sarasusa: (YGO Shall we dance?)
[personal profile] sarasusa
Whew! It's been over a year since I last posted...but, m'dears, I do check the friendslist daily and am grateful to those who write more regularly than I.

Frankly, work has been emotionally draining beyond belief for me--it's hard to recreate myself (and my self-esteem) when I step outside the library doors each day.

Being a manager isn't perhaps the right psychological fit for me to begin with--but added to that is the fact that I'm a manager in a philosophically stunted system, with a supervisor whose supervisory style is blackboard-scratchingly different from mine. The two and a half years of experience I've gotten often feel like two and a half miles I've dug myself into a hole of despond.

Why have I stayed in this system for going-on-seven years, then? Partly, it's the fear that I'd feel worse if I quit. Partly, it's the continuing reward of serving people as a librarian. Librarianship matters to me--would matter even, I think, if I stopped being one professionally.

Still, the strain has gotten to me. I took today off from work--first holiday I've had to myself in a while. As I wandered the streets of Philly between a couple of gourmandizing stops, I realized how little time and energy I've had to be present to my drink in things like wind and sun, observe the strange and cheering shape of new holly sprouts, listen in on foreign-language conversations of outdoor diners as I pass them by, explore a different homeward route between my bus stop and my house. The coping mechanism I sometimes employ at work--emotional shutdown--doesn't really allow room for enjoyment of everyday sounds and flavors.

But enough of that! Last month, I espied this meme in [ profile] lediz's journal:

Comment to this entry and I'll pick three of your fandoms. You must then update your journal and answer the following questions:

01: What got you into this fandom in the first place?
02: Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?
03: Favourite episodes/books/movies/etc.?
04: Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?
05: Do you think that more people should get into this fandom?

I petitioned her for a selection of three fandoms of mine; she chose Bleach, InuYasha, and Yu-Gi-Oh (the latter being our primary shared stomping-ground).


(1) Honestly? I don't remember. I believe it was after my introduction to LiveJournal, so references might have started cropping up on my friendslist and enticed me to look into it. Besides, as a youth services-oriented librarian I wanted to expand the number of shounen series with which I was familiar. In any case, I first became familiar with it through the manga--the combination of slapstick humor and pathos-laden backstories inspired me to read more.

(2) Good question. It is a rather long series. The relationships are still holding my interest somewhat (and the humor still makes me chuckle), even if I get tired of the powering-up of the various Zanpaku-to and confused by the Vaizards (still don't get what's going on with them) and creeped out by Aizen and company. (What, wasn't Menos Grande scary enough for you, Tite Kubo?)

(3) Some of the earlier manga scenes are what stick most in my mind--Rukia animadverting about the design of her "human" body, the banter about her drawing skills (or lack thereof), the introduction of Kon with his unexpectedly tender side beneath the drooling sex drive, Uryu's fabulous sewing skills, Orihime's over-the-top imagination...the moving outcome to the encounter with Orihime's Hollowified brother... Rukia's fierce, tearstreaked face turned toward Ichigo as she's led off to the Soul Society for trial...the ever-lively interactions among Ichigo's family...I even remember turns of phrase, which speaks to a pretty good translation job as well as an excellent original.

(4) I've only written one Bleach fanfiction, and that was in response to a request posted to [ profile] fic_on_demand. I like how the story came out, but I don't feel the sort of ongoing emotional ownership of the characters that has prompted me to write in other fandoms. I occasionally read others' fanfic, but very sparingly.

(5) It definitely doesn't seem to be a neglected fandom, unlike many others I could mention.


(1) I was first introduced to InuYasha in 2004 or so, when three early volumes of the anime appeared on the new-materials shelf of the branch where I was temporarily stationed. Although I'd always been somewhat leery of dog- or cat-ears on humanoid heads, the blurb seemed intriguing, and I decided to give it a try. (By that time, I believe I'd already read a bit of Maison Ikkoku and Ranma 1/2, so I wasn't a complete stranger to Rumiko Takahashi's work.) The plot and music joined forces to suck me in.

(2) Here's a case where I believe I'll always love the basic crew of characters, right down to the first few generations of antagonists. I lost faith in the plot itself--gave up buying the manga when the ratio of romance and character development to combat dropped below a certain level. (Kept buying the anime, though--guess it was the music that still had me hooked.) As an active fan, though, I've mostly moved on, though I'll read an occasional fanfic for old times' sake, and still love to see cosplay and merchandise.

(3) Favorite eps: Secret of the New Moon, where Kagome first sees InuYasha in human form (really, Takahashi could have done so much more with that concept!); episode where Sesshoumaru meets Rin; Kagura's and Kohaku's attempts to break free from Naraku; the Soul Piper episode; Kaede's flashbacks to her childhood; the episode where an unconscious Kagome finds herself wandering through a version of the modern world where she's never met InuYasha.... Actually, any of the episodes where InuYasha and Kagome grow as characters instead of spinning wheels all the darn time.

(4) In this case as well, I believe I've written only one fic for the fandom--and again, it was to fulfil a [ profile] fic_on_demand request. Perhaps because the fandom seemed so vast, and because I didn't gravitate towards possible slash relationships in InuYasha (the same is true with Bleach, actually) the way I have in many other shounen manga series, I haven't felt drawn to writing wishful-thinking scenarios. (If someone could point me to a good Kagome/human!form-InuYasha fic, though, I'd leap to read it!)

(5) The fandom seems pretty well populated. :-) I've particularly enjoyed Ithilwen K-Bane's Hojo-focused This Can't Be Good: what if Hojo dropped with Kagome into the well?


(1) I became a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh! on the coattails of my library school friend K, who also introduced me to the world of yaoi fanfiction and doujinshi. I have therefore engaged with Yu-Gi-Oh!, almost from the start, through slash-colored spectacles; and boy, does it offer multiple possibilities for the slash writer! Yu-Gi-Oh! is probably tied with Utena (also recommended by K) as my first anime fandom ever.

(2) I bought Hong Kong DVDs for the anime from start to finish (with somewhat less than adequate, though frequently amusing, subtitling); I even acquired a non-subtitled version of the fabled first series. I would have considered buying a proper U.S. licensed version if the episodes came unbowdlerized and with the choice of subtitles instead of dubbing. Instead, the only licensed version available--from 4Kids Entertainment--does a striking job of slicing and dicing the storyline, as documented in this telling comparative analysis.

I think I'll forever be a fan of a lot of the opening and ending songs. I also find Kazuki Takahashi's art style (and its reproduction in the anime character designs) appealing.

I couldn't see my way clear to continuing to collect the non-music-enhanced manga, however--and the card games seemed to drag on longer in paper form. Plus, the manga doesn't include the beloved Noa and Doma arcs; the former allows the side characters many more chances to shine, and the latter gives us the beautifully slashable self-sacrifice of Yuugi for Atemu (and Atemu's subsequent emotional breakdown).

If YGO fanfics or doujinshi seem well-written, and especially if they include my favored yaoi or yuri pairings, I'll still gobble them up in a heartbeat. I've also chortled over several episodes of [ profile] littlekuriboh's Yu-Gi-Oh: the Abridged Series.

(3) Easy: All slashable and melodramatic scenes (particularly some of the Battleship ones, as well as the aforementioned Noa and Doma arcs). I also enjoy some of the early manga episodes, where a crazed-looking Yami no Yuugi shows himself to be the king of many different kinds of games--as well as the king of delivering eerily apropos punishments to evildoers. The side character interactions, too, were a bit more interesting in the first several volumes, and there were more funny side comments: "Anzu, you're a tagger?"

(4) I've posted fourteen Yu-Gi-Oh! stories to
, easily the most I've written for any of my fandoms; Utena's a distant second. I still dream of finishing my YGO Romeo and Juliet version some day (though I seem to have a hard time readying myself for the requisite character deaths). Yu-Gi-Oh! fanart also comprises two of my three DeviantArt submissions.

(5) I'd love to see some of my old favorite fanfic authors return to Yu-Gi-Oh! for another story or two. It's kind of fun spotting new fans cropping up on the old LiveJournal communities every now and then, even though I'm not active on any of them now.

Date: 2010-04-12 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey Sara! I wasn't sure about the best way to contact you, so imma try here, and I emailed you too. When can I drop off the copies of Jump? Does it cout as a library donation? My friend has a bunch of manga she wants to donate if she can get a tax write-off. Also I forget where you live. See you soon!

December 2010

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