A bunch of unrelated good stuff I wanted to discuss but didn’t have much to say about.
An original web novel published on AOOOOOOOO. An ontological mystery wherein an amnesiac protagonist wakes up in a strange building and tries to find answers. The novel was written for NaNoWriMo, and as a result it’s pretty rough in places. In particular, it tips its hand way too early, so by halfway point you’d probably figure out the important mysteries already, which is rather detrimental for horror and rather disappointing for a mystery. There is also some transgender stuff near the end that sadly wasn’t incorporated properly into the narrative and felt very rushed.
Still, it’s a good example of horror where knowledge of the threat doesn’t help you and may make everything worse. AKA the best kind of horror. With some polishing it would be great, and even what we have now is pretty decent and deserves a read.
People engaging with the fandom would also get a kick out of the novel being labeled “irrational fic”. For those who don’t know, “rational fic” is a relatively new trend started by Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. The gist of it is giving the protagonist (and usually the main antagonist to preserve the conflict) an intellect and competency lift, aim them with the knowledge of rationality as understood by MOR author and see how they deal with the setting from there. Unfortunately, the results tend to be… mixed at best, with such protagonists often becoming arrogant manipulative jerks who know way less about everything than they think they do. CORDYCEPS has one of these as well, and, well, suffice it to say the setting is basically designed to work against them on every level, so there is a cathartic factor if you’re into it.
A road story anime. Kino and her friend the talking motorcycle travel across various small kingdoms staying in each for three days. Each kingdom is unique, of course, and often surreal. In the very first one everyone builds a tower to the heavens until it collapses under its own weight. It’s a cause for celebration because now their generation gets to lay down the foundation for the next tower. Another kingdom is populated by people who have connected their thoughts together, thinking that knowing each other as they know themselves would prevent all conflicts. It didn’t work out. And so on.
Nothing particularly stood out for me (except for the episode about books which gets irritatingly meta. Look, authors, don’t go meta unless you’re prepared to go all the way, it’s just distracting), but overall it was a pleasant ride worth watching. The art is pleasant, the situations presented are interesting to ponder in a philosophical way, the slow reveal of Kino’s story gives the show a sense of direction and goal to reach without distracting from aforementioned pondering. Overall, it’s a good anime if you want to relax without shutting your brain entirely.
A web comic about a little girl with the power of God. She can do anything from making her drawings come to live to shrinking herself and her friend to become warrior queens of ants to sending people back in time to rewriting history to creating an afterlife. Adorably terrifying. The author manages to capture the essence of childish games and fantasies, and how they would clash with the rational world.