Bright Spots in a Bleak Summer

With many of the tragic events that have happened in the last few months, this summer hasn't been as fun and relaxing as summer should be. However, one of the things that nerds to best is to look for positive things in the media we love to help lift our spirits. Sometimes, a TV show, a video game, or a good movie can make the difference between a good or bad day, so give these things a try to brighten up your next gloomy day!

Pokémon GO!

Pokémon GO! finally arrived in North America earlier this month! The game uses your GPS to find your location and then shows you where you are in comparison to Pokémon you can catch in your area. The app has been very popular since its release and has been praised for its ability to get people outside and exercising even in the summer heat. Everyone has been playing it out in the world (it's a favorite of many Geeks OUT bloggers) and the game can easily become a conversation starter when trainers bump into fellow trainers throughout their day. (Also, Go, Team Mystic!)

Steven Universe

Steven Universe has always been a favorite of Geeks OUT, but the Summer of Steven event has been a real treat! Without getting into specifics on what the episodes have been about, it can be said that season 3 has had some great ones already. New episodes are coming out every week night until the middle of August, which will conclude season 3 of the show. If you haven't started the show and are interested in in, you should really check it out! The lore is awesome especially since it grows over time, and you learn more about the gems and the world they came from at the same time as Steven. Steven Universe is also known for its seamless inclusion of queer themes that are shown as normal, which can be a rarity among any genre of shows, but it's especially rare in programming whose primary audience is children. Having a small slice of Steven every night always ends the day on a good note and gets viewers excited for the next day’s episode.

Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)

Boku no Hero Academia (BNHA) highlights an underdog as its main character and tells a very endearing and empowering story. The protagonist of BNHA is a teenager named Izuku Midoriya who was born without super powers in a world where 80% of people are born with them. Even without powers, Midoriya's goal is still the same as it was since he was a child: he wants to become a hero and save people like his pro-superhero idol, All Might. While the manga has been around for a while now, the first season of the anime series started back in spring and only ended recently, with a second season already confirmed. The animation is well done, and the opening and ending themes are catchy and fit well with the themes of the series.

Kiznaiver

Kiznaiver is an anime about connections, especially the bonds of friendship. Studio Trigger, the creators of other popular anime titles Little Witch Academia and Kill la Kill, have created another engaging and unique series. Kiznaiver's title is created using both the Japanese word for "wound/scar" which is (kizu) and "bond/connection" which is (kizuna). The title was chosen to reflect the overall premise of the series where six teenagers are chosen for an experiment that connects them all through their pain that is represented by an identical scar on their left wrist. Whenever any of the six teenagers feel physical pain, the feeling distributes to the others as well. The six teenagers are all classmates who are very different and never speak to one another, but they learn over the course of a summer what friendship is made of. The opening and ending themes of the series are visually beautiful and lyrically fitting with the theme of the series. Watching Kiznaiver was a breath of fresh air compared to other recent series and is really enjoyable.

The Blackwell Series

The Blackwell Series is a video game series that was created by the independent game studio Wadjet Eye Games. There are five games: Blackwell Legacy, Blackwell Unbound, Blackwell Convergence, Blackwell Deception, and Blackwell Epiphany. These point-and-click adventure detective games focus on Rosangela Blackwell, Rosa for short, a woman living in New York City who currently works for a small newspaper writing book reviews. One day, a ghost named Joey Mallone presents himself to Rosa and tells her that he is her spirit guide and that she is a spirit medium who is required to help the dead move on. Each game gives more insight into how these spirit medium powers work and why Rosangela has them and also how Joey became a spirit guide. If you enjoy point-and-click games and are looking for a game series that has good plots for each individual game as well as a growing overarching narrative, then The Blackwell Series would be a good fit.

The Ace Attorney Series

Last but not least, the Ace Attorney series has always had a following of fans, however, with the new game coming out in September, now is better than ever for it to gain more. The series is for the Nintendo DS and you play as Phoenix Wright, a defense lawyer who takes cases and turns them around to help prove his client innocent. The cases are each full of memorable characters with punny names and lots of twists and turns. In each case, there is an investigation segment where you have to look around the crime scene and other areas for clues, and then there is a trial segment, where you must use the evidence found in the investigation to back up your claims. If you have a DS and like the thought of a visual novel game that requires some deduction skills, pick up a copy of Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney!

Girl Power at the Movies

This summer was great for women in nerdy movies. From amazing films like Ghostbusters, to the first released trailer for Wonder Woman, to the signing on of big name actresses to Marvel's Black Panther and Captain Marvel, to an official statement on being committed "creatively and emotionally" to finally producing a Black Widow film, women are finally getting their much-deserved time in the spotlight. And having strong women in leading, heroic roles is good news for girls and women the world over.

Flame Con

Flame Con is an all-queer convention (sponsored by our very own Geeks OUT) that will be happening on August 20 and 21 at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. This comics, arts, and entertainment convention is designed by LGBT geeks for LGBT geeks, though everyone is encouraged to join in the excitement! With so many exhibitors and special guests alongside informative panels and a safe social environment, Flame Con is sure to guarantee that summer ends with a weekend full of fun. Get your tickets here today!

Danielle Solomon's picture
on August 4, 2016

I am from Framingham, Massachusetts and I love all kinds of video games, anime, and manga.

Follow me on Twitter @DaniBSolomon.