Our last women’s history month post this month is also in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility on the voice actress Maddie Blaustein. Maddie was a major voice actor and creator in various industries, and if you grew up with anime, you’ve probably heard her voice at one time or another. Maddie was a transgender woman who worked for several companies.
Maddie was born in October 1960 in Long Island, New York. She was the second-oldest of five siblings, and was Jewish. She was born intersex and began transitioning later on in her life. She was a fairly well-known activist for transgender rights within the community. She has been credited with other names in work, including Madeline Blaustein and Kendra Bancroft.
Maddie was perhaps most well known for her work as a voiceover actress, primarily in anime. She worked for family dubbing company 4kids, which was a New York-based company that dubbed anime for saturday morning cartoons. Perhaps her most famous role was that of the talking pokemon Meowth in the famous franchise, a role she carried for several seasons. She also portrayed Pokemon characters Lt. Surge and Bill, along with many minor characters. Other famous roles that she took on include that of Solomon Mutou (Yugi’s grandfather) in the anime Yu-Gi-Oh! and Chef Kawasaki in the english dub of the anime Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
She voiced a large number of characters in her lifetime, one of her most recent roles being that of Satorious in Yugioh GX. She was arguably one of 4kids’ more famous voice actors, having at least one role in almost all of their properties. Some of the other 4Kids dubs she had a role in include Ultimate Muscle, One Piece, and Cubix. She acted in other things as well, including the characters Li Zhuzhen and Colonel Hyuga in the game Shadow Hearts. She also portrayed characters in Samurai Deeper Kyo and Slayers Try.In the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, she played the robot Omega in several games as well as the president in Shadow the Hedgehog.
Maddie did often work outside of animation. She wrote and did art for several comics, including Static, Power Pachyderms, and Hardware. She was an active content developer for the game Second Life under the name Kendra Bancroft, and gained a good reputation for her skills as a 3D modeler. She was also the creative director for the Weekly World News for a time. Her brother Jeremy Blaustein is a translator and video game localizer.
Maddie passed away in late 2008 from an untreated stomach virus. Memorials poured in from fans who grew up with her work all over the internet.
Her work in anime, comics, and voice acting is not forgotten and lives on with the people who grew up listening to her work. Her impact on the anime industry in the west has been felt by many, and her dedication to excellence as an artist and a person is not forgotten.
speaking as someone that loves toys a lot i gotta say it’s absolutely bonkers how overwatch, one of the most toyetic franchises in recent memory, has absolutely no toyline to speak of outside of funko pops and the odd waifu nendoroid
like… overwatch feels like it’s based off of a toyline. it feels like it’s the perfect video game to accompany your favorite saturday morning cartoon. i should have a little Genji figure with a button that launches spring-loaded cyborg armor to reveal gross organic zombie bits underneath. i should have a gigantic orisa toy that shoots missiles. those should exist. but they just… don’t? its bizarre.
So it’s general assumption that the story David told in “Jasper Dies At The End” was a complete lie and, not gonna lie? There is SO MUCH evidence for this.
Take note of how everything is oddly exaggerated and unnatural in the story
The way the counselors say “Oh no! Not Davey!” “He’s such a troublemaker!” sounds very. Exaggerated. Like they’re reacting to a Saturday Morning Cartoon villain.
David’s “trouble making” actions are also the sort of things David would see as problems. Insulting nature, using words like “dang”, littering, etc. Plus the way one of the current counselors says ”Oh Davey! You have so much potential! If only you would apply yourself!” It REALLY sounds like David is trying to make an impression on Max, or send him some sort of message.
Take David’s childhood actions versus Max’s. David says dang, litters, and insults nature Max swears like a sailor, literally starts a camp revolt, and tries to run away a lot. These sort of things would fly over David’s head and just come off as a grumpy kid who hates nature,
But David’s behavior isn’t the only thing he lied about. I think he also lied about how Jasper died.
The scars on his chest from the bear attack are parallel to a few scratches from the photo in episode 11. Not to mention how as a ghost, whenever he’s scared Jasper tends to cover up his chest:
These wounds were left open for the entire night, there’s NO WAY Jasper would’ve survived that. Either Jasper had died in the bear cave, or on his way back to the camp.
Additionally, according to David’s story that picture in episode 11 would not be accurate. If David really WAS a grumpy troublesome kid, he wouldn’t be smiling in it. However if the picture was taken AFTER this event, Jasper wouldn’t be smiling because he said he thinks the camp sucks at the end of the episode.
I’m absolutely POSITIVE that David lied about this entire story. He was never a trouble maker and Jasper did NOT survive that bear attack. But why lie? Well, the kids asked why he got that medallion.
He can’t say he doesn’t want to talk about it, that’d seem suspicious. So why not lie to protect these poor innocent children from the truth of your childhood friends gruesome death, while avoiding sounding suspicious? Maybe the truth is that medallion belong to his old friend Jasper, and he didn’t want to let it go as it serves as a reminder of their good times together.
Additional notes I didn’t have any idea where I should put this in:
-The episode title is a lie. “Jasper Dies At The End”. That doesn’t happen. Jasper in this story does not die. Just like David’s story, the title of this is a lie, and our storyteller is an unreliable narrator. -Maybe it was just a joke but child David’s voice seriously sounds like an older man attempting to do an impression of a small boy. It could be a hint towards this just being a made up story, or I’m just over analyzing and this is just a joke for the episode. Who knows!
TL;DR: David’s story in Jasper Dies At The End was a HUGE lie and Jasper died because of the bear attack. There are multiple contradictions and oddly exaggerated points within the episode that support this.
Aries: the burning orange of a sunset, red converse shoes, sunflowers on a summer day, the light coming through the windows on a warm afternoon, citrus peels
Taurus: long green grass blowing in the wind, blush, rose wine, the light coming through the trees in spring, clover patches in the park, mint and chocolate
Gemini: the faded tan of old books, the soft tones a candle gives off in a dark room, lemonade, sidewalk chalk, khaki overalls, a rubber duck, key lime pie, bees on flowers
Cancer: honey, pearls and silk, the patchwork of colors on an old quilt, daisies, the warm tan of fresh bread, baby’s breath and lavender, vanilla bean ice cream
Leo: the gold of a sunrise, a bonfire at night, ginger ale, when the leaves are changing colors as fall is coming, sparklers, glitter, bloody noses and smiles, confetti on the dancefloor
Virgo: aloe and cucumber, iced tea, dusty evening skies, mahogany tables, old coffee mugs as the thrift store, softly scented lotion, lilacs, sheer pale window curtains in the breeze
Libra: hazy gold framed artwork, creamy silk pajamas, light washed jeans and a soft pink cardigan, honeydew melons, bubble tea, fairy lights, tan sketchbook paper and white ink
Scorpio: the green and purple of the sky just before a storm hits, neon lights on wet asphalt, undereye circles, coffee and cigarettes, band t-shirts, sour gummy worms, the night sky when there is no other light than the stars and moon
Sagittarius: cranberry juice, hello kitty bandaids on scraped knees, carousel lights, old stains, your favorite plaid shirt, cherries on a picnic blanket, the two minutes before and after the sun goes down
Capricorn: the swirls as cream and coffee mix together, the light coming into a dusty room, an old journal, the faded bench by the river trail, toffee and almonds, a big sweater
Aquarius: midday sky with puffy little clouds in it, the color of a swimming pool, the glow of a computer screen, Mountain Dew Voltage, saturday morning cartoons, primary colors
Pisces: Monet lily pads, saltwater taffy and cotton candy, old paint palettes, wildflowers, tumbled chrysocolla and labradorite gems, sunsets on the river, dewey moss, bathbombs
Did Writing and Research for Saberspark’s Latest. Very proud of this one and how Saber explained what really ruined Saturday Morning Cartoons. Which is way more complicated and interesting then you think it is.
A friendly gang of criminals set out to have a good time of fun in the nice city of Los Santos. This totally kids-friendly show takes the crew out on heists, things to do’s and simle play time to goof around. No swearing, no killing each other, no mugging, no raging anger and hatred and no one ever fucks up and ruins everything for the 104th time like somekind of asshole. nope. none at all.
Writing a three dimensional villain with personal goals, growth and a intriguing story arc is very important to the success of a story. Would Star Wars be so legendary without Darth Vader? How about Batman, without The Joker? These amazing stories all have incredible antagonists.
The new Netflix Original Castlevania is no different. Before meeting the hero, the first episode is spent introducing the villain of the series. Vlad Dracula. A vulnerable and tragic figure with a heartbreaking backstory that gives his actions meaning. He causes a lot of pain but at the same time you wonder if he is justified in what he’s doing.
The protagonist is a former demon hunter, now drunken drifter named Trevor Belmont. A interesting personality in that he isn’t your typical hero that just wants to do the right thing. In fact, he doesn’t want to help. He doesn’t care. But must act when he finds himself in the middle of the situation.
Heroes are at there best when they have personal demons they must conquer. Nobody wants to watch a perfect goodie two shoes save the world because real life isn’t like that. Real life isn’t black and white. People have problems. The best heroes, like Belmont, are the ones with issues that real people can relate too.
The animation is excellent and the art looks professional. This isn’t a cheap Saturday morning cartoon. It looks beautiful. But the care to the story and characters stand out the most. Castlevania is based on an old Komani video game from the 80s. Video game movies and television series like Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Tomb Raider and Super Mario don’t have a great track record. But Castlevania could quite possibly be the greatest video game apdatation of all time.
A twisted and dark fantasy adventure with hints of black comedy from the mind of Warren Ellis, the creator of Red, Transmetropolitan and Iron Man: Extremis.
Someone asked about this a little while ago (on a tumblr msg), and I’ve been chewing on it. I want to say first that I’m not an instructor, and I’m not super good at explaining things. If you want some really good animation resources I highly recommend these two books:
Cartoon Animation - Preston Blair The Animator’s Survival Kit - Richard Williams
They are both very good
(and they’re on amazon for way less than I bought them for!)
, but if you can only get one, and you have no animation experience, I suggest the second. It’s absolutely huge and has a very detailed explanations and diagrams for basically everything you could think of, starting from the very basic of animation principles.
Soooo animation tips? I guess the first and most important thing I learned when I went to school, is that more drawings don’t necessarily make better animations. I always thought that was basically it. The difference between beautiful feature films, and not so great Saturday morning cartoons? More drawings. Right? That might be part of it, that’s what makes it smoother, but it’s not the secret. The most important parts of making an animation look good are:
1. poses. 2. timing.
In other words, what you draw and how you get there: They should be interesting! Spending time on that is more important than spending time on making lots of frames.
Now…. I started writing up a bunch of stuff about keyframes, breakdowns, squash and stretch…. and it’s just this giant rabbit hole of explanations. And I’m sure there are a lot of YouTube videos that already exist and are great for all of those things. So… short version: are you making short silly GIFs? Then you want to see how few frames you can get away with and still have it look okay. If you put your poses too far apart, they will look like your character is teleporting. If you make them too similar and / or close together, it will be boring.
This is 5 frames:
lil unicorn guy: 5 frames is the minimum for a “boiling line” that looks good (the kind of line style that you see in Ed, Edd n Eddy, for example). The heart and the eye are wobbling around just enough to be interesting, and the tail is the one piece that’s really moving. If the whole drawing was done with a boiling line, it would probably look better, but that is so much more work and this looks okay!
This is 2 frames:
cutiefly toot toot: the body moves a little bit (but doesn’t change), the wings move a bit more, and the feet don’t move at all, they’re like an anchor. it’s only two frames! but it looks okay too.
This is 27 frames (but don’t freak out):
hugs wolves: so the bodies don’t move. pink tail: 8 frames. purple tail: 9 frames. heart: 5 frames. the moving parts all move a little bit differently in terms of distance and frame count. They don’t start and stop exactly the same time. That variation makes it interesting. But when you break it down, there aren’t actually that many different drawings to it.
TL;DR: Don’t move everything the same amount. Variety is interesting! See how few drawings you can get away with. Or not! If you don’t want to. And most importantly, just make stuff, even if you don’t think it looks good.