Hey all, Dani here.
I love talking about books. It’s the reason why I started this book blog, but over the years I’ve tried to balance my love of reading with all of my other geeky passions and hobbies. Occasionally that means posting about non-bookish things on here. Honestly this is more like my little corner of the geek universe. Today is one of those days where I just feel this huge need to talk about not quite as bookish things.
I say not quite because today I’m talking about shows that I’ve been binge-watching or re-watching quite recently. However, I can also say that they all have books attached to them, so I’ll talk about both the show and the books that go along with it.
It’s kind of a shorter list, but I’m probably going to gush about most of these for a little bit so it’ll still be a decently sized post.
First off, I have to talk about “The Good Place.” This show just finished its four season run recently, and I’ve somehow managed to avoid spoilers for the season finale, which is really impressive. I’m in the middle of season 3, so I’ll have to wait a little bit to be able to watch the final season, but you guys, this show is utterly amazing! The way it is able to balance all of these deep philosophical and ethical lessons and debates with ridiculous randomness and hilarity, as well as having massively compelling characters is just wonderful.
The character development is pretty exceptional overall as well. Watching these characters, who some of them are self-centered or obnoxious or arrogant or downright evil, learn and grow and change through all of these events that happen, and all of the ethics lessons that are presented to them, it’s just a delight to watch.
I don’t own this book yet, but come on, how cute is the idea behind it? A cookbook based on the show? Like, there are some pretty fun episodes around food and such throughout the show, so I’m excited to take a look at the book in the future.
Next, I’m going to mention one of my more recent manga/anime obsessions, and that is “Fruits Basket.” When it comes to reading I’m only through the third volume of the Collector’s Editions, which I think is like the first 9 volumes of the standard manga editions.
This story is just really cute, and like a lot of manga and anime I seem to enjoy, there is a fairly decent focus on food. It is a shojo manga, which is a story that is aimed more towards a teenage female audience, and the stories typically involve romance. This one follows a young woman named Tohru, whose mom recently passed away, and through a series of circumstances she ends up temporarily moving in with a classmate…only to learn that he and several other members of his family are possessed by the animal spirits of the Chinese Zodiac.
I just think that Tohru is so adorable and caring and compassionate, and watching how she interacts with members of the Sohma clan is really intriguing. I didn’t get into this series back when it was originally released (back in like 1999/2000), and didn’t even actually know it existed back then. I think the only manga/anime I really knew about back then was Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura, though I had heard of Dragon Ball Z and all that.
Anyway, I’m glad that Funimation decided to bring back the anime, mostly with the original cast as well. Much like what they did with Fullmetal Alchemist/Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, this new adaptation is supposed to follow the manga more closely. Now, considering I never watched the original series, I can’t say if that’s true or not. But based on images I’ve seen from both shows, I can say that the art and animation style has certainly improved over the past two decades, so that’s great.
I’m looking forward to continuing with this series and meeting the last members of the Zodiac, and seeing how Tohru living with a few of the Sohmas affects and changes them all.
My third current show obsession is “The Witcher.” Clearly I have to talk about this show, because I’m a little bit obsessed with it at the moment. I have the whole season downloaded on my phone so I can watch it anywhere/anytime. I own all of the books. We own a couple of the games.
The action in the show is phenomenal. Okay, yes, if you aren’t fully paying attention, the timeline in season one can be a little confusing, because there’s like three different timelines running at once for most of the show. I personally didn’t have any issues with it, though I know a lot of people complained about it. I enjoyed the costuming, and the magical special effects. The creatures were fantastic. There was a dragon in one of the episodes and he was glorious. Most of the creatures that Witchers hunt were delightfully creepy, which I thought was pretty darn cool.
I had tried to read the first book of stories twice before the release of the show and didn’t make it that far in, because while it was good, I still struggle with translated books. After watching the first couple episodes of the show, I picked up the book again and I was completely hooked. I don’t know what it was but all of the stories and characters and the world, it all just clicked for me, and now I just really want to binge-read the whole series, but at the same time, I want to savor the books…especially since we’re apparently not getting season two until at least early 2021.
Okay, fine, I have another manga/anime to talk about, and that’s “Black Clover.” Yes, I gush about this series pretty much every time I do a Manga Monday review for one of the volumes. I absolutely adore the characters in this show/series, and I’m excited about every time I get to enjoy more of their adventures.
Honestly, seriously, one of my absolute favorite parts about the Black Bulls squad of the Magic Knights is how they work together, and fight together, and stick up for each other, and defend each other, and how they never ever give up. They could be hurt and weak and be at the end of their magical ability, but if the people around them need protecting, the Black Bulls find a hidden reserve of strength and find a way to overcome any obstacle in front of them. It’s really awesome and inspiring.
Plus getting to watch the development of each character’s magic is really fun too. I’m completely caught up on the released volumes of the manga, but I have I think like 40 episodes or something of the anime to watch yet. I’ll be getting to that on my Funimation account next; I want to finish Fruits Basket first.
Finally, my obsession absolutely continues with one of my favorite shows, which you can watch for free on YouTube or you can just listen to as a podcast, and that is “Critical Role.”
Again, this is another one of those fandoms that I’ve talked about a number of times on this blog. I’ve been to three of the Gen Con live shows, I own a whole lot of merchandise, and I just love how this show sparks the creativity of so many and helps to inspire a lot of us out there.
I just, I really connect with the characters, each of them in different ways, but you do grow to really love them, and it’s all improv, and some of what happens is truly decided by rolls of the dice, so you never exactly know what to expect. But the characters and the stories are just complex and they get deep, and sometimes you’re watching it and you get emotional about it. If you’re like me then you get emotional sometimes while thinking about the characters and the story lines. Like, you know, right now while I’m typing this. I’m probably not helped by the fact that I have the show on in the background as I try to get completely caught up. –not having the best internet at home has meant that Damian and I have fallen quite a bit behind. It’s like if we don’t get to watch it live each week that we sometimes forget that we need to watch it.
There are a number of books that can be enjoyed from this fandom. There’s the art books, the prequel comics, a third party 5th edition setting book, and coming in March an official 5th edition setting book. So there’s so much out there to expand the massive world that Matthew Mercer has created and it’s fantastic.
All right, that is all from me for today. What are some shows that you are currently watching/obsessed with? Let me know in the comments, and I will be back soon with more bookish content.