TTT: Fandoms

Hah. Fandoms. I don’t even know how many fandoms I’m in, because I love practically many things. A lot. I suppose I could list a bunch down off the top of my head, and for the most part, they are video-game related. Some book and anime stuff, too!

Top Ten Fandoms I Constantly Squee Over

One Piece – Honestly, it’s still one of my favorite animes to date. I don’t know why that is, because so far there’s been a standstill in really good episodes, but I just can’t stop loving this anime. Also, the Pirate Warriors video games are pretty fun. Repetitive, but fun.

Ouran High School Host Club – BEST SHOUJO EVER. Honestly, it was hard limiting the amount of anime I fangirl over, there’s definitely a lot more out there that I love, but Ouran is the sole representative for shojo type anime.

Fullmetal Alchemist – YAAAAS. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has got to be one of the best things that came out a couple years back. I mean, I did love the original anime as well, but Brotherhood kind of knocked the series out of the ballpark.

Bioware – Yeah, I started this list with just adding a series, then realized I’ve loved every single Bioware game I’ve played so far. So, um, yeah, Bioware just gets a lot of love for its Dragon Age and Mass Effect series. And honestly, the fandom for DA and ME is ridiculously talented. I get jealous from all the artistic work.

Bethesda – Also similar to Bioware in the fact that I loved all of the games I’ve played of theirs. So this includes OblivionSkyrimFallout 3, Fallout 4Dishonored, and Dishonored 2. Yeah. I totally play a ton of video games…

BioShock – This was probably my first entry into the modern Western-created game. Prior to this, I was often an Eastern gamer, and often I gravitated toward Japanese RPGs. When my sister recommended BioShock, I was skeptical, considering I was not very keen on first-person shooters. Hell, once I played it, though, I was absolutely hooked, and I’ve loved all three games in the franchise. Yes, even BioShock 2.

Final Fantasy – I am picky about which FF games I’ve played over and over, but old-school has always been the best. I must have played from Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy X with great enjoyment. I did play FFXII and enjoy that, too, though I suppose the appeal kind of stopped from there, up until FFXV came along.

Tortall series – No words can describe how much I love the world Tamora Pierce has created in her Tortallan series. It’s hands down one of my favorite fantasies.

Shades of Magic trilogy – Schwab has an awesome fandom, but there’s still not enough fanfiction dammit! This needs to be remedied.

Avatar: The Last Airbender – One of my favorite TV fandoms ever. EVER. I should have put this up near anime, but it’s a whole cartoon series that deserves to be set apart. I could say I don’t know why I love this series so much, but let’s all face it. I love it because elemental magic, Asian-inspired culture, a cast of fabulous characters, and martial arts bending all around.

Of Sailor Moon Book Tags

sailormoon-tag

I’ve been seeing this creep up ever since I saw it at Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books during a Sailor Moon monthly celebration thingy. I’ve been pondering about doing another tag, and this one was just perfect, because um, hello, Sailor Moon fan over here! So thanks, Alexa, for throwing in this meme!

The Questions

Moon: A book that makes you hungry

A lot of books tend to give me the munchies, but the latest one is definitely the Persian foods littering Renee Ahdieh’s pages in The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger. And oh, look! I even made one of the foods mentioned. 😀

Mercury: A book that features science and technology

  winter

Winter by Marissa Meyer had a lot of the plot hinging on its cyborg lead and the hacking involved to get into the middle of the Lunar throne room. Also, genius computer expert and lovely wise-cracking handsome rogues with stolen airships. Love it.

Venus: A book that makes you want to play video games

  readyplayerone

It’s not like I need any motivation to play video games…hem hem. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline definitely wanted me to play Mass Effect with all its talk about geek culture and fictional starships.

Mars: A book inspired by mythology or folklore

  spindlesend

Spindle’s End is an old school goodie by Robin McKinley. It is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

Jupiter: A book that gave you strong feelings

Just about all of the Shades of Magic books that V.E. Schwab has written so far? A Gathering of Shadows gave me too many feels on my train ride to work. Too. Many. Feels.

Saturn: A post apocalyptic book you love

  steelheart

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson was an awesome post-apocalyptic read, and while I haven’t read the rest of the trilogy (because I’m normally horrid at series), I’d recommend it completely anyway.

Pluto: A time travel book

  outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Only because it’s the most recent timey-wimey traveling book I’ve read and liked in a while.

Uranus: A book featuring elemental magic

The Silvered by Tanya Huff had more than just elemental magic, but it did have a great deal of focus on the Aydori elemental magic. I could probably name more volumes, especially in the graphic novel department. Hell, I’m just going to throw all Avatar: The Last Airbender books as well as all W.I.T.C.H. books in here. XD

Neptune: A book featuring music

  savagesong

Ha, okay, I haven’t read it yet, but just the poem on the jacket was all lyrical. So. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab.

Tuxedo Mask: A book with masquerades or hidden identities

The Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks deals with a lot of hidden identities, especially since it’s a trilogy about assassins. Let’s not even talk about the amount of people with deeper identities that get revealed much later in the series.

Rini/Chibi Moon: A favorite middle grade book

  wrinkleintime

Definitely A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s still hands down one of my favorite series.

Luna, Artemis & Diana: A book for animal lovers

  goldencompass

I’ve only read The Golden Compass (and I did adore the Sally Lockhart books), but His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman is great with animal daemons. With animals, really.

The Tags

Honestly, anyone who loves Sailor Moon and would love to do the book tag is tagged by me!

TTT: Family Parties

I will admit I haven’t done a TTT in a while. Actually, I haven’t properly done anything but writing in a while. I blame NaNoWriMo. I will always blame NaNoWriMo.

But I have temporarily resurfaced! Only because I’ve decided I’m going to spend the rest of Thanksgiving break (after my food and party coma) writing. And even when I’m like…4000 words behind, I WILL KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.

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For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

Top Ten Fictional Families I Want to Spend Thanksgiving With

weasleys

The Weasleys (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling) – I grew up with a moderately sized family, though my mother grew up the eldest of a set of seven children, so I’m aware of how crazy it can get when you have a ton of relatives in for a gathering. But it IS a lot of fun. And the Weasleys are the homiest people ever. I’d love to spend Thanksgiving with them.

columbiabasinpack

The Columbia Basin Pack (Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs) – Darryl Zao apparently makes the best food ever. If he’s cooking up Thanksgiving feast, I WANT TO GO TO THERE. Besides, there would be werewolf pack fun. Probably with them running under a full moon. Transforming back into human form naked. That’d be a view.

missperegrine

Miss Peregrine’s Orphans (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs) – Admittedly, after the whole revelation thing in the book, I liked the quirky children in Miss Peregrine’s orphanage. I’d certainly love to get to know them in a dinner-like setting. They might even put on a show after the dinner.

alannaswoop

The Lioness and the Swoop (The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce) – I’m not one for stuffy get-togethers, and judging from the glimmer of what I’ve read in Wild Magic, a family gathering in Pirate’s Swoop is not at all formal, even when the hostess is one of the most celebrated mage knights in the kingdom, and her groom is the (unknown) Whisper Man. Besides, Alanna and George are a hoot-and-a-half, and I’d totally love to meet their kids.

housetyrell

The Tyrells (A Song of Ice and Fire series by G.R.R. Martin) – A family who can plan a 77-course marriage is definitely a family whose parties I’d love to be invited to. Granted, I need to make sure my wine isn’t poisoned, but since I’m neither sadistic boy-king nor playing the Game of Thrones, I’d totally survive just long enough to get through all 77 courses and escape in time.

onepiece

Mugiwara Pirates (One Piece series by Eichirou Oda) – Luffy and his crew know how to party. I mean, clearly the anime has showcased one to two episodes with them just winding down from an adventure. And what I mean by winding down is that they’re drinking sake, dancing on rooftops, and sticking chopsticks up their noses.

ouranhostclub

Ouran Host Club (Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori) – A party with the hottest boys in school! I would probably be one of the fangirling brood like Renge, but whatever. The Host Club know how to cater to their audience, and with their almost limitless resources, they’d probably find a way to make everyone feel at home in a Thanksgiving event.

bigbychildren

Bigby Wolf and his Brood (Fables series by Bill Willingham) – I’m still debating whether or not I want to sit in on a Thanksgiving family gathering with Snow and Bigby and their children. I suppose I like some of their kids just fine, but to be honest, I might actually go crazy with them. Still, it would be cool to visit The Farm upstate.

masseffect3

The Crew of the Normandy SR-2 (Mass Effect trilogy) – CAN I SIT NEXT TO MY TURIAN BOOTY NAMED GARRUS VAKARIAN? Oh please, please, please?! I consider the Normandy crew a fictional family because I’ve been with them for three damn games, and lawdy, the many feels I get when I watch them get hurt or get put in danger. If the Normandy is ever on shore leave and would like to celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m so there.

inquisition

The Inquisition (Dragon Age: Inquisition) – I would love it if the crew of the Inquisition played Wicked Grace after a massive Thanksgiving feast. It wouldn’t be complete without having Varric, Cullen, Josephine, and The Iron Bull there. Oh, and Cassandra and Dorian, too. You know what. EVERYONE IN THE INQUISITION IS INVITED. Even SOLAS, because elven-mage awesomeness.

Of Moon Cakes and Crepes

First off, shoutout to my infuriatingly wonderful sister Vida for surviving another year of familial torture. Considering who she has to deal with at home, she deserves some credit for continued existence 😉

That said, I think she got her revenge when she turned around and told me what cake she wanted for her birthday. I mean, I have a hard enough time decorating a regular layered cake. But she wanted crepes. Layered on top of each other.

DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO MAKE CREPES WHEN YOU’VE NEVER DONE THEM BEFORE?

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On top of that, the recipe I wanted to use (chocolate crepes with raspberry cream sauce) wasn’t feasible, because raspberries aren’t really in season right now, and I don’t like using frozen raspberries. So I settled for a chocolate crepe cake with hazelnut cream.

Which sounds pretty damn good as well, especially when you’re using Nutella as the cream.

Which sent me to my next problem, which was making the crepes.

Make note: DO NOT try to make crepes on a wide metal pan. Unless you’ve done this and know what you’re doing, I suppose. I had to scour the kitchen for the smallest non-stick pan we had, which, fortunately, we did have at the very back of the cupboard. It took me four tries to finally get a decent circle going on.

Also make note: The hazelnut cream recipe I’d followed listed only whipping cream (blended so that it formed stiff peaks) and Nutella. If you don’t want your cream to start melting into a liquidy chocolatey mess, ADD A STABILIZING AGENT. While the hazelnut cream tasted splendid, I could have done with a thicker, creamier texture. I believe this could have been remedied by adding a tablespoon of pudding mix.

Once the crepe cake made it to the fridge, and once it cooled a bit more, it did regain some semblance of shape. Still, it was problematic in keeping form once all the crepes were stacked up.

This cake is TINY, by the way. Which led me to make Sailor Moon-inspired sugar cookies.

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I wanted to do something Sailor Moon-y because my sister and I loved this anime when we were growing up. I’ve yet to watch the reboot, but my sister was a bigger fan of the original version, so I’m not sure I want to prioritize the show right now.

The cookie inspiration and recipe came from Eugenie Kitchen. I liked the recipe itself because it’s not too sweet and the shape of the cookie stays the same. I also loved the rainbow hearts idea, and figured I could translate it with a different design.

(Making the crescent moon cutout was me using two differently-sized circle cookie cutters. How’s that for innovation?)

Unfortunately, I went in over my head, and my original attempt at a brooch didn’t work out so well. Instead I regrouped and redid my crepes cake. I opted out of the chocolate glaze recipe (because honestly, that would have been way too sweet, and I wasn’t having much of a sweet tooth yesterday), so I felt the crepes cake alone was too simple. I added the cookies around the cake, and my sister wanted to put the full cookie on top, because colors.

Verdict: A few hiccups later and hours of celebrations, I think it’s safe to say that the cake came out pretty well! And the layers looked awesome after cutting into them, so I’m pretty proud of that.

I WILL have to do a raspberry-lemon version at some point, because I think that would be absolutely fabulous.

TTT: Manga to Read

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For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

This one took a bit of brainpower, no joke. I’ve also realized how very little of anime and manga I’ve watched and read lately, so I’m pretty sure half this list is something I need to remedy myself (like, seriouslah…I’m so behind on Attack on Titan right now it’s not even funny).

Ten Manga To Read If You Like These Popular Books

alannaclaymore

If you liked Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce…

Then you might like Claymore by Norihiro Yagi

Who doesn’t want to see small, feisty women with swords kicking ass? I haven’t read Claymore but from what I’ve seen of the anime, it’s set in a medieval world filled with demons (yoma) that are vanquished by women warriors named Claymores (or Silver-Eyed Witches). The Claymores are badass demon-slayers, and named so for the large swords they carry. Alanna could probably give them a run for their money, lady knight and powerful sorceress that she is by the end of the Song of the Lioness series.

cinderchobits

If you liked Cinder by Marissa Meyer…

Then you might like Chobits by CLAMP

There’s a lot of interesting fiction where it asks the question of how far you can love someone who’s part-robot or full-robot. Cinder isn’t exactly full-blown android, but her cyborg-ness puts her at a lower rung to regular humans. Societal pressures in Cinder even go so far to say that there’s NO WAY Prince Kai can love someone like Cinder (BUT READERS KNOW BETTER, YES WE DO). In a similar vein, Chobits explores the relationship between Hideki and his personal computer, Chi, and whether androids can come to love a human and vice versa.

daughterangel

If you liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor…

Then you might like Angel Sanctuary by Kaori Yuki

My sister and I pretty much amassed 18 volumes’ worth of Angel Sanctuary back when we used to collect manga, but I swear I’ve only read up to a certain point before I stop again. Not because I started getting bored, but because things get super convoluted past the Hell Arc. Anyway, both Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Angel Sanctuary deal with angel/demon-to-human reincarnation, angels and demons, a great war, and a forbidden love.

gameofattack

If you liked A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin…

Then you might like Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

Is it bad that I mostly put these two books together because of so many character deaths that are amassed after a few chapters? Character deaths aside, both series deal with multiple characters struggling to survive a world where power and rank matter. If you cannot climb the ranks and play the game, you’re as good as dead. Well, in Attack on Titan, you’re as good as dead regardless, methinks.

gossipouran

If you liked Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar…

Then you might like Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

Gossip Girl is all about high society, and all about how a few of the non-rich people struggle to be accepted into this world of constant cocktail dresses and Hampton parties. Bisco Hatori portrays a similar society in Ouran High School Host Club, though thankfully she doesn’t take any of it seriously, and what you get in the manga is a boat-load of rich-people-problem hilarity as well as several romances that make you squee.

hungerbattle

If you liked The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins…

Then you might like Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (writer) and Masayuki Taguchi (illustrator)

Oh, come on. If you’ve seen/read Battle Royale and The Hunger Games, how can you NOT make a connection? Both involve young people insensibly killing each other until a victor emerges among them. Both involve a government that’s found a way in instilling fear and demoralizing its people so as to prevent nation-wide rebellion. Both have weapons, bloodshed, and lots of running around in random places whilst being televised across the nation. The backbone is the same, even with divergent storytelling. I’ve yet to read the Battle Royale book and its manga, but I’ve watched the film. That shit was intense.

mistbornfullmetal

If you liked Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson…

Then you might like Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

Sanderson’s Allomancy and Feruchemy are amazing in that they work within the rules set forth upon Scadrial. In the same manner, Amestris has Alchemy and Alkahestry which ultimately follow the Law of Equivalent Exchange. Both Mistborn and Fullmetal Alchemist follow the story of young prodigies (Vin, a Mistborn and Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist) with far-reaching goals. Both involve antagonists with dubious but not-directly-evil moral grounds. Both also set importance in team effort as opposed to hinging dependency on ONE SOLE PERSON to save the world.

timetravelleaptthrough

If you liked The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger…

Then you might like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Yasutaka Tsutsui (writer) and Ranmaru Kotone (illustrator)

Confession: I did not like The Time Traveler’s Wife. But I did like what I’d seen of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and I’ve really only watched the anime movie and the live-action sequel. Time travel is tricky business, and in both TTW and GWLTT, there’s a lot of romance gained and lost, and a lot of tears shed when you know exactly what’s coming–because hell, shit’s depressing. I’ve yet to read the book or the manga of GWLTT, but it’s on my TBR list.

twilightvampire

If you liked Twilight by Stephenie Meyer…

Then you might like Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino

Love triangles, supernaturals with heightened abilities, sparkly beautiful emo vampires, human-turned-vampire girls who need protecting…yeah. Yep. I’m pretty much talking about both Twilight and Vampire Knight here. In fact, when I first read Twilight, I pretty much saw it in my head as an anime/manga. I even envisioned Edward Cullen as Kaname! I think this is why I actually enjoyed Twilight, because I had seen it as the book-version of Vampire Knight, which I loved.

worldwartokyo

If you liked World War Z by Max Brooks…

Then you might like Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida

Flesh-eating zombies! Oh yeah. There isn’t much other similarity between World War Z and Tokyo Ghoul other than there being flesh-eating monsters out to rule the world. I just thought it was fun to recommend Tokyo Ghoul because as far as anime goes, it’s still relatively new. And there are zombies involved. Well, ghouls. And there is a war between the ghouls and the humans, who’ve come up with technology and weaponry that enable them to fight back. So I guess WWZ and TG are a little similar in that, too.