Thursday, 5 March 2015

Getting back to reading

It took a while for me to start reading again this year. Between Christmas and mid-February I read nothing at all. But now I'm back in action!

I started this year with Half a King by Joe Abercrombie. I'm a big fan of Abercrombie's dark and twisted adult fantasy, and I was really excited to read the first book in his youth fantasy trilogy. It didn't disappoint. Like most his other books (Red Country being the only exception where I could see through the whole plot) I didn't expect a lot of the twists and turns, the least expected one was probably the final revelation which was very nicely hidden. I liked all the characters and unlike some authors of youth fiction who make their characters very plain and simple because their audience is young, the characters of Half a King were all very layered. The only problem I have with this book is that it seemed so finished in the end and I'm not sure how he's going to turn this into a trilogy. Still, I'm looking forward to reading the next one!

Next up was American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I hadn't read this one yet although it's considered one of his most important works. In general I liked it, but there were so many sub-plots that I lost track of some of them during the course of the book. I'm not even sure if all the sub-plots were resolved by the end. However, I did like Shadow as a character and I did not expect the revelation in the end. I also read the short story Monarch of the Glen, which was included in the end of my edition of American Gods. I had previously read it in either Fragile Things or Smoke & Mirrors (I tend to mix those two up), but it made a lot more sense now after I had read the main story ;) I think I'm seeing hints towards more stories with Shadow as the main protagonist and I'm looking forward to reading more Shadow. I also need to include my favourite quote from this book. I don't know why it's my favourite but there's something about it that I find strangely beautiful. But it's also ridiculously long.
"I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkedly lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in Drive-In Movie theatres from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprinicpled crooks and I still believe they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian Shaman. I believe that Mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right  to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, life is a cruel joke and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it."

Then I moved on to more recent Gaiman publishings: First up was The Sleeper and the Spindle, which I absolutely adored. Snow White saving Sleeping Beauty instead of some handsome prince. The beautiful illustrations by Chris Riddell made everything even more fabulous. Then there was the nice twist in the end that took me by surprise. You think you know these fairy tales? Not when Gaiman's the story-teller.

Second of recent Gaiman publishings was Trigger Warning. He's amazing at writing short stories and Trigger Warning did not disappoint although I had previously read both The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains and The Sleeper and the Spindle. My favourite stories in this collection were the curious The Thing About Cassandra, the sci-fi Orange, the odd but strangely satisfying A Calendar of Tales, the Sherlock Holmes story The Case of Death and Honey, the horror stories Click-Clack the Rattlebag and Feminine Endings, as well as the latest American Gods' Shadow story Black Dog. I honestly thought that his Doctor Who story Nothing O'Clock would be amongst my favourites since I love Doctor Who and I've loved the two episodes he's written, but no. I liked it but I didn't love it. Could it have something to do with 11 not being exactly my favourite?

From today I'm reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith a.k.a J.K. Rowling. I've only read 100 pages so far, but it already seems more interesting than the last one!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Digimon!

I've always loved both Digimon and Pokémon, but for two completely different reasons. I love Pokémon because of the merch and the games. I love Digimon because of the show. The Pokémon anime is great, but it's always the same. Ash doesn't age and it's always him and Pikachu battling, trying to become the best and as far as I know that hasn't happened yet (although the show's been on for 18 years). With Digimon it's different. The characters have depth. They have strengths and flaws and they develop throughout the show. The group keeps splitting up so the characters can learn more about themselves and then rejoin when their personal journey is over. You can see the progress they make and it's an amazing adventure just to watch the show.

I'm currently working on rewatching Pokémon, Sailor Moon and Digimon. This is the first time I watch the shows since I was 9 years old and Digimon is still my favourite. Like with Sailor Moon I watch Digimon in original Japanese and to be blunt - both the English and Swedish dubs can get out of here. They are nothing compared to the awesomeness that's the Japanese original. To begin with the English opening sucks, and if possible the Swedish opening that I grew up with sucks even worse. The Japanese opening is glorious.
English | Swedish | Japanese

Just like when I grew up Sora is my favourite character and Tailmon/Gatomon is my favourite Digimon. Although I really do like Patamon as well, but that may just be because he resembles a rabbit. A flying rabbit :3 On top of the awesome intro, the awesome character developments and awesome story of Digimon there's also the awesome song played when the Digimon digivolve and fight. Honestly, I was waving my arms around and lip-syncing to it like a crazy person during every single episode. So here are two videos with that song: One where it's subbed, because the lyrics are amazing, and one where it's during digivolution and preparation for the final battle. You gotta love it, people!
The song with subs | Preparations for final battle. The sound is a little off and there are no subs so if you want to skip to the digivolution it starts at 2:00

Then there are the names. Like some digimon names are changed. I can understand some of those changes. I can definitely understand why some of the characters' names are changed as well:
Taichi - Tai
Yamato - Matt
Sora - Sora
Jyou - Joe
Mimi - Mimi
Koushirou - Izzy
Takeru - T.K.
Hikari - Kari
So I can understand how most of those changes happened. But how the hell did Koushirou become Izzy? O_o
I'm also shipping Taichi with Sora, and if the movie Our War Games is any indication then that ship is very canon. But I also can't help creating headcanons for some of the Digimon. Like I can totally see Devimon, LadyDevimon and PicoDevimon/DemiDevimon as a family. 
Devimon and LadyDevimon

And I can also see Angemon and Angewomon as a couple. Is that just me?
Angewomon and Angemon
I'm really looking forward to continue watching this show. And I even have a brand new show to wait for: Digimon Adventure Tri is coming out this year! :D

Friday, 13 February 2015

Dragon Age: comparison post

This will be my last one for a while! I promise :P This post should be safe for reading even if you haven't played Inquisition. There are no spoilers to the story in this post.

Having played all three games several times now I can confidentely say that Origins is still the best and 2 is still the worst. As much as I love Inquisition it's missing a lot of the variety that Origin has. Inquisition is so much about mages and there's so much about elves going on, but dwarves have pretty much gotten the boot from the game. Orzammar, Kal-Sharok, Deep Roads and dwarven customs are only briefly mentioned in dialogue and on war table missions, and as much as I hate the Deep Roads they are a given part of a Dragon Age game, and I rather wish they would've kept the Deep Roads and kicked the Fade. The tiny bit in Valammar hardly counts. Even 2 has more dwarven stuff than Inquisition, tbf despite the lack of variety in areas in 2 that game still has more variety of people and customs than Inquisition does. Though I do appreciate the fact that the Avvar are finally in a game in Inquisition.

As much as I got tired of being stuck in Kirkwall in 2, I absolutely adore the time spent in Denerim in Origins and I miss cities so much in Inquisition. Val Royeux and Redcliffe don't count. Redcliffe is bigger in Origins than in Inquisition. In Inquisition Redcliffe is barely bigger than master Dennet's farm. Heck, even Lothering and Honnleath in Origins are bigger than Redcliffe in Inquisition! Val Royeux in Inquisition seemed cool at first but it's basically just a glorified village. There's no city atmosphere there. That said, Inquisition has some amazing areas to explore, my favourites being Hinterlands, Crestwood, Emerald Graves and Emprise du Lion. But just as much as I loved Denerim, Ostagar and Redcliffe in Origins, I hated Orzammar and the Circle Tower. And likewise I was so bored and/or annoyed going through the desert areas (Forbidden Oasis, Western Approach, Hissing Wastes) and Fallow Mire in Inquisition. Fallow Mire mostly because I always want to explore the entire region and to do that I have to enter the water and when I do that I get attacked by hordes of undead. It's so annoying.
Hinterlands, Crestwood, Emerald Graves, Emprise du Lion

I loved the story in Origins, but despite all the choices you can make in there, it doesn't seem to affect the world as much as one pivotal choice in Inquisition - the choice whether you should side with the mages or the templars. I have always felt that the mages were right in their rebellion so out of my four playthroughs of Inquisition I only sided with the templars once, in my latest one, just to see if it would make any difference. And actually it did! I feel like there's suddenly more substance to the storyline, but not only that - there are no red templars (thus far, I haven't completed that playthrough yet) every area that was previously occupied by red templars in my other playthroughs (like their camp in Crestwood) are no occupied solely by Venatori. The presence of Venatori when you side with the mages is never fully explained, it's only assumed that some vints still remain on the Elder One's side. But the fact that red templars just don't show when you've sided with them is strangely satisfying. It feels like you've saved an entire group of people just by taking them in. So which side you choose has an actual and prominent impact on the world. In Origins it doesn't matter. It's just a matter on what sort of army you get in the final onslaught. Side with mages, get mages in army. Side with templars, get templars in army. Side with elves, get elves in army. Side with werewolves, get werewolves in army. But there's no tangible difference in the world. In 2 even if you sided with the mages Orsino still turned into a monster, while it would've made more sense to have had him by my side and help me fight Meredith. There's virtually no difference what happens in 2 either.

It's my theory that 2 was so bad (although I did enjoy playing it) because it mostly worked as a prologue to Inquisition. Everything that happens in 2 leads up to what Inquisition is all about. It's also bad because Hawke has basically nothing to do with anything that happens in the game. Stuff would happen even if Hawke wasn't there, while in Origins the Warden makes things happen, and the Inquisitor is the reason things happen in Inquisition.

Something I missed both in 2 and Inquisition is the ability to just turn around whenever and wherever and have a dialogue with that specific companion. Why can't I do that?! It makes no sense! Also, in Inquisition there's a lot of party banter involving the Inquisitor, but there are no speech options for the Inquisitor. Like why can't I participate in a conversation concerning myself? I also miss gifts. I want gifts for my companions in Inquisition. I also want an approval bar so I can physically see how much someone likes me.
 
All of them have amazing companions and characters overall, But Origins win because of the quests. Sure, there are a few fetch quests and a few annoying quests that involve running back and forth between places and getting attacked on the way (because I can never travel from one place to another without getting attacked), but the major quests are amazing. As much as it scared me shitless the first time I played the game (and that's an accomplishment) Paragon of her Kind is an amazing quest, and there hasn't been a single one like it since. I hate the Deep Roads but that quest has me scared and excited at the same time. The quest with the Dalish is also amazing, and the whole mission to find the Urn of Sacred Ashes is incredible. There's already so much content in Origins, but when the Landsmeet draws close and thereby the end of the game I always wish for more. 2 doesn't have that and although In Your Heart Shall Burn has some amazing story sequences, and In Hushed Whispers is a really cool quest none of them manage to give me the same feeling Origins' quests do. Except for the scene where the Elder One walks through the fire. That scene along with The Dawn Will Come still give me chills.

Now I'm so tempted to start another playthrough of Origins... Maybe I should? I probably shouldn't... But I probably will.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Sailor Moon

It's 15 years ago since I watched this show. But I decided I had to do it again and this time in its original Japanese.

The intro was nothing like the one in Swedish that I'm accustomed to, same with the outro. I can see how the show appealed to me when I was 9 years old, and tbh until the very last two episodes the best part of every single episode is the transformation scene. You know what's funny? Looking through all those 46 episodes of the first season I have learned Usagi's (that's Annie's in the English/Swedish vers.) catch phrases by heart in Japanese, but I don't know them in Swedish. But, to be completely honest - the Japanese intro is better ;)

The story was so slow. Probably due to it being an anime and it thus being full of fillers. Also it was a bitch to watch to begin with because I never liked Usagi. I always thought of her as an incredibly annoying pain in the ass, and I was so grateful when the others started showing up. Ami was nice. I love her persona and her equipment (probably because I can relate to her), Rei is necessary to bring Usagi down to earth, but my favourite Sailor Senshi (that's 'warrior') is Makoto, Sailor Jupiter, she's badass and tough and takes no bullshit. Why couldn't she have been the protagonist? That would've made for such an interesting and cool show!

But generally the show was slow. Too many fillers, too long to gather the rainbow crystals, too much dallying around with Jadeite, too much cluelessness with the princess... It took too long to get going and I thought about dropping the show altogether more than once.

I really liked Naru and Nephrite and I had begun shipping them long before Nephrite's final episode. That was one of the better episodes of the show and it also had me crying my eyes out. But they are so cute together! ^_^
Couldn't find it subbed ^^;

I also liked Zoisite and his relationship with Kunzite. However, I didn't like Kunzite :P

The last two episodes of the season along with Nephrite's last episode were the best ones in the entire show and those three sort of made it all worth it. I will continute watching, because I want to see the other Sailor Senshi too, and I want to see how Sailor Moon Crystal differs from the original :)

Is it a sign that I've studied too much Japanese if I unconciously analyse their way of speaking during every episode?

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

50 questions about books

It's been a while since I did a thing like this. So here we go :) (Still trying to break my streak of Dragon Age related stuff).

1. Which is the last book you read?
I haven't started reading this year yet. Been too caught up with Dragon Age and TV shows to actually start a book. So the last book I've read is the last book I read in 2014: Svavelvinter by Erik Granström. It's a Swedish high fantasy novel written in a sort of old fashioned way.

2. Was it any good?
It was a bit hard to get into, so I struggled a bit to begin with (plus the text is really small and it's almost 600 pages long!), but when I got into it I really liked it.

3. What was it about it that was good?
I've missed reading a fantasy novel with a lot of living legends, political intrigues, cunning plots, and very morally grey characters. Loved it! Got the second book in the series for Christmas.

4. Would you recommend it to others?
When I told my best friend that I was reading it she told me that she had tried and failed. But I think I'm more into high fantasy than she is, it's also based off of an RPG world and that may contribute. But I would recommend anyone interested in high fantasy with complicated plots to at least give it a try.

5. How much do you read?
Last year I read 46 books. But that was including univeristy course literature, and some children's books that didn't take me more than a few hours to read. But I'd say about 30 books a year, which isn't a lot really (I know people who read a lot more than that - my mother for one).

6. Do you like to read?
Yes! It was the first form of escapism that I encountered. I remember learning to read, and as soon as it clicked into place I haven't been able to stop.

7. Which was the last bad book you read?
Probably Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers.

8. What did you dislike about it?
I had such high hopes for it because I love Disney's version and I went to see the musical back in 2008 when I was in Edinburgh - and it was great. But the book was just boring. I know it's old and children's books have evolved a lot just in the past 50 years. But I loved The Wizard of Oz and that's way older. There was no substance to anything in Mary Poppins, which disappointed me.

9. Do you want to become a writer?
Yes! I've actually sent my first manuscript to a bunch of publishers! Fingers crossed :)

10. Is there any book that has influenced you a lot?
Harry Potter. There's no way around that, is it? I've talked about Harry a lot on this blog. Here's the latest one in which I describe what that series means to me.

11. Do you read fan fiction?
Yes. Mostly Harry Potter, and most of it filling the gap between the end of book 7 and the epilogue Nineteen years later. That's a lovely gap which fans can fill with their own version of things.

12. Do you write fan fiction?
I can't say I haven't tried. But no. I don't. Anymore...

13. Do you have a favourite book?
I read fantasy so I tend to have favourite series rather than favourite books :P I can't pick just one. The First Law by Joe Abercrombie. The Wild Hunt by Elspeth Cooper. Burton & Swinburne by Mark Hodder. The Belgariad by David Eddings. Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

14. Which is the worst book you've read?
Fördömd by Johanne Hildebrandt.

15. Do you prefer physical books or do you have some form of e-reader?
I prefer physical books. Mostly because my eyes get really tired from reading on a screen, but also because I love the smell of books and because you can see how much love a book gets - the more tattered the more loved.

16. When did you learn how to read?
I think I knew a little before school started, but I learned properly in first grade, which normally (in Sweden) is the year you turn 7.

17. Which is your favourite book of the ones you were forced to read in school?
I hated reading in school. 1-3 grade we'd have a book that we'd read together in class and I hated it because everyone else read so slowly :P Then in 4-6 grade we'd vote on a book that our teacher would read to us. In 7-9 grade we really didn't do that thing (not that I can remember) In 10th grade we had to choose a book to read and write a review on it for Swedish class. I picked Across the Nightingale Floor by Liam Hearn, because I love Asian things. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be, but at least it was the best one I was forced to read in school.

18. Which is your favourite series?
See question 13.

19. Who is your favourite writer?
Neil Gaiman. Sorry, Jo.

20. Which is your favourite genre?
Fantasy. Since I was 12.

21. Who is your favourite character from a book series?
Sand dan Glokta from The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, whose cynism I absolutely adore,

22. Has a book ever made you feel like you're somewhere completely different?
My answer to question 6 was that reading was the first form of escapism that I encountered. So yes, many times. If a book can't take me from reality to somewhere amazing, then it's usually not a book that I like very much.

23. Which book do you wish had a sequel?
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie. I loved Monza Murcatto and didn't really want to leave Styria when the book ended.

24. Which book do you wish did not have a sequel?
I rather wish that The Belgariad did not have a sequel quintology :P The ending was perfect in The Belgariad and continuing on in The Malloreon felt quite forced.

25. How long does it take for you to read a book?
That completely depends on the book! I could read a normal-sized 300 page book in less than a day if it's good enough that I can't put it down. Most of the books I read, though, are between 400 and 800 pages long and if I do other things than read it usually takes about 5-7 days for one book. Unless it's a short story anthology, because those can take me forever.

26. Do you like when books become movies?
Generally not. But then again Disney's Mary Poppins was a lot better than the book...

27. Which book was ruined by it's movie adaptation?
I've said it so many times but - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It's one of my favourite books in the series and they completely ruined it. It's supposed to be about finding out Voldemort's past, what he came from and what he's done etc etc. Instead it's some cheesy high school romantic drama thing. Eugh!

28. Which movie was true to its book?
I've been so turned off about book-movies since Half-Blood Prince, but possibly Neverwhere. Then again that was a movie first, then the motives changed and it became a TV show, which became a book. Maybe Coraline...?

29. Do you read the news paper?
Not a physical one, but I do follow the news on news papers online.

30. Do you read magazines?
I have a subscription on Doctor Who Magazine! So yes, I do :)

31. Do you prefer news papers or magazines?
Magazines, definitely. But preferably the geeky ones. I don't do women's magazines.

32. Do you read in bed?
Oh, yes.

33. Do you read in the bathroom?
Nope. I do my business and get out.

34. Do you read in the car?
No. I get motion sick so very easily in cars. Every other sort of vehicle is fine, but I can't with cars. I need my eyes glued to the window.

35. Do you read in the tub?
What if my book gets wet? D:

36. Are you a fast reader?
Fairly so.

37. Are you a slow reader?
No.

38. Where do you prefer to read?
In bed.

39. Do you find it hard to concentrate when you read?
If I read in the sofa and the telly is on, I do. But otherwise, no.

40. Do you need to be in a quiet room to be able to read?
Actually I prefer reading while listening to music.

41. Who gave you your love for books?
I can't imagine a life without books. But my family is big on reading. My grandparents read a lot and my mum reads a lot. My mum has a lot of books and I've had books for as long as I can remember. My parents always read bedtime stories for my sister and me, and I started my own collection as soon as I could read. To me, not having at least one bookshelf full of books is as weird as not having a TV.

42. What book is next on your to-read list?
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie.

43. When did you start reading chapter books?
Don't know. But I think it was before Harry Potter. So possibly around the age of 7-8?

44. Who is your favourite writer in children's literature?
I want to say J.K. Rowling because technically Harry Potter is a children's series, but I've never been so hooked on children's stories as when I read The Wolves in the Walls, Fortunately the Milk, and The Graveyard Book, all by Neil Gaiman.

45. What writer would you love to interview?
Sometimes I really wish that Lovecraft was still alive... I'd really like to know his own thoughts on his stories and what he thought when he wrote them.

46. What writer do you think you could be friends with?
I have no idea. I haven't met that many and the image you get via interviews and media tends to be angled in some way, and I can't help wondering if it's them we're getting or their work persona. But I'd love to at least get together and have a proper none-fan based conversation with Neil Gaiman. Just a cup of tea.

47. Which book have you read many times?
I've read the entire Harry Potter series as well as The Belgariad more than 3 times each.

48. Which books do you think are classics?
Books whose writers or titles people recognise no matter what literature circles they belong to. You don't have to be a fan of Dracula or Frankenstein to know those titles (or their authors). You don't have to be a fan of Jane Austen to know about Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Darcy. You don't have to be a fan of French literature to know of Voltaire and Les Misérables. And you don't need to be Swedish to know about Pippi Longstocking ;)

49. What books do you think should be read in all schools?
Well, I tend to only read fantasy, and that's actually not considered important enough anywhere to be in schools. And I also know from my own experience that students tend to hate on books they're forced to read. But sometimes the school only wants the students to read to practice their reading not to actually pull the story apart and analyse it, and what better way to do that than to have something light and fun to read? And that's where Skulduggery Pleasant comes in. It's easy enough to read for 9-10 year olds to manage it, and it's fun enough that teenagers will enjoy it.

50. What books should be prohibited in all schools?
Books shouldn't be prohibited. The only way to learn and grow and form opinions is through experience. Books can offer that experience as well as understanding.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Manga tag!

No, I wasn't tagged but I do this anyway - and I'm not gonna tag anyone either - so sue me! :D

Dodger did this on her channel and I was inspired!

1. What was your first manga?
I think the first one I read was Chobits. It was in a Swedish manga magazine called Manga Mania and Chii was on the cover and I thought she was so cute! :3 (I still do)

2. What was your most expensive manga?
Hmm. I don't buy much manga anymore. And last time I did prices were as follow: 59 SEK (€6) for Swedish translated manga, 110 SEK (€12) for American English translated imported manga (specifically TokyoPop, Dark Horse was always even more expensive) and about 70 SEK (€7,5) for original Japanese manga. I think the most expensive one I ever bought was the first volume of Azumanga Daioh or it may have been the first volume of School Rumble. Either one. American copies.

3. What was your least expensive manga?
Any Swedish volume. I had over 40 volumes of One Piece once...

4. What is the most boring manga you own?
I don't own it anymore for obvious reasons, but back when I was crazy about everything manga I got my hands on anything the book shop could offer (which in southern Sweden wasn't anything much in the early 00s). So the most boring manga I ever owned, imo, was Tokyo Mew Mew.

5. What is your favourite manga (series)?
Back in the day One Piece would've won. Today the battle stands between Godchild and Death Note. Those are the only complete series that I still own, because it breaks my heart to sell them or throw them away. I love them too much!

6. What is the most relatable manga you own?
Nihonjin no Shiranai Nihongo! Japanese that Japanese don't know :P

7. What is one manga you own that is based off of an anime?
First volume of Code Geass in Japanese!

8. What is your rarest manga?
Possibly, Watashi no Suki na Hito? I had a period where I collected everything CLAMP had made. This was a chance encounter and a must-buy!

9. One of your reprinted manga?
Revamped Legal Drug? Except that it's now called Drug & Drop. I have the first volume in Japanese.

10. The most popular manga series you own?
Well, I used to collect both Naruto and One Piece :P But as of right now I'd say Death Note.

11. What is the most damaged manga you own?
I don't damage my manga? :P But if I'm to be picky it's Ju-On -video slide-

12. Which manga has the most amazing art?
I love Kaori Yuki! I started a collection of her work before my manga interest went mostly AWOL. Fairy Cube and Godchild are amazing!

13. Oldest published manga you own?
Easy! It's a Japanese comic from the 70s, bought by my grandfather when he was in Tokyo :P

14. Newest published manga you own?
Oh... Probably the first volume of Durarara!! in Japanese

15. A recent manga that you purchased?
I believe it was the first volume of Drug & Drop in Japanese.

There! This was fun :) And a nice change from the constant Dragon Age posts, right? ;)

Saturday, 24 January 2015

My two Dragon Age world states

If there's one game series with replay value, then it's the Dragon Age series. So I've played every game twice :P Here are my two world states (I wish I could just import the tapestry videos from Dragon Age Keep, but EA aren't that smart apparantly):

First playthrough:

Dragon Age: Origins:
Female city elf warrior named Kallian Tabris. She's still alive after the end of the Blight. Romanced Alistair and he remained with the Wardens, enabling Anora to continue being the queen. For the quest with the Dalish elves I chose neither side and remained neutral with the result that I had to fight Zathrian and the curse was thus ended. In Orzammar I chose to ally with Harrowmont, and in the Circle I sided with the templars, which resulted in Wynne's death so I never got her as a companion. I never got Zevran either as I, in this playthrough, basically killed everything. He tries to kill me? Then I kill him. I saved Redcliffe by sacrificing Isolde, allowing Connor to live. But I did not defile the Urn of Sacred Ashes when I went to get that. I killed Loghain in a duel, and I had Morrigan do her ritual with Alistair so neither of us would die. For Awakening I killed the Architect, chose to let Amaranthine fall to preserve my Keep, let Nathaniel live, but didn't reunite Oghren and Felsi since that quest was never given to me. In Witch Hunt I let Morrigan go through the eluvian and I didn't follow or stab her. In Warden's Keep I killed Sophia and let Avernus live and continue his research. In Stone Prisoner I didn't manage to save Amalia, but I recruited Shale.

Dragon Age 2:
Elia Hawke. Female rogue. Humorous. Romanced Merrill. Joined the smugglers to be able to enter Kirkwall. I killed everyone who opposed me and joked about everything. I sided with the templars on everything, although my sister was sent to the Circle. Turned rebellious mages over to the templars, sent Feynriel to the Circle, kicked Keran out of the templars for being a danger of possession, blackmailed Ser Thrask because of his abomination sister, had Feynriel made Tranquil, sent the escaped mages back to the Circle, handed the conspirators over to Meredith, and executed Anders. I killed the Arishok and his entourage. I rescued Nathaniel in the Deep Roads. I killed Merrill's entire clan, but let her keep the eluvian. I sided with Larius in Legacy DLC.

Dragon Age: Inquisition:
Female Dalish elf rogue named Ellana Lavellan. Romanced Solas and was heartbroken. Sided with the mages and made them my allies, and met Connor in Redcliffe. I didn't manage to save anyone when Haven fell apart. I met Alistair as Hawke's Warden friend and ended up physically in the Fade with my party and those two. In the heart-wrenching decision of who should stay behind I chose Hawke, and had Alistair return with me only to exile the Wardens. I allowed Celene to die so Gaspard could take the throne, closely watched and steered by Briala. I kicked Sera out of the Inquisition after Halamshiral. At the Temple of Mythal I chose to do the Petitioner's Path, allied with the Sentinels against the Red Templars, and then let Morrigan drink from the Well of Sorrows. I supported Leliana as the new Divine, which happened.

Second playthrough:

Dragon Age: Origins:
Female Dalish elf rogue named Teia Mahariel. She's still alive after the end of the Blight. Romanced Zevran. For the quest with the Dalish elves I chose to align myself with the Dalish, killing Witherfang, allowing the curse to continue, and letting Zathrian live. In Orzammar I allied with Bhelen, and in the Circle I allied with the mages. I recruited both Wynne and Zevran this time around. I saved Redcliffe by killing Connor and the demon that possessed him, and I still did not defile the Urn. I had planned to have Alistair and Anora marry, but since my rogue couldn't defeat Loghain in single combat I had Alistair do it and thus Anora refused to marry him. Still Alistair became king and Anora was locked away. I still had Morrigan do her ritual with Alistair. In Awakening I allied with the Architect against the Mother, allowing him to live. I managed to save both the Keep and Amaranthine, let Nathaniel live, and reunited Oghren and Felsi. Witch Hunt was the same... In Warden's Keep I allied with Sophia and killed Avernus. In Stone Prisoner I managed to save both Amalia and her father and recruit Shale.

Dragon Age 2:
Marian Hawke. Female rogue. Diplomatic. Romanced Anders. Joined the mercenaries to be able to enter Kirkwall. Took Bethany with me into the Deep Roads where she contracted the Blight, but Anders took her to Stroud and had her saved. I sided with the mages on everything this time and I tried not to kill anyone (except stupid templars). I sent Feynriel to the Dalish, but still made him Tranquil because he asked me to. I had a high enough friendship with Isabela for her to return with the Tome of Koslun and I allowed the Qunari to take her back to Par Vollen with them, so I didn't have to kill the Arishok. I allowed the escaped mages to go free, and I handed the conspirators to Orsino. I rescued Nathaniel and let Anders live. I managed to save Merrill's clan, and had her destroy the eluvian. I once again sided with Larius in Legacy DLC.

Dragon Age: Inquisition:
Female Dalish elf rogue named Ariana Lavellan. Romanced Cullen and lived happily ever after. Once again sided with the mages, and saved all but one when Haven fell apart. I met Hawke's Warden friend Stroud and when I ended up in the Fade with them I chose to save Hawke this time. I also recruited the Wardens as my allies. I sided with Celene and reunited her with Briala. I made Florianne's treason and betrayal public and sentenced her to farm work. I became best friends with Sera and had a lot of roof time with her. At the Temple of Mythal I once again chose the Petitioner's Path and allied with the Sentinels, but this time I chose to drink from the Well of Sorrows myself. I allied myself with the Guardian of Mythal - a dragon. I supported Vivienne as the new Divine, but still the title went to Leliana.

I just realised that almost all my characters have red hair and are very pale. Except for two who have black hair but are still really pale. Interestingly, my favourite characters to play have been Teia, Elia, and Ariana. All the ones who took nothing seriously and joked about everything.

I'm still not sure I'm entirely done with this series. But I won't play for a while. I need to step away to gain some perspective. Would be interesting to play the series as a mage, though. And maybe male?