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Shoujo Manga

I've been reading a bit of Shoujo manga lately. Lately as in: about a month ago. Thought I'd post about it then but here we go again... delays! Maybe I hesitated because - for those of you who don't know - Shoujo is a form of manga directed primarily towards a a young female audience.

So it's not the type of stuff a growing-old man like me would boast about reading! But a little romance now and then... it's not bad. These particular ones happened to have a bit of action and intrigue, too. They weren't excessively girly - really! If you haven't tried Shoujo before (but have read other manga) then these might not so different after all.

First off there's Basara, which I only have three books of yet (and there's at least twenty) but hope to be getting more of! The style feels rushed sometimes, but looks good, and is drawn in an airy and emotional way.

The story's that of a girl named Sasara taking on her dead brother Tatara's role as revolutionary, to as prophecy foretells ignite a rebellion in a wicked land and overthrow the King and his four sons.

She soon realizes that the one in the prophecy was actually her - as they were twins, and the further things go the more dangerous her role. She leads a double life as both girl and boy, and happens to fall in love with one of the King's sons but doesn't know who he is. And of course he doesn't know she's Tatara - the spark of hope he's determined to kill.

It's a pretty exciting story! The characters are great and the emotion flares mightily. I want to read more.

Then, there's Planet Ladder. I've only read a couple books of this one too, but it seems promising. It's about a girl who's cast into a parallel world, and discovers there are actually seven parallel Earth's fighting for control.

The balance is becoming unstable, and only one can survive. A certain princess from a forgotten time has the power to say who will survive over all others... and it turns out that princess is her!

Compared to the previous the drawing style here feels a bit amateur-like, and the characters both naive and... stupid. But I do like the premises. Hope to get to the end of this one too...

Finally there's Vampire Knight: The story of a girl and boy who act like guards and mediators between the night and day class of a particular school. What the students don't know in the day class is that the night class consists of vampires, and what the main character (the girl of course) doesn't know is that the other guard is a vampire too, in the process of becoming, and though he loathes their race he eventually can't withstand the urge of blood any longer.

They form a special bond, yet one of the vampires in the night class saved her life from a rogue vampire back in the day and... well, it gets messy. I read a couple of books on this one too; hope to get more. Why is manga still so hard to come by over here...

It also gets unexpectedly savage, and so in the end... I'm surprised.

I'm surprised because Shoujo Manga really isn't only all about flowers and roses, and simple love. It can have a compelling storyline too, and the main character being a girl doesn't take away from the relatability after all.

I also feel like there's often a greater sense of mystery with Shoujo - which possibly ties in with the romance. There's definitely more emotion too, and the one thing I don't really like about the genre: often a sense of helplessness, a lack of confidence, or similar emotional flaws the main character strives to overcome.

It's also often used by the male characters, as the damsel in distress is saved, or helped, or somehow salvaged through the darkness by the knight in shining armor. It's not that stereotypical, or predictable, but it's there.

In comparison the main character in a Shonen manga will often be the one saving others. The one in control. The knight in white armor himself - and so it's often a similar story, just told from a different side.

It just so happens I was introduced to one more of these series earlier, when my sister gave me a pile of D.N.Angel books. I gave those a try and... they were alright! Guess my stereotypes started melting away at that point.

There's also Ranma 1/2, which is a bit like a hybrid between the two (between Shoujo and Shonen).

If you've been avoiding this particular genre: give it a try - you might like it!

I've also read though SandLand, but that's not Shoujo so there you go yo. But it was great too. I'll keep reading and make room (for more books cause they're way huge).

Musicalish #250

He may not be a master lyricist but he sure has a way with words, and speaks of life in a way it seems everyone can relate to... it's Petter! Sweden's maybe most known rapper (that raps in Swedish).

I saw him live at Gröna Lund this Thursday - first concert of the year there, starring frequent co-collaborator Eye-N-I and... a couple others I don't recall the names of. They were great though! Great energy.

Apart from a great artist he's most definitely one who does it best live, so if you ever happen to be in Stockholm when he plays: don't miss out! Enjoy.

(more…)

Musicalish #249

Here is music! Goosebumps-inducing such. Bad Wolves. Zombie. Enjoy.

(more…)

GOG USERPAGES

GOG USERPAGES

This is pretty revolutionary isn't it? And what a coincidence: A week after NG launched their major userpage overhaul GOG introduces userpages!

You can set visibility for each part to Everyone, Friends, or Only You - parts which are so far a list of Friends, Games, and your Wishlist.

There aren't any superfluous fields there to fill out - just a little profile blurb if you like, and your avatar if you don't already have one (I didn't, as until now there was no reason to). It seems you can only see profiles if you log in, but feel free to friend me if you like - I'm not a public figure there.

One cool detail apart from finally being able to share games and wishlists with others - if you do such things, are the customizable backgrounds. The selection looks like this so far; with a nifty search box for titles:

GOG's New Background Image Selection

...but that's just a little peek! The full selection is pretty big.

In case you didn't open that image (or as a warning before you do) there's 380 choices. Quite something compared to NG's 5-6 background colors.

I'm not sure if loaded alternatives remain active, but toggling through different backgrounds trying to make a choice actually bogged down my browser so much I had to shut down the page - and open it again.

Hope they get that fixed. Also hope they add in some DOOM in their selection - because those legendary titles I was instantly hyped about being able to decorate my profile with were not there!!!!

Even though they do have the games.

This is pretty cool though. If you didn't have a reason to sign up for GOG earlier maybe this is reason enough? If you're into logging your game times and such this will let you do that too - via the GOG Galaxy client, and then boast to the world how much time you spend by the computer.

I don't think I'll be using that, but I do like the pages! Cool stuff GOG.

Just Because You Are Right...

Six/Nine

Just because you are right, does not mean, I am wrong.
You just haven't seen life from my side.

Walpurgis Woes

Well not woes, really. I just went to sleep way too late yesterday and woke up today depressed that it wasn't earlier I woke; that I'd wasted so much of the time I'd planned to spend on better things.

It wasn't because of a party at all, but because I got stuck playing Advance Wars: Dual Strike as the night waned away, and the clock closed in on two... it seemed like a peaceful night though. If there were bonfires ablaze they were far off: I heard no sounds from outside, and smelled no smoke.

It was dark and quiet and this morning was gray and rainy, yet bright - like the uncertain haze after New Year's Eve.

Like the first day of the New Year today does feel like a new start, too. The grass is covered with dew - greener than ever, and the world cleansed as if by a silent rain. It's a new month at least; as good a new start as any.

I'm so close to completing AWDS now too. I've been playing both train rides and nights to get there faster. I'm 420 hours into the game and all that's left are a few rounds of Survival, some big Black Cannons and A/C ranks and I'll be done. 300/300. AW 1 and 2 were so much shorter.

I assume C rank medals are supposed to some of the first ones you get when you start the game, but it seems those might be the last I have left. I'm just too good huh? With too big an AW addiction since prior games.

I've had this one for years now - playing on and off, but it sure took a while to reach this point of possible, ultimate victory. For a while I don't think I really thought I'd get this far! It's such a big game. Just seeing the menu the first time I was wowed by the amount of variation one title could provide - and each game type with its own selection of new maps to explore and master, as well as well-treasured and tested classics from the prequels.

420 hours might not seem like much if you count it in days, or in game sessions of a few hours each, but consider shorter sessions: half an hour, maybe, and suddenly that's about a thousand moments you've booted the game! Not counting load time - or time spent skimming through menus and engaging in shorter, non-rewarding battles without saving.

I just gotta get this out there that this is massive time to spend on a single release. Aside from GTA SA, Oni, DOOM, and possibly some earlier RE and GTA games I think this is the most time I've ever dedicated to a single title.

Would be curious to know if there's anyone out there who's put in more!

But anyway, I'm home today, so I have time to write a bit about such unimportant topics as my arguably badly-prioritized use of time when I pour such amounts of it into particular titles as this.

It's a holiday here in Sweden - the day after the one day people usually stay up all night tending their fires and... what are we doing again? Scaring off witches and evil spirits. Right. Or before Christian traditions took over: partying as only witches could! In whatever sinful, stereotyped ways they may have been said to do so (they probably just traded herbal recipes, and maybe sipped a healing brew or two).

These days it's more about getting drunk and gathering around large fires, to celebrate the passing of winter - if anything - and bring in Spring!

It's a nice tradition, but one we've never really celebrated in our house, so I'm just typing up a blog about it to somehow document its passing. May the winter rest in peace, and sunny days come soon in abundance!

I'm not much for getting drunk either. Only on life.

So let us move on, into the gray dusk of a new dawn.

Good day, and Happy May!

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