Eurovision Song Contest 2017

All right, it’s this time of the year again: it’s Eurovision! The biggest and longest running

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ESC 2017 logo

song competition in the world, that claims to be unpolitical, but everyone and their grandma knows it’s not.

Granted, a few stars rose from the ESC and managed to build a career, but for the most part it’s cheesy and sparkly and gay and fun and pop songs and Eurodance and ballads all in 3 big shows. I’m not a huge Eurovision-geek, but being into it once a year is perfectly fine.

I would like to talk about 2 things about this year’s ESC: Russia and Italy.

As we all know, Russia is boycotting the ESC this year, after Ukraine forbid russian entry Julia Samoylova to enter the country. Now, this may sound mean, even more so because she’s disabled and sitting in a wheelchair, but she broke ukrainian law by performing on crimera without going through Ukraine – in other words: she flew directly from Russia to crimera to perform and that resulted in a 3 year ban to enter Ukraine. There’s another 140 artists that share the same fate.

Is Ukraine being too hard? This is very hard to answer. Russia obviously is trying to be the victim here, I mean: there’s no way Russian authorities didn’t know about Samoylovas ban to enter Ukraine before choosing her and they chose a disabled artiest on top of that – someone you’re going to feel bad for easily. This was a calculated conflict from Russia, they knew this would happen and they knew Ukraine would not make an expection, because these two countries are in war and Ukraine is still damn pissed about crimera.

However, neither country was interested in resolving this conflict, the EBU said Samoyolova could perfom in Russia and her performance could be streamed live during the show, but both countries declined and neighter offered another solution. Every single person with a brain their head should’ve known either Russia or Ukraine was going to pull one out after Jamala won last year and quite honestly, nobody really seems surprised either. It’s a little sad, because Eurovision is supposed to bring countries together and it has been used to deepen an ungoing conflict this year. Personally I think both countries should’ve acted more peaceful.

Leaving Russia and Ukraine behind, I would like to talk a bit about Italy this year. Yes, Italy, the huge favorite. Some people think the song is overrated, I personally really like it. I think it’s a catchy popsong, that’s fun to listen to and you don’t feel bad listen to it more than once. I’m also a huge fan of Francescos rough voice and hope he can deliver a great perfomance in the finale.

However, I think having a great song is not the only reason so many people support Italy this year. I often read comments about Italy being robbed 2015 and they finally deserve

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Italy: Francesco Gabbani

the win they should’ve taken two years ago. Rewind backwards to 2015 when Italy was the huge fan favorite and took an undisputed clear first place in the audience voting. That night european people decided “Grande Amore” was their winner, but a hand full of profressionals decided to make a much more radio-friendly song the winner: Sweden. Since Italy was so widley supported by fans, many felt Italy was robbed by the juries and now that Italy has another outstanding top song, the support is there once again.

Additionally, I would like to add Jamala was second place last year: she was second place in jury voting and second place in audience voting. She won, because Australia did very well with the juries, but not that good with the audience and Russia did very well with the audience, but not that good with the juries. Once again, just like the year before, we have a huge difference between the fan favorite and the jury favorite and fans felt their winner was robbed once again. Add to the fact many people believe the votes for Ukraine were out of political interest and you kind of understand why the fans finally want to see “their winner” actually win.

Italy would be a very “safe” winner this year. After all the controversy around the ukraininan win last year and their trouble with Russia this year, Italy is very safe. They already deserved it two years ago, they don’t have any major problems with other countries, or at least not of the scale that Ukraine does, and they have a good song you can play on the radio in most parts of the world. It’s a “feel good” song at a time when many people don’t feel that good and problems are rising all around us and maybe we need a song to win, that makes us feel good for 3 minutes.

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Protugal: Salvador Sobral

The other favorites to win are currently Portugal and Sweden – also two very safe options – and Bulgaria, another controversial entry, because ever since Russias announced they won’t participate this year, Bulgaria is basically Russias secret entry, because their artist has russian roots, is very well known in Russia and is expected to get many russian votes. Quite honestly, I really REALLY don’t want Bulgaria to win and it has nothing to do with their song, unfortunately, it’s 100% politics: I don’t want this mess a second time in a row. It’s been a long time since ESC was as political as it is this year and I want to have a break from that next year. Every once in a while: okay, but not every year.

I’ll be rooting for Italy, I really like France and Belgium as well and hope they’ll be doing great this year. My own country? Germany? Set to lose again, no point talking about it.

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.

Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Season 2 Episode 1 – and it continues…

Well, that ^ was my first impression. Lovely, isn’t it?

Now I have to explain myself, because beforehand I said I most likely won’t watch it. Yeah, but this was before I knew there’s hardly anything to watch for me this season. I’ve never seen any Fate-stuff and I’m kind of stuck in the middle of Shana II, so I can’t/don’t want to watch Fate/Zero and Shana III and this pretty much kills off the two most hyped animes this season (probably this year).  The only thing left for me to do, is hope for the best and watch Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Season 2.

You know, I liked the main story… aside the fact that Takano forced himself on Onodera and sexually assaulted him, but all in all I think it was pretty decent. It was ok, nothing groundbreaking, but ok. The problem I had with the first season, were the side stories and the annoying part is that the sidestories themselves weren’t even this bad (although they don’t exist in the manga),  it’s just that 12 episodes ware too short for 4 Storylines. Only half of the episodes covered the main storyline, resulting in a complete mess and jumping back and fourth  between multiple setting isn’t exactly the best thing either. So for the second season I was hoping they will stop with the sidestories, but my hopes were crushed during the first 2 minutes when the Opening was playing.

As for the first episode itself, it didn’t really start off as good as season 1 did, mainly because the content didn’t make any sense. No, I’m not complaining that Takano pretty much raped Onodera when he was drunk, I’m not even questioning this anymore, you don’t need a brain for the yaoi-part (oh the irony, because this is exactly what I don’t like in yaoi). What I’m talking about is the fact that Onodera got a promotion or something and pretty much does the job Takano did before.

No, no, no, NO Who in his or her right mind, would let a complete amateur and newbie do this important job? Especially, if there was a very capable person doing it  before, who pretty much rescued the Magazine with this epic epicness of epic in editing and managing a Manga-Magazine. It’s way too much for Onodera, he’s struggling so much and the fun part is that we don’t even get an explanaition for this mess, Onodera only makes a guess and it’s most likely wrong anyway. So what was this for? To be able to throw a party with two people, get Onodera drunk and rush through all the drunk-blabber-cliché stuff to end the episode on a fuck?

Isn’t this great?

Dengeki Daisy 42

Dengeki Daisy is another manga that’s being loved by a lot of people, but not by me. I think it’s overrated, the humor is not funny, the romance is not really romantic and the main characters are idiots. There are a lot better shoujo-mangas out there, so why did this one become so popular? Well, on another note, I don’t understand how Junjou Romantica was able to become so popular, so… I guess there are things you just don’t understand. (a few days ago, I’ve read Konuun no Rihatsushi, a short but quite enjoyable yaoi)

Back to Dengeki Daisy. They’ve been releasing quite a lot scanlations for some time now, so I’ve been able to read a lot without longer pauses in between the chapters and there are certain things bugging me. First of all: Jack o’ Frost has not been a real threat until now. They’ve been talking about the danger of this thing all the fucking time and that they even need to go and hide now and even Teru has to do that, just because she knows it exists, but there has not been anything dangerous happening because of Jack o’ Frost until now. It may be a greater threat, if they’d actually show something happening or a dangerous person who’s after our “group”, but no, nothing. Nothing at all. Not even the guy who looks like Terus brother was really dangerous in the end and he was pretty much the only threat there was.

The next thing is: too much talking, not enough action and I’m not talking about the stuff you see in an action-movie. I’m just talking about the characters doing something. They just sit around and talk. You know? I thought Kurosakis past was annoyingly boring, it has been told in too much details, it could’ve been told pretty much on very few pages, but they had to make such a bitg deal out of it, when in the end, it wasn’t so bad at all. They’re making a bigger deal out of it, than it actually is and they’re treating Teru the same way. Why would she hate Kurosaki now, when she’s just heared he did NOT kill her brother?

And for the last major thing that kinda pisses me off: Kurosaki running away had no purpose at all. He’s back, nothing really happend while he was gone and now we’re back to where we were before. Just great, I hate unnecessary drama and this was unnecessary drama. Kurosaki intended to tell Teru his feelings as well as his past, so we would have had this happening even if he just stayed and what else happend during the time when he was gone for several chapters? Right, nothing. The fact that Teru learned about Kurosakis past from the others is actually quite a bad move, because I think it would’ve been much more emotional if Kurosaki have told her hinself and he would have had to face his past in front of Teru what coul’ve helped him grow as a character. Well… and he has not been away for long enough to make the reunion work out well.

I’m at a point, when I see a new Dengeki Daisy chapter being released on my scanlation sites, this thought runs through my mind: “Not again…” And this is not exactly a good sign. I only read half of the dialoges, because I’m bored by reading the same shit over and over again: “We’re having a secret meeting” <- you’ve been having secret meeting due to the same reason all the time! The side-story with Jack o’ Frost just annoys the shit out me, can’t you at least focus on Teru and Kurosakis relationship without drama you’ve forced into it to create unnecessary “exitement”/”drama”? I guess not…

Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 1000% – Episode 8

What the fuck am I watching?

No, I mean seriously, this anime just overtook itself in stupidity. As long as it’s the funny kind of stupid you can laugh at it, it’s all good, but episode 8 was painful. The part with the bishounen all wanting Haruka as their partner was to be expected, so no surprises here. It’s dumb and stupid, but this is the way this anime works, so I wasn’t surprised at all.

What was really painfully stupid was the “dream”-part that (sadly) wasn’t even a dream, because Haruka found a flower in her hand. While it was pretty obvious there’s more to the stupid black cat with the stupid name than just being a stupid black cat with a stupid name, I actually totally forgot about it. It appeared in the fist two or three episodes and was gone after that, so I hoped they’ll just forget about it, but no, they did not. Now the cat is a prince from another country far far away, who’s also a Bishounen and knows Haruka from another life. Just… wow, how many clichés can you squeeze into one person. Let alone most of these clichés are from Disney movies, what makes me wonder just who in the world is supposed to enjoy this episode?