulator, and the problem is the same, so maybe that’s just a problem with dungeons made of hallways or my playing style rather than the Vita’s joysticks.
The next two paragraphs are a rant about the PS Vita. It is summarized in the paragraph after. You don’t really need to read it unless you really are interested in buying one, because otherwise it’ll probably be boring.
Speaking of which, I have been extremely happy with the PS Vita so far. For me, I like the weight of the thing, and despite the small size of the buttons and joysticks, I like those too. I think Sony has done a very nice job of making the device feel nice, at least to me. And the touch screen actually works well, which was honestly somewhat of a surprise to me the first time I turned it on. However, I’m not a big fan of the UI, and though I can imagine having issues using the back touch panel and the bumpers (‘L’ and ‘R’ buttons) at the same time, most games don’t use the rear touch panel, so the point is somewhat moot.
Which brings us neatly into my issues with the Vita, namely the lack of games. I’m not really sure why, but developers haven’t really been making all that many games for the Vita. I can only imagine as to why (and if someone can clarify this for me I would be extremely happy), since the primary method of distribution is digital download rather than the PSP’s UMD’s (so glad they ditched those). However, there are 2 more major issues I have with the console that sort-of compile into one larger, more important issue that I think Sony really needs to address, and fast. The 2 issues are device storage and the charging port, which compile into the large, ugly head of proprietary hardware. To explain, it helps to understand that Sony likes making money, and one of the many ways it has tried to do this over the years was to introduce and only support hardware and software that they developed in-house. The PSP’s Universal Media Disk (UMD) and the Memory Stick Duo (used in the PSP and all Sony cameras for several years) are two of their more recent failures, while the Betamax video format is probably their most high profile one. Unfortunately, they haven’t always lost, in fact the Blu-Ray Disk format was initially developed entirely by Sony. This success evidently gave Sony enough hope that they decided to give the Vita zero onboard memory, a proprietary charging/USB interface port, and expensive memory cards that are only made by Sony. This is bad, because while there have been times where companies really needed to do things like this to make their devices work, those times are not now. Micro SD cards and Micro USB ports are now used almost (I’m looking at you, Apple) universally in mobile devices, and they work quite well. So it doesn’t make sense that Sony would build a device that is otherwise quite nice and nearly ruin it with proprietary stuff.
(Wow that is a long two paragraphs… I should probably step down now…)
So, to summarize all that, despite the proprietary charging cable, proprietary memory cards, and lack of games, I like the PS Vita. It is a well designed and well built handheld and I will play it more, as long as I can find games to play on it. More importantly, I love Persona 4 Golden. The awesomeness of the original combined with the updated graphics of the Vita make it pretty much a must have for fans of the original and the Persona games in general. I look forward to finishing it and playing again.December 10, 2013 at 9:03 pm #2702SereneParticipant
I read volume 13 of Otomen today, and I’m still coming down from the emotional sugar high it gave me. Otomen can only be described as a guilty pleasure that I don’t have to feel guilty about. It’s so cheesy and has so many flaws, but it’s just so sweet and fun and has a great theme of subverting gender stereotypes that I can’t help but love it.
I usually don’t have much time for video games, but with a new Zelda game out, I had to make time. I’m only a few dungeons in, but I’m enjoying it. I never played A Link to the Past as that was before my time, so nostalgia doesn’t play into the game for me like it does for most people I’ve heard talking about A Link Between Worlds. I really like Lorule with its weird little details that contrast with Hyrule (seeing the Lorule triforce on load screens always makes me smile for some reason). I don’t know what’s with Princess Hilda, but she interests me quite a bit.December 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm #2800lijakacaModerator
A.M., I really like retro manga when I have the time to fully give it my attention. I think because the aesthetics and conventions are so different, I can’t appreciate it without letting myself get fully immersed in it. I tend to like old stuff, I always want to check out the ‘original’ or influential stuff, but I still have lots to get. I read A,A’ a long time ago when it first came out in English but I can’t remember much about it ^_^;; I think I was too immature to really get it, haha.
I think as of now my favourite retro manga is Rose of Versailles, though I have to admit I’ve only watched the anime (I have the first two bunko but haven’t finished them yet.) But OMG, the feels!!! I even love the late 70’s/early 80’s OP, it’s so stylized.
And NoNane, I recently got a PSVita too. I wasn’t ecstatic about having to dedicate a memory card to a region, but I think it’s still much better than the 3DS which I think is totally region-locked (boo!)December 24, 2013 at 12:16 pm #2824sglMember
Catching Fire for the book fans probably was a tough movie (as things changed) but compared to the adaptation of the Hobbit for its second round, I thought it was still an entertaining film. (I really did not like the Hobbit as an adaptation as it felt just padded with randomly movie-type things that seemed more theme park oriented and toy-oriented than anything.)
Admittedly my reading has dropped a lot. I find it hard to commit to books when writing one. I tend to go for things that I can watch quickly or read in one short sitting more as a reward/distraction . And I definitely avoid a lot of fandom activities related to these things because fandom takes time and while it may be rewarding to get a bump of viewers/watchers/followers from those efforts, I can’t keep up with the pace that fandom likes (i.e., almost daily posting).
This year I actually spent a lot of time looking at anime again. Aside from faithfully watching Space Brothers, I obsessed over Chihayafuru (looooove this) and enjoyed watching a bunch of different kinds of anime that were missing the past few years. This includes suspense/noir type shows like Psychopass and Blast of Tempest. That said, I still like slice of life shows (e.g., Non Non Biyori) and vaguely weird mystical shows like Natsume Yujincho, Gingitsune, and Kyousougiga.
TV-wise, I caught up with BBC Sherlock and binged watched Doctor Who, Elementary , and that was pretty much it. I was tempted to watch Downtown Abbey but after hearing how they dealt with the departure of one of the guy characters, decided the writing would piss me off and watch parodies on SNL instead xD.
Gaming: Oh, tried to do the FInal Fantasy thing but knowing the horrible endings I would face, have avoided completing XIII-2. Really am nervous about XIII-3 because it sounds like it’s undone everything in terms of characterization so far of 2 ;_;
Comics: While there’s less manga I”m reading (barely skimming Shonen Jump), I still collect Blue Exorcist, Yotsuba, and Skip Beat. But this year I went hardcore on Tezuka thanks to all the lovely Kickstarters spurring an interest on my part in reading Tezuka. I love his stuff! HE’s so into different genres and he’s just FUNNY (in a weird Asian way) to me. Restarted Marvel X-men comics and then quit in disgust after they all got derailed by a poorly written book-wide event.
Other books: I collected way too many anime art books this year. IT’s embarrassing and vexing since my shelves are now busting with oversized books. The weird thing is that sometimes I don’t even really know what it is. For example I picked up Hakuoki Urakata stuff because I still maintain a website for Bakamatsu related stuff(http://red-bird.org/meiji2/anime/), some Uta no Prince-sama stuff, and several too many issues of PASH!
I just played one otome game as an Android app. I love the entire concept of otome games but because most are on PSPs, have never touched them until they appeared on the smartphone/Tablet market. I can’t recall what it was, but I think it was a VOltage game about arranged marriage. It was really too slow for me (i.e., I wanted to play it in speed mode) so I couldn’t quite muster enthusiasm to continue with all the various storylines.
I still want to do my own someday with an alternate universe drawn from my original works… I’m interested to see how the shifty look folks handle it.December 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm #2861Lianne SentarKeymaster
NoNane, the PS Vita should pay you for that post! *lol*
Serene, Otomen is AWESOME. Such a simple premise, yet endlessly entertaining (and compelling!). That series has a really wide crossover audience, from what I understand, because playing with gender in a pretty sanitized, good-natured way makes everyone smile.
Sgl, you’re one of the people who’s always made me REALLY want to check out Chihayafuru. That’s on Crunchyroll, right? It sounds awesome.
TRIPLE HIGH-FIVES to anyone who mentioned Skip Beat. That series kicks ass, even when it goes on insane side rambles. Ren Tsuruga is one of the most interesting shoujo heroes of all time, because that dude is LAYERS OF CRAZY. Kyoko is crazy, and it’s all on the surface. Ren is like an onion – you can just unwrap crazy to find more, delightfully hidden crazy. And as a couple, they’re so batshit that I laugh just thinking about it. THEY SHOULD MAKE BABIES. Yoshiki Nakamura is a rare type of mad genius, and you should check out her really, really awesome series before Skip Beat: Tokyo Crazy Paradise.
I watched Attack on Titan and Free! this summer, like a good female otaku. Titan took a while to get good, but when it did, damn.April 6, 2014 at 4:59 am #4252NoNaneMember
So, this thread hasn’t been updated in 3 months…
Eh, screw it. Gotta prove I didn’t spontaneously combust and die somehow, right?
So, I watched Psycho-Pass last week. Judging by the fact that the second intro theme just started playing, that was just about the worst thing I could have done for my own obsessive tendencies. I know the anime is several years old now, but with a remake, season 2, and a movie coming before next winter’s end, there isn’t a better time to do this than now.
So, for those of us who haven’t heard of it yet, Psycho-Pass is about a team of detectives in a futuristic, dystopian Japan where a mysterious computer system called the “Sybil System” (Why is it in English you ask? I have no idea. I just tend to roll with it.) is capable of easily performing a complete and perfect analysis of a person’s psyche. Arguably the most important aspect of the final report is a single number that is a genral representation of a person’s mental state, which is called the Psycho-Pass.
I’m going to stop there, because it is my personal opinion that
- 1, the specific terminology is used so frequently that a quick background would actually help you understand it a lot, and
- 2, the character and story introduction is some of the smoothest I’ve seen in a while, and I’d hate to ruin that for anyone who decides to watch it.
So, why do I like this show to the point of writing a review directed towards people I’ve never personally met and who probably don’t particularly care? It mostly comes down to its presentation. The show is all about these people living in this dystopian world, and yet for the most part it remains a detective show. It does this by viewing the side-effects of the society through the lens of the detectives and their work. This makes the show feel a lot like what little I’ve seen of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or early episodes of Fringe, where the focus of the story is usually a single, fairly isolated incident. Even when they fully establish a large, overarching plot, they tend to chip away at it through a couple of individual incidents rather than as a single massive thing. The little bites keep the plot from getting too big to handle while keeping the story from slowing to the point of stagnation (I’m looking at you, Bleach). All in all, Psycho-Pass manages to present the story of complex characters in a complex world in a simple, easily followed manner, and that makes it a great show.
Unfortunately, so much complexity being simplified inevitably leads to some problems. Namely, an extremely variant pace and violence level. The best example of both of these is the first two episodes. In episode two, the closest thing to action you get is a main character dodging a punch or two. Not exactly yawn-inducing, but not exactly exciting either. In stark contrast, however, episode one barely gives you the names of the characters before shit makes violent contact with lots of fans, and the episode ends only just after someone literally explodes. As you are most likely capable of seeing, that level of juxtaposition can be a little rough on people.
Additionally, I feel obligated to mention that, in the first episode, there is one rape scene, and in my opinion it is handled poorly. On the upside, there aren’t really details, and the show doesn’t make a habit of it. However, this does not make the scene okay by any means, and the only reason I stuck around was because I liked the female lead and… well… (TW: Gore & Spoilers) this is him. (Hover on the link if you don’t want to look.)
So, to wrap up, Psycho-Pass, despite having pacing and violence issues, is a great show, and if you can take that you should absolutely watch it. With that, I bid you all a good day, and I hope I see you all on the forums.May 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm #4595
Lately I’ve been reading/studying Stephen King. Just finished reading Christine and On Writing. Both of which made me want to write so much! Very very inspiring. I recommend On Writing to anyone interested in writing as a hobby or professionally. I learned A LOT.May 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm #4622sglMember
ahh, sorry — yes Chihayafuru seasons 1 and 2 are on Crunchyroll. Series is still going on via manga and Kodansha ignores all my tweeting campaigns about bringing it over. It’s too bad — I’m bummed that I can’t get either the manga or a legit dvd for the series :/
I finally finished Norrell and Strange — a very ODD sort of Victorian fantasy. It starts off really slowly but eventually I found myself unable to stop reading it!
What else? Watching Nobohiro the Fool (because I like Kawamori’s trolling), Mushishi (new series), and an anime about a magical high school (whose name I forgot).May 14, 2014 at 9:36 pm #4624sparklerKeymaster
sgl, I hear you when you talk about how slow mobile otome games can be (especially the free ones, which are very common now). One I liked that I could finish one route in one or two days is Magic Sword – you buy one route for $2-3, and then you can just power through it to the end, no need to recharge energy or anything.
I haven’t even finished FFXIII, the first one! I got to the sidequest field near the end and just stopped. I really am not fond of the idea of changing character’s personalities so I think I may give up on playing FFXIII-2 or 3. It’s why the Alice series sometimes makes me give the side eye >.>;; too, they do that a lot.
I recently bought a 3DS, pretty much just to play Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies, eheh. I like the new prosecutor! He reminds me of a cool 90’s goth guy, lol.
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