*Warnings of a spoiler: his name is Kevin Card and he’s generally kind of a douche-bag, especially when he writes about himself in a self-deprecating manner.*
Hello again folks, it’s my last Walking Dead review until this summer when the spin off series comes out. I just wanted to take the time to say thank you to my readers on WordPress and on my Facebook who comment regularly. Special shout out to bloggers edwinlives4ever and listentothebabe for their funny and interesting discussions on my WD posts. Also a special shout out to blogger Dominique for consistently liking all of my posts since he subscribed. You guys win my corner of the internet.
Well folks, it was almost 24 hours ago and I’m still taking in the whole experience of how epic this entire season was. It literally opened with a bang (the destruction of Terminus), followed by some annoying “cops are control freaks” filler in the middle, and closed out with many plot resolutions and the start of a new plot with Morgan coming back. The final episode to me was better than the season opener for how much suspense it created from a single “public forum” debate.
If my readers want a plot synopsis, here you go. Otherwise, I’ll just touch up on what I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy.
What I enjoyed: It was great seeing Pete get his full on comeuppances by having Rick shoot him in the head while being wrestled to the ground by Abraham, it was awesome to see Morgan again and finally figure out who the those Wolf freaks were. I also enjoyed seeing Glenn and Nicholas resolve their differences after almost nearly killing each other. It’s awesome to see how far Carol’s character development has come this season. Lastly, I love how they resolved every single plot point in season 5.2 in the last half hour at the forum. I’ll also credit the writers misleading us thinking that Rick was going down the same path as The Governor for a while, but they were actually foreshadowing the death of Reggie.
What I didn’t like: Seeing that Morgan didn’t finish off the Wolves when he had the chance, this is only going to come back and bite Morgan and all of Alexandrea in the ass next season (especially if you’re familiar with the comics). I didn’t feel it was necessary for father Gabriel to loose his sanity and have him bully Sasha, who’s also been loosing her grasp on reality. Though the scene between Father Gabriel and Sasha did create some better resolutions later on in the episode. Not much else to complain aside from seeing how quickly the red poncho guy got killed off (distant Star Trek reference?)
I was glad to be wrong about Daryl biting the dust, even though that scene in the van was a real tease for some people who were expecting him to die. Also, I feel really sorry for Deanna now since she’s basically lost the majority of her family. This will probably spell trouble down the road for Alexandrea.
As season 5 has closed, I bid farewell to what has been the best season of The Walking Dead to date. Many have said Walking Dead can’t measure up to other AMC fan favorite like Breaking Bad, but it doesn’t have too anymore. Walking Dead is simply in a separate league and genre of badassery than Breaking Bad was.
In honor of the new villains for next season, here’s an industrial metal song that I found while browsing Youtube earlier today.
*Emergency, emergency, spoilers are imminent. I repeat, spoilers are imminent Prepare to man your keyboards and be warned of butt-hurt comic fans*
I enjoyed this weeks episode simply for how many subplots they weaved together so quickly into just one hour. Before I go into my review, I want to touch up something that annoys me about the Fandom community: “source material loyalty” rants. For the record, I’ve read the first two compendiums of The Walking Dead comics and deeply enjoyed them. It’s fair to say that I like the show and the comics equally (but for different reasons). I get why many comic book fans say there’s too much filler in the show, but just because something is based off something else doesn’t mean it has to be 100% accurate to the source material. TWD show may deviate from the comics, but it’s probably the most loyal live action adaption of a zombie story in the history of zombie media; especially compared to the horrible Resident Evil film franchise and that god awful movie World War Z (which was basically a poor Max Brooks fan fiction).
As I step off my writer’s soapbox, I shall now step back onto my critiquing soapbox. As mentioned previously, this week’s episode had a lot going on in it. To summarize, the episode plays out showing how Rick’s group is adapting to life in Alexandria, and how most of the group is starting to enjoy life there. The exception that we’re seeing to this rule is Sasha who’s sharp shooting skills are sharp, but her grasp on reality is still dull. We see that Sasha is still haunted by all the recent deaths of her friends and loved ones, as she pointlessly shoots old photographs and gets royally pissed off at the people at the cocktail party later in the episode. Meanwhile Rick, Carol, and Daryl are letting Alexandria grow on them (but not without suspicion). Daryl has come out of shell and with help from Aaron to become another recruiter for Alexandria. Lastly, Carol scared the ever living Be-Jesus out of a child by making a speech that reminds me heavily of something Freddy Kreuger would say. Carol made this speech to hide the fact that she was stealing guns from the weapon storage building.
The only thing I didn’t really enjoy was seeing Buttons the horse become zombie food, and maybe how Sasha is becoming so emotional at this point (not that I blame her). Otherwise this episode was chocked full of awesome things such as getting to know Aaron’s back story, seeing the kiss between Aaron and his husband for how it pushed a boundary among the more politically conservative television audiences, and the kiss with Rick and Jessie for it’s shock value in how Rick has been cold and distant towards female characters for the last two seasons. Carol’s speech was also something that will go down in the history of this show as something that evokes fear into your soul (especially since the zombies have lost their shock factor by this point). Lastly, I enjoyed seeing Daryl warm up to the idea of helping Alexandria out by Aaron’s continued kindness towards him.
By the looks of things, some major stuff has yet to play out between all of these intersecting plot lines and the fact that we only have three episodes left in the season. Namely what’s going with Rick’s grasp on power, Sasha’s emotional state, and why the hell that Walker had a “W” on it’s forehead. Judging by the preview of next week’s episode, it would seem that another heard of walkers is making their way towards Alexandria, which we shall see how well the walls could withstand such an onslaught.
Speaking of forgetting and love story plots, here’s a badass song by Apolocayptica and Christina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, “SOS (Anything but Love)” that reminds of the emotional struggles of characters on TWD:
Local Texas band Lotus Effect reached out to me on Twitter a few months ago, and I finallyfound the time to check out the album they sent to me to review on my blog. Since it’s taken me a while to start this review I have decided to do a song by song break down like one of my old school blog reviews. What’s written below is my live reaction to hearing each song for the first time.
1. “God Particle”- An interesting intro that grabs your attention with thought evoking lyrics about God and scripture. This song uses spoken words for the vocals, starts off mellow with guitars on reverb and then stops into a synth build up, then climaxes into a progressive classical piece reminiscent of an old church chorale from the Baroque era (just dark, not abstract). This piece strikes as a daring way to open an album, and doesn’t disappoint. My interest is garnished, and I look forward to the next song that it flawlessly transitions into.
2. “Window Panes”- This song kicks up as the intro fades a more recognizable alternative metal opening that builds into a heavy metal moshing groove. The singer kicks in at 30 seconds, demonstrating how well he can go from singing to shrieking like Rob Halford from Judas Priest. The instrumentation sounds like modern metal, but also has some more alternative influences. This piece is heavy in the same way that Tool’s “10,000 Days” album was heavy in that it makes you want to mosh, but also makes your jaw drop at all the intricacies thrown in. Overall, this six minute song keeps you on your toes and does not let you down.
3. “Hangman”- This piece reminds me stylistically of Iron Maiden meeting bands like Breaking Benjamin and 30 Seconds to Mars in that it progresses on a steady rhythm, and has emotion filled vocals that tell the tale of man forsaken by society and that he will miss his lover. This piece comes off sounding slower in tempo than the previous two songs, but still comes off as pretty strong to me in how the vocals of a story of the forsaken man against the will of an executioner. Not my favorite song, but not the worst thus far.
4. “Try Harder”- This song stands apart from the others as starting off mellow and quickly becomes more dramatic as the song progresses towards the chorus. The song tells of a man who can’t forgive his ex-lover who has wronged him in a deep way. The piece speeds up and slows down in certain parts continuously to build and resolve tension, and the singer’s screaming is especially note worthy in this song.
5. “Totality”- The lead single and name sake of the album displays the band in full form, with hard hitting guitar riffs and riffs that build up into a climatic chorus, an experimental break down with a synthesizer solo, and a dramatic closing in the song where everything slows down. This is my favorite track off of the album so far because this song is just so epic, I love the outro and how this song progresses into something so different then you will hear in a lot of other metal today.
6. “Pumapunku”- In an intro that makes me think of the old west meeting prog rock, this is the most groovy piece on the album thus far and proves to be an epic instrumental to bridge the first half of the album to the second. This piece makes me want to kick ass inside of a mosh pit, but also to contemplate the mysteries of life. A short, but incredibly sweet instrumental.
7. “Coronium”- This piece stands out as a more down tempo and low key feel, but still retains it’s heavy sound when the distorted guitars kicks in. The most notable thing for me in this song is how the bass guitar makes a counter melody alongside the vocals rather than the guitars. I’ll admit that this particular song’s my least favorite on the track so far, but that’s not to say it’s an awful song. This song does grab my attention, and I can tell the band put their hearts into it, I’m just not a fan of how the verses sound with how syncopated every instrument sounds (that they’re off beat rhythmically vs the other songs).
8. “Saviour”- This next song sets itself apart from the previous seven as being the most straightforward thrash metal inspired piece, and also breaks the feeling on musical continuity. With how the first half of the song chugs along like a slow but certain freight train, while the second half sounds reminiscent of Tool’s album “10,000 Days”. While I didn’t like what “Coronium” was going for, this song astounds me with how well Lotus Effect is combining two different musical styles so seamlessly. This song is definitely the game changer in the feel of the whole album, another solid track.
9. “Promise”- Another different piece, this song is more of an alternative rock song that sounds heavy and exciting, but doesn’t strike me as an aggressive song (think Coheed and Cambria). This song is actually very down key through out the whole thing, and makes me think of a man singing to his lover about his struggles to be on this earth. I love this song for the story the lyrics tell, even if it is one of the longest pieces on the album.
10. “Cutting”- This piece opens on a piano playing that sounds incredibly reminiscent of the opening of the Italian Aria “Sebben, Crudele” by Antonio Caldara’s, then fades into a separate fast riff song that is more in the style of speed metal. Another six minute song, this one is like several pieces put together as a master medley of strong and heart filled guitar playing. Compilation style songs aren’t always my thing, but Lotus Effect pulls things off well with how this piece refers back to the main themes towards the end of the song. The piano at the outro sounds gorgeous, it’s truly to die for.
11. “Supernova”- The longest piece on the album at eight minutes and 52 seconds, and it opens just like how “God Particle” does with a dramatic speech and a very drawn out synthesizer interlude that reminds me of something from one of the English dubs of Dragon Ball Z followed by thirty seconds of silence (John Cage, is that you?) After the silence representing the end of days clears, we hear a very expressive western guitar playing with the singer closing out the album in style with harmonies and a violin in the background singing about how his love is an angel. This song is the first song I’ve ever had to say where I grew bored with the first half, but loved the second half dearly. Kudos to to Lotus Effect for closing out an album this progressive in such a traditional method.
Each member of the band has a solid grasp of their instrument, but I feel like the majority of the focus goes to the vocals performed by Dre Giles for how amazing he can hit those high notes and still bust out some epic screams. I’m fond of the guitar work by Ricki Marquez, the drumming by Richie Caldwell is perfect with the style, and I like how independent of a role the bass played by Vincent Fink and how it holds it’s own melodies at times vs just being purely a support instrument. Of course, being a bassist myself I’m always going to be a bit biased towards the bass guitar.
I should hand it to these guys, this has been an epic experience to review this great progressive and powerful album that has each song flow seamlessly to the next. I don’t like every single song the same, but I fail to hate any of the songs on this album. It’s a great experience to listen to the album way through, and I can only wonder why these guys haven’t gotten more press than they already have. I rate this album a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommended this album for listeners of alternative and heavy metal music.
You can help me support more local musicians by having them contact me to review their stuff, I’ll gladly take a listen in exchange for blog shares. I’m happy Lotus Effect sought me out, and I hope it’s the first of many bands to do the same.
I learned about the passing of Leonard Nimoy a few hours after it happened when I got off of work yesterday, and I’ve been greatly saddened by his passing ever since. He was a brilliant actor, musician, and poet. He was also a great photographer, philanthropist, and a proper Bostonian. I only learned recently of some of these facts, but it still hits close to home for me because of how his famous character Spock inspired me growing up.
Growing up as a young boy with Autism, I related myself to the plight of characters like Spock and Data from the Star Trek Universe. I related to Spock for his sharp wit and logical nature, and Data for his struggle to cope with emotions and the concept of acting human vs not being human biologically. Some people on the autistic spectrum do not see themselves as human because we think and feel emotions differently than neuro-typical people do. I felt the same way growing up since I was often bullied and had a hard time coping with social situations through out most of my time in school. Fictional characters are a big inspiration for me, as well as the actors who played them. When you feel alone in your struggles, then it helps most to know that you aren’t alone at all.
Nimoy moved me heavily with his final words that the he broadcast on Twitter before he died:
This quote hits me right in the heart because it reminds me of how I often hunger to relive better moments from my high school and college years. I can’t have those moments back aside from reliving them in memory, but I’m happy to have had those memories all the same. It saddens me to see Nimoy leave us, but I know he lived a full and rich life. It inspires me to live a full and rich life myself while I’m still young.
RIP Leoanard Nimoy, you were among the stars even before your passing.
Let me start off by saying Merry Christmas to everyone that celebrates it. Speaking of Christmas, I’m rather tired of hearing the same Christmas songs repeated every year non-stop. If you like all Christmas music, then that’s great for you since it plays non stop on every radio station beginning in the middle of November and ends today. I wanted to make a list of Christmas songs for the rest of us who tend to sort through all of the coal for the diamonds.
5. “Last Christmas”- Wham!
The 80s was before my time seeing as I grew up in the 90s, but it was probably the last decade in which we had note worthy original Christmas music. A tale of heartbreak on a holiday about peace and family love ending in finding love once more, it stands out as unique in my mind compared to some of the more cheesy Christmas songs made in 60s and 70s. I love the synth chords, George Michael’s heart filled vocals, and the steady beat driving that mellow yet melancholy feel of the song. It’s a classic to me despite being overplayed.
4. “Carol of the Bells”- Pentatonix
A modern Acapela cover of real classic carol composed by Mykola Leontovych in 1904. I normally don’t go for Acapela groups that often, but I really love YouTube artists like Pentatonix and Peter Hollens since that have really breathed new life into a genre best known to be sung by teenagers and theater snobs. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a snob on the arts, ahem. Other than the numerous moving harmonic textures heard throughout the song, I just love how Pentatonix uses their voices to paint a picture of an epic Christmas carol that gets you excited for an epic Christmas.
3. “I WIsh it Was Christmas Today”- Julian Casablancas
And so we have a more cheesy, but still quite enjoyable song about how Julian Casablancas wishes that today was Christmas. Thankfully today actually is Christmas, so that wish has been granted. I reviewed this song a few years back on my old blog, but I still find it enjoyable and it’s a nice little Christmas anthem. The music’s straightforward composing doesn’t leave much to comment on, but I do feel that Casablancas believes what he’s singing in his heart to be proof of great emoting. I also really dig that mini guitar solo towards the end.
2. “Christmas Song” -Dave Matthews Band
While some will scoff at Dave Matthew’s voice and the “white guy with acoustic guitar genre”, I’ve always had a soft spot for this type of music. I find it relaxing and wholesome, the flip coin of aggressive heavy metal or risqué pop music. I recently discovered this today. I find it so mellow, expressive, and wonderful to listen too. It covers religious aspects of Christmas and how the forces of love and peace conquers all things on this day. It’s an added bonus to have an acoustic religious song be subtle rather than some other songs out there which are just too “Jesus Freaky”.
1. “Little Drummer Boy” -John Denver
There have been many covers of this particular piece from Johnny Cash to The Animaniacs, but the John Denver version stands out to me for its overall majesty celebrating the birth of Jesus. I love how Denver uses his 12 string guitar in conjunction with a full orchestra (which was even performed by Denver at The Vatican in the past). I’ve always had a soft spot for this version since John Denver is my favorite folk singer, and Denver believes every word he sings on this song. RIP John Denver, your music will never be forgotten to those who love it.
And so we have my five favorite Christmas Songs, if I missed any songs that you as a reader enjoy; feel free to share them in the comments section. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year everybody!
So if anyone’s wondering as to why they haven’t heard from me in a while there’s two simple reasons: 1. I’m busy between work, my band, and the holidays, 2. I’ve been using Twitter to build my blogging audience rather than WordPress. And 3, I’m actually the Ham-burglar; so I’m the one in congress making sure that wages stay down for fast food workers. I mean, I’ve had a lot of success on Twitter gaining more followers (edging on 900 total now, and I only have 240 tweets!).
My only complaint about Twitter is that it’s a hard venue to push pieces on if you don’t constantly update your entries since the website’s so busy (plus you have to deal with spam and porn profiles popping up on your feed). Still, I’ll count every blessing I get seeing as this’s’ the season to be merry. So it’s more accurate to say I’ve been power Tweeting rather than Power Blogging, but I’m still cooking up projects in my head. Namely, I’m going to start reviewing EPs and albums made by bands who haven’t made it to “the big leagues” yet. I will still write pop reviews, but I’m a Metal Head so I wan’t to write about Metal music.
Speaking of heavy metal, I designed a website for my band over Thanksgiving Weekend. We now have three songs released off of our Short Fuse EP ready for the world to hear. There’s a lot of bands out in the world, and I’d love to share your stories and music on my blog in exchange for sharing my blog with your fans. It will be a long, but fun journey building my way to help bands get exposure. Together we can make the world (of music) a better place.
Nostalgia through out the generations is inevitable, but the idea that the next generation of kids are going to look back on the new millennium years as “the good old days” like the way my generation does the 90s disturbs me. In my mind the 90s represented a golden era of peace (post Gulf War), excellent kids TV shows, awesome music, and strong economic prosperity. In the same way, that feel of the 90s ended on September 11th, 2001. What followed after 9/11 was a decade of political schizophrenia and an unending war that has caused my generation a great deal of misery. Some people from the 80s didn’t like the 90s, and some people from the 70s didn’t like the 80s, etc. But I think we can all agree that the 1990s was the last GOOD decade we had since going outside to have fun was a tradition, not an option.
Happy Veterans Day everybody. I am writing this post today because I am thankful to the veterans of this country for working to defend the United States, and I want to bring up a valid point about the problems that veterans face day to day. Today I will be interviewing a man who I knew served in the Marines, and has chosen to remain anonymous to speak about his experiences and views.
I had reached out to the Anonymous Veteran (AV) over social media and he agreed to comment over some of the major issues facing vets today.
Me: Hello AV, nice to see you again. Thank you for letting me take the time to interview you.
AV: It’s my pleasure. There’s a lot of things I think people might not know or understand about veterans, especially those with PTSD. I’d like to help get the word out any way I can.
Me: Then we can start the topics at hand; why do you feel that the Government has dragged it’s feet over increasing funding for the VA?
AV: The VA is an amazing organization when it works correctly and despite the governments many shortcomings, I don’t honestly think it’s intentional. Incompetence and poor planning, sure. I don’t think the government took into consideration how much bodily and mental suffering can accrue in over a decade of warfare, and now they’re caught with their pants down.
Me: True, it’s the result of poor planning and oversights over how long the war has lasted. Another issue out there is the large number of homeless vets, what do you have to comment about the large number of people without a roof over their head?
AV: I think homelessness among veterans correlates directly with the awful way the treatment PTSD has been handled. Vets with PTSD feel like they have no where to turn, and don’t ask for help because they believe people will think less of them, or simply not understand, which is usually the case. What adds to it is the pride factor, not wanting to appear weak, but it’s not all about pride. What it amounts to is homeless vets with no one and no hope left, after all they’ve done for the country, and that’s awful.
Me: PTSD has been a great problem since World War I, it’s literally been killing our vets everyday. With that said, why exactly are so many vets ending their lives? What’s the best way we can help them?
AV: I think somewhere around 22 veterans kill themselves everyday. I’ve heard the number is more like 35, though. Vets with PTSD feel isolated and alone, the best thing to do is be there for them, even if it looks like they don’t need you to be. It means a lot.
Me: True, sometimes the best help is to reminds someone that they aren’t alone. On the subject of PTSD and from your own experiences, what can you comment about service members you’ve seen scarred by combat?
AV: I was good friends with a guy who saw his friend and squad mate get blown to pieces by an IED in Afghanistan. For a while, he would get dangerously drunk three or four days a week and either cry or smash things, usually both, until he passed out. He would ramble on about the blood and gore and collecting his friends scattered body parts for transport. Regardless of how drunk he was, he woke up screaming from nightmares at least twice a night. He went on like that for about a year before he stopped drinking so much. He still has the nightmares though, since I last talked to him.
Me: Jeez, that really makes the terrors I’ve faced seem insignificant by comparison. I hope your friend finds inner peace in his lifetime. Do you have any closing thoughts to add this Veterans day?
AV: I personally feel a little awkward when I’m thanked for my service because I know I didn’t do much, but the sentiment means so much. It lets me know that people out there care about me. That’s what vets need, especially around Memorial Day and Veterans Day. If you know a vet, please thank them for their service, just so they know they’re not alone.
Me: I intend too, and I always will. Thank you for your service and your time, it means a lot to me.
And so today marks the end of my favorite Manga created by Masashi Kishimoto, fitting as a gift for my birthday on November 10th. I’m filled with positive emotions right now, and I’m going to remember this series very fondly. I’m not spoiling much in this blog, rather I’m just going to reflect on my favorite moments of the series, and show what it has taught me as I grew up through my angst filled teenage years.
1. Never giving up or giving in-
This was always the primary theme in Naruto, hard work and dedication pays off vs natural genius at certain tasks. I always related to Naruto being the underdog with how I’ve developed into playing my music. I had to struggle to understand music theory and how to play instruments better when I first started.
2. The Fight Scenes-
Sure, DBZ characters can destroy planets in their base forms, but the fights in Naruto were always very well thought out (the ninjas always use strategy) and escalated in very climactic fashions. My favorite fights were definitely Itachi vs Sasuske, Naruto vs Pein, and Might Guy (eight gates) vs Madara Uchiha. I just fan-gasm every time I read and see these fights in because they are just so epic!
3. Obito Uchiha-
“I am no one, I do not wish to be anyone. I just care about completing the Moon’s Eye Plan!” Obito manipulated a lot of things behind the scenes from the start of the series, and was known as the masked man and Madara Uchiha for many years. The reason I will miss Obito is because I enjoyed the arcs in his character development. Sure, starting a war to revive his childhood crush was week, but he still served to be a bad ass villain for most of the series. And he later redeemed himself in the fight against Kaguya before his death. Also, I respect Madara Uchiha; but I feel like Obito was a better character because he had to work for his power. Madara was just born into the series with God like powers and an annoying cocky attitude.
4. The philosophy behind the “talk no jutsu”-
The talking scenes and flashbacks have annoyed a lot of people through the years (myself included), but when they are used correctly these scenes can have a lot of emotional impact in building up a fight or teaching us life lessons. These scenes helped me cope with my inner demons many times. One of my favorite scenes is where Naruto moved Nagato to revive the people he killed in the invasion of Konoha arc, thus having Nagato redeem himself. I’m pretty sure Naruto defeated more villains using words than he did with actual fighting.
5. People Doing Manga Reviews-
My two favorite online reviewers of Naruto are Sawyer7mage and Forneverworld for their funny and smart reviews. Sawyer’s jokes always made me laugh, and Fornverworld was always good at picking up on things that I had missed from reading the manga. Of course, I tried to get into the swing of things with reviewing this and other manga, but my hands are tied between working and writing about my regular topics (life, TV, music). I’ll miss the jokes and fan theories, but most of all I’ll miss the discussions in the Naruto fandom community that Naruto (the series) had created over the last 15 years.
6. Brightening Every Wednesday Morning-
I mostly read the series through online scans of the manga, though I think I’ll pick up the series in paper form now that all the books will be out soon. In college I would always look forward to Wednesdays for the Naruto manga, and Thursdays for the anime (and my bi weekly paycheck every other Thursday). The weeks where Naruto would take a break would be very dull Wednesdays indeed, but I still survived to see the end of Naruto.
7. The Villains-
From Orichimaru and the Akatsuki, all the way back to Zabuza and Haku, this series had some very memorable villains and anti-heros featured in it. I already mentioned who my top favorite villain was earlier (Obito), but every villain in the Manga (aside from Deidara and Kaguya) was quite memorable. They all had interesting abilities that distanced them from their humanity, and they all had memorable back stories. Many villains always pulled an Anakin Skywalker and turned over a new leaf. As for the ones that stayed evil like Uchiha Madara, they were so overpowered they needed to be killed by plot-no-jutsu, thus ending the joke “Madara’s so powerful even Kishimoto can’t kill him”.
8. The Tailed Beasts-
From the start of the series we see that many of the tailed beasts (“the bijuu”) are seen as menacing and evil from when the Nine Tailed Fox attacked Konoha, we later came to understand the Bijuu as misunderstood creatures who just wanted to live free lives rather than being trapped inside their Jinchuriki hosts. Kudos to Naruto for helping the Bijuu to become happy with life again and helping them achieve their eventual freedom.
9. Naruto’s Mentors-
Naruto had a tough time growing up in the leaf village having never known who his parents were, so throughout the series he had many mentors including Jiraiya, Kakashi, Yamato, and Iruka for being like father figures to him. In Naruto Shippuden many of the villains who wanted to kill Nartuo eventually became friends of his, and he even fought for them to honor their memory. I relate to this (in a sense) towards my music teachers and Journalism professors who helped me through my struggles to become a better musician and writer.
10. Naruto and Sasuke’s Rivalry-
This was the core the story line in the manga that had been built up for quite a long time, and also how the series reached it’s epic finale. For a while people were doubting how the fight would happen when Sasuke began working alongside the Shinobi Alliance, but Kishimoto came through for us in an epic fashion. I’m going to miss seeing these two fight each other, not just in battle, but their philosophies of isolation and revenge (Sasuke) vs friendship and peace (Naruto). I’m happy that their rivalry ending signaled the end of the manga, and led to an amazing epilogue in chapter 700.
And as I finish writing these words, I feel a sense of sadness and joy at the same time for realizing the manga series that I started reading back in college is over now (despite the mini series coming out next Spring). So the only thing tougher than writing this blog as I’m feeling so many emotions was deciding the right song to send off the series. And I found the right one after borrowing an idea from major anime pages on Facebook. “Wind / ウインド” which was the first ending ever used for the original Naruto anime.
For those who haven’t guessed yet, I’m a colossal nerd and I’m proud of that fact. I enjoy the art of costume-playing and creating my own costumes to pay homage to some of my favorite characters in popular culture. I love old school cosplay, insane attention to detail, re-imagined cosplay (like gender bending and race crossing characters), and the “controversial” sexy cosplay (which simply shows a more human side to the art, the people slut shaming the models are the real problem). I don’t read comics that often, so I have yet to head into the world of comic book cosplay. However, I have amassed the photos of some of my past projects to display here on WordPress for the world to see.
1. The Angry Video Game Nerd:
One of the forerunners internet reviewing, and one of my biggest influences in the world Critiquing, the AVGN always managed to make me laugh even the saddest times of my teenage years. I love his reviews, and to show it I dressed up as him in Halloween in 2011 and 2012. The hardest part was finding the right type of glasses, which I found at a dollar store and punched out the lenses.
2. Merle Dixon of The Walking Dead
***Season one and three spoiler warning*** Merle Dixon (played by Michael Rooker) is a foul-mouthed racist we meet in Season one of The Walking Dead who was handcuffed to the top of a roof by protagonist Rick Grimes because he was a danger to the rest of the group (he was attracting the attention of the all the zombies down below by shooting them with a snipe rifle). He had to cut off his hand to escape, and returned in season 3 with a badass prosthetic with a bayonet on it. Merle causes a lot of chaos to the story line alongside The Governor (the biggest bad guy in Walking Dead history), but eventually Merle redeems makes an effort to protect his brother Daryl and the rest of the group by confronting The Governor and his men with an army of walkers and a sniper rifle. Merle was killed by the Governor in that confrontation, but he’s still a fan favorite.
Of course I deplore anyone with racist tendencies, but in the name of great fiction, I think Merle’s just a massive badass character who has all the right traits to survive in a zombie apocalypse. I cosplayed as Merle and even met Michael Rooker and Scott Wilson last year at Rock and Shock 2013. Wilson and I had a fun conversation. Alas, Rooker’s people rushed me through seeing him though because he had a very long line. I did make a joke about wearing the prosthetic was a pain in the ass though to Michael and his crew members. Louisiana has Mardi Gras to celebrate, New Englad has Halloween and we take it very seriously. The pics below depict my steps gathering the costume and making the bayonet prosthetic.
3. The 9th Doctor
The 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) was the first Doctor introduced in the reboot of Doctor Who, and despite being around for only one season is still considered an underdog and fan favorite in the series. I often liken myself to different incarnations of The Doctor, with 9 being the most common that I can relate too. It was only natural that I would pick to be the 9th Doctor for Halloween this year. This was by far my easiest cosplay as I already had the proper sonic Screw Driver and most of the correct attire, the hardest part was getting a good sweater that fit the look. Alas, the lighting inside my house is awful, so my purple shirt comes out looking like it’s either blue or black. Next year I’ll save up my money and buy the authentic leather jacket, but what I have now means I don’t need to spend $150 on a jumper I’m maybe going to use three times a year. Feel free to comment below your thoughts as to whether or not that these cosplays are “Fantastic!”
Also feel free to recommend any cosplays for me in the future, I’ve wanted to go as Light Yagami from Death Note for a long time, so that might be my next one!