Category Archives: Slice of Life

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Villainography: Happiness Is Boring

I don’t have sob stories like all of you. I could sit her and complain how our mom liked Zuko more than me. But I don’t really care. My own mother thought I was a monster . . . She was right of course, but it still hurt.
-Azula, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Episode 3.05: “The Beach”

After quite the hiatus, Villainography continues! Today we’re speaking with ASV Game Editor Brian Pham, who’s going to tell us what qualities he believes makes a good villain, and why he’s superior to me in every way, resulting in Dad loving him more.

Philip: WHAT UP BRO?

Brian: hi . . .


Brian: thisfeelslikeapoliceinterrogation

Philip: IT IS. *breathes heavily*

Brian: oh.

Philip: So, who is your favorite villain?

Brian: I choose . . . Azula! *slams table* From Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Philip: Not from Spongebob Squarepants?

Brian: No?

Philip: Oh. I was hoping we could do this entire interview with Spongebob quotes. I don’t think it’s possible though.


Philip: No! It’s not! In fact it’s just getting started. So, tell me about Azula.

Brian: She’s like the perfect villain, because of how ruthless she is. In the context of the show, she’s the first real threat. She can bend blue fire, and is the first to lightning-bend. She really raises the stakes.

Philip: So she’s basically the opposite of that loser Mako.

Brian: Yup. And her personality, her character, is a perfect foil to the main character Aang’s, because she controls her friends with fear, whereas Aang has friends because of his compassion.

Philip: M-hm, m-hm.

Brian: And she has the awesome villainous breakdown at the end, too.

Philip: Oh yeah, that was strong stuff.

Brian: Villainous Breakdown is a trope, by the way.

Philip: *exasperated sigh* Noted. Okay, so what would you say to a person who thought that Azula was just a washed-up goody two-shoes?

Brian: She’s not?

Philip: Fair enough. WHAT’S THAT?

Brian: Huh what?

Philip: Nothing, I got distracted. How would you defeat Azula?

Brian: Well, in the show, she was beaten by stripping away her friends and companions.

Philip: Uh-huh.

Brian: So I would befriend her friends and turn them against her. I’d defeat her with Friendship.

Philip: Astounding.

Brian: Right?

Philip: What would you say sets Azula apart from other villains?

Brian: Like I said, probably her ruthlessness. You don’t really know what she’s capable of doing. Kind of. Kind of you don’t know how far she’ll go. Or maybe, it’s that she’s willing to take that extra step that others wouldn’t. Like for example, in Season 1 of Avatar, the Big Bad was Admiral Zhao, and he was kind of a caricature. You never got the sense that he was going to do a huge amount of harm to the main characters. He was there as an antagonist, but he was just a playground bully.

Philip: Right, remember that this is a “kids” show on Nickelodeon.

Brian: Yeah. And then Azula comes a long and you can just kind of feel that this person means business, that she is a person to fear. She’s not typically a character you’d find in a “kids” show.

Philip: Do you think that a villain needs to be feared in order to be “classified” as a villain?

Brian: I don’t think it necessarily has to be fear. I think that’s how Azula did it. I think it’s anything that makes shit fall on the protagonist. And if you’re the cause of that, you’re a villain.

Philip: That’s hot.

Brian: Thanks.

Philip: Why are villains better than heroes!?

Brian: I see what you did there.

Philip: Heh.

Brian: Villains make a story?

Philip: Ooh, and heroes don’t?

Brian: Well. Well no, actually. There was a quote . . . something, something, happy people . . . happy people are happy in the same way, or something like that. It was Tolstoy or something ####### <—(He starts to mumble here and I’m not sure what he’s saying). Basically, happy people are boring.

Philip: I have one more question. Is “heroship” and “villainnessness” a matter of perspective? Because from Azula’s point of view, her dad, the Firelord was a hero, and the Avatar was the villain.

Brian: I’m not sure that was her thought process, though. I think she just delighted in being the bad guy.

Philip: What a gal.


A bright flash of light
Nature roars her dominance
Reclaiming her child

-Brian Pham, about Azula, from Avatar: The Last Airbender

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: “Azula” by lychi, on Deviantart.

Regenerate Your HP at EXP

It’s that time of day again. I’m hungry, and this time, I want to be whisked off to Vancouver.

From its website alone, video game-themed EXP Restaurant & Bar promises a plethora of fun and flavorful foods to be had. “Level up and be awesome,” they challenge, and with excellent company, too.

309 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1T3, Canada. Open 5pm to Midnight.

I’d like to say that I checked out their events first, but let’s be honest, ambiance is nothing if I’m struggling to swallow meaningless mush. (There’s a separate, angsty time and place for that, thank you.) Here, check out the menu with me. Continue reading Regenerate Your HP at EXP

w00t! Always Sometimes Villains Reaches 100 Followers!

A big fat thanks goes to WordPress blogger and novelist(!) AnaSpoke, who became our 100th follower today, and of course, to the other 99 who made it possible in the first place! Don’t know how else to celebrate the occasion besides with this little aside, but we’ll probably make a mini-holiday out of it or something.

Mraaaaahhhhherrrrhh <–I don’t know what that is.

ASV Year 2: Patch Notes & Announcements

So I probably spent around 2 hours perusing WordPress themes, wondering whether or not I should change the one we’re using now, but ultimately decided against it. The reason? Laziness. That, and all the good ones cost upwards $80. Anyway:


  • New logo! (I tried to go for a minimalist style . . . did it work? did I fail? should I just quit trying?) Hopefully this one sticks, hehehehe
  • New header image! (Again, I tried to keep it simple . . . )
  • Removed “Video” widget
  • Added “Recent Comments” widget
  • Added “Countdown Calendar” widget for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens


  • As anyone with eyes could probably tell, ASV has been pretty dead recently. Everyone’s a little burnt out, and we don’t know what to write–yadda, yadda, yadda. THERE IS NO EXCUSE! And I personally take full responsibility. That said, we don’t have a huge amount of followers and no one has messaged me saying I’m garbage (other than myself), so there’s that.
  • But yeah: despite the lack of content/activity on the blog, rest assured the staff of Always Sometimes Villains is still as nerdy as ever. We’ve been keeping up with new movies, television, music, etc., and the 2016 ASV Awards is definitely still happening. Between then and now–HOPEFULLY–we’ll be getting some new Space Sundays by Jeremiah, Throwback Thursdays, the occasional video game Sandwich Review by myself or Brian, and Christine should be continuing her Alphabet Cinema journey soon.
  • To our followers, whoever/wherever you may be, and if you even give a crap:
    • I want to apologize again for the recent lack of activity. In the comments, please feel free to flame me. Also! We want to try getting our followers’ opinions into the mix with the ASV Awards, so please leave a list of movies, TV, music, books, and video games that have had the most impact on you this year, and we’ll check ’em out.
  • To the ASV family:
    • Remember to keep adding to that Google Drive list that we have, good or bad. We’ll suss out everything as the year comes to a close.
    • Ideas. Throw ideas at me. Don’t care what they are. I’m an an idea garbage bin. I am fueled by your mind-trash.
    • Small thing: We Are Now Justifying Everything. Why? It’s just a thing we’re doing it. I say we are doing it and we are doing it. justify justify justify
    • Do we need an anniversary post or something? It would be more than belated . . .
  • And, finally: because writer’s block is a thing and grammar are hard, I’ve been trying to get a ASV podcast project off the ground. I think sometimes it’s just easier to talk about these things instead of sitting down to write a post. Anyway, it started as a video talk show but now I’ve lowered my standards and am aiming for an audio-only podcast. We’ll see where it goes.

THAT’S IT! Thanks for reading. Peace, jabronis 🙂

St. Patrick’s Day and the Color Green

Wear green today or people start eyeing the fatty part of your arms with the malicious intent of pinching it until it bruises. (Yea, little Christine did not enjoy that one day in elementary school, okay?)

Instead of pinching, however, or copious amounts of alcohol, I’m just gonna post something a bit more frivolous for St. Paddy’s holiday. I present: Nine Characters in Nerd-dom That Are Decidedly Green. (Note: I TRIED ranking them; it DIDN’T work. I’m too indecisive; don’t judge me!!!) Continue reading St. Patrick’s Day and the Color Green