Friday, June 28, 2013

Hannibal (Season 1)


Show: Hannibal

Season: 1

Episodes: 13

Created By: Bryan Fuller

Released: 2013

Rating: 6/5

Basic Plot: Explores the early relationship between the renowned psychiatrist and his patient, a young FBI criminal profiler, who is haunted by his ability to empathize with serial killers.
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Horror At Its Finest
One of the reasons I adore this show is that this is true horror. Horror is not shock gore where the whole 'horror' is that you see something very gory is on screen. Nor is it jump scares. Horror, true horror, is dependent on atmosphere and good characters. There needs to be a disturbing setting (haunted house, murder crime scenes, ect.) and you need to care for the characters. If you don't care for the characters you won't be scared by what happens to them. You'll be indifferent to their plights. Hannibal, luckily enough, has a great atmosphere in each and every episode. There is also a great character to root for in Will Graham (played by Hugh Dancy) and a great villain, for lack of a better term, in Hannibal Lecter (played by Mads Mikkelsen). There are gory scenes and cannibalism, but they are supported by the atmosphere and characters.

Mads Mikkelsen's Hannibal
I know some of my readers may be big fans of The Silence of the Lambs (also the other movies and books in the series) and so are unsure if Mads disgraces Anthony Hopkin's performance as the famous doctor or if Mads does an outstanding job. I am glad to announce it is the latter. Mads is playing Hannibal before the character is imprisoned. This means that Hannibal's aura is distinctly different on principal alone. Mads still gives Hannibal an ease with manipulation and only looking at a desired effect rather than how the plan will effect people. That part is heightened as now Hannibal is working in his element and controls things to a surprising degree. While Will Graham is the main character, Hannibal Lecter is the master that controls the strings of everything that happens in this series.

The Alternate Universe Aspects
This show is a little bit prequel to Red Dragon and a little bit Alternate Universe to the Hannibal series that came before. Some things that were changed were some characters' genders. Freddy Lounds becomes Freddie Lounds who blogs about crimes and has the best hair ever. I hate Freddie, but her hair is one of the most beautiful things on screen. Alan Bloom becomes Alana Bloom who is one of the smartest characters and a love interest for Will Graham. Finally, Jack Crawford is now black and, by the end of the Finale, I now hate him more than Freddie, but I began with liking his character. Hopefully in Season 2 I will like Jack again.

Final Thoughts
I have not seen a show as good as this since Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I have become fully obsessed with this show. Hannibal makes me cry and the Fannibals (fans of Hannibal) make me laugh. I am even writing a a Hannibal fanfic that is much different than what I have written in the past. When a show can make me write something out of my comfort zone it says something. I would only say to stay away if you are easily disturbed by graphic images as this show pushes the boundaries of what can happen on television.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Inbetween: The Darkening 3

I paused while eating the dinner Hannibal had prepared for Abigail and myself.

I didn't like going to normal functions, such as dinner, but with Hannibal it was different. Plus Abigail Hobbs was with us. It almost felt like we were a family. Hannibal and myself being the fathers and Abigail being the daughter. I had a feeling that she preferred Hannibal over me and who wouldn't? He was sure of himself and I was a mess. I felt bad that she didn't adore me, though, as I felt so connected to her.

I continued on with eating the meal that Hannibal had prepared for us.

"Jack doesn't have me doing anything this weekend." I said. "He doesn't have me doing a lot lately."

"He's trying to help with the grieving process, Will." Hannibal said, trying to comfort me.

"I am not grieving and letting me do my job will help me better than any therapy session."

"I don't think Jack understands you." Abigail said. "I don't think Jack trusts you."

"I don't blame him." I said with a pained grin on my face.

"You're being too hard on yourself." Hannibal replied.

I shook my head. "No, I'm not. If anything, I'm being too kind. I just lost Alana and I was already fading before then. If anything, Jack is the sane one."

Abigail put a hand on my shoulder and I felt a calmness come over me. Abigail was like the daughter I didn't have and was always able to calm me down. I'd always be worried about her, every time I thought of her, but she was able to do what adults couldn't. Adults are all tainted and those of the younger generation aren't. The younger generation could be scarred, and who wouldn't in the Hobbs family, but they were always more innocent.

Almost the same reason I preferred my dogs to people.

Abigail removed her hand and I turned to Hannibal.

"If you have anything planned for this weekend I'll be able to go." I finally said.

"How about fishing?" Hannibal asked. After he said that Abigail and him seemed to share an inside joke.

"I do have a new fishing lure I'd like to try out." I replied. "Do you have any places you'd recommend?"

"My father took me to some good spots." Abigail said and I swear a hint of a smile came onto her face.

"Would you want to go to any of them?"

"No." She said curtly with a touch of disappointment in herself. "I won't be able to stop thinking of him. How he killed those girls and...fed them to me."

"You did nothing wrong. He killed them, not you."

"Is there something wrong with killing?"

"Yes, everything. We have to do it sometimes, but it's never admirable."

"What about you killing Gideon to protect Alana?" Hannibal asked and waited calmly for my answer.

"I don't even know if I protected or killed her." I replied and didn't say what I wanted to say. That I'd kill Gideon for eternity if it meant that Alana would still be alive. Hannibal didn't need to know that part. Abigail didn't need to hear it. But it seemed that Hannibal's eyes already knew. Another of Hannibal's strange expressions left his face before I could properly discern its meaning.

"But if you did save her, would that be different?"

I sighed and then replied, "Yes, that would be different."

"What if the person was undeserving of their life? What if they wasted it by being cruel?"

"Are you a killer?" I said and laughed. The first real laugh I had let out in awhile. Even as I was laughing I seriously considered Hannibal's joke. If Gideon had been killed sooner then Alana would still be alive.

But what if I followed that train of thought and began to think of myself as a god? I would then think it was up to me to decide if someone was worthy of life. Alana's face filled my mind and it became hard for me to think of that part as a downside.

I was woken up from my thoughts by my cellphone.

I checked who was calling me as I was afraid of continuing the conversation. I was especially scared of what I would admit to them, but even more afraid of what I'd admit to myself.

"I'm sorry, I have to take this." I said, relieved that I had an excuse to get out. "It's Beverly."

As I walked out to answer the call, I saw Hannibal look at me. He appeared angry and I didn't blame him. Leaving a dinner with the excuse of a phone call was very rude.
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Friday, June 21, 2013

Mini-LP: Hitman: Absolution (Parts 13-15)

revrezner plays Hitman: Absolution.






Mini-LP: Hitman: Absolution (Parts 10-12)

revrezner briefly plays Hitman: Absolution.






Mini-LP: Hitman: Absolution (Parts 7-9)

revrezner briefly plays Hitman: Absolution.






Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mini-LP: Hitman: Absolution (Parts 4-6)

revrezner briefly plays Hitman: Absolution.






Mini-LP: Hitman: Absolution (Parts 1-3)

revrezner briefly plays Hitman: Absolution.






Inbetween: The Darkening 2

I was hardly concentrating on my surroundings. My thoughts kept going back to Alana Bloom being dead. The woman that had helped to hold me close to reality was gone. What would happen now? Would I be able to continue to help Jack or would I become less than useless? Would people die because of me?

"Will." Hannibal said and I came back to the present. His eyes were the same as his voice. Able to show so much while expressing so little. It was comforting to me.

"I'm able to do my job. There's no reason to be here." I replied curtly.

"There is every reason to be here." Hannibal said, not reacting to my momentary rudeness. "You were close to Alana."

I wanted to lash out at Hannibal for bringing that up. How dare he bring up Alana. He had no right to bring up a relationship that had been shot down as soon as it had started. I tried to control a perverse chuckle but Hannibal's confused look was enough to tell me it had escaped. Of course any look Hannibal had was controlled and sometimes hard to decipher.

"We weren't as close as you think." I finally said.

"How close did you feel you were?" He countered.

"Very close." I said and grimaced. There was no way to escape telling Hannibal the truth and no reason to hide what I felt.

"There is a reason you are here." The doctor waited a moment. Whether he was thinking of what to say or only testing my nerves, I couldn't tell.  "You felt close to Alana and now you have lost her."

A pained smile kept trying to escape onto my face. It tried a few times but always was forced to recede back into nothingness.

"Yes." I said, not wanting to go any further with my explanation. I knew I'd see her face when I slept. I'd always regret not having that chance to have coffee with her. I'd always regret not getting to kiss her more. I'd always regret not having her take me on my bed or anywhere else she'd want to.

"You killed Gideon, Will. Even when you didn't know reality, you were still able to protect Alana." Hannibal said and there was briefly a strange expression on his face. I couldn't begin to try and describe it. Nor could I tell if it was ever actually there.

I had killed. That was a fact. I hoped that I had only killed Gideon. That I wasn't the reason that Alana was dead.

If I had just killed Gideon that was an acceptable sin. I didn't like killing, at any time or for any reason, but killing him was justifiable. It wasn't good justification, as I had still killed someone, but he had killed Alana and she deserved to be avenged. Gideon had signed his death warrant the moment he decided to go after her.

He was the reason I wouldn't have coffee, a relationship, and sex with Alana. I had made the decision if he would live or die and I had carried Gideon's punishment to the fullest extent I could. I had been powerful. In that brief moment I had been extremely powerful. It had felt good.

"I didn't save Alana. It doesn't matter if I killed Gideon or not." I said, realizing the dark paths my mind had been going down.

"The fact that you were able to act without knowing what was really happening is to be commended." Hannibal tried to reassure me.

But he couldn't reassure me. I had been thinking, mere seconds ago, that killing Gideon had been some sort of righteous act. I shouldn't be glad that I had saved Alana when she was already dead.
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Monday, June 17, 2013

Inbetween: The Darkening 1

About the Inbetween Series:

I have some ideas for stories that I don't usually write because my four main series take up so much time (that and other blog work). So I decided that between writing sections of my main series, to write short little fanfics.

These fanfics will be HIGHLY self-indulgent. Because I work so hard on my other series that I deserve a little break.

Sometimes some of these "Inbetween Fics" might be samples of later works (that might turn out to be either a fanfic series OR original series).

About "The Darkening":

I have recently become obsessed with NBC's new show Hannibal. The show is a prequel to Red Dragon (by Thomas Harris) and yet is also a sort of Alternate Universe of the movies and books that have come before. The series focuses on Will Graham (the one who catches Hannibal Lecter in the very beginning of Red Dragon). The series also focuses on Will and Hannibal's relationship.

One thing that a lot of Fannibals (fans of Hannibal) are interested in is Will going dark. Will becoming a killer. I decided to put my own spin on this idea. I promise you, faithful readers, that as much as this story makes you hurt: I will also be hurting beside you.

Where It Takes Place in the Hannibal Timeline:

This takes place during Roti (1.11) and breaks off from it. Well...taking place during might be a little misnomer as some things from that episode are mentioned, but I don't follow it exactly up to the point I fully break away from the episode.
* * *
I gave my lecture that I had practiced a few hours before. I had to practice harder than normal because the Ravenstag and Garret Jacob Hobbs were always close by in my mind. Jack Crawford had been pushing me lately, but I had also been pushing myself. I told myself to stop, but every time I saw a new victim I knew I couldn't.

I could either have my sanity or save lives. I couldn't have both and I knew which one I would choose. I knew which one I would always choose. Maybe someone else could choose sanity, but not me. Not Will Graham.

As the lecture reached its close, I had grown less than interested in it. I was more interested, no worried would be the correct term, that I would lose time and be somewhere else. And not just be somewhere else, have no recollection of how I got there.

I finished the lecture with everything going as planned. As the students left, I quickly packed my things. I had something to look forward to after class today. I had a little meetup with Alana Bloom. Not an actual outing with her, not even a date, but hopefully I would have better luck this time of arranging one.

Making my way to where she was, I had known her long enough to know her schedule, I prepared myself. The very kissable doctor walked down the hallway and I went to walk beside her.

"I'll be fine, Will." Alana said, a slight smile gracing her face.

"I know you will." I replied. "But once Gideon is in custody again, I thought maybe you could come to my house and look for a hurt dog again."

She smiled and said, "Or else we could go on a real date and get coffee?"

"What about me being unstable?" I grinned as I asked her.

"I'm deciding to see what it's like not being a doctor for once."

"After Gideon is in custody, then?"

"Yes." Alana replied and we kissed.

I wished it went on longer but she had to go somewhere and I had to prepare myself. Gideon would be captured soon and I would go on my first date with Alana. Something good to look forward to as Jack kept dragging me deeper into my madness.

* * *
Getting back to my house I greeted my dogs and lay down on my bed. My one place of calmness against the madness of the world. I closed my eyes just for a second and I found myself in a nightmare.

I was now in the woods during a winter night. Snow was covering everything. The ground and trees were cloaked in white. The wind blew the snow around, but everything was white. I looked closely at the tree trunks and saw that antlers were part of them.

The wind blew. The snow moved a little. The scenery didn't change. I heard a Ravenstag's breath behind me. I turned and saw nothing. I heard the Ravenstag's breath and I turned around again. This was repeated several more times until I saw a human running through the woods.

It was too dark to tell who it was, but I felt something sinister about him or her. I heard the Ravenstag's breath behind me and decided that, if nothing else, the other person would provide some company.

I tried to yell at the figure, but a voice didn't come out of my mouth. However, the figure seemed to hear me and it stopped. When I got close enough to it I felt more frozen than the landscape. The figure was the man who I blamed the most for driving me into madness. The man that after I killed him, my insanity increased to the highest levels it had in a long time.

The figure was Garret Jacob Hobbs. I raised a gun that had suddenly appeared in my hands.

Hobbs raised his hands. His face showed fear. It showed either betrayal or surprise. I didn't pay too much attention. I had to kill Hobbs. Again.

I aimed for his head and he fell down. I lowered my gun and walked slowly over to him. Something felt wrong about killing him. Not the usual wrongness, but something far worse. But why should it feel worse to kill Hobbs again? Hobbs was a cannibal that had killed innocent young women.

As I bent down Hobbs sat up. His eyes locked onto mine and an evil mirth was in his eyes.

"You did it." He said and I stood upright. Afraid.

How could a dead man talk? What did he mean?

Going through my fear, leaving it behind me, I shot Hobbs in the head again. Again he died. All went black.

I opened my eyes and saw I was in a hospital room. What happened? Why was I here? I turned my head and saw Hannibal by my bedside.

"What-?" I began and his look stopped me from continuing.

"Gideon is dead." He said simply and I nodded. "It is likely that he killed Alana."

"Why am I here, then?" I asked. A combination of annoyance, worry, and fear seeping into my voice.

"You were found near the scene." Hannibal replied.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sushi, Sake, and Tanuki: Love and Leaving & Untamed Waters

I talk about the section Love and Leaving. I then give a little sneak peek into the next section: Untamed Waters.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sushi, Sake, and Tanuki: Love and Leaving

The sky was a lovely shade of blue and Yomosa was by my side. The woman that had me change more than my form and love more deeply than I had with Sajoki. Today I was able to walk beside her in my main male human form. While Yomosa accepted me for what I was, I could tell me assuming a human form comforted her.

For many weeks we had been traveling not side by side, but with me in the form of an animal that could be ridden by a human. The form I took differed day by day. Partially to relieve some of my own tensions and partially to amuse Yomosa.

But there was something different and fulfilling about walking side by side with my love. The smells in the air were clearer to me and my hope in the future was a reality.

"How much longer? I'm almost thinking this amuses you, Rig." Yomosa asked with a smile. While she must be more tired than I was, her being a human, she was able to not let her exhaustion show. Her humor was seeming to actually improve through our journey.

"Not much longer." I replied. "Once we reach the harbor things might get rough."

"Your enemies?"

"Or friends of my enemies. Which would be worse."

I put up my hand and Yomosa stopped. Things had gotten very quiet all of a sudden. While nature wasn't always loud, there was always noise. However, when there was danger things could turn silent. Then you'd only have a few seconds to react.

Was a supporter of Hijunaki coming to get me? Had Akumie decided to send something to get me?

Turning to the sound of a slight russel of leaves I saw Jirou. But he didn't look like he once had. Instead there was hunger in his eyes. Not the normal hunger but a deranged kind. My sparring buddy hadn't taken the death of Hijunaki well.

"You can have me, Jirou." I told him. "But let Yomosa leave unharmed. She didn't kill Hijunaki. I did."

A hurt expression took over Jirou's face. He made a show of putting his human, but furry, hand over his heart. "I would never attack you, Rig Katashi, you were a good friend. I didn't understand you the majority of the time, but I still consider you a friend. One of the few that I can call a friend now." He paused. "Even if you did kill our creator I would never think of harming you."

I wanted to let my guard down but didn't. Jirou was part wolf, as his lower half showed, and the hunger in his eyes was a warning that shouldn't be dismissed.

"Then why are you here?" I asked and realized how stupid that must sound. He was hunting, of course.

Jirou pointed a finger to Yomosa. "I would not harm you, Rig, but she is merely a human. I know you must think you've found love but you can find another. You always have in the past." A grin formed on his face as he spoke.

"I won't let you harm her." I said as I moved in front of Yomosa.

The grin on Jirou's face widened. "I know you won't hurt me. It's not in you to harm a friend."

"I killed my maker."

"He wasn't your friend, though."

Yomosa pulled out some wolf meat and stood beside me.

"It's fresh." She said and we both waited to see what my friend would say.

My former sparring buddy ate the fresh wolf meat greedily. He savored each bite with a lick of his lips and then went down for another bite. In another time, when Hijunaki was still alive, Jirou would not resort to eating one of his own kind. Well, a very distant relative at most. But Hijunaki was dead and Jirou seemed lost.

I ate some meat of a recent catch and Yomosa did the same. I could tell she was uneasy, though she tried her hardest to hide that fact. I had fear too. Fear that I would have to kill a friend to protect someone that I loved. A choice between the past and a possible happy future.

I pretended to focus on guarding Yomosa and Jirou from anything that would try and pose a threat to us. But I was really just focused on Jirou. Watching as he enjoyed his food and tensed up when he looked at Yomosa.

He seemed happy of the food given to him, but he saw a much better meal in my lover.

Once I finished my food I put an arm around Yomosa's shoulder. I looked Jirou in the eyes. He just smiled back at me.

"You are a good friend, Rig." Jirou said and held out a hand to me. This despite the fact that we were at least three feet apart. "You gave me food and didn't attack me when you had every right to."

"Don't remind me." I replied and let out a sigh and stood up. "But you are hungry and I trust you. Your stomach is a different matter altogether."

"Do you want me to leave?" Jirou asked and his expression became one of pain as he put has hand down. He had lost everything and was worried about losing me. We would have to part ways, I cared about Yomosa's safety as well as my own, but I didn't have to part on bad terms.

"I don't want you to leave, but I have to." I said and sat down beside my old sparring buddy. "Akumie is seeking revenge on me and I can't stay here. Yomosa has agreed to come with me even though she doesn't have to."

From the moment I had sat down by Jirou, Yomosa was doing her best to ignore us. Though I knew she'd always be watching Jirou. Making sure he didn't attack her.

"She's still angry?" Jirou asked.

"Yeah, turns out goddesses have a very long memory." I replied and tried to smirk. "Yomosa and I are heading out for a harbor that's-"

"A little far away because you can't find one closer?"

"You do remember me."

"Yes, I do." Jirou paused for a second and then continued. "And I am willing to help you."

Over the next few hours Jirou discussed with me, and later Yomosa also joined in the discussion, about another harbor. It was indeed closer and would help the two of us get off the only land I had ever known faster.

As Yomosa and I packed up our things to go, Jirou touched my shoulder and I turned to face him.

"If you are ever able to get back, will you visit me?" He asked.

"I will do my best." I said and grasped his arm.

After that exchange Jirou ran off into the vast forest and my lover and I continued our journey to the new harbor.

After two hours I finally smelled the ocean. The salty air was breathtaking to my nose. I turned to Yomosa and yelled, "Race you to the harbor!"

It was a childish thing of me to do. But once we reached the harbor we'd be so close to getting away from Japan. We'd be away from the land I had been created on. Safety, though, made the heart break worth it.

As I started to run Yomosa ran after me. We shouted at each other. Teasing each other in a way that only couples were capable of.

A roar sounded and I stopped. I saw the danger and stood in front of Yomosa. While she also saw the danger and knew the chances of me defeating it were slim, she allowed me to feel like I was protecting her. That I could protect her.

I heard the humans in the harbor yell as the Eastern Dragon got close to my lover and I.

Its scales were silver and it had purple fur running from the back of its neck to the tip of its tail. On any other occasion I would call it beautiful. But not now.

Its angry eyes showed that it was a predator and all I could hope to be was prey.

The Eastern was getting closer and closer. I felt fear like I had never felt it before. I had been against many different dangers when I was under Hijunaki's control, but I had never been protecting someone I loved. There was a difference between protecting oneself and sensing the little signs of your lover about to go into a panic.

I started to shift into something large. Something that could take down this creature. Before I could even get halfway through the change, the Eastern used its magic to throw me away from Yomosa. My half-formed body could only look at Yomosa in fear as the Eastern held me down with magic.

"You will know fear, obake." It hissed as it landed in front of my lover. "You will know fear when your human toy dies."

I could only watch. I could do nothing else. Not at this moment. Yomosa had flinched when the Eastern had tossed me aside, but she had since regained her composure. The Eastern smiled and let a little hiss of pleasure out. It lashed out with its head. It intended to easily impale my lover on its teeth. But that was not to be.

Yomosa managed to evade the attack by lunging to her right. The Eastern quickly readjusted itself and swiped at the human woman with one of its claws. My woman took a chance and it was only the Eastern's magic that made me stay still.

Yomosa had jumped at the Eastern which surprised it for a brief instant. It flicked its neck and my lover plummeted to the ground. She tried to regain her stability, but before that could happen the Eastern took her in its claws.

"The obake must suffer. My master has given me orders I have to respect." It said sorrowfully and moved Yomosa closer to its mouth in preparation of eating her.

Yomosa started to sing to the dragon and it paused for a moment. My lover was facing death with song instead of screams. She was pleading without fear. In that moment I was truly proud of her. Truly proud to have her be my own.

Then it struck me: if I didn't try to resist the Eastern's magic she would be dead. The first woman I had truly loved would die if I didn't act now.

The thought of Yomosa dying made an unknown power pour through my veins. I didn't know what flowed through me, but I knew that it could help me. I didn't care if it would damn me, I would use it now.

I yelled out as I was able to break free of the Eastern's grip. I shifted into an Eastern and roared. The Eastern turned its head to look at me and snarled. Before it could move an inch, I ran at it. My roars increasing in volume until our jaws clashed with each other.

I could tell that the Eastern hadn't eaten Yomosa and had probably discarded her. We started to fight in earnest as I made sure not to step on Yomosa. When the Eastern pushed me to the ground I looked around for my lover. I did not see her and hoped she had run off into the woods. The fight I was having with the Eastern wasn't one that a human should be involved in.

After what seemed like mere seconds, the Eastern gripped my neck in its jaws. Struggling was difficult as I could easily give the Eastern an opening. One wrong move could mean my death, in other words. But it was a chance I was willing to take.

Suddenly the Eastern let go of my neck and let out a roar. I took the opportunity to push the Eastern on its back, claw at its stomach, and clenched on its neck with my jaws. Blood came out of the Eastern slowly at first and then more quickly.

I smiled as the Eastern came closer and closer to death. It was then that I noticed something on my head and realized that it was Yomosa. She must have jumped onto me after distracting the Eastern.

The dragon turned its head to me and smiled. "Akumie sent me. I have died but there will be more pain for you, obake."

There was one final breath and then silence.

For a few minutes I looked at my kill. I was glad that the Eastern was dead and Yomosa was now safe. Probably not forever, but for now she could have some peace. She climbed off of me and looked at the dead dragon. I wish I knew human expressions better so I could decipher why her muscles were reacting like they were.

I shifted back into my main human male form and then walked over to my love. The Eastern looked very different from this level. It was not merely a foe and could be mistaken for a demigod. Humans were very different in so many ways.

I put an arm around Yomosa and she put her head onto my chest. I let her have a few minutes of looking at the Eastern before I started speaking.

"It won't come for you again." I told her.

"I know it won't." Yomosa said softly. "But there will be others, won't there? Things much worse than this?"

I wanted to tell her that this was as bad as it was going to get. There would be nothing else that would be worse. But Akumie was a goddess and I couldn't lie to the woman beside me.

"Yes." I replied simply.

I kissed the top of Yomosa's head to try and calm her. I was better equipped to fight the forces of Akumie than Yomosa would ever be. But my lover had shown herself to be brave and remarkable on her own. That wouldn't change the fact that she had been thrown into a new lifestyle quickly. A lifestyle that meant fighting and facing your fears so that death wouldn't claim you. It was understandable why Yomosa was nervous now.

"Is the Akumie you mentioned the same one that this creature meant?" Yomosa finally asked.

"Yes." I said and was about to stop there but had to continue. "Its and my Akumie are one and the same. She was angered that I used her for sex and she has never forgiven me since. Only now is she coming after me."

But had it only been for sex or had there been something more? Something that I had ignored because Sajoki's ghost had still haunted me back then?

"Why won't she come after you personally? Is she too frightened of you?" Yomosa asked.

I let out a small chuckle at the thought. A goddess being afraid of an obake would be a sight to see.

"No, there must be another reason. She must be banished from Japan or something else must be keeping her from attacking us directly." I answered.

"So if we leave Japan there's a chance we might have to face Akumie ourselves?" Yomosa timidly asked.

"Yes. Do you still want to follow me?"

"Until the end of time." She answered and we embraced. I enjoyed feeling the warmth and found it a comfort. Even if I were to die in a second I would face death with the knowledge that someone had loved me in life. That someone was willing to die by my side.

We finally ended our embrace and stood in silence looking at each other. I didn't know how I looked to her but I knew how she looked to me. A strong and loyal woman that I had ripped from her intended husband, given to Hijunaki, had killed Hijunaki to keep safe, and now loved me like I didn't deserve.

We nodded and walked side by side down to the harbor. She stayed a foot away from me so I would have room to attack if need be. Any joy that could be found racing each other had been taken away.

Upon arriving at the harbor we were glanced at by uninterested eyes. By the expressions of the people there, they hadn't noticed that I wasn't human and just that two Easterns had attacked each other. They didn't look to be questioning why but just trying to get back to business.

"Are you really going that far?" The captain asked in disbelief. "Do you really expect me to lend you space on my ship to go that far? Do you really think I would risk my ship on such a venture?"

I made sure that I was calm before I answered him. "I can pay you very well."

The captain shook his head. "The point is that my business puts my ship's priority above everything else."

Yomosa turned to me as if my powers extended to controlling minds. I shook my head and tried to think of anything that I could say to this captain.

"I am sorry to waste your time." I replied and bowed.

The captain bowed and we parted ways.

"It doesn't seem anyone is going to let us use their ship." Yomosa said quietly when the captain was out of earshot.

"Yeah, guess I must have lost my charm." I said and smirked. I didn't smirk because I was happy or the situation was amusing. I smirked to try and make her feel better. She finally replied with her own small smile but it quickly faded away. Asking for a ship was a hard venture for two 'common people' that asked for a lot. This task was affecting us both.

"But you'll be able to find one." Yomosa replied confidently.

"Or we'll have to resort to another plan."

"And that would be?"

"You'll see it if I ever have to use it."

I entertained the notion that one captain would agree to my request. That one captain would allow us our very odd desires. Turning to look at Yomosa I saw that she still had confidence in me, but that she wasn't blind to the facts. The facts being that I would most likely have to resort to another plan.

"Just don't kill anyone." She whispered in my ear.

I understood the reference. Don't kill anyone like I had killed her intended husband.

For the next few hours we went asking the rest of the captains for the use of their ship. But they were all turned off when they found out we wanted to leave Japan and it was a journey no ship would likely return from. So the captains rejected us. One by one they said no.

Finally the last captain walked angrily away from us. I stared at the open ocean. A sight I had been used to seeing as a wall, not as something you could go across. I had freed myself from Hijunaki. I had freed myself from Katashi's teachings. But I hadn't yet freed myself from the notion that the whole world wasn't the part I had grown up in.

"It's scary for you, isn't it?" Yomosa asked as she put a hand on my shoulder. I didn't look at her but continued to stare at the ocean.

"Yes, I think it's scary for you too." I replied.

"It is, but I can't let that get to me. If I did, I'd regret it my entire life."

"Because you gave me up?"

"Partially. But also that I let fear get the better of me when I've been fearless for so long."

"I wouldn't blame you if you left me now."

"But I would." She said and squeezed my shoulder.

I finally decided to look at her and I was ashamed at asking her for so much. But also proud that both love and a desire for bravery were having her go along with me.

"Do you want to hear the backup plan?" I asked her. Yomosa's smile was the only thing I needed to continue speaking. "I take on the form of an Eastern Dragon and fly us to our new destination."

"How long will you be able to fly?" She asked.

"Long enough." I said and Yomosa nodded.

We then walked away from the harbor like we were going to spend personal time together. Time when groans and moans would be things best left to only us two. No one looked at us and the captains seemed glad to see us go.

Yomosa and I made our way to where the corpse of the Eastern lay. No one had yet been brave enough to look for it and other animals were only beginning to eat it. A dragon was something to be feared, even by things that couldn't fully comprehend them.

I focused and felt myself changing. It was a normal thing for me. Something I had been born to do. My main human male form shifted to become larger so that the form of an Eastern Dragon could be accommodated. My skin then broke out into scales and my hair stayed on my head but then went all the way down to a few inches beyond the tip of my tail.

After a few more changes I was an Eastern. I went down to allow Yomosa to climb aboard me. She kissed my head and then found a place to sit comfortably. Or at least a place she wouldn't fall off from.

"I love you more than I have loved anyone before." She told me. "And you have changed more than I thought possible. Just wanted to say that in case this is the last conversation we are to ever have."

"You have opened my heart in ways I didn't think possible." I told her and then I was swimming through the air to a fate, as of yet, unknown.
-------------------------
Links of Sushi, Sake, and Tanuki

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)


Title: The Silence of the Lambs

Series: Hannibal

Based on the Book: The Silence of the Lambs

Written By: Thomas Harris

Director: Jonathan Demme

Starring: Jodie Foster, Lawrence A. Bonney, and Kasi Lemmons

Rated: R

Released:1991

Personal Rating: 5/5

Oscars: 5

Plot: A young FBI cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims.
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Hannibal
I have heard a lot about this character. I wasn't even that familiar with him until a month or two ago. But I knew that Anthony Hopkins has been credited with bringing Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter mainstream. I had seen Hopkins as Hannibal in Red Dragon and his performances are different in both films. In Red Dragon, Lecter is mad at Will Graham for capturing him. While Lecter still has respect for Will, the end goal is causing pain (though Lecter is still teaching Will through the pain and torment). In The Silence of the Lambs, Lecter has no reason to hate Clarice. Both seem to bond with each other and I think I found another ship. Hannibal still plays with Clarice, but there seems to be no nefarious end goal for her in Lecter's mind. He seems to want to help Clarice capture the killer so she can think clearly once again.

The Music
I am hardly one to comment on the soundtrack of any movie (notable exception is when I fangirled over the Inception soundtrack by Hans Zimmer), but The Silence of the Lambs has some very notable scenes where music just heightens and deepens everything. One of those moments being when Hannibal makes his escape. He is a very suave character that is also sadistic. So the music when he kills the guards just highlights that fact and makes the scene even more terrifying.

The Opening Sequence
The original opening was to be Clarice in a fake drug bust (aka some training exercise), but was changed to her running along a field course. I like this opening as it's simple and a big thing with horror is running (either metaphorically or literally). So the opening imitated a movie where the first person shown is killed while showing how fit Clarice is. That Clarice is not just a woman behind a desk but someone who is highly motivated. Motivated mentally and physically to become an FBI agent. It then seamlessly transitions to Clarice meeting with Jack Crawford without any of the flow being broken.

Final Thoughts
This movie does deserve all the respect it has been given. It is very well crafted in the details. I admit I watched it while doing last minute clean ups before Dad arrived home (he went on a month long trip to Italy) so some of the details will need a second viewing to fully appreciate. I don't really look on Hannibal as a villain in this movie, though he is not pure good either. I think part of that perception may be because he is helping Clarice (the protagonist) and so how she perceives him is influencing my own viewpoint (might write a tumblr post on that later). I would highly recommend this movie for anyone wanting to experience a nice chill up their spines.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Revolution (Season 1)


Show: Revolution

Season: 1

Episodes: 20

Created By: Eric Kripke

Released: 2012-2013

Rating: 4.5/5

Basic Plot: A group of revolutionaries confronts an authoritarian regime 15 years after an instantaneous global shutdown of all electrical devices known as the Blackout.
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Season Started Out Slow
Now I started watching this show because JJ Abrams is involved (Fringe, Star Trek reboot) plus Eric Kripke (Supernatural) is credited as the show's creator. Add to that is the fact that the show is post-apocalyptic which is a favorite sub-genre of mine. However, the season started off slow. Luckily Billy Burke (playing the role of the wise-cracking and dark Miles Matheson) and the concepts of the show were able to hold me on until things really picked up. At first Charlie Matheson was very childish, but she grew up very quickly in the show. Plus the twists and turns just got wilder and wilder.

Miles Matheson
Miles is my favorite character in the show. He makes the show (even though I think the audience is supposed to identify more with Charlie) for me. Miles usually has some of the best one-liners in any given episode. When you first meet Miles he seems to just be a bartender. Later on his backstory gets expanded as well as finding out he has been involved with both Monroe and Rachel in the past. There is a group of people (including me) that believe he is actually Charlie's real father. Near the end of the Season there seemed to be big indications that the theory is true (including Nora telling Miles that Rachel needed him). I can't wait until Season 2 to find more out about this character.

Stephen King and Star Wars References
There seemed to be a fun game that was made for nerds in this show. It was picking up Star Wars and Stephen King references throughout the season. I call Aaron Pittman Chewie because he reminds me of the character, plus Aaron is very close to my real name. So talking about Aaron is much easier when I refer to him as Chewie. The Stephen King references abound from the obvious (the tower/The Dark Tower and Children of the Corn) to Miles and Charlie using aliases of King characters. My personal favorite King reference (not confirmed but just too good to be coincidence) is: Randall Flyn. For my non-King readers, Randall Flagg is in various works of Stephen King. Nine out of ten times he uses the initials RF.

Final Thoughts
I have ended up liking this series more than I thought I would. It's not the best show ever, but it picked up serious steam to make it much better than it was in the beginning. Rachel Matheson is a very complicated character and she does anything to get what she wants. She's not evil, but you should always be careful when dealing with her. How Rachel acted in the final moments of the finale broke the idea that she is all knowing. I really want to see how Chewie acts in the next Season as he played an integral part in making the Finale possible. And one last word: nanites.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Ghosts in the Heart (Michael Keller)

Title: Ghosts in the Heart

Author: Michael Keller

Released: 2012

Rating: 3.5/5

Basic Plot: Can a man spend much of his life in love with a woman he has never actually met, can never meet? To Alexander Mckenzie, a chillingly aloof San Francisco Police Detective, the answer is yes. Since his adolescence he has been consumed by the image of Mireille Marchand, a beautiful young French actress whose tragic death at the beginning of her career has never ceased to haunt him. Then, when a savagely violent confrontation with a brutal robber brings him to the edge of death while shredding the very fabric of time and space, he is seemingly given a unique opportunity to alter the course of fate. Or is it all just another desperate dream?
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Many Grammar and Punctuation Problems
I have a BA in English with a Specialization in Creative Writing. This means I am very attuned to mistakes in how something in written and not just the plot holes that can arise in any given work. In this book, Keller makes various mistakes that are very simple. Bad thing is that there can be a ton of these problems in a single paragraph (sometimes repeats of the same problem). I understand that not even the greatest authors can have zero typos in a finished work (I think The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton had two or three). But the thing is that there were hardly any typos in those books and not in the quantities found in this book. I'm surprised that I controlled myself enough not to make many notes in my copy of the book (thank you, Michael, for giving me a free signed copy). Common mistakes were ellipses, placement of commas, and various spacing issues.

The Love Dilemma
This novel revolves around the fact that Alexander is sent back in time (or to a parallel dimension or something timey-wimey) and is given the object of his desires. He is put in a place and time where he can act out his wishes or not. The fact that he doesn't immediately go for Mireille says something very good about our hero. He realizes that the age difference is a thing and just because Mireille doesn't know, doesn't mean it'd be right if he had sex with her.

Sci-Fi Elements
This novel is  a romance. A guy finally gets the chance to be with a woman that he would normally never have the chance to be with. But this novel also contains sci-fi elements too. It has Alexander going back in time and/or going into another dimension. Myself, I think he went back in time and his spirit/soul was just put into a younger version of himself (a la Hot Tub Time Machine [2010]). The reason for this are never explained in the novel. It's more of a "oh, this happens and don't question it so the plot can move forward" thing. And, in this instance, it works. It's not important to know why as keeping Mireille alive takes center stage. Now if there were ever to come an explanation about it, that'd be great but not needed to enjoy the novel.

Final Thoughts
Michael Keller is a personal friend of mine. Somehow we met on Twitter and have been friends ever since. He offered to send me Ghosts in the Heart for free. Since I don't have any way to view books on my computer he sent my a physical copy. Mind you we had been talking for a little bit before he did this. I don't offer my address to just anyone online (that's stupid and dangerous). He signed my copy with:

To Jashy,
Who puts the
Wit in Twitter
Best wishes
Michael

So getting the book and starting to read it filled me with dread. All my reviews before this one have been of works by people I have never met (or are even dead). Writing an honest review of a friend's book was hard to say the least. I want to give my readers/fans my real opinions but I am also afraid of harming a friend's feelings.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sushi, Sake, and Tanuki: Love and Leaving 5

"Are you really going that far?" The captain asked in disbelief. "Do you really expect me to lend you space on my ship to go that far? Do you really think I would risk my ship on such a venture?"

I made sure that I was calm before I answered him. "I can pay you very well."

The captain shook his head. "The point is that my business puts my ship's priority above everything else."

Yomosa turned to me as if my powers extended to controlling minds. I shook my head and tried to think of anything that I could say to this captain.

"I am sorry to waste your time." I replied and bowed.

The captain bowed and we parted ways.

"It doesn't seem anyone is going to let us use their ship." Yomosa said quietly when the captain was out of earshot.

"Yeah, guess I must have lost my charm." I said and smirked. I didn't smirk because I was happy or the situation was amusing. I smirked to try and make her feel better. She finally replied with her own small smile but it quickly faded away. Asking for a ship was a hard venture for two 'common people' that asked for a lot. This task was affecting us both.

"But you'll be able to find one." Yomosa replied confidently.

"Or we'll have to resort to another plan."

"And that would be?"

"You'll see it if I ever have to use it."

I entertained the notion that one captain would agree to my request. That one captain would allow us our very odd desires. Turning to look at Yomosa I saw that she still had confidence in me, but that she wasn't blind to the facts. The facts being that I would most likely have to resort to another plan.

"Just don't kill anyone." She whispered in my ear.

I understood the reference. Don't kill anyone like I had killed her intended husband.

For the next few hours we went asking the rest of the captains for the use of their ship. But they were all turned off when they found out we wanted to leave Japan and it was a journey no ship would likely return from. So the captains rejected us. One by one they said no.

Finally the last captain walked angrily away from us. I stared at the open ocean. A sight I had been used to seeing as a wall, not as something you could go across. I had freed myself from Hijunaki. I had freed myself from Katashi's teachings. But I hadn't yet freed myself from the notion that the whole world wasn't the part I had grown up in.

"It's scary for you, isn't it?" Yomosa asked as she put a hand on my shoulder. I didn't look at her but continued to stare at the ocean.

"Yes, I think it's scary for you too." I replied.

"It is, but I can't let that get to me. If I did, I'd regret it my entire life."

"Because you gave me up?"

"Partially. But also that I let fear get the better of me when I've been fearless for so long."

"I wouldn't blame you if you left me now."

"But I would." She said and squeezed my shoulder.

I finally decided to look at her and I was ashamed at asking her for so much. But also proud that both love and a desire for bravery were having her go along with me.

"Do you want to hear the backup plan?" I asked her. Yomosa's smile was the only thing I needed to continue speaking. "I take on the form of an Eastern Dragon and fly us to our new destination."

"How long will you be able to fly?" She asked.

"Long enough." I said and Yomosa nodded.

We then walked away from the harbor like we were going to spend personal time together. Time when groans and moans would be things best left to only us two. No one looked at us and the captains seemed glad to see us go.

Yomosa and I made our way to where the corpse of the Eastern lay. No one had yet been brave enough to look for it and other animals were only beginning to eat it. A dragon was something to be feared, even by things that couldn't fully comprehend them.

I focused and felt myself changing. It was a normal thing for me. Something I had been born to. My main human male form shifted to become larger so that the form of an Eastern Dragon could be accommodated. My skin then broke out into scales and my hair stayed on my head but then went all the way down to a few inches beyond the tip of my tail.

After a few more changes I was an Eastern. I went down to allow Yomosa to climb aboard me. She kissed my head and then found a place to sit comfortably. Or at least a place she wouldn't fall off from.

"I love you more than I have loved anyone before." She told me. "And you have changed more than I thought possible. Just wanted to say that in case this is the last conversation we are to ever have."

"You have opened my heart in ways I didn't think possible." I told her and then I was swimming through the air to a fate, as of yet, unknown.
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Sushi, Sake, and Tanuki Links