rallamajoop: (*twitch* [jaseroque (mostly :P)])
Well shit, I went and let another three months go past without posting a damn thing. Better make some excuses.

Adventures in writing for Teen Wolf and the perils of research )

Adventures in cosplay, cons and iron-on vinyl )


There's been assorted RL stuff too, of course, but nothing too dramatic. Might get around to posting about it later.
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: (Nami)
Expanding on that last post I threw together last week, despite a mildly disappointing turn out, Animania was a pretty excellent con experience. There was some fantastic art on display in the artist’s alley (I picked up three BRS prints from a table just a few down from ours, which may mark the first time I’ve ever bought fanart prints) and in a completely welcome contrast to Perth Supanova’s dismal efforts, there was One Piece merchandise for sale everywhere. :3 Only disappointment was how much sold out before I could get to it.

GOH squee )

Cockatoo island photoshoot )

Cosplay prop making )
rallamajoop: (Nami)
Been having a bit of a month over here.

Sydney Animania: Was great! Numbers were a bit on the meh side, but I spent more money on shiny new merch than at any other con in ages, and as always half the fun was just getting to catch up with all our friends from over east, and for that alone the trip was awesome.

Akemi Okamura (a.k.a. the voice of Nami, a.k.a. the Guest of Honour): Seemed very happy to see a Nami cosplayer around (there were only two of us at the whole con! Two!), and autographed the back of my handkerchief for me. :3

My Clima Tact: Blew bubbles (with red or blue lights for heat/cool ball effects), did lightning effects and separated into three parts, not including the semi-detachable lightning globe on an extendable chain for swing-arm possibilities, and one me Master Weapon Engineer on Sunday. \o/ Finally got it working, like, the day before we left.

The World Cosplay Summit Australian Finals: Congrats to K and Aly! You were great, and it is absolutely your turn already.

Why I did not post about the con in the week after we got back: Because I came home to find myself with an epic case of con and/or travel blarg, and spent most of the week in bed. :/ (Honestly, I have been sick so little this year that it felt like it was surely my turn, so it was not really so bad.)

Why I did not post about the con in the week after that either: Because I may have spent part of my downtime getting myself shamelessly addicted to this show called Teen Wolf and I have been very distracted okay? (Oh my god, you guys this show!!!)

Full con report, cosplay photos and shameless new fandom squee all coming soon.
rallamajoop: (Happy Nami)
A couple of months back we caught up with Kenny, one of our cosplayer friends from interstate who was over in Perth on business for a few days. Since Kenny's heavily involved in the running of Animania, one of several eastern states anime cons, he took the opportunity to plug the upcoming Sydney Animania to my sister and I. The conversation went something like this:

Kenny (for full effect you should read all his lines in a moderately strong French accent): You guys should really come to Animania this year.
Me: Oh, well, we're probably going to be doing at least one interstate con this year but we don't really know which one yet... *hedgehedgehedge*
Him: Our special guest this year is Akemi Okamura - she voice acts Nami from One Piece.
Me: !!!! LISA, CANCEL EVERYTHING, WE'RE GOING TO ANIMANIA!

And that is how we decided hey, why not check out Animania this year? *cough*

As per usual she'll be running a table selling art prints and whatnot, and we'll both be cosplaying. She's cosplayed Robin before and is making her Thriller Bark outfit for the occasion. As for me, tentative plans to put together a Nami costume for Waicon at the end of the year have been brought forward a few months. I've still got a lot to finish and there have now been bits of clima tact taking over the dining room table for weeks, but it's all going Pretty Okay so far.

Costume plans and progress )
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)
For once, I have nothing of much substance to say about heart-wrenchingly adorkable wonderfulness that is the D brothers flashback arc. All I've got is a bucket full of unadulterated squee and a sudden desire to go back and rewatch Ace and Luffy's Alabasta reunion with new eyes.

Two things that I probably ought to cut for spoilers, even though neither are remotely serious )
rallamajoop: (Ace)
Wow.

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: (waka)
Quick and dirty rundown of some of the high and lowlights of our Japan trip from last month.

Tokyo Anime Fair: Meh. I gather this may have been a worse than average year as a lot of the usual exhibitors pulled out in protest of the new laws about selling manga with sexual content1 to minors2, but what was left wasn’t good for more than a couple of hours’ entertainment, and I’d be skeptical that a few more big name exhibitors would have made much difference. To any future Madman winners who may be reading this: should you be offered the chance to go to TAF for your own prize trip, some renegotiation may be in order. See if you can get them to send you to the World Cosplay Summit, Tokyo Gameshow or Comiket instead – they’re all much more cosplay-friendly.

Osaka Aquarium: Words cannot express the joy several minutes in the presence of a real, live Capybara brought us. Words give up altogether and break down into tears when asked to describe the sea otters.

Disney Land: Missed out on going. Turns out the school holidays in fine weather are not the optimal time to be doing this one. :/

Ghibli Museum: Missed out on this too, same reason. Tickets were supposed to be booked for us in advance, but it seems no-one anticipated quite how far in advance they’d be sold out.

Mt Fuji: Holy fuck that thing is big. Landscape where we come from just does not pull that kind of shit. Also, the dinner they served us at our first night at the ryokan stands as a trip highlight on its own.

Osaka Street Cosplay Festival: Got there late, change room queues took forever, but pretty cool to be cosplaying out in public for once, when Japan is usually so uncomfortable letting that sort of thing happen outdoors. I made at least one girl’s day with my Waka costume and my poingy wings, and I do believe my sister’s Robin costume made just about everyone else’s.

Baths taken: Too many to count

Spending All The Money Saved On Flights On Ridiculous J-Fashion: HUGE SUCCESS!

Japan 3: The Search for Sakura )

So you may have heard One Piece is pretty big in Japan right now )
rallamajoop: (*twitch* [jaseroque (mostly :P)])
help I have fallen for One Piece and I can't get up

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