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A couple quick notes

I reviewed Black Butler (anime version) at the Hooded U the other day.  You can read about it here.

I have strep throat.  Vicious, ugly, horrible illness.  But now I have a Z-pack.  We loves our Z-pack, precioussss.  Preciouss, precioussss Z-packs.  I've been only semi-conscious the past few days, but within four hours of taking the beautiful beautiful Z-pack, I am now feeling semi-human instead.  I should have crawled my way to the doctor's office days ago, but I just felt too sick. 

For those who enjoy learning about learning, I thought I'd mention that I've finally found another dog trainer who explicitly uses mimic techniques to train dogs (aka imitative learning).  I used mimicry to teach the Pook a number of behaviors (including fetch--primarily, I would click/treat my mom for doing the behavior), and I was amused to discover that according to Science, this was not supposed to be possible.  But now another trainer has developed a specific system built around social mimicry.  It looks pretty cool, and I've popped for the DVD set off Dogwise.  If there's interest, I'll review the DVDs when I'm done watching them (they're over 8 hours long, so the price tag is actually quite reasonable).


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 27th, 2013 02:26 am (UTC)

I love Grell, darling. Also, the manga is amazingly pretty.

Black Butler is one helluva thing. It can be appallingly dark. Unfortunately, my favorite illustration of this, the Noah's Ark Circus arc, is only in the manga.

Jul. 27th, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
Oh, Grell comes back? Neat! I'm really enjoying the anime, and I think I'll give the manga another try. The strange mix of utterly dark and absurd comic-lightness pleases me, for some reason.
Jul. 27th, 2013 03:07 am (UTC)

My general theory of longer manga series (anything 10 volumes or more) is that they don't get rolling until volume 3 or 4. So I usually give them at least that much time.

Actually, I only recently ran into Grell again, but she made such a huge impression in the first arc she was in that I lost my heart. Which makes no sense, because she just loves to cut things up (even her crush on Sebastien clearly involves cutting things up ... ) and there isn't anything the least bit good about her (except her fashion sense, I guess), but I guess sometimes I just need someone who will be my proxy for that kind of impulse!

There's a musical (or maybe more than one) adapted from the series. The live-action Grell is marvelous fun.

Jul. 27th, 2013 02:40 am (UTC)
I fortunately haven't had strep throat since I had the surgery to take my tonsils out while in first grade. To give you an idea of how often I used to get strep throat, I got strep throat on the day I was supposed to get the surgery so we had to reschedule. I'm glad the Z-pack is working magic.

I haven't seen any of the Black Butler anime but enjoy most of the manga. The reaper-butler is Grell (sometimes spelled Grelle) who considers herself a lady but lacks the biological parts for things like having kids herself. Plus, she's a major fan of mass murder, the bloodier the better. That's how Grell decides to help the aunt in her murder and mutilation spree. The magic chainsaw is a kind of scythe--later on in the manga we'll meet a reaper whose scythe is a push mower(!)--and reapers' job is to kind of harvest the life stories of the dead, which show up as film strip. Thing is, the reapers aren't supposed to kill people themselves the way Grell is doing. They're not heavenly in the Western idea of it; they're gods of death more in the shinigami tradition. "Heaven-dude" is Grell's long-suffering reaper boss.

Ciel went through a ton of horror and torment to get to the point where he made a deal with a demon (Sebastian).
Jul. 27th, 2013 02:50 am (UTC)
I usually don't get strep, because I was fortunate enough to participate in an experimental trial for a strep vaccine, when I was a tiny kid. But this was just murder--I could barely swallow juice or have a popsicle. Horrible, horrible sickness.

I'm thinking that when I'm done with the anime, I'll give the manga another try. I think I wasn't in the right mood for it when I tried it, years ago. The combination of horror and humor isn't something I normally enjoy, but it's really working for me now. I'm glad to hear Grell comes back. Does the aunt get to as well? (I have to admit that I rather liked her.)
Jul. 27th, 2013 03:07 am (UTC)
My bouts of strep are so far in the past that all I remember of them was that they were awful.

I didn't like the first volume much, partly from the manic incompetence of the mansion staff, though the staff started to grow on me later as the readers get to see their backstory. Things get better. Grell comes back and is thrilled to get another chance at fighting/having a romantic, bloody clinch with her Sebas-chan. I liked her too, but so far the aunt's still dead.
Jul. 27th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
I love that you made your mom fetch.
Jul. 27th, 2013 11:58 am (UTC)
I hope the Z-pack continues to speed up your recovery!

I really enjoy Black Butler, especially the manga.
If it weren't for the dark humor, I'm not sure how I'd feel about it.

It's easy to see why it's confusing, but Grelle is actually a man, (an okama).
Aug. 9th, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
Yes. Biologically, Grell is male. These people are aware of this. However, many people (like myself) refer to Grell as female because Yana Toboso confirmed Grell as transgender (oh yes, it's canon). Plus, Grell WANTS to be a lady. Just clearing things up. Also, I like your sexy pic of Sebastian.
Aug. 9th, 2013 08:54 pm (UTC)
>>>"oh yes, it's canon"<<<

I'm well aware of that.
However, I have read comments, elsewhere, where some individuals believed she was born/created as a female.
For whatever reason, they haven't caught on that Grell is transgender.

I just believe it's important for the reader, (or watcher), to know Grell is 'physically' male.
Aug. 9th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
I know what you're saying. But, still. I was just trying to be cathartic, I guess. ^^"
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )