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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter

My Favorite Geeky Things of 2013

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I’ve seen a lot of great stuff to geek out about this year, so I’d thought I’d share my favorites. Have fun with the links!

1. RWBY by Monty Oum- This anime-inspired animated series was featured online via the website of the creator and YouTube. The series focuses on four girls who attend a prestigious academy to learn to fight monsters.

The main characters and most of the supporting characters have awesome abilities that are fun to watch. The abilities of the four girls Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang were previewed in four trailers before the  series premiered. In addition, the series also spawned a great soundtrack for the first volume (season 1).

Favorite Trailer: White (Weiss)

Favorite Episode: 8

Favorite songs from the soundtrack: “Mirror Mirror”, “This Will Be The Day”, and “I Burn” (Yellow Trailer Version)

Watch RWBY YouTube Playlist– includes the four trailers and all sixteen episodes of volume 1.

2. Link’s Shadow and Next Gen. Smash Bros 300%– I saw both of these videos during YouTube geek week over the summer. Both of these videos have awesome live action role-playing. Link’s Shadow has Link and Dark Link from the Legend of Zelda video game series fighting each other.

Next Gen. Smash Bros has different characters from the Super Smash Bros. video game series fighting each other at huge sizes (sometimes).  I love both of this video games because Link is awesome in both!

3. Star Wars Themed Videos: Cello Wars- The Piano Guys, Bohemian Rhapsody- Arizona Cosplayers

I saw the Cello Wars during YouTube geek week. I’m not sure of this, but this may have been my first PianoGuys music video. I loved it because it was a lovely and funny take on the score.

As some of you may already know, the Star Wars version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is very recent. I originally saw the video on Buzzfeed and clicked on it out of curiosity and because it seemed geeky yet cool. I was right! If you click on the CC button at the bottom of the video, you can see the lyrics on-screen!

4. Kid Dressed as Harry Potter at Penn Station– I found this via the site Buzzfeed back in November. The boy playing Harry Potter is so cute! My favorite part was when the security guard says, “You kinda look like Harry Potter.” Improv Everywhere did a great job staging this.

5. Legend of Korra Book 2-  After a very long wait, book two of the animated series Legend of Korra finally premiered in September. Legend of Korra is the sequel to Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender.

While the first half of the season could have been better, the second half was freaking awesome. The only thing that spoiled my enjoyment of the series somewhat was the Korra haters.

(insert mini rant: Korra is a freaking human being, even if she’s also the Avatar! So what if she made a lot mistakes and had anger issues? Korra would not be who she was at the end of Book 2 if she was flawless. )

Anyway, to celebrate the LOK series and Korra herself, here is an animated music video that features scenes from Book 1 and Book 2 of LOK and the song “Transcendence” by Lindsey Stirling.

Written by Serena Zola

December 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Banned Book Week Spotlight: The Harry Potter Series

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Hogwarts Coat of Arms

Hogwarts Coat of Arms Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s one of my favorite literary times of year again: Banned Book Week! From September 22 to the 28th, people are celebrating the freedom to read classic books and current books. This year, I’m going to spotlight The Harry Potter series.

I was in fourth grade when I first heard about the series. A kid brought in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to class and my teacher read some of it aloud. The story had me intrigued and I remember getting my mom to buy it for me. The only problem was, I hadn’t realized I was reading the series out-of-order until I looked on the spine. Oops!

Anyway, I think I either somehow read the entire book with no clue what was going on or I managed to get the first three books and read them first. I can’t remember which happened, but either way I eventually understood the plot and became a fan of the books.

When I was in elementary school, I liked the books because I was in awe of Harry’s world.  There was magic, creatures, and places I couldn’t have dreamed of before reading the series. I found it really cool.

By the time Harry Potter and The Order Phoenix came out, I found that book becoming my favorite in the series, I could relate to Harry’s angst and the way he wondered about what kind of person he was. Another thing I liked were the weird characters and creatures that were introduced: thestrals, Luna Lovegood, Nymphadora Tonks, and Grawp.

I had also realized I could relate to Hermione the most. Like her, I was “an insufferable know-it-all” who read a lot and got bullied for it.  Unlike Hermione though, I specialized with being a know-it-all” in a particular subject: literature. Also, I was pretty lonely and there were plenty of times I wished Hermione actually existed.

The biggest impact this series has had on me was introducing me to fantasy-fiction, mythology, and folklore. Without this series, I would have never read the Percy Jackson series, the Song of the Lioness quartet, or any Dragonlance books.  I am eternally grateful for this series giving me a strong love for fantasy-fiction.

Thank you so much J.K. Rowling for giving me one of the best things about my childhood. These books will always be in my heart.

Written by Serena Zola

September 20, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Why I Love/Hate Being a Geek and Some Favorite Geeky Things

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It’s geek week on YouTube and I’ve recently started reading the geeky section of BuzzFeed. Both of these things come on the heels of an article I read that “vindicates” anyone who was a geek in high school. As such, I’d figured this was a good time to show my geek pride and share some my favorite geeky things.

I like to think that I’ve been a geek since I was seven years old when I realized I loved books and Sailor Moon. Since that time, I’ve had great times and bad times. The great times came with discovering new anime and manga from Japan and reading the Harry Potter series. The bad times were in high school when I felt like the only black geek in existence and was bullied by my black peers.

My personal definition of a geek is someone who is obsessed with something most people aren’t, things like cartoons, sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal television, and comics. They may or may not be a brainiac.  I also think that some geeks (like myself) have eclectic tastes, that a geek can be geeky about many things.

I like being a geek because it allows me to discover new and creative things. Most of the time, being a geek makes for great discussion and fun. However, there are times that I wish people would take being a geek more seriously.

When I was in high school, I found solace for my geek outcast angst in books and alternative rock. However, there were times that I wished there were more realistic representations of a non-white geek in entertainment media. Seeing very few geeks of color in tv shows, movies, and books made me feel like  people like me had no place in society. Sometimes, I felt like it wasn’t worth being myself because the non-white geeks I did see were only made fun of and were not accepted as they were.

Growing up in the early 90’s, the only black geek I ever saw on television was Steve Urkel from the sitcom Family Matters. Since he was pretty much a stereotype and had the guy version of the “geek-turns-into-a-beauty-queen” moment, I loathed him. As I became a teenager in the 2000’s, things didn’t improve much.

During my sophomore or junior year of high school, I saw Akeelah and the Bee. Although I found it predictable, I thought it was a decent representation of a young black nerd and the impact they could have on their community.  Unfortunately, that was the only film I saw that was like that. Today, I still consider this film the only film to feature a black nerd in a decent manner.

In addition to the lack of diverse and realistic geek representation, the article I previously mentioned is complete trash because of the research but its findings. For me, being a geek is not about making a lot money. It is about sharing your interests, knowledge, and passion with others and knowing that other people are interested too. If you do make a lot of money and get sweet revenge on haters, then that’s just icing on the cake.

Now, I present some of my favorite geeky things:

1.  World is Mine AMVA fanmade anime music video featuring various anime and the song “World is Mine” by  Hatsune Miku.

2.  Japanese Sailor Moon Theme (Violin Cover)– A violin fan cover of the Japanese Sailor Moon theme by YouTube user JTehAnonymous.

3. Simple & Clean/Sanctuary Duet– A beautiful fan duet of the songs “Simple & Clean” and “Sanctuary” from the Kingdom Hearts video game series. Sung by YouTube users AmaLee and Adrisaurus.

4. What It’s Like To Be A Teen As Told By Harry Potter– Possibly the best Harry Potter related web post I ever read

Written by Serena Zola

August 6, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Fandom Spotlight: “To Leaky Con” (La Vie Boheme Parody)

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A couple of years ago, I discovered the movie adaptation of the musical RENT and “La Vie Boheme”, the song that describes my artistic and free-spirited side. Now, it seems that it can apply to my geeky side too. “To Leaky Con” was the finale to the opening ceremony of Leaky Con, an annual fan convention for Harry Potter and pop culture fans. The song sums up everything Leaky Con is about in a fun parody of RENT’s “La Vie Boheme”. The performance of that song which took place in Portland features special guests, among them Anthony Rapp (he’s in a trench coat), the actor best known as RENT’s Mark Cohen.

When I heard the first few minutes of the song, I was a little upset. I wished they could have parodied another song or come up with an original song. “La Vie Boheme” helped me celebrate in my artistic side and appreciate RENT. As the song continued, I began to lighten up. Since it is something that connected to another part of me, why not enjoy it? After all, it’s not everyday you run into a parody like this.

To Leaky Con” Lyrics

Written by Serena Zola

June 28, 2013 at 7:16 PM

A Contemporary Wish

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Tomorrow, the film adaptation of the dystopian novel the Hunger Games will be released worldwide. Since I was a huge Harry Potter fan and saw almost every film when they were released, I can understand the Hunger Games fans’ excitement. At the same time, I’m also disappointed.

The reason for this is that it seems like film companies think that all youth care about is action, adventure, and romance. Before the Harry Potter series (both the films and books) were complete, I read contemporary teen fiction novels like Looking For Alaska and Thirteen Reasons Why, books were just as good, important, and sometimes better than fantasy. Sometimes I’d think, “This book should be made into a movie.” Yet, it seems because the contemporary teen fiction hasn’t sold as much as Harry Potter, they weren’t made into films. Eventually, it made me wonder if the film industry was a popularity contest.

In this present day era, there have been non-book adaptation teen films such as Finding Forrester that present teens in an honest and realistic light. For whatever reason, films like these seem too scarce.  In fact, good contemporary teens films seemed to have peaked in earlier times, with films like Rebel Without a Cause and The Outsiders.  When you consider how much of an impact the entertainment media has on youth, there is a huge difference between a cookie cutter film and an authentic one. Whether it comes from a book or not, a film should have a fresh impact on people.

Recently, I’ve heard the film adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being A Wallflower will be released later this year. Depending on how I feel, I may or may not see the film. However, when it is released, I will pray that similar teen films will follow.

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