[RK Rewatch] Episode 7 - Deathmatch Under the Moonlight: Protect the One You Love

Saturday, July 9, 2011 Laura Fitzgerald

Brief Summary: Jin-e and Kenshin fight to the death with Kaoru's life on the line.

My Thoughts:  While they wait, Kaoru and Jin-e bicker back and forth about who knows Kenshin better.  When Kenshin arrives, Kaoru is shocked to see how much he is changed. His eyes are cold and the color has changed to a deep red for added aesthetic effect.  Okay, it looks cool but it is pretty unnecessary. It's clear enough that Kenshin is not himself.  Or is it that he's more himself than ever before? His speech patterns have changed too, and he's no longer being so formal.  Visually, it's an interesting scene.  Kaoru is tucked away inside a shrine that sits between the two fighters denoting that there is something sacred about her innocent faith and ethics. This fight really is as much about the argument between Kaoru and Jin-e as much as it is about Kenshin internal struggle against his code of ethics.  The duel forces her face some hard questions. Does Kaoru really know Kenshin at all?  And if she doesn't, can she EVER hope to understand him since unlike Jin-e she didn't fight in the Revolution and hasn't felt the burden of taking a life?

Although Kaoru's kidnapping has clearly angered Kenshin, he's still holding back. So Jin-e ups the ante by using his special attack, the Shinoippo on Kaoru to paralyze her lungs. The only way to break the spell is through Jin-e's death or in the unlikely event that Kaoru is able to break the spell herself (only if her will is stronger than Jin-e's).

To be brief, Kenshin kicks Jin-e's ass and it is awesome! At the crucial moment, fueled by her feelings for Kenshin, Kaoru breaks Jin-e's spell with the strength of her own will proving that she isn't just a damsel in distress.   Her true strength is the strength of her convictions which is an area which Kenshin sometimes shows weakness. He's more susceptible to the temptation of a quick-and-easy kill to achieve the greatest good because he has the carnal knowledge of first hand-experience.  When he falters in this fight, it is Kaoru's belief in him that ultimately brings him back. As a fighter it would be unfair to hold her to the same standard of those that survived the chaos of the Revolution.  A life of theoretical knowledge and sword study isn't quite the same as wartime where a fighter's skills and spirit are tested under the greatest pressure on a daily basis.

[YA] Books For The Girl Who Always Wanted Blue Hair

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 Laura Fitzgerald

Last weekend I was asked to come up with a few recommendations of books all featuring characters with unnatural hair colors through either natural or supernatural means and unfortunately I was totally stumped. So I turned to Twitter and you all came through for me in a major way! So here's the list as it stands now. With these books it isn't always the MC with the unnatural hair color; sometimes it is the supporting characters or the villains. Thanks to everyone who gave their suggestions. If you have any other suggestions feel free to add them to the list in the comments.

But overwhelmingly, the number one book that was recommended via Twitter was Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone.

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

This book sounds AWESOME!  I can't wait until it releases in September so this is my Waiting on Wednesday pick.  Know what else is cool?  Laini has some seriously pink hair and she totally rocks it too! Love it!

Summer Reading Contest Winner

Friday, July 1, 2011 Laura Fitzgerald

Drumroll please, Ritsu.  And the winner of my Summer Reading Contest is...

 DONNAS! Congratulations!

Good luck to you all on completing your summer reading goals.  I'm happy to report that I've already devoured the first two books of the Mortal Instruments series and will be finishing up City of Glass over the weekend. Have a happy and safe holiday everyone!