militarypenguin: (SJ - curious)
I finished watching Cybersix today, a show I'd been meaning to check out for a while ever since I heard about its ambiguously-gendered hero. It's easily one of the most beautifully-animated TV shows I've seen, if not ever; I was afraid the animation quality would fizzle out after the first one or two episodes, but it never lost its momentum. The characters are all vibrantly animated even when they don't need to be, and it's further complemented by their wonderfully stylistic designs.

It doesn't ever let down on its promise of an ambiguously-gendered hero, either. Adrian's reasons for presenting as a man in their ordinary life while donning the look of a woman when living out their superhero life are never given, and with it, one can arrive to the conclusion the character is genderfluid or non-binary (I err towards the former interpretation). The fact that this is completely incidental is a great joy to behold.

So I'm saddened to say it's a bit of a letdown outside of my aforementioned praises. )
militarypenguin: (SJ - Ashi smiling gently)
Summary: Post-series. Ashi goes on a spiritual journey.
Content warnings: Exploration of death and existential angst.
Notes: Written for Jashi Week: Saving Saturday.

From the moment she summoned the power of Aku's essence flowing in her veins to form the time portal, Ashi knew she would not last in the Samurai's time. )
militarypenguin: (SJ - wolf friend)
Summary: A morning view like no other.
Content warnings: None.
Notes: Written for Jashi Week: Feudal Friday.

He stepped quietly into Ashi’s room where she was curled up in her futon, sleeping. )
militarypenguin: (SJ - surprised Ashi)
Summary: AU taking place during “Jack is Naked”; Ashi is a recurring assassin of Jack’s who finds herself in a situation where she may need to get intimate with her enemy before killing him.
Content warnings: None.
Notes: Written for Jashi Week: Wardrobe Wednesday.

Ashi summoned her kusarigama and peeked from behind the curtain to focus her gaze on her target.  )
militarypenguin: (SJ - you're next)
Summary: AU. Aku is a town legend embraced by the local high school. His lore inspires the creation of a band called the Daughters of Aku, and a student with a great loathing of him who nonetheless becomes infatuated with one of the band members.
Content warnings: None.
Notes: Written for Jashi Week: Timeless Tuesday.

Their school mascot was supposed to have been an eagle, but from the discussion whispered amongst students to the sheer amount of projects on display depicting the subject in question, it'd be easy to guess it was the demonic dragon-like creature called Aku instead. )
militarypenguin: (SJ - bloody Ashi)
Summary: Jack and Ashi aren't through with their inner demons yet. Takes place after episode XCVIII.
Content warnings: Violence, intrusive thoughts, suicidal thoughts.
Notes: Written for Jashi Week: Morbid Monday.

The journey to Aku had been peaceful one thus far, but unease stirred within the hearts of the two travelers. )
militarypenguin: (SJ - happy Ashi)
Give me a fandom, a character/pairing, and a cheesy cliche, and I will write a short fic. The cheesier the cliche, the better!
militarypenguin: (SJ - memories)
Summary: Ashi revisits the marketplace. Takes place in an indeterminate time between episodes XCIX and C. Jack/Ashi.
Content warnings: None, just some good old-fashioned fluff.
Notes: Special thanks to Annie for being my beta!

The marketplace was as colorful and bustling with life as it had been when she first visited it with Jack. )
militarypenguin: (Ace Attorney - handshake)
I've browsed through my Ace Attorney tag on LJ and, according to one of the entries, I finished the first game on June 17th, 2007, making today its tenth anniversary. I'm not sure what day was the day I "officially" joined the fandom, or what even qualifies as "joining" a fandom (is it expressing interest in the product? is it making fan material for it? It's still a mystery to me), but I think it's fair to mark today as the day that I've been in it for a decade.

There's been a number of fandoms I've joined over a decade ago, many of which are still important to me today, but I have to make a special mention for Ace Attorney. Not only is it the fandom I've been the most persistently involved in, but, well, it's probably the one that's changed my life the most. There's been many, many life-changing works I've encountered and will continue to encounter, but this is the one that helped me to clarify a lot about myself and shape the person I aspired to be. Through playing the games, through writing fanfiction, I learned so much about myself, and I think I learned a great deal about others as well. And it's given me so, so many good memories, I've no idea where to begin.

I suppose it's odd, because it isn't as though Ace Attorney is a deeply psychological work or character study (this is the franchise where you interrogate a parrot), though it certainly dabbles in those topics. Yet, I've seen others who've been similarly affected by it as I have. As corny as it may sound, maybe the franchise revealed a few Psyche-Locks within our own hearts in need of breaking that we didn't know we had.

Thank you for the memories, Ace Attorney. Here's looking to ten more years of it.

(It still feels weird to call it “Ace Attorney” and not “Phoenix Wright.”)
militarypenguin: (SU - I miss her)
I'm going to be leaving for work soon, and this has been weighing on me, so I'm writing this out in hopes of lifting at least some of the weight off my shoulders.

This is related to Samurai Jack, but it's happened for me in virtually every fandom of an ongoing/airing series (Steven Universe is another big one). I get into the series, I get excited and happy over it, and then a big, game-changing story development happens that fans will either vehemently agree or disagree with. And I get anxious over the ones who disagree. It's not that they have "wrong" points or anything of the sort (and I've certainly been in the position where I've disagreed with story developments in the past, so it's not as though I'm trying to condemn them), I just have a problem where I absorb negativity like a sponge and carry it with me for the rest of the day, while anticipating more negative reactions. I get so nervous I physically shake and feel ill for a long duration of time. The worst part is, I'm not even actively digging through fandom for this stuff--I keep a safe distance between myself and it so I can enjoy it to the fullest. But because I frequent microblogging sites like Twitter and Tumblr, it's nigh impossible to avoid it because anyone can bring it up at any time.

(And dammit, I also don't want to miss out on all the cool fanart! That's why I still stick to those sites.)

It happens, over and over again, and I think at this point I may just stick to checking out completed series rather than ongoing ones. I may miss out on some of the excitement but it's seriously not worth the potential anxiety I'll go through. It sucks to hear the announcement of a series' continuation and having that feeling of joy followed up with "Oh no, what if other people hate it though." It shouldn't matter, I know, my thoughts and opinions are my own and no other different opinions can change that, but I don't exactly have an on/off button for my anxiety, and I feel this is the best way to "treat" it.

I'll still be following the series I'm currently following, I'm too invested to drop and watch them when they've finished, but as far as recs for continuing series are concerned, I'm going to give a tentative pass for my mental health's sake.
militarypenguin: (SJ - hop)
I’d been thinking about one of the reasons I love Jack as a character is because he never mocks or looks down on customs, cultures, or speech patterns he doesn’t understand (provided it’s one that’s not harming others, of course). He may express some confusion over it, but he’ll always do his best to respect these customs and even adopt them into his own lifestyle. This makes perfect sense for his character, considering he’s been trained and raised in a wide variety of different cultures.

My personal favorite instance of this, however, is in “Jack Learns To Jump Good,” when he meets the Monkey Man who uses the titular episode’s phrase “jump good.” Jack never tries to correct the man’s grammar or even question it, even when he seems baffled by it. Instead, he takes the phrase into his own vocabulary, never changing it into something more fitting of his speech pattern (such as “jump well” or “jump high”). It’s a phrase he shows deep respect and pride for when using, both because it refers to a valuable ability he learned, and to honor the tribe’s way of living and speaking. It’s a very admirable and endearing character trait.

The main reason I’m bringing all this up, however, is because of this excerpt from one of the Samurai Jack books (The Legend Begins):

All this time I thought he went by “Jack” because he needed to think up a quick name to hide his true identity (to protect his family, because it’s the key to something important, something of the sort). And it turns out to be because he takes the street lingo of these kids to heart and wants to cherish it and Jack I love you.
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