yaysunshine: The silhouette of a girl in a froofy dress holds a bow against a light background. (Default)

I was going to make something up for days 1 and 2 but then I got busy so here's the first topic on schedule anyway, hahaha—

"Why magical girls?" for [personal profile] lassarina

So, magical girls were sort of a formative experience for me—I happened to be about nine when the original dubbed versions of Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura ("Cardcaptors") were airing, which was just about perfect.

There was something that really reeled me in there, particularly about Sailor Moon. I think it's maybe several things:

  • A variety of cool girl characters to identify with.
  • Girl friendships!!! Fire-forged girl friendships!!!
  • Themes of overcoming adversity and growing up (while still being yourself)—e.g., Usagi grows out of crying at the drop of a hat and tripping over herself, but retains (and strengthens) her best qualities in the process of magical girling.
  • There's a sort of inherent optimism in most magical girl shows, and I am a dyed-in-the-wool optimist.
  • There's nothing I like better than a good redemption arc, and magical girl villains tend to get them relatively frequently. The first episodes of Sailor Moon that I watched included one, actually, which maybe was what made an impression on me.
  • There is something really fun to me about the idea kicking ass in a cute outfit.
  • Also about the ability to become your coolest, most powerful self on command. HECK YEAH

It's sort of a very specific flavor of a girls' coming of age story. The forces of darkness are often metaphorical, on some level—materialized negative emotions, selfishness, despair. It also provides a framing device for dealing with real unhappiness—loss, hardship, loneliness, conflict, uncertainty—in a fantastical context. Yuri Tsukikage finds a way through her grief, Rue finds freedom from her abusive father-figure, Eas fights a literal manifestation of her guilt over past misdeeds, Amu Hinamori gains confidence in being her genuine self.

There's also a couple themes that I guess show up more in the stuff that I watched from college on—the idea of magical girl as a beacon of hope (Princess Tutu, Madoka Magica, AKB0048) and magical girl as healer and inspirer (Princess Tutu, Shugo Chara, Heartcatch Pretty Cure), which both really appeal to me from a narrative perspective. I guess part of that is maybe related to why I like to do creative things—because things like music and literature have helped me and inspired me so much, I want to do the same for others with the things I work on.

So, naturally, it worked its way into one of my origfic projects. It happened that a bunch of independent story threads managed to coalesce together into something coherent finally, and a couple of them happened to be magical girl-related ideas. And I figured... "eh, why not just keep those elements in, it's not going to be the weirdest thing on the YA shelves if I finish it and manage to sell it." And the one thing I did learn for sure from my high school creative writing class is that you might as well write what you love and have fun writing.

yaysunshine: (aw yiss)

( This was published maybe a month ago on my Tumblr, but it occurred to me in the interest of posting more on Dreamwidth that I could, you know, post my reviews here, too. )

Thor (2014) #1: Mostly introduction to the premise and setup for things to come, but I like the art style (…look this is very important to me) and I liked the writing so far. Also, Freya’s awesome. I’m mostly familiar with Marvel through the MCU so it’s taking me a little bit to get acclimated to the state of what’s actually going on in the comics, but I like her here.

Also, she might be the one who got to pick up the hammer? Fingers crossed for MOMTHOR.

Gotham Academy #1: Saw some art for it a while back, thought it looked cute. I’m less into the DC side of things, but I love the character designs and boarding school stories. The characters are great so far—I really like the relationship between Olive and Maps—and I’m really curious to find out what Olive’s backstory with Bruce Wayne-slash-Batman is, because they’re definitely hinting at some kind of past drama.

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Avengers Vol. 1: Despite having only a vague idea of what Marvel canon is doing right now, it was fun. Peter Quill meets dad, dad’s kind of a dick but also a king who can cause him a lot of problems. Interesting difference from the movies: Peter Quill actually got to grow up on Earth and joined NASA to get into space initially, so he has a bit less of a checkered past, I think? I’m not sure which way I like better. Still fun, though. Also, all of the Guardians get a cute little short at the end of the book. (Well, “cute” is maybe the wrong word. Still, though.)

Rat Queens #8: Fantastic, as is usual. Though it’d actually been long enough since the last issue that I’d forgotten what was going on and went “…oh right that’s what’s going on” on the last page, haha.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1), Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy #2): The middle third of Shadow and Bone I wasn’t sure if I was going to end up liking it, because I wasn’t sure that I liked the romance that was developing. The final third I knew I was going to like it and that I was going to buy the rest of the series as soon as possible. I’m not gonna spoil it, but… wait for it.

The pacing of the second book threw me off a bit—I think maybe because I assumed they’d spend more time in the place they were at the start of the book—but I really like Nikolai as a character and the developments at the end: holy cats. So, yeah, I have a copy of the third book, Ruin and Rising, and I hear cool stuff happens in that too.

Bee & Puppycat #4: Cute! It’s a lot lighter fare compared to, like, everything else on this list, but I always smile when I see I’ve got a new one. (Also, contains a pretty good-looking sandwich recipe.)

Interweave Crochet Fall 2014: Most of the projects look pretty cool and doable! I am pretty enamored of that first jacket, actually, and the mitered squares scarf. Also appreciate the entire section dedicated to crochet collars.

Divergent: Finally read it a million years behind the hype. I found the main character compelling and her struggle interesting, but ultimately found the entire dystopia completely unbelievable, which was a constant sticking point. Like, I just can’t see a bunch of people getting together and going “ah, yes, what a good idea to divide our society into factions that live one virtue to exclusion, this will truly save our society. WHAT A BRILLIANT PLAN.” I’m also a bit miffed that the smart guys are the designated and obvious villains, because let’s be real, I would totally go for Erudite. (I am not really convinced of the Knowledge -> Power -> Corruption formula. If anything, I think ignorance causes more problems.)

Still, though, I kept turning those pages, which is still a pretty good endorsement. Some pretty good twists there.

In the Queue:

  • This Is Not A Test - Courney Summers
  • A bunch of Adventure Time comics
  • Ruin and Rising - Leigh Bardugo
  • Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
  • Probably The Rook, again, for what may actually be the millionth time
  • The Ring and the Crown - Melissa De La Cruz. I bought this because it’s a fantasy book that has a Beyoncé quote at the beginning and I had to know what it was like.
  • Half-Off Ragnarok - Seanan McGuire
  • Sparrow Hill Road - Seanan McGuire
  • Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett
  • Snuff - Terry Pratchett
  • At some point I’m going to cave and buy the entire Hawkeye bundle
yaysunshine: (/chinhands)
Every day in December I will write a post about a thing! And you get to pick a thing! (Possibly multiple things??) Because I miss blogging.

3. "Why magical girls?" for [personal profile] lassarina
6. My RP style in LARP for [personal profile] moreinsanerer
7. My RP style in journal RP for [personal profile] moreinsanerer
8. Favorite places in Chicagoland for [plurk.com profile] wombatgal
11. Favorite thing about where I grew up versus where I live now for [personal profile] fuchsian
16. Top 10 fictional characters who I relate to/resonated with me the most for [plurk.com profile] _Isa
29. Web design thoughts for [plurk.com profile] wombatgal

January 2016



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