One of the things i did in 2017 was take up the martial art Wing Chun. I did a fair bit of karate (shotokan) when i was a kid, so it was nice to come back to something like that, although the two styles are very different. I’d say my primary interest in any martial art is pretty surface level - I just think they look cool. As a kid I watched a lot of martial arts movies and played a lot of fighting games, and I loved the variety of different ways they showed people moving.
Wing Chun (/Wing Tsun/however you decide to spell it) is a style from the south of China. Allegedly developed by the only female member of the so-called Five Elders of Shaolin, a lady called Ng Mui. There’s a story about developing it after having seen a crane fighting a snake or something but there are so many similar legends about various styles from that period they all get a bit interchangeable. I mostly like it because, unlike other kung fu styles (especially northern ones), it has little to no unnecessary movement - no big stances, hand waving etc. If you’re being punched, you just kind of step in & push their hand aside with the least possible amount of effort and bop them. It sounds simple, but watching it in practice is really cool to me, and even in its simplicity it manages to get some really cool body & arm shapes.
So I decided to animate some of the latter! The symbols on the side of the machine correspond to the techniques that the arm is performing - in order, tan sau, bong sau, juk jeung, wu sau, fuk sau and jung kuen. Merry christmas!
so maleficent is the good fairy here, right, and the three
fairies are the bad ones, so like fae do they each appear to be what they’re
not. and aurora, given fae gifts and raised by fae, is nearly fae herself.
maleficent knows that only an elf could hope to sway a fae heart, because elves
are impervious to their glamour. maleficent kidnaps the young prince philip,
and brings him to the elven realm. she tries to bargain a prince for a prince,
but the king is unswayed. a human prince, he declared, is only worth an elvish
servant, so that’s what she gets.
maleficent takes the servant and puts him in philip’s place,
gives him that name, and watches as the servant elf is made a prince among
mortals, watches as he eventually captures aurora’s heart, and saves her from
her living death. watches as the elf servant turned prince becomes a king, as
the almost-fae princess aurora becomes queen, and their two kingdoms become one
and they rule the land of men together.
this, of course, begs the question – what happens to our
dear human philip?
he is not the first child that has been bargained away to
the elves, and elf queen thalia settles the young boy on her hip and raises an
eyebrow at her husband, waiting. the child awakens by degrees, until he’s
clutching her neck and blinking at the gathered elves. thalia is only grateful
that he hasn’t started screaming, like so many of his kind do.
normally the children that are bargained to them are put to
work in the castle, where they’re safe, where their clumsiness and their
ignorance and their mistakes will be glossed over, where she and the king will
ensure they will be politely ignored rather than harassed. they’ve lost a
servant boy, and so she’s sure a servant boy is what this young human is meant
except a woman of the court steps forward, and she’s old,
old enough that it shows, that her curly hair has gone silver and wrinkles are
etched deep in her face. lady ember is older than the forests they reside in,
is older than her grandmother, than her great grandmother. everyone’s lost track
of her exact age, but she’s the oldest elf in village. thalia likes her – she and
lady ember have skin of the same dark shade. thalia hopes that if she is to
live long enough, she and lady ember would look alike.
“i would like the child,” she says, eyes like amber, and for
the moment she appears younger than she ever has. there’s something eager in
her, and it brings a life to her that thalia hasn’t seen in a long time.
thalia looks to her husband, and king celedor gives a
minuscule twitch to his lip which is an equivalent to a shrug. she sets the
young human on the ground, and ember holds out a single hand. the child looks
behind him, then in front him, and takes cautious steps forward. he steps until
he can take her hand, his own looking small and pale in hers. “it’s been a long
time since i was able raise a child,” ember says, “i would like to do so again.
will you come home with me?”
and thalia understands. elf children take many hundreds of
year to mature, and ember would not risk dying on a child before it could take
care of itself. but humans are candles that burn at both ends – hot, and fast.
within a decade or two the child in front of them will be able to survive on
his own, will not need lady ember to coddle him for centuries.
he nods, and finally opens his mouth to say, “i am philip.”
“hello philip,” lady ember smiles, “i am lady ember of the mother
tree. now you are lord philip of the ember tree.”
they are elves. they don’t do something as gauche as gasp,
but the sentiment comes out just the same. celedor’s mouth drops open a millimeter
and thalia’s right index finger twitches. raise a human child like a beloved
pet they could all understand – but to adopt one, to truly adopt one that she’d
just met and didn’t know and bequeath to him the estate and title the noble name
of the mother tree?
lady ember leads her new son away, and the gathered elves
can do nothing but stare.
prince elion – eli, to everyone who doesn’t want the prince
of the elves nursing a personal grudge against them – comes home in the dead of
night, when he can slip past the guards and the fawning people on the street
and sneak into the royal quarters.
“mother,” he greets as he enters the library. his father
sleeps early, but his mother doesn’t go to bed until nearly dawn. he kneels by
her side, and she runs a hand through his hair, tugging the leather tie off
when it gets in her way. his mass of dark curly hair tumbles around his head,
and as he shakes it out leaves other debris fall out. thalia sighs, but doesn’t
remark on it.
“your hunt went well?” she asks, although she knows the
answer. eli is one of the best hunters in the kingdom, and his hunting parties –
comprised of the strongest and best among the noble families – are notoriously
he grins, teeth extra white against his skin, “of course,
mother. did anything interesting happen while i was away?”
“the faerie maleficent came and bargained away a human
prince,” she says, “she wanted you in return. your father gave her a servant
eli laughs, too loud and boisterous, in a way he would never
allow himself to laugh around his father or his subjects.
philip thinks perhaps he should be screaming, or crying, or
causing some sort of fuss about this new life and this old woman who insists
she’s his mother now. but he’s never had a mother before, and this new place is
beautiful. they live in palace carved out of an enormous tree – the mother tree
that their name comes from – and philip is given a lot more freedom as an elf
lordling than he was as a prince.
he hopes the boy who took his place is nice to his father,
and doesn’t mind long evenings with only the servants for company. being a
prince can be very lonely. he knows from experience.
ember gives him rooms and toys, but warns him that he has a
lot of work ahead of him. as a human, he’s at a severe disadvantage here at the
elf court. elves are faster than humans, stronger and smarter and wiser. “it
sounds to me,” philip says, “that maybe they’re just older. if i had hundreds
of years, I could be all those things too.”
ember’s eyes crinkle at the corners when she smiles, and he returns it.
philip knows hard work. he was set to rule a whole nation,
was set to lead whole armies. he knows training and learning and patience.
learning to become an elf lord seems like it will be a lot easier than being a
lady ember and her servants are harsh, but fair. in their
home, in the mother tree, he is a pampered lord. out of it, however – he acquires
many scars from training, from falling and failing. ember and her staff run him
ragged into the ground, because he must be able to keep up with elves.
they have hundreds and hundreds of years to practice, to
become strong and smart and fast. philip doesn’t have that long, so his mother
forces him to do more, train harder, learn faster than would be expected of any
so he learns. the first time he beats his trainer at an
archery competition, he feels a swell of pride like nothing he’s felt before.
as he inches his way to the level of his teachers, and then surpasses them, the
they’ve always been kind to him. but as his skill grows,
they come to respect him, and that’s far more valuable.
eli hears of the human that lady ember of the mother tree
took as her own – of course he does, it’s all anyone can talk about. but he
doesn’t actually get a chance to see the boy, because lady ember keeps him safe
on her lands, in her tree that none of them dare trespass on. so he assumes,
like many, that she keeps him coddled and safe, away from those who would seek
him harm, away from a world that would seek him harm.
then, two decades from when she gave young philip her name,
lady ember finds him at court. she tilts her head, and he bows. he may be
higher in rank, but he was raised to respect his elders, and lady ember is
certainly that. “prince eli,” she says, “your next hunt is coming up, isn’t it?”
“yes, my lady,” he answers, wondering if she has a request.
he doesn’t mind tracking down a certain type of meat or pelt for her – he likes
the challenge, and likes lady ember.
she smiles at him, and for some reason he feels as if he’s staring
into the jaws of a dragon. “excellent. might my son join you? he grows bored of
hunting on his own.”
the last thing in the world eli wants to do is keep an eye
on a bumbling, spoiled human. but this human is also the lord of the mother
tree, and he can think of no response that wouldn’t bring his mother’s wrath
down on his head. “of course, lady ember.”
Can we say that Season 2 is getting better and better? Unlike the others, I watched this one in French (which isn’t a problem since it’s my first language) so my translations of what they said might not be exact. So first of all, am I the only one who thinks Marinette’s grandma is awesome?? She looks so groovy, even for an elder lady! And I know some of you say it’s Marinette’s fault of she got akumatized, but I think it’s deeper than that. Gina, her grandma, wanted to spend time with her, just like they used to when she was a kid, but Marinette (isn’t a kid anymore). She’s 14 and like most of us, she also wants to spend time with her friends. That seems like a thing that some adults don’t necessarily understand. We love you but we just want to chill with our friends sometimes. And that’s exactly what happened with Marinette. She was hoping for a surprise birthday party and when Alya send her that text, she couldn’t wait to go see them to maybe celebrate her birthday. She still felt bad for leaving her grandma tho, and she told her that, but Gina brushed it off and (insisted that she goes). Of course, I understand why she was upset but (she) was the one who insisted. In the end, she realized that Marinette wasn’t a little girl anymore but at that time, she just wanted her little girl back to spend the whole day with her. That’s what caused her to be akumatized. The fact that she saw her granddaughter so rarely and expected her to hang out with her and do the same things every year, she expected her to (not change).
Moving on to the party… I LOVE MARINETTE’S FRIENDS SO MUCH LIKE THEY ARE SO SWEEEEET. I really love how Kim practically jumped on the grandma to save Marinette or how they almost all tried to help while using teamwork like MY BABIES. It’s obvious that they think highly of her, and Rose proved it when she said that Marinette was the nicest girl.
AND ADRIEN. THAT DORK. DON’T YOU //DARE// TELL ME THAT HE ISN’T IN LOVE. What was his first preoccupation when he transformed into Marinette? Keep her safe. He even carried her to the Eiffel Tower to make sure she’ll be okay. She called her a sweet girl AND wished her a happy birthday as Chat Noir. SO SWEET. And did y’all see how relieved he was when he saw that Marinette wasn’t in that closet?That’s adorable! Oh, and my favourite part was clearly when Adrien gave Marinette the bracelet. A BRACELET THAT MATCHED THE ONE SHE GAVE HIM!! He is such a lovestruck doofus and he doesn’t even know it.
Even the parents know there’s chemistry between them at this point because they smiled proudly when they watched them like oH mY gOd. And when Marinette did that speech on how the present didn’t matter and that it was the person who gave it to you, they even did a closeup on Adrien smiling goofily whole staring at bracelet. I SWEAR BOI YOU’RE SO IN LOVE WHY DON’T YOU REALIZE IT??
Also, Tikki was an adorable cinnamon roll and really wanted Marinette to love her present, we need to protect her at all cost.
OH and I almost forgot the part where Hawk Moth wanted for La Befana to attack but she asked him to say please.
LIEK BOI THAT’S HUMILIATING.
OH OH OH AND LADYBUG CALLED HERSELF CHAT NOIR’S LADY!
LOOK AT THAT FOND LOOK. MARINETTE IS ALSO IN DENIAL GUYS, AND HERE IS THE PROOF. OMFG. LADYNOIRRRRRRR