Yet More Weekend Pop Culture Quick Hits

“Pop” Culture? And it’s a picture of a bunch of soft drinks?

First things first, quick reminder that Forward, the Lyte Brigade Chapter 4 went live on Friday. That’s here:

In real life, I think those are some kind of zucchini stick, or something. But for the purposes of this week’s chapter, those are fish-on-a-stick.

So, anyways, here’s some of the things I’ve been watching and playing lately:

I’m about 2/3 through my second go-through of Three Hopes. I don’t really have anything to add that I didn’t say in prior write-up on the game:

Mostly, I’ve been going back and forth on whether Three Hopes of the original Three Houses has a better story. The only thing I’ve really noticed is that adding Shez to Three Hopes after the original Three Houses feels like it makes more sense than going from Hopes to Houses would, because Shez doesn’t get mentioned at all in Houses, not even in the context of something like Byleth mentioning “that chick with the purple hair I killed once.”

Granted, that’s probably just because Shez didn’t exist in the lore yet, and if Houses had come second, I think they probably would have written Shez in somehow.

In conclusion, I think I’ve decided that one game’s story isn’t really better, they’re more or less equal in telling stories with different emphases.

Independent of my Star Wars re-watch and write-ups…

… my Mom has mentioned that she wanted to re-watch the entire Saga, so in addition to re-watching the series, I’ve also been re-rewatching.

I have nothing new to say, except that it’s quite refreshing to watch Star Wars in the company of someone who isn’t determined to be miserable about every perceived flaw with Star Wars

I’ve mentioned before that I’m more or less over the MCU, or at least gotten to the point where I’ll watch the new stuff because it’s on Disney Plus, rather than because it’s the sexy, new Marvel thing.

I watched Shang-Chi and liked it, I watched Eternals and didn’t hate it, I watched two episodes of Loki before giving up on it. I haven’t watched What If because the art style and the direction the series apparently takes are both real turns-offs, I refuse to watch Hawkeye on principle (said principle being that Hawkeye sucks).

I did, however, watch Ms. Marvel and probably had more positive feelings than negative about it. For one thing, the lead actress is Canadian, so that’s a plus.

I kinda felt that the plot and the reveals in said plot and their implications for the wider (Marvel Cinematic) universe were kinda all over the place and maybe even contradictory.

On the other hand, I did really like that it managed to portray fairly devout religious people as not jerks. While, Ms. Marvel’s older brother is a jerk, but he’s a jerk because he’s her older and in a big brotherly context, not because he’s a devout Muslim.

Also, my big takeaway from the show is that teenagers are, uh, kinda the worst…

That face should look familiar. That’s my attempt to have Dunstana doing Anya’s “Heh.” Face from Spy x Family.

I’m still debating whether Spy x Family really fits well enough with my “Fantasy or Fantasy-adjacent” rule for recommendations (though admittedly, I’ve broken that rule at least once already…), but irrespective of that, you should be watching Spy x Family.

It is wonderful.

I’ve briefly talked about it already, but to recap:

[I]t’s originally a manga and has been adapted into an anime that has quickly proven one of the most popular of the Spring 2022 anime season. The plot is that an undercover spy adopts a telepathic orphan and fake-marries an assassin so said spy can prevent an international crisis by getting close to a warmongering politician by using said telepathic orphan to become friends with said politician’s son at a prestigious private school.

Me, quoting me.

It’s entertaining, it’s legitimately cute and endearing, it’s frequently ridiculous in the best possible way, and the animation and art style are wonderful — especially the faces, especially Anya’s.

It’s also only twelve episodes (so far, it’s getting a second season in the fall) and the season is available on Crunchyroll, so watching it is neither difficult nor demanding a lot of time.

And there you have it. That’s basically how I’ve been spending my week.

But, also, I’m working on the second, or at least first-point-five draft of The Alchemist of Middlesbrooke, so stay tuned for updates on that.

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