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)
There's an artist on Tumblr who I admire, and who has quite possibly the best sense of humour there is. Unfortunately our opinions don't always align, and she seems extra-sensitive to racial issues like Tumblr is sometimes infamous for. I can't comment on anything not involving my own race for chance of ignorance, but as someone who is Chinese I was a little miffed that despite a large post rebuking an incredibly stupid post written by someone who thought even speaking Chinese when one is not natively Chinese is somehow offensive, apparently Mercy wearing an outfit with Chinese patterns or Widowmaker in a Qipao on just her spray is something they are uncomfortable with.
 
They might have a small beef if they themselves were Chinese, but they're not.
 
White people who get offended for other people's cultures/race piss me off to no end. Especially those who hold the opinion that no matter what people think of or say they cannot possibly be racist against white people because of privilege or whatever, which also pisses me off. That's like holding other cultures/races on a pedestal and making it more "sacred/exotic" compared to white culture simply because they have a history of oppressing minorities. It's still treating us differently as if we're an alien species as opposed to different yet equal. In the end any issue that comes down to racism or cultural appropriation is most likely a case-by-case basis, and never something starkly black and white. To assume so would be almost like generalizing any minority into one melting pot of people compared to white people. Also anytime someone even mentions white people it's always Americans or something and never like, Eastern Europeans who also are pale-skinned and have had a history of being oppressed as well. What about Africans who are white, or are we to assume if they aren't dark skinned they aren't African? This always made the term "African-American" nonsensical to me, because if someone from say Northern Africa who may look tanned at most or someone with white skin from South Africa immigrated to America, what do they call themselves? No one would take them seriously because African-American is ingrained within their minds as black so much that they'd end up just calling the person using the term racist or ignorant. 
 
In other words these "white knights" who try to be allies express some internalized racism without even knowing, without ever acknowledging it. It just pisses me off. It reminds me of a layman trying to correct someone on some topic and talking over the expert who could explain and express everything much more sincerely and accurately. If there isn't someone or even a group of people of that specific race bringing up the issue, what is the issue? Unless there is literally a tiny population of the people, most cultures and races do not need a white ambassador to lecture all the other internet people what is politically correct and what isn't. 
spotto: (@_@)
Yes. SDR2 Spoilers. blahblahblah.

In My Little Pony there is a ship I have that I have many mixed feelings towards. I ultimately ship it, but it has always frustrated me how despite their status as main characters and friends that they had very little interaction throughout the show and any that did surface would often be a negative one. That's right, Pinkie and Fluttershy, always be making one another cry or one another uncomfortable, insensitivity ruining things for the highly-sensitive despite that wonderful episode early on where it looked like Pinkie was rather protective and considerate of Fluttershy's feelings, that led to that season showcasing how much Pinkie cared, encouraging Fluttershy to leap over the chasm in Dragonshy through song when everyone else was annoyed at how much of a load she was. When Fluttershy became so concerned that Pinkie went missing she leap-hugged her out of nowhere which would have been out-of-character any other day, any other episode and these lovely small moments disappearing into the winds, as writers came and went and characterization developed so...~

In Danganronpa there is a ship I try to have but have far too many mixed feelings towards. I don't ultimately ship it despite trying so hard to, though my thoughts are turning towards maybe trying once more. Why do I mention it here in the middle of what seems like a My Little Pony rant? Why because I always compare this ship to PinkieShy due to the two characters being somewhat similar to them. If I do not ship this ship I pretty much have nothing to ship in DR, which is why I really want this to work, yet unlike Pinkie and Fluttershy these characters though also friends and in the same clique, mostly have negative interactions when they show up. Not something minor and forgivable like making one another cry either, but literal murder.

Yep.

Now before you bite my head off, the context is VERY important and in fact the murder itself isn't even the problematic portion that bothers me to the point of not shipping it. The circumstances that lead Mikan to murdering Ibuki is pretty longwinded and occasionally ridiculous, but the entire cast of SDR2 are all parts of the Remnants of Despair, a terrorist cultist group following the ways of Junko who is basically Satan Incarnate after falling to her manipulative wiles/brainwashing. SDR2's biggest twist (or one of anyway) is that it turns out it's all a simulation to try to rehabilitate the cast so they lose their memories of being Despair, and go through a fun school trip where they bond and have positive memories that can return them to the happy pure selves they were of before. When Ibuki was murdered, a Despair disease made up by the mastermind and antagonist mascot of the series, Monokuma, caused a few of the characters to act very differently from their normal selves. Ibuki was given the gullible disease and Mikan the remembering disease. Mikan regained her memories of being a depraved horrific monster who will spread Despair at any cost for the sake of Junko, her love, and so she picked out the most vulnerable character to off who happened to be Ibuki. 

I have no problems with that.

But before Mikan was despair, she was already a very broken individual. She had a very horrific past and upbringing. People regularly bullied her and called her trash, they would physically abuse her like putting out cigarette butts onto her skin, or using her as a writing pad when none was around. They basically did not treat her as a human being, and it has been such a consistent part of her life that she has a very warped and unhealthy personality towards others. Her self-esteem is to the pits, and though she would cry if you insult her (See: Saionji) she also believes the only way she can be liked is to show off her body, take off her clothes, willingly make herself a fanservice magnet to others. She has this belief that her only worth is her physical appearance and that's the only way she can be of any value, so she does intricate things like trip very awkwardly, falling into incredibly provocative positions assuming everyone would like it. She's terrified of every little thing, super anxious and also the Super High-School Level Nurse, meaning she's incredibly talented in caring for others. It's implied she enjoys being a nurse because it's the only time she feels she has an advantage over others. The only time she is stronger than another person is if that person is very sick and weak.

Anyway Mikan is messed up.

Ibuki for a while seemed to encourage Mikan's self-destructive behaviour because she enjoys cute girls. She likes fanservice. That scene with all the girls showing up to the beach party seriously rocked her world. So many girls with large boobs! IT'S HER PARADISE! She was also one if Mikan's friends or at least they were both in the same clique in school. Now, I found Ibuki's behaviour though rather harmless in terms of intentions (after all despite Mikan's protests she truly is doing what she does on purpose technically) it preys upon Mikan's insecurities and only serves to validate Mikan's belief that her only worth and only ability to be of any use to someone is to show off her body, which is very unhealthy. So Ibuki would be enabling Mikan and therefore should they be in a relationship, it would never end well.

But the more I thought about it, the more this issue isn't as large as it seems. Ibuki acted the way she did because at the time these fanservice shots were happening, the class believed they had all just met. Ibuki has absolutely no idea of Mikan's ulterior motives when she does what she does, she can only react the way she would normally react. For whatever reason I assumed Ibuki would still react in this way as if they were good friends, which we have no indication of in the small Twilight Syndrome scenes that flashback to their friendship back in the school when they had memories. I mean it can't all be good considering they are all willingly friends with Saionji for some reason (and in fact, I theorize Saionji is ACTUALLY the reason this clique exists, as in she is the CENTER of the four/five girls. You probably think I'm crazy, but look at it like this. Mahiru has no reason to be friends with Ibuki or Mikan, nor does Mikan have reason to be friends with Ibuki, but they ALL have reasons to circle around Saionji. Saionji is the closest to Mahiru, so that's the easy one. Saionji is also the only one who enjoys Ibuki's unique brand of music that she prefers as opposed to the generic pop she's famous for, so  that obviously draws Ibuki to the group. Saionji is also the only one who gives Mikan attention. After a while Mikan's shenanigans would tire others or drive them away because most people in Hope's Peak at least in their class aren't mindless perverts... wait, what about Hanamura? What a strange plothole. 

....wait a second.

Danganronpa 3 fixed the plothole.

WAIT A SECOND.

WAIT A MOTHERFUCKING SECOND.


There's a relationship chart for Class 77 that came out for the Anime, mostly pointing out who's friends with who and such. Ibuki had no friends, but her only comment was that she found Hanamura gross. There was a scene in the Anime where she "accidentally" kicked Hanamura away when he went into horny horndog mode...

THIS IS EVIDENCE THAT IBUKI WOULD NOT STAND FOR SOMEONE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF MIKAN. AND THUS MIKAN WOULD BE DRAWN TO HER CLIQUE THAT INCLUDES SAIONJI FOR SOME REASON FOR MORE THAN JUST THE SAD DEPRESSING NEED FOR ATTENTION THAT SAIONJI PROVIDES, AS NEGATIVE AND HORRIBLE AS IT WOULD BE BECAUSE IBUKI FINDS THE RESIDENT PERVERT GROSS, AND ACTIVELY STOPS HIM HERSELF. OH MY GOD.

And considering Ibuki's greatest wish in a relationship is a beautiful wholesome platonic BAND MEMBER BEST FRIEND kind of thing, she admits it in her finale in Island Mode, check her wiki entry for more info that means Ibuki's lust isn't as corrupted as I believed and Ibuki MAY ACTUALLY BE one of the few people FITTING to ship with MIKAN!

OH MY GOD. I JUST REALIZED THIS. I WAS GOING TO RANT THAT THIS SHIP WAS LIKE PINKIESHY TO THE NEGATIVE EXTREME, BUT I JUST FOUND A JUSTIFICATION THAT MAKES IT SOAR PAST PINKIESHY IN THE LIKELIHOOD AND HEALTHINESS DEPARTMENT! I MEAN IT PROBABLY HELPS THAT BOTH IBUKI AND MIKAN ARE PART OF THE LGBT SPECTRUM IN CANON, BUT HOLY CRAP.

But that just makes my love for PinkieShy even sadder. These two similar characters (kinda) with far more fucked up pasts/circumstances/traumas in a much more unforgiving universe WHEREIN ONE MURDERED THE OTHER can potentially work better as a couple than two happy technicoloured G-rated ponies. What the fuck. 

I'm so glad Buckball Season exists at least. It shows Fluttershy's development as a character and where she needs to go if shipping her with Pinkie is of any possibility, and highlights the fact that Pinkie goes through anxiety not unlike what Fluttershy often struggled with, which gives Pinkie a way to empathize with Fluttershy's plight, leading to less insensitive situations and maybe that impossible extrovert/introvert barrier can finally be crossed the more we spend with these characters. OH GREAT WRITERS OF MY LITTLE PONY, I IMPLORE THEE TO SOMEDAY GIFT US A TRUE PINKIE AND FLUTTERSHY EPISODE THAT FULLY EXPLORES THEIR FRIENDSHIP AND GIVES MORE AMMO TO SPREAD THEIR ADORABLE SHIPPING POTENTIAL WITH SO MANY OTHERS THAT DON'T COME AT THE EXPENSE OF SOMEHOW EXPLAINING AWAY OR IGNORING EPISODES LIKE PUTTING YOUR HOOF DOWN OR FILLI VANILLI. AMEN.

I mean I still shipped them, but I was well aware however their relationship may be there were a lot of unhealthy or unsavoury aspects to it. I LOVE THE POTENTIAL OF THIS SHIP,  THE SHEER CUTENESS IT COULD BRING, but the personalities clashed in ways I did not want to believe. I wanted Pinkie to open Fluttershy up to the world, for Fluttershy to show Pinkie the little things in life. The fact that they're both pink and yellow feminine colours and there isn't some clear "this character is clearly the pants in the relationship!" kind of stereotype that wracks so many same-sex ships. Fluttershy STANDING up for Pinkie in Buckball Season was very surprising, but the kind of dynamic that really could work in the rare event Pinkie is vulnerable. And Pinkie would always do her best to cheer up and make Fluttershy comfortable when she needs it. I LOVE THIS SHIP SO MUCH, but I'm also so very conflicted with what interactions exist between them in canon.

...well at least I can ship Ibuki/Mikan in peace now. 8D I'm still fond of the hilariously dark silly images depicting Mikan in the process of murdering Ibuki though... hahahaha! I swear Ibuki is my favourite. I don't understand people who immediately hate Mikan because she murdered their waifu Ibuki because she DID after all revert back to her despair!state, and it wasn't as if Mikan was the only one in such a state initially, the whole cast (almost) and Ibuki too was as well! In fact I bet you if it was despair!Mikan trying to murder despair!Ibuki, Ibuki would welcome it since being murdered brought despair which was a good thing in their eyes. That's how fucked up that situation was, seriously.

By the way the big fanfic I was regularly posting here is NOT abandoned, I'm already beyond thirty chapters at this point. My head is coming up with more idea/scenarios as to where the story will go from here, so if anyone is still curious the story lives on! 

geh

Jun. 4th, 2016 01:05 pm
spotto: (@_@)
 ..........

1. you could have used any other character to support Fluttershy, literally any other one
I mean I know it makes most sense with her because childhood friends bullshit,  but i'm sick and tired of rainbow dash and fluttershy always hanging out. You got Rarity making time for so many other ponies but Fluttershy still only hangs with fucking Rainbow Dash. I mean really? For fuck's sakes.

2. last episode was boring as fuck, but they also utilized Rarity and AJ again. Do you see what happens when you keep referring to the same fucking pairs? IT GETS BORING. Then again, the season five AJ/Rarity episode was also DULL AS DOORKNOBS so clearly write another one with the absolute weakest premise possible with the lowest stakes. Good god.

3. what was even the point of AJ and Pinkie appearing. There was literally no reason for them to be in this episode. They just said things that did nothing to advance the plot. Nor was Pinkie being comedic or AJ there to be the straight mare. THEY HAD NO PURPOSE. THEY DIDN'T GIVE HER BROTHER A JOB, SO WHY EVEN INCLUDE THEM

4. speaking of zephyr or whatever the fuck his name is... he's so unlikable it's not funny what the hell. What the hell. The INTENTION was to make us sympathize with his plight, but I JUST HE WAS SO ANNOYING HOW DO YOU EVEN TRY. Like you could have given him SOMETHING that was likable but it just kept piling up. His selfishness, his irritating personality, and he even makes Rainbow Dash uncomfortable by constantly flirting with her what the fuck. AND THAT LAST ONE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A SINGLE REPERCUSSION. MY LITTLE PONY HAS THIS TYPE OF CHARACTER IN THEIR SHOW NOW. ARE YOU FOR SERIOUS

5. so what even is fluttershy's job anyway? Is she paid to take care of animals? Seems odd she'd be the one in this role when she's the character with the least defined career of the six

6. why are her parents also fluttershy. You could have made ONE of them like her but they're both doormats. That's so uncreative I don't even. At least their designs were alright I guess. Look at Rarity's parents, tacky and embarrassing. Look at Pinkie's parents, amish and droll. I mean I guess they're more interesting than Rainbow or Twilight's parents but they're still just...good god man. Or maybe even give Fluttershy a single parent instead of two. At this rate the only one that breaks the norm is Rainbow's dad (with the least creative design possible) but since he only cameo'd a few times and we know nothing about him we can't confirm or deny anything. He may not even be her dad! He could just be a relative! THAT'S HOW LITTLE WE KNOW OF HIM! Surely MLP is bold enough to have single parents or whatever. They already killed off AJ's parents. 

7. Will I ever like a Fluttershy episode again? At this rate the answer is no.

8. That song was so sudden. I was really hoping last episode had a song to spice it up, especially that "GET MY TOOLS" part, but nope.

9. To be fair I'm not rating this episode as worst-tier. If you see my ranking list I at least prefer it over last week's insomnia-cure of an episode, but I dunno. I guess the spoiler of knowing Fluttershy even had a brother wrecked my expectations. I was hoping he'd be like adopted or a twin or maybe Fluttershy was adopted, or a half-sibling or a step-sibling or just something new to the sibling dynamics in MLP but he ended up being... a stereotypical brony. A neckbeard. A slob. There are fans who apparently relate to him in the sense that he has no real ambition thanks to a low sense of esteem and being terrified of failure, but I guess he spent too much of the episode trying to hide those flaws by being as irritating as possible that I can't seem to identify with him at all. Christ.

10. I'm going back to South Park. Next week cannot be as bad as these last two. (I already jinxed it, didn't I?)
spotto: (flutts)
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You know how I have a fucking RAINBOW DASH SHIPPING ANALYSIS POST ON HERE?

EVEN THOUGH I DO NOT SHIP RAINBOW DASH WITH MANY PONIES IF AT ALL (and those I hint at are mostly jokes/I wouldn't mind them)

WELL, THANKS TO A CERTAIN MOST RECENT EPISODE, I NOW FEEL INCLINED TO JUST WRITE UP A GIANT POST ABOUT RAINBOW DASH IN GENERAL! LIKE HER CHARACTER ARC, HER DREAM, HER BEHAVIOUR IN THE SHOW, WHAT SHE STANDS FOR AND SUCH!

FOR WHAT REASON SHOULD I PUT SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT IN THIS WHEN SHE IS NOT EVEN MY FAVOURITE PONY? AND FUCK YOU SPELLCHECK YOU UNCANADIAN BASTARD, IT'S WITH A U~!

RAINBOW DASH ISN'T EVEN MY THIRD FAVOURITE PONY!

But her episodes have been up and down, sideways, inside-out, backwards, eviscerated, taxidermy'd, and dissected beyond all you can imagine, and I guess this single feeling where I need to express my opinion in an absolute wall-of-text outburst is causing this rant. SO HERE WE GO THEN, when I could be writing my story or fixing my story or talking about something else completely, but I guess ranting about RWBY is bad for my health at this rate, or ranting about a certain MLP episode, we might as well dedicate this post to RAINBOW DASH. Congratu-fucking-lations Rainbow Dash, you stupid pony you. You stupid inconsistent, poorly-treated, brain-exploding, unfathomable pony you. IT IS TIME. YOUR EGO, WHATEVER STATE IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE NOWADAYS, SHALL BE TESTED.

Once upon a time there was a pegasus with a rainbow mane and a penchant for going fast with the childhood dream of joining the Wonderbolts. the flying horse version of the Blue Angels. In an alternate universe she was fashionable and Rarity, but here in the decent utopia that is Equestria, she is fast, she is loyal, she is athletic, she is RAINBOW DASH. She's the creator of this generation of My Little Pony's favourite! And it's actually easy to see if you take a look at season one, when Lauren Faust had full reigns of the show. After all, beyond Fall Weather Friends that eventually put equal blame to the cheating game on both Rainbow and Applejack, Rainbow Dash had a season to remember. No real moment of humiliation or embarrassment. Why, if you called Rainbow Dash awesome, it would be true. In Sonic Rainboom, she manages to save Rarity and the Wonderbolts from plummeting to her doom, simultaneously proving to the crowd that the Sonic Rainboom is not a fable at all, and the myth in fact originated from the same mare who managed the same feat as a filly! She also won the competition and was given a day to spend with the Wonderbolts.

Like dang, just call the episode THE GREATEST DAY OF RAINBOW DASH'S LIFE, why don't ya?

Then of course, in Cutie Mark Chronicles, Rainbow Dash is apparently THE PONY THAT STARTED IT ALL. Why, these Elements of Harmony would never have existed, would never have become friends, would never have come together to save the world multiple times, had it not been for the SHEER AWESOMENESS, of Rainbow Dash. Equestria as we know it would no longer exist, would be a horrible dystopia ruled by tyrants and villains alike had that Sonic Rainboom not come about. There was even a whole finale showcasing grimdark scenarios should this pony not be awesome enough to save it from its otherwise inevitable doom. Like dang, if anybody in any world, fiction or not, had any excuse to have a ginormous ego, Rainbow Dash's had the most. She is the reason the world functions at all! THAT IS UNBELIEVABLE.

And that's it. That's season one. Sure she had this Gala where she tried her utmost to get the Wonderbolt's attention and sort of ruined the Gala as a result, but she shared this shame with all her friends, which in the end was the intention of the ruler of the world, Celestia! So all is well and justified. How awesome you are, Rainbow Dash.

My next point here is rather irrelevant, but considering how much of an ego RD must have by now, I always wonder why especially in the Equestria Girls universe that everyone just pumps up RD's awesomeness. For instance in Rainbow Rocks (OF COURSE THIS MOVIE IS CALLED THIS) Sunset is trying to explain why everyone is ponying up with the mysterious Equestrian magic, and Dash explains that it happens because she is awesome. Sunset does not believe so, but still goes to the effort of reminding her that Rainbow Dash is indeed awesome regardless, like if you did not mention this it would imply that RD is not awesome and that would tear her world apart or something. SEVERAL MINUTES LATER IN THIS SAME MOVIE, Rainbow Dash sings the song "Awesome As I Wanna Be" with all spotlights and attention on her, and everyone is annoyed at this behaviour. WELL OF COURSE SHE'D ACT LIKE THIS IF YOU ENABLE HER TO. YOU ENABLE HER TO HAVE THIS EGO, AND THEN YOU TURN AROUND AND TRAMPLE ON HER FACE, ARGUING LIKE LITTLE HISSY FITS BECAUSE SHE IS SHOWCASING THE EGO YOU CAUSED!? AND THE FUNNY THING IS, WHEN SHE SINGS THIS SONG SHE STARTS PONYING UP ANYWAY. MAYBE BEING AWESOME IS WHAT CAUSES RAINBOW DASH TO BECOME AN ANTHRO! THE MOVIE SURE IMPLIES IT!

And then in season two, we had the PET episode. Why yes, this pet episode where Rainbow Dash MUST HAVE THE COOLEST, MOST AWESOME PET. And to do so, she must hold a RADICAL COMPETITION. Now a few ponies, namely Twilight, makes feeble attempts at reminding Rainbow Dash that pets are meant to have feelings and having one isn't all about a competition or sht, but Dash ignores her anyway for the show must go on. Fluttershy doesn't appear to have any issues with these animals racing through a gorge into many many hazardous traps and creatures, but whatever. Otherwise, everyone pretty much supports and ENABLES Dash's need to a cool pet. Of course thanks to Tank's very resilient existence, Rainbow Dash learns that the coolest pet isn't so much the fastest or snazziest, but in fact the one who exemplifies the greatest loyalty, matching Rainbow Dash's highest virtue. BUT WAIT, just because he is a tortoise means nothing, for we can add magic steampunk technology to allow Tank to fly anyway, so he ends up STILL BEING A PRETTY FREAKIN' COOL PET anyway, who is also loyal.

Well dang Rainbow Dash, everything's just sunshine and smiles for you, isn't it.

Do you see what is happening now? You have made Rainbow Dash too awesome. It has reached a critical point. From here on out, the job of the show is now to TEAR THIS FRONT APART. She is not awesome, she is insecure. She is not awesome, she is haughty, cocky, and arrogant! In fact aside from the whole "EVERYONE'S A JERK" problem I have with Mysterious Mare-Do-Well, the biggest reason it may be so very controversial is that it's the first time the series now has to tear down Rainbow Dash... because she is too dangerously awesome.

So now, we must rev up Rainbow Dash's cockiness a bit. She hasn't shown it much to this degree, but it isn't unbelievable for Dash to act like this. I mean, up to now her entire life has been pretty much awesome. Well, aside from maybe the whole dropping out of flight school thing and becoming a weather pony because of laziness or something. Say, whatever happened to that flaw of hers? It's like they forgot and just wanted to focus on destroying her behemoth ego that the ponies and writers around her CAUSED THEMSELVES. I find it interesting the show begins doing this the moment Lauren Faust has less and less say into the show. I mean, I'm sure she too wanted RD to have some episodes that gave her some humble pie and allowed her to come down to earth a little, but maybe not quite in this way,

In the end it's mostly about what your very subjective opinion on Mysterious Mare-Do-Well is, still, the story is pretty blunt. Her friends are fed up with her showboating, so they showboat back to teach her a lesson, and it's a pretty rough teardown. It's like instead of approaching her in some sort of intervention they just scheme and do it the underhanded way behind her back because Rainbow Dash isn't the type of pony to listen to ponies talking to her. I mean, she really isn't, but it would have been nice if the episode included a scene of them trying at least. I guess it has been established, like say in the aforementioned pet episode, that Twilight in particular tried to approach Rainbow Dash in a reasonable manner before and that did nothing.

So yes, take matters into their own hooves they did. And now Rainbow Dash has been knocked down a peg. We move on.

Ah, a reading episode. It's a TV Show, so they must remind their young viewers that books exist too! Even though Twilight is the main character, lives in a library and loves books to death, this aesop that is all over the place in many kids shows alike must be given its time of day in MLP too! Because having fun isn't hard when you have a library card! Does anyone even go to the library? What does Twilight even do? Is she even a librarian? Questions that will never have answers now that the library is sadly no more...

Anyway, it's mostly directed to kids with the attitude of being TOO COOL TO READ, and Rainbow Dash is the prime example. Now, I personally believe reading is fun and excellent and a lovely activity, and yes it's a very stereotypically nerdy activity, but in this day and age I don't know what sort of inhuman alien would look at a book and declare it's uncool without at the very least, knowing what the book is about. There's plenty of super amazing movies out there based on books that it feels the entire populace has read, so it's almost like why have this lesson at all? 

I digress.

Of course it's fine to teach Rainbow that reading is cool. In fact, having the main character basically be an RD recolour is genius, since for some people books are an outlet to the imaginary land where they can be the cool awesome hero themselves they never could be in real life because they work a dead end job and have no real aspirations or their dreams died years ago. Unfortunately Rainbow Dash is not that type of pony. She is very awesome you see, so it's actually sort of strange that she looks up to this other pony going about finding treasure and fighting this bad guy when she herself can cause sonic rainbooms by breaking sound barriers and take down villains by being herself. Ah well, it's still a good parallel to how people may take reading in real life, so it works! 

Y'know, except the part where she believes reading is so uncool, her dear closest friends must never know. And in order to not embarrass herself, or God Forbid allow Twilight to be RIGHT must break into a hospital and STEAL the book. It's like, well, what happened to awesome perfect Rainbow Dash? You already wrecked her in Mare Do Well and she already made a fool of herself in the whole town, but now Rainbow Dash resorts to, as Twilight said herself, "petty thievery". Are we done yet? Is it time to go back to those episodes that gave RD reasons to be a cocky little shit? Actually, let's  visit a not-Rainbow Dash episode, Hurricane Fluttershy.

Ah, Hurricane Fluttershy, how much I love thee. Let me list the reasons why. Or not because sadly this isn't a Hurricane Fluttershy love-post. I will note one good thing from it though, that it has a wonderful Rainbow Dash in it. I'm not sure where she learned these lessons, perhaps the tortoise as her pet was a good example, or the heavyhanded way her friends taught her to be humble in Mare-Do-Well actually worked, especially when the very episode after when she saved Rarity and Spike from certain doom she regarded it as just another job well done as opposed to making everything about herself. Or maybe over-time getting to know Fluttershy better she has understood her as a pony more. After all, it was Pinkie Pie who reminded her not to prank Fluttershy because of her sensitivity way back when, and her impatience and general rudeness to the other pegasus in Dragonshy did not make matters any better. In fact, her gung-ho method of dealing with a giant fire-breathing dragon almost had them all killed had it not been for Fluttershy.

So with all that developing out of the way we end up with Hurricane Fluttershy Rainbow Dash. Someone who almost regresses to her impatient, insensitive ways, but catches herself and does everything in her power to involve Fluttershy with the very pegasus duty to send water off to Cloudsdale. We don't want any of 'em droughts ruining cider-season after all. She is considerate and she cares. Even if all Fluttershy contributes is a measly 2.3 wingpower or whatever, she still wants her help, she still NEEDS her help. And when Fluttershy still runs off crying, she doesn't continue to goad her or bother her, after all she has a job. With every pegasus coming down with the flu she cannot even break the wingpower record, BUT NO MATTER, for the most important thing is to bring water to Cloudsdale! And she did EVERYTHING IN HER POWER, TO NEVER GIVE UP, TO NEVER SURRENDER, NEVER FORGET--oh right, to make sure at the very least they had water! It was essential! It was a necessity! She would very well know this, being a weather-pony!

And when Fluttershy does come back and does help, and they do accomplish what they do. What does Rainbow Dash do? She informs Spitfire, her Wonderbolt hero, that Fluttershy was the one who accomplished it. THAT IS AMAZING. WHAT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. THE THINGS SHE'S LEARNED HAS ACCUMULATED TO THIS!

And...it doesn't stop! It appears Rainbow Dash is not only awesome as a fast, athletic flier, but also a decent caring individual as well! It's quite the showing, I'd say. We come to season three, generally disliked amongst the fandom, but it continues the wonderful showing of Rainbow Dash. She adopts Scootaloo as an honourary sister! She is like a pupil to her, an idolized figure to the little tike. And why not? Rainbow Dash sure seems like quite the upstanding mare after all! She even somehow knew despite her earplugs and obnoxious whinny-of-a-snore to save Scootaloo from certain death quite a ways-away from the cave they were camping in! What can this pegasus NOT DO!? MY GOD!

And then...Wonderbolts Academy happened.

I love this episode. This may very well be my all-time favourite Rainbow Dash episode. It's basically the episode where Rainbow Dash shows off her character development next to a pony who she could have been had she not gone through these two and a half seasons of development. It's brilliant! That she would give up her dream if it meant being a Wonderbolt was not what she thought she'd be, someone who understood the values and integrity of friendship, of loyalty, beyond just brainless speed and reckless behaviour. Having to save all of her friends in doing so, when she was half-the-reason they could have died. It's just. THIS IS THE EPITOME OF RAINBOW DASH AND ALL SHE HAS GONE THROUGH. SHE IS AWESOME AGAIN EVERYONE! LET US PLAN A PARADE!

Well, it's time for season four. Let's return to the topic of Scootaloo. Poor, poor Scootaloo. She may never fly because well, she may have been born never being able to, but that doesn't mean she should let nasty awful evil little bullies to get to her, to depress her, to ruin her self-esteem, her dreams, her self-image. Have I mentioned Scoots is my favourite CMC? Sleepless in Ponyville is like my second favourite episode in the entire series after all, and now we've come to the rather serious Flight to the Finish. It's like Hurricane Fluttershy! Rainbow Dash, the perfect, wonderful lovely pony, a great and ideal pegasus to look up to! And here she is, reminding Scootaloo that she should not be bothered by those comments. She can still be the best, be whoever she wants, whether she flies or not because it doesn't matter. It was Rainbow Dash who convinced Scootaloo of this, despite flying the entire time, despite being someone with such incredible ability that Scootaloo cannot with her maybe disability, but still, it works, and it's great, and it's... I know it sounds like I'm gushing, but I must, I TRULY MUST CONVEY TO YOU HOW INCREDIBLE IT IS that Rainbow Dash DOESN'T CARE whether Scoots can fly or not. IT SPEAKS OF HER CHARACTER SO MUCH.

Now we come to the worst episode of the entire series.

You're probably genuinely surprised that I do not regard Filli Vanilli as the worst episode in the entire series. I don't! Amazing, I know. Yes, it has a craptacular Pinkie Pie, but the rest of the episode should not be dragged down just for that one rage-inducing aspect. The songs are good. I like Flutterguy. Hearing Big Mac sing is great, seeing Rarity get to use her voice is awesome too, and look! A Zecora! How rare. Of course Filli Vanilli is still one of my least favourites, so... moving on.

And you're also probably genuinely surprised that Cutie Re-Mark pt. II also doesn't have this distinction because dang, my unhappiness of how they solved that problem and quickly and poorly redeemed that character is also at near rage-inducing levels of the craptacular Pinkie Pie. IT JUST DOESN'T COMPUTE, OKAY? But still, it is not the worst episode.

No, Rainbow Falls is.

Let's talk about the Wonderbolts. In the very first episode, Dash makes it very clear of her dream to be in the Wonderbolts. In season one the Wonderbolts retain their distinction of being awesome and cool celebrities, but there were hints of what was to come. In Sonic Rainboom Rarity somehow managed to knock all three Wonderbolts unconscious as they tried to save her. All THREE. If it had just been one, sure, two? Well maybe Rarity has a hind-kick that rivals Applejack, three? Well at that point Rarity might be grasping the idiot ball too obviously, to make sure that Rainbow Dash and ONLY Rainbow Dash ends up saving her so she can solve all her problems in one fell swoop, or Sonic Rainboom I should say. Anyway an unfortunate side-effect is that the Wonderbolts are rendered useless in this instance. We know the strong importance of show versus telling, so we have to make sure if the Wonderbolts are as awesome as Rainbow Dash always gushes of, we must see it for ourselves to seal the deal in our heads.

Season two rolls along and... they fail to do anything to Spike-Zilla. I guess they give him a haircut, but he stops them pretty easily. That's two-for-two already, sort of not a great track record so far. Will the Wonderbolts do ANYTHING to show us they deserve such a reputation? Then we come to arguably Hurricane Fluttershy's one flaw, Spitfire doing nothing. For a long time I wondered why people argued about this because I thought maybe this was a Ponyville duty and Spitfire intervening would not do. She might just organize a whole crowd of other pegasi somewhere else, like Fillydelphia or something if they can't do it, but then that would not explain Rainbow Dash's desperation. She's not even trying to break a record anymore. It's pretty heavily implied that there would be no water in Cloudsdale and thus NO RAIN, if the Ponyville pegasi cannot make the cyclone, so if it's that urgent and important, why not have Spitfire jump in? The only reason I have is thus, if she did we'd otherwise not be able to give Fluttershy her limelight so she may accomplish what she does and satisfy her otherwise pitiful self-esteem (and childhood traumas and such). But again, it leaves us a bad taste for Spitfire and therefore the Wonderbolts. Was she neglectful of her duty?

Wonderbolts Academy comes along and some people are baffled at Spitfire's "personality-change". It may be confusing yes, especially since it appears she has a new voice-actress although according to the wiki Spitfire's voice has been the same since the Gala, so who knows. The point is, she is now a drill-sergeant, and this aspect of her character sort of sticks throughout the rest of her appearances. I guess her previous cameos didn't have enough of a personality or something. I'm fine with it because if the Wonderbolts is supposed to be pseudo-military, and this is meant to be a boot camp, it wouldn't make sense for her to show favouritism towards Dash no matter what she's done. She's still gotta be treated and go through everything else that every other recruit has to suffer through. That's just how it is. But apparently these Wonderbolts instructors were not thorough enough to realize Lightning Dust's shortcomings. Did Spitfire purposefully put Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust together with Dash as the wingpony to teach Rainbow Dash something? But we already argued against giving her favouritism, so why do the complete opposite and make Rainbow Dash the wingpony? What has Lightning Dust shown that gives her any advantage over Rainbow Dash?

Apparently, showing off and going beyond what the instructor says in the demonstrations is okay. This is not a quality you want to have, to award Lightning Dust for it seems odd. Or maybe that is a test too, to see if Lightning Dust has the ability to be a leader since you already saw Rainbow Dash be one, and see if Rainbow Dash is able to be a follower. That may be it! I do feel like I am grasping for straws because I DO love this episode, and this is a fairly benign problem, by my standards anyway. Still if we DON'T think so hard about it and take it at face value, when Spitfire tells Rainbow Dash they chose Lightning Dust as the leader because she likes to go beyond, it tells us they did not have the foresight to see Lightning Dust's shortcomings, somehow missed all those exercises where they screwed the only ponies over, and basically make them seem a little more incompetent than they should be. But y'know, if this wasn't the case that tornado never would have happened, and would never have almost killed RD's friends, and would never have caused RD to almost quit, showing the real upstanding type of attitude a Wonderbolt SHOULD have.

So, who knows.

Then we come back to Rainbow Falls. Oh sure, I can ramble on-and-on about how awful the rest of the episode is. Pinkie's entire screentime is just shrieking. Rarity made ugly dresses for some reason, and cannot tell with her own eyes. Applejack is being obnoxious and forcing apple treats into people's mouths, seems a bit off these three ponies are. Or maybe the perpetually anxious Fluttershy and STEROIDS PEGASUS being involved in the PONY OLYMPICS IN A RELAY RACE because apparently Rainbow Dash is so awesome she can overcome their shortcomings and keep the team competitive, and conveniently the rest of the able pegasi of Ponyville prefer all the other events over the relay. But despite the fact that I POINTED ALL THAT OUT, this isn't about that.

We just had an episode where Rainbow Dash exemplified the traits needed to be a Wonderbolt, not just being fast, but being a general decent all-around good pony. SO HOW THE FUCK DID SPITFIRE AND FLEETFOOT PASS THEIR BOOTCAMP? They throw Soarin' under the bus and try to pry Rainbow Dash away from Ponyville, abandon her friends so their already unstoppable team can be even more unstoppable, despite there being other Wonderbolts they can choose from. Or maybe THEY TOO are in other events, we don't know. They didn't say! And Rainbow Dash instead of realizing her heroes, her idols, her Wonderbolts are being absolute pricks, the complete opposite of the show's message, FRIENDSHIP, when she almost gave up being a Wonderbolt BECAUSE it felt like they did value the integrity needed to be a Wonderbolt, tries to make a shitty poor excuse where she BREAKS EVERYTHING, so she can't disappoint anyone because she really, really wants to be on the team with the Wonderbolts. She's just conflicted by her loyalty to the hopeless and nonsensical Ponyville team that just drafted in a clumsy lazy-eyed pegasus known for endearingly messing up everything to be her replacement. 

I just don't even.

I guess Rainbow Dash was too awesome so they had to press the reset button again or something, but the Wonderbolts, her dream-team really hasn't at any single time been portrayed positively, that would allow Rainbow Dash's dream of being one of them believable because so far they've either been incompetent or jerks! It doesn't even stop here! Sometimes I wonder if that made up Shadowbolt team would have made more sense than this at this rate, Jesus!

...I forgot about Daring Don't didn't I.

Ugh. I don't wanna do Daring Don't.

Rainbow Dash and reading because we need to teach kids too cool to read to read? Fine. Rainbow Dash's fictional hero being non-fictional all of a sudden? Well that sure tones down Rainbow Dash's accomplishments. Apparently she's got a lookalike with duller colours going around stealing treasures and fighting off a strange and weird Egyptian creature like Ahuizolti, where doom and devastation can occur if Daring Do is not there, and Rainbow Dash can intrude in her life enough to end up in the book herself, validating all the self-insert fantasies in every fanfiction ever OH GOD IT'S MY WORST NIGHTMARE LET'S JUST MOVE ON. The awesome pony that can break sound barriers and save the world multiple times is an obnoxious nerdy fangirl that wants to go adventures with her hero ignoring the life she has that frankly from what we've seen has been SO MUCH MORE HEROIC AND INTERESTING, but I guess when you're in that situation you don't really know what you have, and more often marvel at others instead. So whatever this episode is okay. 

Then we have maybe my most favourite moral yet in Testing, Testing One, Two, Three. We could have easily just had Rainbow Dash be dumb. I mean the dumb jock trope is everywhere. She's awesome enough she doesn't need to be a studying prodigy on top of being quite possibly the greatest flier in the history of Equestria. But unlike the reading one which was obvious, predictable, and meh, we learn that Rainbow Dash's method of learning is rather unorthodox, it may even explain how she dropped out of flight school. She just can't focus in a traditional school setting, and though it's awfully nice of the entire town to help teach Rainbow Dash the history of the Wonderbolts, it's nice that it focuses on something like this so kids who are struggling can realize that maybe they aren't dumb after all, they just learn differently.

I mean obviously there are dumb kids, but this episode is not for them. P:

We are in muddy waters here. Rainbow Dash has been brought back to earth again! But like any pegasi, she must fly and reach for the top. Testing, Testing One, Two, Three does establish she is not dumb, and can ace tests so maybe Rainbow Dash IS awesome again. I'm very confused where in this cycle we are. I guess the latter is true because we're certainly not due for another "RAINBOW DASH IS AWESOME BEYOND ALL MEASURE" episode. We have instead, Tanks for the Memories. This may not be the fault of Rainbow Dash herself, but just the very fact that this is a show meant for young children...and despite other shows not shying away from the topic of death, apparently that is too much for the technicolour horsie show. Y'know despite that one time when Twilight murdered several Pinkies, or that time Luna created a being to punish herself. Or maybe the episode before yesterday's Rainbow Dash episode, where Trixie almost commited suicide. But oh no, let's not have an episode about a pet dying even though kids have either already have or will go through a death some time or another, like maybe of a hamster or a grandparent passing away or what have you. 

But that doesn't mean we CAN HAVE THE MORAL ANYWAY. Guys. This isn't Pinkie Pie. You can't have the cake and eat it too! By having Tank NOT die, now Rainbow Dash looks like a colossally immature fool. We're supposed to believe this same mare was responsible for transferring the water to Cloudsdale so Ponyville can HAVE RAIN and would throw away her competitive spirit just to make sure such an essential duty was complete, but will sabotage the Weather Factory and BREAK EVERYTHING, costing millions of bits in damage and ruining what forecasts they have planned in the future just so her tortoise won't sleep for three months!? REALLY GUYS? You lucky I love that crying scene so much. And no, a solo song does nothing to make this flaw go away.

Well, I suppose the CYCLE MUST GO ON. In this case, our next relevant Rainbow Dash episode (I am ignoring Gilda. She is not relevant. In fact Daring Don't isn't relevant either, why do I have that here?) is Rarity Investigates. And yes, this again is a return to Rainbow Dash being awesome, even if she's rather impatient of Rarity's antics, thinking she is doing nothing to improve the situation. This episode is also another example of the Wonderbolts being worth jack for their so-called reputation. A letter with no return address shows up and convinces Spitfire her mom is sick, so instead of confirming this for herself she will immediately head to the Crystal Mountains or whatever to find the cure first. The rest of the Wonderbolts immediately accuse Rainbow Dash, and assign RD herself to solve the problem if she wants to stay in the reserves, solely because she has a motive. No real concrete evidence, just a motive. And yeah, she has no alibi but I'm willing to bet EVERYBODY ELSE was doing the same thing, sleeping because it was the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. What are these stupid show-pegasi doing? You can't stay unless you prove your own innocence of something you did not do? Rainbow Dash is a professional flier, not a goddamn private investigator. She's lucky Rarity was there when she was, egads!

But the awesomeness comes in the form of Rainbow refusing to take part with the Wonderbolts' show without Spitfire, and going out there and being awesome enough to retrieve her in time for it anyway, thus earning enough good karma for them to kick out Wind Rider and having Rainbow Dash replace him! In this case she did have her cake and eat it too! Isn't that amazing? This is the Hurricane Fluttershy, Wonderbolts Academy, Flight to the Finish Rainbow Dash I remember! Yay! And yet another negative blow for the Wonderbolts. For instance, one of the greatest Wonderbolts, Wind Rider who is now near retirement or already retired being sleazy enough to pull this stunt, and keeping up with this same shitty attitude. Does this mean he's done this before and gotten away with it? Well geez no wonder the Wonderbolts are full of assholes, this guy slipped through the cracks so many damn times! At this rate I wouldn't be surprised if the Wonderbolts were just a bunch of Lance Armstrongs. 

And I guess the pattern must go on they say because now we arrive to yesterday's episode, Newbie Dash.

I know every other character goes through this sort of thing too, though not in quite such a methodical manner. Sometimes a character teaches the lesson and sometimes they learn the lesson themselves, but the extremes Rainbow Dash goes through is unmatched. She is either amazing wonderful great role-model Rainbow Dash, or immature destructive selfish egotistical idiot Rainbow Dash. You may say every character has their flaws, but why is it like an episode-to-episode basis? Why is one day we get idiot Dash and next day we get cool Dash? Is a normal realistic person not meant to be a well-balanced mix? It's like she turns off her brain on some days or something, I do not understand!

Well yesterday she turned off her brain! I have attempted to rant about it three times, failed, and instead just decided to go through an entire Rainbow Dash analysis instead! What a turn of events I say! I know what the writers were TRYING to do. The moral is when you go up the ranks of whatever you love, whatever you're talented in you're no longer the one who stands out for what you do. In Ponyville Rainbow Dash is the best flier, no dice about it. In the Wonderbolts which she has just been accepted to, she is now surrounded by peers with the same kind of talent level. Rainbow Dash can no longer bask in her glory as being the best, as now EVERYONE is the best, so she goes to extreme measures to find some other way of calling attention to herself and having all the glory, which doesn't make sense because you are practically in a showboating military! 

Yet still, the way she goes about it is quite possibly both nonsensical nor is it especially funny. It's funny a few times, but not in a way that I think is believable for Dash's character. She doesn't want to be known as Rainbow Crash for the rest of eternity in the Wonderbolts, so she tries to act different to change her reputation. And her method of doing so is... acting like her friends. She must think highly of her friends...and subsequently not think highly of them because as amusing as her impressions are (the one she did to mock Twilight in season five is perfect) she also seems to choose the most exaggerated aspects of their characters to imitate, so I'm not entirely sure what she is even trying to do. It's like she turned off her brain. She also KEEPS GOING. Oh, the first three times didn't work? TRY TWO MORE TIMES. Oh, every impression didn't work? Go against every single protocol and rule, like not looking both ways despite being specifically reminded beforehand (and even blaming her mistakes on others!) and even alter the show they were performing just because she can't stand to NOT STAND OUT around her idols, dream ponies, and what have you. It's JUST A BIT TO OUTRAGEOUS FOR ME TO SWALLOW. Why are you being an idiot again! You just demonstrated your amazingness last season by fetching Spitfire instead of taking her place! Such leadership! Again, I can see the moral needing to be delivered to the viewers, but the execution, the manner in which they did so just wasn't good!

Oh and the Wonderbolts suck again, or DO THEY?

The ending is the only thing that saves this episode, thankfully. The humiliation conga-line aside, the fact that everyone has embarrassing nicknames showcases that well, this was just a kid-friendly way of hazing the new kid. (It's Tanks for the Memories all over again isn't it? Can't show the full extent of the hazing, so just do it half-way and it looks more like schoolyard bullying instead. These gluttonous writers and directors and their freakin' cake, I swear) I mean it doesn't help that the very juvenile Rainbow Crash nickname is used instead of something more clever and new. It's like if you were called a doodoohead as a kindergartner, and now your co-workers and boss call you a doodoohead. Yeeeeeah. And to be fair, Rainbow Dash does own up to it. She'll take any punishment she deserves. I guess momentous lapses in judgment are just part of Rainbow Dash's character now. Maybe if I accepted that this entire rant wouldn't need to exist.

No fuck it. I don't care if I'm sick and all this non-stop typing is wrecking my shoulder. THE RANT EXISTS. NO REGRETS!! I'll be up in less than seven hours everybody! May the stress not be with you.
spotto: (Q_Q)
PONES!!

EVERY EPISODE HAS ITS FLAWS, UNLESS IT DOESN'T

I'M GOING TO NAME AS MANY AS I CAN AND JUSTIFY THEM IN AS LITTLE WORDS AS I AM ABLE TO

WITH CAPS LOCK ON THE ENTIRE TIME

READY? STEADY? GO!

1&2. THE PILOT IS EXTREMELY FORMULAIC. BOOK OF LORE. GO TO PONYVILLE. MEET FIVE PONIES. EVIL BOSS SHOWS UP. QUEST TO THE CASTLE WHERE EVIL BOSS IS WITH THESE FIVE PONIES. DEFEAT THEM WITH MAGIC MACGUFFIN. 

3. TICKET MASTER WAS BORING. THE WEEKENDERS DID IT BETTER.

4. APPLEBUCK SEASON'S APPLEJACK'S VOICE WAS TOO HIGH IDK. UNICORNS OP. APPLEJACK PURPOSEFULLY PUTTING WORMS IN HER COOKING IS BEYOND SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND ENTERING DELUSIONAL PSYCHEDELIC LEVELS OF CRAZY.

5. GRIFFON THE BRUSH-OFF WAS PERFECT. YEP. I CAN'T THINK OF ANYTHING BAD TO SAY ABOUT THIS EPISODE. I SUPPOSE IT WASN'T OUTSTANDING? SORT OF AVERAGE? NOT THE GREATEST OF HUMOUR? RATHER SUBJECTIVE. GILDA'S A ONE-DIMENSIONAL BULLY? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME I LIKED THIS EPISODE.

6. PINKIE AND FLUTTERSHY HAD ZERO LINES. BLASPHEMY!

7. UNLESS THE ENTIRE CONCEPT OF PONIES ASKING DRAGONS TO LEAVE AND THE IDEA ACTUALLY WORKING RUINS DRAGONS IN THIS SERIES FOR YOU, THERE IS NO REAL FLAW.

8. TWILIGHT WAS NAIVE AS FUCK.

9. BRIDLE GOSSIP WAS THE FUNNIEST EPISODE IN SEASON ONE. ALTERNATE OPINIONS ARE WRONG.

10. BOTH SIDES WERE OF EQUAL FAULT IN SWARM OF THE CENTURY. THEY HAD A COMMUNICATION FAILURE. PINKIE NOT EXPLAINING ANYTHING IN GENERAL AND THE REST OF THEM NOT TAKING HER SERIOUSLY ENOUGH TO EVEN ASK.

'11. ITTY BITTY TWINKIE PINKIE' WAS INDEED TOO SACCHARINE FOR MY EARS. ALSO SPIKE WAS A DICK. HILARIOUS, BUT A DICK.

12. TWIST IS INTRODUCED SOLELY TO BECOME IRRELEVANT. SCOOTALOO AND SWEETIE BELLE PHASED INTO EXISTENCE AND WERE SUDDENLY INSERTED INTO APPLE BLOOM'S CLASS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE YEAR. (BESIDES THAT NONSENSICAL SCENE WHERE THEY WERE COWERING IN FEAR TOGETHER IN THE PILOT, BUT LET'S IGNORE THAT)

13. NO ONE OUTSIDE OF APPLEJACK AND RAINBOW DASH CARE THAT THEY WERE CHEATING. AT ALL. WHAT THE SHIT.

14. THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THE MANE FIVE ARE NOT SELF-AWARE ENOUGH TO REALIZE HOW HIDEOUS ALL OF THEIR DRESSES WERE. EVEN IF THEY LIKED THEIR OWN THEY WOULD NO DOUBT REALIZE HOW AWFUL THE OTHERS WERE. EXCEPT PINKIE. 

15. I HAD NO PROBLEM WITH THE MORAL IN THIS EPISODE, EXCEPT MAYBE IT WAS TOO VAGUE AND THAT MIGHT HAVE LEAD TO SOME CONTROVERSY. 

16. RARITY MAY BE VAIN ENOUGH TO NOT REALIZE HOW MUCH SHE WAS SABOTAGING DASH'S DREAM IN SONIC RAINBOOM, BUT I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THIS FASHION DESIGNER COULD COME UP WITH SUCH A HORRID OUTFIT AND NOT REALIZE THE EXTENT OF HER ATROCITY BEING EXPOSED TO ALL OF CLOUDSDALE.

17. UNTIL SOMEONE POINTED IT OUT, I DID NOT REALIZE HOW MANY TIMES THE WRONG VOICE SYNCED WITH THE WRONG CMC. 

18. I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU OR THE PLOT SAYS. SWEETIE BELLE'S OUTFIT WAS CUTE.

19. RARITY KNEW ALL ALONG HOW STUPID THE DIAMOND DOGS WERE, AND SO KNEW HER WHINING WOULD DEFEAT THEM. THE MESSAGE ISN'T "BITCH AND MOAN ALL DAY AND YOU'LL OUTWIT YOUR CAPTORS" BUT SIMPLY "YOU CAN USE BRAIN INSTEAD OF BRAWN TO OUTWIT YOUR CAPTORS" ADMITTEDLY THEY MAY NOT HAVE DELIVERED THEIR MORAL WELL.

20. GREEN ISN'T YOUR COLOUR IS PERFECT. GOOD DAY.

21. THIS ENTIRE PREMISE IS TOUCHY AND THE WRITERS APPROACHED THE ISSUE IN THE LEAST DARING, MOST BENIGN MANNER POSSIBLE THAT THIS EPISODE MIGHT AS WELL BE ENTIRELY IGNORED. FORTUNATELY THE HUMOUR WAS (MOSTLY) ON POINT, EXCEPT FOR PINKIE'S SINGING, AND THE FLUTTERSHY GLOMP IS THE GREATEST SCENE EVER.

22. THAT YAKETY SAX SCENE WAS THE LEAST ENTERTAINING YAKETY SAX SCENE I'VE SEEN.

23. WHAT IS THIS PLACE FILLED WITH SO MANY WONDERS? CASTING ITS SPELL THAT I AM NOW UNDER! SQUIRRELS IN THE TREES AND THE CUTE LITTLE BUNNIES~ BIRDS FLYING FREE AND THE BEES WITH THEIR HONEY! HOOOOOOOOONEY! OH WHAT A MAGICAL PLACE. AND I OWE IT ALL TO THE PEGASUS RACE! IF I KNEW THE GROUND HAD SO MUCH UP ITS SLEEVE, I'D HAVE COME HERE SOONER, AND NEVER LEAVE! YES. I. LOVE. EVERYYYYYTHIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!! (THIS IS THE FIRST MLP SONG I MEMORIZED BY HEART)

24. THE FIRST OF MANY BORING, MEDIOCRE, DIGNITY-DESTROYING SPIKE EPISODES.

25. PARTY OF ONE IS FLAWLESS.

26. FOR SOME REASON THIS IS STILL THE BEST WRITTEN FINALE OF THE SERIES.

-

1&2. DISCORDED PINKIE COULD'VE BEEN LESS ONE-DIMENSIONAL. UNLESS THE SHOW IS BEING META AND THE OPPOSITE OF PINKIE IS ONE-DIMENSIONAL. I LIKE THAT HEADCANON.

3. PARTY OF ONE ALREADY DID IT, BUT OTHERWISE IT WAS FUNNY. BALLOONS IN MY BASKET IS THE MOST UNDERRATED SCENE AND SONG IN THE ENTIRE SERIES/FANDOM RESPECTIVELY.

4. THIS EPISODE WAS FLAWLE--OKAY, THERE WAS A LOT OF MISCOMMUNICATION ESPECIALLY ON PINKIE'S PART, WHO ESSENTIALLY FAILED TO COMMUNICATE AT ALL. INSTEAD OF BEING WISE AND FIXING THE PROBLEM ANYWAY LIKE IN EPISODE TEN SHE ONLY SERVED TO DRIVE THE CONFLICT, BUT I AM PERSONALLY OKAY WITH IT.

5. WHY IS SWEETIE BELLE FRAMED AS THE CORRECT ONE IN THIS EPISODE? RARITY HAS TO KEEP HER BUSINESS RUNNING BUT APPARENTLY MAKING THE CUTE LITTLE SISTER UPSET IS A HUGE SIN THAT RARITY MUST MAKE UP FOR. I STILL LIKED THE EPISODE THOUGH BECAUSE IT PORTRAYED A SIBLING RELATIONSHIP THAT WAS LESS IDEAL THAN APPLEJACK'S.

6. I DON'T REMEMBER THIS EPISODE BEING MEMORABLE.

7. TANK WAS VERY PREDICTABLE, BUT IT WAS HEARTWARMING ALL THE SAME.

8. EVERYONE'S AN ASSHOLE. 

9. DANG RARITY YOU ONE LUCKY SON OF A BITCH. 

10. I WISH PINKIE'S APARTMENT BEING BLOWN AWAY HAD MORE LASTING EFFECT. OH WELL.

11, HOW ON EARTH DID THE MOST COMPETENT PONIES IN THIS STORY ONLY END UP BEING ADVISORS OR SIDEKICKS? NO WONDER THEY WERE FUCKED.

12. JESUS CHRIST GRANNY SMITH IS THREE-HUNDRED-YEARS-OLD. SHE'S A WITCH!

13. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY. RESPONSIBILITY.
SHUT THE FUCK UP OH MY GOD
 
14. DERPY WAS NOT THE MOST INTERESTING PART OF THIS EPISODE. SHE ISN'T EVEN THE SECOND MOST INTERESTING, OR EVEN THE FIFTH. SCREW YOU TOO.

15. HOW TO BUSINESS? WHATEVER THE EPISODE WAS FUNNY AND HAD COOL SONG, WHO CARES. ALSO IMPLIED ALCOHOL YAY!

16. LET'S PICK THE MOST OBVIOUS CHARACTER TO TEACH TO CHILDREN THAT READING IS COOL. TO THE POINT THAT SHE'LL STEAL.

17. THIS FELT LIKE THE MOST HARMLESS WAY TO SAY "TAKE THAT!" TO SHIPPERS, BUT THAT'S IMPLYING THE EPISODE WAS EVEN TARGETED TO THAT AUDIENCE ANYWAY, AS IF THEY WERE WRITING THIS EPISODE TO ACTUALLY ACKNOWLEDGE THIS SUBSET OF PEOPLE. HA. 

18. GODDAMNIT PINKIE PIE.

19. EVERYONE'S AN ASSHOLE AGAIN.

20. YES, RELEASE THE TIME-TRAVEL BIT AS A PROMO THEN HAVE THAT SCENE PLAY TWICE IN THE EPISODE! SAVE ON THOSE ANIMATION COSTS! 

21. DRAGONS ARE UNCIVILIZED BARBARIC ASSHOLES. STEREOTYPICAL TEENAGE BULLY ONES, ANYWAY. WHAT A WASTE OF POTENTIAL. DRAGON LORE: LOST.

22. THIS EPISODE WAS PERFECT IN EVERY WAY. OKAY SPITFIRE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE PARTICIPATED WHEN THERE WAS A GOOD CHANCE THE WATER WOULDN'T GO TO CLOUDSDALE AT ALL, BUT EH. MAYBE SHE WOULD HAVE FINED RAINBOW DASH FOR FAILING AND WENT TO A DIFFERENT CITY TO DO IT INSTEAD OR SOMETHING, BUT NOTHING WAS IMPLIED SO HEADCANON EXPLANATIONS DON'T COUNT,

23. I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY.

24. HEY ELEMENTS OF HARMONY EXCEPT APPLEJACK BECAUSE OF TIME AND TWILIGHT BECAUSE SHE'S SHERLOCK, LET'S RUIN OUR BEST FRIEND'S CAKE THAT HER EMPLOYERS MADE FOR THE COMPETITION BECAUSE SHE DESCRIBED IT WITH SUCH MAJESTIC ZEST WE HAVE TO TAKE GIGANTIC DESTRUCTIVE CHOMPS OUT OF THE CAKE NO MATTER WHAT! AND WE'LL DO IT BEHIND HER BACK! AND SHE'LL FORGIVE US EASILY ANYWAY. AND THEY END UP WINNING THE COMPETITION BY COMBINING EVERYONE'S DESSERT INTO A MONSTROUS MESS ANYWAY! 

25&26. CHRYSALIS IS ACTUALLY A TACTICAL GENIUS BECAUSE THIS GUY SAID SO. THE EPISODE WAS GOOD. EXCEPT MAYBE THE PART WHERE LOVE GENERICALLY SAVED THE DAY. I ALSO THINK THE IDEA THAT SHINING ARMOUR AND CADANCE'S LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER WAS SO GREAT IT OVERPOWERED CELESTIA MADE SENSE, BUT BECAUSE WE WERE NEVER SHOWN THE COUPLE'S LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER AND ONLY TOLD, WHILE THEIR ROMANCE WAS MERELY A FAIRY-TALE GENERIC ROMANCE LEFT THE IMPACT AND INTENTION OF THAT SCENE WEAK, LEAVING MANY TO INTERPRET THAT INDEED CELESTIA ISN'T POWERFUL AT ALL.

-

1&2. PLEASE TELL ME "TWILIGHT FIXING THE PLOT BY HERSELF WHILE THE REST OF HER FRIENDS ARE EITHER USELESS OR NEGLIGIBLE" DOESN'T BECOME AN ONGOING THEME OF THE ADVENTURE-HEAVY PREMIERES AND FINALES.

3. THIS EPISODE GAVE ME A HEADACHE. ALSO UNFORTUNATE IMPLICATIONS.

4. CONSIDERING HOW THEY HANDLED OVER A BARREL I AM NOT SURPRISED THEY CHOSE THE EASIEST, LEAST DARING SOLUTION TO THE BULLYING PROBLEM.

5. WOW TRIXIE HAS REALLY WEAK MAGIC ON HER OWN. LIKE SERIOUSLY. EVEN A BABY CAN SERIOUSLY HARM SOMEONE IF THEY TRY REALLY HARD, BUT TRIXIE CAN'T EVEN IF SHE TRIED? IS MAGIC THAT COMPLICATED?

6. UNTIL SEASON FOUR HAPPENED, THE MOST WELL-WRITTEN, MOST FLAWLESS BEST EPISODE IN THE SERIES.

7. WOW ONLY ONE PONY'S AN ASSHOLE! GOOD IMPROVEMENT! ALSO SPITFIRE WAS WRITTEN WELL. YOU DON'T SHOW BIAS WHEN YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE A MILITARY DRILL-SERGEANT GODDAMNIT. HOW YOU SUPPOSED TO RECRUIT THE BEST-OF-THE-BEST? NOT THAT THE WONDERBOLTS HAVE EVER SHOWN ANYTHING OF MERIT IN ANY EPISODE EVER, BUT STILL. WHY DOES RAINBOW DASH WANT TO JOIN THEM WHEN SHE'S ALREADY BETTER THAN THEM AGAIN? I WILL REVISIT THIS POINT IN SEASON FOUR. "IT'S A TWISTER" IS THE BEST LINE IN THE SERIES.

8. THIS EPISODE WAS AS UNIQUE AND GROUNDBREAKING AS ITS SONG. 

9. I'D BE OKAY WITH TWO SPIKE EPISODES AND NO RARITY EPISODE IN THE SHORTENED SEASON IF THIS EPISODE WAS ACTUALLY GOOD.

10. I ALREADY HATED THE CONCEPT BEFORE I WATCHED THIS EPISODE SO I AM TOO BIASED TO SAY ANYTHING REALLY. STILL, THEY NEEDED FAR MORE TIME TO EVEN CONVINCE DISCORD TO PRETEND TO REFORM, LET ALONE ACTUALLY REFORM LIKE THIS EPISODE DID. I LOVED DISCORD THE VILLAIN, BUT HAVING HIM SWITCH SIDES THIS FAST SERIOUSLY UNDERMINES HIS IMPACT AS A VILLAIN. HE DIDN'T FULLY TAKE THEIR SIDE UNTIL THE SEASON FOUR FINALE, BUT WE'LL GET THERE WHEN WE GET THERE.

11. HEY IT WAS BETTER THAN THE FOLLOWING EPISODE.

12. OUTSHINED BY THE SIMULTANEOUS SPIKE EPISODE. FOR SHAME.

13. I LIKED THE IDEA AND THE CONCEPT, TOO BAD THERE WAS ONLY ONE EPISODE TO DO ALL THIS IN. SONGS WERE CATCHY THOUGH. HOORAY ALICORN TWILIGHT?

-

1&2. APPLEJACK: "QUICK GUYS! WE NEED TWILIGHT T'SKEDADDLE OUT O' OUR GROUP BEFOR' SHE NICKS ALL 'EM PREMIERES AND FINALES FOR HERSELF FOREVEEEER!" BUT THEN TWILIGHT COMES BACK. RIP MANE FIVE IMPORTANT EPISODE PROMINENCE. I ALSO CANNOT WRITE COUNTRY.

3. WHO IS THE PONY OF SHADOWS? WHY ARE WE NEVER GOING TO KNOW? WHY HAVE THAT ENDSCENE ANYWAY!? RAAARGHGHHHH

4. IF DARING DO IS REAL, DOES THAT MEAN THERE ARE OTHER UNSUNG HEROES OUT IN EQUESTRIA WE KNOW NOTHING OF, AND THE WORLD IS ACTUALLY CONSTANTLY DOOMED AND BEING SAVED BY UNNAMED PONIES NOT OUR PROTAGONISTS, MAKING THEIR FEATS FEEL FAR LESS GRAND AND MAJESTIC AND CLIMATIC AS WE BELIEVED THEM TO BE? NO WONDER THOSE MANEHATTEN PONIES STILL ACTED RUDE TO ALICORN PRINCESS TWILIGHT. THEY MUST ALL KNOW SOMEONE. WHY DOES SHE GET THE RECOGNITION WHEN ALL THOSE GUYS DON'T?

5. MAYBE RAINBOW DASH SHOULDN'T BE FLYING THE ENTIRE TIME SHE'S GIVING THAT MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH TO SCOOTALOO. JUST SAIYAN.

6. WELL IF YOU'RE GONNA SHOVE SUPERHEROES IN MY FACE AT LEAST IT WAS ENTERTAINING.

7. IS FLUTTERSHY STILL A BAT? ARE WE NEVER GOING TO KNOW? WHY HAVE THAT ENDSCENE ANYWAY!? WHY HAS THIS HAPPENED AGAIN!? YOU STUPID LINGERING POINTLESS SHOTS!!!!

8. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. GENEROSITY. 
OH MY GOD SHUT THE FUCK UP 

9. THE BEST EPISODE IN THE ENTIRE SERIES.

10. WHY ARE THE WONDERBOLTS SO TERRIBLE? WHY DOES RAINBOW DASH LOOK UP TO THEM? WHY DOES SHE NEED TO LEARN TO BE LOYAL WHEN SHE'S SHOWN TO BE LOYAL SO MANY TIMES BEFORE? WHY ARE THE PONIES LEAST-FITTING TO BE IN THE OLYMPICS, IN THE OLYMPICS? DID NO OTHER PEGASUS REALLY WANT TO DO THIS EVENT AND BE IN THE SAME TEAM AS RAINBOW-FUCKING-DASH? WHERE IS THE RESPECT FOR HER!? WHAT THE FUCK!?

11. THE ONLY REASON THIS EPISODE IS LOVED IS BECAUSE OF WEIRD AL. UNTIL THIS MOMENT I DON'T RECALL PINKIE HAVING MUCH OF AN EGO AT ALL. SINCE WHEN ARE PARTIES SERIOUS BUSINESS? WAT. OKAY FINE PINKIE HAD GOOD CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT OTHERWISE, BUT INTRODUCING A FLAW OUT OF NOWHERE TO SOLVE IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT OK.

12. I WISH PINKIE, RAINBOW DASH, RARITY, AND APPLEJACK WERE TAKING CARE OF DISCORD AND NOT TWILIGHT AND CADANCE. AT LEAST UFP MADE AN ENTERTAINING EPISODE OUT OF IT.

13. THE STALLIONS THEY INTRODUCE TO BE LOVE INTERESTS HAVE THUS FAR BEEN VERY UNDERWHELMING. OKAY SO IT'S REALLY ONLY BLUEBLOOD AND TRENDERHOOF, BUT MY GOD ARE THEY UNDERWHELMING. PLEASE HAVE BETTER TASTE RARITY LIKE RAINBOW DASH I MEAN WHAT

14. NO.

15. MAN SWEETIE BELLE CAN BE SINISTER.

16. "THERE IS NO EVOLUTION IN EQUESTRIA, ONLY A LIST OF ANIMALS FLUTTERSHY ALLOWS TO EXIST." GOOD MORAL.

17. I AGREE WITH THE POPULACE. APPLEJACK IS NOT APPLEJACK IN THIS EPISODE, UNLESS WE GET INTO HEADCANONY-PARENTS-BEING-DEAD-JUSTIFYING-PARANOIA-THEORY OR SOMETHING SILLY LIKE THAT.

18. MAUD PIE, THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO MLP SINCE PINKIE PIE.

19. MAN SWEETIE BELLE CAN BE SINISTER. THIS EPISODE ALSO GAVE ME A HEADACHE. 

20. YOUR SONG WAS BETTER THE FIRST TIME AROUND, FLIM FLAM BROS.

21. THIS MORAL WAS BALLS-TO-THE-WALLS AWESOME. WAY TO REPRESENT THE NOT-ACTUALLY-DUMB STRUGGLING KIDS, RAINBOW DASH.

22. APPARENTLY TRADING PONIES IS LEGAL.

23. OKAY RARITY LEGIT FREAKED ME OUT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE ENTIRE SERIES. I DON'T EVEN REWATCH THIS EPISODE BECAUSE SHE LEAVES ME SO UNEASY. IT'S THE WAY THOSE GLOWING GREEN EYES ARE DRAWN, MAN. AGH.

24. YAY A GOOD SPIKE EPISODE! YES HIS DIGNITY DID GO INTO THE NEGATIVES, BUT HE MADE UP FOR IT BY SAVING THE DAY. GREAT MORAL. 

25&26. IT IS ONE THING TO REFORM DISCORD SO EASILY TO KNOCK DOWN THE STOCK OF HIS VILLAINY A PEG, BUT FOR HIM TO ACT SO NAIVE AND BE SO PREDICTABLY BETRAYED BY TIREK AS WELL REALLY DAMPERS HIS INITIAL APPEARANCE AS A VILLAIN. I NO LONGER SEE HIM AS INTIMIDATING AND CHAOTIC AS HE ONCE WAS.  ALSO COOL EXPLOSIONS AND MANE FIVE'S ONLY USEFULNESS BEING THERE TO SHOOT THE MACGUFFIN. OH WELL.

-

1&2. WOW THE MOST INTERESTING WELL-WRITTEN VILLAIN SINCE DISCORD! I HOPE THEY DON'T RUIN THIS!

3. I GUESS THEY FORGOT WHAT TWILIGHT LIKED BECAUSE THEY'RE ALWAYS OUT OF THE LOOP WHENEVER IMPENDING DOOM THREATENS EQUESTRIA.

4. JUST LIKE HOW APPLEJACK ALWAYS HAS EPISODES WITH HER FAMILY, WHY CAN'T APPLE BLOOM HAVE EPISODES THAT ISN'T ABOUT CUTIE MARKS? AT LEAST SWEETIE BELLE HAS OTHER PROBLEMS ALONG WITH SCOOTALOO. ALL APPLE BLOOM EPISODES ARE ALWAYS ABOUT CUTIE MARKS. WHY.

5. RAINBOW MAY HAVE COMMITTED ECO-TERRORISM FOR THE PETTIEST REASON EVER, BUT I CAN NEVER HATE AN EPISODE WITH SUCH A GLORIOUS AND HILARIOUS CRYING SCENE.

6. THIS WOULD BE A FILLER EPISODE IN A SERIES THAT'S ALREADY SUPPOSED TO BE FILLER IF IT WEREN'T FOR EPISODE 18.

7. FOR ONCE I LIKE HOW POST-REFORM DISCORD IS WRITTEN. ALL OF THE APPLAUSE TO YOU. THIS IS ALSO THE FUNNIEST EPISODE IN SEASON FIVE. ALTERNATE OPINIONS ARE WRONG.

8. GILDA WAS A BITCH BECAUSE SHE LIVED IN BITCHVILLE, SO WE'LL FIX GILDA AND BITCHVILLE BY LIBERATING IT IN THE NAME OF FRIENDSHIP AND RAINBOWS.

9. HA! I TOLD YOU I WASN'T LOOKING TOO INTO THAT MOMENT IN RAINBOW ROCKS WHEN LYRA AND BONBON WERE PLAYING THE PIANO! I KNEW THEY WERE BEST FRIENDS! AND YOU DOUBTED ME ALL ALONG!

10. I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE WITH THESE SPIKE EPISODES THAT KILLED HIS DIGNITY AND GAVE HIM ZERO CHANCE TO SHINE.

11. WE MUST APPEASE THE TODDLER-LEVEL MATURITY AMBASSADORS BY GIVING IN TO THEIR EVERY WILL! 

12. THIS JUST IN, PONY PALETTE SWAPS CAN ACTUALLY HAVE INTERESTING IN-DEPTH CHARACTER. MORE AT 11.

13. DID MLP JUST FEATURE AN EPISODE ABOUT SELF-HARM? WHAT?

14. ALL THOSE JOKES OF RARITY OPERATING SWEATSHOPS WERE TOTALLY OFF-THE-MARK. 

15. RARITY IS A BETTER AND MORE ENTERTAINING DETECTIVE THAN PINKIE PIE. MY LIFE IS UPSIDE-DOWN AND BACKWARDS. THE WONDERBOLTS CONTINUE TO BE TERRIBLE.

16. I STILL DON'T UNDERSTAND PEOPLE'S FANFARE ABOUT COCO POMMEL. THE BREEZIES WERE MORE INTERESTING THAN HER. SHE'S NOT CUTE, SHE'S BORING. IF PEOPLE CAN THINK FLUTTERSHY IS BORING, THIS CHARACTER IS EVEN MORE BORING.

17.  I THOUGHT MLP WAS TOO OPTIMISTIC OF A SHOW TO EVER MAKE ME CRY, AND YET THE ENDING SCENE OF THIS EPISODE DID. WHAT A POIGNANT PERFORMANCE, PETER NEW.

18. I WAS REALLY TIRED AND OUT OF IT WHEN I FIRST SAW THIS EPISODE SO MY INITIAL REACTION WAS "WHUT!?" INSTEAD OF ALL THE HEARTWARMING CRYING PEOPLE THAT WERE SUPER PROUD OF THE CMC. I THOUGHT THEIR CUTIE MARKS WERE BADLY DESIGNED, BUT I'M USED TO THEM NOW. THIS IS LIKE A BETTER WRITTEN MAGICAL MYSTERY CURE, BUT I STILL LIKE BOTH EPISODES.

19. A GOOD PINKIE PIE EPISODE. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY?

20. THAT IN-SYNC SCENE BETWEEN PINKIE AND AJ WAS FAR MORE AWKWARD THAN FUN OR CUTE. MARBLE PIE IS NOT BORING FOR THE SOLE FACT THAT SHE'S BASICALLY A FEMALE BIG MAC. IT'S AN INTERESTING PARALLEL AND SUGGESTS THE RELATION OF THE TWO FAMILIES, MUCH TO THE CHAGRIN OF THOSE WHO SHIP THEM. 

21. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN YOUR ONE CHANCE TO SATISFY THAT ENDING SCENE OF BATS! AND YOU DIDN'T DO IT! WHY! THAT LINGERING SHOT IS FOREVER POINTLESS! GAH!

22. YOU WERE DOING SO WELL WITH THE OTHER DISCORD EPISODE. I DO NOT SEE WHY HE NEEDS TWO PER SEASON NOW. WITH SLICE-OF-LIFE, THE OBLIGATORY LUNA EPISODE, THE CMC EPISODES, THE FACT THAT CELESTIA DESERVES AN EPISODE MORE THAN DISCORD GETTING TWO, AND NUMEROUS OTHER THINGS THAT ALREADY OVERSHADOW WHAT A BORING EPISODE THIS WAS.

23. OKAY.

24. Y'KNOW THE FUNNY THING IS RAZZLE DAZZLE IS MORE INTERESTING TO LISTEN TO MORE THAN ONCE, WHILE "I AM JUST A PONY" IS ONLY AS POWERFUL AS THE FIRST TIME YOU HEAR IT OR AT LEAST ON SPORADIC REPEATS. THAT'S WHY GENERIC POP DOMINATES RADIO STATIONS AND NOT POWER BALLADS OR WHATEVER, UNLESS YOU PLAY "LET IT GO" A BILLION TIMES AND KILL EVERYONE.

25&26. THE FACT THAT I CONSIDER MIDNIGHT SPARKLE THE MOST INTERESTING AND FOREBODING VILLAIN IN THIS SERIES IS VERY SAD. STARLIGHT VILLAINY POTENTIAL = ZERO. ALL IS LOST FOR SPOTTO'S WISH FOR DECENT VILLAINS IN MLP. 

-

1&2. OH I SEE. STARLIGHT HAS NOW TAKEN TWILIGHT'S ROLE IN OVERSHADOWING THE MANE FIVE FOR IMPORTANCE IN THE BIG EPISODES. WHAT A GREAT DECISION. 

3. IF ONE MORE PERSON BRINGS UP THE FACT THAT RARITY COULD HAVE SEWN A POUCH FOR MAUD INSTEAD I WILL PUNCH THEM IN THE NOSE UNTIL IT BREAKS.

4. THIS APPLEBLOOM EPISODE IS STILL ABOUT CUTIE MARKS. THEY ALREADY HAVE THEIR CUTIE MARKS. I KNOW AN EPISODE LIKE THIS SORTA NEEDS TO EXIST, BUT WHY FOCUS IT ONLY ON APPLEBLOOM? IT HAS BEEN SIX SEASONS PLEASE GIVE APPLE BLOOM MORE VARIED EPISODES, EGADS!

5. THIS IS NOT A SPIKE EPISODE. IT IS AN EMBER EPISODE. SPIKE WAS NOT THE MAIN FOCUS. I WAGER HE WAS JUST A VERY HELPFUL SUPPORTIVE CHARACTER. CALLING IT A GOOD SPIKE EPISODE IS A LIE. I ALSO DO NOT WELCOME THE RETURN OF STEREOTYPICAL FRAYBOY TEENAGE BULLY DRAGONS THAT KEEP MISSING THEIR OPPORTUNITIES FOR GOOD DRAGON LORE. WHY DID NO ADULT DRAGONS PARTICIPATE IN THIS COMPETITION? YOU'D THINK THEY WOULD BE MORE FITTING THAN ADOLESCENT DRAGONS. OR ARE THEY ALL SO LAZY AND TOO BUSY SLEEPING OVER THEIR GOLD HOARDS THAT THEY DON'T APPLY? WHO KNOWS? THE SHOW NEVER ELABORATES SO WE CAN ONLY GUESS!

6. DID MY LITTLE PONY PORTRAY A CHARACTER ATTEMPTING SUICIDE? ALSO THIS IS MY "MAKE NEW FRIENDS BUT KEEP DISCORD" COUNTERPART FOR STARLIGHT THE BLEEEEHHHH PONY ALSO TWILIGHT IS WORST PONY CONFIRMED 

7. I LITERALLY FACEPALMED IN REAL LIFE

8. I HAVEN'T HEARD A PINKIE PIE SOLO SINCE A BILLION YEARS AGO 10/10 EXCEPT NO SCOOTALOO AS TINY TIM SO 9/10

9. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG

AND THE REST OF THE EPISODES WHENEVER THEY AIR! 
spotto: (flutts)
In the RWBY fandom I operate on spite. Sheer spite. My favourite fan-artist just left the fandom. (I'm not entirely sure if it's for 100% sure but for now I'll take it as for sure, as that is what they have said). A lot of their art was part of the driving force for some of my writing because the show itself sure as fuck isn't good enough to do anything close to inspiration. My favourite character was often controversial and though does not hit the hot button as much as before I attribute that to the poor writing doing very little to amp her the best rounded parts of her personality anyway, seeing as it's inconsistent and paced poorly at best. My favourite ship is pelted with ship wars back and forth because it isn't the conventional "main pairs" that had been decided since episode fucking five of season fucking one.

This show is terrible and most fandom people I follow in it are moving on. I don't give one shit about "RWBY CHIBI" (and Chibi RWBY sounds better. They couldn't even do THAT right) or the fact that they're allowing content to be seen by sponsors one week early. It's bad enough trying to avoid spoilers for a day. I could not go on the sites for a day, I suppose. How am I supposed to actively take part in the fandom if half of them are drawing and writing for the newest episode and the rest have to wait a whole fucking week later? I can only participate if I pay them money? WHEN I HATE THIS SHOW ALREADY? THE INCENTIVE ISN'T EVEN THERE. And sure sponsorship doesn't even cost that much, but even if I was the richest motherfucker in the world damn universe I would not give them a single penny for the quality they put on screen. That's how much spite I feel.

I'm not even excited for the music that I once loved. I only liked one track in volume two (and one song had such aggravating lyrics I refused to take one step towards even downloading it, no less buying it like I did volume one) and even though there's a Weiss song apparently, I'm not even excited! Maybe that's because her backstory is an utter disappointment. I have no problem if one of her ways to rebel against her father and take charge of her future is choosing Beacon, but there's little to no detail whatsoever. Why the fuck did she choose Beacon of all places? Is it better than Haven? It's as generic as any other school for combat children! And after season three it turns out to be a god-awful choice anyway because everything goes to shit and now the whole school is abandoned and infested with Grimm and your future to become a huntress is now a complete uncertainty! Wow! Maybe it could be one step towards how she takes charge and defies her father but as is it's just really short and nothing compared to how deep and lengthy both Blake and Yang's backstories seem to be. Maybe they're just withholding information on purpose because information will come out in time, like in Volume 23 in twenty years when they decide to actually develop our characters properly and not scatter tidbits of information in between their shit priorities and their unorganized piece of shit plot they had no real coherent timeline of until they decided to shove a huge plot point they only came up with two seasons in, in season three as if that was a proper way to write a story whatsoever.

It's getting so toxic and salty that the best thing to do is to just get out entirely. Stop watching the show. Stop monitoring the fandom. Give up. Fuck it all. I love Weiss, I really do, but ultimately it feels like she's the only thing I do like anymore. Her entire concept intrigued me so much, and yet...it has all amounted to colossal disappointment, disappointment I'm tired of. I don't even like her in half the episodes anyway. I don't even know what they're trying to do with her. At this point she's just one of them "defrosting ice queen" stereotypes with nothing really unique separating her from any other character given this horrid shitstain of a treatment. Fandom provides 90% of all the potential I had hoped they would give her, but are falling short every single time. It's dumb. It's stupid. Fuck.

At this point the only real reason to stick around is that I invested so many hours and days and weeks of my time on the longest fanfic I've ever written, and for whatever inane idiotic reason I decided it had to be one this show, a show that has got to be the worst show, quality-wise, I have ever invested myself in. Even shows aimed at children as toy commercials do better. They're already transparent about their motives to take money from children, but a lot of the time they have some decent writing! Meanwhile a show whose purpose was apparently to be a cool badass show is trying to desperately bleed sponsorship from every single human-being on the planet and their dog for something that isn't even worth jack. 

The funny thing is nothing notable about RWBY spurred this rant. Oh no. I was going through the pony fandom and got incessantly annoyed. People that consider themselves intelligent "analysts" that over and over again either hate Pinkie's songs or just Pinkie in general. I was getting aggravated because I LIKE these analysts, but the difference of opinion was getting to such a grating point. Perhaps because I identify with her so much, or genuinely enjoy her songs (that AREN'T Smile Smile Smile! HA! MORE UNPOPULAR OPINIONS) or that Pinkie's goal in life just speaks to me so deeply. Even if she made a horrible pun or was written in a lazy, cop-out humour sort of way, the fact that she exists, the fact that she's trying to bring laughter, her ENTIRE EXISTENCE is a heartwarming miracle to me. My favourite episodes tend to be Pinkie episodes, especially one's where she's written well. When she's written well she's damn well best pony. BEST OF ANYONE ELSE, best even when others are at their best. That is the pinnacle of MLP right there, a well-written Pinkie, what the show is supposed to be, WHY I AM HERE WATCHING IN THE FIRST PLACE. I enjoy that Pinkie so much, I continue to watch despite some episodes that I truly dislike that I have to cast aside as a dud, and await the next week, hope next week is better.

And one harmless night I was browsing TVTropes, heading to the YMMV page which I generally agree lists tropes that are truly subjective, and I see something called "The Scrappy" next to Pinkie Pie on an episode called "Green Isn't Your Colour."

Meanwhile, I check the YMMV page for Filli Vanilli. I do not see "The Scrappy" there, I only see "Base Breaker"

So what you're telling me, website listing subjective tropes, that Pinkie Pie being "The Scrappy" a truly annoying, irredeemable character in Green Isn't Your Colour, in my opinion one of the top three best-written episodes in the ENTIRE SERIES, is something most people agree with enough for that to exist, but FILLI VANILLI PINKIE, is merely a BASE-BREAKER, in that some people ARE ACTUALLY TRYING TO DEFEND HER BEHAVIOUR?

I have NEVER seen a single person bring up that Pinkie is ANNOYING or IRREDEEMABLE or whatever in GiYC! NEVER! Maybe they might think she is simply there to keep the plot moving in a rather nonsensical manner, but she's Pinkie Pie! And even if that defense isn't valid, and I cannot believe I HAVE TO DEFEND THIS, it's CONSISTENT WITH HER CHARACTER to be touchy with secrets/Pinkie Swears! She's had THREE OTHER EPISODES (Party of One, The Last Roundup, The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows) involving that subject! In fact, I love that episode so much because it's the prime example, at least in season one, of writing Pinkie Pie correctly! Where she isn't overbearing and intruding into the plot as an obnoxious distraction to bring comic relief that does nothing to progress the story, but CONTRIBUTES to the story in a way that fits her character and is genuinely entertaining! You can't tell me her FOREVERS coming out of nowhere wasn't the least bit funny! YOU CANNOT! The fact that she showed up in a mirror BLEW PEOPLE'S MINDS! It was near the beginning of the whole "Pinkie breaks physics beyond what we even imagined!" short of thing! It's a significant part of Pinkie, thank you very much!

And then, apparently, there are some people who did not like her. Wow, this is like, even more baffling than people who call "Pinkie Apple Pie" okay, or god forbid "terrible." I even heard someone say the humour became "stale" in that epi--EXCUSE ME!? THE HUMOUR WAS ALL-OVER-THE-PLACE! If one joke didn't make you laugh, another would because the jokes were different, fast-paced, unexpected and timed well! Stale would imply they were doing the same thing, making the same joke, over and over again! The fact that that person did not elaborate whatsoever just shows that they had no real insight in why they considered the humour poor! The fact that I HATED THEIR ATTEMPTS AT HUMOUR might be a big hint as to a reason why. I guess we don't share the same sense of humour, but by god SO MANY people I knew and see on the internet could at least agree if they had little to say of the episode, or if it was just okay, that it was at the very least, FUNNY!

Holy shit.

I don't know. Maybe I've been exposed to too many people with conflicting opinions in too short-a-time-frame. The concentration is ungodly. I am well aware just like literally any other character I like, that Pinkie isn't the popular choice, but my god. It's just difficult to grasp the difference in opinion when it is this great. Most of the time if I disagreed I at least could understand why they'd hold such an opinion. But it feels like lately I just do not agree and have no real way of rectifying that conflict whatsoever. I just see no valid points on the other side at all. It's utterly unfathomable. I am in disbelief.

Just so you know my top well-written episodes are something like Pinkie Apple Pie, Green Isn't Your Colour, and Sleepless in Ponyville. They are in my opinion, FLAWLESS, writing-wise, or as flawless as you're gonna get. Why can't every episode be like these? I could go into more detail but it is late, so I'll justify my choices in another choice. (Flawless-writing-wise doesn't mean another episode can't be better. For instance Sonic Rainboom is a really good episode, but I don't consider it flawless because I find Rarity's behaviour a but too much forced for the plot to work. The fact that her get-up during the competition looks atrocious when Rarity should know better in terms of design, really breaks the sense that this is what the real Rarity would do. I have no doubt she'd be this vain or whatever, but it felt like they made her look like crap just to drive the point further that SHE IS THE ANTAGONIST LOOK AT HER BE THE ANTAGONIST BY BEING UGLY OMGHFHFF!! But that is just one example.) 
spotto: (@_@)
 "What are you gonna do, erase the PinkieShy rant so you can write a PinkieShy rant?"
 
Evidently that is exactly what I am doing. Hello readers. If that quote did not reveal what had been written here before, I'll just flat-out tell you here! Yes indeedy, I am typing up a PinkieShy rant on-top of the one I started some weeks ago and never finished. Because I am THAT bitter about them that instead of finishing the rant from before, I'll just write a whole new one hopefully including some points from beforehand, should I remember, BECAUSE I AM THAT MOTHERFUCKING SALTY. 
 
I mean gosh, if that hasn't been obvious considering the NUMEROUS RANTS I'VE HAD ON FILLI VANILLI ON THIS BLOG ALREADY. Like, I have ranted on that over and over again, repeating points, bringing up new points, and forever puking out my displeasure of that ONE. SINGLE. EPISODE.
 
How. Why.
 
I guess the gist of it all is...PinkieShy is the ship I've always wanted. It's the ship I've always dreamed of. They have literally all of the aesthetics, personality, and interaction that I could possibly want in a ship, and that's what they are. 
 
...except they aren't. 
 
THAT'S WHY I'M SALTY.
 
Now you're probably wondering what the flying fuck I'm talking about. You see Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy are my two favourite ponies. They are best ponies, so-to-speak. Well occasionally Rarity usurps Fluttershy, but y'know that's usually regarding the quality of Rarity episodes to Fluttershy episodes. I don't tend to like Fluttershy episodes while I tend to like almost every Rarity one... it's just a thing because Rarity is written so-very-well so often. But anyway, while they are my two favourite ponies individually, the two of them talking, or being friends or whatever together, is like a pony dream I've always had. And it's that very fact that all of this is so sad, that I have to dream two main characters in a show about friendship, having some sort of friendship. You think entering season six we would have some of this so-called friendship the show claims to have that is part of a giant mind-bending rainbow beam of death that torments the likes of villainy everywhere. Now obviously they are not the only two who have been neglected by the show that would rather waste its time introducing brand new characters our infallible mane six have to convert to the religion of friendship and save them from their misguided ways. I thought Rarity in particular wasn't given much screen-time among many others aside from really just Applejack. She's had an episode with Fluttershy (which was really fucking good, mind you) and since Twilight has been the audience-surrogate for a while there was bound to be some Rarity-Twilight moments, though no episode off the top-of-my-head that focused on the two of them in particular. However recently we had some marvelous episodes like Rarity Investigates and The Gift of Maud Pie, that delve into Rarity with Rainbow Dash and Pinkie, a dynamic we've seen rather little of unfortunately.
 
That leaves us with very few duos left. I'm wracking my brain for them, since I want to believe my views on Pinkie and Fluttershy having little screen-time together is justified beyond just "THEY'RE MY TWO FAVOURITES DURR" so I thought of such duos like...like... 
 
Hm.
 
Let me go through them all just to make sure I've not been missing anyone. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie's friendship were featured first in Griffon the  Brush Off. Rainbow then gets an episode with Applejack showcasing their rivalry in Fall Weather Friends. She has a small amount of interaction with Rarity in Sonic Rainboom, but most of it comes from Rarity Investigates. The best Rainbow and Twilight episode in my opinion is Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three, and Rainbow and Fluttershy have had countless interactions together for whatever reason. They're both pegasi? They're childhood friends? Regardless Hurricane Fluttershy which is a grand-as-fuck entry in the MLP series is a wondrous illustration of their developing friendship. So that's Rainbow done with, since she's the easiest being shipped with absolutely everyone and every single one of those ships having a sizable following.
 
Twilight, second easiest can be pinpointed as well, aside from Rainbow she's had several episodes with Pinkie Pie, the controversial Feeling Pinkie Keen as well as It's About Time. She's had A Bird in the Hoof and that really boring Hooffields and the McColts episode with Fluttershy. The closest thing I can think of is Applebuck Season for AJ, but the two of them have appeared in the most episodes in the series of them all, so they're usually interlapping as strong supporting characters in one another's episodes. I can't think of anything for Twilight and Rarity in particular unless it's a Spike episode or something.
 
So there's one and maybe two, Twilight with AJ or Rarity.
 
Then there's AJ and Rarity, who have featured in many episodes with one another. Rarity's got the aforementioned Gift of Maud Pie for Pinkie and Green Isn't Your Colour for Fluttershy, where AJ has Bats! with Fluttershy and the greatest episode in the entire series, Pinkie Apple Pie, with quite obviously Pinkie.
 
So we are left with Pinkie...and Fluttershy. I'm gonna suggest the unfairness further, by any of Twilight's neglected relationships being not quite neglected, since she was the main star for all of season one. Pinkie and Fluttershy are never top-billing. They do not cause or solve the problems in those big giant two-parters. They are merely there to be support for Twilight. The closest these two have had an episode with one another are... Putting Your Hoof Down and Filli Vanilli.
 
Ah yes, Putting Your Hoof Down, where Fluttershy insulted Pinkie's very reason for being (and Rarity), called her an idiot, and made her run away crying. Ah yes, Filli Vanilli, where Pinkie terrorized Fluttershy and amplified her phobia tenfold, driving her to tears through her reckless insensitivity masked as good intentions. YES, THESE TWO EPISODES. I AM QUITE PLEASED BY THESE TWO EPISODES AS YOU CAN SEE, WITH THEIR WONDROUS POSITIVE INTERACTIONS WHERE THEY ARE THE BEST OF FRIENDS, THE GREATEST OF ROLE MODELS TO ALL THE CHILDREN WHO NEED TO LEARN HOW TO ACT AMONGST THEIR PEERS.
 
Listen. It's very obvious why I am salty. It's very obvious. It's giant letters in your face, in black bold font, of a highly simplified and readable typeface like Helvetica or whatever. I DO NOT NEED TO EXPLAIN IT ANY FURTHER.
 
Now see, the difference between Filli Vanilli and Putting Your Hoof Down, is that I only rant incessantly about the former. The latter, as poorly-written as the episode was (Suddenly everyone in Ponyville is a jerk, and two characters our little children girls are looking up to as guidance are manipulating and conning other ponies in an example of "assertiveness" for some reason) that Fluttershy's explosive tirade was immediately given a negative light and taken very seriously. Fluttershy becomes withdrawn, almost a hermit in her deep shame and guilt for what she had done. Pinkie Pie and Rarity meanwhile seem to instantly forgive her (pacing-wise at least, in a matter of two seconds apparently a lot of time had passed, but we are never given any scenes with the two to see them dwelling over their conflict with Fluttershy) as if they were good enough friends to not let such a momentously vicious and toxic fight ruin their friendship.
 
In Filli Vanilli, Pinkie's antics are funny. And she never apologizes. And no one takes it seriously. And when the show makes me, whose favourite character BAR-NONE is PINKAMENA DIANE PIE, want to MIDDLE-FINGER AND SWEAR at my OWN FAVOURITE CHARACTER, something is SERIOUSLY WRONG.
 
I truly will never understand why some of the most adorable, innocent little ponies like Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy, would if you put them in a room together, would probably have a rather unhealthy friendship from all evidence you can pluck from canon in a series called Friendship is Magic. They are friends because the Mane Six are friends. They are friends by virtue of, if they weren't, Equestria would be doomed. They're like mutual friends. "But Spotto!" You ask. "There was that time in It's About Time (hurr) where Fluttershy was helping Pinkie Pie carry party supplies!" Yes, my imaginary child reader named Billy, you are correct! Except it was Fluttershy helping Pinkie Pie carry ALL of the party supplies, and Pinkie Pie seemingly not aware that Fluttershy should not be doing all of the work. Or "Spotto! How about that moment when Fluttershy gave Pinkie a butterfly massage-therapy thing!" And I agree! That is a great scene denoting their wondrous friendship. That very singular one scene of the entire series, that took place in the span of a minute.
 
I mean obviously there must be a reason I started to like this ship. It's as if I just wrote a manifesto of why PinkieShy sucks and would never work. That is untrue! They are my OTP after all. These points just highlight how very frustrated their "friendship" is, because the kind of friendship I like seeing the most is a happy positive character helping out a shy withdrawn character. All MLP has taught me is that if you're too extroverted you'll tire out an introvert, and if you're too introverted you'll bore an extrovert. Such friendship is IMPOSSIBLE. Do not attempt.
 
Season one was the beginning of hope, hope that never developed into anything, that was retconned into oblivion, but hope it did provide. You see, in an episode called "Griffon Your Brush-Off" it was established that Pinkie Pie understood Fluttershy's sensitivity and thus, respected it. She did not want to prank her because she knew it would hurt Fluttershy's feelings. That was the beginning of that hope, that yes, this extroverted character who can be too loud at times and do things without thinking so many other times, can still stop and for once, take into account the difference of another character. A pony who is shy, withdrawn, who does not enjoy what Pinkie enjoys. She respects that. When Gilda comes in and makes Fluttershy cry, Pinkie becomes incensed. She is determined to right what was wrong, that no one should bully and intimidate her friend like that. Pinkie Pie was not only understanding, but protective.
 
Of course in that very same episode, we had the Fluttershy "I'm a year older-than-you" comment. There were still small things that Pinkie did that crossed the line and annoyed Fluttershy, which is in-line with Pinkie's flaws, but the BIG ONE was there and the BIG ONE mattered. That making Fluttershy cry was no joking matter. Later on, in Dragonshy while everyone else was impatient and demanding of Fluttershy to get over her fears, that she was holding everypony back, Pinkie Pie once again takes the time to understand and sings her a song. She isn't negative and demeaning like Rainbow Dash, she is positive and supportive, trying to give Fluttershy a boost with her encouraging song. The best part is that it works. Fluttershy is no longer scared. She smiles. She accepts Pinkie's help. It's a lovely and wonderful scene. 
 
Finally we have the scene that probably cemented this ship for many of the shippers and that was Fluttershy out-of-nowhere, downright glomping Pinkie Pie in Over A Barrel. Before this happened, Fluttershy was the most concerned of them all that Pinkie had gone missing as well after the train-scene where the buffalo stole Bloomberg. Everyone else was concerned for Spike, who was in the carriage that was taken away, but Fluttershy for whatever reason was especially concerned about Pinkie. This surmounted when they went to rescue Pinkie, Rainbow Dash, and Spike from the buffalo. When Fluttershy sees Pinkie, she dives for her. This is inherently out-of-character for Fluttershy. When has she ever expressed herself in such an outwardly way? Pinkie Pie glomping Fluttershy is what we expect, yet it is Fluttershy who tackle-hugs Pinkie.
 
If we take all these scenes into consideration, we can perhaps assume that maybe over time Fluttershy has learned to appreciate that while Pinkie is so very different from her, she still understands and respects her for who she is and for that, Fluttershy is grateful. Fluttershy is glad she has such an empathetic and kind friend like Pinkie, who allows her to remain in her boundaries. It is this potential, this type of friendship I was looking so forward to. As I relate to both Pinkie and Fluttershy deeply, a friendship that worked so well among such starkly different ponies was heartwarming simply to think about.
 
...and then the writers promptly forgot about season one.
 
After those scenes? We had Putting Your Hoof Down. But that's okay. Fluttershy tore Pinkie apart, but that's okay. It's okay because they forgave her, and remained best friends. We had that scene in Too Many Pinkie Pies with the butterflies, which is nice. I'm annoyed it took so long for a small scene to display their friendship that wasn't really related to the plot, but whatever. Then. Then we had Filli Vanilli. 
 
Filli Vanilli, that took Griffon-Your-Brush-Off, chewed it up, and spit the incomprehensible wad into the depths of the ocean, never to be seen again. Once again, let me reiterate. The BIG ONE was what mattered. Pinkie knew making Fluttershy cry was no joking matter. Yet in this entire episode, all of her jokes were making Fluttershy cry...making her run away, have a nervous breakdown, basically an emotional assault of the most obscene manner, and that entire thing was written because it was meant to be comedy. That whole idea that was implied from those season one episodes, that even though Pinkie could be annoying and obnoxious, she still had the heart to see and realize Fluttershy's boundaries. They were shattered. They were disintegrated, as if that very idea never existed at all. As if Pinkie had been replaced by one of her Mirror Clones, as if this whole friendship I assumed, wanted, had evidence that they had, was never like that at all! 
 
YES, I WAS SALTY. OF COURSE I WAS SALTY.
 
And now that many duos within the Mane Six have been visited in some way, I'm still eagerly awaiting that Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy episode. Maybe it'll be a mundane episode that never brings up these worryingly problematic portions of their friendship, and assumes they've been the best of friends this whole time. Maybe it does bring it up, and it ends up being a friendship lesson for the one or two of them. Maybe it'll never happen at all, just like that Sayo backstory I assumed would happen in Negima. That backstory, that singular chapter, that day in the limelight most other characters had, but Sayo's was foreshadowed, as there were ideas and notes scribbled upon around the mangaka's concept art. That pactio that every character was supposed to get that would expand on Sayo that had been teased in a previous chapter, and that she'd be something more than a cute ghost and Asakura's sidekick. THE CHAPTER THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A LEGITIMATE REASON TO EXPLORE SOME MORE KAZUMI AND SAYO THAT NEVER. FUCKING. HAPPENED.
 
It is here again. I am waiting again. An episode that may or may not come, that seems obvious they SHOULD focus on, that seems obvious they'd have an episode on before the series ends. That the series is SO VERY LONG OVERDUE ON, just like what I waited for before and never came.
 
If MLP ends without the Pinkie and Fluttershy episode, I cannot feasibly predict my levels of salt. I can assure you it'd be beyond any levels you've seen before, and all those Filli Vanilli rants would be nothing in comparison.
 
And so I wait.
 
And so I hope.
spotto: (koi)
 I remember many years ago I had said something very foolish.

"I don't ship in MLP."

WELL, THAT CHANGED.

It changed quite quickly actually. My OTP became PinkieShy. And then I said:

"I only ship PinkieShy."

That ALSO CHANGED.

In fact, between that time and now I had actually tested a few ships to see if I'd like them, like forcing myself to read TwiDash and RariJack fics and hoping I'd like them. I liked the person's writing and the concept and all that jazz, but never really found myself growing to like the pair itself. I thought I would only really ever care for PinkieShy which was A-OK. Then...the harem emerged.

Harem, you say? Well, these are the MLP ships I have now...

"PinkieShy (OTP), TwiJack, RariDash, Rarilight, RariPie, Rarijack (sorta), Sunlight (so long as it's FG!Twilight), LyraBon."

Look at them Rarity ships. About the only pony I don't ship her with is Fluttershy. 

I also said this quote that too is very untrue now.

"I am not a RWBY shipper."

And lo and behold, my opinion is as follows...

"CHECKMATING, MOFOS!!! FREEZERBURN (which should really be called Wang Schlong because I am a mature and sophisticated adult) WHITE ROSE! WEISS WITH EVERYONE EXCEPT MALES!!! BICYCLE BICYCLE BICYCLE!! LADYBUG IS COOL TOO!!!"

Heck, there was also a time in my days as an early Touhou fan where I only liked some characters and cared not for any romantic subtext! Why, it's a bullet hell shooter! The dialogue is barely there and what there is of has no hints to any romance whatsoever!

And now I have these ships:

"KENEMOKO!! YEAH!! HijiriMiko is the best hate!ship and anyone who says otherwise is WRONG. AyaSanae, my official rarepair love."

So yes, no matter how low of an opinion you have of these obnoxious people who put fictional characters together, I AM ONE OF THEM. It is a sad reality that goes way back to when I was but a mere teenager. And also there will never be het. Het is for silly mainstream people with no creativity. And also also, they shall all be girls. Girls will reign over all. What do you mean I'm currently in love with the incredibly manly and beautifully bara (that does not imply I ship him with other manly people. No one else in RWBY is MAN enough to be worth Sage) Sage? I do not ship him with anyone. His love is his very boring sword that doesn't transform into anything. 

Speaking of MEN. Everyone in RWBY is unmanly with the sole exception of Sage. There's the boys and the old guys, but none of them are manly. They desperately try to force down our throats that this character named Qrow is supposedly manly, but for me they have failed spectacularly. He has this voice that is trying too hard to be manly by having Qrow speak in this way 100% of the time like he does it on purpose as if he were Christopher Nolan's Batman. It makes him sound far more lame than natural. He also has a stubble which is also trying too hard to be manly because you see, this stubble is not consistent. If he were to have a stubble, he should also have manly chest hair to match. But for whatever reason Qrow has chosen to either shave his chest hair or not show it whatsoever, nullifying what manliness he could've contained. He's also constantly drunk and manipulative, while upholding his ego among his juniors who are practically children. He is also outwardly perverted around these same children who happen to be female. That is not manly at all. It is truly a disappointment in the MAN department.

Sage meanwhile has no stubble and no chest hair, but still manages to be manly. He is a man of few words, which adds to his air of manliness. Unfortunately his team is not very manly. Scarlet comes close, but sadly he is a boy to be laughed at as if he were man being hit by football. Sun is almost manly, but he is far too goofy and talkative to be manly. I give him manly points for being very respectful of Blake when she was having problems during volume two and had no time to attend a silly dance with him, and so he is the closest to the paragon of manliness that is Sage. Neptune is the opposite of manliness. He is very vocal about his love of females and is a jokeworthy character beyond that of Scarlet. Port, who is too much of a funny geezer old man to be manly, has mentioned that team SSSN is a manly team, but he must only be referring to Sage alone, which makes sense as Sage alone can mistaken people to believe the rest of his team is also manly.

Despite Sage's supreme manhood, he is not the manliest character. That honour goes to Yang and Yang alone. Neo rivals her.

As for the old men, several of them are far too cryptic to be manly, including Ozpin and Cinder. Ren is quite manly, but he has not reinforced his manliness very often, having a low presence though I believe he prefers to be subtle. Nora is very manly, and would win the man awards if not for Yang and Neo.

......oh, where was I?

AH YES SHIPPING.

I like shipping. I will readily admit that. What the fuck am I typing here anyway. This is why I should not down Monster energy drinks. I think my other point here is to point out what a shipping hipster I am. Not that I ship popular things before they become popular, but rather I always ship the alternate ships. NEVER THE MAIN SHIPS. DOWN WITH MAINSTREAM!!! Bumblebee? Nope. Rainbow Dash with anypony other than Rarity? Never. A ship with the main characters of Touhou? WHAT ARE THOSE!? I spit into the majority's tastes! HA!

I also grow melancholy about my rare!pair ships, mostly PinkieShy and AyaSanae but especially PinkieShy. Once upon a time Pinkie respected Fluttershy for the sensitive timid pony she was, and next thing I knew they were tearing down each other's feelings and bringing each other to tears. When canon changes so subtly from Fluttershy glomping Pinkie over to being the most opposite and incompatible of friends, my hopes fade. One day pony will air a PinkieShy episode and I will rejoice. Of course, this may be a hopeless cause, just like that one time when Negima was supposed to have a Sayo backstory chapter due to the inevitable Negi pactio and then ending before that could ever have the opportunity to arise. It was even foreshadowed! Much salt was spilled.

 Let's ask a question! I say as I continue this incredibly disjointed blog post! Do I have a typing and if so why is it not inherently obvious like "the happy one" or the "misunderstood" one?

You see, my current fandoms are pony and RWBY and my favourite characters are stark opposites. There is Pinkie, the perpetually happy glee-bringer of Equestria. Then there is Weiss, hated by many for starting off as unpleasant and bossy. Well the answer is quite simple you see. When I first decided to watch MLP, which is already a difficult obstacle to overcome because if you know me I avoid starting off TV shows and cartoons as if they are the plague, it was because it was a time of sadness. Being a long-time fan of hockey and putting so much passion and hope into my Canucks winning their very first championship in their forty-year history, having all that crash and crumble all because of a single lost game that had it been won, would've led to the ultimate goal, truly destroyed me. I avoided all sports media for months and needed a pick-me up. Ponies were there. They were everywhere actually, in the year of 2011. I knew it was at the very least, a happy series. And so in that show I looked for anything to make me laugh, to cheer me up. There a character existed whose whole purpose was to raise your dimples and make your day. Her name is Pinkie Pie. She was exactly what I needed at the time and thus, will forever be my favourite for truly making me smile.

Meanwhile I first saw RWBY as trailers made by an awesome dude who animated this other series called Dead Fantasy. My expectations were only of "cool awesome action to entertain myself with" and then a trailer that colour-coded itself as White came along and blew away all my expectations. These lyrics imply a STORY, with this CHARACTER who is lonely, sad, lost, and aimless. She wears beautiful white, which contrasts so wonderfully with red like the shades of blood. Her fighting style was so elegant and deadly, and yet when I peered into her eyes I only saw an individual who might have been emotionally fragile. One who seeked kindness and happiness that a childhood should bring, which it felt she never had. Then she said her first lines in the show as she was the only one of the four to never say a word in any of the trailers, and I realized she wasn't merely just a poor little princess who needed friends...she was a poor little princess who needed friends with a HUGE AMOUNT OF PRIDE and a wall that blocked all that may make her feel vulnerable. She wasn't just a pretty little sympathy trophy...she was a CHARACTER.

I love these two characters for completely different reasons and that's great! 8D

Then there's Touhou, but that's filled with so much headcanon that I really have no clue how to explain why I like any character. For instance, Keine. To most Keine just serves the role as a teacher character, kind of like the many teachers in Beacon or Cheerilee, the teacher of the CMC. But yet, I saw unlocked potential in what backstory she could possibly have, as it wasn't explored very much, yet there was so much to explore. She was at the time the only hybrid human/youkai character in the game, in which her youkai form had an identity. (Meanwhile Rinnosuke, being also a half-human was only a "generic" youkai so speculation was lost) Her ability was also one of wonder. How broken could it possibly be? She can alter history itself? She can erase history? What does that MEAN? Why is this so vague, like with every other aspect of Touhou's lore!? And finally, she is Mokou's only friend. She even came to defend Mokou from the protagonists despite Mokou being eternal and immortal, thus never being in danger whatsoever. Yet Keine cared enough to make sure she didn't get hurt. That's just ripe shipping potential. Plus in a world filled with amoral orange and blue morality jerkasses, Keine's kind of a breath of fresh air. Even if in canon she's an incredibly dull teacher. P:

Miko is just a glorious arrogant ham with the best cape and hairstyle ever. The only real saint to me. ;) I think of her as a less angry and more accomplished Vegeta. (Byakuren is Goku. I will never let that crossover go. [fyi Shou is Gohan, Nazrin is Piccolo and Futo is Nappa. 8DDDDD) The Buddhists and Taoists are just the Gensokyo version of DBZ to me hahahaha.

i'm gonna abruptly end this rant because i had no clue what was i doing starting it anyway so.... bye

HAMSTERS.

Oct. 25th, 2015 11:02 pm
spotto: (Sooooolo)
 Ya know what I hate? What I really really really hate? Something I'm about to rant about through all my unbridled rage?

Whenever cute cuddly little animals are featured on some mass social media site like say Reddit for instance (but they are by far not the only offenders and obviously it's not every single user ever that has this same opinion) people tend to react first foremost to how cute and cuddly they are, and then depending on how educated they are about the animal, comment on the animal's demeanour and how good they are as a pet.

Oh wait no they don't.

They squee at the cuteness and then destroy the reputation of said animal via their own misguided experience. Oh that's right. I'm talking about hamsters, folks. Every single goddamn time a hamster rises up to the front page, there's someone proclaiming that they are nasty, vicious, sociopathic animals that bite all the time, eat their young, and are basically the spawn of satan. They are horrid animals not to be trifled with. Then many others agree and the cycle continues. People begin associating an animal with certain flaws and despite how little they deserve such treatment, they are now infamous for whatever it is they do.

Let me start by saying nature is by default, vicious. It does not give one little fuck about whether or not something an animal does is cute or friendly. Animals need to survive and they have all found their own little ways of surviving. A lot of the time the result isn't pretty. For hamsters, it's when they judge the chances of their young surviving the next few days. How much food have they stored? Is the weather decent? Are predators constantly about? If this risk is far too high, they cull the weakest of their lot. The sustenance they obtain from the weakest make them stronger and give them a better chance of raising the survivors. The littlest ones too brittle to withstand the next storm are spared from drowning. That's just how life is for the little critters.

So now they are pets. They haven't been pets for many generations. The Syrians, the largest kinds, have been the longest but not even for a full century have these hamsters been tamed. The dwarf kinds are even more recent than that. They will still retain a lot of their instincts from the wild, including the culling of their young. Humans are foreign, strange beasts to them with an unknown, threatening scent. If they had even the slightest hint of those humans on their young, they would cull them in an instant. There was no way they could survive what attack those large hairless giants had. Or perhaps they are okay with their human owner. They've been handled for a while and trust the food the human provides them from their fingers, but maybe that food isn't enough. They know they themselves will give birth to the young soon, but the proportion of their food has been the same as always. The human is often inexperienced and has no way of telling if their little critter might have babies, especially if they've misidentified the hamster's gender or the pet store did. Suddenly the little pups are here, but with what food they are able to consume, it isn't enough to keep all of their little young alive. They don't realize the human would probably up their food content, so they cull the babies or at least some of them.

Or maybe they DO have enough food, but they live in a tiny, tiny environment. The exercise machine touches the walls and takes up most of their flat, and they cannot possibly see how they could share this small bachelor pad with five or six more rugrats running around. They do not know what the world is like outside this small room, so they cannot possibly realize the strange human may relocate the babies when they are old enough and thus, they cull. Whatever reason a hamster has to eat their young, it is always an instinctual reason. They were not given such survival methods because Satan or God thought it was humorous to see the humans gawk in horror at their cute little pet committing the grave sin of cannibalism. They were given such methods because that was the only way to ensure the safety of their strongest young, who may end up growing up to mate with the next generation and pass their mighty genes along.

As for the biting, well what the hell would you do if a massive thing stretched out their colossal claw above your head? A smart person would take such a dangerous movement to be life-threatening at first. There was no way to tell this massive thing was friendly, and if you guess wrong you'd be flat as a pancake with no second chance at changing your mind. Obviously a little frightened hamster would squeak, hiss, run, hide, and especially bite as a means of defence. Hamsters are prey. Their ancestors had their lives cut short endlessly due to so many factors that it only makes sense these reflexes and reactions originate deep in their DNA.

And no, I would not say hamsters are the most rewarding pet to own. They are not dogs that will run to your doorstep, eager to greet you inside. They are not cats who act as lazy, independent pompous creatures that remind their owner so much of themselves. They aren't even rats, who each have their own unique friendly personality and are dependent on a second rat companion for the full richness of their lives. But they are hamsters. They're cute, cuddly, and they're not difficult to tame. I cannot stress that enough. Of my thirteen hamsters I've owned, only three were not tamed. One was a dwarf hamster who sadly lived the shortest of the bunch and the other two were roborovski hamsters that I mostly viewed as opposed to held, as most robos tend to be kept. (One day I'll handle a robo hamster consistently...) The other ten were tamed. Most of them were fine being held the moment I got them because of how young they were, but the best story I have is of my current hamster, Esper.

Esper was a biter when I got him at first. He didn't look very young in the tank when I saw him. He wasn't a juvenile, but he also wasn't fully grown as he grew larger under my care after a few months. So it's safe to say Esper had been in that pet store for a while. I had asked the store lady if I could handle the hamsters, but she gave an excuse that they sleep in the afternoon and so it'd be better to come in the morning. While that is mostly true, the fact that a pet store clerk would not let you handle a pet to see what their temperament is like is a bad sign. It usually means the hamsters aren't handled regularly and aren't tamed, so they may bite. And well, if a potential customer is bitten they can't sell their hamsters, now can they?

Regardless of that red flag, I brought home Esper anyway. I decided to let him get to know me right away by letting him into my hand and then right after putting him in his cage. He bit. I left him alone in the cage for a week or so before I began the taming process. This process is one often recommended and there are numerous guides, whether written guides, video guides or the like, but there are many on the internet. There's stuff like spending time with the hamster in the same enclosed playpen, usually a bathtub. The best tip I used was wearing gloves. The hamster could bite all they want and realize it does absolutely nothing unless they like tasting leather constantly, which cannot be pleasant. I eventually was able to handle Esper with my bare hands after a couple of weeks, but he wasn't fully tame. For one thing, he confused a tendon in my wrist as something to chew at first, and that bled pretty profusely. A few days later he was eating a wet mealworm off my hand, and assumed the juices left on my palm were more of the mealworm, and nibbled on that.... yet more blood. But after putting on a band-aid and continually handling him for thirty-minutes each and every day, he finally associated my hand and my body as me, and never bit ever again. Even if my hand smelled like food, he knew it was me and never bit. Even if I enclosed him in both hands like a trap or whatever, he was never afraid. He didn't try to claw his way out. He knew it was me. He became incredibly familiar with me. I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to bond with a hamster properly. Though it takes work, it feels so much better than just being able to hold a hamster right away. 

I earned Esper's trust. He trusts me. I trust him. It has gotten to the point that Esper would relax on my hands, or sit quietly on the couch with me without running all over the place or whatever because he knows I'm there and that he's safe. He is eager to see me, like a dog, whenever I walk by the cage. It's probably because I might give him food, but sometimes it's because he wants to come out. He actually wants to spend time with me. He even licks me as he grooms sometimes. I partially think because he doesn't care since he's also grooming himself that his tongue might land on my hand, but then he just licks my hand without bothering to clean himself sometimes. The level of closeness I feel with Esper is awesome. I've never had such a level like this before. My other tamed hamsters could be handled, but they would never relax in my arms or lick me affectionately. I also never attempt to handle Esper when he's actually in the cage, so I respect the territory he has and that is probably another reason he is so relaxed and friendly towards me.

It's truly a special relationship. That's what having a hamster is like. I've never had a dog or a cat before and I'd love to have them, but for what I have right now, it feels pretty sweet. People who blame their pets for their pets' problems are not the type of people who can understand these animals and probably do not deserve to own them in the first place. For whatever reason it gets increasingly more difficult to understand this the lower the intelligence level you go for hamsters. I will be the first to say hamsters are pretty dumb, but they're not like goldfish you can only admire from afar. They can be held. They can be pet. They can be cuddled. And I know for sure, if you've earned their trust, they like you too. Such a thing with an animal that hasn't been bred to act a certain way for hundreds of thousands of years is pretty special indeed.
spotto: (@_@)
The second half of pony season five has been going on full swing! I have surprisingly generally liked it. The most recent episode has been the type of episode I'd been eagerly anticipating for quite a while now, Pinkie's FAMILY! Not just her sister who came out of nowhere Maud, but her entire immediate family. Unfortunately I cannot say this was one of my favourites of the second half of the season despite the content of the episode being something I found interesting due to some weird and stilted writing or character-decisions here and there. My favourite Pinkie-based episode is still "The One Where Pinkie Knows" which was the last episode and that had a fairly light premise that'd be hard to stretch into twenty-two minutes, yet they managed it with the excellent comedy. Though I can safely say it comes in second, though not by too much. Including Pinkie's map episode with Rainbow, this is Pinkie's fourth episode this season, though again you can say she shares it with AJ like her map is shared with Rainbow, but that's still more than RD herself, Rarity, AJ, and especially Twilight (one episode so far) and Fluttershy (zero!). Though thanks to the goddamn leak I know next episode is a Fluttershy one. (Is the Discord episode considered a Fluttershy episode? Since we only have six episodes left and the finale is always a two-parter it probably is.)

Anyway, I digress because I do want to discuss Pinkie's family. Waaay back in season one when I first watched Cutie Mark Chronicles by far the most unexpected Cutie Mark story was Pinkie's because her origin not only came out of nowhere but has seemingly no real influence on Pinkie herself. When you look at this super hyper pink rocket of happiness you don't immediately think of the word "Amish." We don't really get another glimpse at Pinkie's family until Maud's sudden appearance in season four, and she seems to have carried on the Pie family tradiiton of being very involved with the topic of rocks, a tradition only Pinkie has broken. A few people were disappointed by that episode because they were expecting the introduction of Pinkie's sisters who had appeared during Cutie Mark Chronicles instead of a whole other sister, but then Maud turned out to be a fan-favourite and we get an episode about whole family a season later! It's win-win!

As for this episode, well...it was apparently written by the writer who did Party Pooped which was not an episode I was especially fond of. Like I've mentioned before even though Pinkie is my favourite pony she's also very hit-or-miss for me. When she hits, she hits hard and I declare her best pony of all the land, but when she doesn't everything falls flat. You see when I was younger I was very much involved in that whole cringeworthy internet phase where I would say the word cheese or spoon or whatever and find random humour hilarious. I despised that phase. Whenever Pinkie falls anywhere close to that type of so-called "humour" I simply gawk like a shocked bystander instead of enjoying the episode like one is meant to. This is why after I finish an episode I always pay attention to whoever wrote it afterwards if it's a Pinkie episode. Just to see if they happen to write Pinkie again if she'd be the same flavour from before. Certain writers get Pinkie down pat and those are the ones I wish Hasbro would employ for however long the series lasts. It's a gamble usually because writers who have favourite characters they like to write tend to get the episode with that character and sometimes that's not a good thing, personally, if I don't like their Pinkie brand of humour.

But to each their own as Twilight said this episode. Pinkie wasn't too bad anyway, not at her worst. But whenever she isn't at her best it's always a disappointment to me. The episode involved a lot of callbacks and while continuity is good, basing your comedy on callbacks is always a risk to take. If it's the exact same joke as before it's not really that entertaining as we've seen it before, but if it's your own original take on something that happened before, it's downright hilarious. Unfortunately too much of the former happened instead of the latter. Pinkie's multiple limbs on-screen happened again for instance, but aside from adding more limbs there wasn't much of  a twist or change to the gag, it was simply repeated straight. Applejack was bewildered unlike last time when no one reacted but her reaction was rather subtle and easy to miss, especially since most of it was in the background, so it didn't have much of an impact. Same with Maud's "singing" at the end of the episode. I was hoping she's just sing deadpan instead of calling her reading out a poem as "singing". It was simply a repeated gag from Maud's original episode.

Applejack explaining why Hearthswarming existed was just an entirely wasted scene when you could've used that screentime to develop more of the large cast of the episode. The first Christmas-themed episode had an entire play based on the tradition, so the audience already knows why it exists, and Apple Bloom was there watching too! I hardly think Apple Bloom would forget considering her sister was part of the play as well. They typically don't fall out of your memory. If it was exposition meant for the little kids in case they forgot...well that's a pretty poor reason. Little kids would just associate the Christmas-clone holiday as...Christmas, so it's not a big deal if they know the origins or not. (And if they follow the show, again the episode for that already exists!) The gags where Pinkie and AJ repeat the same things or AB/Pinkie eat very messily (or take a bite out of the exposition prop) felt like a very juvenile, typical little kids show gag and I have come expect better from the show than that. I also find AJ repeating everything Pinkie says rather out-of-character. There has yet to be a build-up to AJ picking up Pinkie's quirks. She just suddenly started doing it. It'd have been more believable if it wasn't quite as long (like the second time they did it) or if they had more of a reason to repeat the exact same things (again, like the second time they did it) so there was that.

But of course, the biggest reason anyone would be excited for this episode is PINKIE'S FAMILY! Here are some shockers.

1) Pinkie is not the youngest, like I had predicted.
2) Maud is NOT THE OLDEST, like I had predicted.
3) There are indeed twins in the family, but it's not between the two-until-now-just-introduced-sisters-who-had-somewhat-similar-colour-schemes, but of PINKIE and MARBLE.
4) Limestone is the oldest, though she looks shorter/younger than Maud. (It's those eyes!)
5) The oldest is at first not your typical "nurturing motherly wise eldest sibling who takes care of the rest" but rather aggressive and angry. She is however in charge of the farm, so she must still be the one who takes care of everything, just with not the personality you'd expect.
6) Marble is Fluttershy.

I don't think their parents are quite that old that Limestone should be the one calling all the shots (you'd think it'd be the father or something) but she must have that domineering bold personality that allows her to take charge anyway. Perhaps her parents are in the "retired" territory. ...people retire on farms right? That doesn't actually sound correct to me. The stereotype is that farmers are poor and farmers retiring doesn't make sense as they always need to work to make a means. This is why poor farming families have lots of children, like the Pie family, so there are more hooves to work. I guess Granny Smith doesn't work on the farm anymore and Applejack calls of a lot of the shots but Granny Smith actually looks old enough that she probably shouldn't have those jobs anyway. She may be somewhat forgetful and obviously doesn't have the strength, but physically I do not see that coming from the Pie parents. Ah well. Mayhaps a lifetime of hard labour has forced them to pass the responsibility of the farm to their eldest daughter sooner rather than later. Who knows.

Speaking of the parents, they spoke more Ye Olde English than I expected. I don't even know how Amish people speak, but I don't think it'd be jargon from the Middle Ages? I dunno. The fact that they essentially met due to an arranged marriage makes sense, aside from the choosing stone thing, but if they work on a rock farm...

This episode was basically Apple Family Reunion + Pinkie Apple Pie + Maud Pie + Christmas put together. I did like Pinkie Apple Pie and Maud Pie better though. Anyway it was a sweet story. Maud was on point as per usual. I liked Limestone. Marble was basically what happens if Big Mac and Fluttershy had a kid that was somehow mixed with Pie genes...uh, but the fandom seems to be super-shipping those two. (It was cute, but ehhhhh not fond of the "THEY'RE BOTH EXACTLY THE SAME THEY MUST BE IN LOVE!!" type of shipping.)  How Pinkie interacted with her sisters is quite interesting as well. She seems to really look up and respect Maud (which is why I thought Maud was the oldest) while she sort of scoffs at Limestone like what two quarreling "love-to-hate hate-to-love" type of sisters would be like, and then she seems to be super protective of her little Fluttershy twin which might explain why Pinkie likes to call herself Auntie Pinkie Pie around Fluttershy when Fluttershy is older than her, pft. So it's like Pinkie shows off every stereotypical sibling trope with each of her sisters! It's awesome! 

I guess another reason I thought of Pinkie being youngest and Maud being oldest (aside from Maud not being there in the flashback, thus I assumed she had left for boarding school for rocks or whatever and she was the one old enough to leave) is because Limestone reminded me a bit of Buttercup. That one scene when she has that evil grin towards Applejack attempting to drink her rock soup especially. That aggressive personality feels like the stereotypical bratty middle child who acts like so for attention as they tend to be the unfavourite, but hey, plus scores for avoiding the normal stereotypes! It makes everything all the more interesting I say! After all, Applejack is the middle child and she is DEFINITELY not the unfavourite in her family, hahaha. (That Big Mac episode is still most emotional episode ever. I don't care how much Pinkie and AJ cried this episode. That one scene in Brotherhooves Social was so poignant!) Speaking of which I did find Pinkie and AJ crying a bit too easily, especially when AJ "cries on the inside" and Pinkie has demonstrated her stepford smiling so heavily before. I think they would cry in this episode yes, but Pinkie did it twice and AJ cried pretty openly (in that cave, sure, but still she ran away to cry. That's not something I expected from AJ...but WHAT IF SHE ACTUALLY DOES THAT!? That's some pretty heavy implications. Everyone thinks AJ cries on the inside, but really she never wants to show any "weak" emotions to others being the one responsible of the family and all, so when she can't take it she runs away to cry. Aw that's sad. D: ) 

I need to bring up the twin thing again. When spoilers came out about Fluttershy having a brother, I was wondering if he should be older or younger or what have you. I thought about possibilities that'd make the relationship more unique. Since aside from RD, Fluttershy having a sibling means there are no only children in the cast. (RD is honourary big sis of Scootaloo now too, so it's almost like there are NO only children) and with a cast of six you'd hope at least one would be an only child and I thought Fluttershy would be the perfect candidate, but noooo. I guess RD has to take the role now. Anyway, since there were already two big brothers I figured Fluttershy could have a younger brother, but then I thought "how about they're TWINS instead!?" or maybe her brother is adopted! Or maybe to make it even more interesting, Fluttershy is the one adopted! No one does that, now do they? Or maybe they're BOTH adopted! Or they could be half-siblings or even step-siblings...THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS I SAY! Well, I don't think they'd quite go into "foster sibling" territory as that's too dark, but you get what I mean. 

And all I've done is basically made that no matter what form of relationship Fluttershy has with her mystery brother, I'll be disappointed...because I came up with too many interesting possibilities that I doubt the show would touch on. But then, Pinkie ended up being a twin instead! Granted, she's a fraternal twin, but there aren't too many fraternal twins in media, especially same-sex ones. They're usually opposite sex because you cannot have identical opposite-six twins, but somehow media portrays them very similar-looking anyway, so it's pretty different. Plus, one twin being prominently featured and the other being minor never happens in media. TWINS MUST ALWAYS BE TOGETHER! So that's another cool thing I liked about it.

Of course the prospect of a twin sort of brings up some inconsistencies in the earlier seasons. Someone on a Reddit comment mentioned that the plot of Party of One suddenly becomes a little harder to believe. It's one thing to forget your own birthday, but if Pinkie is a twin that means she shares the birthday with her twin! That makes it even more unbelievable to forget a momentous occasion like that! Even if Marble doesn't have the most noticeable of presences, Pinkie never forgets other ponies' birthdays, so why would she forget Marble's? It is indeed a very good point. But that was four seasons ago and it's a pretty minor point. I like Pinkie being a twin, so I don't mind that it makes Party of One a bit harder to swallow. I guess in the flurry of Gummy's after-party and her own psychotic-break, forgetting her own birthday (and her twin's) is a thing that can happen! Anything can if you're Pinkie Pie. 8D

And considering how bizarre the Pie family traditions are maybe they didn't even celebrate birthdays until Pinkie started with her parties. Of course since she in her whole young life also never celebrated birthdays she may have never associated parties with birthdays until she moved to Ponyville, so remembering not only her own birthday but her family's birthdays probably isn't something high in her priority list. It's only a theory though, nothing concrete to answer how Party of One can be. 

Oh and another thing. A lot of people are like "HOW IS PINKIE RELATED TO THIS FAMILY SHE MUST BE ADOPTED" because of them all she does not do the rocks and also she is bright neon pink in the middle of dreary greys, but considering Pinkie when her hair is down she does look related to them all. Her natural not-balloonified hair is similar to the straight hair a lot of her sisters have, so Pinkie just happened to come out with lots of recessive genes or something. 8D She shares her eye colour with her mom though. (I think Maud does as well... and I understand Limestone needs LIME eyes 'cause duh but I wonder where that colour and Marble's lavender eyes come from. Igneous Rock's eyes are the same as his coat colour...and his grey hair looks like his original hair coloured greyed instead of being his natural)

....I just realized Pinkie's dad is bald under that hat. (He isn't wearing it when sleeping) Maybe they ARE older than I thought...thus Limestone being in charge! Huh.

Anyway I thought the episode was decent and its content made me type all that out, but I thought for what it was it could've been much better. I've certainly liked and hated episodes more than this one I could've super ranted about, but because PINKIE'S FAMILY OFMGFGMFGGM this post exists. Sooooo, yeah! This been Spotto and such.

EDIT: The writer of the episode does not consider them twins. He thinks they were all born like a litter, kind of like a cat or a dog... uh. That's not how pony birth works. If pony birth isn't similar to human birth than twins would be incredibly rare.  Plus we've had twins in the form of the Cake Twins, so I always assumed since this is MAGICAL PONY LAND that they would have babies similar to humans. Plus every sibling we've seen until now appears to have an age-gap of some form (Rarity/SB, the Apples, Twi/Shining) so it implies ponies have one foal per pregnancy like real horses do. So Pinkie and Marble must at the very least be twins...but since he seems to think ponies show up in litters, I wonder if the writer is possibly implying they're all quadruplets or something. THE POINT IS CANON IS A MESS SO WHATEVER, THEY'RE TWINS!

EDIT 2 A DAY LATER: "Well technically it's never said who's oldest in the episode so anything is still possible." Alright the writer kinda retracted their statement. I"M SURE somewhere out there like in a con or another twitter we'll one day find out for sure who is the oldest or youngest. As for Maud. her not being in the original flashback (probably being independent pursuing education or something) but then SUDDENLY appearing in the picture frame OF Pinkie's first party in Pinkie Pride sort of breaks that theory, but even then in that picture Maud looks the oldest of the four sisters. SO WHO EVEN KNOWS AT THIS POINT. Even canon is hopelessly inconsistent! What I do know is that Pinkie and Marble are the youngest. The other two's age-status is pending.

EDIT 3: Okay even the director said Limestone is oldest. I WILL STOP STALKING THEIR TWITTERS NOW.
spotto: (Sims - Awesome :D)
Ah. You know what happens when you return to the world of nostalgia? You begin seeing things; things you may never have seen before or if have, never properly ranted about it. This is not one of those rants, unless I discuss my unending quest of discovering whether or not Max has ever worn pants. No, this is a cumulation of frustrations new and old! A pattern that has developed across almost every single one of Spotto's fandoms and favourite characters! A pattern that begins (or mostly, anyway) at Beyblade, an Anime of the past, an Anime of nostalgia, an Anime of great experiences and friendship and one of the first, but most definitely not the last, the first thing I joined as part of the periphery demographic!

And I will tell you why I'm part of it, but not before I illustrate to you, dear non-existent readers, the injustice of media.

I remember back in the day when my favourite character was Rei. I was a young'un back then, replacing terms and names of great beings and deities with Rei's name. I had shipped him with Kai, I recall, and watched and rewatched each and every one of his episodes wherein he shines the greatest. I had friends who shared with me these glorious views and our cult was flourishing across the vast lands of the early Internet. As an old relative of yours may have once said, those were the days. We marched forwards in pride, hoisting our flags high as we declared our love for our one true ship, defending it from what the future may hold. The first season and especially V-Force were kind to us, aiding us in our battle whether they knew it or not as the friendship among the two blossomed. It fueled our massive battleship and propelled it through the seas. We were invincible! We were triumphant! We were the rulers of the Beyblade sea!

But I was not an OG member of this ship or even this character. Oh no. My first love, the being who brought me onto these perilous lands in the first place, invading a peaceful space for little ambitious boys to buy their toys and empty their parents' wallets. I remembered as I kept my salutes high and my loyalty in place, a smaller, more modest, more grounded ship across the bay that I had took my first steps on when I first came to this great land. It called to me and my heart reverberated. I boarded a boat that very night and said a silent heartfelt goodbye to my comrades on the ship as I sailed to a home I held dear. There it stood, as I sailed for many hours, a smaller, older, lightweight ship. It was not the battle-heavy beauty wherein its bow and stern seemed to stretch from sunrise to sunset, with hundreds of thousands of cadets and sailors ahoy, proud of their daily duties. But as I recalled, it was home. 

Though a humble abode it won not many battles, it controlled not much territory, but it existed and welcomed new members with open arms. The friendliness of the embraces that I had received on this very ship brought tears of powerful memories to my eyes. I could not bring myself to ever return to the glory of where most of my comrades stood. This was where I belonged. And so, as I scan through the rich history of this small ship's few records, I can begin my actual rant.

I remember being very annoyed that this series was the Takao and Kai show. It wasn't quite like that at the beginning, but by the time G-Revolution rolled around you knew which characters were focused on the most. As I was a fan of Rei, I languished in the knowledge that so long as Rei was not on Takao's team, he would lose. Heck, even if he was on Takao's team, he'd still lose more than usual. In the first season his Driger (I will call it Byakko to differentiate it from the blade) had left him and then later on sacrificed itself to shield Rei's body. (How it came back as it wasn't part of Tala's army of beasts, we will never know) Then in season two he had it stolen from him by the Saint Shields. Takao in the meantime has never lost his bit-beast (unless the movie is canon) despite being the least experienced Blader of the two and somehow rising to the highest ranks the fastest. Kai has lost it once, to Zeo, but otherwise he kept a firm grip on Suzaku and aside from the time he willingly cast it aside for a stronger, edgier version, such heartbreak was not often felt. When you were without your bit-beast, you were weaker than the others. You had to wait until the rest of them fight the opponent and eventually return your greatest ally, your bestest friend, your bit-beast. But Rei was lucky.

Of the four bit-beasts, Byakko probably had the greatest autonomy among them all. Or at least it had demonstrated the greatest autonomy. Not once did the other bit-beasts leave or shield its owner. Kai had desperately needed it in G-Revolution, but the bit-beasts barely existed that season. Yet Byakko has saved Rei's life not once but twice, and has re-evaluated his owner's worth as well. Meanwhile the few times Dragoon has been uncooperative with Takao (unless the movie counts, again) it simply remained in its blade like a poorly-trained Pokemon as opposed to literally running away. Byakko was quite the bit-beast, I must say. And so even though Rei was given the short-end of the stick in season three, he still had moments where he was the star of the show. He was such a radiant light that he, and only he, had these type of episodes that were largely unique. He had episode forty-nine of the first season, where he almost died trying to tie the best-of-three match against the Demolition Boys. He had episode thirty-eight of the second season, where even though he lacked Byakko, he fought valiantly anyway because a bit-beast wasn't everything to his beloved sport, but that he would do anything to get it back anyway. They were wonderful episodes that showed the viewer how amazing of a character Rei was. He was diligent, stubborn, and never gave up. He had the wins and unique situations to back it up.

So why did I sail away on a little boat back to where it all began?

Rewatching the show reminded me of the one character who instantly took my heart the moment I set eyes on him. Cute adorable little Max. And unlike Rei and definitely unlike the other two, he has no moment to shine at all. At least, not a moment where he beat the indescribable odds and won some ultra-important match that was of great significance to his growth as a character. That doesn't mean he didn't have episodes that focused on him; they just didn't make as much of an impact like the other ones. Max did not fight a battle without his bit-beast to earn his partner back. He did not almost die to keep a series going. He wasn't the one responsible for defeating the Big Bad of the season. His so-called magnum opus performance ended in a tie. Max's episodes were the ultimate "throw-the-dog-a-cookie" episodes. Oh, he'll never win the race. He'll never be the favourite, but by God we gave him a cookie so at least he'd still be happy. He'd still be his optimistic, cheery little self despite winning the least of the four main characters. No wonder he became more serious as time went on (Maturity? What do you mean?) No wonder his final battle was laced with the beginning steps of angst and depression, but even that battle was just throwing the dog a bone. He will never have the prize. He'd have to remain satisfied, in the background, with his participation award.

And well, we all should have known this pattern was going to remain when we see his very first official battle. Max vs. Kai. This battle is all about Max because Kai was obviously going to win. The entire thing was set up so Takao could get his just desserts in defeating the cocky, sourpuss, cold Kai. Yet this was also the battle Max received Genbu. Now unless you're one of Takao or Kai, if you have personal investment in a battle it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to win. First Kai defeats Max easily because he's Kai. Then Max shows off his strategist, tactical nature by launching his blade in the other direction to absorb Kai's finishing move and thus winning the second match. By the third match, Max has replaced his bit-chip with one within his pendant given by his grandma, which is rather convenient. Now, if you were the main character, this would be the catalyst to victory. You now have this great new power that no one has seen before. You'd think by that logic Max would win this match or at the very least tie, since that's exactly what happened when Takao's Seiryuu first appeared and at that point Takao was still less experienced than Max. But no, Max's Genbu shows up and all Kai has to do is summon Suzaku and the whole trump card was for nil. Max loses. Oh, but at least he has a bit-beast now, so it's all okay! Max isn't too sad. In fact he even tried to give Kai a handshake after which because he's such a preciously nice boy. So nice that even the cold-hearted Kai couldn't simply just walk away from. It's amazing what this boy can do.

Now repeat this formula over and over again and you have Max's battles in a nutshell. Sure, he beats Michael during his character-focused arc, but everyone gets their own character-focused arc where we learn of their backstory and motives. It's not unique only to Max. And frankly the PPB All Starz are the most forgettable team of that season anyway. The most interesting character was Max's mom. They even introduced some new guy in season three because of how boring this team was. Beyblade's American stereotypes are awful. Then Max gets an upgrade to his Beyblade, the infamous Draciel F, and I will educate you plebians of Draciel F's might despite winning like practically zero battles during its existence.

It was Draciel F who held back the ridiculously edgy and somehow powerful Black Dranzer (with its fifty-thousand stolen bit-beasts to boot!) during the Kai-redemption episode. Max doesn't actually win on his own though since the whole point was for original Dranzer to knock some sense in his owner's head. Then, as soon as we saw Draciel F's ability Max loses Genbu to the Demolition Boys right after and we never see Max's Beyblade again this season. Welp. They realized how little it was used in Season 1 so by the time V-Force arrived Max was the only one of the four to keep Draciel F for the entirety of the Psykicks' arc. Seriously he doesn't get Draciel V until over halfway through the season! And here, he gets to beat the random scrubs Team Psykick sends out (while losing constantly to Mariam and co. mind you. Kai tied with Dunga and Rei eventually beat Joseph, but noooooo, little Maxie can't win any of his early battles unless it's a random kid!) and finally we have Max's little nonsensical battle with Jim at the tower. Like holy crap, this fight.

I have very mixed feelings about this fight. You see, of the four Max is the only one who doesn't have personal investment in this Tower Arc. Kai's fanboy friend died and he needs revenge. Rei's chasing after some girl because girls. Takao always has personal investment because he's the main character and he fought Kane in a super even and non-cheating heated battle earlier. Besides Takao has abandonment issues, of course he has investment. But Max? Well, too bad so sad. Regardless despite Max's outdated Beyblade and his lack of any plot-related reason to win, he still pummels Cyber Draciel like a little squishy bug over and over and over and over again. And for some reason does this with such reckless and wrathful intensity it's like Max should have had some sort of personal reason! Seriously! For no reason at all Max gets really mad and expressive this battle! FOR NO REASON AT ALL! He acts stubborn and unlike himself...FOR NO REASON AT ALL! Was his friends in danger? Did someone betray him and now he was unleashing his hidden fury unlike anything before? Max has never looked so angry! He has never looked like he wanted so much to win until this fight! BUT WHY!?

And of course, being the water Blader and the smart one, Max begins to suffer from Mercury Syndrome. 

What is Mercury Syndrome? Well if you've seen Sailor Moon you may know what I'm talking about. Sailor Mercury was famous for her seemingly-useless bubble attack in the first season. This was justified by how Mercury fought with her brains and with tactics instead of sheer force like the others. Her bubbles would distract or impede the monster somehow and give the team the upper-hand to destroy it. In the finale of the first season, Jupiter has just died and Mercury stayed behind to hold the somehow unbelievably powerful DD girls back. (Why they weren't used at the very beginning we may never know) Jupiter being the strong one killed two of them in her kamikaze attack. Venus would take one later on after saving Moon, whereas Mars gets a badass "I'm not done yet!" scene where she torches the last two. Mercury gets none because the girls were constantly falling for the monsters' illusions of their loved ones being taken hostage. Even if it was obvious that this was just an illusion, it was effective enough to make the girls' hesitate and it ended up being Jupiter's downfall. So instead of killing off one of the DD girls', Mercury's last stand was to break the jewel on the monster's head to stop these illusions. She then dies, fulfilling her role as the smart one.

Congratulations Max you get to sacrifice Genbu in the name of tactics! He destroys the bit-beast repair system that was allowing Jim to battle Max over and over again. (And like the illusions in Sailor Moon, even if you could just CHOOSE to not accept the challenge again it was still better to rid of it entirely) I mean imagine if Cyber Dragoon was revived over and over again. That's a Godzilla movie waiting to happen. Then of course, his endurance runs out and Max isn't able to defeat Cyber Draciel a third time and he loses his bit-beast. Of course he does. It's just how it works. How do you demonstrate to the audience how dire the situation is if someone doesn't actually lose their bit-beast? I mean sure they had to cheat over and over again to do it, but Max didn't have a plot-related reason to win so even though he absolutely pulverized his competition, he has to sit in the sidelines just like at the end of Season 1 and wait to get his Genbu back. The sad tale of Draciel F ends here, in heartbreak and tragedy. You were a tough Beyblade, Draciel F. You just suffered from terrible luck.

Oh yeah and Max gets punched in the face. That was cut from the dub, but between Dunga and Rick in season three Max sure suffers from assault more often than the others in this series. By the way the two of them share the same voice actor in the dub, so if it weren't for the cuts you could just designate this guy as "the person who voices all the Max abusers".

...Moving on. The series knew it shafted Max during this arc, so he got one all for himself in the next two episodes! The first one was promising. Max reunites with his old friend in America, Alan. We get super adorable glomping and flashbacks. Then it turns out Alan is a little jealous beetle and steals the super amazing bit-beast rock from Max's mom's laboratory and Max is betrayed! It's set-up rather nicely. There's even GTA-esque chase scenes, bazookas, and machine guns all over the place because MURICA yo! Except the machine guns were cut in America. Yeah I don't get it either. Then the second episode was the let-down of all let-downs. Like come on! So Max finally receives Draciel Viper, and isn't behind the times as he used to. (Takao gets V2 like two episodes later. This getting obscene.) He uses it to defeat his friend Alan and...ugh. Let me rewind a bit.

First of all, Alan did this so he could get a cool bit-beast and be on the level with Max, but the person he was working for of course didn't actually do their end of the bargain, so Alan just has a boring normal Beyblade during the impromptu tournament. Also this announcer has a cap with the letters USA on it and the most awful of accents you could ever hear. I know dubs hate silence in Anime and need to fill it up with as much obnoxious dialogue as possible, but geez he was already a terrible stereotype in the original Japanese version. Why would you make it even worse when you're the Americans!?  So anyway, during the actual battle Max fights his old friend but he's so incredibly distracted he almost loses to a normal Beyblade used by a criminal. Wow, Draciel V that is not a good first showing at all. Draciel F may not have won much battles but it had spunk! It was tough! The fact that Max had a whole new upgrade to his Beyblade for this battle and still ties with Normal McNormalson is very worrying. Then eventually he realizes how stupid he's being and destroys Alan like the little insignificant character he is. (Seriously nobody cares about this guy) And no bit-beasts ever appear. 

It was very anti-climatic. Because Alan was ripped off, he wasn't using some massive dangerous force which would've been a great foreboding preview of the next obstacle our main characters would face. Instead it was just a normal Beyblade that made Alan seem all the more pathetic. Meanwhile Max expresses himself greatly and is all the more pumped up for the JIM battle several episodes before, but not this one with the emotional and personal investment. I just don't get it! I just don't get it at all! The first episode set it up so perfectly! The build up was amazing, but the actual product was a crippling disappointment! No wonder no one remembers or cares about you, Alan! I even read a story that had to use an OC to be Max's stray friend instead of Alan! Gah!

Luckily this season isn't all bad for Max. I mean aside from his adorable design upgrade. The best part about the Saint Shields arc was undoubtedly Mariam. When we saw our first female blader in season one it was the sadly stereotypical Mariah, who was as pink as she could be and was basically a girl version of Rei. We finally see another in Emily, but she's only slightly more memorable than the other sports-related characters of the PPB All Starz. Hiromi shows up in season two but she doesn't even beyblade which is frankly disappointing. Mariam is our first good female character in the entire series and is probably the only good female character in the entire series! (Alright Salima was okay as well, but really aside from the two) I will not get into how bad G-Revolution was in developing a character outside of the ones directly related to our main cast until later. She had snark. She had personality. She clashed with her teammates (mostly Dunga) and she had character development too! (Too bad in Beyblade when you have character development you automatically become GOOD IS DUMB and become the next victim of the Worf Effect to the next bad guy in line) And yes, that is how I got into Beyblade! I watched the Max and Mariam episode when they got stuck in a building! I saw a really cute awesome male character with a really beautiful awesome female character! Their designs were nice! The plot of the episode wasn't mindless tournaments and top spinning! We had character development for Mariam! Max gets to be a protector despite being the weakest/cutest-looking of the group! It was different! It was great! IT WAS THE ONLY ONE OF ITS KIND IN THE ENTIRE SERIES! AND THIS IS THE EPISODE I SAW THAT HOOKED ME! THIS EPISODE IS WHY THIS RANT EVEN EXISTS! THIS EPISODE IS WHY I AM HOW I AM NOW!

Why if you went back in time and did something seemingly harmless and insignificant, but it was enough for me to miss this episode I may never have met the friends I have. I may never had joined fanfiction and continued my beloved hobby of writing! What could I have been instead? This was the best episode in the entire series. 

Then Max beats Mariam, she finishes her character arc and all is downhill from here.

Well okay, not necessarily. I do think my least favourite arc of V-Force is its finale however. We get introduced to King and Queen (and no one likes them @_@) because we need characters to fill up a tournament. Do you know how much I hate that? Introducing characters to fill up a tournament? They did that tenfold in season one, but it was okay because each tournament was a setting for each character's backstory, so not only do we learn a great deal about character of the arc, but also the team they face and are associated with. (With the sad exception of the PPB All Starz) Unfortunately we do not really have that for this season except for Zeo and only Zeo. This arc was just ZEO ZEO ZEO ZEO ZEO. The entire season we've had this theme with fanboys and friends who you thought were your friends, but ultimately they fall to the wayside because of their great jealousy of the Bladebreakers. They end up saying YES to drugs (Don't tell me the Psykicks weren't a euphemism for a drug cartel. All those kids were high as fuck) Yuuya/Wyatt dies. Alan goes to jail. And now we have Zeo! Zeo is different because he's actually a robot that Zagart wanted to turn human with the divine power of the sacred four bit-beasts. You know the manga story is a lot more deep and tragic. Zagart stole the first rock thirty-some years ago, but Zeo could not have possibly existed back then. Did he already have the ambitions to bring to life his own mechanical creations way back when? It was a lot more sloppy than the manga story, where Zagart lost his first son, Zeo and forced his second son Leon to adopt the name Zeo so he'd basically become Zeo in his place. 

Anyway, Max teams up with Takao (with Rei and Kai being together) in this sudden tag-team tournament. HOLY CRAP! MAX IS WITH THE MAIN CHARACTER! He's bound to win now! No, he's bound to be tie-breaking fodder so Takao can get all the more glory. :|

Max beats Queen though, somehow. His mind can make his Beyblade spin the other direction just like that. Hey remember way back in season one when he had to slot in his ripcord backwards to make it spin backwards so he could beat Kai? Remember when these tactics actually existed? Yeah they're not coming back in G-Revolution either. Anyway we didn't have the screen-time nor the significance to give Kai and Rei their own super powerful semi-final/quarter-final victims, despite the numerous characters introduced this season. (They were Worf Effect fodder to King/Queen and Zeo, sadly) Oh Zeo has a partner, but he has no characterization whatsoever. He's just there to be his partner because this arc is ZEO ZEO ZEO ZEO ZEO. Then Kai loses to Zeo (Rei has to tie because it'd be absurd if he lost Byakko even MORE) and then we get to the finals match. In some form of crazy miracle, Takao went up first with Zeo's cardboard cutout partner that Rei couldn't beat. So we got Max up against Zeo! YAY!

And he proceeds to DESTROY Zeo! YAY!

And then Zeo summons Suzaku. Not yay.

WHAT HAPPENED TO DRACIEL F'S AMAZING RESISTANCE VERSUS EDGY DRANZER WITH HIS ARMY OF BIT-BEASTS IN SEASON ONE!? Draciel V you suck! (Despite this, Heavy Viper Wall is forever my favourite attack from this series. It's so beautiful) But yeah Max goes first against the biggest threat so the threat's trump card defeats him and makes the situation even more dire. Oh and Max loses Genbu AGAIN. The poor boy just wants to keep his turtle, man! Why is that so hard to ask? And then Takao the main character wins yadda-yadda boo hoo wah wah wah.

Season three is a clusterfuck. I know lots of people love this season,  but they mostly like it for the DBZ-like action and the non-childish (AKA incredibly attractive) designs of the characters. I mean yeah, season two had far too much animal wrestling, but this season didn't really fare better with its stock footage attacks. What is this, Sailor Moon? Basically whoever has the most optimal timing with their stock footage attack wins. I would reiterate back to season one when we had actual real tactics that might really work if these spinning tops were real, but those days are long gone. The first half of the season is a tournament arc and then the second half is a matchup against the BEGA characters. Sigh. Remember when I said I hated tournament arcs for introducing characters solely for the tournament? Unlike season one we don't get the "tournament is a setting for the character backstory". Instead the so-called appeal of the season is that the Bladebreakers are no more and must fight one another. Therefore, Takao needs a Takao-clone to be his new tag-team partner (AKA Daichi) which is really what this series needs. I mean, really. I will never understand these shounen shows.

Max gets a brand new character because of how boring the PPB All Starz are. And since we need our regular serving of Max assault we get the Dunga expy, Rick. Rei and Kai return with their old teams, their partners becoming the heavily nerfed Lee and Tala. (Because they can't outshine our main characters after all!) For whatever reason we need to replace the Majestics with the Barthez Battalion. (Why? I have no fucking clue. There was nothing wrong with the Majestics. They have lovely personalities and probably would've been my second favourite team if they were ever given screen-time.) Aside from some awkward abusive coach arc with these four characters we literally know nothing about them. Whose favourite character is Claude anyway? The only reason someone might like them is because of their designs. Matilda has a fucking hedgehog bit-beast. That's fucking amazing. F Sangre had potential to give us a brother-sister duo we wouldn't hate with all our might, but they didn't really go anywhere either. Am I forgetting any team? Were there really only six teams in this tournament? This is sad. All of this is very sad.

You got this sloppily organized tournament with characters we really don't care about (unless you like their designs!) all so in the end we have a Kai and Takao rematch. Wow. Amazing. Max and Rei aren't allowed to win against either Kai and Takao (who must WIN ALL THEIR MATCHES!!1!!!! Unless of course Takao isn't actually trying and loses in a non-epic intense manner) and when you pit Max and Rei together instead of some intense epic battle of who is NUMBER THREE in the Bladebreakers, we get a "teach Rick teamwork" episode. Don't get me wrong I like the episode, especially Lee randomly winning, but that's so sad. I thought the appeal was to see the old team fight one another, but we don't get to see who of Max or Rei are better? It just emphasizes all the more how much this tournament is just to show off Kai and Takao before they fight one another. (If you really didn't want to reveal who was better make Max and Rei tie and have Rick and Lee be the tie-breaker. THAT'D BE INTERESTING AND DIFFERENT!) THIS IS SO SAD. WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS SEASON!?

Well I imagine it'd be for the BEGA arc if anything. Did I mention Takao's brother by the way? I find his character absolutely pointless for this season. He makes sense in the manga because he shows up in the VERY BEGINNING when Takao is a rookie beyblader. Why would Takao need a goddamn mentor after he's become a two-time Beyblade World Champion? Where the hell were you when he needed you way back in season one? He's just here to be a cryptic (and random) ninja who decides the best way to make Takao better (when he's already the very best) is to train the BEGA bladers. In terms of personality he seems rather bland. He's just there to be eyecandy and the generic mentor person. My god. Oh and after we had such a great character in Mariam in season two we are given an insulting excuse of a female character in Ming Ming. She just sings, magically transforms to be older (like some sort of pseudo-magical girl transformation) when she Beyblades. What is her personality? To be cute? What the fuck.

Then you got Moses (and the dub finds renaming him Crusher the smartest of ideas. WHAT PERSON NAMES THEIR KID CRUSHER!? I mean sure, what person names their kid Dunga or even names their kid Moses, but you tell that to the millions of dudes named Mohammed) who is given a whole sob story about his ill sister, so now Rei's OPPONENT has the personal investment instead of him, so he's destined to win instead. Even though we're all supposed to be sympathetic and such to him, he is still technically working for the BAD GUY. His side isn't supposed to win! 

Then there's Mystel! Who is he? Where does he come from? We don't know! His name is Mystel! That means he's mysterious. His entire persona is being mysterious. Yay. Oh, but god forbid this mysterious gentleman loses because Max ties against him. Max has to tie so Kai can get his revenge against Brooklyn and Takao wins. (God forbid Takao loses or ties!) That way a tie-breaker between Brooklyn and Takao could happen (this entire battle was so what) and it's just. RARGH. You know what I would've done? Max would've WON and then Takao would've tied against Garland. Then Takao and Brooklyn could be the rematch! THEN EVERYONE GETS SPOTLIGHT! Because Max never wins a battle he has an emotional investment in, unless it's that piss-poor of an excuse fight he had versus Alan in season two or the one he had in season one that everyone pretty much had anyway! MAX. WAS. GYPPED!

I'll breathe.

Yes. That Max vs. Mystel battle was another THROW THE DOG A BONE battle. Max didn't win. He doesn't get to win. He's not the main character! He tied so the plot can go on, but he couldn't get the elusive victory no matter how hard he tries. He's always the underdog in every battle but that doesn't seem to do anything for him in terms of helping him win! The crowd cheers for him anyway (and the dubbing of this crowd is so sad I just want to melt into a drain and disappear into the ocean) because that was his bone. He didn't technically lose and the people still like him anyway so he can be back to his happy, cheery self. NO WONDER ALL THOSE MAX FANFICTIONS I TRIED TO READ DEPICTED HIM AS SECRETLY DEPRESSED ALL THE TIME! WHO WOULDN'T BE AFTER ALL THIS!? You can't win! You don't win! Yet you keep up your cheery shell anyway! That's probably why Rei GOT ALL ANGRY this season because he too doesn't win as much and he had to let out such a humongous amount of frustration trying, over and over again, to win. Even if he had the backing of his team and the little symbolism tied around his arm that for ALL ACCOUNTS AND PURPOSES, if this was ANY OTHER SHOW, Rei would've won and defeated Kai! BUT NO! THE PLOT SAYS, KAI MUST FACE TAKAO! IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT BONE YOU THROW OR WHAT PERSONAL INVESTMENT YOU HAVE!

YOU! WILL! ALWAYS! LOSE!

And that is why there isn't a season four of Beyblade.




spotto: (WOOP WOOP)
I JUST WATCHED THE POWERPUFF GIRLS 2014 (or 2015 I can hardly remember) SPECIAL, DANCE PANTSED.

And surprisingly, it was not utter crap as I had feared it would be.

This is also the first time I ever saw it, despite knowing its existence when it was hyped up those many months ago. I suppose from seeing the previews and the new design I found little motivation to actually watch it, dismissing it rather early on without giving it more of a chance. (I thought the preview clip was terrible) But one thing I can say is that it was actually better than the ten year anniversary (or fifteen, I can hardly remember) special from several years back (2008? idk) which I rather despised. (Despite my icon depicting a scene from that episode P: ) Unfortunately one of the biggest problems with that special remains in this one, though perhaps not to such an extent, the pacing.

In "The Powerpuff Girls Rule" everyone talked so blindingly fast they sounded like chipmunks, as if whatever plot and content they had intended for this episode needed to remain in this episode without any cuts, so they instead pressed the fast-forward button to cram it all in. I remember back in the days of the original series, when they'd have a hard time finding content to fill the twenty-two minute time slot they adopted for a while, particularly in the fourth season. You'd have a scene of the Professor in the lab working, and we'd spend five minutes on some overly long gag where the girls are trying to give the Professor a note or removing his items from the counter. There was no dialogue, just sound effects of their heads popping up and down. It was pretty obvious the writers were used to writing their eleven minute episodes, so they had fun filling up what they needed in case their plot wasn't thin enough. These specials however, felt quite a lot like they wanted to throw in as much as possible to appease nostalgic fans (I guess?) and so in order to do so, crammed it all in.

Luckily Dance Pantsed wasn't quite as bad as Powerpuff Girls Rule in that department, but compared to the original it was still too quick-paced for my liking, as if all the dialogue was shoved into my ears and processed through my brain like an obnoxious child shoving a lollipop into my face. The biggest gripe about this special in general is probably the new design and animation for everything. CGI isn't necessarily terrible, just like Adobe Flash isn't necessarily terrible, but in both these specials if you don't do it well it looks especially glaring when it's bad, which both are prime examples of. Powerpuff Girls Rule used Flash and everyone looked like one-dimensional cardboard figures trying to speak on top of each other all at once. The CGI in this special felt...off. It was almost like the animators wielded so much power they had to animate every single thing possible, leading to several "still" shots (It'd be still shots, but it was too fast-paced for such terminology) and the girls or other characters would be constantly blinking, their pupils zipping around staring at things as if everyone has ADHD and their heads would move around like they had some sort of nervous tic. It was seriously unnerving seeing them all like that, not to mention on top of the picasso-like redesigns that made it look far more uneasy than charmingly bizarre.

The plot however, wasn't too bad. To someone who has never seen this show before they'd probably wonder what the writers were smoking, but PPG generally has a lot of rather surreal episodes with such absurd plots you'd wonder if the writers were smoking crack. Since the special was probably meant for a seasoned fan, we'd be used to such ridiculous events. I'd have enjoyed the plot so much better if again, the pacing was handled properly. There were certain scenes I especially liked though, like Buttercup being smashed so hard she went through the Earth's core, screaming during the mantle and grunting humorously through the crust. Bubbles landing in the world's largest pillow on top of that was a nice touch on how I feel the series treats the characters respectively, but I highly doubt they were commentating on such a fact and the gag was just that, a gag. I also especially liked Bubbles' conscience manifesting as Blossom and Buttercup. I had hoped Buttercup would show up as a devil instead though, cliché as they may have been, but it wouldn't have made any sense. Bubbles' comment of "Oh no! My sisters are tiny! ...and dead!" was delivered wonderfully.

As for the voicing, I could clearly tell the VAs themselves were older with the exception of Bubbles because Tara Strong is hax. There's a reason that woman voices in everything. Buttercup sounded lower, and thus older, but I didn't mind too much because that still fit with her character having such a voice. If she wasn't still five-years-old it might actually have been fitting, but again wasn't all that out of place and I still like E.G Daily's wonderful rendition of Buttercup. Blossom on the other hand sometimes sounded perfect, sometimes sounded strained, but especially sounded over-acted. I thought about it for a bit, and if the animation was still like the original probably wouldn't have minded Blossom's constant need to sound morally superior and righteous, but in this animation it felt like it didn't match with how the character looked or her expression at all, which is partly due to the designs themselves and not so much the voice actress, but still.

Now I never actually elaborated on the designs earlier, just the animation itself, and that too is a heavy point of contention against the special. By God did it look bizarre. I was imagining how a child channel surfing would think of seeing this randomly on the television, assuming people still do that nowadays what with the cable cutting. Frankly if I saw it randomly as a child I may have gotten nightmares in my sleep that very night. I actually don't mind whoever's responsible for the looks' intentions, because if the animation itself didn't look so uncanny valley-ish maybe it could've worked, but at the same time it was still something I had to take in as well as the fast-paced nature of the episode and the slightly-off voice-acting. It was frankly a tad too overwhelming because of it. Also, why does no one comb their hair? It's like, combined with the fast-paced nature of the episode, leading to the speed-talking and the nervous tics/random blinking that the entire cast of characters had several cans of Red Bull before filming or something. Seriously! I hope the 2016 reboot at the very least fixes the pacing issue of these two specials. I can't take much more of this chipmunk like fast-forwarded kind of animation. It feels like it fries my brain.

Oh, the 2016 reboot. Did I mention that earlier? After watching Dance Pantsed I actually prefer its designs over the 2016 reboot despite the reboot looking far closer to the original style. (At least of the girls, the Professor looked too frazzled for my linking. HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE A SQUARE DAMNIT!) The CGI versions at least seem creative and daring, while the 2016 reboot designs look lazy and uninspired. They don't look different enough to be interesting, nor similar enough to the wonderful style of the original to be good either. They just tacked a few extra accessories or little tabs on the characters and called it a day. With the outlines of the characters being less thick than before, any glaring mistakes in the art style would be all the more pronounced, whilst you could hide a lot of it and instil a lot more imagination with the original style. 

I found a random forum thread about the 2016 reboot and By God was it full of vinegar. I could not believe how many pieces of flying radioactive poop were being flung around because of various issues like why PPG would even need a reboot during a time when literally everything and their dog were getting reboots, or why the original VAs were replaced by new ones. I don't particularly mind new VAs so long as they sounded similar and not annoying (or like chipmunks. PLEASE DON'T HAVE SUCH PACING ISSUES, NEW SERIES!) but I do agree Cartoon Network's handling of the issue was pretty piss poor, having not even told the old VAs themselves they weren't returning when they implied a reboot might happen after Dance Pantsed. For them to see this pop up no doubt on the media or internet before being told privately beforehand would hurt quite a bit, I'd think. The voices of the three are pretty iconic in my mind though, being a nostalgic viewer but I'll keep open about it. I'm especially worried about Buttercup for some reason. That Tommy Pickles voice is just too Buttercup for Buttercup to not sound like that. The voices were so unique and I hope they don't go for some "generic lowish Tomboyish voice". I guess the nasally or gravelly or however you can describe it, nature of her voice is what I think will be difficult to imitate.

Bubbles too would be difficult but having seen the fan crossover MLP animation, Double Rainboom, there ARE talented enough people that can sound exactly the same as the original Bubbles. Is this new voice going to be one of them? Who knows, but I now believe it's actually possible. High-pitched voices can't be emulated just by having a high-pitched one yourself, even in this high an octave voices sound distinct. 

Blossom also would be a challenge to live up to, just because a normal-sounding confident female voice wouldn't cut it. By God I am too attached to these voices, hahaha. But hearing how Dance Pantsed went, the original VAs aside from Voice Not of this World Tara Strong did sound like they were no longer spring chickens, and reprising such a role might make the voices a bit off. But what do you choose, a bit off or something similar but completely new? I just wouldn't know until I actually hear these voices.

By the way, I would never be commenting on all this if I haven't been on a PPG binge this past week. A wave of nostalgia hit me like no other, and I had to rewatch everything. Luckily I own the entire series on DVD! At the time when I bought it I was slightly regretting it because for some reason a poor person like me had sixty dollars on hand, and remarkably during this very brief, mythical time-period I had nothing to spend the money on. What madness, I say, when nowadays I'd want that money to fix my computer, laptop, phone, obtain more hard drive space I desperately need, purchase various useless pieces of plastic I don't desperately need and everything else you'd use money on. So I walked through the DVD aisle and found the PPG boxset and bought it on impulse. But I am glad for such an impulse buy because this is a series I'd love to rewatch, filling my childhood with such joy and violence. 

Violence! Having rewatched it now (not all of it, I just finished season two P: ) I saw this review on a few episodes and it pointed out something that happened quite a bit in the DYNAMO episode but is a prevalent theme throughout the series, casual death. Like, there's a scene where a blimp is hit by a beam and catches fire, and it crashes down onto the stadium below. This normally would already be a rather troubling sight for a kids show, but you actually hear screaming during this sequence. Not to mention the various people being shown actually being eaten and never recovered when the monster was killed and basically we were seeing random helpless citizens dying on screen without any censor at all on a children's television show. This really was created by a college student meant for older audiences (its original intent) wasn't it? Regardless as a child I NEVER NOTICED THIS AT ALL. I was just like YAY DYNAMO AND PUFFERFISH ARE FIGHTING, BADASS! 

This kind of casual violence and black comedy occurred even in the movie, which sparked a few well known comments from critics on why a kids show was so bloody violent. (I still love the car gag where it smashes into a building as a guy is hitting on a girl by telling her about this car, omg) And when blood itself (not just in a random assortment of alien colours to dissociate it with real blood) but actual, red human blood is shown in the series, it's quite a theme indeed. (Bubbles' wiping the blood off her mouth in Bubblevicious is one of my fondest childhood memories) but hey, if violent video games don't cause kids to grow up to become psychopaths, this show shouldn't do it either! 

So it's all the more amusing when PPGZ, an anime based on PPG and sent back to the Western Audience with a dub, that they censored out violence in certain episodes. Yes, the Mahou SHOUJO anime with really no real sense of violence whatsoever and is filled with cutesy, girly plots, was CENSORED for violence in certain episodes (the Kaoru's father wrestling one is a prime example) when it's based off such a straight-laced unabashed violent show itself. FOREVER AMUSED, I AM. That's like all sorts of levels of irony which I don't know if I'm using such a word properly, but who cares!

Which leads me to another point, the dub didn't retain the original voices from the original show, and when I did listen to it I heard screechy and irritating teenage girl voices that put me off ever attempting to watch the dub again. I think it's such a missed opportunity for the original VAs to not voice them considering how different the personalities can be. Hearing original Blossom geek out about Anime and boys? My fucking god what could that have sounded like? That Clipsville episode where they're teenagers with the RRB is the closest example I can think of, but instead of a manic nerd it's more valley-girl idiocy than anything. Hearing Bubbles not...be Bubbles would be kind of interesting I guess, hearing that high-pitched voice being proper and polite and the like, though not quite as jarring or hilarious as Blossom might've been. Now Buttercup I would've loved to hear as well even though Weeb B-Cup and OG B-Cup are the most similar of the three, just 'cause Kaoru acts like some sort of shounen protagonist being all hot-blooded about spirit and inspiring young children to never give up. OG Buttercup is supposed to be the unfavourite bratty middle child, to hear her be a role model would be interesting at the very least! 

Yeah, I can't mention PPG without the PPGZ even if many purist fans either hated it or never gave it a chance in the first place. I can't blame them as it's such a stark genre shift, especially with the changed settings, changed origins, changed familial relations, and especially the changed personalities, but what can I say, I'm a masochist for nostalgia. (Except Sailor Moon) Blossom turning into the standard shoujo-protagonist instead of her usual self is rather disappointing, but I really do like how Momoko is designed with her hair like so especially, so if I could somehow ignore her boy-crazy selfish ways I'd be fine with her. (She feels like a combination of Moon and Venus, but without any of the character development and maturity they had, soooo yeeeeeah) In fact the easiest way to describe the personality changes is that Blossom had all her maturity sucked out of a hose, which was then sprinkled onto her sisters. It explains everything, like how Buttercup is no longer bratty but more like a voice-of-reason role model and how Bubbles is absolutely perfect, leaving her childlike ditziness behind just for plain ol' purity. 

And yes, despite the massacre of Blossom's personality it is actually Bubbles' changes that I dislike the most. What can I say? I love OG Bubbles. (This doesn't stop my brain from shipping, but we'll discuss that later on in this post >_>) OG Bubbles is just so quirky and funny, and well, Weeb Bubbles simply isn't. The writers may have tried to make them similar but I think they missed the entire point of Bubbles. Sure Bubbles is girly and innocent, especially in contrast to her sisters, but that's not the core of her being. She can become violently angry and is a little slow at understanding things compared to her sisters. She's the most emotive of the three! None of these points are touched on whatsoever in the Anime, with maybe the exception of the slowness, but that was only around in the early episodes and it made Weeb Bubbles seem off with her head entirely in the clouds as opposed to charming and amusing. It actually feels like Weeb Bubbles emotes the least of the three girls because having extreme emotions isn't what a proper Japanese lady should have! Damn you, Yamato Nadeshiko trope! Damn you to heeeeell!

And then there's Buttercup.

If I despise Yamato Nadeshiko in Anime, there is one thing I find the exact opposite, the Bokukko. I love the Bokukko. And well, Buttercup became that. Yes, the three of them essentially became Anime Stereotypes, but if you were expecting quality from PPGZ you are barking up the wrong tree, sir or madam. I don't know why I like Japanese tomboys so much more than just the standard tomboy. I guess in their society where sexism is a lot more pronounced (though not as overt in such a conformist hushed culture) being a tomboy and staying that way feels a lot more daring and brave. It's so nice their school doesn't require uniforms, about the one stereotypical thing this anime doesn't do, so that Weeb Cup (I wonder if you're still following my ridiculous slang usage here) can dress anyway she pleases. Her outfits remind me of my clothing choice when I was younger (and aside from the sudden prevalence of pink nowadays it's still not too far off from before) and really, with the OG girls being so violent, Weeb Cup is the closest thing to the original show's spirit. She tries to solve all her problems with violence (at least the superhero ones) which was basically the defacto way of solving EVERYTHING in PPG, but since this is mahou shoujo world all the most mild of conclusions can occur. Like, an eraser and a pen have become monsters. In PPG they'd have punched them into bruises, black eyes, and missing teeth and thrown them in the slammer even if they didn't deserve it (Mime for a Change, never change!) but here, the pencil and eraser learn their lesson and leave Weeb Bubbles to travel the world and find their true calling in peace. ....wat.

And the funny thing is, more often than not, Weeb Cup's violence works. I was rather surprised considering I was used to Sailor Moon's formulaic approach to the bad guys, that Weeb Cup (I'm sorry I'll call her Kaoru now, lol) Kaoru would be finishing off the monster most of the time even though she wasn't the main main character, Blossom. This was all because she wielded the hammer, so she'd do the most damage and thus have the most impact. How lovely.

Anyway since I am typing so much about PPGZ, yes while I was rewatching PPG I also rewatched PPGZ and found that, perhaps since I am older that it was far harder to sit through this time around. The plots are just so childish and juvenile! The plots are also played so straight it's not funny. When a lot of media does its best to subvert expectations and you return to an old show where it does nothing of the sort at all it really doesn't age well. I mean, why are half the episodes about inanimate objects coming to life attempting to gain my sympathy because some people don't want to use them anymore? Why is the other half about love? Every named character and its dog (YES, LITERALLY THE TALKING DOG) falls in love or is the subject of love at some point of the show. About the only characters who aren't are the Rowdyruff Boys, but you try telling that to the ninety percent of fanfiction writers for both of these shows! (I wanted to read some nostalgic fanfiction and well, to say I was frustrated is putting it very lightly. There's a huge reason I never really involved myself in the fandom) Regardless of all these facts, there are like, a handful of episodes I still enjoy and plenty of concepts I found interesting the PPGZ did that the original never did. Like for instance, Sedusa! Because she was basically a walking censorship slip she didn't show up very often in PPG, but in PPGZ she got a pretty interesting backstory and a Jekyll and Hyde take on her existence. I also like her design a whole lot in PPGZ, which helps. This has led to me pretty much enjoying every single Sedusa episode in PPGZ, which I can't really say the same for in PPG. (The PPG ones were sure suggestive though P: )

Princess also was given a reason for her villainy (aside from the stupid plot point in the beginning that is the origin for practically every hero and villain in the show >_>) and for whatever deranged reason I really like her older sister, Miko Shirogane. (Or Duchess as the dub calls her...eh, not fond of it) I don't know if it's because her name is Miko and she's purple like another amazing purple Miko I like, or that she's a ridiculous super prodigy...like another amazing purple Miko I like, or that she's cunning, conniving and ultimately won in the end in her one spotlight episode ...like another amazing purple Miko I like...I WONDER WHAT THE REASON IS? But my god, is she deliciously cunning. What a manipulative bastard. Her design is really nice too. I feel like she overshadowed Princess' presence (which I think is the point, but I mean in the way that I like her more even though Himeko has the character development/backstory stuff, or in other words far more depth) I'M SORRY I DON'T KNOW WHEN I DEVELOPED SUCH A WEIRD TASTE IN CHARACTERS.

But in the end the best part about PPGZ is WEEB CUP er I mean, Kaoru. I'm not actually fond of shows explaining away tomboys by giving them a family full of masculine influence, what with Kaoru having only male siblings and looking up to her wrestler father. (A certain cartoon by the name of Weekenders does this to the extreme with Lor's thirteen fourteen sixteen indeterminate amount of brothers) I mean granted, you could explain my own tomboy phase by the lack of feminine influence as a child, but still. There are plenty of reasons people may become a tomboy and it's not such an obvious easy explanation like this, but asking for anything more complicated or intelligent from such a stereotypical mahou shoujo anime is probably pushing it. But wow, my crush on Kaoru back in the day was intense. I mean, I probably didn't mention it as much as my crush on Kazumi or whatever (My type is either, characters I love to the point of LOVE, seriously, or characters I find intriguing and interesting. For example, Miko is a crush love, where I think she is the greatest thing since sliced cheese, whereas Weiss is someone I find endlessly fascinating and wish to write all the things for. You won't see me trying to write a story about Miko. Though I dunno if this example is entirely accurate since I saw a lovely picture of Weiss in a boyish outfit once and declared her my husbando...)

Oh, I am super digressing. WELL. I really like androgynous characters okay. Even normally girly, feminine characters dressed in male-traditional outfits will bring such a reaction from me.

MOVING ON, 

I forgot to mention the most glaring flaw of Dance Pantsed. WHY DOES BUBBLES HAVE ICE BREATH? WHO DECIDED THIS MADNESS? THIS IS BLOSSOM'S SPECIAL UNIQUE POWER YOU DIMWITS! YOU DIMIWITTED DIMWITS! She even used it more than once to emphasize the fact that it was Bubbles' unique power for whatever reason. Blossom meanwhile was shooting lasers out of every orifice.

NO SERIOUSLY. WHY?

Well at least Buttercup didn't have anything special, as per usual. (Poor OG Cup...)

...y'know, I'm wondering why with the sole exception of Hetalia, that my tastes starting with Negima all became shows and games with predominantly female casts. Okay, I love Dangan Ronpa and that's pretty even, but even with it, I seem to be attracted to stuff with tons of females in it. You know the reason why? Because even though I grew up a tomboy and despised all things girly, I've been and likely always will be, a romantic at heart. And not a generic romantic by enjoying all the romantic comedy movies in the world, but specifically when one girl likes another girl and my mind explodes. And super specifically an ANIME girl liking another ANIME girl because that's just how weeb my tastes are. Egads.

If it ain't Anime or animesque, I don't give one flying fuck about the romance. This includes every and all cartoons as well as live-action thingies. Well okay, I have that hopeless PinkieShy pursuit that will never go anywhere and has been crushed countless times by not only canon but the hundreds of thousands of fans that have declared their love and support for everything that breaks this pair, but ponies look kind of Anime-ish anyway! And it's a very small part of why I enjoy MLP. It's not like RWBY where shipping is partly the saving grace. I genuinely enjoy MLP as it is even if its more recent seasons have been becoming more and more bizarre and cartoony. So I become all the more frustrated no matter how hypocritical it may be when it feels like the only reason a fandom exists for something is the shipping. "I want to discuss how this episode impacted so-and-so character" "OMFG BUTTERCUPXBUTCH!" "..." This problem existed during my Nickelodeon tween sitcom phase (I will not claim my tastes are ones of high quality >_>) when all everyone cared about was this female character with this male character and that female with that male and ARGH. Even if the show isn't that objectively good I still want to talk about how the show handled this and that, but noooo. 

So anyway that meant I obviously ran into a very strange double problem when I did ship something and wanted to read stuff about it but ran into the MOUNTAINS AND SCORES of stories for this other ship. I mean, OG PPG? Fine. Whatever. I have a small collection of general or horror or adventure or humor fanfictions I can flee towards. If you ship the PPG with the RRB and want to swim in the fifty billion fanfictions about them, fine, go ahead. BUT WHY WOULD THIS BE THE CASE IN PPGZ!? The RRBZ are children like five years younger than the girls and all they do is be rude, inconsiderate and gross. At least the OG RRB had like, the ability to punch people and such. The weeb boys? They're just...immature schoolchildren. They have no superpowers. The incompetent weeb Mojo created incompetent RRB. It's so very sad and tragic. It's even more sad and tragic that despite their godawful disappointing adapted selves, that PPGxRRB fics still take up ninety perfect of the category. I just don't...why? Just why? WHY? WHY!? I know I am being melodramatic, but that's what I do on this blog and I truly feel as if this PPGxRRB thing is some sort of divine punishment for whatever sin I committed in my past life. It's just so PREVALENT. It's everywhere! By this logic maybe I should like it too when everyone in the world seems to enjoy it, yet I do not! And now, since FFnet's filters are some of the least useful around, my only hope to find non-RRB stories is to SIMPLY BROWSE past them, and I swear I could almost feel physical pain having to go through pages and pages and summaries and summaries of these stupid boys, over and over and over and over and over again! I'm sorry if you happen to like them, BUT GAAAAAAAH! RAAAAAGGH! WAGRAGVGE@ HFBSBSJFSBDHfAF HFGYWEUQ~

!

Ah, KaoruxMiyako. I love this ship. They're like a non-douchebag version of the original Mahou Shoujo girl ship, NeptunexUranus! (I would've liked them if they weren't douchebags. I swear) Oh what's this? A Deviantart group? With five images? Oh what's this, some fanfics? Around six or seven? 

And then I look across the grass and see all the happy hoppy people sharing and laughing on their giant cruiser of a yacht, hanging around the PPGxRRB. It's so lonely on this floating tiny little raft.

Anyway if someone really likes PPG and is disappointed I spent most of this ranting about PPGZ for some reason, well what do you expect? It's inevitable. I like them both, even if I can't sit through most of PPGZ anymore. It's got the crush and the ship, which is a huge factor to my fandoms while PPG is nostalgia and childhood, which isn't as much (but I still love it in the pure, "I WAS THE TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC OMG!" sense) And if you've read this blog before, I can spend so many words ranting about ships and crushes over nostalgia shows without those two factors, so I mean...

This has been Spotto.

spotto: (arisu margtrod)
SO RECENTLY, I STARTED LIKING AYA
THEN I REALIZED, "WELL, HERE'S ANOTHER JERK TO LIKE" 
THEN I WONDERED, IS THIS A POTENTIAL TYPE?
IN TERMS OF TOUHOU, WHERE JERKS ARE FRANKLY THE NORM, THIS MAY NOT BE A POSSIBILITY
BUT I ALSO LIKE WEISS AND I KNOW NO ONE ELSE WHO DOES
WHICH IS QUITE A SHAME BECAUSE WEISS IS AMAZING
DID YOU KNOW AT A CONVENTION, RBY PLUSHIES WERE SOLD OUT BUT THERE WAS STILL HALF OF A BIN REMAINING OF WEISS PLUSHIES? IT'S A TRAVESTY. IF NO ONE WANTS THESE PLUSHIES JUST GIVE THEM ALL TO PEOPLE WHO DO; PEOPLE WHO CAN APPRECIATE SUCH A CHARACTER

Actually, I think my type, or at least one of my types, is ambition. I like characters with goals who strive to achieve such goals no matter what. That can of course lead to obvious flaws like leaving others on the wayside and having poor priorities, but since I don't care for villains all that much it's never to the point of becoming evil or whatever. They have the capacity to be nice people, but their heads look straight towards only the goal, sometimes too much. They have to learn to appreciate those around them, especially their support groups. I have a few other types, like the extremely happy, eccentric adorable type (ie: Pinkie and Ibuki) who may grate on other people due to their extremism, but I love them either way. My last type is androgyny which can really apply to everything else I mentioned in this paragraph. Weiss may be depicted in formal dresses or  feminine professional outfits quite a bit, and I will agree they will look wondrous and oh-so-pretty, but put Weiss in suspenders or a suit and that's an instant reblog from me. Alternatively it could be someone who is entirely androgynous, like Murasa and especially Miko who can be portrayed in a very masculine light, even if she still wears her dress. It's magical what artists can do sometimes.

When I say ambition I don't mean the main character of a story. I never like the main character. I guess it's probably because whatever goal they want to achieve, while being something that may seem faraway and impossible in our eyes, is storywise going to inevitably happen because that's where the character is headed, being the main character. Unless the story is a downer/bittersweet ending, usually the story will reach that type of conclusion, so the uncertainty that comes with wondering if a character may or may not achieve something is lost. Plus that main character is usually rather noble or nice instead of having a large flaw usually associated with villains in terms of driving to achieve something to the point of tossing everything else away, be that morals, or friends, or anything else. That makes the character seem boring. They want to reach a goal but they don't have the most basic flaw that might come with it. I mean, it makes the main character a suitable role model I suppose, but why would I want role models in fictional settings? You can make that character into ANYTHING you want, and you make them a role model? HOW BORING.

In real life, the role model thing is much more variable. Because people are flawed in many ways and we often don't see each and every one of these flaws (and if we did, unlike a fictional character we'll probably rip them apart for it >_>) we can have role models. However because real people naturally have flaws, a real person being a genuine good role model is really interesting and unique, and not boring like in fiction. That isn't to say someone with more personality and one who may flaunt their talents isn't as likable; a common hockey critique of the players is that they're all trained to respond to media in the same droll, boring way so they all seem like hockey-playing robots, as not to attract attention and distract the team from their goals in such ways. However, people really start liking those who have outward personalities who aren't afraid to be themselves and even though no matter what, they will have detractors just for being who they are, they are always more interesting than the robots. (Then we find out these robots might end up being drug addicts, wifebeaters, or party animals, or alternatively, charity workers, comedians, or community-driven people. The robot is most often an act.)

Of course that's just my perspective. If someone acted extremely noble and good in fiction, I may like them anyway, but they'll never be my favourite because I will always find another more interesting. 

So that brings me to a point I think I mentioned to Akira once, about my OTP/pairing types. I realized these types since the Touhou wiki actually categorizes the most common pairings, such as "Harem with Main Character", "Master/Servant:, "General", and "Domination." Domination is usually a kind of rivalry-driven hate-driven pairing, where two people clash but they clash so much they pay attention to each other all the more, and thus MUST BE IN LOVE. This type tends not to be my favourite, but apparently Byakuren/Miko counts. The traditional definition is usually two characters striving for the same goal, so they will always be competing. We see this in a lot of shounens in particular. The characters though have their own unique traits tend to be rather similar as a result, what with wanting to achieve the same thing. In Touhou aside from a few exceptions (maybe Marisa/Reimu? Def. Aya/Hatate since they both want to have the best newspaper and are actual rivals) a lot of it seems to deviate from the traditional defintiion. Mokou/Kaguya for instance. Though they are similar in terms of both being immortals and that's why they gravitate to one another (so they may kill each other over and over again in mutual hatred) they both aren't striving for the same goal; rather they are the only two in the same position in the entire world. I think Eirin might be immortal too but I'm not sure, but she seems to not care about this whole "killing" thing what with canonically being like 1,000,000 years old and beyond, and being far too smart (being the most intelligent person ever) and wise to care about such trivialities, but eh. 

As for Miko and Byakuren, they don't actually strive for the same goal. It seems that way due to a lot of misunderstandings in fanon, but Miko purposely used Buddhism so she could keep her practice of Taoism a secret to become immortal (FYI in terms of the whole Mokou Kaguya thing any other person I refer to as "immortal" is not truly immortal and therefore doesn't count in their feud) so Miko going around trying to promote Taoism wouldn't even work. That's why her cast herd is relatively small in comparison to Byakuren's giant cast herd, where she's trying to convert all of everyone, especially youkai. Miko always boasts that Taoism is superior of course, but she's not attempting to gather a following. She doesn't even live with her followers, preferring solitude and personal training within her own dimension realm thing. She doesn't even want to teach people these things she's doing (as far as I can remember, anyway) and maaaaybe there are people that catch onto Miko's Taoism just because she's that awesome, but that's not the goal. Of course, they do clash in that Miko thinks Byakuren's ways are baffling, what with converting of all things, youkai to a religion, but again, not the same goal. Miko simply wants to ascend and become a celestial, the next step after becoming a hermit. She's trying to make herself better, self-improvement which I think is a point of Taoism but I don't recall exactly. Meanwhile Byakuren is trying to save all the youkai, those around her. She even became a youkai to do so, even using forbidden dark arts and magic. She's not ascending anywhere herself. 

They're foils certainly, but not rivals. Perhaps that category also includes foils as rivalries and such in shounens tend to be characters that are foils to one another. I forgot to mention the "incest" category since if you're a sibling in Touhou, chances are your most popular pair is with your sibling since you have so much story background with that other character. It's fairly irrelevant to my point but I thought to include it. I don't have any OTPs or like any pairings in this category. I once liked Satori/Koishi a bit because someone drew some adorably suicidal comics about it, and there wasn't anyone to pair them with that made sense outside of the two at the time (plus their story is super sad D:) but now Kokoro exists so Koishi/Kokoro (who are foils and thus fall under the "Domination" category) can work too. Of course that leaves Satori with no one but I don't care to pair the spares and she's a shut-in anyway who probably doesn't care. 

Anyway, Master/Servant is the category I have literally no pairings from. And in fact, this explanation gives me another reason why I disliked PMMM. I don't actually dislike PMMM in terms of hating the story or finding some massive, obvious flaw or whatever in it. PMMM is fairly popular not only for its deconstruction of magical girl tropes, but for A LOT of yuri. Oddly enough nothing is said outright but it's implied so much that it would be hard to believe otherwise. Regardless, when I mention Master/Servant I don't mean literally a master or servant. This ain't some handmaiden with her feudal lord or anything like that. Master/Servant just implies that one character has devoted all of themselves to the other, and if the other did not exist, there would be little if any identity remaining for the character. In Touhou this usually applies to Masters and Servants. Sakuya devotes all of her everything to Remilia. Why? WE JUST DON'T KNOW. Youmu devotes her everything to Yuyuko, why? Well she probably inherited the job from her grandfather, but anyway, these characters exist to make the (usually) sixth stage boss' life easier and more carefree! And the character themselves tends to be ultra-serious and their only goal is simply to serve. It's quite boring in my opinion but extremely popular in Touhou and elsewhere, so clearly my opinion isn't shared by many. 

In PMMM there are no obvious roles here, but there are lot of characters who devote ALL OF THEMSELVES to someone else, and it's guaranteed with tragic results. My biggest beef is with Sayaka. Sayaka is a very righteous character...have I mentioned I don't really like righteous characters who are super into being moral about everything? I don't. She becomes a magical girl (I think, memory is bad so feel free to correct) due to her need to do the right thing. She also has a crush on this boy. I don't care if a girl has a crush on a boy or whatever gender or even species they might be. Unfortunately for Sayaka this boy she has a crush on doesn't seem to care at all about her. It's very unrequited. He's probably depressed due to his medical condition leaving him bedridden and never being able to play the violin, which is his passion, but Sayaka is ALWAYS there, always visiting, caring all too much and this boy never really seems to be grateful for everything Sayaka does. Even if you chalk this up to his depression, even after he is healed and seems much happier he still gives zero attention to Sayaka. He doesn't even care about her as a friend it seems; like she was never there everything she visited. In short, the guy's a douche. Yet Sayaka, being the righteous, noble person she is, tries not to regret her decision. She wants her beloved to be happy after all. Even if he's a douche and she can never be with him, but with Kyuubey being psychopathic as fuck with its loophole-ridden unspecific contracts, it's a decision Sayaka will come to regret no matter what, and her sadness in the boy not returning his feelings (and hooking up with one of her friends of all people, who I don't remember actually showing up to his bedside and caring for him nearly as much) was too much for Sayaka, she becomes a witch and it's all sad and such.

To me, it's more pitiful than anything. It's supposed to be really sad and it is, and emotions and love can be such perilous feelings, but well, she cares and thinks and devotes SO MUCH of her everything, even her life to this boy that she forgets and ignores about the joy of her friends, like Madoka and all the other things she stands for and likes. She's just so devoted, so obsessed over this one guy. I guess since she's meant to be a very vulnerable teenage girl it's realistic in a way, God knows how many stories I've heard of people knowing others who start a relationship and completely ignore their friends suddenly, but it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I should pity her, feel sorry for her, but for whatever reason I just feel like she was acting very obtuse, and maybe if she had more self-awareness, if she realized she was worth much more than someone throwing their life away just for someone's ability to use their goddamn hand again, none of this would happen. Sayaka feels far more frustrating to me than sad.

Granted, she has a lot of character even if she's super dependent it seems on this one other person, but I dislike those pairs. The actual pair in the show is KYOUKO with Sayaka, and while I can see it in a way, with only like 12 episodes in the series and Kyouko starting off as sort of an antagonist, I thought Kyouko's feelings for Sayaka developed too fast. Maybe she just wanted to be friends, but Sayaka was so preoccupied with her boy issue that I dunno, it seems one-sided too, which is another tragic thing. I actually like Kyouko. I consider her "the best character of Madoka". I usually call her the "only good character" but that isn't fair to some of the other characters who aren't that bad like Mami. My favourite thing about Kyouko is her attitude. She has just as much right as anyone else to angst herself to death, but she's always eating pocky, dancing to DDR, and being her little sassy self instead. Maybe it's a way for her to ignore her problems, but it's certainly preferable. She has a very tragic backstory herself (Good lord they all do) but unlike Sayaka and Homura it doesn't seem like she's throwing everything away for one person. 

Also what I said for Sayaka is like, a hundred times worse with Homura, but Homura is sort of the point of the story. The tale of her fall, as it seems as she tries so hard for Madoka....why? I forget. Maybe Madoka was nice to her or something, I don't remember but man does it seem like these people devote and obsess and try SO hard for someone else they haven't known for all that long, or at least for someone who doesn't seem to care about them. It sounds like stupid teenage girl syndrome. Y'know, I've been one myself. I can empathize even, but I don't really want to watch self-destructive teenage girls self-destruct.  It probably didn't help that I was spoiled rather horribly of the series, but I didn't think the plot was bad at all. In fact it's quite brilliant. I just couldn't really like a single character aside from Kyouko. The manga side-story between her and Mami was much better I found. I guess for Homura you can kind of make the point that since her ability is time she can rewind and fix things, and failing every single time trying to save Madoka (when originally she probably just wanted to casually save Madoka because she was a nice friend) and it just snowballed from there into an unwinnable cycle of Hell that destroys Homura's actual identity of that as a cutesy moeblob shy meganekko thing. The greatest evil is Kyuubey for instigating everything, but he (it? idk) really sure chose some unstable-as-fuck targets (or put them in a position to turn them unstable, the bastard) so I suppose blaming the characters themselves is a bit much, but it still goes into my point of how I'm not into such pairings.

So where was I? Oh yes. I have explained why I disliked such a type of pairing, now to explain why I like the type I do! Most if not all of my favourites are in the "General" category. How general, you say. I like pairings best when each character has their own goals and ambitions, or their own unique backstory, their own little tale about themselves, sort of like real life. I mean an unhealthy relationship is when someone throws everything away for another and becomes far too dependent, so I guess I like realistic "healthy" pairings? I suppose that's really boring. It's the opposite of my characters. I find really noble good characters boring, but I like noble good pairings...does that make sense? And y'know, the character can have flaws, a lot of it even,  but that doesn't mean they can't make a good pair. I'm not saying I like super successful incredibly saccharine pairs that have no wrong to them, though KeneMoko may be the closest to reaching that definition. I like the standard pair to have its own unique obstacles that come with the characters themselves.

And to use an example, I will throw out my most recent OTP, AyaSana! I told Aoi-dono and Akira about this pair, but Aoi-dono doesn't care about the characters and Akira doesn't know about Touhou, so neither of them will ever truly understand. However! This will now be an attempt to get laypeople to indeed understand. Like KeneMoko and HijiMiko before them, AyaSana has a prominent artist drawing comics and artwork to get the pairing gear running. After all, AyaSana isn't a mainstream pairing. Aya has more popular pairing options and so does Sanae. It's relevant enough to get a quote and an entry on that relationshipping page on the wiki, but actual content is small compared to the rest. (This makes me sad :C) But what makes up for the lack of quantity, we have quality! Aya and Sanae have their own very important goals. Aya herself is pretty much defined as a news reporter who cares about news and probably only cares about her news. In fact, it is canon that she doesn't like involving herself in fights and even allows others to win over her (as she is apparently super powerful, tengu tend to be) so long as she's getting a good story. Her walking animation in SWR has her writing down notes as she walks for Christ's sakes. She's the playable character of her own spin-off games, which is why ZUN even created her, a photography danmaku game if you will. She wants pretty danmaku pictures from all the residents of Gensokyo, and to make sure it's purely their attacks she never attacks herself, only dodges and takes photos with her camera. Apparently literally no one else in Gensokyo want her to do this, so they all attack her. Just as planned!

She's obviously taking pictures without their permission. And this will indeed lead into some undesirable characterization in fanon that clearly, for the purpose of our mostly-straight-male audience, that Aya is super interested in taking photos of all the residents' panties. This is disregarding the fact that Reimu and co. seem to be depicted wearing bloomers, the traditional undergarment of the feudal times, more often than not. I'm not going to go into a rant about how much I fucking despise panty shots and this all-too-common depiction of Aya. It's one thing to have fanservice, which I think is fine. It's another to have depictions of people in their panties, usually without their permission, being either angry or flustered so the audience can get off on this. Did you know all cell phones have unmutable shutter sounds on their cameras in Japan just so it's really obvious if someone is taking a panty shot on the train? TOO MANY PEOPLE LIKE THIS. It's demeaning to the characters and it's stupid as hell.

Well, I said I wasn't going to rant on it so moving on. Sanae is an outsider, someone from beyond the Gensokyo border in the modern world all of us are in and used to. So unlike most of the people in Gensokyo she knows more about technology and science and pop culture and all the like. Sanae's backstory is often depicted sad. She either (wisely) chose to accompany her goddesses to Gensokyo so their existence may be saved by finding faith in a more spiritual realm, leaving her friends and old life behind, or her own life was terrible and she was happy to leave people behind to go to Gensokyo for her goddesses. It was most likely the former but there's no concrete evidence of either. Sanae is a goddess herself, an ascended one from a human. Faith in Touhou works kind of like how faith ultimately works in real life, if a god has no faith they die out. No one knows who they are. No one gives them worship nor do they celebrate their existence, so they simply do not exist. Since in the modern world people are becoming more focused on science than religion, a lot of the more minor, lesser gods are fading away because of it. Moving to a place like Gensokyo where science is nowhere as dominant because the place is still trapped in the 1800's, is a wise idea. People don't believe in Sanae's goddesses so much in fact, that when she performs miracles or other things to gather faith people usually attribute it to Sanae herself, giving Sanae the faith, thus why she is now part goddess. A "living" goddess, she's usually called.

So Sanae's "family" travels to Gensokyo and settles on top of Youkai Mountain, the tengu domain. This brings up some conflict between the tengu and the Goddesses, but ultimately Reimu solves the incident as in the game and some agreement is done between the Goddesses and Tengu that we have no details about. (Got to love Touhou and its vagueness!) Though Aya and Sanae's stages are right next to each other there's no immediate indication the two have met, at least in that game. But with Aya going around taking pictures and trying to find stories, being nosy like she is, and being in close proximity to the Moriya Shrine they have indeed met. 

Anyway, large part of the reason I enjoy this pairing so much is how different they are to their other pairings, in particular Aya's. (I only know of Sanae being paired with like, Reimu and Kogasa. With Kogasa it's apparently a "domination" pair, or whatever. With Reimu it's...I have no idea because I don't really care too much about Reimu. I suppose it's fairly standard) Aya's however, is basically either a "Master/Servant or Domination" type with Momiji or...Domination with Hatate. Before Momiji was given more canon personality in Double Spoiler she was just a midboss that fought you in Aya's stage. Aya was listed as her superior, so we had a lot of "Momiji being a loyal happy fluffy moeblob dog" and Aya taking advantage of her to take risque photos! Because everyone loves seeing that! (I hope you can see the sarcasm here...) I don't actually mind the pairing. I've read up some decent Aya/Momiji that wasn't like that and wasn't like when Momiji got her new personality of finding Aya annoying, so now it was sort of a one-sided hate-kind of thing, but it wasn't really enough for me. I personally like Momiji to be well, like an actual wolf who does her guarding job and is rather serious and such (even though I dislike serious/stoic characters) just because it feels like it fits Momiji more than anything else. She probably still has a distaste for Aya but it ain't outright cartoonish hate where she'll bark and bite like a mutt. :| Or being an ultra-loyal lapdog (which is kind of cute but too many negative examples of a horribly unhealthy pairing here)

As for Hatate/Aya...for SOME STRANGE REASON, at least a while back, not quite as popular now, Hatate was commonly depicted as some sort of sad sap of an emo, who took an obsessive liking to Aya and took A MILLION photos of her while being super depressed. I...do not understand?? Either way whenever it isn't like that, Aya is still dominant and taking tons of advantage over Hatate. Apparently Hatate is not quite as crafty as Aya, so she'll never have the upper hand. She'll never have the better newspaper. She'll never be the one trolling. Madness, thy name is fandom.

I actually know less about Hatate's canon personality than I should, but I've never really cared for her. She seemed to be just around to be Aya's rival, and until recently I didn't care about Aya, soooooo... Now you might be wondering, I might want a less morally bankrupt, perverted, dominant, karma houdini Aya than is shown, right? Very correct! However, that is not her only depiction. (Aya is also paired with Reimu, but again I DO NOT KNOW MUCH ABOUT THIS PAIR aside from I do not care) When Aya is being her morally bankrupt fanon self, she's targeted as a buttmonkey quite a bit, usually not by Momiji and Hatate (though it happens) but by various other characters who have free range to beat her up or destroy her because she had it coming. (SHE ONLY HAD IT COMING BECAUSE YOU DECIDED THAT SHE WOULD HAVE THIS CHARACTERIZATION!!) So instead of the karma houdini jerk, Aya could be the pixelated mess of blood on the ground. In a way it is sometimes amusing, especially if you're not fond of Aya or do not care for her, but when you start to like her and notice how often these two things happen, you cry for some SANITY in this fandom! These two interpretations are way off from her canon personality solely so you can do comedic or grimdark things! 

One can complain about similar things about Sanae, though not to that extent. She's sometimes portrayed as faaaar too eager to exterminate youkai, ending up as some sort of sadist who enjoys torturing the poor innocent youkai like Kogasa (cue the pairing!) thanks to enjoying such an activity far too much in UFO. She suffers from this less than Aya by a hundredfold however. 

ANYWAY, in one of the few times Aya is portrayed as decent, is when she is paired with Sanae by this wondrous artist and excellent storyteller. Aya still has her flaws. They aren't just magnifed by a thousand for the purposes of incredibly low-quality humour. Her newspaper is her highest priority! Sanae's faith-gathering is her own highest priority! (Though the activity is a little more vague than the newspaper so she's shown to do a variety of things instead) Why do they like each other? Good question! This artist provided no answer. I will instead counterpoint by why ANYONE in Touhou at all, a series with ZERO ROMANCE would like ANYBODY ELSE, at all! However at least Keine and Mokou are friends and at least Miko and Byakuren are sort-of-not-really rivals, so what gives? The question is indeed excellent, but this artist's portrayal was so refreshing and well-written, the question never even crossed my mind until now. If you can make their characters all the more interesting and interact in entertaining ways by being with one another, does it matter how much sense there is? I think not. 

But for whatever reason, Aya started to like Sanae.

LET'S STOP HERE. Aya started to like Sanae. 

Aya.

Lord Tenma almighty this tengu is the one to start liking someone. So many times it is Momiji or Hatate, who for whatever reason, yearn for Aya. It wouldn't actually make sense for Sanae to start liking Aya if she and the goddesses start off prejudiced against youkai, which there is evidence for considering how fun exterminating seems to be for Sanae. As a person from the outside world, youkai are strange, new creatures one has never encountered before! Can they give faith like the humans? We just don't know. It's an unknown entity that Sanae has no real understanding of, while Aya, being around a millennium year-old and having dealt with humans a lot (Reimu, Marisa, the Human Village during the past? idk of the last part, but eh) would be used to. And it's refreshing after all those things I mentioned about how Aya is portrayed, how she is the flustered one, the shy one, the one trying to push down such feelings, trying to make sense of everything. It gives her character. It gives her an air of vulnerability. It gives her depth. She's not just a soulless husk out to ruin the people for a story! Sanae is suspicious and gives Aya no leeway whatsoever, but through their lovely support systems of characters who are there not just for support (for instance, Kanako and Suwako, Sanae's goddesses, are like parental figures, but they have their own backstory and character and motives, so they aren't simply just "Sanae's Goddess A and B" or anything like that, while Aya has her tengu colleagues) Aya and Sanae end up in a situation (GO READ THESE COMICS OH MY GOD) where Aya tries to comfort Sanae's angst of leaving her old life behind, and the uncertainty if she can gather enough faith for not only herself to become a full-fledged god but for her goddesses too. (Her job is to literally maintain the existence of her parental figures. Think about that.) And Aya, being a youkai (though it seems Nitori and the other tengu do not suffer from this coincidentally, so probably Aya just being Aya and using the youkai thing as an excuse) doesn't fully understand such human angst because she's just a youkai, so instead of saying any words she just takes out her wings and embraces Sanae with them as comfort.

Somehow this cheers Sanae up despite Aya not understanding why (she thought her attempt was bad.) and now Sanae might like Aya too. :3

It goes into a lot of things like Aya not visiting too often because she's TOO BUSY WITH NEWSPAPER, to Sanae, being Sanae, able to troll Aya. Aya doesn't want their relationship public in fear of the other tengu thinking this is all some sort of crazy dramatic scandal, a tengu with the priestess of the mountain goddess!? EGADS! (And every other crow tengu also being news reporters for some reason. Are there like, a billion different issues or something? I think it's more like the crow tengu are intel and the wolf tengu are guards) but the entire worry is a moot point because Sanae already boasted to literally everyone that no one can take her Aya (HA!). Sanae's foreignness by being an outsider and her naive confidence is rather unpredictable for Aya. Sanae also brings in lots of these modern outside traditions about love that Aya doesn't understand nor care about. Aya's also used to being disliked so at the beginning she actually had ZERO FAITH she'd ever be with Sanae. It's all very adorable and super cute and will make you grin like a moron. I love it. The artist even tried to involve the Tragedy of a Long Life into the pair, which is possible I guess? If Sanae fails at her faith-gathering and has lived beyond a normal human lifespan (so she'd be full goddess at that point) she'd disappear. However, if Sanae is successful for a very long time she may even outlive Aya. I've no clue how or when youkai die. That doesn't seem to be ever touched upon by either canon or fanon but they're not immortal; that's for sure. (However since youkai are inherently spiritual too, if one does not fear the youkai they may disappear. That doesn't explain how the fuck youkai like Mamizou exist outside the border. I guess people nearby are terrified enough from various ghost stories to believe in that stuff, but apparently a lot of youkai masquerade as humans on the outside?? idk) 

It's lovely because it isn't just the two like so many others. They have their support groups. This is the first pair I liked that's strictly youkai/human (mostly human, but still) Keine and Mokou, Keine is only half-youkai and that's like once a month. (Keine's on the human side regardless) Byakuren is a youkai and Miko isn't, but I can hardly describe Miko at all as a human, soooo...  yeah! They're basically their own selves. It's great. 

I guess from reading all that. I pretty much basically say Aya gets character development in this pair portrayed by this artist, which like never happens and her character is usually corrupted for comedic purposes instead of treated like an actual entity. That really helps. It also really helps that I love Sanae too. She's my favourite playable. Perhaps I identify with Sanae in a way that she's a newcomer into Gensokyo, and I too started to like Touhou in late 2010, feeling like I came far too late to experience the golden ages that was 2007-2009, apparently. A lot of people hated Sanae for some reason (she was a second miko who became playable when fan-favourite Sakuya stopped being playable, but that wasn't an immediate thing. Reimu and Marisa were the only playables for sometime before Sanae started becoming one, and Sakuya as an in-story reason for not solving incidents herself. She comes back in DDC and usurps Sanae then anyway, but then Sanae returns with Reisen so take that, Sakuya P: By the way, whenever I see Reimu paired with Aya I call her "The Wrong Miko" whenever I see Sanae I call her "The Correct Miko" and whenever I see Miko I call her "The Best Miko" :D ) but Sanae has a lovely personality. (Aya was hated too for canon reasons when she was introduced and suddenly became playable in her own game, but that's because ZUN needed a new character for a photography game to make sense) Then she showed up for the third time in a row in Mountain of Faith because tengu are technically the ones inhabiting Youkai Mountain where the entire game takes place, so it makes sense, but all of these petty opinions were way back in the day and I believe few people still have them now. Many fans enjoy the older games better but as a latecomer I could take in all the games that existed at once and like which-ever I chose without bias. I ended up liking the later games more than the earlier ones, soooo...

Speaking of which, with this whole Aya thing (DAMN YOU FIGURE THIS IS STILL YOUR FAULT!) I have had a favourite character from every single mainline windows game aside from the two most recent ones. It went Meiling (EoSD) -> Yuyuko (PCB) -> Suwako (MoF) -> Koishi (SA) -> Murasa (UFO) -> Keine (IN) -> Miko (TD) -> Aya (PoFV). I consider this the testament of the wonderful world of Gensokyo and how many amazing characters that exist in this series, quite potentially my favourite series of them all.

I believe it is.
spotto: (koi)
 alt=You might be wondering, "Why are you doing this again?" and "If you are, why not after August" when TH15 is entirely out? Well considering none of the new characters from the demo or the new boss from the new fighter showed up in my top 50-ish list, I don't think too much will change from here to then. What changed from before to now, however? Well, quite a lot. Since quite a lot changed, I figure doing it again is fine and it is not because I have nothing to do because I'm writing this while my friends are waiting for me to play MH4U with them, so...

But I digress! Can you see what massively changed recently? :D? I cannot guarantee such changes will be permanent. After all it has happened quite literally overnight, though I started writing all this a few days back and just continued right about now, so at this point it wouldn't be overnight. Nonetheless, I'm going to go off on a tangent here that is marginally related to the picture on the left, but mostly not really.

I feel like as one grows older one begins to care less about things. Now, the degree of caring is very important. After all, if you start caring about nothing that stops being normal and starts running into say, depression territory or what-have-you, but when we're all adolescents, we tend to care too much. We care far too much what other people think of us, and for some of us academics must be perfect or death! In reality academics didn't really matter until later on in high school and even then one could still get into a prestigious post-secondary institution in a myriad of ways. In fact nowadays with the absurd costs of continuing education it's more cost-effective to delve into something else. But whether or not we find success in these other fields highly, highly vary. Regardless, when one gets older, one cares less.

For instance, this blog. If I cared more, I'd be ranting my pants off and posting here much more regularly than I have like I did frequently when I was younger, but now I usually do not have much to say or much to rant about. At some point you start wondering if there is a purpose to blasting certain things in two-thousand words or longer. It's probably a good exercise in a way, sort of like letting off the steam and working on personal dictation. Yet as I've grown older I've become far less passionate in things. And usually things I'm passionate in are fairly benign run-of-the-mill not especially important in the grand-scheme-of-things kind of topic. Like that image to the left. WHO CARES WHO I LIKE? Is it that important that I show up here and explain to you all lovely readers why so-and-so have shot up my ranks? Not especially! It's mostly an exercise for oneself, splaying out the reasons for such in text and not leaving it to die to the mercy of poor memory. What if five years from now I wonder why on earth i would ever have Sanae third? Was I a madwoman back then? Well now I have this text to fall back on to see why!

But of course there are pros and cons to such a mindset. I truly love being passionate about things. Everyone does. However, there comes a limit to how passionate you should be. Being passionate leads to extreme highs and lows in terms of opinions and emotions. The opposite, being casual, is that you are pleased by smaller things easier, and let down by things less than you normally would, but you would never experience the joys of something you're super into coming true. What if a show you loved to death when you were a child came back on air? You'd be ULTRA-EXCITED and then because you loved it so much, you would be incredibly observant to everything you see on screen. Are the voices still the same? Is the animation still okay? is the writing of the same spirit as it was once before? And if it is, you're elated. You are simply bursting with joy through every seam in your body. A childhood dream, a nostalgic little tidbit of your life has resurfaced, has revived. One cannot possibly describe such euphoria when you're that passionate for such a thing.

However most likely a reboot or a sequel will be terrible, or even if it's decent it will never have the same flavour as what it originally had, so disappointments, even ones not warranted will exist. Being this passionate means every little flaw is all the more magnified, and you, being so hopeful, feel all the more crushed the less similar to the thing it once was, was. You begin ranting, criticizing, maybe even flinging insults you normally never would just because of how betrayed you feel because you are that passionate by that little thing.

If you liked the show when you were young and it came back, and it was pretty similar to how it was beforehand, with some differences you can overlook so you ultimately enjoy it, you're casual about the thing. It doesn't take much to make you happy, but you would never experience that ultimate high you might have if you felt all the more invested. A lot of people say these ultra-dedicated fans are incredibly annoying, but if the person who is ultra-dedicated is happy with where they are, to the point that they do not care how they are thought of by others then they have achieved true happiness, I say. Unfortunately that is not the case most of the time. Such people will be disappointed more often than not, and this phase in their life may end and they may come out of a more aloof person, a casual if you will.

I can describe all of this for something like My Little Pony. When it first came out and I watched it I was ecstatic. What a great show! Every episode is the best! There are no flaws! The writers are the best people in the world and when they go to Valhalla after they've lived incredibly long, storied lives they should be treated to the grandest of beer and the most magnificent of parties for the rest of eternity! Basically normal humans are slammed onto pedestals because they can do no wrong. They've pleased people to the extent that if they do make an eventual mistake, their flawless, perfect image will come crumbling down to the ground. In reality everyone is a normal, flawed human who can make normal mistakes. I, being super passionate about Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy's friendship, was absolutely crushed by Pinkie's depiction in Filli Vanilli. I could not possibly believe she was capable of such insensitivity. Certainly she had displayed traits of such behaviour before, but not to such an abhorrent extent. The fact that Fluttershy's response to this is endless crying and an attempt to literally escape from her friend is treated as comedy personally offended me. I related with Fluttershy's anxiousness and insecurities. For it all to be treated like a joke, for Pinkie's behaviour to only be reacted by being smacked by a newspaper as if she were dog, it was just crushing to that passion of mine. I began ranting; I even flung insults (I don't think on this blog, or if I did not much) to people responsible. That's what happens when you are involved in something that much. Most people just thought, since they either didn't relate or were casual about it, thought the scene was okay and people may have been overreacting. A lot of Pinkie fans did not like her behaviour, including me however. This spawned a few fanfics and ideas that these two could not possibly be great amazing friends had it not been for the existence of the Elements of Harmony, but that idea goes entirely against the whole Friendship is Magic message in the first place. So how to explain what happened?

Well, to explain all we can do is that not every episode is flawless and not everyone is perfect. Someone thought, "Hey this scene would be funny!" and well, it unfortunately did not come off that way for some people. That's just reality. Now, I still watch the show. It's not like I've dropped it or dumped it or whatever, but I no longer think every episode needs to be absolutely perfect. If it isn't, I'm not about to spend hours of my day spewing text on why so-and-so sucks and needs to be better written. I may dislike an episode but I just move on. Shows and stories like MLP change and evolve over time. What was once seen often in season one might not show up as much in season four, and that's okay. Someday, I may stop watching or maybe I'll watch until it inevitably ends, either way the expectations are much lower, but not because the show is worse all of a sudden; the passion is no longer there because I enjoy the show more often when I have a more casual attitude about it. When episodes do come by and happen to be especially good, that's awesome, but no longer do I fall into the extreme lows if something I don't like happens. I mean, I certainly hope Pinkie never acts like that ever again, and that instance of her is the most extreme she ever gets, but you can't predict such things.

This rant just turned into another goddamn Filli Vanilli MLP rant didn't it? I AM SO SORRY. It is SO irrelevant to the picture to the left. So instead of talking about Touhou I'll go into another just-as-irrelevant rant! I stopped watching Achievement Hunter. OH NO. WHAT A TRAGEDY. Perhaps I'll go back to it someday. It's not like some sort of dramatic, angry abrupt stop at consuming their content. It was just a gradual sort of thing. At one point I watched a video they released every single day, then it dwindled until I watched a few videos a week. Just recently I began watching just to bide my time as I played with my hamster. Yes, there's a problem when you simply watch the video to pass time instead of for the purposes of entertainment. Is it because Ray left? That may be a part in it, but I guess their brand of humour and their attitude to gaming and such just became repetitive and old at some point. I did watch their stuff for almost two years after all. A lot of their humour is bashing things, mostly jokingly, but it does feel old after a moment. For instance, I like hockey. They bash the fuck out of hockey whenever it comes up, but I know it's in a joking manner. Recently they played NHL 15, and I watched the first video but for whatever reason I just don't have the desire to watch the second part. I guess even though I know they were joking I got tired of their constant ignorance about a sport I am passionate about.

Another thing is that I've begun seriously watching tons of ASMR. I've become so much more calm and chill because of it and I love that stuff. The topic came up in Achievement Hunter, one member apparently hates it and finds it creepy. That's okay. It's not for everyone. But then it got to the point that they started joking it was a sexual thing somehow? Which is a stereotype I really don't want being spread around at all. They even spoofed an ASMR video by whispering and making tons of innuendoes. Again, they were probably joking, but the hoards of thousands of fans that watch and have no clue what it is will probably think it is just a sexual kind of thing. You get kind of tired when such stereotypes are tossed around. Like every gay person is flamboyant! All girls like shopping and dresses! Yaoi fangirls are perverted lost causes! Fans of ponies are neckbearded manchildren! People on Tumblr are fierce SJWs who have "NO FUN ALLOWED" permanently installed on their lawns! Redditors are just fuckboys who hate women! I SEE THIS CONSTANTLY ON THE INTERNET ALL THE GODDAMN TIME IT GETS OLD GODDAMNIT. And when there are constant jokes and humour meant to shit on people, which I'm fine with honestly, I do love me some South Park. It's just that if such a brand of humour is done in really cheap, direct manner, it's not all too funny anymore. South Park is brilliant because it's written excellently with some great satire. Doing things offensively because it's offensive is not clever whatsoever.

I'm not saying what they did was offensive. God knows there are tons of other things people have concerns about, but it's just in general. You get tired of it and that's the brand of humour they operate on. You go talk to your friends somewhere in a relaxing, open place where you can be yourself, but then you can't because suddenly someone makes a sandwich joke about girls. And you just sit there and take it, but internally you're like "THIS IS FUCKING OLD." I can appreciate smart humour that subverts your expectations. Or puns. The best cheap humour is puns. Whenever someone makes an incredibly ignorant comment about something I don't get angry, I just laugh at them. They're that stupid. It's how people continue living life, by laughing because man do things get old.

Okay that last rant wasn't really coherent whatsoever. I basically just got tired of the "Deal with it" attitude. Like, instead of complaining (well I technically am now but whatever) I'll just stop watching. The passion will be gone, and it has. And despite all my grievances the ultimate reason is that their stuff just got boring. They just play the game now it seems. I don't really laugh anymore. I loved the Minigolf stuff, always laughed at that. Then Ray left and they filmed the rest of that series in a week. While there was some genuine hilarity in the last few videos it felt like a drop in quality because instead of spreading out the content they played it all at once, so everyone remembers how to play the game. It becomes "a bunch of dudes playing video games" instead of "a bunch of entertainers playing video games". Maybe my tastes have matured? Their audience is the teenage audience anyway.

Oh yeah, Touhou.

I guess I am still passionate about some things. I am here ranting after all. So speaking about Reddit, I re-subbed to the Touhou subreddit because I wanted relevant Touhou news. (I'm never going to remember when Reitaisai happens without this!) but notice how I say "re-subbed". I un-subbed because they kept posting NSFW art or questionable art. I was really hoping such content was moved to some other subreddit, and when I re-subbed I didn't see any, but then after a week of course all that came crashing back down. Luckily actual NSFW art doesn't have a thumbnail, so I can usually ignore them, but questionable art does not get tagged like this, so I'll be scrolling down the front page and suddenly, someone's butt.

Okay, one reason to love Touhou is the designs, in particular how non-sexual these designs are. Certainly they're wearing very elaborate clothing one would not really expect of the time they live in. (I mean, exposed armpit mikos? Lol) But it's not anything that's really revealing and it's really nice for a change. Of course then the fighting game comes out and they decide the religious nun character should have bouncy boobs, and when she rides a motorcycle a rather revealing biker outfit during her special, which you most likely will miss considering how fast the picture comes by, but still. Nonetheless, I can tolerate it. I did after all start liking Touhou after SOMEHOW enduring the blatant and vast fanservice that dominated all of Negima, what with being an ecchi. I didn't complain too much about it (except when the proportions were incredibly stupid) because if I'm reading an ecchi I might as well be expecting fanservice, so if I see a small amount of it in other things it's not a huge deal. But actual porn or questionable fanart of normally very tastefully-dressed Touhous bother me. (Though I do recall complaining about said bouncy boobs. Seriously, Byakuren of all people!?!? I know the rest aren't as well-endowed, but really?)

But it's all about choosing to see things. You see I frequent Danbooru because I'm insane. I am well aware Safebooru exists, but the translations/comments (or at least the comments) won't exist on Safebooru because sadly, not as many people browse such a site. Now you might be wondering why the comments are so necessary that I'd stay on the site like so, but you don't exactly realize how insane I am. I enjoy reading comments to the extent that I read Youtube comments. I AM THAT INSANE. Because of such, I keep any complaints I might have about Youtube comments to a minimum (do you see a rant about that here??) because if I'm willingly reading about them, complaining about it is utterly pointless. I did install Alien Blue to replace Youtube comments with Reddit comments (which contrary to popular belief is not always better) but if the video does not have many Reddit comments or none at all, you damn well know I'm reading those horrible Youtube comments. So yes, you'd think seeing questionable content would not bother me. After all, I HAVE YEARS OF NEGIMA EXPERIENCE.

But Reddit is a place where I don't want to see such content, like at all. It's a place I don't expect it. It's a place free of such things. That's why a NSFW filter exists! But then questionable stuff gets through anyway, and again you don't have to click it! BUT IF IT SHOWS UP IN A THUMBNAIL, WHAT DO YOU DO!? WHAT DO YOU DO!? That's why I unsubscribed to r/WTF. (Why the fuck is that subreddit a default one anyway!?) Hell, I actually expect it on Tumblr because of how Tumblr is organized. Unless you specifically only follow strictly SFW people (which I don't because too many cool people to follow) there is always a chance you'll see NSFW on the dash. That's why I never Tumblr in public, but Reddit, ironically, IS THE ONE PLACE I DON'T WANT TO SEE SUCH THINGS. And thus this dilemma.

Good lord I'm still not talking about the sort.

Well.

It's all very simple really. I've only been paying attention to canon Touhou stuff until recently, so Miko returning in ULiL and her badassery has promoted her to first place, while Keine I still like as much. She just hasn't done anything so she's stagnant. Sanae is playable again in TH15: Rabbit Season! Yay! But that's not at all the reason she's up there, or any other character might be so high up. As you can see, UFO as a whole except Byakuren dropped out of my top ten, which is a sad depressing thing. I truly enjoy UFO. I'm just still forever annoyed that Stage 5 bosses like Shou and Orin are left to the side because they are youkai cats. SUCH DISCRIMINATION. At first the rule was only humans can be playable, but then Reisen became playable in TH15 (probably because she's relevant and also she is for some reason identifying as human in this game, idk) and Seija also became playable despite being a youkai. So clearly being a cat is a bad thing in the Touhou universe. I guess I'm just disappointed that due to Shou being really just a figurehead and all of her power canonically coming from that pagoda, there is no reason for her to be playable in a fighting game or be relevant in too much. This is unfortunate. Shou has all the wonderful design to look utterly badass while fighting, but I guess her looks are just for...Shou.

I do not regret that.

Anyway that includes the rest of UFO not in the game. Ichirin actually went up, from 50th-ish to 30th-ish so it's not like everyone went down! I still like Murasa and Nue but they've also become far less relevant. Nue's involved in a million other things now, like hanging out with Koi and Flan (fanon, but still) or having hijinks with Mamizou or being compared to/drawn with Seija due to design similarities (all fanon! But they're not doing much in canon anyway so eh). Meanwhile Murasa is now commonly mistaken for a Kancolle character. SUCH A SAD FATE. Or at least when I go "OH MY GOD THAT THUMBNAIL OF MURASA LOOKS COO--it's a Kancolle character. Fuck everything."

Okay I'll stop avoiding the obvious.

AYASANA IS THE WINK OF A WIND GOD

....wow the translation of that sounds awkward.

Yep! It's just like how KeneMoko propelled Keine to god-status. I have recently adopted a new wonderful pairing because I am a shameless hardcore shipper who despite the numerous rants (like that RWBY rant where I declared I stopped shipping...and now I have an actual OTP in that fandom >_>) will always return to these seemingly adolescent roots. I'M SORRY. IT IS HARD TO DENY THE CUTENESS. You see when Aya isn't portrayed as the most annoying bird in existence and when Sanae isn't portrayed as the most manic youkai exterminator in existence, they're actually quite nice characters who are really fucking cute together. Like holy crap. This is oddly enough not unexpected. I recall years ago being bored and going through the Aya and Sanae tags because I WAS THAT BORED, and I actually went through all the AyaSana stuff despite having little investment in the pair. It was cute enough for me to LOOK AT EVERYTHING. Now I randomly returned to it (I don't know how. I, on a whim, purchased an Aya keychain recently and now it sits on my desk IN FRONT OF ME for some reason and the figure MUST'VE HYPNOTIZED ME TO look up Aya things) I also blame Wind God Girl. I think I was listening to it and decided to look up Aya stuff. ALL OF IT IS HAS CONTROLLED MY BRAIN.

I say this because I've always liked Sanae. She's my favourite playable. I always main her. THEN AYA, OUT OF NOWHERE. The only reason she had not swapped with Sanae's place is because I've liked Sanae longer and until my preferences have been solidified some I'm not allowing some random character to stick its face so high up so soon. It'd be weird! But if all of this love remains and doesn't die off eventually then technically I am once again shipping another reporter character... hm. I never was too fond of Momiji/Aya, or Aya/Hatate. I tried to get into Sanae/Reimu but I don't find Reimu shippable personally. I AM ALSO OPEN TO SHIPPING EITHER OF THEM TO ALICE. Because Alice is great. I still love her. She's just ninth because...reasons.

BY THE WAY I WROTE ALL THAT ABOVE LIKE TWO WEEKS AGO AND JUST RECENTLY FINISHED THE SONG SORT AFTER A WEEK. Click the image for the massive full sort. It took that long, though admittedly there were days I didn't touch it at all and days where I spent like 2-3 hours. Some days I just did it for like fifteen minutes, but at around 40% in I finished the rest all in one day in around 3 and a half hours. By "finished" I mean rushed, so that led to multiple music casualties, wonderful underrated or usually amazing songs that are sadly lower on the list because I liked one song better than it but didn't like THAT song better than others despite probably liking the casualty better than the songs that I liked better than the song I liked better than it. Did you get that? Was that confusing? Nonetheless I'll list a few casualties and a few surprising songs I don't listen to very often that happen to be casualties but need a listen because damn they are just that good. Oh and one thing about the character sort which I did a few weeks back....I did say things might change after a while and it did! I'd probably swap Sanae and Aya. That's about it. THE EVIL KEYCHAIN THAT SITS ON MY DESK UNLIKE ALL MY OTHER FIGURES HAS TAKEN TOTAL CONTROL OF MY BRAIN. This all happened due to an impromptu purchase of an Aya keychain. All of this. The sudden Touhou takeover of my blog despite several rants being entirely unrelated, but still!

I'd also like to mention two other recent events, such as MLP's 100th episode which was pretty much a fanservicey (not in that way) love letter to the fans and that the Stanley Cup has been won by the Chicago Blackhawks...again...for the third time in six seasons! Egads! That just means they not only have a really strong team but really strong scouting and management to maintain such a successful team for so long. At this point they might as well be called a dynasty, perhaps not the crazy Montreal Canadiens of old or the Gretzky Oiler days, but at least on par with or even better than those dominant teams of the 90's (like the Avalanche and the Penguins). Meanwhile my Vancouver Canucks have nothing to show for in forty-four years. I dread whatever decision our management makes for the upcoming draft because we are once again (like a tradition it seems) deciding on two goalies with bright futures and one of them is my favourite player. I most certainly hope they will make the right choice but after all these years following this team I'm very prepared for crushing disappointment and it's just getting really old. I'm to the point I may consider some other team if they keep doing things like trading away favourite players or making mindnumbing decisions. How long can this loyalty last? It's like my rant earlier in this post. If I were a casual and only cared when my team was doing really well maybe this wouldn't be a problem but it is because of passion, passion which as time goes by feels more and more misplaced. PLEASE DON'T DO WHAT I THINK YOU WILL DO.

If they do, well I'll be here on that day, either ranting or just deflated.

As for the one hundredth pony episode...wow. It's going to fly over really casual fans' heads unfortunately. Those who are only here for the Mane Six and haven't participated in the fandom and how often they write, draw, and make videos of various background ponies will be lost. Derpy (or Muffins if the credits are of any indication) is the most well-known one even for the casual fans but how many people I wonder will get Doctor Hooves or understand why the hell it seems like Lyra and Bonbon are a little more than friends, or why the hell Bonbon is out of nowhere a secret agent or remember who Steven Magnet is or realize the significance of his name or remember Octavia? Aside from Derpy there's Vinyl who has a few toys of her that's more exposed than the most (she was a McDonald's toy once I believe) and she had a sizable role in the movie so Vinyl and Derpy will probably be the ones those who aren't super invested will get, but still the majority of the episode will go WHOOSH over their heads.

I've never been the hugest fan of the background ponies. Unlike say, a minor character, background ponies don't really speak and are really only there to make the scenery look more crowded. However instead of say a bunch of completely grey/black people some cartoons and Anime might do, ponies happen to be multicoloured and therefore several will end up with rather distinct designs despite being in the background, so people notice them and start making up stories for them. I unfortunately need a little more than that to like them. For instance Touhou has tons and tons and tons of characters, but since you face a majority of them in battle through the game, you get to see their danmaku patterns, their spellcard names, their dialogue, see any potential backstory in the manual, listen to their theme which is usually indicative of their personality, and then you can go from there to establish who they are and if you like them or not. THEN the fanon comes in and does whatever they want with them with very, very, very mixed results. I didn't mind these characters as say, minor characters or side characters in fanfics I read, seeing as I usually search up something like I dunno, a Pinkie Pie story (there's an Octavia story somewhere in that recommendation list) but seeing them with this much spotlight in canon? Now this is a surprise!

Quite a surprise in fact, that because of this very episode I liked all these characters more than I ever did before. That's all I needed to start giving them a chance. Actually, the Rainbow Rocks movie had a little scene involving Lyra and Bonbon and I was like "Well, these two get shipped extremely often in the fandom and they have an awfully close piano playing scene here" which made me overjoyed for some reason. Then now, in episode 100 we have them actually talking and saying things like "SUCH BEST FRIENDS" while their actions speak just a little further than mere best friends...

AND THIS LEADS ME TO SOMETHING I'VE BEEN WANTING TO RANT FOR A WHILE.

When I was younger and involved in the shipping community, I understood what most people said when people didn't want things shoved in their face. You know, like ponies. That may be the reason some people dislike the phenomenon (among other things anyway) but then, this perspective soon changed. Not so much for something fairly minor like an interest in ponies, which frankly should not be shoved into people's faces because well, it is ultimately just a TV show, but something a little more significant like, shipping is not something I agree on. Do you know why? Sure, the hordes of fangirls and fanboys with their OTPs charging down the halls clinging onto every tiny little scene may be annoying and there might be the dreaded ship wars that make most fans hate their own community, but by god, if the show has a scene between two ponies that is OBVIOUSLY hinting at something more, is it really "shipping goggles" to see more? Because, it's not shipping that's the "annoying problem" about these people. Saying that a scene like Lyra and Bonbon is just there to please shippers without outright confirming anything isn't merely "fanservice"...it's a lot less shallow than that.

Perhaps it's due to being on Tumblr so long, but seeing as most people I follow on Tumblr fall on a spectrum, their posts that continually fill my dash day-by-day depicting the things people on a spectrum must go through all the time really changes your mind, nevermind how I'm still fucking confused where I fall in this spectrum. A friend of mine is asexual for example, and she's told me a few times of her grievances with people who do not seem to understand this concept of asexuality. Apparently, someone doesn't like sex. They don't like it at all. They have no desire to be with someone. They do not have such carnal instincts as others. They are literally affecting no one else by not liking this. There's plenty of people who live through life single for reasons like this or others, but because our society is driven so much by the norms of a boy liking a girl, someone's just gotta bother my friend about this all the time or the topic or something subtle or subconscious always pops up. Like maybe someone will ask you who you like, and you say "no one" but they refuse to take this as an answer because they're so used to relationships in your life. My best friend for instance has a mother who keeps asking her to get a boyfriend, and well, if you told that lady you either didn't want one or preferred a significant other of another gender that must be hell to go through.

Now you're wondering "Well Spotto, if you fall on this spectrum why aren't you explaining what you go through everyday too?" While my parents have touched on the topic occasionally they seem to have stopped asking this question, of when I'll get hitched, probably because either they think I'm a lost cause (lol) or well, my brother who's eight years older than me happens to be gay and has gone through this before with my parents, which I've witnessed, and since he hasn't had one single friend beyond a friend at all, I think their traditional expectations have nosedived. I'm blessed my brother took the brunt of it all. It also helps that I'm not out probably because I DO NOT HAVE ANY CLUE. So there.

How does this relate to shipping you ask? Well, people always complain that shippers are in every fandom and ruining everything, taking over other lovely discussions like debating on lore or character analysis for instance, and oddly enough most shippers seem to ship same-sex. Why is this? The 100th episode showcased a fucking wedding between a girl and boy donkey, I mean jack and jenny, and no one cares. Not a single person is going "Wow why are they shoving these two in my face?!?!?!" nor did anyone bat an eye at the Canterlot Wedding (except for people who think brothers who pop out of nowhere and alicorns popping out of nowhere are bullshit, but that's besides the point) but two characters who aren't even the main characters who show up in the background together a lot, and now that they are given more attention thanks to the fandom have some scenes where they seem to get along real well, apparently it's shoving it into their faces if we proclaim our OTP has been canonized or something. Apparently we CANNOT say they are really together, (even the show itself can't outright say it) despite all indication otherwise because that's just "desperate shippers with shipping goggles" or people "looking into it too much" and "tons of friends act like this all time!" NOT IN THIS SHOW THEY DO NOT! I have not seen a single instance where some other group of friends gave each other bedroom eyes, held their jaws in their hooves, or smooshed cheeks together like Lyra and Bonbon does! And if the first thing did happen it's a freeze-frame shot of a pony blinking instead of prolonged dreamy eyes! But no, instead of "YAY MY LITTLE PONY HAS A CANON GAY COUPLE" it's controversial and AMBIGUOUS!!

Like, I have complained about shippers overtaking something before. iCarly for example is 100% shippers and no one at all cares about anything else. MLP is not like this. There's lots of shipping yes, but there's a HUGE amount of stories, fan videos, music, and art all about comedic moments with one character or a video devoted to Luna and Celestia's past or an askblog about the CMC's adventures or the Mane Six in a huge fantasy fairy tale fighting an all-out-war! Of all things MLP does NOT have an over-abundance of shipping! But two background characters often shipped and usually having funny background events are given a few of these scenes and suddenly we're looking too hard and are too desperate and they're just friends! YES. LYRA AND BONBON ARE BEST FRIENDS. SUCH GOOD GOOD FRIENDS. THEY ARE SO CLOSE AND GET ALONG SO WELL. BEST FRIENDS AND BEYOND ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE!

The whole point is, we can have weddings and freakin' Twilight being paired with a random high school boy not of her own native species in an alternate universe, but a few scenes edging on the line of two ponies of the same sex and suddenly AMBIGUOUS CONTROVERSY. You know what I think about these people? Fuck these people. They are the reason our society isn't as progressive as it should be. They are the reason thousands of people went up and arms about Korrasami, which I know nothing about and is possibly something that could've come out of nowhere, I wouldn't know since I don't watch the show, but by god at least let people BE HAPPY that they can watch a show where there are people just like them in there, and it's normal! Because people on a spectrum have to watch shows and movies and read books where straight people literally have sex (yes I read this on a post) and no one bats an eye, but someone who MIGHT HAPPEN TO BE gay exists and everyone blows a fuse. Seriously, FUCK YOU.

I'm sorry. I was just super happy about the 100th episode (like there are things that felt a bit much but still) and went around reading tons of reactions and such and like half of them was about denying Lyra and Bonbon. People saying "the ship is sunk" because they mentioned being best friends like eight hundred times. Normally people don't mention they're the best of friends a bunch of times in a row. It was likely the writers throwing those lines in there tons of times to get what their actions were like through censors. Even if it was a joke on shippers (which it could've been) they threw in Lyra and Bonbon very closely piano playing in the movie which wasn't at all a scene make to point fun at something, so I'm inclined to believe the consistency of these two scenes existing means the writers actually want to include something like a gay couple in their show too, even if it's in a stealth way that doesn't officially announce it so. After all, these writers live in very open, liberal areas (California) and the animators are in freakin' CANADA. Unfortunately for a lot of people unless you blatantly show them on a giant billboard that reaches the heavens that two characters of the same gender are together, they will deny until the end of time. FRIENDS, you say. This is also a reason there aren't a lot of male-female friendships in media either. I have lots of friends who are guys, but when I go on Reddit for instance, for all the people there in that community, it seems like being friends with someone of the opposite gender is a MYTH or something considering some of the comments and questions I've seen. Christ on a fiddlestick.

And I know why they think it's a myth because this whole stupid "friendzone" thing is so prevalent. It completely erases the importance of friendship. Why can't we be friends? Why don't you want to be friends? Why is it "BE MY GIRLFRIEND OR BE NOTHING"!? Why is this such a thing in our society, our culture? It's like someone sees someone else who is attractive and suddenly they MUST skip that whole friendship thing or undermine it because hanging out with someone because they are cool just can't be a thing if you happen to be attracted to them! I SWEAR!

I want to throw things through my window right now. These things are just so infuriating.

With that out of the way, let me fall on the other line for once.

If you've read this blog a lot (and I don't know why you do I write mountains of text, like this post) but if you've read a whole bunch of it you'll know I'm not some person who's wholly against like sexuality and hates it in every single medium. I see it way too often but I'm not like, asexual or anything like that (I think? Blah I don't know) So even though if I see a character I like dressed very provocatively for the billionth time and want to fling glass shards at whoever thought another one of these images was a good idea, there are times where I welcome such a thing. It's like how you ask a guy if they like, say this part of the body more or the other. Say some people like broad shoulders on a man, or the obvious "I like big boobs" people, or what have you. I have this too. I absolutely love navels. If a girl has her stomach showing I will never be complaining. I just said girl without thinking too. Guys' stomachs are okay (well, you might be like "WHAT ABOUT ABS" and abs are cool, but I actually just like flat smooth stomachs more than anything. Besides for a guy I prefer like, pronounced eyebrows and jaw-lines over the stomach) But all of this is entirely appearance-based. If I ever like someone it'd probably be personality above all because well, in reality you gotta be compatible with that person right? If they make you laugh and are a charming, nice person, the looks really don't matter in the end.

I mean, yes, I am saying this on a blog without that much experience on the thing so maybe it's two-faced or blatant lies. But really, if I happen to like someone thanks to their personality, they're a lot cuter to me than they ever would be normally all because of that lovely personality so while yes, obviously looks will be in play, it's really not the biggest thing whatsoever.

Now where was I?

OH RIGHT THE SORT HA HA HA.

So, like I said many paragraphs ago, I did a music sort too! It took a while. The reason I rushed it all today was because leaving Chrome open with a game was causing graphical glitches (among other things, I'm looking at you Steam!) so I wanted to close Chrome...except I had this sort up and if I closed it I wouldn't be able to continue where I Ieft off, so I decided to just do it all at once, get it done. This of course led to many songs I do like quite a bit far lower than they should be due to my stubborn lack of choosing tie, and my tastes being all over the damn place. Also, the first four PC-98 games were sadly excluded because I thought some of the best PC-98 songs were all in Mystic Square. I forgot Mima was a playable character, not a boss in Mystic Square so her theme wouldn't be in it. I also thought Luize was Elly, and confused their themes together. Luize is in Mystic Square, but Bad Apple, the song I wanted, belonged to Elly who was instead in Lotus Land Story. Also other cool songs like Strawberry Crisis were left out as well so those are some unfortunate casualties of this sort. I'm never doing it again; it takes way too long, but I do love those songs. However including Mystic Square made me realize where some remixes came from (I've neeeeever played the PC-98 games ok) and I found other songs that sounded quite good I didn't really listen to much before. Unfortunately one of these was quite the casualty, the stage one theme of Mystic Square called Dream Express. Since I was rushing I was unfortunately judging a lot of songs I didn't know as well on like, the first few seconds of the song so I could move on, but this theme is really damn good. A lot of Touhou songs do have some long intros or take a while to get to the good stuff. This is why Last Remote is ninth. I love Last Remote, but it takes ages to get to the catchy melody part. Meanwhile something like Extend Ash is good the whole way through or Little Princess' lead up fitting really well with the song.

If I listed these songs manually Dream Express would likely be in my top 50 or even top 30 but due to my rushing it is a sad 233rd. -_-

There are a lot of these. I dunno if there are any in particular I still remember, but something like Wriggle's stage theme is really low, or Yukari's IaMP theme is really low, etc. (It didn't read as "Yukari's theme, just Shrine theme or something so it didn't click to me automatically it was Yukari's other theme, so being some random IaMP theme it dropped like a rock). Despite ticking off arranges, there was a particular game that remixed its opening for all the pre-battle themes (or most anyway) which is SWR. Its title theme is remixed from IaMP's title theme and Soku's title theme is remixed off it as well, but wow every damn pre-battle theme being a remix was annoying. I like the song sure but I didn't want a song to be 13 spots lower than it should be because I voted for the title themes and all its remixes to be near the top. (The Soku version is in my top ten; if I had done this my top 20 would be just THIS SONG'S REMIXES D<) so there was that.

Oh and even though no MoF songs made it to my top ten (partly due to casualty) it was by far the hardest game to judge. I love EVERY SINGLE song. Any MoF song not in the top 30 was a casualty. Even though some themes are above others they're pretty much all ties in my heart. There were also songs voted in spite. A prominent one is Sanae's theme, Faith is for the Transient People. You see, Twitch Plays Pokemon recently did a Touhoumon run and Sanae was their starter. Someone suggested doing a remix/mashup of the themes of their six champion Touhoumons, but adamantly deemed Sanae's stage theme as superior, so it ended up in both mashups that existed. The first one that was posted only had the stage theme and not the boss theme and even though I DO AGREE the stage theme is really good and is probably better than the boss theme, I have always associated Sanae with her boss theme because IT IS HER BOSS THEME and it's pretty distinct, so that peeved me off. The second mashup had both, and this was nice. Unfortunately this happened again with MIMA. Apparently Mima's stage theme or second theme or whatever is superior to Reincarnation. No matter how good a theme it might be (I listened to it, it didn't catch on with me at all) REINCARNATION IS A CLASSIC! It's a song I instantly associate Mima with, so I was just full of petty spite at the end and when it came to this sort, though Reincarnation was unfortunately not included I fucking voted for Faith is for the Transient People over Sanae's stage song, BECAUSE FUCK YOU that's what!

I mean I love Nostalgic Blood of the East faaaaaaaaaaar more than Plain Asia for Keine, but if someone uses Plain Asia for Keine instead of Nostalgic Blood I won't mind whatsoever because Plain Asia is her actual boss theme. That is the one associated with Keine the most .It is her theme. Stage themes technically shouldn't even be associated with any character; it's only ZUN trying to set the atmosphere while you kill faeries heading to the next boss. Maybe they can be applied for midbosses that have no other themes, but really.

As for unexpected results, well...IN having three entries to MoF having none in the top ten was a surprise. Of course, I really love Extend Ash and Nostagic Blood, but I underestimated how much I loved Lunatic Princess. Those Princess songs man, they're always so damn good. The problem is MoF and SA both killed each other and themselves when it came time to fight against other games' songs because I love the music from both so bad. Those wonderful years of MoF and SA coming out were imo the pinnacle of Touhou music. While music before then was great and music after is still good, the best came in those years. I love pretty much every song from both their games but MoF does edge out SA.

I've always said Emotional Skyscraper is my favourite Touhou song, but apparently I have eight billion remixes of it on my phone and have heard it too damn much, so it's sadly now fourth. :C

Anyway I should probably post this and not leave it up for a week for when I want to add MORE rants making this even longer. I shall end with a playlist of my apparent top 31 touhou songs according to this sort, just for anybody who can't recognize the song itself from the name. Why is it 31? Because if I made a list of them all no one would listen to it all, not even me! Why 31 in particular? BECAUSE FAITH IS FOR THE TRANSIENT PEOPLE! SPIIIIIIIIITE!!!!!!!!!!!

i cannot

Dec. 4th, 2014 09:11 pm
spotto: (pouty korea)
A huge reason I haven't been posting here is because I like screaming at my screen more than tapping furiously on my keyboard lately.

The only way I can describe the following audio is "seething anger".

I once believed Negima would be the series that enraged me the most and nothing could top it. I could not have been more wrong. I am sorry young past Spotto, you will continue to be naive and continue having false hopes. Things can and will get worse.

There is no reason to be so angry at a topic that in the large scheme of things matter little, so after this I believe I am done. There will be no more ranting, at least on this blog, of this stupid webseries. I want to rant about things I still genuinely love and still have some form of hope in. RWBY is not one of those things. It is no longer fun. I'll probably un-cap my self-restricting spoiler censor on myself about Dangan Ronpa, a series that is actually good. It also has problems, so I can freely rant about it as well without wanting to rip my hair out just before I fling myself off a cliff.

This has been Spotto.


spotto: (Default)
GREETINGS FRIEND BLOG

You know how I, Spotto, routinely post on such things like SORTS, wherein I rank characters from some sort of show or book or what have you and then discuss results on here!? Well, guess what this post is about!

You know how I also routinely post popularity polls on such things from well, popularity polls, and I also discuss results on here? Well, guess if that is also included in this post!

And what fandom is Spotto enamoured with at the moment anyway? Well what else could it be but the very lovely web-series, RWBY. This show is treading on Negima territory in terms of love-hate, but I guess the bright side here is that I actually like the main characters and I'm not clinging to minor characters spewing hatred and anger everywhere at why life is unfair. For today's post, I will not be ranty except maybe about why certain characters aren't as popular as they should be or why I like a specific character moreso now than beforehand or visa-versa, so without further ado here are my results...underneath the cut with the rest of the discussion.

I WONDER WHO I CHOSE FIRST )
spotto: (NUUUUUUUUUUEN~)
I AM WORKING ON THIS AU

IT HAS EIGHT TEN DOCUMENTS WITH IDEAS AND ACTUAL PARTS OF THE STORY SCATTERED ABOUT IN ALL OF THEM

AT LEAST THREE OF THEM ARE COMPLETELY SCRAPPED

THE FIRST DOCUMENT IS DATED NOVEMBER 25th, 2013

I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THIS FOR ALMOST A YEAR AND IDEAS HAVE CHANGED SO DRASTICALLY, BACKSTORIES CHANGED, ROLES SWITCHED AROUND

FOR A FEW MONTHS I ADDED NOTHING TO THIS STORY UNTIL SOME PLOT REVELATIONS GAVE ME IDEAS (what of course it's a fanfic in what world do I ever come up with completely original shit myself?) THOUGH AT THIS POINT I MIGHT AS WELL TURN IT INTO AN ORIGINAL CONSIDERING EXISTING CHARACTERS CAN SOMETIMES LESSEN SUSPENSE

IT TOOK ME EIGHT MONTHS TO INCLUDE LESBIANS 

I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE PUT SO MUCH WORK INTO SOMETHING I PROBABLY WILL NEVER FINISH CONSIDERING I AM WRITING THINGS COMPLETELY OUT OF ORDER 

I HAVE WRITTEN 10K WORDS OF THE FIRST ARC, SCRAPPED A FEW THOUSAND WORDS OF IT PREVIOUSLY AND PROBABLY PUT MORE EFFORT INTO A LONG SCENE IN ARC THREE THAN ANYTHING ELSE EVER

THAT'S RIGHT THERE'S AT LEAST THREE ARCS, PROBABLY FOUR OR MORE, MY MIND IS ALREADY DEVELOPING IDEAS FOR THE FOURTH GODDAMN ARC

SO HELP ME GOD HOW DOES ANYONE PUT IDEAS INTO STORYTELLING WORDS WHEN MY PACING IS SO DAMN SLOW 

I WRITE AT A NOVEL'S PACE BUT I'M TOO IMPATIENT TO ACTUALLY WRITE A NOVEL

WRITING IS HARD WAHHH WAH WAH
spotto: (koi)
The aforementioned Weiss rant to be precise!
 
Actually this will likely be a mishmash of pretty much any topic relating to characters I like. You see recently I've been marathoning a very silly, mindlessly fun cliche show for about a few weeks. No it's not a Nickelodeon sitcom, though I am still bummed that a supposed rift between the two lead actresses of Sam and Cat caused it to end prematurely. In fact the very last episode, Cat was arrested and Sam chose not to help bail her out for her own gain, so she could keep rooming with Cat's grandmother who acts like a mother Sam has never known, since her own mom is a pretty terrible mother. While a terrible ending for a series it's sort of fitting for how the show ended, via a feud between the lead actreses and for the last scene of the series to be a scene wherein a lead character does not help another. A broken friendship ended with a display of bad friendship, alas.
 
I do feel some sense of happiness that the actress for Cat, Ariana Grande, broke into the music scene because I've been watching these Dan Schneider shows for a few years now and Cat has always had the best voice. In the crossover episode between iCarly and Victorious for instance, there's a karaoke party at the end and I wanted everyone to shut up except Cat because her voice was so majestic. It's super awesome she's getting the recognition she deserves. Unfortunately I'm not too big on the R&B genre but one of her songs, Break Free, sounds pretty good regardless of my music tastes. 
 
Anyway back to the point on hand, the cliche show I've been marathoning is actually by a company based in France called Marathon. That's right, I've been numbing my brain with constant Totally Spies episodes these past few days and even gave myself a headache when I watched a whole bunch of the newer episodes in a row due to for some reason the voice actresses' being far more squeaky than usual later on. Now I keep the volume fairly low but that causes me to be unable to hear certain characters like Jerry who has a rather soft-spoken voice. It's sad. 
 
When I watched this nostalgic show back in my adolescence, despite the show representing all things stereotypically girly I truly was entertained by the episodes. I never had a favourite character at the time either, though it may have been Clover back then because if I have no favourite usually the most comedic takes the cake. It's sort of like why I love Venus the most in Sailor Moon, but with Crystal airing that can easily change. Having complained about the terrible romance and the flat male characters in RWBY recently, Totally Spies is a far more serious offender in this department and there are certain mini-arcs where I have to skip a few scenes so the girls would not always be obsessed with some sort of perfect flawless guy. 
 
Yet, having marathoned so many episodes in a row, I don't seem to mind it quite as much as in RWBY. Most probably because the show truly is a whole bunch of mindless stereotypical fun and with the constant influx of cartoonish villains seeking revenge in every episode, it's sort of silly to have high expectations of such a show. On the other hand, RWBY being an internet webshow it has the freedom to do whatever it wants no matter how controversial it might be because of the lack of meddling TV producers what with being, well, a webshow. And yet the most recent episodes we have very safe and annoying cliche tropes that I would usually expect in some sort of mediocre cartoon for children on TV. 
 
But I can only sigh in defeat as it does nothing out of the ordinary despite its unique platform and just hope it improves later on and all the issues I've had with it would dwindle eventually. However the biggest ongoing problem I have with RWBY is Weiss. She is no doubt my favourite character and still is, if only because I don't really like any other character more than her so far, so it seems no matter how strange I find Weiss being she's still better than everyone else. After season one ended, my expectation of Weiss' character was sort of like a female Vegeta. It is an animesque show so I thought expecting animesque writing would be reasonable, but unlike Vegeta who took many years to go from a murdering psychopath to a proud family man, Weiss seems to have drank some bad water between seasons one and two and is now as goofy and dorky as can be in season two. 
 
What the hell happened?
 
An ongoing theme with the characters in RWBY is that a majority, if not all of them are massive dorks. This seems to represent a lot of the people writing the characters. I don't mind dorky characters, but if EVERYONE is a goofy dork no one is unique and it begins feeling very tiresome. This is why when Blake joined along with Ruby and Yang in parading around their room annoying Weiss after moving in, I was extremely surprised. I really expected Blake to be a serious character who had no time for such goofy nonsense, but at least Weiss' exasperation towards their behaviour gave a sense of fresh air. However by season two it seems their roles have reversed, with Blake being the serious one and Weiss having taken up the teambuilding silly mantle. Obviously one can always explain Weiss having gone from the bitchy lady screaming at Ruby for bumping into her luggage to someone standing on a chair calling out Blake for hiding her problems to be character development, but where is this said character development?
 
Aside from episode ten where Port gave her a rousing speech, every time Weiss acts far less confrontational it's more like this is what Weiss truly is rather than she became less confrontational. So rather, the oddity is why Weiss acted like how she did in the beginning at all. It was so refreshing to see someone with such a soft gentle-looking design actually be a ticking time bomb, but if that ticking time bomb is a facade over her true personality which no doubt is also a facade for something else considering her trailer, then who the hell is Weiss? As every episode goes on she feels less and less unique to me and more like every other character with their silly goofy behaviour. This is sort of the opposite of Yang who I expected to be very goofy and silly, but she seems more down to earth and even discouraged Weiss from puns after the episode four fight. Yang for some reason was extremely serious at the end of the fight, but why? She has no personal investment to the conflict like Blake does, and is the one who calms down Blake from going overboard about this issue entirely. In fact she said something equally as silly after the season one episode eight fight, so why the fuck is Yang acting like this too? Is she the only one allowed to make goofy quips at the end of major fights or something?
 
The inconsistency truly baffles me.
 
I almost think Weiss' behaviour is a direct response to some people disliking Weiss initially and they wanted to tone her down. Except they sort of went way overboard and now both Yang and Weiss, not being quite that extreme of a character as I expected instead mesh with the rest of the characters and now they all feel far less interesting than they could have been. The ideas that radiated around the fandom throughout all of this including the long hiatus gave them better character than the show has so far, which has also decided to devote seven episodes to fleshing out a side-character, so my expectations really can't be that high anymore. It's sort of a shame how fandom builds up expectations but the show itself falls flat so very severely. 
 
As an example of Yang feeling inconsistent, she remarks earlier about how she's going to "turn heads" at the dance, and then shows up at the dance in a very conservative plain white dress that looks similar to Weiss'. She then dances with Blake for about a second then is shown observing the dance for the rest of it, so where the hell is that turning head part? She is not in anyway unique or flashy in the dance at all and again meshes with everyone else who all have very similar styles of dress as well. RWBY does a lot of telling but very little showing. The showing often contradicts with the telling as well, like how the creator mentioned that the world of Remnant is not prejudicial to say, the LGBT community but during the dance every guy was hooked up with a girl. If a world is super accepting of this issue then wouldn't people in that minority be very open about their orientation? The only other possible explanation is that they are an extreme minority like sadly a lot of ignorant people seem to think and so they had no representation at a dance. I also hardly think there wouldn't be prejudice considering the continuing issue of hating the faunus which is a very obvious analogy to racial problems in reality.
 
Another example of telling contradicting showing is Ozpin's speech in episode eight, where he talks about accepting and diversity and we see the crowds of the four schools that have gathered for the tournament, and very little if at all faunus are among the crowd. Either hiding one's faunus heritage like Blake does is super common and Velvet's super duper brave, or they aren't there at all. This doesn't even touch the skin colour issue. Obviously making huge crowds takes a long time and a lot of copy pasting is involved, considering a Ruby clone and many Jaune clones are in the crowds, but if you're going to say something and then not even give an example of it during that very speech, there's something seriously wrong with the directing. Whoever is responsible for the crowd scenes must communicate more with the writers and realize there is something seriously amiss with the scenes not matching the writing.
 
But y'know as stereotypical and cliche Totally Spies is, it does some things right. One of the episodes highly regarded as the best in season four of My Little Pony for instance, is Pinkie Pride. Now I do like my fair share of proud characters. Miko is probably one of the most prideful characters I've ever liked and I expected Weiss to have more dignity but she doesn't, so. But to me Pinkie is not an especially prideful character. An episode regarding pride feels more like a Rainbow Dash or even Rarity-type of episode to me instead. Pinkie feels like someone who would always go with the flow so long as it's fun and when Cheese Sandwich showed up probably would've loved him and joined along with him as opposed to feeling jealous and attacked by his presence. That is probably my biggest problem with the episode and why I do not regard it as one of the best unlike so many others. Sure it has a highly acclaimed guest star in Weird Al and has a wondrous amount of tunes, but because of that fact I simply couldn't enjoy the episode as most did.
 
Totally Spies on the other hand also had a similar episode, Alex Quits, where Alex well, quits because a super cool better-person came and made her feel like she was replaced. This time the issue isn't because of pride, but because Alex's character involves having low self-esteem. She is of the three most often bullied or considered the most uncool, and later on it is established despite her prowess in athletics, a rather clumsy person. So when she screws up and someone else appears much more capable, she quits. Now an episode similar like that for Pinkie Pride may have been more fitting. Pinkie, as evidenced from say, Party of One, goes ballistic when it feels like she is unneeded. She does seem like, despite her initial appearance, someone who is very fragile in terms of self-esteem. Instead of pride, the episode could've been something often only showcased with someone like Fluttershy (but her's is so damn obvious and in-your-face about Fluttershy's esteem issues) and would've fit Pinkie more than the pride thing. The ending was good though, in that she realizes her pride-that-came-out-of-nowhere was not fun at all and goes against everything she stands for, so she decides to leave Ponyville because she feels unneeded. 
 
The episode could have also been about attention because Pinkie is a major attention whore, but pride seemed like the least fitting theme. Despite the issues this episode was one of, if not the best, key-discovering episodes, so whatever. (That speaks more for how much I disliked the key episodes more than anything though) 
 
Anyway seeing as I am marathoning Totally Spies I guess it makes sense to actually talk about it instead of just using examples to explain other show's problems. Clover may have been my favourite when I first watched the show, but while watching through it again now Alex is my favourite. Hell, I subconsciously watched most of the Alex episodes first and when I started going through the episodes in order I was sort of bored because I watched all the "good episodes" already and then suddenly realized a majority of the good episodes were Alex episodes, ha. The whole boy-crazy thing doesn't bother me as much as it could have so long as the boy in question is a quirky character who enhances the comedic value of the episode as opposed to like, this David guy who showed up for several episodes in season two (or three? I forget) and was pretty much bland and picture-perfect and the girls were all fighting over him. That was annoying. 
 
Another semi-annoying thing is Alex's voice, her new voice in particular. It isn't too bad and is fitting, to be honest, but she ends up with the highest voice and in the later seasons with everyone getting more screechy, her high voice is obviously the worst. I sort of miss Alex's first voice which was more unique and sort of charming, but her new voice is actually dub Sailor Mars which is somewhat amusing. Also Mandy's voice actress (who also happens to be Sam's) is Princess Morbucks from Powerpuff Girls. They have the EXACT same voice but I never realized this until it was pointed out. Mandy sounds EXACTLY the same as Princess Morbucks what the fuck. It feels so weird that I never realized this on my own. 
 
But I think the biggest reason I watch the show is the female friendship. Ah how I love female friendships. It's why I got into RWBY, aside from the obvious Weiss. I was sort of expecting some goddamn girl friendships, but instead of being friends and hanging together at the dance like most girls would including when I hung out with MY friends at MY high school dances, they were all separate people who felt like they hung around with each other only for business and not friendship. It is such a shame that Sam and Cat, a very strong awesome female friendship, was a show ended on a real-life broken friendship. EVERYTHING REVOLVES AROUND GIRLS AND THEIR FRIENDSHIP! GIRLS AND FRIENDSHIP HOORAY
 
It's probably why I watch so many damn cartoons and shows for kids. There isn't much girl friendship in adult shows, where there's more romance and dark themes like...murder and drugs and sexual issues and blah. Ah well.
 
In fact, here is an example. I have numerous NUMEROUS pictures plastered all over my wall of various fandoms. In almost all the fandoms there is at least one picture of two characters or more hugging or being friendly with one another. Koishi jumping into her sister Satori's arms. Yuuna wrapping her arms around Ako. Pinkie and Fluttershy hugging and thanking one another like a greeting card. Miko and Byakuren, a duo I love for their love-hate (mostly hate) relationship, are leaning on one another, one asleep. Murasa and Nue holding both hands together in a colourful watercolour picture. Sayo clinging onto Kazumi's shoulders in shyness. Mokou embracing Keine with the most heartwarming smiles ever. Hell even the boys, there's Rei and Max feeding one another (this is much more yaoi than friendship lol) and a kid Korea giving a kid HK a peck on the cheek. Guess what the RWBY pictures are? Just pretty pictures of the four girls posing. THAT'S IT.
 
Yes there are numerous numerous NUMEROUS fanarts of friendship between the RWBY girls, but the ones I chose to plaster on my walls wasn't of that because it hadn't been showcased very often in show and and most high quality fanart tends to be of stuff off the show. There are a few fanarts of friendship among then I may put on the wall instead, just so my room would have some sort of complete theming (aside from the GTA V Achievement Hunter poster that implies they want to kill each other of course) but I don't feel like plastering RWBY on my walls anymore because of how disappointed I am in the show. (Even if I still want a goddamn Weiss plushie. That expression is perfect! D: ) 
 
Also I sort of want Ibuki on my wall but she'd probably either be alone or with her entire class. I'm still unsure/mad/annoyed/glad that <SPOILER REDACTED> so Ibuki can't really be with anyone. Oh well, she will forever (at least until something else comes around) adorn my phone's lock and home screens. (Mokou and Keine still claim my desktop/laptop wallpapers however) Ibuki is the best, least disappointing character I have ever liked, but sadly the flaws lie in other places such as <SPOILER REDACTED> and <SPOILER REDACTED>. Goddamnit Ibuki.
 
Maybe after I'm done with this marathon I'll check if any Totally Spies fandom still exists, especially since the sixth season aired last year. Then again I'll probably run into weird porn and strange fetishes instead. This show seems to attract these types of people. IT'S POKEMON X&Y HEX MANIAC SYNDROME ALL OVER AGAIN! WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU, HEX MANIAC!?!? 
 
This has been Spotto, please don't look up Hex Maniac fanart.
spotto: (Default)
It is of no secret that the recent episodes of RWBY have been terribly underwhelming for me. Instead of being excited for Thursdays every week, I instead feel rather tense, anxious of what the episode may do to canon. I feel like every week that goes by something worse will either completely contradict established canon or a beloved character will act in such a way that makes utterly no sense to what we have been shown so far. In other words, I dread RWBY every week now because I truly don't want to see the bad writing get even worse. 
 
And the only reason I feel that way is because the phrase "It can't possibly get any worse!" seems to be proven wrong over and over again, and now any optimism I've had for this series has vanished into an unease. Whenever a new episode comes out, it's a slim hope that the episode will be good beyond just interesting and badass fight scenes, a slim hope that they don't ruin what I somehow liked earlier. Perhaps what I envisioned the show to be like was much more different from the creators or writers, but it seems to have deviated to such great extent I can't really explain it in anyway aside from poor writing.
 
Back in season one there were noticeable detractors of the show. A particular anime reviewer I occasionally watched bashed RWBY beyond levels of mere dislike. They were offended at the very existence of this show. That something with admittedly poor animation and poor pacing could drive such levels of hype, merely on the concept of the wonderful designs,  remarkable choreography, and excellent music. My reasoning for sticking around and seeing how this show would turn out was simple, potential.
 
Of course bias is always there, it always will be. The moment my eyes fell upon the White Trailer I was hooked. The music though did not have the greatest of lyrics, still reverberated with me. It was as if the soundtrack for this trailer matched perfectly for this scenes and matched perfectly for this mysterious character we were all just introduced to. I was fascinated. Whoever this Weiss Schnee was, I was already a fan.
 
But then the first few signs of trouble began. When the Black and Yellow trailers came out, there were a lot of people who questioned the voice acting. Well, Roosterteeth is known to hire their own employees to act and voice-act, which is a take-it or leave-it kind of thing. There are certain employees you wonder why they hadn't taken an alternate career in acting instead, and others who obviously fit more in their job titles, whatever vague title it may be. Sometimes RT hires actual actors, who may already work on the show in some way or have previously, with a similar job, say voice-acting in RvB, but the audience can obviously hear their experience in their work. A good example is Agent Washington and Ozpin or Locus and Roman Torchwick, the latter which I definitely know is a veteran voice actor.
 
At first you can chalk it up to the inexperience of many of the voice actors, but when someone who sounded fine as Agent Carolina in RvB started off sounding so robotic or stiff as Pyrrha, it feels to me that it's more like a problem of voice direction. I don't even know if there is a voice director. From some clips of the voice actresses doing their jobs however, it seems like the writers share the same job as a voice director, what with having written the show and all. So in a way you could argue that the voice-acting quality could lead back to the writing quality.
 
Ah yes, then the show itself began. It starts off fairly predictably. There's a fight scene; the main character's a badass; the villain is sketchy and got away, oh look mysterious lady! The plot kicks off and suddenly Ruby Rose, our young and optimistic protagonist, is shuffled off to Beacon! We get to see Ruby's sister, Yang as well because it would be weird for them to travel to their new school separately, what with being siblings. Otherwise no other protagonist is introduced in this episode until later, which is fitting because the first episode usually is reserved for our focus, the main.
 
Wait who's this?
 
A young blonde who is throwing up on the ship. That doesn't sound like a huntsman-to-be to me, what with the acrobatic feats required to fight as we saw from Ruby and the trailers before! But it is strange isn't it, how a non-villain non-faculty supporting-type character is also introduced in the very first episode, when all we had was Ruby and a mandatory Yang. He certainly wasn't in the trailers, though he did have a bit of a role in the opening so maybe he'll have a subplot among the plot and the intra-personal relationships among team RWBY, right?
 
BOOM. Seven episodes devoted solely to him in the first two seasons entirely unrelated to the main plot.
 
What the fuck?
 
No seriously, what the fuck?
 
Seven episodes unrelated to the main plot, when the first two seasons run a total of three or four hours or so? Seven episodes out of a total of twenty-eight? You get about twenty-one remaining and even if you divided all that among team RWBY, not only is it less than seven, the rest of the show has to be devoted to ACTUAL PLOT, not character development so a majority of the remaining episodes aren't specifically about any of the title characters at all!
 
Well that explains why he showed up in episode one, before Weiss and Blake, the other title characters. We already know his importance in the hierarchy of characters. Ruby and then Jaune because plot-related reasons forced Yang to show up early, leaving Blake as the final introduced member of the four. This never bothered me at first, even when we went through the month of the Jaune bullying-arc. I for some reason, with absolutely zero basis, assumed that each of the team JNPR members would get a few episodes every season devoted to themselves. Since Jaune is team leader, he's first up! The leaked opening of season two focusing especially on Pyrrha seemed to support my theory, so after that we'd get about 2-3 episodes devoted to Pyrrha and maybe season three will have Ren or Nora! 
 
Now season two isn't over yet, so maybe the next few episodes will actually focus on Pyrrha as a character and not as a love interest, but pile Pyrrha's arc on top of yet another Jaune arc and suddenly there's even less episodes for not only plot, but for oh...I don't know, OUR TITLE CHARACTERS? When we've been spoon-fed Jaune's backstory of how he cheated his way into the school and now how he must overcome his romantic life, or lack there-of, meanwhile we get a tiny tidbit of Weiss' family life which we previously only could assume from her character and from a scrapped early version of the opening, an exposition dump of Yang and Ruby's backstory which only showed up thanks to the main plot, and a whole bunch of Blake which is also thanks to the main plot due to the White Fang being bad guys or manipulated by the bad guys for whatever reason.
 
So what have we established so far then? Team RWBY's role is to do the fighting and advance the plot. Team JNPR's role is to introduce cliche high school tropes all revolving around Jaune himself. I mean even in team RWBY, a lot of the plot seems to revolve around Blake so far and not Ruby because of the nature of the plot, while JNPR is purely to stroke Jaune's ego or something because we HAVE To establish how some guy who can't fight well at all got into the top combat school and then HAVE to establish a date for him at the dance because if we didn't, Cinder could not possibly knit her catsuit or infiltrate the communications system! WHATEVER WOULD WE DO!? 
 
It's very sad that RWBY is shoehorned in such a role. I mean obviously fighting and plot would follow our so-called main characters but when the show is named after the TEAM name and not like a specific character, it's not really all that much of a stretch to assume these four girls would develop friendships and teamwork among one another. What do we have so far you ask? We got to the point where say, Weiss or Blake had to be convinced or forced to START interacting/working with their team, but we never see the interacting and team-building itself. Wouldn't it have been amazing to see how much Weiss has warmed up to Ruby, by giving us a glimpse of how they came up with those very shippy attack formations? Nope, that part isn't important at all!
 
And even at this dance, we have four girls who are presumably friends. Friends who support one another as we can see from Yang slapping some sense into Blake so she'd actually attend the dance, which everyone is completely fine with. There isn't a single person who might not enjoy dances or might be too introverted or serious to skip out or anything. Everyone conforms with the cliche high school drama standards and our only comeuppance is a joke about Ruby and Sun disliking their formal wear. Anyway these so-called friends leave their perhaps heartbroken (do we know for sure? No! Because god forbid we see the point-of-view of a main character!) other friend all alone, sitting there, not dancing at all. Both Yang and Ruby are at the balcony staring at this entire event, doing nothing of the sort to give Weiss company or anything like that. The only person that could cheer up Weiss is a boy! Only the guy she asked out can cheer her up or be with her!
 
I mean from the background shots of the constantly dancing teens, everybody is super-glued next to their dates and are FORBIDDEN, likely from Ozpin misunderstanding how adolescence works, from ever leaving their dates' sides! BECAUSE IF THEY DO THE DANCE WOULDN'T BE FUN, would it? Oh wait, but here's a shot of Weiss talking to some random dude. Now, if she were so heartbroken why is she mingling with the guests, strangers mind you and not even her so-called friends, so well? Is it because he's the opposite sex and is therefore asking a member of the other gender to dance with him at this very mandatory event? Is that the only reason they are talking!?
 
Who fucking knows, we never get to see Weiss' point-of-view even once. We don't get to see her side of the story. The fact that we see nothing from a main character's view at what I assume is supposed to be an important arc, and solely from Jaune/Neptune's point of view really shows me the priorities this damn show has. All we know is Weiss is a bitch and that's why she turns down people. Oh, she mentioned a reasoning for her never accepting dates due to people only being after her name, but that's all we're told. We're never shown the emotions or what is underneath the cold exterior that is Weiss Schnee. All we can do is assume and glean from the subtle tiny little crumbs while Jaune's sobstory is plastered all over our faces. And because we get nothing on Weiss' side and only Jaune's side, all we can assume as an audience is that Weiss is wrong. Because if a guy asks you out on a date and you say no, that is wrong.
 
Because a show starring four girls can't have a show about four girls being friends or anything, or if high school dramas must exist, can't give us the perspective of the girls or anything despite these same girls being the main characters. Who the hell is the demographic of this show!? I assumed with four girls as the lead a lot of girls would flock to the show for some awesome badass role models, but from these many episodes of Jaune it's like the writer is still writing for the general teenage boy audience of Roosterteeth, which isn't all that surprising sadly.
 
And it's so disappointing because I enjoy Red Vs. Blue, I enjoy Achievement Hunter and I enjoy all these other shows despite not being the target demographic. The moment I think something is actually aimed at me, it isn't. Even when the main four characters are girls. Their role is just to fight, be eyecandy as they fight, and advance the main plot. The only reason Yang had to get Blake away from worrying herself to death isn't because they're friends, god forbid that. It's because they're a team and if they don't stay relatively healthy mentally and physically their team will suffer. You know why I can say that so easily? Because what beyond that scene was there any evidence that those two girls have acted as friends and not just as members of a combat team fighting monsters in a combat school? So many Bumblebee fans rejoiced because FINALLY, the two girls who ended up partners did SOMETHING together. It only took two seasons and one-and-a-half Jaune arcs to get to that point!
 
This has been Spotto, stuck on the runaway trainwreck that is RWBY, and if I try to fling myself off I'll die. 

do not get me started on what they've done to Weiss, that is a rant for another day

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