#I think there have been a couple live action movies that didn't get very far
stardustedknuckles · 1 year
Oh man I didn't realize until literally just now that Vox Machina is the definitive first commercially successful dnd based show. There's no other dnd phenomenon that's come out this way. This could be the start of so much to come - for them and maybe even for some of the other ttrpg shows that have swept through popular culture these past few years.
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meltthefrozenheart · 4 months
FROZEN 3: Anna & Kristoff getting married seems the perfect excuse for something to happen
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Personally, the choice to leave Anna & Kristoff engagment to the end of F2 seems far too conscious to not use their wedding as an incipit for a third installmeant, most importantly if we consider how the plots of the previous two movies started:
Frozen has Elsa's Coronation Day (Summer), an event that exposed her to people and her Fear to hurt others, but also Anna's (only) chance to find Love;
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Frozen 2 started with the Harvest Festival (Autumn), celebring under the winds of Change the open gates and the life Anna & Elsa built in Arendelle thanks to their Love and the support of Kristoff, Olaf and Sven;
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Why do I find it a far too conscious choice? Because Frozen 2 has been built as a direct continuation of the first Frozen, at the point that, even if three years have passed, the only events referenced are those seen in it, and certain concepts and phrases return (and do not forget of all the parallelisms):
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Another important detail is related to Anna herself: her deep Fear of losing Elsa is not simply because she's living the life she hoped for in Arendelle, but is most importantly a consequence of the weight of Hans's actions (if I remember correctly, the directors confirmed this fact):
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In the same way, the miscommunication between her and Kristoff is, once again, a consequence of that:
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Which means Anna's still facing some deep unresolved feelings with that. The 1st movie, following her inner "Fairy-tale narrative", views her punching Hans as the easiest and definitive solution, and considering him simply as a big bad "Villain" in F2 is a confirmation of that, in the same way she constantly pushes for her "Do this Together" with Elsa.
And this brings us back to why seeing a Kristanna wedding is perfect for opening the plot of a F3: because for Anna, this would be her final step to the "perfect life", most importantly now that she's Queen and, together with Elsa protecting the Enchanted Forest, have reconnected Arendelle with the Northuldra, honoring their parents love:
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In Kristoff's regards, he was the one ready to propose, but his arc was deeply limited because F2 is a story about "Anna & Elsa reconnecting to their parents", but also Elsa's journey to find her Destiny (as the Fifth Spirit). We now have seen Kristoff getting a little more confortable with the idea of wearing formal clothes, which doesn't mean it will be easy for him to get used to it.
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But, generally, getting married is such a big event in someones life, and for Kristoff, who values his love for Anna so deeply because of how distant from other people he's always been, there are surely certain unresolved aspects about himself and his childhood he still needs to resolve:
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And lets not forget about the theories many are still bringing out about these couple lines. I don't think they had THAT specific sense in the story (in the Broadway Musical, they've been completly cut out), but it would be fun if the directors brought them back in some way:
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But what about Elsa? All this talking about Kristanna seems so much like I'm saying that "Frozen is about Romance", and yet, we have an older sister who's the other half of everything, who has found her Destiny in the far North, looking after the Enchanted Forest, bringing balance to the Spirits and protecting the secrets hold inside Ahtohallan.
And with this new found power and purpose, she'll surely do anything in order to protect her little sister Big Day and Arendelle from whatever "danger" the outside world might bring, most importantly after a certain someone broke Anna's heart:
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How things might go from there? I don't know, but I'm sure the directors didn't left such a big thing for Anna right there, at the very end, after they had to put the romance aside compared to the 1st Frozen, to not consider the possibility it might bring in a new movie, most importantly now that Elsa has found her own purpose and place North. And, in fact, they were quite open to the possibility of doing a third one.
Bit that's why I believe a Frozen 3 should handle the centrality & duality of Anna & Elsa through the element of Balance:
On one side, Anna's romantic life and responsability leading Arendelle, on the other, Elsa's deep connection with nature and her role as protector.
But, in order to do so, things need to be thightly connected to them both on the emotional and personal level, coherent with what they had gone through, in the same way the Enchanted Forest and Ahtohallan were connected to Agnarr & Iduna past and the origin of Elsa's powers.
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violetrainbow412-blog · 11 months
Horror movies [A.C]
Adrian Chase x reader
Word count: 1.6k
A/N: I've been writing this for like a week and it's not even that good, it was just something I came up with the other night. I hope you like it. (It is not corrected at all, an apology if you see a mistake)
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You sighed, giving perhaps the thousandth turn on the mattress in the room. Once a week, you and the team would get together at Leota's house to watch a movie. It had become a kind of tradition and you always stayed there because it had enough rooms for all of you and also because it had a huge television. Sometimes you slept in the living room and other times in a room (like now) but it was still great to share time with your friends. Although now you hated a little to have accepted.
It turns out that, to avoid arguments, each week a member of the team chose which movie you would see. You always chose musicals, Chris chose action movies, Economos chose westerns, Leota and Keeya romantic comedies and your sweet Adrian chose cartoons (more than once you had to watch anything from Shrek to princess stories), and when Emilia chose it was always genres unpredictable. And that day, he put on the most horrible horror movie you've ever seen in your fucking life.
That is to say, during the missions you saw blood and deaths in enormous quantities, but for some reason that movie with the monster that stalked the houses and lived under the beds had made a special impact on you. You were insensitive but you were still completely scared.
So you had tried to sleep to get rid of those thoughts, but you were scared to think that at any moment claws would come out and caress your feet. In addition, it was raining outside and as if that were not enough, it also made you want to go to the bathroom at that precise moment. The bathroom wasn't far, but you knew the dark path would seem forever tonight.
Your bare feet touched the icy wood and a shiver ran through you. You knew that in those horror movies they never turned on the lights and it was a fatal mistake, but you couldn't help but do it anyway because you knew that if someone woke up because of you, you would have problems.
Your bedroom door creaked as you stepped out into the hallway and tried to breathe as normally as possible, telling yourself that nothing in that movie was real and no one could attack you. Although of course, it was one thing to say it and another thing to believe it. Still, you took a couple of steps, looking at the door that would lead you to the bathroom, and sighed when you were almost there, feeling suddenly safe from almost touching the handle. Well, that is until you felt you collide with something, almost letting out a terrified scream when it pointed a sharp knife right at your neck.
“Y/N?” you listened, a voice quite familiar to you.
“Adrian! What the hell?" you screamed. You felt the knife move away from your skin and when your eyes adjusted you could see that he was wearing an old shirt and boxy print pants, all in shades of blue like the ones in his Vigilante outfit.
“Oh my God…you scared me”
"I scared you?! You're the one who almost stabbed me!"
"Because I thought you were that horrible fucking monster!" he claimed you. Maybe if you hadn't been so scared, you would have teased him "I just wanted to go to the bathroom"
“So am I” you snorted. You weren't very proud of how you felt, but at least you were calm that you weren't the only one. Although well, come to think of it Adrian had always been a fucking nut and you didn't think how good it was that you shared those feelings.
You were silent for a few seconds and then he spoke in a whisper again.
“Do you want to go in first? I can take care of the door and then you can take care of me, okay?” he asked nicely. You nodded and followed his suggestion, feeling less scared as you heard him urinate and leaned against the door. You knew it was complete stupidity to be terrified, but you couldn't help it.
“Fuck” you hissed when he opened the door and you almost fell against his chest.
"Sorry," he laughed. He seemed in a better mood and thanks to the dim lighting in the bathroom you could see his disheveled hair and his beautiful little narrowed eyes. He was so cute, it wasn't the first time you thought about it.
"Are you scared about the movie?" you asked. Adrian smiled slightly embarrassed.
"Something like that," he replied. You still felt unprotected in the hallway and took a short step to enter the bathroom with him. Seeing that you didn't say anything, he continued, "Well, I'm actually scared as shit, to be honest."
“I know, I fucking hate horror movies. I'd rather watch your cartoons."
"Hey!" he groaned, with a small smile, making you smile too "I can assume that you're scared too?"
"No" you lied. But your tone of voice was obvious and you knew it when he raised an eyebrow at you “Anyway, we have to go to sleep now. It's late,” you exclaimed, walking back out into the hallway for him to join you. When you were forced to turn off the light in the bathroom you felt unprotected again "Rest, Ady"
“You too” you heard him say. You walked a little towards your room and he walked in the opposite direction, but almost as if you had read his mind, you turned at the same time.
"I don't want to sleep alone" he spoke first.
"Neither do I"
"And what do you suggest?"
"We can sleep together" you exclaimed, as he walked back towards you "I'd feel less bad if I had company"
"Do you want to sleep with me?"
“I don't want to sleep with you, I don't want to sleep alone. It's different” you clarified, with a mocking tone. He seemed to think about it for a second and the room fell silent, except for the sound of rain. Then he took a couple of steps forward and grabbed your hand, taking you by surprise, as he pulled you into the room. Once there he flopped down against the bed, grabbing most of the blanket Leota had left "Oh no!" you screeched, reaching over to try and take it off. "Get yours."
“You can share. Don't be mean to me."
"It's my blanket"
"If you don't share, I can go, and then neither of us can sleep, how about that?" he asked, watching you from below. You took a deep breath, trying to calm down, and then slid into the free space of the bed, grumbling a little at the invasion you were experiencing. Although the truth, it was better than fearing a monster that didn’t exist.
You felt how part of the blanket-covered you and suddenly you got nervous. You hadn't realized that Adrian was inches from you and that you were about to sleep together. Damn, you were going to sleep with Adrian, that idiot who drove you crazy but also gave you butterflies in your stomach every time he smiled.
“I wonder if ghosts and monsters have an unwritten rule not to attack people covered by a blanket. You know, let this act as some kind of barrier."
"Shut up and go to sleep, Adrian" you laughed. You weren't serious, he knew, but still, he didn't want to ramble on about it. You were on your back and suddenly you felt his body moving closer, his back bumping into yours.
The rain was still pouring down outside and the sound wasn't too unpleasant, but as your eyes were closing you heard thunder crashing in the sky and you jumped in place, taking the first thing you came across with your hand. Interestingly, that was Adrian's hand.
"Damn!" he yelled, also a bit startled "Stupid fucking filthy rain!"
"It’s okay" you laughed. You still hadn't let go of his hand and it was a nice feeling. Apparently he felt the same, because he still had his back to him and slid his hand a little further until he held you properly.
And you decided to take advantage of that opportunity because… hell, if not then when would you do it then?
You turned a little and wrapped your arm around his delicate waist, making him tense, while your head rested on the upper part of his back.
"Hey, are you trying to seduce me or something?" you heard him ask and as you rolled your eyes you tried to pull your hand away, but he held you firmly. Before you could reply, he turned around and came face to face with you.
“Don't try anything”
"I just want to see you," he laughed. Suddenly you felt his arm wrapping around your waist, in the same way, to hold you tenderly "Sleep peacefully, I'm going to protect you"
“You were the one who came here because you were scared”
“Well, now I'm not anymore, okay? Shut up and go to sleep,” he snorted, closing his eyes and settling back on the pillow. The space between you was warm and suddenly you had forgotten why he was there in the first place. You weren't so afraid now thanks to his arm pressed against your body and the feel of his breath so close to yours. Without being able to help it, you stretched a little until you reached his nose and left a soft kiss before speaking.
"Rest, my hero"
He didn't open his eyes, but you saw an obvious smile forming on his lips.
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maxwell-grant · 1 year
Thoughts on the Penguin Series announced for HBO Max, and on how Penguin was depicted on The Batman movie?
(SPOILERS) I can finally answer this now that I've watched the movie, and for the sake of perspective here's my short overview on the movie: This movie fried my brain for a couple of hours during and after watching it, and (this one was more because I picked seats too close to the screen) I had a really, really terrible headache throughout the night because of it. It was 3 hours of dreadful noise and chaos and grit and uglyness giving way to a kind of grotesque violent beauty Batman shines the most in, in a myriad of forms eventually culminating in a climax that had me crying from feeling so overwhelmed.
It's the best damn Batman movie bar none and frankly I don't think I can go back to the other ones for a while bar the animated ones and Returns (which used to be my uncontested favorite live-action superhero movie, until now, I still love you Returns but I don't have a choice here). It does so many things unbelievably better than a majority of other superhero movies and Batman movies and comics and I sound like a maniac talking about this movie and this movie was made by maniacs apparently and, with the possible exception of Adam West, I don't think it's even remotely a debate that Pattison's the best live-action Batman and, damn it, it's gonna fry my brain again and give me another headache, but I have to watch this again.
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Look, I've been following this movie's production for a while, and every step of the way since they announced that Penguin was gonna be in the film, every subsequent news and details that emerged left me feeling continuosly frustrated. I think I've made it clear as is that I have very, very mixed feelings on Penguin as a mobster, and I’m not really a fan of that becoming the predominant take for him in media, and that was clearly what this movie was always going for. I wasn't a fan when they announced Josh Gad was slated to play the role, and while I do love Colin Farrell mainly because of In Bruges, I just couldn't see him as Oswald, and I was a teeny bit scared that they were going to make another handsome, skinny version of Penguin.
And then they announced his make-up, and I was frustrated that they went through these huge lengths to warp Colin Farrell's features, without remotely giving him anything resembling Penguin's design. Batman was gonna look as usual, Catwoman was still gonna have the catsuit, even Zodiac Riddler was still green and peppering question marks everywhere, but this Penguin didn't have anything. No top hat, no monocle, no fancy clothes, no umbrellas, nothing even remotely bird-like other than a nose that was far less beakish than even Gotham's Penguin, and they wouldn't even let him smoke despite the actor lobbying for it! I was frustrated that he just looked like a slightly uglier extra from The Sopranos because, Penguin's too silly for gritty crime drama I guess.
And then they announced that this guy was getting his own show, like, what? I hadn't even seen the movie and now they're giving him a show? Didn't we have Gotham already? The good parts of that show were already The Oswald Cobblepot Funtime Crime Hour, but what are they gonna do here? And then I read further statements like Penguin not even being one of the movie's villains but playing a very small role compared to Falcone, or Matt Reeves comparing him to Fredo Corleone and, look, it was very, very, very hard to be optimistic here, even when the rest of the movie was shaping up to be absolutely my shit. I was even slightly more on board for serial killer Riddler, but I didn't really think I was gonna like this very much.
And then I watched the movie and, like everyone else, I had a blast everytime he showed up. I'm very glad to report that, even with the miniscule amount of screentime given and him being completely irrelevant to the narrative, they did the best they could do with the version of the character they created, and I'm glad to state that Colin Farrell continues Oswald Cobblepot's streak of not having one single bad, or even mediocre or less than great, live-action portrayal, even having far, far less to work with than Burgess Meredith or Danny DeVito or Robin Lord Taylor did. Much like everything else about this movie that could have easily sucked, they made it work. 
Turns out that it really, really was for the better that, instead of picking actors who could look the part with little alterations, it was for the better that they instead picked a handsome, incredible actor with excellent comedy chops, buried him under 4 hours of make-up, and give him the chance to swing for the fences and cut loose as a grotesque trollman. They thankfully were aware that Oswald Cobblepot is a very cartoonish villain and always has been, and made it work to their advantage even with an ostensibly more realistic version.
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“For me it was absolute liberation,” Farrell said. “…I thought that it would be very limiting, I really did. I thought I would be very, just oppressed by having this whole [suit on] …and it was totally the opposite. When the piece moves as well as the piece that was designed for the Penguin moved — my eyebrows moved, and my cheeks, and my smile — it was f***ing insane.”
“There was a buffer between me and my fellow actors with this mask on that just liberated me like I’ve never been liberated before,” he explained. “So it was the complete opposite of what I thought. It was so much fun — so much fun. And it was three or four hours — it was four hours, to start, in the chair — and they got it down to about two hours. But it was worth every minute.”
Whether intentionally or not, they ended up replicating the same process that Danny DeVito went through, where the radical transformation under make-up allowed them to find a freedom to fully embrace the role to the point they'd stay in-character between shoots. And it shows because not only is Farrell damn unrecognizable, he's very clearly having a blast with the role. In any other superhero movie he’d stand out like he did as Bullseye in Daredevil, the only reason he doesn’t do it here is because of his limited screentime and because he mostly has scenes with Batman and his freakiness is outdone by Batman himself (which is a very, very, VERY high compliment to this movie, maybe the first live-action Batman movie since Adam West where the Batman performance and character is a main selling point), but that doesn’t stop him from going just as batshit as everyone else in the movie.  The Batman is unexpectedly hilarious at a lot of points and many of those points are virtually EVERY scene Oswald is in, he’s a hoot. "wwOOAH, TAKE IT EEZY DERE, SWEETHEART!", "HEY, VENGEANCE!", "G'AAAAH, C'MAAAHN, DON'T SHOW ME DAT", "No habla espanol?", that fucking car chase in it's entirety, he was unbelievably fun to watch (man, what is it about Penguin and Batmobile shenanigans that go so well together? It’s like everytime he isn’t running for mayor, he’s trying to fuck up Batman’s car)
The thing I mainly dislike about mobster takes on Penguin is that they usually seem to suck out the character’s personality to make him just a nasty monster for Batman to beat up, or a cowering stooge to be beaten up for information. But this Oswald, even as 100% gangster, is still depicted as somewhat separate from the other gangsters in the movie. He’s got no shortage of personality to make him fun to watch, and they consistently establish that he is not afraid of Batman (even when he by all means should be) and doesn’t take Batman’s shit, with their first scene together showing him reaching his hand out to Bats in a businessman fashion and then, receiving drug money from Selina in front of Batman even. They make it a big point to establish that Oswald is not a coward and, as much of a sleazeball as he is, he’s established to be much less wretched than the likes of Falcone and Maroni.
The movie makes it a point to show how pissed off Oswald is at the idea he’d be a rat, that he’s disgusted at the chaos and carnage that’s been going on in the city, and that he wasn’t in on several of the more horrid affairs Falcone’s been perpetrating, which helps to make him just sympathetic enough for him to work as a figure Batman’s not gonna take down immediately, but someone who’s gonna linger around as a part of this world. The movie shows his genuine loyalty to Falcone turning sour and him reacting violently when he finds out Falcone was the rat all along, with Falcone taunting him and calling him a lowly cripple before dying, and the movie ending with Oswald staring at the wrecked city, the last man standing, with this look on his face like “...what the fuck do I do now?”.
I actually really liked that they made Oz genuinely loyal, protective and even affectionate to Falcone in his own way, and demonstrated that he really took the betrayal personally (even without him being personally affected by it) to the point he was willing to try and shoot him in front of a whole army of cops. Most other takes on Penguin would have been shown instantly plotting against Falcone but no, they stuck true to the idea of Oswald being a lonely man desperate for anything resembling positive affirmation and inevitably having it blow up on his face because he can't help but associate with treacherous scumbags exploiting his neediness. They spend the whole movie setting up Oz as the rat, the first guy you'd expect to sell everyone down the river for profit, and it turns out that he was the only one not in the loop of what Falcone was really doing, the one betrayed by those he looked up to the most. This to me really indicates that, yeah, they actually do take Penguin seriously and do want to deliver a great take on Oswald Cobblepot. I really liked that choice
This is still an Oswald who is very much defined by his charisma, his greed, his bitterness towards his deformities, his ability to play games of deception, his anger at being spurned and rejected, his bottomless ambition, and his unwavering determination and ability to always survive no matter what, and they make it clear that, he may not be The Penguin yet, but he’s getting there, and the show is apparently going to be about depicting Oswald’s transformation, from Fredo Corleone to Scarface.
The Oz that we meet hasn’t embodied the energy of the Penguin that we recognise from the source comics and from previous films, so I’ll see if it goes again.
"I’d love to explore it because he’s not an underboss, he’s not a boss, he’s just a soldier of Falcone at this stage. But he has great ambition and dreams of doing big, big things."
[Director Matt Reeves] was just talking about someone who had very real and very high ambitions, but never really had the opportunity or the opportunity to explore them, and maybe looked upon as someone who was handicapped, whether it be psychologically, intellectually and as a result of the other two brothers in his life, and perhaps, moreover, as somebody who was naive, was considered as anyone who wasn’t capable,” Farrell said. “And so, it’s one thing that fuels Oz.”
So, yeah, I really liked what they did here. I think if you’re gonna fully commit to Penguin as a gangster, as a more realistic figure in a grim and gritty crime-focused Batman, this seems like pretty much the ideal way to do it, and still have a character who is recognizably Penguin at his core, even when you strip away so much of the character. I’d obviously prefer a Penguin show that focused more on his qualities as a gentleman thief or active supervillain, especially because Gotham was already focused so much on the gangster stuff, but, look, the movie sold me big time on whatever the hell they feel like doing with these characters and this universe. 
So, yeah, I wanna be optimistic for the show. There’s still some parts about it that I’m very strongly skeptical against, but even if it’s not based on the version of the character I’d like to see, I still think it can work really well, and either well, we’re definitely in for a good time if they give him the Peacemaker treatment. I’m game for whatever they have him do next and I think we could be in for a great time. 
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cartoonfanorwhatever · 10 months
I've been meaning to finally watch all ghibli movies. And o want to get trough them all by end of August. I've seen bits and pieces of some of them, have watched many a video essayist talk about them.
I'm going to talk about each of them as i watch them, mostly all in chronological order.
But first i'll quickly say something about the ones i *have* seen. In more or less the order i've seen them.
First one i ever saw was 'laputa: castle in the sky'. I saw this one years ago so i don't have many specific things to say. But it's absolutely wondeful. And the action is fenominal
Then i saw either 'Kiki's delivery service' and 'Howl's moving castle' i don't remember the precise order. But i saw both either this or last year. Both once again beatiful stories. I empathised with Kiki so much and it's such a nuanced yet heartfelt coming of age story. Howl's moving castle however might so far be my favourite. It's such a unique take on a beauty and the beast type story and the magic and the world keep me endlessy interested. Also the main theme (Merry go round of life) slaps and every few weeks it starts playing on loop in my brain.
Then i also watched 'Lupin the third: castle of cagliostro' which, yes, i do count.
I'll once again be frank and admit that i don't remember if i watched it before or inbetween or even after the last 2 but whatever, time-blindness is a bitch.
Anyway it's amazing probably the Best Lupin III content out there and it's so influential on animation as a whole. Even if you know nothing about Lupin the third it's fully enjoyable. I'm very angry Netflix doesn't have it anymore because i really wanted to rewatch it (don't worry i did pirate it but i kinda didn't want to because i want to puch Netflix's algorythm towards animation as much as possible. But that's neither here nor there.)
A couple of months ago i saw 'nausicaa of the valley of the wind' which is underappreciated in my opinion. It's based on Miyazaki's own manga. It's a truly epic story with an important message about environmentalism that's as relevas It's ever been. The main character, Naussica is so cool (and I'm fully planning a dnd character greatly based on her). The alien environments and inhabitants of the fungal forests are breathtaking. Nuff´ said.
Then finally, this friday i watched 'My neighbor Totoro' and what can i say that hasn't already been said? A beatiful view in the life of young girls going trough a rough time in their lives juxtaposed with the innocence and beaty of childhood mixed with Japanse mythology. Let's just say Totoro is ghibli's flagship mascot for a reason.
This movie hit particularly close to home because of my job of working with kids their age. And the fear, confusion and even despair the youngest feels about their situation that they're just too young to properly grasp just kept rending my heart in two. Not to mention the older sister who has to be the responsible one and has to keep herself together despite that it's clear how hard it is on her as well. The characters in this film are real in a way that only Miyazaki has mastered portraying.
(Fun fact: the person who voiced the father is 'Shigesato Itoi' who is also the creator of the 'Mother' video game series.)
Finally, finally, to switch things up; today I watched 'a silent voice' i'll probably elaborate more in the future on a different post. But needless to say it's exactly as good as people say it is, maybe even better.
It was a touch longer than i thought it would be but it wasn't really a problem. It's a super interesting story with a nuanced take on redemption, attonement and friendship. Rended in a way that only animation can truly accomplish.
Up next: I'll go in proper release order from now on so next thing is 'only yesterday'. A more slice of life film and one i might even be to young to fully appreciate seeing i'm only just in my mid 20s and the main character is in her early thirties i think. But i've heard nothing but good things about it so i'm sure i'll be fine.
And concidering that i'm sick and won't go into work tomorrow I'll most likely watch it then
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spookybias · 2 years
wheresoever you go ‣ [ choi yeonjun ] ✧
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pairing: choi yeonjun x gn! reader
genre: fluff, angst | established relationship au | long distance trope.
description: yeonjun as your long distance boyfriend. in this one, the reader lives and goes to college in seoul, south korea (at first).
warning: insecurities. brief mention of suggestive content.
word count: 1.4k
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yeonjun was a clingy boyfriend. when he greeted you, he'd give you a big hug and kiss the top of your head. he always insisted on walking you home, whether it was day or night when the two of you would part ways. and since both of you had pretty busy schedules, yeonjun would make time to talk to you or meet up with you whenever he could.
when you broke the news that you were moving, yeonjun wasn't too phased at first. in his mind, there was nothing in the world that could tear you two apart. you were in love with each other and that was all that mattered. but as soon as he learned how far you were going, the weight of the situation became too much for him.
you picked a tile on the cafe floor and decided that you'd keep your eyes there so as to not see the look on yeonjun's face when you told him the bad news. "yeonjun, my family's moving and i want to go with them."
yeonjun gave you his famous smile, the one that was reserved for 'you're so cute' moments. he chuckled, "that's so sweet of you. where are you guys going? daegu? ansan?" he stirred his drink with his bendy straw and you watched as the chocolate milkshake swirled around. that, along with the bomb you had to drop on your boyfriend, was making you dizzy. you had chosen the cafe for a reason; neither of you were bold enough to make a scene in public.
you swallowed, but couldn't seem to make your throat feel less dry. "outside of the country, jjunie."
yeonjun stopped stirring his milkshake. he leaned back in the brown leather armchair of the cafe. "like, japan?"
you blinked back tears and tried not to think about crying. "farther than that," you replied, twiddling your fingers.
"singapore?" yeonjun's eyes darted back and forth. he looked like he was about to start gasping for air, maybe even lose consciousness. you hated that the place was much farther. why couldn't it had just been a couple cities over? why did it have to be in a different continent?
after giving him all the details, yeonjun chuckled and ran his hands through his hair repeatedly. you knew he wasn't losing his mind, but he sure was losing himself over the situation. he tried to convince you that you didn't really have to move with your family. you were an adult now, and you couldn't quit school. he said you could move in with him and the others, live at their dorm, but you knew that the idea was unrealistic. neither of you were ready to move in together and his boss would never allow it. you explained that you chose to go with them, and that you could transfer universities. yeonjun wanted to get mad at you, but instead, he respected your decision.
yeonjun got used to the idea of you being away from him for some time. that's just it, he got used to the idea. it hadn't actually hit him that you were moving far, far away until one day he came over, and you showed him pictures of what your family's new house would look like.
that's when yeonjun started to feel overwhelmed and anxious. he kept thinking that when you finally went over there, you would find someone within reach who was better than him in every possible way. so to fulfill his own insecurities, he would come at you with expensive gifts and outstanding dates. but then one day you told him that the two of you needed to talk and his fear of being broken up with went from a level 2 to a level 7. every time you tried to discuss the fact that you were moving away, he'd distract you with more expensive gifts and physical affection. afterwards, he always pretended to fall asleep or that he had to rush home so that you couldn't break up with him.
yeonjun wasn't sure what to do next. even the others knew there was something going on with him. it was two weeks before you would be leaving, and he was too afraid to talk to you because he thought you were going to dump him. though, he knew he needed to talk to you if he wanted you to stay with him.
it didn't take long for you to figure out what was going on with your boyfriend. so one day, you asked him out to breakfast, acting as if it would just be a regular date. yeonjun was stressed out the night before, wondering if you'd mention that you were leaving soon. when he showed up he had bags under his eyes and his hair was a mess. he picked at his food the entire time, awaiting heartbreak. however, you weren't going to break up with him, and you needed to make that clear.
you reached across the table and took the fork out of yeonjun's hand. you intertwined your fingers with his and looked him straight in the eyes. "jjunie, why don't you talk to me anymore ?"
"y-you still call me jjunie?" yeonjun sniffled, but he refused to cry. you had your reasons for dumping him and he would just have to accept it.
"why wouldn't i call you jjunie?" you squinted at your boyfriend and sighed. "yeonjun, i'm not breaking up with you. i know you think i am."
yeonjun relaxed his shoulders. it felt like the weight he had been carrying for a few months had finally lifted. he closed his eyes, leaned back in his seat like he did the day you broke the bad news, and took a deep breath. he covered his face with his hands and asked in a tiny voice, "why did you want to talk to me?" he concluded himself to be a total loser.
"jjunie, are you dumb?" you giggled. "you're my boyfriend. i wanted to talk to you about what the plan was. you know, like what time is best to call, when you think we'd be able to see-"
yeonjun leaned over the cafe table and kissed you hard, cutting off your sentence. he loved you so much.
the day of departure, yeonjun accompanied you and your family to the airport. he held you in his arms, and tried to ignore the fact that it would be a long time until he got to hug you again. he wanted to put the moment in a bottle so that he could return at any time, and hold you for as long as he wanted. but he you knew he was okay. he knew the two of you would be okay.
yeonjun is still a clingy boyfriend. you guys would always shower each other in romantic gestures, but now it's triple the cheesy messages, double the cute playlists, and a whole lot of phone calls and video chats.
when he visits a new place, he always takes a picture to send to you and adds, "when you come back, let's go here together."
he sends you a whole lot of videos and voice messages, and you do the same, especially if it's a very busy day for one of you and you know you might not get the chance to talk. yeonjun's favorite thing to do is send you a voice message right when he wakes up so you can hear his raspy voice, and send videos of him blowing kisses at the camera.
it's much easier to tease you now. when he sees an outfit that's cute and a little sinful while walking past a store, he takes a picture to send to you and goes, "you would look cute in this. should i ship it to you so you can call me while wearing it?" please forgive the man, he doesn't get any action now that you're gone.
you spam him with tons of selfies. he saves all of them... until he runs out of storage and has to choose which ones he loves more and it's harder than any exam he's ever taken.
the idea of seeing him again is always on your mind. you miss the times he would walk you home, kiss your forehead, let you sit on his lap. and yeonjun constantly thinks about all of your old cuddle sessions and movie nights. he misses you so so much.
as far as insecurities go, yeonjun isn't worried about you ending things with him anymore. you, on the other hand, get a little nervous whenever you're on the phone with him and hear a charming voice in the background. yeonjun senses you're uneasiness, and has no problem explaining who it is and what's going on.
there's nothing to worry about, though. neither of you are going anywhere. long distance is a piece of cake to yeonjun now, and you know you'll hold each other soon.
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all rights reserved | © spookybias. do not repost, translate, moderate, or copy any of my works.
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dreamifics · 2 years
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A day with the Avengers..
Avengers x Y/N (all platonic, maybe a bit of loki pining..)
The whole avengers entered the part of the compound where a busy Y/N is.. S/he was busy with and was doing things all over the place.
"What are you doing?" Natasha cautiously asks, the remaing avengers behind her..
"None ofnshahana.." S/he utters without looking up from what s/he's doing..
"What?" Tony questioned confused..
"She said none ofnshahana, Mr. Stark.." Peter answered..
"What--No Peter--"
"Y/N, what are you doing?" Sam asks again, and it pushed one of Y/N's buttons..
"I'm doing something for me and it's called NONE OF YOUR FU,--.."
"Languange!" Steve yelled, this time Y/N looked up and rolled her/his eyes..
"Ugh, didn't see you there Capsicle!" S/he said sarcastically causing Steve to shake his head either in amusement or disappointment. It's really hard to tell..
"What are you working on, Y/N?" Natasha continue to ask the questions..
"Nothing, school project!" Y/N answered going back to whatever s/he's doing..
"Didn't you graduate school like five years ago.." Wanda chirped in..
"Oh..Did I say school project?I meant--hahaha!" S/he laughs nervously, Y/N faked a cough.. This made all the Avengers more suspicious of his/her actions..
"I meant just a project.." S/he answered timidly and focuses back to whatever s/he was doing.
"Is it dangerous?" Vision asks as the others wait for Y/N's answer..
"Umm--Not that I can think of.."
"Alright then!Let's drink, throw the party Stark!" Thor announced, he only received glares from the rest..
"No, were not leaving unless we find out what Y/N's working on.." Stark whispers as he lead them away from Y/N's earshot.
"I have a plan Mr. Stark!" Peter pitched in..
"No, I don't want you to get hurt son.." Tony subconsciously called Peter son.. Which he regrets but he had no time for that.
"Di-Did you just call me son?" Peter was in the verge of tears, he finally had a father figure in his life..
"What?!No!I mean---nevermind kid, I need to find out what Y/N's working on!" Tony left but Peter followed him..
"But Dad--i mean Mr. Stark!"
"I love being here!" Thor said earning a praise from the others.. A eerie silence passed by and no one has talked..
"Wanna bet on what Y/N's working on?" Sam broke the deafening silence. All the remaing heroes seemed to agree on Sam's idea..
"Hell yeah!" Clint cheered while crossing his arms.
"Sure, im bored anyways.." Natasha answered while leaning on the wall..
"I bet my 20 dollars, that Y/N's working on a kind of laser end of the world thing.." Clint took out his 20 dollars and showes it to everyone.
"That doesn't make sense.." Natasha countered Clint..
"Well, it does to me.." Clint just rolled his eyes to Natasha 
"Fine, I bet 50 bucks that Y/N's working on some kind of serum.." Natasha offered..
"Specify what kind of serum she's making.." Bruce questioned while working something in his phone..
"I don't know Bruce, I don't have fancy diplomats like you do.."
"I bet 10 dollars that Y/N's working on something related to me!" Thor said proudly with a cheeky grin on his face.
"What?That's stupid!" Sam utter.
"Like your plans?" Bucky jokes, making the rest laugh except for Sam..
"Oooh!Sick burn, Buck!" Clint high five Bucky but he was just confused..
"Okay!" Clint said in disappointment.
"Just bet you guys!" Sam was growing impatient.
"I bet that--" Wanda didn't even finish her sentences when Sam cut her off..
"Not you.."
"Why?" She asks..
"You can read minds, I'm not gonna risk my money, Wanda.."
"I don't read people's mind without their permission!" Wanda counteracts.
"You sure?" Vision questioned knowing that his girlfriend was lying..
"Fine!Let's just go and watch Seinfield.." Wanda scoffs and pulled Vision into their share bedroom.
"Alright, call T'Challa and ask him if he wants in.." Clint points at Nat but she mouthed 'no".
"Why not?"
"You're seriously bringing the king of Wakanda into a stupid bet?" Natasha was seriously surrounded by stupid heroes..
"Fine, just call Shuri.." Now Clint has just earned a slap from Black Widow..
"Hey!Why did you do that?!" He shrieks..
"We are not calling anyone!" Natasha lost her patience..
"Scott Lang?" Clint slowly asks..
"No--Maybe.." She gave up, there was nothing keeping Clint from calling their resources.
"Yes!" Clint excitedly leaves to call Scott..
"What about you, Cap?" Sam asks..
"I'm going for a run.." Steve said while almost half way to the door.
"Boooring!" Sam teases, he turns to Bucky..
"What about you Barnes?"
"I bet that this bet is stupid, and I'm going to run with Steve.."
"Geez, what a fun couple.." Natasha mutters, Sam just shrugged it off and focuses on Banner.
"What about you Bruce?"
"Very busy.." Banner answered, not looking up from his phone..
"Alrighty then, so Clint has 20 dollars on lasers, Romanoff's 50 bucks is on a serum, and thor's 10 dollars is on himself? And me!Well I bet 100 dollars that Y/N is working on a weapon to destroy humanity!" Sam recapped quickly..
"Woah, geez Sam.. Not so dark!" Natasha scolds.
"What?I just said she's working on a weapon, I never said she would use it!"
"Still that's so horrid!" Natasha groaned at Sam.. Suddenly Clint was back and he came from one of the vents..
"Hey--I just got off the phone with Scott, he said he bets 10 dollars that Y/N is working on a device that will turn him/herself into a--horse?" Clint explained confused..
"Wait--that's so detailed.." Bruce wondered..
"I know, but hey, easy money!" Clint toss his phone back into his pockets..
"Alright, let's wait on what Stark would be able to find.." Sam announced as they all walk towards Tony's office.
"Your money's mine, Romanoff!" Clint jokes..
"Your wife's mine, Barton.." Natasha smirks and sashay her way to their destination.
"What?" Clint said in a sad tone, he stopped on his tracks as Natasha's word replayed in his mind.
"Let's just find Stark.." Sam pats Clint's back as a sign of comfort, his friend just nod and followed Natasha.
Some of the Avengers were sitting on the living room watching a movie when a loud scream followed by a--
"I HAVE DONE IT!! BWAHAHAHAH!" interrupted them..
Sam came rushing out of his room with a bathrobe covering his body.. There were still soap in his face and hair, he was obviously in a hurry.
"Did you guys hear that?!" He asks..
"Yepp, sounds like a mad scientist to me.." Natasha answered while the others try to focus on the tv.
"LOL, yeah.." Steve was trying on some slangs he heard from Peter and Y/N.. But when he said that, they only gave him weird stares.
"Cap, that's very weird.." Sam whispered to the super soldier.
"I agree.." Bucky agreed.
"Just-Just don't.." Natasha didn't want to explain that it was weird seeing a fossil say slangs.. Steve was just heartbroken, he tried to fit in but that seems impossible.
"Anyways, Stark said he found something.." Wanda change the topic of their conversation.. They all gave her a thank you look.
"Alright!" Tony's voice boomed out throughout the whole place, he walked up to them..
"Hello, everyone.. No need for applause, I just find out what Y/N was inventing!"
"Yes!Wooh!" They all cheer as they ready their money.. The tension was on just like when Tony and Steve had a petty fight.
"F.R.I.D.A.Y, can you please tell Y/N to come to the living room." Tony said to his A.I .
"Calling Y/N, sir.."
"Y/N is coming, sir.."
They all seem giddy and excited to what Stark found, the money in their hands was getting hot as the seconds pass.. Y/N walked in, s/he was covered in hair, it kinda looks like it belonged to an animal..
"Make it fast, Stark..I'm a busy person.." Y/N's voice pulled everyone out of their minds and back to the current situation.
"I just found out what your working on.." Tony blurts out, it made Y/N gasps..
"Wh-What?!How dare you?!"
"And to settle all the bets, I will announce it to everyone.." Tony continue, this was the cherry on top of Y/N's anger..
"You bitch!"
"Languange!" Steve was already wired to say that everytime he hears a profanity but this was obviously not a good time.
"Shut up, Capsicle!" Y/N and Tony both shushed him, he flops back down to his seat..
"Don't you dare disobey me, Stark!"
"Y/N has been working on a device that will turn her into a horse!" Y/N gasps, she felt her heart dropped on the floor..
"Peter is Stark's true son!" Y/N blurted out due to panic in his/her mind..
"What?!" The rest shout at the same time, they were confused on what's going on..
"Peter is not my son, but Y/N is building a device that will turn her/himself into a horse.." Tony explained making everyone calm down a little..
"So, Scott won?" Clint asks dumbfounded, he just lost his money.
"No!This bet is stupid anyways!No one won, this bet is cancelled!" Sam shouts, he just bet a hundred dollars and he was so sure that Y/N was creating a machine to destroy humanity.
"I told you this bet is stupid.." Bucky whisper shouts to Sam but he didn't listen and just gave Bucky the finger..
"I think, I think the bigger issue is Y/N's weird---fondness on horses.." Vision stated..
"Ugh!" Y/N glared at all of them..
"This is your fault Stark!I would kill you if I didn't love Morgan!"
"Do it then!" Stark taunts causing everyone to try and calm the situation down.
"Woah, woah calm down.." Bucky intervenes..
"Y/N what's with this horse thing?" Steve asks causing Y/N to blush and back down.
"Ha ha!Petty humans.." Thor was standing from a far spot away from the rest and just watching with popcorn in hand.
"Well.." Y/N muttered..
"Explain.." Natasha ordered.
"Fine, but first.." Y/N oblied, ,s/he had a soft spot for Natasha due to their one similarity.. And that's to piss off Stark..
"Is Loki here?" Y/N asks in a hush tone.
"No, he's still sleeping.." Wanda answered.. This answer made Y/N relax, s/he sits down on one of the chairs..
"Now tell us everything!" Natasha barks.
"This information that I'm about to tell you is very confidential, if I find out that this gets to Loki I would kill every one of you.." Y/N threatens causing some of them to be scared.. Y/N was a brutal killer, and s/he was even worse than the Winter Soldier  .
"S-Sure.." They all stutter, obviously scared of what information Y/N was about to drop..
"I was reading a book about Norse mythology, and stumble upon a story about.." Y/N couldn't bring herself to say the rest..
"About what?" Sam asks curiously..
"About Loki and a horse.." Y/N finally utters..
"What's with loki and a horse?" Steve questioned..
"He--Umm, I can't do it!" Y/N panicked and broke down..
"Ugh, I'll take matter on my own hands.." Tony said, earning a little applause from the rest of the Avengers.
"F.R.I.D.A.Y, search and read the story about Loki and the horse?" Tony was unsure that this even exist..
"Oh god.." Thor whispers under his breath as it daunts to him, slowly backing away from everyone..
"Sleipnir was the eight-legged horse born of Loki, and belonged to Odin. Loki gave birth to Sleipnir after turning himself into a female horse when his father demanded he sabotage the work of a craftsman from being able to complete the fortification of Asgard in one season.." The A.I read the information it got.. They all seem dumbfounded, Y/N seems embarrassed and was shifting weight to every part of her body.. Thor was just shaking his head in disappointment..
"WHAT THE FRACK Y/N?!" Natasha questions..
"No!I was just curious if--umm he was attracted to horse.."
"Why not just buy a horse?!" Sam asks.
"That's just a myth Y/n!" Bucky shouts at Y/N..
"And how do you know that?!"
"God, just ask Loki out the normal human way!" Clint utters as he hide his face in disappoint.
"No buts, you're banned from my lab.." Tony cut Y/N off..
"Why?!" This causes outrage to Y/N..
"You were doing weird things in there!"
"That's unreasonable!You have sex there with Pepper and you don't see me bitching about that!" Y/N blurted out, the rest suddenly felt weird and just gave each other looks.
"How the hell do you know about that?" Tony questioned..
"Well Pepetony, if you two would have sex make sure no one's around to see it!"
"Shut up!You're grounded!" Tony was mad, he didn't knew that someone knows about that..
"You're not my dad!" Y/N answered..
"But I'm in charge!"
"Of the bills?Yeah!But Steve is really the one in charge, right Cap?" Y/N looked over to Steve but he panics and stands up fast.
"Uhh--I'm going for a walk!" Steve excused and walked away from this uncomfortable moment.
"Me too!" Some utters as they follow Steve..
"We're all coming!" Natasha announced, walking away she follows everyone outside..
"BYE TONY!" Sam shouts..
"I'm coming too!" Y/N was walking when s/he was stopped by Tony..
"Son of a gun!"
"I'm also taking you to a therapist.." He announced, but Y/N gave up, s/he was tired and need to rest..
"Ugh, whatever..Imma throw out my horse convertible.."
"That's a stupid name.." Tony mutters..
"Not as stupid as yours.."
"I'm giving you back to Strange.."
"I rather live with Voldemort.." Y/N answered as s/he rolls his/her eyes..
"Ehh, he is weird.." Tony commented..
"Tell me about it, you know his cloak?" Y/N was suddenly intrigued by talking dirt behind Stephen's back but s/he knows that Strange already knows that this is happening..
"Yeah.." Tony answered unsure of what Y/N was pointing out 
"He doesn't wash it.."
"That's disgusting!" Tony gasped and shakes his head..
Loki was sitting from the surveillance room, watching it all happen with a scared Bruce on his side..
"Are--Are they always like this?" He asks..
"Yeah.." Bruce answered, obviously terrified of Loki..
"Fascinating.." Loki said as he relax more into the chair and played with his dagger.. To Bruce, this scared him but he knew that Loki was change.. He was just baffled by his obsession with daggers and how his eyes are always dark.. But he still can't believe that Y/N 's working on a device that will turn her/him to a horse..
If you guys have any request for imagines about ( marvel characters, DC characters, stranger things, game of thrones, brooklyn 99, friends, basically anything! I accept everything!)
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ultrahpfan5blog · 1 year
Venom: Let there be Carnage - Review
So I came back after having watched Venom 2. I enjoyed the first Venom. It wasn't the greatest of comic book movies but it was fun. Having seen the trailers, I just was hoping for more of the same. I was a little worried when I saw the running time of the movie. A general rule of thumb is that big budget movies never aim for 90 min. A small budget movie or an animation movie can be intentionally 90 mins but if a big budget movie is that short, that usually means it has been edited down because large portions of it haven't worked. So I was a little concerned, but that was assuaged by the fact that the reviews were decent. Much better than the first movie at the very least. Thankfully the movie delivers exactly what it promised. Goofy fun.
Like the first film, I cannot call this a great or even necessarily a good film, but this is a film that recognized the strength of the first film and doubled down on it. So I think the people who liked the first Venom will like this maybe even more and those who didn't like the first Venom would hate this more. This film is essentially an action comedy, with emphasis on the comedy coming from the odd couple bromance chemistry between Eddie and Venom. There is not much else to the movie. The film has the barebones of a plot. Cletus is a creepy serial killer who managed to get a symbiote of his own that is far deadlier and scarier than Venom and he busts out his old girlfriend from prison and then fights Venom. This isn't really a spoiler. This has been in the trailers. And that's pretty much the extent of the story. The film doesn't even try to be deeper than that. The film is mostly about Eddie and Venom struggling to adapt to each other in their new living arrangement.
The film definitely isn't a home run. For one thing, there is a whole plot involving Shriek and Detective Mulligan that feels like it just doesn't need to be there. I mean in a movie which has Venom and Carnage billed to be fighting each other, Shriek just seems like an unnecessary addition. The film should have instead focused a bit more about Cletus' obsession with Eddie and that connection. Because that parallel connection between Eddie and Cletus and Venom and Carnage could have been fascinating. I will say that Carnage was a bit disappointing. He has a great design and CGI work is excellent but he doesn't have a personality. Cletus has a personality but Carnage doesn't really get to have a personality of his own the way Venom does. therefore, again, the villain, while definitely much better than Riot, is not a complete success as it should have been. Also, does anyone understand what happened to detective Mulligan at the end. I had no idea what happened to him. The film also has very minimal use of Anne and Dan. Dan literally just pops up in the last act and then is part of the finale, which was a bit weird.
Again, like the first film, this movie lives and dies based on whether you buy Tom Hardy as Eddie and Venom. For me, he's an absolute hoot. There are so many hilarious lines in the conversations between Eddie and Venom that you are consistently laughing throughout the movie. Hardy absolutely kills in the role. Woody Harrelson delivers as Cletus. He's clearly having a blast, hamming it up. I was again really surprised that Michelle Williams came back for this movie. She gets a better wig this time around but she's even more wasted. She has a few funny lines but this is a role that is clearly well below what an actress of a her caliber is required for. She ends up being a damsel in distress for the finale. Funny thing is that if they actually dealt with some of the things that Anne did as She-Venom in the comics, that could be some juicy material but they have cast a very talented actress and done close to nothing with her so far. As I mentioned earlier, Reid Scott turns up in the last act and he's likable as Dan. Stephen Graham has a pretty sizable role as detective Mulligan. I guess he will play a part in future movies judging by the end of the movie.
Andy Serkis clearly knows what he's doing. Its very evident that he knew what worked in the first film and just followed through on that. And it works for the most part. I think it probably needed an additional 15 ins to give more personality to Carnage and deepen the character dynamics between Eddie and Cletus. But like its predecessor, it was an enjoyable time at the movies. Its roughly a 6.5/10.
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fortheloveoffanfic · 2 years
Behind Closed Doors
Keanu Reeves x OFC (Emma Mathers)
Masterlist Prologue
Warnings- Tiny, tiny bits of angst, but not a lot.
Chapter 1 The Pancake Disaster
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2 Months later
The mattress dipped gently, though, it was a small body flinging itself on top of hers that awoke her, just past seven am. A tiny, though excitable voice shrieking, “Emma!” Right into her ear was enough to finish the job, and with a suppressed groan, she turned onto her back, careful not to let Matt fall off her, even if he’d really only be hitting the memory foam.
Groggily, Emma wiped the sleep out of her eyes, coming to her senses. Stretching and yawning, she found it hard not to return Matt’s little smile, "Good morning,” she smacked her lips, trying to wake herself up some more, totally not prepared for him to leap back into her lap, “What’s up kiddo?” It wasn’t like the twins hadn’t woken her early in the morning before, she’d been living with the Reeves’ for going on two months and she’d found that kids seemed to enjoy awaking with the sun. Though, it was odd for Matt to bound into her room with such urgency, with his teeth already brushed and without his sister.
“Daddy’s making pancakes,” he jumped up excitedly in her lap, and Emma had to hold him at the hips to ensure he didn’t toss himself off the bed by accident, “But he’s terrible at it!” Crawling out from the safety of her embrace, Matt crept to the edge of her bed, nearer to her side, jumping off and proceeding to tug on her hand encouragingly, “You need to come help him, or its gonna be a disaster!”
Chuckling quietly, Emma shook her head, running her free hand through her caramel highlighted hair, kicking off the sheets. Swinging her bare, tan legs out of bed, it was almost a struggle to keep up with Matt without stumbling over her fluffy slippers, “Slow down Matty, I still have to brush my teeth.”
“Ugh,” Matt pouted deeply, as if she’d just ended his world. Though, his expression perked up soon after and he let her hand go, “Okay! But you have to come soon, before daddy burns the kitchen down,” he made a few explosive noises gesturing wildly with his tiny arms, and Emma couldn’t help the splitting grin that painted her features. They’d come a long way since that first meeting; Matt had been the first to warm up to her, and now, there was very little that he didn’t want Emma around for. And Poppy, while it had taken her a couple weeks, she’d more or less broken out of her shell, probably finding it nice to have someone to do her hair and who’d let her paint their nails. By then, it went without saying that the children absolutely adored Emma, and she’d be lying if she said that she didn’t feel the same. Matt and Poppy had filled a void that Emma didn’t even know was there until they’d made her laugh. Time spent with them was incomparable, and every time she’d though she couldn’t be amazed by them, they'd do something so beautiful that she couldn’t help but adore them even more.
And then, there was Keanu. Like his children, he had a colorful personality, never ceasing to amaze her. Though, the affections she’d grown for him……they were different. In quiet moments, Emma had found that she’d lost an hour or two just thinking about him; how bright his smile was, how his deep, rumbling chuckle warmed her heart and how even the slightest of touches could make her stomach flutter, and when he was around, watching him with his kids was almost enough to make her heart burst. He wasn’t around very often, owning a successful company and being a movie sensation did eat up a lot of his time, but when Keanu was there, he was always putting out his best for those two.
“Emma!” Matt broke her thoughts, and Emma hadn’t realized that she’d just been lingering near the door of the adjoining bathroom. Her bedroom at Keanu’s house was near triple the one she grew up in back in Nevada, and the one in her old apartment might have been a matchbox compared to it. The room was beautifully decorated too, modern minimalism matching the rest of the house.
“Yeah,” she shook off her thoughts, “Sorry hun. Why don’t you go wait in the kitchen and I’ll be out in a few.” With a quick, purposeful nod, Matt ran out of the room, his light footsteps barely audible. Shaking her head, Emma just chortled softly at his behavior, eccentric, much like his father’s.
In the bathroom, she made short work of quickly freshening up, deciding that she’d head out in her pajamas, an oversized cable knit sweater and a pair of shorts, and shower after she’d been covered in flour, batter, syrup and whatever else they’d decided to get into in the kitchen. Grabbing a hair tie off the counter, Emma maintained eye contact with her reflection on the awning mirror over the sink as she piled her hair into a messy bun at top her head, tendrils carelessly curtaining the sides of her face and the little diamond studs adorning her ears twinkling lowly. Free of the moisturizer she'd worn to bed, Emma dabbed a nearby hand towel below her eyes and on her cheeks, soaking up whatever water had remained after she’d rinsed her face, and finally, when she was finished, she headed out, intent on the kitchen downstairs.
Downstairs, Emma was almost stunned by what she’d walked into. The typically blindingly white and ever spotless kitchen was far different that it had ever been since she’d moved in. Clutter adorned the counter tops and the marble island, while there was a growing mountain of dishes in the deep farm sink. There was a spill on the floor too and all in all, the kitchen looked as if a small tornado had wreaked havoc on the room. And something was definitely burning. After the initial shock had passed, Emma rediscovered her voice, though her tone was still laced with an air of confusion, “What is happening in here?”
As if caught in the act of doing something insanely criminal, Matt, Poppy and Keanu all looked up at her from where they’d gathered around the island. Keanu was at the electric stove, a frying pan on one of the flat burners, while the twins were a safe distance away from the action, attempting to help by taking turns stirring the batter and both perched on the counter. Their printed pjs, Poppy’s with Disney princesses and Matt’s with race cars, were messed up with flour, and Keanu’s face was the same.
“We’re making you breakfast.” Surprisingly, it was Keanu who’d spoken up, looking bewildered and far out of his element. Then, smiling sheepishly, he cast his head down, “But I guess we’re just giving you more work, aren’t we?” He sighed, clearly embarrassed that his sweet gesture had gone awry, “I’m sorry-”
“No,” Emma blushed, she couldn’t believe that he’d thought of her, gone out of his way to try to make her breakfast for no foreseeable reason. “Its okay,” she reassured, cautiously approaching them, “I am so, so grateful that you thought of me, and tried to do something so sweet, really,” gently, she touched Matt and Poppy’s faces, quickly pecking them on the foreheads, “But maybe I could help too?” And by help, Emma actually meant take over so she could do some damage control and save Zelda, the housekeeper, the task of a huge clean up.
Before Keanu could oblige or protest, Poppy spoke up, telling the whole truth as children usually did, “It was daddy’s idea Emma! You should thank him!” She beamed, all but hopping onto Emma’s waist.
“I…..” Keanu stuttered, visible parts of his cheeks going tomato red, “I just- it’s just…..You know, you do so much for us. You’re up early every morning, making us breakfast. You take care of us, I just thought that we should do something nice for you,” he rambled on, avoiding her gaze. It was true though, while Emma had been hired to care for the children, preparing their meals, getting them ready for the day, watching them when they weren’t with their tutors and everything in between, she'd started picking up after him too. Tossing his laundry in with the kids' and making him meals so Zelda wouldn't have too. “Maybe we should have just taken you out,” he finally concluded with a quiet laugh, "Would have saved you the trouble of having to come in here and dealing with this disaster."
"Its okay," tentatively, Emma squeezed Keanu's surprisingly firm bicep reassuringly, and when he glanced at her, the moment feeling more intimate then she'd intended, her breath hitched. Still, her hand lingered, and Keanu didn't seem bothered enough to pull away. Emma held his gaze, her heart jumping after he turned a bit more, the space between them almost becoming mute and his chest close to her face, his stare penetrating. "Um," she cleared her throat quietly, knowing that the kids were watching and that their behavior was borderline inappropriate. They were too close, she was holding on for too long. But getting lost in his eyes seemed so much easier than letting go.
“It’s okay,” Emma repeated, trying to shake off the feeling that came with being in close proximity to her boss, “Why don’t I finish this, and you can……”
“Make coffee,” Keanu interjected when Emma trailed off, “And start cleaning up. I can do that without,” he gestured widely with his hands, the way Matt often did when he was flustered or excited, “Burning it.”
Smiling giddily at his erratic behavior, almost mesmerized by Keanu, Emma nodded stiffly, “That’s uh…..” Emma laughed breathlessly, vaguely aware of Matt striking up some harmless mischief off to their sides, but knowing that they only had a matter of minutes before……
A distressed scream erupted, followed by Poppy’s despondence, “Daddy! Emma! Matt put pancake batter in my hair.” When they turned, lo and behold, Poppy’s dark strands were streaked with the batter, some of it already on her pajamas and in her hands, while she was on the verge of tears.
“Matt!” Emma and Keanu scolded in unison, and immediately, she slipped past Keanu, scooping Poppy up on her hip, walking over the sink to start washing the sticky batter off before Poppy could really start crying. “Why’d you do that, Matty?” Keanu continued behind them, his stern side coming out. “You need to apologize to you sister,” he explained, lifting Matt off the counter, setting him on the floor, “We’re not supposed to pull mean pranks on each other, remember.”
“Yeah,” dejected, Matt dragged himself over to where Emma had just set Poppy down, parts of her hair still wet and a frown still painting her face. “I’m sorry Pop,” as she leaned on the sink Emma folded her arms, watching with a soft smile as the siblings made up, the sweet moment between them making her wish she had a sibling, and worse yet, making her want kids of her own. It wasn’t quite in the cards for her just yet though, Keanu paid well, but not that well, she lived in his house and it would be exceptionally hard to raise a kid when most of your time was spent taking care of someone else’s.
Still, for as long as it lasted, Emma could make do with doting on Matt and Poppy, feeling a swell of pride when they did something so magical that it reminded her of the purity of children, like when the two decided to hug it out, quickly forgetting how upset they both were. That was one of the greatest things about kids; they were so innocent that the notion of holding grudges was completely foreign to them. It was so…….untainted.
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As he wiped down the counter, trying to clear a decent work station, Keanu found himself occasionally stealing glances at Emma, leant on the sink with her arms folded. She looked beautiful, almost ethereal, with her hair up in a bun, wispy honey hued strands curtaining her flawless features, oversized beige sweater guarding her perfect curves, and tiny shorts that boasted her smooth, tanned legs, the light sheen of lotion still present. Keanu thought that he'd ever met a woman quite so naturally stunning.
She's too young for you, was what the voice in the back of his mind protested, along with several other valid arguments. But for some reason, tearing his gaze away had continuously proven to be a trying task. Keanu didn't want to look away, as corrupted as it was, he wanted to hold Emma; trace his thumb over her pink, plump lips, feel her hot breath fan his cheek, know what it was like to have her satiny skin brush against his.
He wondered if she knew her effect, what it did to him when she swayed her hips as she walked, or gnawed on her lower lip between thoughts. Keanu wondered sometimes, how easy it would be in another situation, to have her all spread out under him. Or simply, to just have her company, listen to Emma talk about whatever she wanted, be the man she went to for the most intimate of reasons, a shoulder to cry on, when she wanted someone to make her laugh.
A crush.
That's what he might have called it twenty something odd years ago. But at his age, Keanu thought of it as more of a fantasy. A very cliché one at that; lusting over the nanny. Maybe if she wasn't the nanny………. Oh, but she was. The one that his children, the apples of his eyes, his pride and joy, the two best people in life, adored to death. Keanu wasn't sure if they knew it themselves, but he could tell; Poppy and Matt were growing affections for Emma that ran past likenesses, they loved her.
The relationship that Emma had grown to share with his children was one of the more unadulterated things that had fueled his ridiculous attraction to her. They adored her, and she them, and it was warming to see her laugh with them, care for them, the way a mother might. Still, there was so, so much more than Keanu liked; her laugh, that little half smile she’d offer him when they bumped into each other in passing, the way having her around felt. Like she made their home more complete, the one missing jigsaw piece that was so satisfying when it was slipped into place.
Hoping she wouldn’t notice his lingering stare, Keanu carried on with clean up, a grin ever present on his rugged features as Emma continued without much concern; getting the kids to help set the table without fuss and finishing the pancakes while she was at it. It felt so normal, so domestic, Keanu was usually so busy getting ready to leave that he was often left grabbing what she’d carved out the time to pack for him, kissing Matt and Poppy just as he left. But that Saturday morning, he got the chance to live almost the way he’d hoped to with Diane; the twins’ mother, before she walked out on them.
Before the painful memories could wash over him, Emma was calling everyone to sit for breakfast and Keanu once again sank into the present. Laughing when Matt and Poppy did something cute, smiling brightly when Emma doted on them and eventually, when it was over and they’d hurried off to the TV room, feeling a sense of giddiness that accompanied being alone with her. “Did you do this a lot when you were a kid?” Keanu probed as he and Emma finished up in the kitchen.
She was busy clearing the table, collecting the jug of orange juice to be returned to the fridge, “I guess,” Emma shrugged dismissively, her expression troubled, and Keanu was worried that his seemingly innocent question had struck a nerve, “My parents weren’t around a lot when I was a kid.” Swallowing thickly, she continued shuffling around the large kitchen, “Making ends meet wasn’t always easy for them, you know?” Gathering the plates, she moved over to the sink, “My mom stayed home to take care of me, and the house, and my dad worked two jobs. He worked really hard for us, and….”
“Em,” Keanu frowned, noting her tormented expression as she dumped leftovers from the children and packed the dishwasher, “If it's too hard to talk about, you don’t have to tell me. And I didn’t mean to upset you, if I’d known-”
“It’s not your fault,” she turned towards him, straightening up and smiling faintly so he could be reassured, “And it’s fine really. It's just hard to talk about, but I don’t mind telling you,” moistening her lips, “I was around six, when my dad died, he was at work; fell off a scaffolding and had a heart attack on the way to the hospital,” it was easy to tell how hard she was fighting the wave of emotion, the way she struggled to contain tears while biting her lower lip. But still, he was grateful that she felt comfortable enough to open up, it felt like they were closer. “After that, funeral expenses blew our savings, and my mom had to work. She hated leaving me with my grandmother, but she had to.”
Slumping his shoulders, Keanu yearned to reach out, pull her into a hug and let Emma know that she was always welcome to find comfort in him, but seeing her the way he did was already crossing so many lines, he didn’t think he could trust himself to take her into his arms. “That must have been hard,” he sympathized instead, “And you were just a kid.”
“Yeah,” she forced a watery smile, probably hoping to ease his worrying, “But life’s like that right? He left us way sooner than anyone would have liked, but I’m glad to have had him when I did. Both my parents, they taught me that sometimes you’ve gotta bust your ass for the good life, but that just makes it even better when you get it,” she sighed quietly, “I wish he could have been here for the big things, birthdays and graduations,” she sniffled, “But I’m thankful for what I did have, and I hope one day, I can be that kind of parent for someone else.”
“That’s beautiful,” Keanu hummed with a soft smile. It couldn’t have been easy growing up without her father, but Emma still seemed so content with what she’d gotten. Grief, it hurt people, it could change them too, and he knew that all too well, but Emma had been so young that it had shaped her instead. Molded her into the kind of person that was caring, kind and driven. Someone you wanted to trust and whose presence emanated warmth. “You-” Keanu leaned back, expecting to brace his hands on the counter, though swearing loudly when his left hand landed on the top of the stove. “What the fuck?”
In an instant, Emma was at his side, weaning Keanu’s hand out of his own grasp, hissing empathically at how the base of his palm had taken on an angry red tint, “Shit,” her hands were so soft and smooth, her touch soothing, “We need to get some ice on this,” when she moved away, grabbing a dish towel as she headed to the fridge, Keanu’s face fell further, already missing her touch. Though, when Emma returned, a couple blocks of ice wrapped up in the patterned fabric, pressing it to his hand as she held it up between them, Keanu’s eyes fell on her once again. With her head downcast, it was hard to decipher her expression, though, he could see her brows knitted in worry, “Does it hurt like this?”
When she glanced up briefly, their eyes meeting, Keanu stumbled on his words. He wasn’t expecting to be that close to her that morning, or, well, at any given point. He liked it though, maybe too much. “A little, but it's no big deal,” he shook his head slightly, his gruff voice low, “Thanks Em.”
“Of course,” she swirled it ice around a bit more, “You know, the kids love having their boo boos kissed,” Emma teased lightly, not thinking too much of it, “Think they get that from you?”
Chuckling quietly, Keanu replied, also without much of a protesting thought, “Maybe.” And just like that, the moment unfolded, so quickly that it felt completely natural, like her soft, supple lips were meant to touch him. They weren’t too warm on his skin, and could hardly be considered medicinal, but Keanu swore his hand felt ten times better when Emma pulled away, once again laying the ice on top of the burn. Simultaneously, they raised their heads, that time, their jaws slackened as their eyes met. “Em….” he groaned quietly, knowing that if he leaned in any closer they’d be no point of return, yet Keanu ached to. He wanted to kiss her, feel her mouth respond against his. But he couldn’t, and more importantly, he shouldn’t.
At the very last minute, right when Keanu swore that Emma was leaning up to meet him halfway, her pupils dilated, her breath slow and ragged and his chest just and inches away from hers, he rediscovered his self restraint, abruptly turning his head away. Clearing his throat, Keanu shoved his feelings down, irrationally disappointed when Emma stepped back, easily reading the shift of the moment, “Matt has swim practice today right?” It was honestly just a ploy to make professional conversation, change the topic so they wouldn’t need to have an uncomfortable conversation.
“Uh,” flustered, Emma seemed unsure of what to do with herself, and if Keanu wasn’t mistaken, there was a disappointed glint in her dark eyes, “Yeah, at three.” Gnawing on her lip, she fiddled with her fingers, “I should go see if his bag is ready, I can't remember if I packed it or not.” Keanu knew it was a lie; Emma didn’t forget things like that, and worst yet, he was almost sure that he’d hurt her. Yet, she didn’t give him a minute to apologize, or say anything really, hurrying out of the room with nothing more, leaving him tormented and feeling more guilty than ever.
Tagging- @harrisongslimited @magnificentclodpiebanana @keandrews @greenmanalishi @rdjloverxxx @danceoftwowolves @planetkt @wheretheriversrunintothesea
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loveisneurotic · 2 years
Kaguya-sama Blind Reaction/Analysis: S1E1
Hello everyone, this is my blog which I am currently using to react to and analyze Kaguya-sama: Love Is War much more seriously than I should analyze any romcom.
I have only seen the first episode of the anime, which this post shall explore using far too many words. If I'm feeling particularly motivated, I may read the manga as well.
My analysis will contain spoilers. If you're thinking of watching this show and haven't seen it yet, I recommend you at least go check out the first episode yourself before reading any further. I don't know what the rest of the show is like, but what I've seen so far has been both entertaining and thought-provoking.
I'm going in mostly blind, but not entirely blind. There are a few images of the anime and manga that I have been exposed to, although without the attached context. Due to cultural osmosis and the sheer popularity of this work, perhaps that was almost inevitable.
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Figure 1.1.1: Why did this guy write an essay about a single episode of an ongoing romcom?
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Season 1 Episode 1
I Will Make You Invite Me to a Movie / Kaguya Wants to Be Stopped / Kaguya Wants It
Power dynamics in relationships
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Figure 1.1.2: Immediately, the mangaka's tastes become clear.
I heard a saying once that really stuck with me: "The partner who cares the least has all of the power."
In the world of dating, I often sincerely believed this saying. You may yearn for someone's affection, but the other person need not give it to you until they are willing and ready. No matter how much you want it, you can't make someone more interested in you, unless you resort to being roundabout, such as adding some mystery and intrigue to your courtship. But is that excessive?
I once felt a potential lover slipping through my grasp, and before I knew it, I found myself chasing after them. As I was yearning for their attention, I felt as if I'd lost my dignity. It was humiliating. Painful. Was it just that they weren't the right person for me? Or was I not funny enough? Not charismatic enough? Not interesting enough? Too clingy? Too talkative? Should I have been more distant and given them more space? Did I seem too weak? Too eager? How should I have maximized my desirability? Regardless, I had surely lost. Perhaps they wanted the satisfaction and validation of conquering me. Playing me for a fool and asserting their superiority by being so distant. Isn't that right? Or is that just insecurity speaking? At what point is it ideal to cut one's losses and walk away?
If someone desperately wants the object of their affection to desire them, does that make them pathetic? Does it make them a loser? If you show more vulnerability and desire than the other person, does that truly make you the weak one in a relationship?
These questions plague our two protagonists and seem to be a driving force behind the main conflict. Since I have also grappled with how much to reveal my own feelings of desire, I find Kaguya-sama: Love Is War to be a particularly fascinating show.
Desire without action
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Figure 1.1.3: Our protagonists are gifted with impressively high academic intelligence paired with impressively low emotional intelligence.
The show wastes no time in introducing us to our two main protagonists. Kaguya was born into a family of high stature (and says "ara ara" frequently enough to power a small country of weebs), whereas Shirogane is a "commoner" (Kaguya's word, not mine) who worked hard to reach the pinnacle of the student body. Like timid schoolchildren, they're crushing on each other, and yet they refuse to admit it due to their pride. Instead, they focus on getting their "opponent" to confess their love first.
What stuck out to me immediately is how they both have different ideas of what their relationship would be like. Shirogane envisions Kaguya as blushing, shy, and conventionally cute, whereas Kaguya (thankfully) envisions herself taking absolute dominance over Shirogane (which plenty of people should see coming as a character trait after the anime's very first scene). The bad news about this is that their two fantasies are at odds. The good news about this is that the mangaka has fantastic taste -- you can learn a lot about a storyteller based on the characterization of a love interest or lead character of the author's preferred gender.
In the event that the two of them become an actual couple, I wonder how on Earth they'll reach a compromise as to how they'll treat each other. Perhaps they will have to figure that out before they can even get that intimate.
I appreciate that we get to see both of their perspectives. It hammers home how everyone has a different truth in regards to what they desire and what they experience, and the show does not hold back when it comes to showing just how different these truths can be -- such as a certain lunch-themed sequence that I will talk about later. This works to great dramatic and comedic effect.
That said, when you spend your time fantasizing about what could happen instead of actually taking action, time is not so friendly to you.
Half a year passes.
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Figure 1.1.4: Two geniuses dedicate their pride to wasting their life and energy.
Immediately, I got the impression that whoever wrote this segment of the story knows what they're doing. This is too real. And by "too real", I mean I very much appreciate the realism. How many of us have waited for ages (or for eternity) to confess our feelings to a specific someone?
This is the curse of having a crush and being incapable of acting on it. It's also why I hate having crushes.
Manufacturing affection in others, AKA the extraction of vulnerability
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Figure 1.1.5: A plan is devised to weaponize jealousy in the name of affection.
To express your truest feelings means being vulnerable. That implies taking a risk and feeling responsible for any potential consequences of rejection, as well as putting our dignity on the line. It would be so much easier for the object of our affection to make themselves vulnerable instead. So instead of being direct and honest, we act indirect. We drop hints. We act suggestively, but not explicitly. We may even place them in situations where we think they are more likely to confess. If they don't pick up on it, we can pretend we didn't mean anything by it. That way, we don't have to risk our dignity. We can just wait for them to make the move.
It sucks.
Incidentally, it sucks even more when both you and your love interest are thinking that way.
It sucks infinitely more when both you and your love interest are COMMITTED to thinking that way.
Someone has to break the deadlock, whether that's immediately or eventually.
If this show isn't one of those romcoms where the status quo never changes ever (judging by the quality of writing, I have faith that it isn't), then at some point, either Shirogane or Kaguya is going to have to be explicit about how they really feel. And it's going to feel scarier to them than anything else they've ever done.
It's gonna be great.
If we could all grow up and live in environments where it's safe and encouraged for all of us to be honest about how we feel and what we want, surely love would be much less painful for so many people.
Chaos theory
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Figure 1.1.6: If your prospective lover won't protect you, then your friend definitely will.
Chika is the ideal wild card and agent of chaos in this arena of love.
From a writing perspective, Chika is immensely useful. The mangaka probably could have gotten by without a third character in the mix, but she serves as a catalyst and an unknown element, able to create unpredictability and subversion of expectations. For a comedy-oriented story, this is invaluable.
Blissfully unaware of the mental turmoil that plagues our two lovesick dorks, she is able to unintentionally invalidate whatever schemes that Kaguya or Shirogane spent so much mental energy on, which adds extra comedy and tension for the audience. She is also an effective vehicle for Kaguya's jealousy and projection, as seen in the lunchbox scene which I have so graciously foreshadowed.
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Figure 1.1.7: We have confirmed visual on an unidentified fourth person. Chekhov would love this. From their posture, I wonder if they'll be a gloomy character?
Misunderstandings and assumptions
I've heard that most interpersonal conflicts in life emerge from misunderstandings. In the absence of communication, assumptions are born and give rise to misunderstandings.
You may know where I'm going with this. Let's talk about the lunchbox sequence.
Figure 1.1.8 (not pictured because tumblr wishes to deny me of my image spam): Kaguya is too prideful to admit she thinks that a couple is doing something cute.
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Figure 1.1.9: Pride is considered a sin for a reason.
From a writing perspective, I was impressed by the lack of romantic intentions in Shirogane in this whole sequence. Not once did he try to get Kaguya to show vulnerability to him. Instead, Kaguya is the only one spinning the situation in a romantic way, while Shirogane's driving force is the misunderstanding that Kaguya is looking down on him for what he eats. Because of this misunderstanding, Shirogane doubles down and makes his food even better, making the situation even more complicated and more stressful for Kaguya. This was definitely my favorite comedy sequence from the first episode.
I appreciate that the show has demonstrated the ability to create these scenarios where one of the characters doesn't even have love on their mind, but there are still romantic thoughts coming from the other character which drives the drama. It gives me a lot of faith in the variety this show will have to offer, and makes me excited to watch more.
When it comes to comedy rooted in misunderstandings, it is important to have miscommunication or lack of communication. In order to resolve a misunderstanding, you need to talk about it. For a pairing as dysfunctional as Kaguya and Shirogane, expecting healthy communication sounds highly unreasonable, which makes them prime material for a whole world of misunderstandings.
Misunderstandings are rooted in assumptions about what the other person meant when they said something or made a certain gesture or expression. When Kaguya glared at Shirogane and his food, he didn't even think to ask "What's the matter?" He just made an assumption about how she felt. I wonder if trying to understand Kaguya's feelings would be considered a sign of weakness by Shirogane?
A prerequisite to initiating an emotional conversation is the desire to understand or be understood by the other person -- assuming that your assumptions haven't already built a narrative for you. It is far easier to make assumptions than it is to attempt any sort of understanding.
In the end, Shirogane fled, unwilling to confront or attempt to understand the intense and passive-aggressive Kaguya. Kaguya feels that she cannot directly ask to try his lunch, so perhaps this is the closest she can get to initiating such a conversation with him at this time. Despite their mind games where they imagine the reactions of their opponent, they still have a lot of difficulty understanding each other.
I am curious to see if this prospective couple's communication skills and emotional intelligence will improve over the course of the story.
The burden of potential romance
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Figure 1.1.10: Even the infallible genius Kaguya succumbs to superficial jealousy. It's "mind over matter" versus "matter over mind". That's how the saying goes, right?
Chika is a free spirit, able to ask Shirogane for whatever she wants without being neurotic. That is the power of not being bounded by a crush. Kaguya, who lacks that degree of freedom, briefly loathes her for experiencing something that Kaguya cannot ask for. It's amazing how much someone's feelings for a friend can change without a single word being spoken between them. All it takes is an action, unintentional or not, combined with the raw strength of insecurity. Just as quickly, the status quo can return back to normal too, with the act of properly making up.
To Chika, asking for food from someone doesn't mean anything at all, whereas with Kaguya, it is an admission of defeat. In that sense, a relationship that will only ever be platonic brings peace of mind, whereas a relationship that can be potentially romantic brings leagues upon leagues of anxiety if the outcome is of great concern.
Love is neurotic.
Is love worth the pain? For some people, it is not. For others, the reward is immense -- but only if you can make sure your relationship with this person doesn't end up being a nightmare for your emotional health.
Love and self-identity
The final scene of the episode surprised me in a good way. It's a brief departure from the comedy, and reveals a more heartfelt side of the show.
Kaguya's servant asks her an insightful question. It is substantially more insightful than I would expect from any romcom: "If you fell in love some day, would you wait for that person to confess their love, like now? Or would you confess your love?" I found myself immediately curious to hear Kaguya's answer, since I knew it would be highly informative about her character.
"If that time comes, I would consider the risk of someone stealing him first and come to the one rational conclusion." Even in the realm of love, Kaguya seems precise and calculating. It's as if she hesitates to give a straight answer, but then she confirms: "Of course I would go."
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Figure 1.1.11: "Please understand."
It is not embarrassment or rejection that Kaguya fears; it is the absolute destruction of her identity and sense of self. Kaguya is the daughter of a family that practically runs the country. In her mind, everyone yearns for her and wishes to serve her. Turning that around and reaching out to another person to express her own desire would be a direct contradiction of that. It is probably a similar situation for Shirogane, where the infallible self-image he has built up is being put at risk during his romantic duels against Kaguya.
Kaguya clearly feels trapped. She and Shirogane see each other as threats to be conquered, but in reality, they both share a mutual enemy that is much more imposing and insidious: their own simultaneous disgust at the idea of vulnerability.
Their freedom is dominated by their insecurities, and so, even despite their impressive stature, they are still very human. Their upbringing that has lead them to become so accomplished may be more of a curse than a blessing, due to the resulting pride and self-image they likely feel pressured to uphold.
It is hard to cast aside a lie that you have bought into for your whole life.
If our two protagonists wish to have a chance of establishing a healthy romantic relationship, they have a lot of their own demons to overcome first. If they cannot set aside their pride and reach mutual understanding, they have no hope.
Until then, they will both remain trapped in a hell of their own design, however tragically comedic it may be.
My hopes for this story's future
I can tell that the mangaka, unlike far too many writers all over the world, actually seems to have a solid understanding of romance and the conflict that arises within. I've watched too many anime that place huge focus on the "will they or won't they" crap which never runs any deeper than one or both of the characters being too embarrassed to just say what they're thinking, without any sort of convincing mental blocker. In that case, it's clearly just manufactured drama which is designed to pad out the story and waste your time rather than pose interesting questions and themes. In the case of Kaguya and Shirogane, the two of them have substantial communication issues which are depicted in a comedic yet mature way, which I have found engaging.
I very much hope that the show will more deeply explore the themes and questions surrounding the ideas of vulnerability, emotional intelligence, and superiority within relationships. Kaguya and Shirogane have been set up to be great vehicles for such exploration, and I hope the mangaka can capitalize on that, especially if our protagonists can confront these issues directly.
My impression is that the ending will make or break this story. If the mangaka can pull it off well, I can already believe the payoff will be hugely satisfying.
Of course, in order to get to that point, we'll have to see a certain something. It has to do with the most sacred word amongst romcom enthusiasts: "progress". Indeed, after spending chapters upon chapters watching two characters bumble around amidst the same exact status quo, those little signs of advancements in a relationship are highly rewarding.
Underneath all of their aggression, if we can see Kaguya and Shirogane slowly open up to each other and realize the benefits of vulnerability, I think we could witness something really beautiful and really emotionally cathartic.
I've still only seen one episode, but I believe the mangaka has laid a fantastic groundwork for a series and can do a great job developing upon what I've seen so far. On that note, I will surpass our prideful protagonists by opening my heart to this story and entrusting it with my vulnerability, believing it can deliver satisfying development and resolution. You can do it!
Closing thoughts
I did not expect to write so much about a single episode of an ANIME of all things, but here we are. If only I could conjure this kind of power back when I actually needed it in high school English class!
The first episode alone is already so rich with characterization and themes that I managed to find quite a lot to talk about. Given how much I found myself relating to the characters and some of their situations, it's clear to me how this show became so popular. Not only are the animation, direction, and writing excellent, but also many people can probably relate to love feeling like a battlefield.
I do not want to believe in the idea of winners and losers in relationships. That idea creeps into my head whenever I'm having trouble keeping the interest of a new date, and I find myself wondering where those thoughts even come from. Lately, I have been reflecting on the way I relate to other people. Perhaps I've started experiencing this show at a time in my life when I most needed it, and that's why I felt driven to write such a large analysis.
This show poses some very interesting questions about romance that I do not actually know the answer to at the time of writing. I do not know yet how much the show is actually going to explore these themes. Regardless, I appreciate how this show is helping me reflect, and I am curious to see if and how the mangaka will answer some of the questions brought about by the story's themes.
This is a show that I'll most likely have to pace myself with. There was so much to process in this first episode alone. If I went any faster, I'm not sure if I'd even catch all of the details and character moments. I'm excited to move onto the second episode soon.
A highly subjective footnote about my cultured tastes
I'm glad that Kaguya is a sadistic dom with a gentle and vulnerable side, solely on the basis of that being my favorite personality type in a love interest. It also helps that it makes Kaguya's fantasies that much funnier with Shirogane acting so out of character. I feel like this show was made for me.
What was I writing about again? Oh yeah, writing a gigantic wall of text about an anime romcom. Somehow, I spent an entire day on this essay. Hopefully someone got a kick out of it.
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kitcat47universe · 2 years
Broken Heart
Warnings: I have a sad life right now and I am just trying to release some stress
A/N: Please understand it's just the ramblings of my broken life. I have anxiety so it's a bit chaotic.
As I sit here thinking about all that I want to say. I’ve been pushing away from writing as this makes my heart ache more than I’d like it to. It's more, I want to let out what is floating around in my head for me. I grew up knowing I was nothing. I was never going to be considered beautiful, smart, or even wanted. The whole of the world told me so, as did most of my family and most everyone I knew. The rest just didn’t care enough to even bother with me. I just believed them because I had lost all my hope. How do you have hope when it's just a big empty place and no light ever reaches you. My anxiety and PTSD are not really my friends, but they are the biggest voices I hear. They have made me something different in this world we live in.
I was four when I knew movies were not real. Fiction was a made-up world. A four-year-old telling a grown woman that it was ok during a scary movie because I knew it was pretend and she was jumping scared. I don’t know if that’s sad or incredible. I’m leaning towards sad mostly. How can I have such insight at four?
I can remember by the time I was eight I knew without question that a superhero would never save me even though I needed one. I was never going to be enough to be worth saving. I had already been physical and sexually abused and I was well on my way to being completely emotionally broken. (I remember being told to just get over it. That's super helpful.) I coped by letting myself get hurt in one way because it meant that I wasn’t hurt far worse in other ways. I never learned how to properly cope with everything that was thrown at me. Even my immediate family wasn’t really a safe place for me. Yet, I had a sliver of hope that maybe I was wrong. That hope died by the time I was fourteen. I lost myself and my heart.
I finished growing up with no idea what I needed and the only escape I had was going to the movies. I always wanted to see the big action adventure or superhero movies as no one can hear you cry over the loud explosions. No one can see you in pain in the dark. If you still have tears at the end of a horror movie you can blame it on the movie and not a bad life. When the big hero saves their love, I always knew that was never me. I would never be loved like that.
That changed the day I first saw Captain America in any movie. Something about the character seemed so different. I looked up the character and learned there were movies just for him. So off I went to see what was different. That was harder as I didn't any streaming service and buying anything that wasn't a need, well it was problematic. (Ok I admit it I was raising a kid on little to nothing. I know it's sad, but it happens.) I knew not even two minutes in that I was going to have my heart ripped from my chest and this was going to hurt. I watched a little Steve Rogers get beat up and his best friend keep him alive in the end. I was speechless. Every soft spot I could have for a character was playing out on that screen.
My favorite thing any actor can do is make me see the character and not the actor. I was watching Steve not Chris Evans and I was watching Bucky not Sebastian Stan. I hated it. I hated that my heart was going to be broken. I hated that I watched Bucky die. I hated that Steve crashed the plane. I felt like I was watching a part of me ripped out and killed. Like I was watching my own heart stopped beating in front of my eyes. I wanted it to be over. I knew why it hit so hard for me and yet I didn’t want to admit it. Admitting it would make it oh so more real.
I looked up the actors to see if maybe they were just really good and not great people. I was wrong, oh so very wrong. These two men are truly kind and wonderful. I don’t know if they had been directed telling them to act this way or if it was all their own choices. I really want to know. I doubt I will ever know.
Back to that first time watching them. All I wanted was for there to be no Captain America movies and I had only seen the one. (It would a couple of years before I had the nerve to watch any of the other films.) There on that big screen was my hope and I hated it.
These to incredible actors had given the world the one person I ever truly let it. The one I had lost years before. I saw him in how Steve was a “good man not a perfect soldier.” I saw him in the way Bucky always believed in Steve. I saw him in how Steve went after Bucky. I saw him in how Bucky wouldn’t leave Steve behind. I saw him in how Bucky walked and tilted is hat. I saw him in the good shot that Bucky is. I saw him in how they both broke some of the rules but never gave up. I saw him in the captain’s uniform that Steve wore. I saw him in them. It absolutely broke my heart. How could they give him back to me and take him away from me again? The only person I have no doubts about. The one person I know loved me unconditionally and fought for me. I one person I could always count on. I mean always.
They gave me back my granddad. He was a WWII Army Air Corp captain. He flew B-52 bombers over Europe. My favorite photo that I have is him in his dress uniform. Just like Steve's uniform. It makes my heart flutter when I see that uniform on screen. I am a complete softie for WWII soldiers in their dress uniforms.
Losing him was not something I could ever have been ready for, and it hurts to this day. This last decade has been the hardest for me. The last year and half left me feeling about as needed and loved as the worst people in history. I haven’t felt like a mom anymore. I haven’t felt like I was needed even by child anymore. I have felt like the world was telling me that I didn’t deserve to breathe anymore. I hurt so much. I feel just beyond alone.
What would I give to just have one more day with my granddad? Just one more day. And still I as much as I hate having my heart ripped out, I still could never ever have them undo what they did. I could never bare the pain of completely losing what my granddad was. I find so strange that it took two separate good men to give the world what my granddad was. In all the movies about soldiers I have ever seen never have I come across what my granddad was and is. The world can see him like I did. Not physically like since he wasn’t built like a demigod, but at least his heart and some of his soul. He was what grounded me and gave me a safe place. I’ll never know if he was still here how different I would have been. He would have given me my first flying lesson if I wanted to be a pilot. He would have encouraged me and told me I could do this even when I don’t believe. He would make sure I saw what he saw in me.
I know that I will never be able to meet either Chris Evans or Sebastian Stan. Could never afford to and plus I'm already invisible in this world. I wish they could know what they gave me and that he is still here in what they did with Steve and Bucky. I will always believe in these two. Not the superheroes but the good men with good hearts. I will always think of these two actors as great men because they gave me my granddad back just for a little while.
On a side note, I have seen all the Marvel movies thanks to my kid having a true love for all things superhero and space.
If you read this far thanks. Ummm, please know that I serious adore Steve and Bucky. They are as close as I can get to believing in any kind of hero right now.
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cblgblog · 2 years
I'm curious about your take on Wakanda being wronged hard in FaTWS, and by Bucky specifically? I haven't seen many people talk about it, but I'm just angry and confused as to why Bucky was to careless and rude towards Ayo and the Dora Milaje, acting as if their anger about Zemo was an overreaction. Hell, Walker got more respect from him in the end than the Dora did
I'm looking at the writers' perspective here, it was their decision and I'm wondering why. What was the thought behind it? Why did they make Bucky so insensitive? At first I thought it had to be some arc, but nothing came from it. I'm wondering what made them look at this series and think "Yes, let's make Bucky screw over the people that helped him".
It wasn't just him wronging Wakanda, it was his behavior towards Sam too, how he was so ignorant during the cop scene, dismissive of Sam's feelings, and obsessed with the shield to a point of lashing out at Sam for things that weren't his fault. Why was this a choice that was made? Bucky didn't have much personality in the other movies, they could've done anything but they chose this, and I think more people should talk about how wrong that is. Not for Bucky, but for the black people in the series who were wronged.
Okay so here’s the deal. One, I’m white, so know that going in, take my take on this for whatever it’s worth accordingly. Two, I haven’t watched the eps since they aired, with the exception of a couple scenes, so my memory—not so much of events but of specific nuances of how Bucky reacted to them—isn’t fresh.
I say that last part specifically because of Bucky and his interactions with Sam, because ultimately they bother me much less than the Wakanda stuff, and here’s why. Bucky is, to varying degrees depending on situation and episode, a dick to Sam about the shield for most of the series. Undoubtedly. But I get that, to a point. He at least explains his feelings in 1x05, why he reacted like that, and admits he fucked up. He had all his feelings for Steve wrapped up, incorrectly, in that shield, so when Sam just tossed it aside (from Bucky’s perspective), it caused him to freak out/lash out. Which was never fair to Sam, but at least culminated in Bucky recognizing that. Sam keeps saying to him that the two of them have not lived the same experience, the shield and its legacy do not mean the same thing to them, and Bucky finally realizes that. He acknowledges that neither he nor Steve grasped the full reality of the situation, and he apologizes. Does that erase what came before? No, but it’s not supposed to. It’s him acknowledging his own ignorance and trying to do better.
So, at least there’s an arc there, which is the other reason his stuff with Sam bugged me less. There was an evolution in his thinking, there was a change from wah wah, you gave up the shield, to oh wait, I kinda get it now. He realizes that his reactions were wrong, even if his feelings were understandable. Which, on a human level, I think they were. It’s a very human thing for Bucky to equate that shield directly to Steve, and take Sam’s rejection of it as a rejection of Steve. It’s understandable how he got there, given the bizarre nature of Steve’s time travel shenanigans, the nearly endless nightmare that Bucky’s life has been since he fell from the train. Losing yet another 5 years when he’s already lost 70+, all the unprocessed guilt and grief that isn’t helped by him having actually the worst therapist ever, oh my God this woman sucks at her job, she’s funny, but she’s awful. His feelings, I believe, were valid, given everything that went down. His reaction to them—the lashing out, whining, refusing to see Sam’s side of it—his reaction was not valid. But at least he gets to a point where he realizes that. At least there’s an arc.
Could they have found a different way to create conflict in the series? Sure, and I’m not gonna argue with anyone who wishes they had. For me personally, I was okay with it. Bucky’s ignorance and misplaced anger made sense to me. Bit of an aside, one of the few scenes I rewatched for this (because Youtube and knowing exactly where it was) was the cop scene, because you referenced. I’m assuming you mean the bit where Sam gets stopped, gets the ‘calm down sir’ treatment. I didn’t think Bucky was a dick in that scene? He seemed aware of what was happening, given his angry, “No he’s not bothering me, do you know who this is?” It’s actually one of a relatively few instances in the first 5 eps where Bucky does seem genuinely aware that he and Sam don’t live in the same world, even when they’re walking the same street, right next to each other. So, as far as illustrating that, and Bucky coming out of his own feelings long enough to pay attention to Sam’s, I thought it was one of the better scenes.
So, Sam and Bucky, I’m less bothered by. Bucky and Wakanda? That’s a hot garbage fire.
Zemo’s whole inclusion here, and nearly everything related to it, was incredibly botched. He’s randomly rich as fuck now, and a Baron, to match his comics counterpart. Which is not only an incredibly lazy retcon, it kills much of what made his character interesting in CW. In that movie, it was one guy, working alone, limited resources, dedicating himself to his cause. If nothing else, you had to admire his tenacity. Now suddenly he’s got a butler and a plane and piles of cash? Where was that in CW? More importantly…why? What purpose did it serve, besides making him more superficially similar to his comic self?
Why did we detour to him at all? None of his plans ultimately affect the larger narrative all that much. He starts out in prison and…ends up back in prison. Why? Why would the Dora just leave him there? Ayo says that they will bring Zemo back to face Wakandan justice…and then they just don’t. They leave him in the hands of the same people who lost him to two random dudes who were able to bust him out of prison on their own, one of those dudes being an entirely human guy, no enhanced powers, no Serum. In CW, okay, T’Challa did a deal with Everett Ross I guess, fine. But once the Americans proved they couldn’t hold him, it made no sense that the Dora would just go, okay, here you go again. They aren’t Batman. They have no reason to keep throwing the baddies in Arkham Asylum to wait ‘til next week when someone breaks out again.
The Zemo stuff had no arc to it. The only worthwhile thing was Bucky proving to Zemo that he can’t be controlled anymore, but that scene could have come about in a million better ways than it did. Ultimately, the weird little team-up with Zemo feels very cliché and contrived. It feels like a trip down a side road that dead ends to nowhere. It feels like filler, which is a particularly terrible crime when there’s only 6 episodes in the damn season.
Bucky’s dickishness towards Ayo and the other Dora really is baffling, especially when the writers went out of their way to give us that flashback, a direct, show don’t tell indication of all the Wakandans did for him. And it’s not his feelings for Steve that have him acting out this way, or at least it shouldn’t be. Steve has nothing to do with this aspect of things. Steve obviously had trust in and respect for T’Challa, and there’s no reason to think that wouldn’t extend to the Dora as well. Strong, badass women who put it all on the line for their country? Yeah, Steve should/would get that. He would have broken Zemo out of prison, if he thought it was the right call to make, but he also would’ve been like yeah, I did that, I understand that I fucked you over, I’m fully prepared to accept the consequences of that once my mission is complete, I’m sorry it went down like this. See the, “I’d like to surrender myself for disciplinary action,” he gives Phillips in First Avenger, after he goes to rescue the 107th. If it’s an authority he respects and acknowledges as having good intentions (Phillips as opposed to the Accords), Steve will ultimately give that respect back, even if he goes off to do his own thing first. He respected T’Challa and Wakanda. Bucky should have respected them even more, given his more direct connection, given the flashback scene in FatWS, given his acknowledgement that Wakanda and it’s people gave him a rare respite, a calm in the shit storm that’s been his life since 1945.
So yeah, it doesn’t make sense that he was so flippant and dismissive towards Ayo and the rest. It makes even less sense that they put up with it. It’s bad writing, that’s all I’ve got. The show is incredibly irritating, in that a lot of the plot-driven stuff is pretty fucking awful, but most of the character study stuff for Sam and Bucky is so good.
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hotchscvm · 2 years
side to side
Warnings: swearing
Word count: 4.6k
Summary: In which you're performing your hit single in front of your fellow Avengers cast-mates and Chris can't seem to take his eyes off of you, catching the attention of a few cameras.
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"I'm here with the biggest pop-star of this generation, and she plays the very talented daughter of Tony Stark," the interviewer announced your name, smiling brightly at you as the camera panned your way. The hundreds of thousands of fans at home screaming when your face appeared. "How do you feel with all your nominations tonight?"
You smiled at the camera, giving a small wave at the people watching at home. "Honestly, I'm just glad I was even considered for these nominations. I mean, my girls Taylor, and Billie...they're amazing and I'm so happy to be put in the same category as them."
The lady grinned at you, her eyes twinkling. Or maybe it was her sparkly dress, the fabric nearly blinding you with how it shined under the lights. "If you ask me, you've got a pretty good chance at winning. I mean, your hit single—Side to Side—surpassed, like, a billion views in just a month? That's impressive."
"Well, I couldn't have done it without my fans." you replied, winking at the camera.
It was that time of the year again, where every artist, actor, and YouTuber hit the stage for the People's Choice Awards. With your crazy schedule, and the lack of sleep, you had planned to skip the award show until your friend, and co-star, Chris Evans—Captain America himself—convinced you otherwise. Even with the categories you've been nominated for had been more than a handful, but it was the begging and constant complaining from Chris that made you get off your tired ass and put it into a tight dress.
Your hit single, Side to Side, had everyone anticipated for your performance, unsure if you would be performing until the producers had put your name into the advertisement, making fans blow up Twitter. You were sure they had advertised your own song, along with your movie nominations, more than you ever had.
With nominations of Movie of the Year (Avengers: Infinity War), Action Movie of the Year (Avengers: Infinity War), Female Movie Star of the Year (Amara Stark), Female Artist of the Year, Song of the Year (Side to Side), Music Video of the Year (Into You), Beauty Influencer of the Year, and Social Celebrity of the Year, you had your hands full, which had only made your manager glow with happiness.
"Of course!" the interviewer agreed, glancing at the teleprompter filled with tiny words. "It was rumored that you wouldn't be coming, and a lot of us were upset, including me. Was that just a rumor or..."
"Actually, it's not that far off. I'm fucking—oh, shit—oh no!" you gasped, covering your mouth before anymore foul words could come out on live television. Instead of correcting you, the lady laughed, patting your arm softly. "Can't say that on tv. My bad. I, uh, with everything going on, I've been really tired, and I haven't slept in a week. I just wanted to chill, and accept my nominations at home but someone convinced me to come. So, if I say or do anything ridiculous tonight, I'm blaming him and my lack of sleep."
She nodded, clapping slowly. "I think that's fair. Is that someone, your onscreen father, RDJ?"
"He was one of the many people who unsuccessfully changed my mind, but no, it was Chris Evans. He promised me a day with his adorable dog, Dodger, and I couldn't refuse." you said, grinning at how his face had changed from hopeless to cocky as soon as he brought up Dodger.
"If I'm remembering this correctly, Chris Evans is that very handsome man you had kissed in your music video earlier this year. Into You, right? How do you feel kissing one of your co-stars outside of the movies your working on?"
"Technically, it was still acting, and I have kissed him before, so it wasn't awkward at all." you answered, glad Chris had accepted the role. Not only had it sky-rocketed the views and streams, but it made you feel better that it was his lips you were kissing and not a random model's. Yet, it didn't feel as professional as it had before when you pulled away after a take.
In scenes where you had to kiss the Boston actor, it was as professional as kicking Anthony Mackie's ass in Civil War but the kisses you shared on the set of the music video was definitely more personal. At the time, you had brushed it off as Chris being recently single, but now that you had broken up with Henry, you started questioning it again.
The interviewer nodded, squinting once more to read the words off the teleprompter before asking you another question that would certainly make the headlines. "I've been reading up on all those juicy tabloids and I've got one question that would satisfy my curiosity. Was Into You written about Henry Cavill or Tom Ellis?"
Usually, that type of question made you change the subject or altogether avoid the matter but this time, you wanted to joke about your failed engagement. "Henry, but Side to Side was written about Tom since I wanted more Grammy's considering the last album I put out won me a few. But this time, I'm gonna do it without an engagement."
The woman faked a laugh, surprised by the blunt honesty of your answer. "Um, you certainly do have a thing for British men, eh? I don't want to keep you up, but one more thing, for the fans. They've been dying to know if there's anything going on between you and Chris Evans. Any tea you wanna spill?"
"There's none to spill. We're just friends but it's always amusing scrolling through Twitter to find these edits of us." you replied, fidgeting slightly with the hem of your dress. Like usual, you had wondered if you should've worn something less extra but you had let your stylist play dress up with you for the past few months.
"Of course. Well, good luck to you, and I can't wait to see your performance." she said, giving you a little pat on the shoulders before announcing your name once again.
You got off the little platform, immediately taking Chris' awaiting hand, holding onto it as you climbed down the steps in your dangerous stilettos. Sighing, you leaned on him, trying to avoid the blinding camera flashes. "That was more exhausting than I thought it would be. You need to get me some caffeine after this is over because there's no way I'm making it to the after show without at least a few cans of Red Bull."
"So dramatic." Chris grinned, childishly sticking his tongue out as he guided you down the red carpet, stopping when told to take a picture. He let go of your hand, only to wrap it around your waist as you posed for the pictures. "Are you going to the after party?"
Posing seriously for a few seconds, you let your smile back on your face, facing the man beside you. "I was thinking about it, take a few photos, and head back home. Aren't you?"
"Actually, I was thinking we could ditch it and just hang out. You know, I did promise you some time with Dodger and you could waste a couple hours sleeping." he replied, his hand tightening ever so slightly on your waist. Flashing you a shit-eating smirk, he nudged you a little, pulling you away from the blinding flashes. "What do you say?"
You opened your mouth to answer only to be cut off by your manager, Alexandre coming out of nowhere to rip you away from Chris' arms. The latin man sighed in annoyance, glancing at his watch while giving you the look you've seen too many times before. "You're supposed to be in wardrobe right now. Get your ass backstage, and change before you miss your own performance. As for you, Mr. Evans, Megan wants your ass in a chair."
"I'll see you after." you say, getting dragged by your manager, winking at the actor before walking towards the changing area, the cameras following you until they couldn't enter the area.
Getting ready before a huge performance always calmed you down, maybe it was the smell of makeup or the feel of designer clothing made especially for you, but something about it made you feel comfortable and cozy. It was like a routine, especially with all the music videos and movies you had to film, the makeup, the hair.
They made you sit back, giving you your phone like a child while they made you even more sparkly than before, making sure you'd stand out against the flashing lights during the performance. A performance you made sure no one would ever forget. Smiling, you let your thoughts drift back to a certain super soldier as you were pampered.
"Welcome to the People's Choice Awards!"
The room darkened, the blue and pinks lights focusing on the stage as cameras all turned towards your shadow. Making sure your mic was set properly, tried to see past the darkness, to see a familiar face or two but with the headache coming on from the tight half-ponytail didn't help your case. The music started, the beat vibrating, you flipped your hair, and started.
"I've been there all night
I've been there all day (Nicki Minaj)
And boy, got me walkin' side to side (Let then hoes know)"
You rode the bike, belting out in your microphone, the attached headset limiting your movements a little. Gripping the handles, you made eye contact at the camera to your left, winking at it as you pedaled.
"I'm talkin' to ya
See you standing over there with your body
Feeling like I wanna rock with your body
And we don't gotta think 'bout nothin'
I'm comin' at ya
'Cause I know you got a bad reputation
Doesn't matter, 'cause you give me temptation
And we don't gotta think 'bout nothin'"
As you had sung, your eyes had adjusted to the bright spotlight focused on you, seeing a shadow of the one person you wanted to make you walk side to side. While you had answered the reporter's question, you hadn't been completely honest. Some of the lyrics had been written for the Bostonian; or to be more exact, your sex fantasies. With the chorus coming up, you let go of the handles, trying not to fall on your ass as you clapped your hands above your head, the claps matching the beat.
"These friends keep talkin' way too much
Say I should give you up
Can't hear them, no, 'cause I..."
Trying to be bold, you stared at him, his face in particular. The spotlight had blinded you so much that you couldn't see what his reaction was—or anyone's for that matter—but maybe it was a good thing. After all, his gaze always made you blush no matter how hard you tried not to. Pedaling faster, you threw your head back, hoping the motion would draw everyone's—Chris'—eyes on your chest.
"I've been here all night
I've been here all day
And boy, got me walkin' side to side
I've been here all night
I've been here all day
And boy, got me walkin' side to side"
With the help of a shirtless dancer, you got off your bike, taking the sheer jacket from him, and putting it on as you walked towards the front of the stage, moving your hips in to the beat of the song. Resting a hand on a shirtless dancer, you positioned yourself so you were grinding your ass against his crotch, throwing back an arm around his neck.
"Been tryna hide it
Baby, what's it gonna hurt if they don't know?
Makin' everybody think that we solo
Just as long as you know you got me
And boy, I got ya
'Cause tonight I'm making deal with the devil
And I know it's gonna get me in trouble
Just as long as you know you got me"
Sashaying to the little balance beam at the front of the stage, you made sure your hips swayed more than usual.
"These friends keep talkin' way too much
Say I should give you up
Can't hear them, no, 'cause I...
"I've been here all night
I've been here all day
And boy, got me walkin' side to side
I've been here all night
I've been here all day
And boy, got me walkin' side to side"
A few seconds after your note ended, you strike a pose on the balance beam, posing for a few more seconds while the cameras turned their attention away from you and onto the queen of rap herself: Nicki Minaj. The leather, pink bodysuit was identical to yours except for the color, her attitude fitting the badass outfit. She began to walk towards the stage, never breaking eye contact with the camera in front of her while the men pretending to work out to the choreo.
"Uh, yeah
This the new style with the fresh type of flow
Wrist icicle, ride dick bicycle
Come through yo, get you this type of blow
If you want a ménage, I got a tricycle
All these bitches' flows is my mini-me
Body smoking, so they call me Young Nicki Chimney
Rappers in they feelings 'cause they feelin' me
Uh, I-I give zero fucks and I got zero chill in me
Kissing me, copped the blue box that say Tiffany
Curry with the shot, just tell 'em to call me Stephanie
Gun pop, then I make my gum pop
I'm the queen of rap"
By the time she had finished her verse, you had caught up with the multitasking of both working out and singing, able to use your full singing capabilities for your high note. Nicki joined you on stage, hyping up the crowd while you built up for the high note, almost every camera pointed at you except for the one focused on capturing the headline-worthy expression slapped on Chris' face.
"These friends keep talkin' way too much
Say I should give em up
Can't hear them, no, 'cause I...
"I've been here all night (Been here all night, baby)
I've been here all day (Been here all night, baby)
And boy, got me walkin' side to side (Side to side)
I've been here all night (Been here all night, baby)
I've been here all day (Been here all day, baby) (Ooh, baby)
And boy, got me walkin' side to side (Side to side)"
Both you and Nicki motioned for the dancers to come towards you, curling your index finger at the sexy men. Singing the refrain, you both made them drop to their knees in front of you, as if they were kneeling at your command.
Just as the last note was sung, everyone clapped, the majority standing up, and more cheered. You noticed Chris hadn't done either, still sitting in his motionless while two camera men pointed their cameras at him. Your eyebrows furrowed, thankfully after the spotlight had shifted over to the miniature stage where the two hosts were babbling about nominations.
You were ushered off the stage along with the queen of rap herself, taking a few backstage photos before quickly returning back to your dressing room to change into your tailored dress. Your mind had wandered to why Chris hadn't applauded—not that he was obliged too, but a little something would've nice, especially with all the days put into the performance.
Taking a deep breath, you entered the big room, filled with your co-stars and other A-list celebrities. Little did you know you'd find out the reason to your question in the morning.
The loud ringtone woke you up, the sound obnoxious and borderline abuse to your ears. Beside you, Chris groaned, rolling onto his stomach, trying to muffle the sound of the call with his arm draped over his head. Putting him out his misery, you lazily reached for your phone, pressing the green button with dread, seeing the name across the screen.
"You're trending on Twitter." Alexandre announced, happy with the results of the previous awards show. While it wasn't something as big as a Grammy or Oscar, judging by the amount of awards you had taken home, you became the people's favorite. "Hold on, lemme rephrase that. You and Chris are trending. Number one, world wide."
Glancing at the man sleeping beside you, you sat up, confused by the information given to you. You blamed Chris for making you stay up so late for your confusion. "Um, why? Did I accidentally have another nip slip?"
"What the hell?" Chris mumbled, rolling onto his back, his arm grazing your bare stomach. He immediately took it back, sitting up to look over your puzzled face. "What's going on?"
You shrugged, putting your phone on speaker so Alexandre could explain. Your manager chuckled, knowing you had stayed the night with Chris. He was just waiting for the day you'd finally have the guts to speak about the growing sexual tension. "Okay, Alex, explain."
"As much as I would love to go into full detail, I have other stuff to do so, I'm going to give you the basics. Chris' reaction to your performance went viral, people are shipping the both of you, and there's been thousands of memes made." Alexandre replied, a smile evident in his voice. "Anyways, I have to go. Got some interviews to schedule. Have fun getting your way out of this, Chris."
Your phone screen went back to the home screen, a picture of your family dog, Buster, smiling widely. Looking at Chris, you saw his eyes widened, his hands coming to rest of his face in embarrassment as he fell back onto the bed with a bounce, his head nearly hitting the headboard. "Oh, fuck."
"Are you going to show me what your face looked like or do I have to scroll through Twitter until I find it? Oh! Maybe they edited it in my performance." you thought out load, tapping on the YouTube app. You hadn't trusted yourself enough to log into your official account, knowing you'd probably make a mistake so you opted for having a secondary account where you could watch cat videos without the anxiety of posting something stupid.
Chris' hand snatched your phone away, tucking it in his pocket, the sweats he had slept in was somehow wrinkled, and his shirt damp from the warmth. "You wanna get some food? I'll cook some bacon but you'll have to make the pancakes 'cause the last time—"
"I wanna see your reaction." you whined, reaching across his stomach for your phone. Chris turned his body away from you, shielding the phone from your reach. "Chris!"
He waved your attempt away, rolling off the bed, his feet hitting the floor before you could fall back on the mattress.You poured, getting on all fours, crawling towards the edge. Chris took a step back, brows furrowing. "It's not important. Let's get you some food."
"Fine." you mumbled, an idea making you light up. Rolling off the bed, you glanced at his phone on the nightstand, exposed and easy to take. With quick reflexes, you grabbed his phone, rolling back on the bed until you reached the other side, making it impossible for him to reach for his phone back.
"Hey!" the Bostonian shouted, launching himself on the bed in attempt to get his phone back. He made a noise as you rushed out of your room, locking yourself in the nearby bathroom, laughing evilly when he threw himself at the door. He yelled out your name, his fist banging on the door. "I'm serious! Don't!"
Ignoring his begging, you opened his phone with your thumbprint. How ironic how much he didn't want you to look at his phone when he was the one who insisted you have the password to it. His arguments became louder as you opened up his Twitter, immediately heading to the trending section, seeing both your names at the number one spot.
"Damn, I look hot." you joked out loud, making Chris silent for a second before pleading for you not to continue. You smirked, scrolling through the tweets, trying to find his reaction. "Jesus Christ, what the hell happened to you? Did you fall on your face or something?"
Chris groaned, banging his head on the door in defeat as he heard your almost inaudible gasp, that quickly turned into little giggles. If he wasn't so embarrassed, he would've broken the door down to hold you in his arms. "Oh, no."
Bursting out into hard laughter, you fell into the large bathtub, hitting your head on the wall but you couldn't care less. The expression on his face during your performance had been borderline comical, the wide eyes, the jaw hanging open, the open hand resting on his chin while his eyes stayed strained on you the whole time, never wavering from your body, the sexy choreography making his jeans tight.
Cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West, tears ran down your cheeks, your stomach cramping from the maniacal laughter. Lifting yourself up from the tub, you stumbled to the door, your loud laugh ringing out towards the whole house. You let Chris in the bathroom, his phone quickly taken from your hand but it was too late. The blush on his cheeks wasn't going away anytime soon. You leaned against him, your head resting on his chest, while you panted out a question. "Why did you look like you were trying to attract flies in your mouth?"
Chris groaned again, covering his eyes with a hand while the other rested on your back. "You're not going to let me live this down, are you?"
"Oh, God, no." you giggled, wiping the tears away, beginning to calm down. Glancing up at him, you noticed everything above the shoulders was gleaming red, the embarrassment too unbearable for him. "Chris, you looked exactly like the first time we were forced to share a bed together."
"Yeah, you have that affect on me."
"You gonna tell me why you looked so ... shocked? Or do I have to search through Twitter and go with whatever fan theory makes the most sense?" you asked, unable to keep the smug grin off your face. Chris closed his eyes, wishing he hadn't made you come to the awards show in the first place. You raised an eyebrow, fingers itching towards his phone. "You know I'll do it, Evans."
The man raised his hands, taking them off of you as he paced around the bathroom, deciding if this embarrassing moment was the right time to finally confess. "It's just, you know, the dance was so ... sexual and hot that I probably wasn't the only one looking at you like that. You can't exactly blame me for being shocked, watching the girl I'm in love with—"
Chris stopped as you be watched the colors drain out of your face, immediately freezing when he realized what he had said. Both of you stared at each other, eyes wide, not moving a muscle, barely blinking; the atmosphere so tense neither of you were breathing, waiting for the other to talk. But neither of you wanted to go first, terrified.
It wasn't until you started to feel dizzy that you realized you hadn't been breathing, letting out a huge breath, trying to relax while Chris did the same, his hands shaking, a nervous tick he got whenever he was anxious. You got the courage to speak first.
It was better than nothing.
Chris was so nervous he nearly ran out of the room. There wasn't some kind of handbook or script he could read, helping him tell one of his best friends how head over heels he was for her. So, he said what his brain was stewing. "What?"
"What—what?" you replied, unsure if he even said the L word, so lightheaded by the sudden confession.
The actor stilled, eyes widening even further, while his eyebrows shot up his forehead. "What?"
"Say what one more time, Evans, and I will make nothing but mac and cheese for the rest of your stay." you threatened softly, getting tired of not having an answer to your one-worded question.
Chris took a deep breath, hands trembling as he clasped them together, hoping to find the right words, hoping his inner thoughts would come out clear, giving you the answer you asked for. "I'm sorry. What do you want me to say?"
"What you were saying before. You know, before you looked like you saw a ghost and almost stopped breathing. I think that would be a good start." you replied, backing up to take a seat on the plush chair. Chris mirrored your actions, putting down the lid to the toilet before sitting down.
"This isn't the way I wanted you to find out." Chris whispered, his blue eyes trained on the emotions that flashed on your face. Your uncertainty of the situation didn't help his anxiety.
"Okay, um, were you going to tell me in the first place?" you asked, playing with the hem of your shirt—it had been a borrowed Patriots shirt from him. Looking back, you realized all the little things he'd done hadn't been because his platonic love for you. "Or were you just going to keep letting it be this way?"
Fidgeting with his hands, Chris peered through his eyelashes, seeing the hurt flash across your face before you quickly composed it. "Scott was hyping me up, trying to convince me to tell you before you got into another relationship. Do you know the real reason I broke up with Jenny? It hurt like hell when you announced you were engaged. Fuck, I couldn't even pretend to be happy because you were going to have the life I wanted with you, with someone who wasn't me. It was selfish and I got really mad at myself for being a dick."
"And then the horrible, horrible relief I felt when you called off the engagement." Chris continued, his heart clenching. "Truth to be told, that was the day I found out I was in love with you, breaking things off with Jenny. Of course, I wanted to wait until you moved on, hoping to be the friend you went to but with my schedule, that was impossible. So, you seemed out comfort in Henry fucking Cavill."
"You're in love with me?" you whispered, hoping this wasn't some kind of cruel dream. If it was, you wouldn't mind staying.
The actor nodded, waiting for you to call him names and rush out. "Yes. You can leave or slap me or whatever you want to do but I love you."
You got up, running a hand through your hair. "Okay."
Chris' heart sank, wishing for any other kind of reaction, wishing you'd do something. Taking a deep breath, he got up. "Is this a goodbye?"
Frowning, you walked up to him, taking his face between with your hands, pressing your lips softly to his. You could feel his heart beat, the little organ beating so hard. You pulled away before he could recover from his shock, before he could kiss you back.
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