Category Archives: Fandom

10 Amazing 70’s Anime

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here! Over the years we’ve had some really wonderful anime that time seemed to forget. Let’s do ourselves a favor and dig through the decades to find those old gems.

These are anime that are pivotal to the medium, and helped to make the anime industry what it is today. If you haven’t seen these series, you really should. The anime in this list aren’t in any particular order of importance. These are just ten amazing anime that should be forgotten.

Mind you, there is an anime that’s on this list simply for being amazingly bad, and no I’m not joking. Could there be a worse one? Sure, but I haven’t found it yet. That particular anime made the list because it is the worst trash heap I’ve seen in 70’s anime, but we will get to that later.

The rest are real gems though, so don’t bypass them. This thing is going to be long enough without my rambling, so let’s just dig into the list.

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#1: Space Battleship Yamato

Originally run from 1974 to 1975 this twenty-six episode anime became widely popular, inspiring a wide range of other shows taking place in the vast world of outer space. It has plenty of sequel and remake fodder to keep an anime fan entertained for hours.

The series boasts a nice collections of games to accompany the franchise, so you won’t be hungry for more content. Space Battleship Yamato is almost required viewing for any science fiction fan. This thing is the epitome of a space opera, and for its time it even looks very pleasing to the eye. You won’t regret watching this classic masterpiece.

#2: The Rose Of Versailles

Okay fans of Utena, this one is for you. Historical anime have always been popular, and that’s no joke. In 1979, though there was a massive shift in how we think of these types of shows. All of it thanks to series like this one. Carrying its way into the cusp of the eighties, this anime refused conformity and gave a big middle finger to anyone that might be offended.

The Rose of Versailles was very unique back then, and it still is today. You’re not going to find many anime like it. The series totaled forty episodes, completely embracing the slice of life genre and blurring the lines of performative gender role as expected by society. All of these themes are wrapped with several layers of romantic intrigue and political drama. The fact that it takes place during the French Revolution is just another interesting bone to chew on. If you like series such as Revolutionary Girl Utena, this is not an anime you pass by.

#3: Ashita no Joe

If you like boxing anime, this one is your classic bread and butter. In recent years we’ve had Megalo Box as a spiritual successor, but you just can’t beat out this incredible classic. In 1970 this anime literally came out swinging and sports anime was never quite the same after that.

This anime had a little bit of everything. Great ring matches, wonderful commentary on the boxing world at the time, and a main protagonist you couldn’t help but love. There was a lot of heart and soul in this series, and at a robust seventy-five episodes, you can be strapped in for one hell of a ride.

#4: Mobile Suit Gundam (The Original)

Alright, come on guys, you knew this bad boy was going to be on the list. Mecha series are an anime staple for a damn good reason, and this anime was the forefather of the Gundam series. Yes it’s old. Yes it is very dated. Yes there are better Gundam series out there.

Any Gundam fan will already know this is not the cream of the crop, but that’s not why it’s on this list. It’s here because the original 1979 Gundam anime was foundational to mecha anime. Let’s be real honest with ourselves. Ignoring this landmark title is not something we can meaningfully do. Besides, it heavily inspired other mecha series too, and we can’t forget that.

The only mecha series that could be more foundational would be Mazinger Z, one of the first mecha anime ever made. It’s an honorable mention, because this this is one of the forefathers of mecha anime. However, I’d argue that Gundam is more paramount in the long run, and that’s why it’s on the list.

#5: 3000 Leagues In Search Of Mother

If ever there were a series that needed to be given the full remake treatment, it’s this one.  In 1976 anime fans were gifted a journey about a boy traveling from Italy to Argentina all on his own.

3000 Leagues In Search Of Mother is a heartfelt period piece taking place during Italy’s depression. It tells the story of a young boy who leaves in search of his very ill mother when he stop receiving letters from her. This anime is just so amazing, it’s hard to imagine it’s been left alone and forgotten. The heart and soul that permeates the series is not something easily described, because for as heartwarming as the adventure can be, the main protagonists is a little boy who goes through a great deal of trouble reach his destination. As much as there’s joy and adventure, there’s a lot of sadness and heartache too. At fifty-two episodes you’re in for an experience you won’t often find elsewhere.

#6: Future Boy Conan

1978 gave us one hell of a special anime series. Future Boy Conan is the first complete run of a series that Hayao Miyazaki ever fully directed. Do I really need to say more than that? Prior to this. he’d had a hand in directing Lupin the 3rd for about fifteen episodes, but that was about it as a director.

Sure, he had a slew of credits within animation departments, and had written and directed the Yuki’s Sun short film. However, Future Boy Conan was his first massive undertaking as a director, and this series really shows off what he was capable of in his earliest days as a director. This series showcases a world that has been devastated by war and the elements themselves after earth was thrown off its axis. As far as post-apocalypse science fiction goes, this is everything you’d expect of a good series. It has a love story, action and adventure. If you are a Hayao Miyazaki fan, this is a twenty-six episode series you have to watch.

#7: Chargeman Ken!

In the 60’s we had a real gem in Speed Racer, but in the 70’s we weren’t so lucky. In 1974 we were treated to the complete dumpster fire that was known as Chargeman Ken! This is one of those “so bad, it’s good” anime. Nowadays it has a fairly strong cult following.

Believe it or not, even when it was released, it was critically panned for low-quality production values. Knack Productions made this absolute abomination, and in turn it gives us a baseline for what 70’s anime looked like at its worst. There is no nice way to put this. Chargeman Ken! will show you what an animated shit stain in the 70’s really looked like. It is amazingly terrible. This is a series you watch with a group of friends to suffer with, or to troll the absolute hell out of them.

#8: Belladonna of Sadness

Okay, I’ll level with you, this one is way out there. I’d never fault you if you haven’t heard of it. Belladonna of Sadness is anavant garde anime film made in 1973, and dear sweet god, it is not your typical anime by far. Don’t go into it thinking it is, because it isn’t.

This film was initially coined as total commercial failure, however if you’re an anime connoisseur of the highest order, this is a must see film. It is very experimental with its animation. You’ll find beautiful painted still images that are as amazing as they are sometimes violent or explicit. There’s adult themes and imagery in this film that are not made for children. The film also inspired Kunihiko Ikuhara and its visual and thematic influences can be seen in Revolutionary Girl Utena. Having sat through the film twice now, I’ll say it’s interesting. I don’t know if I could say I liked it. but it is amazing just what this film managed to pull off.

#9: Aim for the Ace

We’re equal opportunity here, and with a sports anime showcasing athletic guys on the list, I couldn’t very well leave out Aim for the Ace! This anime has very strong female representation for an anime that came out in 1973.

It’s prolific for that alone, but if you like tennis, or sports anime in general, this is a paramount staple to have on your watch-list. Though the anime was initially aimed at girls, guys love this thing too. There’s a lot of great tennis anime out there, and this one stands with the best of them. You’ll always see it on a top list for tennis anime, and it even holds a solid foundation on most sports anime top lists too. If you need a good sports anime to watch, pick it up, it’ll be worth your time.

#10: Cutie Honey

I couldn’t avoid it forever, magical girl series are another common staple in the anime fandom. Very few anime from this decade will do you better that Cutie Honey. In 1973, this anime was a hit right out of the gate, and series is very intriguing to say the least.

This magical girl can assume a vast many personas, and when doing so she gains special abilities. The titular character, Honey is super mischievous and troublesome for a female main lead of her time. She’ll tease her male friends at school and has no qualms giving out her opinion. She’ll downright aggravate and taunt the absolute crap out of her enemies in combat too. She can be everything we want out of a magical girl. Do you like your female lead to be a bad-ass biker chick? She can pull that off. Would you rather have a magical girl with cutesy-poo pink hair that’s your typical warrior of love? She can do that too. This anime showcases one of the best female leads in a magical girl show. If you’re a fan of that, don’t miss out on Cutie Honey.

Final Thoughts

As you can plainly see, in the seventies we were given many great anime series, and this only scratches the surface. If you’re a mecha anime fan, you’ll find a lot of your classics hailed from this decade. Space operas found their calling, sports anime was heavily on the rise, and some of the earliest truly experimental works in anime can be found here.

When we think of classic anime we turn to the eighties and nineties most of all, but we shouldn’t turn our noses up at these seventies classics either. Some of the greatest names in the anime industry really found their footing here, and the foundational touchstones that many of these series had to offer influenced tropes and storytelling still used today.

If you’re hungry for truly classic anime, these choices won’t do you better. It’s an eclectic mix, so dive right in. You’ll be glad you did. Honestly, there are just too many great series that I couldn’t name them all. Maybe you’ve seen a wonderful series that I haven’t yet. Let’s share our passion for these classic treasures.

Do you have a favorite seventies anime that wasn’t on this list? Tell me about it down below.

This has been Kernook from “The Demented Ferrets”, where stupidity is at it’s finest and level grinds are par for the course. If you liked this content, please be sure to check out some other great content down below.

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Fandom: The Comfort of a Good “Let’s Play”

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Hey everyone, it’s Kern here. This is just an introspection piece, and that’s why I’m posting it on a day that isn’t typically a blog post day. It’s just a few thought I have, nothing more.

About a year ago I was asked by an elderly relative, why gamers these days watch “let’s plays”, when we could just play the game ourselves? This older relative is an extended relative, a great aunt of mine. Unlike most of the family, she never quite understood why we played games in the first place.

Since she’s so old, I came up with the usual and easy excuses. I brought up money constraints, games can be an expensive hobby. I spoke of social interaction, internet communities can be very closely knit in some circles. Lastly I mentioned impressive feats of skill, some gamers are just the cream of the crop and the rest of us want to cheer that on.

However, those were all very impersonal answers to what I feel to be a very personal question. My aunt seemed to have forgotten she asked this question, and over the phone she asked it again just yesterday.

Cut her some slack, she’s very old. To put my family into perspective here, my mother (who used to be a gamer) is in her 70’s, my great aunt is in her nineties. The woman isn’t nearly as sharp as she used to be, she’s more forgetful about mundane conversations every single day.

Yesterday, I felt that I finally had an answer that was far more satisfying to me and far more appealing to my aunt.

I think we watch “let’s plays” because it fills some sort void. Something that is intrinsic to who we are as a greater community. It isn’t just entertainment, it becomes a balm for something greater. At least that’s what I think, and let me tell you why.

Today, my aunt is here and she’s watching my little cousin, her “great, great, niece” play a video game. She never did that when I was young, she was more ornery about games back then. More brainwashed that games were damaging to children. It took two full generations of gaming within the family to finally remove that stigma out of her.

Gamers of a certain age will recall the days of meager graphics and simple sound design. Times when we would run home from school, kick off our shoes, and grab the nearest controller. For a few perfect hours, all was right with our world. We’d take up gaming as a fun hobby before doing our homework, having dinner and going to bed. For many of us, these are memories that likely fill our heads.

Well, you would recall that if you were a little older than me at least. My recollection of the games started when I was still toddling around in diapers. Many of the early games I was exposed to came out sandwiched around the year I was born, 1989.

Games such as Mario and Mega Man titles were common household staples. A Boy and His Blob Trouble on Blobolonia was a beloved title in this house, though that cartage NES game finally died a slow death about eight years ago. The Mega Man ones are finally dying out too, but Super Mario Bros 3 is still going strong despite the heavy use.

I’ve said it before, but I came from a family of gamers, so the sounds of eight and sixteen bit games were often what I napped to in my earliest years. My father was the only one in the household that didn’t play video games. Anyway, I was one of those diaper clad toddlers that was handed a controller. I would push the buttons mystified, even when it wasn’t plugged in.

More importantly to my little and innocent soul, came the all too coveted nap time in the summer months. That’s when my extended family came over almost daily to spend countless hours enjoying the back yard, chasing the ice cream truck that passed by at the same time almost every day, and of course playing video games.

There was an eighteen year difference between some of my older cousins and myself. The shortest distance was still a lengthy one at a seven year divide. For me, there was no better way to fall asleep than to watch my family play games. Nap time for me was all about grabbing my pillow and blanket. I’d insist on laying on my favorite mat on the floor. I’d fall asleep watching those NES, Sega Genesis, and SNES titles. I eyed the lone Game Boy in the house and often got pretty bratty when I couldn’t see what was being played.

You could say I was a fan of watching “let’s plays” before they were ever really a thing gamers did in mass. I suspect they’re a sensation at all because so many gamers likely grew up like I did. With an older sibling or a parent playing video games as a key element of entertainment in the household.

Many of us probably grew up with that comfort, so it became something more than just a mere game. For me, it became an extension of family time. It was part of my personal identity in a very intractable way.

As I grew older, my cousins and sibling married off, eventually having children of their own. This tradition lives on. The huge age gap between me and my youngest cousins is about seventeen years. I’m the baby as far as the adults in the family go. While I’m now thirty-one years old, those little cousins are just now reaching their teens.

I feel old…

I also feel validated that they are growing up in a world where gaming is far more normalized than it was in my youth.

My family played video games, but most of the people I knew at school in the early 90’s didn’t. As a person that was constantly bullied I didn’t much care for having them as friends anyway. Back then I could barely hold a pencil, let alone play sports. Gaming was my major hobby.

Nowadays that stigma among other children has been thoroughly trounced, and gamers come from all walks of life. My cousins are growing up in a much more enlightened gaming generation, and I get to watch them mature within it.

That’s pretty damn special, I’ve got to say. After all, I firmly recall their earliest days. Actually Kresh and Ruka do too, to a small degree. After all, those little cousins were on my lap more often than not during hot summer days. Back then, we used Skype as a just barely functional for VOIP to play FFXI and other such games.

When I was fresh out of high school I was the perfect babysitter. Two toddlers roaming around diaper clad, a baby on the hip, and my games were on full display amidst the warm glow of the television. These children mystified, the same as I was in my earliest years. Now, they’re young teenage and tween gamers themselves. They’re just edging into the wide and vast world of gaming. Branching out from the insular family unit they clung onto when they were young, now they’re playing games together in small circles online.

Now they’re playing MOBA‘s with friends from school, and discussing what series they like in more interconnected and diverse ways. When you play games with kids, it is a powerful tool for teaching and engagement. I’m proof of it, and now, so are my cousins.

Sometimes it is very fun to play a game yourself, and my cousins agree. Every now and then though, I find myself missing the random phone calls. A small nightmare or a bad day at school prompting them to ask “Can I watch you play?” all while sounding so full of hope over something so simple. I don’t think I ever said no, now that I think about it.

Now that those days are gone and passed, I find myself wondering about it. What drove us to do that? Why were we so fixated? Why, amidst everything else, was gaming such a core comfort to the younger family unit?

Well, I don’t have an answer to that. I wish I did, but I don’t. There are too many factors to name. Maybe it was the comfort of a momentary escape. Maybe it was the bonding that occurred because of it, or maybe that was just because we liked games.

I think, in the end, the reasons are too diverse and personal to name. They’re so personal because we gamers aren’t a monolith. So, to answer the question, why do we gamers like to watch “let’s plays” so much? I go back to what I said before.

It gives us something we need, even if that thing isn’t entirely something you can measure. I think anyone who needs to answer that question for themselves will come to find their own personal story about why its so important. A reason why they watch instead of just playing themselves.

Something beyond the usual rhetoric and above the typical reproach. Intangible perhaps, but no less valid for its existence.

Why do you watch “let’s plays” and live streams? Let me know in the comments below.

This has been Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets” where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are par for the course. If you liked this content, please be sure to check out some other great posts down below. I’ll see you next time.

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Kern’s Thoughts on Resident Evil Village

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I prefer to review series critically only after I’ve had time to look back upon it retrospectively. I like to have time time to play the game more than once, and let myself really sink into the core narratives and confines of the game as a whole.

Resident Evil Village is too new, and I’ve only played and beaten it once with plenty of dying and screwing up to say that yes, it is certainly a Resident Evil title in that way at least. Actually that’s probably the only way.

Anyway, this isn’t a review. It isn’t meant to be one. These are just some initial thoughts about the game, and my overall enjoyment of it.

I don’t know if I could call this game a masterpiece, but what I will say is that Resident Evil Village pushes boundaries I never thought it would. So, let’s dive into my thoughts, because god knows I have a lot of them.

This is mostly spoiler free. Nothing big will be discussed. Although I do briefly touch on a few things, you won’t be getting any deep details, so don’t worry about massive plot being spoiled here, you won’t be.

A Thoughtful, Captivating Opening.

Most Resident Evil titles don’t captivate me right out of the release gate anymore. Mostly, that’s because the series is too old to really give me a halfway decent bone to chew on. Usually I have to wait to I sink onto the meat of the game properly before I’m surprised by an opening.

This one did surprise me, and not just because it actually had a halfway decent recap of the events in Resident Evil 7. Though, because it was decent, there’s merit in that too. It told the Resident Evil 7 plot without getting too deep. It was easy to digest and simple to consume. It does strictly as it needs to, and nothing more.

Now, you’d expect that after this you’d dive into gameplay, but that isn’t what happened. What we’re greeted with instead is the truly astonishing part. Something that made me take two steps back. It was simple, but for the narrative it was compelling.

We got to listen to rather grim a fairy tale…

Typically, you only see things like this used in puzzles in the Resident Evil series. Survival horror as a genre likes to take fantasy elements use them to craft clues for puzzles or use them as incredibly vague item or enemy metaphor. Yet, we rarely get to see elements like this used as part of character development, or as a taste for a larger metaphorical narrative.

Fantastical music boxes, nods to classic novels, and other such tropes are usually only puzzles only. So it was super nice to see them pulling that key aspect into something greater than making a character merely interact with it. Instead of just getting some sort of key or clue, we get a greater poetic narrative of the game at large.

This opening primes the player, and through my entire play-through I was searching for those metaphorical hints that the opening provided. All-in-all it was a solid opening, and a great creative addition that deserves praise.

On Horror: Lacking/Poorly Managed At Times…

There are times it certainly looks like a classic Resident Evil game. However, it’s not even close.

The game took me about eleven hours to beat since I was taking my time, and occasionally dying. One thing that became noticeable to me at about half an hour into the game was I hadn’t received any meaningful tension to make me feel scared.

Sorry, spooky sounds and jump scares just don’t cut it. Around that time I was wandering around this spooky, snow covered forest filled with dead birds (one of them acting as a cheap jump scare), and subsequently the cabin in the aftermath that creaked and groaned but provided no real payoff.

Continuing to play the game, through more snow covered woods and several more homes (with plenty more mangled and dead animals to go rounds). It was a decent bit after that when I finally picked up my first knife and things actually became interesting.

All of this is to say that the game does have some very good horror elements, but sadly it also fails to manage them correctly at times. This leads to somewhat boring gameplay during certain stretches of time. Considering that many of the areas of the game feel like something out of the original mansion, I do take issue with that.

It just reminds me of how good horror can truly inspire fear, and how this game just can’t cut it in that regard.

Also, the gore itself was just occasionally hard to believe or immerse myself into. It was nearly bombastic at times, but the gratuitousness lacked reason or subtly.

Again, this would not have been an issue, if I had not been so thoroughly reminded of what subtle build-up can provide. That is an ongoing issue of this game. It reminds you of older titles, but never in a way that satisfies.

This style is particularly true early on, when some things weren’t explained yet. There is only one very noteworthy section of the game that is absolutely horrifying, but the rest of it is truly hit and miss for me.

Enemies: What The Hell?

No, seriously, what in the actual hell were the development staff thinking on this one? This goes back into what I was saying before about poor management of horror. The dude in this image, he is a miss.

Listen, I don’t mind when enemies get smarter and faster than your typical zombies. Chainsaw dude from Resident Evil 4 is without a doubt the kind of enemy that will make you crap yourself if you don’t know what to expect. However, when enemies that are half yeti, half zombie roar at me, I feel a distinct lack of chills, and a clear amount of agitation instead.

Come on, seriously? I wasn’t exacting this to be your typical Resident Evil game, but some of these enemy types are flat out stupid. They don’t scare me, they just make me wonder one simple question: what the hell? This goes back into what I was saying before about poor management of horror.

Unintentional Humor (Hands have never been so funny).

No image here, because I don’t want to take away from that moment. I have only one word for you….

“Good.”

That moment, which I won’t go into detail about, is the one genuinely funny thing is this game, far better than the likes of “Jill Sandwich” and other such campy dialogue, simply because it was not supposed to be funny.

Even so, I legitimately laughed out loud. Considering this has become something of an in-joke among players who know what I’m talking about, I have a feeling this moment will stand the test of time.

Looks Nice, Plays Decently…

I don’t want to show you too many enemies, because again this is mostly spoiler free, but look at this hallway. This isn’t even one of the more stunning moments in gameplay, I’m just running away a villain that’s behind me. I just wanted this image to prove a point. Let’s face it the only ugly things in this game, are the ones meant to be ugly.

Unless you’re super focused on everything looking absolutely sunning no matter what, you’ll have no problems here. Everything looks good (some wonky enemy designs aside), and it feels good to play Resident Evil Village.

I will say that I believe there are too many “chase” moments. I don’t understand why people can dislike Mr. X or Nemesis, and yet they enjoy running away from these constantly circling abominations. The sisters are a particular pain in the butt as a whole in my opinion. They’re just not needed. We already had one very compelling villain willing to chase you. Did we really need three cronies too?

It’s like out of a really bad anime, and don’t even get me started on the fact the woman in question might as well be Lust from FMA. Actually, that’s an insult to Lust, because I don’t care how well loved she is, I take extreme issue with Lady Dimitrescu, the reasons why will be details in her own separate post, because she is entirely offensive.

There are times aiming can be clunky, and first person view is the absolute last camera I want to be using, but those gripes aside, it’s a solid player experience. I wouldn’t say that it’s the best experience out there. Then again, it’s by far not the worst thing I’ve played either.

First person view is a major gripe for me, though. I just don’t like that style, and it’s becoming more common in horror games. Still, if they wanted to make more first person horror, why not revive the Resident Evil: Survivor series, or something? Remake those games and then add onto them, why not do that?

Why does it need to be in a main series title twice in a row? I suppose ultimately that is what I’m asking. Then again, you could argue Resident Evil 7 set the precedent, and that’s fine I suppose. To me though, it just comes down to personal preference.

Resident Evil 2‘s remake proved that you do not need first person camera angles to make a good Resident Evil game. Anyway, this first person camera thing, it’s just not my style. At least, not for Resident Evil, or horror in general. It pulls me out of the experience more times than not.

Not My Resident Evil…

Honestly, the game is good, it is very fun to play, but it just isn’t a typical Resident Evil title. It doesn’t feel like one, it doesn’t really play like one. Although I did enjoy the game, I won’t be praising it as heavily as I would other games.

The games looses brownie points for me because if you call it “Resident Evil” I expect to feel like I’m playing a “Resident Evil game”. I don’t think that’s unfair to expect.

I feel like this the game you’d get when you let BloodRayne have a very confused orgy with Resident Evil 4 and Outlast, without anyone knowing who the father really is. Aw hell, let’s just throw in uncle Silent Hill and aunt Clock Tower for good measure. See what I’m getting at? The identity of this game is hard to pin down, and it looses a great deal of charm that I’ve come to expect from the Resident Evil series because of that. I’ll explain more about that when I do a review properly.

The enemies don’t feel like something out of a typical Resident Evil game. Rather, it felt more surrealist in scope, or particularly high fantasy horror. Think something along the lines of Alice: Madness Returns. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, there is a time and place for those things. It doesn’t feel like Resident Evil when you include those fantasy elements to the degree Capcom did.

Again, that doesn’t make it a bad game. I just thought they would balance the setting and horror vibes more carefully, that’s all.

A lot of people compare this title to Resident Evil 4, but you know, I just don’t feel like that’s a fitting comparison either. Resident Evil 4 was certainly action packed, but it had a lot of truly creepy moments. This game doesn’t have that same creepy factor that I know and love.

You can’t really compare this to Resident Evil 7 either, because that game was super dark thematically. Way more than previous titles in the franchise. It was gritty, it was grotesque, and it was unapologetic. It glorified being disturbing to general sensibilities. Emotional abuse and mistreatment of the family dynamic runs rampant. Those qualities really upset some people, but at least Resident Evil 7 knew what it was. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the lines it dared to cross, but at least I can respect it for understanding what it was trying to do.

To me, Resident Evil Village really jumped the shark. It’s not a scary game most of the time. When I play a horror game, I want to be freaked out, or at least mildly unsettled.

Resident Evil Village offered a thematically confusing, high octane experience. I really don’t care for that to such a large degree.

Now, there were moments that were actually unsettling or terrifying, but they were lightning in a bottle moments. They were not commonplace as I would have liked. I so rarely experienced the sort of tension required to be unsettled in the first place.

I wish I could say I loved this thing from start to finish, but I just don’t. It’s a good game, but for a Resident Evil title, it has earned itself a place in my mind of one of the worst in the franchise that I have ever played on the first run-through.

That being said, I felt the same about Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Resident Evil 5 at one point in my life, and they eventually grew on me.

If I pretend it isn’t a Resident Evil title, or at the very least pretend it is a spin-off, then the game is really damn good. Unfortunately, it’s hard to do that. You need a lot of the Resident Evil 7 backstory to even care about what happens to be going on. So let that ideology speak for itself.

This has been Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets”, where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are part for the course. I’ll see you next time. Be sure to join our other profiles for more great content.

Be sure to check out some related content, in case you missed it before…

Fandom: #3 More Tips To Combat Writer’s Block…

Hey everyone, it’s Kernook here, and today I’m back again writing another writer’s block post. I’ve already written one of these posts before, and you can find it here if you want to read it. You really should start there, but I’ll do a recap here as well.

Basically, in my last post I outlined three core principles for solving writers block. Here is just a very basic outline, and it only glosses over the topics I spoke of in detail.

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  • #1 Respect your mental health. -This means that you should know where your mind is from a creative standpoint. Make sure you are doing your best to maintain the right kind of thinking for your writing style. If you can’t do that, maybe put your old projects aside and write something new to get the feelings out.
  • #2 Redefine your methods. – This means you always should look at the fulfillment you get by writing. If you feel that your writing is no longer filling your needs as a person, you might change the way you go about crafting the written word.
  • #3 Perfectionism is flat out stupid. – Nothing is perfect, and trying to force it to be that way isn’t something you should do when you’re still in your first or second draft. When all else fails, a good old fashioned write-and-toss may help.

As I stated in my last post, these suggestions are made for the hobbyist and creatively inclined. They’re not made for professional writers, though I suppose you may see some value in them too.

That being said, this is geared more for the fan fiction community, or someone who is just getting into writing and doesn’t know exactly what to do with an idea or a project that they want to start. If you’re one of these sorts of people, let’s move on to the meat and potatoes of this post.

#1 Drabbles!

What is a “drabble”, you might ask? Good question, and the answer is quite simple. Usually it is a very small fiction. If you’ve been around in the fan fiction world for a while, you’ve likely seen those fictions that are less than 800 or so words.

That’s a drabble. Yep, that’s it.

Now by definition, a drabble is usually about 100 words, but in the fan fiction world we take number counts very loosely. With some fan fictions easily becoming over one million words in total length, we tend to play fast and lose with the standard expected writing formula. So really, a drabble is just a really short story, and often times it’s not always fleshed out.

This is a great way to bust writer’s block. Pick one theme, one or two characters and one simple setting. Then get to it. Write that scene to its completion. That’s it. That’s a drabble, and most of them can stand on it’s own. If it can’t, that’s fine too, because now at least you have a jumping off point. Upload that sucker and get yourself some feedback. Then build off of it. Either with a few more small drabbles from the same universe to make an interconnected story, or with a longer length work.

Sometimes the best cure for writer’s block is just to get something out there in the first place, and drabbles help you do that.

#2 Find Sensory Input

Your personal experiences as a writer will shape how your work takes form. This is especially true if you don’t have much writing experience to go off of. It can be difficult to describe a particular feeling or flesh out the world that your characters live in.

If that’s the case for you, find the next best thing. All pieces of media come from a place of introspection to a degree. Learning to absorb the details around, you will help you to make your story fluid and interesting.

If you’re having trouble describing something, find a real world equivalent. For example, if you’re trying to describe a room in a house, or the way a character acts, then look around for your inspiration. Act out your scenes a little, as if you were the characters. Play them out in your head. If your character seems to shrug something off, you shrug too. Feel the way your shoulders lift. Feel the sort of breath you take within the confines of the scene as if you were the character.

Is the breath you take gentle or heavy? Do your shoulders sag a little as they fall? Do they hunch forward, or do they square back confidently? What are your lips doing? Are they placid, or frowning? Do your eyes close, or do they stay open?

Take notice of those small details, write those in. That way you can move on without lingering too long. Trust me, you don’t ever want to longer linger than you have to. It will only make the writer’s block worse in my opinion.

I cannot stress this enough, but perfection has no place in a first draft. Hell, it has no place in a second draft, either. If you’re a perfectionist, toss your idea onto the page and move on.

You will inevitably return to it later, like all writers do during the editing process. Sometimes just getting deeper into the scene you’re writing will help. Someone that really is all you need, then you’ll be able to go back and add more content later.

#3 Creative Drifting

So, you have no idea what to do. You’re just completely stuck to the point that words just aren’t going onto the page to save your soul. It’s agitating you to no end, and you’re just about flip your entire desk over in frusteration.

Don’t do that. Instead, go find yourself a voice recording app. A free one. There are so many to choose from, really. Either grab one on your cell phone, or a computer, it really doesn’t matter. Now, open that thing and talk into it. Yep, you read that write.

Just talk about your creativity. Talk about the world you want to build, the characters you want to write about, the setting. Make a mess, let the thoughts exist and mingle into something you can listen to later.

When you’re done, listen to it a few times. Occasionally that’s all you need. The talking will occasionally jump-start your innate creativity. If that didn’t work on its own, then listen to that recording and make a bullet point list of things you say that inspire you. Dig deeper into it, and focus your talents on that inspiration first and foremost. From there you should be able to write something, hopefully.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, writers block is something that everyone will struggle with creatively at one point another. That’s a demon that just falls into line when writing anything, and often times there isn’t much a person can do but struggle through it. Writers block is a fluid thing. It will come and go and that’s just the way it is.

I find that playing to your strengths really helps a lot, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. When that happens, the best thing you can do is play with the actual writing conventions themselves. Toy with them, twist them around, and throw them all over the place. The written word is a powerful tool, but don’t let that stop you from truly enjoying the freedom of expression.

So what if you happen to have too many words, or maybe just not enough? So what if you can’t nail down that perfect moment? What if you can’t get a description of a scene just right? It doesn’t matter during writers block. These are all issues that help to contribute to writers block in the first place, and these are all things that can be overlooked during the initial phases of your creative journey as a writer.

There will come a time and a place to fix all of that. If it is meant to be fixed at all, it will be. Sometimes it’s just not, and allowing your initial ideas to merely exist as they are might give you more freedom as a writer.

It’s all hit and miss. We all throw things at the wall to see what sticks. Sometimes all of it does, and sometimes none of it does. That’s the nature of the beast. Work with it, not against it.

As I always say, let yourself love the creative process. Let yourself love writing for as imperfect, bombastic and grandiose as it can sometimes be. Clutter is part of the process, messes crumpled up wads of ideas will be cast aside more times than not. Don’t be bogged down by it, just embrace it.

If you can do that, the block will pass and words will eventually flow freely once more. Love is a powerful tool too, and few things are stronger than its power. As a hobbyist writer, you are your own master. the written language is your form of magic, and the page is the vessel upon which to place it. Allow yourself the flexibility to play with the craft, and simply just love it no matter what.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

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A moment to Remember – Yaphet Kotto

If you’re here, you’ve probably heard that Yaphet Kotto passed away. I don’t want to talk about his passing, but rather I want to talk about his legacy. What he left behind. This isn’t a usual blog post, and unlike my other blog posts, I won’t be leaving the typical links. Also, this isn’t carefully edited or mindfully crafted. It’s just me, writing what I think and feel.

I want this post to be a reflection of my own recollections of him through the eyes of a fan. I wasn’t a huge fan of him, but he was intrinsic to my youth, and that’s what I want to recall fondly.

Memories of happier, simpler days when he lit up our television screen in the mundane afternoons. My family gathered around our television set, while I was too young to think of it as anything other than normalcy.

If you were a fan of bond films, or such classics as Alien, you probably saw Yaphet Frederick Kotto on screen plenty of times over the years. Even if you don’t know who he was, you probably knew of his work in the film and television industry. You knew his face, if not his name.

For me growing up, that’s what it was like. So, I wanted to take a moment to recall his career, and my earliest recollections as a fan. My parents are older, so I grew up with shows from the sixties, seventies and eighties. Old re-runs of shows like Gun Smoke, Hawaii Five-O  and Murder, She Wrote were series that were fairly common in my household growing up.

Yaphet Kotto made an appearance on all of these shows, and my earliest memories weren’t as a fan of him, but as a child playing in front of the television set. If you were also a 90’s kid with older parents like myself, you probably also grew up around his works, rather than with his works.

Still it was that experience in my early childhood that made him a household name for me. It wasn’t his larger roles, it was his smaller ones. That’s what made me want to watch things like Alien as an adult, and play video games like Alien: Isolation. It’s what made me look deeper into his entire filmography.

Knowing of him, made me want to see more about him and the roles he played. That alone, made me become a fan.

This man represents a time in my life when I was just a kid. When his works were too mature for a young child like myself to fully understand. His voice wafting across the screen during lazy summertime naps, and while rolling dice for board games that we’d play to whittle the hours away.

Yaphet Kotto is just one of many actors like this for me. A face, a name and a voice, that occasionally warmed my home thanks to his glow on the television. Seeing that he passed away, and everyone sharing their fond memories over twitter on his memory page made me want to do the same, but I just can’t partake.

I wish I could say I was a huge fan of his works, but for me that’s not why this hits so hard. For me, it’s another loss of my youth. A reminder that times are swiftly changing. My younger cousins will never get to have the upbringing that I did. The days of dial-up internet meant that I wasn’t on there all the time. The television was the central location in our home. Yaphet Kotto and his many roles became part of that, and for me, that is what I will always remember.

I offer my sincerest condolences to his family and friends. To his likely sprawling fan base, my you forever love his works and ambitions. He has left these behind as a gift for us. So may we enjoy them to the fullest. Finally, I wish him a peaceful rest wherever his soul may travel…

I prefer to Read Fan Fiction instead of Best Selling Books – Here’s Why.

Fan fiction can be hit and miss. It is both a messy media and a crap shoot. Some fan fiction writers have the chops to strike out on their own and write a unique best selling work of their own creation.

Other fan fiction writers could never hope to attain that same quality at their current skill level. Even so, I’d rather read fan fiction over most best selling novels out there.

For all the snappy dialogue and punchy editing, most best selling books have me losing interest as soon as I turn the first few pages. It always seems so pristine to me, in a way that’s just outright off-putting.

Recently I realized why.

It is the editing process that ruins most books for me. It’s the reek of mass media posturing and the inevitable stifling of creative energy. This ultimately destroys the vast majority of written media for me. Most books are about sixty thousands words. A great many fan fictions average about one-hundred thousand words per story, and that’s not including sequels.

Yes, that means they can be clunky to read, but you can also be sure that the fan writing it put exactly what they wanted into it.

That isn’t to say that books can’t be longer too. However, it is to say that they are usually streamlined in a way that feels watered down and washed out to me.

At its core, the only difference between a piece of media for sale and a piece of media given freely, is the expected return on investment.

For fan fiction that investment is generally only emotional. It’s payment for the soul, you could say. People are either using fan fiction to hone their skills, or to become part of a greater community. It’s a selfish thing by it’s nature, because fandom is selfish in general. Fans can be rabid and territorial about the things they like, because it means something to them.

We like what we like, after all. Thus, we hate what we hate, as well.

When you read a fan fiction you enjoy and then post a review, you’re feeding that creative energy. You’re harboring that love that can only be given from one fan to another while bonding over a shared piece of media.

For written media being sold, this is not the case. There’s a monetary incentive that fan fiction just doesn’t have tied to it. With that incentive in mind, the devil is in the details.

I often have to wonder how much content get’s cut, because making a book isn’t exactly cheap. You’re limited by what the mass public will accept and at the mercy of publishing houses unless you strike out on your own.

I don’t want to read that kind of crap. I don’t want to think about what may have been yanked out, simply because an editor demanded it.

I read fan fiction because I love the flawed media. You can really see a writer’s ambition in works that don’t have an editor to scrutinize every little thing. There is no streamlined process for fan fiction, no hoops to jump through, no particular standard of quality that must be met by publishing overlords.

Does that mean that some fan fiction is absolute crap? Well, yeah! Sure, there’s some really bad fan fiction out there. However, there are also published books out there that are just as full of crap, and lacked due diligence as well…

Worst of all, you likely paid for that garbage with hard earned money in order to read it. Think about that. How many books did you buy and regret? For me, that number is well over twenty. No, I’m not kidding.

This is why I really do hate what many people hold aloft “best sellers” as though they’re God’s gift to the world. Now, in light of fairness, I don’t hate all best selling books. I keep several on my shelf. For example, Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Mitch Albom is one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life.

I have owned three copies of that book in my lifetime. I have read it so many times I broke the first one’s spine as in the ninth grade. The second one died a horrible doom in my early twenties thanks to a small child running around with a black sharpie in hand. A sad lesson was learned that day amidst all the scribbles.

Never leave beloved books on coffee tables…

Anyway, you see my point. There are books I do adore, however they are very few and far between. Fan fiction is the majority of my reading, and I usually blast through through several hundred-thousand words in a single sitting. When I sit down to read, I do so to eagerly.

For a fan, being a best seller doesn’t matter. You’re not selling the story. You’re sharing it wholeheartedly with other fans. All that matters is the writer takes a chance and puts their efforts into a creation that means something special to them.

Fan fiction are stories written by fandom, and that is ultimately what I like so much about it. It acts like a touch stone in a very particular way, unifying people with very little barrier to entry.

You can’t say the same about other types of written media, and best sellers least of all. That fact that it’s a best seller in the first place ,is the absolute complete antithesis of what a fan fiction should be.

The ethos behind writing them are fundamentally different beasts by nature.

Now, this is of course a symbiotic relationship. You need to be a fan of something to write fan fiction. That is the definition of what fan fiction is. It would be stupid to claim otherwise.

That being said, there are times that the fan fictions out there are far and away better than the original work they came from. This is simply because a fan of the series is the one writing it to begin with. Either subverting expectation, or diving deeper into the over-all narrative in a way the original creator couldn’t do, or simply chose not to do.

I hate the concept of best selling books, but I love fan fiction that gets created because of media that fans nurture and continue to hold in high regard.

Fan fiction is usually far from perfect. It cannot be perfect due to what it is, but that’s why I love it so much. That alone is the simple reason why.

Mushoku Tensei – A Grandfather of Isekai

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Mushoku Tensei is one of the 2021 anime that has a lot of people taking about it, and for good reason. It’s an interesting show, adapted from a wealth of written media. Now having not read all of the written material, I can only speak to some of it. Today though I’m going to focus on it’s anime adaptation, and the problems that are creeping to the surface because of its vast popularity.

The written media for Mushoku Tensei has been around since 2012, that’s why the series is so popular. It not exactly a huge stretch to say that this series would generally appeal to a far wider audience than most anime out there.

You see, this series contains actual full length novels, light novels, manga, an audio drama, and as of 2021 it now has an anime and a video game as well.

So, what’s the problem then? Well, you could call this series one of the grandfathers of the Isekai genre.

In these types of stories, characters will teleport into a different world in one way, shape, or form. Generally a character dies and is reincarnated, or they’re sucked into the world through some other event. Then that character lives in the newfound world after that.

The entire crux of these stories is the characters and the world they now reside in. Key plot points include living among the peoples that reside in these new lands, learning the laws and the way the world works.

Isekai anime all have a gimmick of some nature, and to be fair it’s not a genre I actively dive into regularly. This is mostly because the industry is flooded with them. Since the beginning of anime itself, we’ve all seen the series where a character goes to some mystical place, or our titular hero gets trapped in a video game. It’s standard, it’s common, and even before the term “Isekai” became part of the anime narrative, it has always been around.

Even anime that aren’t true Isekai can still feel like one. Think of anime such as Inuyasha, for prime example. I wouldn’t call it a true Isekai, but it does have many trappings of the genre.

If you want a good example of a great Isekai in the genre, look no further than “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime“. The manga and anime are both solid, and it also has novels and light novels. That is the reason I use this example. The wealth of contented provided is very similar.

When it comes to written media, Mushoku Tensei is the modern-day juggernaut for the Isekai genre. Prior to this series, Isekai were more fluid in it’s nature. What we considered Isekai was also vastly different.

This series established most of the tropes we know today. Predominately, this includes the concept of reincarnation into a new world, our favorite murderous device often named by fans as “truck-kun”, and the asshole protagonist that requires a new lease on life.

Does any of that sound like something you’ve seen before? Well, that is the ultimate issue for us anime fans.

The series took too long to be animated. More creative Isekai anime out there are using these established tropes. Some of them are actually doing it better than Mushoku Tensei ever could. This is simply because they had the benefit of learning from their grandfathers of the genre.

Thanks to these improvements on the genre, we’re getting some decent content. “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” is the primary example I use. However, there are other solid choices out there if this is a genre you really enjoy. I just don’t, so it’s hard for me to really decipher what ones are best to list.

Sadly, Mushoku Tensei cannot live up to it’s competitors. If you’re a fan of the series already, it’s probably right up your ally and on your “to watch” list. For the rest of us it’s a “been there, done that, seen this before” type of show.

This doesn’t make Mushoku Tensei bad, not even in the slightest. It just means that despite the pretty visuals and decent voice acting, it feels dated. It’s hard for me to suggest this anime simply because of that, but there is a reason to watch it.

As I said before, Mushoku Tensei is one of the founding grandfathers of the genre. It would be ridiculous to overlook this series simply because any fan of this genre should watch it at least once. It is important to understand how this genre came to be what it is today, and this series allows you to do that.

The anime adaptation is still ongoing, so this isn’t a review on its quality. This is just a firmly placed suggestion. If you enjoy Isekai anime, you owe it to yourself to watch this series.

I know that I am enjoying it despite the dated feel, and I hope you will too.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

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Romance In RWBY: Pyrrha and Jaune (Arkos)

As of Volume 3 the “Arkos” ship is past cannon contentment only, but I still enjoy the concept of the ship and thought it prudent to talk about it today. At the time of this post Volume 8 is in full swing, and soon to be completed.

I really want to get into discussing RWBY content and this is as good a place to start as any when it comes to shipping since it is a ship that (as far as fans know) doesn’t need to compete with possible cannon content in later volumes yet to be released.

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Pyrrha Nikos and Jaune Arc comprise the pairing affectionately named “arkos” by the fan community. For the first three volumes of RWBY, Jaune and Pyrrha are teammates that grow into being vague lovers. In the end of volume three Pyrrha dies and Jaune must live on.

Volumes four, five, and six show Jaune learning to heal from his grief. His slow emotional recovery is well done, probably some of the best I’ve seen in a production like RWBY.

As of Volume 8, it’s safe to say that Jaune has mostly recovered from his grief at this point. Though there are moments where it crops up on occasion. So let’s take a look at this romantic pairing a little more closely.

Early Beginnings

In volume one, the romance is entirely one sided. Jaune’s eyes are on Weiss, not Pyrrha. Of course, Pyrrha doesn’t make her feelings truly known, either. Jaune is typically very dense.

In volume two Jaune and Pyrrha become a cannon pairing. However, Pyrrha’s tragic death in volume three also opens the way for Jaune to pair off with someone else in later seasons. Unless the writers of the show somehow bring Pyrrha back to life, it’s safe to say she’s gone for good.

I don’t personally sail this ship from a cannon perspective, but I do read fan fiction with the pairing in it. For me, it depends entirely on the setting. Alternate universe fan fiction, or fan fiction in the Beacon/Vale timeline can be well written. People who choose to write the pairing earnestly can often offer an entertaining read.

I do think that Jaune and Pyrrha have better “fannon” pairings for each of them. They’re little bit messy as a romantic pairing. In early cannon, Jaune is oblivious and has other interests. This is compounded by the fact that Pyrrha doesn’t make her affection obvious until much later. Then once she does, she doesn’t live long after.

That said, I respect “arkos” and its cannon roots. It certainly is a popular pairing, and I’d never disparage that.

Reasons to “Ship” Jaune and Pyrrha (Arkos)

Just like other ships in RWBY, the first volume of the series focuses on how completely incompatible Jaune and Pyrrha really are. Whiterose, and to a lesser extent bumblebee, also suffer from this trope. The first volume wanted to imply how vastly different hunters can be. Showing that off between teams and partnerships really gets the point across.

Jaune is not a good candidate to become a good huntsman. He has a noble ambition, but that’s about it. Like Ruby, he’s awkward beyond belief. He lacks basic combat skills, common sense, and he lied on his school documents. He is constantly bullied for lack of skill in the early parts of the series. Jaune has no right to be a Beacon student in the first place, and he knows it.

Meanwhile, Pyrrha Nikos is an accomplished student. It’s implied that she’s somewhat of a celebrity, but this isn’t touched upon as heavily as it is for other characters. Pyrrha has won tournaments and received a sponsorship. No matter how loosely it’s touched upon, she’s famous, and her face is plastered across cereal boxes.

Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, regards Pyrrha with the utmost respect. Considering how rude Weiss can be in volume 1, this is a mild indication that Pyrrha has dabbled in high society. There is subtext that Weiss and Pyrrha may have even crossed paths. They don’t formally introduce themselves, and Weiss seems particularly friendly with her. Despite Pyrrha’s popularity, Jaune doesn’t even know who Pyrrha is.

In fact, in my re-watching of the series, I realized how much of a jerk Jaune was to Pyrrha even when she tries to introduce herself to him.

He practically pushes her out of his way just so that he can talk to Weiss. It’s obvious that Weiss isn’t interested in him, but he doesn’t seem to realize that.

At first, Jaune and Pyrrha are simply unfit for each other. As a pairing, his sights aren’t even set on Pyrrha as a romantic interest. Instead, he’s much more interested in Weiss. This is what I mean about the pairing being a little messy.

For Pyrrha and Jaune, volume one is nothing more than establishing personal growth for these characters. While Pyrrha holds a romantic fondness for Jaune, he’s too dense to really notice. With his sights firmly planted on Weiss, he doesn’t see the love and affection that Pyrrha wants to offer him.

Pyrrha acts as a supportive partner for Jaune flawlessly. She unlocks his aura, and helps him with his training, teaching him the basic skills he doesn’t have. At first, Jaune fails to return that level of loyalty. Instead he befriends Cardin, and allows himself to be bullied. Even with Pyrrha’s best efforts, Jaune finds himself failing, both as a team leader, and a huntsman-in-training.

The second volume is when Jaune begins to understand the important role he has as a team leader. He starts to emulate Pyrrha’s actions, learning to be humble. He isn’t exactly happy when Pyrrha forces him to study, but he doesn’t argue with her, either. Pyrrha shows growth in her own ways too. Much like Weiss, Pyrrha has learned that small moments of immaturity aren’t a bad thing. Pyrrha joins the food fight between teams RWBY and JNPR. She reads comic books, and enjoys spending time with her teammates.

Jaune still fawns over Weiss, even though she isn’t interested in him.

Pyrrha isn’t obvious about it, but now she shows signs of being jealous. This becomes a major turning point during the school dance. Jaune is so sure that Pyrrha will find a date to the dance that he says he’ll wear a dress if she doesn’t have one. After being rejected by Weiss for the umpteenth time, Jaune attends the dance alone.

When he sees Pyrrha sad and alone, he can’t help but follow her. When he asks where her date is, she tells him that she never had a date to begin with.

Pyrrha explains in detail that her privileged place in society makes it very difficult to connect with others. For the first time, she’s being blunt with Jaune. Upfront and honest about her feelings for him, she lets him know exactly how she feels. She makes it obvious he’s the sort of man she wants in her life.

Needless to say, Jaune goes and puts on a dress. Returning to the dance, he spends the rest of his evening with Pyrrha. This moment is what officially sets their relationship into motion in cannon.

To be honest, we don’t get much else for Jaune and Pyrrha in volume two after this point. Major plot elements and story elements take place for team RWBY, meaning that other teams get sidelined.

It should come as no surprise when I say that the “arkos” pairing is strongest during volume three. Pyrrha shows affection for Jaune openly, and he returns it. She’s much more open about her feelings now, and Jaune reciprocates that. All of this relationship for the past three volumes culminates into a sudden and climatic kiss. Then Pyrrha rushes off to face a battle all on her own, knowing it’ll get her killed.

This is where the “arkos” ship sadly sinks. After her fight, volume three ends. Jaune learns to live without Pyrrha Nikos in his life. While volumes four, five, and six have moments of him recalling his time with Pyrrha, that’s all there can be anymore. During the sixth volume, Jaune comes across a memorial statue of Pyrrha, and finally comes to a catharsis about her death.

So, why should you ship this pairing? It’s quite simple. Jaune grows from a cocky teenage boy into a resolute young man during the first six volumes. Pyrrha was the catalyst for that growth. Pyrrha’s own self-discoveries, while subtle, shouldn’t be understated either. As a fan, it’s interesting to think about how these characters would have grown into adults with full fledged hunting licenses.

While other pairings in the series focus on grandiose character moments and memorable witty dialogue, it’s not the same for Jaune and Pyrrha. For these two, it’s all about the things left unsaid. The simplicity of mundane life that gets taken for granted. It’s profoundly beautiful and tragic. This is perhaps what allows the pairing to live on within the fandom.

Reasons to Sail a Different Ship

There is only one reason, and for now it’s just the way the cannon story played out. Pyrrha’s dead, and Jaune isn’t. Even so, you can still find Pyrrha alive and well in fan fiction. Although those usually takes place before the events of volume three, it’s an alternate universe entirely, or follows a peaceful timeline.

As of right now, Jaune stands in an interesting place within the series. He can have his past love of Pyrrha, and still have another cannon pairing down the line. Even if he does get into a new pairing, that doesn’t change the cannon timeline and the past.

Pyrrha Nikos will always be his first love, and his first real loss. He’s also shown a cannon interest in Weiss in the past. Depending on what later volumes do with Weiss, they may become a cannon pairing down the line. Although, that’s only speculation on my part.

As far as “fannon” is concerned, there are many implied options to choose from. Jaune can easily be shipped with Ruby or Weiss. Cannon gives him just enough moments with both girls both to provide fan fiction fodder. He can also be placed in a bisexual triad relationship with Ren and Nora, which is a common thing to do too.

Jaune plays the role of the underdog in the series. He acts as a vessel for male viewers to latch onto and relate well with. Fan fiction showcases this in spades. Jaune is often put into unnaturally erotic situations that he usually wouldn’t find himself in.

Women who canonically show no interest in him, start to fawn over him in the world of fandom. This makes him a strange outlier among male characters in the series, and his pairings are practically endless when it comes to erotic fantasy.

For Pyrrha, There are also a few implied options. Ruby and Weiss are the stand out choices for monogamous relationships, but the fandom doesn’t stop there. Ruby, Weiss, Ren, and Nora are stand out options for polyamory ships.

In fact, much like Jaune, open relationships tend to run rampant with Pyrrha too. Fans often ship Pyrrha using polyamory with her teammates and trusted friends.

Blake or Yang will occasionally be thrown into Pyrrha’s polyamory blender, making for some of the more interesting pairings within the fandom.

Final Thoughts

The “arkos” pairing is one of the most dynamic pairings in the RWBY series. Jaune and Pyrrha are side characters, particularly during the early volumes. They don’t get a whole lot of screen time compared to team RWBY.

In spite of this, their romantic progression is on display almost all the time. The hints are subtle, most of them are buried deep under subtext, particularly in the first volume.

For me, the ships are less about who they’re paired with, and rather, the dynamic itself. I’d rather read about Pyrrha in small polyamory groups. However, I generally prefer Jaune when he’s steadfast in his monogamy.

I think there’s something to be said for reading Jaune as a bisexual, and seeing him in an open relationship with Ren and Nora. Lastly, I believe shipping all of team JNPR together is just as valid as shipping all of team RWBY together. Perhaps, it’s even more valid simply by the notion that there are no siblings involved (sorry enabler fans).

All in all, like all pairings, there’s no “right” ships to sail. It’s up to you as fan. Getting to decide how best to enjoy these characters, and the ships that come along with them is one of the hallmarks of fandom, and that should never be forgotten.

This has been Kernook of the Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

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At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.

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Fandom: Three TIps To Combat Writer’s Block

I feel like absolute garbage today thanks to my ongoing cold that has decided to make my nose all stuffy. Therefore I wanted something easy to write about. Also, my tags aren’t click bait, I’ve linked my recently completed RWBY fan fiction at the bottom of the page for those who want to read it.

Now, onto the reason for this post; writers block…

To put it simply, “writer’s block” is the inability to put a thought into its written form. Make no mistake about it. Writing is a craft, and it isn’t always easy. These are some of the ways I stave off writers block. They help me, hopefully they help you too.

Before we begin, a disclaimer needs to be said.

This is aimed at the writers who do so for the fun of it. Writers who love to just write. This isn’t advice aimed at creative writers who earn a living through the power of the pen and their own ambitions, though you may find some value in this post as well.

If you are a professional writer just know that number three on this list certainly won’t apply to you. It wasn’t written to apply to a career writer, and isn’t aimed at a person who does this for a living.

With that’s said, let’s begin.

#1) Respect your mental health.

I’m not kidding. This really is important. You should know where your mind is when you sit down to write a new chapter in a fan fiction, or begin your own novel. More often than not it matters beyond belief. Your emotions will fuel your writing from a creative standpoint. That is indisputable. You cannot completely remove yourself from your own written word.

Why do you write? That’s the first question you should know the answer to when figuring this out. Even if all you have to say is “I like it”, at least have that. Have something.

Anything. Any reason. Just so long as its your reason to write.

For example, some writers take to the practice so that they can vent their emotions in a safe way. Other tend to explore different parts of the human condition insofar as it applies to themselves. Others write based strictly on where their mood takes them.

A very lucky few may not have their writing changed at all by their head space. Anecdotally speaking though, I find this to be rare. Particularly in those who are not professionally inclined.

No matter your content or your style, ultimately the first key to solving writers block is to understand where your head is creatively. How does that mood impact you? That is without a doubt something you should discover and explore.

If you’re in a bad head space, it may reflect in your writing in ways you don’t want it to. If you’re in a general bad mood, it could be difficult to write a happy-go-lucky scene. If you’re in a really good mood, you may find that writing something sad or heavy just isn’t going to work at that moment.

Work with you mind creatively, not against it.

In cases where you mood just doesn’t fit the content, it may be best to begin a small side project. Use that idea to explore your capabilities as a writer, even if very little comes from it. Don’t start frustrating yourself by trying to cram the idea into a work already in progress. Especially if that idea simply doesn’t fit to begin with.

In other cases, it may just be best not to write at all for that moment. Instead, take some time to put yourself into best frame of mind for your personal goals. As a writer, it’s always important to be aware of yourself, even if you just do this for fun.

#2) Redefine your methods.

Let’s say you’ve been writing for a long time, perhaps years. Let’s also assume this is the first real rut you’ve ever been in as a writer. Lastly, let’s assume it seems to be a bad one this time.

What do you do?

You begin by looking at your creative work. Is it bringing you the emotional fulfillment you need? If not, cram that thing on the back burner and begin a new project entirely. Try a different topic to invigorate your passion for writing.

If it’s not the creative work itself that brings you discomfort, perhaps the problem can be blamed on your workspace. Does it suit you creatively at the time?

If not, fix that. No, really I mean it. Fix that as soon as you can. Sometimes it really is that stupidly simple.

People always harp on clean writing spaces, but I get the worst writer’s block when my area is too clean. I’m actually writing this post in my garage next to my space heater. No, I’m not joking, this has become a thing…

Normally I write blogs at my computer desk. However, I just recently cleaned my desk thoroughly, not a spec of dust remains. It smells of wood polish. I do that about once a month because I’m not a complete slob, but this is the downside. I just can’t write there at the moment.

My computer room is just too neat for me right now, and that’s just the way it is. In a day or two the general clutter of daily life will have sorted that out. Until then I’m sitting in a place more conducive to my own personal creativity.

I like to write in conditions that are casual, comfortable and lived in. My garage isn’t ideal, either. It’s the middle of winter. Snow is littered all over the ground outside at the moment, and I can see my breath. Still, it was the need to get out of my “too clean” location that inspired this entire ramble of a blog post.

Yes, this time the cure for my writers block really was that simple. Is it the best I can do when I’m at the peek of my writing? Most certainly not, but that brings me to my next point…

#3) Perfectionism is flat out stupid.

Spelling errors? Yep me too, we all have them. Words repeating themselves over and over and over again? That’s a thing. Run on sentences? Sure!

Does it really matter in the moment? That’s up to you. Don’t make a huge deal out of it, though.

To prove my point, i’m putting my feet to the fire on this one. I’m not even going to edit this stupid thing. It’s what I like to call a “write and toss”. Anyone who reads my fan fiction knows I make the habit of just enjoying the creative process because it’s the part I like best.

Hence the writing, and the tossing, and the no editing…and my god we have a lot of “and’s in and grammatical hullabaloo this sentence now down’t we? Yes, I’m aware I misspelled at least one word in this paragraph. Do I look like I care?

Nope don’t care! There it is, welcome to my lack of caring…

No, seriously though, to me creativity is the fun part of writing, and fan fiction to me stands out as a hobby only. I don’t get paid for fan fiction. That’s both a legal and moral grey area I won’t get into on this blog post but the point stands.

For most of us, creatively writing pieces of art won’t be a job. For those of us who use certain written media as an outlet, it might not ever be one. If earning a paycheck through writing isn’t your goal, don’t strive for perfection.

Is there a place and time for carefully edited works? Most certainly. Does it need to be every single tiny thing you write? Absolutely not.

Professionals spend years honing their craft to reach the standard of “Best seller” or other critical acclaims. Sometimes it’s just raw skill. Sometimes that raw skill mixed with pure luck. Sometimes it’s a fluke that their hard work was a best seller at all. Right time, right place, all that jazz.

Do not listen to every person out there who demands your creative process needs to be a certain way. It doesn’t to fit their mold. The only standard of quality your writing needs to fit is your own.

You can clean up and revisit your old works when you feel ready to do that. If you don’t feel like doing that, well, just don’t. Edit and revise at your own pace, but never to the point that you burn yourself out.

If you write only for the fun of it, then just have your fun. Let yourself love it, and don’t let the need for perfectionism get in the way.

I feel like I can’t say that enough, because there are a lot of mean spirited people that bully new writers and discourage them. Writing isn’t meant to be torture, and if it’s turning out to be that way due to editing, lighten up on yourself and your creative process. Don’t let yourself feel like you’re losing control of your vision.

No one likes to feel that way. Writers hate losing their creative voice. Even the best writer out there wouldn’t want to lose what makes their writing special to them. Don’t allow yours to be stifled.

In closing…

Welcome to an incredibly casual blog post that’s finally reached its end. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world. Just a wall of text really. Still, I know someone will read this thing to its conclusion and take some value from it. So long as just one person does, then that’s good enough for me.

If that wasn’t you, sorry. You’re probably just in a different place as a writer than the people I’m addressing. Maybe you’re way more advanced, or perhaps you’ve never experienced a writer’s block like the one I’m talking about. Perhaps you simply see the world differently that I do. Either way, I wish you well on your writing adventures.

So, the best advice I can give you is right here. Down at the bottom, for those who truly do love this medium. This final piece of advice is just for you.

Just… love it.

Love your writing, love yourself as a writer, and love the journey it takes you on as a person. Learn to love this writers block and what it can teach you about the craft. Let it inspire you. Let yourself discover this side of your creative mind.

If you can do that, you’ll overcome any writers block eventually. It might take some time, and it might be annoying, but inspiration comes from strange places. Embrace that, and embrace your ambition to write.

As for critics who have a bad side?

If you do decide to share written works for the world, just decide if you care about the criticism you receive. You can take it or leave it. The choice really is yours. If the criticism comes up a lot, it might be worth thinking about. In the end though, it all comes down to your goals as a writer.

When it comes to fan fiction, I certainly don’t care about any tiny nitpick that crosses my path. It’s not a job, it’s a hobby. The phrase “Don’t like? Don’t read…” may be hyperbolic, but there’s a lot of truth in it too.

I live by that truth, because in the end I’m selfish when it comes to my creative writing. It’s not meant for everyone else, it’s meant for me. If I share it, that’s on my terms. It’s not for anyone else to decide.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets… or as you may know me on the AO3, AYangThang. I recently finished a write and toss type of fan fiction in the RWBY community. If you want, you can read it here.

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our blog, live stream, and YouTube content.

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.

If You Enjoyed This Content…

Please consider following us on this blog. We also have other platforms with content to enjoy. At the time of this post we have a Twitter, Twitch, YouTube.

PLATFORMCONTENTSCHEDULE
TwitchLive streamsTuesday: 9:00 PM – 12 AM (GMT)
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TwitterAnnouncements, Random tweetsWhenever a live stream begins or content releases. Doesn’t have a set schedule.
Our BlogAll kinds of written media including anime, games, RWBY and more.Posts are published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 12:00 PM (GMT)

There are plenty of ways to support us. To find out more, click the button below.

The Problem With N.C.I.S. Season 18…

Before I nag and complain about this long running television series, I want to state a few things first. The first is that ultimately, this is not a hate post about the show. Far from it. I grew up with the likes of J.A.G. and other such series. When I’d come home from school at least someone in my family had it playing, and therefore I grew to enjoy the crime drama myself.

My parents and I still make the habit of watching N.C.I.S. together every Tuesday night. In the era of Covid-19 when so many routines have been upended and obliterated, this one unspoken tradition was something of a boon. Something that I personally clung to, because let’s face it. The world will be upside down for everyone until the virus gets under control.

However last night, this long running television series made a choice to do something. If you haven’t seen the episode, warning MASSIVE spoiler ahead…

I mean it, don’t scroll down if you care about spoilers…

This is your last chance…

On February 9th, 2021, the series took a turn. It decided to kill off Jimmy Palmer’s wife to Covid-19 so offhandedly that fans took to twitter and fan wiki pages to see if we somehow missed something. That’s how offhanded it was!

As fans of the show, we received a few sections of dialogue coming from a man in grief. Mourning a loss that apparently had taken place a few months back. His nearly unbeatable sunny spirits at war with how he really feels, trapped in his own denial.

I haven’t been a huge fan of season 18. It’s been a bit of a muddy one to be sure, but the true issue showed its face in spades. Season 18 is a season when hope is lost to desperation, and sacrifices come in forms so unsavory that they’re just too dark to swallow.

I don’t like most crime dramas because they’re just too gritty. The reason I enjoy N.C.I.S. is because no matter how dark it chooses to dive into the depths of cynicism, a small light of hope usually lingers upon its surface. Last night’s episode, and the episodes of most of this season lack that all too important thing.

In this season I’ve witnessed Gibbs shooting Mcgee several times to keep him down. To protect him against an explosion that would have otherwise killed him. The show’s ace sniper turning to bullets to protect a comrade… by shooting the comrade. If you’ve watched this season at all, you likely know what I’m getting at by now.

Instead of our heroes coming out on top of their struggles, and carefully laid plot lines to address their problems head on, what we’ve received is a poor attempt at best. At worst, we have character related baggage that won’t ever be healed. It’s too soon to tell if the writers can get themselves out of this mess.

I won’t sit here and complain about Breena’s apparent off-screen death. Or the fact that it has left Jimmy as a single father and deeply grieving man.

Instead, I’m just going to say this.

The virus is real. The loss of life isn’t a story or fabrication. That’s real too. I have been profoundly lucky that I have not yet personally suffered a loss at the hands of Covid 19, but my family and I have also been as sheltered in place as much as possible since the pandemic began. Taking every precaution we can in order to stay safe. While the world loses thousands by the day, I know there are others like myself out there. Families who have gotten incredibly lucky.

Not everyone was so fortunate, and a little care taken to character progression is paramount in situations like this.

You don’t just write off a character’s death to a pandemic virus this way,..a few pen strokes of dialogue unwittingly toying with the confines of reality, in a way that just doesn’t do the real truth of the matter justice.

Jimmy as a character will be a changed man by this, and sure it further’s his story line. It makes him more interesting. At what cost, though? Are the writers just that damn cynical? This choice of theirs was thought out, but it wasn’t in any way meticulous.

Like so many episodes this season, it gazes down into the abyss, but it doesn’t provide any sense of true closure. The true light of hope just wasn’t there… And you know what? We could all use a little hope right about now.

Is that really so much to ask?

This has been Kernook of the Demented Ferrets…. I’m not going to fill the bottom of this post with the usual links… instead, I’ll just say this. Keep your loved ones in your heart, and always look for that little light of hope.

Until next time everyone.

To Our Supporters: Thank You!

With your contributions, you make our efforts possible. Thank you for supporting our content.

Patreon Supporters

At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.