coach approaches bitty the summer after year 3 and says they need to have a talk. in b’s mind, the best case scenario is that they’re finally discussing the birds and the bees, which they never actually did bc coach foolishly relied on b’s middle school, abstinence-only sex ed to do all the work for him.
worst case scenario though? coach found Bitty’s YouTube channel. coach knows about jack. coach is about to force a conversation b isn’t ready to have.
so b’s p anxious as he follows coach to the den and waits for his father to speak. to his surprise, coach pulls out two beers and an old notebook, brimming with loose sheets and red ink.
“even if it’s not a coaching position,” coach says gruffly, tossing b his football-shaped bottle opener. “being captain is an important job. you gotta be the heart of the team, son, and I don’t doubt your abilities for a second, but, well…I’ve been waiting awhile to give you this.”
and he hands the book over and b flips through it. partially it’s plays, not too relevant to hockey but with some interesting ideas. the rest, though, is messy scribbles, notes on how to approach closed-off teammates, ideas on nutrition and team bonding and rousing speeches. Bitty’s tearing up before he can help it.
“thanks, dad,” he says softly, thumbing mindlessly through the pages again and again. “i…hope I’ll make you proud.”
“‘Course you will,” coach says, clinking their bottles together. “You always do.”
It’s dawning on me just how genuinely difficult it is to figure out if an FMA character is good or bad when they’re introduced.
And this is because literally 90% of them debut by trying to beat the shit out of Ed. Seriously. If you tally up every good/ally character at the end and divide them into “tried to beat up Ed in their introductory episode” and “did not try to beat up Ed”, I’m willing to bet the first category is larger.
A list of eventually “good” characters who were introduced by assaulting Edward Elric:
Winry Rockbell (manga introduction)
The Entire Briggs Mountain Army
I made a helpful collage
Extra fun fact, the series Big Bad, Father, is introduced to Ed by healing Ed’s wounds. Ed and Al spend at least five minutes of that episode thinking “Maybe this dude isn’t so bad” which honestly I understand when you consider 2/3 of the people Ed meets typically try to kill him.
For some convoluted reason, everyone suddenly starts involuntarily bursting into song “Buffy: Once More with Feeling"-style.
Everyone in the crew has their own musical number revolving around their current thoughts and issues. Donut takes care of belting out the opening number, since he has such great range. Sarge sings about building robots with Lopez. Simmons sings about his dreams and ambitions.
Grif can feel it coming but has no power to stop it and starts singing a soulful love ballad to Simmons.
The reason I’m bleh on Roseph is that it was a relationship that has canonly been shown to have ended on bad terms, most likely due to toxic behavior on Joseph’s part (Robert implies that Joseph manipulated his feelings while they were seeing each other.) While it’s not impossible to like the pairing, and finding a way to enjoy it without the toxic implications, I sadly can’t find myself enjoying this pairing at all.
Hamien, on the other hand, seems like two dorks that, from first looks, wouldn’t go well together. But discovering their characters more, you realize the two aren’t nearly as opposite as you think they are. The pairing isn’t exactly explored majorly in the game (The ending with them together is only a few short lines of dialogue, talking about how they’re a recent thing,) but I can see it having major potential for amazing sweetness.
A rhetorical statement:
God, how could you like the Cult Ending?! That's so homophobic and gross, you just wanna see gay people suffer, [some other reason I'm gross for liking it]
As much as I enjoy the Cult Ending, since Horror games were a huge part of my life growing up, I acknowledge that Joseph really deserved to have a better outcome than just "Cuck or Cult."
Joseph could've been an amazing example of religious LGBT+ representation, and a strong moral and satisfying outcome with coming to terms with your sexuality and how you don't need to suffer and be ashamed about it.
However, with the fact that Joseph's writer, Jared Rosen, is a known LGBT+ horror writer, and the fact the devs confirmed not wanting Joseph to have a good ending to avoid the implications of breaking up even a clearly toxic marriage as a good thing, it was clear that Joseph's character was doomed before the game was even released.
The fact that Joseph literally only has outcomes that condemn his character, and one that straight up demonizes him, is so damaging to a lot of people.
Sure, it would be a bit much to say "Give Joseph the ending we thought he deserved" while keeping all of the other endings a possibility. But the canon of Dating Sims have always been such a flexible entity. It makes no sense to try and apply a solid, consistent canon no matter what you do in a genre like this.
Joseph deserved to have a good ending, just as much as he did a bad/dark twist ending. And frankly, he NEEDED a good end so that people who didn't like the Cult Ending had another outcome to work off of.
I love the Cult Ending. But there's no denying that Joseph needed better, not just for the game, but for the fans as well.