A to Z in April 2016

A to Z in April Blogging Challenge 2016 Masterpost

My theme for the 2016 Challenge was my favourite characters and I loved gushing about characters I loved, whether they were from book, films or TV shows. It was a great chance to show off some more obscure fandoms and it was a very successful month of blogging for me.

Sign Up Post
A – Angela
B – Clint Barton
C – Evelyn Carnahan
D – Darcy Lewis
E – Elle Woods
F – Frank Castle
G – Cat Grant
H – Hermione Granger
I – Inej
J – Jessica Jones
K – Kingsley Shacklebolt
L – Aaron Livesy
M – Malcolm Ducasse
N – Nimona
O – Oda Mae Brown
P – Peggy Carter
Q – Happy Quinn
R – Ralph Dineen
S – Number Six
T – Sergeant Terry Jeffords
U – Nyota Uhura
V – Victoria Barton
W – Wadjda
X – Professor Charles Xavier
Y – Yvaine
Z – Zazu
Reflections on the Challenge

Reflections on the A-Z Challenge 2016 Edition

atozAnother April is over and I have managed to complete the A-Z in April Challenge for the third year in a row! This year it as all about my favourite characters whether they were from books, films, TV shows or comics. You can find all my posts here.

I got more visitors and views this April than the previous two which was great and my three most popular posts in April were about Cat Grant, Hermione Granger and Kingsley Shacklebolt. It appears the Harry Potter fans are still very much alive and well.

This April was an interesting one when it comes to how I posted my blogs and visited others. I was staying with family friends for the first two weeks of it while we were technically homeless and in that time I wrote and scheduled pretty much all the posts for the entire month. Also in that time I had plenty of time to reply to comments people left me, visit a lot of blogs and comment and like posts I found interesting – I even followed a few new blogs as well. The last couple of weeks of the challenge wasn’t so good for me in terms of the community aspect. We moved into our new place on the 16th April and to start with we had no internet and of course we were trying to get all our stuff moved in and where we wanted it. As we were incredibly busy, I was so happy that past-me had written and scheduled all my posts for that week, though I did falter a bit and not visit and comment on may blogs during that time. By the time everything had calmed down a bit and it was the final week of the A-Z Challenge I just had three posts to write and schedule (U, X and Y) and by then it was a nice break from house-related stuff.

Once again I really enjoyed taking part in the A-Z Challenge. It was great sharing the love for some of my favourite characters and discovering new blogs I could follow.

How did the challenge go for you? Anyone who didn’t sign up for it, now considering taking part next year? I’m sure I’ll be there.

Z is for Zazu

zazuI’m sure there’s many a human character whose name begins with a Z but I went for an animated animal in what is probably my favourite Disney film of all time.

Zazu is a red-billed hornbill and is kind of like Mufasa’s adviser/secretary and Simba’s teacher. Like any teacher that doesn’t have much respect, Simba and Nala run circles around Zazu and he probably wants to hurt them as much as he wants to look out for them.

Zazu is one of those guys who can be annoying for sticking to the rules but he is also the sort of guy you can rely on and he probably has good ideas. And he is funny, it probably helps that Rowan Atkinson voices Zazu because his sarcastic British voice really brings Zazu’s attitude to life.

I love everything about The Lion King but I didn’t really appreciate Zazu or see how clever his humour was until I watched the film again as an adult. He’s definitely the kind of character that adults would maybe relate to more than children.

Y is for Yvaine

YvaineI will start this post by saying that Yvaine isn’t necessarily one of my favourite characters but it was really hard thinking of any characters whose name begins with the letter Y! That being said, I do think Yvaine is pretty damn cool.

Yvaine is a literal star that is brought down to Earth with a bang and it’s kind of funny (but certainly justifiable) how annoyed she is about the whole thing. She’s smart and capable but she is a fish out of water on Earth so she does end up in some tricky situations and needs rescuing a few times.

I love how strong-willed Yvaine is. She won’t make excuses for Tristan’s behaviour or coddle him when he’s being kind of rude. Yvaine is proud and it might take her a while to admit she’s in the wrong but she is a good and kind person.

Also, because she’s a star she has some powers too. She’s immortal and she can glow so brightly that it can kill anyone who looks at her when she’s glowing which is a pretty cool power to have.

X is for Professor Charles Xavier

charles xavierThere’s been many incarnations of Charles Xavier over the decades, there’s the comics, TV Shows and movies (both McAvoy and Stewart) so while the basics of his character has always been the same, there are differences in the different media.

I first encountered Charles Xavier in the 90’s X-Men cartoon and then in the X-Men: Evolution cartoon and I thought he was great in both shows. He’s wise and wants to look out for his students but he still makes mistakes. Xavier likes to give off this aura that he knows everything – he is a telepath so that does help – but because he think he knows a lot of stuff he’s sometimes blind to what is actually going on which can have interesting and sometimes bad consequences.

Charles Xavier in the original X-Men movie trilogy is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Patrick Stewart is one of the most perfect casting choices in any superhero franchise. You can feel the responsibility he has for his many students, especially as they aren’t just teenagers, there’s many young children under his care as well, and he also cares about his X-Men. Charles struggles to look after mutants and protect humans as well, he wants to do the right thing but that often means there’s difficult decisions to make.

Charles Xavier is pretty much the ultimate old, wise, powerful character that wants to do good but whose plans don’t always work out.

W is for Wadjda

wadjda1Wadjda is a fun-loving ten year old girl who is determined to own her own bicycle and even uses her school’s Koran recitation competition as a means to get the money.

Wadjda is so great because she is so relatable. She is just like any other young girl but she lives in Saudi Arabia so there’s restrictions put on her because she’s a girl. Wadjda doesn’t let these restrictions get her down though, she works hard raising the money for her bicycle and borrows her friend’s bike to learn how to ride in secret. She forges her own path and is constantly rebelling the strict rules put on her by society and by her school – she wears Chuck Taylors under her abaya and can’t help but talk back to teachers.

Wadjda is an enterprising young woman and I love her relationship with her mother who doesn’t always like the fact that Wadjda is so independent but she still loves her. Their relationship has its problems but it’s easy to see how much Wadjda loves her mother.

Wadjda is a child who wants to do her own thing but deep down she knows she won’t always be allowed to, that doesn’t stop her trying though and that is admirable.

You can read my review of Wadjda here.

V is for Victoria Barton

victoria bartonVictoria Barton née Sugden is a precious cinnamon roll, she’s too good for this world, too pure. That is possibly a slight exaggeration but the point still stands.

Victoria is from a British soap opera so she’s had various things happen to her – including nearly drowning twice – but she’s still such a positive, loving person. She cares about her family a ridiculous amount even though that often means she want to smack her brother’s heads together because they really don’t like each other – there has been some attempted murders/accidental injuries for both of them.

Victoria is so great because she works hard and has gone from learning to cook in the village pub, to a full-grown chef who is now setting up her own street food catering business. Victoria puts her heart into everything she does whether it’s work, her family or her marriage. Victoria is loving and fiercely loyal and she’s just the sort of person you’d want as a friend and fighting in your corner. She may be small but she’s a morally strong person and she’s not afraid to speak her mind when people are being stupid or cruel.

U is for Uhura

uhura original and newUhura is a badass. Whether she’s in the original show and films or the new ones, she’s pretty awesome albeit in different ways.

Uhura is super smart. She’s a communications and linguistics expert who is a vital member to the crew of the SS Enterprise. She’s manned the helm when Kirk and Spock have been unavailable, and she’s manned the navigation and science stations on the bridge when the need arose, showing that she can turn her hand to pretty much anything. Uhura isn’t afraid to go against orders when she believes she and her crew are doing the right thing – for instance, she locks a colleague in a cupboard so she can transport Kirk, McCoy and Sulu on-board the Enterprise.

In the newer films Uhura often has a more hands on role. She goes on missions with Kirk and Spock and she stops Spock from killing “John Harrison” and helps bring him into custody. She has an interesting relationship with Spock and her friendship with Kirk is great but Uhura’s friendship with Sulu and Chekov is one of my favourite things about the original films and wish that would factor into the new films more.

T is for Sergeant Terry Jeffords

terryI’ve only recently started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine and I’ve already got a series case of “I LOVE EVERYONE IN THIS BAR!” with these characters but Terry was the first one I fell in love with.

Terry Jeffords is a big strong guy who also cares about his wife and two young daughters a ridiculous amount. When his twin daughters were born he got so scared about getting hurt on the job and leaving them without a father that he had a desk job for a year. But by doing that he let down his grownup kids, aka the detectives in his precinct. So with the help of the Captain and Gina (the Captain’s assistant and the kind of person who knows everything) he got his gun back and returned to the field.

Terry is so great because he is a man of many layers. Yes he can easily pick up his co-workers but he also has a minivan and likes to paint and dance. He works out but can’t sleep without whale sounds and a princess fairy castle defeats him. Terry is so great because he looks like this big scary dude but he really is a big softy that cares a lot about his family – both his wife and kids, and his family he has in work.

Terry is also pretty hilarious, especially when he’s trying to look out for his detectives. He is willing to stand up for them but he will put them in their place if they haven’t been pulling their weight or they are making poor judgments. Terry would be the best kind of boss, like he’s a fun boss but you’d be able to tell when you’re close to crossing the line and stop before he gets mad and breaks things.

S is for Number Six

six3Six is a badass. I fell in love with her as soon as she appeared at the end of I am Number Four and saved John Smith’s skin. She is incredible and my favourite character in the entire series and she better survive and have as happy ending as she can managed by the end of it.

Six is an alien and she has superhuman like powers. She can turn invisible and turn anyone who is touching her invisible as well, she has telekinesis and she can manipulate the weather. Besides from her powers which can obviously help her out when she’s in trouble she is also incredibly skilled at hand-to-hand combat and she can use any weapon she can get her hands on.

Six is more closed-off than some of the other characters in the series as she had been on her own since she was thirteen and had to look after herself and fight to survive. Six was also held captive for a while so she has some issues from that which is understandable. She finds it hard to trust and care about other people as she’s been on her own for so long and she doesn’t want to get hurt again, but she still does care about her friends and will do anything to protect them.

I find Six fascinating because as the series has progressed she is still one of the strongest fighters and one of the first to react to danger but she has started to become better at reading people. Due to her years isolation she was often oblivious to other people’s emotions but she’s getting better at having empathy for others but she still loves being in control and is a total badass.