skygiants: C-ko the shadow girl from Revolutionary Girl Utena in prince drag (someday my prince will come)
I wrote two Utena fics for Parallels this year. The reason for this is that the inevitable finally happened and I was assigned to write for [personal profile] genarti (aka my usual first reader on anything I write, also my girlfriend).

'OK,' I thought, 'I will be EXTREMELY CUNNING and write a decoy fic for somebody else, ask her to beta that so she doesn't get suspicious, and meanwhile write another secret fic for her!'

Then of course the decoy fic that I made her read for me ended up being twice as long (also twice as incomprehensible) as the secret one, so in fact I ended up giving her more work than actual gift. I'm sorry, Gen! I'm not a very good secret writer girlfriend. But I did save you as a secret fic the one that was actually written with your fictional tastes in mind.

The Monster At the End Of This Fairy Tale

Utena gets dressed as quietly as she can, pulls on her borrowed running shoes, and jogs to practice. The usual route to the school track seems more complicated this morning. The campus has developed dozens of half-built walls and proto-buildings, blockaded off with red tape and signs warning 'SIDEWALK CLOSED' and 'ALTERNATE ROUTE.'

This was the decoy fic that ballooned -- an attempt at tackling the Utena postcanon fic in a variation on Ikuhara-esque surrealism, success levels questionable.

Let's Hurry Up, Spiritual Perfection

“If you say 'believe in miracles,'” Juri said, sharply, “I swear I'll --” She stopped herself, with an effort. She wasn't going to slap anyone, especially not Shiori. It was easy to lash out, but it wasn't worth the cost. Ruka had taught her that too. Leading by the opposite of example. “Shiori,” she said, instead. “Did you ever think that a person could believe in miracles, and still not want one?”

And this was the fic I actually intended to write for Gen! Much less surreal, mostly Juri character study, set sometime in between the Ruka duels and the end of the show.

Meanwhile, I received this AMAZING Capital Scandal artwork:


skygiants: Izumi and Sig Curtis from Fullmetal Alchemist embracing in front of a giant heart (curtises!)
I was supposed to do five favorite anime/manga for [personal profile] cinaed on the 14th, a full week behind on my December meme posts! I am shamed. :( ALSO this is a hard question to answer. Five? Only five?!

OK, I can muster up a pretty clear top five, but I refuse to rank them! REFUSE. Here goes:

- Revolutionary Girl Utena was not actually my first anime (that was Evangelion, about which I have now forgotten most of everything) but it was definitely one of my most ... confusingly formative. And it's so good! So often inexplicable, but so good! Just such an amazingly incisive and scathing condemnation of everything that is toxic about gender roles and savior complexes, wrapped in twelve layers of metaphor and boxing kangaroos.

- and Princess Tutu was my fourth anime! I started out strong, well done self. Perhaps part of the reason I love it so much is because it is in direct conversation with Utena, and not arguing with it exactly but providing a different slant -- a less brutal but no less incisive look at the kind of stories that shape people, and how they do it. Also it's SO ADORABLE. EVERYTHING IS ADORABLE.

- meanwhile Fullmetal Alchemist, in a different category, is emphatically my favorite shonen. It's a theoretically straightforward quest story, which is actually a nuanced exploration of sacrifice, responsibility and loss, dealing solidly along the way with issues of genocide and national guilt and national healing. Also, Hiromu Arakawa is one of the most charming mangaka that exists IN THIS WORLD.

- rivaled only perhaps by Yumi Tamura, author of 7 Seeds! I am a little bit obsessed with 7 Seeds, a post-apocalyptic manga that manages to be incredibly brutal and incredibly optimistic and INCREDIBLY HILARIOUS all at once, because Yumi Tamura's character development is a beautiful, complex thing and Yumi Tamura's plotting and worldbuilding are like Jurassic Park on crack. "And then we found these things in the desert and poured water on them and it turned out they were DEHYDRATED DINOSAURS!"

- I don't actually know enough about Naoki Urasawa himself to know if he is charming? Anyway, 20th Century Boys is my other all-time favorite manga, about ... a bunch of people running around to thwart the apocalypse! This wasn't an intentional theme. Anyway what it's really about is the way that the things that absorb you as a child do and don't continue to affect you as you grow up, and the power of things like music and stories, for good and for ill (also perhaps a theme running through this list, OK, I never said I wasn't predictable.)

OK THERE THAT'S FIVE. Honorable mentions go to Baccano!, Gokusen and the first 200 or so chapters of Skip Beat! as well probably as several other things I am forgetting. (I can safely leave Twelve Kingdoms off the list though because I like it best as a light novel series. SO THERE.)
skygiants: Anthy from Revolutionary Girl Utena holding a red rose (i'm the witch)
For my December meme post for the 14th, [personal profile] lnhammer asked 'which witch?'

There is really only one possible answer here:

Fortunately, by the metafictional nature of the beast, this witch does in fact represent all witches. I know what my decision is, which is not to decide!
skygiants: Kyoko from Skip Beat! making a mad flaily dive (oh flaily flaily)
I love small fandom exchanges because it means I can actually get through the archive and make recs posts BEFORE REVEALS.

. . . in this case probably like five minutes before reveals, I'm pretty sure, but whatever, STILL MADE IT.

Anyway I have to start out with my own glorious Parallels gift:

More Cowbell, Revolutionary Girl Utena

GUYS. I have been BLESSED BY THE UNIVERSE with a NANAMI VID. So many twirls and ho-ho-hos of triumph! It is everything I could possibly want and I will be watching it approximately five million times over, interspersed with screenings of Total Eclipse of the Heartsword.

(Everyone has already seen "Total Eclipse of the Heartsword", right? I don't need to rec it again, right? If not: sidebar from Parallels recs, GO WATCH "TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEARTSWORD." RIGHT NOW. And then move on to shati's other VVC premieres from this year, Hope on Fire, an awesome tale of rival queens who WANT IT ALL, and Follow Me, an awesome tale of one lady beating up everyone. OKAY SIDEBAR OVER MOVING ON.)

Anyway this was a good year for Nanami because there was also an amazing Nanami fic, not written for me but it might as well have been:

Lovely Exorcist Nanami

"Nanami-san's incredible! Ohtori is already much less haunted than it was this morning."

It's basically a perfect Wacky Nanami Episode in fic form, complete with unexpectedly poignant stab in the heart at the end, and I love it and want to cherish it always.

(. . . another sidebar: there were also a ton of amazing Nanami fics from last year's Yuletide that I never got around to reccing. YOU SHOULD GO READ THEM TOO.)

Other stuff I really liked from this year's exchange:

Some Songs That Aren't About Love, Chihayafuru

Kana tells them about the cards, yes, but she knows other things too. How difficult it is to start, how precious every word of encouragement; how it feels to keep losing, and how important it is to have a reason to play.

Did I mention I watched Chihayafuru? So I saw Chihayafuru and this fic feels like the reasons I love the show -- the affection the kids have for this game, for all the weird reasons they have affection for the game, and for each other, for all the weird reasons they have that too.

Biding Time, Legend of Zelda

Outside, in the daytime, Zelda is a boy named Remmy, with scruffy brown hair cut short and a gap in his smile, because Zelda just lost a front tooth.

This is a really cool, thoughtful exploration of Zelda's seven-year timeskip, and the shifting of identities that eventually leads Zelda to transform into Sheikh. Amazingly, it both feels like the game, and makes the worldbuilding and characterization of the game feel genuinely real and genuinely kind of horrifying.

The Life and Death of Setsuka Heel, Skip Beat!

"Mogami-san," said Tsuruga-san with infinite gentleness, "That's a cleaning cupboard."

I'm not going to lie, I have my issues with the Sexy Incest Siblings Arc, but this fic rapidly won me over heart and soul by having Ren and Kyoko actually TALK HONESTLY ABOUT THEIR ISSUES in a way that felt super plausible! And have their issues not magically go away by talking about them! And move towards romance in a way that allows them to remain respectful of each other and the high value they place on their friendship! SO MUCH APPRECIATED. And also it features my favorite thing, which is more of Skip Beat!'s kind of of glorious over-the-top telepathic method acting; and also it is hilarious.
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)
Every time I write a fic, I'm like, "this is it! This is the most self-indulgent fic I've ever written. Sorry for everything, world."

BUT NO. NO, this is it FOR ALL TIME, I'm fairly sure. Here it is, you guys: the most self-indulgent fic I have ever written.

Title: Five Times Kyoko Did Not Expect Fannish Shipping Explosions
Fandom: Skip Beat!, with forays into Utena, Harry Potter, Portal, Labyrinth, and Princess Tutu
Characters/Pairings: Kyoko/Ren and Kyoko/Kanae (says fandom), with Yashiro, Lory, and various OCs
Summary: Kyoko deals with the challenges of playing roles in a number of different adaptations.
Note: Warnings for the fact that fandom will ship anything, including incest, teacher/student, and human/killer artificial intelligence. Management would like to state for the record that this fic is not meant as endorsement of any of the things that fandom and/or the entertainment industry do within it.

1. Utena: Extravagant Adolescence )

2. Magical Boy Wizard Harry )

3. Portal: Aperture of Blood )

4. Labyrinth of Shadows )

5. Princess Tutu )
skygiants: (swan)
[ profile] moonyazu9 asked me for my top five animated animals. This is actually easier than most of these top fives, as there are a few that come to mind pretty instantly.

Adorable animated animals under the cut! )

And now, oh flist, it is your turn to bring to me your favorite animated animals! Preferably with screencaps, because I'm sure it will be useful to someone on some bad day to have a handy link to a comments page entirely filled with adorable and/or hilarious animated critters, and that someone may well be me.
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (ooooh)
Three posts in one day! WHAT IS THIS MADNESS. But [personal profile] gramarye1971 has instructed me to post the photoshopped romance novel book cover she purchased from me for [community profile] help_japan, and I am not one to ignore Shannon's dictates.

Below the cut! )
skygiants: Koizumi Kyoko from Twentieth Century Boys making her signature SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED face (wtf is this)
[ profile] vivien529 asked me for my top five "fandom wtf!?!?" moments, which is a question that could be interpreted two ways!

The first way - and the way I think Viv probably meant it - is the top five times that fandom made me spit my diet coke out at the screen, but to be honest there are SO MANY of these moments that narrowing them down would be simultaneously well-nigh impossible and almost pointless, seeing as for lo these several years I have reached the kind of zen state re: fandom in which I can't even be shocked anymore, just laugh. Of course there is Care Bears BDSM fic! IT'S INEVITABLE. Certainly SGA needs a girl scout cookies AU! WHY NOT. There are so many points of similarity between Giles and a weretiger? WELL OBVIOUSLY. This is just what fandom does.

What is far more likely to make me go WTF!?!?! is when an actual for-profit piece of fiction seems to think that it is in fact cracktastic fanfic, and this is how I have chosen to compile my list!

Top Five WTF Moments In Fiction )

OKAY, GUYS, YOUR TURN. I will be disappointed if I don't spend today shrieking either because of things I tragically forgot to include, or because of things I was probably much happier not knowing!
skygiants: Utena huddled up in the elevator next to a white dress; text 'they made you a dress of fire' (pretty pretty prince(ss))
I've only been mentally assigning half the songs I hear to an Utena playlist in my head anyway, so I guess I may just as well go ahead and post it, right? (Note: I got several of these from [ profile] shati and [ profile] genarti, and if anyone is to blame for the tragic lack of a cow-related song for Nanami, it is not Shati.)

The Student Council Arc - So This Is Just An Ordinary High School Series, Right? )

The Black Rose Arc - Second Verse, More Psychologically Traumatizing Than The First )

The Akio Arc - And Then It Got Creepier )

The Apocalypse Arc - Revolutionize the World )
skygiants: Drosselmeyer's old pages from Princess Tutu, with text 'rocks fall, everyone dies, the end' (endings are heartless)
This is probably a bad idea, but it's a Friday and it's very quiet at work and I've still got subversive meta shojo on the brain, SO: give me a character that I know, and I'll write 2-3 sentences about their experiences in Ohtori Academy and/or their experiences in Gold Crown Town.
skygiants: C-ko the shadow girl from Revolutionary Girl Utena in prince drag (someday my prince will come)
[ profile] ojuzu asked me for my top five Revolutionary Girl Utena scenes!

So obviously I decided to embark on an epic rewatch just for the purposes of answering this question. And may I just say, much as I liked the show then, my love for it has only grown exponentially now that I have experience with other anime and manga besides, uh, Evangelion.

Top five Revolutionary Girl Utena Scenes! Cut for images and some spoilers. )
skygiants: C-ko the shadow girl from Revolutionary Girl Utena in prince drag (someday my prince will come)
So I am currently in the middle of an epic rewatch of Revolutionary Girl Utena. And I just have to take a moment to note: it is really hard to ship non-canon pairings in Utena, because practically everything in Utena that you can think of is canon, to a more or less disturbing extent. And yet, as I watch, I have found myself shipping two emphatically not-even-close-to-canon pairings! Which I am going to ATTEMPT TO CONVINCE YOU OF today.

1. Saionji/Nanami

I think I started shipping this one during that egg-frying scene in the episode with Nanami's egg, which will never, ever not be amazing. My reasoning is simple: Saionji was Nanami's older brother's best friend growing up; that makes Saionji like Nanami's older brother, and he seems to treat her mostly this way; Nanami has an enormous older-brother complex; QED! Also they are around equally terrifyingly needy, so their issues might well balance each other out. Or explode in a glorious conflagration, either/or.

Okay, actually my reasoning is more 'it would be hilarious.'

BUT I also have other reasons! Which is to say they deserve each other, and I don't actually mean that in a negative way. Saionji and Nanami are treated very similarly in the show - they act like jerks, and the narrative (or Anthy, who controls a lot of the narrative, so) takes them entirely unseriously and makes them its chew-toys ninety-nine percent of the time, and you are heartily feeling like they deserve it, and then they do something unexpectedly human and all of a sudden your heart breaks for them despite itself. (Note: I actually love Nanami a lot, and my heart secretly breaks for her all the time. On the other hand, she drowns kittens.) So it would be strangely endearing to see them struggling to be unexpectedly human together!

Also, I mean, they have so many other things in common. Like their shared hobby of slapping Anthy.

2. Juri/Kozue

Look, I'm not saying it would be healthy, just that I think it's completely plausible. Juri has a type, and that type is cute, flirty, really passive-aggressive girls who are secretly kind of psychotic! Kozue has a type, and that type is . . . well, her brother. And Juri is close to Miki, so it's not like it's implausible that Kozue would try to seduce her just to break Miki's brain some more.

. . . okay, like I said, it would be totally unhealthy, but it might still be healthier than Juri/Shiori??? I don't know, I actually have a really strong fondness for Kozue and her habit of seducing everything that moves and shoving creeper teachers down stairs. And at least she keeps her psychosis a bit less hidden than Shiori does, so everyone would know what they were in for . . .?

I would say you can all feel free to judge me now, except that this is a show in which Nanami loses her symbolic virginity to an elementary-schooler (I HAD FORGOTTEN HOW DISTURBING THAT EPISODE WAS. BY THE WAY), so I'm pretty sure that if you already like Utena you can't actually judge me.
skygiants: young Kiha from Legend of the First King's Four Gods in the library with a lit candle (flame of knowledge)
Posting about Kiha earlier today reminded me I've been meaning to do an icon-dump! Of . . . icons probably nobody but me will find useful. OH WELL.


Gokusen - 33 icons, mostly Yankumi's ridiculous faces )

Legend of the First King's Four Gods - 44 icons, mostly various people's ridiculous faces )

A few random injokey crossover Utena icons )
skygiants: Pique, Duck and Lilie, from Princess Tutu.  HUGS FOR EVERYONE (group hug!)
I have not forgotten about my Top Fives! [ profile] littledust asked me for my Top Five BFF moments in fiction, which is a NIGH-IMPOSSIBLE REQUEST. So, fair warning: I am going to blatantly cheat. I am also going to babble a lot about dorky feelings. Stoic types who are embarrassed by this may wish to turn back here! I won't hold it against you.

Top five totally platonic BFF moments in fiction! And then a few more. Because I can. HUGE SPOILERS for Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Great Escape, Kamikaze Girls, Otherland, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Twelve Kingdoms; minor spoilers for The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Princess Tutu, Twentieth Century Boys, Chronicles of Chrestomanci )

And wow, that was the longest meme-answer ever. SORRY EVERYONE.

Anyway, while I am on the topic of memes, and also friendship, and also ~feelings~ - I never remember to do or check anonymeme things! So I was shocked and astounded to find my name up at meloukhia's anonymous love meme. To whoever those people were, thank you; I am beaming all over my stupid face right now. I MAY NEVER STOP.
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (the feeling called)
[ profile] littledust asked me for . . . okay, for a bunch of things, which I will get to in due course, but the first thing she asked me for was my top five Magical Girls!

Which is an awesome request, but sadly the problem is that I haven't actually seen that many magical girl shows yet, and all the ones I have seen are subversions or meta-examinations to some extent. So . . . uh, you can have my top one-and-a-half! Which are also my only one-and-a-half, but that makes them no less awesome.

1.5 magical girls, rounded out with three magical girl shows I WOULD watch, if they existed. )

Okay, so - as my ignorance has been all too clearly displayed, if I were to further my education into the magical girl genre, what should I be watching? (Pretear is already on my list just by virtue of having been made by some of the same people as did Princess Tutu.)
skygiants: Akio from Utena, with text 'my period of erotic sibling representation is over' (hey mister chairman)
For pretty much every request on the Fannish Top Fives, you can take it as a given that my reaction falls affectionately somewhere on the spectrum between "you know well how to play to the judge" and "YOU ARE ALL WEIRDOS." *laughing*

Okay, Top Fives #1, from [ profile] nevacaruso: top five crossover characters you'd like to see Akio seduce, and why. (So basically, after going quite happily for several years without posting at all about Akio's seduction habits, this journal has apparently become ALL AKIO SEDUCTION, ALL THE TIME. I am sorry! I promise after this no more posts about Akio sexin' for a very long time.)

I limited myself for this to canons which I had not already written up in this dream crossover list, because redundancy! Which did help me narrow it down a little.

Images are occasionally shirtless but as worksafe as anything involving Akio! )

. . . . so yeah, I'm done. But feel free to contribute your own top lolarious Akio seduction!
skygiants: Akio from Utena, with text 'my period of erotic sibling representation is over' (hey mister chairman)
For context here, all you really need to know is that the other night [ profile] shati tripped and fell into the Revolutionary Girl Utena page on TVtropes while in chat.

Nuanced and thoughtful analysis of Akio's role in the story below. )

In non-seduction news, a while back I recced my friend Rahul the Temeraire books. He read them and was promptly inspired to write a blog post about a navy staffed entirely by Lord Nelsons. Then he turned that into a short Golden Age of Sail parody IN SPACE called Death's Flag is Never at Half-Mast and sold it to an online magazine, where you can now read it!

I think I get, like, one percent of the credit for the story for giving him the Temeraire books to begin with, which is more stake than I have ever had in a published story before, so I feel a bit smug about this. My booklogging has led to material gain for somebody! VALIDATION. By chain of association, those of you who told me to read Naomi Novik can also feel smug and claim point five percent of the credit. Rahul also wishes to point out that his moustache is clearly the most glorious on the author page, but in the name of truth in advertising I must sadly let you all know that as of the last time I saw him it no longer exists.
skygiants: C-ko the shadow girl from Revolutionary Girl Utena in prince drag (someday my prince will come)
I am back from a fabulous and productive weekend! Despite dire predictions - okay, mostly mine - we have all survived. (Look, I had reason to be worried, okay? LOOK AT THIS EVIDENCE )

I still say it's a miracle we made it; also that I would do it again in a heartbeat.)

In other news: all of a sudden Revolutionary Girl Utena is a thing that is all over my flist again! This pleases me, and therefore, instead of catching up on booklogging as I should, I have instead decided to present you with:

The Top Ten Revolutionary Girl Utena Crossovers That Don't Exist But Should (Unless They Do Exist And Nobody Linked Me To Them, In Which Case, Fail, World!)

10. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Harry Potter: Because I firmly believe that Dumbledore and Akio had a passionate affair back in the '50s and have been exchanging letters ever since about the challenges of running a school that is 95% focused on the character development of a special chosen one, and the aggravating necessity of having 'other students.'

9. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Jonathan is a prime candidate for the special Ohtori exchange program! (And Faith is a prime candidate for pulling Buffy's heartsword. if you know what I mean.)

8. Revolutionary Girl Utena/High School Musical/Glee: Speaking of special exchange programs . . . the only thing that Utena is missing is a musical episode. (Alternately, imagine one of the duel songs as performed by a cheery Disney chorus. AMMONITE!)

7. Revolutionary Girl Utena/The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: The funniest part would be that, due to the rules of the metanarrative, Haruhi would never figure out that there was anything at all out of the ordinary about this school, even while Yuki and Anthy were fighting an epic emotionless laser-glasses battle in the background.

6. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Baccano!: Basically I just think that Isaac and Miria need to cameo in everything ever. They're dangerous duellists! Yeah! Dangerous!

5. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Ugly Betty: You know you want to see Akio trying to seduce Daniel too. - okay, maybe you don't actually want to see it. But you want to see Betty's face when she finds out! ("DANIEL," she says, "YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE THAT'S BEEN.")

4. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Ouran High School Host Club: Because Tamaki and Touga's Prince Character-Off would be a thing of greater beauty than words can really express, and so would Nanami and Renge's Evil Laugh-Off.

3. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Leverage: After a phone call from a distraught Kanae about her cheating power-abusing fiance, Nate smirks, adjusts his sunglasses, and says, "Let's go steal a duel." LITTLE DOES HE KNOW.

2. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Princess Tutu: Mytho and Dios ARE THE SAME PERSON. I don't think I need to say more.

1. Revolutionary Girl Utena/What Not To Wear: Someone. Please. COME SAVE THESE POOR CHILDREN FROM THEMSELVES.

Feel free to suggest more! OR TO LINK ME if any of these actually exist. :D


skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)

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