Archive for January, 2011

Top 5 Dark Shoujo Anime’s

Dark Shoujo is my fav anime genre since its created for girls who like the darker side of things and therefore deals with more matured themes, love stories tend to be more twisted and tragic and bishonen haunted and tortures.

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1 – Death Note – if you haven’t seen this, then why not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s one the best Anime’s ever made and to me just the perfect mix of all the things I love. Death Note is so good I have tattoos based on it that’s how great t2 – X/1999 – Classic dark Clamp at its very best and this anime did it justice. I am a huge Clamp fan have every anime and manga they have produced. I do prefer their dark stuff such as Tokyo Babylon and X. X itself takes place 10 years after Tokyo Babylon and includes the key characters but in a much bigger affair, the end of the world. The story is of two sides the Dragons of heaven and the Dragons of Earth, one side believing that humanity should not continue as they have abused the planets and their rights to be the dominant species and one side believes there is still hope for humanity. Now for any series which is counting down till the end of the world and the fight for the apocalypse you can imagine the darkness and pain that flows throughout this series. There is a host of interesting but tortured characters and nothing is set in stone. So many relationships, feuds, misunderstanding, hatred, love and need. I personally since being a fan of TB was very invested in the relationship between Seishirou and Subaru, these two men have the most tortured and messed up relationship and it’s the most romantic tragedy I’ve seen played out. Their relationship was cursed from the start and only destruction was ever going to redeem them. he iconography is for this series. The series is a rather complex game of cat and mouse between too intelligent and brilliant characters, Kira and L. Kira is our anti-hero, is he a visionary, is he a murderer, is he justice or is he a god. L is our hero, mad, brilliant and eccentric. To describe in full the entire goings on this series is quite difficult as it has all the twists and turns you expect of a great murder mystery thriller, even Sherlock Homes himself would have found this difficult to solve. Once you add the supernatural element into the mix it takes on a whole new level of excitement and danger. The basic plot is that a shinigami (a Japanese death god a bit like a grim reaper) is bored of just ferrying dead human souls and wants to mix it up a bit, so he “accidently” drops his Death note into the world of the living where it’s found by Light a son of a detective. He too is training to be a great detective but is sickened by the world and the amount of criminals that get away with their crimes. He discovers the Death Note has the power to kill the person whose name is written in it and so begins a twisted tale as he takes on the role of Kira punishing those he believes are guilty. But soon there are so many unexplained counts of seemingly natural deaths amongst the criminal population that the government decides that it no coincident and L is called in to solve the case of Kira. It’s a battle of wits between the two each trying to escape the other made only worse by the fact that Light’s father and therefore himself end up on L’s team where he is trying to stay one step ahead of the game. Throughout the series things only get more complicated and intense, the uses, rules and tricks of the death note are explored. Another death note is uncovered, L and Light form a strange friendship and respect for each other, Shinigami get involved and the very question of is it all right for one man to play god with the lives of humans even if they are criminals.
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The added layer of social commentary is brilliant I love tales that ask those types of questions, we all feel at some point that criminals get away with things they shouldn’t, their punishments don’t always fit the crimes, many get away with murder literary and a lot of the time the prison system doesn’t work but do they still have any rights whose place is it to judge then. You can neither agree nor disagree with Kira but his god complex is a little too far and as with anyone that gains that kind of power it can corrupt you. I personally am an L fan he is just a bit weird and out there a completely unique individual so intelligent yet socially un at ease. There are a host of interesting characters that get involved in this and the series has a great look. The character designs are great and the world is a dark and scary place. Also helping the series is the fact that the opening and closing themes are done by my two fav j-rock bands, the beautiful and awesome visual kei band Nightmare and the greatest metal band out there Maximum the Hormone (I love this band have all their albums and they are just awesome!!!!!). I also love the use of the shinigami lore, I’m a big fan of this very Japanese mythology and this series has some great designs for the Shinigami’s. As with any show that features two attractive males of equal standing that have such a twisted and close relationship you can also slash this series but for once I was so involved with the storyline and how they out wit and manipulate each other I had no time for yaoi thoughts. This for me is very rare but this series is just too good, real edge of your seat, can’t stop watching and very intelligent.
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Also not worthy is there are also 3 films based on the death note franchise the first 2 follow the manga and are a more condensed version of the anime. They miss out from a lot of the major characters and they change the ending to fit this but they hold the spirit of Death note perfectly both in tone, intelligence, suspense and the relationship of L and kira. They play out that beautiful cat and mouse game and are cast well. The graphics for the shinigami are a little too CGI but you forgive it for the fact that it’s still good and capture the essence of Death Note. The 3rd film is L change the world which is the tale of L and his last case after the incidents of Death Note and while no longer containing the supernatural element it is a good thriller and interesting film worth being part of the death note verse.

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2 – X/1999 – Classic dark Clamp at its very best and this anime did it justice. I am a huge Clamp fan have every anime and manga they have produced. I do prefer their dark stuff such as Tokyo Babylon and X. X itself takes place 10 years after Tokyo Babylon and includes the key characters but in a much bigger affair, the end of the world. The story is of two sides the Dragons of heaven and the Dragons of Earth, one side believing that humanity should not continue as they have abused the planets and their rights to be the dominant species and one side believes there is still hope for humanity. Now for any series which is counting down till the end of the world and the fight for the apocalypse you can imagine the darkness and pain that flows throughout this series. There is a host of interesting but tortured characters and nothing is set in stone. So many relationships, feuds, misunderstanding, hatred, love and need. I personally since being a fan of TB was very invested in the relationship between Seishirou and Subaru, these two men have the most tortured and messed up relationship and it’s the most romantic tragedy I’ve seen played out. Their relationship was cursed from the start and only destruction was ever going to redeem them.
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They’re not the only characters that go through so much pain the series is full of doom and gloom but in the most beautiful way you can possibly imagine. How to explain the plot, well it starts with 3 friends Fuuma, Kamui and Kotori, they find out Fuuma and Kamui find out that destiny is cruel and they are placed on opposite sides of this war as the leaders of their respective groups of Dragons. Each dragon has a special ability all come with powers based on various spiritual, religious and mythological teaching of Japan. This queues some amazing battles as mystic magic’s do battle. The one interesting this is how set in eastern spirituality this series is based and Christianity is not seen as a saving factor western religion has not place in this apocalypse.

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Apart from amazing character designs in true Clamp fashion you have beautiful costumes, fantastic battles, social commentary, the exploration of eastern religion and mythology and human drama exposed and intensified by the desperate situation these characters are in. One thing I admire about Clamp is they have never feared taboo subject matter and always display this in the relationships of characters; you will find gay, lesbian, transgendered, incest and age gaps. Clamp believes love is love no matter age, race or gender and this power that makes their character fight and carry the burden of their fates. Clamp is also very strong on the theme of destiny and fate and has some of the strongest iconography of any studio out there. You will see the use of all their symbols and design traits throughout this series as well as other typical Clamp icons such as characters with one eye. If you want to see clamp at their best this is the place to start you can’t get any more intense than the apocalypse and you won’t find many series more beautiful or tragic than X.

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3 – Gensomaden Saiyuki – This is a great series that been going on for years and yet they still haven’t made it west. This is another retelling of a very famous and popular Chinese tale of a priest and his companions travelling west to solve a mystery that is plaguing their home. If you’ve ever heard of Monkey you’ll know the story and if you’ve ever seen Dragon Ball now you know where that story comes from. The Buddhist monk Sanzo keeper of holy scroll hears a plea for help and releases Goku the Monkey king from his prison in the mountain. Goku who has forgotten his past life is taken in by Sanzo and the two are tasked with a mission. The mission involves a strange phenomenon that is changing the normal race of Youkai into murdering animals. Once Youkai and Humans got along but now something is upsetting this balance and Youkai are going made. Add to the team Gyojo, all round ladies’ man but also what is considered a child of taboo. And Hakkai mild mannered healer and Gyojo’s best friend after he rescued him. What makes me love this series is that it’s basically beautiful boy angst fest and I won’t deny that it is a yaoi fan dream. Four hot guys travelling together forming very close relationships while angsting like you would never believe. I mean Sanzo comes from an abused past, witnessing the murder of his ,master and then man that raised him, Goku was involved in the great war of heaven and imprisoned into the mountains for going against the gods, Gyojo is half Youkai after his mother had an affair with a human and then his Older full blood brother kills her and tries to kill him and Hakkai was in love with a woman that turned out to be his sister but they decided to run away and live as lover till she was kidnapped causing Hakkai to go mad and kill 1000 Youkai to get to her for her to commit suicide in front of him. The travel and try to get over their pasts but it haunts them, there’s a lot of ran in this series to make sure we all remember how depressed these guys are. They however form friendships and well put their lives on the line for each other to fight berserk Youkai and try to solve what is causing their world to go crazy. Along with more hidden secretes from their past and a whole other life they all lead together in heaven many years that cost them their lives before being reincarnated into this story.
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As I said you can slash this series, me it’s all about Gyojo and Hakkai, ever since Gyojo found Hakkai dying in the road they have been close plus the line from Gyojo “you’re the only man I’ve ever taken to my bed” which I like to read into lots. Other interesting things about the series are unique character designs that can be explained as droopy eyed bishonen and a very interesting editing style. A lot of layering it used, screen halving and colour filters. Also flash backs using a TV static look and for the time slight cgi on certain scenes. Another great thing is the songs used as all four of the male voice actors are also singers they released a lot of albums and songs for this series as well as the openings. Also of interesting note is the fact that our heroes that if you remember contain a monk are all chain smokers, heavy drinkers and gamblers and sanzo’s weapon of choice is a gun so not your typical monk plus with all the killing, incest and homoerotic not your normal bunch of hero’s. The series itself is a lot of fun sometimes light heard and funny sometimes violent and battle filled and then there is the crushing angst and personal drama, me for one loves a tortures bishonen.

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4 – Kuroshitsuji – As I have already reviewed this series in the past I’ll let you just go back and ready why its amazing and you should be watching it!!!!!!!


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5 – Xxxholic – Yes another Clamp but as I said they are my fav studio out there because they do cater for both my sense of aestheticism, themes and characterisations. XXX is a mix of social commentary and supernatural mystery. It is based on a young boy called Watanuki and his ability to see the spirit world. This ability causes him all kinds of problems including the crushing wait of responsibility as ghosts are asking him to help them finish their unfinished business. He one day ends up and the house of the time witch (a nice little cross over with the tusbasa verse) Yūko Ichihara, a witch who owns a wish-granting shop. Watanuki requests to have his ability to see spirits removed and as payment, Yūko hires him to work in the shop, resulting in his encounter with various supernatural encounters. It’s through these encounters that we see such things such as humanities desire and greed and how many supernatural being pray on these things. What starts out as a fun almost detective story soon gets darker and Clamp more mature themes start to play out, fate and destiny are a big part as Yuko explains that the person Watanuki believe he loves isn’t what he thinks, one person will bring him tragedy and one person that he doesn’t suspect will bring protection and love. The other protagonist of the series is Doumeki and school friend of Watanuki that he does not like and can barely get on with. Doumeki though cares strongly for Watanuki and even though he is a man of little words and is often stern and cold has sacrificed more of himself than Watanuki knows to protect him. These boys are bound by fate and now blood as the things in the dark get more dangerous and aggressive. I like this series because I like how Japanese mythology and spiritual beliefs are played out, it’s interesting to a westerner to see the array of spirits and magic’s that both guard and infect the human world and what happens when you are aware of how human actions can affect this supernatural world. This series also makes sure we understand that greed and desire as well as sadness can be targets of supernatural involvement and people can be abused and abuse these supernatural factors.
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This series still has a very clam feel to it buts it’s the first to have a different style, while much of the iconography is the same as well as motifs both visually and thematically the character designs are different. They are longer and world has more angles but is also full of darkness as well as beauty and tragic love. I am very much looking forward to seeing where this series will go and the journey of the main characters as their destiny plays out.

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Check out the My Yaoi, Shonen ai, Boys love Slashable anime list!!
http://www.lzsy.co.uk/2012/12/my-yaoi-shonen-ai-boys-love-slashable-anime-list/

Dont forget to follow me @lonedreameryaoi

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Top 5 Classic Anime series

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1 – Rose of Versailles – Truly one of the most amazing Anime’s to have ever been made this is a pure masterpiece and an absolutely beautiful tale. The story is the rise and fall of Marie Antoinette and the French court right through to the French revolution. The story is based very much in history but is told and focuses on the fictional character of Oscar. The Rose of Versailles focuses on Oscar François de Jar ayes, a girl raised as a man to become her father’s successor as leader of the Palace Guards. A brilliant combatant with a strong sense of justice, Oscar is proud of the life she leads, but becomes torn between class loyalty and her desire to help the impoverished as revolution brews among the oppressed lower class. Also important to the story are her conflicting desires to live life as both a militant and a regular woman as well as her relationships with Marie Antoinette, Count Axel von Fersen, and servant and best friend André Grandier. Oscars eventually becomes a member of the Palace guard and a close friend of Marie Antoinette, often working as her body guard. She takes her duties very seriously and is always often seen in her male façade. Through the series she is at the centre of many of the court problems like the famous necklace theft which she helps solve. She also goes though some amazing transformation as she becomes more aware of her growing femininity as she learns to fall in love, which tares her apart, whether she performs her duty as a palace Guard, how to deal with her love for a man that she cannot have and her growing need to help the less fortunate and their growing problems.
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The series starts out fairly simple shoujo affair, solving mysteries, parties and girlish swooning but it soon gets more series as it introduces the real historical weight. The affair of Antoinette and Fersen is covered and the feelings it opens up in Oscar, the corruption of the court, Antoinette’s own naiveté and how it brings about her own downfall and most importantly the French revolution itself. The greatest thing about this series is the amazing and beautiful relationship between Oscar and her best friend Andre, how this relationship changes and just how much these two go through in such a terrible crisis. Warning though for all its beauty and strength by the end of this series I was in tears, but given its subject matter it wasn’t a surprise by some of the very heroic and tragic deaths. This series is living proof of how well the Japanese can appropriate and re-invent classic western stories with so much heart and beauty.
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2 – Urusei yatsura – I love this series it’s a great fun classic series that entertains to the max. The series tells the story of Ataru Moroboshi, and the alien Lum who believes she is Ataru’s wife after he accidentally proposes to her. It is like a harem anime but with so much more going on with it sci-fi inspiration and well as the use of classic Japanese mythology. What makes it harem is the fact for some unknown reason half the women of this series end up falling for Ataru even though he is well women crazy and come onto anything female. The other half of the women are desperately trying to escape Atura’s advances. Ataru is very lecherous. His main goal in life is to live in the centre of a harem composed of exotic and beautiful women, including most of Lum’s alien friends. Usually, he just walks up to a woman he’s never met before and asks for her name, phone number, and address. If Lum, who views him as her husband, should witness these usually futile efforts, she regularly zaps him with massive quantities of electricity, but they do nothing to slow him down.
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Once he decides to go after a particular female, virtually no force on Earth or any other place in the galaxy can stop him. This tenacity can work to his advantage in dire times, as it makes him determined to succeed regardless of the odds. Ataru may come across as stupid and lazy, but he is actually quite intelligent, able to manipulate situations to his advantage. Though he often tries to escape from Lum and openly flirts with other women, he truly loves Lum but steadfastly refuses to admit it. Into this mix add aliens, spaceships, wars, monsters, the supernatural and classic mythology to really mix thing ups. The series is packed so many crazy characters from ice princesses, super humans, aliens from all manner of planets, talking animals and some very surreal goings on. It would be impossible to tell you all about the different characters but my fav character is Shutaro Mendou is the rich handsome heir of the Mendou family and thus has his own army, unlimited resources and always carries a sword. He is in love with Lum but with no affect and while he is far more charming and sophisticated he is just as girl crazy as Atura he just manages to cover it up better.

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3 – Dominion Tank Police – From the great Masamune Shirow comes this cyber punk gem with attitude and a lot of explosions. Set in the fictional city of Newport, Japan, in a future in which bacterial air pollution has become so severe that people must wear gas masks when outdoors; the series follows a police squadron that uses tanks. It is basically a futuristic cop show where instead of police cars they use tanks and as you can imagine that causes a lot more damage and fun. The main protagonist is Leona Ozaki who is very capable and loyal and incredible obsessed with her tank Bonaparte. You can imagine what this series is like very fun and filled with action, the criminals pulling of heists and a lot of high speed chases through the streets of this pollute city. The greatest aspects of this series are the very funny and sexy Anna Puma and Uni Puma, the Puma sisters.
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Originally created as sex dolls they out grew their programing and decided to use all their android enhancements to live a life of crime. They have a mutual hatred of Leona and while being the villains you love them too much to ever want them to be caught. The best example I can think of to show how awesome this series is, is when the villains are escaping and need to slow down the tanks police. So they have these squares of sheeting which they through on the ground that are pressure sensitive, when the tanks goes over them they react and inflate into giant dildo’s. Yes that’s right the police are blocked by a seas of many coloured dildos blocking their route!!!
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4 - Lupin the third – Another great classic both the series and the many movies most famous of which must be The Castle of Cagliostro famously directed by Hayoa Miyazaki. . The story follows the adventures of a gang of thieves led by Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief of Maurice Leblanc’s series of novels. Lupin and his gang travel throughout the world to steal treasures and escape from the law. Lupin III is clever and fast an amazing thief and a bit of a lecherous ladies man. He himself would not be as amazing if it wasn’t for his team mates, Daisuke Jigen and my fav Goemon Ishikawa XIII .
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Daisuke is Lupin's marksman. He can perform a 0.3-second quick-draw and shoots with amazing accuracy. He is often seen having a used cigarette clenched in between his teeth. He is also proficient in the use of many different firearms, such as machine guns, sniper rifles, and even a PTRS anti-tank rifle. Goemon is the thirteenth generation of renegade samurai, beginning with the legendary figure Ishikawa Goemon. He has a sword called, Zantetsuken meaning "iron-cutting sword", which can cut through almost anything. He is a man of few words but amazing skill and loyalty. I just love him because he’s a cool samurai all noble but awesome I mean he can cut a helicopter in half with his sword. The series and the movies generally follow a big theft which uncovers a conspiracy or an even worse criminal that our anti-heroes will out con and best. It is funny and light hearted with great chase scenes, some very over the top escapes and thefts but it never fails to entertain!!!
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5 – Robotech – Now I know strictly Robotech is an American Hybrid of 3 classic amine’s, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, Super Dimensional Calvary Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeda. But I watched it all as Robotech and while I am also a big Macross fan and have gone back to watch the original and as many Macross spin offs as I can; Robotech still holds a special place for me. Robotech is basically a very big and epic space drama, it’s about war, love, death and hope. There are so many things to say about the epic series, for one it’s broken into three series each a different generation. The main bad guys are alien invaders trying to destroy this world but learning about what it means to be human and have humanity. The series is part Mecha, each series has its own Mecha’s that can transform into different stages of planes and fighters. The series is about war both sides, the grey area and holding onto your identity as a species. It’s also a drama about love, family, friendship and death. Robotech at its heart is about hope, about sharing what makes you who you are and about sharing that and learning from it, learning about acceptance and finding another path apart from war and killing. Each series has its unique characters and their relationships and journeys of discovery. My fav of the three is the last series titled the New generation, it was clear by this point that it wasn’t originally part of the Macross universe but it still had that heart. I loved a character called Yellow Dancer, a loyal soldier an ace polite who when the invading enemy started to win the war went into hiding as a female singer. Now he travels about doing concerts as his female persona trying to bring hope to humanity. The one thing that does bring these series together is their theme of hope and the idea of something as human as a song can win a war. It one of those things I’ve always loved about the Macross world that a song can hold so much power, it can inspire soldiers, turn the tide of battles and even win wars but it can also teach humanity it can inspire feelings and it can save your life.

one thing i must say it took years for me to track down some of these series but be persistant they are out there on various formats and so worth it!!!!

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Top 5 TV comedies

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1 – How I Met Your Mother – I got into the series for 2 reasons really the first was I love Neil Patrick Harris and because I was really hung over one day and there was a marathon on TV. This is such an easy to watch show its just fun the best of the sitcoms out there. I’ve never been that into sitcoms only ever watched friends, Frasier and Will and Grace so it’s unusual for me to want to watch one as much as I did this. But yes the pull of NPH was strong since I love him and wanted to check out this sitcom plus it has Willow from Buffy in it so was interested in what she was doing now. Well I fell in love with NPH character Barney he is just brilliant, very funny and played with perfection. The characters are all a little out there funny and geeky in their own special ways. It’s a lot easier to relate to than Friends was for a start they’re the same age as me. They storylines are funny and the relationships believable in that crazy sitcom kind of way. It’s the little touches that make it brilliant though like the fact since it’s Ted telling the story to his kids every now and then he replaces words and gestures. A great example is when he is talking about college and trying to hid the fact that he smoked pot so he says he was caught eating a very big sandwich after that all flash backs involving pot have the characters sitting around eating big sandwiches saying how great their “sandwich” is. It also got some great tag lines and phrases after watching all 5 series in a month everything became awesome and the use of Barneys Catch Phrase “ legendary” became rather prominent when I was out and about. It also dum dum dum has a musical number in one of the later episodes like all great shows, but you couldn’t really have someone as brilliant as NPH is a show and not have him sing a great song and it’s true nothing suits him like a suit!!!

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2 – Glee – You’ve all heard of it your all singing along to Don’t Stop Believing so this show doesn’t really need much of an introduction. If you hadn’t noticed by now I love musicals and love it when characters break out into song and dance during an episode. So when an entire show came out that did this I was so going to watch it. It’s funny and silly and wonderful, it’s everything that’s great about spontaneous singing on television. My fav character Kurt he is brilliant he has such an amazing and unique voice and they have given him such and intense and interesting storyline in series 2. He has gone through some of the most amazing character development and is a very strong actor really portraying all the vulnerability of a guy suffering from homophobic bulling and desperately trying to find his place. The numbers are always great fun as are the costumes, they know how to choose the songs perfectly for the episodes and there are some amazing performances for the regular cast and a host of awesome guest stars such as Neil Patrick Harris.

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3 – Scrubs – I love this show its one of those shows that whenever I want to just put on the TV and watch something while I eat some food or have a little chill I flick through the channels to find an ep of Scrubs. No matter how many times I’ve seen it I don’t get bored it’s too funny and too entertaining. Yes the characters are all mental and the show has some really silly going ons but it also has heart and does deal with some real issues as well as all the mental antics. The characters are all equally neurotic and extreme personalities but they mesh so well. The true love of this comes with the awesomeness that is Doctor Cox, he is brilliant, just the way he delivers lines, he is good cop/bad cop in one he has so much rage and hate and distance but is full of hope and passion and is a great doctor. I love watching him he entertains me to no end. And with all good shows there’s a musical ep!!!

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4 – Frasier – This show has always been a fav because it had a little more sophistication and wit to it than the usual American sitcom. It had great writing and was always touching and funny without any real gags or pratfalls. The timing of the actors was always perfect and the mix ups that plagued their lives always hilarious. I found Niles brilliant and was a big supporter of him and Daphne. The show always entertained and did it with a touch of class. It genuinely is one of the best sitcoms ever made.

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5 – Ugly Betty – Another show I started to watch because I knew there was a gay character in it. I like to track gay characters in the media because they are rather rare or always treated as stereotypes. Mark did start off as a bit of a stereotype but he worked for a fashion magazine you kind of expected it and he did have real heart and some great character development, especially acting as a mentor to Justin Betty’s amazing little brother. The show could be a bit embarrassing but it made me laugh and I was invested in the lives of these characters. It reminded me of a strange mix of the Devil Wears Prada and Desperate Housewives. I mean it’s about a fashion magazine mixed with a murder mystery and epic power play for company control. It’s a real shame it got cancelled it could have done with just another half series to finish off rather than the rush ending it got but it was still worth it. I like Betty she was odd and eccentric and got herself into stupid situations but she was a good person trying to reach her goals. I can understand that sometimes you work in places you didn’t think were for you to learn the skills you need to get to wear you wanted to be going. It’s a very bright and cheerful show but also has its little underside of double dealing to keep you guessing and it simply is just fun really.

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Top 5 TV Drama’s

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1 – Oz – This has to be the best Drama’s ever it has so much in it, so many interesting characters and harsh gritty story lines. If you don’t know anything about Oz its set in a maximum security prison that has a special experimental area known as the Emerald City. Here they keep some of the worst offenders in a hope to rehabilitate them; it’s kind of a social experiment. As you can tell it doesn’t really go that way and if you thought Prison Break had harsh prison scenes then you’ll be very shocked by Oz. It is very harsh, gritty, violent and brutal. This is a rather extreme series dealing with everything from rape, murder, madness and all manner of high level crimes. It has a full splice of characters of different races and backgrounds all fighting and trying to survive in this prison system. The show is driven not just by the crimes and drama but also by the social commentary of locking your worst offenders up together doesn’t work and a violent sociopathic environment juts breeds a violent sociopathic person. My fav character is Tobias Beecher, a man that doesn’t belong in Oz but was made an example of and given the worst sentence possible. He has the most interesting journey of the show and is a fantastic actor. Beecher goes through everything you can imagine and it’s his character that acts as our way into the show and the subject of the social experiment and how it goes wrong. Apart from all the crime and violence there’s also real relationships in this series, the most important being a gay love story that plays out through the series but as with everything in Oz this is one of the most messed up, beautiful and tragic love story I’ve seen on TV. I could rave about this series all day, it’s a masterpiece so real so uncontrolled and well written and a cast of truly amazing actors. Also as with all the best TV shows there’s a musical episode but you have to watch the show to see how well they managed to get musical numbers into a prison drama.
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2 – Six Feet Under – Will always go down in TV history as having the best series finale of any show ever made, I cried for 4 hours after I watched it and was an emotional wreck. SFU is about a very dysfunctional family who run funeral home; this drama is about their lives, relationships and personal journeys. It is very much a black comedy as it is very funny in a slightly dark and twisted way. It has some of the unhealthiest relationships in it but also some beautiful love stories but at the heart it’s about this messed up family that never seems able to find peace or satisfaction in the things they do. My fav character is David played by Michael c Hall (Dexter), the closeted gay son that struggles to deal with finding acceptance. His character goes through one of the most interesting developments during series 4 a performance that one him an Emmy for that ep. Also nothing better than a harsh gritty drama that every now and then has a musical number in it, after all Michael C Hall has done Broadway. If you’ve seen Gamer (terrible but entertaining film) You’ll remember Michael C Hall as the villan that randomly does a musical number at Gerald Butler at the end of the film that could have been so random and out of place but somehow I loved it!!!
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3 – Nip/Tuck – When a series comes out that has the tag “a disturbingly perfect drama” of course I’m gonna watch it especially when the creator said it was gay romance between two straight men. By now you may have realised I have a passion for harsh disturbing drama’s that featurer a homosexual element. Nip/Tuck is certainly a disturbing drama and if you haven’t been put off before this drama will keep you away from plastic surgery. The driving force is the two male’s leads and their relationship, they are like brothers as close as two men can get and brilliant in their field. But extreme situation plague them and their journey is difficult and intense. I haven’t seen characters go through so much on a series. There’s plot involving paedophilia, rape, serial killers, stalkers and fatal illness and that’s just the main leads not the other characters like spouses and kids. Also each ep has a cosmetic surgery at its heart as well as all the drama. This is not a series for the squeamish as you see way more than you want of the surgery and rather harsh situation that these characters find themselves in. Also as it is about plastic surgery you get a lot of perfect looking people in various stages of nakedness and there’s a lot of sex. My fav character being Christian Troy a very fine example of a man, on the surface anyway, he is truly messed up but you’ll have to watch to see just how much darkness surrounds this man and how understandable black inside he is.
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4 – Queer as Folk UK – yep the great British drama written by Doctor Who Re-inventor Russell T Davies. This series was ground breaking when it came out for one of the truest and most uncompromising views of the gay life style. It caused a lot of controversy back in the day for its explicit gay sex scenes but it did manage to make them so very erotic. But simply it’s a gay drama about friends and lovers. Not as harsh and gritty as the other shows I watched but very real, funny and touching. It has some great writing; it’s very witty and funny as well as being romantic and entertaining.
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5 – Brothers and Sisters – This is my guilty pleasure drama, the kind of shows people go “I would never expect you to watch this” well I do and I love it. The truth is I only started watching it because I heard that one of the brothers was gay and I love gay drama. But I got hooked on this dysfunctional family and their lives. This drama isn’t harsh or gritty you can watch it during the day with your mum around knowing she won’t get offended (I couldn’t do this with anything else I watch). But it’s still very good and has something more to it than the average family drama. The problems of this family aren’t just about relationships they have all kinds of things real family’s go through and in this families case their family business and what happens when one member of the family doesn’t want to choose the path they were meant to. What makes this series special is how it follows true events form America at the time of filming. One series had a character running for president at the same time as the elections and it also dealt with the Iraq story line and what it means to go and come back from war. My fav character is of course Kevin the gay brother and he later gets some very meaty storylines involving a big family secrete. The drama is very touching, it is also very funny and you can see a part of your life reflected at a least one point. It is also very sad I have cried on more than a few occasions but most of all it feels honest and engaging making it fun and enjoyable.

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Top 5 Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows

So since I’m binge watching some series at the moment I thought I’d recap on some of my past fav’s and give you more insight into series and characters I’ve loved and that if you haven’t seen you really should. So I’m gonna tell you about the top 5’s I have for various shows braking them down into their genres and since Sci-Fi/Fantasy is my fav genre gonna start there.

TOP 5 SCI-FI/FANTASY SERIES

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1 – Supernatural – This is an amazing show just the perfect show for me it has all my favourite aspects of the genre. I happen to be a huge horror fan, I love all the Asian supernatural films, but I’m also very big into my western horror mythologies such as vampires and werewolves and I love shocking and violent films. As a long time x-file fan I was also very excited about a new show that Kim Manners was part of and his episodes are amazing, the show has great writing they mix the scary and the funny, the family drama with the mythology and great graphics and iconography. Supernatural pretty much had me at 2 brother fights things that go bump in the night. The slash fan in me couldn’t be happier but I never really did end up slashing Dean and Sam but I do love their relationship it’s the basis for the show, all that angst and family problems intensified buy the supernatural element. The show was scary as well some really freaky moments, and I’ll never get over that Bloody Mary episode in series one (not good with ghosts in mirrors way to Ring). Over the season the show has got darker and more disturbing really bringing all kinds of Hell reality for these brothers. The brothers themselves are hot and funny, I’m a Dean girl though he’s the hot one for me. Of course the show went from great to amazing in series 4 when they introduced the amazing Misha Collins as Castiel. Now being a fan of a lot of supernatural mythology I was still surprised that they introduced the Angels story line. I mean the brothers have been fighting demons for years but Angels was new and Castiel was one hot angel. The angels weren’t these pretty cloud sitting angels they were proper vengeful warriors of god. I love the idea of Angels questioning god and fallen angels and using Christian mythology as a negative force, love the apocalypse so supernatural for me couldn’t be more perfect. And the fact that Castiel and Dean share a “more profound bound” means the slash fan in me is very happy.

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2 – The X-Files – Do I really need to talk about how great the X-files was I mean supernatural beings, aliens, mutations and all manner of unexplained things. I mean nothing was better than this show, I have watched it so many times I know it backwards plus I am a huge Scully fan. She was one of the few female characters out there that I felt was not a horrible stereotype of a woman. She was intelligent and strong both in body and mind; she thought and was rational but also had a sensitive quality a subtle femininity. The show will always be amazing for its darkness and shocks, its great iconography and effects. I cried, laughed and got freaked out and by the end was desperate for Mulder and Scully to get together. I was so obsessed with this show had all the DVDs, t-shirts, the score, books and action figures and trading cards. It was a wonderful mix of murder mystery, conspiracy theories, horror films and angst ridden character development.

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3 – Stargate SG1/SGU – This must be my longest running fandom I loved the movie and since then have followed the Stargate world grow and develop. I am not a fan of Stargate Atlantis it’s the weak link in the chain but SG1 was amazing and SGU is brilliant. I love sci-fi so always followed shows like Star Trek but Stargate also had the wonderful history and mythology. My fav character was Daniel Jackson, I’m not so into military types and he always fought their morals and decisions plus he was hot and looked so much like James Spader when the series came out I was really impressed. I could have watched SG1 for more than the 10 series I loved the historical sci-fi mix, reinterpreting mythologies, science versus military and now with SGU the gritty realism and intense drama. There are some great characters and the show has really evolved into a modern wonder. Plus the effects and graphic have always been great and now look even more amazing.

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4 – Doctor Who – yep I’ve watched DW from when I was a child so was very familiar with the show when it had its re-vamp. To be honest when it first came back I thought what is this crap it’s so badly made and is just weird. Then 3 eps in I was hooked I realised that under its childish look and out there plots was all a silly wonder and witty characters. There is great dialogue and I fell in love with the Doctor and his manic behaviour, his bursting enthusiasm and utter brilliance. I grew fond of Rose and love their relationship and then came Captain Jack Harkness and well he is now my hero and no one can say a bad thing about him because both he and the actor John Barrowman are perfect in my head. As the series of DW evolved so has a lot about the characters, Rose got a great but very sad storyline, Martha was introduced and I just didn’t like her, then there was Donna’s who I loved as she was the one I could relate to the most. The Doctor Himself has grown and a lot of his pain, burdens and angst have followed him so I can see why Matt Smith is trying to give him back his manic energy and childish enthusiasm. The effects have got better but always keeping that childish and fun feel and the stories get more intense and epic. It really is just fun entertain viewing for the whole family.

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5 – Torchwood – When I found out Captain Jack was getting his own spin off I was the happiest girl in the world. Now I’ve review the last series on Torchwood here before so I won’t say too much in this. Torchwood really is DW for grown-ups but it is now evolving so I’m interested to see where they are taking the show. My major love for this show came from the fact it is the only sci-fi show out there that showed homosexual relationships and one of the only shows that had a leading man in a gay relationship, no stereotypes or angsty coming out stories just a man, a great man that saves the world and happens to be in a gay relationship.

http://news.thedoctorwhosite.co.uk/torchwood-miracle-day-press-release/

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Stargate Universe – brilliant modern Sci-fi that has surrfered from the evil axe of show cancelling!!!

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Now I normally wait until I’ve binged watched an entire series before I review it but after the devastating news that SyFy are dropping Stargate Universe thought I’d write about it. Now I have been a Stargate fan from the beginning, from the fantastic movie the great SG1 (my huge love for Daniel Jackson), the rather terrible Atlantis (I’m sorry it just wasn’t that great compared to SG1) and now the fantastic SGU. Stargate has been a fandom for like 16 years that nearly half my life, it is now my longest running fandom and I am distraught that they want to let it die!!!!! What are SyFy thinking axing a show only into its second series that has such a huge fan base I’m mean it’s called the bloody SyFy channel you think they want to keep one of the longest running and highly praised sci-fi series out there alive. Any way I’ll rant more latter for now if you haven’t watched SGU then this is why you should be before they take away this gem of modern science fiction.
Stargate Universe is one of best sci-fi shows out there and yes I am a long-time fan so would have jumped all over this series anyway but it really is a bit more interesting and new compared to a lot of other sci-fi shows out there. Now you take a great franchise like Stargate and you add one of my fav brit actors as the main and you have me as an instant fan. Robert Carlyle as Dr Rush is an amazing bit of casting, I’ve followed his career from Hamish Macbeth to The Full Monty to 28 weeks later he is an amazing actor and the shows creators have given his a great meaty character. Dr Rush is so grey area its unbelievable, I love these kind of characters he’s tortured genius that just about seems on the edge of a psychotic break most of the time. He is brilliant but cunning manipulative but tragic. Inside him there is so much confliction and pain and I really believe he would be happy if he was left alone. I get ahead of myself really don’t I I’m trying not to rant about the show getting axed or how much I love Rush but haven’t really said anything about the show, this is a rather backwards review so let retreat and start again.

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SGU is a strange mix of Voyager and Lost with the tone and harshness of Battlestar galactica. It follows in Battlestar footsteps in taking sci-fi into the gritty harsher world where the human interactions and problems and live of your cast are a very important driving force to the series. But it goes beyond the characters and storylines you find watching something like Star Trek (which I also love) and pushes them further and to darker places. Star Trek never went this dark there wasn’t a harsh realism to the cast’s predicament like there is in SGU. I believe many a modern Battlestar fan would have been watching SGU now because of the similarities in Tone and the fact that these aren’t family sit down with your kids Sci-Fi’s. These are shows for us sci-fi fans that want something darker and realer. I for one enjoy watching the torture and slow deconstruction of people mind, body and souls (I’m a David Cronnenberg fan). I love how real SGU feels, what always made Stargate great was the fact that it wasn’t the future it wasn’t a galaxy far far away it was here and now. I love SG1 because of the re-appropriation of history and mythology. I love SGU because its real people in a situation that could be so real, we are watching a survival show with that sci-fi twist that unlike lost didn’t lose the plot kept us focused and with them. Sometimes watching the show is like watching politics or war, seeing how people battle for power, try to do what’s best, fail, survive and fight.
The main plot is while discovering the 9th Chevron a team on an alien planet are attacked by the Lucian alliance are forced through the Stargate with no idea where they’ll end up but it’s their only chance of survival. So like Lost a group of people are now stranded together on what turns out to be an ancient ship called the Destiny and Like ST:Voyager they are light-years away in another galaxy and have to try and get home. The series centres around the military personal, the civilian population and the scientists that now all have to work together not only to figure out how to survive in this situation, but who is in control, how are they going to get home and how will they fend off any unknown threats. Queue fights for control civil uprisings, military rule and general loggerheads from the top representatives of each group. To make matter worse they are indeed in dire situations, with a proper doctor, medical supplies, food and knowledge of where they are. This is a real and gritty tale of survival, the power plays of authority and the quest for knowledge. I talked about Dr Rush earlier he is a brilliant but most often than not self-serving man, he wants nothing more to explore and study destiny and although he does save the day mostly it’s because it’s helped him understand something more about the ship. It’s as if he wants to get everyone home and off Destiny so he can sit alone on her and spend his days researching. But because he is smart and cunning people think he is genuinely trying to help them and he can be very convincing, this is not to say he’s a bad guy because he does save people and puts 100% into every task he undertakes, though he may be going slightly mad as well. There are other interesting characters and very likable characters such as math geek Eli who cracked a government problem hidden in a game and got himself a free pass into the world of Stargate. There’s also those of the military which I’m less fond of because I’ve never like military types and there general ethos nor do I like the hero boy soldier types like Scot. The other great character is Camille that represents the civilian population. Not only is she a strong and confident female character, intelligent and fighting for a non-military way of doing things. She is also one of the few lesbian characters on TV that you can respect.
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I have a lot of praise for the creators of SGU for having a gay character something that has never been seen in American sci-fi, us brits at least have Captain Jack Harkness. But what makes Camille so brilliant is the fact she isn’t a stereotype, she’s not there for sex appeal and a bit of fan service, she’s not clichéd and has no sad coming out story. In fact it’s not until her back story is revealed later into the first series you even know she’s gay. She a leader first, she has a job and a responsibility first it just so happens that back home she is in a long term loving lesbian relationship. Another magical and very real touch to the series. These people have their lives back home that are so separate and distant from their lives on the ship.
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Of course it wouldn’t be Stargate if we didn’t also go through star gates and explore new worlds but this galaxy is so very different from what we’ve seen before and it’s based around the exploration of cultures as it is a giant fight for survival. We do get strange alien worlds and their disasters; particularly memorable was a planet with giant spiders and one with strange blue fungus and evil flower vine serpent creatures. The aliens we have started to encounter now aren’t people that have been re-populated their aliens. The designs and the graphics that have created these aliens are amazing and I can’t wait to find out more about these strange being and what they’ve done to a character called Chloe. See now you have to watch the series because you also need to know what they’ve done to her. See what are they axing the showing it was a little slow burn to start with but it had a lot to set up and now its flying. Every episode ends of a cliff hanger with me desperate to find out what’s happens next. I need to know more about destiny, about Rush and his madness (why is he seeing people), what’s up with Chloe is she turning into an alien, what’s up with the aliens and also now the Lucian Alliance are also in the picture. There is so much goodness so much plot and intrigue it’s just bloody good television and I for one and very pissed at SyFy for axing the show in its second series. I mean come on you’re the channel that should be promoting great shows like this!!! They changed the time slot from Friday night to a Tuesday and then complain about a ratings drop. Most people now are watching online or buying the box sets. The show hasn’t fully come over to England yet and you’re saying it’s just not popular enough. Why not wait until you get more figures and count sales after series 2 comes out on DVD. What about all the money you get of merchandise and conventions come on people why kill of not only something that is actually really good but also a fan favourite with a huge fan base. Well I for one have been signing the petitions and joining the campaign so as a side not to please watch this great show if you do and want it so keep going, the creators have a five years story arc planned, then please also help save my oldest fandom.

http://savesgu.weebly.com/
http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/savesgu

Don’t forget to check me out on facebook at: Let Zoe Spoil You and Twitter as: lonedreameryaoi

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Happy New Year!!!!

So readers it’s a New Year and a new start now that the craziness of the last few months have calmed I’m hoping to spend some more time here on LZSY. Lots of movies and shows that I’ve collected that need watching and reviewing me thinks. Also hoping to add a few more details to the site try and get a bit more fancy I hope. So far the only thing I’ve managed to do is add a picture to the about page, I know wow so exciting but it’s a start. I also have started giving myself challenges for no other reason that I like to outdo myself. The December challenge was to watch all 5 seasons of How I Met Your Mother in that month. Obviously I passed that and have to say I am very pleased with myself that took some dedication since I had to fit it around work, the gym and the crazy busy Xmas season so yay go team me for dedication to television. This month I’m going for all three seasons of Leverage, which happens to be awesome. It’s like a strange mix of Oceans 11, Hustle and Robin Hood and basically you have a team of super thief’s that now help those that can’t. You know the theme evil corporation has all the money in the world to get corrupt lawyers and cover up any bad thing they do so the little guy doesn’t stand a chance when they find out about the corruption or that the company has destroyed a family member. The legal system doesn’t work for them or will take so long that the company can just get away with it. Well in come the leverage team taking law into their own hands and dishing out justice to the little man. The winning thing about this show are the characters, you have the Hitter, the Hacker, the Grifter, the thief and the Mastermind. They all have such interesting and great personalities you really do love them all and their so witty and a little mad each on. There’s lots of twists and turns, double plays and cons on top of cons that you’re never board and it make for very fun watching, plus the Hitter is played by Christian Kane who is buff and one sexy man!!!!
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Any way so yeah my challenge is to take a series I haven’t seen that’s at least been going for 3 seasons and binge watch it in a month so if any of you have ideas on good TV let me know. I’m still watching movies and Asian drama’s but I go through fazes and at the mo its American drama’s. Of course I’m still watching anime I think I would shrivel up and die if I wasn’t watching anime. I need to get my butt together and review some of the series I watch last year I got through a fair few. Let’s see what did I watch: Eyeshield 21, Tale of Genji, Gundam 00, When the seagulls cry i.e. Umineko (please avoid this one unless you like being completely unsatisfied and slightly confused!!!), Working!! (This was great fun), Hipira, Kobato ( I hate to say it but for the first time ever there’s a Clamp anime that just didn’t work for me), Macross F movie( what was the point!!!!), Needless, Mouryo no Hakko, after many years of watching it the final series of Prince of tennis (god I love this show fan girl heaven), Hakuouki 1, Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpucho Tou: Dainimaku and I am still working my way through Bleach and Hitman reborn!!!
Wow you’d think I do nothing but watch TV but I also somehow manage to fit a social life, my gym schedule and Xbox time into my week as well. Also if you have an xbox and you havent played Lost Odessy then you must its a very addictive RPG that has been eating up alot of my time and it has been so worth it!!! Any way here’s wishing you a great new year and hopefully some fun reviews and great ideas for new shows and movies to watch. And lastly I have now set up a facebook page for LZSY under the name Let Zoe Spoil You!!

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