spotto: (koi)
It seems I haven't done a Tohosort in a little over a year-and-a-half. I thought "What the hey" and spent some time doing one last night. And by doing one I mean "redo it three times" after pausing partway through because I fucked up somewhere, even though the fuckup would likely be somewhere in the 20-30 range and wouldn't really matter in the long run. "Oh' I say, it's because I tied "X" with "Y" and I like X better than Z, but not Y better than Z! But because X = Y, Y is now > Z! This cannot be. I had this issue so often because sometimes I'd do something like X > A, B, and C and then I realized I put Y higher than X and thus all three of A, B, and C! I mean yes I do like Y better than X, but for Y to out class so many others (usually a cast herd) is absurd!
 
Like why am I perfectionist about this? It's a goddamn popularity list of a bunch of fictional youkai girls. Like what. WHO FUCKING CARES. It is 2017 and I was wasting such time like that, but that's just what I do ...
 
Anyway after I finally finished doing something like that I decided to compare it to old tohosorts. Just the sort of logical thing to do, right? Compare with EVERY OTHER TOHOSORT I'VE EVER DID. And the patterns always fascinate me. They fascinate me because Touhou is the single fandom where I have no loyalty to anyone at all. My favourite character a year ago is not my favourite today. My favourite character six years ago may be my fifteenth favourite character today. The flavour cycles. My tastes change. I find interest in someone else. Because this cast is so large and this lore is so vast, I always suddenly discover, "hey this previously unappreciated character is fascinating!!" I dive into their lore and fanon, and the rest is history.
 
So as you can see in the latest Tohosort, another earth-shattering change has occurred. That's right! Parsee is in my top ten!! GASP! No but really, Aya is number one at the moment. Who foresaw fucking that? I even went back and checked where she was in my other Tohosorts just to see how much I gave a damn about this bird some years back. She was always below 20 for the longest of times. Once she was below 40-something, outside the cut-off point of the chart I decided to save. I deemed her uninteresting enough she wasn't worth showing up in the popularity contest at all at one point. And now she is NUMBER FUCKING ONE.
 
Have some numbers:
 
Aya
25th/26th/35th/42nd+/29th/28th/21st/18th/3rd/1st
 
In contrast here's an old favourite:
 
Murasa
2nd/1st/1st/1st/3rd/5th/12th/8th/11th/20th
 
Madness.
 
Now this contrast is not some random name I pulled out of my hat. I could have compared her to Koishi or something, but that's rather pointless and boring. Because Koishi has never left my ton ten ever, so it's not like such consistent numbers really amount to anything when it comes to such drastic changes like these two characters. KOISHI IS AMAZING OKAY. I loved her before she was cool. B) . I could have also compared her to Keine who had a similar kind of ascension, but again not to the absolute ridiculous extent of Aya. She literally came out of nowhere. Like what the fuck?
 
I can't very well explain how this came to be, but what I can explain is the relevance of this comparison. You see, Murasa's drop is directly correlated with Aya's rise. You know why? Because they have a few similarities. Sure they're both fourth stage bosses at some point and have short black hair, but my point here is a point I've may many-a-time on this blog. Many-a-time I mean that annoying tiny nitpicky issue I have with something that is normally incredibly petty and nonessential, but I make such a big deal of it every time it's brought up anybody reading the post would probably want to drive to my house and shoot me in the face if I dared say another word kind of thing. You know, like my Filli Vanilli issue. I rant about that all the time. The rant is usually the same every time. I do nothing to contribute to fixing that problem at all. I JUST COMPLAIN. That's the same issue here.
 
See, once upon a time I learned that Murasa's shorts ... was a skirt. It may have looked like shorts and some artists may have interpreted it as shorts, but officially as ZUN had said in some random interview about UFO probably, it was a skirt.
 
Truly, such a small tiny thing angered my very soul. Design 101! I declared! Her design was boring enough as it was. It was white. It had a sailor's uniform. The skirt was long and impractical for what she did. It was really plain. Her outfit as a whole was plain as fuck. NOTHING ABOUT HER DESIGN STOOD OUT. I thought "Well gee willikers no wonder she's such an unpopular character!" It does not matter how gimmicky your danmaku is if your design is terrible! But the one redeeming factor in my eyes were the shorts. No one really wears shorts. I guess Wriggle wears pants, but that was like years ago. And Mokou too, but same game! If Murasa wore shorts, the entire bland design would be forgiven. She'd finally have a piece of apparel unique to the population of Gensokyo. "Finally!" I'd say, "There are no frills! There is no skirt! She may look like an ordinary sailor, but it stands out in the fantastical world of Touhou!" And I would bask in such originality, and people would depict her as a more tomboyish character because of her clothes! Because goddamnit how else are you going to draw a character from blank states like Touhou characters, especially those too unimportant to have plot relevance in any other game or manga again? I GRASPED AT THE STRAWS AND CLUNG ONTO THEM FOR AS LONG AS I POSSIBLY COULD!
 
But canonically, it's a skirt. APPARENTLY A GODDAMN SKIRT
 
Touhou has no ships. It has no romance. There are no ships to sink. THIS IS THE CLOSEST THING THEY COULD SINK, THIS SHIP RIGHT HERE. MURASAXSHORTS, SUNK FASTER THAN MURASA HERSELF CAN USE HER ABILITY! THE ONE SHIP THAT MUST NEVER BE SUNK, THE ONE MURASA RODE ON AS HER ONLY GODDAMN POTENTIAL. MOTHERFUCKING SUNK.
 
And so the ship sunk, nosediving to the bottom of the ocean just like my interest in Murasa. Did I truly like Murasa for Murasa? Or was I only in love with her imaginary, noncanon shorts? Shorts that never was. Never to be. Potential dashed.
 
Anyway, with that hope crushed into infinity, years later I found interest in one Aya Shameimaru. No she doesn't wear shorts. I liked Aya for Aya! Though her design is great too, I found solace in the fact that occasionally she isn't depicted as the soulless unsympathetic hack that manipulated people for her sensationalized bundle of ink and paper. I mean she's probably partially that, but y'know with a cast of only females comes with a fandom of horny males, so that depiction can be pushed further to near voyeurism. Where panties becomes the holy grail of a news story to a crow tengu. I don't know either. But I got sick and tired of that same old shallow characterization popping up over and over again, and thus never saw Aya for Aya, only the sensationalized bundle of ink and paper the fandom liked to depict her as.
 
Every character suffers from that, absolutely all of them. It can take some time to see the diamond in the rough, so to say.
 
Also her music is great, but that's usually the case for the entire cast, so... Anyway, to keep things short, or shorter rather, I lied earlier! Aya DOES wear shorts! No, not her usual outfit, but in Gensokyo whenever you want to pretend to be a human, you just gotta dress really fancily and trendy. SO like, not diapers on heads or gothic lolita fashion but actual sane fashion a human would actually wear. In Mamizou's case she wore an awesome scarf, grew out her hair, and basically looked infinitely better than her ragtag youkai look. In Aya's case, she dressed up like a stereotypical newsboy who would hand out papers shouting "EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!"
 
I being the very diligent person, went through real canon Touhou work (this being Forbidden Scrollery) to not only verify my sources, but to see if the rumoured SUSPENDERS showed up on this outfit as well. I found only one panel where Aya was not guarding her undershirt as if the very secrets of the tengu themselves were hidden under there, and there was a line. The line COULD be suspenders. IT may not be, though suspenders are the most likely article of clothing. All I can really determine from all this is that the fashion in the Human Village is much further along than the Outside World, and the people out here need to step-the-fuck-up, because hot damn.
 
if you don't wEAR SHORTS that isI am not saying at all the very idea Aya wore shorts that one time (and potentially suspenders!1) caused her to become first, not at all. It may have contributed slightly, but I found this contrast rather intriguing. That the one character I assumed would make sense as a sort of androgynous type of character due to her official outfit, never wore such a thing at all! And the other character who I never even considered for such a part would choose such a disguise one day. Why that disguise? It's sort of Western-looking is it not? Though I guess, what else would scream out "THIS PERSON IS OBVIOUSLY A JOURNALIST" than such an outfit? But then why did she choose newsboy? It's not as if Mamizou's, Kosuzu's, or Akyuu's clothing are similar. Well anyway I'm not here to decipher such things, only to sit in wonderment of how this fucking tengu stole my heart recently.
 
Like I don't actually know. I don't know what changed. Do I just like Keine and Miko less? I guess? Maybe? AyaSanae did help quite a bunch, what a wonderful rarepair. But you know maybe I do know. I played some Sims recently and made Madoka Magica Sims. I was playing through a planned scenario that involved a lot of death, murder, homelessness, and zombies. Aya became relevant in Act 3. In fact she became VERY relevant in Act 3, and the way I weaved that story about made her a very awesome character indeed. I thought to myself as I came up with the inspired plot, that Aya was quite the bro. Which is an odd thing to say because Aya's characterization is usually the opposite of a "bro". She would never be nice for no real reason. There are always ulterior motives. ALWAYS!
 
But coming up with the ulterior motive for her to be so nice made her so fascinating in my eyes. I thought, "Dang, this is the potential of Aya as a character" and never really thought about it until now. It reminded me of this old Touhou comic I read when I first got into the fandom, t'was a Youmu comic. I remember a fairly badass portrayal of Aya there. I thought "Wow, I really like this Aya person. They're such a bro!" And that was the last time I thought of Aya like that because fandom is a bitch. And that in itself reminded me of an old nostalgic favourite I had long, long ago, ten years in fact. She too was a journalist, and she too was far too nice for no real reason, but sometimes she had ulterior motives or at least personal motives, and was not simply doing a favour just because. At one point, that character was a wildcard in a very dangerous, climatic situation where she could have been on the bad guys' side, but then suddenly wasn't. Because well, what fulfilled her goals more? Neutral parties that do things because they benefit themselves and it's not in an overly ambitious cartoonishly evil way (because most neutral parties end up being BACKSTABBING TRAITORY PARTIES INSTEAD!) is something I don't often see in fiction enough. Or maybe I just need to experience more fiction since I like limiting myself to very few. (This is due to time-management and addiction reasons.)
 
If I ever get motivated enough to post that Sims scenario on my Sims blog, you may realize the full context of my explanation. 
 
Anyway I gave myself a 30 minute time limit to write this and spent an hour instead because ... I was supposed to go to sleep, so this is a good a place as any to end this. I hope this blog enjoys the slight amount of activity, and anyone floating around in the headlights and tumbleweeds may someday stumble upon this to read it. Until then, adios! This has been Spotto.
spotto: (Sooooolo)
Regrets

1) Waiting five years for a Sayo backstory chapter that never came. She had her introduction chapter and that was the first and only time she had a chapter dedicated to her.

2) Waiting four years for a good Fluttershy episode. She had Hurricane Fluttershy. That's it. I give up. Do not have Fluttershy as a favourite character. Pinkie and Rarity will take her place.

3) Waiting three years for RWBY to be good. Still waiting...

4) Waiting my whole life for the Canucks to win a cup. (They were cupless for the twenty years before I was born too...) A regret that will go on forever.

5) Waiting too long to go to another home game with my dad. We went to one once in 2009, and we lost pretty terribly (led and then gave up the lead) We kept talking about going again, hopefully to a win. Now it's too late. We had seven fucking years to go but never did.
spotto: (hong kong *STAAAAAARE*)
Whilst sleep deprived and wracked with indigestion, thoughts began swirling in my head. 
 
I just realized the innate problems of including a minority character in media, in particular someone who may be LGBT. See more often than not, said character who is about to discover oneself runs into a plethora of problems, of bullying, of conflict, of "religious injustice" but depicting the drama of such issues in media while is a good way to spread awareness to those who do not experience such things, is not what most I believe, people who are actually gay or what have you even want to watch.
 
For a lot of people or at least me, media and storytelling is a place of fantasy. A place where things that are not true, are true. We see it as an escape from reality. Unless it's some sort of terrible satire about the realistic bastardization that is life, usually fiction is more idealistic than our side of the universe. So I would think and I DO think as I am one, watching a show where say two characters of the same sex who end up as a couple and run into ZERO PROBLEMS regarding their partner of choice would be most desired. That is what we want after all. A fantasy where who we are is not questioned and is the norm! But almost every single time this comes up in media it must involve some sort of internalized issue with society because even in fictionland there are the intolerable bastards that we try to avoid every single day in real life!
 
In other words in mainstream media, a story about a gay guy coming out is really intended for straight audiences. Because a homosexual is exotic and different and a movie or book can be used to illustrate their rough walks of life to those who never have to walk in their shoes. ("But Spotto! Minor character 1 and minor character 2 are a gay couple in that one show! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT!?" Well, that is still for a straight audience because they're minor/side characters! Everybody has that gay friend or whatever, but god forbid YOU YOURSELF differentiate from the norm!) Why am I thinking about this? Well today is a new RWBY episode, presumably about a prom or ball or dance taking place in fantasy high school that is so generic that it has proms and balls like high schools of reality. I hate high school! I don't want to watch this shit! And now our female protagonists are presumably straight or possibly bi (but people are never bi in media, so unless they outright say this it's safe to say they're straight) asking guys out for dates. No, not Team JNPR who each have a partner of the opposite gender and such explorations of their potential relationships would actually be interesting, the main four girls.
 
Since they are all girls, we need some other dudes outside of the school to work with, otherwise we have teachers and taken guys. So let's introduce a whole team of dudes who don't get developed much except for that leader who showed up in season one and then suddenly pair them with the girls because THERE IS A PROM!!!! OH MY GOD! Since RWBY is such a hotspot for gay ships (what media form isn't? seriously what isn't!?) there is a sizable LGBT minority that wish to see some actually become canon. The issue is it isn't our story, so if we see absolutely zero gay ships welp, we'll just have to deal. We'll just have to deal like with every single thing we've ever watched or read. Or anything. However, the creator of RWBY has actually ended one of this animations with a yuri ship and has addressed the community's desire in an interview.
 
But he mentions how it'll take a long time to come to fruition because a character needs to discover themselves and realize they might be gay or they don't like being the gender they were assigned or something. Either this implies Ruby, the youngest character in the series, is going to be gay, or they're going to take their time and go through the whole annoying issue of intolerance and hatred that comes from the outside before said character will accept themselves. In other words it's another LGBT character written for a straight audience! (Obviously no writer is doing this consciously or intentionally, but we all like to write for ourselves and think of what we ourselves would enjoy, so not having a same-sex relationship in the forefront of a story is not an issue to a lot of people) RWBY is already a fantasy, but I suppose with the despicable treatment of faunus we can't expect people to be chill about liking someone of the same gender either. 
 
So today's episode likely has Weiss in the middle of this stupid horrible love chain where Pyrrha (the coolest girl in the whole school, why does she BEGIN this triangle!? ALL THE BOYS AND EVEN SOME GIRLS SHOULD BE ASKING HER!) likes Jaune for some reason (WHY? I don't know! If the guy wasn't so oblivious and was more like a lovable goof, sure why not, but this dude is obscenely annoying and thickheaded!) who likes Weiss of all people (in what world does Jaune and Weiss seem compatible? Weiss is coldhearted and generally hates people it seems, and you want HER!? How about someone more fitting to your personality, Jaune? HOW ABOUT SOMEONE WHO HASN'T TURNED YOU DOWN MULTIPLE TIMES!?) and Weiss likes Neptune, a guy we just met this season and know nothing about aside from being a K-Pop star and being generally dorky like literally every other boy in this show. You barely know him. You took like ten episodes to be friends with Ruby. WHAT. IS. THIS. MADNESS!? Finally Neptune supposedly likes Yang...despite hitting on every girl he saw, including Weiss, but apparently will pick Yang. Now unless Yang adds more to this horrible dramafest of a goddamn cliche high school trope, it ends here. 
 
Of course this is the same Yang who has mentioned the hot boys in her dorm in season one episode three, encouraged Jaune in season one episode four, season two episode three, and season two episode five to keep trying for Weiss, and doesn't seem to express her no-nonsense independent attitude nearly as often as she appeared to in the trailer, so I'm not entirely sure at all what to expect from Yang Xiao Long. How do you predict her? She has little development so far and also little consistency. I do want to like her. She's technically my second favourite, but like 90% of that is due to fandom. GODDAMNIT YANG. DO SOMETHING. And please not a romance thing. Gah. SHE DID SOMETHING! AND IT WAS EPIC! REJOICE!!! YANG XIAO LONG FOR PRESIDENT!
 
You can see my distress here.
 
Usually my compromise is no romance at all. My favourite characters in Negima were all uninvolved with the harem. (Aside from one, but she was sane/naive enough to fall for an older version of the protagonist, so while tragic at least she isn't crushing on a goddamn ten-year-old boy) Romance is entirely absent from Touhou and while rampant in fandom, due to the female population dangerously reaching 100% levels, it's all delicious, delicious yuri. And finally my last example is complete and utter spoilers, but I give up on keeping it tight-lipped. Most of you will never play Dangan Ronpa, and even if you do this one tidbit isn't going to ruin the story or anything, just a few characters if you're that testy with spoilers (which I MYSELF AM, but I give up) SO LOOK AWAY NOW IF YOU WISH TO BE UNSPOILED.
 
-IN WHAT WORLD DID I THINK SPOILING PEOPLE OF MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER IN SDR2 WAS A GREAT IDEA GODDAMN THIS HAS BEEN SNIPPED FOR YOUR OWN GOOD-
 
Sure I can fantasize about AUs all I want for any of that to work, but that's fandom stuff. That's why there's a ridiculous amount of shipping and gay fanfiction and all that crap because where else can we find a nice domestic story about two guys or two girls together struggling to make ends meet or something like that, without having stupid prejudice issues the real world already has constantly butting in? In fanfiction my favourite character will not be called a slur or punched in the face or looked down upon for their sexual orientation. In fanfiction my favourite character will not spend eight hundred chapters figuring out why they don't care for the opposite gender. IN FANFICTION ALL OF IT IS THE NORM AND NONE OF THAT EXISTS.
 
THAT IS WHY SHIPPING IS SO RAMPANT. THAT IS WHY SHIPPING IS PREDOMINANTLY SLASH OR YURI.
 
This has been Spotto. Fuck proms, fuck canon, fuck high school.
spotto: (Q_Q)
Nonetheless, in the sense of tradition, I updated my murals crappily printed and taped to wall images from the internet. Have a looksee under the cut!

very large images )

spotto: (Stage One.)
 Woke up....started remembering everything I ranted about Negima.
 
To this day I still shake my head at what went down. Yes, it is indeed called Negima, but so many of my grievances towards the manga was beyond even that. I began reading the manga after enjoying the Mahorafest and the arcs before it immensely. While I only tolerated the fanservice, I found the mixture of romantic comedy and shounen quite refreshing, something I've yet to see in other works I had followed to that point. While Negi was indeed the main character, we are never to forget the existences of the students and how important they are to the story.
 
Then the Magic World arc happened.
 
At first it seemed like quite the intriguing storyline, everyone stranded across a world no one knew much of, in dangerous climates surrounded by dangerous people. To boot, they all had a bounty on them, framed and shamed as they struggled to survive the hazardous environment. A master plan was involved, gathering the Ala Alba team members and powering up the miniature teacher to take on all obstacles so they could earn their way back to their own world. Indeed, it was a storyline you'd wish to see the end of, to see how our heroes could accomplish such a monumental task.
 
Then another task befell our heroes.
 
Yes, they had to save the world. The world they knew very little of, its only significance being a land Negi's father often trekked through. Our heroes self-righteousness did not allow them to return home letting an entire population be wiped out by the evils of the enemy. But as chapters continued to be released, it became quite obvious that only one character had the potential firepower to do anything against the mammoth that is the enemy. Everyone else, especially those fighters, before they could've been relied as backup, those who could fight as well, hold off the frontlines for our hero to dive through, but soon what role they could play diminished and diminished.
 
They were no longer main characters...and they could be barely called supporting characters beyond one or two, they were side characters now. Our previous main heroine no longer by the side of the hero, instead being held captive for a hundred chapters. When the much anticipated fight between Setsuna and her devliish irredeemable "rival" began, the fight was quickly glossed over for once again, plot. The reveal that Zazie had some part in this gigantic plan was too glossed over, for again, plot. Negi is the only reason this story continues going right? Him and his precious students, who cannot be harmed in any way because that would interfere with their fanservice shots. He continues his plan to defeat the well-intentioned extermist at the end, or at least that's what I would've called him had he actually continued being one.
 
You see, when Fate first arrived to the plot, so to say, he had no qualms about harming Negi or the students. For whatever reason, perhaps convenience, his first act of petrification was not the permanent kind he was supposedly so eager to use. He attempted to impale young Negi twice, once almost successfully killing him and during that same Gateport battle, was about to end Setsuna's movable existence forever. Why would he do such things? All for the sake of "saving" this world, the magical world, from its inevitable doom. He is going through extreme measures to do so, with no hesistance to do such things like aiming for the medic or wiping out the mindreader first. But by the time the final battle arrives, apparently he and his minions have no desire to do any of that messy killing, even of the targets he first pointed out as so very dangerous. His mindset has developed into that of a shounen rival, whose only desire is to fight Negi. They were to complete their duty without any fatalities...that was when the "extremist" left the room.
 
And while that is happening, the usefulness of our beloved students began to wane. Perhaps I should've expected this the moment I realized the majority of the cast is present because they locked lips with the protagonist. They were fine up to the final battle. Their intelligence and teamwork paid dividends when they confronted Godel in the ball. Every student save a few unlucky ones were able to survive in the harsh wilderness that is the Magical World. Chisame rarely needed her pactio card to be of immense use to Negi. But the final battle, when an anticipated fight between Setsuna and Tsukuyomi is glossed over, and Mana is taken out of the fold having to fight Poyo...we are left with Kaede as the sole muscle. Ku Fei, despite her supposed advancement of her abilities is still holding the middleground of our cast. The majority of Negi's team is either intel, medical, or just plain weak.
 
But luckily Fate also had a party of weak minions for them to fight it out and stall a few more chapters. These characters only existed to be comic relief and to give Fate a more sympathetic backstory because even a cold emotionless doll can become a shounen rival. Our final hope, with Negi out of commission, lied on the group tasked to save that pesky princess from the hands of the enemy, with a meek and overlooked character heavily relied upon for yet another artifact coming from the actions of lip-to-lip. And they do it! They honest to God successfully do so.
 
...then a bunch of Fate clones show up and RUIN EVERYTHING.
 
Why? Just so Negi can wake up and KILL THEM ALL, with one Fate takes out to fully show us, the readers, how much he totally isn't an extremist anymore! He even saved his rival's females!
 
Kaede is taken out (but manages to get ahold of the key) quite easily, and several of our non-fighting friends fall as well, despite how supposedly bloodthirsty these clones are, who have none of the hesitance Fate holds, their damage to said girls are neligible. They'll be conscious in a few chapters with no permanent or even temporary consequence. Apparently saving the world only gives you a few bruises and bumps, especially when you are hopelessly outpowered by psychotic doll clones. Everyone's favourite man saves them all afterwards. Then he and the no-longer-a-bloodthirsty-extremist rival duke it out until Fate, because of how much he has softened, merely surrenders, giving in to Negi's idea of saving the world. Yes, let's rely on a ten-year-old boy who has zero experience in politics everybody! He's such a prodigy he'll manage it anyway! Meanwhile our female heroines, who as we can tell have absolutely zero power to really do anything in the actual fight, decide to save Asuna the sappy shoujo way, by holding hands and thinking of all the funtimes with our unconscious-forever princess. This is what these girls have been reduced to. This.
 
But then the rest of Cosmo Entelecheia show up and RUIN EVERYTHING! Again!
 
More impalement that literally can't kill Negi this time because he is some sort of immortal vampire like Evangeline! (Such nonexistent suspense!) These older guys show up and finish what Fate never could but luckily even Negi is saved from the likes of such beings by ALL THE TEACHERS AND EVA and Rakan who revives because he can, (or Asuna already used the key to reset button I forget) and defeats all those terrorist bastards. Evangeline particularly, when she decides to freeze them FOREVER. 
 
Yet again, someone shows up to ruin everything.
 
The CREATOR himself shows up, worfing basically EVERYONE in vicinity...until Asuna (with Negi) decides to smack him with a sword, and then we are revealed he is possessing Nagi's body, and then he disappears.
 
FINALLY the Magical World arc ends. Finaly. 
 
Idealism. There is nothing wrong with idealism. TTGL has a brilliant display of idealism, despite all the hardships and everything that may happen, you still continue on, head high, and believe you can do what you want to do, to challenge and defeat everything that attempts to surpress your immortal willpower. Negima's idealism is bullshit. Everything is at stake, absolutely everything, and half the cast waltzs through this predicament as if it were just a game. Meanwhile, we are treated with various shots and angles of these jailbait females naked because idealism and fanservice go hand-in-hand. The antagonists seemed to have softened this era for the sake of not harming those poor little students one bit, else their bodies be unfit to show the gazes of the readers. In the past era of Nagi and such, it was all no-nonsense, straight to the point. People died. Consequences were permanent, wars left orphans. The reason it's so dark in this era is because the heroes are not porcelain females but grizzled men. 
 
But now we can fix everything with a RESET BUTTON!
 
I'm not even going to go into the ending of Negima...we all know the response to that. This rant is just the summary of everything I had a problem with. The plot itself; the focus on one character and one character only. Kotaro's a pretty lousy rival if he gives up and actually calls himself a supporting character during the tournament. His goal was to be Negi's equal! He should still strive to be so no matter what. This even includes other characters who call themselves supporting characters in-canon. Though Negi's all like "you are the main character of your own story" their stories AREN'T THE STORY. What Negima feels like is Akamatsu wanting to do a shounen and a shounen only. So he starts off with the romantic comedy harem to fool the editors/publishers, then fully and completely transitions into a shounen, almost abandoning the characters of old from before. My favourite part of Negima was not the beginning or the end, but during that transition, when there was a delightful mixture. But we all know from the Magic World arc that wasn't his goal. 
 
And so the inner anger continues, forever to live on due to the great disappointment that is Negima.

This may be my last rant ever on Negima, unless something drastic occurs.
spotto: (Default)
Blowing off steam because Simcity 4 (playing a multiplayer-region with Ed) is seriously annoying me.

So I'll do something utterly pointless to calm down! AND THAT IS THE COMPARISON OF THE HAPPY MATERIALS:

 
Yes, Happy Material, a very catchy song and the theme song of the first anime for Negima. Do not believe what others say, Negima is a terrible anime, but an especially decent manga if you ignore the last fifteen chapters or so. Nonetheless, despite the mediocrity of the animations, the music is actually quite good, or at least some of them are. Sadly this does not include the music from the Live Action because 80% of that music is plain amateurish and bad, like the Live Action itself!

Moving on, if you don't mind listening to six or seven versions of the same song, continue reading! Happy Material is a very happy (as the title says) song, kind of poppy or techno-y...or well, I'm terrible with genres. Anyway for the sake of including all the class members, there are several versions sang by a different set of students organized by seat number. That means characters will sing with other characters you never thought would, like Chisame and Evangeline! This post is basically my ranking and especially of such rankings of which Happy Material is the best sounding. As always, shameless bias is present.

Let's start with the original, the good ol' original Happy Material likely listened to the most, what with being the original. Being the first song, the singers are the first few students in the class roster going by alphabetical order. Now already there is some bias floating in my head and likely most people's heads because being the original, it is the one you hear first, the most often, and therefore the one you expect...so obviously one will like it more already. There is further bias on my part because four out of my top five favourite characters sing this version, not only that but a previous absolute favourite character AND someone heavily associated with my favourite characters meaning I do not dislike and do in fact care about each and every singer, including their voice actresses. For the last one, do blame Aoi-dono for that just like everything else.

So yes, it looks like we don't even need to look upon the other versions what with that insane amount of bias already, but rather than just moving on without explanation, let's listen to the song as objectively as possible. It's not only the singers that we're used to, but how the music itself is played. The other versions have some variety in having different instruments and trying to differentiate itself from the original. So the original even sounds like the original, nothing added that may or may not catch you by surprise or anything that will annoy you if you hear it too often (example, a sound in the song like the intro or some character yelling something being very gimmicky and therefore rather tiring on repeated listens)

As for the singers themselves, not only do we have a nice variety of singers, this original also enjoys the privilege of six and not five singers because of the odd number of students for even further variety. The next bit of variety is where and what part the singers sing, it is actually different throughout every version and not static. If you're confused, say Yue sings one part of the song solo, whereas in the other songs that isn't actually a solo, but sometimes sung by two people at once, or the entire group, or only half of it is a solo, etc. I think the original is also benefited that the singing shared amongst the singers, and where their solos are placed are well balanced in comparison to the rest of the versions.

Now we can actually talk about the quality of the singing which will obviously, unless it's live, try to sound the best it can via the wonders of technology, but there are faults. While the voice actress of Yue, Natsuko Kuwatani is an amazing singer and perhaps one of the best in the entire cast, others aren't quite as brilliant as her. I will have to harp on my favourite character's voice actress, Ayana Sasagawa who can't seem to reach high notes at times, in particular her last solo before the song ends. That is a bit of a weak point in the song but luckily only half the song is in the opening of the Anime and Kazumi's solo there sounds fine, even cute and very fitting. Everyone else sounds average and can reach their notes properly. Akira's solos are nice to listen to and we are also luckily to have voices that harmonize well and aren't generic. While Ako's (non-fake) singing can be very ordinary, she is the only ordinary-sounding singer within the song due to Sayo, Yuuna, Kazumi, Yue, and Akira all having either very unique voices or excellent range in their singing or even both. Yue is both, but Akira is an example of the latter. 

 

So after that pointless analysis, I give this Happy Material a 9.5/10. There are a few faults, but the composition is done well enough that you can easily overlook such faults. Everyone's solo makes sense and sounds nice, so there we go. I can't really comment on the lyrics (the second verse is different each version) but even if I did know the words or cared enough to go look it up, they're all probably rather generic anime lyrics anyway. The final thing I must add is that while this song is the original and therefore there are no deviations, there is one. Near the end of the first chorus, you can hear Yue trailing off a bit from the others yelling "Go!" or some such, which is actually quite cute and a bit of an easter egg since people not paying attention can easily miss it unlike the other deviations in the other songs. So let's move on to the second Happy Material!

This one is sung by students Misa to Madoka. I must start off by saying it is unfortunate two cheerleaders are lumped in this one because due to the SHAFT Anime they were almost treated as one entity and spoke at the same time constantly, which made their voice sound very, very generic (just "loud" if anything). This is highly unfortunate because Madoka is supposed to have a "husky" voice in canon (obviously didn't happen) and Misa's voice actress, Shizuka Itou, is a very highly regarded seiyuu and for her to be reduced to such a role in Negima is wasted potential. Oh well, it's not like the casting directors knew the cheerleaders would have incredibly flat personalities when they were deciding on who to play who. Anyway, also thanks to having two cheerleaders in this song, the deviation for this one is everyone yelling GO! GO! whenever they're meant to only say GO! So...not a bad thing or anything, but the deviation might be annoying through repeated listens. (Not that anyone would actually be listening to this repeatedly unless they're doing a pointless analysis like I am at the moment...)

The second version also features the main character Asuna, so you'd think it might sound a little more special in some way, but it does sound oddly generic compared to the original. Madoka not having a husky-sounding voice actress does not help. Chachamaru, though often has wondrous singing (yay for Akeno Watanabe!) is singing at a higher octave and thus not utilizing her beautiful powerful singing like in 1000% Sparking, and so doesn't really sound as different as she could be. Asuna while has a fine voice isn't helping much with her voice range, and there's Misora (Bandou Ai) who sounded absolutely splendid in Infinity Love 2U but again has the Chachamaru problem of a higher octave. So unfortunately this version sounds like a mishmash of various Japanese female teenagers as opposed to the brilliant variety present in Happy Material 1.

Not only that but there appears to be less solos in this version...wasted potential is pretty much this song, but well what can you do if you happen to have a group that doesn't sound all that different from one another? And the singers that can REALLY sing are limited by the song itself due to their natural voice range from sounding like anything beyond cute. So I will have to grade this an 8/10. We move on to a bunch of characters well-loved by the fans...

From Ku Fei to Makie we have the yuri pairing that dominates all fanfiction, Konoka and Setsuna, plus a Haruna thrown in for good measure. Once again a majority of the characters sound like children or really hyper teenage girls...and I guess they are both. The difference here is that even the high voices do have a bit of individuality in them. Makie is of course voiced by the singer Yui Horie and Ku Fei has the very underwhelmingly enthusiastic if performed live Hazuki. They have decently unique voices despite sounding high. While Konoka does sound unique when she speaks and when she sings her own solo songs, she is slightly difficult to make out when singing with Ku Fei in this song. Not only that, she too has a high voice, so when you mix these three together you get a mix of highness that unfortunately overtakes Setsuna's very hammy, very boyish, and very unique voice. Haruna is in the middleground, so whenever there aren't solos it's once again a choir of hyper girls singing a song.

So thanks to several high-tier seiyuus, the quality of the song is nice and you can even make out the solos! The group singing while sounds nice, falls a bit in the variety department but I certainly prefer listening to this one over and over again as opposed to the second Happy Material. How very fitting that Yu Kobayashi sings the "original" line in the song. I'm not really sure where the obvious deviation from the original part of the song is, it's not too different from the original. So I guess in that case it ranks well in repeated listens. A lot of people probably listen to this one as well thanks to the popularity of the characters and the popularity of Makie's seiyuu. Haruna's voice while the middle-ground probably would've fit better in a group of singers with more variety to be able to enjoy her voice more efficiently. Too many high voices in this one drowns her out. The solos are a bit lacking here as well, which is unfortunate because I'd loved to have heard each singer by themselves much more than together. Also Makie's singer falls a bit flat in her last solo just like Kazumi's, but she has no excuse because SHE IS A PROFESSIONAL.

Anyway I'll end that review with a decent 8.5/10. Hurrah!

We lead into version four, from Sakurako to Chizuru...which is like the opposite of the last two versions. Everyone has a very unique but very few of the characters have high childish voices, oddly enough. If some of them were mixed into the previous versions the songs would have a far better balance, but perhaps that would make them all too similar to the original? Who knows. This one unfortunately features even less solos for whatever reason and seems to like giving Kaede extra singing time. Nothing wrong with that, what with her voice actress being a professional singer and her voice being decently unique, but it would probably be more necessary if she was the only one who sounded normal amongst a bunch of females on helium like on the other songs. 

The most unassuming voice is sadly Chizuru's though, which you don't often expect because you're thinking of a more onee-sama type of voice when she sings, but that's only reserved for her speaking. Mana and Kaede make an excellent duo in singing, and Sakurako despite proclaiming a love for karaoke really doesn't sing as much as she should. I much prefer Chao's singing voice in the SHAFT version, what with it being a different actress because her alto (or is it even lower than that?) singing in 1000% Sparking is absolutely GORGEOUS. Here she sounds relatively normal, not her normal voice when she sounds all high-like while speaking thankfully, but not as beautiful as when her new voice actress sings in the other opening.

Perhaps I've listened to this song too often in a row but I can't seem to decipher that much a difference between the music. Oh, different enough and thankfully more variety (I need a thesaurus! :D) than the 1000% Sparking versions, but still. Nonetheless I rate this a flat 8/10 that while they do not sound excruciatingly high or like generic Japanese females, they aren't extraordinary in the singing department and their voices are a bit too unassuming besides Mana and Kaede. Moving onwards!

We have the twins to Evangeline...oh dear, just as I begin to listen I can hear an extreme techno-y difference in the music which somewhat grinds on my probably very sensitive ears at this point. Not only that, but in this song we have very little difference among the characters: three lolis and two nerds. Chisame normally has a deep-like talking voice, but her voice actress has the Chachamaru syndrome (and is probably singing closer to like a Chiu) and so sounds JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE in this song yay! Hakase has a high voice as well, and the only voice NOT attempting to be cutesy is Evangeline's, which while still high seems to have an ounce of dignity in it. (If you can have dignity being a five hundred-year-old vampire singing a very silly song with a bunch of classmates you despise) I mean I guess ramping up the music to match the singers' tempo makes sense but egads it just makes everything worse.

The uniqueness of this song comes from the energy of both the twins and Chisame for some reason in Chiu mode. So they continue their lines a bit more with cheers or energetic cries or whatever to increase more of the taste of diabetes in your mouth. I know I complained about versions two and three sounding like immature brats on helium, but this is absolutely absurd. It's like you ate two pounds of pixie sticks and then began to sing with other people hyped up on pixie sticks while bouncing on a bouncy castle leaking helium. 

While Hakase sounds generically high, the twins are overboard cutesy and high, and Chisame seems to have a little bit of originality in her voice, not sure how to describe it besides "not irritating" and then we have the rather misplaced Evangeline. I wonder how Yuki Matsuoka felt when she recorded this song with the others? Her voice is definitely drowned out in the group songs and I cannot make out anyone whatsoever when they're singing in smaller groups. This group is the opposite of the first group, thanks to the twins singing together a lot (and not really having much difference in voice anyway) it's more like only four people are singing this, and there is very little that stands out as well! Of all the versions so far this is the worst. It's not bad, but I would not listen to it repeatedly, egads. 

HELIUM, I rate it 6.5/10.

So we come to version six, Nodoka to Zazie! And chills just went down my spine despite listening to the same tune dozens of times by now...

Because these five singers are perfect.

FREAKIN' JUNKO MINAGAWA and MAI AIZAWA are backed up by the uniquely sounding Mamiko Noto along with the voice you never hear Yuka Inokuchi with the very cutesy but not obnoxiously high Naomi Inoue! Arguably the best singer of the cast (contests with Yue) we have Ayaka who seems to sound amazing despite whatever octave you force her into. Natsumi's singer is actually very surprisingly good because you expect her to be normal and unassuming like Natsumi herself. It is no wonder she was cast as Mio in Nichijou.  While there isn't anyone with a husky or low voice here, Nodoka, Zazie, and Satsuki manage to still sound different so without their voices being THAT different from one another the group actually sounds especially harmonious and the remix of the music aids this mood very well. I don't even get chills from the original song because the original is just the original, but it seems like the music producers kept trying and hit the right note with this version. (It probably helps they got an amazing group to boot!) The lack of extreme techno is so soothing to the ears.

The solo parts are fitting and while again not as numerous as the original, still has just enough. Everyone sounds amazing together or on their own, and they can sing very well and there is a beautiful diversity. This song is like they put all the nicest characters together to sing, WHICH THEY DID! Satsuki is basically flawless. Ayaka gets shotacon jokes but she always has genuinely innocent and meaningful intentions in the end. Zazie may be the most polite demon in existence. Natsumi is unassuming but never puts anyone else down and is, well, nice, and well, I don't think I need to say anything about Nodoka! It also helps that none of these characters are annoyingly energetic like a majority of the class. (I say this while having Yuuna as one of my favourites...herp derp, she's lucky she has a backstory and an incredibly unique voice!) The complete opposite of version five, as opposed to being a clusterfuck of horribly high voices this one is just splendid and wonderful and if you were to choose any version to listen to over and over again for the rest of your life because of some horrible oddly specific curse, choose this one! (Yes, even over the original!) Everything that deviates from the original fits perfectly and isn't forced. 

10/10.

Yep, it defeated my bias. Oh and the unique part of this song aside from everything was that one part after the instrumental where Satsuki said something in a non-overenthusiastic nice voice. Yay.

Apparently there is one last version...the one sung by the teacher and his sort-of family kind of....Negi, Nekane, and Anya version time.

Ah this intro is very interesting, slightly jazzy or whatever...I'm terrible with genres and...LOL.

Sorry, was distracted by the description of this version. The uploader can't figure out Anya's last name...Anya Coconuts. Pft. Anyway the intro was quite unique and I very much enjoyed that sound to start off. Three singers means a lack of variety, but at the same time way more opportunities for solos and such. Rina Satou, being such a veteran in this whole voice acting business, sounds fine. She could not sound any worse or better, very fitting. I could complain that she doesn't sound very Negi-like, but then I'd have go back through this entire rant and mention that for a third of the class, so whatever. Maybe it's not jazzy but kind of acoustic-sounding? Blah. This song is also like 20 seconds longer than the rest huh. Anywho with one singer being an older sister adult lady-like, one supposedly a ten-year-old boy, and another an eleven-year-old girl (who sounds deeper than half of Class 3-A, hahaha) we have an insane amount of variety here despite the lack of singers, so that actually isn't a problem! And the longer length is due to more of the instrumental playing about which is fine and dandy with me, I like the instruments on this song.

Nekane's voice is quite soothing and fitting, Anya's isn't typical moe cutesy little girl like (THANK GOD) but still fits. Negi's higher than normal for the purpose of this song, but they all sound wondrous. Nothing too much to say besides that, dunno what the unique niche of this one is and due to the low amount of singers commenting on the variety is actually quite pointless despite already doing so! I think I'm gonna run into some sort of pointless circle here if I keep that up. I give this one a 9/10!

There are actually more versions like a Konoka version or one with all of them singing but I'm not touching those. So I guess that means our final tally is like this, if you feel like listening to this song go with them in this order:
Happy Material 6 - 10/10
Happy Material 1 - 9.5/10
Happy Material 7 - 9/10
Happy Material 3 - 8.5/10
Happy Material 2 and 4 - 8/10
Happy Material 5 - 6.5/10


The acoustic version is very nice too. 


And that is my pointless post for this lovely blog. I am starving and will once again attempt to fix the roads in my Simcity in futile.


spotto: (Default)
Because woah I never got around to watching it. All I did was hear all the horrendous reviews and decided that I was done with the franchise (especially after that manga ending)

But the other day I was organizing my trusty external and moving a whole bunch of series I've gathered into it. I found a whole bunch of old Negima stuff, so I decided to finish watching the last OAD and movie I never got around to watching. I was going into the movie with low, low, looooow expectations and told myself to STAY CALM AND COLLECTED while it I watched. So yeah, now that I'm finished with it...REACTION.

First of all, due to watching Nichijou and falling in love with Mio's voice, I paid extra attention whenever Natsumi spoke. Interestingly enough she did get some decent amount of screentime compared to the others (especially my favourite and lovable MISCELLANEOUS group) But anyway the movie starts off ZOOMING PAST all the actual canonical action throughout a dozen or so chapters in the manga, just summarizing it all like a silly slideshow or something. Basically everyone dies but then Negi shows up and everyone is okay again and then he’s friends with Fate and they beat up that Lifemaker dude and then Fate dies but no one cares and then three months or whatever later we’re back in the classroom HOORAY!

It’s graduation time.

Negi is called into the Headmaster’s office and Kazumi is accompanied by the annoying twin duo to go eavesdrop. The big news? HE MUST CHOOSE A PERMANENT PACTIO PARTNER if he is to become Magister Magi, and those who are not chosen lose their memories of magic foreeever. So a majority of the movie is spent angsting about this consequence. The fighty people go fight Negi one last time, the lovey-dovey people go kiss him one last time, the main main characters discuss and wonder what it’ll be like with some classic Ayaka/Asuna action ho yeah. For some reason several characters who are not known to be jumping on top of and thus molesting Negi in some dogpile of sexual harassment doom are doing so. Near the end Chachamaru and Ako are part of this group for some reason, which I don’t see them doing so I’m going to wager a guess that SHAFT does not give a crap about keeping characters in-character.

Anyway after all that happens Mars suddenly appears, decides to wreck havoc thirty years earlier than Negi had planned for the ultimate fix of the Magic World. So in order to stop it from eradicating all life as we know it, he must destroy its fancy barrier and then fuse Mars into Earth. I actually have no clue what hell kind of BS plan this is, but in order to have enough power to do so this instant he needs to choose a permanent partner NOW. So Negi decides to choose everyone because IF HE CAN’T HAVE HIS HAREM, THEN THE WORLD IS NOT WORTH EXISTING. So then they jump on a giant magic circle of doom and try to stop Mars. Every student who has offensive pactio powers aid in Negi’s giant beam of doom (for example, Makie’s incredibly crazy gymnastics ball! THAT IS SO GOING TO BREAK A PLANET’S BARRIER!) which indeed implodes the barrier but the whole fusing Mars into Earth thing unfortunately fails.

So we get a few minutes of OH MY GOD WHAT DO WE DO and then Chao appears! Hooray! Because Chao is here, and therefore all of Negi’s students, they are able to do the fusion spell and save their worlds! Everyone is then happy, we go to their graduation and then it ends! Huzzah!

You know, as terrible as all that sounded I think I preferred it to the end of the manga. I think I was bitter for weeks after the end of the manga. I’m somewhat more relaxed about it since it ended in such way due to Akamatsu’s dispute with his publishers, but I dunno, I think part of the reason Negima can’t get a faithful Anime adaptation and that the manga ended like it did is the fault of the mangaka himself. He didn’t see through that companies wishing to adapt his manga would do a good job or not. He let them milk all the money possible and destroy all resemblance of his characters and even he could not do justice to the manga he created. See that’s the thing, with the adaptations of Negima I already expected it to be bad or at least not faithful. The saving grace was always “at least the manga’s still good!” So when the manga ended with quite possibly the worst type of ending ever, it of course would be rage-inducing. I had nothing left to fall back on because the source material itself failed.

Oddly enough the movie itself is actually quite an appropriate conclusion for all of the existing animated works of Negima. The beginning where the movie scrolls past all the canon manga stuff is a parallel to the OADs, which while mostly faithful shoved a lot of stuff into such a small time-frame, just like it was in the movie! The ending with everyone using their pactios to achieve a great cause reminds me of the retarded ending of the XEBEC Anime. The bathhouse scenes call back to the incredibly fanservicey OVAs, and everything else is the SHAFT Anime, since the SHAFT Anime threw away all plot and just used the characters for its own plot, which is exactly what the movie is about.

Nonetheless, it did give some decent closure. Basically my review of this movie is “IT WAS BAD” but it could’ve been worse because us fans of Negima are used to WORSE, what with being everything else. At least we get to see some of our favourite characters in their pactio outfits, and some decent action along with it. I found Ayaka at first fighting over Asuna with the possibility of Negi picking her was fitting, and then right after that when Ayaka wanted Asuna to be picked, what with everything that has happened...that was very in-character and sweet of the class representative. I also like Natsumi’s scenes with Kotaro, She brought up a good point that even if she didn’t forget, the memories are pointless if everyone else forgets. It was another pretty touching moment, I must say. I don’t care about the love octagon triangle harem thing at all and also I didn’t find Yue and Nodoka’s scenes all that deep so I have little opinion of that. The fight scenes were good, but maybe my memory is bad...wasn’t it only Ku Fei that wanted to duel Negi? Why would Mana and Kaede want to? I don’t remember those two having a rivalry with him. With each other yes, but not with Negi.

That leads to...miscellaneous! They just threw every other character with each other, and funnily enough my favourite characters are among this group. (Chisame, Haruna, Chachamaru, Eva, and the Konosetsu scenes were largely kind of meh) Because this movie is only an hour and fifteen minutes long (even less so in the initial screening, eesh) we can basically crush and press the rest of the characters together into ONE CHARACTER. They are the generic students who like Negi! They don’t have their own personalities or problems or insecurities or anything like that! Oh no not at all!

Okay, I might be exaggerating there. We do have Yuuna acknowledging her father for about two seconds in the movie. Kazumi just does usual journalistic scoop stuff, but really these characters are pretty shafted in the movie. Oh well, largely expected. I wish they had a budget, a company and a creator that CARED so this movie could be hundreds of times longer and actually have some resemblance of proper plot and care thought into every single character. Did Zazie only get one line? Is the fat girl’s only purpose to serve food? Misora might’ve been the most forgettable student there! Sayo’s voice actress is quite the veteran and I think she probably could’ve been paid five dollars for her service in this movie.

See, when I started reading this manga there was one issue that never escaped my mind. THERE ARE SO MANY DAMN STUDENTS. How was Akamatsu going to go through them all and give them all unique characterizations!? Then more and more other characters are introduced for the purposes of the plot, and half the class is left forgotten in the wastelands of Mahora. Then the story ends, so pretty much my issue never got solved in the first place. I am always against anything that has too many characters. I thought the first season of Digimon had too many chosen children, but they managed to pull off a pretty good show anyway.

Anyway let’s go to my superficial comments on the movie!

Due to the bathhouse scene, several characters are shown with their hair down. Including Yuuna, who while looked very odd with her hair down in the manga for whatever reason, looks quite swell in this movie. Here is an actual quote said by me during the viewing:
“Yuuna should really have her hair down more ...wait Negima ended. FUCK!”
Yes the only reason I want to see a continuation is more Yuuna with her hair down.

And while every other character could’ve been dropped off the face of the planet and no one would’ve noticed, I have one thing to say to this movie. You have Natsumi going through her troubles. You have Ayaka going through her troubles. Chisame, Haruna, Chachamaru, going through their troubles. But! Do not get me started on a certain character who almost died of a terrible disease, had to sell herself and her friends into slavery to afford the medicine, get treated harshly by the enslavers and shocked (at first), discover the one person she’s emotionally dependent on and in love with does not exist, watch the new friends who eased her experience suddenly die off and...you know I could keep going with this...and YET STILL only have a minor role in the movie with no closure at all.

One problem I’ve always had with Negima and the endings is how idealistic it is. I myself am a very idealistic person, and I thought this manga/anime/whateverthehellitis was too damn idealistic for me. No one dies. All your enemies become your friends. No one is actually bad, just well-intentioned extremists. No one will ever get hurt, just stripped. If someone gets impaled in the chest they will get better. If someone gets impaled in the chest it will never be one of those untouchable classmates. If they happen to actually get hurt the blood is actually fruit juice. If someone suffers through a horrific ordeal they’ll end up in the permanent status of “Angst? What Angst?” when they should seriously be suffering some intense form of PTSD. Everyone who was “killed” is merely stoned or turned into fluffy feathers and you can find a reset button for everything. If you graduate it’s okay, your teacher is teaching English the next year too! You might be a ghost but the reason you’re a ghost is never revealed because that would be too sad for the perverted children reading this manga or watching this Anime. If you have to be put to sleep for a hundred years for the sake of the survival of a world you can just leap into a separate timeline and continue your happy existence there. If you share a love interest with several other girls there will be no permanent jealousy or consequences that will ensue because your love interest will never ever reveal who he actually likes ever, and even if he does you will be okay with it despite your life revolving around this person for years. The one person in the class who is not a pedophile is instead subjected to horrible horrible abuse, then relegated to a role of being a Negi Molester #4 with little or no closure whatsoever.

...Negima's pretty sexist, huh?

Welp, that was the movie. The end of the end, no more Negima to come because that is all. Manga is over and animated Negima is over. The plot was bad and the plotholes were many. The animation was kind of iffy, but I think all the negative news that came about with the SHAFT crew seriously screwing up with the deadlines of the movie and then only releasing 2/3rds of it in theatres was already troubling as is. I can’t understand how badly they handled this series. It wasn’t just mediocre bad, it was really, really, really glaringly and blatantly horrible. I think my experiences with Negima is the reason why I never ended up watching more Anime because the experiences were so disappointing I preferred pursuing a different medium. I must stop now because if I don’t my rants on this series will be ENDLESS. So this has been Spotto, good day, and that is all for the movie, OAD, Anime, and manga that was Negima.
spotto: (NUUUUUUUUUUEN~)
My first exposure to Touhou was not the fighting games, nor well-known PVs like McRoll or Marisa Stole the Precious Thing.

It was in fact this silly PV, posted in 2008 and parodied with Negima characters.

And of course it never got me into Touhou because when I saw that video I liked it mostly because it was associated with Negima. When curiosity led me to watch the original I didn't gain anything. Mostly because this remix of Love Coloured Master Spark sucks and makes it sound like some sort of overly cutesy shoujo-like Anime for children and the monotony and repetitive nature of the song was not outstanding whatsoever. If I knew Love-Coloured Master Spark could sound like this and delved into the ridiculously expansive genre that is Touhou music I'd probably have dived in. Also thanks to Hetalia I saw a parody of Marisa Stole the Precious Thing BUT IOSYS IS TERRIBLE. That is why I didn't get into Touhou earlier, both those vids are by IOSYS and they drove me off rather than pull me in!

And Kero Destiny is far better, but alas I suppose I'm not very good at getting myself into things. In fact back then I do not believe I realized what Touhou even was. I think I even recall saying "It's that IOSYS thing" or something or another. Oh how ignorant you were past-Spotto. I did indeed watch McRoll but didn't find it all that amazing or anything like that. In fact, while I do love UN Owen it's not my favourite theme and if anything UN Owen were to get me into Touhou someone should've showed me this video because oh my god that is one of my favourite vocals of all time. The picture always helps, but Kero Destiny and Silver Forest as an extension (though I have no idea if they also did the video, or if someone else does it. Or if they hire some artist to make the PV to promote their song or whatever! How does it even work? Does Noya work for Innocent Key!? I know IOSYS does their own videos I think maybe!

And even when I'm already in Touhou, I have seen the stage where one of my fandoms parodies Touhou and I already know it. So rather than watching the video on the left here first I saw the one on the right long before and therefore my judgement and bias is already showing. Though objectively Bad Apple really is better. It even got on CNN once. I wonder how someone made it animate so smoothly? Must've taken a long time, yet not because they didn't have to have details. Well either way, in terms of the song I hate singing Bad Apple and I like this humorous version of Bad Apple, or this 3D MMD version. The MLP one has awesome custom lyrics and singing though, far better than I can ever hope to do.

But yeah this post was pointless @_@ So we'll end it with Backstreet Boys.
spotto: (Stage One.)
So..
TTGL >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> GUNDAM WING

No contest. No comparison. I won't even explain why. It's so obvious and my opinion of GW is actually lowered now. 

You know, there's something wrong with me.
Or perhaps, from your point of view...something right with me.

As every year passes, I keep resenting my young teenage years more for my rather questionable tastes. I don't know. I really don't know, but as I grew older I keep wondering why I like to ship characters. I keep thinking now that doing something like that kind of ruins the original material, the passion and essence of the show or movie or book itself. But such a thought process is unacceptable because if people want to ship or change how the canon is like in their heads they can. Everyone has their own opinions to what they like and believing that they are wrong for doing so when it's merely something as minor as TV Show is wrong and yet, the more days that pass I question further why I would do that. 

I've ranted before that love should never be introduced into the Mane Six of MLP. The show is all about friendship after all, and should love as a topic ever be brought up, should be a problem amongst minor characters and never with the main characters. Yet despite that, I still ship PinkieShy. I think it's adorable and I don't mind looking at images at it, in fact squee like a little girl when I do or read fanfiction of it. But does it not go against the spirit of the canon? Does it not break the friendship dynamics of the six friends we've come to love and go beyond that? So why do it? Why ship? Why can I not resist d'awwing at every picture I see, watching them boop noses or cheer each other up? Is it some sort of subconscious psychological desire? It's not like I want the pairings I ship to be canon, that would be pretty awful and quite the jump-the-shark moment if it ever actually happened, but still...should I not enjoy the show the way it is, with the message it provides? Isn't that the point? Why does my brain desire to see two of the main ponies hooking up? Why does my brain desire to see this for any pairing from any series I follow? What is the purpose of Korea and Hong Kong being together? They never even communicate, yet I want to see it. Do I have inner carnal and shallow desires for something as completely one-dimensional as this!? I DON'T GET IT. I love Kazumi and Sayo as the best of best friends ever yet I do not mind and even enjoy them going beyond! WHAT IS SHIPPING EXACTLY!? Why is it something yearned after by so many people, and why does it have such hypnotizing properties sending normal everyday men and women into raging walls-of-text justifying their ship to another and wishing death threats upon a fictional character for dare breathing next to the character they do not belong with!? What makes one type of person love shipping but others not!? What is the appeal of something as ridiculous and outrageous as this!? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!

But...I will continue to do it, against all logical thought. Is it really as simple as "they'd look hot/cute together!?" Isn't an explanation as simple as that kind of insulting to the human mind!? Why are emotions so incredibly powerful!? Why do they twist and turn our brains and make us do things that don't seem normal or with proper thought!? 

...well, with that out of the way, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

Yeah I watched it. I watched it all in one day, one episode after another the moment I woke up. I said I would watch it at some point in my life, eventually I said. I know I am very anal about watching or experiencing anything because I like clinging onto what I have and only moving on until I scrape the bottom of the barrel of all substance of everything I like, but the other reason I might end up watching something longer than a movie or a game that requires effort is when I am sad. The Canucks lost Game Seven? WATCH PONIES. That I did, and that I do not regret. It gave me great happiness and allowed me to cope with the loss a bit better, what with basically all of North America judging my city and the fans of the team to be horrible, immature, and ridiculous people for rioting and causing one million in damage in utter idiocy, when in reality the people who did this is a huge minority, half of them probably not fans at all. The recent trade and my utter disappointment in Negima was getting a bit much, so I decided I needed some hot-blood into my life. I knew TTGL was amazing and changed many people's lives, but I did not want to watch it until I had a reason to. As stupid as my methods are, it's how I work unfortunately. I could've watched it five years ago, but I prefer to save the epic until I can take in the epic, so that I haven't gone through 150 Animes and raged at 80% of them because they were bad or ended stupidly or whatever.

Nonetheless, opinions! 

What can I say about TTGL...hmmm. I can't necessarily say it changed my life or anything like that...but I do admit it was quite possibly the greatest Anime I've ever watched. While it is known to be a highly-praised Anime anyway, I don't have a lot of Anime at all in my watchlist, so my opinions aren't quite as legitimate I suppose. For TTGL I am pretty much satisfied. I don't want to enter its fandom or really have anything to do with it because I feel the original material will be lessened if I try to indulge in any fan-related creation regarding it. Simply because anything fans could ever possibly do cannot surpass the quality of TTGL itself. Perhaps that is narrowminded thinking, but I don't want to accidentally see a Yaoi doujin of two of the manly characters or something. I am not condoning looking at such material at all, but I found the Anime so great that I don't really want to see different interpretations or even alternate universes. Maybe I'll check that manga out, but unlikely.

A common rant I have around here is how cheap death is and how often I watch or read anything where people simply do not die, or if they do it's some minor character or an old man or whatever. Negima is a huge offender. They kill absolutely no one. I understand it's meant to be a light-hearted manga, but in that case I will expect none of the class or Negi dying. The rest however is a crapshoot, if there's going to be a huge war and tons of political drama and Negi being fucking skewered through the chest with a giant stake with blood everywhere, then that tells me the universe they are in are dangerous enough where people will probably die. Yet no one DOES. Not even the fucking bad guys, they all get revived and then killed..no wait, FROZEN FOREVER. The people supposedly "dead" are all MASS-REVIVED. So whenever Negi or Fate got stabbed through their stomachs I frankly could not give a shit. There was no danger at all, not to anyone at all. I don't want to look for some show with a realistic or cynical tone for people to die. In such a series it's obvious and expected...I want to see where when a major death happens it's necessary and develops the other characters. I bet 75% of 3-A are still idiots who can't take a thing seriously because no matter how dangerous it got in their little war nothing that changed was ever permanent. Even Asuna, who was thought to sleep for a hundred years gets to experience a happy life too by being TRANSFERRED TO AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE, like sacrifice means nothing at all! It really, really, really REALLY bothered me! Can you tell that it bothered me!? BECAUSE IT FUCKING DID. Why are you so cheap Ken Akamatsu? What's the point of those chapters where everyone is sad? Were you trying to incite cheap tears from your fans for a few weeks before everything is reset again? IT DOESN'T WORK THE TENTH TIME!!

Anyway I watched TTGL and its message is quite idealistic. The tone of the show itself is very, very straightforward and rather happy. It's not a depressing war-torn show with tons of angst amongst whiny teenagers, but people still died...and not random mooks or red shirts or characters no one cared about (but they died too, naturally) but important characters as well! Lots of important characters! MORE THAN I EXPECTED! Yet even with such setbacks that would obviously put down all the characters and make them feel as though they cannot go on, they DO...and that makes everything all the more powerful

I really don't have too much to say about TTGL. It was great...what more is there to say? I suppose there were oddities like episode four but everyone and their mother has discussed this series already and probably analysed it to death, what with its popularity. Doesn't have to stop me but I can't seem to think of anything to say. I also watched the movies and enjoyed the differences, though overall I think the plot and what happens in the Anime is the best. (I can't deny that the combination of everyone's Tengen Toppa-versions of their mechas wasn't cool or the fist-fight with the anti-spiral or anything, but everything was paced better in the Anime...you know, what with having much more time to do stuff and all) 

You know I came in the Anime wondering many things, many common instances that are ridden in other franchises or shows. For example I wondered which character everyone would hate, or what might actually happen or the symbolism, or whatever. For me I love every single character and that usually never happens with me, at least not a first showing. Usually if I watch something and like it, I still have problems or qualms about some character and then warm up to them later but I don't feel any of this for TTGL. I knew Kamina was super awesome and amazing. I already knew beforehand that he'd die too. (it was like Snape Killed Dumbledore, hard to NOT know that by now lol) I knew a lot of things already but also wondered a lot of things. When Rossiu was introduced I found him adorable. When he grew up I saw him making mistake after mistake, and I kept wondering "No! HE HAS A XANATOS GAMBIT UNDER HIS SLEEVE! HE IS A MAGNIFICENT BASTARD! HE'LL SECRETLY RELEASE SIMON! HE PURPOSELY GAVE THE GANMAN TO LEITE TO SCRAP BECAUSE HE KNEW SHE WOULDN'T! IT'S ALL A CLEVER, CLEVER PLOY!!" So yeah, I wanted to justify everything he did but in the end he was being quite the bastard, still. I don't hate him, but I'm not surprised he has a lot of haters. Someone has to take this role, sadly.

Oh wait why am I talking about Rossiu so early? What of the other characters...like the actual main ones!? I actually have nothing to say about Kamina. No, not a bad thing. It's just everyone in the world loves him and everyone knows what he did and everyone knows everything so what do I say? Nothing because it has been said! I need not add to the tire-fire of GAR! Yoko was pretty cool as well. I was pleased to discover that she is not just walking fanservice. I find her logic in wearing barely anything for comfort kind of odd, but whatever. Simon's character development throughout the series was awesome, and as FUCKING AWESOME as he is, by the time he gets older and has all the confidence in needs I didn't really care about him at that point. We already know then that he will accomplish everything he needs to do (the exciting part is the execution of how he does it!) but his character at that point is like The Ace, or Superman...so while he was dishing out quite the awesomeness in the most beautiful of animation ever his character itself at that point...eh, not too interesting. 

Oh wait that reminds me, Kamina isn't actually a one-dimensional dude with blinders on the side of his head with only the ability to look forward. You see, there's a REALLY good explanation for him and it makes Kamina an even better character because of it! The fact that he himself isn't all that strong but still has that spirit within him, all so he can get Simon to keep going because Simon is the one with that potential, even if he himself has nothing else at all and Simon is the one getting him out of trouble...it's really admirable. I really understand the lovefest with Kamina, from not only the in-universe characters but the fans as well.

Yet he is not my favourite. *hit by tomatoes* 

I CAN HAVE OTHER PEOPLE AS MY FAVOURITE! *hit by more tomatoes*

Fine, let me tell you my favourite. I don't have a single favourite, but I absolutely, absolutely, ABSO-FREAKIN-LUTELY love LORDGENOME and NIA. These two. They are something.

You know my problem with manly men these days, especially in animation is how incredibly clean-shaven they are. I see those shaving commercials and I'm like "WHY" If you have testosterone you need to have hair! I am so sick of all these females in love with all these really, really girly-looking men! Look at Twilight for example! I love werewolves myself, BUT NONE OF THOSE SHIRTLESS DUDES ARE WEREWOLVES. Werewolves are HAIRY. THEY ARE NOT HAIRY AT ALL. And when they transform they don't even turn into werewolves they just maintain a wolf form after transforming in an instant. THAT IS SO INCREDIBLY LAME. LOOK AT THIS VIDEO. That is a werewolf transformation. I have a problem with the guy not originally being hairy but still! It should be traumatizing and painful and really badass! (and now you know why I find werewolf!Fluttershy the best thing ever) 

So then I see Lordgenome...at first I have no opinion. He's just there to be the antagonist, the mystery guy sitting atop his little throne, seeing his minions run out and kill themselves. Then you finally see his body. He's muscular, but he's so much more toned than all the manly men you've seen yet. And then that final battle with Simon...OH MY GOD. This dude, he's so fucking manly it's insane. And it's mirrored in his personality and attitude. At no point does he lose confidence or even his cool! He looks epic DYING. A MANLY MAN IN A MANLY MECHA! The staggering amounts of mecha Anime these days with these THIN AS TWIGS PILOTS and their GIRLY BISHOUNEN FACES IS TOO MANY I SAY!! HAIR ALL OVER HIS BODY! None on his actual head which makes him even more insane. That CRAZY beard. his SPIRAL EYES. Fuck I love this dude. HIS CMOA in the Lagann-Hen movie was FREAKIN' AMAZING. His POSTURE too! Agh! THAT HACKING SCENE. It's no wonder he spent most of the second half of the series as just a head! If he had his entire body during that duration EVERYONE'S HEADS WOULD'VE EXPLODED OF IMMENSE GAR. EGADS!

Yes, I love Lordgenome. This Anime is actually perfect for my art-style. Whenever I try to draw ponies they look too old or chunky or the eyes are too small/the head is too small because I'm so used to drawing super serious manly things. Whenever I doodle I often attempt drawing a manly male torso and I always give them mean grouchy looks! It's why I enjoy drawing Wolfe the most in my SI doodles because I put hair all over him and make him very manly. I prefer drawing manly stallions like Big Mac over any other pony, yet my favourite are the girly ones. (The pony I draw most is Fluttershy though. I just keep drawing her it's not funny. I guess I keep trying to perfect her as I draw!)

You know I just realized I forgot all about Viral, hahaha. Well he's cool, not a favourite of mine. His dream in the Lotus-Eater thing was actually rather depressing, but apparently, according to mecha people (don't ask me, I am completely ignorant) he is a "Char" clone...makes him feel less unique when they say that. Leeron surprised me, but at the same time I also...wasn't surprised. Kind of hard to describe really, I was surprised such a flamboyant character showed up in such a series, but at the same time the tone of the series (especially early on) him being a character didn't really feel out of place either! So yeah. I'm not about to describe every bloody character ever or something. Kittan was awesome, and when I saw the "second" OP I was wondering who those kids piloting the mechs were....they were the orphan kids from Rossiu's village, grown up. Shows how much I pay attention. >_>

Then we have Nia. Why do I like her exactly? I actually don't get it because I don't think I would've liked her as much if I watched TTGL five years ago. But anyway, it's not like she's an advocate of strong women who break social norms and stereotypes or anything! She is found, knows nothing about...well, anything, and then has to be saved a few times and takes up cooking. (I correctly predicted that her cooking would be horrid! I was like "Watch her suck at cooking. It's always like that. Girl seemingly perfect wife-material CAN'T COOK!") I think a big reason is how she just..is...she really reminds me of Koishi for some reason. Like, if Koishi were dropped into a universe powered by spiral energy, this is what she'd become...doesn't help that she actually looks it, and I fucking love Koishi, so yeah. Also it's just her whimsical airheaded moe nature, it's like "Nia, we should get married" and she's like "NO WAY" with a happy cute face and I'm like "YES I LOVE YOU YOU ARE AWESOME" Actually when I found her being introduced practically directly after Kamina died I feared that she might become some sort of replacement scrappy but as the episodes went on I was like "WOW, you cannot possibly hate this girl and have a soul"

The fact that she is the daughter of Lordgenome is awesomer. That ridiculous manly gritty contrast with the innocent moe girl is...wow. 

Besides the characters, another great thing I love about this series is that everybody gets a mecha. Not every soldier or manly men or action-person, EVERYONE gets a mecha. That LITTLE GIRL ORPHAN you take from that gloomy underground village will be piloting a MECHA! Nerdy people can pilot mechas too! In fact the only people I never see pilot a mecha are the mechanics, why not try out one of the things you built/fixed up man!? :C Plotwise you go from underground village city thing to breaking through the fabric of space-and-time jumping through multiverses...how ridiculously incredible.

You know, I don't understand the critics...people who find it too hot-blooded or ridiculous. It's like hating Pinkie Pie! I don't get it! HOW DO YOU DO THESE THINGS LIKE HAVING SUCH NONSENSICAL OPINIONS? Do you not feel emotion!? Ah well, this has been Spotto... I am not going to quote anything so ha. Looking forward to the Fluttershy episode tomorrow due to the preview clip...and TTGL is surprisingly relevant to the topic of the tomorrow's episode (being assertive!) so yeah, somewhat of a coincidence! That is all.
spotto: (KAZUUUU oh and sayo)
WHY THE FLYING FUCK HAPPENED TO NEGIMA

NO SERIOUSLY

THE MOVIE

 

THE ENDING

 

FUCK

 


REALLY

ENDING IN THREE CHAPTERS YAFIJDNBs HJBDGHFJSAEUYhfigbAYNF&*GTMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMBMB
 

THIS IS A FUCKING JOKE


spotto: (Stage One.)
Negima might be ending soon. I'm not sure. I don't even know if it will be or not because I cannot tell.

I haven't been able to comprehend anything that's been happening in the manga lately. So many plot points, so many twists, so many big-damn-heroes moments...everyone being revived (including the bad guys) and all that...the ending of the Magic World super-arc was really really...well, not necessarily disappointing. I wasn't disappointed because to feel that way you need to be excited to begin with, and my enthusiasm for Negima died off in the middle of the entire arc because I found it too complicated, boring, and ridiculous to care. It kind of sucks to care about any character within that manga not named Negi or the few main girls attached to him. Thirty-one girls in a classroom and a 10-year-old teacher...that premise, I always wondered: how the hell would he handle such a huge amount of characters? It was inevitable some will end up less developed than others.

But then a time-skip happened...5 months to be exact...straight to graduation.

I wasn't expecting that. Not only that but he opens up his class-roster, and tons more notes showed up. All these notes detail events that were never shown in the manga, new things we simply skipped over but were ripe for storytelling. More information on lesser-known characters, on characters we've been yearning the background to for forever, including Sayo. For all we know it's all been skipped.

Really?

Even if we somehow touch upon those later, Asuna is being sucked up away from the story for a hundred years...and she's kind of important to the plot. Then again we spent like a hundred and so chapters with her not in the manga so it might not be the same, but...everything just feels so contrived... I know I gave up on the story a long time ago, but I always had the hope, I always came back to catch up just to see...Will they give us some backstory to some of the other characters, particularly those I'm interested in? I've always wanted to see that, but it doesn't look like it'll come to be.

If this is the end of Negima...the ride was terrible, and I have no hopes for the ending either. The beginning was pretty awesome, but that's all I enjoyed. 
spotto: (FLUTTERSHY)
This post is shockingly NOT all about ponies! But let us start with a pony picture anyway.
 
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I would wear a pony shirt if it had Tux!Pinkie on it. FOR SERIOUS.

This week on the pony, or the not pony! )
spotto: (FLUTTERSHY)

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HALLOWEEN EDITION

So much to say, so little I'm actually going to publish.

Well first off, since it's Halloween my door actually has this adorable picture of Ex-Keine on it right now. I would give her all my candy if she showed up at my door. EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF IT, and I will ensure that she'd share with Mokou. It would be wondrous.

Apparently Buddhists do not celebrate Halloween.

Here's a song that is fitting for the day.



Nue, a creature feared by humans for one simple fact, the Nue is a being who's true form is still unknown, is that loli we see before us her real form? It makes me wonder, is ZUN tricking us humans once again, and laughing his ass off?
She was sealed away in the depths of hell, but all the ruckus Chernobyl caused broke her free, releasing along with a bunch Unidentified characters a horror unknown to man. Shape shifting, corpse morphing, they are all truly fearsome powers. -Excerpt from the description


Yeah. UFO was horrifying. Those UNIDENTIFIED SPACE SHIPS AND LIKELY THOSE ADORABLE MINI-ALIENS PILOTING THEM IT IS SO SCARY HOMFG I had to hold back ALL my fear to collect them because they gave you free things like candy. Though in terms of progress I actually reached Shou on EASY MODO! She proceeded to destroy me. (Which is funny because I got through midboss Nazrin with no problem) I can perfect Nazrin and Murasa now (no it's not because she's my favourite and I practiced her forever in practice mode) both Kogasa and Ichirin still give me trouble, in particular their last spellcards. IF ONLY I HAD THE BOMBING REACTION. But you know what? Nue is a troll, forcing me to risk my VERY LIFE to manoeuvre through all the bullets attempting to collect that red life UFO ONLY FOR IT TO TURN BLUE THE SECOND I TOUCH IT--FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

So due to it being Halloween this week/month's edition is going to be discussing the internet's fascination with the genre: Grimdark. Every single one of my favourite characters have been subjected to such a genre, though some made more sense than others. (I demand more Murasa grimdark. SHE IS A MASS-MURDERER FANDOM! Do something with thaaaaat! Oh and she is also a ghost. And no, Stripe-Pattern's desire to gorify everything using psychopathic Sanae does not count, nor does Byakuren letting a little girl be eaten by a youkai!) One particular favourite from Touhou that isn't Flandre is Koishi, due to her disconnecting herself from the youkai world by having a few arteries not plugged into her brain, or something. I even did an entire post about this, with the strangely-popular Youtube series: "Koishi's Heart-throbbing Adventure" This little adventure isn't just Koishi decapitating everything (rather, she is the one who is decapitated oddly enough...and Yukari, but that's spoilers! Oops.) I have not been following it because it subjects poor Shou as a victim and that just tortures my heart to see Shou like so. (By the Myouren Crew too. :< )

But yes, the internet is now fascinated with that which is grimdark. I'm not entirely sure why (or maybe I am late and it has been in forever) but people simply like making characters as miserable as possible that goes far beyond that of emotional trauma. They are after all fictional characters, so no real people are being hurt except maybe offended people on the internet. But no one really cares about people on the internet unfortunately. I highly enjoy fan-made creations that are incredibly sad. I love reading tragedies and occasionally angsty-stories. (Those that don't tread into wangst-y, at least) So what makes grimdark even more fascinating than already a genre that tugs at your heart strings, attempting to stab you every time you open your eyes? I must admit I am not completely against grimdark, so long as it's well-written and has some sort of point. (And yes I realize most fluff has literally no point but at least it makes you D'AWWW which is important! Senseless grimdark kind of does nothing really, or disgust you. But who wants to willingly be disgusted?)

And well most grimdark I've run into wasn't the type I'd like unfortunately, since they are all senseless. The aforementioned Stripe Pattern is one of them. I'm not going to go into the heart-throbbing adventure since I had an entire post devoted to it before, but I have these Stripe Pattern doujinshi on my computer, and I got to say. So senseless. Of course if you make it like Taoism propaganda it'd be far more hilarious, except the part that depicts Nue as a hero. (In which case Nue would be some sort of amazing historical figure we'd all hail) One of the biggest most noteworthy of scenes is when Byakuren leads a bunch of youkai (who all look like horrible ugly disfigured demons and not the pretty loli youkai you regularly see) and they walk into a village. One of the youkai eats one of the little girls, and Byakuren does nothing to stop it, in fact encourages it. The most aggravating parts of the story isn't so much the scenes despite how horrific this one is, but the fact that the circle uses actual quotes from in-game to describe Byakuren's beliefs, throwing it completely out of context. It truly does seem like a propaganda doujinshi. Stripe Pattern hates the UFO characters, and had Sanae brutally massacre the group. 

I too have even written grim-dark, if that one story of mine where a nuke falls on China causing the death of the entire population leaving Max missing a hand means anything. I am not proud of that story, in fact I quite despise it. The fact that I use such a touchy situation to justify for the shipping I have in the story is awful. I've also written imprisoned Negima characters with regular tasings and fights, also a way to write out a shipping. I don't know what was wrong with me then, but I do believe I had a fascination of grimdark myself. I think a lot of teenagers go through this phase, it's like being emo and wanting to cut yourself (but not actually cutting yourself...I hope) thinking that the entire world hates the fuck out of you and nothing is fair. You know, the whiny teenager stage. I think a majority of my past Livejournal posts are pretty much either fandom squeeing or whiny teenager stage, so... (yet I still keep them around for nostalgia purposes)

But some of them are again, rather interesting. I think half the reason I fell into the Hetalia fandom is that you could depict actual wars with the characters, and use that character as a symbol of the feelings the entire nation feels. Yes I realize some people might be offended by reducing an entire population to a shallow anime character, but you got to be brutally honest about these things. While a death toll with a gut-wrenching high amount of numbers is pretty devastating, you probably don't know anyone who actually died since mass death occurs in a third-world country much more often, but many people were in tears when they found out Steve Jobs passed on, a single person. It's a lot easier when there is only one face. The face of a poor girl who was murdered near a University a few weeks back is a lot more emotional than a number. We don't have time to look into the histories of a devastating catastrophe then a single person whose future was so very bright or of a man who revolutionized technology of the current era.

But yes, how did we get to that from grimdark? The problem with most grimdark out there is that it doesn't seem to have a point besides making you disgusted unless it's actually involved in some sort of plot. South Park is often considered something like this, but still has elements of humour in it to keep plenty of people watching, but grimdark never really has humour for some reason. Perhaps I'd look into it more if it did. Also I could talk about the MLP fanfiction Cupcakes on here but eh, despite its notoriety I don't think I really need to discuss it. Really, what is there to discuss of a one-dimensional fanfic? Pinkie Pie dices up Rainbow Dash! There.

-

On another note since I am on an MLP tangent recently, I am going to defend the haters of Pinkie Pie from episode 4, the Halloween episode. There aren't that many actually, but the idea that there ARE people annoyed by what she did in that episode frankly annoys me as well because that episode made me like her even more. 

People should not go into this show thinking it's a generic everyday baby show. I'm sure the humongous population of people watching it is evidence enough, but for some reason Canada decided to air this channel on Treehouse TV, a toddler channel. It has such shows like Timothy Goes to School and Franklin. I was actually rather shocked when I heard they censored the word "losers" on that channel. If a show has to be censored to be on a PRESCHOOLER CHANNEL it does NOT BELONG THERE, not to mention several episodes that might be too complicated or terrifying to children. I'm wondering what they'd do with Fluttershy snapping a bear's neck from episode three. I was quite surprised that episode got through to airing with such a ridiculous scene. It is on par with Bubbles beating the shit out of a bunch of monsters and wiping blood off her mouth. Not to say it wasn't an entertaining scene, but Jesus Christ are those ratings folks even paying attention? Lol.

Anyway onward to episode four! The Nightmare Night episode, bringing back a character that was long missed during season one. (Well, according to a ton of fans...I didn't really care.) I found her hamminess quite glorious, especially since it wasn't intentional. When I saw the costumes first-hand before the episode aired I found Pinkie's a little unoriginal at first. "Really? The ridiculous character in a chicken outfit? That's not original at all!" In fact in terms of first impressions I actually didn't like any of them, though Applejack's was okay. When the episode aired though, all my disappointments were addressed!

Twilight wasn't MERELY a wizard, but of Stars Swirl, an obscure historical figure. It was so in-character. I can't say much about Rainbow Dash's because although being a Wonderbolt isn't original, being a Shadowbolt comes out of nowhere seeing as all it was was Nightmare Moon attempting to deceive her loyalty. I suppose it was fitting considering her pranks. Applejack was not really touched upon either, and both Fluttershy and Rarity got nothing. Throughout the episode I saw Pinkie Pie screaming in terror from Luna, unknowingly making her night rather miserable. I at first wondered why she'd do that, due to two things:

1. She was there and helped reform Luna with the power of RAINBOWS!
2. Her 'Giggle at the Ghosties" song.

So while wondering if she was just off-character or the writers were being stupid again (they tend to be in occasional episodes) at the end of it she explained that "sometimes being scared can be fun" or something like that. That was in-character too, just like Twilight's costume and her chicken outfit spells it out perfectly. She was being a chicken! You also have to remember that Nightmare Night comes EVERY YEAR and EVERY YEAR you're supposed to be afraid of Nightmare Moon, it is tradition, JUST LIKE THE ROYAL VOICE! She's not going to switch from last year, and again she didn't realize she was making her night miserable. After all, they almost had a truce at the end there if not for Rainbow Dash. People who denounce her for being a selfish prick just baffle me. I can only shake my head. Misunderstandings happen in everyday life too. 

It reminds me of people disliking a character because they were doing something from their point of view because we viewers know everything and expect everyone to act as what we know. For example a character might be acting like a bigoted sexist bastard in the past, but we are watching from our time-travelling heroines' view. Anybody that actually doesn't act bigoted is a goddamn Mary Sue. (If they act HESITANT and eventually break the norms then it's okay (it's called character development!), but they are not going to magically decide that the world they grew up in is completely and utterly wrong) 

Yeah, people who denounce her for this episode are as aggravating as people who hate Rarity. (As you can tell Pinkie is my favourite character)

That is all! Enjoy all your candy or spiked punch if you're attending parties, and Happy Halloween! I also have a WoT entry being prepared if I ever decide to post one! Stay tuned for that! Maybe.
spotto: (oshi-- the captain is lazy)
This is not actually a post about the subject because that's been discussed to death. In fact the real topic probably is also discussed to death, but is related to the subject. 

First, let me start by saying I prefer Sheik female, simply because I find it more interesting. I don't actually follow Zelda games that closely, having only played one and was introduced to Sheik through SSBM, so there might be canonical reasons that she/he is male, but in a strict personal and perhaps storytelling standpoint, she is far more interesting as a female.

But why?

I don't know why, really. I suppose it's because of his/her oufit, which covers her/his body, and the fact that her/his face is covered as well. So many female characters,and I really mean it, so many are portrayed in an all too-common way that nowadays is really beginning to annoy me. There's a video game with high attention to detail, stunning graphics that make it as if you're merely guiding the hero through a whole movie, and then they meet a female. What does the developer do to denote that the character is indeed female besides the name or voice, if there is voice-acting? Why, give her boobs of course. And because the audience is nothing but a bunch of perverted dumb fucks, make sure there's plenty of cleavage so they can see those boobs and therefore determine that she is indeed female. After all, all females look and dress like that! 

The ironic part is if Sheik is indeed portrayed as female, her outfit being tight to her skin, will show us all her lovely beautiful curves. Isn't that great?

But the one solace I have at least, is that her face is covered. That gives us a sense of mystery, that even though most characters in fiction have the same goddamn face, maybe her face isn't of a sweet delicate girl, but of a hardened-warrior. Maybe her face is covered due to scars, or covered because she's trying to disguise herself...actually the biggest reason is that we don't have to see her lips. It's not really quite as obvious as giant breasts and womanly curves, but mere coloured lips seems to automatically dictate that this creature is female! Unless you're Frieza. Or his dad. Or his brother.

I DIGRESS.

We've seen in Anime that most males, or at least relatively young ones of the teenage and young adult age look rather feminine. They're not always muscular men with body hair and gruff voices, and in fact even muscular men don't need to have gruff voices, or those with gruff voices do not need to be muscular. I am only asking for the same for females, who should not, especially in the West, always be so exaggerated. I suppose it's one of the oldest tricks of business though, no male fans if there are no sexy women after all. Even then, they don't all have to be like so!

But even still. An example is Negima, many different body types and kinds of females with several different personalities. Great, right? Finally something that portrays people of different heights, skin-colour, body-types, personalities...same faces still, but you get the point right?

...nope.

And it's all because of one thing. Because of the fanservice. Because the majority of the cast is female and having them all be the same would be rather dull. If there was ever a series where the female is the minority, she'd just be female. Not a character, just female. I'm sure there have been many, many rants about that, of the Smurfette Principle. Let me give you an example of the other way around.

The only male character shown in canon in Touhou is one Rinnosuke Morichka. He's not manly. (Canonically, of course) He's not strong. He's not the center of attention or the subject of a harem. (Canonically, of course) He's simply minding his own business, running his own store. He's not a buttmonkey for being the only male. He's not shirtless. (Canonically, of course) He has a personality besides being male. It would not matter if he were female anyway, but nothing in Touhou is affected or changed in him being male, besides het-fics actually existing beyond that of <character>/ZUN. Even though all that time before he was ever introduced males were either non-humanoid or dead/disappeared forever. But why is he male? What is the purpose of making him male if the entire population is female anyway?

Well a theory of why everyone is female is that ZUN can't draw males. This still holds up, since Rinnosuke only appeared in the mangas drawn by other people. That can be the same for any other creation or work out there! If you can't make a good female character, don't even bother with one. Stop trying to attract other demographics if you're just going to do it poorly, and surely not all male fans are horrible lost causes in terms of sexual appeal. Why can't a female be attractive without wearing practically no clothing? Why can't a female be interesting without being stereotypical? I'm sure males would be interested in a strong female character too. 

Let's stretch it further. WHY does the generic default character have to be male? Just create a character, do not worry about their gender, and give them a gender. It wouldn't matter if they were female or male, at all. If at some point in the plot the sex of the character must be brought up and be relevant, then fine, give them the appropriate gender, but why does it matter? Because guys don't like shows with main female characters? What the hell is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic then? I assure you guys like that show not because they are furries or deranged, but because the show is legitimately good. (Of course, there are always those very deranged vocal minorities!) And look, they're ponies, not girls with well-developed bodies! (or alternatively, completely undeveloped bodies for those people) Their personalities and the setting make it more so that the ponies are young adults, as opposed to children, since they have responsibilities. Life in Equestria just tends to be rather idealistic because after all the main demographic is children.

And yes, this stretches to a few of my berserk buttons in the Touhou fandom. Like Murasa canonically not wearing shorts. I like shorts. I like how most fanartists keep the shorts. Most people see her as a dull forgettable character (and awesome people see her as an awesome captain with plenty of potential! /notbiasedatall) so why not throw her the bone and make her a little more identifiable, like being the only character with shorts. It gives her personality and it's practical in the seas. (I wouldn't wear a skirt in the seas or the skies, what with that wind...) If all females in a type of media is female because they all wear dresses, that'd be highly monotonous. (Unless of course it's in a time period where females are restricted to a type of clothing) Just like if all females are basically a pair of jugs, or if all females are high-pitched annoying people, or if all females...

You get the point.

Moving on, my clan friends (or Ventrilo friends, or friend people male...things. What do I call them now?) assigned each other with various DBZ characters. No one really assigned one to me, so I did it myself, but I'm not entirely sure who to be since I don't really care much for the female characters in DBZ. I went with Dende since Namekians produced asexually so they're not really male or female even if their appearance is very much male. Also Dende is cool. Then I asked Akira who her favourite female character was, and she responded Chi Chi.

You know, at first I was like "Why?" in my head. Because in my memories of watching DBZ as a child, Chi Chi was rather annoying, but after rewatching some of these episodes today...I can kind of see why. And most people who accuse her of being annoying and stupid to me, are just immature teenagers who don't understand her character. Sure, she isn't without flaws and can be rather annoying, but ultimately she is a mother, a caring mother who only wants to see her children thrive and succeed. Fighting, although very awesome and entertaining to watch, and no doubt very important to the safety of the world, will not help Gohan through life in terms of careers. Though I would think the world owes quite a bit to the Son family and the rest of their group for saving the world so often, but they're such nice people they don't even take credit for it.

And she isn't without development, either! She began to train Goten in fighting, when Goku was dead, finally realizing that not allowing Gohan to train as much as he could was foolish as well, but how was she to know before then that the Earth would be the target of evil aliens time and time again? Her wish to keep her children safe, even if she is by no means in any position to having the power level of a mere human is admirable. I found her death scene to the hands of Majin Buu actually rather shocking. She stood up to the villain after her son was allegedly dead and her husband definitely so. It was actually really stupid, but still...you really realize she's just a mother trying to protect her children. Not watching Gohan or Goten to fight such powerful monsters is instinct. It's like the world wars, where all the men have to go fight for their countries. Surely all the mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, etc. just want their family to come home! They don't want them to fight, to face real danger even if it was necessary to stop dictators and empires and whatnot. They just want them to live.

Speaking of her death, Goten was there to witness it. I actually found that a lot harder to take than Gohan losing his father several times or Gohan watching Krillin plus the other fighters die several times, etc. I'm not saying Gohan had it better either, it's just that there's a difference between a man risking his life dying and an innocent civilian. There's a difference when someone who has died once already dies again and someone you don't expect to bite it since they're non-fighters. It's also because Goten seems a lot more innocent at that point, having experienced far less than Gohan, so suddenly seeing someone who you're very close to, not even a person meant to fight die right in front of you is kind of troubling...

Anyway I actually lost that rant but Dreamwidth magically saved it after I thought it was gone forever. +1 for DW.

spotto: (hong kong *STAAAAAARE*)
I may be out of the Hetalia loop (but not the Negima loop! Just caught up) but Hong Kong's personality is actually quite AWESOME. (I read Hetalia Bloodbath :X) His character section on TVTropes can list it in a nutshell but basically he's a lot well, looser than most people I know expected? I remember following an RPer for HK who did his personality somewhat similar to this, and it was my favourite interpretation. He's better at annoying China than Korea! YEAH.

Speaking of Negima...well what has happened somewhat surprised me yet at the same time hasn't. I didn't expect such a completely cheesy conclusion to his conflict with Fate, but then everyone from Mahora popped up to act like Big Damn Heroes. I'm rather disappointed the fights between Setsuna and Tsukuyomi and Poyo and Tatsumiya were cut short and really never elaborated on EVER. I wonder how often he and Fate can get shot through the torso without dying. My largest complaint is probably how cheap death is...as in it never happens or only pseudo happens or happens to INCREDIBLY minor characters, not even minor minor characters die. Not even VILLAINS die! I just can never see the sense of danger in this manga because they don't ever show anything ever biting the dust. 

I've mentioned this fan-manga/comic/series thing here a few times already, but I feel like regarding danboou warning Chirei De as its own entity now. It's just that good. I believe it's going to end soon and that's already making me quite sad. I just cannot believe how good the writing, the artwork, the expressions and style this artist has. It's better than that commercialized official manga in the above paragraph, and has infinite more depth than the shallowness that is Hetalia. (I still like those two, but I'm just saying that this is...REALLY GOOD.) The best mixture of sadness, of happiness, of sappiness, of adorably cute and dark. Never too much of either and somehow done in this intricate art style I never thought had so much flexibility. I have never seen the artist handle something awesomely evil or cool or whatever like Nuclear Fusion Utsuho, who will show up pretty soon, but I have high hopes. After all, everything else is near-perfect!
 
 
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