Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today's Fannish Weirdness

While babbling excitedly over the idea of Nana vol 19 sailing its way to my home, I'm bothered by fanfic rants. I think that bothered me because I don't think being bothered about issues of consent is THE OPPOSITE OF FEMINISM! I'm reminded of this post. Even though I personally hope that all the porn out there is consensual as far as the actresses are concerned[but in this era of random internet porn, who knows whether this is true or not. I try to think so, but I am probably wrong], the fact that on screen, existing near the phallus is consent for sex gives me pause.

In stories, we can at least give the character's internal thoughts voice and show our characters' trust and mutuality. I need to be shown the consent- shown the lust on both sides, the consideration for the well being and pleasure of the other, the sweet suggestion. Without that, often the scenes end up reading as unlabeled rape. Your romantic sex scene becomes dark and twisted instead. And that's not what you want.


Friday, October 23, 2009

The Magicians

I loved this book, and for some reason, now want to write fanfiction. I especially liked the 'unlikable' main character. After this sentence, there are spoilers. I don't think the plot would have worked without our Quentin. If he hadn't messed up royally, if he hadn't had that ennui and emptiness, they would have not gone to Fillory at all. It's mentioned several times- that Quentin needs this. [and so does Eliot and Penny]. They really need Fillory. That's why they push through, with the delusion that it's like a story, even though it becomes more and more evident that this isn't a story. That it is dangerous. Notice that Richard stays back. He doesn't need this quest, so he is able to think rationally about the consequences. If they had been 'likeable', the whole group that is, heroic and kind and everything else that most people are only minutely, they probably would have given the buttons to the authorities, and they would have not been wandering aimlessly in Manhattan. No, they would be undercover humanitarians using magic to heal suffering, or scientists exploring the nature of magic. I get the feeling that it's a common fantasy novel conceit that people who have something missing in their real lives go to fantasy worlds. Grossman loves his fantasy so much he isn't going to leave that part out.

I think at the end, they haven't learned their lesson at all. Going back would be a mistake. Then again, staying on earth would be a mistake too. I hear there will be a sequel. I'm suspicious of that Watcherwoman. Yes, a great evil was vanquished, but will the results be that good?


Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have now read Suppli 1-3. Personally, I read it for the art. Fuji's tangly hair, and the different and interesting angles that the panels take- I love. The role that sexism plays in pushing our characters towards 'love' is interesting too. The glass ceiling is mentioned several times- women getting the worst projects, being stuck on the lowest ladder, etc, so that marriage seems to be the only option for a fulfilling life. The mentions of the generational mismatch between older supervisors stuck in the 'bubble era' and younger workers who have never known that flashy life give this manga extra dimension that keeps it from being blah blah romance.

The lack of wacky hijinks also makes me glad. I'm OK with hijinks in moderation, but the trend is to get so bogged down in episodic hijinks that the manga ends up with no plot at all.

Too bad it'll be forever until Suppli 4 comes out.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More Fruits Basket

I reread all of Fruits Basket. In order. I thought after reading it that it's not a pure happy ending, and that is why it's so great. I loved Tohru picking up Kyo's beads- the past was painful,yes, but it was a part of him- an important part. And Tohru notes that there is a lot of pain, that will take years to get through. And throughout, it's noted that the attitudes in the main house might take years to change. No, will take years to change. That everyone is not all lined up, smiling happily- but that's OK. It reminds me of the Full Metal Alchemist 1st anime ending. My favorite part of that was the quote that the world is imperfect. And that's OK. Maybe everyone's wishes didn't come true, maybe in that struggle, they lost a lot, almost as much as they gained.

There's no guarantee that everyone will be happy. That's why happiness is valuable. I think those endings are life affirming in that you can't strip everything sad out of life, and have it still be life.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Can't People Write a Goddamn Story Anymore?

I read Otomen volume 2, and I am quite disappointed. Iruka could have been a good recurring character, but I'm sure we'll never see her again, as well as we won't see Asuka's little fanboy again. I guess they are having the Love*Com complex in which actual obstacles to the official couple's relationship won't endure past one chapter.

Personally, I'm OK with romance manga- for example, I'm rereading Fruits Basket. It's a romance, but both of the rivals seem to actually have a chance. There are also dark hints about the past and other story lines. Another example of a romance manga that handles things well is Skip Beat! I have the 19th volume in my hot hands now. The official couple may be pretty dull[standard I met him once as a child, slap slap kiss stuff], but the surrounding story about show biz and Kyoko working hard to achieve her new dream is interesting.

If you only have romance, spice it up. Otherwise, I'm not going to spend my cash on it.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Slavery, Civilization and Complaining

Pro slavery sci fi writers are discussed.

I'm playing Civ 4 as native america, and of course, I'm a nitpicker, wondering why braids and buckskin Indians united under Sitting Bull have totem poles as their unique building and dog soldiers as their unique unit.

A white man says this:

well, that's a problem with picking historical leaders as the leaders of a fantasy world/race not based on earth history.

many times, it doesn't make much sense

He does have a point there, but some of the civilizations are based on real empires, such as you have Louis XIV and Napoleon for France and Mana Musa for Mali, and then you have strange mismashes like Native America and the Arabian empire... It just bugs me, even though the Zulu, the Koreans and the Germans all ganged up on me- Japan to try to annihilate me, at least we all seemed to be coherent countries...