kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
As always, my con report is very belated. I really meant to post something while in Baltimore, but it just never worked out. Then, I came home with lingering sinus woe that killed my desire to do much of anything. But, all is better now, and it was a great trip.

Mom and I started on Thursday by taking one of the Baltimore Trolley Tours, which was a fun mix of sightseeing and history. (Although, while our guide was very well-versed in his history, someone should let him know that Otakon is not a "Halloween party" inspired by Japan.) Then, we wandered through the Otakon matsuri (festival) and hit the Power Plant Barnes & Noble where I finally succumbed to temptation and picked up "Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, which adds some nice backstory to the movie. Of course, the real Otakon adventure began with the con on Friday.

Click for rambling... )
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
I'm not dead yet, just having a massive creativity slump. Though I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. At least, I've got drabbles in the works. That's something, right?

And, I've used the dead time to finally manage my email backlog and catch up on anime-watching. Of the current series, "The Devil is a Part-Timer!" has remained hilariously wacky (if occasionally burdened with obnoxious fan service). But, I've also been poking my way through Hulu's collection of completed anime that I somehow missed along the way. Thus far, the standout series has been "Soul Eater", which I watched on [personal profile] jordannamorgan's recommendation. It's a fun series with an off-beat sense of humor and a tendency to lead you along before gleefully subverting the standard anime trope you were expecting. Almost always in a good way. The resolution of the final battle is decidedly lacking, but it's a fun ride up to that point. And, things resolve so happily I can't complain much.

In other news, Otakon 2013 is sounding better all the time. I'm especially excited that Kaoru Kurosaki, wife of "Rurouni Kenshin" and "Buso Renkin" creator Nobuhiro Watsuki, will be coming. Of course, there's also that concert by Yoko Kanno... I've never stayed for a Sunday event before, but this might be the year. Oh, and having favorite guests like Vic Mignogna and Todd Haberkorn doesn't hurt either ;)
kristensk: smile (fma brothers happy)
....And, I am in it. I just got in the FMA artbooks I ordered after my failure to find them at Otakon, and... Arakawa's final illustration collection is amazing! I'd seen a lot of it, of course, as manga covers and calendar art, but there's more - additional "Prince of the Dawn/Daughter of the Dusk" artwork, a wonderful "photograph" of Mustang and Hughes in younger years, and a fantastic two page spread of Ed and Al after their travels. And then, there's the FMA:B illustration collection. It's nothing but 120-some pages of animation drawings. (And, thus, perhaps not worth its rather steep price to many people. But, it was most worth it to me.) Some of the drawings are gorgeous in their level of detail. The rough sketch of the shot of Ed's face from the final ending? The one that seems to be his reaction to the shot of Al smiling? Amazing.

While I'm gushing, the latest trailer for the live action Rurouni Kenshin movie has put it on my "must see" list. And, both the new trailer and the latest website update for the upcoming Blue/Ao no Exorcist movie made me squee. No, it won't be a post-anime movie as I'd thought, but it is going to include elements of the "Phantom Train" short story! And, the gallery includes a storyboard image of Shiro with the little!twins! Yes, yes, yes! Besides all that, the background art looks absolutely fantastic. The sheer detail put into images of the Academy is astounding. Oh, please let the character animation look that polished. Please, please. Well, either way, I think I'll love it. As with any of these movies, it's more of a favorite series - what's not to love?
kristensk: smirk (ane rin smirk)
....Because she now has two fandom-related movies to look forward to. 

First, there was this teaser trailer for the upcoming Blue Exorcist/Ao no Exorcist movie. It... shows next to nothing from the movie itself, but the promotional image of Rin is enough. Because he's clearly wearing the pendant that marks a full-fledged exorcist. Which means he's well on his way to his goal. Go Rin! Also, I've got a warm fuzzy that he's not wearing it pinned to his jacket like most exorcists but around his neck in a way very reminiscent of his father.

Then, I also found information and a trailer for the live action Rurouni Kenshin movie coming later this year. And, the trailer is looking nice indeed. It's odd to see characters go from animation to live action... but I think I'm going to have to give this a look. Kenshin is one of my... steady fandoms. It rarely gets me into squeals of fangirl delight or demands fanfiction, but I always enjoy re-visiting it.
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
Ah, so much fangirl squealing to be had!

Firstly, in completely squee-worthy news, I received a great big package of Free Comic Book Day comics from [ profile] jordannamorgan! *dances* Thank you so much! I missed the day itself, but I had really wanted to see that Darkwing Duck comic they were offering. Of course, now that I have... I want that next issue.

Then, there's a new, full-length trailer out for the upcoming Fullmetal Alchemist movie (click the "streaming" link). It's got a lot of nice action sequences, though I'm not picking up too many plot details from it. Also, Funimation has announced information on the US release. Since [ profile] jordannamorgan had asked: they're hoping to have it in theaters in early 2012 with the DVD release to follow in the spring.

Also, though I'm late in mentioning it, a new Rurouni Kenshin animated project has been announced. No word yet on exactly what it will be, but I'd like to join the people hoping to finally see the Revenge/Jinchu arc fully animated!

Lastly, [ profile] seekersks and I are once more attending Otakon in July. Though, given the jump in the price of registration, I'm not sure about next year. Yikes!
kristensk: smile (kenshin)
Another entry in my "Everything Crosses Over With Bleach" collection. This one is a companion to my previous entry "Loner". Contains a spoiler for the end of Bleach's Soul Society arc.

Manslayer - Bleach Crossover )
kristensk: thumbs up (fma ed thumbs up)
Just a few fanfic recommendations:

Death by Chocolate by Beth Einspanier
Series: CSI/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005 movie) Crossover
Rating: T/PG-13
Status: Complete
Summary: A young man is found in the desert, having been drowned in chocolate. Who would want him dead, and what does he have to do with a reclusive chocolatier from London?
Comments: The crossover idea sounds insane, but the story is excellent. Not only does the author pull off this improbable clash of realities in a believable manner, she writes a really great mystery too. There are plenty of suspects, plenty of motives, and I have to admit that I was surprised by the outcome. I've never watched CSI, but this came recommended from one of my favorite crossover authors, Mandolin, and it doesn't disappoint.

Ticking Time Bomb Baby by Omni82
Series: Rurouni Kenshin
Rating: T/PG-13
Status: Complete (more could be added, but what is there stands alone)
Summary: With every other potential babysitter refusing to deal with Kenji ever again, Kenshin finds himself left alone for a day with his demon spawn.
Comments: This is absolutely hysterical. I absolutely love the little "quirks" Kenji has picked up from all his past babysitters. The only downside is that the second chapter chronicaling Kenji's earlier stay with Sano and Megumi fell a little flat for me. I'm not sure why. Some of the jokes in it were a bit too risque for my taste, but, mostly, it just seemed to lack the overall wit of the first installment. But, the first chapter is brilliant, and I highly recommend it.
Yes, [ profile] mintysage that summary is for you since I know how you feel about Kenji ;)

The Legend of Drunken Matrimony by S. Sakurai
Series: One Piece
Rating: T/PG-13
Status: Complete
Summary: The island of Rakuen may not be crawling with thugs and despots, but it still boasts an insidious danger to the Straw-Hat Pirates. After a night of inhibition-free revelry, have the cook and the thief turned into the wife and her lover?
Comments: Yeah, it sounds like the setup for any number of the semi-serious romantic dramas out there. But, it's not semi-serious, romantic or drama. It's One Piece. Everyone is in character, and the wackiness that makes One Piece so awesome is going in full swing.

After the BoneEater's Well by Bons Baisers
Series: Inuyasha (hypothetical post-series)
Rating: M/R for violence and adult themes
Status: 22 Chapters - Work In-Progress
Summary: Seven years after the well was destroyed, Kagome learns that there's still hope to see Inuyasha again. But, to get to him, she has to go through a fanatical society devoted to the destruction of all magical creatures. Not to mention accept the help of Sesshoumaru and some even more unusual allies.
Comments: The summary above is my own. I saved the author's summary (a portion of it) to sum up what sets this fanfic apart from the many other, "Kagome is trapped in her time and somehow re-meets Inuyasha," fanfics out there. What is it? What does this fanfic have that the others don't? "Fanatics, clones, a reformed Sesshoumaru, and an adorable baby Inu." Yeah. And, let me tell you, you gotta love the clones. Six is my favorite, but Goliath's a close second. I'll try not to give anything away, but, so far, this fanfic has been wonderfully different, and I've enjoyed every minute of it.
It also made me attempt fanart of Six and One and Goliath - all character designs very tentative and sketchy.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
Drabble Post: So, ages and ages ago, I had people suggest drabbles for me to write. I actually got all of them finished. Except [ profile] mintysage's. She requested a Kenshin drabble. And, I am still trying to get her a canon Kenshin drabble. But, in the meantime, I decided to post this little thing I did for her. It's an alternate universe crossover not-true-drabble based on an RP we had going. Now, if that hasn't scared everyone away, the drabble:

Contemplation (Crossover) )

Sage and I have debated writing the entire story out as a full fanfic. But, we'll see.
kristensk: Inuyasha's tweakable ears (tweak)
As I've done before, here's some of my recent fanfic reads and/or re-reads that I thought deserved recommendations:

Walk Through the Valley by Vathara
Series: Rurouni Kenshin
Rated: T/PG-13 for some profanity and violence.
Located: On
Status: Complete (though there is sequel potential)
Summary: Times and technology may change. People don't. AU, Hiko POV. (Summary taken directly from the one posted on FFN)
Comments: If I drooled over this as much as I would like to, I'd short out the keyboard. I have a particular penchant for sci-fi reinterpretations of very non sci-fi fandoms. This is probably the best I've ever read (well, Saro's Inuyasha AU "Synthetic Emotions" could compete if she'd ever finish it). While it has abundant parallels to the Kenshin storyline so that it doesn't become an original story with fandom names, it's also unique enough to be interesting in its own right.

Blades of Blood by Vathara
Series: Rurouni Kenshin
Rated: T/PG-13 for profanity and violence.
Located: On
Status: Complete (But, I'd love sequels... lots of them.)
Summary: In a world where monsters roam city streets, a mildmannered New Yorker has just picked up a blade called Battousai... Modern AU, based off the NightLife RPG. (Summary taken directly from the one posted on FFN)
Comments: Vathara + Rurouni Kenshin AU is proving to be a winning combination. This was actually written before "Valley", but I hadn't commented on it before. Which is sad because I've probably re-read it five times since my first reading. The touch of having Battousai actually be Kenshin's sword rather than Kenshin himself is particularly interesting.

Under the Dog Star by Catwho
Series: Inuyasha
Rated: T/PG-13 for mild profanity and some violence.
Located: On
Status: Complete
Summary: A retro-generation fic dealing with how Inuyasha's parents met. This is now AU based on movie three canon. First documented use of the name Inutaisho! (Summary taken directly from the one posted on FFN)
Comments: This one should have been on my recommendation list ages ago. As much as I love the third Inuyasha movie and its brief glimpse at Inuyasha's parents, I wish Catwho's version was canon. Oh, how I wish it. I love her characterization of both parents, particularly Inuyasha's father. Fandom-wise, Catwho's tale, in my opinion, is much more true to what little information the canon has offered than ninety percent of the other retro-generation fics I've found. It's also a wonderfully fun read if you enjoy a prequel with a lot of little nods to later events in the storyline. There are ominous glimpses of the Shikon no Tama, hints as to Tessaiga's creation and the implications of a curse as the root of the tragic outcome of Inuyasha and Kikyou's relationship. There is one original character who might tread into Mary Sue territory for some, but Makoto's part is small enough and she does serve a useful purpose in the storyline. Personally, I liked her. Of course, all she had to do to earn my favor was to snap, "And stop talking in third person, baka," after Sesshoumaru.

kristensk: smile (kenshin)
I finally sat down and wrote up some more fanfic reviews for my webpage, and it occured to me - why not post them here? So, yeah, here's a collection of reviews/comments on fanfics I've read recently that I thought were worth mentioning. I enjoyed them; maybe someone else will.

All I Need is a Miracle by Vathara
Series: Rurouni Kenshin
Rated: R for profanity, violence, and some innuendo
Located: On
Status: Complete
Summary: Between life and death, there is a moment to choose: peace - or let the demon rise once more.... AU fix to Samurai X - Reflections, crossover with Gargoyles. (Summary taken directly from the one posted on FFN)
Comments: It's like Kenshin crossed with Inuyasha! Okay, so, as an Inuyasha fan, that was my first thought in reading this story. The story does reference youkai and hanyou and seems to touch on a lot of concepts commonly found in Inuyasha fanfiction. The struggle between Kenshin and the Battousai is incredibly reminiscent of Inuyasha wrestling with his youkai side. As the Youkai Inuyasha arc was probably my favorite of all the Inuyasha plotlines, I find the parallel intriguing. That said, the story is not an Inuyasha crossover. However, it may still be off-putting to more purist RK fans. Personally, I found the RK characters well in-character and didn't feel like the series was compromised by either the new elements or the Gargoyles crossover (which is very mild and mostly limited to Demona's role).

My Two Left Feet by Sage SK
Series: Inuyasha
Rated: G
Located: On
Status: Complete/Oneshot
Summary:A mock fic regarding Kagome and Inuyasha's feelings towards each other... all due to a stubbed toe. (Summary taken directly from the one posted on FFN)
Comments: Mwahahaaaaa! She actually took me up on it! No, I have nothing else to say. Sadly, this is no longer available online, but you might be able to poke Sage for it!

Jake's Angel by Cherazor
Series: SWAT Kats
Rated: G
Located: On
Status: Complete/Oneshot
Summary: Jake meets his true love. (MarySue!Parody) (Summary taken directly from the one posted on FFN)
Comments: More side-splitting hilarity for those tired of fanfic cliches. Almost all of the typical SWAT Kat Mary Sue cliches packed into one short fic! Not sold in stores!

In the Winnower's Garden by Lauhau
Series: Labyrinth (actually, this is a movie)
Rated: PG-13
Located: On
Status: Unfinished
Summary: Borrowing heavily from Irish and Welsh mythology, this fairy tale explores one possibility behind the creation of the Labyrinth and the future of the girl who solved it. (Summary taken directly from the one posted on FFN)
Comments: Wow, it's a rather convoluted tale that explains how I came to be reading Labyrinth fanfiction of all things (it's far from my favorite movie and David Bowie scares me), but it boils down to a case of boredom at work and lots of browsing on FFN. The mythology angle promised in the summary was too much to resist, and I just couldn't ignore this one. It's unfinished and, like as not, will remain so given how long it's been since it's seen an update, but the story is still engrossing, very well-written and succeeded in refreshing my interest in looking up more on Irish and Welsh mythology.

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