oh so modern jezebel [unioncity]

(anime/manga/novel) Black Fairy

Title: Black Fairy
Focus: Celty Sturluson from Durarara!!
Owner: Linah (sonicblade)
URL: http://celty.twistedspoon.net/

You should visit this shrine because... "Black Fairy" is one of very few fully-fledged English Durarara!! fansites and frankly, it would be a difficult site to top. Linah has composed a fascinating dedication to the character of Celty Sturluson that is accessible and informative to fans and non-fans alike. Combining information garnered from both the Durarara!! novels and anime series, Linah paints an engaging picture of Celty as a dullahan of growth and fortitude. All the key bases are covered at "Black Fairy" - from Celty's awakening in Ireland right through to her present activities and relationships in Ikebukuro. Linah's voice is eloquent and informative, her articles tantalise you into wanting to explore Celty's canon further. "Black Fairy" is a quality site built on research, strong writing skills and a clear passion for Celty's character. Highly, highly recommended.

Highlight: "Soundless Voice" which delves into how Celty communicates and how she grows as a result of her interactions. Lovely stuff - just that bit different from the norm.
oh so modern jezebel [unioncity]

(video game) Defining Royalty

Title: Defining Royalty
Focus: Natalia Luzu Kimlasca Lanvaldear from Tales of the Abyss
Owner: Samantha (ghostprayer)
URL: http://natalia.ghost-lights.org/

You should visit this shrine because... Natalia isn't the most loved member of the Abyss cast amongst site-makers, but Samantha tackles her character with both substance and style. While Natalia is superficially something of an archetypal princess, as Samantha presents, there is far more depth to her portrayal than we're initially led to believe. "Defining Royalty" explores Natalia's story from start to finish, with particular emphasis given to her growing maturity and complexity. Even if you're not a fan of Natalia, Samantha's accessible articles will leave you pondering the character and her role in Abyss for a long time to come.

In addition to interesting analytical explorations, Samantha devotes a sizable chunk of "Defining Royalty" to the use of Natalia within the game itself - including some great strategy points. There's also a rich media section for those interested in Natalia art.

"Defining Royalty" is an articulate and expressive dedication to a character frequently dismissed in fan communities. By really getting into Natalia's motivations and her struggles with purpose, Samantha has created a notably rewarding site.

Highlight: The section titled "Defining Royalty" which examines, in detail, this key aspect of Natalia's character. A strong read.
oh so modern jezebel [unioncity]

(manga) Ace of Hearts

Title: Ace of Hearts
Focus: Kaitou Ace from Codename wa Sailor V
Owner: Ko (silkaura)
URL: http://ko.moon.nu/ace/

You should visit this shrine because... While anyone familiar with the world of Sailor Moon is no doubt aware of Codename wa Sailor V's presence on the outskirts of the franchise, there has been very little fan emphasis on the title (outside of references on general sites or Minako dedications). Ko's "Ace of Hearts" is a rare character dedication to the male lead from Codename wa Sailor V, Kaitou Ace. What makes "Ace of Hearts" so utterly compelling is its objective examination of the character. Ko acknowledges and examines Ace's faults and flaws just as frequently as she celebrates his noble goals and humble past. You get a real feel for the complexities of Ace's character rather than just mindless fan gushing. Ko definitely appreciates Ace, but she also enjoys presenting fascinating articles that muse over his portrayal as well.

While "Ace of Hearts" has no real media section to speak of, the large archive of articles is complimented by web goodies and fan works. As Kaitou Ace only appears in a three-volume manga series, the variety of additional content is commendable! There are still a few articles yet to go online, but the content already available outweighs the lacking by far. Overall, "Ace of Hearts" is an eloquently composed and highly articulate dedication to a somewhat under-appreciated character. Ko has worked hard to produce a high quality site to Kaitou Ace and this effort is more than apparent. Definitely another shrine to add to your bookmarks!

Highlight: "Cruel Medium" which examines whether or not Kaitou Ace "cursed" Minako's love life. Good arguments and solid facts make this article a great read.
oh so modern jezebel [unioncity]

(video game) Final Judgement

Title: Final Judgement
Focus: Sydney Losstarot from Vagrant Story
Owner: Linh (sarisa)
URL: http://www.venusgospel.net/sydney/

You should visit this shrine because... Sometimes I wonder if I focus on too many video game related shrines, but dammit, when they're as much fun as "Final Judgement" how can I help myself? Linh has pieced together a fantastic dedication to Sydney from Vagrant Story that is as informative as it is hilarious. While I love visiting sites that talk about powerful relationships and webs of intrigue in a serious manner, there's something wholly refreshing about a site that is lovingly tongue-in-cheek. This is the approach you'll find to Sydney's story at "Final Judgement" - one that intersects deep analysis with ruminations on Rosencrantz being a dip.

As someone who never got around to finishing Vagrant Story (someday I'll tell you about my deprived Sony product-free childhood) I found myself learning a considerable amount through the accessible and easily arranged articles. If you want to know about Sydney, this is where you should head. Whether she's examining Sydney's personality or his relationship with Ashley, Linh's writing is fun and enjoyable to digest. At the same time however, it is just as complex and informative as any more "serious" take on the character. While Linh's other shrines boast similarly refreshing approaches to their subject matter, overall there aren't a whole lot of webmasters mixing the serious with the hilarious in this way and it's a darn shame.

What really shines through in every facet of this site is Linh's passion for the character. She likes Sydney and, by the time you finish at "Final Judgement", you will too.

Highlight: Pretty much everything under the "Question" label. All the features there were a blast to read.
oh so modern jezebel [unioncity]

(anime/manga) Everything To Gain

Title: Everything To Gain
Focus: Ootori Kyouya & Fujioka Haruhi from Ouran Koukou Host Club
Owner: Suzumi (stagnated)
URL: http://kyoharu.tsuyamono.net/

You should visit this shrine because... I've said it before and I'll say it again - there's a decided lack of Ouran Koukou Host Club fan sites online, despite its ongoing popularity. Thankfully, the few available sites are of a standard such as this. "Everything To Gain" is a thoughtfully composed exploration of the relationship between Kyouya and Haruhi. What makes Suzumi's whimsical dedication such a breath of fresh air is the way it embraces the canonical interaction between the characters while still maintaining a solid sense of distance and affection.

"Everything To Gain" is composed primarily of written articles (plus a fanlisting) so those looking for media indulgences won't find them here. This does not however, detract from the strength of the site's written element - nor does it make for a dry visiting experience. Each article has been dutifully composed in an engaging and appreciative manner. You get a real sense of the characters from Suzumi's writing, as well as her own sentiments for them. Thoughtfully placed images and quotes sprinkled throughout the articles help to highlight key relationship points.

If you're interested in reading articles about a relationship that is at once both humorous and endearing, then this is the shrine for you. Suzumi has crafted a thing of beauty in "Everything To Gain" - and not just in its gorgeous visual style! The small collection of articles here explore a fascinating relationship and they never overstay their welcome. This, my friends, is how you make a relationship-focused site.

Highlight: "Friendship", which examines the friendly interaction between Kyouya and Haruhi. It was a tough pick though!

(Unrelated Community Announcement: You can now access all past recs via the handy-dandy http://start.io/rainymonday. Recs are listed under reviewer. I hope this makes our recommended site list a little easier to digest vs. traipsing through a bunch of "back 20" pages here on LJ.)
oh so modern jezebel [unioncity]

(manga) Ripples

Title: Ripples
Focus: Tamura Reiko from Parasyte
Owner: Todd (yeerk)
URL: http://nightbringer.net/reiko/

You should visit this shrine because... I didn't mean to go for two Girl Mode shrines in a row, but so many fantastic dedications were made for the project that I'm just getting around to enjoying them all now. Todd doesn't have a background in anime/manga fan sites, but as a first foray into this world, "Ripples" is proof that a dedication to an obscure series can still be just as fulfilling as one to a more mainstream character/title. Parasyte, while having been available in English through two separate publishers for many years, is still a fringe manga title. The character Todd focuses on, Tamura Reiko, is an engaging anomaly. Rather than a human dealing with the parasitic invaders, Reiko is herself a parasite and Todd delves into her story with a comprehensive assortment of articles and essays. Is Reiko perfect? Not by any means, which is where Todd's desire to probe the depths of her inhuman mind really comes into its own. Her story is not a happy one, but it's certainly one worth exploring.

Sections like "Series" and "Parasites" give very accessible information about Parasyte and its scenario. While it is generally helpful to have an understanding of a series when exploring fan sites, Todd has really made "Ripples" accessible to anyone with a desire to learn. You won't get left behind with these articles if you don't own the manga, it's very much the kind of shrine that makes you want to pick the series up if you haven't already. Todd is passionate about Reiko/Parasyte and his enthusiasm is contagious!

"Ripples" challenges its visitors to rethink preconceived notions about humanity, while at the same time inviting them to explore a relatively unknown world. Todd should be commended for tackling his first manga project with genuine passion and finesse.

Highlight: "Mother" which deals with the absolute core of Reiko's character in an expressive and personal style.
oh so modern jezebel [unioncity]

(television) Last Quarter

Title: No Quarter
Focus: Anna Milton from Supernatural
Owner: Barbara (monophobia)
URL: http://anna.persephone.nu/

You should visit this shrine because... Supernatural isn't exactly known for its expansive female cast, nor indeed for its variety of fansites online. Barbara tackles both of these issues head-on with her delightful dedication to Anna, a character introduced in the fourth season of the series. Anna's story is complicated (despite her status as a fairly secondary character) but Barbara never shies away from the complexities that make this woman whole.

In engaging articles like "Full of grace" and "Go your own way", Anna's various lives and interactions are dissected in a manner that will leaving you longing for more. Barbara's writing flows beautifully and you are never left feeling as though you've digested anything dry. There is a fluidity to the content here, a lightness mixed with depth that makes for a very enjoyable experience indeed.

There aren't a whole lot of shrines dedicated to television characters online, but Barbara fights the good fight with "No Quarter". She manages to both represent and endear a wonderful secondary character to her audience through an articulate break-down of Anna's personality and role. Just lovely.

Highlight: "Heavenly host" because damn, the Supernatural angels/mythological angels issue is an interesting one!
Arashi - murasaki no hime
  • soifon

(Anime/Manga) Tears of Sunlight

Title: Tears of Sunlight
Focus: Kuronuma Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke
Owner: Teri (pistacchios)
URL: http://sawako.paper-clouds.org

You should visit this shrine because...: Tears of Sunlight is a wonderful fan tribute to Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke, a lightheard shoujo love story/drama series. Sawako might seem like a simple person on the surface, but she is actually quite complicated and misunderstood. Teri takes the reader through a delightful journey what are the "facts" of the series as well as her own interpretation of said facts. By the end, you're left wondering what else there is to know about Sawako. If you haven't read or watched the series, Tears of Sunlight will make you want to. This shrine will hook you in and you'll want to see Sawako in action for yourself, for sure!

Highlight: The "relationships" section was the most captivating. A person isn't complete without the interactions he/she has with others. The essay section ("within the girl") is also a nice treat, with Teri's personal commentary on Sawako.
oh so modern jezebel [unioncity]

(video game) Save The Queen

Title: Save The Queen
Focus: Quistis Trepe from Final Fantasy VIII
Owner: Tamisa (carbon)
URL: http://limit-break.net/quistis/

You should visit this shrine because... There are very few dedications to the lovely Quistis Trepe left online from the golden days of Final Fantasy VIII. Thankfully, "Save The Queen" still stands in all its glory. Tamisa gives Quistis a fantastic dedication, one which fans and non-fans alike should find engaging.

At "Save The Queen", Quistis is presented as an upwardly motivated young woman, with both passion and ability in her SeeD career. Tamisa writes positively about these characteristics, but acknowledges equally the character's shortcomings and growth through out the game. This is what makes "Save The Queen" such an enjoyable dedication. Tamisa absolutely revels in the various paradoxes that define Quistis. The articles housed at "Save The Queen" express this complexity in a manner that simply bewitches. Once you start reading this site, you'll find it difficult to stop.

All and all, "Save The Queen" is one of the most compelling Final Fantasy VIII dedications available. It is a site I would not hesitate in recommending to others, regardless of their familiarity with the game itself. Tamisa covers all things Quistis (gameplay and in-depth delights) with genuine affection for the character and her role in the series. Lovely.

Highlight: "Training Center", which deftly covers a defining moment in the character's progression. I also rather enjoyed the gameplay section, probably because it's been so long since I've looked at the game I'd almost forgotten how to play Triple Triad.

Additional: My apologies for the lack of recs here lately, my life is quite hectic at present. I will try to post recs more regularly in the future. Cheers!
oh so modern jezebel [unioncity]

(video game) Drift

Title: Drift
Focus: Roxas from Kingdom Hearts series
Owner: Chrissy (ashe)
URL: http://roxas.reflera.org/

You should visit this shrine because... It shocks me somewhat that we haven't covered a Kingdom Hearts dedication here before! The fandom certainly doesn't lack solid sites, but only this particular shrine really piqued my interest. "Drift" is Chrisy's exquisite dedication to Roxas, the mysterious youngster whose "light shines as bright as the setting sun". From the offset Chrissy has captured the beauty, isolation, and confusion of the character in her breath-taking layout. A little difficult to read on larger monitors, the design nonetheless adds to the shrine's content rather than distracts.

And my, what content this shrine has.

Chrissy takes the time to cover all bases in detail, but always manages to enliven her content with a wry remark or an interesting tid-bit. Even something as simple as a "Name" section comes to life with both fact and opinion, interwoven to form an engaging piece of text. Roxas's story is expressed in a compelling manner in the various subsections of "Chronicle" (though to discuss them in any detail would be a little too telling). Chrissy's attention to detail and frank approach to her subject matter are delightfully apparent in the relationship section of the shrine, where she exposes the nuances of Roxas's interaction with others.

While the media section has room for growth (at present it is limited to streaming music and a single scan), with the release of 358/2 Days there's little doubt that media additions are on the horizon. It is in the lovingly constructed written content however, that both Chrissy and her character of choice shine. I found it difficult to resist getting swept up in Roxas's emotional journey as I pawed through the various sections, each more enjoyable than the last. Overall, "Drift" is moving shrine experience.

Highlight: "Voice". As much as I enjoyed the sections that tugged on my heartstrings, who can resist the pull of laughing at Jesse McCartney?

Additional: This week marks the second birthday of Rainy Monday. I honestly can't believe we started posted recs here two long years ago. Thank you all for your support, particularly visitors (for helping this blog grow) and site owners (for giving us such wonderful dedications to visit). Here's hoping we can continue to post here for some time to come. Thanks xoxo.