Movies and TV

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing? Are you ready for turkey day (or just Thursday depending on where you are)? It’s going to be another small one this year with the lady across the street as well as my minion and one of his spawn (if they show up on time. If either of you are reading this, here’s an additional reminder that dinner is at 4). But I’m not here to yammer about Thanksgiving! It’s time for another number. Jenae (hugs, sis!) picked number 8. So far, we’ve covered 13 (you can find the prompt list there), 7, and 2. Numbers 3, 10, 6, 14, 11, and 1 are all going to be answered in the coming weeks. There are a few left, so feel free to pick one and let me know. Today’s prompt: Tell me which book had the best movie or show adaptation. Yikes.

I’m not really qualified to answer this one. I mean, I watch a lot of stuff based on books, like most of the cozy mystery stuff and British mysteries. Midsomer Murders, Shetland, Vera just to name a few. The shows are great. Are they good adaptations? I have no clue. I’ve yet to read any of the books they’re based on. And the shows that I should have some experience with the accompanying books, I either haven’t read or read so long ago that I remember nothing. I vaguely remember reading an Agatha Christie book featuring Poirot, but have no clue if the series with David Suchet did it justice. It probably did because it was a good series, but I don’t really know. Shame on me for not reading more.

And if we’re talking movies, I’m even worse because I don’t watch many. Sure, I could talk about Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit (none of which were super great, though LotR was by far the best of these). That’s about it, though. Oh! Coraline was a pretty good adaptation. It held the creepy air of the book. So that was fun. But mostly I can’t think of movies based on books that I’ve actually read the book version of. I don’t know if I should read more mainstream stuff or what.

Manga to anime is a little better for me. I love both of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime, but prefer Brotherhood as an adaptation. The original is wonderful and I’ve watched it so many times, but it was created alongside the manga and when it reached the end of what was available in the manga, it took a turn and became its own story. Brotherhood follows the manga more closely. Sailor Moon is another one where I prefer the newer releases as adaptations, but still love the original anime for what it was. The original used the manga as a guide, but there was a lot of padding and fluff added in. I love it, though. Cardcaptor Sakura was a fun adaptation too. And please be aware that I’m not talking about the old Americanized versions of SM (with the creepy cousins thing because cousins who flirted with and blushed at each other was somehow less disturbing to kids than lesbians) and CCS (with the random blushing between dudes because they were “jealous” of each other or some similar BS and totally not crushing on each other). Those were awful. But anyway, my knowledge of adaptations is weak even with manga/anime.

Best cousins ever.

I admit it. I’m not a movie or TV buff. I’m not even good about reading things that are popular enough to be turned into movies or shows. Oh well. What are some of your favorite adaptations? Did you see the movie/show first or read the book first? As always, feel free to leave your questions or comments here or on my social media pages!

Stuck on Repeat

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing this Wednesday? Things here are about the same as usual. It’s time for all of those yearly meetings, so people know we’re still alive and I’m still cripple and poor (the government has to check, I guess). But half of those are still virtual, so that’s good. Anyway, if you read last week’s post, you know I’m doing one of those pick a number things. This week’s pick is courtesy of the beautiful Roxie with number 7! I’ve done 13 (you can find the prompt list there). And 2, 8, 3, 10, 6, 14, 11, and 1 have all been claimed. Feel free to pick one of the remaining numbers. But let’s get back on topic. The prompt is “Tell me which book you’ve re-read the most times.” That’s a hard one…

The thing is, I don’t re-read things very often. I don’t have comfort books that I keep returning to time and again. When I do re-read something, it’s usually for a reason. Like, if it’s a series and a new book is coming out after a couple of years. But even then, I’ll try reading the new book first and seeing what I remember. If I can’t remember certain things, Google is my friend. If I remember little to nothing, then I will read the other books again. Don’t get me wrong. I have a huge list of books I want to re-read, but there are just so many new books and books that are new to me. There’s not enough time.

I’ve read the Harry Potter books three times all the way through and Lord of the Rings twice that I remember. I believe I read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon three times as well. But I’m a super slow reader (I get through 35 books a year if I push it), so if I do read things repeatedly, it’s usually short stories or poems. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve read “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Gilman) or “A Rose for Emily” (Faulkner). My favorite poetry collections are Cruelty by Ai (which I’ve read at least five times) and The Wild Iris by Louise Glück (also read four or five times). And I won’t list the individual poems I go back to all the time.

Now, if you count manga and the like, I’ve re-read way too much stuff. I go back to Kaori Yuki’s stuff more than I should probably say. Angel Sanctuary and Boy’s Next Door are my favorites. They’re disturbing and entirely fucked up, but I love them. BND was the first story I read that told you from the very beginning what the ending was and still managed to make me an emotional wreck by the time we got to the end. No, I don’t recommend it to everyone because of all of the content warnings it should have, but if you’re already a dark, twisted soul… go find it. Same with Angel Sanctuary, but for very different content warnings. I could also list some more normal things like Sailor Moon and Fullmetal Alchemist, but it probably won’t help you think better of me at this point. I like weird stuff. This is why I don’t include manga and manhwa on my GoodReads profile very often.

There you go. The stuff I re-read. It’s usually weird or would freak people out. Sorry, not sorry. What about you? Do you re-read soft and cuddly comfort books? Or do you prefer re-reading things that rip your heart out and wreak havoc on your soul? Or something in between? As always, feel free to leave your comments or questions here or on my social media pages!

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Howdy, howdy! It’s time for another short Jenae appreciation post. This time, it’s her actual birthday (June 8th). She’s my little sis, my found family, my forever friend. And she’s the bestest. Hugs and love and all of that sappy stuff to you! She knows I’m really bad at this openly affectionate stuff, so I hope she forgives me for being weird and creepy.

Happy birthday, Sis! Couldn’t find an appropriate picture, so you get your favorite prince!

You’re smart and sassy and gorgeous. I still wish your husband would let me marry you, just so we could wear fancy clothes and eat epic cake. Stop being a buzzkill, Matt! I kid. Maybe. Nah… it’s the distance that’s the buzzkill, not the hubby. Why do you have to be so far away? Ah well. It just means I have to admire you from afar. I would say it was good because this way you don’t have to know how creepy I really am, but you met me at peak cringe when I didn’t hide it at all and still didn’t run away. I think we’re good.

You’re a wonderful mother and friend and nerd. I’m so glad I get to watch you grow every step of the way. I love that you’re turning your kids into little nerds too. I know life gets crazy and difficult, but you always do your best with what you have. You listen to me complain and always know when I’m looking for actual help or just someone to plot revenge with. It’s usually the latter. We’ve planned so much chaos. You’re the best sidekick a villain could have.

Did I mention you’re gorgeous?

I love you, Sis. And I hope your birthday is awesome!

Fashion

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing? Are you recovering from the time change? I’m not. I’m still tired and keep thinking it’s earlier than it really is. I wish they’d just pick a thing and stick with it. Ugh. But anyway, I have nothing to ramble about, so I thought I’d share some pretty clothes that have caught my eye recently. Don’t worry. I won’t be ditching my jeans and henleys/tees for this stuff. None of it would actually look good on me and some of it would probably stab me in the face if I even tried it (you’ll see what I mean). I just like looking.

1. Going back to 1992 with Dior’s Palladium Dress. It was the basis for Princess Serenity’s dress in Sailor moon. Who doesn’t want to be a princess? But it is pretty and simple and I could probably actually wear something like this. I would. But I also probably wouldn’t because I’m weird and feel stupid and self conscious in dresses.

2. Let’s go back even further to 1897 with this tea gown from House of Worth. Because apparently tea was a super fancy occasion? I don’t know. But the blue on the green is absolutely gorgeous. It was made for a Countess Greffulhe. Supposedly, she was partial to green because it contrasted so nicely with her auburn hair. She sounds kind of extra and I’m okay with that.

3. How about some pirate stuff? This one is from Silver Leaf Costumes. It’s my favorite combination of colors! I know this type of thing can get super elaborate and I love it when it does, but if I ever got into it, I’d probably stick to the simpler side. I haven’t worn a corset in years, though. But I sure do like seeing other people wear them. Gah, I miss renfests and conventions. Covid ruins everything. One day, I’ll be able to people watch again.

4. Dark couture? Kind of steampunk? Love the dark steampunk vibes Lucardis Feist created here. I told my friend we should get this pair and have a date night. She could wear the dress and I’d wear the suit. I am aware that it’s part of the wedding collection, but I don’t think her husband would approve of a wedding, so just a fancy date night! She’s into it, but unfortunately we’re poor and live too far away from each other to make it a reality. But yes. I would rock a suit.

5. These gorgeous designs by Firefly Path were inspired by the Unseelie and Seelie faerie courts. I definitely gravitate toward the Unseelie design, but you see what I mean by face stabby. Even if my head were straight, I’d probably still stab myself in the face multiple times with the branches. But they’re both fabulous and I love them even if I couldn’t actually wear them.

I could go on forever with my weird fashion tastes, but I won’t. Wouldn’t want to bore you. What kind of clothing do you like? Do you wear it or are you more into looking? As always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages!

Top 5 Anime Sorted By Favorite Characters

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing now that we’ve entered the second month of the year? I’m doing okay. In one of those hurry up and wait situations, so that’s always fun. But otherwise, things are normal here. Except, I somehow ended up with books to review every week this month after today. I don’t know how it happened, but it makes my blogging life so much easier. Don’t worry. I’d never be able to keep up with a book a week, so that’s not going to happen. I’ll be reverting back to having no clue what to ramble about come March. But today, I’m taking a topic idea from my friend Jenae. She wanted me to list some of my favorite anime/manga by hottest character. I’m just going to call them favorite characters though, because many are under age and if people realize that, I don’t need them thinking I’m creepy. So, here are my top 5 anime (in no particular order) by favorite characters.

1. Angel Sanctuary (Kira Sakuya, Lucifer, Rosiel). So, it’s hard to pick just one character, especially when you love angsty and/or psycho males. This series is chockfull of them. And I know it’s more of a manga, but they did release a three episode OVA, so it counts as anime too. What with the corrupt angels, incestuous love story, and cross-dressing demons, it’s definitely not for everyone, but I love it. It’s one of my favorite end-of-the-world stories.

2. Yuri on Ice (Victor, Yurio). This anime is adorable and fluffy and I’d give it all the cuddles if it were a plushie. Victor is a flaky idiot who seems to do things on a whim. Yurio’s random violent outbursts are hilarious. Plus the animation is lovely. Who doesn’t want to watch something about the lives of figure skaters? It’s just a super fun show with lots of lovable characters. Judge me all you want.

3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Ed, Winry, Hawkeye). Don’t get me wrong, either version of FMA is great and worth watching. I just prefer Brotherhood because it follows the manga and I feel like that’s a better story line. But I adore both the original and the remake. Ed’s hilarious and Winry and Hawkeye are a couple of my favorite female characters in general. If you haven’t watched either version, pick one and watch it! Then watch the other one.

4. Sailor Moon (Saturn, Prince Demande). Unless you’re new to stalking me, this one should be no surprise. It was my introduction to anime, so it will always be a favorite. Saturn is my girl because she’s sickly, but can destroy worlds. And Prince Demande was one of my first favorite psychopaths. Actually, this shows explains a lot about my weirdness. It’s the best.

5. Attack on Titan (Levi, Mikasa). I struggled choosing between this one and a few others, but decided I should include something that’s still on. It’s a bit confusing and I will probably rewatch it all once this season is over just to put together anything I miss/don’t understand. But it’s gory fun and we all know how much I like that. As far as the characters go, I think we’ve established that I have a type. We’ll see if this one stays on the list when it’s over, but I’m enjoying it for now. Also, I’m watching the dub with Dad, so no spoilers from anyone watching the sub or reading the manga.

There you have it. Some of my favorite anime sorted by favorite characters. You can blame Jen for this post. What are some of your favorite anime and which characters do you love? As always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages!

5 TV Series to Watch to Get to Know Me… Kind Of

Hello, hello! How is February going for everyone? Everything is pretty good here. It’s almost time for our visitor! Dad’s been cleaning and I’ve been staying out of the way. I’ve already written next week’s post and the following week will be another book review, so you’ll have to wait until March to read about this weekend’s exploits. For today, I have nothing writerly to ramble about, so I thought I would try this little challenge that’s been popping up in my Facebook feed. It asks you to name 5 TV series someone should watch in order to get a better grasp of who you are. A movie version was floating around a year or two ago, but I avoided it because I don’t watch enough movies. TV shows, on the other hand, I can do.

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The post that’s been popping up.

In no particular order, here are some shows that will help you figure me out a little. Maybe. Kind of. Probably not.

1. Firefly. Of course. I’m pretty sure everyone knows of my love for this show by now. I relate a little bit to all of the characters one way or another. And then there’s the weird sense of humor. It’s one of those shows where I can’t exactly put my finger on a specific reason I’m drawn to it, but as a whole it just works for me.

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Something like that. Mostly the last one.

2. Ouran High School Host Club. I wasn’t actually going to add this one because it seems so random, but I rewatched the first episode and there’s absolutely no denying it. This show explains so much about me. You’ve got Haruhi and her attitude towards gender and the fact that she just wants a quiet place to do her work. Then there’s Kyoya and his whole mother hen hidden behind apathy act. And the twins! They remind me every time I think about them that I am creepy and okay with it. I could go on about the whole series, but I won’t put you through that.

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It’s fine as long as you don’t wake him up too early.

3. Sailor Moon. I watched this as a kid, so it probably has a lot to do with the way I am. As far as the characters I relate to the most, Mercury and Saturn. Mercury because of her dedication to learning and all that. Saturn because she was a sickly girl with the power to destroy worlds. Who doesn’t want that as a kid? Just me? Okay, then. And then there are a bunch of questionable things that I embraced from that show that I really don’t need to bore you with.

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Mamoru is useless.

4. Dead Like Me. Does anyone else even remember this show? If not, you should go watch it whether you learn anything about me or not. The snark alone is worth it. There’s also the whole death thing. And no, I don’t just like it because I’m sarcastic and have a thing for weird takes on death. Maybe. Fine. That’s why.

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5. Midsomer Murders. There’s snark, death, and lots of creepy psychological crap going on, especially in earlier seasons. You’ll never know if it’s because I’m a creepy person or if it’s just because I have an interest in psychological crap. And murder mysteries are fun.

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So, there are 5 TV series you can watch and see if you gain any insight into me. What about you? What are some TV shows I could watch to get to know you better? As always, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

Blah Days Binge Worthy Shows: Anime Edition

Hello, hello!  This week has been pretty blah so far.  Monday, I was the kind of sick where you feel mentally fine and physically okay for the most part, but you have to keep leaving the computer (or whatever you’re doing) because of reasons I won’t get into.  Needless to say, I wasn’t very productive that day, though I did finish reading a book (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.  Message me on Facebook if you’ve read it and want to discuss).  As I’m writing this (it’s Tuesday), I woke up with the general blahs and am blaming ragweed and allergies for it.  Normally, I’d put off working in favor of binge watching something when I feel this cruddy, but I figured I should attempt a blog anyway.  So, here’s a list of five anime I’d rather be binge watching (again) than writing this!

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1. Fullmetal Alchemist or FMA: Brotherhood (whichever one I can find the dub of at the time).  I’ve seen both versions multiple times, but I still come back to it every couple of years.  The only problem with them is that I can only get through so many episodes before I hit the first one that turns me into a sobbing mess (if you’ve seen it, you know the one I mean).  Who wants to melt into a puddle of tears when they already feel like crap?  So, I usually save these two for when my nose isn’t already leaking like faucet.

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2. Ouran Highschool Host Club.  It’s stupid and hilarious and usually easily found on Netflix, so it’s perfect for when the blahs strike.  I know it’s full of typical shoujo goodness (commoner girl gets roped into spending her days with the hot rich guys and falls in love), but it totally makes fun of all the usual tropes along the way, which is why it’s awesome.  Granted, the ending was rushed because they decided not to do a second season, but you can always read the manga too if the blahs hold onto you for a few days.

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3. Yuri on Ice.  I actually only watched this for the first time a few months ago on a couple of my blah days.  Who wouldn’t want to watch a bunch of male figure skaters with vaguely yaoi undertones?  Okay, maybe just me.  But it was lovely and I really want to watch it again even though I saw it not too long ago (which is actually really weird for me).

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4. Cardcaptor Sakura.  I’ll watch the whole thing, but I prefer the episodes after Yue shows up, especially when I feel blah.  I love the show, but it’s mostly on the list because Yue is my eye candy.  I know that’s not an appropriate reason to watch something, but I don’t really care.  Also, I can’t wait for the new CCS series coming out soon!

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5. Sailor Moon.  Specifically, the Black Moon Clan arc.  Why?  Because even though he’s a villain and an idiot, Prince Demande/Demando/Diamond was my favorite bad guy (still is when it comes to SM).  I might have an eye candy problem when I feel blah.  I also just noticed that I apparently have a type.  I’m okay with this.

So, that’s one of my go-to lists for binge worthy shows when I’m not feeling 100%.  What about you?  Do you have any shows you go back to when you’re not feeling well and don’t feel like following new story lines?

The Show That Prepared Me For Life

Hello, hello!  I’ve been binge watching Sailor Moon Crystal the past couple of days and it got me thinking about how I would cope with life today if I hadn’t watched the original Sailor Moon growing up.  It’s one of those shows that prepared me for everything going on in the world today.  We all have a show like that.  Whether it was Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus or X-Men or Batman or whatever you watched as a kid, we all have a show that has stuck with us and been a major influence on who we are today.  For me, that was Sailor Moon.  How could a magical girl anime prepare me for the turbulence of today, you ask?  Stick with me for a minute and I shall do my best to explain.

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One of my favorite pictures of all the Senshi.

Aside from a bunch of women kicking ass and taking names with the occasional backup from Tuxedo Kamen, this show was amazing for many other reasons.  Yeah, there was the obvious message that love and friendship can help you conquer any evil, including the evil that lurks within each of us (after all, if Small Lady can become Black Lady and Saturn can become Mistress 9, none of us can claim to be 100% good).  It reminds us that, ultimately, hatred and superiority complexes will fail.  It might take longer than we want, but as long as people don’t give up, good will eventually win.  We just have to believe in each other.

There are also more subtle messages that apply today more than ever.  There was the whole Uranus/Neptune relationship that the U.S. dub tried to pass off as them being cousins (everyone I knew saw through that charade and, honestly, the whole cousin storyline just made a beautiful relationship kind of creepy).  Not to mention Zoisite’s obsession with Kunzite in the original anime (again, no one I knew believed Zoisite was a woman in the dub).  Then came the Sailor Starlights arc where men transformed into women and back again (pretty sure they just cross-dressed in the manga, but I’m talking about the anime where they were biologically males until they transformed).  Early exposure to this kind of stuff wasn’t traumatizing.  If anything, it helped give me an open mind.

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The Starlights.  I wanted those boots, though.  That’s all I cared about as a kid.

The story arc that hit closest to home for me and, in all honesty, is probably the reason Sailor Moon stuck with me so much, was Sailor Saturn’s story.  She was a sickly kid and an outcast, but she had the power to destroy worlds.  It was the first time I remember seeing someone who had physical difficulties (granted, they were nothing like my own) who could be the hero (or the villain if she had chosen that path).  She proved that you didn’t have to be athletic or even normal to be powerful or even accepted by people.  For a kid like me, that was the best message I could have received.  If she could help destroy evil, I could put up with whatever life threw my way.

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The whole purple outfit didn’t hurt my love of Saturn either.

So yeah, Sailor Moon definitely helped shape who I was back then and who I am now.  It taught me about the power of women, the power of friendship, how to recognize evil, how to accept others for who they are, and how to accept myself.  What show helped turn you into who you are?

My Heroes (Part Two)

Konnichiwa (Ohayou? Konbanwa?)!  I suppose it all depends on when you’re reading this.  Anyway, I’ve decided to continue with my hero chat.  You can see the previous installment here if you missed it.  This week, I’ll be focusing more on my anime and manga heroes and heroines.  Like I said before, most of my favorite female role models came from anime and manga, so I suppose this should be called “My Heroines” instead.  Ah well.  Too late now.

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Who’s your favorite Sailor Scout?

First up (of course) is Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon.  Now, my first experience with this show was the horrible dub where they tried change all the things they thought our little brains couldn’t handle (remember when Neptune and Uranus were “cousins?”), but I still fell in love with it.  Imagine my delight a few years later when I was first exposed to its pure awesomeness in fansubs, when everything actually started making sense!

Much like with X-Men, I never really had a reason for liking the show beyond the fact that I adored all of the characters and had a huge crush on Prince Demando (Diamond if you prefer).  My favorite Scouts were Mercury (super smart and kind of a loner) and Saturn (a sickly girl with the power to destroy the world).  Nowadays, I could argue that it was my first experience where an eclectic group of girls kicked monster ass (yeah, Tuxedo Kamen helped, but the girls did the hard part) while working through personal issues and differences.  It’s something that I quickly found out wasn’t an unusual thing in the magical girl genre.

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Sakura is another favorite.

Just look at Cardcaptor Sakura.  I admit my love for this show wasn’t solidified until after I read the manga and saw a fansub.  The dub tried to give Li a bigger role to appeal to a male audience, plus they tried (and failed miserably) to gloss over the shounen-ai (boy love) aspects of the story.  Aside from that, I always liked that Sakura was a major klutz who tried her best at everything she did.  Yeah, she got discouraged, but she worked through it.   That’s what the whole magical girl thing always seemed to be about and it was something I needed to be exposed to when I was a kid.

As I grew older, I moved away from things like Sailor Moon and Digimon and the like to things like Fullmetal Alchemist (still my favorite dub to this day!) and Neon Genesis Evangelion and Trigun.  All of which are favorites in some way or another, but I think my last mention will be Angel Sanctuary.  That manga is all kinds of screwed up, which is why I love it.  Some of my favorite characters are Alexiel (an angel who is punished for taking actions against the other angels who are slaughtering demons for the fun of it), Kira Sakuya (I can’t tell you much about him unless you like spoilers, but he is greatness), and Kurai (one of the demons Alexiel saved).  It’s all about angels who are worse than devils and demons who just want to survive and a bunch of other deeply disturbing things.

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So much awesome.

I suppose my real attraction to the heroes and heroines of Angel Sanctuary (you can decide which characters you consider heroic for yourself) is because of the fact that they’re all deeply flawed.  Whether they’re humans or angels or demons, they are seriously screwed up and they all (even the bad ones) believe what they’re doing is in the best interest of some group of beings.

I mean, yeah, I love a lot of the obvious “heroes,” but sometimes it’s good to see  a hero who falls on a spectrum of good to evil, rather than fitting into a specific mold.  What about you?  Do you like your heroes clear cut or more of a mix?