Skip Beat 248

I don’t even know if I ever mentioned Skip Beat, but I’ve been reading it ever since my brother’s first girlfriend introduced me and that was ages ago. It’s quite amazing how little this manga developed story wise in this period of time.

skip_beat_44_8You see, when I stated reading Skip Beat, it must’ve been around 2005, so it’s been a long time. In these 12 years, I’ve read and finished so many manga while this is is one of the few that I’m actually still reading from this period of time. Skip Beat has easily always been the manga I’ve complained about the most about it’s speed of development story- and character-wise. The fun part is, I’ve also always been reading Detective Conan and there’s nothing happaning at all, very few instances when we had a bit of actual story, but it’s not much.

The difference is, Conan is designed very periodic, so we usually have a couple of chapters revolving around a case. The case is finished and we move onto the next one, so every few chapters we have some kind of resolve and we accomplish something. It’s a weekly manga, so it’s usually between a months or two before we finish one mini-arc.

Skip Beat drags on a lot more. First and foremost, it’s monthly and it’s not just monthly, it also has a very small page count for a monthly manga. You know, I’m used to the Fullmetal Alchemist type of monthly manga around 40 pages per chapter, sometimes even close to 50. Skip Beat has about 25-30 ish pages per chapter and as you can see: huge difference. Okay, this can be thanks to different art style, working conditions, health issues with the manga-ka, whatever, you know, there are many reasons why we skip_beat_78_25have less pages per chapter and if 25-30 works good for Nakamura, then that’s fine.

Unfortunately, Skip Beat has not exactly been the most regulary released manga on the planet, skipping a month here and there. Actually, it used to be released bi-weekly, which might be the reason why the page count is that low for a monthly release, and was moved to a monthly release a few years ago if I remember correctly. Which is fine, again. I’m sure there are reasons I don’t know about and I don’t have a problem with that.

Now take all what I’ve said so far about page count and not-as-regular-releases-as-we-would-like and add a painstakingly slow narrative to it – THIS is where it starts getting annoying. I swear to god, Akagami no Shirayukihime managed at least twice as much substance in 85 chapters than Skip Beat managed in 248 chapters. I constantly feel like we’re walking on the same spot without getting anywhere, as if we’re stiped to a conveyer belt or something.

We did make some progress over the time, no question. Kyoko went from hating love after being mistreated by Sho, to admitting to herself that she’s in love with Ren. She also developed into a capable actess, even though she’s still officlally an idol and head chef of the Love Me section, but I actually think she was surprisingly good right from the start. I skip_beat_241_4mean, she was never “bad” at acting, she had the talent all the time and impressed people all over the place even with her early works.

Thanks to the amazingly slow narrative, the mini-arcs in Skip Beat take years to finish, which can drag on a lot. For example: Kyoko was talking with Moko-san about the role of Momiji, that she’s currently auditioning for, 14 chapters ago – that’s 14 months, if a chapter was released every month during that time. I think the whole thing actually started even further back, but that’s already over a year and she still didn’t get the part just yet. It looks like she will get it very soon and Ren has come back from Guam earlier only to see a picture of Sho and Kyoko kissing, which is not that good, I guess…? I mean,  Ren is 21 years old currently and Kyoko is 17, which officially makes then illegal. Sho and Kyoko are of the same age, so at least Sho is not breaking the law.

Akagami no Shirayukihime has been dragging on a lot lately as well, because Shirayuki and Zen have been separated for a while now and I’m dying to see them together again. At least they’re an official pair, that’s much more than Skip Beat can claim to have. I’m also dying to know what Ren will give Kyoko as a White Day’s gift. He sent everyone a gift, except Kyoko and Yashiro mentioned months ago that he knows what Ren got for her, so I think it’s certain to say he got her something special and wants to give it to her skip_beat_219_8in person. That was, before he saw that picture of Kyoko and Sho kissing, which might delay thing a tiny bit… and by that I mean probably another half a year.

Yeah, that’s one way to keep your manga running, but apparently there’s still enough people interested, or Skip Beat would’ve suffered the same fate Bleach had and would’ve been axed. At least we still have a chance to see a proper end to this.

Sing (movie 2016)

I missed quite a lot of movies in theatres lately and now that they’re slowly being released on Blu-Ray/DVD, I’m finally catching up. My latest additions are “Moana” and “Sing”.

sing011I had fun. It’s just very unfortunate for Sing that I watched Moana first. Do’t get me wrong, it’s a nice movie, it’s fun, has some pretty unique and enjoyable characters, but it’s not a “must see”. While Moana is not Disney’s greatest movie ever, it’s at least one of their better recent ones, that’s for sure. It’s not flawless and while the budget clearly shows (like, seriously, that’s got to be arguably the most beautiful animated movie I’ve ever seen), it has some shortcommings. This is criticism on a very high level, though. Still… I support Zootopia for winning the best animated movie Oscar, it really was the best animated movie of 2016.

Either way, back to sing: The plot is pretty thin. This wouldn’t really be much of a problem, if the characters were strong… which they aren’t. And here’s the problem I have with the movie: the characters don’t interact. You have this cast of awesome and interesting personalities and they’re just there for the sake of being there. All of them come with their own sets of problems, which all of them more or less solve by the end. They solve these problems by themselves, because they sing.

The singers in the show barely talk to each other outside of their respective groups. Even Buster Moon doesn’t really talk to them that much, he basically chooses them, chooses their songs and dresses, puts them into rehearsal rooms to practice and that’s it. The first and last time you see them interact is when they’re building the “outdoor theatre” together. Buster and Meena are the clostest, because Buster lets her work behind the scenes instead of sing, so he has to pay attention to her and teach her how stuff works.

I personally feel the main problem is, the movie tried to do too much at the same time. I personally cared the most about Johnny and his storyline, but that would’ve easily been enough to fill the entire movie and then there’s all the other characters, too. Frankly speaking, there’s simply not enough time to give each character the time they deserve for growth and developments to solve theie own problems in a satisfying way. Instead, I guess they focussed on Butster Moon and indended to have this story revolve around him, but his story is the least interesting. I mean, yeah, he loves his theatre and he doesn’t want to loose it, because of his dad, but when it comes to it it’s a money problem first and foremost. The other characters have emotional hurdles to take. Well, except Mike, Mike is an asshole and only cares about money and reputation.

Meena is very shy and needs to overcome her natural timid nature in order to follow her dream of being a musician. Ash needs to free herself of her boyfriend, who’s stopping and constricting her own artistic talent, but she catched him cheating on her and has to deal with a broken heart. Johnny… well, poor boy has a criminal as a father, who wants him to join the gang and doesn’t acknowledge Johnny’s interest in music. Rosita is the burned out mom of too many kids and not enough support from her husband who needs her personal life to kick off in order to be happy again.

All of this ^ sounds more interesting than the Koala with money problems. Here’s two l3vQZEUEKUvbvsFsAdifferent approaches: a) reduce the backstory of the singers, because their backstories don’t matter that much anyway, to properly build Buster Moon into a likable character with an actual emotionally connectable problem and that would most likely include giving more backstory to Buster and his father. Take your time to build emotions and don’t just throw stuff at out faces and expect us to care. Does anyone really cares about Buster? I don’t even think so, in the movie itself it was said all of Busters shows were flops, so it’s HIS fault he’s in this situation anyway and he expects these singers to get him out of it. Besides, he’s committing crime along the way, stealing electricity and water and illegally employ these squids.

b) reduce the backstory of everyone expect one of the singers and explore him or her properly and include the other caracters present into his or her healing process.

This movie tried to do everything at the same time and that’s just too much. It’s still fun, the music is great, but I never connected with the characters as much as I expected I would. Unfortunately, Meena seems to be the one from the artists who’s the “main” and for me she was the least interesting one, because she had the most trivial problem. Yes, being timid is not a piece of cake and getting over your fears is very hard and challenging and I’m not trying tot alk that down, but she had such a picture perfect life besides that. It’s like… girl, you have a way better life than any of your competitiors, why should I root for you over them? You will get your next chance, your family will catch you if you fall and help you come back. Rosita doesn’t have anyone like that, she will just fall deeper into depression. Johnny might end up in freaking prison as a criminal. Meena is basically the princess of the group.

It doesn’t really help much her song in the show was my least favorite. It’s not the song itself, Stevie Woner’s original version is awesome, I just don’t like Meena’s cover and I was glad when it was over. The other characters did a much better job covering/presenting their songs, in my opinion. I mean, have you listend to the orinal version of “Don’t you worry ’bout a thing”? It’s Latin-ish with lot’s of piano inviting you to dance Chachacha (if I’m not entirely mistaken, you can dance a Chacha to this), it’s a feel good song. Meena’s version doesn’t do it any justice. I loved her sining Halleluja so much more, why couldn’t she have sung something like that? Or … at least some kind of ballad, instead of latin? I don’t think it was the right song for her.

sourceBy the way, I loved Gunther. He was so cool. He was flat as a board in terms of characterization, but he was the comic relief and he was doing a great job being just that. They tried to give all these characters background and problems and failed to explore them properly and it’s the one character with no background whatsoever and barely and charcter to him, that I love the most. The things he was supposed to do, he was doing  extreamly well and that was: being funny and helping Rosita to loosen up. That’s all, but he did his job and he did it good.

Enough rambling. It was okay. Visuals were good, not quite as amazing as Moana, but good. Thin plot, interesting characters that don’t interact and (for the most part) pretty good music. It’s mild entertainment, but not a must-see.

Omegaverse

I though I’d never say what I’m about to say, but I’m obsessed with Yuri on Ice Omegaverse fanfictions right now. After 2 weeks and 65+hours of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the BOTW-Share_iconWild (and I’m still only halfway done, DAMN this game is freaking amazing – I’m currently on Death Mountain and the game actually expects me to buy a helmet for 2000 rupees? REALLY? When the chest part was like… 600 rupees? I may be swimming in money, but 2000 rupees for an item that’s not even important still hurts. Time to sell some more diamonds.), I took a break from my Nintendo Switch and buried myself in Yuri on Ice again.

Did I EVER mention I love Yuri on Ice? *cough* Yeah, Victuuri is my life.

Either way, when I first heared about Omegaverse, I was disgusted. I’m no expert by any means, but here’s the basics of what I’ve learned about it:

  • people have secondary genders: alpha, beta and omega
  • these secondary gener roles are very animalistic and based on sexual behaviorism of animals
  • betas are basically “normal people”
  • alphas are strong, leaders and at the top of the hierarchy, they are very protective over “their” omega, they go into ruts, knot with omegas while mating and can bind an omega to themselves
  • omegas are the lowest in the hierarchy, but are often treated as a “prize”, they go into heat (a time in which they are extreamly vulnerable), they usually build nests during heat, can get pregnant and may bond with an alpha
  • both alphas and omegas have a very strong distinctive smell that attracks them to each other, betas are ususaly either not affected, or can’t smell it

1481346976_yuri-iceAs you can see… very animalistic. There’s a lot more, like growling, sexual drive going absolutely mad, leaving one’s scent on the other, fighting between alphas for an omega and so on. There’s so much more, but I’m going to go into any more detail. I’ve read a short descibtion about a fanfiction where deltas were mentioned and I was like: “NOPE! I’m glad I got the general grip on alpha/beta/omega, please don’t knot my brain any more.” and another one that was an alphaomega, so… kind of a mix between an omega and an alpha – something like an alpha that goes into heat or something. As you can see: it varies a lot.

Now… I’m not just reading everything I see. Like I said, I was disgusted the first time I learned about it. It being so extremaly animalistic, it’s also very sterotypical and I personally support equality in gender roles. One of Victuuris many charming traits is that Yuri and Victor are in an equal relationship. They support each other, they lean on each other and even though Victor is Yuris coach and emotional support, you see him fail and Yuri stepping up to expain what he needs. The rings were Yuri’s idea. Their Ice Dance at the end of the final episode very clearly shows the lead changing between Victor and Yuri as a beautiful protrayal of their equal relationship.

Therefore, I prefer Omegaverse with Victor as the omega and Yuri as the alpha. It’s the exact opposite of what you would expect and I hate fanfictions/fanarts with domestic passive Yuri who’s at Victoir’s feet, because that’s NOT how their relationship works. With omega Victor and alpha Yuri, you have to challenge gender roles and expectations comming with them. Unless you want to write something completely out of character, you need to challenge both characters with their secondary gender. In one fancfiction Victor  has mental problems with going into heat and he had suppressed his heats so long, his efff4a1173921308b0a7f072412382b0body forced him into one, leading to a doctor’s visit who denied him any more suppressants forcing Victor to face his fears of being an omega. Or alpha Yuri who sees himself as a failure and thinks he should’ve been an omega or beta instead. He’s shaken with fear when Victor wants to share his heat with Yuri, but turns out to be possessive and protective when he needs to be.

Yuri on Ice was a show about equality and acceptance, where not a single soul  discriminates if you love someone of the same gender as your own or not. It’s a show about two very different characters finding, supporting and helping each other to become equal partners. The last thing I need to read/see about this show are fanworks about stoneage old sterotypical gender roles.

Best of 2016

Now that 2017 has arrived and is still in it’s baby shoes, I’d like to make quick list about my best manga, anime, game and movie of 2016. Last year I made this huge individual lists, but I’m not feeling well, so I’m going to keep it shorter. The same rules apply as last year:  on going franchises are allowed & also titles I’ve seen/read/played 2016 but premiered ealier are allowed as well.

Best Game of 2016

As for best game, unfortunately there was no Zelda this year, so no Zelda for best game either. Spoiler alert: Zelda will be best game of 2017. I’m actually very tempted to go with Super Metroid, even though it’s very old, but it’s so damn good. Even after so many years, it’s still such an amazing game and I haven’t played it on SNES back in the days, I played it first on the Wii U. However, if a 22 years old game is better than recent games, that would be sad, even if Super Metroid is one of the best games ever made.

So, what else to choose? I played Yokai Watch, which was nice. Bravely Second was very good as well and I also liked Legend of Legacy and Pokken. Unfortunately there’s no game like Xenoblade Chronicles X that stood out among the rest as much as XCX did (I still love this game, it’s fucking amazing), but I was positively surprised by Kirby Planet Robobot. I already liked Triple Deluxe, but Planet Robobot was even better. Kirby is doing good lately!

sun-moon-box-artEventually, I guess I have to go with Pokemon Sun/Moon for my game of the year 2016. When I first started the game I couldn’t help but wonder just how far the franchise has come in the past 20 years and I’ve been a part of it the entire time. They dared to change up the formula and it payed off. Even though Gen VII doesn’t have the best Pokemon designs (in my opinion), they’re fine and I love the concept of regional forms of old pokemon.

Best Movie of 2016

This is a hard one. I think I watched a lot of great movies in 2016. I loved Creed, The Hateful Eight, Rogue One, The Martian, Zootopia, The Danish Girl, Deadpool…. the list goes on. However, when it comes down to it, I guess two movies stood out and even though the winner is very clear, I’d love to point out the runner up, because it surprised me that much. The runner up is Southpaw and it surprised me, because I thought it’s just a Rocky-clone, but it’s not. I didn’t like all the decisions made in the story, but it’s more about a broken man who tries to fix his relationship with his daughter after his wife’s death and tries very hard to get her back, than it’s about boxing. He just happens to be a boxer. Yes, there’s a training montage and yes, it’s awesome. Also, kudos to Jake Gyllenhaal, I think he did a great job.

Now, for my movie of the year, it’s easily Whiplash. Why didn’t I see this movie earlier? whiplashIt’s so intense, it caught me completely off guard. I heard it was good, but damn it was downright amazing. It climbed right into the league of best movies I ever watched. It’s clever, dramatic, cruel, intense, strong characters and an awesome soundtrack. If you haven’t watched it: go watch it.

Best Anime of 2016

For me, 2016 was a good year for anime. Lot’s of shows I enjoyed: Akagami no Shirayukihime Season 2, Haiyku Season 2+3, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, Soma Season 2, Battery, Bungou Stray Dogs, Noragami, 3 gatsu no Lion, Fune wo Amu, Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari.

I don’t think it comes as a surprise when I say, my personal anime of 2016 was, easily, Yuri!! On Ice. I just jumped into the fandom and was going along with the hype. It was gaylicious, it was fun, it was one hell of a ride and I don’t think I’ve been that much into an anime ever since Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This doesn’t mean, it’s as good as FMA:B, I don’t like some of the decisions in episode 11 and 12, but it’s just breathtaking yuri-on-ice-02-6how episode 10 suddenly made the entire anime look in an entirely different way. Awesome plot twist right there. Also, as cheesy as it sounds, Yuri!! On Ice really did make history: it boldly portrayed a homosexual relationship in a world without discrimination as something entirely normal and it was done so incredibly well. I’ve hardly ever seen heterosexual relationships done that good and Yuri!! On Ice simply takes it to an entirely different level. We need more romance like that, we need more couples like Victor and Yuri and we need more media open enough towards homosexuality to treat it completely normal. It should not be that big of a deal to have a same sex couple treated like that. I hope, someday, our world can be as understanding and open towards homosexual relationships and other kinds of sexuality as the world in YOI is.

Best Manga of 2016

This is easily the hardest choice. First of all, I completely forgot what I read this year. I mean, besides the usual suspects. Some manga I’d like to point out are Vinland Saga, Skip Beat, Our Relationship is…, Piano no Mori, Until Death Do Us Part, Chihayafuru, Arte, Shounen Oujo, Do Da Dancin’, Kounodori, Nijiiro Days, Vagabond and Shinobi Quartet. Once again, I’d like to point out two manga more. The first one is 10 Dance. I’m a sucker for sportsmanga and ballroom dancing is so amazing. Maybe it’s because I learned it before and actually do know how to dance (not competitively, but at least I don’t make a fool out of myself at weddings), but I love manga about ballroom dancing and the two I enjoy the most are 10 Dance and Ballroom e Youkoso (after more than a year on hiatus, it’ll finally be back in just a few days and we’ll also get an anime, awesomesauce).

The story of 10 dance is rather simple, but I can’t help but love seeing the two Shinyas dacing together. It looks so good, the dancing itself is just awesome and it doesn’t hurt they boys are damn sexy and their personalities are so different it’s fun seeing them working their shit out together. I’m super thrilled the manga is published ihn my country 181140lnow, too.

As for manga of 2016 I’m going with a manga I’ve just recently discovered, but I absolutely fell in love with it and hope it’ll continue doing well. After just 8 chapters there’s not that much story yet and I’m guessing it’ll stay on the lighter side, but it’s a cute romance and I really need that right now: Otonari Complex. It’s cute, it’s light, it’s well done. Nothing of the huge big title like Whiplash in my movie section, but a manga that made an impression and I think it could become something like Lovely Complex, but that’s yet to see.

Yuri on Ice episode 11

“After the final, let’s end this.”

1) Yuri doesn’t say what exactly he wants to end. We all know he went into this season with the intention to end his career after the final and that’s where we are. I guess all of us were hoping he’ll continue, but he never intended to from the start. I’m guessing he wants to end his skating career and therefore wants Victor to stop being his coach. This doesn’t nessecarily mean he wants to end his relationship with Victor.
2) Did you notice the looks Yuri was giving Victor during the performances of the other skaters? To me it looked like Yuri was shocked Victor left him alone to give interviews and went watching Yurio without tellim him. Victor severly added fuel to Yuri’s anxiety and unintentionally made Yuri feel very bad. Remember when Yuri told Victor to only look at him? Well, Victor just broke his promise and that probably meant a lot to Yuri. Then, when Chris was skating, Victor was once again only focussed on the performance and didn’t notice the worried looks Yuri was giving him – again, making the situation for Yuri WORSE.
My conclusion: Yuri never had a significant other, he has anxiety issues and is depressive. He just watched his boyfriend break a very important promise and probably feels betrayed and worthless. I can totally imagine him thinking “this is where Victor belongs, these are the people he needs to be with, I’m only holding him back.” Therefore, the wants to retire and release Victor from being his coach and… well… since he always thinks he’s worthless anyway, he probably thinks Vitcor is better off with Yurio or Chris and wants to end their relationship after all.

VICTOR GET THESE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS OUT OF YURI’S BRAIN RIGHT FUCKING NOW!

Victor has come a long way as Yuris coach, but he completely failed to notice Yuri’s anxiety and extreme worry over the attention he’s been giving the other skaters. Victor might not worry, because Yuri has been doing better lately and Victor is still kind of going by normal standarts, but Yuri has mental issues and normal standarts can’t be applied. I don’t think Victor is doing it on purpose, I think he’s just not noticing and in this regard, failing both as Yuris coach and his boyfriend.

Now, that’s a reason to cry.

 

Above is what I wrote immediately after I’ve seen the episode and I got a few people who responded to that. Some people just simply ignored the possibility of Yuri ending his relationship with Victor completely, because… well? Apparently the rings are a big part, but the marrige thing came from Victor, Yuri never said he wanted to marry Victor and even though Victor got his love and life from Yuri and even says once again just how important Yuri is to him in the kiss and cry area to the audience, but unfortunately not to Yuri, this only applies to Victor, not to Yuri. Yuri is the one who wants to “end this”, though.

And here’s the thing many perople seem to forget as well: In Yuris mind, Victor equals skating. Skating and Victor are not seperated in Yuri’s mind, it never ever crossed his thoughts. Yuri asked Victor to be his coach until he retires, but it was Victor who said he wishes Yuri would never retire. Yuri bought rings as a good luck charm, but it was Victor who was joking about marriage (and probably meant to, too). Yuri is depressive, he only heares what he wants to hear and that’s the negative. Victor and Yuri need to get on the same page, that Victor is not going to leave Yuri, even if he retires. Right now, Yuri is jealous and anxious, because Victor has been so fascinated by the other competitors, namely Yurio Chris. Yuri took that very personal, it hurt him, but he didn’t now that Victor was probably just enjoying the new perspective Victor has gained from being Yuris coach. Yuri feels betryed, but Victor is just flying on could 7 too much to notice that he’s unintentionally hurting Yuri.

I has someone say that even though Yuri is suffering from anxiety and depression, he’s still overreacting, because they’ve watched countless of people perform, but this was the first time Victor watched it alone without telling Yuri. He left Yuri’s side without telling him and was so much into the performance he didn’t even notice Yuri. I think this possibly triggered an attack and threw him back into his old habits, hence the overreaction. He’s trying to “end this”, becasue he wants to return Victor to world where Yuri believes he belong, even though he’s right here. Yuris self-perception is very messed up, ever since the start he has done nothing but downtalk himself. To me, it always felt like he believed, he doesn’t belong into this world of top class figure skating, that he’s an intruder who snatched away Victor and needs to return him eventually.

Of course, Victor can’t he held repsonsible for everything. He saw the progress Yuri made, he experience it himself and he probably though he reassued Yuri more than enough that he won’t leave, BUT he’s still the one who has a state of mind that would generally be described as normal, even though he’s very childish every once in a while. He learned a lot how to behave around Yuri, he took Yuris advice to heart and just stayed close to him, tried to not say something that would put pressure on Yuri, but he made a big mistake: he left Yuri alone this time. He left his side, he disappeared to watch someone else, he didn’t even say Yuri where he was going. That is Victor’s mistake. Yuri’s mistake is not voicing his problems enough. When Victor turned over to him, he should have told  Victor he was searching for him and felt left alone.

In the end, yeah, I think it’s very possible Yuri wants to end their relashinship on both levels, preofessional and personal, becasue that’s one and the same thing for him and it has been foreshadowed numerous times, so I don’t even know why everyone is so surprised. What’ll happen is what we’ll see, but Yuri and Victor aren’t even looking at each other in the preview for next episode, so I’m a bit worried how Yuri will do. With his score, it’ll be very very hard to win, his best chance is a mistake by preferably all the guys above him, especially by Yurio who has roughly about 20 points more than Yuri. Yuri has the highest technical difficulty, he needs to nail every jump and get a high presentation score. He’s either going to fail miserably with the state of mind he’s in right now, or do amazingly good, because he wants to skate his best for Victor one last time and show him that he didn’t waste his time. Either way, since Yurio is leading by a lot, I don’t think a perfect performance by Yuri will be enough to beat Yurio, it’s not in his own hands anymore, Yurio probably needs to mess up somehow, but he doesn’t look like he will.

By the way, I hate the young-genius-wins-every trope, so I kind of want to see Yurio fail… A LOT. I liked how he was in Moscow, she showed his talents, but also his inexperience. Now he’s a monster on ice.

Something about Fanfiction II

… or: me petpeeving again.

For part one, it’s here: Something about Fanfiction

Yes, I’m back into fanfiction thanks to the gloriously gay and amazingly sparkly Yuri on Ice and with that comes my general annoyance by certain things writers tend to do. Before we take a huge bite out of the cake of crap, I would like to point out something I recently discovered and that I just absolutely love: soulmark fanfictions.

Soulmark fanfictions revolve around the idea soulmates exist and every pair of soulmates has a matching pair of soulmarks to identify them as such. Sounds cheesy, cliche and hopelessly romantic? Hell yes. Do I enjoy it nonetheless? Fuck yeah. However, I have to add I enjoy it in Yuri on Ice in particular, that is because the relationship between Yuri and Victor is so natural I can totally picture them as being meant for each other.

Yuri on Ice in general walks a very fine line between beeing the cutest thing ever and the biggest cliche ever. Somehow, even though it has it all to be as sassy and cheesy and disgustingly unrealistic, it’s the exact opposite. Victor and Yuri are meant for each other and I believe it. Therefore, soulmark/ -mate fanfictions fit.

Now, let’s get to the bad stuff. Why do so many people think it’s a good idea to convey a character’s feelings by writing out their thoughts as if they were talking silently to themselves inside of their brains? Maybe I’m just incredibly abnormal, but I don’t really talk to myself in my brain. Well, maybe the occasional: “Damn, I’m supid” but that’s about it and even that often ends up vocalized. Chances are high, if you try to remember the last time you found yourself conciously telling “OMG, I didn’t just say that!” you’re not going to remember anything, because there’s nothing to remember. That’s simply not how our brain works.

The thing is, when we do something wrong, we know we did something wrong, but we usually don’t put it into words unless we’re going to say them. Again: unless I’m just incredibly abnormal for not conciously talking to myself inside of my brain. When someone tells you he’s in love with you, there’s no voice in your head that goes “OMG! Did he really just say he loves me?” That’s just not happening, even though you probably are overwhelmed and in disbelieve and this is exactly what’s going throught your brain, but you don’t put it into words. Look: this is your brain. You don’t need to tell your brain what your feelings are right now, your brain is the control center of your body it knows what you’re feeling without being told.

To make a long story short, talking to yourself in your head the way you would be talking to another person, is so unnatural, because this is you. You don’t need to tell yourself about what’s going on inside of yourself, because this is you and you already know all that without putting it into worlds. Therefore, every time I read something like that, it’s quite literally making my toenails roll up. If it doesn’t belong into your head, it doesn’t belong into the heads of your characters in your fanfiction. … if we’re talking about people in a state of mind that would be generally accepted as “normal”.

As for the reason why I think so many people do it, sometimes to the extent they’re giving thoughts their own quotation marks to differentiate them from outspoken conversations, I think it’s probably just the easy way out. It’s short and it’s very much on point and that’s the problem. In my first fanfiction-rant-thingy I was talking about the need of desciption. You’re not telling a story, if you’re just stating facts after facts. Unless you’re writing a stage play, you need to describe.

And yes, it’s perfectly fine to put your character’s thoughts into words, how else would you convey them to your readers? There’s just such a HUGE stylistic difference between writing: “Did he just say he loves me?” and “She stood before him in utter disbelieve, his words still ringing in her ears. Never did she imagine, even in her wildest dreams, the day would come when he would confess his love for her.” Are you noticing that difference? Isn’t it  cristal clear?

If you want to write a fanfiction, you need to be aware of the fact that you are telling another person (aka the reader) a story. There’s a connection between the author, the reader and the story. Imagine it as a triangle. It doesn’t matter what kind of narrative form you choose, if you’re going for a third-person narrator who stands above everything and knows everything about every character, or if you’re going for a first-person narrator who’s one of the characters of your story and only knows about himself. These are the two most common narratives you find in not just fanfiction, but also in novels.

You, as the author, give the narrator your voice to tell your reader the story you thought of. You can tell the reader about the feelings of your characters, that’s perfectly fine: “She knew she was wrong.” However letting the character tell to himself what he is feeling, as if he was talking to another person in direct speech inside of his head, that’s just wrong on so many levels.

Of course, like ever, there are situations where it’s okay to write like that. However, the rule of thumb is: whatever you do, is okay for your characters to do. Try to think when you talk to yourself in direct speech and if you do so in your brain or if you vocalize it. Chances are you vocalize it. In most cases, we’re writing stories about humans. You are human, you are the best example, try to write what you would do and if you notice this is something you never do, like talking to yourself in your head as if you were talking to another person, then just find another way to express whatever you were about to write. Instead of using direct speech, use indirect speech or descibe.

I hope I was able to convey what I was trying to say about this and why I think this is one of the big no-goes so many people are guilty of doing.

The End of Bleach

It feels awesome being able to write that title.

tumblr_o0b87ktmtn1u7zinco1_500

I know I’m super late with my reaction to the final chapter of Bleach and I honestly didn’t even intend to write one, but since I’ve been ranting about Bleach much more than I ranted about any other manga I ever read, I guess here I am writing about Bleach 686.

First of all, the main reason I refused to write anything about it, is because after a short period of unimaginable rage I felt like the end to this manga doesn’t deserve this much time and energy. It’s bad enough Kubo had to end the manga within 6 chapters all of a sudden, but the last one was literally the worst.I jonwdon’t quite understand why Bleach was suddenly axed at all, it only had a few more months of life in it anyway and sales have been going downhill for ages, so why axe it after 15 years of serialization only a handfull of chapters away from the finish line? Personally, I think that’s a very strange decision.

I understand why it got axed, but I don’t get the time they chose to do it, because they either should’ve done it much earlier, or just let Kubo finish the final strech of his manga the way he intended to do it. Either way, it got axed and we’re left with an even shittier ending than I was already expecting.

Everyone who knows me and my shipping obsession knows I’m a die-hard IchiRuki-fan. I’m not even kidding, I read Bleach for the last years only caring about Ichigo and Rukia, because the rest was crap anyway. Okay, I admit the relationship between Nanao and Shunsui turned out to be pretty cool and after the first shock, after learning Shunsui is actually Nanaos uncle, I managed to like this idea. And yes, I’m still strictly against incest, but Nanao and Shunsui just absolutely belong to each other no matter what happens and I’m not going to let that piece of information ruin my ship for me.

So, yeah, the entire IchiHime-is-canon thing alone already ruined the last chapter for me. tumblr_nc3osue5t51qjnfano1_500I get why Kubo did it, so he could reinact the first chapter with the Ichigos and Rukias kids, so he has at least a somewhat rounded end, but that didn’t really work out. First of all: IchiHime has absolutely no chemistry. Yes, Orihime has been in love with Ichigo since forever, but Ichigo never showed any signs of romantic interest whatsoever. He never showed interest in Rukia either, but their meeting has be described as “fate”, Rukia is stopping Ichigos “rain”. Even though it’s not romantic, Ichigo and Rukia share a relationship on a much deeper level than Ichigo does with any of his friends.

Personally, I wouldn’t even have needed a canon pairing at the end. A shounen manga that doesn’t focus on romantic relationships at all simply doesn’t need to establish a clear canon pairing. I know Fullmetal Alchemist did it, but Fullmetal Alchemist is Fullmetal Alchemist and unlike Bleach, FMA is a fantastic manga. Since Bleach had to rush it’s last chapters, I would’ve liked it much better if Kubo actually tried spending the precious pages he still had left in solving at least the biggest issues and problems of the story. How about we start with… how did the fights end? What happend to the Soul King? How did they zydnynoqwxrestore Soul Society? etc pp

There were so many questions left unanswered, I don’t think answering the question of IchiHime or IchiRuki should’ve been top priority. Or reinacting the fatefull meeting of the first chapter, which could’ve been a nice way to end the manga, if we didn’t have this much other important stuff left hanging in the open, that desperately would’ve needed to be solved. The last chapter felt like its pages were completely wasted.

Yes, of course I’m damn pissed about IchiHime and I still think they don’t match at all and even though an IchiRuki outcome would’ve been more satisfying for me personally, the end would’ve still sucked, because of all the unanswered stuff. I’m honestly happy it’s over, but I’m a bit sad at the same time, because that’s not an end any manga deserves.

I have to accept this final chapter as canon, of course. As shitty as it is, but it’s honestly no use to rage over it. After my rage-preiod, I don’t feel that strongly about it anymore. Maybe it’s because Bleach had become so bad as further it went and I didn’t expect a good ending anyway, but I don’t expect it to become an eternal problem for me like Digimon 02 got to be. IchiHime will be a sore thumb in my shipping heart, but I don’t think it’ll be as bad as Sorato. I don’t think I will ever be as continuesly mad about any end as I was about Digimon 02 and the fact Taiora didn’t happen. I’m still shipping Taiora, even after 17 years, and I will continue to ship IchiRuki no matter what.

I guess Bleach is over now and I feel like it doesn’t deserve to be raged over for months and years to come.

giphy