he cares. he CARES. he cares TOO MUCH. and i care too much about his character arc

The Final Problem is bad and boring and here is why

I had to rewatch TFP yesterday (IN GERMAN!) with a bunch of friends. I hadn’t watched it after it aired in January, and it had developed into some kind of uber-evil episode for me. Because it ruined the whole show for me. Because it didn’t make any sense. I remembered it as tense and brutal. But, you know what - it isn’t. It’s just really, really boring and very badly done.

Because:

Do yourself a favour and watch the Why Sherlock is Garbage video. Watch the whole of it, especially the first hour. Because there he explains why Mofftiss are really bad writers for television. One point in their favour I see over and over again is that Mofftiss couldn’t suddenly have forgotten how to write good telly, therefore Sherlock, especially S4, and especially TFP, must have a deeper meaning, are fake, a social experiment, whatever. Just: NO! This argument crashes - because they are really bad writers. They are very good at coming over as clever for a while - but in the end it’s revealed that there is nothing behind all the suspense they are building, that all their arcs lead nowhere, that nothing means anything or has any consequences. The guy explains this by analysing DW and Jekyll - and you find all of this in Sherlock as well. Like, they constantly up the ante - but with no plan or goal in mind, just for the sake of it. Or that the most important moments of the stories happen off screen. Or that they don’t follow the basic rule of show, don’t tell. Or that they never explore their characters’ motivations. We never learn why people do anything on this show. I will talk about this later. Those are basic writing skills! And they just throw them overboard. Which is not a very good idea.

Me, spewing an angry rant, below the cut. 

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anonymous asked:

My sisters been sending your (amazingly) written metas, but I'm still confused as to what "Performance!Dean" is. Could you explain? ❤❤❤❤❤❤

Hi! Thank you!

Performing!Dean is a tag that many of us use to explain the way that Dean portrays himself to the outside world, suppressing parts of himself that he doesn’t think should be outwardly shown.

It’s a form of SUBLIMATION (a psychological term meaning to repress emotions / a part of oneself), a term which he actually uses in 12x05.

It’s a great example. The writers KNOW that we associate Dean’s love of pie with women / being comfortable / the home and family feeling, and cake with the repressed side of him (it is repeatedly used in this context, Dean really wanting it but never allowing himself to have it or just nibbling at the edges). It’s quite a famously known concept.

So… when Sam asks Dean if he wants pie and Dean says no, which basically never happens, when Sam then looks so DONE and starts talking about how Mary is gone and… (the implication being he is about to mention Cas being gone too)… then Dean says nope nope I am FINE and Sam FINALLY calls Dean out on it, saying “Dean, it’s called SUBLIMATION”.

Originally posted by castielamigos

And Dean finally relents and says “Yeah, its kinda my thing”. (And then later in the diner he is seen to have eaten a whole slice of cake in front of Sam and no-one makes a big deal out of it….)

WE ALL SCREAMED. DEAN ACTUALLY IN THE SCRIPT, OUT LOUD, HAS SAID THAT HE SUBLIMATES.

Because THIS is Dabb again taking what has been IN THE SCRIPT and in the show for 12 years and building on it, making it BLATANT. Because we are building to endgame now, SPN isn’t likely to last past season 13-14, so the character arcs that were set up in season 1 (and 4 for Cas) need to be tied up, so we, the audience NEED it to be made obvious when it has just been in the subtext. THAT IS WHY SO MUCH IS SO BLATANT THIS SEASON. Ie Performing!Dean, Destiel, Sam and the MoL story, Mary being the catalyst for Dean’s self acceptance arc and Sam’s self forgiveness arc around Lucifer (which I think will be much more blatant next season re: Jack as his mirror).

With Performing!Dean it started to be made a bit more obvious since Sam told Dean that he was ‘kind of butch’ and people probably thought he was ‘overcompensating’ in season 2 but it still stayed subtext, Dean checking out a few guys here and there, only really getting with women when he was having his ‘I’m going to go to Hell and need comfort’ or ‘Sam is dead, Cas left’ moments or since he met Cas, whenever Cas had left, making Dean feel crappy and rejected or had just DIED, using it as a coping mechanism, even blatantly role playing in season 9 after he feels so bad about kicking Cas out of the bunker etc to the point that in 12x18 it is so blatant that this is what it is about, they even have Dean saying outloud that he is settling for Sam’s omelette mere seconds after clearly having settled for the waitress because she wasn’t what he really wanted on top of all the other give aways…

Anyway, it’s not just about his sexuality or feelings for Cas, there are many other aspects too, and those are the ones that are cemented in seasons 1-3. Most of these seem all to stem from John and if you see snippets from John’s journal it makes sense.

John says he is proud of Dean when he kills monsters, womanises, drinks etc etc. So guess what a young impressionable Dean learned was the best way to act in life?

Now, over the years bits have come out here and there. Every time we see Dean with a sexual partner he has been the submissive one, he is clearly an extremely giving lover and very caring. He is not a dude bro womaniser at heart, he cares for all the women he sleeps with enough to be kind and gentle with them, even the waitress in 12x18 who really he doesn’t REALLY CARE about, she’s just a coping mechanism, but he is still extremely sweet with her.

He drinks for years of course, he is a functioning alcoholic for most of the show, but lately he has switched to coffee… unless something really bad is going down. Like when we saw the empty bottle in his room in 12x19…

He listens to old rock music because it reminds him of his mom and dad, not because he is a real metal head. Yeah absolutely he loves it too I’m sure, but really it’s the emotional pull. And we haven’t heard him do so since 12x07. Just saying. He also admits to liking Taylor Swift in season 10, after firstly saying HELL NO, same with the cucumber water in 12x07. It’s not the music or the water or whatever as such, that is absolutely NOT what we are saying is making us feel Dean is bisexual or has a hidden side to himself, its the fact that he HIDES it first then admits to it afterwards, that is the essence of Performing!Dean.

When Sam drinks the cucumber water, no-one batted an eyelid, that means nothing to us, because Sam is super comfortable with who he is in THIS respect, even though he carries guilt etc, but that is another subject. But because Dean made a huge deal about how uncool and basically unmanly it was, after all we know of him over the years, THEN went and drank it anyway, saying “shut up” when Sam is like “seriously?!” THAT is where the Performing!Dean meta comes from. And Sam is the same as us, he doesn’t care if Dean is bi, or if he likes Taylor Swift or cucumber water or WHATEVER, what he DOES care about is the fact that Dean feels the need to hide it from him.

There are so many small points along the series that point to a lot of Dean’s persona being fake or exaggerated and how sometimes Sam knows and sometimes he doesn’t, it would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.

Deep down Dean Winchester is a soft, kind and generous soul who just wants to be loved and to help people.

WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT WE SAW IN 12x11. THIS IS THE EXPOSITION EPISODE FOR PERFORMING!DEAN AND THE CORE OF THIS WHOLE SEASON BECAUSE THE WHOLE SEASON HAS BEEN ABOUT THIS, WHICH IS WHY 12x22 IS THE CHARACTER LED FINALE, BECAUSE IT IS WHERE THIS FINALLY COMES DOWN.

Originally posted by disneyandthefamilybusiness

So yeah, the fact of the matter is that Performing!Dean has been there all along, since the PILOT, over the years it has been showed to us that it exists then some of the walls have started coming down. If anyone dares to tell me that Performing!Dean isn’t a thing (which I was told earlier this season, lmao) then I will kindly point them towards 12x11 and 12x22.

Also, let us not forget that even though 12x11 was mostly an exposition for Performing!Dean when he lost his memories, again harking back to the HEART is the person, NOT their memories theme of the season, we also were given the golden snippet that DEAN RODE LARRY BEFORE HE GOT WACKED WITH MAGIC. This is to show us that Dean’s walls are coming down this season. When Sam called him up on it in a way that seemed to be taking the piss, Dean, rather than attempt to deny or tell him to shut up actually embraced it and gloated about how GOOD he was at it. ATTA BOY DEAN!

With the resurrection of Mary and Dean’s near - complete death experience it seems that Dean got to the point in season 12 where he just didn’t want to hide from himself anymore and so let these walls down further, there were small snippets of this in nearly EVERY episode. 

12x11 was the exposition for casual viewers to see this side of him more clearly (in the same way that 12x19 was for Dean and Cas’s clearly more than platonic relationship, which will not be built on with HUGE LEGO BRICKS since Cas died), and now with the grenade launcher as a metaphor, Dean literally blew down his walls in 12x22. The culmination of this story was his confrontation with Mary where he explains WHY he always had this facade, because he had a shitty childhood, had to be a parent to Sam and that it wasn’t FAIR and he didn’t cope with it well at all.

So. There we have it. Performing!Dean is REAL, it was there ALL ALONG, we were RIGHT in seeing it because it is confirmed in 12x11 and then addressed and to some extent dismantled in 12x22, and the meta idea that the grenade launcher is associated with Performing!Dean was ALSO used.

Just… wowzers.

Originally posted by itsokaysammy

I don’t expect Dean to suddenly act completely differently now, he won’t, there are just some aspects of him that will be slightly more obvious or he won’t hide certain parts of himself. He still isn’t completely done with this, as Jensen himself said that there will be more of this to come in season 13…

I expect him to perhaps once or twice order a slice of cake or an ice cream sundae, to listen to the radio and not turn it over if a pop song comes on, to be more open with his feelings towards his family (and yeah, Destiel is a part of this for sure), a nice turn around but also not jarring, because it’s just a PART of Dean, not his whole self, a lot of what we see is really fully him, so it’s not that he is going to completely radically change!

Anyway, its all very exciting as the metaphorical death of Performing!Dean is just a part of what most of us see as a positive endgame for TFW and it is all looking pretty good so far :D

Ui and Urie Chasing Shadows

This is one of the best Tokyo Ghoul quotes in weeks, and I think it says everything about the meaning of the goings on in this chapter. Ui knows the truth of the situation, the death that surrounds all of them, but rather than confront it, or live on in blissful ignorance he chooses to worship it instead in hopes it will give him what he wants. It’s quite literally the definition of selling your soul to the devil.  Let’s take a look at that while I explain what I mean, below and the ramifications of this quote: 

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Here’s the thing about the new canon.

Essentially they want us to watch the Original Trilogy, completely invested in the fact that our heroes will triumph, and then they want us to watch The Force Awakens and just be totally OK with the fact that everything we were just presented with over the course of three films is out the window.

They want Star Wars fans to spend several hours watching Han and Leia’s love story, watching them fight for each other, overcome personal obstacles to be together, make incredible sacrifices for each other–they want us to spend ESB and ROTJ rooting for them, want us to watch Han hold her close as they both smile at the end of the trilogy, want us to be happy and hopeful and thrilled that their true love has made it through–and then they want us to watch TFA and see that their marriage failed, and they want us to accept it.

They want us to get invested in our heroes–in Han and Luke and Leia–and desperately hope that they all make it through. They want us to be invested in their personal allegiances to one another to the point that we KNOW that Han will come back at the battle of Yavin for Luke and Leia, we KNOW that he’ll go out into freezing conditions to rescue Luke, we KNOW that he’ll run into Echo Base to rescue Leia on Hoth, we KNOW that Luke will ignore his Jedi Masters and abandon his training to go rescue Leia and Han on Bespin, we KNOW that Leia will risk her safety to go back for Luke at Cloud City, we KNOW that Luke and Leia will leave the rebellion and put themselves at risk to rescue Han, WE KNOW WE KNOW WE KNOW. The new canon wants us to sit there KNOWING ALL THESE THINGS, knowing that they are the most important damn things in the galaxy to one another, knowing that they’re family and that they love each other. They want us to know it and be invested in it and root for it–root for the strength of that bond and that loyalty and root for them all to make it through together–for all of them to triumph together. And they do!

And then TFA wants us to COMPLETELY CHANGE OUR MINDS and accept that all of that is destroyed. That bond is broken. Luke has abandoned his friends for some reason. Han has left Leia. Leia is all alone. And not only has that crucial bond just been cast aside, but their triumphs have all been undone. Empire defeated?? Welcome to Empire 2.0!!! Death Stars destroyed??? Welcome to Death Star 3.0!!!! Vader redeemed???? Welcome to Vader 2.0, and even worse, he’s your own damn son/nephew AND he kills Han!!!!!! It just takes their victory and deconstructs every single piece of it, and the only possible way that that maybe could have been tolerable would have been if AT LEAST they were still together, still true to the loyalty we knew, unstoppable and united no matter what new dangers they face, and they’re NOT. The Original Trio, the most beloved and iconic characters of all time, are just completely leveled to NOTHING. Fractured and broken up and reduced to these miserable un-versions of themselves. And the new canon wants you, as a Star Wars fan to accept this, because “Don’t worry!! We have these three shiny NEW heroes for you!!!! They’ll get a happy ending for sure!!!!” But??? What??? I don’t give a shit about their ending, what about the ending we were already supposed to have had???? The one you made me hope for for three damn movies??? The one I was lead to believe was true???? What about that ending??????

No, they decided that they were going to go back thirty years after the fact and change it.

But wait, you say, how did this happen??? How could these people at Lucasfilm who were claiming to “protect” Star Wars destroy Luke and Leia and Han like that?? How could they write a Han Solo who abandons Leia to do all the fighting all alone when there’s a fascist regime routinely trying to kill her and their son is a part of it and her brother has vanished without a trace??? How could they write a Luke who’s evidently turned his back on the galaxy–on the FAMILY–that needs him??? How could they have DESTROYED LEIA’S WHOLE LIFE????? ALL of their lives???? And for seemingly no reason!!!! They could have easily written a movie to introduce the new characters and create conflict without dismantling every single thing about our beloved trio and their dynamic. But they didn’t. They slaughtered them.

And then you listen to these people speak. And they start saying things like Leia clearly could never have been an attentive mother because she was too preoccupied with politics and her career. Han could never have been happy settling down and committing to something–not even his family–so OBVIOUSLY he left and he’s smuggling again. Han and Leia were too incompatible and could never have worked. Luke is off in EXILE because AREN’T ALL JEDI MASTERS SUPPOSED TO BE IN EXILE???????????

And you’re just. You’re floored. You’re blown away. It’s like those people didn’t even fucking WATCH Star Wars. Did they completely miss the fact that Leia’s character arc is about learning to care about things that aren’t the rebellion, and learning to rely on people–not just herself???? Did they not see how much she’s already lost–LITERALLY HER ENTIRE WORLD–and how much she had to suffer before she finally got something that was hers again? Did they not see the hell she had to go through to get it???? Did they really think she would throw that away after all that–did they think that LEIA of all people couldn’t have balanced a career and a family????

Were they just twiddling their thumbs when HAN SOLO’S ENTIRE FREAKING STORY IS ABOUT REALIZING THAT HE’S NOT A SMUGGLER, NOT SELFISH, NOT THAT MAN ANYMORE–MAYBE NEVER REALLY WAS THAT MAN. LEARNING TO COMMIT–TO STAY WITH LEIA AND LUKE AND THE REBELS AND SACRIFICE HIMSELF IF NEED BE????? HIS ENTIRE GROWTH AS A CHARACTER WAS AWAY FROM SELFISHNESS AND FLIGHTINESS. HE BECAME A STEADFAST, BRAVE, DEPENDABLE MAN COMMITTED TO HIS FRIENDS AND HIS LOVE AND THE CAUSE. HOW DID THEY WATCH THOSE FILMS AND SAY “WELL HAN COULD NEVER SETTLE DOWN.”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did they not notice that Luke’s DEFINING characteristic throughout the original trilogy is his loyalty to his loved ones??? His utter refusal to let harm come to them–to give up on them?? His refusal to abandon them???? And then they want us to believe that he… abandoned them?????

So essentially the thing about the new canon is that people who don’t understand Star Wars are suddenly in charge of Star Wars, and they go back and ignore the characterization of three entire films and present us with material that is entirely contradictory of the original trilogy, and then they don’t understand why people have reacted negatively. 

And then of course you get fans screaming about how it’s REALISTIC this way.

When the fuck did you get the idea that Star Wars is supposed to be realistic??????? Star Wars is NOT about realism. It’s a Space Fairytale. An epic saga. It’s not supposed to be Game of Thrones grimdark jam in the tragedy. It was never like that for forty years. It was never presented that way. George Lucas was ADAMANT in making this point. And that’s why it resonated with so many people–that’s why it was such a success. Because it was uplifting. It was inspiring. It touched that part of our hearts where those fairytales live–where it’s possible for our heroes to go up against the forces of evil and WIN and have a happy ending. That’s why they gave Luke and Leia and Han the happy fucking ending!!!!

And the thing with the new canon is that they don’t care. They don’t care about “protecting Star Wars.” They don’t care about what Star Wars stands for. They don’t care about what George Lucas created. They care about money. They don’t want you to be invested in Han and Luke and Leia anymore. They want you to care about Finn and Rey and Poe, and apparently no one at Lucasfilm understood that they didn’t have to destroy the old characters to get people to like the new ones.

And for the record, just because the people delivering this truly appalling “new canon” horrorshow AU are Disney and Lucasfilm does NOT mean that I have to accept it all as true. They don’t understand Star Wars, they don’t care about it, they’re not its original creator, and I don’t have to accept a single thing they say.

That’s the thing about the new canon.

anonymous asked:

Ok, I'm absolutely in love with your persuasion au. I didn't know how much I needed something like this until I read it. It's a treasure. Thank you SO MUCH for it! Can I ask you why do you ship rebelcaptain? as a deep question, I just want to read your thoughts about them 'cause you write so well

First, thank you for the compliment on my Persuasion AU! I’m glad you like it! And I’m going to get working on the next chapter of it now that I’ve written this 1,400+ word treatise I wrote on rebelcaptain because of your question lol.

Chemistry

Diego Luna and Felicity Jones have and had amazing chemistry as Jyn and Cassian. The eye contact, the lack of personal space, and the passion they conveyed as their characters with and without words was really impressive. Even when Jyn and Cassian were arguing and angry with one another, you got the sense that they fought as they did because the other person mattered. Their arguments are never about romance, but they were about the important basics of any relationship, romantic or platonic: truth, trust, faith, belief, and how you choose to act (or whether you choose to act at all).

But their chemistry isn’t just sexual or romantic. They also have chemistry as a battle duo. They work together well almost instantly. When she’s sporting for a fight on Jedha, he knows exactly when to pull her back. When a Partisan bomb is about to blow her to bits, he saves her—it’s not a question. On Scarif, they seem in sync the whole time from when she gives her speech to when they die together on the beach. They don’t question the other because there’s implicit trust and they seem to instinctively understand that what the other person is doing is the right or best way. They’re on the same page if you will.

Individually and Individuality

I love them as individual characters. They are my murder son and my murder daughter.
They both have defined and deep character arcs in the movie, and they grow because of it. They act as catalysts for the other for the change to come. They grow because they met each other, and they do so in the platonic sense.

Jyn’s forced herself into apathy because she’s been hurt, abandoned, and traumatized by “the cause” and the battle between the Rebels and the Empire. She lost both her parents. She was abandoned by her foster parent. She was stripped of anything that ever felt safe, that felt like home. The passion and fight intrinsic to her personality was temporarily snuffed out. She’s given so much but what has she gotten back but misery? She now only fights for herself. But meeting and knowing Cassian reawakens that passion and drive in her. The catalyst moment is when he gives her his trust on the U-wing to Jedha, and it builds from there. He pushes back against her resistance, and where others may have not cared enough to do that, he does, and that fight wakes her up again. Then he offers her a home and a family in him (and Kaytoo, Baze, Chirrut, and Bodhi). Thet cause, which has only taken from her, has given her something back. It has given her people she cares about and who care for her to fight for.

For Cassian, after 20 years of war, I think part of what traps him in this prison of his own making is that he feels like he’s fighting for abstractions now. He’s lost everything and everyone he cares about. There’s only the cause, and it’s made him do terrible things that have been cutting him into little pieces. But then he meets Jyn, and she’s not an abstraction. But it’s not love or love for her that acts as a catalyst for his change: it’s her inner fire. I think he sees in her what he used to see in himself. It reminds him of what he’s fighting for, in part, too, because he sees the tremendous losses she has also suffered at the hands of the fight. In her push to go to Scarif, she also gives him a specific way he can justify everything he has done as a soldier. And like it is for Jyn, I think Cassian finds himself now with people he cares for specifically, people for whom he fights (aka the found family he has personally collected over the course of a week).

Complementary Personalities

I like the idea of opposites attract, but I love more the idea of complementary personalities who share a lot of similarities. I think Jyn and Cassian fit this bill. They’re both orphaned child soldiers (essentially). They’re both passionate fighters. They are iron-willed, confident, resolute, and strong people. They’re different enough, though, that they can balance the other out.

They are complete people when they meet—there’s no need for one to “complete the other”; it’s rather like I argue above, that parts of them have gone dormant, and meeting each other brings them back to life; they fill in the cracks.
And they are equals. There’s no power differential. Sometimes he takes lead. Sometimes she does. They’re a team. It’s beautiful.

Intimacy

The intimacy between these two characters scrambles my brain, to be honest. The first time I saw the movie, it didn’t hit me until late (HI, ELEVATOR SCENE), but it hit me hard when it did. The intimacy in that elevator scene goddamit it—it made everything click for me. Not just the shipping but like, the wholeness of their character arcs. They are both initially cast as loners who guard themselves really closely from others—from affection, from attachment, from any ties to another living thing. But in that elevator scene, it’s all there flashing in their faces. For the first time, Jyn looks soft and lost as he stares at him in the darkened space, a whole future they won’t get to live flashing before her eyes. For him, he looks at her like she’s the only person in the galaxy that matters, and for him too, it’s colored by this sadness of what if. How long has it been since he’s been touched like this? When was the last time he had someone he could love before now?

With the idea of intimacy, too, I would argue that they both let their guard down around one another in a way they don’t with anyone else. Cassian is supposed to be this cool-headed, seasoned solider and spy, but he meets Jyn and is almost immediately running around, disobeying orders, screaming her name, saving her at all cost to his own life and to the cause. Maybe this is how he’s always felt about things, but he’s been able to push it all down before. He can’t with her. She’s triggered something in him that makes him feel. Jyn can also read him like no one else can. He’s an open book in her hands.

And for Jyn, because he’s shown her the first semblance of trust in years, the fact that he just refuses to ever leave her behind, opens her up. Even with Saw, she puts on this air of “don’t care” (“It’s not a problem if you don’t look up”). Again, the personal space issues! The touching and closeness (she touches his arm when they get the clearance to enter Scarif; she notes how he smells [of blaster oil and Eadu dirt]; elevator, beach, he’s the most beautiful person she’s ever seen etc etc.).

He makes her care about someone again because he cares for her. If you watch the scene on the beach when they hold hands—note how Jyn reaches for his hand first. But when she does, it’s tentative and unsure. He senses her hesitation and then he reaches out and takes it.
And the hug to end all hugs. I can’t even.

Unrealized potential

With most of what I ship, it’s usually the unrealized potential that sets my brain on fire. I love a good established couple (Baze and Chirrut) but because they seem to have had their happiness or their happy ending, it doesn’t tug at the heart strings as hard. I don’t actively ship because I don’t have to wonder. To quote one of my favorite shows, Veronica Mars:

Veronica: Come on. Ruined lives? Bloodshed? You really think a relationship should be that hard?

Logan: No one writes songs about the ones that come easy.

And I still contend that I’d ship them just as hard if they had survived and the ending of Rogue One hadn’t given us an explicitly romantic ending (kissing, declarations) because it would still be unrealized potential. Their deaths just make it more tragic and force more sad whale noises from my mouth.

idareu2bme  asked:

Can we talk more about nurturing Todd and touch-starved Dirk? It seems there is much to be said.

You are asking a lot. Or rather two separate things that I suspect will dovetail neatly together. Unfortunately that means this answer is going to be long. Fortunately I can wax lyrical on both.

Let’s start with Todd.

We know a few things about Todd. We know Todd was kind of a self-absorbed asshole for a significant portion of his life. We know that he has a tendency to lie, cheat and steal. We know that Todd spent a significant portion of his life putting himself and his own interests ahead of everyone else’s. We know that all of this changed the second Amanda got sick. We know that he carries a tremendous amount of guilt for the things he’s done. We know he is mired in self-loathing.

We also know that he is the first person to help when no one else ever has. We know that he prioritizes Amanda above even his own safety.

Now I suspect some people would assume this is Todd’s version of atonement. I don’t think that’s the case.

Now, don’t get me wrong. People can change. People change all the time. Life and experience shapes and molds us, and we in turn adapt accordingly. But a person’s core personality is still their core personality. You don’t start an ESFJ only to become an ISTJ*.

So I suspect Todd’s caregiver tendencies have always been there. This isn’t counterintuitive. People who are drawn to care for others are more than capable of hurting others, just as a nurturing personality type does not always preclude selfishness.

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Undertaker and the real Ciel’s motivation

In the light of recent events, we’ve finally got to see the real Ciel himself. How is he supposed to stand in Ciel’s manor while he’s supposed to have died? It’s very unlikely for him to survive that day, especially after he was gutted alive by the cult and perhaps having his soul devoured by Sebastian.

In that case, the only logical answer would be he is now a Bizarre Doll. Undertaker is the only person known for his ability to bring back the dead. Some people think it might actually be Vincent or Claudia in real!Ciel’s body but I really doubt it because:

  • Undertaker claims it’s impossible to put a different soul in another body.
  • Why would they want to pretend to be Ciel’s dead twin?
  • Knowing how much he treasures his family, Vincent wouldn’t want to hurt his own son.
  • Claudia died young and never knew her grandchildren.

There is probably more, but those are the top reasons I can think of. But why would Undertaker want to revive a vengeful twin that would potentially destroy everything our!Ciel has built with his false identity? There is nothing for him to gain from it, plus he obviously cares about Ciel (in his own messed up way) and openly opposes Sebastian.

Then something strike me, could UT’s goal actually be the opposite? He’s trying to make our!Ciel give up on revenge by touching upon his sensitive past, essentially messing up the contract. However, there is the problem where Sebastian will try to devour Ciel again should he do that. I think that’s where UT will step in; he’s much stronger, knowledgable and confident in his abilities. And judging from their last confrontation in Public School arc, that likely won’t be the last time. He let Sebastian be knowing the butler will take care of his master for a while and won’t lay his hand on him until the contract is fulfilled. Using that bought time, he’s preparing himself to free Ciel from the demon’s grasps.

Putting that aside, there is very little known about the twin. Therefore I would like to make some speculations beyond his apparent nature. And since Undertaker is the only reason he’s back, he’s technically now UT’s creation and masterpiece and he might have tampered with his personality for convenience sake and to prevent him from going too far. So regardless of how the twin really was before the incident, he might not be the person one would expect now.

I, for one, do not think real!Ciel is as malicious as he seems. Sure, he’s twisted and seems more evil than our!Ciel, but it’s hard to tell if he holds nothing but grudge against his twin. First off, he hurt the ones close to him, and he was successful in it by mentally scarring Soma (although he’s now up for revenge too) and killing Agni who’s almost supernatural in strength. He probably did this either out of pure spite and/or UT wanted to show off how much his Bizarre Dolls have advanced. Later at his proper introduction, he talked to our!Ciel in a rather overprotective brotherly way. While unhappy for having his ‘candy’ stolen, he seems to be relieved(?) to be reunited with his younger twin. For now, I interpret his character to be evil and manipulative, but cares about his family in a twisted way to the point he would remove those he considers outsiders x)

That reminds me, that ‘dream’ in Green Witch arc where real!Ciel affectionately told him that “nobody asked him for revenge” and asked why his beloved brother wants revenge in the first place might be a foreshadowing. The fact this even came up in our!Ciel’s subconscious shows that deep down, he actually has doubts about what he’s trying to accomplish.

tldr; Undertaker wants to save our!Ciel by bringing back his dead older brother. By bringing back a piece of the past he’s trying to forget, namely a family he used to care about, our!Ciel might start to doubt his quest for revenge.

Tagging @midnight-in-town because you might be interested in my once-in-the-blue-moon-essay lol.

SnK Chapter 92 Poll

I’ll be closing the chapter 92 poll tonight so this is your last chance if you’d like to chime in. 

Take a Poll

I’ve received 406 responses thus far and 103 people have left comments. I especially appreciated this one

Did this very distractedly, watchin that Netflix show about OJ Simpson at the same time

Thanks, dude :P More chapter thoughts are below the read more

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Gotham's Butch & Tabitha Tease Will They/Won't They, and Barbara's Role
Drew Powell and Jessica Lucas explore their Gotham relationship, Tabitha's role as a proto-Catwoman, and Butch's lack of a Funko figure.

Not since the Joker and Harley Quinn has Gotham City seen a not-quite couple so villainous and yet so ‘ship-worthy as Butch Gilzean and Tabitha Galavan. But can these two crazy, murderous kids ever find true love together?

With “Gotham’s” final Season 3 arc underway, questions linger as to whether two of the pre-Batman-set series’ original creations — the loyal-to-a-fault mob henchman, and the whip-cracking Catwoman prototype — share a bond deep enough to qualify as love. Actors Drew Powell and Jessica Lucas recently joined the press for a peek at the Butch/Tabby almost-romance, and whether it actually might have a future,

On what’s ahead for them and where their loyalties lie:

Drew Powell: Whoever he’s with is probably going to win. That’s been the case of late, until they don’t. I think the back half of this season is all about Butch and Tabitha. For Butch, it’s about Tabitha. He’s head over heels in love with this girl, for better or for worse, and he’s trying to convince her that Barbara’s no good for her, Barbara doesn’t care about her, and that Barbara doesn’t deserve her loyalty. So it’ll be this evolution of him trying to explain that to her. Hopefully for her sake, she figures it out before it’s too late.

Jessica Lucas: She’s still furious at Nygma for cutting off her hand. As the alliance between Nygma and Barbara grows, I think it makes her more and more furious as time goes on. You’re going to see her really pushed, and really, really upset, and that’s going to keep growing and growing, and the tension between her and Barbara is going to keep growing and growing, and eventually will have to play out in some way, come to a head in some way.

On whether the fractures in their Barbara Kean relationship will prompt either Butch or Tabitha to make their own play for the top spot:

Lucas: I don’t think so. Not right now. She wasn’t raised that way. Coming from the Galavan family, she’s used to loyalty. She’s the protector, right? She’s a bodyguard of sorts. So I don’t think she has as much desire for power as a lot of the other villains do – which is interesting, because most of them are vying for the throne, but she doesn’t really care about that. She’s too reverent to care about that.

She’s smart enough to know that alliances are important. You don’t want to piss off the wrong people. She’s a bit more of a snake in the grass that way… I think we could both teach Barbara some things. Barbara’s a little bit too self-involved at the moment to be too concerned about helping anyone else. I think by the end of the season, Tabitha will be in a really vulnerable place. So she’s needing to start again. That’s sort of where that alliance comes from, or how it starts to form.

Powell: Here’s the thing: Butch had a moment at top in Season 2, and he didn’t like it. The whole point of Butch is, he’s a survivor. He grew up in Gotham, he knows the nooks and crannies, he knows all the buttons to push, he knows the dark corners, and he knows enough to know that if you’re on top, there’s a much greater chance that you’re going to get knocked down.

I think that’s one of the cool things about he and Tabitha and their bond, is that she’s kind of the same way. She always works better as an off-sider, as a second in command, because she can kind of work in the shadows and creep. So that connection between the two of them I thought was really neat, and great job on the writers’ part. So what I hope to see moving forward is to find out that backstory. Who is Butch really? Who is this guy? Where does he come from? What’s his story? He’s got this random nephew, Sonny. What’s he really about? I’m hopeful that’ll be the case going forward.

On the actual depth of Tabitha’s feelings for Butch:

Lucas: I don’t know that she knows what real love or intimacy really is… But loyalty is so important to her, so for Barbara to turn on her any way, or to be disloyal — that’s where her affection lies, so if that doesn’t exist, there is none. For Butch, I think that she has a lot of affection. He’s like a puppy dog. It’s an unrequited kind of love. I think she’s cares about him more than she lets on.

As Fish Mooney returns yet again, will she pose a challenge for Butch’s ties to Tabitha:

Powell: When she came back the first time – other than when he ran away when the ghost Fish showed up – there’s really no interaction between the two of them. [Now], there’s a scene that we shot that we’re all in. I feel like there’s this closure that’s needed. So we try to address that a little bit when she comes back this time. I think the fans will appreciate it. I would have liked to really get into that. But yeah, there’s this particular scene that I think people will dig.

On the joys of building characters without comic book backstories and fan expectations:

Powell: I took Bruno Heller at his word when he said early on, he’s like, “Look, this Butch character’s going to take time, and he’s going to grow, and people are going to underestimate him until it’s too late. There’s going to be a life here, you’re just going to have to trust me.”

It’s been fun because I’ve kind of known, particularly at the beginning, I knew what was coming, but fans didn’t. So they’re like, ‘This henchman…” Then to see them slowly — I see these Tweets, they’re like, “I don’t know if it’s weird, but I’m really starting to like Butch.” “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Butch it one of my favorite characters.” It’s like each one of those was like a fist bump for me, like, “Yes!”

I think Butch would be a great fit for the comics. I think he would be a great addition to any parts of the canon, because he’s written from that. There is this element of him. How is there not a Butch doll? He’s got the hand, he’s got the scar, he’s got the suits, he’s got the gun. How is there not a freaking Funko with a bazooka? I don’t get it. I do not get it! They’re missing the boat. Hopefully it’ll come.

Lucas: I very much modeled her after Catwoman, honestly, because I was told that she was the precursor to Catwoman and that there was going to be a mentorship there. So I wanted to take elements of that character, especially physically, so that when you looked at her, you thought, “Huh, kind of reminds me of Catwoman.”

But then everything else, as far as developing Tabitha Galavan, I just took things as they came. I’m really, really open to whatever the writers want to write and bring to it. I don’t feel as much of a responsibility as I think some of the other actors do to get these things right, these elements right from the comics. I don’t really have that feeling.

Gray’s Fortunes turned Grayza Rant

Grayza fans, please read the whole thing: I had to cut it so it didn’t be so hard to scroll through.

So this particular scene happened early on in the series. Gray gets his fortune told, about having problems with water and women.
It’s often cited that this is a foreshadowing of Juvia, which I won’t deny. For obvious reasons.
But I can’t help but notice that he says ‘women’ like there’s more than one important one in his life, instead of just 'a woman’. But then again, this scene was more for comic relief, and perhaps shouldn’t be read into too much. In fact, it could just be ship tease, as characters often ship Gray in-universe with the main female cast.
But it doesn’t deny the fact that Gray is having or has had problems with Juvia (Yes, he definitely likes as his nakama and she’s probably become pretty important to him too. But he still doesn’t seem to like her clinging to him.)
My point? This fortune of his has come true.

On the other hand…

Water and women isn’t the first time his fortune was told, in-universe. His first fortune was about having a lucky day.

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i’M ON A MISSION TO PROVE THAT AGE OF ULTRON IS WOULD HAVE BEEN 20X BETTER IF YOU CHANGED THE ROMANCE FROM NAT AND BRUCE TO TONY AND BRUCE LET ME CONVINCE YOU

Before I really begin, disclaimer: I am not coming at this from a shipping standpoint. This is a storytelling standpoint. I will at no point say “and then they kissed,” I will not try to say Bruce/Tony is canon. The best movie bromances are really romances: Nick and Danny from Hot Fuzz; Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin from Master and Commander; and Holmes and Watson from the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes (SO WE ALREADY KNOW RDJ IS DOWN). Tony and Bruce could have been the bromance this movie desperately needed.

The first Avengers set up Science Bros. In Age of Ultron the writing insists that that exact relationship is not just as strong as it was, but that it has grown. Since we didn’t see any of that, it doesn’t make any sense and a lot of people complained that Bruce wouldn’t really just do the things he did, and neither would he do the same thing twice. 

But he absolutely would have if we saw this relationship begin to strengthen and become more meaningful from the beginning of the movie. We do that by replacing anything out of character that Natasha did in that romance with Tony doing the same thing.

Originally posted by imhfily

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Yennefer of Vengerberg in The Witcher book series

After writing a post about Triss in the Wicher book series a few days ago, I feel that I should write something about Yennefer as well, she is my favorite character after all. Oddly this post is much harder to write than the previous one. Yennefer is such a complex character, I still feel like I’m finding out new stuff about her everyday. Every time I think I got her all figured out, I’m wrong. Even though I spend so much time reading about her I’m still fascinated by this character, she is a mystery I have yet to solve. She is also the best written character I know about. I always had a thing for strong female characters, I have a full list of characters I really like. None of them compares to Yennefer though, not even close. So here are my thoughts about Yennefer.


Where it all started

Sapkowski doesn’t explain who Yennefer is right at the beginning of the saga, he clearly intended her to be a character that the reader would learn to like gradually. Though, to simplify things here I’ll start at the beginning.

Yennefer never had an easy life. She was abused by her father as a child and her mother failed to protect her. So yeah she had a pretty miserable childhood, she never knew what a caring family was, she was not loved. Then she was saved, kind of, thanks to her magical abilities. Even though we don’t how she came to Aretuza, she did, and she was trained to become a sorceress. She even found some kind of a mother figure, Tissaia. But well, we all know the way Tissaia felt about sorceresses and motherhood… Anyway, Yennefer wasn’t that lost little girl anymore. She was safe, she was to become a powerful sorceress and yet this broke her even more. She was taught that love was a weakness. She found out that she would never have friends, not ones she could fully trust anyway because, yeah sorcerers are not what you could call trustworthy. She learned that she shouldn’t love anyone. And well, sorceresses can live for a few hundred years anyway, which love could endure that ? And most of all, she found out that she wouldn’t be able to have children, ever. That this was the price she paid to become a sorceress.

So, here’s the character we meet in the last wish. A powerful sorceress that has been through a lot, thinking that she would never be loved by anyone. She is good at what she does, she is feared by most people. She has that confidence that only people who have been through a lot and survived can have. She can even be a bit arrogant from times to times because she knows she can get the shit done. She is independent because she has to be. She is very smart. She is reasonable because she knows that life is hard sometimes and that dreams rarely come true. She is bitchy and selfish  sometimes because she learned the hard way that she could only count on herself. She is secretive and don’t allow anyone to be close to her. Yet there is more to her than that, so much more. She likes to pretend that she has no heart, that she is a bitch, she uses it actually to push people away, to protect herself but there is more beyond the armor than what meet the eyes at first.


The early days of the Yennefer/Geralt relationship

Here comes Geralt. Their first encounter is… well not an ideal one. And still Geralt sees right through her walls, falls in love with her and makes the famous wish. He could have wished for anything, he could have fulfilled his greatest desire and yet, yet he wished to bound his fate with hers, a woman he barely met. And Yennefer is astonished, she wasn’t expecting that, nobody ever did anything for her, nobody ever cared for her this way before. I don’t think she fell in love with Geralt right away but she was deeply moved by what he did. So deeply moved indeed that here it was, the first crack in that armor of hers.

And there it all began, The Story. I know The Story, you know The Story, everyone knows The Story. It has been told countless times already, in almost every book, tv show, video game out there. Here it goes, the strong female character meets her knight in shining armor and so she doesn’t have to be so strong anymore, that’s why you will find out that beyond the walls she built she is in fact some kind of a damsel in distress that will be brought into the light again by the knight in shining armor. Well Sapkowski wouldn’t be much of a genius if he had written that right ? And fact is, Sapkowski is a genius and he didn’t write that at all. Geralt was nothing remotely close to a knight in shining armor. Thing is, he was just as broken and hardened by life as Yennefer was. Yet he did crack her armor. He succeeded in making her think that she could be loved. And she was willing to make this work, she was willing to risk everything she had, everything she ever believed in for a witcher, a mutant, a monster killer. She opened up to him, for the first time she opened her heart to someone even if it meant than he could break her all over again. She still didn’t let go completely though, she was still being reasonable. That’s why when it became obvious that Geralt was not ready to commit she pulled away. And well truth is, she was not ready yet either, she needed something more.


Something more

There are clues in the firsts books that Yennefer is more than what meets the eyes at first. Among them is the fact that she is not satisfied with the life she is living. She wants something more, something she could never have, she needs somebody to love, she has so much love to give actually. And she also needs someone who could love her back, love her for who she really is deep inside. And so she wanted to have a child, which of course she couldn’t have being a sorceress and all. And here we can tell two things : First, Yennefer has so much love to give, she wants nothing more than to love someone, she would give anything for a shot at being a mother. And then, one of the things I like the most about Yennefer, her determination. When she wants something, when she cares about something or someone she is all in, she never stops, she never gives up. She knows it’s impossible but she tries anyway. It is heartbreaking to imagine her trying and trying again for years, and yet it is beautiful to see that she still has so much hope and faith.

And here of course comes Ciri. And Yennefer’s maternal instinct kicks in really fast. She instinctively behaves like a mother with Ciri, and a damn good one too. She is strict when she needs to be but also really warm and caring. And most of all she doesn’t let go of her strength, her wit, her sarcasm. Sapkowski is one of the few authors who understands that you can show the softer side of a character without depriving her from her personality. The result is great. And I love the fact that just like Geralt, Ciri can see right through Yennefer’s walls, she sees who she really is and she loves her deeply.

Then there is that moment when Ciri calls Yennefer mom for the first time. And then everything changes. Geralt had managed to crack the armor, Ciri at this moment, with only one word, tore it to pieces.


Reinventing herself

From this moment on the character development for Yennefer is an amazing ride. Her love for both Ciri and Geralt blossoms and it is wonderful. Yennefer is that person that doesn’t offer her love easily but when she does she gives everything she has and you can always count on her no matter what. And her whole arc is absolutely beautiful. This story about a ninety years old sorceress, willing to reinvent herself entirely, letting go of everything she ever knew for the two people she loves the most is heartwarming.

She allows herself to dream about a future with Geralt. She would do anything for Ciri. She is usually so reasonable and smart but for Ciri she went after Vilgefortz, knowing that it would probably not work, knowing that she would be tortured and that she would probably die. She did it because there was no other options. She couldn’t sit there doing nothing because once again she never gives up. So she did it anyway. I’m laughing hard right know thinking of the reaction most gamers had to the necromancy thing in the game. Come on guys, Yen was willing to give away her life in the books when she ran out of options, so yeah she would do necromancy too if needed. It doesn’t mean she liked it.

The thing that is absolutely amazing about all this is that she is still Yennefer, she is still strong, she is still sarcastic, she can still be bitchy sometimes, she is still the character we met at the beginning, but we get to see the golden heart she was hiding back then too. She can show her soft side, she can care about Geralt and Ciri without letting go of her strength. She is still a strong woman, but she shows it in a different way. When she endures torture she has faith that Geralt is coming for her but she is not waiting for him to show like a damsel in distress, she uses that faith she has to keep fighting. Her love for Geralt and Ciri is making her more confident and stronger than ever. In my opinion the moments when Geralt made her wish and when Ciri called her mom for the first time are very important transitions for Yennefer. I could talk about that for a very long time but I’ll just quote the Sapkowski in The Last Wish short story : The whole world had ceased to exist for a brief moment […]. And then the world started to exist again but it existed very differently. That’s how meaningful these moments are for Yennefer.


A sorceress’ tears

One of the things Yennefer learned while she was training to become a sorceress is that showing her feelings was a weakness, crying was a weakness. This is one of the many reasons why she built her famous ice queen mask.

At the end of the books though, Yennefer dies giving away all of her vital energy trying to heal Geralt, and she dies crying. This shows just how much she has grown. She doesn’t care about showing her weaknesses anymore. She doesn’t care about what people will think. She only cares about her family. Once again she gives everything she has for the ones she loves, out of pure love without a second thought. And in that moment, kneeling on the ground crying she is stronger than she ever was before, this is Yennefer at her very best. Her determination, the strength of her love, until the very end.

Usually fantasy literature will tell you about these normal people, leaving their home and their family to go out in the world and achieve greatness. The witcher does the opposite. It will tell you about these extraordinary magical people finding their humanity again, finding their way home to their family. And it is so much better.

Why, at this point, I really don’t care that much anymore...

I know I should care about the whole Eurus plot - but I really don’t. And you know why? Because I really don’t see her puspose despite from: Hey, let’s have a rug pull for a rug pull’s sake. Let me explain.

So, it seems that it has been Mofftiss intention from the start to give Sherlock Holmes a long lost sister. I haven’t seen TFP so I don’t know if she’s crazy or evil or was locked up somewhere and if something happened to her that made her that way… but, who cares?

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Love and sacrifice, in Stevenbomb 2.0 and beyond - the future of Pearl, Lapis Lazuli, and Connie

“Everything I ever did, I did for her  Now she’s gone. But I’m still here. Sometimes I wonder if she can see me through your eyes. What would she think of me now?” – Pearl, Rose’s Scabbard

I’ve worked out what, for me, made Sworn to the Sword (and the ensuing episodes) such a gut-punch. The very short version: self-sacrifice doesn’t work, and does more harm than good – loving someone (and fighting for them) is most often destructive when there’s a power imbalance. This essay considers the theme of self-sacrificing love in Steven Universe (with particular reference to Pearl, Lapis Lazuli, and Connie) and offers some ideas about how it will develop.

The tragedy of Pearl is that she sacrificed herself, again and again, and at the end of it all she still lost Rose Quartz. She gave so much – and has been left with a vast, sucking emptiness. Yes, she’s got Steven – but just over a decade of looking after a human child, one that’s only just beginning to understand anything about his Gem heritage, is not an adequate replacement for over 8,000 years of devoted companionship. She spent millennia being a knight for the woman she loved, and she’s only had a fraction of that time to learn to be a mother. (No wonder she still panics and messes things up, even while she’s the most traditionally ‘maternal’ of the Mom Squad.)

Pearl’s love for Rose was many things.[1] Some of them are described by Pearl herself in Sworn to the Sword – “completely dedicated to a person and a cause. Brave, selfless, loyal – a knight!” But it was also intense, all-consuming, possessive, and jealous. We’ve met this before in Rose’s Scabbard – Pearl is obviously distressed at the idea that Rose might not have trusted her with all her secrets (“But not from me! I was the one she told everything!) to the extent that she lashes out at Steven (“What do you know? You never even met her!”). We also see this in the flashback episodes with Greg, subtly at first (I can sing!”) and then much more forcefully:

“You’re just a phase. You know that, right? … You can’t fuse. Fusion is the ultimate connection between Gems. And you. Are not. A Gem.” – Pearl, We Need To Talk

But what has become increasingly clear as the dust settles from Stevenbomb 2.0 is that Pearl’s love for Rose was, above all, defined by self-sacrifice. I believe that this theme will come to constitute a major part of the coming season, and we’re just at the point where it’s about to ramp up. What we’ve seen so far of Pearl and Rose’s relationship is an illustration of the destructive power of self-sacrificing love – not just for the lover, but for the beloved, and for the people around them. So when I say the tragedy of Pearl is that she sacrificed herself repeatedly and is still left to face a world without Rose, it goes deeper than that. The truth that Pearl has to face is this: no matter how much you sacrifice for someone, and no matter how many times you do it, you still can’t save them from their own choices. And that’s a brutal thing to learn, especially after thousands of years of sacrifice.

“Back during the war, Pearl took pride in risking her destruction for your mother. She put Rose Quartz over everything: over logic, over consequence, over her own life.” – Garnet, Sworn to the Sword

Earlier, I was talking to a friend about how Sworn to the Sword leaves me crying every time (and how I can’t stop watching the damn thing, or get the song out of my head). He said that surely Pearl chose to help Rose bring Steven into the world and move on to the next stage of her/his life. But did she? I can’t imagine Pearl wanting Rose to disappear – but I can imagine her supporting Rose in that decision, because Rose wanted her to, and she only wants what Rose wants. And Rose chose to end her life on Earth with Pearl – a life which, for Pearl, was the only reason to remain on Earth. (No wonder Pearl feels lost and abandoned. No wonder she gets PTSD symptoms when she’s reminded too strongly of Rose, or given the slim chance to reach Homeworld again.)

So where is this theme going? I think Stevenbomb 2.0 has sown the seeds for an important arc about love and sacrifice, by setting up some key parallels between characters. In Sworn to the Sword, we see the contrast in how Pearl and Connie relate to the idea of being a knight; and in Chille Tid, Lapis Lazuli’s “Steven! …. just let me do this for you!” echoes Pearl’s “why won’t you just let me do this for you, Rose!?”

[Here’s a gorgeous image by labjusticaholic​, highlighting how these moments mirror each other.]

Both Lapis and Pearl, to a greater or lesser extent, seem to believe that they are most valuable not for who they are, but for what they can sacrifice. Pearl has spent millennia fighting for Rose under the motto of “I am nothing” – even if, paradoxically, it was for someone who (presumably outisde the context of battle) “made [her] feel like everything”.  And now, she not only wants to do the same for Steven (as the bearer of Rose’s gem), she wants to teach Connie to do this too – even though, as a human, sacrificing her life would be permanent. As for Lapis, for all of her recent life she has gone from prison to prison: first inside the mirror, then aboard the ship, and now in a self-imposed prison where she is literally giving up her selfhood (“We’re Malachite now”) in order to subdue a dangerous Gem whose containment requires Lapis’ constant struggle and attention. But where Pearl is focused on sacrifice for Steven due to “[his] legacy, [his] destiny”, keeping him safe because “[he’s] too important”, I think that Lapis is motivated by a sense of affection for, and obligation to, Steven himself. This is the boy who talked to her, freed her from the mirror, showed her kindness where the other gems wouldn’t, and healed her even after she’d stolen the ocean and gravely endangered all his loved ones. She doesn’t care about the Crystal Gems (and dismisses their caring for humans), and the Homeworld she dreamed of returning to has become strange and hostile – so all she has left to care about is the human kid who briefly made her feel cared about and listened to.

And yet… Steven doesn’t want sacrifice, from anybody. He wants Connie to fight by his side, rather than be his human shield; he wants Pearl to be happy rather than riven by grief and believing she is “nothing”; he wants to set Lapis free even though it means he’ll need to face Jasper again. At the end of Sworn to the Sword, Pearl takes this on board and agrees to teach both Connie and Steven how to be good knights; however, it looks like Lapis will take longer to convince. Or perhaps it’s not a matter of time, but a matter of who is doing the convincing. And this is where I think Connie will come to the fore, in terms of how this theme develops on the show.

Connie and Steven treat each other as equals, despite Steven’s magical destiny. Their friendship is a strong one based on mutual respect. The new intro sequence shows Connie wielding Rose’s sword, and Steven wielding Rose’s shield – in my opinion, a clear implication that eventually we’ll be watching Stevonnie wield both at once. (I’m pretty new to engaging with the SU online fandom community, and have been mostly busy having ~feeeeelings~ about Pearl in the Stevenbomb aftermath, so I don’t have a lot of meta/analysis to link to on this topic – please feel free send me links to some and I’ll put them up!) But hey, here’s some awesome fanart of them doing just that, because it looks SO PERFECT.

[Art credit: yamino​. This image is also being sold as a t-shirt!]

Essentially, I think the non-hierarchical bond between Connie and Steven will do important work for modelling what a healthier version of Steven’s relationships with Pearl and Lapis could look like. I’ve said (in an earlier post) something along the lines of  “Connie/Steven could be Pearl/Rose ‘done right’ ” – so I want to make clear that I’m not aiming at super-gross implications of Perfect Hetero Relationship Shows The Freaky Queers How It’s Done (which is just NOPENOPENOPE), and in fact what I’m getting at is more specifically to do with the non-romantic parts of their relationship.[2]

Connie: Please, I want to learn! I mean, I don’t know what’ll happen in the future, but if something dangerous comes along, I don’t want to be a burden, I want to help! I want to be there for Steven, to fight by his side! The Earth is my home too. Can’t I help protect it?
Pearl (with big wibbly tearful eyes): Oh… okay! If that’s how you feel… we should get started!

Connie: Did… Rose make you feel like you were nothing?
Pearl: Rose made me feel… like I was everything.

I love these two interactions between Pearl and Connie, which bracket Sworn to the Sword. My hope/expectation is that this a beginning of a new dynamic – where Connie’s humanity, and the freshness of her experiences, can actually be an advantage over the long-lived Gems with their ingrained habits. While we still don’t know a great deal about Homeworld, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that it has quite a rigid hierarchy, and that neither Pearl nor Lapis were near the top. Being brought up in a system which tells you that you’re worthless – or just that you’re worth less than others, because of who/what you are – and having that cemented through hundreds or thousands of years of experience… is likely to result in internalising that system. I am worthless. I am nothing. I suggest that Connie’s experiences – as a young woman living under patriarchy, as a person of colour living under racism, as a lonely and socially-awkward bookworm– are quite likely to have included being told that she is worth less than others, because of who/what she is. But she’s had a lot less time to internalise them, and for all her life she’s had a counter-example close by: her mother, Doctor Maheswaran.

I’m envisaging Connie as a driving force behind Pearl and/or Lapis Lazuli fighting back against their conditioning and rediscovering a sense of self-worth. In my personal future-headcanon, Connie (whose oratory in Sworn to the Sword moved Pearl to tears!) gets to deliver an awesome speech about how one of the things her mother taught her was that “the world is full of people saying you’re not good enough, not strong enough, not smart enough – but those people are wrong. They’re just saying it because they’re scared of how powerful you could be if you ignored them.” Connie’s message to the Gems continues: “You are valuable as who you are right now. No more sacrifices. Please. Save yourself, and then save the world.”

I think this could be a really powerful way of demonstrating that human beings are just as “extraordinary” as Rose says – a pre-teen human girl having a kind of insight that millienia-old alien warriors lack. And Connie wouldn’t just be a catalyst for Pearl and Lapis reclaiming their power – I’m certain that in the coming war against Homeworld, she is going to be very powerful and significant in her own right: not just as a combatant, but a strategist.

(Going out further on the limb here – if the Gem caste theory is correct, and there are many iterations of every type of Gem, then Connie and her family (as people from the Indian subcontinent) might well have even more insight into caste systems, and living with or breaking free of them. I think it would be really interesting to link oppressive structures on Homeworld with oppressive structures here on Earth – but this is absolutely not my area of expertise, so I’ll leave this idea to be debunked or expanded on by people who actually know what they’re talking about when it comes to caste systems. Edited to add: of course, the Maheswarans might have lived in America for generations and thus not have any recent experience of the caste system - I’m not making assumptions about this, just positing ideas.)

I have some thoughts brewing about how, while Steven and Connie can serve as a kind of role model for Pearl and Lapis, Garnet could be serving in turn as a role model for Steven and Connie, specifically in the context of Stevonnie and fusion… but I think that’s a topic for another time, as this is pretty long now!

So, a quick round-up of what I think:
- love and self-sacrifice becomes an increasingly significant theme in the series
- parallels between Pearl, Lapis, and Connie will be emphasised
- Connie’s non-hierarchical relationship with Steven, and Connie’s insights into unlearning internalised structural oppression, will be key to demonstrating to Pearl and Lapis how they can support Steven without destroying themselves in the process

… and that’s all for now, folks!

If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it :) Also,  I wrote this laaaaate at night and I realise it gets a lot less ‘scholarly’ towards the end, but I figured posting it as-is is better than procrastinating over making it perfect…

Footnotes:

[1] Although it’s not the focus of this post, I want to make it very clear that I think Pearl’s love for Rose was requited – Rose’s tenderness to Pearl in Rose’s Scabbard, “Rose made me feel… like I was everything” in Sworn to the Sword - or at the absolute goddamn minimum, that Rose repeatedly encouraged Pearl’s affection (per We Need To Talk). I don’t think their relationship was healthy, but it was real and it was loving despite all the ways in which it was also fucked-up. Reading material:
nnylittleauggie : highly satisfying screenshot demonstration of how damn queer We Need To Talk was
fairymascot​ : longform analysis of We Need To Talk
louchananalysis of Rose as playing Pearl and Greg off against each other, and loving them both
[2] I don’t think Steven and Connie are (currently) in a romantic relationship and I am really enjoying that the depiction of their friendship isn’t playing up an annoying will-they-won’t-they at the expense of their characterisation (*cough cough Hermione and Ron cough*).

Style notes:

- I use “Gem” to refer to the characters/species and “gem” to refer to their actual shiny bits of rock (or oyster excretion in the case of Pearl, I guess)
- American readers - I’m a Brit, so most things that look like spelling mistakes probably aren’t. (I have been using ‘mom’ rather than ‘mum’ because I think the words are more like dialect variants than alternate spellings, and the idea of Steven saying ‘mum’ instead of ‘mom’ just feels a bit wrong?)

3

                                          >>Estelle>>Amaryllis

Alright, since I made a deal with Veri if I drew my children, she would draw the thing. So here’s Amelia and Froy’s oldest child— their son: Eloy.

And a quick disclaimer, since he’s an OC himself (not MU) I’m gonna have a few tweaks and twist of my own.

Keep reading

So I was going through the Elias tag (well, carl elias), and I saw this post about people describing Dominic simply as a “brutish thug” in contrast to Elias as “a more refined man of honour and respect.” …do people really do that? ‘Cause that’s extremely irritating.

Dominic’s smart. That’s part of his whole thing. That and the fact that people consistently underestimate him, implicitly because of the colour of his skin and his general build. He looks like the sort of person the word “thug” is meant to bring to mind. But he’s clever. He manages to take over several gangs, he works out a lot of what Elias must be doing to stay on top and takes a lot over from Elias, too–it was Elias that used to own the prisons, remember. The guy brings Elias to his knees, for god’s sake.  And he’s good at people, too–Shaw buys his act, and it’s not like Shaw is unobservant; he sets up the school; he gets Malcolm’s mother free, in “Brotherhood,” after he decides that Malcolm would be a valuable asset; he convinces the guy’s second to betray him in “Point of Origin;” and in “The Devil You Know” he understands Elias enough to know that there was a chance Elias would turn himself in if it meant that he’d let Anthony go (and although he didn’t anticipate it before Elias made the comment about hubris, he worked out that it was a trap before the explosives went off). In a lot of ways he resembles Elias. (I maintain that it was out of character for him to have not realized Elias set Link up after Elias literally warned him that he was going to, and correspondingly that it’s out of character for Elias to warn him.) (…also, just from a “refined” point of view, they both clearly have some basic understanding of Roman history. Also see Link vs. Anthony on the subject. (Oh, and I’d forgotten this until I saw it in the wiki, but talking about Dominic’s tactics Elias refers to Sun Tzu.))

Which isn’t to say that there isn’t a difference between Elias and Dominic. Of course there is, and it’s an important, thematic one. But it’s nothing like “brutish thug” versus “refined man of honour.” No: Dominic operates more impersonally, rather as a businessman, while Elias operates on ties of personal loyalty. It’s an implicit replay of the dynamics of Team Machine versus Samaritan.

Consider Dominic. In “Blunt,” he’s revealed to be laundering money through video games–both clever and impersonal. I can’t recall the exact line, but in the same episode he says something to the effect of “We don’t need more soldiers. We need more gamers.” Indeed, he never seems to care very much for most of his soldiers except, basically, as tools, as extensions of his will. “Only one rule,” he says; “we all die in the end,” which does not exactly imply he has a lot of close attachments. He obviously cares about Link, but arguably not as much as Elias cares about Anthony, and more importantly he doesn’t trust him (even though he was childhood friends with Link, just as Elias was childhood friends with Anthony). He misunderstands the understanding between Elias and Reese and Finch, mistaking what is basically a personal relationship for a business arrangement. Even his introduction to Team Machine is a more impersonal reflection of Elias’; like Elias, he successfully deceives one of Team Machine’s agents for most of an episode, but unlike Elias a) he’s not a Number (meaning there’s less of a personal connection) and b) his deception isn’t revealed to Team Machine at the end of the episode–it’s not until “Point of Origin,” I think, four episodes later, that they work out who he is. Similarly, Elias comes to develop a personal relationship with Reese, while Dominic does no such thing with Shaw (and indeed I think it’s significant that it’s Shaw, here, and not the more relationship-oriented Reese).

It’s an impersonal view, and it’s one which sees people as largely replaceable. In other words, it’s Samaritan’s.

And–look, this approach obviously has its flaws. He kills Link, who never betrayed him (though did not seem to be loyal like Anthony was loyal; “I think my boss is wrong about you. If you had the numbers, you’d have given them by now,” he says (approximately, this is a paraphrase), and seems to be in all sincerity. And then he appeals to Anthony’s self-interest. Which is a standard tactic, sure–but he very much does not seem to get the depths of Anthony’s loyaly.). But it’s important to note that Dominic, like Samaritan, was winning.

Elias, in contrast, operates on ties of personal loyalty–in this season, it’s pretty much entirely on ties of personal loyalty. There’s his relationship with Anthony, with Bruce, even with Harold and John–everything’s about relationships. And consider: in “Asylum,” he tries to get John (and Fusco) out of there, at least in part I think to keep John safe. Talking about Harold: “so I should betray a friend?” He’s obviously not loyal to John and Harold; their interests are too opposed. But he cares about them. And if you look at the way John’s talking to him in the basement towards the end, I think he cares too. (Even in TDYK, it seemed to me like they cared about Elias for more than just his restraining influence on violence.) But it’s more than that–Elias’ arc in TDYK parallels what happens to Team Machine later on in the season (!). One of the people who was loyal to him has turned against him (Gino/Shaw (though, yes, obviously Gino was less loyal than Shaw–but Elias seems to regard Gino turning against him as a sign that things are grim indeed).). This leads to the capture of his most loyal lieutenant (Anthony/Root & Finch). But the boss of the other side (Dominic/Samaritan) offers a deal: if Elias (/the Machine) turns him (/it or her-self) in, the lieutenant(s) will be let go. Despite what the lieutenant would prefer, Elias/the Machine agrees to this deal. Despite surviving, however, they are severely weakened by the encounter. And no, obviously the parallels aren’t perfect, but they are significant, especially when you contrast Dominic’s approach. Elias’ “weakness,” essentially, is the same as the Machine’s: he cares about the people who work for him. (The fact that he’s able to exploit Dominic’s lack of trust in Link makes me wonder if Team Machine will be able to do something similar to Team Samaritan.)

TLDR: There is an important, thematic difference between Elias and Dominic, but it has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence. Instead it’s a difference in approach, one which (deliberately) reflects the differences in approach of Team Machine vs Samaritan. This reinforces the main conflict and also allows the show to explore the dynamics of such a conflict without having to handle the sheer stakes a Machine vs Samaritan conflict would necessarily involve.

About chapter 828

I wanted to draw something after the newest chapter but in the end I couldn’t. Because there’re too many kind of feeling mixing in me after that chapter and damn I must be waiting 2 weeks more to know what’s actually happening. May be I will talk a lot below *oops sorry*, I need to, so that I can breath out a little to get back to my drawing desk.

In sum, I have to say, I still don’t trust Pudding completely. She’s suspiciously too sweet. I’m happy about what she told everyone about Sanji, a man of her dream and that he stills choose to be with the crew, not marrying her. But like I said, she has her suspicious side too, which make me love Pedro in the chapter. If Zoro and Robin were there they might be on Pedro side, there always need to have those one staying there, being the protective people and guard on at everytime. 

If it turns out to be all an act of Pudding, I won’t hate her. Contrary, I must like her more than the sweet cinnamon roll her now. I guess pure, sweet and kind girl isn’t my fav. Count me in the team which waiting for Oda really make a strong evil girl, I had hope about Viola in the past but she turned out to be a good princess too.

However the story about girls of Big mom family can’t ever marry someone by their choices, it’s touching. I mean eveything can be just simply Oda wanting to point out a problem about human rights here ‘to be free in marrying someone they love.’ Pudding was raised and taught about marriage in so wrong way, isn’t it?

Nami, as always, was a touching girl about people ‘rights’, like what she went along with those children in Punk Hazard. She definitely the most person realized the very wrong point happening in the story here, about marriage, the way Pudding talking. The thought of marry someone so light, not an important thing, just be a good girl as long as the daughter can help her mom power up, everything, anyone is fine. I bet Nami could get her own answer of the question she did asked Pudding.

and I love Nami, I love her so much, always my lovely queen, my most favorite girl in One Piece. She was the only girl in that room listening to another girl talking about the marriage, which the bride and groom has just met each other, and what, the thing she most deeply care here was not how wonderful Pudding described Sanji but ‘DO YOU LOVE HIM?’

The most important thing is ‘Do you love the one who you’re gonna get marriage to?’

Pudding definitely is not in love with Sanji, she has rush for him, or like him the way Carrot does.

Believe me, I’m not talking anything about SanNami here, I’m pointing out how great Nami was in this chapter. Nami was great in Thriller Bark about Lola, now may be, in the end of this Arc, she will teach Pudding something real deep about marriage.

And I have to bring this Sanji’s line in chapter 812 back.

I think to say ‘met’ here, Sanji actually wanted to say ‘know’. He has been an iconic character of ‘love’ and he should has his serious definition about love and marriage too. He can be in rush with every pretty girls he met (like squeezing around, heart-attack, heart eye), but not easily deeply in love in serious way to get marriage, at least he cares about ‘time’ about ‘how long do they know each other to take their important step of marriage’. 

And Sanji, he has always been much sensitive about girls/women. If they did meet each other, if Pudding was telling the truth, that moment, Sanji should be the one who clearly understood the situation by just watching Pudding acts, looking her in the eyes, ‘girl, I know you’re not in love with me, I know we’re both not ready for the definition of marriage. I can teach you more about real love, make you deeply love me, it would take much time, so, sorry I still have a big dream waiting ahead, my nakama are more important.’ 

The best will still be Luffy, because you now what?

I bet he didn’t give a damn care about Pudding trap them or not (and many other romantic/deep thought happening around him which make the story be kinda soft as shoujo *well I have to say*). He’s gonna just continue straight ahead, nothing can stop him when he already decided something. And what he decided here, get Sanji back, get his idiot cook back!!

Though they said that the plan is ‘sneak in’ and ‘sneak out’ but that’s not Luffy. THAT’s not Luffy, every single One Piece fan can see this. He will kick Big mom ass anyway if she’s gonna do some devilish plan or so, please remember the ending of pre chapter, she had her devil plan!! (for God sake I can’t understand why some people quickly turn into supporting the marriage just because Pudding is turning out to be a good girl?)

So, okay, what Pudding gave Luffy is a map, an easier way to get near to Big mom place, meet Sanji. Even if it’s a trap or not, Luffy accept it in a good way, like ‘Yo Sanji! I finally found you Sanji!! *happily say hello from a cage*’

About the Vinsmoke.

I got heart attack with Ichiji!!! WAAAH Badass boy or badass oldest brother!! I need to know them more, Oda please!! *fangirling time* 

I hope 5 is the maximum number here, eh… They should not be too many children like Big Mom’s family. 

I’m following the headcanon of Sanji being the black sheep in the family, may be only Reiju who deeply cares for him?

Still, I have to say I don’t forgive the Vinsmoke family for what they’re doing now. I don’t know their past yet, but for now, the way they force their son into this wedding, it’s so wrong. Like what? Trying a long hard time to find the precious 3rd son back, our dearest son, dear brother, for a…. wedding to rise up family power??? Don’t tell me that’s it not shit happening here, give me a break. Can you just give him a real happiness of being a son if you’re calling yourselves his family. I bet Zeff and those guys at Baratie did much much better.

Okay, Vinsmoke is cool, badass, real fantastic to know more in the opening story ahead, but, I’m not on their side till now. They’re doing many wrong in my personal view. 

Sanji’s past will be gold in this Arc.

Thanks for your reading till this end of the long post. I’m happy to discuss anything more about the chapter with you guys ~ ♥

DanganRonpa 3 Despair arc Thoughts

This is a rant - you have been warned (but honestly, give it a read you’ll learn something)

Some people are upset how episode 10 of the despair arc played out. I do agree with some people on those concerns and I do feel like the despair arc feels very fanservice but let’s all remember that this is the creator’s way of saying thank you for those who supported the franchise. I have no idea what goes on in Kodaka’s head nor do I know him personally but I can tell he clearly loves Danganronpa and he really appreciates his fans. I do believe that he is doing his best to tie this up with the lore and the future arc. Also, for those who complain about the pacing is bad, let us remember that this is a tv anime with 12 episodes I believe. They are trying to tackle major plot points that we only ever heard of and not seen, unlike the future arc which is a completely new story. Not only that they have to tell this story in 12 episodes with who knows how much money they have to do it with a deadline each week. You guys should really search up how tv cartoons are made because animating for tv shows is not always a walk in the park especially with a time limit and budget (which is why so many cartoons even in America have limited animation or rely on merchandise for their budgeting) Anyway I spent way too long on that. It’s just as a wannabe animator/writer I really do sympathize with people in this industry.

First of all, I’m really surprised  how there are so many people who are just hating on Chiaki. Personally, I wouldn’t care but I strongly feel a majority of people who hate her are basing their opinion on a fucking shipping. I honestly hate shipping in anime it really ruins watching anime for some people who like to discuss anime on the internet. I ship sometimes too but I don’t care if my ship is canon or non-canon (nor do I try to find proof of why it should be canon) and I don’t take it out on others if I don’t agree with a pairing then again I never felt any “hate” for any pairing because I really don’t care. It’s all about the art of animation/storytelling for me and that’s all. That is how I base my opinion on an anime and characters. If people just disliked Chiaki because there are some traits they personally don’t like that she possesses then I don’t care but if it’s because of a fucking ship then why fucking watch anime in the first place! You don’t own the characters so you don’t have the right to say what other fans can’t do with these characters or how they see them because you are basically like them. Creators don’t mind this from fans they are just glad people are enjoying their work, get over yourself and get a life that’s not involved in proving two drawings should be together.

Secondly, I don’t agree that Chiaki is a mary sue. I think Kodaka intentionally made her be more like Makoto. Think about it, they are both very optimistic and caring. That is their biggest weakness but also their strength. And that is why they are both ultimate hope (let’s face it Chiaki is kinda ultimate hope). If Junko went after her class instead of the 77th’s class then Makoto would be in Chiaki’s shoes because they are a threat to her into bringing anyone into despair because they refuse to accept despair and keep others from falling into despair. Chiaki helped the class from being in despair after Fuyuhiko’s sister death and Mahiru’s friend death. Also from when Chisa had to go work in the reserve course for a year. She kept everyone together and tried to keep their spirits up just like Makoto. Makoto was optimistic in the first game and still is. He believes that no matter what, the future will always be bright and tried to keep everyone falling into despair (like in chapter 6 of the game!). You can’t even say that with Hajime or Komaru because those two were realists who did fall into despair sometimes but I also think they believed that there is nothing wrong with feeling despair every now and then. So anyway, if Chiaki is a mary sue then so is Makoto because they are so much alike in so many ways I can’t believe no one has said anything about that.

Also, I don’t know why people are bitching about that it’s stupid for the 77th class to become ultimate despair just because Chiaki died. I don’t know what anime you are watching but I’m pretty sure they were also being brainwashed and wouldn’t seeing a friend or anyone for that matter being tortured to death fuck you up. The brainwashing just forced them to ENJOY seeing Chiaki being tortured so now they are going to actively seek and bring out despair. I can’t believe people are also complaining that Fuyuhiko should have felt more despair for his sister’s death instead of Chiaki. He was FUCKING pissed when his sister was murdered! He killed her killer in the same fucking way as his little sister was killed. What more can he do to prove he wasn’t sad over her death. Hell, in DR2 when he found out his sister was dead and past Mahiru knew and did nothing about her killer, he attempted to kill her!!! He only hesitated because he wasn’t sure if his sister’s death was real and he knew Mahiru was unsure too! He could have called the police once he found out! but he chose to get even! THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE! Seriously what more did he need to do to prove how much he cared for his sister! Chiaki was there to help him from falling deep into despair after what he did because he would have killed Mahiru if knew of her involvement in his sister’s death in DR3 if Chiaki wasn’t there to keep him from falling deeper into despair.

Also I know people wanted Junko to put the 77th class into despair one by one instead of all together but I think that either way it was ok and makes sense. There could have been many different ways for Junko to turn them into despair but this was the way Kodaka went with. And for those bitching that the brainwashing was stupid and cheap they did say in the 2nd game the 77th class was brainwashed! Go see for yourself it’s in chapter 6.

All Chiaki did was listen to the advice Chisa gave her! She fucking took it to heart and believed it was her job as class rep to keep this class together as well as their hope! So fuck all of you! Sorry for ranting and sorry if I sounded rude (and for grammar errors). I just want people to really try to understand these character and their actions and why things are the way they are! If you can’t understand that then you don’t get danganronpa at all and what it’s truly about!

Oh My Venus a Pleasant Surprise

{Spoilers for Oh My Venus through episode 6}

Now it’s time to answer the question that nobody asked because nobody cares of whether I’m enjoying Oh My Venus. And that answer, so far at least, is an unequivocal hells yes. I feel like I unexpectedly got a second birthday. I was worried I was getting into another mediocre make-over drama, and I accidentally stumbled into a reverse harem full of sex jokes!

Originally posted by anapher

I was not expecting to feel as excited about/invested in Oh My Venus but oh my word, am I all in. I was really worried about this show, to be honest, because the premise seemed like it was going to be a problematic minefield of body shaming, sexism and the inculcation of unrealistic body ideals. When I heard that there was a “diet challenge” premise I was like, “Why? Why are two of my favorite actors attaching their names to a show with such a skeevy premise?” I don’t know what happened, but the show isn’t what the promotional information made it out to be. Maybe early reports were inaccurate or badly translated. Maybe the writers did some major revisions before filming started, because the plot is essentially nothing like what I had expected. And that is a very very good thing.

There are definitely some fat-jokes and mistreatment of the main character because of her weight, but the overall rhetoric of the show seems to be including that stuff to make a point and not to promote body shaming. I’ve actually be really consistently surprise by and impressed with the messaging in the show, up to an including them pointing out that the laws protecting stalking victims in South Korea are a joke and the MFC’s personal safety being minimized by the police and others because she’s overweight. Wow.

Joo Eun is fabulous. I love her level of confidence in spite of the treatment she generally gets by other professionals and even friends and family because of her weight. She is still a badass. Which is surprising considering the number of times she ends up asking to be saved or needing saved by the MMC. Honestly, that doesn’t bother me much. She unfortunately keeps getting into weird and unexpected situations while he happens to be nearby. I think it’s supposed to be building his characterization rather than hers, because in general she seems like a competent person who has a lot of faith in herself, she’s just gotten into some bad habits over the last few years and hasn’t been taking really good care of herself. I think they’re trying to point out the MMC’s underlying need to save and protect people as part of the bigger picture development for him, not so much because they want to damsel the MFC. As much as she gets saved, she doesn’t feel like a damsel to me. Not to mention, as a result of her needing rescued from a stalker, she starts learning self defense so she isn’t caught like that in the future! Also, I think it’s supposed to underscore the two character’s ‘fate’ together. Standard Kdrama love-line stuff.

Originally posted by irrational-obsessions-gottcha78

That brings me to another thing I like about this show: The emphasis is on taking care of yourself and loving yourself, not on looks or weight loss for their own sake. Joo Eun’s weight gain/loss has to do with an underlying medical condition and needing to get her bad habits under control for her health and wellbeing, not because she wants to impress her ex or get a guy. Of course there are a lot of things that go into her decision, but the writers consistently make a point of it being about health and not body shape only. That’s why them bringing up hypothyroidism was such a pleasant surprise.

Episode 6 sort of pushed me over the edge into “holy crow, I love this show” territory with her boys agreeing to be “Joo Eun for a day” and getting a reminder to taste life’s sweetness and pursue what happiness is for them. Clearly Young Ho has gotten into a habit of depriving himself of pleasures as well as taking other people under his wing as projects and almost like his kids or little siblings. His relationship with Joon Sung and Ji Woong demonstrates this, not just the way he takes care of them but how much they love him. While Joo Eun seems like she’s going to have a growth arc of taking care of her body so that she isn’t missing out on life’s pleasures (because of her health) I think Young Ho’s arc will have to do with learning to let himself off the hook sometimes, taste the sweet things, and not deprive himself of happiness.

In addition to this relationship dynamic having a lot of potential, have I mentioned that So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah have crazy chemistry? This drama is sexy as hell. Shin Min Ah in heavy makeup and a fat suit has more game than I will ever have. And So Ji Sub is just drop dead sexy. I liked him in Master’s Sun, but here as Young Ho…OMG. And this character is so flirtatious! Insanely flirty and laid back about physical contact. He has his hands all over her before he starts being her personal trainer, and continues to be comfortably touching her throughout–not in a weird or creepy way. Clearly there is a lot of physical attraction going on between the two well before the transformation, even after Joo Eun loses weight in her face and gets her dimple back he says that he kind of misses her chubby cheeks, that he thought they were cute. He’s absolutely killing me guys!

That he fell for her before she lost the weight is SO important to me. I can’t overstate that. Basically, OMV is doing the things I wish She Was Pretty had done, and I don’t have a single ounce of SLS.

Speaking of SLS and how I don’t have it…is it weird that I’m really intrigued by both the second leads and all of the supporting cast? (The elder and the in-law situation is an exception to this. I feel like I’ve seen this inheritance infighting plot too many times in Kdramas. I’m hoping they pull out some interesting stops to wow me. For right now Young Ho, the reluctant chaebol, is the only thing keeping me engaged in the corporate shenanigans.) I’m so looking forward to getting more information about the other members of Joo Eum’s ‘team’. Secretary Min is charming and his friendship with Young Ho is endearing. (Which is saying something, because this same actor inspired such loathing as Choi Young Do's horrible father in Heirs.)

As far as Joo Eun’s ex and his new woman/her former friend are concerned though? I’m got. Really intrigued to see where that plot is going. I was all set to loathe them for the duration, but as of the end of episode 6 it doesn’t look like they are going to be cookie cutter characters. They look like they will have full formed character arcs. How exciting is that?

Soo Jin could so easily just be a straw-bitch (we know the type so well in Kdramas) without substance or complexity, just blind hatred for the MFC. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Soo Jin is someone who is lashing out because she’s been deeply wounded with a very warped sense of self, but physically and subjectively. There’s a scene in episode 6 where, even though she’s ostensibly ‘hot’ now, when she looks in the mirror she still sees herself prior to her extreme transformation. That is interesting. Woo Sik too could just be the cheating bastard, but there’s a lot more too him too. I don’t necessarily like him, but I’m very curious about what motivates him as he clearly still cares deeply for Joo Eun.

Those are some initial thoughts about OMV, I’m pretty pumped. The only thing I’m sad about is being all the way caught up and having to wait week to week for it to come out. There are still so many ways that this show can disappoint, obviously. Perhaps I’m alone, but the kiss at the end of episode 6 seems dangerously early. If romantic progress is this far along less than halfway in, I’m concerned that we are in for a serious angst fest before we’re out of the woods. They certainly have a lot of material to form angst from (family drama, corporate drama, arranged marriages, exes, vindictive former friends/bosses, health scares, stalkers, etc, etc, etc.) Here’s hoping the writing remains solid. For right now I’m down to be along for the ride.


Jona