This is by far the most cathartic and satisfying thing I’ve ever done.
I can die with no regrets now; I have planted myself firmly on the right side of history.
I just signed a petition to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the President of the United States. I urge everyone else to do so, as well.
Here’s a link to the petition: https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19?recruiter=636655820&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
And here’s a copy of my comment I added to my signature:
I am signing because Donald Trump is a threat to me, my family, my friends, my country, and my world. I cannot idly sit back and allow him to become the most powerful man on earth, and I might be willing to do anything to prevent that from happening. I might not even care if it is undemocratic to do so; there is something more fundamentally important than democracy at stake here; something that the whole purpose of democracy is to SERVE. That thing is our very fundamental human rights. Rights that Donald Trump has declared open war on; not just for minorities, but for EVERYONE. Even if you don’t care about others’ (or your own) rights, consider this: human-caused climate change is real, weather you like it or not. It is a very real threat to civilization and humanity, and this man has fervently denied it. Our world might very well END because of this man, and I think that ANYTHING is worth doing to prevent that. At the very least, I can sign this petition and resist Trump’s claim to any sort of power as a start; I hope that it won’t escalate further, but I’m not unprepared to stop him by any means necessary.
I just posted the introductory video for my new Youtube channel. Here it is:
Since this blog is essentially my personal diary, I thought I’d establish my ambitions for the future here so that I can both keep my eyes on them and always be able to look back at them and see how far I’ve come.
I wish to create nothing but masterpieces. To elaborate, my ideal is to be so great an artist that every work I produce is equal or greater to another master’s most magnificent piece. I wish for my works to be grand, epic, overwhelmingly beautiful, and unspeakably inspiring. I desire to be a master Midas of every medium; for everything I touch, be it a game, film, show, play, manga, or novel, to turn into gold. I want everything I create to make our world a better place.
I wish to be well-learned, so that my works might give others great knowledge. I wish to be virtuous and idealistic, so that my works might be beacons of compassion and morality.
I wish to become wise. My philosophy is “Learn as though you were to live forever,” and I wish to fully live up to that. I wish to become a sage so that my wisdom might resonate through my works and be passed on to those who hear my words so that their lives might be bettered.
But above all, my greatest ambition is to create the very pinnacle of all human achievement: the Grand Masterpiece of All Literature. I wish to create a story that will shine across every medium and be nothing less than the greatest example of each one. My ultimate hope is that, if it is indeed possible, that this work at last inspires all of mankind to unite in brotherhood, peace, and understanding. If such a universal peace is not possible, or if it is not possible for me to initiate it, I will be satisfied with it at least inspiring happiness and peace in some of my brothers and sisters on this Earth.
Here’s to my ideals; may they be my eternal guides.
I realize how ridiculously egotistical I am already speculating on my future theoretical fanbase, but I still think it’s useful to talk about it to both discuss my thoughts on fandoms in general and also put down my ideals in writing so that in the event my works do become popular I won’t lose my perspective. I’m egomaniacal enough already; I don’t need my narcissism nourished anymore.
Fandoms: the cultures of the enormous, amazing, burningly vitriolic world of geekdom. They possess the power to disgust, horrify, amaze, and touch us. Like other cultures, some are friendly and some are eternally locked in war. As CollegeHumor brilliantly pointed out, fundamentalist religion and hardcore nerdiness are much the same; even within a fandom there might be several sub-fandoms perpetually at war with each other, much like the religious conflicts between denominations of Abrahamic religions such as Christianity or Islam. A classic example of such infighting within geekdom is the eternal Picard vs Kirk debate, though modern readers will probably be more familiar with the Sherlock vs Elementary wars or that most infamous of ship battles, Katara/Aang vs Katara/Zuko.
I, being a geek of the very highest caliber, am a member of many, many fandoms, and I doubt you’re going to find a more passionate fan of as high a number of different works than me. Case in point: on the night Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007, I sat down and read the entire eight hundred-page book in one sitting. I was nine at the time.
Though I have no guilty pleasures (as I’m not afraid to enjoy anything I like), I do feel a large amount of shame over some of the fandoms I’m a member of, simply because of that association I share with some of their members. Some such hostile fandoms I am a member of include Ayn Rand‘s, which is largely populated by obnoxiously greedy pissants, as well as those for League of Legends and Dota 2, which have probably some of the most toxic, unpleasant player bases in the world. I am much prouder of some of my other native fandoms, such as the brony community or Disney‘s fandom; they tend to be much kinder, more tolerant, and more welcoming.
In the event I develop my own fanbase, I want it to be composed of those who are tolerant and welcoming. My ideal is to have a very friendly yet passionately intense fandom; after all, I love passion. To me, everything is Serious Business, but most especially fiction because fiction is literally my life. I love impassioned (but not hateful) debating; I love fan works; I love the intensive studies and fanon that accumulate around works. Others might sneer at the intense emotion and adoration we geeks hold for our passions; to them I say, “You should try enjoying yourself sometime. I know emotions are scary and frowned upon, but they’re what make life worth living.”
It is for these reasons that I really hope a large amount of my fans will be LGBT. I find in many ways that I find a close sense of community with members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people. I have no doubt that a large part of that is the fact that I have at least one LGBT relative and that most of my friends are. However, I find that I also have a lot of similarities with them (or at least many of them). For instance, I am an art-lover, theatre-lover, and a furry, all of which are stereotypically “gay.” I love fruity drinks (raspberry lemonade is my favorite), pastries, shoujo manga, and stuffed animals. But most damning of all, I’m well-dressed and am nice to girls even though I’m not trying to get in their pants.
Part of all of these similarities are coincidental; for instance, I’ve always loved fruit drinks. However, some of these similarities are deliberate; I actually consider several gay men, as well as stereotypically flaming gay men in general, to be some of my heroes. Neil Patrick Harris and Jim Parsons are some of my favorite actors. Among my chiefest role-models is the homosexual, brilliant artist Leonardo da Vinci, for whom my admiration is so great I would have named myself Leonardo had my mother not already named me.
To me, the highest personal ideal is that of the stereotypical flamingly homosexual male, as his traits are the traits I aspire for; he is an attractive, well-dressed, kind, and honest man who is equal parts chivalrous and filled with lust for life. He chooses a profession he enjoys, and he enjoys whatever he pleases. He approaches everything with passion and is always filled with energetic excitement for whatever lies ahead.
In my opinion, this stereotype is actually true for a large portion of the gay population; from my experience, LGBT people (or at least the outed ones) tend to be braver, kinder, and more honest than mankind as a whole. They are more tolerant; more accepting. This is a logical occurrence, I think; LGBT people tend to be shunned and persecuted more than heterosexual people, and suffering fosters empathy, and therefore compassion.
From what I’ve seen, gay people are less afraid of being passionate and enjoying things. They’ve already breached one social taboo; why not breach another, and be emotional? How I wish that people would discard their distorted views of the world and allow themselves to feel things. I truly believe that if we all let ourselves feel, the world would be a better place.
That is why I want a largely LGBT fanbase; I want my followers to be compassionate and admirable, and I strongly believe that those who have suffered tend to be. And though there are heels among them (as there always are), I sincerely hope that I’m correct, as that would indicate that humanity truly is capable of widespread decency after all.
Here’s to you, my heroic sisters and brothers.
Now that I’ve started to make my work available to all of you, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce you all to how I craft my projects.
First of all, I am a storyteller by extension of being a lover of stories. Put another way, I write because I love reading. Aside from writing, I probably spend more time reading than I do doing anything else; I will literally forget to eat and lose sleep while reading. I don’t even listen to music or watch movies or shows as much as I read. I’m the sort of bookworm other bookworms would call too obsessed with books (although I’m nearly every bit as obsessed with all other media, as well).
When I read (or watch a movie, or play a game, etc.), I always expect a few things: I expect to be entertained, I expect to learn, but most of all I expect to lose myself in a stunning fictional world.
This is the main reason I read: the escapism. I don’t much care for reality; my childhood was extremely difficult and unhappy due to a number of things, including being witness to a pretty nasty divorce, having a thoroughly screwed up extended family, and being viciously bullied by other kids.
The bullying was absolutely the very worst part; I’ve always been extremely weird and socially inept (I have Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD, among other things) and completely nonconformist. As a result, I was abused physically and emotionally by other kids throughout my entire elementary school career. Since I live in Utah, a lovely little hamlet of repression and unenlightenment of the honorary Deep South, the adults did nothing, thinking it wasn’t a real problem.
The bullying deeply damaged me. Between my abuse at the hands of my peers and my authority figures’ complete lack of interference, I developed a deep hatred and mistrust of my fellow human beings that I continue to bear to this day. I completely lost any empathy for those who’d done me harm, and began desiring to inflict the same pain upon them that they’d inflicted upon me. I’m so very grateful for my mother, who understood and cared for me and was largely responsible for me not becoming something truly horrific like a serial killer or a school shooter or something like that. As a brief aside: to all those who read this, monsters are made, not born. Trust me, as someone who was well on the path to becoming one, I know.
I’m convinced now that sociopaths are perhaps the most empathetic people around; my mother (who is a brilliant psychology student) told me that everyone has empathy, but most sociopaths are so sensitive and have had such terrible experiences that they can’t bear their own emotions and simply switch them off. I can personally attest that that is probably true; I’m extremely sensitive and compassionate (especially towards animals), but after my suffering at the hands of my abusers I no longer have any of that compassion whatsoever for those I deem to be evil. I think at this point you could accurately say that I’m partially sociopathic. You know how I compare myself to Sherlock Holmes, Leleouch Lamperouge, and Light Yagami? Yeah, I’m not kidding.
I’m eternally grateful for my mother. She’s every bit as intelligent and sensitive as I am, and she was able to understand me and was instrumental in my survival in a frankly dark and rather hopeless world. She nurtured my empathy and helped steer me off the course of exacting vengeance upon those who’d wronged me. Another of the best things she did for me is she pulled me out of school and homeschooled me during my middle school years.
I’m also very grateful for my dad. It was his side of my family that is especially screwed up, and he and my mother’s divorce was because of things he’d done, so I’m not saying he’s a saint by any means. But he’s a much better person than he used to be, and I owe him eternally for one thing: if my mother saved me from my despair, my father was the gatekeeper to all that brings me joy.
The word “nostalgia” is meaningless to me. I had a horrible childhood, and I never want to have it back. However, there is one source of happy memories within that bleak time: reading, watching movies, playing games, and otherwise consuming media. The only happy times I can remember are when I watched Disney movies, played games on my Gameboy and PC, was read books to at bedtime, and all the other times I sat and listened to stories. I can only recall joy in those moments watching The Secret of NIMH, or playing Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, or when my dad read me Ender’s Game or told me epic fantasy stories he made up as he went along.
There’s nothing I love my parents for more than this. Through stories, they gave me my only moments of happiness and my only escapes from my relentless sorrow. Though both of my parents gave me both of these things, my mother provided me more of the latter while my father provided me more of the former. Of course, I can trace my love of many of my favorite works to my mother; because of her I love The Wizard of Oz, Pride and Prejudice, and Hitch. However, though my mother introduced me to these and saved me from becoming a monster, it is my father who made me who I am.
My father was a nerd in the ’80s when geekdom was still a tiny subculture. He’s one of Star Wars’ biggest and oldest fans, he was one of the first in line to see The Fellowship of the Ring when it was first released in 2001, and he was a hardcore gamer in the golden age of arcades. He passed the flame of highest-caliber nerdiness down to me by watching Batman Begins with me, reading Harry Potter to me, and playing Medal of Honor with me. It is he who gave me my tastes and my passionate, burning love for media. Matilda is one of my favorite books because I can relate so deeply to Matilda Wormwood; like her, I was a brilliant, miserable little kid whose only escape from his dark, cynical world was the bright, optimistic world of fiction.
I cannot describe how much I love reading. It continues to be what makes me happy and what makes my life worth living. I found that I could not be satisfied with what I had, however; there were books that I wanted to read that did not exist. So naturally, the duty fell to me to make it so I could read them. This is actually why I am an author: I write the books that I want to read but currently cannot. I am simply a storyteller as an extension of being an audience.
I’ve been writing and drawing my whole life. Most of what I made at first was fan works of my favorite stories. From the moment I could hold a crayon, I drew Spider-Man over and over and over again, getting steadily better each time. I wrote very poorly-spelled stories about Batman and Pokémon and Klonoa and everything else I loved. I read my first novel (The Incredibles) in one sitting, and proceeded to do the same with every installment of the Harry Potter books. As I grew older, I began writing (somewhat) original stories by asking myself questions such as: “What would happen if a boy fell in love with an alien girl?”, “What would happen if a serial killer turned up in Idaville, and Encyclopedia was the only one who could stop him?”, and “Shouldn’t there be an amazing Santa Claus novel?” These questions have led me to write novels called UFO, Pact, and Santa Claus respectively, which I will at some point finish and release for all of you to read.
But my most defining experience was when I conceived my magnum opus. While I was playing on the swing-set in my front yard, I formulated the idea of a story with a few basic concepts: a girl who could transform into a mouse, a witch, an inky, warped, black figure with red eyes, a hotel room, and psychedelic rainbow-ness everywhere. The idea really intrigued me, and I thought it was really cool.
Then I completely forgot about it.
A few years later, in the summer of my eleventh year, I was reading a series of books on the paranormal called Mysteries of the Unknown in my town’s public library. My father had brought them from the library a few years earlier, and I’d adored and been fascinated by them since. This is actually perhaps my most vivid memory; I can tell you exactly where I was and which book it was. I was cross-legged in one of the corners and the book in question was Utopian Visions.
Upon finishing one of the pages I closed the book and thumped it against my knee. “Wow,” I thought. “This stuff is amazing. How the heck has someone not written a novel about it?”
I think the thing I loved most about those books (and the weird, supernatural subjects they covered) was the pure, unadulterated sense of wonder I felt reading them. It’s a bit difficult to describe what I mean, but I’ll try: play Bejeweled 3, or read A Wrinkle in Time, or listen to The Real World by Owl City. Hell, just read The Mysteries of the Unknown. You feel that? That’s the mood, the feeling, the wonder I’m talking about.
“Why hasn’t someone made a novel about this stuff?” I thought. Of course, stories about aliens, or ghosts, or vampires, or Bigfoot, or telekinesis, or fortunetelling, or bending reality had all existed already. However, most everything I’d yet seen of the subject matter (such as Ghostbusters, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, or the aforementioned A Wrinkle in Time) covered only a few of these things, mentioning the rest only in passing. But I had yet to see a story cover all of it at once, let alone on as grand and epic a scale as, say, Lord of the Rings.
“If someone would write a book like that,” I thought, “that would be the best book ever.”
And at that moment, the inspiration struck me. I suddenly remembered that beginning of an idea I’d had years before, and with this newfound realization the story rapidly grew. I would write that book, and it would indeed be the best book ever.
At that moment I immediately ran home, pulled open a binder full of filler paper, and began writing a book I knew should be titled Rainbow. My reasoning was simple: it was the only name that suited it. Only rainbows were comparable to the wonder and beauty this book would contain. Only rainbows were as magical.
Ever since I began this project seven years ago, it has been my greatest obsession. It has remained almost entirely unchanged from those ideas I formulated on the library floor when I was eleven years old. I have dedicated my life to it; I fully intend to make it truly the Grand Masterpiece of All Literature. In my mind, all other things are subordinate to and serve it; I eat, drink, and sleep so that I can write it. I read, play games, and watch movies and shows to increase its quality. Finally, I create other works simply to support and expand upon it. Indeed, this website itself is ultimately here only for the sake of Rainbow.
The anime my father, brother, and I watched was Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. It was the most thoroughly mind-blowing experience I’ve ever had.
I was absolutely staggered at how overwhelmingly epic and enormous this show was. It was bright, it was colorful, it was emotional, it was existential, it was thrilling, it was exciting, it was awesome, and it was so, so damn beautiful. Ever since then, I’ve been every bit as obsessed with anime as I was with Rainbow, and very shortly thereafter I realized that I must make Rainbow an anime; believe me, when you all read it, you’ll see that anime really is the perfect medium for it. Shortly after that I decided I’d move to Japan to make it fully realized; I would make the Grand Masterpiece of All Literature shine across every medium; prose, animation, graphic literature, live performance, and simulation. Japan is the perfect place to accomplish all that.
With all that in mind, I can now explain my style of storytelling.
Firstly, I write for myself. As I said before, I write the books I want to read. I have dedicated my life to writing Rainbow because I have dedicated my life to reading Rainbow, which I will be unsatisfied with unless it’s the greatest novel of all time.
Because of this, I am determined to make every one of my works a timeless masterpiece. Once again, because those are the sorts of things I want to read.
My writing is passionate, direct, and blunt. I do not write to shock, but I also do not care if what I say shocks my audience. I aim to tell the truth, no matter how shocking it is nor how much people don’t want to hear it. Because of this I have no doubt I’ll be controversial, but I say: so be it. Nearly every great work (and man) shakes the world, and as Gandhi said: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
People say that True Art is Angsty. I disagree; I think that true art is angsty, but hopeful. My favorite works are those that plunge the audience into deep darkness, but show that there is still enormous beauty and light in the world. If you want great examples of this, watch It’s a Wonderful Life or The Wizard of Oz or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. All of these movies are stereotypically “happy,” but if you watch them they are actually quite dark; none of them shy away from the depths of horror and despair that humans can experience. However, they don’t conclude with the message “the world sucks and we’re all screwed;” rather, they reassure us that despite the great horror and misery in the world, it’s still unbelievably beautiful and you can still be happy. I create my works with this philosophy; I attempt to make every one of my works speak a message of hope and compassion after its characters undergo great trial and tribulation to demonstrate the truth of it.
By the same token, all of my works are deconstructions/reconstructions of themselves. I believe all the best works are; for instance, Harry Potter is an unbuilt story, since it’s about a kid who goes to a magic school. However, even though it was the first story to popularize this concept, it deconstructed its own ideas before anyone else could; though the world of magic is shown to be wondrous and awesome, it’s also demonstrated to be dark and horrific. Once again, I don’t believe in darkness for darkness’ sake, but rather to make the victory of light all the more triumphant, which I believe is what will naturally happen when a story is truly great. This is one of my philosophies: a story should be self-aware and intelligent.
I am primarily a world builder. This makes sense, I think, since the primary motivation behind my love of reading is to escape to a better world. I’ve never had much tolerance for works that attempt to show the “gritty and ugly” side of life; if I wanted to experience that, I’d just go out and walk down an impoverished street. My philosophy is: there is no reason to not make everything about your work beautiful. If sewers can look gorgeous *cough* *cough* Eternal Sonata *cough* *cough*, anything can. This is actually why my art falls in a spectrum between anime-style art and fantastic realism; I find that they are the most aesthetically pleasing art styles. This is also why my favorite works are very slick and/or colorful, and I aim to make all of my own exactly the same.
Because of my love for intricate and detailed worlds, I have an especial love for doorstoppers. You are all free to call me “tree-killer;” I love doorstoppers and most of my works will probably be doorstoppers themselves.
With regards to themes, my subject is always human nature. Of course, my magnum opus tackles the biggest ones: the meaning of life and the secret of happiness, but all of my others tackle some or other aspect of the human condition. I expect to learn when I read, and by the same token I aim to teach when I write.
I believe in never talking down to my audience. As far as I’m concerned, Viewers are Geniuses. That’s not even an exaggeration; if you go to the TV Tropes page on it and read the description of a stereotypical example, it reads,
“…you go and write a series loaded with difficult quantum mechanics, quoting obscure 17th-century philosophers, with characters who are philosophical Magnificent Bastards who speak a dozen languages while conversing to each other by sending Shakespearean Zen koans hidden into chess move patterns, and packed with allusions to ancient Sumerian religion. You make sure all your Techno Babble is scientifically plausible and go to great lengths to make sure all your ancient Roman soldiers are wearing exact replicas of period equipment.“
This is almost word-for-word exactly what my works are like. Seriously, when you read Dragons or Rainbow and read that quote again, I think you’ll find that they fit pretty well within that hypothetical, satirical, exaggeratedly ridiculous description. One of my greatest challenges has actually been attempting to categorize my works; I could accurately call Rainbow Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Dystopian, and Romance all at once. As for what age group it’s for, I’ll probably end up marketing it as a YA novel; after all, its protagonists are thirteen-to-sixteen-year-olds. On the other hand, it’s very violent and sexual, with torture, human trafficking, genocide, rape, war, and incest all coming into play. It also has a very healthy dose of existential cosmic horror. But on the other hand, I would have absolutely adored it when I was a kid. Then again, when I was a kid I was reading Dracula and Les Misérables, so perhaps I never represented the child demographic very well…
Nonetheless, I know children like it when a work is high quality and respects them; after all, children aren’t stupid, and they’re humans just like everyone else. Therefore I refuse to talk down to them.
Finally, concerning the sort of characters I write: I diligently attempt to represent every kind of human in my works, but when it comes to my main characters (that is, my main protagonists and main villains) you’ll probably see a disproportionate amount of Author Avatars of varying degrees of blatantness within them. If you want to know precisely how pure of Author Avatars any of my characters are, look for characters who resemble Sherlock Holmes, Sheldon Cooper, or Leleouch Lamperouge. Especially Leleouch; I would say that he’s probably closer to what I’m like than any other character in fiction. Pay special attention to magnificent bastards and tortured well-intentioned extremists; more often than not those are probably supposed to be me. It’s almost certain they are if they are albino (I have vitiligo, which basically means that someday I will be an albino) and/or bisexual (I’m not, but wish I was, since I feel I’m denied the ability to detect all human beauty, which I as an artist desperately desire. This one’s more wish fulfillment than anything). You can bet the house on it if the character in question is flamboyantly campy (again, just like Leleouch. People think I’m gay all the time because I’m really like this; I think masculinity is an idiotic ideal to aspire to). Yeah, you guys can probably see why I love Emperor Kusco and Lord Shen so much. I’m insanely vain and egotistical on every level it’s possible to be.
Here’s to my works; I hope you’ll all enjoy them as much as I am.
In the novel Ready Player One (which I plan to review relatively soon) there is a character named James Halliday who compiles a collection of writings known as Anorak’s Almanac. In his almanac he rambles his thoughts on the world in general and pop culture specifically.
I relate very deeply to Halliday and share many of his eccentricities and interests, most notably our shared obsession with the 1980s. Reading about Halliday and the Almanac immediately made me want to undertake such an endeavor, and so I’ve decided to begin this subproject henceforth known as Akira’s Almanac where I can place my general musings on perhaps my two favorite subjects: philosophy and media, often intermingling the two. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on perhaps the best place to start: the ’80s.
I am incredibly, deeply obsessed with the ’80s. Despite the fact that I haven’t lived during that decade, it is my favorite historical decade, followed closely by the ’60s and the 2000s. My reasoning is pretty simple: in my mind, the 1980s was the decade when modern media was born. Although things such as popular music, video games, speculative fiction, and anime had existed before this era, this was the time they began to be refined to excellence; though the ’70s gave us the first arcade games and home consoles, the ’80s gave us the Golden Age of Arcades and the standard-setting, trailblazing home titles such as Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Legend of Zelda. Though it’s the ’60s that gave us Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Dungeons and Dragons began in the ’70s and forever entrenched speculative fiction in our culture by the ’80s. The ’80s gave us perhaps the first “true” pop music with entertainers such as Michael Jackson and Madonna, and the global smash hit anime Dragon Ball was gathering steam in Japan.
I feel I as an enormous nerd owe unfathomably much to the ’80s, and not just because it’s when the foundation of modern geekdom was established; this was also the decade that established my favorite aesthetics.
To explain what I mean, think of what the ’80s was. Of course, the people I asked about it might have been donning nostalgia goggles, but from what I hear the ’80s was a huge, colorful party much like the ’20s- and had all the problems that come with huge, wild parties. At that point relations between the West and the Soviet Union were at a peak of tension not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and people had very good reason to fear that the entire world would go up in a mushroom cloud. Naturally, when people are very, very frightened, they become very hedonistic, and thus we got the party today known as the ’80s. Oh sure, we had lots of fun- we had lots of loud, new music, new toys, lots of colored lights, and lots of wild hair, but along with that came a new STD, an influx of disturbingly predatory media, and a repeat of Prohibition in the form of cocaine.
I’ll discuss all that another time; right now I’ll focus on what I like about the ’80s. Again, it was the era of bright light and vibrant color. To give you an idea of precisely how important that is to me, my favorite anime is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and my favorite electronic game is Kingdom Hearts II. You’ll notice that both of those works are absolutely brimming with vibrantly colorful lights and feature climaxes that involve the opponents throwing pure energy at each other, culminating in the antagonist barraging the protagonists with enormous amounts of it. That’s one of the biggest observations I’ve made about my aesthetic taste: the more bright and vibrantly colorful a work is, the more likely I am to like it. Of course, this sort of aesthetic principle very much took ahold in the ’80s, with works such as the Star Wars films and Tron utilizing ridiculous amounts of colored energy. I cannot thank the ’80s enough for providing me this, as you’ll see most or all of my works being this bright and colorful.
The ’80s also gave us some of our first great ventures into fantasy; we got Willow, Conan the Barbarian, The Dark Crystal, The Princess Bride, and Labyrinth during this decade. Though these films couldn’t quite reach the scope and grandiosity of high fantasy (my favorite sub genre), which would finally happen in the 2000s with the Lord of the Rings films, we got excelent experiences with the restrictions we had nonetheless. We were also setting the stage for such huge high fantasy works to happen; this was the time Dungeons and Dragons at last developed a huge cult following, paving the way for the best Final Fantasy games, other fantasy tabletop games such as Magic: the Gathering, and of course huge cinematic fantasy endeavors such as Game of Thrones and the aforementioned Lord of the Rings.
But there is one thing in particular that stands out about the ’80s to me. It’s the one thing that makes me think that perhaps I was born in the wrong time and should have come into my prime then rather than now. To understand why, I must discuss my magnum opus.
In my “About” page, you’ll see near the end that I mention a desire to pen the “Grand Masterpiece of All Literature.” This isn’t just a general, vague dream; I’m speaking of a specific project when I speak these words. This project I refer to is my flagship work; my magnum opus. I have fully dedicated my life to the creation and sustenance of this work; even all of my other projects are simply extensions of the ideas in it. It is literally my ultimate ambition for this work to become renowned as the pinnacle of artistic achievement and for it to fully live up to that title.
This work is titled Rainbow. In its first incarnation it is to be a science fiction/fantasy/horror/romance/dystopian/adventure novel, and I plan to eventually adapt it into a manga, anime, film, and ultimately a video game. I won’t reveal much about it for now, but what you currently need to know for the purposes of this discussion is that it’s all about the paranormal (and is therefore comparable to works such as Gravity Falls, The X-Files, and Ghostbusters) and was inspired by a series of books on the paranormal called The Mysteries of the Unknown. This series of books was released in the ’80s, and without those books I likely wouldn’t have conceived Rainbow.
And so this is why I love the ’80s so much; it has shaped and inspired my works, and it has laid the foundation for my favorite works as well as my own to shine.
Here’s to the ’80s; I owe everything to you!
To be sure that we’re all on the same page, here’s how I plan to review works.
I plan to have two standards by which I rate works: by quality and by my enjoyment of it. The reason I plan to do this is because I believe that one’s enjoyment of a piece is subjective while its quality is not. I believe a work’s quality is an objective fact; just perhaps not one that we humans will ever be able to accurately determine. Enjoyment, however, is a matter of taste, and this I recognize to be a product of one’s environment and experiences.
Some good examples of how these two aspects might diverge is with Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, which is a horrible movie that I enjoy immensely, as opposed to Death of a Salesman, which is what I recognize to be a excellent play that happens to make me want to drink.
Of course, I’m likely to skew my evaluation of a product’s quality favorably when I enjoy it and unfavorably when I don’t, so don’t think I’m declaring my opinion to be an objective fact. As pretentious as I am, I’m not that pretentious. These are simply critiques based on my understanding of storytelling and the creative process along with my personal tastes. At best, my declarations of quality are educated guesses that could absolutely be wrong.
Here’s how I will rank my enjoyment of works I review:
- Adoration: when I adore a work, it’s one of my absolute favorites.
- Love: I love a work when I immensely enjoy it but feel as though something’s missing.
- Liking: I like a work when I enjoy it, and wouldn’t mind experiencing it more than once.
- Indifference: I’m indifferent to a work when I don’t much care for it, but it wasn’t painful to sit through.
- Disliking: I dislike a work when it was unpleasant to experience, and I’d rather have not.
- Hatred: I hate a work when it’s especially unpleasant and I count the seconds until it ends, then make a conscious effort to not experience it again.
- Abhorrence: I abhor a work when it feels hellish to experience and nothing short of something drastic could compel me to experience it again.
Here’s how I will rank a work’s quality:
- Masterpiece: these are works I’d wager nearly anything will stand the test of time and be considered masterful many years from now.
- Excellent: these are works I applaud but find faults in that might restrain them from the prestige of the cannon of classics.
- Good: these are works I believe benefit us- but will not benefit the people of future generations.
- Passable: these are works I believe don’t benefit us, but don’t harm us either.
- Bad: these are works that suffer from some lack of competence or effort that causes them to fall far short of what they were meant to be. I am sure these will be forgotten.
- Horrible: these are works where either the incompetence or laziness involved in their creation is especially great, and their only potential hope for enduring the ages is being so spectacular in their botched execution that they become entertaining in spite of and because of it.
- Garbage: these are works that I believe humanity is worse off because of their existence. It would have been better if they were never created.
With these two measures the highest praise I can bestow a work is that of “masterpiece that I adore” such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, while the greatest condemnation I can bestow is that of “garbage that I abhor” such as The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.
In my reviews I will discuss aesthetics, characterization, and execution. I will attempt to establish standards by which I evaluate these, as well. I will attempt to be thorough in my examination and evaluation of works. As far as I’m concerned, every work is self-contained, so I will attempt to gauge their quality independent of any similar or related works (in the case of series I will evaluate the series as a whole and the individual works in relation to each other as well as independently); this means that I consider nothing to be overused or a dead horse so long as it’s done well. Originality for its own sake and attempting to exploit my familiarity with outside sources will win no approval from me; I like my work timeless and self-sufficient.
As a final notice/warning, I will freely discuss all works without making spoiler warnings. I have two reasons for this: firstly, I believe they unnecessarily inhibit people’s ability to discuss works freely. Secondly, I believe a work should be better the second time you experience it, and so I don’t worry about knowing what will happen. If spoilers will truly ruin an experience, than I think it’s a rather shallow experience, as you’ll only be able to properly have it once.
Here’s to the betterment and appreciation of art!
On this website one of the things I plan to do is review media.
There are several reasons I’m going to do this; first, I love talking about things I’m a fan of. Being a geek is my entire life, so naturally when I don’t talk about my works I talk about other people’s works.
Another reason is I think everyone should be exposed to some of these. There are many works that deserve far more attention than they receive *cough* *cough* Galaxy Rangers *cough* *cough* and others that people refuse to experience because of their close-mindedness *cough* *cough* My Little Pony *cough* *cough* and so I take it upon myself to evangelize my favorite works because, frankly, it sucks to have few people I can talk to about them. I NEED THESE THINGS TO HAVE MORE FANS!!!
Ahem, sorry. Anyway, I plan to mostly discuss things I like because they’re the things I most enjoy talking about. I also like it when people point me towards quality work, and as Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” (I’m a big fan of Gandhi; expect to see plenty of his quotes here). When I review bad works they’ll usually be of the “So Bad It’s Good” variety, which hold a very special place in my heart. I’ll only review things I don’t enjoy when I have something I want to say about them, which typically only happens when it strikes some kind of nerve with me which makes me hate it (or at least be incredibly frustrated with it) and wish to rant about it. As you’ve probably gathered, I’m also going to frequently link to TV Tropes to clarify and expand upon what I’m saying, as well as give you all easy access to more information.
My interests and tastes are quite diverse; I’m going to review books, all manner of comics (manga, comic books/graphic novels, newspaper comics, and web comics), TV shows, films, video games, tabletop games, theatrical works, and (most likely) music. I can’t think of a genre of any medium I don’t enjoy one or more works from, but you’ll probably see speculative works pop up the most and westerns and soaps pop up the least. As far as I’m concerned, nothing is too obscure, mainstream, old, or new for my attention; there’s always more potential fans of my favorite works out there, and I won’t rest until I find as many as I can.
Here’s to the discovery and appriciation of great art!