Me: I think I just found a manga-loving black nerd to love up on me. *fist bump*
Friend: A manga-loving black nerd, huh? That sounds rare. I’m impressed.
Me: I know, right?!? He’s close to my age, gainfully employed, and seems to have some social skill.
Me: I think he might be CCPM (company Christmas party material).
Friend: Kinda sounds too good to be true.
Me: Yea, I know. He probably has a girlfriend or lives with his mother or something.
Friend: You’ll never know unless you call him! Good luck!
Two weeks later
Me: I didn’t call.
Friend: Why haven’t you contacted the MLBN yet? He’s probably crying in his Pokemon pillowcase.
Me: LOL Because I’m a big ol’ wuss. Plus, you can’t be too forward with nerds. You’ll scare ’em.
Friend: Hints to give boys that should result in them asking you out: #1 call him (what have u go to lose?) #2 flirt (come on…just a little) #3 be funny (everyone likes free entertainment).
Me: I’m calling when I get off of work! Boom.
Friend: YES!!! Make that call!!! I am cheering you on!
I still haven’t called. *sigh*
The other day, I was re-watching the Naruto Shippuden episode of Asuma’s funeral, the one where Shikamaru cries. Ugh, whenever I see it, it leaves me a bit teary eyed…it also leaves me feenin’ hardcore for a good Shika/Kurenai fic. As much as everyone likes the idea of Shikamaru with Temari, he would not trifle with young women who are barely out of their teens. Under all of his laziness, Shika’s an old soul and he should be with an older woman.
In PSITeleport’s “One Last Smoke,” it’s the fifth anniversary of Asuma’s death, and Kurenai coaxes Shikamaru into smoking a cigarette for her, Asuma’s brand. He exhales the smoke and she breaths it in, and the act smacks of desperation, the need to have something she can never have again weighing down her soul. Although married to Temari, Shikamaru seems to fully understand that even with something as innocuous as smoking a cigarette, he is carrying on an emotional affair with Kurenai. They are bound to one another; Asuma’s death saw to that.
Of course, hooking up with her dead baby daddy’s student would be thoroughly frowned upon and Kurenai would never confuse Shikamaru’s loyalty to Asuma and dedication to their child with romantic love for her. But we can still pretend that she would. *sigh*
Rated T. Grade: B
And yours truly is walking by in the background. I’m immortalized on YouTube!
So I’m going to my first anime convention today and I’m more than a little nervous. What if I’m the oldest person there? What if I’m too dressed up? The last thing I want is to look like someone’s mother. What if I’m not “down” enough? The fact that I’m not only going as a fan but as a writer (I’m doing a piece on the con for Columbus Monthly magazine) throws an extra monkey wrench in the works. In preparation for this story, I’ve found that anime/manga fans aren’t very receptive to the media, which is understandable, I suppose…especially when nearly every story written about them is condescending in some way. *sigh* I guess I should stop my whining and go and see what happens. Matsuricon, here I come!
You don’t know what love is/
Until you’ve learned the meaning of the blues/
Until you’ve loved a love you’ve had to lose/
You don’t know what love is
— “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” Billie Holiday
My first reaction to Cowboy Bebop was, “F*ck you, Spike Spiegel. You could’ve been happy.” Now that I’ve watched the series with a few more years of experience (and brushes with heartache) under my belt, I’m no longer sure that statement is true. A tad bit of what would’ve eventually turned into unresolved sexual tension with Faye and a BFF in Jet could never compare to the love Spike feels for Julia, no matter how much time passed. I did realize one thing, though: I could totally ship him and Faye. That’s where Bob5’s “You Can’t Take It With You” comes in.
The story takes place after the last episode of the anime series. Spike is alive and kicking, and comes back to the Bebop to find Faye a mess, still trying to get over his decision to go on that suicide mission to fight Vicious. It’s been a year since he “died,” and she and Jet are still catching fugitives, trying to move on. There’s a big plot device having to do with an immortality drug because years after the show officially ended, CB fans still can’t process the fact that Spike is never coming back. (You can argue that the ending is ambiguous until you’re blue in the face. He’s dead. Get over it.)
The story is 45 chapters long and could be shorter. It meandered a bit and the use of lyrics from entire songs at the beginning of each chapter is kind of annoying, but this one really isn’t about the plot, per se. For me, the depiction of Spike and Faye’s budding relationship in “Can’t Take It With You” is nightmarish perfection. Throughout the series, the two characters struck me as being damn near incapable of dealing with their emotions. Spike’s something of a nihilist (except when it comes to Julia) and Faye’s a shrew, so making them a couple is asking for nothing but angst….bitter, drunken, hate-filled angst. And, oh, does Bob5 deliver.
Rated M. Grade: B-
(FYI: There’s a boatload of cursing and lots of illusions to smex but no actual smex scenes)