consistently unsure

An ARMY who prefers VIXX’s concepts (Part 1 - Cohesiveness)

If you haven’t seen the index and explanation for this series, check it out here.

A lot of these points are things I wouldn’t criticize if they were just another group that puts out a dark, vague music video and moves on. However, Bangtan has milked their storyline long enough for me to analyze it and expect better quality.

For all the emphasis that Bangtan put on a continuing storyline, the lyrics don’t clearly relate to the music videos or the concept.

A prime example is the massive disconnect between I NEED U as a song and I NEED U as a music video. The lyrics point to romantic love and heartbreak, while the video depicts a much less shallow, dark story about youth, friendship, and pain. The same can be said for RUN.

No matter how theorists try to weave the two together, the gap is large enough to be sloppy, and most connections are fan-made and speculative.

In VIXX’s conception trilogy alone, all of the title songs relate strongly to their respective MV and even supplement the storyline. The lyrics offer clarity and consistency.

Take Fantasy, for example. The lyrics relate strongly to not only the imagery in the MV, but also the expressions of VIXX and sometimes even the choreography. At 0:29, Leo sings, “Tired, I lost the place to go,” and his movements reflect that. It’s as though he’s looking around. He is visibly distraught, lost, and alone.

One of my favorite examples of their cohesiveness comes from Voodoo Doll (warning for blood, gore, knives, horror, and disturbing themes). The lyrics and the MV interact flawlessly, but that’s nothing compared to the choreography, the use of a prop, the outfits, the makeup.

In my opinion, every element of Voodoo Doll is intertwined. One thing offsets something else. There’s nothing that could make me think, even for a second, that anything in the concept is unintentional or coincidental or was thrown in just for the hell of it.

This consistent unsureness is something that drives me up the wall with Bangtan’s storyline. That said, I think that they have improved. While I was disappointed by some parts of Spring Day, namely the obvious parallels to their youth concept, I think it’s a step in the right direction. It shows their growth as storytellers.

The lyrics, MV, and choreo of Spring Day interact almost seamlessly, much better than any of the previous concepts in the storyline. Perhaps because it’s a slower song, there’s more of an emphasis on expressive and intuitive choreography, which was severely lacking in the last title songs. In Spring Day, the choreography supplements the story, and tells a tale of its own.

It could be because they are still trying to solidify their spots as popular, mainstream idols, but I think their insistence to have fast-paced and hard-hitting title songs and choreo has harmed their storytelling. It leaves little room to expand outside of their music videos, which wouldn’t be a terrible thing if their music videos didn’t leave so much up in the air.

In closing, I’d like to point out that in the past, even BTS didn’t seem to know what’s going on in their storyline. I’d argue that they still don’t quite know, and it shows. They don’t take their storyline with them on stage (besides Spring Day, where I can see an effort). Their artistry is clumsy. They have a lot to learn. 

They’re not concept idols, yet I think they’ve had so much emphasis put on their storyline due to popularity (and, with that, an appreciation and awareness of the emotional impact and connection it gives to fans) that they’ve had to learn. It became bigger than they thought it would be, and they had to work off of what they had.

Bangtan’s concepts, to me, are like a rough draft. There’s greatness within it every rough draft. It deserves to exist. I’m grateful that it was created. But there are plenty of typos and unnecessary scenes and it’s obvious that the writer doesn’t quite know where they’re going with it.

saturdayv  asked:

Have you ever given any thought to what Jan/Wasp would be like in the Iron Man: Armored Adventures universe? Lately I've been imagining her and AA!Pepper being besties in college and having awesome, world-saving adventures in between study dates

OH MY GOD ARMORED ADVENTURES JAN

I WANT IT

I want her to be the ultra-sophisticated super-smooth and accomplished sophomore who takes Pepper under her wing at Harvard, makes sure Tony and Rhodey don’t work themselves to death at MIT, chats with Gene in Mandarin (okay, YELLS AT GENE in Mandarin when he’s being a dick), and opens a fashion house with Whitney in her spare time. And is also a badass winged size-shifting superhero. 

Meanwhile, MIT junior Hank Pym can’t get his shit together long enough to talk to her, let alone ask her out, which is a total running joke all season. 

I really wish we’d had a third season of Armored Adventures with new heroes and Steve getting defrosted and Howard continuing to be the only affectionate, supportive, well-adjusted Howard Stark in any canon anywhere. 

Now that I’ve been reminded of this scene, there’s a lot of character meta I want to write, but I’m also stuck a bit on the problem of how to properly assess character motivations in a canon like this. In normal fictional-world fandoms, I’m all about “death of the author,” interpreting what we see on the screen instead of the creator’s intent. But what happens when the creator’s intent/decision making is shown on screen alongside the actual story? 

The particular linked scene is maybe the best example of this. Looking at the Craven Edge storyline purely from a character/story perspective, here’s what we have: Percy knew the sword was possessed. He talked to it, and knowing that it previously belonged to Sylas would give someone as smart as Percy a really good idea that it’s FUCKING EVIL ABORT ABORT. But he still gave it to Grog. And not only that, but in the scene linked above, he clearly knows that Craven Edge is influencing Grog in a bad way, but he still does nothing about it. He doesn’t do anything until Scanlan and Pike get involved and force the issue. If you’re looking at this scene purely in-character, with no other context, this whole sequence paints Percy in a TERRIBLE light. This is the Percy that Taliesin talks about - the one who will sell out a friend for what he thinks is the greater good. Craven Edge gives Grog, well, an edge, so he’s willing to let Grog keep it, despite what he knows about possession and how weak Grog (of all people) would be to a terrible influence. And in character, it’s a mystery as to why the other characters wouldn’t have reacted more to the reveal, especially since it literally killed Grog. In this context, this is a worse sin than making a silly mistake that led to Vex’s death. This was Percy deliberately choosing to put a friend’s life and soul in danger, simply because it might give the group an advantage against their enemies. If you just look at it from a story perspective, it’s maddening that he wasn’t held more accountable for it.

But when you pull back from the fictional, you get all the context you need. The answer to “why did Percy give Craven Edge to Grog” can be entirely answered with “because Taliesin saw this amazing plot device Matt created and couldn’t bring himself to waste it.” And thank god he did, because everything Craven Edge brought to the story was pure gold. And that is likely one of the reasons why the other players chose not to pursue it any further - along with the fact that the best opportunities to address it coincided with a) the attack of the Conclave and b) the Kevdak fight, so they had other things to worry about. 

But that’s why I’m hesitant to stick to a pure “death of the author” type of character analysis for this show. They’re making everything up live on the internet for 3+ hours a week, and we watch them occasionally make choices more for entertainment value than for character consistency. So I’m unsure how much to ascribe to pure character work, when all of the story work is basically done on a moment’s notice, right in front of the audience. 

Anyway. Random thoughts. Maybe someday I’ll make the full post about what the Craven Edge sequence says about Percy and his motives, but right now, I’m in a more meta-story mood.

saturdayv  asked:

Given how much you talk/know/are asked about Marvel movies, comics, and tv shows, I'm actually really curious about your relationship with/opinions on DC movies, comics, and tv shows.

I actually came into comics determined not to take sides, although I did get a slight boost towards Marvel from the films, which I enjoyed way more than the DC films. I can’t really offer a justification for that other than that the Marvel films felt more…well, possible, somehow. Perhaps because they were Disney, who coined the phrase “plausible impossible”, or perhaps because Marvel gave its films more license to deviate from the comics, but I look at Iron Man and I see a three-dimensional character, whereas I look at Batman and see a dude in a stupid-looking cape. That’s probably not even fair – I’m not trying to say that objectively DC’s movies aren’t as good, and certainly their box office numbers are solid – it’s just the way I reacted to them.

As for comics, I started out reading almost everything that both Marvel and DC had to offer, but slowly, DC fell away. The stories were boring, or too linked to some mystery backstory I’d never encountered. The characters were very flat, and the ones that were interesting never seemed to get much airtime. Plus, DC kept cancelling books at a rate so prodigious they have now cancelled nearly 52 books from the new 52

And most of DC’s characters act like assholes most of the time. Which is a shame because the modernization of some of them is really interesting – Clark Kent quitting his job at Daily Planet Media to become a blogger was an awesome idea, but it never really went anywhere. 

I wanted to love Superman, but 90% of his plots were about Krypton and I give zero shits about Krypton or Kryptonian culture. The point of Superman is that he’s on Earth

I kept on reading various Batman comics for a while – he had even more titles, at one time, than Spider-man did – but Batman reached a point where it was just gratuitous body horror, and I wasn’t disgusted so much as tired. Joker’s Daughter killed Batman for me. It was literally sixty pages of a sixteen year old girl with a mental illness being assaulted by the people we’re supposed to think of as heroes, and then blamed for it. I was genuinely appalled, and I didn’t want to be the kind of person who consumed that. (I had such high hopes for Harley Quinn, because I love antiheroes and I know someone who knows and admires the writers, but it’s just sort of puerile, which on top of the whole suicide-panel-contest thing and its winner did them no favors.)

On top of all this, Marvel has a much better track record with queer characters (for one thing, The Gays get to marry in Marvel), with characters of colour, and with women. Marvel isn’t perfect; they still have a nasty habit of fridging inconvenient women and have not yet shaken off the Tits And Ass pose. But there are more women, with more agency, with better stories and cooler books, and Marvel seems to be making an effort, whereas DC just makes excuses. 

General consensus seems to be that Marvel wants you, whoever you are, to read their comics. They may not be good at courting you, but they want to try. DC wants you if you are an entitled white male between the ages of 15 and 35, and if you aren’t, they think you should be grateful for the bones the occasionally throw you.  

And it’s sad, because DC has some great characters and some really great creators on their staff, it has a long and illustrious history of sponsoring great storytelling, including the amazing Bruce Timm animated shows and films, and they’re throwing it all away.