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Pokémon: An Anime Review

pokemon

There are some anime that really need no introduction. It takes a very special kind of story to captivate audiences for over twenty years. It would have to be the kind of story that has a little bit of everything that makes a story great.

That is exactly what Pokémon is, an anime that came at the right time with all the right elements for a great story. The anime first aired in 1997 and hooked fans from the start. The story had an interesting group of “pocket monsters” who were inspired by real animals and creatures. While starting in Japan it also became a huge hit in the United States. The television series spawned spin-off movies, trading cards, stuffed toys, games and all kinds of toys. New seasons of the show are still going, helping to inspire new trainers everywhere. 

A young boy named Ash is on his way to make his dreams come true. His world is full of amazing creatures called Pokémon. Pokémon can be tamed and trained to fight with the help of their human trainers. Most trainers form a very strong friendship with their Pokémon. Each Pokémon has special abilities based on what type of Pokémon they are. They can also evolve into a more powerful version of themselves. Ash and his new friends have many fun adventures in store as they gain new Pokémon allies and, of course, try to fend off the sinister group called Team Rocket.

Pokémon utilizes the tools to make a great story. The character’s have wonderful and sometimes even whimsical designs that intrigue the viewer. The real design stars, though, are the Pokémon themselves. They are drawn from real creatures and myths so so they, like the show itself are both something we know but also something magically different. The music is perfect with what is happening with the story line. The characters are interesting. They, like their Pokémon, also evolve throughout the series. 

I, like many other anime fans, grew up with Pokémon. It is a great anime that showcases the power of friendship and learning. I would highly recommend it to anyone. It is kid friendly but also funny enough for anime fans of different ages. It also has a fantastic theme song. 

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What Nerdy Women Create: Nerdy Nummies

nerdy nummies

The nerd community is vast and full of amazing creators. With an immense amount of subject matter to draw from, these creators bring so many ideas to light. They are artists who use their passions to bring joy to others in many ways. 

Nerdy Nummies was started by Rosanna Pansino on April 7, 2010. The channel was started on Youtube as a way to share recipes inspired by different interests that she has within nerd culture. Cakes from video games? She’s got it. Donuts from video games with special guests from other YouTube channels? She’s done that. Macaroons based on science fun? Yes, those have been done, as well. There has even been a video about partnering with American Girl dolls. 

Yes, American Girl.

The company was impressed with the work that Pansino has done. By celebrating her love of the plethora of things within nerd culture, Pansino has inspired her viewers, who span all ages, to create. Her creations are beautiful and look complex. Pansino breaks down how to make them with her own brand of cheerful humor in a straightforward way. She also works to make sure that she has recipes that are good for viewers with options for different dietary needs. 

Pansino didn’t start off looking to bake on YouTube, though. Her first dream was to be an actress. Pansino was guest starring in multiple shows and had started her YouTube channel. She found herself at a crossroads. She had to commit to one career or the other. Pansino choose YouTube, even though she knew it was a big gamble. She said that it took a while before she started to make money, but she pushed on with what she loved. 

Pansino was taught how to bake by her grandmother. She now often works with her sister, the two of them using the lessons of their past to create nummy creations. Pansino is a gamer and now also an author. She has books available to help us nerds create tasty things to bring to parties. Thanks for teaching us how to look cool, Ro! She also works to showcase other’s creators talents on her channel through crossover videos. 

What we can learn from Nerdy Nummies is to keep going. Pansino could have quit at any time, but she didn’t. Now she is inspiring bakers of all ages. She shows that it is okay to mess up and evolve in her videos. She also proves that being a nice nerd really can pay off. 

If you want to learn how to make some really fun food that is inspired by nerdy things, check out Nerdy Nummies!

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Games Created By Women: Candy Land

Some pretty fantastic games have some not so sweet origins. Some games have been created because of some dark reasons. However dark the beginnings of these games though they still bring joy and distraction for the players.

Candy Land is one such game. It was released by Milton Bradley, now Hasbro Games, in 1949. The game was created by school teacher Eleanor Abbott. Abbott contracted polio, which is a disease that can cause paralysis by the infection affecting the spinal cord and brain. While recovering in the hospital Abbott was surrounded by children who couldn’t move, children would be out in a machine to help them breathe called “the iron lung” that totally encased them. Seeing how these children suffered she wanted to find a way to help them pass the time. Immobility was a big problem for these children. They were stuck for most of their time in the hospital, and children back home were confined indoors for fear of the spread of the disease. Mobility would be the main part of the game for Abbott. 

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Candy Land has always been a brightly colored board game. The game is also very easy to play as it doesn’t even require the player to read. It was perfect as a way for children to play who were stuck indoors or if they were having a quick break from their treatments. The player picks a brightly colored token to play and sets them on the star of the path through the board. All candy themed with certain perils that can turn players around or force them to be stuck for a turn. The player moves by picking up a card, with colored squares on it that indicate how far they can move. It is a fun game of chance. 

Candy Land has been a popular game for children since 1949. It was a game that gave children without mobility a way to move. It has been a game to occupy children who are stuck inside. It is a game that multiple ages can play together. It has gone through some aesthetic changes throughout the years but it remains beloved. 

I would highly recommend Candy Land. It was created to help children. It has been able to entertain children for generations. 

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Thia the Bard’s Top Ten Favorite Final Girls

It is no secret that I love horror movies. One of my favorite things in a horror movie is a “Final Girl.” A Final Girl is a term coined to refer to the trope of the last female character who is left alive to confront the killer and tell the story. Final Girls come from all walks of life but they all live through torment and torture. As the genre of horror grows and evolves, so does the role of a Final Girl. This is by no means a list of all Final Girls, but it is a rounded list. Some of comedic elements while some are straight up slasher survivors. 

Oh, and obviously there are spoilers below. So proceed with caution. You got your popcorn and your candy handy? You think you’re ready? Okay, then put on shoes you can run in, stay away from the stairs and let’s see who survives.

texas chainsaw 

Sally Hardesty The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We have to start with this lady as she is arguably the first Final Girl. When Sally, her brother and some friends go to visit their grandfather’s grave the road trip takes a turn. The group ends up with a crazy family of cannibals. After seeing everyone else die and living through torture Sally stumbles her way out of danger. The end of the movie is her unhinged laughing, covered in blood in the back of the getaway truck. While Sally is not very proactive on her own she does live and becomes therefore is the momma of the Final Girls.

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Max Cartwright The Final Girls. Okay so I know this is the first unconventional entry to the list. The Final Girls is a parody and a love letter to the camp slasher genre. Max’s mother starred in a slasher hit and after her untimely death that movie is one of the only ways Max can see her. Unfortunately she and her friends get sucked into the movie. Max faces her fears of watching those around her die and becomes the hero they need to get out of the movie. Or do they?

hellraiser 

Kirsty Cotton Hellraiser; Hellbound: Hellraiser II; Hellraiser: Hellseeker. Kirsty just, well she really goes through it in these movies. After her uncle dies Kirsty and her parents move into the family home. After an accident were blood is shed her uncle is resurrected. She finds her uncle’s puzzle box which leads to the unleashing of the cenobites. The cenobites wants to bring souls back to their sadomasochistic world. Kirsty escapes this dark thriller and comes out even stronger in the sequel where she uses her connection to the cenobites to help her out of a terrifying mental hospital. Kirsty uses the tools at hand to survive and be the Final Girl of this twisted franchise.

jennifer's body 

Needy Jennifer’s Body. Needy seems like she is all of us for so much of the movie. She is the voice of reason throughout so much of this cult classic.When Needy and her best friend go to see an indie band play at a local bar everything changes. Boys start being attacked and Needy finds out it is a demon that has taken over her friend in a ritual gone wrong. Now Needy and Jennifer square off in an attempt to stop the killings. Needy then takes it a step farther to get revenge on the band who ruined her life in the first place. Needy goes from a shy and mousy girl to an actual badass whose chart says that she is a K-I-C-K-E-R.

trick r treat 

Rhonda Trick R Treat. Trick R Treat is an anthology of stories that happen on Halloween night. Rhonda isn’t like most of the kids in her town. They take it upon themselves to play a Halloween prank on her that goes wrong. However Rhonda survives. She uses her knowledge and respect for the traditions of the night to make it home alive when the others do not. Rhonda is a Final Girl who proves that being different can be the key to your survival.

evil dead 

Mia Allen Evil Dead. Mia is the hero of this remake, not to be confused with the groovy original. Mia is trying to get clean so she, her brother and their friends go to a remote cabin in the woods. After reading from an ancient book aloud terrible things start to happen. Mia gets possessed and the dead rise with the intent to drag souls to hell. While Mia does spend a good chunk of the movie possessed she does become a Final Girl when she takes matters, and a chainsaw, into her own hands. Mia is a great example that anyone can take control of their situation and become their own hero.

scream 

Sidney Prescott Scream; Scream 2; Scream 3; Scream 4. The scream queen of meta herself. This list would not be complete without Sidney, partially because she is amazing and partially because these are some of my favorite horror movies. The Scream series came out just when I started being allowed to watch horror movies and they helped to cement my love of them. Sidney is still recovering from the murder of her mother when suddenly her classmates begin to be killed in the first movie. With all of her friends as both potential victims and suspects how is Sid supposed to survive? Her quick thinking and will to survive help her make it through all of the movies in this franchise as we get to see Sid grow stronger in each film. So remember the rules, then throw out the rules and learn the new rules of how to survive a horror movie!

a nighmare on elm street 

Nancy Thompson A Nightmare on Elm Street; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Nancy helped create a whole new franchise in the horror genre. When Freddy Krueger is killed by a vigilante mob of parents they think their children will be safe. That is until he starts to kill a group of teens in their sleep. Nancy fights sleep and for answers to help her stop Freddy. In the end she is able to use her own dream world against Freddy as she finds her own power within it. She then works to help new teens who are fighting Freddy.

friday the 13th 

Alice Friday the 13th.  Alice really sets the mold for a Final Girl for a long time. She is a kind and mousy girl who ends up being the survivor. Alice comes to Camp Crystal Lake for what is supposed to be it’s grand reopening to be a counselor. She and the rest of the staff ignore the warnings of the “harbinger” character, in this case an old man who tells them that they will all die at the camp. Alice then cheerfully gets to work, and a little play, to set up camp for the incoming campers. However the campers never get to come as staff get murdered one by one. Alice discovers the bodies, the backstory of Jason and fights for her own survival. Horror fans owe her a lot for helping give us so many of the rules to survive a horror movie and for helping put camp based slasher flicks on the map, also her scene in the boat scared my horror fanatic mother beyond belief.

halloween

Laurie Strode Halloween; Halloween II; H20: 20 Years Later; Halloween 2018. We started this list with a woman who helped start the genre and now we will end with a woman who has kept the genre going. Laurie is the first Final Girl that most horror fans will think of, and rightfully so. Her battles with the boogeyman Micheal Myers have been going on since the 1970s. Laurie is also the Final Girl we have gotten to see evolve the most. She survived the first movie and saved the children in her care due to her quick thinking, we saw her struggle with alcoholism and guilt throughout many of the other movies. Then we got to see her have a whole new story in the 2018 movie where the entire story line was erased from movie one on and changed to give us a gritty veteran obsessed with survival. Laurie has endured decades of horror and now stands tall as the epitome of a female in the horror genre, as well as paving the way for many heroines after her.

Well gang, we did it. Ten ladies who have made the horror genre. They have scared us, made us laugh and feel through the years. They have given their actual blood, sweat and tears to entertain fans. So now we salute them. It is time for this article to come to an end as I have eaten enough popcorn and candy to be feeling very sick. So take care of yourselves gentle readers and go watch some movies, you might learn something. 

Oh and I didn’t include some of my favorites from foreign films in this list because, well, we already covered them here.

ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files: An Anime Review

yu2Death is a difficult thing to deal with. Particularly if it is the premature death of a young person. Beyond the grief of the family and friends left behind is the question of  what is to happens next? Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files gives us one version of what could happen. 

In 1990, the manga version of Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files was released. The creator and artist behind the manga is Yoshihiro Togashi. The story took off and became gained popularity. Fans continued to show support as the manga was adapted into an anime in 1992. The show was successful enough to run till 1995. 

Sometimes all it takes is one selfless act to change the course of a life. Or to end it. When juvenile delinquent Yusuke saves a child’s life it costs him his own. Once in the underworld Yusuke’s actions are judged. His one selfless act puts his afterlife on a trajectory no one could have guessed. Now he must navigate the dangers of the afterlife. Along the way he meets new allies and some old friends. 

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files was one of those great animes that I was able to watch as it had reruns America. My younger brother and I loved it. We watched every episode we could when they would air after school. It helped cement a bond between us and a lifelong love of anime that either of us have yet to quit.

The designs for the characters are interesting. They may seem a little dated to fans of more current animes. To be honest the style is very typical of characters from the 1990s. However the choice of hair and outfits does give the audience clues about the characters and their goals. The music is similar but fun. The scenery is well drawn and very different depending on where the characters are. 

The concept of the story is fascinating and evolves well. It is also just fun. The characters are relatable. Most of them are young and bold which makes for interesting decisions. They not only push the story but give the audience someone to root for. 

I would highly recommend Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files.
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Games Created by Women: Conquests of Camelot

conquest for camelotCamelot. Merely saying the name brings fond memories and images of magic for many people. Camelot has been the standard for all things that are good in the world. 

In 1990, a new game hit the not-so-ye-olde streets. Conquests of Camelot is a historical role-playing adventure. Christy Marx gave her talents as both the writer and the director of the game. Conquests of Camelot is an adventure that can be played on the players PC system. It is an interesting game that transports the players back to the famed land of Camelot.

 

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Christy Marx

 

Camelot is a complex series of stories that is made up of myths. During the Anglo-Saxon time, the land that would become England is in turmoil. A wizard, a young warrior and his band of knights are trying to bring order to a lawless place. The player is able to help them perform tasks to do so. Slightly darker than the children’s version of the legends of Camelot, this game is able to present players with an interesting take as they game. 

Conquest of Camelot is a suggestion for fans of role playing games. The graphics may seem a little dated to players who are used to newer games. It is a game that has helped the gaming industry to get to the point that it is today. Players who particularly love modern RPGs might enjoy giving Conquest of Camelot a try. The story was written by a great writer and, honestly, if you like role playing games, does it ever get better then Camelot?

Conquest of Camelot was a trailblazing game. It is an interesting PC game for it’s time. It successfully weaves mythology with modern storytelling through gaming. 

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Digimon: Digital Monsters: An Anime Review

dmonWho hasn’t imagined having a really cool animal companion? Why stop there, though? What if you had an animal companion that was not only your friend but could also help you fight epic battles?  Oh, and they have a fantastical design because they are actually morphing creatures. I know that I would want in. 

Digimon: Digital Monsters was an anime that ran from 1999 to 2003. The creator of the series is Akiyoshi Hongo. The series first aired in Japan to much acclaim. When Digimon came to the United States, it was released by the 1990s powerhouse, Saban Entertainment. It was popular enough to have spin offs and games based on the series. 

A group of young teens are transported to a digital world. There, they are paired up with powerful morphing creatures. Together, they have to protect not only the digital world but also Earth from a growing evil. Through the series, the characters and the Digimons grow and become stronger. They find ways to be better through the bonds of their friendship. 

The character design is really interesting. All of the characters have very different outfit designs that match their personalities. The Digimon themselves also have very interesting designs. They are based on different animals or plants. The animators did a wonderful job on giving every character a different look that works well with the story line. The music also adds to the story. It has an overall happy feeling, as this show was geared more toward younger audiences, but also gave depth to different scenes. 

Digimon: Digital Monsters is an anime that I loved to watch as a kid. I would highly recommend it. The story lines were well written. The characters were multidimensional and multifaceted. It is a great anime for kids. I hope you will give it a try.

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