Just a quick pop-in to share the new Kate Bush video released to promote her new single, “Deeper Understanding,” the Director’s Cut version of the track from 1989′s The Sensual World. It was directed by Kate and stars Robbie Coltrane. It’s just brilliant! Make sure that your computer is nearb- oh wait, n/m
It’s available on iTunes with the new forthcoming Director’s Cut to be released next month. The song was prescient in 1989, and more relevant today than ever. Check it out for yourself, and back away from your computer slowly… Disengage just a bit from what you perceive as “reality” and choose your on-and-off-line friends wisely
Since I added the following clip to a comment that might be missed, here’s the official video for her last single “King of the Mountain,” released in 2005 from the sublime Aerial. Elvis and Citizen Kane fans pay particular attention
Another (comparatively) lesser-seen video is that of “Experiment IV” which examines the possibilty of using sound as a weapon. NO CHANCE OF THAT HAPPENING IS THERE? Look for cameos from Kate’s brother Paddy as a loony, bassist/steadfast companion Del Palmer as a guinea pig, and Dawn French (of French & Saunders) as an assistant, among other members plucked at random from her fandom:
Thanks to KateBushMusic at YouTube for allowing these gems to be shared. Now go and investigate her on your own; it’s good to do your own homework
Continuing from the post several spots below that celebrated Lily-Doll’s seventh birthday…
…she brings you love, and deeper understanding…
While researching the creation of Lily-Doll in late 2003-early 2004, I came upon a doll-related forum in which repeated comments about anime were made, in particular the handful of shows thatfeatured themes of artifical life, artificial companionship, and artificial humans, a.k.a. “dolls”. The two series most often mentioned were Chobits and (later) Rozen Maiden. I was still under the mistaken assumption that anime was essentially kiddie-cartoons, and so didn’t pay particular attention at first. But since a majority (if not all) of the posters were adults and seemingly quite enamored of the art-form, I began to pay a little more attention. Also, since I was interested in the history of dolls (especially with regard to Pygmalion and designing “the ideal woman”) I decided to look a little bit further…
After watching a few clips of Chobits and essentially falling in love with Chii (the main character), I tracked down the box set (reissue) and marathoned all 26 episodes over two days; about 13 hours total. (I hardly find it necessary to add that when I say “fell in love” it doesn’t mean literally, but you know how some people are *rolls eyes and adds*) Such a great character in so many ways! This was my second anime after the gore-fest of Elfen Lied, and the contrast couldn’t have been greater. I already was still in a state of shock over how radically my view of anime had changed, and this sweet, thoughtful, and provocative story of a discarded human-sized personal computer/assistant was pretty much at the other end of the spectrum compared to EL.
I especially enjoyed the themes of companionship and love (which are also central to Lily’s novel-to-be-published, UNBOUND), and the innocence of a new sort of sentient creature freshly (re-) awakened into The Sensual World. True, there were silly and exaggerated moments, such as in episode four, wherein Chii goes out by herself into the city to buy underwear and has to keep her mission in mind by repeating her “shopping list” repeatedly. Like… 114 times :-O This probably put off those with lesser amounts of patience, but I thought it was cute and not at all lewd at any time.
(Minor spoiler alert:) One mini-arc involved Chii disappearing, and when Hideki goes off searching for her comes upon an associate, the baker Ueda. Ueda cautions him about becoming too involved with the persocom Chii because he himself had been through something similar. Ueda tells his story to Hideki, and it was one of the most heartbreaking, poignant stories ever animated. I was seriously gasping for breath and wiping the tears away, it was so believable and true-to-life sad. Here is an AMV of The Baker’s Story, retold against the backing of the full version of the gorgeous ending theme “Ningyo Hime” (aka “Mermaid Princess”), as sung by Chii’s voice actress Rie Tanaka… one of my most favorite songs:
…and those are just the “minor” characters!
From The Wiki (which contains spoilers, so I’ll snip this comment): “Critics generally agreed that the second half of the series was stronger than the first, as the story explored the moral and philosophical explorations of the relationships between humans and artificial intelligences, and whether the latter have free will.“
By and by Chii comes across a mysterious picture book, featuring a character who mirrors her thoughts and aspirations, and another separate entity who is more than she seems, as if resembling another, internal, side of Chii, who cautions her against reaching too far for such a far-off star. (I’m deliberately being vague so as not to ruin any surprises!)
As in the beautiful Kate Bush song linked above, Chobits also thematically examines our over-reliance and infatuation with technology and love substitutes that are ultimately hollow, at least without real love factored in. But there’s much more to the deceptively simple presentation that meets the eye; despite the artificial “tool” that Chii really is, a real love story develops as she understands more and more…
As Chii comes closer to understanding her original purpose, she finds that she has growing feelings for Hideki, the penny-conscious student who found her lying in a rubbish heap and who excitedly took her home to care for her. Of course, the motivation of finding an expensive “computer” such as this one that he could never afford was his original impetus; once he woke her up though, the ballgame changes. (NOTE: The following AMV is somewhat NSFW; it hints at the special hiding place for Chii’s on/off switch, which is a critical positioning that is not prurient but *spoiler spoiler spoiler*. It’s also spoilery, but the unfamiliar probably won’t guess what’s going on )
She knows nothing of the world and is fully dependant on him at first; slowly she begins to realize the truth about her origin, her purpose, and that mysterious “other” who haunts the pages of her picture book and her heart. Hideki discovers that his own perception of her is changing; she’s no longer just a machine but a girl coming out of her cocoon, one whom he feels obliged to protect and cherish. Whether or not this comes to fruition remains for you, the Viewer, to decide. When The End comes in an anime, anything can happen, even death for a central character, but in this one the ending was… worth the wait
Later in my first year of anime (2007), I found episodes of Rozen Maiden to download and was so impressed that I ordered the lovely red velvet-covered box set when it became available. An anime with some pretty silly (but hilariously cute) doll-antics, this one was a bit darker than expected and dealt with more themes from those that I threaded throughout UNBOUND: the relationship between creator and created (Rozen the doll-maker and the Maidens), companionship, and sacrifice. The Rozen Maidens were a series of seven living dolls with magical powers that their long-vanished Maker, Rozen, infused them with. Due to his failure at creating “the perfect girl, Alice” he made these dolls to compete in “The Alice Game,” in which the survivor would prove her worth to him by defeating all the other sisters and becoming Alice, able to meet with their beloved “Father” at last. I don’t think I need to point out the parallel between this and our own feelings about our own Maker, and the endless wars we fight to supposedly appease His will…
Jun, the main character (aside from the wonderful dolls), had sequestered himself in his room and had withdrawn from school and all societal obligations. He liked to buy things off the Internet and then return them before the trial period expired; that was his raison d’ etre. Being a hikikomori, he didn’t get out much at all. It reminded me in a huge way about how I’d isolated myself so completely in order to write my novel, so his situation resonated with me a bit. One day he answers an ad that merely asks: “Will you wind? Or not wind?” Having no clue, he circles “wind” and shortly is gifted with a lovely (but girly) ball-jointed doll, dressed in rose-colored gorgeous gothic-lolita attire. Puzzled, he turns her over and over in his hands to see where to put the key. Finally he finds the keyhole, and winds…
I’ll always remember that first moment when Shinku finally awakens LOL
In their second season, the much darker Traumend, Jun is brought to a new dollmaker in town by his female friend Tomoe. The conversation and dialogue in this scene is brilliant, with the dollmaker’s salesperson Shirosaki praising Jun for being interested in dolls despite being a boy, and explaining the dolls’ feelings towards their owner in touching detail. (Apparently the Japanese are much more tolerant and understanding about this than westerners, but it’s still seen as “un-natural” thanks to Society’s presumptuous pre-conditioning.)
Essentially, Shirosaki explains that in spite of appearances, dolls feel that love bestowed upon them by their owner. Paraphrasing: “It’s not that dolls won’t give love; they can’t. They just sit on the shelf, and no matter how hard they try, they can’t communicate that love to their owner.” And this exchange later, I believe by the doll-maker, Enju: ”The feelings you put into a doll are all the same. As long as you pour love into them, they continue to live. When love disappears, they die. They become lost, no matter who it is.” He cradles his newly-forged doll, smiles at her, and says, “Hello.”
Even though it’s not considered a masterpiece of anime, I still greatly enjoy it, and that’s really all that matters, right? When I saw that Jun Planning planned a set of Rozen Maiden Dolls I leapt on the chance to own all of them (much like one of the characters in the series, namely Kanaria’s loopy mistress). If the company hadn’t decided to sneak an extra limited edition doll (who only appears for a brief moment in the final seconds of the last episode), I’d have a complete set as I thought I’d been collecting. Let’s not even go there *still furious*. I’ll probably never be able to afford Kirakishou; she’s probably over $1000 by now, in comparison to their original ~$100 price tag. Grr…
ANYWAY. I do have all the rest, and they’re beautiful; their hair and outfits are spot-on, even though the face molds are a bit similar. They’re a cute li’l gang and of course excellent reproductions of their characters in the show, aside from their faces. Technically they aren’t actually ball-jointed dolls as the anime dolls are, but fairly close. They threw a welcome home party for Soony when this genuine ball-jointed doll from Korea arrived, which I recorded/shot for posterity.
Group shot after the party:
Which brings us to genuine ball-jointed dolls…
SOONY, the Korean-made Lutz-Delf ball-jointed doll:
One of the members of the above-mentioned doll forum was a great photographer of his own ball-jointed doll, and when I compared the ease of posing, arranging, and open-ended photo-shoot possibilities of these smaller dolls with the life-sized Lily (and her 100-pounds of dead-weight), I decided to focus on this rewarding aspect of “small-doll” photography. I mean, they’re much cheaper than real life models, and you don’t even have to buy them their smack!
Since they don’t come with outfits, I had to choose one for her. I wanted another doll to serve as an inspiration for Lily’s story, and since Unbound was basically inspired by an angel (let’s say), an angel costume was a no-brainer. So the ever-so-cute Soony sits atop my computer hutch gazing down benevolently upon me. Her name will change to her real one once Unbound gets a deal. Maybe
She’s a lot of fun and a constant benevolent (if somewhat inscrutable) presence in my bedroom. She stares at me a lot, as if prodding me on to getting Lily’s novel published! A while back I was fortunate enough to find a really nice (if reduced to um… “doll-sized”) copy of Chii’s Picture Book, “A Town With No People” which she enjoys reading. Quite a lot:
Their faces can hint at amusement, concern, and the weight or the pleasure of the unknowable secrets they hold. They necessarily hide their “feelings” behind the flesh of plastic and resin from where their personalities are born; that special place that Imagination provides. That’s the trick: Use your imagination! That gift is ever more neglected day by day by the general public, and that’s simply a shame. We forget how to Play; instead we gamble and play fast ‘n’ loose with our emotions and even our play-mates, and The World. The games we now play have less to do with Play than it does one-upmanship and gaining power and leverage over one another. Sick, cynical, mean and malevolent games. Human games; our Alice Game. We’ve come so far from the caves yet behave like we still need them; indeed, we still act like we belong in them. Despite this, dolls have been with us since we first emerged from those hidey-holes of our ancestors, and we’ll always treasure our relationships with our little artificial companions.
Boy or girl! Free yourself from the fetters of conformity; it’s so self-defeating and delusional, shallow and sheep-like (unless that’s what floats your boat, then go ahead and join the crowd. Safety in numbers, and all that… and safe from those “scary/creepy” dolls!!!). Time to grow up and PLAY
After a temporary reprieve granting me another month of grace, we’ll carry on as if nothing’s out of the ordinary. (Good luck with that, yup!) I’m fairly convinced that those twinkling little lights at the end of this tunnel are not oncoming vehicles but actually glimmers of Hope, so we’ll see…
I’ll continue the Doll feature soon (Part One is in the Post below this one), but since many if not most anime Winter shows have ended, thought I’d sum up what was worth watching and ditching this past season, for my own peculiar tastes. The Great Japan Quake of last month understandably threw most schedules off with power outages, offices left in shambles, and personnel isolated from their workplaces, but as is typical of the Japanese, they’re picking themselves up and throwing themselves into their work. Do your best, Japan! (And, Thank You!)
I usually won’t pick up an anime series unless it’s one that I’m sure I’ll be following. Every so often I get steered towards one that I’m iffy on, such as Dragon Crisis and Infinite Stratos, but I like to give it an even shot of surprising me. Unfortunately, neither one did, so I’ve put them “On Hold” pending a complete “Dropped”. For the more casual anime fan, these are terms from My Anime List, which along with the MALUpdater app is a handy resource for keeping track of the anime you’ve watched, and if a WordPress Blogger, the MAL widget (along the right sidebar) lets your visitors know what you’ve been watching. And, no doubt, whether you’ve been naughty or nice
Overall, the Winter Season served up several high quality series, a couple of which will be enshrined in the highest levels of my Anime Hall of Fame. Some others, not so much. But even these are worth watching. Beelzebub is getting (even more) repetitious, what with Baby Beel emitting constant screaming electroshock untherapy blasts, but the cast keeps things lively and entertaining, in a lowbrow sort of way. If your brows are already high enough though, you may enjoy the slapstick cartoony violence. Doubt that I’ll keep it though. Slapstick cartoony violence shows are a dime-a-dozen these days (or any LOL)… rather boring. I may be dropping it soon because my brain hurts when watching it.
Yumekui Merry(Dream Eater Merry) was entertaining enough, but not enough Merry and a rambling plot with unfulfilled premises dragged it down a bit. Merry was delightful, but the pacing was just too ramshackle and at times a bit silly. Good fun though, if you’re the easy-to-please sort! An attractive cast and nice animation are the highlights here. On the other hand, Level E started and ended up great, but the middle eps were dragged down with a questionable diversion arc featuring a gang of ”Color Rangers”-type teen heroes’ hijinx. Unfortunately they weren’t quite high enough for me. The last episode was worth the ride though, as the conniving Prince Baka (“idiot”) finally got his comeuppance.
Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuuwas only 8 episodes long but delivered its usual semi-raunchy fare well enough. For some reason, this sort of humor works for me! Each of the three sisters are quirky and cute (in varying ways), and their harrassed father and teacher are hilarious in their own rarified moments. With decent characterizations it’s easy to let oneself go with the flow, knowing that while not exactly deep-thought material, there’s gonna be a funny anecdote or three to keep the interest going. Since each episode contains several mini-stories, there’s always something else coming down the pike that’ll get the laughs.
The second season of Kimi ni Todoke finally delivered on its premise of finding (and feeling!) that precious yet painful pang of First Love. A very sweet series, with a great cast and story, it really satisfied me and rewarded me for my patience. Quite slow-paced, it nevertheless kept its story moving with the many interesting and funny characters, not to mention their quirks and questionable motives that kept the fuels of misunderstanding and consequence burning. I loved this heartfelt look at love, and Sawako’s seiyuu, Mamiko Noto, really got (and kills) the role of a lifetime, among her many roles.
That leaves us with the cream o’ the crop: Fractale, Gosick, Hourou Musuko (Wandering Son), and last but certainly not least, Puella Magi Madoka Magica. These are my Winners for the Season just ended:
BEST ED: Magia, by Kalafina, from Puella Magi Madoka Magica; the ED is below, while a live extended version follows:
FRACTALE (and best OP):
Fractale, while not generally receiving high marks as a series, had me hooked from beginning to end. (Reminder: don’t go by what others think, but what you might like!) The world was intriguing and fantastic, and the concept of a “World Computer” rebooting the planet was a provocative backdrop, and the race to beat or allow it was quite suspenseful. The character designs were lovely, especially Nessa and Phryne, and the cast, airships, and politics reminded me in no small way of those of Last Exile. And that OP…!
If you haven’t clicked it yet, that ANN link will provide you with a way to watch it streaming for free (and legally)!
Gosick (rumored to be a reference to “gothic”) is another ongoing adventure that will keep me hooked until its end after the Spring season. Set in a fictional Switzerland-type land in the 1920s, this show has a lush look all its own, and the characters are a lot of fun to watch as they attempt to unravel various mysteries (with various resuts). Veronique is a sort of Sherlock Holmes type of detective, though her arboretum-like “retreat” atop a towering Library wouldn’t suggest that at first glance. At second glance, yeah, that comparison is valid, from the tons of books lying around to her special ceramic pipe. She takes on cases that others won’t (or can’t) touch, and usually, and effortlessly, solves them swiftly with the help of Kujo, her Dr. Watson-like assistant. Now at the midway point we’re getting some deeper insight into what makes these characters tick, as their backstories are emerging more fully. I really didn’t like the ill-tempered Veronique at first, but now that we’re learning why she is the way she is, she’s one of my favorites; she reminds me in a way of both Shinku from Rozen Maiden, and Chii from Chobits. These are good things
HOUROU MUSUKO (Wandering Son):
Hourou Musuko(Wandering Son) simply amazed me. I was set to pass on this series after reading a few presumptuous posts about it being “too gay” or of the yaoi (boys’ love) genre, since neither are of much interest to me, though neither of which is true about this show. But if there is a believable Story involving such persons, I’m all for giving it a chance, until it becomes too panderous or exploitative. This show is a beauty! LESSON LEARNED (again): Do not go by what others’ asinine comments insinuate; they’re usually written by haters who simply (and simple-mindedly) try to influence what others should do, according to their own limited worldview/intelligence. That’s a LOT of lacking, in most of those cases. Do your homework, and decide for yourself, on your own. Otherwise you might miss shows such as this beautiful, thought-provoking, and sympathetic portrayal of children on the verge of puberty and coming to grips with not only this, but also their identities as both people, boys, girls, and sexual identification.
Simply put, I can’t recommend this any higher to anyone, anime-lover or no, who might be interested in the subjects of kids approaching and handling puberty, and how we (and they) deal with issues such as cross-dressing, transgender, same-sex attractions, and so on. I should add that never is there any lewdness, crudity, sexual acts or sensationalism. Simply a beautiful, bittersweet story that should leave one satisfied in the end. It may prove to be educational, as well
PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA:
What will probably be my favorite series from Winter, Puella Magi Madoka Magicais a fantastic head-trip that alternates between psychedelically surreal and the morbid mundane, though the focus is firmly on the former. Turning the Magical Girl genre completely on its head, Studio SHAFT’s Madoka is simply awesome, and I canNOT wait until the next week’s episode. (The quake delayed finishing the final two eps, but according to Anime News Network the final two eps will air back-to-back on April 21, as per series script-writer Gen Urobuchi.)
(EDIT: Since the previous AMV was taken down from YouTube, here’s the opening 4 minutes of the first episode to replace it with (including the deceptively-cute OP). See what they throw you into immediately? Welcome to The Witch World )
I usually pass on Magical Girl anime because they’re too childish and syrupy-sweet for my tastes; I think that the Nanoha series is the only one I’ve enjoyed up until now. THIS series breaks the mold, then turns it on its head and breaks it again, and again, and again LOL! (That GD Kyuubey has to be one of the most awful (and disturbingly cute) villains in anime history.) Dark, violent, ominous, and mind-twisting, this series has it all, from great characters, to awesome soundtrack, to rampant symbolism and color-drenched visuals, to the exciting battles with the Witches in their own bizarre psychedelic Worlds, and with characters you can really care for, it’s easy to see what all the buzz is about. (And, Akemi Homura has become another of my most-favorite characters!) Studio SHAFT together with writer Gen Urobuchi and brilliant director Akiyuki Shinbo have crafted a definitive visionary re-imagining of the Magical Girl genre, and we’ll never look at those sweet little figures the same way again, if ever.
I mean… imagine if Tinkerbell was a miserable wretch, trapped in a fate that she couldn’t escape from, in the clutches of a manipulative “benefactor” who clinically sucks the life out of her for his own inscrutable ends, while she believes that his granting of her One True Wish is a fair price to pay for being enlisted to fight and destroy powerful witches. She wouldn’t be such a happy camper, now would she?
Greatly looking forward to owning this show, in a nice box set, if you please
Seven years ago I had the distinct pleasure and delight to meet the girl of my dreams, Lily Godwin. She’d been incubating in my imagination for many years at that point, and to celebrate the completion of the first draft of her story, UNBOUND, on Christmas Day 2003, I began the lengthy process of designing her with the cooperation of her makers, Abyss Creations, by placing an order the next business day. After an exchange of innumerable “fine-tuning” emails during the creation phase, on April 1, 2004 she popped out of the mold, and several weeks later was finally delivered to my home in Vancouver, Washington. It was an auspicious day, made even moreso by the huge wooden crate that was dropped off at my (garage) door. Try explaining THAT to nosey curious neighbors!
The answer to “what’s in the crate?”:
The obligatory “opening the crate” photo! Aside from the Tarot card, this is how all the dolls were shipped in those days. (The Fool card is integral to both Lily’s and my own life, and figures prominently in the novel.) Since Lily isn’t exactly a negligee-type of girl (quite down to earth, she is!), we had to immediately change-out her attire for something more cozy. Of course, getting her OUT of the crate proved tricky; a 100-pound silicone doll is not the easiest thing in the world to transport! “The Weight” is usually the second most-surprising thing a new-owner will experience LOL
There’s something about shooting the dolls in natural light that brings out the realism best; artificial light is too… “synthetic” (he said without a trace of irony). Naturally, I’m a bit biased, but upon seeing her for that memorable first time I thought that she was the most gorgeous doll I’d ever seen. She took my breath away! Lily’s description in the story and the embedded vision I had of her were very high bars to set, but I was unwavering in painstakingly replicating her “look” while corresponding closely with Joey, the face-designer, who really outdid himself in matching my demands perfectly. At the time there were 11 different face types, and 7 body types. Those were easy to pick out, but with over a million makeup/feature combinations the rest proved to be challenging. Thankfully, Lily was accomodating: no makeup, the lightest eye-shadow/mascara, little as possible blush, natural lips (no paint). That’s my nature-girl
In the early days I was doing a fair number of interviews, and somehow I had the good fortune to be contacted by Elena Dorfman and her creative partner Elisabeth Alexandre (an editor of France’s version of Marie-Claire magazine), who were each writing a book on life-sized dolls. They flew out to Vancouver all the way from Paris to meet Lily and I, and brought some lovely clothes from The City of Lights for her to wear (and keep!). We managed to bring Lily out into the back yard where Elena shot some photos (she’s a world-reknowned photographer), and from there drove all over town, much to the delight of unsuspecting citizens. (Big Secret: Girls love dolls!)
That’s a photo of Lily in her new duds that I took during our session; Elena took some similar that are (of course) nicer Lily was also chosen by Coverdoll online magazine as their featured model-of-the-month, a huge honor, and so I undertook the task of preparing a photo-shoot. Now, for me, photo-shoots are a lot of work. Being a perfectionist (not that you can tell from my weak-ass photo-skillz!), getting the lighting and most-importantly the eyes right really tried my patience. Since I had no tripod at the time, and shooting in natural light, keeping the camera still was an ongoing problem that eventually dissuaded me from any further attempts. For awhile, at least!
(That’s Jerry-bear, her stuffed animal, on the right.) Having had around twenty years’ worth of germinating in my imagination (and on paper), Lily-Doll came with Lily Godwin’s personality fully intact and in full-flower. Will, her ward and charge, had turned her on to Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, and their room-mate (and Will’s tutor) Stephen exposed her to the music of Kate Bush, both of whom she follows rabidly. Ironically, the first Kate-song referenced in the story is Deeper Understanding,which was just released as a single from the brand-new “Director’s Cut” album that Kate is releasing next month (right after my birthday!). Readers of this Blog already know about the connections of The Sensual World and Lily, both of which are getting the do-over treatment as well. My mind is still boggling, so I won’t belabor you with it. (But later, alright? Lots of Kate-news is forthcoming!)
For having a face “set in stone” she sure has a variety of expressions! Penny for your thoughts, Lily? Ah, I think she’s recalling her second Coverdoll shoot, where we dressed her as an angel for Halloween! I can’t express enough the difficulty in dressing these dolls; what with a limited range of movement and not very well-articulated, they are difficult to pose, much less dress. Which is why Lily-Doll is usually lightly-dressed, so as to provide a better grip when carrying that 100-pound deadweight. Accidents can break skeletons, so caution is always needed. These are not just “playthings”, but rather works of art. This is something not evident to the casual observer, but in their presence they can be truly jaw-dropping (as I’ve seen firsthand LOL)!
So, I dressed her up, and set her in one of her two favorite corners in the house, right in front of Kate’s “The Sensual World” promo poster, holding a book entitled “Ariel” (the name of a character in the novel, and phonetically similar to Kate’s “Aerial” album), and our favorite movie, Wings of Desire. Quite a cozy little corner! Here’s a typically blurry shot that actually worked in our favor:
I shouldn’t let the opportunity pass to thank Guy Louis XVI, the Canadian master of special effects (among many other things) who alongside Joey in San Diego, conspired to create Lily’s most important facial features: her cobalt-blue eyes. It took a little while, but we finally settled on these custom-made and truly unique beauties, and he suggested his realistic eyebrows as well, which went way beyond the regular painted-on brows that Abyss used to use. Of course, I chose “Natural” brows
That’s our girl! <3
I’m not going to get into the whole “ew, dolls” thing because it’s so tired an argument opinion. They’re like clowns, in a way. Either you like them or you don’t; makes no difference to me. And it shouldn’t be too hard to grasp that males can enjoy and appreciate the beauty and magic in them as females have enjoyed since time out of mind. As the film Lars and the Real Girl attests, dolls are no different than the action-figures more commonly accepted and collected (by guys, oddly enough). But when no-nothing rubes start criticizing and belittling, marginalizing and assuming, then we’ve got a fight. Thankfully, these days the public is a little more tolerant and understanding about those who see and think differently than they do, but great leaps are still required. We have a long way to go, and dolls have been with us ever since we left the caves. Even longer than clowns!
So, what we still need, is Deeper Understanding, yes? Mmh, yes…
Have fun, no matter what others think, as long as no-one gets hurt, right~?
Happy Birthday, dear Lily! Hopefully it won’t be long before our story is published, and then you, Dear Reader, can finally meet her (beyond the first chapter, here)! I know that she’s looking forward to it with much anticipation
As am I
If all goes well, the next installment will detail how dolls led to my discovery of anime, the second-most significant discovery in my life after Kate. EVERYTHING’S CONNECTED!!!
Please feel free to leave comments or Birthday Wishes, as all are welcome here!
on the water
"When early youth had passed, he left his cold fireside and alienated home to seek strange truths in undiscovered lands. Many a wide waste and tangled wilderness has lured his fearless steps; and he has bought with his sweet voice and eyes, from savage men, his rest and food." (from 'Alastor, or, The Spirit of Solitude', by Percy Bysshe Shelley,1815)
For info on our novel UNBOUND, please see our website in the Blogroll!