Yep, its time for a ressurection post; much like I did with Return of the Desirable Drakahn earlier in the year. This time, I’m recalling this old post from 2009, with a re-drawing of Zakura Fafnir, given my upgraded drawing skills. Without further ado, here she is:
Yadda, yadda, click to see full-sized.
Zakura is a well-loved NPC from my first 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons campaign (I’m now on the third such campaign, which is set 70 years afterwards). You can read of some the parties exploits in the ancient post this one is linked to at the top. After that and more, she ended up being the mother of a Player Character in the second campaign, and also an NPC there for some time, in her middle age (that one was 20 years after the first).
However, this picture is obviously her from the first campaign when she was 23 years old (much like the new redraw of Alicia was of her being 25 in the first campaign). Again, like Alicia’s new version, Zakura’s outfit underwent a metamorphosis to more closely match what I described her wearing at the time rather than being limited by what I felt I could draw. Her fairly generic off-white robe thing transmuted into a sort of corset and short skirt affair with long purple spats, allowing her to show off her ample (!) cleavage. This is, I should note, entirely due to her vastly overconfident personality and reputation as a beauty among beauties in the Alogian Chain. She did, after all, have 26 Charisma~ and in Dungeons and Dragons, 10 is considered average, so yeah… (as an aside, Alicia had 22 CHA)
Her cape is still wizardly with the high collar, but has been shortened to a half-length one held up with the aid of her pauldrons rather than being stitched to the rest of the outfit. This, combined with the corset/outfit and the more detailed armlets, gave her more chance to show off her Fzvir. As I noted in the prior post, Warlocks of all varieties in my setting gain a ‘Fzvir’ (pronounced Veer), which is a large tattoo along their left arm as an expression of their contract (usually with an angel of a certain deity~ Infernal Contracts with Saulm, Star with Kinah, Fey with Corticarte and Dark contracts with Dahlia). It seems to be a pseudo-living thing, which writhes, snake-like, along the skin, when a Warlock casts a spell.
In Zakura’s case, she is immensely strong due to having contract with three seperate angels [Wilheim, Drayke, Ansuz]. One of these angels was actually killed by the demi-goddess Iliya in the second campaign, and replaced with one called Kylar after the party visited the underworld.
The three angels of darkness are expressed on her Fzvir now, in any case, and Dahlia’s symbol (The Bloodied Black Butterfly) dominates her hand. And yes, the Fzvir is now on her left arm, as it actually should have been in the original (derp).
Oh, and she actually gained her runic hat which she equipped with the entire game. It was an awesome hat with writhing runes along the brim, and it really needed to be represented. So now it is.
As an aside, I’ve had a visual novel surge recently, having played through the Al Azif route of Demonbane (which was pretty epic), and also checking out the 50% patch of Fate/Hollow Ataraxia (also awesome~ but needs to be finished!!). It’s possible that I may considering doing a VN diary again of one of them (no guarantees, though).
And now for a random overview of the prior anime season:
I’m glad that Fate/Zero continued to very closely follow its novels, and it obviously took the cake for best show, though they did actually skip out on a few bits and bobs this time. Nothing crucial, I guess… the main loss was Lancelot’s backstory and his fight with Arthuria, which was overshadowed by the Kirei vs. Kiritsugu fight. However, the latter was awesome so I can just about forgive UFOtable for the cut (especially as they popped a little bit of the missing backstory in the epilogue to compensate~ still not all of it, but it helped). Now they need to go off and animate the Heavens Feel route of FSN, and then do Hollow Ataraxia. And if they have time, come back and re-do the Fate route and Tsukihime. They certainly have the skill!
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san sadly lost steam as it went along. It had a great start, full of great jokes, but degraded into a generic romantic comedy that took the piss out of its own (lack of) plot too much. This is unfortunate as it had alot of potential had they have had the guts to steer it away from just being “My harem of malign deities!”. It still continued to have its moments (Nearly everything up to episode 5, Nyaruko using the cliched body swap to her advantage, Kuuko in general being hilarious and very emotive) so it’s still worth the watch if you’ve got a spare hour or two. Also, Marasy played the OP on piano, cementing it’s awesomeness.
I’ve dubbed Hyouka the “Mundane Mystery” show, because that’s really what it is. Despite that, however, it takes these otherwise really boring things and turns them into fascinating problems, which is showing some great skill on the writers part. Although Chitanda likes to abuse her mystic eyes of
compulsion curiosity, I just find that funny, so its okay, especially given her other antics (getting drunk on whiskey chocolates?).
The other surprise hit for me was Natsuiro Kiseki. It was very cliched in parts, but had dollops of WAFF to pile on and make you feel good about watching it. I didn’t even tag it in my preview post, but its worth a look.
Bizarrely, all of the ‘cautiously optimistic’ items from the April preview turned out to be busts for me. I didn’t get past episode 3 of Shining bread whatever. Acchi Kochi made me wait too long for most of its jokes. Zombie season two immediately fell flat on its face and… well, flatlined, still failing to match its early greatness from the first season.
Anything else of note? Not really. That’s actually about it.