Crit & Crit - Combining Literary Analysis and Electronic Entertainment!


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This seems like the most logical place to put this.

Hello! Long time no see for some of you. In the past year and change I and my fiancee Scintillae have been working on an idea for a YouTube project combining playing video games with discussing books. After a lot of discussion, procrastination, and consideration, we started Crit & Crit (short for Critical & Critique) in late 2021.

We currently just completed a series on the first Harry Potter book coupled with Final Fantasy V, and have two other series - Pygmalion by George Shaw and Mega Man X, and A Christmas Carol by Dickens and Pokemon Christmas - in our backlog. More HP/FFV is coming in the future, though we will be having short breaks between books to discuss other things and play other games.

Click here to view our channel if you think this is something you'll find entertaining! We upload on Sundays and Wednesdays, around noon US Central time.

We're taking a break from the world of Harry Potter between books and stepping over into another well-known fantastical world, H.P. Lovecraft's infamous "The Call of Cthulhu". Alongside we're playing the cute-and-cuddly indie platformer Eversion!

Continuing through Eversion and recounting the plot of The Call of Cthulhu for those unfamiliar or wanting a refresher.

Time to talk about Lovecraft's choice of framing devices and the concept of Cosmic Horror as a genre.

Wrapping up Eversion and discussing Lovecraft himself, his less-than-pleasant personal attributes, and the issue of having a problematic creator with a beloved product.

We're back to Harry Potter with Book 2, and returning to exploring the Library of Ancients in Final Fantasy 5!

We continue exploring while discussing the ramifications of class differences between characters both within Hogwarts and in the wizarding world as a whole.

Let's talk about wizard racism! And fight a wizard in the forest.

Bullying, thuggery, and abuse of power. Also earthquakes and blackbirds.

Time to get lost in the desert and talk about why life's not fair.

The time has come to discuss the infamous character of Voldemort, and spend a little time on the nature of his names.

Masquerade!! Hide your face so the world will never find you! Let's talk about the separation between the worlds of the magical and the mundane, and fail to progress the story in any meaningful way.

Let's talk about animals! And fight robots with magic.

- - - - -

Time for a discussion concerning the concept of fame and celebrity culture in the world of Hogwarts, contrasting the depictions of Harry and Gilderoy Lockhart, and bringing in the concept of broken pedestals and... well, you can see how that might be relevant on a meta level.

Taking another between-books break from Harry Potter and FF5, we're now moving down underground to the creepy crawly realm of Hollow Knight's Hallownest, and taking our first unnerving look into the depressing realm of Franz Kafka with his most famous work, The Metamorphosis.

Got several videos to catch up on! Been bad about cross-posting.


Let's recap the plot of The Metamorphosis and study Gregor Samsa as a character, particularly his need to be seen as reliable and hardworking despite the abuse he suffers.


Kafka was not a happy writer. Let's look into that a bit.


Burnout, sickness, and disability. Let's see how well those paint over the more fantastical situation befalling Gregor Samsa.


It's impossible to discuss the Metamorphosis without comparison to the modern world. Let's spend a little time considering stress, money, and how both in the past and present they enchain us all.


Isolation and dysphoria cause stress to the body and mind, and nothing better depicts that than being literally trapped in the body of something you're not.

Our last episode on Kafka and Hollow Knight, we discuss dreams and goals delayed and abandoned, and how it wears on the mind and soul.

Time to go back to Final Fantasy and Harry Potter, starting up the third book, Prisoner of Azkaban.

Exdeath is free! And in The Potterverse we're talking about Family - a major theme throughout the series, especially the contrast between family of birth and family of choice.

Nothing gets the crowds riled quite like "Think of the Children" does. Let's just see how badly that goes.

[Content warning: torture, psychological harm, and cruel and unusual punishment.] Let's talk about Azkaban, and the utterly wretched state of punitive incarceration in the wizarding world.

Let's have a look at how dangerous animals and creatures, even domestic ones, are treated both in the Potterverse and in the real world. With guest appearance from a relevant puppy.

Guess we can't put this off any longer. Let's talk about Time Travel, Prophecy, and Predestination.

What makes a monster?

It's treason, then.

Those lovable rascals - every series has them. Let's look at HP's examples.

Comparing treating magic as an art to magic as a science is a little more complex than it might initially look.

There is nothing to fear but Fear Itself. And Fear Itself is a floating blot of shadow that makes you remember your worst lifetime experiences and can eat your soul, so yeah that's worth being afraid of.

It's time for something completely different. We're tackling our first Classic Fairy Tale with "Cinderella", looking over the many versions of the tale, while playing our way through a classic Mario Bros 3 hack, Mario Adventure.

Fairy tales and classic stories are ripe for allusion, and Cinderella is the source of many. Let's have a look!


Humans love to classify things. Fairy tales have been being used to tell stories, teach morals, and share information for ages, and we've catalogued every little detail into archetypical formats. Here's a little about how that works.

Who actually solves problems and gets things done in old fairy tales? What does that say about the morals these tales are trying to teach?

More on fairy tales as morality messages, and how the teaching of such and what morals are taught have changed over time.

"Love at first sight" is a staple of fairy tale narrative. Not without reason, but also not without its share of problems.

And we're back to Harry Potter with book four: Goblet of Fire!

Strap in, this recap is a long one.

Sports as politics, international diplomacy, and a quick way to get people badly injured.

Goblet of Fire is unquestionably the point where the series took a sharper turn into darker subjects, as it aged with its readership. This trend would continue forward as the story unfolds.

Speaking of darker subjects... fictional hate groups and the nature of persecution and prejudice in the world of the novels.

Been a while since I've posted our videos so going to drop a whole bunch at once here. ^^

What happens when society decides the only solution for an extreme problem is an equally-extreme response? A spiral of abuse and mistreatment inevitably follows.


Conspiracies abound, in the real world and the fictional.


With the myriad powers of magic - invisibility, shapeshifting, duplication - how secure can one be in their own privacy and safety? And how far is too far to go in response?


No shortage of misinformation and duplicity to go around in the news - something we know well in the real world as well as the fictional.

Classism, racism, and abuse are rampant in the world of Harry Potter... and for the most part, the protagonists are happily complicit or uncaring.


A couple of demiromantic asexuals stumble through the Shipping Wars.

Survivor's guilt and Trauma in the wake of tragedy.

Rowling has a bad tendency to lean on stereotypes in her writing, especially when coding her antagonists. Coupled with her harmful positions in recent days, it paints a clear picture of how she is as a person.


A look-over on our cast of characters as we wrap up Goblet of Fire and reach the series midpoint.

We're stepping back in time to have a look at an indie game classic from 2010, IJI! Coupled with a larger step back to the 1980s to discuss the sci-fi "classic" Ender's Game.

Missed a few weeks again x_x It's been a busy month. Here's the episodes since the last post!

The cruelty and harshness of Battle School, amplified by Command's desire to isolate their prodigy to prevent him becoming reliant on anyone but himself.


Child soldiers and dystopian mayhem.


On geniuses in fiction and the way they're written.


The cruelty of the authority system and the powers that be in Ender's world.


"Isolated, friendless, and self-reliant."


Wartime atrocities and the greater good [THE GREATER GOOD].

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