this has to be one of my favorite scenes in the entire series

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.”

A Most Important Scene From Voltron Season 3

So… there’s something about this entire scene that’s had me pondering it all morning. Now, despite my writing tendencies or even which characters I would like to see together, most people who know me understand that while I write and post certain things, how I actually view the canon is separate. Like, I don’t watch Voltron for shipping and what characters do and don’t end up together is not why I’m into it. I’m very realistic about potential ships and do my best not to let shipping goggles cloud my judgement. After all, I may like to create, but I also analyze. And anyone worth their socks in literary/media analysis knows that it’s about looking at what you’re given and not what you want to see (what we want to see gets into headcanon/prediction territory, which can be backed by analysis, but they aren’t the same thing). In other words, me fangirling about a ship and me looking critically at a piece of media are two very separate things. 

Therefore, this scene has left me in rather a… curious sort of hesitance? Because I find it hard to believe that I’m coming to the conclusions that I am? 

First and foremost, I’m glad that Lance and Keith are working together better and trusting one another enough to go to the other about their problems. I don’t care who you ship with who, it’s good character development for them when we look back at where they started and does nothing but help the team. Keith admitted his faults to Lance when he pushed the team too hard and Lance went to Keith when he was insecure. These are not small steps for these boys and I’m glad they’re finally becoming better friends. And that’s honestly all I thought I was going to take away from this season, if I even got that far. 

Until I saw this part of this scene specifically (I’ma use this screenshot a lot, lol) -

 - First of all, I want to look at how these frames with Keith are laid out. Keith is in the center of the frame the whole time, his posture is open, his expression is friendly, his smile is sincere. He is lacking in weapons or anything typically considered threatening. But what is probably most important is that we’re not just seeing Keith from Lance’s point of view, we’re seeing him through Lance’s eyes.  

There is a difference. For example, in these scenes - 

- we’re seeing Allura from Lance’s POV, but not through his own eyes. This is a very common type of shot when two people are having a conversation or even when multiple people are in the room. It’s like getting a third person description of what’s happening with weight on a certain character’s perspective. Sometimes it’s not even that far and it’s just convenient to look over this character’s shoulder. Versus when we get a more first person perspective when we see a character through another character’s eyes.  

We also get shots like this in this same scene - 

- This shot comes in concurrence with the one previously and can still be considered as coming from Lance’s perspective. So what’s the difference between this shot and the one of Keith? This shot is up close–it’s focused on Allura’s expression and what she’s saying. She’s also not completely centered, but balanced in the frame for the viewer, not Lance’s perspective. Lance is listening to her, not admiring her in any way, shape, or form. In fact, despite Lance’s general attempts at constantly flirting with Allura, he is not looking at her at all in this scene as a potential romantic interest. This entire scene is focused on what they’re saying and what that means. Not any kind of attraction between them. 

Which is what struck me as so odd about the way we see Keith through Lance’s eyes in episode 6. When a character is being admired by another character, getting a shot through their eyes of their subject from the waist up, or thighs up, or knees up, etc, is a very common way of displaying that admiration in a visual sense. It’s already clear from this scene that Lance views Keith as the new leader - 

- So even if Lance takes issue with some of the things Keith does, he–at the very least–begrudgingly accepts Keith’s position and is doing everything in his power to support him (as most of season 3 is evidence of). Which is why these frames - 

- took me so far aback. Honestly, I was much more expecting this kind of scene to be displayed from Lance’s eyes when his and Allura’s development took place. I even went back during their critical conversation to look for it. But there isn’t anything similar. Lance clearly respects Allura, but he didn’t “waver” in looking at her so as to imply a different kind of admiration. 

Another character that gets this treatment a lot? Shiro. Shiro is their leader. Shiro is their security. Shiro is oftentimes framed in this manner when the other paladins are listening to him. But usually it’s a group shot, and even if there are scenes with him and one other (maybe with Keith? I’m not going back to watch the whole series), his body language and expression are not so soft. There could probably be some shots of Shiro looking less severe when he speaks to Keith, but I never remember being this struck by a scene with Shiro that didn’t feel like anything more that admiration because he’s their leader and/or idol and/or older brother figure (this goes for Pidge as much as Keith). Just as I’ve never seen anything to blatantly support Klance before. Like, I’m not playing favorites here.  

The point I’m trying to make is that, in seeing Keith through Lance’s eyes in this scene, we’re gleaning a LOT about how Lance views Keith. Not only is he listening to Keith, but we’re seeing Keith as more than just a face with words. It would have been easy to frame this scene like this -  

- I mean, even this is still… But the point is, there were a lot of ways to frame this that didn’t have Lance giving Keith that “admiring” look that is oftentimes used in movies and animation. At this point, Keith is the center of Lance’s entire focus. The rest of the room is bare, Keith is what stands out most. But it’s not just his words or what he’s saying, it’s his entire person. It’s his body, his words, his posture, where he’s standing in the room. 

And then we get to his expression. This is so important. They could have given Keith more attitude, they could have had him lean back on one leg and cross his arms. They could have done LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE to suggest that Lance was merely admiring Keith as a leader and friend, but they didn’t. They kept his posture open. They kept him still and centered in the frame. And they gave him the softest mother fucking smile that Keith has probably displayed in the entire goddamn show. And I don’t mean to say that he hasn’t given those small, soft smiles, because he has, but this one has teeth and is still soft. EVERYTHING about this frame is soft. 

And this is HOW LANCE is seeing Keith. We have the distance from where Lance is standing in the doorway to Keith to support this, as well as how he looks following, which implies that we were seeing Keith through him - 

- He’s looking over his shoulder, continuing the line of sight we the viewers were just privy to. And he reflects the same softness he has just seen in Keith. 

For fucks sake, all we need is an edit of that frame of Keith with a soft white background and some sparkles and we’re all fucking set! This frame - 

- was coded to be romantic. This is Lance not only admiring Keith, but seeing him in a “different” light. I mean, look at Keith’s hair for crying- UGH! Just add some wind and a few flower petals and- just- HOLY FUCK, LANCE! OGLE HIM SOME MORE WHY DON’T YOU! I don’t know if Keith is really this beautiful or not BUT YOU’RE DOING A GOOD JOB OF MAKING IT SEEM LIKE HE’S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CREATURE YOU’VE EVER SEEN, LANCE!

Seriously, this is probably one of the most sincerely romantic frames we’ve gotten in the entire series. It’s also quite bittersweet. And, like, even if Lance isn’t aware that he’s looking at Keith like this, we are! We’re literally watching Lance form feelings for Keith through his own goddamn eyes. Ugh, gag me. 

I am disgusted. 

Originally posted by my-harry-potter-generation

Adding to canon is not the same thing as destroying canon

At San Diego Comic Con, we learned that Sonequa Martin-Green’s character, Michael Burnham, is Sarek’s adoptive daughter. The second I heard the news, all I could think was, “Let the hate begin.” And boy, did it ever.

I understand the disappointment, particularly with fan fic writers who invested a lot of time and effort into crafting stories that fit neatly into canon. Amazing how one sound bite can bulldoze right through decades of widely accepted fanon, huh?

Keep reading

Dead Fandoms, Part 3

Read Part One of Dead Fandoms here. 

Read Part Two of Dead Fandoms here. 

Before we continue, I want to add the usual caveat that I actually don’t want to be right about these fandoms being dead. I like enthusiasm and energy and it’s a shame to see it vanish.


Mists of Avalon

Remember that period of time of about 15 years, where absolutely everybody read this book and was obsessed with it? It could not have been bigger, and the fandom was Anne Rice huge, overlapping for several years with USENET and the early World Wide Web…but it’s since petered out. 

Mists of Avalon’s popularity may be due to the most excellent case of hitting a demographic sweet spot ever. The book was a feminist retelling of the Arthurian Mythos where Morgan Le Fay is the main character, a pagan from matriarchal goddess religions who is fighting against encroaching Christianity and patriarchal forms of society coming in with it. Also, it made Lancelot bisexual and his conflict is how torn he is about his attraction to both Arthur and Guinevere.

Remember, this novel came out in 1983 – talk about being ahead of your time! If it came out today, the reaction from a certain corner would be something like “it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that tumblr is at it again.”

Man, demographically speaking, that’s called “nailing it.” It used to be one of the favorite books of the kind of person who’s bookshelf is dominated by fantasy novels about outspoken, fiery-tongued redheaded women, who dream of someday moving to Scotland, who love Enya music and Kate Bush, who sell homemade needlepoint stuff on etsy, who consider their religious beliefs neo-pagan or wicca, and who have like 15 cats, three of which are named Isis, Hypatia, and Morrigan.

This type of person is still with us, so why did this novel fade in popularity? There’s actually a single hideous reason: after her death around 2001, facts came out that Marion Zimmer Bradley abused her daughters sexually. Even when she was alive, she was known for defending and enabling a known child abuser, her husband, Walter Breen. To say people see your work differently after something like this is an understatement – especially if your identity is built around being a progressive and feminist author.


Robotech

I try to break up my sections on dead fandoms into three parts: first, I explain the property, then explain why it found a devoted audience, and finally, I explain why that fan devotion and community went away. Well, in the case of Robotech, I can do all three with a single sentence: it was the first boy pilot/giant robot Japanimation series that shot for an older, teenage audience to be widely released in the West. Robotech found an audience when it was the only true anime to be widely available, and lost it when became just another import anime show. In the days of Crunchyroll, it’s really hard to explain what made Robotech so special, because it means describing a different world.

Try to imagine what it was like in 1986 for Japanime fans: there were barely any video imports, and if you wanted a series, you usually had to trade tapes at your local basement club (they were so precious they couldn’t even be sold, only traded). If you were lucky, you were given a script to translate what you were watching. Robotech though, was on every day, usually after school. You want an action figure? Well, you could buy a Robotech Valkyrie or a Minmei figure at your local corner FAO Schwartz. 

However, the very strategy that led to it getting syndicated is the very reason it was later vilified by the purists who emerged when anime became a widespread cultural force: strictly speaking, there actually is no show called “Robotech.” Since Japanese shows tend to be short run, say, 50-60 episodes, it fell well under the 80-100 episode mark needed for syndication in the US. The producer of Harmony Gold, Carl Macek, had a solution: he’d cut three unrelated but similar looking series together into one, called “Robotech.” The shows looked very similar, had similar love triangles, used similar tropes, and even had little references to each other, so the fit was natural. It led to Robotech becoming a weekday afternoon staple with a strong fandom who called themselves “Protoculture Addicts.” There were conventions entirely devoted to Robotech. The supposed shower scene where Minmei was bare-breasted was the barely whispered stuff of pervert legend in pre-internet days. And the tie in novels, written with the entirely western/Harmony Gold conception of the series and which continued the story, were actually surprisingly readable.

The final nail in the coffin of Robotech fandom was the rise of Sailor Moon, Toonami, Dragonball, and yes, Pokemon (like MC Hammer’s role in popularizing hip hop, Pokemon is often written out of its role in creating an audience for the next wave of cartoon imports out of insecurity). Anime popularity in the West can be defined as not a continuing unbroken chain like scifi book fandom is, but as an unrelated series of waves, like multiple ancient ruins buried on top of each other (Robotech was the vanguard of the third wave, as Anime historians reckon); Robotech’s wave was subsumed by the next, which had different priorities and different “core texts.” Pikachu did what the Zentraedi and Invid couldn’t do: they destroyed the SDF-1.


Legion of Super-Heroes

Legion of Superheroes was comic set in the distant future that combined superheroes with space opera, with a visual aesthetic that can best be described as “Star Trek: the Motion Picture, if it was set in a disco.” 

I’ve heard wrestling described as “a soap opera for men.” If that’s the case, then Legion of Super-Heroes was a soap opera for nerds. The book is about attractive 20-somethings who seem to hook up all the time. As a result, it had a large female fanbase, which, I cannot stress enough, is incredibly unusual for this era in comics history. And if you have female fans, you get a lot of shipping and slashfic, and lots of speculation over which of the boy characters in the series is gay. The fanon answer is Element Lad, because he wore magenta-pink and never had a girlfriend. (Can’t argue with bulletproof logic like that.) In other words, it was a 1970s-80s fandom that felt much more “modern” than the more right-brained, bloodless, often anal scifi fandoms that existed around the same time, where letters pages were just nitpicking science errors by model train and elevator enthusiasts.

Legion Headquarters seemed to be a rabbit fuck den built around a supercomputer and Danger Room. Cosmic Boy dressed like Tim Curry in Rocky Horror. There’s one member, Duo Damsel, who can turn into two people, a power that, in the words of Legion writer Jim Shooter, was “useful for weird sex…and not much else.”

LSH was popular because the fans were insanely horny. This is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the thirstiest fandom of all time.  You might think I’m overselling this, but I really think that’s an under-analyzed part of how some kinds of fiction build a devoted fanbase.  

For example, a big reason for the success of Mass Effect is that everyone has a favorite girl or boy, and you have the option to romance them. Likewise, everyone who was a fan of Legion remembers having a crush. Sardonic Ultra Boy for some reason was a favorite among gay male nerds (aka the Robert Conrad Effect). Tall, blonde, amazonian telepath Saturn Girl, maybe the first female team leader in comics history, is for the guys with backbone who prefer Veronica over Betty. Shrinking Violet was a cute Audrey Hepburn type. And don’t forget Shadow Lass, who was a blue skinned alien babe with pointed ears and is heavily implied to have an accent (she was Aayla Secura before Aayla Secura was Aayla Secura). Light Lass was commonly believed to be “coded lesbian” because of a short haircut and her relationships with men didn’t work out. The point is, it’s one thing to read about the adventures of a superteam, and it implies a totally different level of mental and emotional involvement to read the adventures of your imaginary girlfriend/boyfriend.  

Now, I should point out that of all the fandoms I’ve examined here, LSH was maybe the smallest. Legion was never a top seller, but it was a favorite of the most devoted of fans who kept it alive all through the seventies and eighties with an energy and intensity disproportionate to their actual numbers. My gosh, were LSH fans devoted! Interlac and Legion Outpost were two Legion fanzines that are some of the most famous fanzines in comics history.

If nerd culture fandoms were drugs, Star Wars would be alcohol, Doctor Who would be weed, but Legion of Super-Heroes would be injecting heroin directly into your eyeballs. Maybe it is because the Legionnaires were nerdy, too: they played Dungeons and Dragons in their off time (an escape, no doubt, from their humdrum, mundane lives as galaxy-rescuing superheroes). There were sometimes call outs to Monty Python. Basically, the whole thing had a feel like the dorkily earnest skits or filk-singing at a con. Legion felt like it’s own fan series, guest starring Patton Oswalt and Felicia Day.

It helped that the boundary between fandom and professional was incredibly porous. For instance, pro-artist Dave Cockrum did covers for Legion fanzines. Former Legion APA members Todd and Mary Biernbaum got a chance to actually write Legion, where, with the gusto of former slashfic writers given the keys to canon, their major contribution was a subplot that explicitly made Element Lad gay. Mike Grell, a professional artist who got paid to work on the series, did vaguely porno-ish fan art. Again, it’s hard to tell where the pros started and the fandom ended; the inmates were running the asylum.

Mostly, Legion earned this devotion because it could reward it in a way no other comic could. Because Legion was not a wide market comic but was bought by a core audience, after a point, there were no self-contained one-and-done Legion stories. In fact, there weren’t even really arcs as we know it, which is why Legion always has problems getting reprinted in trade form. Legion was plotted like a daytime soap opera: there were always five different stories going on in every issue, and a comic involved cutting between them. Sure, like daytime soap operas, there’s never a beginning, just endless middles, so it was totally impossible for a newbie to jump on board…but soap operas know what they are doing: long term storytelling rewards a long term reader.

This brings me to today, where Legion is no longer being published by DC. There is no discussion about a movie or TV revival. This is amazing. Comics are a world where the tiniest nerd groups get pandered to: Micronauts, Weirdworld, Seeker 3000, and Rom have had revival series, for pete’s sake. It’s incredible there’s no discussion of a film or TV treatment, either; friggin Cyborg from New Teen Titans is getting a solo movie. 

Why did Legion stop being such a big deal? Where did the fandom that supported it dissolve to? One word: X-Men. Legion was incredibly ahead of its time. In the 60s and 70s, there were barely any “fan” comics, since superhero comics were like animation is today: mostly aimed at kids, with a minority of discerning adult/teen fans, and it was success among kids, not fans, that led to something being a top seller (hence, “fan favorites” in the 1970s, as surprising as it is to us today, often did not get a lot of work, like Don MacGregor or Barry Smith). But as newsstands started to push comics out, the fan audience started to get bigger and more important…everyone else started to catch up to the things that made Legion unique: most comics started to have attractive people who paired up into couples and/or love triangles, and featured extremely byzantine long term storytelling. If Legion of Super-Heroes is going to be remembered for anything, it’s for being the smaller scale “John the Baptist” to the phenomenon of X-Men, the ultimate “fan” comic.

The other thing that killed Legion, apart from Marvel’s Merry Mutants, that is, was the r-word: reboots. A reboot only works for some properties, but not others. You reboot something when you want to find something for a mass audience to respond to, like with Zorro, Batman, or Godzilla.

Legion, though, was not a comic for everybody, it was a fanboy/girl comic beloved by a niche who read it for continuing stories and minutiae (and to jack off, and in some cases, jill off). Rebooting a comic like that is a bad idea. You do not reboot something where the main way you engage with the property, the greatest strength, is the accumulated lore and history. Rebooting a property like that means losing the reason people like it, and unless it’s something with a wide audience, you only lose fans and won’t get anything in return for it. So for something like Legion (small fandom obsessed with long form plots and details, but unlike Trek, no name recognition) a reboot is the ultimate Achilles heel that shatters everything, a self-destruct button they kept hitting over and over and over until there was nothing at all left.


E. E. Smith’s Lensman Novels

The Lensman series is like Gil Evans’s jazz: it’s your grandparents’ favorite thing that you’ve never heard of. 

I mean, have you ever wondered exactly what scifi fandom talked about before the rise of the major core texts and cultural objects (Star Trek, Asimov, etc)? Well, it was this. Lensmen was the subject of fanfiction mailed in manilla envelopes during the 30s, 40s, and 50s (some of which are still around). If you’re from Boston, you might recognize that the two biggest and oldest scifi cons there going back to the 1940s, Boskone (Boscon, get it?) and Arisia, are references to the Lensman series. This series not only created space opera as we know it, but contributed two of the biggest visuals in scifi, the interstellar police drawn from different alien species, and space marines in power armor.

My favorite sign of how big this series was and how fans responded to it, was a great wedding held at Worldcon that duplicated Kimball Kinnison and Clarissa’s wedding on Klovia. This is adorable:

The basic story is pure good vs. evil: galactic civilization faces a crime and piracy wave of unprecedented proportions from technologically advanced pirates (the memory of Prohibition, where criminals had superior firearms and faster cars than the cops, was strong by the mid-1930s). A young officer, Kimball Kinnison (who speaks in a Stan Lee esque style of dialogue known as “mid-century American wiseass”), graduates the academy and is granted a Lens, an object from an ancient mystery civilization, who’s true purpose is unknown.

Lensman Kinnison discovers that the “crime wave” is actually a hostile invasion and assault by a totally alien culture that is based on hierarchy, intolerant of failure, and at the highest level, is ruled by horrifying nightmare things that breathe freezing poison gases. Along the way, he picks up allies, like van Buskirk, a variant human space marine from a heavy gravity planet who can do a standing jump of 20 feet in full space armor, Worsel, a telepathic dragon warrior scientist with the technical improvisation skills of MacGyver (who reads like the most sadistically minmaxed munchkinized RPG character of all time), and Nandreck, a psychologist from a Pluto-like planet of selfish cowards.

The scale of the conflict starts small, just skirmishes with pirates, but explodes to near apocalyptic dimensions. This series has space battles with millions of starships emerging from hyperspacial tubes to attack the ultragood Arisians, homeworld of the first intelligent race in the cosmos. By the end of the fourth book, there are mind battles where the reflected and parried mental beams leave hundreds of innocent bystanders dead. In the meantime we get evil Black Lensmen, the Hell Hole in Space, and superweapons like the Negasphere and the Sunbeam, where an entire solar system was turned into a vacuum tube.

It’s not hard to understand why Lensmen faded in importance. While the alien Lensmen had lively psychologies, Lensman Kimball Kinnison was not an interesting person, and that’s a problem when scifi starts to become more about characterization. The Lensman books, with their love of police and their sexism (it is an explicit plot point that the Lens is incompatible with female minds – in canon there are no female Lensmen) led to it being judged harshly by the New Wave writers of the 1960s, who viewed it all as borderline fascist military-scifi establishment hokum, and the reputation of the series never recovered from the spirit of that decade.


Prisoner of Zenda

Prisoner of Zenda is a novel about a roguish con-man who visits a postage-stamp, charmingly picturesque Central European kingdom with storybook castles, where he finds he looks just like the local king and is forced to pose as him in palace intrigues. It’s a swashbuckling story about mistaken identity, swordfighting, and intrigue, one part swashbuckler and one part dark political thriller.

The popularity of this book predates organized fandom as we know it, so I wonder if “fandom” is even the right word to use. All the same, it inspired fanatical dedication from readers. There was such a popular hunger for it that an entire library could be filled with nothing but rip-offs of Prisoner of Zenda. If you have a favorite writer who was active between 1900-1950, I guarantee he probably wrote at least one Prisoner of Zenda rip-off (which is nearly always the least-read book in his oeuvre). The only novel in the 20th Century that inspired more imitators was Sherlock Holmes. Robert Heinlein and Edmond “Planet Smasher” Hamilton wrote scifi updates of Prisoner of Zenda. Doctor Who lifted the plot wholesale for the Tom Baker era episode, “Androids of Tara,” Futurama did this exact plot too, and even Marvel Comics has its own copy of Ruritania, Doctor Doom’s Kingdom of Latveria. Even as late as the 1980s, every kids’ cartoon did a “Prisoner of Zenda” episode, one of the stock plots alongside “everyone gets hit by a shrink ray” and the Christmas Carol episode.

Prisoner of Zenda imitators were so numerous, that they even have their own Library of Congress sub-heading, of “Ruritanian Romance.” 

One major reason that Prisoner of Zenda fandom died off is that, between World War I and World War II, there was a brutal lack of sympathy for anything that seemed slightly German, and it seems the incredibly Central European Prisoner of Zenda was a casualty of this. Far and away, the largest immigrant group in the United States through the entire 19th Century were Germans, who were more numerous than Irish or Italians. There were entire cities in the Midwest that were two-thirds German-born or German-descent, who met in Biergartens and German community centers that now no longer exist.

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a lot about how the German-American world he grew up in vanished because of the prejudice of the World Wars, and that disappearance was so extensive that it was retroactive, like someone did a DC comic-style continuity reboot where it all never happened: Germans, despite being the largest immigrant group in US history, are left out of the immigrant story. The “Little Bohemias” and “Little Berlins” that were once everywhere no longer exist. There is no holiday dedicated to people of German ancestry in the US, the way the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day or Italians have Columbus Day (there is Von Steuben’s Day, dedicated to a general who fought with George Washington, but it’s a strictly Midwest thing most people outside the region have never heard of, like Sweetest Day). If you’re reading this and you’re an academic, and you’re not sure what to do your dissertation on, try writing about the German-American immigrant world of the 19th and 20th Centuries, because it’s a criminally under-researched topic.


A. Merritt

Pop quiz: who was the most popular and influential fantasy author during the 1930s and 40s? 

If you answered Tolkien or Robert E. Howard, you’re wrong - it was actually Abraham Merritt. He was the most popular writer of his age of the kind of fiction he did, and he’s since been mostly forgotten. Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, has said that A. Merritt was his favorite fantasy and horror novelist.

Why did A. Merritt and his fandom go away, when at one point, he was THE fantasy author? Well, obviously one big answer was the 1960s counterculture, which brought different writers like Tolkien and Lovecraft to the forefront (by modern standards Lovecraft isn’t a fantasy author, but he was produced by the same early century genre-fluid effluvium that produced Merritt and the rest). The other answer is that A. Merritt was so totally a product of the weird occult speculation of his age that it’s hard to even imagine him clicking with audiences in other eras. His work is based on fringe weirdness that appealed to early 20th Century spiritualism and made sense at the time: reincarnation, racial memory, an obsession with lost race stories and the stone age, and weirdness like the 1920s belief that the Polar Arctic is the ancestral home of the Caucasian race. In other words, it’s impossible to explain Merritt without a ton of sentences that start with “well, people in the 1920s thought that…” That’s not a good sign when it comes to his universality. 


That’s it for now. Do you have any suggestions on a dead fandom, or do you keep one of these “dead” fandoms alive in your heart?

GOT7 Introduction Post

ALRIGHT. You requested, I have written! In honor of the upcoming THOT7 comeback - may our souls be stolen and wallets be emptied.

Member by Member introduction, from oldest to youngest.


Mark Tuan, stage name: Mark. ‘93 line, rapper. Also in charge of acrobatics / fly boy stunts. From LA, USA. Quiet, very intelligent. ISTJ personality. The only one who can pull the hyung card on Jaebum and BOY, WHEN HE DOES. Sometimes pegged as the ‘bad boy’ but lol. Mark’s laugh cures evil and creates butterflies. Deep ass rap, will make you shake in your boots. I know you want me, so stop fronting.

Originally posted by marksonislovely


Im Jaebum, stage name: JB. ‘94 line, vocal and leader. Korean. Also writes / releases music under Def (used to be Def Soul, soundcloud here). A tsundere hoe, to quote myself. INFJ personality. Very intelligent, typically takes a more subdued role in the group but DAMN, MEMEBUM. Don’t let the rude exterior fool you, Jaebum is a straight up meme. There are hours of footage on Youtube to prove it. Owns like, a billion cats and they all sleep in his room. OG cat is Nora. 

Originally posted by marksmami


Jackson Wang, stage name: Jackson. (Chinese name, Wang Jia Er). From Hong Kong, China. ‘94 line, rapper. ENFJ personality. Was a nationally ranked / world class fencer until he was 17. Convinced his parents to let him audition for JYP, moved to Korea and followed his dreams of music. Speaks English, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese and Shanghainese. Jackson is pure sunshine in addition to being the most extra variety star in existence. Will do a forward flip every chance he can. Is a gigantic mama’s boy. Would never hurt a fly.

Originally posted by vulcanide


Park Jinyoung, stage name: Jinyoung (IF YOU CALL HIM JR OR JUNIOR, HE WILL FITE U). ‘94 line, vocal and dancer. ISFJ personality. Korean. Before debuting as part of GOT7, debuted in a duo with Jaebum called JJ Project. Tied with Jaebum for first place at 2009 JYP auditions. Has melodious, beautiful falsetto. Is an actor, appeared in multiple web dramas and was the young main for Legend of the Blue Sea, in addition to the lead in the independent film, Nunbal. Writes fucking bops. Is basically good at everything, the boy to bring home to your parents. Also the man who may take over the world. Idk. I’m not biased.

Originally posted by park9495


Choi Youngjae, stage name: Youngjae. ‘96 line, main vocal. ISFJ personality. Korean. Only trained for 7 months before debut, POWERHOUSE vocal. Composes under the name of Ars. Often compared to an otter bc SMILEY and ADORABLE and just actual sunshine. Anyone who hurts Youngjae answers to Jaebum. Hates cucumbers. Co-owns a puppy named Coco with Mark. Constantly damaging Jackson’s hearing with his yelling.

Originally posted by jypnior


Bambam, stage name: Bambam. ‘97 line, rapper. ESTJ personality. From Thailand, trained with JYP for three and a half years. Legal Thai name is Kunpimook Bhuwakul but is rarely used except in legal circumstances. Bambam is his name lol. ANYWAYS. Bambam has rapidly switched from adorable maknae line to fly-ass fashion mogul. Loves memes, all things pop culture and fashion. Speaks Thai, Korean and English. Loves to interact with fans, especially through Twitter. Constantly calling fans girlfriends at fanmeets, WILL DAB WHENEVER HE WANTS TO DAB.

Originally posted by jeonjuly


Kim Yugyeom, stage name: Yugyeom. ‘97 line, singer and main dancer. INFP personality. Korean. Maknae. Main dancer in GOT7, performed twice on Hit the Stage and won first place the second time. Like Bambam, has transformed from adorable maknae to champion of sexy dance. Yugyeom is coming for us all. Is quiet and sweet but also loves to troll hyung line. Specifically Jinyoung and Jaebum. Is the biggest JJ Project fan in the world. One day, Jinyoung might actually kill him. 

Originally posted by magiccastles

MORE UNDER THE CUT.

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Thor: Ragnarok Impressions

I really liked Thor: Ragnarok. I’ll put my cards on the table: I am probably going to like movies in this shared Marvel universe more than the average bear. It seems that the more pissed I get at Marvel as a whole (a long story), the better their movies get. 2017 dropped three of my favorites, as well as a non-MCU bonus in the form of Logan. I’m a happy nerd.

I also don’t really want to go over the high points again. Every nerd and critic has already done that. So instead, I decided to share a handful of entirely personal thoughts I had about the movie during and after. Here goes.

Chris Hemsworth did not just become funny
Inexplicably, I’ve heard a lot of chatter that Thor is finally funny in Ragnarok. I’m wondering where these people have been for the rest of the films, or for Chris Hemsworth’s career. Thor has been the most comedically versatile regular character in the MCU for a while. Yes, more so than Iron Man, who rarely veers from his arrogant-playboy routine, and more so than Cap, who relies on his man-out-of-time shtick for laughs. He’s even funnier than any of the Guardians. All of those characters are entertaining and play off each other well, but Hemsworth can do it all himself. He’s able to simultaneously make Thor a lovable lug and poke fun at his tough guy image. It isn’t that he becomes funny in Ragnarok, it’s that Taika Waititi takes off the cuffs and allows him free rein.

Did they just actually move Loki’s character forward?
NOTE: HUGE SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION
Tom Hiddleston has always been a gift to the MCU. For one thing, no two actors in the franchise play off each other as well as Hemsworth and Hiddleston. For another, he somehow makes the “Snake” character work. Most of the time, when someone continually changes sides (Miles Teller in the Divergent series, for instance), you wonder why the other characters don’t just off them and get it over with. By comparison, Marvel has done an excellent job over multiple directors of maintaining Loki’s character and relationship to Thor in ways that let us see why the God of Thunder keeps the God of Mischief around.
In this particular movie, Loki is literally given the task of destroying Asgard to stop Hela, and seems to have mended his relationship with his brother. But…did he take the Cosmic Cube at the end? Of course he did. Not only can I see no other way he could have gotten onto the ship to escape, but it actually makes sense. Otherwise, the Infinity Stone inside would have been left adrift at the site where the world it was known to be on just exploded, for anyone to amble along and pick up. That may not be Loki’s motivation, but Thanos did promise to hunt him down if he didn’t bring him the Cube. And according to descriptions of the unreleased Infinity War trailer shown at Disney’s D23 event, one scene pictures a kneeling Loki…handing Thanos the cube.
If you think Loki’s constant betrayals are getting old, there’s another wrinkle: perhaps he agreed to serve Thanos again in order to spare the survivors of Asgard.

The movie definitely delivered on the title
Going in, I did not expect the film would follow the comics, in which, last I read, Ragnarok really happened and Asgard as we knew it was destroyed. In fact, the movie followed that pretty closely, with the exception of Loki not being the one to initiate the apocalypse. Asgard is gone, and Thor is getting ready to re-home his people on earth, similar to the comics Thor. This seems like a pretty bold move for the movies, but really, the Thor series and character were too tethered to Asgard, in many ways. Ragnarok was obviously meant as a clear break with the dour and serious tone of the previous Thor movies, and severing the character’s ties to Asgard was a necessary step. Also, I know critics aren’t supposed to like final battles, but that one was pretty epic. I don’t recall a giant green monster fighting Fenrir in the original myths.

Throwing the cast together really works
There’s not much to elaborate on here. Tessa Thompson kicks major ass and is mercifully not set up much as a love interest. Loki and Thor work as well as they always do. The Hulk and Banner fit surprisingly well, with Mark Ruffalo playing off the proceeding as himself as well as he does when he’s CGi-ed up. Karl Urban seems to have had a lot of scenes cut behind those meaningful looks, but his role works fairly well. Idris Elba’s Heimdall finally gets more to do than stand there looking serious, and it’s about damn time. Several movies could easily be made out of this group. Even Benedict Cumberbatch’s brief appearance as Doctor Strange is fun. The only letdown is no appearance by Jamie Alexander’s Sif. It would have been great to see her and Valkyrie get into a drunken arm-wrestling match. I also need to mention that Thompson’s inclusion pisses off racists, which is awesome.

Marvel’s villains keep improving
I’ve never been on the all-Marvel’s-villains-suck bandwagon, but there’s no question 2017 has seen their best ones yet. The Vulture from Spider-Man still takes the prize, but Cate Blanchett’s Hela is deliciously dark, and Jeff Goldblum’s deliciously devious Grandmaster is a treat. It’s honestly hard for me to see how Thanos could top any of 2017’s baddies.

Taika Waititi!
He can do no wrong. Everybody run out and see Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows, right now. I wouldn’t whine if they had him back for the next film.

Theory on the Future Fate of the Blue Lion

 First off, if you haven’t seen the new reboot of Voltron or listened to the SDCC Voltron panel, let me warn you that this post will contain some spoilers so stop reading right now and go watch Voltron. 

Ready? Okay, here we go.

Now I know that ever since season one of Voltron has ended, the growing fandom of Voltron has been producing A LOT of theories of what season two will bring us. And the trailer for season two has only doubled the hype for the upcoming season and for the fan theories. 

The two theories that seem to dominate the Voltron tag are definitely the theory that Keith is either a Galra/Human hybrid or Galra/Altrean hybrid (seriously this theory has pretty much taken control over all Voltron art and fanfiction in the last few weeks) and the second theory is that Shiro will either by killed off like his forgotten 80′s Norwegian brother Sven (rest in peace dear Holgersson) or be captured for long period of time allowing Keith or Allura to take over the Black Lion. (Though this theory begs the question that is Keith has to lead Voltron and pilot the Black Lion to do so does that mean Lance will take over the Red and Allura pilot the Blue? Will Keith have to give Lance his precious red jacket? Will Lance grow a 80′s mullet too? This theory brings up so many questions)

Both these theories are awesome and have pumped up a lot of great material from the fandom so far and will probably continue to do so until season two comes around later this year.

However, there’s been a theory mulling around in my head for a while now and so far, I haven’t really seen any other fan pick up on it. And since I have no one to discuss this with, I’m going to lay it all out right here for you Voltron fandom!

As the title of this post suggest, this theory revolves around the Blue Lion which automatically means a lot of it is going to deal with this guy:


 Why so scared? Not every Voltron theory is filled with angst and- oh fuck, nevermind.

Yes, while the most fandom are biting their nails over the fates of poor alien Keith and the possible death/capture/brainwashing of Tadashi- oh nevermind that’s Sven- I mean Shiro- I’m sitting in my isolated corner of outlandish theories mentally preparing myself over the possible horrendous fate that could possibly await our favorite Blue Paladin.

But “Why?” you, anonymous tumblr user, will ask.What solid clue can be found in season one that could possibly hint that anything bad could happen to Lance and the Blue Lion in the coming seasons?

Well, simple. It all begins with this lines right here:

                 Foreshadowing or too much Film Theorists? Probably the former                                 but who cares, I’m finishing this post.

Even when I first watched the series the first time around, this line always stuck out to me. I know it’s supposed to lead to a snappy argument with Keith to lighten the area on the serious mood of the scene, but it still felt a bit odd.

Then I began to wonder if it might foreshadow to something coming later in the series. Many of the writers of the new Voltron reboot have written stuff for The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra- both series that have been known to plan ahead and leave foreshadowing to future events in small ways so I wouldn’t put it past the team of Voltron to do the same.

So, the question is, will Lance’s mind because fused with a giant ship in the future? Perhaps with with one…..

     Yeah, stop smiling Blue, this theory doesn’t really end well for you.

Of course, since Blue technically already has her own sentiment mind, this couldn’t work unless something were to happen to the Blue Lion that would make her lose the Quintessence, the life form, that allows her to be more than a plain machine….

….Something along the lines of Zarkon destroying one of the lions as a last ditch effort to prevent Voltron from ever being used against him. 

Because damn it if he can’t have his Voltron action figure than nobody should get the Voltron action figure.

But seriously, wouldn’t this be the best plan all together if everything else fails?Why waste all the time and resources trying to steal the lions when he can just destroy one of them and prevent the so-called ultimate weapon from being used against him in the first place? He was doing an okay job of conquering the universe without the Voltron for the last 10,000 years. 

But why the Blue Lion you of little faith ask? If that’s his last ditch plan, then he could destroy any of them to make it work.

Well you’re right- there is no solid evidence to support the idea that it would be the Blue Lion could be destroyed or permanently damaged if these theory plays out. 

But from a writer’s standpoint, if any of the Lions’ were to be killed or damaged, the one that would hit most with the audience probably be Blue.

Look at it this way- who was the lion that the main characters, and we as an audience first met?

                                             Love at first sight.

That’s right. It was Blue. And by all accords, she is the lion that we spend the most time with solo on screen. We get to see more of her personality and grow attached to her at the same time as the main characters to. She is the Lion we, as an audience, have the most emotional attachment to. If anything were to happen to the lions, it would hit the hardest if it happened to Blue. 

And you can bet that the writers did that on purpose.

              How dare they make me feel emotions for this giant robot cat.

So Zarkon destroys Blue to make forming Voltron impossible. Maybe he absorbs her quintessence to make himself more powerful just as he did with that one planet. So her mechanical body may still be somewhat intact, but her lifeform that makes her a living being is gone. She is a lifeless shell. But of course, Lance, her pilot, would share the same Quintessence as Blue. What if, as the ultimate sacrifice, Lance will give up his own Quintessence, his very life force, and fuse with the Blue Lion, thus in a way, becoming the Blue Lion himself?

                                        Oh look Blue! We’re a match!

But, you argue, could this be possible? Making an AI out of memories like with Alfor and the Castle Ship is one thing, but Lance literally becoming the next Blue Lion? Impossible! Nay! Nay!

Don’t worry, I’d be “naying” in disbelief with all of you if I hadn’t realized that we’ve been watching organic beings becoming sentient warships (aka the Robeasts) throughout the entire first season. Haggar and druids have doing this since the very beginning. For example:

This guy

became this asshole

And Haggar’s weird pet lizard

became a digimon I’m pretty sure

Based on this evidence, I’m pretty sure the Lions of Voltron probably all used to be actual organic beings at one point in time before becoming literal weapons to protect the universe.  Haggar and her druids probably rediscovered this same magic to create their own Voltron Lion wannabes.

But if this theory comes true and Lance does sacrifice himself to become the next Blue Lion, then the question is, who would be the next Blue Paladin?

The answer of course, for those who have watched the original series is….

                                Literally fuck anyone who just said Sven. 

Yes Princess Allura. Who else? Blue is literally one of the key colors that represents her in the series. And I don’t think it is just a coincidence that out of all the paladins it was Lance that Allura first saw when she woke up from her 10,000 year long sleep.

I’m going to ride you one day…And not in the way you’re thinking about, pervert.

You would think that the writers would have had Allura fall into Keith’s arms (who was her love interest in the past series) or maybe Shiro’s (since there seems to be some hinting of romance between them), but no, she falls into Lance’s arms, thus already starting the connection between future pilot and lion.

So there you have it folks! I’ve just tossed in my theory for what might happen in the future of the series. Of course, this is all just plain, fun speculation! And whether you agree with it or not, I’d love to hear what you think about it!

anonymous asked:

do you think sheith will be canon or at least heavily hinted in the series?

looking at it objectively, i’m going to say there’s a really high probability at this point. as good a chance as there being any romance for either keith or shiro at all. this is why:

their relationship has always been defined as the emotional heart of this series. we see no other relationship this strong, and this is consistently shown, from literally their first scene. we see keith set off explosions, take out an entire room of garrison operatives like they’re tissue paper, and then melt when he sees shiro:

it’s actually one of the biggest mysteries of the series so far. like here we have two totally independent, strong people that have this incredibly deep bond, and we have no idea how or why. it’s really a unique relationship no matter how you look at it. long, long meta under the cut:

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A Definitely Incomplete List Of My Favorite Moments From The Lightning Thief (book), because I'm having Feelings
  • Percy very causally mentioning times he accidentally hit a school bus with a canon or dropped fifth graders into shark-infested water
  • Grover Underwood
  • Just everything he’s ever done
  • Percy running an illegal candy ring out of his dorm room 
  • “I was worried they found out I got my essay on Tom Sawyer from the internet and were going to take away my grade. Or worse, they were going to make me read the book.”
  • When Percy thought Grover was going to give him some deep, meaningful commentary on life to make him feel better but Grover just wanted Percy’s lunch
  • Percy tried so hard to do well on his Latin final and Chiron somehow thinks it’s a good idea to tell him he’s ‘not normal’ in front of the class my poor boy
  • That one part where Percy essentially went “Oh hey mom’s home!!! Better reschedule this panic attack I was having!!” 
  • When Percy did that weird hand sign (that was never explained) and the door slammed on Gabe so hard he flew up the steps
  • The fact that when Grover finally tracked Percy down he wasn’t wearing any pants. Like, there was literally no reason for him to not have the fake feet and the jeans on. No actual reason for him to be free balling it. Percy just needed a shock apparently. Showing up in the middle of a hurricane with no pants, dramatic ass satyr I love him. 
  • The SATISFYING DEATH of Gabe’s Camaro + Sally apparently learned bullfighting just in case because she truly is the best mom
  • Percy killing the minotaur with its own horn
  • Percy dragging Grover over the camp line while crying for his mom literally end me
  • You drool when you sleep.” could we get more iconic here
  • Percy teasing Annabeth about her crush on Luke
  • When Luke stole some toiletries for Percy and he got a little choked up because it was apparently the nicest thing anyone had ever done for him
  • The fact that Chiron basically told Annabeth that Percy was her destiny
  • The fact that a recovering alcoholic god of wine who hates children was deemed fit to run a camp for children
  • Not so fun: Percy, upon meeting Mr. D, immediately recognizing the signs of an alcoholic and going out of his way to sit far away from him ‘just in case’
  • The fact that everyone just expected him to hear ‘the greek gods are real’ and move on?? why would no one let this boy be in shock omg
  • Zeus apparently had a thing for the fluffy 80′s hairstyles
  • “the real world is where the monsters are” 
  • The fact that Poseidon could have claimed Percy at literally any moment but he apparently decided he really needed that dramatic reveal during capture the flag.
  • When Zeus was feeling Extra Dramatic™ after Percy’s claiming so he started making it rain inside the camp boarders and everyone was lowkey freaking out
  • When Annabeth pulls off her invisible cap and declares she’s going on the quest with him and Percy was like, beyond unsurprised that she was there and didn’t even attempt to fight her 
  • Chiron forgot to give Percy a sword from his father for like, an entire month. 
  • Grover with those freaking flying shoes oh my God
  • Annabeth blushing literally any time Luke talks to her 
  • IN THIS HOUSE WE LOVE AND RESPECT ARGUS, HEAD OF CAMP SECURITY
  • lmao when Percy and Annabeth start bickering about something and Argus just winks at Percy because he knows
  • When they were playing hackey sack with an apple but it got too close to Grover’s mouth and he just ate the whole thing
  • The entire bus scene oh my God
  • “I was about to become the ADHD Poster Child of the Year” as he’s CRASHING A BUS
  • Annabeth on a fury’s back 
  • the explosion. just. all gr8. 
  • When Grover tries to play a path finder song and Percy just immediately slams into a tree. Also the fact that the path finder song was actually just a Hillary Duff number. 
  • “You two are giving me a migraine, and satyr’s don’t even get migraines!” 
  • Percy actually, truly trying to sell the story that the three of them are circus orphans who got separated from their ringleader 
  • Grover: hey guys this place is REALLY SHADY and we need to leave
  • Annabeth and Percy: but f o o d
  • Can you imagine walking into a store and finding your dead uncle’s body on display? Like????
  • When Medusa revealed herself and Annabeth’s running around invisible, Percy’s swinging a sword blindly and Grover’s flying around screaming and trying to whack her with a stick: everyone here is a MESS
  • When Annabeth was overly annoyed with Percy after that ordeal??? Sweetheart you fell for the trick too
  • Name something more iconic than 12 year old Percy Jackson mailing the decapitated head of Medusa to the gods on Mt. Olympus in an act of sheer pettiness. I dare you. 
  • When Percy was insisting on taking first watch while the others slept and Grover was basically like “hey kiddo listen to this” and played a song that immediately knocked him out so he could sleep all night 
  • “Percy. Say hello to the poodle.”
  • Percy seeing all the Greek creatures from the train window 
  • When Annabeth was dragging the boys to the St. Louis Arch and Percy’s claustrophobic ass Did Not Want To Get In That Tiny Elevator but he went anyway because he wanted Annabeth to be happy. That boy has had it bad since the start. 
  • “I am Echidna!”
  • “Isn’t…isn’t that a type of anteater?”
  • I HATE AUSTRALIA.” 
  • How many times has Percy actually been poisoned throughout all the series I literally want a count 
  • ‘Lemme just, uh….jump off the fucking St. Louis Arch and hope I don’t die when I hit the water.’
  • There is just something very aesthetic about Percy lighting a fire in the bottom of a river 
  • Percy’s got so much pent-up rage that he’s just immediately ready to wreck Ares upon meeting him omfg
  • THE THRILL RIDE O’ LOVE
  • Annabeth getting so worked up and flustered over going down there with Percy because it’s a love ride and Percy’s just like “you literally do not have to make this a Thing” lmao
  • Annabeth wouldn’t let Percy touch Aphrodite’s scarf because she didn’t want him getting infected by love magic but then…touched it herself lol
  • The entire sequence with the mechanical spiders and the cameras and the ride itself 
  • Percy’s plan to get off the ride!!!! He’s so smart okay can people stop calling him stupid!!! 
  • Grover trying to catch them both in mid-air but they‘re too heavy so the three of them just kind of slowly crash into one of those face-cut-out posters lol
  • Percy, turning to the camera’s broadcasting this shit on Olympus: “Show’s over! Thank You! Goodnight!” 
  • THE FUCKING ZOO BUS
  • Everything about that scene omg. The animals they had to help. Trying to convince Grover of how great he is. The baby percabeth. my h e a r t
  • “What if it does line up like the Trojan War? Athena versus Poseidon?”
  • “I don’t know what my mom will do. I just know I’ll be fighting next to you.”
  • “Why?”
  • “Because you’re my friend, Seaweed Brain, any more stupid questions?”
  • Do you hear that sound? That’s me, ages 13-21(+) sobbing uncontrollably oh my God I love them so much
  • ‘let’s just set a fucking lion loose in Las Vegas’ 
  • “I put a Blessing of the Wild on them, so they’ll safely find food and shelter wherever they go.”
  • “Why can’t you put on of those on us?”
  • “It only works on wild animals.”
  • “So it would only effect Percy…”
  • “HEY!” 
  • When they get to the Lotus hotel and Grover starts playing that game where the deer shoot the hunters azxjhnhdjx
  • Percy physically having to drag his friends out of there once he realized it was the lair of the lotus eaters
  • When Annabeth gave the taxi driver her lotus credit card and he started calling her “Your Highness” lmao
  • Every time in this book Percy comes close to uncovering a Dark Truth the people around him are just like “let’s not worry about that :) “ and my polite boy actually shuts up it’s so wild because I would just keep going lol
  • CRUSTY THE WATER BED SALESMAN 
  • Listen that entire scene has lowkey always been one of my Favs and I’m not even sure why but Percy chopping his head off was g r e a t
  • The entrance to the Underworld is DOA Recording Studios and I love it
  • “We, uh…all drowned in a bathtub.”
  • Poor Charon just wants his Italian suits he doesn’t need all this bullshit 
  • Grover almost getting dragged into Tartarus: not good. very bad. bad shit. 
  • Annabeth getting emotionally attached to Cerberus in the span of 3 minutes: RELATABLE 
  • ‘huh my backpack that I thought I got rid of five days ago is getting weirdly heavy, that’s not suspicious though, right?’ 
  • When Hades just starts monologue-ing about all the shit he has to put up with
  • “what kind of awful things do you have to do to get sewn into Hades underwear?” p e r c y
  • when Percy realizes the Master Bolt is in his backpack and he’s just like. tell me why. why. I’m a good person. what did I DO. 
  • When Percy has to sacrifice his mom to get Annabeth and Grover out of there I Cri Evey Tiem 
  • My cute lil’ baby yelling around on a beach to get Ares to show up 
  • ahdbsjznx when Grover gives Percy a crushed, half eaten tin can for good like and Percy is just like “Grover…I don’t know what to say.” I LOVE HIM
  • My sweet son kicking the god of war’s ass. bless. blessed on this day. 
  • The news crews who suddenly started backtracking and writing Percy as a hero 
  • Percy, choking back tears, giving Gabe’s store’s phone number out on national television and promising everyone free appliances IM STILL CACKLING I LOVE THIS BOY SO MUCH HE’S ICONIC 
  • Hades actually releasing Sally because he’s Not As Big Of A Dick As He Could Have Been 
  • Percy: hey I think there’s a really good chance that Kronos was behind this whole mess-
  • Zeus and Poseidon: XXX KRONOS DO NOT INTERACT XXX
  • Poseidon rolling his eyes at literally everything Zeus says and does
  • Poseidon and Percy’s whole talk omg my sweet boy just wants his dad to love him and Poseidon’s trying to figure out how to show affection when he basically signed this kid’s death sentence I’m crying 
  • A man will never satisfy me as much or in the same way as Sally Jackson murdering Gabe Ugliano did 
  • Percy was spending months of summer stressing over who the friend that’s supposed to betray him was but like…Sweetie you had exactly three (3) friends and you knew two of them weren’t gonna hurt you
  • ahbdjsnx when Percy and Luke were having their conversation in the woods and like Luke’s acting shady af the whole time but it’s literally not until he litters that Percy is like “something…is Wrong.” this boy I s2g
  • Percy getting bit by a scorpion is Not A Favorite Moment but the nymphs helping him out was 
  • Percy making his Official Decision to go home for the school year only after Annabeth reveals that he actually did talk her into trying again with her family 
  • I didn’t mean to write out a summary of the whole damn book it’s six am listen I’m just feeling nostalgia for the original series in this chili’s tonight 
  • whoops
august 21st aka fanfic writers appreciation day.

i saw this post going around and i’ve decided to make a post to a) recommend you some great stories and amazing writers, b) give some sort of feedback. i don’t really have that much time to read anymore, so this won’t be that long. as soon as i get more time, i’ll start reading again :) the list is in no specific order, i was going through my “following” list and through my fic recs blog.


@noona-la-la-la  — i recommend literally everything noona ever wrote. i love her style and her plots and the fact that she always manages to exceed my expectations. she’s one of those writers whose stories aren’t just about the smut, which i love. of course, the amazing smut is just a bonus. my favorite story of hers is either unexpected or conditioned (which is also one of my fave tae stories ever. e v e r.) and her vmin threesome the group project is amazing! i’m so far up her ass it’s not even funny, but i seriously love everything about her blog and her writing.


@ellieljade  — amazing plots! a m a z i n g. and the dirty talk! the smut scenes are just too good, and mr.min is my favorite yoongi series. i love the plot, i love the fact that the characters aren’t labeled as good or bad, there’s a lot of grey areas and you never know what to expect. if you want to cry, read her this is how you lose her series and come bitch about it with me. and did i mention sub namjoon? because damn, watch me is amazing.


@avveh — some of the best dirty talk and pwp ever. i enjoy reading her stories from the first one she posted, which is reveries. i don’t even watch the show it’s based on, but i love the series. emily can really suck you into the plot, regardless of the smut. of course, you know me, my favorite is jealousy games because jungkook AND jimin. you know.


@xhixtape — i could go on about lila forever. the flow in her stories is amazing, i love the slow build ups in some stories, and i love the smut in all of them. she’s a huge inspiration for me and her work has inspired a lot of mine, i think i might be her biggest fan. read everything! my favorites are kitten’s got his tongue, good mornings, and vibrations. vibrations, man!!!

@tayegi — lu is one of the OGs of bts fanfics, so i’m sure you’re all already reading her stories. i lover her ocs, i love that they know how to speak for themselves and that they know what they want and aren’t afraid to go for it. my favorites are fuck, marry, kill (because JIMIN), the golden boy because T A E, and friendship goals because TAEGI.


@kimtrain — okay, one good purr had me hooked ! i loved the slow burn and tae′s character and everything about it, from the plot to her style. that’s also one of my favorite tae stories ever.  also, the wings of a devil? b o m b. she has a huge masterlist and i need to read all of her stories.


@floralseokjin — blessed is the day i found out about jordan’s blog. i love everything she writes, i don’t care what member the stories are about because they’re that good. i love her style because it makes me get into the story so much that i can’t stop reading. the first story i read was salt and shadow and i still love it. her jin stories are the best out there and i love reading them. show me might be my fave. also, playing with fire is bomb.


@gukvory —  can you feel it, sugar? is a masterpiece. actually, everything on this masterlist is a masterpiece. i love her writing style, i love the flow, i love the feeling i get when reading her stories. just read everything of hers, you won’t regret it.


@kittae — eva writes for other groups as well! i’ve only read most of her bts stories, and my faves are v-card because it’s the right amount of everything, and favourites and servants is so good! there’s still so many stories on her masterlist to read and i can’t wait to read more. 


@dailydoseofdia — i’m gonna recommend carousel because it’s one of the stories i’ve been meaning to read, but just didn’t have enough time for, even though everyone is praising it. i’ve read dia’s fics and they’re amazing, so i don’t doubt that carousel is just as great. lick was amazing and it’s the first thing i’ve read on her blog.


@chinnychimchim — ah. ah! one of my favorite writers. i seriously love everything she posts, i don’t ever check who the story is about. my favorite has to be reset. it’s such a good story and i haven’t read anything similar, so i love it. cognitive dissonance is also a must read. just read the entire masterist while you’re at it, it’s worth it.


@kstopping  — who doesn’t want a good mmf threesome with vmon? that’s exactly what cinnamon sugar is and i LOVE IT. also tags that crack me up every time.


@jungkookfortunekookies  — for those who don’t read smut, there’s a ton of popular stories on her masterlist, including jungkook roommate series which is so fun and easy to read!


@jeylovestoblog — i’ve heard jey writes amazing reader/girl/member threesomes, so i need to check them out, and i recommend you do the same. she updates often, so i’m sure you’ll find something for yourself.


@rapmonluv — all i’ve read so far is nightcall and it’s enough for me to know i’ll love everything else.


@jingukz — sarah’s stories are amazing and you know that i prefer smut, but her stories are that good. she doesn’t need smut to pull you in, but when it’s there, it’s great. bliss among sinners is probably my fave, but the first one i’ve read is cry me a river and i’m still not over it.


@emboyz — i still need to go through her masterlist, but i’ve read good catch and it’s great!


@pjxmin — i don’t get how everyone’s not talking about her writing. caught in a lie is amazing, proposals is such a good story, her writing is amazing and her stories are fun and they just pull you in. amazing writer!


@cosykims — merlot murders (the crimson killer, kisses of carmine) is the most underrated series i’ve ever read. it has everything and i can’t praise it enough, seriously. you need to read it!


@jiminniemouse — i think i’ve read everything of hers and there wasn’t a single story i didn’t like. i love her style, i love her plots, i just love everything about her writing. purple jewels is so well written and interesting, i can’t get enough. seriously, i recommend everything.


@wonhopes — amanda’s writing is amazing. i think you’ve all read not so honest, but i think my favorite might be cat got your tongue because TAEEEE.


@mindfullofcrazy — i absolutely loved give me love!!!


@hobibliophile — i think i’ve read everything on her masterlist and i loved it! my favorites are take a break (jihope threesome ftw), blue blooded (prince jin!!!), and don’t care about the presents (namjoon being a cutie).


@kainks — i love her writing style! my favorites are new guy and triplicity because damn, hoseok and yoongi threesome? i’m in. orange tulips is on my to read list, i’ve heard great things about it.


@versigny — if you haven’t read miss dial, i don’t know what you’re doing. read it. now. i love it!


@baeseoul  — protege is probably my favorite jungkook series ever. it’s so well written, i love the plot, i love the characters and their flaws, i just love everything about the story. destruction of a muse is on my to read list. just great writing in general, one of my favorite writers.


@protectaetae — i love her writing style! one night snap pt 1 and 2 saved me.


@taehyung-the-baehyung  — closer is amazing and so is the suit and tie series! amazing :)


@jheartseok — i still haven’t read nude, not flowers and i suck because i’ve heard it’s an amazing story. i need to read everything of hers.


@roseok — just read everything. amazing writing.


@drquinzelharleeni’m not a kid is a great series. there’s so much more i have to read from her masterlist, but i like her writing style!


there are a lot of writers who i still need to check out and i’m looking forward to it. i’m sorry if i’ve forgotten someone! if i’ve ever given you a compliment about your writing, i truly meant it. i hope i’ve included everyone. if you go check out these writers, please don’t ask them about updates :)

Death Note (2017) and the Comparative Lens

I’ll be honest. When I found out that Death Note was getting an Americanized live action adaptation, I wasn’t too thrilled. In fact, I was terrified that something I loved was going to be straight up murdered before my eyes  — and I wasn’t ready to give it a shot. In fact, I was really unwilling to budge on this until recently.

However, about three hours ago, the movie came out on Netflix. Sitting there with my housemates, I decided to give the movie a shot and check it out. for those of you who would like to avoid spoilers, this is the cutoff point for spoilers. There are an awful lot of them beyond this point.

Death Note is not a particularly new thing to many of us. If you’ve spent an hour talking about anime or reading manga, you know that Death Note exists. Finding out about the series or the source material that preceded this movie is not particularly hard; the hard part comes in discarding the source material to give the movie a fair shake.

When you look at something like this, you have to discard your comparative lens at the start of the movie to suspend your disbelief. When you sit down to watch something like, say, Game of Thrones, you are undertaking that viewing with the understanding that it’s not going to be exactly like it was in A Song of Ice and Fire.

The same thing must be done for Death Note (2017). When you sit down to watch this movie, you have to decide if you want to give it a fair shake. If not, that’s fine, but that’s what I set out to do.

Starting from the top, the movie itself isn’t bad. If you hadn’t seen the anime before watching it, it holds up to a 6/10 or a 7/10, but likely doesn’t pass an 8 on most scales. Let me explain by starting with some discussion on the main cast before getting into the actual synopsis and response.

The casting of Lakeith Stanfield as L is great, and he dramatically outperforms the rest of the cast; his take on L is both familiar to those who want similarities to what they know and slightly more emotive and human to appeal to the audience. His grasp of the character is magnificent, and I’m sure he studied for this role. I’d highly recommend watching this movie just to watch his performance if nothing else.

There’s only one problem with this: his performance feels slightly hollow when put next to Nat Wolff and Willem Dafoe. Willem Dafoe is a great man and a talented actor… but this is by no means his best showing. 

Nat Wolff, comparatively fresh to the silver screen (or technically not, since it’s closer to a direct to DVD release), paints a picture of a very fragmented Light. At times too comedic, too frustrated, and too unbelievable, his portrayal of his character comes across as transparent. It surprised me to find that his version of Light didn’t hold up to the “judge and jury” that the film tries to make him.

Light is at times frustrating and all said, a little annoying. My favorite moment of his in the film comes three minutes in, when a bully punches him in the face and knocks him out.

The funny thing about the casting, though, is that it gives Margaret Qualley, playing Mia Sutton (analogous to Misa, from the series) the chance to shine in a dark way.

Since we’ve now discussed the cast, it’s important to note that the casting for this movie is not to blame or to praise in its success or failure. Whether or not this movie is good does not depend entirely on the choices made in its casting.

The movie itself revolves around Light Turner (an Americanization of Light Yagami), the son of a “hippy” and a police chief. Light, after passing off some homework for money to one of his fellow students, finds the eponymous Death Note when it falls from the sky in the middle of a storm. Light, after meeting Ryuk, is forced to come to terms with the power he now holds… and the consequences that accompany that power.

One of his first confidantes is his fellow student, Mia Sutton; Mia is initially skeptical, but after Light kills a criminal on a live stream, she comes around to his side and the two quickly enter into a strange love affair based on his ability to kill these criminals. Light takes the name “Kira” in order to make law enforcement suspect that he’s actually based in Japan, as “Kira” is a true cognate for the English word “killer.”

Hot on Kira’s heels are his father, who doesn’t know his son is involved, and L, a young detective with a murky past. L quickly deduces that Light is based in Seattle based on the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a hostage taker, whose name was only released in the Seattle area.

Correctly linking Kira to Light’s father, L begins the investigation in earnest, accidentally pushing the inexperienced boy and his new powers too far. After quick, dazzling victories over the danger known as Kira, L confronts Light in a coffee shop one night, convinced of his foe’s identity.

It’s at this point that things take a sharp turn. Light, in the films, is just a schoolboy in over his head, eager to impress his girlfriend with his “wicked cool” murder powers. He is not the character most loved in the manga or the anime, and this is why the adaptation must be viewed differently. Light’s identity is discovered after the death of several task force members and the public revelation of his father’s name and face on TV. Unbeknownst to Light, Mia murdered those men with a page from the note, attributing it to Ryuk.

When Mr. Turner isn’t killed, L confronts Light in a cafe at night, revealing to him that he’s aware of the high schooler’s alter ego. After Light tries to explain that he didn’t kill the task force members, his pleas fall on deaf ears, and L tersely informs him that he’ll be brought to justice.

After this, things take a steep, steep increase in pace. Light and Mia manage to take control over Watari using the Death Note, with the rule in place (via the notebook) that a person can be controlled for two days before their death. Light, in order to circumvent Watari’s death, intends to burn the page containing Watari’s name before he dies, sparing him.

Unbeknownst to him, Mia takes the page from his notebook… throwing a spanner in the works.

After the death of Watari, Mia reveals that she’s been planning to take the Death Note for herself. Light is then forced to flee by a vengeance driven L, given the ultimatum that if she doesn’t get the notebook by midnight, that he will die (as she’s written his name on her page).

L catches up to Light in the back of an alley as Light tries to meet Mia at the spot of their last date to hand over the notebook. He tries to explain what happened, but L doesn’t listen… and despite having Light at gunpoint, is knocked out from behind by a nearby citizen who overheard Light admit to being Kira. Grateful for what Kira has done, he lets Light go.

Light makes it to Mia atop a ferris wheel at the pier… and tells her not to take the book, as he’s written her name in it, putting them at a stalemate. Only one page of the book can be burned by its holder (Light), and unbeknownst to Mia, Light has made her death conditional. If she takes the book, she will die.

She takes the book and dies.

Light, having written his plan out in advance before fleeing L earlier, is saved when he falls into the water below the pier and is rescued by an old man, whose name he wrote in the book earlier. At the same time, another old man (both criminals) takes the Death Note for two days while Light recovers, filling out pages for him to give him an alibi.

This is explained to Light’s father while Light recovers in the hospital. The movie comes to an end as L realizes the meaning of a clue Light left him during the movie’s main chase scene; finding a stray page of the Death Note, L contemplates writing Light’s name… and Ryuk comments on the interesting nature of mankind.

Back to the review, though. The narrative pacing of the movie is rushed in the front half, for obvious reasons. The pacing that ensues around the climax of the movie, though, is great. The reveal that Mia is actually the antagonist of the movie makes sense and was well thought out. It’s not blatant, but it is foreseeable if you pay attention to her character throughout.

The cinematography is… amateur. It’s not very refined, and most shots make up for in color what they lack in substance. The camera work, for the most part, resembles a college student’s final short film.

Characters often abandon the rules established for them by their characterization in the first half of the movie in ways I’m unsure of. L turns into an action star in the last thirty minutes, and Light is… well, he’s annoying all the way through, but he never really gets a solid definition. The only way to sum up his character in the film is “inept,” but it does bring you to mentally treat him like a villain, which is good.

Its ending is vastly different from its source material (as L is alive), but ultimately more satisfying. The problems that plague the movie throughout, though, never really go away.

Despite this, most cast members put on a strong performance at least once in the film, and the movie follows a nice, neat arc. Reveals are carefully done and at multiple points, I was on the edge of my seat. Gorey action scenes (usually gratuitous deaths) aren’t cheap; they reinforce the notion that what Light is doing is wrong, even if he’s doing it for the right reasons. At no point do I sympathize with the character, which is a little frustrating, but also familiar.

The soundtrack… I don’t like it. It’s too “eighties” for me. It tries too hard to sound like Miami Vice, for unknown reasons. The music is too heavy handed, and often too easily applied to each scene. At no point am I left to wonder the nonexistent subtleties of its soundtrack.

This movie is a solid thriller, with a satisfying ending, a decent cast and a good narrative arc. Despite this, Death Note (2017) does not follow well with its source material, which it uses primarily as a guideline. If you’re expecting to see familiar faces from the manga (or even the anime), you will be disappointed.

Lakeith Stanfield kills it, though. 

Why is no one talking about this?

(Note: this is a long-winded rant(?) about a genuinely minuscule thing that really is just an excuse to nerd out, so if you’re into that, too, keep reading! Otherwise, you might not be that impressed. )

Yup, still on the My Hero Academia bender. Followers may have picked up my obsession over this purple-haired character named Shinsou in particular, but let me tell you that this character has less than some 20 pages in the manga and less than 20 minutes of screen time in the anime and is already more nuanced, complex, and emotionally compelling in that time than most of the characters in the protagonist’s immediate circle.

There are character analyses out there that do a great job of explaining all those points (this is one of the best I’ve seen and you should probably read that first and come back: http://manipulatorshinsou.tumblr.com/post/166609989279/the-appeal-of-shinsou-hitoshi-analyses), but I want to point out a tiny detail that I feel like almost no one has explicitly brought up that says something so enormous about his character arc that, though redundant at this point, is such a small but lovingly crafted detail that it really encapsulates one of my favorite things about this series - subtle emotional storytelling.


Now, there’s mild spoilers for all this, but you REALLY should go watch/read this series at some point anyway. However, I wanted to point something out that’s unique to the anime adaptation. Though some details often get left out in the adaptation process or are edited to fit film storyboarding rather than comics, film has a distinct advantage over manga in two areas - color and space.

Now, the entire point of Shinsou and Midoriya’s duel in the Tournament Arc was to draw multiple direct parallels to each character and highlight the major and really only significant difference between them - luck. In the end, both must fight an uphill battle above and beyond what would be expected of them to achieve their dream; but unlike Midoriya, Shinsou loses and his dreams are dashed. He’s no longer just disillusioned with the popularity games of hero society - he becomes discouraged and disheartened completely from having every last effort and every last plan easily pushed aside from someone more fortunate than him despite his efforts to appear confident and intimidating and to put his rivals off-balance.

Originally posted by fadingsoulss

Midoriya knows exactly the kind of struggle Shinsou has been through, and half the battle was to keep himself from trying to comfort Shinsou, not just because of All Might’s secret, but because they were rivals fighting for their own individual dreams, and attempting to help him would have resulted in Midoriya losing the match and the tournament. He also knew that after the fact there was nothing he could have said to Shinsou that would have given him comfort. Despite every amazing effort, he would once again be put down - the loser who just has to deal with the cruel reality of life.

Okay, nerd analysis time!

MHA is amazing at being emotionally compelling. They hit just the right line of performance, framing, and music to make you feel exactly what it wants you to. The example in particular I want to bring up is this scene (that legit put my husband -who is very much a “manly man”- in tears when he watched it).

Originally posted by cloud-and-tifa

At this point, Midoriya is told by the person he looks up to and admires more than literally anyone else in the world that regardless of his past inability to even come close to reaching his goals he still had the power to become a hero because of something beside and far beyond just having a powerful quirk.

And Midoriya is broken and in tears.

The cherry blossoms are a detail unique to the anime regarding this scene (Chapter 1) and really serve to add to the drama of it - particularly because of the saturation of color and the cultural significance of the Japanese sakura: the beauty and fleeting nature of youth, the coming of spring, and renewal. The Japanese consider the falling of the cherry blossoms to be a reminder that “it’s time to pay attention to what’s happening right now!”

Midoriya has finally experienced his own blossoming as a hero. Based on the scene in this episode and the direction the petals are falling insinuate that this feeling is all around him. His hero is standing over him and telling him that he can become just as great as he is. Everything at that moment has come together to recognize his dream.

Fast forward to Shinsou’s flashback at the tournament:

Originally posted by lawlu

Absolutely the cherry blossoms are there, and it’s even clear in the manga that there are cherry blossoms outside the class window. However, what happens in this scene is that Shinsou recollects a point in his life that he considers to be the epitome of his struggle.

“Whoa, Shinsou! That’s a really cool quirk! Just don’t use it on us and make us your slaves, okay?”

“Heh, everybody says that…” 

And the scene goes grey. This should have been his chance to break out and come closer to his dream, but that wasn’t the case. No color, no focus- just a blurred, painful memory to encapsulate the seemingly inescapable feeling of defeat as he lays on the ground, out of bounds, so close but yet so far once again…

And then-

~~~~~~

“You’re amazing, Shinsou!”

“You’re the shining star of General Studies!”

“His quirk is so powerful and can be so useful in capturing villains!”

“What a waste that he’s stuck in General Studies!”

“I wish I had a quirk like that!”

Originally posted by allenzwalker

No “what a scary quirk” or “I hope he doesn’t use it for his own purposes”! Just:

“Look at what an amazing hero he could be!”

Originally posted by sajoou

Did you see it?

There isn’t a cherry tree for miles around this arena. Everything for so long has been against him from the start. The fire inside him has all but been snuffed out yet again. This should be like every other disappointment he’s had to endure, and yet somehow it isn’t - against every odd.

He may have lost. He may have fallen short, but his real goal has been realized. He’s been seen. It’s time to pay attention to what’s happening right now.  Shinsou has blossomed.

It’s not as flashy or spectacular as Midoriya’s, but it’s just as significant. In fact, it’s exactly the same, regardless of how big it shows on the outside - Midoriya and Shinsou are the same, and they’ve both made it.

Again, this detail of the single petal falling isn’t in the manga (Chapter 34), but it was even more emotionally impactful to me than Midoriya’s awakening because I immediately saw the parallel. I feel that many did, too; but the choice to have the one fall into frame hit me where it counted. It almost wasn’t there, but it was!

I’m done rambling at this point, but really if you haven’t at least checked out this series yet, I highly encourage you to - even if you don’t like normally like anime! Most of the elements that tend to put me off of a lot of popular series are minimal or non-existent, and though it still uses major tropes in the shonen genre it has a tendency to go above and beyond philosophically, intellectually, and emotionally than it has to. It’s not a good anime. It’s a well-written and impactful story!

anonymous asked:

Do you think sasuke loved sakura?

This will get a little complicated. 

If you’re asking ‘was sasuke in love with sakura’ in the romantically smitten sense of the term, then my short answer is: No, he was not. The longer answer would be: it’s complicated, but not hard to see or understand.

One thing that is important to remember is that Sasuke as a character has some of the most complicated relationships in the entire series; this was what gave us the giant plot twist that was Itachi, this was what gave us his intense relationship with his dad, and that was what made his feelings towards naruto come off a lot more complicated than that of naruto’s towards him. Let’s break this down.

Did Sasuke love Sakura? Yes, Sakura was, and still is, in fact one of Sasukes most precious bonds. He cared about her a great deal; so much so that he was willing to kill in the forest of death, going against his morals, as well as die for her to escape in the Gaara fight which would have meant he’d have to kiss his revenge (what he views to be the sole reason for his existence) goodbye. There are various scenes where sasuke shows how far his feelings towards Sakura (and team 7 in general) run. To list a few:

But he was not in love with her?

No. Sasuke had far more heavy things weighing on his mind to sit down and dissect the nature of his feelings towards team7, and hell, later on had hate clouding his every move. The first time he did do that was in chapter 698 when he was free of his hatred and given a chance to think clearly and put some dots together. But when his character arc includes and focuses on things such as

It really becomes no wonder that Sasuke just did not allow himself to indulge in a ‘fantasy’ that includes him being happy and healing with team 7

It wasn’t that sasuke didn’t have feelings for team 7. He himself was aware of the bonds they share and how much they affected him, and he himself was aware of the romantic context of the relationship between him and Sakura. It was more like him taking those feelings and pushing them aside as to not dwell on them.

sasuke @ feelings 


bc feelings made him go like this

Given a different circumstance however i have 0 doubt in my mind that sasuke would have fallen for sakura quite quickly. Why am I sure? To answer that question we will have to ask a different question.

What was the context of their relationship? 

Hella romantic. 

The scenes they share are mostly romantic in nature. Sakura was always the only girl that could get a reaction out of sasuke by doing something lovey dovey, he always had a softer spot for her and treated her marginally better than he did most people

My favorite is definitely the one where sasuke winked, it gives a little glimpse of what they must be like married

just scenes like this showing them having chemistry and wanting to be around each other make me 100% sure sasuke would have had a huge crush on her given different luck in life

but noOoo, you CanT cATch mE fEElingS

So, when was he ready to ~play at romance~?

The first time he really wanted to regain her as a part of his life was when he apologized, i’d say that was a moment when he realized how much he wanted to do in order to keep the people who mattered to him close. We aren’t really given much about the blank period but i’m assuming they were rekindling the bonds they shared and that was when sasuke wanted to give romance a shot, after he felt redeemed enough to indulge in such aspects of life, and after he understood the world without burdens clouding his eyes. This is a very mature move in my opinion, they both deserve a happiness they can both fully enjoy without personal issues weighing heavy on them. Hence the famous ‘i’ll see you when i’m back’ forehead poke. It’s intimate and romantic enough to signify something will happen in the future, but it’s not a make out session since it’s not quite right now. It’s honestly very sasuke.

He’s in love now, but when did he fall in love?

Definitely when they traveled but it’s up to your own hc to imagine how it happened. I’d say during their travels the chemistry they once shared flows with a lot more ease; they talk a lot more, impress each other with their strengths, share things about each other, have moments with each other that allow sasuke to experience what romantic love and being smitten with someone feels like and boom, he’s like ‘I think I want to marry this girl?’

Keeping with the The Office theme i’d say it was a moment like this when he realized yeah let’s get married you make me very happy

because c’mon let’s be real, they’re a pair of dorks.

anonymous asked:

Have you seen the last episode of Supergirl? What did you think about it? I would love to hear your thoughts about it. Also did you see the cute Sanvers cuddling scene. I would LOVE to see that moment drawn in your art style, if it isn't too much to ask for...

Anonymous said:
Do you think you could draw more of Sanvers? I really like your drawings of them! ❤️

Anonymous said:
Do you think you could draw Sanvers cuddling? (It’s find if you don’t want to, I just really like your art style)

Anonymous said:
draw alex danvers, please!

To answer your question about the episode, it’s taken me so long to answer this ask that I’m trying to remember what ep this scene was in. If I recall correctly, it was in my least fav episode of the season, but it was followed by what I think has become my favorite episode of the entire series, so it balances out. EDIT: I don’t remember what ep this scene is in and I’m pretty sure I’m not describing the right one but whatever.


Anonymous said:
I am totally in love with your art and I was just wondering if you would draw the danvers sisters and Sanvers hanging out together! I love them all and I wish they would get more screetime all three together!

Anonymous said:
Hey can you draw some Maggie and Kara moments? Like Maggie ‘big sister-ing ’ Kara, making sure she’s taken care of, just like Alex does

Anonymous said:
You’re drawings are awesome! The one of Maggie and the bonsai tree may have given me a diabetes thanks to how sweet it was :)

Maggie totally gives them pruning lessons.


@swiftssquad said:
Could you please please please please draw the sanvers dancing head-touch? Pleaseeeeeee

Yeah ok.

Thoughts on The Emoji Movie

           It came as no surprise to me, or anyone else, that The Emoji Movie was a disastrous train-wreck of a movie with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. From the moment it was announced, The Emoji Movie was a joke, little more than a punchline of what corporate Hollywood would make just to pander to a younger audience. Yet, by creating the shoddy garbage pile of a “film” (I use this term sparingly) that is The Emoji Movie, Hollywood has done something incredible—they have killed art.

PART ONE

           The “plot” of The Emoji Movie is one that has been presented countless times before: a misfit must leave home to change himself but learns along his adventure that his true value lies in his uniqueness. In this iteration of the “finding yourself” story the hero is Gene, a socially-outcast “meh” emoji who is terrible at what he does—he has all sorts of “non-meh” feelings that he simply can’t contain. On his first day of work, he is called upon from his emoji station to be used, but he freaks out at the last minute and causes a glitch in the sending of the emoji, leading to Alex (the phone’s user) embarrassing himself in front of the girl he likes. Because of this, the smiling emoji, Smiler, who is the “big status quo boss lady” decides to kill him. Gene, however, runs away from the antivirus software and hides in the “loser emoji” section of Textopolis (the city where all the emojis live together). There he meets Hi-5, who was once a famous and well-liked emoji who got to stay in the “favorites” section of Alex’s phone, but hasn’t been used in weeks and now seeks to regain his lost fame.

           In order to reprogram Gene’s malfunction and get Hi-5 back into the favorites section, the pair leave Textopolis and go to a piracy app that Alex, a fifteen-year-old boy, has on his phone for some reason. Gene’s parents then leave after him to try and find him and Smiler sends her antivirus robot soldiers outside Textopolis to apprehend Gene. Meanwhile, in a story beat stolen straight from Wreck-It Ralph and The Lego Movie, they meet Jailbreak, a hacker emoji who serves as the purple-haired punk love interest for the movie. Jailbreak refuses to help them at first, but when she sees Gene’s ability to express multiple faces, she agrees to work together to get to “the source code” in “the cloud.” Then, the antivirus robots appear in the piracy app, (despite the fact that they were given orders to follow Gene’s parents, who are nowhere in sight) and the hero trio escape through a tunnel to Candy Crush where Gene gets trapped and they have to play the game to help him escape. This scene has absolutely no bearing on the rest of the film and is only an overblown advertisement for a phone app, which one will likely notice as a reoccurring theme in this movie.

           After escaping Candy Crush, they take a tunnel to Dance Now (available now in the app store) and they have to play the game because Hi-5 pushed a button for some reason. Here they reveal that Jailbreak can’t dance, and the dramatic stakes are heightened, except they aren’t because Gene teaches her how and then they do the “Emoji Bop” together in what I assume is supposed to be a display of self-love. But oh no! The antivirus robots show up again somehow, so our trio has to escape fast, or risk being deleted. Then, because his phone is playing Dance Now music during class, Alex deletes the app, and Hi-5 fails to escape, sending him to “the trash.”

           Naturally, because of the friendship that the three characters have cultivated together after knowing each other for two hours, Jailbreak and Gene decide to use Spotify to travel to the trash and rescue their companion. Meanwhile, Gene’s “meh” parents have had a falling out because each one blames the other for their son malfunctioning. It’s ok though, because they meet in an Instagram photo and Gene’s dad reveals that he malfunctions too, so naturally they make it all up it each other Alex also decides to delete his entire phone because it sent the wrong emoji one time and made noises on its own. Gene and Jailbreak then save Hi-5 from the trash and they’re chased by a bigger, badder antivirus that follows them until they get to Dropbox, where it can’t get them for some reason.

           They then have to upload themselves to the cloud, and each character uses their own talents to get past the firewall. At this point the movie realizes it makes no sense and in a series of nonsensical rapid-fire events proceed as follows: Gene professes his love to Jailbreak, who it turns out is actually a princess emoji, Jailbreak denies him because of a throwaway line earlier in the movie about her being an empowered woman, the antivirus appears somehow and takes Gene back to Textopolis so he can die in front of the other emojis, Jailbreak and Hi-5 fly back on the Twitter bird to rescue him, Alex begins to delete his phone but chooses not to when Gene sends himself to Addie and she responds with “that was a cool emoji” (verbatim), Smiler is crushed by a giant robot, the emojis have a dance party, and everyone lives happily ever after.

           Watching the shoddy piece of work The Emoji Movie calls a story, I felt my head spinning with questions—not just regarding the plot holes and contrivances, but to the world itself. How do emojis reproduce? If emojis age in years, as is stated in the movie, how could any emoji be older than the amount of time Alex has had his phone? What if an emoji isn’t at the station when it is called upon? How does time flow in the phone as opposed to outside of it? Are all the emojis that marry the same emojis incestuous? Why do some emojis have names like “Gene” while others are simply called by their appearances, like Hi-5? Why is the Christmas tree shown in public in the first scene but then shown in the loser lounge two scenes later? How do the emojis know the history of their app? Why do actions in some apps affect Alex’s phone while actions in other apps do not? How to the antiviruses find Gene and his crew over and over again? Why didn’t Smiler send any antiviruses after Jailbreak when she first left Textopolis? Why does Alex try to delete his phone after sending one incorrect emoji and having it make noise in class twice? How does the illegal antivirus get into Dropbox? How did Smiler get the illegal antivirus? Why did Smiler feel the need to kill Gene in front of the other emoji? Why did Smiler feel a need to kill Gene in the first place? Why does the girl on the Dance Now app ignore jailbreak messing up after the second time? How do all the emojis come back from deletion? If the trash is emptied out daily why is an email from weeks ago still in there? And, most importantly, why did I choose to watch this movie. The Emoji Movie does not answer these question, because it doesn’t care.

           The Emoji Movie doesn’t care about its story, its congruity, or the specifics of its world, because none of it matters. The story beats, directly stolen from other, better, movies, are still in place, and none of the specifics beyond set up for this formulaic and unoriginal wholesale feel-good message have any relevance to the story. The pink-haired rogue stolen straight from The Lego Movie has no personality beyond what the plot demands, and the same can be said for almost any of the other characters. Gene, or, discount Wreck-It Ralph, has the defining personality trait of “feeling things” and his story arc leads to him “feeling more things” and Hi-5’s slightly more defined emotional journey leads from him wanting fame to wanting friends. All the other characters in the story are even less one-dimensional, somehow, with personality traits that are all literally written into their very names and appearances.

           But ultimately, these characters are simply set pieces. There is no investment in the world of the emojis, no feeling when the entire phone is deleted. Half the scenes in the movie are just cash cow product placement filler, and it becomes clear when one realizes halfway through the movie that none of the adventures they have seem to matter, even within the context of their own story. When the characters themselves seem to realize that their journey is pointless, it becomes impossible for an audience to care about or interact meaningfully with the film that they’re viewing, and the best that any viewer can conjure is a “meh.”

PART TWO

           The story of The Emoji Movie is a clear cash grab, and rivetingly unengaging in its poor execution, but more lies beneath the surface. The morals that The Emoji Movie tries to impart to its audience are well-intentioned (as any moral is), but also inherently flawed, and violently mangled in every scene where they are introduced. Indeed, the heaping dumpster fire of a film that titles itself The Emoji Movie exists on multiple levels of terribleness, not using poor storytelling techniques, but imparting poor morals through these techniques as well. It often contradicts itself, falling flat on its face and hopelessly bumbling between individualistic self-love and a quite utilitarian doctrine—almost impressive.

           The Emoji Movie has all the markings of a summer Hollywood “live your true self” movie at its beginning. The main character has a specific, boring role that he is expected to serve unquestioningly, and is made a pariah for breaking from this role. His sidekick also rebels against the system in his own right, trying to cheat his way back into a position of power. By focusing on these two, the story accentuates the flaws with the emoji system and how it emotionally damages those who are forced to suffer under it. Even the villain, Smiler, is affected in her own right—he constant need to maintain happiness seems to have driven her to a place of near insanity. In the opening monologue (a completely different problem), Gene points this out this flaw to the audience by noting how the laughing and crying emojis can never break their character and the viewers begin to see the thriving city of Textopolis as a flawed dystopia. However, after the first scene, little attention is given to these flaws, instead focusing on Smiler herself as a villain. The plight of the “loser emojis” (emojis that don’t ever get used) is also fantastically mishandled. They are only seen twice in the movie and the second time is in a post credit scene where they remain in their basement, unaffected by the event of the entire movie. After sitting through an entire movie with the message that we should be ourselves instead of acting how society tells us to, we see that by nature, some people will (or must) always be excluded from the metaphorical “emoji dance party” for being themselves. The “self” that The Emoji Movie pushes is not just a best self, but also a “most useful” self.

           This is expanded upon in Gene’s journey, where he goes from being a hyperactive “meh” emoji to (briefly) being a good “meh” emoji to finally learning to use his true power as a multi-faceted expression emoji. In the stages before he discovered his true potential, Gene was outcast by his peers—and any viewer could argue that this was rightfully so. Gene broke the emoji picking device and injured dozens of emojis in the process of his one mistake and possibly endangered the safety of the entire phone. Gene then realizes his mistake and goes off to “fix” himself, only to come back stronger and more useful than ever. As is the case in many stories, Gene is accepted only after his usefulness becomes apparent, and the villain is revealed as a bloodthirsty authoritarian rather than the level-headed leader the denizens of Textopolis cited her as being. All is forgiven for Gene and the emojis are given a world where they can serve their own purpose to society, whatever that purpose might be.

           Utilitarian theory is nothing new, and it has both its merits and its flaws, but the type of utilitarianism presented in The Emoji Movie is inherently flawed, as it places Gene’s happiness above the well-being of the collective for the majority of the movie. The ending in itself is also serves as a perfect propaganda point for the utilitarian theory that it begins to uphold later on. Gene obtains happiness when he is most useful to the group collective—and thus, happiness becomes associated with utility to the group. Instead of positing that happiness can be found through the self, or that the self can and should be used to help others, The Emoji Movie combines the two, raising the idea that true bliss can only be achieved when your “self” is given to others.

           Ultimately, this idea is an idea that I disagree with. Whether or not you choose to side with me is up to you, but, speaking objectively, the romanticizing of self-sacrifice is an idea that has tangible harm on audiences who are fed it without question. Modern Japan, for instance, continued to have problems with high suicide rates due to the presentation of hara-kiri, or suicide by sword as “altruistic” in many historical texts (Suicide in 20th Century Japan, 150). This is not to say that using one’s self to assist others is harmful—good deeds are the basis of a functioning society—it is simply to note that the mixed messages that The Emoji Movie gives point towards both complete discovery and complete subjugation of the self in an unhealthy and shoddy portrayal of a moral that has always been cliched at best.

           The Emoji Movie also makes the mistake of attempting to tackle “women’s issues,” despite not even passing the Bechdel Test. Throughout the movie, Jailbreak’s primary motivator is that she wants to be free to express herself however she wants, which she will obtain by reaching the cloud. The movie attempts to attach this to womanhood by attaching this to Jailbreak wanting to escape the oppressive strictures of heteropatriarchal femininity—except, in the finale, she is framed as being in the wrong for not reciprocating Gene’s feelings for her. Not just this, but the day is saved by her using her femininity and consenting to be with Gene, despite her feelings on the matter never being brought up for discussion. Despite the single throwaway line about “men getting credit for women’s work” The Emoji Movie is not pro-woman, and could easily be interpreted as the opposite of that. It defines traditional femininity as being the most useful aspect of a woman to a society and inherently ties all its female characters to something within that stricture, pushing its heteropatriarchal utilitarianist propaganda points deep into the dirt as it tries the make the point that “sensitive guys are cool too.” This is not to say that women who embrace their traditional femininity are by any means being women incorrectly—The Emoji Movie just happens to portray its women poorly, using them always as tools for the man-driven plot and never fleshing them out as characters.

           Tony Leondis offered his own interpretation of The Emoji Movie’s story, calling it a “coming-out story” which is significant, as Leondis is both the director of the movie and a gay man. If one looks from a distance and squints, the similarities between The Emoji Movie and a coming-out story can become visible. Gene is outcast for his “malfunction” as many gay teens will be. The butchering that follows this plot point is incredibly poorly done, and leads to something to utterly offensive and heterosexual to be called a “coming-out story.” First and foremost, a “coming-out story” needs to reach the very low bar of deviating from traditional heterosexuality in its story’s romantic subplots, somehow. This seems to go without saying, but the team of The Emoji Movie conveniently forgot this, instead tripling down on the action and giving the audience three heterosexual romantic subplots, those being the ones between Alex and Addie, Gene and Jailbreak, and Gene’s Mother and Father. None of these deviate at all from a traditional heterosexual romantic story, and, if anything, Gene and Jailbreak’s story enforces obligatory heterosexuality instead of contradicting it. Not only that, but the farther one goes into the plot, the less a coming out story makes sense. When Gene’s father reveals that he has the same malfunction, is he being implied to be the emoji version of “gay?” In a better movie, this could have been used as a tool to foster an emotional connection between Gene and his father, but The Emoji Movie is not that better movie, so this plot point is essentially forget after it becomes irrelevant. In the finale, Gene actually watches his parents get “erased” and can’t break out any expression except a “meh,” which is telling of how well the emoji movie establishes connections between its characters.

           The themes explored in The Emoji Movie are explore poorly at best, and offensively at worst, often taking a back seat to the far more important message of the film—the advertisements. Ultimately, the reason that The Emoji Movie does such a terrible job with its ideas is that these ideas are only borrowed plot points, there to mask the movie for what it really is—a massive commercial for phone apps. The true message of The Emoji Movie isn’t “be yourself” or even “make yourself useful” it’s “buy our product,” and everything beyond this is simply pointless fluff.

PART THREE

           It’s no secret that The Emoji Movie was a corporatist cash-grab, but it was astounding to see just how deeply that had sunk into the movie itself. The entire story is product placement after product placement, a journey to Dropbox, through Candy Crush and Dance Now,  so unabashed in its capitalism that it made me question the film industry as a whole. Where do we draw the line between business and art? At what point do we leave all hope of creativity behind and choose to instead sink into shameless cash grabs and commercials like The Emoji Movie? Then I realized, with a sinking feeling in my gut, that The Emoji Movie had indeed killed art.

           On its first day, The Emoji Movie made ten million dollars in box office sales—a fifth of what it cost to produce. Despite withering reviews and constant scorn from the demographics it seemed to be targeting, The Emoji Movie will chuckle through its entire life as a movie, because it played us all. This movie is a Frankenstein’s monster created by Hollywood, a mishmash of everything that makes money crammed into one pandering mess of a film, and I’m sure it knows this. I’m sure it knows that it looks like a dumb, out of touch, unwatchable pile of garbage, but I’m also sure that it doesn’t care about this, because it’s found a way to make money without even trying.

           The Emoji Movie probably paid for itself in the sheer amount of advertisements it crammed into its ninety minute runtime, and the young, impressionable minds watching it will all be immediately entranced by the colorful scenery of lands like Spotify and Candy Crush. Sales will go up for the sponsors, and the Hollywood capitalist fat-cats who decided that a movie should be made out of emojis will laugh all the way to their enormous Beverly Hills mansions. They knew that they could take advantage of the “car crash phenomenon” that makes people stare at things they shouldn’t, so they sent The Emoji Movie out to their theatres and made a quick buck for Sony Animation.

           But beyond this, The Emoji Movie sets a precedent. It showed that idiots like me can be drawn to this shit like moths to a light. It showed that movies do not need to have good quality, or have be art, to be marketable, and that the film industry should prioritize business and profits above all else. The Emoji Movie has proved, statistically, that quality cinema should always come second to quality advertising. The time to organize against the Hollywood capitalist is now. A boycott of terrible Sony films is the least the we can do to stop them, even though such an action would be little more than a thorn in their hide. We Must accept that our idiocy and submission to this trash is at least partially responsible for the state of film as it is in America today, and we must break free of the chains that force us into our roles as submissive cash cows.

           Good cinema does good things for those that watch it. It can be used as a tool to convey important and revolutionary ideas, or to relay important information to those that are systemically spat on by traditional education. Historically great films have caused great controversy, such as the movie adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird which caused riots in the south upon its release. When we let film fall to business we lose a part of our cultural identity—we submit art, heritage, and storytelling as just another part of a capitalist machine.

           We have the buying power. We choose where we spend our money, and where we place our values. No longer can I sit idly in my movie seat and watch terrible movies for fun—the time for action against the greatest threat to art in the western world is now. Resist capitalism, resist the state, and resist the attack upon the most basic human freedom of expression.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Until next time, Comrades.

-Sunshine

I finally got my shit together and managed to write a korean drama recommendation list. Under the cut below, I added a description of the dramas along with a short comment on what I thought about it. If you like my recommendation list, please like and/or reblog. it means a lot ♡

Keep reading

Let me drown in my Darkiplier hell.  My inner fanfiction writer won’t let him go.

And yet the analysis machine rolls on…because I’m clingy and can’t let go.

This time around, I was thinking about what Mark had said about Dark through his charity livestream around the time the date video released (transcript here), and how they were able to translate that into what we have seen in Darkiplier’s entrances.  One of them in particular stood out to me the most.

“Darkiplier is an entirely different person from me. But, much like Warfstache, doesn’t obey the laws of physics.  He exists in another world entirely and bleeds through into this one.

Honestly, I think a lot of people have already had this as their personal canon for Dark, given that a grand majority of the ones I’ve seen just consider him some kind of demon who took a liking to Mark because come on, he’s famous and has a rather muscular body that’s PERFECT for…demon…plans…or whatever demons plan out.

Actually, what really caught my interest is that Darkiplier doesn’t obey the laws of physics.  As a physics major, this makes me wonder what laws he could be following, as I personally believe that any world follows some form of “physical law”.  I sat on it for a few days before I figured it out.  It’s pretty rational too.

He runs on video editing logic.

Originally posted by its-miki-la-chicana

He doesn’t walk anywhere, he jump cuts.  Notice how he never walks us to a table for dinner, we just…appear there.  No problems, after all.  He has the power of jump cut.  We’ll just be there because we can.

Originally posted by septicpotato

His emotions literally operate how we see him.  His anger leaks through in glitches, ruining what is otherwise a “cleanly shaped” image of himself.

Originally posted by lum1natrix

Notice how the angrier he gets, the more glitches and zooms occur.  On top of that, the one thing I utterly love is how the camera shakes.  Dark’s rage is leaking at such a capacity that even the dimension we’re in is shaking.  It remains as my favorite effect applied in the entire series, and if Mark ever does bring him back for another round, we get more camera shakes.  Shake that camera like you shake that neck, dude.

But compare that to when he’s finalizing how we’re going to be together forever and that we can never leave.

Originally posted by lum1natrix

No glitches, no rapid camera shakes, hell, Dark’s not even saturated in color filters like the wine bottle next to him.  He’s fully in control of his berserker rage and now the dimension we’re in is fully stabilized.  There’s nothing to be angry about; he’s won.  It’s the ONLY scene where Dark isn’t surrounded by glitches.  So for the first time, he’s not even angry.  Holy shit.

But there’s one thing that solidifies my theory on Darkiplier’s physics logic.  And it’s this one right here.

Originally posted by septicpotato

Darkiplier somehow has the ability to keep us trapped in a loop in this prison until we take another ending route.  We can all assume that perhaps he just uses his otherworld demon powers to keep us here for him to watch us go through our personal hell.  But let’s reword this logic.

What if…instead of saying he has the power to trap people in dimension loops…

He has the power to rewind time?

Like a video cassette?

Or a YouTube video?

OK KO! Episodes 13-16

Just Be A Pebble

This was the FIRST EPISODE we produced! As I’ve stated before, we started with a few simpler stories before making the “first” episodes and this one is indeed very simple. We wrote it to be a linear, self-contained opportunity for the characters to act the way they are supposed to act and the world to be the way it’s supposed to be. It mostly takes place in the plaza, giving our designers an opportunity to build up a cache of experience and artwork leading up to everything’s true first reveal in “Let’s Be Heroes”. Because this was the first episode, there are some things going on visually that chose to not carry over into future episodes but are fun to see here. It’s like our “Doug Can’t Dance”! Or our “Tommy’s First Birthday”! Yeah, you get it.

After making the pilot and all those shorts, we weren’t really sure what an 11-minute episode might actually look and feel like. Ian and I boarded two unproduced episodes between the pilot and the series, but a lot had changed since then.  After seeing Mira and Geneva’s first pitch, we were completely energized. It’s a real show! It works! They were the first to set the tone for the comedy, action, and especially the characters. 

Presenting Joe Cuppa

Believe it or not, this is a very personal episode for me. During our summer 2015 development time, Ian and I spent a number of days building out the world by creating dozens of characters and their backstories. A lot of them came from the crowd shot in the original pilot. Here is proto-Cuppa (and Crinkly Wrinkly, and Dogmun!)

I suggested giving him a Rodney Dangerfield-esque lounge lizard persona, something I find inherently funny. In 2010 I had co-written a feature length screenplay about a character like this trying to live a normal life while being physically unable to speak in anything but Dangerfeldian quips and one-liners. Nobody wanted to fund that movie for SOME REASON, but I was able to infuse some of its spirit into this story. It was Dave Tennant who decided Joe Cuppa should specifically speak in coffee puns, and Erin Shade who conceived the hilarious extended slapstick sequence at the end.

This episode has a clear example of why it’s so fun working on a board driven show. I had written this bit in the original premise, which I thought was SO FUNNY-

Then at Stevie and Danny’s board pitch, I was blown away by how far the concept got pushed. My line worked fine as a dialogue joke, but it became something much more imaginative and visual. If you’ve seen the episode, you know what I’m talking about!

We’ve Got Pests

Pests is a super old idea! Ian and I first started meeting to talk about Lakewood Plaza Turbo in 2013, and one of the story pitches I had was that the Plaza gets infested by tiny 90s platformer mascots. In 2015 we wrote our first outline, which was completely different. It was still an Enid story, but it was all about her trying to be a cool employee and not care when things went wrong at the plaza. We felt pretty good about it and moved on. When time came to hand the episode out to board, I realized we had taken a lot of these themes and tackled them with more depth in “You Have to Care”, which we had just finished outlining. So with just a few days to go before handout, we re-broke the entire story to cover different thematic territory.

The main thing that held between all versions is the ending where we see the pests grow and change over many years thanks to Enid’s words. It’s one of my favorite ideas we’ve ever put into the show, and Danny did an amazing job making this a standout sequence in the series.

Fun fact: another secret internal document we use is called “Illegal Words”. It’s a list of words, phrases and terms we have required ourselves to avoid. Items on the list vary from cliches, soon-to-be-dated slang, pet peeves, overused jokes, etc.  For this episode we decided to open pandora’s box and allow the pests to say some of these illegal words. Whether this was good satire or a grievous error is up to the viewer. It was an experiment we will likely never try again!

Legends of Mr. Gar

As we started figuring out where we were going with the season, having outlined episodes like “Face Your Fears” and “Plaza Prom”, we realized we were spending a lot of our Gar time on his nervousness around Carol and were missing a big showcase of his amazing hero power. Because we were working pretty far ahead, we were able to very quickly write up this story and hand it out ahead of those other episodes to keep Gar in balance. Ian came up with the initial concept and we had a lot of fun dipping into the backstories of the characters. The opening scene is actually heavily cannibalized from one of our 2014 unproduced development boards, and Skateboard Nerd’s explosive final fate is based on a cut scene from one of Ian’s Secret Mountain Fort Awesome episodes!

This episode has more hilarious wand weird moments than I can count. I love that we were able to do such a fun digression with an unconventional structure this early in the series. Dave’s visual gag of Gar walking out from behind a shelf that looks like his body… legendary. Haewon’s sequences of young Rad.. incredible. Crinkly Wrinkly’s tall tale… fact or fiction?!

ALSO Jake and Mint Potion did incredible work on this episode. They completely blow us away every week, but I especially loved their variations on Rad and Enid’s character themes here. 

What about the RFA and Unknown and V finding out that MC has a career in the arts (author, artist, actor or something like that?) @saeranlover


Lol it’s been like 5,000 years since I’ve done a request, here you go bbies

Yoosung:

  • It was always a lingering thought in Yoosung’s mind
  • The thought always came randomly, but sometimes he swore that he  recognized your voice
  • Like the one time you yelled “Come at me!” at a friend who was teasing you and he just froze for a second to think about why it sounded familiar
  • It wasn’t until one day he was testing out a LOLOL character he’s never played before and she screamed out a line of dialogue before her attack
  • And suddenly he heard your voice behind him perfectly recreate the line
  • He turned around to see you cheekily grinning from your place on the bed
  • But it was wiped off your face soon enough because baby boi just pounced you into a big hug
  • “MC WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU VOICED A CHARACTER IN LOLOL I WOULD’VE PLAYED AS HER MORE OFTEN IF I KNEW.”
  • You giggled as he rapidly asked you other things you voice acted in and gawked when he recognized the other characters you’ve voiced in games and cartoons
  • He’ll shyly ask you to reenact his favorite lines or scenes and his inner fanboy will show
  • Yoosung’s never really been into the behind the scenes stuff but he already somewhat was a fan of yours before so he’s basically dating his favorite VA
  • Silly lil’ peanut is gonna ask for your autograph on his merch of the characters you’ve voiced

Jaehee:

  • She found out during one of your nights in
  • You were in the kitchen preparing the snacks while Jaehee sorted through the set of musicals the two of you had rented for tonight (you finally convinced her that watching ‘Promiscuous Jalapeno’ for the 8th time in a row was a little much)
  • Once that was all said and done, you cuddled up to Jaehee while the movie started as she fed you popcorn
  • Oh crap, you recognized this movie
  • You actually got the part of the main dancer in this film (it was your typical dance batte film)
  • You somewhat never wanted her to find out  that you were an actor/dancer in fear of always being compared to Zen
  • Once your character was introduced, Jaehee’s eyes squinted a little at the screen before gasping and shaking your shoulders
  • “MC, MC, IS THAT YOU?”
  • “U-uhm nooooo…?”
  • “Wait, why would you keep this secret from me?”
  • After explaining your reasoning as to why, she just pulled you into a tight hug
  • “I’d never compare you anyone else, I love you just the way you are, famous or not!”
  • After watching the movie, she put aside the time to scour the internet for every performance you’ve been in and is about to be the proud owner of all your merch
  • jaehee please no that was our grocery money

Zen:

  • “lolol zen have you seen mc’s latest cover?”
  • “Cover? What’re you talking about?”
  • “the one on her youtube channel???”
  • “…”
  • “you do know what she does for a living, right??”
  • After Seven endlessly mocked Zen for not knowing what his own girlfriend did for a living, Seven graciously provided the link to your Youtube channel
  • Zen then proceeded to spend the next 3 hours of his life going through
  • your entire channel
  • He knew that you liked to sing and sounded like an angel but this
  • This is something extraordinary
  • You actually made a living doing this and he never even knew!
  •  He finally made his way up to your latest cover (which was uploaded about a week ago), and HO L Y  C R A P
  • It was the song he’s practiced at home for months on end for a musical he recently just starred in!
  • When you get home that night, you’re bombarded with compliments and questions (mostly compliments)
  • You explained that you never recorded around him because you were afraid that he might’ve thought you were going to use him for popularity
  • “Babe, I know you would never do that NOW WILL YOU PLEASE DUET WITH ME–”
  • Guess who has the best mashup cover of ‘Butterfly’ now

Jumin:

  • Coming home a few hours early was indeed a rare occurrence for Jumin
  • Usually when he came home, you were instantly there to greet him with a hug and kiss
  • He called your name, but there was no response, just a faint typing sound
  • After hanging his coat on the coat hanger, he began walking towards the noise, his hands already working on loosening his tie
  • “Ah, here you are, my love,” he said upon entering the officeroom
  • “Jumin, you’re home early,” you smiled, letting your husband wrap his arms around your shoulders and resting his chin atop your head
  • “The office had to close early for some renovations,” Jumin explained, “but I’m more interested in what you’re working on.”
  • “I’m working on my next book!”
  • The surprised look on his face made you remember that you never brought it up to him before, but now is as good as time as any to explain
  • Jumin seemed genuinely intrigued as he listened to your explanation on your book series, which was apparently very popular
  • When you finished, he asked if you could lend him the first addition, as he did enjoy reading in his spare time
  • And soon enough, he was hooked
  • He’d have long talks with you over dinner on how he wasn’t expecting a plot twist or how well you wrote your characters
  • Or about how you should hurry and finish the next book because you left him on a cliffhanger

707:

  • He’s known since the background check that you had a job in digital art but he tucked that away in the back of his head because there were too many other things happening at the time (eg the hacker, your sudden appearance, his emotions and job…)
  • It isn’t until one day where he’s been able to work for a few hours straight without you lecturing him about how he should take a break
  • So he got up from his chair, slapped his right leg a few times to wake it up, and ventured outside his office to find you
  • To no surprise, you were huddled inside in the bedroom, but this time with your drawing tablet in hand
  • “Hey Saeyoung,” you tiredly muttered, eyes still glued to the laptop screen
  • His eyes trailed to where you were looking and a look of mock hurt morphed on his face, “MC, how dare you draw a picture of another man!”
  • You stifled a laugh at your boyfriend’s dramatic tone, “Zen just asked me to draw some things for his website so I’m–”
  • You should me drawing me instead! Here, I’ll even pose for you!” 
  • You regret even looking behind you, because Saeyoung was already stripping down to his boxers, need I remind you the pair with cat faces on them
  • “DRAW ME LIKE ONE OF YOUR FRENCH GIRLS.”
  • “SAEYOUNG PUT YOUR CLOTHES BACK ON AND GET TO BACK TO WORK!”

V:

  • Usually you were making some sort of noise in the house, but today you were oddly quiet
  • “MC? Where are you?”
  • “I’m in the living room,” you hollered back as he started making his way over, “Be careful not to bump my arm though.”
  • “What’re you doing?” he asked, taking a seat on the floor next to you
  • You explained that you liked paint and used it as a way to make some extra pocket money
  • V was very happy and excited to hear that you had an artistic career just like him
  • You were always delighted to describe the paintings to him, and you always did it with such passion
  • After awhile, he started to miss photography and he so badly wanted to see your work for himself
  • So he decided to get the eye surgery
  • Once he did, he was shocked at how much he can see your heart poured onto the canvas
  • You often went out into nature together and sit there together for hours to photograph/paint and enjoy one another’s company
  • You also loved painting some of V’s older photographs and he loved it and every single one is framed in the house
  • #artsycouple
  • The day you painted a picture of the sun and gave it to him, he cried

Unknown:

  • The first time Saeran ever walked into your room, his eyes immediately darted to the big, colorful collection of sticky note pads on your desk
  • He picked one up, noting that every one had a slightly different drawing than the others, “What’re these for?”
  • “Oh, I’m an animator! I like to use these sticky notes when I’m bored.”
  • He never got to watch cartoons as a child so this was all new to him
  • Watching you peacefully work is very, very soothing to him, to just watch the lines fill with color so smoothly
  • You even let him have some of your already drawn-on sticky note pads and he likes to flip through them when he’s nervous or needs to calm down when something’s bothering him
  • His favorite is the one you made for him where it goes “I love you, Saeran!” with a cute little doodle of a cartoony-looking you kissing his cheek on it
  • As mentioned before, he never got to watch cartoons or movies as a kid and he’s willing to watch the ones you’ve worked on
  • It always amazes him that you made what was on the screen and he loves it (he’s never said it out loud but it shows on his face)
  • He really enjoys the ones that are story-based rather than the nonsense slapstick ones (which is what Saeyoung enjoys, much to his dismay)
  • Seeing the childlike innocence in his eyes is heartwarming and you wouldn’t trade it for the world