Category: Other People’s Creations

Livetweeting Sera Myu The Legend of Kaguya Island (Revision)

Posted June 11, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Usagi Tsukino (Fumina Hara) looking determined as she sings. CC reads "It's time for battle"

With another Saturday gone, it’s time for another Sera Myu livetweet link and a brief recap! Actually on time this time. Huzzah! You can read the Storify here!

The revised version of this musical was pretty similar to the original one we watched last week, with the most significant change being an additional scene set in Crystal Tokyo to explain why Chibiusa ran away to the past. The second-most significant change is the addition of a strange illness that affects everyone but Usagi (and had virtually no bearing on the plot otherwise but does give us Setsuna sharing historical tidbits and how have I gone through so much of my life not considering what a kick-ass history teacher the guardian of time would make).

Also we trade the adorable Haruka plus kitten scene for an adorable Haruka plus Michiru scene, which was awesome. And then Haruka was, well, Haruka and decided that killing the enemy was the only option and oh just imagine how much more heartbreaking that scene would’ve been if she’d previously bonded with one of them.

And, somehow, the musical managed to make the kittens even cuter. Like how! O_O

I was worried when I started this musical that it was going to follow the same pattern as the revisions of the other musicals that I’d loved the original version of. Because there was a pattern of it keeping pretty much everything I didn’t like and tossing out everything I’d loved. But this musical didn’t do that! Well, okay, it did a little of that, but mostly what it did was add things that I enjoyed (also, I still think the Crystal Tokyo scene was absolutely worth it just for Endymion’s reaction to his 900-year-old daughter possibly writing love letters).

Did I like it as much as the original? Honestly? No, I don’t think so, but in this case, it’s just because of the order I watched them in. I really enjoyed this musical too.

Next week, we’re shaking things up a bit again because this was Fumina Moon’s last Myu musical and next week we’re getting a new Sailor Moon actress! I’m going to be sticking with the Japanese stage count rather than the Western fan stage count, though. But, yeah, small heads-up there.

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Livetweeting Sera Myu The Legend of Kaguya Island

Posted June 10, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Sera Myu The Legend of Kaguya Island: All Senshi, Mamoru and three kittens.

It is a whole week late, but finally finally here is a link to the Storify of last week’s livetweet of The Legend of Kaguya Island. As always, many thanks to SeaofSerenity.net for their fansubbing work and making these musicals accessible to those of us who don’t speak Japanese.

This is the second musical of the Second Stage after Anza Ooyama and most of the original cast left and the first wholly original story for the musicals. in this musical, the inners and the outers (and Mamoru) all win an all-expenses-paid trip to a newly developed resort island. Or do they? Dun dun DUUUUUN.

Okay, no. It’s Sailor Moon, of course things are about to go horribly wrong. You see, millennia ago, a comet was hurling towards Earth to make Earth its new home because it had aspirations of becoming a planet.

Earth was not happy and asked Princess Moon (also known as Princess Serenity) for help. Princess Serenity, being Serenity, was obviously having none of that Earth-destroying potential and changed Earth’s orbit so the comet wouldn’t hit it. At the price of, uh, you know. Kind of… destroying all of mankind as it existed at the time?

But hey the Earth was saved and lived peacefully for thousands of years until! Until! The comet returned and the past has come back to haunt the senshi. Again. Will the Earth be destroyed another time? Can Sailor Moon save the day for present-day mankind where Princess Serenity could not?

Well, duh. Eponymous heroine and all that. But oh the ride to get there. I’ve enjoyed the previous musicals, partially for their enthusiasm and sheer vivacity. They’re just plain fun to watch even if, as an adult, the plot holes are often glaring and detracting.

This musical, though. This shows you what Myu can do when it tries to tell a coherent story that has to rely largely on the musical to make sense. True, we don’t get as much sense of what the senshi are like and we rely heavily on knowledge of the manga and/or the anime to characterise their relationships, but given that what we get in return is a really fun story that stands on its own pretty well, I’m not complaining.

It’s even got two sets of antagonists without it feeling like either one of them was really short-changed in the narrative department. Even the senshi don’t feel like that if you’ve got a grounding in who they are.

This musical was just plain fun to watch and, so far, it’s easily my favourite of the old Myus. It’s energetic, it’s plot-filled, it’s fresh, it’s cheerful, it’s cute and adorable. It’s everything I’ve wanted in a Myu musical and then some. (Seriously, they had, like, 17 people who needed stage time to get their narratives across. THAT IS A LOT OF PEOPLE FOR A 2 HOUR MUSICAL. Heck, it’s not even all of them.)

Tonight, I’ll be watching the kaiteiban/revision version and I’m a little scared. So far, I’ve had mixed reactions to the revisions, but it’s fair to say that if I’ve loved the original musical the revision’s pretty much changed everything I loved about it in the first place. (I’m looking at you, Eien Densetsu kaiteiban!) So… Knock on wood that that doesn’t happen this evening because, wow, I would be upset.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKED THIS MUSICAL. AND I’M REALLY REALLY REALLY HOPING THE REVISION MAKES ME LOVE IT MORE.

But this musical? Yeah, I really liked it. It was a lot of fun. Also, IT HAD KITTENS. I brightened up the screenshot a little, so you can see Haruka hugging a kitten-child better. IT WAS THE CUTEST. (Seriously, you should all watch this musical just for this scene of adorbs.)

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Book Talk: Masquerade

Posted May 30, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: MasqueradeMasquerade by Laura Lam
Series: Micah Grey #3
Pages: 400

The gifted hide their talents, but dare they step into the light?

Micah's Chimaera powers are growing, until his dark visions overwhelm him. Drystan is forced to take him to Dr Pozzi, to save his life. But can they really trust the doctor, especially when a close friend is revealed to be his spy?

Meanwhile, violent unrest is sweeping the country, as anti-royalist factions fight to be heard. Then three chimaera are attacked, after revealing their existence with the monarchy's blessing - and the struggle becomes personal. A small sect decimated the chimaera in ancient times and nearly destroyed the world. Now they've re-emerged to spread terror once more. Micah will discover a royal secret, which draws him into the heart of the conflict. And he and his friends must risk everything to finally bring peace to their land.

Also in this series: Pantomime, Shadowplay
Also by this author: Pantomime, Shadowplay

Masquerade is the third and final book in Laura Lam’s Micah Grey series. It picks up pretty much straight where book 2 left off, so I don’t recommend reading it as a stand-alone piece. The books are well-worth it, though, so if you haven’t read them before…

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Book Talk: Seven Years among Dragons

Posted May 28, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Seven Years among DragonsSeven Years among Dragons by Lyssa Chiavari
Pages: 36

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a fairytale… until the day she killed her mother.

Biancarosa grew up believing in her mother’s tales about the dragons of the Alpi, much to the chagrin of her practical father, the king of Stalia Nova. But when she learns of a plot to overthrow the neighboring kingdom of Elvezia, the dragons’ magic might be the only thing that can save her.

In this solarpunk fantasy retelling of Snow White, dragons dwell in the heart of the mountain, weaving magic and mining crystals with the power to fuel the world—and a princess leads her people in a war against a power-hungry technocracy. Originally published in the anthology WINGS OF RENEWAL.

Seven Years among Dragons is a short story retelling of Snow White. It’s very inventive and quite a lot of fun.

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Livetweeting Sera Myu: The Beginning of the New Legend

Posted May 28, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Sera Myu: The Beginning of a New Legend Tuxedo Kamen vs King Endymion
And here is the Storify!
This musical is the first of the second stage musicals and… Honestly? I was extremely disappointed in it. It reuses so much from previous musicals, often line by line. It adds in the Amazon Trio for… Reasons. That are never actually explained. And it adds in the whole Amazon Trio dream plot, but with none of the narrative to back it up, taking away even more time from the main Beryl/Galaxia plot that’s going on. It gives away emotional and impactful scenes to other characters (see Uranus and Neptune’s betrayal being given to the inners) and relies so heavily on familiarity with the franchise for its emotional punches that I’m not convinced it’d make any sense to someone who doesn’t know Sailor Moon’s plots (and specifically Sera Myu’s plots) already.

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Book Talk: Stake Sauce Arc 1

Posted May 26, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Stake Sauce Arc 1Stake Sauce Arc 1 by RoAnna Sylver
Pages: 46

ACT 1, IN WHICH: A cute punk-rock vampire and a disabled firefighter-turned-mall-cop with a dark past join forces to battle the forces of evil.

* * *

Part 1 of 6. Future parts (2-6) will be released monthly to Patreon subscribers. Collected six-part arc releases October 2017.

* * *

Jude used to leap out of helicopters to rescue/protect people from terrifying infernos. Now, by day, he protects the local mall from rowdy teenagers who ride their skateboards inside. By night, he protects the the parking lot, and the rest of Portland, from undead, bloodsucking creatures of the darkness. Or would if he could find them.

But he’s just about ready to give it up (living with PTSD and pain from the traumatic event that cost him a leg, a friend, and a lot more is hard enough), when something crashes into his life. And his window.

It’s one of these creatures of the darkness – and he’s a lot less scary than expected. More cuddly, with dark fuzzy wings, and neon-bright hair.

His name is Pixie, and he refuses to bite anyone. Assault/murder/draining fluids isn’t punk, even if being a vampire really kind of is. He’s very hungry by now, and the much bigger, meaner, deadlier vamps kick him around on the nightly. Jude would love to find and fight some actual undead bullies. And Pixie could use some help staying… ‘alive.’ Time to make a deal.

Together they fight crime. And maybe even heal.

Of course, life still sucks when you’re a vampire who refuses to suck blood. Fortunately, there’s a really interesting new barbecue restaurant in the mall, with an intriguing new recipe. (We hear that the secret ingredient is… love. No, really.)

Also by this author: Chameleon Moon

Stake Sauce is an amazing story that’s currently being serialised on Patreon and will be available in full on October 31rd, 2017. As of this writing, arc 1 is available on Amazon and 2 is already available via Patreon as well as a plethora of other Patreon-exclusive goodies. So, first off, if you’re not into serialisations, you’ll want to hold off on this story for now and wait until October.

As I’m writing this, the first arc of the story has been made available via regular retailers. I think it’s a novella-length piece in its own right, though if you value plot happenings over personal interactions and personal stakes (er, no pun intended) then you’ll probably find the first arc on its own a little bare.

Further, in the interest of honestly: the description of the arc covers the whole story. The first arc does introduce Pixie and he does get a cameo, but this first arc is all about getting to know the world and getting to know Jude.

Which, you know, is my jam so it works great for me, but I realise it won’t work for everyone and some will find the description a little misleading. So just to address that first of all.

Let’s just go talk about the story! I’ve only got access to that first arc (T_T), so this will focus solely on that first arc of the story.

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Book Talk: The Traitor’s Tunnel

Posted May 25, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 10 Comments

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Book Talk: The Traitor’s TunnelThe Traitor's Tunnel by C.M. Spivey

Witch-blooded robber Bridget has made a reputation for herself in the capital city, but she's not interested in the attention of the Thieves' Guild--and she's not bothered by the rumors of urchin kidnappings, either. With winter coming, she's looking out for herself and no one else.

Until she picks the wrong pocket, and recognizes her estranged brother Teddy.

Young craftsman Theodor arrives in the capital ready to take the final step toward his dream career as Lord Engineer of Arido. His apprenticeship with a renowned city engineer comes with new rules and challenges, but it's worth it for the exposure to the Imperial Council.

While spying on her brother, Bridget overhears a secret meeting that reveals a cruel plot. After more than a decade apart, Theodor and Bridget must reunite to stop a traitor whose plan threatens not only their city, but the whole empire.

I received The Traitor’s Tunnel from the author who very generously made it available as an ARC. I did not receive this book in exchange for a review, but I wanted to give one anyway to thank Spivey for his generosity.

It is… I have an extremely mixed reaction to this story because of reasons relating to intersectionality between Germanic languages and gender and I find the author’s choice of pronouns harmful enough to diminish any personal enjoyment I had from the story as a whole and leave me feeling nothing but hurt. (Which is a shame because the story itself is really good.) ETA: The author’s said he’s considering changing the pronouns. :O <3 Which… I did not expect (and have slightly mixed feelings about because intersectionality), but then I can squee and squeal about this and related works freely. I’m going to leave this review as-is and do a new one when the story is going to be a bit fresher in my mind again to reflect that. ^_^

CN: detailed descriptions of anxiety and genderneutral use of gendered pronouns, also descriptions of kidnapping and violence.

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Book Talk: An Accident of Stars

Posted May 23, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: An Accident of StarsAn Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows
Series: Manifold Worlds #1
Pages: 496

When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.

There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex'Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.

Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.

Can one girl - an accidental worldwalker - really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?

Oh, wow, this book. This… The best way to describe is “queer feminist portal fantasy”, which doesn’t really do justice to the way it takes tropes from older fantasy narratives and then queers them and turns them upside down. Its cast contains predominantly women and focuses strongly on female relationships of all kinds. If you’re looking for a book that centres female friendships or (positive!) female mentorship, this has that in spades.

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Livetweeting the final day performance of the revised Sera Myu musical The Birth of a Legend

Posted May 22, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Cast of the Sera Myu 1998 revised edition of The Eternal Legend

Last Saturday, I watched the final day performance of the Sera Myu musical The Birth of a Legend. I loved and adored the copy of the original run and this musical was… very different. You can read the Storify of the livetweet here, and you can read on for some slightly more coherent thoughts now that I’ve had some time to let it sink into me.

As always, the fansubs I’m watching come from SeaofSerenity.net and hopefully one day soon I’ll actually remember to announce it in the livetweeting threads. I’m sorry I keep forgetting. 🙁

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Book Talk: Chameleon Moon

Posted May 19, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Book Talk: Chameleon MoonChameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver
Series: Chameleon Moon #1
Pages: 438

The city of Parole is burning. Like Venice slips into the sea, Parole crumbles into fire.

The entire population inside has been quarantined, cut off from the rest of the world, and left to die - directly over the open flame. Eye in the Sky, a deadly and merciless police force ensures no one escapes. Ever. All that's keeping Parole alive is faith in the midst of horrors and death, trust in the face of desperation... and their fantastic, terrifying, and beautiful superhuman abilities.

Regan, silent, scaly stealth expert, is haunted by ten years of anxiety, trauma and terror, and he's finally reached his limit. His ability to disappear into thin air isn't enough: he needs an escape, and he'll do anything for a chance. Unluckily for him, Hans, a ghostly boy with a chilling smile, knows just the thing to get one. It starts with a little murder.

But instead of ending a man's life, Regan starts a new one of his own. He turns away from that twisted path, and runs into Evelyn, fearless force on stage and sonic-superheroic revolutionary on the streets. Now Regan has a choice - and a chance to not only escape from Parole, but unravel the mystery deep in its burning heart. And most of all, discover the truth about their own entwining pasts.

They join forces with Evelyn's family: the virtuosic but volatile Danae, who breathes life into machines, and her wife Rose, whose compassionate nature and power over healing vines and defensive thorns will both be vital to survive this nightmare. Then there's Zilch, a cool and level-headed person made of other dead people, and Finn, one of Parole's few remaining taxi drivers, who causes explosions whenever he feels anything but happy.

Separately they'd never survive, much less uncover the secret of Parole's eternally-burning fire. Together, they have a chance. Unfortunately, Hans isn't above playing dirty, lying, cheating, manipulating... and holding Regan's memories hostage until he gets his way.

Parole's a rough place to live. But they're not dead yet. If they can survive the imminent cataclysmic disaster, they might just stay that way...

Also by this author: Stake Sauce Arc 1

It took me a very long time to get around to Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver, which is ridiculous, but there we are. I did finally get to reading it. WHOOHOO! And then partway through I started a livetweet of it because of course I did.

Anyway, this is not a livetweet. This is a book talk ramble. So… Let’s get to it!

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