insaneneko: (Default)
2015-12-02 07:42 pm
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fics! fics! fics!

I fell into the black hole of Sherlock fanfics. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve read any fics in this fandom, so it’s been lovely finding deliciously awesome fics.

Best one of the lot has to be The Fallen series by Engaged. So far it has two long fics, Ten Days and The Slash Man. Ten Days is a post-Reichenbach story in which John is kidnapped several years after Sherlock’s death, and bad things happen to him. A really exciting suspense/thriller of people trying to find him is intercut with awful scenes with John and the bad guys. It’s taut and utterly gripping. The Slash Man is the aftermath, which has angst, tenderness, and the most beautiful depiction of a deep platonic love I've ever read. The suspense/thriller aspect is fully functioning and super exciting (with nursery rhymes thrown in!), the story is even more complex than in the first one. The author is writing the third story, which I am so looking forward to.

Also been enjoying AUs:

Left by lifeonmars, S/J, in a world where almost everyone has a Knack, being left-handed is an obvious sign that you don’t.

Empathy by Blind_Author, S/J, John is an empath and it kinda sucks. Post-Reichenbach, so angst is included.

The Lazarus Machine by Kelouisa, S/J, Regency arranged marriage AU. John marries Sherlock because his family needs the money, Sherlock marries John because Mycroft promises him freedom if he does. The class relations, forensics, policing, and medicine are out of place in Regency England, but whatever. The way John and Sherlock gets closer is too wonderful. Pity it’s a WIP that hasn’t been updated in a while.

Blind Series by inspiration_assaulted, S/J modern day arranged marriage AU, John marries Sherlock so that Mycroft can arrange for him to stay in the Army and Sherlock marries John so that he can get access to his trust fund. It’s a long distance thing at first since John is deployed. They are OOC and younger than they should be (how long does it take to be a full doctor in the UK? John is awfully young at 25 to be a full doctor…), but the fic is just so damn romantic! The first time they meet is...cinematic. I wonder what the BGM for that scene would be?

This one is Captain America/Marvel Universe (I got sucked into reading new fanfic after hearing that the new Civil War trailer came out), but another arranged marriage fic I fell in love with: just say you do by biblionerdo7, modern day AU with pre-serum artist Steve/former POW PTSD Bucky in a marriage of convenience. Bucky is screwed up, Steve is weak in body but strong in spirit, and there is lovely, lovely falling in love after the fact.

I love you like rob by tolieawake is a silly Steve/Bucky fic, but….so….so….sweet. Toothachingly so. But it made me smile.

I need to document more fics, but I want to get back to reading. XD;
insaneneko: (Default)
2015-12-01 06:12 pm
Entry tags:

various and sundry

The more I hear about the literary novel A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, the more it sounds like beautifully written fanfic. It’s about four friends, but it centers upon one of them who has a dark past. I read the wikipedia entry for more plot details, and it's just…so….over-the-top. “spoilerish?” ) I might flip through the book at the bookstore one of these days just to see how the writing is. I’ve heard the author in interviews and she is a very pleasant interviewee. I was pleased that everyone I’ve heard say her name basically didn’t mangle it.

Read an article, Evangelion, Depression and Why Hideaki Anno is the Lars von Trier of Anime, that is exactly about what the title says. I'm assuming I will be disappointed (possibly enraged) by the last movie, whenever it comes out.

I’m sick and tired of hearing commercials for the sci-fi podcast The Message in the podcasts I listen to. When I came across the article Fiction Podcasts Are Trying Too Hard to Be Like Serial, I realized why. I heard the first episode of Serial way back when (before it got huge) and did not like the format. So The Message was designed to turn people like me off. XD

I particularly enjoyed the November 27 episode of the Empire Film Podcast because the hosts geek out on the Captain America: Civil War trailer and there's just a lot of hilarious inneundo re: Steve and Bucky.
insaneneko: (Default)
2015-11-04 08:24 pm

it's movember! does anyone actually do NaNoWriMo nowadays?

New Ameiro Paradox by Netsuke Isaku is out!!! My copy is in the mail and *knocks on wood* should arrive in a week or so. Along with the new Ten Count manga by Sakurai Rihito. I was disappointed by Ten Count volume 3 because it felt gratuitously smutty without enough of the psychological stuff I really enjoyed in the first two volumes, but I’m hoping volume 4 will be good.

Had a laugh listening to an episode of the Guardian Books Podcast because the music editor read Morissey’s new fiction book and it was awful. He called it the worst book he’s ever read. The sex scene he excerpts is….I don’t know if there’s a word for it, the entire scene is really rather repulsive, with an erect cock called a “bulbous salutation.” If you’re wondering, yes, Morissey is the singer Morissey.

So Kekkai Sensen actually ended. It was an okay ending, but I think they should’ve tightened it up to a normal episode length and aired it back with the rest of the episodes. I think it lost a lot by having such a long gap, and I thought it was flabby enough that they could’ve cut stuff out. But at least it didn’t suck. :P

Read some fanfic for the series, though sadly there doesn’t seem to be much. Am gravitating towards Klaus/Leo even though I don’t believe in the pairing at all. I think it’s because I stumbled upon an author, nekokoban, who writes very lovely stories with that pairing.

meminerunt omnia amantes is a longer fic in which Klaus is hit with a curse and there is a bit of angst. The author recently followed up with To Those With Love, which is set after the first fic and has Leo meeting Klaus’s family. Who are charming, if overwhelming. I hope there’s more in this universe. In an unrelated story, Climb Every Mountain, Leo wants to get it on with Klaus and is frustrated. It’s really adorable. Leo’s attempts to get advice and the unwanted advice he does get are just awesome.

Also got into Wincest. I figured I’d dive in one of these days, just hadn’t gotten around to it. Lots of crap, of course. What is killing me is all the alpha/omega fics. They are everywhere in all fandoms, so you hit them constantly. I’ve read a bunch, a handful were actually good* (or at least decent), but a lot of it was just too….icky? I hate the biological determinism and don’t see the point. The Wincest ones I do like tend to be set when they are younger, back when they are with their dad (who, according to fandom, was a terrible father. Is this canon?). So much teenage angst! So much incest angst! With demons, etc. thrown in! Lovely, lovely stuff.

So far my favorite (though a WIP) is Brothers by Sera_Necto23. It’s really fucked up and I assume the characters are nothing like canon, but the author really puts together a world and a dynamic that just works. Also, very dirty. And angsty.

*One “good” alpha/omega fic I came across is a Free! Sousuke/Haru one called Boundary Waters. It’s one where the alpha/omega dynamic comes about from some kind of attack in a war or something. Haru’s rage at the crappiness of a world gone bad and he having drawn the short straw is very well portrayed.

Another Free! Sousuke/Haru fic I thought was very well done was another AU, Artist, Imitate Thyself by orphan_account. Haru is an art student who likes sex very much. He hooks up with Sousuke and continues on as AWB (acquaintances with benefits). It gets serious and quite a bit angsty.
insaneneko: (Default)
2015-07-29 09:06 pm
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bah, humbug

I really dislike Facebook. I've gotten like 20 friend requests in the last couple of days by totally random people from other countries. WTF? I actually logged into Facebook to ignore all the requests. Looked through the feed to see what people posted...though most things looked like it was stuff people liked? I just don't see the point of it.

I was amused by one of those ecards in my feed: "YOLO-Becuase Stupid people don't know what Carpe Diem means." I don't agree with the sentiment, but I LOL'd.
insaneneko: (Default)
2015-07-27 03:57 pm
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I listened to a segment on Fresh Air called From Upspeak To Vocal Fry: Are We 'Policing' Young Women's Voices? that featured a journalist, a linguist, and a speech pathologist. It was interesting and also very frustrating. I don't know of any statistics specifically on the phenomenon, but every time I hear about issues on vocal fry and/or upspeak, it's always in relation to women. I remember This American Life's segment on it, and I just learned of 99% Invisible's auto-response to complains about women's voices in the Fresh Air segment (screenshot of text here). Apparently it's never about how men speak, it's always about how women speak. The comments to the Fresh Air interview just pissed me off. They talk about how these verbal tics irritate them in both men AND women. come these radio programs/podcasts never seem to get any complaints about the men? I mean, if the men doing these things are just as irritating, shouldn't there be complaints about them as well? In particular, Ira Glass points out that he does it and has never gotten a complaint about it. The speech pathologist didn't give any ground either (of course, she was all set to defend her stance, being the "enemy" and all). The linguist cited some data to back her up, but the speech pathologist had anecdotes and...her personal opinion that it was "irritating." Really? Is that all you got? 

I find certain voices annoying, but I know it's me and I choose not to listen to them or I get over it. I don't send insulting emails complaining about them. 

Belatedly discovered Vance Joy's hit from last year, "Riptide." Being me, I looked for covers and found some good ones.
insaneneko: (Default)
2015-07-19 05:48 pm
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shigatsu wa kimi no uso

I was itching to watch something so I finally bothered to watch the rest of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.

I’m glad I put off watching the rest because I could watch the stuff with Tsubaki without wanting to hurl something at the screen. My hate for her has calmed down, now I just want her to not be on the screen. :P

The melodrama was…a bit much. The best parts were naturally the parts to do with the music, especially the performances. Lovely, lovely bits, and seeing Kousei grow was great. Wish the rest of it was toned down and more was devoted to everything to do with music. Ah well. Overall, I enjoyed the series once the abuse of the beginning went away.

spoiler-ish thoughts )
insaneneko: (Default)
2015-01-17 04:27 pm
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fanfics for the win

I was in a Japanese grocery store and was caught up by the music they were playing. Really old j-pop, apparently all from anime. One of the ones they were playing was My Will by Dream, the first Inuyasha ending song. I did a search by the lyrics of the chorus and “anime ending” and hit the jackpot. Man, what a nice song! I gotta remember it next time I go to karaoke.

Aaah, I love FF7 WIPs to get sucked into: Off the Line by seam is an AU in which Cloud the trooper is given a VR machine to help with insomnia and starts playing the popular MMORG Terra Online. He ends up making a splash. Hard to explain, but it’s 38 chapters and going strong, and I really want to know what happens soon.

Speaking of FF7 WIPs…Green Dreams by I-Mushi is being updated! It got updated I think once last year, and another chapter just went up the other day!
insaneneko: (Default)
2015-01-11 05:37 pm
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what i'm watching

I saw the new episode of Shigatsu wa kimi no uso and kinda wished I didn’t. I already want to watch the next episode! I still don’t like Kaori’s interactions with Kousei because I just am put off by her so much, but I am looking forward to what comes next. So exciting!!

I also skimmed through the new episode of Aldnoah Zero after reading some posts on it. I love the “fuck Slain” meme! That kid is so irritating, I don’t think I can ever watch the show in a normal way. I always have to fast forward when he’s on screen, so the ending of the previous episode made me want to scream. I still wish he’d just die (in an appropriately horrible manner), but it’s a nice feeling to know that many people feel the same as me. As always, the music in this show is great.

The new episode of Kuroko no Basket felt really choppy to me. Even the commercial breaks are choppy and odd. Also, high school Haizaki looked so unlike middle school Haizaki it made me very sad. He’s become very unattractive. The Seirin team interview was pretty fun, though. Especially Kagami and Aomine all recognizing their rivalry with each other.

I’ve also started rewatching the live action version of Adachi Mitsuru’s H2. Ahh, I like this show. While I think some of the comedy does not work in live action (or at least the way Japanese programs like to do “comedy”) I do like the actors who play Hiro and Noda. They are such a great combo. On the other hand, I’d forgotten how much of a turn off Hikari is. I don’t know why, but she rubs me the wrong way. I’m wondering if it’s the actress. I haven’t read the manga in so long (lent it to a friend years ago…) so I can’t remember how she was in it.
insaneneko: (Default)
2015-01-08 08:24 pm

New Year random posting

Oh my, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. I got a new job last year, and it just ruined the second half of it. It’s amazing how stressful things have been. I guess I was complacent in my old job, but now I’m doing new things and it’s kinda crazy. In any case, I will try to post more if only to document my fandom obsessions.

It’s depressing when your RL friends don’t share the same fandoms. :P

In any case, right this minute I’m obsessed with reading Free! fanfics. I finally caught up with the second season and had to go look for fics to see how people dealt with all that fan service. It looks like Makoto/Haru and Rei/Nagisa are super popular, which is to be expected. The one pairing I’m surprised to see (but really shouldn’t be) is Rin/Ai. Since I found Ai’s character rather blah, I haven’t read any fics with that pairing. They’ve been fine as secondary pairings, though. I don’t think I could read primarily Rei/Nagisa. They are both characters I think of as spices. A little is good, too much is…too much. Especially since they both seem so…flaming. Even in that anime, they seem spectacularly so.

So, the pairing I’ve mostly read is Makoto/Haru. It’s the one that I like the best and found the most natural. My favorite fics so far:

How to Train Your Human by nezumiprefersdanielleovershakespeare, a merman/fireman AU (there are a lot of mermen AUs in this fandom, but then….fanservice ending themes will do that) that is just plain awesome. Haru is a merman who has been caught and experimented upon until he is rescued by Makoto the fireman. It’s a long, meaty, hilarious, sweet story. The science is utterly ridiculous, the twists and turns are also ridiculous, the angst buttons are pushed pretty darn hard at times, but the core of it is just pure awesome. Haru as alien trying to understand humans is pure comedy gold, and the rest of the cast as Makoto’s friends who help him out are great.

How to Read Your Best Friend by themorninglark is a MakoHaru is so sweet it teeters on saccharine, but it amazingly stays on the right side. It’s a how they get together fic. Haru is so dorky and Makoto is the perfect best friends from forever. Short and sweet. Nagisa plays the catalyst in just the way I like him used.

sometimes i think the stupidest things by sparklecringe is another how they get together fic, but this one is longer and way more explicit. Also features dorky Haru and Makoto as the perfect best friend. Nagisa really shines in this one, even though…just…so…flaming. But the way he helps the two out as they flail into the relationship they were meant to have is great.

In a change of pace, I really liked this short Sousuke/Haru fic: 1.34% Au by lonelyantics. It’s a post-series fic that is short and fun. I don’t really like Sousuke in the anime, but I kinda like this version and how he interacts with Haru.

There are more fics I like, I’ll try to post on them soon (before I forget about them).


For Fall 2014 anime, I ended up watching Mushishi Zoku and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. I thought this second half of the second season of Mushishi a bit weak. There were a bunch I was very meh about, while there seemed to be more depressing ones. I prefer poignant, rather than depressing.

I struggled with Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. I truly disliked how the anime was portraying how Kaori, Tsubaki and Ryouta bullied Kousei and minimized his trauma. But I kept watching because 1) classical music and b) pretty. Luckily, Kousei’s had a breakthrough so I think I’ll be able to enjoy this anime more. It really is so pretty, and I love the rivals who have shown up. I want more of them and less of the other three, frankly. (Especially Kaori. Ugh. She has shades of manic pixy dream girl with the whole pall of death hanging over her and I can't really stand her.)

I think for Spring 2015 I’m really only going to watch Kuroko no Basket season 3. The rest of the lineup has looked quite unappealing so far.


I came across two lovely piano covers by fireteamtorch piano on youtube:

A/Z, the ending from Aldnoah Zero
Rage On, the opening from the Free!

I like both of the original songs, but the piano versions are so pretty.


Some random AMVs:

Natsume Yuujinchou

Something Beautiful. Video quality sucks, but the song is pretty and appropriate.

Nyanko Sensei is a MEAN KITTY!. Hilarious.

Echo. Every clip of sad child Natsume set to an appropriately sad song.

Summer Wars

The OZ Network. The Social Network trailer audio done with Summer Wars video.
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-09-07 08:37 pm
Entry tags:

i'm alive!

Wow, episode 11+12 of Mushishi was pretty brutal. There's something awful about hollowness, and Kumado's hollowness was so sad. I am so looking forward to more Mushishi next month!

Speaking of Mushishi, I don't think I've seen much in the way of fic. One I found and liked was Watahaki, Watahiko by shadowfire125, a companion fic to season 1 episode 21. It's just a lovely little thing.

I'm super behind on this season's anime. Not sure if I'm ever going to catch up. :P
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-07-14 09:29 pm
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anime first impressions

I’ve been watching the first several episodes of a bunch of the new summer anime. There are a couple I am enjoying, a couple which are questionable, and a bunch that are just flat out nos.

First, the stuff I’m not going to keep watching:

Tokyo Ghoul: Modern-day horror where there are people-eating ghouls who live among people. The main character is a normal college student who is attacked by a ghoul and gets the ghoul’s internal organs transplanted into him, turning him into a sort of ghoul. This is pretty bloody. It’s also dark. And the MC is a bit whiny. Sooo not for me.

Argevollen: War fought with mecha. I was hoping it’d be more like 083, with low-level but competent soldiers doing their jobs. But no, the MC is a hot-headed idiot who saves the magically amazing mecha and the young female “engineer” by disobeying orders. The rest of the soldiers seem decent, too bad the MC is cliched in the worst way.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun: Shoujo manga about a girl who fails at confessing to her crush and is instead recruited into helping him with his (best-selling) shoujo manga. The parts about working on the manga are pretty funny and a lot of fun, but the girl is *so* irritating. She has these internal freak outs that are really unnecessary and had me rolling my eyes, especially since it happened multiple times! I don’t think I can make myself watch episode 2 to see if she gets any better because she really was bad.

The stuff I’m not sure about:

DRAMAtical Murder: Sci-fi thriller(?) based on a BL game, by the people who did Togainu no chi. Not sure why I'm watching it, but 2 episodes in it’s pretty harmless. The little robot helpers everyone carries are adorable and the costumes are just plain *odd*. I didn't watch Togainu no chi, but I assume it won’t go down one of the bad ends?

Aldnoah Zero: Another mecha story, but this time very futuristic sci-fi. Very grand but ridiculous premise. The bad guys are like a parody of badness, and Earth is so seriously outmatched it seems like the enemy should win in 1 second. Seriously, it’s that unbalanced. But the MCs don’t completely irritate me (though I don’t really buy them as people) so I’ll give it a few more episodes to see if it pans out.

The stuff I am definitely watching:

Love Stage!!: BL anime based on the manga by Eiki Eiki. Did not read the manga, but I really enjoyed the first episode. It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s sparkly. I am wishing for another season of one of Nakamura Shungiku’s mangas, though. This reminds me a bit of them.

Free!! Eternal Summer: Eye candy swimmer guys continue to be eye candy. *shrugs* What more is there to say? I like the characters! Even Rin now that he’s calmed down (though his sidekick is still kinda annoying—do fans fall for the bait and slash them? I hope not, such a boring pairing). I just hope the new antagonist isn’t too much of an ass.

I still haven’t watched Sword Art Online II. I want a couple more episodes out before I jump in, it’s probably starting slow.

Other stuff I watched that’s not from this new season:

Gin no Saji season 2: LOVE LOVE LOVE. Saw it all in one day. I want more! God, I love this anime. The dog who is better at learning than Tokiwa! The teachers getting all into building the race course! The impromptu food fests! The girls talking amongst themselves! All the serious stuff was very well done as well, of course. Man, Hachiken’s father is *such* an ass. No wonder both his sons ran off. Mikage’s storyline was very interesting. She’s still a bit of a bland character, but her development (and Hachiken’s along with hers) was nice.

What has been distracting is realizing that Hachiken is voiced by Kise's voice actor from Kuroko no Basuke. They even share how they end their sentences with "su"!

Mushishi: Watched season 1 before season 2 started. I think about half the episodes are great, the other half were meh. The great ones were truly superb and I've rewatched them a number of times. Watched season 2 as it aired, and look forward to the rest of season 2 in the fall.
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-07-06 04:34 pm
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i've been reading too many fanfics

Ugh. Been reading a lot of Japanese KnB fanfics and still haven’t found any really great ones. I like longer fics, but the decent stuff is all shorter. The longer ones are either just kinda odd or are OCC in a way I can’t handle. I’ve read so many fics where Kise is a freak. Either comically or really, really creepily. Typically, creepy (rapey) Kise is paired with a really passive (crybaby) Kuroko, which just is so unpleasant. It’s been a while since I’ve read fics from Japanese sites where the uke is turned passive (even if the character is soooo not that way in canon) and the seme(s) are just rapey assholes (totally encountered this in PoT fandom, which was also totally ridiculous). I just can’t handle dubcon/noncon in a serious fic when the consequences of the rape are non-existent or positive. Rape is not a manifestation of the depths of your love, people.

I also came across interesting fan terminology I hadn’t encountered before on Japanese fanfic sites. First is モブ, which is from the English “mob.” It seems to be used for what English fandom would call OCs (other characters), so when you'd say "mob/kuroko" if you are pairing Kuroko with an OC. Another term is ビッチ, which is from the English word “bitch.” It’s a term used (I think) only for ukes. They are basically sluts, similar to 尻軽 (shirigaru). I'm a bit disturbed at the usage of "bitch" (for example, "bitch Kise" used as shorthand in the story summary) but I guess it has a punch that shirigaru lacks?
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-06-26 06:24 pm
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fanfics pet peeves

I've started looking at Japanese fanfics and it really is nice that the dialog is a lot more natural. The things I'm glad I don't see from English fics:

1. Bluenette to mean blue-haired person. WTF is up with that?? I hate these bizarre fan-words. Using "raven" for black-haired person as opposed to a bird also drove me nuts in Naruto fics (as in "the raven looked up").
2. You can't have a work subordinate Kuroko call Akashi "Akashi-kun" (at least, not in Japan). NO.
3. Eating cereal for breakfast. I know it's not uncommon in Japan, but at the same time it's not *that* common. When it's paired with taking a shower in the morning I can't help but think we aren't in Japan anymore.
4. Using "heterochromic" for Akashi's eyes. The word just sticks out like a sore thumb to me.

Haven't found a really great writer or story yet, but I just started looking. I found a couple of decent sites, but the ones I like the most have the smallest number of fics. :P

A funny coincidence: Murasakibara loves "Mauibou" (Umaibou), right? I'd never had any before, but they bought some at work (from *Sam's Club*, of all places) for an event and had extras, so I got to try one (or two or three...)! It was the corn potage flavor. The salt and sweet flavors are well balanced with the crunch factor, making me want to buy my own huge pack of Umaibou to gorge myself on. Too bad I don't burn crazy amounts of calories by just existing, like Murasakibara.
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-06-22 06:28 pm
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even more fanfics...

Yes, my obsession continues. I feel like I should start looking at Japanese fanfics because the screwed up honorifics and other cultural oddities of the English stuff is getting to me. Plus, I'm driving myself crazy trying to find a fic I'm 99% sure exists but just can't rediscover. Did I dream the fic or what? >_<

Up to No Good by triste. Kuroko attends Kaijo, and Kasamatsu has to deal with Kise and Kuroko being (shamelessly) inappropriate all over the place.

Comeback With a Time Lag by amcw177. Aomine realizes his feelings for Kuroko and flails. I love these types of Aomine as total dork (with an audience!) stories. So adorable and hilarious!

Dragon and Shadow by Schnickledooger. Fantasy AU where Akashi is a dragon and Kuroko is a would-be thief who gets caught instead. I love the interaction between dragon Akashi and trapped Kuroko, and the end is great.

rumor has it by jarofclay. Spy/secret agent AU where Kuroko is sleeping with the boss (Akashi, of course) and everyone gets curious.

Yellow Red Sparks by fithablink. A sorta Natsume Yuujincho AU with Akashi like a more evil Matoba and Kuroko like Natsume. A bit dark, but in a good way.

French Presssed, No Cream or Sugar by brioche. Akashi/Kuroko AU set in a coffeeshop. Very romcom, but in a really good way.
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-06-19 07:05 pm
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more fanfics! i am soo obsessed...

I’m in love with AUs where the GoM go to different schools than canon*. Two I’ve read:

Toutouvers by Lys ap Adin has Aomine coming back from the brink of despair/apathy and Kuroko not. The two of them and Momoi go to Toutou, but Kuroko doesn’t join the basketball team. Aomine has to apologize for the past and try to get Kuroko to come back to the basketball he loves. The first two fics run through to the end of the Winter Cup, the rest are Imayoshi/Momoi fics. I loved the first two. Imayoshi is so much fun, and the way he and Momoi scheme and plan to get Kuroko and Aomine back together and to win their games is fun. The dynamic between the three ex-Teikou kids is so wonderfully complex. I like the Imayoshi/Momoi pairing as presented here, just wished the author stuck to the basketball or had more Aomine and Kuroko rather than focusing on the pairing in the later stories.

In contrast is The Moment to Arise by Branch, in which the same three ex-Teikou kids go to Seirin instead. Seirin’s system doesn’t coddle Aomine’s apathy, and Kuroko works to get Aomine to play the way he used to. Kagami is on the team (he was at *Seiho* in the other one!!!) and the dynamic between him and Kuroko and Aomine is fantastic. I really appreciate Kagami in fanfics. He’s not twisted and is a nice guy. Brash (as required as someone who grew up in America?) but not an asshole. In any case, he makes a very nice contrast to Aomine.

I want more!

I also mostly enjoyed Miracles by half_sleeping, in which the GoM (and some random other characters) are girls but play boys basketball (better than any boy, natch). I particularly like Midorima as a girl. There’s something about the prissiness of that character that works so well. Also, Kise. Because she sparkles even more as a girl. Sadly, I wasn’t that enamored by Aomine or Akashi or Kuroko** as girls in this fix, and I wasn’t that interested in the romances of each girl. Oddly, the only one I liked was Midorima/Takao.

*It’s like the Cloud time travels back to Shinra trooper/cadet days fics. Can’t. Get. Enough.

** Except for the moment when Riko tells her to take off her shirt in the beginning, not realizing she's a girl, and people freak out when they do realize she is one.
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-06-17 07:45 pm
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I finally watched to the end of the Kuroko no Basket anime. Aaah, sports manga. It can be very tedious during multi-episode games, but the excitement of a well-done moment is priceless. Especially since KnB really likes buzzer beaters a lot. I look forward to the third season later this year, especially since I've read some summaries of the manga chapters that aren't animated yet.

I've been reading fanfics to whet my apetite. As usual, lots of crap and lots of stuff not-to-my-taste*, but the following are my favorites:

The Winner Takes it All by readerofasaph. Summary: It's the morning of the Winter Cup finals. Again. (An AkaKuro time loop story).

Can I say sweet? It's fun, it's well-written, and it's very understatedly sweet. LOVE.

Penumbra by readerofasaph. Summary: Aomine and Kuroko wake up in each other's bodies. It's not exactly all their dreams come true.

I love how they have to negotiate being each other.

The More You Stay the Same by readerofasaph. Summary: Kuroko wakes up as a girl. The Teikou regulars cope.

It’s understated in the way this author seems to be really good at. So, so funny.

And the Skies will Fall by anatgonists. Summary is way too long to quote here, but basically it's a WIP AU where the GoM are a group of alchemist detectives in a steampunk world, up against a mysterious and powerful necromancer. Love the steampunk. Love the alchemy. Love the group dynamics. Hoping for an update soon...

A Different World by Leaves_Crown. Summary: After Akashi’s cousin died, he is named guardian of her children. He plans to send them to the most expensive school in the city, until he meets their current teacher.

A fun WIP AU, with one more chapter to go, supposedly.

Official by Escapist_Art. Summary: Tetsuya loves Akashi, this will probably never change. And he is certain that, in his own way, the redhead returns that love in equal measure. The end of their relationship is not because of a lack of love. Rather, it is because of a lack of the things needed to nurture and maintain that love.

I really liked Akashi here, as well as Kise and Midorima.

Like Mr. and Mrs. Smith (But Totally Not) by Lys ap Adin is a hilarious AoKuro AU in which both Kuroko and Aomine are hitmen. It's silly but so. much. fun.

5 times Kurko wished he never opened his damn mouth by highboys. KiseKuro(?) crack. As the author's note says: "What is characterization when it comes to crack, right?"

Contractual Obligations by jucee. Kagami has to ask permission to date Kuroko from the GoM. Very fun.

The Puppeteer's Shadow Master by Blossom. It's one of those fics that twists the canon narrative of who is actually in charge. Not remotely plausible but very well-written. Akashi POV, you almost feel sorry for the bastard in this one.

Akashi And Other Animals by half_sleeping. Summary: Akashi adopts his friends again, one by one. His new teammates cope gamely with the influx of Miragen animals.

Kinda cracky, and totally awesome.

*Seems like Midorima/Takao is pretty popular? I can see the appeal, but oh man does Takao rub me the wrong way. The dude's voice and that smirk just make me want to punch him half the time.  Also, psycho Akashi is boooring. 
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-04-09 09:49 pm

oni and werewolves, oh my!

Takao Riichi has written two books that have utterly delighted me in the past year. I read the first one sometime last year but never talked about it because I didn't think I could do justice to my love for it. But I just read another book that also made me squee in happiness, and I just need to share.

First, the book I just read. It's called Oni no ou to chigire (illustrated by Ishida Kaname), and it's a fantasy set in a world with oni. Back in Heian times an onmyouji had a child with an oni, and that half-oni kid was able to bond with oni and become their master. His kids inherited his abilities. Fast forward 1000 years or so, and the Yase family still does the same thing. The ability to bond with oni has been diluted over the centuries so not all kids born into the extended family have the ability. The ones that do bond with an oni and do missions assigned to them by the head of the family and his subordinates. The main character, Tokimori, is a timid kid who totally wished he was normal. Ever since he was small he was freaked out by the scary looking oni that were always around him, especially a particularly large oni that basically stalked him. Luckily, when he was five that big oni disappeared and he met the tiny oni that he would bond with, Yato. Because Yato is so small and weak, they get assigned the lamest missions when he turns 15 and begins doing them. This suits Tokimori just fine. He likes not having to kill people or provide people for his oni to eat. Yato, who grows a bit over the years but is still small, only requires a kiss as recompense for doing the missions. Yato is a talkative and adorable little thing who adores Tokimori. All oni have great affection for their masters, but Yato is fiercely attached. So when Yato's true nature is revealed (he's actually a really big, really powerful oni, the one that stalked Tokimori until he figured out how to shrink his size and conceal his power) he is desparate to stay with Tokimori. Tokimori, for his part, is upset at being deceived and is totally scared of big and powerful Yato. They have to work things out between them as well as deal with a threat that shows up later in the book. The details of the supernatural world don't quite make sense, but if you hand-wave such things away the relationship between Tokimori and Yato is worth it all. It's so, so sweet.

The book I read last year is called Ookami no tsumagomi (illustrated by Okigin Jou) and is about werewolves. In this world werewolves live as packs but are more or less integrated within human society. Most werewolves are mixed blood with humans and can't transfom into wolves.They have better senses and wolfy instincts, while pureblooded ones can actually transform. The main character, Ritsu, is not part of a pack. His ancestors had broken away from a pack and lived in hiding. Packs don't hunt down werewolves that leave, but they monitor them. They don't want random werewolves causing problems in human society and exposing their existence to the general public. Ritsu, like all unattached wolves, does not want to be monitored. He lives alone as his parents had died in a car accident. He's being harrassed by a fellow student at his university, who turns out to have werewolf blood and had been lightly monitored. That student leads the head of the local pack, Magami, to find out about Ritsu. Ritsu has a couple of secrets besides being of werewolf descent, and Magami finds out one of them. The way Magami finds out makes Ritsu despise him, but Magami has fallen for Ritsu. He "knew" the moment he met Ritsu that Ritsu should be his mate and sets out to woo Ritsu. Ritsu does not want to be with anyone, let alone the head of a pack. He also has another secret he's trying to keep...

This book has two elements that usually are big turn-offs for me. Both would be spoilers so I won't mention what they are, but the characters and the story really overcame those turn-offs. Magami is adorable as he courts Ritsu, and Ritsu's slow acceptance of Magami is sweet. It doesn't help that it's considered good manners to have wolf ears and tail out when in the company of other werewolves, so big bad pack leader has adorable ears and tail out when he comes visiting Ritsu. He wags! His ears perk up when happy! They flatten when he's not! Another hilarious bit is that he gets Ritsu to let him in by howling in wolf form outside on Ritu's balcony. He's pushy, but he takes care not to push Ritsu too far after the first encounter. The climax of the courtship is a really great moment. XD;

I’ve read and posted about other books by this author (about wolf gods, tengu, and their brides!), but these two books are nearly perfect to me. ♥♥

I’m disappointed that the oni book will probably never get a sequel and the werewolf book had a spin-off instead of a true sequel. I haven’t had the heart to buy the spin-off, even though I know the main characters from this book appear in it. I am happy that this author seems to get paired with very good artists. Nothing is worse than a decent story hobbled by crappy art.
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-02-09 09:39 pm

a good thing x4

Good things happened last week:

1. My deadline is over! Still lots of work, but the big horrible soul-sucking deadline has passed.
2. The order I’d given up for dead showed up! It turns out I’d accidentally selected surface mail instead of air mail, thus it took forever to get here. Will get into the contents later, but seeing it appear was a very joyous moment.
3. The Natsume Yuujinchou OVA arrived! More Natsume! So pretty! The story was just ok (tho the extra story with Nyanko-sensei and the little kids was pretty funny), but I was so happy to see anything new (in such good quality) I'm not too unhappy. Of course, now I want *more*…New TV season, please.
4. I watched the lantern scene in Tangled in 3D at home and was actually pretty impressed. I own a TV and Blu-ray player that happen to do 3D (I bought them for other things and the 3D was completely superfluous to me) and finally unpacked the glasses to try it out after watching the entire movie in 2D. Naturally not as impressive as in the theatre (I want a bigger screen!) but still quite lovely.

Quick comments on the manga:

Super Lovers 6...I still don’t get Haru or Ren and because of that I just wish they’d get it on. I like it when there's more brotherly fun and affection but the angst and confusion between them seem quite silly to me.

Ikasama Memory 2…Wow, I knew that the entire volume wasn’t about the main couple, but I didn’t expect their part to be less than half. The scene when they get together is so sweet, but…I wanted more! I didn’t dislike the second couple, but I am disappointed. There should’ve been another chapter, at least!

I laughed while reading: I Like Big Trucks And I Cannot Lie: Cars, Trucks, And The Lady Brain
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-02-02 03:47 pm

oldies but goodies

It never hurts to call companies to see if you can get a better deal. I recently looked at the phone/internet bill and was struck by how high it was, so I called the cable company for a price to switch internet over. I then put off calling the phone company to see how much just having landline service would cost because they have crap hours (something like 7:30-5:30 M-F!). But when I did? I found out that just landline isn’t all that cheap, and I can bundle internet with faster speed with landline service for a monthly price that's over $10 cheaper! It wasn’t worth switching to cable internet, but I will save over $100/year and get faster service by having made a 10-minute call.

Besides obsessively rewatching Natsume Yuujinchou episodes and continuing to watch the new anime (Witch Craft Works in particular amuses me even though it makes no sense), I've been rereading some books.

Mahoutsukai no shotaku and Mahoutsukai no kokuhaku by Tanizaki Izumi and illustrated by Rikuyu Chikako I bought because I’ve enjoyed other books by the same author and artist (particularly Shiawase ni dekiru), and I liked the premise. It’s about a young man whose parents died in an accident who gave up going to college and went to work to support his younger brothers. I love that premise (young dude has to raise his younger siblings/nephew/whoever after some tragic accident), but then throw in the young man’s former neighbor and first love showing up after years of no contact. He’s half-Japanese (and I think half-American?) and he’d moved to next door when the main character, Hitomi, was about 15. Jin, the neighbor, has a very bad and aloof dad and doesn’t go to school because he’d already gone to college (and beyond? Can’t remember now.) even though he’s the same age as Hitomi. Jin got really close to Hitomi’s entire family, calling Hitomi’s parents “Papa” and “Mama” and getting along with Hitomi’s younger brothers. He falls in love with Hitomi, and the two become a (secret) thing. Then one day Jin is taken to America by his father and never returns, despite promising he would. So when Jin shows up again, after 6 years, Hitomi doesn’t want to deal with him. Jin hadn’t known about Hitomi’s parents’ deaths and is devastated. He quickly hits it off with Hitomi’s younger brothers, but Hitomi doesn’t want to let Jin close again. Jin had been working on some important project his father had forced him to work on for some secret(?) organization in America, and he’d left as soon as he was done. Unfortunately, a member of the organization shows up (with bodyguards) to try to convince Jin to come back. Jin is very cold and nasty to the guy, but Hitomi is very nice to him which causes lots of fun situations where Jin wants to coldly get rid of the guy but doesn't want to tick Hitomi off. Hitomi’s brothers are adorable. They are very well behaved and very considerate, except that they compete to eat more food than each other. Hitomi doesn’t make a huge amount of money, so he has to be really careful with the finances in order to feed the bottomless pits that are his brothers’ stomaches.

It’s a sweet story. The biggest issue in the first book is for Hitomi to truly accept Jin back into his life. The second book has Hitomi face his future. There are hints that Jin’s father and the organization he’d been forced to work for are shady and possibly dangerous, so it’ll be interesting to see how much more shady and dangerous things will get and how they will mix with the sweet domesticity of Hitomi's home life. There’s a new book out I haven’t bought yet, but will be doing so in my next order.

Another set of books I’ve enjoyed is Kokui no zeirishi (The licensed tax accountant wearing black clothing) 1 and 2 by Umino Sachi and illustrated by Asou Kai. It’s about a licensed tax accountant who willingly works with companies connected with (or run directly by) yakuza. He goes to a company that buys and sells used cars. Mostly they get cars from a yakuza clan, of whom the president of the company is a member of. He isn’t an active member, though his father had been an important person in the clan. He’s a bit…lazy. He lives on the top floor of the company building and is always looking sloppy (but hot) in a yukata. The employees are a motley crew and their bookkeeping is a mess. The accountant has to straighten them (and the lazy president) out in more ways than one. I like the characters. The accountant is uptight, but doesn’t quite get to tsundere. The president is very relaxed most of the time, but then can be very manly when needed (but not in an overbearing way). My favorite bit? The accountant is saved by the president when he’s attacked at one point. The president says, “Who do you think you’re messing with? Some random licensed tax accountant? Or MY licensed tax accountant?” I laugh every single time I read that scene! The art is lovely, of course. I hope there will be more books…
insaneneko: (Default)
2014-01-21 09:46 pm
Entry tags:

addicted to anime?

Have not been reading much lately. I think I’m too sad from losing an order (yeah, I’ve given up on it). I have, however, been watching anime. Started up Cross Game again, which I only watched one episode of back when it was airing. I figured I had to give it more than one episode (having just learned my lesson with Natsume Yuujinchou) and naturally got hooked. The bad thing with sports anime is that the games can go on for a number of episodes so I stopped at episode 24, right before the big game with that team that basically becomes their rival. Will watch more when I have more time to devote to it. (Work is a bit nuts now.)

Also began watching some of the new stuff.

Noragami is pretty and the concept is fun (Japanese god grants wishes for 5 yen each so that he can one day build his own shrine!) but man the characters aren’t that likable. And Yato’s voice is by Natsume’s seiyuu and it just throws me off.

Also watched two episodes of Witch Craft Works, which switches genders in the lady-in-distress saved by warrior/magician/whatever trope. The lady is a normal high school boy, and the witch is a very large breasted, stoic classmate. The enemy is…bizarre and not very threatening (so far). No clue why the boy is so prized, hopefully will find out soon (I hate it when they drag out the big secret, it always ends up being a let down). I like that the boy will not be totally useless as it seems he will learn magic (boys can do magic? All the witches so far have been female). But his protector? Is seriously badass when she’s doing the protecting.

Have downloaded the new episodes of Gin no Sagi but haven’t watched it. Looking forward to it, tho!

I managed to watch to the end of Yuushibu*, a little anime about a guy who’d been training to be a hero who loses his dreams when the demon lord is defeated. He instead works as a sales clerk at a (magic) appliance store. His life is complicated when the (defeated) demon lord’s daughter shows up as a new employee, and antics ensue. It’s very fan-servicey in that the women’s uniforms are skimpy and many of the women are very well-endowed. And bounce. Lots of very gratuitous shots of boobs and butts. But I kept watching because I liked the characters. The guy is not a perv, the demon lord’s daughter is incredibly enthusiastic (even though her sales technique *sucks*), and everyone else who are supposed to be nice are just nice people. The climax is suitably ridiculous yet serious (the way this anime takes the job so seriously reminds me of Hataraku Maou-sama), so I was actually very pleased with this anime.

Haven't looked into all the anime being aired now, will have to sit down for a good look soon. Just not now, because I need to sleep. :P

*Short for “Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita.” which translates to “I Couldn’t Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job.” Yeah, ridiculously long name. Wish this trend would DIE soon. :P