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K – Katanagatari (Sword Story)

  • Posted on April 13, 2017 at 5:36 pm

Katanagatari is an amazing narrative, driven by strange, otherworldly characters who all bounce off the page with beauty and poise. Did I mention this anime was originally a series of light novels? Yeah, that happens. The main character, Shichika, goes through a lot to understand what it means to be human, and to be a sword, as he accompanies his master, the strategian (her words not mine) Tougami.

Why I recommend it for writers: As the series was originally a very well-sold novel series, it has great tips for characterisation. Also, the ending. But I can’t spoil it for you.

Warnings: A lot of people die. Be prepared to cry.

For the rest of the articles in this series, please visit this page.

Have you seen this anime? What about it made you want to be a better writer? Do you intend to go shotgun this anime now that I’ve shown it to you? Comment below and tell me what you think!

My 20 Favorite Youtube Channels

  • Posted on January 19, 2017 at 10:25 am

Here’s a list of my favorite youtubers, organized by what they blog about:

 

Gaming Youtubers:

  1. Commander Holly – She does lovely let’s plays, and some of the best dating sim games played on youtube are of her and her friends. My favorite part is when she and her friends take turns voicing parts! Here are a few of my favorite let’s plays of hers:
    1. ABZU – underwater sleepy therapy time
    2. Hustle Cats – a Dating Sim where you date… CATS?!
    3. INSIDE – a surreal videogame where you play as a little boy
  2. Cryaotic –  A sonorous master, whose voice has lulled me to sleep on many a night. I adore all of his lets plays, but the horror games are the best!
    1. Rule of Rose – a horror game about an orphaned girl
    2. Bioshock Infinite – Another horror game, but one more widely known.
    3. Beyond Two Souls – A mediocre game turned amazing by Cry’s voice. About a psychic girl and the source of her powers.
  3. DanAndPhil Games – A combination of a taciturn and fun, these two have such cute lets plays I can’t help but adore them!
    1. Their Scary Games Playlist makes for a great night in!
    2. I never miss one of their Sims 4 Let’s plays. Dil Howlter is one of my favorite Sims!
  4. The Sim Supply – Does wonderful work with the Sims 4 and has a lovely voice to boot!
    1. His Rags to Riches challenges are great!!
    2. Especially anything labelled Bigwallet!
  5. JackSepticEye – An over-the-top cheerful blogger from Ireland (I’m a quarter Irish too!) who does let’s plays of the greatest stuff!
    1. His Last Guardian let’s play is so gleeful I adore it!
    2. But it was his Undertale let’s play that brought him to my attention! NYEH HEHEHE!
  6. Markiplier – His numbers speak for themselves, but beyond that he’s sweet, generous, and plays some of the best games I’ve ever seen!
    1. Among the Sleep is one of them, where you play as a frightened toddler!
    2. OctoDad is just hilarious no matter who’s playing it, but Markiplier just puts it over the top!
  7. NicoB – Generally plays JRPGs and other amazing games, so of course he’s one of my favorites!
    1. His Dangan Ronpa series is utterly amazing. He voices ALL THE CHARACTERS.
    2. He recently started a let’s play of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch!
  8. PressHeartToContinue – plays tons of different games and also has a little news show she does that is VERY informative. <3 her!
    1. Another HustleCat Let’s play, but this one with OCTOPIMP, who is a GOD among voice actors.
    2. She also does an amazing series with the dating sim Dandelion with CRY of all people. <3 Love these two together.
  9. Yandere Dev – Because I adore Yanderes as a trope, it’s only natural I would love the man who was actually putting together a simulation game where we can ACTUALLY PLAY a yandere girl.
  10. Kubz Scouts – Related to Yandere dev above, this guy is THAT DUDE, who plays yandere sim and a few other good games too. I love his bright and cheery voice.
    1. His Yandere adventures are just amazing!
    2. His let’s play of Fran Bow was also touching.
  11. Ana Mardoll – One of the sweetest let’s players I’ve ever seen.
    1. I love her “Long Live the Queen” series.
    2. And her let’s play of the Royal Trap was thorough and so sweet!

The Random Stuff

  1. Cinema Sins – A useful channel full of great videos that teach a lot about what NOT to do when writing screenplays!
  2. DigiBro – An amazing critiquer of anime and manga. This man knows EVERYTHING about what to do and what not to do when writing.
  3. How to ADHD – She is amazing, and really helped me get a handle on my ADHD brain.
  4. Life of Tom – A hella awesome youtuber for school hacks and tips.
  5. M. Kirin – A great writing show that stretches into some game play too. His accent is a bit difficult for me to parse sometimes, but other than that, he’s a great writer!
  6. National Novel Writing Month – Also a great writing show. Plenty of prompts and tips!
  7. Simply Nailogical – Taught me everything I need to know about how to do my nails. <3
  8. Something Witty Entertainment – The home of the greatest Abridged show in existance. It took Sword Art Online from somethng Awful to something Awfully Funny.
    1. SAO Abridged
  9. Trae Crowder – The Liberal Redneck! He’s great. Listen to him.

 

And that’s all! These are my 20 favorite youtube channels. Enjoy them with me, alright?

Writing Anime: Valentine’s Edition!

  • Posted on February 15, 2016 at 1:13 am

It is Valentine’s Day for most of us, February 14th, a day when we celebrate romance and love (and sex) in all it’s myriad forms. From the loving married couple giving each other lovingly prepared gifts, to the cute young lovebirds declaring their affections with homemade cards, to the cute japanese schoolgirl baring her feelings with homemade chocolates. Lately, we also celebrate the other half of that dichotomy, the lonely single sitting on their couch eating chocolates bought with their own money, the friend who gives his single friend a rose so she won’t feel bad about valentines day, the guy desperate for love who decides to do valentine’s blind dates.

So today, we’re going to celebrate writing love! In fact, I have an example for you of REALLY well done romance. Oddly enough, the story it finds itself in, is quite literally, a tragedy. The story? Katanagatari. The couple? Shichika Yasuri and his wielder (this is explained in the series.) Tougame, the self-proclaimed Strategian. First thing I’d like to point out, Shichika is absolutely the youngest of the two, which in and of itself in literature, is rare. I’ll give you a breakdown of the series a little bit before going into the actual relationship.

Katanagatari started as a series of light novels, twelve in total, by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Take.  These novels depicted the journey of Shichika Yasuri and his attempts to recover the Deviant Blades. The swordmaster Kiki Shikizaki made 1000 swords in his lifetime, and the shogunate has managed to find 988 of them. HOWEVER, the final twelve are the most dangerous. These Deviant Blades turn their wielders mad, and give them immense strength. Togame has been tasked with this mission.

Shogunate strategist Togame has been ordered to recover them. She first hired a ninja…but the worth of the swords is so great that the entire ninja clan defected the moment they recovered one. Then she hired a swordsman… but he kept the sword for himself after finding it and went rogue.

Her last hope is Shichika Yasuri, the seventh head and last practitioner of Kyotouryuu, the No Sword School. He and his elder sister live on an island cut off from civilization, and as such they need no money. His fighting style doesn’t use a sword, so the famous weapons are useless to him

TvTropes page on Katanagatari

The true story here, however, is how Shichika and Togame fall in love. One of the iconic quotes of the series is Togame’s first orders to Shichika on how he is to conduct himself during the journey. Her exact words I’ll leave for when you to discover, but suffice to say, they’re very sweet, if one thinks about it. Through the course of the series, we see her slowly teach Shichika more about humanity, more about himself, and, without meaning to, more about herself.

Part of what makes this series so well written, however, and this romance specifically, is that while outright STATED that the romance will go down, (“Fall for me!” – Togame) it is also shown in all the small things. There are scenes of Shichika dressing Togame. Scenes of her allowing him to wrap himself in her hair, to learn her scent. Scenes of the two of them holding one another, and depending on one another.

The progression is rational, and slow. Fair warning, however, this anime is a tragedy. So don’t go into this expecting it all to be feel good feelings and love. But then again, when is love like that? And you can see that too, with Shichika growing a little cruel when he thinks Togame has gone to far, and with Togame crying and being cruel herself when Shichika seems interested in another woman. The series makes sure to show the ups and the downs.

Another brilliant thing depicted is how each partner supports the other in times of sadness. Just a warning, there are a few spoilers here, but the series is relatively old, so any look up of it will definitely yield these spoilers anyway. Now that you’ve been fairly warned, I’ll be happy to go into more detail.

Later in the series, we find out that Shichika’s older sister is a little… Well. She’s nuts. She goes and finds one of the deviant blades in order to force Shichika to fight her, and hopefully, kill her. Togame stands by his side (And in fact is way too close to the battle) while he fights the only other person he’s known for his entire life, and at the end, lets him grieve as he needs to.

We see something very similar later on in the series, when in the search of another deviant blade, they meet the Sage. He forces Togame to confront the death of her father, and his last words to her, and it takes a long, long time for that to happen, along with a lot of manual labor in the form of digging. But Shichika is not the one doing the manual labor this time. Togame digs from day until night, and Shichika stays by her side as much as he can, as well as serving as a place where she can rest at the end of a hard day.

I meant literally a place for her to rest, by the way.

These sorts of scenes are necessary to show us the love that has blossomed between them. The trust and the camaraderie between them is more important than any outward romantic display of any kiss or hand-holding. These little moments, they’re more of a love story than fifty shades of grey and twilight put together.

To make it simple, here are a few points to make sure your romance doesn’t fall flat, or worse, turn into a farce.

  • Show the small moments. The things that aren’t ROMANCE per se, but are, in fact, companionship.
  • Make the romance about the PEOPLE, not the sex.
  • Make memories for them. Beautiful memories that we as the reader can share in the intimacy of.
  • Try not to push your version of romance on them. Let it grow. Let them be people.
  • Above all, make sure that there is story to surround the romance. Even in Romance Novels this is paramount.

Remember, the story in and of itself is about the people, and if these people happen to be in love, show us that! In love, show-don’t-tell is essential. So go out there and tell the best love story you possibly can!

 

Queens: Are They So Evil?

  • Posted on April 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Enjoy my minor attempts at Poetry. Keep in mind, I haven’t written anything poetic since highschool. You’ll quickly see why.

A precarious thing, a Queen becomes;

She’s known for beauty, for faith, for something

and that thing is what makes her so hated.

Too beautiful. Too faithful. Too loving.

Her downfall, that Queen, is that she cares.

She cares about her husband, perhaps,

or her people.

or herself, just a little too much.

And that leaves her lost, and alone, afraid and scared.

She isn’t prepared.

Sold to another kingdom for her ransom,

She marries, and she is not his favorite. He barely loves her.

She does everything she can.

Or he loves her, but he loves his old wife more.

Poor Queen, lost.

She takes up magic, takes up the old ways of lying and beauty and power.

She takes up new ways of passion and heart and anger.

The Evil Queen they call her.

Is she truly evil?

For wanting nothing more than stability, and hope?

Is she evil?

Or is she hurt? Lonely?

No one cares to ask, as they stab the sword into her dragon breast,

or throw her dashed down on rocks.

She is dead, poor Queen.

Poor evil Queen. She is dead.

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