Nearly a year later, featuring Transistor!

010-funny-animal-gifs-dog-slapWell, I think the adjoining image perfectly encapsulates my feelings on my negligence of this blog.  Please don’t send any animals to bitch paw(slap) me.  I realize I’ve taken quite an extensive pause from posting.  The past year has been quite a change and due to a six-month reprieve from internet access beyond a cellphone, I was would have been capable of only blog posts no more than a few sentences in length.  Of course, I could have written posts from my smartphone, which throws tantrums like a two-year-old.  Luckily I have access to a much better phone now, but also my lovely computer.  I’ve been back for a while, but it took some time for me to crawl back into old habits.

So a lot has happened since my last post in August of last year.  New Anime series, new films, games, books, comics, and so much more that I spent nearly three months catching up on six months worth of geekery.  SDCC has recently passed and with it a wealth of goodies that have me itching for trailers.  Legend of Korra wrapped up its story arc last year and not only granted the wish of Korrasami shippers but managed to agitate the fans that didn’t see the pairing coming or are hardcore Makorra fans.  I have my own opinion of the finale, but that’s for a later post and when I’m not running on fumes.

transistorRecently, Steam held their summer sale, which just hearing the words “Steam Summer Sale” sends gamers into a hungry frenzy, hoping to devour the best in PC gaming deals and software.  I admit that I’ve not been an active user of Steam, but I decided this year that I would jump on some of the deals being dangled in front me.  Well, I got quite a few of them.

I’m picky when it comes to choosing the right game.  Some huge names made their way into the sale, like Witcher 3 and GTA V.  While I was excited to see such titles featured, I set myself a goal.  Only buy the games that were less than $8.  I’ll admit that most of my haul was games under $3, but they were some games with pretty positive responses from gamers and reviews matter a lot to me when making a purchase.

One title popped up on the list, a title I’d never heard much about but was by Supergiant Games, makers of the acclaimed action-RPG, Bastion.  I’ve played a little of Bastion and I enjoyed it, so I thought that this game had a lot of promise. Unfortunately, I acted too late to snag Transistor the first time, but luckily Steam gives some of their best sellers a second chance.  One play of the trailer and I knew I’d be buying this game just not for play value, but the phenomenal soundtrack.

In Transistor, you play Red, a famous singer that for reasons not yet known, was to be assassinated by a group known as the Camerata.  The assassination failed, but in the process Red’s voice has been absorbed by a weapon known as the Transistor which is buried deep into the body of a man that we assume was serving to protect Red.  His persona is also absorbed by Transistor, which allows the weapon a voice and consciousness, which leads Red through Cloudbank and narrates our journey.  Red takes the weapon into her possession and uses it to fight off intelligent minions of the Camerata, known only as the Process.

I skimmed through some reviews that complained of the game’s confusing storyline and how so little is explained at the beginning.  It’s a game that slowly stitches the story together, to understand just how Red has found herself in this dangerous position.  I view games much like visual and interactive books, so the plot didn’t so much throw me off as it did for some.  The story is interesting, as well as the game’s choice of music and art design.  It also manages to have a protagonist that is mute, but by cut scenes and interactive items, you are able to hear Red’s voice in its full glory.  Admittedly, what sold me on this game was the song that plays in the background of the game’s trailers and I forked out the extra cash just to snatch up this amazing OST.

The game has been entertaining thus far, a game that allows you two methods of battle.  There is real-time battling, where you hit buttons and sequence attacks, but also try to avoid the oncoming blows of enemies.  Or you can choose Turn() battling, which allows you to essentially pause the game, plan out a strategy whether landing an attack, moving to a particular location or dashing away from enemy view.   Unfortunately the Turn() method comes at a price of emptying Red’s action bar, but it refills and until it does, it’s best to line of sight your enemies until Red is able to attack again.  I love that we’re given a choice, rather than forcing us to a singular method of battle.  If you’re willing to wait those extra seconds, the Turn() base system is definitely a fun way of combat.

And the soundtrack. . .have I mentioned the soundtrack?  Ashley Barrett’s voice adds a perfect ethereal touch to this game and I think it’s a huge part

of what makes this game so phenomenal.  As I played, I realized sometime later that even though Red doesn’t speak, we KNOW her voice.  Just those snippets of music give us enough of Red to understand her need to stop the Camerata and to feel the horror of losing something so precious.  I think I played most of this game with a heavy heart and after learning of Sybil’s intentions and what she cost Red, it made the song “In Circles” a powerfully emotional song.

I don’t want to delve much more into the plot and reveal too much to spoil it for those that might purchase the game in the future.  The plot is interesting, very sad in my opinion, and the gameplay is a hell of a lot more fun that I was expecting.  If an excellent soundtrack and quality gameplay doesn’t sell you, maybe the game’s art style will.  I mean, THIS IS A GAME!

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So if you’re looking into something a little different, I HIGHLY recommend this game.  I can only hope that Supergiant’s future games are just as fun and beautiful.

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Otome Tuesdays- Meet the Boys Part 2

Ah, another bishonen-filled Tuesday.  This week we’ll be covering the last of the potential suitors in the game Shall We Date- My Sweet Prince(sans Nagito, as I’m currently playing through him.  I have a feeling once I’ve finished his story-line, I’ll have a post dedicated to him or at least mention him in an upcoming post).  Just as the previously mentioned princes, these four all have personalities that range from playful to excruciatingly obnoxious, but somehow they tug on those heartstrings.  Well, sometimes they do.

jun1) Prince Jun– Ugh, you know I usually enjoy picking the snotty and cold characters, only because they do a complete 180 and redeem themselves in the end.  Jun manages that, but not without making you want to punch him in the face.  Jun is the forceful prince, whom seems to desire the crown more than his other brothers.  He likes to trick the PC, warming her up into thinking he’s a decent fellow, but it’s all an act to gain her favor and get her to bestow him with the bracelet.  Of course he changes.  I mean, this is an Otome game.  Cold exteriors melt into little puddles and we’re left with a somewhat warmer and slightly randy love interest (omg how many characters don’t hint at wanting to do “things” to the PC?).  Jun isn’t simply a cold, manipulating, and sometimes cruel character just for the sake of being so.  Just as Melchiorre, he’s a complex prince that has a purpose for every action he takes.  His reason for the crown is not simply to gain power.  Of the princes, his reasons for taking the crown are valiant, though it takes a while for you to see that.  The ending to Jun’s story is beautiful, just because I dig a guy that’ll do anything to get the girl he loves.

Despite Jun becoming a warmer prince to the PC in the end, his spin-off stories are frustrating.  His old personality seems to pop back up.  Having played through three of his spin-off stories, I can say that if you enjoyed the crueler side of Jun, it’s still there!  The Royal Baby storyline just made me shake my head.  Seriously, someone give that man a computer and teach him to use Bing/Google.

Choose Jun- If you enjoy the cold/cruel type.  Don’t worry, he thaws towards the end and turns out to be a pretty noble character, though in the spin-offs  his demeanor seems to drift back to its old self.

alvah2) Prince Alvah– My goodness, Alvah.  He reminded me of a squirrel on Red Bull.  Alvah is the playful and energetic prince of the lot.  He enjoys recreational sports and showing the PC around town.  Even the PC remarks on how energetic Alvah is and how out of shape she really is, when it comes to keeping up with Alvah.  His very first CG is the image on the right, which was very surprising, as I wasn’t expecting any shirtless CGs.  DO I approve?

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Clearly, she approves!

Like his brother Melchiorre, Alvah does not desire the crown, but desires a friendship with the PC.  He’s very protective of her, which comes in very hand when Jun tries to dig his claws into her.  The only thing I enjoyed about Alvah’s storyline was that he was protective of the PC and that he began “guarding” her at night, which was adorable.  He has his own reasons for not wanting to be king, which were a little confusing.  Honestly, Alvah has been my least favorite of the princes, only because his story just seemed to lack something.  His romance with the PC just seemed a little unnatural, as I didn’t feel there was much chemistry building between the two as the story progressed.  The ending made me facepalm.

Choose Alvah- If you enjoy the protective and energetic type.  His story may be a little lack luster, but if you’re into his personality, you might enjoy it.  Also, shirtless CG.

ivan3) Ivan the Butler– I wasn’t entirely sure how the story would play out for Ivan.  He’s much older than your other love interests and is probably the same age as the PCs father.  Yet the image to the right, is why I decided I had to play him.  Come on, that’s one hot forty year old butler right there.  He criticizes the PC more than is necessary and tends to subtly insult her lack of manners (in reality, she’s doing her best and isn’t all that rude.  It’s a matter of customs and differences that each side needs to understand).  It appears he seems to think little of the PC, but he is curious about her and wishes to know more of her and her culture.  Ivan is also a foreigner, though he does not mention where he is from.  He does little things for the PC which were just awww moments and the scene where they took shelter in the shack. . .too cute and funny.

The ending of Ivan’s story had me flabbergasted, even after the story had finished.  I’m not sure how to feel about Ivan after the story.  In a way, his story was disappointing and I’m almost angry at the PC for being “okay” with what happened.  Personally, if this had been myself, I would not have accepted what occurred and picked one of the princes, even though they were pretty persistent in this story.

Choose Ivan- If you’re into the older and more mature types.  Also if you just want someone that isn’t royalty and puts you on an emotional roller coaster!

Otome Tuesdays- My Sweet Prince: Meet the boys Part 1

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Please note!  Spoilers ahead for the following princes: Chezem, Lambert, and Melchiorre.  

I love Otome games.  They are visual novels, meaning you’re reading a story with visual elements added to make the story all the more alluring.  Most games require money to play, unless you play one of the free games.  Even for free, there are limitations and time constraints due to the no-cost aspect of the game.  Often if you hit a checkpoint and are unable to produce the items needed or charm level required to pass through, you may find yourself at a standstill for days or weeks.  Luckily some games offer special events where you can earn currency to turn in for special items during the event or save up some in-game currency like Zeni to purchase checkpoint or avatar items.  As long as you level up skills (like Lessons in My Sweet Prince) and login each day for your login bonus, that will earn you a little more coinage.

My Sweet Prince is one of the first Otome games that I’ve played and is a rather cute game in the Shall We Date series.  You start the game as a young Japanese woman on vacation in a foreign country.  Your terrible luck results in all of your belongings being stolen, but the thief leaves behind a jeweled bracelet and unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), you are now in possession of the bracelet that determines the heir to the kingdom.  Almost immediately you are whisked away to the palace, where the king informs you that because you are in possession of the bracelet, that you must determine whom will be the next king.   A rather daunting task, considering there’s six princes to choose from and each with their own quirks and skeletons in their closet.  Plus they’re all beautiful, so that makes choosing all the more difficult!

I’m on my seventh play-through of the game (five princes, one replay because of a bad ending, and now I’m on Ivan the butler) and so far, I’ve enjoyed each story offered.  I don’t think I could offer an opinion of my favorite prince thus far, but I can give some insight into their varying and sometimes frustrating personalities.  In the end you end up loving them.  Or in the case of some princes, you wish you had picked a different love interest or picked a different route.  The following are in the order I played them and just a brief observation of each and why they were perhaps not the best pics for the playable character.

chezem 1) Prince Chezem– The quiet prince of the lot, he’s an intellectual sort that bides his time with books and devouring knowledge.  He seems to have little interest in people and ignores the PC (Player Character) from the beginning, but because of his interest in Japan, he gradually lets her into his private life and starts to be more open with people.  He was once friends with Falitna, the daughter of the scheming and rather annoying Minister Balam.  Unlike the other princes, Falitna does not appeared to be engaged to Chezem, but merely a friend whom had a misunderstanding as children.  I’m not a fan of Faltina, but this appears to be the only story that she appears remotely friendly to the PC at some point.  After playing through some of the other PCs, it’s nice to see a different and refreshing side of her.

Chezem’s story doesn’t have the varying degrees of complexity some of the other prince’s have, but it is a sweet enough story.  The constant pressure from Balam puts an enormous mount of stress on Chezem.  Due to his mother’s fortune, it seems people only involve themselves to somehow get access to said fortune.  I feel bad for Chezem.  He’s the popular kid on campus, that only has friends due to his wealth and nothing more.  Without that wealth, they would drop him in a heartbeat.  I wasn’t disappointed with my play-through of Chezem, though he wasn’t the most interesting of characters.  His quiet nature sometimes made it difficult to really enjoy him.

Choose Chezem- If you enjoy the quiet and anti-social type, that gradually warms up to the PC.

 

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2) Prince Lambert– Oi, this guy.  If you’re a fan of being being reminded you are just a drab commoner, he’s definitely the prince for you.  He’s rather haughty and spares little time for the PC in the beginning.  Don’t be fooled, despite his attitude, he’s a very dedicated prince and desires the throne to better his country.  After saving him from a rather embarrassing predicament, he begins to warm up to the PC.  There is a very awkward bath scene early on and I must say it had me laughing.  My reaction would have been pretty much the same as the PC.  Unfortunately, as any character in Otome games, he’s clueless to his own feelings and questions why he says/does certain things that pertain to the PC.  Really, Lambert?  You’re so clueless and inexperienced that you can’t tell what your heart is telling you?  It’s almost as irritating as the same line most PCs use in Otome games.  “What’s this feeling in my chest?”  Either your in love or it’s a heart attack.  I’m not sure which I’m hoping for right now.

My first play through was disappointing, as I had made poor choices and ended up with the ending I didn’t desire.  Unfortunately, that’s a drawback of merely picking what you feel is best in these games.  If you want a particular outcome, search for online guides for the prince of your choosing.  After a few unfortunate choices in selected games, I decided to use guides to keep from making the same mistakes again.  Unlike games like Ninja Assassin + and Ninja Love +, the default ending is not a normal one.  You can end up alone.  This is an otome game!  You don’t want to be alone!

I’ve noticed that his personality stays the same in most of the other story-lines and remains critical when it comes to the PC.  Lambert loves timeliness and the PC loves sleeping in.  I cannot offer any insight on Lambert’s spin-offs(besides one or two that I earned during events).  He seemed different in both, more caring towards the PC.  In the spin-offs of other prince’s, I will say he seemed very much the same.

Choose Lambert- If you’re into the prudent and sort of cold type.  He’s similar to Ivan, in that he’s a perfectionist and like Jun, he can be a little mean, but I’d say Ivan is a little more critical (at least in the first few chapters) and Jun is like having a villain that found his way back to the light.

 

Melchiorre_(2)3) Prince Melchiorre– Oh, this playboy.  Every Otome game has one–the hot guy that all the females fawn over.  In the beginning he seemed to me to be a sort of flighty character.  I’ve never really picked one of the womanizing types, cause I generally don’t enjoy those types of story-lines.  He’s one of the few princes that has little to no interest in the crown, due to a secret he’s been harboring since his youth.  His story really surprised me, as I figured he was just a playboy that had little interest in executing authority, but there was much more to Melchiorre.  From the beginning he flirts with the PC, though she’s very shy and often tries to wave off his affections.  It made me wonder how a relationship between the two would ever come to be, but pick the right path and it happens.  Even though he makes passes at the PC, that doesn’t stop his flirtatious manner towards other women.

I was close to crying when I reached the last few chapters, as it played out in a most unexpected but pleasant way.  Unlike the other princes, Melchiorre’s is more personal and shows an emotional connection that was missing from the other princes.  Yes, they’re all brothers, but just how close are they?  How far would they go for each other?  I’d say thus far that Melchiorre’s story was the most interesting, just because of the big revelation in the later chapters and how the PC and the other characters deal with the revelation.  His nonchalant attitude towards the crown is similar to Alvah’s though a tad more playful and justified.  Of the princes whom harbor caution towards taking the throne, Melchiorre’s reasons are the most justified.

Choose Melchiorre- If you love the flirty type.  Also, his story has a interesting and somewhat sad twist, which makes it worth playing.

 

Fangirl Friday- Remember the old days of finding Anime?

Sailor Moon

Being an Anime fangirl hasn’t always been easy.  In the 90s we had limited media available to us to watch imports and as kids, your only means of Anime were the few series airing on television or videos your parents may have shelled out the cash for.  My first view of Anime wasn’t Speed Racer as I had always believed.  In fact, my first Anime was not even a series, but Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.  A somewhat depressing version, but I recall thinking just how beautiful the animation was.  I viewed the VHS almost daily until its untimely departure in my VHS player.  RIP Little Mermaid.

Remember when your love of Anime was something that you and so many of your friends had in common?  You would go on an epic quest to find internet pics, clips, music, and anything you could on this phenomenon that took the world by storm and left parents wondering why their kids suddenly spoke fragments of Japanese.  Whenever Sci-fi channel (now Syfy) aired Anime, you faithfully stayed up into the early hours of morning to catch whatever Anime movie that aired.  When Cartoon Network had a new series, you were always in front of the tv after school, waiting to watch and welcome the show as your new favorite Anime.

USA Network and Fox even aired some Anime series, though in most cases the series didn’t last long.  Escaflowne had a very small run and when I say small, we didn’t even get half of the series.  It was an edited mess, but was my first glimpse of the series that will always have a place in my heart.  They also had Sailor Moon, another edited mess.  If you couldn’t figure out the moral of the story by the end of the episode, don’t worry. . .DiC decided they’ll give you a short clip of images from the episode and spell it out for you.  I remember all this talk of a live action series then and how people speculated who would play which role.  I’m kind of glad it never happened.  A North American Sailor Moon just felt like a potential disaster.  I was imagining Clueless in sailor fuku.  USA Network had Street Fighter and can I just say how much I loved watching this?  I was a fan of the games (even the live action movie. . .don’t you judge me!) and so I watched these episodes faithfully until they were pulled from the air.  Before long, unless Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network picked up something, there was little Anime left on the air.

For a long time obtaining Anime was not easy.  DVDs weren’t common yet and VHS sets could cost you an arm and a leg (or a kidney!).trigun_by_silver_escape  Laser Discs were around, but how many people used them?  If you asked somebody the best place to find episodes, they would suggest a peer-to-peer site.  Oh yeah, on dial-up that was a brilliant idea!  No one would think of the repercussions of downloading would do later on and your phone line was busy all night as you downloaded episodes.  Any new Anime that popped up was a real treat, considering the age of Youtube, Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Netflix (just barely starting out and DVD ) were not upon us yet. Broadband internet was around, but expensive compared to more reasonable price of dial-up.

A few days ago I received another 30-day free trial from Crunchyroll, which I decided to accept as I haven’t watched any Anime in a few months. At one point all I ever seemed to watch was Anime.  As I surfed through the hundreds of shows listed, I thought to myself “my teenage self would have had a heart attack looking through this catalog.”  There are so many series that I end up searching through the list and at some point I give up and find something else to do.  I know–I have a problem.  Choosing K-Dramas seems easier compared to finding a good Anime.  So many have similar plots or have names so ridiculous that I end up skipping over them.

I thought to myself just how lucky Anime fans are now, with such an enormous selection of videos available to them not just online, but on DVD/Blu-ray.  My local Best Buy use to have a section dedicated to Anime alone that spanned the same length of the Xbox 360 games.  It was pretty amazing, but still pretty expensive unless you bought something older.  I remember picking up Ergo Proxy one Christmas and boy was I excited.  Now the Anime section is only 1/4 of that and the prices seem to be dropping.  Yet I still people flock to that little shelf and search with smiles for new shows to devour.

I’ve been an Anime fangirl most of my life, even though I didn’t realize it until middle school. There is just something about Anime that I find so appealing.  Not that I do not love animated shows/movies made outside of Japan, but there’s just an element to Anime that draws me in.  Perhaps it’s the detail put into the animation or the story lines.  Other animated series and films tend to be rather silly.  Even at a young age, I enjoyed more mature and in-depth stories, but I still enjoyed my afternoons of Tiny Toons and Gargoyles.  Of course, not all Anime have the most intricately-written plots.  Sometimes you get a lot of series that are just a lot of fanservice.

Plot!

That’s a pretty hefty plot.

 

Time to go find a series and binge watch it!

Dear Nickelodeon, you just antagonized a fanbase

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Many of you have probably heard the big news regarding Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra.  If you haven’t, here’s the deal.  This Friday’s episode of Korra will air as scheduled and the remaining episodes pulled off air until further notice.  These episodes will be distributed digitally, meaning air time is suspended until Nickelodeon decides what the hell it’s doing.  What’s the deal?  So far we’re not sure, but there are plenty of rumors swirling around.  From low ratings to Nickelodeon just wanting to out the popular series, we are not yet informed of what caused this somewhat unexpected development.  Head over to the Korra or Nickelodeon’s Facebook page and just check out the angry posts coming from enraged Korra fans.  The web is buzzing, Nick.  You’re in big trouble.  Now go stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done.

Various social media sites are abuzz with the news that Korra will now go digital and question the fate of season 4 of the series.  Nick originally ordered four series, but with Korra now off the air, will we see a season four?  According to co-creator and executive producer Michael Dante DiMartino, we still have season 4!

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https://www.facebook.com/MichaelDanteDiMartino/posts/673287482740240

Even if Korra were to find its way back to television, I want to express my great disappointment in Nickelodeon and their blatant disregard for their fans, the series, and the cast/crew of Korra.  Their handling of book three has been piss poor and rushed.  I’m sure many fans can agree that they expected news about book three at this years SDCC, but instead the series was pushed to a June release.  I’m not normally one to complain in regards to a series I adore being released early, but I knew with such a rushed premier date, we were all in for trouble.

The trouble started when episodes were “accidentally” released on Mundo Nick in June.  With the accidental release,  fan-made trailers were soon all over the internet.  The episodes found their way online thanks to some very eager fans and pictures flooded social media.  The official trailer for Korra was released not long after and a premier date of June 27th.  Not just a one episode premier!  Not two!  We had three all-new episodes!  And that was just the beginning.

Nickelodeon has shifted Korra’s scheduling dates in a fashion that to any that are observant, know the show is drifting towards deadly waters.  Each week I wondered to myself if we would be seeing a new episode of Korra or if Nickelodeon would make us wait another week.  Online episodes were not yet available till much later.  I wondered if this was a tactic to see how the show would do ratings wise, when only available as a telecast, but considering the shuffle Korra has experienced, this would have been a terrible experiment.  Almost as if making up for this constant shift in scheduling, we received two episodes a week, though I suspect there are other reasons for this.  This only shortens the amount of time Korra has on air and push us closer to the conclusion of book three.  Besides the shifting schedule, there also seemed to be a lack of advertisement for Korra in general.

Good job, Nick.

Good job, Nick.

The decline in ratings would seem more worrisome if those earlier points were not highlighted.  A series like Korra cannot be tossed around from date to date without seeing a gradual loss in viewership.  A Friday night time slot just seems rather odd for an animated series that is surrounded by live action comedy programming.  An earlier slot or perhaps a Saturday slot would seem a better choice, but alas, we’ve been stuck with a wonky Friday night time slot.  A move to all digital seems like a rather bad move, in a world where not everyone has unlimited bandwidth and a means to watch streaming media on their television.  Just because some favor streaming, that doesn’t mean all do.  Families without a way of streaming content to their televisions will have to squeeze around the computer screen to get the latest dose of Korra.  Or take to the small screen of mobile devices to get a Korra fix.

Let me just express one thing.  I have always loved Nickelodeon.  I am a child of the 80s/90s.  When my family first got cable in the early 90s, my brother and I were excited over the prospect of getting a network that all of our friends and classmates just gushed over.  Slime?  Are you afraid of the Dark?  Rugrats?  We couldn’t wait to see this amazing and goofy family channel.  I recall going to the store and getting Nickelodeon Magazine, just to see all the fun news and pictures about current and upcoming shows.  Slime recipes and slime-themed food and drinks galore!  Nick was so much fun when I was a kid!

Our television was almost exclusively on Nick during my childhood years.  Besides the few series I mentioned previously, we enjoyed other series such as CatDog, Invader Zim, Angry Beavers, Doug, Hey Arnold!, Aaahh!!!  Real Monsters, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Figure it Out, Clarissa Explains it All, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren and Stimpy Show, The Wild Thornberrys, Salute Your Shorts, The Amanda Show, All That, Kenan and Kel, and sooooo much more.  Slowly the variety of decent shows began to shrink and it took Avatar: The Last Airbender to draw us back.

I’m not one of those fans that touts “Airbender was better!” or “Korra is the best of the Avatar series!” because I don’t feel that way towards either series.  They are of the same world, in different time settings, with a few familiar faces and new characters.  You are seeing the history of Avatar play out and whether you enjoy what you’re seeing or not, that is how their world is.  I view other fiction in that way–sometimes there are events that you dislike, but it’s a part of their history.  This is their creator’s world and they decide the outcomes, whether we like it or not.  I am sure there has been a loss in viewership due to fans drifting from the show, whether it’s because of the pace of the story-lines, the direction the series is going, or they have just lost interest in general. However, I do not believe this has been the major determining factor in such a loss of viewers.  I’m sure Nick might play it off as such.

Nickelodeon, if you would advertise your series with the same care you give your other lackluster shows and gave it a steady time slot, you might see an increase in ratings.  Korra is a powerhouse of a series if you give it the chance you did during season one.  You’ve taken something truly enjoyable and mistreated it in such a fashion that it has infuriated its fans.  Despite the years of dedication I’ve had to your network, I feel I’ll soon be parting ways with you.  When I see the sort of lineup your network has and how you’ve so carelessly treated Korra, I feel it may be best for me to just cut you off completely.  If Korra is left alone and given a better chance, I’d come back, but only for Korra.  Why watch a network when one of its best shows is treated as if it doesn’t deserve to be there?  In fact, it doesn’t deserve to be there.  It deserves a lot better than you, Nickelodeon.

I’ll be listening to the coming news at SDCC and hoping for a good outcome for Korra.  Even if the outcome is favorable and Nickelodeon finds a way to redeem itself, I’ll only support one series and one series only.  Perhaps you should bend your ears towards your fans, Nickelodeon.  I can only imagine what the coming conversations will be like at your booth at SDCC.  You know, where you fans approach you in person and will be able to air their grievances.  Terrible timing on your part?  I don’t see many pleasant conversations coming.  Don’t worry Korra fans.  We still have Korra, even if our means of viewing is limited.  We still have Korra and season four is in the works.  Let us hope for excellent news and an update on the upcoming Korra game, which looks to be really amazing!

 

Be sure to watch Korra this Friday night at 8pm ET!  Tell your family, friends, goldfish, imaginary friends, and the monster hiding in your closet!  

#savekorra

Modernizing Fiction and Emotional Disconnects with Readers

Please note– I know it’s been a god-awful amount of time since my last post.  This has been a topic I’ve wanted to discuss for months and finally have the time to dedicate to writing blog posts again.  It feels like a bit of a rant–I suppose it is.

Lately I’ve found myself very critical of the modern ficition being pumped out into the literary world.  After a few too many books, I began to question if some authors are secretly endorsing products mentioned in their novels.  Ok not really, but have you ever noticed the overwhelming amount of branding there are in some novels?  I can assure you that if you were to flip open any young adult novel at a Barnes and Noble, the main character will at least mention a few labels.  Whether it’s the Levi Jeans they’re wearing or the iPhone in their back pocket, there’s going to be a mention of some major label in there.  I know we want the readers to connect with the protagonist and supporting characters, but really?  Can we not just connect to these characters on a purely human/emotional level?  Do we really need product placement?

I’ve never read a scene and thought to myself “oh yeah I can relate to her disappointment that she received a Hummer rather than a  Porsche.”  It’s the same sort of disconnect you have watching soap operas.  There is no correlation between these characters and your own personal dilemmas.  Their struggles are entirely different than the average viewers.  I’m not the owner of a multi-million dollar fashion house, nor do any of my family have such connections.  I also seem to recall that I haven’t married the same man 14 times and been married to at least six other men.  Sure I’ve suffered heart break, but not in the way these characters have.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with product labeling to a certain degree.  I think in some ways, it is better to just describe items in a creative way, rather than mention labels.  Describe them in fine detail, to allow the reader a sense of how they look visually.  Just telling me it’s a Vera Wang does give me the faintest clue what I should be envisioning and only gives me an idea of the extravagant costs. If that is the purpose of mentioning the brand, that is fine.   Use labels to express a point–not just throw out names because “people will know these labels!”  An author once said something along the lines of “every word should serve a purpose.”  It’s a good practice.

If I were to publish a book now and list off a couple of major brands, who is to say those brands will exist in fifty or one hundred years?  Anyone reading the book that far in the future may have no idea what this label is–for all they know it’s fiction.  No matter the decade a book is written, I want people to connect to it.  Not by superficial brands that hold no real significance.   Not because smart phones are all the rage.  What has happened to characters and people relating by life?  Emotional conflicts?  Understanding and relating to their struggles?  What is your view on product labeling in fiction?  Do you find it acceptable or is it a nuisance?  How often do you use branding in your own work?