My relationship with RK

Because of the hideous behavior of its creator, I have stepped away from Rurouni Kenshin. I don’t have active plans for new stories in that fandom except as pertain to my ongoing stories Aku Soku Zan(za), Blood Contingency, Heretic’s Reward, and my His Own Humanity series, all of which I’m still working on.

I still welcome readers of my RK fic, and do not discourage comments or discussion. I’m currently working on getting this archive to reflect the new state of affairs, so it may still look like the home of an active RK fan in places, though this, sadly, is no longer the case.

Regarding Watsuki Nobuhiro and Rurouni Kenshin

I will continue to enjoy Rurouni Kenshin (and Busou Renkin). That version of Saitou, with his exceptional morality, will continue to be my favorite fictional character, and the romantic pairing of Saitou and Sano will continue to be one of my favorite things. I will continue to create and enjoy fanworks related to Rurouni Kenshin.

But to the pedophile Watsuki, who has contributed to one of the worst evils known to the world, who has put so many of my fandom siblings through hell, I have only this to say: お前 の 全て を 否定して やる.

And to those in the fandom that can’t bring themselves to separate the art from the reprehensible behavior and nature of the artist, and are forced to leave it behind, I understand. I’m sorry something like this has to take something you loved from you. Go well.

Thoughts on Densetsu no Saigo Hen

OK, I have to start out by saying that I think these RK movies have appeared in order of best to least best. In less optimistic terms, they’ve gotten worse as they go along — which does not bode terribly well for any future Jinchuu action we may get. I didn’t dislike this movie… but I wasn’t exactly enchanted by it either, and found some points extremely annoying. So here are my thoughts.

Kyoto Taika Hen review (sortof)

It’s difficult to give a coherent overall impression of this movie, since it’s only telling half a story, so this is more a series of thoughts on various scenes and characters than a complete review. But at least let me start out by saying that this is a fantastic movie and I loved it. How many times have I watched it so far? Not telling. Here we go.

Visions flowing, slowly shedding light, memories swimming in the sea of time

Happy Densetsu no Saigo Hen day! I wish I had a story to post to celebrate this day, but it’s the middle of the month, so I’ll just make a personal entry instead. Stuff’s piling up, as usual, for me to post about in any case.

I had a birthday! Despite being sick, I enjoyed it very much. We were going to go to Bishop Castle on the Monday, assuming I felt well enough, only then brother didn’t get out of bed until after noon and wasn’t showered and ready for life until 1400, so there wasn’t enough time. But then he made me a birthday dinner and a birthday cake and also bought me totally unnecessary presents, so I suppose he kinda redeemed himself XD

It was a spice cake with butterscotch pudding and whipped cream on top, and it was FREAKING DELICIOUS. It only had 32 candles because I fail at maths and for some reason thought that two packages of 16 would be sufficient. Seriously, though, I think it’s time to stop doing all the candles, because having to buy three packages just seems silly and they take an eternity to light and get wax all over the cake by the time they’re done. I’ll get some numbers or something next year.

We had snow yesterday. Just thought I’d mention.

Today I got a new tattoo. For some reason, I really love the way a new tattoo smells.

Now neither the angels in Heaven above, nor the demons down under the sea, can ever dissever my arm from the sign of the wonderful E.A.P..

I made the appointment to get that tattoo yesterday, and I was so excited about it that it caused me to dream about something else I’m excited about, which is our Disney World trip in December. Did I mention that several members of my family are going to Disney World in December, and ever since that plan was made I’ve been dreaming about it?

Anyone that follows my personal entries must be well aware, of course, that I dream about Disneyland all the freaking time. But I’ve actually been to Disneyland, and never to Disney World, so the Disney World dreams are even less accurate than my already weird Disneyland dreams. The same theme is often present, though: Oh, crap, I’ve been here three days and haven’t gone on any rides yet!! As I’ve mentioned before, I always wonder what my dream thinks I have found to do in Disneyplace for three days besides going on any rides XD

I also dreamed I was Luann DeGroot. I was on my way to a high school prom in a car full of people, two of whom were elves and one of whom was an adult man that I think was a co-worker of my father. This guy made an incredibly racist comment about elves, and I got so angry at him that I launched into this lengthy rant that ended by telling him to get out of my car and crying off all my carefully applied makeup.

When I mentioned this to my family, the predominant first response, besides incredulous laughter, was, “When was the last time you read Luann?” Because we haven’t gotten a newspaper around here for probably a decade XD

Also! I got bitten RIGHT IN THE FACE by a miniature pinscher. It’s probably going to turn into a pretty badass scar. That was not a dream; that was a work thing. I have yet to get a decent picture of it, though; the light’s always bad and you can’t see it clearly. It’s a line maybe 3/4 of an inch long on my chin.

Oh, speaking of work things… the other day, a co-worker and I were scrubbing/assembling packs, which is a thing we do facing this big ol’ window onto the parking lot. The parking lot on that side of the building is an alley between our building and the next businesses over. So this guy pulls into the space right in front of us, and we start joking about how he’s probably waiting there for a drug dealer because he has no license plate (only a super fake handwritten fakie temporary tag with just a date on it) and he backed into the space as if to facilitate a quick getaway if needed.

And then this other car with all tinted windows pulls up, a guy — a guy in a shirt that LITERALLY SAYS “Usually stoned” on it — gets out of the back seat, comes to the driver’s window of the first car, makes some kind of exchange with the first guy involving a baggie of something white, and then gets back into black-tinted-window-car and drives off.

I mean, we actually watched an entire drug deal from beginning to end standing about eight feet away from it behind a NON-TINTED WINDOW. Way to be freaking subtle, guys!!

How about some other photos, since this is a personal entry.

Look at this super adorable baby corn snake ZOMFG!!!!!! This was at my school at some point.

I’m not sure where I saw this. Home Depot or something? Anyway, I liked how… obvious… it was.

There is almost nothing interesting about this picture, but I’m pretty sure I took it because I’d just started watching Once Upon A Time the previous day and then I saw this in a grocery store.

And now I’ve forgotten all the other stuff I needed to post about. Happy Densetsu no Saigo Hen day, everyone!

I just can’t live without you; I love you, I hate you

I need to make a detailed Halloween report, but at the moment I have zero pictures of myself in costume, so that will have to wait. Right now I just wanted to mention that, since fanfiction.net applied the pairing filter options, Seeing Red is not just the only story there labeled with the Saitou & Sano pairing, it is 1/2 of all the stories there labeled with Saitou in a romantic relationship at all.

This is not a good thing — in fact it’s a very bad thing, as it’s evidence of how dead not just my good old fandom but also my favorite pairing of all time is; there are three or four other stories about Saitou and Sano that are supposedly still being updated, but the most recent post to any of them was in January, so of course none of those authors has been around to take advantage of the new pairing labels… and authors of older stuff are probably actually literally dead by now and decayed in their graves.

So, yeah, not a good thing… but kindof an interesting thing, you know? Anyone that went to ff.n and searched for fics about Saitou and Sano in a romantic relationship using the new pairing filter would find only my story about them. And the irony of that is that Seeing Red is actually a pre-relationship fic. They won’t actually hook up until Confrérie progresses a bit farther.

Such is life, I suppose! Some things are just a crying shame, though.

P.S. Speaking of Saitou and Sano, the rewrite of He Can Be Taught is complete and completely posted.

EDIT! (Long after the fact.) I actually never got my hands on any pictures, but I should still report Halloween. So. I dressed up as PSY in one of his Gangnam Style outfits, and, if I do say so myself, it looked damn good. The only problem was that the sunglasses that were appropriate to the outfit didn’t come in the mail until a week and a half after Halloween, so for the day itself I wore some that were less appropriate to the outfit.

I went to school in this fabulous costume, and there was a Halloween party/costume contest. So many of us had dressed up that we had to be voted for in batches because there wasn’t space out in the center of the room for everyone at once. So a truncated set of students went out and walked around in a circle so everyone in the room could see our costumes.

Then the guy that runs the school or whatever went around calling on each of us individually so our costumes could be specifically identified, and then the room would clap and cheer however much they wanted that person to win the contest. I already had the feeling nobody knew who I was supposed to be, so when it came around to me, instead of saying that I was PSY, I just did a bit of the dance to identify myself. That got some loud applause.

But then a bit later, while the judges were conferring on our lot, the guy that runs the school or whatever called me forward to dance properly for everyone. And that got the loudest applause and cheering of all!! But because it wasn’t the voting applause and cheering and the judges were already conferring, I did not win. People were coming up to me for weeks afterward, though, saying, “You were awesome on Halloween, and you totally should have won! You got way more applause than that cat girl!”

The person that actually won the #1 prize totally totally deserved it, though. Aside from her completely badass evil scarecrow movie-quality costume, she’s also a lesbian and on our side of the street. Vet building represent!

Anyway, I handed out candy on Halloween evening, and got lots of compliments on my costume, though I’m pretty sure 0% of the people that said something knew who I was XD It was a great holiday!

Things I love (i.e. more thoughts on 2012 RK movie)

No, I’m not done freaking out yet.

I love that the music at the very beginning is barely audible over the sounds of battle. It gets louder soon enough, but just at first it’s a wonderful way to emphasize the horrors of war even over the drama that can also arise from the situation.

Oftentimes giving a character a bunch of pets is a sign that that character has a kind heart and an inclination for caregiving — which I think makes it even more impactful that Kanryuu’s multitude of live animals only serves to indicate his desire to own and control other living creatures. Very well done.

How the HELL did they find someone that could play Saitou this well that simultaneously had those cheekbones?! It’s like he was born specifically to play this role.

I think my dissatisfaction with the random total redesign of Gein has risen to tie with the poor characterization of Kaoru and her relationship with Kenshin as my biggest complaint about this awesome movie. The chains and the gauze and the straps and the wig and what? He’s totally a teenygoth, and there’s no reason for that. I’m extremely fond of canon Gein, and his being so old and creepily artistically inclined is part of that. Why would you change it?

I love Kenshin’s startled look when Saitou first talks to him in the cells. I, too, would be startled if Saitou suddenly appeared. There would be some significant freaking out.

That’s right, Yahiko. The floor is barely accessible under all that broken crap, but that one dirty spot needs the attention of a wet rag before anything else.

Trying to refrain from commenting again on the clashiness of that kimono with Kenshin’s hair, BUT I CAN’T. Kaoru, what are you thinking?? At least the purple socks are still around; that’s some good fashion sense right there.

Aaaaahhhh, Megumi is so beautifuuuuuuulllllll.

Apropos of nothing, it’s interesting to see Tae with darker hair than Kaoru.

When will my soundtrack arrive???? I love this music so damn much! I’m so happy that every aspect of this movie is so well done.

I love that Kanryuu gets his face suggestively close to such a variety of characters. I half-expected Sano to give him the same line he did Kihei in canon about that.

OK, obviously I would have freaked out at any and all interaction between Saitou and Sano they’d seen fit to provide, but the story they told really didn’t call for any. But after watching Saitou and Kenshin have a Moment and then Sano and Kenshin have a Moment, my heart really aches for the lack of any Moment between my two most beloved characters. It’s like Angles just waiting to happen. Not to be… shamelessly referencing my own fanfiction… or anything.

Since it seems unlikely that Saitou The Amazing is keeping a taser in that pouch on his belt, I’m going to have to assume he keeps all his love notes from Sano his cigarettes in there.

I’m not saying the lurching isn’t effective. I think it brilliantly conveys a disinclination for what he’s doing so strong it actually hampers the smoothness of Kenshin’s motor functions. In a concise visual presentation (where we can’t hear his thoughts or see the day-to-day effects of what he’s forcing himself to do), it’s as good a choice as any (and better than many) to convey his state of mind. It just looks really weird.

Kaoru’s brown obi is so cute on her.

For all I have to say about the silly changes to Gein, I can’t help kinda liking the idea of him and Megumi as a couple. Even if he did poison the well right then, that moment when he grabbed her face had some damn good chemistry.

Our daughter’s sick? Take her to Kaoru’s dojo! What, the whole neighborhood’s sick? Well, take them all to Kaoru’s dojo! Kaoru’s dojo is the place to be!

There’s one musical theme that always makes me think of the music that plays when you’re wandering the Silmaria map in Dragon Fire. Can’t ever complain of finding connections between fandoms :D

I could comment on every little tone in Megumi’s voice, the nature of every movement she makes, the implication of everything she says, and how it all contributes toward the development of her character, but I’m too lazy. She’s just so good I don’t even.

I love how the approach to Kanryuu’s mansion manages, even without throwing Yahiko or lampicide, to capture the same feeling here as was present in canon. Have I mentioned how much I love this movie?

Most of the slow motion moments are OK or even extremely good, but there are a couple that almost seem like they made it in by accident… like someone brushed against the “slow motion” button and no one noticed it had happened until later.

I will have Kanryuu’s staircase, please.

OH SANO’S ADORABLE GRIN. Seriously, Saitou will eat that right up.

How many bullets are in those guns of Gein’s…?

Plate! Plate! Pan! Matte! Matte! Chicken! Wine!

(That’s my new song.)

At least Saitou gets to witness Sano’s freaking adorable surrender act. And you can just see in his eyes how much he wants to take Sano home and sponge the blood off him and lay him down in a nice soft bed and do some other things.

And Saitou just walks straight in and takes his sweet time. What a lovely person he can be *____*

I love how exhausted and drained Kenshin seems after Kaoru breaks out of the Shin no Ippou, how he doesn’t make a move to counter a potential attack from Jin’e until the very last possible moment.

Saitou’s shirt under his jacket is a little mussed in this last scene. What was he up to while Kenshin was dealing with Jin’e and Sano was also off-screen, hmmm?? Especially when, a bit later, Sano is sleeping soundly (and snoring gently; oh, Sano) as if more thoroughly worn out than he seemed the last time we saw him? These signs, I think, are clear!

Also, the pattern of blood on Sano’s gi is different in the last scene than it was in Kanryuu’s mansion. Not that that’s important.

Still a great movie.

Kudaketenaide saite jita kono omoi wa so blinded I can’t see the end

OK, a million things have happened this last week, and I’ve been too Rurouni Kenshin to talk much about them, so let’s see if I can Rurouni Kenshin… er… catch up on them now.

To start out with, cantata. Last week’s first practice wasn’t as high school reunion as it usually is, and consequently not as obnoxious. Then, mom’s changed some of the really difficult parts in the 7/4 piece, and (though maybe just because I’ve sung this one before) it was discernibly easier to get than the previous time we did this particular program.

I feel like there’s a lot of second soprano in this cantata, which is always gratifying. I’m still not always very good at finding the second soprano part, but it’s very exciting when I manage it. And there is one lady that also sings second and often sits by me that I like well enough (which is unusual in this group).

The inevitable religious talk at these practices is less annoying than it would be at any other function for two reasons: first, because it’s being delivered by my usually very sensible (and well-spoken) mother; and, second, because it often concerns general good principles of love and rational human interaction that I can’t but agree with even where the more specific tenets of Christianity drive me up a wall.

And they do drive me up a wall. It’s something different every time, and lately it’s been what I’ve started calling taxation without representation: the complete male-centrism (masculocentrism?) of Christianity. Even Mary, a central figure in this mythology, is important solely because of the man she gave birth to, and primarily identified by a moniker that establishes how many men she’s had sex with.

It’s been a while since I’ve really mentioned my own religious beliefs, and in my own journal that does seem somewhat neglectful. So, for the record, I am still an art worshiper: I believe in, essentially, the divinity of artistic expression — the enrichment of the human spirit, the connection furnished between human minds, and the improvement of human lives through art. As far as a conscious god, you could probably call me an agnostic; but if there is an actual person supervising the universe, I henotheistically cling to art as one facet of that being and the aspect thereof that is most relevant to my own situation and therefore most appropriate for me to worship.

But back to pettier concerns, starting with clothing. LDS people have some strict dress codes, and one of them involves not entering the chapel in casual attire. Out of respect for this I was, for a while, wearing nice clothes to choir practices (since they’re held in the chapel). But eventually I noticed that (some of) the actual LDS people around me were (often) showing up in t-shirts and jeans; I figured that if they weren’t going to live up to their own standards, I was free to ignore them as well.

But last week there was a letter read out from some church authority or other requesting that the chapel dress code be respected. Obviously others have noticed this laxity besides myself. So I’m back to dressing up for choir practice, though I still noticed a lot of actual church members in jeans today. Irony, my friends.

My next topic is my name. Last July (approximately) I did something I’ve been longing to do for years but for which I required a fresh set of acquaintances. This fresh set having been supplied as I started at a new school, I went ahead and began identifying myself by my middle name instead of my first name. And a few interesting things have come to light since then that I’ve been meaning to mention for a while.

First off, it’s awesome. I have no objections to nor disliking of my first name, Jennifer, except that it’s FREAKING EVERYWHERE. The only reason I wanted a change was that I’d grown inexpressibly weary of having at least one other person — if not four or five — with my name in any given group. It’s already been more wonderful than I can express to be the only Robin in the company and watch the Jennifers and Amandas and Nicoles have to tack on their last initials to avoid confusion.

And, though I’m fine with the name Jennifer, the name Robin is so much more interesting. It’s delightfully androgynous and has a much better history of romance and intriguing associations than the other.

The one drawback I’ve encountered thus far is as follows: the nickname “Jen” by which I was previously identified, though it was often imitated by peripheral sounds (being one syllable and a common vowel), could be written off by my subconscious as likely enough to appear in a variety of similar-sounding words that it could be ignored. But my brain finds it less probable that the two-syllable “Robin” (or, more accurately, “ah-ih”) should come up in quite so many unrelated words, and therefore is less good at ignoring a sound similar to my name in extraneous conversation. It’s a little annoying at times, but I’ll probably get used to it.

Another point of interest is that because everyone calling me Robin is my new set of acquaintances and everyone calling me Jen knows the name from crappy old groups I never really wanted to be part of from years back, the name “Jen” has become “that thing only my family and PEOPLE I ABSOLUTELY HATE call me anymore.” The latter category being primarily church folk.

This is actually somewhat convenient. As my brother pointed out when I discussed this with him, someone to whom I’m not related addressing me as Jen is like someone trying to get hold of me by calling my parents’ house phone: I am automatically aware that this is no one I’m the least bit interested in talking to. For this reason as well as laziness, I’m not bothering to correct all these old acquaintances I’m really not interested in having anything to do with anyway.

I will correct my online friends, though, as follows: if you have occasion to address me by my legal name, it’s Robin now, not Jen. Unless you want to be grouped among those people I absolutely hate XD

I did sign myself Robin on the choir roster last week, though; despite the lack of correction for the peoples, I wasn’t going to sign up on the sheet that gets used to make the program with a name I’m not using. However, the officious woman in charge of the rolls and the program this year took it upon herself to change it. She can in some measure be forgiven for this, since I and any other family members that happen to be singing have been known to sign the roster in a less than perfectly serious fashion (Christine Daaé and Michael Bolton show up occasionally, among others)… but as this name was not funny or referential and included my actual last name, I think she might at least have inquired.

Aaaaanyway, I think that’s it for last Saturday and its related thoughts. On to school! This was my last week of vet assisting school timez. I have confirmed my internship at a place called Our Family Vet that seems really cool. I get all of next week off, then start 26 hours a week of internship on the 28th. I’ll probably be a zombie for at least the first few weeks of my nine and a half, because I’ll still be working EA on top of that.

Actually I’m a little worried about EA, because I’m pretty sure she’s going to want me all day on Valentine’s Day, but I’ll be interning for most of that day. We have a meeting at the store today during which I’m pretty sure she’s going to talk about VD and what’s expected of us, so we’ll see how that goes and what needs to happen.

After internship I start the vet tech program, which should be a bit more like real school than this nonsense I’ve been doing. I’ve finished the application process except for the letters of recommendation; Zombie Girl is writing the personal letter for me, and I’ma wait to get to know the cool doctor at my site and have her write the professional one.

So I had my final finals this past week (once I get to the end of vet tech I’ll have final final finals), and ended up with all A’s again despite that one homework assignment I completely forgot about that had me at a B in one class for a while. Poor “birds” girl failed a class again, this time by being unable to complete The Most Simple lab skill that has ever existed. So now she has two classes to make up in order to finish the program, and Poe only knows what will happen to her next term.

We “seniors” (people going out on internship after this set of classes) had a lunch together yesterday after school to celebrate, and are thinking of making that a weekly event so we can gossip about our internship sites. And “birds” girl. And wonder about a couple of classmates that appear to perhaps be secretly dating. That sort of important thing.

The last thing I have to say (read: the last thing I can remember having to say and I want to stop writing this and go watch Rurouni Kenshin write fanfiction or something) is about a few dreams I’ve had.

Except… I… suddenly can’t remember them. They’ll come back to me later. And perhaps so will the other things I wanted to mention in this entry that I’ve forgotten in the course of writing what I’ve already written of this entry. Maybe. Now it’s Rurouni Kenshin productivity time!

I’ve never stood up before this time, demo yuzurenai mono itta kono te wo hanasanai

OK, I had several things to say in a real entry, but I never got around to typing them out, and now there’s no more time since I have to take a shower and put away my clean laundry before bed. So instead of a real entry, have my latest set of thoughts about a certain Rurouni Kenshin movie.

I love this guy at the beginning that dramatically, almost frantically, shouts out Saitou’s complete name and title… and then promptly dies.

I think Kenshin’s initial rescue of Kaoru from Jin’e would be more dramatic if, as was the case with Gohei in canon, Jin’e’s blow had fallen just a half-instant too late rather than being withheld entirely at Kenshin’s appearance.

Da ha ha, I love the super crappy and rather pointless-seeming bandage Kaoru makes for the wound on her arm.

“Here, Kenshin,” Kaoru says. “Wear this color that TOTALLY CLASHES WITH YOUR HAIR.”

They go out of their way to make the zanbatou prop seem as heavy as it’s supposed to be, but I never believe it. When the Akabeko servers are attempting to hold it up, for example, they don’t act very convincingly.

Oh, Sano, why are you so freaking cute.

Ah, I’m still just overwhelmed by the amazing awesomeness of the poison scene. It’s nice that Tsubame had a cameo, too, even if it was a rather unfortunate situation for her XD

Oh, Sano, what do you intend to accomplish by shouting at Kenshin when you hear gunshots above?

Seriously, this Sano is so freaking cute, it doesn’t matter how pointless he is. INSTANT Saitou-bait. When he does his little ZOMFG WE TOTES SURRENDER thing? Oh, the attraction is thick in the air.

And now good night.

Kanjou mo igirisu no tenki mitai ni utsurigi dattara totemo raku nanoni gyaku na no

OK, to start out with, the new Rurouni Kenshin movie is still awesome and Saitou is still awesome. The only thought I really have today… well, I’ll say it at the end in case anyone wants to avoid spoilers.

Next of all, I finally got to give my presentation today. I did turn out to be dead last in the random order of presenting, and there was danger of my having to wait ’til freaking Monday, since it was high noon by the time we got around to me… but my class had my back and shouted out that they would all gladly sit an extra few minutes listening patiently while I gave my presentation. I was touched. It was great.

Thirdly, cantata practices start tomorrow. I’m simultaneously happy that it’s starting so early and bracing myself as usual. I remember last year I burned out sooner than I normally do; we’ll see what this year’s like.

Lastly, that RK thought I mentioned: during today’s rewatching(s) it occurred to me that staging Kenshin’s fight with Gein in a library, complete with scattered pages littering the floor as books get torn up by all the badass swordery (and stupid gunnery) going on, may be the tiniest nod to the canonical Kenshin vs. Aoshi II (or at least a setup that would become stupidly repetitive if that particular fight were to take place)… which strikes me as yet another sign that Aoshi will probably never appear in the movieverse. Continued sadness.