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branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Now that the Winter anime season is completed, it's time to recommend things! My biggest winner from the past season is ACCA.

ACCA is, first of all, a single-season show, so the plotting is very tight and moves along briskly, and, most importantly, does not leave you hanging with ep 12 howling "what do you /mean/ I have to wait a year for the resolve?!".

It's also gratifyingly subtle. It starts out looking a little like a police procedural, but takes an immediate turn into complex mystery and politics. The setting is a country (or, more accurately, a federation) divided into twelve districts with country-type autonomy. The regulatory body that keeps an eye on government and trade in this situation, is ACCA, of which our protagonist is a member.

There's plenty of lovely world-building, and there are times you might wonder if the story is getting lost in an exploration of the twelve (very distinct) districts, but all of that exploration turns out to tie smoothly right back into the plot. Which is that there is a plot afoot! There is, we hear, a coup detat in the offing. Who is behind it, who is participating, and exactly what our protagonist's part in all this is, is revealed only slowly.

The reveals are actually my favorite part of this show. Every time, there are red herrings that lead you to the wrong conclusion, but there are also clues provided just enough in advance for you to figure it out and have the pleasure of having guessed right when the truth comes out. In addition, each truth, while feeling solid and satisfying, only reveals another layer of the plotting.

My next favorite part is probably the romance. Because, while there's quite a bit of romance floating around, every single romantic relationship is either torpedoed by revealed genetic relationships or else explicitly identified as one-sided. You know the thing a lot of manga and anime do, where the epilogue is years later and shows you the romantic relationships neatly tied up in marriages? ACCA flips that. The last episode features several romantic pairs saying in so many words to one another "I know it's one sided, don't worry" or words to that effect. I grinned for a /week/ on the power of that alone.

By contrast, the most obvious slash pairing ends with significant hand contact, which did make my heart go pitter pat a bit, because really, you barely need your slash colored goggles with these two. My word, romantic pairings should /hope/ to see that kind of devotion.

And, of course, my thoroughgoing favorite thing is our protagonist, who is mild and unassuming and who you really, really do not want to make angry because he will, calmly and quietly and without collateral damage, raze your entire life's work, social standing, and political capital down to the ground. Such a delightful boy. One of the best twists of the whole story revolves around his nature, and it's his nature that makes the red herring so convincing. Wonderful writing.

This is definitely one I recommend watching, ideally on a weekend when you can marathon the whole series and delight in the unfolding of it all.
branchandroot: Ed giving a thumbs up (Ed thumbs up)
So, anyone been following Mander!fail? The LOTR archive fiasco with the clueless boy who thinks he's got this Brilliant New Idea to make money off fandom? Hell, even if you haven't...

Have a brilliant fable-version of the affair.

*still laughing*
branchandroot: dark clouds over a sunlit field (sunlit and dark clouds)
I never thought I would do this, but here it is:

Watch Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.

Do not read anything at all about it beforehand. Just watch it.

Grab the files off Nyaa. I can recommend the MahouShoujo+yesy translation; they might even be as good as they think they are. There are three weeks left to run, so you get the best of both worlds.

I will say this: Utena had a love-child with Card Captor Sakura, and it grew up to date Mononoke. And that's all I'll say.

Just watch it.

(And then hit up the wiki for this show, because wow. I mean... wow.)


(Mac users will need the latest VLC to play these. If you have trouble with that, you may actually want to set up Movist; once it's set up you can right-click > open with > Movist individual files and you get a nice, regular app window.)

MOOD SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS
branchandroot: a hand holding a star (star hand)
I think I'm in love.

Not least because my own uni is currently having this debate and people really are eyeballing the foreign language departments in a very worrying way.
branchandroot: dawn over the sea (sea dawn)
A recent comment got me looking back over my fic, and I decided to see if I could pick a favorite fic per significant series, that I have written. Kind of auto-recommendations. I managed without cheating, but there are definitely honorable mentions, too!

Angel Sanctuary This has to be Six, the Lucifer/Michael that just needed to be written.

Bleach Ice is Also Great and Would Suffice, a Rukia and Byakuya story in the aftermath of the Soul Society arc.

Card Captor Sakura New Year in Winter; it was a moment I wanted to write for a long time, Yue's response to his capture, and turned into the start of an arc because I couldn't just leave the poor woobie there.

Eyeshield 21 Souvenirs, a little Hiruma snapshot of sorts, very stylized. Hiruma seems to bring that out in me. Honorable mention to "Size Matters" the crack crossover with GWing.

Final Fantasy VII Has to be Where Seduction Serves, which is a Sephiroth/Cloud AU of the Northern Crater scene, and came out just as scary as it was supposed to. But I also have a mighty love for "Hearts and Flowers", which is my version of Zack and Aerith meeting, written pre-Crisis, and is perfect fluff.

Fullmetal Alchemist Oh, wow, where to start? Honorable mentions: "Snapshots" for angst. "Detour" for... um, well, more angst, but in a hopeful sort of way? "Hageshii" for Lust/Greed tastiness, which is its own category of awesome. "In Silence" for contrariness, because it's screaming Roy+Ed, when I was known for RoyxEd. But I think, if I had to pick just one, it would be Long Enough, which is Scar--post Lior.

Fushigi Yuugi Copper and Candlelight, which is the start of giving Yui less of a cop-out ending.

Getbackers A Theme in Pentatonic, because I mean, come on, it's the harem porn that is just begging to happen.

Gundam Wing Breadcrumb Trail, because the thought of Relena as a pilot makes me warm and fuzzy.

Katekyou Hitman Reborn I love the AU Xanxus arcs, and I love the Yamamoto/Gokudera arc really, really a lot, but I think my one favorite story just has to be Withdrawal. *snickering*

Loveless Ride Your Wild Horses, because the poor slobs deserve a happy ending, by damn.

Meine Liebe Light to Walk By, because I <3 Nicholas and the way he relates to Lui.

Monochrome Factor Unbound would probably be the one. Shirogane hair-porn, what could be better?

Petshop of Horrors Wild, which is a crossover with PoT. *evil grin* Honorable mention to "North of the Sun, Over the Moon", because as soon as I met Lau I wanted to write what would happen if he and Leon ever met.

Prince of Tennis Oh god. Challenge and Translated probably tie for my very most favorite arcs. "305 the Way it Should Have Been" definitely gets an honorable mention, as does "Time-lapse". But the single favorite, I think, may be Six Examples, which is Rikkai and revelation, and that line of tennis=sex that makes people write pairings for this series with such wild abandon.

Saiunkoku Monogatari Pollen for Dreams actually ties for first with "Finding Home", but the latter is part of an arc and kind of needs to be read as part of it, which I think edges the first into the lead for this purpose. Honorable mentions for "Deeper Than Love", because the world needs more Seiran+Ryuuki, and "A Brighter Shade of Red", because it's an FY crossover and Shuurei/Yui and what could be better?

Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Probably Wind is on the Face of the Water, because while all KuroFai fang-fic is good, this one has Tomoyo being awesome to boot.

Xxxholic Abiding, without question.

Yami no Matsuei Polarization, because I actually found a way to make logical sense of Watari's drive to perfect the sex-change potion. *smirks*

Yuugi-ou Kiss for a Lifetime, because Anzu is way too good for any of the boys.
branchandroot: hand balancing a dagger (dagger hand)
So, now that the MZB Affair is being re-examined, I've been meaning to do a little roundup of the pertinent points. Fortunately, [personal profile] opusculus has done it already!

I link you The Facts of the MZB Case, an excellent write-up which takes the information that is available and points out the things we don't know and offers a bit of logic and clearly marked speculation on what might fill in those holes.
branchandroot: Kaname laughing (Kaname laughing)
And everyone should go read it.

The author expresses clearly and concisely some of the knottiest issues of writing slash as a feminist. And, as a sample, let me quote the comment in which she actually manages to define feminism, which just knocked my socks off, because have you ever tried to do this? With any belief or philosophy you hold? It's amazingly hard.

Well, I tend to go with the "feminism is the radical notion that women are people" line most of the time. :)

But, of course, that tiny quote has a lot of implications -- for instance, it implies that a feminist is someone who acknowledges that we live in a society that systematically dehumanises women. We women tend to be valorised for doing things reduce our agency, that cast us as objects, etc, while if we do things that indicate that we're complex people who want to be in control of our own lives, we're automatically suspect. Another good quote, from Rebecca West is, “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”

Beyond that, though, feminism is quite diverse and difficult to pin down -- because while there is a broad consensus on the need to differentiate ourselves from doormats, there are lots of different (and sometimes conflicting) ideas about how to do so. As I note above, a lot of the time, this is used, by both feminists and anti-feminists alike, to polarise feminism in very unhelpful ways, and I reject this completely, even as I acknowledge that there are feminists with whom I disagree strongly on some issues. To me, feminism is about taking all of those ideas, even those that I may initially dislike, and applying them critically, and seeing what I come away with -- sometimes, the ideas I dislike do not stand up against this process, and sometimes, I am forced to challenge my own assumptions about how things work (and sometimes I shift back and forth, undecided). I see this as an ongoing process with few easy answers.
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Review of [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge's fic series, the Stealing Harryverse.

Stealing Harry (multi-part)
Tales from the River House (scattered shorts)
Laocoon's Children, Year One, Year Two, Year Three (multi-parts, Three still in progress)

I rarely review fic, but I've been wanting some good HP fic to soothe me, and Em pointed out this author and 'verse in particular, and it's so lovely I wanted to share with anyone who might have missed it.

The entire 'verse is a What If AU. What if Sirius had stopped to pick up Remus before he went looking for Peter, and Voldemort's side (extremely suspicious and ticked off, to be sure) found Peter first?

From that one moment, the Stealing Harryverse spins onto a different path that runs parallel to the canon books and covers many of the same events but has all sorts of fascinating differences.

Stealing Harry covers much of Harry's childhood. Laocoon's Children matches stride with the books, going year by year.

One of the things I find most delightful about these stories is that the characters are still themselves. Harry is too impulsive for his own good; Snape is a bastard; Sirius needs a leash for his temper; Remus is living with hell once a month; Draco doesn't like confrontation but has a vindictive streak; Ron is casually kind and constantly awkward. But they are these things in a world turned about fifty degrees on its axis, and, most importantly to me, they are these things in a consistent, emotionally logical fashion.

Sam clearly intends to take Laocoon's Children through all seven years. I, for one, will be looking forward to reading it.

Some spoilers re pairings and who are focal characters for those who want to know before reading )
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Server migration has been accomplished, which, hopefully, no one noticed happening. The fic site seems to be all in order at its new home, and has a new layout plus some little refinements. All fic is posted up to date there.

More writing is happening, honest, it's just... not getting posted yet.

In the meantime, absolutely everyone should go read The Otohime's Revenge, a tenipuri pirate AU by [livejournal.com profile] lysapadin. It's got action and fluff and smut, what more could you ask for?

New site

Nov. 12th, 2005 05:47 pm
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
I am exceedingly pleased to announce that [livejournal.com profile] lysapadin, a collaborator on Tennis Sanctuary among many other things, now has her own website for her fanfiction.

Pieces of Blue

I highly recommend it.


*trundles back to her RG Veda story, of all bizarre things*

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