The Mess of Outlining

It is September and NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I have to admit, I didn’t think i’d accomplish as much as I did this year. What used to be a struggle to plan and write at least 1 Camp NaNo project and 1 official NaNo project, has turned into a more productive year that I ever thought imaginable. This year I’ve edited 2 different novels into 2nd drafts, wrote one full length 50+k novel during 2 Camp NaNo sessions, written and submitted a short story for another writing contest, and now going through multiple outlining drafts of 2020’s NaNoWriMo’s project.

I have never revised and edited an outline this many times before. I must be close to my 4th outline by now. Not to mention this story i’m working on i’ve attempted to write twice before as short stories – and I think i finish one of them. It started as a new way to tackle the paranormal adventure genre, with new and different characters and new and different settings as my “Elysia Paranormal Society” (aka EPS) series that i’m struggling to find an agent for. Instead of dealing with the ‘college’ age angst of the EPS world, I tried to tone it down and see if I could accomplish a smilier premise with more teenagers (16 year olds). I guess it was an experiment if I could adjust my writing and characters to a younger age.

So, there it was, this short story focusing on a foster kid with an eyepatch to cover the unusual eye that many feel is demonic, cursed, and just bad luck. I treated the short story like a 30 minute TV episode, you have the set up of what the haunting is, the exploring of the site, and the climatic confrontation with the evil spirit before it is cleansed/passes on/defeated. Pretty simple plot structure there. And it was fun. But, like always, I get so attached to my characters that I couldn’t just leave it there.

Thus my attempt to push this into its own full length YA novel.

I thought expanding the outline, the world, the characters would be simple enough. I have the climax and build up towards it already completed after all. Well, that’s when things hit a snag. That was also when I got distracted by Camp NaNo, and wanting to try and fix up older stories i’ve written to try and start querying for. This project sat on the back burner for well over six months if not more.

I’ve used the outlining template i’ve found on other sites, the one that breaks down the Inciting Incident, Key Event, Plot Points, and so on… and I filled them out… then started to work on the outline for each chapter… then… then I rethought things and tried something else.

I probably changed the name of my MC three times, and that of her foster parents too. Then, when I’m reaching the middle of the book, I’ll get some sort of inspiration or revelation and realize I could make this book better if go back and add in these few events to help build suspension or foreshadow other events later in the book.

So I went and revised my original basic outline again, and tried once more to work through each chapter to make sure things flowed properly. Until just today when I’m like… all this can’t work… I’ve got a much better idea on how the Inciting Incident and Key Event should play out. So once more, I feel that i’m back at the drawing board, re-working the outline once more int a new set up and delivery. In none of my chapters have I ever got to the climax scene yet… always in the middle of the second act do I have these light bulb ideas that force me back to the beginning to reset the stage once more.

Is this normal? Do any of you other writers who plot and outline go through this?

Like I said, i’ve never spent this much time on an outline before. I feel that i’ve doing draft 2, 3 and 4 all at once here. Part of me hopes that by tackling these issues now – my first draft when complete will be more put together and I won’t have as much revisions to do later. Who knows, i’m sure there will be another revelation as I’m working, I just hope that i’ll get everything put together and ready before November actually hits.

Wish me luck as I once again try to tackle this mess of an outline that i have ongoing and that it will one day make sense.

Folklore: A Dark Anthology Book Launch

I am happy and proud to announce that Folklore A Dark Anthology is now available! 

Folklore is a collection of short stories by some amazing authors who reimagined and retold old fairy tales, folk tales and myths in a new and dark way. To give you an idea of what you may find in this book, such chapter titles include: Sealskin by Alice Austin, From the Dark Side: Rumpelstiltskin by Ashley Craig, Crimson Sails – by your’s truly, and The Moddey Dhoo by Katie Bringnull. 

There are 10 wonderful stories in all, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you are interested in reading these stories yourself, which I highly recommend please visit the Crystal Peake Publishing website where you can find like to all the different outlets that are currently selling the book. 

Such outlets include Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Barns & Nobel, and Book Depository. There are a few others that I’m not familiar with, which is all the more reason to visit Crystal Peake to learn more.

A side note, if you are still on the fence, in lead up to today’s Book Launch, Crystal Peake has been doing live streams on their YouTube page with a few of the authors. Below is the video I participated in with Alice Austin (Sealskin) and Virginie Pairay (The Mermaid of Longka).

They have been doing live streams all week and if you get a chance to see this post before the end of day, please note there will be another live stream Friday July 17 at 8 GMT with many of us back again to talk and celebrate not only the release of Folklore, but also a second book being realized on the same day – Murder the March Hare by H. Lyall.

Also to add to the livestream happening today, Crystal Peake Publisher will also be announcing during the livestream the theme for their next writing context. If you are interested in possibly getting published, you will definitely want to stay tuned and visit their website for more information released to their next contest. Who knows, maybe it will be you celebrating the next anthology when it comes out!

So please visit these links and sites and if you are able to, purchase a copy of the book yourself. 

Circumventing old Tropes

It is July, and I am in the middle of Camp NaNoWriMo, a more light hearted writing challenge related to the NaNoWriMo challenge that happens every November. During Camp you are able to set your own word count goal, choose cabins of about 20 people, and take the time to continue with the routine of writing something every day.

This July I’ve focused on finishing my novel that I started in the April version of Camp NaNoWriMo, a fantasy based story with a little bit of history bending that revolves around a wolf-girl character who is tasked to travel across a war torn Europe in 1920 to rescue an Oracle who was kidnapped by a Vampire.

Now, I know I should be spending this time finishing the last four chapters I’ve planned out, but this morning I woke up with a new idea. Okay, that’s a little bit of a lie, I actually am re-reading the Harry Potter books (currently on Order of the Phoenix) and well the thoughts of tropes and ones particularly used in Fantasy came to mind.

I do tend to write a lot of fantasy recently, though the sub-genres do change, Fantasy is still the broad stroke I stick to. And there are a lot of tropes that surround Fantasy. As of late I’ve been reading up on some of the ‘overused’ ones and trying to think of ways to circumvent this and try to make something new along those same old lines. Its challenging and at times I stare at a trope, thing it’s absolutely golden and can’t for the life of me find a way to twist it around. Others, like the one that came to me this morning just seem to pop into my head.

The Trope I’m concocting in my head relates to the “Chosen One”.   Of course given I’m reading Harry Potter, this shouldn’t be anyone surprise. I’ve done my best so far in my stories to avoid the use of the “Chosen One”, because, like with most of you, I’m sure we’re tired of seeing it come up so often in books, especially in the YA category. There are other tropes I prefer and I never thought I could twist this one around to appear new and unique. Until now.

So, in my head I started to think about the Chosen One, and what kind of story I could wrap it around. Again, because I’m reading Harry Potter, the school setting is forefront in my head. It’s not just Harry Potter though, you can also thank My Hero Acadamia, Little Witch Academia, and pretty much all anime that is set in a high school background. Those anime’s, books and such gave me a bar I wish I can reach when it comes to high school drama, hijinks, and character building. Ah, they do it so well!!

Anyways, so I create this piece of a world in my head. Heavy, or high, epic Fantasy, with a school with amazing and awesome school uniforms, and a Chosen One…. And that’s when it hits me. What if the school is only for Chosen Ones?

THAT’S IT!

Instead of one Chosen One to save the world from evil, what if there’s a school of Chosen Ones, or possible Chosen Ones and nobody knows which one the prophecy relates too? It becomes a school full of challenges, of competition, and enough drama that I hope can fill a series of books. Well, from there my mind just exploded and branched out in so many different directions, twists, and obstacles these students might be forced to go through. Will it be gruelling? Adventurous? Or will future villains be made in the process by mistake?

Should I add a copywriter here?  Has this been done already? You all won’t steal this from me, would you?

There’s still a lot to process and figure out. I’ll need to write this down and see where my mind takes me in the form of plot and characters. Who would I follow as the MC? Will the MC turn out to be the hero of it all, or the villain? Or maybe just the sidekick who watches everything unravel and be there for support for the true Chosen One? 

This is what I love about being a writer. These ideas that burst through my head and yell at me to write them down, to write them out, to dive in and explore this world that I created with one spark of my imagination. One of my favourite things about writing is the world building. I can get carried away with it as I’m sure I will again for this idea. An image will stick out in my mind, a castle used as a school in the middle of nowhere, full of students hidden away that could be heroes and saviours of the world. It’s so clear I wish I could draw it out, or take a picture. Something to focus this spark of imagination on and keep me motivated.

In the meantime, I’d love to know your thoughts and ideas on this. Am I ripping someone off and not realizing it? Is it even worth pursuing given the overflow of YA fantasy at the moment? Or should this be more of an adult fiction? So many questions, concerns and doubt fill my mind at this process and I’d love to hear some thoughts. 

To end this out, what are some overused tropes you’d love to see twisted or circumvented into something new? 

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions – Review

This particular anime has popped up several times on my Netflix list of shows I might like. This past week, wanting to distance myself from world events and negativity online I decided to take up Netflix offer and watch an anime that felt like it would be light hearted, fun, and silly. You know, a good distraction.

Well, I got my wish. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions was the perfect distraction I was looking for. However, when I tried to explain the show to my Husband it dawned on me that not only was the name hard for me to remember, but trying to explain what the was about was just as difficult. Thankfully while I was making supper, he looked it up.

Chunnibyou – a Japanese slang term for the embarrassing behaviour of 13-14 year olds. Literally meaning Middle School 2nd Year Syndrom or Eighth Grader Syndrome in US media.”- TVTropes.Org

Yup, that is exactly what this anime boils down to, yet as I reached the end of the first season I realize that there is more to this series than just some embarrassing middle school behaviour going on. But I’m getting a head of myself here.

So the anime starts with the introduction of our male protagonist Yuta Togashi, who is trying to get rid of all the embarrassing memorabilia he collected and made during his Chunni years before he starts High School. He even picked a school farther away to avoid coming into contact with any of his previous middle school classmates. However, his plans sort of go awry,  when he meets a girl repelling down from the balcony above his apartment.

This is our main female lead –  Rikka Takanashi. Who, starting High School as well, at the same High School, in Yuta’s same class – has not yet broken out of her Chunni behaviour and walks around wearing an eyepatch (Believing she is possessed by the “Wicked Eye”) and speaking like a manga character. She overhears Yuta’s brief slip back into his “Flame Master” Chunni behaviour and basically calls on him to support her own delusions. 

From there, Yuta tries to separate himself, but having her live in the apartment above him makes it very difficult. In the end, with the help of trying to find a stray cat a home, he sorts of befriends Rikka and seems to be the only one she listens to. 

Here starts the main chunk of the anime. Rikka starts a club for her delusions, who drags Yuta into it. They also meet up with a second year – Kumin Tsuyuri who wants to start her own club to nap and ends up joining forces and combining their club to have enough members. There is also the introduction of Sanae Dekomori – a girl a year younger than Yuta and Rikka who is Rikka’s best friend and ‘servant’ in their shared delusions. 

Then there is Shinka Nibutani – the popular student in Yuta and Rikka’s class. She ends up joining their club under false pretences. Only wanting to get the copy of her own delusions from middle school that Dekomori has printed out and followed with all of her heart. This side plot line is quite fun with Nibutani constantly fighting with Dekomori over the binder and copies stashed at Dekomori’s house. It also showcases that even though Nibutani seems completely normal, friendly and easy going, she too holds an embarrassing past that she’s ready to do anything to prevent it from coming to light.

From here, the anime is fun and light hearted with Rikka having to learn math or risk the club being disbanded, and the growing friendship between Yuta and Rikka that at the end of the first season turns into a romance that just felt natural and fitting for the two.

But near the end of the anime, during the summer break we get a clearer understanding of why Rikka is who she is. Unlike Yuta or Nibutani, who felt alone and isolated from their peers and started their delusions based on obscure interests, we discover that Rikka is using her delusions as a copping mechanism for dealing with her father’s death.

This anime took a hard left turn for me here into themes and areas that was much more complex and made me think very had on what the anime is trying to tell me. 

First of all, Rikka has an older sister who is constantly trying to break Rikka out of her delusions,  even blackmailing Yuta into helping her.  The two sisters fight – if you call that fighting, but it comes down to a concern Rikka’s sister has, that she thinks these delusions are preventing her sister from coming to terms with reality – and that these delusions are dangerous to maintain.

Part of me agrees with the older sister. But, the harshness in the way she deals with it I don’t agree with. Once again, back to the summer group of episodes, Rikka and the club members go back to Rikka’s hometown. They stay at her grandparents house, but Rikka refuses to be her normal self and tries to ‘escape’ to the ‘invisible boundary lines’ – which her sister forbids her from going. Yuta, seeing that this is much more than just a delusion agrees to go and the two end up traveling to Rikka’s real home town where she used to live with her parents and sister before her father died. Only upon returning finding an empty plot where the house once stood.

Rikka’s response to this, part of her character’s delusion catch phrase “Reality Rejected” is a very telling word choice that really hit me hard when that scene came up. To me, and to Yuta realize this is a copping mechanism for Rikka, that her fathers death was too much of a blow and that she had issues processing it and thus decided to hide behind her eyepatch as a sort of armour agains the harshness of the world.

Is it the right path to take – probably not. By yelling at her and fighting with her over what reality is helping? Not at all. Which brings me back to my own personal thoughts – why isn’t Rikka in therapy or seeing a psychiatrist? I mean, being Canadian and being 2020 and I not getting something? Is there a cultural shift happening that wasn’t when this anime and most importantly this manga that it was based on created? To me, this goes in to a mental health issue. How much trouble could have been avoided if Rikka was sent to therapy as a child to help her come to terms with her father’s death and maybe even find better ways to explore her creativity.

Which leads me to another issue I had watching this anime. Both Yuta and Rikka’s delusions, though embarrassing are quite creative! As a writer, I’m like – “Dude! Make a manga of the characters! Write their stories! Don’t be ashamed of them! They are golden ideas that creative writers would love to have!” I guess the difference here is that it’s hard to separate a creative delusional character with the creative rich backstory you gave them when you go around pretending to be that character for far too long.

Anyways, back to the anime. After the summer vacation arch, Rikka is flusters as she realizes with the help of Nibutani that she is in love to Yuta. Yuta too has the same feelings as they struggle to find ways to express and tell the other about those feelings. The most sweetest and innocent thing the two do after their confessions of love is to hold each other’s pinky! So adorable that moment!!! 

Cute Pinky Touch!

However, at the end of the season, Yuta discovers that Rikka’s older sister is moving away due to her culinary skills to be trained in Italy (I think?). Despite the two sister fighting, there is still a deep bond there that the older sister fears Rikka’s delusions would get worst if she moves away. So Yuta does what I think is most unthinkable and demands Rikka take off her eye patch before the school festival – or rather before the two go on stage to pretend fight as their delusional characters as part of their club’s contribution. 

It seemed this worked, and Rikka is forced to face harsh realty. But as much as she tried to fit back in, Yuta and the rest of the club realize how sad and depressed she is.

Which again – therapy is required here people! I don’t understand Rikka’s Mother at this time either. Both Rika’s mother and grandparents are pleased at this change, which only makes Rikka feel worse I feel because she keeps asking Yuta is this good, looking for approval from the one person she hold great value on. 

I’m not going to spoil the last episode though. I feel that may be giving away too much. However, I will say that it ended with me crying my eyes out. It is a happy ending! Trust me, it’s worth watching that last episode and realizing how much Yuta and Rikka are connected and why Rikka was always looking for Yuta for a form of approval or recognition. It does end with the club back together in a way and Rikka happy at finding some part of her real self, and unloading a hard guilt that she seemed to have been carrying with her since her father’s passing.

Rikka & Yuta in full Delusional Getup

I haven’t started season 2 yet, but I’m slightly worried. Given how the first season ended, I’m afraid they are going to start the second by going back to how things were – eliminating the growth Rikka’s character went through in those final few episodes. If that’s the case, it’ll be a real shame as that growth was incredible important and it not only affected Rikka but Yuta as well. But I guess I’ll have to wait and see. I also found out there are some movies that were released too. Not sure if they’ll be available on Netflix but it’ll be interesting how those movies add to the story.

So, if any of you are looking for a distraction, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions is a great anime to watch. It’s incredibly silly, light-hearted and with a hint of high school romance that neatly ties the series together. 

PS. If there is anyone who’s seen this show and want to discuss some of the issues I brought up – please let me know! I’m dying to find someone to talk to about this as it’s wrecking my brain right now!

Updates & News!

The pandemic continues. I’m sure everyone is just as worn out by all the news as I am, so i’m not going to into it. Instead I’ll give you all a quick update on projects and some good news coming through the pipework.

#RevPit is over, though my submission was not picked, I have instead managed to find a new group of great authors to interact with on Twitter! I also had signed up and worked with two wonderful women on a query swap and a first 5 pages swap. Having another set of eyes, someone not connected with me personally was great. Getting to see how others react to my query and my first five pages, and giving me good constructive feedback is exactly what I needed. I hope from here on out my querying quest will be more positive.

Besides all that, i’ve taken up an old manuscript I wrote for NaNoWriMo a few years ago. It’s been a slow read through and rewrite, but I believe by readjusting the outline, I will have a good second draft at the end.

I said the second draft of this old manuscript is slow going because I’ve decided to take up the Uncharted video game series again. Yup, i’m back to playing games in a lot of my spare time. I’ve already went through Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, which took about a week, and I’m currently on my second run of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. For the first time ever – I’m trying the game on Hard Mode. It’s definitely more difficult, my health is lower and the AI seems to have gone up a level. The auto aim is also now disengaged, so that’s affecting my game play lol.

But now, on to some good news. My short story Crimson Sails is bing published. Folklore: A Dark Anthology will be released in July. A book trailer has been released yesterday and it will be followed by video interviews as a lead up to the release date.

To add to the celebration, I will be setting up giveaways and contests on my blog in the coming weeks. I do have to think of some fun ways for contests, or it’ll be a random draw for a giveaway. If anyone has some ideas, I’m all ears. So stay tuned for more information!

For now, I’ll leave you with the book trailer for Folklore: A Dark Anthology. Enjoy!

Feeling Lost

As April comes to an end, as well as starting week 6 of quarantine, I’m starting to feel like I’m loosing my way. April was much busier than I expected it to be, and the goals I made – most of them I’ve reached. However, now I had nothing planned for May and I’m now stuck on my next move.

So, for starters I chose to participate in CampNaNo for April. I set a goal of 30,000 for a newish novel idea. Well, it’s not new but several years old, but it was time for me to settle it out on paper. It worked well, I got my 30k in last Friday (April 24), and the best thing is that I’m only half way through the story! I hope that means that if I keep pushing I could get a first draft of over 60k – something I have not been able to do without edits and revisions. I’m impressed with myself, with how the first draft is coming along and the energy there that I hope will propel me further into the story. The only downside is that I’ve run out of outlined chapters. For the past 2 chapters of this novel I sketched out just before writing. I definitely work and write better as a planner, lately I’ve been very particular and specific (too a degree) on what happens in each chapter – including phrases, dialogue and a few bits of description that comes to me in that moment. It got me this far and I know it works for me, but now I’m about halfway through, leaving the book on a cliff-hanger of sorts and have no clear plan or idea on how to get to my final destination and climax. 

So there’s one example of why I’m feeling lost. It’s like the blank page dilemma halfway through the book. I’m sure I’ll figure it out, just going to take a bit more thought and more time outlining and working through what needs to be wrapped up and dealt with on both the physical and emotional level of the characters.

Then there is my queuing fiasco. It’s been about a year now, off an on of course, since I started seeing my paranormal/adventure/urban fantasy novel out to potential agents. It’s starting to get a little disheartening. I’ve sent out over thirty and received over 20 rejections. The problem is I don’t know if it’s me and my writing in the first 5 pages (most likely) or if I have yet to find the perfect agent who wants to represent me. So, I decided on a whim to apply for the #RevPit contest.

If you don’t know, and which I didn’t know until I finally looked up what everyone on twitter was talking about – RevPit is when an author can pitch their query and manuscript to editors to find an editor who will work with them for the next 8 weeks on fine-tuning and fixing your manuscript up. I swear if I’d know that a year ago I would have tried it back then. It’s still a contest, each editor accepts 100 submission (done through the website), and picks one winer each.

So here I am, in the midsts of waiting to hear if my query gained any attention. It’s forced me to halt sending any more queries out until the end of the contest. Even then, after reading up on some of these wonderful editor website I feel that I would benefit greatly by hiring one of them if I do lose out. It does mean putting more money in this manuscript, money which is getting a little stretched at the moment. However, I want this book to be as good as it can be, which means I need to find an editor I trust, I rely on, and to be able to make a long term relationship that I can continue to go back. It’s a hard choice, but I’ve made a deal with my husband that if I don’t see any progress with agents, I will self publish my novel – which also means hiring an editor anyways for a copyedit and proofread.

So, yeah, my stability in April is wearing out and I’m starting to feel like I’m floating, loosing focus and getting distracted by the tiniest of things. So what can I do to get me back on track, or at least keep my busy until RevPit has ended?

The first step would be figure out what I want to work on for the July version of Camp NaNo. The options are of course to pick up and finish my book from April… however I’m getting to the point now that I have a bit more knowledge and skill with editing that I want to go back and start working on one of my previous NaNo projects and get a second draft done. The problem there is that I’ve got several to choose from. 

There are a few that stick out. Last year’s project was a Dystopian about a brother and sister scavenger team who finds a cryogenic girl in an old ruin that puts them in more danger and trouble than its worth at first.  This is quite high on my second drafts list.

 Another is a sci-fi adventure I wrote a few years ago that dealt with high school, and mech armour… sort of a cross between Gundam Wing, Iron Man, and any anime high school drama. Or at least that was the original concept. The first draft was all over the place and I know I have to refocus it and it’ll be a lot more work.

The last one on my radar is an odd one that I wrote a couple of years ago for NaNo. The concept started out as a fan fiction of Bleach (an anime series dealing with soul reapers). Thankfully the idea was an original side character I created in my fantasies, so I did my best to make a more original world with similar concepts to that of the anime. Basically it ended up as a story about a teenage witch being sold to a demon, imprisoned in hell where she escapes her cell. teams up with another imprisoned Grim Reaper who then do their best to escape hell and return to the material world. It sort of works… but since then I’ve done more research and magic systems and realize I fumbled a few bits.

Maybe it is the quarantine that is starting to get to me? Or maybe it’s the sun that is finally coming through and warming the weather up that I want to spend more time outside than hunched over my computer desk? I’m getting distracted by video games (working my way through Final Fantasy 8 and 15 right now), and wanting to create different structures and houses in minecraft. I have a baby quilt to finish for my cousin who is due in August, and I’ve got a bunch more and new podcasts to listen to – not to mention still wanting to create my own yet blocked by the sound of my own voice and the flat tone when I read my script. 

Maybe I’ve got too much on my plate and my brain is telling me to turn off. 

Whatever the reason, the feeling lost is hitting me hard right now. I hope I can find my focus, my drive and passion, and my strength to carry on with my writing even when my mind plays these nasty pranks on me.

To everyone I hope you are safe, healthy and staying connected as much as possible to your loved ones.

Seance on a Wet Afternoon (Review)

1964
Directed by:
Bryan Forbes
Staring: Kim Stanley, Richard Attenborough, Nanette Newman, Mark Eden & Patrick Magee

Description: A medium and her husband stage a kidnapping in order for her to pretend to solve the crime and achieve fame.

I’m currently just finishing up the second week of our social distancing here in Ontario Canada. My husband is working from home in the basement and I’m trying to stay occupied. Low and behold while scanning through channels I landed on this doozy of a move on the TCM channel. I might have missed the first ten or fifteen minutes, but I had no issues catching up and getting completely drawn into the plot.

To start with this movie stars Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough (you know John Hammond from Jurassic Park). Kim’s character, Myra Savage is a medium and does seances in her house. Somehow, again I missed the opening, she persuades her husband Richard, William Savage, to kidnap a child so that she could solve the crime and achieve fame – just as the description of the movie about says. However, as the movie progresses you get to see that Myra Savage isn’t all there up in the head.

So when I started watching I was at the part when William is in the process of kidnapping the young girl. He must have drugged her, given how lifeless her body was as he moved her from a car to a motorbike with a cab on the side. They bring the child home to their house and pretend to be doctor and nurse while locking the girl inside and claiming she is sick and in a hospital. Actually, that’s not a bad ruse for a child, though when the girl does awake she is very sharp and points out a lot of inconsistencies. Like, Myra, playing the nurse, doesn’t leave the thermometer in as long as her past doctors, and later says that William doesn’t smell like a doctor. So it sounds like the girl has been sick recently and even tells them she already had the measles as they tried to use that as justification for her environment. 

So while they keep the girl placated as much as possible, Myra starts playing her role as helpful medium to the child’s missing parents. She arrives at their house maybe a day or two later – after the newspapers announce the disappearance/missing child claiming to have a dream concerning their child. The mother is quite upset and is taken in quite quickly, especially given Myra’s comforting words that the girl is alive and well taken care of. The father is defiantly on the skeptic end and waves of her vision. But the seed has been planted and Myra has put her name out to the family, which seems to be step one in the plan.

Of course there is so much more to this. The Savages create a ransom note, and set up a scheme to do the drop off and pick up of the money as well as moving the child so that the police would not suspect anything when they came around for an initial interview. Yes, that bit was interesting. So when Myra visited the family of the missing girl, it was already swarmed by police and detectives and she left her card behind for them to call upon later. As much as Myra seemed a little crazy in her planning and set up of the crime, she did think a lot of things through and prepared for it. Her poor husband on the other hand was tasked on doing all the dirty work. Eventually everything works out and they bury the money in the back yard. There is nothing else mentioned about the money or ransom, it was never about the money, but the fame Myra wanted, but any kidnapper would ask for a ransom.

Let’s take a break here and talk about Myra’s character. Boy did that lady ooze psychotic. From when I started watching, Myra always assured her husband that they were only just ‘borrowing’ a child, and repeated that nothing bad was going to happen. There were also times when she mentioned that the girl will settle down eventually like a pet in new surroundings. They way she waved things, serious things and crimes off were quite unreal. She also continued around the house with a smile, edging on devious, but also angelic as well that really freaked me out whenever she tried to calm her husband’s growing nerves and worry. You could tell things were starting to get off track when on the first meeting the child in the nurses outfit – her face covered by a mask – when she leaves and the husband asked why she didn’t say to the girl that she’ll be going home soon. She claims she forgot, but I think that is a pivotal step that already then her plans were changing in her mind. I’m not sure if it was because the girl asked too many questions and poking holes in their hospital ruse, or if she realized this was never going to end well.

Let’s get back to the plot of the movie. So they managed to get the ransom  money and escape without detection. Myra showed a detective around an empty house to their satisfaction before William returns with the child. However, twist, the girl now starts to show a fever. Myra again waves this off, refuses to call a doctor, and decides to handle it on her own. Yes, she did get medicine but she didn’t seem overly concerned or worried, especially when the girl’s fever gets worse.

By now we reach another of her seance circles and the mother of the missing child arrives looking for answers. Which is exactly what Myra desired. As centre of attention she does a marvellous show of telling the mother a little of the person who took her, the motorbike she was transported in and that she was surrounded by three people, laughing and playing. Giving the mother hope that she is alive and well. All the while the girl in the next room over, being watched by William starts to call out for her mother. Unsurprisingly nobody in the next room hears it. Myra ends the seance with a fainting scene, announcing someone is dying. However when asked as she is escorted away, she shakes her head and says nobody’s dead.

William escorts everyone out of the house and turns to find Myra coming downstairs looking proud, happy and excited. She mentions Arthur – who we take as her son – who loves the girl staying in his room, and that she doesn’t want to leave. Well, William starts to realize at this point his wife has gone off the deep end, or maybe I learn that as I’m watching. She goes on to say that they must give her to Arthur. We learn in this highly emotional scene that Arthur was a still born baby of them, and that Myra had never seen him, that he never grew up in their house and that everything she says Arthur says is really her. Everything was her. 

Yup that’s right this has turned a kidnapping crime into a murder. Well attempted murder.

Their conversation is cut short when the girl calls down to them, appearing at the top of the stairs. William quickly ushers her back into her room, telling her that she’ll be going home soon. Well, Myra stares up at William and with a pleading, crazy look tells him he has to do it now, she’s seen his face.

OMG, I don’t know if Myra’s just crazy or manipulative. I think a little of both. Her facial reactions, her candidacy about killing the girl is just way too much for me. I couldn’t help but just drop my jaw when that scene finished. 

We next see William dropping the girl, drugged once again, in the middle of the woods. Thankfully not far from a camp of scouts nearby. We learn later that he did this on purpose. Back at home Myra is once more in happy spirits, telling him it wasn’t that hard, and that she’s now with them forever, and that she promised to do everything to make him happy from here on out. She also starts discussing moving away after all this has ended. Which again leads me to think she’s not completely crazy? Just somewhere in between? Her whole demeanour is just jarring.

It’s raining and the police come once more to talk, and in fact to do a seance with her given the information she had given the mother just the other day. Myra is a little startled but I don’t think anyone could say no at that moment. William is completely worried and doing his best to hold things together. They do the seance – thus the title of the movie – and well, this is when Myra completely goes unhinge. I’m not sure if it’s a mental breakdown or what, but she starts to talk like a child, about not wanting to leave, not wanting to go downstairs, about staying and then she starts rocking what looks like a baby in her arms. Yeah, completely unhinged.

It seems the police already knew everything, just looking for more evidence or an admission which through Myra’s seance they seemed to get everything they need. When William asks about the girl, they said she is safe and that is when William tells them that he placed her there to be found on purpose. 

There isn’t much more to this movie, it ends with that last scene. Which I think is a powerful ending. Though part of me wanted to know what would happen to Myra, obviously William will be tried and found guilty of kidnapping, but to all of us he was completely put up to it by his wife. Still, what’s a movie without some form of question at the end?

I loved this movie. I love it what I find these older gems, which is why I like to scroll by TCM while looking for movies to watch. There’s always that one that you shrug and watch and find out how amazing it ends up being. I would definitely suggest watching this, if only for Kim and Richard’s acting. Their scene together are amazing and can really show you how much of an unreliable narrator we have with Myra Savage. 

With this social distancing and quarantine going on, I hope everyone is staying safe, washing their hands and maybe finding some new gems of movies to watch on their own time.  

BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! – Review

I don’t know if this is a confession or just another accepted way to play games, but there have been a few mobile games that have really caught and held my attention. In this blog post I’m going to discuss one of these games called BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! Created in January 2015 by Bushiroad, with original story by Ko Nakamura and original character designs by Hitowa.

This game showed up on my facebook pages as a sponsored ad, as many of you know that stuff happens a lot, and typically I just ignore them and scroll right through, however…. There are a few that do peak my interest and BanG Dream was one of them. What can I say,  you show me cute anime girls, and J-Pop music and I can’t help but be intrigued. 

BanG Dream is a rhythm style game that almost looks like guitar hero. You choose a song and tap the buttons as they reach the bottom in beat with the music. It also reminds me a little of Dance Dance Revolution, again, using your fingers instead of your feet. To be honest if it was just that I’d be okay, a quick, casual game to play during a few down time during the day. But there’s more to it. There’s a bit of a story line.

Remember when I mentioned cute anime girls? Well, turns out they have a storyline to go with the game. When you start the game you get to choose the name of your personal character who turns out to be an assistant to the local music house – a place where bands, musicians, and singers come to practice and preform in sound proof booths. From there, you are tasked to get a group of bands together for a promotion of the music house. Every band you talk to are made up of all teenage girls and each band has their own unique story on how they became a band and what type of music they play. That’s when the girls are introduced, and the game is on. As you play the rhythm songs with a particular band, and get good marks and scores you level up, and so does the characters in the band you choose to play with. As they level up, you unlock story chapters which goes into detail on certain aspects of the band’s history, current position, and future goals. 

Basically you come to play the rhythm tapping music tracks, but stay for the interesting stories that include some drama amongst the characters of the multiple bands.

There are five bands in all, and each band has five characters. Popping Party, Roselia, Afterglow, Hello, Happy World, and Pastel Palettes. Each character is unique and brings a different character type and arch to the mix. For example Afterglow is made up of a group of childhood friends who formed the band in order to stay connected as they entered high school and got separated into different classes, where as Pastel Palettes is an Idol based group that was initially going to fake playing instruments but due to technical difficulties got caught and choose to learn to play the instruments for real. There are several high-energy girls who look through challenges in a positive light like Kasumi from Popping Party and Kokoro from Hello Happy World, but they are balanced out but a number of more serious, goal oriented characters like Yukina from Roselia and Ran from Afterglow. Besides that, you’ve twins Sayo and Hina who are in two different bands and are somewhat competitive or perhaps envious of the other. And then there is Eve from Pastel Palettes who moved to Japan from Sweden and is almost obsessive about the samurai from history and their ‘Bushido’ mentality. Basically they tackled several arch types in this game and really gave them all time to dive deep into their connections, passions, goals, and life challenges that would connect to everyone. In the end, friendship is the main theme that unites them all in their own individual ways. 

The game and storylines are very light hearted and upbeat, giving us glimpses into real challenges of teenage life, the struggles that go into either making a great band, writing a song, or even deal with personal and family issues and the balance to do it all. 

So that’s the basic from the story side, let’s get into the music end of this game. Like I said, the rhythm type genre of this game isn’t new, but still just as addictive. There is a rating scale for each song you play, starting from C and going up to SS (a Japanese rating system a believe as I’ve seen that in other anime shows). When you first start out, you can barely make it to level B in a song, but you get rewards at the end that can help upgrade both the character and their instruments to boost the skills and gain even more points for every note you hit correctly. You also can spend some star points in obtaining the characters at higher stars. You first start with one of every character at a 1 star level and you can only level them up to 20, but gaining extra characters from certain challenges you can find characters at 2, 3 and 4 star levels to upgrade and train to be even more ‘powerful’. They also have different ‘moods’, like; pure, cool, happy, power – so you do have to switch out the characters at times. Sorry, that does sound a little confusing, it took me a while to figure it all out myself.

There are typically 2 types of playing the game, Live mode and Multi-Live mode. Live mode is like a single player game. You pick your song and play what you want at whatever skill level you want – there are four – easy, normal, hard, and expert – which some songs having a five called special but I have yet to pass that one successfully. You have a stamina bar at the top of your screen that gives you 10 stamina at a time (it does recharge during the day). You can also chose how much stamina you use per a song, up to 3. You’ll get higher points the more stamina you use, but you will also decrease the bar further. That’s where special items like boosts you earn through challenges come into play. 

Anyways, the multi-live mode pairs you up with other players online. From there you all pick a song you want to preform and the game randomly chooses one of them for everyone to play. It can be fun and you also sometimes are able to play songs you don’t have access to yet in your own library. You can friend request players and have a list of friends that you could set up your own private room in the multi-live section. There are also different rooms in the multi-live section that is only available to you if you have a high enough power score of your band. There’s a public room which has no limit and everyone can play in, then there is the ‘regular room, that needs a power limit of 70,000. Those are definitely the two rooms I frequent the most. The next room is called Veterans,  and after that there’s Masters. The bars and ranks in these last two rooms I think are different. I’ve gone into the Veterans before and noticed that what would be an A or S rank song completed in the lower rooms just passes for B and barely hits A. It’s defiantly there for people who have maxed out a lot of characters, equipment and are much better at this game than I.

Now let’s talk about the Challenge section. Every couple of weeks or so a challenge will happen. Basically it surrounds a story that contains 5 chapters, plus a beginning and ending chapter. The story will focus on two characters, sometimes from the same band, sometimes from different bands. After the beginning or intro section, the rules of the challenge come up, there are three or four different types of challenges that I can remember. They give you bonus points if you have particular characters in your band, as well as characters with a particular mood as mentioned above. Thus, gaining these extra characters comes in handy in these sort of situations. Some challenges have you compete with others in the  multi-live area, while others are more skill focused, giving you a chart of challenges to complete that can be done either in the multi-live section or the regular Live section. These challenges include getting full combos on a level 14 song, ending the song with 70 Great hits or less, or even just completely a song in Hard mode. 

But fear not! If you were not able to unlock all the chapters of the story, there is a section where it will eventually be placed in where you can go and read the story at your own pace and get caught up on all the side stories you missed. 

So, time to come down to the voices in this game. If you’re like me and living in the West, you’ll notice that despite having english subtitles, all the voices are still in Japanese. But that’s okay, it doesn’t hold you down, and to be perfectly honest the game does this on purpose giving you are playing whole whack of Japanese pop songs. There’s more to it though, in the loading screens you see the bands with their names and under that, the voice actresses being them. Many of these are well known voices from anime, and some singers in there too. Pretty cool if you ask me!

The songs are also fantastic, there are some originals from each band and then the cover songs which I’m sure more of you will recognize than me. There’s A Cruel Angel’s Thesis, from the Evangalion anime, This Game from No Game No Life anime (which I just finished watching). A lot of the songs span the cutesy pop, to a bit more rock and roll. Besides that, recently the game has released music videos of some of the original songs with characters from the game. Playing the song with the music video in the background is much more difficult, but you do have the option of just watching the video on it’s own – which is so worth it!

There’s a lot to unpack in this game, and I really hope I was able to explain and highlight what made it feel special to me. I’ve never played a rhythm game like this before and it’s become a lot of fun to me, especially now that I’m trying the harder modes for songs. So, if you enjoy the style of anime, the rhythm games, and a bunch of cute anime girls going through life and playing great music I highly recommend this game to anyone who has been on the fence like I was. I’ve had this game for over a year now, and have up to 180 characters, but I’m still far from the best, still at times this is all I want to do for thirty minutes, to distressed, listen to some music, or just catch up on the many band stories that I’ve yet to go through.

Horizon: Zero Dawn Review

I picked up this game without knowing anything about it except for the artwork on the cover. I didn’t see any prior reviews, perhaps only hearing the hype and noticing the acclamation associated with the game. Either way, I saw the box cover and I was hooked, I had to play this game, and I’m so glad I did. Horizon Zero Dawn is to me an amazing, creative and entertaining game. From the plot, to the setting, to Aloy’s internal character arc, the game hooked me from the beginning of Rost’s info dump.

So let’s start with the setting and the beginning of Aloy’s arc. The game starts with a beautiful cinematic tone where we see a middle aged man named Roast, dressed in tribal cloths carrying a baby on his back. As he traverses the wilderness, you get sneak peaks into what is to come. The machines who have risen to be not only humans number one predator, but also prey. Rost explains to the baby how the tribe hunts and harvests the parts of these machines (which take the form of futuristic animals) to make weapons, gear and even trade. The tribes of this world even use these machine parts as armour, accessories, and currency. Despite these machines being dangerous, they are the heart of ‘commerce’. 

Eventually Rost succeeded in delivering the baby to what appears to be a temple, where an elderly woman steps out and ushers him along. It is the naming day and there seems to be a small ceremony about it all. What makes it different and unique is the hint that this isn’t supposed to happen, that the baby is different and already considered an outcast amongst the tribe. Rost announces the baby’s name “Aloy” and the ceremony is able to proceed. But we learn Rost is an outcast, as will Aloy. Rost isn’t even Aloy’s father, but was given the task of raising the girl in some sort of penance for whatever action he took to make him an outcast in the beginning.

I will say right now, that the fact we never learn what he did to earn the title of outcast is a bit of a let down. I was highly expected it to come out, but it is waved away and we never seem to ask or figure it out during the rest of the game. 

Anyways, we pick up on Aloy’s outcast status as she ‘grows’. As a child she is shunned, and all the children are taught not to touch her, or speak to her, even the adults turn their backs on her. Which is as cruel as hell! Still, the story and game progresses when she falls down a ‘hole’ and into what appears to be some long forgotten fallout shelter of some kind. There she picks up the triangle shaped ever piece that proves to be the best bit of technology of the game. It shows holograms, identifies weak points on machines, not to mention their routes and paths, and helps Aloy learn about the past, even giving her a bit of intelligence leap over the others of the Nora tribe. 

After that discover, and the way Rost reacts to the forbidden tech, it’s defiantly something the tribe avoids and gives her the bit of hope that by participating in Proving when she’s of age, she could overcome her outcast status of the tribe and be welcomed in with open arms. Giving her the chance to finally find out who her mother is and where she comes from. So enters the training montage, which at leasts fast forwards us to the current Aloy we play as.

From here, the Proving turns disastrous, as the Nora Tribe and those participating in the Proving are ambushed by an outside tribe of cultists who all have the same triangle shaped tech in their ears. Aloy is the only one that survives and when she wakes up is confronted with the truth of her mysterious birth by the elders. With even more questions than answers, the elders give Aloy a treasured title of Seeker when it is revealed she was targeted by the cultists (Later revealed to be a group called the Eclipse), because of her resemblance to a Elizabet Sobeck. Fueled by her desire to know more about this Elizabet, and granted permission by the Matriarch of the Nora Tribe, as Seeker Aloy is now free to leave the Nora lands and travel anywhere in the world to find these answers. Which is want she does.

With most of the introduction out of the way, we can finally get into some real game play. As Aloy you search around both the  Nora lands and that of the Carja, Banuk, and Oseram. You meet up and find quests, make allies, and hunt down a number of different machines. You also start to piece together what happened to the ‘old ones’. There are a number of data pads scattered about that showcase random information from people prior to this post-apocalyptic setting you’re currently in. There are remains of old cities to explore, underground bunkers, and even what is called ‘cauldrons’. Cauldrons are underground vaults (?) where machines are built. Typically at the end of each Cauldron is a boss battle with one or several massive and difficult machines that you must destroy before being able to upload new data into your spear that will help you override other machines to fight for you.

I’m not going to go much further into the story aspect of this game. I feel it’ll be like spoilers for a good book – or movie. The pace of what you learn and discover is well done that leaves you itching to continue on to the next main question point. You eventually figure out what happened to the old ones, and why the world is the way it is, and even the grave danger everyone in this world is in. Again, no spoilers from me, if you want to know, play the game. 

Horizon Zero Dawn feels very much like an open world game, but a little more streamlined and story centred. Which, if I can be honest, I enjoyed a lot more than my attempts at playing Skyrim and Fallout 4. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to go back and work my way through those games, but having not have the experience in an open world style of game, they feel very overwhelming. Now, after finishing Horizon, I feel I have a better mindset and patience for something like Fallout 4. 

Let’s get into the game play now. This is an action adventure game, a first person RPG that reminded me a little of the Uncharted series. You control Aloy through a third point of view, never getting into the ‘head’ of the character, but having to use the controls to swing the camera angle around you to take in any hostilities you may have missed. And that does happen. Fighting one group of machines will and have in my case caused myself to be prime target of several other hostile machines. Thankfully the warning sign is always given, especially if a machine out of view is about to pounce. 

Aloy is equipped with two main weapons (or at least the two main weapons I ended up using). That of her spear and bow. There are upgrades to the bow that gives out different types of damage and attack which is helpful, but there was only one or two bows that I stuck with that seemed to get the job done. Other weapons include a slings, tripwires (if you’re into setting traps – which for me saved me ass on several occasions), Rope-casters (useful for the bird type machines), and a Rattler (which I don’t think I ever used). So the opportunist are there to use different types of weapons depending on the opponents you’re fighting. 

Besides the taking down of machines for parts, to clear an area, or for a quest, another useful skill in the game is that of overriding machines. There are at least three that I can remember that if you override these machines you are able to ride them, and thus travel faster across the world. Be warned, it does not protect you against other machines when you ride through their area. As someone who focuses a lot on stealth and setting traps, I found I didn’t ride machines that much. Still, it’s useful. What’s even better is when you unlock the ability to override the aggressive/predator type machines. Then you have something on your side that can hit just as hard! Of course there’s a time limit, but when there’s like a herd, or group of some heavy hitters, getting one on your side can really even the odds. 

I had no issues with the gameplay as I played. I read up as I was playing (and looking for tips and trick to difficult areas), that there were issues when trying to make Aloy climb mountains. Some mountains are set up to climb and have those specific coloured lips that you can grasp and climb up on. Other times it’s a jumping game to see how high you can go. I guess some people messed about and have image captures of Aloy or the mount she’s using pretty much perpendicular to the mountain cliff. I never ran into this, but I can see where that could come into play. For me, and I was playing on a PS4, I had no issues with the game and enjoyed ever last minute of it.

To finish off, I’ll talk briefly on the machines and share some images of them below. As I mentioned above, most of the self-aware AI machines that inhabit this world seem to imitate animals of the past. Which is to say that the only actual biological animals that you see are the small ones, squirrels, rabbits, boars, turkeys, foxes and geese. For example the “Striders” have a very horse like appearance to them. Glinthawks are birds, almost vulture-like, even the Stalkers have a cat-like cheetah or cougar feel to them. Then what I laughed at when I first saw it was the Rockbreakers that remember the creature from Tremors. Yet there are other machines that are very unique and unlike any creature I’ve seen, become more war like than animal like. Most notably the Thunderjaw – which still scares me whenever I see one in the distance, and Deathbringer. 

Pretty much each machine you come across in this world was well thought out. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and some a few tricks up their sleeves. They defiantly keep the game interesting! 

Overall, this game is a true gem! Even halfway through I knew I had to replay it, knowing what I know now. I’m the type that is always pulled into a good story for a game, and this did not disappoint. So my first play through was defiantly for the story, but I know my second will be to explore all the other areas that I just didn’t get to in my first run. There are still several data pads and holograms that I was not able to find, which I still feel sore about knowing that not all of the ‘collections’ are finished. I’ll be for sure tackling this game a second, if not a third time in the future and I hope to be able to return to it many times and have it still be just as good and gripping as the first. 

If you have not played this game, I highly recommend it. If not for the rich story aspect, then for the multiple and unique machines you get to hunt down with just a bow and arrow.

The King’s Avatar

(Note: There is also an anime based on the same material. This review is solely on the Live Action Drama only.)

There’s one thing I don’t think Netflix will ever let me down and that is bringing me new and interesting shows and movies from all over the world, in particular shows from Asia. For the past few months I’ve found a wonderful new show called The King’s Avatar. A show that showcases eSports, and one particular pro gamer as his life gets turn upside down and we follow him as he tries once more from the beginning to reach the top. 

Based on a Chinese webcomic of the same name created by Hu Dielan, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into until after the first episode when I knew I was hooked. From then on I binged five to seven episodes a night for a good chunk of time before real life got in the way and I’ll have to binge once more a few days or a week later. With 40 episodes in the first season, I was quite impressed and surprised at the daunting task ahead of me.

So, let’s get into the plot. Like I said early the show focuses on Ye Xiu, a top-tier player of a fictional online multiplayer video game called “Glory.” We start the first episode at a championship challenge with Ye Xiu and his team called Excellent Era facing off agains another team. We see how amazing Ye Xiu and his online character “One Autumn Leaf” is as he leads his team to an overwhelming victory, putting Excellent Era one top as the best team in the game of Glory. However, the victory is short-lived when the team returns to their headquarters and Excellent Era’s manager Tao Xuan takes Ye Xiu aside and basically tells him they are replacing him with a new team Captain, Sun Xiang. The reasoning is a little muddy, basically Ye Xiu hides his face during games and does not do any promotional services to the team, keeping himself a real mystery to the fans. Not only does this upset Ye Xiu, it also means he must give up his One Autumn Leaf account (as it technically belongs to Excellent Era). The manager does offer to let him stay on in a coaching role, but states his contract is not up yet and if he retires, he will not get any of his earnings. 

In the end, Ye Xiu resides to take early retirement, leaving Excellent Era, and his account behind. This wasn’t an easy choice to make, in the rules taking retirement means he could not enter the pro-gaming/eSports lifestyle again for one year. He also leaves behind a good childhood friend, Su Mucheng, who offers to go with him, but he insists she finishes her contract with Excellent Era first. I will admit she’s one of my favourite characters in the series, always sticking by Ye Xiu’s side during and helping along the way.

Now homeless, Ye Xiu wonders into an Internet Cafe called Happy located just across the street of the Excellent Era’s building. It is the eve of the launch of a new server for Excellent Era and after talking to the owner, he manages to secure a job and living arrangements in the Happy Cafe. Of course the owner, Chen Guo is a huge fan of Glory and One Autumn Leaf, but doesn’t recognize Ye Xiu and puts him in his place for the first handful of episodes as he tries to figure out how to fix computers and work at the internet cafe.

But this is remarkably the beginning of the story. From here on out, we learn more of Ye Xiu’s past, in particular about another childhood friend and Su Mucheng’s brother Su Muqiu who was building a unique weapon in Glory to go with the “Unspecialized” character. Ye Xiu has no intention of just giving up on Glory – it is his life. Instead he decides to play the way he wants to, making a new character called “Lord Grim” in the “Unspecialized” class with the hopes of proving to his childhood friend that his weapon can make it to the top.

Along the way there are hurdles and challenges. The other pro-gamers, especially Sun Xiang who once they discover that Ye Xiu is playing Glory as a new character does their best to knock him down, attack him and his new friends in the game. However, they are all surprised by the weapon of the Unspecialized and even starting over he proves how much of a legend and expert in the game he is. It also starts him off on creating a new team filled with rookies, beginners and veterans. 

There is of course more to the show, a lot of it has to do with connections and using the game Glory for metaphors that helped the characters come to grips with certain aspects of their life. Many of the side characters are struggling with aspects of their life, yet Glory and playing Glory together helps them overcome these struggles and grow from them. 

To be honest, to see a show about eSports and pro gamers there is a lot of face to face discussions, encouragements, and friendship.

Another aspect of the show is how they split the show into the live action scenes and the CGI used to represent the game Glory. Half the story does surround this online game and I think they did a wonderful job creating the visuals of the game that almost makes it look like a real game. I had to ask my husband about the keyboard and mouse usage they did to make their spells and perform actions in the game – if they were real. To my husband they keyboard punching didn’t make much sense to him lol. Still they were able to create a CGI character that closely matched the appearance of the people playing the games and the special effects and action in the game is extremely entertaining! 

In the end, I highly recombine this show. I love the story, the plot, the characters, the aspects of this Glory game and all the energy that you feel when the characters are competing. I hope there is a second season, but I’m not going to hold my breath. They did a wonderful job wrapping everything in the last couple of episodes that I don’t want it all ruined.  So, please take the time and watch this series and let me know what your thoughts are.