Author

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is your favorite psychoanalytical nerd princess, with credits at Crunchyroll, Viewster, Sartorial Geek, We Are Cult, and beyond. Her works have been published by Titan Books, Obverse Books, and more. Up next is "Black Archive #21 - Heaven Sent," coming out this July. She tweets @RubyCosmos and blogs at karadennison.com

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The Greatest Haunted Game Story of All Time Isn’t About Pokémon or Zelda

In 2018, “creepypasta” is a household term. Internet ghost stories aren’t restricted to the dark corners of obscure message boards anymore—they play out in original video games, YouTube videos, and even on professionally-produced television shows. Despite the vast and various types of creepypasta, all of it is, in some way, an exploration of the hopes and fears of a generation. It’s a way to make sense of the things we deal with in our respective days and ages—in other words, it’s folklore.

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Birdboy: The Forgotten Children Takes You on a Personalized Mind Trip

It’s been a long time since I’ve come into any piece of entertainment completely unspoiled. Even in the case of shows that deliberately keep a low profile, I’ve usually seen something to judge by. The only way for me to come in completely fresh and unawares is to have never heard of the subject before.

In the case of Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, that’s exactly what happened. For funsies, I decided not to look into it at all before I hit Play. And let me just say, boy, that was a choice. Because Birdboy is a heck of a thing to approach with no forewarning. That said, I’m actually glad I did, because it meant I was bowled over with just how dark the movie was willing to go at every new twist and turn.

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Three Cartoons From Your Childhood That Were Totally Terrifying

Who doesn’t have strange, vaguely off-putting memories of childhood nightmare fuel? You know, those cartoons pitched to youngsters that were full of of imagery and implications sure to terrify you for weeks to come. The shows  that were clearly not age-appropriate, and that you can’t believe you sat through now that you look back and see just how disturbing they were.

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Napping Princess Is a Fairy Tale for Car Lovers

My first encounter with Napping Princess was through a series of news pieces during its production. AlI I knew at the time was that it was a Kenji Kamiyama film, it involved a parallel dream world, and the trailer had a criminally beautiful cover of The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer” sung by the lead voice actress.

My intention had always been to watch it at some indefinite future point, as what little I saw in clips featured an appealing mix of technology and fantasy. So what could I expect from it? I’m not sure. But I do know that whatever you’re expecting, this movie isn’t it.

Gentle readers, Napping Princess is a car movie.

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Anime, Video Games, and the Texans Who Love Them: A History of Rooster Teeth

How does a team of college kids go from getting drunk and reviewing video games to producing an animated series with hardcore fanbases in both the United States and Japan? It sounds like an unobtainable geeky American dream, but it’s the true story of entertainment company Rooster Teeth. From Halo machinima videos to magical girls and mecha shows, let’s take a look at a how a team of six fans became a major studio conquering just about every corner of modern media.

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Four Nickelodeon Game Show Challenges I Would Totally Have Aced

Editor’s Note: NickSplat is now available on VRV! It includes Nickelodeon content from the 1990’s and beyond, including “AAAHH!!! Real Monsters,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” “CatDog,” “Clarissa Explains It All,” “Doug,” “Kenan & Kel,” “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “The Angry Beavers” and “The Wild Thornberrys,” among others. To celebrate, we’re sharing our childhood experiences with these shows and inviting you to rewatch these classics with us.

As an 80s and 90s kid with cable, I inevitably watched tons of Nickelodeon. In particular, I was a fiend for their game shows: Double Dare to start, and then the 90s onslaught of programs like Guts and Nick Arcade. And if there’s one thing I know about those shows, it’s that I could have done everything on them perfectly.

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Candle Cove Is Coming to VRV to Mess You Straight the Heck Up

As fans of horror, we all have different tastes. Some of us want gory slasher action. Some of us want more quiet, psychological dread. And then there are those of us who want to be left staring at the screen, terrified and baffled and wondering what we just saw and if we’ll ever sleep again.

If, like me, you’re in that last category, then you might enjoy a trip to the childhood nightmare that is Candle Cove.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the series — and its parent show, anthology series Channel Zero — if you’ve been online long enough you’ve probably heard the title. The concept started as a short creepypasta by writer Kris Straub, and blossomed into a world of wiki entries, fanfic, and fanart. The television series marks the culmination of the fan fascination with it, as well as your first chance to watch a show that (according to its own lore) doesn’t even exist.

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The ’80s Anime Classic You Probably Haven’t Seen

If you’ve watched anime for a while, you know not to judge a show by its title. Cowboy Bebop doesn’t sound like it’s going to be about intergalactic bounty hunters, and Tiger & Bunny doesn’t bring to mind superheroes with corporate sponsorships. So it’s understandable that an anime called Bubblegum Crisis isn’t immediately going to sound like a love letter to 80s sci-fi films, packaged with hard-suited biker girls and an awesome soundtrack.

If you are good with context clues, you are probably picking up by now that yes, that is exactly what Bubblegum Crisis is: eight episodes of the best of the 80s, done up in a rough, neon cyberpunk setting.

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Sagas of Sundry and the Art of a Perfect D&D Setup

So, real talk. When it’s gaming night, it’s about more than having good dice — we want our setup to be awesome. We decorate the table to suit the campaign, we pick drinkware reminiscent of everyone’s characters, and we’ll put together a playlist that fits the evening’s adventure. We may even show up with costumes or accessories if we’re feeling extra fancy.

Sadly, no matter how hard you go, your ambiance will never top what Ivan Van Norman has in store for his players. The Geek & Sundry host has gone to insane lengths to make his campaigns as immersive as possible… and it’s giving us a serious case of Gamer Envy.

How does he do it? It’s a crazy combination of high-end sets and pared-down rules that makes for the truly tense adventure known as Sagas of Sundry.

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Bringing the Drama: What’s New About the New “Boys Over Flowers”?

Boys Over Flowers is a contemporary shoujo classing for fans of both manga and anime. It’s such a fan favorite, in fact, that there have been five live-action series based on it! The most recent, from 2009, hails from South Korea and features all the same characters you’ve come to know and love from the original series and all its iterations.

But just how close does the K-drama come to the original? Surprisingly close… with a dash of surprisingly different.

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Get a Quick Cartoon Fix: The Top Five Titles from Go! Cartoons

Need more cartoons in your life but don’t have time to get married to yet another running series? Go! Cartoons was made for you.

The short anthology series features 12 stand-alone episodes of new animation, each only around five minutes long. That’s plenty of time to meet the unique cast of characters and get a sense of the setting, but still short enough to fit into your watch list without too much fuss. The only down side? You may find yourself getting attached to some of the characters and wishing for more!

Watching the entire series will only take you an hour and some change, so we highly recommend it. But if you’re gunning for an extra quick fix, allow us to introduce (in our own opinion, anyway) the top five shorts Go! Cartoons has to offer.

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Let’s Get Freaky: Japanese Horror Waiting for You on Shudder

Spring is here, the birds are singing, and the weather is (slowly but surely) getting nicer. And you know what that means: time to pull the curtains, turn out the lights, and scare ourselves silly.

Just because we’re half a year away from the Scary Season doesn’t mean there’s isn’t time for some freak-outs. And if you’re a fan of gory, psychological Japanese horror, there’s plenty waiting for you in the depths of Shudder and the other channels on VRV. We’ve plumbed the depths of the catalog to find just a few freakishly fun offerings to get your spine tingling.

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A Highly Scientific List of the Cutest Animal Documentaries on VRV

Being a journalist is an extremely difficult job. Every article you write requires deep research, an objective eye, careful critique, and huge amounts of patience.

To that end, I have made the great sacrifice of subjecting myself to several hours — yes, literal hours — of video courtesy of VRV’s CuriosityStream channel, to find and distill for our readers the cutest animal documentaries currently available on our streaming service.

It was a sacrifice, dear reader, but one that I am willing to make for the sake of journalism.

What follows is the result of my research, presented completely objectively and heavily researched for the highest possible level of accuracy.

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How Do You Want to Do This? ~ An Introduction to “Critical Role”

The idea of tabletop gaming as public entertainment is nothing new. Japan published “replays” of Dungeons & Dragons campaigns (with one becoming the famous Record of Lodoss War), and just about anyone with a camera can set up a stream of their friends’ gaming group. But what if the people behind the characters were actually actors — and familiar voices, at that?

That’s the concept behind Critical Role, a gaming group’s D&D 5th Edition campaign done live on Geek & Sundry. But as of 2018, the take of Vox Machina has expanded far beyond its earliest days.

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Martial Arts History Reborn: Why “Shaolin” Is a Must-See Kung Fu Flick

A powerful man does horrible things, finds himself hoisted on his own petard, and must learn kung fu in order to atone for his ways and find peace. If the story sounds familiar, there’s a good reason — well, several good reasons, actually.

The 2011 Shaolin is a martial arts epic starring performer-of-all-trades Andy Lau as Hou Jie, a clever but hotheaded warlord whose ambitions get the better of him. After slaying a rival taking refuge at the Shaolin Monastery and mocking the monks before he leaves, he sets out to eliminate another enemy. But Cao Man, Hou’s second-in-command, double crosses him. And before long, Hou has nowhere to seek refuge but the very place he killed a man not long before.

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The Art of Anxiety: Why “Living in Oblivion” Will Blow Your Mind

There are lots of ways a piece of art can be “mind-blowing.” The easiest is to create something that looks weird and makes no dang sense. And that’s probably the easiest way to go about it — because making something not make sense doesn’t actually take a lot of work. But one of the hardest, and most effective, is to create something extremely personal and extremely relatable under the weirdness. Something that, when you step back from it, makes complete sense.

Living in Oblivion starts out as one, slowly pulling its strings together and becoming the other over the course of the movie. Because somewhere between the flashbacks, the explosions, and the apple-wielding dwarfs, there’s something a lot of us can relate to: the anxiety of doing our job well.