An origin story and series discoveries, anime edition

As I mentioned last week, I’m on Gabriela Pereira’s DIYMFA launch team (yes, the book is coming out shortly). In preparation for the launch, Gabriela has been asking us weekly questions related to DIYMFA (the site, the newsletter, the course, and the book).

This week’s question is: What is your origin story?

How this ties into DIYMFA: Gabriela has recently asked what our writerly superpower was. For the record, mine is character, which I consider to be the well-spring of all things story. In keeping with that theme, all superheroes have origin stories.

Here’s mine.

Author origins

Even pre-origin, I was a creative wee bug. Read, I was a big fibber. The other kids were more honest. They called me a liar.

It wasn’t anything big or flashy. When I was a kid, in grade one (five years old), I really wanted a pet. I was obsessed with cats and took those books out of the library to read, well, gaze at longingly. I was just learning to read.

In show and tell every day (practically) I’d tell the tale of the latest stray cat I’d found and taken in. When the other kids (and teacher) asked me about the last cat, it invariably, and conveniently, had run away.

By the time I was in grade three, I wrote a little essay (well, I was seven), on my puppy, Friskey. I named her and misspelled her name. I’d like to say it was purposeful, but I rather think I just didn’t know how to spell.

Also in grade three, there was a special presentation by the grade five students. They’d all written and illustrated story books.

The moment I saw Siobhan Riddell’s version of St. George and the Dragon, I was hooked. Hard. I made my first submission, to the CBC’s “Pencil Box,” later that year.

And that was it. I’ve been writing—and in love with writing—ever since.

Series discoveries: Anime update

Series Discoveries

Phil and I have eased off on the anime, but we still watch Fairy Tail, and now World Trigger, as they are released (weekly). Actually, they are both now in hiatus as the animators work on the next seasons.

Fairy Tail went through some backstory in this season with Fairy Tail: Zer0. It is the tale of how a young Mavis met with some intrepid treasure hunters and through a series of adventures founded the wizard guild, Fairy Tail. Zeref even makes an appearance.

Next season promises to be about the rebuilding of the guild, which, after the Tartaros arc, had disbanded and all of its members departed for parts unknown.

The storytelling is decent, but, as with most anime, there are gaps in logic or plot that irritate. It’s still all about the power of friendship, though.

World Trigger focused mostly on rank wars, which is where the manga dwells these days as well. Osamu, Kuga, and Chika are trying to make it to A-rank so they can go on away missions to the neighbour worlds in the hope of rescuing Chika’s brother and friend, who disappeared and are assumed abducted. They’re also in search of Kuga’s companion, Replica, an autonomous trion soldier, who’d sacrificed himself to save Osamu and Chika when Aftokrator, a neighbour world, attacked.

As the season ended, not one, but two other neighbour worlds would be coming into contact with Mideen, where World Trigger takes place. Rank wars were to continue, but the A-rank Border teams  would have to defend against the neighbours.

Osamu and his team of three are in a bit of a crisis as well. Osamu, though a good strategist, has very little trion, the energy that allows Border agents to use the neighbour triggers. He also has very little experience and has come up against a wall. He is struggling, and holding his team back.

Chika, though she has an amazing amount of trion, is young and kind enough that she can’t bear to target people.

Kuga, a neighbour himself, has lots of trion and lots of experience and so the team’s success has rested largely on his shoulders.

Osamu has tried to recruit a fourth member for their team, but has so far been unsuccessful.

Log Horizon has still not returned.

We watched the second season of RWBY and the story is getting darker. The huntresses in training have watched their academy, and their world, come tumbling down around them.

At the end, Yang had her hand cut off and she and Ruby were recovering at home with their father after the attack that destroyed their academy. Blake had run away after her confrontation with her former boyfriend and his terrorist faction ended disastrously. Weiss had been recalled to her family’s estate in the city.

The enemy, still a little too amorphous and mysterious for my liking, controls the beasts of Grimm and has stolen the powers of one of the four maidens, Spring.

Ruby, unwilling to let the enemy’s apparent victory go unanswered, takes off with two other former students from the academy to try to set things right.

We’ll see if the third season appears and if it answers any of the outstanding questions the series has so far left viewers with.

A new addition to our viewing line-up has been God Eater.

Post-apocalyptic Japan has been overrun by the Aragami, fearsome beasts that seem to revel in mindless destruction. With the exception of a few huge, very powerful Aragami, they don’t exhibit much intelligence.

To combat these fearsome beasts, scientists isolated the genetic material that mutated animals into Aragami in the first place. Though early experiments were disastrous, they eventually figured out that there were certain humans who would be enhanced by this genetic material rather than be taken over by it.

Lenka Utsugi is one of these humans, a God Eater. He is trained and given a weapon called a God Arc, which bonds with the wielder.

When an Aragami is killed, its ‘core’ is harvested. These cores can be used to power God Arcs, but are more important in the construction of Aegis, a domed settlement in which the remnants of the human race are to shelter.

There’s a lot more to it than that. Suffice it to say that Phil and I are enjoying it and watching the show while we wait for the others to return. We’re getting a little deeper into backstory, but the conspiracies in this series are still a little hazy for my liking.

And that’s it for this week.

I’ll see what the next DIYMFA question of the week is, but I may tackle that and midseason follies (to date). The week following is Ad Astra, and so I probably won’t blog that weekend. I’ll be too busy taking notes of the sessions I attend so that I’ll have lots of reportage ready to go after April’s next chapter update.

Series discoveries: anime edition

This weekend, I’m going to talk about the anime series Phil and I have been watching. Next weekend, I’m going to finally put forward my fall series review, even though some of them won’t have premiered yet (Supergirl) or returned (Grimm) yet.

The reason for this is that over the Hallowe’en weekend, Phil and I will be travelling to Ottawa for Can-con, so I won’t be blogging that weekend, and then, for the month of November, weekend blogging will be deferred in favour of NaNoWriMo (!)

Since I will be once more be working, and travelling for work, during the month of November, I don’t anticipate “winning,” but I certainly hope to improve upon last year’s word count.

So the next two weekends are a countdown to November’s reduced posting schedule. I’ll keep up with curation, but that’s it.

Onto the anime!

Last time, I’d mentioned that Phil and I were enjoying Log Horizon. We were, and then the show suddenly stopped production. With in a week, we learned the reason. The creator of the show was charged with tax evasion.

LH was, at the time, the most popular anime in Japan. Fans were demanding that the show’s creator be allowed to continue producing the show while he waited for his trial date. The creator announced publicly that if there was a way to continue to do so, that he would.

We haven’t seen an episode since.

It was getting to a crisis point in the current story arc. We are disappointed.

We watched the full run of Deadman Wonderland.

Interesting premise. In a society that incarcerates its citizens for the smallest infraction, a young boy finds himself in prison. Before long, he learns that by entering a deadly competition (televised for an elite, high-paying clientele), he can earn a pardon.

Very Hunger Games.

Then, joy of joys, Netflix picked up the licence for Inu Yasha. Just the first two seasons, but we watched it all. Yum.

Phil continues to watch Gintama, and started watching the live action version of Death Note. The live action DN diverged a bit from the anime storyline, but it was popular enough that the second season is in production.

We watched another new show, RWBY. It’s American, and animated a little differently, cell style, but done by computer. RWBY stands for both the colours red, white, blue, and yellow, and for the characters’ names: Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang.

They’re huntresses in an academy and they are training to hunt the Creatures of Grimm, with which the human race is fighting a pitched battle. Huntresses use dust to fuel their magic and fight the Grimm.

There’s a bit of a story around this series, as well. Marty Oum, the creator, died, but someone on the project committed to seeing the work through and the next season will be released next week. After that, who knows?

We’ve continued watching Fairy Tail, which continues to be entertaining. I find it a bit frustrating that we have to wait a whole week for the next episode, though.

We also started watching World Trigger. A world receives extra-dimensional visitors, called Neighbors, who seem bent on conquest. To defend themselves, they adapt the Neighbors’ weapons, called triggers, which can only be used by people who have large stores of a substance called trion, and create an agency called Border. Border agents train to defeat the Neighbors.

The anime focuses on Osamu and his team. Osamu does not have a lot of trion, but he is an amazing strategist. His friend, Yuma, is a Neighbor (if you want the back story, watch the series) and has a lot of combat experience. Chika’s brother (also Osamu’s friend) and best friend were abducted by the Neighbors. She has a lot of trion.

Trion and trigger use also endow some users with side effects. Yuma can tall when someone is lying. Chika can sense the presence of Neighbors. Osamu doesn’t have enough trion to have a side effect.

The threesome is a team and currently in a competition to see who will be chosen to go on away missions into the Neighbor dimensions to rescue their friends and family.

This show is also still in production, but is on hiatus now.

We tried watching Fate Zero, but weren’t keen.

And that’s all I have for you with regard to anime. See, I told you we’d dialled back 😉

Have a great week, and I’ll be back to review the fall season of TV for you. The stuff I watch, anyway 🙂

Series Discoveries