Sunday, June 30, 2013

Geeky Things That I'd Possibly Like To Own in The Future!

There comes a time in everyone's life where they turn to their parents and say, "Hey guys, you're pretty cool but not really but maybe I guess I'll never know. But anyway, I think I'm going to split. Thanks for the food, goodbye forever. Or until Christmas, whichever comes first." Me, I'm almost at that point. In fact it's coming at me like a freight train.

Most likely in a latter post I'll discuss the fears I have going into that but this week I'd like to focus on the positive. Namely, the freedom to further embrace my inner geek. It seems that with being a geek comes with an inherit desire to own a lot of props from favorite books/video games/comics that are favored by said geek. I am no exception. And even though going into college means I won't have spare money, had I the spare money I'd take full advantage of being able to buy big sharp toys that my parents would probably consider a waste of money. I've even got a list! (In case anyone wants to go shopping for me!)

-A model of The Master Sword and Hylian Shield from Legend of Zelda
-Enough posters of anime and games to cover my desk space
-The cool wall paint that can turn your wall into a white board or chalk board
-A model of the Kingdom Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts
-A fairy in a bottle (oh wait, I already have that!)
-A model Portal Gun from Portal 
-A top hat 
-The Zora Link and Kaifi masks from Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask
-A PS4 and a WiiU (In a perfect world)
-A model of Wheatly from Portal
-A Totoro Plushie
-A Twelve Hole Ocarina
-A sonic screwdriver
-The door to my house painted like the TARDIS

That's all...For now....

Stats of the Week
None. I'm lazy. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Top Five Plot Subplots in Manga/Anime

Hello. My name is Becca Lathorn, and I have a bad habit of falling off the face of the earth. And for that I apologize. Let's move on.

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Today I thought I'd just kinda geek out about a couple of subplots I go crazy over in manga and anime. That's one of the things I like about graphic novels and anime, they always give you the scope of exploring more then one character. And with these little lovies I read (or watch) them over and over and over.

5) Baccono: Graham Specter, Whatever The Heck He Is

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Baccono is a historical fantasy that was first a light novel then later made into an anime. The anime takes place in the 1930's and shifts between multiple points of view, all centered around a centuries old war and race for the recreation of the grand panacea, the key to immortality. Now maybe I'm cheating by using a story with no clear main plot line (not only that, but I'm not even sure if this guy's role in the story can even qualify as a subplot), but I just love this guy to pieces. If you ever have the chance to read my main project (one that I've mentioned many times on this blog) Scrapper: The Connection Reborn you'll know that I go crazy over character that either have some sort of dual identity or are simply straight up clinically insane (of which I have an over abundance of both). This guy, he takes the cake when it comes to crazy. So when he shows up you know you're about to be very, very confused. To this day I don't really have a clear cut idea of who this guy is supposed to be. One minute he's a mechanic next he's a terrorist and then he's the lord of the underground and wouldn't you know it suddenly he's also the good guy and the bad guy at the same time. His is a small part in this particular anime and only shows up at the end, but his character is loud enough to make a lasting impression and to that I say kudos.

4) Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask (The Manga): Miss Anju and Kafei

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Look at me, cheating again! I just can't be stopped. Next subplot technical originates from Nintendo's Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask for the Nintendo 64. But they did make a manga out of it so this still counts! ~*Sticks Tongue Out*~

(Deku Shrubs look like this.)
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Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask is a dark fantasy that follows the story of Link, a young boy (maybe about ten in the manga) in search of his companion fairy Navi, who aided Link in his previous adventure (Ocarina of Time, also a manga so it still still counts.) While in search for Navi he is attacked by a young Ogre known as Skullkid and his two fairy companions, Tatl and Tael. (Yes, intended to sound like tattle tale) His horse and his Ocarina are stolen so he gives Skullkid a chase. When he confronts Skullkid, Skullkid transforms Link into a deku shrub. Making a deal with an otherworldly spirit known as the Happy Mask Salesman (aka, the creepiest shady character you will ever encounter in your life) Link has three days to recover a mask that the Skullkid also stole if he's ever to return to his true form. 

This gam- I MEAN COUGH COUGH -manga is just oodles of fun for more reason then one, however the part I enjoy the must is, you guessed it, the subque-PLOTS. Subpolts. Not subquests. That's so for video games and not even shut up. But the subplot I treasure above them all is the story of Miss Anju the Inn-keeper's daughter and her fiance Kafei, who has mysteriously disappeared. Miss Anju grows anxious with each passing day. See, in three days there will be a grand festival in town, and everyone knows that when two lovers are wed on the day of the festival they are blessed. Ever since they were kids, Kafei promised Miss Anju that they'd be wed on the night of the festival. But Miss Anju will wait, she trusts that Kafei will return. Link goes out looking for Kafei and discovers that Skullkid, that fiend, had turned Kafei into a child to punish Kafei for not playing with him. Kafei laments that he cannot face his beloved Anju like that, he needs to find the Skullkid and force him to fix this before his wedding night. 

Now if that's not true love, I don't know what is. My description really doesn't do it justice. Guys, I just love the bond that these two have (see Some Weirdo Things if you want to know why), how much they trust each other. It's so freaking cute. 

3) AIR: Minagi and Michiru

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~Omigod finally she uses a real anime. 

Guys, AIR. What to say about AIR. I only watch this anime when I'm really hating myself. Like seriously, I avoid it when I am able. Not because it's a terrible anime, no. It's one of the best anime's I've ever seen. But it's so. Freaking. Sad. Honest sad. Just cut out my heart chop it into little pieces feed it to your dog then torture the defecation it creates. I'm not one to cry during anything other then real life. Stories just don't usually have the power to move me to tears. In fact, there are only three times in my life where I've cried during any sort of story. 1) A little misty-eyed at the end of Les Miserables. 2) Clannad (discussed in the next subplot). 3) This anime. 

The basic plot is that wandering street performer Yukito is minding his own business, trying to perform for enough money for food when he meets Misuzu, a kind-hearted girl with a lonely life and a curse that threatens to kill her within weeks if Yukito does not help her. Throughout this sorrowful tale there are two subplots, the first one ends happily while the second one bittersweet. See, this is the part where I cried. Yukito and Misuzu eventually become acquainted with a rather oddly matched duo, Minagi and Michiru. Minagi acts as an older sister to the young mischievous Michiru and dotes on her constantly, but eventually the viewer gets the feeling that Michiru is the one looking out for Minagi. Minagi's mother, having suffered the death of Minagi's younger sister, has convinced her self that Minagi is the one that died and that Minagi is actually her younger sister. Minagi, while wanting to live up to her mother's delusion, feels as if her mother can't even see the real her anymore and is desperate to get her old mother back. Michiru helps Minagi do just that, fighting through her mother's dream and forcing her mother to realize the daughter she once thought was Minagi is dead. After all the healing has been done it's revealed that Michiru is actually the manifestation of Minagi's sadness and her mother's regret, and that the last thing to do in order to let Minagi move on in her love is to let Michiru disappear. 

What really got me was Minagi and Michiru's goodbye. Michiru made Minagi promise to smile as she disappeared, even though Minagi felt she could do anything but. The pain of saying goodbye to her friend was just so deep and raw, she was breaking apart. Regardless, as the two of them face back to back so that Minagi does not have to see Michiru go, they both smile through their tears. And just like that she's gone. 

Please go up about two paragraphs to see what that did to me. 

2) Clannad: Fuko Ibuki

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I tell ya, whoever created these two anime must have made it there personal mission in life to make me miserable. Do not. Tell me. That this girl. Is not. The cutest girl. You have ever seen. Don't. Jesus doesn't like it when people lie. 

Clannad, created by the sadistic mind that brought you AIR, is the story of the struggles of Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa, both struggling to find their proper place in life. Again, this anime puts an emphasis on a couple of different side stories, Fuko's being the first. Tomoya and Nagisa first meet Fuko while she passes out wooden starfish to invite people to her sister's wedding. While shy and childish at first, Fuko eventually warms up to Tomoya and Nagisa. As the trio spend more time together, they realize that Fuko never goes home. She stays at school all the time. When asked about this, Fuko responds that her sister doesn't see her anymore. Confused and worried, Nagisa offers to let Fuko stay with her family while Tomoya and Nagisa try to get to the bottom of the seemingly strained relationship between Fuko and her sister. When her sister is finally tracked down she tells them that her younger sister Fuko was the victim of a car accident and had been comatose for years. Turns out that the Fuko Nagisa Tomoya and a group of their friends had known was the lingering desire that Fuko has to make friends at high school. Soon after this is revealed, everyone starts forgetting Fuko, Tomoya and Nagisa being among the last. And while Fuko's spirit is slowly fading she is disappearing from their memories. But for a brief moment, when all those close to Fuko's spirit look down at the wooden starfish they gave her, they remembered her enough to go to her sister's wedding.

Again, please go to the first paragraph under number three to know just how this makes me feel.

1) Inuyasha: Inuyahsa's Battle Against His Own Demon Nature

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~Yay it's not girly.

Okay, before even getting into why this is my favorite manga/anime subplot of all time, I have to go ahead and share with all you lovely people how much I love this anime (and manga). Once upon a time, way back when, I was a child. A child who did not know what anime or manga was. A child, who when looking at the word, would have pronounced it MAN-ga rather then MON-ga. I know. Blasphemy. Moving on, this was one of the first, the first series where I loved the anime as much as the manga and read/watched first all the way through even though they were both ridiculously long. Maybe if I'd watched it for the first time today I'd say it was stupid and cheesy and was filled with inconsistency, but my love for it continually grows as it is an instant nostalgia bomb.

The plot to Inuyasha: Modern-day Tokyo middle-schooler Kagome finds herself in a bit of a pickle when she falls through the well at her family's shrine only to resurface in feudal Japan. While trying to find her way home she meets Inuyasha, a century's old half-demon in search of the Shikon Jewel (aka Jewel of Four Souls or Sacred Jewel), which has the power to make him into a full fledged demon. He came close, fifty years before but was stopped by the shrine priestess who protected it, Kikyo. She bound him to a tree in the forest shortly before dying, having demanded to her younger sister to burn the jewel with her body so that no others may misuse it. Well, lo and behold Kagome happens to be the reincarnation of that priestess (which Inuyasha doesn't take to kindly too), or so she discovers after a demon attacks her and send the jewel flying out of her body. And after a scrap with a nasty crow demon, she accidentally splits the jewel into pieces. Thanks to that Kagome and Inuyasha are stuck on a journey together to gather the pieces, Kagome because it is now her responsibility to guard the jewel, and Inuyasha because he still wishes to use the jewel to make him a full fledged demon.

As mentioned eariler, this is a very long series and has a large number of subplots, even within the main characters. However, the crowning jewel for me will always be Inuyasha's struggle with his demon half. At the beginning of the story, Inuyasha welcomes any opportunity to improve his strength and bring him closer to demon-hood. But he does not stay so arrogant and power-hungry for long. As his character develops he examines his reasons for wanting the power in the first place. One of the main conflicts of the second season of the anime is Inuyasha losing control of his demon nature and killing a number of people out of blind rage whenever he or his friends are close to death.

To me, this subplot is the perfect example of one of my favorite conflicts when it comes to stories. Man vs. Self. It's the most human out of all the conflicts, in my opinion. No matter what comes and goes in our lives we will always have our inner demons to fight. That is one of the only constants life has to offer. And Inuyasha? He literally fights his own inner demon! So cool!

In short, Eilobell, please have an anime marathon with me.

HOLY CANNOLI that was a long post. Well, if you missed me before, you sure as heck don't now!

Stats  Of The Week
Song:  Drops of Jupiter by Train
Book: Inuyasha By Rumiko Takehashi
Word: Cannoli
Quote: "Alright, I'm all done. Let's piss on the fire and call the dogs."
~Duck Dynasty