it had more character development than some of the main cast

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GUYS GUYS GUYSS!! NEW ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!

Life is like a hurricane here in… modern-day America. But in Duckburg, it’s a veritable storm of fun, adventure, and d-d-d-danger for fans awaiting Disney XD’s summer revival of DuckTales, the beloved ‘80s cartoon about Donald Duck’s nephews and their wild excursions with great-uncle Scrooge McDuck (voiced by Doctor Who’s David Tennant).Premiering in August, the series has been carefully crafted as a familiar reboot albeit with contemporary comedy updates to the Disney Afternoon original. “One of the things we always loved about the old show was that it was this family of adventurers, but the emphasis in every episode had always been on the adventure and plotline,” says co-producer Francisco Angones. “The basic conceit of growing our show was that this is a big blended family of adventurers, so it should feel like a combination of Indiana Jones and a blended Arrested Development-style family sitcom where every character has a different relationship to one another.”The revival sticks to its adventure-of-the-week DNA, but with a hint of season-long serialization — one big mystery of the first season involves a decade-old family secret about why Scrooge and Donald stopped spelunking together — as well as sharpened characterization for nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie (Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Bobby Moynihan). “Since everyone always says ‘Huey, Dewey, and Louie’ in that exact order, we decided to make that the birth order, and by defining that, we were able to assign traits that fit,” says executive producer Matt Youngberg. “So, Huey’s the oldest, a little more responsible, a little bit brainy. Dewey wants to stand out, and wants to break out of being labeled as just one of a set of three. And Louie is happy being the youngest child — he can slip under the radar.”Joining the pack (though decidedly not the Quack Pack), expect significantly more screen time for little Webby (Kate Micucci), Scrooge’s niece-by-affection, whom Youngberg says has “a stronger and more unique voice than she ever had before.” Angones adds, “We almost never say ‘the nephews’ or ‘the boys’ — she’s a crucial part of the adventuring team, and they really are this big, weird family. If Huey has Scrooge’s brains, Dewey has Scrooge’s guts, and Louie has Scrooge’s love of treasure, Webby has Scrooge’s heart.”The population of Duckburg doesn’t stop there. Not even close. In addition to previously announced treats like Beck Bennett’s Launchpad McQuack and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Gizmoduck, the city is thriving with new and familiar characters — so let’s cannonball into some exclusives.

Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo)
Expect to see a lot more of this world-class walking temper tantrum in the new reboot, which bumps Donald Duck up to main cast status. “He’s been a single parent obsessively taking care of the boys, and he’s a little bit overprotective and doesn’t want to take a lot of risks, whereas so much of Scrooge’s success is based on the fact that he’s willing to take risks,” says Angones. “In our world, about 10 years ago, Scrooge and Donald used to go on these big, crazy, rip-roaring adventures, and then they stopped talking to each other, to the point where when we start our show, Huey, Dewey, and Louie don’t even know that the richest duck in the world and this legendary explorer is their great uncle.” By the end of the first episode, Donald reluctantly moves his whole family in with Scrooge, but maintains some degree of his own independence — by keeping his houseboat in the pool. 

Gladstone Gander (Paul F. Tompkins)
Few things can unite Scrooge and Donald like a shared nemesis, and we find that in Gladstone Gander, a dandy old character who always irked Donald and now gets under Scrooge’s feathers, too. Angones says, “The great thing about Gladstone is that since Donald is fundamentally unlucky, Gladstone is supernaturally lucky, and so Scrooge and Donald can both agree that they hate Gladstone because he does nothing and gets everything.” (Also worth hating: Gladstone’s father’s name is Goosetave. GOOSETAVE.)

Gyro Gearloose (Jim Rash)
You’ll notice Scrooge’s in-house mad scientist has gotten a fairly hipster makeover, but neither his wild inventions nor vocal exclamations (by Community’s Jim Rash) are any less manic. While his intern Fenton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) moonlights as local superhero Gizmoduck, presumable fan-favorite Gyro Gearloose keeps the spirit of DuckTales’ crazy super-science alive.

Goldie O’Gilt (Allison Janney)
Returning as Scrooge’s longtime paramour is Goldie O’Gilt, a fellow adventurer who has a curious relationship with old McDuck. “In our adaptation, Scrooge is more of an adventure junkie than a gold addict, so we kept saying, ‘Well, if Scrooge is like Batman, then Goldie should be like Catwoman,’” says Angones. “She’s equally adventurous, every bit Scrooge’s equal, and he hates and loves that. They have this amazingly contentious relationship that’s been going on ages and ages, spanning back to the Gold Rush days.” Plus, the producers say it was David Tennant who geeked out the most about Janney joining the cast: “He heard us play a line she had recorded and he said, ‘That’s C.J. Cregg!‘”Ma Beagle (Margo Martindale) and the Beagle Boys (Eric Bauza)
The perennially annoying villains are back in full force to block Scrooge’s adventures, with beloved character actress Margo Martindale on hand to voice the maniacal matriarch of the family of genuinely idiotic criminals. Big fans will note that they actually look like dogs this time. Relatively

Flintheart Glomgold (Keith Ferguson)
One of Scrooge’s wealthy equals in Duckburg is Scottish showman Flintheart Glomgold, whom Youngberg describes as “this kind of go-go ‘80s billionaire who made all his money from branding and getting his face on every storefront.” Angones says, “Glomgold is bigger, faster, and cheaper. An in-joke we had for him was that originally in the comics, he was South African, and then they made him Scottish in [the original] DuckTales, so we really leaned into that and decided that when Glomgold saw that Scrooge was a Scottish billionaire, he decided to be the cheap knock-off. More Scottish and even richer.

”Mark Beaks (Josh Brener)
The Silicon Valley actor adds fresh blood to the echelon of wealthy ducks that dominate the city. “We had a bunch of old money billionaires — Scrooge is the oldest money, this billionaire of the industrial revolution, and we have Glomgold — so we included somebody who’s representative of today’s billionaires, which is the tech industry billionaire,” says Youngberg. “Mark Beaks doesn’t care as much about money as he cares about status and being buzzworthy and how many followers he has.” Angones adds, “Josh Brener was so incredibly on all the time, selling and pitching. He’s a character who’s so broad and over the top, you love to be annoyed by him.

DuckTales premieres on Disney XD this August.


http://ew.com/tv/2017/06/08/ducktales-exclusive-characters-cast/

Marco is a Trans Girl - The Megapost 2.0

So you’ve likely seen my big post on the theory that Marco Diaz from Star vs The Forces of Evil is a Trans Girl. It was made back in July of 2016 when Season 2 was just starting, and since then a lot of things have changed and we now know a lot more about what’s going on behind the scenes.

This post is meant to be an updated explanation of Trans Girl Marco theory, but now more in line with how things are actually happening. The gist of it being that Marco Diaz is coded as a closeted transgender girl.  Expect less theorizing and more meta talk. I’ll be going over all the clues that indicate Marco is trans, as well as how the starcrew came to the desicion as Marco developed as a character.

I can’t give enough thanks to the members of the crew such as @arythusa and @hug-bees​, whom have both done as much as they possibly can to communicate with the show’s growing LGBT fanbase, and given us so much insight into what’s going on

Full post below the cut.

Keep reading

4

I’ve been thinking about this game. Personally to me it represents a lot of lost potential - it’s a great concept but it’s brought down by a less than stellar execution. The cartoon designs look more like stickers than anything, just barely resembling a stereotype of a stereotype of the 1920′s-30′s cartoon style. While I don’t like complaining about people’s choices in design and art, I guess the theme is one that I’m rather passionate about, and a little bit of research from the developers would bring the game to a much greater level of quality than it is at the moment. The monsters in the game are also just unimaginably lame, and to me represent just plain blowing off the original idea in favor of more “serious” horror.

(Continued under a readmore because I say a lot; tl;dr I talk more about where the game went wrong in my opinion and how I would recommend changing it.)

Keep reading

Hey Voltron Fandom, what the fuck?

I’m going to get straight to the point, you guys are self-destructive and are going to kill the fandom over your petty arguments and stupid self-entitlement. There hasn’t been a day since the beginning of the fandom that everything has just been peaceful for once (and I’ve been here since it’s birth) You all should be ashamed of yourselves, fighting online and hurting real people over fiction (this is not specifically towards ships btw) And I’m putting my foot down at all of this bullshit and trying to stop it

This is pretty lengthy so everything is under the cut

Keep reading

Gil’s Story Is My Nightmare

You know, it normally takes weeks if not months for my feelings to settle on a subject relating to fiction. Like, my first time through, it’ll wash over me, I’ll consider it a while, and then, eventually, I’ll come to a conclusion.

But Gil’s story rubbed me wrong on first run, and I easily figured out why.

Gil’s story is my nightmare as a gay man.

I know I’m not the first to sum it up, but I am SO frustrated and pissed off by this (and Mass Effect Andromeda’s handling of M/M relationships in general), I need to work it out of my system.

Keep reading

8

Meet the new faces of Duckburg!

Premiering in August, the series has been carefully crafted as a familiar reboot albeit with contemporary comedy updates to the Disney Afternoon original. “One of the things we always loved about the old show was that it was this family of adventurers, but the emphasis in every episode had always been on the adventure and plotline,” says co-producer Francisco Angones. “The basic conceit of growing our show was that this is a big blended family of adventurers, so it should feel like a combination of Indiana Jones and a blended Arrested Development-style family sitcom where every character has a different relationship to one another.”

Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo)
Expect to see a lot more of this world-class walking temper tantrum in the new reboot, which bumps Donald Duck up to main cast status. “He’s been a single parent obsessively taking care of the boys, and he’s a little bit overprotective and doesn’t want to take a lot of risks, whereas so much of Scrooge’s success is based on the fact that he’s willing to take risks,” says Angones. “In our world, about 10 years ago, Scrooge and Donald used to go on these big, crazy, rip-roaring adventures, and then they stopped talking to each other, to the point where when we start our show, Huey, Dewey, and Louie don’t even know that the richest duck in the world and this legendary explorer is their great uncle.” By the end of the first episode, Donald reluctantly moves his whole family in with Scrooge, but maintains some degree of his own independence — by keeping his houseboat in the pool.

Gladstone Gander (Paul F. Tompkins)
Few things can unite Scrooge and Donald like a shared nemesis, and we find that in Gladstone Gander, a dandy old character who always irked Donald and now gets under Scrooge’s feathers, too. Angones says, “The great thing about Gladstone is that since Donald is fundamentally unlucky, Gladstone is supernaturally lucky, and so Scrooge and Donald can both agree that they hate Gladstone because he does nothing and gets everything.” (Also worth hating: Gladstone’s father’s name is Goosetave. GOOSETAVE.

Gladstone Gander (Paul F. Tompkins)
Few things can unite Scrooge and Donald like a shared nemesis, and we find that in Gladstone Gander, a dandy old character who always irked Donald and now gets under Scrooge’s feathers, too. Angones says, “The great thing about Gladstone is that since Donald is fundamentally unlucky, Gladstone is supernaturally lucky, and so Scrooge and Donald can both agree that they hate Gladstone because he does nothing and gets everything.” (Also worth hating: Gladstone’s father’s name is Goosetave. GOOSETAVE.

Goldie O’Gilt (Allison Janney)
Returning as Scrooge’s longtime paramour is Goldie O’Gilt, a fellow adventurer who has a curious relationship with old McDuck. “In our adaptation, Scrooge is more of an adventure junkie than a gold addict, so we kept saying, ‘Well, if Scrooge is like Batman, then Goldie should be like Catwoman,’” says Angones. “She’s equally adventurous, every bit Scrooge’s equal, and he hates and loves that. They have this amazingly contentious relationship that’s been going on ages and ages, spanning back to the Gold Rush days.” Plus, the producers say it was David Tennant who geeked out the most about Janney joining the cast: “He heard us play a line she had recorded and he said, ‘That’s C.J. Cregg!‘” 

 Ma Beagle (Margo Martindale) and the Beagle Boys (Eric Bauza)
The perennially annoying villains are back in full force to block Scrooge’s adventures, with beloved character actress Margo Martindale on hand to voice the maniacal matriarch of the family of genuinely idiotic criminals. Big fans will note that they actually look like dogs this time. Relatively.

Flintheart Glomgold (Keith Ferguson)
One of Scrooge’s wealthy equals in Duckburg is Scottish showman Flintheart Glomgold, whom Youngberg describes as “this kind of go-go ‘80s billionaire who made all his money from branding and getting his face on every storefront.” Angones says, “Glomgold is bigger, faster, and cheaper. An in-joke we had for him was that originally in the comics, he was South African, and then they made him Scottish in [the original] DuckTales, so we really leaned into that and decided that when Glomgold saw that Scrooge was a Scottish billionaire, he decided to be the cheap knock-off. More Scottish and even richer.”

Mark Beaks (Josh Brener)

The Silicon Valley actor adds fresh blood to the echelon of wealthy ducks that dominate the city. “We had a bunch of old money billionaires — Scrooge is the oldest money, this billionaire of the industrial revolution, and we have Glomgold — so we included somebody who’s representative of today’s billionaires, which is the tech industry billionaire,” says Youngberg. “Mark Beaks doesn’t care as much about money as he cares about status and being buzzworthy and how many followers he has.” Angones adds, “Josh Brener was so incredibly on all the time, selling and pitching. He’s a character who’s so broad and over the top, you love to be annoyed by him.”

Why queerbaiting is Supernatural’s biggest problem (and what we can do about it):

1. The subtext is obvious:

I doubt anyone in this universe is a bigger Destiel shipper than me.  In my humble opinion, Dean and Castiel’s relationship is the greatest love story ever told, and no one can convince me otherwise.  

Even from a platonic standpoint, the poignancy of their relationship is undeniable:  Castiel was introduced by his saving Dean from eternal damnation, he sacrifices everything for Dean on the regular, he died for him more than three times, and generally speaking, Dean is more important to him than anything else in the world. 

Similarly, Dean prays to Cas regularly, spent a year searching for him in purgatory, and, with the exception of Sam, Castiel appears to be the most important person currently in Dean’s life. 

But the subtext – and the sexual tension – is also undeniable.  

Similarly, even without Cas, Dean bisexuality is alluded to throughout the series.  As with his relationship with Cas, there is no doubt in my mind at this point that Dean swings both ways.

I know it, a large portion of the fandom knows it, and I’m pretty sure the writers know it.  

Which brings me to my next point:

2.  The writers are aware of it:

Aside from the fact that several situations are clearly written to be suggestive and that in season 9, Castiel was literally written as “feeling like a jilted lover”…

…the writers have given nods to the Destiel and Wincest fandoms throughout the series. 

Amusing as this may be, it also tells us that the writers are fully aware of the implications of Dean’s sexuality and his relationship with Castiel.

And yet: 

3.  They don’t appear to have any intentions of making it canon, yet they continue to capitalize on it:  over the past several seasons, I’ve noticed an unfortunate pattern:  scenes are written to implicate a romantic connection between Dean and Castiel, only for it to be negated in a “no-homo” moment shortly afterwards. 

(Credit to @some-people-call-it-tragic for these GIFs and examples).

As further evidence of this, we’ve had the writers cut scenes between Dean and Cas that are not only emotionally powerful, but important to the plot and to character development in general, apparently exclusively for the reason that they go just a little too far in implicating that Dean and Castiel’s relationship might become canon.

In season seven, for example, a scene was cut in which Dean tells Cas/Emmanuel that “part of him always believed he would come back.”

In season eight, scenes were cut in which Dean prayed to Cas, and later, in which Dean breaks Naomi’s hold on Cas by telling him he loves him. 

And most recently, in season ten, a scene was cut in which Castiel tells Rowena that his relationship with Dean means more to him than any victory he’s ever won in heaven.

If this isn’t dangling the possibility of queer representation in front of the proverbial nose of the fandom, I don’t know what is. 

4.  What’s stopping them:

Sadly, this kind of queerbaiting is nothing knew in modern media, though in this case, it is rather extreme.  And for the most part, I’d assume the SPN writers are driven to do so by the same thing that motivates most writers to queerbait their audiences:  the ability to toe the line of acceptability between the LGBT/pro-LGBT and more conservative factions of the fandom without suffering the negative repercussions of featuring canonically LGBT characters.

However, if they were actually up on the demographics of their own viewers, they would know that a confirmation of Dean’s bisexuality and relationship with Cas would actually be beneficial: Destiel is currently the most reblogged M/M ship on social media, and has more fanfiction and fan art than any of its counterparts.  Similarly, more than 85% of fans polled said they would continue watching if Destiel became canon, and they would no doubt gain new viewership with the addition of queer main characters.  

One factor that may be preventing them is – and I really don’t want to offend anyone here – the Wincest/bibro shippers, along with the small but very vocal (and presumably blind) part of the fandom that believes wholeheartedly that Dean is straight. 

Many Wincest shippers and bibros may be perfectly nice, but every week in which Castiel or Dean’s relationship with him is mentioned, they collectively appear to go on a social media rampage, complete with childish tags such as “destiew” or “destihell.”  (I’ve never seen any other fans do this – even when we complain about Wincest shippers, we do so with the simple tag, “anti-wincest.”)  No need for derogatory terms or hatred towards actors, or even towards the characters they portray.  As a group, they also appear to be more inclined to resist anything that might shift the focus of the show away from Sam and Dean’s/Jared and Jensen’s relationship, from Cas, to Destiel, to Misha, to the YANA campaign, to the Wayward Daughters and the possibility of a spinoff revolving around them.

Their view of Dean’s sexuality is also…complex.  Many Wincest shippers I’ve interacted with have actually claimed that Dean is straight, which I find perplexing, considering they support his having sexual relations with his brother.  If you are a (friendly) Wincest shipper, feel free to contact me to let me know what your reasoning is, because I’m legitimately curious.

Now, from what I can tell, these fans produce more hate than any other portion of the fandom, yet their numbers are actually surprisingly small. 

Of all fans/shippers polled, 83% shipped Destiel while less than 17% shipped Wincest.  Destiel shippers outweigh the Wincest shippers almost 9 to 1 – the Wincest shippers are just LOUDER.

That said, no portion of the fandom takes responsibility for the prevalence of queerbaiting on Supernatural.  That responsibility falls squarely on the writers.  

5.  What we can do about it:

As a fandom, we’ve proven we hold a lot of influence over the show:  we kept it going through the dark time that was season seven.  We, through sheer popular demand, made Castiel a main character, and two seasons later, forced the writers to resurrect him when they killed him off.

So, if enough of us raise our voices, I feel certain the writers could be persuaded to give us what we want:

1.  Dean to be canonically bisexual.  Aside from the fact that to have a bi main character would provide invaluable LGBT representation, Dean’s coming to terms with his own preferences would also represent drastic character development.

2.  Canon Destiel. If it hadn’t been alluded to for the past seven years, I would not be so insistent on this issue:  if they don’t make it canon at this point, it’s queerbaiting, plain and simple. 

3.  And, while we’re at it more strong female, POC, and disabled characters.  A Wayward Daughters spinoff would be a fantastic start towards more representation within the SPN universe.

 So never hesitate to speak up!  Polite but assertive tweets to the writers (the cast is not responsible for the issue, and should not be addressed for it) could be extremely beneficial, and pave the way towards greater representation of the LGBT community within Supernatural and modern media, an end to the queerbaiting, and the romance we all appear to want. 

In the words of my good friend @torigirl103, #ThisIsOurYear!

Of Dazai and the Old Boss – An Analysis Report

Wordcount: 1.374.

So ever since I started reading the manga, there was always one character I always wondered about; the Old Boss, or the boss that came before Mori. Sure he seemed like an unimportant side character in the way he’s presented, but I have reasons to believe he’s more than that.

First, let’s compile what we know about him.

1.     He was ruthless even when he’s not bedridden and paranoid, as was said by Kouyou whose lover was killed because she tried to escape the Mafia with him.

And again when Tanizaki tried to kill Mori but was stopped by Kouyou, saying that if Mori died, the Mafia would return to its ‘wretched ways’. We can say with complete confidence that Mori’s way is so much ‘kinder’ than the old boss.

2.       He was bedridden with illness that also made him paranoid of attacks. This is not the case before the illness strike because Hirotsu mentioned he become like that after the illness. If Mori hadn’t stopped him by slicing his throat, he would have burnt Yokohama down.

4.       Wait that’s it? Yep. All we knew about him was in that episode and that chapter. But what we know about him was profound.

First let’s look at this scene:

Notice how Hirotsu mentioned Dazai specifically? Here’s the original panel for that scene:

In this, we can confidently say that Hirotsu singled out Dazai about how was the one who should’ve been most not alright with the development. The words used for it ‘Dazai –kun mo rikai suru tokoro de attarou‘  implies this. It hints that Dazai should’ve been resentful to Mori because he killed the Old Boss. But against all odds, he understood why Mori did what he did.

Then there’s this scene.

It really bothered me and when I looked deeper this is what cemented my conclusion of Dazai and the Old Boss’ connection. So as we could see in this scene, Mori killed the Old Boss and had Dazai become the sole witness. Now this premise has many problems.

1. Other than Mori, who was a doctor so obviously he was to take care of the sick, notice that Dazai was the only one in the room. Now this is strange. He was the only one who was by the Old Boss’ side, all alone in the room with the vulnerable, sick man when there’s no doctor to hover on the bedside. This in and of itself is a proof of their bond. If they weren’t well-known to have it, then all the Mafia would be suspicious to the fact that he’s accompanying the boss when he’s the most vulnerable.

On top of that he was entrusted with the Boss’ security as he was in the room with Mori who might or might not harm him (spoiler, he harmed the boss.) so he was supposed to be the one to care the most about the Old Boss’ wellbeing.

2.       As we know from the light novel, Odasaku mentioned that Dazai was considered to become an Executive at 16. In this scene he was only 14 and at that point of time, he had enough sway in the Organization that he can be the sole witness to the boss’ will and everyone just—nods and go along with it, making Mori the new boss despite them should be having Five Executive that would have fought for the seat. Why?

3.       In this case, Dazai cannot be adopted and raised by Mori as the fandom believed. If he was Mori’s and he became the sole witness everyone would call bull on it because he’d be perceived as Mori’s accomplice in taking out the Old Boss. They’d be executed and one of the upper echelon would take the throne themselves.

This would only work if the Port Mafia to believe that he couldn’t harm the boss and wouldn’t let harm come to him.

But what about this picture, you ask? Well, Mori did have a connection with Dazai too seing how Dazai got the coat he wore from before he was 14 to 18 from him. That’s a good 4 years wearing the same thing. I think this was actually the same case with Chuuya not appearing in the Dark Era; the plot has yet to be told to the readers and kept secret.

And then there’s the possibility that they knew each other because of Dazai’s wounds. If the Old Boss is as ruthless as Kouyou made him out to be, it won’t be far-fetched to say he’s the one resposible for Dazai’s numerous injuries and was frequently sent to Mori, the doctor, to get treatment.

Summary:  the Organization needs to know Dazai well and for some reason connect him with not only being close enough to the Old Boss for it not be strange for him to be all alone in the room with him and having enough credibility that he can’t possibly lie about the Old Boss’ last will. On top of that, he needs some reason to be the one ‘most not alright with it’ in a personal sense.

So what would make this credible? What could make this work? It would be if by doing so he was giving up his rights to the throne.

Here cometh my conclusion: Dazai was the Old Boss’ son and the rightful heir to the Port Mafia. If he was one, it won’t be strange for him to have credibility as 14-year old kid claiming to be the sole witness to a boss of The Mafia’s biggest bad that made a city doctor its next Boss.  More than that, it would be natural for him to spend time alone in the Boss’ bedside when he was sick and vulnerable.

No, I won’t be dropping Darth Vader’s ‘I am your father’ bomb here, despite it being extremely tempting. How many father and child bound by blood have you seen in BSD? That’s right, none. No reason to break the pattern now.

But what is prevalent? Adopting orphans. Hell, it was dropped by Odasaku in his last moment as one of Dazai’s driving force. In fact, most of the main cast are either adopted orphans or have adopted an orphan. (Fukuzawa & Ranpo, Kunikida & Rokuzo, Akutagawa/Atsushi and Dazai, need I go on?)

Here’s my verdict: Dazai was the heir to the Port Mafia because he was the Old Boss’ adopted. When the Old Boss died, everyone in the Mafia who knew about it, thought that he couldn’t possibly lie because by doing so he’d be defacing the Old Boss and giving away his rights to the throne. This gave him the ultimate credibility and thus allowing Mori to become the next King.

Most of all, this also solve the mystery of Mori’s behavior. Why drive Dazai away when he’s 18, when Mori could’ve killed him or make him go away before? He made the preparation to drive Dazai away two years beforehand when Dazai was 16, a good two years after becoming boss. The answer was because this will reveal his play to his subordinate. In the light novel Odasaku mentioned about Mori’s fearsome reputation for being ruthless and clever as hell. And this is the key; reputation.

If Mori killed Dazai before he got a secure standing in the Mafia, he would be accused to be killing the Old Boss and taking down his heir. Everyone would be on the scent of blood like sharks, especially in a place as cruel as the Mafia. So he got himself a reputation, backed by people loyal to him (Chuuya, Kouyou and, in an extent, Ace who was loyal only to money) and when he was sure that he has shown what he could and would do to the whole Mafia and the world, he cut off Dazai because he was no longer needed and now poses only threat.

By exiling the Prince, he would be able to hog the throne for himself since the older members would not be rallying behind Dazai to retake his rights. Truly a long-running plan befitting of him.

But hey, that’s just a theory. A BSD theory. Aaaand cut.

What I’m finding kinda eyebrow-raising about the way in which people are talking about Danny Pink in this regard is that he’s being reduced to “a black character who died” - as if that’s all that matters about him.

He was a very well-defined and realised character with a complete (and emotional) arc, he subverted a number of tropes around masculinity, and he ‘died’ because he gave up his chance to return from the Nethersphere in order to instead revive the young Afghan boy he accidentally killed during a military operation.

Let’s say that it happened the other way around and Danny chose to come back instead of the boy. What would the reaction to that be? Would that be better? Worse? And why?

Danny’s story was complete, and I really can’t see a way that he could’ve been integrated into Series 9′s arc - his death was, in part, a critical turn-of-the-screw event for Clara becoming more separate from her home life and throwing herself into being more of a ‘citizen of the universe’. But that wasn’t all Danny’s death was for, he wasn’t there just to serve Clara’s development because he had a full arc of his own throughout Series 8 that was almost entirely independent of the influence of other characters.

Even after his death, a significant amount of the following episode, Last Christmas, brings him back in the dream world and further deals with the emotional fallout of his sacrifice.

I totally get that this obviously doesn’t exist in a vacuum and there’s certainly valid criticism to be made, but it really rubs me the wrong way when everything about Danny (who is still very much one of my favourite characters) gets reduced down to “oh, he died, so Doctor Who is clearly a show that hates black people”.

He wasn’t just just discarded and forgotten.

His death wasn’t some cheap shocker for the purpose of trying to elevate the drama.

He was afforded the full emotional range and complexity of any main companion character. He saved the world and got to right a wrong that took away the life of a young boy, sacrificing his own chance to go back so the boy could return to his family and live the life that had been previously taken from him. That was what the ‘soldier’ arc was all about - self-sacrifice, to ensure the safety of those he promised to protect. Because the thing that defined Danny as a soldier was love.

It bothers me because this reductive articulation of Danny was uncomfortably prevalent throughout Series 8 where people just cast him off as “Mickey 2.0″ and called him bland and boring, which seems to be a bit of a trend in a lot of fanbases, and it’s why I am not liking the way in which he’s being talked about regarding the events of World Enough and Time.

There was more to Danny Pink than just his death. I’d like to see that acknowledged in more of the Discourse™ I’m seeing about last night’s episode…

Ai Yazawa End-of-Book Notes 1-21

So at the end of every volume of NANA, Ai Yazawa has a brief paragraph about the manga or just some introspection about her life. They give great insight into the series and I think only a few are found on the scans of NANA online, so I thought I’d share them all!

Volume 1

The creator, Ai Yazawa, told us, “I created this story so that it could be enjoyed as a stand-alone and, at the same time, have a complete ending that could be connected to an ongoing series.  I hope you’ll look forward to the future of the two Nanas!”

Volume 2

A note from Ai Yazawa: “I had thought that if the two Nanas met each other, they would probably be constantly fighting, but they seem oddly friendly.  What’s up with that?!  It’s one of me (not so) seven wonders (ha-ha).”

Volume 3

Since childhood, the artists I’ve looked up to haven’t been writers and illustrators, but mostly musicians.  Music provides me the most emotional effect and excitement.  If there was no music, I don’t think my creative juices would boil.  Music is that important to my life.

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 4

I realized one day that there are hit songs with the same names as the main female characters, NANA, JUNKO, and SACHIKO (the kanji for JUNKO is different, though).  It’s not that big a deal, but I sometimes just hum the melodies longingly.

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 5

In the initial drafts, Nana’s band was a rockabilly band like the Stray Cats.  But due to various circumstances, I didn’t keep it that way.  But if they were rockabilly, Ren, Nobu and Shin would have had pompadours.  And Yasu too?

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 6

When I was a child, I used to take piano lessons.  Even after I stopped taking lessons, I bought sheet music I liked and continued playing.  I’ve had my hands full for several years now, but one of these days I’d like to learn how to play jazz piano, which I’ve wanted to do for years now.

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 7

I had an opportunity to interview a group of professional musicians.  I showered them with questions, but they answered willingly, and it was very helpful.  I was having problems balancing the fictional world of manga-like simplicity and gorgeousness with a sense of reality.  But I realized again that what’s important is the humanity of the characters.

- Ai Yazawa

Volume 8

When I was in high school, there was a cool girl in my class who was a lone wolf.  I was really into a foreign New Romantic-type band then, and when she asked me one day, “Do you want to go to their concert together?” I was overwhelmed.  My heart fluttered more than when I was with my boyfriend (☺).  Have you had a Hachiko experience like that?  - Ai Yazawa

Keep reading

There’s only one episode of American Gods left for the season, and while I cannot stop gushing about many aspects of the show, there are a few things that are still irking me because even when something is brilliant there are grating patterns that rear their ugly heads, and I cannot bring myself to ignore or shake them.

“A Prayer for Mad Sweeney” was a fantastic episode. Pablo Shreiber has blown me away all season and he’s gifted. Incredible. I ADORE Mad Sweeney. I’ve come to understand that the coming to America stories focus on the believers more than the gods, themselves, but I would have much preferred he’d dominate the episode, if we HAD to have this episode at this time.

The shift from the main plot is agitating. For many reasons, one of them being that we have Shadow played by Ricky Whittle (which has been a gift) becoming a background character when he’s supposed to be the protagonist.

It troubles me; it irks me; it niggles at the back of my mind and picks at all those unsettling notes, that Laura Moon has overshadowed the rest of the characters. In a cast with amazing talent, Emily Browning is the one receiving heaps of praise. It is deserved. I would NEVER say otherwise. The woman is incredible in this role. INCREDIBLE. It’s just, she has had the room to be incredible and truly shine and audiences and critics alike are never aware of just how driven they are to latch on to the first non poc person who blows them away when it comes at the expense of others.

There’s a pattern I’ve noticed among critics especially where Whittle is “one note” and boring but Browning is the show stealer etc. Browning is saving the show…Browning is the true star. Yet, no one considers that despite Shadow being the protagonist, we know very little about him because he hasn’t been developed very much, has he? His most intimate, self reflective moments literally revolve around Laura.

Laura has quietly spilled into nearly every aspect and plot of the show thus far despite playing a much smaller role in the book. She shines because she’s been given the material to shine. Which is fine, as mentioned Emily Browning is amazing. It’s just irksome when there are a plethora of characters who have barely been touched on. A Prayer for Mad Sweeney was an amazing episode but the lions share of it STILL revolved around Browning. Which has been a pesky and problematic habit for the season.

It’s true that Laura Moon is a compelling character. I’m just frankly tired of hearing about it when what’s being toted as revolutionary is only looked at through a narrow scope. I’m happy that some find her antiheroine classification endearing and refreshing.

I am not happy with the accusations of misogyny the second someone dislikes her. Personally, because Shadow was cast as a MOC, Laura’s condescension, infantilization, manipulation, etc., when it came to Shadow isn’t revolutionary or refreshing. It’s archaic, problematic, and agitating. So Lara Moon the refreshing antiheroine we all deserve or however you choose to put it, doesn’t quite carry over the same way when you add racial dynamics and context.

Which makes the pedestal this character has been put on all the more irritating. There is one episode left. Knowing that, I can’t help but feel like the season has been terribly imbalanced. I would have liked to have seen more of Mr. Nancy. It would have been great to see more of Bilquis and maybe even how she tied into the current plot in any shape or form. Is it wrong of me to assume she was only utilised to capture the attention of all with the person eating vagina scenes? It certainly feels that way. Salim has been a breath of fresh air. He’s already missed. His Jinn has been missed.

The pacing issue wouldn’t be as annoying if the screen time and character development were more balanced. Laura, while compelling, is a character I care very little about and yet most of the season has been devoted to making us care for her. We now know more about Laura Moon then Shadow and Wednesday combined.

And as a whole, while I enjoy the show immensely, and it has kept me enthralled from beginning to end with the talented diverse cast, writing, visual effects etc,. Laura Moon somehow becoming the star of American Gods (notably at the expense of Shadow), has bugged me to the very core of my being.

(Note: This is the part 2 of the interview. To read part 1, click here.)

Stephen Anderson began his career at Disney as a storyboard artist on Tarzan. He then served as Head of Story on The Emperor’s New Groove and Brother Bear, before making the leap to director on Meet the Robinsons.

So how did Stephen first hook up with Disney, and how many Meet the Robinsons-related anecdotes can I squeeze from his brain? Let’s find out in the second part of our EXCLUSIVE three-part interview…


Part 2: Working at Disney


The Disney Elite: You started your career at Disney as a storyboard artist on Tarzan. How did that come about?


Stephen Anderson: I got to Disney through a colleague at Hyperion. I became friends with Kevin Lima, who came to Hyperion to direct a feature adaptation of Thumbalina. His co-director was Chris Buck, who had been my animation teacher at CalArts. I helped out on that film as much I could because I loved the idea and I loved working with those two. Eventually the project got shelved and those guys left. Kevin went to Disney and directed A Goofy Movie and after that, Disney wanted him to direct Tarzan. He chose Chris Buck as his co-director and so, because of those connections, I was able to become a part of their story team on Tarzan. We’ve all heard that cliche about how so much of success is who you know? This was a perfect example of that.





The Disney Elite: After working in Story on Tarzan, The Emperor’s New Groove and Brother Bear, you made the leap to director on Meet the Robinsons. Would you explain how you made that huge transition?


Stephen Anderson: First off, the only thing I wanted to do more than be an animator was to be a director. In fact, directing (and screenwriting/filmmaking in general) really took over the older I got. As a teenager, I started seeing more diverse kinds of movies, learning about filmmakers, reading about how movies are made, about screenplay structure, about what a director is, and I grew to love the idea of moviemaking. It was really the films of Steven Spielberg that changed my path and made me want to be a director. First off, the level of emotion and audience reaction that I saw and felt when I watched his films was something I wanted to be able to give to an audience someday. Loving his films then made me want to learn more about him so through reading articles and interviews and watching ‘making of’ specials, I decided that that’s what I wanted to do. So this was always the goal beyond the goal.


After Tarzan, I became interested in pursuing the Head of Story role and was fortunate to be asked to fill that role on Groove and on Brother Bear. I had asked, before Brother Bear, if I could be considered for a directing position in the future so we were already having that conversation. Since I’d been performing leadership roles, they were open to the idea. I helped develop a project for the studio on the side, during the last year of Brother Bear, with the thought that if it continued, I’d be the director. It did NOT continue. I finished Brother Bear, moved back to California (because we had to relocate to Orlando for that project), and was then handed a script for A Day with Wilbur Robinson





The Disney Elite:Meet the Robinsons was one of Disney’s early entries into CG animated features. While Pixar had already released such brilliant films as Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and The Incredibles, over at Disney there was just Dinosaur and Chicken Little. Was Meet the Robinsons always intended as a CG film, and were you at all nervous and/or hesitant about making it one?



Stephen Anderson: Boy, the memory is getting hazy but, as far as I can remember, MtR was always intended to be a CG feature. Yes, in fact I remember that while I was still on Brother Bear, the announcement was made that the studio was transitioning out of hand drawn. I was slightly anxious about doing CG just because it was something new I had to learn on top of already trying to learn how to be a good director. But to me, the creative stuff is always the biggest challenge and the thing that occupies my mind most of the time. Disney has the best people in the world so I’m always confident that the movie will look good, sound good, etc. And I was lucky to have such great artistic and technical leadership surrounding me. I trusted them to help me out if I was confused or uncertain about the technology. They all gave me a boot camp in computer animation at the beginning so I felt like I had a pretty good foundation starting out and I felt safe asking about anything I didn’t know.





The Disney Elite: Meet the Robinsons was the first of Disney’s CG films that made me think, “Now THIS is the perfect pairing of film and format!” The slick, shiny surfaces of the CG at that time really served to complement the futuristic, retro/moderne look of your film. Not only that, but while Pixar was aiming more and more for a photorealistic approach to their animation, your cartoon was, well, CARTOONY! And not just the backgrounds and characters, but also the animation itself. For a relatively early CG film, you got some gorgeously goofy character animation in there! If you wouldn’t mind, would you make a list of the films – animated or otherwise – that you used as inspiration for Meet the Robinsons?


Stephen Anderson: Well story-wise, we looked at the movie You Can’t Take It With You. It’s also about an eccentric family with quirky personalities and passions. Bill Joyce, the author/illustrator of the book that MtR is based on, told me that You Can’t Take It With You was a huge influence on him when he was creating the Robinson family. With our art director, Robh Ruppel, we talked a lot about The Wizard of Oz and how that movie goes from a sepia palette to a Technicolor palette and that influenced the look of the distant past (when we see Lewis’ mother giving him up it’s sepia) and the future (bright, bold and Technicolor). With the animators, we looked at scenes of Jim Carrey as inspiration for both Wilbur and Bowler Hat Guy. Also a lot of Looney Tunes. We used to say that Lewis is a Disney character and Wilbur and the Robinsons are Warner Looney Tunes characters. Lewis moves in more of a solid, natural, Disney-type of animation and the Robinsons are zippier and invade your personal space more like Looney Tunes characters. Those are some of the main influences I can think of.





The Disney Elite: Another wonderfully cartoony element of the film is your choice of voice-actors. The voice-work often reminds me more of 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoons than anything Disney was doing at the time. I mean, there are some really unexpected picks in there (Batman’s Adam West, Roseanne’s Laurie Metcalf, There’s Something About Mary’s Harland Williams), all of whom do an AMAZING job. Oh, and then there’s YOU – voicing not one, not two, but THREE characters, including the mustache-twirling Bowler Hat Guy! Care to share the story behind that bit of kismet casting?


Stephen Anderson: Thank you for saying that about our voice actor choices. I’ve always been such a fan of those classic voice actors and I liked approaching our casting that way. We thought it best to not go with big names, but just solid character performers. To me, actors who have experience in theater, sketch comedy and improv are really best for animation because they know how to create strong and clear characters.


As far as my involvement goes, it’s pretty simple. I’m sure you know about the work-in-progress reels that we create, where we take our story boards and cut them to temp vocals, music and sound fx. Well, I did the temp voices for those characters and, after several screenings with my voice in there, folks just got used to it and eventually I became the voice of those characters. It was the same with other members of the team. Frankie the Frog, Uncle Gaston and Lewis’ coach, Lefty the butler, the t-rex that BHG unleashes - those were all voiced by members of the story crew.





The Disney Elite: Meet the Robinsons is one of those rare movies that makes me tear up every time I watch it. This is all the more rare seeing as how for most of the film, it’s funny, funny, FUNNY. It seems to me like this kind of emotional punch can only be created when a writer/director is willing to put their own emotions and experiences into their work. Was this true for you? And if so, would you mind sharing a bit of your personal story that effected the story being told in Meet the Robinsons?


Stephen Anderson: The adoption part of the story was not in Bill Joyce’s original book. That was something that two development executives and a writer had built in to the first draft of the script, long before I’d come on to the project. When the studio handed me that script, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. While my story differs from Lewis’, I still totally identified with his quest to know who his mother is and to find out why she gave him up. And the studio had no idea that I was adopted so it was a complete coincidence. Because I understood Lewis so well, I was able to bring out that emotional side much more. It was there in the original draft, but I felt we could strengthen it.


The theme of 'Keep Moving Forward’ evolved out of early discussions about adoption and my personal feelings about it. My parents were very open with me about it and told me I was adopted at a very early age. They used to tell me that when I became 18, I could access my records and find out who my birth parents were and that they would support me in that. So for many years, I looked towards that age as a big milestone and I was determined to find out where I came from. Then one day, I realized my 18th birthday had come and gone and I’d totally forgotten about starting this search. I’d gotten distracted by life, CalArts, starting a career, getting married, etc. And I was so lucky to have been adopted by such a loving family. What would finding my birth parents change? Nothing really. In fact, I’ve heard stories about people having very negative experiences reconnecting with birth parents and that sometimes it makes things worse for them. So the important thing was to not focus on the past but on the positive present and the promising future. And that helped us all realize that that’s exactly what Lewis is going through too.


The Disney Elite. Wow. I’m damned near speechless. That right there made my day, my week, my YEAR. That was incredibly moving and inspiring, Stephen. Thanks so much for sharing that.





Thursday: In Part 3 of our interview, Stephen Anderson tells us about his life at Disney post-Meet the Robinsons. There’s his work as director on Winnie the Pooh, his place in Disney’s famed ‘Story Trust’…oh, and his upcoming, TOP SECRET animated feature film project! He’ll also offer some GREAT advice for folks hoping to make art their life. If this sounds like YOU, make sure to come back and check it out. I hope you’ll join us!


All art via Stephen Anderson’s Instagram

NOTE: This interview would not have been possible without the kindness and assistance of tumblr user Morgan – a.k.a. that-guy-in-the-bowler-hat. Morgan runs the internet’s PREMIER Meet the Robinsons archive and fansite. If you are a fan of MtR, you MUST check out his tumblr a.s.a.p.!

Alright, it’s time to talk about a character you’ve likely all been waiting for…

Yup. Old bait breath and everyone’s favorite rich, creepy dimwit.

Vlad certainly has gotten popular over the years, and not without good reason. He’s a superb villain, and the show wouldn’t be the same without him. He’s funny, threatening, and interesting. All the things you need in a good villain. In particular, what’s always made him so interesting to me is the fact that he’s an absolutely disgusting man, but it’s hard not to sympathize with him somewhat and see how he came to be that way.

Keep reading

Anime/Manga Shoutouts

Originally posted by mobpsycho100

Mob Psycho 100 - Very nice animation, likable and somewhat down to Earth protagonist, interesting characters all around. The protagonist reminds me a bit of Haruka from Free! and Kuroko. Fun fact: This is made by the creator of One Punch Man. Shoutout to the animation in the opening. Definitely should have won an award. 12 episodes. Hoping for a sequel anime. It has an ongoing manga but..the art for that…isn’t the best…Yeah. I personally find it hard to read because of the art alone. Everything else is fine. But those shaky lines….I wish the fanbase was bigger :/

Pandora Hearts - Great story telling, all of the plot twists will blow your mind, very nice artwork, an emotion experience that made me cry many times, especially during the finale (and not just because it was ending). Will forever recommend to anyone and everyone. Similar to Black Butler. It has 104 chapters and finished in March 2015. Has an anime adaptation, but it ends in filler, doesn’t cover a lot of the bigger twists later on and is quite old at this point. 

Originally posted by shiromahou

AKB0048- Think Love Live but more dramatic, in space, battle lolis and with more plot. It’s quite similar to Pretty Rhythm in how there is an plot, the main characters have emotional distress for good reasons plus switches to 3D animation aren’t that jarring. 

The Monogatari Series- My current craze. Definitely not for anime newcomers. Follows and deconstructs the harem anime elements at the same time. The harem is very subtle. Excellent character development (Shoutout to Senjougahara), great visuals (SPECIAL shoutout to Kizumonogatari. Holy hell, the quality is almost too HD for my eyes), interesting story arcs and great characters (10/10 lolis). Has quite a bit of talking, so if you enjoy action 24/7 like shounen, this is not the series for you. The timeline can get quite confusing, but its best just to watch the seasons in airing order. This is SHAFT’s passion project, so prepare for some mind screwy visuals at points. Has some very Japanese puns and wordplay. Quite a bit of gore occasionally. The main character has had his asskicked by almost every girl in that image above and more. 

From the New World (Shin Sekai Yori)- This anime is…an experience. This is that one hidden gem. It has various psychological elements that are very well done and leave a sense of eeriness and mystery throughout. Oh, and prepare to question your own morality and humanity afterwards. Basically, humans have evolved to the point of having mind powers like being able to move things with their minds and lighting them on fire with a thought. The main character has just come of age for her powers and in placed in a class to learn more about them/how to control them/learning in general. However, she experiences things that make her question the present and past of her people and humanity that her village has kept secret. But the truth is much darker and morbid than expected. This anime follows the characters from 12 years old to about 26 years old. A very good 25 episodes. Do not take this series lightly. 

Kyokai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)- One of my top anime of all time and one of the only ones I will always be okay with rewatching. Great story telling, beautiful art and animation (bless kyoani), interesting characters (mostly) and a good balance of light hearted stuff and emotional backstory/plot. There’s a romantic subplot-ish, but its kinda like plot with romantic overtones? idk how to describe it exactly. Has 12 episodes and one movie sequel that everyone should absolutely see and watch the scene after the credits.

Durarara- I could watch it again. VERY big and diverse cast of characters. It’s very easy to lose track of who’s who in the first few episodes. All of them are interesting and have some depth, though. There’s not really a definite main character for this, honestly. The perspective switches quite a bit. Very good story arcs and characters (and development). The animation can get a big dodgy at times, but for the most part, it’s alright. Definitely gets an upgrade in the sequels. This might just be the example of Supernatural Things in Daily Life genre. Plus gangs. Has a second season that’s broken into cours: Duarara!!X2 Sho/Ten/Ketsu. Has a sequel as a light novel series only (Durarara!! SH). Shoutout to Mikado for having the most badass protagonist character development I’ve seen in a long while. 

Shadowhunters is Finally Getting Good: A Writer’s Perspective

This is going to get long, so basically this is where I’m going:

1. Shadowhunters is still finding itself, similar to how Buffy the Vampire Slayer kinda sucked until it grabbed onto its “Monsters as Life Metaphors” structure halfway through Season 2.

2. Because The Mortal Instruments series is such a catastrophic narrative failure, Shadowhunters doesn’t have compelling plot points to string their own original story between, the way True Blood was able to do with their own sub-par source material.

3. The strong character writing is just starting to free the show from the restrictions of its source material.

Where We Are Now

-The company that owns the rights to The Mortal Instruments is using Shadowhunters to return on a damaged investment. They bought the rights to a popular book series, and made a movie that bombed so hard that when the numbers came in, they stopped production on the sequel within weeks. They lost a shit ton of money on what should have been a good investment, and were unwilling to throw too much good money after bad, which is why there wasn’t much investment in the first season. The first season’s low budget affects more than the special effects. It plays into who they can hire, how long they have to rehearse, how long they have to shoot, every element of production.

-The source material is shit, and it’s an albatross around the show’s neck. The movie sucked so hard because it was a pretty faithful adaption of the books, which are torturously long, and full of one note characters who only exist to spout faux-clever dialogue, or facilitate CC’s incest fantasies. They are driven by entirely by plot, not character, which makes for flat fiction.

-The first season had to be, to an extent, experimental. They had to figure out the right mix between what they had to keep to engage book fans, and what they had to add to make it possible for it to be a TV show, because the book doesn’t have enough material to be a couple seasons of TV.

-The first season worked to clear the very low bar of of being less racist, tokenist, slut-shaming, girl-hating, bi-phobic, and all around disgusting than the books.
They succeeded.
Yay.

-Successfully moving past the tragedy of the movie into an expanded episode order and expanded budget mean that season two is essentially a brand new show.

- That season is trying to fight its way free of what it had to be in the first season, and the failure of the movie, and the ball and chain of the books.

The Problems

1. The Show Has Turned Every Pointless, Cardboard Dialogue Spouter from the Books into a Compelling, Nuanced Character, and Now There Are Too Many

The book characters have interesting things on their character sheets, but never become interesting. The show has recomposited characters out of the character elements used in the books, and created complex, compelling, nuanced characters, who have ties and relationships to eachother, who are impacted by the world around them, and who make decisions and affect the world around them and eachother, instead of just waiting around for Clary to discover her special rune magic, or for Magnus to portal them somewhere.

Unfortunately, a bunch of cardboard cutouts creating obstacles to, and eventually enabling brother-sister fucking don’t suck up too much plot time, but 11 suddenly worth-while characters (Clary, Simon, Alec, Isabelle, Jace, Maryse, Jocelyn, Luke, Raphael, Maia, Magnus) plus a few new additions we are invested in to some degree (Lydia, Aldertree, Iris), and a few random additions that don’t seem to do much but create more dialogue and scoot plots along (Valentine, Meliorn, Raj, Max, Dot, Gretel, Suspiciously Important Girl With Glasses) all end up battling for screen time, to the detriment of each other.

For every charming interaction between Maia and Simon, we don’t get to see Luke dealing with Jocelyn’s death. When we get a glimpse into the tenderness of Magnus and Raphael’s relationship, there’s less time to see Magnus and Alec learn where they cross and divide. When we see that Alec and Maryse still love each other, even if the have so much shit left to work through , that takes potential minutes away from someone trying to talk to Jace about being abducted and tortured. There is so much potential, and it’s not possible to turn all of it into plot when there are only 45 minutes a week to work with.

1A. Except Valentine, Who is A Spectacularly Shitty Villain

Valentine is one long HHHHHHHZZZZZZMMMMMMMHHHHHhhzzzzmmmmhhhh on an evil kazoo.

A good villain is the hero of their own story, but they have to be more than that. A good villain has to taunt you with the possibility that they could be the hero of your story. They have to want something in a way that you can understand the wanting, even if what they want isn’t something you would want.

Kylo Ren is a good villain. He wants to be a super powerful Jedi and big deal leader in the Empire and the movie shows you that he wants that because he’s actually a pathetic little snot streak, drowning in his inability to live up to the standards of toxic masculinity around him, while wearing a silly helmet. The desire makes sense.

Spider-Man Villains are good villains. They are typically super smart scientists trying to solve a problem, but their science gives them some sort of mutation that casts them out of the society they were trying to improve.

Magneto is a great villain. A holocaust survivor who believes he sees the writing on the wall and won’t let history repeat itself.  

(Quick fact about Oncethrown: I went to go see the Johnny Depp version of Sweeny Todd in theaters in college and didn’t realize he was the villain until the very last scene. (The last last scene. Even after he throws Mrs. Lovett in the oven) Because he was unfairly jailed by a man who wanted him gone so that he could rape Sweeny todd’s wife to be raped into insanity and leave her out on the street to rot, and I was totally onboard with the quest for vengeance up until the moment the blood started pouring out if his neck.)

Valentine is just generically evil. He was born into the most powerful class in his world, was annoyed that his society wouldn’t let him become even more powerful, and now is experimenting on a class he already could kill with little to no repercussions, and working to eradicate them… because he can?

He doesn’t love or care about anyone either. There’s nothing to hold onto about Valentine. He’s just an opposing force. He could be a block of wood with angry eyebrows and the effect on the plot would be about the same.

1B. Except Aldertree, Who We Were Promised Would Be And Interesting Villain is Just A Random Force For Bad.

Aldertree came in to bring the erratic New York Institute back under Clave control. And he started out doing that. He threw the downworlders out of the Institute, he left Jace to rot in jail because he wouldn’t swear total fealty to the Clave, he nearly let Alec die because he threatened very important Shadowhunter traditions by refusing to marry a suitable woman in order to date a man, and a downworlder.

The yin-fen plot line originally was in this same functional but boring vein, until the last episode (spoilers) where he was clearly trying to get Izzy to trade sex for drugs (end spoilers). Generic Rapist Evil not interesting either. All he ended up doing was giving Alec a “Reclaiming the Institute Plotline” which would have been a really, really good piece in that whole “Effects of Institutionalizing Discrimination” theme… if any time had been devoted to it at all this season. Like… Alec originally ceded his authority to Lydia. The way he came for Aldertree just wasn’t given the building blocks to be satisfying.

2. The Books Didn’t Have Layers, and the Show is Trying to Graft an Interesting Theme Onto the Book’s Pocked and Diseased Foundation

The books are just an excuse for incest. The show is attempting to develop a narrative about institutionalized discrimination and oppression, and how characters are influenced by the way that affects their societies, upbringings, relationships and lives.

There is a really underdeveloped attempt at this in the books which more or less boils down to “Shadowhunters are mean to downworlders, and it’s not totally fair, but they are still the heroes, because they are all described as sexually attractive.”

The show is running into a lot of complications as they try to smoosh this theme onto the source material they have to work with.

-The main plot of “Evil McEvil is a Racist Who Wants To Start A Genocide Because Of Evil and Overt Racism”is sucking up all the air in the room for more compelling and important elements of the show,  such as every idea presented in Maia and Simon’s conversation about how Shadowhunters pretend that everyone is on the same team, but don’t understand what the daily existence of downworlders is really like in a world that Shadowhunters essentially rule.

Or Alec’s struggle to be both a Shadowhunter and a gay man falling in love with a downworlder.

Or Isabelle and Lydia’s season one speaking out about Law vs. Justice in the Shadowhunter world.

Or Clary’s 10 minute plot about not being trained well enough to be a real shadowhunter, but knowing too much to ever be a mundane again

The adherence to the main plot of book one and two is one of the things turning Clary into a mess of a white savior who doesn’t learn from her mistakes. She’s the entry point character, she’s bringing us into this world, and she’s the hero of the story. So… she’s white and straight with magic powers, trying to solve racism and homophobia in a story where the whole society she enters into is built around it, and has been for centuries.

3. The Clusterfuck of Potential We Are Working Out Of Now

So 2.08 and 2.09 I think prove that we are watching a show that is just about to get there. Both of these episodes had insular plots solved within the confines of the episode while also having consequences in the season stretching story.

Good characters are interacting with each other in interesting ways. (Except Lydia. Where is Lydia? I love her and I want her back) There are some growing pain failures (everything Izzy has said and done all season), some serious fuck ups (the lack of consent before the lack of malec sex scene) and a lot of unfortunate leaning on shitty and easy tropes (Izzy and Raphael fall into a drug fueled affair, Alec pushes Magnus into sex in a 3 minute side plot, Valentine exists and we have to watch him) But they are setting up more and more really solid pieces with places to go and I’m excited to see it happen.

4. The Things They Need to Fix (this is mostly rambling)

-Give fewer characters better plots per episode instead of trying to give everyone a couple minutes of screen time.

-Give characters goal and personality and development driven season arcs that create plots instead of having them constantly reacting to plot elements that are not character driven (purely from a writing standpoint, this is the biggest flaw with Isabelle’s plot line. The addiction drives her plot, not her personality, and Aldertree doesn’t have a character based reason to give her the drug to being with. “Just because I’m an asshole” isn’t really good enough. That’s why Alec is the best part of season 1. Everything he says and does is driven by a couple easily defined elements of his character.)

-If you are going to sell the diversity aspect of your show, be aware of the full context of the plot lines you are assigning your actors. It’s not great that there are 4 latinx actors, and the two of them with accents are in a drug dealing/addiction/sex for drugs plot line. It’s great that your only canon couple is a gay interracial couple. It’s great that they got a really sweet build up, and they have great communication scenes and they are really building a strong relationship. It’s not great that they do not touch while a lot of totally gratuitous sex is happening around them.

-Figure out who you really need, and jettison the dead weight.
-Why is Raj still on this show? All he does is say nasty shit about women. He’s disgusting, he’s boring, and he’s pointless. Literally every single time he’s on screen he could be replaced by someone we care about and it would tighten the episode.
-We ditched Robert because as far as the impact on the main characters goes, he’s a redundancy on Maryse’s storyline, and she has all the good elements.
-Aldertree is pointless. Maryse could have had Aldertree’s “WE ARE REALLY FUCKING GOING WITH WHAT THE CLAVE SAYS” storyline and it would have been a lot more interesting with the rest of the plot.Lydia could have had that plot too. “You fucked up at the wedding, reign in this nonsense or we are shipping you our to wrangle island”

anonymous asked:

Hello! So I was scouring the Internet for advice today but I couldn't find any on this topic. My problem isn't that I don't have any ideas (I probably have too many) but the problem is that I don't LOVE any of my ideas. I like them. I think they're all fine ideas. But liking them isn't going to motivate me long enough to finish a novel. How can I give my ideas that extra uumph to make me love them? How can I figure out what's missing or why I don't feel this way about any of my ideas?

Hello, nonny!  What a challenging question…  This one’s been in my inbox a couple days, just because it’s such a big question.  But I’ve thought it over and I think I have some ideas for you :)


The Thrill Is Gone – How to Find It Again

So generally, there’s no one answer or cure-all to this problem.  I’ve had this issue multiple times, with different causes.  My first novel didn’t have enough meat to the plot; my second novel had been over-planned in my head to the point that it no longer excited me.  My third novel had way too much plot, so that by the time I got ¾ the way through, I’d written over 200K words and felt sick of the idea.  I started my fourth novel way too soon, and am now going back and planning it more!  So there are obviously many different reasons that a story doesn’t take off (or dries up eventually).

The first step is to figure out what’s missing, like you said.  There are a few aspects of your story to assess…


1. Plot

I’m discussing plot first because, to me, it’s the most important part of fiction.  Plot, conflict, and stakes are foremost to my stories.  You could have the most complex and sympathetic characters, but without plot, they’re static and become boring.  But for some reason, this is the part of story ideas that new authors neglect most!

So if your story has great characters and an immersive setting, but you can’t get into it, try asking a few questions about your plot:

  • What is the point of the plot?  What’s the message you’re conveying in the story?  Even if your story isn’t an allegory or a metaphor or the next Chronicles of Narnia, there should always be a conclusion to which all plots arrive – otherwise, the story can feel aimless.  The best way to find your message is to look at the conflicts involved (e.g. Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, etc.) and find the “winner”.  What worldview, belief, or concept “defeats” the other concepts?  It can be as simple as Good vs. Evil, or more complex, like Loving the Sincere Drug Addict vs. Settling for the Selfish Dentist (provokes the question “Is love worth danger in relationships?”).
  • Does the plot have ups and downs?  And really consider both ends of the spectrum here.  Stories become dull if they are made up of victory after victory – or if they’re made up of nothing but loss and tragedy.  No matter the genre, you have to strike some sort of balance, lest the story become predictable and emotionally non-engaging.  Find victories and failures, even in unassuming places, to keep readers invested and hopeful.
  • Do you have a satisfactory ending?  Or do you have the ending     planned yet?  I’ve found that I can’t really commit to an idea unless I see a resolution – otherwise I feel too nervous to start.  If you do have an ending planned, make sure it’s the right ending.  It can feel like there’s one possible conclusion, and once you’ve found it, you stick to it – but question it, brainstorm it.  It may not be a happy ending every time, but when you find the right one, you’ll know it.
  • Do you have the right plot at all?  Look at your story as a whole.  Does it start too early or too late, relative to the real meat,     the real action?  Is it told from the most impactful POV?  Does the plot cover too much ground for one book, or is it not enough to fill the pages?  Consider all the characters, backstories, and subplots you have, and ask yourself if any of them are more interesting than the main plot.  If so, shift your focus.  Use them instead.

2. Characters

Maybe it’s not your plot that’s going sideways.  Maybe you have it all worked out – the head, the tail, the whole damn thing – but it still doesn’t feel right.  It doesn’t feel like it’s coming to life, somehow.  It feels flat.

That can be a character problem.  It would be like sitting by the campfire and hearing the most fascinating, horrifying story, except it’s told by a man with The Most Boring Voice Who Talks So Incredibly Slowly and Takes All the Fun Out of Everything.  An example: The Hunger Games.  Those books bored the crap out of me.  Unless someone was being killed or Haymitch and Effie were interacting, I just didn’t care.  And those books had a great plot behind them!

So here’s what you need for a good cast of characters:

  • A solid protagonist.  Solid = three-dimensional, empathetic, and relatable; having a goal, an internal conflict, a self-image, and fears or shame.  They should have different facets of themselves – their head and their heart, their desires and doubts, and that little voice in their head that says, “Give up on that.  Be realistic.”  Give them strengths, weaknesses, and a couple of bad habits, for kicks.
  • A variety of supporting characters.  You don’t have to have thirty characters + six secret characters stuffed under your trench coat; but with however many characters you have, make them as different from each other as possible.  Give them some similarities, of course, so that they can relate to each other – but never make them so close together that you have to decide, “Who should say this line?  Character A or Character B?”  Make them unique enough that the words come out of their mouths, instead of you having to decide where to put the words, yourself.
  • Relationships, relationships, relationships.  And I’m not talking about romantic relationships.  I mean, sure, those too – but there are many different kinds of relationships to explore.  Friendships, enemy-ships (?), parent relationships, sibling-ships, silent alliances, “annoying friend-of-a-friend”-ships, “my-ex’s-little-sister”-ships, “you’re-the-ruler-of-the-galaxy-and-a-Sith-lord-but-also-my-dad-please-stop-being-evil”-ships…  You get the idea.  Make them unique, make them strong, and allow them to evolve over the course of the story.
  • Diverse morals, interests, and personalities.  My first short stories focused on white middle-class people who were culturally and politically identical.  They lived in one house, usually, and watched the same TV shows and made the same references.  They had the same sense of humor.  They rarely disagreed on anything that wasn’t clear-cut (e.g. “You drank the last Pepsi!”  “I was thirsty!”).  So do yourself a favor and don’t make my mistakes.  Give your characters unique ethics, cultures, backgrounds, personalities, goals, appearances, and conflicts.  You’ll be more invested by then, I’m sure.

3. Setting

Lastly, I’d like to add that while your characters and plot could be well-developed, there’s always a chance that they’re placed in the wrong setting.  This is why many story ideas can seem great, but won’t get off the ground – maybe they’re set in a pre-made universe like Middle Earth or Panem when they could be their own story.  Maybe your tragic romance is set in the middle of apocalyptic war, when instead, it should be drained down to a period piece.  Maybe your story is perfect, except you’re writing it too close to home – in the real world, in the present year.  There are a million factors to picking the right setting, including:

  • Applicable history and culture.  If you’re writing a story about someone who’s oppressed, or someone who’s a politician, or someone who’s a witch, you’re going to need to back that up with history.  Develop a history for the oppression or politics or witchcraft – where these things began, how they developed over time – and a culture for them now – how oppressed people survive and how witches in your world interact, etc.
  • Imaginative scenery, influenced by the characters.  Even if your story takes place in New York City in 2017, allow your characters’ living spaces and workplaces to have a unique touch – colors and quirks that your readers can see in their mind.  If even you can’t see what you’re writing, inspiration is going to be difficult to find.
  • A lifelike background.  Just because the plot focuses on your characters does not mean everything going on behind it should be quiet and dead.  Anyone who looks out a window in a city building can see other people living – people on the highway will see other cars taking other people other places.  Everyone who has a friend will hear a little something about their friend’s siblings, their friend’s friends, their friend’s neighbors.  Life and stories exist outside of your plot; make sure you’re not writing about a ship in a bottle.
  • An aesthetic.  That sounds gross and teen-tumblr-y, but let me tell you personally: I don’t feel truly ready to write (and love) my story until I can hear the music for the future movie adaptation – until I can see the kind of clothes the people wear, the games they play, the places they eat and shop.  I think of the colors and themes in my scenes (e.g. my first novel was set primarily at night in a grunge/city setting; my current novel is very green and outdoorsy and gives me that feeling of bonfires just after sunset).  Once you get that “feeling” from your story, you’ll know it.

Anyway, this reply took me like three days to write because I really wanted to get into it.  I hope some of this helps you to fall in love with one of your ideas, so you can get started :)  If you have any more questions, be sure to send them in!

(I have 26 questions in the inbox, though, so be patient with me…)


If you need advice on writing, fanfiction, or NaNoWriMo, you should maybe ask me!

7

HEYYY…so here’s some stuff!

Those of you who’ve never seen my 2011 SVA thesis film “Balancing Act”, go check that out. Super-long-story-short, it’s my “magnum opus” IP that I really wanna do something with someday. Alternatively, it’s that “I made this in Elementary School and created a bunch of characters based on me and my friends and wanted to make my own animu idea that usually goes nowhere and has been in development for 20+ years while I work on other/newer/better ideas” IP. Y’know, one of those. You probably see ‘em on DeviantArt and Tumblr all the fucking time; hence why I don’t really post stuff about it online much these days. That said, posting this art here isn’t a confirmation that something’s happening with it. I’d just stocked up SO many doodles and sketches I felt like putting them out there eventually. Some of these date back as far as 2012 and this isn’t even half of them since I have plenty from various sketchbooks I’ve never scanned.

“What the fuck is this shit, Kirb!?” WELL KIDS, it’s the adventures of self-insert-I-wish-I-was-a-superhero-character and his friends as they go through their trials and tribulations of forming a makeshift superhero team and fight bad guys and learn valuable life lessons about being different, self-acceptance, dealing with deep personal issues and eating healthy or some bullshit. It’s gone through countless re-iterations as I’ve grown and learned and expanded my life views. I want it to be a story that’s really deeply impactful and meaningful, but it’s not something I’m ready to do yet. I need to get better at all aspects of film-making and storytelling. There’s a lot of basic things about “what am I saying?” regarding the story that haven’t been fully fleshed out. Might be years before I ever get to that point; or maybe I never will. Who knows. But once in a while, I’ll draw these four kids and experiment around with shit.

“Frost” (the skinny fuck who looks like ani-’me’) has various blue and white hoodies, is generally awkward (I made him way too “””cool””” in the thesis film; I was emulating Yusuke Urameshi’s sarcastic attitude) and a massive fuck-up (JUST LIKE ACTUAL-ME, HEYYY) and I’ve spent the last year on the story side of things researching a lot about various mental illnesses and how to apply them to him in ways that benefit his development as part of a team he fits into (or not).

“Ilaqua” was previously the character based on (and who looked like) Mike Luckas, that I decided…now I think well over 3 years ago, to change to a girl. I debated back and forth which character to switch (because I wanted two guys and two girls on the main cast) and thought about changing the Earth-elemental guy, but decided to gamble on tossing her in with the many, many Water-elemental girls. (a.k.a. I felt it was easier to differentiate Girl!Mike from the likes of Katara and Korra than seeing Girl!Nick get more-easily compared to Toph.) Mike helped me re-design her (which was also tricky to make sure she wasn’t too similar to Grace Liu’s Enna) and “Mikaela” has become one of my favorite characters to draw.

“Nico” (now re-named in tribute to TwistedGrimTV) is mostly the same. Honestly, getting a hat shape with him that I don’t despise has been my biggest difficulty with him. I also wanna try giving him way more exaggerated anatomy (something like Sajad Gharibi); a body he’d be picked on for having even though he’s not violent at all by nature (he’s actually meant to be more paranoiac and anxious), nor is he “the big dumb one”.

“Kathy” is also mostly the same, but there’s been some minor things I keep trying to fix with her design that I can’t quite get right. I wanted to go more gothic with her choice of fashion, which lent itself to her mysterious demeanor. My biggest aggravation is finding a hair-shape that isn’t a pain in my asshole. It’s evolved a lot from the Rumiko Takahashi-style cut, but I’m still not happy with any particular shape yet.

I also had some help from Mike Luckas and Xander Mobus on trying to design some practical, yet “we have no money or resources to get really efficient ones” superhero costumes. Most of their superhero nicknames (invented by Frost, which the new TMNT beat me to the punch on with Michelangelo’s nicknames for the bad guys, whoops.) are still WIP. Currently I like “Cardice” for Frost and “Landlord” for Mantel. Previously Ilaqua was “Firefighter” and Kathy was “Brightside” but those both may change; they might all change. Hell, ALL of this might change in 15-20-30 years from now if this ever gets made.

On that note, I GREATLY appreciate all the interest in it! I’ve had many folks from time to time ask if I ever plan on doing something more with this concept. It is my every intention to someday; in fact I THINK about it every day. Maybe I’ll do it as a movie, maybe it’ll still be a series like I originally thought, or maybe somehow it’ll be a game or something. Maybe it’ll be none of those things. Maybe it’ll be a hologram projected directly into your brain stem. Who the fuck knows. Here’s a bunch of drawings about it. Enjoy. Or not.

Jean’s Minimized Role in the Most Recent Chapters and Some Predictions About Where his Character Will Go from Here

Chapter 83. Jean reacting to Cartman’s sudden appearance while Mikasa fires a warning flare in the background.

I really should just change my blog title to long-ass-Jean-metas-unlimited.

So this is not exactly a timely meta: perhaps I shouldn’t dredge up chapter 84 and the “serum bowl” after the fandom seems to have finally recovered (I wasn’t really here as it was happening: I had just caught up with the series and was lurking xD). This post doesn’t touch on any part of the main controversy though, so no need to fear! I was just looking back through some of the more recent chapters for a completely unrelated project and I was reminded of a few observations I had about Jean’s (rather limited …) reactions to the events of that rooftop. I guess I can make this a timely meta by looking ahead to how Jean’s character might develop further as the narrative continues on–although the four-year timeskip makes me feel a little unmoored when discussing characterization. Who are the 104th now? I guess we’ll find out next month! *crosses fingers* 

I’m one part excited and two parts terrified to see adult!Jean.

Jean’s kind of a hard character for Isayama to come to grips with, I think: on the one hand, Isayama’s created a very human character with a complex personality who undergoes realistic growth. He clearly likes Jean and has invested a lot of thought into his portrayal. On the other hand, Isayama just can’t decide if Jean’s a main character or not. Case-in-point: the serum bowl. Although Jean is a compelling presence throughout the Uprising, the lull after the Uprising, and the Battle for Shiganshina, he only gets about four reaction panels in the serum bowl–the same amount as Connie, who, for all that I love him, is significantly less important to Attack on Titan in the grand scheme of things. Additionally, all of these panels are quite small–I had to zoom in quite a bit to get a good look at his expressions, which are actually very detailed, despite their size.

Isayama’s choice to minimize Jean’s presence here doesn’t quite make sense to me, especially because Jean’s best friend Armin’s life is on the line. Jean’s reaction is so in character and recalls the scene where he finds Marco’s body after the battle of Trost; considering all the other parallels between the Trost and Shiganshina arcs, I think Isayama could have spent more time capitalizing on this particular link and I wonder why he didn’t. Futhermore, in a departure from tradition, Jean doesn’t have much to say post-”serum bowl”; perhaps he is subdued and still processing, but Isayama usually includes more Jean in an arc wrap up, and it makes me a bit nervous that he chose not to this time. 

However, as much as this sidelining of Jean during these crucial moments is worrying, I think Jean will still be an important character in the final arc based on some of the events immediately proceeding the serum bowl!

More under the cut!

Keep reading

Much Ado About Episode 33

I’m fascinated by Mikasa’s ability to be the fandom’s lightning rod, especially when it comes to the anime. 

I had a sort of realization as to why there’s a surge of negativity targeted towards her from this episode alone, and from the manga-reader crowd of all people. This is just my opinion, but I don’t believe this is all sudden character hate – this is people still feeling mistrustful of and disliking the anime’s portrayal of her based on past experience.

From what I’ve gathered, season 1 Mikasa did not leave the best impression on fans. Many who compared that adaptation of her to her manga counterpart felt that she was too Eren-centric overall. So when season 2 finally aired, that residual uncertainty bled over. I think the third episode of this season (episode 28) is what fully opened up that old wound again. That’s the episode where an important key to her character development was left out, leaving quite a bit of fans feeling more wary than ever about how the anime would continue to handle her character (I wrote about it here). 

Fans feared that her flaws would be glossed over, and for understandable reasons. But honestly, I’m not so concerned about that cut anymore in terms of her characterization. It was just last episode that Mikasa acknowledged her failure to kill Reiner and Bert when she had the chance. That was also in the manga, and while it feels like such a hollow victory to celebrate the anime doing the bare minimum in that regard, it’s still a promising sign. Overall, I’d say this season is doing a much better job at portraying her accurately. @guyinlovewitheremika put it best in this post.

Bad news is, that mistrust in the anime is tainting fans’ perception of Mikasa altogether. Suddenly it’s like every little thing about her is taken as a sign of the anime team messing up her character or pushing their own agenda, right down to her physical appearance. The thing fans disliked the most about her portrayal last season was that her fixation on Eren was overdone. This is the tricky part, because Mikasa’s attachment to Eren does bring about clear flaws that are undoubtedly part of her character growth. It’s not like her attachment to him is OOC, it’s right there in the manga. But because the anime – according to many fans – exaggerated that part of her character, there’s this knee-jerk reaction to whenever she actually is supposed to show concern about Eren. Instead of recognizing that this is perfectly in character for her, people are taking this as an indication of the anime wrongly depicting her because of their version of the story told so far.

It’s backlash at her for being in character while perceiving it as being OOC.

This episode that was adapted from chapter 45 highlighted that attitude best.

Putting the original flashback aside for a second, she acts exactly the same as she does in the respective chapter. Dialogue and everything. There, she’s incredibly worried about Eren, frantic, and becoming despondent over the realization that he’s gotten so far away. By “gotten away,” I mean she realizes that Eren was just kidnapped by two powerful and dangerous enemies that she blames herself for not killing earlier when given the chance, has every reason to believe they will kill him, keeping in mind that these are the very same people who are responsible for destroying her second home and most of her second family as well. 

And they’ve gotten a 5 hour head start. The prospects are, well, not good for Eren from this perspective.

I’ll admit she’s never been a favorite of mine, but I could always understand and sympathize with her. Eren is the person who saved her, who taught her to fight back instead of accepting her cruel fate, who became part of her new family she was immediately welcomed into after just watching her parents be brutally murdered. Her parents, who were her entire world. Family is by the far the most important thing to her, and she acts on that wish to keep what little of that she has together after losing so much already.

Waking up to the realization that she may very well be losing more of her family again devastates her, and why wouldn’t it? In the flashback, she’s a 9 or 10 year old. Well before any semblance of character development takes place in story. So she, unsurprisingly, is more overbearing with Eren back then. Running to his side the moment she learns he’s off picking fights again, telling him to get back home, and distressed when Eren once again leaves her behind to try to finish a fight he won’t win.

But because this wasn’t written in the manga by Isayama himself, then it’s subjected to even more scrutiny. It makes it easier for people to brush this off as the anime team just failing to understand certain characters and their relationships with others.

Whether you like it or not, Mikasa’s relationship with Eren is a focus for this arc especially. So of course it’s necessary to emphasize that, but I don’t think it’s being over exaggerated at all. This arc just has the misfortune of immediately following the events of season 1 that had fans feeling so uneasy in the first place. If/when we ever get to see the Uprising arc animated, I think there’ll be fewer accusations towards the anime disloyally adapting her character. 

A great deal of her development is about learning to let go, to trust Eren to look after himself knowing he won’t so recklessly put his life in danger, to not let her emotions cloud her judgement and be a more reliable soldier. As of chapter 45, which the anime just showed, she has not fully reached that point. She is still growing. Much of that growth doesn’t happen until after chapter 50.

The lack of faith in the anime team is resulting in some visceral reactions to even the most trivial of changes. 

This isn’t limited to Mikasa either. I’ve seen a lot fans anxious over whether or not certain pieces of dialogue would even make the cut, or if a dynamic between characters wouldn’t be depicted accurately or even severely downplayed.

I’ve been wary of the second season for a while now because of the way characters like Eren were handled in the past (looking you, lava-veined berserk titan), but now I have a lot more confidence in this adaptation than before. Like Mikasa’s attachment isn’t being overdone, Armin’s bond with Eren isn’t being downplayed, and Eren has stayed true to his behavior from the manga even while fighting Reiner. All of them are in character. Some of that worry is still there for when crucial character moments come around, but I’d rather deal with that when the time comes instead of fretting about it so much.

As of now, I’d say most of the manga-readers are guilty of constantly referring back to season 1 to determine how characters will continue to be portrayed. That was 4 years ago. There has been a lot more canon material available for the anime team to use over that time, along with meetings with the author himself. 

This isn’t going to be a perfect adaptation every step of the way, but at this point it’s unfair to say that the anime is completely messing up characters like Mikasa. What was done in the past can’t be changed, but I think they’re doing their best to make up for that and loyally following the source material, at the very least when it comes to the main cast. 

Basically, this isn’t an issue with Mikasa. It’s the fandom having an issue with the anime.

You know what I’m not gonna pretend that Joss Whedon is a perfect writer, I think it’d be unfair to say that about any writer but that’s not the point, for now Joss Whedon is not a perfect writer. There are certainly issues in his scripts, the occasional racism being a big one (although one thing I think we should all bear in mind: don’t think it’s ever been intentional. Not an excuse by any means, but there’s a big difference between being a racist writer and being a flawed writer who fucks up every so often because they don’t get the intricacies of the issue).

However I do not understand the sudden hatred of him on this site. Like actually stop and think it through for a second here. Go back to buffy, actually think it through. Again, not perfect writing, and some stuff in the early seasons could potentially be interpreted as slut-shaming (although I genuinely believe if you go and watch it again without a closed mind, that was absolutely not the intention). But can we just not forget how fucking important that show was? How much that show paved the way for better representation in tv and movies. It was one of the earliest shows to have an openly lesbian relationship within the main cast (and especially in a main stream show), which honestly I think was handled really well for the time (late 90s, early 2000s, really not a good time for this stuff on tv). It was never sexualised, like even remotely, it was just shown as a normal relationship. The one time it was slightly sexualised was in a dream sequence in Zanders mind which was intended to show the grossness of straight cis dudes. And also to the people complaining that almost no lesbian kisses were shown and the characters were always referred to as “gay” without a mention of the possibility of being bi, REMEMBER WHEN THIS SHOW CAME OUT. Honestly it’s astounding that they got away with showing what they did. Seriously shows we’re being pulled around that time for being less explicit than that.

In terms of buffy as a female character, again there are certainly flaws but AGAIN think about when this came out. Think about other shows around then. Buffy was as good as it got then for feminism. And sure, it could have been better for that stuff but if it wasn’t for buffy we would not be at the point we are at now. We’d be several years behind. She gave young girls a role model, who was tough and a badass but also vulnerable and could be very feminine. She was a well rounded, well written character. A female character who was given an opportunity to be flawed.

Buffy is the reason for so much of the the advancements we’ve had in tv representation and how these characters are written and developed. Yes it would’ve been nice if a non straight white dude was given the opportunity to pave that path, but again at that point in time that was simply not going to happen. That isn’t Joss Whedons fault, and you know what he did a damn good job as a replacement. I mean what do you want him to do? Not write parts for women and lgbtq characters? Sure he’s not the most qualified but speaking as part of the latter community I’d much rather he tried than just didn’t bother, and so far he’s done a good job by me.

Touching on firefly for a second, here’s a mainstream sci-fi show with an ensemble cast with a 50/50 split between male and female characters. Again, that was not common back then. All the female characters are well written, well rounded, interesting and diverse characters. Each one was distinctly different from each other and never once blended together, arguably even more so than the male characters. A point I forgot to mention with buffy was that these were characters who were able to enjoy their sexuality and were never put down for that, except to make a point about a male character being gross. Mal makes comments about Inara’s occupation as a companion but this is always shown as kinda gross and as a representation of a certain way of thinking about things that was separated from what was expected from the audience (mal was frequently shown to be NOT a representative of the audience, hence why he was able to be a very flawed character). Also, while less obvious and less talked about, Inara is a canonically bi character (Kaylee may also be, although that’s a bit more implication than with Inara). I say it again, all of this was a fucking big and frankly brave move when these shows came out and helped a whole fucking lot with improving writing quality and representation.

On top of all of this, both of these shows were just really fucking good. All of this was handled brilliantly, because they just got on with their stories and character development. The lesbian relationship in buffy was a big plot line but the plot line was never “look willows gay now”, it was 100% of the time “willows in a happy relationship, isn’t that nice” and the fact that it was with a girl was talked about exactly as much as it should be which means, if we are talking about true representation here, not very often. Like, a realistic amount. When willow comes out to buffy she’s surprised for like 10 seconds and then the show moves on, which is how it fucking should be. It wasn’t a lazily thrown together “coming out and dealing with my lesbianism” plot line, it just got on with things because that how real relationships work. Even today, how many mainstream shows can you think of which handle this subject that well?

And very quickly on avengers, DOES EVERYBODY REMEMBER HOW FUCKING WELL WRITTEN AVENGERS 1 IS? And then sure, he made some bad choices in AOU, but that was around the time that marvel was cracking down on its writers and directors to make sure that the films fitted into the wider mcu. Marvel had full creative control over AOU, and completely crushed whedons creativity. That’s why he left marvel if you remember, because he wasn’t able to make his film, he made a film put together by money people. I 100% believe that’s where the concerning choice about Natasha’s character came from. Not him.

Ive only seen bits and pieces of whedons scrapped Wonder Woman script. I’m not going to deny that it sucks because it does. It really does. I’m a whedon fan, but it sucks. But what we really need to hear in mind is:

A) It was written 10 years ago. Yes firefly and buffy were before that but in the course of 10 years chances are he’s improved.
B) it was a first draft. Pretty much every script ever sucks in its first draft, because it hasn’t been refined but also because writers have to include the shit that keeps the producers happy in their first draft, and then they can figure out how to improve it once it’s green light.
C) This is one bad script. 1. Writers fuck up sometimes. Are we really gonna throw a writer under the bus based on 1 dodgy script? Honestly that’s a fucked up way of judging art and a scary precedent to set. “Awh ya fucked up once? Awh well, fuck you forever.” Like seriously? Get a grip.

We don’t know what the justice league scenes he’s doing are going to be like yet (and let’s be fucking real here, they’re going to be a hell of a lot better than whatever awful, steaming pile of shit a puke that Snyder has come up with), and we know nothing about his batgirl movie yet. How about we all climb down of the high horse for a second and just wait and see instead of pre-judging him like a bunch of whiny entitled babies.

Yes I’m a fan. Yes I’m biased. But I also recognise the concern. I get it. But can we please calm the fuck down and just wait and see for once? That’d be nice.

In fact can we just marathon buffy and firefly?

Holy fuck that’s a long post