Friday, May 22, 2015

Summer Viewing: Kuroko vs. Akashi

When anime first absorbed my attention, I started to neglect reading. I see why. Balancing multiple hobbies is like balancing multiple classes. When you throw family and work into the mix (two elements I did not have to balance during the school year), it's even more difficult. The past week slipped by before I realized it... and no, I haven't watched the next episode of Free! Eternal Summer yet. Though my attitude has improved a bit, and I'm sheepish about my disdain. I promise to be nicer whenever I get around to watching it.

So what did I watch in the past week? Kuroko's Basketball 3Baby Steps 2, and—because of all the fanart on Tumblr—the first episode of K (aka K Project).

I was several episodes behind on Kuroko's Basketball, so I caught up this past weekend. As much as I love this show, I often forget how excited it makes me. When I finally do a mini marathon to catch up, there's a lot of squealing and giggling involved. This time, I was inspired enough to take notes, so I'll focus on Kuroko's Basketball this week. There are spoilers, so consider yourself warned.

After Kuroko finishes telling the team about his experience playing under Akashi
at Teiko Middle School, they are eager to help him defeat his old captain (ep 16).

Episode 16 (66): Akashi speaks about the Generation of Miracles' drive to compete and rise to victory. He says this is why they all went to different high schools: "Someone must come out ahead, to prove that we're driven to eliminate all others. Not by reason, but by instinct."

In Akashi's twisted view, people are defined by power. It's only natural for the powerful to fight for the top position, crushing and ruling over the competition. He does not consider innate human dignity. Instead, he tends to his own dignity, basing it on athletic prowess and charisma (aka alpha dragon aura). And he expects other members of the Generation of Miracles to act similarly: fight ruthlessly, even against former friends, until someone comes to the top.

Also, in this episode, we found out why Kuroko always wears those wristbands. I can't remember his friend's name, so I won't go into it right now.

Episode 17 (67): This episode begins with Hyuuga cutting Riko's hair in his dad's barbershop. This whole scene makes me really, really happy—until the end. He comes really close to asking her out... and then she sneezes. Poor Hyuuga.

Anyway, the game against Rakuzan (Akashi's team) starts in this episode. I wrote down Akashi and Kuroko's brief conversation before the game.

"I am absolute. And Rakuzan always wins. Our basketball is absolute," says Akashi. Then he tells Kuroko, "Show me your basketball."

Kuroko responds, "No. I won't be showing you my basketball. It's our basketball."

Wow. First of all, Akashi's god complex is showing again. Sure, he trusts in his team. But he implies that their basketball is only "absolute" because he is absolute. Kuroko makes no such claims. He values, respects, and trusts his teammates. He knows their strengths and weaknesses, but he does not measure their worth by them. He lets neither glory not competition cloud his relationship with them. He doesn't put himself above any of them, even those who stay on the bench. When he says "it's our basketball," he means it it ways Akashi can't understand yet.

Episode 18 (68): Kuroko's gained too many new skills. When he couldn't do anything but pass, it was easy for him to slip under the radar and use his Misdirection. But now, people know and love him. They recognizes his impressive shooting and dribbling skills, etc.

Akashi scolds him: "By learning how to shine half-heartedly, you can no longer become the shadow." Ouch. After a bit, Riko has to pull him off the court.

Meanwhile, Akashi has another trick up his sleeve: Mayuzumi, aka Kuroko 2.0.

When Akashi started at Rakuzan, Mayuzumi wasn't even close to being a starter. In fact, he was in the equivalent of JV (junior varsity). And he was relatively content there. Akashi noticed his lack of presence, similar to Kuroko's. So he approached him, hoping to recruit him as a passing specialist. At first, Mayuzumi refused, saying, "I love myself. It would be boring to become a player specializing in passing the ball. I don't want to play in a game that badly. If I don't feel good, there's no meaning to playing basketball."

Akashi liked that answer. Why? Probably because it's the opposite of what Kuroko would say. Unlike Kuroko, Mayuzumi wouldn't have any pesky concerns about his teammates. Plus, Mayuzumi has skills Kuroko didn't when Akashi recruited him: he can even shoot like a normal player.

Izuiki (Serin's "Eagle Eye") versus Akashi (and his "Emperor Eye") in ep 19. Akashi
is actually shorter than him, but he's pretty scary.

Episode 19 (69): You can find much of my response to this episode in my post on Beneath the Tangles, "Annalyn's Corner: Chihuahuas Fighting a Lion."

I'm excited for tomorrow's (today's) new episode! I expect Seirin will starting turning the game around. I firmly believe they will win, even thought they're 25 points behind. It's only halfway through the game, after all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Reading: Harry Potter 2 & 3

This will be a quick post. I've been really busy with volunteering (required for graduation) and applying to jobs. I needed to take tonight to just rest. And I really should stop myself from reading much more until I finish this draft of my screenplay. I "only" have to finish the resolution, but I'm guessing that means at least ten more pages (I'm already past 130!), and the procrastination has been awful.

I did less reading in the past week: just Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, followed by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which I'm close to finishing.

A few notes:

Yes, The Prisoner of Azkaban includes divination. I'm not particularly offended. I don't think Rowling is advocating divination—it's just part of the magic in the world she's created.

I'm still enjoying the Harry Potter books. They are a little formulatic, like a TV series: Harry starts the new school year, meets the new Defense from the Dark Arts teacher, clashes with Malfoy and Snape, plays Quidditch, learns a little more about Voldemart and his parents, and somehow solves a mystery that the adults couldn't solve themselves. 

That's all I'm going to say, because it's almost past my deadline. Hopefully next week's post will be longer... and hopefully my screenplay will be done, so I can let myself read more. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer Viewing: Free! Eternal Summer (ep 1)

Confession: I completely forgot to watch Free! Eternal Summer this past week. I'm starting to remember why it's so hard to mix being a bookworm with being an anime fan. So now, just one and a half hours before my personal deadline, I begin watching Eternal Summer. I'm writing this while the first episode plays on my TV.

Okay... refresher on names (yes, the main boys have names usually associated with girls):

Iwatobi is the school most of the main characters go to.

Haruka (Haru) is the water-obsessed guy who swims freestyle. He's often found in the bathtub, with his swimsuit on, especially if he doesn't have access to a pool. He'll happily cook breakfast wearing just his swimsuit and his apron because, ya'know, fanservice. Also, he's the vice president of the club. His passion for swimming may be unmatched, but he's not exactly president material.

Makato is the motherly best friend. Backstroke. Team captain and club president.

Nagisa is the youthful face. Breaststroke. Treasury.

Rei is the newer swimmer who only knows butterfly. Secretary.

Matsuoka Rin is the shark toothed guy who spent time in Australia, and who I vaguely remember being a jerk last season... Ah, yes. I summarized the first season after I watched it. Here's an excerpt:

Free! was all about the drama. Basically, four guys used to be friends. One of them, Rin, aspired to be an Olympic swimmer. Back in grade school, he knew the importance of camradarie, and he convinced the other three kids to be in a medley relay with him. Then he went off to Australia for middle school, to study at some academy with a great swimming program. He finally came back during the second year of high school... but not to the same team, or even the same school, as the other three boys.

So, Rin was back in Japan, but he was kinda a callous jerk to his old buddies. He eventually joined one of their rival swimming teams, but he was still obsessed with being on the same team as his old friends. It was kinda like in TV shows where the girl is still totally in love with her ex, but gets a new boyfriend anyway, only to cheat on him with the ex... who also has a new significant other, so he's cheating, too.
For more about the first season, see my post Rewind: Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. To see my reactions as Eternal Summer unfolds, stay tuned here. It looks like this season begins the year after the first one.

Back to ep 1 of ES:

The Iwatobi crew visits Rin's school and has an impromptu race—as usual, it pretty much starts with Haru taking off his clothes (he always wears his swimsuit underneath) and preparing to dive in. While they're there, we find out that Rin is future captain of his swim team. He doesn't look too thrilled about it. Remind me... why isn't he switching schools?

Oh, a character I forgot: Rin's little sister is the manager of the Iwatobi Swim club. I don't remember her first name, but I think it was boyish.

Hey, look. She's introducing the club members to the school at the beginning of the term. Aaaand there go their shirts, leaving them just in their swimsuits. They declare their name, specialty stroke, and their "charm point" muscles, then strike a pose.

I love the students' reactions when the boys pull off their jackets.
They're having trouble getting new members, of course. Might be partially because their pool is outside, and it's still too cold. The other reason? Dude, this is a club anime. We need the second years to worry about keeping the club next year, and we need Haru to feel sad about that lack of new swimmers (think Chihayafuru 2). Heighten the drama, folks.

Their coach is Sasabe... cool, he owns the indoor swimming pool where the gang first met.

There goes Haru's shirt again. And into the pool he dives... watched by a mysterious newbie whose face we don't get to see yet.

Wait... Sasabe's first name is Goro? That makes me think of another cheesy boy-filled anime... that Goro owns a bathhouse with water from a hot spring, but he spends all his time chopping wood... this Goro owns the pool... I prefer wood-chopping Goro (from Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!).

Anyway, it looks like they're already at a swim meet.

Okay, Rin and Haru race! ... Haru's teammates call encouragments while rather sweet-arcade-ish music plays and Rin looks pretty in the water... Aww, that's sweet. They tied, setting a new record together. Then they high five...

I'm sorry, after last season, I just can't take this seriously. I know, I know, I should try... but... but... the sappiness... the friendship... "oh"... cherry blossom pool... childhood dream... "you guys"...*emotional happy-tears*..."Rin-san, go ahead!"

Talking about future plans, dreams... and there's that faraway look in Haru's eyes.

Rin asks Haru and Makato what their plans are after graduation.
I know that look in Haru's eyes. I've seen it in countless anime characters
before. It means "I know my answer will disappoint you, so I'll
just keep quiet and look a little sad." We'll find out more later,
because drama.
We get a transfer-student and blast-from-Rin's-past, Sosuke. He joins Rin's class. There's no drama yet, but the look on their faces promises a backstory.

Yay! Ending theme! This was my favorite part last season. It's like a music video... thought not quite as fun this season.

I'm sorry, I just can't take this show seriously. I think TWWK wrote several posts about Eternal Summer over at Beneath the Tangles. Maybe I'll read those as I watch. It might help me stop scoffing during every dramatic part.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Name of the Wind (finished) and Harry Potter (Years 1-1.3)

This is the second post in my "Summer Reading" column—the post title is too long without including the column title, so I think I'll leave it out from now on.

I'm loving this reading-for-fun thing. The bookworm within me needed only a little encouragement to come out from her cave. Before I knew it, I was staying up all night and letting books distract me from responsibilities. In the past week, I think I've read almost 900 pages. Five years ago, that wouldn't have been a big deal, but that was before anime distracted me. Since then, I've only read a few just-for-fun books each year. I forgot how these pages can consume me. At 4:00 am, I can still be saying, "I'm not sleepy yet. Just one more page... and another... and another..." It's worse than YouTube videos.

Anyway, this week's titles are The Name of the Wind and the ever-so-controversial Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I've also begun Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
This would be a much better picture if I had The Name of the Wind
in print. But I would have had to request it from another branch in
our library system, and then wait. So I borrowed it via Kindle instead.

I finished reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss a few days ago. It was even better than I remembered. In addition to what I talked about last week, here are a few more elements I enjoyed:

- The Name of the Wind begins in third person, following the activities in the Waystone Inn. Then, as Kvothe tells his own story, the majority is in first person. Every now and then, he pauses his story, and we enjoy another chapter in third person. This arrangement enhances the intrigue. Kvothe's adventures clearly changed him, and we still don't know exactly how.

- On a similar note, Kvothe makes an entertaining, interactive storyteller. Every now and then, he'll make a comment like, "If you're not a musician, I don't expect you to understand." When he says such things, I'm pulled back into the Waystone Inn for a moment, where I sit next to the Chronicler and Bast, listening to Kvothe tell his tale.

- The magic in The Name of the Wind often draws from science. For example, Kvothe occasionally mentions that energy can neither be created nor destroyed—a law that my Physical Science professor mentioned a few dozen times last semester.

- The poetic epilogue mirrors the prologue. It's not exactly the same, but it shares its rhythm and several lines.

Now, I can't say I love every aspect of The Name of the Wind. I feel obligated to give a disclaimer: there's sexual innuendo, and it's clearly not written from a Christian worldview. Rothfuss's approach to his world's mythology is particularly interesting. He's developed myths that draw a bit from Christianity. Some stories about the great Tehlu remind me a lot of Jesus' life on Earth, though Tehlu's mercy and justice aren't nearly as magnificently executed. (No, I won't go into the details... you know that if I start, this post will become 1,000 words longer, and I don't have time for that. But if you've read this book, please feel free to comment about it.) In addition to the basic myths, there are superstitions. And the main character, Kvothe, is very skeptical about much of it.

The Name of the Wind is only the first in the series. Kvothe will take three days to tell his story, and this book was only the first day's worth. The second book is already out, and I plan to request it at the library soon. I think Rothfuss is still working on the third book, but there is another, smaller, related book already out about one of the side characters—of course, I plan to read that this summer, too. All-in-all, Rothfuss has developed an interesting world populated with interesting characters, and I definitely recommend it to fans of fantasy.

Now, onto the second topic of the week: Harry Potter. Some of you might be thinking: "Wow, Annalyn. Are you sure? I mean, that anime stuff is suspicious enough, but Harry Potter? I heard that good and bad get mixed up in that series. And that it promotes real witchcraft. And other stuff."

Okay, I'm not exactly a Harry Potter expert. My parents didn't explicitly ban me from reading them when I was young. If I'd asked, I'm sure Dad would have given them a read and then let me at 'em. But I knew some of my friends weren't allowed to read it, so I didn't push the matter. Now, as a young adult, I'm starting to feel woefully uninformed. I'm a creative writing student who loves fantasy, and who has ties to various nerdy communities. One of my literature professors has made connections between Harry Potter and a book we read for class. I was one of few who has neither read them nor sat down to watch all the movies (though I think I've seen all or most of them at various points, mostly over my cousins' shoulders when I was living with them).

For the accusations about morality: uh... sorry, but everyone I've talked to who's actually followed the entire series seems to disagree. You'd have a much better case against Pirates of the Caribbean.

For the quibbling about witchcraft and other religious matters: Go with your conscience with this one. But from what I've seen and read, the magic in the HP series has very little to do with real Wiccan or occult practices. And J.K. Rowling has repeatedly said that she is a Christian. Granted, she's no conservative. A quick glance at quotes on Wikipedia suggests she and I wouldn't see eye-to-eye on a few religious matters. But she most certainly isn't Wiccan (contrary to one rumor that I heard years ago).

Now, a quick note on the books themselves: Sorcerer's Stone was fun.  (Yes, I know it should be called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and American publishers changed it. Since I'm already acquainted with alchemy and the philosopher's stone, thanks to Fullmetal Alchemist, the changed wording annoys me. But whatever.) It has a whimsical, story time feel. The Dursleys are absurdly cruel. I have to suspend my disbelief for them and for unreasonable teachers more than I do for the magic itself. I enjoy the world Rowling has created with wizards and muggles and their interactions.  I worried that I'd find it lacking, since I just finished The Name of the Wind, but it's plenty entertaining.

I started the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, this evening. It, too, is entertaining. There's a bit too much recap of the first book for my taste, as if Rowling expected some readers to pick it up without reading its predecessor. But that's a minor annoyance. Unless I have some self-control, I might finish this tonight.

Next on my reading agenda: the sequels to the two series mentioned herein. I probably should pick up one of the non-fictions on my To Read pile, too. Also, the plays and screenplays my Play Writing classmates are sending to me—of course, I won't write about those here. Actually, I need to finish my own screenplay... I think I'll be the last one to send mine out. I should probably set aside reading for a bit and work on writing instead.

Have you read The Name of the Wind or Harry Potter? What do you think of them?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Summer Viewing: Daiya no Ace S2 Begins with Recaps and a New Challenge

This begins my Summer Viewing column. There are several anime I want to follow, catch up on, or finally start this summer. These casual Friday posts will (hopefully) ensure that I watch what I say I'm going to watch. 

Since I was swamped with homework throughout April, I waited to start watching Daiya no Ace Season 2 (Ace of the Diamond 2). Finally, yesterday, I got onto Crunchyroll... and found out that the first three episodes were recaps. I got through the first two last night, then saved the third for when I was washing dishes today.

To be completely honest, the first recap episode did fill in memory gaps for me. I don't remember every detail of every game Team Seido plays. And I understand that, since Daiya no Ace switched time slots, there may be new viewers. But if that's the case, why did they only show the games? What about Sawamura's yips? The emotional development? Shouldn't new viewers know about these things? This is anime, not ESPN.

But, like any seasoned anime fan, I know the proper response to recaps: build a bridge, and get over it (and maybe let a complaint slip on Twitter). Recaps and fillers happen. You either roll with them or become bitter and drop half of the long-running shows on your watching list.

Fillers aside, the fourth and fifth episodes were good.

Sawamura has regained a lot of his confidence, now that he's learned his outside pitch. He learns to relax, at least in practice, and uses just the right tension at just the right time. And he is adorable doing it... until that tense moment right as he pitches. Then he's fierce.
Sawamura relaxes and begins his windup (ep 4).
As long as we're talking about Sawamura's adorableness... when he's practicing pitching, he asks the new coach (the one who intends to make Furuya the ace) to be the umpire. He calls the coach "Sergeant," and he is childishly welcoming and sincere... I thought for sure he'd soften this unpleasant character's heart, at least a little. But nope. The Sergeant's heart is ice. I bet he hates puppies, too.

But the Sergeant isn't our only concern. The Fall tournament begins, and Seido's first opponent, Teito, is strong. In the past 27 (?) seasons, they've only failed to reach nationals twice. Their pitcher, Mukai, is an incredible freshman who already played in the summer nationals. And... Mukai is a narcissist. I mean, yeah, he's good, but he's a narcissist. And he does this weird thing with his tongue, which makes me suspect he's distantly related to Midousuji from Yowapeda. I don't think he's a sadist (yet), and I don't think he's a victim of human experimentation (as I suspect of Midousuji), but there's a definite resemblance. And I don't like him.

In the meantime, Furuya is pitching well in the first game of the season, despite the rain. I try to support him, and I am glad he's growing into a fine pitcher... but I want Sawamura to become the ace. Unless Furuya gets a terrible injury, I don't see that happening. The gap between them just keeps widening. I want both of these talented first years to succeed. Why did they have to come to the same high school? Why? (Because it brings more conflict to the plot, Annalyn. If you're emotionally torn, the writer succeeded.)

I look forward to the next episode. They had to pause the game due to the rain (by the way, the animators used the rainy weather to create great visuals). This could break Furuya's focus. For his sake and the team's sake, I hope not. But... I'm hoping to see Sawamura in action in the next episode. It's time for him to get back on the mound in a tournament game and prove his worth to the Sergeant.

---

There. I'm caught up with Daiya no Ace. I'll try to stay caught up with my sports anime this summer (Daiya no Ace 2, Kurobas, and Baby Steps 2). For next Friday... I think I'll try to get Free! Eternal Summer over with. Later this summer, I might catch up with Naruto and his comrades. Might. That's a bit ambitious.

Also: Last season, I enjoyed Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, but I haven't found anything to fill my ridiculous comedy slot this season. Am I missing something? If you have any suggestions on a comedy to follow, I'd love to hear it. I prefer to avoid crudeness (I'm not a Gintama fan). Beyond that, I just need something carefree to watch once a week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Summer Reading: The Name of the Wind (Ch. 1-6)

In yesterday's post, I told you about two summer blog columns: one for books, and one for anime. Both will be casual, much like my Rewind posts. I'm starting these summer columns to keep me accountable. But I hope you'll enjoy them, too. Maybe you'll decide to check out one of the books I'm reading... or maybe you know of a book I absolutely must bump up on my priority list.

~

I'm starting with Patrick Rothfuss's The Name of the Wind—The Kingkiller Chronicle Day One.  I read it several years ago, before the sequels came out, and I loved it for the fun, excitement, and fantasy. Now, I'm reading it with a new level of appreciation. Literature classes have taught me to slow down and enjoy descriptions, to delight in wording and unique metaphors. Writing classes have taught me to notice voice and perspective, to think about pacing and characters. Last time I read The Name of the Wind, I didn't notice the details. I forgot entirely about the first six chapters. I don't think I'll forget again.

The descriptions and wording in general make me happy. Look at the first two sentences:
"It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts."
Rothfuss spends the short prologue describing the three parts, and it's rather poetic. I'm certain some elements of it are symbolic, but this is not a school paper, so I'll refrain from delving too deep. Instead, I'll skip to the prologue's last sentence. "It" refers to the third silence:
"It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die."
Whoosh. What a way to end that beautiful prologue! But the man to whom the third silence belongs is still young. His hair is "red as flame." Why would he be "waiting to die"? This is the first of many questions to cross my mind.

In the first six chapters, we learn a little bit about the main character, known in the town Newarre (wait... "no where"? "New war"? Both? Hmm...) as "Kote": He has owned the Waystone Inn for about a year, and he's careful to keep the appearance of a "simple innkeeper." He's younger than thirty, but his experience makes him old, and he already has a student (who clearly comes from his pre-innkeeper days). His red hair and green eyes get brighter and dimmer. He has experience fighting nasty creatures that the smalltown folk would call "demons." It seems obvious that he is the "Kingkiller" mentioned in the book series' name. But he won't admit anything directly for almost 50 pages.

Then, the Chronicler comes to town. He wasn't sure if he'd find the legendary man, but he came anyway, hoping to collect the story of Kvothe the Bloodless. At first, Kote refuses. He's a little angry. Chronicler could be putting him in danger, could reveal his identity and location. And his story apparently includes quite a bit of pain. But Chronicler is persuasive. Kote/Kvothe finally agrees, but on his terms: he will take three days to tell the story, starting the next morning.

At the end of Chapter Six: "The Price of Remembering," a change occurs. Chronicler muses about Kote's unusual terms and explains them by saying, "You are Kvothe." After that, "the man who called himself Kote" smiled, and "a spark was kindling behind his eyes. He seemed taller." From then on, "Kote" is Kvothe.

Names are important in The Name of the Wind—important to the main character, to the author, and thus to the readers. Kvothe chose the name "Kote" very carefully when he came to Newarre. I don't know what it means, and Behindthename.com was of no help, but hopefully I'll eventually learn its significance. But the names of things are important, too. Knowing something's name allows one to command it. I don't know the details yet.

So far, the narration has been third person limited, almost third person dramatic at times. The narrator occasionally gives insight to characters' thoughts, but not word-for-word. And often, the action plays out like a movie, and we must interpret the images without hearing the characters' inner thoughts. The effect is just removed enough to be mysterious, but it's also inviting, warm. It seems to say, "If you stick around this inn for a while, I'll get that innkeeper to open up. Then you'll hear a better story than his patrons have ever told."

Kvothe starts telling his story in Chapter 7, which I am about to read. This is where the real tale begins.

~

Coming up on my reading list:
- Finish The Name of the Wind
- The first two Harry Potter Books (I reserved them at the library, so they have to be next)
- The next installment of The Kingkiller Chronicle.
- A non-fiction... maybe I'll start with The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. It's thin—a good warm-up book.

Have you read The Name of the Wind? Did you take time to notice all the cool images and descriptions? If you haven't, I hope you'll add it to your summer reading list. Then we can have fun talking about it together.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Summer Break Blogging Plans

It's already been over two months since my last post here... wow. I haven't gone that long without posting on here since spring of 2013. But I can't say I feel bad. In the past few months, I've had plenty of writing projects to keep me busy.

My column at Beneath the Tangles keeps me accountable to think more critically about anime and faith, and I enjoy it. I have a lot of freedom with where I take each post, but I usually end up going deep. On several occasions, my Saturday morning journal and prayer sessions have related to the next Monday's blog post. 

In other news, I turned in Draft 0.9 of my screenplay last week. I can't quite consider it the first draft, since several scenes are still just outlines. But I will finish it in the next few weeks! Then I'll set it aside for a couple weeks to let it cool off before I start revisions. This project started as homework, but now that the semester's over, I can take it as far as I want. I think it might work better as a book, so I'll probably rework it into novel form, starting later this summer. I might start a prequel, too. Thanks to the prewriting homework, I know the main characters' parents' generation pretty well. They intrigue me. After all, they're the ones who let the kingdom fall into so much evil.

So, that's part of my plan for the summer. But I have other plans, too, and I think I'll use this blog to keep me accountable to them. I'm such a terrible procrastinator, I have to be kept accountable even to fun things. 

1. I'll finally watch some of those anime I keep saying "I'll get around to" (Free: Eternal Summer, Psycho Pass, a few Miyazaki films...). Also, I'll get caught up and stay caught up on my sports anime (I had to let some of them go in order to focus on school). To that end, I hope to run a weekly column throughout break to keep me accountable. Maybe I'll title it "Anime Report." I'll tentatively schedule it for Fridays, but I can't set anything in stone until I know where and when I'll be working this summer.

The sticky note on the shelf is for anime: old shows to try or to
finish, shows I'm already following, and shows to re-watch.
2. I'm going to read. I already have two piles, labeled with sticky notes: "Summer Reading: Non-Fiction" and "Summer Reading: Fiction." The second sticky note also lists books I plan to check out from the library. Once such library book is The Name of the Wind, the first installation of the Kingkiller Chronicle. I just started re-reading it, and I plan to read its sequels. However, I need a little help re-awakening the bookworm in me. To that end, I'll start a weekly post series, in which I say something short about what I'm reading. 

3. I will write fiction! In addition to expanding and revising the screenplay I wrote about above, I hope to start brainstorming a new long story (I'm not sure if it will be a screenplay or a novel). Maybe I'll come up with something more lighthearted this time. I'll also refine a short story I wrote for a different class this past semester... and look into contest possibilities. I should probably write another short story this summer, too. 

I know I won't get to read and write everything I hope to. I need to get a job, after all, and I like to spend time with family. But I'll make a concerted effort, and blogging will help keep me accountable. So, here's a tentative blogging schedule... I'll at least hold to it this week:

Wednesday (tomorrow/tonight): Summer Reading. First up is The Name of the Wind. It will be a very short post, I think.

Friday (maybe 7ish PST): Anime Report. Don't know what will go on there this week, but I suspect it will involve a sports anime or three.

Monday afternoon: As usual, a post will go up in my corner at Beneath the Tangles.

We'll see how my volunteer hours and eventual job affect my plans in future weeks. 

What are your goals this summer? Do you have a to-read or to-watch list? Maybe we can plow through some of these titles together.