this is no longer okay

Shiro back in Black is *FORWARD* story development

Thought I’d make a title for once to pique peoples’ interests. I mean, that statement is probably a rare opinion. I’ve seen many individuals comment that they felt Shiro’s return to Black in S4 was a cop-out, “too soon,” convoluted mess, or backwards step in storytelling (especially concerning Keith’s characterization as a Paladin). And while at first I found the writers’ choice weird, I sat back to rewatch S3… and lo and behold everything clicked.

This is actually a really smart move and smooth storytelling point on the writers’ part to put Shiro in Black for S4.

The gap between Seasons 3 and 4 I think have thrown many of us. Though we understand that S3+S4 = the length of S1 alone, many of us have treated these seasons so separately that the broader plot arc of 3 / 4 got passed over. This was passed over also because of the time gap… while waiting for S4 to premiere, our minds got solidified in the current state of S3… thus treating the events of S3 as though they were more permanent, resolute, and long-lasting than they were. I mean, there was so little permanent about 3… it was only seven episodes, after all! And only in five of those did we see Keith in Black.

For I noticed a trend in how people theorized about future Black Paladins. Pre-S4 predictions about the Black leader mainly followed the lines of:

  1. Keith always stays in Black and the lion switch of S3 is permanent.
  2. The Paladin team grows in their new lions and learns new lessons. Once they have matured as people, they more or less return to the original configuration.
  3. And then there are theories about a sixth lion, Paladins constantly swapping depending upon needs per mission, etc.

Now the thing is, ideas #1 and #2 always felt to me as… problematic… concerning either Keith or Shiro’s character development

  1. If we go with #1, Keith gets a brilliant character arc where he grows into a leader. He is forced into a leadership role and has to become someone great. But Shiro would easily be shafted in this route. It would be very hard to write a satisfactory character arc for Shiro without him returning to Black. It would be hard to get a sense of growth for his character upon permanently leaving as Voltron tream leader. Not to mention… the S2 plot arc of Shiro trying to bond with Black was only just making headway when he disappeared. So #1 shafts Shiro’s characterization.
  2. If we go with #2, then Keith, Lance, and Allura allegedly would return to their old lions. It again could easily feel like a step back, especially for Keith and Allura. A story introducing Keith as “a leader with potential” cannot have him tossed back to second-in-command and never actualizing as leader. He has to become that leader for the story to make sense.

These theories all have something in common that I only realized with S4 in retrospect. These ideas assumed that the lion switch is what would stimulate Paladin character growth. But with Keith, it’s not simply that piloting Black will characterize him into leadership. Rather, S3-4 suggest there’s also the idea that learning leadership will characterize Keith into piloting Black. We got it swapped!

And Keith isn’t at that point to take such command of Black. Not yet. But because we assumed that Keith being in Black was how he would become actualized as a leader, it felt like a step backward or a reverting to “the original” when Shiro flew Black in S4. It felt like taking away that character growth of how Keith could become leader… something that desperately needs to happen in storytelling.

Lots of people seem to be disjointed by Shiro returning to Black, especially so soon before his psychological struggles are resolved. Lots of people seem disjointed by Keith leaving Black so soon, especially since he only just began to demonstrate any good leadership at all. It seems like a step backwards to undo the little Keith was beginning to do, and to simply default back to what we’re “used to” with Shiro. Overall it can feel the writers took away change and progress.

But no. That’s not the actual arc of S3 / 4. We didn’t take a step backward. We didn’t return to the default Black Paladin in a muddy, useless tangle of plot. We’ll never get back to S1′s status. Instead, the writers did something cool and progressive, moving the plot forward in a neat and linear progression.  Check out what’s been happening when we actually look at S3-4 as one unit:

  1. Season 1: Shiro is the clear, dominant, uncontested leader of Voltron. There’s no question about it and basically nothing to suggest otherwise.
  2. Season 2: Shiro is still the clear, dominant, uncontested leader of Voltron… but there’s a new suggestion that someone else might have the potential to lead someday. Shiro suggests Keith as a replacement just in case anything goes wrong.
  3. Season 3 / 4:  Keith gets that taste of leading alone, but emotionally doesn’t feel ready, opts out, and the command continues with Shiro. Shiro can still pilot the Black Lion and act as a good Voltron leader, but cracks are developing. He’s no longer the clear, dominant, uncontested leader. Keith is now something that has to be considered because he can pilot Black, too.

Nothing is ever going to return to the old S1 standard. Keith versus Shiro flying Black is a problem with much more development to come. S4 contributes rather than degrades the development of the situation, in fact, by throwing in the detail both can pilot Black. That’s a lot more complicated with more questions than just, “Oh, now we have a different pilot: it’s Keith.”

See the progression that’s happening? It’s like there’s a slow gradient of black to white. We started in black, then slowly have transitioned to dark grey, then a more average grey. Slowly, the story is building cracks into the idea of Shiro being the one, dominant Paladin of Black. Slowly, the story is building Keith into the idea he can be leader of Voltron. It’s not by shoving Keith into the Black position that he becomes leader… but by growing him into the position to pilot Black.

We have to have this starting point of Keith’s first time in Black… where he’s not ready and leaves… where it still feels as though Shiro is “it”… but where we are starting to see the questions…

By having Keith get a taste of Black but not ultimately take Black on permanently in S3 / 4, we fall into the grey zone between black and white. We show the first glimpses of what it can be like as Keith in Black. The story doesn’t just close up that concept of him flying Black then and there in S3, and then we say, “Keith’s in Black, done deal, he has to learn, Shiro has to cope.” We didn’t just snap one Paladin into another Lion, done deal, black to white with no gray in between. Instead, the idea of who is the rightful Paladin of Black becomes a growing, morphing, black to grey to white gradient storytelling point with more nuance, development, and smooth direction. That’s pretty cool and will make for fascinating storytelling, character moments, and more.

Season 3 isn’t meant to feel as solidly “Keith is Black” as it should be. It’s meant to initially fool you because Shiro is gone, but it’s not meant to have this feeling Keith is solidly there because, really, he’s not - he goes in and out of Black quickly. But because we had that big time gap from 3-4, Keith further growing into the role of Black Paladin got solidified in our heads, making it feel all the weirder to see Shiro return “so soon.” But again, if you watch 3 directly into 4, you might see… it’s just that Keith is getting a taste, and the story is slowly building to ask the question of who should rightfully lead Voltron.

Because that’s obviously not a topic that’s done with, between Keith saying Shiro is the rightful Paladin, Shiro saying Keith is the rightful Paladin, yet Keith leaving and Shiro taking position without complaint. Yeah, issue totally not done.

And in this sort of storytelling format, we avoid the awkwardness I mentioned in #1 and #2. We won’t have Shiro’s characterization arc fall flat because he got shafted and put to the side. It won’t feel like this character just disappeared and poof wasn’t a leader and poof wasn’t cool anymore and poof wasn’t progressing anymore with his connection to the Black Lion. And it won’t have Keith’s arc fall flat at all… because this means that Keith will have a long, nuanced, gradual, inclining development into someone who can be a great leader. In fact Shiro returning to Black makes Keith’s characterization into a leader all the richer.

For we see Keith go from someone who isn’t a leader, to someone who is suggested to be a leader, to someone who gets a taste of leadership and rejects it. We create more nuance and steps this way, than just by having a plot where first he’s recommended to be leader, then lo and behold he is leader, and now he learns how to be leader while being leader. The writers are building more. Keith is learning both how to become leader and how to accept being leader this canon way. Keith is progressing just as much about how to become a leader than if he stayed in Black. Furthermore, rejecting leadership and leaving it and seeing Shiro still lead is a cool stage for Keith’s growth! Because S3 / 4 gave Keith the taste of being leader but ultimately not becoming leader, we show that Keith still has so much further to go. We show that there’s an interesting avenue that he might be headed towards… but we still have to wait eagerly to see actualized. We’ve got to get this whole growth going for Keith to learn how to accept leadership - even leadership as a Paladin of Voltron - before we really see him frequently back in action in Black.

And indeed, S4 shows that idea progressing forward of Keith learning leadership and Shiro increasingly being shown not to be the irrevocable leader of Voltron. Shiro makes a big mistake this season. Keith leaves, but learns some responsibility with the Blade of Marmora (rallying back-up? that’s new for him!)… and likely, he’ll continue learning. It might seem like a big, tangled, directionless mess when we focus just on the microcosm that is S4′s six tiny episodes… but looking at the larger plot arc, I am pleased. I think they’ve got great potential to develop this, for Shiro, for especially Keith, and for VLD as a whole.

Just when I decide to come back to Tumblr thinking, “Hey, haven’t really been on in while, though it was nice to be away from all the bullshit that goes on there”, I find a bunch of youngsters being mean to my friend, and suddenly Gency is okay and no longer abusive when it’s concept Mercy and not canon Mercy. I wonder if Pharmercy is still so beloved if it’s concept Mercy. Something tells me it wouldn’t be.

This website is shit. This fandom is shit.

Reminder that if you don’t experience sexual attraction and the asexual label is helpful to you, you’re allowed to use the asexual label. If you are on the ace spectrum and the asexual label is helpful to you, you’re allowed to use the asexual label. You don’t have to jump through eighty million hoops and entertain ten thousand but-what-if scenarios before you’re allowed.

And if you realize later ace doesn’t fit or it’s no longer helpful, it’s okay to stop using it.

Okay okay but think about: Victor and Yuuri giggling through kisses, swaying to some music playing in the background and generally being loving husbands???

slavic languages gothic

You see a sentence written in cyrillic. Some of the letters are familiar. You see the meaning shimmering underneath the surface. You almost grasp it, but it slips away. The letters on the page mock you silently.

You know this Czech word. You’ve already learnt it in Polish. It is not the same word. It is a grave insult. Your slavic friends are shocked and embarassed for you when they hear you speak it.

There is a sentence in Croatian. There is a sentence in Serbian. There is a sentence in Bosnian. They are all the same sentence.

You have to write about your day in Slovak. You spend the night polishing the draft. You fail your assigment. It’s written in Czech. You don’t know Czech.

P is not what it seems. You have to remember that.

The Croatian sentence does not mean what the Bosnian sentence means. They both mean the same in Serbian.

That word has a diminutive. The diminutive has its own diminutive. The diminutive of the diminutive also has a diminutive. Nobody knows what the final diminutive of a word is. Some say the knowledge had been lost in centuries past and matrioshkas are the echo, the tangible warning left for us to remember. No living creature should hold the means of diminishing something into nonexistence.
Others say you may still find some of them in old soviet textbooks, if you dare to look in abandoned schools of Chernobyl.

Someone is speaking to you. Is that a he or a she? You aren’t sure. It’s an abstract concept. Why does it have gender.

You see a word in a dictionary. It has seventeen letters and only one vowel. You close the dictionary very carefully not looking at the phonetic transcription. The shape of it haunts you in your sleep. You wake up face damp with tears, a bitter taste on your tongue. The clock blinks 3:03AM. You do not dare look up that word again.

This word means the same thing in the five slavic languages you’re familiar with. You use it in the sixth one. That word does not exist in this language. It never did. There is now a word-shaped void in the fabric of this language. The natives look at you uneasily. There is a new quality to the silence and your palms start to sweat.

H is not H. H is not H. H is not H. H is not H.

One day you flip through your dictionary. A page is missing. What was the word? You can’t remember. There is pressure building at the back of your head. The clock blinks 3:03AM.

You write my name is in cyrillic. There are shadows dancing on the walls. They grow longer with each letter you write down. It is not cyrillic you’re using. You keep writing my name is. The shadows now bleed from the tip of your pen. It’s irrelevant. You need to remember the right letters.

N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not N is not… If only you could remember the letters. The letters are important. What was it, that wasn’t N?

There are nine different prefixes you can add to a verb to change its meaning. There are fifty three different suffixes you have to add to a verb to make it work. In the end the only thing left of the original is a vague shape of one of its middle consonants. You can feel the anguish radiating from the verb’s mutialted form. A desperate sob escapes through your clenched teeth. You’re so, so sorry, you didn’t meant to. You didn’t. It doesn’t matter.

You now read a text in Russian. You’ve never learnt Russian. Why are you reading that text? The words burn your eyes, the meaning searing your mind.

There’s a shot of vodka in front of you. You don’t drink alcohol. You don’t care. All existence is meaningless, your soul’s in eternal pain. A broken matrioshka lays at your feet. There is no salvation, she says boring into your eyes. You open your mouth to answer, but there is only a burst of harsh rustle. It dies in whispering echoes a moment later. Your glass is empty again.

Fandoms at this moment
  • SvTFOE: *screaming into pillow for July 15th* IMGONNAFUCKINDIE
  • Kingdom Hearts: aaaaAAAAAIEEEEEEEEEE *screams alongside with Star fans*
  • Adventure Time: we're still here! For now...
  • Steven Universe: *sobbing into a pillow from last month or doing memes*
  • Invader Zim: >:)
  • MLP: WE GOT A FUCKIN MOVIE AT LAST YAAAASSS
  • Wizard101: *dabbing to Emperya nusic while sobbing as well*
  • Pirate101: it's been...84 years
  • Winx Club: *rising from the dead* WE STILL HERE
  • Gravity Falls: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ we still here don't worry
  • Homostuck: *'patiently' waiting for Hiveswap*
  • Samurai Jack: *on the floor, tears swelling in their eyes* where's....new....content....
  • Eddsworld: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but bassboosted
  • Trauma Center: ATLUS-SAMA JUST NOTICE US
  • Persona: *dabbing to 'Last Surprise'*
  • Villainous: We await >:3
  • Sorry if I got some incorrect ^^; I'm not particularly active in some of these communities but I see posts about 'em here and there!

Yuuri has a picture of Victor and him as his lockscreen and wallpaper, maybe from their day at the beach or a picture someone took during their pair skate or a picture from practice where they are both sweaty and laughing and so in love.

But Victor has (two different) pictures of just Yuuri and he changes them a lot (because he takes a lot of pictures of Yuuri and would like to use them as a wallpaper all at the same time), and every time he opens his phone he just forgets what he was about to do and stares at the picture for a full five minutes, marvelling at the beauty of his husband.

And one time, Yuuri uses Victor’s phone because his own is dead (when Victor is still in the shower or sth bc you know The Hair) and Victor’s lockscreen is a picture Yuuri didn’t even know existed of him looking out over the city lights of Saint-Petersburg with a small smile around his lips while he’s absentmindedly patting Makkachin, and his heart just swells until he can hardly breathe, and he figures out how to make your phone switch wallpapers every time you open them and takes a bunch of selfies where he blows kisses and makes funny faces and just smiles, but he leaves the lockscreen the way it is. And now every time Victor opens his phone, his heart stops beating for a moment and whenever one of the pictures appear Yuuri took, he immediately calls him if he’s not around to tell him how much he loves him and asks him to get married again.

5

patton being sweet and gentle while trying to call anxiety (even if it didn’t work c’:) (x)

okay but him complimenting and encouraging anxiety’s makeup is so cute!! he’s such a kind soul <3

4

YOI Future!Verse ABO AU, Visual Headcanon Web Charts #01

So I always wanted to make one of these. Turns out my headcanons for the most part are WAY too wordy for these things and uh, they’re a bit of a mess >.>;; BUT I hope nonetheless that they’re somewhat fun to read even if barely legible, it was fun to make ^ ^;

1. Super basic relationship chart of the core members of the lovely poly family in this AU.

2. “Adults Think,” the color of each adult indicates their feelings towards the person to whom the arrow is pointing.

3. “Kids Think,” the color of each OC kid indicates their feelings towards the person to whom the arrow is pointing.

There’s obviously a lot more to it than what could be crammed in the lil text boxes, but a gist and pretty much the first things that immediately popped into my mind regarding their interactions. 2 and 3 also mostly show their thoughts while the kids are younger, which will change a bit as they grow up, to be covered in a future post.

*Recommended you right click view image to see full size bc the text is tiny oops

Because the text is so illegible, text only versions of charts 2 and 3 beneath cut, all elaborated quite a bit because I’m so rambly oops:

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IF YOU ARE NEW TO THIS AU: It’s Yuuri-centric polyamory in an ABO setting, Yuuri’s married to four mates (Victor, Yurio, Phichit, Minami) and they have OC kids.

BASICS of this AU

INTRO to how ABO works in this AU

OTHER POSTS (comics + illustrations) in the Future!Verse ABO section of my YOI Masterpost.

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Please keep ship bashing out of the comments/tags. Don’t like, just skip <3 Thank you.

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PLEASE DO NOT REPOST, EDIT, OR OTHERWISE USE MY ART WITHOUT MY EXPLICIT PERMISSION. More detailed rules available on my Rules & FAQ Post.

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Keep reading

I saw him being happy
with someone else,
and I thought I can’t
stare more,
but then I decided
to wait—
I waited for his eyes
to shine brighter
than the sun,
finally when it did,
I realized
that it’s okay.
It’s alright.
Even if I am no longer
the reason behind.
—  ma.c.a // Let me love this pain
4

“Ah, at the end, Gray sama reached me”

HAPPY VALENTINES!  σ(≧ε≦σ) ♡

Sometimes it’s okay to feel good about the people you’ve left behind.
It’s okay to be elated that they’re no longer in your life.
Some people are energy absorbers, they’re like parasites.
If you keep them in your life for a while, you may no longer recognise yourself or your life.
If someone doesn’t feel right in your life, you need to make a decision.
Sometimes saying goodbye is the right decision.
—  KC
5

Rogue One Valentines

(with suggestions from @leechbrain and @foreign-eggplant)