rallamajoop: (muncle)
Since most of my activity here nowadays seems to be me writing Man from UNCLE meta or fic on every topic under the sun, I figured it was time to make a proper masterpost of everything I've posted here or to various comms.

Most of these links go to LJ, though there are a few at the end to odds and ends I've posted to tumblr too.

Fic and fic recs )
Resources - subtitle files, episode credits and official production materials )
Meta and analysis )
Photoshoots and picspam )
Book reviews )
Misc extras from tumblr )
rallamajoop: (D brothers)
As I type, I am watching a commercial break in the middle of a random movie about gangsters or assassins or something similarly generic that would not have caught my eye at all except for two small details: firstly, one of the stars is Ryan Reynolds, and secondly, the title of the movie is Smokin’ Aces. It is possible that this means I am now crossing the steams of my current fandoms in a dangerously stupid fashion, but mostly I’m just enjoying the discovery that this movie is every bit as gratuitous as my excuses for watching it.

Anyhow, this all seemed like as good a reason as any to finish off one last post on the subject of My Thoughts On One Piece which has been sitting around on my hard drive for a while now.

This is basically a collection of assorted thoughts on some of the bigger names from the One Piece rogues' gallery that I never found the place to bring up in any of my other posts. )
rallamajoop: (Stiles)
As I mentioned in passing in that massive Teen Wolf Squee Post, my first attempt to get into the show failed rather miserably when the opening episodes did absolutely nothing for me. Now that I’ve cleared that first hurdle and established for my own record that the show not only improves past its rocky beginnings, but improves out of motherfucking sight, it occurred to me it would be an interesting scientific exercise to go back to those opening episodes and see whether they looked any better in retrospect, now I’ve done such a thorough job of biasing my reactions in their favour. There’s precedent for this sort of thing – back in the days of my brief and only mildly embarrassing fannish fling with Smallville, a couple of weeks of mainlining every Clark/Lex fic on the web with the fervour of the newly converted transformed my reactions to episode 1 of the same series all the way from the original ‘meh’ to ‘yeah, it’s still cheesy, but heeeee people really weren’t kidding about the amazing chemistry Lex has with, like, everything, yowzah!’ Would Teen Wolf go the same way?

As it turned out, even on a rewatch, the first three episodes are... not good.

Some elaboration on that point, which perhaps inevitably turns into more rambling about how Teen Wolf STILL grows into a better show than anything else in the same genre I have seen since I don't know when. )
rallamajoop: By addygryff @ LJ (Cable)
It’s been most of a year now since I made that ‘Why I’m Not Reading Generation Hope’ post. But despite all my best intentions of giving up the flagellation of deceased equines, Marvel have done a stellar job of positioning her to be very difficult to ignore. Watching what they’ve done with her since has been a gradual slide from frustration to resignation to a sort of trainwreck amused fascination with just how far the writers have gone to avoid delving into a single one of the few plot points that I would have found interesting.

Under the cut: a whole lot of rumblings on Generation: Hope, X-Sanction, Avengers vs X-Men and the general state of the Marvel universe and my investment therein )

But seriously, even if you read no other part of this post, you should go check out Andrew Wheeler's unofficial scorecard of Avengers vs X-Men reviews, because even if nothing else good has come out of the whole event, they alone would just about make it worthwhile.
rallamajoop: (Stiles)
Yeah, so, I have gone and got myself horrendously addicted to this show called Teen Wolf. This is your inevitable squee/rec post that, as always, remains brief and to the point at a mere 3000 words. *hangs head in shame* Let's get this over with.

The short version: Despite its cunning disguise as post-Twilight teen-garbage, Teen Wolf turns out to be not only well-plotted, clever and an edge-of-your-seat viewing experience, it also caters to my id on a level I hardly have words to describe. It's greatest failing is that it is not yet more than two shamefully short seasons long.

The long version:

I am not kidding: had a TV show been made just for me, it would probably look very much like this. )
rallamajoop: (hugs)
So as I mentioned in part one, a big part of the appeal of this game is the wonderful individuality to how all the different characters play. To illustrate exactly how and why, I present you with my impressions on all thirteen.

That's all nine Straw Hats, plus Jinbe, Hancock, Whitebeard and Ace )
rallamajoop: (D brothers)
Since running out of One Piece last month I’ve been filling the gaping void in my life by playing insane amounts of Kaizoku Musou, which we picked up on holiday in Japan earlier this year. I don’t play a lot of games these days – generally if we pick up a new title my sister does most of the playing and I’ll stick to wandering in to watch now and then – so it’s no mark in its favour that this game has kept me entertained so long. It is terrifically good fun, and given that it is apparently breaking sales records for both Musou titles and One Piece games, the Japanese fanbase would appear to agree with me on that count. Better yet, it’s coming out in English in a few months time, and I would heartily recommend it to any One Piece fan with access to a PS3.

The basics, highlights and lowlights, saving the character-specific stuff for another post )
rallamajoop: (D brothers)
Yeah, not quite done blathering on about One Piece yet, folks. There's still a bunch of stuff I never found the right space to talk about going through my viewing experience saga by saga, so here's some assorted extras that I still felt like talking about.

In which I bring you my thoughts on Haki, filler, grumblings about the lack of women standing around in the background, and assorted other commentary )
rallamajoop: (Trafalgar Law)
I’d heard the New World saga picked up in a big way with this arc, and while overall I’d rate Fishman Island more of a slight dip in awesome than a real disappointment, Punk Hazard (where does Oda come up with these names anyway?) has been going out of its way to remind me why I love this series so much.

‘The Heart Pirates’ sounds so much more badass when you realise what they meant was likely more along the lines of ‘the STILL BEATING-Heart’ )
rallamajoop: (Nami)
Timeskip time! It’s one of the great staples of the shounen genre, but it’s one of those gambles that can go either way for your audience. Dragonball had (IMHO) a solid record for getting steadily better with each big skip it pulled, while the Naruto timeskip is effectively the cut-off point beyond which the series gradually lost all appeal for me. When it came to the One Piece timeskip, my usual source made sure to warn me to expect mixed results.

But seriously folks, compared to Naruto, this one went off without a hitch )
rallamajoop: (Ace)

When your opening volley alone involves one side summoning a tsunami and then the other freezing it solid before it hits, it might just be time to reconsider your definition of the word ‘epic’. Henceforth, things that are epic shall be rated on a scale that goes from zero to the Whitebeard War.

So this is it, boys. War in fiction generally falls into two broad categories, highlighting either the glory (an epic victory against an irredeemably evil foe, say, Star Wars) or the futility of the exercise (I can think of no better example than Grave of the Fireflies). It’s not an either/or proposition, there’s plenty of middle ground (say Lord of the Rings) – longer works may run the full gamut from one end to the other and back again. But right from those early Impel Down scenes where Ace talks about the prospect, here you quickly get the impression this one maybe isn’t going to lean so heavily on the idealistic side of the scale.

Twenty years from now, the survivors will be telling the story of how ~they were there~ )
rallamajoop: (Ace)
If there's one advantage to being so thoroughly spoiled for a show as I am for One Piece it's... well, okay, if I had to pick just one, I would have to assert that the very best kind of spoilers are the ones that give you something to look forward to. But if there's one advantage of being spoiled for things you're not going to enjoy, it's that at least you get the chance to prepare yourself for the worst. So while I may have loved just about everything leading up to the Great Strawhat Separation, every casual spoiler I'd ever heard from events beyond that point suggested this might be a good time to lower my expectations. The Honeymoon is over. We're in for the long haul.

Luffy's next couple of stops on the road to Pirate Kingship were to be the Island of the Amazons and the Gulag of Minor Antagonists and Transvestites, promising a nice long arc of material which would be tedious and illogical at best, and frustrating or severely depressing at worst. Or to get into some specifics, tedious = episode after episode where the our reliably awesome supporting cast are replaced by the population of Impel Down; illogical = the notion that the overwhelming majority of the Amazon population could be this clueless about boys and/or sex without all dying out long ago, everything about Newkama Land; frustrating = Boa Hancock and the wealth of unfortunate implications arising from all that stuff already covered under 'illogical'; depressing = Aaaaaaaaaaccccceeeeeeeee ;_;. I've watched my sister go through the whole saga already, in real time. I know where it's all going. I know roughly what significance it's all going to have in the big picture. None of this guaranteed getting there was going to be much fun.

Like Wonder Woman, if Wonder Woman had been a narcissistic misanthropist with an angsty past instead of a generically well-intentioned superheroine, and hailed from an island of militant isolationists instead of a feminist utopia. )
rallamajoop: (Nami)
Finished through Sabody Archipelago (well, technically I am well past that now, but these posts take a while to write), and heart-wrenching as the experience may have been, I don’t think I can point to more than the odd detail that I didn’t love about this arc. If anything, it only served to remind me of a whole lot of things I love about this show that I actually hadn’t got around to squeeing over yet.

No time like the present )
rallamajoop: (Nami)
Bit of a mixed bag, this time around. While it picks up so much in later episodes that I had quite thoroughly forgiven it by the end, ye gods, but me and Thriller Bark did not get off to a good start.

Here be spoilers )
rallamajoop: (*twitch* [jaseroque (mostly :P)])
As my One Piece experience draws me ever closer to something approaching up-to-date with this monster, it has come to my attention that this might be an appropriate time to share what I shall call "Everything you never wanted to know about me and shipping but have already come to suspect".

1. Things that have always turned me away from a ship at the door:

  1. Partners are separated by a large age gap 1 and/or maturity gap 2, (unless, of course, said pairing has the get-out-of-jail-free card of having at least one partner who is immortal or otherwise ages at a non-standard rate, in which case all bets are off 3). This goes double if the relationship resembles a parent/child dynamic, but stands regardless.
  2. Partners have never or only briefly met in canon, and showed no overwhelming interest in each other at the time. 4
  3. Ship is hindered by massive canonical impediments, eg, one of them is an unrepentant mass murderer and the other a good guy, one genuinely wants to murder the other, completely irreconcilable life goals, one of them is dead, etc – such that it is, at best, more of a shipwreck than an actual ship. 5
  4. The ship breaks up my OTP and steals all the good fanart goddamnit

  5. 1 say, for the sake of the argument, more than 50% the age of younger party, eg: any teacher/student ship from series like Naruto or One Piece
    2 eg: Katara/Aang
    3 eg: Sol/Ky, arguably Cable/Deadpool
    4 eg: many years of half-hearted bitching about Kakashi/Iruka
    5 eg: Subaru/Seishirou, Zato/Millia, Vriska/Tavros

Cut to avoid f-list clutter )
rallamajoop: (Ace)
Thus far my One Piece binge has got me to the end of the Water 7/Enies Lobby arc (episode 335 to be exact) and still very much in the honeymoon period of my love affair of every last one of those wonderful Straw Hats. How Oda managed to pull off the dynamic of what should, by all reason, have quickly devolved into a Ranma Half-style traveling sitcom the occasional endless shounen battle scene I do not know. God, but I could watch that merry band of dipshits mess around on deck just about forever without it getting old.

I think that a lot of what makes it work is that as easy as it should be to split the crew down lines of smart/dumb or strong/weak, everyone gets their moments of subtle genius, and everyone falls victim to their personal blindspots (be it women, money, or ability to follow simple directions) frequently enough to mess things up. Everyone can be scared, everyone has their moments of bravery; everyone screws up or gets a face full of seastone and needs to be bailed out once in a while and everyone might be that last crew member left on their feet or the one person in the right place at the right time to make the difference. They'll bicker and bitch and have to physically hold Luffy back from punching sleeping giants in the eye, but even the prickliest members of the team really don't have to be pushed all that far before Zoro and Sanji have ditched their latest argument and are working like a well-oiled machine, and Nami is telling Usopp not to worry about the money. Because One Piece, at its heart, is a story about nakama, and the wealth of affection everyone on that crew has for everyone else is never far below the surface, but it goes a long way down. They all complement each other and compensate for one another's weakness, and add up to a whole that is infinitely more than the sum of its parts.

On which subject, even beyond the Straw Hats themselves I feel like there’s a remarkably strong theme about the families you create running all through the story. For all the family the crew leave behind as the join the Straw Hats and all the childhood tragedy that seems to be prerequisite for candidature, hardly anyone’s birth parents or genetic siblings have any major role. I kinda like that; I’d be hard pressed to think of any other story where adoptive relationships are consistently given so much weight.

Cut for a paragraph or so of character-squee x 8 Straw Hats )

But where would the Great Age of Pirates be without some SHIPPING? )

In conclusion: Apparently I slash everyone. And really need to do some more poking through fandom to see if all my ideas have been written already before they get any deeper entrenched in my mind. Recs, anyone? =D
rallamajoop: By addygryff @ LJ (Cable)
So I'm back from Japan, and also a good 9000 words and two drafts into the next chapter of Summers'son. The upshot of this is that I can now get away with posting about other stuff with a clean conscience again. The unrelated upshot of starting with this particular topic is that for once in my life, I honestly cannot think of anything of substance that an extra four-thousand-odd words of rambling could add to this review.

The Avengers movie was, quite simply, everything I never dared hope it would turn out to be.

It lives up to the hype, people. ALL of the hype.

If by some miracle you do not already have plans to see this movie at your first opportunity, now may be an excellent time to consider reprioritising.
rallamajoop: By addygryff @ LJ (Cable)
The first issue of that X-Sanction thing came out earlier this month, and while I have very little interest in picking it up I’m hardly going to pretend I wasn’t curious about how they’re justifying this whole Cable-comes-back-from-the-dead-to-kill-the-Avengers-thing, so I've been reading some reviews. So far, no great surprises. Cable is – for the second time in three years – suddenly not dead for no well-established reason. He really is out to kill all the Avengers because on his latest visit to the future he found out they’re somehow responsible for preventing Hope from saving the world. The twist, if you can call it a twist, is that he’s in a particular hurry to get all this done because he has only hours left to live before the TO infection kills him.

That’s right folks, Marvel is all set to kill off Nathan Summers for the third time.

(All this when only last week I was having Deadpool spout off a line about how one more death and they’ll be able to use him to teach the kiddies to count on Sesame Street. My hand to god, I honestly thought I was kidding.)

There comes a point in the life of every indignantly over-invested comic-book-fan where you’ve just got to throw up your hands and laugh. This is very much one of those times.

But seriously folks )

So. Schism.

Dec. 5th, 2011 02:45 pm
rallamajoop: By addygryff @ LJ (Cable)
While I'm in this groove for getting some thoughts down about recent Marvel events I wanted to say a bit about Schism. On the whole, I'd give it a sort of surprised and tentative thumbs up, but it's such a weird balance of things that worked really well and things that really didn't that it makes an interesting case to pick through.

My usual rambling thoughts, which may or may not be a thinly veiled excuse to share my own thrilling fridge logic on what was really driving the break-up. )


rallamajoop: (Default)

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