Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blog Tag :)

(heyyyy peeps I'm back from Mexico :) Had a great trip and will have a post on it soon!)

Thank you Arda for the tag!!

The rules are as follows...

1. Follow the blog that tagged you (optional).

2. Include two or more pictures that include your favorite characters, books, movies, or lyrics from songs (they can also be your own edits or pictures).
3. Tag five or more bloggers and tell them.
4. Answer the blogger’s ten questions related to characters, books, movies, or lyrics.
5. Create your own questions having to do with the same thing.

Ok, so two pics to start us out:

A Stargate quote

And some absolutely perfect Pacific Rim fan art

1. Do you listen to any podcasts?

Yep! I listen to Jonathan Park (it's good. listen to it. now.) and WTNV!

2. At what point did you know you were into your main fandom(s)?

Well, I didn't really know what a "fandom" was until I was in 7th grade, but from the first time I saw Star Wars I was a die-hard fan :). Three episodes into FMA I knew I was in deep, and I sold my soul to Stargate: SG-1 in the TV movie cut of the first two episodes!

3. What are you currently reading and/or watching?

Reading: I just finished The Joy Luck Club, and am currently reading Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and O! Pioneers.
Watching: Clannad After Story and Stargate: SG-1 :)

4. Writing in books - yes or no?

Yes! Unless it's not your book to write in.

5. Who is the funniest character you like?

Sokka from ATLA

6. What is your favorite soundtrack?

How to Train Your Dragon :D

7. Do you like to reread/rewatch things?

Only if I love it enough (but usually I won't finish reading/watching something that I don't love)

8. What character inspires you the most?

WHAT??? THERE ARE SO MANY YOU CAN'T EXPECT ME TO CHOOSE ONE!! (and forgive me for not choosing Ahsoka, but I'm still not over her ending)

So here's a list of just a few:

Winry Rockbell for her healing hands
Sam Carter for her brilliant mind
Riza Hawkeye for her loyal hart
Edward Elric for his fierce determination
Luke Skywalker for his willingness to grow
Percy Jackson simply because he was my favorite character for many years

9. What is a smaller or lesser-known fandom you think is great?

Hmmm.... I don't really know? Probably the Primeval fandom.

10. What movies are you still looking forward to this year?

Gaurdians of the Galaxy
Lucy (though I doubt that I will be able to see it.)

1. What was your favorite childhood TV show?

2. What song makes you think of that character who's death you'll never get over?
3. What is your current favorite fandom?
4. Is there a character that you have many similarities, though you may not like them as a character?
5. What book have you read that you really liked, even though you expected to not like it so much?
6. What song makes you think of 2012?
7. Is there a character that you grew up with? (such as how some people grew up with Harry Potter)
8. Which book is more loved- the one that is years old but in almost perfect condition, or the one that looks like it's traveled the world and just barely holding together?
9. Which of your favorite characters has the most tragic back story?
10. What books are you looking forward to reading?

Alright, I tag:

Faith of Princess Faith

Covert Knight of Knights Underground
Shena of Pens, Thespians, and Words
Aalya Rain of Fangirl & Farmgirl
And Arda, if you want to do this tag again :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fullmetal Alchemest 2003 and Fullmetal Alchemest: Brotherhood

I know I said in January that I would have the comparison up "soon"

"soon" is a relative term and can mean some time within two minutes or two years, depending on what this "soon" was referring to.

"I'll put the cookies in the oven soon"- some time within the hour
"I'll see you soon"- some time within the next few days
"I'll post my review soon"- when I actually have time to sit down and do it
"I'll clean my room soon"- I don't want to clean my room so it'll never happen

now that that's all cleared up- on to the review! 

(And random fandom-ey stuff at the end)

As you know, I have finished both "Fullmetal Alchemist" and "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood", and absolutely loved them both! After finishing FMA:B, I didn't feel the need to make a review for it. Why? Well, my original review for the 2003 version pretty much covers what I need to say about the plot and warnings (mostly), so no need repeating myself.

I'm going to refer to the 2003 version as FMA and the 2009 version as Brotherhood

((The next part is really just me talking about the depth/ violence/ rating of the series. It would be more useful for someone who has not seen the series before. Fell free to skip and resume after the picture of the candy. That's where the real comparison starts.))

So, as I have mentioned before, both versions are intense. Scale of 1-10/ Fruits Basket to Hunger Games? It averages out to a five or six. But then there are scenes that are total fluff (obviously), and then there are those shocking scenes that sky-rocket to "Hunger Games" level.

But then again, I'm just talking about the action/violence/gore. Not the in-depth look at moralities, the grey between right and wrong, and the well defined black and white. That's something that I loved so much about both shows- there was the laid out black and white, but there was also the grey zone, just as it is in real life.

Ed and Al grow up fast. They have to, and though much of the story takes place when they're 14/15/16 (ending when Ed's around 18 in Brotherhood), they also have episodes when they're very young.  You see the boys mature, but the circumstances start off just as awful as they end. Violence peruses them (or they pursue it. It's hard to tell), but more importantly the show is very layered.

Layers upon layers upon layers of story and plot and orals and symbolism and metaphors and analogies. It's like a jaw breaker. 
(Brotherhood more so. Mostly because it's longer, but it also has fewer plot holes)
You can always count on me to compare something to candy
My brother, who is relatively smart, is 13. He watched FMA / Brotherhood, and understood it to and extent, but I honestly don't believe that he got the best experience with it (I know I wouldn't have at his age). I, at 15, understood it better than him, but I know there are some things that I missed. It will take a second and third watches, as well as maturity, for me to grasp it all. 

So, yes, as a general rating, I would agree with the TV rating: TV-14. But the decision is really a question of maturity and understanding than age.

Brotherhood, in general, was much more in-depth than FMA, and had more condensed violence, as well.

((Ok, now onto the real comparison))

I'm going to look at two main things here: The plot and characterization. Other aspects of the show really just aren't that important when comparing. Finally, I'll conclude with the question of "What should I watch?". 

I spent a lot of time on this. Appreciate it.
The Plot

The beginning of FMA and Brotherhood are parallel, due to them both following the manga. The first 10 to 15 episodes of Brotherhood seem rushed, though, because so much is crammed into them. On the other hand, FMA devoted almost double the episodes to the same plot. It allows viewers to get more connected to the characters, and to enjoy the rest of the series without feeling rushed.

I think that one of the main reasons the writers of Brotherhood felt like they could just rush through such an important part of the story is because it is assumed that fans already watched FMA, so they had no need to go into detail, which makes sense. 

But this doesn't change, so don't worry, you're not missing much there :p
So, for the question of  "should I just skip FMA all together?" my response is this: If you do not want to watch all of FMA, then don't, but please, please watch until episode 25, then watch Brotherhood from the beginning. There are minor differences in the beginning of Brotherhood's series that need to be seen, even if the episodes aren't that great.

Also, watch "The Flame Alchemist, The Bachelor Lieutenant; and The Mystery of Warehouse 13". It is in FMA and not worth missing.

For the rest of the series, Brotherhood is longer, so it has more time for things to develop well. This left less room for the larger plot holes (which happened in FMA) and helped keep the continuity.

Many people discard FMA after watching Brotherhood, but in reality, FMA is a well done show in and of itself. True, there are some obvious plot holes and general weirdness that happens, but it's not worth calling the anime "worthless" over.

The two shows ultimately go in totally different directions, so it's almost pointless to say one it better than the other when it comes to the overall plot and spirit. I would like to believe that FMA is just an alternate universe version of Brotherhood :)  (and it's possible, considering how FMA ended)


There are sooo many wonderful characters in both shows, but lets face it: Brotherhood's characterization, character development, writing of character interactions, and female characters are way better than FMAs.
It's true- ask anyone who has watched both shows.

In FMA, the characters are great. You get attached and the main characters have some development and depth. I wouldn't call it bad... just lacking. Especially since so many of the lovely ladies just got pushed aside. 

Epic people who I will cosplay. Thank God I'm blonde!
Ed and Al's character arcs obviously carry the most weight in the story, but in Brotherhood, they share the spotlight a lot more. It becomes a story of how they initiated saving the end of the world and worked as a team to save it, not a story just about Ed and Al saving everyone's butts. 

Also, Brotherhood has a lot more characters that are absolutely amazing! Because there's more episodes, there's more time to get to know all of those characters. It's really great. 
By this cutie

"What should I watch?"

And here we arrive at the big question. "Should i watch Brotherhood? Or FMA? Or Both? Why should I even watch it?"

Because it is amazing and is beautifully done. There is action, adventure, romance, comedy, tragedy, and a truly amazing hero's journey. It is considered one of the best animes of all time for a reason. Sure, it gets violent and makes you cringe, but that's why it's so good. It wakes something up deep inside of you, it gives you hope and then takes it away and then builds it back up from the ground. It will leave you crying tears of joy and sadness and anger. There is something for everyone, even if it typically isn't your type of show.
Also Izumi's pretty hot (and I mean that in the straightest way possible).
So go and watch it! Watch both!

Watch FMA first, and enjoy it. Love the story for what it is and remember how much you liked it when you watch Brotherhood. Both are amazing, but in totally different ways. Leave a good month or so in between watching them, so that you can keep the story straight in your mind.

If you watch Brotherhood first, then FMA will be crap.

Alright, that's it! Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think/ your opinions on each series. 

(and I'm totally up for geeking out in the comments, as always)

This is an amazing video and everyone needs to watch it

And now I'm going to shamelessly do some self promotion

Have some EdWin fluff
(has lots of cute EdWin art- go check her out!)
Or if RoyAi is more your style


Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Clannad" Review

Aah the first anime I've watched since FMA (I think?). I kept telling myself that I wouldn't start another anime until I finished my FMA/FMA:B comparison, but that didn't really happen... oh well. 

I am soooo glad that I watched "Clannad" (thanks to James over at J and J Productions!) It was a very fun show. It absolutely makes it into my "top 10" list of animated TV (as in, not just anime, but other shows as well. Like TCW and ATLA)! There is a very fun feel to it, and it kept me on the edge wondering "what happens next?"

Alright, onto the review!

sorry, i lost the source :(

Synopsis ( I can't find a good one, so I guess I have to write my own lol):
High school senior Tomoya Okazaki is bored with his life. His school has nothing to offer, he and his father have a distant relationship, and his one friend only adds to his trouble. In a chance meeting with a strange girl, Nagisa Furukawa, his life gets turned upside down. The show follows their journey to revive the drama club, help classmates, and unravel a strange mystery.

(how was that for my first time?)

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, School, Slice of Life, Supernatural

This is absolutely one of the best animes I've seen, and would recommend it to anyone who is already into anime. I don't think it would be the best thing to start out with, but if you can handle the moe style, then go for it! 

Warnings: Very little violence, other than some over-exaggerated cartoon violence.
Because no one would ever survive that
There is very little foul language (much less than you would find at a real high school, that's for sure). 

I feel that it might have been because I was watching the english dub, but there were quite a few references to a god that the characters pray to, but it does not listen/care. I personally just attribute that to the dub, and the fact that really, whichever god they're praying to is probably a deity of one of Japan's main religions, seeing as only 2% of the population is actually Christian. I really don't know what to make of it, honestly. It felt kind of out of place in the story. It's very minor- I just thought I would mention it.

Plot and Production:
The plot is well thought out, and each episode flowed smoothly into the next. I feel like there are two main parts to the show, the first half: a mystery, and the second half: achieving a goal. The underlying mysteries constantly has viewers questioning the direction of the plot, because there are so many possible outcomes! Though some aspects are predictable, it doesn't leave a feeling of "ugh, the writers should be more creative".

Obviously this show is heavily moe, but the animation is sharp and relatively smooth. It's more of a matter of if you can tolerate the huge eyes and crazy effects! I watched the English dub, and thought that the voice acting was awesome! The actors all did a great job, and they didn't pull out of the story at all (you know, like make me realize that they are recording in a booth, not being their characters... that feeling, yeah...)

The word "clannad" comes from Gaelic roots, meaning "family". This is most defiantly a fitting name for the show, as it is about a group of friends that have a very family-like dynamic (Kyou and Tomoya are totally mom and dad). There are LOTS AND LOTS OF CHARACTERS, so I'm grouping families together!

Tomoya Okazaki
Tomoya Okazaki, our lovable, sarcastic delinquent, is the lead of the series. He is a quick thinker, and helps a number of friends through the series. He rarely looks for a fight, but will fight back when attacked first. Much of the story revolves around him learning about his friends, their past, and helping them. He's an interesting character, and David Matranga's acting is very good, and possibly better than the two other anime's I've seen him in. (he was also in Angel Beats and Hakuouki)

Nagisa Furukawa
This cutie here, Nagisa Furukawa, is the leading lady of the show. Though she might seem shy, her dream is to start the drama club back up. She cares deeply for other people, and is overall a very likable character. Her most obvious flaw is that she worries to much, and is very self conscious, which is a foil to Tomoyas confidence. It's hard not to like her, especially since she loves almost everyone she meets, always trying to see the good in people.

Akio and Sanae Furukawa
Nagisa's parents. My OTP of the series. They are adorable and make me do this:

Ryou and Kyou Fujibayashi
The twins are the last characters I'm going to mention, because there are SO many other great characters, and this post would take forever if I don't stop.
So yes. The twins.

Kyou (right) is very protective of Ryou (left), who is much more quiet than her older sister. They are both wonderful characters, but I feel that Kyou gets more character development, because she bonds with Tomoya more (like I said- the mom and dad of the group), and is much more... loud. Yeah. She's loud. I love her to pieces.
And Ryou is smart and adorable, so it's all good.

Available on Hulu instant play, Netflix DVD, and AnimeFreak

Alright, well, now I'm off to start the sequel- Clannad: After Story!