Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reading, Prepping, Playing

It's been a good long while since I did a post about the media I've been consuming lately.

See, I'm working on putting together a Legend of the Five Rings game. I know I mentioned this a while ago, but it's still in the works.  But I've been consuming a ton of related media lately.

I was introduced to Lone Wolf & Cub by the film series. At the time, I'd never read the manga. I'd never seen the TV series. It was all fresh and new to me.  The VHS packaging at the time included a small slip of paper with every installment that informed Western viewers of one of the cultural elements from the film that had been especially difficult to translate or that would not make sense without a bit of backstory. Well, Dark Horse has been putting out omnibus editions of the manga.  In fact, I linked to the first one above. And they don't need the little slips of paper (because they have glossaries at the end).  I'm reacquainting myself with the setting all over again - and loving it.

But Amazon saw what I was reading and had another recommendation for me: Samurai Executioner. I actually like it more than I like Lone Wolf & Cub. This, by the way, was a jarring realization. In many ways, Samurai Executioner is more approachable than the other series - and every story is another lesson on the nature of bushido. And it's not a lesson that's pounded at your repeatedly, either. It's from the same team that did Lone Wolf & Cub, so you know it's good stuff even before you crack the book open.

I'm also reading the Path of the Assassin series. I don't like it as well as I like the other two. It's less-approachable and the main character is someone that I (personally) haven't found especially likeable.

I have also pre-ordered The Usagi Yojimbo Saga. In fact, Volume 1 should be in my hands before this post goes live. Stan Sakai is another author who can lecture about bushido without making it feel like a lecture.  And it helps that Usagi is such a likeable character, even on his bad days.

In non-Japanese-flavored media, I was introduced recently to a book entitled Watson Is Not An Idiot. I'm reading the Holmes stories at the same time. I'm first reading the Holmes story and then I'm reading the essay about that story in the Watson book.  It passes the time.

In a similar vein, I've been reading These Are The Voyages - which is about the story behind the scenes of the original Star Trek.  I'll read a chapter of backstory and then watch that episode. It's probably how the writer intended for it to be read.

I've also caught up on the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. If you like urban fantasy, I cannot say enough good things about this series. Book one is Rosemary and Rue - and it does an excellent job of setting up the world (and the reader's expectations). I've probably recommended it before, but I'm going to continue to suggest it to people who are looking for something good to read.

I should also post sometime soon about the TV I've been watching - this new season has launched a number of shows that I'm watching. And probably shouldn't be, because I do sometimes watch too much TV. But that's another post for another week.

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