This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m continuing my mini-rant on things that make me drop a series or even an author if they do it even more. It’s all about some Pet Peeves of mine.
Pet peeves: I have a huge list of pet peeves that will get me to stop following an author or dropping a series entirely if enough of them pile up. But here are some that really get on my nerves.
#1 Killing Off Love Interests: I hate this plot device and frankly it’s not quite a bottom line, but it’s damn close. I respect that sometimes characters have to go through adversity, but we read fiction for a reason. Keeping a bit of hope in a story is a good thing. Dark and dreary stories are not fun for me to read, and that may be because of my own mental health issues. However this is one of my personal pet peeves. Now killing off parents of characters? I can deal with that, it’s a different sort of emotional impact for both the character and the reader.
#2 Separating Love Interests: Chinese authors have a terrible habit of doing this, and it ticks me off. They are often poorly done harem stories that has the main character leaving behind his loved ones at every freaking opportunity for no particular reason other than to go galavanting off on an adventure. It doesn’t matter how it occurs, it’s a stupid plot device. It also cheapens the loved one as a character. If they get left behind they aren’t going to grow, either emotionally or in more concrete things like strength.
I will admit that Eternal did one thing right and that was keeping the main characters. who are soulmates, together. They overcame every obstacle together, and frankly there’s no reason why other authors shouldn’t do the same. Having some random teacher drag off the main character’s loved one to get training is also bullshit plot device that I despise and I sincerely hope never gets any traction in the Western world. Having a couple that can actually fight together and work together is a great way of showing character growth. Because anyone who has played a team activity will tell you that no matter how much solo practice you do, it still requires just as much if not more time practicing with your partner(s) so you don’t get in each other’s way. But the character’s will never learn that if they get separated.
#3 Dense Harem Leads: If an author has to write a freaking harem story, at least make the freaking lead character open to a more diverse relationship with all of their potential love interests. Because frankly no matter what the author does, they’re going to piss off one reader or another. Yes polygamy and polyandry are illegal in most of the world, but here’s the thing. It’s a freaking story, and the author can write it however they wish. Maybe they have to deal with the social backlash of being in such a relationship, would make for great character growth.
#4 Forgotten Side Characters: I hate it when authors leave side characters in the dust and just forget about them. This ties into #2 a bit, but more than that some authors are just terrible about remembering all the various side characters they introduce. I Eat Tomatos in particular is a notorious author for doing just that. “Cough” Haeru “Cough”
Those are just some of my personal pet peeves, and there are like I said above many more. But that would be a very long post and frankly I’m not interested in listing every thing that ticks me off in a story. That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday.
This week for Movie Monday I’m covering the first in a seven part series of movies covering one of the Nasuverse’s greatest stories. It’s Kara no Kyoukai, or the Garden of Sinners, Overlooking View!
Plot Synopsis: September 1998, Mikiya Kokutō brings over some ice cream while visiting Shiki, but Shiki is not happy to see him and says that she does not like ice cream so she decides not to eat it. Later at Garan no Dou, Shiki and Touko discuss the recent spate of unusual suicide incidents where several high school girls fell to their death, but left no suicide note and had apparently no reason to commit suicide. Tōko concludes that the girls did not intend to die. At night, Shiki visits the deserted part of town containing the Fujō buildings which have now fallen into disrepair and are about to be demolished, and while there stumbles upon the body of newest victim….
Plot: This is the first in a series of movies that are an adaptation of a novel by Kinoko Nasu. That being said if you get confused at first, just keep watching. It’ll make sense in the end.
Characters: Shiki is probably one of my favorite female characters of all time, and not just because she’s a badass. However my particular reason is pretty spoilerific and I’ll leave that for you to figure out. Though those who know me might be able guess after watching all the movies. However the entire cast is great, although fairly small for this first movie.
Artwork: This was animated by ufotable, so you should expect amazing visuals. Overlooking View doesn’t disappoint at all in that regard.
Music: The music is also pretty damn amazing, being done by Kajiura Yuki who is a legend in the Anime business.
Overall: Definitely a must watch for those who enjoy any type of mystery series. That being said, it’s not for kids at all.
For those who like: Mystery, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Nasuverse, Action, Drama, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Masterwork Animation, Excellent Musical Scores.
This week for Anime Sunday I’m back with another Winter 2018 series. It’s my Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Episode 01 Impressions!
Plot Synopsis: In Fukuoka, crime reaches new heights in the seedy underworld. In the Hakata ward of the city, there are various individuals with special talent who are professional killers, detectives, informants, and professional revenge seekers. Among those, a so-called “killer of professional killers” is becoming more than just an urban legend…
Plot: The plot is pretty interesting, although it really felt like I was watching a rather messed up version of Baccano at times. That being said I don’t recommend any kids watch this series, as it’s absolutely not for them. The subject matter is incredibly dark, so dark that I won’t actually continue to watch the series. It’s not that the plot is bad mind, it’s just that I dislike watching such dark series if I don’t have. Luckily for me, I don’t have to watch anymore so I won’t.
Characters: Our main character seems to be Banba Zenji and he’s a fairly interesting guy. The other lead, Lin, is also fairly interesting if only for his interesting disguises. The rest of the cast is also really interesting.
Artwork: It’s not amazing, nothing like a ufotable production, but it’s not terrible either. A bit better than average I guess, but only just a bit.
Music: The music is okay, but not super memorable either.
Overall: A good series, if incredibly dark.
For those who like: Mystery, Dark Stories, Good Plots, Great Cast of Characters, Good Artwork and Musical Score.
Not for those who don’t like” Any of the above, especially the Dark Stories part.
I’m taking time from your regularly scheduled Serial Saturday to talk about something that is a hell of a lot more important than having a great time reading a good story. Enough is enough, America needs Gun Control Laws.
What?: I’m not usually a person who talks about politics, and I chose not to write this post immediately after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School because frankly it would’ve been just one of many posts. That being said it’s been nearly a month since it occurred and Congress still has yet to do anything but talk. It’s disgusting, humiliating and disheartening all at the same time. Kids are the future, it’s a very literal fact. They have to deal with the messes we leave behind once we’re gone. The fact that we even have to have talks about Gun Control in a country of over 300 million is ridiculous. There are incredibly strict laws in other countries where they aren’t being held at gunpoint by their governments and still have civil rights. The founding fathers didn’t ever think there would be things like Assault Rifles when they wrote the Bill of Rights.
The 2nd Amendment doesn’t state anything about owning guns that can kill more than one person easily. Even if you disagree with me, there is literally no reason whatsoever to think that arming ourselves would stop a government deadset on imposing total control. I’m sorry, but if the military wanted to take control of the country, they wouldn’t have a hard time. Sure some of the crazy gun nuts would be holed up in their homes for a while, but can 20 civilians stop a platoon of highly trained soldiers? I don’t believe that’s going to happen. Nope, if they wanted in and didn’t give a shit about people they’d just toss a grenade into a window and walk away.
But Crisis Actors!: The NRA and other assholes like those from Breitbart are ignorant fools and frankly in my opinion no better than terrorists when they try to smear the kids from MSD. Crisis Actors? Seriously? Fuck that, even if it was a fucking hoax and I’m absolutely not saying that is even remotely my opinion, because it’s not, it doesn’t change the fact that the US needs to take it’s fucking head out of the dirt hole it’s been stuck in for the last 60 years and grow the fuck up. Kids shouldn’t be afraid of going to school for any reason other than missing homework and getting an earful.
What can I do?: You can go march in your city next week with countless others around the country to get people to realize that we need to change. Thoughts and Prayers are just bullshit excuses from people who don’t give a flying fuck about kids getting killed. If you cant do that, you can call your local congressional representatives and tell them to get off their fat asses and do something. Kids deserve to feel safe in school.
But I’m just a kid: Well here’s the thing, once you can vote you should do so. Don’t ever think that your vote doesn’t matter. Don’t refuse to vote because you disagree with the choices, that’s the stupid coward’s way of doing things. Choose the least evil if you have to choose between things that you don’t like either way. This generation of kids who will turn 18 this year will now make up the majority. Prior generations won’t have the ability to drown your vote out anymore. Change can happen, it will happen if you participate. Get registered to vote, apply for an absentee ballot if you can if you want to avoid going to the polls. If you live in a place like Oregon where your ballot is mailed weeks before the election you can vote from the comfort of your home. Don’t ever think that your vote doesn’t matter.
But I’ll be suspended if I participate in a protest!: Do it anyways, Colleges don’t give a shit about your grades from High School and especially not earlier. Not really. If you were to apply with a good set of grades marred by a suspension or three for protesting they won’t care about that suspension if you explain why you got it. If you have to write an admission’s essay, write how you got suspended for doing the right thing by going out to exercise your free speech in the face of consequences. If you get suspended it doesn’t matter. You get a break from school and you’ll know you did the right thing. They’ll eat that right up.
That’s it for this for this week, I’ll be back with your regularly scheduled Serial Saturday next week. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a real oldie. It’s MechWarrior, the original 1989 game!
Plot Synopsis: The story follows a mechwarrior by the name of Gideon Braver Vandenburg. His family has been murdered and the chalice that proves he is heir to the throne of his planet, Ander’s Moon, has been stolen. Without the chalice he is exiled. Gideon must develop a force of mechwarriors and battlemechs, find those who committed the acts against his family, and take his revenge within five years or all is lost…
Plot: The plot is okay, but not super amazing either. That being said that wasn’t really the point of the game.
Gameplay: Honestly it played a bit like Battlezone, just a bit more complicated with various classes of mechs ranging from quick types to hard hitting types with tons of weaponry . There was also a sim portion to it that revolved around purchasing and repairing your Mechs as well as negotiating contracts with various factions. It was pretty fun, but it was heavily limited by the hardware.
Art: It’s aged really poorly, but that’s to be expected from a game made in 1989.
Music: I don’t remember any of it, if it even had music.
Overall: A fun game, but later entries in the series would probably be more appealing to more modern gamers.
For those who like: Sci-Fi, Military Games, Mecha, Action, Drama.
Hey all I’m back with a few guidelines on what really pushes my buttons and why I get so mad at certain authors for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. It’s all about my Bottom Lines!
Bottom Lines?: Yeah, if an author crosses one of these I tend to stop reading a book immediately. Or shortly after if they don’t make up for it quickly.
#1 Killing Kids “on Screen”: I absolutely have no sympathy for an author who will kill named characters that are kids on screen. If it’s a monster’s point of view you often get it for a random set of characters that are never named and it’s glossed over for the most part by the story except for whatever purpose it served. Killing child characters that the author names and introduces to us? That’s inexcusable for me, and I’ll drop any book that has it in it. Dungeon Lord was a huge offender and my most recent example of a series that just ticked me off. It named a kid and gave us a point of view through that kid’s eyes. You grew attached to the character, and the author brutally murders it in one of the most horrific ways of any story I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve experienced a literal truckload’s worth of books, not counting movies or games.
Ways to get around this? Don’t kill them on screen, have the characters find the aftermath if the author must have such a plot occur. Or just don’t do it at all.
#2 Mental Illness: I deal with mental illness personally, so when an author demonizes people with mental illnesses, or they treat it like any other plot device and depict it in incredibly poor ways I’m going to get more than a little angry. The fact that I can write and do what I do is a minor miracle I’m grateful for every day. I don’t have a glamorous life, I’m not wealthy and I really only get by just barely. However I’m still happy that I’m not a psycho or curled up in the fetal position and unable to do literally anything. When people treat Mental Illness as anything other than what it is, which is a terrible disease that is not easily treatable and may never be fully curable for many people, I get really angry.
Why?: Because I fight myself every day, saying that my life is a literal hell is not an exaggeration. I constantly have parts of me that hate myself, another wants me to give up, and yet another tries to beat me into submission. It never goes away and while medicine helps keep the negativity of my own self in check, I don’t ever have a good day by most people’s standards. For me a good day is when I can distract myself with something that keeps most of my consciousness from being able to do any self reflection for a majority of the day. But that’s it, because a part of me is every second of every waking minute trying to drag me down into a pit of despair. And that’s just my depression, I have other issues that I won’t go into here, because frankly it’s none of your business. Needless to say that I absolutely have no respect for any author who treats depression or other mental health disorders as anything other than what they are. A living hell for those who deal with it. People who don’t have depression will never fully understand the absolute suffering people who deal with severe depression go through on a constant basis. So to those authors out there reading my blog. If you have to use mental health issues in your stories, please do your due diligence and actually learn about whatever issue you plan on using. Because depicting it in anything other than truthful ways is a great way to alienate readers who actually deal with the same problems.
#3 Bigotry: I don’t have any respect for bigots, I think they are cowards and troublemakers at the best of times. Having the protagonist subscribe to any form of it is a great way to get me angry and stop reading the story. What is it like to be Eternal had an incredibly homophobic remark 3/4ths of the way through the series and I immediately stopped reading it. I had enjoyed the series up to that point, because it was well written. But the moment a lead character stated something like that I had no desire to continue reading it. Now I know that some stories written in the past are going to deal with such things, and some are just plain old satire. I love Blazing Saddles, it’s my favorite movie of all time. It’s also got a ton of bigoted characters in it, because that’s the point. It’s supposed to make them look like ridiculous fools.
That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday. Next week will cover some lesser offenses that won’t get me to drop a story nearly immediately.
This week for Serial Saturday I’m back with the second set of chapters in one of my favorite web novels. It’s Ghosthound Chapters 41-80 by Puddles!
Plot Synopsis: As the system initializes, the world shifts. Geography is rearragned and mixed, and levels and stats are instituted across the globe. On that night, one young man was walking through an underground tunnel, his mind on the small problems of his easy life. Because of his location during the shift, he starts in a dungeon far above his level, with no knowledge or teacher, or Newbie Village to guide him. Without a class, he struggles simply to survive in this world changed by its new connection to the Nexus. But struggle he will, for he is Randidly Ghosthound, and this is only how his legend begins…
Plot: This continues the start of Ghosthound’s rise to fame in the ruins of Earth. While these chapters are still fairly foundational, they are also still fun as hell to read. While this isn’t where I would say the series is at it’s best, it’s also just starting to take off.
Characters: We get to meet quite a few new characters in these chapters and while they are all good overall, Randidly is still my favorite by far. That being said Lyra is quite fun too.
Overall: A solid set of chapters, if you haven’t started reading this series you really ought to start.