So BiblioNyan nominated me for the STranger Things book tag, and at first I panicked. As one of the uninitiated who has yet to watch any Stranger Things, I was worried this tag was gonna be Stranger Things related. Instead we get a wonderfully unique tag with a series of questions about books and their contents, a great idea! Feel free to watch this video from BiblioNyan about the tag as well as Sarah Elise’s video on the tag as well by clicking here.
BiblionNyan said feel free to replace your answers with anime in place of book characters and themes, but I’m going to try and remain with books as best I can. With Season 3 being released as I write this post, there’s no better time than now to talk about some…well, stranger things. With that said, let’s begin this tag.
1. EPIC INTRO: The opening sequence of Stranger Things is amazing and really grabs your attention. Name a book that grabbed your attention from the first page.
Okay, so I’m going to have to bust out the anime selection already, but it’s simply because I can’t think of anything that grabbed me more than this. As many know, Inuyashiki Last Hero is perhaps one of my favourite anime’s. I love the characters, the animation, the story, and the themes it explores. From the first episode, I was hooked. It didn’t have the heavy Sci-Fi moments like later episodes, but the charming charisma of the main character, the mystique of his new powers and the fear radiating from the main villain all comes together in a world that’s very much like our own, but not quite what you’d expect which puts you as the viewer on edge.
2. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: Name a fantasy world you would like to experience yourself.
One world that I would love to visit is the world of Mekton. What’s Mekton? Well it’s a Dungeons and Dragons style tabletop RPG but with mecha’s, like Evangelion, Gundam Wing and a whole myriad of other titans of the mecha genre. The books detailed the different worlds of the story and how you could create a vast sci-fi adventure in the world of mecha’s. Now I know that this isn’t a book with real narrative or world building, but the concepts it presents are onces I’d love to live with. A world where space is my playground and the mecha’s I pilot are my toys. Now granted this world is one racked with danger, but that comes with almost all fantasy worlds.
3. SQUAD GOALS: When Eleven met Mike, Dustin, and Lucas it was a mostly perfect team. Name your favourite bookish group of friends.
Again, back to the anime box, and back to another anime that has been reviewed on this blog before. How Not to Summon a Demon Lord, the wholesome but also not quite so wholesome ecchi anime of 2018. Now I’m kinda cheating with this once, since I can technically pull from the manga (book) and the anime too, but regardless of the format, the main trio of Shera, Rem and Diablo was a delightful trio to watch. Each character brought some level of energy to the table, Diablo with his campy over the top power, Rem with her stern yet sweet attitude and desire to help others, and Shera, I need not add any more because those who know Shera know what a shining gem she really is. This trio was what carried me through this series, their hijinks and anecdotes really made for some fun times.
4. ABC’s & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Joyce Byers goes mad with grief after Will goes missing. Name your favourite mentally unhinged character.
Well we’re going back to Inuyashiki, and this time we take a look at its villain Hiro Shishigami. No other anime villain has made my blood boil with rage, and make my skin crawl with fear like Hiro. Revived from death with the power of an entire army at his fingertips, Hiro and his twisted and cynical view on the world, goes on a rampage across Japan and the rest of the world, killing hundreds of not thousands in his endless quest for blood and ceaseless violence. He’s the typical villain that does what he does just…because he can, when he was given these powers, he used them to finally take out his frustrations on the world, and it leaves bodies in the trail. Hiro is such a brat, he complains, is immature and a general pain in the ass, but believe me when I say there is no one you want to cross less, his eerily human like and relatable attitude is what makes him so scary, we all have an unhinged desire inside us, and Hiro represents that in solid form, a terrifying villain with a terrifying demeanour, that of his fellow man.
5. THE UPSIDE DOWN: Name a book that was the opposite of what you expected.
One time I asked my dad if he could lend me any books of his that he thought I’d like. He gave me this book called ‘The Chimp Paradox’. At first I thought this book would be some sort of comedy book with a title like that. Instead it’s a psychology book about taming inner negative desires and negative emotions. This caught me off guard big time, but it was an enthralling read. It made the concept of psychology and self help more approachable to people who might not be too comfortable with it. The book made these ideas simple to understand and in fact, made it fun to read.
6. MAD SCIENTISTS: Dr Brenner likes to get freaky with humanity. Name the freakiest dystopian government you can think of.
Hmm, this one really got me thinking. But after a long think, I may have come up with something a bit unique. The government of boys from Lord of the Flies. Now when I was in school, the mandatory english literature book we had to read was Lord of the Flies, and out of the 30+ students in my class, I was the only one who found it an interesting read. I love media that dissects the human condition and helps us to understand the core elements of life and death in a way that allows us to both see it in others as well as ourselves. No other book encapsulates this for me like Lord of the Flies. The calm and collected Ralph warring with the institutionalised and sinister Jack, all while the ‘Biguns’ and ‘Littluns’ are caught in this struggle for ultimate power. The slow descent into madness shows the boys innate desires for control, and it all ends with death of the portly Piggy and a true break down for all the boys as Jack’s cronies relentlessly pursue Ralph. The book ending with the boys being rescued, just after they murdered an innocent fellow child, really does show the devolution of such a government and how actions can come back to haunt you if you act out of instinct rather than calculated method.
7. DEMOGORGON: Name a scary bookish creature that you would not want to come through your walls.
I was going to pick one of the many Stephen King monsters, but thought that was boring. I was then going to go for one of the many H.P. Lovecraft stories, but thought tat was boring too. But then I remembered the Mushroom monster itself Matango. Matango appeared in the 1963 Japanese horror movie of the same name, but they originated from a short story, and oh boy are these mushrooms scary. The mushrooms around them are intoxicating and addictive, once you start you can’t stop, and then your humanity slowly fades as you turn into a Matango monster yourself, or fall victim to their lust for prey. Matango is a creepy, albeit unusual monster, but it’s one that terrifies me simply on the basis that it has the power to tempt one away from the straight and narrow path of sanity and into a world of madness, much like toxic mushrooms and other narcotics of today.
8. CLIFFHANGER ENDING: Name a book that left you wanting more.
Godzilla: Project Mechagodzilla. Yep, here it is, you all knew I couldn’t leave this post without sneaking in a paragraph about Godzilla. Project Mechagodzilla is the second book to be released connected to the anime trilogy of Godzilla movies, following Godzilla: Monster Apocalypse. Both books follow the world as it slowly deteriorates as monsters from all across the Toho studio monster lineup as they slowly destroy the world, only for it all to fall to the mercy of Godzilla himself. Both books have proven to me extremely successful with fans of the franchise, and many have said that these books rival and in many cases surpass the anime movies they are supposed to tie into. I love these books because they give us all these monsters and they do it in a way that shows the true ramifications of such an event, and the references to previous movies across multiple franchises and the use of characters from across the studio’s history, it’s an amazing experience. But as this question pertains, it left me wanting more. Most of the Toho kaiju lineup has been shown, but the author expressed interest in writing a book about what are known as Kaijin, basically meaning ‘Strange human’. Things like The invisible man, the Human Vapor and the Matango Monsters I talked about earlier. This monster rich world is rife for exploration and oozing with potential to go even further, and I hope they act upon that potential with a new book.
Now for the tagging. Now this is completely optional, if you don’t want to do this tag, you don’t have to, also I’m going to mirror what BoblioNyan said in her post, if you want to substitute books with anime, feel free. I look forward to people answers.
Once again a HUGE thanks to BiblioNyan for tagging me. This tag was so much fun, I enjoyed really thinking about these questions, it was was fun exploring these books and anime again, so thank you.
Thank you for reading I hope you enjoyed it, if you did please consider leaving a like and following my blog for updates on future posts. Also follow me on twitter @joe_reviews for further updates and general nonsense. Till next time.