But as cute as part one was, part two (which I actually watched unsubtitled because I didn't want to wait) was just amazing. Brock and Misty hold some exhibition matches to show off for the Alola crew. There are some sparring matches first (Brock vs Sophocles and Lillie and then Misty vs Lana and Mallow), and then two big matches: Brock vs Kiawe and Misty vs Ash. And the biggest thing revealed is that Brock and Misty now have Mega Stones/Keystones for their Steelix and Gyarados respectively to Mega-Evolve. Mega-Evolution is a game mechanic introduced in Gen 6 (the previous gen) where certain fully-evolved Pokémon can gain a temporary Mega Forme if the bond with the trainer is sufficient. Ash didn't get a Mega during the gen 6 arc, but he had a special Battle Bond Forme for his Greninja which was slightly different in that no Stone was required. But Brock and Misty have Mega Stones and the reveal was amazing--Brock carries his keystone in a necklace under his shirt, and Misty carries her in her hair tie. And it brings about so many questions--how did the get the Stones, how did they train to use them, and gah!
More than that, it's how we've seen Brock and Misty grow from when we (and Ash) last saw them. With Ash being the only member of the original trio to be a consistent player in each saga, it's possible to watch him grow and develop as a trainer. And that’s great; he’s come so far, and it’s been great to follow his journey and growth for the last 20 years.
And now, after so many years, we see just how far his first companions, Brock and Misty, have come since their debut 20 years ago, too. Everything about these exhibition matches was amazing, but best of all were the keystone reveals–to see Brock and his first Pokémon having reached amazing heights, and to see Misty having not only conquered her fear of Gyarados, but now command one at its strongest.
These are characters that I grew up with in my highly influential years–the first characters that sparked my imagination and inspired me to follow my dreams and write. And to see them again after all this time, and see how far they’ve come and how much they’ve been able to achieve, is simply indescribable.
And I also got to visit my other favorite anime yesterday; I finally saw last year's 20th anniversary Yu-Gi-Oh movie, Darkside of Dimensions. This one, I saw in English--I have a fondness and loyalty towards the 4kids voice actors who did the first 8 seasons of Pokémon and all 5 seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh. Pokémon is out of their reach now, sadly, since it doesn't look like the current anime owners have any intention of bringing them back (which is why I watched the Brock & Misty reunion eps in Japanese), but when the YGO movie was announced, I was willing to hope that there might be a chance, despite the fact that 4kids as a company no longer existed--and I'd even decided that Eric Stuart returning to voice Kaiba would be the deal-clincher for me, and lo, both he and Dan Green were announced to return as Kaiba and Yugi. But then they later announced that everyone from the 4kids dub was coming back to reprise their roles, except for Maddie Blaustein, sadly, who had passed back in 2008; it was a bit of a sad moment to hear everyone else but not her, but everyone else was in perfect form, and it was great to hear them again!
( Spoilers and stuff under the cut )
So, overall, even though the story and characterizations were "ehh," the message was good and it was great to hear everyone (sans Maddie, sigh...) again--it really was like visiting old friends! And I got an MFU plotbunny out of it--the movie seems to suggest that the Millennium Ring is inherently evil even before (and after) Zorc corrupted it; it's basically sentient like the One Ring (when it takes over the disciple and merges him with a monster, it basically says that the disciple is no longer in control--again, post-Zorc) and feeds into people's inner fears and hate/anger, and that Mahad was the only one pure of heart enough to resist it. Granted, the items were created from a horrific ritual and probably all have different degrees of evil associated with them (the Eye seems to be the other one that messes people up a lot, seeing what happened with Akhnaden and Pegasus), and Thief King would have had a lot of hatred and anger in his heart for the Ring to feed on.
But now I want to have Napoleon temporarily end up with the Ring and the Ring be astounded that it's not able to influence him until something starts happening to Illya since only then Napoleon starts feeling angry and afraid--but, of course, in the end, he fully resists the Ring and discards it/gives it back to Shadi. I can probably tie this in with the Ammit Medallion arc, which will wrap up Lionheart and Kid's story, as well. That won't be for a while, though--I have a Halloween fic in the works for October, and then I want to do the first Lionheart and Kid novel itself for NaNo in November!
Title: The Cat's Cradle Affair
Fandom: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Main Characters: Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin
Supporting Characters: Cora Solo (OC)
Status: Complete; 1/1
Summary: When the office cat Baba Yaga ends up expecting kittens on Illya’s birthday, it allows Napoleon to plan a surprise dinner right under his preoccupied partner’s nose.
Link to Fanfiction.net: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12658865/
Will also be crossposted to tumblr.
There weren't too many things different in regards to the crafts; a lot of the craft booths returned from last year (including the guy who made keyrings and jewelry from antique spoons--he was quite happy to see that, two years later, I still have/use the keychain I bought from him), but there was one new booth that made decorative glass bottles with lights inside--some have wires that run to a switch in the bottle cork, and others were lit from above with a small, rechargeable LED light--she had Halloween and Christmas ones, and they were absolutely gorgeous! I didn't end up getting any, but they definitely did evoke a creepy/wintery feeling respectively!
They also had the glass-blowers back this year (I don't recall seeing them last year), and they also had a blacksmith, making tools the old-fashioned way with a hammer and anvil and it was really quite interesting to see that in action.
And there was a vintage comics sale; I checked it out, hoping to find some MFU comics, but, sadly, there weren't any. I did end up getting one of the old Scrooge McDuck comics for just 25 cents instead.
And of course, there was free stuff! Food mostly (popcorn and candy and an iced tea-lemonade mix that was really, really good), but there were also games and things where you could win stuff, and I ended up winning a water bottle, heh...
But, by far, the most interesting freebie I got was a coupon for 5 free martial arts lessons. And I think I will end up using it; ever since I spent two years away at college, I really wish I had known some form of self-defense then (especially when weird and unpleasant stuff started happening my second year there), and since I will have to move away again if I end up getting work that requires it, it would be wise to learn some basic self-defense techniques. So yes, once I gather up the courage, I will be taking those lessons.
But yes, it was a good day!
Here is an article from a place called Television Obscurities in which The Girl from UNCLE is reviewed. It includes a comment from David McCallum on the series and the reviews at the time it aired.
The Girl from UNCLE @ Television Obscurities
Friends, Russians, countrymen
He ran into him on his way to meet Napoleon, who was waiting in the car down in the garage. The tall Englishman was coming out of the elevator.
“Illya, my old mucker! Good to see you again. You haven’t changed a bit. How are you?”
“Very well, thank you,” Illya replied coolly. “How are you, Mark?”
“Extremely well, and raring to go.” Mark said, and continued, chattily, “I heard you were here, of course. Never would have thought we’d end up on the same side, eh?”
That all-too familiar, breezy bonhomie of the privately-educated English male, speaking in the cut-glass accents of the upper-classes, with their implicit put-down of lesser mortals – or serfs, in his case. His old mucker, indeed. He knew what that odd expression meant now. A place at Cambridge didn’t make you equal, they made sure of that.
“No,” he replied. “It must be strange to find that even Russians take any kind of moral view of the world.”
“I didn’t mean...” said Mark awkwardly, “don’t be like that, Illya … you know how it was at Cambridge… Secret Service recruiters and all that.”
“Yes. I do know.”
( Read more... )
As the sun set, red and gold streaking out across the sky, two men, footsore and weary, were tramping up a hill, tripping over tree roots and hillocks in the gathering darkness.
“Napoleon, I thought you said this was a shortcut?”
“So did I. I think we’re lost.”
Illya rolled his eyes.
“Napoleon, if we keep stumbling on in the dark we will get even more lost. Why do we not find somewhere sheltered and wait for the sun to return?”
“What if THRUSH find us?”
“Even we do not know where we are, how will anyone else find us?”
Today's prompt for What If? goes like this...
What if Mister Waverly was actually a Madame Waverly? How different would the administration of this powerful agency look if under the guidance of a woman. She will, of course, have the same splendid resume as the man we normally see in the big office, with experiences in wartime as well as ... well, you tell me.
And how does it affect the agents? Does it take so long to have a female agent under the leadership of a woman?
So many angles, so many questions to be answered.
I hope you have some.
Stories post September 28-October 1. Gen, minimum 500 words.
The thug was drawing his arm back to punch Illya, when he unexpectedly found himself lying on his back, with a heavily bleeding nose. Illya glared down at him.
“Next time, I suggest you accept the replacement drink when it is offered.”
This story is intended as a follow-on to my story “A Long Time In Coming”, from my Katiya series.
He remembered the wire.
He still dreamed about the wire, almost every night. Barbed wire fences used to keep in people as well as animals. The animals knew no better, of course. They had no idea what was coming, but the people knew very well what was in store once they found themselves on the wrong side of the barbed wire fences.
Some tried to climb the wire, but the soldiers had made sure it was high enough and sharp enough to make it impossible to climb over. Always the guards were there. Always they were spotted. Those who had climbed too high to return to the ground quickly were shot down. No one ever escaped over the wire. Those who survived the attempt were punished severely. No one ever tried a second time.
Read the story on AO3
This is the prompt with stories due for today. (If you can't post today that's okay, better late than never!)
The prompt for today:
RULES of the Challenge HERE