Our Kind of Cruelty – Book Review

I received my ARC of “Our Kind of Cruelty” in the mail yesterday and could not put it down until I finished it this afternoon.

From the blurb on the back cover, I expected it to be creepy or a Dean Koontz type horror book, but I didn’t find it frightening at all. It was just fascinating.

If you have ever wondered what goes on in the mind of a stalker, this book is for you.

Our unreliable narrator, Mike, writes the story of his relationship with Verity from his jail cell. V left him after he confessed to having a one night stand in America, and Mike is convinced that her engagement is a sham. V obviously wants to make him pay for what he did to her. This is their ultimate “Crave” – a twisted foreplay where V is approached by other men and leads them on. Then, when she decides she’s had enough, she signals to Mike to chase the guy off. He just has to watch and wait for her signal.

Spoiler-Free Review:

You need to read this book. While there were a few minor problems with pacing and, to a lesser degree, the development of the plot in the second half, spending time in Mike’s head and guessing V’s true feelings made this a compelling read.

*Spoiler Warning*

Continue reading “Our Kind of Cruelty – Book Review”

Spring 2018 Anime

I am so excited for this season. Since hubby is the one that got me into anime, most of the series I’ve watched are his favorites or older shows he thought I would enjoy. I did watch Violet Evergarden and Mahoutsukai no Yome as they were airing, but this season I have six shows I want to watch. SIX. THE HYPE IS REAL.

So, what will I be watching?

Tokyo Ghoul:re

I was not expecting another season of Tokyo Ghoul, but I am so pumped for it. It starts two years after the end of √A. As I have not read the manga, I have no idea what to expect. Maybe more Touka? I kind of hope not. I love her, but I’m hoping for all new characters.

Piano no Mori

The only music anime I’ve seen is Your Lie in April, which I loved, so of course I need more in my life. It even sounds a bit similar to Your Lie in April, with one character who had a musically inclined parent who was very strict and another character who is more of a free spirit. I’m hoping for something new with it, but I’m sure the music will be awesome regardless.

Mahou Shoujo Site

This is the perfect show for a grown-up Sailor Moon fan, right? Girls getting magical powers from the internet. Sounds legit.

Dorei-ku The Animation

This could be amazing or terrible. The premise sounds interesting (and kind of like a twist on Code Geass), but we’ll have to wait and see.

Kuroneko Monroe

Each episode of this is only supposed to be about a minute long and is based on essays a first-time pet owner wrote after getting a cat. I’m sure it will be adorable.

Tomie

It’s an anime about a succubus. What could go wrong?

Image Source

Emotion in The Ancient Magus’ Bride and Violet Evergarden

This season, I have been watching Mahoutsukai no Yome and Violet Evergarden and was pleasantly surprised to discover that they explore many of the same ideas.

In Mahoutsukai no Yome, we are introduced to Elias as a character who is devoid of emotion. At the beginning of the series, Elias believes that about himself, but as his relationship with Chise develops, it becomes self-evident that he does have emotions but has not been socialized enough to understand himself or those around him.

Violet, the titular character of Violet Evergarden, is definitely human, but at this point in the series we’re not exactly sure of her backstory. We know that she has been used as a weapon on the battlefield, but it’s unclear what that entailed. Unlike Elias, we know she has definitely been around people for a long time, but she thrived in the military environment of complete order. She works as an Auto Memoir Doll in part to understand what love is, but also largely because it’s the only thing she can do now that the war is over.

While I was initially hoping that Mahoutsukai no Yome would develop differently – I wanted the series to further operate as though Elias was actually devoid of emotion and show the limits of relationships when one side is unable to reciprocate emotionally – now Elias and Violet are both in the thick of it, learning what it means to love and be loved.

I’m sure I will have more profound things to say once both series conclude, but for now, I will simply say that I am hooked.

Comparing Devilman Crybaby and Tokyo Ghoul

This post is very spoiler heavy for both Devilman Crybaby and Tokyo Ghoul. You have been warned.

First it was PewDiePie. Then it was akidearest. And after that The Anime Man and Gigguk also boarded the hype train for “Devilman Crybaby.” So I watched it last night with hubby and after being so amped up for it… It fell short. Really short.

The first two episodes were difficult to watch. It felt like the anime was trying to make up for its lack of an original plot by being edgy. While, for the most part, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the art style, it did keep the graphic sexual scenes from becoming completely impossible to watch. The sex scenes aren’t the “sexposition” type in “Game of Thrones” and they aren’t meant to be arousing. They are meant to disgust you. Disgusted I was and if it weren’t for the hype, I would have stopped watching after the second episode.

“Tokyo Ghoul” explored very similar themes and, in my humble opinion, did it better than “Devilman Crybaby” in almost every single way. The sad thing is, even with all its religious references “Devilman Crybaby” just didn’t go as deep as “Tokyo Ghoul.”

The Root of All Evil

In “Devilman Crybaby,” the devils possess humans at the raves. These parties are dubbed “Sabbath” gatherings, which can be interpreted as a strictly ironic name, but can also be understood as the height of a kind of hedonistic cultural belief that casual sex and drugs is as close as people can come to reaching the divine on earth. This suggests that society at large abandoned religion and traditional spirituality and was instead embracing an artificial, chemically induced kind of religious experience that was focused solely on bodily pleasures. In fact, the only religious characters we see are Miki and her family, who are ill-equipped in the face of pure malevolence; they are so out of touch with the mindset of the general populace that it is no wonder they all die.

Miko is another character whose physical desires corrupt her. She hates Miki for being a faster runner than her. She believes the people around her only value her due to her connection with Miki (which is somewhat true). Miko loses herself spiritually and thinks she must reclaim her identity as the true “Miki” by proving herself to be the physical superior of the two. Miko derives her worth from her body, so it makes sense that she allows Nagasaki to take lewd photos of her while Miki does not.

At the rave, Ryo breaks a bottle and starts attacking people to make the devils appear and begin possessing people, further driving home the point that evil manifests when people operate purely as animals. While Akira had agreed to become possessed to defeat other devils, he remains a good character because he retains his empathy and love for others. This is what sets him apart from Ryo and the other devils; Ryo doesn’t believe in love and has no compassion. On the other hand, Akira does not want to sacrifice those at the rave for the sake of the greater good. Akira becomes a “devilman” somewhat against his will after his body was contaminated (he is forced to drink some alcoholic beverage and swallows some other drug, most likely ecstasy).

In “Tokyo Ghoul,” Kaneki becoming a ghoul is somewhat similar. Kaneki is socially a bit awkward and very innocent. He is attacked by the ghoul Rize on their first “date” (ghouls survive by eating human flesh). Rize dies from steel beams falling on her and the doctor who saves Kaneki decides he’s going to transplant Rize’s kidney into Kaneki to save his life. Like Akira, Kaneki’s body becomes contaminated. However, Akira goes in with his eyes open while Kaneki is blindsided. They both become hybrids; half monster, half human.

In “Devilman Crybaby” the existence of evil in the world is demonstrated to be a lack of compassion for others and surrendering to physical desires. In “Tokyo Ghoul,” the origin of evil is not nearly as straightforward. The existence of ghouls is never explained. Yet, we see characters who take their condition as ghouls in different ways, and their choices of how they manage their urge to eat flesh show their differing moral standards. On one end of the spectrum is the gourmet, who makes a spectacle of finding the best tasting people and eating them, and on the other end are characters like Hinami, who is just a child, and Yoshimura, who takes in wayward ghouls and helps them blend into human society. “Devilman Crybaby” introduces the devils as having a predisposition toward evil. In fact, Silene briefly comments on the sexual depravity of the devils and flippantly asks why they should resist their urges, a point that is never brought up again. Only Akira has overcome those urges and influences others to follow suit. The characters lack depth and immediately flip from evil to good. “Tokyo Ghoul,” by contrast, shows that people (and ghouls) all have the ability to be evil and most only choose to do what they believe to be necessary, though some will go out of their way to cultivate their evil tendencies.

The Price of War

“Devilman Crybaby” and “Tokyo Ghoul” both end with all-out warfare between the “monsters” and the humans. However, the battles begin and end very differently. In the beginning, Kaneki and Akira’s bodies are invaded by evil forces, but Kaneki, who was completely innocent and did not consent to what was happening to him, must recover and almost died from the experience. Akira, on the other hand, knew what he was getting into and actively tries to grapple with the evil in the world and use it to his advantage. (This is the difference between Bilbo stumbling upon the ring and Elrond thinking he can wield the power of the ring without being corrupted, though this does not seem to factor into why Akira ultimately dies while Kaneki lives.)

Side-note: Kaneki is simply more developed than Akira. After Akira becomes a devilman, his personality does not change. Kaneki, however, radically changes as a result of Jason’s torture. Before his encounter with Jason, Kaneki struggles to exist as a ghoul, being too conflicted to eat. After being tortured, he embraces the power that comes from being a ghoul and puts himself on the front lines, eating other ghouls to become stronger, so that he can protect the people he cares about. (I would say this is similar to Frodo using the ring to hide from enemies when he needs to.)

Akira and Kaneki both position themselves as leaders against the “true monsters” they face for the same reason: they both want to protect those they care about. However, the line between good and evil is less clear in “Tokyo Ghoul” than in “Devilman Crybaby.” In “Tokyo Ghoul,” the ghouls that Yoshimura brings together at Anteiku (a coffee shop) regard each other as a family. The viewer sees them as the good guys and they are the ones that end up being attacked by humans – not Aogiri, the ghouls that do not attempt to live peacefully among humans. In other words, the final war is between two sets of people that the viewer believes to be good. The humans are retaliating against all of the innocent people that have died and the Anteiku family are fighting for their right to exist. This is what makes the final battle so heartbreaking.

Conversely, in “Devilman Crybaby,” the final battle still feels like a war between good and evil. As stated previously, the only devils who reclaim their humanity are the ones approached by Akira. Plus, the only human death the viewer really cares about is Miki’s. Sure, the circumstances of Miki’s family’s deaths are quite sad, but it was the situation that was sad, not the loss of any beloved character. Ultimately, there was Ryo/Lucifer, his band of devils, versus the humans, who were misguided but good for the most part.

Both shows have that one human character that is basically Jesus/completely pure and is almost killed for knowing too much fairly early on in the series. In “Tokyo Ghoul,” Hide represents everything that is good and innocent. I don’t think this needs to be explained if you have seen the anime. During the final battle, he is wounded trying to save humanity, of course, at Anteiku: where good and evil meet, literally and figuratively. We don’t know for sure if he dies in the anime but he sure looks dead.

Miki is the sacrificial lamb in “Devilman Crybaby.” While the deaths of Hide and Miki symbolized the inability of the good guys to protect the innocent from the evil of the world, the ending of “Devilman Crybaby” is much more nihilistic. While Hide dies because he inserted himself into the fray (which, perhaps, is inevitable in its own way), Miki has no chance whatsoever. Miki is hunted down by humans because she announced to the humans that Akira is a devilman and that not all the devils are evil. Humanity didn’t want to believe her and just wanted to silence her. People already referred to her as a witch because of how fast she was at running. Both humans and devils wanted her dead and the vast majority of the good guys died trying to protect her.

The final battle in “Tokyo Ghoul” is a purge. The wrongs of the past are wiped out and the survivors have a chance to rebuild and learn from the past. The final battle of “Devilman Crybaby” is the end of the world. Good cannot compete with the destructive nature of evil. Not only does the symbolic representation of good die, but then its strongest defender, Akira, dies as well. Lucifer regrets killing Akira but there is nothing to be done. God finally steps in and destroys the world. Really, though, the world seems to have already been destroyed by the time God pokes his nose in.

While “Tokyo Ghoul” is a cautionary tale that exemplifies the dangers of embracing the evil within and not looking for the good in others, “Devilman Crybaby” laments the unavoidable destruction of all that is good in the world. “Tokyo Ghoul” is a story of hope and “Devilman Crybaby” is a story of mankind imploding due its lack of humanity.

Appropriate Analysis and Sleeping Beauty

Disney movies have long been labelled Problematic. Sleeping Beauty, one of the supposed worst offenders, actually has a very positive message that has been drowned out by all the Feminist outrage. Not only is this outrage unnecessary, it is completely out of place for this story.

Feminists, in general, have two main complaints about the film. The first, more reasonable argument is that Aurora lacks agency and exists only as a prize for others to fight for. The second criticism is that the film romanticizes sexual assault; it’s not okay to kiss a sleeping woman. While this article by Leigh Butler argues that Sleeping Beauty is actually a Feminist-friendly film because the main characters are the three good fairies and they are the ones truly responsible for defeating Maleficent, this analysis isn’t very fruitful. Rather, it undercuts the heroism of the Prince taking down a dragon for the sake of making the film more female-centric. It also forces the reader to consider the main conflict of the story to be the three good fairies against Maleficent – nothing could be more black and white than good vs evil. This reading takes away from the message of the plot rather than adding to it.

The second Feminist criticism, that the film depicts sexual assault in a positive light, is simply laughable.

When Aurora opens her eyes and sees the Prince, she smiles. She is not a victim of sexual assault. What more needs to be said?

A more straightforward analysis of the plot is that Aurora’s parents tried to shield their daughter from the evil in the world. Even as a baby, she is exposed to the horrors of reality, and instead of realizing their error, her parents shelter her even more. She is so sheltered that pricking her finger causes her to fall into a coma. It is only through outside help (the Prince breaking the spell) that she is able to return to the real world. She then marries the man that actually helps her cope with the world as it truly is, immediately fleeing her parents and the fairies who are at fault for the entire mess.

#thePrincedidnothingwrong

Mystery Blogger Award

Ahh! Thank you so much Maddie for the nomination! After a couple weeks away from the blog, logging in to see this has given me the kick in the butt I needed to get writing again.

Also, thank you Okoto Enigma for creating the Mystery Blogger Award.

Rules

  • Display the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and provide a link to the nominator’s blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Answer 5 questions from the nominator
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers

Three Things About Me:

  1. I took hip-hop dance classes for 2 or 3 years in high school and loved it, even though it was quite out of character for me. The annual recital/performance was my least favorite part – sure, I’m impressed that I can pop, lock, and drop it, but that doesn’t mean I want anyone else to see it.
  2.  This past weekend I discovered that the Harry Potter podcasts I listened to in high school (MuggleCast and Pottercast) are actually still making new episodes. Listening to the familiar voices and a couple new ones was great. It was like catching up with friends I’d forgotten I had.
  3. I had a few guinea pigs in elementary school. The last was a long-haired guinea pig named Cheetara. Yes, I was a huge Thundercats fan.

Answering Maddie’s Questions:

 

Do you think you spend too much time on social media?

I don’t get on Facebook or Twitter too much (in fact, I was pretty much resolved to delete my Facebook this week but decided not to after unexpectedly talking to people on messenger), but I definitely spend wayyyyyyyyy too much time on YouTube.

Do you think people are born evil or become evil?

I don’t think people are inherently good or evil. People are, by nature, self-interested and can either learn to care for others or develop beliefs that allow them to continue being self-centered.

What’s your favorite lyric?

“What are regrets? They’re just lessons we haven’t learned yet.”  – Sweetest Decline, Beth Orton

However, for songs that overall have brilliant lyrics, I’d have to go with some older Ingrid Michaelson songs like “Breakable” and “Starting Now.”

Do you believe in second chances?

I’d be pretty screwed if I didn’t.

What lie do you tell yourself regularly?

This might sound a little depressing, but anything along the lines of, “Tomorrow is going to be better/easier.” However, the truth of the matter is tomorrow isn’t going to be any different if I don’t make a change today.

Nominations

(I’m only doing 5.)

Sara in LaLaLand – Sara keeps it real talking about mental health stuff and engages so much with her followers. She’s the first blogger that made me feel like there was a real community on WordPress.

Down the Road – Jim is a down to earth film photographer. I like seeing his pictures because his style is very different from mine.

Brain Bonbons – Dina talks about her studies and is all around awesome.

Kawaiipaperpandas – If you like anime and have a good sense of humor, you will like this blog.

Today’s Perfect Moment – Anthony’s blog is genuine and all about slowing down to appreciate the little things.

Questions for Nominees

  1. Do you tend to read a lot of blogs that are similar to yours or that are different from what you do?
  2. How has your blog changed over time?
  3. What’s something you want to get better at (can be blog-related but doesn’t have to be)?
  4. Describe your corner of the internet. (Which sites do you visit most and what do you do there?)
  5. What’s the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

Thank you again, Maddie! This was a lot of fun.

 

Port Angeles

This week, hubby and I took an impromptu 3-day mini vacation in Port Angeles.


DAY #1

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From the beginning of our journey, taking the ferry.DSCN9192The first place we went after checking into our hotel was Crescent Bay. I had been debating between Crescent Bay and Hollywood Beach, but according to the visit Port Angeles website, you can see “orcas, humpback, gray, and minke whales” from shore at Crescent Bay, so that’s where we went. DSCN9198Spoiler alert: we didn’t see a single whale. But it was still gorgeous. The water was super clear and there really wasn’t a lot of people around.DSCN9212

DSCN9207 DSCN9211We weren’t up for hiking or swimming yet, so after walking the length of the beach, we ended up heading back to Hollywood Beach anyway.DSCN9219As you can see, Hollywood Beach is right on the city pier. We got there just as the Feiro Marine Life Center was closing, and the girl at the counter let us in for free (but strongly recommended we make a donation, which we did). I wish we had had more time there because there were so many beautiful starfish. DSCN9222We went out on the pier before settling down by the sand. It was incredibly windy, and I imagine it is there all the time. We saw a few seagulls get blown off course.


DAY #2

20170830_122444Our next day was completely devoted to seeing what we could see in the Olympic National Park. You would need at least a week to adequately explore the park, so our plan was just to get to the hot springs and see what we would along the way. 20170830_12394720170830_123545Madison Falls – you don’t need to pay to see this part of the park.

DSCN9263  20170830_133007_HDRGlines Canyon Spillway Overlook DSCN9276

DSCN9292The drive to the end of the road was more exciting than I anticipated. My anxiety was going a little crazy thinking the car was going to go crashing down the hillside.

We didn’t make it to the hot springs. I was banking on the springs being a little over 2 miles away from the parking lot, since that was what was listed on the sign, but after over an hour of walking, we ran into some people and they said we were barely even halfway there. They also said that it was rather disappointing. Jason had fallen and hurt his ankle, I was chafing and hungry, and I was ready for a cold swimming pool rather than hot springs. We ended up going out for Chinese then spending the rest of the night alternating between the hot tub and the pool at the hotel. It wasn’t what I originally had in mind, but still a very relaxing evening with the hubby.


DAY #320170831_122408

Our last day was the most laid back as we started the drive home. I also didn’t want to push hubby to do anything too intense since his ankle was in bad shape. We stopped by a lavender farm, B&B Family Farm, and it was so relaxing. It smelled heavenly and Bruce was very kind. He didn’t mind at all taking 20 minutes out of his workday to explain the different types of lavender and how they process them. We learned that French lavender is mostly used for fragrance while English lavender is used in cooking, that lavender buds will stay on the stem for years if undisturbed, and saw how the oil is extracted from the buds. We also found out that lavender can be used as an insect repellent. Lavender FarmUnfortunately for us, we arrived just after they finished their harvest, so there wasn’t a whole lot of purple for us to see. Even so, it was beautiful. DSCN9295

DSCN9296They also have a shop where they sell all kinds of lavender stuff. Lip balm, insect repellent, candles, hand cream, air freshener, lavender oil, cleaning products, soap – you name it, it was there. DSCN9300Our last stop was a bit crazy. We ate at a diner for breakfast and our server highly recommended it. She said it was a place where show animals were taken when they weren’t being used in movies. I was expecting a walking tour, but that was not the case.

DSCN9312Olympic Game Farm was a bit more intense and exciting than I had anticipated. Most of the animals actively came to the car and put their heads inside the vehicle to be fed. I was a bit worried about the safety of my car, especially when going through the high risk area.DSCN9319

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Smiling BearI don’t know how Jason managed to do it, but he got all three kodiak bears to smile for the camera.Smiling Bear #2

Smiling Bear #3 DSCN9356This was the high risk area. The pamphlet specifically said not to stop your vehicle because the animals will swarm your vehicle. To that I say easier said than done. The car in front of us was going too slow and we did end up getting trapped with animals blocking our way. However, we managed to get through without damaging the car or losing any fingers. It was definitely a once in a lifetime event.  I would highly recommend it if you have an older vehicle you’re not worried about getting scratched up.

This was the first real vacation hubby and I have gone on together. It was really nice to have a few days out of the apartment to do fun things and enjoy each other’s company. I just wish he would stop hurting his ankle every time we go somewhere.

My Favorite Works of Art Inspired by Starry Night

In general, I think most people disregard “modern art.” We look down on those paintings that aren’t pretty, seem to have no discernible meaning, have an incredibly high price tag, and were probably created by a hipster. For instance, here’s Black Square by Kazimir Malevich, often referred to as “the zero point of painting.”

Malevich.black-square.jpg
So deep, so mysterious, so…black. Except that one bit there.

A few years ago, I went to the Museum of Modern Art in Glasgow with a friend and we spent the entire trip either giggling or being very confused. I’d say there were a few things I found intriguing, but I did not feel emotionally moved by anything the way I felt the first time I saw Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Of course, there have been a million works of art inspired by Starry Night since then, but the vast majority of them are either studies/recreations of the work, or just add in famous characters without adding any original content whatsoever. I can’t recall how many dorm rooms I walked into in school that had the Dr. Who/Starry Night poster plastered on the walls. While I like that poster, I feel like the only reason I like it is because it is like Starry Night. I also love the Hogwarts version and every single Charlie Brown version I’ve seen, they’re just not different enough to stand on their own.

There are, however, those far and few between works that truly move beyond being a recreation and add to the conversation. Here are a few of my favorites (in no particular order).

1. Starry Night by Alex Ruiz

I love the idea of making the “inspiration” of a work the work itself. This clever twist on the iconic piece is mesmerizing. If you don’t know this guy by name, you’ll definitely know him by his work. He’s had a hand in The Simpsons, Eragon, Halo, Avatar, Family Guy, etc.

2. Starry Night Interactive

Animating the painting and letting people play with it is simply genius. This video is hypnotic. (You can download the app here on Android and here on iPhone.)

3. Daan Roosegaarde‘s Starry Night inspired Bike Path

Van Gogh Fietspad.jpg

While I love the “art for art’s sake” mentality, you bet I would ride my bike every night if this was in my neighborhood.

4. Van Gogh on Dark Water

This captures the movement in the piece like no other medium can.

5. StarryNightmare by FrozenTempest


I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong. I did say that I don’t count those works that just copy & paste without doing their own thing. But, this piece does do its own thing! Digital painting is not the same as oil painting or stop-motion animation, for one. More importantly, this piece mixes the look of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Starry Night together and has its own unique style, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

What do you think? What’s your favorite Starry Night inspired work of art?

Please support all these very talented people by checking out their other art.

Anne With An “E” – Season 1 Review

As a general rule of thumb, I believe book lovers anticipate literary adaptations will fall short of their expectations. A beloved scene gets cut, a relationship is developed oddly, the mood of the story is altered, and before you know it, there is a strange disconnect from the story you loved so well in its literary form and what you’re seeing on-screen. Book lovers tend to want the adaptation to be 100% true to the source material. After all, shouldn’t they be? The developers are taking advantage of the existing fandom.

Anne With An “E,” in some respects, is faithful to L.M. Montgomery’s original work. However, the overall tone is much darker and the adaptation is more political than I remember the book being. In fact, the edition I purchased when I about 10 was part of the Charming Classics collection and came with a necklace.

Every adaptation of Anne of Green Gables that I have seen features a beautiful actress with red hair. While the actress for Anne in the Netflix series, Amybeth McNulty, is gorgeous, she still looks like an awkward little girl in the series. Her hair is thin, her teeth are crooked, and her clothes aren’t flattering. In every other adaptation, Anne feeling plain or hating her hair has always been a bit mystifying because the actresses were always stunning. When Mrs. Lynde calls Anne ugly in the Netflix series, it actually makes sense why she would say that.

The superficial difference of Anne’s appearance I think demonstrates the main difference between this adaptation and every other adaptation I’ve seen. While most adaptations focus on how bright and sunny Anne’s view of the world is and paint the outside world as well-meaning but a bit snooty, Anne with an E takes a very different approach.

The thing is, Anne’s past is not wildly different in the Netflix series than it is in the book. How she copes with it, on the other hand, is radically different. Instead of Anne having an annoyingly overactive imagination that earns her some extra knocks, we see that Anne has been traumatized by her past and has frequent anxiety attacks. Rather, her imagination is truly a coping mechanism. Her discussions with Katie were particularly poignant.

I really enjoyed that interpretation of the work. It adds to Anne’s character and gives her more room for character growth, and seems very realistic. In the various homes she grew up in, Anne was treated as free labor. If she wasn’t seen as useful enough, she was sent back to the orphanage.

There were a few changes I did not like nearly as much, though. For instance, everything surrounding the supposedly stolen brooch was handled very badly. For one, if Marilla and Matthew did decide to send Anne back, they had previously decided that she would go to the Blewitt family. Instead, we see Anne back at the orphanage, which was quite confusing. Additionally, no matter how angry Marilla was, I don’t think she or Matthew would let Anne go alone. There was no reason to put her in that much danger, and it reflected badly on Marilla’s character. These changes to the plot I don’t think were justifiable. They only served to add unnecessary drama.

I also don’t think Marilla would have had such a hard time apologizing to Anne. Coming right after Anne’s apology to Mrs. Lynde, seeing Marilla reflect on that would have also been nice. Anne said that Mrs. Lynde should apologize to her since Mrs. Lynde gave the first offense, and Marilla could have reflected on that moment and found the strength to apologize sooner.

On a completely different note, I’m not sure how I feel about the frequent references to Jane Eyre. While I can definitely see why Anne would cling to Jane as a good role model and identify very strongly with her, it feels really odd to mix fictional universes. Every mention takes me a bit out of the story. I also don’t know when Anne would have been able to read it. Where has she been that would have that book?

Although I was a bit dubious of the fire scene, my main criticism of the series comes in the final episode of this season. Matthew deciding to mortgage the farm, attempting suicide for the life insurance, and the suspense surrounding the renters really rubbed me the wrong way. I have no idea where they are going with this, but I really don’t like it. Again, this seems like unnecessary drama that changes who the characters are. While some of the other changes felt like they were adding to the story, making it more realistic, or making the work more overtly relevant for modern feminists, these changes aren’t subtle or meaningful. They just add suspense for the sake of adding suspense.

Overall, I liked the series… until the last episode. To me, it signals a major departure from the canon that I really don’t care for. I will probably watch the first episode of the next season, just to see where they’re taking the story, but I doubt I will make it through season 2.