February and March Anime!

I missed my post for February because I was lazy/ busy/ whatever, so I’m just gonna throw in what I watched from then in this post as well.

So let’s see… I watched the rest of Fate/Zero, Fantasia Doll, started Cowboy Bebop, and watched the available Nyanbo episodes. I’ve let Trickster episodes pile up so I can watch them all at once, I’ll get around to that once I finish Cowboy Bebop.

Fate/Zero was pretty amazing. I watched it kind of a while ago now so I can’t recall all of the details, but the animation was gorgeous, the magic was really cool, the characters were great, and the story was pretty good. It’s basically about some preset magical war that begins between a couple magical houses. They get to summon these cool “avatars” based off of historical figures that fight on their behalf. It ended a lot differently than I expected, but looking back on it, I think that may have been because I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t see the hints.

Fantasia Doll was alright, but it was a little too cutesy and cliche for my tastes. It reminded me of Cardcaptor Sakura (in a good way) and though they kind of used the card aspect a little differently than most card game animes, it still feels weird to watch an anime about people playing a card game.

Cowboy Bebop is great so far, but I’m only a couple episodes in so I’ll talk about that once I’m done or at least further through.

I’ve saved talking about Nyanbo for last because I love, love, love this show. It is most definitely a kids cartoon and the episodes are only five minutes long, but it’s just so loveable. From what I can tell, the actual plot is very minimal. The characters are these box-looking “alien” not-cats that act like cats and have strange powers. They don’t know why or how they came to Earth, but one of the main characters is set on them rebuilding their UFO so they can get back into space. And they actually do find UFO pieces throughout the show. I don’t know, it’s just adorable and funny and super easy to get into, so I guess that’s why I like it. 🙂

Well, that’s all I’ve watched for now!

~Erynn

January Animes!

I’ve been trying to make time to watch a lot of anime lately because I think it’s pretty useful for learning mannerisms, and it’s good listening practice. I’m starting to recognize a decent amount of words (even if it sometimes takes me a little while to figure out what they are, once I’ve recognized them) which feels pretty good.

Anyway, since January is just about done, I figured I’d just quickly mentioned what anime I made it through this month.

I finished Yuri on Ice, Izetta the Last Witch, Mob Psycho 100, and made it through all the available Trickster episodes.

Yuri on Ice was pretty cute. It’s a short anime focused on figure skating and stuff, but I thought the characters were pretty great, even though they don’t do much more than skate and hang out sometimes.

Izetta the Last Witch is probably one of my current favourites. It’s a fantastical, alternate history that takes place during WW2. I loved the characters in this as well, and I thought the magic was pretty sweet.

Mob Psycho 100 was super confusing and funny. Like I mean it wasn’t confusing in a bad way, things made sense most of the time, but sometimes things just happened and they seemed completely random at first but they eventually mostly make sense. It was strange, but I liked the premise a lot.

Trickster was alright. I thought this was especially helpful for helping with my listening since it was a lot closer to slice-of-life than any of the others I watched (even though this is technically sci-fi) as it followed the lives of some students and their detective shenanigans. I honestly thought it was done at 13 episodes but it seems to be continuing on, so I guess I’ll see where that goes.

I also started Fate/Zero and made it through the first two episodes, but I was doing homework and not really watching so I think I need to go back and start again. It looked cool, though. I just need to pay more attention because there seems to be a lot going on, haha. 🙂

Gonna keep trying to get through as much anime as possible. Not only for the practice but because there’s a lot of stuff that I need to catch up on since I haven’t been watching all that much over the last couple of years.

~Erynn

Sword Art Online — Aincrad

I read the Sword Art Online light novels after watching the anime series, but I didn’t know until I picked up the first book that the novels were actually written before a manga or anime adaption was made. I found that pretty interesting.

The novels, like the anime, are about a group of hardcore gamers who are unable to log out of the very first Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (VRMMORPG for short). It’s announced, as soon as people begin to panic, that being unable to log out from the game is a “feature” and not a bug. It’s also stated that anyone who dies inside the game dies in real life.

Virtual reality is something that fascinates me, so naturally, I found the story very interesting. All of the main characters struggled with adapting to the virtual world in their own way, but in the first Aincrad novel we follow the efforts of Kirito, a solo player who avoids grouping with other players at all costs. I found Kirito’s personality to be a bit cliche– he came off as your typical hero who has to save everyone– but I’ve come to accept that stories sometimes need to use cliches and so I ignored it.

Being a gamer myself, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of world building that was involved in the novels. Supposedly there are 100 floors in Aincrad for the players to beat, but the real story begins around chapter 2 where we jump straight to floor 70-something. I was eager to read about the different boss battles they encountered and the initial panic of the playerbase when they’re locked in the game (some of which is addressed in the anime instead of the light novels). I wanted to read more about Kirito and his adventures, but the story was often driven toward the good deeds he did for other people than the selfish things he did for himself.

I think the story could have been written better. I felt like, even though the author did very well on some accounts, not everything I was expecting/ wanting out of the story was accomplished. I still intend to read all of the other light novels in hopes of instances being more detailed further on in the story, but there is a decent wait time on the English translations.

I’d like to tackle my own virtual reality story sometime, though with the current list of stories I’ve got to write, I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.

Have any of you read the Sword Art Online books or watched the anime? What are your thoughts?

~Erynn

The Joys of Fan Fiction

A lot of us writers probably wrote fan fiction at some point in our lives. Many of us aren’t proud of that fact, but it’s really nothing to be ashamed of; writing fan fiction is a way to test the waters with already established characters and stories. I’m saying this because when I started writing seriously… I shamed that part of my writing career into a corner and locked it away because I thought it was embarrassing. In a way it kind of is, but not because the writing was fan fiction, but instead because the writing was just awful in general. There actually is a difference.

So, in other words, no one that I know personally has read those god awful stories from when I was thirteen. The only other people who have read them were equally obsessed thirteen year old girls who wanted to read more about the same characters. They didn’t care about how bad the writing was.

There are many different types of fan fiction, as it basically stems from anything fictional about an already established world and already established characters, written by someone other than the author. There are little boundaries with a classification like that. Fan fiction can, and is, derived from things such as novels, television series, movies, and you could even go so far to say that fiction written about historic events is fan fiction- though if it’s actually classified as such, I wouldn’t know, so I wouldn’t quote me on that.

Personally, I wrote a series of short stories/novellas on an anime series I enjoyed when I was younger. I was big into the characters because the series was actually about finding yourself and helping others- something I found pretty inspiring when I was younger. It was easy to take the characters and do what I wanted with them because I liked them so much, but I truly believe that doing this helped turned me into the writer I am today. Not that I’m anything special yet, but it doesn’t hurt to dream!

I’m sure that if you looked hard enough you will still find these stories online. I know I never removed them and I’m positive that the website I used is still up and running, but there’s no way I’m going to actually show any of you that garbage. If you find it, though, feel free to post it in the comments and make fun of me. I’ll even give you a cookie for doing so.

Have any of you written fan fiction? What are your thoughts on fan fiction in general?

~Erynn