An absolutely fascinating website on Aztec Reconstructionism
, which one doesn't see a lot of amongst the neopagans. Probably because, according to the author of the site, the Aztec deities do
demand blood, and Lady knows real
pagan deities are all benevolent and whiteness and light and if they demand something from you, especially icky icky blood, that means they're Very Bad! [/sarcasm] No, They're not looking for human sacrifice, at least not in the same way it was practiced in Ye Olden Mesoamerican Tymes (although you should check this guy's essay on how to bring back the concept of healthy sacrifice in today's society - I have to say, it's got some interesting implications), but voluntary drawing of one's own blood is a necessary part of being an Aztec Recon. 'Cause if you don't do it of your own will, the Gods are going to take
it from you. Yeah, it sounds harsh, but They're Gods, so They'd have every right to do so.
Of course, being who I am, I'm thinking about this topic not just in terms of how it might apply to my own worship (Artemis, after all, has demanded both human blood and human sacrifice in her mythos), but also in terms of how I can incorporate this into my creative endeavors, particularly for world-building. I'd love to use the idea of "healthy sacrifice" in a sci-fi society.Related to my own personal worldbuilding: John Scalzi tackles the practical issues surrounding polygamy in modern America
. Be sure to check out the comments too; they bring up some really mind-boggling points. Holy shit, the legalities, they are over 9000! (And yet I'm tempted to incorporate some of this into Ryker's society, since I have the impression that, at least in one city he was in, polyamory
was alive and well. But I hadn't decided yet whether that acceptance was realized in legal form in that particular city.)Related to worldbuilding in general, yanked from the awesome ysabetwordsmith: A Collection of End of World Scenarios
. Already I can hear my characters shivering in fear at my amazing authorial powers of doom! Ohohohoho.
Perhaps this just shows what an elitist whore I am, but I'm really dismayed at all the American-based "How to Draw Manga" books that have been coming out lately. I'd like to think that it's not so much that I'm not Super Special Awesome anymore in my love of Japanese comics and animation as it is that the art that often accompanies these books looks like the shit I drew in 6th grade - when I first started out in anime style. Seriously, y'all, what the fuck is this
is a marked improvement, but it still can't compare to this
. YMMV, of course.
Read through vols. 1-4 of Tokyo Mew Mew
after I received them from a trade on garagesalejapan
. I've been finding myself wanting to revisit the magical girl genre lately for some reason, but instead of returning to old-school Sailor Moon
on crunchyroll, I decided to branch out a bit (though I still do want to return to Sailor Moon
Well...I got TMM in a trade for some of my other manga, so I don't feel like I wasted money or anything, and I still want to read vols. 5-7, but the series seems lacking to me. I could have overlooked the outlandish premise ("Rich high school kid tries to fight invading aliens by injecting Earth animals with the DNA of endangered species, but he totally misses and hits five middle-school girls instead!"), since that's pretty much requisite for any
magical girl series. And I could have overlooked the generically cute art that sometimes hovered at a "just technically competent enough" point (although it made the fight scenes boring as hell).
But I was not
willing to overlook the one-dimensionality of the characters. In fact, these characters are so commonplace that I can describe them in terms of other popular anime characters.Ichigo
Otaku-speak: Sakura Kinomoto, only much less cute and endearing.
Translation: The goodie-goodie middle-school girl who just wants a normal life and to have a boyfriend, and is always unselfish, etc. and so forth.Mint
Otaku-speak: Tomoyo Daidouji with Rei Hino's personality minus Tomoyo's 'cesty crush on Sakura and her love of dressing Sakura up.
Translation: Snobby rich girl who in reality Just Wants to be Loved.Lettuce (I kid you not, that's her name)
Otaku-speak: Fuu Hououji crossed with Usagi Tsukino.
Translation: A professional doormat that keeps on slipping out from under people's feet.Pudding (yes, that is really her name, too)
Otaku-speak: A bite-sized Shampoo with Mokona tendencies.
Translation: A hyperactive Chinese acrobat.Zakuro
Otaku-speak: Rei Hino (or, if you're going by the live-action Sailor Moon
, Makoto Kino works here as well) with the looks of Arashi Kishuu.
Translation: Super-gorgeous girl who is cold and distant for some reason that I haven't yet been able to discern, and is initially antagonistic towards joining the Tokyo Mew Mews.
Let's not even get into the love interests, which include Masaya, the requisite Nice Classmate Who Has No Fucking Clue What's Going On (a.k.a. the Houjou of TMM); Ryou, the Jerk That Needs to Get the Hell Offa Mine Side But Is Really Cute/Hot (Inuyasha crossed with Tamaki, in this particular instance); and Kish, the Conflicted Baddie (Nephrite). I admittedly have a weak inclination for shipping Ichigo with Ryou, but that's because I have a general preference for that sort of dynamic in the romances I read about. Otherwise, I'm scratching my head over what these guys see in Ichigo. Is it her Sakura smile? Her pink hair? What?
The plot is even more confusing and vague. TMM follows a monster-of-the-week formula, which would be fine by me, except that these monsters aren't even remotely amusing or even scary
. The aliens who sent/created the monsters in the first place are marginally
more intriguing, if only because it's revealed that apparently they used to live on the Earth a long-ass time ago and now they want it back 'cause they're pissed that us stupid humans have fucked it up with pollution and shit. I have to admit that I (or a certain Huntress, at any rate) was amused at the environmental angle that TMM takes in setting up the core conflict of the story.
Overall, I might have liked TMM back when I was still a Sailor Moon Maniac. At the very least, I wouldn't have been bothered by the numerous problems I've just pointed out. But I wouldn't recommend it to other SM fans my age or older; it's best left to those of Ichigo's age bracket.
And finally, people think that deviantArt's little icon switcheroo deal for April Fools' this year is akin to rape
! Oh, internets, nevar change.
-ReileenI can't believe that I would keep, keep you from flying