Fullmetal Alchemist vs Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist: Season One Box Set Movie Poster

VS

When I recommend an anime to someone, the one that’s always on the tip of my tongue, ready to go, is Fullmetal Alchemist. Then I hastily add that he or she should watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. “Make sure it’s Brotherhood.”

Soooo. . . what’s the difference?

My sister originally recommended that I watch FMA, adding, “But watch Brotherhood, not the original!” Of course, my question was “What’s the difference?” She vaguely told me that the plot was deeper and better in Brotherhood. I took her word for it and devoured all sixty-four episodes in a week. It was honestly the best anime I’ve ever watched, in my humble opinion.
Recently, I watched the original FMA. I was surprised at how much they differed from each other. There are major points in each that the other leaves out. Okay. Let’s start.

First off, Brotherhood is a lot longer. The plot extends further and has more characters and altogether more fleshed out. The original anime feels filler-ish for a while in the beginning, while Brotherhood jumps into the larger plot quickly.

Fullmetal Alchemist left me feeling kind of let down at the end. It was almost a cliff-hanger ending, in that you don’t really find out what happens. The climax appears in an instant and vanishes quickly, leaving the audience with a brief summary that basically said, “and things are more or less back to normal, except for [spoiler].” Things were wrapped up in a movie released later called “The Conqueror of Shamballa.” It was extremely frustrating and a little depressing. On the other hand, the ending of Brotherhood was totally perfect. It fit really well and was satisfying. Of course, not everything turned out peachy, but it worked.

According to my sources, the original show was made while the manga was still being released, and thus, the direction of the plot was unknown. This is why it turned out the way it did, sort of splattered all over the place, without seeming to have a driving point or plot arch. Brotherhood was made later, and thus the plot was spread out logically in a way that ran smoothly, climaxed properly, and came to a logical and satisfactory ending.

Conclusion? Watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

~Raven

Novel-Writing Frustrations

Here I shall list the most frequently frustrating problems I have while writing, and what I do to solve these problems.

1) Laziness. This is by far the largest one.  Symptoms include lack of inspiration, boring yourself with anything you can find to avoid writing, banging your head against things, and possibly pulling out your hair. The common name for this condition is “Writer’s Block.” However, I do not believe in such nonsense. There is no such thing as writer’s block. (Yes, I’m one of “those guys.”) “Writer’s Block” started as a conspiracy, and now whenever someone doesn’t feel like writing, they have an excuse not to. “Writer’s Block,” they say. Lies! Don’t believe them! The only way to get around this is to write! If you call it “Writer’s Block” and wait for it to pass, you’re only digging yourself a hole. Writing is the only things that will make it go away, so telling yourself you can’t doesn’t do any good. My mentor once said something to the extent of the following. “A writer’s mind is like an attic. In the middle of the attic is a treasure chest that is your potential writing ability. The longer you go without writing, the more junk piles up around that treasure chest, and you have to dig through it to get to the good stuff. The only way to clear all that junk out is write it away.” So whenever you feel a bout of laziness, or what you might call “Writer’s Block,” start writing. Anything. Even a shopping list. Write the alphabet, or describe the first thing you see in minute detail, down to the way you image it might taste. Write a memory, which is easy because you don’t have to decide where you’re going with it. Just write. Truth is, this list I’m writing now is my own attempt to get over my writing laziness.

2) Absence of ideas. Now, this isn’t hard if you’re looking for something to spark a story, just a beginning. There are plenty of online story generators that can give you ideas, or writing exercises, or other things. Truth is, I usually have far too many of these and can’t manage to balance them all at the same time, and so store them somewhere until I’m done with what I’m working with. Sometimes, the best thing to do in this situation, is to consider your novel idea as a short story, and if it would work, write it that way instead. Okay, on to the actual topic. This “absence of ideas” usually comes in the middle of the novel. You know that your story is meant to be a novel, and maybe you have a vague outline after the first five chapters, but you just can’t pin down exactly what is supposed to happen. You need something solid–an event on the timeline instead of the timeline, itself. If this were Spanish class, a preterite verb instead of an imperfect verb. Alright, so what are you going to do? Think about things in real life, and maybe twist them around to suit your story. Or, if you’re looking for conflict, think “what is the worst possible thing that could happen right now?” This is a pretty tricky one to get around. Plot isn’t something you can sit down and force out, like an essay. Sometimes you just have to wait for it to come to you. Maybe you should read a book, preferably one of the genre you’re writing.

3) Gaps. You know your plot, have a solid outline, and are typing away at chapter fifteen. You just can’t wait to get to chapter sixteen, when something really big is going to happen. And suddenly, your fingers stop, and you realize that you’ve finished whatever it was your characters were just doing. Now what? What happens in-between? How do you get your characters from one point to the next? First, think about when you see transitions in published books. They’re usually used for pretty large gaps of time. Plot progresses quickly between one event and another. That’s because transitions are boring. Nobody wants to see your character walk down the hallway to their next class, or ride in a carriage from one end of city to the other, unless something significant happens during that time. Find a way to keep things flowing straight into the next scene without stopping to look at the trees, or grass, or flowers. Unless they matter, of course. This is one time when it’s okay to tell instead of show.

Those are the biggest problems I have on a regular basis. What sort of problems do you face when writing a story?

~Raven

Poetry?

Hello! So lately we’ve been covering poetry in my English class. I’ve gotten to write a few, and I thought I’d share some with you~ (oh gosh, all this rhyming is getting to my head I think)

How I Don’t Need You
By T.

Its not fun being replaced
No sir its not
But theres one thing you forgot
I have the birds and the trees
And most impotently I have me
But you do not
Remember it next time you knock
That I always keep my door locked
Don’t worry it’s not me its you
No need to think it through
You no longer need me?
Well good.
I have things to do.

Here is a Christmas greeting poem:

By T.

A Merry Christmas
From the Doctor to you
From every galaxy and every planet
“The Doctor,” they say “Doctor who?”

For always around this time of year
The Doctor comes to save the holiday cheer
In the Tardis that’s always Tardis Blue
He stops the aliens from killing me and you

With Donna, Martha, Rory, Amy and Rose
On Christmas back to Planet Earth, London, England he goes
He might be wearing pajamas or a bow tie
it won’t matter either or…
If you see him on the Titanic, just remember he’s a time lord

So sit by the fire with fishfingers and custard
with your family and friends
And listen for the sound of the Tardis outside
For maybe the Doctor will stop by for dinner just this once
And just maybe He’ll need you at his side

Here is a poem about Socialism to brighten up your day! ciismloSa is Socialism mixed up btw. Scronmemos is commoners mixed up and Mosaic Sail Mi is I am socialism mixed up. =) just thought I’d clarify it a bit.

ciismloSa
By T.

There once was a place
A fantastic place
Where the scornmemos
With their silly, happy, flappy faces
Played in the lulgrid grasses

They were so carefree
Until one day you see
They got into a fight
About which one was wrong
And which one was right

But the fighting kept on
Over this thing and that
They fought over land
They fought over knickknacks

Until one day a short, fat scornmemo said
STOP!
I’ve had enough!
Listen to what I’ve got
His name was Mosaic Sail Mi
And he had the cure
To all the arguing debris

If Mosaic Sail Mi took all of their things
From the socks on their feet to their muddle ming beans
Then handed them out equally
By golly they would quabble and quarrel no more!
Because all of the things they’d been quabbling for
Would be everyones
Not theirs anymore

Heres one last one that is actually for my story not English class…

The Quiet Candle:

By T.

A Farer Fellow Still he Lay
Better he know up from down
Right he stepped on fevered ground
And left he lay on coldest ways
Firsts he found the antler a three
To drag on mountain high
Wither away on springs dawning
Run on autumns sigh
Held three to precious rosy skin
Aglow with new delight
Save the willow and bring the snow
On marrow’s be the divide
Be gone you will if petals grow
Still be quite in candle glow
Lights the day the man grew old
Left me here in winter cold

Thoughts? Let me know which one you like best~

AMVs

What truly makes an amv good? Well, let’s take a look. This is a list of some of the best AMVs I’ve ever seen. I’ll give short review of each.

This amv does a brilliant job with the editing. If you pay close attention, there are all sorts of great little details. Unfortunately, the song gets stuck in your head really easily. So here’s another one to hopefully get it out of your head.

Yes, I know, that’s even more annoying, isn’t it?  The fast pacing and the timing and the editing of this were all amazing. It’s funny, too.

This is a really old amv, but it’s still awe-striking. I’ve never seen the anime, but it still made me laugh. The great thing about this is that the only editing is with timing and the like. There are no effects.

History with anime? I’m surprised there isn’t much Hetalia. This one also involved Doctor Who, if you pay close attention.

This one is wonderfully creative. Creativity really matters. It makes it interesting.

So, what do you think makes a great amv?

That’s all for now, but I might put up more later.

~Raven

Rebellion Leader Wanted

Something that I wrote for a school assignment (hah! Who said school always involves mundanity? Not the Ninja Gang! Adding surrealism to teachers’ lives since… whenever it is that we formed)

Anyway…

To Whom it May Concern:

I happened to be walking down Main Street seventeen and three-fourths days ago (at the time of writing), and saw your bright red advertisement (with a slight grammatical error in the third row) stating (in no uncertain terms) that your rebellion is in desperate need of a leader. Well, in that matter I believe I can be of some service. While I haven’t lead any rebellions before, I do have some tactical planning expertise; I have read twelve books concerning the tactics used by Caesar Silverburg in the Adiamic Wars (against battering rams and such), as well as studied (quite exhaustively, I might add) General Stickler’s On the Proper and Creative Deployment of Calvary in Foggy Conditions.

On the subject of the other requirement mentioned in you bright red advertisement, I believe I am both charismatic and an excellent cook. I have written exactly fourteen speeches to date, nine of them on inspirational subjects (with various degrees of inspiration resulting). Plus, I believe in learning on the job, and I can quickly adapt in any situation where a rousing speech might be required. I am also a very experienced and and precise cook, with ten years, six months, and three weeks of experience (I began to cook at ten and one half years of age), and I follow all recipes with utmost accuracy.  Fernando Pasch (a distinguished battering ram designer, my younger sister, and Dame Huga of Ravensbrook can all attest to the quality of my cooking, as well as any other personal references you might requires.

I hope that you will seriously consider all of my qualifications, and grant me the honor of leading you growing rebellion.

Sincerely,

Eiran Galahad Chalice

Bit of a character, isn’t he… So what do you think- should he get the job?

In which we are absent in more ways then one?

Hello my fellow tea and coffee enthusiasts~ Today I’m drinking coffee instead of tea because school stress levels are high. I’m sure you know what I mean. Certain *cough* history *cough* teachers feel it is their duty to make things as boring and time consuming as possible by assigning busy work and doing nothing but recapping what we read about at home the next day at school. I being the ever loyal procrastinator have come here to update and procrastinate.

I do apologize for our absentness, we’ve been absent from here and absent of mind. At least I have about the second part. We’ve been busy with things like student council (three of us) and college finals (two of us) and over procrastinating (one of us) Frankly I do no know what the other two have been doing, but I assure you even Thomas was doing something.

On other news it is now December, and that means holidays and snow… or so we like to think. It’s not like we live in Hawaii or California, it should atleast be cold outside. But nooo, I went outside barefoot and sleeveless today and didn’t even get chilled. Ha! An ever Happy Holidays to you and may all you ski seasons be white.

With much love and simplicity…

~T

Heres an awesome song: