lists

Top Ten Anime I Watched in 2015

top ten anime opening

A lot of people have been posting about their top ten books read in 2015, so I thought I’d be weird and post about my top ten anime I watched in 2015 instead. (also I read over a hundred books in 2015 and I really can’t be bothered to narrow it down to just ten)

So! The way I’ll do this, the anime will be listed from least favourite to favourite because it’s more interesting that way. I’ll include a short synopsis in more or less my own words, my thoughts, and then a brief content advisory (because I know from experience it can be hard to find good content advisories for anime). Content advisories will be using more or less the British way of rating films because I don’t know how the American way works. I’ll be counting any sequel series as the same series because otherwise this list would be dominated by sequels. When it comes to titles, I’ll have the original anime title first with the English translation afterwards in brackets if there’s a difference. Now, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at this list!

First, some honorary mentions:

Kimi Ni Todoke (From Me to You), Ouran High School Host Club, and the first half of Sword Art Online

Now for the ones that made the list:

gekkan_shoujo_nozaki-kun

10. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun)
High school student Sakura Chiyo tries to confess her love to her schoolmate Nozaki Umetarou, but he mistakes her for a fan and gives her an autograph instead. Turns out Nozaki is actually a renowned manga artist, and Sakura ends up becoming his assistant. As they work on his manga they encounter other schoolmates who assist them or serve as inspiration for Nozaki’s characters. An incredibly silly romantic comedy ensues.

I don’t think I’ve laughed at any anime as much as I laughed at GSNK. The characters are all fantastic and delightfully silly, and it’s very entertaining all the way through. The only reason it’s at the bottom of the list is that I wish there was more of it, since several storylines are never quite tied off. All the same I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for something light-hearted and fun that never takes itself too seriously.

Content: nothing particularly unsuitable. There’s some occasional suggestive content and mild slapstick violence. I don’t remember if there was any bad language, but there might be a little.

rwby all posters

9. RWBY (pronounced Ruby)
Fifteen year old Ruby Rose wants to be a Huntress, an elite monster slayer dedicated to protecting the fantasy world of Remnant from the dark creatures of Grim. When she’s moved ahead two years in her training and becomes a member of team RWBY, it looks like her dream is on its way to coming true. But dark characters are beginning to make their moves behind the scenes, and team RWBY might be up against more than they expected.
(Will you believe I couldn’t find anywhere else that had an actual description of what it’s about beyond the absolute basics? So that synopsis was hard to write 😛 )

Some people would argue that RWBY isn’t technically an anime, but since the definition of anime is kind of loose I’m putting this on here anyway (also it’s awesome so who cares). RWBY is an American-made fantasy web series and it’s fantastic. The animation and scripting can be a little awkward at times, but it’s still certainly worth watching. The story and characters are interesting and entertaining, and it has some truly fantastic fight scenes. I mean, look at this stuff:

I’d recommend watching all four trailers (Red, White, Yellow, and Black) beforehand since they include some backstory and other details that are handy to know. You can find the whole thing on the official website, or on youtube.

Content: There’s quite a lot of mild-to-moderate violence, but not really particularly gruesome and not much above PG level. There are a couple of instances of suggestive content I can think of but very clean for the most part. One or two uses of bad language, nothing worse than ‘damn’.

akagami

8: Akagami No Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair)
When a young herbalist named Shirayuki’s unusual red hair attracts unwanted attention from a selfish prince, she cuts it short and escapes to a neighbouring country. There she meets a boy, Zen, who helps her after she heals his wounds. But the prince doesn’t give up so easily, and Shirayuki’s adventures are far from over. Will she be able to choose her own future? And who is Zen, really?

This was a very sweet and refreshing romance, set in a semi-fantasy world (it’s a completely made up medieval-ish world, but there aren’t really any magical elements). The characters, setting and plot are interesting and enjoyable. A fairly light hearted mixture of adventure and intrigue that’s enjoyable from start to finish. Season two started a couple of days ago, which has also been good so far.

Content: There are quite a few fight scenes with swords, several of them just being sparring. One of the fights has some blood and several people are killed, but there’s nothing too graphic. There’s a bit of suggestive content, especially in the first couple of episodes. In the first episode there’s (spoilers) mentions of a character being made another’s concubine, but nothing happens in the end. (spoilers ended) I think there’s occasional swearing, but again nothing worse than ‘damn’.

fruits-basket-full-1184174

7. Fruits Basket
16 year old orphan Tohru Honda is invited to stay with her classmate, Yuki Sohma and his cousins. When Tohru accidentally discovers that certain members of the Sohma family are cursed to turn into animals of the Chinese Zodiac when hugged by the opposite gender, a series of adventures ensue as she gets to know everyone in the family better. But it’s not all fun and games, and the curse holds terrible cruelty and heartbreak.

Okay, first of all, don’t get put off by the seemingly ridiculous premise. I was at first, and it wasn’t till someone mentioned how good this anime was that I actually watched it, and let me tell you, it’s wonderful. On the surface it’s very sweet and funny, but there’s a darker undertone just waiting to be uncovered. It made me feel all the emotions, and in my book that’s just about the best thing a piece of fiction can do. The one downside is that one of the major plot lines is never quite tied off in the anime, though the ending is still pretty satisfying. If you’re dying to know the rest of what happened afterwards you can always try the manga.

Content: There are several brief fight scenes and a fair bit of slapstick violence. The antagonist is quite abusive to several characters and it sometimes ends in violence. There’s some occasional blood but never too much. There’s a bit of suggestive content, but it’s mostly pretty clean. There’s occasional swearing, mostly ‘damn’ and ‘hell’.

toaru_kagaku_no_railgun_vol_1_le_dvd

6. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun)
Misaka Mikoto, aka ‘Railgun’ is a middle-schooler and one of the strongest ‘espers’ (people with supernatural abilities) in Academy City, a slightly futuristic city made up mostly of students and focused on the development of espers. But something dark is going on behind the scenes in Academy City, and it’s up to Misaka, her roommate Kuroko Shirai, and their friends to stop it.

An intriguing, exciting, and slightly dark science-fantasy, Railgun is not to be missed. The second season got too dark and violent for me (more about that in a bit), but the first season was one of the best mystery-adventures I’ve ever seen. It’s relatively slow moving, but exciting nevertheless. The characters are enjoyable, the plot is interesting and well thought out, and it has some great action scenes. (Also one of my favourite opening songs of all time, but that’s beside the point). It also has a lot of creative abilities and creative uses of abilities, which is always fun. It’s actually a spinoff of another series, To Aru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index), but you can watch it by itself without really missing anything other than a few cameos.

Content: (first referring only to the first season/series) Several fight scenes with mild-to-moderate violence, usually with fantasy elements. There are a few instances with blood but not anything too graphic. Mostly PG, perhaps sometimes slipping into a 12. There’s a quite a bit of suggestive content, especially in episode 2 (which I would recommend skipping since it’s not only the most inappropriate episode by far but also almost entirely pointless. My sister skipped it entirely and had no issues following the plot.) One of the girls has a crush on/attraction to Misaka which can get out of hand. This is mostly silly and played for laughs but can occasionally get slightly uncomfortable (especially in the aforementioned second episode). It never really goes anywhere and doesn’t really affect the plot, but some people might find it a little off putting. I think there’s a few instances of swearing, but once again nothing worse than ‘damn’. Concerning Season/Series 2: I only watched three or four episodes in before it got considerably more dark and violent than the first season, with a few bloody scenes, and an incident where a character loses a leg, which was not dealt with tastefully in my opinion. At that point it was too graphic for me so I stopped watching. So if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing, I’d suggest not watching season 2 at all. The first season is tied off quite neatly so it’s a pretty satisfying ending as it is.

your-lie-in-april

5. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uoso (Your Lie in April)
14 year old former piano prodigy Kousei Arima has been unable to play the piano since his mother died. Then he meets Kaori Miyazono, a pretty, free-spirited violinist with an unconventional playing style, and she pushes him to return to the world of music.

This anime is beautiful. It’s about music, but also about dealing with death and how the way you live your life can affect the lives of others. It’s a gorgeous, emotional story with wonderful characters and a beautifully intertwining story line. Just go watch it.

Content: Occasional slapstick violence, sometimes accompanied by a little cartoony blood. Not really anything inappropriate. I don’t think there was any bad language but there may have been a little.

toradora

4. Toradora!
Despite Ryuji Takasu’s gentle personality, his eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent and as a result he has difficulties in making many friends. After a series of unfortunate chance encounters with Taiga Aisaka, whose delicate appearance and tiny stature contrast with her brutal personality, the two form a reluctant friendship to help each other get closer to their respective crushes. Things don’t go exactly as planned.

This has to be my favourite contemporary anime I’ve seen so far. The characters and their relationships with each other are a delight, and the dynamic between Ryuji and Taiga is fantastic. It’s a lot of fun, with all the emotions, and is overall a wonderfully entertaining and unusual story.

Content: a couple of very brief fight scenes and quite a lot of slapstick violence, mostly involving Taiga. One character gets a nosebleed during a fight, but that’s as bad as it gets. There’s some occasional suggestive content, but nothing outright inappropriate. A few innocent kisses towards the end. A fair bit of swearing, mostly damn and b****, both subbed and dubbed.

naruto all posters

3. Naruto
In a world of mystical and powerful enemies lurk in every nation, a legendary Nine-Tailed Demon Fox attacked the ninja village Konoha, killing many innocent people. In response of a desperate measure from the people, the leader of the village – the Fourth Hokage – sacrificed his life to defeat the demon fox. By sacrificing his own life, he sealed the demon fox into a very young boy named, Naruto Uzumaki. Naruto has lost his parents during the attack. He grew up in the village and was mistreated badly by everyone in town. With his loud mouth and careless attitude, he is determined to become the greatest ninja, hokage, in his village. Along with friends, and hope, Naruto trains to become a better ninja than expected.
(yeah I just used the official summary since it’s actually pretty good and I have no idea how to sum it up)

Naruto is fantastic. It has a huge cast of interesting, memorable characters, an interesting plot and setting, and brings all the feelings. It’s not without it’s flaws though. The first series can drag on for ages at times, with pointlessly long flashbacks (often in the middle of fight scenes) and a lot of time spent standing around explaining one’s moves instead of actually, you know, fighting. This does get toned down quite a lot in the sequel series, Naruto Shippuden, though. It also has more than it’s fair share of filler episodes to dredge through, though they’ll generally become easy to spot and skip after a while. Even with it’s flaws, it’s one of my favourite anime ever. When it’s not dragging on in filler and flash backs, it’s truly fantastic and certainly worth watching. Of course you can miss out on all the boring bits if you just read the manga, but there is a certain amount of awesomeness that comes with being animated, especially in Shippuden. If you’re up for something really long it’s definitely worth a try. I’d also recommend watching the two canon sequel movies, The Last and the Boruto movie as well. (Unusually I actually prefer the dub to the sub for this one, but that’s more of a personal thing and the sub is fine.)

Content: a lot of mild-to-moderate violence. They don’t hold back on the blood when there should realistically be some, but they don’t go overboard with it either. Characters will die, and there’s occasional loss of limbs and so on, but the worst of it is generally obscured or happens off screen. 12+ at least. Several of the villains and their methods can be pretty icky (human experimentation and so on) but again the worst of it is generally obscured or happens off screen. Occasional suggestive content, mostly PG in that area. A fair bit of swearing, mostly damn and hell. Some translations have the occasional s- or f-word, though the dub does not include them.

noragami all posters

2. Noragami (stray god)
Yato is a minor war deity without a shrine. In an effort to gain recognition he grants wishes for only 5 yen. When Hiyori Iki, a girl from a respectable family, tries to save Yato from getting hit by a bus, she dies temporarily but comes back to life. As a result her spirit starts to involuntarily slip from her body at times, and she offers Yato 5 yen to try and fix her. The two start to form an unlikely friendship, but Yato’s light hearted appearance hides a dark past…

Noragami is an interesting, well thought out, slightly dark fantasy. The characters, story, and world-building are all excellent, and come together to form one of the best fantasy series I’ve seen. There are some awesome fight scenes and other elements. It also brings all the emotions, from laughter to tears, which is always a good thing for me.

Content: this is probably the darkest series on this list that I watched all of. There’s quite a bit of mild to moderate fantasy violence, which can sometimes be quite bloody, especially in the sequel, Noragami: Aragoto. There are a few gruesome deaths, though the worst is always obscured or happens off screen. It can be quite frightening at times. The phantoms can be very creepy, and one of the villains is a bit horrific. There are a couple of instances of suggestive content and innuendos. There’s a bit of bad language, but I don’t think it gets any worse than damn or hell.

fairy tail all posters

1. Fairy Tail
17 year old Lucy Heartfilia runs away from home to try and join the infamous mage guild, Fairy Tail. Along the way, she meets Natsu Dragneel, a boy looking for his foster parent, a dragon called Igneel, with his friend Happy the Cat. After Natsu rescues Lucy from a sticky situation, he offers her membership to Fairy Tail, which he’s a part of. The three of them, along with armoured maiden Erza Scarlet and ice wizard Gray Fullbuster, become a team performing various missions offered to the Fairy Tail guild.

This is my favourite anime ever. I liked it so much that having exhausted the anime I went and read the entire manga, as well as the spin offs. It seems like a pretty silly, random, anime at first, but it gets better and better and better as the series progresses. It has a host of memorable and entertaining characters, and a plot that’s actually far more complex than it seems. It’s a long one, with almost three hundred episodes, but every bit of it’s worth it. (except the Eclipse Celestial Spirits filler arc, which is apparently terrible. Skip it. I did, and had no problems following the plot) It’s completely destroyed me with emotions, but that’s the way I like it.

Content: There’s quite a lot of mild fantasy violence, which gets a little worse as the series progresses. There’s an almost complete lack of blood in the first series (the first 175 episodes), to the point where it’s actually unrealistic. In ‘Fairy Tail 2014’ (episode 176 onwards) there’s blood occasionally when there should be blood, but it’s still pretty subdued and never goes overboard. Some of the arcs, especially the later ones, can get pretty dark, but I wouldn’t say it ever goes over a 12. There are fairly frequent innuendos throughout the entire series. Several characters, especially the women, have a tendency to wear fairly revealing clothing. There’s a fair bit of swearing in the sub (I haven’t seen the dub so I don’t know about that), mostly damn and hell. I think there’s an occasional s*** as well.

So, those are my favourite anime I watched last year! Have you seen any of these? Are there any you think you might want to give a try? Any you think I should try? Let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most Books From

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It’s been longer than I planned since I last posted, since we were down in Surrey and the internet connection was terrible. Anyway, this week’s theme is the authors I’ve read the most books from. Most of the authors on this list are children’s authors from decades or longer ago, so I feel my list will be rather different from most.

1. Enid Blyton – 50+ books

This woman’s basically the Queen of British children’s literature. She somehow managed to write over 800 books. Like, how is this even possible? I’ve read at least fifty of her books in my childhood, though probably more than that.

the last two books are missing, but this is a pretty impressive gift

remember this photo from the bookshelf tag?

2. Caroline Lawrence – 18 books

The Roman Mysteries is probably the longest series I’ve ever read. And I’ve read a lot of long series.

3. L Frank Baum – 16 books

I read every Oz related book this guy wrote. There’s a lot of them. They’re all great. 😀

4. John Flanagan – 16 books

I look up this guy and I get a bunch of pictures of some football player 😛 anyway, I read the entire Rangers Apprentice series and loved all of them, even if the finale felt more like an opening for a spin off series than a finale. I’ve also read the first four Brotherband books, which started good and got much better, and tried in vain to get hold of book five.

5. Anne Digby – 16 books

I read a lot of British boarding school books when I was younger, and the Trebizon books were the best ones. The characters were a lot more interesting, realistic and diverse than Enid Blyton’s. I never got to finish the series. (the last two or three books are annoyingly hard to find) It turns out she also wrote a lot of the filler/sequel novels for Enid Blyton (who had a tendency to miss out years and stop a series before it was really finished – although I’m still not sure those fillers were really necessary)

6. Roald Dahl – 15 books

These might just be the easiest books to find in the UK. The local library had almost all of them and those they didn’t have, we owned, so obviously I’ve read all of Dahl’s children’s books at least once.

Anne7. L M Montgomery – 14

I loved the Anne of Green Gables books to pieces and own almost every book in the series. I also read some of Montgomery’s other books which were all good, especially The Story Girl and it’s sequel, The Golden Road. (those books are hilarious)

As someone with five brothers and sisters, I can relate to this.

8. Edith Nesbit – about 10 books

Her books can be a little odd at times, but are generally very enjoyable. She also has a very unique way of writing, kind of quirky and old fashioned, that I like.

9. Lemony Snicket – 10 books

I never finished A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I might give it another try some time now I’m old enough to fully enjoy the dark quirkiness and not feel like throwing the books because they’re so darn depressing.

10. Laura Ingalls Wilder – 9 books

We own almost the entire Little House on the Prairie series in hardback, and I love them so very much.

So, those are the authors I’ve read the most of. Which authors have you read the most of?

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Bookshelf Tag

Deborah @ Road of a Writer tagged EVERYONE for the bookshelf tag (which of course includes me) and it looked fun so here we are. I even bothered to photograph all the books (which I’ve never done before), which was fun. Anywho, onto the tag!

Describe your bookshelf (or wherever it is you keep your books-it doesn’t actually have to be a shelf!) and where you got it from: 

yep

I actually have a photo 😀 (see above). I think my shelves are from Ikea, and I’ve had the teddy bear book stops for years. I also have some books on top of a book case (also from Ikea, I think). No that is not my art hanging above it (though I do have a couple of canvases that need to be hung up).

Do you have any special or different way of organizing your books? My favourite books (the ones in the photo) are arranged in alphabetical order according to author, with series put in reading order. I used to organize them in height order, but that got tedious and made it harder to find things. The rest of my books aren’t in any particular order.

What’s the thickest (most amount of pages) book on your shelf? Cress by Marissa Meyer with 550 pages.

Cress

What’s the thinnest (least amount of pages) book on your shelf? Dragonology (author unclear), at 28 pages.

Is this book not gorgeous?

Because what self respecting fantasy nerd doesn’t need a reference book for dragons in their life?

Is there a book you received as a birthday gift? DragonSpell by Donita K. Paul

DragonSpell

What’s the smallest (height and width wise) book on your shelf? Fifth Year Friendships at Trebizon by Anne Digby

Trebizon

What’s the biggest (height and width wise) book on your shelf? Dragonology (funnily enough it’s effectively both the largest and smallest book I own)

here's what it looks like on the inside

here’s what it looks like on the inside

Is there a book from a friend on your shelf? A friend of mine gave me almost the entire Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence for the New Year before last.

the last two books are missing, but this is a pretty impressive gift

the last two books are missing, but this is a pretty impressive gift

Most expensive book? Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery

Anne Anne 2

The last book you read on your shelf? Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society

Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read? The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis, which I first read when I was about seven.

tLtWatW

Do you have more than one copy of a book? Alice in Wonderland is actually the only book I have multiple copies of, one physical and one on my kindle.

Alice

Do you have the complete series of any book series? I actually have annoyingly few complete series, but I do have the complete Bush Boys series by James Tierney courtesy of my Australian second cousins.

Bush Boys

The first two books have gone walkabouts, but I know they’re somewhere.

What’s the newest addition to your shelf? The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Princess Bride

What book has been on your shelf FOREVER? Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (the physical copy)

Alice physical

What’s the most recently published book on your shelf? Fairest by Marissa Meyer (published January 27th 2015)

Fairest

The oldest book on your shelf (as in, the actual copy is old)? The Borrowers Omnibus by Mary Norton (my copy is from 1966)

Borrowers

A book you won? The only book I’ve ever won was The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan, which I got for completing the Summer Reading Challenge. (and I am eternally grateful to said Challenge since it introduced me to Ranger’s Apprentice)

Ruins of Gorlan

A book you’d hate to let out of your sight (aka a book you never let someone borrow)? Anne of Green Gables, since not only is it basically irreplaceable (I don’t think you can get this copy any more), but it has a lot of sentimental value, since I got it for my birthday in France and it’s pretty much my favourite book ever.

Anne 3

Most beat up book? The Lost Stories by John Flangan. Our copy is a wreck:

lost stories

lost stories inside

we actually had to tape pages back in

Most pristine book? Considering it’s second hand, Urchin and the Heartstone by M I McAllister, which is still in perfect condition.

101_5166

A book from your childhood? The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis. It’s these books that got me into reading in the first place.

Narnia

A book that’s not actually your book? I’m pretty sure my Father Brown Collection technically belongs to my dad, although he doesn’t seem to remember owning it. It has his name written in it anyway.

father brown

A book with a special/different cover (e.g. leather bound, soft fuzzy cover etc.)? Monsterology (by the same person as Dragonology) has an awesome cover:

monsterology

A book that is your favorite color? The Charioteer of Delphi by Caroline Lawrence is a lovely shade of purple

Charioteer of Delphi

Book that’s been on your shelf the longest that you STILL haven’t read? The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson. Man, and I thought The Lord of the Rings was hard to read. I’ve read bits and pieces but still not the whole thing. Amusingly, this book makes it very, very clear where Tolkien got the names for his dwarves from (there’s even a dwarf called Gandalfi!)

prose edda

Any signed books? I have a couple signed by people I know, but none signed by authors.


Phew! That post took most of the afternoon to create. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed seeing all my books. I hereby tag Picklesthehamsterproverbs31teen (if either of you have already done this/don’t do tags, feel free to ignore this), and anyone else who feels like doing it.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Fictional Siblings

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

As someone with five siblings, I love it when I come across realistic sibling relationships in books, tv shows, movies, etc. Since this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, I’ve decided to list my favourite fictional siblings.

dipper and mabel

1. Dipper and Mabel Pines from Gravity FallsThe Pines Twins have probably the most realistic sibling relationship I’ve ever come across (which is understandable since it’s based on the creator’s relationship with his twin sister). They tease each other and have arguments about completely pointless things, but they’re still very close and in the end, will do almost anything for each other. I could go on about this all day, but we have a list to finish.

2. Nani and Lilo Pelekai from Lilo & StitchI personally think Nani and Lilo are the best developed siblings in Disney. Even though they drive each other crazy, they’ll do almost anything to stay together.

It was surprisingly difficult to get a good picture of these two, so here have this instead.

3. Sokka and Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender I love these two. They’re very different and wind each other up a lot, but they’re also very much capable of working together and they’re (almost) always there to back each other up.

Amy, Jo, Beth and Meg

4. The March Sisters from Little Women I loved these books to pieces, and the March girls are fantastic. They’re all very different and I love all of them (Amy was annoying at first, but I grew to like her as she matured). They do all sorts of bonkers things together and fight and write plays and fail at housekeeping. Probably my favourite literary family ever.

another set of siblings that were hard to find pictures for

another set of siblings that were hard to find pictures for

5. Art and Myrtle Mumby from LarklightThese two are hilarious. They’re probably about as different as they can possibly be and get on each other’s nerves pretty much all the time. Despite their apparent dislike of each other, they do worry about each other and I think they’d rather be together than apart in the end. (however much they claim otherwise)

6. Katniss and Prim Everdeen from The Hunger GamesI’m sure I don’t have to say much about how much these two care about each other. I will mention how sweet just about every scene between these two was though.

7. The Baudelaires from A Series of Unfortunate Events I never finished this series, but the Baudelaires are amazing. They’re intelligent, unique and interesting. (In fact, I think it may well have been mostly them that kept me reading as long as I did)

8. Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic There are a lot of sibling and like-sibling relationships in this show, but I think Twilight and Shining Armor’s is my favourite. They clearly care for each other deeply and get along very well (although I somehow suspect that Twilight’s statement that they ‘never had a single fight’ is a bit of an exaggeration). I also love that according to the comics, Shining used to be a dorky nerd while Twilight was a socially awkward bookworm, since that’s basically the definition of my youger brother and me XD

I think this is actually a picture of their parents, but whatever.

9. Tide and Swanfeather (and Fingal) from The Mistmantle chronicles We don’t see all that much of the twins, but what little we do get is adorable and extremely well characterized. I decided to include Fingal here as well, since he acts more like an older brother than an uncle most of the time.

10. Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) from Avengers: Age of Ultron Not going to say too much about these two because spoilers, but I loved how protective they were of each other.

So that’s it for my list. If you would like to join in on Top Ten Tuesdays, just click the picture at the top. Who are some of your favourite fictional siblings?

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Procrastination and Ten Things I Want to Do Before I’m 18

17th birthday post

It was my seventeenth birthday on Tuesday (yay!) and there was cake but no marshmallows. I also got a graphics tablet and it is fantastic. I was going to post this on my actual  birthday, but procrastination happened (I keep procrastinating for no reason. Probably ought to stop doing that). Anyway, to celebrate (in a way) I thought I’d make a list of things I want to do before I’m eighteen. Some are things that I actually have specific plans for, some are just things I’d like to do. So without further ado:

1/2. Stop Procrastinating Procrastination is bad. It prevents you from doing things. But I just can’t stop for some reason. Maybe I’m addicted. Sometimes I even procrastinate things I want to do. If I’m going to get anything done I really have to stop procrastinating. Let’s start now by stopping writing about procrastination and getting on with the list.

1. Finish the First Drafts for Wolf Cry and it’s Sequels I really want to get these written down because a) they’re going to be super fun to write, b) when I’ve got the first drafts down, I can start editing! I know a lot of writers hate editing, but I actually love it. In fact I actually have to forcibly stop myself from editing while I write. Those aren’t the only reasons I want to finish the first drafts before this time next year, but they’re the easiest reasons to put down in words.

2. Go to Art College This is something I’m actually going to do this year rather than something I hope to do. The only question is where to go, since there are several options in the area.

3. Own at least One Item of Fandom Related Clothing/Jewelry I don’t generally buy fandom related stuff. I have several plushies and such I’ve made myself, but I really would like to own something I can wear. I’m considering spending some of my birthday money on this part.

4. Have a Movie Marathon I didn’t have a complete Lord of the Rings – Hobbit marathon for my birthday, but I would still like to have some kind of movie marathon before my next birthday.

5. Learn Japanese because a) I’ve been enthralled by Japan for years, and b) I’d love to learn a new language. I tried learning French once, but it was incredibly boring. No idea how I’ll learn Japanese, but I hope to somehow.

6. Watch an Anime While we’re on the subject of Japan, I’ve been wanting to watch some ‘real’ anime for some time now but it’s proving difficult to find something I know I’ll enjoy. I briefly tried an anime a few months ago but it got splatty all of a sudden and I’m super squeamish when it comes to gore. If anyone knows of a good anime which doesn’t have excessive amounts of blood or inappropriate content, please let me know.

7.  Visit Beatrix Potter’s House Since we moved, the Beatrix Potter museum (which used to be her house!) is only an hour’s drive or so away. Apparently it’s great, and I’d love to visit it some time. I don’t know why we haven’t yet 😛

8. Climb Mount Skiddaw another nearby attraction is Mount Skiddaw, the fourth highest mountain in England (I can see it from my bedroom window!). I’d love to climb it, but I don’t know if I’ll survive XD

9. See an Otter Apparently there are otters living by a stream nearby, but I haven’t seen one yet. Hopefully I will eventually.

10. Buy Books I don’t often buy books, but what with the library’s pathetic collection of books and Winter coming out, I think this year is going to have considerably more book buying than usual.

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List of Characters

A list of all named characters due to appear in Almavavlia, in alphabetical order.  😀

A

Amelia Dalby (field mouse) ~ Younger child of Sir Brendon Dalby. Relatives: Sir Brendon Dalby (father), Sarah Dalby (mother), Arthur Dalby (brother), Lady Clover and Maeve Dalby (aunts)

Andrew Saltpaw (vole) ~ Craftmaster of the Shipwright Guild.

Arthur Dalby (field mouse) ~ Elder child and heir of Sir Brendon Dalby. Relatives: Sir Brendon Dalby (father), Sarah Dalby (mother), Amelia Dalby (sister), Lady Clover and Maeve Dalby (aunts)

B

King Birch (grey mouse) ~ King of Almavavlia. Relatives: Queen Olivia (wife), Princess Ebony (sister), Prince Fir (son), and Princesses Grace and Sophie (daughters)

Sir Brendon Dalby (field mouse) ~ Baron of Erbana Fief. Older brother of Lady Clover and Maeve Dalby. Relatives: Sarah (wife), Lady Clover and Maeve Dalby (sisters), Arthur Dalby (son), Amelia Dalby (daughter)

Father Bruno (grey mouse) ~ head priest of Almavavlia.

C

Lady Clover Dalby (fieldmouse) ~ Fiance of Lord Conmal, older sister of Maeve and younger sister of Sir Brendon Dalby. Former Maid of Honor. Relatives: Sir Brendon Dalby (brother), Maeve Dalby (sister), Arthur Dalby (nephew), Amelia Dalby (niece)

Lord Conmal Sylvada (woodmouse) ~ Baron of Sylvada Fief. Engaged to Lady Clover Dalby. Relatives: Bryan Sylvada (brother), Sylvia Sylvada (sister)

Captain Cyril (grey mouse) ~ Captain of the Guard at Castle Valvia.

D

E

Elaine Dunell ~ The middle Maid of Honor. Relatives: Sean Dunell (father), Jane Dunell (mother), Fynn Dunell (twin brother), Lord Swyngal Dunell (uncle)

Eleanor Dustfoot (grey mouse) ~ Craftmaster of the Cook Guild.

F

Prince Fir (grey mouse) ~ Main Protagonist, Crown Prince of Almavavlia. Relatives: King Birch (father), Queen Olivia (mother), Princess Ebony (aunt), and Princesses Grace and Sophie (sisters)

Fynn Dunell ~ youngest King’s Companion. Relatives: Sean Dunell (father), Jane Dunell (mother), Elaine Dunell (twin sister), Lord Swyngal Dunell (uncle)

G

Princess Grace (grey mouse) ~ Princess of Almavavlia, second child and first daughter of King Birch and Queen Olivia. Relatives: King Birch (father), Queen Olivia (mother), Princess Ebony (aunt), Prince Fir (brother), and Princess Sophie (sister)

H

Heather Bay (grey mouse) ~ Craftmaster of the Weaver Guild.

I

J

K

L

M

Maritta Colin (shrew) ~ Historian and Craftmaster of the Scribe Guild.

Meave Dalby (field mouse) ~ youngest Maid of Honor and Prince Fir’s best friend. Relatives: Sir Brendon Dalby (brother), Lady Clover (sister), Arthur Dalby (nephew), Amelia Dalby (niece)

N

O

Queen Olivia (grey mouse) ~ Queen of Almavavlia. Relatives: King Birch (husband), Prince Fir (son), and Princesses Grace and Sophie (daughters)

P

Q

R

Lord Robert IronPaw (grey mouse) ~ Baron of Monteld Fief and General of the Almavavlian Army. Relatives: Lady Amelia (wife), Sir Christopher IronPaw (son), Ember IronPaw (daughter)

S

Samuel Graye (grey mouse) ~ Craftmaster of the Metal Worker Guild.

Sarah Brown (grey mouse) ~ Craftmaster of the Potter Guild.

Sean Dunell (vole) ~ younger brother of Lord Swyngal. Relatives: Jane Dunell (wife), Lord Swyngal Dunell (brother), Fynn Dunell (son), Elaine Dunell (daughter)

Princess Sophie (grey mouse) ~ Princess of Almavavlia. Third child and second daughter of King Birch and Queen Olivia. Relatives: King Birch (father), Queen Olivia (mother), Princess Ebony (aunt), Prince Fir (brother), and Princess Grace (sister)

Lord Swyngal Dunell (vole) ~ Baron of Dunell Fief. Relatives: Lady Sandra (wife), Sean Dunell (brother), Fynn Dunell (nephew), Elaine Dunell (niece)

T

Lord Timeaus Ordell (shrew) ~ Baron of Ordell Fief. Relatives: Lady Sapphire (sister)

U

V

Violetta (grey mouse) ~ The oldest of the Maids of Honor, has a crush on Captain Cyril.

W

X

Y

Z

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Glossary

Here you can look up various races, countries, terms, etc. That I made up for Almavavlia. This will be constantly expanding as I write more.

A

Almavavlia ~ The country in which the story is set. For more info, see The Map of Almavavlia.

Arkeo ~ A large country to the west of Almavavlia. Inhabited by Hooded Rats.

B

Black Rats ~ One of the Rat Races. Slightly smaller than Hooded Rats, but greater in number. Usually black or grey all over. Same breed as Black Rats in our world.

C

D

Dwarf Hamsters ~ One of the Hamster Races. These are the smallest Hamster Race, and have dark grey fur with a white belly and darker grey fur running in a line down the spine. Same breed as Campbell’s Dwarf Hamster in our world.

E

F

Field Mice ~ One of the Mouse Races. Light yellowish brown, smaller than the other Mouse Races. These Mice generally enjoy farming.

G

Great Desert ~ A large expanse of dry sand and dust to the extreme North-West of the continent. Inhabited by Greater Hamsters, Spiny Mice and Snakes.

Greater Hamsters ~ One of the Hamster Races. Large and plump, usually with golden-brown fur. Same species as Syrian Hamsters in our world. Less intelligent than most other races.

Grey Mice ~ One of the Mouse Races. Come in a variety of fur colours. Same breed as pet mice in our world.

H

Hooded Rats ~ One of the Rat Races. Larger but less common than Black Rats, white with a black or dark brown head and markings. Same species as Fancy Rats in our world, but with less variety in colour and markings.

I

J

K

L

Lesser Hamsters ~ One of the Hamster Races. Smaller and slimmer than Greater Hamsters, with grey or dull brown fur. Same breed as Chinese hamsters in our world. These intelligent, peaceful hamsters live just to the south of the Great Desert.

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

Silveo ~ A middle sized country to the North of Almavavlia. Inhabited by wood mice.

Spiny Mice ~ One of the Mouse Races. Fur rises in spine like tufts towards the tail, fur is usually grey or pale yellow-brown. These warlike mice are exclusive to the Great Desert.

T

U

V

W

Wood Mice ~ One of the Mouse Races. Pale brown fur, with yellowish fur on the back of the neck. Same breed as Yellow Necked Wood mice in our world.

X

Y

Z

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