mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So after a fairly shitty week at work-- couple of weeks, really-- I came home to something that genuinely brightened my day.

Meet my new writing desk mascot )

Thanks so much, [personal profile] kyusil !  :D
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So. Jugdral pairings.

Actually I wasn't looking at pairings, I was looking at who tagged their pairings, either via A X B or an AB mushed-up name, which is kind of the J!fandom FE equivalent of the cutesy names you see in, IDK, Golden Sun or Pokemon or Harry Potter fandoms.

The thing is, it quickly became clear most fen on Pixiv don't do that (though it seems to be a LOT more common with individual shrines/blogs/archives). For instance, the monstrously popular matchup of Ulster/Julia has all of three tagged entries on Pixiv.

Overall, it seems to be more of an identifying tag within a subgroup, if that makes any sense? A "here be yaoi" kind of thing for, say, "Ced X Arthur" (4 entries) or a way of communicating who you're sticking with some highly popular female character (Tinny, Ayra, Raquesis).

TL;DR-- only a small percentage of shippers for any given Jugdral pairing seem to do the name-combination thing or any kind of pairing tag, and the shippers that use it more often are IMO kind of promoting a "brand identity" that may be a hangover of old, contentious shipping wars.  Then again, the Seliph/Julia shippers, who know they're being naughty, don't tag.

Also... some names maybe don't sound good together? Some tags are definitely catchier than others.  But overall it's not so much a metric of what pairings are popular as which shippers are in-your-face about it, I think. 

Stats under the cut for those who want a fairly meaningless data set. )

The other thing I learned is that everyone gets shipped with Tinny. Everyone.  Still, I couldn't seem to find an ArthurTinny tag that equates to the UlsterLarcei one, though, despite that being a highly popular subject.

Also, Lex/Tiltyu seems really, really UNpopular in J!fandom, at least as Pixiv goes.  I looked through the whole Tiltyu tag and I don't think I saw anything that struck me as bonafide Lex/Tiltyu-- just a couple of OT3s with Azel.  
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
While crawling through pixiv looking for the most popular Jugdral pairings, I stumbled across a piece of fanart I thought had been deleted.  Turns out it's just not tagged to Seisen no Keifu.

It's the line art "Brady Bunch Meme" piece featuring the Most Pathetic Tinny Ever.

Enjoy.

Speshul Bonus:

In the course of going through a metric fuckton of Tinny Pix, I found a piece of fanart that illustrates the "While You Were Sleeping" scenario.  Here's Tinny with an un-petrified Azel.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
OK. So, as a follow-up to this post, here's Gen 2 and miscellany:

Trends, we have trends. )

I did this with the data Ammie gathered in part because I think that, if we're using art as a metric for character popularity in Japan, we do see some definite trends that aren't necessarily related to how well-written a character is, or how awesome a unit they are, or how big a role they have in the plot.  All that seems to be a factor-- you don't see Alec with 150+ pieces of fanart in the archive-- but overall I kind of think the niche the character fills must matter a lot.  Spunky sword princesses who remain suitably feminine?  Yes.  Dutiful reserved guys who'd meet with parental approval if you brought them home?  Yes.  Seliph, the temperate and malleable Perfect Boyfriend?  Yes.  Gracious all-forgiving magical girls?  Yeah, that too-- with or without a side order of serious mental problems.  There's just a shying away from extremes here-- away from the manly men and distinct alpha males, and likewise away from the "powerful" females who fit into a masculine role like Altenna and Briggid.  And yet also away from the dancing girls and even the peg knights.  Definitely away from all the colorful comical supporting characters-- as I said in a comment on the previous post, it's less about the nuts, flakes, and "crunchy" characters and more like a fandom embrace of, I don't know, a creamy, homogenous bowl of frozen vanilla custard.

Of course, since this is purely working with visual "secondary creations" I have to wonder how the fanfiction stats really go.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
No, this isn't about stepsiblings making out.

One thing I've found a LOT of in FE4's subfandom in particular is what I call "Brady Bunch" art-- all the playable cast, plus select enemies and NPC, tucked into little boxes. At first it struck me as some weird and vaguely boring exercise, until I realized it had to be a "thing." There's a pattern to it, as some blank templates attest. The order of the characters is always the same, and then at the end there's like, places to put the artist's favorite skill and favorite pairing, or something like that.

After I got that, I started to enjoy it.  Some are indeed dull, but others are infused with a great deal of personality.  Some are line-drawing cartoons or downright sketchtastic, while others are a tad more elaborate.  Some are subdued in presentation, while others stray "outside the box" in a literal sense, as characters interact with one another.  There's usually a degree of favoritism or apparent anti-favoritism displayed, or elements of WTF.  Consequently, they end up being an insight into the artist and their biases, and become entertaining even when the artist has clear limitations at, say, doing character mouths.

Mind you, I think I like some formats for ensemble pieces better in concept (I think this sort is called "Trust Me"?), but these Brady Bunch things do have some charm.  I seem to have lost the link to one of the cutest versions, a black-and-white line art one that had a pleasing cartoon style for most characters, but full-blown manga detail for Julia and the artist's other pets.  It also had the Most Pathetic Tinny Ever, which is saying a lot!  

And some of them are super fricking weird.  This artist did both Gen1 and Gen2, and it's just... bizarre.  I never thought of Scrabblebits as a Robert Smith-from-The-Cure kind of rock star before.  Hannibal looks like Da Vinci's self portrait.  Altenna looks like she's modeling perfume.  I don't even know what to make of Aideen.  

[Gen 2 artists get props for including the sub kiddies.  Some do, some don't.] 

Got more?



mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
This has become my default mental image for massive all-day meetings like the one I was in today, especially if said meetings involved failed internal plots and counterplots against one's colleagues and superiors.  Like the one I was in today. 

Today was a #85 kind of day.  I am taking a nice long walk in the lingering sunset now.


mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Why heck not?  I like some of these questions.  Swiped from [personal profile] lyndis .

A-Z. Shipping. No, really. )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
For lulz, I guess.

To qualify as a "rare pair" in the free-for-all of FE4, something ideally would be a) not sanctioned by canon via special conversations and b) actually uncommon.  So Lachesis/Noishe, uncommon as it is, wouldn't count, and neither would the bizarrely popular Scathach Skasaher/Julia.

All this is pretty much SFW, and there's no sibling incest or father/daughter creepy shit.  I don't consider "kissing cousins" inappropriate and neither does Fire Emblem.  There are a couple of same-sex couples included, FYI.

Links under the cut )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I think I've been working on this since February.

Just a sweet little angst-free slice of life involving a four-year-old Leaf trying to have fun in the snow.  And GoodMommy!Lachesis.  

No, really.

[Maybe it's time for that kid!fic meta, now that [personal profile] kyusil 's back.]

To counterbalance this, have a pic of Leaf and Nanna bawling their eyes out over something.  The fluffy white bits floating around make me think a Peg Knight got shot down, but I don't know.  There, now the angst quotient is back to normal.  

Bonus Pic: Cecil and Janne, together at last.

PS: Lovely summer weather we're having... in April.  
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So.  Besides looking for nekkid pix of Evayle, I attempted to put my dumpster-diving in Jugdral fandom to use.  What does Japanese fandom make of all the inconsistencies and mysteries that drive me nuts?

Well, aside from the unexpected revelation that some fans viewed the Arion/Linoan engagement as a cannonball aimed at the Arion/Altenna ship, I learned the following.

There does not appear to be a consensus.  Not about when Lachesis disappeared (game scripts at odds with artbook).  Not about what happened to her (though 'ficcers LOVE the statue option).  Certainly not about who was sleeping with whom, and why, and when.  The arguments and the evidence presented are exactly the same as in English-speaking fandom, so all the ambiguities and and frustrations appear to be part of the original canon and not a factor of "adaptation bias."   

And, since Japanese fanwriters happily pick a version of canon and run with it, I think I'll just do the same.  There is no one right answer to some of these questions.  Though I do notice quite a few of them produce extensive notes to justify their interpretations.  My kind of people :)  

In conclusion, I should stop agonizing over canon and just write the damned story I want to write.

PS: I think it's adorable when substitute kids like Janne and Sharlow are treated like actual characters in their own right.

PPS: I feel more comfortable with characterization after seeing some of the offenses that J-fen inflict in the course of a story.  

PPPS: Not enough nekkid Evayle out there.  And half of what I did find co-starred Marita.  Yuk.

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So.  You love Fire Emblem, and you're particularly attached to a pairing.  The happy couple doesn't technically have a paired ending, but it's obvious they feel for one another and the epilogue is hinting that one sweet day they'll be getting it on.  And they evoke a canon couple from a previous game, so it must be destined.  Yay.

Then the next game in the franchise comes out, and it's set on the same continent.  And the way it handles your favorite characters makes you feel like IS made this game just to slam your beloved pairing into the ground.  Boo, hiss, snarl.  And write fanfiction to correct it.

Welcome to the melancholy of Arion/Altenna shippers circa Thracia 776.  Thanks to the little miracles of Google Translate and the Wayback Machine, I've been dumpster-diving through Jugdral fandom.  Japanese Jugdral fandom, that is.  And while the translations are, uh, interesting (do I even want to know why the subject of "pet treats" came up in a thread about the merits of a princess/knight pairing?) the fanart and site layouts and such just brought up a wonderful wave of nostalgia.  Japanese fandom from ten years ago looks like home to me--  the pastel texts, the shipper manifestos and headcanon dreams.  

Things I have learned!

There's no place like home. )

In summary: Japanese FE fandom for the SNES games looks like a perfectly normal fandom to me.  It feels normal to me in many ways that English-speaking fandom feels aberrant.  It's perfectly familiar territory, even if the fanfic is rendered into tenseless, genderless word salad most of the time.   

PS: BeoLache vs FinnLache shipping wank is every bit as bad in Japanese fandom.  Guess the translation wasn't entirely to blame.
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
I apparently have writers' block, so here's some fanart.  That way I can close the tabs on this browser.  It's all SFW.

That's Princess Badass to you.

Awesome crossover mage buddy action. <3

Altenna with her daddy.  No, not Cuan.

I guess that duel got a little intense.  What's with the red eyes?

I thought this was the picture of Finn in the Yied that helped inspire "Grains of Light," but upon reflection and checking the dates, it's not.  Guess that one is lost to time.  Fitting.

Maybe we'll see more interest in Alm and Cellica now?

Oh, look, it's a Beowulf/Lachesis picture for once.  Doesn't really say Beo to me, though.  I don't think he'd go wide-eyed like that from getting kissed by a princess.   

That's a bit more like it.  Dude knows what he's doing.

You want the wide-eyed blushy-blushy reaction, go here.

At first I thought this was a strange pic of Leaf and Janne.  Then I realized it was Rody and Cecil.  <3 <3 <3

-x-

I'd explain why relative levels of technology can't actually "date" FE games in some kind of unified chronology, but why bother?  
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
My hypothetical FE dream game was an Archanea/Valencia crossover that tied that whole "world" together and featured at least one mid-ocean battle with hopefully some sea dragons.  And a Pegasus Knight as the main character.

Got stiffed on the Peg Knight Lord, but still holding out hope for the ocean battle.  Come on, IS!

-x-

OK.  So, we have a teaser as to "Butterfly's" identity.

It's all very fishy. )

That's enough new-game weirdness for one day.  Here, have some old-game weirdness.  It's a pic of Finn and Lachesis dressed up as Shinji and Asuka.  It's from this Clare de Lune person's blog.

Have another FinnLache pic from Electric Flowers, while we're at it.  Safe for work and all that.  
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
So, I've been scrounging around in the FE department of pixiv, looking for something to satiate my Jugdral fix.  It's amazing how we learn to recognize characters (favorite and otherwise) based on cues-- color schemes, hair styles, design elements, proportions.  Take this mini-celebration of red and green cavs that Sriya and Raphi reblogged on tumblr-- fans know who's who and who's what.  To non-fans, it might look like four variations on the same two characters.  Raphi and I also had a conversation recently regarding a mis-labled picture of the Senior Jugdral Lord Trio (Sigurd, Cuan, Eltoshan) which was identified as the Junior Lord Trio (Celice, Leaf, Aless).  Believe me, I can see how people make the mistake (especially with Elto and Aless).  There are simple things like "Cuan wears black, Celice has a headband," and there are these other nuances of what defines a character that we as fans internalize and learn to apply across all kinds of different styles and media.   

It allows a Marth fan to recognize Marth when he's sporting Ephraim-teal hair, while an Ephraim fan still zeroes in on Ephraim! when a non-fan wouldn't know him from Geoffrey.  It allows someone looking for pictures of Tate with a a certain red-haired cavalier to glance past pictures of, say, Catria with that other red-haired cavalier.  It enables someone to tell Lugh from Lleu from twenty paces away-- even if they're identically dressed in that picture.  And good fanart, IMO, somehow captures that essence of a character, communicating the crucial personality difference between Lleu and Lugh, even in low-res and at thumbnail size. Recognizing fanart relies on "anchor" points in the way that fanfic does, IMO.  The personality traits of the "adorkable" mage or the brooding turncoat wyvern rider come through somehow... or perhaps get delightfully subverted in ways difficult to express in text.  Either way, we know "our" favorite characters when we see them. 

And I don't just mean in flattering situations.  We "know" them in the skeevy pix and the wtf pix, the ones of Hardin and his men celebrating Halloween, or of Dr. Celice getting naughty with Nurse Yuria.  That's why they work-- we might have to think for a couple of seconds about what the hell the picture is about, and what the artist was smoking, but we know exactly who that is in the cow costume.

And when fanart doesn't work for me, it's not always a question of aesthetics, exactly.  I just don't think that some fanart shows anything close to the character I like-- you know, the reason I'm hunting fanart.  I could point out lots of "eh, no" artwork depicting Marth, but I'll illustrate my point with something less obvious.

See this.  A pretty youth, messy hair somewhere between lilac and blue, details of outfit vague.  Which Fire Emblem cutie is it?  

Any takers?

Well, it's Finn, but I wouldn't have known it for certain without cross-checking the name.  I mean, it's not a displeasing picture by any means, but if there's only the vaguest suggestion that it's Finn and not some kid from some random anime series or whatever... well, it doesn't work for me as fanart.

But this pic is by CrossEMPIRE, whose stuff I don't care for in general.  Most of it is sketchy, messy, sloppy, with arbitrary choices about recoloring characters' eyes and such.  There's a lot, and I mean a LOT, of art on CrossEMPIRE's old site, but only a fraction of it works for me.  
 
Take this one.  (Not graphic, but fairly suggestive and arguably not the best thing to be viewing at work or at Grandma's house!).

Adult male with a young woman over one shoulder.  The impression I get from this image is that the girl is being hauled away for a spanking.  Something like that.  The guy this time is at least recognizable as Finn, but the chick over his arm is... I dunno, Lily Evans Potter maybe.  Oh, wait, that's supposed to be Altenna with green eyes?  Why green eyes?  Where's her headband?  Where's her attitude?  Seriously, what?

Artistic license is one thing.  I prefer dark-eyed Camus to blue-eyed Camus, but it doesn't make the dark-eyed version "better" or more canon.  But if I can't tell who I'm looking at, much less what I'm looking at, without some detective work, something just seems a bit off.  And I pretty much feel that way about all CrossEMPIRE's work, from the Michalis/Minerva pix through all the FE4 stuff through the Elibe artwork.  I don't feel that I'm really looking at Hector chillin' with Eliwood.  It's a red-haired dude and a blue-haired dude, and... eh.

Back to pixiv for lulz, I guess.      
mark_asphodel: (Adult Fin)
Absolutely not enough appreciation of Finn out there on the Internets.

Recommended fanfic:  "Fathers and Sons" by TwinMoons.  Negative as hell, from the perspective of his son.  Also the second-oldest FE story in the FFNet archive.

Art. Lots. Tons. )

I wish I had the one of him in the desert, but I lost it.  :(

There is FinnXTrabant artwork out there.  I mean, what?  No, I don't think so.  Not all mortal enemies are in it for the sexytimes.  
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 #17 Favorite Stat

...

Not even going to BS an answer on that one.  I mean, when two complimentary character types are offered, I do tend to prefer one of them; I tend to use the mercenary/hero over the myrmidon/swordmaster, and the Sain-type cav/pally over the Kent-type cav/pally (I'm not calling them the Cain and the Abel because at this point it's too bloody confusing to figure out which one is supposed to be which, but we all know Kent and Sain, right?), but in terms of one single stat?  No idea.

-x-

Meh.  Wasted night.  Was supposed to go to "The Meeting of the Whole," which is where citizens can go see the city councilpersons doing their thing prior to their official meeting, but it was cold and I didn't sleep well last night and I ended up curling up with the cat and zzz.

Things I kind of want to do:

1) WIP review
2) Fanart spam post.
3) Music & fanwriting post
4) That post on kids in fiction that I promise [personal profile] kyusil  months ago.

I think any of those would take more effort than I have in me right now.

-x-

LSSU published their annual "words that need to die" list.  I thought "iconic" should've topped the list, but then again I don't expose myself to Martha Stewart and other such TV programs, so the "amazing" thing blew right past me.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, Akaneia Chronicle is mine, thanks to facilitation from [livejournal.com profile] sailorvfan10 .

The presentation is grander than that of the 20th anniversary artbook; that one is softcover, while the Chronicle is hardcover with a glossy dust jacket. The front cover shows Falchion and the Shield of Seals, while the back cover just shows Falchion. No fangirl bait on the dust jacket, no sir-- this is a classy affair.

The Chronicle consists of six sections-- World Historica (Archanea in depth), Character Collection (portraits and text regarding all playable characters except the Satellaview-exclusive ones, plus major villains like Lang), Scenario Archive (appears to be a detailed account of each of the Marth games, chapter-by-chapter), All About Akaneia (seems to be an illustrated glossary), Tribute Emblem (the other games, in brief) and Premium Artworks (legit fanart, apparently).

Details, details... )

Now, I just need a translation...
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Great.  Now that I've sworn off entering the contest (for modly impartiality), my brain seizes on a crack pairing I so want to write.

Screw it.  I'll write Palla/Arran anyway.  It'll probably spill into 7K words, knowing me.  Thanks, Pixiv!

-x-

Writing for Magvel is interesting, but there's no 'ficcer feeling quite like the feeling when an Archanea plotbunny sinks its claws into my arm.  I've been meaning to write an Eirika-in-Frelia piece for aeons now, but I can't quite get it off the ground.  And then the Peg Sisters come barreling along and I get that visceral must write feeling.

-x-

Man, watching the footage of the London riots is depressing as hell.  It looks like Detroit-- people smashing up their fellow citizens' businesses and driving them out of their homes, and for what?  How does gutting somebody's family furniture store or plundering Sainsburys (it's a supermarket) stick it to David Cameron, or the Met, or anyone?  How does destroying the brick-and-mortar fabric of your own city right a bad situation?

Take it from Detroit, baby.  It doesn't.  All you get is a big vacant hole where your city used to be.  
mark_asphodel: (FE3 OTP)
Dammit.  Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] crimsonmorgan , I've been wasting time on Pixiv this evening.  Some key selections (all work-safe unless I'm missing something):

Well, this is one way of resolving the Peg Knight Sis love angle, but Palla/Arran just ain't gonna end well.

This one never fails to creep me out.  Stop that, Catria.

SO  MUCH Peg Sis porn.  Like, Beach Blanket Booty Call, Macedonian-style.  None of it turns me on in the slightest.  No, I'm not linking-- go find it yourself.

Awww.  Non-sketchy Tiki.
It's like... Gotoh's Nursery School.  Or something.

Tiki and Xane.  Very pretty.

Just in case we forgot what Tiki actually is....

Class-changed Norne.

Norne and Etzel.  So cute.

What is this I don't even...

Sigh.  I should really get started on dinner.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, I'm trying to get a quota of interesting cooking in before I get sent to Vegas.  Yesterday, I harvested some daylily buds and made a stir-fry with lamb, daylily, and fresh mushrooms from the farmers market.  If I'd been feeling more ambitious I'd have made a real nice dish with a ginger-black bean sauce, but bottled sauce did work in a pinch and it was pretty good except for the soggy brown rice.  I am SO switching back to jasmine rice... the brown rice turns out better when I don't follow the directions.

This morning, I decided to offload some of the excess strawberries I bought on Friday (also at the farmers market) in the form of a sweet omelet.  No, not one of those super-fancy fallen-souffle deals; this was more like a flourless crepe, not too sweet and pretty darned tasty.  Warmed, sliced, fresh strawberries are so much nicer than gloppy pie-filling stuff, which I've come to loathe.  

-x-

Yesterday I completed two more must-see goals in the Metro Detroit experience-- a tour of the legendary Rouge Factory and a trip to the top of the Renaissance Center.  Seeing the First Wonder of the Industrialized World gave a huge boost to my inner technology geek (though the official presentations on the tour are whitewashed beyond credibility), while being at the top of the tallest building in Michigan was pretty amazing.  I could see the spoke-like outlay of the city, with the main arteries of Michigan, Jefferson, Woodward, Gratiot, and Grand River spreading out for miles and miles and miles... I swear I could see the city lights of Mount Clemens off in the distance.  We were above helicopters.

Also, while Coach Insignia is a place I'm absolutely going back to for dinner, I'd sure hate to be a paying guest on the night of a wedding reception.  There's nowhere to run from the music.  I'm sure we annoyed people.

-x-

Maybe I'll use the FE big bang as an excuse to finally do steampunk!Archanea, but I'd want a collaborator because I am not doing that on my own.

But that way I can finally get a picture of Merric with goggles.  And Linde.  Steampunk Linde.  Mmm.

-x-

"The Art of Manufacturing" (a short film shown at the Rouge tour) is like Koyaanisqatsi as filmed by Disney.  Makes you wonder what might've happened had Henry Ford and Walt Disney joined forces to create one empire of fantasy Americana.  

-x-

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night remains awesome beyond comparison. 

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