Orphan Black: “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” Review

orphan-black-season-3Hey kids! We’re five whole episodes deep into Season 3 and yet, by numerous twists of fate, this is actually my first episode review of the season. Let’s make up for lost time, eh?

This week’s episode was titled “Scarred By Many Past Frustrations”, and it’s totally on point, as it seems the story is structured around how our characters are reacting to and growing from their Past Frustrations. How?

Well, that’s spoilers. Hit the jump for more.

Continue reading

Oh, My Pop Culture Judaism: King Solomon the Superhero

Inspired by Pan’s take on Satan, I felt it was time to look on the other side of the ledger at the Bible’s first superhero: King Solomon. He’s not the first Biblical figure to appear larger than life—his own father slew Goliath, after all, and some other guys had already parted the sea, wrestled angels, lived 900 years, and dreamed the future. But while his predecessors stayed within their own narrative arcs, Solomon built his own canon. He has an origin story, he has adventures, he fights monsters, and he even comes with his own set of accessories. As a bonus, there’s an alternate Solomon universe presented in the Qu’ran, and three thousand years of one-offs, apocrypha, and other non-canon-but-beloved stories.

Oh, and there’s smutty fanfic he might have written himself.

18th Century Russian Icon of King Solomon

18th Century Russian Icon of King Solomon

Continue reading

Sexualized Saturdays: Captain America & Male Virginity

Sexism affects people of all genders, but it affects us all differently. Women, whether virgins or sexually active, tend to be demonized and ridiculed. But for men, virginity is the ultimate crime. Whether the guy just hasn’t had the opportunity for sex or has chosen to wait, it doesn’t matter. According to our society, men who have not had sex, particularly with a woman, are somehow lacking. So when a prominent male figure is revealed or even implied to be a virgin (for whatever reason), there tends to be something of an uproar. In our media, there is almost never a virgin male character, and when there is, they are either portrayed as having something wrong with them or almost their entire plotline is dedicated to them losing their virginity. For our pop culture to have a character who doesn’t follow these rules is rare and frankly revolutionary. That’s why I am so happy that Steve Rogers, Captain America himself, is a virgin.

Captain America Continue reading

Games Should Be Accessible

Last weekend, Nintendo gave players a chance to demo their new game, Splatoon, on a global scale. As it was only available for a select three different hours over a two day period, it seemed to double-function as a hype building exercise and a stress-test on their online servers. That said, the game looks and feels amazing! I’d love to geek out about it for hours, but now isn’t the time. However, during the one hour I played, the game felt just slightly awkward: it was hard for me to aim. In most shooting-based games (first, or third person) camera control and aiming is controlled with a second analog stick on the controller. Splatoon, on the other hand, has the vertical aiming controlled by tilting the Wii U’s controller. (I didn’t know at the time that it could be changed!) Being fairly experienced in the “typical” method, this threw me off to a high degree, which got me wondering: does everyone new to games feel this way?

SplatoonStart Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: Baccano! Double Feature

In my mind, there’s a secret list of anime I want to watch or catch up on. This list is made full well knowing that I might get to maybe 10% of those series due to my own apathy toward finding streaming sites—because, as we are all aware, using Google is hard and typing anime titles into search bars is too time consuming. Luckily, I have the best support in the world for marking off entries on this list that no one knows about. Which is to say that with very little prodding from her end, my girlfriend and I sat down and marathoned Baccano! I feel like I’ve cheated myself by not watching it sooner, but hindsight is 20/20.

Baccano! Group ShotThis is one of those situations where I knew I liked what the series had to offer, but watching it itself was always in the back of my mind, in the dark abysses where I forget things. The series watches from an objective viewpoint the events that unfold on The Flying Pussyfoot, a transcontinental locomotive that happens to be transporting a cult bent on gaining immortality, a mafia family that gains joy from killing other people, a couple of thieves who have a strangely positive outlook on life, a gang full of sweet cinnamon rolls (who will also potentially kill you), and several other characters who mostly fall under the theme of “they will kill you”. Cut so the storyline jumps between “present” and past events, this mildly fantastical look at the 1930’s keeps watchers glued to the show so they don’t miss any hints at what’s actually going on.

Upon finishing the show, I desperately needed family fic of the adorable found family formed at the end of the series. Unfortunately, since the fandom is hella small—apparently—instead of cute family fic, I had to wade through pages of NOTP fic and other things that just didn’t fit the bill. And while I may not have found what I was looking for, I did end up finding two really great fics. And to my joy, they were both written by the same author!

Continue reading

On Kaptara and Diversity in Sci-Fi Comics

Another week, another review of another comic book from yours truly. I imagine you enjoy them, though, seeing as no one ever comments to say “Ugh, Saika, write about something else!”

I finally picked up all my comics on Sunday after three or four weeks of not making it to my shop, and boy does my wallet ache. Among my spoils was Kaptara #1, the debut issue of an original sci-fi story from Image Comics. Although I saw almost no hype for the book until, like, the day of its release a few weeks ago, it seemed like everyone on my Tumblr dash who had read it was giving it a glowing recommendation. Needless to say, I was happy to see that my shop still had a few left when I finally dragged myself there.

kaptara_1Spoilers for issue one below.

Continue reading

Throwback Thursdays: Voyage of the Basset: Islands in the Sky

islands in the skyI’ve been meaning to review this book for a Throwback Thursdays for quite some time, and have been putting it off almost as long. Why? Well, this was a favorite book of mine growing up, and it’s stayed on my bookshelf through dozens of library donation purges. I knew that, upon re-reading it, I might find it less great than kid-me did, and I wanted to postpone that realization as long as possible.

I finally caved last week, and sped through Voyage of the Basset: Islands in the Sky in an hour or two of downtime over the weekend.

The first thing I discovered was that, all this time, I’ve been reading a sequel without ever having read the first one. Whoops. Even without the context, though, it’s still an enjoyable tale.

Continue reading