forestofglory: picture of califorina poppies (poppies)
Yotsuba&!, Vols 2-7 by Kiyohiko Azuma This slice of life manga about 5 year old Yotsuba and her friends and neighbors is really cute!

Golden Kamuy vol 1 by Satoru Noda I continue to enjoy this rather gory historical fiction manga. Its maybe a little info-dumpy but I'm into info dumps about how to catch and eat squirrels and other wilderness survival stuff. The art is very pretty I love how detailed the costumes and tools are. Plus I've started to care about the characters -- the story is getting more of found family vibe as it goes on.

Yona of the Dawn Vol 1-2 by Mizuho Kusanagi This was rec'ed to me by a friend who loves it, but I'm not finding very compelling. It just seems to have lot of tropes that I'm bored with in YA, dead moms, lost heirs seeking revenge, shifting alliances. I doubt this is fair but its not what I'm in the mood for right now so I'm not going to keep reading the series.

A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi trans. Taro Nettleton manga memoir about a mangaka in post war Japan. Since I've been reading a lot of manga lately I thought I'd like to learn a bit more about the history of form. This was maybe a bit more focused on publishing that I was looking for but was still fascinating. And as and add bonus I enjoyed the built enviroment details about the various places he lived.

The Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World by Emma Marris I'm starting to get frustrated with ecology books that acknowledge that Native Americans manged the landscape before European settlement but don't acknowledge that Native Americans are still around and value those practices for cultural reasons. Aside form that problem this pretty good introduction to the idea that there's no such thing as untouched wilderness and some of the practical implications of that. Since I've studied environmental history none of these ideas where new to me but it was nice to have them in one small book.

Not For Use In Navigation: Thirteen Stories by Iona Datt Sharma I'm about halfway through this collection. The stories in it are so beautiful! but I'm reading it pretty slowly because they are the kind of stories that I need focus on, and then I want to let that story sink in before I rush off and read the next one. Still very much recommenced. (NB I received an ARC of this form the author)

Guardian I finished watching this! It was such an intense experience! I'm not really sure what to say about it. I loved it but I also found the ending pretty heartbreaking. Also I'm still confused about quite a lot things. But I've found some other people's thoughts to read and that helped make sense of some of the things. Maybe I will write some more coherent thoughts up in bit. For now I'm excited to go lurk in the fandom. Its very nice for me that the show has pretty active fandom here on DW. I can actually find conversations. Maybe I will be brave an join in.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin and Pooh floating in a upturned  umbrella , with the word Ahoy in the corner (The Brain of Pooh)
I'm covered most of my recent manga reading in my last post but I'm still looking for more manga recs. But here's a bit about some of the non-manga things I've been reading and watching lately.

Legend of Korra Season 4 I'm working on a longer write up for this so hopefully more later. Meantime if anyone has recs for criticism or fanworks for Korra or ALTA that would be great!

Fruits Basket I finished it! I have such sense of closure about finishing this manga that I first read about 15 years ago. It was like a gift from my younger self. I liked the ending but I kinda wish the characters had more agency in one of the major events.

The Lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones One of my friends read this for the first time recently and inspired me to do a reread. Its still very charming!

Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley Its so nice to read something about pregnancy that acknowledges that it can really suck even when you want a baby. Lucy's pregnancy was much harder than mine, but I hated being pregnant. And the stuff about her miscarriage was really affirming if hard to read because it reminded me of my own experience.

Never After: Thirteen Twists on Familiar Tales by Marie Brennan Collection of flash fairy tale retellings. I am generally a fan of Brennan's work but this was bit dark for my tastes.

Ben's Bakery and the Hanukkah Miracle by Penelope Peters Gay Jewish Hockey romance. A lot of the conflict in this had to do with the couple having different levels of Jewish observance and since they where both more observant than I am I found that stressful. And honestly the more observant dude was kinda a jerk about the whole thing. It did have donuts and cute pee wee hockey team though.

Guardian This Chinese drama seems like it is popular here on DW so I thought I'd check it out. I've watched the 1st 17 episodes and I'm really liking it so far.

I'm a little confused by this because its not really my usual thing. It centers around police group that investigates the supernatural, and I'm generally not into the police or shows with a lot of crime and violence. It's also not great on female characters either. And it can be confusing at times. Reasons the show is confusing 1) subtitles I'm not great at these at best of times but the ones for this show are extra confusing, sometimes the English grammar is wonky, names are transliterated differently in different episodes, every now and again the subtitles are just missing. 2)This my first time watching a Chinese drama and I'm not familiar with the conventions 3) the plot is pretty complex with bits of backstory being reviled slowly through flashbacks so there's a lot to keep track of 4) there's probably plot holes and stuff but I can't tell for sure because of 3. Anyways I've decided to just roll with it and be confused and that's working out ok for me.

So that's all things I don't like so I should talk about what I do like. The drama is biased on a Boys Love novel but they aren't allowed to have gay romance on TV in China. But what this seams to mean in practice is that they've taken out all the kissing but left in all the flirting. So I really enjoy the relationship between the leads. So many intense looks! And one of them keeps feeding the other one. I generally like the team, they spend a fair amount of time bounding/bickering which is good fun. Plus I just enjoy the fact that its bit cheesy with melodramatic bits a silly specially effects. Its not sophisticated to admit to liking cheesy stuff but its defiantly something I enjoy.

SG1 This is what R and I are watching together. We are doing a good parts version and only watching the episodes that he thinks are good. Its my favorite level of serialized where each episode is contained story but the reset button isn't pushed and there's some meta plot. I enjoy the team dynamics, and how they all look out for each other. Every now and again they say something really sexist or racist and I have to yell at the TV. We are currently in the middle of season 2. The last episode featured a body swap machine which I image is a boon to fic writers.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Here's some thoughts on some of the media I've consumed recently:

*I saw a play! It was Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman and the Berkeley Rep! Its a play based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, so Roman myth, preformed with a pool. I'd seen this once before about 20 years ago but forgotten a lot. Anyways it was really good, I loved how the stories flowed together and how they used the water, but rather darker than I remembered.

*I'm still reading and enjoying Fruits Basket. I think I'm about at the point where I stopped reading years ago.

*R and I have been watching a little bit of Stargate (SG1). The pilot was not great, but he's been he's picked a few good episodes form the 1st season that I've enjoyed so far. I last one featured a kickass older woman scientist which was nice. Which also watched the 1st few episodes of netflix's Carmen San Diego, which was very pretty. But it didn't really grab either of us.

*I have ton of things out from the library just now. A lot of it is Fruits Basket, but there's also some other Manga, a few graphic novels, the most recent trade of Squirrel Girl, and couple of YA books I want to try to read before nominations close for the Lodestar.

*I've only got three stories left on in my 2018 short fiction TBR.

What are you reading and watching? Seen any live performances lately
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I recently finished watching season 3 of Legend of Korra. All the people who said that this season is better than the first two were right. There was very little teen romance in this, and the little there was was not awful. Also the season seemed much better paced and held together better thematically. This season had lots of my favorite characters plus it introduced some new characters that I liked a lot. So I really enjoyed the season though of course I have one or two complaints as well. But overall it was good season and I’m glad I watched it.

***Lots of Spoiler Containing thoughts*** )
forestofglory: Blue butterflies in front of pale white people with long flowing hair (blue magic)
R and I finished watching Star Trek: The Next Generation last night. We've been doing a good parts version where we skipped the worst episodes. It been a fun thing to watch together and talk about. I mentioned in my TV Wrap Up that I hadn't written much about it since season 4 and I think the main reason for that is that I don't really have anything new to say. I still wish this show did better by it's female characters, I still love the arts and crafts bits (in season 7 we got to see a bit of Kilgon Opera which was great), I still hate the prime directive, I still like that the show is optimistic mostly. Anyways the final episode gave us Future!Cambridge and Future!Data with a houseful of cats which I very much enjoyed. Data's idea of how a professor should dress also amuses me.

I think next we are going to watch a non-Trek show but eventually we plan to watch Voyager. The new season of Discovery has started airing but our plan is to wait until the whole season is out and watch it all then.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
In 2018 I finally started watching TV by myself. That's something I’d been reluctant to do for years, possibly out of a misplaced snobiness, I don’t know why really. But having not watched much TV until recently means there’s been a lot of good stuff for me to catch up on so I’ve been really enjoying the process. Here’s a run down of all the shows I watched this year in roughly chronological order. I’m including links to any write ups I did during the year -- a few of these are proper reviews but others are critical looks at topics that caught my attention.

Show: Great British Bake Off (GBBO)
Other thoughts: This the first show I watched by myself is very long time. It's very relaxing show with lots of cake and people helping each other so it was good way to ease myself into TV watching.

Show: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Write Up:Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 4 Thoughts and Feelings (Yes for some reason I only wrote about season 4 even though now we are in the middle of season 7)
Standout Episodes: “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, “The Measure of a Man”, “Lower Decks”, “Relics”, “Face of the Enemy”
Other thoughts: This is what R and I have been watching together. I’m enjoying the optimistic future, but still wish the women got to be awesome more often. Though Troi has gotten better since they started putting her in a standard uniform. I’m still really into all the random arts and crafts. And Data being baffled, baffled Data is the best Data.

Star Trek: Discovery, Steven Universe, Avatar: the last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Yuri!!! On Ice, Stuff I’ve watched with my toddler )

Given that almost everything on this list is animated I guess I quite like animation which isn't something I hadn't really thought about until recently. But it's nice to know that about myself now.

I have several more things I want to watch soonish. First I want to finish watching Korra and I also want to watch The Dragon Prince and Hilda. Maybe I'll try some live action shows too. And I want to get caught up with GBBO so I can talk to my officemates about it. R and I are almost done watching TNG and when we get done we plan to watch Voyager -- though we might take a short break between the two shows.

What TV did you enjoy in 2018? What do think I should be watching?

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forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
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