kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
So, I've been in a watching mood lately and bouncing between following new anime Chronos Ruler while catching up on My Hero Academia and Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Click for Rambling )
kristensk: smile (Default)
So, I finally finished the 90's Gamera trilogy. And, you know what? It was really good.

No, I'm not kidding. It's well-made, the special effects by and large hold up, heroines Nagamine and Asagi as well as poor luckless Osako are engaging, and it's generally like watching a good sci-fi/fantasy anime. Because I can't not think anime when Gamera goes all shounen Determinator toward the end of the third movie, blasts off his own hand to free himself, and then absorbs his opponent's attack to make a new hand out of fire. And, all that rather than use the hand in which he was holding a rescued girl who hated him and who had caused much of the movie's trouble.

So, yeah, I've been pulled down the kaiju rabbit hole. Honestly, "Pacific Rim" probably started it. From there, it was off to the adorable "Gamera the Brave" then the excellent trilogy, and then... Well, yes, I did take a peek at the first three of the 60's Gamera movies. Because the entire original run came on the same bargain basement set as the 90's movies, and I figured, why not? The three older entries I watched can't compare to the later movies, but I found "Gamera vs. Gyaos" to be pretty fun in its way.

Anyway, I'm all outta Gamera now*, so, there's only one place to go from here. Godzilla. And, Amazon with their $5 add-on DVD's has been merrily enabling me. I figure I'll eventually work my way through the 80's/90's Heisei series and some of the 2000's standalone movies, and then come back and gabble some more.

...No, none of this has given me a fanfic bug, so you can stop worrying. This is a fandom like the MCU, which I love, but only occasionally gabble about because, for whatever reason, it doesn't demand art and fic from me.

(* Unless the proposed new movie happens. Warning: trailer includes some violent/unpleasant imagery.)
kristensk: SWAT Kats rushing to action (sk let's rock)
So, I paid [livejournal.com profile] mintysage a visit and was finally able to collect THIS.

...Excuse me. I need to go make teakettle squealing noises again.

It's probably a good thing this didn't happen when I was younger. I might've exploded. ...I still might.

Also, I'm kicking myself for not wearing my SWAT Kat T-shirt. No one mentioned photos!

Again, many thanks to everyone - MoDaD, the Tremblay Brothers, Sage!
kristensk: SWAT Kats rushing to action (sk let's rock)
I'd been meaning to do this ever since my epic marathon re-watch of SWAT Kats with [livejournal.com profile] mintysage. These are the things I learned or re-learned about SWAT Kats (and similar series) while watching:

- Much of the series is one giant tribute to 50's/60's sci-fi movies. And, that is awesome.

- MegaKat City was used to weird long before the series started. Sorcerers, four-eyed mutants, and lampreys large enough to duel Godzilla are no big surprise to anyone.

- In fact, the SK world is possibly a Death World with everything trying to kill its inhabitants given that the subway cars appear to be armored, the biochemical labs have permanent gun emplacements out front, nuclear reactors are guarded by small private armies, and even cars from the space center have guns in the back. And, all of this is completely necessary and, in fact, usually not enough.

- All civilian she-kats know Blunt Object Judo. Given they live in a Death World, being able to use anything as a weapon is only sensible.

- Mutation invariably leads to megalomania or heroics.

- You know any scientist going on about, "THOSE FOOLS!" is bad news.

- For that matter, calling people, "Fools!" is a sure sign of evil in general. Note how being evil caused the Dark SWAT Kats to pick up the habit.

- Every series/movie that introduces a cute robot is apparently contractually obligated to destroy it. *sobs* Why?! Cybertron, Johnny Five, the Iron Giant, what did they ever do to you people?!

And, some additional gabble:

- There is some seriously amazing animation in SK. Particularly in the test flight sequence from "Night of the Dark Kat" and the entirety of "The Deadly Pyramid" and "Unlikely Alloys".

- The two Enforcers who find the PastMaster and his undead minions at the opening of "The PastMaster Always Rings Twice" are surprisingly witty, tossing off a one-liners like, "You have the right to remain buried," and actually looking cool doing it. Did the Enforcers become identical drones in later episodes to make their deaths more palatable? (Goodness knows episodes like "The Ci-Kat-A" certainly imply that they killed off quite a few.)

- I'm pretty sure half of the extras with speaking parts are Charlie Adler and the other half are Jim Cummings. And, I approve this.

- Razor's "Mondo mummies from Ragsville" comment is epically 90's. Which means I love it.

- The world needs more giant mummies wielding laser guns.

- Any "return of Zed" storyline really, really needs to be titled "The Heart of Zed".

Now I'm going to go poke at some of the fanfic ideas this has given me. Possibly including "The Heart of Zed", but don't hold me to that one.

Oh, and, speaking of which, the SK Fanfic Archive saw a tiny update on April 25 with the start of a new story by new author LadyDaisys.
kristensk: smirk (ane rin smirk)
So, Ao no/Blue Exorcist's Kyoto Arc was amazing. All the way through. And, even though I'm a bit sad that the inclusion of the Rin and Yukio dialogue from the Kraken Arc likely means we'll never see that animated, it was at least expertly done and flowed naturally off the Kyoto events. Though I hope they find a way to work Shiemi's awesome moments in somewhere else in the future. With Rin and Yukio covered, her role is the only real loss with the Kraken Arc.

At any rate, the amazingness of the animated Kyoto Arc inspired icons:



kristensk: bingo! (sk bingo)
So, there's suddenly a lot going on in SK fandom! Including, right now, a live stream featuring the SWAT Kats' creators and series writer Lance Falk answering some fan questions and whatnot. You can find the recording of the live stream here and here.
kristensk: Blue Exorcist - unsheathing sword (ane rin unleash)
And, now for some slightly belated fangirling over things I've watched recently:

How can there be only two episodes of Ao no/Blue Exorcist's Kyoto Saga left?! Nooooo! I don't want it to be over yet. It's been such an incredible ride. I loved this arc in the manga, and I love it even more animated.

The last few episodes in particular have been amazing. And, not just because they touched on favorite moments like Yukio's brief display of demon powers and Rin and Suguro cementing their Vitriolic Best Buds status before Rin finally unlocked his sword and awesome happened. (Though those were a treat. Seriously, there's so much win right here.) But, even moments that never really stood out for me in the manga have been given new life through the voice-acting, the music, and the fantastic animation. Toudo dueling Juuzou's squad is a special highlight. That glorious full-body fight animation!

Please, please let this season be a hit so we can get more!

And, in a complete change of pace, I've been re-watching SWAT Kats with [livejournal.com profile] mintysage. Not all of my old favorites have stood the test of time, but SWAT Kats does. Maybe some of the first season animation is a little... off, but then episodes like "The PastMaster Always Rings Twice" and "Night of the Dark Kat" make up for it. Storywise, each episode still sucks me right in, and it's fun to see it all over again with fresh eyes after putting it away for a few years.
kristensk: SWAT Kats rushing to action (sk let's rock)
First update of 2017 for the SWAT Kat Fanfic Archive! It's a small one with just two oneshots, but there you go.

Also, while I'm making SWAT Kat chatter, I'd completely forgotten to mention, but the ever-amazing [livejournal.com profile] modad sent me a copy of the rumored SWAT Kat poster. In reality, it's a two page spread from the Daily Variety trade magazine, which was published in an over-sized format. It's about the size of the small posters you used to find in magazines or some of the anime posters I've received with DVD's, but it's not a true poster. All the same, it's a fascinating little piece of SWAT Kat history. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] modad!
kristensk: smirk (ane rin smirk)
The animated Kyoto/Impure King Arc has started, and it's amazing! Okay, so it's a slow start, but it's nice to see that, with only twelve episodes, they're not rushing. Episode 2 was nothing but character establishment and development, and it gave me all the feels. Special love for the hilarity of Rin's drunken conversation with a panicked Shima.

Also, I can't help wondering if even the official subtitlers are making jokes about how Takara is always just there without contributing anything. (At least, not until much later anyway.) Because when Shura divides the kids up in episode 2, she clearly says his name... but it's not in the subtitles. I laughed at that probably more than I should have.

Simultaneously, the manga has been dropping bombshell after bombshell about the Order's past activities and the origins of the demon kings... while dropping only hints toward the answers we're all waiting for regarding the Okumura twins' birth. Evil, clever Kato.

Spoilery comments behind the cut )

And, all the AnE joy lately has inspired icons:

kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
And, another [community profile] fandom_stocking is over. I wanted to do a bit more this year, but it just wouldn't come together. Still, I completed a oneshot, another installment in my dragon!Royverse, and two drabbles, all of which I'll be posting over the next few days.

My own stocking was a little bag of happiness. I got a lot of well wishes, gorgeous photo links, Inuyasha fanart, and two lovely fanfic gifts.

First, Wardrobe Adjustment by [personal profile] jordannamorgan, a wonderful Ao no/Blue Exorcist fic featuring all my favorite things - demon!Yukio, anime follow-up, sibling shenanigans, and awesome friendship feels between the twins and Shiemi.

Then, there were even more family/friendship feels plus wintry goodness in First Snow by [personal profile] evil_little_dog, a sweet FMA fic with Ed, Al, and Winry enjoying Al's first snowfall after regaining his body.

Thanks so much to everyone!
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
So, every year, I pounce on the holiday peppermint like a starving wolverine. Because I love mint, and they're stingy with it the rest of the year. But, this year, it might have hit new heights of peppermint happy.

...I might have also had a couple peppermint shakes from Chick-Fil-A and the peppermint pancakes from IHOP.
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
This is just a random post to squee over some animated shorts I've found either recently or ages ago and recently re-watched.

Duet - From animtor Glen Keane. The sketchy style of this - and, of course, the gloriously fluid animation - just gives me a huge art squee.

Out of Sight - This is an art school graduate project, and, while the character designs aren't to my taste, I appreciate the children's book style and watercolor look. Most of all, I really love the imagination behind it.

Prosthetic Leg Moses - At least that's the title when crudely translated by Google. A cute little short wherein a ghost girl and a pair of apparently haunted shoes do their own rendition of "Moses Supposes" from "Singing in the Rain".

Shelter - The most recent one in the bunch with the most elaborate animation as it comes courtesy A-1 Pictures. The character designs are a bit uninspired, but the scenery is exquisite and the story (like all of these, told primarily through imagery) is interesting. ...Though it makes me sniffle.

Addition:
Poulette's Chair - [livejournal.com profile] mintysage reminded me of this one. There's something very Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki about this one with its sense of wonder balanced against quiet, daily life scenes.
kristensk: bingo! (sk bingo)
And, Betaruga's fantastic comic version of mine and [livejournal.com profile] mintysage's SWAT Kat fanfic "They That Walk in Darkness" is complete! You can find the final page here. And, what a final page! The level of detail, the way she's set the scenes... Wow.

Following her comic version has been amazing. Having written it, I assumed I'd be immune to the story and just enjoy the gorgeous art. But, all the emotional beats are still a gut punch. Because Betaruga's brought so much more to it with her art. The way she stages the scenes, the way she handles the lighting, and, most of all, her incredible facial expressions. It's all amazing.

The collected awesomeness is here on Tumblr.
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
I hadn't mentioned it previously, but, yes, I attended Otakon 2016! It was the final year in Baltimore, and I was sad that I didn't get a last visit down to the Inner Harbor proper. But, with temperatures in the mid to upper 90's and a heat index over 100, it was simply too hot to spend more than the minimum amount of time outside. Still, it was a good year. I got to visit my favorite sandwich place, Macado's twice on the drive to and from Baltimore (and try their giant cinnamon bun... mmm...) and, while we were in Baltimore, we hit Pappa's Restaurant one last time for the fantastic crabcakes.

As has become the norm, we kicked off Thursday with a movie. This year, it was Star Trek Beyond, which I much enjoyed. The plot was straightforward but fun, the character interactions great, and the whole movie a fun ride I suspect I'll enjoy watching again and again once it's out on DVD. And, as a bonus, Mom, the biggest Star Trek fan in our group, finally got to see one of the new movies in the theater.

Then, of course, it was Otakon time on Friday.

Click for rambling... )
kristensk: Blue Exorcist - unsheathing sword (ane rin unleash)
Because they are animating the Impure King Arc of Ao no/Blue Exorcist! *squee* I can't wait to see the climax of that arc animated.
kristensk: smirk (ane rin smirk)
So, the official Japanese Ao no/Blue Exorcist website is apparently counting down to something. Per the ANN article, a new stage play has already been announced for August, so it's not likely to be a play. And, I don't think they've done countdowns for things like the card game or manga volume releases.

...So, naturally, I'm hoping for more anime ;) A movie would be good. Another TV series - maybe covering the Kyoto Arc? because I can dream, can't I? - would be great!
kristensk: SWAT Kats rushing to action (sk let's rock)
So, I've now watched the first, triple length episode and the second regular episode of the new "Voltron" series from Dreamworks and Netflix. Thus far, I'm absolutely loving it! The characters are fantastic, and I love that we're getting to see them meet and bond as a team this time. And, I love that the staff chose to keep in the old sequence where the pilots first zipline then ride in small vehicles to board their lions. It's a little long. It's a bit impractical. But, you know what? It looks cool. All these years later, it still looks cool. As does the forming Voltron sequence. Naturally. And, just like boarding the lions, the staff kept it. Every time. The full sequence. And, it still makes me want to jump up and cheer.
kristensk: bingo! (sk bingo)
So, thanks to MoDaD from the SWAT Kats Encyclopedia, the SK Fanfic Archive is back up and running and even updated! MoDaD, you are seriously awesome. Again, thank you so much.

And, in other happy news, there's a remake of my childhood favorite "Voltron" coming to Netflix in June, and it looks amazing. Seriously, this trailer has me really excited. The character designs are nicely updated but recognizable, Voltron looks great, and the snappy dialogue is fun. It helps that, when I last saw "Voltron" as an adult, I found the original dialogue more than a little painful, so an update there is most welcome. I'm really looking forward to this!

...Although, am I the only one who thinks Pidge says he's been, "scanning the system and picking up alien Radio Shack"?

*SQUEE!*

Apr. 3rd, 2016 11:03 pm
kristensk: SWAT Kats rushing to action (sk let's rock)
I've been trying to get to this post all week. Because back at the start of last week, MoDaD sent me an absolutely amazing package full of SWAT Katty-ness from the Tremblay brothers' appearance at Anime Matsuri. You can see it all here. There's a T-shirt and postcards and a poster and... a page of my art he showed to the Tremblay brothers and had autographed. ...I... that... Excuse me. I need to go make my embarrassing squealing teakettle noises again. Seriously, thank you again, MoDaD. So much. You are awesome. And, thanks to Christian for the autograph!

And, yes, the SWAT Kats Revolution project. I've been pretty mum on the subject thus far. I confess that I tend to greet every suggested revival of an older series with a "wait and see" attitude. Because there have been as many that didn't work for me as did. And, SWAT Kats is, obviously, extra-special among my old favorites. The only series that comes close to its place in my heart is "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," and I've variously loved or hated its many permutations and revivals.* But, the addition of Glenn Leopold and Lance Falk to the SWAT Kat Revolution team fills me with hope. So many of the original creative staff are together again... I'm really curious to see what's going to come of this.

(* I like everything I've seen and heard of the currently running TMNT series but am desperately behind in watching it.)
kristensk: smirk (ane rin smirk)
After peeking at the raw/untranslated version of Ao no/Blue Exorcist Chapter 77, I couldn't help cackling. It's like the story's come full circle back to the brothers' first mission together. And, Rin still isn't fond of Yukio's tactics ;)

My spoilertastic thoughts on the translated chapter are behind the cut. )

And, while I'm fangirling, Shonen Jump posted an epic AnE cosplay with a pair of real life twins. They even have an adorable little black and white cat!

As is obvious, yes, I'm not dead. Life has just been a bit weird lately. But, I have made a few scrap posts as well as posting the proper opening to my FMA/AnE Fusionverse over on Mindtwins.

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