herongale: (Default)

Witness my predicament, my friends, as I shall relate it to you:
never has there been, neither in the past, nor in your lifetime,
A similar heart, ungoverned, without lord or king,
That threw me down a well, with broken stairs
Where, yearning to drown, I descend the steps of my downfall,
Climb back up, only to go down again in this sea of woe.

Il Cantilena, Pietrus (English Translation)

Anyone who is interested in being added as a friend, please comment here. I do not promise reciprocal adding (I don't expect it, either), because I want to restrict readership to people I know and trust ("knowing" and "trusting" defined according to arcane personal criteria). If I don't add you please don't consider that an insult... it just means that I don't feel I know you well enough. Also, I will not be adding people who I know in real life. Those people can find out about me the old-fashioned way... through conversation and observation.

ETA September 2006: Changed the default on this post to screen everything. Say anything private to you that you wish; I will keep your reply private unless explicitly given permission by you to do otherwise. Think of this as a value-added feature of this new improved friends-only post.
herongale: (natsume- yayy!!!!)
ETA: ... Assignments are out??? God damnnn. This letter isn't even finished and um I cut my finger pretty badly earlier today, but so as not to be a douche I'll unlock it now. Sorry!! I'll finish it up soon :)


This will be my second Yuletide and I'm pretty hyped, so hello and thank you so much for writing for me!!!

In introduction, I'm herongale. This is pretty much my across-the-board internet handle everywhere, but if you'd like to check out my stories, they can be found at Archive of Our Own and at Fanfiction.Net. I am also on Tumblr.

First off I want to say that pretty much everything that involves the characters I request will be beloved by me, since I'm only requesting characters I truly, truly adore, in fandoms that either have been dear to me for a very long time (D&D and Oofuri) or which are like a new supernova bursting through my heart with all sorts of excitement and glee (Mob Psycho 100). Lately I have been re-reading Oofuri and I am soon to re-embark on a D&D cartoon rewatch, and of COURSE I have been consuming all MP100 canon like an absolute maniac, up to and including rewatching the last two episodes like, five dozen times, and reading and re-reading the manga. These are mostly all fandoms I am offering as well as requesting, so I am just super seriously into them!! To the point where I have to use multiple exclamation points!!! It's a real problem!!!!!!!!

I'll get to DNWs and likes/dislikes in a bit, but first let me go fandom by fandom and just gush at you for a bit, with optional prompts as they occur to me.



This is by far my oldest fandom here, since I got into it waaaaaaaaay back when, like, before I was a teenager even. It was the first fandom I seriously tried to write stories for (but my stories were melodramatic and terrible, all except for the one based on the Breakfast Club, but even that one was kind of silly and none of them are online), and it was also the fandom that got me sideways into Digimon (another fandom of my heart!) by both being broadcast on Fox Kids in the same general time frame.

Can you even believe it, I was recording those episodes off the TV onto VCR. VCR!!! Holy shit that was a long time ago. But the point is it's a fandom I just keep coming back to after various periods away, and there's something about the whole "group of disparate kids get swept away into another dimension/world and end up having to fight battles and survive together" that hits my storytelling id in alllll the right ways. I will never stop loving the original D&D cartoon. I will be 179 years old and made of glass and on my deathbed and will be all, "but d-did... those kids... escape from... the Dungeon Realm..."

I love all of the kids so much, but the ones I am specifically requesting are Eric and Sheila, who I really do love the most. I actually ship them (and it's such a rare pair!!) but I also love them interacting platonically, as friends, since they were still kind of far from becoming friends in the cartoon by the time it was over (I mean, they were friends in a technical sense by then, but not really close?). I also would be glad of stories that focus on one or the other of them, honestly, but without any outside shipping if possible (exception: Hank/Diana as a side pairing is awesome and I love it and not at all in a spare-the-pairs way).

And they are such very different people! Sheila starts off very timid and cautious, but she is also trying to be strong for the sake of her younger brother Bobby, and when I was a kid she was the character I identified with the most. Eric is... prickly, and off-puttingly arrogant and snobbish, but underneath that he has a truly fragile and sensitive self that he's crushed down so willfully and for so long that he's pretty much forgotten that this part of him exists... but it does exist, and we see it come out sometimes, and he's an angst muffin and pretty much set the standard for most of my later faves. The reason I ship them together is that although they have such VERY different personalities, they both share in the type of powers which are basically defensive/evasive and this is a reflection of how they both cope with the world, and so it makes them more temperamentally similar than you'd initially think.

In terms of the stories I'd like to see, I am very fond of short "go to a village and have to deal with some discrete problem which is introduced by DM as some tantalizing new way to get home but is just some dumb issue DM can't handle himself because he's ~~above it all~~ or whatever" stories as a background to character growth/increased understanding between these two kids. I'm not big on introspection but I like a lot of dialogue, so any kind of problem where they have to talk and act together to solve it (and grow closer along the way?) is very nice. Fandom staples I never get tired of include the one where one of them is injured and they are separated from the group, or the one where it's cold and they are in dire straits and need to hole up in a cave and share blankets (but in this case it would be an invisibility cloak as well as a shield-induced force field). THE CARTOON IS CHEESY SO THE FICS CAN BE TOO!! I also like the kind of stories where they are home now, finally, and are trying to adjust to their old boring normal lives. Period 80s details are forever welcomed and adored.

Some specific prompts, if that helps:

- Did you see Stranger Things? An AU story that involves the D&D kids getting whisked away from their 80s boardwalk summertime lives into some menacing supernatural alternative universe would be super, super cool! Can be horror, humor, romance, any genre really, but it would be fun if it evoked some 80s movie feel.

- either Eric or Sheila actually Kill a Person, and Shit Gets Real. They are too young for this stuff and DM should be fired for dragging them into it, so a story that forces them to deal with something they never should have to experience could be really cool. But only the consequences of Fantasy World Violence should be involved... no rape or anything, that's just too terrible.

-Venger or some other evil Realm citizen captures and starts torturing one of them, but before the torture can get super revolting, the other one comes to save them! Honestly this is the sort of thing where it should be everyone coming to save them, so I would want that too, but ultimately I'd want the post-rescue one-on-one comforting that can happen around a campfire or in a village inn. Also, no dismemberment or substantially disfiguring permanent consequences please.



This one is gonna be a little more rough for me to describe, since my thoughts about it are all swirling and haven't settled properly, but I know a couple things. One, every single protagonist (with the exception of Dimple kind of) is wonderful and I want to give them all hugs. Two, the Reigen and Mob mentor/mentee relationship is one of the purest and unexpectedly sweetest things I've seen all year. Three, Reigen is HILARIOUS but also hurts my heart and I love him so especially much.

I knew I was gonna love MP100 by episode three, which is where all of the cards are placed on the table and we find out what the 100 in the title means. Even though Mob's situation (being a peerless esper with unbelievable inborn gifts who is so afraid of his powers that he's developed an emotionally-repressive complex about them) is fantastical, his isolation and forced dullness of personality/affect as a way to project normalcy and comfort is extremely relatable, and the way he just shatters when Dimple tells him that he must have no emotions is gut-wrenchingly sad. "You can't cry together, or even be moved," Dimple says. "You'll be forever alone."

Right after that we get the objectively badass 100% rage fight, but the thing that really hit me was the debriefing afterwards with Reigen, where Reigen is (ironically) cluelessly poking at the same weaknesses that Dimple got trashed for. Reigen is so massively uncool while at the same time projecting nearly unreal amounts of confidence and charisma, even as specks of ketchup spray over onto his cheeks and chin while he continues to messily eat a hamburger. The thing though is that Reigen doesn't really see Mob's differences as weaknesses, and as Mob tells him the entire tale of what happened, Reigen finds the one indisputably true aspect of that incident which Mob completely overlooked: he actually saved those people.

It hurts to think that Mob truly never clued into the fact that the cult members were being brainwashed and cruelly manipulated into a form of artificial happiness... even while talking to Reigen, he laments the fact that he spoiled their fun. As if that was any fun. He just doesn't get it and that is a fact, but he has Reigen there to point out the obvious facts Mob is too alienated to understand, and is little by little helping Mob learn how to reconnect with his own humanity.

But it's not a one-way relationship. The manga makes this more explicitly clear (am gonna avoid saying more than that to avoid giving out manga spoilers just in case you are not caught up yet), but I requested Reigen and Mob together specifically because I think there are so many ways they are both ideally suited to helping each other, and are developing the kind of closeness that can only come when pursuing similar goals together. Reigen is, when you get right down to it, someone who society easily would write off as pathetic regardless of his hilariously awesome personality, because he's using it for such petty dealings and not even out of some greater sense of good or passion, but just because he wants to have a job that pays the bills and wants to live a life that is at least a little bit interesting.

So when it comes to fic that I want to see, the main thing I'm interested in is exploring the nature of their highly unique and strangely non-codependent relationship... I'd love stories that explore the contours of their respective alienation from regular society. I love that Reigen is just trying so hard to be the adult he thinks he's supposed to be, and to follow his own idiosyncratic and individualistic personal code of ethics so that he can feel proud of himself despite how much contempt he gets from most of the people who see right through him. Mob also sees right through him, I think, but instead of contempt he's filled with a kind of quiet awe, like, this is how you do it. This is how you be your own person and face the world bravely and make friends. And even if Mob eventually loses his awe (because how can he not? He's growing up!), I think it will be replaced more with understanding than contempt.

I wonder if there are any people other than Reigen's own parents who have bothered to try understanding him, really understanding him, as opposed to finding him entertaining or useful but generally, otherwise completely disposable.

That said, despite the fact that their relationship is the linchpin of the series and the aspect that appeals to me most, I love each character on their own, and they both have their separate and only slightly overlapping spheres of friends/acquaintances/enemies. I don't think I could be happy if a story left one or the other of them out, and I'd request that the Mob & Reigen association be put at the center of any story written for me, but they don't live in a vacuum and I'm always happy to see other characters brought in to give a story richness and depth.

This series is a weird one for me re: shipping. Usually when I am highly driven to participate in a fandom it's because I have some big-time OTP shipping to investigate, but here it's not like that at all. I just... really want to see Mob and Reigen become closer... to become friends? Real friends? And I think that right now, Reigen doesn't have any friends besides Mob. And because Mob is a kid, I doubt that Reigen even sees Mob as a friend. Can they even become friends? Will they? In canon it's still so hard to say, because respect is a thing that ebbs and flows between them, as Mob will naturally find new ways for Reigen to disillusion and disappoint him, whereas Reigen has to be confronted with the fact that Mob is growing up into someone who commands his own respect, even if that's uncomfortable for him, learning to respect someone he initially met as an awkward and very withdrawn child.

Anyway, here are some prompts!

- I AM SO WEAK FOR PROCEDURALS THAT ARE COMEDIC BUT ALSO SECRETLY VERY TOUCHING? So a spirit-of-the-week thing where they have to deal with some ghost or some urban legend, supernatural oddity, or hell, even a local petulant god? I am so here for that.

- Ritsu mistakenly (??) assumes that Mob is falling for Reigen. Ritsu is not okay with his precious brother falling for that asshole, Reigen. Ritsu decides to Investigate.

- In the anime ED, we get a glimpse of Reigen's life outside of the times when he's with Mob, and it's completely dull and colorless. Some pre-Mob look at his life and his failed dates and his joke of a business venture and anything that looks at how seriously lonely he must have been would be really heart-rendingly sad. I'd totally love it. Reigen angst (especially if it ends with some glimpse of his first days of actually working with Mob afterwards, to show the stark contrast) would make me so happy.

- If you wanna write Reimob Actual Shipping, this is where I guiltily admit I would probably be really okay with that??? Even despite the part above where I said I am into their dynamic mainly for the platonic connections? I mean, that isn't a lie, I really am... but I CAN ALSO SEE HOW THEIR RELATIONSHIP COULD TURN INTO SOMETHING MORE IF MOB PUSHED FOR IT, WHEN MOB IS OLDER AND MORE SELF-ASSURED?? It would have to be Mob older, and Mob pushing for it while Reigen is reluctant and desperately trying to maintain proper adult boundaries... but man, once Mob hits say, age 20, Reigen is gonna be 34 and will probably still have no prospective girlfriend (or boyfriend, even though there's a decent possibility he'd end up with Serizawa... but for the sake of this prompt let's say that doesn't happen). He's lonely. He has needs. Mob is a self-assured young adult by then who has long since seen through all of his Master's flimsy facades and who definitely no longer has him on any kind of pedestal, but who likes him all the more because of that. MAYBE REIGEN TAKES MOB TO THE BAR WHEN MOB IS FIRST LEGALLY ABLE TO DRINK, BUT INSTEAD OF MOB GETTING DRUNK, IT'S REIGEN, AND MOB TAKES HIM HOME AND REIGEN GETS A LITTLE CLINGY AND MOB IS ALL, HE WANTS IT. This is not a Proper and Correct prompt, these are bad behaviors!!! But if they both really want it, especially if Mob is the one pressing for it, then I'd want to read it. :)

3. Ookiku Furikabutte

Oofuri? Oh, yeah, I kind of liked that anime when it came out a while back, but baseball is so boring you kn... *trips* *thousands of scribbled notes about Haruna Motoki spill from my pockets* *along with notes taken from no less than seven different nonfiction books about baseball* ..ooowww, but man, those multi-episode games were too goddamn lon... *slips on notes and falls backwards into my closet, causing a cascade of Akiharu doujinshi to shower forth from the shelves* ..GGGGoddamnit fuck those aren't mine I'm just holding onto them for a frien... *doujin opens up to a picture of Haruna and Akimaru yelling at each other and a single involuntary, glistening tear falls from my eye* ...NNNDD NO SERIOUSLY LISTEN, hang on, jUst...


I actually started off in my Oofuri fandom being a huuugeemongous Abemiha fan, to the point where I started overly ambitious fic about them and also wrote a 10K+ word shipping manifesto for them. But while I was writing about them, I felt compelled to look more deeply at Haruna in order to properly understand how Abe Takaya turned out to be so... unique... as a catcher, and when I did that got me reading ahead in the manga (this was before there were scanlations readily available so by "reading ahead" I really mean "downloaded raws for all the released chapters and opened them side-by-side with LJ posts which provided text translations." And I was astonished (and honestly, at first a little put off by) the fact that Higuchi had taken a weird detour into all sorts of Musashino games (okay two Musashino games but both games also got the many chapters treatment) but this was useful for my Haruna research... but then wait what is Akimaru doing why isn't Haruna talking to him much in the elevator after that first game... and hey cool Akimaru is getting subbed into the game because the other catcher sucks... but maaan, Akimaru kind of sucks too and what NO WAIT SERIOUSLY WE ARE GETTING AN EMOTIONAL ARGUMENT WITH YELLING AND ACCUSATIONS OF SKIPPING PRACTICE TO GO ON VACATION THAT GO BACK TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HARUNA WHAT ARE YOU EVEN.... and then Akimaru gets subbed out and Musashino loses and then Abe and Mihashi come talk to Haruna and Haruna LAUGHS AT ABE WHAT but then he BOWS AND REALLY SINCERELY APOLOGIZES OH MY GOD... and then... and then....

Basically, I became a Haruna Motoki convert. And because mentioning Haruna Motoki is more or less synonymous with mentioning Akimaru Kyouhei, I became an Akimaru convert too.

I still really really love Abe and Mihashi! I still even ship them!! But they are very well represented in the fic world and I feel like all I ever really want in life is five million more "how did Haruna and Akimaru start dating" fics as well as all sorts of explorations of them as a couple of relentlessly codependent childhood friends who have some kind of weird mental telepathy where they instinctively understand whatever each one is thinking in the moment, while at the same time very, very carefully avoiding thinking or talking about anything that matters re: their friendship around each other, so they have these big gaping holes of communication where they substitute assumptions and bitterness for understanding and emotional closeness.

My love for this pairing is vast, and my preference is obviously for ship fic, but I love each character so much individually that I'd be delighted for platonic friendship fics too, or baseball fics (OH MY GOD YOU GUYS THIS FANDOM NEEDS MORE LEGIT ACTUAL BASEBALL FICS) which focus on Musashino (especially with the new team makeup with all of those bright eyed first years) or especially, which focus on Akimaru finally finding his MOTIVATION (as a batter!!!! With his eagle-eyed ability to See All!!!) and thus finding his way to truly deserve his place as a regular who plays in actual games!!!

Mostly I just love stuff that is set in the canon universe for them. It can be from back when they were toddlers and first meeting (cute kid stuff is something I've only ever seen for them in doujinshi but there should be stories too!), stuff during Haruna's Dark Days when he was off in Seniors and Akimaru was avoiding him, stuff set at ANY TIME during the high school years since that is TOTALLY A MINEFIELD OF EMOTIONS, or grown-up "Haruna is a pro now and Akimaru is... not" stories, with or without a pre-established relationship going on.

My main request for Oofuri fic is that no matter what emotions happen going in or throughout most of the story, I'd like it to end on a positive note? I love these two so much and my main desire is to see them happy. Please let them be happy!

Prompts? Prompts!!!

- Musashino vs. Nishiura... take two! This could be a practice match or a real game (practice match seems more plausible and with lower stakes), but the main thing is, Musashino wins this time, because this time, Akimaru does not totally suck. And also is ideally set up to defeat Mihashi as pitcher because once he gets even a little bit or real batting skill he'll be able to read Mihashi's pitches sooo easily. This should frustrate the hell out of Abe Takaya!!! Who even is this upstart catcher who can't even throw to second???!!

- Kissing just for practice. One of those old standbys of the fic realm but one I have not seen for them. Haruna and his hopeless crush on Suzune, maybe it occurs to him that he needs to learn kissing after he sees her hug on Ookawa? He knows he can't date her but he wants to find another cute baseball girl and next time, he needs to be prepared! And you know, Akimaru has all sorts of lowkey experience with kissing girls (and boys, as it happens), and is curiously super okay with this kind of experimentation...

- If you want to focus just on Haruna, something that deals with the twins from Kasukabe and/or either of the Nakazawa brothers and any of their's total obsession with him (that they are in denial about!). Um. Imagine I phrased that grammatically.

- If you are more into a story which focuses on Akimaru... well, it's hard to imagine that it wouldn't involve him at least thinking a lot about Haruna, since he's made his entire life to be about Haruna in so many (too many) ways. But him seeking out, say, Abe, to get some kind of advice on how to improve? And Abe being really torn since why would he help his enemies, except well, Haruna DID give some useful advice to Mihashi once... I'd love a story that involves Abe and Akimaru actually talking and getting to know one another. They could both end up complaining about Haruna and that could be incredible bonding. Hell, that could even lead to some incredible "we both want him" fucking. I am pretty easy when it comes to Akimaru and his having outside assignations so long as his heart is forever entangled with Haruna feelings.

Likes, Dislikes, DNWs

I'm putting this last because... the main thing I want in any story is for the characters to be as in-character as possible and for the overall story to end somewhere at least hopeful, if not really positive and affirming. And I feel like I can trust that you will try your best to do that? So I feel like burdening you with lots of specifics beyond that is not helpful, because I will love any good-faith story that is written with my general preferences in mind. I mostly want to give you license to write a story you'd also really love to read, and I figure if we matched on any of these fandoms and characters, we are probably already temperamentally similar enough where I will love whatever is given to me.

I guess I'll put in some general requests for no varsity-level kinks, especially the ones that involve inflicting pain or exalting in non-sexual bodily excretions (...being kinda vague here but yeah I mean no scat or pee or snot or whatevs)? No major character deaths of the characters I've requested? No mean-spirited assholery which makes it seems like one of my chosen characters actually hates the other chosen character??? Those kind of things would bum me out so please avoid including them if possible.

In Conclusion

I kind of purposefully did not read too many letters before writing this, since I really wanted to do "my own thing" and see if I could communicate my feelings in an inspirational way. I hope I succeeded but no matter what, I will be eagerly looking forward to reading what you write for me!!! If my letter fails in some way and you have questions, I THINK I've set up this post to allow for anonymous commenting, so feel free to ask me questions anonymously if you need any clarification or just want to know something. I will get back to you ASAP!!!
herongale: (eridan- hey kar)
(Sorry this is gonna be kinda boring and list-like for anyone who is not Ten, but if anyone wants to get a more thorough PoI rec list from me, just drop a comment and let me know! I am also way willing to discuss PoI with anyone, so if you have PoI thoughts just hit me!!)

(Starting from mid season 2):

Season 2:

Eps 10-13, aka the Prison Arc. Lots of good backstory and frontstory, also Fusco steps up!
Ep 16, Relevance. Into of a new Very Important Character, also examines the Relevant list from the Machine.
Ep 20. In Extremis. Important Fusco episode!
Eps 21-22. Zero Day/God Mode. The season ending, lots of important lore and great stuff happens!!!

Season 3:

Episode 1. Liberty. Continuation of stuff from the season finale of season 2, also sets up the main themes/conflicts of season 3.
Episode 5. Razgovor. Explores the backstory of a new team member. Also just a very satisfying episode.
Episode 6. Mors Praematura. INTRO LESLIE ODOM JR. Also this was the episode I first saw that convinced me to check out Person of Interest… it’s just weird and wacky enough and is totally awesome!
Eps 7-13. This is a continuous and VERY CRITICAL ARC where VERY IMPORTANT SHIT GOES DOWN so really it’s best to watch them all!!!

Eps 16. RAM. Harold’s backstory re: his initial days of working the Irrelevant list.
Eps 17-23. Shit this is another big story arc! I want to say that ALL of these episodes are important but if you want to keep it to only the MOST essential shit, I’d say… watch eps 20-23 for sure. 17-19 are all ramping up episodes and divert enough from the main plot to be skippable, but I feel like since this season sets up so much important shit that is meaningful for the next season, It’s worth it to watch those too. It’s up to you though!
herongale: (karkat x sollux- asdfghjkdfj)
Gonna poke out of my general DW/LJ prolonged vacation to casually link to a a Homestuck essay I just posted on Tumblr:

yep, time for me to finally make my neverending story/homestuck theories post

It is long! And hopefully a good read! I'd be happy if any of you decided to read it and maybe drop a comment or something. :)
herongale: (Default)

What I've got:
- wig
- horns
- blue makeup
- white dress
- black over-the-knee socks
- super cool red shoes
- materials for embroidering the Scorpio sign onto the my dress

What I need:
- grey body/face costume makeup shit
- blue fairy wings
- (OPTIONAL) Tinkerbull plush to stand-in for Pupa Pan fascination
- (OPTIONAL) Pupa Pan lol

You guys, I seriously love Vvris. I am very committed to doing this somewhere! And I've got a prospective John ( [personal profile] 1010nabulation) and a prospective Dirk/Bro ([profile] shirono) to go with! Eeee ♥

More pictures (I apologize for the quality, this is the best I can do with my laptop!):


herongale: (haruna- big grin)
So, a friend of mine, [profile] shirono (aka Kori) has recently just launched a webcomic that promises to be really delicious and which has just... ah, the most lovely art. I am biased (friendship is always biasing!) but you guys are all my friends too, and so I figure it's fair to ENTHUSIASTICALLY PIMP SOMETHING I AM ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT ANYWAY, since maybe a few of you will check it out, and some will follow. Know that I will!

My sell: basically, there is a cool premise--

Lee Andrew Holtzer is seventeen and should only be worrying about one thing: getting into college. Unfortunately, the talking cats are making that a bit difficult. Luckily, he’s got the support and confidence of his best friend, Frank. But as the year goes on, not only does Lee struggle with application deadlines and demanding felines, but his relationship with Frank is changing. Will Lee learn how to be sensitive to the serious economic and social differences between he and Frank, or will the resulting fallout break them apart forever? And will that cat ever stop asking him to make a stupid wish? (text c&p from here)

and cool art--

and I totally love it so far, so I feel like anyone who is in the mood for any kind of non-stereotypical, gorgeously original boy-boy love story might want to check it out now, while the story is still in its infancy at 18 pages and hasn't grown into, idk, some mammoth nine chapter epic saga like Homestuck yet. Here's your chance to get in on the ground floor with an extremely promising new work, which will be updated every Monday with four new pages at a time!

Kori is a professional. He does professional fanart (and I've commissioned him on several Oofuri fanarts, all of which have left me verrrryyy satisfied). I feel like it's safe to assume he's going to stick with this for the long haul and I know for a fact it's already got a basic plot outline (which is probably more than can be said about a lot of otherwise promising fan comics which eventually petered out over time-- HELLO HANNA IS NOT A BOYS NAME, I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU). This is a serious project for him and he's investing blood and treasure (okay copic markers and cash money) to make this happen, so I feel safe in saying this is no whimsical thing. NOT LIKE, SAY, MY OWN FANFICTION.

So... if you are curious, check it out! Proceed with confidence! Be prepared to see something that is probably very different from a lot of the yaoi/slash fan stories you have seen before! KNOW THAT KORI CAN DRAW ALL THE HOT. I give five stars and two very enthusiastic thumbs up, and not even Roger Ebert could give any more!

herongale: (hitagi- thoughtful)

"If you feel like dying for this universe, just call us. We'll be waiting!"

I don't think it's any exaggeration to say that this series has not only become my favourite anime series for this season, it will probably go on my top twenty list of anime series of all time. It's just that good, and that much of a head trip.

somewhat spoilery content under cut, as well as more pics and a music download from the show )

That's good too.

I love this series. I am fascinated by it. You all should give it a try.
herongale: (haruna- knows it all)
So, I did this meme last year, and I really liked it because it helped me to wrap up the year in my head, and show me that I can be pretty prolific actually.

First, the census of what's what. This was the year of Oofuri.

1. What the Sibyl Said, chapter 2 revision. Unlike last year when I did this meme, I am going to count the words on this chapter this time, since the revision was a rather extensive re-write and I left very little of this chapter in its original form. 15,729 words. Complete (the chapter is, anyway).
2. Mischief Managed. Ken/Daisuke... omg, I don't even know what to call this story. It's not porn, but it's... kinky. 3,055 words. Complete.
3. Die Verwandlung. Sibyl sidestory. Ken/Daisuke porn. 8,577 words. Complete.
4. In Want of a Prime Directive, chapter 7. Starscream/Skyfire. 3,746 words. Ongoing, on hiatus.
5. You Will Not Fall. Mihashi/Abe. On hiatus while I work out my Haruna Issues. 35,291 words.
6. I Will Be Watching You, Always. YWNF sidestory, complete. This marks the beginning of my Haruna Issues and is therefore remarkable for that. 8,302 words. Complete.
7. Come Out And Play. The first truly Haruna-centric story, and the first time Akimaru really comes to the fore in my consciousness as someone I really wanted to write. Laughably, I thought this would get me over Haruna. 14,658 words. Complete.
8. Above You, Below Me. Haruna/Akimaru smut. God, this was probably the single most enjoyable story I wrote all year. It's full of stars porn. 11,565 words. Complete.
9. Make Me a Morning (co-written with [livejournal.com profile] sparklespiff). This marks my complete surrender to all things Haruna. I don't even care any more. Current word count (only going with mine): 30,066 words. Ongoing.


1. You Will Not Fall, chapter 7. 15,243 words (not counting redundancies).
2. The Living. Fucked up Osama/Ken fic. 3,034 words.
3. Trafficking. Rock/Revy vignette. 2,003 words.
4. Touch Her, Touch Her. Rock/Revy porn. 2,579 words.
5. Anonymous Yuletide fic. 1,265 words.

Total Word Count: 155,113 words.
... which roughly averages to about 3000 words per week.

And here is the survey!

My TLDR on writing, you have been warned. )
herongale: (digidestined)
One of my new Oofuri friends, [livejournal.com profile] shirono, has been watching Digimon recently, and one of her newfound interests is an interest in the most popular pairing in Digimon history: Taito.

Taito! Like, lol, I don't remember any fics for this pairing. Sooo flist-chan, I turn to you, for those of you who have been Digimon fans in your lifetime: are there any stories you might recommend for a newfound fan? She seems to be especially interested in fics that focus on the feelings that Tai has for Yamato, but any and all recommendations are welcomed. Hell, I kinda want to read some of these fics myself. PLEASE HELP.

ETA: okay, I remembered one. Gay Chicken, by Pyjamas. Nice and hot despite the ridiculous title (which actually has a reasonable explanation). XD

ETA 2: It... destroys me. OMG GOTH TK ILU ;;__;;;
herongale: (haruna- cool down)
So, I'm just freakin' infatuated with Haruna right now. *points to icon* Look at him, isn't he hot? He's also an arrogant dick! And a genius baseball pitcher! What's not to love!

Anyway, was catching myself up on Jim Rome this evening, and from the top of the show he played highlights from a radio interview he did with Brian Wilson, the closer pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. And I was all ****stars in my eyes**** because, like, Brian Wilson IS Haruna: smart, and hilarious!

First off. Recently there was some Controversy with Brian Wilson, since he was wearing these really, really flashy orange Nikes while pitching in a game against the Marlins. The coach of the Marlins complained, he was fined $1000 for crimes against fashion, and when the coach of the Marlins called him out for wearing shoes that were too flashy, he gave the following response:

Too flashy. I didn't know that's in the rulebook. Oh it's not in the rulebook. The fact that he thinks these shoes throw 97 to 100 with cut might be a little far fetched. I guess we should have these checked as performance-enhancing shoes.


In the end, to make them game compliant, he needed to cover up the orange with black for at least 50% of the shoe. Apparently he accomplished this using a Sharpie.

So, now, here are some choice quotes from today's Jim Rome, transcribed for you, in order to appreciate the awesome Brian Wilson. You don't need to know or like baseball to appreciate these quotes.

Here goes.

On what he was thinking when he decided to put on the orange cleats:
I'm not even magical. I'm just going to put these on and see what happens.

On the color orange, in general:
The other colors respect orange. I know, I hear them talking about it.

On mouthing off to the fans:
It's fun to bicker with the fans because after a while they're stumped. They'll think 'wow, This guy, this technician of the mouth, is firing back some sweet stuff at me. I don't know what to do. I'll throw peanuts at him. Wait, he's a ninja, he just caught those. I have nothing to say.'

On his work ethic:
See, the thing for me is, I don't know how much talent I've had over the coarse of my lifetime, if any. I always corellated it to, my dad told me to work as hard as you possibly can....I'm going to work as hard as I humanly possibly can. If that means I'm going to throw up before the game, then so be it. Because its going to make me a MAN when I come to the game.

Final words of wisdom:
When you're on the mound and you feel like you could absolutely murder someone's soul out there? Failure isn't an option.


I... I'm pretty sure I'm totally, totally in love...
herongale: (hitagi- argues)
Okay, so George R.R. Martin has written a post defending his decision to forbid fanfiction of his works. You can read it here.

Here is my reply. I posted it in the comments section of his post but will also reproduce it here, because it's two damn pages long and because I can.

Dear GRRM )
herongale: (daisuke- zomg!)
Here's a Digimon "story" I wrote... a long, long time ago. It's an interesting relic in a lot of ways: it's a scriptfic, which was posted to ff.net before these were banned. I was such a huge dork back then. I pretty much totally love this story, and even if I didn't still love Digimon, I'd love it because it is a time capsule look-back for ten years ago, complete with all sorts of dated cultural references (remember when MTV used to actually play music?) and punkass insights, from back when I was a medical student living on my own in downtown Detroit... around the time I was getting to know [livejournal.com profile] anax.

The premise of the story is that the Digidestined were invited onto Carson Daly's TRL show on MTV. I was such a huge dork back then, but I kind of love this story specifically because even though it's soooo bad: it's bad in a such a hopefully hilarious way.

I doubt I'll ever formally re-publish this anywhere, but here it is for you, my dear flist. (feel free to shoot me later).

TK is dressed like someone out of N-Sync, and Davis is wearing sunglasses. Yolei is wearing a replica of the outfit that Britney Spear's made popular in 'Oops...I Did it Again,' a red vinyl jumpsuit and space-cadet hairstyle. Kari is wearing a yellow tee that says 'hikari,' with a picture of a panda on it. Cody is wearing a silver shirt, baggy pants, and a long chain attached to his pants. Ken trails after them, wearing his normal grey school uniform, like always. )
herongale: (Default)
This post, on the topic of female slashers writing about gay men, really struck a chord with me. A kind of annoyed, exasperated chord. So I started writing up a response, and as it got longer and longer, I realized that the most appropriate place for me to post this was in my own journal. I don't post about my opinions as often as I should in my own journal: I should correct this.


When I write, I don't set out to subvert. Nor do I set out to appropriate anything. But I don't define myself simply as a woman. Most importantly, I define myself as me. And when I write, I want to write the things that appeal to me. Usually that means writing about gay men. Should I stop because some gay men don't approve? I don't know. Should gay men stop designing clothes for women? After all, a gay man who designs clothes for a body he will never have is not all that different from a woman who writes stories for a life she will never lead. So, should I stop? )

(post to be set to public for the foreseeable future)
herongale: (hitagi- take my hand)
I've seen this meme kicking around a few places, but [livejournal.com profile] nekokoban and [livejournal.com profile] sink_or_swim really were the ones to inspire me to do it.

I have to say, the word count turned out to be a lot higher than I expected. Fickleness apparently pays off! This has been a year for just running around and chasing after whatever was interesting me at the moment, without any kind of greater plan. This is the most productive I've been in ages, but I make no promises as to my future output because every time I make promises I end up locking them up into refrigerators and putting chains around them and dumping them (the promises, I mean) down at the bottom of the ocean.

I am a fickle person, period. I must simply accept this, and keep moving!

the detailed stats )

Total: 104,065 words

And here is the survey!

My TLDR on writing, you have been warned. )
herongale: (daiken- put upon)
I prepared this as a comment to an anonymous poster over at [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets, which came up in the discussion of Secret #110, a shocking secret from some Digimon fan who didn't like the 02 ending. (omg, who doesn't like that ending right???). Since I have been all Digimon focused lately, I was primed to create a fic recc list. I am reproducing it here because I want to have it handy for future reference.

and now, LET'S JOGRESS

Well, first some sweet fluff to cleanse the palate:

The Puddles Arc by Apple QB. This occurs just after Ken stops being the Kaizer and is at maximum emo mode. I just find it adorable.

Don't Lose Yourself, by Intrada. I really don't know how Daisuke gets away with being this clueless. Ken somehow copes.

The Lefthand Path by Irhista Lhail. This is a post-post Kaizer fic, mostly all lemony.

Onjin, by Jin. The first Daiken fic I ever read. It is perhaps a bit too pat and fluffy but I love it.

Renshuu, by Megan le Fay. Kissing just for practice.

No Rules For This, by kyuuketsukirui. Daisuke is a super dork, as per usual.

And now for some longer works!!

Fine Art, by Faded Jae. Tragically incomplete but excellent characterizations.

Ground Level, by Aphrael and Louise. This links to all of Aphrael’s fics, but Ground Level is an excellent longer AU fic and I highly recommend it. (“Whipped” is also a great choice, especially if you want explicit smut)

Recently I have become most taken with Strange, by Apple QB. This is another tragically unfinished story but it is still a WIP. It's fascinatingly subversive and, yes, strange.

The Walls Between, by Kinslayer. Full disclosure: Kin is my best friend. But this story is epic and wonderful and very, very tragic. He also wrote "The Mistakes We Make," which is also hosted at Mediaminer, and which is probably his most notorious story.

Yami, by Ainokitsune. Another friend of mine, another ridiculously sad story. TBH a bit too hard for me to read, because it is so sad, but it is amazingly well written.

I suppose I could also mention that I too write Digimon fanfic. Some people have called it good. You could try Reflections, which is not complete because I am in the middle of rewriting it. This one is miraculously not slated to be a tragedy. I am also in the process of revising What the Sibyl Said, and I think it's now better then ever. Go read it, I think it's awesome if I do say so myself.

Also: you may enjoy Courage and Kindness: the Daisuke/Ken ship manifesto. It's one fan's defense of the pairing.

I welcome any additional recommendations anyone would like to add. I didn't put up any fic by El Juno, or Vain, or Akira Ichijouji, or Nemesi mostly because I couldn't decide which fic to pick. I need to go back and read all of their stories and then I can edit this post later to make my most studied recs. But trust me, I love all of them too. (Links to at least one fic by each of these writers can be found in my "Favorite Stories" section on ff.net, if you want to browse through their stuff on your own). :)

Hey hey

22 Dec 2009 12:16 am
herongale: (Default)
Well, I figure I should have at least one post here. But Livejournal is going to remain my primary journalling site for the foreseeable future.
herongale: (maka- sparkly insane eye)
Alright, so [livejournal.com profile] cephiedvariable did this, wonderfully, in her own LJ. It looked like a lot of fun so despite the fact that I knew some of my choices would be identical to hers, I decided I'd share my own personal picks for top anime opening sequences of all time.

Cool, right? Cool! Let's proceed!

fifteen You Tube embeds under cut )


And that's it. This list was a ton of fun to compose, and I hope to see this catch on as a meme because I would like to see everyone's choices. XD
herongale: (haruhi- thumbs up)
Yesterday on NPR there was a piece about Jay Smooth, video blogger at The Ill Doctrine. He is an extremely chill (and rather hot) rapper. NPR played an audio clip from the following blog entry, "How To Tell Someone They Sound Racist," and I thought it was just so totally awesome I needed to share.

NPR piece linked here.

(crossposted to Journalfen)
herongale: (scar x ed- otp 4ev)
I originally started working on this list years ago (literally years ago), but then I set it aside because my descriptions of each pairing were getting to be ridiculously long, and I was talking about the backstory and facts and all of this annoying stuff which really has nothing to do with why I like certain pairings.

So today I have decided to start over. Let's start at the top.

1. Scar/Ed. (Fullmetal Alchemist)

Anyone who knows me as Herongale knows this. I love Scar so much I had his array tramp-stamped to my body. I wrote epic fanfic for this pairing, some of the best writing I have ever done. Scar is an emotionally crippled man, uptight and judgmental. Ed is passionate and brutally smart, unconventional but also highly judgmental. The ideal chemistry between them is prickly and cautious developing into a beautiful emotional co-dependancy. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

2. Daisuke/Ken. (Digimon 02)

The pairing I made my name with; also the pairing that brought [livejournal.com profile] anax permanently into my life. There was a lot of flexibility in this pairing, and a lot of people preferred the kinky/messed up Kaizer/Daisuke side of things, but for me I was far more into what happened to them after Ken "found his heart." Both characters had flaws, big ones, and kind of needed the other to make up for these flaws. I will never get over how purely sweet this pairing is for me. This is love at its most innocent and fresh.


3. Raistlin/Caramon (Dragonlance)

A pairing that has lain dormant in my heart for a long time; I haven't revisited it in years. But I give it a high place, higher than several of my active loves, simply because it made a profound impression on me. I still love it very much. I never participated in any online fandom and I never wrote fanfic: I loved this before internet access was widely available. Raistlin was a very convincingly evil, bitter character, and Caramon was his heart. "Look Raist, bunnies!" The defense rests.

4. Nynaeve/Lan (Wheel of Time)

Nynaeve happens to be one of my single favourite characters of all time, and I identify with her almost as strongly as I do with Reki from Haibane Renmei. There is a lot to criticize about the WoT series, but Nynaeve's evolution remains one of the most well-laid out, complex evolutions of a major character I have ever seen. For one thing, she actively devolves over the course of several books: she starts out strong and comes off as very wise and impressive, but as she travels the world and begins to understand it better, she becomes foolish and weak. Silly. This all happens because she lets go of the mask she wore, the role of Village Wisdom. She found actual strength in that role, but it was only after losing all of that was she able to start finding strength in her self. Anyway, I don't think it's hyperbole to say that Lan is the catalyst of all this: she wants to better herself for him. Lan is a very noble man, but brittle and crippled in much the same way Scar is, and together the two have a chemistry I adore.

5. Megatron/Starscream (Transformers G1)

Starscream is my favourite male character of all time (yes, I love him more than Scar). He gets pride of place because I have loved him ever since I was 11 years old (Digidestined aged FYI). He is shallow, vain, petty, grasping, arrogant, cruel.... and totally, totally awesome. Anyone with half a brain cell can't help but note that he and Megatron have a very special chemistry, with Megatron singling him out for beatings and insults but also refusing to kill him even though Starscream is a blatant traitor who barely ever even tries to hide his ambitions. I love the rivalry, the brutal in-your-face aggression of their relationship. Plus, it's just so fucking precious. And unpretentious. I can't take myself seriously when I get to thinking about the two of them together, and I like that a lot.

6. Haseo/Skeith (.hack//G.U.)

Kind of surprising that this one only comes in at the six slot, considering how eagerly I love it, and how quickly it has become important to me. It's a pairing I share with Anax, and it's his fault that I love it at all. Skeith has almost no personality as far as official canon is concerned, but Anax has detailed via The Power of Imagination a richly complex, beautifully compelling version of this character. Skeith is a powerful AI, intelligent and dangerous, but also adorably naive. He doesn't know as much as he thinks he knows. Haseo has some of the prickliness and emotional standoffishness of Scar, mixed in with some of the youth and vigor of Ed... but with many qualities which are uniquely his own. It is both pathetic and amazing that he'd fall in love with an online AI. And trust me: very, very hot.

7. Katchoo/Francine (Strangers in Paradise)

First and only femmeslash pairing on this list. I followed their relationship through the comic as it was being released, and the fact that they spent several years away from each other, estranged, tore my heart to bits whenever I thought about it too hard. There's a lot of personal identification in this one: personality-wise, I am often like Francine, and Anax is a lot like Katchoo. Their arguments were so vivid to me. I have actually had fights just like that. I found the ending of the comic book to be a little too rushed and pat (I wanted to spend more time seeing them together damnnit), but the journey was hella moving. And hot: a Francine and Katchoo kiss is like a million times hotter than a frank sex scene for other, lesser characters.

8. Anne/Gilbert (Anne of Green Gables)

So sweet and pure. This was an innocent love of my early years. I never imagined them getting it on beyond kissing, but that was enough for me then. It remains enought for me now. I actually went to Prince Edward Island back in high school, so I got to walk in the world that Anne loved so much. I could imagine her and Gilbert together there.

9. Frodo/Sam (Lord of the Rings)

I have always had this thing for all-consuming devotion. I hardly even knew that I shipped these characters growing up; for many years I didn't even know what shipping was. The physical, carnal potential of the pairing mostly eludes me, since I am into it almost entirely for the love and the mutual willingness to sacrifice for the other. I don't care if they never have sex; I just like seeing them together. One of the reasons the end of the LotRs always fucks me over emotionally is having to stay with Sam as he waves goodbye to the greatest, deepest love of his life.

10. Skyfire/Starscream (Transformers G1)

First repeat customer! Starscream is literally millions of years old, so Skyfire kind of comes in as Starscream's "first love." They were scientists and explorers together, doing god knows what kind of research. Now they are enemies, but I think it's a kind of bittersweet thing. This is my "sweet" Starscream pairing with lots of emo, emo enough to rival Armada Starscream's entire career of emo. I believe that Skyfire truly loves Starscream and that they could even be in love again someday, if they both could forgive each other for their various betrayals.

11. Eric/Sheila (Dungeons and Dragons)

I wrote fanfiction for this pairing. I actually did. It will never see the light of day because it was so bad, but Eric hits my "snarky brittle lonely asshole" kink square on. I just love redemption cases, and he is this spoiled little rich brat. Most people pair him with Diana and he and she do have a kind of bickering sort of chemistry, but for me the appeal of that is lessened because Diana is already pretty well put together. She would never need Eric. Sheila, on the other hand, has weakness of her own, and although the show pushes pretty hard to pair her up with Hank, I think that putting the two emotional weaklings together makes for more interesting chemistry. Let Hank and Diana, the two heros, have sweet uncomplicated romance. I like the brokeness and awkwardness and hesitations of an Eric/Sheila pairing way too much to ever give it up. This pairing may deserve to even be higher in the rankings, but that's only because pairings 7-11 are all fairly equivalent, and my ordering in this set is fairly arbitrary.

12. Rick/Minmay (Robotech)

It just now occurs to me that May and Miriya didn't even make this list, and I love them so much. That just means that the 20 I included are all-stars in the Herongale pantheon. This was one of my first shared fandoms. Back in fifth grade my friend Michelle and I would meet every day to play, and we'd pretend each of us to be a Robotech character: she got Lisa, I was Minmay. I loved Minmay: she was awkward and childish and not very bright, but she had a very good heart. We were doing our little LARP during Robotech's first TV run, so neither of us knew who Rick was going to choose... it broke my heart when Rick ended up with Lisa, although I knew that was probably best for him, because I was sooo invested in him ending up with me Minmay. For a period of time, this pairing was alive for me in a way no pairing has ever been, before or since. I think the fact that it didn't work out actually helped ensure my continued love of the pairing, because I wanted sooo desperately to believe another reality was possible. I obsessed trying to think up ways it could happen.

13. Elizabeth/Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)

What does Mr. Darcy have in common with Scar, Ken, Starscream, Haseo, Eric, and Raistlin? Oh yes... in his own way, he's a little bit of an asshole. I love how he has to eat his pride once he falls for the girl he was so quick to scorn. This pairing is so lovingly and perfectly depicted in the source material (aka the novel) that I never felt the need to elaborate on it, not even in my fantasy life, but I really enjoyed reading certain scenes over and over (and over) again. Anyone who has read the book knows what I am talking about. In any case, this was the pairing that showed me that dialogue, when done right, is probably the hottest part of any relationship story. This is a lesson I have never forgotten.

14. Raistlin/Crysania (Dragonlance)

Another repeat offender! I fell for this pairing right away, the first time I read "Time of the Twins." I already was in love with Raistlin, in as far as I could be anyway, and then I read the first scene where Crysania shows up and is totally seduced by the evil mage. That scene turned me on SO HARD and as far as I knew or cared, Crysania was some kind of conveniently placed Mary Sue. And in some ways it turned out to be the case (okay, totally): but she never "saved" Raistlin. Instead, he used her to the bitter end, and she ends up alone and blind and I kind of fell in love with her for her own self. This relationship always felt so one-sided to me, which made it bittersweet.

15. Jo/Laurie (Little Women)

Why, oh why, oh why was this never canon? I liked Mr. Bhaer and Amy okay, but Jo and Laurie had freaking CHEMISTRY. I think the only reason Alcott decided against this pairing was that it was insufficiently moral, i.e. she couldn't make a moral tale of their love. Jo ends up with Mr. Bhaer and it's a lesson in "not judging by appearances" and "loving being poor," whereas Laurie needed to be with Amy so the both of them could learn how not to be superficial. Important life lessons to be sure, but I still feel cheated.

16. Osamu/Ken (Digimon 02)

Sick. Wrong. I KNOW. But somehow so, so right. I can't even talk about this one, it's too shameful.

17. Doumeki/Watanuki (xxxHolic)

Oh, CLAMP. This is only one in a long line of practically canonical shounen-ai pairings involving an eternal spiritual soulbonding relationship between male characters. Admitting to loving this almost feels like admitting to loving Burger King Whoppers: it's a pairing designed to appeal to the masses (sadly, in this case masses of pre-pubescent girls). I have been known to find myself theoretically supporting other not-quite-canon CLAMP pairings (Kurogane/Fai from Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicles and Toya/Yukito from Card Captor Sakura spring INSTANTLY to mind!), but this one has some features of authenticity that cause it to transcend the usual CLAMP stereotypes. It does not hurt that the emotional dynamic reminds me a little of Scar and Ed... but I think the thing that I really like is that Doumeki, the seemingly detached and "cool" one of the two, is also the one who is more consciously devoted: Watanuki, the spazz, spends almost all of his time brooding over Himawari, and he has a very hard time even admitting that Doumeki is a friend, let alone someoen he has a special connection to.

18. Madarame/Saki (Genshiken)

Nothing spells out "doomed" so well as Madarame's completely unrequited love for Saki: Saki is perfectly happy in a relationship with the man of her dreams, and she remains with her boyfriend throughout the series. It would be easy to describe my affection for this pairing in terms of the necessary geeky heartbreak, by concentrating only on Madarame's side of the equation. But the thing that makes this an OTP actually comes from Saki: as a militantly non-otaku person, she ends up with a very comfortable friendship with Madarame, and when she talks to him a lot more of her personality emerges than we ever see when she's with Kousaka. Were Madarame cute, he would be her ideal man: but he is not, and so she will never see it. They have real chemistry that is mutual, but the romantic feelings will always be his and his alone.

19. Haseo/Endrance (.hack//G.U.)

aka Ryou and Kaoru. Haseo is back, but this time with a hopelessly reclusive shut-in with absolutely zero real-life self confidence. Endrance is shamelessly smitten with Haseo, and is proud to advertise his feelings to anyone who will ask: but in real life he is super shy. It would take a lot for these two to meet IRL but that is the basis of most of the fan interest. Harukami wrote a series of fics for this pairing which kind of perfectly illustrate the wrongness and wonderfulness of Endrance's feelings, and even though I'm not actively crushing on it, I am confident this pairing will always be one I treasure.

20. Gokudera/Tsuna (Reborn)

It's a testament to how amazing this pairing is that I love it DESPITE massive canon failure. It's all about Gokudera's devotion for me: he is this awesome badass cranky teenager who just lights up whenever he sees Tsuna. He'd do anything for Tsuna. Tsuna I could take or leave, but Gokudera.... ;___;

And that's it. I just kind of wrote up whatever came to mind.

Here is the final tally:

slash: 11 pairings
het: 8 pairings
yuri: 1

So what say you? It's time for everyone to trot out their top twenties for inspection!