My 13 Reasons Why

Matt in the Hat tagged me nearly two weeks ago and I know I’ve been tagged for this one before and just never got around to responding. Part of that is my busy schedule and the other part of that is thinking of 13 things that keep me going is actually kind of hard when I kind of sum it all up into one simple answer (which I will make my number 13 on this list). Still, I’m thankful for the tag this time and for those who tagged me before that I didn’t respond to (sorry).

Rules:

  • Mention the person who nominated you
  • List 13 reasons why you keep going/living
  • Nominate 10 or more people to give their reasons why.
  • Use the picture that I created in your post.

My Reasons:

I did mention finding 13 was actually quite hard. Some of these are a little silly as I desperately tried to fill the numbers. Really, number 13 is the only one that is actually important and it is enough.

levy reading 2

01. Too many books still to be read and still to be published.

02. Too many movies still to be seen and still to be created.

03. Too many anime I have never watched and that haven’t been made yet.

Okay, the first three are all very similar but very important. I have watch lists and read lists filled with titles and these grow every single day. If I had a hundred life-times it wouldn’t be enough to get through everything that I wanted to read and watch so that’s a pretty compelling reason to stick around.

natsume6

04. My current cat needs me to feed her and any future pets I acquire would be equally dependent.

05. Certain family members would need to find someone else to play scrabble against online if I suddenly went silent online.

06. I’m almost certain that my work would pile up even if I was no longer here and that is a depressing thought.

These three are all very much about the impact my not being here would have on others. While I’m being flippant about it, whether I realise it or not most days, my presence actually does have some kind of impact on others and that’s certainly something I should try to remember.

Noragami2e

07. I’m still growing my blog and I’m sure it would miss me if I stopped logging in.

08. I still don’t know what’s in Eren’s basement.

09. I won’t get to see season 3 of Snow White With the Red Hair or Noragami (should they ever get made).

10. I haven’t learned all the kanji (forget all, I haven’t learned 500 of them yet).

11. I still haven’t managed to max out every stat on Skyrim (and given I’m not playing it at the moment I’m unlikely to every complete that goal, but it seems wrong to leave it unfinished).

12. Chocolate (I don’t think that one needs an explanation).

Yuri on Ice Episode 3 - Yuri chooses a costume

13. My story isn’t finished yet.

Outside of all of the other reasons, this is the most important. My story may not be all that fascinating to others, but it isn’t finished yet and that means there are still endless possibilities for where my story will go and where it might eventually end. And everybody knows there is nothing worse than a protagonist that gives up mid-adventure so while my story is still going, I’m going to keep trying my best to do whatever it is I’m doing at the time. I’m well aware that eventually I’ll run out of pages and that perhaps my book will be thinner than I would have liked, but I’m determined to make every page read the way I wanted to live my life (I may not succeed but at least I’ll try).

Nominees:

I have no idea who has been tagged at this point so feel free to ignore.

  1. Average Joe Reviews
  2. The Things I’ve Seen
  3. Anime Sunday
  4. Couch Crusin
  5. Negative Primes
  6. All About Anime
  7. Raistlin
  8. Keiko
  9. Otaku Orbit
  10. Anime Luxembourg

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Create a Story Tag – Or Create A Week of Writer’s Block Tag

I guess I should thank Arthifis for this given it did get me writing at least in a small way. And yet I don’t think I’ve been that frustrated sitting at my keyboard since I tried to write a series review of Yuri on Ice and scrapped it so many times before I finally just went with a plus/minus post so that I could finish it. Anyway, with all tags there are some acknowledgements and rules that need to go with it, so I’ll get on with those.

This tag was created by Leap, Keiko, and The Pantless Anime BloggerYou can check out the Create-A-Story Tag Announcement here!

– The Rules –

  1. You pick your first word, your setting, and your story genre from the list below. As individuals, your brand of creativity is unique to yours, so we want to highlight that by letting you choose from a bunch of words and creating something beautiful out of it.

Create A Story Tag

I picked “Fall”, “Mountain”, “Romance/Comedy/Tragedy – though the tragic part is probably the attempt at comedy”.

  1. The short story will have a limit of 1000 words. You do not need to write a story with 1000 words exactly. It could be 300, or 500 as long as it doesn’t surpass a thousand.
  2. YOU HAVE TWO WEEKS TO ANSWER THE TAG.
  3. You must tag three people to participate. The victims: The Lost Voice, Kawaii Paper Pandas, and Cain S Latrani (no obligation and I’m sorry if you’ve already been tagged).
  4. Don’t forget to link back to Keiko (use her post ) so she can collect all the stories. You can’t just link back to her WordPress, since she won’t be alerted of the pingback. You need to link back to a post or a page, because WordPress works like this.
  5. Use the Create-A-Story picture in the post.
  6. Copy and paste the rules in your tag post as well, so others can be clued in to the Create-A-Story rules.

Just so we’re clear my story:

  • Is incomplete.
  • Is incredibly dialogue heavy due to the majority of description getting cut to bring it in under 1000 words.
  • Has an asinine set of characters.
  • And any attempts at humour should probably be taken as a sign that I need more sleep.

With that disclaimer, I hope you enjoy.

Mountain - Falling.jpg


You Can Carry Me Home

“You should just fall in love with me already,” James said confidently as he clutched Andrea’s hands tightly. “I mean, you must have already, given the circumstances.”

“Exactly how long are you going to keep the bad puns going?” Andrea asked as she expertly pulled James closer to her and rolled them over so that she was on top.

“I love a woman who takes charge,” James chuckled and then he peered down. “I’m thinking I’ve got about another 600 words left in me for bad puns and movie references.”

Andrea laughed. “That and fourth wall breaking.”

“That too,” James admitted. “Want to tell me why you did it?”

“Did what?”

“Jumped after me? I mean, he throws me off the cliff, you kill him. Nice and easy. I’ll admit it made the whole thought of going splat at the bottom a little better knowing that bastard would have been dead. And yet, instead of finishing him off, here you are, plummeting down the side of this bloody mountain. I’m not sure if I’m thrilled or pissed off with you right now.”

“That goes for you and me both.” Andrea hugged him tighter as she leaned to the right to try to see how far the tree-line was. “I get there to rescue you and you tell me to let him throw you off the cliff. Really? As if that was ever going to happen.”

“Again, he’d be dead.”

“So would you! Idiot!” Andrea hugged him so hard that James thought his ribs would break. “Don’t you ever do that again.”

“I can more or less guarantee that.”

Far below James could now make out the shapes of the trees of the forest, a winding road in the distance. When the wind wasn’t rushing past his ears he thought he heard the faint sound of machinery. Possibly someone tree clearing or doing some road work.

It wasn’t such a bad place to die. A nice view at least.

“So, you had a plan right?” James asked trying to turn his head to see Andrea without moving his body. He knew she was up to something and he didn’t want to disrupt her.

“Excuse me?”

“A plan. You know, a scheme, an idea, a strategy… You know something other than a fairly lengthy drop before a sudden stop.”

“Did you just miss-appropriate a line from Pirates of the Caribbean?”

“Duh.”

“We’re dying here.”

“Unlikely.” James coughed. “So, the plan?”

“No plan,” Andrea said.

“You’re kidding. That’s just terrible. I mean, I’m average height with average brown hair and average looks and intelligence. By default that should make me the protagonist. Where is my plot armour?”

“James,” Andrea said.

“What?”

“I love you.” She rolled him over and kissed him. “Now don’t even think about moving.”

Shoving him back roughly she wrapped her arms tightly around him, locking her grip in place, hand to wrist. As the tree-line became richly detailed and the branches began to poke up toward James at an alarmingly fast rate, he suddenly felt a massive jolt as he was jerked abruptly backward and Andrea’s bony hands seemed to drive into his chest. A small cry of pain escaped his lips before he bit down on his own lip and the metallic taste of blood flooded his mouth.

Legs dangling and Andrea’s grip pushing roughly against his underarms, James once again twisted his head expecting to see a parachute, even though such a thing should be possible.

Instead he saw something even more improbable.

“Wings. You have wings,” he murmured.

“Sometimes.” Andrea let out a groan of pain and they began to rapidly descend between the branches of the trees. Her face was pale, she was sweating horribly, and it looked kind of like she was going to throw up.

“I don’t have wings,” James continued to prattle.

“I swear if you make a Dark Crystal reference right now I will let you drop,” Andrea muttered through clenched teeth.

“Any chance we could fly back up to the top of the mountain?” James asked mockingly.

“Are you crazy?” Andrea asked as the ground looked like it was about to rise toward them. She bit down on her lower lip and forced one single flap from her wings to decelerate and then they folded and the two of them fell, tumbling to the ground with a thud and groans of pain. When Andrea caught her breath she tilted her head toward James, heedless of the leaves and twigs catching in her hair. “Why would you want to go back to the top of the mountain that you were just nearly killed on?”

“Well, as we fluttered past that moron we could yell out, ‘Can you fly, you sucker, can you fly?’ totally Kevin Bacon style.”

Andrea let her eyes close. Part of her couldn’t believe what she’d just done to save the idiot laughing in sheer relief beside her. The other part of her couldn’t believe she’d come so close to losing him. Tears of pain and frustration leaked out of her eyes and she covered her face with a sweaty, dirty hand.

“By the way, aren’t I supposed to rescue you?”

“Why?”

“Well, I’m the guy. And every good 80’s action movie kind of made me believe that in situations like this I should like rappel in before leaping out and clutching your hand and then someone managing to cling back to the rock-surface Spider-Man style.”

“Well, Mr Hero,” Andrea said, “given I’ve severely injured myself by over straining my wings, if you want to be all chivalrous you could carry me home.”

James pulled himself to his feet. “It’s a long walk.”

“Complaining already, Hero-San?”

“I guess it gives you time to tell me why my child-hood friend has wings.” He scooped her up before she could protest and started walking.

‘Do you even know which way you are going?”

“Home, James!”


I’m going to be honest, it’s pretty dreadful and rushed, but I finally wrote something and didn’t delete it. I also actually had a lot of fun writing it in the end, though possibly that was just me enjoying writing the references in. I kind of figure if you are falling off a mountain you need something to take your mind off of it.

Anyway, let me know what you think and thanks Arthifis for tagging me.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Help me, I’ve been tagged by the T.A.P Tag

Cells at Work - Episode 2 - Platelets

Fewer things scare me more than trying to write poetry that has strict syllable limitations. I can’t even keep my episode reviews to an approximate 100 words let alone try and say anything useful in five lines, but here we go. Thanks to the wonderful Alex Prange (link below in the rules), I’m giving this a go. Now I could have passed on the tag except that I do love a challenge and as much as this one seems like an enterprise doomed to failure I refuse to turn tail and run.

Unless it ends badly in which case I will flee the country or at the very least severely edit the post.

Rules of the tag:

  1. Headline your post with “The T.A.P. Tag!” and put “tanka” as one of your tags.
  2. Make sure to link back to the original post that started the tag (this post!).
  3. Make sure to mention the person who forced introduced the tag to you! (Thanks Alex)
  4. Pick 1-3 of your favorite anime.
  5. Write your tanka about the anime you’ve chosen. It’s fine if you decide to do only one or two if the schedule is tight.
  6. Tag at least 3 or more bloggers you know, and get their creative muscles flowing (Sharing the love with Rocco B, Raistlin, and Chloe – apologies if you’ve done this one.)

Yuri on Ice – Victor’s Tears

yuri12

Words with edge like glass

Shatter heart and illusions

Begin dream anew

See truth of love and person

Bind hearts closer than before.


March Comes in Like a Lion – Rei’s Untouchable Sunshine

March35d

The sunlit goddess

Draws me like moth to candle

But I cannot touch

Distance expands between us

I raise the pedestal high.


Madoka Magica – Homura’s Selfish Wish

Madoka

This dark, crazy world

Alone I face all trials

For I chose this path

Denying other’s choices

Rejected their oblation.


And that is my somewhat feeble attempt at poetry. Hopefully you somewhat enjoyed that and I certainly enjoyed the challenge of trying to put them together. I think Victor’s turned out the best but I’d love to know what you thought of them so leave me a comment even if it is just to tell me not to count on a career as a poet.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Friday’s Feature: Let’s Try Something Different and Build A Harem

I’m going to thank Cactus Matt from Anime Q & A for throwing this tag my way. I have never even considered building a harem and so when I was nominated my brain suddenly went a little bit crazy with the possibilities. Then of course I had to think about when I could respond to the tag and ultimately I decided just to make it my feature for the week. I think this is going to be fun if only because I decided to go all out and not think for a moment about the reality of what such a gathering would be like.

buildaharem.jpg

The Idea:

You are the central protagonist of a harem anime. Pick five characters (of any gender) that fit into a different harem character type. The characters must be from existing anime (but can come from any anime). If you want the full list of original rules, click here.

My Amended Idea:

You are the central protagonist of a harem anime. Pick five characters (of any gender) that will play a particular role within the harem. The characters must be from existing anime (but can come from any anime).

The reason for the change is I don’t really use labels from the types and tropes that this list should probably include (Tsundere, etc). I actually find these labels really limiting as they only focus in on one part of a character, much like the ‘manic pixie girl’ label that gets thrown around. So while I do understand these terms, I tend to avoid using them except when I’m being really sarcastic toward something, so I decided not to use them in my harem.

My Harem

01. The Dangerously Perfect Guy

Okay, we all know this type in fiction, though fortunately few of them exist in real life. This guy can do anything. Literally anything. And he does it perfectly, flawlessly, and looks really good while doing it. Too bad he’ll chew you up and spit you out and not even look back as he moves on to the next meal. And of course, to fulfil this role in my harem I’ve enlisted the aid of one hell of a butler, Sebastian Michaelis, from Black Butler. The one advantage of this, is by default I get Ciel Phantomhive to be part of the harem without using one of my five because Sebastian isn’t going to just join someone else’s harem. So realistically, I’ve somehow connect Ciel into it and Sebastian came along for the ride.

Ciel and Sebastian.jpg

02. The Smart and Sexy Guy

He doesn’t necessarily have to wear glasses, but why would you turn down a gorgeous looking guy with glasses who also has a brain to back up the look. He’s probably a little bit sharp tongued and he’s probably talked down to you on more occasions than you can count, but he genuinely smiles when you argue back and win a point or two in the verbal sparring match. This guy has a plan at all times, doesn’t respond well to sudden shocks, and isn’t great at expressing emotions, but he’s just too cute because of his awkwardness. So yes, I’ve selected Uryu Ishida from Bleach. He’s smart, deadly with a bow and arrow, he sews, and the guy is seriously stubborn. Plus, he really does rock those glasses.

Uryu Ishida

03. The Guy You Just Want To Hug

He’s like your little brother, only fortunately not. His smile is infectious, his tears make you melt, and all and all, this is the guy you want to hang around and spend time with. He tries hard at everything, he’s always looking out for you, and when he falls down he pulls himself back up but you just know one day he’ll need you. Yep, I had to throw Katsuki Yuri, from Yuri on Ice, on this list. Partly because I actually needed someone nice in my harem, and partly because I really would like to give Yuri a hug. It probably doesn’t hurt that if Yuri is around there’s a good chance Victor might show up.

Yuri.jpg

04. He’s In His Own World, But One Day He’ll Need You

It’s amazing how many girls in anime fall for the guy who barely know they exist and yet insist on just waiting patiently. And yet, there was one guy I thought of who might just be worth waiting for. Natsume Takashi from Natsume Yuujinchou. The guy literally lives in his own world and at times his human friends get quite forcibly pushed aside, and yet, for someone like that, I could definitely see them being worth the wait. As he slowly opens up to people, there’s such a kind and gentle soul there. Much like with Yuri Katsuki, I’d just like to give Natsume a hug.

Natsume.jpg

05. Finally, The Bad Boy, Because Every Harem Needs One

I’m going to be honest and point out that I’m not a big fan of bad boys in real life, but in stories they work beautifully. The joy of watching a rebel or rule breaker in a narrative is fun and safe, in real life they are a destabilising factor that is best avoided. But for my fictional harem, I’m throwing one in because that allows me to toss this truly gorgeous guy in, and I’m pretty sure most of you will agree he belongs in the list: Shinya Kougami from Psycho Pass. He’s fighting for his sense of justice, or revenge, and he doesn’t worry about whether or not he has to break the rules to do it. His single-minded focus is attractive as hell, but also dangerous as it is likely to burn those who come too close.

Kougami

Your Thoughts:

Given I’d never put together a harem before, or even considered it, this ended up being a lot of fun. Of course, I then visualised these five guys (six if you count Ciel) in a room together and realised there is no way I’m stepping foot into that room. And with the exception of Natsume, am I noticing a trend in my type of anime guy? Definitely. Now the question would be, if this was a real harem, who would be the OTP? Karandi and…

Nope. Can’t see it. Not with any of them.

I tag (no obligation):


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Let’s All Write A Book – Chapter 2 – Part 8

I’d like to thank Scott  for tagging me, though I’m going to point out the thought of trying to write part of a story I don’t know the end of is kind of terrifying as I don’t have a clue if what I’m adding is actually helping the plot along. Still, this has been a fun project to watch develop and I had quite a bit of fun trying to figure out what should happen.


THE RULES FOR THIS STORY TAG:

  1. Copy the post you’ve been tagged from the rules down (with the links)
  2. Go here and read the rules
  3. Write your name and link it to one of your posts (The main character is called NoGender, and as the name indicates, does not have a gender, so if you want to speak in the third person use the word “it”)
  4. Write your paragraph (max 300 words with 100 words margin, so basically you can go further until 400)
  5. Tag someone’s post who wasn’t tagged before and say the following rule in the same phrase “You have 3 days to accept this tag”
  6. If the person you tagged doesn’t answer or doesn’t want to participate tag other person (again, tag a post and not a page)
  7. Write the Title “Let’s All Write a Book | Chapter 2 | Part X”,  being X your paragraph
  8. If you are writing Part 10 link it to Arthifis again
  9. Copy and paste at the end of your post all the people who have already been tagged in chapter 1, unless it says the contrary you can’t tag them again;
  10. People who said they want to be tagged again, if you do get tagged and write a part for this chapter delete the part where it says that you want to be tagged again in the list, the idea is to have only one tag for each chapter.
  11. To read Chapter 1 go here

CHAPTER 2

ARTHIFIS – CHAPTER 2.1

The seven maisters had created a circle with NoGender and Ligeia in the center. They also had diminished the light of the room and now the only light present was coming from the 7 candles positioned at the front of each maister making scary shadows in their faces.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 9.25.26 pm.png

Below of NoGender and Ligeia was a complex diagram written in blood, its center starting where their bodies finished. NoGender was scared, he didn’t know what was happening and it had received zero explanations. Ligeia had used all the time for explanations arguing and saying she didn’t want to do this, that she didn’t know NoGender and they were asking too much of her. However, after a while she understood this was an argument she wouldn’t win, she accepted defeat and decided to go along.
– Very well! – One of the maisters said, NoGender could not pinpoint which one – The time is near, you need to strength your bond before the time runs out. What you did in that library is just too rare and in the timing that happened… We can’t just say this is a coincidence. I’m not one to believe in destiny, but maybe you will prove me wrong. In conclusion, we can’t let this opportunity pass by, you need to become one before the time runs out and your wavelengths stop being in accordance.
– You will do the test of the tests. However, I’m afraid to say that it will only become harder from here. We will transport your souls to the spirit World. There you will need to find your way, work together and be able to come back. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s imperial for you to reach plenitude and reach your full potential. Water and Soul need to become one.
After this being said, everyone went silent and, without warning, all seven maisters started mumbling in unison some kind of spell in a language which NoGender did not recognize.
Wind, water, fire and earth, the four elements appeared and started circulating NoGender and Ligeia. It started to get more condensed and closer to them until the moment where anyone from outside would only see a multi coloured ball in the center of the diagram.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 9.26.01 pm.png

NoGender didn’t know what he was feeling, he just knew that it was not good! When he though he would not be able to take it anymore and just throw up, everything went black.


SHADDOWCAT99 – CHAPTER 2.2

The shroud of black that enfolded NoGender and Ligeia D. Mortem slowly began to disperse, revealing to NoGender that they were both still standing in the circle. It looked around confused, it seemed as though nothing had happened, until looking down it could see both of their unconscious bodies laid at their feet. Feet that were no longer quite touching the ground.
A hazy mist had separated the two of them from the maisters and NoGender couldn’t hear anything they said, even though it was pretty sure they were still speaking or chanting. Where are we? NoGender tried to ask the Necromancer, but rather then actually speaking it felt like its words were snatched away from its mind and blown away in a fierce wind.
Her head snapped around sharply and she glared at NoGender with her sharp green eyes. Her words too, came from somewhere other, Did you not pay attention in the one class that I teach! We are in the spirit world!
She pointed upward towards the ceiling, but as NoGender looked up he saw that the ceiling was no longer there and that instead it was replaced by a seemingly infinite expanse of great lights. They were not stars, they were too large, or perhaps to small for that.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 9.26.34 pm.png

Ligeia reached over and grabbed NoGender by the arm, which now appeared to be attached to a shoulder that was whole again, and began to pull on it as she moved upwards towards the lights. When they began to move, any sensation of being solid left NoGender and if it had still had a working stomach, any leftover breakfast would have left it.
Where are we going? What’s Happening? It asked.
Without stopping for an instant, Ligeia’s soundless answer traveled back to NoGender, to see what we must do to begin the trials. I would like to get home as soon as possible and I ask you to do your best to not get killed.


THE SPOOKY RED HEAD – CHAPTER 2.3

Ligeia heads towards the room’s exit, leaving NoGender behind to catch up. Once at the door, NoGender reaches out to grab the handle. A silent gasp escapes NoGender’s lips as its hand goes straight through the solid object.
NoGender hears a scoff coming from somewhere. It glances up to see a head shaking with disapproval, sticking out through the middle of the door. “Where’s rest of your body?” NoGender mumbles, voice echoing around the room and averting its gaze from Ligeia’s floating head.
Ligeia’s head just snickers, “You’re sure taking your sweet time. Keep this up and you’ll be dead within the hour.”
NoGender freezes at the mention of death, again. It shifts awkwardly from side to side as it tries to purge its mind of dark thoughts about its corpse being mangled, tangled, or anything else.
“You coming or not?” Ligeia prompts, gesturing with a swish of her head for NoGender to follow.
So, ignoring the strange tingling sensation now in its hand, NoGender pushes its entire body through the door.
“We have to go into the forest first,” Ligeia informs NoGender once NoGender’s through the door. “That’s where the first trial will be.”
“But I’m a water-bender!” NoGender interjects, its voice now resonating more in the open hallway.
Ligeia snorts, “Any idiot can bend when they’re surrounded by their own element. It takes actual talent for someone to complete their trials in different elemental places though.”
But before NoGender can argue the point further, Ligeia ushers NoGender towards an open window at the end of the hall. NoGender peers out over the sill and sees the forest that surrounds the west wing of the school, stretching out for miles.
“Here we go!” Ligeia calls, and dives out of the window.
“Wait!” NoGender cries. NoGender leans out over the sill, feeling its eyes widen and its forehead crease together with worry. NoGender searches for any signs of Ligeia.

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 9.08.43 pm

“You’re not in your physical body right now!” Ligeia calls up at NoGender from the ground, seemingly unharmed. “So nothing from the physical world can hurt you here! I mean, of course your physical body can still be damaged… But don’t worry! The maisters will look after them for us!”
“That’s reassuring,” NoGender mutters darkly under its breath, before jumping off of the sill.


AURI CHAPTER-2.4

NoGender landed with a jarring impact. It cursed under it’s breath, “I thought you said nothing can hurt me Ligeia!”
Ligeia’s head smirked at it from above, “Well, what’s the point of a trial if you can’t feel the pain of your mistakes huh NoGender? Don’t worry, the injury won’t be there, you’ll only feel the pain. Now, stop dilly dallying and start walking already.”

‘Dilly-dallying?’, NoGender frowned and followed Ligeia’s bobbing head. ‘She’s enjoying this a little too much….’

After walking for what seemed like an hour, NoGender finally lost it’s patience, “Ligeia is this trial a test of patience or wha-”

It was interrupted by a shrill scream. “DEMON! GO AWAY!”

When NoGender looked around to see who it was, it came face to face with a pretty young girl on her knees, trembling with fear and trying to push away Ligeia’s floating head.

“H-Hey Ligeia! Get away from her!” NoGender pushed Ligeia’s head away and offered it’s hand to the young girl, “Don’t be scared, she’s not a demon.”

The girl, her eyes wide stared at it’s hand before grasping on tightly. A little too tightly.

“Y-You! You’re a water bender right? P-Please. Give me some water. I beg you! I’m going to die! Please!”, she began to sob and beg NoGender.
Surprised, it turned to look at Ligeia for some help.

“If she’s here, it’s for a reason NoGender. You should leave her.” Ligeia’s face was grim.

“NO! PLEASE! I’M SO THIRSTY!” The girl began to scream and fell to NoGender’s feet, “Please! I’m begging you! Water! Water. Please.”

NoGender noticed her hoarse throat and her slightly shriveled skin. It looked to Ligeia again. She shook her head (Or rather herself), “You shouldn’t. Leave her and come.”

The girl sobs grew more desperate and NoGender shuddered, “I- I have to. It would be unfair not to….”
Against Ligeia’s warnings NoGender concentrated on the ground beneath it’s feet. It took every bit of it’s effort and concentration but a rivulet of water broke the ground.
The girl gasped in joy and jumped towards it, gulping and drinking with deranged intensity.

Ligeia tsked, “Idiot.”

“Huh?”

A sharp pain came from NoGender’s side. It yelped and looked only to find the young girl gnawing at it’s skin. It’s blood ran down her chin and her eyes were bright with lust.
“More. More. MORE!”

“There’s a reason some people shouldn’t be helped. Take this as your first lesson.”


KEIKO – CHAPTER 2.5

No Gender looked on in utter shock as the girl began to lick the blood as if this was her last life line. When something is taken away from someone for so long and then they are given but a brief taste of it, their response is always the same; they desire more. What No Gender was seeing wasn’t just lust or desperation. This was something more akin to a forced fed addict whose supply had been cut off only to be given the briefest taste of heaven.

No Gender forced the girl off of it and took a couple of steps back as horror masked its face. The girl was on all fours now, hair covering her face as she began crawling towards him, still chanting her mantra of “More, more, more”.

The horror of what it witnessed only stayed a while as No Gender began to understand what it had done as the words from earlier echoed in its head. It had been told countless times that the water created by a water bender is different to natural water that is part of the earth. As a water bender, No Gender had the ability to control all aspects of water in all its states but there was more to it than just that. The element created by any bender is infused with their personalities, making each water bender’s water different. In colour and in taste. No Gender knew this. It also knew that because of this, drinking water created by a bender, though not forbidden, was inadvisable. After all, the taste of the water can be anything. It can be sweet like honey, intoxicating like alcohol, or even lethal like poison.

That was not all. How did this girl, someone it had no recollections of ever meeting or seeing, know that it was a water bender? It hadn’t mentioned it and neither had Ligeia but somehow this child, this girl, knew. And yet, she displayed a thirst, an addiction, to a water she had only ever tasted once.

This was a girl it should never have helped.


SHOUJO — CHAPTER 2.6

NoGender stared, eyes wide and quivering, as this demonic creature—for could it truly be called human?—suddenly stopped and rolled upward like a corpse reanimated. The disturbing fluidity with which it reared called to mind something from a long forgotten nightmare. NoGender swallowed once, and the creature pinned an eye—once blue, now a hollow, iris-less black—on them from behind its tangled mass of auburn hair. It howled in unholy anguish, clawing at its own neck with nails suddenly grown so very long, and through the cacophonous sound still echoed remnants of a single discernible word: more, more more.

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How could they have made this costly mistake after being warned so many times to stay away from reliance on their power to meet another’s mortal needs? How quickly had NoGender forgotten this most important of lessons in light of a sweet, young face in agony?

The creature’s claws drew blood as they dug deeper into its throat when, without warning, it launched itself at NoGender, flying forward with force enough to move the ground beneath it. It slammed into NoGender at breakneck pace, and the two went tumbling to the solid earth below. There was no time for acclamation as the creature bit deeply into NoGender’s neck and began to suckle greedily on their life’s blood. NoGender screamed, a long and painful echo through the twilight-dusted trees.

Through the haze of pain and their own howls of anguish—distinguishable from the burning of the creature’s now protruding teeth buried deeply into NoGender’s flesh—they could feel on their face an altogether different sensation.

Their burning cheek was wet.

This creature—the inhuman thing feasting obscenely on their blood—was crying.

And in their mind, NoGender heard an echo.

“Kill me. Kill me. Please.”


SCOTT – CHAPTER 2.7

With the creature sucking, it didn’t see a way out of this.  NoGender’s strength was slowly leaving it as the creature was slowly digging further and further into it’s inner body mass. There seemed to be no way out of this for NoGender. It was still young and there were so many things NoGender wanted to achieve still. Death from a creature that was seeking its own death seemed ironic and inevitable at this point. It prepared a final prayer for itself in it’s seemingly final moments.

That was until NoGender felt heat out of nowhere. NoGender’s face was on the ground, so it had no way of knowing where it came from. Things got better, because the creature on NoGender’s back started shrieking in pain and then the creature’s weight was gone. There was nothing else consuming its flesh anymore. Maybe it will live after all.

With the removal of the weight from his back removed, there was a soft but firm grip that helped NoGender to it’s feet. Having expected its savior to be Liegia, because that’s the only person NoGender knew was in the spirit realm, it was surprised to see their speckled classmate Fernelle.

“Fernelle, what? How did you get here?”

“Well, um, that’s ah um, a complicated story. Something about me dying and slowly returning to the normal realm.” Fernelle shyly adjusted her glasses.

“Whatever the reason is, thank you. Thank you so much.” NoGender started crying.

Fernelle looked around not knowing what to do for a few seconds, but she decided that the best thing she could do was just put an arm around it and provide comfort. They both turned to the dying creature burning up on the ground. There was an odd beauty about the thing having a smile on its face while burning into ash. NoGender nodded knowing that this is what the creature wanted.

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“Let’s get you back home.” Fernelle motioned toward a vague direction to their left. She felt something calling her back to the mortal realm in that direction.

“No yet.” NoGender had a determined face under it’s tears. “I still have to pass my trial.”

“You can’t handle this on your own. At least let me helped you.” Fernelle urged.

Unsure where to go, NoGender and Fernelle slowly walked to where it first met the creature. A few minutes later, Liegia ran up to them completely out of breath.

She looked at Fernelle with a confused look.


Karandi – Chapter 2.8

“Unexpected,” Liegia murmured more to herself than to NoGender, but it seemed as though she’d made a decision as she’d uttered the word. “Up ahead, take the path to the right,” she instructed and then promptly disappeared.

Looking around, Fernelle’s eye’s widened. “Could she always do that?”

“No idea.” NoGender peered at the trees ahead of them and wondered whether it would be wise to follow Liegia’s counsel this time given the disaster last time NoGender had ignored her advice. Still, there was something about her tone that had NoGender concerned. “Are you coming?”

Fernelle nodded and the two of them pressed forward. They soon found where the path split, with the left side winding into the trees and disappearing from sigh and the right side angling down and seemingly disappearing into a cavern.

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“Would it be too much to ask that common-sense prevail and we don’t go traipsing about a cavern in the dark?” NoGender demanded of the sky. Naturally it didn’t respond and NoGender was almost disappointed by that.

“Come on,” Fernelle whispered but grabbed NoGender’s arm as she started moving forward.

“I don’t suppose you could give us a light down there?” NoGender asked.

“Sure. I certainly could do that. But, you know, things that live in caves tend to not really like it when you start illuminating their home.”

“Wouldn’t that only be true if this were in the physical world? I  mean, I’m not exactly worried about running into a bear in there.”

Fernelle giggled. “Bear in there.”

The path was slippery so they didn’t talk again as they concentrated on reaching the cavern entrance without slipping and then they simply stopped and stared. The cavern mouth stretched open wide and was lined with vines that draped part way down. There was the sound of water trickling within and that was the first time NoGender felt even a little optimistic about entering the cavern. Inside there was water. And from the smell, probably a lot of it.

NoGender was about to suggest they enter when a sound rumbled from within the cavern and enveloped them. It shook NoGender to the core and NoGender felt its limbs turn to jelly. Then the sound came again and NoGender collapsed onto its knees.


I’m going to throw this over to Lita Kino(you have three days to accept this tag – let me know if you pass). Hopefully you can have some fun with it. Or at least figure out where it is supposed to be going, which is something I think I still failed to do.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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The One Liner Challenge

Thanks GeekOut South West for the nomination. I’m terrible at getting around to these tags and have a few others that I still haven’t responded to, but with Full Metal Panic not airing an actual episode this week I had an empty slot in my schedule and this looked like it would be a lot of fun.

  • Accept and thank your challenger(s) by linking back to their post.
  • Make a post of one-sentence summaries/roasts of at least five books/manga/anime/games.
  • No spoilers!
  • Link back to The Awkward Book Blogger so she can see your post.
  • Challenge as many or as few people as you want!

Okay, let’s take on this challenge. I’m going to take on anime, though part of me is tempted to do this challenge again for books or games at some point. I don’t think I’ve read enough manga yet to do the challenge with that, unless BL counts in which case the one sentence summaries will all end up more or less the same.

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Tortured teen love triangle occasionally interrupted by vampire/hunter politics.
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Feisty teen book worm kicks butt with transforming human weapon – and has daddy issues.
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For the price of a soul get one pretty boy butler who can do literally everything perfectly.
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Down on her luck Nanami goes from being homeless to being a god in one day with added perk of pretty fox boy servant.
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Why wouldn’t you call on a clumsy, ditsy, crybaby and a group of middle-school girls to save the world from the forces of darkness?

I’m not actually going to nominate anyone specifically given my terrible track record of getting around to answering nominations, but I would throw the challenge out there to anyone who is interested in this. It was actually quite a bit of fun.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Patreon2           Thoughts on Anime           74iz

Gangsta Series Review

Overview:

Much like the title suggests, Gangsta deals with the events of a mafia run city called Ergastulum. Mostly we follow Worick and Nicholas, two ‘handymen’ as they take on pretty much any job for a price.

Review:

It would be easy to make the case that Gangsta goes for style over substance and without any kind of conclusion to the anime (and pretty much no chance ever of a conclusion) that this is a title to put in the watch if you’re bored list or just move on. Despite one of my pet hates about anime being lack of resolution to so many series, I still found Gangsta a blast to watch and even knowing it doesn’t end it has become one of my go-to rewatch titles when I’m feeling a little bit down.

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That doesn’t mean this series is in anyway uplifting. In point of fact, it’s more the kind of thing you watch to remind yourself that maybe you don’t have it that bad. Then again, the series isn’t depressing either because while horrible things happen to the characters at times, none of them seem to really take it too much to heart. And that’s where the argument of style over substance comes in.

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There’s a lot of really good ideas in Gangsta and some really interesting characters. The Tags/Twilights/whatever you want to call them are a great concept and as we get to know some of them and see their way of dealing with the cards life dealt them you really get drawn into the struggle that probably would have become a central theme if the show had continued. Gangsta touches on so many ideas and gets into some really serious issues but none of these have the chance to really be developed. It’s almost as though you are standing on clear ice and you can below that there is depth and something really compelling in the lake below but you can’t touch it.

So really, your enjoyment of Gangsta will come entirely from whether you are happy to simply consider the ideas as they are presented and then contemplate them further on your own.

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Worick and Nicholas are really entertaining as our main characters. It is nice that we meet these two from an outsiders perspective though (Alex, the prostitute they rescue early on) because their relationship is so established before the time period we’re viewing and without that perspective even the audience would be quite locked out of the nuances that govern their ‘friendship’. It’s difficult to actual say if these two are friends or not given their history and positions. At times it feels like a genuine friendship, at others a partnership of convenience, and others still you feel that there is a massive power imbalance. It’s the back and forth between these states that keeps you watching and wanting to know whether or not they really have found a way beyond the discrimination so inherent in the world they live in. It helps too that both characters are deeply flawed in their own ways and yet equally talented in others. They both bring baggage to the table but they also bring strengths that are necessary for the other to survive. I also like that they don’t try to make these two out to be the knights in shining armour. Sure, comparatively to other characters these two aren’t scum but they certainly don’t mind getting their hands dirty.

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Alex is a necessary plot device in the story but as a character she is probably the weakest element in the Gangsta universe. They make some attempts at fleshing her out beyond damsel in distress, hard done by girl who got rolled by the big-bad world, etc. These attempts are okay but mostly she is still just a vehicle for the audience to enter a fairly closed world. Alex wasn’t born in the city and hasn’t been there long so she asks the questions the audience needs answered and gives the other characters a reason to launch into an info-dump. It’s not the most sophisticated way to world build but with limited run-time and a fairly full agenda with the plot it was probably the quickest and least intrusive way to go about it.

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Beyond the characters we have the story itself which looks very much at the power balances within the city and plays old mafia families off against new comers, mercenary units against whoever they choose, the police trying to keep up appearances of order, and independents such as the handymen moving through the whole lot and stirring the pot as they pass. While there isn’t a singe, central issue being dealt with in this series and there is no closure, I never really had a problem with that while watching. There was always something happening, some job the characters were dealing with, or some threat that they were gathering information on.

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Then we have the action sequences. The fights in this are amazing. The tags being significantly stronger than normal humans (and yet not being supernaturally overpowered) gave us some fantastic clashes. Their individual quirks and disabilities add a unique feel to these fights and the speed and power they bring to bear (not to mention some of the weapons) are just entertaining.

Equally entertaining is the opening theme. It energizes you for each episode and really sets the tone of the world we’re entering. All and all, it is an opening I rarely skip when rewatching the show.

Also, the English dub is really good. I don’t say that very often as normally I either haven’t watched the English dub or I preferred the Japanese, but in this case I’ve watched both and I’d happily watch either one.

Final view: I really enjoy Gangsta but wish it could have been more. If they’d finished the story, explored some of the issues they raised, maybe introduced a few more female characters that didn’t feel like they were tokenistic… But that isn’t what the show is. It’s a great ride for what they give you and a lot of fun while skating across the surface of a lot of the darker sides of human nature. I’d love to know your opinion if you’ve watched Gangsta.