One of the recurring themes of the Avatar: The Last Airbender blogs was how much Azula reminded Mark of his own sadistic, manipulative sister who he's wanted nothing to do with for years, and how this really made him want her comeuppance to be as horrible as possible. But her Villainous Breakdown in the finale was so well done that he surprised himself with an Alas, Poor Villain reaction, and even started pondering what his sister might have been going through recently until he considered trying to mend fences with her.
The first few chapters of the Harry Potter blogs. After being completely burned out from reading the entire Twilight series, he was very cynical going into this one, but is slowly won over until he's completely on board once Hagrid shows up. It's very sweet seeing him rediscover a love of reading like this.
Like many Harry Potter readers, Mark considered Dobby to be The Scrappy during his first read through of Chamber of Secrets. During his re-read of the book after having finished the series, his re-review of Dobby's introductory chapter consists of one long letter of apology from Mark to Dobby for ever having thought badly of him.
His conclusion from Chapter 32 of The Amber Spyglass: "'Tell them stories,' the ghost says. And I think back to how this chapter put thoughts in my mind, acts and behaviors and a history I didnít get to talk about, and as soon as I read that final line, I knew that even on my part, I was supposed to tell stories, too. Maybe itís all Iím good at, but you know what? Iím perfectly okay with that."
And for the very next chapter, he was inspired to talk about the horrible circumstances behind how he lost his faith in God. This was followed by a huge outpouring of sympathy in the comments, with several people sharing their own stories and everyone making sure to tell him how much they loved him and how good a person he is.
In his reading of Chapter 30 of Half Blood Prince, we learn that Mark got a letter from his dying father, who wasn't at all nice to him when Mark was growing up. It says "Thanks for making up with Mom. It stopped the fighting for a long time. I'm proud of you living on your own. And I'm proud to have been your father."
For two chapters of The Hobbit, he tells the story through imagining Tolkien's original bedtime story to his son Christopher. It's funny and adorable in equal measure.
Reading anything about his horribly depressing childhood makes it remarkable and quite uplifting that he's ended up as such a happy, well-adjusted adult, making money by doing something he loves.
Any time he reads something good on Youtube. Naturally, people mostly make him read terrible stuff, so it's great to see him just loving what he's reading for once.
Following The Great Spuffy Meltdown of 2012, where Mark went on at length about how most of the site's moderation is invisible and probably not appreciated, many lurkers broke their silence to tell the mods how much they did appreciate their work.
"Reading your reviews of Alanna is making me as excited as if I were writing it all over again, and I haven't felt that amped up over those books in a long time! Thank you for this gift!"
During a watching of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Mark watches the scene where Madoka is given a Mind Rape from a Witch, which led to her saying to herself, "I'm a coward..." Mark's response is to say to her "You're not a coward!". Even though she's not real, his investment into her is so lovely.
After making a game effort to run Mark Plays as a project just as big as Reads and Watches, after a few months his schedule was so demanding that his long-dormant depression came back with a vengeance. He then wrote a post explaining that it would have to be reduced to a side project that would only be updated when he could spare the time, being very apologetic about the whole thing. The comments to that announcement quickly filled up with people assuring him they accepted the situation, and the important thing was his health.
His thanking the Tortall Universe fans for being the nicest fandom he's ever encountered in the site's history, with no one at all giving the moderators any trouble.
Similar to the above moment, in the Princess Tutu second season predictions one poster (MoElskerDeg) thanked the PT fandom for being so sweet and welcoming. The response is basically sheer fluff, topped off with this comment from Mark.
Mark: Can the Princess Tutu fandom and the Tammy Pierce fandom take over all fandoms?
His account of attending Lonestar Con 2013, after being nominated for a Hugo. He got to meet tons of fans and fellow nominees (including George RR Martin telling him afterwards that no one would ever be able to take his status as a Hugo Loser away), and was quickly accepted by everyone who'd never heard of him before.
The constant cooing over Backup every time he appears.
And saying that if he ever has a daughter, he wants their relationship to be like Veronica and Keith's.
His love for Achoo and dogs in general, best shown in Bloodhound Part 4 when he spends most of the review gushing about animals of every kind, but especially dogs.
Finally getting Ice Giants after spending five Discworld books asking about them.
Going through the (quite disturbing) first chapter of Sandry's Book, he's really happy (to the point of clapping excitedly) when he realizes Daja's black, since protagonists of color are pretty rare in fantasy.
In Part 4 of Tris' Book, he spends the first paragraph gushing about how amazing the series is, how deeply he's connecting to it, and how he looks forward to every section.
Gertrude and Nathaniel the Tribbles. Any time he gets too upset, they're there to pull him out of it.
His reaction to the first two Star Trek movies. Typically people have one of two responses: either The Motion Picture is a brilliant cerebral experience and The Wrath of Khan is a throwaway action movie, or The Wrath of Khan is the best of all the movies and The Motion Picture is an unbearable bore. And then Mark (who went into both with absolutely no preconceptions, not even knowing the "odds bad, evens good" rule) defied expectations by finding both of them equally fantastic.
After Terry Pratchett's passing, his website's homepage now has a picture and a quote from him.
In the final section of Moving Pictures, Mark muses about how it seemed the big dream of his life was killed when he had to drop out of college, but now here he is with tons of fans all over the world reading his work, and about to enter the literary world himself. He concludes that despite a good deal of upheaval going on right now in his life, "I have never, ever been happier to be Mark Oshiro."
His Twitter posts after finishing the show: "I have never been more destroyed in my entire life. And for once it's because I'm HAPPY. I'm still crying because this doesn't happen. This NEVER happens in shows I love. I'm sitting here in shock. That Korra finale is one of the best-and most important-things I have ever seen. Oh my god, NOW I KNOW WHY THE INTERNET BROKE LAST YEAR. And why people have been shooing me out of my own panels at conventions. I need to lay down and cry some more. My god, thank you to every one of you who pestered me to catch up on Korra, you have my gratitude."
The video reaction for "The Last Stand", specifically the moment when Mark realizes that the subtext he saw wasn't just wishful thinking. He keeps asking "Are you serious?" until the very end, while he's crying out of happiness.
His discovery that Daja from Circle of Magic is a lesbian. His reaction is perhaps even more powerful than the Korra finale as he has to keep reading the chapter while completely overwhelmed by it, and his review notes that perhaps he was so quick to name her his favorite of the four main characters because he subconsciously sensed this connection.
It gets even better when they actually hook up, where he says "This means so much to me" and subconsciously assigns them a Portmanteau Couple Name. And then there's the casual reveal of Rosethorn's bisexuality just a couple minutes later.
His reaction to the reveals about Lark and Rosethorn are almost better than the reveal about Daja. The reveal about Daja was built up to but Lark and Rosethorn are just casually dropped in a couple of sentences. Needless to say he freaks out a bit.
He completely melts during Briar and Evvy's reunion in "Battle Magic," and marvels in the written review that the book was able to create this kind of response out of something he knew full well was coming thanks to the book being a prequel.
Mark revealed on Twitter that his boyfriend Baize was quite reluctant to be part of the Sense8 videos, worried that all the fans would hate him and say he was annoying. Instead, he was a gigantic hit and got quite a few requests to become a regular part of the videos for every show.
This later led to Baize marathoning all the Agent Carter episodes Mark had watched so he could be in the last few videos for the season, followed by him joining the watch of The 100, which neither of them knew a single thing about, just for the hell of it.
During Kira's reassignment in the Season 2 premiere: "I don't want this to happen. I can't imagine the station without her."
His gratitude for the episode "Cardassians" finally giving him something to point to that fans of the same genres he loves would be familiar with, to demonstrate the issues he struggled with after being adopted by people of a different race.
Baize's overjoyed reaction to Indra surviving her injuries near the end of Season 2 of The 100, after he was less than impressed with the show's track record for its non-white characters up to that point.
His commissioned video for an episode of the Soul Music animated series. He literally spends the entire thing with a giant smile on his face, getting to see this world that had just been in his head for over a year.
While watching the Batman: The Animated Series episode POV, he takes a quick moment away from marveling at the asskicking to express his delight that the episode is centered around a woman of color.
Baize happens to be walking by during Maisie Williams' first appearance on Doctor Who, leading to:
Mark: I know, right?
Reading the scene in Deep Wizardry where Nita takes her parents to the Moon. He spends the whole thing looking like he's about to cry, and after finishing the chapter declares it one of the best chapters of any book he's ever read.
His joy at the sensitive, knowledgeable depiction of autism in A Wizard Alonenote which actually owes a lot to Diane Duane educating herself a good deal more on the subject after numerous complaints that its depiction in the original edition of the book was offensive, all while making sure to note that he's no kind of expert on the condition, and he should probably do more research on it if he's going to keep talking about it in his reviews.
The addition of Steven Universe to the schedule was a big preemptive one, after all the complaints he's made about queerbaiting and the refusal of most stories he goes through to feature gay representation. And then comes this, trumpeted by its fans as the gayest show currently on TV, which happily picked up the baton the ending of The Legend of Korra held out and kept running with it, taking its representation to heights previously unheard of for an American kids' cartoon.
He comments how kind, sweet and relatable Steven is in a lot of reviews. It's nice to see the little guy get so much love.
His review of "The Answer" barely touches on the episode itself as it can fully stand on its own, and he just uses it as a launching point to discuss how there was so much standing in the way of him embracing his identity as a gay man, but now he's done it, and is so much happier as a result. The comments are also full of other non-heteronormative people talking about how great it is for a show aimed at kids to have a message like this, letting them absorb it before they can be exposed to much of the hatred that can make it difficult to get through.