rainfall: (wink ;; never make that face again)
So, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD premiered this week, and... damn, it sure hit the spot. In just one episode, we felt the true power of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: there were references to Thor, references to The Incredible Hulk, so many references to The Avengers, and -- perhaps most satisfying of all -- references to Iron Man 3.

CAUTION: Falling opinions. )
rainfall: A chaotic pile of generic crayons. All the colors of a child's rainbow. (crayons)
Some old thoughts I gathered up while re-reading all of the logs we have for Caged, and which deserved some kind of blog post.


Not everyone is going to like your favorite movie, and you just have to deal with that. It's not tragic, it's just part of life. Some of us like chocolate and some of us like vanilla and some of us like both but differing preferences are no reason to be upset.

Still, I read a review that picked two particularly silly nits with this movie, so here goes.


1.) TONY STARK SHOULD KNOW WHAT SHWARMA IS. )

2.) WHO THE HECK ARE OUR VILLAINS? )
rainfall: A windowpane from the inside; covered in raindrops, a blur of cityscape beyond the glass (rain on a window)
I think I am genuinely giving up on foundation again for a while.

I have tried a number of products now -- some of them in smart ways, like going to Sephora or Macy's and getting a sample, and some in not-so-smart ways, like buying a whole tube from a drug store -- and I am just not really satisfied with the results.

I'm also turning 29 this year, so maybe I'm still kind of young to "worry" about foundation, and I should just stick with moisturizer with concealer as needed.

Further babble goes here. )

Anyway, these were my thoughts. Hope you enjoyed!
rainfall: A pair of hands holding an ornate teacup. The red fingernails and green shirt match the teacup's design. (teacups)
Don't ask me how or why, but this morning I started thinking about gender in Tales of Vesperia.

A few months ago in Marina, someone asked Yuri point blank whether his life had ever been easier for him just because he was a man. He thought about it, and so did I; and then he said, "No, not really."

Because in Tales of Vesperia, gender roles seem to be pretty damned egalitarian.


Point the first: Estelle was going to be Empress.

Estelle and Ioder, in ToV, are completely equal candidates for the throne. Estelle is preferred by the Council of Nobles, possibly because she has the pink hair that signifies the potency of her inherited powers as a Child of the Full Moon (thereby possibly making her royal blood bluer), but just as likely because she was recognized as being more naive (and malleable) than Ioder.

Meanwhile, Ioder is preferred by the Imperial Knights.

These two groups have equal power in ToV (and an imbalance in that power, shifting it towards the Council, is one of our underlying plotlines), both being subordinate only to the Emperor or Empress.

Never once in the entire game is there ever made any mention of Ioder being better-suited for the throne because he's male, or any mention that Estelle would have to marry. In fact, when I say "Empress", I think I may be pulling that out of my ass; I'm not completely sure they don't just say "Emperor" all the time and that Estelle would have ended up "Emperor". I like the word Empress, but I'm just saying: they only ever call her a candidate for the Imperial Throne. There is so little mention made of her being a "woman Emperor" that they never use a gendered term for it at all.

In a society with sexism present, you would expect this to be made an issue of. In a truly sexist society, you wouldn't expect Estelle to be a candidate at all.


Point the second: Kaufman, Belius

The Empire is, of course, only half of the game's governing body. The other half, opposed to the Empire for most of the game, is a coalition of Guilds called the Union. One of the five master guilds is run by a woman (Fortune's Market) and one is a question mark (we know nothing about the Soul Smiths and hardly ever hear their name).

And then there's Pallestralle, the only major independent Guild, which is also run by a woman. And I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Belius is, in fact, KNOWN to be female by everyone, and that it was a translation hiccup that caused the game to spend half of its time referring to her as "that person".

If the Soul Smiths isn't run by a woman -- and from now on my personal headcanon is that it is -- then the imbalance is caused only by the fact that two of the guilds are secretly run by the same man, so there's only actually four leaders, split -- for all we know -- evenly down the middle.

Again, there are no mentions ever made of it even being unusual that they're leading.


Point the third: Sodia, Casey

In the Raven novel -- and nowhere else -- we are told that female knights usually opt to be mages rather than swordsmen or arches. Casey, it notes, is an exception to this general rule; and so too is Sodia. But in neither case is there ever any actual surprise directed at these women, let alone noticeable prejudice. Much noise is made throughout Vesperia about how Alexei, Schwann, and Flynn are all commoners rather than being noble-born, but nobody ever spares a sneer for Sodia or Casey.

Not to mention Estelle, who is a princess but was still trained to defend herself with a sword and a shield.

So this tells me that, rather than being something women are forbidden to do, it's something women are less inclined to do, which I don't mind or consider to be evidence of sexism. I also think it's tremendously significant that the writers, upon deciding to make this part of the Knights' gender makeup, also decided to make the only female characters we actually know both exceptions to the 'rule'.

It's hard to feel, in that situation, like the point wasn't to show us that women can do whatever they want, rather than that they usually take roles that don't involve direct combat.


Point the fourth: Karol and Estelle's crossdressing

Karol is embarrassed to be told to seduce the guard, especially after he just suggested one of the girls do it, but there's never a horrified moment from anyone about the idea of Karol wearing girls' clothes. And no one objects at ALL to the idea of Estelle playing the prince: in fact, since the outfit fits her perfectly, the original actor who played the prince was probably also a girl.

Additionally, both the description of Karol's female costume in the 360 version and several extra scenes in the PS3 version all imply that Karol kind of likes being pretty and wearing a dress. X3


Point the fifth: Flynn is the worst cook in the game

(Note: This IS also true in the 360 version. You just have to read between the lines during the skit you get for having Yuri cook repeatedly -- he never mentions Flynn's name, but he's obviously talking about him -- and complete the Wonder Chef Cooking Battle in Dahngrest with Yuri. Flynn will be the Empire's cook, and if Yuri wins you'll hear all about Flynn the Disastrous cook.)

Flynn is a type of cook that is always, always female in Japanese media. He is the enthusiastic, hopeful, but horrible chef who always puts the wrong ingredients into his food in a puppy dog-like attempt to make it taste better. This type of cook is always female because it subverts the expectation that a sweet woman will necessarily be a good homemaker.

I can't even put into words how much I love the fact that the disaster chef is male and Flynn.


The fact is that gender is never really mentioned in Vesperia, and it is mentioned in other Tales Of games: for example, in Symphonia, there are multiple scenes to the tune of men being useless for traditional manly duties. (Presea and Colette, both possessing unnatural strength for plot reasons, are shown more than once to lift enormous objects effortlessly, and male characters around them become insecure. "I've lost my confidence as a man," says Lloyd. "Me, too," says Genis. "Men are so useless these days," says Raine.)

So, I'm going to go ahead and say that there COULD have been gendered roles in Vesperia, and that we go out of our way to avoid them.
rainfall: A girl holds a camera up. (taking photos)
Spoiler alert: I might be done with Yahtzee for a while.

I don't understand what Yahtzee wants from a game, and I understand that -- in a way -- that's the point. He's the Unpleasable Critic. He exists solely to slam games for poor decisions. His positive reviews are rare.

But that doesn't mean his criticisms are fair.

Read more... )

Bleach 482

Feb. 29th, 2012 03:35 pm
rainfall: A girl peers curiously into someone's window. (adventure waits within)
Spoilers! You were warnnnned.

Read more... )
rainfall: A windowpane from the inside; covered in raindrops, a blur of cityscape beyond the glass (rain on a window)
[personal profile] sincere wrote an awesome theory about Cross in DGM. (DON'T READ IF YOU AREN'T CAUGHT UP ON 212 BUT here's a link.)

That in turn prompted paragraphs from me about the difference between the way Kubo Tite has been handling Bleach and the way Hoshino has been handling D.Gray-Man. Warning: I'm technically a fan of both, but I side with Hoshino on this one.

Further warning: THERE ARE SO MANY SPOILERS IN HERE IT'S INSANE. So don't read this, either, unless you're caught up to DGM 212 and at least Bleach 480.

Read more... )
rainfall: A pair of hands holding an ornate teacup. The red fingernails and green shirt match the teacup's design. (teacups)
[insanejournal.com profile] marinasylum had a kissing event last week, and I am sad suddenly that I didn't rate what kind of kisser each of my boys was at the time. So, here goes nothing!

Yuri is a good kisser. He's warm, he'll linger a little if he's attracted to you, and it will just generally be a good experience. He's a little rough by preference, though, and spontaneous. Shrug, kiss, in that order.

Kanda is the most virginal virgin. He's going to bump into your face, and maybe bite you unintentionally (or intentionally, depending on who you are). Awkward, clumsy. Stammering and protests first. Bigger fuss if you're a guy, because he (and only he, of these kids) is straight.

Jade is a precise kisser. He's quite skilled at it, but unless you are very special you may yet detect a hint of something almost clinical in his kiss. Kissing matters very little to him and he will be businesslike and quick about it.

Suzaku is a good kisser, but will be shy and reluctant because he considers himself to be In A Relationship. Expect a lot of apologies, especially if you're a girl; he holds the slightly sexist belief that all girls are saving their first kisses (and virginities) for someone special! So, since it can't be him who's special, he's sorry. :c


...all very different experiences. X3 Two options for shy, two options for skilled. Pick your poison, everyone.
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. (Default)
I HAVEN'T SEEN IT BEFORE THIS MOMENT, so no spoilers please!

There will, however, be spoilers in the comments on this post. You are warned. 8D
rainfall: A girl with a bouquet of flowers holds it up. (live in color)
...Wow, really? XD You go out of your way to license R2-D2, and then you say he's from Naboo...

I'm having trouble imagining the target audience that would be like, "Aw yeah, R2-D2!" and not go, "...Tatooine. You meant Tatooine, right?"

I guess we're looking for the segment of the population who thinks R2-D2 is cool, but hasn't actually seen any of the movies. :|a
rainfall: The words "Do I dare disturb the universe" written with a fingertip on a foggy windowpane. (dare disturb?)
So, here's the deal.

We would like to watch The West Wing today.

The first season of The West Wing is in our possession. It's unopened, although not something that was bought recently. I remove the plastic wrap, put in the DVD.

On the third episode, it skips unrecoverably. It continues to do that for the remaining episode. The disk is not dirty; I wipe it off meticulously anyway. The skip continues. I try it in our PS3 instead, which is notoriously more sensitive and plays skippy disks better: no luck. Still unrecoverable.

This is kind of infuriating. Fuck the MPAA. I NOW HAVE TO PIRATE SOMETHING I OWN, BECAUSE YOU MAKE SHITTY FRAGILE PRODUCTS THAT BREAK WITHOUT EVER BEING USED.

I find that Netflix can play these episodes. I want to use a free trial, since I don't really want to sign up for their service, especially since I can't actually tell what their library looks like. (They claim to have "Seasons 1-3" of Parks & Recreations, which I know was streaming instantly when we had an account, and just "The West Wing", which I know was not streaming when we had our account. There's no distinction between the two listings on their stupid site.)

All I want is the free trial, so that I can watch something I ALREADY OWN, legally, without skipping issues.

Netflix starts to give me the free trial, then notes that my credit card information, which I guess they kept on file, matches an account they used to have. They pop up a message saying that I'm not eligible for the free trial, but hey, I can keep renew my service and they'll happily charge me!



Yeah, no. You're not getting my fucking money, Netflix. Not today or ever. I was willing to take a look and see if your stock had improved. I was willing to consider paying for your service again. But this is a dick move, and today was not the day to pull it on me.

Know who doesn't care if you sign up for their service again and want the cheap rates again? Comcast. That's right: Comcast sucks less than you. Good job, there.



ETA: Giving Hulu+ a shot! I can actually see their catalogue, and they have a free trial for a week.
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. (Default)
Why People Act Stupid On the Internet

The grammar of that title keeps twigging at me. I think it's because I want it to be Act Stupidly, but that isn't correct either; perhaps the title should just be "Act Like Idiots".

Anyway. All worth reading and reminding ourselves of. Certainly a problem I suffer from myself. I'll just work harder to control it. (cozy)

Mulan

Jan. 28th, 2012 05:08 pm
rainfall: A pair of hands holding an ornate teacup. The red fingernails and green shirt match the teacup's design. (teacups)
I read some very thoughtful complaining about Mulan and somethingsomething not faithful to the ballad grr American values of individualism grr.

So, here's the text of the Ballad of Mulan, translated in full. Judge for yourselves. Personally, I came away from it thinking that Disney's version spends more time worrying about fitting in and so on (supposedly values the movie doesn't honor); in the ballad, she seems to just decide to go to war and not give a damn what anyone else thinks about it.
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. ([suzaku/lelouch] tied together)
Wherein I go into much more detail than anyone cares to hear about the relationship Suzaku has with his the princess, Euphemia li Britannia. AKA: I read a few RP Advice Meme threads and didn't agree with what I saw, so I decided to write up my own opinion.

I play Suzaku over at Marina Asylum on Inksome, and this was originally intended as an open letter to potential Euphies, before [livejournal.com profile] warplanes signed up to play her. Eee, I lucked out.

Warning: falling opinions! )
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. ([aizen+gin] caramel dansen - dooork)
SILENT HILL: HOMECOMING
a recommendation

I really, really enjoyed this game. I was thrilled to play it, and, with the exception of some brutally difficult pieces sprinkled throughout, I continued to be thrilled by it until the credits rolled. I have noticed that many of the people reviewing the game do not seem to agree with this estimation, but, while some of their criticisms are not totally without merit, the vast majority of them are -- I would venture to say -- unfair.

In this review, I would like to repudiate those criticisms.

WARNING: I've tried my best to avoid it with HOMECOMING, but there are several spoilers for previous SILENT HILL games sprinkled throughout, especially SILENT HILL 2.

A response to other reviews -- most specifically, the one on Zero Punctuation. )

I think that about covers it. ♥

Basically: Play the game. But if you really have complaints -- if you seriously think this is anything but a step forward from past efforts, or that the series producers did anything but serve up a slightly flawed* masterpiece with a lot of potential for future SILENT HILLs -- then I don't think you've been paying attention to the series. End of story.

*There's an enormous amount of detail and thought put into things up until about three fourths of the way through the game, at which point you pretty much stop getting non-combat Quick Time Events and other little details similarly fall off, but it's an amazing game for first-time developers.

RP Meme!

Oct. 6th, 2008 11:27 pm
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. ([futurama] something worth celebrating)
School's a little crazy right now, SH: Homecoming was awesome, and I don't intend to ever let myself get this behind again because aaaaah!

But in the meantime, a meme.

meme sheep says: baaaaa )
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. ([chad] he believes in me)
No, that's not a judgment call -- that's the name: World's Best Cat Litter. But I agree wholeheartedly. Buy it! Buy it now!

Only cat lovers need apply. Unless you want the details about kitty bathroom habits, I guess. )
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. ([gin] trick (v.))
A movie like this, you think, it can't be as good as everyone's saying.

It was.

SO MANY SPOILERZ )

Ending thought: Purrpurrpurrpurr.

I am one happy little Batman fangirl.
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. ([axel/roxas] omg squee)
Very late, about to sleep, but hey, just did three anonymous things that made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Despite what Penny Arcade would indicate.

The first, weeks ago, was posting two fandom secrets; never done it before, thought the subjects would get me wank -- they are INTELLIGENT thoughts, darn it, but anonymity + normal person = raging jackass, as Penny Arcade has so neatly put it, so I thought things would get ugly -- but apparently I phrased them well or something, because all I got was enthusiastic agreement. One of them didn't make it into the normal secrets post, which is a shame, because I think it was kind of important, but people still saw it and word'd me. So that's nice. I might even make another secret, but maybe not, because in skimming for replies to MY secrets, I read comments more thoroughly than I usually do, and caught a fair number of people disagreeing with the latest of many anti-slash asshats.

I mean: You don't have to love slash or seek it out -- it'd be nice if it was just another type of romance for you, and so you liked it if the character dynamic was interesting, didn't otherwise, just the way you'd feel about any het 'ship... but you certainly don't have to think it's wildly hot and keep it as a personal fantasy or anything, whatever. That's fine. But it seems to be really popular right now or something to go on and on about how "all" slash is "OOC". And the very idea that a person's sexuality could be OOC upsets me. Why, exactly? And how?

TL;DR: Quit telling me everyone's straight until proven otherwise. I hate that assumption, it's unrealistic, and I just can't do it. Some characters ARE straight, sure. But rarely do you have an actual canonical situation where a character addresses the possibility of being gay, and thoughtfully dismisses it, so it's not an easy argument to make, sorry. )

...I'd like to make a fandom secret about maybe 1/10th of all that. And forgive me if it came out kind of incoherent or something, it's veeeery late.

By now you may have forgotten that there was a third anonymous thing I did today that made me happy, but it involved the TWEWY kink meme. I really like kink memes. And I don't just say that because I enjoy writing porn. ♥
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. ([sora] reckless abandon)
Corpse Bride

This movie is very quiet and understated, and I feel like an awful person confessing this, but the first time I watched it it was with someone else underwhelmed by the movie, and I think his reaction was catching.

I was expecting The Nightmare Before Christmas REDUX or something, I think, and this movie isn't it -- the musical numbers, and indeed most of the rest of it, is much more subdued. And without that raucous energy, I just... stopped really watching.

I rented it only on [livejournal.com profile] kay_willow's urging, because she'd never seen it, and part of me wanted to see the ending, which I'd totally missed.

Anyway, enough confessing my dark sins (seriously, not having loved this movie feels like one): So. awesome.

Corpse Bride > Enchanted. It is fact. )

This is so awesome. I can't even express it really. Main Guy did not get Main Girl. Hollywood so very, very rarely does that. (And it would have been so easy to make Victor's new suitor somehow perfect for her and tie her off that way.) They touched and changed each other, he helped her and she helped him (before her, I don't think he would've been able to articulate his feelings for Victoria), but they didn't end up in bed together.

Omg, seriously.

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