I don’t think I’ve ever read the whole way through Les Misérables—once I reach a certain point, usually before everyone dies, I put the book down and call it quits. The musical is sad enough for me; I don’t need more sadness. That said, every once in a while I do check what kind of fanfiction there is out there, because hey, if any canon has death, fanfiction will fix that right up. That’s how I came across A Reflection of Starlight by AutumnGracy. Taking place, sadly, after the barricade, the fic starts with Javert jumping off a bridge. This time around, though, Valjean witnesses his fall into the Seine and rescues him.
Trigger warning for discussions of suicide follow.
There’s been a spate of whitewashed and appropriated Asian roles in American-made movies recently, but there have been very few geeky movies which actually star Asian actors (to my knowledge, at least). Since this is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, though, I wanted to watch some geeky Asian films. To do so, I had to go through our archives before finally landing on Little Door Gods, a film I found out about in late 2015. Though it never got an American release, I did find it on the internet (just, you know, around).
Little Door Gods (小門神) is the first feature-length film from Light Chaser Animation, a Chinese animation studio which launched because of what founder Gary Wang saw as the lack of movies featuring Chinese mythology. (Probably a good call; it doesn’t look like Hollywood is going to get to Asian inclusivity anytime soon.) Wang has said that he wants to create “the Pixar of China,” and he’s even hired some animators who used to work for Pixar and DreamWorks in pursuit of his goal. His first movie is… definitely good, but not Pixar-worthy yet.
I looked forward to Civilization VI for months before it came out, and on its release day, I was more than happy to drop $60 for a great gaming experience. After all, I liked Civilization V, and despite Civilization: Beyond Earth’s problems it was still an okay experience. The first couple weeks with Civ VI, I had a blast figuring everything out, but there were a lot of little things in the gameplay that lessened the experience, and unfortunately, nearly half a year later, they have not improved.
If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say? “It will get better”? “Don’t stress too much about fitting in”? “Yes, what you’re feeling is love, and that’s okay”? “The future is awful and sad and I want you to work tirelessly to make sure you don’t end up a regret-stricken wreck like me”? Orange takes this last approach, and the result is a series that I have a barrel full of mixed feelings about.
Spoilers and content warning for suicide ahead.
On the first day of the new school year, protagonist Naho finds a strange letter addressed to her, which was apparently sent from herself, ten years in the future. Naho is confused and dubious that such a thing can be real, but then the events the letter describes start coming true: the letter tells her that a new student, a boy named Kakeru, will be joining their class that day, and he’ll sit next to Naho. Naho’s friends will attempt to be welcoming and invite the new kid to hang out once school is over, but, the letter warns, they should absolutely not do that. Not that day, at least.
Naho soon realizes that the letters are full of specific advice from her future self, chiefly about things that Future Naho regrets and wants to change. These mostly concern Kakeru, since, as Naho is shocked to find out, ten years in the future Kakeru is no longer alive. In Future Naho’s world, Kakeru died—in an accident later discovered to be suicide—when he was seventeen, and she’s sending these letters back in time to try and stop that from happening. Continue reading →
Well, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sure was a thing I watched.
I should start with a positive, right? It had a great soundtrack. (Although I was shocked to discover that I recognized some of the songs and my music aficionado mom did not.)
Also, I’d definitely argue that it was better than its predecessor. If you’ll recall my review, I left Vol. 1 deeply disappointed, and I felt like this movie offered a lot of the character beats and emotional high notes that I wished the first film had hit. It also improved the representation on the team by giving us the first MCU team-up with some semblance of gender parity.
That said, I’m not sure what this story adds to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe worldbuilding, and being a band-aid for the previous film’s issues isn’t necessarily a good look for a sequel.
Magic and sci-fi don’t have a great track record when it comes to pregnancy. I already talked about this in a previous post a while back, but thanks to Shadowhunters, it’s time to talk about it again. Shadowhunters is not a bad show. It’s not good either, not by a long shot. It’s based on a subpar book series, and although the show has taken a lot of creative liberties—most of which are for the better—the acting’s awful, and the story’s pretty campy. That said, it’s still a lot of fun, and as Noodle has pointed out, it’s giving us some greatLGBTQ+ representation. It’s even used magic in some unique ways. All in all, it has my approval. At least, that was until I starting catching up on Season 2 and reached the episode “Dust and Shadows” and Shadowhunters went right into one of my more hated tropes—the mystical pregnancy.
I hate this trope so much. It’s steeped in rape culture, has numerous implications for worldbuilding, and is rarely handled all that well. Shadowhunters may do a really good job with some things, but this is not one of them, and it’s one of the few instances where the show is actually worse than the books.
Spoilers and a trigger warning for sexual assault ahead.
The other week I had pure freedom to loaf around, so I firmly planted myself on the couch and hit the Netflix hard. Luckily for me, Into the Badlands, a show that had caught my eye before, was finally available. I’d only seen trailers online before for this post-apocalyptic show (brought to us by AMC, continuing their move from movies to original programming like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead). About two minutes in, I was hooked. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was quite this excited and engrossed by a new show, which is saying a lot. How is it awesome? In every way possible. Let’s take a look!