printfogey: Picture of Argentinian cartoon character Mafalda (Default)
I'll repost this Tumblr post I just made in response to an ask I got (I was over a week late in replying, go me.) It turned so long I wanted to put it somewhere else too. Comments as always would be awesome.

Anonymous said:
I seem to recall you saying things to the effect of Usopp being the emotional core of the crew or being a big part of meeting the emotional needs of the crew (the precise wording escapes me). Do you have any meta on that/have you posted meta on that before? I'd love to have a link to read it!

Sorry for the lateness of my reply, Anon! I wonder if I've ever said that Usopp was the emotional core of the crew - it sounds a bit too definite and exclusive to my ears - but the second wording does sound like something I could have said, yeah. I can't think of any specific meta post I've made to that effect, though. I'll put down some rambling thoughts here instead, but that's all they'll be - obviously terribly subjective, and I'm not going to include any manga pics or the like from canon to make any kind of coherent case.

Many thanks to tresdem and silverwolfcc for listening to me on Plurk about this, helping me sort out my thoughts and contributing! (Everyone should read tresdem's ongoing One Piece meta blog we-are!.)
more behind the cut )
printfogey: (zosopp vol 61)
Hullo! Sorry about my scarcity. I come bearing not one, but two recommendations! One for a recently concluded webcomic, one for ongoing One Piece meta.

The first one, I thought I had raved about before, but if so I didn't tag it properly, because I can't find that now. "The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ And Amal" is a webcomic be E.L. Weaver which concluded about a month or so ago. It's a bit of a coming-out gay road movie with a strong slice-of-life-ish atmosphere, full of realistic-feeling observations, lovely art, humour and angst and drama... and great pacing, too. As for the plot, I'll quote from the "About" blurb on the website:

May 16, 2008 - In the span of a single day, Amal calls off his arranged marriage, comes out to his conservative parents, promptly gets disowned, goes on a bender... and wakes up the next morning to find TJ, a lanky, dreadlocked vagrant, frying eggs and singing Paul Simon in his kitchen.

TJ claims that the two have made a drunken pact to drive all the way from Berkeley to Providence. As it happens, Amal promised his sister he'd be there for her graduation from Brown University. And TJ, well... TJ has his own reasons.

The agreement is simple: Amal does the driving; TJ pays the way - but a 3500 mile journey leaves plenty of time for things to get complicated.


***
My second recommendation is another look at One Piece, the manga, from the beginning! This is a bit of a different angle to it than [personal profile] sara_tanaquil's ongoing re-read, which I still heartily recommend: [personal profile] we_are goes deep into themes and characterisation and relationships for each post. Warning: and unlike the former re-read series, we-are does so from the viewpoint of where the series is now (more or less), with spoilers in plain text, not hidden. Currently, we-are just concluded the Kuro arc, and I'm sure the Baratie arc will follow very soon, as we've had updates practically every day lately. This is lovely, meaty stuff, so if you're into meta on One Piece, don't hesitate to dig in! Comments are very welcome too. The master list with links to all the posts so far is here.
printfogey: Picture of Argentinian cartoon character Mafalda (Default)
I posted a rambling Plurk about this yesterday, then thought it would be cool to hear my f-list's thoughts about this, too, should anyone be interested in sharing.

I was having some vague thoughts about common fan speculations about the future of One Piece, and that led to thinking about how Oda tends to write child characters, and that led to more general ponderings about how a "true pirate" should act according to Luffy. (And probably also according to Shanks, Gol D. Roger, Whitebeard and perhaps other non-evil pirates in the story.)

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