Dark Tower the movie. Geez. Man, can you even really think about how big a flop that film really was? Does anyone whatsoever discuss Dark Tower with their friends or family, even derisively? Just over five years since the movie came out, and it’s a completely lost footnote to the sands of pop culture time. In an era where brand IPs are more vital than ever, the long-gestating, incredibly hyped, star-powered first film to a major Stephen King franchise came and went like a generic studio programmer. It released on August 4th, 2017. The last weekend of July and first
After watching Modern Vintage Gamer’s video on the 3DS Homebrew experience a while back, I got inspired. I owned a Japanese New 3DS I got from a friend many years ago, but it did absolutely nothing but gather dust. So, one random day in February, I decided to make my move. I decided to set up 3DS Homebrew for the very first time. It was honestly extremely straightforward! I’m shocked. I tried to put homebrew on a Wii U a few months prior, and it was so much harder. I think I succeeded, but it took an entire day and
Madoka Magica came out 12 years ago, but this winter is especially important for me, because it’s my 10th anniversary with the series. Surprisingly, I haven’t posted about Madoka Magica much on this blog. I’ve never written an article about it in these 4 years, only a couple mentions such as here and here. Mostly offhand. But that’s probably because the sheer pressure of it all. Madoka Magica is my favorite TV show. A series that changed my life in extreme and positive ways. A fandom that unlocked so many hidden depths and so much fun stuff. Twelve years after
It’s the Problem Sleuth 15th anniversary today! Wow! Yep, the Brawl 15th anniversary just came literally yesterday. Isn’t it crazy that two pieces of media vital to my teenage years released 24 hours apart? Of course, Problem Sleuth was a much less direct piece of vitalness. I read it a little while it was popular and ongoing. But I didn’t read the whole thing until years later, probably June 2011 or so. The real vitalness is that it paved the way for Homestuck, which you may know was a bit of a hobby of mine… (Psssssst! Join the MSPA Reread
I’m about to make you feel ancient by talking about the Super Smash Bros. Brawl 15th anniversary. It doesn’t feel so long ago that I was a middle schooler avidly waking up each morning to check out updates on the Smash Dojo. It also feels like it’s been an absolute eternity. I think that’s what growing up feels like. Smash Bros has fallen way off my radar for absolute favorite gaming experiences, and none of them even made my Best Games of the 2010s list back when I wrote that at the end of 2019. But for a long time
Tiktok did it. It came in a flash—the realization that I, Beatrice Baker, had become an old person. And that was the moment that my Mom offhandedly mentioned downloading Tiktok. Watching it in her idle time. Being a fan of the app. I hadn’t even CONSIDERED downloading Tiktok in my whole life. I didn’t even get Vine, and that thing was super popular. Tiktok was just the replacement to musical.ly, famous solely for its horrific cringe compilations on Youtube. Or, at least, that’s what I thought. (trigger warning: this will destroy all but the most hardened cringe watchers) I get
I drank the last Zima I had. Now it’s all gone, maybe forever. Randomly, in my local supermarket back in May 2022, I found a bunch of Zimas in the discount food section. They were buried under all the chuuhais and highballs nobody wanted, just sitting there for me to enjoy. Zimas, and Zima Limes, too. Dozens of them, all half-off. I didn’t remember ever seeing them before, but I knew I had to seize the opportunity, and bought almost all of them. For less than 100 yen per can, too. All I knew about Zima was that it is
The MSPA Reread 2023 draws near. Are you ready for it? That’s right. 12 years after my last full reread and 8 years after the last MS Paint Adventure ended, we’re bringing this thing back, baby. Starting March 8th, on the Official Quinlan Circle Discord, we’re going to be reading through the entire MS Paint Adventures saga, to celebrate Problem Sleuth’s 15th anniversary and to catch up on the extremely large behemoth of big size known as Homestuck. You can follow along on the Discord, or you can just lurk and keep pace with the schedule here. Or this handy
About a month ago, I saw this video, “The Anime Countryside,” for the first time: It’s very good and extremely worth watching. A free-form rambling mood piece that floods you with warm feelings of rural Japan, as seen from the perspective of an American outsider looking through bits of nerd media. This is one of the long Youtube video essays that makes me yearn to make videos of my own. I love it. “The Anime Countryside” is the kind of thing that would have made me yearn greatly to live in Japan. Not to visit, but to nestle up in
Over the past couple years, I’ve been really fixated on the idea of the Great Desensitization. I noticed it one year ago, when the Ukraine invasion first began. I tried not to give in and obsess over it at first, but as I am wont to do, it happened anyway. I kept a tab open on all my devices for the Reddit live updates page, where something like 100,000 people were all watching as the posts came in. The world was watching as the invasion looked to be a horrible conquest… But then the reports came in about the tides
There’s one important thing about Ted Cruz Zodiac Killer as a conspiracy theory. One extremely important thing that people often overlook when asking the question of if the Ted Cruz Zodiac Killer theory is true. The thing is: Ted Cruz fucking sucks. He’s a fucking loser and nobody likes him. And the whole deal with his serial killer thing as a joke isn’t funny because in the end, the man himself isn’t actually angered about it. He’s even played along with the damn thing. He’s a complete loser. Ted Cruz Zodiac Killer? More like “Please be a decent human being
My last childhood dog, Vader Puppy, passed away this week. At the ripe old age of 15, which is crazy good for a Labrador. I’m glad for him. I don’t usually talk about stuff like this, but I wanted to briefly commemorate the life of a very good boy. My family somehow got this new dog, a puppy of a few months, but I don’t know how many months, in summer of 2008, when I was starting 8th grade. I was too focused on my teenage histrionics to really remember the story now. But my friend Jesse set us up
I found out that Xenogears turns 25 this week. The Playstation classic RPG that launched Monolith Soft, the almost-Final-Fantasy-VII about cool mechs, is now old enough to get cheaper insurance in the U.S. I still haven’t played it. Which means that this Xenogears turns 25 article is the second time I’ve waxed poetic about media I’ve never tried out myself. But for some reason, this game sticks with me in a huge way. Back in America, I actually own a copy. I, in fact, own a copy of every single Xeno Series game, all 13 physical releases so far. Even
A small and inevitable update to my last post, is that I’ve failed at dating apps, yet still. This is a Valentine’s Day post because I’m a cruel mood-killer. I did my best for a few months after that post. I genuinely really tried to meet people and go on a few dates. And it actually worked briefly! I went on a few dates with a very nice woman who I was very fond of. It’s the first dates I’ve been on since I came to Japan, and that itself is a pretty big achievement. But it didn’t work out.
I bet you’re looking for some takeaways from the February 2023 Nintendo Direct, and I have sure got some takeaways for you. Other websites may have some obvious analysis and some might even give you their “hot takes” or whatever word journalists use as shorthand now, but not here. Here on B. A. Baker’s website, you’re getting the esoteric takeaways from the February 2023 Nintendo Direct. You’re getting the ones that nobody else is gonna talk about. Get ready. If you’re a longtime blog reader, you may know that I’m a Nintendo shill and it makes up too big a
Sometime pretty early in 2022, I got hooked on long Youtube video essays. Especially video game ones. I always bemoaned the fact that Youtube videos were getting longer and longer, were getting less focused and bigger scoped. I was already not quite into the 20+ minute video game overviews of people like Nitro Rad and Scott the Woz, although I sure did watch a lot of them. But I was CERTAINLY not into the multi-hour ones. And then… Something happened. I dove one time too many into the abyss of long Youtube video essays. And suddenly I found myself watching
The goddamn dirt road’s still there, I bet. Back in the 2020 election, I found a really good, really striking quote from an article about Jaime Harrison. He ran for U.S. Senate in South Carolina against Lindsey Graham, and came tantalizingly close to actually winning. But he didn’t. Here’s the quote: While canvassing for Vincent Sheheen, a Democratic candidate for governor, a few years earlier, Harrison had spotted a shotgun house down an unpaved road. He pulled up to the property and knocked on the door. An elderly black man answered. “Who are you?” “I’m Jaime Harrison, the chair of
Dr. Strange 2: In the Multiverse of Madness is kinda controversial. Shocking, I know. A movie that basically requires an encyclopedic knowledge to follow. And, of course, a movie that’s more a sequel to a TV miniseries than the actual first Dr. Strange. A lot of people hated this thing, which naturally means I enjoyed it way more than everyone else. I gave it 3.5 stars! On my first watch, at least. Marvel Cinematic Universe movies tend to drop for me on rewatches, so we’ll see. The main thing that makes me really enjoy this movie? The gleeful, inaccessible goofiness
New Oscar categories are sorely needed. Even the Academy admits radical change is needed. And new awards are an obvious huge solution. Every year, the Oscars have worse and worse ratings on TV and streaming, and even big scandals like in 2017 or 2022 don’t seem to have an impact. Awards shows in general have felt this burn for a while, but the Oscars have it real bad, seeming out of touch with popular audiences more and more with each year. I could argue the Oscars have always been pretty far from the popular wavelength for movies—after all, E.T. and
Look what I got in the mail today; the new Fire Emblem game! I wasn’t a mega-fan of Three Houses back in 2019, although I sure did enjoy it for what it was and fell in love with plenty of the characters. (Tragically, in one case.) But I’m a Fire Emblem die-hard through and through, and I’m ready to play the heck out of the new Fire Emblem as soon as I can. Honestly, I haven’t played through a full beefy video game in a really long time. According to the spreadsheet where I log all the long-form media I
Welcome to 2023, the year of rabbits and also of B. A. Bakers. I went another month without a new blog post, finally ending my hot streak of twice-weekly blogs. Sad, because I think some of my best stuff yet was posted this year, but it’s more like I’m saving my chakras up to unleash a big genki-dama blast of good writing this year. My professional career is currently in a bit of a flux and I’m not sure how it’s going to develop the next several months. So I can’t give accurate predictions for the rest of the year.
I’m increasingly angry about TERFs in Japan. Obviously, TERFs are the worst thing ever in general. Ultra-conservative queer maniacs who are basically the gay equivalent of QAnon cultists. But in Japan, this isn’t some bizarre minority of crazy or deluded women. It’s al all-pervasive toxin on LGBTQ+ culture that somehow refuses to die. Japan is the only remaining country in the G7 without same-sex marriage and with some positively barbaric laws regarding transgender people. It sucks. But, it’s improving rapidly, even just in the years I’ve lived here. I’m hopeful these things will change. Especially the TERFs in Japan part.
The movie Strange World has just come out and I only knew it because I write a lot of movie release dates in my planner. There’s been practically no marketing I’ve seen here in Japan, just an unceremonious release. And as far as I’ve seen of North American marketing, it’s just as bad over there. Is this some sort of Good Dinosaur level audience-unappealing stinker? I don’t know. Well, it has a 66 on Metacritic as of this writing. That’s exactly the same score Good Dinosaur got, so make of that what you will. But even if it’s bad, even
Today, I’ll be spotlighting another Pokemon card artist, Artia Mitsuhiro (view his work here). After my last spotlight on Morii Yuka, I got lots of appeals for more Pokemon artists to cover, and I had to go with another total classic. Arita Mitsuhiro is one of the main Pokemon card artists who’s been in the game since the beginning. Since Base Set. After Sugimori, he’s probably the most iconic creator to visually depict the franchise. So let’s look at his 25+ years of wonderful art and see how his style has evolved. First off, this was my very first Pokemon
There was a spider in my bathroom. Not anymore. Now I’m weirdly sad about it. When I first moved into my house in Shizuoka, giant huntsman spiders infested my house. By that I mean there were 3 or 4 of them. But I couldn’t get them to leave! They kept hiding in or around all the junk I brought but hadn’t unpacked yet, and it made unpacking 1000% more scary. I know huntsman spiders can’t hurt me, and they’re much more scared of me… But I can’t help it! They’re huge and way too fast! Eventually, I chased each and
Y’all liked the original post so much that I’m making a follow-up to feature more striking romance comic covers. Plus, it seems like my posts about cool artists and promo art are really popular in general. This one will definitely get much worse SEO because I’m not sure how I can stretch this article all the way out to 300 words and also feature the keyword “more striking romance comic covers” enough times, but just bear with me and enjoy these covers. Some of them are actually way cooler to me than the original post, actually. You can find a
Gosh, I have 200 blog posts now! When I started this blog in 2018, it was mostly just to have a place to make story announcements and to host my bibliography page. In fact, I didn’t even make my first real post until January 2019! Since then, the blog’s always just been for rambles. Not enough people subscribe to it for it to be that useful for story updates, although I do still post them, of course. I think Twitter and other social networks are where most people follow me for the actual news stuff. Instead, this place is just
Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D is almost certainly an amazing series. I wouldn’t know, though, because I’ve never read it. I probably should! It’s classic late 60s/early 70s comic book goodness. Kirby, Lee, Dikto, Buscema, Romita, and all them were at the height of their powers, and other comic people were bursting onto the scene too. And then with Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., you got Jim Steranko, one of the best of the best, doing art for the first several issues. Even after he left, the covers are still extremely enticing… Makes me wonder why I still haven’t dove
Joi Massat’s blog is way worth your time! The reflections are always insightful, the content’s way up my alley almost every post, and it’s definitely very well-written. Each of Joi Massat’s blog posts tend to be much more carefully created and researched than stuff on here. Not to bash my own work, of course, but my ramblings tend to be freeform quick cuts. If you enjoy my longer work, but you’re looking for posts with more meat on your bones, then you know exactly where you gotta go. In celebration of Joi Massat’s blog being awesome, I’m going to list
Everyone hates 70s men’s fashion, and I used to. Until I realized the terrifying truth. A truth that changed my life forever. If you put 70s men’s fashion on a butch woman… It goes from goofy, outdated excessiveness, to suddenly being extremely cool. Extremely fashionable. (Tangentially related: Here’s a cool photo gallery of lesbian life in the 70s. Some fashion lies within) From the plaid to the vests to the tight jeans to the hair, 70s men’s fashion becomes shockingly cool once applied to butch women. But also, maybe 70s men’s fashion is kinda cool on men, too? It’s certainly
I love, love, love time loops in fiction. They’re formulaic, they’re often super hokey, and I don’t care. Whether it’s Groundhog Day or Blessed Time, I’m a huge fan. Cool web novels like Reroll, Argatha Loop, and Mark of Time make great use of time loops, and movies like Edge of Tomorrow, Boss Level, and Source Code are just wonderful. Not all time loops are the same. In fact, the changes excite me a ton! I’m super impressed by RE: Monarch’s combination of video-game-y “progressive” looping, and the movie Palm Springs does wonders simply by having multiple loopers meet and
Poor Bonnie Taylor! When I was searching out romance comic covers for my previous post, I stumbled on a little meta-series. I didn’t see this in any other covers I found, but it appears that DC’s Young Romance series had an ongoing feature for this character. Bonnie Taylor, airline stewardess, very unlucky in love and always zipping around the world. It’s a good setup for an ongoing series! I guess she wasn’t popular enough to get one, but she did get featured on the cover of several issues. I’m sure the stories are mostly just schlocky 60s comic stuff. Without
Warning, incoming, romance comic covers are here. A deluge is coming onto your screen. Romance comics are a long-dead genre from 50+ years ago. But for some reason, on a random Saturday morning tangent recently, I got completely wrapped up in them. I had been looking for lesbian comics online, but accidentally stumbled on some awesome-ass old comics. Heterosexual, sadly, but still awesome stuff. Less the comics themselves, I guess, than the covers. Romance comic covers are COOL. This romance comic cover here gets hailed in the hallmarks of pop art, but so, so many others are deserving as well.
It’s not often that I serially watch TV shows, but the new Gundam Series has blown me away. I’m definitely going to be following this one! Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury is the newest installment in everyone’s favorite realistic mecha war franchise. And it forges a new path in a whole bunch of ways. I love me some Universal Century, the main shared universe Gundam timeline. It’s been running for almost 45 years and 15+ TV series, movies, and OVAs, so it’s almost as fleshed-out as friggin’ Star Trek. However, it’s so dense that only the initiated are
Yo, you ever been to Central Park Chattanooga? The actual name of the restaurant is just Central Park, but I’m calling it Central Park Chattanooga in order to gain extra internet search points. Forgive me for that. This is indeed not the park in New York City, thank you very much. No, it’s one of those restaurants that’s in a super tiny building and serves exclusively drive-thru or walk-up service. No indoor seating at all! It’s either drive-thru, or drive-in. You get some real big, real cheap, real decent burgers and fries, and it delivers exactly what you want without
Here’s a short blog about my newest favorite song, “Ariel” by Dean Friedman. Spotify definitely isn’t the best at recommending me music I want to hear. Part of that’s because my taste was forged in the fires of OCRemix tunes on my Samsung Juke and anime character songs ripped off Galbadia Hotel. Even today, I’m always willing to kick it to Battle of the Bits or Yamashita Tatsuro. This is, to say, I sadly listen to a lot of stuff that’s just way too obscure to actually be on music streaming services. But I’m trying to get better! Especially with
I don’t know, tell me if this is a stupid idea. I just had the random thought and I can’t let it go without at least musing about it publicly. So I was just cleaning up my blog’s front page a little when I went and looked over at my boy Joi’s for comparison. For some reason, the little icons in the sidebar area intrigued me… It’s a stupid idea, I’m telling you. But I’m nostalgic for that Project Wonderful era, where indie dudes would bid with other indie dudes. Where the web comic and web fiction communities could create
Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the Gamecube was one of my all-time favorite games as a kid. Probably a weird one, but I gotta say it. And Clone Wars Conquest Mode was the crowning jewel. I’m gonna tell you all about it. Obviously, being the very first big continuation of Attack of the Clones made it feel Important and Grand (even if its story was mostly ignored), so playing it felt like it satiated my great eight-year-old hunger for the next movie, still years away. Even if the game was kind of crap, I’d have still loved it. But
Progression Monk… A fantasy scrap worth visiting… I have a lot of story ideas. A lot, a lot. I won’t ever write most of them, so I might as well tell you about the small sparks of imagination I had with these strange fantasy ideas that will probably never come to be. This is the “Fantasy Scraps” blog series. In July 2021, I visited the magical alien landscape of Hotokegaura. A fantastic little spot anyone should visit if they come to Japan, especially if you can go by ferry like I did! But, along the way back from Hotokegaura, I
So, it’s about time to give a Web Fiction Directory update. The original directory is by far my most-viewed page on the entire website, even more than the homepage itself, so I try to keep it as current and up-to-date as I can. However, I’m only one person, and refreshing the list takes a lot of work just in checking in to make sure the websites I’m listing even still exist–in my latest update, I had to remove several entries that went under, as well as an entry that was caught using spam and predatory contracts to lure in creators.
Morii Yuka is the clay model one. Get ready for good art. My last blog about Pokemon card art did real big numbers (relative for my blog), so I’m gonna do more blogs that feature individual Pokemon card artists I’m a huge fan of! A lot of the artists have very distinct, very awesome styles that carry over from set to set, and you can see how they bring dozens, if not hundreds of cards to life over many years. This time it’s Morii Yuka‘s turn, and she’s gonna floor us with her signature clay model style. Morii Yuka Has
Sometimes, you have to throw away Star Wars shirts. There isn’t anything else you can do with Star Wars shirts sometimes. I’ve had this thing for over 3 years now, ever since I found it used at a Book-Off. Sometimes you see a T-shirt and instantly purchase it, because that’s just what you do. This Star Wars shirt was an instant classic. I mean, look at it. Bizarre colors, weird Engrish vibes but without anything egregious. “Join Us” which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Jango Fett’s whole deal, which was explicitly anti-“Join Us” and rather “Clone Myself
The Newsroom rant is one of the all-time famous moments from TV in the 2010s. And that’s saying something, because the 2010s were absolutely packed to the brim with hit series and memorable scenes. But it’s also not exactly a “well-liked” scene, if that makes any difference. The very start of the series has our protagonist, whatever his character’s name is but Jeff Daniels, going on a sudden unhinged rant about how America as a nation is filled with delusions of self-grandeur about its place in the world, about how it’s totally lost its way and is now lying in
I found a weird new trend on the internet lately where people are literally buying Gay Gatsby. Just to be cool and beloved by their friends online. Isn’t that crazy? I hear on Bumble they’re calling it the Gay Gatsby Challenge. Yik Yak is getting a few dozen posts a day on the NYU campus talking about the Carraway Clout they’ve won by buying a copy of Gay Gatsby for four of their friends. Like a new Music.ly dance trend kicking up a storm in the nation, this weird new trend is obliterating every news cycle, becoming the talk of
Un-Commander is like, totally aspirational for me. Silver-Bordered and stupid cards are some of my favorite parts of Magic: The Gathering, and yet it’s such a rare thing for them to actually, you know, actually get used in any point. (This article once implied I’d write a ton of blogs about MTG and never really did. You probably expected that. Hopefully I prove y’all wrong in the near future though.) Here’s a good video, although it’s feature-length. It mentions Un-Commander pretty briefly! There’s been 4 un-sets, soon to be 5, as well as other fun stuff like Mystery Booster Test
Why do I keep coming back to dating apps? Clearly, it’s not a world I’m going to have much success in. Even in America, online dating never worked out for me, and Japan is significantly worse for that. And yet, I still find myself trying at them, over and over and over and over and over. I’ve probably uninstalled Tinder 6 times in the last 6 years. Deleted my account at least twice. But still, that lingering hope brings me back to swipe a bunch and invariably end up frustrated and angry. Being queer and trans as a foreigner in
Close Talker by nelward is a wonderful song, one of the best singles of his extremely diverse 2021. Definitely my favorite. While nelward didn’t have any new albums or EPs in 2021 or most of 2022, what he did have was a slate of music that pushed hard against the boundaries of his typical style, and against the boundaries of pop music as a whole. And Close Talker by nelward is a prime example of that 2021 greatness. After the gangbusters release of Eat Your Dreams in late 2020 (my favorite album of that year!), the whole music world sat
Finally, I moved! It took one of the busiest months of my entire life, but I successfully moved from my teacher house in the tip of Aomori, all the way to a small apartment in Shizuoka. A month ago today, I still didn’t even have a job, let alone a specific location to move to; there were a couple positions I was still interviewing for and getting offers for, but it was extremely late in the game; in fact it was late enough that I had to move all my stuff first to a friend’s house and stay there for
Sometimes the world needs to look at old Pokemon card art. I’m talking that real old stuff, the kind of old Pokemon card art where half the art was primitive 3D renders and a good chunk were outright clay models (which of course I love). New art’s good too, for sure. I don’t love the giant border-busting garish GX cards and whatnot, but the normal cards are filled with goodness even still. But that’s for another time maybe. Today is for old Pokemon card art only! If you wanna browse old sets for cool art, look at PkmnCards, which is
I forgot about Goodreads until recently when I realized I could sync my blog here with the posts on there. Now, just like my hidden Tumblr account and sadly my less hidden Twitter account, Goodreads will sync my blog posts and hopefully get more people to read stuff on here. My author page though only has four followers as of this writing, and that’s sad because I think even this blog has more e-mail subscribers than that. So, I implore all y’all book friends to follow my author page and stay fresh on all the latest updates! Of course, you’ll
It came out of nowhere, the reveal that Bridget from Guilty Gear is transgender. One of the most famous “femboy” characters in video games suddenly has gone through an actual gender transition, and y’know what? That’s kind of swell. Obviously, I always want games to strive for LGBT representation, so this makes me pretty happy. Nothing groundbreaking or earth-shattering. It’s a little disappointing that the only characters who actually gender transition in video games seem to be the ones who were already androgynous or had other gender issues around them for years. It’s honestly probably guilt on the part of
OK google, play me like she did… The title of a Spotify playlist I made a couple months ago and continually add to. Whoever knew making moody angsty music mixes would be so much fun? This is probably an utterly milquetoast blog post to discuss a random playlist I made once. But I guess it’s different for me, because I’m a weirdo who barely ever engages with popular music. We’ve been over this before. So it’s even less of a surprise that I have hardly any Spotify playlists that were “built” in the same way as “OK google, play me
Cinnamoroll is adorable and great. I refuse to be ashamed about this from now on, so I will announce it loud to the world around me. I love Cinnamoroll! In some circles, I would be called a heathen. Or, as Sanrio Characters fans call us, a cinner. But I don’t care. I am a basic bitch, and I am proud to be one. Especially because I fell in love with this stupid dog rabbit thing purely by accident. See, I had a nice Catbug wallet I got on clearance from We Love Fine (now By Fans For Fans), and that
Now it’s time for a very short post on Nintendo Power Metroid covers. My last post was all about Nintendo Power as a whole, but now I want to get more specific, and feature all the Nintendo Power Metroid covers. No commentary, really. I just thought it would be a nice way to show how the magazine’s style changed over 25 years. How American pop culture changed, really. So let’s look at all the Nintendo Power Metroid covers. As always, check out Retromags for all the covers and full magazine downloads. Did you enjoy seeing all these Nintendo Power Metroid
I really miss Nintendo Power. It’s almost entirely just nostalgia for the magazine era, but I don’t care. I can have nostalgia when I want, and nobody can tell me otherwise! Sure, Nintendo Power got replaced by Nintendo Directs, just as newspapers got replaced by sanity-destroying-algorithm-based social media feeds. Instant, easy access to information is generally just better than waiting a month for a rumor mill update that already passed by anyway. But just… I don’t know. Getting monthly installments and articles to pour over is part of my ultimate lifeblood. The fun columns, the curated features, the reviews, the
I probably don’t need to tell people that Adobe Acrobat is evil, but I’ll tell you anyway. Adobe Acrobat is evil! So I needed to sign a very important document, just needed to edit a single document. PDFs already are a bad format that I dislike a lot, but they’re so ubiquitous that I can’t do anything about that. Editing them should be as simple as anything else, and yet… that’s not how the world works, so you have to get specialized software. I didn’t happen to have anything installed, so I went and tried to get the most common
I’m going to revamp my 2022 blog posting schedule. There’s nothing any of us can do about it, least of all me. Although, first, I have to openly admit that I’ve got to stretch this thing. SEO really prefers if posts are 300+ words long, and I’ll get nowhere near that without a lot of finessing, finessing of the highest caliber I might add. So, as I prepare to tell you my 2022 blog posting schedule, I’ll leave you to wonder: What might my post’s focus keyphrase be? The SEO will be very strong with my 2022 blog posting schedule,
I have always been bad at decluttering. I am, in fact, a bit of a pack rat. It’s a family trait passed down through the generations, and one I find impressively difficult to manage in myself sometimes. But now, as I’m preparing to move to new housing within the next month, I am forced to face the truth: If I don’t do decluttering very soon, I’m screwed. As of yesterday, I had to move out of my home I’ve lived in for two years, and the city where I’ve lived for four. Add in the stuff I inherited from predecessors,
Obi-Wan Kenobi review time, here we go. (I also wrote this on Letterboxd. Please follow me on Letterboxd! I have cool lists!) I have very mixed feelings about Obi-Wan, and there’s so much about it that doesn’t work, that irks me, that I’m not sure I can give a full thesis behind why I didn’t love it. I didn’t love it; I barely even liked it, as a whole. That’s crazy! This is me we’re talking about, the person who loved Book of Boba Fett, and nobody in hell loved that show besides me. There were points in Obi-Wan when I
Karaage Pepsi is the newest thing in Japan. I love gimmicky limited time drinks. A combination made in heaven, and of course great fodder for clicks on my blog thanks to powerful SEO from people who desperately need to know: What the heck is karaage pepsi? Pepsi has had many limited time flavors in Japan over the years. But what about this one? Indeed, I am still unsure about what exactly is karaage Pepsi even now. Well, anyway, I drank several bottles in order to taste test all this… FOR YOU, dear reader. Yep, it’s perfectly clear all right. How
I am so utterly busy indeed. It’s been crazy these last couple months. I’ve had probably 3 days with no errands, no meetings, and nothing scheduled… since early May! What with moving preparations, with my last weeks at all my schools, with job search and interviews and financial struggles, with meeting up with friends and going to my last social events in Aomori… It’s just too much for my little brain to handle. Normally, I cook at least one big meal a week, usually curry, and save it to eat the rest of the week whenever I don’t want to
Today was a good old holiday, and at work we ate Tanabata school lunch. It’s the same thing as every year, but this is the first year where I’m imminently leaving my job while eating it. So it’s a lot more memorable than usual. I haven’t posted a lot about my job on my blog. Until now, it’s mostly just been when I travel to weird places in Japan. Part of that is for privacy reasons, both for myself and of course for my workplaces. I’ll post a little bit more after I’m well and moved, but for now, we
Followup to my previous post about Akari & Me, this time about my Akari figurine. An omake blog post, if that makes any sense. I’ll do bonuses sometimes! Back when I studied in Nagoya for a year, I bought a few cheap anime figurines from Off House, the local secondhand store. One of those was an Akari figurine! Nothing special, just one of those ten dollar little plastic things you win at the arcade. However, there was something special about the dorm I lived in–I was not alone. There were a few other YuruYuri fans here too! Unlike my university
It took me a long time to realize why I always felt a great connection to Akaza Akari. But I think I’ve finally accepted the truth: I don’t have very much presence most of the time. WTF is YuruYuri? Before my self-reflective rambles, I guess you’re wondering who Akaza Akari is, because you aren’t a weeaboo dork like me. Well, she’s ostensibly the protagonist of the anime and manga YuruYuri, an ostensibly lesbian anime about middle schoolers who ostensibly run a club together. Basically a cute and wacky comedy story about dumb kids. But in the show’s cruelest joke, the
Clay models in video game promo art. I love this stuff. Isn’t it great? It’s honestly pretty silly looking back that you have these simplistic 8-bit or 16-bit graphics, and the way you think you can accurately represent that in marketing is by making some clay models of the characters. It’s surely expensive enough that 2D art, or even live-action actors, surely would have been a more sensible option. But all these years later, and I look at the clay promo art for video games as some of the coolest stuff ever. Just look at all of this:
Pride Month 2022 is supposed to be a great time all throughout June. But how well can we celebrate it this year? Has the cynicism and corporatism finally caught up to the biggest celebration of LGBTQ+ rights in the world? I don’t know. Probably? I sure don’t feel in the mood like 2 years ago, when I premiered that whole crossover comic strip. (You should read it.) I feel more in the mood that Pride Month is just another shopping holiday for companies to market themselves without making real statements. Like, remember Disney? The company that did jack about the
For the first time in my blog’s entire history, I didn’t post for the entire month of April 2022. Gosh, that sucks. Lately, it’s been a single post every month, though, so it’s not like it’s been active anyway. But now thanks to strange creative burnout and a busy schedule, I finally missed my first month. I’d say sorry but I don’t think there are exactly avid readers of every blog post I make, so the only person I am sorry to is myself for not getting to post new reflections and rambles. Anyway, how are you? I’m good. My
[GL Reviews #2, for Riposte. Check out all my other GL Reviews here!] [There’s a Spoiler Discussion section at the bottom of the review; other than that, the review will be spoiler-free.] Believe it or not, this is my first Etzoli fiction. I’ve been on Royal Road for something like three years now, and it took me all the way until 2022 to finish any of her stories! Obviously I’m going to read a whole lot more, though, because Riposte seriously made me happy every time I read it. An underrated gem you need to try out immediately! I’ve said
Hey y’all, my old web serial from 2017’s been edited and released on Amazon all of a sudden! Buy Rainbow Destructor or read it on Kindle Unlimited! If you didn’t get a chance to read this one before, now’s a better time than ever. If you enjoyed Thedude445 books like Her Golemancer Girlfriend, Systemless, or The Gay Gatsby, then Rainbow Destructor will absolutely be for you as well. If you did get a chance to read this before, please leave a review on Amazon! It helps tremendously. Seriously, reviews have massive impact, which also makes me realize I probably should have put this up for preorder for a couple
Now there is a Gay Gatsby audiobook for you to devour immediately! Go buy it and share it with your friends! I really hope this reaches a lot more readers now that it’s in a brand-new medium. With the Gay Gatsby audiobook, there’s a whole new swath of people that can experience Nick Carraway’s story, and I’m really excited about it. The audiobook is narrated by Keith Yeager, who is already world-famous for such works as Experimental Wuxia Novel. Please buy, please enjoy, and please spread the word. And while you’re at it…
I’d felt creative burnout before, but never like this. Never the feeling of mental exhaustion and absolute doneness that I’ve had since around October. It’s definitely Golemancer that I’ve burned out on; turns out posting chapters daily for almost 3 months and the story falling way short of expectations can hurt. But it’s not just Golemancer; it’s practically anything creative at all that my brain’s just been annoyed to think about the past few months. I haven’t written any decent blog posts since mid-October except the Katalepsis review, which admittedly was pretty awesome actually. I haven’t written any Systemless even
[GL Reviews #2. Check out all my other GL Reviews here!] [This review contains spoilers below the “SPOILERS AHOY” section—all chapters up to 15.2. If you want to stay completely safe from spoilers, read the unspoilered version of the review here.] Overview Katalepsis is the best web serial going on today. End of review. Wait, don’t actually go! You don’t even get to see the Best Girl tier list! Okay, anyway. Yes. Katalepsis is a fantastic, astounding, stupendous, wonderful, sublime, eye-popping, wowzers-level good story. It’s recommended to almost any audience, almost any web fiction reader—ESPECIALLY if you’re into the whole
Today I’m copying Ryan North and deleting my tweets. As a sentimental crotchety hoarder, I always hate the prospect of scrubbing stuff online. I like being able to search parts of my life at any given moment, and giving future generations a chance to stalk me and develop an amazing parasocial relationship with me. But with Twitter? Nah. I’m deleting my tweets because unfortunately that stuff matters. People get fired over tweets they made many years ago. Public images are formed over this kind of stuff. And I tweeted just enough not to know what stuff was in that account.
I don’t know much about Magic: The Gathering Lore, but I know one thing for certain: Ambitious Farmhand is totally non-binary. Just look at this card! Ambitious Farmhand! And on its other side, it transforms into… It’s.. This random decent uncommon from the newest Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is something nobody is talking about. It’s good for draft, and maybe for budget human tribal decks, but it’s extremely unflashy. A small, mildly useful effect, then a transformation into a mildly useful creature. It’ll probably get used in like, 500 EDHRec decks and get reprinted in Triple Masters XXL 2025. But I
ATL is over, and I won’t write it again for a while. (Please fill out the reader survey.) A tougher decision than I’ve ever had to make as an author. I love this series, and I love Morgan Harding, and I know there are some dedicated readers out there for the series. It was barely 1/4 of the way done, too. But.. ATL can’t continue in its current state. As much as I love it, there’s just some really big problems that need to be fixed. Number one, readership plummeted to near-zero. Thanks to long hiatuses and inconsistent posting, most
Like I said in my previous post, I’m doing GL reviews now whenever I finish stuff and want to write about it. Please check out every story I feature here if they catch your interest! The first book is, of course, The Saintess and the Villainess by Teddy Asplund. — [GL Reviews #1] The Saintess and the Villainess Review We get a familiar setup: A lonely young adult, Anne, meets Truck-kun and enters a brand-new world… Or, rather, the world of the book she was in the middle of reading. Only this time, our lead is a butch lesbian who’s
I’m non-binary. Today is October 11th, National Coming Out Day, and I wanted to celebrate it by talking about my gender identity openly for the first time. Until now, I’ve never come out publicly. It’s a very private thing for me and I’ve been uncomfortable talking about it, but recently I’ve come to realize that I absolutely need to. The world deserves more people discussing their experiences, so I’ll add to the list.
A short ramble about the fact that GL will be more popular. Someday. Definitely. I was just looking at Tapas and found that, currently, if you list their free novels by popularity… Well, 41 of the Top 50 are BL or M/M. Dudes who kiss other dudes is ridiculously popular on the internet as a whole, because more women read web novels than men. Heterosexual romance is popular too, especially on Wattpad. That, then, leaves GL as the smallest and least popular type of romance.* (*Romance with nonbinary characters, or polyamorous relationships, that kind of thing are even more niche,
Hey, it’s long time no see for an update on this fiction. The Glory of Bowsette reader survey I hope you’re still in the Bowsette world, three years since the meme took the internet by storm. The way this story exploded was so intense it still feels like a blur to me, and this wasn’t even a fraction of the popularity that other Bowsette fan material got. It was just THAT big a deal in September and October 2018. Over the years, a lot of people have asked for a Glory of Bowsette sequel, and I can neither confirm nor
I remember the first time you disappeared. The sun crept through the blinds—you know, those blinds I said I’d replace for two years—and speckles of light beamed against the bed, across your back. I pulled up the sheets to get myself in a comfier position and wrapped my arms around you. You let out a purr-like sigh. Whether or not you were awake, I didn’t know. As long as I had you in my grasp, that was all that mattered to me. The fluff of the pillow against my ear. The blue light of the TV we forgot to turn
It’s been almost a whole damn year since my last time dong a 2010s Retrospectives Update. Guess what? I’m still not done with these silly blogs. The previous blog post said that I’d try to finish things up by December 31st, 2020. Clearly, that didn’t happen because I still have a ton of blog posts left to write and release. This isn’t an apology, of course; I just like writing these for fun, and more content is better for readers anyway. But it’s still kinda quintessentially Thedudeian that I started making these blog posts as a short project, and it
Man, Cultivine was a story, wasn’t it? It really was a story, that’s all I’ll say. It transcended its badness to become something that was stupidly enjoyable to most readers, and gained way more success than anything of its caliber deserved. Even though it finished way back in March, I still wanted to give a little bit of insight and honesty into its extremely stupid existence. Let’s reminisce about that time when the vine invasion of Royal Road had just begun…
My newest web serial, Her Golemancer Girlfriend, is now available for you to read on several different websites. Here’s the synopsis: Visit Fleettwixt! Enjoy its state-of-the-art mana trains, its sky-high towers, its diverse cultures, and of course its countless golems waiting to do your every bidding. Life in the capital city is a paradise… …But that paradise comes at a great cost. Enter Amelia Bluewood. Half-human, half-golem. All fury. A hometown in ruins, a girlfriend missing without a trace, a system malfunctioning. She’s lost everything, but now, in Fleettwixt, she has a chance for revenge, a chance for answers, a
In Janaury 2019, Skaianet Systems Incorporated launched. Homestuck’s tenth anniversary was coming up, and so was its infamous epilogue, which meant some viral marketing was in order. Enter the Skaianet website. Things went awry, as they always do when it comes to What Pumpkin. The website is still accessible, as of this writing, but now it It’s a cheeky callback to the original comic and its early days, before the dream bubbles and God Tiers and teen relationship dramas. It’s nice but small. Secretly, though, the site was filled with easter eggs, including some extensive, insane backstory kept secret from
There were a couple nice years where the entire United States had a public enemy number one: Martin Shkreli. His company jacked up the price of HIV drugs by thousands of percent, and when questioned about it he basically laughed it off. Instead, he went on social media and became a shitpost memelord king. There’s nobody in the world more universally hated, who also got so wide a platform to project his views. I mean, this dude got summoned to Congress for a publicity stunt for politicians trying to get reelected in 2016. Then it backfired spectacularly when Martin Shkreli
There’s that wall web content creators know all too well: The engagement void. You’ve posted your first song, your first chapter, your first art, and it gets a resounding nothing. You keep posting, and start wondering if there’s anyone out there enjoying your work. Maybe you’ve got friends or family, but is anyone, ANYONE discovering it, discovering you?
Huh, I wonder who my blog audience is with all these posts. I’m approaching 150 posts written for my Thedude3445 website. Some of those are story updates, but most are blog posts. Random topics covered in my usual rambling style and then given an obligatory SEO-friendly gloss of paint to make sure they show up on Google and Bing and whatever. (On that note, let me say “blog audience” again since that’s the keyword here.) Why do I write them?
It took until 2017 for me to actually understand buses. I don’t know; there just weren’t buses anywhere I lived, not in any relevant capacity. I rode the school bus for 10 years and then took the university bus one year at college, but that was basically it. Even when I studied abroad in Nagoya, I only used one specific bus route; I got on at the first stop and got off at the last. So until I moved to Seattle in 2017, there wasn’t really a chance for me to get to know the dang things.
I’ve certainly been feeling the web fiction woes lately, I must admit. Writing itself hasn’t become the issue, definitely not. I wrote over 30,000 words of fiction in June, and I feel great about it. I’ve got two ongoing web serials, plus a new one coming extremely soon. I’ve published over 1,000,000 words in the past three years, and that’s something I try to never forget. It’s really cool! But even so, I’m stuck in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction. Part of it I can’t control, and the other part I maybe can, but at a cost.
Dredd 2 is dead. It was never even a real possibility, as much as we campaigned for it. But the first Dredd movie released in 2012 was such a phenomenal smash that it’s almost criminal that we never got one. What everyone thought would be some low-scale, low-budget, low-effort sci-fi B-Movie turned out so much better! Dredd was a pretty standard buddy cop-esque affair, with Judge Dredd and his new rookie partner getting trapped in an apartment complex and forced to fight their way out. It was a mix of Die Hard and The Raid, so you generally knew what
I’ve always hated that “curtains are blue” meme. You know the one, or else you can see it in the featured image above. It was a really popular little quote a few years ago. It reached the point where, when people learned of my Writing major, they’d reference the meme to my face! And it still happens occasionally. And the worst part about it is that the meme is complete garbage. The Curtains Were Blue Indeed It’s sort of annoying on its own, just as something reposted endlessly as a sort of sage knowledge. But the fact that it’s blatantly
I watched the 2021 Nintendo Direct from E3 today. Despite rock-bottom expectations and a waning interest in the gaming hype machine, I still woke up early to see what Nintendo would announce. My expectations were still not met. Why did I wake up early and bother to watch this? I knew it was going to suck, and it really did. It’s not as bad as the disastrous E3 2008, but it’s worse than the infamous 2015 Nintendo Direct (at least that showed new games!). In a way, it’s probably nostalgia for those years of my life where E3 was like
I’ve had a lot of smartphones and mobile devices over the past decade. For some reason, I’m going to list them to you so you can kind of see a sort of snapshot of how my life progressed as technology changed (and as I ran into some quite odd situations). Surprisingly, I didn’t break most of these! I mean, I didn’t break most of these.
Remember when Moviepass existed? How awesome was that! If you don’t remember or are reading from the future, Moviepass was a movie subscription model. Only, it worked, like, incorrectly. The model worked like this: You pay a monthly fee to get a special credit card. You apply on the app to see a movie at a certain theater, then buy the ticket with that card. Then bam, it’s free. One movie a day, so up to 30 movies a month if you’re tenacious. At first the price was steep, over $40 a month. But something happened in 2017—the price dropped.
Prose. Today I learned something very important about this very important word: The S is voiced. Pronounced like a Z. It’s [pɹoʊz,] not [pɹoʊs] like I’ve said it basically my entire life. I feel like a major, massive idiot, especially when I’m a writer. When I have a degree in Writing & Linguistics. When I’ve gone to writing conferences, and when I teach English. Somehow, throughout literal decades of using and discussing this word, I have completely overlooked the fact that the word rhymes with hose, not morose. And I’ve got to say, I’m feeling pretty morose right now, myself.
A short letter to the people I never talk to anymore: It’s a real bummer. I’m not very good at keeping friends for a long time, and I know it’s my fault. Sometimes I just spend all the mental energy I could be putting into long-term friendships and instead put it into, I don’t know, memorizing Star Wars planet names. One second, I’m talking to someone all the time, and then the next second I realize I haven’t heard from them in months. I’m really bad at this… In the age of instant messaging, it should be easier than ever
Angel Beats sucks. Like, it’s really awful. A 3/10 trainwreck and that’s if I’m being generous with my scores. Nothing makes sense in this stupid show, all the characters are one-note stereotypes, and the attempts at tragedy are so over-the-top they make me literally laugh out loud. Anyone watching the show in 2021 would surely say the same. Just recently I watched Angel Beats with friends, one episode a week for a couple months, and we had a riot just riffing on every groan-worthy attempt at emotion and every idiotic plot twist. I recommend it for all those who seek
Thanks to The Gay Gatsby, a few unreleased/unannounced projects in the works, and real life issues, my posting schedule has been erratic so far in 2021. Sorry about that! That’s all about to change. I’ve finally crafted a whole new posting schedule, and hopefully it will last the rest of 2021. I’m taking my work slow, and I think that might annoy some people, but it’s the best way, I think:
I watched the Zack Snyder Trilogy of DC movies back at the end of March, and I thought I’d share my reviews for all three here. Normally, I post my reviews to my Letterboxd diary instead of my blog, but these ended up super long. So I’m posting them here too:
On April 27th, 2011, my town of Ringgold, Georgia was destroyed by tornadoes. Ten years ago this week. I was sixteen. Close friends had houses destroyed, and several classmates lost their lives. It’s hard to understand the kinds of tragedies that befall communities until they happen to yours, and even now I’m not sure I’ve fully processed it. My high school was heavily damaged. My old middle school was mostly destroyed. The very places where I spent most of my teenage years no longer existed at all. Even the local diner named Chow Time got wiped out. Nobody was prepared