Monthly Archives: April 2013

Crossing Over: Chapter 8

As it so happened I managed to finalize another chapter of my Fanfiction Crossing Over.

Well, with this chapter I was finally able to complain about something I don’t like about the Ninja-World. The kid-soldiers. But putting it in the way Chouji does, it kind of makes it reasonable. Besides, as I said, the average dying age of a Shinobi is pretty young, so they would have to start teaching them early on as they might not be there when they would come to a reasonable age. I still don’t like it, but seeing as Renji is someone who experienced fights from a young age I think this would be how he would react. Originally this whole conversation was different and longer but I kind of forgot to write that down back then so I had to rethink it and ended up with this version.
Some of the things were only said in thoughts, as I didn’t want to repeat the whole Rukongai thing once again. Used too often, repetition gets boring. 😉
Anyway, this chapter was also a nod to one of my favourites of Naruto: Chouji.
He is such a kind and gentle person with so much compassion for his allies…he’s great and even cute. And I would have clearly defended him from every bully. =D
Therefore I’ve chosen a special song for the part with the little butterfly: Crematory’s – Left the Ground. A song that I consider to be fitting for this character. I don’t know why but I had to think of him when I heard this song again after reading the chapters 533/534. And if I would be allowed to make a random wish I’d like to have an AMV with this song and his butterfly-ification from episode 274. I think that it would make one awesome combination…he deserves something like that.
Oh, and of course I had to make him get into an argument with Renji.
Despite both of them having a big heart I imagine it to be pretty funny hearing Kentarou Itou (their Japanese voice actor) talking to himself. =D
Guess there might be some more of those two. 😉

Other than that I’d like to add some thoughts on the library part.
This is basically my explanation as to why there are no Hollows in the Ninja world. A natural barrier seemed reasonable to me as they were able to develop all the Jutsus in the first place. If you disagree with that feel free to leave me a note. =)
My reasoning for why this whole Crossover thing is possible will be explained some time during the finale. So basically some time in 2014 judging from my pace so far…I am so sorry for always taking this long and it probably won’t get better as the following chapters rarely have any of my original ideas, but I will continue regardless of that.

And of course I will not leave you without naming the soundtrack:
For a change I had the German songs Rapunzel by Letzte Instanz and Eulenspiegel from Saltatio Mortis for the library part. During the conversation I listened to a playlist containing those two and other songs by them, Sabaton, ASP and Dr. Stein by Helloween, so nothing concrete here. Well, and the original Tenteikurra-conversation didn’t really include the reactions of everyone, but I thought I might as well add them too. =)

So, see you around. =)

PoiSonPaiNter

Improvement

When I looked through some old stuff today I discovered something incredible: My English used to be sooo bad only a few years ago…well there would still be worse people, but I was quite shocked when I read some of my old essays for my English classes during Vocational High School…
And I even still have an old story of mine already typed from that time to prove this. And I have to admit that I used to be „proud“ of what I’ve written, but now I just am laughing at it the all the way through…it’s sooo bad… XD
So. if you dare to find out, where I started with my story-writing skills in about 2008, just read on. (Well, we had four pictures and then to write a story according to what they portrayed, so we did not have much space for imagination.)
On a side note: I think it still has all the spelling errors in it as well…or I added typing errors…probably both…
If you are not brave enough, just scroll down to my continued rant below it 😉

Monopoly
It’s a friendly, peaceful day. The sky is blue, only some clouds are hanging around in the sky. Ignorant people do their egoistic things in a world full of hate.
A woman is walking out of the door of a bank. She’s sad. She lost her job and won’t get any more credits. She isn’t noticing any cars on the street. A moment earlier an other woman came out of this bank. She’s self-confident and proud and she’s in a snit! A banker wasn’t friendly to her. The third woman is gazing at the bank and surveying the situation. May she’s planing something. In front of her there is a man. He seems to be very sad and he’s walking very slowly. His eyes are looking at the bank with every step he’s making. Looking, looking away, looking, looking away, etc. The second man is walking in the opposite direction as the other guy is doing. This man is looking at the starring girl. She’s nodding. The man is answering with a nod. Something strange is going on here.
All of these people had been disappearing in a few seconds, so that the streets are empty now. A second car is arriving. Three guys are getting out of it. They are wearing masks, even you can describe it as only some black ties in front of their mouths. For the last time they’re looking over the street. There’s a little discussion between them, if it’s the right moment, but this isn’t of much interest. Now they are going into the bank.
The people in the bank aren’t noticing those strange guys. Suddenly they are realizing, that this is a bank robbery, because one of the guys was making a shot in the air. After this everyone is shocked for a while. The bank robbers are going straight through the masses to the lady behind the window. The boss of the robbers is just saying: “Give the money!” As self-confident as it’s possible for her in such a situation she’s answering: “We only have some banknotes here! The rest is in the safe deposit!” “Then open it!”, the robber is becoming nervous. “I don’t know the combination and I’m unable to find out what it is!”, she is answering relaxed. “Why aren’t you able?!”, the man is screaming now. In this moment another woman is sinking on the floor. Someone of the witnesses is screaming: “Help her!” One of the guys is a friendly one, but also a very naive. He is going to help her. Suddenly she’s starring straight into his eyes, taking his gun and kicking his ass, so that he is falling on the floor. In the same moment the lady behind the window is hitting the distracted guys in front of her.
So these to tough girls adjusted the bank robbers and got an award by the police for their courage. The bank robbers went straight to prison, without getting any money. And if they didn’t get acquitted, so they even sit imprisoned!
© As horrible as the story might be: It still is my intellectual property and therefore is only allowed to be used with my permission.

Now as you might have read this horrid peace of written work, you might understand why I wanted to improve my skills. And seeing as I myself can tell that the stuff above is bad, makes me believe that I actually have improved over the last few years.
I would even dare to say greatly improved.
But as improvement has it, it only comes with time and practice and I can say that I practiced quite a bit. Classes during A-Level did little, though I had to write even more than before, but my classes during studying indeed did their part. While I only had German natives teaching me foreign languages before, I now had English-natives as teachers. Beside that I also had started reading Manga in English and watching Animes with English subtitles and so on. I didn’t really sat down and studied that much, I just learned it while using it. It’s far easier that way.
By now I watch series and movies in English, read stuff and write all this stuff here on this page (posts and stories) and on fanfiction.net, translate the stuff for our posts on dfppentertainment.wordpress.com and even try to improve my speaking skills by recording my Fanfics – though that’s a work in a really slow progress. And if you still not believe that I have improved, just look through this blog and read some more. For example my dwarve-story The Quest for Ore, to have a comparison to how I write stories these days. 😉
But don’t think my writing skills in German were much better in the beginning…no, they clearly weren’t…but they were even funnier…there is a story of mine from second or third grade about a horse that befriends itself with a kangorooh (kangaroo) from the far away continent Australia, where everyone speaks backwards…because Australia is on the other side/half of the Earth, you know? 😀 Oh, the logic of an eight year old kid… 😀
Anyway, I’d like to improve my skills even further, especially my speaking skills, and not forget this incredible language – as I mostly did with Russian, which I would like to re-learn. But I can’t say, if I actually be able to do either of that.
I’m still going to try.
Who knows, maybe in a couple of years I’m looking back at this and think the exact same thing I did, when looking through my old school stuff. 😀
PoiSonPaiNter
Oh, by the way: The last lines, the so-called „punchline“ of the story was supposed to be the translation of the Monopoly go-to-jail-card, thus explaining the title. 😉

Avantasia – The Mystery of Time

Something different for a change as I’d like to write about my thoughts on the newest addition to the Avantasia releases: The Mystery of Time.
Avantasia is a side project of Edguy’s singer Tobias Sammet, who’s quite skilled when it comes to song-writing, in which he uses these skills and creates (captivating) stories and brings together many different musicians from many different bands to play and/or sing them.
I’ve talked about this project in my Wacken Reviews (just search my blog for those) and told you that I’ve been fortunate enough to see them perform on stage, twice.
But today I’d like to talk more about the „printed“ versions of the songs.

When I first heard about this project I was curious as I read that Sammet had wrote a Fantasy story and made it into a Metal Opera.
It took me a while to get my hands on the releases, but when I did I was captivated by the brilliance that are

The Metal Opera Pt. 1 & 2.

Coverart of „The Metal Operat Pt. II“

These two tell the story of the young cleric Gabriel that gets a closer look into the schemings of his brothers/superiors. They try to get their hands on a relic to close off peoples imagination forever.
When his sister is put under arrest for being a witch and he reads some documents he shouldn’t have read, everything changes. He himself is put under arrest and meets Vandroy the magician, who promises to help him in Anna’s rescue, if he in turn would bring back the artifact. So they flee together and Gabriels mind is sent into a world of Fantasy (Avantasia) where he faces many trials, while the elder stays behind guiding him.
This short summary doesn’t give enough credit to the story those two long-players depict.
And while in the first one Sammet explains the story in a lot of details, he didn’t do this in the second one – because fans were to lazy to read. I obviously do not belong to those and would have liked to have the story there as well.
But that can’t be helped and I am left with the little hope for a story-only release some day. I really liked the characterizations and thoughts he had put into the story. It’s a pity that only so little of it could be told.
As I said, these compilations were my first contact with Avantasia and when I found them the project was long since disbanded. Or so everyone thought.

Around 2007 Sammet decided to let Avantasia resurface.

The Wicked Trilogy

„The Scarecrow“ cover

As Gabriels story had been told, he now went into a different direction – not only story-wise.
Again many musicians from the first two albums like Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen (the founding members of Helloween and by now in their own projects Unisonic and Gamma Ray) joined him again, but also new additions and special guests like Alice Cooper and Bob Catley (Magnum). All in all it is always an interesting ensemble with this project and to name everyone would take simply too long.
This new version told the story of a man trying to follow his dream to become a memorable musician and is not just told in the 2008 release „The Scarecrow„, but also in 2010s double-album „The Wicked Symphony“ and „Angel of Babylon„, giving the story the name „The Wicked Trilogy„.
While the first two albums were depicted as Metal Opera’s, these were as Rock Opera’s. Describing the new sound pretty well.
But as I am a fan of fantastical stories this one didn’t really capture me, though the music did. And that was worth it. Though it made them just like any other album, without this special something they had in the Metal Opera storyline. After all the project name has the word „Fantasia“ (Fantasy) in it, but there wasn’t that much Fantasy in this one, unfortunately.
The change in sound and storytelling was strange at first, but the songs proved captive again. What also changed, was that Sammet got more and more into the focus, well he is the mastermind behind all of it, but as these three albums also held a little autobiographical background, it felt to me as if the other participants became less and less important. Though probably only in the eyes of the audience. He hopefully still sees them as what they are: amazing musicians; and not gets this whole thing over his head.
Regardless, I anticipated each release and of course the tour they had started.
This after all let to two of the greatest concerts I’ve been at so far. But I already covered those in my Wacken-Reviews.

Having said that, I have reached the point I wanted to write about in the first place:

The Mystery of Time

Again Sammet had told the people Avantasia was finished.
Again he couldn’t stop writing for it – he even turned the music of his own band, Edguy, more Avantasia-like, which is a pity as they were capable of making their own great kind of music.

The brilliant cover of „The Mystery of Time“

And thus he created a new story. This time he again tells a tale, though in a more scientific setting, as the main character Aaron Blackwell (who probably gets stuck in my head with the name Arthur o.O) argues with Science and Reason amongst others about the mysteries of time. I am personally not that much of a SciFi fan, but this story is also interesting in his „philosophical“ aspects. Where The Metal Opera dealt with the struggle of losing ones make-believe, the Wicked Trilogy with the prices that come with fame, this piece deals with the momentariness of time. What it means to use or not use a moment given to us in a situation. This again is an interesting concept and as it seems The Mystery of Time is only the first chapter of the story. I’m curious where this is headed, especially as the story itself is partly told through what seems to be diary entries (with a hard to read font) of the protagonist.
With the return to the storytelling also returned the great (cover) artwork that has been there with the Metal Operas. I kind of prefer those abstract creatures over the clearly outlined pictures they used for the Wicked Trilogy, though the Scarecrow, the (creepy) Angel and whatever it was for the third part, were done well too. Still, in the inside were only photos of Sammet, which again supports the focus theory from above…
Anyway, while there was a return to the original roots with the story and the artwork, Music-wise the long player describes itself as Rock Epic, which again fits it quite well as it is a mixture of rock tunes combined with the music of the Filmorchestra Babelsberg. I might haven’t mentioned this before, but I’m quite a fan of orchestras and orchestra elements in songs, so this was a really nice change. Surprisingly all songs are rather soothing and calm. For me it seems like an album with 10 ballads (well 11, but the last one’s an extra). Nothing really that much of an up-tempo track, at least not compared to what I listened to these past months. Where I could pin point the songs I liked right away with the other albums, I can’t with this one.
I don’t know if this is just me or the music. I have listened to it several times by now and I am only slowly getting used to the songs, but I still haven’t found any where I would say: Yes, that’s it.
I am somewhat looking for songs like „Memories„, „The Toy Master“ or „Death is Just a Feeling„, but none has a similar streak to them…Some even remind me of old or other songs…
Don’t get me wrong, the songs are great and all, but I haven’t found that special something I am looking for in a song, but maybe I will after listening some more to it. Some songs do have the potential for becoming my favourites. Simply because of the orchestra elements and the melodies. 😉

Nevertheless, the Mystery of Time is again a great piece of musical conception and storytelling. And another reason for Sammet and his people to tour again.
And as luck would have it they play a show in Berlin.
And guess who will be there to enjoy it. 😉

So, see you around

PoiSonPaiNter

[Edit: If you are interested about how the concert was, look here
© The rights for the covers belong to their respective owners.]