Showing posts from 2014

Magical Girl Obsession: The Princesses Are Here!

Yes, the leaks for the new Precure season, Go! Princess Precure, have been revealed via a candy company, quickly followed by an official debut on the next Precure All-Stars poster.  Here, see for yourselves.

Now, this is another Shibata season, so I'm not super optimistic.  But I just wanna put this out here, since it's apparently a minority opinion - I love these designs.  About the only thing I don't like is the mascot, who looks like 80s Poochie got lost trying to infiltrate the next season of Jewelpet (even then, I'm happy to see a mascot that's specifically a dog).  Here's a quick bullet point of the stuff that I like:

The Pink Cure (no official name yet) looks younger & less mature than her teammates, which sounds like a potential plot point.In a nice break from a minor tradition, only one Cure has an eye color that matches her theme color.  This started with Yes! & sort of became an unofficial rule, but a break from this feels like a nice change o…

An Update

Shockingly, this blog isn't dead. I have had an exceptionally hectic private life right now, so I spend time off catching up on necessary things instead of doing fun stuff like blogging.
I have a special thing planned for next year called "Pilot Program", a look at the unsold pilots for merchandising toons that aired in the 80s & 90s as "specials" but never went to a full series (although the subject planned for the finale is sort of a special case).  But that won't be ready until after the holidays.
I don't anything I feel is worthy of doing a year-end wrap-up to discuss.  The same things that annoy & disappoint continue to multiply, and the handful of happy things can probably be predicted if you've read enough of my ramblings.  Smarter folks out there have sung the praises of Ms. Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy (and its amazing stinger guest star), so it's better to just read them.
In magical girl news, the new Precure season hasn'…

Ink and Paint: Flowers for Saturdays

As of today, the major over-the-air networks have stopped broadcasting Saturday morning cartoons.  A few of the digital sub-channels have shows (my father now knows who Jerry Beck is thanks to something on, I believe, MeTV featuring him talking about Columbia/UPA shorts), but as for the main five non-PBS stations, Saturday morning cartoons are no longer a thing that will exist.

A lot of my early tastes & influences can be traced directly back to Saturday morning.  My love of superheroes?  Earliest was watching the DePatie-Freleng Fantastic Four with my father (yes, the infamous series with H.E.R.B.I.E.), but most formative was watching X-Men & Batman TAS on Fox Kids as a preteen.  Love of supernatural stuff?  Direct line to Real Ghostbusters.  Introduction to the Muppets?  Actually started with Muppet Babies.  Saturday morning cartoons really were tastemakers, at least for me, and they showed that a variety of genres & eras of animation could exist together and keep kids en…

MGO: Let the Precure specula begin!

Because it's a genre I like & talk about a LOT, I've decided to create yet another sub-category.  Welcome to the inaugural Magical Girl Obsession (MGO) entry, not the first of its topic but the first to bear the name.

Since October is traditionally when news about the next Precure series starts to be found (usually by people combing patent info), I've heard some folks start speculating what they'd like to see in the next season of Precure.  I usually reserve full judgement until I at least hear a title & see one bit of imagery (increasingly, it's from merchandise listings rather than releases), but given the past couple of seasons, I am making a short wish list of things I want from the next season of Precure.

A New Showrunner:  This one should be obvious.  Ever since Hiroaki Shibata took over starting with Doki Doki, the series has been known more for its wasted potential & gross missteps than actual decent plots/characters.  HaChaPre should straight-up…

A Not-So-Brief Update

Huh.  It's been since June that I've had time to update this?  Yikes.  How do Gentlemen of Leisure do it?

My life has been its usual mix of mundane craziness that leaves little free time, so now I'm going to make some time for a brief to-do list.

I am still continuing my Legionnaires Omnicommentaries.  I wish I had a scanner I could trust to show you why the next few issues are going to be a slog, but they are (I'll do my best the next time I get actual non-pseudo-emergency time to myself, which is rarer than any commodity).  I plan to do Legionnaires through the Zero Issues (a.k.a. the start of the Archie Legion), along with a few annuals.  Then it's on to something that's at least fun-bad - Howard Mackie's Mutant X!  So many missed opportunities, so much bizarre dialogue... Unlike the waning days of Legionnaires, this one might actually be fun.

I've been trying to get some original stuff written, but my brain keeps going back to something I had hoped …

Ink and Paint: In Which I Get Angry at Magical Girls

The last couple of seasons of Precure have been... rough.  Doki Doki was a carnival of wasted ideas that were thrown out throughout the series (Cure Sword's world having a standing army of Precures to defend it, the existence of Cure Empress & her unnamed teammates spring most readily to mind), and it chose to focus on a main character in Mana who was dully infallible.  And while Happiness Charge started strong & has addressed many of the character problems with The Mana Show (along with giving fandom a gift on a silver platter as far as creating new fan Cures), one character & said character's impending story arc has more than soured me on watching the rest.  But then I encountered this translated interview and one quote in particular:

...Speaking of which, Pretty Cure is separated into three periods by which producer is doing the show. 
First is the Washio era, starting from Futari wa to Yes! 5 GoGo.
Second is the Umezawa era, lasting Fresh to Smile (currently, the …

X-Nonsense: Three Headcanons I Refuse to Drop

So I'm home sick, and I've been catching up on a great new podcast: Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men.  Their last episode talked about "Deadly Genesis", and it reminded me of one of three things that, no matter what the actual books say, will always be considered 100% true in my nerd-heart.  I'm going in order from when the stories/characters affected were first introduced.

Wolverine is a father who outlived his young daughter:  One of the things I always liked was that Wolverine always has a surrogate daughter figure, no matter what era.  This led me to believe that, somewhere in his then-unexplained past, he had a like-aged daughter who died young.  Maybe illness, maybe not, but either way, he outlived a daughter he loved & now he doted on surrogates to make up for that loss.  Now that so much of his past has been revealed I don't think it's likely that will ever apply, but it doesn't change the fact that I find Wolverine's fatherly behavio…

List-O-Rama: Top Five Game Franchises That Need Sequels

Day off equals time for another list!  I've been enjoying lots of videos about nostalgic gaming lately, and it made me think that there's a bunch of franchises that I'd love to see get a new entry.  I don't mean another brown & grim "reimagining" - I mean a proper revival.  Some are existing series that have strayed far from their old format, and some just sort of vanished.  There's some series that I would welcome another entry in even though I think they've reached a good end point (i.e. the Mother series), and there are some that I haven't played enough to really judge beyond a single game (such as, I've played Chrono Trigger but not Chrono Cross, so I can't weigh in on it at all).  Others I'm not sure I'd want another game but I would like to see the characters again (such as wanting to see Liddell as DLC for a Disgaea game but not necessarily wanting a sequel to A Witch's Tale - although I'd happily play it if it s…

Omnicommentary #9: Subplotapalooza!

Legionnaires #9: Skin Deep

Creative Team: Tom & Mary Bierbaum (writers); Chris Sprouse (penciller); Karl Story (inker); Adam Hughes (guest artist pp.16-20); Brian Stelfreeze (guest artist pp.21-22); Pat Brosseau (letterer); Tom McCraw (colorist); December 1993

Legion Roll Call: Andromeda; Catspaw; Cosmic Boy; Dragonmage; Inferno; Invisible Kid; Live Wire; Matter-Eater Lad; Lifetime Lass; and Shrinking Violet.

Miscellaneous Notes: From here on out, we'll be seeing a mix of artists for several issues.  Chris Sprouse does a little in each, however, and it's not until #12 that you get a lousy artist.  Until then, at least they all feel "of a piece" and blend well.

Summary: How boy, this is more a bunch of subplots than a single story.  First, we've got Andromeda, Catspaw, Dragonmage, Tenzil, & Vi tracking some Khunds to an isolated planet; after a crash landing, they encounter mysterious natives that resemble people beloved to the Legionnaires & that lead the…

Overthinking Everything: Creepypasta Platter

Last time I was sick, I started cycling through my favorite YouTube channels. One of them, Tats Top Videos, had a Halloween video listing their 22 Top Gaming Creepypastas, and thus was I introduced to this corner of the internet. Creepypastas are amazingly creative, and the best of them do what the best horror movies & novels do, which is worm into your brain and refuse to leave.  Thus, let me share some of my favorites by general category.  (Be warned – I will be posting some SPOILERS.)

Overall Favorite:Candle Cove.  Brilliantly executed, this story by Kris Straub takes the form of a forum thread wherein a group of people reminisce about a half-remembered low budged local show, and where said thread comes to an abrupt end thanks to a bizarre, eerie revelation.  The conversational nature of the story being told and the slow reveal of this incredibly odd show (that I’d still watch) is very effective, while the open nature of the ending leaves one with questions.  Why did these peopl…

Overthinking Everything: Nostalgia Is Not a Contest

So I've discovered Tumblr...  Like most social venues online, it's equal parts awesome & awful.  One thing I've noticed, though, is that there is a definite age division, and being in my 30s, I'm practically a senior citizen on the site.  It's weird to see stuff from late high school & college being described as "part of our childhood", but it's also an interesting perspective.  One thing I have noticed, however, is a resentment towards non-90s nostalgia, and that bothers me.

I first saw this during a discussion about the novel Ready Player One, a really enjoyable sci-fi story that is built around crazy levels of 80s nostalgia.  Some people who read it appreciated it for what it is and posited what a 90s-centric version of the novel would include.  This quickly deteriorated into people hating on the book for not being about 90s nostalgia and wondering why anyone would be nostalgic for any other era.  I understand why that generation resents ot…

CASB: What Part of 'Visual Medium' Don't You Understand?

Hello. My name is Mela, and I write. I'm not a writer, per se - I've given up on that pipe dream of ever being published. But I write an essay or review or a (in all honesty) fanfic there, and it's a hobby I enjoy. One thing I most definitely am not, however, is an artist.
That is simething that makes me sad. Art legitimately amazes me, and since so much of the media I enjoy is visually oriented, I wish it was something I could create. Painted, digital, pixel, line work... I love it all. And even if I think it's bad, I still respect the time & effort that went into making it.
It is because of this that I am really bothered by this trend in comics press & fandom to ignore and downplay the artists. As much as I love & respect & enjoy many comic writers, it bothers me when they're exclusively mentioned in reviews. For example, let's take Saga; there's a legitimately great series with amazing talent behind it. But mark my words, if you read the re…

One Less Reason to be Miserable

So this morning, after much thought to distract myself from Snowpocalypse II: The Snowening, I decided to delete my Livejournal.

All of the Archivals I felt like reposting have more or less been reposted - I re-read a lot of them & find them rather lacking.  All of my personal friends have stopped posting there.  All of the groups I was part of are either inactive or become mockeries of their former selves (PCLJ, I'm looking at you & your decision to mock a 4-year-old for her frankly superior taste in TV).  So it's not like I really had anything there worthwhile that I haven't saved or reposted already.

One of the most telling moments I always think of when I think of why I left Livejournal is the Great Blackout.  It said a lot about Six Apart's priorities when they were content to let the Putin administration in their home country shut down their entire site to silence political dissent until Time Magazine pointed this out to the rest of the world.  They truly…