LAST EDITED ON Jun-13-14 AT 00:42 AM (EDT)
I seem to only be able to get these two weeks after the fact nowadays. Hopefully, the rest of the summer goes much more smoothly.
>While they were about it, a team from Republic Telephone and
>Telegraph was on hand, along with a couple of technicians from Sato
This is such a silly thing, but... I love that there's an RT&T. I don't know why. I kind of want to see one of their advertising posters now, done in that sort of 1950s IBM/GE/AT&T/etc. corporate aesthetic of "Aren't we all responsible, forward thinking technologists here!"
And of course the fact that "Sato Computing Machines" is an awesome name is already well-known to us all here.
>The senior man from SCM, a buzzcut, intense young man in
>an immaculate white shirt with sleeves that looked like they'd been
>rolled up with reference to a straightedge and then ironed that way,
>gave him a serious thumbs-up and nodded firmly.
Not pictured: socks with garters on them. Because some people? Have standards.
>"OK." Korra knocked on the jamb of the open living room door
>and leaned her head around it. "Everybody decent in here? I've got a
>couple of stragglers to see Herself and the Red Terror."
Herself and the Red Terror was, of course, also the title of one of the Crimson Lizard films Kaitlyn was in. It is not to be confused with She! The Earth Kingdom's Red Weapon!, one of Bolin's later Nuktuk serials during that period when they were trying to transition the franchise into a more sci-fi direction.
>Turning to Gryphon with an expression of wonderment, Skuld said
>as if surprised, "This is our granddaughter."
>Gryphon nodded. "Indisputably."
>"We have a -granddaughter,- you fool," Skuld insisted, as if he
>wasn't -getting- it.
I'm curious... no Priss and Guy? I mean, yes, clearly they're not going to haul the entire entourage out to Diqiu for this; it would bloat an already long piece, wouldn't add much narratively, and in-universe Redneck and R-Type and the Roses and everyone can all wait until the Trinity aren't on their honeymoon and have arranged all their post-partum situations to be much more stable, but you'd think the immediate family would have been dragged in to see their adorable new niece and for Priss to get some really good mocking in. Especially since I think Priss and Guy are still living at home.
Also too: it no doubt occurred offscreen, but I am totally imagining Len (currently off moping-slash-becoming-a-Jedi) just completely not believing this when he asked Achika et al. over in Warriors for an update on his brother.
"Corwin? Got married a couple times, disseminated his genetic materiel. Your niece is pretty cute, by the way. Toddling adorably, like they do."
"... bullshit. You had me going, though."
>Much of this seemed to hinge on relinquishing the baby as seldom as possible
>and soliciting tips from Jinora and Ikki, who had had the experience numerous
>times and in multiple generations by this point.
"Can you divorce your spirit from your body and wander freely and unseen? Because I've found that made baby-sitting and, importantly, toddler-finding much, much easier."
"... yes! Yes, actually, I can."
"Well you're good to go, then."
>"You didn't save any work for me!" Ryo Sato observed, entering
>the room behind her. Then, to dispel any impression that he was
>complaining about that, he smiled and added, "Excellent."
Oh, Ryo. Never stop being asian Tony Stark.
Or maybe asian Howard Stark. Either one! Just never stop!
>"I know, but she's nervous. Having your sapience judged by a
>panel of surly experts will do that to a person," Skuld pointed out with
>a wry eyeroll - not at Anthy, but born of her long-nurtured disdain for
>the Turing Institute's system of synthetic-sapience classification.
Y'know, people mock the Turing Institute, but I kind of like them, both in-universe and as a plot device. If Dorothy's hearing and Eve's prelmins are representative of the process, it's staffed by sober, serious-minded people who realize they have a hard job to do, and that sometimes they have to dick over good people in order to conform to their charter, but they do the best they can, because undermining their own legitimacy would mean there'd be no international framework at all for synthetic emancipation, and that'd just be so much worse.
What I'm saying is that so far they've been written well, coming off as a complex bit of galactic diplomacy and an interesting obstacle/coming of age challenge for some of the synthetic members of the cast. I enjoy subtlety and complex, morally grey situation.
>"The question that my sister and brothers and I have used to shape the path of >the Air Commonwealth these many decades? It's a simple one." With a broad >smile, she said, "What would Aang do?"
Tangent: while not a bad star to steer your ship by, I'm more than willing to bet the whole 'Let's all be like Aang' thing has more than a little to do with Lhakpa's various issues.
>"For right now, just tell me this much, if you think it's fitting.
>If I visited... would I be disappointed?"
>Corwin regarded her thoughtfully for a second, then gave her a
>little smile and shook his head. "I don't think you would, no."
You know, this would make an interesting little mini-story, I think. Corwin might be a little bit wrong about Korra's level of disappointment. I mean, Korra would undoubtedly find the Golden City to indeed be all that, and I imagine that the various divine members of Corwin's family might have some enlightening conversations in store for her; Tyr and Heimdall seem like dudes who would have been keeping one eye on Diqiu and have some wise things to say to Korra. I find myself thinking that Odin's ravens would probably have a lot more to say to her than Odin herself regarding the Avatar's role in the grand scheme of things. All that would be awesome...
... and then she'd find out there's an actual Celestial Bureaucracy, and that in fact the universe is, indeed, controlled by functionaries at the very highest level. I anticipate that reaction would be way more mixed on her part. :)
>As he spoke, he unstrapped his Cirrus J-5 jetpack's control
>modules from his hands and slipped them into his side pockets, then
>tugged off the heavy gauntlets he'd worn underneath them.
Minami is going to be very disappointed that Corwin imported a jetpack for this trip. What, a Sato-branded jetpack isn't good enough for him? He thinks he's better than her?
>"We're still going to worry," he said.
>"I appreciate that," Nall replied.
I feel like I should have more to say about this scene specifically.
I mean, I have plenty to say about Corwin and Nall. I love how in some ways, Nall is actually entering the grown-up phase of his life faster than Corwin is. I love the weird cultural interplay between them, and I love how Nall is actually smarter than he thinks he is and is going to make an amazing diplomat or politician one day.
And this scene is clearly an important brick in that wall, but I don't really have much more to say about it than "Yep. That there's a good brick."
>Shiro Shinobi Arena was packed and roaring on the first day of the Major League
>Bending regular season
Same deal with this scene, really. Feel like I should have something to say
about it, especially after Corwin's bout in the ring, but don't really.
Oh, wait, no. I liked Hitomi a lot despite her being a walk-on role. Aside from being a fan of alliteration, I like that they've got a high-energy woman doing sportscasting. Not just doing sportscasting, but actually anchoring the broadcast. Admittedly, this might be because here in the real world, I am desperately, monstrously bored with the constant interchangeable middle-aged dudes of mediocre talent who alternate boring play-calling with shitty commentary lamenting the days of yesteryear when the sport was purer and cleaner.
(Seriously, Joe Buck can go fuck himself.)
So that was nice.
>He affected to disdain broadcast programming and used his personal set
>only to watch old action films, the world's most extensive collection of
>which he happened to own on Moverdisc.
Headcanon: Meelo and the Sato family have a longstanding competition as to who has the most extensive film collection. For awhile Ryo was winning, but then Meelo actually managed to dig up the disc version of Wang Fire In The Clutches of General Azun! which Varrick Studios printed but never actually released due to a contract dispute.
>As the Fire Ferrets' team principal, Korra had recused herself from commentary
>on the final bout, reporting instead to the stands to take it in with the
>others in the Satos' courtside box.
Hmm, are you holding that content back for another Azana-n-Karana mini? Because you'd think Azana taking the ring for the first time with her flashy new blue flame would be a big deal worthy of on-screen time, as it were.
Given what we now know about Book 3, it would appear that having awesome goddamn ships as your ride runs in the Sato family.
(Not as cool as Asami's enormous airship fortress, tho.)
>Unlike many rich people, Minami did not generally employ a personal chef,
Y'know, I generally disapprove of a lot of the conspicuous displays of consumption the truly wealthy get up to (on aesthetic grounds if nothing else; shit's gaudy, yo, show some class) but I have to admit; if I had the money, I would totally have a personal chef.
>Now that he'd turned to take direct note of it, Corwin found
>himself oddly fascinated by the physics involved - the interaction of
>gravity, mass, and inertia, the way thousands of individual strands
>could and did function as a single body.
Tangent: this is a topic of great interest to both mathematicians and those who work in high-end computer animation. Disney in particular has invested a lot of effort into creating physics engines that can handle hair down the level of the individual strand and throwing a lot of computing power at the problem; this is most notable in Tangled and the more-recent Frozen.
It's apparently one of the most demanding problems in modern programming, how to make fake hair behave realistically.
>But another, larger, more insistent part of it was Korra's developing awareness
>- at this stage barely liminal - of Corwin not only as a bigger, stronger
>version of her buddy of old (though he still was that), but as a -man,- full
... this is where we're going with Korra and Corwin?
Mmmmmmmrrrr. Do not want.
>There was a growing cognitive dissonance there that she wasn't ready to
>think about "out loud" just yet; and even if she did, it would only be
>to deem it inappropriate on several levels.
Yes! Yes, it is, Korra. There are weird grooming implications involved given the fact that you helped raise the boy. It would be like if Gryphon were to decide to make a move on Raven, only even weirder.
>"Sure, bail out when it gets complicated," Utena joked.
>"There's that can-do dragon spirit."
I believe technically the can-do spirit calls for burnination when things get complicated. A smoking ruin is very simple!
>"I just have to give it some thought," Utena went on. "Some...
>diplomacy... may be in order," she added with a little grin and a wink.
... and now Utena and Anthy are collaborating on this one. Cripes.
>"Do you have a boat?" Utena wondered. "I'm assuming we can't
>use the ones we came in... "
I was actually really hoping they'd somehow manage to try it using the Mirai.
I don't have a lot to say about the sailing porn; I read this at a bad time for it, as I'm currently plowing through the most recent couple books of Weber's Safehold series (shut up, it's a guilty pleasure) and there's like a hundred and fifty pages of people fighting the ocean in each of them, so I'm a bit full up. It was competent and well-executed; I'm afraid my own knowledge of the practicalities of sailing ends with very dim memories of watching The Voyage of the Mimi in middle school.
>"Makes sense," said Utena. "Like you said this morning, this is
>a hard land. Before modern times, just living here must've been pretty
>Korra nodded. "Not even that long ago, in the grand scheme of
A younger Korra would have mentioned, without even thinking about it, the attempted genocide right then, about two seconds before realizing she'd just made the whole situation very awkward.
>A glance sufficed, between the Rose Prince and her wife, for the
>one to ask a silent question and the other to answer it: No, not yet.
Not ever, hopefully.
>"Ladies, I want you to meet another dear friend of mine. Utena Tenjou, Anthy
>Tenjou: This is Nanuq, the Great Bear of the South. He's the patron of my
>tribe and guardian of our ancient land."
Okay, that was pretty neat.
I like what you've been doing with the spirits overall so far in Diqiu. It's a lot more AtlA than LoK. That's a good thing; AtlA used a much lighter touch and it was more effective for it. I like my spirits mysterious and weird and cosmic.
>Kaitlyn-sensei was already there waiting for her, an Aldera 2408
>promotional backpack - part of the swag from Juri's brief but eventful
>career as an Olympic fencer - slung on one of her shoulders.
Y'know, what with Corwin getting hitched and all, I wonder if Juri and Kaitlyn are ever gonna get married. I go back and forth on it; Juri is such an intensely private person that it seems like she'd be deeply uncomfortable with the notion of even a small, intimate ceremony, and neither of them have anything to prove about their relationship to each other or to the rest of the world. On the other hand, there are probably a lot of legal benefits to that sort of formal relationship status, and if they continue to build a life together they may decide that alone makes it worth it; in addition to being intensely private, Juri is also intensely practical.
>Utena was intrigued to see the good people of Senna's reaction to such blatant
>draconic showoffery: they rushed -toward- the common, exclaiming excitedly,
>many of them scrambling for cameras.
Those pictures are gonna be all over tumblr in like half an hour, aren't they? I can see the hashtags now; #southpoledragon, #theyhavefeathers, #whoknew, #suckitfirenation, #yoursarejustbiglizards, #oursistotallyawesome.
>"I'm told that when I was around two, not long after she first met Dad, she
>more or less -hypnotized- me by doing an exercise in the dojo at our house
>with a jian he used to have. There's a reason they call it 'the gentleman of
>weapons'." She smiled.
Trivia: one of the longest and well-regarded Atla fanfics is, in fact, called The Gentleman of Weapons. Starring Piandao, because with a title like that of course it does.
As with just about every fight scene, I don't have a ton to say. I keep feeling like I'm letting down the side there, but usually when EPU has fights that are meant to simply be an awesome fight (Corwin probending, for example) as opposed to ones that are meant to be spiritually or emotionally significant in some way (just about every fight Azula had in Desolation Angel) it usually boils down to "well, the production team has been doing this for two decades, it's the part of writing they're most proficient at, I have nothing to add."
>"Hello, Korra," said Katara fondly, her own eyes none too dry, as she hugged >the Avatar tight. "Oh, it's good to see you."
Awww yeah. Getting our Katara on.
Hmm, I made it all the way to the end.
Looking back, I had far fewer technical notes to offer than I did during Desolation Angels run. I don't think that's a good or a bad thing in isolation, although it does make me a bit disappointed in myself; if it takes me two weeks to do a full review, I feel like I should have more to offer than snark.
That said, there weren't a lot of individual scenes here I felt needed it, so I'm addressing the piece in aggregate here at the end instead.
This was a decent movement, on its own, but the Suite as a whole is starting to drag just a bit. I'm hesitant at making this sort of pronouncement without the entire thing being out (I've been burned before) but while this installment wasn't bad, it was remarkably plot-free. It was a lot of scenes of the characters going places and interacting and being themselves, which is fine and all, but the previous movement was also just the characters going places and interacting and being themselves, as was the one before that.
There's nothing wrong with establishing a major new part of the setting... but I'd like to note that while that was happening in the earliest parts of the Symphony, which had all these new-at-the-time cast members and set pieces to get off the ground, there also tended to be a lot of plot movement as well; Utena kept accidentally hauling people into our universe, we'd periodically flash back to Cephiro for a plot update and to watch Anthy live the glamorous life of a fugitive witch, international politics would happen to people, etc.
So I'm rather hoping that now that we've gotten all the establishing stuff out of the way, Taken by Storm (a title, by the way, that is rife with potential interpretations) isn't going to be just 'honeymoon in Diqiu ends, people go home' but rather 'shit goes down, yo.'