it has this feeling throughout the episode that I like a lot

Avatar Aang, Feminist Icon?

“Who’s your favorite character?” I hear that question come up a lot over Avatar: The Last Airbender, a show particularly near and dear to me. Iroh and Toph get tossed around a lot. Zuko is very popular. Sokka has his fans. But something I’ve noticed? Aang very rarely gets the pick. When he comes up, it’s usually in that “Oh, and also…” kind of way. Which is strange, I think, considering he’s the main character, the titular airbender, of the entire show.

I never really thought much about it until a couple weeks ago when I finished my annual re-watch of the series and found myself, for the first time, specifically focused on Aang’s arc. Somehow, I never really paid that much attention to him before. I mean sure, he’s front and center in most episodes, fighting or practicing or learning big spiritual secrets, and yet, he always feels a little overshadowed. Katara takes care of the group. Sokka makes the plans. Zuko has the big, heroic Joseph Campbell journey. Aang…goofs around. He listens and follows and plays with Momo. And yes, at the end his story gets bigger and louder, but even then I feel like a lot of it dodges the spotlight. And here’s why:

Avatar casts the least traditionally-masculine hero you could possibly write as the star of a fantasy war story. Because of that, we don’t see Aang naturally for everything he is, so we look elsewhere.

To show what I mean, I want to talk about some of the show’s other characters, and I want to start with Zuko. Zuko is the hero we’re looking for. He’s tall and hot and complicated. He perseveres in the face of constant setbacks. He uses two swords and shoots fire out of his hands. He trains with a wise old man on ship decks and mountaintops. Occasionally he yells at the sky. He’s got the whole 180-degree moral turn beat for beat, right down to the scars and the sins-of-the-father confrontation scene. And if you were going into battle, some epic affair with battalions of armor-clad infantry, Zuko is the man you’d want leading the charge, Aragorn style. We love Zuko. Because Zuko does what he’s supposed to do.

Now let’s look at Katara. Katara doesn’t do what she’s supposed to do. She doesn’t care about your traditionally gender dynamics because she’s too busy fighting pirates and firebenders, planning military operations with the highest ranking generals in the Earth Kingdom, and dismantling the entire patriarchal structure of the Northern Water Tribe. Somewhere in her spare time she also manages to become one of the greatest waterbenders in the world, train the Avatar, defeat the princess of the Fire Nation in the middle of Sozin’s Comet and take care of the entire rest of the cast for an entire year living in tents and caves. Katara is a badass, and we love that.

So what about Aang? When we meet Aang, he is twelve years old. He is small and his voice hasn’t changed yet. His hobbies include dancing, baking and braiding necklaces with pink flowers. He loves animals. He doesn’t eat meat. He despises violence and spends nine tenths of every fight ducking and dodging. His only “weapon” is a blunt staff, used more for recreation than combat. Through the show, Aang receives most of his training from two young women – Katara and Toph – whom he gives absolute respect, even to the point of reverence. When he questions their instruction, it comes from a place of discomfort or anxiety, never superiority. He defers to women, young women, in matters of strategy and combat. Then he makes a joke at his own expense and goes off to feed his pet lemur.

Now there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, and it’s the one that shielded Aang from the heroic limelight in my eyes for ten years. The reasoning goes like this: Aang is a child. He has no presumptuous authority complex, no masculinity anxiety, no self-consciousness about his preferred pastimes, because he’s twelve. He’s still the hero, but he’s the prepubescent hero, the hero who can’t lead the charge himself because he’s just not old enough. The problem is, that reasoning just doesn’t hold up when you look at him in the context of the rest of the show.

Let’s look at Azula. Aside from the Avatar himself, Zuko’s sister is arguably the strongest bender in the entire show. We could debate Toph and Ozai all day, but when you look at all Azula does, the evidence is pretty damning. Let’s make a list, shall we?

Azula completely mastered lightning, the highest level firebending technique, in her spare time on a boat, under the instruction of two old women who can’t even bend.

Azula led the drill assault on Ba Sing Sae, one of the most important Fire Nation operations of the entire war, and almost succeeded in conquering the whole Earth Kingdom.

Azula then bested the Kyoshi Warriors, one of the strongest non-bender fighting groups in the entire world, successfully infiltrated the Earth Kingdom in disguise, befriended its monarch, learned of the enemy’s most secret operation, emotionally manipulated her older brother, overthrew the captain of the secret police and did conquer the Earth Kingdom, something three Fire Lords, numerous technological monstrosities, and countless generals, including her uncle, failed to do in a century.

And she did this all when she was fourteen.

That last part is easy to forget. Azula seems so much her brother’s peer, we forget she’s the same age as Katara. And that means that when we first meet Azula, she’s only a year older than Aang is at the end of the series. So to dismiss Aang’s autonomy, maturity or capability because of his age is ridiculous, understanding that he and Azula could have been in the same preschool class.

We must then accept Aang for what he truly is: the hero of the story, the leader of the charge, who repeatedly displays restraint and meekness, not because of his age, not because of his upbringing, not because of some character flaw, but because he chooses too. We clamor for strong female characters, and for excellent reason. But nobody every calls for more weak male characters. Not weak in a negative sense, but weak in a sense that he listens when heroes talk. He negotiates when heroes fight. And when heroes are sharpening their blades, planning their strategies and stringing along their hetero love interests, Aang is making jewelry, feeding Appa, and wearing that flower crown he got from a travelling band of hippies. If all Aang’s hobbies and habits were transposed onto Toph or Katara, we’d see it as a weakening of their characters. But with Aang it’s cute, because he’s a child. Only it isn’t, because he’s not.

Even in his relationship with Katara, a landmark piece of any traditional protagonist’s identity, Aang defies expectations. From the moment he wakes up in episode one, he is infatuated with the young woman who would become his oldest teacher and closest friend. Throughout season one we see many examples of his puppy love expressing itself, usually to no avail. But there’s one episode in particular that I always thought a little odd, and that’s Jet.

In Jet, Katara has an infatuation of her own. The titular vigilante outlaw sweeps her off her feet, literally, with his stunning hair, his masterful swordsmanship and his apparent selflessness. You’d think this would elicit some kind of jealousy from Aang. There’s no way he’s ignorant of what’s happening, as Sokka sarcastically refers to Jet as Katara’s boyfriend directly in Aang’s presence, and she doesn’t even dispute it. But even then, we never see any kind of rivalry manifest in Aang. Rather, he seems in full support of it. He repeatedly praises Jet, impressed by his leadership and carefree attitude. Despite his overwhelming affection for Katara, he evaluates both her and Jet on their own merits as people. There is no sense of ownership or macho competition.

Contrast this with Zuko’s reaction to a similar scenario in season three’s The Beach. Zuko goes to a party with his girlfriend, and at that party he sees her talking to another guy. His reaction? Throwing the challenger into the wall, shattering a vase, yelling at Mai, and storming out. This may seem a little extreme, but it’s also what we’d expect to an extent. Zuko is being challenged. He feels threatened in his station as a man, and he responds physically, asserting his strength and dominance as best he can.

I could go on and on. I could talk about how the first time Aang trains with a dedicated waterbending master, he tries to quit because of sexist double standards, only changing his mind after Katara’s urging. I could talk about how Aang is cast as a woman in the Fire Nation’s propaganda theatre piece bashing him and his friends. Because in a patriarchal society, the worst thing a man can be is feminine. I could talk about the only times Aang causes any kind of real destruction in the Avatar state, it’s not even him, since he doesn’t gain control of the skill until the show’s closing moments. Every time he is powerless in his own power and guilt-ridden right after, until the very end when he finally gains control, and what does he do with all that potential? He raises the rivers, and puts the fires out.

Aang isn’t what he’s supposed to be. He rejects every masculine expectation placed on his role, and in doing so he dodges center stage of his own show. It’s shocking to think about how many times I just forgot about Aang. Even at the end, when his voice has dropped and his abs have filled in, we miss it. Zuko’s coronation comes and we cheer with the crowd, psyched to see our hero crowned. Then the Fire Lord shakes his head, gestures behind him and declares “the real hero is the Avatar.” It’s like he’s talking to us. “Don’t you get it?” he asks. “Did you miss it? This is his story. But you forgot that. Because he was small. And silly. And he hated fighting. And he loved to dance. Look at him,” Zuko seems to say. “He’s your hero. Avatar Aang, defier of gender norms, champion of self-identity, feminist icon.”

Fran and Jock

by reddit user Pippinacious/ tumblr user muricanmagpie

I was the last in a long line of grandkids on both sides of the family. No one has ever said as much, but I’m pretty sure I was an “oops” baby; the result of one too many glasses of wine and a couple over forty who thought unplanned pregnancies were for teens.

Oops.

Keep reading

Ok but can we talk about how the Paladin’s bayards don’t just suit them, but actually ARE them? THE BAYARD PICKS THE PALADIN, MR. POTTER.

The bayards are frankly the coolest metaphorical device happening in this show and I haven’t seen anyone talk about it yet (I’m sure someone has, but I feel like it’s not really… a thing??), and if my major has taught me any(useless)thing it’s to get stuck on functional motifs in storytelling so

Keith

I mean this is just fun. You’re probably not surprised that he gets the big blade because he’s main-character-red and the emo/possibly-Asian-one, but let’s consider a few things: 

The fact that it’s sharp on both sides acts as a physical reminder of the duality happening within his character (he cuts others down, but internally he’s cutting himself down just as much: a double-edged sword). 

Furthermore, that double edge reminds us that it’s a loner’s weapon: he needs to be able to attack with each swing, in any direction, because no one’s coming to back him up. It may be space, but dude is clearly rockin’ the lone wolf/samurai vibe. The length backs that up a bit as well–it keeps everyone he sees as an ‘enemy’ or a ‘rival’ at a distance (//side-eye @ lance). 

What’s even more interesting is that if you look at Keith’s relationship with his bayard compared to his Marmora blade, they represent his hidden and public selves: who people see him as/expect him to be vs. who he truly is and wants to be (is afraid to be) himself. 

Most people only see his bayard, a classic warrior/knight weapon that represents strength and grace and leadership. Keith brings this out in battle, in front of his friends, before enemies, etc. But when he’s alone at night or when he’s holed up in the desert, the blade on his mind and in his hand is his Marmora dagger. Despite being a secret for so long, it is actually this blade (and not the bayard he got from Voltron) which Keith always keeps close to him (and which he keeps strictly concealed). 

He covers up the mark on the hilt as if to cover his own hidden thoughts and feelings (and maybe even dubious past). In public, he feels he can proudly show his bayard but doesn’t want anyone to know he has the dagger, even before he himself knows what it might mean. 

Even more interestingly, this blade also represents close combat–letting people get close to you–and the desire to protect others, showing that these are things Keith thinks about, feels, and even wants, but is afraid to show to those around him. What’s more, while the obvious skills and general cool-dude-ness associated with the bayard are something Keith has earned/achieved by his own merit, the Marmora dagger (and all the things it represents) were something he was born with; something inherently part of him. Ironically, once Keith learns more about his dagger and what it represents, it becomes longer–it adds distance, just as the truth about his past puts distance between him and the other paladins.

Like, I could literally (gladly) write an entire essay just on the symbolism of how Keith treats these blades, but you get the idea. 

I was gonna do Shiro next but his is even sadder than Keith’s so let’s do

Pidge

So some things about this are obvious: it bears a (kind of adorable similarity) in shape to her head. It’s small, she’s small, but if you underestimate either of them you will be sorry. It’s an incredibly quick/nimble weapon (a great parallel for her stinging wit). Her bayard is designed for quick, surgically precise movements, which is exactly how Pidge works (both mentally and metaphorically).

However, while it has great attack capabilities, that’s clearly not the bayard’s (or Pidge’s) main purpose; it’s a necessary consequence in the pursuit of other goals. Rather, the transformative and flexible uses of Pidge’s bayard emphasize the desire to be useful and to solve problems over attacking. This is belied by the fact that Pidge forms Voltron’s shield. Pidge would much rather think her way out of/around a problem than charge in head-first

Her bayard is a reflection of that. Pidge’s bayard is also the most technically complicated, which is another great parallel for her mind. Furthermore, the grappling hook function of her bayard echoes her desire to find things out of reach, and cast out into space and bring those things close to her, or herself to them (*cough*MATT*cough*). 

TL;DR: it’s an all-purpose, unassuming weapon meant to perform multiple tasks in an efficient, creative way, and it focuses on problem solving/extraction more than brute attack (though it packs plenty of punch when cornered). And, of course, though she be but little, she is fierce.

Lance

As his swagger (and even his name, like talk about being on the nose) suggests, Lance is totally in-your-face, up-in-your-business blabbermouth who seems pretty simple to understand. So why does he have the weapon that arguably requires the most finesse, patience, and also has a long range? Because that’s what Lance is really like under all that talk. It may seem like Lance lives with the words “are we there yet” on his tongue, but consider this: Lance wanted to be a pilot, but was originally relegated to commercial-class ranks. Did that stop him? Nope. He kept at it until he made it to the top of those ranks (it’s safe to assume that if they only promoted one pilot to fighter-class after Keith’s expulsion, it would be the top of the commercial-class students). That’s more patience than any of the other paladins have shown.

As a gun in a team that has close-combat weapons, Lance’s bayard automatically assumes a supportive role (despite all his talk about beating Keith and being the best), and we see this multiple times throughout the show. His first day as a fighter-class pilot, what does Lance do? Talks to his team and says they should stick together. How does he find out about Shiro? He’s following Pidge and asking about what she’s up to–crazy theories that others wouldn’t care to hear out. There are a lot of other examples of this (notably, when he throws himself in front of Coran), but from the get-go we’re slyly shown that Lance actually cares about and pays attention to those around him (even though he keeps talking about kicking their butts and being #1). It makes sense, then, that his weapon would be one designed to support and provide cover for others. In fact, we see Lance doing exactly this in the first episode when Pidge mouths off and he rushes in to cover for her.

Sadly, as one of the longer-range weapons, Lance’s bayard is also one of the loneliest metaphors in the group, and we see the reason for this just as much in VLD: Lance doesn’t feel appreciated (or sometimes even accepted) by the people around him. He often feels distant, though not by choice. He may shoot (ha) his mouth off a lot, but at the end of the day it’s pretty apparent that this boy craves love and attention, almost as much as he wants to be perceived as a ‘top gun’ (double ha) within the group.

A gun–especially the rapid-fire type that Lance has–further mirrors his tendency to be impulsive (and even impetuous) rather than controlled and thoughtful. On the bright side, though, it is exactly that willingness to pull the trigger that has catapulted the gang forward on a number of occasions.

Shiro

Between Shiro’s arm and his bayard there are so many different things going on here I don’t even know how I can touch on all of them. If I could write an essay on Keith’s weapons, I could write a BOOK on Shiro’s.

First, let’s talk about Shiro’s actual bayard. In Zarkon’s hands, you can read this as a physical extension of Shiro’s freedom, or even as Shiro himself: Zarkon took the bayard–something meant to be used for good–from another world, and then warped it in the hopes of using it to cause destruction. 

The good news is that both Shiro and the bayard escape Zarkon’s clutches because of Voltron, and though Zarkon intended to use them, they instead become the strongest weapons to fight against him. They will always feel the effects of Zarkon’s influence and ownership–the bayard because of Zarkon’s former paladin connections, and Shiro because of his arm and PTSD–but they still fight. In the end, it is Zarkon’s obsession with them as his former ‘possessions’ that becomes his downfall. So deep is his trauma that Shiro actually waits until it looks like they’re about to die (when Voltron is in an electric headlock) to activate his bayard. Why? Because he doesn’t trust his arm, he doesn’t trust his hold on the bayard or the lion (don’t even get me STARTED on how the lion–down it’s right-hand weapon and still somewhat under Zarkon’s control–represents Shiro himself), and as a result he doesn’t trust himself to be stronger than Zarkon. 

Even when Shiro finally gets the bayard back, he doesn’t call it his bayard, or the black bayard; he calls it Zarkon’s bayard (and it looks the part). This can be seen as a mirror for how Shiro sees himself: even though it’s a bayard, Zarkon tainted it, and now it doesn’t belong to him even though it’s rightfully his and he has it in his hands (which, ironically, is still technically Zarkon’s hand… you get the picture).

However, as Keith corrects him (”you’ve got your bayard”), the bayard rejects the changes Zarkon forced upon it, and reverts to a form that matches Shiro and the other paladins (likely how it looked before Zarkon started using it for evil). Just as the paladins healed Shiro by rescuing him and making him part of Voltron, Shiro does the same for the black bayard. Indeed, he only pulls out the power necessary to retrieve the black bayard once he wakes up to find the team fighting to protect him. It might be telling symbolically that Shiro leaves his bayard behind when he goes missing at the end of the season–perhaps he’s won his freedom only to have it taken once again.

 Which leads me to… 

The black bayard could also represent Shiro’s memories: both are known to exist, and we get hints/flashes/teases throughout the show, but both are initially “lost”. Slowly, it is revealed just how both Shiro’s bayard and his memories have been taken/corrupted by Zarkon. We see this in the way Shiro’s memories haunt him, only to frustratingly elude  him when he needs them. When Shiro finally tries to find out more about why Zarkon has the bayard, he’s also facing his own mind–his memories, his insecurities, and his apprehension at what fate awaits him–as well.  In this sense, when Shiro reclaims the black bayard, he is also reclaiming so much more: the hold/fear Zarkon held over him, the insufficiency and anxiety he felt because of it, etc. 

You can also read the bayard as a mirror for Shiro’s arm: Zarkon took Shiro’s arm and replaced it with something Galran. Shiro joins Voltron only to find that Zarkon also has his metaphorical right hand–his weapon. Shiro can’t use the weapon he should be holding (in a hand he doesn’t have because of Zarkon) because Zarkon took it. Talk about a vicious cycle. This symbolism is supported all through season 1 and parts of season 2 where we see Shiro simultaneously struggle with controlling Zarkon’s lasting effects on Voltron and coming to grips (ha) with controlling his arm. It’s hinted–both during battle and through PTSD–that if Shiro doesn’t control his arm, it will control him, just as Zarkon demonstrates that if Shiro can’t reclaim the bayard, Zarkon will use it to kill him (we see a similar parallel with his memories). 

I’m just going to stop here because the black bayard and Shiro’s arm can represent so many different things that it totally distracts me and I can only really do it justice by literally sitting down and writing out a full on dissertation on it.

But TL;DR: Shiro’s arm and his bayard are in a crazy, soap-opera drama with Zarkon on so many different levels and it is symbolistically incredible.

Hunk

Hunk’s bayard, much like Hunk, is pretty straight-forward and simple. Physically, it’s a big weapon. A big, hulking (Hunking????) weapon. It looks incredibly imposing, but its chief function isn’t destruction, but preventing destruction. Just as Hunk likes to avoid violence, his canon is mostly used to disable enemy weapons as part of Voltron, and individually Hunk uses it to provide long-range cover fire for his team (when he tries to use it in a more actively combative role, he just ends up almost shooting Pidge… gg, Hunk). 

Unlike Lance’s more nimble and quick-fire weapon, Hunk’s takes a lot of strength to move around and a long time to power up–this mirrors Hunk’s own well-rooted stance (he’s not easily swayed), and his cautious nature. He doesn’t do things off-the-cuff or on a whim; he thinks them through first. Indeed, it’s almost always Hunk warning the others of the possible outcomes of their proposed escapades. 

He’s also slow to anger, just as his weapon is slow to fire. However, once he has decided to take a shot, his firepower is incredible, just as when he does decide to take action (like with the Balmerans), his will is unstoppable. 

I could go on for days, guys. I have so much stuff I had to cut out because even the hardcorest Voltron fans don’t care about underlying motifs this much, I know, but AGH. GUYS. GUYS. THE BEAUTY??? OF THIS WRITING??? IN A KIDS’ SHOW????? 

Bless.

PS this is long I didn’t proof read it SO SUE ME

It’s time for another Hiveswap development team interview!

Hey there, Hiveswap and Homestuck fans! Ash here once again, and as promised, it’s time for another interview with the talented folks on Hiveswap’s development team! And don’t worry – if you missed the first interview, with our environment art director Rah, you can find it right here!

Who’s in the hot seat today? Why, it’s Adrienne, our lead animator! She can tell you far more about her work on the project than I ever could, so without further ado, I’m going to hand things off to her – after reminding you all to take good, long looks at the wonderful examples of her work peppered throughout this interview. Take it away, Adrienne!

Introduce yourself to the fans! What is your specific role on the Hiveswap team?

Hiya! My name’s Adrienne and I’m the lead animator for Hiveswap. I work together with Angela, the animation director, on roughs, cleanup, background and cutscene animation – anything that moves!

When and how did you get your start on the Hiveswap project?

I was hired full-time in January 2016, but I started doing some sprite conceptualization in late 2015 in tandem with [S]:Collide work (I animated sprites for the main big bads and did thumbnails for some of the sequences).

Tell us a little bit about your career background! How did you get your start in animation? Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?

Homestuck is basically my career background, ahaha.

I drew a lot of fan art for Homestuck after I finished catching up in late 2012. I got some attention from my work and I was asked to do comic pages for Paradox Space. Then I did work for the Homestuck calendar. Then I just became more involved in the comic after that by doing thumbnails, sprite animation, comic pages, snapchats… and now I’m working on the game… it’s been a wild ride from fan to full-time fan.

But as for how I got started in animation, a lot of it was influenced by anime and then DeviantArt while I was growing up. I grew up with Naruto and loved Norio Matsumoto’s work in it (he did the key animation for the best episodes!). And on DeviantArt, I liked following OCTs (Original Character Tournaments) and was particularly inspired by Unknown-Person’s work.

My general advice would be to value learning and exploration, and have less expectations of what life should hand you – it makes a lot of circumstances feel like a pleasant surprise and a good opportunity to learn something new. That’s how I felt when I stumbled into this field anyway, haha.

We’re making a video game, so of course the question must be asked: what’s your favorite game of all time, and what games are you playing currently (if any)?

Agh, what a difficult question. My most-played genre is colorful multiplayer shooters like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch, and Splatoon.

I finished Nier: Automata recently and now I’m working through Persona 5. But when I’m not working through that game, I play Breath of the Wild (most of my time is spent riding my horse around Hyrule – it’s very calming).

Are there any games that you currently use or have used as inspiration for your own animation work here on Hiveswap, or just in general?

I generally use Homestuck flash animations as an inspiration for Hiveswap sprite animations.

When I’m working on cutscenes, I look to Professor Layton stuff. I love how they integrated cutscenes with gameplay in that series.

As an animator, you must have some favorite cartoons and/or anime – tell us about them!

My recent favorite is Mob Psycho 100. The raw and rough quality of the animation for that one is my jam and the main cast is really inspiring. Avatar: The Last Airbender is still my top favorite for its epic storytelling and world-building. Naruto always has a special place in my heart since it’s one of the earliest things that inspired me to study animation.

Other big influential works for me were Princess Mononoke and How to Train Your Dragon.

What’s your workstation like? Do you like to listen to any particular kinds of music while you work? If so, tell us about it!

Here’s a picture of my workstation! If you squint at the bottom screen closely, you can see me taking the picture. But anyway… yeah. I am a little embarrassed for people to know how saturated my workstation is with inspirational quotes (there are papers of handwritten motivation on the walls behind me), but that’s just how I deal when the anxiety gets a little rough.

When I want to focus (usually for rough animation and concept art), I pull up an electronic or classical playlist on YouTube (and recently Spotify) or have no music playing at all. But for everything else (cleanup, in-betweens, etc.), I dig into different genres once in awhile but Imagine Dragons and Americana/folk stuff are my go-to. Acoustics sound really nice in these speakers.

Favorite Homestuck character?

Egh, this is impossible… I’m gonna say it’s between Rose, Jade, Roxy, Kanaya, Terezi, and Vriska… um…

Favorite Homestuck ship?

Rose/Kanaya has never once failed me! c: (I think John/Terezi is really funny too.)

Favorite Homestuck flash?

Urgh… I don’t know, there’s so many that I love. In terms of like… cool and creative setup, [S] Cascade probably? [S] GAME OVER is cool too, because everyone died and the stakes just got so much higher. Oh! I just remembered [S] Make her pay as well!

This question is impossible.

(In the above animation timeline, the first frame is held for 4/24 of a second, the second frame for 2/24 of a second, the third for 2/24, and so on.)

Do you have a personal message you’d like to relay to all the Homestuck and Hiveswap fans out there?

Thank you for all your support, and for your patience in making it through the Giga/Mega/Omegapauses intact!

Where can people find more of your work? Link us to your own little corner(s) of the Internet!

If you want to see more of my stuff, my Tumblr is the place to be!

Thank you, Adrienne! Well, folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed this second Hiveswap development team interview – and don’t worry, there are still plenty more to come!

Now that we’ve gotten things rolling, from here on out we’ll be bringing you a new interview every Wednesday, so be sure to check back every week for a new behind-the-scenes look at the development of Hiveswap and the talented people behind it!

See you next time!

I’ve been toying with the idea for a long time that some of the things Yuuri says, especially in the first couple episodes, are not exactly the truth and should be looked into farther. Honestly, we knew Yuuri was unreliable the moment the show opened–he referred to himself as “dime-a-dozen,” when he is literally the only male skater certified by the JSF within canonverse. 

And he made it to the GPF, you know? He’s one of the top 6 skaters in the world, right off the bat! It took us a few episodes to understand Yuuri’s character to realize the context of these statements, but we figured out pretty early on that Yuuri is the embodiment of Unreliable Narrator™. Especially after ep10, jfc. 

Anyway, why I’m bringing this up is because Kubo seemed to confirm a little theory of mine I’ve had stewing for a while and I wanted to share it with you.

So. Episode 1. The commemorative photo scene. 

I wanna first establish that this scene took place before the banquet. During the series run, sometime just afterwards, and occasionally even now there’s debate over when that scene took place. It wouldn’t make sense to happen after the banquet because they’re not only still wearing the team jackets, but they’re also wearing passes

The outside sign has information about the competition 

and Victor is talking to Yuri about his routines

which he probably wouldn’t do if it was up to a day later. 

We know how the rest of the scene goes. Victor seems to not recognize Yuuri at all, mistakes him for a fan, asks if he wants a photo, and then Yuuri leaves, thoroughly humiliated. Or, at least, that’s Yuuri’s version of what happened. I think generally everything that was said got said, all the movements and series of events were the same, but the implications of the offer were different. 

I have multiple anxiety disorders. When I remember something that I felt was a misstep or caused embarrassment, I always remember it slightly off. A person’s tone is more mocking or condescending, my reaction is worse than it was. There’s a lot of shame when it comes to anxiety and your mind immediately assumes you’re viewed to be–and are–on a lower pedestal than everyone else. Yuuri, clearly, has severe anxiety, so I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to think that, since this is from his perspective, maybe reality is a bit different than what he is able to give us. 

Anyway, my thoughts had no basis, so I’ve kept them to myself, but then Kubo came out and said this:

and then the fanbase lit up in flames because Victor know Yuuri was a fan before the banquet. But this also implies one thing I got super excited about: Victor has seen him skate, before the commemorative photo scene. 

meaning that everyone’s preconception that Victor mistook Yuuri for a fan has been completely blown out of the water. 

So, why would Victor ask him about a photo then? 

I think it’s important to keep in mind that Victor likes to make people feel good about their abilities. He likes teaching others, and he likes motivating them too. He gets pleasure out of seeing people rise to their potential. 

Although he’s flighty and kind of an airhead, and tends to ignore what he doesn’t find interesting, I don’t think Victor would ignore the scorings or the competitors landing below 3rd place. Victor clearly knew that Yuuri fell to last place, hard. This is just speculation, but maybe Yuri mentioned to Victor the incident with Yuuri crying in the bathroom. Or, perhaps Victor had already seen the press about Yuuri: he’s notorious for losing his nerve during competitions and failing to meet his potential. When Yuuri goes down, he tends to crash and burn. 

(also honda’s words imply yuuri usually performs very well)

Victor likes making people happy and better versions of themselves. Now he’s faced with the competitor who fell to last place, staring at him a few feet away. A competitor who is known for his anxiety and tendency to shy away from others. A competitor who just so happens to be a fan. So, what is Victor to do to help Yuuri feel better, or even open up a bit?

Initiate conversation. Try to reel him in to interacting with an open, non-threatening question and a tried-and-true welcoming smile. 

“Commemorative Photo?”

Victor didn’t mistake Yuuri for a non-competing fan, he knew who Yuuri was and was just trying his best to make Yuuri feel better. Victor, as we’ve seen throughout the series, resorts to giving comfort through action rather than words first and foremost. Unfortunately for him, this is not what Yuuri needs. 

It backfired. But I think Victor had good intentions. They were strangers so it’s not like Victor could just walk up and start a motivating speech. He tried to invite Yuuri to talk to him, someone Yuuri looked up to, and maybe they could talk and Victor could brighten his day? 

Victor wasn’t very tactile, and Yuuri didn’t stand his ground and identify himself, so they got nowhere with that. 

I’m so glad Kubo said this. This face looks like a combination of surprise and disappointment, perhaps not only in Yuuri rejecting him but also in himself for not being able to help.

and this face 

looks more concerned and surprised that Yuuri showed rather than like “oh shit, he’s a competitor.”

Poor Yuuri. Poor Victor. They really need to communicate better. 

Ok guys, major nerd-out post here regarding Shiro's arm!

As a student in their 4th year of undergrad for a degree in prosthetics, I’m absolutely SMITTEN with Shiro’s bionic arm (and the guy it’s attached to, obviously). But as much as I adore all the art and fics, there are a few things that are driving me nuts that I’d like to share in a few points here, just for reference if anyone wants it. I’ve seen very few fanworks with a proper presentation of artificial limbs, so here goes! 

 #1. Under NO circumstances does anyone sleep with their prosthetic limb on. 

You read that right: under NO circumstances! This also goes for taking a shower. It might look sexy until you get shocked with however many volts he’s got in that thing, But even if it’s waterproof, what is the purpose?? of having it in the shower? when your supposed to be washing the residual limb as well??

“But Wait!” I hear someone say. “Isn’t it implied that Shiro’s arm is permanently attached somehow, and he can’t or doesn’t know how to take it off?”

To answer your question, yes, it is implied. And I’m here to tell you how that is ABSOLUTELY NOT POSSIBLE.

Keep reading

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

anonymous asked:

hey, can you break down the differences between the adventure zone and critical role for me? i haven't listened to either and now i'm curious

Oh gosh, okay. They’re delightful but… very different approaches to the same general idea (broadcasting a D&D game), and I think the fans of one show tend to have a sort of skewed impression of the other show, so here’s my thinking.

Just the basics, to begin with: The Adventure Zone started running in late 2014, and it’s an audio-only podcast in which the McElroy brothers and their dad start a brand-new D&D campaign from scratch. Critical Role started running in early 2015, and it’s a video podcast in which a bunch of best-friend voice actors started filming the D&D campaign they’d already been playing for years at home with the same characters. TAZ is (generally) prerecorded and lightly edited down, CR is 100% live. Both have a lot of howlingly funny and surprisingly touching moments, both get a lot more intense the more you get into them, and both are good shows that are a Good Time, especially when they make you feel things you didn’t sign up for. The main canon of TAZ is currently 56 one-hour-long episodes, with new episodes every two weeks, and CR is currently 85 four-hour-long episodes, with new episodes every week. Most of the reason for CR’s absurd length comes down to (a) three times as many players, and (b) no editing.

The DMs both put a ton of work into the world, but they also have very different approaches. Griffin (TAZ) is DMing for the first time, while Matt (CR) has talked about how DMing D&D games for the past 20 years is what got him interested in acting in the first place. The world of TAZ is much more of a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid, while CR sticks more to traditional fantasy.

TAZ plays fast and loose with the rules, which can be both a delight and a frustration for storytelling reasons—for instance, until the latest arc both spell slots and HP were not really tracked, which means (a) Griffin has had to come up with incredibly creative ways of introducing risk and limitations to the game, and (b) those incredibly creative ways can start to get pretty damn brutal. The mechanics of the game feel like an imposition on the story, most of the time—it’s rare that you get a dice roll that makes a huge difference to the plot (but when you do, as in the most recent episode, it’s pretty darn cool). As a result, the biggest spanner in the works of Griffin’s plans tends to be in the form of out-of-the-box thinking from his players, which they excel at; I think there is a tendency to railroad the plot as a result, but it’s a good story and it’s well worth a little bit of elbowing to keep everyone on track. Magical items also play a huge role, with viewers of the show submitting awesome new trinkets for the heroes of the story to use/abuse/completely forget about.

Because CR tilts more towards the rulebook (although Matt gets more than his fair share of shit for homebrewing and letting things slide and defaulting to the Rule of Cool), chance plays a much bigger role in the story. Matt’s simultaneously battling some incredibly creative players and dice that seem determined to roll as dramatically as possible. Entire subplots have been wiped out by a strategic roll, and in order to be able to adapt to that on the fly, Matt has to be hyper-prepared and have a lot of possible branching points. It’s absurdly open-world, especially now that the characters have the ability to travel instantly through different planes of existence, and Matt keeps pace with a story that feels more character-led than DM-led; railroading is practically nonexistent, which means you get incredible plot developments and super-deep characterization… but it also sometimes leads to long circular conversations trying to figure out what to do next. Because the players are all actors, there’s also a lot more that’s just straight-up improv theater: it’s not unusual (especially lately) to go for verrrry long stretches of riveting conversation without anybody rolling dice (I can think of a moment where Matt could’ve just had everyone fail a charisma saving throw against an NPC but instead just straight-up charmed them all in real life with words).

I’ll put it this way: CR is a basketball pickup game between friends who’ve been playing together so long that they kind of have their own home rules going and stick to them. TAZ is out there playing fuckin’ Calvinball. Both are great fun, but if you go into one expecting the other you’re in for a bad time.

Both shows have a lot of great NPCs, although Critical Role’s format gives them a lot more time and depth to shine (there are episodes where an NPC will have as much or more “screen time” than some of the player characters). Both shows have LGBT representation among player characters and NPCs alike that, while not perfect, is generally improving as the show goes on. For me personally, one of the more frustrating things about going from CR to TAZ was going from three female player characters and a metric fuckton of extremely deep characterization for all the female NPCs to no female player characters and many great and memorable female NPCs who nevertheless don’t get too much screentime or development just because of the the structure of the show.

TAZ is pretty shaky throughout the first arc (Griffin’s fighting a bit of an uphill battle getting everyone to sit down and actually play the game, which is funny in and of itself), but things slowly start to come together and the real potential of the show becomes clear once they break the heck out of the 5e Starter Set. I think the “Murder on the Rockport Limited” arc is what started to pull me in, and it’s not until the latest arc that I’m starting to get the character development I really crave in that show. Critical Role also takes a little while to find its footing, and to me the Briarwood arc (starting around episode 24) is where the mood of the show starts to solidify, with episode 40 and beyond really pushing from “this is cool, I’m enjoying how these interpretations of fantasy tropes are sometimes kinda unusual and off-the-wall!” to “how is this the most honest and genuine character development I’ve ever seen in media what the heck is happening here”.

So yeah. TAZ isn’t total chaos with no plot or effort put into it, CR isn’t a humorless wasteland of mathematical minutiae and rigid formulaic approaches. Both shows are great fun, both are IMO in an upswing and getting better and better as they go along, and I heartily recommend them both if you know what you’re getting into. Have fun!

anonymous asked:

Can you explain why you think Jake Peralta has ADHD?

I’m actually really glad you asked because oooh boy, let met tell you, Jake Peralta, in my humble opinion as a fellow sufferer, is currently the single most obvious but sadly non confirmed (yet… one can still hope) fictional character with (most likely) undiagnosed ADHD out there. His strengths as well as his flaws all point towards him having the disorder.


So let me start with the good things:

- He’s a quick thinker! He thinks in unconventional ways with his mind taking leaps and turns whenever it feels like it. Often allowing him to solve cases in creative ways. … It also makes for interesting conversations most of the time.

- Using his impulsivity in a good way! When he figures something out, he’s usually the first one to get up AND DO SOMETHING. 

- Excitability! Have you seen how his eyes lights up when he feels like he’s doing what he thinks is right? He becomes like a little hyperactive child again. Usually, adults with the disorder, aren’t as much outwardly hyperactive anymore as children are. Instead, this tends to turn into feelings of restlessness and gets internalized. But of course, in a show like this, it makes sense to show him like this.

- Hyperfocus! Die Hard, anyone?! That guy has had the same hyperfixation for years!!! And I bet, he frequently uses his hyperfocus capability to get things done, too. That is, if he’s interested enough, of course.

- His energetic personality! Brings some energy and passion into the work place, don’t you think? And also it’s how many adults with ADHD are perceived if they feel well-integrated and at ease with their surroundings. Always the one coming up with new ideas? That’s us!

Now onto the not so good stuff when you’re the one struggling with it:

- Again, impulsivity. Saying the first thing that comes to your mind, talking… A Lot, acting without thinking and without regard for consequences. As seen on the show, it has not always been the best “decision” for him.

- Mood swings! Unfortunately, many are not aware of this fact but in many cases, ADHD actually comes with fast and frequent mood swings. The smallest things can trigger intense emotional responses. Jake definitely has that as he tends to jump from “Life is meaningless!” to “I’m the greatest!” without a problem. Just solved a case? I’M SO HAPPY!!! Oh no, they got away with it? Why bother anymore…… Yeah, that…

- You know the episodes where he and Captain Holt are undercover as part of the Witness Protection Program and Holt points out how Jake seems depressed lately? Yeah, people with ADHD can way too easily fall into this mindset (mood swings, anyone?). With the absence of regular work to keep his fast-pacing mind occupied, it’s not a surprise that he starts feeling this way.

- Not able to handle boredom! He has always something going. Games, ideas, looking for new cases. He never slows down and seems to keep himself occupied at all times. Classic ADHD!

- The way he handles words and numbers, anyone? How he never reads books? Oh, and then his troubles with finances? His locker and desk looking… like that? Classic signs of troubles with organisation and attention to me.

- Easily discouraged! It can’t be denied that he hasn’t had an easy childhood. Together with the troubles with his father, ADHD could be a way to explain why he now is the way he is. 

- Problems with low self-esteem (*cough* and definitely Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria)! Either he feels like THE BEST COP OUT THERE or he falls into this thinking pattern where you have trouble believing that people actually care about you. Probably something he should talk about in therapy, as he puts it himself.

Together with his tendency to procrastinate when it comes to boring stuff, his inability to express and cope with his feelings sometimes, his forgetfulness and not so ideal time management (for example, being late to work all the time),  I strongly believe that Jake Peralta has ADHD and should be written and confirmed as such (hey, it’s never too late!).
An episode focusing on him suspecting he has the condition and eventually seeing a specialist? I’d cry. Honestly.



Plus:
The fact that so many real people with the disorder relate to him??? Okay, that’s not actually relevant here but definitely something the writers should take into consideration. BUT, don’t feel bad if you don’t! Not everyone’s ADHD is the same! :)

Psst, you won’t believe how many times I sit there thinking “that’s so me!” while watching the episodes. There’s even more “evidence” sprinkled throughout the show. All the small details not listed aboved. It’s marvelous and oh-so-relatable.

And just imagine the many excited faces watching the show when a main character on a immensely popular show like this would be confirmed as being one of them! Just thinking of the tiny, tiny, TINY possibility puts me into happy stimming mode!!! It would also help increase awareness in those who may not know anything about it and help reduce prejudices ‘cause ding dong, ADHD is not a fake disorder and adults can have it, too. Surprise!

(P.S. Please also check out this awesome post!)

Destiel, Bi!Dean and preparing the audience for a “shocker”.

I just did a re-watch of 12x10 and it really got me thinking again about Benjamin and Cas’s talk in the car with the boys about Benjamin and his female vessel.

At the time the episode aired, I think I was so excited about the prospect of Cas being in a female vessel, and how this could potentially shift a heteronormative audiences perception of Dean and Cas that I didn’t realise just what else they were trying to do.

This is about reassurance.

This is the conversation that was had in the car:

CAS: Benjamin is always very careful. Long ago, he found a powerfully devout vessel in Madrid, and her faith, it… she gave him everything – her trust and her body.

DEAN: Wait. So Benjamin’s a woman?

CAS: Benjamin is an angel. His vessel is a woman. But it – it’s – it’s more than that. She’s not just his vessel.

Just this small exchange is important as exposition for the audience. It is about preparing the audience for what is coming up. The idea that Cas was also once ‘a woman’. Which, okay, no he wasn’t a woman, he just had a female vessel, but imagine how that would have gone down had this exchange not taken place? Imagine how a general audience would have reacted to Cas and his female vessel had Benjamin just been another angel in a male vessel?

Probably a lot like the way Dean acted here, with confusion.

By giving us the Benjamin character and this particular scene as well, the writer has successfully prepared the audience for Cas in his female vessel. Preventing raised eyebrows and confusion because the audience will remember this conversation and apply it to Cas.

“Castiel is an angel, his vessel WAS a woman. His vessel is now a man, Cas is still a dude and it’s not weird. Cool beans.”

(when I think of a general audience watching SPN lets just say that I certainly don’t think of the fandom or tumblr. I think of my brother and that is something I won’t get into here. Heteronormative doesn’t even begin to cover it.)

The fact is, making one of your three main lead male characters a woman for an episode is a weird thing to do, the kind of thing that would probably make some audience members uncomfortable. So adding in this exposition, this reassurance, removes that level of discomfort, it gets them used to the idea first, like a buffer.

See for a show like SPN, whilst its always been a bit weird with its story lines, it’s never been all that progressive. As much as we would all like to wish that all SPN viewers were like us – liberal forward thinking people who are willing and eager for TV to break a few taboos – the chances are that is very much not the case. Its an old show, it has an established audience (apparently a bipartisan audience amazingly) and therefore breaking boundaries the way more modern shows have (such as American Gods, How to Get Away with Murder and Orange is the New Black) just isn’t really in the cards. Those shows established the taboo stories, the queer main characters, the representation, from the start. They built their audience on those foundations. SPN can’t do that without isolating part of its audience – unless it thinks very carefully as to how it may present such notions.

I hope I am explaining this in a way that makes sense. See this is of course about Bi!Dean and Destiel (as if anything on my blog WASN’T about those topics). Because here’s the thing. On any other, newer show, for Dean to come out as bisexual, for two male lead characters to enter into a homosexual relationship, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Those shows could build their audience around those concepts, because they would be ingrained into the show from the start.

For Supernatural, that sadly isn’t the case. SPN didn’t clearly establish Dean as Bisexual early on, and Destiel isn’t canon, it has always been the subject to interpretation with just enough ‘no homo’ so that anyone who chooses not to see it doesn’t have to (again, excluding 12x19 but we’ll get there)

One of the biggest hurdles to getting bi!dean and canon destiel, is for the SPN creators to overcome this fear that half their audience would reject them if they actually went there. It would be seen as coming ‘out of the blue’ and all those heteronormative people would raise their eyebrows and moan and be utterly confused by it.

That’s why Supernatural needs the buffers. It needs the gradual exposition, the subtle desensitisation of a general audience to anything even mildly “progressive”. If Supernatural wasn’t putting these buffers in place already, I would think we would have a problem. I would be much more apprehensive at even the idea that destiel could be a thing that is actually happening.

What is so fantastic, is that just like in 12x10 with the fem!Cas buffer that was Benjamin, we have already been getting buffers all throughout the last few seasons.

Here are some of my favourites:

  • Jesse x Cesar – 11x19 – These guys are my absolute favourite, they were created specifically to show the audience that you can be a gay man and also a macho man. That gay men aren’t stereotypes, that hunters can be gay and settle down and especially that gay romance doesn’t change the theme of the story. The big take away from this episode is that it shows the general audience that men like Dean Winchester can be gay/bisexual.
  • Hannah – 10x17 – This was a real eye opener for any Cas x Hannah shippers. Because Cas didn’t treat Hannah any different, and he had exactly the same warmth and affection for Hannah in her male vessel that he did in her female vessel. Basically this was a nice punch in the face for any homophobes watching. SPN doesn’t care about your heteronormative ships. You wanna ship Hannah x Cas? Fine! But Hannah’s in a dudes body now and guess what? Cas doesn’t care! How do you feel about THAT?
  • God is Bisexual – 11x20 – This was just a nice big fuck you to homophobes everywhere. Don’t like queer characters? This is NOT the show for you! Because in our world even GOD is queer! Yay for LGBT representation! It works as a buffer because once again it is sending a message to the general audience that this is the kind of thing you can expect on our show. We are changed now.
  • Dean rides Larry – 12x11 – Okay so maybe it’s not an obvious buffer, but it is kind of a subliminal message so I’m counting it. Dean riding that damn bull was the most sexual scene we have had on this show in seasons (and no that god awful thing that happened in 12x02 doesn’t count – nor does the same god awful thing from 12x08). The jokes alone, the sexual innuendos. This entire episode is loaded with subliminal messages basically screaming at the general audience to maybe just consider the fact that Dean likes guys.
  • 12x06/12x20 – Max Banes – like Jesse and Cesar Max works as a buffer because he is another way to get the general audience used to the idea that characters that are similar to Dean Winchester can be queer and it’s no big deal. Max is badass, funny, smart and charming and also 100% canonically queer (whether gay or bi we know textually that he is totally into dudes). Sam and Dean don’t bat an eyelid at his sexuality, so neither should the audience. It is just one part of his character and certainly not what his story is all about. Max is proof that you can have a queer character who is a badass and a hunter whose story is basically nothing to do with their sexuality. Their sexuality just happens to be a part of who they are.
  • And finally – Destiel – season 12 – I’m making this its own buffer because honestly? There is no way to view Dean and Cas’s relationship as non-romantic at this point. I think that the writers have slowly been turning up the dial on Destiel probably since 11x18. 12x19 really drummed it in for us though. The angel/human love themes of 12x10, the textual “I love you” in 12x12, the MIXTAPE and everything else about 12x19. This is all preparation. It is indeed a build up to a reveal. Destiel is it’s own buffer and even if people do still accuse it of ‘coming out of nowhere’ once it goes canon, all the writers have to do is gesture at season 12 and the fucking mixtape scene and say to those people “in what universe does the gifting of a mixtape between people who are not explicitly related NOT have romantic connotations?” Only a fool would argue with that if they had any knowledge of pop culture history. Sorry, but that’s the truth.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on that. A show with a long established audience about to make a move that could potentially appear (but not really) out of left field would need to build up that move through a series of well thought out buffers, symbols, themes and subliminal messages before actually making it.

Like how Benjamin was the writers way of normalising Cas’s female vessel, the past two seasons have been a journey to normalise bi!dean and destiel in preparation for making both of these things explicitly canon. Yes we still have a way to go - it still needs to be stated explicitly in the text that Dean is into guys, in love with Cas bla bla bla, but we are getting there.

In summary. Destiel is endgame. Dean is bisexual. The general audience better learn to throw their heteronormative goggles in the bin because this is the state of this show right now, and it is good. 

If you’re having a bad day...
  • Change your clothes. Even if you’re already wearing something comfortable, change into something else that’s still casual and comfy.
  • Eat your favorite food. A bowl of rice, ice cream, pasta, make a sandwich, anything that makes you happy.
  • Eat some fruit. A banana, apple, peach, pear, some berries, fruit is always a good option.
  • Eat some protein. Cheese, meat, eggs, rice and beans, ect. Something to give you energy.
  • Drink lots of water. Fill up a water bottle and keep it with you, but remember to actually drink it.
  • Find as many pillows and blankets as you can around the house and pile them on your bed. THE MESSIER, THE BETTER!
  • Bring your acquired snacks into your room. Even if you don’t make a habit of eating in your room, make an exception this time.
  • Bring a couple of your favorite stuffed animals to share your nest with.
  • If you have cats, invite them as well.
  • Watch an episode or two of your favorite show GUILT FREE. Nothing sad! Watch something that will make you smile and laugh a lot. And ENJOY IT. Give yourself this time to decompress without stressing over a million other things. I know it can be hard, but YOU CAN DO IT
  • Hang a sign outside your door, letting family members/roommates know that you are currently unavailable. Be polite, courteous, and take their needs into consideration if they need something from you, but it’s okay to have a little chunk of time all to yourself when you’re having a tough day. We’ve all been there.
  • Turn off your phone. Just for a little while so you can completely relax. Stay off social media too - you don’t need any drama right now.
  • Once you’ve finished your show and eaten a healthy amount of food, do something productive. Even if it’s just one or two little chores - sweep, do the dishes, tidy up your room, dust, reorganize the bookshelf, whatever. Do something that will make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Even if it’s little, be proud of yourself for each task!
  • Listen to music while you’re working. iPod, record player, radio, etc. Make it something up beat with a nice and lively tempo.
  • Dance and sing. I don’t care if you dance like a fish out of water and sing like a dog whose tail was stepped on, you are a beautiful contribution to this world so don’t be afraid to shine!
  • Alternate in doing tasks throughout the day with doing things you enjoy. Paperwork and then a walk (fresh air always helps!), mop the floors than read that book you’ve been wanting to explore.
  • Talk to a friend if you need to. If you don’t think you have anyone to talk to, let me be the first to tell you, YOU DO! There are thousands of kindhearted people on here who would love to get to know you and want to help you and hear about your day if you are feeling under the weather.
  • Remember that this is today. Every tomorrow is another chance. Everyone has rough days, and sometimes we get a whole long string of them, but life is so much more than just the bad days. Go to bed knowing that tomorrow is a new start.
Why Midoriya Izuku is the Best Shounen Main Character

Alright so I’m pretty guilty right now. I have a lot of things to sort out and I still unanswered asks and oh boy do I got a lot of fanfic writing to do before summer ends and I’m opening requests soon but JESUS Y’ALL. Im a huge fan of this series and I’ll be damned if I miss writing something for this boy’s birthday. I already missed writing my Inko appreciation on her birthday but I won’t let her down!

So…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MIDORIYA IZUKU AKA BEST SHOUNEN MC

Originally posted by cruvcio

Woah, broad statement to say huh? Well, my friends, I’ve read a lot of manga, particularly shounens since that’s my more favorite genre, and I have to say that Midoriya Izuku has been the best main character I’ve ever read and I only hope he continues to grow into his beautiful character.

I mean even from the beginning of the manga, the way he was written was so completely relatable and realistic. In the very beginning of the manga, he was written to be this lonely boy who suffered through bullying and suicide comments and continuously kept going because of his obsession with heroes. From the very beginning, Horikoshi gave us this character that wasn’t perfect (rather was filled with psychological issues) and really at the bottom of the totem pole. I know a lot of people have compared Izuku with Naruto but at least Naruto was born with an incredibly gifted ability from the start. Izuku was literally born with nothing. In a society where there are heroes running rampant and where Izuku dreams about being a hero, he was literally born with all odds against him in that regard. Yet, through all the loneliness, through all the bullying, Izuku still stayed strong through all of that and continued to dream on his goal, only truly wavering once when All Might told him he should find a new dream (and even then, he still got himself almost killed but I’ll get to that in a bit).

And to add on to his realistic demeanor, I know a lot of people call Izuku a cry baby and make fun of his constant amount of crying but honestly? Imagine this: you were born a black sheep in society, everyone looks down on you, you dream of being something great but you weren’t born with the skills for it, someone you consider to be a friend looks down on you and literally tells you to go jump off a building and destroys a piece of you that you hold memorable, then you almost get killed but someone saves you, then you finally get to meet your idol, the person keeping you alive essentially and they tell you straight up that you should give up on your dream, then you’re devastated but you see that friend in a life threatening position so you literally sacrifice yourself to go save them even though you can’t do anything, and then instead of praise, you get all the blame and beaten down again while your friend gets all the praise, but then you end that EMOTIONAL DAY (keep in mind it happened within a DAY) with your idol telling you that you can be that person and he will help you achieve your dream. I won’t even go onto the other times he’s cried but honestly? I know if I was in his position, I wouldn’t have even stomached half of what happened and I’m sure most of you reading this wouldn’t be able to have a DAY like that without crying. I’m sure with 99% of you, at least once tears will shed. Izuku during his time has been through emotionally exhausting feats and I think it’s absolutely INCREDIBLE that Horikoshi gives us this raw character with RAW emotions. Through Izuku being this emotional, not only does it help us relate to him much more but it helps shows that, hey you can still be strong AND be emotional too. Emotions doesn’t equal weakness and Horikoshi really shows that tremendously, especially when the audience are a group of young ones-adults that are taught daily showing emotions is weak and you have to be strong and not show weakness because apparently crying shows weakness. With Izuku, all of that is stomped on the ground and it’s truly inspiring.

Originally posted by t0ukas

And oh boy, my favorite part of Izuku! So most shounen protagonists I have seen and come across are usually born or given this great ability suddenly and yes, while they have to train, they normally get the hang of it pretty quickly and are pretty op with it (I’m looking at you Natsu). Most of the time nakama power is enough to win the battle even though the power difference is crazy different. Yet with Izuku, it’s not like that at all. We are 145 chapters in and Izuku can only still use a small portion of One for All still and he’s gotten to the point where, because of his continuous idiotic use of One for All, he has the major consequence that if he uses it too much at 100%, he could lose FUNCTION IN HIS ARMS. OH YEA, PRETTY BIG DEAL AND CONSEQUENCE FOR THAT.

From what I just wrote, this was my favorite thing that was said:

Yes, folks, he not only says that once, not twice, but multiple times throughout the series. I think the most recent time he said it was during Episode 27 when he was climbing the walls, though I’m sure he’s said it in the future arcs and I forgot about it. Due to this new given status he was given, Izuku acknowledges that he is completely far behind from everyone else, he understands that he is at the bottom of the totem pole and that he has to work 10x harder than everyone else since he lost about 10-11 years to get used to his quirk. And throughout the series, Horikoshi doesn’t pull back on that, in fact he really drives it in that, while Izuku does become the greatest hero of all time, it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a lot of time, training and consequences to get to that point. Even from the beginning, we were given a small glimpse of his incredible training regime and that alone just shows how much effort he has to put in and even that wasn’t enough. I won’t lie, it feels so refreshing that the Main Character isn’t some overpowered person who always gets away with his ridiculous moves, rather it’s nice that he does have consequences and that he see him actually develop into that role while he is being surrounded by others who could take that title from him.

Also, not only is he an intelligent and incredibly hard worker like holy hell, but can we talk about his personality as well? See, here is another perk about Izuku, we weren’t given some either suave person or an annoying character that makes you want to rip out your hair because they’re either too happy or too sad or too emo cringey mess. Rather, Horikoshi gave him a realist personality who thinks through, is incredibly modest and respectful, and holy fuck the most selfless character in the entire show.

I mean, we already know his intelligence and craftiness as he analyzes heroes and their moves as seen through the constant muttering he does as he watches them and his writings in his notebook

 Which might I add right now that I’m really happy Horikoshi gave him this type of analytic behavior as it makes his earlier actions have a bit more sense involved in them, like due to his constant observation he was able to use moves in combat that at least got him by in the beginning

 To also tie in with that, can I say that it is so refreshing to have a main character be a complete DORK about girls and such like that?? Like for someone who was lonely and only had much of the internet to interact with, it makes complete sense that in the beginning he’s really nervous around females or even touching them or talking to them.

Like look at how he talks to Ochako

 Or even how he reacted when Tsuyu said to put her down

Originally posted by the-friday-knight

 Or even how he reacted towards Mei when she had her chest all up in his grill.

 Not only does having this personality trait make him a total dork and cutie but it really shows that we won’t see anything super perverted on Deku’s side. Like if he’s too nervous to talk or even touch a girl in a different manner, than it really shows how respectful he is and how modest he is and how we won’t see any pervy side of Deku anytime soon, which is refreshing for an MC to be that way since most MCs have to either touch or acknowledge their love interest’s chest before they can be established as a good character.

 Though, I will say that even though those are amazing points of our birthday boy, the one personality trait of his that truly makes him a much more fitting hero than Bakugou or even Todoroki or even my baby Ochako is how incredibly SELFLESS he is. Ok ok I know that’s a common personality trait but Izuku really takes it to the max throughout the manga.

 Like when right after he was told to jump by Bakugou, his initial thoughts were based on Kacchan not wanting to get severely punished by the law


Or when he risks his life to save Bakugou from the sludge monster even though he has no quirk

Or when he risks his life once again to save Ochako even though he can’t control his quirk

 Or when he risks his life AGAIN to save All Might 

 Or when he attempts to help Ochako before her fight with Bakugou

 Or when he puts his spot in the tournament on the line to help Todoroki reconcile his fire side

 Or when he helps Iida with the Stain fight and notifies the entire class to come and help

Or when he even goes well over his power limit to save Kota and show him that heroes are good people that can hold on their own

 Or when, even though he could lose function in his GOD DAMN ARMS, he still helps the others get Bakugou back from the villains

And note guys, I didn’t even list everything. I just listed the things I could remember but there is so much more that I could have listed as well. And legit, the things I mentioned, there was no benefit in him doing that, like during the time he did them, all there were were cons for him, there was nothing positive in any of those situations for him. And yet? He still did it. He still put himself and his wishes behind to help those around him and make sure they were successful or safe, even if it meant his own life on the line. I’ve never seen other shounen protagonists push themselves this much in only 145 chapters and I think that’s absolutely incredible.

 Alright so this post is reaching to be about 2k and while I can say more about this wonderful boy, I also want to make sure that I not only post this on time but that I don’t find myself repeating the same thing over and over again. While Izuku is not my favorite character of all time, I am so happy and blessed that he is the main character of this amazing manga series. He’s grown so much since the first chapter and Horikoshi is only setting up the series more to have him grow much more and I’m excited to see how much more he grows as the series progresses. He is such a good character that is well balanced and realistic and such and I know for myself personally that I really relate to him in a lot of ways. Truth be told, it makes me actually really incredibly sad when people dismiss his reasoning for being a hero or when people just write him off as a cry baby because there’s so much more to him than just that. His reasoning to be a hero is realistic and deep enough, his emotions are realistic, his psychological issues that he faced with in the beginning shows his strength tremendously.

 Izuku is one of the best main characters and I’m so happy all of us were blessed with him on this wonderful day! Yay!!! Happy Birthday Deku!!!

 Tldr; Izuku’s face appears when you look up the definition of what a friend and a hero is.

Yuri on Ice 2017/02/11 all night event report

I’m back from the event and I’ll write a report before going to sleep, mostly because I’m sure I will not be able to decipher my scribbles when I wake up… It’s not the full talk show since you can’t record it and also I couldn’t possibly write down everything, but I tried to take note of most things, especially stuff that has never been mentioned elsewhere. In the end it became quite long so I guess I was able to get most of the stuff down…

Needless to say it’s my notes, so other people might write about parts I omitted, etc. To be honest quite a few of the things they said especially in the beginning, like what the seiyuu think about their characters, is something I’ve read so many times in interviews that I could almost answer in their place, lol… I was a bit disappointed that one of the questions that was answered is the one about Chris’ mysterious acquaintance, because actually Kubo answered that in Pash already (it’s in the Q&A part I’ll be translating later), and I hoped they would feature questions about stuff that hasn’t been explained yet. Well I guess not everybody reads interviews, but still…

Due to the format of the report you can find my comments here and there, mostly in brackets.
Under the cut because it’s long.

I forgot to mention something important: the ones participating in the talk show were Mitsurou Kubo, Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Yuuri), Junichi Suwabe (Victor), Kouki Uchiyama (Yurio).

Keep reading

I just… really like the idea of Zuko’s broadswords.

Better people than I have written essays on how Zuko’s use of dual swords reflects on his own duality of good and evil. But like on a character and canon level, the fact that Zuko uses swords is very important to me.

It’s implied throughout the series that benders are prioritized over non-benders (though I’ll admit the gap is much smaller than in other nations). I think it may have been a fanfic that stated that it was almost shameful for a firebender to use weapons, that it was a sign of weakness in the fact that their bending isn’t strong enough that they needed to rely on something else.

Zuko is a firebender and not just any firebender but a royal firebender from a long line of scary talented benders. From the start, he had a great many expectations put on him which he consistently failed to meet. Azula was the prodigy he was average at best and constantly made aware of his shortcomings. We see in Zuko Alone that he had a fascination with blades as a boy (Iroh’s knife). Wherever that interest came from, it was his. Something apart from his Father’s unrealistic expectations and something he could do on his own.

Because Zuko can see that he’s far behind Azula in terms of firebending and it must be so frustrating to be constantly trying and failing. And so maybe at that point he begins to develop his love of swords. Comics stated he trained with Piandao but I can see Zuko taking it beyond any mandatory royal training and just falling in love with the motion and balance of sword fighting. Because it’s something he finds he’s good at, something Azula can’t do. Shameful or not, he knows he’ll never be as good a bender as she is, but he can wield those swords. It makes me smile to think of pre-teen Zuko, in the years following his mother’s disappearance, practicing his swordplay in secret. Using that time to forget all the ways he’s messed up and focusing on something he’s good at. And considering how good Zuko is by the main series, he put a LOT of time and effort into training.

It gets deeper as we think of Zuko using those skills to free Aang as the Blue Spirit. He used sneaky tactics and skills he shouldn’t have to commit treason against the Fire Nation. A Firebender doesn’t fight with swords, but a Firebender also shouldn’t be freeing the Avatar. I feel like Zuko was disassociating heavily during that break-out in order to get the job done, trying to justify that the person doing these treasonous things wasn’t him… when in fact, the Blue Spirit was probably more in line with Zuko’s true personality: rough but with good, noble intentions, quiet not brash, non-confrontational; would rather sneak around than openly harm.

And when Zuko is turned into a fugitive in Book 2 and was forced to hide within the Earth Kingdom those swords, for the first time in his life, became more than a secret hobby, it became his chance for survival. He couldn’t out himself as a bender so he had to rely on his swords to get through the Earth Kingdom. I think it’s also telling he lost his fancy FN blade at the North Pole and had to resort to stolen Earth Kingdom blade. And imagine how he felt to be respected for his blade skills? Teaching Lee how to fight with swords in the middle of the night was so important for Zuko’s development. Patiently talking the eager boy through the stances and philosophy of dual swords, encouraging him. When Zuko offers Iroh’s blade to him, what may have initially started Zuko’s interest, he’s telling Lee it’s okay to pursue this, this is a good thing. Which… obviously didn’t work out but man that’s something big for Zuko.  

Then Zuko openly wearing his swords in Ba Sing Se and using them to defend himself against Jet could be seen as Zuko reconnecting with who he is, instead of hiding it. This metaphor of Zuko’s swords representing his true self continues if you think of how, when he returns to the Fire Nation, we never see his swords. At all. I can’t think of one episode where they appear when he’s living at the palace except, oh, that one time where Zuko faced his father and took back his loyal, his destiny and himself. The final half of season three, Zuko is hardly seen without his swords. They’re always at his back, ready to be used to supplement his firebending or whatever. Zuko has opened up to himself, accepted who he is, and wears his swords and his swordsmanship proudly

TL;DR- The fact that Zuko, a Firebender, trained himself is swords tells us about a childhood of being second best and his blades was something for him to enjoy on his own, one skill he could succeed at. It also becomes a symbol of his true self, of when he hides it and when he allows it to shine.

How to Keep Your Readers EMOTIONALLY Involved

Why is it that sometimes a book or movie can make you THIS emotionally invested  … 

And sometimes it’s more like this? 

My stories used to inspire a reaction similar to Hermione’s in my readers. And in me.  At some points I’d be reading my work, and a little honest voice buried somewhere in my head would say “I wouldn’t care if this character was hit by a bus right now.” Then I’d heap some denial atop the voice, silence her unwanted mutterings, and go back to trying to enjoy my story. Problem was, my readers appeared to have this little honest voice as well. And if she told them “Cartoon bus. Hitting this character. Wouldn’t that be funny?” they had a tendency to listen to her.

What was the problem? My scenes didn’t connect to my reader’s emotions. They didn’t change those emotions throughout the scene. They started out sad and they ended just as sad or even more so. And what came after that? Well, another scene that began with the main character feeling horrible, which ended with him just as downtrodden as before. Or worse: The scene began positive and just got better. The next one would start out absolutely giddy and ended effervescent. And this kept going until the characters were almost singing with joy. (Okay, maybe I’m being slightly snarky about my past self.) But after that, I’d follow it up with a long sequence of sadsadsad scenes. 

So what happened? My readers had only two emotions while enduring this: frustration and impatience. 

The scenes weren’t keeping my readers emotionally engaged. The scenes weren’t changing emotionally. And that is what needs to happen: The emotional charge of the scene has to change. Switch between negative and positive. The flow of the reader’s emotions has to be taken into account, and consciously adjusted. It’s that simple. 

How can this be accomplished? 

1) Determine what’s at stake in the scene. To the characters, something important is being threatened, something emotional or primal. Love? Safety? Friendship? Justice? Make sure the scene means something for the characters. (If it’s not emotionally significant to them, connected to the A Story, B Story, or Character Arc, it’s not a scene and the reader won’t care.) And since the readers are emotionally connected to the characters, the readers care about what’s at stake, and are conscious of what it means. 

2) Beats. The exchanges of action and reaction between characters and forces of opposition in pursuit of the goal … these carry that emotion, these are how emotions shift within the scene, gradually taking it from one to another. 

3) Emotional Charge. If the scene starts with what’s at stake in positive way, then it’ll switch to negative by the end. If if starts negative, the scene will change to positive. 

Anyway! How does this work?  

To illustrate it, because I’m having a lot of fun reading the screenplay, here are five scenes from Zootopia. 

Let’s start with the scene right after this happens: Manchas has gone savage, and Judy and Nick are running for it.

Scene 1 

What’s at stake? Life

Opening Charge: Negative (They’re being chased by a jaguar who is about ten times bigger than either of them, and who seems quite keen to tear them apart. To the characters, this scene opens with a 95% likelihood of imminent brutal death. To the audience, this scene opens with two characters we’ve come to care about in this dangerous situation.)

Closing Charge: Positive (They manage to call backup. Judy manages to handcuff Manchas. Nick stays to help Judy, rather than hop on the gondola to safety. They fall but manage to survive. They fall again, but are caught by a vine just before impact. Bogo and the rest arrive, and Judy is full of confidence about her discovery in the Otterton case, and eager to show them. Everything in this scene ended in Judy and Nick’s favor.)

How has what’s at stake changed? They lived.

Scene 2

What’s at stake? Judy’s lifelong dream, the goal she’s worked towards since she was a child. 

Opening Charge: Negative (Judy tells Bogo that this is way bigger than a missing mammal case – Otterton and Manchas went savage. He scoffs at her. In response, Judy confidently sweeps back the leaves to reveal the wild jaguar … and he’s gone. With her proof nowhere in sight, what she’s told Bogo sounds insane and ridiculous. Which provokes him into demanding her badge.) 

Closing Charge: Positive (Nick stops Bogo from taking Judy’s badge. Nick also bluntly tells him that he’s been an unfair little jerk to Judy, they have time to solve the case, and they have much more important things to be doing than standing around dealing with these idiots. He even calls her “Officer Hopps” instead of Carrots. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? She still has a chance to achieve that lifelong goal. And Nick was the one to buy her more time. 

Scene 3
What’s at stake? Truth

Opening Charge: Positive (Judy, and the audience, are feeling thankful and closer to Nick.)

Closing Charge: Negative (But even though we are in a good place, Nick looks far away … he starts thinking back … and we can sense that this memory lane doesn’t end anywhere pleasant.)

How has what’s at stake changed? He’s about to share something significant.

Scene 4
What’s at stake? Innocence

Opening Charge: Positive (We see little Nick! Looking happy and excited. All he wanted to do was join the Junior Ranger Scouts, and his mother scraped together money to buy him a uniform. She’s even adjusting his tie for him, lovingly.)

Closing Charge: Negative (Nick, who had been so happy at the beginning of this scene, is now hiding from the evil kids,  struggling to pull the muzzle off, panicked, crying like his heart’s broken.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Traumatized

Scene 5
What’s at stake? Closeness

Opening Charge: Negative (Well that was a horrifying story. And now Nick is avoiding eye contact, while revealing the takeaways he got from that childhood episode, which have shaped his decisions from then on. Suddenly Judy, and the audience, understand Nick a lot more. We empathize and sympathize with him.)

Closing Charge: Positive (The traffic cameras would have caught whatever happened to Manchas! And Judy has a friend that can help them access those cameras. They’re back on the case.) 

How has what’s at stake changed? Nick dodges out of further vulnerability BUT they’re back on the case – this time, together. 

So!

As you can see, the emotional charges of these scenes fluctuate smoothly, from a scene’s opening to its closing, from one scene to the next. In every moment, in every beat, we’re feeling something. And when the scene turns, we (and the characters) are feeling the opposite of what we were at the beginning of the scene. Our curiosity and minds are linked to the story by the question “What’s going to happen next?”; our emotions are connected to the story by the conduits Judy and Nick, these two characters we care about, as every emotional change pushes us closer towards the answer to the question “What’s going to happen to these two? Is everything going to end up alright for them?" 

Now, let’s see what happens when you stop paying attention to the emotional changes of your scenes. 

Scene 1: Manchas is gone. Bogo is berating Judy. Nick stands there and watches. Judy ends up handing over her badge. The real cops leave, and Judy stays behind, figuring she might as well try and complete the case anyway. All Nick wants is that carrot pen, so he tags along.

Scene 2: Judy has nothing to feel thankful about, and certainly doesn’t feel closer to Nick. He’s thinking back on his childhood, but doesn’t share anything with Judy… 

Scene 3: Instead of the flashback opening on a happy Nick, it opens on him getting beaten up by the evil children, and ends on him weeping with the muzzle strapped to his face. 

Scene 4: We snap back to the present. Judy staring, beyond tears at this point. Nick looking traumatized and bitter. He remembers he needs the pen. He thinks about the reward money if they had found all those missing mammals. He has the traffic camera revelation! He drags a dejected Judy into his scheme, which she doesn’t care about, but why the heck not? 

In this horrible alternate universe version of Zootopia, this sequence of scenes is negative from beginning to end. And what would have happened to the audience if the scenes had played out in this depressing way? 

They would have emotionally checked out.

The connection between emotions and story would have snapped.

We would have forced our emotions to abandon the story, and watched the rest of the movie feeling betrayed and cheated. 

Because in the end, all we care about are these characters. All we care about is story, and character is story. It’s no coincidence that removing the emotional changes of the scenes equated to removing Judy and Nick’s relationship in the scenes; that relationship, that B Story, or Love Story, function (oddly enough) as the heart of the movie: it keeps the story alive, it keeps us connected and invested in the narrative, it keeps the scenes emotionally turning. Before Nick showed up, and we had two characters to care about, what kept us emotionally involved in the story was our relationship with Judy, this plucky bunny that we really wanted to see succeed. Establishing that connection is a subject for another post, but in regards to scenes, this manipulation of the audience’s emotions is how you keep that connection going strong.

I just said to manipulate someone’s emotions. How villainous.

To the people who are upset about the Wanna One final line up and are calling the top 11 talentless,

How? How can you say that? None of the top 11 are talentless. All of them deserve to be there. The issue was that there were only 11 spots and 20 amazing, talented boys who deserved those spots. In fact, all 101 of the trainees are talented. I could go on and on about how talented each and every member of that show is, but I’ll just talk to you about the top 20. 

TR;DL: It wasn’t anyone’s fault but Mnet’s. DO NOT BLAME ANY OF THE FINAL WANNA ONE MEMBERS. IF you wanna be mad, BLAME MNET. 

Rank 20 - Choi Minki - Nu’EST’s Ren - Ahh Ren, he was very good at everything. Maybe not the best in any regard but definitely an all rounder. Singing. Dancing. Variety. Visuals. All check. The issue with him gettng this rank however was that Mnet’s edits didn’t give him much screen time (this is the case with many of the following on this list). 

Rank 19 - Joo Haknyeon - He is talented. Despite needing some help, this boy is talented. He just learns slower than the other trainees and was greedy for positions he wasn’t ready to take on. He got way too much uncalled for hate because of it. I want to see him make a comeback one day as a stronger, wiser person.

Rank 18 - Kim Samuel - I shouldn’t have to say this but Samuel choreographed a lot of the dances they did for P101- hell he choreographed the Super Hot stage (baby is only 15 TwT). He kicked ass as center in Showtime! He was also good in Get Ugly! But Mnet didn’t give him that many behind the scenes cuts so I think that might have hurt him. He truly deserved so much better and I am going to support his solo. Hopefully, one day, he’ll debut in a group. 

Rank 17 - Yoo Seonho - He’s got cute maknae charms and improved so much throughout the show. He’s only been a trainee for 6 months and despite that he grew a lot in a matter of months. I’m so proud of you, Seonho. Thank you for comforting all the people who needed it at the finale. You are an absolute angel who deserved to debut as well.

Rank 16 - Anh Hyungseob - Hyungseob is a good dancer and despite not being the best singer he tries very hard. He’s also hilarious XD (fondly remembers the times he ran into a door) He’s also got variety skills. *cough* His rank is probably low cause the Yuehua boys are planning to debut soon *cough*

Rank 15 - Im Youngmin - Great dancer. Great rapper. I don’t need to say anything. Just watch any of his performances and you’ll see. He got fucked over by his fake scandals and because knetz eat people alive without knowing if the rumor is true or not. 

Rank 14 - Kim Jonghyun - Nu’EST’s JR - Amazing leader, who is selfless and always a sweetheart. He could have asked for center. He could have been greedy and asked for more lines. He never once did. On top of that, he’s a great rapper and a great dancer. Plus he a cute shy Wartortle. I have no clue how someone who was hailed the Nation’s Leader didn’t make it into the Nation’s Boy Group. 

Rank 13 - Kang Dongho - Nu’EST’s Baekho - He had vocals for days and visuals for days. His charisma was like fire and his personality is so <3 He was the cute babysitter for all the kids of P101 and I’m honestly so sad Guanlin lost his fav sexy uncle. 

Rank 12 - Jung Sewoon - Okay, look I love Ponyo . I love him so damn much you don’t even know. I was depressed when I saw him not get in. I can’t put into words how much I wanted him to be in the top 11. I thought he wouldn’t be close to 11 because he was 19 last time, but damn I feel trolled about this. VOCALS. DANCING. CUTENESS. I want to see him again in the future so badly.

Rank 11- Ha Sungwoon - HOTSHOT’s Sungwoon - It’s probably not right for me to say I didn’t want him in the top 11 because he needs to return to HOTSHOT so they can finally have a comeback. But he was Rank A from the start. Even Boa was like how are such talented kids not popular. 

Rank 10 - Bae Jinyoung - A lot of you seem to have an issue with BaeJin. But he’s got stage presences. He might not have shown it off at the start but he improved so much since then. Plus he has a great personality which you can see in any of the back stage cams since the actual show cuts his and Jihoon’s screen time.

Rank 9 - Hwang Minhyun - Nu’EST Minhyun- Don’t fucking sit here and tell me Jonghyun deserves to debut but then go off and say the top 11 aren’t talented when Minhyun is fucking in the top 11. Emperor Hwang has everything. Visuals, vocals, dance skills, and the relationship with the rest of the top 11. He made half this top 11 happen. So much talent you can’t even. 

Rank 8 - Yoon Jisung-  Auntie Jisung was gonna give up if he didn’t debut. He has stable af vocals while dancing. Plus he’s hilarious. Like really fucking funny. That’s been evident since he made himself a meme in episode 1. He took care of whatever team he led. I’m so so glad he got to debut. 

Rank 7 - Lai Guanlin - I personally didn’t want him to debut because I think he’s too young and still has a lot of growing to do. He wasn’t the best rapper or dancer but he’s got stage presence not only that but he was also only a trainee for 6 months. He’s only been in Korea for 6 months. Plus he’s like 16 so chill. 

Rank 6 - Park Woojin - I will flip tables if you tell me Park Woojin didn’t deserve top 11. He had shingles and still gave a bomb performance. He’s a great dancer and always draws attention when he’s on stage. He’s a great rapper too. He’s been Rank A from the start (BNM kids are so talented guys).

Rank 5 - Ong Seongwoo - Talented. So fucking talented. I can’t. He’s funny af, he’s an amazing dancer, he’s a god singer, he’s got a great personality, AND he’s got actor like visuals. Seriously, how can you call him untalented? Again he was rank A from the start. 

Rank 4 - Kim Jaehwan - If you have hearing, you know Jaehwan is talented. He improved his dancing so much to be here. Plus he’s savage and hilarious. Kim Jaehwan was actually someone I was worried wouldn’t enter top 11 because he didn’t have a strong solo fanbase.

Rank 3 - Lee Daehwi - This child did not suffer to have you call him untalented. He’s an adorable baby who can do it all. He is only 16 and he writes songs for crying out loud! He can dance and sing and maybe rap (I think). He was also Rank A from the start! (All the BNM kids are talented af so never fucking say he’s talentless)

Rank 2 - Park Jihoon - Got here because he winked BUT that doesn’t mean he’s not talented. He’s a good dancer like a really good dancer, And he knows how to work a camera, clearly. He’s not the best singer but he tries. He’s an okay rapper but we never got to see much of that. Jihoon is adorable and cute and a whole lot of goot things but people kept bashing him for getting to the top because he winked. He’s still talented though (Rank B isn’t that bad cause Jaehwan was Rank B).

Rank 1 - Kang Daniel - I will not take anyone calling him untalented. Seriously there are too many people saying he didn’t deserve it. Have you watched ANY of his stages. He ALWAYS stole the show and he’s NEVER been center. Look, people forgot he was a rapper because he sang so much on this show. Like he gave all the rap parts to other rappers because he knew they couldn’t sing. He’s an angel who loves cats and people. He’s also awkwardly hilarious. He was bound to be in the top 11 from the moment he hugged small Woojin. Worked hard and moved from Rank B to Rank A. Watch any of his fancams and prepare to be shook. 

If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you. 

Wanna One is talented.

Everyone in the top 20 was talented. 

I wish they made a group with the top 20 because I loved so many of them. 

Korrasami is canon.

You can celebrate it, embrace it, accept it, get over it, or whatever you feel the need to do, but there is no denying it. That is the official story. We received some wonderful press in the wake of the series finale at the end of last week, and just about every piece I read got it right: Korra and Asami fell in love. Were they friends? Yes, and they still are, but they also grew to have romantic feelings for each other.

Was Korrasami “endgame,” meaning, did we plan it from the start of the series? No, but nothing other than Korra’s spiritual arc was. Asami was a duplicitous spy when Mike and I first conceived her character. Then we liked her too much so we reworked the story to keep her in the dark regarding her father’s villainous activities. Varrick and Zhu Li weren’t originally planned to end up as a couple either, but that’s where we took the story/where the story took us. That’s how writing works the vast majority of the time. You give these characters life and then they tell you what they want to do.

I have bragging rights as the first Korrasami shipper (I win!). As we wrote Book 1, before the audience had ever laid eyes on Korra and Asami, it was an idea I would kick around the writers’ room. At first we didn’t give it much weight, not because we think same-sex relationships are a joke, but because we never assumed it was something we would ever get away with depicting on an animated show for a kids network in this day and age, or at least in 2010.

Makorra was only “endgame” as far as the end of Book 1. Once we got into Book 2 we knew we were going to have them break up, and we never planned on getting them back together. Sorry, friends. I like Mako too, and I am sure he will be just fine in the romance department. He grew up and learned about himself through his relationships with Asami and Korra, and he’s a better person for it, and he’ll be a better partner for whomever he ends up with.

Once Mako and Korra were through, we focused on developing Korra and Asami’s relationship. Originally, it was primarily intended to be a strong friendship. Frankly, we wanted to set most of the romance business aside for the last two seasons. Personally, at that point I didn’t want Korra to have to end up with someone at the end of series. We obviously did it in Avatar, but even that felt a bit forced to me. I’m usually rolling my eyes when that happens in virtually every action film, “Here we go again…” It was probably around that time that I came across this quote from Hayao Miyazaki:

“I’ve become skeptical of the unwritten rule that just because a boy and girl appear in the same feature, a romance must ensue. Rather, I want to portray a slightly different relationship, one where the two mutually inspire each other to live - if I’m able to, then perhaps I’ll be closer to portraying a true expression of love.”

I agree with him wholeheartedly, especially since the majority of the examples in media portray a female character that is little more than a trophy to be won by the male lead for his derring-do. So Mako and Korra break the typical pattern and end up respecting, admiring, and inspiring each other. That is a resolution I am proud of.

However, I think there needs to be a counterpart to Miyazaki’s sentiment: Just because two characters of the same sex appear in the same story, it should not preclude the possibility of a romance between them. No, not everyone is queer, but the other side of that coin is that not everyone is straight. The more Korra and Asami’s relationship progressed, the more the idea of a romance between them organically blossomed for us. However, we still operated under this notion, another “unwritten rule,” that we would not be allowed to depict that in our show. So we alluded to it throughout the second half of the series, working in the idea that their trajectory could be heading towards a romance.

But as we got close to finishing the finale, the thought struck me: How do I know we can’t openly depict that? No one ever explicitly said so. It was just another assumption based on a paradigm that marginalizes non-heterosexual people. If we want to see that paradigm evolve, we need to take a stand against it. And I didn’t want to look back in 20 years and think, “Man, we could have fought harder for that.” Mike and I talked it over and decided it was important to be unambiguous about the intended relationship.

We approached the network and while they were supportive there was a limit to how far we could go with it, as just about every article I read accurately deduced. It was originally written in the script over a year ago that Korra and Asami held hands as they walked into the spirit portal. We went back and forth on it in the storyboards, but later in the retake process I staged a revision where they turned towards each other, clasping both hands in a reverential manner, in a direct reference to Varrick and Zhu Li’s nuptial pose from a few minutes prior. We asked Jeremy Zuckerman to make the music tender and romantic, and he fulfilled the assignment with a sublime score. I think the entire last two-minute sequence with Korra and Asami turned out beautiful, and again, it is a resolution of which I am very proud. I love how their relationship arc took its time, through kindness and caring. If it seems out of the blue to you, I think a second viewing of the last two seasons would show that perhaps you were looking at it only through a hetero lens.

Was it a slam-dunk victory for queer representation? I think it falls short of that, but hopefully it is a somewhat significant inching forward. It has been encouraging how well the media and the bulk of the fans have embraced it. Sadly and unsurprisingly, there are also plenty of people who have lashed out with homophobic vitriol and nonsense. It has been my experience that by and large this kind of mindset is a result of a lack of exposure to people whose lives and struggles are different from one’s own, and due to a deficiency in empathy––the latter being a key theme in Book 4. (Despite what you might have heard, bisexual people are real!) I have held plenty of stupid notions throughout my life that were planted there in any number of ways, or even grown out of my own ignorance and flawed personality. Yet through getting to know people from all walks of life, listening to the stories of their experiences, and employing some empathy to try to imagine what it might be like to walk in their shoes, I have been able to shed many hurtful mindsets. I still have a long way to go, and I still have a lot to learn. It is a humbling process and hard work, but nothing on the scale of what anyone who has been marginalized has experienced. It is a worthwhile, lifelong endeavor to try to understand where people are coming from.

There is the inevitable reaction, “Mike and Bryan just caved in to the fans.” Well, which fans? There were plenty of Makorra shippers out there, so if we had gone back on our decision and gotten those characters back together, would that have meant we caved in to those fans instead? Either direction we went, there would inevitably be a faction that was elated and another that was devastated. Trust me, I remember Kataang vs. Zutara. But one of those directions is going to be the one that feels right to us, and Mike and I have always made both Avatar and Korra for us, first and foremost. We are lucky that so many other people around the world connect with these series as well. Tahno playing trombone––now that was us caving in to the fans!

But this particular decision wasn’t only done for us. We did it for all our queer friends, family, and colleagues. It is long overdue that our media (including children’s media) stops treating non-heterosexual people as nonexistent, or as something merely to be mocked. I’m only sorry it took us so long to have this kind of representation in one of our stories.

I’ll wrap this up with some incredible words that Mike and I received in a message from a former Korra crew member. He is a deeply religious person who devotes much of his time and energy not only to his faith, but also to helping young people. He and I may have starkly different belief systems, but it is heartwarming and encouraging that on this issue we are aligned in a positive, progressive direction:

“I’ve read enough reviews to get a sense of how it affected people. One very well-written article in Vanity Fair called it subversive (in a good way, of course)… I would say a better word might be “healing.” I think your finale was healing for a lot of people who feel outside or on the fringes, or that their love and their journey is somehow less real or valuable than someone else’s… That it’s somehow less valid. I know quite a few people in that position, who have a lifetime of that on their shoulders, and in one episode of television you both relieved and validated them. That’s healing in my book.”

Love,

Bryan

why i don’t think we’re done with Even just yet.

the last clip was a bit confusing, most of us were expecting more from the even’s storyline than we were given in the end. seemingly, the balloon squad and even made up again. so that might have happened of screen. is it satisfying storytelling? no, but it is what it is at this point. but is that going to be the end of it? i don’t think so. let’s see what kind of indications we have gotten to remind us of the even story line.

so it all began with this image, in which we were clued into the relationship between even and sana’s new love interest yousef: they were in the same friend group at bakka. 

next thing you know we get the confirmation that even and sana have been acquaintances from before. she knows that he isn’t really involved with her brother and his friends anymore, but she clearly sees that even misses his old friends a lot: he asks after her brother. 

now here is where it gets.. interesting. when asked why he doesn’t believe in allah anymore, yousef specifically focuses on the incident with even: according to yousef, his friend was so conflicted about his sexuality and his friend group’s main religion that he tried to do something horrible to himself. the way yousef frames this story is that even is the sole reason why he thinks religion creates anxiety and fear in people. yousef himself is portrayed as a very compassionate guy, very understanding and very loving. and i certainly don’t dispute that he is.. but what is fascinating to me is that he is constantly framed as a really nice guy who is pretty much perfect. elias even says so:

and that might be so. but considering yousef’s reaction to even’s name and seeing even in the karaoke bar – there has to have been something between these two that happened that doesn’t feel too good to yousef. 

in the first one, yousef is the one most affected by even’s name. in the second one, he almost seems like the only one who’s actually a bit angry about seeing even there? as if he feels a bit betrayed by seeing even there after he told sana about him. now, today’s clip is interesting bc it mentions that yousef felt like something was off between him and sana, bc of facebook. 

she blocked him on facebook and he took that as sana’s disinterest. now, it is significant that this incident is mentioned yet again bc which picture is the one picture that we haven’t seen from that facebook yet? 

this one! in which a fight between even and yousef back at bakka is made explicit. but since sana had blocked him weeks ago she would not have been able to see it. in this clip, however, the connection between yousef and sana is re-established, and it might be a very symbolic move for sana to add yousef on facebook again, in which case she is going to see this picture and might be taken aback by this. it can’t all be smooth sailing for these two in the next two episodes. moreover, it makes sense since through more ‘subliminal messages” we keep on being reminded of even and his mental illness. 

the amount of times “crazy” or “psycho” or something relating to suicide has been brought up has been upped a lot more in comparison to previous seasons. 

are there plotholes in this storyline? yes. do i think everything will get resolved or explained? no. but what i do guess is that the incident at bakka will be the final ‘storyline’ for sana to get through to end up with yousef. and in this case, i feel like even is the only one who can tell her the actual truth about yousef and him, bc i feel it is very deliberate that we have heard two sides to his story already that don’t really seem to add up. yousef needs to have some faults, basically (and since cengiz has mentioned that his most difficult dramatic scene hasn’t aired yet? i think this confrontation might be it.)

in the trailer, even was both the first as well as the last person to be hit (in reverse and in normal): in this case, even was “hit” by the storyline way before he went to nissen in the first place, and i think he is the one who will resolve the final storyline (of yousef), i bet. he’s woven in throughout the season: we still need a pay-off. 

unfortunately, this story plays the long game. i could be totally wrong, of course. but i just think this might not be the end of it yet. let’s just say: keep an eye out if sana adds yousef on facebook again.

Every izuocha scene in bnha and other izuocha stuff

Despite this fanbase being so small, they actually have a lot of scenes together… so lemme start from the very beginning

Uraraka stopping Izuku from falling from falling on his face as well as saving from 5-6 seconds of utter embarassment.

Look at how happy he is to talk to a girl, and a cute girl for that matter, and it just so happens that she is actually the first girl Izuku has actually ‘talked’ to. It’s not like Izuku has never spoken to a female in his life before (I mean he has his mom, and I’m sure he’s talked to other girls in his past classes but you get the point), but this was like the first time according to Izuku that he had a real conversation with a girl.

Izuku is a hella nervous for the entrance exam and he sees Uraraka as a source of comfort, well at least someone to talk to for him calm him down a little before Iida stopped him. This isn’t like an actual romantic moment or whatever so don’t hate me for this please, but at least it’s something right?

Izuku saving Uraraka from the robot, this scene is what triggered their friendship. He could have chosen to run away like everyone else did, he had zero points but he still chose to sacrifice his chances of getting into U.A just to save her.

Uraraka going out of her way to beg them to let Izuku at least have some of her points, no normal person would do that… no one would go out of their way to make sure a complete stranger passed, I mean it’s an exam so it’s every man for themselves. And look at how touched Izuku is here… with the kind of shitty people around him (bakugou, his middle school classmates, his middle school teacher, that doctor) he never would’ve imagined anyone going out of their way to do something like this for him. They actually both made an impact on each other after the entrance exam. And I know for a fact that people are gonna argue with this and say that she was just being nice and shit

You’re telling me that you’re just gonna ignore this?!!! He indirectly said this girl was attractive.

Here he is acting like a normal socially awkward teenager who’s too shy to talk to a cute girl, and we’re just gonna ignore this??? I mean he can’t even look her in the eye, doesn’t that mean something?

Uraraka cheering for Izuku in the backgorund…

Uraraka being worried about Izuku’s swollen finger…

Izuku finds Uraraka to be very attractive again, twice.

Izuku blushing like crazy because he’s on the same team with a cute girl who just happens to be his first real friend, who’s a cute girl.

And this is probably the most important moment. Izuku easily accepted the new meaning that Uraraka gave to the the demeaning name Deku. We all know that it’s impossible to change the meaning of the word, especially a word that a lot of people already know the meaning of. I’m sure Izuku knew that. He probably would have accepted the name of it was someone else who changed the meaning but I don’t think he would’ve accepted it as quickly as he did for Uraraka, because it really touched him when she said that.

At first you’d think Izuku just felt super flattered for what Uraraka did to his name, but he took it to heart. Look at him confidently declaring the ‘new meaning of his name’, this surprised Uraraka too because… well she didn’t think he’d take it seriously.

Bakugou has zero chill XD

Izuku treasures the new meaning of his name so much that he even decides to make it his hero name, aka the hero name he’ll be using for the rest of his life, the name that he’ll forever be known as, and the name that sounds so demeaning… good luck with that my son…

Uraraka voting for Izuku knowing fully well that she could have voted for herself, but she voted for Izuku because of her admiration for him.

Uraraka being the only person to notice Izuku wasn’t in his costume. Izuku blushing, or getting excited… or blushing I can’t really explain what was going on here between these two but they were definitely having a moment.

Uraraka teaming up with Izuku when he was all alone which brought Izuku to tears. She teamed up with him because she’s most comfortable with him, they’re both really good friends, and because she admires him so much. Izuku is surprised too, because if she teamed up with anyone else it would give her a better chance for her to win. So once again, Izuku’s touched by Uraraka’s affection towards him.

Uraraka getting jealous of Hatsume because she’s getting all of Izuku’s attention. It’s not like Uraraka wanted to be the center of izuku’s llife 24/7 or anything but how can I say it… it’s kinda annoying to be really good friends with a boy and then some other girl just swoops in from nowhere and grabs his attention, I mean I know I’d feel a little ‘ish’ if that happened to me, because Uraraka was basically like the third wheel throughout the cavalry battle, and no one likes being a third wheel.

Uraraka admiring Izuku’s strategic mind once again, although she mainly said this because she was feeling uneasy.

Izuku knew Uraraka felt uneasy about going against Bakugou, so he went out of his way to make a plan for her to win. It’s funny because this is exactly how Izuku felt before his first fight with Bakugou, and Uraraka was the one comforting him and trying to help him feel better, and now the roles have been reversed. 

Although I’m glad Uraraka rejected his help, because it helped her realize that she couldn’t always rely on others for her success.

Izuku was rooting for her throughout the whole  Kacchako battle (and jeez, have I ever said how much I love Bakugou and Uraraka in this fight) and he was concerned for her safety. Izuku was Uraraka’s motivational drive here, her motivation to win.

Izuku was rooting for her before the match even started, sure he felt nervous but at least he didn’t immediately think he she was gonna lose like EVERYONE else did.

Izuku feeling bad for not being able to do anything for her…

He’s the only one that goes out of his way to check up on her, not even Iida, or Tsuyu.

Izuku saw right through Uraraka and she obviously knew she was lying about being totally fine. He felt guilty that he wasn’t able to do anything to help her win… even though there was really nothing he could do.

Uraraka’s helped Izuku out so many times, so the only thing he wants to do for her, what he needs to do for her is return the favor.

This was part was pretty sweet on both ends.. although I’m still not sure if Bakugou was pissed off at Izuku because he thought he let Uraraka use her quirk carelessly and throw him off guard (gonna wait for the anime to clear that up, afterall this episode is gonna air in about 2 weeks or so…) 

Anyway, Izuku is defending Uraraka here by saying she’s completely capable of devising strategic plans on her own.

Izuku getting super flustered after having a real conversation on a phone with a girl… who just happened to be Uraraka. Uraraka getting teased about being in love…. she could have called Iida too, but she decided to call Izuku instead.

Uraraka using Izuku as a source of motivation, again.

I think we’re all familiar with this scene. This is the moment Uraraka realized that she may in fact have a crush on Izuku.

And this is the moment when she sorta confirmed it, and she even said “probably”

This. This is just adorable.

My buddy @happycloude-91 pointed out in this post. This was probably one of the sweetest things Uraraka’s ever done. She did a little first-aid thing for Izuku to at least try and reduce the pain even though she knew it wouldn’t do much. She didn’t try and stop him and say “there’s no way I’ll let you go! Not with those injuries and blah blah blah”, because she understood the weight of the situtation and she understood Izuku’s feelings, plus Izuku probably wouldn’t have listened to her anyway.

Hell she even tore her shirt in half to help Izuku and seemed like it worked pretty well. We all know that Uraraka doesn’t have a lot of money, and she probably doesn’t have the best clothes either, yet she still sacrificed to help Izuku.

 Hatsume is a trigger to Uraraka’s jealousy, since it mostly pops up when she’s around. Her face here, she obviously doesn’t like what she’s seeing, because not only was Izuku almost explodo-killed, he came chest-to-chest with another girl!

Uraraka getting a little more jealous here because Hatsume’s getting Izuku’s attention, but she mostly feels like she’s getting left behind and she wants to walk side by side with Izuku.

Uraraka’s feelings for Izuku confirmed. The fact that she was thinking about the whole thing with Hatsume all day shows something.

Uraraka noticing and admiring Izuku’s strength again.These pages just say it all…

In the hero license exam, even though ‘Uraraka’ came out of nowhere with absolutely no plan at all, which could have led to her failing right there…

Izuku still jumped in to save her, jeopardizing his own chances of passing the exam.

adding this because the way he carried her was just…PERFECT.

This is probably one of my favorite scenes in this arc. Izuku knew Uraraka wasn’t that careless, he knew that she was much more stronger than that.

This line has a lot of depth in it guys. Izuku knew Uraraka was a lot smarter than to come out without any sort of plan.

Uraraka believing in Izuku’s strength.Uraraka sees Izuku as an image of victory, that’s why she always thinks about him when she’s in a pinch or is she wants to win (let that be a reminder for those who think she’s ‘obsessed’).

Izuku is to Uraraka what Kacchan is to him, an image of victory. (but we don’t go ahead and call Izuku obsessed whenever he thinks about Kacchan, which he does A LOT, do we???) It’s not that she’s obsessed with being like him but she has the same feelings that Izuku has for Kacchan.

Uraraka getting jealous again and contemplating her feelings.

Uraraka’s feelings getting in the way of her focus.

Chapter 109 says it all, at least in Uraraka’s side, she knows that she has feelings for Izuku. I’m not gonna say the word love because this is a fan translation so it’s not 100% accurate, also the word love is pretty strong in Japan, so I think Horikoshi must have used a… how can I say it? a less serious word in the second panel… I could be completely wrong though.

We know that she ‘shut down her feelings’ but that doesn’t mean they’re completely gone right?

Uraraka notices things about Izuku, and you can read all about that in my other buddy @rex101111‘s post here

Also, have I mentioned that they are ALWAYS together??!

And there are a lot more screencaps of them standing together and that includes the panels I used for this post too, but we know that I can’t fit all those screencaps in this post XD

The omake. I can already feel all of the kacchako shippers glaring daggers at me XD.

But anyway, many misinterpret this as a Kacchako scene… but it’s actually not. The reason is because, Uraraka came to talk to Bakugou about Izuku, not her, or heir fight, but Izuku. I know people are gonna be like “she sees through Bakugou!” or “Bakugou called her by her name!”, but let’s be honest, what Uraraka was saying here was: you either make up with Izuku or just stop being mean to him. Overall her primary concern was Izuku, because nobody likes to see their friend/love interest constantly get bullied right?

Another thing is the drama CD 7. The drama CD 7, the drama CD 7, the drama CD!!! I freaking love the drama CD 7, because it is a safe haven for us izuocha  shippers.

  • Izuku and Uraraka eating lunch together, Uraraka teasing Izuku for nerding about heroes… well she didn’t exactly tease him, she giggled and he blushed!
  • Izuku and Uraraka chatting near Izuku’s desk before Bakugou came and interrupted them XD
  • Izuku saved Uraraka from the sludge villain and he happened to hold hands with her for a very long time, and Bakugou himself had to point it out!
  • Izuku stuttering and blushing after he realized just how long he held Uraraka’s hand and how good it felt. Then he starts to remember how he had to do a folk dance with a guy when he was in middle school because there weren’t enough girls… and I love how my son is such a loveable nerd/dork omg XD
  • Uraraka mistook Izuku’s flustered face as some kind of adrenaline rush which was adorable.

There were other good scenes in the drama cd, but these are like the cutest ones, and mind you the drama CD was written by HORIKOSHI KOUHEI!

So it’s technically canon :p

I know I said that the wiki is about 98% accurate, but if people can believe Jirou is a lesbian from reading the wiki then I can believe this right? I know the love is one sided for now, but Izuku has shown a lot of signs in the beginning of the series, he obviously won’t show any now because of where the series is going… but it’s gonna come back…soon.

and one more thing…

WHY THE FUCK DOES THIS TAG EXIST???? THIS IS THE ONLY SHIP IN BNHA THAT I’VE SEEN WITH THIS TAG!

There are only like two posts under this tag and one of them just happens to be someone answering my ask, and if you’re wondering why I like that post if you ever see it, it’s because I like all posts that answer my asks just to let the person know that I’ve seen their answer.

But still it hurts to see this tag ya know?

Anyway @cake-ademia, @zakamore1, @rex101111, @hatefilledpoptarts, @eriboook and my other fellow izuocha shippers even though our fanbase is small, lets not forget the ship that’s CLOSEST to becoming CANON.

Hiccstrid in Race to the Edge

OKAY PEOPLE!

So, I’ve been seing SO MANY comments about how “Hiccstrid was such a mistake” or “Rtte writers really flunked the Hiccstrid” and “The writers ruined Hiccstrid in RTTE, they made a big mistake.” and even “The plot for RTTE Hiccstrid is so bad.” (and these are direct quotes)

People, I really don’t know what your talking about! I think Rtte did an amazing job with the Hiccstrid, and I know people say that it’s rushed, or forced, but I really don’t think it is. Just here me out, and you might change your mind.

So, in the first season of RTTE, it appears that the two are just “friends” (as said multiple times by both Hiccup and Astrid) which leads me to believe this: The two are just shy and unsure as to where their relationship stands. Neither have actually come out and said that they “like” each other in that special way, or have said “I love you” (they still haven’t, but honestly that’s what makes RTTE Hiccstrid all the better, and I’ll explain that later on) so both are unsure. Hiccup knows he likes Astrid, because as he said in Blindsided, he’s thought about it a lot. And Astrid obviously likes Hiccup, after all that blushing and studdering and worried looks and those talks with Heather, I mean, it’s pretty obvious. But neither one wants to push it on the other, just in case the other doesn’t like them in return. It’s just that over the years since Riders/Defenders of Berk, they’ve come to terms with the fact that they’re “friends”, since neither have stood up and said anything against that fact. They’re both just shy, nervous, and unsure of their feelings. Typical teen feelings.

But they’re around 18 now, and the feelings haven’t really depleted at all for either of them, and RTTE shows this perfectly. 

Season 1:

I mean, just look at Hiccup! These two are normally shown- through out the entire show- as either standing by each other, or near each other. And it’s also shown that Hiccup laid out the Edge so that Astrid’s hut was closest to his. It’s just these small, subtle little moments scattered through out Season 1 and 2 that make Hiccstrid look like it’s just starting, or has still hung on. Like maybe the two do have feelings for each other, but are still able to hide them. (From each other anyways. Us, the audience, and Heather obviously pick up ont his type of stuff right away. XD)

And then “Reign of the Fireworms” the two were teasing each other playfully, suggesting that they enjoy having fun with each other and playfully annoying the other. Very cute, in my opinion. And it’s not too STRONG either, but gradually becomes more noticeable.

And here in Season 2: 

Here, it’s obvious Hiccup’s concerned for Astrid, especially when he volluntears to stay behind and sleep in the arena with her and Stormfly, and the others all joinn in to, when later Fishlegs explains that Hiccup wanted to “support” Astrid. 

Hiccup rescues Astrid from drowning, and acts extremely panicked when he notices she’s gone and not responding. I mean, yes, Hiccup would probably done this with the other riders, but he seemed extra concerned since it was Astrid.

THIS. And this is when we really start getting the “Hiccstrid” feels. I mean, before this, in the other episodes, we would not have really noticed the Hiccstrid if we hadn’t been looking for it. Otherwise, we would’ve thought “Oh, they’re teasing each other. How cute. I think they might like each other?” that kind of thing. But this, where Astrid half hugs Hiccup and says “But I still have you” it’s quite obvious she’s very slightly hinting at something.  ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Season 3: 

AND THIS. This is when we really get it! This is where all the other little moments have led to. I just love how gradual Hiccstrid processes throughout RTTE. It’s all gradual, but obvious, but not too obvious. And the Buffalord Soldier only helped with this. It wasn’t too much, and they didn’t kiss right away. It was just simple actions and words, but it was still so simple and clear. But not pushy either. And the words “I can’t imagine a world without you in it” coming from both of them to each other was just beautiful, and so perfect and fitting.

In “Stryke Out”, the only real Hiccstrid we get is when Hiccup and Astrid hug, but again, it’s just this simple little motion and the looks passed between them that is shining through. It clearly hints at Hiccstrid, but again, IT’S NOT FORCED. It just happens, and it flows very nicely. Fishleg’s also states that “Astrid would’ve killed you (Snotlout) if we hadn’t found Hiccup.” saying that Astrid was very worried and concerned for Hiccup’s well being.

This part just made me smile, because of how awkward and genuinely surprised they both are at this physical contact. Astrid’s face is priceless, and it clearly states that she wasn’t expecting their hands to touch. This little moment is just another example for how gradually Hiccstrid’s relationship is growing.

Here, in “Last Auction Heroes” is another small gesture between the two, a kind comforting gesture that Astrid offers Hiccup when they get captured and lose their dragons, Berk’s gold, and well… everything. It just shows that the two are very supportive to each other, and that they still don’t have to speak words to make this point clear. It’s another thing that the writers did amazingly, was just all the movements and hints that made Hiccstrid seem more real.

NOW WE GET SEASON 4!

In Midnight Scrum, the two interact even more. Hiccup and Astrid have a private conversation int he Great Hall, and then later on, Astrid helps rescue Hiccup and helps him walk when he loses his medal leg. Again, support, but it’s not forced, or over load. It’s just right, just enough to get the point across that Astrid wants to be there for Hiccup and wants to help him. 

In “Dire Straights”, again we get to see Astrid worried about Hiccup, and Hiccup glad for her comfort. It’s just a few sweet gestures and words, but it is still a beautiful show that their relationship is gradually making it’s way up tot he point it’s at in HTTYD 2. 

In “Out of the Frying Pan” we see Astrid is about to give up to the heat, but Throk reminds her to stay awake for Hiccup, and she does, for HICCUP. 

*takes deep breath* So, “Blindsided” is the episode where the dams break, where they can’t contain their feelings anymore. Hiccup is very concerned about Astrid, and Astrid is starting to despair. Hiccup again offers his support. and since Astrid is blind, there is some more… well… touching and stuff. *winks* and it just brings stuff to mind for both of them, making them realize that they did like each other. I thought that, yeah, DreamWorks probably could’ve figured out a better way to actually get them together, other then making Astrid blind, but it still worked out very well, and I think that the Hiccstrid development is still very good in this, and not over-board, forced, or fakey. 

In “Shell Shocked Part 1″ We get to see them again, rather awkward bout everything still, and trying to hide it from the others. We also get to see Astrid’s concern for Hiccup, and it’s obvious she’s worried about him.

In “Shell Shocked Part 2″ we get to see that, again, Astrid is worried about Hiccup, and she doesn’t want him to get hurt and even suggests he go back and stay safe. Hiccup firmly states that they have to go on, keeping their feelings aside during battle, just like they’d done for years. By this time, Heather has pretty much figured out what’s going on, and the others are beginning to notice something going on between Hiccup and Astrid, although none of them (but Heather and Fishlegs) really notice anything is going on romantically. Viggo captures Astrid, forcing Hiccup to make a choise, Astrid killed or handing Viggo the Dragon Eye. Hiccup tosses the Dragon Eye into the volcano, freeing Astrid when Viggo jumped to catch it. After Viggo’s death, Astrid apologizes to Hiccup for not listening to him, but Hiccup just says that she had to let him know what she was thinking. The two therefore share a kiss, right in front of the other riders. Hiccstrid is now official.

The reason I wanted to explain all this, is because I really don’t believe Hiccstrid was rushed, forced, or poorly done at all. I think it worked it’s way up gradually to the point it’s at, and I think it was all done very wonderfully. It’s difficult to get this type of relationship just perfect, because it is a branch off of an original film, and to make it harder, it’s placed between two films, making getting the characters right all the harder. But I think DreamWorks did it VERY WELL. They worked it up gradually, with many little gestures, and moments in between the big noticeable moments, which makes it so much better.

Reblog if you agree with what I said above.