Magical Mondays: Who Gets to Be a Vampire?

(via goodreads)

(via goodreads)

I was recently reading the latest book in The Vampire Chronicles, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis. After the many ups and all-too-frequent downs of the series, reading the new installments comes out of the same schadenfreude-y curiosity that presumably leads other people to watch the Kardashians: namely, wanting to know what on earth these disaster (non)humans are up to now.

One of the major worldbuilding developments in the most recent books has been, as one might guess from the title, the ascension of Lestat into a sort of mutually-agreed-upon rulership of the vampire community. Even Lestat has acquired some self-awareness, over the years; he knows that he is not going to have the attention span to attend to every issue of the community, and so he forms a court of vampiric elders from across the world. While this has the immediate benefit for the reader of putting all the major players of the series in one place to stand around and be beautiful at each other, it also lends a seriousness to Lestat’s rule. His princeship is not symbolic, and for the first time the vampire community is less an arbitrary group of metahumans connected only by the fluke of their condition and more of an organized nation. And that, of course, means there needs to be rules.

In an increasingly plugged in and hyper-vigilant world where the existence of vampires is a very poorly guarded secret, it’s more important than ever that vampires maintain a low profile. As part of this (and as part of the mentality that vampires are not inherently evil despite their predatory nature) they are expected to behave in reasonably moral ways.

(via wikipedia)

Except for that whole “don’t turn children” rule. (via wikipedia)

Don’t kill; only take enough blood to sate your hunger. Don’t drink from innocents; only take blood from those who are clearly bad people (you know, like, sex traffickers, murderers, people who don’t use their turn signal). Don’t broadcast your existence to humans—a “do as I say, not as I do” rule given Lestat’s history—as this endangers the entire vampire community. However, despite the rather checkered history of how all these people actually became vampires, there don’t seem to be any rules forthcoming about who gets to be a vampire.

Continue reading

Anime Review: Baccano!

No anime reviews from me in months and then two in two weeks? In my defense, No. 6 and Baccano! are both awfully short shows.

Baccano! is a complicated series, featuring like a dozen main characters and a totally non-linear storyline. It’s set in the early 1930s and is chock full of mafia families and tommy guns and intrigue. It revolves around the events of one night aboard the transcontinental train “Flying Pussyfoot”, as three separate groups attempt to take over the train for their own ends. Meanwhile, a notorious serial killer known as the Rail Tracer stalks the train.

Also, there’s alchemy and immortality involved. So that’s pretty cool.

Baccano! is one of those shows that you have to pay relatively close attention to, because you never know when something trivial or silly in one scene will become something super important in another scene. With so many main characters, it’s easy for the show to take one meaningless occurence and switch the point of view, casting the situation in an entirely different light. And like I said, the storyline is non-linear, so it jumps around constantly between the night on the train, a year before that, a year after that, 200 years before that, and the present day. It’s worth it to pay attention, though, as it’s really a fun watch.One of the things I liked about this show is that (like Durarara!!, which is from the same studio) basically everyone is a hidden badass, but in different and interesting ways. One kid runs screaming from the idea of the Rail Tracer but later has a bombs-versus-flamethrowers battle with a guy on top of the train; a homunculus betrays her maker, not knowing what will happen to her own body when he dies; and the two ditziest characters in the history of anime pull off astoundingly ballsy heists on a regular basis.

It’s also got great female representation, with a cast that’s roughly fifty-fifty between genders, and filled with a wide range of character types and gender presentations. And those two ditzy robbers I mentioned earlier? Have one of the funniest, most awesome platonic male-female friendships I’ve seen in a show.

It also has one of the greatest OPs ever: the jazzy instrumental “Gun’s & Roses”, which has been stuck in my head for days now.

Baccano! is only thirteen episodes (with a three-episode special that isn’t really necessary for the canon, although it is fun), so I recommend you check it out!