Nerd Homework: Cowboy Bebop

See You Around Space Cowboy…

In my everlasting quest to watch more anime, (which has always been more theoretical than actual, if we’re honest) Cowboy Bebop has come up a few times. I just haven’t felt like it. I knew the basics of the show, and was pretty sure I’d even seen a few episodes. “It’s basically anime Firefly right?” (Y’all know how I feel about Firefly and how vastly overrated it is right?)

But I decided to settle in this long weekend and watch the show, and you guys, I get it now. This is a really fun, very good show. Spike is a great protagonist. Jet, Faye and Ed are excellent supporting characters with flushed out inner lives of their own.  Firefly literally stole all of this. The music on this show, the things the show does with the concept of music and just, HOLY SHIT.

Lots of people have combined western and sci-fi tropes, but throwing noir in really makes the whole thing something special. I really, really like noir flavored stuff. So yeah, I really enjoyed the show and will likely watch it again. I often laughed, I cried a few times, and I’m starting to really get into the rhythms of the medium here. I doubt I’ll ever go full Otaku, but I’m never going to say, “anime isn’t really my thing,” anymore.

Which was always the point right? To demystify this particular branch of media so that I wouldn’t be so hesitant to jump in. I’m still determined to watch more anime, and I’m excited about it. (Frankly, I’d have dove right into something when I finished Bebop but I had my Aquaman tickets, so, I had to go.)

Nerd Homework: Inuyasha

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As an ongoing part of trying to expand my horizons and become the best fangirl I can be, I’ve committed to doing some Nerd Homework this year. Primary Objectives are: The Dune Chronicles, Star Trek and anime.

As a part of the more anime portion of this project, I watched (at Aless’s recommendation) Inuyasha, which is long and amazing.

The set up is relatively convoluted. 500 years ago in the feudal era of Japan, a priestess named Kikyo fell in love with a half-demon named Inuyasha. They apparently betrayed one another under the auspices of a sacred jewel. Kikyo died, and in her final moments, wished that noone else could access the jewel. Cut to modern times, Kikyo is reborn as Kagome, and on her fifteenth birthday, the jewel reappears and Kagome is pulled through a magical well into the feudal era, where she frees Inuyasha, and shatters the jewel and they begin a quest to find the shards of the jewel.

Umm, so yeah, that’s just the beginning, they wind up fighting another demon named Naraku, teaming up with a lecherous young monk and a badass demon slayer, Kagome gets romantically stalked by a Wolf Demon. Kikyo comes back as a lonely and really annoying sort of ghost. There’s a lot going on.

loved this show. I loved the crazy twisty romances, the childish humor, the adventure. It was very long, and it pretty much ate my life over the past two weeks as I dove into it. (At the detriment of being caught up on anything else. This is the reason I haven’t watched Jessica Jones season 2 year…) I don’t know what my next Anime adventure will be. (I’ve got some Star Trek pushing to do. I fell hard into TNG in the fall, dropped off on it, and am now making the final push through it’s last 2 seasons…) but push on I shall.

I’m open to recomendations for anime though. Keep in mind how much I loved Sailor Moon and Inuyasha, these are the things I like…

Pacific Rim, Flashpoints, And Doing The Work

Because the Pacific Rim sequel is coming soon, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. There are certain moments that our lives turn on, when floodgates open, and while you don’t see it at the time, you look back and go, yeah, that was when it happened.

The summer of 2013 was full of those moments for me. I attribute a lot of that to Aless (no but like really) but also to my unconventional schedule at the time and a dissatisfaction at seeing friends (and former friends) excel at the things they wanted to do while I tread water. It was the first official movie season, when I started reading comics and when I realized that if I was going to be “The Fangirl” titular to this blog, I had a lot of work to do, broadening my horizons and being able to speak knowledgeably about nerd topics.

Pacific Rim was a huge wakeup call on that front.

I walked out of Pacific Rim thinking, “I’ve never seen anything like that before.” I loved that movie. Everything about it, with it’s giant robots, and it’s cool looking monsters, and it’s Charlies, both Day and Hunnam, and it’s dumb character names (WTF kind of name is “Stacker Pentecost?”).

Then I took to the internet. Most of the places I hung out virtually loved the movie.  (Duh) But they had seen things like that before. In Anime, and Japanese monster movies and even less mainstream Western comics.

Of course they had, because these internet nerds hadn’t spend the first 26 years of their life going, “Oh but I’m not that kind of nerd. I don’t got to comic con or anything, I just like superhero movies…and Star Wars…and YA Paranormal Romance…and Joss Whedon’s entire ouevre… and The Lord Of The Rings…and Harry Potter…and Doctor Who…and pretty much any of the kind of stuff you’re talking about that has casually crossed my path. But I’d never look for it or seek it out, because I’m actually a normal. I like sports and I wear pearls and I watch Friends reruns and chick flicks.” This was the first year that “I AM MORE THAN ONE THING” clicked into full view as my driving philosophy. The part of me that wanted to go to comic con, and obsess about The Avengers was not quite yet peacefully coexisting with the part that loves the Yankees and wants a country club wedding, but it was getting there. (Bridging the gap is the part that studied Literature in college and sees lots of Broadway shows, if you were wondering.)

Pacific Rim and talking about it taught me that I needed to do the work, I’d made a good start, but I need to study if I was going to get good at this. So you guys can be damn sure that if it weren’t for that movie, I never would have recapped Sailor Moon or watched The X-Files, I wouldn’t have read The Dark Tower or finally given Star Trek: The Next Generation a shot. I’d never have absorbed into the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend Of Korra.

So much of who I am came out of that summer and the stuff I took in during that time, and I’ve tried since to stop writing things off as “not my thing,” before experiencing them. Which is why in addition to The Epics Project, I’m reading The Dune Chronicles, and opening my world up to more anime (OMG Inuyasha has eaten my life!) and I’m going try, God help me, to jump back into super hero comics. (It’s so expensive and time consuming though…) Cosplay’s back in my life in a big way this year. My next big bridge is going to be horror. I don’t think I’ll ever be into super bloody torture porn type stuff, but I’m going to open my world to more psychological and supernatural horror movies, since I’ve genuinely liked the stuff I have encountered. Also, I’m going to watch all the Star Trek. Finish TNG, get into Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise, and then click in for Discovery. 

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: Indian Summer

Summer seems to be finally breaking and I’m thrilled about that. I love fall and here’s a bunch of the stuff that I’m using to wait out the heat, so we get to the time of year of tights, sweaters and boots. (I’ve already started with boots though…)

Anyway, here we go:

  • Gilmore Guys: I mean obviously, but I’ve been listening to it like crazy, not at the expense of my other podcasts, but a whole lot.
  • “Nobody’s Crying” a song by Sutton Foster about her divorce from Christian Borle. It’s on her solo album Wish. It’s melancholy and heartbreaking and perfect, and I’ve loved it for a while, but Crystan and I listened to it while we were driving into the city on Saturday and my love for it has sprung anew. Listen to it, I swear you won’t be disappointed.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena…WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHOW? I should explain, despite a long list of anime that friends I love and trust have recommended to me, I decided instead to dive into this one because, “The Mary Sue says that it heavily inspired Steven Universe.” As I have previously noted, I will do just about anything The Mary Sue tells me to, so I clicked it on Hulu and now I’m sucked in when I should finally be watching Stranger Things or at least Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood like everyone I know told me to. And yet now I’m sucked into this weird anime about sword fighting and lesbians and incest where everything might just be happening inside of the characters heads or whatever. But it’s fantastic and I love it and I think Utena might be my new favorite protagonist in anything (Sorry Korra.) Mostly because I love a passive protagonist. (Sup Harry Potter?) And Utena doesn’t really do anything except wear a totally stylish blazer and get dragged along by the plot. I’ll do a full post about it when I finish, but it’s taking up a lot of my time and brain power.
  • My friend Lora’s daily closet cosplays! She’s putting me to shame you guys! Check out her Tumblr and Instagram (@dailycasualcosplay)!
  • Party Planning! I made the facebook event for my birthday party this year and I’m really excited about it. My costume is done, which means I can focus on the other fun stuff, liked themed food and drinks, decorations, and entertainment options! I’m really excited about it.
  • Comic Con planning. I’m so organized that I’m worried I’m missing something. But I’m going to just let it go. (LET IT GOOOO…)

So that’s what I’m doing right now. See you tomorrow with more stuff!

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: All Together Now

It’s over.

Two years and it’s over. I’m not sure what comes next, but I do know that this has been incredible. But first for the episode.

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Sailor Saturn and Super Sailor Moon stop Master Pharoah 90 from consuming the planet. Because of the power from the Moon Chalice, Saturn is able to destroy him without destroying the planet. It’s actually very beautiful, and par for the course in Crystal we get some truly beautiful and affecting still images.

When Hotaru is reborn as a teeny tiny perfect baby, the outers decide to raise her and I’m so glad that this got included. Also the image of Michiru picking up the baby is so freaking perfect and adorable that I can barely even about it.

But the last few minutes of the episode are my favorite. We learn that Usagi passed her exams, so everyone is going to high school together. (You know, except Rei, who goes to a different school) including Minako! Chibi-Usa is getting ready to go back to the 30th century when the eclipse comes.

And we all know what comes with the eclipse right? I mean, I want more Sailor Moon, of course, but I’m actually quite happy to have a break before diving into that mess of an arc again.

Although, Crystal Amazoness…sigh.

Anyway, it’s over, for now, and I’m not sure what comes next here. I mean, I do need to read the short stories. So maybe I’ll do that, and write them up next week. But I’m not sure. I am trying to get a senshi cosplay group together for NYCC (I got tickets WEE!) so I’ll update that as progress gets made.

Overall, I’m glad that I did this. I opened myself up to a whole world that I hadn’t even thought to check out. I have to watch more anime. I want to watch more. Seriously people, I need recommendations. (If it’s on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, so much the better.) I’d like to branch out beyond magical girl, but we’ll see…

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Saturn Rising

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Look, this is the third version of this story that I’ve taken in, and I understand that when Sailor Saturn wakes up it means that shit is about to go down. Her job is literally to end the world so that disaster doesn’t further spread or whatever, but damn is it cool when she emerges.

But the episode begins with the Sailors Moon transforming into their Super Selves and it’s really great, they also attack the monster with a “Double Moon Heart Ache” and it looks amazing.

I could spend an entire post just talking about how beautiful this season has been.

But I won’t because we’ve got some plot to deal with. So, after the Double Heart Attack doesn’t do the job, Sailor Saturn is born and explains how she was never supposed to awaken in this time, but because Professor Tomoe just had to turn his daughter into a cyborg, it ruined everything.

Uranus, is kind of having none of it and like the pure straight up bad ass that she is she charges at Saturn as Saturn is getting ready to wipe out existence.

And that’s where things end. Seriously. There actually isn’t a lot of plot momentum here because we get the Saturn awakening and explanation, but the other pause and enjoy it moment comes when Usagi realizes that everyone has always watched over and guarded her and that now it’s her turn to guard everyone else.

Seriously, it’s always my favorite story climax when Usagi realizes that it’s time for her to fight, and that she does it with love power from and for her friends.

Also, does Mamoru have powers? I always thought Tuxedo Mask was a Hawkeye type, you know, no particular powers, but lots of skills and everyone thinks he’s useless until he isn’t? Also, I cannot watch that Mamoru closing theme without laughing. I get what they’re going for, but it’s just so unrepentantly corny and hilarious.

Anyway, we only have one more episode. And then one week where I write a heartfelt post about what the past year and a half has meant to me, discovering this crazy new fandom.

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Chibi Power Up

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Sometimes the soul of your friend has to break out of her cyborg body and return your mystical rock heart to you, so that you and the teenage incarnation of your parents and all their friends can save the earth from being consumed by a giant black ink monster with a spikey back.

Or you know, that’s the case when you’re Chibi-Usa, in this episode. Hotaru’s spirit refuses to be chained by Mistress 9, she saves the Senshi, she saves Chibi-Usa, and through the power of feels, Chibi-Usa gets her power up to become Super Sailor-Chibi Moon.

Mistress 9 explains the plan that Pharoah 90 has, which is basically to turn earth into a copy of their solar system. It’s actually the most practical of any Sailor Moon bad guy plans, except maybe for Galaxia.

But not everyone can be the best.

Oh, also, Tuxedo Mask decides to get up off his butt and finally fight for once. (I do like the turn around, story wise, of Mamoru sitting at Chibi-Usa’s bed side while the girls fight, it’s the sort of thing that Sailor Moon does exceptionally well.)

Anyway, the Super Sailor Moons and the Inner Senshi get to work fighting the scary monster that popped out of Mistress 9.

And that’s the cliff hanger. Overall I’m thrilled with this arc and how it’s been paced, but it is hard to keep track of which fight happens where now that we’re in the climactic battle with the big bad.

But I’m excited to see Saturn, who has to be coming next week right? RIGHT????

 

Cosplay Corner: Wizard World Philadelphia & Chibi-Moon

Cosplay has started to become a big part of my life again lately. (It never fully goes away), but lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time and effort on it, both for conventions and for every day “closet cosplays” because they make me feel good. So, for now, once a week. (Tuesdays or Fridays, depending on Movie Season…) I’ll talk about what my cosplay stuff looks like for the week.

Since tomorrow, I’m heading to Wizard World Philadelphia, I figured today was a good day to talk about the costumes I’ll be wearing there. (I know the con’s been going on for 2 days, but I’m not there yet.)

Since I don’t sew, most of my costumes are assembled from various bought items or things I already own, or stuff I dupe my mom into making. (Hi Mommy, I love you!)

Con Ready Costumes

First up is my new costume of the weekend, Agent Peggy Carter!


If you’re unfamiliar with Agent Carter, I don’t know what you’re doing on my blog, because if you don’t know Peggy chances are you’re not into what I’m selling, but she’s the badass British bombshell who worked with the Strategic Scientic Resever (SSR) during Steve Roger’s training before he became Captain America. She also founded SHIELD alongside Howard Stark.

I’m wearing a take on her military uniform. It’s almost perfect, except for the jacket…but this was a last minute decision so I had to take what I could get quickly and cheaply.

I’ll be in brown skirt I purchased from Amazon, as well as a Khaki shirt and a black tie. The jacket is pleather and was quick Goodwill find, and I really like the way it came together.

My Captain America costume is my laziest of all cosplays, but I love it so much. It’s simply the Her Universe Captain America Dress, a pair of red boots I bought years ago for Supergirl, and the child size Captain America Shield.


Closet Cosplay Of The Week

So, I’ve been closet cosplaying or casual cosplaying a lot lately, and I figured I’d document those. These will be mostly from my already existing wardrobe, and almost always work appropriate!

This week, I decided to channel Sailor Chibi-Moon

I started by putting my hair up in half pigtails, I think that this gets the “bun head” feel a little better than just regular pigtails.

White tee shirt is pretty self explanatory. The pink skirt is a fun Polo skirt made of sweatshirt material and features a tie, to give me that extra Sailor Moon bow feeling.

The thing I was most proud of with this look though, was wearing the pink tassel to represent the Sailor Collar.

Add in a pair of pink ballet flats, and I’m all set to train to defend Earth in the name of the moon!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be pulling out other closet cosplays, and detailing some of my more intricate Con costumes, even if I don’t have a con coming up. (Although, I do…but I’m not putting anything together for Heroes and Villains…) I think this is going to be fun!

 

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Cyborg Girls and Holy Grail

Sailor Moon Crystal 3

There’s a lot that goes on in this episode, but I think before we talk about anything else, we need to talk about Sailor Neptune’s earrings, which I just noticed and are the best things ever.

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So cute! Anyway the episode. After Sailor Pluto appeared she explains the whole outer senshi rebirth thing, but not before first giving Chibi-Moon a big hug, because they’re the best friends ever. Then, Sailor Moon transforms into Princess Serenity and the outers explain who they are and pledge their fealty to her. But they also make it clear that they have control of their “mission,” which no one else should know about.

Rei and Mamoru are particularly wary of the newbies, because they’re carrying the three talismans (talismen? Seriously, I don’t know what the plural is there…) and they’re supposed to bring destruction.

Thanks to a news report that Usagi’s dad is watching they learn that there might be something suspicious about Hotaru’s father, so Chibi-Usa agrees to keep her eyes open and when she goes to visit Hotaru, after being stood up at the movies, she finds out that Hotaru is a cyborg. There’s also a super creepy scene where Hotaru has a new procedure.

As for the main battle, the outer senshi begin battling the last of the Witches 5, who the professor points out have been failing miserably. It’s a cool looking battle, and she eventually casts a spell to set the inners against the outers (sad), which is even cooler looking.

The thing that stops the battle though, is something that I don’t remember from the manga and I like a lot better than what the original anime presented, the Holy Grail is summoned when the Moon Family, (Chibi-Usa, Usagi and Mamoru) combine their powers. So the Holy Grail is like a Moon Family Captain Planet, and I think that’s kind of cool.

And that ends the episode.

In other notes, the opening has really grown on me. I don’t think I’ll ever love it the way I do “Moon Pride” or even the opening from Sailor Stars which I completely adore, but it’s a beautiful melody and the image of the girls flying through the air is very arresting.

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: So Many Snuggles

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OK, so this week, we got everyone dealing with the whole, “new Senshi” fallout and also Chibi-Usa does a parent trap!

OK, seriously, though…The Inners fight The Outers and realize that Neptune’s mirror and Uranus’s sword are both Talismans (Talismen?). Also, Ami fights a Deathbuster by herself LIKE A BOSS.

A lot happened in this episode. But I’m having focus issues, so let me bring it in for the real thing.

After their confrontation with Sailors Uranus and Neptune, the inner Senshi decide that they must be enemies, what with all of that attacking them for no reason stuff. Usagi isn’t so sure, because “We’re all guardians! We should be friends.”

I love her so much.

That night, she and Mamoru have the same dream about The Deity of Destruction, and they wake up, you know TOGETHER, in HIS BED with CHIBI-USA SNUGGLING and it’s the most adorable thing in the world. They hold hands and looked worried at each other.

The next day, Usagi is sitting around in a park like she do, and Haruka “Guess Whos?” her and they talk about Haruka’s androgyny, and then they kiss and Mamoru sees and then they go back to his place and are awkward until Chibi-Usa shows up and talks about wanting to make a Holy Grail for school.

Usagi doesn’t know what that is, but they do it anyway, and during the project they make up and Chibi-Usa falls asleep and PARENT TRAP!

We’re burning through the Witches 5, which is fine, I don’t miss the repetitive nature of the original anime, although I do miss getting to know everyone a little bit better. I’m also very into the increased focus on Rei (obviously) and her visions of destruction.

The episode ends with us seeing Setsuna for the first time! Guyssss, outer senshi are assembling and it’s totally the best!!!!

So movie season starts tonight, and that’s going to be a thing in my life for the next 7 months. (Marvel to Star Wars…that’s the way this works.)