To Be Continued…?

Hey all~

It’s been so many months since I posted last. I’m sure promises were made to post more or be more timely: but here is the skinny

I do love this blog, it got me through some roughh times and I discovered new things to enjoy. However, I’ve been struggling pretty badly with depression and anxiety. I don’t think I mentioned it in previous posts, but my older brother was murdered in the early months of 2016. I’ve been dealing with the emotion roller coaster of this aftermath. Paired with some financial struggles, my heart hasn’t been into putting the effort into reviews. I’ve hardly even kept my Twitter alive. I’ve been too stressed and depressed, probably insecure too, with my writing to properly post anything. As for going on YouTube, even when I finally do get a computer, I may delete the account all together. I’m just not sure if my heart is there to be creative anymore. 
So this is the deal. I’m not sure if I will be posting anymore on here. If I’ll keep reviewing my hobbies (honestly I haven’t read a book in months), and try to express my creative side. For now I’ll keep the blog up reply to comments and questions. Whether it stays up or not is unsure: I may take it down due to my failings to keep it going. 

Anyways, a bit rambly, but I wanted to be open with my few readers and more honest with myself. Thank you for sticking with me and allowing me to share my thoughts

~Jabberwocky Warrior.

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Rosemary & Thyme (BBC Tv Series)

[credit: amazon.com]

[credit: amazon.com]

Quick Summary: Rosemary Boxer is a plant pathologist for a University who also has a passion for gardening. Laura Thyme is an ex constable who retired and enjoys gardening at home which she got from her farming childhood. Meeting by chance to due the sudden death of Laura’s friend while Rosemary is working on the property, the two come together to solve the shady results of the mans passing. Becoming quick friends through the shared love of gardening (as well as Laura’s divorce and Rosemary’s sacking from the University) the two women start their own horticultural business. They tend to the gardens of many, as well as solving murders along the way.

So the summary isn’t all the best I know but it is a bit difficult to describe the show without giving away details of episodes! I happened across this by change while browsing Netflix for something new and different. I often forget how much I love British television, and this only shows that truth.

Both women have wonderful and diverse personalities, and I love the fact that they’re older independent women as well. They actually look and act like real people instead of too beautiful and too dramatic. Rosemary is the more fiery of the two women. Never married or had children, her life has been about her work with some relationships on the side, and she has no problem stating this. For her marriage and children are for some but not all, and she has no regrets about her choice in the matter while still leaving a possibility open for love still. This helped her get her Doctorate in college with a vast amount of knowledge of all types of plants, soils, and arbors. Often she mentions the Latin name with other side facts like medicinal purposes or how it’s edible only in certain safe ways. I would have to say she is a bit more hot headed of the two and is more likely to barge in and ask direct questions. Laura was married, now divorced, with two grown children. Often she pulls on knowledge and skills from her days in the Constable like memorizing license plates easily or how to work with detectives on cases without rising suspicion. Her farming childhood also has helped with such things as tools or gardening tricks that schooled Rosemary hadn’t ever come across. Laura is a bit more on the planning and cautious side, perhaps due to her former job and raising kids. I only mentioned children and family for both women, not because they’re super focused on it or important, but they come into play off and on with each side like Laura’s son who is in the Force.

Both women have quick wits, wonderful senses of humor, and the wisdom and appreciation for things that can only come with age. They don’t go out of their way to find murders and incidents, they just have the poor luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When it does come up they can’t let it go, through morals of wanting to find the bad person, curiosity as to what and why, and in certain occasions because they can’t finish their landscaping till it’s solved which means no pay!

Even though you know something is going to pop up with each episode, it doesn’t feel boring or cut and paste. They often travel all over England and sometimes to other countries, dealing with various types of people from a boarding school to a historical agricultural sight. You meet former friends and colleagues who help them along the way, a bit of romance here and there, as well as each of the women growing and dealing with what life has thrown at them.

I once heard it referenced as “Murder She Wrote with Gardening and British Accents”. I never really watched MSW, but I know enough to see why they’d make the comparison. Like mysteries? Quirky humor? Gardening? BBC? Then I’d give this a shot. Sadly it only has 3 seasons and looks as if it may have had more planned but fell through. I was able to watch it in full on Netflix, but unsure of how long it will be on there.

rating: 9/10

Karneval (An Anime & Manga Review)

[credit: Crunchyroll.com]

[credit: Crunchyroll.com]

I adore, love, squee about this anime and manga. I first discovered is as a manga and was pretty caught up with the series as of five months ago. Then I discovered that they had turned it into an anime. Of course, it is slightly different then the manga just like any book to film adaptation, but I feel they still keep the mood and the important parts of it. So, onto a summary and then my adoration of it all.

Quick Summary: Nai is a sensitive young boy who is looking for the owner of the special bracelet, it belongs to someone very important to him. During his search he is kidnapped and almost killed when suddenly saved by Gareki-a teenager with a knack for explosives. There for unrelated reasons he ends up saving Nai and getting caught up into something much bigger then himself-Circus. Who just happen to be the most powerful government organization in the world.  Now the pair become twisted up in a search for strange altered humans, the owner of Nai’s bracelet, and the secrets Nai holds himself-though he is unaware at just how special he is.

I love Karneval for many reasons. Each character has a unique and fully developed personality. Nai is horribly naive and trusting, his attachment to Gareki like he is an older brother is just so heart warming. Yogi is by far my favorite character. *minor spoiler alert* When you join Circus you generally do so at a young age, where you pretty much never get to see your family again. You belong to Circus and they become your new family. Yogi has obvious separation issues from his family so tries to act like the big brother to everyone on his crew. He is overly protective of everyone, tries to make everybody happy, and always has a smile on his face. I feel a lot of sympathy for him. *End minor spoiler* 

The mysteries of Nai, Circus, and his important person are revealed slowly and just when you think you have it something changes the game. The characters change over time as well, which makes for a good series. When characters develop and change because of events, it makes them more interesting and more able to relate to. Even some of the bad guys you feel a little bit of sympathy or just anger because they’re such jerks, haha! Also, one reason that Circus-the super villain catching government group, has their name is because after they catch and often cause a ruckus in a town they apologize-by throwing a huge circus. The crew performs in various ways and it makes the populace happy and more at ease with what Circus does.

Now admittedly there are a few scenes that are probably done as a bit of female fan service, but I don’t think it is too overplayed (at least not in the sense of pantie-shot fan service). There is a lot of slash out there between some of the characters, but in the show there is actually very little romance. Some of the romance is between one female protagonist and her mentor, you can easily see she has some feelings for him but you can’t quite tell if it is requited or not. I appreciate this, that romance is a part of the show and not the whole show.

Overall the manga is better then the anime, for the reason that there are so many more subplots that are played out and information is delivered either earlier or at a better time. Now when reading/watching Karneval it can be a bit disjointed or confusing because a lot is happening at once or sometimes they are trying to be too elusive. Yet this doesn’t detract from it too much (or maybe I’m just biased because I’m in love with it.) If I had to choose, read the manga first then watch the show. Sadly I haven’t hear anything about a second season yet of Karneval, but no worries, the manga goes way beyond the first season. It’s colorful, good music, and adorable chibis at times.

5/5 for me!

The Village vs Running Out of Time (A comparison rant)

I know this is something that has mentioned before, but that’s not going to stop me from doing my own. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

When I went to the theaters to watch The Village I was excited for what I thought was going to be a mysterious horror film. About twenty minutes or so I had the shocking realization that I have seen this before, in literature form. After this realization I had a bit of a sour taste in my mouth as the movie lost its possible luster and interest. Oh M Night, I tried so hard to like your movies, but they just kept being filled with disappointment.

First, a Quick Summary  of The Village: [came out 2004] An isolated village in the late 1890’s is surrounded by thick forest. Within the woods lies creatures whose names are not spoken. There are watchtowers to keep an eye on the woods and rules to keep the people safe. Upon the death of a young boy, one of the young men of the village asks to go in to a neighboring town for medicine. He is denied by the elders, the other towns are deemed places of wickedness. There are secrets in the village that only the Elders seem to know. The color red is “the bad color” and if anyone enters the woods, the creatures will bring harm to the villagers. After a villager is wounded the a blind young woman begs to be allowed to go into another town for medical supplies. The Elders relent, sending her off into the dreaded woods.

The towns people are just regular people who decided that society is filled with wicked things and they wish for a simpler time. Thus they move themselves and their small children in the middle of a national wildlife reserve. The children are brought up with stories of creatures, thinking it’s the late 1890’s. The only reason the blind girl can go is because she will never discover the secret of the village. After she climbs a fence and meets a ranger on the other side who gives her a first aid kit, and she slips back into the woods thinking the same stories.

Onto the Quick Summary of Running Out of Time: (Published 1996) A young girl lives with her family in 1840 on the Indiana frontier. Life on the frontier is dangerous since families traveled long and hard to their destination. The children are forbidden to go too far from the community, including the forest where children challenge each other to reach the Forbidden Stone. When a disease begins to fall ill and die, the girls mother sends her on a dangerous mission to get medicine for the town.

So her mother reveals to her that it is really 1996. Going through a hidden hatch the girl realizes that her who existence is a genetic experiment that is at a tourist building for people to come and see “actors” in 1840. The girl goes through trials to get medicine for her people, eventually exposing what the tourist building is really about, and how the owners of it refused to give medicine because it wouldn’t be ‘authentic’.

So, now that we have gotten past the summaries, I’m going to get down to the rant. There were rumors that the author of R.O.o.T was going to sue M. Night, but as far as my research can say it never happened. I’ve read sources that say he was ‘inspired’ by her book to full on denying any inspiration. In either case, obvious similarities gleam throughout the movie.

  • The main protagonists are both young women who are set apart from their peers (tomboy and being blind). They are both sent out to get medicine for their town, which is a historical preserve.
  • The towns began because the adults wanted a simpler safer life for themselves and children. One was in a national animal sanctuary bought with the founders money, while the other was parents who agreed to an idea for a tourist building. They teach their children to fear the outside of the town due to dangers (‘monsters’ vs. frontier wilderness) and the adults take measures to put fear in their kids so they follow the rules. Neither town has adequate medicine when they need it, thus sending out the protagonist.
  • The adults who started the historical life have keepsakes of their past lives, young people get hurt and die due to the ‘realistic’ settings these people are living.

I know this doesn’t seem like a whole lot of comparison to call “sounds like a ripoff” but if you have read the book and watched the movie you can’t help but feel there are too many similarities. Yes the R.O.o.T book the girl found near the beginning that it wasn’t the time she thought, while the other is left to be fooled with the rest of the village. Maybe it’s just me, but it just irks me that this movie was so popular when it seems so based off something I enjoyed reading as a teenager.

End rant.

Where is Wonder Woman? (Movie Rant)

I love my superhero/villain movies. I grew up reading my father’s X-Men comics and watching the old Batman cartoons. There are some series/universes I love more then other. Also some characters I love more and others who could fall to the wayside and I would feel okay about that.

In recent times we have had movies about:

  • The X-men
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Iron Man
  • Fantastic Four
  • Green Lantern
  • Captain America
  • The Hulk
  • Thor/Loki

Just to name a few, most of which I have enjoyed and would see again. Now I understand that there are not that many interesting/strong female lead  protagonists in the comic universes. Most of whom we have seen are villains and that is great when they hold a huge amount of spotlight (cat woman is a popular one). However, there are a few who I wouldn’t mind seeing the whole movie based on or more focused on. Black Widow would be great, and if needed (it would be fitting) Hawkeye could be the second protagonist (or antagonist depending on their history).

Here is where my issue comes in though. In the Justice League group/universe there are some that are there pretty much full time while some are there when they can be. Batman, superman, flash, these are of the few well known people. So when wanting to make a new superhero movie about someone who hasn’t been featured yet, who comes to mind?

Did you think Ant Man? Well I sure did not. Not to rant on the guy too much, but his powers are…alright. In the comics, depending which verse/series you are looking at, Ant Man is kind of an (explicit here). Yes he has an interesting power that in the Justice Universe is somewhat unique. I can see trying to bring out a character not many are familiar with may drive up sales because he is a bit of an unknown. But really, really movie makers–Ant Man?

This is where the title of this rant comes in– where is Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman has been one of the most iconic superhero females since, well ever. She is a feminist, she is intelligent, she can hold her own in a fight, and she has no problem killing an enemy if it is needed. (Looking at you Batman/Superman). Wonder Woman, depending on her comic history, is somewhere between an Amazonian and Demi-God. She is a princess who cares for her people and the humans they live away from. All in all, W.W. kicks ass and looks sexy while doing it. Plus she can hold her own against Batman and Superman, which is entertaining. Too many times it has been said there “isn’t a market” for W.W. or that because of her iconic image and the popular TV show back in the day it’s “too hard to find the right actress”. Bull-poppy. There are fan made movie trailers for W.W. that makes me forlorn that Hollywood won’t pick up on it. (Youtube has plenty of good stuff).

So please, please Big Movie Makers. Don’t try to please me by throwing W.W. as a background character in a Superman movie. The lady deserves her own film, she fights Titan like monsters for heavens sake for breakfast before hitting the humans of evilness. Let us make some magic happen.

[END RANT]

Gurren Lagenn (Anime Series)

[credit: Crunchyroll.com]

[credit: Crunchyroll.com]

This is one of my boyfriend’s favorite anime series, and one that I have heard of for a while but never got around to watching. Well finally he made me sit down and do so, to which now I cannot stop watching the series.

Quick Summary: Simon (a quiet shy young man whose only skill seems to be digging) and Kamina (a loud mouthed ‘gang’ leader who looks after Simon like kin) both live underground. They have their entire lives, such is the way of life for humans. They have all gone underground for the land above is scarred and dead-to go above would be the end of life as you know it. So they dig to expand their ‘city’, working for food and shelter, in constant fear of quakes and cave ins. However, one day their world is shattered by the appearance of a giant Mecha and a bodacious gun totting woman. Opening up a whole new discovery of the world above that really does exist, the pair leave their life below in search of the truth and what lies beyond. Also to fight with giant Mechs and take on those who would rather the humans stay underground and die. 

Within the first few episodes I was hooked on its balance of humor and drama. Kamina is impossible, impossible I say to not like from the start. I did let out a small sigh of “this again?” when the lead female protagonist had pretty much only a few parts of her flesh covered, but luckily she was a complex enough character for me to get around this quickly.

You quickly learn of the main protagonists backgrounds within the first few episodes. There is a sweet brotherly bond between Kamina and Simon, you feel sympathetic for many of the underground colonies, and there is more to the enemy then what first meets the eye.

There are more then a few good elements working for this anime. I already mentioned how the characters have a rich background and are rounded. There is also some good humor thrown in some innuendo but many of it not. The romance in it pushes the story forward instead of feeling like a filler. The battle scenes are not horridly drawn out and have a lot of good dialog in them.

This anime will make you curious as to what is ahead, pull at your heartstrings at the loss of the characters, and keep you interested throughout the series with a chuckle in your pocket. Very much suggested for people who enjoy action and mecha anime.

9/10 rating.

 

Mirai Nikki (aka Future Diary) anime series

[credit: myanimelist.com]

[credit: myanimelist.com]

 

Quick Summary:  Originally a manga series, this was adapted for an anime with Funimation. Here is a quick quote from theanimenewsnetwork.com

 Yukiteru Amano (Yuki) is a loner who never really interact with people and prefers writing a diary on his cell phone with his only companion being an imaginary friend named Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space. However, Yuki soon learns that Deus is not a figment of his imagination but real when Deus makes him a participant in a battle royale with eleven others. Within this “Diary Game”, the contestants are given special diaries that can predict the future with each diary having unique features that gives them both advantages and disadvantages.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=12896

The genre for this anime I would classify as: action, drama, horror, psychological, and romance. This is not an anime for people who are squeamish about blood or violence, because both are abound. This anime makes good use of modern day connections and attachment to technology, every future diary hold has a cellphone that is attached to them. Each “User” in this game has a cellphone with a different type of use. I don’t want to give anything away about the characters or plot, but to give a few examples, one phone tells the actions of a single individual that is not the User while another will show the best path to take for escape in an emergency situation.

Each “player” in this game is generally called by their number rather than name. This is because no one knows who they other users are, when all together they are seen in shadow, which makes the game that more dangerous. For the most part you stay with the main character Yuki, though you learn a lot about the other characters in the story when it diverges away from him or as we go along with him in this dangerous game. Not all the focus in on the “Users” either, little by little you learn more about Dues Ex and his minion and how they play a role in this entire thing.

With plenty of twists, surprises, and strange events this anime is one that will keep you guessing and keep you on the edge of your seat. It came out quite a while ago, so there are plenty of site that offer streaming. I believe Hulu may even have it up available for viewing (or at least did at one point I know). It is an anime where once you finish it, you’ll want to see it a second time through to see how everything connects and putting the many, many pieces of the puzzle together.

Highly recommended for those who like shows that have a lot of cliff hangers, don’t mind violence, and strange-strange characters.

10/10 rating