Monthly Archives: November 2010

My Love/Hate (Mostly Hate) Relationship with Bleach

I should stop watching Bleach. I’m not really into it anymore, but I keep watching, hoping that it’ll get better. It doesn’t and I still watch. *sigh*

It’s kind of like this: there’s this guy you’re going out with, right? You’ve been dating him for a while and you started off with lots of things in common, but that’s all gone now. Whatever you initially saw in him no longer exists (if it was ever there to begin with) and he’s boring you and the sex is mediocre at best and you should just dump him. But you put [insert number of months/years] into the relationship and turning your back on him now seems like…a waste. A waste of time, of affection, of everything. So you hold on, constantly wondering if something good is just around the bend, something that will get the two of you back on track to relationship awesomeness. OK…so it’s not exactly like that, but you get my point.

I think I feel this way because Ichigo’s “train harder/get stronger/fight tougher/last longer” schtick is wearing me down. I get that his dad’s a shinigami and that cleared up a little of the mystery of his powers but I still feel that his prowess is unjustified. The lengths to which the anime goes to hammer home the idea that believing in one’s self is the only true source of power is very Disney-esque (it’s the same thing that annoys me about Naruto…at least that series has good fan fiction, which in many respects, is essentially its saving grace).

The one bright spot for me as of late is Aizen’s revelation of his puppet master-like manipulations of Ichigo’s fights. Even if it was a lie, I enjoyed the look on Ichigo’s face. (It said, “Is it possible that I’m not awesome all on my own?”) Aizen’s cruelty balances Ichigo’s schtick and I hope that when he dies, he at least goes out in a blaze of glory befitting a villain of his caliber.

Plot aside, at least I’m still getting some decent songs out of this series:


Fan Fiction Friday!!!

OK, so work has been kicking my butt lately and I’ve slacked off on posting all month. For the three people who read this blog, I’m sorry. For the one person who likes my Fan Fiction Friday recommendations, I’m extra sorry. Let me make it up to you with this entry. Since I missed an FFF post a couple of weeks ago, I’m going to give you two recs (two!) for the price of one. They’re both Kakashi/Sakura, of course, because they’re my standby couple.

Up this week are two dystopian works-in-progress, both of which ponder what would happen if Danzo was in charge of Konoha for any significant amount of time. The answer? Corruption, mass destruction, and chaos. In Cynchick’s “Will of Fire,” Tsunade’s still healing from facing off against Pein and Danzo eighty-sixes her before she has a chance resume her role as Hokage, using his ROOT forces to take control of the village. But the coup doesn’t stop with Tsunade. No, he wants just about everyone who’s loyal to her taking a dirt nap (Kakashi, Naruto, Shikamaru…the list goes on and on). The survivors escape and start to mount a resistance to win back Konoha from the evil dictator.

So far, seven chapters in, Kakashi and Sakura have only shared a couple of moments (including a very touching scene where he confides in her in front of the cenotaph), but it really doesn’t matter because I’m drawn in by the larger story more than the KakaSaku aspect of it. Will Naruto’s rebel army be victorious? Will Hinata get caught spying on Danzo? Is Karin really loyal to the cause or is she just waiting for the perfect time to rat everyone out? Where the author is going with this is all a mystery, but I’m happily following along.

While Cynchick’s Danzo tries to terminate all remnants of Tsunade’s regime with brute force in “Will of Fire,” SilverShine’s Danzo has a different way of destroying his enemies in “Scarlet Scroll.” This story is based on SilverShine’s short fic “Fraud” and in it, Danzo’s forcing kunoichi to, um, “acquire” the jutsus of enemy ninja through seduction missions. The hope is that each seduction will end in pregnancy and the pregnancy will produce a child who takes after his father, thus making him or her an asset to Konoha’s military defenses. He’s clearly trying to break both Sakura and Kakashi simultaneously by sending her on one of these missions and making Kakashi act as her handler. Sakura can’t disobey his orders and live, and Kakashi is completely helpless, unable to protect her from what’s being forced upon her. After some pretty intense interactions with her target, she gets the bright idea that if Kakashi impregnates her instead, then she can stop whoring herself out, they can go home and all will be right with the world. Right? Probably not. Nine chapters in, the deed is done and I’m impatiently waiting for SilverShine to post her next chapter.

I thought long and hard about whether to recommend this one. It’s fairly graphic and it reminds me a lot of Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale, in which all aspects of women’s lives — including when and with whom they have sex — are tightly controlled by men. Some scenes are kind of squicky but it goes with the territory, I suppose; the storyline itself is a bit squicky. I would imagine that a truly loyal ninja would feel obligated to do a great deal of repulsive things for his or her village, including use one’s body to obtain information. (And, really, is that more or less disgusting than teaching children to kill?) I generally try to avoid reccing fics that are extremely explicit, but SilverShine’s work is so challenging, so thought-provoking, that it practically recommends itself. Suck up the squick and concentrate on the narrative.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Scarlet Scroll. Rated M (but it’s almost an NC-17). Grade: A.

Will of Fire. Rated M. Grade B+.

Attention KakaSaku Lovers!

It's Kakashi...on a pumpkin!

Happy November, fellow fangirls! I’ve just discovered that the gals over at the KakaSaku LiveJournal community have another awesome challenge going on now through November 11. It’s the Underneath the Underneath Anonymous KakaSaku Challenge and there are a boatload of participants. I can’t vouch for any of the writers, but here’s to hoping I find something interesting. So excuse me because I’ll be over here reading KakaSaku fics until my eyeballs bleed.