Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Married to the Man: Frozen

Flop really likes Frozen.

And he said that if I open my mouth to talk during it one more time, he's going to kick me out of the house and lock all the doors.

I have conflict about this movie. There are things I love like the soundtrack, the funny, the pretty sparkly scenes, and Olaf. Also, Flop allegedly took a quiz on which Disney couple we are and we got Kristoff and Anna, which I just think is absolutely spot on.


Normally I can buy into the convention. Sure, magic, self fulfilling prophecy, love at first sight, etc., etc. I just can't this time. There are things that really, really bother me. Here they are in no particular order.

1) The wise troll couldn't just mention, "Oh hey, love reverses the ice. FYI. Bee Tee Dubs."

2) The wise troll, who is experienced with magical powers, couldn't be like, "Oh hey girl, let me help you learn control." Or, "Hey girl, let me refer you to someone else that can help you. Because you can't possibly be the only person on the planet with this issue."

3) After the parents die, WHO IS RUNNING THIS KINGDOM?!?! No regent, no ladies in waiting, no chaperones, no advisers, no meetings of state, nothing! The Duke of Weselton mentions that Arendelle is their trade partner. WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE ECONOMY?!?!

4) On that note, do these girls even know how to read?? We never see them with tutors or anything.

5) I'm pretty sure that if you freeze and refreeze parts of a castle many times over the course of a decade, or more, there will be severe structural damage.

6) Ok, the parents leave for 2 weeks. Say they plan on spending 2 days at their destination. That means sailing 6 days in each direction. Say the storm hits when they're in the middle of their journey so that they are at the most remote point possible from the coast. Is it possible to have a storm that big that close to land? Maritime experts, explain this to me.

7) Elsa's ice palace. Where does she sleep? And what does she sleep on? Does she have indoor plumbing? Is the toilet see-through, too?

8) Why is the Duke of Weselton portrayed as a villain? I would have done the same thing. This crazy sorcerer chick is going to kill all of our people (from exposure and starvation), food sources, trade opportunities just to start. She needs to get locked up or dead. Totally reasonable.



9) Anna 100% would have died from exposure on her way to Oaken's Trading Post. Sloughing through two feet of snow for an afternoon and well into the evening and then through an icy stream? With that summery outfit? Dead. No more toes.

Hoo Hoo!

10) It took Anna 2 days or so to get to Elsa's castle but Elsa got there and built her castle in a matter of hours. Unless Elsa developed some amazing Silver Surfer skills, I just don't see how probable that is.

Still running at normal speed.
11) Apparently "finding yourself" as a person makes you super sexy? Why does Elsa have to suddenly turn into a sex kitten after coming into her fabulous super powers? Don't get me wrong, confidence can make someone really attractive but all the sudden we've got sexy hair, sexy makeup, sexy mannerisms, sexy walk, sexy dress...


12) Ok, after everything gets unfrozen, everyone is all just happy? See, what would really happen is a major crisis. Logically, being a castle built on the water, operating on a water-based economy, they probably eat a lot of fish. When you have summer, and then you freeze the water to an unspecified depth (at least deep enough to put all the ships in port seriously out of commission, that will very likely have a bad effect on the wildlife living in the water. 

This movie has a lot to say. Any monkey with an eyeball attached to a brain can pick out the main themes and tell us how all of it is a brilliant deviation from the standard Disney convention. I mean, true love between sisters is great because sisters are fucking fabulous. I happen to have one myself but the only part of this movie that I really, deeply enjoy...


...is Olaf.

happy snowman!
Flop thinks I have no heart. 





Game of Thrones Episode 4.2: The Purple Wedding

I'm going to start this by saying that I've been waiting ALL SEASONS for this episode.  Having some information about the events in the books, when I saw the previews for this week's episode last week, I was both giddy with excitement and all kinds of "Damn, already?"

I thought I'd have to wait until at least mid season for this day.

Alright, let's get on with some stuff that happened before the wedding, okay?

BLAH BLAH BLAH RAMSEY MAYBE-SOMEDAY-WILL-BE-A-BOLTON IS A SADISTIC JERK BLAH BLAH BLAH HUMAN HUNTING BLAH BLAH BLAH OUCH GIRL DAT MAULING MUST HAVE HURT BLAH BLAH BLAH THEON GREYJOY/REEK IS A COMPLETELY BROKEN MAN BLAH BLAH BLAH REEK SELLS OUT THE STARKS UH-GAIN BLAH BLAH BLAH BRANN HAS A VISION BLAH BLAH BLAH HODOR BLAH BLAH BLAH TYWIN AND OLENNA CHAT ABOUT MONEY AND POWER OR WHATEVER BLAH BLAH BLAH THE NON-BELIEVERS OF THE LORD OF LIGHT ARE BURNED AT THE STAKE BLAH BLAH BLAH MELISANDRE IS CRAZY BLAH BLAH BLAH STANNIS IS CRAZIER BLAH BLAH BLAH DAVOS BRO WHY THE HELL ARE YOU EVEN STILL THERE BLAH BLAH BLAH BRONN IS TEACHING JAIME HOW TO SWORD FIGHT WITH LEFT HAND BLAH BLAH BLAH A MILLION OTHER THINGS THAT DIDN'T MATTER IN THE HOUR OF THIS SHOW BECAUSE:

JOFFREY BARATHEON/LANNISTER IS DEAD.


While I was pleased with how that little shit died,
this would have been all the awesome, too.

I could count how many people didn't want to see this kid die with Jaime Lannister's right hand.

But we'll get to that in a moment.

I'd like to really give a shout out to Peter Dinklage on this episode. The scene where Tyrion breaks up with Shae was just heartbreaking for him. Shae seems to me to be a woman who is just plain selfish and really just doesn't grasp whatsoever how much danger she is in. She believes that Tyrion can just forget who he is and his responsibilities to do whatever she wants, and run away with her where they can live happily ever after. I'm continually amazed by how disgustingly selfish she is and why Tyrion puts up with it. The whole time Tyrion is insulting her so she'll just freaking LEAVE like he's been trying to get her to do for ages, he cannot even look at her. The bitterest words from his mouth, I'm convinced, are more painful for him to say than they are for her to hear. Tyrion loves Shae far more than she loves him.

Now, we're onto the royal wedding, or rather, right before that. The family is having brunch and delivering gifts to Joffrey. Tyrion gives Joffrey an old text, which is a very thoughtful gift and Joffrey actually accepts it. I was a little stunned by it but then I was all WAIT A MINUTE....

Tywin gives Joffrey the other sword he had made out of Ned Stark's Ice. Joffrey drops this bomb:

YOU DID NOT JUST...

Props to Jack Gleeson. Really. That guy makes me hate Joffrey with so much of my soul that I may as well not have one anymore. Also, say what you want about Sansa. She is a strong young woman. Her ability to cut herself off emotionally from reacting to the constant insults that Joffrey throws her way is nothing short of astounding. Had it been me? I would have been dead seasons ago because I would have tried to shank Joffrey in his sleep long before he killed my father, and I'd have died for it.

Joffrey then takes his new blade and destroys the shit out of the gift Tyrion gave him in complete insult. At this point in the episode, okay, I'm ready for this little shit to die like TEN YEARS AGO.

Boring wedding is boring. Let's go to the reception.

People mingle and talk. Prince Oberyn, Cersei, and Tywin all trade some veiled-not-so-veiled insults at each other over and over. At that point I was like this:

"Oooo damn son, she just burned you."

"Oooh HO! And he comes back with a vengeance!"

"Yeah, I knew she wouldn't take that lying down."

"HA! HE DIDN'T EITHER! HAHAHAHA!"

Back to the party, Jaime Lannister is throwing some serious shade at Loras Tyrell. Jaime warns him not to marry Cersei, because she would kill him in his sleep. Not only that, but he assures Loras that even if he managed to impregnate Cersei, she would try to abort the child before it was born out of hatred for Loras. It seems that even though Cersei has scorned her brother/lover, Jaime is still taking secret pride in the fact that Cersei was only interested in bearing his children from their incestuous love affair. Jaime makes it very clear to Loras that he will never marry Cersei. Loras provides a little quip of his own.


LOLOL INCEST BURN HAHA!


Evidently, when Cersei is done with you? She's not really done with you. She has a brief exchange with Brienne of Tarth, whom she teases for bowing instead of giving a proper lady's curtsy. Brienne claims that she is no lady, and later on Cersei is quick to point out to her that she is in fact a lady by title. Brienne handles it with class and grace. Cersei continues to poke at Brienne, insulting her over and over before accusing her of being in love with Jaime Lannister. Brienne's expression and silence reveals all.

That's not all that Cersei has had to destroy at the reception. Between her constant smirking and insulting of several people at the reception, most likely out of her distaste of the affair altogether and the fact that she is no longer in control as Queen now that Joffrey is married, she decides to get nasty with Maester Pycelle. Earlier, Margaery had decreed that all the leftovers from the feast of the reception would be handed out to the poorest in the city, to be charitable to her people. Cersei sabotages that by telling Pycelle to make sure the leftovers are fed to the dogs. She does so under threat of his death if he does not obey her.


why is it....
I just want to know...
...that she's never said this
...to her son, the King?

























Because we've all been saying it since his existence, btdubs.


"Please die and give us the amusement we really want." - Every book/series fan ever.

What follows is the most disgusting and immature display of anything I've ever seen. Joffrey has hired dwarf actors to portray himself and the four other kings of Westeros, and they do a mock fight to show Joffrey as some damn hero when really, he had zero to do with it. Joffrey manages to insult everyone there but his mother, Cersei,  and Lord Tywin. No one is truly happy to see what he's done, and the sadistic little prick takes so much joy in the performance and is so obnoxious and not graceful whatsoever about it, I swore that if he didn't die soon, I was going to reach into my television and kill him myself. Joffrey has been pretty much the most immature sack of shit his entire life, let alone this entire day.


Look at that contempt. I mean, really. That is some damn hatred right there.

After the deplorable parody is over, Joffrey needs his ego stroked a little more and asks Tyrion to challenge the person portraying him in the parody for his own amusement. Tyrion gracefully declines and not only that but he calls out Joffrey to do it himself since he's so brave, insinuating that even a dwarf version of himself could best him. Joffrey having gotten the mockery, pours his wine all over Tyrion. He then orders Tyrion to be his cup bearer, since he's out of wine. Tyrion exchanges a miserable look with his wife, and moves to assist Joffrey. At the last second before he grasps the goblet, Joffrey intentionally drops it. Then, to add insult to injury, Joffrey kicks the goblet under the table to make the dwarf Tyrion crawl to get it.




Tyrion does exactly that. Crawls to fetch the goblet. Then, we see Sansa complete her first sympathetic act as Tyrion's wife, and she retrieves the goblet for him. It is a graceful action, and the look they share together, however fleeting, is of two people who have finally accepted that they are on the same abused ground, alone together in their constant torment and humiliation brought upon them by the King.

Tyrion tries to hand over the goblet and of course Joffrey has to be a douchebag about it. Tyrion fills the goblet and then offers it to Joffrey. Joffrey then commands Tyrion, several times, to kneel before his King. Tyrion is utterly and completely defiant every second of the way.

My face when Joffrey commanded Tyrion to kneel.

Just then you think Joffrey might have enough balls to draw his sword and behead Tyrion for his insolence:


The only time I've ever really been happy with Margaery Tyrell.

Joffrey is distracted by pie, which when he cuts it with his sword, live doves fly out. Meat pies are then served by House Tyrell and Margaery feeds Joffrey. Tyrion tries to make a sneaky escape with Sansa, but Joffrey's cruelty knows no bounds, and he calls for Tyrion to stay and continue being dutiful as his cup bearer. Tyrion argues that his clothes are wet, but Joffrey tells him that he's fine the way he is. Tyrion then fulfills his duties as a cup bearer. Joffrey continues his abuse of Tyrion after he asks that he and his wife be able to retire, and then after drinking his wine, he starts coughing a little.


*throat tickle*

*more throat tickling*

Margaery screams that the King is choking, and Olenna Tyrell accosts everyone for standing by and not helping him. Everyone then jumps into action as Joffrey runs out off of the dais and collapses to vomit violently. Jaime runs to his nephew/son's aid, and Cersei flees to her nephew/son's side. She holds him as he is dying in her arms.


*Okay, umm...this throat tickling is really starting to hurt*

I don't even feel bad for Cersei at this point. This woman is holding her child while he dies in her arms and I have -zero- sympathy for her. AND I'M A MOTHER. This speaks to the utter talent that G.R.R.M has, that he can write two characters that have absolutely zero redeeming qualities and are such black holes of joy that the only joy you find about them at all is in their greatest suffering.


*MAKE THE THROAT TICKLING STAHP*

In fact, not only did I enjoy watching Joffrey's death, because he literally suffered until his last breath (which is every bit what that little tyrant deserves), but I was actually a little bummed that it didn't last longer.

*HALP HALP*
(and no one does, or can)

Joffrey makes sure to give one last gift to Tyrion before he leaves the world. One last parting torment. He reaches his hand out to accuse Tyrion, and then finally succumbs to the poison in his body.


*death by throat tickle*

Cersei sees her son accuse Tyrion wordlessly, and starts screaming for the guards to take Tyrion Lannister, stating that he's responsible for killing her son, for killing their King.

And Margaery Tyrell/Baratheon is around somewhere all like:





Until next time!

- Netta

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cult Film Friday: Event Horizon


Event Horizon was the first horror film my father took me to see. I think from the trailer, he totally thought it was going to be just this science fiction mystery spacey movie. NOPE. In fact, Event Horizon is a space horror/science fiction film that is overflowing with nightmare fuel.




Event Horizon takes place in the year 2047. A crew aboard the starship Lewis & Clark are sent to recover the starship Event Horizon after it reappears after disappearing years before. What makes this interesting, is that the Event Horizon went on a voyage to Proxima Centauri, but disappeared without a trace seven years ago. No one knows where the ship has been or what the status of the crew is. Accompanying the crew of the Lewis & Clark is Dr. Weir. Portrayed by Sam Neill, we learn that William Weir was part of the original designing of the Event Horizon. We learn that the Event Horizon has an experimental gravity drive Weir created that basically creates a black hole between two points in space by folding time and distance. A ship then passes through that black hole and when it comes out the other side, it has crosses lengths of space, thus creating a new form of space travel that is ground breaking.

Once officially aboard the Event Horizon, the crew of the Lewis & Clark find no survivors and evidence of a massive slaughter. Blood and gore everywhere. They investigate the ship's log and find just terrible images of such violence that happened to the last crew, which give the impression that the crew not only turned on each other, but self inflicted the violence onto themselves as well. 

From there things get all kinds of horrible as they discover that when the black hole was created and the crew traveled within seven years ago, something went wrong and they traveled to another dimension. It's heavily implied, though never confirmed, that this dimension was Hell. The ship Event Horizon then became sentient, born from Evil or Hell and starts to torment the crew of the Lewis & Clark with their own fears and nightmares. The ship wants to go back to the dimension it had been to before, and tries to influence and manipulate members of the crew to take it back.

This film is super gory and I highly recommend it for any horror movie buffs looking to expand their watched list.

Until next time!

- Netta

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Anime Wednesday: Love Lab

It's Anime Wednesday again, guys, when I, Brash, put on my otaku mask, review excellent anime for you, and give you suggestions to watch that are hot with fans. So let's get started!

Are you pumped? Because I'm pumped. Hella pumped!
As I said last Anime Wednesday, today I'll be reviewing the anime Love Lab, otherwise known in Japan as Rabu RaboI also said I'd tell you why it's hated by some but loved by others, and we will come back to that, but for now let me tell you what it's all about.


Love Lab is a romantic comedy with a strong emphasis on the comedy. There are two main characters that the story revolves around. First we have Riko Kurahashi, the tomboy of the group. She's popular and admired for being an excellent athlete and a bit of a rebel in a school where girls are meant to be proper. She is the Japanese equivalent of a punk riot girl. Her nickname around school is the Wild One.

Insert any heavy metal riff of your choice here.

She joins the Student Council of an all-girl school headed by the Student Council President, Maki Natsuo. Maki is, quite possibly, the silliest girl you will ever see but usually prim and proper in public.

There are no words for this degree of silliness.

Maki is a little boy crazy. You see, she has never interacted with a real boy. Her father has kept her in all-girl schools all her life. She has wild fantasies about meeting her ideal man and she uses a body pillow to act them out. This is a pretty awkward thing obviously, and contrasts against her public image. Riko catches her in the act of kissing the body pillow, named "Huggy", when she is sent by a teacher to give the Student Council a memo.


Huggy gets more action than Leonardo DiCaprio. 

So, Maki begs Riko not to tell anyone and Riko agrees. Maki makes her an honorary Student Council member (her personal assistant really) because she wants Riko to keep the secret that Maki is totally coocoo and also Riko tells Maki she has experience with boys. Of course, this is a total lie and Riko has never dated a boy. All the boys in the schools she went to thought of her as just one of the guys.

So begins a major part of the plot. Riko has to pretty much bullshit her way through giving advice to Maki, who apparently was born when God ran out of common sense to give to people. This girl undoubtedly has a brain but not all of the lights are on. This causes tension in a show that would otherwise be shallow. These two characters eventually grow to become best friends.

Like totes BFFS 4 sure <3 <3 <3 XOXO

And then we come to Enomoto Yuiko (Eno for short), who, next to the aforementioned girls, is one of the more hilarious characters. Eno is childish. How childish? Oh boy, don't get me started. She used to be the Student Council President. Maki was her Vice-President, but Eno kept screwing up and Maki tried to give her advice and did better work more efficiently than Eno did until Eno said fuck it and told Maki if she thought she could be a better President, then she could have it. Eno stepped down very unceremoniously after having a public tantrum and gave the presidency to Maki, who had everything dumped in her lap.

Seriously, this girl needs to go to an anger management support group or something. 

Eno is just waiting for Maki to fail, but surprisingly Maki is still much more competent in the role than Eno ever was, even with all the added responsibility and having to do the work of Student Council President and Vice-President by herself, leaving Eno fuming and stalking Maki constantly and scheming to bring Maki down. Eventually, the girls settle their differences with Riko's help and Eno agrees to be Maki's Vice-President. She also has a habit of continually flipping her hair.

You're so vain, you probably think this anime is about you. 

The other two characters are a girl named Suzune Tanahashi, a shy and tiny girl who serves as the council Secretary, and Sayori Mizoshima, a rather plain, no-nonsense, snarky and greedy girl with glasses who serves as the council Treasurer and Eno's close friend.

Suzune is painfully shy. The girl can't even speak to a room of teachers and she's also gullible and naive. By comparison, Sayori has a devil-may-care attitude and picks up on Riko's lie early, taunting her to give up the farce, but somehow Riko always rebuffs her until, eventually, even Sayori accepts the lie.

What follows are twelve more episodes of Maki doing silly things, Riko smacking the hell out of her, and all of them getting into all sorts of silly situations, all in the name of trying to learn how to, one day, capture the boys of their dreams. 

Oh, yeah, and then there's Makio.

Did I mention Maki was silly?

Love Lab is a much beloved show.  Sales were strong but possibly not strong enough to get a second season. The World God Only Knows got more seasons after bad sales the first two seasons, though, so a second season can't be ruled out. It was a very popular show in the 2013 season. Perhaps we will see more next year!

Now let's get to why some people love it, and why some people hate it. There are two kinds of fan groups for this show. One is the fan group who started watching the show thinking it was going to be Yuri (lesbian girl love) and the other group of fans liked the idea of moving away from the Yuri that had been in many shows like this to date. Let's just call them the K-ON! fans

Many of the Yuri fans are, of course, unhappy that this show never became a romance between Riko and Maki. Some might mistake their extremely close relationship for romance, but in truth, they are just very good friends in a platonic way. Admittedly, the love women have for others is often more amorphous than men have, but these girls are thoroughly straight and the show is about their hopeful conquest of boys. 

Others of this Yuri subset of fans thought of these girls as "sluts" since they wanted boys so badly. Of course, none of these girls ever do anything remotely sexual and heterosexual teenage girls lusting after boys is perfectly natural. To think of them as sluts is very sexist and demeans women. I have never understood this mindset. 

And then there are the Yuri fans who wanted them all to be lesbians so that they remain pure maidens and are never touched by other men because they are obsessively possessive of these fictional characters and would rather not have any fictional rivals. 

I wish I was making this up. Unfortunately, it is sadly true that there are guys this delusional and detached from reality. 
I can really only speak from my own perspective here. I suppose I fall into the K-ON! fans category. I don't mind Yuri too much (loved Yuru Yuri) but I still found the show to be a breath of fresh air and far more entertaining and funny than I ever thought it would be. Maki's antics, whether in the council room or her interactions with actual boys, are utterly hilarious and some of the best comedy I've ever seen. The slapstick comedy between Riko and Maki is so crazy and often goes into Looney Toons territory. Eno alone is comedic enough to have her own show where she isn't overshadowed by a loon like Maki.

The animation is solid gold. The facial expressions of the characters are many and varied and consistently funny. Not much to say about the backgrounds, as the show primarily takes place in the school and mostly in the Student Council chambers, but it is very detailed with much care poured into it. Personally, I give this show 5 stars. It really is that good. My only gripe is that there is (so far) not nearly enough interactions with boys. If the show had focused more on awkward romance and given the interactions between the girls equal time, I think the show might have been better. All in all, however, the show is quite good as it is. All we can do is hope there will be more seasons or an OVA. Give this show a shot. You will not be disappointed.

What's Hot?

Engaged to the Unidentified
What started out seemingly as a normal slice of life show about two young people in an arranged engagement quickly became one of the best romantic comedies of the year with a little bit of Urban Fantasy mixed in. However, the focus was primarily on the comedy, as the two who are engaged barely know each other and, boy, is there comedy

Kobeni and Hakuya are in an arranged marriage that Kobeni's grandfather set up and Hukaya and his younger sister Mashiro come from the very lightly populated mountains of Northern Japan. Benio, Kobeni's sister, is very protective of Kobeni and usually tries to cockblock Hakuya. Most of the time however, she is just obsessed with cuteness and has sort of a little sister fetish, which means she kind of harasses Mashiro and worships the ground Kobeni walks on. She's a little unbalanced and narcissistic. Why aren't there psychiatrists in this universe? Damn, girl, you are some kind of nutty. Mashiro, meanwhile, is so cute and adorable it's impossible to hate her. Her personality is precocious and since she and Hakuya are some kind of supernatural beings (possibly Japanese versions of Fae) she is able to make people accept her, a nine-year-old, into Kobeni, Benio, and Hakuya's high school and interact with them. This was a little weird to accept at first, but it's fiction and Mashiro is magic, so she doesn't need to explain shit.

The weirdest part of this anime (at least when compared to most anime that is) is that misunderstandings, arguments, and conflict are solved quickly and cleanly, which means the drama is cut down to the minimum required for you to sit there and wonder what the fuck Benio is going to say next, how long Hakuya will stay quiet, what the next cute thing Mashiro will do, or Kobeni's precise measurements (since they seem to vary sometimes for some reason and she is quite voluptuous).

Great show, comedy that will leave you in tears, and characters you will never forget, all wrapped up in a cute love story between a supernatural guy and a normal girl. You really can't ask for more! This show is very, very popular and it has a huge cult following now in Japan and the States. It's a fair assumption there will be a second season. So much was left open to be explained and the sales of  the DVDs are going very, very well.

Attack on Titan (or more accurately translated as Titans Attack)
And now for something completely different.

Attack on Titan is one of the most intense animes I have ever experienced. Even now, memories of many of the scenes make me wince. If you're strong of stomach, check this anime out. But if you can't handle gore or quite possibly have your heart broken by losing your favorite character (AKA Game of Thrones Syndrome; I just made that up), best to leave this one alone.

Attack on Titan's basic premise is that humanity was in a golden age, but one day beings called Titans appeared, destroying civilization and eating people. The last vestiges of humanity (at least that they know about) have walled themselves in, with two other walls inside, to protect themselves from these massive creatures. It has been speculated by fans exhaustively that this walled-in promised land is in Eastern Europe, but it just as well could be an alternate universe where our maps and history don't apply.

However, one day one of the Titans, an aberrant, breaks down one of the gates of the walls like it's nothing and humans are back on the endangered species list. The Titans invade, killing, destroying, and basically ruining peoples' days, to put it lightly.

The story centers around three main characters: Eren Yeager, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their friend Armin Arlert. The Titans attack when they are just young teenagers but they are able to escape the area into another walled-in area, grow up, and be trained to fight these monsters some years later.

Eren has incredible rage and a blind focus dedicated to wiping all Titans from the Earth. Mikasa is at the height of human potential (like some kind of female Batman; also she is the last known living Asian) and dedicated to protecting her brother Eren no matter the cost. Armin is not very strong physically or that skilled martially, but he is very intelligent and an able strategist. Together, they form a metaphorical will, body, and mind. 

I won't lie to you. This anime is brutal, violent, and sometimes downright depressing. The twists are great and will keep you guessing and paranoid. The world itself is intriguing and any answers or knowledge you get only leads to more questions, much like LOST. The characters are sometimes amusing and sympathetic, even the villains. This is a horror anime, no doubt about it, but there are comedic moments, emotional moments, moments of victory, and moments of extreme loss. 

Personally, I'm not sure I would call this a great work of art. The animation is pretty awesome, especially the 3D animation required for the viewer's "camera" to follow characters fighting the Titans with special grappling hook technology. The scenery is pretty atmospheric and special and the fights are extremely well-animated. For me, the jury is still out on this show, but it has a huge fanbase and, to be fair, it deserves it. If you're not a fan of the cutesy, comedic things I've been suggesting, this might be up your alley. If you do watch it all the way through, make sure to watch it over again, so you catch things you may have missed. Check it out, if you dare. 

Monogatari (translated “Ghost Story”)
You might think, based on this picture, that this show is your typical harem anime and I wouldn't blame you for thinking so. A guy surrounded by a bunch of beautiful girls? Fits the bill there I suppose but you'd be dead wrong.

This anime is.. difficult to describe. It's urban fantasy, as the title implies, but not a lot of actual action happens. Some have jokingly called this show "Talking: The Anime" and yeah, it's a little like that. It's almost all talk. But it's the most interesting conversations you will ever read/hear.

The story centers around a high school boy named Araragi Koyomi, who has just become human again after briefly becoming a vampire. He had been bitten by a young vampire girl and then cured by what could possibly be called a sage or mage.

Shortly thereafter, his life takes a turn for the strange, as he meets various girls with strange afflictions and even spirits. What happens next is some strange and cool stuff you have to see and experience. The writer of the novels the anime is based on, Nisio Isin, is considered one of the most popular writers in Japan and wrote six novels in all for the series. The first three have been made into anime and are collectively called Monogatari but the order is Bakemonogatari, then Nisemonogatarithen Nekomonogatarithen Monogatari Series Second SeasonThe anime Hanamonogatari will air in 2014. The prequel novel, Kizumonogatari, will be adapted into an anime film.

If you like deep stuff, and deep conversation over comedy or action, then you might want to give this show a look. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Next time on Anime Wednesday, Toradora, a story about Yin and Yang and Dragon and Tiger completing each other and quite possibly one of the best pairings and romances in modern fiction. Until then, keep wearing that geek label proudly. This is Brash signing off. See ya' in two weeks!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Game of Thrones Episode 4.1: Arya Stark and Sandor Clegane won the internet.

That amazing first episode of the season has SO MUCH to cover and deserves no wait, so heeeeeeeeere we goooooooo!

The opening scene starts with Tywin Lannister having Ned Stark's Valyrian steel sword melted down to create two swords. I'm a big fan of Charles Dance (if you're in the Aliens franchise, it's just a given) so I like Tywin a little, but now I HATE TYWIN A LITTLE. Thank you for twisting the knife in my heart and reminding me about Ned Stark's beheading and the Red Wedding, simultaneously. I hope you meet the precise end you did in the books AND this season.

(Note: I'm still on the first book, for future reference, and only know -some- things because I've spoiled myself by reading on the interwebs about the characters I want to perish HARD.)

Tywin gives his son Jaime, The Kingslayer, one of the two swords that he forged and it is just too heavy for Jaime to carry while he is still training with his left hand. Lord Tywin then tells Jaime that he is no longer fit to serve in the King's Guard, so he wants him to go back and lead Casterly Rock instead. Jaime replies by saying just...no.


"No."

Outside the castle, Tyrion is waiting with Bronn (he's quickly becoming one of my favorites) and Podrick. They are waiting to welcome the Prince of Dorne when he arrives for the royal wedding. What happens instead makes my blood boil a little, but not at first. The Prince sends a messenger to say that he cannot make it but has sent his brother, Prince Oberyn, to attend the wedding instead. This is immediate bad news to Tyrion because not only is Oberyn famous for banging half of Westeros, he's also famous for killing a metric shit ton of those living in Westeros as well. During the entire exchange between Tyrion and the Dornish, you can tell that they have nothing but contempt for him because he is a Lannister.
He discovers that his waiting to meet Prince Oberyn is meaningless because Oberyn already walked up in that bitch earlier in the morning.  Oops.

The next scene I was entirely disinterested in.  BLAH BLAH BLAH WHOREHOUSE BLAH BLAH BLAH WE'VE SEEN THIS A MILLION TIMES BLAH BLAH BLAH NAKED WOMEN BLAH BLAH BLAH OBERYN DOESN'T DISCRIMINATE AND WANTS TO FOOL AROUND WITH THE DUDE WHO BROUGHT THE WHORES IN BLAH BLAH BLAH.




Then, someone starts singing "The Rains of Castamere."  You know when that songs plays, that nothing good is about to happen.  Oberyn hears it before he can start getting nasty with everyone in the room and goes to investigate.  He finds two Lannisters with their whores and they have an insulting, short, and tense conversation before Oberyn attacks and stabs a dude through the wrist, pinning him to a table.

In walks Tyrion just in time before Oberyn kills someone. He and Oberyn have a nice chat and when I say nice, I mean not at all whatsoever.  We get a lot of history with this and we find out why Oberyn hates that Lannister name and everyone who wears it. We find out that Oberyn's sister, Elia, was married to Rhaegar Targaryen. Rhaegar left Elia after she bore his children and was apparently a very devoted mother, and he left his wife for Ned Stark's sister. This act started a war, that didn't end until Tywin married of Cersei to Robert Baratheon, which joined the two families and formed an unbeatable army. Elia's children were slaughtered, and rumor has it that Tywin Lannister ordered The Mountain, Gregor Clegane (The Hound, Sandor Clegane's brother) to rape and disembowel Elia. We find out that Oberyn has come to view this special royal wedding of the King because "Lannister's aren't the only ones who pay their debts." I kind of like and dislike Oberyn.  He has total cause for wanting Tywin's head on a pike.


How I was feeling when Oberyn touched Tyrion's face.

NEXT!
















Ser Jorah Mormont is still fiercely loyal to (a.k.a. madly in love with) Daenarys. He's taken to enjoying sunlit cliff side walks while watching blonde women from behind play with dragons that are, let's be honest here, getting a little too damn big to be little children anymore.


Maybe she's born with it...

I have to admit that the entire time I was watching Khaleesi with her dragons, I was jel. I inwardly sighed in a dreamy fashion as she stroked the scales of one of her dragons lovingly as a mother of dragons would. I was fangirling inside and saying, "Awwww! I want dragons! It's not fair! Why can't I have a dragon or three?!" And then this happened:


NOPE! NOPE! ALL ABOARD THE NOPE TRAIN TO NOPEVILLE!

I no longer want a dragon. They are dangerous. You heard it here first, folks. Dragons are dangerous. Granted, dumbass Khaleesi should have known that you don't bother an animal while it's nomming. The other two dragons had just played with and tossed down a goat or something to eat and they were all devouring it.  So naturally, it's the smart decision of a woman who has made so many smart decisions in the past to just assume that she's super totes special to a bunch of WILD ANIMALS.




Properly annoyed, Khaleesi goes back to her army, the Unsullied, while Jorah is still friendzoned indefinitely. She asks for Daario Naharis and is told that he's off gambling with Grey Worm, the leader of the Unsullied. She finds them and scolds them both and gets them to stop gambling. Also, I should feel the need to point out that at first I was very confused about who in the hell Daario was because I didn't recognize him.  I kept asking my husband where that one long haired blue eyed cute guy with the crooked ass teeth was. Apparently, that long haired blue eyed cute guy with crooked teeth was Daario LAST SEASON. The actor who portrayed him went off to do some movie and so Daario had to be recast. 

Sansa Lannister won't eat, as she is still in mourning and tormented by the news of how her brother and mother met their end at the Red Wedding. Shae, Sansa's maiden, is increasingly non-supportive because she's a jealous little bitch. There, I said it.  If I were in her position, I'd probably be jellin' a little, too.  It isn't like Tyrion is getting it on with Sansa but apparently that doesn't matter. Shae is kind of a bitch to Sansa about eating, and when Tyrion shows up, she essentially tattles on her. 

Tyrion, wanting to be a good husband and from the fact that he genuinely feels terrible for Sansa, tries to comfort her by offering her essence of nightshade to help her sleep so she can forget the terrible visions she imagines of her family's deaths.  He speaks of Catelyn in an admiring tone, letting Sansa know that despite their differences, he really did hold her in high esteem. Sansa excuses herself to a place where "people don't talk to her" thus letting Tyrion know his words are meaningless to her.

Back in Tyrion's room, Shae is waiting for him, much to his dismay. He wants her to stay away because he does truly care for her and knows she will be killed if their love if ever found out. Unfortunately, Shae is an idiot. She somehow thinks that she's impervious all the people who want to kill or hurt Tyrion. She tries to initiate sex with Tyrion, and try as she might, he refuses her repeatedly. She throws a bitch fit and raises her voice, and Tyrion tells that bitch to be cool, but she just storms out after accusing Tyrion of being in love with Sansa and wanting to get rid of her. After she storms out, we see that another maid has overheard the argument, and now we know that if she tells Cersei, Tyrion is in for a world of pain.

Cut to Jaime, who is being fitted with his new golden prosthetic hand. He's less than impressed with it, and while Cersei claims she went through hell to get that for him, she eventually confesses that it wasn't all the hard and it was just basically whatever. Jaime makes an observation about her drinking. Cersei, in her true selfish fashion, basically starts listing off all the reasons she has to drink. Jaime tries to put the moves on her (-gag-) and she refuses him. She then informs him that he's missed his shot because he was just gone too long.  

Say what now?

WHAT. She literally makes it sound like he was just off gallivanting around having the time of his life and that her suffering was greater than his. That prosthetic hand is just a cruel gift from her to remind him that he doesn't measure up anymore. I really dislike her. That maid that overheard Shae and Tyrion? She comes in to reveal to Cersei exactly what she heard. Yikes. Cersei will be like a dog with a bone with all that information. 

Back up north, Tormund tells Ygritte that he knows she didn't intentionally try to kill Jon Snow. He tells her he knows that she knows how to shoot to kill, and yet she didn't do that to Jon. As they prepare with the wildlings to attack Castle Black, the Thenns show up. No earthly idea who those dudes were, but hey...you know...when they showed that roasting arm, I thought, you know...I hope someone's watching this.

-coughAMCcough-

At Castle Black, Jon Snow is essentially on trial for killing Qhorin. He's accused of murder and he explains that Qhorin willed it and it was imperative that he did it to get in good with the "free folk."  Of course, as soon as he said that, all hell broke loose. He confessed to speaking like the wildlings, living with the wildlings, and even laying with a wildling girl. He's sentenced to die for breaking his Night's Watch vows, but the blind Maester Aemon overrules it, saying that if they killed every Night's Watchmen for having sex, the wall would be guarded by nothing but headless bodies. Jon Snow appears to have gotten a lot of guts while out with the wildlings because he certainly doesn't hold back at insulting the very folks that are trying to have him beheaded. Jon Snow's a man now, I guess.

Back in King's Landing, Margaery is picking out necklaces with Olenna to wear at her wedding to King Pissant Shitface Baratheon. Olenna let's her know that everything that's been brought to her is total shit and directs the girls to bring something better.


Like it ain't no thang.

Brienne of Tarth comes to visit them briefly, and Olenna pretty much marvels over her, doing the Westeros version of fangirling. Brienne and Margaery go off to talk, and Brienne informs Margaery about the shadowy figure that killed her husband, Renly Baratheon. She vows to avenge Renly.

I won't go too much into detail about the scene with Joffrey and his unclefather Jaime because I hate that little douchebag so much I'll type for days about how awful he is. So I'll just leave you with this in regards to Joffrey:


What everyone who watches GoT wishes Jaime Lannister said in that moment.

Daario tries to prove to a very moody Khaleesi that he's smooth as butter and succeeds. He brings her flowers from their journey and when she all but scoffs at the romantic gesture, he explains what each of the flowers can do, whether it's to brew tea or to poison people. He tells her that in order for her to rule the land, she must know it and he will help her learn. He offers her the flowers and she takes them with a little smirk that says they are totally going to bump uglies later. I wish they'd get it over with, honestly. Oh, also? As a warning to our Khaleesi, the dead bodies of slaves are left every mile of their trip. She doesn't give a damn. The bodies will be buried but they will continue to march on.

Back at King's Landing, Brienne is reminding Jaime of his vow to protect the Stark children. Jaime says most of them are dead. Arya comes into question but he's certain she's dead since no one has seen her since Ned Stark's beheading. EXCEPT YOUR FATHER. When Brienne insists he continue to look after Sansa, Jaime asks her if they are related. It seems that Lannisters have done nothing but make him miserable since he got back. He lets her know that she has the hair for it...just not the looks. I haven't decided if I think he was flirting or not.

Some weird dude follows Sansa and talks about how she saved his life once and I think I know who it is but I'd have to go back and watch the episode again. He insists that she takes the necklace and while she tries to decline graciously, she eventually takes it. Not sure I trust any of that. It's weird and it makes me wonder.

Sandor Clegane, or The Hound, has decided that he's going to ransom Arya to her Aunt in the Vale. Since Catelyn and Robb Stark are dead, he can't exactly ransom her to them anymore. Arya says she wants a horse. He denies her because he thinks she'll run off. They come across a camp/inn while they stop to try and figure out how to get some food, since neither of them have any coin, two men come out to take a leak. Arya, hiding in the brush, recognizes one of them. Polliver.  Polliver killed one of her friends (Lommy) and then took Arya's sword (Needle) for himself. Arya is determined to get it back. Sandor says no way, but Arya doesn't give a damn. She marches right on up to the door, with Sandor on her tail to try and stop her. When someone else opens the door, they both go in, since they can't bother hiding anymore.

They sit down and Polliver recognizes Sandor (Don't see how you couldn't...) and invites him to come and pillage with him. Even go and rape some girls. They can do anything because they wear the colors of the King. Sandor has some awesome words about the King, which makes Arya smirk. Things are tense, and Sandor demands a chicken to eat. With no coin to pay for it, Polliver offers to trade Arya for the chicken. Sandor then says that he wants two chickens. In much more graphic terms, he lets Polliver know that if he opens his trap again, he's gonna eat every chicken up in that joint.




A battle starts and The Hound is just kicking all kinds of ass everywhere while Arya stands there and gapes like it's the coolest shit she's ever seen in her life. She doesn't even look frightened! She continues to watch as The Hound mercilessly slaughters the hell out of people in some of the best kills I've ever seen.

Sandor Clegane gets in a little trouble, and Arya springs into action, taking down Polliver before he can strike The Hound. She takes Needle back for herself, and starts to repeat every word she heard Polliver say to Lommy before he killed him. Polliver finally recognizes Arya Stark. She shows him zero mercy and eliminates him swiftly.





And me?  I was all:




The last scene, we see that Arya has earned the respect of Sandor Clegane, as he rides over the hill, eating chicken, and Arya Stark rides behind him on her own horse. Beautifully done.

Can't wait to see what happens next week. This week and every week I will be doing recaps after every episode.  Stay tuned!

Until next time!

- Netta