alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Long list of stuff I have read and played etc!

Note that almost all the tv and movies are on Australian Netflix.
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alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
(Where that season is Summer, regardless of what most internet sites assume is globally universal)
Books, movies, anime, manga, webcomic )
alias_sqbr: Hannelore: Worry hat! Bravery plus 10, charisma plus 5 (worry hat)
Which is to say, things I am using to distract myself from stressing about our upcoming trip.
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alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Which is to say, I was VERY WOOZY for some of these.

Games (mostly from the currently ongoing steam sale):

Scribblenauts Unlimited (windows only): Solve people's problems by creating/editing objects. Fun, but you play as a guy saving his sister, and everytime you finish a level you gain another sibling as a possible avatar and ALL FORTY OF THEM are male. I checked! WHY NOT MAKE HALF OF THEM GIRLS. OR EVEN ONE OF THEM. They're not even compulsory so dude players wouldn't have to play as a girl, but girl players could! This annoys me so much I have stopped playing. IT'S SO UNNECCESARILY SEXIST. (Non binary/ungendered characters would also be good but if they can't manage girls)

Grim Legends: the Forsaken Bride: a Hidden object game from Artifex Mundi, only just started. Graphics are a bit uncanny valley but it's a nicely immersive Olde Worlde village setting. So far you're a woman rescuing your sister.

Higurashi When They Cry: Stalled on this completely. It's not bad, I just find it hard to keep up momentum with kinetic novels (like a visual novel but with no real choices)

Message Quest: a puzzle game about a lazy messenger in a fantasy world trying to avoid doing his quest. Has occasional simple turn based combat and I got stuck on a battle, but was enjoying it until then and will use a walkthrough to get past it at some point. Has some things that made me :/ about gender but is ultimately good hearted. It's a bit weird having to poke a lazy character who "just wants to sleep" when you have cfs, but he really is just lazy.

Audiosurf 2: Crashed on both windows and Mac :/
Books, manga, anime )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Including a bunch of very cheap games still on sale on Steam, unless the sale is done.
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alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Games:
Borderlands: Fun, cool first person shooter set in a post apocalyptic/wild west-ish planet. I've played like half an hour but it was fun and I wasn't totally bad at it! You choose one of four pre-generated characters: a white woman, a black dude, and two white dudes.

Remnants of Isolation: A cute rpg by someone I know, about people escaping a prison for magic users. Again, haven't played for long but it was cute and interesting with a diverse cast.

And for both I need to find out if you can grind to make the game arbitrarily easy, cos then I'll be safe from getting stuck and not seeing the end. Once I know that I'll feel more motivated to trek all the way to the windows machine to play them :)

Manga:
Genshiken (first two omnibuses): A slice of life comedy about a university club of anime/manga nerds who are all into porny doujinshi. Starts off very male dominated, ends up with more and more female yaoi fans. Fairly funny and charming and not as skeezy as it sounds, reminds me of both unisfa and fanfic fandom. Can be a bit...well, the author obviously respects his female characters, but it's written by, for, and about moderately conventional Japanese male nerds, talking a lot about sex. Also one of the characters cosplays as Hitler in a character title image WHY WHAT.

Anime:
Snow White of the Red Hair (first 4 episodes): well made, fluffy, fairytale-ish wish fulfillment about a Miyazaki-esque feisty, hard working, sweet natured girl with unique red hair who overcomes adversity to strike her own path. Adversity seems to often take the form of dudes who are struck by her beauty but don't respect her agency, and she's usually rescued by her male friend who is clearly secretly in love with her but not saying anything because he respects her desire for freedom. In the first two episodes there's threats of being forced to be a concubine, but it's free of explicit sexualised violence or creepiness.

Books:

A Season for Scandal by Theresa Romain: This is an arranged marriage regency romance which was mostly quite enjoyable but occasionally so annoying I had to give up. Spoilers for why below the cut:spoilers for A Season for Scandal )
alias_sqbr: A cartoon cat saying Ham! (ham!)
I feel lIke I watched/read a bunch of stuff lately but all that comes to mind is...

Silver Spoon: a really good comedy/slice of life anime about a scholarly teenage boy who burns out during his middle school exams and so decides things will be easier at an agricultural highschool. I watched the first episode months ago and decided I wasn't in the mood, then devoured the rest of the two seasons in two days. It ends in one of those "pretty satisfying considering it's based on an unfinished manga" places.

Based on manga by Hiromu Arakawa, the author of Full Metal Alchemist, who grew up on a dairy farm, so it's very well written, funny, thoughtful, heartwarming and bittersweet. Much lighter and more domestic than than FMA, but it doesn't totally sugarcoat the realities of dealing with livestock and the academic/economic pressures facing the students. Like FMA it focusses very much on guys, but treats it's female characters pretty well and I found the level of heteronormativity bearable. There's two fat characters (a boy and a girl) who eat a lot and are somewhat made fun of but are also sympathetic and not defined just by their weight.

My main issue is that I think I'd enjoy it more as an ensemble story, I like the main character but I would be happier with more from the point of view of other characters (...ok yes, mainly the girls) Might be annoying for vegetarians, since it's discussed as an option occasionally but universally rejected.

Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho: Just read the first two stories so far (I've got it on the kindle for waiting in doctor's surgeries) I quite liked them, they had the same cute, funny, empathetic style as the other stuff by her I've read, and it was cool reading stories set in Malaysia. She can be a little twee, but there's some nice social commentary in there too.

Both of these have settings I know very little about, so I can't say for sure that they're true to life, but they felt it. Everyone feels like a person, which is something I love in fiction. They're also both genres I usually avoid (shonen slice of life and short stories)
alias_sqbr: Zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Before I forget what they all mean! I had a good time, the JAFWA manga library was a great way to rest and I had some delicious sukiyaki from Pepper Steak which probably had nothing to do with my throat going bright blotchy red just afterwards.

Game development:

Let's Make Games local game group
Global Game Jam: Perth
Construct 2 Game engine
Rock Paper Shotgun Reviews, links to interesting little free games
The Lost Garden Blog
Extra Credits Meta
Podcasts: Game design round table, Tone Control

Yuri:
Panelists were from 5Milkshakes cosplay, say they will put their recs list up there at some point. (They printed 25 copies which vanished in minutes :))

Unlike yaoi, yuri tends to actually explore sexuality and gender a bit, often characters tending towards genderqueer or trans though they generally don't use those terms.

Things I wrote down:
Sympho Gear
Nanoha
Strawberry Panic
Sasameki Koto
Saki
Simoun
Koko connect
Kiss of the petals

Being in a room full of happy yuri fangirls (and the odd outnumbered fanboy) was great :)

Yuri recs

Mar. 1st, 2014 07:24 pm
alias_sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
There is a yuri panel at Waicon tomorrow I hope to make it to, and I was thinking I should have my yuri recs post to hand but then I realised I dont seem to have one!

So! A quick list of anime and manga with canon f/f that I liked.

Manga:

Girlfriends by Morinaga Milk: Cute somewhat fanservicey high school romance.

Strawberry Shake Sweet by Shizuru Hayashiya: Cute less fanservicey romantic comedy between two idols.

Morishima Akiko does lots of really cute one shots, some about ACTUAL ADULTS.

Anime:

Revolutionary Girl Utena: Subverts gender roles, deeply weird and full of triggers but very interesting.

(qualified rec) Sakura Trick: blushing moe schoogirls kissing. Cute and happy but really obviously aimed at guys, with lots of closeups of their breasts and thighs. I kind of enjoyed it but feel dirty.

Websites/more recs

Lililicious: scanlations of SO MANY MANGA.

Shira’s Ginormous Shoujo-Ai and Yuri Manga Master Rec List

Kentsarrow's recs

Stuff I haven't seen but have been recced:

Simoun

Iono-sama Fanatics (I have since been strongly anti recced)

Stuff I didn't really like but others do:

Aoi Hana: A bittersweet well-written gentle highschool yuri romance, had too much angsty underage sex for me (afaict the main characters end up happy together, and it's often funny and heartwarming. I just have REALLY BIG underage sex squick)

Mai Hime: Magical girls with too much male gaze and heteronormativity for my tastes. I enjoyed it well enough as action/adventure, but the f/f was rapey and left a bad taste in my mouth.

Love DNA XX: in a world of only XX people, half are trans men (sort of). Lots of fanservice of people with boobs in men's clothes. Not my kind of crossdressing.

Pietà by Nanae Haruno: angsty Special Girls find comfort in each other.

Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl by Satoru Akahori and Yukimaru Katsura: A girlish boy is turned into a girl by an alien. Shenanigans ensue. The main character's father kept "hilariously" hitting on her and it creeped me out.
alias_sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
People have responded really well to my SB fic which makes me feel less self conscious about opining on the thoughts that went behind it (of course it probably helps that for the sake of my recipient I just wrote f/m instead of the f/f/m my heart wanted)

Anyway! While writing The Life and Death of Setsuka Heel I realised that (a)I wanted Ren and Kyoko to actually talk honestly about their feelings and (b)I couldn't figure out what that looked like since they pretty much never do it. This prompted a reread of much of the manga and some thoughts which I couldn't talk about because of anonymity...UNTIL NOW.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Torchwood spoilers for various episode numbers: Jack dies (torchwood spoilers)
Since I just finished an actual book printed on paper.

What I've been reading:
Steampowered 2: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories. Edited by Joselle Vanderhooft, written by many people but most importantly the AMAZING AND TALENTED Stephanie Lai.

Overall I quite enjoyed it! Most of the authors made an effort to do interesting and inclusive worldbuilding, with stories set in China and Turkey and Malaysia etc all exploring what "steampunk" might mean in that setting. And they all had queer female main characters! They were still a bit...short story-ish for my tastes, lots of bittersweet endings and a few vignettes that didn't really go anywhere when what I like is actual stories with a narrative arc and a happy ending. And beyond that the quality was patchy. But there were enough stories I liked to keep me reading and I'm overall glad I read it.

What I've been watching:

Coffee Prince: Great!
All About my Romance: Ok

Failed to watch:

Hannibal:Not my sort of thing
The Mindy Project: BAD, I didn't manage to finish the first episode
Pretty Little Liars
DAL JA’S SPRING
I can't think straight
The Fosters

What I'm watching:

Kimi no Todoke: really sweet anime about a shy awkward girl gaining friends and self confidence (I've read heaps of the manga)
Little Mosque: patchy but nice enough comedy set in a Canadian mosque
Little Witch Academia: Cute little anime combining Hogwarts with a Japanese girls school
Orphan Black: Really good scifi thriller so far, but I am not in the mood for anything tense right now so it's on pause
Chihayafuru: it's stopped being quite so slow now it's nearing the end of the season

What I'm reading:
The Chihayafuru manga. The tv show finally caught up to the end of the random gap in the translations, hurrah!

Also Homestuck just started up again after a hiatus and I am full of feels.

What I'll be watching next:
Sunkyunkwan Scandal
Capital Scandal
CITY HUNTER
YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL
My Girl
Ao Hana
Amar Akbar Anthony
Morgan

Further recs for K dramas appreciated, alas I can't find a source for Queen in Hyun's Man or it'd be on the list. Also interesting collections of short stories that don't all have sad/creepy/bittersweet endings (Or have enough interesting ideas that I won't mind) Accessible not-too-depressing short essays, too. I need something new to read on the bus :) Maybe I should just give up and load up the Kindle with fanfic.

while I'm at it, some other stuff for future reference )
alias_sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
Managed to drag myself to the local anime con Waicon today despite sleeping in until 9am. I had a lot of fun! The last time I went was pre wheelchair, so super tiring, and I was disappointed by how old and isolated I felt. So this time I put on my incredibly half arsed Jane Crocker "cosplay" (shirt plus printer transfer, blue jeans, red jewelry and random pretty shoes) and prepared myself to at best get a smile or two of recognition from other Homestuck fans and maybe bump into one or two people but mostly be surrounded by tiny adorable teenaged strangers, attend two panels, buy some stuff, and then go home.

Having set up such low expectations I was pleasantly surprised, but also tired out, by how things actually progressed.

The con seemed SUPER QUIET when I arrived, with no visible stalls, and my panel was cancelled. Not a good start. And then I discovered there was a whole second level with all the stalls and most of the people. And yes, most of them were much younger strangers, but there were plenty of people my age or older (not all of them acting as chaperones) and enough people I knew scattered throughout the con to keep things friendly. Anyway just looking at people's costumes was fun.

I chatted to several people from Swancon running stalls, got some money out, chatted to more people from Swancon, then went to my next panel about the computer game industry. Which turned out to be run by [personal profile] sonictail (who I met at JAFWA but also see at Swancon :)) It was quite interesting, even though I have no intention of moving beyond being a hobbyist.
Then I looked at the stalls some more, tried not to spend too much money on cute little things (SO MANY CUTE LITTLE THINGS) and played the demo of Freedom Fall, a fun little game being made by several people I know. Then I navigated the MASSIVE CROWDS lining up for the cosplay competition to get to the webcomics panel, also run by [personal profile] sonictail (as always) By the end it became the Homestuck panel, what with people in Homestuck outfits filling like half the room :) Afterwards some of them invited me to join the local Homestuck fan group Perthstuck, though when I said I felt a bit too old they said "Oh, but there's lots of people who are, like...twenty five". WOW, THAT OLD? (They do seem nice though. Also the Perthstuck tag on tumblr has lots of cool Waicon pics. I should upload the pic I took of the maid!girl!Equius. She was giving out chocolate!)

At this point I had well run out of social spoons so left. While I was eating soup in an interesting (and wheelchair accessible!) if overpriced new little Japanese place on Barrack street called Zen Saki I bumped into another friend. I had various disasters getting home: the Perth station lift was broken so I had to drive to McIver, and then when I was trying to leave the train my wheels got jammed in the gap and I had to be pushed out by some fellow passengers. Also I think I'm a little sunburned. So overall: TIRED. But it was fun :)

EDIT: Posted two photos and a little more description at tumblr.
alias_sqbr: Zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Geeky Girl's and Women's Anime/Manga My original brainstorming post
Josei and Shoujo The presentation I gave
Hold Me Now The Princess Tutu vid I showed

Further notes and recs:Read more... )
alias_sqbr: Zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Most anime and manga recced at Swancon tends to be aimed at men/boys and I thought it would be good to have a panel on geeky anime and manga aimed at women and girls. These are my initial thoughts. I am a long way from being an expert on anime/manga or Japanese culture in general, and haven't read as widely as I might have (a disproportionate number of these are about crossdressing :D), so other people's input would be very much appreciated! (EDIT: I am feeling too lazy to edit in people's suggestions, read the comments on both versions of the post for some great sounding anime/manga)
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: the symbol pi on a pretty background (I like pi!)
I looked at the cover for the latest issue of Skip Beat and decided I'd had enough of Ren and his stupid angsty face. Call me if it ever becomes about Kyoko again.

I keep thinking I'm done with Glitch and then something new and fun happens. The other day I decided to find the key to the locked door in Subarna Spells, and in the process had a nice conversation with others waiting for it to respawn (I eventually got bored, came back an hour later to see some still waiting and found it on the ground) Then I got in and it was so much fun:people jump from ledge to ledge and when they see a sparkly rock respawn shout out the location then everyone converges at once to mine it in seconds before moving on to the next one. Then I decided to check out one of the other hidden key locations, and found a note inviting people to join a group for user generated quests. So I checked one out, but got stuck…and while wandering around encountered an invite to an unrelated party. When I arrived only the host was there, but we had a nice chat and they gave me all their leftover food (any day that results in free food is a good day, even if it's virtual)

I find this Supernatural fan film interesting. From what I've seen, Counteragent and Naomi Novik both produce fannish works which are of high quality but way too in love with male characters for my tastes, and Supernatural girl!Sam/Dean fanfic tends to feel like regular fic with the pronouns changed to me, but I'm wondering if that fact that there's actual women playing the characters would make any difference. I quite liked [livejournal.com profile] swirlygate, but that didn't take itself at all seriously. Anyway, even if it doesn't end up being my sort of thing I think it's a cool idea.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
I just finished the anime My Hime/Mai Hime. It's quite good, certainly much better than the very fluffy and fanservicey(*) first few episodes would indicate (though I enjoyed those too). It's a high school drama with magical girls/summons and it both subverts those genres and plays them straight. It reminded me a bit of Puella Magi Madoka Magica only with episodes like "Homura vs the underwear stealing demon" and with more of a kitchen sink approach to plotting and characters. Also, jokes. There's a huge well drawn cast with lots of interesting relationships, it's all about The Power of Love where the "love" is friendly, romantic, familial etc, focussing as much on relationships between female characters as between male and female. Lots of boys being saved by girls, too, which I'm always in favour of. I'm not sure the plot entirely makes sense, and there's a few jarring shifts in tone, and while there are lots of great female characters and even a little canonical f/f the depiction can slip into creepy male gaze-y heteronormativity. Still, overall, I liked it.

Speaking of fanservice (all of boys this time), I also finished the manga of Ouran High School Host Club. It was great. The main character Haruhi is ambivalent about gender and dresses as a boy, when she gets a scholarship to a fancy school she gets dragged into the world of the Host Club, which is pretty much wall to wall satire of romance manga tropes. The cast is mostly male apart from Haruhi (who one could read as genderqueer), but it treats it's few other female characters pretty well. Her father is a gay transvestite, and while the relationships we see onscreen are all straight and there's some quasi-evil lesbians I still mostly like the depiction of gender and sexuality. Also it's just fun, and very sweet.

I've just started Durara!, by the same exclamation mark loving guy who did Baccano!, it's pretty good so far, though I keep thinking of the two main characters as Dave and John from Homestuck.

(*)I've seen shows with more fanservice, but I was impressed by the variety of types. There's even a sexy nun. Be warned some of it crosses the line of consent, though nothing very explicit gets shown on screen.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
I've been feeling fairly critical about things recently. So, a post of things that have been making me happy that may make you happy too.

Reading my dreamwidth network without the feeds. The ratio of stuff I want to read to stuff I don't is much more useful.

The Manga Guide to Databases by Mana Takahashi: For anyone who has wanted the fundamentals of Databases and SQL explained to them in the form of a cute manga about a princess and a fairy. No, really, it's adorable. It's not the best textbook ever, I did learn some stuff but a lot of the explanations were very shallow, I think it would work best as introduction in conjunction with a more dense text with lots of in-depth definitions. And the plot is pretty light, I can't see it appealing to anyone who isn't genuinely interested in databases (which I am, having used them at my old job with no theoretical training beyond my second year Computer Science data structures course) But I was the perfect audience, and I enjoyed it :)

The Morishima Akiko tag at daily_yuri (she can also be found at Lililicious), especially "Off Time" and "Happy Picture Diary", which both show the happy lives of adult lesbian Japanese women (as opposed to angsty schoolgirls as in a lot of yuri). Her comics are always so adorable and happy.

Some vids (mostly angsty, because angsty vids make me happy):

  • Rolling in the Deep: all the Xmen films. The Charles/Erik vid I've always wanted. (Well, it's more focussed on them rather than the broader themes than I'd like, but that's not really an objective flaw)
  • Seamstress Nikita: The Nikita&Alex vid I never knew I needed. I've watched very little Nikita but the complex codependent mentor thing hits all my buttons.
  • Don't Lose Yourself Doctor Who. Donna ;_;
  • Around Us Avatar the Last Airbender. I had to go back through a few pages of bookmarks to find something genuinely happy :)

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