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I've talked to friends and read many posts about what is most important in their life. What matters to them the most; what truly resonates with their soul. A major one I see a lot from friends, internet, and society in  general since it's been a large issue for years and years is sexuality. The debate and fight to get gay marriage passed and the neverending plight to stop discrimination and hate that comes back the other way. There are other major social issues that I see over and over again as well since no matter how good it may seem on the surface compared to so many years ago, something like racial tension will always be around, lurking underneath an innocent exterior or blown right up and smashed into your face if someone massively influential happens to promote it. (We all know who I'm referring to here) Regardless, there are lot of these kinds of thing that people are very passionate about, and very passionate about making them right, making them better.

I have the fortune of not having much attachment to those kind of issues due to not running into much conflict. I guess the word a lot of people use is privilege. For instance, though I am Asian, specifically Chinese, not only do I not run into much racism at least as much as some of my other Asian peers is because I take up the majority of the Asian populace (that or Indian, I'm not entirely sure who has more population at the moment) and I happened to grow up in an incredibly multicultural neighbourhood. My area was so diverse, that there were more Asian people in my high school than white people. White people were the minority. I never really got flak for my race as I grew up. so I never was as passionate as many other less fortunate folk in terms of fighting it, and thus cannot understand to quite their degree their plights. 

I also have the fortune of living in a very liberal city, but not only that, growing up in a family where my brother came out as gay. Although the fallout of that with my family itself was not pleasant, I learned early on that there was no reason whatsoever to be bigoted to people who prefer one sex to another. I learned very early on thanks to my environment that people can like whoever they please and that's seriously not even the in the top ten of issues we should even be concerned about, but we have to because bigots will always exist and always discriminate. In a perfect world you would think most if not all people would be focused on issues affecting the entirety of the human race, such as global warming and its impact on humanity and their quality of life, or helping out those escaping from war-torn authoritarian countries. No, there's still this major debate that people need to care about who people love, and there's still this major debate about racism and sexism and all these other hot-topics that if we were all decent people would in a utopian society would not even be in a blip in our radar, yet here we are.

And it is an important fight that will likely be endless, but that isn't a reason to never fight, for if we never do, we will never improve. Many wonderful. outstanding individuals over many years have progressed us to where we are today, where slavery in its most traditional sense anyway, is no more in many countries, and everyone above a certain age can vote. Still, as important as these issues are, what really resonates with my soul and frankly in the large scheme of things isn't nearly as important as these issues is friendship.

Yet due to how I grew up, it has affected me very deeply. It's impacted who I am, what I like, who I befriend. It shapes my personality, my attitude, and my perspective. I don't think I've yet to run into anyone who is as moulded by this desire for friendship as much as I have, but again I don't know other people inside and out, so I can't be entirely one-hundred-percent sure. When I was very young. I was this small Asian girl about to start school. I remember how small I was because not only were there photos, but because for the entirety of elementary school and even middle school, I was the smallest person in class, bar none. It's possible I forgot a year where I wasn't and happened to be slightly taller than some other student who didn't stick around the school for long, but for most of it all I was the smallest. It's not hard to forget either. I remember one of my gym teachers referring to me and my other smol brethren as munchkins, and my best friend I made in primary school to this day had always nicknamed me shrimp. I am small, and people will not let me forget.

Before I continue let me repeat that I do have the memory of a goldfish, and for whatever sadistic reason it is in human nature for us to be more likely to remember the unpleasant memories over the good ones. Or it's possible I had a miserable childhood, but whatever the case, when I was in kindergarten I only remember making this one friend. We weren't that close since I don't even remember his name, and I don't consider him the first friend I made, since a kid and their family moved into the basement suite we rented out and she became my very very first friend. Still, due to that girl being two years my junior the first friend I made in school was this boy. My single memory of our friendship me as a young child crying uncontrollably hidden under the biggest, very much unsafe slide we had at the playground, and this boy who I assume was probably responsible felt bad and was trying to apologize or cheer me up in some way. I don't recall how. I only recall that it didn't work. He had to stay behind a year for whatever reason my smol child mind could not comprehend, and I moved onto the first grade.

The only thing I remember in all of first grade is that our school was so small some classes did not even have their own classroom. In first grade my classroom was in the gymnasium. That's it. That's all I remember. (In fourth grade my class was in a library until the portable classrooms were finished construction and then we moved there. There was another grade, probably second that was also in the portable classrooms, but I think we also had a legitimate classroom at one point too, so my memory is faint. Only reason I remember this is because I distinctly remember being super excited to have a Gameboy Colour of my very own with a copy of Pokemon Blue. I guess I made out my new fun toy to be too fun because someone stole it from my backpack not very long after. I never saw it again. D<)

Second grade though was when my friend who lived downstairs started school, and unlike me who made that one kid friend and her as a friend she found a clique right away. Unfortunately being different grades causes problems because she'd bond with these other kindergarteners, and I was two years older and then though I was her friend, she'd rather be with these other similarly aged peers. I remember this one time one of her friends had a birthday party, and I was upset because I wasn't invited. Of course I wasn't invited because I wasn't really close to her friend, but I thought since I was her friend and this clique was like, three people outside of me that we could get to all be friends or whatever and it wouldn't be bad if I joined them too. Or in other words I begged my friend's friend to invite me too, and it it worked, but I really wish I didn't do that, or at least it didn't work because that whole party ended up being very awkward. Still, that friend of mine who had this clique was still my friend probably due to our proximity of living spaces, so the year went by.

Third grade luckily I made a friend but the evils that were DIFFERENT GRADES continued because this friend was in the fourth grade. For whatever inane reason the school had this one BIG KID area reversed for ONLY the fourth grade kids. Keep in mind I was in a very small school, and it was called an Annex so it only went up to the fourth grade until you were shuffled over to a full-fledged big Elementary school that went from kindergarten to seventh grade. Some areas in the country, and well the world have a thing called middle school, which we didn't really have in my area, but that second elementary school was pretty much my middle school so when we get to that part I'm just gonna call it middle school anyway. Now obviously my fourth grade friend would of course want to be in this big kid area. All the other big kids were there. It was the cool thing to do, and hanging out with a friend a year younger than you may lead to kids making fun of you or looking down on you for not being in the cool reserved big kids area. I may never know my friend's reasoning, but she was my best friend this year. I never called the kid that had a clique my best friend, but I always referred to her as my first friend and someone I was close to. Third grade was the worst year of this school for me. My lack of any friends in my own grade was quite a disadvantage and this was the first year I experienced everyone's favourite past time in school, BULLYING! I also had the meanest teacher of all time in this year, and remember several times crying during the year of suffering.

Pull a seat and grab a cup of tea because I may be stuck in third grade for a while. During this tremulous year, I was one of two kids that caught head lice. Unlike the other kid who only had a little and thus, was probably caught from me, I had head lice all over my head. I had to have treatment and my hair cut quite short. This one girl bulled me relentlessly for this short hair. And I 100% know I am cis because despite being a super tomboy I seem to be very passionate about letting people know I was not a boy. I do not look like a boy. Fuck you for calling me a boy. Go the fuck to hell. This was not the first time this happened. For you see, I actually had a few friends outside of school that lived on my street. I had this older female friend likely already in middle school, and this boy a year younger than me who introduced me to THE NINTENDO 64 HOLY FUCK. We spent a lot of time bike-riding and playing video games. I am blessed to have spent time outdoors for my early childhood because let me tell ya the moment I got a computer and access to the internet the outside was a long gone memory. Anyway when that older female friend found out I had this friend who was a boy, all hell broke loose. She had this insane concept that boys and girls could not be friends. PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND. THIS IS AN ONGOING THEME. And told me if I did not de-friend this boy this instant, she would de-friend me. To make matters worse, she said the fact that I HAD a friend that was male meant I was TURNING INTO A BOY. I ran off crying. My dumb smol child brain believed that I was turning into a boy because of this, but also being one that is a dumb smol child, instead of defending my male friend or staying with that female friend I stopped hanging out with the both of them entirely. I lost two friends because of this stupid concept. That male friend of mine was probably super upset too, that poor child. However the best part of this terrible little incident is my very first friend came and comforted me while I was crying. 

And this whole choose one or the other kind of thing did not stop there. My best friend in school in the fourth grade and I also made this other friend as well. Now this may be relevant, but my best friend was white, and this new friend was native. So even though it seemed like we hung out with one another (we ate lunch together, I think?) my best friend would constantly bully my native friend. This was odd because I was not that close to the native friend. I'm quite sure it was my best friend that befriended her anyway. Or "befriended" I should say, but being the dumb smol child that I was, I did not defend my native friend. That's just as bad as doing the bullying yourself, but I guess at this point I wasn't willing to be assertive or helpful whatsoever because it's quite clear I have this desperation for friendship, and I'd do anything not to rock the boat and lose anymore friends. If given the choice to defend the poor kid being picked on or staying friends with the alpha female, my choice was to do nothing. Because I didn't want to invite more conflict. I feel pretty bad about those kids I did not defend though. I was not a strong person.

Finally, this friend I wanted to stay my best friend moved pretty much after the third grade. I was only friends with her for one year, and I did not help this other friend of ours, and it was all just sort of pointless now that I thought about it, how much I wanted to stay friends with her due to my inaction and thus enabling of her behaviour but perhaps if I did defend that third friend we would be friends instead. Even so that was not the worst part of this year. The teacher making me cry in front of my dad who berated me as I cried was not the worst part of this year. The losing of two friends due to an ultimatum was not the worst part of this year. Being horribly bullied by this girl with head lice was not the worst part of this year. I had a fallout with my very first friend. I felt like she was bossing me around and I was just letting her, and being submissive so I don't lose her as a friend and so did whatever she wanted, whatever she said. I don't recall what exactly caused us to fight, but I stood up for myself for the very first time and it blew up, and this first friend of mine stopped being my friend. We had this feud, this grudge. Every time I walked by she would turn her head and huff, and to have lost all my friends in the span of one year, including my first was a crippling blow. It only further fueled my desperation for friendship, but not only friendship. True friendship. It's not as if this first friend was terrible or toxic because I do remember the fond memory of her supporting me when I was crying, but well, the moment I tried to be independent, or how I felt like I was being bossed around was the moment I lost her.

Anyway I fucking hated third grade, but yay for fourth grade! I may have entered it friendless, but there was this new kid in class. And we became friends pretty much the moment I met her, and she was the one who always called me shrimp and stuff. Unlike all these other friends who were all different grades, weren't even in my school and of different ages, and not someone I clung to or put on a pedestal or whatever, this friend was my peer of my same grade, and she would pick on me a lot. But friendly picking. Like, the first friend where we can make jabs at each other and not step around egg shells. She has been my friend since fourth grade and is still my friend. Of course at this point I was sort of broken, like friendship is SUCH A HUGE ISSUE FOR ME NOW that it eclipsed everything else. Most people would say the point of school is not only for academics but also to become socially intelligent as the years go by. How to treat other people, how to make friends, all that stuff that is healthy for the human psyche. Yet I put all my buns in that second basket, and so my grades were always average except that one weird year I was top of the class for math somehow. I felt like the KING OF THE WORLD and was DESTINED TO BECOME A DOCTOR, but I digress. For anyone reading who knows of my planned trip to California next year, this friend, also known as Tofumold or some other food-related name will be coming with me. However she has never been an affectionate person and doesn't have this friendship complex like I do, so I started having these expectations like "I wish I had friends that would hug me! Because on TV friends hug!" and other such things. She doesn't do that. So while she is my very best friend since childhood, my years of struggle with friendship before this year gave me these humongous expectations to find these ideal friends cartoons like to feed me. Who are these perfect friends that are always on television!?

Also at the same time all this regular grade school stuff was happening, I was enrolled in a Chinese school that took place every Saturday since I was four before I even started regular school. I never made a single friend in this school. I was extremely bitter about this, and though I mentioned being bullied in third grade, the first time I was actually bullied was when I was four by other fellow four-to-five year olds. Like what the fuck? Kids still have souls at this age do they not!? Anyway my lack of friends gave me an incredible lack of motivation to do anything at this school let alone learn, and I was a pretty terrible student. Around tenth grade I outright refused to go back to the school, I was so fed up. In hindsight the idea of being in this school to retain my knowledge of my own native language was very important because of how many people that spoke the language and lived in the area, but I also understand why I never retained it and never managed to learn much of anything. My mindset was so stuck on this whole friendship thing, this thing I wanted so much but struggled so hard to obtain and when I did, to keep, and if I did keep was it even sincere in the first place? This insecurity struck with me my entire school life, and its remnants still remain with me to this day.

So anyway fifth grade came around, we were off to a new school to the wonderful experience that is middle school. Or the years of my school where douchebaggery was highly contagious and infected most if not everyone including myself. Bullies everywhere! IT'S TRUE! MIDDLE SCHOOLERS ARE SOULLESS HUSKS OF A HUMAN BEING! In an effort to not be at the bottom of the social ladder with my friend, there was this probably mentally handicapped kid with a speech impediment that everyone made fun of. We were not exceptions and it was not a proud moment of my life, but just like all the other times of inaction and trying to be with the majority to not stand out and all that kind of jazz it was a thing I did. School feels like this whole dominance kind of thing where followers will always look towards the strongest alpha student, follow their ways to not be seen as weak and thus be picked on by the populace. It's like survival of the fittest; savage animals trying to stay alive. That's why bullying is such a difficult issue to solve, and sometimes the only way to fix it isn't any sort of the safe, peaceful methods the faculty or parents always attempt, like ignoring the bully or telling a teacher or whatever. Those never work. The only time I've seen someone successfully fend off a bully was to stand up for themselves and punch them back, even if they are also suspended or even the only one suspended because of how backwards school rules are. My god, school is like prison. I've always heard to earn respect or to keep yourself from being a target is even if someone fights you, you must fight back. You can't run to a prison guard or try to hide or anything of the like. Even if you lose the fight horribly, as long as you stand up for yourself people will respect you. THAT'S SCHOOL. Can't tell a teacher, can't be a snitch! You're gonna get punished for being in the fight regardless of who initiated! AND YOU WILL BE BEAT UP ANYWAY. Survival of the fittest everyone.

Around this same time I made some friends! Yay! A few female friends and people I even invited to a birthday party. I even had this silly game I had with one of them where we'd grapple our hands and try to push each other like we were sumo wrestling or whatever. I remember fond memories of eating dried noodles from its package and people playing Pokemon cards, Yu-Gi-Oh, and soon even Beyblade. The trends were here! Of course during said birthday party all hell broke loose. I'm being melodramatic probably, but I'm pretty sure I cried at most of my birthday parties. Or at least was not particularly happy about them. Maybe I'm just a sensitive little bitch, who knows. But the one year I remember this being very warranted. One friend I made was like another one of these alpha females. I don't know why I keep calling them this, but it's like this one girl I befriend who is bossy and I always listen to and such. They command the room. They are the leader. Anyway I have this male cousin of mine, two years junior who I was very close to over the years. The markup of my family tree is sort of complicated but essentially we were the only people in our family of similar age, and everyone else was either just being born, or was not born, or was way older than us (including my brother who is over seven years my senior) so I became fast friends with him and he is a huge influence of my life. He introduced me to LF2 and Negima a few years down the line (attempted to introduce me to Re:Zero but after the debacle that was Negima I learned better >_>) He also had like every game console in existence. I remember playing games on his PS Classic like Worms and Gundam, on his PS2, his PS3, his PS4, his Nintendo 64, his Gamecube. He introduced me to Smash and is just as passionate about it as Souless is. (He once brought a CRT TV to a BOAT so he could play Melee properly with his friends. On a boat. Like don't even get on a boat to be on a boat, go on it to play Melee! To be  fair his father was a fisherman so he probably had been on boats most of his life, but still!) I also got him to play Soldat for a few years. It was nice.

So yeah, when this happened a fucking third time, there was no longer inaction or fear of losing a friend. Because my alpha female friend I had made this year was appalled that I had this male cousin who was my friend. She was like NO BOYS ALLOWED! She and the other (female) friends I had invited to the party locked themselves in MY OWN ROOM declaring it a BOY-FREE ZONE, and instead of joining them all I was outside the door with my cousin who was crying. FUCK. THESE. PEOPLE. This was MY birthday party. That was MY room. And this was MY cousin who I had been close to for YEARS! I didn't care that ALL OF MY FRIENDS were in there with her. I STAYED WITH MY COUSIN. I was so angry! I was so appalled. WHY IS THIS CONCEPT OF MALES AND FEMALES BEING FRIENDS SO TERRIBLE? We were EVEN related! I don't even! Holy fucking shit! 

And you know what? I defended my cousin and didn't lose any of my friends. Not even my alpha female friend.

Of course she moved away a year later. If it had gone down similarly to previous incidents, I may have lost friends and then the one I would have kept would have moved away anyway. I avoided this happening a second time by defending my cousin. We also made some male friends at school we'd play a form of tag with all the time, but we were always the ones chasing them so I assume no one wanted to pick that role and we were willing to be the sharks to try to eat them because we were not particularly high on the social ladder at school. I remember very little of sixth grade aside from not being fond of the teacher, but outside of school it was around this time my first friend moved away and another kid, a boy a few years my junior moved in. We became fast friends, played LF2 and NHL 97, and for a brief period of time this other kid in the neighbourhood played those games with us too. This was also around the time I got my first hamster, and I think I influenced HIS life quite a bit because we really enjoyed manhandling these hamsters (I know better now, lol. Imagine if my parents had any presence in my life during these times of turmoil how different this would all be) and when he finally moved like 90% of my friends do he got himself his own hamster. I got a boy to like hamsters. Cute. He also played Beyblades with me and it seems like though I struggle to keep female friends, I always find similar hobbies and interests with this guy friends and always actually DO stuff together. This never seemed to be the case with most of my female friends. Luckily my very best friend also enjoyed video games, so there was that to bond over. Alas I do not remember much else of this year, so moving on to the seventh grade which i do remember quite a bit.

During this year, we made friends with these two boys that sat at our same table. I actually knew one of the boys for a long time to the point that my family would be like "OH IT'S SPOTTO'S BOYFRIEND!1!" playfully or whatever, but only became friends this year. What's amusing to me is that the OTHER boy actually confessed to my best friend at the end of the year. She didn't recuperate, but that's sort of interesting. I only stayed friends with the boys, but one thing that truly touched me is on my birthday I was given this sketch of myself with a little doggy (because I loved dogs a lot!) and balloons everywhere out of the whim. I still have that drawing on my wall to this day and it is my favourite birthday present ever. I did not have to invite him to my birthday party to get a present. He just did it just because. I wonder if he too liked me beyond friends, but idk. I was still struggling with friendship and my brain was wired that boys and girls could be friends that I never really thought about romance whatsoever. I was a smol child with a smol child brain. Pretty sure I still have a smol child brain now too. 

Anyway it was a generally happy year except that one time I threw up in front of the class during quiet time and got relentlessly picked up by this asshole jock. I also remember this year (or was it the last?) where the popular girl made me do her homework. YAY MIDDLE SCHOOL! But still, I had close reliable friends who I didn't feel like were just friends just because, but people who really cared about me. This was the year I was king of math. Is there a particular reason for that? I don't know. But I think I do better in academics when I'm not flailing about drowning trying to make friends. For once in my life, I felt stable. I had a good friendship with the boy that lived downstairs, and spent lots of time with him and this other kid. I was friends with the kids at my table. My best friend was still here. This was not a year where I yearned for friendship. I had it.

Then everything changed when high school attacked. 

Luckily me and my best friend went to the same high school but due to where our school was located and where people lived, basically everyone at our grade split off to four different high schools. I never saw those boys again. In high school we did end up making some friends... all female. it was a very large clique with say 8-10 people, but due to my everlasting status of being near the bottom of the social ladder and my friendship complex, me and my best friend were not anywhere close to alpha female position, let's just say. I had this desire to make more friends, but CLOSE friends just like with my best friend. But in a clique there's usually even more inner cliques. Two girls will be best friends and do all the stuff together. Same with these other two girls. I came into this clique with my own best friend already, but we weren't all in the same classes ALL the time. And these friends of mine were closer to these other girls probably because they didn't put each other on pedestals or have clingy friendship complexes, so it was difficult to really grow close. I liked the girls that were nicer to me and such, but even then. It was also at this time my time on the internet went on a rise and I found friends online. Online friends who shared VERY close interests to mine since we could communicate over long distances and I didn't know anyone in my school with very similar interests. Due to such, I grew much more closer to these internet friends. I think the most significant of these were the BIFF. Today, only two of the BIFF remain but they have become ultra close friends with me especially Akira, and now I've learned that best friends are few and far between, but will always be there with you. It's not all about having sixty thousand friends and expecting them to all be as devoted as the few.

Akira is the other friend coming down to SFO with me! Let me talk about the internet friends too! We all bonded over Beyblade. Obviously no female friend of mine in high school gave two shits about Beyblade, so the internet was all I could turn to. Unfortunately my best friend who I do share interests with we always sort of miss that interest by a few steps. Like how she prefers RPGs and I prefer shooters, or how she likes Yu-Gi-Oh and I liked Beyblade. We were close! SIMILAR GENRES EVEN, but no cigar! Only the internet could solve this everlasting problem, and solve it did! I began writing stupid stories on crack about Beyblade characters and made friends in the fanfiction community. I had been writing as a hobby since I was like nine on my brother's ancient laptop, so it was not unfamiliar territory for me. Since making friends was SO rad to me I became very attached to these people like I knew them in real life, even if all we had was Beyblade. But once that interest faded, a majority of them faded as well because we didn't really do anything else nor have similar interests otherwise. It was more like a club that liked this one thing, and once people left the club because they weren't interested, it was no more.

No hard feelings or anything... well except this one incident where one of our club blocked us all of sudden, and I foolishly, like the foolish desperate clingy person I was, tried all I could to at least COMPREHEND why someone would do this. Since she really only blocked me, I reached out through another friend, and talked to her. She dodged all our questions and then proceeded to block everybody. I could never understand, but one of my friends told me to let it go. So I did. It was a difficult decision, but to be fair I did step on her toes by not respecting her decision to exit from our lives by trying to reach her beyond her powers that be. I still don't understand, to this day.

Back to high school though, and I don't really feel like splitting it by year so we're just gonna have one giant blurb about high school in its entirety. Since I was closer to my internet friends and couldn't truly reach over to these high school friends, I began having the same problem I did with my very first friend. Where they would do things and not invite us, or only invite us if no one else was able to go. One of my friends gave me ample advice when she realized my little friendship complex. Don't do things for other people before doing things for yourself. I don't remember the exact quote, but basically I was so eager to please i never really thought about my own self considering my very average grades and all, and just tried to do whatever I could to stay friends with people. It's a theme of my life, man. I also had one friend I made some year later (Grade nine? Egads I remember nothing) who I found rather obnoxious, but she was probably the type of person I should have stayed friends with over several others because no matter how much I expressed to her that she was annoying, she was still very accepting and friendly to me. I wish I stayed friends with her. She was one of those people I felt would be one of those once-in-a-lifetime friends if you gave them a chance, but I sadly did not.

There was also one year, later on maybe in junior or senior, where there was this friend who was basically Pinkie Pie in real life. She had ALL OF THE FRIENDS and was nice to ALL of the people, including me, so low on the social ladder! I really wish I could have been a closer friend to hers, but because she had so many other friends it was a nigh impossible achievement. There was also one year where I suffered some of the worst bullying. In sophomore these girls were transferred to our school and she would not stop at anything to call me names or throw pennies at me because I looked like a poor kid. (I wasn't actually that poor in terms of the school. I was just not one who found importance in appearance so I kind of looked like someone who didn't care and was more, let's say, homely than other kids. Or if you wanna bully me too, you could call me a hobo! Because I looked like a hobo. Gee I wonder if my parents had more of a presence in my life I wouldn't always dress up like a hobo to school) 

Back to the internet that I was increasingly spending more time on because I felt so much more accepted on there. Also they can't see me, so they can't tell me I look like a hobo! After discovering LF2 and playing so much of that game, I found another game that this website covered too called Soldat. Alas my friend I spent oodles of time playing games with who lived downstairs moved away, but I immersed myself in Soldat. I found many friends, a clique that in video games called a "clan" and got to see these same people in these same servers over and over again. We had fun, fun times shooting each other in a competitive environment. Though again like the Beyblade days many of these people faded away, there were some I stuck by for a very long time and still talk to today. We call ourselves Spectral Infantry, but I think I'm the only one that does that now because Discord exists and nobody cares about the clan name and my Teamspeak is dying. Regardless, it's not the name that is important, just like the name BIFF was never really important. (It stands for Best Internet Friends Forever. I hope that is the case with the two I am still friends with lolololol) but the people that still stick around. Also obviously a majority of these friends are guys. Because all the guy friends I've ever made friends with NEVER antagonized me for being friends with them despite being a girl, or never purposefully excluded me because if they want to spend time playing say, Path of Exile when I do not even play that game who am I to feel excluded? I don't play that game. It was a lot more transparent I guess. I felt more stable amongst them. My ability to friendship was finally levelling up, but those back at school were as stagnant as ever. The same feelings, the same kind of inevitable conclusions.

It's very important to not only share interests but share hobbies when it comes to friends. Video games were the thing that kept me going with these people. On the other hand, though I share less interests and hobbies with the few female but true friends I have left to this day, I still feel very close to them because we bonded on an emotional level. We understand each other, and we will be there for one another. Both of these have taught me that I do not need to be doing a thing with a person 24/7 to stay friends with them, or trying to be complacent to keep as many friends as possible because only the important friends are the ones that you really need to keep. The ones that will keep you going and motivated like they do me. At the end of high school, the one friend I became closest to outside of my best friend, who gave me a handmade birthday card out of nowhere, encouraged my graphic design and caused me to win the grade-wide competition, and actually gave me HUGS what the fuck, brutally chastised my appearance throughout high school with the harshest words possible over the internet. I blocked her immediately and we are no longer friends. It was one of the worst friendship breakups I have had, on par with my very first friend,. People who were there for me but obviously had some sort of pent up issue with me that the first sign where either I mentioned something or I was out of frame physically they unloaded their frustrations with me. Why couldn't they be honest from the get-go? I guess because I was a sensitive, eager, clingy person with a friendship complex, and the moment any conflict arises could be the end of it all, like it was. But it always blew up in the end because of it. It always ended friendships.

It always hurt.

And now the consequences.

I have had a pretty terrible year in terms of loss and family and pain, but in terms of PHYSICAL pain I went through several dental treatments to get my teeth fixed. Root canals, crowns, and surgery. Oddly enough despite all of those things I mentioned, the worst pain was the first cleaning I had after several several years. Because my teeth were so bad I was very sensitive to temperature so any cleaning felt like the absolute worst. Somehow cold air was worse than giant pointed steel needles being stabbed into my gums. I also buy separate shampoo and conditioner now, and pay for my own toothpaste, floss, mouthwash and toothbrush because my parents cheaped out and always bought the crappiest toothpaste possible, the cheapest 2-in-1 shampoo, and really all the other tools that though I do not blame for why I've had self-esteem issues certainly contributed a small part to it. Oh and I started buying some of my own clothes because throughout all of high school it was hand-me-downs all the way down, and since I was a tomboy I rejected 50% of it. So i kept wearing very old clothes that started getting tattered. My money at the time was going into things that were more important, like computers and video games. THUS THE HOBONESS! 

But the other consequence was where my interests ending up lying. I was so in need of friendship that every single thing I've ever watched, friendship was the most important issue to me. My very first OTP, ship as it were that I blame the whole Beyblade fanfiction community for getting me into, was KazumiSayo. See my icon? STILL KazuSayo. They are relatively minor characters in the grand scheme of Negima, but for what they had I enjoyed them immensely. Kazumi I saw as a role model because she wasn't a character that really developed per-say. She was kind of ideal from the get-go. She did not care about being in cliques or being friends with a cast herd. When the manga started she was in no cast herd, she was alone. And she was fine with it. She was still confident, still spunky, still had the best voice, still was extremely attractive despite such. (How do attractive people not attract friends?) and was very kind.

Then Sayo came along. Sayo was a ghost who had been alone for like some ridiculous amount of time, like sixty years. No one could see her until her teacher just happened be a wizard. Then when her existence was exposed, it was Kazumi who befriended her. Now at first I wondered why Kazumi of all people befriended her. I could see it in terms of practical reasons, like Sayo being a ghost would be ideal for Kazumi's need for intel, what with being an aspiring journalist and all. Meanwhile Sayo's need for a friend is extreme because she has been alone for sixty years and she hasn't become a batshit insane murderous ghost yet. Kazumi gives her this need. in terms of who is giving more and who is receiving more, it looks one-sided.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the most healthy and best relationships are when two people improve one another, and while Sayo who I essentially related to since she desperately needed a friend will become a better, more whole person thanks to Kazumi, what does she serve for Kazumi beyond the practicality? Does she make Kazumi a better person? At first I believed maybe Kazumi might be susceptible to becoming the stereotypical yellow journalist who would do anything to get a story. She did toy with the idea with exposing magic to the world, but it wasn't difficult to convince her to keep it under wraps despite such a story being an ample opportunity to launch her career straight into the moon. She also mentioned when she first became friends with Sayo that letting the world know of the existence of a real live ghost would also land her in prime territory to be one of the most renowned journalists out there, yet she is the one that convinces herself not to do so because that would be unfair and plain mean to Sayo, who does not need the attention of the world right now. She does not need to be a zoo exhibit or to be experimented on by scientists or studied, she needs a friend. That's exactly what Kazumi provided. I suppose Sayo fills out the role of keeping Kazumi in check. She was a wildcard for a moment when some members of the class opposed Negi's side of the battle, and Kazumi for a while was working for the supposedly "evil" side (it was more like a huge moral dilemma and no one was painted as an irredeemable bad guy, but still) but once context was given to Kazumi she switched sides pretty easily.

But still, their relationship served to fuel my need for a friend. One who for no reason would be your friend. Like a dog! I love dogs. I always wanted one but it was never right to ever get a dog due to their upkeep and price. Dogs are those kinds of unwavering companions that no matter what will always be loyal. No matter who you are or what you look like. That's why I loved Kazumi and Sayo so much. I saw this character who I looked up to, wanted to be like who gave unconditional support to this ghost character, who needed it above all else and overlooked her own ambitions to do so. It was a heartwarming friendship I wanted out of anyone at all. Still, it didn't serve the ideal kind of friendship I was looking for where the two characters could help one another to be better people.

Touhou came along to bring with it oodles of odd female friendships. I am very attached to female friendships as you can see. With guys, it's just play video games with them to bond because competition or whatever. I even watched Beyblade to figure that out too. But I could not figure out female friendship. I had such a hard time retaining female friends. I've run into so many problems and incidents involving all of that, so my interest was very high for how media portrayed female friendship. That's one of the many reasons I jumped between so many favourite characters and thus so many different OTPs in Touhou. So many different depictions of friendship and devotion! I loved it! One of my first favourites was Murasa and Nue. Unfortunately at the time they were in one of the less popular cast herds, so finding anything notable and meaningful that portrayed the two was a bit of a challenge. The depiction they usually got was that Nue was alone and sort of excluded from the main cast herd that being the Myouren Temple because she was a bit of a prankster/troublemaker. And she felt she needed to be alone (also she was sealed for like several hundred years) but secretly she wanted some form of companionship. Murasa was the usual person she'd  be paired with for that companionship. I remember reading this touching doujinshi where Nue is all self-conscious and stuff, gets attacked by some scumbag humans (not that humans ARE scumbags but these guys tried to kill Nue when she never provoked them, so... ) and they involved one of the legends associated with Nue in the conflict. The nue was shot down by some famous guy (I forget his name) by either his amazing enchanted bow, or he was so amazing he could shoot down mystical youkai like nues. So this guy that was trying to kill Nue had this bow and that guy's name too, so even though youkai usually very easily overpower humans this was not the case here.

Anyway Murasa pops out of nowhere and takes the arrow for her. It's treated as very melodramatic because Nue acts like Murasa is dying even though youkai can brush off such physical injuries plus Murasa is ALSO a ghost and ALREADY kinda of dead anyway, but yeah, this relationship was kind of like KazuSayo to me. My favourite character at the time was Murasa, who was portrayed as this badass ghost pirate captain who was very confident. She had a pretty depressing backstory too, but it wasn't given much detail thus that one story I wrote up about her history. This story serves to teach Nue that no she is not alone, and she doesn't have to feel like an outcast among the cast herd she is associated with. Murasa though I don't see what she learns or how she becomes better by being friends or more with Nue. It again, feels one-sided. Nue doesn't really touch upon any of Murasa's backstory or anything like that. They just happened to know one another. Also the game that came out right after introduced this buddy of Nue's from the outside with a similar ability where they have trickster pranks together and all, and sort of killed the illusion that Nue would ever be insecure to need friends that badly, or whatever. I dunno. I don't know what to think about it, lol.

Of course, moving beyond that I began to like MokoKene. Or KeneMoko. Again a similar OTP to KazuSayo. One person is SUPER LONELY. This person, Mokou, has done something to give herself immortality that causes her to be ostracized by society since she never seems to grow old, so she becomes increasingly withdrawn and a hermit to society. She does this for a thousand years or so. (This is getting absurd, isn't it? Lol. SPOTTO IS SO LONELY, SHE ONLY IDENTIFIES WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE ALONE FOR ABSURD AMOUNTS OF TIME) Of course unlike Sayo Mokou actually does go about killing a whole bunch of people, but moving on we come to Keine, a half-youkai whose character is the basis for the initial conflict between humans and youkai. The perspective of a half-youkai is most unique. (Though Keine is only really a youkai once a month since she is a WERE-hakutaku, so... ) anyway Keine has more of a human-leaning view than a youkai view despite her affliction. Mokou is someone though technically a human, her behaviour over the years and her own immortality makes her out to be more like a youkai if you think about it, but Mokou's first friend after many centuries ends up being Keine. I think there's something truly heartwarming when the protagonists need to go attack Mokou and despite Mokou being INVINCIBLE, Keine still goes out of her way to try to protect her and lead the protagonists away anyway. Keine gets beat up and they go for Mokou despite her efforts. She did this at first to protect the village earlier in the game, but near the end of the game the only reason she fights the protagonists again is solely for Mokou. It's sweet, isn't it?

This spawned a ridiculous amount of the most adorable fanworks I have ever seen. KeneMoko is a fairly popular pairing in Touhou, especially when you consider harem lead Marisa isn't part of it, nor does it involve any other protagonist that usually manages a harem of their own. The characters themselves haven't really been that relevant for several years either, until recently when Mokou showed up in a fighting game and some outsider they introduced Mokou ends up befriending and let's move on from that. Keine is especially irrelevant at this time though, haven't not appeared in anything with any significance since pretty much after her first appearance. Sigh. Well that's how it goes I suppose. It's the same with Murasa too. Not all too relevant now.

So I moved on to the last one I'm gonna mention from Touhou. It's relatively recent, so give me a moment. For the last few I kept sticking with this one lonely character who needed a friend. Or a dog, I guess if you really think about it, but for AyaSanae, this time the character, Aya, was not someone who was well, lonely. Her traditional characterization is usually this confident journalist who will do anything to get a good story, no matter how immoral it might be. At first this portrayal was more prevalent in fanworks, seeing as it was a funny exaggeration for the cast's only media representative, but the creator very quickly adopted a similar portrayal himself, so Aya sort of became a caricature of her initial characterization. I don't know either. Anyway, in-universe she was not the most popular person in the world. All of her mainline ships didn't really serve to improve Aya as a character, as Aya was usually the dominant member and would boss around the character paired to her. I hated that. It took me a long time to really look at Aya as a character I would bother liking. Like, who cares? She's not the role model Kazumi was and she has no qualms about how to achieve what she needs in her career, and she isn't lonely at all!

...or is she?

AyaSanae, a rarepair came along and it came with a very refreshing take on Aya. While yes, Aya isn't exactly human (but we keep applying human-like qualities on values on all the other youkai and non-human species of Touhou anyway, fanworks!) she's not really a well-rounded character with any depth to her motivations. Like why is she a journalist? Why because her crow tengu species are all avid reporters too! Well that doesn't make Aya particularly unique even if she is the most notable of the group. Still, as someone with a friendship complex I can't really swallow that Aya doesn't resent in some way that she may not be popular or have any friends. The character most associated to her in canon, Momiji, canonically hates her or at least has a very strong personal feud with Aya. Aya's other character most strongly associated to her is Hatate, who is just another crow tengu journalist meant to be a rival that makes Aya look like the best tengu around. It's not really all too reassuring. But in comes Sanae, an OUTSIDER with a unique perspective who believe or not, when this ship is portrayed, makes Aya a BETTER PERSON.

THAT'S ALL I EVER ASKED FOR!

So how this all works is that Aya seems to fancy Sanae for whatever reason. I dunno. Figure it out yourself. The point is, Aya feels she can't really approach Sanae properly in that kind of manner because most of her relationships to people are strictly business. Not only that but Sanae is a human and that may look badly on human-youkai relations due to Sanae being involved with the goddesses who sort of want to take over the mountain for their faith which is also where the tengu all live and take claim to. It's a bit of a mess, is it not? There's some agreement in place for both of them to co-exist on the mountain, but it's just not good for tensions if most notable tengu and priestess responsible for spreading faith get together, is all I'm saying.

Yet thanks to fanworks bending canon rules, Aya's acquaintances who are more like close friends in this universe encourage Aya to go after Sanae. Sanae's goddesses want her to be close to Aya too, so they can improve goddess-tengu relations, and if they're friends that'd be good or whatever. So Aya gives Sanae a tour but Sanae doesn't really like Aya because who actually likes Aya, I mean c'mon. Then over time we run into Sanae's own issues of adapting into Gensokyan society, since she came from the outside where she had a normal (sorta) life at school with friends and modern technology, and now has no real peers here and has a completely different life with completely different technology, like magic! Aya comforts her in her very own youkai-like way, in that she hasn't much to say because she can't possibly understand, so she just pops out her wings and envelops Sanae in it. Give her some physical comfort. It's all Sanae needed... and for once, this relationship doesn't start off one-sided or stay that way, anyway. The two help one another. Sanae to adapt, and Aya to be better.

Because unlike Aya's more popular pairs, she's not bossing Sanae around and Sanae is devoted to her anyway for no real reason. Sanae makes Aya second-guess herself, makes her flustered. Sanae's go-for-it attitude and eccentricity is unpredictable to Aya. Every time Aya thinks she has control of the situation, Sanae surprises her. I can't really go into much depth about these two because they are a rarepair and everything I mentioned came from one very talented doujinshi artist, but this person (man? idk) singlehandedly not only made me like this ship, but like Aya! But anyway, Sanae's existence humbles Aya and gives her this sort of humanity and empathy she was sort of lacking, that made her more relatable. But this still wasn't to the level of give and receive I was hoping for, but the farthest I've found so far. Though Aya provided Sanae opportunity to adapt and supported her, I don't see Sanae as a character improving, but she does get a friend and acclaimed to Gensokyo and maybe her own character doesn't really need improving because she isn't as obviously flawed as Aya. Who knows! Still, it's the closest yet.

Potential for such a thing came from this next series, one very not-subtle about what they're trying to achieve with the show since it's titled as Friendship is Magic. MLP.

It took me a while to find a character to like actually. I most related to Fluttershy at the time, but my values were a lot closer to Pinkie Pie's. So I was like "wait, why not just put them together!" which was something somewhat possible due to their interactions in the most innocent of times that was season one. In one of the earliest episodes, Pinkie Pie defended Fluttershy's sensitivity, and kept her and Rainbow Dash (who has known her for years mind you) from pranking her. When Pinkie saw Fluttershy being bullied, she came up with a plan to get the bully back. When Fluttershy needed courage to jump over the chasm in Dragonfly, Pinkie's song encouraged her enough to go over. Not her other friends who were clearly exasperated (especially RD) about her keeping them from progressing very far. Pinkie kept her positivity up and supported Fluttershy wholeheartedly, no hard feelings whatsoever. Then several episodes down the line, for some reason Fluttershy despite being the shiest, most timid of them all, was so happy Pinkie was okay when she went missing (and was most worried for her as well) she jump-tackled Pinkie to the ground the moment she saw her. This would seem out-of-character if we didn't note all these things Pinkie did for her earlier. I thought a lovely cute little friendship was happening. It was one-sided though, but it was blossoming.

Then the most innocent of times concluded. One flaw of Pinkie Pie the writers began to make more and more apparent was her...insensitivity? Which I thought was quite odd because it seemed like she grasped this concept pretty well in season one. I suppose that same episode Fluttershy glomped her in she did start a war with her insensitivity with her not-very-good (rather unusual for Pinkie) song to make sure the ponies and the buffalo could get along. Maybe it was a botched attempt at humour, I'm not sure. Anyway Pinkie seemed to lose this concept and probably unintentionally made the whole Luna situation in Luna Eclipsed worse, then her sense of reality or how other ponies felt dwindled quite rapidly, like in the Friend In Deed episode where she could not grasp Cranky's need for her to leave him alone, if only because Pinkie is SO desperate to make him a friend and doesn't care, or just doesn't understand. Then there's that one episode about the cake she was protecting that was all kinds of wtf in terms of friendship, so let's not go there.

Then of course Pinkie realized with such clairvoyance how her own clones were terrorizing the town in the season three episode. I'm inclined to believe Pinkie didn't realize how overbearing she was until she saw several dozen copies of her acting in the most one-dimensional way possible. Finally in season four despite being one of the strongest Pinkie Pie seasons to date (there is a lot of "I realize I am in the wrong and can see you are unhappy and understand your sensitivity" in Pinkie Apple Pie and Pinkie Pride respectively, maybe even Maud Pie!") we had... Filli Vanilli.

I have spoken so much about this episode, but it really slammed on the pedal and floored it when I was already in the wild wide and hoping to any higher power of existence who could hear me to let us slow down. She was NOTHING like this in season one, and here she is making Fluttershy cry with the most obvious, over-the-top cries, sobs, and wails I have seen and somehow Pinkie cannot see what she is doing that is wrong? I just do not understand how people defend Pinkie in this episode, I can't. It was finally here that I realized the old vision of PinkieShy where Pinkie is the one who can help Fluttershy become bolder and closer was wrong. Or at least, only part of it. If the canon is going to run off with this type of characterization, Fluttershy is the one who needs to make PINKIE the better person! If both parts of what I see does happen, then yes this would be the first time the relationship will be pretty evenly-sided, where they help one another.

I mean Pinkie has her insecurities! Her most infamous episode had her breakdown believing her friends no longer wanted to be with her, and she clearly is very clingy to the friends she has despite having more than anyone. I can relate to that! But despite my idea of the two helping one another, over the years and seasons Fluttershy never needed Pinkie to become more assertive or bold. She did that on her own, through many situations with many friends including her animals friends, and Pinkie wasn't there to support her with as much presence as I hoped. It's like Fluttershy became better and didn't need Pinkie at all. It became a one-sided affair once again. I was so frustrated with this pair that had so much potential in season one. I really thought if the two were close friends it'd be a really heartwarming kind of thing. Two people so very different, with different ideals, but both sharing this same kind of sensitivity, both understanding one another. It would be the closest thing to the ideal pair I have seen, but the engine barely started before the car broke down entirely. An introvert and an extrovert who can both understand what it is like to be an introvert and an extrovert. I really wish this concept was explored.

In what i call a bit too little too late, an episode finally popped up that actually featured the two together though they still shared their conflict with Rainbow Dash and Applejack. There was great pressure to do well in a sporting competition, and surprisingly both Fluttershy and Pinkie buckled under this pressure. At first Pinkie buckling is more surprising, but after Fluttershy's character development you sort of don't see it coming either. Regardless Fluttershy is the first to burst about this towards RD and AJ, and is the one to bring up the problem that paves the way to the well-rounded perfect solution MLP likes to do. Meanwhile Pinkie becomes withdrawn under this pressure, and is the one who is unable to let RD and AJ know what she feels. She actually seems like the more sensitive one of the two! For whatever reason this made the two of them feel like they have a lot more depth than before, but this aspect of the two characters hasn't been explored since, and I'm not really expecting a Pinkie and Fluttershy episode actually focused on only those two anytime soon. :\ 

So if a show literally titled Friendship is Magic wasn't the way, what was?

I found a show called RWBY. The title of the show is the first letter of each protagonist who are paired into a group. Their goal is to go to school to learn to fight monsters, and then fight monsters with that group for the rest of the foreseeable future. Or at least in school, but from the existence of teams that existed well beyond school I'm thinking that is not the case. Anyway we are given tidbits of some background information on these four characters, and they get thrown into the school to learn to work together to defeat the monsters and subsequently become better huntresses and people as a result! I watched a trailer called the White Trailer. It had this character who exemplified all these feelings I've had in my entire life, though the lyrics weren't particularly subtle about it. This beautiful girl, who could get hit in the face and get a RAD SCAR despite her beauty, was all sad and lonely. She is entirely by herself in the trailer and only fights this construct which isn't even technically alive. I felt sympathy for her and loved the music and animation of the trailer. I knew she'd be my favourite character immediately, but in the large scheme of things she was sort of fitting my stereotypical pattern of favourites.

Until she opened her mouth in the series itself.

THIS IS AN ALPHA FEMALE! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

But yet, I still loved her.

Why?

Weiss Schnee was this type of person I had conflict with so many times in my life, but I never really saw these people's own perspectives. I had such negative interactions with them, or at least my friendship with them always ended poorly that I never really saw it from their side or understood who these people were. Weiss was like, someone who guarded herself deeply and had a lot of issues inside, and she did it by being bossy and mean. It took her a while to accept those around her, but it also didn't take her long to change herself or see that she had to be supportive if she wanted to keep these people around, these friends. She learned pretty quick actually, so her first impression wasn't really all that significant in the large scheme of things. Seeing her White Trailer and then how she acted I knew right away Weiss wasn't actually like this at all, and unlike a lot of people became intrigued with who she was and what she'd become because of it. Because we already knew there was something about her that didn't match how she behaved.

At first I followed the crowd and shipped her with whoever was most commonly shipped with her, but this was a young show, so anything could change. And change it did because the core of the plot for much of the first three seasons was the conflict between the White Fang and well, everyone else, but mostly the Schnee Dust Corp since they're the ones that led the White Fang to their reputations and extreme beliefs to this day. The person on the side of the White Fang, or at least formerly and with a lot of faunus baggage left in? Blake. And it seemed like Weiss and Blake were very integral to the plot for a lot of these reasons. Well mostly Blake for plot and Weiss for character development, but you get the idea. Weiss needed to shake off her racist upbringing if she was to keep these comrades of hers by her side and for them to become an expert, efficient team of huntresses. This included even accepting the former terrorist group member with an endless amount of issues, Blake. Weiss really came to her own as a character over these episodes, and it even seemed Blake was turning a leaf as well, willing to let people into her life despite having been closed off for years in fear of discrimination and conviction! 

Then of course all the shit happened and it turned into Naruto. Where nobody graduates, the group breaks up, and the broodiest, angstiest person runs away. I guess since this show isn't blatantly titled FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC I can't expect it to focus on friendship as the core theme of the show, but I had assumed so anyway because of the title of the show and the premise, that these four girls of vastly different background and history must come together and fight monsters. The fact that Weiss and Blake had all this conflict to get over, and all these scenes where they were helping one another, Weiss forgiving Blake for running off with her problems, Weiss trying to force Blake to talk about her problems to the group, Blake choosing Weiss over the White Fang when they were about to kill her, finally letting go of her criminal past and what really needed to be done, to the point that by season three they were amiably having a tea and coffee date with one another. They were willing to spend time with each other outside of training, outside of arguing about their vastly different upbringings and opinions and were friends THAT HELPED ONE ANOTHER BECOME BETTER PEOPLE.

But instead shit hit the fan.

Weiss let go of her racist ways and accepted how poorly faunus were treated. She became nicer, and more supportive as a result. Blake let people into her life more often, began to trust more, and these people who should be enemies at any other time are not. That's heartwarming. That's beautiful. That's friendship! Heck, even beyond! This is the greatest potential for the greatest ship I have ever seen, but of course, of course, this show has decided writing as a priority is like fifth fiddle to things like adding more characters than necessary in every season and not bothering to develop any existing ones, killing random characters off for shock value, and putting more stock into developing side characters and minor characters over the main characters while ignoring and writing out the interpersonal relationships and interactions I watched the show for AMONG THE FOUR GIRLS. They had it! They had in right in their palms and tossed it right over a cliff! THEY HAD IT!

A non-one sided relationship in which two people can help one ANOTHER improve, and not only that their BACKGROUNDS improve. Fix the White Fang, fix the Schnee Corporation to get rid of all the corrupt terrorist bullshit that infects both their backgrounds and them as people. The two being together could solve them as people and SOLVE THE PLOT but it was flung off the cliff, not knowing what they had. I do not expect them to make this ship canon, but their mere friendship is all that is needed for some of the most heartwarming, wonderful, uplifting, and hopeful kinds of solution possible. This is why I like some horribly dark, twisted series a lot despite their theme because the ending of these things (such as Dangan Ronpa) is always one of hope despite all the shitty hardship and death everyone faces. And yes, RWBY is not over yet, I suppose the show too can achieve that same kind of thing, but when we had so many misprioritized plot points and focus on random one-off characters in such a large ratio of the show, the characters of team RWBY no matter their potential is shuffled to the side and in the end I don't even believe they have a friendship at all. There is no training montage where they learned those team-up moves they had in that one season two episode. It was not as if they did not have time because they had a whole plot about Jaune that did not move the plot whatsoever about his own problems I don't give one flying shit about. The solution didn't even matter because Pyrrha dies anyway. Like what the fuck? Yang goes out of her way to reveal some of her backstory to try to help out Blake from imploding inside due to her worries on White Fang activity, but I can't even believe she'd do that because when Blake and Weiss were arguing in season one and Blake ran off, Yang did absolutely nothing. What changed there? Was there some moment of bonding they had that made them closer so Yang would do such a thing? No because they wasted time doing pointless shit that did not improve on the relationships of these characters at all.

Blake had to resort to random faunus monkey dude to support her in that episode, and now he's the only one doing it which is troubling. If they were to be friends then it would be Weiss, Ruby, and Yang that would help her get past what her issues now especially since what Blake is going through affects her team the most, especially Weiss, but most especially Yang because she lost an entire arm trying to help Blake and Blake instead of accepting this traumatic support or helping her friend instead just runs away and leaves them to be,. But this random faunus monkey dude can totally follow her around. That's okay! Is it because he is a faunus? IS THAT THE ONLY REASON!? Ruby is so preoccupied by defeating the enemy themselves she never considers say, staying home to support her most traumatized sister a little longer, or trying to find Weiss or Blake. It's investigate what happened to Beacon, fuck my friends. Yang understandably is too shaken up to do anything for some time, so she is forgiven, but Weiss cannot even leave her father's side. She is stuck there, so she is also forgiven for not reuniting with her friends. But why bother when no one comes after her, and her final conclusion after escaping her father is to find her sister? She clearly doesn't believe they are worthy to seek out and only her sister can support her, and who can blame her!? Fuck her friends! There is no female friendship in RWBY and that's a fucking disgrace. They have no idea how to develop it whatsoever and instead develop male-female friendships that aren't even friendships because EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAS ROMANTIC SUBTEXT. DOES FRIENDSHIP MEAN ANYTHING TO THIS SERIES AT ALL!? WHAT THE FUCK. Penny and Pyrrha were amazing supportive friends! EXCEPT THEY DIED. OKAY. AWESOME.

It was the most promising and it crashed hard, into a trainwreck that was so bad I finally looked away from it. Yeah the action, choreography was great, but that's not what keeps me watching a series. That's not draws me to a series. It's the female friendship I so long to watch. It's why of everything that has been recommended to me in the past few years Little Witch Academia is on the top of the list because I don't see any of these themes in all the other mystery, comedy, actiony things people recommend me. Maybe I'll give it a chance, but I just feel so cynical after RWBY, that I had to write a giant story to fix this severe problem. That I'd rather just play video games and give up watching stuff forever than to put in hope for what I like to see in stories. It's why I'm so apprehensive with starting anything and would stick to the same series and franchises I have trust in over and over again. And it's because of my friendship issues throughout my entire life that I'm stuck with such a specific kind of theme I really want to watch, and see done well. Maybe I just want validation? I don't know. 

Things like Touhou and Overwatch where everything does not hang on one cohesive story is a lot more approachable than some anime or cartoon people recommend. Since the story is not released all at once and speculation is rampant, plus we can always enjoy them both in other words like actually playing the game or listening  to music, it doesn't depend entirely on what canon says. I really like Mercymaker in Overwatch for the potential of Mercy being one of the few people that can help Widowmaker recover. Also it's hot, but that's irrelevant. It's extremely one-sided though because I do not see Mercy benefiting as a person helping Widowmaker, merely doing what she usually does that she has devoted her life to, but it follows the pattern of the kind of pairing I like. Anyway despite that there's not a lot of canon to back this up, it's just an idea and the fans power these ideas. Most likely due to the story being all over the place and with so many other characters this ship is free to be as large as the imagination desires. There's a chance something will come around to throw it off, but due to the nature of these series I can usually ignore it.

One final last thing I forgot to mention in quite possibly one of the largest rants i have written of everything ever, is that I also had a friend in between Beyblade and Negima, a fandom friend when I was into B-Daman briefly. We made up a lot of story and artwork through our roleplays and I spent a ridiculous amount of time with this girl. Sadly she drifted away eventually, so I couldn't think of anyway to put her in this rant since I mentioned so many of my other friends. Still, i do wonder how she is doing and if she is okay because when I met her she was going through some difficult times. I have no real way to contact her but I hope she's doing well.

Ultimately, friendship is hard. True friends are the few that stick by your side unconditionally, and most people have no idea how to depict the kind of friendship I'm looking for in media. At least of those I've seen, but RWBY has dampened my spirits to the point that I can't be bothered anyway. Just gotta stick with what I already have and cherish who are still around. Thank you my friends. Even if we drift away someday, I am glad you were around when you were. And it's definitely true that a lot of us will not know what we are missing when people are gone. I probably still have a bit of a friendship complex, but throughout all of this I went from this positive outgoing person who really wanted lots of friends to an introvert who would rather stay inside and sleep all day. I do still want to have friends, but I don't have the effort anymore. And I know a lot of people are like this too, but even if they don't talk to me everyday or even every week, when we finally do speak again we can pick off where we left off, like time does not affect our friendship at all, and that's the best feeling to have. We're all adults now anyway. Responsibilities take up our time, but still that doesn't mean drifting away is something that is guaranteed. 

This has been Spotto, and I have revealed quite a bit. Adios!
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: (Sooooolo)
Nostalgia is like being an archaeologist, digging for artifacts buried long ago beneath the sand. In this modern age, something like the internet may exist, but what once was in the ancient internet most likely isn't around now. Old fanfictions are deleted by the wayside, disappearing into the oblivion with the countless lost data that once existed in this world. I once saw this comic adaptation of a pretty awesome PPG fanfic, but it is now nowhere to be found. Even with websites designed to archive such things cannot pull it up. Even the author of said fanfiction did not keep any backups of it...and the artist, the one behind the comic? We may never know what became of them. So the existence of this fanwork only exists now in memory. 

WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE WEARS OVERALLS IN ALL THREE SEASONS!?


they were never shorts
and they were never pants
they were all overalls

max's mom buys all his clothes

spotto: (pouty korea)
What irony it was, for the woman who had been in an accident to be the one to rush over to him, instead. Max's gaze remained at the sky despite the snowflakes that were falling all around him and on him. The pinch of coolness that would touch his cheek or forehead or nose was nothing compared to his elbow that hung limply by his side. But even with that surge of pain enveloping his arm, he could do nothing but stare up at the heavens. It wasn't like he was about to die or anything as heavy as that and was viewing his immediate future. It was as if everything that happened today; everything that happened just now was insignificant. The clouds in the sky were fluffy as they could be, a far cry from the slippery and hard surfaces underneath his back. He could barely register the voice of that woman, who had only been lightly injured, calling for him and asking if he was okay. The guys back at the hotel would soon notice he was late, and eventually missing, if he had not responded or given any information to the sudden appearance of people in dark navy jumpsuits. It was only when his fixed stare of the limitless ceiling above him was replaced by a true ceiling, white and bland in colour, did his mind finally process what was happening.

That didn't keep any of it from being a complete haze. Max eventually attributed his state to the heavy dose of morphine the freshly hired EMT had administered on him, even if he never felt the needle being inserted into his still useful arm. By the time he found himself to be fully sound-of-mind, the medical personnel at the hospital had kicked him out after fixing his arm to a split and wrapping it up in what felt to be far too much gauze. On the bright side, they didn't forget the sling, and Max was an expert at discovering the bright side of life. He had apparently given a statement on what happened during the car accident while he was high on drugs, and had wondered if the investigation team from the insurance offices were aware that whatever he said had to be taken with a grain of salt. The heavily-worded letter filled with passive-aggression and near profanity he had found on his doorstep when he had gotten home was a good indication they did not. As such, Max had suddenly found himself being sued.

"For how much!?" His almost as excitable friend had asked. 

"Two hundred..." 

Takao began to smile, "Oh that's not too bad--"

"...thousand dollars."

"Oh man. That can buy like, a thousand burgers!"

A younger teenager sitting not far from the two of them could be heard directing his palm into his face, "No. More like forty thousand burgers."

"Whoa!" He audibly gasped.

Max then turned his attention to the other letter he had received in the mail, "Forty thousand...the same number on this piece of paper."

The blonde had barely remembered any of it, but apparently those two or so days within the ER and beyond was worth around forty grand, and that wasn't including the surgery. His best friend of five years had lamented a few times how America, though renowned for its burgers, was pretty lackluster in various other areas. Takao had expected the toilets to be just like the ones in the hotels in Japan, where there was an extra option for..well, extra hygiene. And he hadn't seen a single arcade during any of their commutes through the city. If it weren't for the massive portions of food, which he had considered what was appropriate for the norm, he would've demanded a plane out of the country ages ago. 

Max wondered why he would even bring up such complaints as this was at least the fourth or fifth time he had come here. He himself had lost count, seeing as he had a single parent in one side of the world and another in the next. He had somehow managed when growing up to never break a bone in his body until now, and as luck would have it he chose the wrong country to do so in.

"That's harsh man. A whole forty-grand...that's like how much...yen?" Takao chuckled, still struggling to figure out the currency exchange.

"Let's just say a lot," Max put down his bill and sat back on his bed, "Well luckily mom will be able to find a good lawyer...and maybe I'm still part of her health insurance plan? I'm not sure, but until then I can't go back to Japan with you guys."

"Oh that's fine! We'll stick around until you have everything settled!"

That same teenager who remained seated at the table with his laptop stood up, "Takao! We can't afford to stay in a hotel for the next few weeks!"

"Weeks!? You're stuck here for weeks!?" Takao exclaimed in horror.

"Weeks, maybe even months. Who knows?" Max shrugged despite one of his arms in a sling. It's not like his elbow bone was affecting his shoulder bone.

The brunette by the desk adjusted his glasses, "The pressing matter at hand is what we'll do back at the force without you. As dramatic as your alter-ego may seem, you are a crucial part of our department."

"Aw shucks Kenny, I'm sure you'll all be fine for a few weeks. Think of it like an extended vacation!" Max began, "...Where I lose the use of my arm and several thousand dollars."

"But we're strapped with people even with you on board!" Kenny argued, "Our precinct has far too much of an area to cover without you!"

Max though, wasn't worried in the slightest, "Pshaw! You and the guys are more than enough to handle the load! After all, remember that time when Takao, Kai, and Tala spent the week away with food poisoning because of the mysterious lemon pie left at the office party? We managed fine!"

"No we didn't! We let two hit-and-run suspects get away, and the Mayor threatened to lower our funding for our inadequate efforts that week!" Kenny was not at all convinced.

"I don't remember that at all. I caught all the villains I was pursuing," Max tapped his chin with his good arm.

Takao almost slammed his hand into Kenny's back, "Oh the Chief is exaggerating! We only let one get the away, the other was eventually caught two weeks later. And the Mayor only threatened to lower our food bill...actually, that does sound serious now that I think about it."

"That isn't the point!" Kenny continued, "We're not just losing an officer, we're losing Maxman! What will our city do in the weeks without Maxman? Their confidence in the fight against crime will diminish! All the criminal organizations' morale will be boosted significantly! Crime will be rampant! Lives will be lost! Property, destroyed!"

"Well, Maxman will temporarily be relocated to the City of New York! If I know my crime dramas all the bad guys operate here!" 

Takao scratched his cheek, "That's well, that'd be cool except I dunno how well Maxman will do with a broken arm."

"Oh what's the deal? I've fought with a shattered knee before once! A little single arm action can go a looooong way!"

"No, Max. You'll have no backup here like last time. You're in an totally foreign environment--"

"Half-American."

"You haven't lived here in years! And it wasn't even this particular city! And if you get yourself hurt again, no one can cover for your damages so you'll be seeing double that bill, or triple, or quadruple!"

-

Why the fuck did I continue this story? 
spotto: (arisu margtrod)
Once upon a time on a cold, chilly day there was a boy named Max. He had lovely yellow, messy hair and freckles upon his face, above which were some wondrous blue eyes. He was hopping about on the sidewalk that day, taking such a path seeing as he was bordered on both sides by knee-height snow. His boots left jolly imprints on the mostly-shovelled sidewalk, appearing rather sporadically in time with his merry gait. He looked up and there appeared to be a large bridge going right over the four-lane road he was next to. He had been planning to visit the store across the street a few blocks from whence he stood, but this was the first he had seen of this bridge. Knowing he had never trekked onto such a marvel of architecture, and knowing it was far more convenient than to wait at yet another boring stop-light several metres down the street, Max took several steps up the stairway, advancing across the bridge.

He stopped at the middle to gawk at the cars zooming past underneath him, as if they had no qualms about the no-doubt icy surfaces they were rolling across. His thoughts were cut-short when one car had overestimated its own all-weather tires, skidding about until it had come to a roaring halt into the stairway Max had moments ago climbed. The hood of the poor sedan was crumpled up, and the woman in the driver's seat was shocked right out, having barely recovered from the air bag expanding in such speeds as to protect her pretty face from the unmerciful steering wheel. Max reacted as one would, quickly dashing across the bridge and rushing down the stairs. Unfortunately in his haste, he too had overestimated his boots' ability to grip on the icy surfaces and found himself not just descending, but tumbling down to the ground. With reflexes like that of a competitive sports participant, Max threw out his left arm to shield the rest of his body from the solid ground below. He fell with a heavy thud, though it was somewhat muffled by his heavy winter coat.

Alas, Max's clever ploy to protect the rest of his body was not a smart one for his arm, which had held out well in the nanoseconds it could to keep the rest of his body from contacting the unmoving sidewalk, but in doing so the elbow snapped right back, and a pain Max had not felt since he was a young child during a nasty bike crash rushed back into his memories as well as his nerves. His other arm grasped the elbow in an instant, and it took him great willpower, the same willpower he used to summon his God Turtle during spinning top battles, to keep from crying out.

And so the story ends with two accidents, damages on vehicles and limbs be damned. The synposis of a story that Spotto read has now come true, from the keyboard of Spotto as opposed to the fraudulent and untrue summary that was one she had read earlier. It had promised the reader, should they venture into such a tale, that Max would've broken his arm after falling down some stairs. Neither of which ever happened in such a story, and a girl, so unsatisfied was she, immediately loaded up Dreamwidth to write down an impromptu story.

None of which would have happened if a bloody antivirus had updated promptly, allowing her a night's rest during the late hours of 3:20AM. But since it took its sweet time thanks to her ISP's incompetence, she had to wait, and wait, and wait with droopy eyes and baited breath, until great rage urged her to express her emotions in that of a pointless drabble.

This has been Spotto and FUCK NOSTALGIA. WHY ARE ALL THESE OLD FANFICTIONS SO BAD!?!?!?
spotto: (hong kong *STAAAAAARE*)
I saw some Xena gifs on my dashboard earlier and that lead to a thought about something completely different, but sort of in the same nostalgic light. My brother watched Xena a ton when it was airing and I was but a child then, but sometimes I stuck around and watched with him. I really loved Gabrielle. There is one episode I actually remember watching where Xena was being forced into this sort of torture rack with hundreds, maybe even thousands of nails lining the board, but she had such amazing body strength to not only keep herself from being punctured but managed to like punch or kick off her assailant or someone. I also remember Xena dying (or maybe she was just incapacitated, the memory is a blur) and Gabrielle had to find some sort of weird bean-like food to revive her.

Then I remember my brother playing Final Fantasy IV and he named the green summoner child after me, who was eaten at some point and I got upset, but eventually she returned as an adult to kick-ass. He also played the Sailor Moon Another Story RPG, and Sailor Moon, which is getting an awesome remake in the coming months, is an extremely nostalgic thing for me. My brother loved it to the point  that my mom knew what Anime we were watching and even bought (probably bootlegged) VHS SUBBED Sailor Moon movies for my brother. (I liked it too, but at the time I think my brother did even more) And of course of my favourite cartoon growing up was probably Powerpuff Girls.

Now the one reoccurring theme in all of that are female characters. This isn't a coincidence or anything. I'm a girl and naturally are drawn to girl characters because they should be role models to me and y'know, also being a girl should identify with them a tad more than the boys. But that wasn't always the case obviously. My brother also watched the first season of Digimon and I watched it with him every Saturday morning. More seasons of Digimon came by later (I watched the second one, but my brother did not as he only enjoyed the first) and skipped the third because it seemed really slow and boring to me (well at least now I appreciate the greatness that was Tamers P:) and then for some reason returned to Digimon in season four despite its unpopularity because holy shit sentai! I watched Power Rangers a ton as a kid too, though I was especially young when the first Mighty Morphin series aired, so I don't recall too much about it. Even today sentai is a thing I could pretty much easily get into, but its target demographic is a bit too young for me to really enjoy now. (I watched one season of that parody/meant for older-audiences Akibaranger series, but found it a bit too ridiculous and silly to continue watching the second. Maybe someday I'll pick it up!) But these two were sort of general type things, didn't have a favourite character to gravitate to, just enjoyed the concept and story. (such as this wondrous cartoon called Weekenders, but I think I've said enough of it for now P: )

And now for the other end of the gamut, introduced to me by the great medium that is VIDEO GAMES! My brother always played these girly RPGs of girly franchises like Final Fantasy and Sailor Moon, meanwhile I was beating people up in LF2 and beating people up in NHL97 and beating mushrooms up in Mario and beating...well basically I didn't really play any RPGs aside from Pokemon. A majority of these types of games have pretty much 99% male characters, what with the beating up associated more closely with the testosterone Y chromosome.  But hey me and my two guy friends and my dude cousin were all about the video games. Yes, when he played Halo on the Xbox I would watch because first-person made me dizzy. Every time I went over it was either a hockey game (to the point my uncle stormed downstairs and turned our Playstation off because it was so late...but it didn't seem like we were being loud in the first place?? My uncle's not a nice person lol) or Worms on Playstation or Gundam games (I don't remember its title!) in Playstation or...WWE on the Nintendo 64. Or my other dude friend with his N64 and always playing Mario Party and Pokemon. 

Anyway this could lead into a huge rant about why I enjoy female friendships/shippings so much these days, traced back to my years of childhood where all my guy friends were super nice and awesome and all my girl friends either told me I'd turn into a boy if I hung around boys too much, or that boys shouldn't be allowed and lock themselves in my room on my birthday while I stood outside with my crying cousin or getting into a fight with that girl because I was tired of being the one always wrong and playing the idiot male stuffed animal being the buttmonkey to her superior female stuffed animal and what was I talking about again?

Oh, Beyblade.

That's right, the first anomaly is Beyblade. It's a show with 99% guys, aimed towards boy audiences (seriously it was so shounen it wasn't funny) and had extremely poor writing in at least one of the seasons, extremely poor action scenes in one of the seasons, and extremely poor design in one of the seasons. And it was not a video game that I enjoyed with guy friends. Oh no it was a show that became my first fandom, populated with many other girls around me. So after thinking about everything beforehand and having my mind deviate to irrelevant memories like that last paragraph, I wondered to myself...why did I enjoy this show so much?

We must go to the source, that being the one episode that drew me into the series. I always cited that Max's utter adorableness in the one season two episode when he is trapped in a collapsed building with his enemy, Mariam, as the thing that started it all. Max was super cute, was super friendly, and one thing I really liked about his voice in particular is that usually an adorable little boy with hyperactive tendencies would be given a high voice, but here his voice actor was maturing and his voice was quite low. Even though it was low the acting was quite good (at least that I could tell of a dubbed show anyway) and he was still spunky and happy despite his low voice, making Max extremely unique in my eyes. Sometimes typecasting voices to certain types of characters makes them a lot more boring than they could be. After all, it's not always that someone you know also has the most fitting of voices too, right? Wouldn't that be too much of a coincidence? Max actually sounded like a young boy and not a girl voicing a boy because every young male has a high voice and they aren't still that young age when going through puberty either, amirite???

But I rarely ever mentioned the other part of this source, Mariam. When you think about the female characters in Beyblade...everything sort of falls short. The VERY first female character introduced in the show was a girl who wore complete pink, basically being the pink counterpart to Rei and not being especially original in the process. Supposedly she is meant to be the female love interest for Rei (eventually, they do get married at the end of the manga) but that has to be the least interesting love interest you could ever make for a male character....A PINK COUNTERPART to the character. Whether or not Mao/Mariah's personality was interesting at all (I don't even remember! I think she just spent all her time talking/thinking about Rei since it was his character arc and thus has nothing about her as an individual at all) it's still pretty disheartening that the first female character introduced is someone like this. (You gotta start somewhere right?) But the very next was some girl in the American team who wasn't memorable at all. She also didn't have much of a role compared to pink cat girl. And as far as I remember those were the only two of the female gender that existed in season one...sad, huh? Unless Max's mom counts. :X

So season two comes by and there is this mysterious female character in a brown cloak along with other mysterious brown cloak people. She has one line and is super mysterious but is already more interesting than every female introduced combined including this Hiromi/Hilary chick who might just be around to be Takao's love interest or something because she never picks up the sport of spinning tops at all. WHAT IS HER PURPOSE!? Just to support? A cheerleader??? Anyway the mysterious brown cloak people disappear and we instead get these friendly spinning top enthusiasts who end up using experimental cyborg wrestling animals in order to steal the main characters' wrestling animals! Oh no!! Salima had potential, but she was sadly reduced to Rei's second love interest who didn't develop much of a personality besides being really stupid. Man this arc was really stupid and these side-characters were really stupid. The only thing that was really interesting about all this is apparently, in the non-bowdlerised original, Kai's roommate at some private boarding school was also manipulated into using experimental cyborg wrestling animal, but it was so powerful he went insane and died. (I mean why else did he show up as a spirit later on when Kai was facing the same experimental cyborg wrestling animal???) Anyway even though Kai found his roommate to be an annoying fanboy, the fact that he was victimized by these evil people and he failed to protect him haunts him, and pretty phoenix feathers fly everywhere as he achieves his pained vengeance.

Oh and Max was hardcore (and really dumb) this arc, so that was cool too. But I digress, Salima ended up stupid and then bland when she was good again, another boring potential love interest for Rei (combine this with the supposedly angsty Kai episode and there's no need to wonder why Yaoi was so rampant in this fandom) and so we wait yet again for some sort of female character that was worth anything, anything at all. 

Finally the best arc in the entire series began, the Saint Shields. Is it a wonder the only female character worth anything (and I mean ONLY, not ONE OF, ONLY) was a part of this arc? Okay so Dunga was stereotypical dumb muscle, short green-haired kid had no personality besides being a rat, and Ozuma was stubborn bull horn crazy dedicated serious "COMPLETE OUR MISSION" dude, but as a whole the four of them complimented one another perfectly. It is very refreshing when the most interesting character with the most interesting development as side-character has ever and will ever see in this series, comes from the female in the group, Mariam. Yes, that's right ladies and gentlemen. The reason I loved Beyblade was because by sheer chance, I happened to watch the best part of the entire series. No wonder I rant about things so much. You are drawn to something because it's so good but the rest of it is crap, like an amazing trailer that spoils everything and the stuff you actually pay for in theatres is worth jackshit.

So Max and Mariam are battling as per usual because they need to steal the wrestling animals from their owners to protect them, sort of like those Team Plasma dudes in Black and White (but not really in B2W2) but then some architect or construction worker epically failed at their job and the building came down just because a few spinning tops smashed into a few support beams. (Well as far as I can remember) Maybe that's why the building was conveniently abandoned, who knows. (I think there was some sort of machine summoning ANCIENT wrestling animal that did so, a dinosaur or something but eh, I'll still blame the planners. They should have foreseen a dinosaur wrecking the place and planned accordingly!) Miraculously our main character and side character survive because people dying can't ever be shown death in children's shows despite what happened a dozen episodes ago. But that character was very minor so no one cares. What was fascinating about this sequence of events was at the time such a thing was very foreign to my young, inexperienced eyes. Max being the shorter, nicer kid despite being the boy, and Mariam being the taller meaner kid despite being a girl. Even though I've had poor experiences with friends of the girl variety media had taught me still that girls must be nice and petite and conforming and guys must be alpha manly males that save all the damsel in distresses' days. I'm not sure why this was so emphasized in my mind considering all the shows and media I mentioned paragraphs ago that were nothing of the sort. Well some of them were of the sort, so close enough.

Anyway one thing happened that I hadn't really seen too often aside from Hey Arnold! (and that example is an extreme one, as well) and that was a girl who hates you and is your enemy and has misguided views, starting to melt in your presence because you are nice to her. They still try to hold up their bad girl image, but hey, maybe this boy isn't so bad after all because he didn't die in a collapsing building either and they worked together to find an escape and oh my god you hurt your shoulder let me bandage it up with my headband holy crap this is so cute and the character development and the amazing designs of both characters and the unique circumstance the two are in WOW! Also Mariam's wrestling animal is a shark and Max's is a turtle. A SHARK, supposedly a very badass vicious creature very few traditional females would enjoy as an animal, is MARIAM's while Max gets a cute docile little turtle (okay it's not cute or docile or little at all, but it's still a turtle) emphasizing his defensive prowess. SO DIFFERENT, SO REFRESHING! SO CUTE! SUCH FRIENDSHIP.

Hey girls? Guys aren't so bad. Hey guys? Girls aren't simply your pink counterparts.  So the end of this arc has the traditional beat each other up in the sport of spinning tops. Mariam predictably loses to Max, but learns that since Max is rather competent perhaps stealing their wrestling animals to protect said animals from evil people isn't the right way after all. Then we had that pretty awesome episode where Rei decides he don't need no wrestling animal to fight off the wrestling animals...and almost gets crushed by an abandoned roller coaster, but his tiger is too loyal to let him die so stupidly and escapes the rock itself. (This episode is also a reason all that rampant yaoi isn't so puzzling after all even though, as far as the creator's intentions were concerned, the episode is just to show off how badass Rei really is)

Ah, where was I? Now I did say this arc is the best in the entire series. For some reason the third season was rather popular among the English audience despite bombing in ratings in Japan, thus being the last season. You see every season is crippled by a significant flaw, so unfortunately there is no perfect season to point towards. The first season had linear storytelling and thus was pretty easy to develop the characters and show off the spinning tops. The story and "gameplay" as I will call it, using video games terms, was really well-done. (That being the action scenes of the spinning tops smashing into one another) but the design of the characters was atrocious, likely putting off many fans (and so I will call this the "graphics") who may have played it. Imagine season one like an NES game or an Atari game but it still had a compelling, if simple, story and really good gameplay. The gameplay will draw in the intended audience and the story keeps everything organized and coherent so no one gets confused or bored. Luckily certain characters have a rustic charm in this style, or at least don't look too crappy so it even drew in those outside of the target demographic. 

Then the second season ramped up in the story, but the story put so much emphasis on the wrestling animals that it really screwed over the gameplay, that being the action scenes. Many people who really enjoyed those scenes were put off by this season despite the graphical overhaul. For me since I am not the target audience, I don't care all too much how the spinning tops are handled so it didn't bother me too much, but the major target audience probably was so they put far less spotlight on the wrestling animals next season, that being season three. Also while the graphics improved some people did not enjoy how cartoony it looked (the sudden youth of all the characters!) but to me it looked super duper cute. :D

Finally the third season sacrificed story this time around for gameplay and graphics. 99% of the new characters had no development or were bland, and the old characters suddenly forgot their development (Kai) has no consistent characterization (Rei) for some reason went backwards in design (Max, why is his hair bleached?? What happened to his super cute colour scheme of dark blue, red, and yellow?? WHY) and people who went backwards in their development (Takao). But hey at least the spinning top part was improved. You'd think with the action scenes and the graphics being so nice more people would watch, but because the story (which is far more important in a show than a video game thus the flaw of using this analogy) was all over the place and silly that it detracted from the show itself. Every new female character had piss-poor development too, so that department was not improved on whatsoever. Sure everything looks good now but it doesn't read good and thus its poor ratings despite an audience of yaoi fangirls (that was the only audience that was still watching in Japan apparently at the time. I've no clue how they came to that conclusion either. It's still a failure because they aren't the target demographic)

And that is why I liked the show. 

Yep, this rant sure was all over the place.
spotto: (@_@)
And now a rant about something completely unexpected!

NICKELODEON SITCOMS!

I remember as a kid I'd watch shows like The Amanda Show and All That (I also watched Saturday Night Live and Mad TV, so...yeah....) but then those two shows ended and I kind of never really bothered with anything Nickelodeon again. (I have ranted before, as you all know, about Nick cartoons and how Disney and Cartoon Network were superior) It still baffles me today how Spongebob Squarepants repeats seem to rake in a bazillion viewers no matter what. And while I didn't care all too much about The Fairly Odd Parents I did find that Live Action they made kind of silly (but I guess I've yet to watch it >_>) [Then there's Avatar, but that's just my stubborn Hype Aversion]

Anyway...

I recently marathoned all of iCarly and Victorious.

You're probably wondering.... "why?" "Spotto, WHY?"

It does seem awfully out of the blue, doesn't it? 

You know I can't really pin down an appropriate reason or moment as to why this happened. I probably don't remember, but whenever I feel sick or simply off, or just need to get off the computer because I've been sitting still for too long I hit the 'tube and figure out if traditional television is still decent. I was one of those people who often went, "wow, what happened to these kids channels that used to have cartoons? WHERE ARE THE CARTOONS!? WHY ARE THEY REPLACED BY THIS LIVE-ACTION CRAP!?" And therefore replaced all instances of "television" with every instance of "internet" like an amusing PV with drunk!Keine stripping to memeworthy over-played Japanese music on Youtube. (There is no difference in quality anyway!) 

The only thing I still watched on the TV though...was hockey (aaaaand there's a lockout) and crime documentaries. Because it is surely fascinating to delve into the mind of a sick, twisted, unsympathetic killer or view the lives of prison inmates as they try to escape their temperament or watch cops do their job for once and not get myself thrown into the corrupt cops crowd...well, I'm rambling. Unfortunately crime documentaries and crime dramas sadly do not play 24/7, so there will be times when that TV is on and one of those shows aren't...how to quell my desire for entertainment!? I switched to the YTV channel to see if any cartoons are decent nowadays (and only YTV because I lack Teletoon or the actual Nick channel or the Disney channel... >_>) because when I grew up with my brother, besides the crime drama I always watched with him, he also viewed some sitcoms. (My favourite of which, was Everybody Loves Raymond...) so I figure...I guess certain sitcoms would be amusing?

Because none of the cartoons on were any good anyway. No seriously, as a former absolutely hardcore Beyblade fan who wasn't part of the target demographic and liked it for all the wrong reasons, BEYWHEELZ!? WHAT IS THIS!? They aired a marathon and I turned it off halfway-through the first episode, turned the TV back on hours later and it was showing some other later episode with absurd hairstyles galore. It's the same recycled plot with the same recycled characters in a terrible, recycled shounen. How do these toys they're trying to sell even stay upright when kids are battling with them!?

Oh, I am digressing. That isn't even a Nick cartoon.

So I caught an episode of iCarly. Don't remember which, but I did like the idea that it was about random supposedly normal children hosting a webshow. The webshow itself reminded me if the ridiculous skits on All That and The Amanda Show (well, it is created by the same guy) so...it worked. Quite liked it. On another random day of boredom (this all happened over the span of like a year, not like I saw one episode and then immediately marathoned the rest >_>) I saw a Victorious episode. I didn't actually know it was Victorious, was just flipping channels during a commercial and saw the second half of a particularly amusing episode. I didn't try to figure out what show it was because it wasn't as memorable as the iCarly one.

So, I ended up catching iCarly on TV whenever I was bored, especially if nothing else was on, weeks or perhaps months later, in a particularly uneventful day...I thought "well, I sometimes catch that iCarly show, might as well just watch EVERYTHING!" I figure, perhaps there is a new fandom I can join! Maybe they can discuss the deep psychological problems certain characters most definitely have! Unfortunately 99% of the iCarly fanbase is too preoccupied with shipping to care about any of that rabble. While that aspect of the fandom annoyed me greatly, I recall again, back to my Beyblade days where I was too preoccupied with shipping to care about any rabble. After all, it is a teen sitcom so its fans will be younger viewers who are drawn to the romantic aspects of the show...I just wish they would realize that the show isn't meant to be a romantic drama and to like the show for other aspects besides THAT CHARACTER SHOULD MARRY THAT OTHER ONE! NOW LET US WRITE ENDLESS AMOUNTS OF FANFICTION AND WHINE TO THE CREATOR FOR NOT PANDERING TO US!!

But I do enjoy iCarly...not every episode was a gem unfortunately. In fact, the later seasons haven't been up to par at all, and that ridiculous five-episode plot between Sam and Freddie? I can see why the show tanked in ratings after that because for some reason the creator actually threw romance in the show for longer than a single episode. I don't know if he was attempting to pander to the vocal minority to get better ratings or just felt like devoting A THIRD OF A SEASON to a fan-preferred couple or whatever, but...yeah. My favourite aspect of the show is ultimately the friendship between the title character, Carly, and Sam. I like two girl friendships...have you noticed? I think the episode that drove me to actually marathoning the entire thing was the iQuit iCarly special... though now that I think about it it didn't need to be an hour-long special since a lot of it was padding. (Those two male guest stars played rather unnecessary and irritating characters) But still, the climax was pretty good.

Now Victorious I did not plan to marathon...or even watch! The only thing I knew of it was from the crossover between it and iCarly, but I was not interested in it or its premise. I thought it had too many characters as well (as you know from my previous Negima rant) When I did catch an episode (it was the Bird Scene one) I thought it wasn't very good, so I tried to avoid it...

Until I was mindlessly browsing TV Tropes for crime tropes in preparation for a story rewrite (don't do this) and found that there was a Victorious episode where they were all locked up, which actually surprised me. A kids sitcom throwing its characters into the slammer? Seems kind of a dark plot, so I decided to take a look (I actually do tons of research for all my stories that are crime-related @_@) And the episode was actually sufficiently amusing...the fact that not only did they get locked up, but get locked up in a third-world country in the middle of war is certainly a level of darkness I did not except any kid show to ever reach! So I had some resemblance of interest in the show now, but still didn't want to marathon it. 

I was still somewhat bitter that Victorious was getting all the attention from its creator and might be partially the reason why iCarly was doing terribly and about to end, but then I heard there was a new Nick sitcom that stars the Sam character from the ICarly show with the Cat character from Victorious, cleverly titled Sam and Cat. I was overjoyed that Sam's character was sticking around, so all of my undeserved bias against Victorious was lifted.

....until I found out Victorious was being cancelled as well.

Now that just felt unfair, it was one thing to continue the Sam character in her own show, but to rip out the Cat character and then dump the rest like they were nothing wasn't what I wanted either. So I decided to watch all of Victorious to get a feel of this Cat (and lo and behold, I loved her) and to see if the show was really getting cancelled for its quality or not. I enjoyed the first half or so of season one, found season two especially lacking, but felt it picked up nicely in season three give or take a few strange episodes. The bias for the main character was a bit much, but I guess both these Nick Shows' ultimate point is to promote the main character (or rather, their actresses) anyway, though Victorious seemed to be a lot more obnoxious about it. (Victorious is partly a musical, so they tend to sing at the end of the episodes a lot, showcasing the obvious talents of the characters, but also because there is a larger main cast so it feels a lot worse when they give the spotlight to Tori and leave so many others out) And I'm not a big pop music fan, so I couldn't care less about the music. Again, I am probably not the target demographic anyway. (Maybe I'd care more about the music if the other characters sang more and not just the main character... she's not a bad singer, but there's nothing especially incredible or unique about her singing...she sounds kind of generic compared to the other two girls)

So I actually can see the show being cancelled due to that mediocre season two, perhaps it lost too much steam during season two for season three to save it at all. At least with iCarly it started getting worse near the end, as opposed to during the meat of its run. (Season Two iCarly was quite amazing, actually) so...despite watching all of Victorious and liking some episodes and some plots...I actually can see it being cancelled for its quality. Season three is decent, but not amazing enough to make up for that lackluster season two. But even so I'm pretty sure the existence of Sam and Cat ended its run, even if that season was bad. 

But for me? I'm not too bummed about it, when I found out about Sam and Cat my first reaction was "that is amazing!!" so...yeah. Pandering to the fanbase? Well, he already did it once and it didn't work, and I am highly speculative on how these two characters will even interact, but look, two-girl friendship!! Hopefully the writers will scale back on any exaggerations forced upon these two characters that they may have suffered through in their original shows for the purpose of cheap laughter.

The Gibby spinoff on the other hand... what? I do not see how you can create an entire show for such a gimmicky character. 

.... I cannot believe I just ranted about Nickelodeon sitcoms. I guess it's my guilty pleasure if my brother's is One Direction. Still, the fans are too adolescent and young for my tastes..oddly enough Victorious fans don't seem quite as obsessed with ships as the iCarly ones were...for whatever reason. They still are, just not to that concentrated extent. Oh and both these shows (and I can extend it to Disney too) have WAY TOO MANY DOUBLE STANDARDS for me to enjoy it completely. The double standards are quite saddening actually, like the constant torment and ridicule of any character deemed strange and abnormal, not because they're jackasses who deserve it, simply because they're a bit more quirky or odd than normal. 

The other complaint is the main character is probably a bit too perfect and...generic for my tastes. This is a common complaint, but I can forgive iCarly more since Carly is surrounded by eccentric people, but the Victorious crew have like three or four straight men which is kind of way too many and makes the main character's role a little more redundant. (Having her commit poor decisions from time-to-time doesn't help, she still feels ordinary and generic...except can be a jerk sometimes! Wow that is so interesting. In fact my favourite Tori episode was the Ponnie one because she wasn't acting normal, but instead absolutely paranoid and generally freaked out. That was some goooood acting) But well, what else can you expect from an American sitcom? Something different? HA!

Ah well, to the Cowboy with a Moustache and the Idiot Farmgirl who thought the Moustache was a Squirrel...and broken glass! Hopefully the newest Nick show won't bomb.

As a sidenote, I took a look at the MLP sneak previews...I heard from one of the voice actors (uh, was it Sweetie Belle's?) that they sang practically EVERY episode in season three, and the sneak previews are both songs! This is after the debut of season one and two had no singing whatsoever. Nothing against music, but there is always the happy medium and if they sing constantly they are going to overstay their musical welcome, I'm just saying. Oh well, we'll see when we see! This has been Spotto.
spotto: (Stage One.)
Man I have been Tumblring too much.

And by tumblring I mean not updating here as often, considering my amount of actual posting there is minuscule compared to the average there...probably. So I've decided to rant on a very general topic, that being pairings. I'm not going to discuss specific pairings either, just the general Yaoi and Yuri or shounen-ai and shoujo-ai or BL or schoolgirl lesbians or even the oft-overlooked het. 

But then I wonder if I could even discuss those two topics with their many names properly because even if I have shipped both sides before, I've never really shipped say, the classic pairings or been in a particular large fanbase supporting a couple with a large following. (Unless MokouKeine counts, but even then!) By which I mean the amount of experience I've had being involved among other screaming fangirls for two characters to be fanatically hooked up with one another is not as extensive as it might be. Oh well, a blog's a blog and its purpose is to rant about anything even if you're not as knowledgeable as the topic you are ranting of! So without further ado....

It all began long ago when I had just turned thirteen. I was one of those tweens surfing on the age of the early internet, when taskbars were grey and resolutions were only occasionally higher than 800 by 600. (I even recall complaining why people make their websites optimized for 1024 by 768 because I thought it made everything too small! Oh naive Spotto) I had recently fell into the Beyblade fandom...and not because I liked spinning tops or anything like that, even though I had a (male) friend who gave me a beyblade for a birthday or something. The first time I caught of the program I thought  it was mindbogglingly stupid. It's still mindbogglingly stupid because the episode I watched was of the Dark Bladers and those characters are probably the most forgettable (and stupid) of any character in the show anyway...

Digressing here, so anyway the reason I fell into said fandom was an episode that would be pretty good ship fuel for the pairing MaxMariam because it was the episode where the building collapsed and this absolutely adorable boy with a deep voice (that kind of added to it. I was like "wow he has such a deep voice despite looking like a ten-year-old!) was being all majestic and honourable helping out his enemy, a girl who was taller than the boy and acted not-at-all super-girly like I was used to in media. It was so different. Also Max was adorable. 

So somehow that translated to me looking for fanfiction on the series. I did somehow end up reading grimdark fic of the Powerpuff Girls before that (which might be why grimdark doesn't bother me as much as Rule 34 since I read about graphic tales of GORE and DESPAIR when I was twelve...) so I already knew of fanfiction. Anyway one fic I ended up following began without any romantic plots at all. The author had never planned a pairing within the story but at some point through the story the author actually asked her reviewers if it was okay she turned it into a KaiRei fic. Practically every single reviewer said it was fine or was even overjoyed at that aspect which made me go ???. I was a reviewer also and simply said "if you want to do it, do it. It's your story anyway."

Despite the story becoming one of romantic drama after it was initially a gimmick (body-swapping!) I actually ended up liking the story in the end. I cannot attest liking it to quality because when I revisit that story now it's full of grammatical errors and is frankly a sub-par work of fiction anyway, but my young adolescent self found some sort of joy to reading about two men, or boys I suppose at that point, having feelings beyond that of platonic love. 

But what is it that makes people enjoy that type of thing? I think it helps that a lot of girls (I'm not going to discuss yuri till later) were likely around their stage of puberty or sexual maturity around the time they start liking yaoi. But obviously that story I read was at the most PG and anything carnal in nature would never or barely be mentioned. So why? There's the idea that a lot of females like males who aren't afraid to show their "vulnerable" side, which I guess is their more emotional side. People probably want their potential partner to be able to understand their own feelings after all, and not marry a robot. But then I am baffled again because a lot of girls like that emotionless bad boy type of stereotype of certain people or characters as well. That can be attested to not every female being a yaoi fan sadly and of course every single individual having their own preference for what male they might like. And obviously there's the whole "well he may be cold on the outside but he's secretly a very sweet and insecure boy underneath!" and then they squeal like a fangirl at how the rarity of his feelings showing up is the charm of the certain character...and that other certain character is excellent in drawing such undertones of their personality out.

It's like magic.

Of course there are other explanations. If you ship that boy you like so much with a girl, then he's taken by a RIVAL LOVER and at least with another guy it's still very attractive and the feelings of jealousy of a fictional character is not there. There's also how the show itself, which may not be romantic in any nature at all, deals with couples. Case in point Beyblade, which is a show aimed at young boys. Young boys do not care about feelings or love. They spew sounds of disgust at the image of a couple kissing! Despite that, it was apparently important for the mangaka of the Beyblade manga to have Rei married to Mariah in the epilogue. Even when the manga itself is less-character oriented than the Anime and so it makes it even less sense to tell us he married her. Rei could've married any random lady and there wouldn't be any difference, yet he chose to make him marry a known female character. Mariah probably had a total of two lines in the manga. (Any character beyond LEADER of some team barely spoke at all in the manga. Only in the Anime were they fleshed out to be more than pylons) This leads me to my next point.

People ship what they have.

It's far more interesting to see what happens when two characters, well-established in canon, end up falling in love than introducing a character for the sole purpose of being the love interest. I'm going to use a ridiculous example for this. Lola Bunny was introduced in Space Jam for Bugs to fall head over heels half the time in the movie. Lola Bunny had zero personality. She just had a curvy body and for some reason boobs as a rabbit. She came out of nowhere. Now I get it, she's meant to instigate a joke where all the men can't really focus when a sex object is waved in front of their faces but that's really an exaggerated example of how so, so, so many times a love interest is just that random attractive guy or girl at school or whatever. We know nothing about them and they might as well be well-dressed pylons wearing make-up or cologne for all I care. In terms of yaoi and yuri? If you pair a character with the same-sex it's also far less predictable. Even if there are characters who are hooked up that do have fleshed-out personalities the fact that one is a girl and the other is a guy makes all the lolly-gagging of will-they or won't-they rather predictable and thus, droll. Heck, even if it has nothing to do with a person's sexuality! The nerd character is always hooked up with another nerd character of the other gender, for example. I suppose that's less of a problem considering people tend to fall in-love with people who have similar interests but it's still pretty boring and predictable to see.

So with the Beyblade example, Mariah was the first female (or at least notable) character introduced. She also happens to be Rei's childhood friend. So if love were ever to be mentioned in this Anime that has absolutely nothing to do with love, it would quite obviously be those two. I guess looking for depth of a different genre in an Anime about spinning tops is a bit unfair to Beyblade, but it happens to a lot in so many other places too. For the fangirls, the interaction between Kai and Rei or the rivalry between Kai and Takao or if you're deranged like me, the amount of times Rei and Max were in the same shot in G-Revolution, they see other opportunities for happiness for their favourite characters. I mean, to a lot of girls happiness is indeed finding your true love, so why can't their favourite characters find the same happiness too? It's not like Kai winning a Beyblade championship against Takao is going to make him happy or anything. Clearly he just needs someone to drown out his angst with! Clearly!

And the reason I'm only talking about Beyblade is because I don't really know how to explain the mainstream pairings in Hetalia, considering my big pairing there is KoreaHK which makes no sense. (Okay, ReiMax doesn't either! England and America is pretty obviously a common-type of pairing in yaoi and yuri, but still) So, moving on...

For yuri I am flabbergasted. Despite loving several girlxgirl pairings, especially recently, I can't explain it quite as well. Perhaps it really is just as simple as guys liking two girls together because it's hot. I've only really explained why girls might like any pairing at all, but due to yuri (I presume) having far more fanboys than fangirls, it could be a whole different explanation entirely. There are many guys who find the interaction and social exchanges between their pairing of choice rather adorable or cute and just like females it's not all due to some sexual or instinctual nature. Perhaps in that way girls and guys aren't as different as one might think? At least in terms of fans of pairings. I guess in the end, guys want to see their favourite characters happy as well and would prefer them with another well-established character to some random person introduced just to be their love-interest. in that way, shipping is actually very heartwarming, isn't it? Whether it be between a guy and a girl or of two characters of the same sex, in the end no matter how carnal a person might see the pairing, in the end they just want their favourite characters to be happy, just like they wish themselves to be happy in real life too! 

Mokou and Keine for example is a pretty big pairing in Touhou. Mokou is probably one of the most (and one of the only) angsty characters of Touhou. Keine is her only friend. We put them together so they can have maximum happiness with the time they have. Isn't that what love is? The maximum happiness two people could have with one another? On the other hand, there's Mokou and Kaguya, a pairing also very popular, except the two canonically hate each other and kill each other regularly. But even then, when we go beyond all the complications of the fact that they have an eternal grudge, the pairing ends up being our desire to see them end that grudge, so they can live happily together forever and their fate of immortality isn't as cruel. Sure you could probably attain that without pairing them up at all, and there could just be friendship (I do love my friendship) but friendship isn't the same kind of happiness that is a consensual loving couple. It is the ultimate achievement so many people want to reach. 

And that is why people ship. Just like anything else, it can be done poorly as well. Those who dislike shipping have probably seen too many examples of their favourite characters getting their personalities butchered just so their character can be shoe-horned in some pairing, but every shipper means well in the end. They just want their characters to be happy and their journey must be as interesting as possible. To me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. 
spotto: (hong kong *STAAAAAARE*)
I may not be the greatest artist out there, but I enjoy putting pencil to paper and creating whatever swirls of lines and creatures as I please. I like to show people too, but I am surrounded by many others who are simply far superior to me in my art and so I never stand out. People may comment on them, a single word, perhaps a small chuckle at a dumb joke, but otherwise when I draw it's a personal thing. Drawing is the kind of thing I'll always do, even if no one cares or if they blatantly point out to my face how bad it is. I'll probably always draw.

In fact I probably have the most passion in my artwork than anything else. I'd probably be happiest if I were given compliments on my crappy doodles over other things I do that I may not have as much enjoyment doing. But, if it's not good it doesn't deserve praise, so... I just mingle forward with my mediocre stuff. I decided to compile a bunch of doodles I've drawn over the past few months, just to show myself and any others I may show how inconsistent and messy my style is. I still haven't transitioned well to a tablet (I've tried many times) since the way I draw on paper is as far as I can tell rather different than others. I have a very hard style of writing, when I print words my pencil is grinding on that paper, almost putting grooves through the back. (Though not to the extent of my brother who basically has an abusive relationship with his paper, but that's understandable since his wrists don't work properly) I know drawing and writing much lighter would be far better and far less messier for my artwork, but I just haven't been able to adapt yet. This is why I think my tablet stuff isn't working out, I think. The tablet itself has far less friction than paper and I can't get that comfortable tight position down onto it like traditional media. It feels like I'm skating on ice rather than walking on ground really.

I'll get a hang of it someday, but I've had my tablet for like five years. Ha.

Anyway I put ALL the doodles in one image just so you don't have to click many links, in fact I'll just display it right here in gigantic and huge glory. I'll actually cut it because I remember that I still exist on LJ, and therefore there might be people there to still use that friend's list, and may see this gigantic block of crappiness on it.

art here )And of course to comment on it!

The very first image was a pretty random little doodle. I drew it when I was playing quite a significant amount of Hisoutensoku with my friends. I decided to draw them cosplaying their mains, but I never got around to finishing beyond the poses. Cunchy, the faux-hawk dude has his hands positioned like a pointer or a gun because he mains Reisen. Also adding bunny ears to hair like that is somewhat awkward, lol. The guy next to him, Magus, was meant to be Suwako but I never got around to adding that hat. (I also suck at drawing hats anyhow) Below Cunchy is Souless, meant to represent Meiling thus the high kick. I tried to copy Remilia's hilarious crunching pose with Edmendduke, but I did it without reference so it's totally wrong. You can tell I actually got around to adding her the and wings on. I did like practicing poses on that one, and I thought adding a face might ruin it since I left it faceless for so long. (I threw impromptu ones on with the computer ololol)

The second image is actually a Touhoumon image I drew. I was chugging along through the Elite Four and the most surprising death of my game occurred right there. Every time I faced that Momiji (and other Nuzlockes I followed too) she was a joke. Always killed her in one shot, never a threat. But my weapon against Momiji is my Ex-Keine, Cranium since she's part fighting and Momiji is normal. And every time I'd kill Momiji with a Brick Break or something, but then the champion used Earthquake this one time. I was completely shocked when Cranium died in a hit (and she's one of my tanks too) and was pretty much my favourite Touhoumon at the time since she was so dependable so yeah, quite surprising. Anyway I learned that Ground is super effective to Steel, which Keine is also a part of therefore why Cranium died. I sent out my Alice, SockPuppet out to avenge her afterwards, thus the image! THEY WERE FRIENDS FOR A VERY LONG TIME, I GOT THEM AT AROUND THE SAME TIME. So yeah all dramatic and sad and stuff, or at least that was what I was trying to do.

Here is the pony dump! This first image is of TERRIBLE quality (even moreso than normal!) because my mom put a wet rag on top of it. >: SERIOUSLY I really liked how I drew this one and she soaked water all over it, blargh. It is of a Werewolf!Fluttershy and a Zombie!Pinkie Pie, or as I like to call them Zombie Pie and Lycan Shy. I've read like three werewolf-shy stories and liked them quite a bit, and Pinkie tends to become the zombie in zombie stories (or at least zombie pictures) so I thought it'd be cool to draw em! (Also at the time I was all into supernatural stuff for a few weeks) Zombies and Werewolves are pretty cool man.

The Pinkie on the right is just a random doodle, liked it enough to scan in. I also drew Fluttershy as a hockey player as you can see, with a fierce expression because on the rink you must have passion to protect your teammates and to intimidate others to boot! I had a terrified goaltender pony as well but it's quite awkward because trying to put goaltender equipment on a quadrupedal creature is really odd. I also have many other doodles of other sports played by ponies but they had weird concepts or just plain looked bad. (Though I did draw Pinkie bouncing a basketball with her chin olololol) The last pony is a personal pony of me, or something. I dunno. I like top hats.

Yes, I still draw Beyblade stuff...oddly enough it tends to be Rei. As you can tell from the two images I do not draw him consistently at all. One looks younger but with closer-to-canon hair, etc. I just realized they have similar poses despite the fact that both images were drawn in different times, even different months. Maybe I like Rei pointing at his chest or something, like a "LOOK AT ME!" kind of gesture. Pay attention to Rei guys, not Kai or Takao or even the bubbly Max. Rei's there too even if he's the mediator and everyman dude. Oh yes and my fingers are so awesome, are they not?

I love drawing animals as well, especially goofy ones. ...yeah that's all I have to say about these ones.

The first image on the left is actually an Ed. I dunno why I randomly drew him but I did, gave him slightly different hair. Or at least I assume him to be Ed. Anytime I throw glasses on something it's likely to be Ed, I dunno. Maybe it isn't Ed and just some dude with glasses, but when I see some Asian with glasses I automatically think Ed. He kind of fits that stereotype y'know? Not to mention I met him and he is Asian, has short cropped black hair, and glasses. Durr.

I threw this demon guy in because I liked his expression. The horns and stuff were last-minute editions. Originally it was just a face with a small fringe, lol. I always have a hard time drawing profile'd animals with their mouths open, so I liked the one I included here. Trying to figure out the perceptive and angle of all the lined up teeth and meaty gums etc. of a mouth, especially an animal mouth is a bit of a challenge but I love drawing them a lot either way.

Finally a few of my manly men drawings. Of everything you see on this picture, I draw shirtless dudes the most. I DON'T KNOW WHY either. I just like improving on how I draw muscle so shirtless dudes ALL the time! It's why I cannot draw clothes because I never draw clothes ,or females because I never draw females. That's why my clothes sucks and my females look male. I cannot do it lol. I always just default to a guy with no shirt on. The one on the left I added for his face though. He looks kind of cool. Also if you've noticed I still do that spiky hair thing. I think I'll blame DBZ for influencing so much of what artstyle I have P:

ANYWAY THAT IS MY ARTS. That is all and thank you for taking a look if you did, even if everything looks smudged and rough as hell. They're just doodles and scraps anyhow.

Perhaps someday I'll have the patience to colour. >_>
spotto: (hong kong *STAAAAAARE*)
Okay I am NOT guaranteeing the next post to have the PPG review because I said that before and this is not the PPG review so I'll stop lying, lol. It'll come when it comes. For now...

The attack name is amazing O: )
spotto: (Sims - Awesome :D)
The PPG season three review is delayed because Firefox crashed during the typing of the review. In place of that, enjoy something a little different, but at the same time nostalgic as well! I've been typing up about it lately on this LJ anyway.

Do not be scared, for Maxman is here! )
spotto: (Stage One.)
Usually if an anime is translated over to the Western world to be dubbed and they drop the original music, I will hate it. Hate it hard.

Beyblade is an awesome exception. I don't know any anime that replaces the instrumental music with awesome rock/metal/pop/etc. music from actual and different bands! That's what the JAPANESE DO FOR THEIR OPs! (Unless they make the voice actors in the anime itself sing it :P) Seriously, stuff like Underdog, Switchblade, Swing Low, etc. are REALLY catchy and really fit what's going on during the action. Unless the dubbing cut nine million things out of the original (I'm looking at you, Sailor Moon!) I will usually like the dub. If they remove the music? Who cares if the dub has amazing voices, YOU REMOVED THE MUSIC FOR AWFUL SHIT.

Unless you can do what Beyblade did. (Digimon for example replaced its epic music with CRAP. UTTER CRAP. Replacing Brave Heart!? PUTTING CHIPPER MUSIC DURING THE LAST EPISODE OF ADVENTURE WHEN THE KIDS HAVE TO SAY GOODBYE TO THEIR DIGIMON!?
I remember an edited special version of "Butterfly" playing then, and I really did cry during the original...the dub, not so much. Also Butterfly, Target, and Biggest Dreamer >>>>>>>>>> DIGIMON DIGITAL MONSTERS DIGIMON ARE THE CHAMPIONS DIDIDIDIDIGIMON x3!!! (despite being somewhat catchy) )

I thought I'd give the PPGZ dub a chance...people were already saying the original Powerpuff Girls was ruined when turned into an anime...isn't it ironic when translated back to its original language it's even worse? I'm not saying the voices are that bad (numerous grate on my ears though) or even what they decided to cut or change or anything! IT'S THE MUSIC! The PPGZ dub OP is SO bad a person using WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER for the VERY first time could do better than that! And the music is so uninspiring and just plain crap. Blah. That's what ruined that dub for me.

Luckily there are some anime retaining its music, particularly anything licensed by Funimation (but what do I know, I only watched like, Negima from it) unfortunately there are still dubbing companies out there (IS 4KIDS DEAD? I THOUGHT IT WAS. Yet I saw this 4kids block on Saturday Morning TV!? WHY ISN'T THIS HORRIBLE ATROCIOUS DUBBING COMPANY FROM THE DEVIL GONE!?) that are willing to do ridiculous things like kill the music. The company that dubbed PPGZ was the same one that did Inuyasha, which I thought wasn't bad, but they did not live up to expectations like Inuyasha, sigh.

I think that's pretty much why Beyblade actually did get popular during its time, besides the whole spinning toy gimmick. It had pretty awesome music, you had to admit. Maybe not the opening (which was still catchy anyway) but the music during episodes especially rocked. I would definitely buy an English OST CD of it if it exists. And no that doesn't mean the original music was bad either, the original music was pretty intense instrumentals composed by the same person who did the Death Note OST, and you can't beat that! But if they had to change it, they changed it right and I had catchy, amazing music in my childhood TV shows.

EXAMPLE!

Yes I did choose Underdog because Rei's picture is on it. :D 
spotto: (Pillow Fight!)
So I just read all fourteen volumes of the Beyblade manga! I've decided to review it. It won't be as long as my PPG review (season 2 is halfway done!) because my PPG review is ridiculously long, mostly my own comments on the manga and its comparison to the anime.
Typical shonen toy manga... )

Yay!

Aug. 30th, 2010 11:36 am
spotto: (hong kong *STAAAAAARE*)
More uninteresting rants! Yes, I did tag this with everything.

NO MORE RANTS SPOTTO! )
spotto: (Sims - Dean :D)
I was bored and wondered if my super old website from long long ago still existed. Most people's super old websites from long long ago do not exist anymore, if only because they were on Geocities and Geocities is now closed. (NOO!) There were a few good oldschool sites on Geocities that I will sorely miss. :C I also had some extremely old websites on Geocities before...but they are gone.

First, let's start off with something very nostalgic.

THE HAPPY NEKO TOWN FORUMS STILL EXIST!

This is thanks to invisionfree never deleting its forums. Alas, I believe the old forums...before the invisionfree ones, that is...no longer exists. :C Oh well, it's mostly silly memories of BIFF being (well mostly me) incredibly silly and immature. I can still remember the password to the protected forum too, and if you are also a true BIFF, so would you. (Well okay, it's pretty understandable if you forgot it, actually.)

Now to something even older that is embarrassing but still exists on the internet so people I know can laugh at what an idiot I was when I was younger.

What an appropriate URL!

That's right! My old Rei shrine. I am incredibly amazed that this still exists, including its older layout-version (Version 2! I believe) as well. Oh yeah I was one of those who truly enjoyed using frames and iframes, and not even coding them properly. (Although, as far as I remember I bet I probably didn't code any of them, lol) Oh right, Rei being God....yeah. Okay. Whatever, uh....let's move on!
There is another site of mine that also still exists! This time from the gaming side of my life, it is a clan site....

Of course it still exists, the css is hosted on this webhost!

So thanks to having some of my stuff hosted on sites that did not die, these survived! I will now list other notes of survival by digging around my own hard drive. By the way, that doesn't mean I DIDN'T lose anything. I lost stuff from the Geocities closing (they emailed the email I never check, sob) and from freewebs, apparently despite my friend's super old site from 2004 still existing there. Even then, I also have a few sites lost from various other webhosts, though there is a possibility they still exist and I just can't remember their URLs.

But what else exists!? Why, old layouts I created for this very blog itself! I don't have them ALL obviously...I still remember this really old one, a Beyblade one I can remember, of Rei, on the left of this content box, with red fancy 2004-era effects on the bottom. If you had a resolution any higher than 800x600, it looked like crap. I was however a moron and all rebelling against anything higher than 800x600 back then, thinking that a resolution like that was evil. Take it what you will.

omg old stuff )
 One MORE thing:
NEGIMA-HETALIA MAD.

I wouldn't care NEARLY as much for this MAD if Hong Kong didn't take Yuuna's place, and Korea didn't take Kazumi's place. That seems quite the coincidence. (Not so much with Korea, personality-wise it makes sense!)

And now for me to stop uselessly linking fandoms together!
Note: The MAD is unfinished. I wonder who they're gonna end up kissing...
spotto: (Ultimate Cleavage)
After reading through various comms on Livejournal (variously various!) I'm starting to wonder if everything I've ever written has been pretty much the same thing...just replace their names and viola!

Particularly because I actually do that with original fiction, for I am not really much of a person to create my own characters, rather I would twist and turn existing characters or even existing people's relationships because it feels so much fun and full-to-life with something other people actually acknowledge than just yourself. Of course, that means my "original" fiction probably isn't even original. The biggest original thing I ever created was actually with my brother, which makes it something acknowledged by more than just myself. I rarely actually talk about this "original thing".

But it's of a dalmatian named Spot. He is the most retarded bastard ever, who is racist to all humans and wishes his master (played by my brother) would drop dead. He has the biggest potty-mouth ever, and is really just a goddamn unloving ridiculously stupid and retarded buttmonkey that I have been roleplaying in real-life for over thirteen years. THIRTEEN YEARS. Of course with my brother not living around these parts anymore we don't do this as much now. Everything we (or mostly me, actually) put into this lovely universe is clearly inspired by other media. Spot has a sister named Sittie, who calls this boy named Bobby "Sweetbaboo" and is attached to him so goddamn much she could very well be a real life stalker. That name is clearly from Peanuts, also better known as that Charlie Brown guy and his friends. Spot himself, at least namewise, and his mother Sally, at least namewise, come from "The Adventures of Spot" a children's book I dearly loved as a child.

There's more. He also has a younger sister named Evelyn (rarely called Eve) who is morbidly obese. That is the only purpose of her existence, to make fat jokes. Then there is his other younger sister, Nicky, the only-sane-man who suffers from the idiocy around her, especially from another character, the boy next door named Joey, who is so retarded he is basically the Ralph Wiggum of the story. He infuriates her greatly. The universe is so diverse that previously we once had a "Zippo" universe, where all the dogs lived on some sort of "Zippo" dog food, and also a "Pokemon" universe, with a very stupid Pokemon named Pikaspot. There's their GREAT ANCESTOR FROM THE PAST, WHO IS BASICALLY AN EXPY OF SPOT, named WALF the WARRIOR, originating from my love of the REDWALL books and that great mouse in the past named Martin.

DID I MENTION because my brother loves imperialism or something, that SPOT IS A PRINCE? His father and mother are the KING AND QUEEN OF DALMATIA. The other breeds are part of their OWN country and are regarded as their own RACE. (The Poodles are like, super inspired by the French for example) and the Dalmatians are CONSTANTLY AT WAR with the BULLDOGS and there is a HUGE RIVALRY between the two breeds, but as more buttmonkey jokes come up, the Dalmatians are HORRIBLE AT SPORTS and LOSE TO THE BULLDOGS ALL THE TIME? Much to the King, WILLY'S despair!? Etc. etc. etc. There is even a future version with Spot's son, Thomas, etc. etc.

THE THING IS, I never write about this. This is just a thing about my brother and me. What I do write is of stuff NEVER ORIGINAL or so heavily inspired by other things that it should not even be called original at all. It feels more like plagarism, and that is definitely not original. Or like a pseudo-original/somehowcrossover!weird fanfic of shit. Like what. This is why I have five dozen Little Fighter fanfics. IT HAS A BUNCH OF PERSONALITY-LESS CHARACTERS JUST WAITING FOR SOME STORYLINE TO EXPLAIN WHY THE HELL THEY'RE fighting because there is no true story! Then LFO comes out and everything goes to shit. Way to go Hong Kong.

OR we can go to the EXACT OPPOSITE of the spectrum with Hetalia that has its little comic!canon AND IT'S HUGE SUPER COMPLICATED HISTORY CANON! I can't write for Hetalia at all because of all the research needed and how goddamn scared I will be to screw some little detail up and suddenly the fanfic turns into controversy. Nations are too complicated for me to handle.

Sometimes I wonder if I am thinking too much into this. Akira asked me to write a fanfic about her three characters, Ryan, Adam, and Jason. I told her I would because my muse returned when I started writing some fanfic again, but it was really hard to write these three. We had many many discussions about their character but in the end I just kept COMPARING them to some fandom character that I didn't know what to do. What AM I supposed to do? I don't know what to do with original characters. I drew them a bunch of times to try to make it easier (and I've been drawing a bunch lately) but Akira tells me lots of times that often they don't look like how she views them, so again I am afraid of writing them OOC or not being able to grasp their character. The limit I am given is really crippling me. The last actual fanfic I wrote was of that Negima story, you know with Yuuna and stuff? It is completely long and incredibly embarrassing actually, but it makes sense I wrote so much of those characters. At that time they largely had little development or personality in the actual canon so I felt like I could do anything with them as long as I kept their apparent personalities. It's the SAME thing with LF2!

Seeing as those stories don't count either, I need to backtrack some MORE. B-Daman? I believe I only wrote for that because its fanbase is crippling small and nobody and their dog would ever admit to ever being in a fandom like that. It's not really a great story or anything at all, so why did I like it anyway? So that leaves us with Beyblade.

Do you know how the BIFF started? Because of my crappy crack!OOC extremely!exaggerated "humour" stories of the characters attracted some people and we added each other on MSN. That's how it started. I did write some serious stuff, but my writing back then was quite crappy and my computer back then was so bad that I barely remember any of the serious stuff. In short, I have not written anything truly FANDOM or truly ORIGINAL at all because if I have I don't REMEMBER it! I'm not a good enough writer to keep a major character in-character for as long as I could, but also not a good enough writer to actually create characters that aren't crack or for humour! What the hell!

And so here I am, having to settle for this LF2 fanfic I'm writing because it's not completely original yet not completely fandomized either. There is no fandom, it's just a silly freeware game. And now I am discussing with Akira how to not write them in a way I have written EVERYTHING I'VE WRITTEN EVER because for me, there is always THOSE TWO CHARACTERS. I will develop them so much more than everyone else despite wanting to develop everyone else too. Akira's friend came over for the summer and introduced me to SUPERNATURAL. I found it rather entertaining, but did not really look into it anymore, but the dynamic of THOSE TWO CHARACTERS...whether they be best friends forever, lovers, brothers, sisters, cousins, ANYTHING...will always appeal to me, no matter what. It has nothing to do with Yaoi or Yuri or whatever. I cannot turn it into a trio. I cannot do a five-man-band. I cannot do anything with a singular character either.

It.is.always. THOSE TWO.

Even if many many fandoms try to break this dynamic (I tend to have three favourite characters) I will always like TWO OF THEM vastly over the third. Then the rest I don't give a damn. That is all. That is it. Hong Kong and Korea. Kazumi and Sayo. Example and example, etc. etc. I don't really care if they end up being best friends forever, super awkward brothers or lovers, it doesn't matter as long as somehow they interact with each other and are TOGETHER. Not for the sex or the hotness or anything like that, :\ Sometimes when I write I feel like I'm forced to turn them into lovers (while I DO ship them) because everyone else is doing it, but I'm always satisfied if they're BFFs or super-close bros or something too, as long as they're together I don't care. (But at the same time when some third party comes in I get insanely jealous and defensive, telling them to GTFO BITCH even if its not about lovers or anything)

Right, I'm completely rambling now.

Kirami likes to add yaoi-drops onto anything I tell her, like hockey. Sometimes I mind. I love Bernier, he is cute, but I also love Bernier because he is that awesome rugged hockey player that he is, and because he is helping my city's team try to be the best, to get the Stanley Cup, and for the hockey game that it is. It is entertaining to watch, be it the IIHF championships, the olympics, women's, men's, and the NHL itself. The game is entertaining, not everything is about two boy's loving each other, seriously. Sometimes I feel like everything I do revolves too much around that. My brother is gay! I've had it in my life for a long time! I'm not homophobic, but does EVERY SINGLE GUY have to be paired up with SOME GUY? I even like Hong Kong/Taiwan to an extent DUE to RP (they seem boring otherwise) but I love Korea/Hong Kong ALSO due to RP! It has nothing to do with "hey he's hot and he's hot let's make them screw each other" and that the third girl is a bitch and should die in a fire.

Well, also rambling now. If this bothers anybody's friend's list due to its length I'll cut it, but I'm going to leave it like so. I hope it's not obnoxious to do so or anything...

EDIT because I realized how those last two large paragraphs contradicted each other! First I say OMFG GTFO THIRD PARTY BITCH! Then complain about people who go OMFG GTFO THIRD PARTY BITCH! Oh how hypocritical you are Spotto. I think what I was trying to say is that while it IS always those two guys, I largely don't care for a third UNLESS canon or awesome RP convinces me like so. So I guess I am part of the GTFO third party. Though I think I'm against that third party moreso because I CANNOT WRITE THEM INTO THE STORY FOR MY BRAIN IS TOO SIMPLE FOR SUCH COMPLICATED MEASURES and thus my defence is to kick them out. I wish everyone else wasn't like me too, but I tend to not bash the third person, just kick them out because I can't write them in. Like Chisame, or China, or something. I don't hate these characters. I think the second paragraph was describing like, the Mariahs, Taiwans, Negis of fandom rather than the other. (These are horrible examples they will only make sense with my  friends ~_~)

Okay no more editing.
spotto: (The Natsumi Hamster)
Fifth year BIFF anniversary eh? Let me type up something that I probably haven't done in ages. Oh, the good ol' days.

Max is the single most powerful Beyblader in that entire anime.

He is also...
The Smartest
The most Badass
The most Mature
The most Emo
The most Rebellious

and obviously...the cutest!

Of course, these claims must be backed up. Let Spotto tell you why I believe these things.

Although largely thought of as the weakest link in BBA, perhaps only second to Daichi, Max actually has greater potential power than the forces of anybody else even combined. Why do you think I say this? Because he has shown it. The scoreboard may not be showing what his is capable of, but every Max episode you watch, even when he loses, he accomplishes something greater, or goes down with a bang. Has anyone else actually lost with a bang? Anyone at ALL? I must say of all losses, Max's are the most enjoyable, and even though wins would be better to watch, unfortunately he doesn't have that many. (The ones he does have suck, lol)

In the first season, the preliminary rounds into making the Japanese team has Max against Kai. Oh noes, Kai is totally going to win, not only is his weapon an awesome flaming bird, but for some reason all the girls go with his horrible attitude and antisocial accents that if he were real girls would hate him. Max on the other hand is friendly, kind, and cute. Seriously, what is the taste of these fangirls lately. I suppose since his fashion sense was rather skewed in the first season he didn't grab a lot of people to his liking, regardless...Max is still powerful. Against Kai, Max didn't even have a bit-beast yet, and it was at that instance he got one. He lost to Kai, but he held out without even a bit-beast against the much more experienced Kai, who was trained to battle in a bloody abbey for christ's sake. Max was a freakin' noob and he somehow held out! Didn't win, but he sure showed much more promise than anybody else did!

His next major battle would be against Michael in the American tournament but I unfortunately must say that was probably the worst arc ever in Beyblade history, so I will not comment on it. What I will say is that Max won, so good on that. (His mom is a b!tch....how did Max grow up to become happy and social with parents living on different countries and a mother who throws him at the wolves constantly?)

The Kai is Evil arc is one instance where Max shines the most. Kai has defeated Takao, Rei, and Kenny (LULKENNY) with ease, at the same time, 1v3. Omfg! All hope is lost! Then suddenly Max comes out of nowhere in the sky like Jesus...okay, I won't compare Max with Jesus, that's Rei. He goes against Kai who has EVERY SINGLE BIT-BEAST HE HAS STOLEN! That's not just 1v1, that's 318751638575v1! And Max not only held out but made Kai panick! Then Takao sent out Dranzer and shoved his foot right up into Kai's ass. That's what you get for going crazy you emo git.

Then he loses Draciel...which I theorize is because his beyblade is tired from fighting off many many many bit-beasts...after all, only Jesus and Rei can survive that, after all. How unfair. So, so far the only times Max has lost was against Kai as a noob where he did quite well anyway, and here where he was double-teamed by the NeoBorg after fighting off millions of bit-beasts. WHAT A WARRIOR!

So Max pwned Kai. Badly. Very badly.

Now, after that Rei owns Bryan after almost dying and Takao somehow defeats crazy insane crack-whore Tala, and thus off to season two we go! Where Max's brand new makeover makes him the most cutest thing you've EVER seen since NEVER! It was his many instances of absolute adorable cuteness in episode 35 or 36, I forget, that had brought me to this fandom. I mean seriously, tops hitting other tops is totally lame, but Max was too cute and overcame that aspect, so now I don't really care about it.

His first battle was against some creepy kid, which he easily defeated. First of all, Max seems to start first against opponents this season, which means it is Max who has no idea what to expect. Therefore Max actually gets all the hardest battles, and Takao, who always fights the last ones knows that from all his watching what to expect (which is like anything regarding cheating, since that's basically this entire season in summary. EVERYONE CHEATS! Even he tried once. Silly stupid Takao.)

His next battle against Jim was this season's shine. Max absolutely obliterated Cyber Draciel, not once, BUT TWICE and not only with a complete disadvantage, but in row! Of course, Max was acting rather uncharacteristically STUPID this episode, trying to beat Jim over and over again for no reason but pride. However, that actually made him pretty badass and reckless. Did you see his FACES in this battle!? THEY WERE MORE INTENSE THAN KAI'S! And that's saying something! Kai made a pretty epic one against Goki to avenge the death of Yuuya, but that was just one shot (I must admit those feathers are awesome) but Max had much more than one in the episode. Plus, did I mention he defeated Jim not once, but twice? He almost did it thrice too, but Draciel was like: "Aw c'mon, he'll just get fixed again and I'll die! OMFG I AM SO TIRED I TOTALLY NEED A REDBULLZ!!!!! I probably will be less abused inside a giant tube in a laboratory...fuck you Max! *falls on ground pretending to be hurt*" ...and that's why Max lost.

Another badass moment, at the end of that arc the giant tower is falling down, crumbling on himself. He runs back in to get Draciel. God damnit it Max, you are fucking awesome. You are the shit. You are so much fucking cooler than the rest of them, even Jesus Rei might have to fear the power you're fucking accumulating because you're so badass. You could kick their asses all the way to next Tuesday, damn Max, damn!

Also, he just stands there when Dunga hits him after he lost. Because he knew he was stupid and an idiot and all, and took the punishment like a MAN. I mean if someone is running at you with their fist out, why else would you stand there and just watch? And did you see how sad he looked, and emo he looked after that? He admits his stupidity too! What a mature kid! He's learning and growing up so fast, and had much more potential than Takao and Kai as a noob (we have never seen Rei as a noob but who knows. That might be forbidden to a mortal's eyes) I can't believe he did it with such a neglectful mother. SPOTTO IS SO PROUD! *sniff*

We're not finished either.

Not only did Max grow up with a bad mother, he probably grew up in da hood, yo! Why else would his best friend who we never hear of again go and steal something extremely precious and everything!? Max must have been around many many bad influences! After all, America does have the most murders of all developed countries! Max has accomplished so much within his horrible neglectful childhood! No wonder he moved in with his dad.

His battle versus Mariam was meh. Of course he'd win, but let's detail more badass moments of Max! He's so intelligent wth strategies and defense! He evaded Mariam's Sharkthingy (I refuse to call it Sharkrash, that makes no sense. It's like describing a rash on your skin as the shape of a shark, or as painful as a shark bite...) and beat it up bad with great confidence. But before that, he and Mariam were trapped under a big fucking building that went down...THAT'S THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON! And guess what? He didn't escape like before, but he SURVIVED. How fucking badass is that, surviving a tumbling building with few injuries!? Not only that but he saves Mariam's life! Now, if we add that in with his aid of saving Kai's life first season (ANOTHER PWN!)...that's two for the count! He even gets an injury and one of those cliche "ZOMFG YOU'RE HURT! I MUST AUTOMATICALLY USE ANY CLOTH ON MYSELF, EVEN MY BRA, TO WRAP AROUND IT TO HEAL!" which only adds to Max's badassery.

His next battle is against Zeo. THE BIG BAD of the series. Okay, how many times has someone else faced the BIG BAD besides Takao? Sure Kai did against Brooklyn later on, but that's after being obliterated by him and almost dying. Yeah the comeback is epic, but Max only gets one chance and he also lost, losing his turtle as well. Max never got a second chance, so Kai's just lucky.

So what did Max do against Zeo? Well, what do you know, Zeo had Kai's Dranzer at the time, even summoned it to epic hax pwnage Cerberus, which surprised Max and caught him off guard, knocking him out. Yes, that's why he lost. Max could have easily defeated Zeo if it weren't for Kai being epic fail there. I mean Max ran into a building to get Draciel back and Rei almost kamikazed himself vs. Dunga/Josef with Kai and Kai can only sit there wide-eyed!

Hold up.

Gee, how many times has Max pwned Kai now? Three? Heh. Max >>>>>>>>>>>>> Kai so far. Goddamnit Kai, you overrated son of a bitch.

Max was extremely epic in that battle, scaring Zeo shitless and making him break at the beginning of the Takao vs. Zeo battle. Damn, Max. YOU SURE LIKE BREAKING THINGS LOLOLOLOL. If he can't win he'll break you. That's why he goes out with a bang. He'll take you down with him, destroying everything in his path. He is the CUTE BADASS RECKLESS LITTLE MAXIE!!!! RAAAWR!

It also does not end here. Takao finishes off what little of Zeo is like (he's broken, crazy, and have an overpowered turtley bird three-headed dog) and now off to G Revolution.

Unfortunately, G Revolution is more like TEH KAI AND TAKAO SEASON OF DOOM YARR! Who r Rei n' Max, I no know who dey are! TEEHEEHEE! But Max had his moments there too. He showed his emo, badass, intelligence, and recklessness all in one or two servings that season. Against Takao? DESTROYED HIS BEYBLADE, ZOMFG. Did Rei do that? Unfortunately not so much, but he did turn Kai's beyblade into a pretty sparkly purple beyblade. (Srsly the lighting made his Beyblade look so unbelievable gay, xD. Subtlety, much?) He even had the most epic comeback and was actually supposed to win but TAKAO HAX! Srsly, what Takao did was not possible. How can you send Max's own attack against him so bloody easily? It looked so easy and so fast! Takao definitely hax there. Also he talked some sense into Rick, who is one of the wolves his mother threw him against. Stupid mother, showing his great maturity.

And also, episode 45, where everybody thinks Max will not win because he sucks. Stupid people don't realize that he is in fact the strongest. He has faced millions of bit-beasts, a mutant bit-beast, and clone bit-beast and beat two of them, one TWICE and almost beat one. What the hell can stop him now? Oh, some random masked dude who likes to disappear all the time. Woo.

So he goes emo for a bit, now I know people say Kai "is so much more emo than everybody else" well I say you are wrong. Walking around looking like a hobo in a crappy brown cloak looking hypnotized is not emo, it's psychotic or mental retardation. Being emo and depressed is when you have no confidence in yourself and you wish you were dead. Max showed signs of that in two seasons so far (the first one he was much happier. Do you see this trend? As Max continues into teenagehood he is getting sadder...the path of the emo!) In season two after being defeated by Jim, he's all like: "I r failure. I deserve nothing. I r be beat up by Dunga because I should be. I fail. I should go die plox.) And now here everyone is like "ZOMFG MAX IS TEH SUX" and Max is all: THEY'RE RIGHT I SUX! I GO DIES NOW!

So yeah, Max is emo. Not Kai. Kai's just very sappy/stupid/blah.

So in this battle he fights them all off despite a massive disadvantage, and even has a BRILLIANT strategy (every battle of his is!) where he angles his beyblade when it is hit! How intelligent of Max! He comes out with a tie, not a win, but regardless it was enough! Finally the fans started to appreciate Max a little more, except their cheering sounded absolutely retarded.

Also mayonnaise rulez.

Therefore, I can conclude that Max is the most powerful, the smartest, the most emo, the most reckless, the most badass, and the most mature. Obviously the cutest too, we all knew that.

Now look at these epic shots of Max and tell me that isn't badass:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us <- slightly retarded actually lul
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
^ESPECIALLY badass.

And this GIF, Max taking his lil' punishment LOL.

That totally should have broken his jaw? Guess what. IT DIDN'T. Max is HARDCORE MAN.

And that ends my "Max is better than everyone else with the possibility of Rei" rant. Thank you for reading those who bothered to. To remember the tradition that was BIFF.

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