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a frog the size of texas

April 5th, 2009

12:08 am - Quick reviews...

Nana the movie 2: boring. I watched 20 minutes of it before quitting, and I only watched that long because I was printing stuff and couldn't leave the computer.*

xxxHolic: A Midsummer Night's Dream: The xxxHolic movie. OK but not great: in fact it's more of the same, if you're used to the anime. Yuuko gets invited to a strange mansion and takes Watanuki and Doumeki along, whereupon they discover a bunch of serious collectors have also been invited by an unknown host for an unknown purpose. Yuuko's also been given a key by a young woman who asks Yuuko to somehow make it so that she can enter her house again, who turns out to be integral to the mystery. The mansion is fairly obviously based on the Winchester Mystery House, only with a Japanese flair, and it was the best part of the movie. The mystery itself was easily figured out.

ETA: One more thing - the stylized, elongated limbs of the characters in the manga really don't translate well to anime, IMHO. I like it better on the page.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. Fairly straightforward retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I liked the ex-soldier knitter character (and George includes patterns in the book for two major items that play a role) and his resourcefulness. While I'm not sorry I bought and read the book, it's not going to be one of my favorites because of the age of the characters. :) The usual telling of this fairytale has the elder princesses and the soldier as much older - 20s, 30s, even 40s in some cases for the soldier. This one has the oldest princess as 17 and the youngest as 6 or 7, while the ex-soldier is 18. Galen's backstory is that he was born to a washerwoman and a soldier, and traveled with the camp followers** until his father was killed when Galen was 15 and Galen took up his gun. By 18, when the war ends, he's tired and war-weary and ready to settle down.

George presumably chose to make her protagonsits younger to appeal to the YA crowd this book is aimed at, and I don't begrudge that - I didn't really want to read about Old Poeple [tm] at that age myself. However at my current age, one of the character types I really like is the mature, war-weary soldier, and I like to read about romances between older characters, not just teens and 20somethings.***

So, overall: good book, but not my favorite retelling of this story because I prefer older protagonists in this one. To each her own.

And now that I've made 6 or 7 kanzashi and done all my prints for Anime Matsuri, I'm going to slack off and then fall asleep.


* People ask about that: isn't making prints easy? Just let them go and go do something else? You forget: PRINTERS ARE EVIL. Especially if you are making art prints on expensive paper. They will take every opportunity to blob ink all over your print, try to suck 2 or more sheets in at once, spit the paper out in a way that blocks the exit for the next print, run out of ink at the most inopportune times, and so on. You need to sit next to the damn thing and babysit it the entire time.

** Often used to refer to prostitutes, but in reality means the huge entourage of washerwomen, food suppliers, etc. who all provide services to an army. Including but not limited to prostitutes.

** Yes, I've read Shards of Honor. That's exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about!
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