This is Mara Jade. Notice the hot bod, the gorgeous hair, the Anakin’s lightsaber, the unfortunate sleeveless jumpsuit and everything because she’s got it all and more.
Mara was not created by George Lucas, but she’s the most popular EU/Legends character not in the movies (she’s hit the top ten in fandom’s fave SW characters, even though she’s only been in the books) and has an AMAZING story that you should all read.
Mara is most known for marrying a Very Important Character, but lbr that’s just the tip of the iceberg for this bamf. She was raised by Emperor Palpatine himself to be an Emperor’s Hand, stolen from her family at such a young age that she has no recollection of her life before the Emperor, but her lack of memories in that regard could also be due to the brainwashing and mental torture no doubt employed by Palpatine during her early years.
I don’t want to spoil the story, but basically she has the greatest redemption arc ever, save for Anakin. She’s a perfect flower that could kill you in your sleep, and should definitely appear in canon but sigh.
So I’m gonna start this off by saying, I was never a band kid in high school, it never interested me and I have no musical talent whatsoever. However, around the Spring Season of 2015 a show started about a high school music club, and that show was called Sound! Euphonium(Hibike Euphonium for purists) and after just before writing this watching the final episode of its second season wrapping up the series, I can proudly say its become one of my favorite Anime ever.
I could go into all the reasons why I hold that opinion, obviously this shows animation and music are breathtaking and just invoke a world I’d love to be in, and yes the characters are wonderfully designed and the shows direction is top notch, but it wasn’t all that that made this show what it was for me, for me what made this show was the character of Kumiko Oumae, our main lead and narrator throughout the series
What makes Kumiko such a standout to me is that she is one of the most realistically developed leads I’ve ever seen in fiction. She begins the series as someone who has fallen out of love with music and struggles to find her motivation for it, and what I love is that throughout both seasons she slowly not only sees what makes those in the band want to play, but also she falls back in love with music and discovers why she loved it in the beginning.
While it was fun playing the shipping games as the series went on (I’m a personal fan of Kumirei but thats neither here nor there) I slowly discovered that that wasnt the true relationship this series was developing, oh sure it was there but once I saw the final episode the major arc Kumiko went through finally was clear. It was about reconnecting with her sister through music and connecting with her Senior bandmate Asuka through her music. Kumiko’s love of music comes from her love of her sister and how she wanted to be part of her sisters world with her. And throughout the two seasons the sisters come to terms with their relationship and Kumiko realizes she idolized her sisters music and as she said in the penultimate episode “I love the eupho because of you”. Fully showing that she remembers what made music so special to her.
This perfectly translates to her relationship with Asuka, Asuka at first glance comes across as a cold hearted person who puts walls up to everyone. However, as the series goes on its not through words that Asuka’s emotions reach Kumiko, it’s through the music played on the eupho that they share, and as Asuka finally opens up to Kumiko, their able to express their feelings of admiration through each other through nothing but song. The final scene of the series sells this fully, as Kumiko admits she went from hating Asuka to loving her and having trouble figuring what shell do without her in the band to play with. Asuka simply gives her the notebook with the very song Kumiko was intrenched by and said “see you later”. Now I would personally love to take this scene as Asuka confirming these two will meet again and never truly be gone from eachothers lives, but also I think that through the music they share, Kumiko will never have to say goodbye to Asuka, and will be able to pass on these feelings to her underclassmen one day.
Ultimately Kumiko realizes her love for playing lies in the emotions music can convey and bring to people, and the song that helps her discover this, its literally named “Sound, Euphonium” thus helping us see that this was what the whole show was about, exploring how we as people find our motivation not just in music, but in any pursuit we have and that its those feelings that help define our relationships with others.
Kumiko comes out of this series not a perfect star player, but as one who understands why it is she plays and loves what she does, and to me that is one of the greatest arcs a show has ever given a character and it is one I won’t soon be forgetting
And so comes to an end possibly the greatest story arc I’ve ever seen. Not only did it meet the hype of the build up of the series so far, it also set up a ton of new things to look forward to from now on, with the development of Takasugi and Kamui, the Tendoshu as well as the ending, which by the way left me emotionally devastated.
When I realized how Sorachi was going to tie the first and last scenes of the arc together I just broke down.
anyone who has spent five seconds around me ever:
yes, you love Zuko, we know, you love Zuko so much, you think that he's one of the greatest characters ever, and that his character arc is flawless and ingenious, and you wish that you could meet Dante Basco, and hug him and annoy him talking about your fav Zuko moments, ok we know, we get it. YOU LOVE ZUKO. WE GET IT!
Okay, since both @happierstill and @calliopecookiejar tagged me in this, I’m to list four things I’d like to see happen in The Final Problem. In no particular order, then:
1. I want Mary to be confirmed as absolutely evil, aka in the way that they actually characterised her already. I want her to be one of the nurses administering the memory loss drug and to be working with Moriarty behind the scenes all along. I want all notions of this sugar-coated OOC Mary Sue from TST and whatnot to be absolutely, unarguably abolished and Mary laid bare as the selfish person who kills people for money that she was written as. I’ve written the equivalent of a doctoral thesis on what’s wrong with Mary: a coward who has only her own interests at heart and puts herself above literally everyone, including her husband, her child, her teammates, the maid of honour and best man at her wedding, and God even knows who else. She’s a nasty, disgusting piece of work as a human and I just want them to stop trying so damned hard to make us like her. Just follow through on what you’ve already written, Moftiss. No take-backs, ok? Just commit to the villain you created.
2. a) I want canon Johnlock, of course. I’ve been open enough over the past three years about not expecting to see it, but of course I want that desperately. If only a glimpse: some reference to the fact that they’re decidedly in a romantic relationship till death do they part, something unarguably non-platonic. A kiss on the cheek. Holding hands as they walk something. I’m not asking them to give us hot, panting sex in the front corridor. Just… something. At the very least, I want them to have John living at Baker Street again by the end, without irreparable damage having been done to their friendship. That’s the very least they owe us after the fiasco of TST and TLD! Or basically everything since John went back to Mary. Come on: this show is about these two men and their relationship. That’s the heart of it. I want to see them both choose each other over and above anyone else, irrevocably. That really isn’t too much to ask. This is, at the very least, the greatest friendship between two men ever written. It follows the natural arc of what the creators have written to make it a romance. It follows everything logical that they’ve done so far. I just hope they’ll have the balls to actually do it. That’s the only place where I’ve ever had a shred of doubt. I’ve always, always been open to being wrong - frankly hoped that I was! But Sunday will tell us for sure.
b) That said, I need the beating in the hospital to be addressed. Seriously addressed. Moftiss have a habit of glossing over things that have a real need to be resolved, and this just can’t be ignored.
3. I want the baby dealt with humanely. Which is to say that I want the baby gone. It was a mistake to put a baby on this show. She’s cute, but she doesn’t fit. I personally don’t care for parentlock, am not interested in stories about children, and she doesn’t fit with Sherlock and John’s lifestyle. They should have never written a baby into it, and given that they did, they should have made it a fake pregnancy. They didn’t, though, and now it’s hugely problematic because John’s heart is enmeshed with this little life, and it’s more than a couple of weeks - she’s 6 or 7 months old, and that’s huge. It’s really, really shitty. The best thing we can hope for now is that she was never John’s in the first place. Even so, any exit for the baby now will be horrifically sad. Maybe Mary isn’t really dead and she’s the one who will kidnap her from Molly. Maybe Eurus will do something awful to the baby. I won’t like the pain, but I also just want the baby gone. (Sorry.)
4. I want Moriarty and Irene Adler off this show permanently. Yes, Moriarty is still by far the best villain they’ve ever had, but OMG LET IT GO. IT’S OVER. Ditto for Irene, whom I never liked. She’s just so damned SMUG. Also, she’s a traitor who works for a terrorist and sold out her country and the man she was supposedly in love with (despite being canonically gay, GIANT EYEROLL, MOFFAT) and she’s just not a good person???? Again, STOP MILKING IT, MOFFAT. LET IT DIE. And with it, any and all hints that Sherlock is somehow, despite being the gayest gay to have ever gayed in the history of gaiety, in love with her. Fuck right off with that, Moffat. Seriously.
5. You get a bonus, sorry. I want them to quit with the drugs thing. Seriously. It was bloody recreational in ACD canon, not a crippling, constantly life-threatening addiction that explains away everything that makes Sherlock Holmes brilliant and special and capable of tremendously phenomenal things. I’m so over it. Just stop.
This scene proves that he’s been broken in this arc. The smile he gives… He feels he can’t afford to fight beside people he cares about anymore, bc he’s seen a worst-case-scenario of what can come from that, felt pain, felt friends’ pain that he couldn’t relieve and/or was causing… No matter what happens in the end of this arc, it’s going to leave a big scar in his ability to feel passion. He’s seen the dark side; he’s going to be scarred, and not only that but he’s yet to find out that this arc ends with what is the greatest use of symbolism I’ve ever seen in pokespe. Stay tuned.
OMG Kylo Ren and Zuko are basically the same!!!!
Ok other than the slight temper tantrums (only found in one book out of all three??) they are literally not the same?? Zuko only did "evil" because he wanted his father's acceptance and forgiveness?? He would never kill any civilian and even when the opportunity to end his father's life arose he consciously decided not to because he knew that it was not his decision to make?? He was wise enough to realize his father's and fore father's mistakes and actively tried to correct them?? He dedicated his life to restoring balance and ENDING WHAT HIS FATHER STARTED??? LIKE YOU'RE GOING TO COMPARE A PSYCHOTIC WANNABE SITH LORD TO THE BOY WITH ONE OF THE GREATEST REDEMPTION ARCS EVER WRITTEN BECAUSE HE HAD A TANTRUM ONCE AND MADE A CANDLE FLAME GO FOOOOOOSH?????
Just one more thing I wanna clarify then I’ll go back to drawing characters XD There’s a difference between character arcs and character personalities. I believe character arcs are important but I think having a character with a strong personality is way more important. You should be able to take them out of the context of their show and they should still be interesting.