Saturday, 3 December 2016

Anime Review #1 Winx Club: World of Winx

New look to the Winx!
 November 2016, on Netflix, by Rainbow, Magical Girl anime, English version, 9/10E & 10/10E

So far I've watched up to episode 6. I initially wasn't going to watch this at all, because from the clips and graphics I'd seen it didn't look my style. It's a different style to the main Winx show, not as cute looking. 
Here are the girls about to transform to Mythix fairies! season 6
Closeup of the girls' faces in season 6 (Bloomix power)
However, I saw it on Netflix so figured I'd give it a go. I was hooked! The only issue is the graphics, as the new style makes the girls look really mean a lot of the time, which isn't fun to see. The opening song suggests a lighter show, which it isn't. Yes there is the usual humour (got to love Stella!), and some say this is better than series 5-7 which apparently 'lost' the feel of the original characters. I have to disagree with that completely, the girls always remain themselves, yes sometimes they were slightly different to earlier seasons but they are growing up and experiencing different things, so of course they are going to act differently. 
Stella in WoW with her magical sewing thingy which I've no idea how she explains it works to human. She doesn't look quite like the Stella I'm used to (that's accounting for all the style changes through seasons 1-7)
Plus, and I realise a lot of people can only watch the English version, but I think the French version is better, preserving the original feel of the Italian show. I saw both French and English version of seasons 5-7 (not all the seasons but enough episodes to form this opinion). The English version changes the feel of the girls. Stella doesn't feel like Stella, the words that get used in the English version completely change the feel of the show compared to the French one (there's one I distinctly remember in season 6 where a remark gets made about a mobile with connection to the web, and the English version was less Winx-like than the French version). 
Bloom with Kiko (season 6 or 7)
So for me World of Winx is a great show, I can see how it is pitched to an older audience (less cute transformations, no pixies, no cute animal companions, NO KIKO! It is so weird seeing Bloom without Kiko! I mean I know she's travelling, but Kiko adds a lot of humour to the show, and I'm sure he'd have his uses). I realise she is undercover but she never even sees her adoptive parents either, and they live in Gardenia (so why people don't recognise them as fairies is an indication it's an alternate dimension of Winx Club)

New WoW transformation!
Graphics and darker themes aside, as ever Winx shows are pure coolness! The Dreamix transformation gives me shivers as every single Winx transformation does, although compared with the original show I'd really like more flourish with the magic, with different spells named rather than just the magic aimed at creatures. I enjoyed the action the girls get involved with, it's in keeping with where their magical and non-magical training was by season 7 (they are highly athletic) and when they have to hide their magic they come up with fun alternatives, like climbing walls and ceilings with special sucker thingies instead of just flying up and over them. 

I'm glad I read about the series before I watched it, otherwise I'd have been completely clueless about the villains in the show (a crocodile like monster and a mysterious clock). I know this plot will get unravelled, but I'm more intrigued knowing it's to do with a Peter Pan themed tale than being in ignorance. I was a bit unsure about the second talent they find, because the boy involved seems to be erring on the malicious side of his natural gift, but Tecna in particular helps lead him to the right path. 
WoW Leila/Ayesha (she is Leila in most of the French series), Stella, Musa
All in all World of Winx is a hit with me, I won't mind too much about not being able to see it for a while once my Netflix subscription expires at the start of December because I do prefer the original series. I will eventually get it if it comes out on dvd (if it does it'll be the French version, as season 7 doesn't seem to be out in English on dvd yet). I'm looking forward to seeing the French version of it too!) 

Edited after to add: Have watched the entire season, looking forward to season 2. It was clever, especially the twists at the end. Will watch again but not for a while.  

Suggested watch
Check out my review of Winx Season 6!  
Here's the Winx, plus Daphne (far right) who helps the Winx but isn't completely a member.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Nayu's News #228 Review update time!

I'm as excited as Fluttershy was the gala in My Little Pony possibly season 1
It's time for me to catch up with the reviews which, thanks to the wonderful Hootsuite, are going live on my Twitter and Facebook accounts without me doing a thing! It means I've been able to focus on resting, and dealing with the cold weather, not stress over letting you know that my latest post is out. I can't believe I've been doing this for a month, it's definitely a good step which I'm continuing to make. I do miss making the tweets more personal, and I will try to do so in the future, but I can't backdate those personal tweets for reviews before today. There's a lot, and I'm hurrying to finish what I need to do so tomorrow (Friday, which will be today when you read this post) I can have a full rest day as I've a lot of driving to do Saturday. Plus I'd be spamming you all with so many tweets at once, which isn't beneficial to anyone.
No idea what anime this is from so if you know please do let me know! Get enough spam that I wouldn't want to add more to your inboxes

The update is that I'm now (finally) emailing the links to the relevant publicists and putting the reviews on Goodreads. As a reminder check out this post as to why I'm no longer reviewing on Amazon UK or US. I'm sorry it's taken me this long to do this, I genuinely haven't had the energy to do it. Winter hit me harder than expected, and I'm adjusting to the lower temperatures in so far as I'm reducing must-do's on days I feel rough (which is every day now til Spring...) 
I love snow! If we ever get it again where I live. Like snow there are 2 sides of winter to me, 1 = body gets stroppier every single day, 2nd is I'm excited about the prospect of snow, even if it never happens (which it hasn't for a few years)
Anyway, I am heading off to Devon from Saturday to Tuesday, so today (Thurs) I'm pre-scheduling a few posts to keep you ticking over. There will be 2 reviews (maybe 3, as I don't think I finished one from the other day) and quite possibly an anime and/or gaming post too!) There will be more of those once I'm back, because I really am almost caught up with review reading/listening (got to love those audiobook reviews), so yay! It's nice to almost be on top of things at last. I hope you get on top of something this weekend!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Cover Reveal for The Division #1: Within The Essence by Connie L. Smith (Young Adult, Urban Fantasy)

Since I've loved Connie's work in the past I jumped at the chance to help with the cover reveal for her latest book. Previous books include Enscrolled by Connie L. Smith (Young Adult, 10E/10E, semi short 'n' sweet review)

Before I reveal the cover, here's some info about the book, including excerpts, to tempt you into the tale!

14th January 2017, Ebook

Within the Essence (The Division: Book One) By Connie L. Smith, $3.99
ISBN: 978-1-945910-02-9

Buy Links:
Amazon UK: link

Book summary
 As the demons near, the Essences rise…
AJ had never been particularly athletic or coordinated, so waking up to realize she suddenly has super-human strength is a massive, mind-shaking shock. Finding that she’s gained a stalker overnight is another mark in the unusual category, and when she discovers she’s always had the essence of a werewolf in her blood, her world all but shifts beneath her.

Demons, she’s told, are looming in the world’s future, and the only hope humanity has of surviving their arrival is if she and teenagers like her surrender their humanity to dive into their mythical essences. Fairies, dragons, dwarves, mermaids… The remnants of seventeen different fantasy species must come to life to save the lives of everyone.

Someway, an army of supernatural teenagers must prepare to meet the demons escaping from their dimensional banishment, or everything ends. Can these teens succeed and save the world?

Nayu: Time to see the pretty cover!

Nearly there...


 Now on to the excerpts and the info about Connie! 

Within the Essence Excerpt 1
“Their essences. Their beings. When mingled with magic, they’re what make werewolves, dragons, and all other mythical creatures. The individuals from the war wouldn't last, but some of those essences had to, or the world wouldn't stand a chance.”

“Oh, this keeps getting weirder.”

“And it’ll get stranger still,” he added without missing a beat. “You asked if they retired. This is what happened to them. They gave up their essences and their magic—since magic was draining from the world—to preserve them for future use. It killed them, but they did it.”

“Well, where did the essences and magic go?”

“Exactly!” He smiled, seeming proud of her for asking that question. “The magic was bottled up and given to a collection of angels for safekeeping. Its release was dependent on one particular angel's judgment as to when the Division was too big to ignore.”

She could sense something very bad about to be revealed, but she'd come this far. There was no point in turning back now. “‘Was’ dependent?”

He looked right into her eyes as he confirmed her suspicion. “The magic was released, sweetheart.”

Her terror multiplied with that admission, both for what it meant for the world in total and for what it implied for her specifically. “The Division was too big? Demons will be here soon?”

“Afraid so.” 

“But what about the essences? Don't they have to mingle with the magic and save the world?”

“The essences were hidden in bloodlines,” he said. “Humans were the newest beings during the war, ones who required no magic to live. They would survive. They had to carry on the essences. Each potential essence was hidden in a different bloodline with the humans never knowing what was in their genes.

About the Author:
Connie L. Smith spends a decent amount of time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Much of her preferred music is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and her MA in English and Creative Writing.