We Were Born to Make History: I’ll Let You Finish, but Yuri!!! On Ice Is One of the Best Anime of All Time

Rin: All right, listen. It’s not that I was trying to avoid watching Yuri!!! On Ice, it’s just that I had things to do. And stuff. However, as an early Christmas present to myself—and at the behest of the increasingly sappy, romantic, gay gifs I was seeing on my Tumblr dash—I finally sat down and watched all ten of the currently aired episodes. Let me tell you: it’s going to be damned hard to write a review that’s not just me screaming in delight for however many paragraphs. Luckily enough, I have Lady Saika here with me to keep me in line. Maybe.

Saika: I don’t know that I’ll be much help there. I binged the first several episodes of the series a few weeks ago, and after the pure and sweet and precious tenth episode (which just aired this week), we knew we couldn’t wait any longer to write about this wonderful series. And we’ll do our best to keep the shrill, excited shrieking to a minimum. Probably.

Rin: No promises. I’ll tell you right now, this article is going to conclude just as it’s starting right now—with a sincere plea to sit down and watch this show. You will absolutely not regret it.

via YouTube

(via YouTube)

Spoilers after the jump!

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Fanfiction Fridays: A Sure Thing by thingswithwings

Nebula leaves gifts for Gamora to find.

The first is a bomb, the big, impressive kind of bomb that Nebula tends to favour, slick polished metal, beautiful in the way that Nebula is beautiful. It is sitting obtrusively in the prison cell with the Selenian diplomat that she and Quill and the others are trying to rescue, wired so that they will have to disarm it in order to free hir.

“What the fuck,” Rocket says, delving into the machinery. “I don’t even know what this is.”

Gamora glances down, but only for a moment; she’s charged herself with keeping watch over Rocket while he works, and it’s a responsibility she takes seriously. She’s never known anyone except Nebula who built explosives like this, and if Nebula is trying to kill them, there may yet be more to her plan.

“Don’t touch it,” she hisses, right before Rocket’s wicked little claw comes in contact with the glass. He freezes, listening to instructions for once. “It’s vibration-sensitive, it’ll set the whole bomb off.”

“Your sister’s a real prize, you know that?”

“I do,” Gamora says. It’s not an untrue statement, in its way.

As anyone who’s been in my vicinity since the Guardians of the Galaxy movie premiered knows, I think it could have been so much better than it was. One of my biggest peeves about the movie was that it totally wasted the massive potential present in Gamora and Nebula. They had so much going for them—codependent rivals, adopted sisters and daughters of a dog-eat-dog father, cybernetically enhanced child soldiers all grown up—and yet none of that was really developed on-screen.


Apparently there was a movie prequel comic, though.

Thankfully, there is such a thing as fanfiction. And while A Sure Thing is not the novel-length movie prequel about Gamora and Nebula growing up together in Thanos’s court that’s at the top of my Christmas list, it’s still totally awesome in its own right.

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Manga Mondays: Lament of the Lamb

3441502i77971This is one of those series that I forgot existed, until, at a loss for what to write, I went scrounging around my house for ideas, and lo and behold, there it was shoved into the back of my closet. I wouldn’t say Lament of the Lamb by Kei Toume is entirely forgettable, but it’s been nearly ten years since its debut and it’s not particularly memorable in terms of plot. What initially drew me to it is its art—which is probably the most notable part of the series. It has a very distinctive style, especially on the covers, and even after coming across my forgotten collection, while just one look at the cover wasn’t enough to make me remember the story and characters—except in the most basic sense—my thoughts were immediately flooded with the visuals before even turning the first page.

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Sexualized Saturdays: “Straight guys don’t do that!”

I’m sure our readers know that I am a big fan of Big Time Rush, but you may not know that I am also a fan of Supernatural. In fact, I was the one to tell Ladies Geek Girl and Saika about the show in the first place and encourage them to watch it, so…

I’m not very active in the SPN fandom anymore, though, because my work schedule makes it difficult to keep up with the show, which is why I don’t really post about it. (I am watching the anime version right now though, so expect a post or two about that once I finish the series) Back when the show started, however, I followed the fandom pretty closely through LiveJournal and forums (these were pre-tumblr days folks!) so I was very aware of the shipping and all that in the fandom. One of the things I noticed that irked me, which I’ve also noticed in the BTR fandom, was that any time Sam and Dean (or Jared and Jensen, for that matter) showed affection or concern for one another everyone jumped all over it as being proof that they were gay for each other.


Why does this bother me? Well, for one, I related strongly to the family dynamic in Supernatural. I saw myself in Sam so much and the relationships he had with Dean and John hit really close to home with my own relationships with my brother and father. It was wonderful to see them try, fail, try again, make headway, etc. in their relationships with one another and the strength of familial love between them reminded me of my own and gave me hope that no matter what troubles may exist in my own family we could get through them because we loved each other.

Then I went online and that love was turned from something purely familial into something lustful and I was made to feel uncomfortable and confused. Why did it seem no one could believe that these men loved each other as father and son, brother and brother? Why did any sign of affection have to be turned into something romantic or sexual? One of the phrases I saw thrown around a lot in the SPN fandom and even more so in the BTR fandom is “Straight guys don’t do that.”

And any time I see that phrase, or some variation thereof, I want to ask “Says who?”

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Sexualized Saturdays: Socially Immoral Fanfiction Pairings

So the other day, I came to the realization that I do not like Inuyasha fanfiction. For whatever reason, I’ve always been put off by it, and it wasn’t until spending a few hours thinking about it that I realized why.

When I first got into fanfiction, I was about twelve, and being a sheltered child who had never received “the talk” for various reasons, I found myself just a bit in over my head. I barely understood heterosexual pairings, let alone homosexual ones, bondage, other kinks, so on and so forth. On top of that, my naïve asexual brain couldn’t even understand why anyone would want to put a penis there. And all the tentacle rape between Naraku and Sesshoumaru certainly didn’t make this experience less overwhelming.

But most of all, Inuyasha fanfiction is what introduced me to the concept of incest. And out of all those kinks, this is the one I can relate to the least. Every time, it’d make me think that the story in question would be like if my brother and I did some stuff, and that greatly disturbed me. (That was also about the time I discovered my ability to make myself vomit with a thought.)

But what really did put me off even more was the unrealistic portrayal. My twelve-year-old brain knew nothing about these issues and didn’t understand that fanfiction doesn’t reflect reality. That just because someone’s accepting of two fictional brothers together, I thought that person would be accepting of two real brothers together.

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Manga Mondays: Time for a vampire-filled love polygon…

It’s that time again, readers! Let’s talk about Vampire Knight today.

Vampire Knight is a Shoujo Beat regular, and boy oh boy does in bring the shoujo.  Yuki Cross, our lovely female lead, is the adopted daughter of the the headmaster of Cross Academy.  She works with her classmate Zero to make sure the school’s Day Class and Night Class stay separate, because, as only a few people know, the Night Class is entirely made up of vampires.

The mixed school is the Headmaster’s brainchild, a way of trying to bring peace between the human and vampire worlds after centuries of struggle by raising the next generation of vampire aristocrats in close proximity to the human elite.  But because of the continuing tension between the two races, the Night Class’s true identity must be kept sooper sekrit. Of course this leads to all sorts of shenaniganery, with close calls and hijinks galore. The drama comes in the form of a love triangle between Yuki and Zero (who is from a renowned vampire-hunting family) and the head of the Night Class, Kaname Kuran, who saved Yuki’s life when she was a child.

This story isn’t so much great reading as it is junk food for the brain.  There’s not a lot of deep themes to discuss here, although I’m sure we could dredge some up if we tried.  Yuki’s not a particularly annoying lead, and she has some badass moments (and would have more in the boys weren’t constantly trying to protect her). She definitely marches to her own beat, even when her eventual beau tries to get her to do otherwise. Another thing that I like about VK is that Headmaster Cross is gay in canon, but he’s not a horrible fruity stereotype and can actually be pretty badass himself.  (He’s my favorite, by the by.)

Also, I don’t know who went there first, honestly, (I’m not going to go cross-reference publication dates for everything I’ve read in the last year or two) but Matsuri Hino is a writing genius if she’s doing this stuff intentionally, because in nine volumes she has played to every recent YA trope I can think of:
-The Person You Love Is Actually Your Brother
-and the somewhat related You Have A Secret Sibling (this happens to at least two characters)
-You Have Powers You Didn’t Know About
-Vampire Love
-Boys Compete For Ditzy Girl’s Affection
-You’ll Always Be The Best Friend
-You Can’t Remember Your Traumatic Childhood
-You Thought You Were A Loser But Actually You’re The Most Powerful Of All
-Immortal/Mortal Love Drama
-the somewhat awkward I’ve Wanted To Marry You Since You Were A Little Girl
-Overprotective Vampire Love Interest
-We Both Love You But We Will Have A Truce Because You’re Brainless And We Want To Keep You Safe
-The Gay Friend Has A Crush On The Main Character’s Hot Love Interest
…and the list goes on.

The story has gotten a little political recently, with a lot of drama and tension between the humans’ Hunter Council and the vampire aristocracy, and is rife with big reveals and shocking tweests, and I am guessing from the rising action that it will be wrapping up entirely in another five volumes or so. (I currently own about 12 of them, so I’ll round that up and guess there’ll be a nice round 20 before Hino-sensei calls it quits.)

Like I said, the story’s nothing to write home about. but Vampire Knight is a fun read and, let’s face it, still a better vampire romance than Twilight. Check it out.