& by supporting female i mean as in not the protagonist

Tale of Two Princesses

So, people keep to write me that well-written, relatable, developed beyond “I love Noctis” heroine with her own story is impossible for game with POV of male protagonist.

First of all, I don’t hate Luna, I want better for her. Everyone in this game deserved better.

I hate situation, when developers can write a heroine, who was raised to serve a male protagonist, who was killed for him; who hasn’t anything in her life beyond him, and people praise it as “strong female character”, because Square Enix said so. 

I don’t want to say that you shouldn’t write fics or draw fan art with Luna. Give this girl some love and better story, because Square Enix deprived her of anything. They may say otherwise, but I wrote this post, because I want to show how could be written female character in game with male POV, when developers don’t treat her like total garbage.

I don’t get this logic, when people blaming someone for “hating” female character, but at the same time they think she must be sacrificed on Altar of Man’s Story and everything else is bad storytelling. 

I hate situation, when developers can cut important story content from game, sell it as Season Pass, and people would defend it as unique artistic desicion and example of good writing, because Square Enix said so.

It’s not like there are dozens of other games, including previous Final Fantasy entries, which managed to have deep, complex characters without selling their story arcs as DLC. 

It’s not like one of the most critically acclaimed, best-selling open-world RPG is story about man, who is looking for woman with her own important duty to fullfill.

And this heroine isn’t written as empty husk, who exists only to cry about her love for protagonist, because he is POV character. 

Meet princess Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, main heroine of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

[it’s even funnier, concidering that Witcher 3 has reputation of very sexist,  misogynistic dudebro-simulator on tumblr, because it shows some tiddies.] 

[This is big post. If you are impatient and have some questions already (”why are you comparing Western Game with JRPG?”), you can read ending part, where I explained some things further]

 Ciri is former princess of Cintra, small country annexed by Nilfgaard Empire when Ciri was little girl. She is heir of Elder Blood and Lady of Space and Time, who must stop The White Frost and save the world. Her fate is intertwined with fate of main male protagonist, her adoptive father Geralt. They had been separated for several years before game events, but in Wild Hunt Geralt finally got an opportunity to find her, while Ciri is on her own jouney to prevent new Ice Age.

Story is shown from Geralt’s perspective strictly and until certain point Ciri appears only in flashbacks told by other people. And by saying “certain point” I mean - not all developers support the idea that killing female characters is mandatory way for making story more tragic.

This is very first promotional shot of Witcher 3:

This is how this scene looks in game now (second screenshot from PS4 version, don’t mind quality). Sorry, Geralt, you might be protagonist, very masculine and stoic bearded white dude, but our girls important too.

Look at Geralt’s expression. He is very proud of his daughter.

Square Enix hadn’t been bothered with adding second throne chair for Lunafreya in ending scene. She seats near King Noctis on the floor. After all her sacrifices she deserved only to merely stand near male protagonist on her knees.

For further humilation Noctis can show her photo of Cidney’s double D’s as the most beautiful memory of his mortal life.

[You don’t need another 10 years of developemt to copypast single chair in 3D modelling soft. If you care about your main lady, of course.]

Instead of forcing Ciri into poorly written romance with someone she met once in 12 years right before passing into the fridge, CD Project give player an option to keep her bisexual (I can’t deny her romantic relationships with men in book canon).

Male protagonist didn’t stop Witcher 3 from passing Bechdel test. The first flashback of Ciri’s journey showed how she saved little girl from wolves. They also discussed about girl’s problem in family (not all little girls exist only for telling protagonist how much heroine loves him) and later Ciri helped her to find new home and made a spinning toy for her.

During her journey Ciri made a lot of friends. Former princess is very familiar with common people. Yet she isn’t flawless angel, who is too good for you. She is hot-headed, very stubborn, she can’t control her abilities properly, she can steal horses for her friends of kill someone for self-defence. Ah, and she is messy eater.

No one in Witcher 3 perfect, but these people still capable to built deep  relationships with each other, without being attached to protagonist only.

[I don’t think that 2 lines, which depicted that Ciri good at carving and with kids, took half of TW3 budjet.]

Her mother, Yennefer of Vengerberg worked for Nilfgaard Empire as Advisor of Empreror, who lead the Slaughter of Cintra. But CD Project didn’t give her role of Evil Stepmother, who treats her daughter like nothing, because Geralt must be only prominent figure in her life.

Ciri’s best friend, Triss Merigold is former agent of Lodge, very shady organization, which planned to use Ciri as pawn in their political intrigues. Despite Triss dark past, Ciri still calls her sister, not a lapdog.

Also, I want to add that Triss and Yennefer actually protected Ciri from Wild Hunt during battle in Kaer Morhen unlike Gentiana, who was somewhere offscreen, when Ardyn stabbed Lunafreya. Why mortal woman can do this, but immortal Goddess can’t?

[On my screens Ciri interacted with women more than Luna in whole FFXV]

Ciri has friends and family, even her biological father in game is way more caring person than his book version.

CD Project RED didn’t degrade Ciri into pathetic Pity Sue, surrounded by abusive jerks, in case of making her bonds with Geralt more meaningful and making male protagonist The One Nice Guy Who Can Understand and Support Her.

I don’t think that every character should have 12 siblings, 2 fathers, 3 mothers and 10k followers on tumblr. Character’s loneliness, insecurities, desire to have friends could be major part of their personality. But Square Enix saved this type of development for Prompto, Luna doesn’t have interest in anyone, who isn’t Chosen King.

[ When I’m writing that Luna did something wrong, it doesn’t mean that I blame her, she is fictional person. I blame her writers]

Ciri doesn’t need Chosen King to fix the world, she can be Empress of Nilfgaard herself and restore peace and prosperity by her own hands.

[Keep in mind, according to tumblr this game made by evil sexists]

But she is still Geralt’s daughter, his child of Destiny. They are bound to each other, but Witcher 3 doesn’t push flowery words about Fate and Great Love down to my throat in every cutscene. And it is primarly Geralt, who talks about Ciri. He shares stories about their past, memories of their best or dark days. CD Project didn’t waste Ciri’s limited screentime for crying about Geralt in corner. Of course, she talks about him too, but she is her own character with her own journey and developers showed me this journey.

[There is even snowball fight mini-game. Can you believe these two dorks are almost century old battle hardened witcher and future saviour of the world?]

Meanwhile in FFXV. Little kids having fun times and bonding over… nevermind.

Ciri can have some fun, but she is still Lady of Space and Time with great responsibilities. Ciri’s duty to save the world from White Frost is important and a lot of people sacrifised their lives for it, which caused her emotional breakdown at some moment. You can fail to achieve any of good endings if you don’t let Ciri to properly bury and mourn guy, who helped her to hide from Wild Hunt. She knew him for couple of hours, but she appreciated his sacrifice deeply. How many times Lunafreya mourned Nyx, king Regis? I don’t blame her for it, it’s not even Lunafreya’s problem - lack of grief is common problem of FFXV characters, but Luna has note book. If you run out of budjet and time for rendering cutscenes, you can write sorry letter from your heroine to Noctis. But I guess, I spent more time writing this post on foreign for me language, than Luna’s writer spent on her character. 

I don’t have problems with crying woman, but I think that emotional events should lead character to realizing something. When Ciri’s uncle Vesemir joined uncle Ben in Dead Uncles Heaven it was major turning point for her character development. It is important to help her cope with his death properly by realizing who Ciri is. After this part of story, when she went through the different stages of grief, she grew as person a lot and started to be more proactive.

Lunafreya’s tragic love for Noctis and her desperate desire to see him again didn’t affect her personality beyond just crying about him in every cutscene. She missed every opportunity to see him, she didn’t start to question her or his fate, she is still pawn of destiny. Unlike Ciri, Lunafreya suffers just for pure sake of suffering, because Noctis needs something to be sad about.

But not a single woman had been killed to provide Geralt external sourse of man pain unless you failed as father. Not a single one. CD Project RED doesn’t treat their female characters as plot-devices, which exist only to love male protagonist, serve him, support him and die for him. Geralt can have sex with several women, but none of them would ever say that staying behind him is sole purpose of the existance. Witcher 3 has plenty of problems with visual sexualization, but women in this game have they their own goals, duties and story arcs.

Ciri was written by Andrzej Sapkowski, Lunafreya is original FFXV character: Technically, books are prequel, Ciri was young teen during events of Witcher saga. In game she is grown up woman and basically new character, written by another people. Good prequel/sourse material doesn’t automatically mean that further story progression couldn’t ruin character. E.G. Lunafreya was somewhat tolerable in Kingsglaive, in game she is catastrophe.

You think that Ciri is strong heroine, because she is fighter: During this wall of text I never pointed her ability to fight as advantage (and her gameplay sections were kind of tedious). I made focus on her emotional development, presentation and amount of resources, which devepors spent on it. 

FFXV went through development hell and Square Enix hadn’t enough time and resources: In which universe Polish developers had more money and resources than freaking Square Enix. They had enough resources for making quest about Cup Noodles. They had enough resources to release 2 fanservice updates (Carnaval in Altissia and Assassins Festival) and several demos. Their had enough resources to develop Noctis date with Iris. They just don’t care about Luna.

But game told from Noctis point of view (here we go again): Geralt is protagonist of Witcher 3. Story shown strictly from his perspective. Male protagonist isn’t excuse for garbage writing of female characters. There are a lot of games (uncluding FF titles) with male protagonists, where women aren’t portrayed as useless plot-devices. Final Fantasy XII starred male protagonist Vaan, but Princess Ashe is here. Final Fantasy X starred Tidus, but Yuna in spite being love interest, still her own character. All of the listed games are well-known for complex stories without attached to them paid movies and paid DLCs, unlike glorified hot mess early access FFXV.

Lunafreya doesn’t have enough screentime. Sad, but true. Somehow, Ciri’s flashbacks, including short playable sections are ~1hour long. Lunafreya has 25 minutes of pure cutscenes, half of this time (not to mention her screentime in Kingsglaive and cameo in Brotherhood). Alas, she doesn’t have 1/10 of Ciri’s development. But I don’t think that lack of screentime is biggest problem, because quality>quanity. Another TW3 heroine, Iris von Everec has the same 25 minutes, but it was enough to show one the most tragic, beautiful and relatable stories in history of videogames.  

Square Enix will fix Lunafreya’s story with DLC: I refuse to support unhealthy DLC politics by buying content, which should be in game since first day of release. “Games as services” must die. FFVI World of Ruin was part of the base game. Previous FF titles managed to have characters arcs in game. But I’m going to said it again, Lunafreya’s role in game broken beyond repair (so, free update isn’t panacea too). She is still sacrificial lamb for Noctis Man Pain, who was groomed to be sacrificial lamb since age 4. 

Square Enix cut off several cutscenes about Lunafreya’s dark past, because they were afraid of SJWs: It’s unconfirmed rumor, very popular one, because it’s easy to blame feminists instead of terrible male writers. If Square Enix didn’t want to provoke feminists, then why Cidney’s bikini is still here? Why Lunafreya was beaten in almost every FFXV universe media peace (Omen trailer, Dawn 2.0 trailer, FFXV)? And I think something is very wrong with statement and over obsession with idea that woman must be raped or abused, so, she can have character development, and this is only possible way to write strong heroine.

You are misogynist, who hates only Lunafreya. Male characters are poorly written too. FFXV writing and narration just sucks. Most of my FFXV text posts and reblogs are critical. Not only me, but fandom discussed a lot about problems with Gladio’s development, Noctis lack of agency, Ignis lack of background and more so. But it was first update in 10 months (if I exclude several lines in Episode Prompto, where Luna played role of guy’s mentor again) with glimpses of Lunafreya. Square Enix had 10 months of players feedback to do something better than another 15 seconds of “I love Noctis”. 

You are one of those Witcher-fanboys. Witcher 3 isn’t flawless, there are a lot of problems with pacing, main conflict was resolved by deus ex machina and it struggles from standard issues of open-world games, when you can go and collect all the Gwent cards in the world instead of story progression. I’m not even fan of Ciri, she isn’t in my top-5 list of favorite TW3 girls, but I can’t underestimate developers love and respect for her. 

Lunafreya got neither of it from Square Enix.

You can’t compare Western role-playing game and JRPG.  They are built upon different traditions, have different sourses of inspiration and Japanese developers don’t care about Western audience and Western gaming in general:

They learned nothing.

On The Toxicity of the Fallout LGBT Fandom At Large


I had a long chat with a friend today about some issues which underlie criticisms of the disproportionate ratio of mxf content to fxf and mxm content in this fandom.

I’ll start by admitting that this all came about from a different conversation with another Tumblr user I disagreed with. I’m not going to name them. But whether I refer to them vaguely or overtly in this confession, the rest of this post is not about them. It’s about a set of attitudes I’ve witnessed from various sources, in different forms, on various platforms and to a spectrum of degrees since I became active in the fandom, and which have been verified to me in the observations of other participants.


When we talk about content in terms of Straight (mxf) content vs Gay content (fxf and mxm) and criticize the clear majority of Straight content, there are two alarming trends that aren’t being addressed:


1) The erasure of most of the LGBT community

2) The dismissal of women as consumers and contributers


Tumblr lets me fuck with font sizes now so I’ll break those topics into headers.

But first let me establish some credentials. I have openly identified myself as a transgender man in the past. I am also bi and demi in some combination of sexual and romantic leanings that, going on 27 years of age now, baffle even me.

My dysphoria has typically been too severe to function in romantic and sexual relationships, though I’ve had a few of both with men and women, and it’s for that reason – and a long history of tacitly letting people around me draw whatever conclusions they wanted about my identity in order to avoid conflict – that I tend to more readily identify myself as “off the market” than bisexual.

I say all of this to curtail the slinging of accusations and assumptions about my place in the LGBT community, in the usual effort to undermine my credibility and the validity of my opinion on these issues.


Erasure


When criticism of mxf fan works comes up, it seems to be understood that the target behind them is Straight and Cisgender sector of the fandom.

Bear in mind, there is a huge disparity between the amount of gay content vs the amount of straight content that we see in this fandom. However – digressing for a moment from my ultimate point – given that inspiration and creativity are not limited resources that need to be rationed out, it doesn’t make sense for us to blame straight content creators for the issue.

The source of the problem lies with the LGBT community. The Straights are not siphoning off our collective, finite reserves of creative power to steal for themselves in some dark ritual (that I know of). They are simply supplying more content than we are, dwarfing our pitiful efforts and outstripping our poor participation.

There are more of them and fewer of us, sure, but we are not as a group putting in the time to create or effectively fostering the creativity of those with potential. The Straights are beating us at a trot because we’re on the bleachers having a smoke and mocking their technique. The handful of Gays who bothered to compete are getting a token party whistle as their only show of moral support, and they’re falling out of the race one by one on low morale.

But here’s the real kicker, the clincher, the real point to my rambling. When we talk about mxf content – Straight content – we are not automatically talking about Straight content contributors.

It is a viciously narrow-minded and prejudiced mindset to take, for us to say that behind every scrap of Straight Content, there is a Straight Person. If you see a piece of fan art or fanfiction that revolves around a mxf relationship you might assume that you’re looking at the work of a cishet creator. At least, that’s the assumption I keep seeing from various sources. But consider who in our own community might be interested in creating and consuming that content.

If you couldn’t think of anyone, I’ll give you some examples off the top of my head:

  • Transmasculine people who, exclusively or nonexclusively, love women
  • Transfeminine people who, exclusively or nonexclusively, love men
  • Nonbinary, genderfluid, agender and other individuals who do not specifically and/or consistently identify with a singular gender, but wanted to explore mxf relationships in fiction


To state the obvious a bit, since they (we) are overlooked:

  • Bisexuals
  • Pansexuals
  • Asexuals


And, perhaps surprising to some readers:

  • Lesbian writers who want to explore a fictional mxf relationship
  • Gay writers who want to explore a fictional mxf relationship


And this is what I mean when I say our community is guilty of a virulent strain of erasure.

By assuming all Straight Content is created by Straight, Cisgender People we reduce the entire spectrum of human sexuality and gender identity to a black and white concept we should be well quit of:

You are either Gay/Lesbian or you are Straight. You are either Gay/Lesbian or you must be Cis. You either create Gay Content exclusively, or you are not a member of the LGBT community.

Which rather makes us the LG community. LGT, if we’re feeling generous, but only if you’re trans AND gay.

Most of the above I like to think of as objective truth rather than opinion, but if you’ve gotten this far and are interested in my opinion I’ll say this: I support the LGBT community. I do not support whichever community refuses to acknowledge its members when they express a shred of interest in mxf pairings. I do not consider those two to be the same community.



Misogyny

And here we have an even deeper issue that permeates the above.

Let me backtrack to my comment about mxf content creators (then referred to as The Straights to avoid spoiling the shocking reveal that not all of them are straight) and how they are outstripping the production of non-straight content by miles.

There are a lot of mxf writers and artists. I do not think it would be sensational to state that a lot of those are women. We all accept that to be a statistical fact, right? The majority of mxf fan art and fanfiction is understood to be the work of women (discounting a subset of grossly exploitative works best left to the bowels of 4chan). Not exclusively, mind, and the male contributors are not exclusively creeps. Let’s get that disclaimer out of the way before I get inundated with #Not All Men anons, and move on to examining our attitudes towards those women.

They’re dominating our fanfiction databases but why? Why is there so much of this content in the Fallout fandom?

Because it enables gamers to create female protagonists.

It sounds like I’m stating the obvious here but there is Subtext here, and Implications, and an explanation for why I, as a feminist, cannot countenance the arbitrary blanket criticism of mxf content and its place – and its women creators’ place – in our fandom.

The gaming industry inundates us with that tired trope of a protagonist we all (myself included) like to rag on: the white, cishet male, bestubbled brunette heartthrob, just striking enough to be attractive and just plain enough to act as a stand in for the male gamers and their hunger for testosterone-fueled action.

Fallout, like several similar RPGs, provides us with a customizable player character whom those of us not in the mouthbreathing cishet white guy demographic can fashion into a form WE relate to. And that means female gamers (cis, trans, or otherwise femme or female-identifying) can see themselves as the heroine, the protagonist, a being of power and agency who drives the forces of change in her world. We can all see women take the spotlight, standing glorious and strong beyond the clutches of the dreaded Fridge, not relegated to the classic two dimensional roles of Love Interest, Spunky Sidekick, Plot Device, MacGuffin, Damsel In Distress, so on and so on and et cetera ad infinitum. We can explore them as characters with their own stories, motivations, arcs and ambitions instead of viewing them only through the lenses of Male Gaze or whittling their development down to only that which directly impacts the development of their male counterparts.

That is POWERFUL. That is IMPORTANT.

Female gamers get to explore a world that a woman shapes through strength and will, and they want to explore these women’s stories outside the impressive but still limited parameters of coding and animation in their local sandbox RPG. They want to flesh these protagonists out past the prerecorded dialogue, examine their backstories before the opening credits and their futures past the end credits, develop their relationships with the NPCs that populate their world, give them new adventures and obstacles – or delve into the nitty gritty emotional/psychological and ramifications of the obstacles they face in canon.

We cannot fail to support the creative endeavors of women who have been inspired by the awesome power of their female protagonists. If we do that then we also fail women themselves. We let them down. I don’t like letting women down. They deserve better.

But when they flock to creative spaces to share their fan works about their female protagonists we complain:

“Too many F!PCs”

“Too much mxf content”

“Not enough Gay content”


As my friend pointed out today – though it has been pointed out to me many a time before and remains a valid and salient point – when we say we want Gay content… we really mean mxm.

Let’s face facts. Fxf content receives support primarily from the wlw corner of the LGBT community, and maybe a small smattering of token support in solidarity from the rest before everyone moves on to demand more mxm content. Of the minority of overtly LGBT content demanded, created and consumed, fxf content is an even slimmer margin.

And then we criticize mxf content and the prevalence of F!PCs on the whole in the few major games that allow female protagonists to carry the narrative weight with agency and aplomb.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

The LGBT sector of our fandom doesn’t appreciate women, doesn’t support wlw, and criticizes the rest of female fandom’s self-expression.


We erase half of ourselves by excluding our own if they’re not hard-line, exclusively gay or lesbian. We lump anyone on the LGBT spectrum in with the Straight sector by default if they express themselves via mxf content.


We don’t support our lesbians. We criticize the creative exploration of women.


We oppress our own and pretend the Straights are our oppressors.


We are, bottom line: toxic.

Tag game-10 favourite characters

Tagged by: my dear buddy @renadragneel~

Rules:  Tell me your favorite character from 10 fictional works (Shows, Movies, Novels, Etc.) and tag 10 people! 

(Note: This list is in no particular order cause I love all my babies~)

1. Kurose Riku from Ten Count by Takahari Rihito (This is a BL manga)
Man….this character is so cool and so complex! This is especially seen with his relationship/interactions with Shirotani…I can’t really type out how much in awe I am whenever I read about him! Not to mention he fits all the physical traits I’d like to see in a guy huehuehue

2.Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler by Yana Tobaso
….Seriously? Does this ‘one hell of a butler need an introduction? He’s awesome! Badass! And will finish his duties before tea-time! :>

  3. Magnus Bane from the Shadowhunter universe by Cassandra Clare
Eyyyyyy everyone’s favourite freewheeling bisexual warlock is here! His sass is off the charts! Like seriously, the most ‘sober’ shirt he has is a black one with sequins that say ‘blink if you want me’. But, he does have a sensitive,caring side…and he was one character that helped me eventually come to terms with my sexuality

4.Rhysand from ACOTAR & ACOMAF by Sarah J Mass
*whistles* Ohhh this character! At first, he starts off seeming to be the villain or atleast a crony of the main antagonist….but as the story progresses…you realise that he is one of the most head-strong, feminist and caring characters…Like the relationship and trust he has on Feyre, the protagonist, is sooo refreshing! Considering that even in that universe, women are just treated secondary to men, as breeding cattle…Please read this book! I wanna have more people to fangirl about him!!!

5. Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima
She used to be my idol ok?! still is lol Like, her magic is so cool and her loyalty and badassery and will to support friends is sooo high! Yet she’s so cute? Like….how?!

Originally posted by urmilkovich

6. Yuko Ichihara from xxxHolic by CLAMP
Ahhh….one of my first female crushes….I mean….she’s so calm and serene…and makes everything around her seem cool? IDK there is just something really enticing about her, and the way she explains the supernatural occurences to Watanuki

7. Nakahara Chuuya from Bungou Stray Dogs by Kafka Asagiri
*giggles* Ohhh my spirit animal….so smol and angry and destructive when pissed….Need I say more about this overly Extra, super sassy, petite mafia?

Originally posted by val-sivan

8. Killua Zoldyck from HunterxHunter by Yoshihiro Togashi
*chuckles* Oh boy…this kid is my precious baby ok! Don’t you dare lay a finger on him! Or….never mind….cause despite his cute, cuddly and energetic appearance, he sure know how to slay a bitch, literally….

9.Makoto Tachibana from Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
AHHHHHHH MY PRECIOUS TACHIBABY!! HE’S SO SWEET AND KIND AND IS BASICALLY THE MOM CHARACTER! AND HE TAKES CARE OF HARU SO WELL?! HE’S JUST A PURE CINNAMON ROLL!!! A PRECIOUS BALL OF FLUFF!!! 10/10 WILL PROTECT!!!!

Originally posted by seabreezefriendship

And last but not the least….

10. Dazai Osamu from Bungou Stray Dogs by Kafka Asagiri
Self-explanatory blog title is self-explanatory lol  AHHHHHHHH I CANNOT EMPHASISE ANY MORE ON HOW MUCH I ADORE DAZAI! I mean, his looks, his cuteness, his intelligence, his battle strategies, his self-confidence….IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL FOR THIS GUY TO EXIST CAUSE HE’S MAKING ME QUESTION MY MORALS AND MY SANITY!!!!

Originally posted by goshikiis

Originally posted by superwhohobbitlocked

Yep….both are the same person jfc

Now Tagging time!
1. @cosmogonalley
2. @yuki-rinichiro
3. @i-will-die-of-fangirling
4. @yuurinikiforov
5. @wyverninkath
6. @renegade-starlord
7. @mira-hansha
8. @cinnamondazai
9. @theenigmaticphoenix
10. @shizuna610

((Do it if you wanna, ok?))

Descendants 2 (SPOILER ALERT, and also, long post ahead)

❁◕ ‿ ◕❁ So I watched Descendants 2 and I have to say it was…actually better than I expected (let me tell you I did not expect okay). Yeah, it was entertaining and the songs were fine -some of them were actually good, like ‘chilling like a villain’ or the one Mal and Evie sang together.

Uma, daughter of Ursula

I have to say, Uma was a great 'villain’. I liked that she didn’t turn good right away. I mean, she’s full of anger and hateful about being stuck in the Isle while Mal and the others live the happy life in Araudon. She has a mom that doesn’t love her like a mother is supposed to -though to be fair, all villain kids as well-, and she feels the world owes her because of all she’s been through. Of course her transition to goodness wasn’t going to be that easy, and given her strong personality and all that, definitely not that fast. I somehow liked that when she felt like a cornered animal when they all were trying to give her a second chance at the last part of the movie, instead of giving in, she run away, transformed into an awesome sea monster, just like her mom, and gave a fight and all that. I think it felt more realistic? or something, and fitting to who she is, in the context of the movie, because Uma somehow deserves more developing of her story, and if they would’ve made her good right away, like I said, it would’ve felt fake or something. I’m sure she’s a good person, but she needs to realize that on her own accord, not because someone tells her to. Or something. 

Lonnie: finally some justice for Mulan’s daughter

I loved that they gave Lonnie more importance in the movie (because I love Mulan ahah) and what better way than showing her as a determined, strong female leader, ready to defy standards like in Tourney and in the 'battle field’, so to speak, just like Mulan. I mean, it’s not as if she became the protagonist, but, y'know what I mean …I hope xD. Besides, I even loved more that they didn’t push a relationship between her and Jay like we know Disney always does -cough cough Carlos and Jane cough cough-. If I perceived well, it definitely did not look like it, it more looked like Jay respected her and vice versa,  and that was a hell of a friendship right there. Supporting your friend against sexist assholes a.k.a Chad, and being there for them, no matter what, is the best kind of friendship yay! And it doesn’t have to always turn into something else, I mean, c'mon, boys and girls can be just friends. 

As for that exact last point, here goes my complaint about the Carlos/Jane thingy. 

Carlos and…Jane? ok-ay

It’s not that I don’t agree they look cute - 'cause I’ve always thought, ever since the first movie, that Carlos and Jane would actually not look that bad together -, it’s also not because I think Carlos is gay and that for that reason it looked forced -though, Carlos may very well be gay or, y'know, bi, or anything else, so it is a little sad that Disney didn’t go through that road with him, but y'know, Disney, right? - nop, the actual reason I did not buy the CarlosxJane thing was because there was no build up for it, none at all. Like, yeah sure, they danced last movie and that was it. You don’t suddenly fall in love or get a crush on someone just because you dance with them for a little while, and that’s definitely not reason for someone to suddenly 'hear her voice in my head’ like Carlos said in Ways to be Wicked. Besides, in the first movie, Carlos barely paid attention to Jane until the very last, and lemme tell you, it did not look like someone who wanted to dance with somebody because they liked them in a romantic way or something. 

Yeah, probably they had more contact after the dance scene last movie that we certainly didn’t see in this one, but if that would’ve been the case, it would’ve been more obvious when Carlos and Jane interacted, but all I saw was a suddenly love-sick Carlos and a definitely not-intetested-in-Carlos Jane, having some awkward scenes for the sake of the obligatory rule Disney has about all characters being with someone -that on top of that must be of the opposite sex, obviously. I mean, it looked forced because they didn’t even try to make it look real. Yeah, I know, movie can’t last forever, there’s no time to develop something believable between these two, but c'mon, even in Frozen they pulled off the believable romance between Anna and Hans -although he later turned out to be the biggest asshole to be alive, but at least their brief thingy was believable until that point. It could’ve been great if they wouldn’t have forced it, if they would’ve made Jane more interested, if they would’ve made her actually pay attention to Carlos and them actually talking just for the sake of it and, I dunno, maybe then realize that hey, this person is actually super nice and I may start to like like them, or something. But no, they just couldn’t do it. 

And yeah, it was really bad that they didn’t make Carlos have a thing for Jay, because that would’ve not only been super cool, but also really believable -you cannot deny they had chemistry in the first movie that still was subtly shoved in our faces in this one-. Seriuously Disney, nothing bad’s gonna happen if you make Jaylos (or any ohter lgbtq couple, for that matter, seeing as the new villain kid, Harry Hook, was certainly not straight anyone could see that) happen. I mean, it’s 2017, for crying out loud! You should really follow the example of norwegian shows.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 Again, I actually wouldn’t have mind that much Carlos and Jane as an item, if only they would’ve tried harder for it to look real. Man, even Lonnie and Jay is acceptable -though I’m still up for that killer friendship. But, oh well, you can’t really expect more of Disney when it comes to either diversity or convincing relationships that are not the main relationship…if that makes sense lol. 

Anyway, despite that big, huge  disappointment -along with the one where they cut the one scene where they show hook’s son kissing gaston’s son, because that would’ve been big kudos to Disney-, overall the movie wasn’t that bad. I say it was thanks to the new characters added, Lonnie being a baddass, the rotten four being supportive of each other, and the healthy relationships shown that were convincing -Evie and Dopey’s son, and Mal and Ben, though Mevie wasn’t bad either ahaha.    

if you read until this point, thanks! sorry for any spelling mistakes, english is not my first language, I try my best lol and as for my opinion, well, that’s what it is, lol, let me know what you thought of the movie or whatever hehe  ❁◕ ‿ ◕❁

Mini Rant (it was cultural appreciation, not appropriation)

So I went and watched the Coldplay music video today and was incredibly confused by the comments. Let me start off by saying that I myself am Indian and am supportive of things such as reclaim the bindi. However, the music video was far from cultural appropriation. First off, people are complaining that Beyoncé was a Bollywood actress. #1, there are a couple of non-Indian Bollywood actresses. #2, Beyoncé SANG the song, why the hell would they put someone else as the female protagonist??? Secondly, there are people complaining about Beyoncé wearing an Indian outfit. That outfit isn’t mocking my culture, it is celebrating it. It was such a beautiful outfit and she looked stunning. She didn’t misuse the outfit and change the meaning of it. She was supposed to be celebrating Indian culture, what is she supposed to wear?? Jeans? NO, that’d be stupid. Also, people are complaining about showing poverty in India. COLDPLAY INCLUDED EVERY PART OF INDIA. Actually, there was something symbolic from each state from India and I think that that was beautiful to see. Seeing the poverty wasn’t bad, it’s what I see when I go to India. They included India in its raw form, not the glitz. It was real. I have never seen a music video display India so well and it’s so sad that people are turning this into a thing of cultural appropriation. It’s cultural appreciation and makes me very proud to be Indian.

side note: moment of appreciation for how amazing those shots were

On Vanitas and Noe, Elliot/Leo and to some extent Oz and Alice.

I am not gonna lie here, I really like VNC but one of the main reasons I follow it is the VaniNoe, I haven’t yet managed to read the new chapter (12) but I have seen enough pics around…

So I am just gonna…

*You know, Jun did admit Elliot/Leo were soulmates, like that was it; Leo lost it when Elliot died and Elliot, well his feelings were Statice right. They were supposed to be together…

*So if she admitted this why the VaniNoe or in this case the Noe—> Vani could not happen (?)

*In a sense PH was Alice and Oz story (main ship) with supporting cast; in VNC however the story curiosly enough is not about a male and female protagonist, no, I don’t mean to be close minded or to attack any ship in here, I am just saying (Domi and Jeanne, they are not protagonists, they are supporting cast), VNC is Noe and Vanitas story… and this, this is important, all the manga focus on them, their relationship, their begining and their end.

*In a way… And keep in mind this my opinion alone, just a feeling, I think Jun is trying to mirror the Elliot/Leo relatioship, but with a twist, redemption… So what pretty much I am trying to say here is: I think and once again is just a hunch, Vanitas is alive, I think we will reach a point when we will catch up with the Noe who is telling us his story, and the story will go from there with Noe believing Vanitas dead but that not being the case… (Although it could be wishfull thinking on my part too) and also… They are/will get to be soulmates.

4

So a very specific comment on Facebook ticked me off.

Agents of Sheild is filled with “kick butt” women and men of color. Agent Carter has a female lead. Black Panther is coming. Luke Cage is coming. Jessica Jones is coming. Captain Marvel is coming. The Sheild spin-off with Mockingbird is coming. All female leads or “men of color” leads. And still its not enough. Be honest, it would never be enough, would it?

Look at that last part. “And still it’s not enough. Be honest, it would never be enough, would it?” Let me translate that for you without the veiled bullshit: “Look you n******, chinks, and basically anyone who isn’t white. We’re giving you two black superheroes. Why the fuck are you so ungrateful?

Laughable. “And still its not enough”. Okay, first off, we’re not asking for “diversity” anymore because yeah–it’s not enough. Throwing the “token black actor” into a primarily white cast just isn’t cutting it for us “colored folk”. We’re asking for EQUALITY. Same. Opportunities.

And to be fair, a lot of these comic book characters were created during an era where there wasn’t much color–I’ll give you that. And we don’t need you to racebend EVERY single character just for diversity’s sake, but it’s about a bigger conversation than that.

The conversation that a white man is in a position of privilege when it comes to Hollywood.

For argument’s sake, I limited my scope of this graph to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which means TV and Netflix included), Main Leads and MAJOR or ESSENTIAL Supporting Characters or else I’d be here all fucking day on Photoshop. Take a look at the graphics and the stats it produces.

Some interesting things to note that I didn’t include in the images for the Lead Protagonists is that:

  • 14 out of 21 leading men, lead their own films/shows or is the “leader” of their pack (Peter Quill in GotG for example). Only 2 of them are people of color, both are black. Neither of the projects led by POC are out yet.
  • Of the lead female protagonists, only 4 out of 11 women actually lead their own show. Only ONE of those shows is out and only ONE of those 4 women will lead a film (the yet uncast Captain Marvel).

And taking a step back and looking at the entire scope of things…

  • There are no East Asian male leads or supporting. In fact, the only existing Asian male characters are two minor characters, Hogun and Jim Morita in Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger (respectively), and one throwaway character who gets killed in the same episode he appears in Agent Carter. The only person who comes remotely close is David Bautista who is half Filipino and half Greek. There are zero Middle Eastern Asian Men.
  • There is only one full East Asian lead character (Melinda May), one mixed Asian lead character (Daisy Johnson/Skye) and one Middle Eastern Asian supporting actress in Vanessa Fisk, who is played by an Israeli actress.
  • There are no black female leads. There is almost no black women in the MCU PERIOD with the exception of the lone, Rosario Dawson who is Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban. While Rosario is widely seen as a Latina actress due to her skin color and Spanish speaking roles, it would be disrespectful to her heritage not to include it in the tally mark. Congratulations, Rosario Dawson is the only visible black/latina woman in the MCU.
  • The only other Latina actress, Zoe Saldana who is the only LEAD Latina actress in the MCU, spends the entirety of the film covering her skin in green makeup to play the alien assassin Gamora. So while casting-wise she is another Latina actress, the only visible representation is Rosario Dawson.

+ + + +

Now to be clear, this is in no way a bag on Marvel. They make fantastic films and they are doing great with casting but Chris Dias is right–it’s not enough. It will never be enough. While big name superheroes are yes, rooted in comic book history for being Caucasian, there are any number of supporting characters who could have easily been written for a different ethnicity, or racebent well like Ben Urich recently on Daredevil.

Again, this is a problematic view and conversation about a bigger picture. The film industry, how it writes its characters and the amount of opportunities POC are given.

It is not until we can acknowledge privilege that we can move on to actually changing things. So no, “Chris Dias” it’s not enough.

To those, who are complaining about NaruHina and SasuSaku
Let me remind you one thing: Kishimoto created Naruto inspired by Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama. Have any of you watched/readed DB? Because there are many similarities between this two series, even when it comes to shipping.
In Dragon Ball, the protagonist married a girl, who was only a supporting character. It was a dark haired girl, who loved him from the very beginning. Yeah, Chi-Chi and Hinata aren’t really similiar when it comes to personality, but I think, that the fact they both are supporting characters is important.


Next, a friend/rival of the protagonist married the female protagonist. He wasn’t showing any affection to that girl before, but it just happend. Bulma and Sakura can be really similiar sometimes, and I don’t mean only their personalities. They both are helping the main character, but not with fighting (Sakura - healer, Bulma - mechanic).


I think, that the comparision between GokuxChi-Chi/NarutoxHinata and VegetaxBulma/SasukexSakura is an obvious thing. Knowing that Kishimoto was inspired by DB we could see it coming. Naruto always was similiar to that series, so we can be almost sure, that the ships similarities was planned too.
If you don’t agree with me, just ignore. I don’t want to pick a fight, just share my thoughs

[Buddyfight 101] Anime Review

So I recently went on a marathon and caught up to Vanguard over the span of a few weeks with my pal Polka; and while I still think stopping at season one would’ve been ideal, I have no regrets about catching up now (except for the occasional emotional turmoil brought upon me by boyfriendo-feels). If anything, after the marathon I started suffering intensely from Bushiroad withdrawl, so I picked up Buddyfight.

To be honest, it’s not really my type of show, and doesn’t look like my type of show, but if I learned anything over the course of Vanguard, it’s that Bushiroad shows aren’t always what they appear to be, and further more, sometimes they have a jackpot of really fun characters wedged between cheesy plot lines. so without further ado… 

Welcome to the world of Future Card Buddyfight (—BF for short). And what Buddyfight lacks in a coherent plot, comprehensible game-play and maybe originality…it makes up for with heart. A whole lot of heart. 

(review behind cut)

Keep reading

In Which I Join The Squeeeee About Ghostbusters (2016) & It’s Feminism

I finally got my deeply disabled mother to agree to go see Ghostbusters with me at the 11th hour on Sunday. I really wanted to support this movie on opening night and I knew she would have fun once she committed to going. In all honestly, I thought I’d find it enjoyable and refreshing. But I wasn’t prepared to be blown away by how awesome it is to have female characters presented largely without stereotype, sexualization for the male gaze, and in a sci-fi/fantasy genre to boot. 

Last December there was a quote going around tumblr about how Rey was such a feminist protagonist. And, I love her and mean no disrespect to her, but one quote in particular struck out at me. OP said something like, “this is how white boys must have felt in eighties,” referring to how in Rey we finally have a female character catered to women as men have had all along. And for some reason I didn’t quite agree with this. Because as wonderful and long-desired as Rey is, she’s, as many have pointed out, still white, skinny, conventionally attractive, and she’s still surrounded by a mostly male cast of very diverse and wonderful male characters. Don’t get me wrong, I do not think of her as a Mary Sue and I really really don’t want to diminish her progressive qualities. But that quote didn’t really make sense to me and I am white and female, if not always conventional. She wasn’t enough for me and I know she wasn’t enough for quite a few other women. 

It wasn’t until I saw Holtzmann pistol whipping some Puritan ghosts in the hero shot of the movie that I realized what had been lacking for me. I know it sounds 

Keep reading

And now compare this to her httyd1 self,where she actually shows interest in EVERYTHING,not just interest in Hiccup. Where she is an independent character,not a pretty girlfriend who’s face is supposed to look beautiful all the time even if she is angry or upset. 

 Oh,the last picture also shows how happy she is that her boyfriend’s dad died.

This post is meant to be a thought out, hopefully much less sarcastic response to concerns raised about Astrid’s treatment in HTTYD2. If you want some context you can find, my initial, highly sarcastic response to the original post here (I apologize in advance for the way my current theme destroys pics and gifs). Please do not send any hate to the OP, the concerns raised don’t mean that they hate Astrid. Anyways, it’s a bit long-winded, so if you get bored half way in, just scroll down to the bottom for a handy list of takeaways about what Astrid’s role in HTTYD2 says about girl/women’s roles in films. Disclaimer taken care of, here’s a look inside my brain:

Well, I am going to have to agree with you about how animators tend to forget to ugly their characters, especially their lead female characters, when they’re sad or angry. Both Disney and DreamWorks are guilty of this. 

But I have to disagree with just about everything else there. That’s not to say that we can’t still see a few issues with the roles women play on screen in Astrid’s character…but I’m getting ahead of myself. This might be a long post though, you’ve hit on a franchise, a character, and an issue that I care very much about. You’re welcome to check out now, but you got me thinking about some things and I think they’re good things to think about.

First, I want to establish a couple of basic things:

  1. I love Disney. I love Baymax. I love Big Hero 6. The role of this post is not to bash any of these, but to examine Astrid’s role in HTTYD2 and how I interpret it.
  2. Both of the Dragons movies feature Hiccup as the main protagonist. Not the only protagonist, but the main one. This means that both HTTYD and HTTYD2 are in storytelling terms his story. All the other storylines introduced are meant to support his storyline in one way or another (this does include any “antagonists” in a story, otherwise our main wouldn’t have anything to do). Even Astrid’s. Even Toothless’. If any other characters take the main spotlight, you have an issue with your storytelling. AND THIS is where we come to the real issue: simply writing MORE strong female characters in action/adventure films (as opposed to TV shows) is not enough—it helps, but the playing field is still unequal. What we need are MORE strong female characters as the MAIN PROTAGONIST. Sadly, Astrid is not the main protagonist in either movie, so that means that yes, her role is going to revolve around how she affects Hiccup. Everyone’s role in both movies revolves around how they affect Hiccup. This does not make her any less independent as a character.
  3. Hiccup’s presence in a scene DOES NOT discount any emotion or reaction Astrid may have. He can have a profound effect on her emotions, but Astrid’s emotions, whether they are directed at, experienced in the presence of or brought about by Hiccup are still profound and completely her own.
  4. Clearly, if you’ve seen the movie, you know that last still is a look of bittersweet pride as Hiccup steps into the shoes that his father wanted him to fill.
  5. I am writing this to explain my way of thinking. If it changes some of how you see this, even if it’s only a little, great. If it doesn’t, I hope it’ll help you understand my viewpoint better and perhaps build a bridge.

 Okay, so Astrid. Astrid in HTTYD2. And the above concerns regarding Astrid in HTTYD2

Let’s be clear, Astrid is not just the “girlfriend”. Storytelling purposes aside, she is an equal partner. Hiccup doesn’t tell her to stay behind when they get into danger. His words are “Be careful” not “Stay here”. This is important. How many times have you watched a movie and the male lead tells the female lead to stay in the car. Female lead never listens 95% of the time, so I don’t know why we even bother with that trope anymore.

The point here: Astrid decides to go after Hiccup when he tries to leave her behind on Berk. Astrid decides, “Screw orders” when Stoick, Hiccup, and Gobber go AWOL—not to mention that Astrid is the one the other riders follow in the absence of both chief and son. Astrid kidnaps Eret. Astrid comes up with her own plan to save Berk (it obviously backfires, but still, she does try to negotiate for her and her friends lives instead of giving up). Astrid teaches Eret how to ride a dragon. Astrid leads the initial strike against Drogo’s forces (Some might argue that Eret does, but I think he’s a little busy not falling off Stormfly to think battle strategy).

Astrid. Not Hiccup, Astrid.

She doesn’t need Hiccup to act or to lead. She does it all on her own. Does he save her from certain death a couple of times? Yes. Because everyone knows shippers go bananas for that trope. Do I wish that we’d gotten to see Astrid save Hiccup from certain death a couple of times like she does in HTTYD? Oh yeah. Definitely. I am an equal opportunity supporter of ship tropes. Switch up those gender roles, still romantic in my book. 

There’s more of a chance of this happening on the TV show, which has much more time than a movie totaling less than two hours. After all, for those of us that have seen HTTYD (and the TV show) Astrid’s character is already established. We’re meant to bring what we already know with us into this movie. There just isn’t time to start from the beginning and tell a new story. Astrid took a back seat, but, as I’ll get to, that doesn’t make her any less important as a character or to the story (and reagardless of gender it always comes down to a character’s usefulness to the main plot, even the main protags).

And here we get to the crux of the matter. Since Hiccup’s story focuses on his relationship with his parents, specifically with Valka, we don’t see as much of Astrid. She remains a part of the story, but she isn’t in the background of half the shots like she is in the first movie. We don’t get to see her disgust at Hiccup for being an utter waste of space. We don’t get to see her passively sitting by while Snotlout teases Hiccup or her suspicion at his increasingly odd behavior and improved dragon wrangling.

I point to those examples not because I think Astrid is an awful person in the first movie, Hiccup’s continual ineptitude endangers both her and her friends, but to point out that even in HTTYD, Astrid’s behavior revolves around Hiccup. Because once again, it is his story.

That doesn’t mean we don’t get to see some of Astrid’s interests in HTTYD2, but they are basically the same as in HTTYD: Dragons and Hiccup. Only now, instead of spending most the movie wanting to kill dragons, she’s riding them, racing them, and saving them. 

So what are some of the emotions/interests that we get from Astrid in HTTYD2? And are they all Hiccup-centric. No. And just because I have a thing for lists, here is another list, involving emotions that are wholly Astrid’s:

  • Astrid’s love of dragon racing. We run a whole gamut in the just the first five minutes of the movie (I know, I just rewatched it because…well, why not?). We get frustration over Snotlout’s collusion with the twins, disbelief that he’s pursuing a relationship with a hostile Ruffnut, alarm as she goes to put out a Gronkle fire, excitement over the  release of the black sheep, determination to win despite the fact that it’s one against four, elation when she gets the black sheep, and pride when she wins. We get a strong, confident, BAMF Astrid before we even see Hiccup
  • Curiosity/concern. Hiccup may be the one to point out the dark cloud of smoke, but she’s just as interested as Hiccup is in what’s behind it.
  • Awe. When Hiccup and Astrid are telling Stoick about Eret’s trappers, she expresses wonder for whatever dragon damaged the fort. Again, Hiccup is in the scene, but Astrid’s focus is not him, but the spectacle that they discovered.
  • Self-satisfaction. Hiccup is nowhere to be found as Astrid congratulates herself for convincing Eret to help them.
  • Grief. This one does have a little bit to do with Hiccup, but I’d also argue that Astrid has her own reason to be sad over Stoick’s death. After all, he’s her chief. The person who probably defined what it meant to be a Viking for her entire village. (Maybe there were others, but we don’t get to see them.) And not just that, I imagine (I can’t remember if there is anything to back me up in the show) that Stoick and Astrid had a close relationship. His death doesn’t affect her as deeply it affects Hiccup, but it affects her deeply nonetheless.
  • Stormfly. After they get the dragons back, who is the first person Astrid reunites with? Her dragon. Not the boyfriend who was almost a Popsicle. Now, I think Astrid would have followed Hiccup back to Berk regardless, but her main motivation is saving village and her best friend. That’s why we get this reunion before we get that epic kiss. She’s so relieved to have Stormfly back that she forgets about her concern over Hiccup for a few minutes.

 While the movie and the storylines do revolve around Hiccup, Astrid’s emotions, interests and world do not. They intersect, naturally, because when you’re in a relationship with someone (especially one like this where the two parties share many of the same interests) you are supposed to make them a priority.

That does not mean a character isn’t independent.

Astrid has a profound impact on the story. She isn’t there just to be the beautiful girlfriend. Yes, she fills the supportive girlfriend role more than once, but that’s because she is someone’s girlfriend and she is supportive (now that Hiccup has earned that support). Astrid is also the reason that Drago comes to Hiccup and not the other way around. She is the first person from the group to stand up to confront and stand up to Drago (whilst her other friends are cowering in terror, I might add). Without Astrid, you have a very different story (all other characters staying the same).

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that HTTYD2 fails the Bechdel test (and the first person to admit that my shipping trash status often clouds my judgment). But I’ve always believed that failing the Bechdel test says more about your plot and your world than it does about your characters. Does this mean that we need more face time and interaction between female characters? Yes. Does this mean that Astrid is a weak character? No.

But that’s my say, based on my experiences and my interpretation and my understanding of story structure.

Takeaways:

  1. We need more women as the main protagonist in action/adventure type movies.
  2. Just because a character is pretty, doesn’t mean they aren’t independent (as I believe was mentioned in the TV show).
  3. We need more Astrid kicking ass and taking names in HTTYD3. Extra points if she has to rescue Hiccup.